Their Horror is A Reflection of Our Safety

Their Horror is A Reflection of Our Safety

By Laila Amasha

The balconies of the houses in South Lebanon were crowded until Tuesday’s night. The night was disturbed by the sound of “Israeli” artillery coupled with the voices of locals on the roads overlooking the borders of occupied Palestine.

The people of the resistance joked about the horrified “Israelis”. The jokes advanced the portrayal of the enemy’s humiliation and terror. And then, eyes slept filled with pride and hearts were able to witness an overflow of tranquility between each beat. The scene seemed magical, especially when looking at the state the Zionists were in – the settlers were forced to stay in their homes, in safe rooms close to shelters, while their defeated soldiers were flopping in a funny, hysterical act of terror, throwing all their flares accompanied by screams of panic.

Without delving into the course of events that transpired on Tuesday night, we pause at the people’s reaction to what happened. It takes us back to the days of the occupation. A comparison forces itself on us. The deeper meaning of the phrase “the time of victory is here” is translated on the ground.

During those days, the enemy’s army and its tools, the Lahad Army, mastered the art of spreading terror and anxiety among the steadfast residents of the border villages and towns on a daily basis. The setting of the sun was a sign for people to go home and not go out at night except when absolutely necessary.

At some point, lights in houses were turned off early so as not to arouse the curiosity of a patrol of Lahad militias or Zionists. The voices of people during evening gatherings were so low they were not heard in nearby homes. The oppression and the feeling of insecurity were like daily bread and a lifestyle that people were forced to adopt to. It was enough for the Zionist to throw a single flare bomb in order to plant anxiety in the hearts of the people. The scene was full of sadness. Even the moments of joy after operations by the resistance against the occupation positions and its agents were shrouded in silence in order not to provoke the anger of the occupier and the resentment of the traitors.

Quickly, the heart moves from this scene and the one we saw on Tuesday. There was joy accompanied by security and the eagerness of people to watch the Zionists’ panic attacks, especially with the news that the Zionists hid in their homes. Through their fear of moving around and their horror, people saw the fragility of the spider’s web and its inability to have a single moment of safety.

A common denominator in these two scenes is an army of passionate resistance fighters who created freedom through the qualitative accumulation of resistance and organized military action and are certain of the inevitable victory.

This sacred crowd of the men of the sun, the martyrs and those awaiting martyrdom, was there on Tuesday night in the sky of the south and in the hearts. All the pure hearts were praising God for their chance to be living in a time when the eye broke the spear and horrified it. Others were thanking every resistance fighter.

The people of Jabal Amel [Mountain] and the supporters of the resistance stayed up all night adorned with their pure instinct. This instinct shows only dignity and honor. The resistance excelled in fortifying this instinct in a way that prevents it from falling into the swamps of “neutrality.”

What happened last night was clear evidence of the resistance’s role in enhancing the security of the people; they are no longer frightened by the army that considers itself and is regarded by those who are delusional and traitors as one of the strongest and most equipped armies on earth.

It also forms an evidence that people support those that got them dignity and freedom, liberated their land from the abomination of occupation, and freed their souls from the chains of anxiety.

Here, the square embroidered with the emeralds of resistance becomes a small part of the change that it has made. The most prominent field was carrying people’s souls from the darkness of fear to the dawn of victories, from the daily tension over what the enemy has committed or might commit to comfortably watching what the terrified enemy is doing.

In short, the resistance that liberated the land, preserved homes, and protected livelihoods, fortified the instinct of people and crowned their souls with an abundance of glory and freedom. Is there free action that resembles this – possessing this strength and love?

On Tuesday night, we witnessed a panic attack during which the Zionists floundered. We exchanged developments with overwhelming joy while repeating the phrase of the resistance’s secretary general: “The ‘Israelis’ are standing on a leg and a half!”

With our eyes, armed with certainty and safety, we saw Mughniyeh’s specter that came with an army of men of God repeating with one roaring voice: The time of defeat is over.

The Resistance Intensifies Its Pressure: A Message of Missiles to the Occupation الاحتلال يفشل في اختبار البالونات: عقوبات جديدة على غزة

The Resistance Intensifies Its Pressure: A Message of Missiles to the Occupation

By Rajab Al-Madhoon – Al-Akhbar Newspaper

Translated by Staff

Yesterday, the resistance took a new step in escalating pressures to force the occupation to implement the truce understandings. It seems that this step was well understood by the ‘Israeli’ leadership, which seeks mediators to prevent the deterioration of the situation, while the resistance affirms that it is ready for confrontation.

Gaza | Although the firing of experimental missiles from Gaza Strip towards the sea has become a normal matter in the context of working to develop the range and accuracy of the missiles, ‘Israeli’ interpreted the launching of nine missiles yesterday morning and afternoon as a threat by Hamas, in parallel with the field escalation in the border area. Palestinian resistance sources confirmed to the “Al-Akhbar” that explanation. The sources said “the operation is intentional. It is a clear message to the occupation concerning the seriousness of the escalation taking place and the resistance’s readiness for any confrontation that may be imposed on Gaza.” The sources added that “the resistance will not back down as long as the occupation is stalling in implementing all the terms of the truce understandings,” and that “the popular explosive balloons activities will continue, in addition to the readiness of the various wings of the resistance for any imposed military confrontation.” The sources added that “the missiles launched yesterday were a field retaliation for the ‘Israeli’ Minister of Security, Benny Gantz, who threatened the Gaza Strip in the past two days.”

For their part, Hebrew media outlets admitted that the ‘Israeli’ political leadership understood the message sent by Hamas to the occupation ‘state’. “Yediot Aharonot” newspaper described the missiles launching as “unusual,” saying that it carried warning messages. For his part, ‘Israeli’ military analyst, Noam Amir, indicated that it is usual to launch experimental missiles at the end of a new missiles series production, but this time it carries a message from “Hamas” that “we are ready, and the warehouses are full of missiles.”

In parallel, and after threatening the Gaza Strip with a major confrontation, Gantz linked the improvement of the economic situation in the Strip to the return of the soldiers captured by the resistance. He declared during a hearing before the Foreign Affairs and Security Committee of the ‘Israeli’ “Knesset” concerning the security situation that his government has no interest in the military escalation, and “all we want is the return of our children, and we will be happy for the flourishment of the economic situation in Gaza.” He added: “I will be happier when I see workers from Gaza enter ‘Israel’ … All this can happen with the return of our children, and by then we will see Gaza in another form of development.” Gantz’s speech is an extension of similar stances that he has been stating recently. Hamas, however, still refuses to provide any information about the captured ‘Israeli’ soldiers except for a swap deal. In this context, “Hamas” sources considered, in an interview with “Al-Akhbar,” that Gantz’s position was “meaningless”, as they considered him “evading truce understandings.” The sources pointed out that the talks on the swap deal have been stalled for months due to the occupation’s refusal to pay the price required to complete it, including the release of all prisoners of the “Loyalty of the Free” deal.

The Night Confusion Units prepare to begin operations in two days

The recent escalation on the borders of the Gaza Strip has generated more pressure on the ‘Israeli’ military and political leadership, which seeks to prevent the deterioration of the situation. According to ‘Israeli’ analyst Yoni Ben-Menachem “in light of the army’s willingness in the north to confront Hezbollah’s retaliatory attack, ‘Israel’ can’t handle tension on two fronts at the same time. It is working consistently behind the scenes with Qatar, Egypt, and the United Nations envoy Nikolay Mladenov to extend the Qatari grant to prevent the escalation. ”

On the ground, the launching of explosive balloons by the popular units towards the settlements of the Gaza Envelope is increasing, while the occupation forces are firing at the resistance monitoring sites in the east and north of the Strip. According to Al-Akhbar information, the Night Confusion Units affiliated with the Supreme National Authority for the Great Return March are preparing to start bombing operations along the borders with the Gaza Strip within two days, as part of the continuous escalation steps to force the occupation to implement the terms of the truce understandings. These steps have already impacted the settlers, who are now raising their voices calling for a solution. The Hebrew “Channel 13” reported Heads of the ‘Gaza Envelope’ Councils the calling on the government to put political disputes aside, and direct a harsh response to Gaza, based on that “the retaliation to the booby-trapped balloon is the same as to a missile.”

The occupation court in Beersheba, on Sunday, sentenced a citizen of the Gaza Strip [Tahir Matar], who belongs to “Hamas”, to 11 years in prison, after he was convicted of trying to kill a number of enemy soldiers. The court claimed that Tahir bought three bombs to throw them at the ‘Israeli’ soldiers near the separation wall on November 14, 2018, but the bombs in his possession did not explode, while he was injured by the ‘Israeli’ gunfire, before he was arrested.

الاحتلال يفشل في اختبار البالونات: عقوبات جديدة على غزة

فلسطين رجب المدهون الجمعة 14 آب 2020

الاحتلال يفشل في اختبار البالونات: عقوبات جديدة على غزة
قلّص العدو مساحة الصيد في بحر غزة من 15 ميلاً إلى 8 أميال (أ ف ب )

غزة | بعد عجزه عن وقف البالونات المتفجّرة التي يتواصل إطلاقها منذ أسبوع من قِبَل الوحدات الشعبية في قطاع غزة باتجاه مستوطنات الغلاف، بدأ الاحتلال الإسرائيلي تطبيق عقوبات اقتصادية جديدة على القطاع، وصلت إلى حدّ منع إدخال الوقود بجميع أنواعه، إضافة إلى تقليص مساحة الصيد البحري، في وقت استمرّ فيه القصف على عدد من مواقع المقاومة لليوم الثالث على التوالي.

وعلى مدار أيام، فشل جيش العدوّ في وقف البالونات الحارقة، على الرغم من إعلانه تشغيل منظومة ليزرية لصدّها، إذ أعلنت وسائل إعلام عبرية، أمس، وقوع عشرات الحرائق التي التهمت أكثر من 5000 دونم في مستوطنات غلاف غزة. وعلى إثر ذلك، وافق وزير الأمن، بيني غانتس، على توصية رئيس أركان الجيش، أفيف كوخافي، بوقف إدخال الوقود إلى القطاع. كذلك، أمر غانتس، بحسب صحيفة «يديعوت أحرونوت» العبرية، بتقليص مساحة الصيد في بحر غزة من 15 ميلاً إلى 8 أميال بحرية. وتأتي هذه الخطوات الجديدة بعد أيام من قرار الاحتلال إغلاق معبر كرم أبو سالم، ومنع إدخال مواد البناء ومستلزماتها كافة عبره حتى إشعار آخر.
بالتوازي مع ذلك، واصل جيش العدو تهديداته لقطاع غزة، مُحمّلاً حركة «حماس» تبعات ما سمّاه «العنف» الذي يمارَس ضدّ سكان دولة الاحتلال. وردّت الحركة على تلك التهديدات باعتبار قرار منع دخول الوقود والبضائع إلى القطاع «بمثابة سلوك عدواني خطير، وخطوة غير محسوبة العواقب يتحمّل الاحتلال تبعاتها»، مؤكّدة على لسان الناطق باسمها فوزي برهوم أن هذا السلوك «سيستدعي إعادة رسم معالم المرحلة مجدّداً، وتحديد المسار المناسب لكسر هذه المعادلة، إذ لا يمكن القبول باستمرار هذه الحال».

قصف مدرسة «أونروا»

وفجر أمس، شنّت طائرات ومروحيات حربية ودبابات إسرائيلية غارات على عدّة أهداف للمقاومة، فيما زعم جيش الاحتلال أنه استهدف مجمّعاً عسكرياً للقوة البحرية لـ»حماس» وبنى تحتية تحت أرضية ومواقع رصد تابعة للحركة. إلا أن الصور التي التُقطت صباح أمس أظهرت استهداف مدرسة ابتدائية للأطفال تابعة لـ»وكالة غوث وتشغيل اللاجئين» (أونروا) في مخيم الشاطئ غربيّ مدينة غزة، ما أدى إلى وقوع أضرار كبيرة في المدرسة التي يدرس فيها قرابة 1000 طفل فلسطيني، وسط إدانات فلسطينية وحقوقية واسعة. وقال الناطق باسم وزارة الصحة في غزة، إياد البزم، إن القنبلة التي أطلقها جيش الاحتلال على المدرسة تحتوي 1500 شظية معدنية، كلّ منها كافية لقتل إنسان، وهي موجّهة بالليزر، ونسبة الخطأ فيها تكاد تكون معدومة. وأشار البزم إلى أن القنبلة نفسها استخدمها الاحتلال سابقاً في عدد من مجازره ضدّ أبناء الشعب الفلسطيني.

في المقابل، وفيما لم تبدِ فصائل المقاومة نيّتها منع الوحدات الشعبية من الاستمرار في إطلاق البالونات الحارقة، كشفت صحيفة «معاريف» العبرية أن العدو يستعدّ لجولة قريبة من التصعيد، تشمل إطلاق قذائف صاروخية باتجاه مستوطنات الغلاف. جاء ذلك في وقت نشر فيه جيش الاحتلال منظومة القبّة الحديدية على نطاق واسع في المنطقة الجنوبية وغلاف غزة. من جهتها، كشفت قناة «كان» العبرية أن السلطات الإسرائيلية تدرس ثلاثة خيارات للتعامل مع القطاع، تَتمثّل في فرض عقوبات مدنية، وهجمات محسوبة، واستخدام الوسطاء، مشيرةً إلى أنه ما لم تؤدّ البالونات إلى سقوط قتلى فلن تدخل دولة الاحتلال في مواجهة.

في هذا الوقت، أعلنت الوحدات الشعبية التي تطلق البالونات الحارقة أنها ستُكثّف عملها خلال الفترة المقبلة، في ظلّ تعنّت الاحتلال في الاستجابة لمطالب المقاومة، فيما أمهلت وحدات الإرباك الليلي، التي تطلق على نفسها تسمية «سيف»، دولة العدو، حتى مساء الجمعة لرفع الحصار، وإلا فستستأنف عملها على طول الحدود الشرقية لقطاع غزة. كذلك، وفي رسالة غير مباشرة بالاستعداد للمواجهة، نشر الموقع الرسمي للجناح العسكري لحركة «حماس» وعدد من قنواته على مواقع التواصل الاجتماعي صورة لمقاتل من «كتائب القسام» يحمل سلاحاً مضادّاً للطائرات.

Documentary: ‘Steal of the Century’ (Part 1)

Source

July 8, 2020

The documentary ‘Steal of the Century’ aims to provide the context leading up to Trump’s so-called peace plan, coupling together Palestinian voices with what International Law has to say about the issue. (Photo: Video Grab)

The ‘Steal Of The Century’ (Part 1) is a documentary by Robert Inlakesh, filmed on the ground in occupied Palestine, investigating the peace process, Donald Trump’s proposed ‘Deal of the Century’, and why the Palestinian people have unanimously rejected it. It also seeks to show the brutality of the occupation under which the Palestinian people live, as well as a brief look into the history of Palestine-Israel.

‘Steal of the Century aims to provide the context leading up to Trump’s so-called peace plan, coupling together Palestinian voices with what International Law has to say about the issue.

The documentary series is also built around the themes of the “final status issues”, as they are referred to, namely; borders, Jerusalem (al-Quds), Settlements, and refugees. The focus is also placed on issues, which fall under these categories.

Featured in the documentary are exclusive interviews with Ahed Tamimi, Jana Jihad, Issa Amro and others.

Credits:Cameraman: Hamde Abu RahmaEditing and Graphics by: Dias MussirovFeaturing the song: ‘The Farthest Mosque’ by Waheeb NasanProduced, Written and Directed by: Robert Inlakesh


Nasrallah: ‘Israel is not a Jewish State and will be destroyed, the settlers will be expelled or decimated’

Source


Date: 13 July 2020

Author: lecridespeuples


Extract from an interview with Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on May 26, 2020, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Liberation of southern Lebanon. The interview lasted almost 3 hours.
Will Al-Quds (Jerusalem) be ‘liberated’ like the Crusaders in 1099, who put to the swords all the Muslims & Jews, including women and children, or like Saladin in 1187, who allowed the Christian occupiers to leave safe and sound? For its part, in 1948, Israel largely resorted to massacres in order to terrorize and expell the Palestinian population. Nasrallah clearly marks his preference, but as he explains, it will not be up to him, and once the Great War of Liberation has started, “there may be no more time for [the Jews] to leave Palestine, and there might be no safe place for them in occupied Palestine. […] And the scale of the massacres committed by Israel against the Palestinian people and the peoples of the region, its partnership with Daesh and its open complicity in the project of partition of our region […], all this will push the people of the region to issue a capital verdict against them.”
Translation : resistancenews.org
Transcript:
Journalist: […] Eminent Sayed (descendant of the Prophet), we started (this interview) by tackling (recent statements by Ehud Barak affirming that as early as 1985, he had foreseen the Israeli debacle which occurred in 2000), and you declared that as early as 1982, the Resistance envisaged victory as a certain horizon. Now, I look to the future and ask you: in the eyes of Hezbollah and the Resistance, how do you envisage the year 2035 (regarding the existence of Israel)?
Hassan Nasrallah : 2035? You are therefore asking me about the 25 years (of maximum existence) predicted by His Eminence the Supreme Guide (Sayed Khamenei in 2015). His Eminence the Guide, may God preserve him, did not declare that Israel would disappear in 2035, but said that he was not even sure (and that it was even unlikely) that it would survive until then.
This is an intimate conviction, an absolute certainty in our eyes. This entity —we no longer speak only of (the occupation) of southern Lebanon, but of (the very existence of) the Israeli entity— is, firstly, an artificial entity, fabricated from scratch and (a body) foreign to this region, it is a foreign body (implanted by force) in the Middle East.
Second, there is a very important point, that it is a racist entity. His Eminence the Imam Musa al-Sadr, may God bring him back safe and sound among us, insisted a lot on a very important point, namely that Israel is not a Jewish State. They claim it is a Jewish state, but it is (by no means) a religious State. Why, is Netanyahu someone pious? If we consider his government, there are a few ministers of religious parties, but the Israeli right and left (who are the majority) are not pious or religious. It cannot be said that it is a religious State governed by the Torah. Why is it a racist state? Because they consider themselves to be the descendants of the children of Israel (another name for Prophet Jacob), they consider this land to be their (exclusive and eternal) property, that they are God’s chosen people, that it is their right, (that the Goyim are inferior creatures vowed to serve them), etc., etc., etc. And it behaves racistly.
On the one hand, it is therefore a racist, artificial state, foreign to the region and its texture. On the other hand, fundamentally, it is based on terrorism, murder, rape, and has no legality, no legitimacy, no moral or ethical foundation, no humanitarian foundation. And it relies partly on its limited intrinsic force, which is not an absolute force, partly on the passive environment (of the Arab regimes subservient to Washington), and on its main support force, namely the United States of America and the West. All of this is not going to last (forever).
The pre-2000 Israel —and they themselves recognize it today— is no longer the post-2000 Israel. The allegedly invincible army has become a defeated army, not only in southern Lebanon, but even in Gaza. And it will be defeated in any new confrontation, with the grace of God. The situation of our region must not deceive them because of the complacency of some regimes (Arab-Muslim vassals of the United States). For the peoples (of the region), the faith in the (armed) Resistance and the credibility of this choice in the eyes of the Arab-Muslim peoples are stronger than ever, despite the lies of the electronic armies.
And the foundation on which Israel fundamentally rests, their true pillar, namely the United States, is not meant to always remain so powerful, so imposing and so arrogant, capable of threatening the whole region, all the Arab regimes, and constituting an unwavering and eternal support for the Israeli entity. Recently, one of the great intellectuals of our time, Chomsky, said that the United States is headed for disaster. Whoever looks at this President (Trump), this administration, his behavior, it is clear that they are heading (straight ahead) towards a disaster, a disaster in every sense of the word.
A State whose very existence relies on a foreign element is bound to collapse when the foreign element weakens. This is why we consider that it is only a matter of time (before Israel disappears). The future we are looking at (with certainty) is not only that of the year 2000 (an Israeli withdrawal from this or that area); it is that of a region in which it is absolutely impossible —this is how I see it— it is absolutely impossible for this cancerous tumor to remain, this germ of corruption, this absolute evil, this artificial entity devoid of any legitimacy, any ethical foundation, based on racism and terrorism, and which only endures thanks to foreign support. When the equations are changed, (the Zionist settlers) will have no choice but to pack up and leave.
As far as I am concerned, the spectacle of the Zionist settlers packing their bags and boarding planes or boats to return to where they come from is an absolute certainty, an inevitable necessity. It’s just a matter of time. And that day, I hope that the Resistance movements in the region will allow them to pack up and flee (safe and sound), just like they fled (from southern Lebanon) in 2000 and like they fled from the Gaza Strip (in 2005).
Journalist: “We will be praying at al-Quds soon”, (you said). This certainty that you have…
Hassan Nasrallah : I cannot say exactly what length of time we should put behind the word “soon”, but it is only a matter of time. I see it as a spectacle that will inevitably happen. It is above all a divine promise, and a well-rooted historical tradition. The whole story (shows that the Empires collapsed and that the colonists and invaders ended up packing up). We are not talking about something that would be unprecedented or contravene historical experience. It is history itself and its laws that predict such an outcome.
Journalist : Eminent Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, Secretary General of Hezbollah, what you are saying is a strong, existing and present opinion. But on the other hand, there are people who consider that Israel has succeeded in creating changes (in its favor) in the strategic environment. We know that Israel often holds conferences and likes to talk about its “strategic environment” (in the Middle East). Some believe that Israel has succeeded in bringing about (profound) upheavals which will enable it to restore its capacity for initiative. They maintain that in 2000, the strategic environment was much more favorable to Hezbollah than today: you had the upper hand, there was an Intifada in occupied Palestine (from 2000 to 2005), there were armed operations (of the Palestinian Resistance) in the heart of Tel Aviv, there was universal and massive Arab popular support (for the Palestinian cause), there were Arab regimes embarrassed (by their inaction & alliance to the West), stability reigned in Syria, and even Turkey then approached the Resistance Axis and distanced itself from Israel. But today, the United States has been present in our region for 20 years (since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and then Iraq in 2003), Syria has withdrawn from Lebanon, the Arab Spring led to the targeting of Arab armies (destruction of major Arab countries like Syria and Libya), Arab countries normalize their relations (with Israel), and even in Lebanon, there is no internal stability. Is all this true? And my second question is this: to whom does the strategic environment give the capacity for initiative today?
Hassan Nasrallah : These are very broad questions… Even in the clues you mentioned… There are things that have not changed, at least not in favor of Israel, and may have improved (in our favor) in some way.
For example, in 1982, in Lebanon, there was a civil war. There were fundamental divisions, frontlines (in Beirut itself), battles, Lebanese (movements) who fought alongside the Israelis against other Lebanese (like the militias of Samir Geagea, Bachir Gemayel, etc.). Today, there is no more civil war. There are no more frontlines, are there? There are certainly…
Journalist : But I asked you about the situation in 2000. It was in 2000 that the strategic environment was particularly favorable to the Resistance, and (obviously) not in 1982.
Hassan Nasrallah : All right, let’s not talk about 1982. But even in 2000, I don’t consider that the interior atmosphere in Lebanon was much better than that of today, if we want to speak of the interior atmosphere. Some of the fundamental divisions persist internally (between the pro-Westerners of the so-called March 14 alliance and the pro-Iran sovereignists of the March 8 alliance).
And there is something I want to focus on: when we talk about near or distant history, we should not embellish reality. You have to describe the history as it is. In 2000, there was no unanimity on the principle of Resistance (to the Israeli occupation). There was no union of the Lebanese (besides Hezbollah). It’s a fiction. On the contrary, there were severe differences on the question of the Resistance, and some Lebanese forces considered that Hezbollah was not even a patriotic movement or linked to Lebanon, and was only fighting in the interest of Syria and Iran. (Resistance) operations in the south were mentioned as (reprehensible) violence, and some Lebanese media did not designate our martyrs as martyrs, but simply as “killed”: the young resistance fighters were “killed”, and the Israeli soldiers were “killed” (they made no difference between the two). I don’t want to reopen this page of history. But I emphasize that there was no unanimity. Contrary to all those who claim that Hezbollah would have lost the unanimity it enjoyed before, I maintain that since 1982 to this day, the Resistance has lost nothing, for there was NEVER unanimity on the question of the Resistance. This has always been a point of disagreement.
Regarding the points you raised about the strategic environment, we interpret the arrival of the Americans in the region (in 2001) differently. In our eyes, this is proof of the advance of the Axis of Resistance: when the United States realized that Israel alone was unable to protect the interests of Washington, which is its fundamental role, because this entity is an instrument (of British and then American imperialism); when the United States became convinced that the regimes in the region it supports (Saudi Arabia, Gulf countries, Egypt, etc.) became incapable of protecting the interests of Washington, when they started to be afraid of certain States in the region (Syria, Iran) and of the peoples of the region, who risked transforming the Middle East in a direction contrary to Washington’s interests, this forced them to be present directly with their fleet, their military bases, their armed forces, etc. It is a sign of the strength of the strategic environment in our favor, not in favor of the enemy. So much for the first point.
Second, so as not to tackle all the points you mentioned one by one, let’s look at the other side. Where was the Resistance? Today, when we ask to Israel if the Hezbollah of 2000 is the same as that of today, Israel answers: “Of course not ! It has grown and strengthened, and it is dozens of times more powerful than before!” We went from the status of a (guerrilla) Resistance, a small group of young people, people with faith but with (very) limited capacities, to that of a “terrorist army”, in the words of the Israeli chief of staff, but I underline the word “army”. And he adds that Israel must work to widen the gap between the Resistance and the Israeli army again, which indicates that Hezbollah is on the rise.
If we consider the Palestinian people, there were a lot of people within Palestine who were counting on negotiations (to achieve a peace agreement and a Palestinian State), but today negotiations have reached an dead end. Today, the level of support of the Palestinian people for the choice of the Armed Resistance is higher than ever. So we are talking about an upheaval in the strategic environment (but it is certainly not in favor of Israel). Because the Palestinian people are the key. The main element that will decide the future of the (Zionist) entity is the state of mind, the point of view and the convictions of the Palestinian people, as well as their will and determination.
And with regard to Gaza, which was occupied in 2000, to speak of the year 2000, today, Gaza is in the hands of the Resistants. After 2000, all that the Israelis feared from the Palestinians was an ambush, an explosive charge, or a martyrdom (operation) here or there. But today, the leaders of the factions of the Resistance in Gaza (Hamas and Islamic Jihad) claim that their ballistic capacity allows them to strike all the cities of occupied Palestine. Who is this development favouring? And this is happening in the very heart of Israel, in its security and existential depth!
In our view, the transformations in the region are in our favor, not in favor of the enemy. We are not saying that the strategic environment is entirely in our favor, but it is not entirely in favor of the enemy. There are strengths on both sides…
Journalist: Is there a balance?
Hassan Nasrallah : Yes, there is a high level of balance. Without this balance, Israel would have waged a war against Lebanon now (taking advantage of the war in Syria and the economic and health crisis in Iran).
Journalist: Does the current strategic environment give Hezbollah the initiative, the capacity for initiative?
Hassan Nasrallah : Hezbollah has the capacity for initiative, and the enemy also has the capacity for initiative. But because of the balance (mutuel deterrence) between the two, each one thinks twice (before attacking the other). Everyone thinks twice. […]
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“Any amount counts, because a little money here and there, it’s like drops of water that can become rivers, seas or oceans…” Hassan Nasrallah

Quds Day: Reminder of Palestinian struggle

By Salman Parviz

May 21, 2020 – 14:5

Originating in Iran with the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini declared the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan as Quds Day with the aim of forging unity among the Muslims and Arab nations so that they will unanimously express their backing for the Palestinian nation each year.

To mark the occasion amid the novel coronavirus pandemic the International Quds Day Conference was held online May 18 and 19.

This year’s Quds Day has special significance in the denunciation of the so-called “Deal of the Century” and proposed annexation of Jordan Valley and occupied West Bank, a display of shocking disregard for international law. The deal has given green light to Israeli sovereignty on the illegal settlements built since the 1967 war, which is now colonized by more than 600,000 Israeli Jews.

Protests in the region on May 15 marked the 72nd anniversary of the Nakba or “catastrophe”, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forced into exile following creation of the Zionist state in 1948. It was another opportunity to denounce the policies of U.S. President D. Trump’s ultra-right policies and alliance with Israel.

While successive U.S. presidents and administrations have supported Israel, none has done as much in such a short time to embolden its right-wing settler-led colonialist government than Trump whose administration recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 2017, stalling the road map for a two-state solution.

Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner worked closely with former U.S. special envoy for the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, to design the “Deal of the Century”. The plan was announced in January after several months of delay. What Palestinians saw as a “surrender note”, referred in one of the Tehran Times’ headlines as the “Highway to Hell” and what many consider “Heist of the Century”.

After three inconclusive elections in the Zionist state a three-year power-sharing agreement was announced in April which allows Netanyahu first bite at leading before handing power to Benny Gantz. At the heart of that agreement is the illegal annexation of large swathes of the West Bank, including the Jordan Valley and the Northern Dead Sea.

Israel is 21st century’s Middle East version of apartheid-era South Africa, the only remaining apartheid state where Palestinians remain, at best, second class citizens in Israel, under occupation in Gaza, East Jerusalem and West Bank.

Of historical significance is the plight of residents of Gaza Strip. In January 2006, Hamas won a sweeping majority in the Palestinian Legislative Council elections ending more than 40 years of domination by Fatah, the political faction built by the late Yasir Arafat.

Following the elections U.S., EU and Canada cut off funding to the Palestinian Authority despite Canada having helped to facilitate and monitor the elections. Worth mentioning is that the Israel-Hezbollah conflict ensued during the summer of 2006.

Gaza Strip was put under Israeli and Egyptian blockade in 2007 when the Hamas resistance movement started controlling the enclave. As a result of Israel’s stifling measures the UN has warned in the past that the Gaza Strip would become “uninhabitable” by 2020.

More than two million people cramped up in a 362 square kilometer area, deprived of their fundamental human rights including freedom of movement. Under strict air, sea and ground siege imposed by Israel and Egypt for the last thirteen years, Gaza Strip is considered the largest open-air prison in the world.

This prison verdict is backed by international community, mainly the Western powers and the U.S. During the siege the coastal enclave has undergone three major Israeli offensives.

Today around 6.5 million Palestinians live abroad as refugees or members of the diaspora.

Quds day is a reminder of the plight of Palestinian people.
 

RELATED NEWS

Solidarity between Palestinians and Indigenous Activists has Deep Roots

Rally supporting indigenous communities in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo: Supplied)

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By Marion Kawas

Palestinian solidarity with indigenous struggles here in Turtle Island was highlighted last week, with both local and international Palestinian support for the Wet’suwet’en nation’s struggle on unceded territory in British Columbia.

The BDS National Committee (BNC) released a powerful statement at the same time as diaspora Palestinians in Vancouver sent greetings to the daily #WetsuwetenStrong protest in that city. Both emphasized the brave and tireless resistance of the indigenous defenders, with the BNC noting that Palestinians owe them “a great debt for teaching us how to resist settler colonialism generation after generation through your powerful resistance, grace and indomitable spirit”. 

But these strong expressions of Palestinian support are not new and have a long and rich history.

Mahmoud Darwish’s iconic and epic poem, “The Penultimate Speech of the ‘Red Indian’ to the White Man,” is one early example of the modern Palestinian resistance movement’s link with indigenous issues. Some verses of that poem have been put to music by Roger Waters in a segment appropriately entitled “Supremacy”.

Russell Means, leader of the American Indian Movement, also wrote a poem in response to Darwish, entitled “The Song of the Palestinian”. In fact, solidarity delegations of AIM visited Beirut in the 1970s and were welcomed at many Palestinian offices and centers.

Mahmoud Darwish was in Vancouver, Canada in 1976 as part of the Palestinian delegation to the UN-Habitat Conference. At a packed public meeting organized by local activists, he appeared on stage to recite his poetry along with celebrated indigenous poet Lee Maracle. He read several of his poems, and she presented the English translation of “Write Down, I am an Arab” for the audience.

Maracle later said that upon “Hearing his work…she felt an intrinsic connection. ‘He spoke to something so old inside my body it felt like floating in a sea of forever’.”

That same year, indigenous activists in Vancouver were also protesting the arrest and later extradition of Leonard Peltier. Peltier had been part of the 1973 resistance to the US military siege on Pine Ridge, but was falsely accused of murdering an FBI agent. He came to Canada, was jailed and later handed over to the US government, where he was incarcerated and remains to this day.

Weekly protests were held in 1976 to support Peltier, and Palestinians were there to support those actions. An article from the Native Study Group in a newsletter of the day “Palestine in Struggle”, highlighted Peltier’s case and showed why solidarity between all indigenous struggles is critical.

In 2012, there was a strong statement of support from Palestinians with the IdleNoMore movement and indigenous rights. Multiple organizations and individuals signed on to show the depth of support and understanding between the two struggles.

They said in part:

“We recognize the deep connections and similarities between the experiences of our peoples – settler colonialism, destruction and exploitation of our land and resources, denial of our identity and rights, genocide and attempted genocide.”

Indigenous activists from Canada have been part of the Gaza Flotilla multiple times. Both Robert Lovelace and more recently, Larry Commodore, sailed on Boat to Gaza vessels in solidarity with the Palestinians. Larry, in particular, was treated brutally and injured by the Israeli military upon his arrest from the al Awda in 2018.

Solidarity between Palestinian and Mohawk activists also has a long history across Canada. There are many examples of mutual support, with Mohawk flags being seen at Palestinian demos and Palestinian flags flying high on Six Nations land.

One activist, the late Splitting the Sky (John Boncore), who was part of the Gustafsen Lake standoff, was also pivotal in furthering indigenous solidarity in British Columbia. He joined the parents of Rachel Corrie and others on a Vancouver stage in 2003 in a remarkable meeting to mark the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinians.

Slogans such as “Sovereign Forever, Never Surrender” and “If you deny our Existence, Expect our Resistance” have been highlighted in the #WetsuwetenStrong protests. These slogans also resonate completely with the current phase of the Palestinian struggle, as Palestinians deal with Trump’s apartheid plan and the crushing vision for the future it embodies.

The bonds of shared trauma, shared resistance to settler colonialism and the enduring spirit of defending the land will keep the solidarity between Palestinians and the indigenous people of Turtle Island alive for generations.

– Marion Kawas is a member of the Canada Palestine Association and co-host of Voice of Palestine. She contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com. Visit: www.cpavancouver.org.

Miscegenation as elephant in the room

February 12, 2020

Miscegenation as elephant in the room

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by Denis A. Conroy for The Saker Blog

In the capitalist West, a reinvention of bourgeois culture is continuously expressed through ownership of devises that legitimise power. Alternating forms of bourgeois culture come and go to allow the public to toy with alternative bourgeois values, but never with the idea of alternatives ‘to’ bourgeois values as such. The net result of all of this is that the public is permitted to pay lip service to democracy while being forced to submit to a stitch-up…or, an exogenous variable whose time-line is no longer relevant but continues to do what it has always done, allow elites to emasculate the public voice. The best example of this is to be found in private narratives that exist for the purpose of legitimising the private sector’s methods of wealth extraction by promoting a trickle-down version of philanthropic mush to those who passively accept the status quo.

This capitalist trajectory is indubitably observed in the stepping-stones that history’s dealers put in place for themselves to achieve positions of pre-eminence. From Mayer Amschel Rothchild(ren), banker, 1744-1812, to our present time, dealers have made an artform of dealership, and the current President of the USA…Donald Trump is no exception. It’s his form of exceptionality (make America great again) that we need to look more closely at.

It wasn’t serendipity that enabled elites to acquire the power needed to lord it over the masses, but rather an ability to trade a passage toward creating a centre that could ultimately achieve an institutionally sacrosanct level of security for themselves…the ‘too-big-to-fail’ phenomenon we live with today. As the fundamental building-blocks of a ‘free state’ emerged in America, a branding process was devised that would enable mainstream media and Hollywood to collaborate in imposing a narrative upon an unwitting public. As the old-world class system was introduced into the new world, it became evident that history was repeating itself; people were provided with a catechism by the elites…a propagandistic one…and they swallowed it hook, line, and sinker.

Thereafter, believing that they were baptised and rendered secure in the holy waters of patriotic impunity, they set to performing their anointed role as cheerleaders to the wacky sheriffs who ruled over them. A too-big-to-fail corporate posse came into existence to convince them…bully fashion…that America’s destiny lay in colonizing the world.

Witness the American public’s incontrovertible need to believe in their own exceptionality. They swallow the gruel that their masters feed them without it ever affecting their conscience…their rampaging foreign policy attests to this! If Trump’s blunt assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, or his administration’s Middle Eastern “deal of the century” signifies anything, it is that Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” acknowledges the success of indoctrination vis-à-vis myth. It is the elite who possess the power to awakens an innate call-to-arms mentality in the public when they choose to.

As a consequence of this, the collective mind is alerted to the possibility of losing ‘top dog’ status and it’s self-appointed role in the world. The massive military budget attests to the fact that the myth of American supremacy is to be aggressively pursued at all costs…and considering the stockpile of nuclear missiles, one must assume that this myth has been swallowed hook, line and sinker by the masses.

Washington’s commitment to power owes much to His or Her Majesties Governments when it comes to deal making. The principles acted upon during the time of the First World War are the same principles that explain the current American imperial foreign policy…focus on the money trail and to hell with insignificant natives as they have insignificant cash resources.

On the subject of insignificant natives, the White House published a 180-page document recently entitled “Peace to Prosperity: Vision to Improve the Lives of the Palestinian and Israeli People”…it had all the Balfourian myopia of a similar declaration produced in 1917.

BALFOUR DECLARATION

Foreign Office

November 2nd. 1917

Dear Lord Rothschild,

I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet.

“His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish People, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.

Author(s)Walter Rothschild

Arthur Balfour

Leo Amery

Lord Milner

On reading the above document, one cannot but conclude that America and Zionist Israel have one notable trait in common, the ability to feel exceptional despite the horror their settler cultures imposed on the indigenous people whose countries they have occupied. That their energies go into replicating bourgeois class values, there can be no doubt. The stratified model of class that underpins Western culture, now sadly in need of an overhaul, is of itself a blinkered vision of the world and irredeemably flawed. What the above document reveals, is the Anglo-Zionist banking system’s propensity to see the world in terms of ‘low-hanging-fruit’, especially when it is ripe for the picking.

Donald Trump’s cave-man determination and Bibi Netanyahu’s fake and sugary comity do little to disguise the fact that they are in the business of extracting what blood remains of Palestine’s corporeal existence. A beautiful country exposed to collusion and perfidy at the hands of Anglo-Zionist whose intentions all along were to devour Palestine. The duplicitous process that commenced in 1917…moved from London to Washington, where Harry Truman (1948), while acting as midwife in an onerous deal at a banker’s tea party, set in motion a move that was little more than approving the transfer of a parasite into the host body… Palestine!

That the parasite has devoured most of Palestine in this time frame, seems of little matter to Trump or his ilk. In effect, it is a deal that runs roughshod over the concept of human rights. Indeed, the cabal Trump colludes with convey the impression that they would have no compunction in stripping the Palestinians of the last vestiges of their heritage. But the truth is, contemporary elites can do deceitful things and they are especially capable of repeating this piece of infamy yet again.

And what do we Westerners do about that? Sadly, the answer is nothing, nothing, nothing, because we no longer seem to feel the rapture that comes with being alive. And not being alive, we have become inured to violence. It’s o.k. when Jared Kushner-real-estate-investor extraordinaire, Donald Trump-wheeler-dealer extraordinaire and Bibi Netanyahu-purveyor-of-biblical- myths extraordinaire come together vis-à-vis America’s elitist media to promote more cynical ‘honest-broker-tropes’ to obfuscate the truth behind the occupation of Palestine.

Trump, it must be said, is just one more presidential enabler doing it for Zionist Israel. One can imagine Don phoning Bib and congratulating him; “Bib…honey, you shrunk the Palestinian kids and you have our blessing, its’ a proud day for Zion!” It appears that the intention all along was to reduce Palestine to a few Bantustans. The deal, which proposes granting Zionist Israel all of the West Bank land where it wants to build its settlements beggars belief.

The alliance between America and Zionist Israel is based on religious mythology. Religious mythology, unlike secular mythology (or unreligious stories) tends to be male oriented and its iterations tend toward defending a patriarchal or tribal premise. In the Jewish context, it is primal to the point of loathing the concept of miscegenation…a threatening concept that stubbornly repeats itself in religious myths…and much written about in the Old Testament. It appears that Jewish religious mythology brought forth a phobic fear of emasculation that has now taken a turn for the worse in our modern era. A new iteration involving assets and concomitant devises is expressing itself in a most retrograde fashion…is phobia becoming viral, we need to ask ourselves?

In Zionist Israel, a new milieu has come into existence to launch tribalism into a secondary phase of identity politics. A phase shaped by religious mythology implying something strange and undemocratic. If you are not Jewish, then you are of a lesser stripe…or, of no worth at all!

Perspectives from beyond Zionist Israel might suggest that there is a breeding program afoot that may intensify the Jewish propensity to generate entities that end up looking like angry Meerkats wearing yarmulkes while snarling over territorial rights that keep on stacking up…and surely there must exist somewhere in their bible a text that says that God gave the entire world to them?

On the other hand, America’s part in the alliance is somewhat different. Their brand of religious fervour is part New and part Old Testament but laced with a uniquely American brand of evangelical hubris. It acts out it’s narrative on an industrial scale so as to find traction with the national psyche which loves all things big. It’s the good-guy-bad-guy component that gets it to the Box Office every time. It needs to capitalise on the myth that America as a country exists for the good of mankind. Being good guys (?) they, like the Israelis, need a very large military capability as back-up to their presence on mother earth.

So, it was against this background that Russian Jews…and there were many of them who came to America in the early part of the 20th century…to apply their talents to what might have been thought of as an amorphous culture rich for the picking. They were very talented in matters of business. Upon gaining ownership of media and having become extremely active in the development of Hollywood etc., their influence in American was soon very apparent. As time went by, the general population failed to notice that Zionism, based on religious mythology had entered the body-politic of America’s heartland to reshape the American dream as a corporate one. It was this trend that killed any chance of the Palestinians receiving justice.

To many in the outside world, their voice within the American narrative had become disproportionately righteous, and their use of money to buy support for the colonization of Palestine so egregious, that more and more people across the world were sickened by their continues carping on about the Holocaust…as though it were the only one that mattered…which many in the outside world noticed was used as a means to deflect attention away from criticism.

Eventually the world outside the American-Jewish nexus became weary of Jewish insistence that they were the only voice on the block that had credibility. They began to feel that the kerfuffle surrounding anti-Semitism was one where you were expected to passively accept the righteousness of a Judaic ‘right’ to interpret their own narrative as faultless, and if you questioned this premise, you were against them…anti-Semitic! They were demanding that their interpretations, in matters relating to the holocaust, be taken as gospel.

All of the above was allowed to happen because coup-d’etats are a feature of the American way of doing business. Yesterday it was colonial Europe (foremostly the British empire), today its’ the USA who have the gall to make proposals that concern six million Palestine lives with all the nonchalance attributable to the puerile of mind.

At what point did vulgar materialism begin to shrink the Western imagination? Does quantifying the aspirational desires of America’s notion of freedom distort the amplitude of the American dream? Do Americans and Israelis believe that only they can achieve emancipation per acquisition of other people’s assets? They both like to think that it is their God-given right to own the countries they occupy. It is already clear that these are the defining features of 21st. century statecraft and Trump and his administration is there to do deals with his mate Bibi that entails suffocating what is left of Palestine. If this is America as leader of the democratic world, God help us all!

But the multiplicity of energies that live within the strange narrative that is sold as the American way of doing business remains captive to the whims of the media. Self-congratulatory vectors operate 24/7 in the hope of keeping the average Joe and Joie focused on the splendours and opportunities that exist for them in their market culture. On the home front, political chicanery has trumped the rule of law and foreign policy has become just another way of shafting foreigners. In the main, matters of morality and lack of accountability have become de rigueur. Since money became the elixir of life, the dirty linen factor behind Donald Trump’s impeachment merits little more than a yawn. It seems that the deeds of the elite need to be kept hidden from public scrutiny.

But what is most strange with the American way of doing business is how elites have managed to reverse the roles of journalists who would otherwise disclose truth. An in-your-face culture has come into existence to target whistle-blowers and muffle their voices.

An excellent article by Caitlin Johnstone entitled, “The Primary Mechanism of Oppression is Not Hidden” (February 5, 2020) and published in Consortiumnews.

She writes;

“The key to turning this ship around does not lie hidden somewhere behind a veil of government opacity. It lies in you. It lies in all of us. We can begin awakening our fellow humans right now by attacking the narrative management of the propaganda machine that sits right in front of us, unarmoured and unhidden.”

In conclusion, it is refreshing to encounter writers whose clarity of mind and insights into mythology remain free of religious myths.

John Campbell, the author of “The Power of Myths” is one such writer.

“People say that we’re all seeking a meaning for life.

I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. Rather I think we’re seeking an experience of being alive, so that our life expressions will have resonances with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture to be alive.”

Lets’ wish it to be so for the Palestinians too!!


Denis A. Conroy, Freelance Writer, Australia

Dangerous Drivel from Pompeo Confirms America Is No Peace Broker

By Stuart Littlewood

Source

Pretence not to understand 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention perpetuates Israel’s impunity

Pompeo visits the Western Wall and Tunnel with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu edfc9

Before our American friends run away with the idea that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has authority to say that planting Israeli civilian settlements in Occupied Palestine “is not, per se, inconsistent with international law”, and that the Trump Administration is only recognizing the reality on the ground, they might like to hear the authoritative opinion of John McHugo, International lawyer and Balfour Project trustee:

Article 49(6) of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 provides that “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”

Article 49(6) was considered by the International Court of Justice in its Advisory Opinion on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory in 2004. It stated, at para. 120 of the Advisory Opinion, that Article 49(6) “prohibits not only deportations or forced transfers of population…but also any measures taken by an occupying Power in order to organize or encourage transfers of parts of its own population into the occupied territory.”

All judges of the court subscribed to this with the sole exception of Judge Buergenthal, the American judge, who is a Holocaust survivor and who lost toes to frostbite as a child in Auschwitz and Sachsenhausen concentration camps. He took the view that the Court should have declined to exercise its jurisdiction. Yet he issued his own Separate Declaration to the Advisory Opinion in which he expressly stated at Para. 9: “I agree that [Article 49(6)] applies to the Israeli settlements in the West Bank and that their existence violates Article 49, paragraph 6”. The view that Israeli civilian settlements violated Article 49(6) was thus the unanimous view of the judges.

More recently, the fact that this is the law was reiterated by the UN Security Council in Resolution 2334 of 23 December 2016 at operative paragraph 1: “The Security Council Reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.”

It is not for any State, however mighty and powerful, to rewrite the rules of international law. Realities on the ground are subject to the rule of law, just as all other realities are.

For good measure Article 85(4)(a) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I provides that “the transfer by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies” is a grave breach of the Protocol. And under Article 8(2)(b)(viii) of the 1998 ICC Statute “the transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies” constitutes a war crime in international armed conflicts.

And, by the way, in 1992, in its final report to Congress on the conduct of the Gulf War, the US Department of Defence declared that it regarded the transfer of the Iraqi population into occupied Kuwait in violation of Article 49 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV as a war crime. So, happy with the Convention then.

As usual, the US and its allies (including the UK), will observe international law when it suits them. But not if it upsets their bosom-pals in Israel.

Pompeo’s two cents’ worth follows Trump’s presidential declaration earlier this year recognizing Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, which belong to Syria. When will Washington understand that Trump’s capricious shifts in policy don’t alter international law, don’t impress other nations, and endanger world peace?

As a product of Harvard Law School Pompeo should be ashamed of his fatuous pronouncement.

McHugo points out that British government policy is to recognize Palestine as a sovereign state “when it best serves the interests of peace”. In view of Pompeo’s and Trump’s dangerous remarks that moment is now.

Netanyahu’s Real Crimes

Global Research, November 26, 2019
Arab American Institute 23 November 2019

After years of investigation and months of delay, Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit formally indicted Benjamin Netanyahu for crimes ranging from his violation of public trust to bribery and fraud. Israel’s apologists will argue that the fact that a sitting Prime Minister has been charged with crimes against the state and people presents compelling evidence of the country’s democracy and commitment to the rule of law. This is the very point that Mandelblit made in announcing the indictments – “The public interest requires that we live in a country where no one is above the law.” However, this is only partially true since it appears that in Israel the principles of democracy or the rule of law only apply to Israeli Jews or the interests of the state, itself. In fact, Netanyahu’s entire sordid career is evidence of the selectiveness of Israelis’ sense of justice.

In the past the Netanyahu household has been charged with some of the pettiest forms of corruption imaginable. For example, his wife was found guilty of taking the empty bottles from beverages consumed at official state functions and keeping the money she received for turning them for recycling. The Netanyahus were also known to bring three weeks of dirty laundry on two-day official state trips and sending them to the hotel in which they were staying for a night so that the cleaning bill would be charged to the state’s budget. This is the sort of past petty thievery for which the Netanyahus were famous.

Looking at the recent indictments, it is clear that the Prime Minister has graduated to bigger and better forms of fraud and corruption. What’s striking, however, is that all of the crimes with which he is charged were focused on feeding his ego or his appetites. In some instances, they were favors done for a businessman in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts, in others they were the corrupt deals he made with various media tycoons in which he promised them benefits in exchange for their guaranteeing him positive coverage in their news outlets.

There is no doubt, that in all of these cases, Netanyahu’s behavior has been clearly criminal and reprehensible, and, as described by the Attorney General, a breach of the public’s trust. But what I find so striking and disturbing, is that these crimes pale in significance when compared to what Netanyahu has done to the Palestinian people and the prospect for Israeli-Palestinian peace – crimes for which he will not be called to account.

After Oslo, Netanyahu organized a back-door lobby to mobilize US Congressional opposition to the peace accords. This was the first time an Israeli lobby worked in the US to oppose their own government. He should have been charged with treason.

Back in Israel, during the same period, he organized with Ariel Sharon and a few others a smear campaign of incitement against Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The campaign was so virulent and threatening that many Israelis, including Rabin’s wife, held Netanyahu responsible for Rabin’s assassination. Netanyahu should have been charged with incitement.

Image result for yitzhak rabin death

In 1996, he was elected Prime Minister on a platform dedicated to ending the peace process and he did everything he could to slow down, distort, and ultimately sabotage the Oslo Peace Process. Even the agreement he signed with the Palestinians at Wye so encumbered the process that by the end of his first term in office, peace was on life support.  He should have been charged with destroying the prospects for peace and putting at risk the lives of millions.

During his last three terms in office, he incited violence and hatred against Palestinians, both those who are citizens of Israel and those living under occupation. This has fueled extremist settler movements that have engaged in daily acts of violence, destruction of property, and murder. He also encouraged soldiers in the Israeli army to murder defenseless Palestinians and supported them when they were charged with crimes. In addition, as he did with Rabin, he has falsely accused his Israeli opponents of being too close to the Arabs and accused the Palestinian citizens of Israel of being enemies of the state. He should have been charged with hate crimes.

During his time in office he has: expanded settlements on stolen Palestinian land and the demolition of Palestinian property; overseen a number of devastating assaults on Gaza resulting in the indiscriminate massacre of thousands of innocent civilians and the destruction of Gaza’s infrastructure; instituted and maintained a cruel blockade of Gaza’s population, as an act of collective punishment, in which, for long periods of time, food, medicine, and other essential items were restricted or severely regulated – resulting in death, disease, and impoverishment of millions of innocents. He should have been charged with war crimes.

The list could go on, but this should suffice.

The bottom line is that, to be sure, Netanyahu is a criminal. But in today’s Israel he can’t be found guilty of his most serious crimes – treason, incitement, destroying peace, hate crimes, and war crimes. Instead, he will be asked only to answer for his narcissistic appetites and corruption.

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Gentle and Loving but Still a Settler

By Jeremy Salt

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hilltop youth c60f1

Last week a car drew up alongside Dvir Sorek outside the West Bank settlement of Migdal Oz. Dvir was on his back from Jerusalem where he had bought a book, a novel by David Grossman, as a gift for his teacher. He was almost home when a man jumped out of the car and stabbed him to death.

David Grossman did not know him but did not hesitate to add to the eulogies: the young man was clearly “a kind, sensitive youth who loved others and loved peace with the soul of an artist.” Netanyahu declared that the murderers would soon be found. Soldiers swooped on the nearby Palestinian village of Beit Fajjar, raiding houses and confiscating security camera footage. Later four Palestinians were arrested in another village.

Grossman’s son was killed during the invasion of Lebanon in 2006, and Sorek’s grandfather on his mother’s side, a rabbi, also a settler of occupied land, killed in an attack near Nablus in 2000.   These other deaths made the killing of Dvir Sorek seem even more poignant.   “Death as a way of life,” declared the Times of Israel, blaming Hamas for the attack, even though the identity and possible ideological affiliations of the attacker/s were not known, as if the death of others was not a way of life for the state of Israel.

The media described Sorek as a student at a yeshiva, or religious school, in his case the hesder (‘arrangement’) yeshiva at Migdal Oz. The programs in the hesder schools blend advanced religious instruction with military service. Government funding makes an application to be listed as a hesder yeshiva an attractive option. Not all courses are of the same duration. They may last for three, four or even five years, with the active military service component varying from about 17 months to two years. Almost all hesder yeshiva students join combat units.

Officially, the peace-loving Dvir Sorek was an IDF soldier even though he had not yet begun the military component of his   course. No doubt this is the reason he was not armed when he was attacked.

In the West Bank yeshiva students, or former yeshiva students, especially those who fall under the heading of the ‘hilltop youth,’ are in the forefront of anti-Palestinian violence, from beating and occasionally killing to attacks on mosques, the destruction of olive trees and crops and the harassment, intimidation and abuse of the general population in general, women and children included. Their hatreds extend to all non-Jews and even ‘Hellenized’ or secular Jews, including those representing the state, including the soldiers who protect them. One has to wonder where this comes from if not religious instruction at the hands of their rabbis.

The history of the hesder schools go back to the 1960s. More recently, the lack of enthusiasm for war among Israel’s secularized youth, especially wars fought on the other side of what they regarded as Israel’s borders, has increased the appeal of religiously indoctrinated hesder zealots to the military command.

For secular Israeli Jews the enemies are Hamas, Hizbullah, Syria and behind them, Iran, but for orthodox religious Jews, the enemy is Amalek, existential, taking different shapes and different forms at different stages of history but always there.

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The injunction to destroy the tribe of Amalek is laid down in several passages of the Bible. According to Deuteronomy: “The Lord said to Moses ‘Write this down in a book to be remembered and tell it to Joshua: (God) will completely blot out any memory of Amalek … Remember what Amalek did to you on the road as you were coming out of Egypt, how he met you on the road, attacked those in the rear, those who were exhausted and straggling behind when you were tired and weary. He did not fear God. Therefore, when the Lord your God has given you rest from all your surrounding enemies in the land the Lord your God is giving you as your inheritance to possess you (Israelites) are to blot out all memory of Amalek from under heaven. Don’t forget!’ (Deuteronomy 25/17-19).

The message to the first king of Israel and Judah, Saul, from the prophet Samuel is even more forceful: “Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them: put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’ (Samuel 1:15.3). Saul went to war against the Amalekites but did not kill them all, allowing their king to live and preserving the best of the livestock.

Learning of this, Samuel tells him he has been rejected by God and will lose his kingdom. He then kills the Amalekite himself. Saul lives until defeated by the Philistines in the battle of Gilboa, after which he either commits suicide or is killed by an Amalekite, according to differing Bible accounts but his death is seen as the consequence of having disobeyed God’s injunction to kill all the Amalekites.

All of this might have happened thousands of years ago – or did not happen as described – but it remains as fresh as yesterday in the thinking of orthodox religious scholars. In the modern age these injunctions are subject to numerous interpretations, partly based on what ‘blotting out’ could mean. Maimonides (12th-13th century) explains the commandment as meaning that if the Amalekites accepted Jewish law and agreed to pay a tax there would no need to kill them. There are numerous variations on the theme that ‘blotting out’ did not mean physical annihilation.

Steven Leonard Jacobs points out that the overwhelming majority of the world’s Jewish population does not draw such deadly conclusions, “much less the implication that they [the Palestinians] must be genocidally destroyed.” While those who do take the Biblical injunctions literally “are in the minority … they do exist and [they] present an ongoing challenge to how one reads history and sacred texts.” They keep the door open to violence: however wrongly understood, “there is an understanding that the enemies of the Jewish people are the literal and lineal descendants of the past.”

These genocidal invocations – as they would be regarded now – are read in synagogues at certain times of the year (during the ‘reading cycle’) and are emphasized again during the festival of Purim, celebrating the delivery of the Jews from Haman, the high Persian court official who planned to kill them all.

For the most extreme Jewish settlers, Amalek is still out there, waiting. According to Benzi Lieberman, former head of the Yesha settler council, “The Palestinians are Amalek … we will destroy them. We won’t kill them but we will destroy their ability to think as a nation. We will destroy Palestinian nationalism.”

However, Amalek is frequently invoked in the political mainstream, which has steadily shifted further to the right since the election of Menahim Begin in 1977 and now includes those once regarded as extremists if not outright fanatics. In the 1950s David Ben-Gurion referred to “the hosts of Amalek from north, east and south.” Begin opposed reparations from Germany, which he regarded as Amalek. During the siege of Beirut in 1982 he described PLO leader Yasser Arafat as Hitler hiding in his bunker, thus another manifestation of Amalek. Speaking in Cracow in 2010, without naming names but clearly thinking of Iran, Netanyahu said “A new Amalek is appearing and once again threatens to annihilate the Jews.” According to the ‘libertarian’ Israeli politician Moshe Feiglin “the Arabs engage in typical Amalek behaviour … I can’t prove this genetically but this is the behaviour of Amalek.”

Throughout history, while identifying Amalek as the existential enemy, Jews never had the power to destroy Amalek but now they do, in a state of their own that has an arsenal of nuclear weapons. According to Steven Jacobs “the propensity of rightwing settlers to identify the Palestinians with the Amalekites has sometimes had deadly consequences” The commandment to exterminate the Amalekites has been preserved by the rabbis “and for that reason, it remains a potential source of conflict.” Needless to say, Mr Jacobs does not regard the Palestinians as Amalekites.

Dvir Sorek was 18 and only a few days short of his 19th birthday when he was killed. He had not begun the military component of his course but in his religious studies he would have had to consider the injunctions to ‘blot out’ the Amalekites. What impact this would have had on his development as a soldier no-one can say.

In the eulogies Dvir was described as a gentle soul, as innocent and full of love for family and friends, all of which he probably was, but he was also living in occupied territory. Ofra, the settlement in which he lived, is illegal even under Israeli law because it was largely built on privately owned Palestinian land.

While a Palestinian drove in the knife, who must take ultimate responsibility for his death, if not the state which seized the land and the settler-colonists who have moved there, including Dvir’s parents? They may have shared the belief that the land was God’s selective gift to the Jewish people; they may have decided to live there because of subsidised housing and tax breaks but whatever their motives, they were living on the West Bank in breach of international law and they would have known it.

The UN General Assembly has passed numerous resolutions affirming the right to resist colonial domination and occupation by all means. It is only putting into print what has been human practice since the beginning of time. An occupied people will resist with all the means at their disposal. In the 1950s the white settlers of Kenya no doubt included loving gentle souls, but they were killed just as ruthlessly as anyone else by the Mau Mau. In the last stages of the Algerian war of independence (1964-62), the FLN (National Liberation Front) slaughtered many French settlers, including women and children innocent of any crime but part of a white settler community which had established itself through violence, collective punishment, the expropriation of land and the ‘purchase’ of land on the basis of forged or spurious documents. Needless, these are the precise tactics used by the Zionists in their occupation of Palestine.

For those whose land is being occupied, it is immaterial whether the colonial settler is a gentle soul or a ranting religious bigot or a family looking for subsidised housing and tax breaks. The settler is always the settler, the usurper of someone else’s lands and rights, to be resisted as long as possible.

It was the Zionists who began the cycle of violence in Palestine and logic demands that they must take the first steps to end it but for the Israeli government, logic is the logic of force and not the logic of justice, law, ethics and morality. The wrong, fateful, irreversible decisions Israel has made will mark its history forever: occupation instead of withdrawal, injustice instead of justice, war instead of peace, including more war, inevitably, beyond the borders of Palestine.

Israel has never had such a degree of military, economic and political support from its great benefactor, the US. Drugged with the sense of its own power it builds even more settlements as it moves steadily towards annexation, thereby guaranteeing that there will be more Dvir Soreks, and far more Palestinian men, women and children killed in the struggle against occupation. Israel is dragging itself and the region into a future even darker than the past.

Illegal Israeli Squats Given False Legitimacy By Western Travel Companies — Rebel Voice

Let’s get this straight. The new cities, towns and villages in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Golan Heights that have been built for Zionists are illegal under international law. They are referred to as ‘Settlements’ by the MSM. But that is being too kind. They are ‘Squats’ containing squatters upon the land of […]

via Illegal Israeli Squats Given False Legitimacy By Western Travel Companies — Rebel Voice

The Enemy Is Not Resistance

By Stanley L.Cohen
Source

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The Islamic Resistance Movement began more than thirty years ago at an historical moment in time which it knew to be fraught with absolute peril for their people. The founders of this national liberation struggle examined the overwhelming military capabilities of Israel, fostered by its global superpower sponsor, the United States. They looked at Israel’s expansionist programs–the Zionist project of illegal settlements erasing their homes and villages, dispossessing mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers–and at the failure of the international community to stop them.  They  knew then that within a generation Palestinians would lose it all –their motherland and patrimony and their nation–leaving them homeless captives to the whims of another man’s door.  In that moment, resistance was not a lifestyle choice or a revolutionary pose. It was existential necessity, just as it is now.

Everything Hamas predicted then has come to pass. Here, a generation later, it should take no comfort reminding the world that they were right in their analysis. Israel has grown only stronger and more rapacious, more intransigent and murderous in its deeds.  Its “democracy” did not save it from becoming a racist, apartheid state presiding over a military occupation of millions of Palestinians. Israel’s policy of creating “facts on the ground”– that is, the illegal settlement project – has transitioned from a de facto expulsion and annexation policy into a de jure one, as its prime minister calls for the removal of Palestinians and the annexation of the West Bank, and the American president and congress pre-emptively applaud the crime-to-be. The Golan Heights–sovereign territory of another nation– is now Israel’s by force, cynically annexed, while Syria struggles in the throes of war.  And Jerusalem (al Quds) is ringed by new, fortified suburbs and restricted highways demolishing Palestinian neighborhoods and cutting off their city from them. America now calls Jerusalem Israel’s capital–in direct violation of international law. Since 1967, successive U.S. administrations have told Palestinians to trust in their good faith as brokers of a just peace.  This has been a lie, as Hamas anticipated then, America was running cover, a stalling tactic, for the slow-motion destruction of Palestinian national aspirations.  Tragically, tens of thousands of Palestinians have been killed and maimed and many more imprisoned by Israeli state violence since Hamas began. The international community has done little to stop the monstrous crime unfolding.

Palestinians were right to resist then. The world surely can see that now.  The tragedy of retrospection should, at the very least, accord Palestinians their due: resistance is morally right, history has proven it so.  Yet, even last month, in the pages of America’s official paper of record, the New York Times, the U.S. administration through its craven spokesman Jason Greenblatt, a Zionist real estate lawyer from New York, charged with shepherding the “peace process” for the President as the Special Representative for International Negotiations, heaps insult upon injury, twisting history and recent events in a grotesque parody of a policy statement, adopting the Likud Party platform as the publicly declared U.S. position. None of us should be surprised by the falsifications in the Trump Administration’s official pronouncements. It has proven itself, after all, to be a presidency built on lying.  Yet only the most gullible American readers could possibly believe its juvenile “blame Hamas” refrain.

Hamas did not create the thirteen-year siege of Gaza, cutting Palestinians off from the world.  It did not commence any of the three wars launched by Israel against Gaza in 2008, 2012 and 2014 or it’s countless other attacks and outrages since. It did not destroy their industries, their water treatment plant, their power generation, their hospitals, houses, mosques, schools, television stations and roads–Israeli missiles and bombs did that.  Hamas does not keep two million people penned in an open-air prison, with a prison economy in tatters–Israel does that.  The cynicism of the Administration’s statement is unparalleled: “The countries of the world have attempted to help the people of Gaza,” but their good works have been destroyed by Hamas, according to the Special Representative.  Perhaps he had in mind the post-Oslo airport, built by multinational leadership, attacked in 2001 by Israeli air forces, with its runways bulldozed by Israel a few years later?  Or the catastrophic damage wrought upon the water system by Israeli air strikes during Operation Cast Lead in 2008?  Or the extensive bombing of the sanitation system in Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012? Or Gaza’s only power plant, attacked in 2006, 2008 and finally leveled by Israeli missiles in 2014’s Operation Protective Edge?  All of these key infrastructure projects, indeed, were funded by international donors, but destroyed by American jet planes, flown by the Israeli armed forces. Empty-headed slogans, scribbled by a huckster and moral fraud that has no more business posing as a diplomat than he does as a man of sincere religious belief, cannot smother the truth. The continuing tragedy of Gaza, indeed, all of Palestine, is not so easy to conceal… and Palestinian resistance continues. There is no choice.

Israel daily blocks some 650 basic goods from entry to the Gaza Strip for alleged “security” reasons, including medicines, hospital equipment and even some types of baby formula.  Israel denies fishing nets to Gaza’s fishermen, or materials to repair boats. Infrastructure materials– from pumping equipment to water and sanitation piping, to electrical supplies and cement– are all but forbidden.  Communication supplies and the technology of the internet (server and switching equipment) are embargoed, leaving Gaza lagging behind in poverty and despair, cut off from the world.  A United Nations-approved system instituted after the cease-fire in 2014 exists for monitoring so-called “dual use” materials, yet, Israel continues to ignore it as it stifles the free flow of goods needed to rebuild Gaza… in a deliberate policy of attrition.  Hundreds of Palestinians die annually, per the World Health Organization, because they cannot travel for medical treatment and the health care infrastructure and supply chain is destroyed.

Gaza suffers, but not because of Hamas and its administration. Hamas has done everything in its power to spare the Palestinian people in Gaza the devastating effects of the Israeli siege. It opened the doors wide to facilitate international support reaching Gaza’s residents. It accepted that infrastructure and public health projects should be implemented under full international supervision in coordination with government agencies. It has sought to ensure the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt will be open in both directions as an alternative to the dehumanizing caged passageway at Beit Hanoun (Erez). It has worked in coordination with the United Nations and Egypt to reach understandings that can achieve calm with the occupation and avoid escalation, a step on the road to lifting the siege and alleviating the hardships facing the people in Gaza.

At the strategic political level, Hamas has made great efforts to bring about Palestinian reconciliation, achieve unity, end the division and form an internationally recognized Palestinian unity government. But these efforts have been thwarted by the American veto and Israeli sabotage. Moreover, Hamas has worked with all its Palestinian partners to reach a consensus and internationally recognized formula on the national vision,  in order to find a way out of the current crisis, as expressed most recently in May 2017, wherein it again accepted a state configured upon the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital, while simultaneously preserving the right of return for the millions in the Palestinian Diaspora.

Hamas is a national liberation movement, democratically elected by a majority of Palestinians in 2006 under the watchful eye of the world community. At its core it promotes and fights for the fundamental right of Palestinian self-determination fueled by full equality, independence and return. It does not embrace gratuitous violence. Nor, however, does it leave the people of Gaza defenseless at the mercy of an occupation force that has proven itself unworthy of trust and unwilling to exercise even a modicum of respect for international law. A long settled tenet of that law is the right of the occupied to engage in resistance, that includes armed struggle.  Palestinians continue to resist legally. They do not owe their occupier passive surrender.

Not long ago, Israel sent an assassination-squad surreptitiously into Gaza to kill Palestinian leaders. In the weeks since, it has repeatedly attacked civilian targets and infrastructure. It has been met by Palestinian defensive measures; and Israel responds, predictably, with F-16 attacks and tank shelling throughout Gaza, killing some two dozen including three children and two pregnant women, one who was clutching her 14 month old in her arms as both perished.  More than a hundred and fifty other civilians were wounded over several days of Israeli attacks. Almost a thousand civilian housing units, schools and businesses were damaged or destroyed. This latest assault does not yet have an operational name to sell it to the world–marketing Israel’s “bravery” narrative–but surely they’ll think of something catchy to disguise the carnage.

This past year, the Palestinian people, with all its factions and vital forces, including Hamas, took part in peaceful demonstrations… as affirmed by UN monitoring, along the separation fence at the eastern part of the Gaza Strip, demanding the lifting of the siege on Gaza and the right of return. How did the occupation respond?   With live ammunition and sniper fire intended to kill and maim.  Approximately 280 Palestinians have died and more than 28,000 have been wounded during this time, many of whom will live the rest of their lives disabled.  Not one Israeli on the other side was killed because of the demonstrations.   These protests also persist on a smaller scale in the West Bank where Israel continues to steal Palestinian land, destroy Palestinian homes and imprison Palestinian women and children at a pace second to none.

To the Greenblatts and Trumps and their Zionist choir, no amount of campaign sloganeering in puerile public statements can rewrite the palpable facts of Israeli aggression and its deadly occupation or recast Hamas from a lawful indigenous defense force into a mercenary political outlier.   Nor can the soon to come US “deal of the century” entice millions of Palestinians to surrender an age-old history and tradition to the cheap ring of a common real estate cash box.

Hamas is no rogue militant group, with anonymous, shadowy operators.  It will not disappear or shirk its leadership responsibility.  It remains an authentic and powerful part of the Palestinian experience, for over thirty years, much older than some of the current Israeli political parties in the Knesset. While many of its founders, all those years ago, have been killed by Israel, Hamas continues to speak on behalf of the dignity and hope of millions of Palestinians worldwide. Like them, it carries the kindle of resilience and self-determination of a People rendered stateless but neither hopeless nor powerless by a European colonial project. Like them, it will not cease to exist or fade into silence.

Land theft, ethnic cleansing, and Jewish supremacy: Israel’s settler colonialism in Syria’s Golan, the forgotten occupied territory — what’s left

By Stephen Gowans March 31, 2019 Israel’s occupation, annexation, and plunder of Syria’s Golan recapitulates all that is repugnant about the Zionist state: its wars of aggression, land theft, ethnic cleansing, racism, quest for lebensraum, and contempt for international legal norms. It also shows that Israeli citizens, including the country’s Left, are not only complicit […]

via Land theft, ethnic cleansing, and Jewish supremacy: Israel’s settler colonialism in Syria’s Golan, the forgotten occupied territory — what’s left

Australia’s Shameful Gift to Netanyahu

By Jeremy Salt
Source

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Australia and Israel are white settler states, established violently over the heads of the indigenous people, without the benefit of any treaty arrangement. ‘A land without people for a people without land’ was the Zionist lie. ‘Terra nullius’ was the Australian white settler equivalent.

Australian aboriginal ownership was collective and traditional. Palestinian ownership was collective, traditional and individual but in both cases, the land was stolen. How can the foundations of any state established on stolen land be said to be legal? What will white Australians say if someone comes along and takes ‘their’ country from them? ‘You can’t do this to us’?

The essential differences between Israel and Australia are numbers and hinterland. The land the white settlers called Australia was inhabited in the late 18th century by about half a million people. They had lived in this island continent and its small heart-shaped island off the southern coast, Tasmania, for more than 60,000 years, making the oldest recorded civilizations in the Near East look like newborns. They had their own languages, traditions, art, and oral history, the ‘dreaming,’ which is the most wondrous telling of the experiences of their ancestors.

But they were not numerous. They had no written laws and – most importantly – no modern weaponry. Killed, driven off their land and stricken by the diseases the white settlers brought with them, they were soon decimated. There was no-one to whom they could turn for help, no sympathetic similar civilization living nearby that could spring to their assistance. They were all on their own.

Contrast this with the Palestinians. Their land was also taken from them but they lived according to written laws and contracts which Europeans could understand even if they violated them. They were not sufficiently well-armed to defend themselves against a colonial-settler minority backed by outside governments but they were far more numerous than the settlers, 90 percent of the population in 1920, even after 40 years of Zionist colonization, and still two-thirds of the population at the time of the war of conquest in 1948.

By 2018 the Israeli population stood at 8.4 million, of which number 6.1 million (about 75 percent) is Jewish and mostly Zionist. The Palestinian world population of about 12 million includes about 4.4 million Palestinians living in the West Bank, East Jerusalem or Gaza and about 1.4 million within Israel’s pre-1967 borders. Within a few years, the Palestinian population between the Mediterranean and the River Jordan is expected to surpass the Jewish population.

These numbers aside, as part of an Arab-Islamic civilization with a rich history, the Palestinians also have the support of a vast hinterland. The population of the Arab world stands at about 420 million. The world Muslim population is about 1.8 billion. Corrupt and undemocratic Arab governments may collaborate with Israel but the people are behind the Palestinians, as are Muslims everywhere as well as Christians and those of no particular religious or ideological affiliation who know right from wrong and, as a matter of conscience, must support the Palestinians.

In the face of these demographics, Israel’s continuing war against the Palestinians would seem to be suicidal. Palestine as an issue is not going to go away. In the long term, this is a war Israel cannot win.  It holds Palestine by force, not by right, law or morality. All three are on the side of the Palestinians and not on the side of an Israeli state which continues the illegal settlement of their land.

No plan, no UN resolution gave Israel any right to drive the Palestinians from their homes and out of their homeland.  No resolution gave the Zionists any sovereign right to Jerusalem.  It was a Palestinian city which, after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, should have remained the property of the Palestinian people, overwhelmingly Muslim and Christian, in their own state or as part of a Syrian state.  Instead, their land and the right to choose their future was taken from them.

Here are some relevant land ownership figures, compiled in 1945 by the British mandatory authorities (one dunam is the equivalent of 1000 sq. meters or about 0.245 of an acre):

Jerusalem district (Hebron, Jerusalem, Ramallah):

Arab ownership – 3,3993,001 dunums.

Jewish ownership – 39, 679 acres.

In the Jerusalem region, the ‘Arabs’ (mainly Palestinian Muslims and Christians) owned 1,326, 571 dunums against 33,401 dunums owned by Jews.   In 1946 the UN produced a map showing that 62 percent of the Jerusalem district was ‘Arab’ and only 38 percent Jewish, despite the heavy Zionist settlement.

While the demographics of Jerusalem city showed a Jewish majority, as many incoming Jews preferred to live in cities rather than work on the land, most properties even in West Jerusalem (about 70 percent) were Palestinian-owned in 1948.

Almost all of the east – the old city – was. The fine stone buildings, the walls, the cobbled streets and the arches were designed and built over the centuries by Muslim and Christian Palestinians. They were part of the booty that fell to the Zionists when the city was taken over, first installment 1948 and second 1967, with the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian population continuing until the present day.

In law, all Jerusalem – not just the eastern sector – is an occupied city. It is an Israeli city, Israel’s ‘capital’, only according to the occupier’s law, which in fact is not a law at all but a gross violation of international law.

Yet, with two of the world’s most populous Muslim countries, Indonesia and Malaysia, not far away and objecting loudly, the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has announced his government’s recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and its recognition of East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital when the time comes.  He was speaking in Sydney at the Zionist think tank, the Lowy Institute, started by, and named after, Frank Lowy, a billionaire businessman of Czech origin who, as a member of the Haganah, helped to ethnically cleanse Palestine in the war of 1948 before migrating to another ethnically cleansed country, Australia, in the early 1950s.

Of course, Zionism never had any intention of sharing Palestine, let alone sharing Jerusalem as the capital of two states.  Morrison has pledged to recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state when the time comes.  He must know that Israel is determined to make sure the time will never come.  Israel, of course, is only partly happy because Australia is only-half recognizing its claim to Jerusalem.

Had the indigenous Australian people been more numerous, had they had the weapons to defend themselves and had they the support of a hinterland willing to support their resistance to white settlement, Australia could well have been driven openly in the direction of Israel or apartheid South Africa.  Israel is now pursuing the same goal that white settler Australia managed to achieve, the reduction of the indigenous population to an insignificant minority, whose rights are covered up with tokenism, as exemplified in the ‘sorry’ movement and the verbal acknowledgment of traditional land ownership at every conference or workshop, at a time rural aboriginal communities are treated with the same neglect as before. Out of sight, out of mind.

Why did Morrison do this? Out of his Christian religious convictions?  (He worships at a Pentecostal church in Sydney, which boasts of its adherents speaking in tongues when being baptized. Morrison has denied ever speaking in tongues himself, even though it would clearly be good practice for anyone planning a political career).

Does Morrison have some idea that the ‘Jewish vote’ will swing the next federal election his way? Did not the Wentworth byelection in 2018, lost by his government, show him that while there is a strong and influential Zionist lobby in Australia, there is no such thing as a Jewish vote, but individual Jewish voters, who may support Israel, but not Netanyahu’s Israel, and might see the Morrison decision as inflammatory and not helpful in the long term to anyone, including Israeli Jews.

Like Israel, Australia began life as a colonial settler state.   Its Foreign Minister, H.V. Evatt, played a significant role in imposing Israel on Palestine in 1948.  There have been exceptions, but by and large, all Australian governments have given open-ended support to Israel ever since.  Their criticisms of its frequently vicious behavior never amount to more than a mild slap on the wrist, delivered for propaganda purposes.

It is no wonder that in Malaysia and Indonesia, Australia is widely regarded as a post-colonial remnant, still dependent on distant countries, first Britain and now the US, and still unable to pluck up the courage to carve out a genuinely independent future.

When Israel refuses to abide by international law, on Jerusalem, on the West Bank, on Gaza, on the occupied Golan Heights, on the return of the Palestinian people to their homeland and on the laws of war, why give Netanyahu the gift of recognizing even the western half of an occupied city as his capital?

Almost everyone writing on Australian politics seems to believe that Morrison will be out of government after the federal elections in 2019.  Bill Shorten, an ALP (Australian Labor Party) machine man all his political life, has criticized Morrison over Jerusalem, but is he just playing politics, scoring points, or when he takes over as Prime Minister, will he rescind this unnecessary and provocative decision?

From the River to the Sea: The Inevitable End of Settler Colonialism in Palestine

By Miko  Peled
Source

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JERUSALEM, PALESTINE — The call “From the River to the Sea, Palestine shall be Free” brings out the worst in the Zionist spokespersons. From CNN and Fox News to the various Zionist trolls and spokespersons around the world: “Aha!” they say, “The true face of these anti-Semites has been exposed.” Panic seems to strike as they assert that this is “a call for genocide of the Jews.” But the assumption that a free Palestine calls for the expulsion or killing of Jews is one that is made mostly by Zionists who can see Palestine only as a place where one side rules over and kills the other, but never where all people live in peace. Furthermore, it has become basic strategy to always cry “anti-Semitism” when the Zionist narrative is challenged.

Where should the Jews go?

After a lecture I gave at University College of London alongside Dr. Azzam Tamimi, where I discussed the merits of the One State from the River to the Sea, I was asked by a Jewish student, “Where should the Jews go?” My reply was, “Why do you want them to go?” That was a reaction similar, though far less loud, to the reactions to Marc Lamont Hill’s speech at the United Nations, and both are indicative of the same thinking: a free Palestine means death to the Jews. However, the vision of a free Palestine (from the River to the Sea, where else?) is one of a country in which all people live free as equal citizens under the law. If anyone who lives there now does not want to live in a state in which all people are governed by the same laws, then perhaps that will not be the place for them.

Where else?

If Palestine is not from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea than where is it? Even if there was once an argument in support of the Two State Solution — or, in other words, a Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital — Israel killed it. For over fifty years, or since the war of June 1967, consecutive Israeli governments had made it clear through statements and creation of facts on the ground that the entire country is Israel and belongs to Jews and is for Jews to settle. No part of the country has been spared the spread of Zionist settler colonialism, violence and restrictions.

Israel turned the Gaza Strip into a concentration camp. Its residents, through actions of the State of Israel and no fault of their own, are mostly homeless refugees with soaring levels of poverty and unemployment. Clearly, the Gaza Strip in its present condition is not fit to be part of any state, and the first condition in any agreement must be the lifting of the siege, rebuilding, and rehabilitation of the Gaza Strip and its inhabitants.

The West Bank no longer exists. It is now called Judea and Samaria and — like the Naqab, Al-Jaleel, and most other parts of Palestine — it is littered with settler colonies built at the expense of Palestinians and in violation of Palestinian rights. The areas in which Palestinians still reside are in fact small prisons with economic and political limitations that make life practically impossible. Travel for Palestinians between different parts of what used to be the West Bank is restricted at best and is at times impossible — and this includes even the so-called president of the Palestinian Authority, who requires a permit from Israel in order to travel within the areas in which he has authority.

East Jerusalem, like its Western half, has been ravaged by settler colonialism to a point where in some areas Jerusalem has become unrecognizable. Unlike in West Jerusalem, where the ethnic cleansing was absolute and not a single Palestinian family remains, the ethnic cleansing of East Jerusalem has not yet been completely successful. However, towns and villages like Bir-Nabala, Qalandia, A-Ram, and others — areas that are adjacent to the city and that were once flourishing business and residential districts — are now ghost towns as a result of the Zionist ethnic cleansing campaign.

Calling out Israel

The arguments in favor of a partition of Palestine and the creation of two states have always been weak and impractical. This was particularly true after 1948 when Israel was established on 78 percent of Palestine and Zionist settler colonialism was internationally legitimized and accepted. However, the final nail in the coffin of the partition idea was hammered in by the Zionists themselves after 1967 when the remaining 22 percent of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, was taken by Israel.

The building of settlements, destructions of towns, villages and neighborhoods was immediate and it was clear to anyone who was paying attention that this conquest was irreversible. The discussion on a Two State Solution at that point only allowed Israel to build new, Jewish only settler-colonies in the newly conquered lands, claiming that if one day there will be a peace agreement they will consider removing them.

Palestine never ceased to exist from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea, and even the renaming of the country as “Israel” has not changed that. At the same time, the discussions of partition and a Two State Solution did not slow down the seven-decade-long Zionist rape and pillaging of the country. So today, when discussing a free Palestine, as Dr. Marc Lamont Hill did, one has no choice but to mention all of Palestine, from the River the Sea, and yet Dr. Hill still received a barrage of criticism from all directions.

How it will end

The question as to how the Zionist regime and settler colonialism will be brought to an end is an important one to discuss. The clearest and most practical vision to date seems to be that, as in South Africa, the Zionist state will have no choice but to capitulate. This will happen largely as a result of the success of the BDS campaign, political isolation, and on-the-ground Palestinian resistance. Every Israeli prime minister, from this moment on, must know that he or she is likely, like De Klerk in Apartheid South Africa, to announce the end of the apartheid regime in Palestine, unconditionally release the Palestinian prisoners, and call for one-person-one-vote elections. This will lead to the creation of a legislature and a government that represents all people who live between the River to the Sea.

The Two-State Chimera Is a Cover for Israel’s One-State Reality

Airbnb Removes Israeli Settlement Listings

By Stephen Lendman
Source

US-based Airbnb runs a global online marketplace/hospitality service, letting members arrange or offer lodging, mainly homestays in residences of locals in cities where they travel.

Company revenue comes from commissions on bookings – none henceforth from removed Israeli settlement listings.

Airbnb yielded to years of pressure from Palestinian human rights groups. About 200 West Bank housing listings will be removed, a company statement saying the following:

“(M)any in the global community have stated that companies should not do business (in Israeli settlements) because they believe companies should not profit on lands where people have been displaced.”

“We concluded that we should remove listings in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank that are at the core of the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians.”

Delistings will take place in the coming days, according to Reuters. Human Rights Watch’s director for Israel and the Palestinian territories, Omar Shakid, called Airbnb’s decision a “welcome step,” adding “(c)ompanies like Booking.com should follow suit.”

Under international law, Israeli settlements are flagrantly illegal – developed on stolen Palestinian land.

Fourth Geneva’s Article 49 states: “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”

The Hague Convention forbids occupying powers from altering occupied territory, except for military necessity, clearly not the case in the Occupied Territories.

The UN, its Security Council, the  International Court of Justice, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and numerous human rights groups call Israeli settlements flagrantly illegal.

Longstanding equivocal US policy considers them “illegitimate,” not illegal – until Trump abandoned all pretense about Israeli/Palestinian evenhandedness, one-sidedly supporting the Jewish state, spurning fundamental Palestinian rights.

Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer revealed Trump regime policy on settlements, saying in 2017: 

“We don’t believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace” – polar-opposite what’s true, clearly endorsing what’s flagrantly illegal under international law.

A formerly classified September 1967 document revealed that Israeli PM Levi Eshkol’s legal adviser Theodor Meron said “civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes the explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”

In April 1978, Jimmy Carter’s State Department legal advisor Herbert Hansell called settlements “inconsistent with international law.”

Ronald Reagan disagreed with the Carter administration on the illegality of settlements, calling them “unnecessarily provocative” instead. 

In 1982, Reagan called for a moratorium on settlement development, saying they’re hindrances to peace talks.

Half a century after Israel’s 1967 aggression, seizing remaining Palestinian territory it failed to occupy in 1948, including East Jerusalem, Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics data indicate around 600,000 Israeli settlers occupy stolen Palestinian West Bank land. Over 200,000 other settlers live in Occupied East Jerusalem.

On July 30, 1980, the Knesset’s Jerusalem Law illegally annexed the UN-designated international city as Israel’s unified capital. 

On March 1, 1980, UN Security Council Resolution 465 declared that “all measures taken by Israel to change the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure or status of the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, or any part thereof, have no legal validity and that Israel’s policy and practices of settling parts of its population and new immigrants in those territories constitute a flagrant (Fourth Geneva) violation…and also constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.”

All Security Council resolutions are binding international law. In America, they’re also constitutional law under the Supremacy Clause (Article VI, Clause 2).

On July 4, 2004, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal and an obstacle to peace and to economic and social development (and) have been established in breach of international law.”

Since establishment of the Jewish state in May 1948, its ruling authorities have systematically and repeatedly breached international laws, norm and standards unaccountably.

Israeli settlers reside in 127 strategically located West Bank settlements, dozens more in East Jerusalem, settlement enclaves in Hebron, along with about 100 “settlement outposts” – established to make a contiguous Palestinian state in the Territories impossible to achieve.

Business enterprises operating in the Occupied Territories flagrantly violate international law. Airbnb’s pullout is a welcome step. 

Far more is needed from global businesses, notably numerous US and other Western corporations, operating illegally in the Territories, profiting from Israel’s flagrant abuse of power.

Settlement construction escalated under Netanyahu. Their development is the main obstacle to conflict resolution.

It’s unattainable as long as most  Palestinian land remains illegally occupied.

A Final Comment

Ahead of Airbnb’s decision to remove settlement listings, a petition by Jewish Voices for Peace, CODEPINK, and six other human rights groups called on the company “to immediately stop listing vacation rentals in Israeli settlements.”

An online Twitter petition headlined “Tell #Airnub: #Palestinians can’t #LiveThere, So Don’t Rent There.” 

After years of equivocating, the company did the right thing. Israel isn’t pleased.

Its strategic affairs minister Gilad Erdan called on Occupied Territory hosts to sue Airbnb, citing Israel’s 2011 apartheid Anti-Boybott Law as unjustifiable justification.

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