Israel’s Ethnic Cleansing in Palestine Is Not History – It’s Still Happening — Astute News

Speculation over the White House’s “Middle East peace plan” continues to dominate media coverage of Israel and the Palestinians, the latest example coming with the announcement of a Bahrain-hosted “workshop” in June to encourage investment in the Palestinian economy. With the exception of the Gaza Strip, however – and then only partially and selectively – minimal attention is being […]

via Israel’s Ethnic Cleansing in Palestine Is Not History – It’s Still Happening — Astute News

Israeli Violence Against Peaceful Palestinian Demonstrators

By Stephen Lendman
Source

Saturday, March 30, marked the 43rd anniversary of Land Day for Palestinians throughout the Occupied Territories.

The anniversary is all about Palestinian resistance against Israeli theft of their land, displacing them for exclusive Jewish development and use.

It’s against the systematic transformation of historic Palestine into a state affording rights to Jews alone, Arabs treated like nonpersons, Israeli Arab citizens, 20% of the population, treated like fifth column threats.

March 30 was also the one-year anniversary of weekly Great March of Return demonstrations in Gaza against Israel’s illegal suffocating blockade, an act of war without declaring it.

Two million Gazans are held hostage by Israeli viciousness, the world community doing nothing to relieve their suffering, nothing to hold Israel accountable for high crimes too serious to ignore.

They include three premeditated wars of aggression on the Strip since December 2008, along with intermittent terror-bombings and cross-border incursions, civilians threatening no one harmed most.

On Saturday, Sabreen al-Najjar, mother of 21-year-old Razan al-Najjar, commemorated her daughter’s murder at the hands of an Israeli sniper – an angel of mercy paramedic, a victim of Gaza’s killing fields.

Dressed in white attire, identifying her as a first responder medic, she was lethally shot in the neck and back, an exploding dum dum bullet destroying her heart, killing her instantly.

“My daughter…Razan…was (lethally) shot by an Israeli sniper while wearing her white uniform and trying to rescue those injured protesting for their rights,” said Sabreen, adding:

“During Razan’s short life, she was confined to a densely populated, prison-like strip of land, surrounded by Israeli blockades and walls.”

“She witnessed three Israeli military aggressions that wounded and killed thousands of innocent Palestinians. For her and for all Palestinians, the Great Return March is our cry for justice.”

“As we stand together peacefully, every weekend, for the rights and freedoms freely given to others without hesitation, it’s the obligation of the international community to act and stop supplying Israel with the weapons that it used to kill Razan and so many others like her.”

“I call on organizations and states to implement our Palestinian call for a military embargo against Israel so that we can live in freedom and peace.”

Gaza-based BDS community organizer Abulrahman Abunahel said “(f)or more than seven decades, Palestinian people have been struggling to return to their homes from which they were uprooted in the Nakba in 1948.”

“Israel denies us our right of return. On the first anniversary of the ongoing Great March of Return in Gaza, we reiterate the call for boycott, divestment and sanctions for Palestinian rights.” 

“It is high time to fully isolate and prosecute the Israeli regime of settler-colonialism, occupation, and apartheid. The bloodshed in Gaza and elsewhere in Palestine must be stopped.”

According to Gaza’s health ministry, Israeli soldiers killed 266 Palestinians, injuring over 30,000 others since Great Gazan March of Return demonstrations began one year ago.

On Saturday, Israeli snipers killed four Palestinians, injuring 316 others, including 86 children and 29 women, said Gaza’s health ministry – many seriously during all Great March of Return protests, including yesterday’s.

Razan and two other Palestinian medics were killed, 665 others wounded, and 112 ambulances damaged, Gaza’s health ministry explained.

At least two clearly identified journalists by their attire were killed, dozens of others wearing press IDs injured.

Israeli soldiers and other security forces routinely attack peaceful Palestinian demonstrators throughout the Territories with live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets, toxic tear gas, and other repressive tactics.

The Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemned Israeli use of lethal force against peaceful protesters threatening no one – how its regimes confront all nonviolent demonstrations, falsely blaming Palestinians for high crimes committed against them.

Like ahead of all Great March of Return demonstrations, the IDF set up fortified positions on the Israeli side of the border, snipers positioned with orders to use live fire and other toughness against peaceful protesters.

Israeli media reported that the IDF deployed three brigades of combat troops and an artillery battalion along the Gaza border, along with 200 snipers.

PCHR: “According to observations by (its) fieldworkers (on the ground in Gaza), Israeli forces…stationed in prone positions and in military jeeps along the fence with Israel continued to use excessive force against the (peaceful) demonstrators by opening fire and firing teargas canisters at them.”

As in previous weeks, tens of thousands of Gazans turned out on Saturday, including entire families. Threatening no one, Israeli soldiers fired on them for target practice, gunning down or otherwise injuring hundreds.

Reporting on what happened on Saturday, the NYT featured a photo of a Palestinian demonstrator using a sling shot to hurl a likely stone in the direction of Israeli forces, safely behind barricades, too far away to be harmed – instead of showing IDF snipers gunning down Palestinians in cold blood.

The Times turned truth on its head, calling Saturday events “mostly peaceful” – entirely so by Palestinians, nothing of the kind by IDF soldiers, attacking them unrestrained.

The photo published by the Times was unrelated to Saturday protests, showing black smoke from burning tires.

Haaretz reported the following: “As part of understandings reached between Israel and the Palestinians through Egyptian mediation on Friday, Palestinians refrained from setting ablaze car tires at the protest sites.”

The Times (and other US media) falsely accused Gazans of hurling “dozens of homemade bombs” at Israeli soldiers. Nothing of the kind occurred. Demonstrators were entirely peaceful as during other Great March of Return protests.

The Times quoted IDF spokesman, Lt. Col Jonathan Conruus’ Big Lie, claiming “(i)t’s clear that Hamas controls the level of violence (sic),” adding:

“When they want less violence (sic), we see that they can keep people back from the fence. And when they want more violence (sic), they get more violence (sic).”

The Times lied saying “Israel made a point before Saturday of cautioning its soldiers against taking shots that might hit unintended targets.”

Fact: The Netanyahu regime and IDF consider civilians legitimate targets, including young children and women – 86 children and 29 women wounded by live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets, and toxic tear gas on Saturday.

Many thousands of Gazans have been protesting weekly and other times against their virtual incarceration in the world’s largest open-air prison.

Though unable to change things, their courage against a brutal occupier got worldwide attention. With nothing to lose, they’re unlikely to quit as long as their suffering continues.

A Final Comment

On March 29, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)  explained major media calls to renounce violence is almost exclusively directed at Muslims, saying:

“A FAIR survey of the phrase “renounce violence” in the New York Times over the past 10 years shows that 95 percent of the time the demand is made of Muslim organizations, people or political parties, the most prominent being the Taliban and Hamas.” 

“There are zero instances of anyone in the Times — whether reporters quoting officials or columnists — from March 28, 2009, to March 28, 2019, insisting or suggesting that the United States, Israel or any white-majority country ‘renounce violence.’ ”

The above information should surprise no one. The self-styled newspaper of record and other establishment media operate as virtual imperial press agents – supporting US-led NATO and Israeli wars of aggression, along with their other hostile actions against targeted nations and people.

That’s what the scourge of imperialism is all about, establishment media acting as accomplices.

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

Trump’s Golan Declaration Another Own Goal

Trump’s Golan Declaration Another Own Goal

EDITORIAL | 29.03.2019 | EDITORIAL

Trump’s Golan Declaration Another Own Goal

Hardly a week goes by and the United States falls deeper into global disrepute. This week was a bonanza of own goals for the self-declared “leader of the free world”.

The debacle over the ridiculous “Russiagate” scandal finally imploding was spectacular.

Then there were more horrific reports of US air strikes killing civilians simultaneously in four countries – Afghanistan, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.

That was followed by Washington’s ludicrous lecturing to Russia about the US-imposed humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.

And then, to top all those own goals, we saw President Donald Trump declaring that Israel’s illegal annexation of the Golan Heights is not, in the warped US view, illegal after all. Can you possibly keep score of the mind-boggling inanities and insanities?

Switching metaphors for a moment – because you can hardly just use one when it comes to grappling with American asinine policy – Russia’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova got it right when she likened the US to a “cowboy shooting up the Louvre museum” in its free-wheeling, double-dealing foreign conduct.

Where to begin in dissecting the US and its descent into madness and mafia-style foreign policy? It truly is a brain-wrecking, train-wrecking challenge. Is there a wicked genius to its Mephistophelean madness? Perhaps it is simply down to Washington becoming an absurd circus of incompetence, accelerated under the administration of a former real-estate magnate and reality TV star, President Donald J (for Joker) Trump.

On the Golan issue, Trump’s proclamation this week of recognizing the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights as under Israeli sovereignty is a flagrant subversion of international law and the United Nations Charter. Israel has been forcibly occupying Syrian southern territory since the 1967 Six Day War. It formally annexed the strategic plateau in 1981, which was ruled as illegal by the UN Security Council – including a vote from the US at that time.

Trump’s declaration is thus a brazen repudiation of international law and a glaring green light to aggression. Can anything this president says or does be taken seriously? What’s that about Venezuela, or Ukraine?

His declaration this week undermines gravely the foundation of international law in a shocking, reckless affront. It completely demolishes any pretense the US claims to have as a world leader and upholder of international law.

Washington has been slamming Russia for the past five years over alleged “annexation” of Crimea – and then Trump this week turns around and endorses Israeli theft of Syrian territory.

At a UN Security Council meeting called this week by Syria in protest to Trump’s proclamation, the US was seen as a pariah state. All 14 other members of the council (including non-permanent members) slammed the US policy on Golan. They included US allies Britain and France.

Outside the UNSC, other US allies also condemned Washington’s declaration of complicity in Israeli annexation of Golan.

Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, among others, all slammed the US for daring to legalize the theft of Syrian territory by Israel.

Russia’s deputy envoy to the UN, Vladimir Safronkov, put it aptly. He said that the US move was not only an audacious violation of international and the UN Charter. “This only exacerbates the situation in Syria and complicates the establishment of a political process, but it also creates serious obstacles to normalizing the relations between Israel and the Arab states.”

We will come back to that profound point in a moment. But first, let’s throw out a few other motives for Trump’s outrageous violation of international law regarding Golan and Israel’s annexation.

Trump is no doubt giving his family friend Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a timely electoral boost ahead of Israeli state elections scheduled for April 9.

There is also the issue of American oil interests being pursued by designating the Golan as Israeli territory. The mountainous region overlooking the Jordan Valley is reputed to hold untapped reserves on par with those of Saudi Arabia, which US-based Genie oil company has been exploring for years.

But still a more strategic motive is the objective of keeping the Middle East and Syria in particular in perpetual turmoil. By annexing Syrian territory, the US-Israeli move furthers the objective of controlling the wider Arab region.

Syria’s envoy to the UN, Bashar al Jaafari, made that very point at the UN Security Council meeting this week. He said the US-backed annexation of Golan was a part of the US-sponsored covert war against his country. The move is a way to keep Syria and the region in turmoil, said al Jaafari.

This gets back to what the Russian envoy, Vladimir Safronkov, said. The whole point is for Washington to prevent any political settlement to the eight-year war in Syria and to impede any normalization of relations in the region. The US and its client Israeli regime only stand to benefit from perpetual chaos and conflict in the region.

So far so good, as Washington may calculate – albeit fiendishly. But in the final analysis, the US is ending up looking like a complete rogue state without any respect, even among its supposed allies.

The presumed global leader, Washington, is losing foes and allies alike through its disgraceful duplicity and disregard for any pretense of probity. The Golan Heights is another nail in the coffin for Washington’s over-rated self-regard.

In a week of other American absurdities and own-goals, the Golan debacle may turn out to be the moment when Washington is finally seen in the eyes of the world as the utter laughing stock that it surely has become. It’s a laughing stock, but in the creepiest, macabre sense.

In Depth – Golan Heights

Published on Mar 29, 2019

SUBSCRIBE 2.2M
The Golan Heights, a tiny, rocky plateau that was part of Syria till 1967, is back in international headlines. On March 25th, 2019, US President Donald Trump signed a proclamation recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the disputed region, reversing decades of American policy. Trump’s move has drawn intense criticism from across the world. Member countries of the UN Security Council have refused to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over Golan Heights, which has been the centre of conflict between Israel and Syria for decades. The Arab countries have even warned of a new wave of tensions in the Middle East. But why is the international community, including US allies, opposed to the decision of recognizing Israeli sovereignty over Golan Heights; And why did Donald Trump reverse his country’s decades-old policy on the disputed plateau? We try and understand today IN DEPTH. We also analyse why Golan Heights is so important and contentious.
Anchor: Teena Jha

Lieberman: Netanyahu personally Torpedoed My Plans for Gaza

Lieberman

Source

March 28, 2019

Former Israeli Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu personally torpedoed plans to strike Gaza during a flareup between the Zionist entity and Palestinian resistance last November.

“Netanyahu personally torpedoed the plans,” the Chairman of Yisrael Beytenu told Israeli journalist Ben Caspit at the Maariv Security Conference on Wednesday.

“We have enough tools to deal with Gaza and I had a full plan,” the Jerusalem Post reported.

Lieberman resigned from his post as defense minister in November following a ceasefire deal with Hamas after over 500 rockets were fired towards the southern occupied Palestinian territories.

The ceasefire with Hamas, he said at the time “cannot be interpreted in any way other than a capitulation to terrorism. This will severely harm our security in the long run. The response that we gave to the 500 rockets shot from Gaza was not enough, to say the least. The South should come first. Our weakness is being broadcast to other fronts.”

On Sunday, the latest Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip saw over 100 mortars and rockets fired towards occupied territories, and that, according to Lieberman, shows that “Israel does not have security.”

“Security is when people don’t have to run to bomb shelters,” he told Ben Caspit, adding that the Zionist regime “is paying protection money to terror groups instead of destroying it.”

“There’s no terror without money and now Israel is allowing money into Gaza for Hamas. We are paying protection to a terror organization and doing everything not to get the terror organization mad. Netanyahu said he said he struck Hamas hard, but not even one terrorist was even hurt,” the former Israeli DM added.

Trump Gifts Netanyahu’s Re-Election Campaign with Syria’s Golan Heights

Darko Lazar

Donald Trump’s tweet this week, which sought to legitimize the 52-year-old “Israeli” occupation of Syria’s Golan Heights, is only the latest demonstration that US demands for compliance with international law do not encompass the country’s own policies.

“Israel” occupied the strategic plateau during the 1967 Six Day War and annexed the territory in 1981.

But according to UN Security Council resolutions, including one that the Americans co-authored themselves, the Golan Heights remains a part of Syrian territory.

As such, Trump’s endorsement of Tel Aviv’s claim to the Golan is essentially an empty gesture. It will not change the internationally recognized status of the Golan Heights, nor will it get other states to follow suit.

And while Trump’s “irresponsible” announcement drew condemnation from the standard-bearers of resistance to Washington’s agenda – Syria, Iran, Turkey and Russia – it is doubtful that the move will lead to any significant changes on the ground.

Instead, the US president is hoping that his message would reverberate throughout “Israel”, where the Trump administration’s key ally, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is fighting for his political survival.

Timing is everything

Trump’s tweet popped up as Netanyahu’s bid to secure reelection on April 9 was met with the specter of potential corruption charges, leading to a surge in the polls for his main rival and former army general, Benny Gantz.

It also comes just a few short days before Netanyahu is set to join Trump at the White House, leading to speculation that the US will officially endorse “Israeli” sovereignty over the occupied Golan as early as next week.

If this is indeed the case, such a declaration may very well hand Netanyahu another term in office.

The incumbent has long pushed for Washington’s seal of approval on the issue of the Golan Heights, and in recent months, he has stepped up his lobbying efforts.

Earlier in March, he toured the Golan with hawkish Republican Senator Lindsey Graham; in February, several members of the US Senate introduced legislation to sanction “Israeli” sovereignty over the mountainous area.

A favorable declaration from the White House just three weeks before “Israelis” head to the polls would certainly mark a symbolic victory for Netanyahu’s foreign-policy agenda, which already enjoys consistent support from the Trump administration.

Since coming into office, Trump has pulled his country out of the Iran nuclear deal, relocated the US Embassy to al-Quds (Jerusalem) and closed a Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington.

But “Israel” is still a chapter in the broader tussle for power and influence between Western political elites, and Netanyahu is far from being the only one doing the lobbying.

Benny Gantz, who heads “Israel’s” recently formed Blue and White political alliance, is also heading to the US this month to address the annual conference of the powerful Jewish lobbying group, AIPAC (American ‘Israel’ Public Affairs Committee).

Netanyahu’s most prominent opponent is hoping to make nice with America’s left-wing figures, and of course, those pushing to unseat Trump.

Naturally, Trump’s Golan move will make it more difficult for Gantz to sell his message in “Israel”, where he is arguing that the next government needs to ‘regain the full support’ of Washington.

What’s more, the gifts bestowed upon Netanyahu by the White House have made it virtually impossible for Gantz to challenge the “Israeli” premier on foreign policy, especially as the leader of the Blue and White alliance has been led to exclaim that when it comes to ‘Israel’s’ external foes, “there is no right or left”.

No downside for Trump

From the point of view of the current US administration, there appears to be little to lose by recognizing “Israel’s” sovereignty over the Golan and handing Netanyahu his pre-election prize.

Trump himself has become quite accustomed to delivering shocks to international consensus, especially when it comes to issues pertaining to “Israel”. The American president therefore isn’t expecting any real opposition to the Golan move from any of his Western client states.

Condemnation coming from the Arabs will also be muted, or, at the very least, disingenuous. Gulf monarchies are not only invested in Trump’s political future, but have a major stake in Netanyahu’s, too.

In fact, the recent deployment of the most advanced American air and missile system to “Israel” signals that only Iran and Hezbollah are still perceived as real threats by Tel Aviv and Washington. The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) is being touted as Washington’s commitment to ‘Israeli’ security.

Viewed in a more focused geopolitical context, however, such measures have everything to do with the fact that the “Israeli” occupation of the Golan Heights and other Arab territories illegally held for decades has very few challengers left.

And both Trump and Netanyahu are well aware that one would be hard pressed nowadays to find any outside of the Iran-led Resistance Axis.

صواريخ على تل أبيب يكفي

مارس 15, 2019


ناصر قنديل

– يمكن تفهّم المواقف الصادرة عن حركتي حماس والجهاد الإسلامي التي تذهب أبعد من نفي مسؤوليتها عن الصواريخ التي استهدفت تل أبيب ليل أمس، وذهاب بعض مسؤولي الحركتين إلى حد اعتبار الصواريخ عملاً يهدف لجر قطاع غزة وقوى المقاومة إلى مواجهة يظن البعض أن رئيس حكومة الاحتلال بنيامين نتنياهو يحتاج جولة تصعيد يصرف رصيدها انتخابياً، لكن التدقيق في مدى قدرة نتنياهو على توظيف الصواريخ وأي جولة تصعيد تليها، يطرح سؤالاً جدياً عن مدى قدرة كيان الاحتلال على الدخول في مواجهة ستنتهي حكماً قبل موعد الانتخابات، دون أن تكون النهاية مريحة لنتنياهو وفقاً لما تقوله موازين القوى، من جهة، ومن جهة مقابلة، مدى قدرة قوى المقاومة على الامتناع عن ردود قاسية في أي مواجهة، ومدى قدرتها على تفادي استهداف تل أبيب بعد ما مثلته الصواريخ، وفي النهاية مدى قدرتها على تقديم تنازلات من هيبتها ومن حساب معادلات الردع لمنح نتنياهو وجيش الاحتلال سلّماً للنزول عن الشجرة.

– الأكيد، رغم كل المواقف والتحليلات، أن شيئاً نوعياً كبيراً حدث ليل أمس، هو حدث نوعي كبير وغير مسبوق أياً كانت الجهة التي تقف وراءه، سواء أعلنت مسؤوليتها أو أغفلت ذلك أو ربما رأت أن الأفضل هو نفي المسؤولية، ففي كل الحالات الحدث مفاجئ للجميع ويمثل تحولاً في قواعد الاشتباك مع كيان الاحتلال منذ قيامه قبل سبعين عاماً، ففي كل الحروب التي مضت عام 1947 وعام 1956 وعام 1967 وعام 1973 وأعوام ما بين 1982 و2000 وصولاً إلى حرب عام 2006، لم يسقط صاروخ على تل أبيب، وبقيت تل أبيب حصناً محمياً بعيداً عن التهديد، وإن تمّ تهديد تل أبيب فقد بدا أنه تهديد عابر، أو أن كيان الاحتلال قد تمكّن من احتوائه وإلغاء فرص تكراره بخلق واقع عسكري جديد في الجغرافيا التي شكلت مصدر هذا التهديد، سواء في مصر جمال عبد الناصر أو في العراق أو في سورية، بينما يقف كيان الاحتلال أمام حقيقة جديدة، فهو مضطر للاعتراف بأن استهداف تل ابيب سيصير مشهداً مألوفاً في أي مواجهة تخوضها حكومة الاحتلال مع أي من أطراف محور المقاومة. فالصواريخ التي تطال تل أبيب موجودة، وقادرة، والقبة الحديدة عاجزة عن منعها، وما يملكه الذين هم أقل يملكه الذين هم أكثر، وما يستطيع فعله أطراف غير رئيسية في غزة تستطيعه الأطراف الرئيسية، كما تستطيعه المقاومة في لبنان ويستيطعه الجيش السوري وقوى الحشد الشعبي في العراق وبالتأكيد تستطيعه إيران.

In Videos: Hamas' Military Wing Launched At Least 2 Long-Range Missiles At Tel Aviv

– هذه صورة رمزية تلتقطها الكاميرات الإسرائيلية لما سيكون عليه التحدّي مع أي مواجهة مقبلة، فبعدما كان استهداف تل أبيب نظرياً كفرضية قابلة للتأكيد، صار واقعاً، قابلاً للتكرار، ومثلما قال رئيس لجنة الاستخبارات الوطنية الأميركية دان كوتس أمام مجلس الشيوخ، التصعيد الإسرائيلي في ظل توازنات هشّة وغياب سقوف سياسية سيجلب خطر الانزلاق إلى مفاجآت تصعب السيطرة عليها، والذين يتحدثون عن مصالح إسرائيلية بالتصعيد أو الذين يقولون إن نتنياهو يحتاج إلى جولة تصعيد يتجاهلون أنه كان قبل شهور يصول ويجول في الغارات على سورية وقد توقف عنها، ويتجاهلون أن كل حرب أو نصف حرب تحتاج إلى استراتيجية خروج، فنتنياهو يملك قرار بدء الحرب، لكنه لا يملك خريطة طريق واضحة لإنهائها، وحماس والجهاد والفصائل يملكون قدرة التبرؤ وحتى الإدانة للصواريخ، لكنهم لا يملكون الصمت والتفرج إذا بدأت الحرب، وبعد ظهور الصواريخ على تل أبيب، لن يكون مقبولاً أن تقع المجازر وتبقى الصواريخ المشابهة في المستودعات!

صدمة في إسرائيل: صواريخ غزّة تصل إلى تل أبيب

– بالنسبة لأجيال عربية عاشت مراحل الانكسارات، وعاشت مع المقاومة زمن الانتصارات، تحقق ليل أمس حلم عتيق، يدخل الفرحة إلى القلوب بعيداً عن التحليلات، إن تجرّع نتنياهو ذل الصواريخ تحقق ميزان ردع جديد، وإن ردّ بحرب أجبر مالكي الصواريخ الأشدّ قدرة على إخراجها من المستودعات.

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Facing Hezbollah Rockets during War to Cost ‘Israel’ $1.5 bn per Day: Report

March 1, 2019

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Zionist experts revealed that the occupation entity is not ready to confront the rocketry threat on the northern front which “would be the most dangerous one”.

Dan Rogel, an engineer at Rafael Israel Military Industries, clarified although some consider that Gaza front is the most volatile, the northern one proves to be most dangerous one.

Rogel added that ‘Israel’ will be obliged to fire over 1400 interceptor missiles per day during the upcoming war, which costs the Zionist entity $1.5 billion.

Rogel wondered how much the financial cost of the war would be in case it lasts for more than 30 days.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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Al-Ahed Re-Publishes Secret File: Gerstein’s Last Moments – Episode 1

 

By Staff – Beirut

Al-Ahed News Website reveals secret chapters of one of the Islamic Resistance’s great achievements, which has remained concealed for years.

The story of the final moments of the commander of the Zionist forces in Lebanon, Erez Gerstein, who was executed by the Islamic Resistance in a qualitative operation on February 28, 1999, is told by those who lived it minute by minute.

The Al-Ahed newspaper unveiled one of the chapters of the secret war that took place during the Zionist occupation of Lebanon. The following is the first episode. The other episodes will follow in the coming days.

Erez Gerstein: Identification Card

Brigadier General Erez Gerstein was one of the most prominent Zionist military commanders “and one of the best commanders in the field”, specializing in topography. He was the top “Israeli” military official in Lebanon.

He participated in many acts of aggression against Lebanon. In 1982, he was the assistant to the then War Minister Ariel Sharon. He believed that the naval commandos were not a sufficient challenge for him.

Related image

Ariel Sharon, right, and Menachem Begin, center, at Beaufort after its capture

He repeatedly raided Nabatiyeh and the Beaufort Castle [Arnoun Castle]. He took part in the Battle of Beaufort, in addition to his raids on the tunnels of Naameh.

Related image

He rose through the ranks. He was the commander of “Sirt Golani” that is the Special Forces and then commander of the Golani Brigade. In March 1998, he was appointed successor to Brigadier General Eli Amitai in heading the Southern Command of the Armed Forces (the commander of the liaison unit).

Two months after assuming the post of commander of the Golani Brigade, his brigade suffered a severe blow. Seven soldiers were killed at the Aishiyeh site. At the end of his service at this post, five of his soldiers were also killed in Wadi Saluki.

His car was hit by an improvised explosive device near the village of Al-Rihan. He miraculously survived. But on Sunday evening, 28 February 1999, he did not survive a larger explosion that blew up his armored vehicle. Three others, including an ‘Israeli’ radio reporter were also killed. The Islamic Resistance prepared the explosive device at the al-Khan-Kawkab junction.

““Israel’s” hand is long. We will bring any fugitive back wherever he is. And we will behead him sooner or later. Soon, we will carry the heads of the traitors with our hands. We are a state that does not abandon its vengeance even years later.”

These were the final words of Erez Gerstein, the commander of the liaison unit in Lebanon and the top military man of the “Israeli” forces occupying southern Lebanon, who was speaking to a group of “Israeli”-affiliated militias in the town of Shebaa.

– End of Introduction –

This happened on the last day of the cold month of February. It was a warm morning unlike regular winter mornings. News of his arrival was widely disseminated moments before his convoy of three civilian bulletproofed armored vehicles equipped with heavy machine guns entered the town. The motorcade emerged from the heart of the dust storm. The sun was setting when the general got out of his dark-curtained car and entered a neighboring building to pay his respects to the wife of a fallen militia security agent and pay the price for his death. The widow was paid USD 50,000 within less than five minutes.

The general left the dead agent’s house and waited in the middle of the road.

“I carefully observed him after everyone was in my line of vision. His facial features shone under the shy winter sunlight. He was rudely moving amidst the soldiers, as if he had something he wanted to say quickly,” Malik sighs as he tells the story of his last meeting with Erez Gerstein.

“I sank a little bit into the noise under my balcony. And I began observing him carefully. I saw him chase a flying insect with the corner of his eye and stomp the dirt with his shoe to search for another one crawling. He did not want to miss out on anything. Then, he turned his head. His eyes ran across the hills of Kfar Shuba and Shebaa, as if he was redrawing the map of the deployment of the “Israeli” forces in that region. The region was the other side of the occupied Syrian Golan Heights. He was doing so as the top “Israeli” army topographer in Lebanon. This is aside from his passion for insects.”

“With the corner of his other eye, I saw him looking down on my superior in the 504 “Israeli” intelligence unit, who in turn had his head down. It was in contrast to the picture that led me to accompany him in his work, where he would meet senior “Israeli” officers and take instructions from them directly without humiliation. They trusted him. They were so concerned about him that they insisted on getting to know me since I was his personal bodyguard. This coincided with Erez Gerstein taking up his new post in Lebanon. The eyes of my superior did not meet the general’s. Boredom was obvious on his face. And he seemed to stand there for too long when compared to his constant movement on the field. He was only used to standing in the battlefields in the face of elements of the Palestinian and Lebanese resistance. He participated in the invasion of Beirut when he helped Sharon in 1982. He took part in besieging the city of Beirut. He used to watch the fire raging during the night from atop the overlooking hills. He also took part in the Battle of Beaufort. He used to boast that he entered the town despite the forces that defended the castle until the last breath. He raided Nabatiyeh and Arnoun, etc. While I was going through these pictures in my head, the loud voice of a security officer of the agents’ militia Riyad al-Hamra brought me back to where I was standing: ‘Malik, the general wants to speak to the men. It is unreasonable for him to stay on the street. Open your house for us for just five minutes.’”

“The blood in my veins froze due to the shock that came over me. ‘In my house, me, what blind trust.’ I said to myself, I could not say a single word. The whole group walked toward the stairs while I was taking my little family, my wife and child, upstairs to where my parents lived. I opened the doors widely for the arrivals, including twenty military personnel working in the “Israeli” intelligence and security officers with stars on their shoulders, which I’ve come accustomed to seeing recently. I looked for Doron’s face among the crowd. He was the first “Israeli” intelligence officer I met in the Metula settlement before handing over his post to his successor, Abu al-Nimr. Doron was not among those who entered my small house. Gerstein did not forgive those with even a single security failure. The issue of double agent Raja Ward fleeing the occupation’s authority has not been closed yet! I have never seen a fat person like Abu Nimr, an “Israeli” officer whose eloquence in Arabic and broad memory of Arab proverbs I will never forget. The leaders that passed before me were not higher than the general’s rank. His body touched mine. He did not pay attention to my surprised and confused breathing. He trusted me. He threw his pouch indifferently at my porch as proof of his confidence in the security measures as well as being in my house.”

Malik, who is recalling the details of the last 30 minutes in the life of Erez Gerstein, added: “He entered and sat here on this chair. Next to him was Rafiq al-Saeed, the Zionist general who was responsible for the so-called civil administration in the eastern sector. On his other side was “Israel’s” radio reporter and military spokesperson in the region Ilan Roeh. He was preparing the recorder for him [Gerstein] on this table as if he was documenting the history of this senior officer who was qualified to hold very high-ranking positions in the “Israeli” army.” Here (gesturing with his hand) sat Munir al-Shawfi, the operations officer of the 30th Regiment.”

“Before the rest of the crowd rested from the tour, Nadeem Abu Rafie, the commander of the Hasbaya district of the 30th Brigade, sent Mohammed Zein, the officer of the agents’ militia in the region, to buy refreshments. The agents were in a state of tension as a result of the blows dealt by the Islamic Resistance. The blows shook the agents’ army structure and infiltrated its security apparatus. The agents needed some juice to be refreshed and a morale boost to strengthen their determination. The general started boosting their morale, taking advantage of the intermittent time as usual. He enjoyed talking about his achievements against Hezbollah even if it was about the Kfour explosive device that lead to the martyrdom of five resistance fighters. He seemed boastful with his great achievement, which would contribute as he put it to the dismantling of Hezbollah!”

“He said, ‘the safety of the “Israeli” Defense Force and the Northern Command was based on striking Hezbollah everywhere.’ Then he continued sarcastically, ‘This is what happened to them in this operation – the Kfour Operation. We certainly hit them. We see that we have an intelligence capability to reach them. The use of the explosive devices is aimed at helping launch local strikes at Hezbollah whenever we want. I repeat what I said before, we meant to hit those responsible for the “subversive operations” in Hezbollah, which was sometimes portrayed in the country as a large organization. There are many fighters in it, and this is no secret when you succeed in striking them.’”

“Erez Gerstein was accustomed to recounting his military achievements. He presented himself as a hero in his wars against the resistance. He did not hesitate in his private conversations with his fellow officers to reveal his role in the attack of the Special Forces on the military headquarters of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – the General Command in the Naameh-Damour area to assassinate Ahmed Jibril. Back then he was the commander of the Golani Brigade and the spearhead.

Related image

The operation began with dropping elite elements with booby-trapped dogs trained to enter tunnels. “Israeli” military intelligence officers, including Erez, believed that the assassination of Ahmed Jibril in this way would be a great achievement for them. But the pictures of the dead dogs on the pages of Beirut’s newspapers issued the following day proved without doubt the failure of the smart operation.”

“He said: ‘The more chaos, the more complaints from the military police. This is good.’ The leaders patted his shoulder and he always got the highest applause when he stated his position.”

“He strongly criticized what he called self-restraint in Lebanon, saying: ‘The soldiers’ blood is no less red than the blood of the civilians.’

“‘All eyes on him’  … He carried a cup filled with soda and sipped the acid nitrate, and then with his other hand he threw the pieces of nuts into his mouth and began to crack pistachios and the white pumpkin seeds with his shiny teeth. Everyone was looking at him in silence, observing the details of the forty-year old man’s facial features, which were drone by the ranks he occupied. He rose from the commander of the Special Forces to the commander of the Golani Brigade. In March 1998, he was appointed successor to Brigadier General Eli Amitai who was dismissed from office following his security failure and the confirmation by the leadership in the “Israeli” army that the Islamic Resistance was able to breach all his security measures and get to agents and recruit them. The command of the Armed Forces in the south was handed over to Gerstein, who outperformed his trainers with his vast experiences against what they called subversive operations. He was classified as one of the best field officers and most senior commander of the “Israeli” army in Lebanon. He had every Zionist’s trust as the commander of the liaison unit.”

No Peace!

Malik was tirelessly narrating what had happened at his home shortly before the death explosive device planted by the resistance on the road to Kawkaba killed Erez. Unlike his family, he never mentioned the word peace once. “I remember when we used to go to Eilat, Taba, Haifa, Naqab and Safad every year to attend secret security meetings and the distribution of tasks or receive training under the auspices of Uri Lubrani, who used to meet us once a year to deliver his “peace” speech. He entered with an olive branch in his hand saying: “You are the ambassadors of peace and mediators between us and the Lebanese state.”

“The general adjusted his seating position and puffed his chest out, which was filled with threats and mixed with kindness for the remains of the agents that were the only ones left behind from the many that deserted. His words were harsh. Rafiq Al Saeed noticed the relatives of the agents that deserted. So he whispered to Gerstein and asked him to smooth things over and avoid stirring sensitivity and tension among the remaining agents. However, Erez stuck to his stance as usual. When he spoke during meetings, silence befell the brigade commanders and officers, in anticipation of what he had in store for them. He never disappointed the enemy. His public statements in internal deliberations were headlines. He was the one who did not take into account the feelings of the mothers when he attacked the Four Mothers organization in May of last year because “it negatively affects the battlefield and posed a threat to the soldier and his life as a commander.” How would he take into account the feelings of his agents! This was what affected the siblings of the agents present there and pushed them to flee later and follow their fugitive brothers.”

Malik takes a puff of his cigarette and adds: “After more than half an hour, the general left my house with his entourage. The phone was on my side. I had a strange feeling of responsibility and fear of what was coming at once. My anticipation for certain news included a mixture of fear and challenge. I even wished for a moment that he would die after one or two days.

My heart was beating with every tick of the clock, which indicated ten past 11. Then my brother, who lived above my house, called me to turn on the television and shouted: “Look at what happened to the people who were at your house.” I tried to stop breathing to hear the news broadcast by one of the Arab satellite channels: “General Erez Gerstein, the “Israeli” liaison officer in southern Lebanon, was killed in southern Lebanon on the Marjayoun-Hasbayya road after an explosive device was detonated by Hezbollah fighters. Gerstein was the highest-ranking military officer killed by Hezbollah … Three of his companions, including an ‘Israeli’ radio correspondent were killed with him.”

“I was shocked and silent. I flipped channels hoping to hear something that refutes the news. I might be dreaming. Could all these resonating speeches evaporate and go in vain without a farewell!”

“After hearing the news of his death, dozens of Zionist settlers protested angrily in front of the headquarters of the so-called Minister of War. They burned rubber tires and raised banners saying: ‘Stop the foolish occupation’, ‘It’s stupid to stay in Lebanon’, and ‘It’s Lebanon, you idiots.’”

“Then I remembered the last thing he said before he left my house for Marjayoun: ‘Hezbollah is dying.’” The moment of my meditation was interrupted by a call. On the other side of the line was a voice I got used to confidently cheering: ‘Congratulations.’”

They Know Everything

One of the Zionist analysts said during a live broadcast in an interview with the enemy’s television: “that he had to say that because of everything that happened, this was a pre-planned ‘attack’ on Brigadier General Erez Gerstein. It was not a coincidence. He was the intended target and they were doing research on him. This is because they broadcast his biography all the time. Since the first broadcast on Al-Manar TV in the afternoon, they spoke about Gerstein’s life in an archival documentary for 20 minutes. Of course, this is not an easy job to do in a day. It is related to different events and tours he made during his work for a year since he took up his post, including material they record from “Israeli” television and based on Hezbollah’s information. What is more important is that the operation was carried out inside the “security zone” under “Israeli” control, and we know that Hezbollah has intelligence and informants inside this area. The elements collect and transfer this intelligence information to Hezbollah leaders in southern Lebanon. Accordingly, they plan to carry out their operations.

In the next episode: Who is the Malik al-Saeedi?

How did he infiltrate the agents’ militia and gained the confidence of the Zionist officers?

Information published for the first time

The first lie detector was used in police circles in 1924. It is a traditional device known as the polygraph or multiple scripts. It is illustrated by a number of wavy lines on a sheet of paper. It monitors the “physiological” indicators, such as respiration, skin conductivity and pulse. It also requires the use of highly qualified experts.

How to use a lie detector: The person being questioned sits on a chair. Two rubber belts are tied around his chest and stomach to measure the pattern of his breathing. A blood pressure monitor is also placed on his arm. His fingers are connected to a metal piece to measure the activity of the sweat glands. The test begins with asking simple questions to gain a standard for the indicators recorded on the polygraph. Then the subject is asked real questions to which he has to answer with Yes or No. This, while all his body indicators are drawn on a piece of moving paper.

Before and after the test, charts can be seen on the moving sheet to see if there is a sudden and significant change in the indicators, such as a rapid heartbeat, increase in blood pressure, increased sweating, or others when answering a particular question.

Researcher and director of the Federation of American Scientists Project, Steven Aftergood, said that the lie detector is a trick. It can easily be tricked by moving the feet or shoulders while giving any misleading answers to the interrogator’s questions as well as the constant thinking about disturbing matters that cause the subject to feel sad or upset during the session. Hence, the device can no longer distinguish between his worries and his misleading answers.

Related videos

Hundreds of Israelis have attended the funeral of a reporter killed in a car bomb attack in Southern Lebanon. Elan Roe was in a four-car convoy which was blown up by two bombs near the Israeli/Lebanese border at noon on Sunday. Brigadier-General Erez Gerstein and two other Israelis in the convoy were also killed.

israel (apartheid state) hiding 300,000 documents about massacres carried out against Palestinians

Israel hiding 300,000 documents about massacres carried out against Palestinians

More than 100 files from the 1800s are still classified in Israel’s archives

Israel recently published its catalogue of some 300,000 classified files, including thousands of documents from before the state was even founded. The very existence of the files had been kept a secret until recently.

By Asaf Shalev

The Israeli state archives in Jerusalem on September 03, 2012. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Israeli state archives in Jerusalem on September 03, 2012. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israel’s State Archives unceremoniously published the contents of its catalog of classified archive documents this past summer, posting them online in 363 separate spreadsheets. Buried in the catalog of classified archives were more than 100 files dating back to the 1800s, and more than 2,000 files that predate the founding of the State of Israel but which the archive has yet to declassify.

The very existence of the 300,000 classified files—their names, dates, and origin within the state bureaucracy—had been kept a secret, until now. One-fifth of the files, deemed too sensitive still by the government, were excluded from the disclosure.

“There were many people who were concerned about the opening of this catalog,” State Archivist Yaacov Lozowick wrote in a statement accompanying the release.

The classified catalog, currently housed on the website of the State Archives, is hard to find, difficult to access, and almost impossible to search through or analyze. In order to understand what lies in the cryptic files, +972 Magazine enlisted various data-research tools and analyzed the hundreds of thousands of entries.

One of the things that stood out immediately was the age of some of files. The oldest item, a Foreign Ministry document titled “Parker Report,” dates back to 1821. That’s all we know about it. In total, the catalog of classified archival documents contains 125 items from the 19th century, and about 2,000 documents from before 1948, when Israel was founded. Because we cannot access the files themselves, it is impossible to say why documents that predate the state are still classified over 70, and in some cases, nearly 200 years later.

In contrast, in the United States the FBI and CIA routinely release old records, even ones that cast those agencies in a negative light. It is also telling that, unlike the U.S. government archives, which are run as an independent agency, Israel’s State Archives is a branch of the Prime Minister’s Office, whose current occupant has proven to be no champion of transparency.

Documents from virtually every Israeli ministry appear in the catalog: each of the 363 original spreadsheets represent a different agency, sub-department, state-run company, and in a few cases, former senior officials who bequeathed their personal collections to the State Archives. Conspicuously absent are the Defense Ministry (aside from one cache of records produced during Israel’s first, short-lived occupation of Gaza in 1956), the military, the Mossad, and the Shin Bet security service. These institutions manage their archives separately, lest any documents wrangle free.

Almost three quarters of the files come from only three government bodies: Israel Police (28.2 percent or 71,874 files), the Foreign Ministry (24.2 percent or 61,620 files), and the Prime Minister’s Office (21 percent or 53,587 files). Next up are the Energy Ministry, the State Comptroller’s Office, the Israel Prison Service, and the Justice Department.

Israeli Black Panthers, including Charlie Biton, protesting on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv, May 1, 1973. (Moshe Milner/GPO)

Israeli Black Panthers, including Charlie Biton, protesting on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv, May 1, 1973. (Moshe Milner/GPO)

 

Some of file names alone are tantalizing. For instance, there was “Nine Years Out of 2,000” which turned out to be a secret book commission by the Mossad about the history of immigration from Morocco. Another is called “Shariah Court of Gaza,” 1913-1922. There is a set of Jordanian government documents apparently confiscated in 1967, when Israel occupied the West Bank, which had been under Jordanian administration.

Then, there are those still-classified archival files with labels like “anti-Israel organizations” and the “fight against anti-Semitism,” produced by Israel’s diplomatic missions around the world. There are files on Deir Yassin and Kfar Qasim, the two most notorious massacres carried out by Israeli forces. The catalog contains 13 files from the 1940s and 1950s about the assassination of Folke Bernadotte, a Swedish diplomat representing the UN Security Council who was killed by a Zionist militia in 1948. The sinking of Israel’s Dakar submarine, still a mystery, is the subject of another classified file.

But even many files without sensational appeal promise to contain valuable historical information. For example, there is the case of the Israeli Black Panthers, a 1970s group of radicals who demanded social justice for Mizrahi Jews. As part of my research for a book I am writing about the group, I knew there were police files on the Panthers from references found in a couple of academic articles and a Haaretz magazine feature. Eventually, I obtained the documents, but not from the State Archives (where I was told the Panthers files were unsealed by mistake and subsequently re-sealed).

These police intel reports, containing invaluable and rare documentation of the Panthers by various undercover agents and informants, came from two files, the only two state archives files on the Panthers that we knew existed. A search for the keyword “Panthers” in the classified database yielded the two file numbers, along with 21 other files — from various police precincts — containing the words “Black Panthers” in their titles. It would not have been possible to find them without searching in the combined database. Knowing that the files exist is far cry from holding them in your hands, of course, and the chance of obtaining those particular files is nil at the moment.

I recently filed a request for the remaining Panther files only to be told that the person authorized to review and release archival police records died in accident more than a year ago. A police spokesperson said in an email that a job opening for such a person would be posted “soon,” providing no timeline for the recruitment and hiring process.

An employee at the Israel State Archives looks at classified documents related to the Yemenite Children Affair, at the Israel State Archives offices in Jerusalem, December 22, 2016. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

An employee at the Israel State Archives looks at classified documents related to the Yemenite Children Affair, at the Israel State Archives offices in Jerusalem, December 22, 2016. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

 

‘A country without a history’

There’s a war of sorts going over Israel’s collective memory. One of main battles is being waged over access to state archives and the classified catalog is but one example. It is academics, journalists, independent researchers, and citizens’ groups on one side versus government gatekeepers on the other. Those aligned against disclosure are lawyers posted at government ministries, over-zealous record room clerks, and elected officials who smell in every cry for transparency a plot against Zionism.

Gadi Algazi, a historian from Tel Aviv University, built his academic reputation by extracting social and cultural histories from the clutches of archives dating back hundreds of years. These days, Algazi is better known by his students and friends for his preoccupation with the more immediate past. He recently conducted research into a long-forgotten protest movement and he gives occasional talks on what he’s found.

In the early 1950s, according to Algazi, residents of a transit camp for immigrants near Kfar Saba mounted a veritable political struggle demanding better treatment from authorities. Iraqi-born communists living in the camps riled up and then organized the community for a series of demonstrations and other actions. The police got called in and the whole affair was kept out of the papers and out of the wider public’s eye.

After a recent talk about the affair at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, I caught a ride with Algazi back to Tel Aviv and in the car, he told me, “Israel is a country without a history.” What he meant was that we know very little about the machinations of power, money, and social status that congealed in the 1950s, the critical decade after the country’s founding. The policy decisions that shaped Israeli society and allocated resources and privileges remain an enigma to this day, he explained. The Kfar Saba story is a foray into a time when Israel intra-Jewish ethnic lines were drawn. The discovery of the event would not have taken as long as it did in a country with an appreciation for its past.

“For the vast majority of historical researchers, the documentation kept in archives is the central raw material,” said Miriam Eliav-Feldon, a veteran history professor and the chair of the Historical Society of Israel, speaking at an event confronting the crisis of access to public archives a few months later. “Without it, it’s almost impossible to find out what took place, what the intentions and motivations of the individuals were.”

The effort to “rescue archival access” was launched more than two years ago when the State Archives shuttered its reading room. That’s where patrons used to fill out request slips and were hand-delivered boxes of files. The State Archives decided that all of its materials would be digitized, however, and meanwhile, anyone who wants access has to search the online catalog and request the files be scanned and posted online. The plan may have been well intentioned, Eliav-Feldon said, but it has led to long and erratic wait times and a lack of transparency about what is being released. “It makes it impossible to get work done,” she added

A short time into the digital revamp efforts, lawyers for the Prime Minister’s Office imposed a new policy that gummed up the research process even further. Now, each file that has not already been scanned and uploaded must first be vetted by the government body that generated it to begin with. Want to read decades-old correspondence from the public security minister? The archive has to get the ministry’s approval first. The same goes for police reports, health ministry minutes and any other stacks of papers collecting dust on a warehouse shelf at the State Archives. Aside from having no conceivable incentive to allow the publication of potentially embarrassing documents, government bodies do not typically keep archival professionals on staff.

The coalition of archival access seekers reflects in many ways the various public battles being waged over Israel’s past. There are the Nakba scholars. There are Argentinian and Chilean Jews working to flesh out the extent of Israel’s ties with Latin American military dictatorships. Then there’s the reinvigorated campaign to expose the abduction and disappearance of thousands of babies of Mizrahi families. Without access to official archives, much of that work simply cannot be done.

“Blocking access to the documentary record, to the memory cells of our recent past,” Eliav-Feldon said at the Tel Aviv University event, “does grave harm to our knowledge and understanding of our existence.”

You can search the catalog of classified Israeli archives (in Hebrew) thanks to the Akevot Institute for Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Research. The nonprofit organization performed its own web scraping and programming of the classified catalog, making the files searchable on its website. You are also welcome to download the database by clicking here and play with the data yourself.

Asaf Shalev is a journalist based in California. He is completing a book about the Israeli Black Panthers with UC Press. Find him on Twitter: @asafshaloo. Omri Kahalon, a software engineer, contributed to this report.

 

The data in numbers:

Files:

  • Number of file names revealed: 254,734
  • Number of files that are so sensitive even their names are still being kept secret: roughly 45,000
  • What’s known about each file: Name, the government body that generated the file, and the year(s) covered.

Dates:

  • Date of oldest classified file: 1821
  • Date of most recent file: 2013
  • Number of files dating to the 19th century: 125

Top government offices represented in the catalog:

  • Israel Police: 28.2 percent of files (71,874 files)
  • Foreign Ministry: 24.2 percent (61,620 files)
  • Prime Minister’s Office: 21 percent (53,587 files)
  • Energy Ministry: 4.1 percent (10,331 files)
  • Israel Prison Service: 3.5 percent (8,927 files)
  • Public Security Ministry: 3.3 percent (8,445 files)
  • State Comptroller: 3.24 percent (8,243 files)
  • Justice Ministry: 2.6 percent (6,703 files

إسرائيل لا تثق بجيشها البرّي: «حرب 73 ستكون نزهة»!

إسرائيل لا تثق بجيشها البرّي: «حرب 73 ستكون نزهة»!

غولان: وضع سلاح البر سيء جداً، وقائد ذراع البر لا يعمل (أ ف ب )

 علي حيدر

 السبت 9 شباط 2019

لم يعد الحديث عن عدم جاهزية سلاح البر في جيش العدو مجرد تقدير أو تحذير من لجان متخصصة أو من مفوض شكاوى الجنود. بل أتى من قلب المؤسسة العسكرية ومن قيادتها العليا. في وثيقة سرية قدمها نائب رئيس الأركان السابق اللواء يائير غولان، كان الأخير صريحاً إلى حد الإقرار بعدم ثقة القيادة العليا بالجيش البري، والتحذير مما ينتظر الجبهة الداخلية من سيناريوات لم تشهدها طوال تاريخها في كل الحروب التي خاضتها في مواجهة الجيوش العربية.

لم يعد بإمكان المؤسسة الإسرائيلية بكافة عناوينها، التغطية على هذه الحقيقة المؤلمة بالنسبة لكل إسرائيلي محتل، جندياً كان أو مستوطناً، خصوصاً أن من قدمها هو من القيادة العسكرية العليا، وكان أحد المرشحين لخلافة رئيس الأركان السابق غادي آيزنكوت في منصبه. ومما أضفى على الوثيقة المزيد من الصدقية أيضاً أنها لم تستند إلى تقديرات نظرية، بل إلى تجارب عملانية أيضاً، الأمر الذي رفع من مستوى الخطورة لدى قادة تل أبيب – حتى لو تمت التغطية على ذلك – خصوصاً أن هذا الواقع يمهد لمزيد من النكسات والهزائم التي ستكون مفاعيلها أشد خطورة على وجودها وأمنها.

أكد اللواء غولان أن انعدام الثقة بقدرات سلاح البر، والخوف من الخسائر، أديا إلى عدم تنفيذ اجتياح بري خلال العدوان على قطاع غزة في العام 2014، في ما سمي بـ«الجرف الصامد». وأشار إلى أن «انعدام الثقة بسلاح البر انتقل إلى الشبان، وألحق هذا الأمر ضرراً لا يمكن إصلاحه من حيث ثقة الضباط بأنفسهم وبقدرتهم على الانتصار». في المقابل، اعتبر رئيس معهد القدس للأبحاث الاستراتيجية، أفرايم عنبر، أن «الخشية هذه موجودة منذ سنوات طويلة وكما يبدو منذ أيام حرب لبنان الثانية» (حرب تموز 2006)، مشيراً إلى أنه «ليس عبثاً تم إهمال سلاح البر لمصلحة قدرات السايبر وسلاح الجو».

لكن المشكلة الكبرى بالنسبة لإسرائيل، تكمن في الخطورة الكبرى التي ستواجهها انطلاقاً من أن «الضربة التي ستوجه إلى الجبهة الداخلية ستكون (في الحرب المقبلة) أكبر مما تحتمله، وأن إخفاق حرب يوم الغفران (حرب تشرين العام 1973) سيكون «نزهة» قياساً بالضربة التي ستوجه إلى الجبهة الداخلية»، بحسب غولان. في المقابل، رأى قائد سلاح البر السابق اللواء غاي تسور، أنه «إذا نظرنا إلى المستقبل، وبموجب إدراكنا لطبيعة الحرب المقبلة في لبنان، فعلينا تعزيز ثقة صناع القرار بسلاح البر».

ويعود منشأ هذه الخطورة، بحسب منطق غولان، من أن «سلاح الجو لن يتمكن من وقف آلاف الصواريخ في الحرب المقبلة، وبالتالي سيكون من الضروري دخول القوات البرية إلى أراضي العدو ووقف إطلاق الصواريخ. وإلا فإن الجبهة الداخلية ستتلقى ضربات صاروخية سيكون من الصعب عليها تحملها»، «والوضع سيشكل صدمة للجمهور». يتلاقى هذا «التحذير» أيضاً مع ما سبق أن أقر به الرئيس السابق لأركان جيش العدو غادي آيزنكوت عشية رأس السنة العبرية في أيلول الماضي، بأن سلاح الجو غير قادر على الانتصار في الحرب، وأن «الانتصار سيأتي حصراً عبر عمل القوات البرية».

لكن المشكلة أن هناك قدراً من التسليم الضمني بأن سلاح البر في جيش العدو، عاجز عن تحقيق أي حسم عسكري، فضلاً عن الكلفة الباهظة التي سيتلقاها. ومن هنا تنبع عدم ثقة القيادة العليا به، وهو ما وصفه غولان في الوثيقة، بأنه «مفهوم كارثي» وأن «وضع سلاح البر سيء جداً، وقائد ذراع البر لا يعمل…». ويضيف أيضاً أن «مشكلة القيادة العليا للجيش الإسرائيلي تكمن في الوعي، وهذه القيادة فعلاً لا تعتمد على سلاح البر… وحتى الاستثمارات المالية الكبيرة في سلاح البر لن تفيد». وهكذا يتضح فعلياً أن إسرائيل عالقة بين «خيار جوي عقيم وغزو بري متعذر» 

(«الأخبار»، 10 أيلول 2018 ).

يادلين مشكّكاً: إلى أي مدى يمكن أن يصل الهجوم البري؟ إلى بيروت؟ شمال لبنان؟ العراق؟

كل ذلك توالى بعد محاولات المؤسستين العسكرية والسياسية التشكيك بتقارير مفوض شكاوى الجنود في الجيش اللواء يتسحاق بريك، الذي أكد عدم جاهزية الجيش للحرب. لكن انكشاف وثيقة غولان أطاح بكل هذه الجهود الدعائية.

في المقابل، تدرك تل أبيب خطورة الصورة التي تتشكل في وعي أعداء إسرائيل حول عدم جاهزية سلاح البر. وتدرك أيضاً القدرات الصاروخية الهائلة التي يمتلكها محور المقاومة، والقادر من خلالها على دك الجبهة الداخلية، وهو ما وفَّر ردعاً استراتيجياً في مقابل القوة النارية والتدميرية الهائلة لجيش العدو. وانعكاس كل ذلك على معادلات الردع المتبادل، وعلى المدى الذي يمكن أن يبلغه أعداء إسرائيل في حال نشوب أي مواجهة كبرى.

أياً كانت المساعي التي تبذلها القيادة الإسرائيلية لتبديل صورة جيشها بنظر جمهورها وبنظر أعدائها، فإنها من الناحية العملية لم تعد تثق بجيشها في مواجهة قوى المقاومة، وباتت أمام حقيقتين لخّصهما رئيس الاستخبارات العسكرية السابق، اللواء عاموس يادلين. الأولى عبّر عنها بالقول: «أنا لا أوافق على الادعاء أن العملية البرية ستوقف إطلاق الصواريخ. إلى أي مسافة ستصل العملية البرية؟ حتى بيروت؟ حتى شمال لبنان؟ إلى غرب العراق؟». وهو أراد بذلك الإشارة إلى أن هذا التمدد الإسرائيلي المفترض لن يوقف أيضاً دك الجبهة الداخلية بالصواريخ. والثانية، أن «ذراع البر في الجيش الإسرائيلي يمثّل شعب إسرائيل الذي لا يريد إرسال جنوده إلى هجوم بريّ في الحرب المقبلة». وهي الحقيقة الأكثر إيلاماً وحضوراً في وعي قادة تل أبيب على المستويين السياسي والأمني.

Lords of the Land: Why Israel’s Victory Won’t Last

Netanyahu Misleads The Israelis About Cross-Border Tunnels And “Operation Northern Shield”: Is He Preparing An Electoral War on Lebanon?

By Elijah J. Magnier
Source

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There is much talk in the Levant, in Syria and Lebanon, that Israel, and more precisely Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, is seriously contemplating a large-scale cross-border battle that could escalate into war to ensure his re-election. Notwithstanding his claims of a “tremendous success in “Operation Northern Shield” (ONS) launched last December, Netanyahu is sending the Israeli Army to look for other tunnels, away from the media spotlight.

The Prime Minister’s premature announcement of the success of the ONS shows that he has become the hostage of his own optimism, which he would like to invest in his forthcoming re-election. Netanyahu has managed to create serious panic among the Israeli population bordering Lebanon, and further inland, by confirming that Hezbollah possesses precision missiles capable of reaching any chosen target.

Meanwhile, the secret underground infrastructure between Lebanon and Israel is not entirely under Israeli control and could be decisive in any future war involving the use of infantry for the purpose of abducting Israeli soldiers or officers or attacking settlments. Hezbollah has modern excavation equipment and the tunnels will be essential for moving any war that Israel might start out of south Lebanon into territory controlled by Israel’s enemy.

According to well -informed sources, the chances are strong that Israel may start a large battle against Lebanon, potentially leading to war. These sources believe that “Netanyahu may opt to use guided missiles and air force bombing with the goal of limiting Hezbollah’s missile capability. In that case, infantry would not be required and the Israeli army would be limited to protecting its borders and ensuring that no infiltration is possible through underground cross-borders tunnels”.

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Prime Minister Netanyahu believes Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s leader, is embarrassed by Israel’s tremendous success in dismantling its underground infrastructure, and he is confident that he has completely deprived Nasrallah of this important asset (the tunnels) over the last six weeks.

Israel discovered four tunnels so far; Hezbollah’s leader has not denied this. Nevertheless, Netanyahu is misleading the Israelis by claiming he has destroyed all tunnels. According to well-informed sources, the Israeli army is “sending trained dogs into the newly discovered cross-tunnels despite their great depth, with the aim of clearing them of explosives or attacking those working in these tunnels”.

There is nothing new in Israeli officials lying to their citizens. Sayyed Nasrallah said one of the tunnels is old and Moshe Ya’alon, the ex-Israeli Defence Minister, agreed: “We lied in order to preserve the security of the state. We did it to mislead the other side”. Nasrallah’s message has created division among the Israeli population, between those trusting their army (not their politicians) and others who trust Nasrallah.

Hezbollah considers the tunnels an essential asset in any forthcoming war against Israel. The Israeli army has been digging tunnels between one to fifty meters deep in a 10 to 13-kilometre wide area in an inland zone near Ayta al-Shaab and Kfarkila (Metula). There is a much a larger area of 107 km, extending to the Lebanese coast, which Israel has not excavated.

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Consider the Lebanese border city of Aita al-Shaab, where there are hills on both sides of the borders with a mountain on top of the border hundreds of meters high. Is Israel equipped to look for tunnels in this area? Today, Hezbollah may indeed have the use of silent compressors and excavation equipment capable of reducing construction time for tunnels from two years to only 4-6 months. The necessary engineering, planning and modern excavating equipment are not lacking, despite Netanyahu’s belief that Hezbollah is in serious financial difficulties and incapable of digging more costly tunnels.

In many locations, Israel controls the air with drones and the borders with high definition long-range thermal imagery multisensory radars and cameras, Pulsed Doppler, Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave and visible light intelligent imaging systems providing advanced warning. These systems detect and track personnel and all moving objects by their speed and direction. Tunnels bypass all these measures and allow forces to attack the enemy from the rear. The tunnels in the south of Lebanon are different from those in Gaza since the Lebanese topography is mainly composed of rocks.

All the sources I spoke to confirmed that “cross-border tunnels are important for surprising the enemy and smuggling troops behind enemy lines. That is the plan Sayyed Nasrallah spoke about when he threatened to occupy Galilee”. According to sources, “the tunnels are important but not the only way to cross the borders”.

“A small quantity of explosive is enough to bring down a 4-6-metre-wide cement wall across the Lebanese-Israeli borders to open a breach big enough for motorised troops, once the decision to cross to the other side has been taken”, said the sources. This scenario maybe plausible only if and when Israel takes the initiative to trigger a war and cross the Lebanese borders with its infantry. Since Israel violates the Lebanese sovereignty on a daily basis, it would not be surprising for Hezbollah to mimic Israel.

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The battle of tunnels is an unstoppable nightmare process for any army. Tunnels are constructed to be used only once. The “Galilee plan” aimed to force Israel to pull out of Arab occupied territory (the Golan Heights) or to release Palestinian prisoners in exchange for a withdrawal from Galilee (or any other village or city in Israel) in case of war and a Hezbollah advance into enemy territory. Sources do not rule out the deaths of hundreds of men on both sides should a war break out, were Hezbollah to decide to cross the Israeli-Lebanese border.

Israel is taking Hezbollah’s menace seriously: the “Gates of Fire” battalion was created to counter Hezbollah’s plans to conquer the narrow Galilee panhandle strip. In putting forth their intelligence assessment, Netanyahu and his ex-Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot offered Israeli settlers a zombie horror film scenario about Hezbollah plans to push “1000 to 2000 fighters who will carry out border shock attacks” into Galilee border communities. The two Israeli officials thus played into Sayyed Nasrallah’s hand, doing more psychological damage and putting more fear into the local Israeli communities than anyone else could have. Netanyahu aimed to magnify his “achievement” for electoral purposes. But he failed, mainly due to his premature announcement about the end of the tunnels issue, although his forces are well aware of the existence of many more tunnels.

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The sources evaluate Netanyahu’s attachment to power as very dangerous for Israel. “He and his team could very well opt for the option of a large battle or a war against Lebanon in order to be re-elected and avoid jail since he is accused of corruption. Netanyahu took over the Defence Ministry and, as a non-expert in military affairs, he needs to prove his skills by doing something against Lebanon. We say Lebanon because the Israeli Prime Minister understands that any future attack against Syria will have counter-productive serious consequences on his political future because Damascus and its allies will respond” and he knows it.

The sources recognise that Israel enjoys unprecedented US support. President Trump would apparently do anything to please and support Israel. US forces are already based in the country training and conducting manoeuvres for a possible future war scenario, and of course offering their immediate military support to Israel. The sources, on the other hand, are confident that “Iraqi security forces, allies of the “Axis of the “Resistance”, will not hesitate to be part of any future war on the Levant”.

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“If the US bluntly and overtly participates in any future war against Syria or Lebanon, US forces will be hostages and targets throughout Mesopotamia. The next war will not be similar to any previous one and will spare no one”, said the sources.

Hezbollah would rather avoid war. Sayyed Nasrallah has said “if Netanyahu is pleased to say he has managed to destroy all our missiles (but in fact only a few), then let him be. We won’t contradict him”.

Hezbollah doesn’t want to challenge the Israeli Prime Minister too strongly because it seeks to avoid provoking any future destructive war, which would implicate not only the south of Lebanon but also the suburbs of the capital. In the event of war, they won’t be drinking tea in Beirut, but as Israeli Major General Tamir Yadai put it, neither will they be drinking coffee in Tel Aviv.

Brave talk: israel (apartheid state) to Boost ‘Efforts’ in Syria After US Troops Pullout – Netanyahu

Israel to Boost ‘Efforts’ in Syria After US Troops Pullout – Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks follow US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw all 2,000 American troops from Syria after declaring victory over Daesh.

Speaking at the fifth Israel-Greece-Cyprus summit held in the southern city of Beersheba, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to intensify efforts in Syria.

“We will continue to act in Syria to prevent Iran’s efforts to militarily entrench itself against us. We are not reducing our efforts, we will increase our efforts. I know that we do so with the full support and backing of the US”, Netanyahu said.

The prime minister said that he had been warned of the US troop withdrawal from Syria in advance during phone conversations with President Donald Trump on Monday and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Israel to Continue Combating Iran in Syria if US Forces Leave — Ambassador to UN

Shortly after his speech, Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Dannon said that Tel Aviv had its “concerns” about Syria.

“We have our concerns about Syria, about the presence of Iranian troops in Syria and we will do whatever is necessary to protect our people regardless if you have American troops, Russian troops or any other nations. We will continue to follow our policy of not allowing the Iranians to build their bases next to our borders”, Dannon said.

Iran has yet to respond to the Israeli officials’ remarks, but it has repeatedly emphasised that its forces maintain an exclusively advisory presence in Syria, and denied any plans to establish a permanent military presence in the country.

READ MORE: #MattisOut: What is the Real Reason Behind Pentagon Chief’s Resignation?

On Wednesday, President Trump took to Twitter to declare victory over Daesh* in Syria amid media reports that he was planning to pull American troops out of the war-torn country.

He then announced the decision to withdraw forces, tweeting that the move “was no surprise”:

In a series of follow-up tweets POTUS reiterated that he had on multiple occasions said that US troops should leave and let “others” take care of Syria:

Since 2014, the US-led coalition has been conducting its operations in Syria, without either a UN mandate, or authorisation of the country’s authorities. Damascus has consistently dismissed Washington’s military presence in the country as illegal.

*Daesh, also known as ISIS/IS/Islamic State, is a terrorist organisation outlawed in Russia and many other countries.

5 times israel (apartheid state) lied that it ‘had no choice’ and then started a war

5 times Israel lied that it `had no choice` and then started a war

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© Agence France-Presse/Pedro Ugarte

Israel has no other option but to launch a “war” against Hamas, the Israeli defense minister has recently claimed, calling it the last resort. Modern history shows, however, that Israel has resorted to force quite frequently.

Wars are only conducted when there is no choice, and now there is no choice,” Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman told the Israeli Parliament on Tuesday. But it looks like Israel believed many times that it severely lacked options throughout the last two decades, as it has launched more than half a dozen major military operations since the beginning of the 21st century.

Largest incursion into West Bank since the Six-Day War

In 2002, a suicide bombing carried out by the Hamas militant group over the course of the Second Intifada, which resulted in the deaths of 30 Israelis, provoked an IDF operation called Defensive Shield. It’s the largest one in the West Bank since the 1967 Six-Day War.

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© Ahmed Jadallah/Reuters
Rubble after Israeli tanks and bulldozers destroyed houses during the raid in Rafah refugee camp South of Gaza Strip May 9, 2002.

Between March and May 2002, tens of thousands of Israeli troops invaded the six largest cities of the West Bank and imposed strict curfews and restrictions on locals as well as foreigners working in the area.

The Israeli measures resulted in a partial ban on humanitarian aid and medical personnel entering the West Bank. Thirty Israelis and almost 500 Palestinians were killed, while 7,000 Palestinians were detained, according to the UN.

2004 invasions of Gaza

In 2004, the Israeli forces conducted two major operations in Gaza. The first, called Operation Rainbow, was carried out in May and was in response to Palestinian attacks in which 11 IDF soldiers were killed. Israel invaded Gaza’s southern city of Rafah, razed around 300 homes and expanded the buffer zone between Gaza and Egypt in what it called a push to destroy Palestinian smuggling tunnels. Almost 60 Palestinians, including 11 minors, were killed in less than two weeks of the military campaign, according to Human Rights Watch.

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© Reuters
Palestinian carry a disabled boy from the rubble of his family house after the Israeli troops withdrawal from the Jabalya refugee camp northern Gaza Strip September 11, 2004.

Four months later, Israel invaded Gaza again after two children were killed as a Palestinian-launched rocket hit the Israeli town of Sderot. The Israeli operation, called Days of Penitence, targeted northern Gaza to prevent further rocket launches and claimed 129 Palestinian lives, including between 50 and 87 militants, and one Israeli soldier, according to the Israeli media.

2006 Lebanon War

In 2006, a cross-border raid by the Hezbollah militants has led to a 34-day war between Israel and its neighbor, Lebanon. Hezbollah launched rocket strikes against Israeli border towns and ambushed a military patrol, killing three soldiers. Two more were abducted, as militants sought to exchange them for Lebanese prisoners held by Israel. Tel Aviv responded with air strikes and artillery fire, targeting Hezbollah positions and Lebanese civilian infrastructure alike.

Israel imposed an air and naval blockade and invaded southern Lebanon. The conflict led to the deaths of more than 1,100 Lebanese people and 165 Israelis, including soldiers. It also displaced about a million Lebanese and over 300,000 Israelis.

Operation Cast Lead

In December 2008, Israel once again invaded Gaza with the stated goal of stopping indiscriminate rocket fire into Israeli territory. The Palestinian Hamas group said at the time that the rocket launches were a response to Israel’s violation of an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire reached six months earlier.

During the operation, called Cast Lead, the IDF struck the densely populated cities of Gaza, Khan Yunis, and Rafah. The military campaign, which lasted until January 18, 2009, claimed the lives of more than 1,400 Palestinians, most of whom were civilians, according to Palestinian sources. An Israeli NGO put the number of civilian deaths at 759, while the IDF put it at 295.

The operation became known as the Gaza War, and is sometimes even referred to as the Gaza Massacre. Israel lost 10 soldiers and three civilians during the campaign.

Operation Protective Edge

The latest large-scale IDF military campaign in Gaza – Operation Protective Edge – took place in 2014. It was carried out in response to the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers by alleged members of Hamas’ military wing.

After Israel conducted an operation to arrest Hamas military leaders, Hamas responded with rocket attacks. The Israeli airstrikes and ground campaign to put an end to Palestinian rocket attacks resulted in the deaths of thousands of people, the vast majority of them Gazans. During the 51-day assault, over 2,100 Palestinians were killed, with another 10,000 injured. The Israeli actions provoked worldwide protests and were slammed by human rights groups over the disproportionate use of force.

Israel lost 66 of its soldiers and five civilians from Hamas rocket fire. Another 469 IDF soldiers and 261 Israeli civilians were injured.

Even though Israel has not conducted any major military operations against Palestinians since 2014, its violent crackdown on Palestinian protesters in Gaza continues to take its toll. Over 200 Palestinians have been killed, including medics and journalists, and more than 22,000 injured since border protests – the Great March of Return – began in March.

 

How a Map of Palestine Drove the American Neo-colonial Elite Mad

By Juan Cole
Source

I mirrored a map of modern Palestinian history that has the virtue of showing graphically what has happened to the Palestinians politically and territorially in the past century.

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Andrew Sullivan then mirrored the map from my site, which set off a lot of thunder and noise among anti-Palestinian writers like Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic, but shed very little light. (PS, the map as a hard copy mapcard is available from Sabeel.)

The map is useful and accurate. It begins by showing the British Mandate of Palestine as of the mid-1920s. The British conquered the Ottoman districts that came to be the Mandate during World War I (the Ottoman sultan threw in with Austria and Germany against Britain, France and Russia, mainly out of fear of Russia).

But because of the rise of the League of Nations and the influence of President Woodrow Wilson’s ideas about self-determination, Britain and France could not decently simply make their new, previously Ottoman territories into mere colonies. The League of Nations awarded them “Mandates.” Britain got Palestine, France got Syria (which it made into Syria and Lebanon), Britain got Iraq.

The League of Nations Covenant spelled out what a Class A Mandate (i.e. territory that had been Ottoman) was:

“Article 22. Certain communities formerly belonging to the Turkish Empire have reached a stage of development where their existence as independent nations can be provisionally recognised subject to the rendering of administrative advice and assistance by a Mandatory [i.e., a Western power] until such time as they are able to stand alone. The wishes of these communities must be a principal consideration in the selection of the Mandatory.”

That is, the purpose of the later British Mandate of Palestine, of the French Mandate of Syria, of the British Mandate of Iraq, was to ‘render administrative advice and assistance” to these peoples in preparation for their becoming independent states, an achievement that they were recognized as not far from attaining. The Covenant was written before the actual Mandates were established, but Palestine was a Class A Mandate and so the language of the Covenant was applicable to it. The territory that formed the British Mandate of Iraq was the same territory that became independent Iraq, and the same could have been expected of the British Mandate of Palestine. (Even class B Mandates like Togo have become nation-states, but the poor Palestinians are just stateless prisoners in colonial cantons).

The first map thus shows what the League of Nations imagined would become the state of Palestine. The economist published an odd assertion that the Negev Desert was ’empty’ and should not have been shown in the first map. But it wasn’t and isn’t empty; Palestinian Bedouin live there, and they and the desert were recognized by the League of Nations as belonging to the Mandate of Palestine, a state-in-training. The Mandate of Palestine also had a charge to allow for the establishment of a ‘homeland’ in Palestine for Jews (because of the 1917 Balfour Declaration), but nobody among League of Nations officialdom at that time imagined it would be a whole and competing territorial state. There was no prospect of more than a few tens of thousands of Jews settling in Palestine, as of the mid-1920s. (They are shown in white on the first map, refuting those who mysteriously complained that the maps alternated between showing sovereignty and showing population). As late as the 1939 British White Paper, British officials imagined that the Mandate would emerge as an independent Palestinian state within 10 years.

In 1851, there had been 327,000 Palestinians (yes, the word ‘Filistin’ was current then) and other non-Jews, and only 13,000 Jews. In 1925, after decades of determined Jewish immigration, there were a little over 100,000 Jews, and there were 765,000 mostly Palestinian non-Jews in the British Mandate of Palestine. For historical demography of this area, see Justin McCarthy’s painstaking calculations; it is not true, as sometimes is claimed, that we cannot know anything about population figures in this region. See also his journal article, reprinted at this site. The Palestinian population grew because of rapid population growth, not in-migration, which was minor. The common allegation that Jerusalem had a Jewish majority at some point in the 19th century is meaningless. Jerusalem was a small town in 1851, and many pious or indigent elderly Jews from Eastern Europe and elsewhere retired there because of charities that would support them. In 1851, Jews were only about 4% of the population of the territory that became the British Mandate of Palestine some 70 years later. And, there had been few adherents of Judaism, just a few thousand, from the time most Jews in Palestine adopted Christianity and Islam in the first millennium CE all the way until the 20th century. In the British Mandate of Palestine, the district of Jerusalem was largely Palestinian.

The rise of the Nazis in the 1930s impelled massive Jewish emigration to Palestine, so by 1940 there were over 400,000 Jews there amid over a million Palestinians.

The second map shows the United Nations partition plan of 1947, which awarded Jews (who only then owned about 6% of Palestinian land) a substantial state alongside a much reduced Palestine. Although apologists for the Zionist movement say that the Zionists accepted this partition plan and the Arabs rejected it, that is not entirely true. Zionist leader David Ben Gurion noted in his diary when Israel was established that when the US had been formed, no document set out its territorial extent, implying that the same was true of Israel. We know that Ben Gurion was an Israeli expansionist who fully intended to annex more land to Israel, and by 1956 he attempted to add the Sinai and would have liked southern Lebanon. So the Zionist “acceptance” of the UN partition plan did not mean very much beyond a happiness that their initial starting point was much better than their actual land ownership had given them any right to expect.

The third map shows the status quo after the Israeli-Palestinian civil war of 1947-1948. It is not true that the entire Arab League attacked the Jewish community in Palestine or later Israel on behalf of the Palestinians. As Avi Shlaim has shown, Jordan had made an understanding with the Zionist leadership that it would grab the West Bank, and its troops did not mount a campaign in the territory awarded to Israel by the UN. Egypt grabbed Gaza and then tried to grab the Negev Desert, with a few thousand badly trained and equipped troops, but was defeated by the nascent Israeli army. Few other Arab states sent any significant number of troops. The total number of troops on the Arab side actually on the ground was about equal to those of the Zionist forces, and the Zionists had more esprit de corps and better weaponry.

[The nascent Israeli military deliberately pursued a policy of ethnically cleansing non-combatant Palestinians from Israeli-held territory, expelling about 720,000 of them in 1947-48, then locking them outside, bereft of their homes and farms and penniless.

Map6_RefugeesRoutes.gif

The final map shows the situation today, which springs from the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank in 1967 and then the decision of the Israelis to colonize the West Bank intensively (a process that is illegal in the law of war concerning occupied populations).

There is nothing inaccurate about the maps at all, historically. Goldberg maintained that the Palestinians’ ‘original sin’ was rejecting the 1947 UN partition plan. But since Ben Gurion and other expansionists went on to grab more territory later in history, it is not clear that the Palestinians could have avoided being occupied even if they had given away willingly so much of their country in 1947. The first original sin was the contradictory and feckless pledge by the British to sponsor Jewish immigration into their Mandate in Palestine, which they wickedly and fantastically promised would never inconvenience the Palestinians in any way. It was the same kind of original sin as the French policy of sponsoring a million colons in French Algeria, or the French attempt to create a Christian-dominated Lebanon where the Christians would be privileged by French policy. The second original sin was the refusal of the United States to allow Jews to immigrate in the 1930s and early 1940s, which forced them to go to Palestine to escape the monstrous, mass-murdering Nazis.

The map attracted so much ire and controversy not because it is inaccurate but because it clearly shows what has been done to the Palestinians, which the League of Nations had recognized as not far from achieving statehood in its Covenant. Their statehood and their territory has been taken from them, and they have been left stateless, without citizenship and therefore without basic civil and human rights. The map makes it easy to see this process. The map had to be stigmatized and made taboo. But even if that marginalization of an image could be accomplished, the squalid reality of Palestinian statelessness would remain, and the children of Gaza would still be being malnourished by the deliberate Israeli policy of blockading civilians. The map just points to a powerful reality; banishing the map does not change that reality.

Goldberg, according to Spencer Ackerman, says that he will stop replying to Andrew Sullivan, for which Ackerman is grateful, since, he implies, Goldberg is a propagandistic hack who loves to promote wars on flimsy pretenses. Matthew Yglesias also has some fun at Goldberg’s expense. [Otherwise, like most other major US institutions, our press is corrupt on this issue.]

People like Goldberg never tell us what they expect to happen to the Palestinians in the near and medium future. They don’t seem to understand that the status quo is untenable. They are like militant ostriches, hiding their heads in the sand while lashing out with their hind talons at anyone who stares clear-eyed at the problem, characterizing us as bigots. As if that old calumny has any purchase for anyone who knows something serious about the actual views of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu or . . . Avigdor Lieberman, more bigoted persons than whom would be difficult to find…

October Liberation 2018

DAMASCUS, (ST)_ On the 45th   Anniversary of October Liberation War, the Syria Times is honored to publish the historic speech of the late President Hafez Al-Assad on this occasion:

Brotherly citizens,

Our brave soldiers and army officers,

Our great people,

I salute each and every one of you. I address in you, today, the true Arabian spirit, the spirit of courage and heroism, the spirit of sacrifice and giving.

I address in you, your love to the homeland, and your faith in the cause you have decided to defend. For more than a week, the enemy has been mobilizing  and premeditating its forces, thinking it will deal a treacherous blow to us. But we were vigilant enough to monitor its movements and cantonments, and to repel its new potential aggression.  We did not allow the enemy to take us by surprise. So, our armed forces respond appropriately  to it  . Our brothers in Egypt did  not allow  the aggression  to take them by surprise. The great army of Egypt rushed to defend the dignity of Egypt and the dignity of the Arab Nation. Greetings to our army and  to our people, and a tribute to the army of Egypt and the great Arab people of Egypt.

I must at these  crucial moments pay  another tribute  from the heart to the  brave military forces ,  who came to our  country from our  Arab brotherly country of Morocco to take part in the  battle of pride and dignity and to sacrifice their blood generously ,  shoulder to shoulder with their brothers in Syria and Egypt . Thereby, they embody the unity of the nation, the common destiny and the  sanctity of the goal.

Today , we are fighting the battle of honor and pride, in defense of our precious land, for our glorious history , and of the heritage of our forefathers. We fight  the  battle, equipped  with faith in God and in ourselves; and with the solid  and compelling determination  that victory will be on our side.

 Israel is stubborn  and is  hit  by vanity,  and arrogance filled the heads of its officials. They continued their crime  and aggression. Their hearts  are filled with black hatred  against our people and against humanity. They are fret with thirst for bloodshed. Their footsteps disregard the principles and ideals of humanitarian principles and sublime morals and the international laws and resolutions.

Such persons are, the same, like their predecessors, among  the advocates of war,  do not confine themselves  to a limit, nor get deterred , unless they are deterred  by people who believe in their own  right, and fight for their freedom and own  existence.

 While we do our duty to defend our land and the honor of our nation, we are ready to make every sacrifice and accept all challenges in order to win the right and win principles, so that  just peace would prevail.

Brotherly citizens,

Adversity is the touchstone for the nature of peoples, and a test for their authenticity. The more severe the crisis is, the more the pure  metal revealed and the entrenched originality confirmed .

You are the sons of a nation, which has been known throughout history for stances of manhood and pride, of heroism and redemption.  You are the sons of the nation that had carried the message of light and faith into all the corners of the earth, and  the  entire world was a witness to its  highest traits and noblest morals.

You are the  descendants of Abu Bakr, Omar, Othman, Ali, God bless them.  You are the  grandchildren  of Khalid, Abu Obeida, and Amre, and Saad, and Salah al-Din.  The conscience of our nation calls on us, and the souls of our martyrs ignite us as to abide by the teachings  reflected in  Yarmouk, Qadisiya, Hittin, and  Ein Jallout. The  eyes and hearts  of the masses of our nation from  the Atlantic to the Gulf are now clinging   to our great steadfastness .These masses  are all hope and  confidence  that we are proceeding towards  ultimate victory.

Dear brave soldiers and army officers,

We are the rightful  owners and the owners of a just cause, and God grant victory to the one who is  rightful defending his right. You are defending today the honor of the Arab nation, preserving its  dignity and existence, and  rendering sacrifices , so that the future generations  are to live satisfied and secure.

 By accident , it  is the  will of the Almighty God that your Jihad  is in  one of the days of  the holy month, the month of Ramadan, the month of jihad. The month of the Battle of Badr, the month of victory. A bright chapter in the history of our armed forces  to be added   to the many chapters of  heroism and sacrifice, testified by the blood of our martyrs  throughout the history of our country and   Arab nation .

Our ancestors have won victory through faith , sacrifice and  through their racing  to win martyrdom in defense of our divine religion and the rightful message . Today, through your courage  and heroism , you have revived  these  spirits alongside the  glorious  Arab tradition.

Your weapon is  but a deposit  in your hands , that you have  to use properly. The honor of the Arab soldier is your responsibility  and the future of our peoples is in your hand,  for the sake of which you  have to fight relentlessly.

Our  people whose sons  survive great  enthusiasm stand, one line,  behind you, protecting your back lines , and supporting your struggle by all means .  The masses of our Arab nation stand  behind our people. This position by the Arab nation is dedicated by national duty  in this crucial phase.  Behind our people, there also many friends in the world who stand in support of our cause and struggle.

We are not amateurs of killing and destruction, but we are repulsing murder and destruction from ourselves.

We are not the aggressors and never were   aggressors; but we were and are still defending ourselves, repulsing the aggression.

We do not want death to anyone, but we repulse death off our people.

We love freedom and we want it for ourselves and for others. We are  struggling  today ,  so that our people will  enjoy  their freedom.

 We are advocates of peace, and  we work for peace for the sake of  our people and for all the peoples of the world. And we struggle  today in order to live in peace .

Proceed with God’s blessing, when Allah render you victory, no one would defeat you.

Peace be upon you

Editor-in-Chief

Dr. Mohamad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

alibrahim56@hotmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/Mohamad.Abdo.AlIbrahim

https://twitter.com/Golan67

http://www.presidentassad.net/

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Sabra and Shatila: The Secret Papers

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Sabra and Shatila, September, 1982, stands as one of the worst single atrocities in modern history. Up to 3500 Palestinians were massacred when Israel’s Falangist proxies surged through the two Beirut camps in September, 1982. Israel sought to dump the blame on to the Falangists. “Goyim kill goyim and they come to blame the Jews,” Israel’s Prime Minister, Menahim Begin, complained. In fact, Israel commanded and controlled the entire operation. The punishment meted out by the Kahan commission of inquiry was derisory. Ariel Sharon, the Israeli ‘defence minister’ was demoted but remained in government, after Begin refused to sack him. Despite his own complicity, Begin was not punished and neither were any of the politicians who had agreed that the camps had to be ‘cleaned out.’ World opinion was outraged, but not even this fearful event was sufficient for Israel to be held to account. Unrestrained, Israel remained free to kill at will.

The secret annex to the Kahan commission has recently made its way into the mainstream. (See Rashid Khalidi, ‘The Sabra and Shatila Massacres: New Evidence,’ Palestine Square, Institute of Palestine Studies, September 25, 2018).   The basic facts are well established, so the interest lies in what these documents tell us about the interplay between the Israelis and the Falangists, and why, ultimately, Sabra and Shatila had to be invaded.

Even before 1948 Israel was setting out to turn Lebanon into a satellite state by playing on the fears of the country’s Maronite Christian community.   In 1958 Lebanon endured its second civil war (second to the Druze-Maronite conflict of 1860).   This war was part of a regional drama involving anti-Nasserism, anti-communism, the overthrow of the monarchy in Iraq and a planned coup attempt in Jordan. No event in Lebanon is ever simply internal, but while the collective ‘west’ and Israel had a big stake in what happened in 1958, the war developed largely as cause and effect between internal factions. By the time the US intervened, sending the Sixth Fleet and landing marines on Beirut’s beaches, these factions had for the moment resolved their differences.

In 1968, against a background of Palestinian resistance from southern Lebanon, Israel destroyed 13 commercial aircraft sitting on the tarmac at Beirut international airport. Lebanon was being warned to control the Palestinians, or else. Of course, given its highly factionalized nature, Lebanon could not control the Palestinians.

In April, 1973, the Israelis infiltrated West Beirut from the sea and killed four leading Palestinian political and cultural (Kamal Nasser, a poet) figures and by 1975 the country was right on the edge. A drive-by shooting at a Maronite church in East Beirut on April 13 pushed it off. The dead included members of the Kata’ib, the Lebanese Falange, a party founded on the Spanish model in the 1930s. Falangist gunmen struck back, shooting up a bus full of Palestinians and the war was on.

As Israel was already involved with the Falangists, as it wanted chaos in Lebanon ending in the defeat of the Palestinians and the destruction of their institutions, the church shooting was very likely a deliberate Israeli provocation. The secret annex to the Kahan commission reveals that by 1975 Israel was holding secret meetings with Falangist leaders, aimed at political and military coordination, towards which end Israel gave the Falangists $118.5 million in military aid (the figure given in the Kahan annex, the true figure possibly being much higher) and trained hundreds of Falangist fighters, in preparation for the war which Israel wanted the Falangists to launch.

Israel maintained its relationship with the Falangists through the civil war. By 1982 there was an “alliance in principle,” as described by papers in the Kahan annex. Trained in Israel up to Israeli military standards, however this is understood, Israel was confident that the Falangist tough Bashir Gemayel, the dominant figure in the Christian umbrella group, the Lebanese Forces (LF), had evolved “from the emotional leader of a gang, full of hatred, into a relatively prudent and cautious political leader.” No doubt this was how Bashir presented himself at meetings with the Israelis, but his actions in the past, and in the future, indicate that he was merely concealing the brutality that still lay within.

In January, 1976, the LF attacked the slum Karantina port district of Beirut, killing or massacring at least 1000 Palestinian fighters and civilians. In June, the Falangists, along with other LF factions, including the Lebanese Tigers of the Chamoun family and the Guardians of the Cedars, besieged the Tal al Za’atar Palestinian camp. Their military equipment included US tanks and armored cars. The camp held out for 35 days before being overrun. Up to 3000 Palestinian civilians were slaughtered.

The Kahan papers include an interesting exchange between Ariel Sharon and Shimon Peres, Minister of Defence in 1976, who asked Sharon whether an IDF officer had warned him against sending the Falangists into Sabra and Shatila. Sharon responded that “you” (the Rabin government of 1976 of which Peres was part) had established the relationship with the Falangists and maintained it even after the massacre at Tal al Zaatar:

“You [Peres] spoke of the moral image of the government. After Tal al Zaatar, Mr Peres, you have no monopoly on morality. We did not accuse you, you have accused us. The same moral principle which was raised by the Tal al Za’atar incident [sic.] still exists. The Phalangists murdered in Shatila and the Phalangists murdered in Tal Za’atar. The link is a moral one: should we get involved with the Phalangists or not? You supported them and continued to do so after Tal Za’atar. Mr Rabin and Mr Peres, there were no IDF officers in Shatila, the same way they were absent from Tal Za’atar.” What is left unsaid is that Israel had a ‘liaison office’ at Tal al Za’ater even if IDF officers were not inside the camp.

‘High stature’

The refrain constantly repeated by Israeli intelligence and military personnel in 1982 was that no-one expected the Falangists to behave so badly. They were people of high calibre, people of quality, “men of much higher personal stature than is common among Arabs,” according to the statements made to the Kahan commission.

“I interrogated the Lebanese commanders [all Lebanese ‘commanders’ operated under direct Israeli command],” said Sharon. “I asked them, why have you done it? They looked into my eyes, as I am looking at you and their eyes did not twitch. They said ‘we did not do this, it was not us.’ I am not talking about bums, we are talking about people who are engineers and lawyers, the entire young elite, an intelligentsia, and they are looking into my eyes and saying ‘we did not do it.’

In fact, not just during the long civil war but throughout its invasion of Lebanon in 1982, Israel had abundant evidence of the Falangist capacity for brutality, not just in the massacre of Muslims caught at checkpoints or the Druze in the mountains but in the statements of Falangist leaders. On September 12, two days before he was assassinated, Bashir Gemayel told Sharon that conditions “should be created” which would result in the Palestinians leaving Lebanon.

At the same meeting it transpired that the Israelis had evidence that “as a consequence of Elie Hobeika’s activities” 1200 people had “disappeared.” Hobeika, a senior and extremely brutal Falangist figure, implicated in the CIA attempt in 1985 to assassinate the Shia spiritual leader, Shaikh Muhammad Hussain Fadlallah, was assassinated in 2002 shortly after he announced he was ready to give evidence in a Belgian court about Sharon’s role in the Sabra-Shatila massacres. His car was blown up, his head landing on the balcony of a nearby apartment.

On July 8 Bashir spoke of wanting to bulldoze the Palestinian camps in southern Lebanon. At a later meeting, asked by Sharon “What would you do about the refugee camps?,” he replied “We are planning a real zoo.”

An IDF colonel gave evidence to the Kahan commission that it was “possible to surmise from contacts with Phalange leaders” what their intentions were. If Sabra would become a zoo, Shatila’s destiny was to be a parking lot.

The IDF colonel spoke of massacres of Druze villagers by Elie Hobeika and his men. A document dated June 23 refers to “some 500 people” detained by Christians in Beirut being “terminated.” Nahum Admoni, the Mossad head, who said he knew Bashir well, having met frequently with him in 1974/5, said that “When he talked in terms of demographic change it was always in terms of killing and elimination. This was his instinctive style.” The “demographic change” refers to Bashir’s concern at the size of Lebanon’s Shia population, and its high natural birth date compared to the Christians. To resolve this problem, Bashar said, “several Deir Yassins will be necessary.”

While referring to Bashir’s brutal talk, Admoni said that “at the same time he was a political human being and as such he had an extremely cautious thinking process and thus he avoided taking part in various warlike activities.” The evidence does not bear out the last part of this statement, as Bashar had a long record even before 1982 of engaging in extremely brutal “warlike activities.”

The violence during the Israeli onslaught on Lebanon ran from the Falangists at one end of the spectrum to the extreme violence of Ariel Sharon, including massacres of civilians in Gaza and the West Bank, at the other end. The two extremes met in the middle at Sabra and Shatila and the outcome was predictably catastrophic.

‘Totally subservient’

What must be reaffirmed is that the “cleaning” or “combing” out of Sabra and Shatila was planned, coordinated and commanded by the Israeli military. It was not a Falangist operation with Israel playing some loose supervisory role. It was an Israel operation, involving the intelligence agencies and approved by the Israeli government. The Falangists were trained and armed by Israel and the LF commanders were “totally subservient” to the commander of the Israeli force sent to the camps, the 96th division. The Falangists were told when to enter the camps and when to leave. The Israelis lit up the camps at night with flares so the Falangists could see what they were doing (or who they were killing) and they stood ready to provide medical assistance to wounded men and intervene if they got into trouble.

Any notion that Menahim Begin, the Prime Minister, had no idea what was going on until a later stage has to be discarded. As Sharon remarked at a Cabinet meeting on August 12, “to say that I speak with the PM five times a day would be an understatement.”

Israel had agreed in negotiations with the Americans not to enter West Beirut. The assassination of Bashir Gemayel on September 14 precipitated the invasion of West Beirut the following day, the seizure of key positions and the encirclement of Sabra and Shatila according to a well-prepared plan. The Falangists entered the camps in the early evening of September 16, on Israeli orders, and did not withdraw until September 18, again on Israeli orders.

There were no “terrorists” in the camps, let alone the 2500 Sharon claimed had been left behind after the PLO withdrawal from Beirut in August. There were only civilians and there was no armed resistance from them. The Falangists did their work silently, mostly with knives so that the next victim would not be aware of the fate of the one before him (or her – many of the dead were women and children and even the camp animals were butchered) until it was too late.

The Falangist liaison office was established in the headquarters of the 96th Israeli division, where eavesdropping yielded unspecified “important evidence,” according to the Kahan commission annex. Professional electronic tapping of the Falangist communications network inside the camps was maintained in addition to “improvised” tapping of the conversations inside the HQ of the 96th division. According to the Kahan commission’s annex, the Falangist liaison officer reported “abnormal occurrences” in the camps to several officers only a few hours after the Falangists entered them.

Clearly, statements by intelligence and military personnel that they did not know what was going, or that they did not know until it was too late cannot be taken at face value. There was no gunfire from the camps and no resistance as would have been expected from armed “terrorists.” In this deathly silence, with no bursts of gunfire, and not the slightest sign or sound of armed combat, did the Israelis really think the Falangists were only killing armed men? Furthermore, Sharon had made it clear that he wanted to break up all the Palestinian camps and disperse their inhabitants. A cruel and brutal figure, he was perfectly capable of doing it. What could be better calculated to drive Palestinian civilians everywhere into panicked flight than an even more monstrous Deir Yassin? There may be a lot more evidence about this, textual and graphic, that has not made its way even into the secret annex.

Sharon freely insulted and demeaned the two chief US representatives in Beirut, Ambassador Morris Draper, whom he accused of impudence in demanding that Israel withdraw from West Beirut, and President Reagan’s special envoy, Philip Habib. “Did I make myself clear?,” “Don’t complain all the time” and “I’m sick of this” are samples of his aggression when in their company but as he said of the Americans on another occasion, “I hate them.”

Ghost towns

This remorseless liar claimed that there were no civilians in the camps. “I want you to know that Burj al Barajneh and its vicinity and the area of Shatila and similar places are ghost towns” he insisted, according to the Kahan annex. In August, as the aerial and land bombardment of Beirut approached its peak, he told the Cabinet that “we are not striking at the area where the Sunni Lebanese population resides.” On August 18 he lied again: “Today there is no-one living in the refugee camps. Only terrorists remain in the refugee camps. That is where their positions remain, in the refugee camps. That is where their positions, bunkers and HQs were located, and all the civilians had fled.” In fact, the camps were packed with civilians who had nowhere else to go, while in West Beirut, thousands of Sunni Muslims, Christians, and anyone who was living there, were being killed in air strikes.

At the same time Sharon had the extraordinary gall to present himself as some kind of saviour of the civilian population.   After entering West Beirut he remarked that “in reality we are not looking for anybody’s praise but if praise is due, then it’s ours as we saved Beirut from total anarchy. On September 21, a few days after the Sabra and Shatila massacres, he told the Cabinet that “We prevented a bloodbath.” In fact, the invasion had been a bloodbath from the beginning. By the end of the year about 19,000 people had been killed, almost all of them Palestinian or Lebanese civilians.

Two issues take up numerous pages in the Kahan report annex. One is the speed with which the Israeli army moved into West Beirut after the assassination of Bashir Gemayel. The reason was that the assassination “threatened to bring down the entire political structure and undermine the military plan years in preparation over long months.” Having promised full support, Bashar had ultimately refused to send the Falangists into West Beirut and with this commanding figure dead, the Israelis feared that their invasion was going to fail at the critical moment. With no-one to stop them, Sharon’s imaginary “terrorists” would be free to rebuild their infrastructure.

‘Supreme value’

The other issue is why Israel did not send its own troops into the camps. As expressed in the Kahan papers, “the expected nature of the fighting in the camps did not arouse much enthusiasm for the deployment of the IDF.” There would be difficult fighting “which could result in a lot of bloodshed in a densely populated area, where terrorists who have to be located are disguised as civilians in a hostile environment.” Such an action would involve a large number of casualties and the IDF had no wish to involve itself “in such an unpleasant but necessary military move.”

The deployment of the Falangists instead caused “great relief” to the military: the “supreme value” governing the decision was the desire not to cause IDF casualties. So, Israel’s proxies were sent in to do the dirty work instead.

After being elected president, as he was in a dodgy way in August, Bashir Gemayel had shown he realised he would have to act as one, which meant putting the Lebanese consensus before the alliance with Israel. He would have to work with the Sunnis and Shia and repair the fractured relations with other Maronite factions. He would have to take the interests of Arab states into account.   He could not simultaneously be Lebanon’s president and Israel’s president.   As a senior Falangist figure, Antun Fattal, remarked to Morris Draper on December 13, 1982: “Our economy is dependent on the Arab world and we cannot sacrifice it because of a peace treaty [as demanded by Israel].”

On December 14, Bashar’s successor, and milder brother, Amin, asked Israel to stop all contact with Lebanon, saying that he intended to announce at the UN that Lebanon was occupied by Israel. Like Bashir, he knew he had to respect the Lebanese consensus. By the end of 1982 what Israel had comprehensively demonstrated was that it simply did not understand Lebanon. All it had was brute force. The invasion certainly succeeded in changing the geo-political strategic situation, but not to Israel’s advantage. Yes, the PLO went, but only for Hizbullah to take its place. By 2000 Hizbullah had driven Israel out of the occupied south, in 2006 it frustrated Israel again and by 2018 it had missiles that will cause unprecedented damage if Israel goes to war again. The country Israel regarded as the weakest link in the Arab chain had turned out to be one of the toughest.

By Jeremy Salt
Source

«إسرائيل» تخشى حرب استنزاف

 

أكتوبر 4, 2018

«إسرائيل» تخشى حرب استنزاف

على الجبهة الشمالية واختفاء الكيان!

محمد صادق الحسيني

في ظل الإحباط الشديد، الذي يسود الأوساط العسكرية والأمنية «الإسرائيلية»، نتيجة تراكم انتصارات حلف المقاومة على كامل مسرح المواجهة، خاصة انتصارات الميدان السوري، وبالرغم من الهرطقات التي يحاول نتن ياهو تسويقها على انها حقائق ومعلومات، سواء تلك الخاصة بإيران أو المسرحية الهزلية الخاصة بلبنان، وجدنا لزاماً علينا أن نطمئن جمهور المقاومة وكل الأحرار في العالم.

وكذلك تجمّع المستوطنين اليهود في فلسطين المحتلة والذين يطلق عليهم البعض تسمية «الإسرائيليين» بأن الوضع المعنوي والنفسي لجيش الاحتلال «الإسرائيلي» وقادة مختلف صنوف أسلحته ليست على ما يرام. وإليكم الأسباب:

أولاً: التصريح الصحافي، الذي ادلى به المستشار الجديد للرئيس الأميركي لشؤون سورية يوم 28/9/2018 جيمس جيفيري James Jeffrey، على هامش أعمال الجمعية العمومية للأمم المتحدة، والذي قال فيه: «ليس لدينا توجّهات لإجبار الإيرانيين على مغادرة سورية إضافة الى اننا لا نعتقد ان الروس سيستطيعون إخراج الإيرانيين من سورية» على افتراض أنهم قرروا ذلك .

وهذا الكلام واضح لا لَبْس فيه: إقرار بعجز الولايات المتحدة وأذنابها عن تغيير موازين القوى في الميدان السوري وترك جيش نتن ياهو يواجه مصيره المحتوم: الهزيمة المدمّرة في الحرب المقبلة مع قوات حلف المقاومة.

ثانياً: إن رئيس أركان الجيش «الإسرائيلي»، الجنرال غادي إيزنكوت وقائد سلاح الجو «الإسرائيلي»، الجنرال عاميكام نوركين، كانا يعتقدان أنهما من نسور الجو في السماء السورية، ولكن أحداث مساء 17/9/2018 أثبتت عكس ذلك. إذ إن طياري هذا السلاح حاولوا التغطية على فشلهم في تنفيذ مهمتهم عن طريق إسقاط الطائرة الروسية، اليوشن 20، مما أدى الى استشهاد 15 ضابطاً من خيرة الضباط الروس في مجال الاستطلاع الإلكتروني.

لكن التطورات التي شهدها الميدان السوري، خاصة في مجال التسلّح وتطوير وسائط الدفاع الجوي والحرب الإلكترونية، والتي أعقبت إسقاط الطائرة الروسية والزيارة الفاشلة لقائد سلاح الجو «الإسرائيلي» الى موسكو، وقيام وزير الدفاع الروسي، الجنرال سيرجي شويغو، بالإعلان عن تلك الإجراءات شخصياً، قد جعل الموقف «الإسرائيلي» ينزلق الى وضع دراماتيكي جداً.

ثالثاً: وهذا ما أكده تصريح مستشار مجمع الصناعات المختص بتكنولوجيا الاتصالات الراديو إلكترونية Radio- Electronic Technologies، السيد فلاديمير ميخييف Vladimir Micheyev، والذي قال فيه: «إن أنظمة الدفاع الجوي السورية وانظمة الحرب الإلكترونية السورية التي تم تشغيلها بعد إسقاط الطائرة الروسية قادرة على رصد أية طائرة «إسرائيلية» أو سعودية أو أي طائرة تنطلق من القواعد الأميركية هناك أو في الاْردن أو حتى أوروبية وهي لا زالت على الأرض. أي بمجرد أن تتحرك أي طائرة «إسرائيلية» أو أوروبية أو من القواعد الأميركية في أوروبا من العنبر باتجاه مدرج الإقلاع تقوم الرادارات وأجهزة الرصد الإلكتروني السورية بالتقاطها ورصدها وإعطائها رقماً أو رمزاً كود فيتم إدخاله إلى أدمغة بطاريات الصواريخ، الروسية والسورية، المضادة للطائرات التي تبدأ التعامل العملياتي معه قبل الانطلاق مما يجعل نسبة النجاح في أسقاط الهدف تصل إلى ما يزيد على 98 .

فهل يفهم جنرالات وضباط أركان العدو معنى هذا الكلام!؟

إنه يعني قدرة أسلحة الدفاع الجوي السورية على ضرب أي طائرة من طائراتكم قبل أن تتحرك من مكانها. أي أن أجواء كلّ من سورية ولبنان وفلسطين المحتلة وغيرها قد أصبحت منطقة حظر طيران يمنع عليكم القيام بأي نشاط جوي عملي ومؤثر فيها اللهم إلا للاستعراض..!

وهذا بالضبط هو الدافع الذي جعل مستشار ترامب لشؤون سورية يبشّركم بعدم قدرة الولايات المتحدة على إخراج إيران من سورية وبالتالي انعدام وجود أي إمكانية لديكم للتأثير في موازين القوى الميدانية في ساحات المواجهة، من باب المندب مروراً بقطاع غزة ولبنان وفلسطين وصولاً الى العراق وإيران.

رابعاً: وبالإضافة الى ما تقدم، حول قدرات الدفاعات الجوية السورية وأجهزة الحرب الإلكترونية، فإن ما يزيد الوضع الاستراتيجي «الإسرائيلي» تعقيداً وكارثية، وليس الوضع التكتيكي فقط والمتصل بإمكانيات محاولة تنفيذ عمليات إغارة جوية أو قصف صاروخي لأهداف عسكرية في الأراضي السورية، إن ما يزيد هذا الوضع تعقيداً هو تفعيل القيادتين الروسية والسورية لمنظومات الدفاع الجوي من طراز /يبشورا / ام 2 / Pechorsa M 2 والذي يسمى أيضاً: نيفا / اس 125 / Neva – S 125 والمخصص للتصدي للأهداف الجوية التي تطير على ارتفاعات منخفضة جداً، سواء كانت مروحيات أو صواريخ جوالة صواريخ كروز مثل التوماهوك أو غيرها من الأهداف الجوية التي قد تنفذ بمعنى تفلت من أو تخترق النظام من شبكة صواريخ أس 300 وأس 400 .

أي أن تكامل هذه الأنظمة أصبح يقدم حماية أو مظلة جوية قادرة، وبنسبة 100 على تأمين أجواء كافة المدن والمنشآت العسكرية والمدنية الهامة في كافة أنحاء سورية ولبنان.

خامساً: ولكل الأسباب المذكورة أعلاه، مضاف اليها خوف القادة العسكريين والمدنيين في «إسرائيل» من مفاجآت أخرى، على صعيد القدرات التسليحية لقوات حلف المقاومة، فإن وضع هؤلاء القادة يسوده الإحباط الشديد والخوف مما يخبئه لهم المستقبل، خاصة أن قادة «إسرائيل» قد تولّدت لديهم قناعة بأن الموقف الروسي تجاه كيانهم قد أصبح موقفاً معادياً ولَم يعد موقفاً متشدداً أو منتقداً فقط.

وهو بالتالي بدأ يقترب من موقف الاتحاد السوفياتي السابق من «إسرائيل» والذي كان موقفاً مؤيداً للعرب بلا تحفظ.

وبكلمات أخرى، فإن موجة الرعب التي تجتاح الكيان «الإسرائيلي» لا بد أن يكون أحد أسبابها هو القناعة «الإسرائيلية» بأن روسيا تؤسس لحرب استنزاف جديدة ضدّ الجيش «الإسرائيلي» على الجبهة الشمالية تذكر بحرب الاستنزاف التي خاضتها مصر عبد الناصر على جبهة قناة السويس ومعها قوات الثورة الفلسطينية في الأردن حتى سنة 1970 وفي الجولان السوري حتى عامي 1972/1973. تلك الحرب التي مهدت الطريق أمام انطلاق حرب تشرين 1973 والانتصار الذي تحقق خلالها.

سادساً: لا بد من القول لـ«جنرالات» الجيش «الإسرائيلي» بأنه آن الأوان لتقديم أحر التعازي لكم بـ «الجيش الذي لا يُقهر» وبسلاح الجو «المتفوق» والذي «كان يملك» السيطرة الجوية في اجواء «الشرق الأوسط «…!.

وإلى اللقاء مع صواريخ بيشورا / 2 / وما بعد بعد بيشورا /2 / Pechora 2 .

في هذه الأثناء ثمة من يسأل:

هل اقتربت نهاية «إسرائيل» كما تنقل تقارير تتحدث عن هجرة مليونية تنتظرها روسيا وأميركا من الكيان..!؟

يكفي في هذا السياق التذكير بأن يهود اميركا شكلوا أخيراً ميليشيا أسموها: سيف داود / تعدادها 300 ألف مسلّح يتم تدريبهم والإشراف على تشكيلاتهم العسكرية من قبل ضباط متقاعدين في الجيش «الإسرائيلي».

الهدف من وراء ذلك هو: حماية اليهود من حملات الإبادة في الولايات المتحدة مستقبلاً، كما يقول هؤلاء!

بعدنا طيّبين، قولوا الله.

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