Learning from Your Enemy: Methodological Failures in Western War Analysis

October 12, 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

Failing to read and understand one’s enemy is dangerous, as Lao Tzu said many centuries ago, creating an ignorant ‘yes man’ culture of self-deception.

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“There is no greater danger than underestimating your opponent” – Lao Tzu

Washington’s role in at least eight Middle East wars of the 21st century (against the peoples of Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Iran, and Yemen) has been hotly debated between two broad camps: those (including this writer) who regard them all as illegal wars of aggression; and those who either imagine they are not connected or defend them as the necessary policing measures of a global hegemon.

However this debate is plagued by poor method, and in particular by a strategic bias that adopts obligatory ‘loyalty’ elements and fails to study what are seen as enemy perspectives. That cripples even the most articulate and apparently critical discussions.

Yet failing to read and understand one’s enemy is dangerous, as Lao Tzu said many centuries ago, creating an ignorant ‘yes man’ culture of self-deception. The refusal to read and learn from a substantial enemy is simply childish or ignorant cynicism.

Let me illustrate this problem with a few articles from the ‘New Middle East’ wars, a piece on Yemen by Bruce Riedel (Brookings, 2017), an article on Iran by Hassan Hassan (Politico, 2020), and a discussion on terrorism by Paul Pillar (Responsible Statecraft, 2021). These are far from the worst of western war analysis, but all share similar methodological problems.

1. The obligatory but misleading element: strategic loyalty

Many years into these various wars, to ‘qualify’ as published war discussion western journals carry a strong expectation of some initial expression of loyalty to the overall project, if not to all the tactics. In the most obvious version of this, the analyst directly identifies with a state party at war, speaking in the first person plural (“we”).

So Riedel speaks of “our de facto enemies”, asking “why are we at war” with “the Houthis” (i.e. the Ansarallah-led Yemeni government), while Pillar refers to “our allies” and Hassan to “our adversaries”. This is an immediate sign of biased orientation, but also of a desire to please and so qualify with likely patrons.

Loyalty is also expressed by an early denunciation of the enemy. Most of the permissible western media criticisms of “Israel”, for example, begin with a denunciation of the Palestinian resistance, or of Iranian support for the resistance. At the least loyalty to the big power must be demonstrated by suggesting some kind of moral equivalence. 

The targets of terrorism should also be relatively privileged groups. In the case of Pillar’s criticism of Israeli terrorism, itself a departure from the normal western defense of the Zionist entity, he chooses the earlier British victims of Israeli terrorism – rather than the many thousands of contemporary Palestinian victims – and makes a moral equivalence with Palestinian resistance. The latter is typically reduced to “Hamas” and their alleged “poorly guided rockets”.  All this is to qualify the discussion for western publication and consumption.

Terminology also plays an important part in demonstrating loyalty, with the enemy described as a “regime” (implicitly illegitimate) and the intervening western power cloaked in an assumed stabilizing or conflict resolution role. 

With this in mind, Hassan speaks of Iranian influence as “a problem for the United States”, the Syrian government as a “regime”. Middle Eastern nations are said to be riven by sectarian conflicts (e.g. Sunni v. Shi’ite) and other “complexities”. On the other hand, Washington faces problems as a “stabilizing ally”. Pillar speaks of the Saudi-backed idea for repartition (and weakening) of Yemen as a “federal solution”.

2. Allowable criticism, within permissible space

Taking the problem-solving and stabilizing role of Washington as a given, criticism is allowed mainly as regards tactics. Accepting the benevolence of hegemonic prerogatives is a general principle of qualification. It is unimportant that this has little to do with post-colonial international law.

So Riedel writes of the US supposedly looking for a “political solution” in Yemen, while Hassan speaks of the US seeking to “stabilize” the region in face of the allegedly opportunistic agendas of Iran and the Saudis. 

Riedel also spoke of Yemen as a “complex problem” for US President Obama, while Pillar comfortingly agreed that it is necessary for Washington to “conduct business” with both “Israel” and Saudi Arabia, despite their terrorism. No real question is raised about what business the USA has initiating war after war in the Middle East region.

Indeed any serious questioning of the overall aims or strategy of western interventions would most likely invalidate or disqualify the article. It would not be published. Yet criticism of the tactical (and chronic) failure of interventionist wars to achieve their goals is allowed.

3. What can be learned from the enemy?

State integrated media (which includes most corporate media, as they are typically key associates of western states) typically steers mass audiences away from enemy media at times of war. Many analysts also either accommodate or fall prey to that prohibition. 

In recent decades we have seen many exhortations to stay away from the ‘regime media’ of China, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Syria, and so on. Enemy ‘regime’ media is often labeled as such in western social media. Not so the BBCVoice of America etc. In fact the US government has been busy taking down dozens of Iranian websites and banning or blocking Russian, Venezuelan, Chinese, Cuban, and other social media accounts linked to these various ‘enemy’ nations.

The problem for western war analysts in adopting this dictate is that important lessons are missed. In general, it is wrong to ignore ‘enemy’ sources because they might be seen as “biased” or “unreliable”. Any source with detailed information (as opposed to just spin and slogans) can be informative, properly read, in at least the following ways. 

A. Concessions and admissions: biased or enemy sources, when they contain detailed information, can make concessions on particular matters. This can help avoid pointless and endless debates. For example, senior US officials admitted in 2014 that US allies were funding and arming virtually all the Middle Eastern terrorist groups including ISIS, in support of US efforts to remove the Syrian Government. Syrian and Iranian sources had said this for some years, but the US admissions helped expose the charade.

B. Alerts to information and argument: hostile or ‘unreliable’ sources may alert us to particular information or argument, including independent factual information as well as vulnerabilities in enemy arguments. Any serious researcher or observer must remain open to the possibility that hostile sources might be correct, at least on some particular matters. The Israeli media, for example, understands this well. It has made the statements of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah virtually mandatory reading, while the man is effectively banned in much other western media, including social media.

The lesson, therefore, should be how to intelligently read enemy sources, rather than avoid them. This must be done according to principle, that is, with regard to general principle and using traditional forensic tools while recognizing self-interest. This requires developing an ability to distinguish between self-serving statements and admissions against interest, a common distinction in law.

Learning in this regard has more to do with observing the detail of argument and particular evidence, and less about the adoption and recitation of conclusions.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Legalized Apartheid: The Israeli Supreme Court Just Cemented Jewish Supremacy into Law

July 16th, 2021

By Jessica Buxbaum

Source

JERUSALEM — In November of last year, an Israeli judge invoked the controversial Jewish Nation-State Basic Law when striking down a lawsuit against the city of Karmiel over funding transportation for two Palestinian students.

In his ruling, the chief registrar of the Krayot Magistrate’s Court, Yaniv Luzon, said that establishing an Arabic-language school in Karmiel or funding transportation for Palestinian Arab students would “damage the city’s Jewish character” and may encourage Palestinian citizens of Israel to move into Jewish cities, thereby “altering the demographic balance.”

Luzon cited Section 7 of Israel’s Jewish Nation-State Law, writing:

The development and establishment of Jewish settlement is a national value enshrined in the Basic Law and is a worthy and prominent consideration in municipal decision-making, including the establishment of schools and the determination of policies relating to the funding of [school] busing [of students] from outside the city.

The students’ father, Kasem Bakri, said of the judge’s decision, “The municipality treats my sons as guests in the best of times and as enemies in the worst of times.” The family was fined 2,000 shekels (roughly $600) and ordered to pay all of the court’s expenses.

The court ruling came just before a Supreme Court hearing on 15 petitions submitted by human rights organizations and Palestinian political leaders challenging the Nation-State Law in December. After only one discussion on the law, the high court last week rejected the petitions and upheld the 2018 law in a 10 to 1 decision.  The single dissenting opinion was from the only Palestinian justice on the court, Justice George Kara.

Swift condemnation of the Supreme Court’s decision

“The Israel Supreme Court approved a law that establishes a constitutional identity, which completely excludes those who do not belong to the majority group. This Law is illegitimate and violates absolute prohibitions of international law,” Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel wrote in a press release. Adalah, one of the law’s petitioners, deemed this piece of legislation “a law that clearly shows the Israeli regime as a colonial one, with distinct characteristics of apartheid.”

Israel: Not a Democracy. Apartheid
Activists drop a banner reading “Israel: Not a Democracy. Apartheid” from atop the Israeli military court in Jaffa, July 12, 2020. Photo | Activestills

“The Supreme Court refrained from doing what was essential — to defend the basic right to equality,” Dr. Yousef Jabareen, chair of the Human Rights Forum in the High Follow-up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel and a former member of the Knesset, said in a statement, adding:

The so-called ‘Jewish Nation-State’ law formalizes in Israeli constitutional law the superior rights and privileges that Jewish citizens of the state enjoy over its indigenous Palestinian minority, who comprise roughly 20% of the population.”

What is the Jewish nation-state law?

In 2018, the Knesset voted to approve the nation-state law by 62 to 55. The basic law essentially legalizes Israel’s apartheid nature and states the following:

  • Exercising the right to national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.
  • The name of the state is ‘Israel.’
  • A greater, united Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

The director of the land and planning rights unit at Adalah, Adv. Suhad Bishara, helped formulate Adalah’s petition against the nation-state law. “The overriding objective of the basic law is to violate both the right to equality and the right to dignity of the Arab citizens of Israel,” she said.

Additionally, the law promotes Jewish settlement and views it as a national value. It also demotes Arabic from one of the two official languages to a “special status.” With the nation-state law’s basic tenets, Palestinian history and identity are effectively erased from the land.

Emphasizing the law’s notion of Jewish settlement and demotion of Arabic, Amnon Be’eri-Sulitzeanu — co-director of Abraham Initiatives, an Israeli nonprofit focused on Jewish-Arab partnership — said the legislation institutionalizes inequality between Israeli Jews and Palestinian citizens of Israel. “It’s creating a situation in which, according to our basic laws, there is a sector in society that is not equal,” Be’eri-Sulitzeanu told MintPress News. “This is something that no democracy can allow.”

In a tweet, Abraham Initiatives advocated for repealing the law, writing that it “establishes the status of Arab citizens in Israel as second-class citizens.”

The nation-state law’s impact

Only a few years old, the nation-state law has already proven it can serve as a legal tool for discrimination and racial segregation.

The Bakri family in Karmiel sued the local municipality over their school transportation costs. Since there isn’t an Arabic-language school in Karmiel, the Bakri children were forced to travel nearly four miles to the town of Rameh for their education. According to the Bakris, the traffic often made the commute more than 30 minutes and cost the family 1,500 shekels (or roughly $460) each month. The family’s lawsuit requested reimbursement for their transportation costs totaling 25,000 shekels (about $7,683).

Nizar Bakri, the children’s uncle and the attorney who filed the lawsuit, condemned the magistrate court’s dismissal of the suit, saying, “The court’s decision wasn’t based on law; it was based on Jewish existence.” Following the ruling, Nizar Bakri filed an appeal with the Haifa District Court. The district court denied the Bakris’ appeal in February but determined the lower court’s reliance on the nation-state law was “fundamentally wrong” and “liable to damage the public’s trust in the courts.”

“The court may have unequivocally ruled that the registrar of the Krayot Magistrate’s Court made a mistake in the use of the nation-state law and its connection to this case, but this ruling should not satisfy the opponents and victims of the nation-state law,” Nizar Bakri told Haaretz.

For Adalah’s Bishara, the district court’s opposition to the magistrate’s court’s use of the nation-state law is irrelevant when it comes to future court decisions, as the grounds for discrimination are officially embedded into law. She explained:

It doesn’t really matter whether it’s explicitly mentioned or not because it’s the legal, constitutional framework that’s there that sets the basic principles of supremacy and of the right to self-determination only for one national ethnic group in the state. This sends a very clear message to all the authorities that you can not only go on with what you have been doing so far in terms of violating the rights of the Palestinian citizens as individuals and as a group, but this will certainly give you more backing to deepen these policies.”

Bishara told MintPress that she anticipates the legislation will add another dimension to Israel’s ongoing discrimination and have huge implications for Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line — not just 1948-occupied Palestine. “Since it speaks about the land of Israel as the historic land of the Jewish people and Jewish settlement as a constitutional value, this combination of both becomes very problematic both in Israel proper and in the Occupied Territories,” she said.

Israel’s long list of discriminatory laws

Globally, the state of Israel touts itself as the “only democracy in the Middle East,” but Dr. Jabareen said the nation-state law “prioritizes the Jewishness of the state over its democratic character,” specifically in “omitting any reference to democracy or equality.” He added:

The nation-state law further marginalizes the Arab-Palestinian community and entrenches Israel’s regime of racial discrimination and deterioration into apartheid. It will lead to more racist, anti-democratic laws, adding to the more than 50 laws already on the books that disadvantage non-Jewish citizens.”

Eyal checkpoint Israel
Palestinian workers cross the Eyal checkpoint, January 10, 2021. Keren Manor | Activestills

According to an Adalah database, Israel has more than 65 laws discriminating against Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). These laws encompass nearly every facet of daily life, from property and housing rights to citizenship and finances. The following are just a few notable examples:

  • The Admissions’ Committees Law, which permits towns built on state land to deny housing to Palestinians based upon the criterion of “social suitability.”
  • The Nakba Law, which bans groups or schools receiving government funding from commemorating Israel’s 1948 ethnic cleansing campaign against Palestinians during the state’s founding (known as the Nakba or Catastrophe).
  • The Boycott Law, which prohibits calls to boycott Israel. This legislation effectively outlaws the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
  • The Absentees’ Property Law, which categorizes individuals who were expelled or fled their property after November 1947 as absentees and thereby having no ownership claims to their properties. However, Jews who lost property during this time are allowed to reclaim their land through the Legal and Administrative Matters Law. These laws are often used to displace Palestinian communities, as has been witnessed in the Occupied East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan.
  • The Law of Return, which guarantees citizenship to all Jews. No law exists guaranteeing Palestinians the right to citizenship — even if they were born in what is now considered modern-day Israel.
  • The Citizenship Law, which bans citizenship rights to Palestinians living in the OPT who are married to Israeli citizens. Settlers living in the Occupied West Bank are exempt. Israel’s new government failed to extend the law this month, but reunification still remains a significant problem for many Palestinian families.

Codifying apartheid into law

While the principles outlined in the nation-state law have always been part of Israel’s foundation and way of governing, enacting this legislation turns these de facto concepts into de jure ones and opens the floodgates for further inequity.

“This nation-state law is validating racist behavior against Palestinian Arabs,” Kasem Bakri said.

Despite the controversial legislation remaining, Kasem Bakri is steadfast. “I exist here as an Arab person and I have the right to be here,” he said. “Palestinians exist here like the cactus and the olive trees. We will never be gone from here.”

Israel’s new government will deepen rifts, not heal them

Mansour Abbas (R) signs a coalition agreement with Yair Lapid (L) and Naftali Bennett in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv, on 2 June 2021 (AFP/United Arab List)

Jonathan Cook

4 June 2021 10:03 UT

The symbolic moment of a Palestinian party sitting in government alongside settler leaders will turn sour all too soon

The photo was unprecedented. It showed Mansour Abbas, leader of an Islamist party for Palestinians in Israel, signing an agreement on Wednesday night to sit in a “government of change” alongside settler leader Naftali Bennett.

Caretaker Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will fervently try to find a way to break up the coalition in the next few days, before a parliamentary vote takes place. But if he fails, it will be the first time in the country’s 73-year history that a party led by a Palestinian citizen has joined – or been allowed to join – an Israeli government. 

There will be a reckoning for this moment, and Israel’s 1.8 million Palestinian citizens… will once again pay the heaviest price

Aside from the symbolism of the moment, there are no other grounds for celebration. In fact, the involvement of Abbas’s four-member United Arab List in shoring up a majority for a government led by Bennett and Yair Lapid is almost certain to lead to a further deterioration in majority-minority relations.

There will be a reckoning for this moment, and Israel’s 1.8 million Palestinian citizens, a fifth of the population, will once again pay the heaviest price.

The sole reason that this makeshift coalition exists – the only glue holding it together – is the hostility of the various parties towards Netanyahu. In most cases, that is not a hostility towards his political positions; simply towards him personally, and towards the corrupting stranglehold he has exerted on Israel’s political system for the past 12 years. 

The “change” referred to by this proposed government coalition begins and ends with the removal of Netanyahu.

Doubly offended

It barely needs stating again that Bennett, who will serve first as prime minister in rotation with Lapid, is even more right wing than Netanyahu. In fact, three of the new coalition’s main parties are at least, if not more, rabidly nationalistic than the Israel’s longtime leader. In any other circumstances, they would be enthusiastically heading into government with his Likud Party.

As Bennett and Mansour huddled inside a hotel near Tel Aviv to sign the coalition agreement as the clocked ticked down on Lapid’s mandate to form a government, far-right demonstrators noisily chanted outside that Bennett was joining a “government with terror supporters”.

Much of the ultra-nationalist right is so incensed by Bennett’s actions that he and other members of his Yamina party have been assigned a security detail for fear of an assassination attempt.

Bennett, set to serve first as prime minister, attends a special Knesset session on 2 June 2021 (AFP)
Bennett, set to serve first as prime minister, attends a special Knesset session on 2 June 2021 (AFP)

No one has forgotten that it was Bennett’s own settler camp that produced Yigal Amir, the man who in 1995 shot dead the then-prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, in a bid to foil the Oslo peace accords with the Palestinians. Amir killed Rabin in large part because the latter was seen to have betrayed the Jewish people by allowing “Arabs” – Palestinian parties in parliament – to prop up his minority government from outside. They did so to pass legislation necessary to begin implementing the Oslo process.

The chain of events that followed the assassination are well-known. Israelis lurched further rightwards and elected Netanyahu. The Oslo track with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was derailed. A Palestinian intifada erupted. And – coming full circle – Netanyahu returned to power and is now Israel’s longest-serving prime minister.

Today’s potential Yigal Amirs are doubly offended by Bennett’s behaviour. They believe he has stabbed the right’s natural leader, Netanyahu, in the back, while at the same time allowing Abbas – seen by the right as Hamas’s man in the Knesset – to dictate policy to the Jewish owners of the land.

Digging in heels

It was notable that Bennett and Abbas were the last to sign the coalition agreement, after both made great play of digging in their heels at the final moment for more concessions. Each risks inflaming their own constituency by being seen to cooperate with the other. 

Commentators will try to spin this agreement between a settler leader and the head of an Islamic party as a potential moment of healing after last month’s unprecedented inter-communal fighting inside Israel.Israel’s incoming government is so unnatural only Netanyahu can keep it togetherRead More »

But such a reading is as misleading as the narrative of the recent “Jewish-Arab clashes”. In fact, protests by Palestinian youths against systematic discrimination escalated into confrontations only after Israeli police turned violent and let Jewish gangs take the law into their own hands. Just as the balance of power on the streets was weighted in favour of Jewish vigilantism, so the balance of forces in this new coalition will work solidly against Abbas.

When Bennett spoke publicly on Sunday, as the horse-trading began in earnest behind the scenes, he underscored his credentials as the former head of the Yesha Council of Jewish settlements. That will be the theme of this proposed “government of change”. 

Pact with the ‘devil’

During the coalition-building negotiations, the more moderate Labor and Meretz parties conceded time and again to the demands of the far-right and settler parties on ministerial positions and policy. That is because the moderates have nowhere else to go. 

They have built their whole electoral strategy on ousting Netanyahu at any cost, using the anti-Netanyahu street protests of the past two years as their rallying cry. They cannot afford to be seen as missing this opportunity.

By contrast, as the death threats highlight, Bennett has far more to lose. Some 60 percent of his party’s voters recently told pollsters they would not have backed him had they known he would join a coalition with Lapid. Equally at risk are Gideon Saar, whose New Hope party broke away from Likud to challenge Netanyahu, and Avigdor Lieberman, a settler politician whose right-wing base has found in him their local strongman.

The Achilles heel Netanyahu will keep prodding as viciously as he can is the fact that his rivals on the right have made a Faustian pact with the Arab ‘devil’

These three must now do everything in their power during the term of this new government – if it happens – to prove to their constituencies that they are not betraying the far-right’s favourite causes, from settlements to annexation. Baiting them from the sidelines at every turn will be Netanyahu, stirring up passions on the right – at least until he is forced to step down, either by his party or by a verdict against him in his current corruption trial

The Achilles heel Netanyahu will keep prodding as viciously as he can is the fact that his rivals on the right have made a Faustian pact with the Arab “devil”. Netanyahu has never been shy to incite against the Palestinian minority. To imagine he will restrain himself this time is fanciful. 

Bennett understands the danger, which is why he tried to legitimise his dealings with Abbas on Thursday by calling him “a brave leader”. But Bennett was also keen to emphasise that Abbas would not be involved in any security matters and that he was not interested in “nationalism” – in this case, indicating that Abbas will neither offer support to Palestinians under occupation nor seek to advance national rights for Palestinian citizens of the kind Israeli Jews enjoy. 

Early on Thursday, Netanyahu had decried the new coalition as “dangerous” and “left wing”. He will most likely be in the driving seat, even while in opposition. Far from healing the country, a “government of change” could rapidly provoke yet more street violence, especially if Netanyahu believes such a deterioration would weaken Bennett as prime minister.

Extracting benefits

Abbas, the United Arab List leader, reportedly held out until last before signing. His whole electoral strategy was built on a promise to end the permanent exclusion of Palestinian parties from Israel’s national politics. He will be keen to show how many benefits he can extract from his role inside government – even if most are privileges the Jewish majority have always enjoyed by right.

Abbas trumpeted that the agreement would “provide solutions for the burning issues in Arab society – planning, the housing crisis, and of course, fighting violence and organised crime”. He has reportedly secured some $16bn in extra budgets for development and infrastructure, and three of the many Bedouin villages the state has long refused to recognise will be given legal status.

Abbas, the United Arab List leader, is pictured in Jerusalem on 5 April 2021 (AFP)
Abbas, the United Arab List leader, is pictured in Jerusalem on 5 April 2021 (AFP)

Abbas is also pushing for the repeal of a 2017 law that makes tens of thousands of homes in Palestinian communities inside Israel vulnerable to demolition.

One of his fellow legislators, Walid Taha, observed of the United Arab List’s new role: “For decades, Arab Israelis [Palestinian citizens] have been without any influence. Now, everyone knows that we’re the deciding votes as far as politics goes.”

Abbas has every incentive to use such claims as a whip to beat his rivals in the Joint List, a coalition of several other Palestinian parties that are staying in opposition. He needs to emphasise his role in bringing about change to make them look weak and irrelevant.

Hostility and disdain

But despite the promises that lured Abbas into the new government, he will face a rough ride getting any of them translated into tangible changes on the ground.

Lapid will be busy as foreign minister, selling this as a new era in Israeli politics. Meanwhile, Benny Gantz, the current defence minister who just oversaw the destruction yet again of Gaza, will offer continuity.

Back home, the key internal ministries will be held by the far-right. Lieberman will control the purse strings through the finance ministry, directing funds to settlements before Palestinian communities inside Israel. Bennett’s partner, Ayelet Shaked, will be interior minister, meaning the settlements in the occupied West Bank will be treated as more integral to Israel than the communities of Palestinian citizens. And Saar will be justice minister, helping to drive the legal system even further to the right.Israel: Four reasons Benjamin Netanyahu’s era is not over yetRead More »

Faced with this bloc, all of them keen to be seen as upholding the values of the right, Abbas will struggle to make any progress. And that is without considering the situation he will find himself in if Bennett pushes for annexation of the West Bank, or authorises another police invasion of al-Aqsa, or oversees the expulsion of Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah, or launches a fresh attack on Gaza. 

Abbas put the coalition negotiations on pause during Israel’s assault on Gaza last month. He won’t be able to do the same from inside the government. He will be directly implicated. 

As a result, Palestinian citizens are likely to end up growing even more disillusioned with a political system that has always treated them with a mix of hostility and disdain. They will finally have representatives inside government, but will continue to be very much outside of it. The triggers for the protests that erupted among young Palestinians in Israel last month are not going away.  

The most likely scenario over the coming months is that Netanyahu and Bennett will engage in a furious competition for who deserves the title of champion of the right. Netanyahu will seek to break apart the coalition as quickly as possible by inciting against Abbas and the Palestinian minority, so he has another shot at power. In turn, Bennett will try to pressure Likud to abandon Netanyahu so that Bennett can collapse the “government of change” as quickly as possible and rejoin a large majority, far-right government with Likud. 

Rifts will not be healed; coexistence will not be revived. But the preeminence of the ultra-nationalist right – with or without Netanyahu – will be restored. 

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

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Europe’s Failure Over Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Due to Germany’s Nazi Guilt and EU’s Subservience to United States

June 1, 2021

See the source image
Former editor and writer for major news media organizations. He has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages

Finian Cunningham

The international community has to end its support for the apartheid state of Israel and must stop the genocide of the Palestinian people, says MEP Mick Wallace in an interview with Finian Cunningham.

Mick Wallace, an independent Irish Member of the European Parliament, speaks his mind to Strategic Culture Foundation about the recent violence in Gaza where 248 people were killed by the Israeli military. Among the dead were 66 children during 11 days of bombardment of the Palestinian territory. Nearly 2,000 were injured in airstrikes on the densely populated coastal strip where two million people live in appalling deprivation. Hundreds of homes and civilian infrastructure were destroyed by the Israeli forces armed with U.S. warplanes and munitions. Rockets fired by Palestinian militant group Hamas killed 12 Israelis, including two children. Yet the United States and the European Union stridently declared support for Israel’s “right to self-defense” while not categorically denouncing the slaughter of Palestinians. Mick Wallace condemns what he calls the complicity of America and the European Union in Israeli war crimes. He says the oppression of Palestinians will continue tragically because, effectively, the U.S. and EU are sponsoring genocide. However, he notes, Western governments are increasingly out of step with public opinion horrified by Israel’s wanton occupation of Palestinian territory.

Wallace was elected to the EU parliament in 2019. He is an independent MEP who is affiliated with the European Party of the Left. He is an outspoken critic of American imperialism and European complicity in NATO aggression towards Russia. His weekly podcast frequently explores and condemns Russophobia in EU foreign policy which he says is due to the bloc’s subservience to Washington. Wallace’s outspoken internationalism and anti-imperialism have gained him much popular support in Ireland and abroad.

Interview

Question: American and European politicians commonly declare their support for Israel’s “right to self-defense”. However, you have stated that Israel does not have such a right. Many people would condemn your statement given the barrage of rockets fired at Israel by the Palestinian militant group Hamas. Can you explain why you think Israel does not have a right to self-defense?

Mick Wallace: Gaza is the largest concentration camp in the world. Do concentration camp guards have the right to self-defense? The indigenous people, the Palestinians, have the right to self-defense, not the colonizer. Does Israel have the right to self-defense? Does Israel have the right to commit crimes against humanity?

Question: During the recent eruption of hostilities between the Israelis and Palestinians, the European Union showed little leadership in calling for a ceasefire. Why is the EU so ineffective in resolving a conflict which is on Europe’s periphery?

Mick Wallace: It would probably be fair to say that when it comes to foreign policy, the European Union has never been so weak.

Question: European leaders aspire for the EU to be a global political force. But the EU is all too often seen as subordinate to the United States. With regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Europe seems too deferential to Washington. Is that a fair criticism?

Mick Wallace: Yes, the EU does not have the courage to challenge the United States on these matters.

Question: You have been especially critical of Germany and the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who was formerly the German minister of defense, for their appeasement of Israel by not criticizing its illegal occupation of Palestinian territories. You have made the point that Germany’s historical guilt from Nazism and the Holocaust is a factor. Can you elaborate on that point?

Mick Wallace: Von der Leyen is a weak European Commission president but her statement on the conflict emphasizing Israel’s supposed right to self-defense was a new low. Sixty-six Palestinian children were killed by the illegal occupier, Israel, while Hamas killed two Israeli children. And yet Von der Leyen could only condemn Hamas. Germany backs Israel because of its guilt over Nazi horror. Yet in appeasing Israel, German politicians are complicit today in crimes against humanity akin to those of Nazi Germany.

Question: Other European countries were also complicit in Nazi crimes against Jews, such as France and the Baltic states, Austria, Romania, and Hungary. During the latest violence, Austrian public buildings were draped with the flag of Israel. Does the specter of the past Nazi horrors and European guilt account for the EU’s failings with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

Mick Wallace: There’s no doubt that German guilt for the terrible atrocities committed against European Jews is a factor. The failure of so many German Members of the European Parliament to criticize Israeli war crimes is shocking, but other forces are also at play. Israel is a vital part of the United States Empire, and that’s reflected in EU subservience to the Americans.

Question: Out of 705 European parliamentarians, a sizable majority seems to be supportive of Israel whereas among European citizens there is strong sympathy for the Palestinians suffering from illegal occupation and oppression. How do you explain such a discrepancy between elected representatives and the general public with regard to views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

Mick Wallace: Politicians rarely represent their citizens.

Question: Is European guilt over Nazism and fascism a factor in the European Parliament’s attempts at World War Two revisionism whereby the Soviet Union is equated with the Nazi Third Reich?

Mick Wallace: I believe it’s more a case of the European Union, at America’s beckoning, trying to undermine and isolate Russia.

Question: Russia has offered to act as a mediator between the Israelis and Palestinians, claiming to have credible relations with both sides. The American mediation efforts have been a failure as has been shown by the chronic impasse and erosion of Palestinian rights over several decades. Do you think Russia could help find a resolution?

Mick Wallace: I wouldn’t be confident of Russia playing a neutral and fair role – the Kremlin also tolerates much of the lawless behavior of Israel.

Question: What, in your view, is a viable solution to the decades-old conflict?

Mick Wallace: That’s a big question. The two-state solution is long dead. The international community has to end its support for the apartheid state of Israel and must stop the genocide of the Palestinian people. All Palestinians are entitled to live a dignified life in their homeland. But this is unlikely to happen until the international community stops supporting U.S. imperialism, and the sovereignty of all nations is respected.

Day 8 of Israeli Offensive on Gaza: Non-Stop Bombing and Systematic Infrastructure Destruction

Source

Ref: 64/2021

Date: 17 May 2021

Time: 15:00 GMT

23 Palestinians Killed, Including 3 Women and 7 Children, and 53 Others Wounded, Including 8 Women and 18 Children,

Death Toll Mounts to 204, Including 59 Children and 34 Women, and Total Number of Injuries Rises to 836, Including 251 Children and 184 Women

For the 8th consecutive day, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) continued their offensive on the Gaza Strip, in violation of the basic principles of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL): necessity, proportionality and distinction. Tens of Israeli warplanes carried out dozens of intense airstrikes, along with artillery and gunboat shelling. The airstrikes targeted more houses and civilian facilities and intensified the destruction of roads and infrastructure, inflicting more casualties among Palestinian civilians and causing extensive damage to their properties.  As a result, IOF’s systematic destruction of streets and crossroads obstructed the movement of vehicles and ambulances, especially on roads leading to al-Shifa Hospital.

On Monday, IOF declared that the third phase of the military operation on the Gaza Strip has started and that 54 warplanes fired 110 missiles attacked 35 targets within 20 minutes, including 15 kilometer-tunnels; according to IOF’s claims, while the facts on the ground indicate that the airstrikes targeted more houses, facilities and streets.

The power outage crisis in the Gaza Strip aggravated as the electricity supply dropped to three to four hours a day that is inadequate for the vital facilities to provide services to the people of the Gaza Strip.  The Electricity Company stated that the components of the electricity distribution network sustained massive destruction as 5 main electric power transmission lines, which supply 60 megawatts, broke down since the beginning of the offensive while the rest lines break down from time to time and become out of service due to the airstrikes and destruction of many places.  The power plant warned that it would be forced to shut down this evening due to insufficient fuel supply. The Power Generating Company announced that “J4” electric power transmission line, which supplies Gaza City and passes through Street 8 and Street 10, sustained severe damage due to the intense airstrikes on the area.  As a result, electricity went off on vacant areas in the City.


The forced displacement of tens of thousands of residents from their houses in eastern Gaza Strip continued due to the violent artillery shelling as shelters were opened to receive them without so far providing the adequate circumstances. Also, almost all aspects of daily life have been disrupted due to the non-stop airstrikes.

Further to PCHR’s press release published yesterday, Israeli warplanes carried out hundreds of airstrikes while the Israeli gunboats and artillery shelled various and indiscriminate targets across the Gaza Strip. As a result, 23 Palestinians, including 3 women and 7 children, while 53 others, including 8 women and 18 children, were injured. Additionally, the airstrikes targeted 21 houses, several facilities, governmental headquarters and infrastructure on a wide scale. Thus, the number of targeted houses has risen to 115, including multi-story buildings and several towers.

Moreover, the death toll since the beginning of the Israeli offensive has risen to 204, including 59 children and 34 women, and the number of those wounded has risen to 836, including 251 children and 184 women.

According to the daily update by the Palestinian Ministry of Health, the total number of injuries has risen to 1300, including 50 serious injuries. These large numbers of injuries have increased the burden on medical crews and the already exhausted healthcare system due to the Israeli-imposed closure and the outbreak of coronavirus in addition to the negative impact of power outage on the operation of laboratories, blood banks and surgeries, especially in light of the growing number of injuries. Also, during these days, Gaza hospitals rely on generators due to long hours of power outage, rendering hospitals in urgent need of constant supply of fuel.

The following are the most significant developments:

Northern Gaza:

Israeli warplanes carried out many airstrikes and Israeli artillery stationed along the border fence and gunboats stationed off shore fired many shells at the eastern and western areas of the governorate. As a result, 4 Palestinians were killed while 32 others, including 16 children and 4 women, were wounded. Also, the airstrikes targeted 13 houses; 7 were completely destroyed while others were partially destroyed. As a result a sponge company sustained serve damage while a hospital, a hotel, a mosque, public roads, and infrastructure sustained destruction.

At approximately 15:00, the Israeli artillery fired a shell at Jamal Hussain Khalil al-Shawish’s (62) house in central Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip. As a result, the house sustained damage.

At approximately 15:20, Israeli warplanes fired 2 missiles at a 4-story house belonging to Hamed al-Shembari (55), east of Beit Hanoun. As a result, the house and nearby houses sustained severe damage, but no casualties were reported.

At approximately 17:20, Israeli warplanes launched a missile at a 2-story house belonging to Mohammed Fawzi Naser (47) in central Beit Hanoun. As a result, the house was completely destroyed.

At approximately 17:35, Israeli warplanes fired a missile at a 2-story house belonging to Hussain Khalil Hussain Fayyad (44), east of Beit Hanoun, and completely destroyed it.

At approximately 18:00, the Israeli artillery fired a shell at a 2-story house belonging to Hitham Mohammed Abu ‘Osda (43), east of Beit Hanoun. As a result, fire broke out in the house.

At approximately 18:30, Israeli warplanes fired a missile at a 2-story house belonging to Nabil Foad Mahmoud al-Masri (57) in central Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip. As a result, the house sustained damage.

At approximately 19:15, Israeli warplanes fired a missile at a group of citizens in the center of Zaytun neighborhood in Beit Hanoun. As a result, 3 of them were killed namely Mo’ath Nabil Mohammed al-Za’aneen (27), Mohammed Yousef Mahmoud ‘Abdullah (31) and Mohammed ‘Awni ‘Abdullah al-Za’aneen (25).

At approximately 19:50, Israeli warplanes fired a missile at Belal Mustafa Yahiya ‘Asaliyia’s (30) house in central Jabalia, and completely destroyed it.

At approximately 20:20, Israeli warplanes fired a missile at a 2-story house belonging to Mohammed Shehdah Mas’oud al-Moghrabi (52), east of Beit Hanoun. As a result, the house roof and walls sustained damage.

At approximately 20:50, Israeli warplanes fired a missile at a 3-story house belonging to Mahmoud Mohammed Ahmed Ba’lousha in al-Salateen neighborhood, west of Beit Lahia, and completely destroyed it.

At approximately 07:30 on Monday, 17 May 2021, the Israeli artillery fired at least 2 shells at Foam Co. Sponge Company near the former Civil Administration Headquarter on Salah al-Deen Street, east of Jabalia, north of the Gaza Strip. As a result, a fire broke out in the area for 2 hours and civil defense crews rushed to extinguish the fire. No casualties were reported.

At approximately 08:30, Israeli warplanes launched a missile at Abdul Aziz al-Khaldi’s house. As a result, the 3-storey villa, southwest of al-Sudaniya, was completely destroyed and nearby houses, Mathaf Hotel, al-Khaldi Mosque and Hamad Rehabilitation and Prosthetics Hospital sustained damage.

At approximately 09:30, Israeli warplanes launched a missile at Fayez Ibrahim Mohammed Abu Ali’s house. As a result, the 3-storey house in Jabalia refugee camp was completely destroyed.

At approximately 10:15, Israeli warplanes launched 2 missiles at Abdullah Abu Rayya’s house. As a result, the ground-floor house, located in Jabalia, was completely destroyed, and Husam Mohammed Othman Abu Harabeed (36), a commander in al-Quds Brigades, was killed, as IOF declared targeting him.

At approximately 10:30, Israeli warplanes launched a missile at a group of citizens in al-Qasasib neighborhood in Jabalia. As a result, one of them was wounded and taken to the Indonesian Hospital, where his injury was reported moderate.

At approximately 10:45, Israeli warplanes launched a missile at a house belonging to Yousef al-Liddawi’s sons in Jabalia. As a result, the roof of the 6-storey house sustained damage.

On Sunday evening and Monday morning and dawn, Israeli gunboats and tanks fired dozens of shells on east and west of the Gaza Strip. Additionally, a strong suffocating odor spread in the northern Gaza Strip governorate, but no casualties were reported.

Gaza City:

Israeli warplanes carried out dozens of airstrikes on various targets across the city. As a result, a Palestinian was killed and 12 others were wounded, including 3 women and 5 children. The airstrikes targeted 5 residential multi-story buildings, main roads and vital streets, security sites belonging to the Ministry of Interior, sites belonging to the Palestinian Resistance, public facilities, shops and a civilian. On the other hand, the civil Defense crews retrieved 13 dead bodies, including 3 women and 7 children, from under the rubble of their houses on al-Wehda Street.

On Sunday, 16 May 2021, medical and Civil Defense crews pulled out 13 dead bodies, including 3 women and 7 children, from under the rubble of their houses on al-Wehda Street, raising the number of deaths to 43, most of them were children and women.

The deaths were: Subhiya Isma’el Hussain Abu al-Ouf (73), Ameen Mohammed Hamad al-Qolaq (90), Tawfiq Isma’el Hussain Abu al-Ouf (80) and his wife, Majdiya Khalil Hussain Abu al-Ouf (82), Raja’ Subhi Isma’el al-Ifranji “Abu al-Ouf and  3 of her children, Mira Rami Riyad al-Ifranji (12), Yazan (13), Ameer (9), and Hala Mohammed Mo’een al-Qolaq (13), and her sister, Yara (10), Rola (6) and Lana (4) Riyad Hasan Shkontana, and Mohammed Ahmed Musbah Ikki (40).

At approximately 18:50, Israeli warplanes launched 2 missiles at Ali Mousa Mohammed Affana’s (64) house, north of Gaza City. As a result, the 5-storey house (200 sqms), which included 10 apartments and sheltered 10 families, including 11 women and 21 children, was completely destroyed. It should be noted that Israeli Intelligence Services phone called the neighbors and ordered them to evacuate the house as it would be targeted.

At approximately 19:30, Israeli warplanes launched 2 missiles at Abdul Kareem Isma’el Ibrahim al-Ashram’s (60) house in al-Sabra neighborhood, south of the Gaza City. As a result, the 6-storey house (400 sqms) sheltering 7 families, including 12 women and 16 children, sustained severe destruction in the 3rd, 4th and fifth floors. It should be noted that Israeli Intelligence Services called the neighbors and ordered them to evacuate.

At approximately 21:00, Israeli warplanes launched 3 missiles at Jamal Attiya Hamdiya’s (62) house in al-Shuja’iya neighborhood. As a result, the 4-storey house and a nearby 3-storey house belonging to Mohammed Sa’eed Khalil al-Manasra, sheltering 5 families, was completely destroyed. It should be noted that the Israeli Intelligence Services phone called the neighbors and ordered them to evacuate.

At approximately 00:15 on Monday, 17 May 2021, Israeli warplanes launched 3 missiles at Mohammed Ahmed Saleh al-Dairi’s (47) house in al-Sabra neighborhood. As a result, the 4-storey house (500 sqms), comprised of 16 apartments and sheltering 17 families of 115 members, was completely destroyed. It should be noted that Israeli Intelligence Services phone called the neighbors and ordered them to evacuate.

After 5 minutes, Israeli warplanes launched 2 missiles at Hamdiya Othman Abdul Rahman Hamdan’s (60) house in al-Sabra neighborhood. As a result, the 3-storey house comprised of 3 apartments (each is 200 sqms) sheltering 3 families, including 6 women and 6 children, was completely destroyed, and nearby houses sustained partial damage. It should be noted that the Israeli Intelligence Services phone called the residents and ordered them to evacuate.

At approximately 01:00 and for an hour, Israeli warplanes carried out a huge number of intense airstrikes on Gaza City targeting main roads and infrastructures on al-Rasheed Street and other streets, in addition to destroying main roads and streets, which connect Tal al-Hawa neighborhood with al-Sheikh Ijlin neighborhood.  Moreover, the tourist facilities along the Gaza seaside sustained severe damage while nearby residential buildings and towers sustained partial damage.  Many security sites in Ansar Security Compound, west of Gaza City.

At approximately 12:30, Israeli warplanes launched a missile at a civilian car travelling near Abu Hasira crossroad, west of Gaza City. As a result, the driver, Adeeb Sa’eed Deeb al-Sourani (43), was killed.

Around the same time, Israeli warplanes launched a missile at a group of citizens who were near the Maldives Coffeshop at Gaza seaside. As a result, 2 of them were killed, and nearby tourist facilities sustained severe damage.

Central Gaza Strip:

Israeli warplanes carried out several airstrikes on different parts of the central Gaza Strip.  They targeted houses, agricultural and vacant lands, and military sites.  As a result, a house was completely destroyed and dozens of houses near the targeted places sustained partial damage.  Moreover, a child and a woman were wounded.

At approximately 03:40 on Monday, 17 May 2021, Israeli warplanes launched 3 missiles at a house belonging to the heirs of Tawfiq al-Fallit in Deir al-Balah. As a result, the 2-storey house (250 sqms), which sheltered 4 families of 18 members, including 9 children and 3 women, was completely destroyed, while 5 nearby houses sustained partial damage.

At approximately 08:00, the Israeli artillery launched several shells at a vacant land, east of Deir al-Balah. As a result, a child sustained shrapnel wounds and a woman suffocated.

IOF continued to fire artillery shells in the eastern side of the city, setting the agricultural fields on fire.

Khan Younis

IOF carried out several airstrikes on different parts of the city.  The airstrikes targeted a house and completely destroyed it, causing damage to nearby houses, a kindergarten and agricultural lands.  As a result, 6 were wounded, including a child, and the injury of one of them was reported serious.

At approximately 15:55 on Sunday, 16 May 2021, Israeli warplanes launched 2 missiles at a house belonging to Mazen Fayeq Shlash Shbeir in central Khan Younis and completely destroyed it, causing severe damage to the nearby houses and partial damage to the Islamic Complex Kindergartens near it.  It should be noted that few days ago an Israeli drone fired a missile at the 150-sqm house of 3 floors that was home to 3 families of 15 members, including 3 women and 9 children.

At approximately 21:05, an Israeli drone fired a missile at an agricultural land in al-Mawasi in western Khan Younis.  As a result, four were wounded, including a child, when they were near their houses.  The injury of one of them was reported serious while the rest injuries were moderate.

At approximately 22:10, an Israeli drone fired a missile at a group of citizens in al-Fokhari area.  As a result, two sustained moderate wounds.

At approximately 12:22, an Israeli drone fired a missile at a group of citizens in ‘Abasan al-Jadidah.  As a result, Ahmed Fayez Hasan ‘Arafat (29), from the village, were killed while another sustained minor wounds.

IOF continued to fire artillery shells at eastern Khan Younis, setting fire to the agricultural lands.  Moreover, the gunboats sporadically shelled the seaside.

Rafah:

Israeli warplanes carried out several airstrikes on different targets in Rafah City, where 10 missiles were launched.  The airstrikes targeted a house, 5 trucks, a bulldozer, agricultural lands, streets and roads. As a result, two were killed.  Moreover, the Israeli artillery intensely fired shells, smoke grenades and sound bombs.

At approximately 18:45 on Sunday, 16 May 2021, an Israeli drone fired a missile at an agricultural land in Msabeh neighborhood, north of Rafah.  As a result, Tariq Mahmoud Qasem al-Qadi (39) and Sameh Jihad Sameh al-Qadi (23) were killed. 

At approximately 07:30 on Monday, 17 May 2021, IOF fired artillery shells at houses in al-Shokah village in eastern Rafah.  As a result, one of the shells hit a house belonging to Mohammed Safa Mohammed Abu Sheiban, and fire broke out in the first floor.  The neighbors managed to extinguish the fire, and no casualities were reported.  The Civil Defense vehicles could not reach the area due to the intense artillery shelling and lack of coordination with ICRC to enter the area.

At approximately 13:30, IOF fired artillery shells at houses in al-Naser village, northeast of Rafah.  As a result, a number of trucks and a bulldozer belonging to al-‘Attar Family were hit and burnt.  No injuries were reported.

Since the morning IOF stationed along the border fence in eastern Rafah fired artillery shells, sound bombs and smoke grenades at houses, agricultural lands and streets in al-Shokah and al-Naser village, north and east of Rafah City, causing fear among civilians.  As a result, 5000 civilians were forced to leave and seek refuge in 5 UNRWA schools, noting that they forcibly entered the schools without the guards’ approval while no services were provided by the UNRWA and the donations were provided by local societies and benefactors.

PCHR strongly condemns IOF’s use of mass explosive power, which proves Israel’s intention to inflict harm on Palestinian civilians in disregard for IHL principles of distinction and proportionality through killing and massacring entire families.

PCHR’s investigations indicate that IOF has effectively classified civilians as legitimate military targets, in violation of IHL principles. PCHR renews its warning that civilians are paying the heaviest price during the escalation and emphasizes that IOF’s ongoing strikes on residential populated areas and the use of weapons based on collective retaliation constitute grave breaches of the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 that amount to war crimes.

 PCHR warns of further deterioration in the Palestinian civilians’ humanitarian conditions; either those displaced or those whose houses were demolished, as they have become homeless and sought refuge in schools in degrading and inhuman conditions. Thus, PCHR calls upon th international community, including the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, to act urgently in order to end all IOF’s military hostilities and to provide protection for the civilians in light of the grave violations of the international humanitarian law, including murders and large-scale destruction of civilian objects and property.   PCHR also calls upon the international community and all UN bodies and agencies to take all measures necessary to stop the mass forced displacement of Gaza Strip’s civilians that is conducted by IOF through applying the scorched-earth policy across the Gaza Strip, particularly in the northern part.  PCHR calls upon the International humanitarian organizations to provide the humanitarian needs of the displaced civilians, including food, clothes, water and potable water, and hygiene services.

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Israeli Apartheid Confirmed

13 May 2021

About me

by Lawrence Davidson 

Part I—The Question Of Apartheid 

It was perhaps 6 or 7 years ago. I was part of a panel, debating on Israel and the Palestinians, that took place at a local (West Chester, Pa) Quaker Friends school. The school had such debates regularly until the administration caved-in to pressure from the Zionist parents of a number of Jewish students. One of these parents debated for the Israeli side. 

This particular event came to mind upon my seeing the latest Human Rights Watch (HRW) report conclusively laying out the apartheid nature of Israel. Here is the connection: just before the debate was to begin the participating Zionist parent tried to make a command decision. No one was to use the term apartheid in reference to Israel. This was because the assertion was, according to him, obviously nonsense. 

I remember at the time thinking, who gave him the right to define the terms of the debate? As it turned out, and this is quite often the case, those supporting the Palestinians knew twice as much history as did the Zionists, and could call upon twice as many facts and examples. Apartheid Israel was shown to be a matter of fact rather than nonsense. I am convinced that Zionist pressure on the school to end future debates was motivated by the additional fact that those supporting the Palestinians so readily won. 

I have run into many other cases like this. The Zionists would debate for a while, but upon realizing that they could not prevail, they opted for enforced silence—that is, attempting to deny their opposition a stage and eventually labelling them anti-Semites. I often wonder if that Zionist parent who did the one-time debate at the Friends school, ever did face the fact that he was wrong about Israel and apartheid. Not because we said he was wrong. He would never have taken our word for it despite the evidence we had at hand. Rather, because an ever greater number of humanitarian organizations, of which HRW is one, journalists and research institutions have thoroughly and repeatedly laid out the facts that make it so. To this one may now add the charge of “medical apartheid.”

And none of us could forget the ongoing campaign of ethnic cleansing if most of us were actually informed of the process.

Amidst the predictable resumption of mass resistance from Palestinians in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, The Human Rights Watch report confirming Israeli Apartheid presents the seminal context for what we now witness. 

Part II—Human Rights Watch’s 2021 Report

Here is part of the opening pages of the HRW report:

—“About 6.8 million Jewish Israelis and 6.8 million Palestinians live today between the Mediterranean Sea and Jordan River. Throughout most of this area, Israel is the sole governing power; in the remainder, it exercises primary authority alongside limited Palestinian self-rule.”

—“Across these areas and in most aspects of life, Israeli authorities methodically privilege Jewish Israelis and discriminate against Palestinians. Laws, policies, and statements by leading Israeli officials make plain that the objective of maintaining Jewish Israeli control over demographics, political power, and land has long guided government policy. In pursuit of this goal, authorities have dispossessed, confined, forcibly separated, and subjugated Palestinians by virtue of their identity to varying degrees of intensity. In certain areas, as described in this report, these deprivations are so severe that they amount to the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.”

—“The prohibition of institutionalized discrimination, especially on grounds of race or ethnicity, constitutes one of the fundamental elements of international law … [over which] the International Criminal Court has the power to prosecute …when national authorities are unable or unwilling to pursue them.”

The report goes on to definitively prove its allegations in 213 pages of depressing detail—all laid out like a damning legal writ. Nor, as suggested above, is this the first time the apartheid nature of Israel been demonstrated. The HRW document was preceded by 16 March 2017 report submitted by UN Economic and Social Commission for West Asia demonstrating Israel’s apartheid nature. Though the report was accurate, the UN Secretary General disavowed it under pressure from the United States and Israel. In May of 2018 a

thorough examination appeared entitled Apartheid Israel, by the journalist Jonathan Cook. This was published by Americans for Middle East Understanding in their journal, The Link (April/May 2018). More recently, a 21 January 2021 report by B’Tselem, Israel’s own premier human rights organization, entitled “A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is apartheid,” proved particularly revealing. One should also take a look at the Israeli Apartheid Factsheet, published 12 January 2021 online, by War On Want. 

The Israeli government dismisses all of these fact-based reports as propaganda. This sets up a question of what is real—one that can be readily resolved, one way or another, through objective outside observers. Unfortunately, Israeli behavior over the past decades has shown that, unless you agree with the Zionist interpretation of events, Israel does not consider you objective. Thus, the HRW representative, and many others as well, have been banned from entering the country. This sort of reaction is not just an Israeli tactic. It is typical of countries in the process of undermining the rule of law and destroying human rights. In a very real way, the charge of “it is all, in this case, anti-Semitic propaganda” is itself a form of propaganda design to shut done critics. 

Part III—The Zionist Rationale

The Zionists consistently say that Israel exists to save world Jewry from persecution—from the constant threat of anti-Semitism and another Holocaust. Many still believe this is true and some of a liberal orientation now resort to this rationale to undermine the HRW report. They charge that it will cause the current wave of anti-Semitism to gain greater traction. Such greater traction always leads to a greater fear of another Holocaust. And this fear will only make the Zionists and Israelis dig in their heels. And indeed, the cries of anti-Semitism and Holocaust has always created a smokescreen behind which can be hidden all Israeli sins. Has anyone ever considered that Israel’s abominable behavior, always committed in the name of the community of worldwide Jewry, is itself a major cause of growing anti-Semitism? 

While Zionism might have started out as a strategy to save the Jews, Israel and the Zionists are no longer in the saving business. In point of fact, various Israeli authorities are constantly bickering about who is or isn’t Jewish. What they are now about is the business of national glorification and expansion—carried on in the old 19th century style of racist imperialism. In this effort the Palestinians are the major victims, but all Jews are, if you will, collateral damage. They become denigrated by the behavior of a brutalizing racist regime that simply declares itself acting in their name.

In the process another truth is also brought low—the fact that means ultimately shape ends. And here is the irony of it all: the outcome of apartheid that is now playing itself out in “greater Israel” was all but predetermined by the nature and behavior of Zionism itself.

Part IV—The Predetermined Nature Of Israeli Apartheid

Here are some of the steps and decisions that made today’s apartheid Israel inevitable:

—The aim of the Zionist movement was to found an exclusively Jewish state. Most of the early Zionists were European Jews searching for a way to escape centuries of anti-Semitism. Living in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, their reference point was the ethnically homogeneous nation state. Soon they convinced themselves that Jews could only escape anti-Semitic persecution if they had their own nation state. 

—By the beginning of the 20th century the Zionists had focused on Palestine as their future political, religious, and cultural nation state. This was due to the land’s biblical associations—and despite the fact that many Zionists were of a secular rather than religious orientation. In 1917, they made an alliance with the British government to rally Jewish support for the British war effort in World War I (WWI) in exchange for British support of a “Jewish national home” in Palestine. This alliance was spelled out in the Balfour Declaration.

—Soon thereafter, the British took Palestine from the Ottoman Turks (the Turks were allies of the Germans in WWI). They then allowed Zionist organized immigration to commence. The British told the Palestinian Arabs that Zionist investment would raise the living standards of the land’s non-Jewish residents. In the meantime, the Zionists discouraged any cooperative interaction with the Palestinian Arabs. This was particularly true when it came to use of Arab labor. Jews who had Arab employees were forcefully pressured to replace them with Jewish immigrants.

Between 1914 and 1947 both the Arab and Jewish population of Palestine grew. However, Jewish numbers, even though consistently bolstered by Zionist inspired immigration, were never more than 32% of the total population.

—Given Zionist ambitions and the demographics, the question can be asked, just how they could create a state for one group alone in a land where that favored group was a distinct minority? There were only three direct ways: (1) devising a method to get the Arab majority to move out of the country. (2) creating an unequal political and economic system that marginalized the majority, rendering them politically and economically irrelevant. (3) Committing genocide.  

—Both methods 1 and 2 were employed. The first led to the Nakba, the catastrophic removal of some 700,000 Palestinians, during the 1948 war that led to the creation of the State of Israel. Some of these people fled the fighting, but many were forced out at gunpoint by Israeli forces. In truth, the Nakba never completely came to an end as the ongoing home demolitions and evictions show. The second method followed in two stages for those Palestinians who would still find themselves under direct Israeli rule: (A) the so-called Palestinian Israelis, today numbering close to 2 million people or roughly 21% of the population of pre-1967 Israel. These Arabs have been given Israeli citizenship—actually second class citizenship. They are segregated from Jewish Israelis by  a host of discriminatory practices, among which are inferior housing, schools, and job opportunities. (B) The Palestinians who fell under Israeli control in 1967 and remain so today. These are the residents of the West Bank, Golan Heights and also the Gaza Strip, numbering roughly 5 million people. Most of these Palestinians have been denied Israeli citizenship. They are under the rule of Israeli military authorities or an allied Palestinian authority under Israeli supervision. Internal travel is made difficult for them, their ability to improve or expand their infrastructure is restricted. They are encroached upon by illegal Israeli settlements and harassed by Israeli settlers. Attempts at self-defense or counterattack are seen by the Israelis as terrorist acts.

—Means shape ends. (1) The nature of Zionist goals: the transformation of Palestine into a nation state for Jews alone, (2) undertaken with a group mentality shaped by a memories of European anti-Semitism, the outlook of racist European imperialism, and finally the trauma of the Holocaust, (3) strongly inclined the Zionists toward tactics that precluded compromise and equity with the indigenous Palestinians. (4) When the Palestinians inevitably resisted the Zionists they were cast as Arab Nazis, an image which justified the brutal tactics (suppression and expulsion) already in use. Finally, having conquered Palestine from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River, and shying away from a second mass expulsion as long as the world was watching, the Israelis inevitably fell into apartheid to neutralize the 7 million Arabs under their rule.

Part V—Conclusion

Once you have segregated away those you oppress, the average member of the dominant group can proceed with his or her life in comfortable blindness—literarily not seeing their victims, and remaining purposefully ignorant of the deformed situation that sustains their status, security and wealth. As time goes on all aspects of society (education, employment, media, social norms) come to reinforce this condition. This is the situation in today’s Israel. 

The blindspots can extend to Israel’s Zionist supporters in the diaspora, even if they are otherwise progressive liberals. Take the case of the American Jewish progressive  Peter Osnos, who fears the definitive nature of the HRW report. Why so? Because, he believes, “this report—in detail, length and tone—could be the basis for sanctions against Israel.” As the old Jewish idiom goes, “from his mouth to God’s ears.” However, that is an unlikely prospect. Western governments are so committed to Israel—and steeped in the hypocrisy this requires—that they will simply ignore the HRW revelations, as they did the earlier reports.  

Nonetheless, when you strip away all the ideologically-bred magical thinking, rationalizations, and blindspots, what you are left with is the blatant truth: you cannot impose a foreign group of people, seeking exclusive domination, into a land already populated by a different people, and not end up with a discriminatory and abusive system of rule. And if the abusive system persists something akin to apartheid becomes inevitable. So does periodic mass resistance.

WARNING Zionist brutality: the everyday nightmare in Palestine

Israel seeks sectarian divide of Lebanon and Christians to leave region: Gebran Bassil

by News Desk

2021-01-10

Latest map update of southeast Deir Ezzor

BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:00 P.M.) – The head of the Lebanese Free Patriotic Movement, Gebran Bassil, said on Sunday that “the blockade imposed on Lebanon is the result of the choices the country took to confront Israel, and that is why Israel declared itself a Jewish state.”

According to Bassil, Israel “wants to see sectarian states around it, and wants Christians to leave the region.”

He continued: “What is being asked of us is surrender, not peace. What is presented is a recipe for an internal war and the fragmentation of the surrounding countries, especially Lebanon, because of its Islamic-Christian coexistence.”

Regarding his view of peace, Bassil explained, “Who says that we do not want peace? We are children of the peace doctrine, and peace without justice is a dedication to injustice, and we are with a just, comprehensive and lasting peace, in accordance with the initiative of King Abdullah.”

Bassil previously served as the Lebanese Foreign Minister, but has since come under fire over accusations of corruption and nepotism, as his father in-law is President Michel Aoun.

Righteous Anger Vs. Zionist Jewish Wrath

By Rima Najjar

Source

Rabbi Yaakov Yosef e4e65

The tragedy of the Israeli mentality is that there is no room for Palestinian anger and frustration in its make-up but plenty of room for Jewish wrath. I found myself reflecting on this proposition after participating in a discussion thread on Facebook the other day.

Harvey Stein, an American-Israeli filmmaker and blogger in The Times of Israel, recently generated a long heated thread on Facebook by embracing Peter Beinart’s vision of the end of the two-state “solution,” and inviting his friends to comment. He finally abandoned the thread, saying: “The genuine debate I try to inspire here is impossible.”

When people begin discussion of an issue with two different premises, the discussion is destined to remain on parallel tracks that never meet. But what I observed and am exploring in this post goes beyond the obvious. It has to do with how emotions are perceived on each side — perhaps a little like the difference between Dr King’s perception of black riots in 1966 as “the language of the unheard…to make justice a reality,” and Trump’s perception of the riots today in the context of black protests as an opportunity to exploit the racist fears of white nationalists in order to be reelected.

Neal Hugh Hurwitz, a “soft” Zionist participating in Stein’s thread was alarmed by my show of anger in the discussion. He commented: “Harvey Stein — — so we know about the bad guys on our side — — whatcha goin do about the Rima Najjars from Indiana???:) I think she’d slit your throat.”

In his mind, my anger as a Palestinian at the injustice and thievery of the Zionist project is equivalent to the aggression of hard-core Zionists, who were trolling on Stein’s thread, and whose terror tactics in the West Bank are ongoing.

The fear that Palestinian anger might lead to terror against Israelis is a fundamental principle of the Zionist Jewish state. Brutally repressing any and all expression of that anger has been the premier job of the state for all of its 72 years.

Debate that does not embrace historical facts is destined to produce anger and frustration on both sides, but only one side’s anger can honestly be characterized as righteous. Harvey Stein, a Jewish immigrant from New York, believes his right to belong in Jerusalem is equal to mine, a Palestinian exile in Indiana denied return, by virtue of his being a Jew (he may or may not be religious, I don’t know). He and other soft Zionists are willing to go as far as declaring that their “profound belonging” to Palestine-now-Israel does not supersede mine — and no farther.

I understand Harvey Stein actually discovered the name of the Palestinian family who owned the house he now lives in. How can he sleep at night — in Jerusalem or in New York, I wonder. (It’s worth noting here that Miko Peled in his book The General’s Son mentions how his mother, who was born and raised in Jerusalem, refused to occupy the home of a Palestinian family who had been forced out of West Jerusalem in 1948 when it was offered to her.)

Every morning without fail, as I read the news coming out of Palestine/Israel, my helpless anger rises to a boiling point at the relentless march of violent events inherent in the makeup of the national/Judaic state that would have been legitimate only if, at the end of the 19th century, its founders had happened to discover an uninhabited piece of land somewhere on the globe and immigrated there.

Instead, its criminally-minded founders (their own words attest to their unconscionable aggression) finagled their way into Palestine (their campaigns of advocacy and early lobbying in Britain and the US are well-documented) and executed a meticulous plan of terror, as described in Thomas Suárez’ book State of Terror: How Terrorism Created Modern Israel.

I am not sure to what the word “modern” in Suárez’ title refers. There is no such thing as modern and ancient Israel in the same sense we use these terms to differentiate between modern and ancient territorial polities like Greece, for example, or modern and ancient Egypt. The word “modern” in association with Israel is totally misleading, as is the ubiquitous term “diaspora” used to describe Jews outside Israel for the purpose of emphasizing their mythical religious/spiritual connection to the Holy Land.

The name Palestine to describe the region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River was most commonly used from 1300 BC onward, and it has evolved from a multiplicity of beginnings — ancient, medieval, modern, nationalist — into a geopolitical concept and distinct polity. This is unlike the myth-narratives of the Old Testament with its single “beginning.”

The idea of a “modern” Israel has thus necessitated the obliteration of thousands of years of Palestinian history, jumping, as Israelis do, from the Old Testament to the 20th century.

Israel’s state terror has been met in some instances by retaliatory acts of terror against Israelis by Hamas. That is true. But those acts are not comparable with the racist/supremacist, indeed systemic, actions of the Zionist Jewish state that regards Arabs as inferior and accepts “revenge” as a “mitigating circumstance” for a brutal lynching — (that report was in my news-pouch today).

According to a 1954 “fatwa” by Rabbi Shaul Yisraeli, Jews are allowed to kill enemy civilians–men, women, and children (“massacre of revenge” — milhemet nakam). Also in self-defense. The massacres perpetrated on Palestinians by terror gangs as described in Suárez’ book pre-Israel, and those perpetrated on Gazans, are all today rationalized by the Israeli forces as acceptable and ethical conduct.

It is no accident the Jewish offensive warfare pre-1948 turned into “defense” forces of the Jewish state. Offense is defense in the Zionist mentality.

In 2011, Sari Nusseibeh, at the time a professor of philosophy at Al-Quds University in Jerusalem and also its president, published an article in Al Jazeera that explains why the Israeli demand to be recognised as a “Jewish state” by the Palestinians is an inherently problematic concept:

… recognising a “Jewish state” in Israel — a state which purports to annex the whole of Jerusalem, East and West, and calls Jerusalem its “eternal, undivided capital” (as if the city, or even the world itself, were eternal; as if it were really undivided, and as if it actually were legally recognised by the international community as Israel’s capital) — means completely ignoring the fact that Jerusalem is as holy to 2.2 billion Christians and 1.6 billion Muslims, as it is to 15–20 million Jews worldwide.

… Nevertheless, it remains true that, in the Old Testament, God commands the Jewish state in the land of Israel to come into being through warfare and violent dispossession of the original inhabitants. Moreover, this command has its roots in the very Covenant of God with Abraham (or rather “Abram” at that time) in the Bible and it thus forms one of the core tenets of Judaism as such, at least as we understand it. No one then can blame Palestinians and descendents of the ancient Canaanites, Jebusites and others who inhabited the land before the Ancient Israelites (as seen in the Bible itself) for a little trepidation as regards what recognising Israel as a “Jewish State” means for them, particularly to certain Orthodox and Ultra Orthodox Jews. No one then can blame Palestinians for asking if recognising Israel as a “Jewish State” means recognising the legitimacy of offensive warfare or violence against them by Israel to take what remains of Palestine from them.

At the beginning of Zionist terror in Palestine, the impetus for it came from a secular national/supremacist construct that professedly had little to do with religion. But religion now permeates the psyche of the state, and the bigots it has let loose on the West Bank dramatize that fact.

How Two Seemingly Unrelated Events Laid Israel’s Racism Problem Bare

A viral video showing an Israeli family mocking impoverished Palestinian children and a controversial New York Times editorial by famed Zionist commentator Peter Beinart have exposed the racist underpinning of the so-called Jewish state.

Source: MintPress News

by Miko Peled

Protesters attend a rally against Israel plans to annex parts of the West Bank, in Tel Aviv, June 6, 2020. Sebastian Scheiner | AP

Two seemingly unrelated items hit social media recently and both received a lot of attention. The first was an article by Peter Beinart that was published in the New York Times where Beinart claims he no longer believes in a Jewish State and calls for a binational state with equal rights in Palestine. The other, a video clip showing an Israeli family riding in a car when two children approach them. The car window opens and we hear the father ask the children in Hebrew, “Who wants to feed a Bedouin?” While these two seem unrelated, there is something equally disturbing about both of them.

A Jewish home in Palestine

One might think that the epiphany experienced by yet another liberal Zionist, and one that has access to the mainstream media, should be celebrated. After all, another well known Jewish American has reached the conclusion that Palestinians deserve equal rights in their own country. However, as we read this article there are several disturbing elements that dampen the excitement.

Beinart shares with the readers, “I knew that Israel was a source of comfort and pride to millions of other Jews.” He explains that this is why he believed in the Jewish state. One could argue that slavery was a source of comfort and pride for millions of white Americans, yet to support slavery is still abhorrent.

Peter Beinart
Peter Beinart, center, talks to people after speaking at the University of Washington Hillel, October 23, 2014. Photo | Joe Mabel

He goes on to describe a sentiment that one hears from many liberal Zionists. “One day in early adulthood, I walked through Jerusalem, reading street names that catalog Jewish history, and felt that comfort and pride myself.” Jerusalem was an Arab city for over a thousand years. In 1948, Palestinians in Jerusalem were subjected to a total and complete ethnic cleansing, and not a single Palestinian was allowed to remain in the city. Jerusalem then became the capital city of the state of Israel and the street names, which used to catalog the long and magnificent Arab history of the city, were changed.

“I knew Israel was wrong to deny Palestinians in the West Bank citizenship, due process, free movement and the right to vote in the country in which they lived.” What about the rights of millions of Palestinians languishing in refugee camps? This country that gave him, and Jews like him, such pride is denying millions of Palestinians their right to return to the lands and homes from which they were expelled.

“But the dream of a two-state solution that would give Palestinians a country of their own let me hope that I could remain a liberal and a supporter of Jewish statehood at the same time.” That was precisely what the scam of the Two State Solution was set to do. To allow liberal Zionists to support the crimes of Zionism and the creation of a racist state in Palestine while still feeling good about themselves.

The idea that the Two State Solution would give Palestinians “a country of their own,” is puzzling. Palestinians have a country of their own, it is Palestine. According to historian Nur Masalha, it has been Palestine for thousands of years before the establishment of the Zionist state on May 15, 1948.

The epiphany experienced by liberal Zionists who suddenly realize they can’t have it both ways is really not an epiphany at all. It is a compromise that allows them to continue to justify their patronizing attitude towards Palestinians. Beinart is not unlike another liberal Zionist, Avram Burg. Burg, a staunch Zionist who served as speaker of the Knesset and chairman of the Jewish Agency, and in between, profited greatly from peddling Israeli weapons. He is a Zionist through and through, and yet, he too claims it is time for a single state. In a piece he authored in 2018, he writes, “Since 1967 Israel had occupied Palestinian territory.” Not unlike Beinart, he sees only the West Bank as Palestinian territory.

To feed a Bedouin

A disturbing video clip was recently shared on TikTok by Roy Oz, also known as Roy Boy, an Israeli entertainer who hosts various programs for children. In the clip, an Israeli family is driving comfortably in what appears to be an SUV, with young children in the backseat and the parents in front. The father, Roy Oz, is driving. As they drive, two young children approach the car. The children in the car are white, the children outside are brown. The landscape is barren, like a desert, and we can safely assume it is the Naqab region in southern Palestine.

The father opens the window and hands a cookie to the children outside and says to his children in Hebrew, “Who wants to feed a Bedouin?” He speaks to the children outside in Arabic and then turns to his children again, asking in Hebrew, “You don’t want to feed a Bedouin, Ariel?” One of the two children outside is older than the other and hands the cookie to the younger child. Then, the father turns the camera, showing his children’s faces and asks again, “Do you want to feed a Bedouin? You don’t?” We hear him also saying to himself, “they are so cute,” referring to the children outside.

The father then turns to the children outside and asks in Arabic how much money they want. “One thousand shekel?” He asks. “No, just ten” one of the children answers. “Only ten?” The father asks at which point the mother reaches out of the car and hands one of the children a coin.

Expressions of Shock

Expressions of shock came fast from Palestinian communities, who demanded an apology and an explanation. Some even said this was the worst expression of racism they had ever seen. But there is nothing shocking about this clip because this was a normal Israeli middle-class family expressing what countless Israelis express all the time. The appalling racism and patronizing colonial attitude toward Palestinian Bedouin children, as we see in the video, is the foundation upon which the state of Israel was established and exists throughout Israeli society.

Without structural, systemic, deeply ingrained racism, Israel would not exist. Furthermore, without this white supremacist attitude, no Israeli pilot would be able to push the button that releases the bombs which then burn and rip Palestinian children in Gaza to shreds. No sniper would be able to pull the trigger and kill and maim Palestinians. It is an essential part of Zionist education.

Many Israelis had expressed their displeasure at this expression of racism. However, their displeasure aside, this is nothing new or abnormal. It is not unlike the incident where an Israeli army medic, who is charged with saving people’s lives and had taken an oath to do so, executed a wounded Palestinian laying on the ground. The incident was caught on video and went viral, resulting in the medic being court-martialed and receiving a slap on the wrist. This medic also acted as he was trained, as he was taught, that a Palestinian life does not matter.

Recognizing that Palestinians have rights within a Zionist construct is a symptom of Zionist racist supremacy. This racism is what allows a family to drive by Palestinian children and treat them like animals in a safari. It is how the state of Israel is able to continue the Naqba, the systemic, catastrophic destruction of Palestine and its people for close to one hundred years.

Feature photo | Beinart speaks at a 2012 event in Atlanta after being banned from a Jewish book festival over his criticism of Israel. David Goldman | AP


Related

Netanyahu and Covid19

 

BY GILAD ATZMON

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FNA*: Netanyahu was very quick to administrate a lockdown at the outset of the coronavirus outbreak in Israel. Was Covid-19 his only reason for the lockdown?

 Gilad: You are tapping here into a crucial aspect of the Covid 19 affair which none of the Western media has been brave enough to look into. As early as March 12, the Israeli PM announced nationwide school closures and urged the formation of an emergency unity government to “save the lives of tens of thousands” of Israelis from the coronavirus, Netanyahu presented a profoundly stark assessment in which there would be “tens of millions of deaths” worldwide unless the pandemic was stopped.  Political analysts who follow Netanyahu closely immediately understood that Netanyahu desperately needed the pandemic and the hysteria around it. And it is clear that the Israeli PM managed to utilize the corona crisis to serve his cause. He postponed his trial. He formed a large unity government and practically destroyed both his rival party (Blue & White) and its leader Benny Gantz.  So it was no surprise that once Netanyahu was finally able to form his unity government, Israel was relieved of its lockdown: Israelis were free to enjoy the sun again. Far more peculiar is the fact that the rest of us needed Netanyahu to form his government so that our leaders would also allow us to enjoy the blue sky.

FNA: The political deadlock came to an end with the formation of an emergency cabinet to address the coronavirus outbreak. Why did Netanyahu unite with his forever rival Benny Gantz after they competed with him for power for over a year? Why did he make such an abrupt political u-turn?

Gilad: We are often misled into believing that the Jewish state is a pluralist political entity divided between Left and Right political blocks. The truth can’t be further. The Jewish State is a hard-core nationalist entity. It is institutionally discriminatory. It differentiates racially between Jews and the indigenous people of the land.

Though it seemed for a while that the Israeli Knesset was divided between Netanyahu’s block and the so called ‘centre Left block,’ the vast majority of the Knesset Members within the so called Centre Left block are actually to the right of Netanyahu.  This applies to Avigdor Lieverman and his party. Many of the Blue & White’s politicians, some of them war criminals, ended up in Netanyahu’s government. Even the Labour party is ardently right wing in its approach to the Israeli Arab conflict. In Israel there is only one left party that upholds universal and ethical philosophy. It is called the United Arab List.    

FNA: When all of the courts, including the court in which his case was pending, were closed as a measure to counter the coronavirus outbreak, Netanyahu formed a unity cabinet,  became  Prime Minister and was granted immunity against the court’s decision in his case. Do you believe that at some point in the future justice will be served, and he will be held accountable for the allegations of bribery and favouritism? 

Gilad: I am not so sure how valid or serious the bribery and favouritism allegations are against Netanyahu. I can tell you that Israeli war crimes against Palestinians are by far more grave than Netanyahu’s cigar consumption. I would like to add here that I believe that it was Netanyahu’s early and radical reaction to the coronavirus that defined the tone and policies of many Western governments. Since we still do not know the origin of coronavirus, what it is all about, I tend to believe in the possibility that the current health crisis is the result of a military affair. If there is any basis for such an assumption, Israel amongst just a few other countries is a major suspect. I do believe that the constant havoc that we see in the world at the moment is there to divert attention from crucial questions to do with the crisis and its possible origin. 

True scrutiny of the criminal possible aspects involved with the pandemic is overdue, as the notorious virus clearly hasn’t killed as many millions as Netanyahu predicted in early March. 

  • An interview conducted by Iran’s FNA

Balfour Declaration, History and Concealment (video)

 BY GILAD ATZMON

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Introduction by Gilad Atzmon: I found this morning that British Jewish pressure groups once again defame British anti racists. Today it is, Rosie Smith, a Black Lives Matter activist and Jim Curran, an old truth seeker. Curran is guilty of attending Keep Talking meetings, a discussion group that discusses the undiscussable (9/11, the Holocaust, Rothschild etc.).

According to the Jerusalem Post, Keep Talking is also guilty of inviting yours truly to discuss the Balfour Declaration. I am once again falsely accused of spreading ‘conspiracies’ and ‘holocaust denial’ no less no more.

Here is my Balfour declaration talk. You won’t find tere ‘Holocaust denial’ or ‘conspiracies,’ just properly sourced materials referenced to Jewish and zionist publications. I can only be thankful to the Zionist alliance for referring to my work on the Balfour as I am proud of this lecture in particular.

Original post: https://gilad.online/writings/2017/11/8/the-balfour-declaration-one-hundred-years-of-goyim-solitude

In this talk Atzmon elaborates on that which the historicity of Balfour is set to conceal — a century of Jewish political hegemony in Britain and beyond. 

 Keep Talking, London 7.11.2017

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The Balfour Declaration – One Hundred Years of (Goyim) Solitude

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A talk given at Keep Talking gathering in London,  7 November 2017

 By Gilad Atzmon

In Heidegger and the Jews, the French philosopher Jean-Francois Lyotard points out that history claims to narrate the past but, in practice, what it does is conceal our collective shame. The Americans conceal slavery and imperial genocidal aggression, the Brits conceal their colonial blunders, the Jews turn their eyes away from anything that may have contributed to turning  Jewish history into an extended shoah. The real historian, claims Lyotard, is there to unveil the shame. This week marks 100 years since the Balfour declaration and today I will try to touch upon your shame, my shame, our shame. We will try to figure out what the history of the so-called  Balfour ‘Declaration’ is there to conceal.

Let’s first examine the document. Most noticeably the so-called ‘declaration’ is not printed on official British government letterhead. It is not signed by the British cabinet either. It is, instead, a letter from a sleazy British politician  (Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour) to a very rich Jew (Lord Walter Rothschild). As such, the Balfour ‘declaration’ is actually a statement  with somewhat limited significance.  What it does is  “declare[s] sympathy with Zionist aspirations.”

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Yet, we must admit that the Jewish world has managed to squeeze quite a few drops of juice out of this watery statement. The Jewish world interprets this ‘sympathetic declaration’ as a commitment to their Zionist, racist and expansionist project namely the ‘Jewish State’. They claim to regard the vague statement as a license to ethnically cleanse the entire indigenous people of the land, i.e., the Palestinians. And, as if this is not enough, the British PM Theresa May has evidently bought into the most radical Zionist interpretation of the declaration. 

May announced last week that she was “proud of our pioneering role in the creation of the state of Israel.”

Let me share some of the awkward history of the Balfour Declaration with you. The ‘declaration,’ as we now understand, was actually drafted and approved by British Jews before it was sent to Lord Rothschild.

 The National Library of Israel reveals the flowing:

   “Before the declaration was officially presented to Lord Rothschild by Lord Balfour, the draft was presented to Jewish leaders of every political stripe, both Zionist and non-Zionist. One of these leaders was Sir Philip Magnus, a Reform rabbi and British politician whose opinion on the declaration was sought.” (http://web.nli.org.il/sites/NLI/English/library/reading_corner/Pages/balfour.aspx)

Herbert Samuel, the British first High Commissioner of Palestine who served between 1920 and 1925  was an avid Zionist Jew and a close acquaintance of Chaim Weizmann, the leading pragmatic Zionist, the spirit behind the ‘declaration’ and later the first Israeli president.   How did the Zionists managed to plant a Zionist Jew in such a crucial and sensitive position? The answer is devastatingly simple. They were running the show.  We are talking here about Jewish domination of the relevant British foreign affairs as early as the beginning of the 20th century.

But was it really ‘The Jews,’ Moshe, Yaakov, Sarah who dominated British  Middle East affairs? Unlikely. It is more reasonable to assume that the fate of the empire and its decisions were in the hands of just a very few powerful Jews,  people like Lord Rothschild to whom Balfour actually addressed the declaration.

This tale of Jewish political domination extends well beyond the borders of Britain. In his invaluable book, The Pity of it All, Israeli historian Amos Elon suggests that the 1917 Balfour Declaration was at least partially motivated by the British government’s desire to win the support of pro-German Jewish- American bankers so that they would help push the USA into the war. 

Elon argues that at the beginning of the war,  German- American Jewish financiers sided with the Germans and rejected possible alliances between the USA and England.  “Jacob H. Schiff, head of Kuhn, Loeb—at the time the largest private bank in the United States after J. P. Morgan—declared that he could no more disavow his loyalty to Germany than he could renounce his own parents. Schiff prayed for Germany’s victory. In a statement to the New York Times on November 22, 1914, he charged the British and the French with attempting to destroy Germany for reasons of trade.” (The Pity Of It All, pg. 455) 

According to Elon, the Brits had encountered a Jewish problem with  American Jews. “The British government took these developments very seriously. In a fit of paranoia, the British ambassador in Washington even suspected the existence of a veritable German Jewish conspiracy in the United States directed at Britain.” (Ibid)

Thanks to the Balfour declaration German Jewish bankers in the US flipped sides. Seems that they betrayed their fatherland, no more were they German patriots. Elon’s conclusion is that: “The 1917 Balfour Declaration, calling for the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine, was at least partly motivated by the British government’s desire to win support among pro-German American Jews.” (ibid)

The take home message is rather devastating. For some time our universe has been dominated by tribal interests that are foreign to most of us. And for some reason we cannot really explore the conditions that shape our reality and dictate our doomed future.

This is, in fact, the precise meaning of Jewish power. Jewish power is the power that suppresses criticism of Jewish power. Some of the less sophisticated critics of Israel accuse Zionism and Israel of various conspiratorial doings. I, on the other hand, have said repeatedly that there are no Jewish conspiracies. All is done in the open. The Balfour ‘declaration’ that was written to a Jewish financier was quickly made public.  America was openly pushed into WWI for the sake of Zion.  The appointment of a Zionist Jew, Herbert Samuel, as the high commissioner of Palestine wasn’t a secret either. It was actually controversial at the time.

These events were as clear at the time as are contemporary Jewish lobby groups such as AIPAC, CRIF, CFI and LFI who push, in broad daylight, for Zio-driven immoral interventionist wars against Iraq, Syria, Iran and Libya. A century of constant abuse has  left us speechless. We do not know how to deal with this menace. And this is the core of our shame. This is what our history is there to conceal. This applies to you and me, but it also applies to Theresa May. To tell the truth about the Balfour Declaration is to publicly admit to 100 hundred years of Goyim solitude.  

In the last few weeks, Palestinian solidarity enthusiasts have been creative in producing numerous proactive slogans. The one that grabbed my attention this week was “Balfour Declaration -100 years of ethnic cleansing.”  This week actually marks a century of Zionist domination of the Western civilisation.  But let me tell you, the real authentic Palestinians, those who live in Gaza and the West Bank may be slightly better off than the rest of us. While we are often overwhelmed by the sophistication of our masters in Tel Aviv, the Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza and Lebanon know exactly who their enemies are; they meet them in roadblocks, they recognise the sounds of their drones.  Our enemy here, in the USA, in France and in Britain, is somehow elusive: is it Zionism, is it Israel, or maybe just the Lobby? Is it really  ‘the Jews,’ or even Judaism? Where exactly does Judaism end and Jewishness start? Let me try to open your eyes. It is none of the above, and yet it might as well be all of the above and beyond.  Zionism is a sophisticated matrix and it shifts rapidly.  Zionism like Jewish anti Zionism strives for your intellectual castration. It somehow defies your opposition even before you can utter it yourself. How is this done? It obliterates your ability to act ethically and rationally. It targets your survival skills. How? It eradicates your Athenian roots and replaces them with a rigid Jerusalemite regulatory system.

In my recent book Being in Time – a post Political Manifesto  I delve into the Straussian dichotomy between Athens and Jerusalem. Athens is where we think things through, Athens is where philosophy and essentialism are celebrated. Jerusalem is the city of revelation, where Torah, Mitzvoth and commandments are accepted blindly. Athens is where ethics is explored by means of judgment. Jerusalem, on the other hand, is where ethics is replaced by laws.

Zionism, my friends, can only operate within a Jerusalemite dominated universe. A world governed by a tyranny of correctness. Was it Herzl, Ben Gurion or Netanyahu who imposed such tyrannical conditions on us?  Not at all, this is the role of the New Left, the Identitarians, the cultural Marxists, the ‘progressives’ the people who adhere to ideological collectivism. The people who in the name of diversity silence the majority. Those who instead of uniting us around that which we all share, actually seek to divide us into infinitesimal particles of biological symptoms (skin colour, sex orientation, etc.). 

I started this talk with a reference to Leyotard and his Heidegger and the Jews, I conclude with a reference to the teaching of the 20th century’s  greatest Athenian: Martin Heidegger. 

In opposition to the Jerusalemites of the world who in the name of ‘correctness’ tell us what to say and what to think, Martin Heidegger, the Athenian, taught us that to educate is to teach others to think for themselves and how to refine the questions (as opposed to recycling answers).

Time is overdue for us to liberate ourselves from our shame. Time is ripe to call a spade a spade. Now is the time for Alethea ( truth – Ancient Greek) and Logos to prevail.  We must emancipate ourselves and find our true voice once again.  Emancipation is opposition to the Jerusalemite oppressive condition. It is the fight for the disclosure of human unity once again. 

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     If they want to burn it, you want to read it!

Being in Time – A Post Political Manifesto, Amazon.co.uk , Amazon.com and  here (gilad.co.uk).  

Adel Samara & Gilad Atzmon discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Quds Day 2020

Adel Samara & Gilad Atzmon discussing the Israeli-Palestinian ...
Millions of people mark International Quds Day to reaffirm call for liberation of Palestine

 BY GILAD ATZMON

We elaborated on the true meaning of the Israeli occupation and the philosophy that drives the Israeli regime. Things went slightly out of hand towards the end of the show when I pointed out that if Israel defines itself as the ‘Jewish State,’ we should also allow ourselves to question what the J words (Jews, Judaism, Jewishness etc.) stand for.

Source: https://urmedium.com/c/presstv/17411

في رفض التطبيع مع الكيان الصهيونيّ

زياد حافظ

مقدّمة

من سخرية الدهر أن نرى دولاً ومجتمعات عربية تُسرّع في وتيرة تقديم أوراق اعتماد للكيان الصهيوني عبر جعل العلاقة معه أنه أمر طبيعي، بينما نرى من جهة أخرى الدول نفسها تشجّع على التقاتل العربي سواء بين الدول أو داخل المجتمعات العربية وكأنه أمر «طبيعي»! فمصطلح «التطبيع» يعني أن نجعل العلاقة مع الكيان الصهيوني (او الاقتتال العربي) أمراً طبيعياً بينما واقع الحال هو العداء. والعداء ليس عداء ظرفياً مبنياً على خلافات موضوعية بل هو عداء وجودي. فلا مجال للتعايش ولا للتساكن ولا لمهادنة مع كيان يشكّل وجوده في قلب الأمة أولى الطعنات لإلغاء وجودها. فعندما يجنح الكيان ومعه الإدارة الحالية في الولايات المتحدة إلى جعل الديانة اليهودية قوميّة كقاعدة للكيان. فهذا يعني الغاء الوجود الفلسطيني ليس معنوياً فقط بل تمهيداً إلى إلغاء وجوده جسدياً عبر عمليات تهجير مدعومة من الولايات المتحدة وربما مموّلة من قبل بعض الدول العربية.

في مبرّرات التطبيع

قضية فلسطين هي التي تجمع العرب من المحيط إلى الخليج فيصبح ضرب القضية الفلسطينية هدفاً وجودياً لعدم تحقيق وحدة العرب التي ترعب فعلا كلاً من الكيان والغرب، وذلك منذ ظهور الإسلام. فمقاومة التطبيع كمقاومة الكيان وذلك للبقاء ليس إلاّ. والتطبيع عمل سياسي اقتصادي ثقافي اجتماعي في خدمة هدف سياسي أكبر. والهدف السياسي الكبير هو إنهاء القضية الفلسطينية. لذلك لا بدّ من بذل جهد لتحقيق ذلك عبر تقديم حجج متعدّدة.

من ضمن الحجج المقدّمة لتحقيق ذلك الغرض هو أنّ القضية الفلسطينية عائق في نهضة الدول العربية وتستنزف قدراتها وتمنعها من الحصول عن الدعم المالي الدولي والتكنولوجيا لنهضة تلك الدول. كما أنّ الصلح مع الكيان الصهيوني، الذي هو الهدف الأخير لإنهاء القضية الفلسطينية، هو ما سيحقّق الاستقرار والتنمية في الدول العربية. فلا تنمية ولا استقرار في كلّ من مصر والأردن وما هو في عهدة السلطة الفلسطينية. فالصلح مع الكيان لم يأتِ ولن يأتي بأيّ استقرار وتنمية.

المبرّر الحقيقي للمطبّعين هو الاعتقاد الخاطئ أنه سيؤمّن لهم الحماية الأميركية والصهيونية من شعوبهم المنتفضة ضدّهم بسبب سياسات القمع والفساد والتبعية. القراءة الخاطئة للنخب الحاكمة في تلك الدول التي تشجّع على ترويج التطبيع (والتي ما زالت لا تجرؤ على المجاهرة بالتطبيع) تجعل عندهم إساءة تقدير التحوّلات الحاصلة دولياً وإقليمياً. يعتقدون أنّ بحفنة من المال سيكسبون ودّ الصهيوني والأميركي. غير أنهم يجهلون أو يتجاهلون يقين نظرة الأميركيين والصهاينة لهم وأنه من المستبعد جدّا أن يقدّموا لهم الحماية. فسياسة المكابرة وإنكار الحال ما زالت تتحكم عند تلك النخب الحاكمة التي لا تستطيع استيعاب التحوّلات في موازين القوّة في المنطقة التي لم تعد لصالح الكيان والولايات المتحدة.

في أشكال التطبيع

أما أشكال التطبيع فهي متعدّدة. فمنها ما يأخذ شكل الزيارات المتبادلة غير الرسمية أي بين أفراد وهيئات عربية وصهيونية، أو رسمية عبر زيارات رسمية لمسؤولين من الكيان إلى عدد من الدول العربية إضافة إلى التنسيق الأمني والاستخباري الذي يصل إلى عمليات مشتركة في اغتيال قيادات المقاومة، أو عبر لقاءات ثقافية ورياضية واقتصادية في الدول العربية تستضيف من خلالها وفوداً صهيونية. والأخطر هو التطبيع الثقافي خاصة في مجال الفن والأدب حيث المسلسلات العربية التي تبرّر التطبيع والمشاريع المشتركة تساهم في خلق واقع جديد يصعب تجاهله وتداعياته خاصة في الوعي الجماعي للأمة بين الشباب الذين يمكن التأثير بهم. والوجه الأكثر استفزازاً هو الانتشار عبر وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي لأفكار تتخلّى عن القضية المركزية للأمة وهي القضية الفلسطينية وجعلها قضية هامشية لا علاقة للعرب بها ألاّ للفلسطينيين، وحتى في ذلك الحال يتم تحقير الفلسطينيين! لن ندخل في سجال مع تلك السخافات، بل نكتفي بالإشارة إلى وجودها. كما أن الردّ عليها يعطيها شرعية غير موجودة في الأساس.

والتطبيع يتناول أيضاً المعتقدات وخاصة القرآن الكريم، حيث يتمّ تحريف الآيات الكريمة لتبرير وجود الكيان. فالدين مصدر الشرعية لأنظمة حكم عربية، وبالتالي استعمال الدين لتبرير سياسات غير مقبولة يصبح أمراً مشروعاً وإنْ كان مبنياً على تحريف الآيات والخروج المتعمّد عن سياقها القرآني.

أفق التطبيع

تجب هنا الإشارة إلى أنّ رغم معاهدات سلام مع الكيان الصهيوني لبضع دول عربية لم يستطع الكيان خرق الجدار في الوعي العربي للوصول إلى التطبيع مع المجتمعات العربية خاصة في مصر والأردن وطبعاً فلسطين، وذلك بعد أكثر من أربعين سنة من عمر المعاهدة بين مصر والكيان وأكثر من 25 سنة بين السلطة الفلسطينية والأردن من جهة أخرى. فالعداء للكيان سمة النظرة العربية للكيان كما أننا نؤكّد أنّ العقيدة القتالية للجيش المصري ما زالت تجعل الكيان الصهيوني عدواً لمصر. غير أن بعض الدول الخليجية عادت إلى إحياء تلك المشاريع التطبيعية التي تصطدم بجدار الوعي العربي. فمن هنا الحملات في محاولة لاختراق ذلك الوعي.

السياق السياسيّ للتطبيع

هذه المحاولات تجري في سياق تغيير جذري في موازين القوّة على الصعيد الدولي والإقليمي، حيث الكفة لم تعد مائلة لصالح المحور الذي تقوده الولايات المتحدة بل لصالح القوى الرافضة للهيمنة الأميركية. لم تستطع القوى الاستعمارية، التي كانت في ذروة قوّتها ففرضت الوجود الصهيوني في قلب الأمة، أن تجعل العلاقات بين الكيان والمجتمعات العربية علاقات طبيعية وإذ نرى في حقبة تراجعها دولاً عربية تقدّم أوراق اعتماد بالولاء لها عبر تحويل وجهة الصراع مع الكيان الصهيوني إلى صراع مع الجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران وقوى محور المقاومة من دول وقوى شعبية أثبتت فعّاليتها على الأرض في مواجهة الكيان.

فهذه الدول المطّبعة صاحبة الشرعية المهتزّة داخلياً وعربياً تعتقد أنّ الحماية لوجودها من قبل الولايات المتحدة والكيان الصهيوني تفرض عليها التسريع في التطبيع معه. والكيان الصهيوني بحاجة إلى ذلك التطبيع لفك العزلة الدولية عنه، كما أنه بحاجة لإبراز «إنجاز» ما على صعيد العلاقات مع الدول العربية. كما أنّ الأفق المسدود داخلياً في الكيان الصهيوني جعل الهجرة من الكيان إلى الخارج تتسارع. فلا أمل بمستقبل مشرق للكيان عند المهاجرين من الكيان. فالتطبيع أصبح «حاجة» صهيونية لتبرير «نجاح» الكيان وبقائه. التطبيع يعكس حالة ضعف بنيوي عند المطبّع كما عند الكيان وهذه حقيقة يجب التركيز عليها.

مقاومة التطبيع

مقاومة التطبيع مزمنة، ولكن ما يجعلها اليوم أكثر إلحاحاً هي استغلال شهر رمضان لنشر عبر مسلسلات عربية مسألة وجود الكيان الصهيوني كأمر طبيعي وجعل مقاومته إخلالاً بالأمن وحتى إرهاباً يجب دحره. وتتزامن هذه المسلسلات ومواقع إلكترونية تعتبر القضية الفلسطينية ليست قضية عربية بل هامشية في وعي المجتمعات العربية، وذلك بتشجيع من تلك الدول التي استبدلت العداء للجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران ومعها محور المقاومة بالعداء للكيان الصهيوني. فعندهم أصبحت المقاومة إرهاباً يجب عزلها ثم القضاء عليها. وهذا هو الهدف المباشر للتطبيع.

مقاومة التطبيع موجودة في معظم الأقطار العربية وتقودها منظّمات وهيئات شعبية استطاعت تنظيم مظاهرات مليونية في مواجهة محاولات التطبيع خاصة في دول المغرب. كما أن حملات قانونية لتجريم التطبيع تجري على قدم وساق في عدد من الدول العربية.

مقترحات

لذلك نقترح أن يصدر عن الملتقى ما يلي:

أولاً: التأكيد أنّ مقاومة التطبيع واجب أخلاقي أولاً ووطني ثانياً وقومي ثالثاً.

ثانياً: التأكيد على الاستمرار في نشاط مناهضة محاولات التطبيع والتعميق في التنسيق على الصعيد الشعبي وعلى الصعيد القانوني وعبر المنتديات والنقابات والهيئات المختصة في مناهضة الكيان. في هذا السياق لا بدّ من إبداء التحيّة والتقدير للمناضلين المناهضين للتطبيع الذين يواجهون قمع حكوماتهم ولم يبدّلوا في مواقفهم.

ثالثاً: التأكيد على ضرورة تفكيك الخطاب التطبيعي في مرتكزاته ومفاصله خاصة على وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي على قاعدة ما عرضناه أعلاه من حجج واهية وتشويه للحقائق.

رابعاً: التشديد على استمرار المجتمع الثقافي والأدبي العربي في إنتاج منظومة فكرية وأدبية وفنّية ترفض التطبيع.

خامساً: مقاطعة البضائع الصهيونية التي تتسرّب بوسائل شتّى إلى الأسواق العربية والتشهير بمن يروّج لها.

سادساً: دعم جهود منظمة «بي دي أس» التي تدعو إلى مقاطعة البضائع الصهيونية وتفكيك الاستثمارات في القطاعات الاقتصادية الصهيونية. فهذه المنظمة حقّقت نجاحات في عدد من الدول الأوروبية وحتى في الولايات المتحدة في الجامعات ومجمع الكنائس ما أثار غضب ورعب اللوبي الصهيوني الذي يضغط بكلّ قواه على تجريم تلك المنظمة وتجريم كلّ مَن يلتزم بتوصياتها.

*ورقة مقدمة للملتقى العربي الافتراضي لرفض التطبيع مع الكيان الصهيونيّ بدعوة من المركز العربي الدولي للتواصل والتضامن، وذلك في 15 أيّار/ مايو 2020.

**كاتب وباحث اقتصادي سياسي والأمين العام السابق للمؤتمر القومي الدولي.

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

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

By Staff, Agencies 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

بين أم عطا المقاومة.. وأم هارون اليهوديّة القدس عاصمتنا الأبديّة

سماهر الخطيب

تتفقّد منزلها بين الحينة والأخرى تستدين المال كي تدفع ما يطالبها به الاحتلال من ضرائب قد استوجبت على منزل «لا يساوي شيئاً» وتقف أمام الباب شامخةً رافضة لعرض السمسار الذي قدّمه لها لبيع هذا المنزل الصغير وتنعته بكلمات لا تحرّك به ضميره الغائب ليترنّح قائلاً «بيعيه اليوم أفضل من أن تخسريه غداً وتصبحين بلا منزل ولا مال»؛ تزداد إصرارً بالرفض.. وتهدي المفتاح لذاك الطالب الكهنوتي ليتذكّر بأن «له بيت في القدس» ولتردّ له شيئاً من معروفه لها..

حدث ذلك مع أم عطا في أربعينيات القرن الماضي هذا ما عرضه عنها مسلسل درامي يحمل اسم «حارس القدس».

وفي المقلب الثاني وفي الحقبة ذاتها تسرد «أم هارون»، قصتها كطبيبة يهودية واجهت تحديات كثيرة مع أسرتها والجالية اليهودية في دول الخليج، في دليل فاضح على تمهيد الإعلام «السعودي» للتطبيع مع «إسرائيل»..

وشتان ما بين أم عطا وأم هارون ليست حبكة درامية تتجلى وإنما قضية راسخة لا يمكن أن نغفل عنها.

فنحن من تربّى على أناشيد الشاعر السوري سليمان العيسى والذي رددنا كلماته إلى اليوم..

فلسطين داري ودرب انتصاري

تظل بلادي هوى في فؤادي

ولحناً أبياً على شفتيا

وجوه غريبة بأرضي السليبة

تبيع ثماري وتحتلّ داري

وأعرف دربي ويرجع شعبي

إلى بيت جدّي إلى دفء مهدي

فلسطين داري ودرب انتصاري

هذه الكلمات شكلت بدايات الوعي لدى كل طفل عن القضية الفلسطينية وحفرت في ذاكرة أجيال من الأطفال على امتداد المعمورة ليس من النهر إلى البحر فحسب، إنما من المحيط إلى الخليج فهذه الأرض لنا وفي تلافيف العقل قد حيكت بساتينها وقراها وحجارها وشطآنها.

هي بلادنا وأرضنا لا تطبيع إعلامي يمكن أن يمحو الحقيقة ولا تطبيل وتزمير «عربي» خانع كخنوع بعض حكام العرب الذين باتوا دمية بأيدي ذاك الصهيوني الغاشم بلا حياء يطبلون له ويزمرون..

وكما يُقال في المثل الشعبي «فوق الموتة عصّة قبر» فبينما تعاني أرضنا المحتلة ما تعانيه من تدنيس المحتل وتعذيب لشعبنا وحاصرته والبحث عن شتى السبل لإخضاعه والعالم أجمع أصم أبكم فهو لا يفقه ومنشغل بأزمة الفيروس المستجد القاتل لجنسنا البشري يعاني شعبنا في فلسطين من فيروس من نوع أخطر وأعتى وأشرس، فيروس صهيوني استشرى بأرضنا وشعبنا يجتمع القادة العرب في جامعتهم ليدينوا ضمّ الضفة الغربية لدولة الاحتلال «إدانة» فقط هذا ما استحصلنا عليه من «سموّهِم المعظم» يمنّون علينا بها.

وفي كل مرة يجتمعون فيها منذ تاسيس جماعتهم المفرقة، ومن قبلها منذ عهد «الشريف حسين» ومراسلاته مع مكماهون إلى اليوم وفي كل كلمة يتفوّهون بها نخسر المزيد من أرضنا المقدسة ودولة الاحتلال لا تترك فرصة إلا وتبخ في كل إناء سُمّها.

وها هي اليوم تستغل انشغال العالم أجمع بمواجهة الفيروس كوفيد– 19 لتسعى بخبث نحو نسج مكائدها..

فجاء إعلان ضمّ الضفة الغربية تزامناً مع ظهور هذا الفيروس المستجد دونما مغيث لشعبنا الفلسطيني سوى مَن كان ضميره حاضراً مقاوماً بالقول والفعل، بالكلمة والسلاح.

وإذا عدنا للوراء في الأشهر القليلة المنصرمة فإننا سنجد الكثير من الانحياز الغربي للكيان الصهيوني على أرضنا، بل نجد أن ستار وغطاء السياسة الغربية والأميركية تجاه دولة الاحتلال قد تكشّف وظهر ما كانت تكنّه من نيات في طياتها العنصرية والاستعمارية.

منذ نقل السفارة الأميركية إلى مدينة القدس وإعلانها عاصمة لدولة الاحتلال مروراً بانسحاب أميركا من مجلس حقوق الإنسان لكونه بحسب زعمها يظلم حقوق الشعب الصهيوني، وصولاً إلى التصديق على قانون يهودية دولة «إسرائيل» وصولاً إلى الإعلان المزعوم بضم الجولان السوري المحتل كل ذلك يصب في مصلحة الكيان الصهيوني وراعيته أميركا، فما جاء به ذاك المدير الترامبي وصهره من نداءات لـ»صفقة القرن» قد بدأ يحيك فصولها بدقة متناهية منذ تسلمه دفة القيادة من دون أن يرفّ لهما جفن.

فالدول العربية منشغلة وكذلك الأوروبية والآسيوية لا مجال الآن للالتفات إلى ما يعنيه قرار الأمم المتحدة 181 بشأن القدس ولا حتى القرار 194 بشأن حق العودة ولا حتى هل سيكون قرار إنشاء الأونروا أو الانسحاب منها متاحاً للنقاش والتي أنشئت بقرار من الأمم المتحدة والتي من المفترض أن تكون أعلى سلطة عالميّة لولا تحكم الولايات المتحدة الأميركية بقراراتها وانتهاكها مبادئ الشرعة الدولية.

في القرارين الأميركيين اللذين أظهرا صهيونية ترامب أكثر من الصهاينة أنفسهم يفسران بعضهما البعض، فإذا ما أسقط حق العودة فليس للأونروا عمل بعد اليوم، ليصبح جميع اللاجئين الفلسطينيين مواطنين داخل الدول التي احتوتهم.

وهو ما علا الصوت بتوطين اللاجئين، ولم يكن الهدف منه اللاجئين السوريين إنما الفلسطينيون هم من كانوا مقصودين بالتوطين ليسقط حق العودة وتنسحب الولايات المتحدة من تمويل الأونروا لانتفاء الحاجة إليها ويتوافق ذلك مع يهودية «إسرائيل».

أما بالنسبة للضفة الغربية والقطاع بعد أن حلّ ترامب وصهره قضية القدس فإنّ لهما تتمة في السيناريو الأميركي المعنون بصفقة القرن.

فالكيان الصهيوني لن يكلّ أو يملّ من دون أن يضمهما أو يضم أحدهما لحكمه الاستعماري. وليتم ذلك أولاً الخضوع والاعتراف بيهودية هذا الكيان، ولمن رفض فله سيناء. تلك تتمة السيناريو الخبيث فلم يعد خافياً على أحد تلك القمة السرية في البحر الميت من دهاء بين الرئيس المصري والأردني ورئيس وزراء العدو لتتدافع بعدها اللقاءات وحبك المؤامرات ونقل ما صنعوه من ممثلين وبدعتهم الإرهابية إلى سيناء وإفراغها من سكانها الأصليين ريثما يحين الموعد «توطين الفلسطينيين».

ولا ننسى أزمة تيران وصنافير أحد فصول «صفقة القرن»، وليس الهدف من جعلها سعوديّة إلا إرضاء للكيان الصهيوني، لما تشكله هاتان الجزيرتان من رمزية النصر المصري والفشل الصهيوني إبان عدوان 1967 على مصر.

فكانت تنطلق منها القوات البحرية باتجاه الأراضي المحتلة هذا من جهة، ومن جهة أخرى ربما يريد العدو تحويل المياه في البحر الأحمر إلى مياه دولية فيستطيع العبور فيها والتجارة دونما تعليق يذكر.

وبعد سلسلة قرارات أميركية وصهيونية اتخذت وسط صمت دولي وتراخٍ عربي، لم يعد لدولة الاحتلال ذاك الحلم بالتوسّع وخوض الحروب طالما أنها توسعت في «مجالها الحيوي» فلِمَ تخسر عسكرياً وهي تكسب اقتصادياً وثقافياً وفنياً واجتماعياً..! بعد حملة التطبيع و»أم هارون» التي جالت معظم البلاد العربية من خليجها إلى مغربها، وهو ما أشار إليه بنيامين نتنياهو في مكان تحت الشمس بإنشاء حلف اقتصادي تقوده دولة الاحتلال..

إنما على الساحة السورية، ما سيسقط هذا المشروع الأميركي الصهيوني. فالحرب في الشام أصبحت شبه منتهية بنصر الدولة السورية وحلفائها على الإرهاب. وفي العراق كذلك كما في لبنان وفي الداخل الفلسطيني تبقى المقاومة عتية عن القبول بالانصياع لقرارات أميركية ووجود لكيان غاصب. وفي كل بلد لا تزال فيه أنفاس المقاومة فالشعوب تبقى صاحبة القرار لو بعد حين.

ولا نصرَ يمكن أن يتحقق إنْ لم يروَ بتكاتف الشعب والجيش والمقاومة لتنعكس قوة تنبثق من رحم عقيدة متأصّلة في وجدان أبنائها.

وحارس القدس في كل ضمير مقاوم موجود ليس بدعة وليس ذكرى بل ذاكرة تدق بأننا سنعود.. متجاوزين ما اصطنعوه من حدود سياسية، لتظهر الوحدة الجغرافية، فيجب أن نضطلع بمسؤولية قضايانا القومية لنصنع النصر وأن نقرّر مصيرنا بإرادتنا نحن.

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إنْ لم نغيّر الواقع فسيأتي من يملأ الفراغ ويقوم بالعمل\

سعادة مصطفى أرشيد

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

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

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

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

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

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

*سياسيّ فلسطينيّ مقيم في الضفة الغربيّة.

The Worst Deal of the Century for Palestine

Tim KirbyFebruary 22, 2020

Trump is full of surprises and no one in the punditry was expecting anything like his “Deal of the Century”. It promises to solve the Israel/Palestine situation in a way that is fair to both sides and end a political crisis that has gone on for generations with a few pen swipes. Bold moves and showmanship are to be respected in politics, but is this really some new grand answer or a means for Israel-loyal Trump to trick the Palestinians? Well, on the surface it certainly looks like a great step forward if you are on the Israeli side of things.

It is important to note that if one geopolitical “wedge issue” exists, then it is most certainly Israel. The narrative surrounding Israel’s 20th century restoration divides people into two bitter raging camps. For many (Socialists, the Left) the European looking Israelis cutting out space for themselves in a foreign land while pushing the brown people back looks like some sort of microcosm of Western Imperialism. On the other hand, for those in the West who actually like their civilization (Republicans, the Right) they see Israel as a shining Democratic/Western light on a hill surrounded by barbarians. In many ways today’s Israel is like a living satire of the Old West in America – for some it is Manifesting Destiny and taming wild lands but for others it looks more like apartheid/genocide. Although it is unprofessional to mention oneself in a piece of analysis it is important to say that I personally subscribe to neither of these narratives. I can see them, understand them, but I do not believe in them. Meaning, as you will see I think the Deal of the Century is bad for the Palestinians not because they are victims of Jewish pioneers in the Wild Wild Middle-East but simply because accepting the deal means their side loses. This is not a deal but a request for capitulation.

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At first glance the “two-state solution” style deal sounds very attractive for the Palestinian side. Being a recognized state, even if very poor and cut up into awkward chunks is still much better than being an “in name only” pseudo state within the official borders of another. If Palestine was more like a state it could control is territory and engage in trade much more easily with nations that are sympathetic to their cause giving them breathing room. The problem is that the Deal of the Century only offers two-state flavour and not the two-state substance that could woo the Palestinians into signing it.

One of the key clauses of the proposition is to disarm the Palestinian Authorities, Hamas and whomever else may be on their side in Israel… and this is where the deal falls apart before it even begins. Disarmament as part of any deal is coded language for capitulation. If your tribe lays down its arms and my tribe does not, guess who is going to be the Helots and who is going to be the Spartans. Strategically speaking if the Palestinians give up their ability to fight they have obviously lost.

Another aspect of this Deal of the Century that works only in Israel’s favour is the clause that the Palestinians must acknowledge Israel as a “Jewish State”. If the deal was to create a true two-state solution with real borders between them this would not be such a problem, but since ultimately the Palestinians would still technically be within Israel’s borders acknowledging that this region is the property of a different religious group would be a huge mistake. If the United States officially acknowledged the “Russianess” of Alaska you could see how that would really not be in America’s interests. It would essentially mean that Russia would by logic have the “right” to this territory and that is why America would and should never ever acknowledge any claim by a foreign power over U.S. territory. As they say in Russian “it was yours, now it’s ours”. If you do not follow this type of policy then you are asking for succession and strife.

This is why Palestine, if it wants to survive cannot sign off on Israel being Jewish. The second they do this it will mean that bureaucratically they have no place in this country and lose any claims to it.

The Palestinians are unlikely to say that all of Israel is “Jewish”.

Other aspects of the deal also force the Palestinians into a submissive state like demanding that they have to end “all programs, including school curricula and textbooks, that serve to incite or promote hatred or antagonism towards its neighbors” when the Israelis do not. Furthermore the Palestinians must have an open and free press, which in reality, means that as a desperately poor region they must open their press up to being bought up or overwhelmed by Western Mainstream Media.

Again as an Orthodox Slav I have no horse in this race, the core narratives in support of the Israelis and Palestinians do not speak to me, but objectively taking a look at the terms, if the Palestinians take this “deal” then they have ultimately capitulated. A completely helpless and yet completely “open” Palestine that may have to give up even more territory officially will erode even faster. No break-away movement in any nation on Earth could agree to similar terms and yet still desire independence.

If I were in Trump’s shoes and very deeply tied to support for Israel I would not have offered some sort of deal between the two sides, but instead offered the Israeli Jews the chance to become the 51st state, which in some ways it already is. Although the bureaucratic realization of this idea would be tough to say the least, it would be good PR within the Beltway and beyond even if the idea was completely rejected. This peace attempt which will get shot down for the reasons stated above and will be yet another blow to Trump’s competency like not knowing where Kansas City actually is. More than anything I hate farces and if the U.S. is so tied to Israel why not just take it? If Israel really is the shining light on the hill in the Middle-East or at least the “beachhead” America needs in the region then just absorb it. Strategically this is really the best option for a pro-Israel America. If they really want to defend it then they should just extend the border around it, which would justify the U.S. to take any actions it deems necessary to secure the territory including ones that would be quite “rough” towards the Palestinians.

In summation…

  • For the Palestinians this deal is a form of capitulation, they must say “no”.
  • For the Israelis this is yet another step to ending the Palestinian problem, they must say “yes”, and blast the other side for rejecting the offer.
  • The United States has such heavy interesting in Israel that they may as well just absorb it, which would ultimately solve all problems for the Israeli Jews that the Beltway claims to want to protect/support.

US Middle East “Peace Deal” Designed to Perpetuate Conflict

February 19, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – A deal that is entirely unacceptable to one of its principal parties isn’t a deal at all. In the case of the US-proposed “Middle East peace plan” – unsurprisingly endorsed by the US and Israel and few others – everything about it is designed to sabotage peace and perpetuate conflict – perhaps even expand it.

The London Guardian in its article, “Palestinians cut ties with Israel and US after rejecting Trump peace plan,” would note what are obvious conditions Palestine could not and should not accept:

The blueprint, endorsed by the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, calls for the creation of a demilitarised Palestinian state that would exclude Jewish settlements built in occupied territory and remain under near-total Israeli security control.

Demilitarizing Palestine and subjecting it to occupation blatantly illegal under international law and what would undoubtedly be continued Israeli aggression, provocations, and encroachment is akin to unconditional surrender and subjugation – conditions no government could be expected to accept with Palestine being no exception.

An op-ed published by Al Jazeera titled, Trump’s Middle East plan may have a silver lining: Trump’s plan will not make the Palestinians’ lives better, but it could help dismantle the disastrous Oslo order,” would aptly describe the deal as:

Basically, Trump’s plan promises the Israelis an almost full realisation of the Zionist objectives to establish a Jewish state on all of historic Palestine, while offering the Palestinians “prosperous apartheid”, ie life under occupation with more money but no dignity and basic rights.

Of course, promises of money may or may not be fulfilled. A Palestine rendered defenseless and entirely dependent on ill-willed sponsors has no way to ensure such promises are fulfilled.

Thus the “peace plan” is yet another demonstration of Washington’s continued malign presence in the Middle East and its absolute disinterest in changing course. The Guardian would also note that several Arab allies of the US would side with Washington’s proposal, prioritizing joint belligerence toward Iran rather than solidarity with Palestine.

Helping ease Arab allies of Washington out of their pretend concern for Palestine will – Washington hopes – help them focus entirely on US plans to create a united front against Iran as US power and influence in the region slips. 

Politics and Power, Not Religion 

This disingenuous and counterproductive “peace plan” does however help illustrate that the current, ongoing conflict in the Middle East is not driven by religion, neither Zionist nor Islamic extremism, but rather by politics and in particular – designs to maintain Western hegemony in the region that has existed since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Religion and its perversion through extremism is simply used to augment and propel these designs.

Were the conflict purely a matter of religion – Sunni and Shia’a soldiers wouldn’t be fighting side-by-side in Syria against US-sponsored terrorists. Arab nations would not be abandoning Palestine in favor of joining the US and Israel in their collective belligerence against Iran. And no nation in the region – save for Israel – would accept the most recent “peace plan” proposed by the US.

Seeing through a “peace plan” intentionally designed to further inflame emotions and deepen divides and understanding the true interests driving regional conflict will help establish common ground rather than erode it. The actual people living in Israel have more in common with ordinary people living in Palestine than with the current circle of special interests dominating the Israeli government.

Ordinary people seek peace and stability – to live out their lives and provide for their families. Tensions and the conflicts they lead to only disrupt ordinary people from achieving this basic desire – whether they are Israelis or Palestinians.

The US proposal illustrates to people on either side of the divide that the US is not an honest broker and that the current process posing as pursuing peace should be dismantled.

Because of this, and just as the US has faded from other areas of the world and even from other areas within the Middle East – the US will fade from prominence regarding the Israeli-Palestinian question – hopefully opening the way for more honest brokers to move in and propose a genuine peace deal that will right injustices and provide for the best interests of ordinary people rather than merely pose as doing so while serving the interests of a malign few.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.

«Israeli» Ex-Soldiers Depict Life in IOF: Troops Are «Drunk On Power and Boredom»

«Israeli» Ex-Soldiers Depict Life in IOF: Troops Are «Drunk On Power and Boredom»

By Staff, The Guardian

Former “Israeli” soldiers depict their life in the military; day-to-day memories of their time in the military that continue to jolt them in post-army life. Regular house searches, arrest and hours at checkpoints fill their minds when they look back and wince.

When several dozen ex-combatants were asked about a time that most affected them, former First Sergeant Omry Balely remembered weeks of boredom at a roadblock near the parched Palestinian city of Ariha [Jericho].

“The general feeling was that it was a quiet and very safe area,” he says. “When you’re at a checkpoint, you’re in a daily routine of controlling the lives of other people. Who enters and who doesn’t is in your hands – a 19-year-old kid with power.”

They would get agitated and taunt the Palestinians, denying entry or exit to those who said the “wrong” thing, or cuffing one to a barrier for having incorrect documentation. Looking for amusement, his unit handwrote bogus VIP permits for the Palestinians who crossed regularly. They were legally meaningless but added some fun to the long hours in the sun.

Once, an older man in his 50s arrived. He had one of these paper VIP permits, but that day, he came with a donkey. “Where was the donkey’s VIP pass? the soldiers demanded.

“We all laughed at the situation, including the Palestinian,” says Balely, now 30. “But looking back a few years later, I realize what being drunk with power combined with boredom can do to you. You toy with the life and livelihood of a person for entertainment.”

Testimonies like these from 52 “Israel” Occupation Forces veterans are being displayed this month at a gallery in Tel Aviv alongside their portraits for an exhibition called EXPOSE[D]. For a decade, Quique Kierszenbaum, a news photographer and journalist, has been documenting those who agreed to speak out about the abuses they saw and often perpetrated. He did this with the help of Breaking the Silence, a not-for-profit organization founded in 2004 that has been collecting personal military stories, hoping it will show the public the reality of everyday life for Palestinians.

The whistleblower organization, widely derided in “Israel”, says abuse is systematic and institutionalized – an unavoidable part of five decades of occupation – rather than the rare the rare anomalies that such incidents are often explained away as. To date, Breaking the Silence has meticulously collected testimonies from more than 1,200 soldiers, although the vast majority do not have their identities revealed. This has led to the army and others questioning the accuracy of their accounts.

Yehuda Shaul, an ex-combat soldier, was one of the group’s founders and still runs it. His portrait forms part of the exhibition, one of the first people Kierszenbaum photographed. The accompanying text is a story he has shared for more than a decade, from his time in the early 2000s during the street fighting of the second intifada.

“I would shoot directly at Palestinian neighborhoods using a grenade launcher in response to Palestinian fire towards the [Jewish] settlements in the city,” the text reads. “It’s clear to me that many civilians were hurt by this fire. We did it without any identification of the sources of shooting from the Palestinian side.” A decision was later made to carry out what he calls “deterrent firing”, shooting every day before the Palestinians had even started attacking.

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