Israelis Have Shown Netanyahu the Door. Can He Inflict More Damage before He Exits?

Global Research, September 20, 2019

For most Israelis, the general election on Tuesday was about one thing and one thing only. Not the economy, nor the occupation, nor even corruption scandals. It was about Benjamin Netanyahu. Should he head yet another far-right government, or should his 10-year divisive rule come to an end?

Barring a last-minute upset as the final ballot papers are counted, Israelis have made their verdict clear: Netanyahu’s time is up.

In April’s inconclusive election, which led to this re-run, Netanyahu’s Likud party tied with its main opponent in the Blue and White party, led by retired general Benny Gantz. This time Gantz appears to have nudged ahead, with 33 seats to Netanyahu’s 31 in the 120-member parliament. Both parties fared worse than they did in April, when they each secured 35 seats.

But much more significantly, Netanyahu appears to have fallen short of the 61-seat majority he needs to form yet another far-right government comprising settler and religious parties.

His failure is all the more glaring, given that he conducted by far the ugliest – and most reckless – campaign in Israeli history. That was because the stakes were sky-high.

Only a government of the far-right – one entirely beholden to Netanyahu – could be relied on to pass legislation guaranteeing him immunity from a legal process due to begin next month. Without it, he is likely to be indicted on multiple charges of fraud and breach of trust.

So desperate was Netanyahu to avoid that fate, according to reports published in the Israeli media on election day, that he was only a hair’s breadth away from launching a war on Gaza last week as a way to postpone the election.

Israel’s chief law officer, attorney general Avichai Mendelblit, stepped in to halt the attack when he discovered the security cabinet had approved it only after Netanyahu concealed the army command’s major reservations.

Netanyahu also tried to bribe right-wing voters by promising last week that he would annex much of the West Bank immediately after the election – a stunt that blatantly violated campaigning laws, according to Mendelblit.

Facebook was forced to shut down Netanyahu’s page on two occasions for hate speech – in one case after it sent out a message that “Arabs want to annihilate us all – women, children and men”. That sentiment appeared to include the 20 per cent of the Israeli population who are Palestinian citizens.

Netanyahu incited against the country’s Palestinian minority in other ways, not least by constantly suggesting that their votes constituted fraud and that they were trying to “steal the election”.

He even tried to force through a law allowing his Likud party activists to film in Arab polling stations – as they covertly did in April’s election – in an unconcealed attempt at voter intimidation.

The move appeared to have backfired, with Palestinian citizens turning out in larger numbers than they did in April.

US President Donald Trump, meanwhile, intervened on Netanyahu’s behalf by announcing the possibility of a defence pact requiring the US to come to Israel’s aid in the event of a regional confrontation.

None of it helped.

Netanayhu’s only hope of political survival – and possible avoidance of jail time – depends on his working the political magic he is famed for.

That may prove a tall order. To pass the 61-seat threshold, he must persuade Avigdor Lieberman and his ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu party to support him.

Netanyahu and Lieberman, who is a settler, are normally ideological allies. But these are not normal times. Netanyahu had to restage the election this week after Lieberman, sensing the prime minister’s weakness, refused in April to sit alongside religious parties in a Netanyahu-led government.

Netanyahu might try to lure the fickle Lieberman back with an irresistible offer, such as the two of them rotating the prime ministership.

But Lieberman risks huge public opprobrium if, after putting the country through a deeply unpopular re-run election, he now does what he refused on principle to do five months ago.

Lieberman increased his party’s number of seats to eight by insisting that he is the champion of the secular Israeli public.

Most importantly for Lieberman, he finds himself once again in the role of kingmaker. It is almost certain he will shape the character of the next government. And whoever he anoints as prime minister will be indebted to him.

The deadlock that blocked the formation of a government in April still stands. Israel faces the likelihood of weeks of frantic horse-trading and even the possibility of a third election.

Nonetheless, from the perspective of Palestinians – whether those under occupation or those living in Israel as third-class citizens – the next Israeli government is going to be a hardline right one.

On paper, Gantz is best placed to form a government of what is preposterously labelled the “centre-left”. But given that its backbone will comprise Blue and White, led by a bevy of hawkish generals, and Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu, it would, in practice, be nearly as right wing as Netanyahu’s.

Gantz even accused Netanyahu of stealing his idea in announcing last week that he would annex large parts of the West Bank.

The difficulty is that such a coalition would depend on the support of the 13 Joint List legislators representing Israel’s large Palestinian minority. That is something Lieberman has rejected out of hand, calling the idea “absurd” early on Wednesday as results were filtering in. Gantz appears only a little more accommodating.

The solution could be a national unity government comprising much of the right: Gantz’s Blue and White teamed up with Likud and Lieberman. Both Gantz and Lieberman indicated that was their preferred choice on Wednesday.

The question then would be whether Netanyahu can worm his way into such a government, or whether Gantz demands his ousting as a price for Likud’s inclusion.

Netanyahu’s hand in such circumstances would not be strong, especially if he is immersed in a protracted legal battle on corruption charges. There are already rumblings of an uprising in Likud to depose him.

One interesting outcome of a unity government is that it could provoke a constitutional crisis by making the Joint List, the third-largest party, the official opposition. That is the same Joint List described by Netanyahu as a “dangerous anti-Zionist” party.

Ayman Odeh would become the first leader of the Palestinian minority to attend regular briefings by the prime minister and security chiefs.

Netanyahu will continue as caretaker prime minister for several more weeks – until a new government is formed. If he stays true to form, there is plenty of mischief he can instigate in the meantime.

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Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His books include “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His website is www.jonathan-cook.net. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

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هزيمة نتنياهو في الانتخابات مرجّحة إذا صوّت الناخبون العرب والروس ضدّه؟

سبتمبر 16, 2019

د. عصام نعمان

حكمان ينتظرهما بنيامين نتنياهو: حكم الرأي العام في الانتخابات المقرّرة في 17/9/2019، وحكم القضاء في قضايا اتهامه وزوجته بالرشوة والإحتيال وخيانة الامانة. أيٌّ من هذين الحكمين كفيل بالقضاء عليه سياسياً. لذا يسعى بلا كلل لتفادي حكم الرأي العام بحجب الثقة عن حزبه وحلفائه في الانتخابات لأنّ بقاءه في رئاسة الحكومة يساعده على تفادي حكم قضائي بإيداعه السجن.

استماتته للبقاء على قيد الحياة سياسياً قادته إلى القيام بعدّة أعمال وأنشطة كان أبرزها مقابلة الرئيس الروسي في منتجع سوتشي على البحر الأسود بعدما انتظره ثلاث ساعات في غرفة جانبيه ! بوتين لم يتردّد في تفسير سبب مسارعة نتنياهو الى مقابلته قبل أربعة أيام من موعد الانتخابات بقوله إن لا أقلّ من 1,5 مليون شخص يتحدّرون من الاتحاد السوفياتي السابق يعيشون وينتخبون في «إسرائيلـ«.

نتنياهو طامع بنيل حصة وافرة من أصوات الناخبين الروس. هل بإمكان بوتين حملهم على التصويت له ولحلفائه؟ وإذا كان في وسعه ذلك، ما الثمن الذي سيقدّمه له نتنياهو في المقابل؟

الحقيقة أنّ ثمة خصماً قوياً ينافس نتنياهو على أصوات هؤلاء وعلى أصوات سواهم. إنه زعيم حزب «إسرائيل بيتنا» أفيغدور ليبرمان الذي يتحدّر هو الآخر من جمهورية مولدوفا التي كانت أيضاً ضمن الاتحاد السوفياتي. ليبرمان كان المسؤول الرئيس عن تفشيل جهود نتنياهو لبناء ائتلاف حكومي بعد الانتخابات الأخيرة، وهو يسعى الآن الى تحقيق الغاية نفسها بالتركيز على الناخبين الروس الإسرائيليين الذين يتعاطف معظمهم مع دعوة ليبرمان الى إلغاء امتيازاتٍ يحظى بها الحريديم اليهود المتشدّدون حلفاء نتنياهو أبرزها إعفاؤهم من الخدمة العسكرية الإلزامية المفروضة على سائر مستوطني الكيان الصهيوني.

لم يتضح بعد المقابل الذي تقاضاه بوتين لقاء استقباله رئيس حكومةٍ قد لا يفوز في الانتخابات بعد أيام معدودة. بعض المراقبين يرجّح أن يكون المقابل وعداً من نتنياهو بألا يضرب جيشه ما يعتبره قواعد لإيران في سورية موجودة على مقربة من قاعدة بحرية لروسيا في طرطوس وأخرى جوية في مطار حميميم بالقرب من اللاذقية. الدليل؟ تصريح نتنياهو بعد المقابلة بأنّ الاتصالات مع بوتين «سمحت بتفادي حصول ايّ احتكاك او تصادم بين عسكريينا».

غير انّ ثمة فئة أخرى من الناخبين تُقلق نتنياهو أكثر من موقف الناخبين الروس. إنها أكثرية الناخبين العرب الذين تمكّن زعماؤهم، بعد اختلافات وتجاذبات شتى، من توحيد أحزابهم في قائمة مشتركة. مؤسّسات استطلاع ومراقبون متعدّدون يقدّرون أنه إذا وصلت نسبة تصويت الناخبين العرب الى 65 في المئة فإنّ تحالف أحزاب اليمين والحريديم الذي يؤيد نتنياهو سيصاب بهزيمة تحول دون احتفاظه برئاسة الحكومة.

نتنياهو حاول ترهيب الناخبين العرب بحمل الحكومة على إقرار مشروع قانون يقضي بنصب كاميرات مراقبة في مراكز الاقتراع خلال الانتخابات. غير انّ معارضة أكثرية الأحزاب الأخرى، وفي مقدّمهم كتلة النواب العرب، أسقطت المشروع في الكنيست.

نتنياهو أدرك حراجة وضعه الانتخابي فاحتاط لردود الفعل السلبية المتوقعة من خصومه الكثر بتنظيم حملة علاقات عامة حملته الى أوكرانيا لمقابلة رئيسها الجديد، وإلى بريطانيا لمقابلة رئيس حكومتها الجديد أيضاً. كلّ ذلك للتأثير في الرأي العام الإسرائيلي وإقناعه بأنه رجل دولة على مستوى عالمي ما يؤدي الى توطيد مكانة «إسرائيلـ« وأمنها.

لم يكتفِ نتنياهو بجولاته الخارجية بل شفع ذلك بإطلاق تصريحات من شأنها التأثير في إدارة ترامب من جهة واجتذاب المتطرفين، وما أكثرهم بين الإسرائيليين، من جهة أخرى. فما ان شعر بأنّ ترامب بدأ يتجاوب مع الرئيس الفرنسي ماكرون في سعيه الى جمعه مع الرئيس الإيراني الشيخ حسن روحاني حتى قام بعقد مؤتمر صحافي أعلن فيه انّ «إسرائيلـ« عثرت على منشآت إضافية جرى استخدمها في المشروع النووي الإيراني، داعياً المجتمع الدولي إلى الانضمام الى الولايات المتحدة و«إسرائيلـ« في مواجهة إيران.

المفارقة انه بعد ساعات معدودات من تصريح نتنياهو قام ترامب بالإعلان عن استعداده للإجتماع الى روحاني، بل هو ذهب الى أبعد من ذلك بإعلانه إقالة مستشاره للأمن القومي جون بولتون، العنصر الأكثر صقرية في دعم «إسرائيلـ« ومعاداة إيران!

إلى ذلك، قام نتنياهو بعقد مؤتمر صحافي خاص في تل أبيب تعهّد فيه بفرض السيادة الإسرائيلية على منطقة غور الأردن وشمال البحر الميت في حال إعادة انتخابه رئيساً للحكومة.

تعهّدُ نتنياهو هذا أثار ردود فعل متباينة في الحلبة السياسية الإسرائيلية. ففي حين رحّب به مجلس المستوطنات في الضفة الغربية معتبراً خطوته مهمة للغاية، قالت أحزاب المعارضة بقيادة تحالف «أزرق أبيض» إنها ترفض ان يكون غور الأردن جزءاً من دعاية نتنياهو الانتخابية. اما تحالف «المعسكر الديمقراطي» فأكد انّ أيّ عملية أحادية الجانب من شأنها تهديد أمن «إسرائيلـ« ومنع استئناف المفاوضات، وانه من المستغرَب انّ المشتبه فيه بالرشوة والاحتيال وخيانة الأمانة تذكّر خطوة دراماتيكية كهذه قبل أقل من أسبوع من الانتخابات! المحلل السياسي بن كسبيت قال في صحيفة «معاريف» 2019/9/11 اليمينية انّ تعهّد نتنياهو مناورة رخيصة لأنه كان قادراً على ضمّ غور الأردن لكنه اكتفى بإعلانٍ غير مهمّ.

إلى أين من هنا؟

لا مغالاة في القول إنّ مصير نتنياهو السياسي بات رهن وجهة تصويت الناخبين المتحدّرين من أصل روسي كما الناخبين العرب، لا سيما حجم النسبة المئوية لتصويت هؤلاء. صحيح انّ النواب العرب يميلون تقليدياً الى عدم المشاركة في أية حكومة إسرائيلية سواء يمينية او يسارية، لكن دورهم شديد الأهمية لكونهم قادرين على الإسهام في عدم تمكين أيٍّ من التكتلات البرلمانية من تكوين أكثرية في الكنيست تمكّنها من تأليف الحكومة المقبلة.

هل يفعلها الناخبون العرب في 17 ايلول/ سبتمبر؟

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The End of Israel

the end of.jpg

by Gilad Atzmon

The lesson to be drawn from the current Israeli political stalemate is that Israel is imploding, breaking into the elements it has never managed to integrate into one. The schism is no longer the more quotidian dichotomy of Ashkenazi vs. Arab Jews (aka Sephardim); this divide is ideological, religious, spiritual, political, ethnic and cultural. Nor does it break down to Left and Right, Jewish Israelis are politically with the right even when they pretend to be ‘Left.’ Although some of the most astute critical voices of Israeli politics and Jewish fundamentalism are Israelis (such as Gideon Levi, Shlomo Sand, Israel Shamir and others), there is no political Israeli Left. Israeli politics break down into a lot of extreme right voters and many ordinary hawks. The Arab Joint List Party is practically the only Left party in the Israeli Knesset. This should not be surprising any more. Jewish Left, as I have been arguing for many years, is an oxymoron; Jewishness is a form of tribal identification and Left is universal. The ‘tribal’ and the ‘universal’ are like oil and water, they do not mix very well.

What is peculiar about the Israeli political divide is that the Israelis are more united than ever in their nationalist beliefs and in the primacy of their Jewish symptoms. Why is it, if the Israelis are so unified, that no one can form a government in their so-called ‘Jewish State’?

 Avigdor Lieberman, formerly an enthusiastic Netanyahu ally and himself a radical Jewish nationalist, delved into the Israeli political deadlock yesterday. He maintained that the elections had already been decided: “The ultra-Orthodox and Messianic bloc reaches 62-61 seats.” The leader of the rabid nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu said, “If there is no voting rate of at least 70% in Gush Dan and Sharon, the Halacha government will be established.”

Basically, Lieberman said that unless secular Israelis in Tel Aviv go to the polls, they should expect to live in a Halacha State under an ultra right wing Netanyahu government.  Lieberman appears to hold the key to Israel’s political stability. Although he and Netanyahu are ideological twins regarding Israeli security and nationalist matters, the two are bitter rivals who fight aggressively against each other. Netanyahu has known for a few years that, absent a strong ultra right wing government, he can expect to spend some time behind bars, an adventure that has become common for Israel’s prime political figures.  Netanyahu’s natural partners are the ultra right parties and the orthodox parties. Ideologically, Lieberman should also feel comfortable within such a political coalition but Lieberman has made a crucial political decision, essential for his political survival. A while back he grasped that his political home base, Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union, many of them barely Jewish and subjected to constant rabbinical terror, regard the Jewish Orthodox parties as their ultimate foes. Many of these Russian and Ukrainian Jews hold ultra right wing political positions but also see the Rabbis as an imminent threat to their survival.

Theoretically, Lieberman could broker a huge unity coalition with Netanyahu at the top, joined by Blue and White (Kachol Lavan) and its three right wing field marshals, Lieberman’s own party and probably the Labour party. Such a coalition would hold around 80 Knesset seats, more than enough to sustain a strong government but this coalition would refuse to guarantee Netanyahu’s immunity.

 Netanyahu gambles instead on a weak ultra right wing religious government, a government that may not hold for very long but would buy more time for its PM to stay out of jail.

 This conflict at the heart of Israeli politics is a window into the Jewish state and its fears. Israel is rapidly becoming an Orthodox Jewish state. Israel’s Orthodox Jews are the fastest growing group in the country. They are also the country’s poorest population, 45 percent live below the poverty line in segregated communities. Ordinarily, one would expect the poor to support the left, but Israeli Torah Jews are rabid nationalists and openly lend their support to Benjamin Netanyahu and his party.

Prof. Dan Ben-David of Tel Aviv University warned recently that Israel could cease to exist in a couple of generations. He pointed to the astonishingly high birth rate among ultra Orthodox Jews and predicted that, based on current trends, they will comprise 49% of Israel’s population by 2065. The ultra Orthodox parties are destined to dominate the Knesset within a generation or less. Ben David  predicts that their dependence on Israel’s welfare system will lead to a rapid decline is Israel’s economy. This is economically damaging enough and is made worse by the refusal of most rabbinical schools to incorporate standard Western subjects such as mathematics, science and English into their core curriculum. Consequently, Israel is educating a growing percentage of its population in a fashion that fails to equip them to contribute to the needs of a hi-tech society that is immersed in a conflict for survival.

 The picture that comes across is peculiar. As Israel becomes increasingly Jewish and fundamentalist in its nationalist and religious ethos, it has also become more divided on everything else. The Russian immigrants find it impossible to live alongside the ultra Orthodox and vice versa. The secular enclave in Tel Aviv is committed to seeing their metropolis as an extension of NY. The Israeli Left has morphed into an LGBT hasbara unit. It has practically removed itself from the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Jewish settlers adhere to the concept of a ‘Two Jewish States Solution.’ They want to see the West Bank become a Jewish land. Orthodox Jews are barely concerned with any of these political issues. They well know that the future of the Jewish state belongs to them. All they need to do is sustain a productive secular Jewish minority to serve as their milk cow.  On top of all of that we face Bibi’s survival wars that threaten to escalate any minute into a world conflict.

In light of all of this, the Palestinians are in relatively good shape.. They simply need to survive. Israel seems to be Israel’s fiercest enemy.

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

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Israeli Deadly Force Against Palestinian Civilians

Global Research, July 29, 2019

For over half a century, Occupied Palestine has been and remains a deadly undeclared free fire war zone.

Time and again, Israeli forces gun down Palestinians engaged in peaceful demonstrations threatening no one.

Gazans under more than 12 years of politically motivated/suffocating blockade endured and continue enduring the worst of it.

Since establishment of the Jewish state on stolen Palestinian land in May 1948, the world community took no actions with teeth to hold its criminal class accountable for a regime of brutal state terror against defenseless Palestinians.

Since West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem occupation began in June 1967, Israel held the entire Palestinian population hostage to what the late Edward Said called its “refined viciousness.”

The Occupied Territories are virtual free-fire zones. Israel considers peacefully demonstrating Palestinians “terrorists,” killing, maiming, or otherwise harming them considered “self-defense” — defying international humanitarian laws.

In Gaza and throughout the Territories, Israel commits Nuremberg-level crimes repeatedly, yet remains immune from accountability — because of US support and world community indifference Palestinian suffering.

In its 2018 annual report, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) highlighted Israel’s “policy of willful killing (of peaceful) Great March of Return” demonstrators.

What’s been going on weekly since March 30, 2018 was and continues to be “one of the most violent and bloodiest violations (of international law) committed by the Israeli forces against the Palestinian civilians” since occupation began over half a century earlier.

The weekly onslaught was only exceeded by three premeditated Israeli wars of aggression during the December 2008 to summer 2014 period — another virtually certain ahead, at a time and invented reason of Israel’s choosing, based on Big Lies and deception like all wars.

PCHR stressed that Gazan protests have been “fully peaceful and included various folklore activities and political speeches,” adding:

“(S)ometimes (small numbers of) young men approached the border fence to throw stones and molotov cocktails and used slingshots against the Israeli soldiers fortified in watchtowers in military vehicles and behind sand berms on the other side of the border fence.”

Some “young men also attempted to break through the border fence or pull parts of it in addition to firing incendiary balloons at the borders.”

“However, all those acts did not pose any imminent threat to the life of Israeli soldiers as none of them were harmed during the reporting period.”

Since legitimate weekly protests began 16 months ago, continuing weekly, Israeli forces waged virtual undeclared war on its participants — including against young children, paramedics aiding the wounded, and journalists reporting on events.

Israeli forces have used live fire, tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets, sound grenades, even drones — against unarmed peaceful demonstrators threatening no one.

Since March 30, 2018, well over 300 Gazan men, women, and children were lethally shot, many thousands of others wounded, hundreds maimed for life. “(D)ozens had their upper or lower limbs amputated,” said PCHR, adding:

“Even before the outbreak of the Great March of Return and the following months, the statements and procedures issued by the Israeli political and military leaders provided the Israeli forces a climate of impunity to open fire at civilians and encourage them to commit crimes of willful killings.”

“Those statements described the Great Return March as ‘violent’ and “terrorist’ protests and that Hamas Movement is behind those protests.”

Then-Israeli war minister (2018) Avigdor Lieberman said

“Israeli soldiers did what was necessary (sic). I think all our soldiers deserve a medal (sic).”

Like its predecessors, the Netanyahu regime enforces collective punishment throughout the Occupied Territories, Palestinians brutalized, their fundamental rights denied.

Separately, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ Children in Armed Conflict report report to Security Council members highlighted, but way understated, the extent of Saudi war crimes against children in Yemen and Israeli ones in the Territories.

Saying it verified 1,689 child casualties in Yemen last year, including 576 deaths, another 1,113 seriously wounded flew in the face of an earlier UNICEF report.

It said at least one Yemeni child under age-five dies every 10 minutes from starvation alone.

Annualized that’s 52,560 deaths – plus countless numbers of older children and adults perishing from starvation, untreated diseases, and overall deprivation, along with deaths from Saudi/UAE terror-bombing.

Since Bush/Cheney launched war against the Yemeni people in October 2001, escalated by Obama, greatly exceeded by Trump, civilian deaths in the country likely number in the hundreds of thousands, carnage continuing daily, the death and injury toll mounting.

The secretary general’s report blamed Israel for killing 56 Palestinian children, wounding another 2,674 — but failed to include the Jewish state on its annual blacklist “of shame” for crimes against children and other civilians.

Like most of his predecessors, Guterres failed to observe UN Charter principles he’s sworn to uphold – notably preserving and protecting human rights, supporting world peace and stability, denouncing wars of aggression, and respecting fundamental international laws.

He one-sidedly supports Western and Israeli interests, doing nothing to help long-suffering Palestinians, notably beleaguered Gazans.

Time and again, his response to premeditated US-led Western and Israeli high crimes against peace called for all sides “to refrain from any act that could lead to further casualties and in particular any measures that could place civilians in harm’s way” — consistently and repeatedly ignoring reality.

Civilians in all US-led war theaters and Occupied Palestinians are subjected to merciless mistreatment.

Since taking office in January 2017, Guterres failed to condemn Western and Israeli high crimes, failed to demand long-ignored accountability, failed to support victims of their naked aggression.

His earlier calls to reengage in the (no-peace) peace process ignored US/Israeli opposition to peace and stability in the Territories and active war theaters.

In April 2018, while Israeli soldiers were lethally shooting and wounding defenseless Gazans during their weekly peaceful protest, Guterres tweeted his “best wishes to all those celebrating Passover around the world. Chag Same’ach (joyous festival)!”

The US, its imperial partners, and Israel use deadly force against children and other defenseless civilians without condemnation of accountability from the world community.

Nor has the UN secretary general used his bully pulpit to condemn their repeated high crimes against peace — siding with Western/Israeli oppressors against the oppressed, instead of the other way around.

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Featured image is from Occupy Palestine TV

Lieberman to Netanyahu over Hezbollah: You Bark More than Bite

By Staff, Agencies

Former “Israeli” War Minister Avigdor Lieberman launched an attack on the apartheid entity’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this time against the background of verbal tension with Hezbollah.

Lieberman described Netanyahu as “the dog that barks and does not bite”, in response to the latter’s threat to the Lebanese Hezbollah to “strike a crushing military blow against him and for Lebanon if he dared to commit folly and attack Israel.”

“I consider the apology for killing the Hamas element a complete madness,” the former minister said in a radio interview on Sunday. “It is a sign of panic. The prime minister is immediately preparing a list of more concessions that are reckless and irresponsible.”

Lieberman further stated: “Every month we pay more and more bribes to Hamas so that they do not attack us.”

Although Lieberman is considered to be from the “Israeli” right-wing camp, headed by Netanyahu, he entered into sharp disagreements with him when he resigned from his cabinet in November 2018. The differences between them deepened after Lieberman refused to join Netanyahu’s recent government, April 2019.

It is important to note that Netanyahu’s threat came in a speech on Sunday at the start of the weekly cabinet session, after Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah threatened Friday to hit ammonia containers in Haifa Bay.

On the occasion of the 13th anniversary of the 2006 war, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that “the resistance today is stronger than ever.”

Lieberman: Netanyahu personally Torpedoed My Plans for Gaza

Lieberman

Source

March 28, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gaza rockets land in Tel Aviv after evading Israel’s Iron Dome missile system

Source

Thu Mar 14, 2019

At least two rockets launched from the besieged Gaza Strip have landed in the Israeli capital Tel Aviv, bypassing the Iron Dome missile system to mark yet another embarrassing defeat for one of the world’s most expensive military forces.

The attack on Thursday night caused rocket alerts to blare throughout central Israel, Israeli media reported.

Several people told local media that they could hear two loud blasts in the Gush Dan (the greater Tel Aviv area), while some also claimed to have seen Iron Dome missiles being launched.

Authorities in Tel Aviv and Rishon Lezion municipalities said they would open public shelters as a cautionary measure.

The Iron Dome missile system was activated but apparently failed to intercept any of the missiles.

The Israeli military confirmed the news but tried to pass off the interception failure as a result of the missile system’s self-destruction mechanism which kicked in once it realized the missiles were going to land in open areas.

Initial reports suggested that the rockets caused no damages or injuries. However, several people had to be treated for shock as this was the first time since Israeli’s last war with Gaza in 2014 that missile sirens were being activated in Tel Aviv.

Military spokesman Ronen Manelis said nobody in Tel Aviv expected Palestinian rockets to travel this far.

“We did not have advance knowledge of this fire today, and in fact it surprised us,” Manelis said.

Israel launches attacks on Gaza

Shortly after the attack, the Israeli military said it was “attacking terror targets in Gaza” but did not provide any details. Palestinian sources reported Israeli attacks near the Khan Yunis port, in southern Gaza.

Eyewitnesses in Gaza said Israeli warplanes were carrying out airstrikes across the enclave.

Press TV’s correspondent said there had been no reports of casualties from the Israeli attacks, but people living in Gaza feared a major escalation from the Israeli military.

Netanyahu calls emergency meeting

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also acts as the regime’s minister for military affairs, called an emergency meeting at army headquarters after the rocket attack.

According to reports, Israelis had asked an Egyptian security delegation in Gaza to leave the area. Media outlets in Gaza reported that the Hamas resistance movement had evacuated military posts in anticipation of Israeli attacks.

The delegation has been mediating indirect talks between Hamas and Israel since late February reportedly in hopes of striking a truce deal that could lead to a long-term agreement lasting between five to 10 years.

A Palestinian source in Gaza told Haaretz that the rockets were fired from the northern part of the enclave. No Palestinian groups claimed responsibility for the attack. Palestinian resistance movements Hamas and Islamic Jihad denied any role in the attack.

Iron Dome’s failure

The missile attack further hurts Iron Dome’s reputation as a missile shield system that was supposed to once and for all end concerns about rocket attacks from Gaza.

The multi-billion dollar system experienced a humiliating defeat during the latest military flare-up between Gaza and Tel Aviv in November, when Hamas fired more than 460 rockets at the occupied lands in less than 24 hours in response to Israeli aggression.

PressTV-Hamas possesses game-changing missiles: Israeli sources

PressTV-Hamas possesses game-changing missiles: Israeli sources Israeli intelligence sources admit Hamas is in control of new, game-changing missiles.

The clashes ended after an Egypt-brokered ceasefire took effect in Gaza.

The truce was criticized by some Israeli officials and led Avigdor Lieberman to step down as the minister of military affairs. The resignation, which could bring about early elections in the occupied lands, was hailed by Hamas as “an admission of defeat” and a “political victory” for the Palestinian resistance.

Back then, Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar warned Israel not to test the resistance group again or it will target Tel Aviv.

Sinwar noted that he had spoken to Muhammad Deif, the leader of Hamas’s military wing the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades about the possible response to next aggression by Israel.

“Deif asked me to say that Tel Aviv and Gush Dan are next. The first barrage to hit Tel Aviv will surprise Israel,” he said.

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