The Story of Daher Al-Umar Undermines Israel’s Own Origin Story

Daher Al-Umar Feature photo

Akka, Haifa, Tabaria, are all cities with a rich Arab history which Daher made into thriving towns, and yet little memory of him existents thanks to enormous efforts put forward by the state of Israel to control the historical narrative.

December 02nd, 2019

The history of Palestine, even its very recent history, has been all but forgotten. It was pushed out by a new version of history, a narrative that is based on faith and has very little to do with history. One striking example is that of the 18th-century Palestinian leader and unifier, Daher Al-Umar. For most people, neither the man or the period in which he ruled Palestine is known.

Here is what Palestinian author Ibrahim Nasrallah writes about Daher Al-Umar:

This matchless character has long been worthy of the attention of novelists and film and television producers, who could have made him a luminous part of our popular consciousness and the ongoing struggle of the people who populated and gave life to the land of Palestine.”

 

Time to Remember

In his forward to The Lanterns of the King of Galilee, a historical novel based on the life of Daher Al-Umar published in 2011 in Arabic, and in English in 2014, Nasrallah writes, “What saddens me now is that I didn’t come to know this great man earlier in my life.” The man to which he is referring is Daher Al-Umar Al-Zaidani, also known as The King of Galilee, whose remarkable life spanned from 1689 to 1775.

Daher Al-Umar governed most of historic Palestine and shaped its economy and politics as well as the life of its inhabitants for the better part of the 18th century. He established ties – economic and political – with European empires and created a boost in the economy and lives of the people of Palestine that was unprecedented. Palestine, under Daher, was the closest thing to an independent state one could achieve in 18th century Levant.

I had only heard of Daher Al-Umar from reading Nasrallah’s book, which shows that Nasrallah is correct as he continues to say in his forward, “Unfortunately many people are ignorant of what Daher achieved toward establishing an autonomous Arab homeland in Palestine.” However, what is astonishing is that Nasrallah himself admits that he only came across the figure of Daher in 1985 while working on his epic novel, Time of White Horses, published in Arabic in 2007 and in English in 2012.

 

A Challenging Narrative

In his forward, Nasrallah doesn’t shy away from stating the obvious, that his homeland, the country which Daher unified and ruled, namely Palestine, “fell prey to the Zionist onslaught that wrested it from its owners by means of myths, tanks and collusion.”

One might add that these myths used by the ZIonists were not just any myths, but perhaps the most powerful myths the world has ever known. In fact, even referring to these stories as “myth” will surely give rise to serious opposition as we are talking about none other than the Bible itself.

The Zionists based their claims to rights over Palestine using the toughest narrative to challenge. It is not one that is tough to challenge because it is rooted in historical facts, but because it is rooted in faith. In establishing their stake to Palestine, the Zionists built a foundation on three myths that operate as three pillars: The myth of the Jewish people, the myth of the homeland and the myth of history, and all three stem from the biblical narrative.

Jewish refugee Palestine

700 Jewish refugees aboard the S.S. Parita arrive in Palestine on Aug. 22, 1939. Photo | AP

The myth of Jewish people claims that Jews are a nation like all nations, unified by a common language, history and country. This myth is in direct opposition to the way observant, orthodox Jewish people define themselves, which is as a people unified by a common faith and observance to the Almighty. This definition allows for Jewish people to be Arabs and speak Arabic, to be Polish and speak Polish or Yiddish or to be citizens of any other country in the world and still remain Jewish, as they had done for two millennia.

The myth of the homeland claims that Palestine is the homeland of the Jewish people and that it has been empty for thousands of years. This myth stands in contrast to the fact that Jews have a home and land wherever they reside, and Palestine is and always was inhabited and thriving.

The myth of that history involves the secularization of the Old Testament. It treats the Old Testament as a historical document that describes the history of the Jewish people. According to this myth, the Bible has historical value, even though centuries of research prove otherwise. Furthermore, this myth ignores the fact that the bible is not a history book but rather a book of faith with little significant historical foundation.

It is in the face of these challenging myths that opponents of Zionism and supporters of the rights of Palestinians have to struggle. It is in this context that knowing about Daher Al-Umar is so crucial, and one must ask, why and how a figure of such stature, influence and importance was erased from memory.

 

Daher’s Palestine is Nasrallah’s Palestine

Nasrallah writes that his acquaintance with Daher had given him the ability to “trace the roots that go so deep into the land of Palestine.” He continues to describe this Palestine specifically as, “Arab Palestine, the Palestine of beauty, tolerance and the willingness to embrace the other.” People who know Palestine, particularly pre-ZIonist Palestine, will agree with Nasrallah when he goes even further, calling it, “the Palestine of cultural, spiritual and human richness; the Palestine that aspires to all that is free, lovely and good.”

Daher was known for his tolerance and the good relations he forged with Christian communities, Jewish communities and the Shia community of southern Lebanon. At his invitation, Jews from Izmir had come to come to Tabaria, or Tiberias and settled there during his reign. Sadly, as a result of the 1948 Zionist destruction and forced exile, little remains of the Arab Tabaria of Daher.

Tiberias Palestine 1936

Tiberias pictured circa 1936, prior to the 1948 Nakba. Source | Kahvedjian Collection

The mosque Daher built in the city still stands. It is a monument that under any other circumstances would have been venerated, cared for and used by the faithful. According to Zochrot and to what any visitor can witness, the mosque still stands, but it was desecrated and until recently used by the city as a storage space. Now it remains closed and neglected.

Akka, Haifa, Tabaria, are all cities with a rich Arab history which Daher made into thriving towns, and yet no memory of him exists. The onslaught of Zionist erasure of the history, names and monuments on the one hand and enormous efforts put forward by the new state of Israel to push forward a historical narrative that supports Israel’s existence has been devastating and incredibly difficult to challenge.

 

Erasing Memories

All of the cities that existed in Palestine prior to 1948 and were subjected to ethnic cleansing had their streets renamed. Most, if not all, have streets named after Ben-Gurion, Weizman, Hertzel, Balfour, and other major Zionist figures. Streets have been renamed after Israeli generals like Rabin, Dayan, Bar-Lev, etc., and still others are named after military units, replacing the historical names that used to exist. This process continues to this day and can be seen clearly, particularly in Jerusalem where the “Zionization” process is in full force.

Ibrahim Nasrallah ends his forward expressing the hope that, “those who read this novel will relive all the feelings I experienced in the course of writing it, and when that happens I’m sure they’ll sense how much better they’ve become.” Having read the book, I must agree.

Feature photo | A painting of Daher Al-Umar by Ziad Daher Zaydany circa 2010

Miko Peled is an author and human rights activist born in Jerusalem. He is the author of “The General’s Son. Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” and “Injustice, the Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.”

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect MintPress News editorial policy.

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The Jewish Progressive Agenda according to Bernie Sanders

 

sanders final.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

In the 2016 Democratic primaries, Bernie Sanders presented himself as an American who happened to be Jewish.  Now, in a radical shift, Sanders identifies as “a proud Jewish American.” The progressive politician went from speaking in a universalist voice to defining himself as a 3rd category Jew, i.e., a person who identifies politically as a Jew (as opposed to identifying religiously:1st category, or ancestrally: 2nd category). In his new capacity as a proud Jew, Sanders has declared all out war on Anti Semitism on behalf of his people and in the name of what he describes as ‘multicultural progressive values’.

In his recent extended article titled How to Fight Antisemitism, published by the purportedly ‘Left’ Jewish Currents, Sanders takes up the same line you’d expect from an ADL spokesman, ticking every Hasbara box from the Jewish right of ‘self determination ‘to the primacy of Jewish suffering.

It is hard to miss the echo of Zionist propaganda in Sanders’ drivel. Understandably, Sanders doesn’t like Anti-Semitism. In that he isn’t alone. I would venture that no one, including antisemites, likes anti-Semitism. However, fighting anti Semitism is pretty simple. All it takes is self-reflection. This is exactly what early Zionists did and it was pretty effective. Early Zionism promised  to introduce a new Hebrew: civilized, proletarian, universalist and ethical. Some of the worst anti-Semites were impressed with the idea, for a while even Hitler supported that Jewish nationalist project. At the time, Zionists were so popular that they were largely forgiven their 1948 racist ethnic cleansing crimes. Their introspective project was perceived as genuine.

Now, Sanders informs us, “antisemitism is rising in this country. According to the FBI, hate crimes against Jews rose by more than a third in 2017 and accounted for 58% of all religion-based hate crimes in America.”  Does the ‘progressive’ presidential wannabe bother to ask himself why an ethnic group that comprises only 2% of the American population is subject to the vast majority of religion based hate crimes?

Sanders doesn’t advocate that Jews reflect on whether there is something they do that provokes such crimes,  he prefers to blame everyone else and White identitarians in particular. He argues that antisemites such as the Pittsburgh Synagogue murderer “acted on a twisted belief that Jews were part of a nefarious plot to undermine white America. This wave of violence is the result of a dangerous political ideology that targets Jews and anyone who does not fit a narrow vision of a whites-only America.”

Although I am a harsh critic all forms of identitarianism,  Sanders seems to want it both ways, he identifies himself as a “proud Jewish American” and yet he is hostile to those who identify as White and to their political and identitarian agenda. In reading Sanders’ piece, one can’t miss the fact that the so-called ‘progressive’ seems to support all forms of identitarianism except the White one. “This wave of violence” he writes, “is the result of a dangerous political ideology that targets Jews and anyone who does not fit a narrow vision of a whites-only America.”

Politicians who explore ideas in a manner that is ignorant, uneducated and clumsy are now a universal Western symptom. However, Sanders manages to form a category of his own. “The antisemites who marched in Charlottesville don’t just hate Jews. They hate the idea of multiracial democracy.”

What is multiracial democracy? Are we supposed to know or should we guess? Are there any voices that should be excluded from this type of diverse democracy?

 “They [presumably, the White Identitarians] hate the idea of political equality.”

Is this true? Perhaps ‘they,’ rightly or wrongly, just see themselves as among the oppressed and want their plight addressed?

“They hate immigrants, people of color, LGBTQ people, women, and anyone else who stands in the way of a whites-only America.”

Does Sanders understand that ‘hating people’ (women, migrants, people of color, LGBTQ etc,) is not the same as opposing the identity politics that divides nations into a manifold of discrete identities?

Sanders accuses the anti-Semites of being conspiratorial. “this is the conspiracy theory that drove the Pittsburgh murderer—that Jews are conspiring to bring immigrants into the country to “replace” Americans.”

I feel obliged to remind Mr. Sanders it is hardly conspiratorial to acknowledge the fact that Jewish politics in the West and in America in particular, is pro-immigration. It is well documented and is actually rational. As opposed to the Jewish State that performs some of the most brutal anti immigration policies, Diaspora Jews tend to prefer to live in a society that is made of an amalgam of many groups and ethnicities. Sanders who identifies himself as a ‘proud Jew’ should ask himself why he supports ‘multicultural democracy’ and what he means by that. Sanders ought to look into the work of HIAS and decide for himself how well it reflects his own political sentiments.

 Bernie Sanders sees anti-Semitism as “a conspiracy theory that a secretly powerful  (Jewish) minority exercises control over society.”

Someone should ask Sanders to explain the peculiar phenomenon at work when Israeli PM Netanyahu received  29 standing ovations during his hard line speech in Congress. Mr. Sanders, who believes that pointing at Jewish power arises from ‘conspiratorial’ inclinations may want to ask himself what drove him to declare war against anti Semitism instead of joining battle against all racism. Does Sanders plan to speak at AIPAC or J-Street as part of his presidential campaign or does he intend to deny himself the support of the most influential political lobbies in Washington?

Sanders writes that “like other forms of bigotry—racism, sexism, homophobia—antisemitism is used by the right to divide people from one another and prevent us from fighting together for a shared future of equality, peace, prosperity, and environmental justice.” But if Sanders is genuine here and his objective is ‘unity,’ why does he single out  White identitarians? Shouldn’t he invite the Whites to join his phantasmic identitarian ‘unity’ as equal partners? And more to the point, if “like other forms of bigotry—racism, sexism, homophobia—antisemitism is used by the right to divide people” why not simply oppose all racism and bigotry in a universal manner?

According to the “proud Jewish American” who wants to be the next  president, “opposing antisemitism is a core value of progressivism.” Is it?  I would have thought that progressivism is about opposing all forms of racism in the largest and least discriminatory manner.

To illustrate his alliance with what is currently the most racist state on the planet, Sanders delves into nostalgic memories of his Zionist youth. “I have a connection to Israel going back many years. In 1963, I lived on a kibbutz near Haifa. It was there that I saw and experienced for myself many of the progressive values upon which Israel was founded.”

Mr Sanders forgets to mention that Sha’ar Haamakim, the Kibbutz he briefly dwelled in, was founded on the land of a Palestinian village; Al Zubaidat that had been the home of 60 Palestinian families. In 1925 a Zionist organisation purchased the village land from a rich Beiruty family and beginning in 1931, the Jewish Agency struggled to evict the Palestinians of  El Zubeidat. A few years later, in 1935,  Kibbutz Sha’ar HaAmakim was founded by Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. In short, the place Sanders describes as embodying  ‘progressive values’ was in fact, part of the vile racially driven, Zionist ethnic cleansing project.

The intellectually compromised Sanders goes on to describe a criminal state with a very odd use of the term ‘progressive.’  “I think it is very important for everyone, but particularly for progressives, to acknowledge the enormous achievement of establishing a democratic homeland for the Jewish people after centuries of displacement and persecution.” I find this confusing.  Unless the words ‘progressive’ and ‘Jewish’ have morphed into synonyms, I do not understand what is ‘progressive’ about the process of violent racist ethnic cleansing.

I guess even Sanders must realise that his pro Israeli screed is easily ridiculed.

  “We must also be honest about this: The founding of Israel is understood by another people in the land of Palestine as the cause of their painful displacement.”

According to Sanders the Palestinian plight is simply a matter of a subjective perception, that  it was merely ‘understood’ by the Palestinians that the founding of Israel resulted in their own painful displacement.  Sanders dismisses reality, ignoring the chain of massacres of Palestinians in 1948, and the clear agenda of the Israeli military to cleanse the indigenous people of Palestine from their land. I can’t think of anything more disgusting and duplicitous than Sanders’ fake humanism.

 Sanders finds that “some criticism of Israel can cross the line into antisemitism, especially when it denies the right of self-determination to Jews…” I allow myself to assert that no one out there denies Jews or anyone else’s right of self-determination but self determination becomes a serious problem when executed at the expense of others, whether this takes place in Palestine, in North America or anywhere else.

Bernie Sanders, a declared non universalist ‘progressive,’ uses a Jewish outlet to vow to his people “I will direct the Justice Department to prioritize the fight against white nationalist violence. I will not wait two years to appoint a Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, as Trump did; I will appoint one immediately.”

If America intends, as it should, to fight racism and to heal its wounds it could be that Bernie Sanders is the worst possible candidate as he clearly expresses that what he cares about is the hatred of the one group that happens to be his own. Maybe president of  the ADL is the more fitting post for the pretentious self confessed “proud Jewish American.” Leading the American people and the world should be left to a proper universalist and a genuine ethical character assuming that such a person is available and willing to commit.


 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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Netanyahu Fooled his People to Get Re-Elected Using the Remnants of the IDF Terrorist Retrieved from Syria

 

Netanyahu lied- only half of the body of the IDF terrorist Baumel retrieved from Syria through Russia

When the news of Russian help extended to Netanyahu to win the elections went as far as extracting the remains of an IDF terrorist killed in Lebanon and buried in Yarmouk Camp graveyard south of Damascus back in April earlier this year, many Syrians, Palestinians, and other Arabs felt heart-broken and disappointed; it was more like a backstab to the Syrians and Palestinians by their Russian ally and a betray of trust, usually this would include releasing numerous Palestinians, Lebanese, and Syrian women, men, and most importantly children held in Israeli prisons.

Netanyahu needed any help to win the elections back in May to remain out of prison on charges of fraud, like all other Israeli officials, usual exchanges would include at least releasing a number of the children and women, and even men kidnapped by Israel and held in detention centers across occupied Palestine. But there was no exchange.

Liar Netanyahu shows fake emotions to family of IDF terrorist Baumel

At a later stage Netanyahu, possibly under pressure from Putin, released two prisoners, one of who is a Palestinian who didn’t want to go to Syria in the first place, whose his family are in the occupied Palestinian city of Al-Khalil (Zionists call it Hebron), and a drug dealer who has already spent his 11 years sentence in the Israeli prisons and was set to be released in a couple of months completing his sentence without any deal!

Thousands of children, women, and innocent men held with no justification by an occupation force and under the heinous silence of the United Nations and its many organs which are more focused to investigate bogus and fake news against Syria instead of focusing on real people held in miserable situations under the whole world’s watchful eyes.

That’s for the background of this story; what was revealed today should deliver a blow to the already embattled Netanyahu in regards with the snatching of the body of the IDF terrorist from Syria by Russia. Khalid Jibril, head of security and military in the PFLP-GC (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command), in an interview with Lebanese Al-Mayadeen news channel, revealed that what the Russians managed to extract was only the upper half of the remains of the body of the Israeli IDF terrorist and even that was missing its jaw.

In other words, not only did Netanyahu falsely claim he got the remains of the terrorist, he only got less than half after desecrating the remnants and fooling his family, and the public, just to get reelected.

Khalid Ahmad Jibril head of military and security PFLP-GC

Khalid Ahmad Jibril head of military and security PFLP-GC

Mr. Jibril challenged the Israeli leadership to deny this information, he added: ‘When they need to have these bodies back they need to pay the price for that which is releasing those in the (Israeli) occupation prisons, Syrians, Palestinians, or Arabs.’

The timing of this exposure is essential as the Israelis are preparing for the second round of elections and Netanyahu’s chances should grow slimmer with this news especially when used by his opponents.

In Case you missed it

Nakba II is Here

nakba II.jpg

Reported by Gilad Atzmon

 The Israeli media reported yesterday that the Jewish State is “actively pushing Palestinian emigration from Gaza.” A senior Israeli official confirmed that Jerusalem is looking for other countries to take in Gazans.

 Times of Israel reported that  “Israel is actively promoting the emigration of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, and is working to find other countries who may be willing to absorb them.” We are basically dealing here with a systematic forced removal of the indigenous population from a given territory by a powerful settler state. In Yiddish as well as English such an act  is called ethnic cleansing  and is considered a crime against humanity under the statutes of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

 In a similar fashion to the German (Nazi) Government at the time of the   Haavara agreement (1933) the Jewish State  is encouraging  Gazans to ‘willingly’ leave their land. The Israeli official confirmed that Israel “is ready to carry the costs of helping Gazans emigrate, and would even be willing to consider allowing them to use an Israeli air field close to Gaza to allow them to leave for their new host countries.”

 I guess that Jewish State is making a real effort to redefine the notion of Jewish ‘kindness.’

 According to the Israeli official “Israeli National Security Council has been spearheading the effort, with Netanyahu’s blessing, for about a year. The program has been discussed in the security cabinet several times.” However the official confirmed that despite the Israeli communication with  European leaders and even countries in the region, so far, no country has agreed to participate in the Israeli crime and absorb  the ethnically cleansed Gazans.

Maybe those reluctant  European leaders and countries in the region are waiting to see whether Israel is willing to absorb the many suspects involved with the current Epstein’s #pedogate as this scandal is quickly  unfolding  into a global  crime syndicate saga.

Israel’s Hands Spread Wide and Dig Deep

Image result for Israel’s Hands Spread Wide and Dig Deep
Brian Cloughley
August 6, 2019
© Photo: Flickr / Official Photo by Caleb Smith

In the US House of Representatives on 23 July there was an overwhelming vote condemning the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement which has the objective of encouraging the government of Israel to meet “its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully comply with the precepts of international law by:

1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;

2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and

3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.”

There is nothing morally or legally questionable in any of these aims.  But the United States Congress does not concern itself with morality or legality if these are inconsistent with its policy concerning Israel, which, as enunciated by Representative Lee Zeldin of New York, is based on the conviction that “Israel is our best ally in the Mid East; a beacon of hope, freedom & liberty, surrounded by existential threats.”  Fox News reported that the condemnatory resolution “has been pushed by AIPAC, the influential Israel lobby in Washington,” which explains a great deal, as AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee is a very powerful organisation, with deep pockets and wide-spreading hands.

In February 2019 The Intercept noted  that “AIPAC, on its own website, recruits members to join its ‘Congressional Club,’ and commit to give at least $5,000 per election cycle.” In a film called The Lobby “Eric Gallagher, a top official at AIPAC from 2010 to 2015, tells an Al Jazeera reporter that AIPAC gets results.”  A secret recording revealed that “Getting $38 billion in security aid to Israel matters, which is what AIPAC just did. Everything AIPAC does is focused on influencing Congress.”

And AIPAC influences Congress and other agencies extremely efficiently, even to the extent of managing to have Al Jazeera refrain from broadcasting the US-focused version of The Lobby.The Director of Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit, Clayton Swisher, said that pressure included “pro-Israel lobbyists in Washington threatening to convince Congress to register the network as ‘foreign agents,’ and false accusations of anti-Semitism against the producers of the documentary.”  That’s all you need:  the mere mention of anti-Semitism makes everyone suck their teeth, roll their eyes, and leap out of the way.

It so happened that the day before Congress condemned an initiative aimed at having Israel recognise the rights of Palestinians and abide by international law, the Israelis carried out an operation of destruction that was specifically aimed against the rights of Palestinians and was contrary to international law.  As the BBC reported, it involved 200 Israeli soldiers and 700 police, weapons at the ready, deploying to the Palestinian village of Wadi Hummus at 4 in the morning of July 22, along with bulldozers and excavators that proceeded to destroy Palestinian homes.

There wasn’t a word of objection from the US Administration whose Tweeter-in-Chief had made his views on Israel crystal-clear on 16 July when he announced that the four non-white female Members of Congress whom he loathes to the point of psychosis are “a bunch of Communists [who] hate Israel.”  Moreover, they “talk about Israel like they’re a bunch of   thugs, not victims of the entire region.”  On the other hand, the European Union stated that “Israel’s settlement policy, including actions taken in that context, such as forced transfers, evictions, demolitions and confiscations of homes, is illegal under international law. In line with the EU’s long-standing position, we expect the Israeli authorities to immediately halt the ongoing demolitions.”  Fat chance of that — just as there is no possibility that the United states or the United Kingdom will support pursuit of international law when it is violated by Israel.

Britain is on its way out of the European Union, so has no say in EU policy, but in any case it wouldn’t agree about criticism of Israel because the governing Conservative Party fosters an organisation called ‘Conservative Friends of Israel’ (CFI) whose members constitute some eighty per cent of Conservative Members of Parliament.

Boris Johnson, Britain’s Trump-loving new prime minister, is a fervid supporter of CFI which supported him in his bid to be head of the Conservative party. On 23 July, after his selection to be leader and thus prime minister, the CFI’s Chairmen, Stephen Crabb MP and Lord Pickles, and Honorary President Lord Polak declared that “From his refusal to boycott Israeli goods in his time as Mayor of London through to his instrumental role as Foreign Secretary…  Boris has a long history of standing shoulder to shoulder with Israel and the Jewish community. Mr Johnson continued to display his resolute support… reiterating his deep support for Israel and pledging to be a champion for Jews in Britain and around the world.”

One of Johnson’s first ministerial appointments was of Ms Priti Patel to be Home Secretary. She had resigned from the Cabinet of PM Theresa May in November 2017 because it had been discovered that she had been telling lies, which wasn’t in itself unusual, but the circumstances were intriguing.  As the BBC headlined about the then head of International Development :  “Priti Patel quits cabinet over Israel meetings row” which involved her apologising to the prime minister “after unauthorised meetings in August with Israeli politicians — including prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu — came to light. But it later emerged she had two further meetings without government officials present in September.”  Not only that, but in a media interview “she gave the false impression that the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, and the Foreign Office knew about her meetings in Israel.”

It’s one of these irregular verbs which were met with much laughter during the marvellous BBC series ‘Yes Minister’ and ‘Yes, Prime Minister’ — ‘I make a misstatement;  she gives a false impression;  he is in prison for telling lies.’

And it was decidedly strange that the egregious Lord Polak, he of the statement that Boris Johnson stands “shoulder to shoulder with Israel” accompanied Patel at 13 of her 14 meetings with Israeli officials during August and September. What on earth could have been going on?

Of course she had no reason to worry about having to resign for telling lies, because at the time of her disgrace Boris Johnson told the BBC that “Priti Patel has been a very good colleague and friend for a long time and a first class secretary of state for international development. It’s been a real pleasure working with her and I’m sure she has a great future ahead of her.”  The man has the gift of prophecy.

Then Johnson appointed Michael Gove to his Cabinet as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, which is a weird appointment that gives a lot of power and very little responsibility. Gove had been demonstrably disloyal to Johnson during the first leadership struggle, in what the Daily Telegraph called a “spectacular act of treachery” but all was forgiven because, as recorded approvingly by the Conservative Friends of Israel he believes that anti-Zionism and antisemitism are “two sides of the same coin”, which means that anybody who criticises Israel’s nationalistic persecution of Palestinians is an anti-Semite. He believes that “the test for any civilised society is whether it stands with the Jewish people, and whether it stands with Israel. It is a pleasure to stand with the Jewish people. It is a duty to stand with Israel.”

The Palestinians are not going to get one tiny bit of support from either the United States or Britain when their houses are bulldozed to rubble.  They can expect no criticism from Washington or London when their children are killed in Gaza by Israeli soldiers.

The West Bank of the Jordan River, between Israel and Jordan, was captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war. Then it annexed East Jerusalem. Both areas are defined in international law as occupied territory.  Although this is ignored by the US and Britain it was intriguing that in a minor but telling legal finding in Canada on 30 July, a judge ruled that wines made in Jewish settlements in the West Bank should not carry labels that say “Product of Israel” because of course the settlements are built on Palestinian land.

But there’s no point in telling that to the Israeli-supporting wine connoisseur Donald Trump or the US Congress or any member of Britain’s governing Conservative party, because international law means nothing when there are other priorities.

حملة وزير القوات: «البعبع» الفلسطيني مجدداً

حملة وزير القوات: «البعبع» الفلسطيني مجدداً

الحريري تائه بين وزير حليف في حكومته، وموقف شارعه المتضامن مع الفلسطينيين (هيثم الموسوي)

فراس الشوفي

18 تموز 2019

بدا تردّد وزير العمل كميل بو سليمان، بعد اندلاع الاحتجاجات في المخيمات الفلسطينية، نابعاً من «قلة معرفة» بالواقع الفلسطيني ــ اللبناني، ومن إصرار قواتي على منافسة التيار الوطني الحر شعبياً. «العقلاء» تدخّلوا للملمة الأزمة، فيما يبقى ناقصاً تحويل خلاصات لجنة الحوار إلى قوانين

عندما قرّر وزير العمل كميل بو سليمان، أن «يطبّق القانون»، كما يقول، لم يكن لديه أدنى معرفة بديهية بالواقع الفلسطيني في لبنان. وهذا ليس تجنّياً، بل إن الوزير لم يخفِ الأمر عن عددٍ من المسؤولين اللبنانيين والفلسطينيين، في اللقاءات التي حصلت في الأيام الماضية. مثلاً، لم يكن يعرف أن الفلسطينيين في لبنان لديهم «خصوصية» تحديداً في موضوع العمل، ولا يمكن معاملتهم معاملة الأجانب! وهو، إن لم يكن يدري، تجاهل وجود لجنة الحوار اللبناني – الفلسطيني التابعة لرئاسة الحكومة، وفي عضويتها نواب ممثّلون للكتل النيابية، من بينها حزب القوات اللبنانية، ولم يكلّف نفسه عناء سؤالها عن رأيها. وبعيداً عن اطلاعه السياسي، غاب عن الوزير أن القوانين التي عُدِّلَت عام 2010، في ما يخصّ عمل الفلسطينيين، لم تتحوّل إلى مراسيم تطبيقية.

أما ما لم يكن يعرفه الوزير، أو تجاهله ربّما، فهو احتمالات ردود الفعل في المخيّمات الفلسطينية، أو كيف سيتصرّف آلاف العمّال الفلسطينيين، الذين لا تنافس غالبيتهم المطلقة العمال اللبنانيين، ولا المهن اللبنانية، حين تنقطع أرزاقهم فجأة؟ ماذا عن الوزير السابق طوني كرم، عضو لجنة الحوار، أو حتى المسؤول القواتي إيلي الهندي، وهو يتابع الملفّ الفلسطيني، ألا يعرفان؟

طبعاً، ليس من الموضوعية تحميل مسؤولية «الدعسة الناقصة» في ملفٍّ متفجّر من هذا النوع، لأبو سليمان وحده. مع أن وزير العمل تحديداً، في ظلّ هشاشة القوانين، لديه هامش واسع لإدارة عمل الفلسطينيين في لبنان. إلا أن الحملة التي أطلقها، جزء من توجّه حكومي، تحت مسمّى ضبط العمالة الأجنبية في لبنان، تستهدف أولاً ضبط العمالة السورية، وتصيب في طريقها العمالة الفلسطينية، من دون أدنى تقدير للنتائج، وللظروف السياسية الخطيرة التي تتركها تفاعلات ما يسمى «صفقة القرن». والدليل على قصر النظر الحكومي في معالجة أيٍّ من الملفّات، اللجوء والعمالة السورية، أو الفلسطيني، حالة الارتباك التي تعيشها الدولة والسلطة السياسية، ومحاولة لملمة «جنوح» الحملات الأخيرة بأقل الخسائر الممكنة، مع بدء التحركات الشعبية في المخيمات الفلسطينية، والاعتراض اللبناني الواسع من أصحاب المصالح.

مثلاً، لو رفع بو سليمان سمّاعة الهاتف، وسأل المدير العام للأمن العام اللواء عباس إبراهيم، أو المعنيين في استخبارات الجيش بالملف الفلسطيني، لسمع من مصدرين معنيين، تنبيهاً عن طفولية خطوة من هذا النوع وخطورتها.

لكن بو سليمان كان مستعجلاً. لم يعنه أن بعض المصالح الفلسطينية التي أقفلها، لديها عدد كبير من العمّال اللبنانيين. يريد تسجيل النّقاط لحساب جعجع، في سباق «ألعاب القوى»، الذي يخوضه الأخير مع وزير الخارجية جبران باسيل لاستنهاض العصبيات في الساحة المسيحية. هال جعجع أن يكسب باسيل معركة الشعبوية، رافعاً راية مواجهة النزوح السوري في لبنان (من بيروت!). ولأن رئيس القوات، الصديق الصدوق للسلطة الفلسطينية وحليف المحور الغربي – الخليجي (الذي يمنع عودة النازحين السوريين إلى ديارهم)، لن يستطيع الاستثمار في الملفّ السوري، جاءه الملفّ الفلسطيني على طبقٍ من فضّة. وهذا الاستنتاج، يمكن سماعه على لسان أبرز السياسيين والأمنيين في البلاد، وقادة الفصائل الفلسطينية. بعضهم يذهب أبعد من ذلك، فيقول إن وزير العمل عندما بدأ يتجاوب مع المتدخلين لوقف التدقيق على الفلسطينيين، كان يأتيه مرسال معراب، ليرفع من معنوياته ويشدّ أزره.

منذ أيام، والغليان يسود في المخيمات الفلسطينية، من البارد والبداوي في الشمال، إلى الرشيدية والبص في الجنوب. وللعلم، فإن هبّة الشارع الفلسطيني لا تحرّكها الفصائل. بل إن واقع الحال اليومي والمعاناة الفلسطينية المتواصلة منذ عقود طويلة، مع الحملات الأخيرة، كافية ليخرج الفلسطينيون العاديون عن صوابهم. وعلى العكس مما يحاول البعض تسويقه، فإن الفصائل من خلال تنسيقها مع الجيش اللبناني، تحاول قيادة التحركات الشعبية ومنع خروجها عن السيطرة. حتى إن إجراءات الجيش في الأيام الماضية، ومنعه الفلسطينيين من الخروج من المخيمات وتنفيذ اعتصاماتهم في المدن، لاقتها الفصائل بمحاولات تهدئة الفلسطينيين بالتوازي مع الاتصالات السياسية وتدخّلات «العقلاء» لإيجاد مخرج للأزمة.

القوات تريد تسجيل النقاط لحساب جعجع، في سباقه مع باسيل في الساحة المسيحية

ففي مقابل الغليان الفلسطيني، ينمو شارع لبناني مضاد، مستحضراً ذاكرة الحرب اللبنانية، وعصبيات لا تعنيها المعلومات والدراسات العلمية حول تأثير الوجود الفلسطيني على العمالة اللبنانية والاقتصاد. وعلى الهامش، يراقب المعنيون كيفية تفاعل اللاجئين السوريين مع الاحتجاجات الفلسطينية. يخشى هؤلاء أن تنتقل عدوى الشارع من المخيمات الفلسطينية إلى مخيمات النازحين السوريين في المناطق. إذا كان الفلسطينيون منضبطين إجمالاً في المخيمات بوجود قيادات سياسية يمكن أن تُسهم في ضبط التحركّات، فمن سيضبط تحركات النازحين السوريين؟ وعلى أي مساحة جغرافية؟ وهل هناك من يريد زجّ الجيش في مآزق مجانية؟

قد يبدو «العقلاء» في هذا المأزق، معدودين على الأصابع: حزب الله والرئيس نبيه برّي، وطبعاً الأجهزة الأمنية، وعلى رأسها الأمن العام والجيش، بانتظار الموقف «المتأخر» لرئيس الجمهورية العماد ميشال عون، الذي من المفترض أن يعلنه اليوم أو غداً، في ضوء المشاورات السياسية مع اللبنانيين والفلسطينيين، وعضو اللجنة المركزية في حركة فتح عزام الأحمد موفد الرئيس محمود عباس، الذي وصل ليل أمس إلى بيروت.

أما الرئيس سعد الحريري، فتائه هو الآخر. فهو لا يستطيع التعبير عن مواقف حادة معاكسة لوزير في حكومته يتبع حليفه القوات، بينما لا يستطيع القفز فوق المزاج الشعبي لشارعه الذي يتعاطف مع الفلسطينيين.

الآن، خيارات الحكومة باتت ضيّقة، ولا أحد يجرؤ على التراجع العلني. لذلك، يبدو حلّاً، الانكفاء التدريجي عن حفلة التسرّع تلك، عملاً بالرؤية شبه المشتركة التي نتجت من المشاورات مع بري والنائبة بهية الحريري ولقاء إبراهيم مع وفد رجال الأعمال الفلسطينيين. وهذا الحلّ يتضمن أوّلاً وقف التدقيق على الفلسطينيين وإعطاء مهلة ستة أشهر لتسوية الأوضاع القانونية، بالتوازي مع ترك لجنة الحوار اللبناني – الفلسطيني لإنجاز ورشتها، والشروع بإصدار المراسيم اللازمة لتنظيم عمل الفلسطينيين بأقرب وقتٍ ممكن. والأهم، وقف التعامل مع الفلسطيني كلاجئ مرة، وأجنبي أحياناً أخرى، ونزع هذه الورقة من يد وزير العمل وتنظيمها بالقانون

«انتفاضة» المخيمات «غير مفهومة» لوزير العمل!

الأخبار

الأربعاء 17 تموز 2019

خاض اللاجئون الفلسطينيّون أمس، جولة جديدة من الضغط على الحكومة اللبنانيّة ووزارة العمل للتراجع عن تطبيق خطّتها بشأن «مكافحة العمالة الأجنبيّة غير الشرعيّة». فيما «استغرب» وزير العمل كميل أبو سليمان ردة الفعل الفلسطينيّة «غير المفهومة» والتي «لا معنى لها».

«انتفاضة» المخيمات «غير مفهومة» لوزير العمل!

احتجاحات في مخيم برج البراجنة (هيثم الموسوي)

التحرّكات الشعبيّة، استمرّت متقدّمة بخطوة على اللقاءات السياسيّة التي تقوم بها قيادات الفصائل الفلسطينية في لبنان. إذ شهد أمس، تجمّعات عدة على مداخل المخيّمات الفلسطينيّة بالكوفية والعلم الفلسطيني وإحراق الإطارات المطاطيّة، فيما مُنعت تظاهرة دعا إليها «ائتلاف حق العمل للاجئين الفلسطينيين والمؤسسات والجمعيات العاملة بالوسط الفلسطيني في لبنان» من التوجّه إلى ساحة النجمة حيث كان المجلس النيابي يناقش مشروع الموازنة. اكتفى المتظاهرون بالتجمّع تحت جسر الكولا، بالرغم من إفادة ناشطين عن تضييق أمني منع كثيرين من الوصول إلى نقطة التجمّع.

على صعيد الحراك السياسي للفصائل الفلسطينيّة، وللجنة الحوار اللبناني – الفلسطيني، توصّلت النقاشات إلى موافقة مبدئيّة من وزير العمل كميل أبو سليمان على ما اقترحه الجانب الفلسطيني بشأن «فصل حصول العمال على إجازة عمل عن شرط إرفاقها بعقد عمل مع ربّ العمل يوقّع لدى كاتب بالعدل»، وتجديد تأكيده الموافقة على ما اقترح أول من أمس حيال «خفض المبلغ المتوجّب على صاحب المؤسسة الفلسطيني دفعه كمساهمة في رأس مال المؤسسة إلى ربع القيمة (من مئة مليون ليرة إلى 25 مليوناً)». هاتان الموافقتان المبدئيّتان لم تقترنا بقرار أو نص مكتوب من جانب الوزارة، لكنّهما ترافقتا مع رفض لاقتراح الجانب الفلسطيني «تمديد مهلة السماح إلى ستة أشهر يتمكّن خلالها العامل وربّ العمل الفلسطينيّان من ترتيب أوضاعهما، وإلى حين إصدار القرارات المطلوبة، كما المراسيم التنظيميّة الخاصّة بالقانونين 129 (تعديل قانون العمل) و128 (تعديل قانون الضمان الاجتماعي) التي أُقرّت عام 2010».

أبو سليمان اعتبر في سلسلة «تغريدات» أن «ردة الفعل الفلسطينيّة غير مفهومة ولا معنى لها، وأن الخطة لا تستهدف الفلسطينيين ولا علاقة لها بصفقة القرن ولا بنظرية المؤامرات»، معلناً أنه «من أصل 550 مخالفة لقانون العمل ضُبطت منذ الأربعاء الماضي، ثمة فقط مخالفتان تعودان لمؤسستين كبيرتين يملكهما فلسطينيّون». كما أعرب عن استعداده لإبداء «مرونة لمساعدة الإخوان الفلسطينيين على الحصول على إجازات عمل، يحصلون عليها مجاناً لأنهم معفيون من رسومها، وبشأن بعض المستندات المطلوبة للحصول عليها، فنحن مستعدّون لتسهيل الأمر ضمن القانون».

أبو سليمان: الخطة لا علاقة لها بصفقة القرن ولا بنظرية المؤامرات

السفير الفلسطيني في لبنان أشرف دبور، وجّه من جانبه رسالة إلى «أبناء الشعب الفلسطيني في لبنان»، متمنيّاً فيها «إفساح المجال أمام الحوار الهادئ والبنّاء، الذي تجريه القيادة السياسية الفلسطينية مع الجهات الرسمية اللبنانية لمعالجة التأثيرات السلبية على حقهم في العيش الكريم نتيجة قانون العمل للخروج بنتائج عملية وإيجابية سيتلمّسها أهلنا قريباً جداً».

وفي هذا السياق، أكدت النائبة بهيّة الحريري أن «الأجواء إيجابية والرئيس الحريري لديه كامل الثقة بالوزير كميل ابو سليمان»، بغياب أي موقف للرئيس سعد الحريري. وحضر ممثل عن «حركة أمل» في اللقاء الذي عقد أول من أمس في السفارة الفلسطينية في بيروت، فيما زار عضو مجلس قيادة الحزب التقدمي الاشتراكي بهاء أبو كروم مقرّ السفارة الفلسطينية والتقى دبور، معرباً عن «موقف الحزب الثابت تجاه حق اللاجئين في العمل، واتصالات تجريها قيادة الحزب ووزراؤه للمساعدة في احتواء التداعيات الأخيرة وإعطاء فرصة للحوار والمعالجات الهادئة».

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