انتخابات الكيان المبكّرة وعلم الاحتمالات

June 20, 2022

ناصر قنديل

في ظاهر الأمور جاء قرار الائتلاف الحاكم في الكيان بحل الكنيست والذهاب إلى انتخابات مبكرة يرجّح أن تجري في شهر تشرين الأول المقبل، تعبيراً عن تطوّرات المشهد السياسي الداخلي في الكيان، مع وجود حكومة تمزقها تناقضات مركبة بين مكوّناتها الآتية من أصناف اليمين واليسار، والتي تشكلت بأغلبية هزيلة، بعدما دنا موعد انتقال الرئاسة بين شركائها من ضفة اليمين الى ضفة يسار الوسط، من نفتالي بينيت إلى يائير لبيد، وفي ظل هشاشة الدعم النيابي الذي تلقاه بعدما بدأت الأغلبية بالتداعي، ووجود التحدي الدائم الذي يلوح به الخصم القوي بنيامين نتنياهو والذي يعرض على التصويت يوم غد الأربعاء لإجراء انتخابات مبكرة ويمكن لن يحصد أغلبية الكنيست، إذا صحت التقديرات بانتقال أكثر من نائب من ضفة الائتلاف الى ضفة نتنياهو، لكن هل هذا يكفي لتفسير قرار بحجم إدخال الكيان في حالة فراغ على مستوى القرار السياسي الأول في لحظات تبدو شديدة الدقة في تاريخه، حيث المواجهة مع قطاع غزة في تنامٍ، والمشهد في الضفة الغربية يتصاعد، والتوتر جمر تحت الرماد مع لبنان في ظل أزمة النفط والغاز وترسيم الحدود والبدء باستثمار حقل بحر عكا، بعد اتفاق أوروبي إسرائيلي على صفقة دسمة، بينما التحدي بين الكيان وإيران في ذروته، وكلها تحديات دفعت بالأحزاب للتفكير بحكومة وحدة وطنية في ظروف مشابهة؟

يمنح تزامن قرار الائتلاف الحاكم في الكيان مع التحضيرات الجارية لزيارة الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن الى المنطقة، بعداً خاصاً، حيث كشفت التقارير الصحافية الأميركية والإسرائيلية عن ضغوط أميركية على الائتلاف الحاكم والمعارضة معاً لاستبعاد اندلاع أزمة حكومية، والذهاب لحل الكنيست، بهدف تمرير زيارة بايدن بعد أقل من شهر، بوجود حكومة كاملة المواصفات في الكيان، يمكن أن تتم الزيارة بوجودها وتكون ذات جدوى، خصوصاً أن ما كشف عن مضمون الزيارة يقول إن التعاون الخليجي الإسرائيلي في بناء شبكات موحّدة للرادارات تحت قيادة أميركية، يشكل أحد أهداف الزيارة، بينما رفعت بعض الصحف الإسرائيلية سقوف توقعاتها للقول إن زيارة بايدن تهدف للحصول على موافقة سعودية على التطبيع مع «إسرائيل» كثمن للاعتراف الأميركي بشرعية تولي ولي العهد السعودي للعرش في بلاده، ويجري الترويج لزيارة الرئيس الأميركي بصفتها تعبيراً عن انسداد الخيار التفاوضي بين واشنطن وطهران، وترجيح كلفة خيار المواجهة بينهما.

ثمة مؤشرات معاكسة يأخذها بعض المحللين ضمن دائرة الاحتمالات والفرضيّات، فالكلام الأميركي عن قرب امتلاك إيران لما يكفي لامتلاك قنبلة نووية وإرفاقه بالإعلان عن الاستعداد للعودة الى الاتفاق النووي، رغم إلقاء اللوم على إيران لتعثر التفاوض، بقي غير مفهوم الوظيفة في ظل التصعيد الأميركي بوجه إيران، وساء بحجز ناقلة النفط في اليونان وطائرة الركاب في الأرجنتين، أو التصعيد في مجلس حكام الوكالة الدولية للطاقة الذرية، ومثله الجواب الإيراني بتأكيد الجهوزية للعودة الى الاتفاق، وإلقاء اللوم على واشنطن في التعثر، في مناخ عالي السقف في الحديث عن الجهوزية لمواجهة أية اعتداءات إسرائيلية، واللغة القاسية في الرد على الوكالة الدولية، ما فتح الباب للحديث عن فرضية تقول بأن واشنطن وطهران تتجهان للتوقيع على الاتفاق. وهذا معنى تصريحات المستشار الإعلامي للوفد الإيراني في فيينا عن عدم وجود بند رفع العقوبات عن الحرس الثوري في الطلبات الإيرانية التفاوضية من جهة، وعدم استعداد إيران لتقديم أي تعهد بعدم ملاحقة المسؤولين الأميركيين عن اغتيال القائد قاسم سليماني، ووفقاً لهذه الفرضية فإن زيارة بايدن تهدف لتقديم ضمانات لـ«إسرائيل» بأنها لن تكون وحدها في حال تعرّضها للاستهداف من إيران، وأن واشنطن ستكون مسؤولة عن منظومة رادارات وتعمل في الخليج وترتبط بشبكة الباتريوت من القبة الحديدية التي تقودها واشنطن أصلاً داخل الكيان، وان الرئيس الأميركي بعد إنهاء هذه المهمة سيعتبر أنه بات طليق اليدين في العودة للتفاوض وصولاً لتوقيع الاتفاق مع إيران.

إذا صحت هذه الفرضية تكون الإطاحة الذاتية بالحكومة الائتلافية في الكيان، استباقاً وقائياً من مثل هذا الخيار، واعتماد الفراغ الحكومي في الكيان لتحقيق الفراغ التفاوضيّ بين واشنطن وطهران.

PALESTINIANS “ARE BOUND TO WIN”: WHY ISRAELIS ARE PROPHESYING THE END OF THEIR STATE

JUNE 16TH, 2022

RAMZY BAROUD

While it is true that Zionism is a modern political ideology that has exploited religion to achieve specific colonial objectives in Palestine, prophecies continue to be a critical component of Israel’s perception of itself, and of the state’s relationship to other groups, especially Christian messianic groups in the United States and worldwide.

The subject of religious prophecies and their centrality to Israel’s political thought was once more highlighted following remarks by former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, in a recent interview with the Hebrew-language newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth. Barak, perceived to be a ‘progressive’ politician, who was once the leader of Israel’s Labor Party, expressed fears that Israel will “disintegrate” before the 80th anniversary of its 1948 establishment.

“Throughout the Jewish history, the Jews did not rule for more than eighty years, except in the two kingdoms of David and the Hasmonean dynasty and, in both periods, their disintegration began in the eighth decade,” Barak said.

Based on pseudo-historical analysis, Barak’s prophecy seemed to conflate historical facts with typical messianic Israeli thinking, reminiscent of statements made by Israel’s former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2017.

Like Barak, Netanyahu’s comments were expressed in the form of fear over the future of Israel, and the looming ‘existential threat’, the cornerstone of Israeli hasbara throughout the years. At a Bible study session in his house in Jerusalem, Netanyahu had then warned that the Hasmonean kingdom – also known as the Maccabees – had merely survived for 80 years before it was conquered by the Romans in 63 B.C.E.

The “Hasmonean state lasted only 80 years, and we needed to exceed this,” Netanyahu was quoted by one of the attendees as saying, the Israeli Haaretz newspaper reported.

But, even according to Netanyahu’s purported determination to exceed that number, he had reportedly vowed to ensure Israel will surpass the Maccabees’ 80 years, and survive for 100 years. That is merely 20 years more.

The difference between Barak and Netanyahu’s statements is quite negligible: the former’s views are supposedly ‘historical’ and the latter’s are biblical. Worth noting, however, is that both leaders, though they subscribe to two different political schools, have converged on similar meeting points: Israel’s survival is at stake; the existential threat is real and the end of Israel is only a matter of time.

But the pessimism in Israel is hardly confined to political leaders, who are known to exaggerate and manipulate facts to instill fear and to rile up their political camps, especially Israel’s powerful messianic constituencies. Although this is true, predictions regarding Israel’s grim future are not confined to the country’s political elites.

In an interview with Haaretz in 2019, one of Israel’s most respected mainstream historians, Benny Morris, had much to say about the future of his country. Unlike Barak and Netanyahu, Morris was not sending warning signals but stating what, to him, seemed an unavoidable outcome of the country’s political and demographic evolution.

“I don’t see how we get out of it,” Morris said, adding: “Already, today there are more Arabs than Jews between the (Mediterranean) Sea and the Jordan (River). The whole territory is unavoidably becoming one state with an Arab majority. Israel still calls itself a Jewish state, but a situation in which we rule an occupied people that has no rights cannot persist in the 21st century.”

Morris’ predictions, while remaining committed to the racial fantasy of a Jewish majority, were far more articulate and also realistic if compared to those of Barak, Netanyahu and others. The man who once regretted that Israel’s founder, David Ben Gurion, did not expel all of Palestine’s native population in 1947-48, spoke with resignation that, in a matter of a generation, Israel will cease to exist in its current form.

Particularly notable about his comments is the accurate perception that “the Palestinians look at everything from a broad, long-term perspective,” and that the Palestinians will continue to “demand the return of the refugees.” But who were the “Palestinians” Morris was referring to? Certainly not the Palestinian Authority, whose leaders have already marginalized the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees, and most certainly have no “broad, long-term perspective”. Morris’ ‘Palestinians’ are, of course, the Palestinian people themselves, generations of whom have served, and continue to serve, as the vanguards of Palestinian rights despite all of the setbacks, defeats and political ‘compromises’.

Actually, prophecies regarding Palestine and Israel are not a new phenomenon. Palestine was colonized by Zionists with the help of Britain, also based on biblical frames of reference. It was populated by Zionist settlers based on biblical references dedicated to the restoration of ancient kingdoms and the ‘return’ of ancient peoples to their supposedly rightful ‘promised land’. Though Israel took on many different meanings throughout the years – perceived to be a ‘socialist’ utopia at times, a liberal, democratic haven at others – it was always preoccupied with religious meanings, spiritual visions and inundated with prophecies. The most sinister expression of this truth is the fact that the current support of Israel by millions of Christian fundamentalists in the West is largely driven by messianic, end-of-the-world prophecies.

The latest predictions about Israel’s uncertain future are based on a different logic. Since Israel has always defined itself as a Jewish State, its future is mostly linked to its ability to maintain a Jewish majority in historic Palestine. By the admission of Morris and others, this pipedream is now crumbling as the ‘demographic war’ is clearly and quickly being lost.

Of course, co-existence in a single democratic state will always be a possibility. Alas, for Israel’s Zionist ideologues, such a state will hardly meet the minimum expectations of the country’s founders, since it would no longer exist in the form of a Jewish, Zionist state. For co-existence to take place, the Zionist ideology would have to be scrapped altogether.

Barak, Netanyahu and Morris are all right: Israel will not exist as a ‘Jewish state’ for much longer. Speaking strictly in terms of demographics, Israel is no longer a Jewish-majority state. History has taught us that Muslims, Christians and Jews can peacefully coexist and collectively thrive, as they have done throughout the Middle East and the Iberian Peninsula for millennia. Indeed, this is a prediction, even a prophecy, that is worth striving for.

Feature photo | A Palestinian boy faces an Israeli tank on the outskirts of Gaza City, Oct. 29, 2000. Laurent Rebours | AP

Dr. Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books. His latest book, co-edited with Ilan Pappé, is “Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak out”. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

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

حكومة بينيت تربح على نتنياهو والمقاومة تثبت خطوطها الحمراء

الإثنين 30 أيار 2022

ناصر قنديل

اليوم المقدسيّ والفلسطينيّ الفاصل كان نقطة تحول هامة في تاريخ الصراع المصيري والوجودي مع كيان الاحتلال، فهذا اليوم كان لتسجيل النقاط وتفادي الاحتكام للضربة القاضية، فمن جهة شهدنا حشداً للمستوطنين نحو باحات المسجد الأقصى بالأعلام والطقوس التلمودية خلال فترات الصباح، خارج توقيت مسيرة الأعلام، وشهدنا في مسيرة الأعلام حشداً مضاعفاً لما كانت عليه المسيرة تقليدياً كل عام، وترافق ذلك مع اعتداءات على الشبان الفلسطينيين من عناصر الشرطة والمستوطنين، ومواكبة من آلاف عناصر الشرطة للحدث بكل وحشية الأداء وعنصريته، لكننا بالمقابل شهدنا حضوراً فلسطينياً غير مسبوق في أحياء القدس وشوارعها يرفع الأعلام الفلسطينية ويشتبك ببسالة مع المستوطنين والشرطة، ويدفعهم مراراً إلى خارج المدينة المقدسة، وشهدنا خروجا لمئات الشبان في مدن الضفة يشعلون الحرائق قرب حواجز جيش الاحتلال، وفي باحات الأقصى كان المرابطون يصرخون بملء الصوت بوجه المستوطنين والشرطة.

على الخط الدولي الإقليمي ثبت أن واشنطن والعواصم الإقليمية المنتدبة للوساطة مع قوى المقاومة، خصوصاً القاهرة والدوحة، حاضرة على خط المتابعة رغم انشغالاتها الكبرى على جبهة التصعيد مع موسكو وبكين، انطلاقاً من إدراكها مدى خطورة خروج الأمور عن السيطرة في منطقة شديدة الحساسية في سوق الطاقة والممرات التجارية، في عالم يشهد أزمات متصاعدة في المجالين الحيويين، ومعرفتها بأن حجم التوتر على محاور عديدة بين دول وقوى محور المقاومة وكيان الاحتلال، سيفرض تحول أي شرارة مواجهة بين جيش الاحتلال وقوى المقاومة في غزة، الى مشروع حرب إقليمية، خصوصاً عندما يكون عنوان الشرارة المسجد الأقصى والمقدسات.

في الشأن الصهيوني الداخلي، نجح رئيس حكومة الاحتلال نفتالي بينيت في الربح بالنقاط على منافسه اليميني بنيامين نتنياهو، الذي رعى مسيرة الأعلام الصهيونية العام الماضي، وصولاً لاندلاع معركة سيف القدس ونهايتها لغير صالحه، ومحاولة نتنياهو ابتزاز حكومة بينيت لدفعها للتراجع عن المسيرة لتفادي المواجهة مع المقاومة، ما يسهل إسقاطها وجعلها تدفع ثمن الضعف أمام المقاومة، في ظل تحكم المستوطنين واليمين المتطرف في الشارع الصهيوني الناخب، وتحدر بينيت من رحم هذا الشارع، فنجح بينيت بمقايضة التزامه بضوابط الخطوط الحمراء للمقاومة، التي رسمتها الوساطة المصرية القطرية عشية انطلاق المسيرة، وعنوانها عدم دخول المشاركين في المسيرة المسائية الى باحات المسجد الأقصى أو اقترابهم منها، والسيطرة على تحركاتهم داخل الأحياء العربية في القدس، وبالمقابل رفع بينيت سقف المشاركين في المسيرة عدداً، وسمح لهم بالمرور من باب العامود، الذي تهرب نتنياهو من إتاحة عبوره أمام مسيرة العام الماضي، وترك بعضهم يدخل الباحات صباحاً مقابل التشدد الكامل بإبعاد مسيرة المساء عن المسجد وباحاته.

قوى المقاومة رسمت خطوطها الحمراء تحت عنوانين، الأول حرمة المسجد الأقصى على مسيرة الأعلام، والثاني حدود انضباط المسيرة في أحياء القدس لجهة عدم الإقدام على اقتحام البيوت والمتاجر والاعتداء على السكان. وفي تقييم اليوم المفصلي، كان المردوع هم المستوطنين وليس المقدسيين، فقد نقلت الكاميرات صورهم وهم يهربون مذعورين أمام المقدسيين داخل أحياء القدس ويغادرونها الى باب العامود، وكان المردوع هو حكومة بينيت وجيش الاحتلال بإنهاء المسيرة عند حائط البراق، دون أي تورط بالاقتراب من باحات المسجد الأقصى أو محاولة دخولها، وكانت الأعلام الفلسطينية ترفرف في سماء القدس ومسيرة أعلام فلسطينية تجوب شوارعها، في توازن يعكس حقيقة توازن الردع.

يمكن القول إن بينيت ربح على نتنياهو، وإن المقاومة أثبتت خطوطها الحمراء، لكن بينيت سيستطيع تمويه تراجعه أمام المقاومة بتقدمه على نتنياهو، لكن مقولة القدس عاصمة موحدة للكيان سقطت بقوة الحضور الفلسطيني فيها، الذي قال إن أية عاصمة يحتاج حملة الأعلام فيها الى حشد آلاف الجنود للعبور في شوارعها؟

الجولة لم تنته بعد، فالمفاجآت تبقى واردة!

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Iron vs paper: How Seif Al-Quds made ‘Deal of the Century’ obsolete

May 22, 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Mohammad Al-Jaber 

The Palestinian people, through resisting Israeli tyranny and unlawful occupation, sent a message to the United States that it could not divide Palestine how it wished from the comfort of all accross the globe.

The occupation and Trump’s dreams of a “Deal of the Century” were dissipated by a united Palestinian people and a valiant resistance

Former US President Donald Trump followed in the colonial footsteps that saw the West, namely the United Kingdom and France, divided West Asia – and other colonies around East Asia and the entirety of Africa – among themselves from their distant lands of London and Paris. In early 2020, Trump announced a neo-colonial plan for occupied Palestine that gave his Israeli allies authority over more Palestinian land and further recognized Israeli “sovereignty” over Palestine. He dubbed this self-proclaimed “peace” plan “the Deal of the Century.”

The deal itself was designed to further strip Palestinians of their right to their land usurped from them by an occupation that has been ongoing for nearly a century now with support from the United States and the majority of the West. It was a mere extension of the neo-colonial practices that have done nothing but harmed the nations they created, with the overwhelming majority still heavily suffering until this day.

The alienation from the cultures and ethnicities whose lives will be affected by mere lines drawn on a piece of paper was a common practice among colonialists, and apparently, despite the West trying to depict it as something from the past, the same colonial powers – or the ones that inherited their influence – are still acting as they did, not even trying to hide their meddling, and even going as far as putting a bow on their interference and labeling it “a gift of peace.”

Split Palestine among you

Trump, from the comfort of his White House nearly 11,000 km away from Palestine, deemed it fit for him to decide what happens to the occupied land. The Israeli occupation would “retain” 20% of the West Bank, a land that is righteously Palestinian, while “giving up” part of Al-Naqab to Palestine.

The map chalked up by Trump not only gave the Israeli occupation a false sense of sovereignty over Palestinian land, but it sought to divide the Palestinian capital of Al-Quds, only granting part of the city to the Palestinians while declaring that it would “remain undivided as Israel’s capital.”

When it comes to the illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, “Tel Aviv” would also maintain its occupation of the Palestinian land in the Jordan Valley. However, the settlements in the West Bank would not only be defined by their “municipal borders”, but their “security parameters”, meaning the scope of Israeli occupation would encroach further on Palestinian land.

Going far and beyond, the United States would not the Palestinian state its rightful recognition, though the Americans failed to see that the Palestinians are not awaiting their recognition, for Palestine is more than a state in their mind and that of the Arab and Islamic worlds.

Trump, through his idea of “peace”, handed the Palestinians an ultimatum: they had to accept their new borders, drawn up in the United States, for the West to recognize their statehood four years after signing the malignant accord. They also had to drop their weapons and give up resisting the occupation’s tyranny.

That same resistance whose arms Trump wanted on the ground came right back and bit the United States and the Israeli occupation when, through Seif Al-Quds, it shattered any prospect of such a deal for “Tel Aviv” and Washington. If things were to go how the neocolonialists wanted them to happen, Palestine would not have only lost the land it was giving up through the deal. It would have lost more to the Israeli expansionism they could not curb without their arms.

Get your hands off Palestine

The Palestinian people have long been suffering from “Israel’s” arbitrary occupation and tyrannical expansionism, and they were not going to accept to be dealt another round of the poison forced down their throat by their colonizers for decades. 

A year later, a new equation was established: Palestine is indivisible, and it would not kneel before the world powers trying to further rob it of its rights.

That equation was written using Seif Al-Quds Battle, which saw Palestinians setting out to break the Israeli hegemony over their land. Relentlessly, and in defense of their brethren in the occupied West Bank and occupied Al-Quds, whom the Israeli occupation abused and committed numerous violations and crimes against, the Palestinian resistance in Gaza crushed “Tel Aviv’s” arrogance and forced “Israel” into giving up its ambitions and dreams of undermining Palestinian unity.

The battle was launched in response to Israeli brutality against the Palestinian people of Al-Quds and the West Bank, who the occupation regime sought to rob their land and homes, displacing them once more on the country they stole from them four scores ago.

The Palestinian resistance could not stand idle and retaliated against the occupation’s aggression in an 11-day-long battle that shifted the regional balance of power and put “Israel” before a new reality: hands off Al-Quds and the West Bank, otherwise they will bear the brunt of their own doings.

In 11 long days for “Israel”, the resistance exposed the occupation’s weaknesses and curbed its expansionism so much so that any settlement expansion plans would have to be thought of thoroughly in fear of retaliation from Hamas or the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The battle taught “Tel Aviv” many lessons, among them was Palestinian unity.

Normalizers at bay 

Seif Al-Quds not only forced the Israeli occupation to tread carefully on Palestinian soil – it caused those who sought to normalize ties with it following the first wave of normalization in 2020 to stay away from the table with the Israeli occupation. Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Sudan, and Morocco all shook hands with the Israeli occupation in a very short period of time and recognized the sovereignty of their regime over occupied Palestine.

The table of normalization has been empty since late 2020, with Khartoum being the last one to sit with the Americans and the Israelis. A year and a half later, the Israeli occupation is still unable to have another country recognize its false “statehood” that exists on tens of thousands of Palestinian graves murdered at the hands of “Tel Aviv’s” settlers terrorizing Palestinians for a land that is not theirs.

The Palestinian resistance curbed the occupation and its main backer, the United States, from being able to establish the “two-state solution” they have been dreaming of since the signing of the Oslo Accords. The “two states” in question consist of “Israel” and a state controlled by the occupation directly and labeled as “Palestine”, though it is a terraformed version of the righteous Palestine the Palestinian people are putting their blood, sweat, and tears towards liberating.

This “Palestine” drawn up by Trump and former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would not be autonomous whatsoever, and its people would not be able to fend off any aggression the Israeli occupation is known to arbitrarily perpetrate no matter the gravity. It would not be the Palestine whose freedom people all over the world champion and advocate when they chant “Free Palestine”.

The mirage of a “Deal of the Century” is gone, and it was dissipated by the united Palestinian people and the valiant resistance that showed no restrain in defending the sovereignty of occupied Palestine.

Constantly on the Verge of Collapse: How Palestinians Became a Factor in Israeli Politics

May 18, 2022

Israeli politicians Naftali Bennett (L) and Ayelet Shaked. (Photo: via Wikimedia commons)

By Ramzy Baroud

Israel’s coalition government of right-wing Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is on the verge of collapse, which is unsurprising. Israeli politics, after all, is among the most fractious in the world, and this particular coalition was born out of the obsessive desire to dethrone Israel’s former leader, Benjamin Netanyahu.

While Netanyahu was successfully ousted in June 2021, Bennett’s coalition has been left to contend with the painful reality that its odd political components have very little in common.

On April 6, Israeli lawmaker Ildit Salman defected from the coalition, leaving Bennett and his temporary allies wrangling with the fact that their Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) coalition no longer has a majority. Now that the Knesset count stands at 60-60, a single defection could potentially send Israelis back to the voting booth, which has been quite habitual recently.

Two current Bennett allies, Abir Kara and Bir Orbach, are possible defectors. Even Bennett’s old Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) partner, Ayelet Shaked, could ultimately betray him, once his coalition ship begins sinking. And it is.

Both Bennett and Shaked left the Jewish Home in 2018 to form Yamina. Although the latter won only seven seats in the March 2021 elections, the far-right party proved to be the kingmaker, which allowed the anti-Netanyahu coalition to be formed. The only alternative to this current coalition would have been a government in which Netanyahu and Bennett would alternate the prime minister post. Though Bennett is a protegé of Netanyahu, the current prime minister knew too well that his former boss cannot be trusted.

So, instead, Bennett opted to join a hotchpotch coalition of political desperados, each joining an unlikely government for simply having no other option. For example, Yesh Atid (17 seats), and Kahol Lavan (8 seats), once part of the Blue and White center-right coalition, betrayed their political base by joining far-right Yamina and, consequently, leaving behind Telem of Moshe Yalon, which now has no Knesset representation.

The same can be said of Labor (7 seats) and Meretz (6 seats) who, earlier, were the backbone of the Israeli political establishment – in 1992 they had 56 seats combined. Losing faith in their own political base, they opted to join their supposed ideological nemesis, instead of enduring the painstaking process of breathing life into a dying camp.

The captivating part of the story is the United Arab List of Mansour Abbas, which is rightly perceived to have betrayed its Arab base in Israel and its own Palestinian people everywhere else. As the Israeli army is cracking down on Palestinian communities throughout historic Palestine, including Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Naqab – Mansour Abbas’ own base – this strange political creature remains committed to Bennett, though nervous about future possibilities, especially that the nature of the Israeli attacks on Palestinians are increasingly shifting towards a religious war.

Consequently, it is hard to imagine that Bennett’s government could realistically survive till 2025. In fact, it is quite rare in Israeli politics that any government coalition has served its full four-year term. Still, Israel’s historic political instability is worsening. In fact, Bennett’s government is the outcome of an agonizing political process that saw Israeli voters cast their votes in four different general elections in only two years.

Perhaps, what is keeping Bennett’s coalition together, though precariously, is the menacing image of Netanyahu, the current opposition leader, sinisterly watching from across the Knesset aisles while waiting for the right opportunity to pounce. Some Israeli analysts even argue that the defection of MK Salman was largely instigated by the abuse and intimidation she received from Netanyahu’s Likud party, which saw her as a traitor to their right-wing agenda.

Regardless of the fate of Bennett’s government, Israel’s political crisis will continue indefinitely, and there are reasons for this.

Though the Israeli right has dominated the country’s politics for many years, especially since 1996, it remains fractious and opportunistic. The constant need to feed the insatiable appetite of the country’s powerful right-wing constituency keeps pushing Israel’s right-wing parties further to the right. They are merely united around such values as the racial and religious supremacy of Israeli Jews, their hate for Palestinians and Arabs, the desire to expand the illegal Jewish settlements and the rejection of any mediated solution that would provide Palestinians with their basic human rights.

The left in Israel is, frankly, not a left at all. It is recognized as such, largely because of its ‘peace-process’ legacy, which died with the assassination of Labor Minister Yitzhak Rabi, in 1995. Tellingly, Rabin was not a peacenik but one of Israel’s most militant and violent leaders. However, the erroneous association, linking any Israeli leader with the ‘peace process’, automatically classified that individual as a ‘leftist’. According to Israeli analyst Oz Aruch, this also applied to Ariel Sharon. The name of the late notorious Israeli prime minister and Army General is associated with the Sabra and Shatila massacre, along with other horrific episodes.

Without a real ideology and without a ‘peace process’, or even the desire to engage in one, the Israeli left has become irrelevant.

The same applies to the center which, by definition, is the political camp that occupies the space between the right and the left. With the right being in constant redefinition and the left having no strong ideological base, the Israeli center has proven equally hopeless. The outcome of the April 2019 elections, when the center coalition Blue and White obtained 35 seats, should have been a watershed moment for Israel’s political center. This ultimately culminated to nil, and eventually led to the collapse of Blue and White itself.

While this is taking place in Israel, the Palestinian body politic has been slowly reanimating. Though Palestinian Arab parties in Israel remain divided, and Palestinian groups in the occupied territories are yet to find their common ground, Palestinian communities, especially the younger generations, have been articulating a new political discourse. With grassroots leaderships, they are coordinating their actions from occupied Jerusalem to Gaza, to the Naqab to the West Bank and to Palestinian communities in Israel itself.

For the first time in many years, Israel finds itself in a position where it is no longer the only party that is shaping events or determining outcomes in the country. Therefore, Israeli political instability will worsen. Contrastingly, Palestinians are finally becoming a factor in Israeli politics and, through their popular resistance, can mobilize to put pressure on Israel as has been the case in recent years.

Israel is now facing the dilemma of either ignoring this new Palestinian factor, at its own peril, or accepting the inescapable fact that Israel can never enjoy stability while Palestinians remain occupied, confined and oppressed.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books. His latest book, co-edited with Ilan Pappé, is “Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak out”. Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

Normalization Mode On: ‘Israeli’ Aircraft Lands in Riyadh

 May 3, 2022 

By Staff

After taking off from Tel Aviv, ‘Israeli’ media reported that a private ‘Israeli’ jet of type 9H-JPC landed in Riyadh on Monday.

According to ‘Israeli’ Channel 11 correspondent Itay Blumental, a private executive jet, 9H-JPC, took off from the ‘Israeli’-occupied Palestinian territories and headed to Riyadh, making a diplomatic stop in Amman.

The ‘Israeli’ journalist said normalization is underway between Saudi Arabia and the ‘Israeli’ entity.

This is not the first time an ‘Israeli’ aircraft lands in Saudi Arabia, or ‘Israeli’ planes are allowed to pass in the kingdom’s airspace, especially amid the ongoing normalization between the two sides, though it hasn’t been officially announced yet.

Most recently, visits by Zionist figures to Saudi Arabia intensified, as it has been unveiled that many Saudi figures inside the kingdom are in contacts with ‘Israeli’ individuals.

In 2020, ‘Israeli’ media outlets confirmed that a bilateral meeting was held between former Zionist PM Benjamin Natanyahu and Saudi crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman.

Can Israel Exist without America: Numbers Speaks of a Changing Reality

April 6, 2022

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (L) with US President Joe Biden. (Photo: Video grab, via Wikimedia Commons)

By Ramzy Baroud

When Russian and Ukrainian delegations meeting in Turkey on March 29 reached an initial understanding regarding a list of countries that could serve as security guarantors for Kyiv should an agreement be struck, Israel appeared on the list. The other countries included the US, the UK, China, Russia, France, Turkey, Germany, Canada, Italy and Poland.

One may explain Israel’s political significance to the Russian-Ukrainian talks based on Tel Aviv’s strong ties with Kyiv, as opposed to Russia’s trust in Israel. This is insufficient to rationalize how Israel has managed to acquire relevance in an international conflict, arguably the most serious since World War II.

Immediately following the start of the war, Israeli officials began to circumnavigate the globe, shuttling between many countries that are directly or even nominally involved in the conflict. Israeli President Isaac Herzog flew to Istanbul to meet with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The outcome of this meeting could usher in “a turning point in relations between Turkey and Israel,” Erdogan said.

Though “Israel is proceeding cautiously with Turkey,” Lavan Karkov wrote in the Jerusalem Post, Herzog hopes that “his meeting with .. Erdogan is starting a positive process toward improved relations.” The ‘improved relations’ are not concerned with the fate of the Palestinians under Israeli occupation and siege, but with a gas pipeline connecting Israel’s Leviathan offshore gas field in the eastern Mediterranean, to southern Europe via Turkey.

This project will improve Israel’s geopolitical status in the Middle East and Europe. The political leverage of being a primary gas supplier to Europe would allow Israel even stronger influence over the continent and will certainly tone down any future criticism of Tel Aviv by Ankara.

That was only one of many such Israeli overtures. Tel Aviv’s diplomatic flurry included a top-level meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, and a succession of visits by top EuropeanAmericanArab and other officials to Israel.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken landed in Israel on March 26 and was expected to put some pressure on Israel to join the US-led western sanctions on Russia. Little of that has transpired. The greatest rebuke came from Under-Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland, when, on March 11, she called on Israel not to become “the last haven for dirty money that’s fueling Putin’s wars”.

For years, Israel had hoped to free itself from its disproportionate reliance on Washington. This dependency took on many forms: financial and military assistance, political backing, diplomatic cover and more. According to Chuck Freilich, writing in Newsweek, “by the end of the ten-year military-aid package .. agreed (between Washington and Tel Aviv) for 2019-28, the total figure (of US aid to Israel) will be nearly $170bn.”

Many Palestinians and others believe that, if the US ceases to support Israel, the latter would simply collapse. However, this might not be the case, at least not in theory. Writing in March 2021 in the New York Times, Max Fisher estimated that US aid to Israel in 1981 “was equivalent to almost 10 percent of Israel’s economy,” while in 2020, the nearly $4 billion of US aid was “closer to 1 percent.”

Still, this 1 percent is vital for Israel, as much of the funds are funneled to the Israeli military which, in turn, converts them to weapons that are routinely used against Palestinians and other Arab countries. Israeli military technology of today is far more developed than it was 40 years ago. Figures by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) place Israel as the world’s eighth-largest military exporter between 2016-2020, with an estimated export value of $8.3 billion in 2020 alone. These numbers continue to grow as Israeli military hardware is increasingly incorporated into many security apparatuses across the world, including the US, the EU and also in the Global South.

Much of this discussion is rooted in a document from 1996, entitled: “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm”. The document was authored by Richard Perle, former US Assistant Secretary of Defense, jointly with top leaders in the neoconservative movement in Washington. The target audience of that research was none other than Benjamin Netanyahu, who was then the newly-elected Israeli Prime Minister.

Aside from the document’s detailed instructions on how Israel can use some of its Arab neighbors, in addition to Turkey, to weaken and ‘roll back’ hostile governments, it also made significant references to future relations Tel Aviv should aspire to develop with Washington.

Perle urged Israel to “make a clean break from the past and establish a new vision for the U.S.-Israeli partnership based on self-reliance, maturity and mutuality – not one focused narrowly on territorial disputes.” This new, ‘self-reliant Israel’ “does not need U.S. troops in any capacity to defend it.” Ultimately, such self-reliance “will grant Israel greater freedom of action and remove a significant lever of pressure used against it in the past.”

An example is Israel’s relations with China. In 2013, Washington was outraged when Israel sold secret missile and electro-optic US technology to China. Quickly, Tel Aviv was forced to retreat. The controversy subsided when the head of defense experts at the Israeli Defense Ministry was removed. Eight years on, despite US protests and demands that Israel must not allow China to operate the Israeli Haifa port due to Washington’s security concerns, the port was officially initiated in September 2021.

Israel’s regional and international strategy seems to be advancing in multiple directions, some of them directly opposing those of Washington. Yet, thanks to continued Israeli influence in the US Congress, Washington does little to hold Israel accountable. Meanwhile, now that Israel is fully aware that the US has changed its political attitude in the Middle East and is moving in the direction of the Pacific region and Eastern Europe, Tel Aviv’s ‘clean break’ strategy is moving faster than ever before. However, this comes with risks. Though Israel is stronger now, its neighbors are also getting stronger.

Hence, it is critical that Palestinians understand that Israel’s survival is no longer linked to the US, at least not as intrinsically as in the past. Therefore, the fight against Israeli occupation and apartheid can no longer be disproportionately focused on breaking up the ‘special relationship’ that united Tel Aviv and Washington for over 50 years. Israel’s ‘independence’ from the US entails risks and opportunities that must be considered in the Palestinian struggle for freedom and justice.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books. His latest book, co-edited with Ilan Pappé, is “Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak out”. Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

Israeli Coalition Loses Majority as Yamina MK Quits Government

 April 6, 2022

Israeli MK Idit Silman at the Knesset (photo from January 2022).

Israeli government began to crumble on Wednesday after Yamina MK and the coalition whip Idit Silman announced her resignation from the government, Israeli media reported.

With this, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s government loses its majority in Knesset, leaving it neck-and-neck with the opposition at 60-60. If an additional person were to leave the coalition, the government could be brought down in a law brought by the Opposition that would disperse the Knesset, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Should the Opposition have a majority, they would be able to attempt to form a government without even needing to go to elections. The more coalition members that defect, the easier this option becomes for them.

Silman said that she “could not take it anymore,” and that she could not continue undermining the so-called “Jewish identity of the State of Israel”, a reference to a disagreement she had with Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz over allowing chametz, forbidden foods during Passover, into hospitals over the Jewish holiday.

Former PM Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated Silman on her decision, thanking her “in the name of many people in Israel that waited for this moment.”

However, Labor MK Gilad Kariv said it was clear that the disagreement over the chametz was “not the real issue,” adding that the “government was always careful when it came to matters of religion and state. ”

Silman ditched the coalition after she was reportedly offered the 10th spot in the Likud Party list in a future election and the position of Health Minister should the party – led by Netanyahu – successfully form an alternative government.

Source: Israeli media

Zionists Tell The Tale of Horror They Are Facing

March 31 2022

By Al-Ahed News

Iranians Are Fighting Like Lions While Bennett, Lapid & Gantz Surrender Like Rabbits

MARCH 08, 2022

By Staff, “Israel” Hayom

The “Israeli” entity’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, and War Minister Benny Gantz have been described by the entity’s former prime minister as leading a weak government which is “simply not ready to confront even our allies”, according to “Israel” Hayom.

The entity’s opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday lambasted the government for what he called its “silence” vis-à-vis the emerging nuclear deal with Iran, saying their actions are “engendering ‘Israel’s’ future.”

Speaking during a Likud faction meeting, Netanyahu asserted that “the Bennett-Gantz-Lapid government shows only weakness, weakness, and more weakness. They have capitulated to the US administration when agreeing to a policy of zero surprises – meaning that ‘Israel’ will not act against the Iranian nuclear program without first coordinating it with the Americans, who will undoubtedly oppose such action and may even jeopardize things by leaking them.”

Bennett, Lapid, and Gantz “are doing nothing against the dangerous deal currently being formed in Vienna. This should be the government’s priority right now – vehemently opposing this dangerous deal.

“Russian envoy to the Vienna talks Mikhail Ulyanov said this week that ‘the Iranians got more than they asked for – they are fighting like lions over every word and every comma.’ And over here? No one is fighting. The Iranians are fighting like lions while Bennett, Lapid and Gantz are surrendering like rabbits,” Netanyahu exclaimed.

Criticizing the government further, he said that the entity’s “silence at this time – except for some meaningless pro forma statements – knocks the wind out the sails of our friends in the US who oppose this deal. If they don’t see or hear ‘Israel’ oppose it – why should they? Why should they try to repeal it later on?

“It was our persistent objection that helped the US exit the previous agreement. The government’s silence undermines the legitimization for any future ‘Israeli’ action against Iran’s nuclear facilities,” he said.

Taking aim at Bennett over his efforts to mediate in the Ukraine-Russia crisis, the former prime minister stressed that the Iran deal is “what the government must be dealing with now. They [Bennett, Lapid and Gantz] are simply not ready to confront even our allies.”

To Maintain Jewish Demographic Control, Israel Cloaks Family Unification Law in Security Concerns

February 25th, 2022

Amnesty International described “discriminatory laws and policies that disrupt family life” as “primarily guided by demographic – rather than security – considerations and aim[ing] to minimize Palestinian presence inside the Green Line to maintain a Jewish majority.”

By Jessica Buxbaum

Source

OCCUPIED EAST JERUSALEM — A controversial law banning family unification between Israelis and Palestinians in the occupied territories expired last summer, but right-wing politicians are seeking to resurrect it with a vengeance. This month, the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) approved, in the first of three votes, the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law, preventing Palestinians married to Israeli citizens from receiving permits to enter into 1948-occupied Palestine (or modern-day Israel).

“It’s one of the most racist, apartheid laws that was ever passed in the world,” Adi Mansour, attorney with Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, told MintPress News. “There is no other law that’s even remotely close to this law in the effects … that it has on family lives.”

Known as the family unification ban, the bill passed in 2003 and has been renewed annually since its inception — until last year. In July, the law was defeated after former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party voted against it to disrupt the new coalition government.

Now, right-wing Knesset members are hoping to breathe new life into the legislation by adding more restrictive amendments to a law human rights organizations already deem deeply discriminatory.

Making a harsh law even harsher

Knesset member Simcha Rothman of the far-right Religious Zionism Party negotiated with Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked to add tougher amendments to the law and get it back on the agenda.

Rothman’s applied amendments include setting a maximum yearly quota for those eligible to receive Israeli citizenship from the occupied West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Iran, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, and requiring the Interior Ministry submit a monthly report on the number of permits granted. While this law is classified as a temporary order, the newest version also allows the government to extend its enforcement for longer than one year at a time, meaning it won’t need to be renewed annually.

“The amendment that was filed by the opposition brings to the surface the real intention of the law —  to prevent a supposed attack on the Jewish majority of the state,” Mansour said.  Rothman and the spokesperson for the Knesset did not respond to requests for comment.

Despite the law’s expiration, Shaked ordered the Population and Immigration Authority to apply the law to family unification requests. Israeli non-profit organizations HaMoked, Association for Civil Rights in Israel, and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, filed a joint petition to the Israeli Court of Administrative Affairs. The case made its way to the Supreme Court, which prompted the Interior Ministry to establish two temporary procedures. One of the procedures — HaMoked argues — simply “perpetuates the relevant provisions of the expired law, under a different name.”

More than just preventing the Palestinian right of return

HaMoked opposes the law, but Dani Shenhar, who heads HaMoked’s legal department, said that if it does pass, there are several amendments they are advocating to have attached to the bill in order to make it constitutional. These include: not applying the law to women over the age of 50, men over the age of 55, and minors; providing full government benefits to those given an entry permit; and giving permanent residency or citizenship to those applying on humanitarian grounds.

“When the law didn’t pass in July, many politicians said that it’s very important for keeping the demographics of Israel under control — not having Palestinians receive Israeli IDs,” Shenhar told MintPress. “This is the real concern of the state.”

Proponents of the law argue it’s necessary for security purposes, specifically claiming unified families are more likely to commit acts of terrorism. Shenhar explained, however, that Israel’s internal security service, the Shin Bet, said that from 2001 to 2016 only 104 individuals from families who obtained residency or citizenship through family reunification were involved in terrorist activity. From his perspective, these low numbers suggest there isn’t a security concern. “Security is an explanation used by the state because it’s easier for the court to give its green light to this law when there’s a security basis for it,” Shenhar said. “It’s more difficult to justify this kind of law on the basis of demographics or racial profiling.”

Even Minister of Interior Shaked suggested this law isn’t just for security purposes. In an interview with Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, Shaked admitted the law is meant to prevent the “creeping [Palestinian] right of return.” “The law wants to reduce the motivation for immigration to Israel. Primarily for security reasons, and then also for demographic reasons,” Shaked said.

Adalah’s Mansour argued that family reunification isn’t about the right of return. “We want the right of return, but still when we fall in love with a person, we do not think, ‘Let’s implement the right of return.’ This is not part of the rationality of love and relationships,” he said.

Instead, Mansour argues that the narrative that the law is about the right of return is merely strategic — to better persuade the Israeli media and public of the need for such a law. “The motive to prevent the right of return is not real,” he said, emphasizing the law’s agenda is Zionist and racist. “The real motive is preventing any demographic changes and preventing Palestinians from implementing their right to family life.”

“To basically build and sustain an apartheid regime,” Mansour added.

Denying the right to family life

Earlier this month Amensty International released a comprehensive report declaring Israel an apartheid state. The organization’s analysis highlighted the family reunification ban, calling it a “clear example of how Israel fragments and segregates Palestinians through a single system.”

Amnesty International described “discriminatory laws and policies that disrupt family life” as “primarily guided by demographic – rather than security – considerations and aim[ing] to minimize Palestinian presence inside the Green Line to maintain a Jewish majority.”

“By contrast, the 2003 law explicitly did not apply to residents of Jewish settlements in the West Bank wanting to marry and live with their spouse inside Israel, making it, and the ongoing policy underpinning it, blatantly discriminatory,” Amnesty wrote. The organization also noted that information from the Ministry of Interior indicated the rejection of about 43% of family unification applications from 2000-2013.

Families affected by the legislation were unable to speak on the record to MintPress, given that the bill is still being debated and voted on. However, Amnesty collected anonymous testimonies on how this law has disrupted families’ lives.

One spouse, who moved from the West Bank to 1948-occupied Palestine, applied for family reunification but while awaiting approval and without proper documentation, she lived in a perpetual state of anxiety. “There was a constant fear in my life. I was terrified of getting sick for example, because of this fear of having to go to the hospital without the necessary documents, getting caught [by Israeli authorities], and paying lots of money to cover for any kind of procedure or treatment,” she told Amnesty. She had married in 2003 when she was 18 but, according to the Citizenship Law, couldn’t apply for family reunification until she turned 25.

Another woman was rejected when trying to renew her permanent residency. She is now confined to Jerusalem in fear of arrest if she crosses Israeli checkpoints. She told Amnesty International how the law has impacted her life:

Since 2008, I have not been able to see my children as I please, because I cannot cross Israeli military checkpoints. I can only see my children and grandchildren through video calls. I have spent 12 years of my life trying to solve this, but the [Israeli] authorities keep stalling. I have spent half of my life either at the Ministry of Interior offices or gathering papers for them. This is exhausting.”

Adalah’s Mansour detailed the various cases he’s worked on regarding family reunification and called their experiences “devastating.” One example he offered:

During corona, a woman who was from Ramallah couldn’t leave Ramallah through the checkpoint because there was a lockdown. So she had to live for at least a month away from her kids and her family because they had citizenship and could go back to where her family lived, but she had to stay in Ramallah with her parents.”

In some situations, individuals could only get a driver’s license after 10 years. In other cases, individuals couldn’t find work in 1948-occupied Palestine because they didn’t have citizenship.

Often employers are unwilling to hire individuals with the family unification permit because, since it only lasts a year, their residency status is seen as unstable. Mansour summed it up:

People fall in love and they live together and they get married and they don’t think of the consequences. But eventually what happens is either you leave the country and live abroad, which is a decision that a lot of people don’t want to take because this is their homeland. On the other side, you have people who suffer every day from the consequences of not being able to unify their family.”

Adalah has been working with families on a potential upcoming petition against the legislation. In characterizing the bill, Mansour equated it to doctrines used by the German Nazi and Italian fascist regimes during World War II, in which governments would discriminate against people because of their nationalities. “It’s a law that attacks the very existence of Palestinians for being Palestinians,” he said.

An Israeli attack on Iran: True threat or hollow rhetoric?

The Israelis have neither the capabilities nor the resources to strike multiple Iranian nuclear sites, but the threats to do so keep mounting

February 07 2022

By Mohammad Salami

In the past few months, Israeli officials have conspicuously ratcheted up their threats to attack Iran’s nuclear energy sites, and have even launched provocative Israeli air force training exercises intended to simulate strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

In response to Israel’s escalatory language and behavior, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), in late December, held its annual military drills dubbed ‘Great Prophet 17.’

Major General Hossein Salami, commander-in-chief of the IRGC, said the military exercises intended to send a “very clear message” and a “serious, real warning” to Tel Aviv.

“We will cut off their hands if they make a wrong move,” he said, in a strongly-worded warning. “The difference between actual operations and military exercises is just a change in the angles of launching missiles.”

IRGC warnings aside, there are plenty of reasons to suggest that Israel’s threats are little more than empty rhetoric for foreign and domestic consumption. In short, Tel Aviv may not in fact have either the resources to attack Iran or the capacity to absorb Tehran’s guaranteed retaliatory measures.

The many constraints on Israel

Israel’s primary constraint in launching these attacks is due to the multiplicity and dispersion of Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Unlike the Israeli air force’s operational destruction of Iraq’s nuclear sites in 1981 (Operation Opera) and its 2007 strike on an alleged nuclear facility in Syria (Operation Outside the Box), where it was only tasked with striking a single point – Baghdad and Deir Ezzor, respectively – it will face a vastly different landscape in Iran.

Iran has four types of nuclear facilities, including research reactors, uranium mines, military, and nuclear sites. In total, there are more than 10 known nuclear facilities that are scattered from north to south of the country.

For example, there is a ground distance of about 1,800 kilometers (1,118 miles) from the Gachin uranium mine in the city of Bandar Abbas in southern Iran to the Bonab research reactor in the country’s northwest. Attacking such a large number of nuclear facilities from a great distance would require extreme coordination and sophisticated operations to ensure that all facilities are hit at the same time.

In addition, Iran has invested heavily in developing its counter-air defense in recent decades, which currently covers more than 3,600 points and is able to localize its surface-to-air missiles.

The noteworthy point here is that Iran claims self-sufficiency in the construction of its missiles, whereby it can produce and proliferate its missiles without interruption, despite international sanctions. The Bavar-373 missile – a homegrown version of Russia’s S-300 system – is one of these.

Reportedly, the Bavar-373 can simultaneously engage up to six targets with twelve missiles at a distance of up to 155 miles (250 kms). Multiple missiles are likely to be fired at an individual target to increase the probability of a kill.

With this powerful and unified defense arsenal, the possibility of Iran hunting down and destroying Israeli warplanes is high.

A further constraint for Israel is that some of Iran’s nuclear facilities are underground. Nuclear sites, such as the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant, where uranium is enriched to above 20 percent, are built at a depth of 80 meters (260 feet) inside a mountain. Israel does not have the special bombers that can destroy facilities deep underground.

While the US does possess the massive bunker-busting ordnances needed to strike such facilities – the 13,600-kilogram (30,000-pound) GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) – Washington has so far refused to provide them to Tel Aviv.

Selling the incredibly heavy MOPs to Israel would be pointless, at any rate, as the Israeli Air Force has neither the aircraft capable of delivering them nor the airfield infrastructure needed to support those planes.

Furthermore, the sale of some types of MOPs has been banned under the New START treaty, also known as the ‘Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms,’ between the US and Russia.

Confronting Iran and its allies

Unlike Israeli airstrikes on Syria and Iraq, which went unanswered, Tel Aviv is well aware that Iran’s response would be severe and decisive. Iran’s indigenous military capabilities far outpace its neighbors, and over the past four decades, it has developed iron-clad relationships with allies in Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, and Yemen, who have voiced willingness to defend an Iran under attack by a mutual adversary.

In April 2021, a Syrian missile was able to pass through Israel’s Iron Dome Anti-Rocket System, exploding near the country’s secretive Dimona nuclear reactor. This event could be repeated by allies such as Hezbollah, Hamas, and pro-Iranian groups in Syria and Iraq in the case of an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

To strike Iran, Israelis will have to cross the airspace of the ‘unfriendly’ countries of Syria and Iraq. Even the Arab states of the Arabian Peninsula are unlikely to permit Israeli warplanes using their territory to attack Iran due to fear of retaliatory Iranian attacks.

The memory of the well-targeted Yemeni missile strikes on the Aramco oil facility in September 2019 – incorrectly attributed to Iran rather than Yemen – drummed home to Gulf states that cause for Iranian retaliatory strikes should be avoided at all costs.

Russia may also oppose the attack as, in the event of an Israeli attack on Iran, the activities of Iranian proxies inside Syria could trigger a renewed crisis in the country’s military-political balance.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has spent millions of dollars stabilizing the situation in Syria, does not wish to see Syria upended again. And given Russia’s clout in the UN Security Council, Israel would be reluctant to confront Moscow.

Facing the international community

The US and Europe are currently in Vienna negotiating with Iran to revive the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal, which the previous US administration abandoned. US President Joe Biden is keen on quickly reaching a “good nuclear deal” with Iran, in part, to peel Tehran away from its strategic allies in Moscow and Beijing – Washington’s two main global adversaries.

If Israel attacks Iran, Tehran may withdraw from the negotiations, and in retaliation, is likely to raise its 60 percent enrichment level to above 90 percent (suitable for building a nuclear bomb). Biden needs a peaceful West Asia so that he can exit the region’s various quagmires with ease and “pivot to the East” to restrain China and surround Russia, his two most urgent strategic priorities.

According to Foreign Policy, US opposition to attacks on Iran’s nuclear plants has been longstanding, as emphasized in the autobiography of Israel’s former defense minister Ehud Barak, My Country, My Life.

“I want to tell both of you now, as president, we are totally against any action by you to mount an attack on the [Iranian] nuclear plants,” then-US President George W. Bush told Barak and then-premier Ehud Olmert in 2008. “I repeat in order to avoid any misunderstanding, we expect you not to do it. And we’re not going to do it, either, as long as I am president. I wanted it to be clear.”

The Biden administration’s current approach is to return Iran’s nuclear program to the 2015 nuclear deal without war or the use of force.

In an October 2021 article, Dennis Ross, former US President Barack Obama’s special assistant and senior director for the central region at the National Security Council wrote:

“Although they reject the Iranian justification of actions that move Iran toward a nuclear weapon, Biden administration officials told the Israelis, as I learned recently in Israel, that there was ‘good pressure on Iran and bad pressure’ – citing the example of sabotage at Natanz and Karaj as bad pressure because the Iranians seized on it to enrich to near weapons-grade.”

Dennis Ross comments show that, at that stage, the Americans were not seeking to attack or even sabotage Iran’s nuclear facilities, and were intent on preventing the Israelis from attacking Iran.

It is becoming clear that Israeli threats on Iran’s nuclear capabilities are mainly for domestic consumption – and possibly also to keep Israel relevant amidst the fast-moving geopolitical shifts unfolding in West Asia.

Israel’s current Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is currently facing relentless criticism from former PM Benjamin Netanyahu and his political rivals, as well as internal shortages in the country following the pandemic crisis. Attacking a foreign country – or Gaza – is an Israeli staple in diverting public opinion from domestic problems.

Talk of Israeli airstrikes on Iran constitute little more than hollow rhetoric, despite repeated verbal threats from Israeli officials. At this moment, Israel has neither the power nor the means to attack Iran, nor can it act unilaterally against US policy.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

MBS called Netanyahu to renew KSA’s NSO Pegasus spyware license: NYT

Jan 28 2022

Source: NYT

By Al Mayadeen Net

After the license for the NSO Pegasus Israeli-made spyware expired, Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman offered to grant Israeli jets access through KSA’s skies in exchange for the renewal.

The NYT article said that Pegasus was first sold to the kingdom in 2017 for a $55 million installation fee

According to The New York Times (NYT), Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman called former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu directly to request a renewal of the kingdom’s expired license for NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware in exchange for opening its airspace to Israeli flights.

The Israeli Security Ministry refused to renew Riyadh’s license for the program after it expired, citing “Saudi Arabia’s abuse of NSO’s spyware,” presumably referring to the case of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who was reportedly spied using Pegasus in the lead up to his assassination in 2018.

NSO was unable to supply Saudi Arabia with routine software maintenance due to the lack of an Israeli export license, the report said, adding that its systems were crashing. NYT reported that numerous calls between the crown prince’s aides, NSO executives, the Mossad, and the Israeli Security Ministry had failed to address the matter.

According to Israeli sources familiar with the call, the crown prince then made an urgent direct phone call to Netanyahu, requesting that the license be renewed. This call occurred before the normalization agreements between the Israeli occupation, UAE and Bahrain were signed in 2020.

For the first time ever, Israeli jets heading eastward on their route to the Gulf were allowed to use Saudi airspace as part of the arrangements.

According to the source, Netanyahu, who was uninformed of the license problems until his conversation with the crown prince, promptly instructed the Israeli Security Ministry to remedy the matter.

The same night, a ministry official called NSO’s operations office and requested that the Saudi systems be turned back on. According to the NYT, the company’s compliance officer on duty turned down the request and required a signed license.

The official told the NSO employee that orders came directly from Netanyahu. He then consented to accept an email from the government, and Pegasus spyware was up and running in Saudi Arabia again soon after.

According to the report, a Security Ministry courier handed a stamped and sealed permit to NSO headquarters the next morning.

The NYT article said that Pegasus was first sold to the kingdom in 2017 for a $55 million installation fee under the supervision of Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

Only a small group of top security officials, all reporting directly to Netanyahu, took part in the talks with the Saudis, all while taking “extreme measures of secrecy,” according to one of the Israelis involved in the issue.

According to the report, keeping the Saudis happy was vital for Netanyahu.

NSO Pegasus spyware

Israeli PEGASUS Spying on Journalists, Activists Worldwide

Bahrain, Poland, UAE, South America, Hungary, Lebanon, and in many other locations, tens of thousands of activists, journalists, and politicians were listed as potential targets of the NSO Pegasus spyware.

According to an investigation led by The Washington Post and 16 media partners, military-grade spyware leased by the Israeli firm NSO Group to governments was used in attempted and successful hacks of 37 smartphones belonging to journalists, human rights activists, business executives, and the two women closest to the murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The US Commerce Department blacklisted Israeli firm NSO Group and Candiru in November for providing their spyware to foreign governments that used the tools to “maliciously target” journalists, embassy workers, activists, diplomats, and heads of state. Facebook and Apple have sued the company after the spyware was discovered on devices belonging to dissidents and journalists.

“Israel” Is Bluffing About Striking Iran, But May Go To War With Syria In 2022

2 Jan 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

Robert Inlakesh

“Israel” has been doing its very best to sabotage the Iran Nuclear Deal talks and prevent sanctions relief or de-escalation between Tehran and Washington.

“Israel” Is Bluffing About Striking Iran, But May Go To War With Syria In 2022

In a bid to increase tensions between Washington and Tehran, the Israeli regime intensified its propaganda surrounding conspiracy theories of a “secret Iranian nuclear weapons program.” In the process, “Tel Aviv” also intensified its attacks against Syria and made a number of embarrassing predictions about when Iran would get its hands on the nukes.

2021 began with tensions between “Israel” and Iran from the get-go, with “Israel” having used its intelligence agency, Mossad, to carry out an assassination of Iran’s top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, in late November of 2020. “Israel” was also revealed to have been involved in former US President Donald Trump’s assassination of General Qassem Soleimani of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC)’s Quds Forces.

When President Joe Biden first took office, he did so after vowing to repair the US’ standing in the region, with part of this strategy – which he laid out to US voters – was reviving the Obama-era Nuclear Deal.

Yet, despite 7 rounds of indirect negotiations – through two separate Iranian administrations – having taken place in Vienna between Washington and Tehran, no deal has been reached. Instead, Iran has been subjected to constant antagonism by the Biden administration and the Israeli regime.

Since the beginning of 2021, “Israel” has been vowing to act alone against Iran if the United States does not do what it’s told. Instead of holding strong, later in August, Joe Biden sat across from his Israeli counterpart Naftali Bennett and told the world that if diplomacy fails, the US is prepared to take to “other options”. After speculation that this had meant that the US was considering a strike on Iran, US Central Command (CENTCOM)’s General Kenneth McKenzie made it clear and stated that military options have been prepared. “Israel” is very happy with this stance, yet it is not clear whether the US would follow through on any such “option”.

Despite this, “Israel” has been doing its very best to sabotage the Iran Nuclear Deal talks and prevent sanctions relief or de-escalation between Tehran and Washington. In order to fear-monger further, the Zionist entity has produced some of its most embarrassing predictions on when Iran will acquire nuclear weapons yet.

For around 30 years, since 1992, “Israel’s” leading politicians have continuously speculated as to when Iran will acquire a nuclear weapon. Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former President Shimon Peres were some of the first to make wrong predictions. Now the legacy of false predictions by “Israel” is being carried on by its current ruling class, and its false alarmism has come to the point that it is hardly worth the media even reporting it to save “Israel” from further embarrassment.

Here are just a few of the most well-known cases from 2021 of “Israel’s” predictions; In January, the head of “Israel’s” occupation military, Aviv Kochavi, said that Iran would have nukes in “months, maybe even weeks”. Benny Gantz, “Israel’s” Minister of War, later stated in August that Iran is “10 weeks” away from amassing enough nuclear material for the bomb. This was then followed by a claim that will take a little longer to be proven incorrect, as “Israel’s” Avigdor Lieberman claimed that the new prediction was that Tehran would have their WMD in “five years, tops”. But the cherry on top was really the late December reporting, emanating from Israeli media, which suggested, “citing Defense Ministry intelligence”, that Iran was “6 weeks away” from getting nukes.

The allegation that Iran has a “secretive nuclear weapons program” is simply put, a far-fetched conspiracy theory. There is no authoritative organization or international body that claims to possess any evidence of this, nor do they make the assumption that Iran has such a program. Yet despite this, the United States, Britain, and “Israel” all put on their tin-foil hats and are going along with the conspiracy theory. The reason for this is not driven by their actual beliefto do with them actually believing what they are saying, just like it was not the case they believed Saddam Hussein possessed WMDs, besides the chemical weapons they sold him. This is just official propaganda to usher in public support for their aggressive foreign policy position on the Islamic Republic.

Despite the tough rhetoric, however, it is more than likely that instead of “Israel” striking Iran directly, they will continue their aggression against the Syrian government’s forces and civilian infrastructure. In 2021, “Israel” struck the port of Latakia, Syria’s lifeline civilian port, twice and upped airstrikes against Syria’s air defense systems, weapons depots and other military, as well as civilian, targets. For “Israel”, their own military intelligence indicates that the primary battleground will be inside Syria for the objective of “combatting Iran”. Although “Israel” is not striking Iranian-backed targets in Syria, as Syrian Opposition media claims without evidence, they are able to justify their attacks with this line of propaganda.

From the Israeli regime’s perspective, the new administration in the Zionist Entity has to appear to be outperforming or at least matching the intensity of the former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Striking Syria has always been a way for the regime to show its people that it is fighting Iran actively. Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid, who entered into a power-sharing agreement to force out Netanyahu’s Likud Party, know that if their coalition falls apart, their political careers are done, and even if they finish their joint term as Prime Ministers, if they perform badly they will be pushed out of leadership positions in the future. So, in order to impress the Israeli settler public, they must appear to be attacking Iran and its allies, additionally influencing the United States to stay away from the Nuclear Deal.

For “Israel” to start a war with Iran, is to essentially commit suicide and they know this well. That is why if any war is to take place, it is more likely going to be between Syria and “Israel”. The biggest possibility is another round of tensions between the Gaza Strip and “Israel’s” occupation army and another uprising by Palestinians across the occupied territories. In the event that this escalation occurs over an Israeli violation of Palestinian rights in Al-Quds, most notably at Masjid Al-Aqsa, it is also possible that Yemen’s Ansarallah and Lebanese Hezbollah will too get involved this time around.

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

Jordan-UAE-“Israel” Deal Proves ‘2-State Solution’ Dead For Arab Reactionary Regimes

1 Dec 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

Robert Inlakesh

This agreement constitutes, not only a move against a two-State solution that Jordan claims to achieve but also an act of Arab collaboration with a usurper entity that seeks to impoverish and erase the native Palestinian inhabitants of the land.

Stirring tensions between the Jordanian public and its rulers, Amman signed its biggest ever cooperation deal with Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi. As protesters opposing the deal took to the streets, facing arrests and beatings, Jordanian King Abdullah II continued to ignore the violations carried out against not only Palestinians but Jordanians, in East Jerusalem by “Israel”.

Whilst “Israel” continues to violate the sanctity of the Third Holiest site in Islam, the al-Aqsa Mosque, which is supposed to be under the special custodianship of the Hashemite ruler of Jordan, the King completely ignores the site and instead signs a historic energy-water swap deal. 

In recent years, a legacy of tension between former Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and King Abdullah II of Jordan, had come to a boiling point after speculation caused the King to believe Saudi Arabia may take over his nation’s custodianship of Jerusalem’s Holy Sites. Yet since the current Israeli PM, Naftali Bennett, had organized a secret meeting this July, the Israeli-Jordanian relationship seems to have been restored, after a three-year period of no high-level contact.

To add insult to injury, “Israel” has been raising one of the oldest Islamic-Palestinian burial sites, the Al-Yusofiya Cemetery, in recent months and had unearthed the remains of Jordanian soldiers in the process. The desecration of graves in the area comes so that “Israel” can build Jewish sites for settlers on top of it. Not only has the Jordanian King refused to act to prevent further unearthing of graves at the site, but has continued to ignore the house demolitions, settler home takeovers, and settler raids into the al-Aqsa Mosque, all taking place in East Jerusalem.

On November 22, a deal between Jordan-UAE-“Israel” was signed, which would see an Emirati firm, called Masdar, construct a massive solar panel farm on Jordanian territory. The Solar Farm will be designed to generate energy for “Israel”, not Jordan, creating roughly 180 million dollars in revenue each year, half of which will be made by Amman and the other half belonging to Masdar. “Israel” in return has agreed to provide Jordan with 200 million cubic meters of water, which the Israelis will desalinate and draw from the Mediterranean sea.

Although the deal only serves the UAE, Jordan, and “Israel”, the plan was actually first presented by an NGO, called ‘EcoPeace Middle East’, that the Palestinian Authority (PA) be involved in some meaningful way, yet this has not come to fruition as of yet. The West Bank currently has a major water crisis for Palestinians who are prevented from accessing their water from the Basin below them. In Gaza, “Israel” purposely destroyed Gaza’s primary aquifer and has allowed seawater intrusion, making it irreparable. Gaza’s water is currently 97% undrinkable, essentially making it so that Palestinians are forced to bathe in and drink contaminated water, causing rampant illness. Therefore, this agreement constitutes, not only a move against a two-State solution that Jordan claims to achieve but also an act of Arab collaboration with a usurper entity which seeks to impoverish and erase the native Palestinian inhabitants of the land.

The joke of the century is that “Israel”, which exploits the resources of the West Bank and the Leviathan gas fields off the occupied Palestinian coast, is working on this project with the joint aim of combating climate change. According to the Brookings Institute – a think-tank based in Washington DC – this is a good move as it utilizes clean energy and represents a push by “Israel”, the UAE, and Jordan towards a climate-wise future. It is ironic that “Israel”, which constantly drops thousands of tons of explosives all over the Middle East and has created an environment in the Gaza Strip – that it illegally besieges – which according to experts at the UN has been uninhabitable for human beings since the start of 2020, is now viewed as a progressive State on climate. The mainstream dialogue on Climate Change, between Western powers and their Arab reactionary allies, is not only a farce, it’s an attempt to brainwash their populations into believing that they are led by responsible leaderships. You can’t drop millions of tons of toxic explosives and then turn around claiming to care about the impact of the emissions let off by conventional energy consumption.

In reaction to this move by the Jordanian regime, students of the Hashemite University of Jordan gathered in protest of the move, singing a popular Arab Nationalist song ‘Mawtini’. Another demonstration was organized at the University of Jordan, calling on their authorities to release protesters who have been arrested for voicing opposition to the deal and urging them to abandon the agreement, which implicates Jordan in the Trump-era normalization deals. The Jordanian public overwhelmingly reject Arab normalization with “Israel” and regard the ‘peace treaty’ signed between “Israel” and Jordan in 1994 as a betrayal.

Jordan’s Minister of Water, Mohammed Al-Najjar, says that “Jordan is not building its water strategy on this declaration, if it is turned into an agreement, it will be presented to the parliament for approval.” Whilst Al-Najjar says it is not connected to the normalization deals, this is clearly not seen as being the case by fellow Jordanian officials who have come out strongly against the move. For many Jordanians, the fact that “Israel” had historically benefited from the diversion of the Jordan River leaves a bad taste in their mouth and so now relying on “Israel” for their water supply is not only a matter of pride, but also puts the nation in a very weak position.

But the Amman-Tel Aviv cooperation doesn’t end there. The Palestinian Authority (PA), led by President Mahmoud Abbas, is facing an economic crisis in the West Bank, amidst an environment descending into outright rejectionism of its altruistic self-rule. Palestinians in Nablus, Jenin, Al-Khalil, and elsewhere are taking it upon themselves to form armed groups to resist “Israel’s” occupation, which the PA fears will turn on its own security forces. “Israel” has pursued all avenues necessary, including giving the PA a 155 Million dollar loan in August, as well as calling on foreign powers like the EU to increase their funding. Taking this further, “Israel’s” ‘Minister of Economy’ Orna Barbivai and Jordan’s ‘Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply’ Yousef Al-Shamali, met earlier this month and secured a deal on West Bank export to the PA from Jordan. The deal secured is speculated to boost West Bank bound exports from Jordan annually, meaning that the 150 million dollars of exports will increase to as much as 700 million dollars worth.

Although Jordan claims to care for a “Two-State Solution”, the Hashemite ruler continues to demonstrate that he couldn’t care less. It’s a matter of words over reality, King Abdullah II doesn’t have a sense of pride on the matters of Jerusalem or the Palestinian people, it’s simply an act and his cooperation with the occupation shows this clearly.

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

Bahaa Abou Al-Ata…A Name Deeply Engraved within the Israeli Mind

Nov 20, 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Hassan Lafi

Abou al-Ata was responsible for removing the “Master of Israeli Security” from the podium in an embarrassing fashion, which Netanyahu viewed as a personal insult.

اخبار لبنان من لبنان - أخبار كل يوم
Martyr Bahaa Abou el-Ata

The decision taken by “Israel” to assassinate Bahaa Abou al-Ata, the leader of the northern region in the Quds Brigades – the military faction of the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine -, was certainly not a normal event. It took place on the dawn of Tuesday, 12 November 2019, and showcased a string of complicated Israeli calculations given that this assassination would be the first targeting a resistance commander since 2012, and occurred amidst a lack of tension or war.

Thus, the two Israeli institutions, the political and military, were aware that taking this decision would certainly break the equation sanctified by the Palestinian resistance, which stipulates that any assassination equals a war.

Subsequently, the assassination of Abou al-Ata, for “Israel”, was a declaration of a military battle with the resistance in Gaza. And certainly, the Israeli intelligence assessments know very well that the shrapnel of the Gaza rockets in that battle will not be confined to the borders of the settlements around the Gaza Strip and the south, but will rather reach deep into the “Gush Dan” area, the most densely populated center in the occupied lands.

Nonetheless, this scenario occurred in the battle of “Sayhat al-Fajr” (The Cry of Dawn) which the al-Quds Brigades fought against “Israel.”

Two years after the assassination of Bahaa Abou al-Ata, the question still remains: what was the Israeli view of the Palestinian leader’s personality? And what did it represent in the Israeli mindset of both military and political institutions? 

Amos Gilad, head of the Israeli Institute for Policy and Strategy (IPS) and former director of policy and political-military affairs at the Ministry of Security, answered when asked about Bahaa Abou el-Ata by saying: “He was the chief motivator for the Islamic Jihad’s operation, and possesses a strong and bold personality.” 

Israeli Occupation Army Spokesman Heidi Zilberman did not diverge from Gilad’s assessment, saying to journalists following the assassination of Abou al-Ata that “Israel” understands well that the martyr was “a wild element, mostly working according to a point of view paradoxical to regional interests.” This confirms that the occupation dealt with the resistance leader as a major hurdle to its regional plans, the most important of which were:

First: “Israel” was in need of cooling down the Gaza front through understandings of instilling calm in exchange for humanitarian facilitations (on a humanitarian level). This approach turned, two years after the assassination of Abou al-Ata, into a full-fledged plan put forward by the Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid, and adopted by his government, titled “Security in exchange for Economy”, away from any political dimensions related to the Palestinian rights as a people under occupation.

Second: The political leadership of the Israeli occupation at the time, represented by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, considered that the continuation of the “ninth hour” strategy, of which martyr Abou al-Ata was the icon, that maintains a state of perpetual conflict through engagement with “Israel,” negatively affects the impetus of some normalizing countries to steer towards “Tel Aviv”, which Netanyahu considered a major goal in his regional policies. Moreover, the name of Bahaa Abou al-Ata was engraved deeply in Netanyahu’s mind at two instances that had great impact on his policies and personality. 

The first instance was Abu al-Ata’s crucial role in sanctifying the eye for an eye equation with the occupation, which came in defense of the peaceful protesters who were being assaulted during their “Return Marches” by the IOF. This equation engendered successive rounds of military escalations, becoming the main reason behind the toppling of Netanyahu’s government in November 2018 following the resignation of the then-Minister of Security, Avigdor Lieberman, who opposed accepting a ceasefire with the resistance in Gaza right after the “Ashkelon Hell” battle. Lieberman viewed this “compromise” as a capitulation on the part of Netanyahu’s government. 

The second instance was al-Ata’s responsibility for removing Netenyahu, the so-called “master of Israeli security,” from the podium in an embarrassing fashion in front of his electoral audience in “Ashdod”. This incident was considered by the former PM as a personal insult to him that affected his entire political future, especially with the wide circulation of Abou al-Ata’s picture in Israeli media. Although this circulation aimed to send a threat to the Palestinian leader in order to hinder his work, the continuation of “Al-Quds Brigades”, under his leadership, in the engagement strategy, made him a permanent presence in the Israeli media. Every time Bahaa Abou al-Ata’s photo is published, the Israeli public recalls the humiliation of Netanyahu and his escape from Abou al-Ata’s missiles to the shelter. 

Third: At the time, “Israel” was seeking to focus its efforts on the northern front and the Iranian nuclear project, taking advantage of the presence of US President Donald Trump in office. However, as the Gaza front continued to heat up through the engagement strategy, the occupation considered that the Islamic Jihad, as an effective part of the resistance axis, impeded these Israeli endeavors. Therefore, the Israeli occupation planes tried to assassinate in Damascus the commander of the military department in the Islamic Jihad movement, Akram al-Ajouri, whom “Tel Aviv” calls the military mastermind of the al-Quds Brigades, in tandem with their assassination of Abou al-Ata, who was considered the most powerful executive commander in the Brigades. Thus, “Israel” would have dealt a simultaneous double blow to the military mind and arm of the Islamic Jihad, in order to paralyze the military capacity of the al-Quds Brigades.

This strategy echoes the mistakes made in 1995 when former Israeli PM Yitzhak Rabin decided to assassinate the founder of the Islamic Jihad movement and its first secretary-general, Dr. Fathi Shaqaqi, believing that the movement was solely based on the person of Shaqaqi.

However, less than six months later, the Islamic Jihad was carrying out its first operations in “Tel Aviv,” in response to the assassination of martyr Shaqaqi, under the leadership of Dr. Ramadan Shallah back then, may God have mercy on him.

In the case of Bahaa Abou al-Ata, the Jihad movement, led by its Secretary-General Ziad al-Nakhala, did not wait extensively to prove to “Israel” the failure of its expectations: Half an hour after Abou al-Ata’s assassination, al-Quds Brigades fired a rocket barrage in the direction of the “Gush Dan” area, announcing the start of the “Sayhat al-Fajr” battle.

Likud: Netanyahu was Mocking Bennett, Not Biden, in Facebook Video (VIDEO)

September 20, 2021 

Benjamin Netanyahu mocks US President Joe Biden. (Photo: Video Grab)

Following a video broadcast on Facebook by former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Likud party found itself forced to issue a clarification to avoid annoying US President Joe Biden.

Netanyahu appeared in a video on Facebook on Saturday speaking about the meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Biden that took place last month.

Repeating reported news that Biden was sleeping during the meeting, Netanyahu said in the video: “I heard that Biden was very attentive, very, very attentive during the meeting”, then chuckled before dropping his head and closing his eyes.

This video became the subject of widespread criticism on social media, forcing Likud to release a statement.

“Contrary to the distorted picture broadcast in the media, former prime minister Netanyahu did not criticize President Biden, whom he has known and cherished as a friend of Israel for 40 years.”

However, the statement added, “his criticism was directed exclusively at Naftali Bennett, who during his visit to the White House spoke at length about nothing.”

Video footage from Bennett’s meeting with Biden appeared to show the US president dozing off, however, it was later revealed that the images had been manipulated by social media users.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

NYT: “Israel’s” Spy Agency Snubbed the US, Trust Broken

August 28, 2021

NYT: “Israel’s” Spy Agency Snubbed the US, Trust Broken

By Staff, Agencies

A new report says the “Israeli” regime gave the administration of US President Joe Biden a last-minute notice before an act of sabotage that caused a power outage at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility earlier this year.

Citing unnamed American and “Israeli” sources, the New York Times reported that former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered “Israeli” security officials to reduce the information that they conveyed to the US about planned operations in Iran.

On April 11, when the attack took place at Natnaz nuclear site, the “Israeli” entity’s Mossad spy agency gave the US less than two hours’ notification, far too short a time for Washington to assess the operation or ask Tel Aviv to call it off, according to the report.

“Israeli” sources said they concealed information from their American counterparts because there had been leaks regarding earlier attacks.

Senior Biden administration officials said the “Israelis” violated an unwritten agreement to inform the United States of covert operations.

After the Natanz attack, CIA director William Burns called Mossad chief Yossi Cohen, expressing concern over the snub, the report said.

Cohen claimed that the belated notification was due to operational constraints and uncertainty about when the attack would take place.

One day after the “Israeli” act of nuclear terrorism, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Washington “was not involved in any manner.”

The US, however, has a history of collaborating with the “Israeli” entity in sabotage acts against Iran.

For example, the Stuxnet computer virus is widely believed to have been developed jointly by the United States and the entity. It was the first publicly known example of a virus being used to attack industrial machinery. It was discovered in 2010 after it was used to attack a uranium enrichment facility at Natanz, Iran.

The April attack occurred less than a week after the first talks began in the Austrian capital, Vienna, on a potential revival of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA], something the “Israeli” entity opposes.

Former US president Donald Trump abandoned the agreement and reimposed the anti-Iran sanctions that the JCPOA had lifted. He also placed additional sanctions on Iran under other pretexts not related to the nuclear case as part of the “maximum pressure” campaign.

Following a year of strategic patience, Iran resorted to its legal rights stipulated in Article 26 of the JCPOA, which grants a party the right to suspend its contractual commitments in case of non-compliance by other signatories.

Now, the Biden administration says it wants to compensate for Trump’s mistake and rejoin the accord, but it is showing an overriding propensity for maintaining some of the sanctions as a tool of pressure.

Tehran insists that all sanctions should first be removed in a verifiable manner before the Islamic Republic reverses its remedial measures.

The last-minute notification of the Natanz operation was the starkest example that the entity had changed its procedures since the Trump presidency.

For the American-“Israeli” intelligence relationship, it was another a sharp turnabout.

Before They Preach to us about White Privilege

 

BY GILAD ATZMON

Stanford University study reveals: “Some 80% of (Jews of colour) respondents said that they had ‘experienced discrimination’ within Jewish settings, including synagogues, congregations, and Jewish spiritual communities.”
Stanford University study reveals: “Some 80% of (Jews of colour) respondents said that they had ‘experienced discrimination’ within Jewish settings, including synagogues, congregations, and Jewish spiritual communities.”

By Gilad Atzmon

 People who are familiar with the history of Zionism are aware of the rich history of White Jewish (AKA Ashkenazi) abuse towards Arab and Sephardi Jews in Israel. In the years after the creation of the Israeli state hundreds of babies went missing. Their parents, mostly Jewish immigrants from Yemen, were told their children had died, but suspicions linger that they were secretly given away to White Jewish childless families. The Israeli government approved earlier this year a NIS162 million settlement with the families of these ‘vanishing’ children.

Volunteering the Israeli population as guinea pigs wasn’t invented by Netanyahu or/and Pfizer. Blood samples drawn from Yemenites Jews in the 1950s were tested to determine whether they had “Negro blood.” According to the Times of Israel “60 hearts were harvested from the bodies of new immigrants from Yemen post-mortem for purposes of medical research, in a project purportedly funded by the US.” Also in the same period, the Jewish state irradiated children who arrived from North Africa and the Middle East en masse in an attempt to fight ringworm. In the years to follow many of these children died from cancer. In 1995 the Israeli government decided to compensate the victims and families of the Ringworm Affair.

In the late 1950-1960s Jewish immigrants from Morocco were sprayed with DDT as soon as their feet touched the ‘promised land.’ For them, this bitter departure was merely an introduction to decades of abuse and humiliation that is still taking place.

It took the Israeli Government more than a few decades to lift its 1977 ban preventing Jews from Ethiopia donating blood.  This late immigration wave of African Jews sent their children to serve in the army and to die for Israel but apparently their blood wasn’t as good as their fellow Israelis.

The Yemenites, Moroccans and Ethiopians have something in common. They are ‘Jews of colour,’ not exactly the most privileged Jews in Israel. Just slightly above the Palestinians and the African non-Jewish immigrants.  Some anti-Zionists may insist that this is exactly what we should expect from a racist criminal State. However, the fate of American Jews of colour isn’t any better, in fact it is far worse.

The Jerusalem Post reported yesterday on a study conducted by researchers at Stanford University that delved into the experiences of American Jews of Color. The new report titled Beyond the Count revealed large and systemic discrimination and scrutinization based on race in the Jewish Society.

The data was gathered at Stanford University by a multi-racial team of researchers, with over 1,118 respondents participating. It revealed that “Some 80% of respondents said that they had ‘experienced discrimination’ within Jewish settings, including synagogues, congregations, and Jewish spiritual communities.”

“Additionally, respondents indicated that they had previously experienced an increased sense of awareness regarding how others perceive them because of either their race or their Jewishness.” Some participants admitted they found it “more difficult for their identities to co-exist in predominantly white Jewish spaces than in Black indigenous people of color spaces.” Furthermore, 44% said they had changed how they dress or speak in white Jewish spaces, and 66% reported feeling “disconnected from their Jewish identities at times.”

I wouldn’t dare to ask Jews or anyone else to morph, to become more tolerant or harmonious, as that is not my task in life. I wouldn’t expect anyone who upholds racist and/or white supremacist views to change their spots. I just expect Jews in general and Jewish institutions (such as the ADL or AIPAC) in particular, to look in the mirror twice before they preach to us about ‘race’ in general or white privilege in particular.  

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60 Days in Palestine: The Indigenous Ghettos Win Vs Israeli Apartheid Regime Cracks

August 12, 2021

Daniel Lobato

Source: Al Mayadeen

The events of those 60 days have shown a new scenario in the historical stage of Palestine under apartheid.

Between April 12 (beginning of Ramadan) and June 13 (the establishment of the Israeli Government) we have witnessed a small chapter in the story of 100 years of war on Palestine. The events of those 60 days have shown a new scenario in the historical stage of Palestine under apartheid.

There seems to be no way to differentiate these events of 2021 of those from 2014, 2012 or 2008 if you just list the facts: 250 Palestinians in Gaza were killed, including 67 children and 2000 injured; 11 Israelis were killed and 1000 Palestinians arrested.

And again this scenario was coinciding with a political crisis in Tel Aviv after 4 elections in two years, and the coming threats of a fifth election; another election campaign of repression and massacres, as an Israeli MP denounced on CNN

However, many changes have been in sight even if the beginning was similar to other conflict escalations.

On April 12, “Israel” permitted several ‘goodwill gestures’ at the start of Ramadan with a brightly lit Tel Aviv: “Happy Ramadan to our residents and friends”. 21% of “Israel’s” citizens are native Palestinians, most of them Muslim, and in that message their state was alienating them: for almost 2 million of its indigenous citizens, their “state” called them “residents”. “Israel” applies 65 segregation laws to them and furthermore sent them this poisoned greeting by downgrading their citizenship to a “residency” of outsiders in their own land. Alongside this, Tel Aviv deployed its armed forces to intensify repression in Jerusalem as soon as Ramadan arrived.

The Battle of Damascus Gate

In the first days of Ramadan, Israeli forces charged to clear the steps of Damascus Gate and cut off electricity to the Al Aqsa Mosque. It prevented the popular evening food distribution that celebrates the end of the daily fast. In addition, in Al-Quds without tourists, “Israel” sought further militarization of the Damascus Gate and Al-Aqsa Mosque by besieging the place with barriers and metal detectors. This battle was already lost by “Israel” in 2017 when it tried to cage Al Aqsa mosque and went so far to close it as a sign of pressure. “Israel” tried again in April 2021, the police crackdown was joined by groups of Israelis going around “Jerusalem” shouting “death to Arabs” and lynching with impunity any Palestinian they encounter. As the days passed, such Israeli mobs were repeated in Al-Quds and other cities beating and murdering Palestinians. “Israel” funds racist marches of this kind with more money every year.

As in 2017, the battle of Damascus Gate resulted in a small Palestinian victory, however, the battle of Al-Aqsa evolved into another dimension.

The Battle of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan

Israeli courts have no legal competence to determine private property in a militarily occupied territory. Despite this, in a decades-old farce of a judicial process, its judges ruled that the Palestinian neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in “Jerusalem” must be vacated by May 2, 2021, and handed over to a settler organization. This organization promised to take over the entire neighborhood and expel all Palestinians. This act of dispossession has been the Israeli DNA: in 1948, European settlers owned only 6% of the land in Palestine while 94% belonged to the natives. Today the natives own only 3% of the land inside “Israel”. Dispossession continues in the West Bank and Al-Quds with the natives confined in disconnected ghettos. As one US settler said to the Palestinian Mona el Kurd:  “if I don’t steal it, someone else is going to steal it”. This settler was fleeing his crimes in the US by adopting a fraudulent Jewish identity in order to obtain the prize of a free Palestinian house. In Sheikh Jarrah, harsh police repression included spraying toxic water and tear gas inside homes and Palestinians were threatened by the Israeli deputy mayor of Jerusalem.

Emptying Sheikh Jarrah of Palestinians is important for “Israel” because it allows it to connect illegal settlements. Just as the Spanish railway company CAF does in “Jerusalem”: connecting with its tramway the colonies in occupied territory and extending apartheid Made in Spain in Palestine.

Another Palestinian neighborhood in Al-Quds, Al Bustan, has a demolition order from the Israeli municipality, knowing that “Israel” has no legitimacy and destroys the IV Geneva Convention. In Al Bustan 1500 natives, 60% children, will be dispossessed under disguises of legalism. Ethnic cleansing against the natives (“temporary residents”) is camouflaged by sophisticated judicial, electoral, administrative, town planning, archaeological, religious and economic strategies. The aim is to eliminate all Palestinians, as in “West Jerusalem”, where the houses of the natives are still standing but occupied by Israeli settlers. The owners were thrown into refugee camps. This gives material reality to their mythology and their strategy of fraudulently Judaizing the city. Tourists strolling through the Old City of “Jerusalem” do not know that the Jewish Quarter is a fake. “Israel” erected it in 1968 after razing to the ground the historic Maghreb quarter built in the time of Saladin almost a thousand years ago.

The Israeli army, courts, settlers and bulldozers are always ready to act anywhere in the Palestinian territory. As in Beita, Nablus, where in just a few weeks the invaders have erected a city in the olive groves of the Palestinian people. Sometimes “Israel” gives up a colony in order to put the media spotlight there, and try to hide 73 years of dispossession of the natives.

The Battle of Al-Aqsa

In the midst of Ramadan when mosques are usually crowded, Israeli forces turned the esplanade into a theatre of war with repeated assaults day and nightinside the mosques. It is strategic for “Israel” to harass the mosques in order to provoke Muslim anger around the world. In this way, colonization would be disguised in the media as an unresolvable religious battle. In addition, Israeli groups demand the demolition of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock in order to build a Jewish “Third Temple” in their place. 

This continued Israeli oppression of Al-Quds made Palestinian demonstrations explode throughout the territory. In cities within the Israeli state (Jaffa, Nazareth, Haifa, Lod, Acre or Uhm al Fahem), natives with Israeli citizenship lowered Tel Aviv flags and raised Palestinian banners. The Israeli mayor of Lod acknowledged that he had lost control of the situation and Netanyahu declared a state of emergency.

This united Palestinian revolt terrorized Israeli settler society and mobs lynched Palestinians with impunity.

The demonstrations showed the victory of the united native identity over the fragmentation sought by the Israeli government. The Western media also used submissive categories for Palestinians in “Israel”, such as desert Bedouin, Druze, Galilean Christians, Israeli Arabs, etc.

The Unity Intifada

This unitary revolt finally exploded with the  call for an indigenous general strike on May 18 for the three pieces into which historic Palestine is temporarily divided: “the state of Israel”, the West Bank ghettos and the Gaza ghetto. The call did not come from any political faction. It was youth and grassroots organizations from “Jerusalem” and “the state of Israel”. From Haifa to Galilee, Nablus or Gaza, there was a massive turnout. The whole of Palestinian society connected with its 1936 uprising against British and Zionist oppression, when native dispossession began with the arrival of European settlers. The Manifesto for Dignity and Hope swept across Palestine in those days expressing the significance of the reunification of Palestinian national consciousness. The physical separations and categorical prisons imposed by the colonial regime were destroyed: the prison of the West Bank ghettos, the prison of apartheid citizenship in the “Israeli state”, the prison of Gaza, and the prison of “Jerusalem”. It was set as a unitary goal to end all Zionist colonial structures.

The battle across Palestine

In the face of intense repression in “Jerusalem”, a warning was issued from Gaza on June 10 that rocket fire would begin. “Israel” ignored the warning and launched a large-scale operation against Gaza.

To describe these clashes as a war between “Israel” and “Hamas” is a manipulation. It is “Israel” against Gaza, or against Palestine. Why is a political party cited on only one side?

The Israeli operation “The Guardian of the Walls” announced the death of hundreds or thousands of people in the caged strip. It’s worthy of note that the two million people surviving in Gaza were stripped, crowded and locked up in that Israeli coastal prison.

Handcrafted rockets were pitted against a 21st century military technology for 10 days. The entire world’s media daily quantified the hundreds of rockets launched by the natives but never gave us the number of missiles and bombs dropped by “Israel”. 

“Israel” announced that it was going to step on the gas with its inhumane Dahiya doctrine of maximum devastation and disproportionate force on civilians. It consists of setting the attacked territory “back 20 years”, or even “to the stone age“. This military doctrine is part of the curriculum of Tel Aviv University, with which universities around the world partner rather than boycott. Following this strategy, “Israel” has sought to destroy as much of the infrastructure and economy of the Gaza ghetto as possible. When international donors once again funded the reconstruction of Gaza, the Israeli economy took a cut. Israeli destruction in Gaza included the only COVID laboratory, banks, shops, factories, bookstores, news agency buildings and hospital entrances.

Furthermore, “Israel” has repeated another doctrine started in 2014: intentionally eliminating entire families by bombing the house when the largest number of members are inside. Thus, four generations of the Al Qawlaq family with 21 members, from 90 years old to 6 months old, were exterminated. The survivor Shoukry Al Qawlaq listed his murdered family members for 33 seconds. The families Abu al Auf, Ashkontana, and up to 19 families were exterminated too. 

But unexpectedly within 10 days, Palestinians took over the situation. The Israeli regime thought that the Palestinian “residents” will be “leaving Gaza in complete silence“, to suddenly stopping with a ceasefire. “Israel” could have killed thousands of Palestinians as in 2008 or 2014 without accountability.

The Israeli military gives us the answer by frustratingly acknowledging that the quantity and technology of rockets from Gaza increases inexorably year after year despite the blockade on the strip. The myth of Israeli defenses (Iron Dome) collapsed when the number of rockets launched daily from Gaza quadrupled compared to 2014. Washington’s metropolis came to the rescue of its protectorate with two extra aid packages: one during the battle of $735 million in missiles, and another after the ceasefire of $1 billion to replenish “Israel’s” depleted defense system in just 10 days. Israeli estimates the rocket stockpile in Gaza for several months of continued fighting, with superior models not yet in use. 

Tel Aviv airport was closed for a week, compared to only a few hours in 2014. Eilat airport at more than 200km from Gaza also had to be closed. Israeli industrial facilities and ports were attacked and also closed. Attacks on Israeli cities and the death of 11 civilians instilled terror.

On the other hand, Israeli tanks and soldiers not only did not dare to enter the coastal prison, but did not even dare to approach the wall. A single Israeli soldier was killed by an anti-tank rocket fired from the Gaza ghetto. It was enough of a message for a specialized army in the repression and execution of civilians than in warfare.

Despite this evidence, the Israeli army issued its victory proclamation calling the 67 Palestinian children killed “neutralized terrorists”. But even the extremist Israeli media, which also called the Palestinian babies terrorists, were fearful for the future. Others assumed that the balance of power was shifting. Some media wondered what would happen if Lebanon were to join a joint action with Palestine in the future. The answer came from this Israeli analyst revealing the fear in the military leadership.

The meaning of the Palestinian victory by combining forms of resistance

“Israel” would have liked to be a liberal democracy like Australia or the US after having wiped out the indigenous people. Failing that, its fate will be the same as South Africa’s apartheid regime.

The indigenous demographic superiority (51%) over the settler society (49%) between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean has already been exceeded years ago and is increasing, not counting refugees from abroad, despite the ongoing ethnic cleansing. Furthermore, “Israel’s” 73-year effort to fragment Palestinian identity and territory has failed as the entire native society has been reunified in these two months of resistance.

Around the world there were massive demonstrations of solidarity that reveal the failure of Zionist lobbies and Western governments trying to suppress that support. In Madrid, thousands of people surpassed all expectations

The Palestinian victory on different fronts has generated multiple repercussions.

The price for the apartheid regime

The Israeli army dreams of an operation against Gaza to raze it and send the Palestinians to the Sinai desert. The reality is that this army no longer dares to approach the strip, and furthermore, it is not any more the 1948 era. “Israel” cannot expel or kill two million people. It can only reinforce the inhuman blockade, regularly bombing and killing in order to delay the inevitable fate as long as possible. 

It is the Israeli settler society that has been shocked by the message that its apartheid society and native ghettos have an end date, something its elites already knew. Israeli civilian casualties are “regrettable”, but the settler society must understand that the longer it sustains the regime the higher it will pay the price. The Palestinian defense killed 11 Israeli civilians in one week; in 2014 it was half that number in much longer. Israeli society has never lived under the terror and real death that it has imposed on the societies around it. Damascus and Syrian territory continue to be bombed by “Israel” on a regular basis. Lebanon’s civilians know that price. The new Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, when he was a commander ordered the massacre in 1996 of civilians sheltering in a UN building in the village of Qana, Lebanon. More than a hundred were hacked to death in their sleep, half of them women and children, and Bennett has always been proud of this. Civilians in Jordan, Egypt, Iraq and other countries have also paid a heavy price in the past.

Naftali Bennett was elected leader of the colonial government at the end of this 60-day cycle. For the first time “Israel” has needed to co-opt an indigenous opportunist to emerge from the political crisis  unleashed by rivalry between Zionist political clans. Two indigenous people of the same surname help sustain the crimes and apartheid: one in the Tel Aviv government, Mansour Abbas, and one inside the ghettos, Mahmoud Abbas. Also the South African Bantustan kinglets temporarily helped sustain the apartheid regime in Pretoria. This new government will be a continuation of the previous ones, because the engine is the same: to capture more land with less indigenous people and by whatever means necessary. But it will need more and more violence to achieve less and less results, with a higher and higher price to pay as Afrikaner society paid in South Africa.

The impact on the Western Metropolis

The Western powers are the colonial metropolis of the Israeli artefact. During this time they have recited “Israel’s” right to defend its apartheid regime. They put pressure on the indigenous colonial administration of Mahmoud Abbas (called Palestinian Authority) to suppress the revolts. The new normalizers of the apartheid regime (Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco) played no role in this crisis. The usual regimes (Jordan, Egypt and Qatar) were pressured to cooperate in suffocating protest and resistance. But the West has no options left. The EU has long been making initiatives to try to co-opt Hamas as the PLO did in 1991. Two years ago the EU removed Hamas from the European list of terrorist groups. Somehow the West seeks to bring Hamas to the table to accept a future of ghettos and apartheid in exchange for money. For this reason, a close ally of the US and EU, the Moroccan regime, invited the Hamas leader a few days after the ceasefire.

But the eternally promised and delayed future of ghettos and apartheid that is called the “Palestinian state” no longer exists. The West can continue to recite the leitmotiv of the “two-state solution” in international institutions and media. Palestinian reunification has buried the coffin containing that ancient corpse of two states.

The international impact

Mass demonstrations, articles, statements, direct actions against Israeli companies and the blockade of Israeli ships all over the world have continued to increase solidarity with Palestine.

In 1991, world solidarity with Palestine declined due to several factors: the fall of the USSR and the new world hegemony, the PLO negotiating with the apartheid regime in Tel Aviv while simultaneously the apartheid regime in Pretoria was collapsing, the forced revocation in the UN of its Resolution 3379 declaring Zionism as a racist ideology, the Oslo Accords, the creation of the indigenous colonial administration called Palestinian Authority, etc.

From 2004 and 2005, solidarity began to recover with the sentence of the Hague Court against the apartheid wall and the launching of the international boycott campaign against “Israel”, BDS.

Today, all over the world, the consensus on Israeli apartheid is spreading and its role as the colonizer of Palestine is being restored. “Israel” is losing the social and legal war despite the efforts of Israeli lobbies in many countries to silence criticism and gain legitimacy through repressive law fare.

The ICC proceedings will continue to move forward with only two paths: issue arrest warrants against Israeli leaders, or close the case by demonstrating that it is a Western court to prosecute only those whom the West decides. Both decisions will have many repercussions and both will damage “Israel” in the eyes of the world’s people.

Antonio Guterres deleted from the UN website in 2017 an internal report singling out “Israel” as an apartheid regime, but other reports are beginning to pile up, and even Western governments are timidly beginning to use the term

It will become the norm to describe “Israel” as an apartheid regime with varying degrees of oppression against the native Palestinians, depending on where they are.

In the war dimension, the victory of the Palestinians against the Israeli nuclear regime’s army also has resonances in the region. The vulnerability of settler society has been exposed. It is no coincidence that a few days after the Gaza ghetto victory, and a Palestinian military spokesman’s thanks to Iran, Antony Blinken said that the US will maintain hundreds of sanctions against Iran, regardless of what happens to the Nuclear Deal. In other words, the Nuclear Deal will not survive because Iran will not agree to add new concessions, whether to its missiles or its relationship with its allies.

The impact on Palestinian society

We have already seen some of the meanings of this 60-day process for Palestinian society.

Internationally, the Palestinian Authority has been further exposed as a subordinate Department of Indigenous Affairs of the West and “Israel”. Mahmoud Abbas dares not accuse the apartheid regime of the crime of apartheid. Its main function is to exercise subcontracted repression, with mass arrests or assassination of grassroots activists. The Palestinian Authority leadership operates in the midst of political and economic corruption, and will do anything to perpetuate itself and sustain the colonial structure. In the midst of these 60 days, Abbas cancelled the theatre of a supposed election because of the risk of someone else taking his seat. But his days as the indigenous governor of the ghetto are about to end, and not only because of his age. After his outrageous repression of the Palestinians, the West is hypocritically condemning Abbas while deciding on his replacement. Abbas will not be honored by the West despite having played his mandated role in stifling Palestinian rights. 

At the end of this 60-day period, on June 12, the Palestinian Polling Centre conducted one of its regular polls. 80% of Palestinians said that Gaza had won the confrontation with “Israel”. They rated each focus of insurrection and resistance positively: 89% approved of the actions of Palestinians in “Jerusalem”, 86% supported the protests of Palestinian citizens of “Israel” and 77% supported the armed resistance of Palestinians in Gaza. The tiny number of Palestinians who support the Palestinian Authority (11%) and Abbas (8%) represent the privileged class that lives by it.

The Palestinian writer murdered by “Israel”, Ghassan Kanafani, warned that one of the enemies of the Palestinian people is the indigenous oligarchies.

The Palestinian people have been reunified but have no political subject in the form of a new national liberation movement. The PLO committed suicide in 1991. Next October marks the 30th anniversary of the fateful Madrid Conference that led to the Oslo Accords. Coinciding with that date, a first attempt will be made to launch a new Palestinian national movement to break with Oslo and apartheid: the alternative route, Masar Badil. Sooner or later a new Palestinian movement will be born.

We in the West have forgotten many lessons. One is that when a people is determined to be free it will apply the maximum of its own suffering during its struggle, however unfavorable it may be to the hostility of the oppressor. 

A fraudulent consensus has been installed in the West, by an ego of white saviors, that only the boycott ended apartheid in South Africa. This is coupled with revisionism of Nelson Mandela and other indigenous South African leaders. In the 1960s, the African National Congress decided to respond to the massacres of the Pretoria regime with armed struggle. To this end it created an autonomous armed wing, Umkhonto weSizwe (MK). Indigenous armed self-defense has been indispensable in decolonization struggles, as it was in South Africa. Colonial societies or occupying entities have paid a price in physical insecurity, as in Algeria or Vietnam. Israeli society knows that the price to be paid will be higher and higher.

Palestine solidarity organizations and the boycott movement do not have to try to appease the West or conform to the frameworks of legitimacy that the West designs. In the face of the criminalization of indigenous resistance in any form, declaring the boycott movement terrorist, or armed self-defense, international legality must be remembered. Especially the preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or Resolution 3070: “The General Assembly reaffirms the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples to free themselves from foreign colonial domination by all possible means, including armed struggle”.The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

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