On Criticism of Palestinian Resistance

 

Palestinian Ghandi.jpg

by Eve Mykytyn*

The Oxford definition of ‘terrorism’  is: “the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.”    Although the term could apply to the belligerents in many wars, the term ‘terrorism’ takes on its everyday meaning when violence is perpetuated by the weak in resistance to the powerful.

What other form of resistance is available to an oppressed people?  One does not have to search hard to find a Jewish source begging for the peaceful resistance of a Palestinian Gandhi or King.

The request itself is odd, it invites a comparison to the conditions Gandhi and King fought, and is an implicit, although perhaps unintended,  admission that Israel represents another oppressive racist regime.

It takes chutzpah to complain about the form of resistance employed by the people you are oppressing. Why are the Palestinians obliged to meet violence with nonviolence? Certainly  you have to take your victims as they are.

Gandhi wrote about the uses of nonviolent resistance and King referred to Gandhi’s writings. For Gandhi and King nonviolence was not an end in itself, it was a strategy, a means to achieve a goal. Despite later deifications, neither Gandhi nor King was a saint,  they were leaders who employed non violent resistance because it was effective under their circumstances.

Both men were vastly outpowered by the brutal regimes they opposed. Nonviolence did not allow them or their followers  to escape injury or death, their battles required at least as much physical bravery as for any soldiers.

Both Gandhi and King deliberately provoked their enemies and then refused either to back down or to physically fight back. The decision to meet violence with nonviolent resistance was a powerful tool used to expose the brutality of the regime. The march to Selma would have amounted to little without the press. What they ‘achieved’ was  an unforgettably painful display of violence. To the extent nonviolence succeeded for King, it was because the ‘soldiers’ on the other side gave Americans a clear picture of the savagery to which blacks were subjected. It became increasingly difficult for those who had long averted their eyes to claim ignorance.

One reason the Palestinians are portrayed as ‘failing’ to meet the standard set  by Gandhi or King is that their use of the tactic of nonviolence has not attracted sympathetic coverage, it has not been effective enough in exposing Israel’s brutality. There are, of course, numerous examples of peaceful Palestinian resistance. One example is commemorated on ‘Land Day’ remembering the day in 1976 that Israel killed peaceful Palestinian protesters. Another occurred during the first intifada, as Neve Gordon writes in 972, when the “Palestinians adopted massive civil disobedience strategies, including daily protests” against Israel’s occupation. Israel responded with violence and  mass incarcerations. While they could easily provoke violence through peaceful protest, the Palestinians could not win the media nor shame the Israelis into change.

This, of course, begs the question of control of the media. King  was extensively covered in the media.  Do the Palestinians have access to the same?  At best, Haaretz might decry the proportionality of Israel’s violence, but will it explore the true meaning of Palestinian protest, both the original and the ongoing taking of their property and destruction of their society? Would  the international press do any better?

As I was writing this I realized that Palestinian nonviolent protests in Gaza have had perhaps a small effect on public opinion. The mainstream media in the US is universally favorable to Israel, but although they tried, the media was not entirely successful in creating sympathy for the  Israeli snipers. For example, The Guardian, in reporting that one year into the protest, the Israelis had killed 190 and wounded 28,000, noted that, “Children, journalists and medics have been killed, even when they were standing far back from the fence.”  Spin that one. Here’s an attempt by Eric Yoffe,  a self-described ‘liberal’ American Jew,  to justify killing protestors who had not killed a single Israeli.  “If 100 Jewish bodies were strewn across southern Israel, would the American left more readily forgive Israel’s defensive actions against an angry mob of tens of thousands propelled by the murderous, anti-Semitic terrorists of Hamas?”  This is simply a variation on the “I thought he was going to hit me so I hit him back first” defense. Perhaps the need to resort to such a  feeble rationale helps explain why we finally have a tiny Congressional support group for the Palestinians. Seventeen were so daring as to vote against an anti BDS bill.

Further, Israel has shown little sign that it is willing to change its basic  oppressive policies in response to any actions or restraint by the Palestinians. This is an interesting video in which Israeli ‘settlers’ are asked if they would move if told to do so by their government and knowing the move would mean peace in the region.  Their responses are variations on “No, I would not, it is my land.” Perhaps they are merely following the lessons of their religion.

In the story of Exodus, recounted annually even by many secular Jews at Passover, Moses unsuccessfully begs the Pharaoh for his peoples’ freedom. The lesson to be learned: Jewish liberation comes only after Egyptian civilians are subjected to terrible brutality.

Israel’s Hands Spread Wide and Dig Deep

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Psy Group: Mossad Spy Tool

 

By The Newyorker

Hatem Bazian, a veteran pro-Palestinian activist in his fifties, lives with his family on a quiet street in North Berkeley, near the campus of the University of California, where he lectures. Early on the morning of May 10, 2017, as Bazian was about to drive his teen-age daughter to school, he noticed fliers on the windshields of cars parked on his block. At first, Bazian assumed that they were advertisements for a new movie or restaurant. When he looked more closely at the flier that had been left on his BMW sedan, he realized that it featured a photograph of his face, below a tagline that read, “He supports terror.” Bazian quickly folded up the flier so his daughter wouldn’t see it.

Born in Jordan to a father from the West Bank city of Nablus and a mother from al-Quds, Bazian has long been an outspoken champion of Palestinian causes. For decades, staunch supporters of ‘Israel’ have criticized Bazian’s activism. The incident with the fliers, though, was particularly unnerving, he told me. He rented his house and did not publicize the address. His opponents, he thought, must be following him. Later that day, Bazian, who describes himself as a proponent of nonviolent protest, reported what happened to the Berkeley police. He said that officers told him they could do nothing about the harassment.

Although it is unclear who left the fliers, internal documents from a private ‘Israeli’ intelligence firm called Psy-Group show that, at the time of the incident, the company, and possibly other private investigators, were targeting Bazian because of his leadership role in promoting the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, known as BDS Supporters of BDS urge corporations, universities, and local governments to impose economic, academic, and cultural boycotts on ‘Israel’ to protest its treatment of the Palestinians. Opponents say that the BDS movement aims to delegitimize ‘Israel’ and hobble its economy. On its Web site, the movement states that it does not advocate for or against a resolution in which ‘Israel’ continues to exist.

Psy-Group’s intelligence and influence operations, which included a failed attempt in the summer of 2017 to sway a local election in central California, were detailed in a New Yorker investigation that I co-wrote earlier this month. Before it went out of business, last year, Psy-Group was part of a new wave of private-intelligence firms that recruited from the ranks of ‘Israel’s’ secret services and described themselves as “private Mossads.” Psy-Group initially stood out among its rivals because it didn’t just gather intelligence; its operatives used false identities, or avatars, to covertly spread messages in an attempt to influence what people believed and how they behaved. In 2016, Psy-Group held discussions with the Trump campaign and others about conducting covert “influence” operations to benefit the candidate. Psy-Group’s founder and C.E.O., Royi Burstien, a veteran ‘Israeli’ intelligence officer who established the firm in 2014, told me that his talks with the Trump campaign went nowhere. The company’s posturing, however, attracted the attention of Robert Mueller, the special counsel, who has been investigating interference in the 2016 Presidential race.

Psy-Group’s operations against BDS activists on US college campuses began in February, 2016, according to internal documents describing the campaign. The company raised money in New York from Jewish-American donors and pro-‘Israel’ groups, and assured them that their identities would be kept secret. Psy-Group told them that its goal was to make it appear as though the donors were not involved in any way.

The campaign, code-named Project Butterfly, initially targeted BDS activists on college campuses in “a single US state,” which former Psy-Group employees have told me was New York. The company said that its operatives drew up lists of individuals and organizations to target. The operatives then gathered derogatory information on them from social media and the “deep” Web, areas of the Internet that are not indexed by search engines such as Google. In some cases, Psy-Group operatives conducted on-the-ground covert human-intelligence, or HUMINT, operations against their targets. ‘Israeli’ intelligence officials insist that they do not spy on Americans, a claim that is disputed by their US counterparts. ‘Israeli’ officials said, however, that this prohibition does not apply to private companies such as Psy-Group, which use discharged ‘Israel’ Occupation Forces soldiers and former members of elite intelligence units, rather than active-duty members, in operations targeting Americans.

Project Butterfly called for Psy-Group operatives to disseminate negative information about BDS activists in ways that could not be traced back to the company or its donors. The goal, according to a Psy-Group summary of the campaign, from May, 2017, was to create “a new reality in which anti-‘Israeli’ activists are exposed and forced to confront the consequences of their actions.” The campaign’s messages were designed to convince Americans that “anti-‘Israeli’ activity” equated to “terrorism,” the company told donors. A former Psy-Group employee said these so-called name-and-shame tactics were often effective at silencing individual BDS activists. “They would disappear,” the employee told me, claiming that some activists appeared to become less engaged after derogatory information about them was publicized. If an activist claimed to be a pious Muslim, operatives would look for evidence that he had behaved in ways unacceptable to many observant Muslims, such as drinking alcohol or having an affair, a former employee said. BDS leaders, however, seemed to recruit new activists quickly. The former employee likened Psy-Group’s campaign to the war on terrorism, saying, “It’s never-ending.”

During the period when Psy-Group mounted its anti-BDS campaign, several Web sites, including the now-defunct outlawbds.com, published information on the movement’s leaders and supporters. Definitively determining who was behind the sites is difficult because Psy-Group and other organizations involved in anti-BDS work used avatars and other tactics to disguise their involvement.

In an example of the deceptive practices employed by operatives involved in the campaign, an avatar who identified himself as “Alex Walker” sent an unsolicited e-mail on August 15, 2017, to an advertising-sales broker who represented several New York-based national Jewish publications. Walker claimed that a friend referred him to the broker and said that he was impressed with his services. When the broker asked for the friend’s name, Walker dodged the question. At that point, the broker, who asked not to be named, said he suspected that Walker wasn’t who he claimed to be. Walker said that he was upset about BDS and wanted the broker to place advertisements promoting outlawbds.com in the New York area. Walker said that his assistant would pay the eight-hundred-dollar fee via PayPal. The broker told me that he placed the ads and took the money despite his suspicions about Walker. “In my mind, I’m not doing anything wrong,” he said.

The outlawbds.com Web site featured short profiles of BDS activists, one of whom was Peter Moskowitz, a Jewish-American supporter of the movement. His profile contained misspellings, and, at one point, referred to him as “she.” But the site contained a piece of information that surprised Moskowitz: outlawbds.com had somehow uncovered his membership in a left-wing Jewish organization critical of ‘Israeli’ treatment of Palestinians, even though Moskowitz had not disclosed his involvement online or to many friends.

Project Butterfly was overseen by an advisory board composed of “senior ex-officials and experts from the government, security and legal sectors,” according to Psy-Group documents. The most senior of those ex-officials was Yaakov Amidror, who became Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s national-security adviser after leading a military-intelligence analysis division within the Amidror told me that before joining the board he spoke to Daniel Reisner, one of ‘Israel’s’ most prominent lawyers, and a partner at Herzog Fox & Neeman, which was Psy-Group’s outside counsel. He said that Reisner told him Psy-Group’s operations in the US against BDS activists were legal. Amidror said that he advised Psy-Group executives to insure that their operatives didn’t breach any US laws or norms while targeting American activists. “Don’t beat them. Don’t go into their houses,” Amidror said.

Amidror said that he supported the central goal of the Psy-Group operation: to “expose” BDS leaders on American university campuses and collect intelligence about any connections they might have to Palestinian organizations and other groups. “The ‘Israeli’ government was not there, and I thought that, if private people are ready to do it, it can be helped,” Amidror said. “It should be known who is behind them. It’s not known. We don’t know where the money is coming from, how far it is connected to Ramallah or Hamas.” He defended the propriety of a private ‘Israeli’ intelligence firm collecting and disseminating information on American citizens who supported BDS “If it is in the public domain, why not? I don’t see any problem,” he told me. “If someone doesn’t want it to be leaked publicly, he shouldn’t put it” on the Internet or on social media, Amidror said.

After Amidror joined the effort, Psy-Group recruited Ram Ben-Barak, who stepped down as the deputy director of Mossad in late 2011, to help as a paid strategic adviser on Project Butterfly. He worked one day a week out of Psy-Group’s offices near Tel Aviv. Ben-Barak said he believed that supporters of ‘Israel’ had no choice but to counter BDS forces in the United States. “You need to do it,” he told me. “They’re fighting against us, so we need to fight against them.”

In 2017, Psy-Group planned to expand Project Butterfly to target up to ten college campuses and other “venues,” according to the documents. In addition, the company said that its operatives would focus on between fifteen and twenty “national level individual targets.” Donors were told that Psy-Group had “mapped anti-‘Israel’ hubs” across the entity and had “executed 5 rapid-response operations nationwide,” without explaining what those operations entailed and whom they targeted.

The names of Psy-Group’s targets weren’t included in the May, 2017, summary of Project Butterfly, which was marked “confidential.” But a few days after the incident outside Bazian’s home, Burstien, Psy-Group’s founder and C.E.O, provided a report to researchers at a Washington think tank called the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, or F.D.D., which included the names of some of the BDS activists whom the ‘Israeli’ firm had targeted or planned to target. According to the Psy-Group report, the company had prepared “dossiers” on Bazian and eight other individuals. Psy-Group told the foundation that Bazian “got our full attention,” and that his dossier included “criminal background records” and other documents “obtained via HUMINT capabilities,” using the abbreviation for human-intelligence gathering. (When asked about the report, Bazian said he wasn’t sure what “criminal background records” Psy-Group was referring to. He said that he had received speeding tickets on occasion over the years, and was arrested in San Francisco, in 1991, for helping organize a student protest.)

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies and Psy-Group appeared to share a particular interest in the role of a pro-BDS organization that Bazian had founded, American Muslims for Palestine, or A.M.P. At a congressional hearing in 2016, F.D.D.’s vice-president for research, Jonathan Schanzer, alleged that Bazian and others working for or on behalf of A.M.P. had ties to organizations that Schanzer said have been accused of providing money to Hamas. (Bazian said that the foundation’s accusations were part of “a smear campaign that attempts to discredit anyone that deals with Palestine.” He added, “I have no ties whatsoever to any Palestinian group, faction, or organization inside occupied Palestine.”)

Psy-Group told the foundation that it planned to investigate “organizations and companies” that sponsor A.M.P.’s conferences, and singled out a Wisconsin-based Palestinian activist named Salah Sarsour, who has been in charge of organizing the conferences since 2015, as a planned target. Psy-Group alleged that Sarsour had “involvement with Hamas.” (Sarsour said that he had no relationship with the group.) Sarsour, who moved to the US from the West Bank in 1993, told me about two incidents since the summer of 2017 that made him suspect people were spying on him—although, he acknowledged, he had no hard evidence.

An F.D.D. official confirmed that the think tank met with Psy-Group, but she said the foundation “did not end up contracting with them, and their research did little to advance our own.” Psy-Group went out of business in February, 2018, as F.B.I. agents began to investigate its work. Other counter-BDS organizations have continued to operate against activists. Bazian’s page at CanaryMission.org accuses him of spreading “classic anti-Semitism,” and features several videos, including one titled “The Most Dangerous Professor in America?” “I am concerned and do take stock of the intimidation tactics,” Bazian told me. “But I am not deterred.”

MASS CASUALTIES PUTTING HEALTH WORKERS IN GAZA UNDER EVEN GREATER STRAIN

Gaza/PNN/

Amid further mass casualties on the third consecutive Friday of the “Great Return March” protests, health workers were put under yet further considerable strain and a number of them were injured.

Today, a Palestine Red Crescent Society medic in Rafah was shot in the knee with live ammunition, and a further 10 paramedics had to evacuate their medical point near Khan Younis after inhaling tear gas.

Even before Israel’s violent response the protests, health workers in Gaza were under huge strain due to the cumulative effects of a decade of blockade, which has degraded health and other essential services as well as the economy and living conditions, in addition to previous mass casualty events. Burnout and emotional exhaustion was already a significant feature among Palestine’s medical workforce. Now, they are once again experiencing the most difficult conditions, working long hours in tense situations and assisting casualties with often horrifying and life-changing injuries.

Last Friday, the World Health Organisation reported that five ambulances were damaged in attacks, three paramedics were injured by direct fire to the lower limbs, one by a tear gas cartridge to the head and that 29 healthcare staff suffered from tear gas inhalation.

Attacks on Palestinian health workers, facilities and ambulances by Israeli forces have been a painfully regular and repeated feature of the past decade, as MAP has emphasised in its publications and advocacy.

“Regretfully, no one has been held to account for any of the multiple attacks on protected medical personnel and facilities, and this impunity makes recurrence much more likely,” added Aimee Shalan.

“The prolonged and often traumatic stressors endured by health workers in Gaza are almost inconceivable for people not trapped there. On an almost daily level, they see and suffer what many of us won’t in a lifetime,” said Aimee Shalan, CEO of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

Today, at least 969 injuries have been reported by the Ministry of Health. More than 1,200 were reported to have been shot in the last fortnight. At least 26 protesters are reported to have been killed.

A medic treating severely injured protesters in a hospital in Gaza told MAP that the types and numbers of injuries “would overwhelm any European hospital and be classified as a “major incident”, let alone a local hospital in Gaza with a shortage of disposables and man power for this kind of injury. This is happening every Friday.”

With the sheer number of casualties threatening to overwhelm available services, communities in Gaza are stepping up to support them. In Khan Younis in the south of Gaza, for example, MAP has learned of groups of students of healthcare subjects banding together to form “rescue teams” to offer treatment and support the work of professional responders.

Those inside hospitals and clinics are working long hours to keep essential services running alongside caring for thousands of new patients. The physical health of unarmed protesters is clearly under threat in Gaza, but so too is the mental wellbeing of those who are once again bravely striving to save lives and limbs.

As we celebrate the steadfastness and resolve of Gaza’s medics, we are also outraged that their safety is once again endangered as they carry out their vital humanitarian functions.

MAP repeats its call on the UK government and the international community to support the demand of UN Secretary General for there to be independent investigations into the violence at the Gaza perimeter protests.

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NGOs an arm to beat the intifada NGOs ذراع لضرب الانتفاضة

تمثّل الـNGOs جسماً موازياً بجانب السلطة والفصائل والقطاع الخاص و«الأونروا» (محمد عبد ــ أ ف ب)

يُبحث عادة في دور السلطة الفلسطينية على صعيد التنسيق الأمني والسياسات الاقتصادية، بجانب الإجراءات الإسرائيلية القاسية، لفهم انخفاض وتيرة المواجهات في الضفة المحتلة، لكن مسألة المؤسسات الممولة أجنبياً (NGOs)، المنتشرة في المناطق الفلسطينية منذ بداية التسعينيات مع قدوم السلطة حتى اليوم، تلعب دوراً لا يقل خطورة عمّن سبق. فهي رغم أنها تمثل مصدر دخلٍ لآلاف الفلسطينيين، في ظل البطالة وسوء الوضع الاقتصادي، لكنها تخضع لشروط الممول الأجنبي، بما فيها التوقيع على «وثيقة نبذ المقاومة وعدم التحريض»، أو رفض «معاداة إسرائيل»

مي رضا

 رام الله | بفعل تواصل الانتفاضة على مدى العقود الثلاثة الماضية في فلسطين، والتدمير الإسرائيلي المتواصل لمقدرات الشعب الفلسطيني، تردّى الوضع الاقتصادي أكثر فأكثر، وقلت فرص العمل أمام الشباب، في وقت استمر فيه انتشار الفساد في غالبية المؤسسات الرسمية، ما أدى ضمن عوامل أخرى إلى انزياح عدد كبير من الشباب عن الانتماء والعمل الفصائلي، أو إهمال متطلباته ومحاولة الدمج بين التبيعة لتنظيم ما والعمل ضمن مشاريع لمؤسسات دولية.

شيئاً فشيئاً، وجد عدد كبير أنفسهم منخرطين في هذه المؤسسات التي يتحكم بها الأجنبي عبر شروط التمويل، وهو ما وفّر للعدو الإسرائيلي خدماتٍ كبيرة، تتلخص في تحييد أعدادٍ كبيرة من الشباب عن ساحة الصراع معه، وانشغالهم في هذه المشاريع. جراء ذلك، تلقى الصف الثاني ــ الحاضنة الشعبية للفصائل ــ ضربة قاسية تركت فراغاً كبيراً وشرخاً بين الفصائل والمجتمع الفلسطيني.

هذا إلى حدا ما يمثل أحد أسباب ضعف المشاركة الجماهيرية الشبابية في المواجهات عقب إعلان الرئيس الأميركي، دونالد ترامب، قراره نهاية العام الماضي، رغم حالة الغليان التي شهدها الشارع، فالمواجهات أخذت سمة المد والجزر عقب أسبوعين من القرار، ثم بدأت تبهت تدريجياً، بفعل الشرخ والفراغ الواسع وأزمة الثقة بين قسم كبير من الشعب ومعظم فصائله السياسية والقيادات الحزبية. وبذلك، بدت المواجهات خجولةً ومكشوفة الظهر مع غياب بنية تنظيمية للفصائل أو ما يمكن أن يقابلها على صورة مبادرة شبابية واضحة للإمساك بدفة المواجهات الميدانية. ووفق إحصاءات، حصلت عليها «الأخبار»، فإن أكثر عددٍ لنقاط التماس مع العدو سجّلته الجمعة الأولى عقب قرار ترامب بواقع 78 نقطة مواجهة، ثم تراجع منسوب المواجهات تدريجياً وأصبح يصل إلى 33 نقطة في أفضل الحالات منذ بداية العام الجاري.

المؤسسات الممولة أجنبياً، التي باتت تمثل الذراع الثالثة في احتواء الغضب الفلسطيني بعد إجراءات الاحتلال والسلطة، كانت قد بدأت تضخّمها ــ لجهة الميزانية والبنية والموارد ــ بعد انتهاء الانتفاضة الثانية، ومثلت في مرحلة قريبة (2002 ــ 2010) جسماً اقتصادياً يوازي القطاع الخاص، بل يضاهي قدرات «وكالة غوث وتشغيل اللاجئين الفلسطينيين ــ الأونروا» (تصنف الأونروا أنها مؤسسة INGO)، لكنها سجلت بعد حرب 2012 في غزة انسحاباً تدريجياً ــ بدأ بالمؤسسات الأميركية ثم الأوروبية ثم الخليجية ــ من القطاع الذي تختلف ظروفه سياسياً وأمنياً عن الضفة بصورة كاملة. وكانت مرحلة انتعاشها تحديداً خلال حكم رئيس الوزراء السابق سلام فياض (2007 ــ 2013)، إذ تضخمت وزاد عددها بحجة «المساعدة في بناء مؤسسات الدولة الفلسطينية»، خاصة أن فياض كان يعمل في البنك الدولي ويحظى بالقبول الأميركي، وبذلك غضت حكومته الطرف أكثر فأكثر عن كل ما يتعلق بهذه المؤسسات.

أما ما بعد عملية «السور الواقي» عام 2002، التي تغيرت جراءها خريطة الانتفاضة والمقاومة في الضفة، فأصبحت المؤسسات الممولة دولياً تسارع إلى سد الفراغ الذي تركته الفصائل بعدما تراجع دورها. واستمر بذلك تدفق التمويل دون رقابة فعالة من السلطة التي تعتمد هي الأخرى على أموال الجهات المانحة في قسمٍ كبير من موازنتها السنوية، فكيف كان دور هذه المؤسسات في تقويض المفهوم الجمعي للمقاومة في فلسطين خاصة بين فئة الشباب؟

تكشف آخر التقديرات التي نشرها «ديوان الرقابة المالية والادارية»، وهو الجهاز الأعلى للرقابة في فلسطين، في نهاية 2016 أن عدد المنظمات غير الحكومية بلغ نحو 4010، فيما تقدر أرقام شبه رسمية أنها توفر للفلسطينيين نحو 41 ألف وظيفة، فيما يصلها تمويل خارجي يزيد عن مليار و500 مليون دولار سنوياً. وتشمل هذه الإحصائية المؤسسات غير الربحية كافة، الممولة محلياً أو أجنبياً، علماً أن الأخيرة تشكل ثلثي العدد المذكور (4010)، ويشمل ذلك التي تحظى بتمويل أجنبي كامل، أو يغطي هذا التمويل النسبة الكبرى من مشاريعها.

كيف بدأ الاختراق؟

شكّلت الانتفاضة الأولى (1987 ــ 1993) تجربة وطنية بامتياز عزّزت اعتماد الفلسطينيين على أنفسهم وتكاتفهم على الأصعدة كافة ــ بعد التغلب على ظاهرة «روابط القرى» ــ وهو ما عُرف آنذاك باسم «تجربة الاقتصاد المنزلي»، حينما طرحت «القيادة الوطنية الموحدة» واللجان المتفرعة عنها بديلاً عن كل المسميات والمؤسسات التي تعمل اليوم، إضافة إلى لجان مختلفة بدأت تتبلور تدريجياً مع انطلاقة حركتي «الجهاد الإسلامي» و«حماس»، إذ كان للفصائل القول الفصل في المجتمع المتماسك الذي لم يكن يعاني آنذاك حالة فراغٍ سياسي واجتماعي واقتصادي مثل اليوم.

ببساطة، كان الناس يتقاسمون ما يتوافر لهم. حتى على الصعيد التعليمي، ظهر دور الفصائل في خلق مدارس وجامعات من لا شيء في ظل إغلاق العدو المؤسسات التعليمية، إلى حدّ تحولت فيه البيوت والمقاهي والمساجد إلى قاعات للحصص والمحاضرات.

لكن قدوم السلطة بعد اتفاق أوسلو وغياب دور الفصائل وتماهي جزء منها في عملية التسوية مثّلت عوامل فتحت الباب لمؤسسات المجتمع المدني أو المنظمات الخارجية التي تعمل في فلسطين تحت حجة سد الفراغ ودعم الشعب الفلسطيني وتحسين بنيته التحتية! كانت هذه المؤسسات في البداية لا تشمل وظائف وأجوراً لعامليها إلا بصورة محدودة، إذ لم يتلق الرواتب سوى كبار المديرين، فيما يحصل بقية الموظفين أو المتطوعين من الشباب والفتيات على الفتات. هكذا كانت المرحلة الأولى لبدء عمل المؤسسات الممولة أجنبياً تحت شعار «المجتمع المدني» الناشئ حتى نهاية 1999.

بعد ذلك، قبيل اندلاع انتفاضة الأقصى الثانية، بدأت المرحلة اللاحقة لعمل هذه المؤسسات، إذ مثلت الانتفاضة التي انطلقت عام 2000 مرحلة «العزّ». وهنا يوصّف متابعون للشأن السياسي هذه المرحلة بـ«الأكثر خطورة»، عازين ذلك إلى ثلاثة أسباب: الأول انسداد أفق التسوية السياسية، الأمر الذي جعل التمويل الأجنبي يبحث عن فلسطينيين للضخ في مؤسساتهم في الوقت الذي كان فيه العدو يقصف مقرات السلطة ويجتاح كامل الأراضي المحتلة عام 1967، والثاني ضعف دور الفصائل وعجزها عن مجاراة الوضع ومحاكاة تجربة الانتفاضة الأولى مجدداً نظراً إلى عوامل متعددة أبرزها انضواء معظمها تحت لواء «منظمة التحرير» والشح الذي كانت تعانيه «حماس» و«الجهاد الإسلامي» في ظل الملاحقة الأمنية والسياسية. أما السبب الثالث، فهو السابقة التاريخية بدخول البنك الدولي على خط التمويل المباشر للمؤسسات في فلسطين، وفي مرحلة لاحقة (بعد الانتفاضة الثانية) تعامل البنك مع مؤسسسات على علاقة بـ«حماس» في غزة لكن بصورة محدودة.

من جانبٍ آخر، أظهر بعض مسؤولي المؤسسات الممولة أجنبياً «جسارةً» في الانتهازية السياسية، إذ سارعوا ــ بناء على جملة من العلاقات السابقة التي فعلوها في ذلك الوقت ــ إلى فتح خطوط اتصال مباشرة مع الحكومات الأجنبية، وذلك في تجاوز واضح للفصائل وللسلطة نفسها خلال الانتفاضة الثانية، ومن ثمَّ بدأ ضخ المال إلى مؤسسات فرّخت أضعاف عددها بسرعة. وتكفي الإشارة إلى البيان الذي نشره مجموعة من المطبّعين عبر صحيفة «القدس» المحلية في 20 حزيران 2002، وتحديداً في صفحة رقم 16 ــ وعبر وسائل إعلام أخرى ــ بتمويل من الاتحاد الأوروبي، وفحواه ترويجهم لمحاربة العمليات الاستشهادية، وكان ذلك تزامناً مع استمرار العمليات الفدائية في ظل انعقاد «مؤتمر شرم الشيخ للسلام» في مصر، في إشارة إلى القمة العربية المنعقدة هناك آنذاك.

مرحلة «التفريخ»

يوماً بعد يوم وكل مؤسسة تولّد أخرى تابعة لها، مرة بحجة «التشبيك والتنسيق»، وأخرى بحجة «خطط التنمية الشاملة»، ما أدى إلى زيادة عدد المشاريع الممولة خارجياً، ثم تضخمت الميزانيات، وهنا عمّت الفوضى حتى في هذه المؤسسات نفسها التي بدأ العاملون فيها يخوضون صراعات أسوأ من صراعات الفصائل، بل تعددت الاختصاصات بصورة كبيرة، ومن ذلك مثلاً وجود مؤسسة أو جمعية تختص بالمجال الصحي، وأخرى تابعة لها تنفذ دراساتٍ وبحوثاً في مسألة المرأة والجندر، فيما تكون هناك «مؤسسة أمّ» أوجدت الاثنتين.

بطريقة ما، تحولت الـNGOs إلى «وزارة» إضافية لا تملك السلطة حقيبتها، أو «لوبي لا يسيطر عليه أحد»، إذ يكدّ الشباب في تجهيز مقترحات مشاريعهم بما يوافق أهواء الممول، والأخير يمتلك القرار. ووفق كثيرين ممن عملوا في تلك المرحلة داخل هذه المؤسسات، كان «الراتب الشهري مربوطاً مباشرة بمدى قدرة الموظف على الاستجابة لشروط الممول أو رؤيته، وأي حيادٍ من الشباب عن الطريق المرسوم يعني حكمهم على ذاتهم بإنهاء خدماتهم وإيقاف رواتبهم إذا كانوا موظفين دائمين، أو يحصلون على مشاريع بين مدة وأخرى».

التوقيع على «وثيقة نبذ العنف»

«وثيقة نبذ العنف» هي المسمّى الأكثر تداولاً لما تشترطه كثيرٌ من الجهات الأجنبية المانحة. يوضح يوضح «أبو أحمد» (اسم مستعار)، الذي كان يعمل في مؤسسات تتلقى تمويلاً خارجياً، أن مؤسسات «ford» ،»Rockefeller»، «USAID» لا توافق على التمويل دون التوقيع على هذه الوثيقة التي يرد فيها نص يؤكد ضرورة عدم الدعوة إلى «أي مجموعة تدعو أو تولد التعصب أو العنف أو تمثل تهديداً لوجود وشرعية وجود دول شرعية وسيادية مثل إسرائيل». ويضيف «أبو أحمد» أن المؤسسات الفلسطينية الممولة تقدم كشوفاً دورية بأسماء العاملين فيها، وتخضع للرقابة المالية الأميركية، في حين أن «USAID» هي الجهة المانحة الأكثر نشاطاً في فلسطين، لكنها ليست وحدها التي تطلب توقيع وثيقة نبذ العنف (راجع «هكذا تقتل الـUSAID بذور المقاومة الشعبية لفلسطين»: العدد ٢١٠٦ في ١٧ أيلول ٢٠١٣).

أبو أحمد يقول إنه عمل متطوعاً في الأنشطة الاجتماعية وعدة مؤسسات على مدار نحو 15 عاماً، ويؤكد من خبرته أن «من يرفض توقيع وثيقة نبذ العنف، يحكم على مؤسسته غالباً بالتهميش والاندثار تدريجياً، وتقلص أنشطتها وخدماتها المقدمة إلى الجمهور، بسبب نقص التمويل وضعف الميزانية المرصودة». في المقابل، يعني التوقيع على الوثيقة أن «تحظى المؤسسة بدعمٍ كبير، وينال موظفوها رواتب عالية أو مقبولة نسبياً مقارنةً مع الوظائف والمشاريع والمؤسسات الأخرى».

ثمة أمرٍ لا يدركه كثيرون وهو غياب النتائج الملموسة على الأرض لغالبية المشاريع التي تقدمها بعض الدول المانحة، فمنها ما يدمره العدو الإسرائيلي ضمن حملة «الأرض المحروقة»، كما أن القسم الأكبر من أنشطة هذه المشاريع يبدو «تنظيرياً» ويعتمد على تنفيذ ورش العمل والمؤتمرات، وإجراء الأبحاث والدراسات رغم خطورتها على الوعي الفلسطيني. واللافت أن مديري هذه المؤسسات لا يقدمون التقارير المالية والإدارية الدورية إلّا إلى الممول حصراً، وبذلك من الصعب تشديد أي رقابة عليهم، إذ تتصرف هذه المؤسسات كأنها مستقلة ويمكنها أن تفعل ما تشاء لأن تمويلها أجنبي. أما ما يدور في الخفاء، بين الممول والشخصيات الفلسطينية، فهذا لا يبوح به أحد.

ساحة استرزاق وصراعات وفساد

كيف تُقدّم المشاريع إلى الممول؟ بداية يجب أن يكون المتقدم صاحب «ملف أمني نظيف»، وعلى خبرة بـ«لعبة التمويل» من أجل تحضير أوراق المقترح، وقد يستعين بمؤسسات وسيطة تؤدي هذا الدور بحرفية مقابل نسبة من التمويل المتوقع. وبعدما يشمل المقترح أسباب المشروع وأهدافه وخططه الزمانية والمكانية، ثم نقاط الضعف والقوة، وأخيراً الجدوى الاقتصادية، يُرفع إلى المموّل المطموح إليه، فيطلب تصحيحات أو إضافات، فيما قد يستثنى المشروع إذا رفضت المؤسسة أو الشخص التوقيع على «وثيقة نبذ العنف»، أو كان صاحبه يحمل «خلفياتٍ تعادي الاحتلال»، أو صاحب عمل وطني سابق.

رغم ثبوت الفساد في الـNGOs لا تتدخل السلطة والفصائل غالباً

هذه السلاسة في طرح المشاريع والحصول على التمويل، إضافة إلى عمر التمويل الأجنبي الذي بدأ يطول نسبياً، أدت إلى نقل التجربة إلى شبكاتٍ واسعة من الأفراد، كما عزّزت البطالة وضعف سوق العمل الزيادة في عدد المنتفعين منها، وصارت سوق عمل وحدها، بما تعنيه السوق من كلمة، إذ يتهم كثير من العاملين في الـ«NGOs» نظراءهم من بقية المؤسسات بالفساد وسوء الإدارة، وتصل الاتهامات حد «التباهي بقوة التمويل الأجنبي وحسن إداراته». لكن إفادات كثيرين من داخل هذه المؤسسات تشي بالعكس، لأن ما ينسحب على المؤسسات الفاسدة محلياً يطاول الكثير من المؤسسات الممولة أجنبياً، خاصة التي تم تأسيسها في ظروفٍ استثنائية مثل السنوات العشر الأخيرة، وهي تفاصيل غالباً تغيب عن العامة لأنها بعيدة عنهم، كما أنه مال «أجنبي» وسرقته لن تؤذي أحداً!
من الأمثلة البارزة على الفساد في هذا المجال أن الموظفين في المشاريع يتقاضون مبالغ أقل من المخصصة لهم على الأوراق، ويوقعون على الأخيرة جبراً، فضلاً عن سلسلة مصاريف مسجلة بفواتير وهمية بالاتفاق بين مصدّر الفاتورة والمنفذ المحلي، ليتقاسم الاثنان الزائد من المبلغ.
ويبدو أن بعض هذه المؤسسات تحوّلت إلى جهاتٍ محترفة في التحايل على القانون وحتى على الممول نفسه، فمثلاً باتفاق عدد من أصحاب الصلاحيات في مشروع ما قد يجري تقاسم مبالغ مقابل التغطية على سوء إدارة الجميع، وأيضاً استغلال الموظفين والمتطوعين في انتهاكٍ واضح لقانون العمل، إضافة إلى توظيف الأقرباء وأفراد العائلة والأصدقاء، رغم أن المادة 16 من «قانون الجمعيات والمؤسسات لسنة 2001» تنصّ على «أن يكون لكل جمعية أو هيئة مجلس إدارة يتكون من عدد لا يقل عن سبعة أعضاء، ولا يزيد على ثلاثة عشر عضواً، وتحدد طريقة تشكيله وكيفية اختيار أعضائه وإنهاء عضويتهم في النظام الأساسي للجمعية أو الهيئة… ولا يجوز أن يضم مجلس الإدارة عضوين أو أكثر يجمع بينهما صلة قرابة من الدرجتين الأولى والثانية».
كل هذه التجاوزات مثبتة رسمياً، وتذكرها بوضوح معطيات التقارير السنوية لـ«ديوان الرقابة المالية والإدارية»، إذ لم تتغير حال هذه المنظمات أو المؤسسات في التقرير الرقابية السنوية منذ عام 2013 حتى 2016. ويبيّن تقرير 2015 أن المبلغ الذي يمكن استرداده لخزينة الدولة من المؤسسات والمنظمات غير الحكومية تبلغ قيمته نحو مليون وثمانمئة ألف دولار على أقل تقدير. مع ذلك، لا تعمل السلطة أو الفصائل على تشكيل عوائق أمام التمويل الأجنبي، علماً أن الأرقام شبه الرسمية تفيد بأن نحو ثلثي الميزانية الإجمالية السنوية لهذه المؤسسسات تصرف على العاملين فيها كأجور ورواتب. ووفق أحدث الإحصاءات، ثمة منظمة واحدة لكل ألف فلسطيني، في حين أن عدد موظفي الرقابة الحكومية لا يتعدى عشرة موظفين لكل 5500 مؤسسة!


ديموقراطية وحرية في فلسطين!

رغم اختلاف الوضع السياسي في فلسطين عن غيرها من الدول العربية، نجحت المؤسسات الممولة أجنبياً في تكرار نماذج المناداة بـ«الحرية، الديموقراطية، حقوق الإنسان، الحرّيات، المساواة»، ومفاهيم أخرى شبيهة تتعلق بحقوق النساء والجندر وصولاً إلى الحديث عن «التعايش المشترك»، معرّجة أيضاً على مجالات أخرى مثل الرياضة والفنون، إذ صارت هذه المفاهيم كأنها البديل عن المقاومة دون اعتبار للسياق الفلسطيني ودور الاحتلال في تقويض الحريات.

وبينما كانت «حماس» تبادر في غزة إلى إغلاق أي مؤسسة تحمل عناوين «التعايش والسلام»، أو تجبر عدداً آخر على تقديم «كشف مفصل» عن حساباتها المالية، كان الوضع مختلفاً في الضفة، حيث كانت «الإدارة المدنية الإسرائيلية»، عندما تحاول تسويق نفسها كبديلٍ عن السلطة عبر التواصل مع الفلسطينيين مباشرة، تستعمل الـNGOs سبيلاً إلى ذلك، خاصة أن الطرفين يشتركان في أهداف منها تكوين صورة لدى الفلسطينيين عن أنهما يقدمان ما لا تقدمه السلطة.
أما عن الطرق، فكانت تتنوع بين الندوات وورش العمل، والمؤتمرات الداخلية والخارجية، والمخيمات الصيفية، ثم تطور الوضع إلى أن شارك عدد من هذه المؤسسات في تنفيذ مشاريع بالتعاون مع الإسرائيليين، أخطرها التي تستهدف الأطفال والفتية الفلسطينيين تحت عنوان «التعايش»، وذلك لكسر الحاجز النفسي بين العدو والشعب الواقع تحت الاحتلال، وخلق أجيالٍ جديدة بشخصية منفصمة تتخلى عن قضيتها الوطنية.

ومن أمثلة ذلك مشاركة أطفال من مستوطنة «سديروت» ومن بلدة يطا الفلسطينية جنوب الخليل، بعد حرب غزة الأخيرة عام 2014، في خوض مباراة كرة قدم مشتركة ضمن مشروع خاص بـ«مركز بيريس للسلام»، في أيلول من ذلك العام، وأقيمت المباراة في «كيبوتس دوروت» القريب من غزة.

وقبل ذلك، أُشرك وفد من أطفال شهداء حرب 2008 من غزة، كان عددهم 37، اختارتهم «منظمة بذور السلام» كعينة في معسكر مختلط مع أطفال إسرائيليين وجنود لمدة أسبوع في أواخر 2011، بغرض «التبادل الثقافي والتعايش المشترك والسلام»، علماً أن هذه المخيمات صارت تعقد سنوياً وأحياناً في الولايات المتحدة ودول أوروبية.


عناوين أخطر من التطبيع

وفق آخر الإحصاءات، ثمة مؤسسة مقابل كل 10 آلاف فلسطيني (أشرف أبو عمرة ــ آي بي ايه)

يدافع كثيرون من مديري المؤسسات الممولة أجنياً عن أنفسهم، تارةً بأن المشاريع لا تحمل أي أجندة سياسية ولا تتدخل في قضية الصراع، وأن خدماتهم المقدمة إلى المواطنين لا تقدم باشتراطات عليهم، وتارة أخرى يعرضون السلطة كمثالٍ على التنسيق مع الإسرائيليين أو كونها تتلقى منحاً أجنبية. شكلياً من الصعب إنكار أن هذه المؤسسات قدمت مشاريع مهمة خاصة في المناطق المهملة أو مناطق «ج» وفق تصنيف أوسلو، كما من الصعب اتهام الجميع بأنهم ينفذون أجندات مرسومة وبصورة مباشرة، لكن الصورة العامة لعمل هذه المؤسسات ككل تعطي نتيجة مغايرة.

ووفق التعريف العام لـ«المجتمع المدني»، يكون الأخير كل ما ليس دولة وليس قطاعاً خاصاً، لكن في الحالة الفلسطينية تُستثنى الفصائل لأنها تمتلك نية للوصول للسلطة والمشاركة السياسية، ويمكن أن ينسحب الأمر على بعض القواعد الشعبية للفصائل في الجامعات والمناطق الريفية. وبالتعريف نفسه، نستبعد البنوك والمؤسسات المالية كونها ضمن القطاع الخاص، لكن الأمر قد يكون مغايراً بشأن الغرف التجارية والمؤسسات والجمعيات الخاصة برجال البنوك والأعمال التي تتعلق بمصالح السوق.

أما المؤسسات الممولة أجنبياً، فتُركّز على القضايا الجزئية على حساب الكلّية، ونجدها تتحدث عن «الطفل، الشباب، البيئة…» كمسائل مستقلة عن المجتمع، ومثلاً تناقش موضوع المرأة انطلاقاً من المنظور الغربي إلى المرأة الشرقية، وتعزلها عن حيزها المجتمعي والثقافي، ولا تورد إجراءات الاحتلال بحق النساء الفلسطينيات سوى كعامل إضافي مقابل مشكلة «عنف الرجل» الفلسطيني! بذلك، يُفصل المشارك عن مجتمعه ووضعه الوطني بحجة تجنب التدخل في السياسة، وتصير مهمة هذه المؤسسات محصورة في إدارة المشكلات التي أفرزها الاحتلال، دون طرح المسبب الرئيسي لهذه المشكلات وللتبعية وللتفرقة، ودون التطرق حتى إلى الفساد في المؤسسات الفلسطينية.
بالمقارنة مع قضية «التطبيع» مع العدو، فإن الـ«NGOs» في فلسطين، التي لا يمكن أن تتعامل مع أي شخص على «اللائحة السوداء لإسرائيل»، لا تعمل غالباً إلا عبر تنسيق إسرائيلي، أو على الأقل رضا من العدو على أدائها، خاصة في حال وجود إدارة أجنبية قائمة على الإدارة المحلية، وذلك في ظل أن المبالغ التي تضخ عبر هذه المؤسسات كبيرة ومن غير المنطقي ألا تكون موجهة الأهداف.

EASTERN GHOUTA: BRIEF LOOK AT UPCOMING OPERATION DAMASCUS STEEL

 South Front

24.02.2018

Eastern Ghouta: Brief Look At Upcoming Operation Damascus Steel

Click to see the full-size map

Submited by 24 Resistance Axis

The Syrian Arab Army is preparing to launch its long-awaited Operation Damascus Steel in the Eastern Ghouta. The operation’s goal is to capture entire militant-held pocket (+100 km²) and to secure the Syrian capital and the Damascus-Homs highway (M5).

Right now, Damascus is under a constrant threat of shelling by Tahrir Al-Sham, Ahrar al-Sham, the Free Syrian Army and other militant groups.

A success in Eastern Ghouta will also allow to free a large number of SAA troops for further operations against Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in the province of Idlib.

Forces

The advance in Eastern Ghouta will be spearheaded by the SAA’s Tiger Forces, the Republican Guard, the 14th Division (SF) and the 4th Armoured Division (Ghiath Forces – 42nd Brigade).

These  units will be backed by the National Defense Forces, Tribal Forces and Galilee Forces. According to reports these factions will be mainly involved in defensive operations and fortification tasks. The 1st Armored Division, the 7th Mechanized Division and the 9th Armoured Division have also sent reinforcements to the area.

In total, the operation will involve 10,000 – 15,000 pro-government fighters, backed by the Syrian Air Force and the Russian Aeroosapce Forces.

On the other hand, Jaish al-Islam, Ahrar Al-Sham, Tahrir Al-Sham and Faylaq Al-Rahman have been involved in a series of internal tensions since the middle of 2017. The new SAA operation in Eastern Ghouta will likely force them to unite efforts against the Syrian government and its allies.

Possible scenario

There are a high urban density, a large number of underground tunnels and many fortified sites of militants in the western part of Eastern Ghouta. On the other hand, the eastern part of the pocket is mostly a farm land.

Most likely, the SAA and its allies will make an attempt to isolate the urban area from Jobar to Duma. If government forces seek to do this, they will have to capture the farm lands controlled by Jash al-Islam.

However, this does not exclude possible attacks on the western front, especially if militants send reinforcements to the eastern part of the pocket. The SAA may use its advantage in manpower and firepower to open a new front against militants and to use their lack of the coordination.

According to reports, government forces will attempt to divide the militant-held area into few spearated parts and to force local groups of militants to reconcile with the government one by one. The similar strategy was used during the Battle of Qaboun in 2017.

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Palestinian Prof on US Speaking Tour Harassed by Airport Security

In case you missed it:

Sharing the Land of Canaan: Human Rights and the Israeli-Palestinian Struggle

Ed Note: What happenned to Mazin is a message for all “Palestinian” Activist, especially, BDS activist funded by Soros, debating the right to BDS and Sharing the Holly Land, instead of talking about the Palestinian right of return.  Your American citizenship will never protect you in United States of Isteal,

At the beginning of the the so-called Syrian Spring, I exchanged few mails with mazin, and discovered his true face. For Mazin, Hezbollah, liberated Lebanon from the Israeli Occupation and the the Arz Revolution liberated Lebanon from the “Syrian Occupation”

Prof Mazin forget that, until Sykes-Picot, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine were parts of the Lavent (Greater Syria), consequently, he is ready to share the Land of Canaan. I wonder if Prof Mazin is aware the the Land of Canan is nothing but the Lavent.

Please compare our Ex-Palestinian Activists, such as , Ali Abunimah, holding western passports with the Ex-Jew, Ex-Istael, Hebrew Speaking Palestinian, Gilad Atzmon born in Occupied Palestine who decided to join the UPROOTED PALESTINIANS in their struggle for RETURN,

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Palestinian Prof on US Speaking Tour Harassed by Airport Security

Posted on June 19, 2017

Mazin Qumsiyeh is author of Popular Resistance in Palestine: A History of Hope and Empowerment and director of the Palestine Museum of Natural History. He will be speaking in Albuquerque, New Mexico on June 20; in Austin, Texas June 21-23; New Orleans on June 24-25; and Houston June 26-27 (see full schedule here.) The following was posted on Facebook by Jeff Blankfort:

Israel Occupied USA. Mazin Qumsiyeh, latest adventure in Israel’s most important occupied territory where he is now on a speaking tour (see link to his schedule below).

I think, after reading this (and admittedly did before) that the issue of US control over our Congress as it relates to the Middle East which has cost, from a US perspective, trillions of dollars and thousands of lives and permanent injuries, is what needs to be taken to the American people, and the exclusive focus on the BDS campaign (in the US as opposed to Europe and elsewhere) has been, on reflection, a diversion from doing the work that needs to be done in the US. With that as an intro, here’s Mazin Qumsiyeh:

From: Mazin Qumsiyeh <mazin@qumsiyeh.org> [
Cc: Human Rights Newsletter <humanrights@lists.qumsiyeh.org>
Subject: [HumanRights] Israeli occupied USA
Date: Jun 17, 2017 9:09 PM

I spent 40 hours on grueling travel between Palestine and the USA and my documents (and luggage) were checked 15-20 times along the way. The Israeli occupied United States is not much different from Israeli occupied Palestine. I will not bore you with details of going from Bethlehem to Jordan. I do want to tell you that US security agents were at the exit from the Amman-Chicago flight waiting for me checking IDs and when the one checking my ID announced “we got him” loud enough for the other passenger to hear, four of them escorted me to get my checked-in luggage and then to a special security area where agents went through everything I had thoroughly.

They looked through my note book/diary and also copied my speaking schedule. When I got my boarding pass for Chicago to Denver I noted with dread the SSSSS marked on it for extra checks and so between that special examination and the gate I had to undergo two more examinations and rifling through my luggage beyond the already tight security checks of all other passengers.

I took it as an opportunity to lecture the agents about how they are being used not in the service of the US but in the service of a foreign country (Israel). I told them that it seems I have left one Israeli occupied territory to arrive at another one.

US interests are not served by obeying dictates of Zionists who do not want a professor (who happens to be a US citizen) from speaking the truth. Trying to shoot the messenger will not kill the message!

This harassment happened to me repeatedly even after I was told by the USgovernment in 2002 it would not happen again (see http://qumsiyeh.org/thecaseisclosed/ ). It happened to me again in 2011 and 2013. I do have more flights in the US coming up.

I am a US citizen and I would appreciate it if anyone on this list has advise how to sue or go after the US government (e.g. freedom of information act) for harassment to stop them from doing this. In the meantime such harassment only adds to my determination to work even harder for human rights, peace, and justice.

By comparison, the last 17 hours in Denver area so far were very pleasant as I recovered from the ordeal (though not the jet lag) and reveals the disconnect between the government of the US and the people of the US. I saw the good people of Colorado who are lighting candles instead of cursing the darkness or as the Israeli controlled US agents trying to snuff out the candles. I already gave two talks; one at Longmont library and one at Posner Center.

The latter was shared with Joseph Medicine Robe who spoke on Environmental and Justice matters from Native American perspectives. We both connected the dots as to how wars, conflict, militarization of society and corporate profit are connected at the expense of native people from North Dakota to Palestine. We both agreed that weapons were manufactured to be used in wars before but now wars are manufactured and not just to sell weapons to make money in other ways (pipelines etc.). We also agree that the governments use false flags, lies and distortions and capitalize on these key areas to push their anti-nature, anti-people agenda: fear, distraction, racism (divide and conquer), and consumerism.

Two weeks ago I wrote about looking for goodness & emphasizing the positive rather than focusing on opposing the negative energy. This was emphasized to me also by a fellow panelist Iman Jodeh, spokeswoman of the Muslim community who spoke of leading groups to Palestine to learn objectively about what is going on. It was emphasized to me last night by my host in Denver Joann and tonight by the other host in Lafayette Richard Forer. Rich incidentally published a remarkable book called “Breakthrough: Transforming fear into compassion” describing his own transformation from a Zionist to a compassionate caring human being (see http://www.richardforer.com/ ).

The only other reading I want to list for this message is for those of you who did not read it is a chapter in my book that deals with violence: http://qumsiyeh.org/chapter8/

Again please look at my schedule posted here: http://qumsiyeh.org/upcomingevents/ and do contact people you know in those cities, ask them to attend and help. Those who cannot help in this tour, can donate and/or support our efforts via our website:

http://palestinenature.org

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