Palestine is My Cause: Arabs Reaffirm Support for Palestinians, Rejection of the Occupation

February 1, 2023

Palestinians in Gaza gathered in large numbers to watch the Morocco-Portugal game at World Cup’s quarterfinals. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Ramzy Baroud

– 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

The latest Arab Opinion Index 2022 is yet more proof that Arab societies are diverse in every possible way, from their assessment of their economic situation and living conditions to their take on immigration, state institutions and democracy. With one single exception: Palestine.

76 percent of all respondents to the poll, which is carried out annually by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies in Doha, said that Palestine is a cause for all Arabs, not Palestinians alone.

Three important points must be kept in mind when trying to understand this number:

First, Arabs are not merely expressing sympathy or solidarity with Palestinians. They are irrevocably stating that the Palestinian struggle against the Israeli Occupation is a collective Arab struggle.

Second, these views are the same across all sections of society throughout the entire geographic expanse of the Arab world, from the Gulf to the Maghreb regions.

Third, equally important is that the public opinions that have been examined in the poll come from countries whose governments have either full diplomatic ties with Israel or vehemently reject normalization.

The study is quite extensive, as it included 33,000 individual respondents and was carried out in the period between June to December 2022.

Once again, the Arab people collectively reject normalization with Israel, with Algeria and Mauritania topping the list at 99 percent each.

Though some might discount the detailed study by claiming that Arabs inherently hate Israel due to their deep-seated aversion to the Jews, the study breaks down the reason why Arab masses have such a low opinion of Israel.

When they were asked as to why they reject diplomatic ties between their countries and Israel, the respondents mostly “cited Israel’s colonial and expansionist policies, as well as its racism toward the Palestinians and its persistence in expropriating Palestinian land.”

Only five percent cited religious reasons behind their position and that too cannot be dismissed as mere religious zealotry, as indeed many Arabs formulate their views based on the moral values enshrined in their religions; for example, the need to oppose and speak out against injustice.

It must be stated that this is hardly new. Arabs have exhibited these views with an unmistakable consistency, since the start of the Arab Opinion Index in 2011 and one would dare argue, since the establishment of Israel atop the ruins of Palestine in 1948.

But if that is the case, why are the latest poll results deserving of a discussion?

While examining the American public view of Russia, the state of democracy in the US, or the greatest threat to national security, opinion polls often fluctuate from one year to the other. For example, 70 percent of all Americans considered Russia an ‘enemy’ to the US in March, compared to only 41 percent in January.

The massive jump in two months is not directly related to the Russian war in Ukraine, since Ukraine is not a US territory, but because of the anti-Russia media frenzy that has not ceased for a moment since the beginning of the war.

However, for Arabs, neither media shift in priorities, internal politics, class orientation or any other factor seem to alter the status of Palestine as the leading Arab priority.

In 2017 and 2022 respectively, two American presidents visited the Arab region. Both Donald Trump and Joe Biden labored to execute a major shift in the region’s political priorities.

Biden summed up his agenda in a meeting with six Arab leaders in Jeddah in July by stating, “This trip is about once again positioning America in this region for the future. We are not going to leave a vacuum in the Middle East for Russia or China to fill.”

None of these self-serving priorities seem to be paying any real dividends.

That said, the pressure to dismiss the centrality of Palestine as an Arab cause does not only come from the outside. It is also guided by the internal dynamics of the region itself. For example, some pan-Arab news networks, which put much focus on Palestine in previous years, have been relentlessly and, sometimes, purposely, ignoring Palestine as an urgent daily reality in favor of other topics that are consistent with the regional policies of host countries.

Yet, despite all of this, Palestine remains the core of Arab values, struggles and aspirations. How is this possible?

Unlike most Americans, Arabs do not necessarily formulate their views of the world based on the media agenda of the day, nor do they alter their behavior based on presidential speeches or political debates. To the contrary, their collective experiences made them particularly cynical of propaganda and fiery speeches. They formulate their views based on numerous grassroots channels of communication, whether using social media tools or listening to the Friday sermon in their local mosque.

The struggle for Palestine has been internalized in the everyday acts of the average Arab woman or man; from the names they choose for their newborn, to the quiet muttering of prayers before falling asleep. No amount of propaganda can possibly reverse this.

Arab public opinion obviously matters, even though most Arab countries do not have functioning democratic systems. In fact, they matter most because of the lack of democracy.

Every society must have a system of political legitimacy, however nominal, for it to maintain relative stability. It means that the collective Arab view in support of Palestinians and rejection of normalization without an end to Israeli Occupation would have to be taken seriously.

Though some Arab governments are listening to their people and thus condition normalization on Palestinian freedom and sovereignty, the US and Israel insist on ignoring the Arab masses, as they have done for many years. However, if Washington believes that it can simply compel the Arabs to hate Russia and China and love Israel, while the latter continues to kill Palestinians and occupy their land, it will be sorely disappointed, not only today, but for many years to come.

Turkey and Syria Meeting in Moscow May Result in Peace Plan

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360°

Steven Sahiounie

Tomorrow, the Foreign Ministers of Turkey and Syria will meet in Moscow.  This is the highest level meeting between the two countries who have been on opposite sides of the US-NATO war on Syria for regime change since 2011.

The outcome of that meeting, and the expected follow-up meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, may form the basis for the recovery of Syria, circumventing the UN resolution 2254, which has failed to produce results.

The US has lost the war, but has used armed militias to remain occupying parts of Syria, and to impose a stalemate which prevents a peaceful solution and recovery for Syria.  America is no longer the only superpower, and decisions made in the new Middle East no longer depend on orders from the US State Department.

Erdogan is up for re-election in June and faces heavy opposition. The economy is dismal, and people blame the Syrian refugees for lost jobs and social ills.  Erdogan and the opposition promise to send the refugees packing.

The Turkish export market to Syria in 2011 represented half of the entire global export market for Turkey.  That was lost when Damascus banned all Turkish imports because of their participation in the war on Syria. Erdogan could get the Syrian market restored by repairing the relationship.

In order to win re-election, Erdogan proposes a rapprochement with Assad.  The US has voiced its displeasure at any attempt of any country to repair relations with Syria.  However, Erdogan will not be swayed by US opinion or threats, in light of the fact that the US supports, trains and supplies weapons to the Kurdish militia (SDF and YPG) linked to an internationally banned terrorist organization (PKK), which have killed thousands in Turkey over three decades of terrorism. The Kurds know that Turkey is a much more important ally to the US, and the US will never fight Turkey to save the Kurds.  Former US envoy to Syria, James Jeffrey, told the Kurds they should repair their relationship with Damascus for protection. The US never supported a “homeland” for the Kurds.

Syria and Turkey are united in their goal to demilitarize the Kurdish northeast of Syria.  Syria and Turkey share a common enemy (the Kurds), and a common ally (Russia). This may be the basis of forming a new foreign policy between the two neighbors.

Syria

Syrian officials have met with Turkish officials and Arab Gulf officials.  Some Arab embassies in Damascus were re-opened, and Assad made a visit to the UAE.

The Assad administration in Damascus controls the vast majority of the Syrian territory.  The exceptions are: Idlib province in the northwest is under the occupation of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a Radical Islamic terrorist group which was the former Al Qaeda branch in Syria, and the Kurdish administration region in the northeast under the occupation of about 600 US troops and two local Kurdish militias (SDF and YPG) which follow a communist political ideology first promoted by the jailed PKK leader, Abdullah Ocalan.

Syria and Russia have been prevented from attacking and liberating Idlib from terrorist control. The US uses the three million civilians living under occupation as human shields to prevent attack. The US and its allies in the UN demand that the UN food and medical supplies be delivered to Idlib. The civilians are being fed and clothed, but the terrorists and their families are as well. The international community is supporting the welfare of the terrorists, who are there at the behest of the US, to prevent peace and recovery in Syria.  Despite the UN protocol which demands all UN members to fight Al Qaeda, or their affiliates, anywhere on earth, the US and Turkey have circumvented the protocol and use the terrorists as guards of the political stalemate which the US imposed on Syria.

The US

America has maintained an iron grip on Syria through the use of US sanctions and a brutal military occupation which has prevented the Syrian citizens from fuel for transportation and home heating, and to generate electricity.  Syrian houses, hospitals, schools and businesses have between 15 minutes to 1 hour of electricity in four intervals per day because of the US imposed sanctions, which have not affected the Syrian government, but have brought the Syrian people to desperation. Kidney dialysis machines require electricity constantly.  A gasoline powered generator can suffice when there are blackouts, but the US sanctions also prevent the importation of gasoline.  How can Syrians survive?

Despite Richard Haass writing in 1998 that US sanctions are ineffective and immoral against civilians, the US State Department hangs on to sanctions as a tool for regime change.

Iran

Iran and Syria have been united in their resistance to the occupation of Palestine Golan Heights and Shebaa Farms.  Iran stood firmly with Syria during the US-NATO attack on Syria because it is a key in the land route from Iran to Lebanon. Recently, there are some cracks appearing in the relationship between Damascus and Tehran.  Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s meeting in Damascus was postponed recently. Some experts feel Iran has been asking too much of Syria, and with new opportunities for improved relations with the Arab Gulf and Turkey, Syria may be taking time to evaluate its options.

Israel, Saudi Arabia, and other Arab countries want to see Iran out of Syria.  As long as Iran is in Syria the Israeli airstrikes will continue, which have been deadly and destructive.

There were 32 Israeli raids in 2022 that destroyed and struck 91 targets, including civilian infrastructure, buildings, weapons caches and vehicles. Eighty-eight military personnel were killed and 121 wounded in the attacks.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is the United States’ largest foreign military sales customer, with more than $100 billion in active cases.  In the US there is a saying, “The customer is always right.”

Perhaps this may explain why the US takes no action against Saudi Arabia even when there have been deadly issues, or when Biden asked the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) to pump more oil, and he refused.

MBS is making huge reforms, which includes loosening restrictions on women, and creating new tourism and international sports opportunities.

MBS and Netanyahu are united in a common issue: to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, despite Iran insisting on wanting nuclear capabilities for peaceful purposes, such as energy production and medical research.  Netanyahu has stated one of his main priorities in office will be to normalize relations with Saudi Arabia.

The Arab League

The upcoming Arab League Summit will take place in Saudi Arabia, traditionally scheduled yearly in March.  Depending on the outcome of meetings between now and spring, Syria could possibly be reinstated and occupy their seat at the table.  Big changes have been taking place in the region involving the relations between Arab countries and the US, China and Russia. Saudi Arabia is in the driver’s seat and will use their hosting of the summit to project their ranking as the Middle East’s power broker.

Israel

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen has announced that the next Abraham Accords summit will be held in Morocco in March 2023.

The US had brokered in 2020 the Abraham Accords for the normalization of relations between Israel, Morocco, the UAE and Bahrain. Later, Sudan joined the accords.  Areas of shared interests are: defense, investment, agriculture, tourism, and energy.

The meetings and realignments between Syria and Turkey, mediated by Russia, may produce lasting changes in the Middle East, and bring enemies together as new friends.  The Israeli occupation of Palestine will continue to be the primary cause of instability and violence in the region.  It fuels religious extremism and terrorism. If Israel values the establishment of relations with their Arab neighbors, they must first look at their closest neighbors in Gaza and the West Bank.  The Middle East and the world wait for a peace summit to begin the process of peace for Israel and Palestine, and the host country will not likely be the US.


Steven Sahiounie is a two-time award-winning journalist

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The Price of Betraying Palestine: Moroccans Challenge Normalization with Israel

December 30, 2022

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Morocco’s cities to demonstrate against normalization with Israel. (Photo: Moroccan Front for Supporting Palestine FB Page)

By Ramzy Baroud

Two years ago, Morocco and Israel signed the US-brokered “Joint Declaration”, thus officially recognizing Israel and instating diplomatic ties. Though other Arab countries had already done the same, the Moroccan official recognition of Apartheid Israel was particularly devastating for Palestinians.

Years ago, a close Moroccan friend told me that the ‘first time’ he was arrested was during a solidarity protest for Palestine in Rabat which took place many years ago.

The reference to the ‘first time’ indicated that he was arrested again, though mostly for other political activities, suggesting that Palestine, in many ways, has become a local struggle for many Moroccans.

Whenever Moroccans protest for Palestine, they would do so in large numbers, sometimes in their millions. Such solidarity has historically served as the foundation of regional and global solidarity with the Palestinian struggle.

Though ordinary Arabs have always considered Palestine a core struggle, the relationship between North Africans and Palestine is, in many ways, unique and rooted.

Despite a strong push for normalization between Arab countries and Israel, countries like Algeria and Tunisia made it clear that no diplomatic ties between their respective capitals and Israel would be declared anytime soon.

Credit for this goes mostly to the Algerian and Tunisian peoples who have made their rejection of Israeli racism, and support for Palestinian freedom akin to local or national struggles. Palestinian flags have always accompanied flags of these countries during any large gathering, be it a political protest or a sports event.

Morocco is no exception. Solidarity with Palestine in this country goes back generations, and hundreds of activists have paid a price for confronting their government on its failure to stand up to Israel or to challenge Washington for its support for Tel Aviv.

The normalization agreement between Rabat and Tel Aviv in 2020 was falsely assumed to be an end to popular solidarity with Palestine. In fact, such acts of normalization, rightly considered a betrayal by Palestinians, were also meant to be the final delinking of Palestine from its Arab and regional environs.

However, this was not the case. Normalization with Apartheid Israel is still strongly rejected by the vast majority of Arabs, as opinion polls indicate. Moreover, the pouring of love for Palestine during the Qatar World Cup demonstrated, beyond doubt, that Israel cannot possibly be accepted by Arabs while still an occupying power and a racist apartheid regime.

The little political gains achieved by the Moroccan government in exchange for sacrificing the rights of Palestinians shall prove irrelevant in coming years. In fact, signs of this are already on display.

The Moroccan government, led by the Development and Justice Party of Saadeddine Othmani, which had taken part in the normalization efforts, was rejected en masse in the September 2021 elections. Only nine months earlier, Othmani was signing the “Joint Declaration” with Israel’s National Security Advisor, Meir Ben-Shabbat.

The US recognition of Rabat’s claim over Western Sahara as the political barter between Rabat and Washington, which led to the normalization with Tel Aviv, shall eventually prove meaningless.

The US and Western superiority is increasingly being challenged throughout the African continent, especially in West and Central African regions. Powerful new players, like Russia and China, are gaining geopolitical ground, in some regions entirely replacing the West’s dominance. Thus, the US support for any country’s territorial ambitions is no longer a guarantor of political gains, especially as the African geopolitical spaces have become greatly contested.

When Morocco normalized with Israel, many Moroccans were taken by surprise. The assumption was that Morocco, like other Arab nations, was too consumed by their own problems to notice their government’s foreign policy shifts, whether regarding Palestine or anywhere else.

Whether that was the case or not, it matters little now. On the second anniversary of the “Joint Declaration” agreement, tens of thousands of Moroccans demonstrated against normalization in 30 different cities, including Rabat, Agadir, Tangier and Meknes. The protests were mobilized by the Moroccan Front for Supporting Palestine and Against Normalization.

The Front is reportedly a network that includes ‘over a dozen political and human rights organizations,’ the New Arab reported. Their chants included “The people want to bring down normalization”, a slogan that is reminiscent of the pan-Arab popular slogan of a decade ago, ‘The people want to change the regime’. The latter resonated throughout many Arab capitals during the years of political upheaval in 2011 and upward.

This popular movement and its chants indicate that Palestine remains a local and national struggle in Morocco, as well as other Arab countries.

But why Morocco, and why now?

The popular association of the Moroccan and Palestinian flags throughout the World Cup had an invigorating effect on the collective psyche of Moroccans, who were empowered by their national team’s impressive showing against legendary teams such as Belgium, Spain and Portugal. It was a matter of time before this confidence translated to actual solidarity on the streets of Rabat and other major Moroccan cities.

The fact that Moroccans are mobilizing in large numbers against their country’s normalization with Israel only two years after the agreement is a sign of things to come.

2022 was a particularly bloody year in Palestine, according to UN Mideast Envoy, Tor Wennesland, who said that it was “on course to be the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank since … 2005.”

Moroccans, like other Arab nations, are following the news with alarm, especially following the swearing-in of Israel’s new extremist government of Benjamin Netanyahu and his far-right fascist ilk – the likes of Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir.

These two individuals’ constant targeting of Al-Aqsa Mosque, in particular, has a great emotional impact on Moroccans, especially since Morocco serves as the Chair of the Al-Quds Committee of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which is tasked with the protection of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Israel wants to normalize with the Arabs and tap into their massive markets and economic largesse without having, in return, to relinquish its military Occupation or grant Palestinians basic freedoms. Politically engaged Arab masses understand this well, and are growingly mobilizing against their governments’ betrayal of Palestine.

The self-serving and limited gains of normalization are likely to turn into a political liability in coming years. It is time for Morocco and others to reconsider their ties with Israel, as they risk political isolation and social instability, a far greater price to pay than the empty promises of Washington and Tel Aviv.

– 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

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Bahraini Regime Allows Jews to Celebrate Their Festivals but Persecutes Muslims

December 24, 2022

By Staff

The Bahraini authorities has allowed Zionist settlers to celebrate “Hanukkah” in the capital, Manama, despite popular rejection and demonstrations, rejecting normalization with the “Israeli” entity.

This comes at a time when the Al-Khalifa regime regularly suppresses the ceremonies commemorating the martyrdom of Imam Hussein [AS] and prevent the reception of Gulf citizens into Bahrain during Ashura.

Bahraini activists posted on their Twitter accounts a video showing Jewish settlers practicing “Hanukkah” rituals in a “synagogue” in Manama.

In light of this reality, which the Al-Khalifa regime authorities forcibly imposed on Bahrainis, a number of regions in the tiny gulf kingdom witnessed demonstrations and marches rejecting normalization with the occupying entity and the settlers’ celebration of “Hanukkah” in Manama.

Dozens of Bahrainis marched in the village of Al-Markh, carrying Palestinian flags and banners rejecting the Zionist presence in the country. The same happened in the town of Al-Maqshaa.

Despite the deployment of police forces, a massive demonstration was held on the island of Sitra raising slogans rejecting the presence of the occupying entity in Bahrain and the settlers’ celebration of “Hanukkah” in Manama.

It is noteworthy that the “Israeli” entity’s so-called president, Isaac Herzog, visited Bahrain earlier this month and met with a number of officials, more than two years after the US-brokered agreements to normalize relations between the two sides.

Dear followers, your ‘influencers’ seem ignorant about Israeli crimes

December 17, 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen English

By Aya Youssef 

The world of ‘influencing’ and ‘content creation’ seems to be tone-deaf to “Israel” killing, bombing, and assaulting the people of Palestine.

Dear followers, your ‘influencers’ seem ignorant about Israeli crimes

So a mere handshake or even a simple eye contact will eventually initiate some sort of disruption unless you are ‘okay’ with the crimes that are being committed and these crimes sit well with you.

Now let’s delve deeper; consider this enemy, “Israel”, the occupation that was ‘established’ on the backs of Palestinians and formed due to “Israel’s” horrific massacres in Palestine.

This is called normalization 

Moving on to another set of rules: When a country that used to consider “Israel” an enemy in the past, intentionally decides to build diplomatic relations with “Israel”, this is known as “normalization agreements”. When a single diplomat steps foot in “Israel”, that is called normalization. When direct talks happen, that is called normalization. When an athlete faces another Israeli athlete in sports tournaments, that is called normalization. And when a group of Arab influencers pose for photos at an event where they are taking lessons on content creation from an Israeli, this is called normalization. 

‘Influencers’ & ‘content creators’ for “Israel”

Behind the scenes of endless selfies, likes, and comments, over 3000 ‘influencers’ and ‘content creators’ attended and spoke at the ‘1 Billion Followers Summit’ in Dubai, where the Israeli ‘activist’ Nuseir Yassin was a co-host.

The event included dinners and celebrations, and the contributors ‘lit a fire in the desert’. Sounds fun doesn’t it? 

Nuseir Yassin is known for his pro-“Israel” stance regarding the Palestinian struggle for freedom. He intentionally disregarded, through his self-described ‘humane videos’, the Palestinian Nakba, the Palestinian suffering, and most importantly, Israeli war crimes.

Nuseir is vocal about the ‘two-state solution’ in Palestine and believes that Palestinians and Israelis should ‘co-exist’. 

In his last video about the Palestinian struggle, Yassin disregarded the Palestinians’ right to self-defense and called them ‘attacks’ on “Israel”. Nusseir Yasin usually introduces himself as “Arab-Israeli”.

Read More: Nas Daily: When ‘entrepreneurs’ NAS-TILY become Israeli propaganda
  
Applying the before-mentioned set of rules, these Arab influencers’ existence in the same room and event as Nuseir, interacting, laughing, taking notes, and speaking with him, is called normalization. 

Keynotes into normalization 

Looking into the “agenda” of the Summit on the website, various topics were discussed during the two days event. 

Starting from day one, after the opening ceremony, the first speaker was Nuseir Yassin. 

Yassin’s topic, as it appeared on the website, was “Why Creators Will Conquer The World”. What was said during each speech or lecture cannot be found on any platform, given that the event was ‘exclusive’. On the Summit’s YouTube channel, few videos are posted and most of them are teasers or wrap-ups of the event. 

Users can rarely find any content that is related to what Nuseir or other speakers said. Is censoring part of the summit? Or is it because some attendees were not supposed to be there?

In one of these short videos that were published by a particular news outlet, Nuseir was seen talking with the audience and giving a lecture about content creation with a picture displayed for them that says “And if you look like me… GOOD LUCK..” 

In the video, Nuseir was filmed talking and lecturing the crowd about ‘history’ and how ‘throughout history, people could only impact 150 people…” 

Why does normalization always have to be ‘fun’?

For additional background information on this topic, Nas Daily is a popular page that publishes videos on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok. Each platform has a vast number of followers. 

On its Instagram account, Nas Daily writes the following slogan: ‘We Bring People Together’ at the top of its page.

Interestingly, on its Youtube platform, the ‘1 Billion Followers Summit’ posted a teaser titled “1 Billion Followers Summit – The Expo of Content Creation”. The video says ‘connecting 1 billion people under the same roof.’ 

In another ‘shorts’ video on YouTube, the Summit posted a video that says ‘The world of social media gathers under one roof!’ 

Sounds familiar? 

The vlog-styled videos are identical to those of Nas Daily. The scripts, the tone, even the shooting style, and the enthusiasm, all give the same vibes.

The Summit is powered by New Media Academy, the same academy that funded and embraced Nas Daily for its videos where they whitewash Israeli crimes. 

On the Summit’s LinkedIn, one can see how employees in Nas Daily actually worked for this big event. Parikshit Sachdeva appeared to be Nas Daily’s social media manager as he was a community manager in the ‘1 Billion Followers Summit’. 

Another example is: Nizar Salman worked for Nas Daily as a project manager for 1 year and 9 months. Salman was an event lead for 8 months at the Summit. 

The contributors to the event added the ‘mystery celebrity speaker’ into the event to make it more ‘exciting’. The speaker turned out to be the former TV presenter and comedian Trevor Noah. 

Yassin was the one who hosted Noah during a debate that many attended and listened to. 

In addition to Noah, many international YouTubers attended the event such as Jordan Matter and Matpat. The speakers came from the US, Canada, Poland, Lebanon, India, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and many more.

When it comes to Arabs, activist Saleh Zaghari, appeared in a video justifying his participation in the event by saying that he was seeking to provoke those in charge of the conference by raising the Palestinian flag in the event. 

However, after Zaghri was heavily criticized by social media activists, he later apologized and admitted that he made a mistake by attending this event. 

The other normalizing event 

While the ‘1 Billion Followers Summit’ happened over the course of two days, 3 and 4 December, on 5 and 6 December, a different event took place in Abu Dhabi. The two events may look different on the surface, regarding the objectives and topics, but both meet at the same end; normalization with “Israel”. 

Around 300 decision-makers and representatives of 47 international space institutions attended the first edition of the Abu Dhabi Space Debate this month. The event focused mainly on topics related to ‘space sustainability, accessibility, and security’.

All looks normal, doesn’t it?

After his unwelcomed visit to Bahrain, and after he met with UAE’s President Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan at his private home in Abu Dhabi, the Israeli President Isaac Herzog took part in the Space Debate where he made a speech. 

Herzog, during his speech, urged to “move onwards and upwards, not with the competition of a cold war,” but rather with “our warm peace.” The Israeli occupation’s President called for countries to “collaborate in here on the blue planet we call home.”

The UAE was the first Gulf state to normalize ties with “Israel”, kicking off a wave of normalization that saw Bahrain, Sudan, and Morrocco swept by the tide.

The Israeli occupation and the United Arab Emirates have long been exchanging visits, drawing more and more criticism for the Arab nation that abandoned the Palestinian cause. 

Spot the ‘influencer’ in the audience 

After the Space Debate took place, many Lebanese activists strongly condemned the presence of a Lebanese filmmaker and content creator. 

Lebanon is among the countries that still have a strong stance regarding the normalization agreement with “Israel” and considers “Israel” as an occupation. 

Lebanon criminalizes normalization with the Israeli occupation in its law. The Lebanese criminal code, the 1955 Boycott Law, and the Code of Military Justice all say that any type of contact between Lebanese and Israeli citizens is prohibited; punishment can range from a few months in prison to death.

Many Twitter activists argued that the Lebanese filmmaker, Kazim Fayad, should not be present at an event that the Israeli President spoke at. After the backlash, Fayad had to issue a statement regarding the matter. 

The filmmaker claimed that he was not able to leave the hall where the event was taking place and that the only reason he was attending was that he had booked interviews with several news outlets. 

It is worth mentioning that the speakers of the event were published ahead of the ceremony, in addition to the many news outlets that reported that Herzog arrived in the UAE to attend the Space Debate. It does not stop here. Looking closer into the event itself, which was posted in its entirety on YouTube, there was a 40-minute break between the end of the last debate that took place and Herzog’s arrival at the event. Thus, giving Fayad, and other so-called “influencers” plenty of time to dodge a possible encounter with the enemy’s President.

Read More: Serious Concerns as Lessons in Normalization Hit Lebanese Schools

Ignorance or turning a blind eye? 

Now one cannot help but wonder: do the influencers realize what they are really ‘influencing’? 

The real question here is whether the millions of followers, that these ‘influencers’ have, know what subliminal messages they are intaking on daily basis, through swiping, liking, and commenting on those influencers’ social media stories, videos, and pictures. 

In both events, Israelis were present. In both events, Arabs were present. And in both events, prominent figures, TV presenters, and social media influencers were present. Should any questions be raised? The answer is yes.

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Officially Normalizing? The Saudi Al Arabiya TV Hosts Netanyahu!

December 17, 2022

By Staff

In the most blatant aspect of the yet-to-announce normalization, the Saudi Arabian official TV channel, Al Arabiya, hosted Zionist prime minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu who boasted the upcoming ‘peace’ between the Tel Aviv and the Riyadh regimes.

It doesn’t appear to be embarrassing for Saudi TVs to host ‘Israeli’ figures despite the series of lies voiced by the Riyadh regime officials who always claim that ties with the occupation entity have not been legalized. Meanwhile, dozens of Zionists have visited the kingdom, with several meetings held between ‘Israelis’ and Saudis on several occasions.

During his interview, Netanyahu said “We can have a new ‘peace’ initiative,” which he claimed “would form a quantum leap for the resolution of both the Arab- and Palestinian-‘Israeli’ conflict.” His remarks referred to “what could be a truly remarkable ‘historic peace’ with Saudi Arabia.”

“‘Peace’ with Saudi Arabia will change our region in unimaginable ways,” Netanyahu claimed, noting that “It’s up to the leadership of Saudi Arabia if they want to partake in this effort, and I hope they would.”

i24NEWS recently revealed that the Saudi kingdom was looking to normalize relations with the ‘Israeli’ occupation entity, citing multiple meetings where Saudi and American officials, as well as ‘Israeli’ community leaders, discussed the potential of such.

At the World Cup, The Arab World Rallies to Palestinian Cause

December 7, 2022 

By Ishaan Tharoor | The Washington Post

In the aftermath of Morocco’s sensational victory over Spain, the triumphant Moroccan squad posed for a picture with a flag. It wasn’t their own green star-on-crimson banner, nor the flag of Algeria, Tunisia or Lebanon, all of which flapped in the stands in a reflection of the Pan-Arab solidarity that has coursed through the first World Cup in the Middle East. Instead, the Moroccans waved the flag of Palestine, an explicit echo of support for a cause that has suffused the whole tournament. At the match on Tuesday evening, Palestinian emblems were everywhere, draped across people’s shoulders, on scarves, on T-shirts.

Outside the stadium beforehand, I met Mona Allaoui, a resident of Rabat, the Moroccan capital, who wore a Palestinian kaffiyeh over her Moroccan national team shirt. “I don’t care about politics,” she said, by which she meant the political normalization agreements, known as the Abraham Accords, signed between her nation’s leaders and ‘Israel’ in 2020. “I support the Palestinians because I’m a human being and they are our brothers and sisters.”

At a tournament bombarded from all fronts by political concerns, the cause of Palestine is a kind of leitmotif… The Palestinian flag has been ubiquitous at the World Cup’s stadiums, no matter which teams are playing. Banners calling for a “Free Palestine” were raised in the stands of at least one game, while a protester at a match involving Tunisia invaded the pitch waving a Palestinian flag. During games, fans from Arab nations have chanted for Palestinian rights and against recent killings of Palestinians by ‘Israeli’ forces. They did so again Tuesday.

Interactions between ‘Israeli’ journalists — invited to Qatar for the World Cup despite the absence of formal relations between both sides — and various fans they came across in Doha, Qatar, underscored the prevalence of the issue. Videos that proliferated on social media showed bemused or startled ‘Israeli’ reporters being berated by passersby. In one encounter with Moroccan fans who walk away shouting “Palestine,” Raz Shechnik of ‘Israel’s’ Yediot Aharonot beseeched them: “But you signed ‘peace’!”

The Abraham Accords, forged by the Trump administration, paved the way for the normalization of ties between ‘Israel’ and four Arab states — the three monarchies of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco, as well as Sudan. It was hailed as a major regional breakthrough and a mark of a shifting political order in the Middle East, with certain Arab powers losing interest in the entrenched struggle over Palestinian dispossession and more animated by other priorities. This week, ‘Israeli’ President Isaac Herzog called on the royals of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates in what were billed as ‘landmark visits.’

The World Cup, though, has showed how small the vision of that supposed ‘peace’ is. In recent months, there has been plenty of chatter in Washington about how ‘Israeli’ officials and business executives have become a common sight in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and even in Riyadh [the Saudis have yet to normalize relations with ‘Israel,’ though there’s a depth of connections]. But what goes often unsaid in the US and ‘Israeli’ conversation about these normalization deals is the extent to which they only reflect top-level elite interests in the region.

‘Israelis’ in Qatar reckoned with that reality. “There are a lot of attempts by many people here, from all around the Arab world, to come out against us because we represent normalization,” Ohad Hemo, a reporter for ‘Israel’s’ Channel 12, told his network. “‘Israelis’’ wish came true, we signed ‘peace’ agreements with four Arab states, but there are also the people, and many of them don’t like our presence here.”

Some ‘Israeli’ commentators saw the backlash as evidence of enduring anti-‘Israeli’ sentiment in the region. “This isn’t a knock on the Abraham Accords, or even on ‘peace’ with Jordan and Egypt,” wrote Lahav Harkov of the Jerusalem Post. “They are all significant and all brought positive results for ‘Israel’ and for those countries. But it’s also a wake-up call about the limitations of those agreements.”

Recent polling shows that overwhelming majorities of ordinary citizens in many Arab countries, including those that participated in the Abraham Accords, disapprove of formalizing ties with ‘Israel.’ “There is clearly not much love in the Arab world for ‘Israel,’” wrote Giorgio Cafiero, CEO of Gulf State Analytics, a Washington-based risk consultancy that focuses on the region. “The decades of humiliation, resentment, and anger which many Arabs feel toward ‘Israel’ cannot simply vanish with the signing of such normalization agreements.”

Still key for millions of people in the Arab world, their governments aside, is the political condition of Palestinians, millions of whom live lives circumscribed by ‘Israel’s’ security interests, shorn of the same rights afforded to the ‘Israelis’ around them. For years, most Arab governments conditioned normalization with ‘Israel’ on the advent of a separate Palestinian state. But the process to create that state has effectively collapsed, while ‘Israel’s’ new far-right government contains numerous politicians who oppose any scenarios in which Palestinian statehood could ever be viable.

“Ordinary Arabs are against this occupation and see it as inhuman and unacceptable,” said Mahjoob Zweiri, a professor of history and contemporary politics at Qatar University.

Zweiri said the political tenor of the tournament in Qatar has offered a clear message not just to the United States and ‘Israel,’ but to Arab governments that also seem intent on obscuring the political priorities of Palestinians. The presence of Palestinian flags at stadiums was “not organized by states, but something genuine from within the people themselves,” he said. “The World Cup is about ordinary people, it’s about middle-class people. It’s not about the elite.”

“They can talk about normalization about 100 years, but they cannot impose it,” Zweiri said.

That’s a view recognized by some in ‘Israel.’ “After the Abraham Accords were signed with several Arab countries in 2020, rightist pundits claimed that the Palestinians’ fate no longer interests other Arabs,” wrote Uzi Baram in left-leaning ‘Israeli’ newspaper Haaretz. “They didn’t bother to read the article in the agreement stating that their fulfillment requires establishing a Palestinian state. As for the symbiosis between the Palestinians and other Arab nations, no further proof seems needed following the World Cup in Qatar.”

Aladdin Awwad, 42, a Palestinian cybersecurity specialist who works in Doha, was at Morocco’s victory over Spain. His brother had draped a Palestinian flag over the Morocco jersey he was wearing.

“It’s great to see all these Arab nationalities support our cause and show the West that Palestine will not die,” Awwad told me. “We are not here to create problems. We are not against peace. But we exist and we are here.”

Anti-Israel protests rage in Bahrain, Herzog forced to change plans in Manama

Sunday, 04 December 2022 11:00 AM  [ Last Update: Sunday, 04 December 2022 11:16 AM ]

Anti-Israel protests rage in Bahrain, Herzog forced to change plans in Manama

People in Bahrain have staged fresh demonstrations across the Persian Gulf country to reiterate their support for the Palestinian cause, and to condemn the establishment of full diplomatic relations with the Tel Aviv regime, and the visit by Israeli president Isaac Herzog to Manama.

Protesters in the village of al-Markh chanted slogans in protest against the normalization of ties, voiced solidarity with the Palestinian nation in their struggle against the occupying Israeli regime and called for the expulsion of Israeli tourists from Bahrain.

People take part in a rally in al-Daih, Bahrain, on December 3, 2022, against Israeli president Isaac Herzog’s visit to the tiny Persian Gulf country. (Photo via Twitter)

They chanted slogans including “We shall never accept humiliation,” “Normalization is treason” and “Bahrain is the cemetery of Zionists”. The demonstrators also trampled upon the Israeli flag.

A similar rally was also held in the village of al-Daih, where participants held up placards against Herzog’s visit and normalization of relations with Israel. They waved Palestinian national flags and chanted “Death to America” ​​and “Death to Israel.”

Elsewhere in the coastal village of Dumistan, demonstrators called for the immediate and unconditional release of political prisoners.

Herzog arrived in Manama on Sunday and was welcomed by Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani and Bahrain’s envoy to Israel Khaled Yousif al-Jalahma upon landing in Manama.

As a result of the protests, Herzog’s itinerary was changed at the last minute, though Bahraini officials said they would not allow protests to take place during the visit.

Palestinian crashes car through Ben Gurion Airport checkpoint ahead of Herzog trip

Israeli authorities tell passengers at Ben Gurion Airport to duck due to security breach after a Palestinian man crashes a car through the airport’s checkpoint.

He is set to head to al-Qudaibiya Palace, where he will meet King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah over lunch.

Earlier, Herzog had been slated to meet with members of the local Jewish community, and then hold a meeting with the Bahrain Economic Development Board.

Israel’s Channel 12 reported on Thursday that the regime’s so-called security service, Shin Bet, had decided to boost Herzog’s security detail for the trip following an online social media campaign from Bahraini opposition activists.

Chanting ‘death to Israel’, Bahrainis rally ahead of Herzog visit

Bahrainis take to the streets in the tiny Persian Gulf island country to condemn Israeli president Isaac Herzog’s upcoming visit.

On Monday, the Israeli president will take off for the United Arab Emirates to meet with his Emirati counterpart Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is also the Abu Dhabi ruler and known colloquially as MBZ. Herzog will also attend the Abu Dhabi Space Debate.

Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates signed US-brokered normalization agreements with Israel in an event in Washington in September 2020. Sudan and Morocco followed suit later that year. Palestinians have condemned the deals as a treacherous “stab in the back.”


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Enmity ongoing, normalization fragile: Israeli media on Qatar WC

27 Nov 2022

Source: Israeli Media

By Al Mayadeen English 

Israeli media comments on the everyday videos being published about Arab fans being hostile toward Israelis in solidarity with occupied Palestine.

A Moroccan fan carrying the Moroccan flag and a Palestinian banner at the Qatar World Cup on November 27, 2022

Israeli media commented Sunday in a very disgruntled manner on the way the Arabic crowds are reacting to Israeli correspondents showing up in Qatar under the guise of reporting on the World Cup and trying to get positive statements that serve the process of normalization from the Arab fans there.

An Israeli Hayom article entitled “The World Cup in Qatar, A Mirror for the Israelis: They Do Not Like Us nor Want Us” argued that the World Cup put the Israeli occupation before a harsh and bitter reality for the Israelis.

The Israelis clarified that they saw for the first time they saw a large-scale experience of rejection, neglect, hatred, and the non-acceptance of Israelis in an Arab-Muslim country.

“Everyone claiming that the people of the Gulf do not have enmity toward Israel saw that they have been tricked, and they are experiencing a different reality,” the article added.

“News reporters in Israeli channels enthusiastically went to Qatar and set up their cameras, waiting for the Arabs living in the Gulf and the various other Arab countries to praise Israel,” it said. “However, they soon found themselves subject to contempt, avoidance, and mockery from those same Arabs.”

An Israeli news channel showed earlier in the day Moroccan fans refusing to talk to an Israeli reporter, chanting in support of Palestine and against the occupation, despite the Israeli correspondent stressing that “your government normalized ties with us… we must be at peace now!”

Israeli media commented on how a group of Arabs refused to be interviewed by an Israeli reporter and confronted him by saying “there is no such thing as Israel. It is Palestine.” The author said this was expected, noting that he “was not surprised that the overwhelming majority of Arab football fans refused to be interviewed by Israeli television channels.”

Embarrassing situation

“It is only those that do not understand how the people feel in the Arab World that will rush and set up a camera, begging an Arab to be interviewed by an Israeli channel,” the author added.

He described what the Israeli reporters were subjected to, from humiliation to embarrassing situations and even having to conceal their identity by saying: “It is shameful to see an Israeli journalist begging and hugging whoever allows him to interview them to urge them to speak positively about Israeli, only for it to appear that they don’t consider that there is an Israel, only Palestine.”

Normalization takes a hit

“This is a series blow to anyone who thought normalization was right at the corner and that normalization with Arab countries was just a matter of time,” the author wrote.

“The behavior of the average Arab citizen toward Israel shows an enmity that is more than 70 years old, and it indicates that the root of the problem is still very much alive, kicking us down, and dealing blow after blow to us.”

This is the truth and this is reality, the article stressed. “Whoever does not want to see that must close their eyes. But the harsh, bitter, and, in my opinion, painful reality is that unless the Palestinian cause is solved somehow that is acceptable by all parties, we are not and will not be welcome in Arab countries. Even in countries that have signed normalization agreements.”

“It is enough to look at the normalization agreements with Egypt to understand how we did not make any progress with the Egyptian people, which is still among the most hostile Arab peoples toward Israel,” he stressed.

Normalization agreements fragile

Former Shin Bet official Doron Matza wrote in an article on the Makor Rishon website titled, “The hatred of Israel in Qatar indicates that the Abraham Accords have a glass ceiling,” that “the rude way Arab football fans are dealing with Israeli media correspondents surprised reporters, which opened their eyes to the status quo in the Middle East and Israel’s ties in the region.”

“They do not like us in Qatar and, as apparently, in the whole Middle East, and this is the conclusion that the journalists drew in light of the unpleasant interactions with Saudi, Qatari, and Iranian fans, among others,” Matza added.

“It turns out that nothing has changed… Even if it is good to be optimistic, we must not ignore reality,” he stressed.

He also said the normalization agreements signed with Arab regimes were lackluster in terms of influencing the people, saying they “were formed against the less ideological parties in the region, such as the United Arab Emirates.”

The author then concluded that the normalization agreements signed did not influence anything in terms of how the people of the region felt toward the Israeli occupation.

“The events that took place in light of the Qatar World Cup prove that Israel’s regional standings and the contents of the Abraham Accords have a glass ceiling,” the author underscored.

An Israeli KAN public broadcaster correspondent in Qatar complained Thursday about “unpleasant” incidents he was subjected to in Qatar during the channel’s coverage of the FIFA World Cup championship being held in the country due to him being Israeli, a heavily opposed “nationality” in the region.

Hoffman also said that when he and his team arrived at a restaurant at a local beach with his team, he took some photos. The restaurant’s owner inquired about their nationality, asking them where they were coming from. “When he found out that we are from Israel, he brought the restaurant’s security guards, and they kicked us out. They also took my phone and deleted all the photos I had taken.”

Another Israeli correspondent said a few days ago that he was bothered by the stances of the Arab fans attending the 2022 World Cup, saying that they would refuse to be interviewed by him due to his allegiance.

According to the correspondent, young Lebanese men were enraged when they found out that he was Israeli, saying: “I would also like to say that even off the air, whichever Arab fans we meet there with and introduce ourselves to, they reject talking to us altogether.”

Since the World Cup kicked off, there have been various videos that went viral of Arab fans refusing to be interviewed by Israeli media.

“All attempts to talk to football fans in Doha did not go according to plan,” Israeli media has said. “Videos are being circulated online are of Saudi fans, a Qatari shopper, and several Lebanese fans purposely avoiding Israeli reporters.”

Israeli Channel 12 correspondent, Ohad Hamo, expressed his frustration from the “maltreatment” of the Arab masses he came across in the Qatar 2022 World Cup. Arab people of all nations refused to be interviewed by him, an Israeli, during a live TV broadcast. 

“Everyone knows us, perhaps from the widespread Tik Tok videos. They come to us and criticize us being here,” Hamo said in objection. “I don’t know why,” he cried out. 

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In new snub to Israel, Lebanese table tennis player refuses to face Israeli rival in Portugal tournament

Friday, 25 November 2022 9:35 AM  [ Last Update: Friday, 25 November 2022 9:48 AM ]

Junior Lebanese tennis player Bissan Chiri (Photo via Twitter)

A junior Lebanese table tennis player has withdrawn from the World Table Tennis (WTT) Youth Star Contender Vila Nova de Gaia 2022 tournament in Portugal to avoid facing an Israeli counterpart, in what has been seen as a new snub to the Tel Aviv regime following similar measures taken by a host of Muslim players from across the Muslim world.

According to the Palestinian news agency Quds News Network, 11-year-old athlete Bissan Chiri decided to pull out of the contests after she was told she was going to face Israeli player Elinor Davidov in a U15 Girls’ Singles match.

Chiri’s measure drew widespread praise on social media platforms.

Earlier this month, Lebanese tennis player Mohamed Ataya quit the Cyprus International Championship so as not to face an Israeli opponent.

The Gaza-based Anti-Normalization Campaign welcomed the decision, saying that the athlete’s withdrawal reflects the rejection of the great Lebanese nation, and all Arab peoples, to normalize with the occupying Israeli regime, and their fight against the crimes committed by Israel against the defenseless Palestinian people.

It commended the player, saying he joined a long list of honorable heroes who refuse normalization in response to the call to boycott the Tel Aviv regime.

Back in early September, Kuwaiti karate fighter Mohammad al-Otaibi withdrew from the 2022 Karate 1-Premier League contests in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku to avoid facing an Israeli contestant over his support for the Palestinian cause and refusal of normalization with the Tel Aviv regime.

Otaibi was set to participate in the male kumite 60-kilogram division of the international tournament. He, however, pulled out of the competitions as soon as he found out he was scheduled to take on Israeli competitor Ronen Gehtbarg.

In April, Kuwaiti fencer Mohamed al-Fadli withdrew from the World Fencing Championships held in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), after he refused to play with an Israeli contestant.

Fadli also withdrew from an international tournament in the Dutch capital, Amsterdam, in September 2019, after the draw placed him in a group competing with an Israeli player.

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Exclusive: Attempts to target Iran in the interest of ‘Israel’, US

Nov 8 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen English 

The spokesperson for the Society for Peace movement in Algeria tells Al Mayadeen that weakening Iran or Turkey cannot serve the Arabs.

The spokesperson for the Movement for a Society for Peace in Algeria, Nasser Hamdadouche

The spokesperson for the Movement for a Society for Peace in Algeria, Nasser Hamdadouche, said on Monday that Algeria played a key role in ensuring the success of the Arab Summit by dismantling some mines, including the insistence of some to condemn Iranian or Turkish interference in the region.

In an interview for Al Mayadeen, Hamdadouche said that Algeria enjoys positive relations with everyone, whether Arab or Islamic countries, including Iran and Turkey, adding that Algiers was keen not to raise controversial points during the summit.

Weakening Iran and Turkey is in the enemy’s interest

Hamdadouche added that weakening Iran or Turkey cannot serve the Arabs, Iran or Turkey, and it is in the interest of the real enemy of the region, which is the Zionist entity and the Western hegemony led by the United States.

He highlighted that there is no interest in antagonizing or dwelling on points of disagreement with Iran and Turkey, “because what unites us is far more than what divides us, and dialogue is the way to overcome the problems that face us.”

Hamdadouche pointed to the importance of “rising above differences and moving in the direction of what brings the nation together within a civilized framework of Arab-Islamic integration, that is, the integration of Arab countries with the most important powers in the region, led by Iran and Turkey.”

The Algerian spokesperson pointed out that Algeria is making efforts at the level of parties, organizations, and countries to overcome obstacles and establish dialogue between parties and Arab and Islamic countries.

Algeria resolved the Palestinian file

Hamdadouche said, “There is an Arab division over the Palestinian issue, whether the solution is through negotiation or resistance, therefore, Algeria resolved this file before the summit through a reunification initiative to achieve Palestinian reconciliation.”

He indicated that the Movement for a Society for Peace was looking forward to supporting the option of resistance against the Zionist entity, as well as criminalizing all forms of normalization because it is unreasonable for any Arab country to single out its decision outside the unified Arab political vision.

He also pointed to some Arab countries that did not stop at political and diplomatic normalization with the Zionist entity but rather went to what is even far more dangerous, as in military and security agreements with the Israeli occupation that threaten Arab national security.

The Algerian spokesperson pointed out that Algeria is making efforts at the level of parties, organizations, and countries to overcome obstacles and establish dialogue between parties and Arab and Islamic countries.

Algeria resolved the Palestinian file

Hamdadouche said, “There is an Arab division over the Palestinian issue, whether the solution is through negotiation or resistance, therefore, Algeria resolved this file before the summit through a reunification initiative to achieve Palestinian reconciliation.”

He indicated that the Movement for a Society for Peace was looking forward to supporting the option of resistance against the Zionist entity, as well as criminalizing all forms of normalization because it is unreasonable for any Arab country to single out its decision outside the unified Arab political vision.

He also pointed to some Arab countries that did not stop at political and diplomatic normalization with the Zionist entity but rather went to what is even far more dangerous, as in military and security agreements with the Israeli occupation that threaten Arab national security.

Hamdadouche stressed that Arab national security should not be divided, adding that the Israeli occupation represents the real danger to Arab national security, in addition to water and food security, which are tools of the struggle with “Israel”.
In the same context, he underlined that “normalization with the Zionist entity is condemned, rejected, and criminalized by us, even if it comes from political Islam or from any religious Fatwa or any legal text.”
Hamdadouche said that Algeria would have wanted to criminalize normalization if this decision was within its jurisdiction, adding that “it seems that there was a settlement that took place during the Arab summit, which requires reducing Algeria’s rhetoric against normalization in exchange for withdrawing the Iran or Turkey file from consultations.”
Hamas’ choice to return to Syria is strategic
In a separate context, the Algerian spokesperson indicated that when Hamas raised the issue of resuming relations with Syria, Algeria’s response was the necessity of positioning the movement within the Axis of Resistance in the region, away from the controversial points in the Syrian or Lebanese internal affairs.

Hamdadouche pointed out that some Arab countries did not only stop supporting the resistance against the Zionist entity, but rather categorized the Palestinian Resistance factions as “terrorist organizations”.

In this context, Hamdadouche hoped that Syria will return to its natural position, which, despite all that it has been subjected to from some Arab states and the international community, has remained faithful to the Palestinian cause.

He also highlighted that the Lebanese resistance against the Zionist enemy has honored the Arab nation.

Riots in Iran in the interest of “Israel” and the US

Regarding the Iranian role, Hamdadouche said, Iran has an undeniable history with the Resistance, adding that Hamas asserts that Iran’s support is unconditional and the proof is that when the movement severed its relations with Syria, Iran did not stop its support for the Palestinian Resistance movement.

Commenting on the recent riots in Iran, the spokesperson said that the attempt to target and weaken Iran, in which regional and global powers are allied, will be in the interest of the Zionist entity and the US, who will have no mercy on the Arab region if Iran falls.

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Arab Summit launched; Palestine a central cause

November 1, 2022

The 31st Arab Summit opens with Tunisian President Kais Saied who hoped that the summit in Algeria would find solutions and bridge rifts.

Arab ministers and delegates in Algeria

Arab League summit kicked off on Tuesday in Algeria, with the participation of 16 Arab presidents, including the leaders of Tunisia, Qatar, Sudan, and Egypt.

The summit opened with Tunisian President Kais Saied who hoped that the summit in Algeria would find solutions and bridge rifts.

Saied affirmed that Algeria exerted strained efforts to maintain unity among Arabs.

He further stressed that the right of Palestine must be reiterated in all conferences and meetings to make sure it is never absent.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Saied noted that President Tebboune’s efforts were crowned with bringing the Palestinians together and achieving national reconciliation.

Tebboune: We will demand the UNGA to recognize Palestine as an independent state

During his speech at the 31st regular session of the Arab League’s Council at the summit level, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune shared Saied’s stance on Palestine, stressing, “Our central and core cause is Palestinian, which is subject to elimination attempts through the Israeli occupation’s practices.”

“We will demand the General Assembly of the United Nations to recognize Palestine as an independent state,” he added.

Historically, Algeria has entertained good diplomatic with Palestine and is one of the Arab countries to reject the normalization of ties with “Israel”.

The Algerian President also stressed that the crises in Libya, Syria, and Yemen require a solution and demand prioritizing national reconciliation to reach peaceful and consensual solutions over anything else.

Tebboune urged the formation of a committee to support the Palestinian cause, emphasizing that “Palestine must be granted full membership at the United Nations.”

Furthermore, he stated that the roots of crises in Libya, Syria, and Yemen need to be addressed.

Tebboune concluded by expressing hope that practical solutions and necessary decisions will be the outcomes of the summit.

Aboul Gheit: Several Arab countries living in dire security conditions

The Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said the Arab countries “are in urgent need of dealing with the ongoing crises.”

During his speech at the 31st Arab Summit on Tuesday, Aboul Gheit pointed out that “several Arab countries are living in dire security situations, such as terrorism, militias, armed groups, and parties that foment sedition and meddle in the Arab countries’ affairs.”

He pointed out that “the world stands still and does not advocate the two-state solution,” claiming that “the Arabs insist on the establishment of the Palestinian state based on the 1967 border.”

“We call on all the countries in the world to join my peaceful goals for the sake of the inclusion of Palestine and obtaining full membership at the United Nations,” Aboul Gheit said.

The Secretary-General added, “We want this summit to be a true summit of unity and restoration of the Arab willpower.”

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Lebanon Secures Oil, Gas Rights Without Any Concession, Now It’s Time to Preserve This Achievement

November 2, 2022

By Mohammad Youssef

Lebanon has become an oil and gas member country. The new understanding to demarcate the maritime border line with occupied Palestine is a milestone and the start of a new era that put the country on a new road towards prosperity and stability on many levels. More importantly, this remarkable achievement has been reached without any kind of normalization with the ‘Israeli’ enemy.

It is the first time in history that an Arab state gets its rights without bowing down to the ‘Israeli’ blackmail, threats, or diktats.

But how did that take place?

The resistance in Lebanon spearheaded by Hezbollah has given another proof about its ability to bring the yet another country.

Supported by the people who put their trust and have a full unshakable conviction about the resistance. Hezbollah leadership took a courageous step by setting a new formula against the enemy which states the following: If Lebanon cannot explore, exploit, and extract its gas resources, the enemy is not allowed to do so.

Hezbollah put its threat into effect by sending its drones over Karish platform to reflect the seriousness of its warning.

In addition to this, and in a harmonious and coordinated way with the state officials, namely President of the Republic General Michel Aoun, House Speaker Nabih Berri, and Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati, and their respective teams, the resistance represented by Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has been able to give Lebanon another remarkable victory which brought the ‘Israeli’ enemy to its knees.

This event has given an exemplary model about the defensive strategy that Lebanon could reach and adopt to defend the country and act as a deterrent force against any ‘Israeli’ aggression.

This defensive strategy has long been under the light, and is always under focus. Many parties in Lebanon have called for an open discussion to deliberate over this matter. Now we have a real embodiment and a vivid example that no one can deny about the result of coordination that can take place to ensure not only Lebanon’s protection and liberation, but also its full sovereignty over its land, sea, and all its natural resources.

Needless to say, this kind of coordination will definitely act as a safety valve and as a guarantee for Lebanon and the Lebanese against any foreign threat, aggression, or intimidation, especially from the ‘Israeli’ enemy side which has a lengthy history of aggressions.

It is the duty of the Lebanese from every sect and confession to perceive this new lesson. To understand the importance of this achievement, they should all learn how to appreciate it, value it and do everything possible to support and preserve it.

This is a successful golden formula that has no otherwise so far. It proved its efficiency in the past and present, and will definitely protect Lebanon and its people in the future.

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نصرالله يعلن «إنجاز المهمة» بـ «انتصار كبير» | تفاهم الناقورة: حقوق بلا أثمان

  الجمعة 28 تشرين الأول 2022

الأخبار  

بالتزامن مع انتزاع لبنان حريته في التنقيب والاستخراج، وصولاً إلى «الخط 23+»، والتوقيع الرسمي على الاتفاق في الناقورة، أعلن الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله أن «المهمة أنجزت» بعدما نجحت المقاومة في المهمة التي ألقتها قيادتها على عاتقها، معلناً انتهاء التدابير ‏والإجراءات والاستنفارات الاستثنائية والخاصة بملف المفاوضات والتي قامت بها المقاومة منذ عدة أشهر، إما لمنع العدو من استخراج الغاز في حال حاول ذلك قبل حصول لبنان على حقوقه، ولمواجهة أي اعتداء إسرائيلي. وأكد نصرالله أن المهمة انتهت «بانتصار كبير وكبير جداً للدولة والشعب والمقاومة في لبنان، وكانت تجربة مهمة ‏وغنية جداً تستحق التوقف عندها وعند نتائجها ودلالاتها» وهو ما سيتناوله في كلمة له مساء غد.

وبما لا يقل أهمية، أكد الأمين العام لحزب الله أن «أي كلام عن التطبيع والاعتراف هو تجن»، مشيراً إلى أن المسؤولين في الدولة اللبنانية «لم يقدموا على أي خطوة تعطي شبهة تطبيع»، في تأكيد على أن لبنان انتزع حقوقه من دون أن يقدم ثمناً سياسياً يتصل بهويته وموقعه في الصراع مع إسرائيل، وهو هدف كان يسعى إليه الأميركي والإسرائيلي على حد سواء. ومن أبرز هذه المؤشرات رفض لبنان صورة مشتركة مع الوفد الإسرائيلي في الناقورة، إضافة إلى حرصه على إجراء مفاوضات غير مباشرة مع العدو.

من جهته، أكّد رئيس الجمهورية ميشال عون أن «إنجاز ملف ترسيم الحدود البحرية الجنوبية عمل تقني ليست له أي أبعاد سياسية أو مفاعيل تتناقض مع السياسة الخارجية التي ينتهجها لبنان في علاقاته مع الدول». وشدد على «أننا أخذنا حقنا بالترسيم​ وزيادة، والترسيم سيسمح باستخراج ​الغاز​ والنفط لإخراج لبنان من الحفرة. هذه هديتي للبنانيين قبل أن أغادر». وأكد «أننا قمنا بترسيم الحدود​ كي لا نقع في حرب، وهو نتيجة مصلحة واستقرار وليس نتيجة سلام مع إسرائيل، ولا توجد أي ورقة أو إمضاء أو أي شيء آخر في عملية توقيع اتفاق الترسيم تؤدي إلى اتفاق سلام».
ووقّع عون في قصر بعبدا أمس رسالة تحمل موافقة لبنان على مضمون الرسالة الأميركية عن نتائج المفاوضات غير المباشرة لترسيم الحدود الجنوبية التي سلمه إياها الوسيط الأميركي عاموس هوكشتين، وهي تؤكد أن «لبنان حصل على الحقول المحددة في المنطقة الاقتصادية الخالصة اللبنانية كاملة والتي كان أودعها الأمم المتحدة العام 2011 واعتمدت في المرسوم الرقم 6433».
بعد التوقيع، توجّه أعضاء الوفد اللبناني الرسمي إلى الناقورة لتسليم الرسالة الرئاسية إلى هوكشتين، وتسليم ممثلة الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة جوانا فرونتيسكا رسالة وقعها وزير الخارجية تتضمن تأكيد الإحداثيات المرتبطة بالحدود البحرية اللبنانية لإيداعها الأمم المتحدة وفقاً للآليات المتبعة في قانون البحار. وضم الوفد المدير العام لرئاسة الجمهورية أنطوان شقير، مفوض الحكومة لدى قوات اليونيفيل العميد منير شحادة، عضو مجلس إدارة هيئة النفط وسام شباط ورئيس مركز الاستشارات القانونية في وزارة الخارجية والمغتربين السفير أحمد عرفة.

وكان الرئيس عون اجتمع بالوفد قبل الظهر، وتم رسم توجهات تفصيلية تتعلق بالشكليات، منها ضرورة التثبت من عدم وجود أي كاميرات تصوير أو استخدام الهواتف من قبل الحضور في الاجتماع، وعدم التحدث مع الوفد الإسرائيلي تحت أي ظرف، ومنع أي عضو من الوفد الإسرائيلي من الاقتراب من طاولة الوفد اللبناني. وعدم التعامل مع الوفد الإسرائيلي بأي نوع من الإشارات الودية، وصولاً إلى أنه من الأفضل عدم النظر صوبهم.
وخلال الاجتماع وصلت معلومات عن وجود خرق إسرائيلي للمياه الإقليمية، وتصرف لبنان معها على أنها رسالة مقصودة من جانب العدو. فطلب من الوفد البقاء في باحة مهبط المروحية وعدم التوجه إلى الخيمة، وطلب إلى العميد شحادة التواصل مع الجهات الدولية التي قالت إنه لم يحصل خرق، لكن شحادة قال إنه ينتظر الأمر من قيادة الجيش اللبناني التي أخذت بعض الوقت قبل أن تؤكد تراجع زوارق العدو بعيداً عن المياه الإقليمية.
وعندما حاول الوفد الإسرائيلي خلال الاجتماع التوجه بالكلام إلى الوفد اللبناني شاكراً، لم يلتفت إليه الوفد اللبناني الذي سارع إلى تسليم الوسيط الأميركي ومنسقة الأمم المتحدة الرسائل والتوجه إلى خارج الخيمة، حيث رافقهم هوكشتين وأخذ معهم صورة تذكارية. بينما اقتصرت الصور داخل الخيمة على لقطة لشقير وهو يسلم هوكشتين رد الرئيس عون وصورة أخرى عند تسلم هوكشتين الرسالة الإسرائيلية.
وقد عمل فريق أميركي ودولي على التثبت من عدم وجود أي مصور إلا واحد يمثل الأمم المتحدة الذي منع من التقاط صور عامة تجمع الوفود الثلاثة، وهذا ما يفترض أنه حصل.

وسلم الوفدان اللبناني والإسرائيلي الوثيقة إلى الوسيط الأميركي في غرفة كل على حدة، في حضور فرونيتسكا والسفيرتين الفرنسية آن غريو والأميركية دوروثي شيا. وتزامنت عملية التسليم مع تدابير مشددة اتخذها الجيش اللبناني وقوات اليونيفيل.
إسرائيلياً، ومع استكمال المسارات القانونية في كيان العدو واختتام الإجراءات التي أنهت مرحلة من المفاوضات غير المباشرة، بدأت الحكومة هجوماً مضاداً على المعارضة في التوظيف السياسي الداخلي للاتفاق الذي يأتي قبل 5 أيام من الانتخابات العامة. ومن المرجح أن تشهد الأيام المقبلة الكثير من المواقف التي تبالغ في «إنجازات» الاتفاق إسرائيلياً.
وأقرت الحكومة الإسرائيلية، في جلسة خاصة أمس، اتفاق ترسيم الحدود البحرية مع لبنان بعد أسبوعين من عرضه على الكنيست. في بداية الجلسة قال لابيد: «الاتفاق يحصّن أمن إسرائيل وحرية عملها في مواجهة تهديدات حزب الله في الشمال»، ووصفه بأنه «إنجاز سياسي… ليس في كل يوم تعترف دولة معادية بدولة إسرائيل في اتفاق مكتوب أمام المجتمع الدولي»، في موقف تفوح منه رائحة المبالغة لأهداف انتخابية. إذ إنه لم يدّع مثل هذا الكلام في ذروة السجال على الاتفاق مع رئيس المعارضة بنيامين نتنياهو، واختار الإدلاء به في يوم التوقيع على مسافة أيام من الانتخابات.

رئيس الجمهورية: لا يوجد في اتفاق الترسيم ما يؤدي الى اتفاق سلام مع اسرائيل


بعد ذلك، انتقل الوفد الإسرائيلي إلى الناقورة. ولفت موقع «يديعوت» إلى أنه لم يتم أخذ صورة مشتركة مع الوفد اللبناني «لأن لبنان معني بعدم الإيحاء بأي نوع من التطبيع بين الطرفين». وضم الوفد الإسرائيلي مدير عام وزارة الطاقة، ليؤت شيلت، وعضو مجلس الأمن القومي، أفيفيت بار إيلان، ورئيس الجهاز السياسي في وزارة الخارجية، عليزه بن نون، وممثل قسم التخطيط الاستراتيجي في الجيش ومندوب المستشار القضائي لوزارة الخارجية، الذين رافقوا المفاوضات.
وفي خطوة كشفت ارتداع إسرائيل بفعل تهديد المقاومة، رغم أنها حاولت في الشكل الإيحاء بخلاف ذلك، ذكر بيان صادر عن وزارة الطاقة الإسرائيلية أن إسرائيل بدأت أمس (الأربعاء) باستخراج الغاز الطبيعي من حقل «كاريش» في البحر الأبيض المتوسط، قبل يوم واحد من توقيع الاتفاق مع لبنان.
إلى ذلك، وصف الرئيس الأميركي جوزف بايدن الاتفاق بـ«التاريخي» الذي «سيؤمن مصالح كل من إسرائيل ولبنان، ويمهد الطريق لمنطقة أكثر استقراراً وازدهاراً».

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The Maritime Agreement between Lebanon and “Israel” enters into force
To the downtrodden: This is what Lebanon has achieved by demarcating the maritime borders
The Lebanese maritime demarcation, the Russian-Ukrainian file, and the energy war with Dr. Waseem Bazzi
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An investment in strength.. What equations written by Lebanon?
The foundations of the conflict in the region / Anis Naccache

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Arab League Summit – Hopes and Aspirations

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° 

Viktor Mikhin
The next summit of the League of Arab States (LAS), whose participation has been confirmed by the heads of state of numerous Arab countries, will be held in Algiers in early November. On the agenda, of course, are primarily issues related to the reconciliation of a number of Arab countries and their consolidation in the face of various external threats. However, the Arab media and even politicians are already saying that no breakthroughs can be expected from the summit, as the Arab League has lost its once-authoritative status in recent years.

Arab leaders have held two consecutive high-level meetings in 2019. In the spring, they met in Tunisia at the annual Arab Summit. In May, they met again in Mecca at the invitation of Riyadh for an extraordinary Arab summit. At issue was Saudi Arabia’s and other Persian Gulf Arab countries’ concern about Iran’s regional policies and opposition to Tehran’s plans to increase its activities in a number of countries in the Arab world. The 31st ordinary Arab summit is now scheduled to be held in Algiers on November 1, with a concluding session on November 2. The Algerian government wanted the summit to take place on the anniversary of the outbreak of the 1954 Algerian Revolution, which led to Algeria’s independence from France in July 1962.

Some fears are related to domestic political developments in Algeria, while others stem from Algeria’s relations with other Arab countries, which are not without nuances of disagreement over the choice of a common Arab and regional policy. This concerns the events in Libya, the position on the problems in North and East Africa, including the situation in Western Sahara, and the position on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Syria is another major stumbling block given Algeria’s determination to rejoin the Arab League system after being expelled from it in 2011. At the time, this was done under the far-fetched pretext of the alleged use of force by President Bashar al-Assad to quell discontent among some segments of the population. Afterward, incidentally, it was found that the Persian Gulf countries and the West, led by the United States, had a hand in stirring up passions there. Then the situation turned into an endless civil war in which foreign fighters actively participated on the side of the Syrian opposition, generously paid by the same Persian Gulf Arabs.

It is worth remembering that the world and Arab countries look distinctive today than they did in 2019 when the last Arab summit was held. The world has changed since then, and not only the Covid-19 pandemic, but also a host of other Arab, Middle Eastern, and international events have changed the overall context in which the Algiers Summit will take place. Three major international developments are expected to influence discussions at the Arab Summit.

The first, in chronological order, is the change of government in the United States. After four years of foreign policy by former US President Donald Trump, who tried to move away from old problems that had plagued previous administrations, current US President Joe Biden has returned to an interventionist US foreign policy based on forming new military alliances while strengthening existing ones, such as NATO. The second major event was the war in Ukraine, which was prepared and unleashed by the West under the leadership of the United States to bleed and damage Russia. The third is the growing US-China tension over Taiwan, also initiated by the United States. These three events have had and continue to have a direct impact on the Arab world, and they are clearly not favorable to the Arabs. This concerns both the issue of food security and the high energy prices affecting Arab states that are not oil producers, such as Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia, Morocco, and some others.

From a regional perspective, there have also been fundamental changes in the Arab country’s relations with Israel, Turkey, and Iran, which will undoubtedly impact the work and conclusions of the Arab Summit. For example, building on Trump’s diplomacy, Israel signed the so-called “Abraham Accords” with four Arab countries in the second half of 2020. The previous Trump administration spoke of the Arab-Israeli normalization process as being deliberately separated from the Palestinian issue, to the detriment of the Palestinians and the prospects for peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. While the Biden administration advocated for a two-state solution in Israel and Palestine from day one, it refrained from using its influence with the Israelis to resume peace talks with the Palestinians that ended in April 2014.

While Trump in May 2018 roughly withdrew the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a nuclear agreement between Iran and a group of 5+1 countries, and pursued a strategy of “maximum pressure” on Iran, the Biden administration has worked assiduously to join the JCPOA under a formula known as “control over control.” This means that the United States will join the agreement if Iran is the first to meet all of its obligations. But if the “control over control” formula is implemented, followed by the lifting of some sanctions, the Gulf states, particularly Saudi Arabia, will be very concerned about what the Iranian government will spend the billions of dollars that will flow to Iran as a result of the resumption of oil sales. Will Tehran spend the money on developing the Iranian economy, or will it fund pro-Iranian regimes in the Arab world? If the latter, how will the US respond, and will Washington be able to side with the Saudis?

Turkey will also have to face a fierce controversy, as many Arabs see positive developments in Turkish-Arab relations despite the reassessment of Turkey’s strategy in the Middle East, Libya, or the Eastern Mediterranean. Ankara has now significantly tightened its policy in the Arab world, reminding left and right of its “right” as heir to the Ottoman Empire. This presupposes, Erdoğan says, Turkey’s leadership role in the created joint Arab Union. But here there will be clear opposition from Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf countries, given Erdoğan’s recent flirtations with Iran, which is the main enemy of Persian Gulf Arabs.

The Algiers summit also comes after the end of the boycott of Qatar by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain and the resumption of diplomatic relations between these countries. One of the most positive results of this intra-Arab reconciliation was the official visits of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to Qatar and the official visit of the ruler of Qatar to Egypt last July. Clearly, this much-needed reconciliation will have a positive impact on the Arab Summit discussions and decisions, both politically and economically. At the same time, the Arabs are taking into account the huge gas reserves in Qatar and its ability to export gas to the Arab states.

In addition, special attention is being paid to the situation in Lebanon, Iraq, Libya, Sudan and Tunisia. The Arab world is interested in helping these countries manage them successfully. The financial issue will be one of the main topics of the summit, and here the Persian Gulf states, led by Saudi Arabia, are likely to have a weighty say. In any case, this summit will provide Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud with an excellent opportunity to strengthen and expand his authority in the Arab League and throughout the Arab world.

As for the situation in Libya, Arab leaders are expected to call on Libyan political factions to resolve the ongoing crisis in their country by holding free and fair elections. Experts warn that this must happen as soon as possible to prevent Libya from reverting to the violence that nearly tore the country apart three years ago.

The next summit of Arab states in Algiers should prove that the Arab world is united and seeks only Arab solutions to Arab problems. And this requires the unity of all countries in the region. Will the ambitious Arab leaders be able to speak with one voice, or will everyone pull the covers over themselves? — the upcoming Arab League summit will clearly show this.

دعوة ثلاثة كتّاب صهيونيّي الهوى والمواقف: السفارة الفرنسية تروّج للتطبيع «الناعم» في بيروت

 الأربعاء 19 تشرين الأول 2022

 نادين كنعان

    بدءاً من اليوم الأربعاء لغاية 30 تشرين الأوّل (أكتوبر) الحالي، سيكون لبنان على موعد مع الدورة الأولى من «بيروت كُتب» ، المهرجان الأدبي الدولي والفرنكوفوني الذي ينظّمه «المركز الفرنسي في لبنان»، بعد أربع سنوات على إقامة آخر معرض للكتاب الفرنكوفوني في لبنان. حدث مجاني ببرنامج منوّع يحاكي كلّ الأعمار، سيتجوّل في المناطق اللبنانية المختلفة، متنقّلاً بين المدارس والمتاحف وغيرهما من الفضاءات ذات الطابع الثقافي. ويستضيف الحدث 110 أدیباً وأدیبة من 18 جنسیّة، فيما يقيم حلقات حوار وندوات وأنشطة فنية (موسيقى ومسرح وغناء…)، بالإضافة إلى توزيع عدد من الجوائز، وفق ما تؤكد السفيرة الفرنسية آن غريو.

    وبحسب المنظّمين، من شأن «بيروت كُتب» المساهمة في الحثّ على القراءة من جهة، وتشكيل متنفّس للكتّاب والأدباء والفنانين الذين واظبوا على العمل ولكن «لم يقدروا أن يحكوا (…) وشعروا بوجود هذا النقص» نتيجة تأزّم الأوضاع على الساحة المحلية وفي ظلّ الأزمة الصحية العالمية ومن ثمّ توقّف معرض الكتاب الفرنكوفوني، من جهة أخرى. الأمر الذي ولّد «الحاجة لنشاط أدبي، خصوصاً في بيروت».

    (دانيا زيتوني ــ الولايات المتحدة)

    خلال الحدث، وتحديداً في 25 تشرين الأوّل، سيشهد «قصر الصنوبر» عند الساعة الثانية بعد الظهر حدثاً غير مسبوق، يتمثّل في الإعلان عن القائمة القصيرة لجائزة «غونكور» الأدبية العريقة من لبنان. خطوة مستغربة من قبل الأكاديمية الفرنسية التي اعتادت الكشف عن الأسماء سنوياً من باريس، التي سيحضر هذا العام أعضاؤها العشرة إلى العاصمة اللبنانية، بمن فيهم باسكال بروكنير، إريك ــ إيمانويل شميت وبيار أسولين. علماً أنّ غياب أيّ منهم قد يعني نسف الإعلان البيروتي.
    الأدباء الثلاثة الذين لم يُسلّط عليهم الضوء في إطار الإعلان عن تفاصيل المهرجان كأنّ أسماءهم مُرِّرت خلسةً، معروفون بمواقفهم ومعاركهم المدافعة عن «إسرائيل»، وبترهيب كلّ من ينتقدها ورميه بالتهمة الجاهزة: معاداة السامية!
    صحيح أنّهم ليسوا إسرائيليّي الجنسية، إلا أنّهم من أشدّ المتعاطفين مع الكيان الصهيوني في الأوساط الثقافية والفنية الفرنسية.
    أخطر هؤلاء هو الروائي والمفكر والصحافي والأكاديمي باسكال بروكنير. يعتبر الأخير من أبرز رموز «الفلاسفة الجدد» الذين قادوا الثورة الأيديولوجية ضدّ حركات التحرّر الوطني واليسار في سبعينيات القرن الماضي، إلى جانب مجموعة من أعتى صهاينة فرنسا والمدافعين عن «إسرائيل» ومؤبلسي العرب والمسلمين، على رأسهم برنار هنري ليفي. تيار حاول تبرئة الاستعمار من مسؤولياته التاريخية عمّا حلّ ببلدان العالم الثالث، ويحمّل مسؤولية ما يجري في هذه البلدان إلى ثقافتها وخلفيتها الفكرية والنفسية… بخبث شديد، أعاد هذا التيّار تبنّي الطروحات العنصرية. في كتابه المرجعي «دموع الرجل الأبيض»، يعلن القطيعة مع الفكر العالم الثالثي الذي طبع جيله، واليسار الغربي في السبعينيات. إنّه أحد الموقعين على عريضة ترفض إدانة «إسرائيل» عام 2021، ردّاً على عريضة لألف فنان ومثقف وجامعي من 45 بلداً، نشرتها جريدة «ليبراسيون» الفرنسية، تدعو إلى وضع حدّ لـ «الأبارتهايد في إسرائيل». وفي عام 2017، قال في مقابلة عبر i24NEWS الإسرائيلية إنّه «في الشرق العربي المسلم المتخلّف إسرائيل هي المنارة».

    دافع هذه المراجعة لدى بروكنير وآخرين من أشباهه هو مواقف اليسار المعادي لـ «إسرائيل» مع صعود المقاومة الفلسطينية في الأراضي المحتلّة في بداية السبعينيات. هكذا، ارتدت هذه المجموعة من الثوريين واليساريين وانحازت لعتاة الرجعية. انخرط هؤلاء في السجالات الحاصلة في مجتمعاتهم حول مسألة الموقف من القضية الفلسطينية واعتبارها «أداة» تستخدمها الحركات الإسلامية لنشر «الأسلمة» واختراق المجتمعات الغربية. هم يقدمون أنفسهم بصورة «حضارية» تؤثّر على الشرائح التي تفتقر إلى المعرفة الكافية في هذا الإطار.
    أما البلجيكي من أصل فرنسي إريك ــ إيمانويل شميت، فأستاذ فلسفة وروائي ومسرحي ومخرج، تدور تصريحاته في فلك «الحوار بين الأديان» و«السلام بين العرب وإسرائيل». توجّه رائج ومهيمن في فرنسا بين المثقفين والفنانين وفي الميديا. مقاربة نجدها على سبيل المثال في نصّه «السيّد إبراهيم وزهور القرآن» الذي قُدِّم طويلاً على المسارح الإسرائيلية، واستحال فيلماً (95 د) عام 2003 من بطولة عمر الشريف وإخراج فرانسوا ديبيرون (1950 ـــ 2016)، كما أنّه أدّاه هو شخصياً على الخشبة في «مهرجان أفينيون». وعلى الرغم من أنّه لا يمكن اعتباره عدوّاً شرساً للقضية الفلسطينية، لكنّه يروج لـ «السلام». سبق أن وجّه إليه الصحافي يونس بن كيران رسالة غاضبة في «ميديابارت» بعد توقيعه على «مانيفستو ضدّ اللاساميّة» يوحي بأنّ هناك صلة عضوية بين «العداء للسامية» و«المسلمين قتلة اليهود».

    باسكال بروكنير وصف «إسرائيل» بالمنارة «في الشرق العربي المسلم المتخلف»


    من ناحيته، وُلد الصحافي والروائي والناقد الفرنسي بيار أسولين في المغرب حيث عاش سنواته الأولى. على مدى أعوام، أدار مجلّة LIRE، ولا يُعرف بمواقف منهجيّة داعمة لـ «إسرائيل». تناول في «تطهير المثقفين» (1996) مفكّري اليمين العنصري في فرنسا إبان الاحتلال. وفي روايته «الزبونة» (1998)، استعاد مرحلة التعامل مع النازيين إبّان الاحتلال الألماني لفرنسا، والوشاية باليهود… لكنّه برز كمدافع عن الزيارة المدويّة التي قام بها الكاتب الجزائري التطبيعي بوعلام صنصال إلى الكيان المحتلّ وما تخلّلها من تصريحات ولقاءات، مباشرةً بعد فوزه بـ «جائزة الرواية العربيّة» في عام 2012. هاجم أسولين منتقدي صنصال، إذ وجّه سهامه بعنف في شهر حزيران (يونيو) من العام نفسه صوب سفير فلسطين في اليونيسكو، إلياس صنبر، بسبب انتقاده لزيارة صنصال إلى «إسرائيل».

    بيار أسولين دافع عن زيارة الكاتب الجزائري بوعلام صنصال إلى الكيان المحتلّ


    تأتي دعوة الأدباء الثلاثة، وهم «صهاينة عضويّون»، إلى بيروت في السياق السياسي العام الذي تشهده المنطقة، أي تكريس العلاقات مع «إسرائيل» والصهاينة كأمر واقع، وبالتالي تنفيذ استراتيجية تطبيع التطبيع. توجّه تقف فرنسا في الصفوف الأمامية بين الدول المشجّعة عليه. ولا ينحصر الهدف بتعزيز علاقات «إسرائيل» مع العالم، بل يتركّز أيضاً على قتل القضية الفلسطينية بعد التضحيات الهائلة التي قُدّمت على مدى العقود الماضية من أجل الحصول على اعتراف دولي بوجود شعب فلسطيني تجري محاولة عزله اليوم ونسفه من الذاكرة. وتتزامن الدعوة البيروتية أيضاً مع تصاعد حدّة الاشتباك مع العدوّ في الأراضي المحتلة.
    في الثامن من تشرين الأوّل (أكتوبر) الحالي، حذّر وزير الثقافة محمد وسام المرتضى عبر حسابه على تويتر من «استغلال الحراك الثقافي في سبيل الترويج للصهيونية وخططها الاحتلالية العدوانية الظاهرة والخفية، التي بدأت بالأرض ولن تنتهي بالعقول».

    إريك ــ إيمانويل شميت تتمحور أحاديثه حول «الحوار بين الأديان» و«السلام بين العرب وإسرائيل»

    تغريدة سرعان ما أُزيلت، لتتبعها أخرى جاء فيها: «بناءً على تمنّي سعادة السفير المعني، وطلبه التداول مع الوزارة لجلاء الأمور ووضعها في نصابها الصحيح، تم مؤقتاً محو التغريدة المتعلّقة بعدد من الأدباء الأجانب المنتمين إلى الصهيونية فكراً ونتاجاً أدبياً وأهدافاً، على أن يصار، في ضوء نتيجة التداول، إلى إجراء المقتضى القانوني والوطني المناسب». لكن لغاية كتابة هذه السطور، يبدو أنّ أيّ تغيير لم يطرأ، إذ لا تزال الأسماء الثلاثة مُدرجة ضمن «القائمة الكاملة لأدباء وأديبات البرنامج» على موقع «المركز الفرنسي في لبنان» الرسمي. صحيح أنّ لا موادّ في قانون مقاطعة إسرائيل تمنع الثلاثي من دخول الأراضي اللبنانية، وبالتالي، فإنّ السلطات، وتحديداً «المديرية العامة للأمن العام»، لا يمكنها أن تفعل شيئاً في هذا الإطار، لكونهم لا يحملون جوازات سفر إسرائيلية، إلا أنّ ما تفعله السفارة الفرنسية عبر هذه المبادرة «الثقافية» اللبوس، هو كيّ الوعي العربي، والتطبيع الناعم مع فكرة الاحتلال. والأهم أنّها تفعل ذلك من بوابة بلد اختبَر وقاومَ هذا النظام الاستعماري وممارساته الوحشية، فيما «الديموقراطيات الحرّة»، على رأسها فرنسا، تتواطأ ــ بصمتها ودعمها الرسمي للكيان ــ مع الإبادات والمجازر والتهجير والتطهير التي مارسها منذ عام 1948 لغاية اليوم، ومن فلسطين وصولاً إلى لبنان!


    حملة المقاطعة: لا نرحّب بمن يروّج لقاتلنا
    علمت «حملة مقاطعة داعمي «إسرائيل» في لبنان» أن «المعهد الفرنسي في لبنان» سيستقبل أدباء فرنسيين يروّجون لإسرائيل من خلال مواقفهم الداعمة للصهيونية خلال فعاليات مهرجان «بيروت كُتب» التي ستبدأ اليوم وتستمر لغاية 30 تشرين الثاني، متنقلة بين المدارس والمراكز الثقافية في مناطق لبنانية عدة.
    يهم حملة المقاطعة أن تؤكد أنها ترحب بكل جهد يصب في خانة المعرفة والتنمية، لكنها ترفض استغلال الثقافة وحاجة لبنان إلى أنشطة مماثلة بهدف التطبيع المقنّع. مثلاً، الأكاديمي والروائي باسكال بروكنير صاحب مقولة «إذا الصهيونية لم تكن موجودة، علينا اختراعها» يدافع عن الإسرائيلي ويعتبر أنه مواطن عادي يستميت للدفاع عن جلده على حد تعبيره.
    وإذ ترفض الحملة محاولة التطبيع الثقافي للعقول الناشئة، تؤكد أن الاحتفاء بالمدافعين عن قتلة اللبنانيين والفلسطينيين هو استخفاف بآلامنا ودمائنا.
    ومن هنا تطالب «حملة مقاطعة داعمي «إسرائيل» في لبنان» المعهد الفرنسي باحترام الشعب اللبناني واستبدال مروّجي الصهيونية بغيرهم من الأدباء الذين يدافعون عن إنسانية قضايانا كمثال الكاتبة آني إرنو. لكم الحق في التضامن مع أوكرانيا ومقاطعة روسيا، ولنا الحقّ برفض استقبال المدافعين عن قاتلنا.

    مقالات ذات صلة

    Al-Houthi: US plans were paving way for controlling, occupying Yemen

    September 20, 2022 

    Source: Agencies

    By Al Mayadeen English 

    The leader of Ansar Allah movement asserts that the US was working to escalate chaos in Yemen, but the Yemeni people thwarted these plans.

    The leader of the Yemeni Ansar Allah movement, Sayyed Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi

    The leader of the Yemeni Ansar Allah movement, Sayyed Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi, said on Tuesday that the US plans were aimed at dismantling Yemen internally, fueling divisions and fragmentation, and stirring internal differences.

    On the occasion of the anniversary of the September 21 revolution, Al-Houthi explained that the United States adopted a destructive policy against Yemen and did not care about the interests of the Yemeni people, adding that the US plans were paving the way to completely control and occupy Yemen.

    He indicated that Washington was working to escalate chaos in Yemen, underlining that the alertness and action of the Yemeni people are what foiled the schemes of the United States and its allies.

    The Yemeni leader pointed out that Washington was working to strip the Yemeni army of its military capabilities, noting that the targeting of the state’s military, civil, and administrative facilities unravels the destructive policy of aggression that aims to force Yemen into total collapse.

    Al-Houthi added that Washington has turned its embassy in Sanaa into a headquarters for managing all sabotage activities in Yemen, adding that all Yemeni parties were sure that what the US ambassador in Sanaa was doing represented a clear violation of the country’s sovereignty and independence.

    He mentioned that some Yemeni political parties were responding to US demands, but the resistance of the Yemeni people confused the Americans.

    The leader of the Ansar Allah movement emphasized that the slogans, goals, and popular momentum of the revolutionary movement were broad, stressing that the revolution was not restricted to one group without the other; rather, it belonged to all components of the Yemeni people.

    The popular movement expressed the awareness and values ​​of the Yemeni people, as well as their rightful demands that are far from any factional and sectarian discourse.

    Al-Houthi said the Yemeni people insisted on gaining freedom in its true sense in order to obtain their rightful independence on September 21.

    He considered that the aggression against Yemen revealed the reality of those who wanted to continue the guardianship over the country and exposed their hostile policy, adding that the aggression confirms the hostile policy of the Americans and their allies against our people.

    The Yemeni leader noted that the aggression targeted government and service facilities, which shows the true American intentions to destroy everything in the country.

    He pointed out that the coalition of aggression destroyed all infrastructure and even targeted courts, prisons, cemeteries, and schools and sought to tighten the noose on Yemenis in their livelihood by means of a harsh inhuman siege and economic conspiracies.

    Yemen stands against path of normalization

    Al-Houthi indicated that Yemen is militarily doing what many Arab countries are unable to do and is currently moving to work on the civil industry sector.

    Regarding normalization with the Israeli occupation, Al-Houthi said Washington and its allies are seeking to bring about change in the region under the title of normalization and the loyalty of Arab regimes to “Israel”, stressing that Yemen stands against the path of normalization and by the Palestinian cause and the free people of the nation against its enemies.

    Al-Houthi mentioned that the coalition of aggression and traitors among the Yemeni people are plundering the Yemeni oil wealth and controlling the country’s resources and wealth.

    Earlier, the Supreme Political Council in Yemen, headed by Mahdi Al-Mashat, affirmed the country’s geographical and social unity and sovereignty over its wealth.

    Read more: Yemen: More than 300 killed, wounded since the start of the truce

    Lebanese players express pride in withdrawing from matches vs Israelis

    16 Sep 2022 00:14

    Source: Al Mayadeen Net

    By Ahmad Karakira 

    Charbel Abu Daher and Nadia Fawaz, two Lebanese champions who refused to compete against Israeli athletes, tell Al Mayadeen they prefer losing over competing with Israelis.

    Lebanese champions Charbel Abu Daher and Nadia Fawaz

    Ragheb Harb, the Sheikh of the martyrs of the Islamic Resistance, once said his famous quote, “A handshake (with the enemy) is a recognition.”

    During his speech on the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Hezbollah, Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said, “Our bet is on young people like Charbel Abu Daher and Nadia Fawaz, who refused to compete against Israelis.”

    So who are Charbel Abu Daher and Nadia Fawaz?

    Charbel Abu Daher, 14, is a Lebanese boxer who withdrew from the World Junior Championships, which took place in the Emirati capital, Abu Dhabi, in rejection of all forms of normalization.

    Similarly, Nadia Fawaz, 12, is a Lebanese chess champion who withdrew from the 4th Abu Dhabi International Open Festival after the classification pitted her against an Israeli player in her fourth round, thus following in the footsteps of her fellow Lebanese sports champions who have rejected any normalization with “Israel”.

    The father of the Lebanese boxer expressed his pride in what his son had done, thanking Sayyed Nasrallah for the stance that praised the Lebanese player’s decision.

    In an exclusive interview for Al Mayadeen Net, both Charbel and Nadia expressed their pride in the honorable decision that they took, affirming that they would rather lose championships over competing with Israeli players; competitions that entail recognition of the Israeli occupation.

    Charbel said that from a very young age, his father raised him not to compete against an Israeli opponent, adding that “if a draw places me in the face of an Israeli player, I wouldn’t play the fight out of respect for my country and martyrs.”

    What happened?

    According to Charbel, the initial championship schedule placed him in a group with a Mexican, an Uzbek, and an American. But an hour before his fight on the next day, his father was shocked to know that an Israeli player was included in the new schedule.

    The 14-year-old and his father tried contacting the Lebanese Federation that, in its turn, tried contacting the World Federation, but they couldn’t change anything, prompting Charbel to take the decision to withdraw.

    Lebanese player Charbel Abu Daher.

    “We knew that this was an intended scheme because someone told my father that only our schedule has changed and an Israeli opponent was included in it,” Charbel told Al Mayadeen Net.

    The young champion also revealed that the Israeli coach tried to approach the Lebanese team more than once and attempted to take a picture with Charbel’s father who kept pushing him away.

    For Charbel, what matters to him the most is the brave decision that he took, which helped him win people’s hearts, stressing that “from the beginning, I have taken a decision not to compete against an Israeli, even if it costs me practicing the sport. I am proud of the decision that I took.”

    Lebanese player Charbel Abu Daher.

    “Most of my friends saluted me for my decision to withdraw, while some told me that I could’ve competed against the Israeli opponent and defeated him, but I explained to them that had I faced him, I would have recognized Israel.”

    According to the young champion, after his withdrawal from the competition against the Israeli athlete, the Islamic Republic of Iran offered him an academic scholarship and the chance to train with its national team in preparation for the world championship that will be held in three months in Indonesia.

    Charbel saluted Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and thanked him for the respect and value that he has honored him with, along with Captain Ali Nehme, Major-General Tony Saliba, the Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon, and his Excellency Sleiman Frangieh, in addition to everyone who supported him.

    “Had I played this round, I would have brought disgrace”

    On her part, Nadia, 12, said she did not expect the draw to place her against an Israeli competitor who was 1 out 400 players in the chess championship.

    The Lebanese chess champion underlined that as soon as she received the schedule, she called her parents and informed them that she would not compete.

    “Had I played this round, I would have brought disgrace to my family and myself, whereas the decision that I have taken brought me dignity and people’s love,” Nadia told Al Mayadeen Net.

    Lebanese player Nadia Fawaz.

    The chess champion said, “People were proud of me and happy with the decision that I took, and I thank them for their love,” indicating that “my friends encouraged me a lot and were happy with my decision. All of them called me and congratulated me on my stance.”

    In a message, the 12-year-old called on the Lebanese youth to love their country, encouraging them to take a decision similar to hers if they ever encounter the same situation.

    With their patriotic stance, Abu Daher and Fawaz joined 8-year-old Mark Abou Deeb who withdrew from the World Cadet Chess Championships in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain, and Abdullah Miniato, who withdrew from the World Mixed Martial Arts Championship last year in Bulgaria after a draw set them to confront Israeli opponents.

    It is noteworthy that for the Israeli occupation, sports has always been a strategy for whitewashing genocide and the violation of human rights that it is committing against the Palestinian people.

    For “Israel”, investing in international sports events that attract the attention of billions around the world is a good opportunity to whitewash their crimes and distract people from human rights violations, such as occupying lands and killing people.

    Read more: Kuwaiti player refuses to face Israeli opponent in chess championship

    Palestinian Resistance Movements Call for Quitting Oslo and Ending ‘Security Coordination’

    September 15, 2022

    Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, US President Bill Clinton, and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat at the signing of the Oslo Accord. (Photo: Vince Musi, via Wikimedia Commons)

    Palestinian resistance movements called on Wednesday for a total withdrawal from the Oslo Accords and an end to ‘security coordination’ between the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli occupation security services, Quds Press reported.

    Speaking on behalf of the movements, senior Islamic Jihad official Nafeth Azzam said that Oslo gave “legitimacy” to the Israeli occupation and illegal Jewish settlements.

    Azzam made his comments during a conference in Gaza to mark the anniversary of the Oslo Accords. He also issued a warning about the normalization of Arab states with Israel.

    “This path is doomed to fail. The Palestinians have surprised the world with their rejection of Oslo and their rejection of the normalization of ties between the occupation and Arab nations.”

    The Palestinian resistance, he pointed out, broke the security equation of the Israeli occupation and forced it to leave the Gaza Strip seventeen years ago.

    (MEMO, PC, SOCIAL)

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    Rights Group: Bahrain Has Highest Number of Political Prisoners among Arab States

    September 14, 2022

    By Staff, Agencies

    Bahrain has the biggest number of political prisoners among Arab states, an independent human rights organization said.

    The Bahrain Centre for Human Rights [BCHR] censured the Gulf kingdom over its repressive measures and heavy-handed crackdown against political opponents and democracy advocates.

    It said in a report that Bahrain, under the ruling Al Khalifa dynasty, has the largest number of imprisoned rights activists, and it is estimated that there are some 4,500 campaigners being held behind bars across the country.

    The organization went on to note that a lot of reports published over the past decade have shed light on the deplorable conditions of prisoners at Bahraini jails, prompting the international community and human rights organizations to compel the Al Khalifa regime to relatively improve prison conditions.

    BCHR highlighted that Bahraini authorities have arrested about 15,000 people for their political beliefs over the last decade, thus turning the country into the first Arab nation with the highest number of prisoners in recent years.

    Political prisoners in Bahrain are subjected to various forms of torture, ill-treatment and persecution, and the Al Khalifa regime silences any opposing voice through detention, torture and execution, it pointed out.

    Lately, Jalal Feroz, a former member of the Bahraini parliament, said more than 2,500 political opponents are incarcerated in Bahraini prisons, and that they are subjected to the most vicious forms of torture.

    BCHR, the Gulf Centre for Human Rights [GCHR] and Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain [ADHRB] recently in a joint report entitled “Prison Conditions in Bahrain” pointed to the serious structural deficiencies in Bahrain’s criminal justice system, and lack of fair trials for defendants.

    They emphasized that human rights are being violated on a large scale at detention centers across the Gulf kingdom, and inmates are exposed to various forms of torture and ill-treatment.

    Demonstrations have been held in Bahrain on a regular basis since the popular uprising began in the Arab country in mid-February 2011.

    People demand that the Al Khalifa regime relinquish power and allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established.

    Manama, however, has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any form of dissent.

    The normalization of Bahrain With “Israel” is the great betrayal
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