Were It Not for Iran, Where Would Palestine Be?

 November 23, 2022

Ahmad FarhatTranslated and Edited by Mohammad Salami

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah stressed, during a speech last month, that , the most important factor of strength in the axis of resistance is the Islamic Republic of Iran, wondering where Palestine would be without the Iranian role.

The signing of Camp David Accords crowned the US-brokered Egyptian concessions to the Israeli enemy, knowing that the most prominent event in this context was the visit of the Egyptian President Anwar Al-Sadat to the Zionist entity in November, 1977.

Signing of Camp David Peace Accord (President Jimmy Carter, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin)

Since the end of the 1973 war and the advent of Egypt’s settlements era, the military formulas in the region had changed. The Arab countries, consequently, could not fight on one front against the Israeli enemy which managed to hold bilateral ‘peace’ agreements with the Arab countries in order to avoid facing them altogether.

The Arabs suffered then from a wide case of frustration amid the collapse of the Common Arab Security.

With respect to the Zionist entity, the Arab countries would no longer be able to attack ‘Israel’ without the participation of Egypt despite the fact that the Israeli enemy continued carrying out its occupation and expansion schemes. In this regard, the Zionist enemy invaded Lebanon in 1978 and 1982 and struck the Palestinian resistance.

The following video shows the Palestinian resistance fighters leaving Lebanon in 1982:

Hope Rising in the East

Amid the tragic developments, Imam Ruhollah Khomeini led the Islamic Revolution in Iran to a historic victory in 1979. Just 8 days later, the Islamic Republic identified its foreign policy, granting the keys of the Israeli embassy in Tehran to Yasser Arafat, the late head of the Palestinian Liberation Organization. This established a new epoch of a strategic Iranian support to the Palestinian cause.

Since its victory, the Islamic Revolution in Iran rejected and confronted all the schemes which targeted the Palestinian cause, providing all the possible means of support to the Palestinian resistance and intifada. The Iranian authorities have been also supporting and funding the Palestinian camps in the diaspora in order to maintain the steadfastness of the refugees.

On August 7, 1979, late founder of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Ruhollah Mousavi Khomeini designated the last Friday of Ramadan holy month as the International Al-Quds Day. Since then, Al-Quds Day has become a day all Muslims and oppressed people across the world rally for Al-Quds and Palestine against the Zionist occupation.

The Islamic Republic in Iran has been also supporting the Palestinian resistance factions which have committed to the rules of Islam.

Axis of Resistance

The axis of resistance led by the Islamic Republic of Iran engaged in several wars in Lebanon and Palestine. Iran supported founding Hezbollah Islamic Resistance that cooperated with the Palestinian resistance to reach victories.

This cooperation appeared clearly during Al-Quds Sword battle in 2021 between Gaza resistance and the Israeli enemy when Hezbollah, IRGC, and Hamas established a chamber of military operations in Beirut during the recent Israeli aggression on Gaza.

This axis, which has sacrificed a large number of martyrs crowned by the former head of IRGC’s Al-Quds Force martyr General Qassem Suleimani, has set praying at Al-Aqsa Mosque as a strategic target.

The video that follows the huge support demonstrated by the Iranian people to the Palestinian cause on various occasions, including mainly Al-Quds Day.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Tishreen Liberation War: A Compass of Struggle to Liberate Lands & Restore Rights

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360°
Damascus, SANA

Forty-Nine years have passed since Tishreen Liberation war and men of the Syrian Arab Army, who have defeated the Israeli enemy in 1973, continue victories over the tools of this enemy of terrorist organizations to restore security and stability to the majority of the Syrian territory after being cleared off terrorism thanks to the sacrifices of the army soldiers.

Tishreen liberation war, led by the late leader, Hafez al-Assad, has formed a compass of the struggle to liberate the usurped lands and restore the Arab rights. The liberation war was a clear declaration to start the era of victories and end the time of defeats to be the war of liberation, the first war in the Arab-Zionist conflict which broke the wall of despair after Naksa of June 1967 . Tishreen war has consolidated a fact that Syria is the fortress of the resilience of the Arab nation that defends its existence and future.

The Successive victories against the Zionist enemy since the October war stress that it has formed a solid rock on which the glory of national resistance against Colonial plots was built in the region. This enemy tried to steal the victory of October by occupying South Lebanon, but the Syrian Arab army with the blood of its martyrs and heroisms of 1982, defeated the Zionist enemy, followed by standing beside the patriotism of Lebanese Resistance until liberating most of the territories of southern Lebanon in 2000 and the defeat of the Israeli enemy there.

Heroic battles were carried on by the sons and grandsons of October liberation men in their war against terrorism during which they wrote heroic epics and engraved deeply in the conscience of the Syrians the meanings of pride and dignity, the blood of the martyrs, was the title of liberation from terrorism in Aleppo, Deir Ezzor and Ghouta ,Daraa, Hama, Quneitra, the countryside of Homs, Hama, the Syrian desert.

Fedaa al-Rhayiah/ Mazen Eyon

Documents from October 1973
A documentary film entitled “October .. The Epic of Victory”

Algeria: 60 years of endless support for the Palestinian cause

July 5, 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net + Agencies

By Ahmad Karakira 

Algeria has always demonstrated unconditional support for the country of Palestine and the Palestinian cause, which dates back to fighting “Israel” and helping Egypt claim back Sinai in the 1973 October War.

Algeria’s unconditional support for the Palestinian cause

On July 5, 1962, after 132 years of French colonialism, Algeria declared its independence. The Evian agreements of March 18, 1962, ended the war between France and the Algerian National Liberation Army (ALN), and a referendum of self-determination took place on the first of July, 1962.

The results of the referendum came in favor of transferring power from the French to the Algerian authorities on July 3, ending decades of occupation, settler colonialism, and massacres.

The date – July 5 – was deliberately chosen by the Algerian government in reference to July 5, 1830, when the city of Algiers was occupied by France.

The seven-year war between the French occupier and the Algerian resistance left around one million Algerian martyrs on the path of Algeria’s freedom and liberation.

Endless stories about heroic epic battles by the Algerian resistance against Western colonialism can be recounted on the 60th anniversary of Algeria’s independence.

However, this piece aims to shed light on Algeria’s endless support for Palestine, the Palestinian cause, and fellow Arab states against all forms of oppression and occupation since the north African country gained its liberation through resistance.

“We are with Palestinians, be they the oppressed or the oppressors”

To begin with, Palestinians supported the Algerian Revolution from 1954-1962 and showed solidarity through organizing fundraisers for Algeria.

Despite some Arab states shamefully signing normalization agreements with the Israeli occupation in exchange for some benefits, Algeria has strongly opposed such deals, considering normalization with the occupation as a betrayal to the Arabs and the Palestinian cause.

In the early 1970s, former Algerian President Houari Boumediene said his famous phrase, “We are with Palestinians, be they the oppressed or the oppressors.”

It is noteworthy that similar to the official Algerian stance on Palestine, Algerians, according to the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, oppose normalizing ties with the Israeli occupation with a 99% rate.

One would wonder about the secret behind Algeria’s unconditional support for the Palestinian cause.

Historically, Algeria has always been advocating the Palestinian cause and supporting fellow Arab states against the Israeli occupation.

In fact, after only five years of gaining its liberation from the French occupation, Algeria supported the Arab allies against “Israel” by sending troops and aircrafts to fight alongside the Arab states in the 1967 Six-Day War.

The Algerian army also played an important role during the 1973 October war.

Significantly, when Egypt signed the Camp David Agreement and established ties with the Israeli occupation, Algeria severed its ties with Egypt.

In addition, Algeria established close relations with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), providing it with weapons, training its fighters during the 70s, and helping the PLO obtain observer status in the UN in 1974.

After the former US President Donald Trump’s administration, the UAE, and “Israel” revealed the so-called “Abraham Accords” in August, current Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune stressed his country’s deep commitment to the Palestinian cause, affirming that Algeria deems Palestine as a sacred cause.

Algiers also harshly criticized the normalizing states (the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan). It also paid the price for its anti-normalization stance, as the US acknowledged the Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara after years of unresolved disputes and unachievable status.

In trying to understand the reason behind Algeria’s official and popular support for the Palestinian cause, Sami Hamdi, the Editor-in-Chief of the International Interest magazine, explained that “Algerians feel a deep resonance with the Palestinians who have been colonized for some 82 years and believe that whatever the difficulties, resistance will eventually succeed.”

In the same context, TRT had quoted Jalel Harchaoui, a Senior Fellow at the Geneva-based Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, as saying that Algeria’s “somewhat exceptional history makes resistance against colonial powers writ large a narrative crucially central to the Algerian state as we know it.”

Algeria’s participation in the 1973 October War

Aiming to restore the lands that “Israel” occupied during the 1967 Six-Day War – Sinai in Egypt and the Golan Heights in Syria – on October 6, 1973, Cairo and Damascus launched an attack on the Zionist entity. The war coincided with the holy month of Ramadan.

During that time, Algeria played a significant role in providing Egypt and Syria with Soviet weapons and bringing in troops to the Egyptian front to fight the Israeli occupation, despite its then-instable economic situation as a result of the pre-independence era of French colonialism.

In fact, then-Algerian President Houari Boumedienne reportedly flew to Moscow to secure military aid for the Egyptians and the Syrians.

In a reiteration of its role in supporting anti-colonialist movements, Algeria sent more than 2,100 troops, 815 non-commissioned officers, and 192 officers to Sinai. It also sent 96 tanks and over 50 fighters and bomber aircraft to Egypt, according to the Egyptian authorities.

Algiers also participated in the oil embargo imposed by the Arab members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on the US over its support of the Israeli occupation during the war, which led to significant price hikes around the world.

On October 17, Arab oil producers decided to increase the price of oil by 17% and cut oil production by 5%, vowing to “maintain the same rate of reduction each month thereafter until the Israeli forces are fully withdrawn from all Arab territories occupied during the June 1967 War, and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people are restored.”

Sharon underestimated the power of Algerian forces

In the context of the 1973 October War, the former Chief of Staff of the Israeli occupation forces, David Eliezer, acknowledged in his released diaries that “Israel” lost this war as a result of the arrogance of then-Major General Ariel Sharon, who underestimated the power of the Algerian forces and thought that they wouldn’t stand a chance against the IOF forces, thinking that they would flee as soon as they set their eyes on Israeli tanks.

Eliezer said that 900 IOF soldiers were killed and 172 tanks were destroyed in just one day during the war.

On his part, the former Israeli Security Minister Moshe Dayan revealed that all the intelligence information showed that Algerians did not have weapons capable of intercepting the Israeli forces.

Dayan also said the Israelis received intelligence about a state of division between the Egyptians and the Algerians. The Israelis were surprised by the Algerian forces downing a giant US Lockheed C-5 Galaxy aircraft by a missile, which frightened the US Staff and frustrated the Nixon administration.

The former Israeli minister said the Egyptian forces deceived the Israeli forces, making them believe that the strategic Al-Adabiya port was not fortified enough. However, the Algerian forces were in charge of protecting the port.

One cannot but hail the role of Algeria in supporting the Palestinian cause and anti-colonial liberation movements, whether on the official or popular level. Despite the geographical distances separating Palestine from Algeria, Algerians believe that the two countries share the same pain, torture, grief, sorrow, and hopefully the same liberation to be achieved in the near future.

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Norman Finkelstein : Russia has the historical right to invade Ukraine (updated with transcript)

May 15, 2022

The Debrief with Briahna Joy Gray, April 8, 2022.

Source: http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/norman-finkelstein-on-ideology-in-the-classroom-and-ukraine-the-debrief-with-briahna-joy-gray/

Transcript:

Question: How much of a similarity maybe do you see between the kind of… the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the way some people handle some of the reactionary and right-wing elements in the Palestinian defense and opposition, versus how some of the left is talking about the Ukraine defense and the Azov battalions… Do you think there’s a comparison? And I’ll just leave the question at that. Thanks.

Norman Finkelstein: Well I have to ask Briahna’s permission to go in a digression…

Briahna: Absolutely.

Norman Finkelstein : Okay. On the question of the Ukraine, the thing that’s troubled me about the public conversation of the Ukraine or hysteria —it’s not even a conversation, it’s hysteria about the Ukraine— is the following: those who are not totally immersed in the mainstream propaganda, some of the people you’ve had on your program and people who are not especially of the left, they have no particular left-wing allegiance, like John Mearsheimer at University of Chicago, or before he passed away Stephen F. Cohen who predicted that if you keep up with this NATO expansion in the Ukraine, there’s going to be a war. He said that in Democracy Now in 2014, and he was right. And other people, Professor Chomsky. I would include in that group several others, and they’ll all say the following thing:

Number one, the Russians were promised that there would be no NATO expansion to the East, that was the quid pro quo for the reunification of Germany after the decomposition of the Soviet Union. The Russians were promised that but the West went ahead. We’re talking about the 1990s: the promises were given, but the West then went ahead and started to expand NATO once, as John Mearsheimer likes to put it there was the first tranche, then the second tranche of expansion… Then NATO starts expanding in Georgia and in the Ukraine. The Soviet Union says it’s a red line.

To stop this, the Soviet Union offers a perfectly reasonable resolution: just neutralize Ukraine like we neutralized Austria after World War II, neither aligned with an Eastern bloc nor aligned with a Western bloc. That seemed to me perfectly reasonable. And the people I mentioned, Mearsheimer, Cohen passed away since but Professor Chomsky and a number of others, they’ll all agree on the reasonableness of Putin’s demands.

And then the reasonableness of those demands, those demands have to, as Briahna says in her paper and as she said this evening, they have to always be seen in context. So what’s the context? The context is the Soviet Union, the former Russia, it lost… the estimates are about 30 million people during World War II. The United States which, if you watch American movies, you would think the US won World War II, it lost about two hundred thousand people. The UK was the second candidate for winning World War II, they lost about four hundred thousand people. The Soviet Union lost 30 million people. Even those who didn’t take courses in the hard sciences can reckon the difference between several hundred thousand and thirty million. Now that’s not an ancient memory for the Russians. If you… I remember Stephen F. Cohen saying “when I grew up in little America —he was from Kentucky— we used to celebrate…” I forgot what was called here Victory Day, V-something, he said “but you know now as adults we don’t celebrate that anymore in the United States, Victory in World War II”, he said, but Russia, he said, they still celebrate V-Day, they still celebrate it. I live in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn. A large part is Russian Jews, a large part is Russian Jews. You go out in May, you go out on the V-Day, and you can see that Russians up to 80 and 90 year olds, they’re wearing medals, they’re medals from World War II. That memory is alive.

And now there’s this Ukraine, where Nazis are playing an outsized role. I’m not saying they’re a majority, but in the political and military life, they play an outsized —disproportionate let’s call it— role. This Ukraine where Nazis are playing an outsized role, are aligned with a formidable military bloc called NATO, NATO keeps advancing and advancing and advancing, closing on Russia, trying to suffocate it… And beginning around 2016, under Trump, begins to arm the Ukraine, pouring in weapons, engaging in military exercises with NATO, behaving very provocatively. And then the Foreign Minister Lavrov finally says we’ve reached the boiling point.

Now everything I just told you, Professor Chomsky, John Mearsheimer and others will acknowledge it. The mainstream press won’t even acknowledge that but people who call themselves just, legitimately call themselves dissidents, although Mearsheimer wouldn’t call himself a dissident, he just calls himself a realist. Nice guy, I consider him a friend, I like him. They’ll acknowledge all that. But then they say the invasion was criminal. Criminal invasion, criminal, criminal, criminal. And my question which I’ve constantly been putting in correspondence is a very simple one: if you agree that for 20 years—more than 20 years, more than two decades—, Russia has tried to engage in diplomacy; if you agree that the Russian demand to neutralize Ukraine —not occupy it, not determine its government, its form of economy, just neutralize it like Austria after World War II—, if you agree that was a legitimate demand; if you agree that the West was expanding and expanding NATO; if you agree that Ukraine de facto had become a member of NATO, weapons pouring in, engaging in military exercises in NATO; and if you agree… You know, Russia lost 30 million people during World War II because of the Nazi invasion, so there’s a legitimate concern by Russia with all of these —if you excuse my language— Nazis floating around in the Ukraine, then the simple question is: What was Russia to do?

I’m not saying I agree with the invasion, I’m not saying it went right, but I think one thing: the invasion showed… you know what the one thing the invasion showed, Briahna, was that Russia is kind of weak militarily, which is why all the more they may have been fearful of a NATO-backed Ukraine filled with Nazis, and probably at some point positioning nuclear missiles on its border. And I think 30 million, 30 million people… Listen to this: I think 30 million people is 30 million arguments in favor of Russia. Now I’m not going to say, because I’m not a general and I’m not a diplomat, so I’m not going… I’m not a military strategist so I’m not going to say it was the wisest thing to do. I’m not going to say it was the most prudent thing to do. But I will say —and I’m not afraid to say it because it would dishonor the memory of my parents if i didn’t say it—, I will say that they had the right to do it. And I’m not taking that back. They had the right to do it. They had if I can call it the historic right to do it. 30 million people (killed during WW2), and now you’re starting again, you’re starting again. No, no, you know I can’t go for it, I can’t go for those who acknowledge the legitimacy of the arguments made by Putin but then call the invasion criminal. I don’t see that.

Now you could say the way they executed it may have had criminal elements. However I don’t know… Well, you went to Harvard Law School, I don’t know if you studied the laws of war, but the laws of war make a very big distinction between ‘jus ad bellum’ and ‘jus in bello’, namely whether the launching of the war was legitimate or whether it was an act of aggression versus the way you conduct the war, ‘jus in bello’. Maybe the conduct, targeting of civilians and so forth, that probably violates the laws of war, but that’s a separate issue under law from “did they have the right to attack”. I think they did. I’m not going to back off from that.

You know, these are for me… even at my age, these are acts of deference to the suffering of my parents. My parents felt a very deep love for the Russian people, because they felt the Russian people understood war. They understood what my parents went through [in the Warsaw Ghetto & Auschwitz] during World War II, so there was a very deep affection… My father even, at the end of his life, he learned fluent Russian because neighborhood is all Russian. And you know, Polish to Russian is not a huge leap but also he liked the Russian people. So in my family growing up, the worst curse (insult)… there were two curses, two curses: curse number one was “parasite”. You have to work. My parents had a very… they had a work ethic. Believe me, I could have lived without the idea of pleasure, it didn’t exist in my house: you had to work. And the second word, the second curse, the second epithet was “traitor”. A traitor. And I know my parents would regard me as a traitor if I denounced what the Russians were doing now. How they’re doing it, as they say, probably there are violations and maybe egregious violations of the laws of war, we’ll have to wait to see the evidence, but their right to protect their homeland from this relentless juggernaut, this relentless pressing on their throats, when there was such an easy way to resolve it…

You know, if you read War and peace, and I suspect you did because you’re quite a gifted writer, obviously you were a reader…

Briahna: I confess, there was a copy on my shelf that I have started many times, but I haven’t… I’ve never finished it.

Norman Finkelstein: I’m surprised… In any case, War and peace is about the invasion of Russia, the war of 1812, and Tolstoy, the centerpiece of War and peace is the great battle of Borodino, and he describes it in this kind of terrifying detail. In the battle of Borodino, 25 000 Russians were killed, or maybe it was all together 25 000, I can’t remember, I think was 25 000 Russians were killed. Why do I mention it? So for Russians the seminal event of the 19th century was the war of 1812 and the invasion of Russia. For the 20th century, it’s World War II, and just in the battle of Leningrad, just Leningrad, not Saint-Petersburg, just Leningrad, a million Russians were killed. There was cannibalism! This is serious, World War II for the Russians. And you want me to just forget about that? That’s just a trivial fact? A trivial fact? No! Now you’ll ask yourself: in all the coverage that you’ve heard about your Russian attack on Ukraine, all the coverage you’ve read and listened to, how many times have you heard that 30 million Russians were killed during World War II? How many times?

Briahna Very infrequently. It’s never stated in this context.

Norman Finkelstein: Absolutely. And Stephen F. Cohen… You know, he was my Professor at Princeton and for a while he was my advisor. He… I didn’t know him well and at the end we had a falling down over my whole dissertation catastrophe, debacle, but Cohen had a genuine affection for the Russian people. He did. He loved the Russians. He loved the Russian people. And so when he begins his presentation… There is a Youtube of him debating the former US Ambassador, Mc Faul I think, Michael Mc Faul. How does he begin? He begins with how Russians remember the V-day. You know, that’s the starting point for me, it’s a starting point.

http://www.twitter.com/caitoz/status/1525620613980643328

Now you might say well, doesn’t your whole argument then justify what Israel does because of what happened to Jews during World War II? It’s an interesting question because the most moving, the most moving speech in support of the founding of the State of Israel, by far the most moving speech, you know who it was given by at the UN? It was given by the Soviet foreign minister Gromyko. And he said it was another act of generosity. Remember I mentioned to you earlier the boy’s act of generosity where he looks past what Trichka says about Black people, and as a student I thought it was a very generous act. So now the Russians lost 30 million people in World War II, but Gromyko says the suffering of the Jews, it was different, it was horrible. Here is a Russian saying that. And he said if a binational State is not possible, they earned their right to a State. So I say I applied the same standard. Now the way Israel carried out its right to establish a State by expelling the indigenous population, appropriating their land and creating havoc and misery for generation after generation, decade after decade, no I’m not going there. But yes I do believe… in recent correspondence with some friends I use the expression “I think Russia has the historic right to protect itself”, not by violating somebody else’s right to self-determination but neutralization, I think that’s legitimate.

Briahna: So I want to ask you this because you know it wouldn’t be right for me to put this question to Ro Khanna and not put this question to you. You are speaking so compellingly about the kind of moral valences of who’s entitled to feeling insecure as a nation, who’s entitled because of the historical cost it has paid to defend itself and to defend whatever you want to call it, you know, democracy in fascism, all of these kinds of words, has paid in terms of the number of human lives and kind of an unmatched price, and I think that’s…

Norman Finkelstein: The Chinese lost about 26 million to the Japanese, so it was close.

Briahna: It’s close but still… And yet when I was talking to Ro Khanna and he was saying well, ultimately he’s arguing on the other side that America is 100% right, Russia’s 100% wrong and this is a just war regardless of the substance. I would push him on this idea, of even if you believe it to be just kind of morally, the act I’m going to have to as a leftist is pushback against the idea that the preemptiveness of the war is okay, and that war is a solution. It is something that we should be tacitly or implicitly condoning. And I wonder what you make of that question.

Norman Finkelstein: Look, Briahna, not to flatter you but you always ask the right questions, and that’s why I was careful in what I said. You referred to the pre-emptiveness. Russia tried for 22 years. That’s giving a lot of time to diplomacy! 22 years is a lot of time!

And the question is: at what point, at what point does Russia get to act? When there are nuclear-tipped missiles on its border? Is that when it gets to act? I don’t agree with that. I think of course you have to give maximum time to see if diplomacy is going to work, absolutely…

Briahna: And then you start fighting? And then you send in troops? Because Norm, this is the… whether or not you believe…

Norman Finkelstein: I’m very happy, I’m very happy to take to heart your question. And that leads me again with the same question that I returned to you and I’ve returned to all of my correspondents over the past six weeks. If it’s clear that all the negotiations are in bad faith, if it’s clear that Ukraine had become de facto a member of NATO, what was Russia supposed to do? You say “don’t send in troops”. Fine. I come from a family that was completely anti-war. My mother used to say “better a hundred years of evolution than one year of revolution”. She had enough of war. I have no problem with your recoiling at the process. But what I’m saying is what was Russia supposed to do?

Briahna: What I’m asking is how you distinguish between your feelings that this is a moral war, this is a justified act, fine, and someone like Ro Khanna’s belief that US intervention, continued support of NATO, Western powers, sending weapons into Ukraine, arming the Azov battalion, is as he puts it a just war. The fact that you are both making these arguments, regardless… I’m not making an equivalent between the value of your arguments but obviously Ro Khanna thinks what he thinks and my point to him was you using vague terms like “just war” is exactly what’s allowed the kind of jingoistic parade to lead us into so many other incursions. So how principally do you distinguish? I understand your feeling and I understand the historical citations and the loss of life that leads you to the conclusions that you’ve been led to, but someone on the other side will say the same thing, someone else said “Well Marshall well this is how many Ukrainians have suffered and this is…”

Norman Finkelstein: But you’re canceling, if I may use that word, you’re canceling the context. You see I began my whole discussion with you, not with the position of Biden or the position of lunatics like Judy Woodruff, you know, and PBS. I said my quarrel is with people on the left who agree with all of my context but then make the leap and say it’s a criminal invasion. And I say to Professor Meirsheimer, Professor Chomsky and many others who acknowledge everything I just said, I say then what was… if you agree with everything I said, what was Putin supposed to do? I don’t see what he was supposed to do. I’m lost. It’s an impasse. I don’t see what…

Briahna: You were making a reference earlier to laws of war and rules before, i don’t know about it, I’ve never studied the laws of war, but it does seem to me that a line is drawn between… and I know that people are going to say something can be constructively war and you know. But in terms of an actual invasion and boots on the ground or missile strikes or things like that, the thing that Russia has to do even if it disadvantages them strategically in some ways is to wait until the other person hits first.

Norman Finkelstein: I don’t agree with that. I would say, as in any case, you have to demonstrate its last resort, and therefore you do have to demonstrate…

Briahna: How do you do that? Because that’s the question, how do you make sure that this is not just the same kind of…

Norman Finkelstein: I’m going to give you a historical analogy, probably the details which you’re unfamiliar with, but just allow me to just sketch it out. So in 1967, Israel launches a war, it occupies the West Bank, Gaza, Syrian Golan heights, and then it occupies this huge area, the Egyptian Sinai. And after the 67 war, about three years later, when Anwar Sadat comes into power, he says “I’m willing to sign a peace treaty with Israel but they have to return the territory they acquired during the 67 war”, because that’s the law : under international law, it’s inadmissible to acquire territory by war. Israel acquired the territory during the june 67 war, so these territories belong to Egypt. Israel says no, we’re not leaving the Sinai. Sadat says “Look, I’m offering you a peace treaty, I’m offering you peace, just return what’s not yours, the Egyptian Sinai”. Israel says no. Then Israel starts creating facts in the ground in the Sinai, it starts building settlements, those same settlements you’re familiar with in the West Bank. And then it announces in 1972 it’s going to rebuild what’s called the old jewish city of Carmel. Egypt says you’re not going to do that. You’re crossing a red line. Egypt says if you don’t stop this we’re going to attack, we’re going to attack. Everybody ignores Egypt because Arabs don’t know how to fight wars. The Arabs were nicknamed after 67, the term of abuse for an Arab was they were “monkeys”, they called them monkeys. They don’t know how to fight wars. Okay? And then come october 1973. Guess what: Sadat attacks. And the Israelis were so shocked they thought the whole thing was over, they called it… Moshe Dayan who was the Defense minister at the time, or the Foreign minister I can’t remember which, I think Defense minister at the time, he says… he made this panicky phone call, he said it’s the end of the third temple. This is it, we’re finished. Well it wasn’t the end of the third temple but it was a significant, heavy loss to Israel, they lost between two and three thousand soldiers, which is the largest number except for the war in 1948.

Now here’s the point: the point is no country in the world, none, including the United States, no country in the world condemned Sadat for aggression, none. And you know, for Israel it was a close call, or it seemed to be. In retrospect it turned out not to me, but it seemed to be a close call. Nobody condemned Egypt. Why? One, its demand was legitimate. Return the Sinai, it’s not yours, it’s our territory. Number two: Sadat tried negotiations for six years. And number three, as hard as he tried to negotiate, Israelis kept provoking and provoking and provoking until they announced rebuilding the old jewish city of Carmel. And Sadat says it’s over and then plans with Syria the attack which happens, what’s called the Yom Kippur war, the october war in 1973.

So now fast forward to Putin: the man was reasonable (neutralize Ukraine), negotiates over 20 years to fighting over this NATO expansion in the East, and then they start provoking them even more, they start pouring weapons into the Ukraine, they start carrying on joint military exercises between Ukraine and NATO. And then all of these swarmy Nazis start to surface. No I’m not saying Nazis control the government but they play an outsized role in the government, in the military. And I don’t see what’s the difference between what Putin did and what Sadat did. I don’t see the difference. I think it was the same thing, and nobody condemns Sadat for aggression. No one.

Briahna: But I’m asking I think a different question. I’m really not interested in litigating any given case mostly because I don’t know what the hell any of these things are about, so like I don’t really… I’m not going to say whether this war is just, that’s for other people to determine. What I do know is that everyone is making that argument on all kinds of sides, including people I know I don’t disagree with. And so many wars have been started with the argument that it is a just war for x, y and z reasons, and it’s okay to act despite there not having been a direct act of aggression against the allegedly aggrieved party. And so all I’m asking is to give some thought to how one would articulate a standard that can’t be so easily abused.

Norman Finkelstein: You know, Rihanna, I agree, it’s like once you grow up in life, you discover that life is very little about principles: it’s mostly about judgment. Principles get you not very far. I remember I got this lesson from Professor Chomsky, as he always puts it in his very lucid, simple terms. He said to me once: “Norman, we all know it’s wrong to lie, but if a rapist knocks in your door and asks “Is your daughter in the bedroom”, there’s a clash of principles there obviously. And so at the end of the day, what is required is not the application of an abstract principle but the faculty of judgment. When principles clash, you have to exercise judgment. You then have to look at particulars, the specifics.

Briahna: Excuse me, I appreciate that, which is probably why, you know, this is the limit, this is the limit of it for me and I’ll… I’m happy to take more questions from people who I’m sure know much more about the particulars. Although your last statement about, you know, principles versus judgment, and you know, the rapist at your door, does make me, it does make me tempted to ask you about what you think about the slap. […]

[If you want to know what Norman Finkelstein thinks about Will Smith’s slap at the Oscars, and other more serious issues, check the full podcast].

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“Any amount counts, because a little money here and there, it’s like drops of water that can become rivers, seas or oceans…”

The US wants to keep its status as a superpower at any cost

May 14, 2022

Source

By Zamir Awan

The US is desperate to sustain its hegemony and supremacy. It is taking extreme measures and can go to any extent to keep its hegemony and supremacy. Its Petrodollars policy has been playing a significant role, but, facing challenges recently and the US is getting nervous and crazy.

The petrodollar is any U.S. dollar paid to oil-exporting countries in exchange for oil. The dollar is the preeminent global currency. As a result, most international transactions, including oil, are priced in dollars. Oil-exporting nations receive dollars for their exports, not their own currency.

In addition, most oil-exporting nations own their oil industries. That makes their national income depends on the dollar’s value. If it falls, so does their government’s revenue. As a result, most of these oil exporters also peg their currencies to the dollar. That way, if the dollar’s value falls, so does the price of all their domestic goods and services. That helps these countries avoid wide swings in inflation or deflation.

The petrodollar system is tied to the history of the gold standard. After World War II, the United States held most of the world’s supply of gold. It agreed to redeem any U.S. dollar for its value in gold if the other countries pegged their currencies to the dollar. Other countries signed this deal at the 1944 Bretton Woods conference. It established the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency.

On February 14, 1945, President Franklin D. Roosevelt initiated the alliance with Saudi Arabia.1 He met with Saudi King Abd al-Aziz. The United States built an airfield at Dhahran in return for military and business training. This alliance was so critical that it survived subsequent years of differences of opinion over the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The 1945 agreement between the United States and Saudi Arabia cemented the relationship between the dollar and oil. The petrodollar was born. In 1971, U.S. stagflation prompted runs on the dollar. Many countries asked to redeem their U.S. dollars for gold. To protect the remaining U.S. gold reserves, President Richard Nixon removed the dollar from the gold standard. As a result, the value of the dollar plummeted. That helped the U.S. economy as its export values also decreased, making them more competitive. A falling dollar hurt oil-exporting countries because contracts were priced in U.S. dollars. Their oil revenue dropped along with the dollar. The cost of imports, denominated in other currencies, increased.

In 1973, Nixon asked Congress for military aid to Israel in the Yom Kippur War. The newly-formed Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries halted oil exports to the United States and other Israeli allies. The OPEC oil embargo quadrupled the price of oil in six months. Prices remained high even after the embargo ended. In 1979, the United States and Saudi Arabia negotiated the United States-Saudi Arabian Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation. They agreed to use U.S. dollars for oil contracts. The U.S. dollars would be recycled back to America through contracts with U.S. companies. These companies improve Saudi infrastructure through technology transfer.

The United States uses the power of petrodollars to enforce its foreign policy. But many countries don’t fight back. They are afraid it would mean the collapse of the petrodollar system.

However, there was strong thinking against the Petrodollar concept and few Arab leaders declared to trade oil; in local currencies or any other currency, de-linking from dollars. The leading role was played by President Sadden Hussain, Col. Qaddafi of Libya, and the Syrian President. The US has punished them and changed the regimes in such countries.

China called for a replacement of the U.S. dollar as a global currency. Although, it is one of the largest foreign holders of the dollar. China influences the U.S. dollar by pegging its currency, the yuan, to it. China has signed a currency swap agreement with more than twenty countries and already trading with them in Yuan or local currencies. China is importing oil and gas from a few Arab nations in Yuan.

Russia has demanded to settle Gas bills in Rubles and a few European countries are already agreed to pay in Rubles. EU has also no objections if any member state pays in Rubles instead of Dollars. Russia is trading with few other nations in Rubles or local currencies instead of Dollars.

Russia has slashed the value of the dollar and the euro by 30% in a jiffy by linking the Russian Ruble to the value of gold and declaring to supply oil only against the Russian Ruble. Russia’s move means that now the entire world, especially Western Europe and Japan will buy the Russian Ruble by selling dollars in huge quantities, as the Russian Ruble has become the world’s most stable currency overnight after being linked to gold.

America, which does not mass-produce anything other than weapons and ammunition, is caught in a terrible economic crisis. In the event of a shrinking dollar, the US cannot cover its 306 billion budget deficit. This will cause severe unemployment and adversely affect the social safety net. This is the economic atom bomb that Joe Biden was aware of when he was talking about the removal of Putin in Poland.

Putin orders European countries to make payments of Gas and Oil in terms of Rubble and open the account in Russian banks. It will weaken the American sanctions on Russia. Although Russia has not retaliated against the American sanctions so aggressively, introduced its policies to counter the sanctions successfully.

The rapid decline of the US has made its leadership nervous and crazy. They are taking all possible measures to sustain their hegemony and supremacy. Even, though the Ukraine war is only a phenomenon, the objective is to maintain status-co. unfortunately, the US is not interested in global peace, stability, or saving human lives. The only priority is to maintain its hegemony and supremacy. To achieve this goal, the US can sacrifice Ukraine, Europe, or any heavy price. The US policy in the Ukraine war is to add fuel to fire, there is no will to stop the war, ceasefire, or save human lives. They are providing weapons, and arming civilians to lead toward a prolonged civil war, to bleed Russian and keep many countries over-engaged and let the US maintain its monopoly and the upper hand.

Russia was reluctant to attack Ukraine and has been observing restrains for quite along. Showing its genuine security concerns and alarming the US with serious consequences, but, the US kept its policy to encircle Russia.

The haphazard joining of NATO by Finland and the defense agreement with the UK is also equally a genuine threat to Russia. Russia and Finland share a long common border. Joining NATO, means, the deployment of NATO forces along the Russian border, which is a direct threat. Joining NATO by other Scandinavian nations is also a serious and matter of deep concern for Russia.

It seems the US has only one priority which is to sustain its position in the geopolitics, it ignores the genuine concerns of other nations. We are scared of the future of geopolitics and afraid the days to come may be harsh for humankind.

In history, many nations rose to the status of superpowers and ruled the world for a certain period of time, then, meltdown and passed the status of superpower to other rising nations. Like Roman Empire, Ottoman Empire, Greek Empire, British, and French empires, etc. But, The US is not willing to accept the natural cycle of superpowers and can go to any extent to keep its status of superpower forever, which is not rational nor natural, it might cause irrecoverable loss to humankind. Unfortunate!


Author: Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization). (E-mail: awanzamir@yahoo.com).

‘After Syria, Ukraine is part two of World War III’: Senior Analyst

March 17, 2022

In a recent episode of his YouTube political talk program ’60 minutes’, senior Lebanese political analyst Nasser Qandil argued that ‘the Ukraine war is part two of World War III’, after ‘part one in Syria had ended in a clear victory for Russia’.

Source: Nasser Qandil (YouTube)

Description:
Date: March 7, 2022

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Transcript:

Nasser Qandil:

I wish to talk about a number of points regarding the Ukraine war, because we – as always –aim at deepening and consolidating the understanding, awareness, and perception of all those watching us, and helping them to receive the means (that raise their) awareness and not (imposing) our own outcome, meaning they can use the tools, premises, and introductions (we present) to reach different conclusions – and this is an achievement that’s way more important than (merely) dictating to them the outcome (of analyses) and saying (that’s the whole thing) and ‘full stop’ (i.e. you don’t need to think any further). Therefore, our mission in this program is to increase the knowledge (of viewers), and not only to use (the knowledge) we have or that which people have (in our discussions).

The first conclusion I wish to consolidate with you, my dear viewers, is that this war is the largest war after World War II. I personally tried to check through history before adopting this conclusion, (looking into) the Korean war, the Vietnam war, the Invasion of Iraq, the Invasion of Afghanistan, the wars of Israel in our region (the Middle East) since 1967 including the October War we fought (against Israel) as Arabs, and the Israeli invasion of Lebanon; this whole outcome makes me confidently say, bearing responsibility for my words, that this is the world’s largest war after World War II, and I’ll explain why.

The first point is that the initiator of this war is Russia, while all the other wars had (another) common (factor). We haven’t witnessed a war – except for a limited number like the October War for example, like initiatives (by forces) opposing the American (hegemony) project and its extensions and alliances, the majority – 99% of the wars witnessed after World War II were wars of domination and control carried out by the US. Therefore, we are before a war, the first characteristic of which is the transfer of the military initiative in decision-making. This shift moved from a side that was the only one taking the initiative, and which has, for seventy years, taken the lead at the global level, which is the US, (that recently) withdrew from Afghanistan and (began) avoiding to take part in wars and (began) gathering its shreds and shrapnel from places it got involved in with the aim of incurring the least amount of (further) losses, and in an attempt to strike settlement (agreements), (while) on the other hand we have the rise of a side that has started – since more than 10 years within a limited (pace) – speaking about the South Ossetian war in 2008, the Crimean Peninsula war in 2014, the huge position (Russia took) in Syria in 2015, and (the part it took) in Kazakhstan in 2021. However, now (this war) is President Putin’s largest war – Russia’s largest war after this calm ascent (of Russia), and the parallel decline of American power.

Here, we can’t look at the war from the (aspect of) geography alone. Before going into the geographical (aspect), it’s a fundamental and essential issue yes. But (first) we’re talking about a descending arc of a state, which is the US arc (of power), and an ascending Russian arc – an arc that represents this rise of Asia as a whole, and can be seen in Eastern countries in different manifestations, even if there weren’t a precise and accurate coordination and approach between Russia, Iran, and China – because there are many who would try to dig up some cracks and holes within this presentation; we are not talking about congruence of approaches. Even in the Syrian war, China didn’t take the position that Iran took; Russia took time until it took (its) position (to support Syria,) but it eventually did and paid the price for it and reaped its fruits. Consequently, it’s not necessary to speak about congruence, yet there’s an Asian rise (of power) that no one can argue about, a rise that shakes American hegemony. No one can say that the rise of Iran is not evident, and that this rise (of power) didn’t lead to the erosion of America’s position and grip on the heart of Asia and especially in our region (the Middle East). (In addition,) China’s rise worries America and the entire West, and Russia’s rise is now evident in the military sphere and through this huge, massive qualitative step, which (helped) form this ascending Russian arc that expresses this rise of Asia, (a Russian arc) that is sometimes ahead of the (Asian arc) such that it enjoys a higher degree of courage in its decision-making, (all of this) while the descending American arc (lies on the other side)…here we talk about the second characteristic of this war, which makes it one of the world’s most important wars after World War II, which is that it’s taking place in Europe.

All other wars – in the view of the West that led the world, (the West being) the US and Europe – were on the peripheries and in third world countries. I mean, check (the history) of all the (previous) wars – it (will help) explain to us why this revival of racist thought is being seen in (the attitudes) of journalists and analysts through unintended slips of tongue sometimes, (because) maybe if they thought a little about it they’d be ashamed (of what they were saying). However, this war is actually in Europe, and not in a third world country.

Therefore, for the first time since World War II – although the Yugoslavian war was in Europe, it was a war carried out by the US and western Europe to destroy what’s left of the Soviet legacy, to pave the way for a tight grip on the entire geography, economy, and politics of Europe. Now, this is the first war to knock Europe’s door, meaning that Russia is fighting a war and it’s on the European door. This is the second factor.

The third factor – I want to draw attention to the necessity of investigation, to reread information about Ukraine. Here, I’ll provide the main points to help (the viewer) get (the idea of) what we’re talking about. There’s a chain called ‘The European Bridge’ of five major European states, historically speaking: Spain, France, Germany, Poland, and Ukraine. Ukraine, in terms of (geographical) area equals (the area of) France plus a bit, (and it equals) Germany + Holland + Belgium + Switzerland (all together) in (its geographical) area. Ukraine’s population equals the population of France and equals the population of both Poland and Romania added together. The rest of the Eastern European countries became fragments – after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia – the rest, such as Lithuania, Estonia and Hungary are actually micro-states compared to the size of Ukraine. We’re speaking about 45 million people, meaning twice the number of Iraq’s (population) back when the war started (there). We’re speaking about an area of (about) 600,000 km², which is Syria’s size multiplied by three times and a half, and Lebanon’s size multiplied by 60. We are speaking about the second (most important) state in the Soviet Union after Russia, in terms of size, population, army, technical qualifications of its (various) generations, its colleges, participation in food and technical production, its position in terms of nuclear weapons.

So, we’re not speaking about Iraq, the besieged, disintegrated, weak Iraq that suffers from internal crises, that is not supported by any (external) side, and which is this far (from Europe) – if (in) Iraq, the US army’s entrance to the capital, Baghdad, took 20 days while they were at their peak of advancement, and so even if it takes the Russian army 200 days to enter Kyiv, they will still be considered as making (good) progress – (this approach) allows us to read the situation correctly. Ukraine – this is Ukraine, of course in Ukrainian history there’s a connection between it and Russia; Ukraine is to a large extent (considered as a) mini-Russia. Originally, Russia initiated from Kyiv, the Russian Empire was founded in Kyiv and then moved to Moscow. Therefore, there are efforts for reaching parity, or emulation and competition (between them). Ukraine believes – those who know the traditional Soviet environment (can relate), when we used to visit the Soviet Union, none would introduce themselves by their original nationality and point out that they’re not Russian, except for the Ukrainians; they use to say ‘I’m not Russian’. And I’m speaking about communists, he’d be an official whose mission is to negotiate with us and talk about issues. So, (we can notice that) Ukraine has a sense of competition, with the European background, and a dimension that is related to the way Ukraine was formed – which is a group of (mixed) ethnicities, and if you look at its geography you can notice that parts of it didn’t belong to Ukraine and Stalin later joined many of them to Ukraine: a part of Moldova, a part of Poland, in addition to the Crimean Peninsula that was originally Russian.

Anyway, Lenin and Stalin had a bias for Ukraine and a special interest in satisfying this Ukrainian pride and reassuring them that (Ukraine) is of an important and special status. Therefore, it has always been – I use a metaphor sometimes, I’d say that Ukraine’s (relation) with Russia is like Queen Elizabeth and Lady Diana, in which Queen Elizabeth represents the throne, history (of England), etc., and Lady Diana is the sweet, lovely, popular, (lady) that (represents) elegance, youth, and beauty etc. Therefore, Ukraine, in the eyes of the Soviet Union and the West – Brzezinski said in the 80s or 1978 that ‘Russia without Ukraine is a great state, and a very great one, yet without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be an Empire’.

So, we must know what we are speaking about, and why am I saying these words. It is to say that the conclusion is that Putin – this is his war, (the war) that he had been preparing for since at least 2014, because the 2014 war when he annexed the Crimean Peninsula and joined it to Russia, it was the first Ukrainian war for President Putin. (Furthermore,) since 2008, when he entered South Ossetia, he wasn’t aiming at Georgia; look at the (world) map, you’ll see Georgia’s size compared to Ukraine, it can’t even be compared to it! The fight is over Ukraine, the same way Syria was (of great importance) in the Middle East; the one who controls Syria will have control over the (whole Middle East) region and the world through it, (now,) the one who controls Ukraine will have control over Europe and the world through it.

Therefore, the first point we must break free from in our thinking and debate, is talking about the duration of the war; who said Putin wishes to end it in a short period of time? Why put a formula that says that one of the signs of success is the speed in which the achievement is done? It’s not a rule at all! This war might be (intentionally) designed to be a long one, so that a new world system could be built upon its ramifications, developments, and (resulting) frameworks.

It’s a war that cannot end without (reaching) a Russian-American-European settlement. Who’s Zelenskyy? What (kind of) position and power does he have (compared to Russia’s power)? What can he offer in any kind of negotiations? And what kind of decision does he get to make in negotiations? Therefore, it’s a Russian-American war. Europe became part of it. And if Europe had made the decision of not being a part of it, the whole thing would’ve ended through a Russian-European settlement. Therefore, the US used all its capabilities to make Europe a part of it, but that’s not a permanent condition. Today the fight is over Europe; to what extent can Europe remain part of this war?

Therefore, we are before part two of World War III. If Syria was the first episode, then Ukraine is the second episode. The first episode ended – if we are speaking internationally – it ended with a clear victory for Russia. Now we are before the second episode.

Israel-Palestine: ‘No war, no peace’ apartheid is Bennett’s best case scenario

The Israeli prime minister is first since Golda Meir to propose the racist status quo as a political platform

In March 2015, then Israeli economy minister Naftali Bennett during an election campaign gathering in Kibbutz Kfar Etzion in the Gush Etzion settlement in the West Bank (AFP)

By Meron Rapoport

Published date: 7 September 2021 13:02 UTC 

“There is no diplomatic process with the Palestinians, nor will there be one,” said a source close to Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett last week after his defence minister, Benny Gantz, met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.Biden-Bennett summit a meeting of wishful thinkers who oppose NetanyahuRead More »

Thus is Bennett’s spiritual world revealed: a world in which Israel, and only Israel, exists, and where the Palestinians will never, under any circumstances, even if they change their positions, be able to attain equality with Israelis and negotiate with them as equals. There is a word for that: racism.

Nearly a decade ago, Bennett entered national politics after serving as director-general of the Yesha Council, the leading settler institution, although he himself was never a settler and doesn’t live beyond the Green Line. In a now-famous interview, he said: “The Palestinian problem is like shrapnel in the butt.” 

Today, his approach has not changed, although as prime minister, he may express himself less bluntly, as he admitted just before taking office in early June.

Bennett expressed this approach in an interview he gave the New York Times ahead of his recent trip to Washington. “This government will not annex, nor establish a Palestinian state, everyone understands that,” he said. “Israel will continue the standard policy of natural growth [of West Bank settlements].” 

In saying this, Bennett became the first Israeli prime minister, with the possible exception of Golda Meir in the years prior to the 1973 war, to propose what amounts to apartheid as a political platform.

Permanent status quo

It is true that the policy of “managing the occupation” is almost as old as the Israeli occupation itself. In February 1973, for example, then-Defence Minister Moshe Dayan said, “We must plan ahead for our actions in the territories [conquered by Israel in June 1967] … so that a situation of ‘no war and no peace’ will not be unbearable for us… Authority for deciding on what happens from Suez to the [Mt] Hermon is in the hands of the Israeli government. We will not idly delineate boundaries for our settlements nor be threatened by smouldering embers.”

But the philosophy Dayan articulated then still exists and every prime minister since, except perhaps Yitzhak Rabin – whose assassination makes it impossible to know whether he meant to break the mould – has adopted it with different variations: “No war, no peace” or, in other words, a continuation of the status quo. Seven months later, the “smouldering embers” that Dayan dismissed had become the firestorm of the October 1973 war, with thousands killed on both sides, forcing Israel to subsequently return the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt. 

Bennett basically said that this status quo of ‘no war, no peace’ is not an interim situation, but rather the permanent situation

But Bennett has gone one step further. Even Dayan called the territories occupied by Israel a “deposit” to be returned in exchange for a peace agreement meeting Israel’s needs. Since the 1990s, Israeli prime ministers have been discussing, at least officially, support for the two-state solution, including Ariel Sharon and even Benjamin Netanyahu, who adopted the Palestinian state idea in his 2009 Bar-Ilan speech. In 2020, he also accepted former US President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century” which included the establishment of a Palestinian state, however crippled and fragmented. 

In his New York Times interview, however, Bennett basically said that this status quo of “no war, no peace” is not an interim situation, but rather the permanent situation to which he aspires.

In this situation, Israel, on the one hand, will continue its military rule over the Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and continue to accord Jewish citizens in the West Bank preferential rights as compared with Palestinians.

On the other hand, Israel will not accord Palestinians civil rights equal to those of their Jewish neighbours as would be necessitated by a partial or full annexation of the West Bank. This approach also has a name – apartheid – and Bennett believes it to be the only one possible.

‘Shrink the conflict’

We don’t know precisely what was said in Bennett’s discussions with President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, but publicly at least no American reservations were heard about Bennett’s positions. Nor did the Jewish centre-left parties in Israel like Labor and Meretz, which are part of Bennett’s coalition, voice any protest. This is a dangerous precedent.

But it would be overly simplistic to say that the Bennett government will be more rightist or more violent toward the Palestinians. The opposite might be true.How Beita became a model of Palestinian resistance against IsraelRead More »

First of all, Bennett came into office from a position of political weakness. He heads a small party with six Knesset seats out of 120, and most of his coalition members are more leftist than he is – at least for Israel whose Labor Party positions toward the Palestinians would be considered right in Europe.

And there’s more. Bennett himself, along with his coalition partner, Gideon Saar, who had been a senior Likud figure and a leading candidate to replace Netanyahu, has changed his attitude considerably to the Palestinian question.

As the present government was being formed or immediately thereafter, both Bennett and Saar appeared to have relinquished the idea of Greater Israel and/or annexation, partially or wholly, embracing instead the new political concept of “shrinking the conflict”. The term originated with Micah Goodman, an Israeli of American extraction living in a West Bank settlement, whose books on the conflict have become bestsellers.

Goodman argues that the left in Israel has failed to bring an end to the occupation or to establish an independent Palestinian state, whereas the right failed with its idea of Greater Israel. Therefore, instead of talking about ending the conflict or continuing with the status quo, ways should be sought to “shrink the conflict”: to enable the Palestinians to manage their own affairs as independently as possible, while leaving “security” to Israel. After the conflict has been “shrunk,” says Goodman, it will be possible to discuss a permanent solution.

For a decade, Bennett pushed for annexation, but when the UAE and Bahrain signed the Abraham Accords in 2020, he realised it was impossible.

Goodman was an adviser to Saar and is considered to be close to Bennett. His influence was perceptible in an interview Bennett gave before taking office. “My approach is to shrink the conflict,” he said. “Where it is possible to have more crossings, better quality of life, more business, more industry, we will do it.”

For Bennett, this is a considerable shift. When he entered national politics in 2013, Bennett presented a detailed plan for the annexation of Area C, which is 60 percent of the West Bank. Over the years, he criticised Netanyahu and the Israeli army for not being aggressive enough toward the Palestinians and not “decisive” enough with Hamas. 

For a decade, Bennett pushed for annexation, but when the UAE and Bahrain signed the Abraham Accords in 2020, he realised it was impossible. He also understood that a “final resolution” of the conflict by achieving a victory over the Palestinian so crushing that they would relinquish their national aspirations was also impossible. Thus, his adoption of the idea of “shrinking the conflict” is coming from failure and weakness, even if he refuses to admit it.

Israeli right in crisis

Bennett, then, reflects the situation of the Israeli right. On the one hand, he sanctifies the status quo and has no desire or intention of relinquishing the occupation or ending apartheid. On the other hand, the right is gradually losing its faith in its own power to shape the Israeli-Palestinian reality as it sees fit. 

The fall of Netanyahu should be viewed in this context. Under Netanyahu, the right in Israel was united in a coherent, homogeneous bloc. The internal contradictions on the right, which Bennett represents, led to the fragmentation of this bloc and the establishment of a mixed government that contains elements of both right and left, including the United Arab List, an Palestinian-Islamist party headed by Mansour Abbas.Palestinian Authority losing control of West Bank, say insiders and activistsRead More »

Outwardly, all of these changes have not affected the situation on the ground. The occupation, and the settlements, continue. The political discourse in Israel remains stuck, in the best case, or else propounds Bennett’s thesis of “no peace, no war”. Israel is so strong – militarily and economically – that something significant would have to happen in order to threaten its control of the Palestinians and its power in the Middle East as a whole.

But at the same time, one cannot ignore the cracks. The ideological right in Israel is in trouble and the question is how and whether the radical left in Israel, or even more so the Palestinians, can turn that to advantage.

“Where there’s a crack, we have to make it a fissure, and where there’s a fissure, we have to make it a chasm,” a left-wing anti-occupation activist told me. Maybe that approach really will accomplish something.

The forthcoming inevitable battle for Middle-East Peace

May 05, 2021

The forthcoming inevitable battle for Middle-East Peace

by Ghassan Kadi for the Saker Blog

The alleged stray ground-to-air Syrian missile that landed near the nuclear reactor in Dimona Israel carried many messages; both overt and covert.

And, as if the fact that this missile managed to penetrate Israel’s formidable ‘Iron Dome’ was not embarrassing enough for Israel, the official Israeli report alleged that the missile was actually Iranian-made; not Russian as initially perceived by the world.

In other words, the Israeli report is saying that its ‘Iron Dome’ has been easily penetrated by a missile that is 1) not meant to hit ground targets, 2) had already spent its fuel and maneuverability and was literally on a free fall trajectory by gravitation and not propulsion, 3) yet it penetrated the allegedly most advance air defense system in the world, and 4) above all, it was made in Iran; a nation ‘crippled by sanctions and governed by ‘fundamentalist Mullas’.

Seriously, Israel has never before admitted a defense failure that is even close to such similar proportions.

Ironically, almost simultaneously, Iran revealed photos of an American aircraft carrier taken by a drone; not to forget mentioning that Iran also revealed that it has developed kamikaze drones ready to attack any target within their range in the Gulf.

But the Dimona incident alone cannot be seen in isolation of the recent Russian ‘diplomacy’ initiatives in the Middle East. I have deliberately put the word diplomacy under inverted comas, because that Russian version of diplomacy has a side that proves its worth in both traditional diplomatic ways as well as ones that are unorthodox.

Russia has thus far been very tight-lipped about its objectives in the Middle East. My own analysis of it has landed me in hot water with Russian friends and media allies, and I accept their stand. Perhaps they do not want me to ‘spoil the hidden agenda’, but my role as an analyst is not going to stop, and their views, directives, and concerns will not make me feel guilty for expressing my analyses and predictions.

In this portrayal of recent regional political events in the Middle east, I am relying on bits of pieces of information from here and there, but the analysis of it all is based on my own understanding of what makes sense in combining all what is currently taking place. My analysis does not represent the views of any blog, news agency or government. I have expressed similar views earlier, but events keep progressing, and in every step of the way, it seems that my initial prediction about the Russian initiative in the Middle East was accurate. So here is an updated summary of it all with a bit repetition of earlier material for the benefit of first-time readers.

Ever since Russia responded to Syria’s request to offer military aid, Russia responded with accepting the request under certain conditions; conditions that stipulate a Syrian-Israeli peace settlement agreement.

But this wasn’t all. Putin’s Russia is trying to reverse what Kissinger did to Russia some forty years ago when he catapulted the USSR out of Middle East politics and conned Egypt into accepting a unilateral peace deal with Israel in the so-called Camp David Accords.

Ever since then, Russia has been deprived of a role to play in the Middle East, none at all, until Putin sent troops into Syria and thereby changing the status quo not only in the Middle East, but also heralding the end of the single global superpower status of the post USSR USA.

The post-USSR world has seen Russia suffering from huge American-based NATO encroachments in Eastern Europe, and the current impasse in Ukraine is only one aspect of it. Former Warsaw Pact nations have gone full dipole away from Russia and in cahoots with their new-found Western ‘allies’. The Stalin era might have left a bitter taste in the palate of some East European countries, but this was a long time ago, and nations like Poland and Ukraine surely must understand and know who are their historic regional and global allies. With the era of Nazism and Fascism in the dust bin of history that Europe would like to forget, even Germany and France ought to realize that today’s Russia cannot be associated with Stalin’s-USSR any more than today’s Germany and France can be associated with Hitler and Petain.

And, if Poland wants to remained mentally entrenched in the Stalin era and forget about who liberated it from Nazi occupation, it should look further back in history and remember that the partition of Poland in the 19th Century was not only orchestrated by the Russian Czars, but also in collaboration with Prussia and Austria.

As discussed in the previous article, the current animosity of Eastern European nations towards Russia is not something that can be rationally explained and justified.

Back to the Middle East.

Only Russia can broker a peace deal in the Middle East, a deal that includes not only Syria and Israel, but also Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

The main sticking elements in any such deal are Israel and Turkey, and to a lesser extent Iran.

In the same previous article mentioned above, I predicted a win-win scenario that Russia will broker between Iran and Saudi Arabia; one that guarantees the mutual withdrawal of Iran from Syria and Saudi Arabia from Yemen. As a matter of fact, a few days ago Saudi Crown Prince MBS announced that he wants to have a good relationship with Iran. Is this a sign that this deal is closer than we think? Perhaps not, but I cannot think of any other reason.

Turkey will undoubtedly want a bite of the cherry, and I not sure how will Russia be able to diplomatically appease Erdogan without giving him too much more than what he has taken already. However, his recent stand on Ukraine has put him in deep hot water with Russia and in any future bargains, he will find that his Ukraine venture will be used against him. He has deliberately introduced a bargaining chip that can be used only against himself.

This leaves Israel; how to bring Israel to the negotiating table for a deal that is unlike all previous American-brokered deals.

All American-brokered deals have thus far been based on providing Israel with the lion’s share and the Arab party with very little; especially when it came to making deals with the Palestinian Authority. Furthermore, on top of the political and strategic gains that America delivered to Israel in all of those deals, America ensured that Israel continued to have military superiority and that Arabs would never be able to score a major military victory, even if united.

Despite the October 1973 (ie Yom Kippur War) and what followed it, all the way up to the July 2006 war with Hezbollah, and the humiliations that Israel suffered from all of those military engagements, Israel remains mentally entrenched in the euphoria of the huge Six-Day War win of June 1967 and what ensued afterwards, resulting in what can best be described as the invincible army complex.

Israel will not be prepared to sign a peace agreement with Syria while it believes that it continues to have this military superiority; the power to shape events in its favour. For Israel to change course and become more realistic, it needs either a new generation of political leaders who are more rational, or a reality check; a punishment if you wish.

This is why it is that, inasmuch as the corridors of negotiations are opening up and the tables are being prepared, so are the drums of war.

It is worthy to note here that major reconstructions have not begun in Syria yet. The underlying message here is that perhaps Syria is expecting more carnage, and that reconstruction will have to wait. Why reconstruct twice? In its current state of devastation, Syria has little to lose.

Israel, on the other hand, is in a very vulnerable situation, and the Dimona incident has exposed this gaping hole.

Syria has exercised great restraint in the face of the ongoing Israeli airstrikes. Even though an Israeli jet was downed a few years ago, by-and-large, Syria has remained non-respondent. We do not know exactly what is happening behind the scenes, but it seems that Israel is misreading Syria’s lack of response and seeing weakness, despite information from Russia that such is not the case. Israel will continue to act like the regional bully, refusing to sit at the negotiating table as an equal partner, unless it receives a significant hit.

This hit is not necessarily one that will cause much carnage in Israel such as civilian and military loss of life. Putin will not accept or allow such a level of devastation to be inflicted on Israel. After all, a significant fraction of Israel’s population is originally Russian. Putin, furthermore, is intent on convincing Israel that it is Russia, and not America, that can give Israel real peace with its Arab neighbours.

To this effect, Israel only needs to lose a few fighter-jets, ten, maybe twenty, finding itself unable to defend key military and strategic land targets in order for it to realize that the days of military superiority are gone.

The Dimona incident is a forewarning, but only if Israel wants to read in between the lines. Otherwise, there will be a war in the Middle East, a war that will be intended to be contained and limited to be a punch, a powerful punch, but not a knockout.

With this said, this is the Middle East, a very volatile region, with many volatile heads. A limited war aimed at showing who has muscle may end up spiraling out of control and into something very large. With experience of such unpredictability, Syria is presenting to Israel that a long war will bring more destruction upon Israel than it will on an already destroyed Syria.

What seems certain is that peace initiatives are on the table, but not all parties are yet convinced that they will attend such talks as equal partners before some arms are twisted and statures rattled.

The Assassin’s Creed: Murder As Israeli State Policy

By Jeremy Salt

Source

“If our dreams for Zionism are not to end in the smoke of assassins’ pistols and our labor for its future to produce only a new set of gangsters worthy of Nazi Germany, many like myself will have to reconsider the position we have maintained for so long in the past.” — Winston Churchill, November, 1944, from his address to the House of Commons on the murder of Britain’s Resident Minister in the Middle East, Lord Moyne, by two members of the zionist terrrorist organization, Lehi. [1]
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh Terror df757

Israel’s crimes against Iran in the past decade include the sabotage through the Stuxnet virus of the centrifuges in its nuclear development program,  the killing through missile attack of its militia members in Syria, the sabotage of its Natanz nuclear plant in July this year and the murder in recent years of five of its leading nuclear scientists,  most recently, a few days ago, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

Each of these attacks would have been carried out at least with the approval of the US government, if not the active involvement at some level of both the US and its puppet Iranian terrorist organization, the MEK (Mujahedin e-Khalq). In reverse,  Israel would have been closely involved in the US assassination of  Qasim Suleimani in Iraq in January this year.  These murders might be state operations but are no different in their brazen nature,  their illegality and their brutality from hits organised by Mafia gangs.  In the case of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh,  a distinguished physicist,  he was apparently dragged from his car during the attack and finished off in the middle of the road.  The crime was so heinous that even voices usually hostile to Iran (including the New York Times and former CIA director John Brennan) were appalled.

Each of these attacks is a casus belli for war. Two can play at this game, which means that by these attacks, Israel is virtually inviting the assassination of its own political leaders and military commanders, or its senior representatives abroad. That Iran does not strike back, in the same way, is not necessarily a sign that it does not have the capacity to organise such retaliation.  Apart from the criminality and violations of international law that such actions represent,  Iran is never going to strike back at a time of Israel’s choosing.

Nevertheless, the government is under pressure from its own people to deal a devastating counter-blow, not necessarily against individuals but against Israeli infrastructure such as the port at Haifa.  Each of these provocations pushes Iran closer to the edge, as intended by Israel.  The repeated refusal of the government to respond is being criticised in Iran as a sign of weakness,  as the more Israel gets away with the more it will try to get away with. At the same time, even though Israel is responsible, an Iranian reprisal would trigger off a large-scale military response by Israel and full-scale war that no one in their right mind would want. It is a further sign of the moral void at their centre that Netanyahu and many of the fanatics around him do want such a war and are prepared to drop bombs on live nuclear reactors to achieve their aims

The general view seems to be that Israel did this so Biden would not be able to sign back on to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement from which Trump withdrew the US in 2018. That may be so, but Netanyahu might have calculated that this latest savagery would be the final spark igniting the war he has wanted for years.  Either of these outcomes would suit him.

There are always parallels in history and for Israel’s attempts to provoke an open war with Iran, one parallel would be Israel’s attempts to draw Egypt’s President Gamal Abd al Nasser into war in 1967.  This was no ‘preemptive’ war but another war of choice.  1948 was the first, because only through war could the zionists seize  Palestine, at least most of it.  1967 was the second,  launched to destroy Egypt’s armed forces, to destroy Nasser’s Arab world leadership, and to occupy the rest of Palestine. 

It was strikingly successful. All Palestine ended up under occupation and the Egyptian military was shattered.  Nasir’s pan Arab leadership was not destroyed but gravely weakened by Egypt’s failure to see the war coming and defend itself.

Just as Israel has been trying to draw Iran into the open through the assassination of its scientists and the sabotage of its nuclear plants,  so in the year before the 1967 war it set out to draw Nasser into the open through provocations along the Syrian armistice line.  These took the form of incursions by armored tractors into the DMZ, triggering off shelling by the Syrian army and then air attacks by Israel.  

Although Israel was determined to destroy any Arab nationalist government and to destroy Arab nationalism itself, the main target of these provocations was Nasser.  He was the foremost Arab champion and Israel wanted him where it could get at him.  It knew that sooner or he would have to respond to its provocations on the Syrian front by taking action on the Egyptian front.

When Israel shot down six Syrian planes in April 1967, the ball started to roll.  Israeli politicians talked of going further than ever before, of teaching Syria a lesson, and even of invading Syria and occupying Damascus, 15 years ahead of its invasion of Lebanon and occupation of Beirut. 

By the second week of May, war was regarded as inevitable.  Nasser moved troops and tanks into Sinai and called for the withdrawal of the UN Emergency Force (UNEF) from the armistice line.  Although Israel was the aggressor in the 1956  war, UNEF forces were inside Egypt because Israel refused to accept them on its side of the armistice line, and as usual, it got its way. 

On May 22 Nasser closed the Straits of Tiran, the entrance point to the Gulf of Aqaba, but without actually blocking them to Israeli shipping.  Under pressure,  however,  to stand up to the Israelis,  he had moved the final piece on the board that set the stage for war. 

Israel repeated the rhetoric of 1948.  İt was again being threatened with extermination and annihilation at the hands of an Arab ‘ring of steel.’ In fact,  it knew, and so did the CIA, that it would easily defeat any Arab army or combination of Arab armies.  Behind the panic deliberately set in motion among the Israeli population,  the generals could not wait to get going.   They vowed to be on the banks of the Suez Canal within a week. This was an opportunity  – one they had created – that Israel could not afford to miss. The military would deliver a knockout blow: according to Yigal Allon, “There is not the slightest doubt about the outcome of this war and each of its stages.”

And so it turned out to be.  On the Arab side, there is not the slightest doubt that Nasser did not want war. His threats were those of the Arab champion and his intended audience the Arab world,  but behind the scenes, he was looking for a way out of the crisis into which he had been maneuvered. An Egyptian delegation led by  Vice-President Zakaria Muhi Al-Din was due to fly into Washington on June 7 for talks to begin the following day on bringing the crisis to an end. On June 5, with the window of the opportunity for war about to close,  Israel attacked.

There is symmetry in all of these wars. Israel plays the role of the victim even while preparing to attack.  In 1948 Chaim Weizmann talked of extermination while assuring the Americans behind the scenes that the Arab armies counted for nothing. Israel’s arrogance was checked in the first week of the 1973 war, with humiliation at the hands of Hizbullah waiting in 2000 and 2006.  Yet if there is a learning curve Israel does not see it, an example of what long ago US Senator J. William Fulbright called the “arrogance of power.”

Israel applies the same tactics at the micro as well as the macro level.  On the West Bank and Gaza, it murders and massacres, and when there is a Palestinian response it has its rationale for more crushing blows.  On the West Bank, this usually takes the form of enlarging settlements or building new ones. 

From the Zionist point of view, this has been a good year.  Following the establishment of diplomatic relations with Israel by the UAE and Bahrain, the UAE has gone as far as blocking entry visas to the citizens of a dozen Muslim countries while allowing Israelis visa-free entry.  Talks in Saudi Arabia between Netanyahu and Muhammad bin Salman – apparently arranged without the knowledge of the king – open the way to the establishment of diplomatic relations, although for the time being this is not expected.  MBS can give Israel most of what it wants without needing to come into the open, and as the nominal custodian of the two holy places such a move would enrage Muslims around the world,  with explosive consequences possible at the time of the hajj.

Israel’s strategic advances also include the commercial,  military, and strategic relationship it is establishing in the eastern Mediterranean with Greece and the Greek government of southern Cyprus, which has already allowed Israeli military units to train on the island because of the similarity of the topography to southern Lebanon. Successfully playing off fears of Iran in the Gulf,  Israel plays off Greek rivalry with Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean.  

Able to attack from the very centre of the central Arab lands – occupied Palestine – Israel is now steadily moving into a position that will eventually enable it to threaten Arab states and Iran from the periphery, from the gulf in the southwest and from the northeastern corner of the Mediterranean.  It has pushed these doors open and on the basis of all its past behavior, it will keep pushing until it gets what it wants.

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh has antecedents dating back to the barrel bomb murders in Palestinian markets in the 1930s, the assassination of Lord Moyne in Cairo on November 6,  1944,  the blowing up of the King David Hotel in 1946, the assassination of Count Folke Bernadotte in 1948  and the massacres and destruction that have marked the zionist presence in the Middle East ever since.  Whether the enemy is a state, an organization, or an individual,  the enemy must be destroyed.   The standing refusal of the international ‘community’ to punish Israel for any of these crimes only encourages the zionist state to go still further.

Speaking to the House of Commons after the murder of Lord Moyne, Churchill, a strong advocate of Zionism all along,  remarked that “If there to be any hope of a peaceful and successful future for Zionism  these wicked activities must cease and those responsible for  them must be destroyed root and branch.” [2] These wicked activities have never ceased, those responsible for them have never been destroyed root and branch, the smoke of the assassins’ pistols now hangs over an entire region and Zionism has produced generations of criminals fully worthy of Nazi Germany.    

No state can endlessly endure Israel’s provocations. Iran and Hizbullah are playing the long game, compared to Netanyahu’s greed for instant satisfaction but at some point, there will be a limit to what they can endure and then there will be war,  possibly if not probably the most devastating in the modern history of the Middle East.  What will the international ‘community’ say then? It will be far too late to regret that it should have done something to stop Israel earlier.

Endnotes

[1] Catrina Stewart ‘Sir Winston Churchill: Zionist hero,’ Independent, November 3, 2012[2] ‘Palestine (Terrorist Activities) in the House of Commons at 12am on 17th November, 1944.’ theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=1944-11-17a.2242.1  For more on Commons debate on the murder of Lord Moyne,  see also api.parliament.uk/historic-hansard/commons/1944/nov/07/assassination-of-lord-moyne#S5CV0404PO_19441107_HOC_294  Churchill assured the House that the Zionists had lost a good friend in Lord Moyne.  According to Yitzhak Shamir, however, one of the architects of the murder, and a terrorist who later became an Israeli Prime Minister (like Menahim  Begin), Moyne was an anti-semite who did not believe in a Jewish nation or a Jewish people.  See Joanna Seidel ‘Yitzhak Shamir: why we killed Lord Moyne,’ Times of Israel, July 5, 2012. 

On anniversary of the liberation of Quneitra , the return of the occupied Syrian Golan inevitable

Source

By Rawaa  Ghanam 

 Friday, 26 June 2020 18:29

The 26th of June , 1974 marks a day of pride for Syrians across country for in that day the Israeli occupation of the southern city of Quneitra was brought to an end..

 Forty-six years have passed since the anniversary of the liberation of Quneitra from the Israeli occupation and  raising of the national flag in the city ,  the Syrians confirm their insistence more than ever to continue their struggle till  the liberation of the occupied Syrian  Golan and every  inch of Syrian land, whether from terrorism or the occupational forces which support it.

The day of victory over the Zionist enemy and the restoration of Quneitra to the bosom of the homeland on  June  26th 1974 is the day on which that late president  Hafez al-Assad, raised the nation’s flag in the sky of the liberated city after it had been liberated by the Syrian Arab Army from the Israeli enemy thanks to the heroism and sacrifices of the army personnel and the resilience of the Syrian people during the October Liberation War.This victory proved a basic fact – Syria’s inalienable and legitimate right to fully restore the occupied Syrian  Golan.

In spite of the policies of Judaization and repression practiced by the occupation authorities during their  brutal Zionist aggression on  Quneitra  and the aggressive destruction of the city in order to erase the national identity of  the Golan,  yet  the Golan challenged these policies and remained steadfast in the face of the occupation.

Citizens of the Golan  affirm strongly their adherence  to their homeland Syria and  reject  the “Israeli identity”, expressing determination  to liberate  the Golan and return  to the homeland.

The Syrians in general and the Syrian citizens of  Quneitra governorate and  in the occupied Syrian  Golan in particular  recall  proudly June 26th moments of victory over the Zionist enemy and the liberation of Quneitra city  , while  they are more confident of  their ability to confront the colonial and terrorist conspiracies  against Syria to undermine its  firm resistant stances in the region.

The released Syrian captive Sidqi Al-Maqt confirmed to  SANA correspondent in Quneitra   the continuation  of resistance and struggle against the Israeli occupation till the liberation of the entire occupied Syrian  Golan and  the rejection of  all arbitrary measures practiced by the occupation authorities aimed at Judaizing the Golan.

Al-Maqt expressed his confidence in the liberation of the occupied Syrian Golan  thanks to  the Syrian Arab Army .He was sure that the national flag will once again fly in its skies.

He  stressed  that the anniversary  of raising of  the national flag in the  city of Quneitra will increase the Syrians determination to continue the struggle to restore the entire occupied  Syrian Golan.

With the commemoration of the liberation of Quneitra from the Zionist occupation, the Syrians confirm day after day that the return of the Golan is a non-negotiable matter , and  that land is the subject of dignity above all and that the steadfastness of Syrian  people and their rejection of the Zionist measures are the best evidence of the inability of the occupation to undermine the will of the resistance and steadfastness  against  the usurper and that the will of the peoples is invincible.

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السيد نصر الله… وسيلة المقاومة والصمود (1)‏

د. جمال زهران

تعتبر المقاومة فكراً وممارسة، هي الرصيد الاستراتيجي لهذه الأمة العربية التي تتعرّض لمهانات غير مسبوقة تاريخياً من ذلك الاستعمار الأميركي الجديد المؤيّد أوروبياً من رموز الاستعمار القديم. فلو تصوّرنا أننا فقدنا القدرة على المقاومة بعد انتهاء حرب أكتوبر/ تشرين الأول 1973، فما هي الصورة التي كان يمكن أن تكون عليها أمتنا العربية؟ فبعد أن تمّ استبعاد مصر بعقد اتفاقيتي كامب ديفيد ثم المعاهدة المصرية الإسرائيلية، وتقييد إرادتها إلى حين، وتكبيل قدرتها على الحركة على الساحتين العربية والإقليمية، وكذلك الساحة الدولية، وتمّ إسكان مصر في مربع التبعية للاستعمار الأميركي والرجعية العربية، بعد كلّ ذلك، اتجه المشروع الصهيو/ أميركي، إلى تصفية المقاومة الفلسطينية في لبنان، وإحداث الفتنة في الصفوف المختلفة، فوقعت الحرب الأهلية اللبنانية، وتمّ إخراج المقاومة الفلسطينية إلى تونس، ليتمّ الاستفراد الصهيوني بلبنان، ووصل الأمر إلى احتلال «إسرائيل» للجنوب اللبناني وحتى بيروت، لضرب الوجود السوري في لبنان. وتلاحمت الرجعية العربية مع المشروع الصهيو أميركي، لضرب الجبهة الشمالية (سورية ولبنان) معاً ومرة واحدة.

في هذا الإطار، تولدت المقاومة العربية في لبنان بقيادة حزب الله، لتتولى مسؤولية التحرير اللبناني من الاحتلال الصهيوني، وعودة لبنان المستقلّ لامتلاك إرادته في الإصرار على عدم التسليم لـ «إسرائيل» وأميركا، وعدم التطبيع مع هذا الكيان الصهيوني مثلما سبق أن وقعت مصر اتفاقيات التطبيع مع «إسرائيل» برعاية أميركية، والثمن الفادح هو استبعاد مصر من المشهد العربي، ففقدت مصر فعاليتها، وانعدم دورها الإقليمي. واستطاعت المقاومة العربية في لبنان بقيادة حزب الله، أن تجبر «إسرائيل» على الخروج من العاصمة اللبنانية (بيروت)، ومن كلّ الجنوب اللبناني، تجرّ أذيال الهزيمة المفجعة التي تجاوزت حرب أكتوبر، لتكون المعركة الكبرى بعد حرب أكتوبر/ تشرين الأول وانتصاراتها العظيمة، بدون أيّ قيد أو شرط. واستطاعت المقاومة أن تضع شروطاً جديدة، وقواعد جديدة للتجاور مع «فلسطين المحتلة»، وأصبحت «إسرائيل» مقيّدة بإرادة المقاومة التي فرضت نفسها على الساحة اللبنانية والعربية؛ الأمر الذي أصبحت المقاومة منذ ذلك الحين، 25 مايو/ أيار 2000، وفي ذكرى العيد العشرينيّ لانتصارها، الرصيد الاستراتيجي للإرادة العربية الجديدة.

وما من شك أنه لولا تولّد هذه المقاومة، في ذلك الحين، وبعد انتصارات أكتوبر/ تشرين الأول 1973، لاستمرت حرب أكتوبر/ تشرين الأول هي آخر الحروب بالفعل، وآخر الهزائم للكيان الصهيوني، وربما سيطرت «إسرائيل» على كلّ لبنان وكلّ سورية، وانتقلت للعراق – لا قدّر الله – لتحقق حلمها في إنشاء الدولة اليهودية من النيل – بعد أن تمّ تأميم مصر وإقامة السفارة الصهيونية على نيل مصر في الجيزة على كوبري الجامعة – إلى الفرات في العراق، ولتحققت الهيمنة الإسرائيلية إلى أن يشاء الله. لذلك استطاعت الأمة أن تنجب حزب الله، بقيادة السيد حسن نصر الله، ليفرض المعادلات الجديدة في المنطقة العربية، ويفتح فصلاً جديداً في مدرسة الصراع العربي الصهيوني، وتاريخ القضية الفلسطينية، يؤكد استمرار الإرادة العربية والمقاومة العروبية، وأنّ الأمة بها مخزونها العروبي بكلّ مكوناته، في الصمود.

ومن دون إغراق في تحليل الوقائع التاريخية، وما حدث في العراق ابتداءً من حرب غير مبرّرة مع إيران الثورة من (1980 – 1988)، في الوقت ذاته الذي احتلت فيه «إسرائيل» لبنان، واشتعال الحرب الأهلية! ثم قيام صدام حسين بغزو الكويت من دون مبرّرات في 2 أغسطس/ آب 1990، إلى أن تمّ تحرير الكويت بإرادة دولية، ثم قيام أميركا بغزو واحتلال العراق في 22 مارس/ آذار 2003، ثم سقطت بغداد في 9 أبريل/ نيسان 2003، فإنّ الدرس هو استمرار المشروع الصهيو أميركي في التآمر على الأمة العربية وتفتيتها.

وكان الدور على سورية في خضمّ «الثورات» العربية في تونس ومصر، وكانت النتيجة هي دمار واسع لسورية، ولولا مثلث الداخل السوري (الرئيس بشار الأسد – الجيش – الشعب)، لانهارت سورية، وكذا لولا المقاومة اللبنانية الجسورة بقيادة حزب الله وأمينه العام السيد حسن نصر الله، ودعم إيران، لسقطت سورية كما سقطت بغداد. ومن هنا لا بدّ أن ندرك أنّ المقاومة هي أداة للتوازن الإقليمي، وهي التي حالت دون سقوط لبنان وسورية، ليتأكد وجود محور المقاومة بانتصاراته المتتالية.

ومَن يذهب إلى بيروت، لا بدّ له أن يزور قرية «ميليتا» التي تتعرّف من خلال الجولة الكاملة فيها سيرة المعارك مع العدو الصهيوني حتى تحرير الجنوب اللبناني، وإعطاء الكيان الصهيوني درساً لم ينسه ولن ينساه.

وربما سعت «إسرائيل»، لمحو هذا الانتصار من الذاكرة العربية بعدوانها المستمرّ ولمدة (33) يوماً، في يوليو/ تموز 2006، على بيروت، ولم تستطع تحقيق أيّ انتصار، بل خرجت من هذه المعركة أمام بسالة المقاومة العربية في لبنان، وخسرت المعركة، لتعترف «إسرائيل» للأبد، أن المقاومة العربية اللبنانية ولدت لتبقى وتستمرّ، وتفرض قواعد جديدة، ولا يمكن كسر إرادتها. أما ما يحدث الآن في لبنان، وصدور قرار قيصر الأميركي لإسقاط لبنان وسورية، فإنّ حديث السيد حسن نصر الله الأخير، يستحقّ وقفة، فهو من أقوى ما سمعت من السيد، ولهذا مقال مقبل…

*أستاذ العلوم السياسية والعلاقات الدولية، والأمين العام المساعد للتجمع العربي الإسلامي لدعم خيار المقاومة، ورئيس الجمعية العربية للعلوم السياسية.

حارس القدس هيلاريون كبوجي مقاومة المطران كبوجي العنيدة كالعبير الملتهب

آمنة بدر الدين الحلبي

احتدمت الأحداث في مسلسل «حارس القدس» والذي يجسد مسيرة سيادة المطران كبوجي بمقاومته العنيدة المشتعلة بالثورة، وكأنها العبير الملتهب على الأرض المقدسة لإثبات الحق لأصحاب الأرض منذ النكبة في عام 1948 وصولاً إلى النكسة في عام 1967 التي هزّت القلوب المتقدة، وزلزلت الأرض من تحت أقدام الشرفاء الوطنيين في العالم العربي، وانتشرت رائحة الموت من كل زقاق وشارع، من كل بيت ودكان، من كل قلب وروح، وملأت دقائق الأثير حتى وصلت الحواس.

وانتفض سيادة المطران هيلاريون كبوجي رافعاً الصوت عالياً في وجه الاحتلال «الاسرائيلي» «دعوني أدافع عن رعيتي وأدفن الشهداء قبل أن يهاجمكم الطاعون» لم يصدق ما آلت إليه نكسة حزيران في 1967 ولم يستوعب ما حصل في ستة أيام متتالية، من قتل وتدمير وتهويد، وأشلاء متناثرة هنا وهناك. لم يصدق أن المدينة المقدّسة اغتُصِبت، وانتهكت وداستها أقدام الاحتلال، وفي قرارة نفسه عاش الألم، وسعى لمساعدة كل محتاج وفقير، وإلى ترميم كل بيت تهدّم سواء كان لمسلمين أو مسيحيين، لأن في دمه يجري العرق السوري، العرق المقاوم العنيد في وجه أيّ محتل يريد أن يغتصب أرضه، والإنسان السوري الذي مقت الطائفية والعنصرية والمذهبية.

جسّد تلك الشخصية بتؤدة الفنان المبدع رشيد عساف بكل ما يملك من قوة على الإبحار في شخصية سيادة المطران كبوجي، جسّدها شكلاً وروحاً وأخلاقاً وسعياً دؤوباً لاستعادة الحق والوقوف في وجه الظلم والطغيان، في وجه عدو غاشم لا يفهم إلا لغة الدمار والاحتلال وسرقة الأرض، واغتصاب العرض.

رغم الحزن الذي انتاب المطران كبوجي وتصريحه الذي هزّ الوجدان حين قال: «حرب 1967 كانت نقطة تحوّل في حياتي، وضيّعت سنين عمري، وأصبحت أكثر سواداً في تاريخ العرب، لأن أحلام الناس وآمالهم آلت للضياع».

أجل ضاعت على مذبح الإنسانية أمام احتلال لا يفهم إلا لغة القهر والتسلط واغتصاب الأرض والعرض، فما كان من سعادة المطران كبوجي إلا السعي الحثيث لمقاومة الاحتلال بشتى الوسائل الإعلامية والثقافية، من فلسطين إلى لبنان وصولاً بسورية حاملاً هموم الفلسطينيين مسيحيين ومسلمين وسعى لمساندة المقاومة، بل وانخرط في دعمها في الداخل والخارج لإعادة الحق المغتصب الذي سرقه احتلال «اسرائيلي» لا يرحم، وشرد آلاف الأطفال والنساء والشيوخ.

لكنه لم ينسَ همومه العائلية ووالدته الحنونة التي قضت عمرها في سبيل رعاية العائلة، وكان يزورها باستمرار ليقبل يديها ويباركها، ويقرأ في حضرتها الشعر الجميل للشاعر الفلسطيني يوسف الخطيب، رحمه الله.. شاعر الأّنفة والعزة والكبرياء.

وأنا الذي وطني ارتحال الشمس

ملء الأرض

لكني بلا وطن

مَن ذا يصدّقني؟؟ مَن ذا يصدقني

أبليت نعلي في الرمال وفي الجرود

أدقُّ أبواباً وتدفعني

من أنتَ

من عربِ الخليل

وعما تبحث عن ثرى حراً

وعن سكني

هلاّ أقمتَ بنا

أقمتُ هنا فما يُشقيك؟؟؟

همٌ ليس يَبرحني

ماذا، جرحُ الروح

لم أفهم عذابك كيف تفهمني

وأنا الذي وطني ارتحال الشمس

ملء الأرض

لكني بلا وطن

مَن ذا يصدّقني؟؟ مَن ذا يصدّقني؟؟

الشاعر يوسف الخطيب والد المخرج المبدع باسل الخطيب الذي قدّم لنا أروع سيرة ذاتية لسيادة المطران كبوجي روحاً ونفساً وعملاً ومقاومة عنيدة، في صور تعجُّ بآلام الفلسطينيين وآمالهم، ودخل بالمسلسل إلى أدق التفاصيل في حياة سيادة المطران كبوجي، وكان اختياره للفنان المبدع رشيد عساف رائعاً، حيث جسّد شخصية مميزة في المقاومة الشرسة، وشخصية عنيدة، مقدامة لا تخاف في الحق لومة لائم، ماضية في الدفاع عن الحق المغتصب، حاملة هموم الشعب بأكمله إنسانياً واجتماعياً وأخلاقياً وثقافياً.

كنت أمام لوحة حقيقة في تعابير وجه الفنان رشيد عساف وانفعالاته، وفي إقدامه وإصراره على استرجاع الأرض المقدّسة وحماية أهلها من نير الظلم والطغيان.

سيادة المطران كبوجي كان راعياً حقيقياً لرعيته، وساعياً في طريق الفلاح لاستعادة الحق المغتصب، وتبيان للعالم أجمع ما فعله الاحتلال «الإسرائيلي» من تشويه ديني، وكذب اجتماعي، ونفاق أخلاقي، وسرقة لكل أنواع الثقافة الفلسطينية، وأوضح لنا بشاعة الاحتلال على الحواجز حين أراد الحاجز تفتيشه رفض بكل ما بوسعه، لكنه قوبل بكلام سوقيّ لا يفهم معنى القداسة، حين قال له أحد الجنود الإسرائيليين… «في المرة القادمة لو كان المسيح يقود السيارة لفتّشتها».

أي حقد أعمى سكن في قلوبهم؟ أي حقد عشعش في أرواحهم الميتة، أي شرٍّ تربوا عليه، أية وقاحة تعاملوا بها مع قداسة المطران كبوجي، لكن الحق الذي حمله سيادة المطران كبوجي كان مثل الشمس يُستضاء به، حرّكته الآلام المسكونة في أعماق ذاته الروحية، والآمال في النصر المؤزر، واستعادة الحق المسلوب من أيدي احتلال غاشم.

اغتصبوا البيوت، وقتلوا الأطفال والنساء، واعتقلوا الشباب، وقاموا بمجازر لا تُعدّ ولا تُحصى، أية أخلاق جلبوا معهم للأرض المقدسة؟ أية بشاعة نثروها في الأرض المقدسة؟ أية أرواح سلبوها من أمهاتها؟ وغدت النساء إما ثكالى أو أرامل أو في سجون الاحتلال، أي مال سرقوه من الضعفاء والمساكين؟ حتى المطرانية لم تسلم من أياديهم القذرة!!!

أما سيادة المطران كبوجي فكان ينسج أثوابه من نول ذاته، ويتحد مع روحه حين يسمع أجراس الكنائس تعانق آذان المساجد بألحان لا مثيل لها، وكأن تراتيل الحياة تجتاح سماء الأرض المقدسة.

وازداد ألمه برحيل الرئيس جمال عبد الناصر عام 1970، وأمر بتنكيس الأعلام السوداء حزناً على رحيله، ورفع القداديس وعزفت أجراس الكنائس حزناً على رحيل أبو خالد، وارتفعت الصلوات في المساجد.

واستمرّ النضال من الداخل والخارج سعياً لحياة كريمة وعادلة للفلسطينيين لأن الصمت والانعزال مساهمة في الخطيئة، لذلك حسم خياراته كنتيجة حتمية أمام الإذلال والاضطهاد، أمام كابوس الاحتلال ووحشيته القذرة، لأن الصمت لم يعد مجدياً، والحياد نوع من التواطؤ، معتبراً حياة الكاهن الكاثوليكي «إميليو توريز» ومسيرته رمزاً للحرية حين قال «لو كان المسيح حياً لانضمّ إلى الثورة».

وعاد الأمل يشقّ ضلوع الصدر في حرب 1973 آملا بالنصر المؤزر وعودة الأرض المقدسة، ولم تعُد!! بل ازداد الطغيان وكأنه القدر الذي أرخى سدوله على الفلسطينيين، وحتّم عليهم السير على خطى سيادة المطران لأن الخطر لا يزول إلا بزوال الاحتلال. هكذا قال لهم «الخطر هو الذي اختارنا وهذا قدرنا ولن نهرب من قدرنا».

“The Lost Lesson from the Arab-Israeli Struggle” by Dr. Rizk Elias…

Source

Tuesday, 05 November 2019

==The October Liberation War confirmed the validity of the theory that the late President Hafez al-Assad adopted in preparing for the war…

==President Bashar al-Assad has placed the issue of the liberation of Golan at the forefront of the national priorities.

A 525 page long and eight chapter book titled “The Lost Lesson from the Arab-Israeli Struggle, written by Dr. Rizk Elias” has been recently published by the Syrian Ministry of Culture – the Syrian General Book Organization.

Through his field participation in the Arab-Israeli wars and his history as an army officer, the author tries to summarize the events of this struggle during the last century, using the wars that took place from 1948 to 1982 to explain lessons of both sides in each of these wars, as well as the reasons for the failure of the peace process which began in Madrid in 1991, stressing that the lesson of a just and comprehensive peace is still missing. For those reasons, Dr. Rizk Elias’ book could be considered as an important source to politicians and military men who are interested in the Arab-Israeli struggle from its inception to date. The writer dedicated his book to all those who have worked and still work to achieve a just and comprehensive peace and to find an end to the Arab-Israeli struggle, which has passed over a century.

Introduction:

Introducing his book which includes all about the Arab-Israeli wars and the negotiations between Syria and Israel, Dr. Rizk Elias said that he tries to show the influence of geography and politics in the decisions of wars and peace, the impact of the process of building power and the theory of its use, as well as the military balance between the two sides and the attempts of both  parties to evaluate the results of each round of  the conflict and to learn lessons from it in order to prepare for a coming war or to resort to a peaceful settlement. Therefore, “I resorted in the first chapter of the book to describe the  geographical and topographical characterizations of the theater of the war, while in the subsequent chapters, I tried to deal with  the successive wars which took place from 1948 to  1982” Dr. Elias added. In the last chapter, I talked about the peace process between Syria and Israel, which began at the Madrid conference in 1991 and the reasons for its failure, only to help the reader to form a comprehensive idea about the Arab-Israeli struggle which has not been ended yet, neither in war or peace. “My previous position as a staff officer in the General Command of the Syrian Army and Armed Forces, and then an adviser to the Minister of Defense as well as my participations in the Arab – Israeli wars from the 1967 war and my experience as a teacher of these subjects at the Higher Military Academy in Damascus, and my contribution as a member of the peace process between Syria and Syria have all helped me in the delicate job to write this book” he said.

Dr. Elias confirmed that the Zionist ideology which was based on immigration and settlement has begun to decline after the October war, the 1973 Lebanon war, the Palestinian uprising in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and the liberation of the Lebanese resistance to south Lebanon in 2000 and the Second Lebanon War in 2006. Israel was forced to dismantle its settlements in the Sinai and the Gaza Strip. It also was forced to withdraw its forces from Lebanon after its arrival to the outskirts of Beirut as well as that Its scheme to establish a Palestinian state in Jordan has finally fell. The Israelis have resorted during the past few years to the idea of strategic defense and to build fortified walls in Gaza, the West Bank, the Lebanese borders and the occupied Golan Heights.

According to the writer, «Israel» now believes that arming the forces of the resistance axis consisting of Syria, Iran, Hezbollah and Palestinian organizations poses an existential danger to its existence, because such an armament can cause precise injuries in all vital targets in the depth of Israel as it has the powers and the means that enable them to break in through the barriers and walls built by Israel along the borders.

Chapters of the book:

The first chapter deals with some of the geographical characteristics of the theater of war in Palestine and the occupied Syrian Golan Heights including the boundaries of the Mandate and the armistice lines, and the topographical landmarks in Palestine and the Syrian Golan Heights.

The second chapter talks about the Arab-Israeli war in 1948, while the third talks about the tripartite aggression «British, French and Israeli» on Egypt in 1956.  In the fourth chapter, the writer explained all about the Israeli aggression against Egypt, Jordan and Syria in 1967. In the fifth chapter, the writer discussed the process that occurred in Syria to rebuild the Syrian armed forces before the liberation 1973 war and the first war of attrition (1968-1973).

In the sixth chapter, the writer talks about the October liberation war on the Syrian and Egyptian fronts, and the second war of attrition on the Syrian front (1973-1974), while Chapter seven deals with Syria’s approach to build a strategic balance with Israel and to confront the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982. The last chapter of the book deals with the peace process between Syria and Israel and the reasons for its failure.

The mission of liberation:

In the fifth chapter, the author talks about the features of the theory of the late President Hafez al-Assad to liberate the occupied Golan Heights and the rest of other occupied Arab territories.Image result for hafez assad

“Anyone who reads the speech of president Hafez al-Assad at the tenth extraordinary National Congress of the Arab Socialist Baath Party, which was held in early November 1970, touches the concern he had had to liberate the territories occupied by Israel in its aggression in 1967; a concern that remained his concern for a long time.” The writer said. People who were close to him knew that on the anniversary of the occupation of the Golan, which occurs on the tenth of June of each year, president Assad devoted all his day to evaluate what Syria had achieved on the road to liberate the Golan.

Also in his speech at the conference which was held several days before the establishment of the Corrective Movement in 1970, president Hafez al-Assad laid out his vision on how to liberate the Golan and the occupied Arab territories. He had worked according to this vision for thirty years until his death, that vision which is still valid to rationalize our steps in the struggle to liberate our territoriy.

The writer reviewed the clear and integrated vision of the late president Hafez al-Assad, explaining how it was interrelated in the domestic, Arab and international politics and also in the field of the battle for the accomplishment of the liberation mission.

The October War of Liberation

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After examining the details of the October liberation war, Dr. Rizk Elias listed in the sixth chapter the most important positive results of this war in 1973, including the moral victory not only of the fighters who participated in it, but also of the Arab Man who suffered frustration as a result of the June 1967 defeat. To liberate part of the occupied territories, this war showed the importance of Arab solidarity and its effectiveness and forced the enemy to treat the Palestinian issue as an issue of people rather than refugees. The October war also caused a major jolt in the psycho-political structure of the Israeli society, and strengthened the position of Arabs in the field of the international political action.

This war has also confirmed through practical experience the validity of the theory on which President Hafez al-Assad had based to prepare for the war and to conduct it.  It proved that Arab soldiers had appeared during the battle in their true image; brave and able to use modern war machines, love their nation and sacrifice for it, showing moral energy in the war. There was scientific evidence of unity of the Arab nation in the will, feelings, desires, hopes and goals, and its enormous military, human and economic energy capable of achieving victory if used correctly. There was great importance of incorporating the political and military battles. Late President Hafez al-Assad stressed that fact by saying: « we cannot, in any way, separate our political battle from our military battle, because the first came as a result of the second, and is associated with it. “We have achieved with our steadfastness in the military battle glorious results which shattered all the myths woven by the enemy around him” he concluded. “We are also able with steadfastness, self-confidence and strong cohesion at the home front, along with our solid cohesion with the Arab nation, to achieve success in the political battle either to achieve the goals for which we fought, or by saying a big “NO” if we were faced by manipulation or evasive or evasion of the implementation of the Security Council resolution as we understand. »

The Peace Process:

Image result for hafez assad

Dr. Rizk Elias revealed in Chapter eight which talks about the “peace process and the reasons for its failure”, the statement of late President Hafez al-Assad on 9 September 1992 in a meeting with a delegation of citizens of the Golan who came to visit Damascus: «In the past we have said that we want peace, and today we are saying that we want a comprehensive peace that preserves our dignity and is accepted by our people, and does not require any retreat from our national rights, and will in no way harm the dignity and pride of our nation. If others agree, this kind of peace can then be achieved.”

On August 1, 1993, on the occasion of the Syrian Arab Army Day, the late President al-Assad gave a clear indication of how serious Syria is in its attempts to achieve peace: “We are in the battle of peace and we are fighting it as seriously as we are in the military wars.

The book also reviewed President Bashar al-Assad’s position on the peace process. The president placed the question of the occupied land in the Golan Heights at the forefront of the national priorities. “Our main concern is to liberate our occupied land. “Land and sovereignty are an issue of dignity” he said. We have been clear in our positions since the beginning of the peace process in Madrid in 1991, contrary to the Israeli policy, which was characterized by fluctuation at times, and putting obstacles”, president Bashar al-Assad said in his Constitutional oath speech in front of the People’s Assembly (the parliament) on July, 17, 2000.

In the same speech, President al-Assad stressed that we must work as quickly as possible to liberate the Golan without compromising the land. “We are in a hurry for peace because it is our choice, and the Syrian Arab people a peace-loving people throughout history, but we are not ready, by any means, to abandon any part of our land, or to let our sovereignty to be touched » he said.

President al-Assad called on the United States of America to play a neutral, impartial and effective role to implement the resolutions of international legitimacy. In a later speech, President Bashar al-Assad called on Russia and the European Union to play a more active role.

In another speech, President al-Assad referred to the peace-loving nature of the Syrian people by saying: Peace is an ideology for the Syrian people and not just a political act. If you go back to the history of Syria for hundreds and thousands of years, you will find that it has no history of aggression. The real struggle between us and the Israelis is between those who start wars and those who prevent it ».

President al-Assad also explained the contrast between the terms “Syria’s conditions” and “Syria’s rights” by saying: “There is no such a thing as” Syria’s conditions” but there is something called” “Syria’s rights”. “There are international conditions that correspond to the Syrian and Arab rights in general. Israel stands in the face of restoration of the Syrian rights and, at the same time, in the face of the international conditions ».

Referring to Syria’s strategy of steadfastness and liberation and its ability to confront the Israeli aggression, President al-Assad said: «Syria does not seek to ignite the war, but if imposed a war on Syria, will defend itself, and is able to do so. It may be able for anyone to control the beginning of the war, but he will never be able to control its end or its results. The Arab side, and we are at the forefront of it, who possess the decision to end the war; how, where and what how it ends ».

The decisions of the tenth regional conference of the Arab Socialist Baath Party which was held between June 6 and 9, 2005, underlined the peaceful approach taken by the President in his official statements and positions. The first recommendation taken by that conference stressed the need of liberating the occupied Syrian Golan to the line of the fourth of June 1967».

Also, The Charter of the National Progressive Front issued on 12 October 2004 affirmed the commitment of the Front to a peaceful approach in its international policy according to the principles of the international legitimacy and the UN decisions relating to the Arab – Israeli struggle on the basis of justice, rights, international law and finding peaceful resolutions to conflicts.»

 

Adapted by Haifaa Mafalani

إسرائيل لا تثق بجيشها البرّي: «حرب 73 ستكون نزهة»!

إسرائيل لا تثق بجيشها البرّي: «حرب 73 ستكون نزهة»!

غولان: وضع سلاح البر سيء جداً، وقائد ذراع البر لا يعمل (أ ف ب )

 علي حيدر

 السبت 9 شباط 2019

لم يعد الحديث عن عدم جاهزية سلاح البر في جيش العدو مجرد تقدير أو تحذير من لجان متخصصة أو من مفوض شكاوى الجنود. بل أتى من قلب المؤسسة العسكرية ومن قيادتها العليا. في وثيقة سرية قدمها نائب رئيس الأركان السابق اللواء يائير غولان، كان الأخير صريحاً إلى حد الإقرار بعدم ثقة القيادة العليا بالجيش البري، والتحذير مما ينتظر الجبهة الداخلية من سيناريوات لم تشهدها طوال تاريخها في كل الحروب التي خاضتها في مواجهة الجيوش العربية.

لم يعد بإمكان المؤسسة الإسرائيلية بكافة عناوينها، التغطية على هذه الحقيقة المؤلمة بالنسبة لكل إسرائيلي محتل، جندياً كان أو مستوطناً، خصوصاً أن من قدمها هو من القيادة العسكرية العليا، وكان أحد المرشحين لخلافة رئيس الأركان السابق غادي آيزنكوت في منصبه. ومما أضفى على الوثيقة المزيد من الصدقية أيضاً أنها لم تستند إلى تقديرات نظرية، بل إلى تجارب عملانية أيضاً، الأمر الذي رفع من مستوى الخطورة لدى قادة تل أبيب – حتى لو تمت التغطية على ذلك – خصوصاً أن هذا الواقع يمهد لمزيد من النكسات والهزائم التي ستكون مفاعيلها أشد خطورة على وجودها وأمنها.

أكد اللواء غولان أن انعدام الثقة بقدرات سلاح البر، والخوف من الخسائر، أديا إلى عدم تنفيذ اجتياح بري خلال العدوان على قطاع غزة في العام 2014، في ما سمي بـ«الجرف الصامد». وأشار إلى أن «انعدام الثقة بسلاح البر انتقل إلى الشبان، وألحق هذا الأمر ضرراً لا يمكن إصلاحه من حيث ثقة الضباط بأنفسهم وبقدرتهم على الانتصار». في المقابل، اعتبر رئيس معهد القدس للأبحاث الاستراتيجية، أفرايم عنبر، أن «الخشية هذه موجودة منذ سنوات طويلة وكما يبدو منذ أيام حرب لبنان الثانية» (حرب تموز 2006)، مشيراً إلى أنه «ليس عبثاً تم إهمال سلاح البر لمصلحة قدرات السايبر وسلاح الجو».

لكن المشكلة الكبرى بالنسبة لإسرائيل، تكمن في الخطورة الكبرى التي ستواجهها انطلاقاً من أن «الضربة التي ستوجه إلى الجبهة الداخلية ستكون (في الحرب المقبلة) أكبر مما تحتمله، وأن إخفاق حرب يوم الغفران (حرب تشرين العام 1973) سيكون «نزهة» قياساً بالضربة التي ستوجه إلى الجبهة الداخلية»، بحسب غولان. في المقابل، رأى قائد سلاح البر السابق اللواء غاي تسور، أنه «إذا نظرنا إلى المستقبل، وبموجب إدراكنا لطبيعة الحرب المقبلة في لبنان، فعلينا تعزيز ثقة صناع القرار بسلاح البر».

ويعود منشأ هذه الخطورة، بحسب منطق غولان، من أن «سلاح الجو لن يتمكن من وقف آلاف الصواريخ في الحرب المقبلة، وبالتالي سيكون من الضروري دخول القوات البرية إلى أراضي العدو ووقف إطلاق الصواريخ. وإلا فإن الجبهة الداخلية ستتلقى ضربات صاروخية سيكون من الصعب عليها تحملها»، «والوضع سيشكل صدمة للجمهور». يتلاقى هذا «التحذير» أيضاً مع ما سبق أن أقر به الرئيس السابق لأركان جيش العدو غادي آيزنكوت عشية رأس السنة العبرية في أيلول الماضي، بأن سلاح الجو غير قادر على الانتصار في الحرب، وأن «الانتصار سيأتي حصراً عبر عمل القوات البرية».

لكن المشكلة أن هناك قدراً من التسليم الضمني بأن سلاح البر في جيش العدو، عاجز عن تحقيق أي حسم عسكري، فضلاً عن الكلفة الباهظة التي سيتلقاها. ومن هنا تنبع عدم ثقة القيادة العليا به، وهو ما وصفه غولان في الوثيقة، بأنه «مفهوم كارثي» وأن «وضع سلاح البر سيء جداً، وقائد ذراع البر لا يعمل…». ويضيف أيضاً أن «مشكلة القيادة العليا للجيش الإسرائيلي تكمن في الوعي، وهذه القيادة فعلاً لا تعتمد على سلاح البر… وحتى الاستثمارات المالية الكبيرة في سلاح البر لن تفيد». وهكذا يتضح فعلياً أن إسرائيل عالقة بين «خيار جوي عقيم وغزو بري متعذر» 

(«الأخبار»، 10 أيلول 2018 ).

يادلين مشكّكاً: إلى أي مدى يمكن أن يصل الهجوم البري؟ إلى بيروت؟ شمال لبنان؟ العراق؟

كل ذلك توالى بعد محاولات المؤسستين العسكرية والسياسية التشكيك بتقارير مفوض شكاوى الجنود في الجيش اللواء يتسحاق بريك، الذي أكد عدم جاهزية الجيش للحرب. لكن انكشاف وثيقة غولان أطاح بكل هذه الجهود الدعائية.

في المقابل، تدرك تل أبيب خطورة الصورة التي تتشكل في وعي أعداء إسرائيل حول عدم جاهزية سلاح البر. وتدرك أيضاً القدرات الصاروخية الهائلة التي يمتلكها محور المقاومة، والقادر من خلالها على دك الجبهة الداخلية، وهو ما وفَّر ردعاً استراتيجياً في مقابل القوة النارية والتدميرية الهائلة لجيش العدو. وانعكاس كل ذلك على معادلات الردع المتبادل، وعلى المدى الذي يمكن أن يبلغه أعداء إسرائيل في حال نشوب أي مواجهة كبرى.

أياً كانت المساعي التي تبذلها القيادة الإسرائيلية لتبديل صورة جيشها بنظر جمهورها وبنظر أعدائها، فإنها من الناحية العملية لم تعد تثق بجيشها في مواجهة قوى المقاومة، وباتت أمام حقيقتين لخّصهما رئيس الاستخبارات العسكرية السابق، اللواء عاموس يادلين. الأولى عبّر عنها بالقول: «أنا لا أوافق على الادعاء أن العملية البرية ستوقف إطلاق الصواريخ. إلى أي مسافة ستصل العملية البرية؟ حتى بيروت؟ حتى شمال لبنان؟ إلى غرب العراق؟». وهو أراد بذلك الإشارة إلى أن هذا التمدد الإسرائيلي المفترض لن يوقف أيضاً دك الجبهة الداخلية بالصواريخ. والثانية، أن «ذراع البر في الجيش الإسرائيلي يمثّل شعب إسرائيل الذي لا يريد إرسال جنوده إلى هجوم بريّ في الحرب المقبلة». وهي الحقيقة الأكثر إيلاماً وحضوراً في وعي قادة تل أبيب على المستويين السياسي والأمني.

The Yom Kippur Syndrome

September 18, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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A message to Jews from Gilad Atzmon

When the Yom Kippur War broke out 45 years ago I was ten years old.  I recall a lot of fear all around me. Israel was my home and it was about to be wiped out. This is what I believed at the time, and this is what everyone around me repeated. We were all certainly caught unprepared.

My father was called up by the Air Force in the early hours of Yom Kippur (October 6th 1973). We didn’t hear from him for a few weeks. We didn’t know whether he was alive. In fact, we had good reason to believe he wasn’t. We were very worried.  For the adults around me, the first days of the war were a reminder of the Shoah. Israeli leaders, Golda Meir and Moshe Dayan as well as the top Israeli military command appeared perplexed and hesitant on TV. Their message was: ‘the future isn’t clear, we may even witness the destruction of the 3rd temple.’

Years later, when I became an avid reader of history and military texts, it became clear to me that the collective Shoah dread into which we immersed ourselves was a manifestation of Jewish pre traumatic stress disorder (Pre TSD). We were tormented by a phantasmic fear. Neither the Syrians nor the Egyptian armies had plans to ‘destroy Israel,’ wipe out the Jewish state or ‘throw the Jews into the sea’. Their military objectives were, in fact, very limited. Neither the Egyptians nor the Syrians wished to expand their military ground operation beyond a few miles into the Sinai and the Golan Heights. Both Arab armies were dependent on Soviet ground to air missiles that severely limited Israeli air superiority above the battlefield. The Soviet missile umbrella provided about 10 miles of anti air cover and the Arab armies had no intent to proceed beyond that ‘safe’ zone.

It took me years to grasp that Israel’s panic during the first few days of the war led to some serious military blunders (such as the IDF’s disastrous counter offensive on the 8th of October). This panic was fuelled by projection.  Believing that the Arabs were ‘about to throw the Jews into the sea’, Israeli generals and cabinet members reacted irrationally and wasted their limited reserve forces in a  counter offensive that failed and cost many Israeli lives.

But why did the Israelis believe that the Arabs were about to throw them into the sea? Why did they assume the Arab armies were murderous or possibly genocidal? Why did PM Golda Meir and Defense Minister Moshe Dayan believe that the ‘3rd temple’ was about to be annihilated?  Simple, because the Israelis were and still are driven by lethal inclinations towards their neighbours. It was the Israelis who literally pushed the Palestinians into the sea in 1948 into the sea. Israelis were panicking because they were projecting their own symptoms onto the Arabs. 

In ‘The Wandering Who’ I elaborate on projection in the context of Jewish ‘pre traumatic stress.’ The principle is simple. The more murderous and sinister one is, the more fearful one becomes of others. Humans tend to attribute their own reasoning and symptoms onto others. Accordingly, the more menacing one is, the more sinister one believes the other to be.

Israelis consistently attribute their own racist and barbarian symptoms onto the Palestinians. The possibility that a Palestinian or an Arab would be as merciless as the IDF causes real and total panic for the Israeli. The thought that the Palestinians, for instance, would want to displace a quarter of Israeli citizens and massacre Israelis as the IDF has done to Gaza numerous times must evoke terror amongst Israelis and for a good reason.

But this state of collective anxiety is not unique to Israelis; it is embedded in Jewish culture. Basically, Jews are tormented by anti Semitism because they assume that their own ‘goy hatred’ is echoed by ‘Jew hatred’ from their gentile neighbours. As Martin Heidegger noted in the 1930s, the Jews opposed in the Nazis the racism which they recognized from themselves. Heidegger wrote in his Black Notebooks: the Jewish people, with their talent for calculation, were so vehemently opposed to the Nazi’s racial theories because

“they themselves have lived according to the race principle for longest.”

In 1973 Israel believed that that the Arabs were out to eradicate them because this is exactly what the Israelis would have liked to do to the Arabs.

The Syndrome

Projection is just one aspect of the Yom Kippur war. I guess that, at least from a philosophical perspective, the most interesting aspect of the 73 War was that it marked a sudden switch from Judeo centric manic ‘hubris’ to melancholia, apathy and depression.

Following their outstanding 1967 military victory, the Israelis developed an arrogant disrespectful attitude toward Arabs and their military capability. Israeli intelligence predicted that it would take years for Arab armies to recover. The Israeli military didn’t believe that the Arab soldier had the ability to fight, let alone score a victory.

But on 6 October 1973, the Israelis had a devastating surprise. This time the Arab soldier was very different. The Israeli military strategy that was built on air superiority and fast ground maneuvers supported by tanks was crushed in only a few hours. The Egyptians and Syrians helped by new Soviet antitank and ground to air missiles managed to dismantle Israeli’s might. In the first days of the war Israel suffered heavy casualties and, as mentioned above, the Israeli leadership and high command were in a state of despair. This type of crisis wasn’t new to the Jews. It is consistently symptomatic of Jewish culture to be ‘surprised’ and overwhelmed by the Goyim’s fierce resilience.

The Israeli military fiasco at the first stage of the war was a repetition of a tragic syndrome that is as old as the Jews themselves. Jewish hubris that is driven by a strong sense of choseness and that repeatedly leads to horrific consequences is what I call ‘The Yom Kippur Syndrome.’  The syndrome can be defined as a repeated chain of events that drive Jewish societies towards an extreme irrational sense of pride, arrogance, self-confidence and blindness toward others and the tragedy that inevitably follows.

On October 6th, the Israelis realised that they had grossly underestimated their enemies.  But it wasn’t the first time such a mistake occurred in Jewish history. Every Jewish disaster is, to a certain extent, a repetition of the Yom Kippur Syndrome. In 1920s Berlin the Jewish elite boasted of its power. Some rich Jews were convinced that Germany and its capital were Jewish occupied territories. At the time, a few German Jews dominated banking and influenced Germany’s politics and media. In addition, the Frankfurt School as well as other Jewish school of thoughts were openly dedicated to the cultural uprooting of Germans, all in the name of, ‘progress,’ ‘working class politics,’ phenomenology and cultural Marxism. Then, almost from nowhere, as far as German Jews were concerned, a tidal wave of resentment appeared. And the rest is known.

But was there really a sudden shift in German consciousness? Should German ‘anti Semitism’ have come as a surprise? Not at all. All necessary signs had been present for some time. In fact, Early Zionists such as Herzl and Nordau correctly predicted the inevitable rise of European anti Jewish sentiments. But Jewish hubris prevented Berlin’s Jewish elite from evaluating the growing opposition around them. The Yom Kippur Syndrome.

The same could be said of the Jewish Lobby, AIPAC, Friends of Israel clubs in Britain, the BOD, the three British Jewish papers that, in the name of British Jewry, declared war on Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party.  These Jewish lobbies and institutions that relentlessly seek influence over Western foreign affairs and the Labour Party in particular: do they grasp the level of resentment and the potential disaster they are bringing on their fellow Jews?

Can the Jew recover from the Yom Kippur Syndrome? Can the Jew somehow detect resentment as it grows and amend his or her ways?  All it takes is drifting away from choseness. But once stripped of choseness what is left of the Jew or for the Jew?

This may be the most devastating question and the true meaning of the existential Yom Kippur Syndrome; there is no Jewish collective ideological escape for the Jew. Zionism failed to provide the goods and the so called ‘anti Zionists’ have done little other than form their own racially exclusive enclaves of chosenness within the so called ‘Left over.’

The only escape route from the Yom Kippur Syndrome is personal and individual. Try leaving the tribe late in the night, crawl under the ghetto fence, dig a tunnel under the ‘separation wall’ if necessary and then once on land of the free, proceed quietly and modestly towards the humane and the universal.

Good luck

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