Biden will not end the ‘deal of the century’ – Palestinian leaders are acting in haste

Joseph Massad

24 November 2020 

The goal of the US ‘peace process’ has long been – and will continue to be under Biden – the obliteration of Palestinian resistance to Israeli colonisation

People denounce the ‘deal of the century’ in the occupied West Bank on 28 February 2020 (AFP)

Since the election of Joe Biden as the next US president, reports of the death of the “deal of the century” have been greatly exaggerated. The Palestinian Authority (PA) has felt a sense of relief that its love affair with Israel and Israel’s allies could finally resume. 

The PA had cut off official security coordination with Israel in May, and cooled relations with Bahrain and the UAE after they opened diplomatic relations with Israel this summer. The PA used the pretext that President Donald Trump’s “deal” was detrimental to Palestinian interests.  

In the wake of Biden’s election, the PA declared the deal and annexation plans to be “no longer on the table”. It officially resumed security coordination with Israel, citing assurances from Israel that it would comply with prior agreements it had signed with the PA.

This came just days after Israel opened bidding on the construction of a new Jewish colonial settlement intended to cut off occupied East Jerusalem from the West Bank. The PA has also restored its ambassadors to Bahrain and the UAE. 

Palestinian prisoners

These PA moves seek to appeal to Biden, who is expected to be more sympathetic to their cause than Trump. And so, instead of announcing that the PA was looking forward to being welcomed back into the US capital, the adamantly anti-Palestinian New York Times, the US “newspaper of record”, announced that “in a bold move to refurbish their sullied image in Washington, the Palestinians are laying the groundwork for an overhaul to one of their most cherished but controversial practices, officials say: compensating those who serve time in Israeli prisons, including for violent attacks.” 

Israel has been demanding for decades that the PA not support the families of Palestinians killed by Israel, let alone the families of Palestinian prisoners of war. The US Congress “repeatedly passed legislation to reduce aid to the Palestinians by the amount of those payments”, which were also cited by Trump when he cut funding to the PA in 2018.

Biden will be little different from Trump who, in fact, was little different from Obama or previous presidents

The New York Times added that “Palestinian officials eager to make a fresh start … are heeding the advice of sympathetic Democrats who have repeatedly warned that without an end to the payments, it would be impossible for the new administration to do any heavy lifting on their behalf”. 

This is an important example of how Biden will be little different from Trump who, in fact, was little different from Obama or previous presidents. Biden has vowed not to move the US embassy back to Tel Aviv, nor to rescind US recognition of Israel’s illegal annexation of that city. Perhaps the only difference is that Biden may restore aid to the PA, while curtailing support to families of Palestinian prisoners – details of which are “being hammered out in Ramallah”, according to the Times.  

Security coordination

But as the “deal of the century” is predicated on the premise that the US and Palestinians must give Israel everything it wants, it remains unclear why the PA thinks the deal is no longer on the table. After all, the PA has acted in accordance with that very premise by resuming security coordination with Israel, returning its ambassadors to the Gulf states, and negotiating cuts to support for prisoners’ families – all without getting anything in return. 

The issue of financial support to Palestinian prisoners’ families is, in fact, a central feature of how the US “peace process” has always been premised on coercing Palestinians and other Arabs to join the US in legitimising Israeli colonial conquests and delegitimising any resistance to them. 

An Israeli border guard fires tear gas towards Palestinians in Bethlehem in 2017 (AFP)
An Israeli border guard fires tear gas towards Palestinians in Bethlehem in 2017 (AFP)

Since the 1993 Oslo I Accord, the PA has committed to stamping out all Palestinian resistance to Israeli colonisation of Palestinian lands, collaborating with Israel either by informing on or handing over resistors to Israeli security forces, or by having its own security agencies imprison or kill them. Why, then, Israel and the US complain, would the PA support their families?

This is to be contrasted with the fact that Israel and the US have always rewarded Israeli Jews who massacre Palestinians. A minuscule number of Israeli soldiers who kill Palestinians have ever been prosecuted, and even fewer found guilty, as has been documented by Israeli human rights groups and others. 

Israeli impunity

Last year, an Israeli soldier who fatally shot an unarmed 14-year-old Palestinian boy was sentenced to a month in military prison. The boy’s father told the New York Times: “This is unjust.” He said he feared that the soldier’s sentence would “encourage his colleagues to kill in cold blood”. 

Also last year, the Israeli army exonerated its soldiers in the killing of a Palestinian double-amputee protesting at the Gaza fence who was shot in the chest. The army said it could not ascertain that its soldiers were the ones who killed him. Another Israeli border police officer who killed yet another Palestinian teenager in 2014 was sentenced two years ago to nine months in prison, having been praised by the judge as “excellent” and “conscientious”. Biden victory means the end of an era for Netanyahu

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As for the Israeli military medic who shot dead an already injured Palestinian lying on the ground in 2016, he was sentenced to 18 months in prison, a year of probation and a demotion. His sentence was later decreased to 14 months, of which he served only nine before being released. 

These are neither aberrant nor new examples; they harken back to the establishment of Israel. Late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who expelled the Palestinian population of the city of Lydda in 1948 and devised the “break-their-bones” policy against Palestinians during the First Intifada, is celebrated in Israel and the US as a “hero” for peace. He never went to jail for his crimes.  

Nor did former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, who, dressed in drag, headed a commando unit that assassinated several Palestinian leaders in their homes in Beirut in 1973. He, like Rabin, is hailed as a hero. 

In October 1956, the Israeli army committed a horrific massacre against its own Israeli-Palestinian citizens in the village of Kafr Qasim, when its soldiers shot dead 49 men, women and children coming home from their fields after a day of work, and injured dozens more.  

Despite an initial government cover-up, a trial took place and prison sentences were handed down in October 1958 to eight officers ranging from eight to 17 years. Appeals were filed, and all the sentences were reduced with all the convicted killers released by 1960, having spent their sentence in a sanatorium in Jerusalem, and not in a prison cell.

Officer Gabriel Dahan, convicted of killing 43 Palestinians, was appointed as officer responsible for Arab affairs in the city of Ramle in September 1960. The brigadier most responsible for giving the orders for the massacre, Yshishkar Shadmi, had a separate trial, and was found guilty of a “technical error” and fined one cent. 

Better deal next time?

What Biden and his friends are demanding of the PA today is precisely what Israel and Trump also demanded: namely, that it consider Israeli conquest, colonisation and occupation of Palestinian land – including the killing of Palestinians who resist (or do not resist) Israel – as heroic acts.

Since the PA did right by Israel and the US when it agreed in Oslo to quash any resistance to these Israeli heroic acts, it must continue to do so by not supporting the families of Palestinian prisoners or martyrs. 

It has always been the same deal, which is what Trump tried valiantly to impress upon the world

The goal of the PA, as envisaged by the Oslo Accords, is not only to obliterate any remaining resistance to Israel, but also to quash the Palestinian people’s will to resist their insidious coloniser once and for all. That was the essence of the US “peace process” in the 1970s and 1980s, of the Oslo deal, of former US President Bill Clinton’s Camp David offer in 2000, and of Trump’s “deal of the century“.  

It has always been the same deal, which is what Trump tried valiantly to impress upon the world. The much-awaited Biden, however, will be sure to indulge the PA. He will pretend, alongside the PA, that Palestinians will get a new and better deal next time.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

Joseph Massad is Professor of Modern Arab Politics and Intellectual History at Columbia University in New York. He is the author of many books and academic and journalistic articles. His books include Colonial Effects: The Making of National Identity in Jordan, Desiring Arabs, The Persistence of the Palestinian Question: Essays on Zionism and the Palestinians, and most recently Islam in Liberalism. His books and articles have been translated to a dozen languages.

الجغرافيا السياسيّة للتطبيع – دور تركيّ في لبنان؟

ناصر قنديل

Photo of فرصة صفقة القرن لوحدة اللبنانيين

يعرف حكام الخليج أن التطبيع الذي جمعهم بكيان الاحتلال برابط مصيريّ لا ينبع من أي وجه من وجوه المصلحة لحكوماتهم ولبلادهم. فالتطبيع يرفع من درجة المخاطر ولا يخفضها إذا انطلقنا من التسليم بالقلق من مستقبل العلاقة مع إيران، والتطبيع مكاسب صافية لكيان الاحتلال اقتصادياً ومعنوياً وسياسياً وأمنياً، ولذلك فهم يعلمون أنهم قاموا بتسديد فاتورة أميركية لدعم كيان الاحتلال من رصيدهم وعلى حسابهم، ويحملون المخاطر الناجمة عن ذلك وحدهم، خصوصاً أن الأميركي الذي يمهد للانسحاب من المنطقة بمعزل عن تداعيات أزمات الانتخابات الرئاسية ونتائجها، ولذلك فقد تم إطعام حكام الخليج معادلات وهمية لبناء نظام إقليمي يشكل التطبيع ركيزته يحقق لهم توازن قوة يحميهم، فما هو هذا النظام الإقليمي وما هي الجغرافيا السياسية التي يسعى لخلقها؟

تبلورت خلال الأسابيع الماضية صورة الخرائط التي يسعى الأميركي لتسويقها كنواة للنظام الإقليمي الجديد عبر أربعة محاور، الأول محور البحر الأحمر الذي يضمّ مصر والسودان كشريكين في التطبيع، والثاني محور «الشام الجديد» الذي أعلن عنه كحلف أمنيّ اقتصاديّ يضمّ مصر والأردن والعراق، والثالث محور العبور ويضمّ الأردن والسلطة الفلسطينية، والرابع محور الطوق ويضمّ السلطة الفلسطينية والأردن والعراق، فيما يتولى كيان الاحتلال المشاغلة الأمنية لسورية والمقاومة، ويوضع لبنان تحت ضغط الأزمة الاقتصادية والسياسية والفشل الحكوميّ وضغوط ترسيم الحدود.

عملياً، يفقد النظام الإقليمي الموعود كل قيمة فعلية، إذا لم ينجح المحور الرابع الذي يتمثل بالسلطة الفلسطينية والأردن والعراق في الانضمام لخط المواجهة مع محور المقاومة، فالتعقيدات الفلسطينية أمام الجمع بين محور العبور أي حماية قوافل التطبيع العابرة من الكيان الى الخليج وبالعكس، ومحور الطوق الذي يراد منه عزل سورية، كبيرة جداً في ظل التبني الأميركي لخيارين بحدّ أعلى هو تصفية القضية الفلسطينية تحت عنوان مضامين صفقة القرن وحد أدنى هو التفاوض لأجل التفاوض من دون تقديم أي ضيغة قادرة على إنتاج تسوية يمكن قبولها وتسويقها فلسطينياً ويمكن قبولها وتسويقها إسرائيلياً، والأردن المثقل بضغوط القضية الفلسطينية من جهة وبالتشابك العالي ديمغرافياً واقتصادياً وأمنياً مع سورية معرض للانفجار بدوره في حلف عبور قوافل التطبيع في آن واحد، والعراق المطلوب فك ارتباطه العميق بإيران عبر نقل اعتماده على الغاز والكهرباء إلى مصر بدلاً من إيران، وإشراكه بحصار سورية رغم تشابك لا يقل عمقاً بينه وبينها ديمغرافياً واقتصادياً وأمنياً معرّض هو الآخر للانفجار تحت هذه الضغوط.

المشاغلة الإسرائيلية على جبهتي جنوب لبنان والجولان محاولة لرفع معنويات المدعوين للمشاركة في النظام الإقليمي الجديد، بأدوارهم الجديدة، والنجاح الأميركي بالضغط في لبنان وفي سورية يبدو قادراً على شل المبادرة على هاتين الجبهتين، لكن الأكيد أن لا تعديل في موازين القوى الميدانية التي تقلق كيان الاحتلال من جهة، ولا قدرة إسرائيلية على رفع المشاغلة الى درجة الحرب. والأميركي الذي يريد هذا النظام الإقليمي بديلاً لوجوده تمهيداً للانسحاب ليس بوارد هذه الحرب، وتجميد لبنان تحت الضغوط الأميركية يشكل مصدر استنزاف وإرباك للمقاومة، لكنه لا يعدل في مصادر قوتها ولا يعدل في مواقفها، ومزيد من الضغوط المالية والانسداد السياسي سيذهب بلبنان للانفجار وفتح الباب لخيارات تُخرج الوضع عن السيطرة.

التحدي هو في ما سيحدث عندما ينسحب الأميركيون، حيث سينهار البناء الذي يراهن عليه الأميركيون، ويتداعى وضع الأردن والسلطة الفلسطينية والحكومة العراقيّة، ويعود الوضع الى معادلة حرب كبرى لا قيمة لها من دون مشاركة أميركية في ظل العجز الإسرائيلي عن تحمل تبعاتها، أو تسوية أميركية مع محور المقاومة تبدأ من العودة للتفاهم النووي الإيراني، يصير معه ثنائي حكام الخليج وكيان الاحتلال على ضفة الخاسرين ويبدأ المدعوون للانضمام للنظام الإقليمي الحامي للتطبيع بالانسحاب هرباً من شراكة الخسائر.

جغرافيا سياسية ونظام إقليميّ على الورق ستعيش شهوراً قليلة… وتخبزوا بالأفراح.

دور تركيّ في لبنان؟

السياسات الأميركيّة التي تدخل مرحلة التخبّط والمغامرات الخطرة قبل أن تتبلور معالم سياسة جديدة مستقرة تشكل فجوة استراتيجية تتسابق على محاولات تعبئتها القوى الإقليمية التي تحمل مشاريعها المتضاربة تحت سقف السياسات الأميركية، بينما القوى المناوئة لهذه السياسات تئن تحت ضغط الأزمات والعقوبات، لكنها ثابتة على إنجازاتها من جهة، وتترقّب التطوّرات وتسابق المتنافسين على ملء الفراغ من جهة أخرى.

في سورية ولبنان وفلسطين والعراق واليمن ساحات مواجهة بين محور المقاومة وأميركا، وعلى الضفة الأميركيّة من جهة كيان الاحتلال المنخرط في حلف مع دول الخليج، ومن جهة مقابلة النظام التركيّ، لكن في ليبيا مواجهة بين الضفتين الخليجية والتركية، حيث الحلف الخليجي مدعوم بصورة مباشرة من مصر وفرنسا، بينما نجحت تركيا بتظهير حركتها كقوة دعم لموقع روسيا في حرب أنابيب الغاز الدائرة في المتوسط.

في لبنان حاولت فرنسا تظهير مساحة مختلفة عن الحركة الأميركيّة، لكن سرعان ما بدت الحركة الفرنسية تحت السيطرة، وبدا ان مشروع الحكومة الجديدة معلق على حبال الخطط الأميركية للضغط على لبنان سواء في ملف ترسيم الحدود البحرية أو في كل ما يتصل بعناصر قوة لبنان بوجه كيان الاحتلال.

الحلف الخليجيّ الفرنسيّ يبدو رغم تمايز بعض مواقف اطرافه تجاه حزب الله بالنسبة لفرنسا وتجاه سورية بالنسبة للإمارات والبحرين يبدو عاجزاً عن تخطي التمايز الشكلي، بينما نجح الأتراك في أزمتي ليبيا وناغورني قره باغ بتثبيت مواقعهم وفرض التراجع على الثنائي الخليجي الفرنسي، كما نجحوا باستمالة روسيا إلى تقديم التغطية لحركتهم وقطف ثمار الاستثمار تحت سقف الدور الروسي المتعاظم في المنطقة والعالم.

لبنان اليوم في العين التركية وبيدها بعض المال القطري والدعوات لزيارات تركيا وقطر تطال سياسيين وإعلاميين، ومحور المقاومة لم يفتح الباب لمناقشة عرض تركيّ يطال مقايضة دور في لبنان والعراق مقابل تنازلات تركية في سورية فهل ينجح الأتراك باستغلال الطريق المسدود للفرصة التي فتحت لفرنسا وفشلت بالإفادة منها بسبب خضوعها للسقوف الأميركية؟

تركيا وراء الباب طالما المعروض فرنسياً هو استتباع لبنان للسياسات الأميركية بحكومة تنفذ دفتر الشروط الأميركي، وفيه ترسيم الحدود لصالح كيان الاحتلال، والسياسة الخليجية في العراق مشروع فتنة مذهبيّة لاستتباع العراق لخطة التطبيع عبر ثلاثي مصري أردني عراقي يخدم مشروع التطبيع ويحميه ويحاصر سورية، والأتراك ينتبهون لتطلّع روسيا بحذر نحو ملف الغاز اللبناني وموقعه من حرب الأنابيب القائمة في المنطقة ولموقع العراق واتفاقات التسليح التي وقعها العراق مع روسيا وانقلبت عليها الحكومة الجديدة أسوة بالانقلاب على الاتفاق الاقتصاديّ مع الصين!

Palestinian Authority to Resume Cooperation with Israel

ويكيليكس: نتنياهو يعتبر محمود عباس أخطر زعيم عربي وفلسطيني واجهته اسرائيل

November 18, 2020

The Palestinian Authority will resume civil and security cooperation with Israel suspended in May over a now-frozen Israeli plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, a Palestinian minister said on Tuesday.

Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh wrote on Twitter that “the relationship with Israel will return to how it was” after President Mahmoud Abbas received confirmation that Israel remained committed to past agreements with the Palestinians.

Interim peace accords signed in the 1990s envisaged the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

Suspending cooperation with Israel six months ago, the Palestinians said its annexation plans in the West Bank, territory it captured in the 1967 Middle East war, would make a two-state solution impossible.

Renewed Israeli-Palestinian ties could open the way for the payment of some 3 billion shekels ($890 million) in tax transfers that Israel has been withholding from the Authority, whose economy has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Israel collects the levies on Palestinian imports that go through its ports.

In a Zoom video conference organized by the Council on Foreign Relations, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said the decision to resume contacts with Israel was based in part on confronting the health crisis.

Between the hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers who live in the West Bank, and the tens of thousands of Palestinian workers who commute to Israel daily for work, coordination was needed to help prevent the virus’s spread, Shtayyeh said.

“Our life is so interconnected between us and the Israelis, and there is no way that we can fight viruses by ourselves only,” he said.

Palestinian sources said cooperation with Israel would resume immediately. An Israeli official said “we are very close” to renewing coordination, citing exchanges of messages between Israel’s defence minister and Palestinian authorities.

“One thing that certainly helped the Palestinians (reach their decision) was (Joe) Biden’s election (as US president), which gave them … an excuse to climb down from the tree,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

There was no immediate word on whether the Palestinians would resume contacts with the Trump administration that were severed in protest at what they viewed as a policy biased towards Israel.

But a deal establishing formal relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates in August led to Israel suspending annexation moves, smoothing the way towards renewed contacts with Israel.

In Gaza, however, the ruling Islamist group Hamas condemned the rival West Bank-based Palestinian Authority’s decision as a “stab against efforts to achieve a real national partnership”.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

Related

أبو أحمد فؤاد للميادين: ندعو لاجتماع للأمناء العامين بعد تعطيل ما اتُفق عليه

الميادين نت

نائب الأمين العام للجبهة الشعبية لتحرير فلسطين اللواء أبو أحمد فؤاد يؤكد أن “العلاقات ذات الطابع الأمني لم تنقطع مع الولايات المتحدة”. ويقول “من يراهن على إدارة بايدن يقع في خطأ كبير”.

أبو أحمد فؤاد: من ثوابت السياسة الأميركية والإمبريالية العالمية دعمها للكيان الصهيوني.
أبو أحمد فؤاد: من ثوابت السياسة الأميركية والإمبريالية العالمية دعمها للكيان الصهيوني

أعلن نائب الأمين العام للجبهة الشعبية لتحرير فلسطين اللواء أبو أحمد فؤاد أنه “تم تأجل تنفيذ قرارات اجتماع الأمناء العامين وعاد الخلاف ليبرز مجدداً بين الأخوة في حركتي حماس وفتح”.

وخلال لقائه مع الميادين، قال فؤاد “أضعنا وقتاً كان يجب أن نقوم بخطوات توحيدية باتجاه إنهاء الانقسام وإعادة ترتيب البيت الفلسطيني لمواجهة المرحلة المقبلة”، لافتاً إلى أن قيادة منظمة التحرير والسلطة الفلسطينية كانت تنتظر الانتخابات الأميركية وتراهن على المتغيرات كما النظام العربي الرسمي بغالبيته.

في وقت أكد أنه “من ثوابت السياسة الأميركية والإمبريالية العالمية دعمها للكيان الصهيوني بغض النظر إن فاز الديموقراطيون أو الجمهوريون”.

القيادي الفلسطيني لفت إلى أن العلاقات ذات الطابع الأمني لم تنقطع مع الولايات المتحدة، “بغض النظر إن كانت الإدارة برئاسة الجمهوريين أو الديموقراطيين وهذا ليس أمراً مخفياً”.

وشدد فؤاد على أنه “يجب ألا نذهب للمفاوضات حتى يصبح هناك تغير في موازين القوى المنهارة حالياً لمصلحة العدو والإدارات الأميركية المتعاقبة وانهيار عربي رسمي”، مضيفاً “من يراهن على إدارة بايدن يقع في خطأ كبير فهو سبق أن أعلن أنه صهيوني أكثر من مرة واتخذ إجراءات ضد مصلحة شعبنا”.

وفي حال تسلم الرئيس الديموقراطي الإدارة في الفترة المقبلة، قال فؤاد إنه “من الممكن أن يغير بايدن بمسائل عديدة على الصعيد الدولي، كاتفاقية المناخ أو حقوق الإنسان أو الصحة أو حتى الاتفاق النووي الإيراني”.

كما رجح أن بايدن “لن يغير شيئاً في الموضوع الفلسطيني والإسرائيلي، وسيبقى كل شيء على ما هو عليه كما فعله ترامب”، موضحاً أنه “قد يستكمل ترامب مسيرة التطبيع، ويضغط على السعودية وغيرها ليكمل التطبيع مع الدول العربية، ويتوّجها أثناء وجوده في البيت الأبيض”.

واعتبر فؤاد أنه “يجب ترتيب الأمور لمواجه بايدن وإدارته، فإن لم نكن موحدين سيستمر الضغط علينا وليس على العدو”.

وختم كلامه قائلاً “لا قيمة للحديث عن عودة مكتب منظمة التحرير إلى الولايات المتحدة أو المساعدات مقابل ما يجري على الأرض، والطريق ليس ممهداً لتجاوز الصعوبات التي واجهتها الخطوات التوحيدية، وهناك عقبات بين الطرفين لم تذلل، ويبدو أنها لن تذلل بالحوارات الثنائية”.

Escalating the Demographic War: The Strategic Goal of Israeli Racism in Palestine

November 4, 2020

Racist graffiti on the walls of a Palestinian property in the West Bank. (Photo: via Social Media)

By Ramzy Baroud

The discussion on institutional Israeli racism against its own Palestinian Arab population has all but ceased following the final approval of the discriminatory Nation-State Law in July 2018. Indeed, the latest addition to Israel’s Basic Law is a mere start of a new government-espoused agenda that is designed to further marginalize over a fifth of Israel’s population.

On Wednesday, October 28, eighteen members of the Israeli Parliament (Knesset) conjured up yet another ploy to target Israeli Arab citizens. They proposed a bill that would revoke Israeli citizenship for any Palestinian Arab prisoner in Israel who, directly or indirectly, receives any financial aid from the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Worthy of mention is that these MKs not only represent right-wing, ultra-right and religious parties, but also the Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) ‘centrist’ party. Namely, the proposed bill already has the support of Israel’s parliamentary majority.

But is this really about financial aid for prisoners? Particularly since the PA is nearly bankrupt, and its financial contributions to the families of Palestinian prisoners, even within the Occupied Territories – West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza – is symbolic?

Here is an alternative context. On Thursday, October 29, the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, revealed that the Israeli government of right-wing Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, plans to expand the jurisdiction of the Jewish town of Harish in northern Israel by 50 percent. The aim is to prevent Palestinians from becoming the majority in that area.

The contingency plan was formulated by Israel’s Housing Ministry as a swift response to an internal document, which projects that, by the year 2050, Palestinian Arabs will constitute 51 percent of that region’s population of 700,000 residents.

These are just two examples of recent actions taken within two days, damning evidence that, indeed, the Nation-State law was the mere preface of a long period of institutional racism, which ultimately aims at winning a one-sided demographic war that was launched by Israel against the Palestinian people many years ago.

Since outright ethnic cleansing – which Israel practiced during and after the wars of 1948 and 1967 – is not an option, at least not for now, Israel is finding other ways to ensure a Jewish majority in Israel itself, in Jerusalem, in Area C within the occupied West Bank and, by extension, everywhere else in Palestine.

Israeli dissident historian, Professor Ilan Pappe, refers to this as ‘incremental genocide’. This slow-paced ethnic cleansing includes the expansion of the illegal Jewish settlements in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and the proposed annexation of nearly a third of the Occupied Territories.

The besieged Gaza Strip is a different story. Winning a demographic war in a densely populated but small region of two million inhabitants living within 365 sq. km, was never feasible. The so-called ‘redeployment’ out of Gaza by late Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, in 2005 was a strategic decision, which aimed at cutting Israel’s losses in Gaza in favor of expediting the colonization process in the West Bank and the Naqab Desert. Indeed, most of Gaza’s illegal Jewish settlers were eventually relocated to these demographically-contested regions.

But how is Israel to deal with its own Palestinian Arab population, which now constitutes a sizeable demographic minority and an influential, often united, political bloc?

In the Israeli general elections of March 2020, united Arab Palestinian political parties contesting under the umbrella group, The Joint List, achieved their greatest electoral success yet, as they emerged as Israel’s third-largest political party. This success rang alarm bells among Israel’s Jewish ruling elites, leading to the formation of Israel’s current ‘unity government’. Israel’s two major political parties, Likud and Kahol Lavan, made it clear that no Arab parties would be included in any government coalition.

A strong Arab political constituency represents a nightmare scenario for Israel’s government planners, who are obsessed with demographics and the marginalization of Palestinian Arabs in every possible arena. Hence, the very representatives of the Palestinian Arab community in Israel become a target for political repression.

In a report published in September 2019, the rights group, Amnesty International, revealed that “Palestinian members of the Knesset in Israel are increasingly facing discriminatory attacks.”

“Despite being democratically elected like their Jewish Israeli counterparts, Palestinian MKs are the target of deep-rooted discrimination and undue restrictions that hamstring their ability to speak out in defense of the rights of the Palestinian people,” Amnesty stated.

These revelations were communicated by Amnesty just prior to the September 27 elections. The targeting of Palestinian citizens of Israel is reminiscent of similar harassment and targeting of Palestinian officials and parties in the Occupied Territories, especially prior to local or general elections. Namely, Israel views its own Palestinian Arab population through the same prism that it views its militarily occupied Palestinians.

Since its establishment on the ruins of historic Palestine, and until 1979, Israel governed its Palestinian population through the Defense (Emergency) Regulations. The arbitrary legal system imposed numerous restrictions on those Palestinians who were allowed to remain in Israel following the 1948 Nakba, or ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

In practice, however, the emergency rule was lifted in name only. It was merely redefined, and replaced – according to the Israel-based Adalah rights group – by over 65 laws that directly target the Palestinian Arab minority of Israel. The Nation-State Law, which denies Israel’s Arab minority their legal status, therefore, protection under international law, further accentuates Israel’s relentless war on its Arab minority.

Moreover, “the definition of Israel as ‘the Jewish State’ or ‘the State of the Jewish People’ makes inequality a practical, political and ideological reality for Palestinian citizens of Israel,” according to Adalah.

Israeli racism is not random and cannot be simply classified as yet another human rights violation. It is the core of a sophisticated plan that aims at the political marginalization and economic strangulation of Israel’s Palestinian Arab minority within a constitutional, thus ‘legal’, framework.

Without fully appreciating the end goal of this Israeli strategy, Palestinians and their allies will not have the chance to properly combat it, as they certainly should.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is “These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity Press). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) and also at the Afro-Middle East Center (AMEC). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

Trump’s Middle East triumphs will soon turn to disaster

David Hearst

David Hearst is the editor in chief of Middle East Eye. He left The Guardian as its chief foreign leader writer. In a career spanning 29 years, he covered the Brighton bomb, the miner’s strike, the loyalist backlash in the wake of the Anglo-Irish Agreement in Northern Ireland, the first conflicts in the breakup of the former Yugoslavia in Slovenia and Croatia, the end of the Soviet Union, Chechnya, and the bushfire wars that accompanied it. He charted Boris Yeltsin’s moral and physical decline and the conditions which created the rise of Putin. After Ireland, he was appointed Europe correspondent for Guardian Europe, then joined the Moscow bureau in 1992, before becoming bureau chief in 1994. He left Russia in 1997 to join the foreign desk, became European editor and then associate foreign editor. He joined The Guardian from The Scotsman, where he worked as education correspondent.

Trump’s Middle East triumphs will soon turn to disaster

29 October 2020 12:11 UTC | Last update: 22 hours 22 mins ago

Palestinian demonstrators burn posters of the US president in Bethlehem’s Manger Square after he declared Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on 6 December 2017 (AFP)

Every US president leaves his mark on the Middle East, whether he intends to or not. 

The Camp David accord between Egypt and Israel, the Iranian revolution, and the Iran-Iraq war, launched in September 1980, all started under Jimmy Carter.

His successor, Ronald Reagan, supported then Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein, and went on to witness the assassination of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat in October 1981; the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and the expulsion of the PLO from Beirut in 1982, and the Sabra and Shatila massacres in September of the same year – a period which ended with and led up to the First Intifada.

George H W Bush picked up with the First Gulf War and the Madrid Conference in 1991.

The shadow cast by George W Bush over the region is longer still: the destruction of Iraq, a once-mighty Arab state, the rise of Iran as a regional power, the unleashing of sectarian conflict between Sunni and Shia, and the rise of the Islamic State group. Two decades of conflict were engendered by his decision to invade Iraq in 2003.

The grand deception

For a brief spell under president Barack Obama, the flame of a fresh start with the Muslim world flickered. But the belief that a US administration would support democracy was quickly extinguished. Those who dared to hope were cruelly deceived by the president who dared to walk away . Once in power, Muslims were dropped like a hot stone, as were fellow black Americans.

Two pillars of US policy emerge: an unshakeable determination to support Israel, whatever the cost, and a default support of absolute monarchs, autocrats and dictators of the Arab world

On two moments of high tension – the Egyptian military coup of 2013 and the murder of US journalist James Foley in 2014 – Obama, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between people,” returned to a game of golf. 

Obama refused to call the overthrow of Egypt’s first democratically elected president a military coup, and his secretary of state John Kerry would have dipped into the same playbook had Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan not narrowly escaped an assassination squad and the coup there succeeded.

The history of US diplomatic and military intervention in the Middle East was one of serial failure and the list of failed states only grew with each inauguration.

The military retreat that Obama sounded after “leading from behind” in Libya and an “intervention-lite” in Syria resembled Napoleon’s long march from Moscow. Throughout the tumult, two pillars of US policy emerge: an unshakeable determination to support Israel, whatever the cost, however much its prime ministers and settlers undermined peace efforts. And a default support of absolute monarchs, autocrats and dictators of the Arab world.

  US President Barack Obama walks with Middle East leaders in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, USA, on 1 September, 2010 (Reuters)
US president Barack Obama walks with Middle East leaders in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, USA, on 1 September 2010 (Reuters)

Wicked witch

Now enter, stage right, the Wicked Witch of this pantomime.

Trump set about tearing up the rule book on the Middle East, by giving full rein to the Jewish nationalist religious right. This came in the shape of two settler ideologists and funders: Jared Kushner, Trump’s son in law and senior adviser, and David Friedman, his ambassador to Israel.

Trump set about destroying the consensus on the Middle East, by giving full rein to the Jewish national religious right

Under the guise of blue sky thinking, they tore apart the consensus that had powered each previous US administration’s search for a settlement to the Palestine conflict – borders negotiated on 1967 lines, East Jerusalem as capital, the right of refugees to return.  

They erased 1967 borders by recognising the Golan Heights and the annexation of settlements, recognised an undivided Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and defunded Palestinian refugee agency UNWRA. This culminated in what proved to be the coup de grace for a Palestinian state –  the recognition by three Arab states (UAE, Bahrain and Sudan) of Israel in the territory it currently occupies.

This meant recognition of 400,000 settlers in nearly 250 settlements in the West Bank beyond East Jerusalem; recognition of laws turning settlements into “islands” of the State of Israel; recognition of a third generation of Israeli settlers. All of this, the UAE, Bahrain and now Sudan have signed up for.

Changing the map 

“When the dust settles, within months or a year, the Israeli-Arab conflict will be over,” Friedman boasted. Friedman’s undisguised triumphalism will be as short-lived and as ill-fated as George W Bush’s was after he landed on an aircraft carrier sporting the now notorious banner proclaiming “mission accomplished” in Iraq.US election: Mohammed bin Salman braces for the loss of a key ally Read More »

I part company with those who consign the Abraham Accords to the dustbin of history.

But they are indeed rendered meaningless when Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs found that 90 percent of social media in Arabic condemned the UAE’s normalisation; the Washington Institute recorded just 14 percent of Saudis supported it.

Plainly on these figures, Friedman is going to have to wait a long time before Arab public opinion arrives in the 21st century, as he puts it.

But the absence of public support across the Arab world for normalisation does not mean that it will have no effect. It will indeed change the map of the Middle East but not quite in the way Friedman and the settlers hope. Until he and his like seized control of the White House, Washington played on a useful disconnect between the two pillars of US policy – unconditional support for Israel on the one hand and Arab dictators on the other.

It allowed Washington to claim simultaneously that Israel was the “only democracy” in the Middle East and thus entitled to defend itself in “a tough neighbourhood,” while on the other hand doing everything it could to keep the neighbourhood tough, by supporting the very ruling families who suppressed parliaments, democracy, and preyed on their people.

These are classic tactics of colonial masters, well-honed by the British, French, Dutch and Spanish sea-born empires. And it has worked for decades. Any US president could have done what Trump did, but the fact that they did not meant that they – at least – foresaw the dangers of fusing support for Israel with support for volatile and revolution-prone Arab dictatorships.

Trump is both ignorant and profoundly oblivious, because all that matters to him in this process is him. An adult who displays all the symptoms of infantile narcissistic injury, Trump’s only demand from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was that he, Trump, alone should be hailed as the saviour of Israel.

Speaking to Netanyahu on a speakerphone in front of the White House press corps, Trump asked: “Do you think Sleepy Joe could have made this deal, Bibi? Sleepy Joe? Do you think he would have made this deal somehow? I don’t think so.” Netanyahu paused long and hard. “Uh, well… Mr President, one thing I can tell you is… um, er, we appreciate the help for peace from anyone in America… And we appreciate what you have done enormously.”

Going for broke

By going for broke, the era of useful ambiguity in US Middle East policy has now come to an end. Israeli occupiers and Arab despots are now  openly in each other’s arms. This means the fight against despots in the Arab world is one and the same thing as the fight to liberate occupied Palestine. Israel’s deals with the Gulf are a disaster for Egypt Read More »

One might think this is of little consequence as the Arab Spring, which caused such upset in 2011, has been committed to the grave long ago. But it would be foolish to think so, and certainly Israel’s former ambassador to Egypt Yitzhak Levanon is not a fool.

Writing in Israel Hayom, Levanon asked whether Egypt is on the verge of a new uprising: “The Egyptian people dreamed of openness and transparency after the overthrow of Mubarak, who was perceived as a dictator. The Muslim Brotherhood are exiled and persecuted. There is no opposition. A change in the law allows Sisi to serve as president until 2030, and the laws make it possible to control by draconian means, including political arrests and executions. Recent history teaches us that this may affect the whole area.”

Another former Israeli ambassador has voiced his concerns about Trump’s effect on Israel. Barukh Binah, a former ambassador to Denmark and deputy head of mission in Washington, observed that the peace treaties Trump signed were with Israel’s existing friends and did nothing to solve the diplomatic impasse with its enemies.

A Palestinian demonstrator holds a sign during a protest against the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain's deal with Israel to normalise relations, in Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank September 15, 2020
A Palestinian demonstrator holds a sign during a protest against UAE deal with Israel to normalise relations, in Ramallah on 15 September (Reuters)

“Trump is seen by many as Israel’s ultimate friend, but just as he has done in the US, he has isolated us from the Western community to which we belong. Over the past four years, we have become addicted to a one-of-a-kind powerful psychedelic called ‘Trumpion’ – and the moment the dealer leaves the White House, Israel will need to enter rehab.”

An important lesson

In the Camp David accords, Egypt became the first Arab country to recognise Israel in 1978. In 1994 Jordan became the second, when King Hussein signed a peace treaty at the Wadi Araba crossing. It is one more sign of the lack of thought and planning behind the second wave of recognition that the two Arab states who formed part of the first wave are losing out so heavily.

The new alliance between Israel and the Gulf states has generated other alliances determined to defend Palestine and Muslim rights

One wave of recognition is swamping another. This is not the work of a people who have thought this through. 

Jordan is gradually losing control of the Holy Sites in Jerusalem. Egypt is losing money and traffic from the Suez Canal, which is being bypassed by a pipeline about to transfer millions of tons of crude oil from the Red Sea to Ashkelon. Plans are also afoot to build a high-speed railway between the UAE and Israel. Egypt is about to be bypassed by land and sea.

In 1978 Egypt was the most powerful and populous Arab state. Today it has lost its geopolitical importance. It’s an important lesson that all Arab leaders should learn.

Some regional leaders have understood these lessons. The new alliance between Israel and the Gulf states has generated other alliances determined to defend Palestine and Muslim rights. Just watch how close Turkey is getting to Iran and Pakistan. And how close Pakistan is to abandoning its long-standing military alliance with Saudi Arabia.

The lesson for Palestine

Nor is the West Bank any less volatile than Egypt is. As part of their efforts to coerce Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, to accept the deal, Arab aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) had dropped by 81 percent in the first eight months of this year from $198m to $38m.

The PA refuses to accept taxes Israel collects on its behalf, since Israel began deducting the money the PA spent on supporting the families of dead Palestinian fighters. If the PA did accept Israel’s deduction, it too would be dead on arrival. The EU has refused to make up the shortfall.

Abbas would not be minded to suppress the next outbreak of popular discontent, as he has done consistently in the past

With most security co-ordination frozen, and nightly Israeli arrests in the West Bank, the enclave is a tinderbox. Abbas would not be minded to suppress the next outbreak of popular discontent, as he has done consistently in the past. 

Palestinians waited a long time after the creation of the state of Israel to get serious about forming a campaign to regain their lost land. They waited from April 1949 to May 1964, when the PLO was founded to restore “an independent Palestinian state”.

They have now waited even longer for the principle of land for peace to deliver their land back to them. Trump, Kushner and Friedman have pronounced it dead, as they have the two-state solution. The two words they were careful to avoid in all the conferences and presentations of their plans were “Palestinian state”.

 Once again, Palestinians are on their own and forced to recognise that their destiny lies in their hands alone.

The conditions which recreated the First Intifada are alive and kicking for a generation of youth who were yet to be born on 8 December 1987. It is only a matter of time before another uprising will materialise, because it is now the only way out of the hellish circle of Israeli expansion, Arab betrayal, and international indifference, which remains open to them. 

Recognising Israel does not work. Nor does talking. 

This is Trump’s legacy. But it is also, alas, the legacy of all the presidents who preceded him. The Abraham Accords will set the region in conflict for decades to come.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.

Related

European Hypocrisy: Empty Words for Palestine, Deadly Weapons for Israel

October 21, 2020

Palestinian PM Mohammad Shtayyeh makes a speech via video conference at the European Parliament Committee meeting on Foreign Affair. (Photo: via WAFA)

By Ramzy Baroud

In theory, Europe and the United States stand on completely opposite sides when it comes to the Israeli occupation of Palestine. While the US government has fully embraced the tragic status quo created by 53 years of Israeli military occupation, the EU continues to advocate a negotiated settlement that is predicated on respect for international law.

In practice, however, despite the seeming rift between Washington and Brussels, the outcome is, essentially, the same. The US and Europe are Israel’s largest trade partners, weapon suppliers and political advocates.

One of the reasons that the illusion of an even-handed Europe has been maintained for so long lies partly in the Palestinian leadership itself. Politically and financially abandoned by Washington, the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas has turned to the European Union as its only possible savior.

“Europe believes in the two-state solution,” PA Prime Minister, Mohammad Shtayyeh, said during a video discussion with the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs on October 12. Unlike the US, Europe’s continued advocacy of the defunct two-state solution qualifies it to fill the massive gap created by Washington’s absence.

Shtayyeh called on EU leaders to “recognize the State of Palestine in order for us, and you, to break the status quo.”

However, there are already 139 countries that recognize the State of Palestine. While that recognition is a clear indication that the world remains firmly pro-Palestinian, recognizing Palestine as a State changes little on the ground. What is needed are concerted efforts to hold Israel accountable for its violent occupation as well as real action to support the struggle of Palestinians.

Not only has the EU failed at this, it is, in fact, doing the exact opposite: funding Israel, arming its military and silencing its critics.

Listening to Shtayyeh’s words, one gets the impression that the top Palestinian official is addressing a conference of Arab, Muslim or socialist countries. “I call upon your Parliament and your distinguished Members of this Parliament, that Europe not wait for the American President to come up with ideas … We need a third party who can really remedy the imbalance in the relationship between an occupied people and an occupier country, that is Israel,” he said.

But is the EU qualified to be that ‘third party’? No. For decades, European governments have been an integral part of the US-Israel party. Just because the Donald Trump administration has, recently, taken a sharp turn in favor of Israel should not automatically transform Europe’s historical pro-Israel bias to be mistaken for pro-Palestinian solidarity.

Last June, more than 1,000 European parliamentarians representing various political parties issued a statement expressing “serious concerns” about Trump’s so-called Deal of the Century and opposing Israeli annexation of nearly a third of the West Bank. However, the pro-Israel US Democratic Party, including some traditionally staunch supporters of Israel, were equally critical of Israel’s plan because, in their minds, annexation means that a two-state solution would be made impossible.

While US Democrats made it clear that a Joe Biden administration would not reverse any of Trump’s actions should Biden be elected, European governments have also made it clear that they will not take a single action to dissuade – let alone punish – Israel for its repeated violations of international law.

Lip service is all that Palestinians have obtained from Europe, as well as much money, which was largely pocketed by loyalists of Abbas in the name of ‘State-building’ and other fantasies. Tellingly, much of the imaginary Palestinian State infrastructure that was subsidized by Europe in recent years has been blown up, demolished or construction ceased by the Israeli military during its various wars and raids. Yet, neither did the EU punish Israel, nor did the PA cease from asking for more money to continue funding a non-existent State.

Not only did the EU fail to hold Israel accountable for its ongoing occupation and human rights violations, it is practically financing Israel, as well. According to Defence News, a quarter of all of Israel’s military export contracts (totaling $7.2 billion in 2019 alone) is allocated to European countries.

Moreover, Europe is Israel’s largest trading partner, absorbing one-third of Israel’s total exports and shipping to Israel nearly 40% of its total import. These numbers also include products made in illegal Jewish settlements.

Additionally, the EU labors to incorporate Israel into the European way of life through cultural and music contests, sports competitions, and in a myriad other ways. While the EU possesses powerful tools that can be used to exact political concessions and enforce respect for international law, it opts to simply do very little.

Compare this with the recent ultimatum the EU has given the Palestinian leadership, linking EU aid to the PA’s financial ties with Israel. Last May, Abbas took the extraordinary step of considering all agreements with Israel and the US to be null and void. Effectively, this means that the PA would no longer be accountable for the stifling status quo that was created by the Oslo Accords, which was repeatedly violated by Tel Aviv and Washington. Severing ties with Israel also meant that the PA would refuse to accept nearly $150 million in tax revenues that Israel collects on behalf of the PA. This Palestinian step, while long overdue, was necessary.

Instead of supporting Abbas’ move, the EU criticized it, refusing to provide additional aid for Palestinians until Abbas restores ties with Israel and accepts the tax money. According to Axios news portal, Germany, France, the UK and even Norway are leading the charge.

Germany, in particular, has been relentless in its support for Israel. For months, it has advocated on behalf of Israel to spare Tel Aviv a war crimes investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC). It has placed activists, who advocate the boycott of Israel, on trial. Recently, it has confirmed the shipment of missile boats and other military hardware to ensure the superiority of the Israeli navy in a potential war against Arab enemies. Germany is not alone. Israel and most European countries are closing ranks in terms of their unprecedented military cooperation and trade ties, including natural gas deals.

Continuing to make references to the unachievable two-state solution, while arming, funding and doing more business with Israel is the very definition of hypocrisy. The truth is that Europe should be held as accountable as the US in emboldening and sustaining the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Yet, while Washington is openly pro-Israel, the EU has played a more clever game: selling Palestinians empty words while selling Israel lethal weapons.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is “These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity Press). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) and also at the Afro-Middle East Center (AMEC). His website is http://www.ramzybaroud.net

انتخابات بلا وطن لا تليق هذا رد لا يُقارن بحجم العدوان

  الصفصاف

عادل سمارة

بيان الجالية الفلسطينية في غرب الولايات المتحدة تضامنا مع د عادل سمارة

ليس هذا أبداً لإقناع أي متحدث باسم الفلسطينيين ولا لوضعه موضع الخجل أبدا وأبدا مكررة. وليس لإقناع أي فصيل يتمسك بتناقضات وكوارث قياداته ويعبد تلك القيادات بعصبية تُخرجه خارج الهدف الوطني مهما تقعَّر باللغة لا سيما وأن القيادات تنتظر الراتب الشهري ومن أجله يتم البصم.

منذ 1967 وحتى ما قبل ذلك وكل حفنة فلسطينيين يتصرفون كدولة مستقلة وحتى عُظمى، وحينما أُكمل اغتصاب فلسطين تناسلت الشلل أكثر، كما انطوى المنطوون سواء دينيا او قطريا أو برجوازيا بشكل اكثر حيث لم يُلقوا على العدو ورداً، وهذا أعطى المقاومة المتعددة ، تعدداً بلا ضرورة، رصيدا كبيراً لم تلبث أن تاجرت به وخاصة اليوم بعد أن غادر معظمها هدف التحرير متعلقاً بخيوط عنكبوت الإستدوال.

ولذا، لم ننجح في تشكيل جبهة وطنية بل بقينا على نمط جامعة الدول العربية كل شيء بالإجماع ولذا ايضاً لم يحصل اي إجماع وخاصة على فهم المشروع الوطني.

مجلس وطني بلا وطن ولا صلاحيات:

تُدهشك حُمَّى الحديث واللقاءات والدعوات لانتخاب مجلس وطني في هذه الأيام! ويُدهشك أكثر أن يكون من اول متصديرها من يرتبطون بكيانات النفط سواء من بدؤوا حياتهم السياسية قيد شبهات أو من كان له ماضِ غادره وانتهى في حضن أنظمة وكيانات التبعية والطابور الثقافي السادس.
وإذا كان حكام النفط وغير النفط يقدمون للإمبريالية أوراق الخدمة ويتقربون من الكيان زُلفى وعلى نفقاتهم وهم بالطبع ليسوا سوى تمفصلات التجزئة كما الكيان، اي هم والكيان في ارتباك بحبل سُرِّيْ، فما الذي يدفع فلسطيني إلى هذا المستنقع؟ قد يكون أهم سبب أنه لا بد ان يُخاض المستنقع بأقرب الكائنات لطبيعته ليُعطى الاستنقاع “شرعية” هي شكلانية لأن روح الشعب وضميره وترابه لا تكمن في هؤلاء.

عجيب! هل هذا هو مستوى الرد على كارثة أوسلو وعلى عدوان صفقة القرن وتهالك الكيانات الرسمية العربية على الاعتراف بالكيان الصهيوني بل التخندق مع الجندي الصهيوني ضد المقاتل الفلسطيني!
إذا كانت الانتخابات، اي صندوق البرلمان، حتى في الدول الحقيقية ليست سوى حشر الناس اربع أو ست سنوات في صندوق يجلس عليه الحاكم او حزبه ولا يفتحه إلا حين يحين تجديد عهدته؟
يكفينا شاهد واحد، حينما كانت امريكا و 32 دولة تجهز للعدوان ضد العراق 1991 و 2003 كانت شوارع مدن الغرب تعج بملايين المحتجين، لكن الأعداء واصلوا التجهيز للعدوان وممارسة العدوان!
فماذا سيفعل مجلس وطني من اشخاص يعلمون هم أنفسهم/ن أن الانتخابات هي تزوير وسرقة أكثر مما هي حقيقية. تزوير في بلدان لها سيادة وحدود قمية، فما بالك بانتخابات ناخبها مبعثر في زوايا الكوكب الأربع!

تُجرى الانتخابات في العادة إما لانتهاء مدة دورة ما، أو لحدث ما، هام أو خطير أو تآمري. وهذا في بلدان حقيقية وليس في لا مكان ولا جغرافيا خاصة لأن الوطن والجغرافيا تحت الاغتصاب.
والأهم، ماذا سيفعل اعضاء هذا المجلس، ما الذي سيقدمونه لشعب طريد شريد؟ ما هي مهامهم تجاه شعب وطنه تحت الاحتلال الاستيطاني الإقتلاعي بل الذي اقتلعهم ؟ماذا سيعملون بعد تجربة مجلس وطني لخمسين سنة لم يكن سوى كتاب به 700 إسم أو أكثر يبصموا على ما يقرره رئيس المنظمة حينما كانت تقاتل، واكتسبت “الشرعية” بسبب محاولات القتال. ولكنها أغمدت السلاح وأبقت على “الشرعية” فكيف يحصل هذا!
! فهل نحن بحاجة لتجديد هذا الكتاب؟
أليس المجلس الوطني هو الذي غيَّر الميثاق وحذف جوهره إحتفالاً بالرئيس الأمريكي بيل كلينتون!
وماذا ترتب على تدمير الميثاق؟ هل سُئل الذين قاموا بذلك؟ هل حوكموا، هل فُصلوا؟ هل اعتذروا؟ كلا ابداً.
من لديه وطنية ما فلينضم لمحور المقاومة وهذا دور لا يحتاج لا مجلس وطني ولا مجلس تشريعي لأن المقاومة لا تنتظر تصريحا من هذا أو ذاك. أليست تجربة هذا المجلس كافية لإهماله؟
ما الذي سوف يبحثه ويقرره هذا المجلس  حتى لو تم بشكل حقيقي؟  بل ما قيمة كافة مؤسسات الاستدوال والوطن تحت الاحتلال وحتى الدور السياسي ل م.ت. ف جرى تسليمه لأنظمة النفط وقوى الدين السياسي وحتى العدو التركي!
هل هناك وطنياً غير التحرير؟ وهذا أمر يحتاج شغلا لا مفاوضات ومداولات وديباجات ومؤتمرات ونفقات ووجاهات وتعليق صور على حوائط البيوت بأن: الأب  أو الجد كان عضو مجلس وطني! أهلا وسهلاً.
التحرير لا يحتاج مجالساً، هو  فعل ميداني لا يمارسه ولن يمارسه من راكموا من السنين ثلاثة ارباع القرن.
إذا كانت الانتخابات لوضع وبحث استراتيجية عمل فلسطينية، فالأمر خطير وكارثي لأن الاستراتيجية واضحة، هي المقاومة للتحرير، وهذه لا تحتاج “وجاهات العواجيز” الذي جُرِّبوا وجرى استخدامهم حتى وصلوا بالقضية مستنقع اوسلو. فما معنى التجديد  لهؤلاء أو لأمثالهم/ن!

وماذا عن مجلس الحكم الذاتي (التشريعي) بلا حق تشريع!

بوسع اي شخص مسؤول أو  غير مسؤل أن يزعم بان في الضفة الغربية “جمهورية ديمقراطية شعبية متطورة”. لكن هذا لا يخفي حقيقة شرسة وقبيحة بان في هذا الجزء من فلسطين سلطة العدو بلا روادع، تنهب وتقتل وتقتلع وتعربد، وسلطة تابعة لها. بل والأشنع أن من نظَّروا ومارسوا واستفادوا من كارثة أوسلو هم:
·      من يمارسون كافة ادوارهم ومناصبهم منافعهم بموجب أوسلو
·      ومن جهة ينقدون أوسلو بأبلغ من نقد من رفضوها
·      ومن جهة ثانية يزعمون أن أوسلو انتهى!

ومَنْ قال أن مَنْ يُنهي أوسلو سوى:
·      العدو الأمريكي الصهيوني بما هو أبوه
·      أو خروج م.ت.ف إلى المقاومة والتحرير بدل الاستدوال

صحيح أن الشارع الفلسطيني خاصة والعربي عامة في حالة من الدَوَخان، ولكنه يعرف أن التكاذب صار مكشوفا.
ولذا، سواء جرت انتخابات مجلس وطني بلا وطن، فإن أية انتخابات في المحتل 1967 “تشريعية” هي بلا تشريع. وما تقوم به هو وضع أوامر إدارية لتؤكد وجود سلطة مسيطرة على البشر وليس على التراب والحجر.
وبسبب قرارات وسياسات هذه السلطة ناهيك عن الفساد والقطط السمان،  تصرخ الناس من عبء الضرائب ومن فرض غرامات حتى على من يتنفس اكسجبين أكثر مما يجب.
لذا، وكي يَصْدُق الناس أي شخص يرغب في الترشح لمجلس الحكم الذاتي أن يقولها صراحة: هذا مجلس حكم ذاتي بموجب أوسلو وتحت سيطرته، أو مجلس اعلى قليلا من بلديات، وإذا ما قرر العدو فض سلطة الحكم الذاتي يبقى هذا المجلس بلديا وحسب. بهذا الوضوح تستقيم الأمور في هذا المستوى بدون  تلاعبات باللغة والعواطف وتكون الناس اصدق.
فمن يقولها للناس صريحة واضحة، يكون قد عرف قدر نفسه وأقنع الناس.

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شهر أيلول شهر التناقضات السياسية والميدانية الكبرى في الصراع العربي الصهيوني

د. ميادة إبراهيم رزوق

تتزاحم أحداث أيلول في الذاكرة العربية والفلسطينية الجمعية، من محطات سوداء قاتمة في مجزرة صبرا وشاتيلا، واتفاقيات أوسلو، وصولاً إلى أيلول 2020 وتوقيع اتفاقيات تطبيع الأسرلة، إلى محطات مضيئة مشرقة بتأسيس جبهة المقاومة الوطنية اللبنانية إلى انتفاضة الأقصى وانسحاب الكيان الصهيوني من قطاع غزة حتى أيلول 2020 الذي أسدل ستاره وكيان الاحتلال الصهيوني على اجر ونص، ورئيس حكومته بنيامين نتنياهو مع أجهزته الإعلامية والاستخبارية يتلقى صفعة جديدة من الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله وعلى الهواء مباشرة ليثبت كذبه ويبطل مفاعيل هدفه في المسرحية الهزلية التي استعرضها من على منبر الجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة.

إنه شهر الانكسارات والمفاوضات والانتصارات وفي ما يلي أهمّ محطاته بتفصيل موجز:

أولاً– شهد العامان 1970 و1971 صراعاً وتوتراً في العلاقة بين السلطة الأردنية والفصائل الفلسطينية التي اضطرتها نكسة حزيران عام 1967 للتراجع إلى شرق نهر الأردن بانتظار فرصة استجماع الأنفاس العربية باستعادة فلسطين، فانتهت بنهر من الدماء العربية بلغت ذروتها في شهر أيلول عام 1970 «أيلول الأسود» حيث تحوّل الخلاف بين إخوة الدم إلى مواجهة مسلحة لخصها رئيس منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية الراحل ياسر عرفات بقوله «هذه مؤامرة، من كان وراءها وخطط لها ودفع إليها هو وكالة المخابرات المركزية الأميركية»، أو بصورة أدقّ، إنّ الرجل الذي لعب دوراً مركزياً في وضع الخطة الأميركية لتفجير الوضع في الأردن، هو مستشار الأمن القومي آنذاك الداهية هنري كيسنجر، بوصفة سحرية لضرب المقاومة الفلسطينية والجيش الأردني بحجر واحد، فتحوّل المشهد إلى نهر من الدماء العربية، وانتهت المواجهة بإخراج الفصائل الفلسطينية من الأردن وانتقالها إلى لبنان حيث تجدّدت الحروب ووقعت مجازر أخرى شهيرة في التاريخ الإنساني حملت توقيع جيش كيان العدو الصهيوني.

ثانياً– بعد اجتياح جيش الكيان الصهيوني بيروت عام 1982 بهدف حماية الحدود الشمالية لكيانه المحتلّ من هجمات الفدائيين الفلسطينيين واقتطاع شريط من الأراضي اللبنانية على طول الحدود مع فلسطين المحتلة بعمق يتراوح بين 10 و 30 كلم، والسيطرة على نهر الليطاني ومياهه، وإنهاء المقاومة الفلسطينية في لبنان، والقضاء على أكبر عدد من الشعب الفلسطيني، بدأت أحداث المجزرة الأليمة في مخيمي «صبرا وشاتيلا» قبل غروب يوم السادس عشر من أيلول عام 1982، عندما فرض جيش الاحتلال الصهيوني حصاراً مشدّداً على المخيمين، ليسهل عملية اقتحامهما من قبل ميليشيات لبنانية مسلحة موالية له، أودت بحياة أكثر من ثلاثة آلاف معظمهم فلسطينيون على مدار 48 ساعة بمشاهد مروعة – من الذبح وبقر البطون الحوامل واغتصاب النساء– لا تزال ماثلة كذكريات قاسية وقاحلة في الوجدان الجمعي العربي والفلسطيني، وبوصمة عار على جبين الإنسانية.

ثالثاً– تلا تلك المجزرة بعدة أيام عملية الويمبي في 24 أيلول عام 1982 قام بها البطل القومي خالد علوان والذي بلغ من العمر 19 عاماً، حيث وصل إلى مقهى الويمبي في شارع الحمراء أحد الأحياء الغربية لمدينة بيروت، وفتح النار على الضباط والجنود الصهاينة في الويمبي فقتل ضابطاً صهيونياً بمسدسه وأصاب جنديين صهيونيين يرافقان الضابط، فأصيب أحدهما في صدره والآخر في الرقبة، وأعلنت جبهة المقاومة الوطنية اللبنانية مسؤوليتها عن العملية، التي تميّزت بأهمية رمزية قوية حيث مثلت بداية الأعمال المقاومة ضدّ قوات الاحتلال الصهيوني في بيروت، ودفعت بسكان المدينة الآخرين للمشاركة في المواجهات مع قوات الاحتلال الصهيوني، واستمرت هذه الأعمال حتى انسحاب القوات الصهيونية من العاصمة بيروت في 27 و28 أيلول عام 1982 تحت تأثير الضغوط السياسية الخارجية، وضربات المقاومة الوطنية اللبنانية، التي أنزلت بها هي وقوات مشاة الأسطول الأميركي «المارينز» والقوات الفرنسية خسائر فادحة بعمليات استشهادية، فانقلبت الانتصارات الصهيونية مأزقاً، كان أول ضحاياه هم قادة الحرب في كيان العدو الصهيوني، إذ في أوائل عام 1984 اعتزل مناحيم بيغن بعد عدة أشهر من الاعتكاف، وذكر أنه أصيب بالإحباط بسبب فشل سياسته، وأجبر وزير الدفاع أرييل شارون على الاستقالة بعد أن أدانته لجنة قضائية «لجنة كاهان»، وعزل رئيس أركان العدو الصهيوني رفائيل ايتان، لينسحب جيش كيان العدو الصهيوني في نهاية عام 1985 من معظم الأراضي التي احتلها، وبقي الشريط الحدودي الذي تحرّر في عام 2000.

رابعاً– تمّ توقيع اتفاقية أوسلو1 في 13 أيلول عام 1993، وهي أول اتفاقية مباشرة بين الكيان الصهيوني ممثلاً بوزير خارجيته آنذاك شمعون بيريز ومنظمة التحرير الفلسطينية ممثلة بأمين سر اللجنة التنفيذية محمود عباس، وقد التزمت منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية وعلى لسان رئيسها ياسر عرفات بـ «حق» الكيان الصهيوني بدولة (إسرائيل) على 78٪ من الأراضي الفلسطينية «أي كلّ فلسطين ما عدا الضفة الغربية وقطاع غزة» للعيش بـ» أمن وسلام والوصول إلى حلّ لكلّ القضايا الأساسية المتعلقة بالأوضاع الدائمة من خلال المفاوضات، وطبقاً لهذه الاتفاقية أدانت منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية استخدام الإرهاب وأعمال العنف وأخذت على عاتقها إلزام كلّ عناصر أفراد منظمة التحرير بها، ومنع انتهاك هذه الحالة وضبط المنتهكين، فأدانت حالة المقاومة المسلحة، وحذفت البنود التي تتعلق بها في ميثاقها الوطني كالعمل المسلح وتدمير (إسرائيل)، كما اعترف الكيان الصهيوني بمنظمة التحرير الفلسطينية بأنها الممثل الشرعي للشعب الفلسطيني، وبحق الفلسطينيين بإقامة حكم ذاتي «وليس دولة مستقلة ذات سيادة» على الأراضي التي ينسحب منها من الضفة الغربية وقطاع غزة على مراحل خلال خمس سنوات، مع التأكيد أنّ الكيان الصهيوني هو المسؤول عن أمن منطقة الحكم الذاتي من أيّ عدوان خارجي «لا يوجد جيش فلسطيني للسلطة الفلسطينية»، وبعد ثلاث سنوات تبدأ مفاوضات الوضع الدائم بشأن القدس «من يتحكم بالقدس الشرقية والغربية والأماكن المقدسة وساكنيها إلخ…»، واللاجئون «حق العودة وحق التعويض إلخ…» والمستوطنات في الضفة الغربية وقطاع غزة «هل تفكك أم تبقى أو تزيد زيادة طبيعية، ومن يحميها السلطة أم الجيش الصهيوني»، الترتيبات الأمنية «كمية القوات والأسلحة المسموح بها داخل أراضي الحكم الذاتي، والتعاون والتنسيق بين شرطة السلطة الفلسطينية والجيش الصهيوني، مما أدّى إلى انقسام وانشقاق بين الفصائل الفلسطينية، ففي الوقت الذي مثلت حركة فتح الفلسطينيين في المفاوضات وقبلت إعلان المبادئ، اعترضت عليها كلّ من حركة حماس والجهاد الإسلامي والجبهة الشعبية لتحرير فلسطين والجبهة الديمقراطية لتحرير فلسطين وجبهة التحرير الفلسطينية فاعتبروه اتفاقاً باطلاً ووصفوه بـ «المشؤوم» كونه أعطى الاحتلال الحق باغتصاب 78٪ من أرض فلسطين التاريخية.

خامساً– أما اتفاقية أوسلو2 بشأن الاتفاق الانتقالي للضفة الغربية وقطاع غزة أو اتفاقية طابا فقد تمّ التوقيع عليها في مدينة طابا المصرية في شبه جزيرة سيناء من قبل الكيان الصهيوني ومنظمة التحرير الفلسطينية في 24 أيلول عام 1995وبعد أربعة أيام في 28 أيلول تمّ التوقيع الرسمي على الاتفاقية في واشنطن من قبل رئيس وزراء حكومة العدو الصهيوني إسحاق رابين ورئيس منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية ياسر عرفات، ووضعت الاتفاقية تصوّراّ لتأسيس حكومة ذاتية انتقالية فلسطينية في الأراضي الفلسطينية، لكنها لم تتضمّن وعود بإقامة دولة فلسطينية مستقلة، بل أسست أوسلو2 المناطق «أ، ب، ج» في الضفة الغربية، ومنحت السلطة الفلسطينية بعض السلطات والمسؤوليات المحدودة في المنطقة «أ» و»ب» مع إمكانية عقد مفاوضات حول التسوية النهائية حسب قراري مجلس الأمن رقم «242 و 338»، ولم تتضمّن الاتفاقية ما يحدّ من استمرار عملية بناء المستوطنات في الضفة الغربية عامة وفي القدس بصفة خاصة، علماً أنه سبقت هذه الاتفاقية مجموعة أحداث دامية تركت أثرها عليها، منها مجزرة الحرم الإبراهيمي، وعدة عمليات فدائية هزت عمق المجتمع الصهيوني، وأعقبها اغتيال رئيس الوزراء الصهيوني إسحق رابين.

سادساً– بدءاً من نهاية عام 1999 ساد شعور بالإحباط لدى الفلسطينيين لانتهاء الفترة المقررة لتطبيق الحلّ النهائي بحسب اتفاقيات أوسلو، والمماطلة وجمود المفاوضات بين الطرفين الفلسطيني والصهيوني، واستمرار الصهاينة بسياسة الاغتيالات والاعتقالات والاجتياحات لمناطق السلطة الفلسطينية ورفض الأفراج عن الأسرى الفلسطينيين، بالإضافة إلى استمرار بناء المستوطنات واستبعاد عودة اللاجئين، واستبعاد الانسحاب لحدود حزيران 1967، مما جعل الفلسطينيين متيقنين بعدم جدوى عملية السلام للوصول إلى تحقيق الاستقلال الوطني، وفي ظلّ هذا الشعور العام بالإحباط والاحتقان السياسي، قام رئيس وزراء كيان الاحتلال السابق أرييل شارون باقتحام المسجد الأقصى وتجوّل في ساحاته مصرّحاً أنّ الحرم القدسي سيبقى منطقة (إسرائيلية)، مما أثار استفزاز المصلين الفلسطينيين، فاندلعت المواجهات بين المصلين وجنود الاحتلال في ساحات المسجد الأقصى، فارتقى سبعة شهداء وجرح المئات وأصيب 13 جندي صهيوني وكانت بداية أعمال الانتفاضة التي أدّت إلى تطوّر قدرات وإمكانيات الفصائل الفلسطينية وخاصة بصنع الصواريخ (صاروخ قسام، قدس4، صمود، أقصى 103، ناصر)، وبناء جدار الفصل العنصري الصهيوني، وتحطيم مقولة الجيش الذي لا يُقهر في معركة مخيم جنين الذي قتل فيه 58 جندي صهيوني وجرح 142، بالإضافة إلى ضرب السياحة واقتصاد المستوطنات الصهيونية، واغتيال وزير السياحة الصهيوني (زئيفي) على يد أعضاء من الجبهة الشعبية لتحرير فلسطين.

سابعاً– تحت ضغط الواقع الأمني المتردّي والعجز في اخماد أعمال المقاومة المتصاعدة في قطاع غزة والضفة الغربية خاصة ما عرف بحرب الأنفاق ضدّ مواقع حصينة للجيش الصهيوني وارتفاع الكلفة الأمنية على حكومة الاحتلال، وخاصة بعد بناء جدار الفصل العنصري، قرر رئيس الوزراء الصهيوني آنذاك أرييل شارون في 11 أيلول عام 2005 الانسحاب من 25 مستوطنة في قطاع غزة والضفة الغربية ضمن عملية أطلق عليها فكّ الارتباط مع الفلسطينيين بعد احتلال للقطاع استمرّ لمدة 38 عاماً.

وأخيراً تتضارب أحداث أيلول 2020 بين اتفاقيات تطبيع الأسرلة أو تحالف الحرب العسكري الأمني الاستخباري بين الأنظمة العربية الرجعية المطبعة في الإمارات والبحرين، وكيان الاحتلال الصهيوني ضدّ إيران وبالتالي محور حلف المقاومة، وتنصل جامعة الدول العربية من مسؤولياتها تجاه القضية الفلسطينية، في وقت تتحد فيها كلمة الفصائل الفلسطينية على طريق تنامي مقاومة أو انتفاضة جديدة في الأراضي الفلسطينية، وليسدل أيلول 2020 الستار على مزيداً من فضائح رئيس حكومة العدو الصهيوني بنيامين نتنياهو المأزوم داخلياً وخارجياً هو وكيانه الغاصب الذي لا زال يقف على اجر ونص بعد فشله باستدراج حزب الله إلى عملية ردّ محدودة، أو تفجير الحاضنة الشعبية له في لبنان، وبالتالي تغيير قواعد الردع والاشتباك التي كرّسها وأرسى دعائمها محور حلف المقاومة.

Jewish Settler Chief: ‘Palestinians have no right to a state, Bible says Israel for the Jews’

Via The saker

Jewish Settler Chief: ‘Palestinians have no right to a state, Bible says Israel for the Jews’

September 23, 2020

Middle East Observer

Description:
In an extended interview with the Israeli i24News Arabic channel, Jewish settler leader Daniella Weiss says that Palestinians have no right to establish a state, and that the land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people as proclaimed by the ‘eternal words of the Bible’.

Weiss also expresses her disappointment with the UAE for demanding that the annexation plan for parts of the West Bank be frozen in exchange for Emirati peace with Israel. Weiss wondered, “I don’t understand why for peace, we, the settlers in Judea and Samaria (i.e. the West Bank), are expected to stop developing ourselves!”

Source: i24NEWS Arabic (YouTube)

Date: Sep 4, 2020(Important Note: Please help us keep producing independent translations for you by contributing as little as $1/month here: https://www.patreon.com/MiddleEastObserver?fan_landing=true)

Transcript:

Host:

Welcome, dear viewers, to a new episode of “Hadith Akhar”.

Her settlement activity in the West Bank began in the early 1970s. She was the secretary general of the most hardline settlement movement. She was imprisoned for rioting in the West Bank. In past years she has also been active in a movement that supports the establishment of illegal settlement outposts.

We talk to Daniella Weiss in “Hadith Akhar”.

TV report:

Daniella Weiss was born in Bnei Brak, just east of Tel Aviv in 1945. During the period 1984-1988, she was the General Secretary of the Gush Emunim settlement movement. In 1987, she was arrested and convicted with respect to rioting in the city of Qalqilya (located in the north of the West Bank). During the period 1996-2007, she was elected head of the local council of the Kedumim settlement, just near Qalqilya. In 1992, she failed to reach the Knesset on a ticket supported by settlers.

Host:

Welcome Ms. Daniella. Let us start from the latest developments in the (Israeli) political arena.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu froze the annexation plan (to annex the West Bank, or parts thereof, to Israel territory)in exchange for establishing ties with the United Arab Emirates (UAE). First, how do you view this step by Netanyahu?

Weiss:

Greetings. I think that this step is a big mistake on the part of our Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stop the development of the Jewish community in Judea and Samaria (i.e. the Israeli government term for the West Bank). But, I’m not sure that he specifically said that he will “freeze” (the annexation plan), I think he said that he will ‘stop the process of annexation of declaring Israeli law on the Jewish community (in that region). But if you’re telling me that it’s even worse (than this), then I’ll be disappointed with him, since (Netanyahu) is a great leader and I, as a member of the Jewish community in Judea and Samaria, always expect more from him.

Host:

This is a controversial topic (cancelation of annexation plan); Netanyahu says that he “halted” or “froze” (the annexation plan). In contrast, the Emirati state says that this plan is “canceled and is now off the table” in exchange for ties with the UAE. So, was it peace in exchange for (cancelling) this Israeli (annexation) plan?

Weiss:

I must say that I am very much disappointed also from the Emirati side, that they demand stopping the annexation or the development of the Jewish community (in exchange) for peace. Well, I was planning to show you what is the stage of (sic) – these black spots (on the map) show what is planned for the Palestinian state, and the white color refers to Jewish settlement. This means that the Israeli state is threatened by a Palestinian state which doesn’t express love or support for the Jewish state.

For this reason, I don’t understand why for peace, we, the settlers in Judea and Samaria (i.e. the West Bank), we are expected to stop developing ourselves. It doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t sound like a step towards peace, it sounds like leaving us, the settlers in Judea and Samaria, and leaving the state of Israel with a narrow strip (of land), if they were (indeed) to take off part of this land for the sake of a Palestinian state.

This is (most) unreasonable. And I am looking forward to seeing how (Netanyahu) sees this peace agreement, because there doesn’t seem to me much peace in this agreement. It seems to be an intersection of interests, which is good for the Emirates, good for the US, but not good for Israel.

Host:

Yet peace (between Israel) and the Arabs, and several Arab states, considering that many of (these states) had mutual enmity with Israel, isn’t Israel’s sense of security and safety in relation to neighbouring Arab states, isn’t this worth giving up the annexation plan and settlement expansion in the West Bank?

Weiss:

I think I am trying to explain. There is a reason to give away the annexation (plan).  But there is a map which shows that the narrow waist of the Israeli state is an impossible situation for (Israel) to live long with. I think we should be more careful, since some say that the Sinai Peninsula that was given to the Egyptians poses some threat to Israel. But (for me) it is livable. Certain parts from the borders that were given to Jordan were small. Gaza was a catastrophe, but we can live with it. But can we live without our heart? The center of our homeland? This makes no sense. I know there is a high level of celebration but I am not celebrating. I am warning. I warn if the condition was to stop Jewish life in the heart of our homeland for what is defined as a peace, then this is not a peace.

Host:

Yet you had your own stance in relation to the annexation plan. When this plan was proposed and put into implementation, it faced opposition due to ideological reasons that considered (the plan) destructive for the Israeli state and for the settlement project. On the other hand, the world and the majority of the world view it as being destructive for the two-state solution. What threatens this plan? What threatens your (settlement) project in this regard?

Weiss:

You did very good homework. Not many people in Israel know exactly what the stance of some settlers was. It is correct that I was in the settler camp which was very much against the annexation plan which went by the plan which is called the “Trump Plan” or the “Deal of the Century”. Why was I against it? Because it was directly connected with building a Palestinian (home) state, and here it’s not just about giving 30% (of the area) for the settlers and the rest is for the Palestinians It was a formal recognition that gives the possibility for the establishment of a Palestinian state in the heart of the homeland of the Jews. Why would I agree with it? Do you know why some did agree with it? Because we were under so much stress – I mean we the settlers – for so many years, with the freezing (of the settlements) in Obama’s time, in addition to the redlines even during Trump’s term.

So some people were thinking that there will be (positive) change; that we (as settlers in certain outposts) will become considered a part of the Israeli state, and that this will be in our favor. Usually, I see life in its positive fold. This time though, I saw that Trump, Kushner, and their team pledged that 70% of this area be for a Palestinian state that will be established. I believe that this is impossible. There is a Palestinian Authority that has the democratic ability to run life for Palestinians in a democratic way, but not through an independent state.

Host:

You oppose Trump’s Deal of the Century; don’t you feel concerned that you will lose such an American ally who backs Israel? Don’t you fear that Israel and the settlers may lose this supportive friend of Israel?

Weiss:

Mohammad, you are asking me this question on the day of the first ever flight from Israel to Abu Dhabi into the Emirates. It’s not just about this tiny thing, i.e. what is going to happen in Judea and Samaria. It is a global interest. More than Israel needs the US, the US needs Israel. Because it is a global interest. It is the ongoing struggle between Russia and US; it’s about natural resources; about oil; about the world fight against terror; about the Iran threat; about the conflict between Iran (on the one hand), and Saudi Arabia, the Emirates and the US (on the other). It is a global thing.

I was planning to to tell (Netanyahu), who’s going to deliver an address in 20 minutes, that he shouldn’t be afraid of the US. Trump is an ally of Israel. And since the (US) has (shared) interests with Israel and interests in the Middle East, (Netanyahu) knows well that the US can rely on Israel (which serves its interests). It is time for Netanyahu to demand from Trump the growth of the Jewish community in Judea and Samaria, and not the freezing of such construction. We must be brave and not bow down.  (Netanyahu) is a brave man, but the freezing (of settlement construction) in Judea and Samaria is not a brave step from him.

Host:

You are against the establishment of a Palestinian state and the freezing of settlement construction in the West Bank as well. If we want to talk about the borders of the state of Israel as far as you’re concerned, where do the borders of the state of Israel extend to? You have shown your map (to the viewers), kindly show us the Israeli state borders (on your map), as far as you’re concerned.

Weiss:

From the political point of view, the state of Israel, in the current political situation, is located between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, including the entire Golan Heights, the Galilee and the Golan (regions). Regarding the Jewish religion and its creed, we can (then) speak the language of the religion and creed; we have the ‘promised land’ from the Bible. The Middle East in WWI and WWII was different from now. Some day, according to the Bible, a change may occur in this land. But in this current political situation, (Israeli) borders are between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

Host:

What about the Palestinians for whom you deny the right of statehood? Where should they go? Is the solution, as you use to say, to encourage (the Palestinians) to migrate?

Weiss:

Let’s start from the first part of your question. The Palestinians have the ‘Palestinian Authority’. This authority has the right to have its own democratic elections; it has the right to have its own institutions and departments; however, it is not a state of its own. The only state in Israel is Israel. This is its name, Israel, coming from our forefathers. So there’s no option to build another state within France or the United Kingdom, just as there is no option to establish another state within Israel. Israel is for the Jews. ‘Israel’, meaning Jacob, this is the beginning of our nation.

Today, what will happen? (The Palestinians) have an Authority, they have independent lives, but they have no ability to vote for the Knesset. They can vote for their own institutions, not as (institutions) of a state, but rather institutions belonging to the (Palestinian) Authority.

Host:

However, more than 5 million Palestinians live in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Don’t they have the right to have an independent state in which they can live?

Weiss:

I think that – and we will not debate now whether there are four or five million (Palestinians), four million is still a good number – let’s continue from this point: the fact that the Jewish state was established, and even before this, the fact that the Jewish pioneers came from all over the world and began to revive the holy land of Israel once again, which was a desolate country at the end of the Ottoman Empire.

Then it attracted – and this is a well-known fact – it attracted many Arabs, Bedouins, tribes, from Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt, they all came to the land of Israel, and this is how (this land) was developed. It was the result of the Jews who came to this land; the new cities and towns that were established by Jewish pioneers, who revived the desolate land, and made it an attractive place for people all over the Middle East.

That does not mean that we – that the Jews – have to give up and say: ‘well, we have to share the only state that the Jews have in the world, to share it with another country’. They should have taken this into consideration, and we said it at the appropriate time, that we will never divide up our homeland in Israel (with other people). By the way, and here I made a mistake: there was a partition plan in 1947, and the Jewish leadership did agree (to it), to share the western part of the land of Israel. This proposal was rejected by the Arabs, and I (personally) was not in support of this proposal either.

Ex-IOF Cmdr.: By Responding With Force to 2nd Intifada “Israel” “Won the Battle But Lost the War”

Ex-IOF Cmdr.: By Responding With Force to 2nd Intifada “Israel” “Won the Battle But Lost the War”

By Staff, Sputnik

“Israel” has learned a lot from the second intifada, which erupted in September 2000, says a retired colonel, who back then served as deputy commander of the combat intelligence corps. The primary lesson was to prevent a repeat of such bloody events, something that the “Israeli” entity has managed to master.

It was a decision that sparked mass protests against the entity, triggering a fire.

Twenty years ago, on 28 September, then head of the “Israeli” entity’s opposition Ariel Sharon paid a visit to al-Haram Sharif [Temple Mount] in al-Quds [Jerusalem].

The official reason for the visit was to inspect the construction work that has been done in the area, but Palestinians regarded it as an attack on their holiest of holies and didn’t want it to go unnoticed.

A day after the visit, the Palestinian Authority [PA] announced three days of mourning and the fire of the Second Intifada, or the Palestinian popular uprising, lit by Sharon, started spreading, just 13 years after the first intifada.

Protests in Jerusalem inspired more protests by Palestinians across the West Bank and even Arabs within Israel. In the eight days following the visit, 13 Palestinians were killed amid violent clashes with Israeli security forces. Hundreds on both sides were wounded.

No Surprise

But the events didn’t catch the entity’s military by surprise.

Miri Eisin, now a retired colonel, who back then served as deputy commander of combat intelligence corps, says the army has been preparing for a possible Palestinian uprising from late 1990s, collecting information and following the Palestinian leaderships’ movement.

For her, as well as the security apparatus she represented, the question was not if the riots would start but rather when and what would ignite them.

Apparently, Sharon’s visit provided that spark, but Palestinian leaders have admitted that that was only an excuse and that the violent uprising would have happened regardless, with or without his move.

The entity’s response was quick and harsh, and Eisin says that magnitude probably “ignited an additional cycle [of violence]” that could have been avoided otherwise.

“In the first few months we were harsh against different types of events that started the intifada. They were instigating and we were responding”.

Programed to Respond with Force

During that time, the “Israeli” Occupation Forces [IOF] fired back at young people that threw stones at “Israeli” soldiers and responded violently in clashes with the Palestinian security forces.

It also rounded up and jailed hundreds of those who planned attacks or simply those who obstructed regular life, filling up “Israeli” prisons with Palestinian inmates.

Back then, Eisin admits, the IOF was programed to treat such events as a security challenge, and cared little about the media factor and the public diplomacy that has been used by the Palestinians to tilt international opinion in their favor.

As a result, “‘Israel’ was winning the battle but losing the war,” because while the entity was effective in combating Palestinian operations, it was condemned far and wide in the international arena.

The mass media gave the Palestinian riots a central stage in their coverage, whereas NGOs were scrutinizing the entity’s conduct and published reports on its human rights violations.

During the years of fighting, the “Israeli” entity lost more than 1,100 people. Over 8,000 were injured in Palestinian operations.

Palestinians Fear Cost Of Arab States’ Normalization with ‘Israel’: PA Quits Arab League Chairmanship

Palestinians Fear Cost Of Arab States’ Normalization with ‘Israel’

By Staff, The Guardian

Diplomatic breakthroughs between the Zionist entity and Gulf monarchies have revealed fissures in the relationship between Palestine and Arab governments, raising questions over whether they can still be relied on to champion the Palestinian cause.

For years, the Zionist occupation regime has vigorously pursued ties with the Arab world, focusing on powerful Gulf countries with whom it shares a ‘common enemy’ in Iran and who crave its hi-tech security and espionage products.

Last week, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates signed accords with the ‘Israeli’ entity at a White House ceremony to establish an open business and diplomatic relationship.

The public ties smashed apart widespread isolation of the ‘Israeli’ entity in the region – a decades-old policy the Palestinian leadership saw as vital leverage in its struggle for independence.

“We definitely feel betrayed,” said senior Palestinian politician Saeb Erekat, condemning the deals as a “tremendous encouragement for the ‘Israeli’ government to continue their occupation”.

Relatively, US President Donald Trump said several more Arab states would soon announce their intention to sign similar deals, suggesting a more substantive shift.

In the West Bank and Gaza, the Washington-dubbed so-called “Abraham accords” did not come as a surprise, but still hurt.

“Relationships are based on pure interest. Nobody cares about the Palestinian issue,” said Shadi Abu Samra, a 35-year-old social worker from the city of Ramallah. “I am not at all astonished. It was expected one day. There have been relations for a long time between ‘Israel’ and the Gulf states.”

Dalia Karazon, a mathematics teacher from the same city, said she was frustrated that the UAE and Bahrain claimed the accords would help the Palestinians. “They can do whatever they want, but they should not relate that to our interest, because our interest is to end the occupation and not reconcile with it.”

Arafat al-Daf, a 21-year-old student from Gaza, said the move simply added to Palestinian disappointment, “from ourselves, from the Arabs, from the world”.

Palestinian officials warned that regional pressure is more critical now than it has been for years. Threats of further regional isolation, they say, helped dissuade ‘Israel’ from going ahead this summer with its much-publicized plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank. “The Arabs had a major role,” said one Palestinian official on condition of anonymity.

Under the ‘Israeli’ normalization deal with the UAE, it agreed to “suspend” annexation, but critics of the deal say that clause was only added as lip service to the Palestinian issue. Meanwhile, politicians in the ‘Israeli’-occupied territories argue the annexation plan is still a priority.

PA Quits Arab League Chairmanship Unhonored to See Arab States Rush to Normalize with the Occupation

PA Quits Arab League Chairmanship: Unhonored to See Arab States Rush to Normalize with the Occupation

By Staff

Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyadh al-Maliki announced Palestine’s decision to quit the post of currently leading the Arab League citing its latest conspiracy.

“What we’ve witnessed in the recent meeting reflects the Arab League’s collusion,” al-Maliki stated.

He further hinted that the United States’ attempts to drag other nations to normalize have been hindered.

The minister also pointed that the Palestinian Authority is contacting all countries to stabilize their stances and secede from the US pressure.

“We are not honored to see Arab States rushing to normalize ties with the occupation during our chairmanship of the Arab League,” he announced.

The Palestinian minister further added that the PA is following the promotion of names of countries that will imitate that Bahraini and UAE steps toward normalization.

Related

خلافات الفلسطينيين وقود التطبيع العربي ـ «الإسرائيلي»

د. عدنان منصور

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منذ توقيع اتفاقية كامب دايفيد عام 1978، بدأ تراجع الدور العربي وانحداره، ليأتي بعد ذلك اتفاق أوسلو عام 1993، واتفاق وادي عربة عام 1994.

إنّ اتفاق أوسلو جاء بكلّ تأكيد، ليطوّب هذا التراجع، ويؤكد على الانحدار الذي تمّ في ليلة ظلماء، على يد أصحاب القضية المركزية الفلسطينية، والذي أفسح المجال دون أدنى شكّ، للوصول الى حالة التراجع والتفكك والضعف، التي يعيشها الفلسطينيون والعرب منذ ثلاثة عقود وحتى اليوم. وبما أنّ صاحب القضية الأول، وللأسف الشديد، قد فتح بابه على مصراعيه أمام العدو وكيانه الصهيوني، دون ضوابط أو حذر أو عواقب وخيمة، واعترف بكيانه وبوجوده، فإنّ الموقف الفلسطيني والعربي، والقيّمين على المقدسات الإسلامية والمسيحية، أصبح موقفاً هزيلاً، ضعيفاً، منقسماً على نفسه. إذ كيف يمكن للقيادة الفلسطينية التي اعترفت بالعدو، أن يكون دورها وموقفها قوياً، مؤثراً، جامعاً، حازماً، حاسماً، عندما تطالب الآخرين في العالم العربي وخارجه بعدم التطبيع! لأنّ من يجب عليه أن يحافظ على القضية الفلسطينية بالدرجة الأولى، ورفض الاعتراف بالعدو الصهيوني، هم الفلسطينيون أنفسهم، قبل غيرهم. لأنّ الآخر لن يكون ملكياً أكثر من الملك، ولن يكون فلسطينياً أكثر من الفلسطينيين أنفسهم، بحكم الواقع والمنطق والمصالح والتحالفات.

إنّ انقسام الفلسطينيين على بعضهم البعض لسنوات طويلة، وتضييع العديد منهم بوصلة النضال، باعتمادهم الحوار والمفاوضات السلمية والوسائل الدبلوماسية، والتعويل على القوى الخارجية التي وقفت دائماً ضدّ مصالح الأمة وحقوق شعوبها، وعلى الرهان على أنظمة، ما كانت إلا في خدمة هذه القوى، ما بدّد آمالهم في تحقيق أهدافهم، لإقامة دولتهم الفلسطينية المستقلة. تعويل ورهان، جعل العدو وحلفاءه في العالم والمنطقة، ان يستغلوا الفرص، وينتهزوا النوايا “الطيبة” لرئيس السلطة الفلسطينية وقادتها، وكلّ من سار في فلكها، مستغلين ضعفها، وخلافاتها، وتنافسها، وتفككها. سلطة فلسطينية ارتكبت بحق فلسطين وشعبها خطيئة كبيرة فظيعة لا تغتفر، عندما لزمت وأناطت حلّ قضية فلسطين للعراب الأميركي ووثقت به، ليفعل ما فعله باتجاه التطبيع، دون أن تتعلم من دروس التاريخ ووقائعه شيئاً، وتأخذ العبرة من سياسات وأفعال المتآمرين على حقوق شعوب أمتنا، ناكثي العهود، من مارك سايكس الى فرنسوا جورج بيكو، مروراً بالانتداب البريطاني، وصولاً الى أشنع مؤامرة قذرة، قامت بريطانيا بحياكتها وتنفيذها بحق فلسطين وشعبها، قبيل وأثناء إعلان الكيان الصهيوني عام 1948.

إنّ التنديد، والإدانة والاستهجان، والرفض، لا ينفع. ما ينفع أولاً وأخيراً، هو توحّد الفلسطينيين حول هدف واحد، ونضال ومقاومة واحدة، ومن ثم العمل الجدي على استنهاض صحوة شعبية عارمة على مستوى الشعب الفلسطيني والأمة كلها، وتحريك الأطياف والحركات، والفعاليات الشعبية والرسمية للقوى المناضلة القومية، وذلك باستخدام السبل كافة لتصحيح المسار، وبث روح المقاومة والانتفاضة من جديد في جسد الأمة، وانتشالها من المستنقع الذي وضعها فيه العدو، ومعه قوى الهيمنة والمتواطئون على قضايانا الوطنية والقومية على السواء.

أحوج ما تكون إليه شعوبنا اليوم، ليس البكاء على الأطلال، والتحسّر على هضاب فلسطين، ورفض التطبيع مع العدو، ونظم أشعار التنديد والهجاء، وإبداء مشاعر الحنين، وعدم الرضوخ للأمر الواقع، إنما التحرك السريع لوقف الانهيار والتدهور والانقسام الحاصل داخل الصف الفلسطيني والعربي، جراء التخبّط الرهيب، وتباين الأفكار والرؤى والانتماء والولاء، الذي قلب العمل والنضال الفلسطيني المقاوم رأساً على عقب. إنّ خطورة المرحلة الحالية تحتم على الفلسطينيين، كلّ الفلسطينيين، سلطة وحركات مقاومة، وفعاليات وتنظيمات شعبية، العمل فوراً على إعادة تجميع قواها الوطنية والقومية من جديد. إذ أنّ خلافات أهل البيت الواحد شجعت العدو وحلفاءه، على التمادي في قراراتهم، والانتقال من الدفاع الى الهجوم، حيث نتحمّل الجزء الأكبر من المسؤولية، بسبب أخطائنا، وتهوّرنا، وتشتتنا، وتبعثرنا، وخلافاتنا، وانشقاقاتنا، وعداواتنا، وأنانياتنا، وتذبذبنا في مواقفنا مع طرف ضدّ آخر، ورهاننا على المكان الخطأ ثم العودة عنه. كلّ ذلك أدّى إلى هذا التدهور والانحراف، وتضييع البوصلة، وصولاً إلى التصدّع، والانهيار، والتفكّك، والانفصام في الموقف العربي الواحد.

لا بدّ من محاسبة الذات قبل محاسبة الآخرين، وهذا ما يستدعي مراجعة كاملة للحسابات، والرهانات، والتحالفات، وتقييم المواقف والأداء من جديد، وتحديد من هم أصدقاء القضية الفلسطينية الحقيقيون ومن هم أعداؤها، وتحديد من هم العابثون بحقوق الشعب الفلسطيني بشكل قاطع وحاسم، أكانوا فلسطينيين أم عرباً أم أجانب، دون أيّ تردّد، أو مواربة، أو خوف، أو مراوغة، أو مجاملة، وفرز أصحاب القضية، المقاومين الحقيقيين، المناضلين في الداخل الفلسطيني، عن الانتهازيين المزيّفين، بائعي القضية وتجارها، اللاهثين وراء السلطة، والمال، والمناصب، والمكاسب، وما أكثرهم، وهم الذين آثروا دائماً على بيعها في بازار المصالح الشخصية والسياسات الدولية!

وحدهم الفلسطينيون الشرفاء، أصحاب القضية دون منازع، الذين يستطيعون حماية قضيتهم من الضياع، والحفاظ عليها، وانتشالها من المستنقع، ومنع طي صفحتها ودفنها، وجرّها الى عالم النسيان.

اننا أمام نكبة ثانية جديدة متمثلة بالتطبيع، وهي أخطر من النكبة الأولى. لأنّ النكبة الأولى ولدت صحوة ووعياً قومياً عربياً، وجيلاً جديداً مقاوماً رافضاً للكيان، متمسكاً بأرضه وحقوقه. أما التطبيع فيأتي ليشرع ويؤكد على وجود الكيان الغاصب، ويعمل على إخماد الصحوة والرفض، ومن ثم القضاء على المقاومة، وإلغاء فلسطين من الخارطة التاريخية، والجغرافية، والقومية، والوجودية، شعباً وأرضاً ودولة.

لا مجال للانتظار، لأنّ الأمة كلها، وجودها ومستقبلها وأمنها القومي على المحكّ، وأمام الاختبار. فإما المواجهة والمقاومة، وإما الاستسلام والسقوط والانهيار.

*وزير الخارجية والمغتربين الأسبق

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متخفّيان داخل طائرة مساعدات..

دحلان وطحنون بن زايد زارا تل أبيب سرّاً.. ومعارض إماراتيّ يؤكد ذلك

كشفت صحيفة «يديعوت احرونوت» الصهيونية، أمس، عن زيارة إلى الكيان الصهيوني قام بها القيادي المفصول من حركة فتح محمد دحلان، ورئيس الاستخبارات الإماراتيّة طحنون بن زايد.

وأوضحت الصحيفة في تقرير مطوّل، أن الطائرة الإماراتية التي هبطت في مطار اللد قبل أشهر وتحمل مساعدات طبية إلى الضفة الغربية، لم تكن محملة بالمساعدات فقط بل اختبأ فيها شخصان هما محمد دحلان وطحنون بن زايد حيث أجريا محادثات مطولة جداً ولم يغادرا الطائرة.

وذكرت الكاتبة سمدار بيري، أن تلك الطائرة أحدثت توتراً كبيراً بين السلطة وبين الإمارات، حيث رفضت السلطة تسلّم الطائرة، احتجاجاً على الطريقة التي وصلت فيها الطائرة من دون تنسيق مع السلطة.

وأشارت الكاتبة الصهيونية إلى أن محمد دحلان كان له دور واضح وملموس في هندسة الاتفاق الإماراتي الصهيوني المُسمى «اتفاق إبراهيم»، منوهة إلى أنه لم يكفّ عن منافسته وانتظاره خلافة رئيس السلطة محمود عباس.

من جانبه قال المعارض الإماراتي البارز عبدالله الطويل، إن طحنون بن زايد برفقة محمد دحلان قد زارا الكيان الصهيوني سراً لوضع اللمسات الأخيرة على بنود الاتفاق الثلاثي.

وأوضح المعارض الإماراتي أن هذه الزيارة تمّت بغطاء المساعدات الإنسانية التي بعثتها الإمارات عبر تل أبيب بسبب جائحة كورونا ورفضت السلطة الفلسطينية تسلمها.

ووصفت الصحف العبرية محمد دحلان، القيادي المفصول من حركة فتح والمستشار الخاص لولي عهد أبوظبي، بـ»مستشار بن زايد السري» عشية إعلان اتفاق التطبيع، معتبرة أن «الصفقة تمّت بتعاون من دحلان، للرجل الذي يهمس في أذن حاكم الإمارات، والذي قد يتوج كخليفة لمحمود عباس رئيس السلطة الفلسطينية».

ويبدو أن كلاً من الصهاينة والأميركيين يودون مكافأة دحلان على جهوده هذه، بتحضيره لزعامة السلطة الفلسطينية بعد عباس، إذ تنقل الصحافة الصهيونيّة عن مصادر أميركية مطلعة أن الاتفاقية الثلاثية بين الولايات المتحدة وكيان الاحتلال والإمارات تتضمن عودة محمد دحلان للسلطة الفلسطينية، وأن اتفاق أبوظبي – تل أبيب يحسّن فرص محمد دحلان في «معركة الميراث»، كما أنه يحظى بدعم من مصر والأردن والإمارات والسعودية.

ويتحدث موقع i24 الصهيوني عن أن عودة دحلان «ستزيد الصراع في قيادة حركة فتح على قيادة السلطة الفلسطينية»، إذ كان دحلان منافساً لحليفه السابق في حركة فتح محمود عباس قبل أن يفرّ إلى المنفى.

وكانت تقارير سابقة قد تحدثت عن تنظيم دحلان للقاءات سرية عديدة خلال السنوات الأخيرة، بين مسؤولين إماراتيين وصهاينة، ساهمت في تطوير العلاقة بين الطرفين بشكل كبير.

ويتهم دحلان بلعب أدوار في دول عدة لصالح الإمارات، كما تتهم تركيا دحلان بالتورط في الانقلاب الفاشل لعام 2016، ولعب دور في اغتيال الصحافي السعودي جمال خاشقجي في القنصليّة السعوديّة في اسطنبول العام الماضي.

ويتهم القضاء التركي دحلان بالضلوع في محاولة الانقلاب الفاشلة، ومحاولة تغيير النظام الدستوري بالقوة، و»الكشف عن معلومات سرية حول أمن الدولة لغرض التجسس»، و»قيامه بالتجسس الدولي».

كما رصدت أنقرة مكافأة قدرها 4 ملايين ليرة تركية، لمن يدلي بمعلومات تقود إلى إلقاء القبض عليه.

ما بعد اجتماع الأمناء العامين بحاجة إلى إرادة سياسية

رامز مصطفى

بواقعية مُقدّرة، الشيخ صالح العاروري يؤكد وفي معرض سؤاله عن اجتماع الأمناء العامين ومرحلة ما بعد الاجتماع، ردّ بما حرفيته، أن لا ضمانة في التوصل لشيء، ولكن نحن سنبذل كلّ الجهود وبقية الفصائل بما فيها فتح من أجل التوافق وإنهاء الانقسام، لمواجهة التحديات وما يحيط بقضيتنا من مخاطر.

كلام نائب رئيس حركة حماس الشيخ صالح العاروري يستند إلى التجارب السابقة، وهو مُحقّ في ذلك، على اعتبار أنّ الخلاف يتمحور حولّ البرنامج السياسي الذي قاد إلى اتفاقات «أوسلو» وما حمله من تنازلات مسّت بشكل مباشر عناوين القضية بعد أن اعترفت المنظمة بالكيان و«حقه» بالوجود، والتنازل عن 78 بالمائة من أرضنا الفلسطينية.

ما تضمّنته الكلمات التي ألقاها الأمناء العامون وقبلهم السيد أبو مازن رئيس اللجنة التنفيذية للمنظمة، ما زالت تؤكد على أنّ الخلاف السياسي ما زال سيد المشهد، على الرغم من قناعتنا أنّ هذا الخلاف المتراكم منذ «أوسلو»، لن ينتهي من اجتماع أو اجتماعين أو أكثر. فكلمة السيد أبو مازن أكدت على التمسك بالمفاوضات، وبالمقاومة الشعبية السلمية، بينما الأستاذ اسماعيل هنية رئيس حركة حماس، قد أكّد على كلّ أشكال المقاومة بما فيها المسلحة، مسهباً في الحديث عن القدرات العسكرية لحركة حماس. ومضيفاً أنّ حركته حماس لن تعترف بالكيان، مطالباً الخروج من اتفاقات «أوسلو».

العناوين الخلافية ستبقى حاضرة في اللقاءات الجماعية أو الثنائية، ولازمة لا يستطيع أيٍّ من الأطراف، أو الطرفين تجاوزها، أو إسقاطها لصالح برنامج سياسي متوافق عليه، خصوصاً أنّ فصائل حماس والجهاد والقيادة العامة والشعبية والصاعقة وحتى الديمقراطية، ترى أنّ اتفاقات «أوسلو» يجب التخلص منها، بشقيها الأمني والاقتصادي، مع سحب الاعتراف بالكيان وحقه بالوجود، مع إعادة الاعتبار للمشروع الوطني، والإسراع في إعادة بناء المنظمة ومؤسساتها، ومدخلها تشكيل مجلس وطني جديد بمشاركة الكلّ الفلسطيني من دون استثناء أو إقصاء لأحد، طالما ننشد توحيد الساحة بهدف مواجهة تحديات «صفقة القرن»، وخطة الضمّ الصهيوأميركية.

السؤال عن مرحلة ما بعد اجتماع الأمناء العامين، سؤال محقّ وهو برسم جميع المشاركين في الاجتماع، وتحديداً حركتي حماس وفتح، اللتان تعكفان على وضع خارطة طريق لإنهاء الانقسام، ومن ثمّ ما تمّ الاتفاق عليه في ختام أعمال الاجتماع. مؤكدين أنّ النوايا وحدها لا تكفي، بل الإرادة السياسية للخروج من المأزق هو الأساس، ودون ذلك فنحن أمام انتاج تجربة فاشلة جديدة، تُضاف إلى شقيقاتها من التجارب السابقة.

*كاتب فلسطيني

UAE-Israel deal: The new hegemons of the Middle East

Source

Palestinian protesters set aflame cut-outs showing the faces of Benjamin Netanyahu, Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, and Donald Trump, during a demonstration in Nablus in the occupied West Bank on 14 August 2020 (AFP)

17 August 2020 12:36 UTC

David Hearst

This bleak vision will fail, much faster than the Jordanian and Egyptian treaties with Israel which too were built on sand. It can only lead to more conflict

 The three men who hatched the first recognition by an Arab state of Israel in 26 years are all in trouble domestically.

US President Donald Trump is finding any way he can to stop his fellow Americans from voting in an orderly fashion in November, because if enough of them did, on current poll ratings he would lose. Israeli premier Binyamin Netanyahu has been overwhelmed by the protests outside his home at his handling of Covid, and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed has seen one pet project after another crash in flames into the sea, first the coup attempt in Turkey, then the siege of Qatar, and latterly the failure of his surrogate forces to seize Tripoli.

Each man needed a diplomatic coup, something their media could call historic. Each knows what would happen to them if they lost power 

Each man needed a diplomatic coup, something their media could call historic. Each knows what would happen to them if they lost power. For Netanyahu and Trump it could mean prison. For MbZ it would mean exile or death. His love affair with Israel is his life insurance. Their personal  fates are to an extraordinary sense, intertwined.

MbZ needed to find an alternative regional backer, acutely aware as he was of the falling value of his investment in Trump. He has made enough enemies in the CIA and the Pentagon to know the moment Trump leaves , the US deep state will return with a vengeance.

Netanyahu needed to find an exit strategy from protests and a fraying coalition, to find a policy that he alone controlled. While he has once again betrayed his right wing by freezing, ( although not abandoning) annexation, the Houdini of political escapes has just wriggled out of his handcuffs once again.

“For the first time in the country’s history I signed a peace agreement coming from strength – peace for peace,” his video tweet boasted. “This is the approach I have driven for years: making peace is possible without turning over territories, without dividing Jerusalem, without endangering our future. In the Middle East, the strong survive – and a strong people makes peace.”

Trump needed a signature foreign policy stunt, something he could call a return on all the political capital he has spent on his son in law, Jared Kushner. The “Deal of the Century” was always going to be dead on arrival. Trump needed a tangible.

End of the affair

But this deal, to be buttressed by Morocco, Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia, differs fundamentally from Egypt’s or Jordan’s peace deals with Israel. Each in their turn was the start of an affair. Each heralded wider negotiations which, for a time, brought the hope of a just settlement to the Palestinian conflict.

This is the end of an affair. No negotiations, outside the palaces of the players involved, have taken place over this. There will be no elections to seek a popular mandate. Not one of the many querulous Palestinian factions or parties has gone anywhere near this, as to do so would mean the abandonment of East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian State, negotiations on the basis of 1967 borders and the right of the return.

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed with US President Donald Trump (AFP/file photo)
Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed with US President Donald Trump (AFP/file photo)

This deal is not about peace. Arab leaders have met Israeli leaders regularly. King Abdullah 1 of Jordan met Zionist leaders before 1948 and his grandson King Hussein carried on the tradition. His biographer Avi Schlaim counted 42 meetings with his Israeli counterparts. King Hassan of Morocco used Mossad to get rid of his opponents. 

None of this regular contact between avowed enemies changed the rejection of Israel by the Arab masses. 

The UAE’s recognition of Israel has nothing to do with the search for an end to conflict. Its about establishing a new regional order between dictators and occupiers – Arab dictators and Israeli occupiers. As America withdraws as the regional hegemon, new ones are needed. Step forward Israel and the UAE.

Trade, unimpeded telecoms, travel and recognition between Israel and its richest Gulf neighbours will become new “facts on the ground”, its architects imagine, as immutable as the roads that bypass Palestinian villages and the settlements themselves. No negotiation is required. Just the white flag of defeat.

This accord is virtual reality. It will be blown away by a new popular revolt not just in Palestine but across the Arab world

I am fairly confident that Palestinians won’t wave the white flag of surrender today, any more than they would have done in the past seven decades. They will not abandon their political rights, and take the money. But nothing less is required for this plan to succeed. 

If this moral collapse was going to happen anywhere, it would have happened in an enclave Israel has starved for the last 14 years  – Gaza. But there is no sign of popular resistance to Israel waning. Nor will this happen in the relatively freer West Bank .The Palestinian Authority called the decision “despicable” and “treason” to both the Palestinian people, Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The wave of anger and resentment coursing through Palestinian veins is reflected in the Arab population at large. Every honest attempt to monitor popular opinion on this issue comes up with answers Trump, Netanyahu and MBZ would rather not hear.

The percentage of Arabs opposing diplomatic recognition of Israel has gone up, not down, in the last decade. The Arab Opinion Index quantified this trend. In 2011, 84 per cent opposed diplomatic recognition. By 2018, the figure was 87 per cent.

Just watch the reaction

There will be a reaction to this both among Palestinians and on the Arab street in general. It is already possible to discern two trends.

Among Palestinians, this deal will force Fatah and Hamas, bitter rivals since the civil war in Gaza in 2007, into each other’s arms. That is already happening at youth level, but such is the degree of anger and betrayal felt in the top echelons of the PLO, that it is also happening at leadership level as well. 

If Netanyahu and bin Zayed are on the phone to each other, so too now are Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President, and Ismail Haniyeh, the political leader of Hamas. The PA’s strong reaction to the Emirati accord was welcomed by Hamas. A Hamas source told Arabi21 that he saw the PA’s position as an “opportunity for joint political and field action in the West Bank and Gaza Strip”. 

Israel-UAE deal: Emirati influencers criticised for praising normalisation
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If this new sense of common purpose between the two main rival Palestinian factions is sustainable  – and Abbas in the past  has been unwilling to accept any partners in the governance of Palestine – this is the beginning of the end of arrests of Hamas activists in the West Bank by the Palestinian Preventive Security.

This was once headed by Jibril Rajoub, who is now general secretary of Fatah. But today Rajoub holds press conferences with Hamas’s second in command, Saleh Arouri – a further sign that the rapprochement between the two parties is gathering momentum.

Rajoub, who was speaking during a joint teleconference press interview with Arouri, said: “We will lead our battle together under the flag of Palestine to achieve an independent and sovereign Palestinian state on the 1967 borders and solving the issue of the refugees on the basis of international resolutions.”

The Dahlan plan

This reaction would have been foreseen by the Arab hegemons and Israel. Their answer is to promote the exiled Palestinian leader Mohammed Dahlan and/or his surrogates as the next Palestinian president. 

I revealed this plan four years ago. It was written down in black and white in a document summarising the discussions between the UAE, Jordan and Egypt.

In it, Dahlan’s homecoming was specifically linked to “a peace agreement with Israel with the backing of Arab states”.

Dahlan himself, who is in exile in Abu Dhabi, has said nothing about the agreement. But his faction within Fatah, which calls itself the “Democratic Reform Movement”, issued a statement saying it “followed with great interest the joint American-Emirati-Israeli statement, which announced the start of a path to normalization of relations, which includes a freeze on the decision to annex Israel to parts of the occupied West Bank”.

Mohammed Dahlan: Philanthropist or notorious fixer?
Read More »

His supporters over the weekend called him “the leader”. 

The result? His picture was burned in Ramallah yesterday along with pictures of bin Zayed. 

In the past, Dahlan has played the divisions between Hamas and Fatah shrewdly. For a brief spell there was talk of a rapprochement between Dahlan and Hamas, in a revived relationship with Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas leader of Gaza. Sinwar and Dahlan were former schoolmates. The two met in secret talks in Cairo.

All his previous work, including the payment of weddings in Gaza and the cultivation of supporters and militias in Balata Camp, has been thrown to the wind now. Dahlan has crossed a rubicon by supporting this deal, although this fact has yet to sink in.

Across the Arab world in general, the second immediate effect of this announcement is the recognition that the demands of the Arab Spring for democracy in the Arab world and the demands of Palestinians for sovereignty are one and the same thing.

They have common enemies: Arab despots whose suppression of democracy is more cruel and medieval than ever. They have common cause – popular resistance to oligarchs who wield all the power – both military and economic.

Instead of investing its money in Jordan or Egypt which desperately needs its cash, the wealthiest sovereign wealth fund in the Gulf will start investing in Israel

Netanyahyu was not exaggerating when he said on Thursday night when the deal was announced that recognition by the UAE would enrich Israel. “This is very important for our economy, the regional economy and our future,” the prime minister said.

He said the UAE would make investments that would boost the Israeli economy. Well, quite. Instead of investing its money in Jordan or Egypt which desperately needs its cash, the wealthiest sovereign wealth fund in the Gulf will start investing in Israel, which is in comparison already a substantial high-tech economy.

Not only is bin Zayed contemptuous of Arab democracy (hence his suppression of popular democratic movements). He is above all contemptuous of his own people, whom he consigns to the gutters of the new post-oil economy.

This bleak vision will fail, much faster than the Jordanian and Egyptian treaties with Israel which too were built on sand. It can only lead to more conflict.

Whereas before, Israeli leaders could pretend to be bystanders to the turmoil of dictatorship in the Arab world, this now ties the Jewish state to maintaining the autocracy and repression around it. They cannot pretend to be the victims of a “tough neighbourhood”. They are its main pillar.

This accord is virtual reality. It will be blown away by a new popular revolt not just in Palestine but across the Arab world. This revolt may already have started.

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.

David Hearst is the editor in chief of Middle East Eye. He left The Guardian as its chief foreign leader writer. In a career spanning 29 years, he covered the Brighton bomb, the miner’s strike, the loyalist backlash in the wake of the Anglo-Irish Agreement in Northern Ireland, the first conflicts in the breakup of the former Yugoslavia in Slovenia and Croatia, the end of the Soviet Union, Chechnya, and the bushfire wars that accompanied it. He charted Boris Yeltsin’s moral and physical decline and the conditions which created the rise of Putin. After Ireland, he was appointed Europe correspondent for Guardian Europe, then joined the Moscow bureau in 1992, before becoming bureau chief in 1994. He left Russia in 1997 to join the foreign desk, became European editor and then associate foreign editor. He joined The Guardian from The Scotsman, where he worked as education correspondent.

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If not for the Arab collusion, the annexation plan would not have been passed: Palestinian expert

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By Mohammad Mazhari

July 19, 2020 – 20:4

TEHRAN – A Palestinian analyst believes that the Arab collusion provided an opportunity for Israel to take advantage of some influential Arab countries to take steps toward the annexation of the occupied West Bank.

“The Arab reality is catastrophic, and this provided a window and opportunity for Israel to take advantage of some influential Arab countries to pass the annexation plan,” Zakarya Al-Ahmad tells the Tehran Times. 

He argues that if it was not for the Arab collusion, Israel would not have embarked on annexing the West Bank.

Following is the text of the interview:

Question: What are the reasons that some Israeli parties oppose the annexation of the occupied West Bank?

Answer: Here are three types of opposition to the annexation plan inside Israel. The first one is supported by the left-wing parties that talk about a peaceful solution for Palestinian-Israeli conflict.  Labor Party adopts this approach, but they are in the minority. 

The other critic of the annexation plan is the religious Zionists, especially the leaders of settlements. They believe that the West Bank is part of Israel, and therefore merely annexing parts of this area is not enough, and here lies the dispute over the scope of annexation.

The third group comprises of moderate parties, such as Blue and White and its allies. This party opposes annexation based on its leftist background and believes that it can lead to strategic problems in their relations with the Palestinian Authority and the U.S.

They call for harmony with the U.S. and the international community, emphasizing that the annexation without American approval, may result in problems at international level.

Q: Benjamin Netanyahu recently warned Benny Gantz that he would either have to accept the annexation plan or hold early elections. Do you think that annexation would lead to the collapse of the Israeli government?

A: As for Netanyahu’s warning to Benny Gantz, I rule out that it will lead to the collapse of the government for two reasons: The first reason is that Netanyahu actually works within the U.S. framework, and this is the reason for a delay in annexation, and therefore when he wants to take a step or take a final decision concerning annexation, he will consider into account Washington’s agreement, and Benny Gantz has no problem in this regard. The second reason is that Benny Gantz will be a loser in case of dissolving the coalition government for an important cause. 

If new elections are held, Netanyahu will win with a greater difference, given that the coalition or the powerful bloc (the Blue-White bloc) that had re-run the elections three times disintegrated after Benny Gantz joined the government and defected from his alliance with Yair Lapid.

Benny Gantz has no chance to win if he enters the election race, and so far he has no achievement on the ground. His coalition disintegrated, and he will lose if he competes Netanyahu, according to opinion polls.  Benjamin Netanyahu is able to win more than 40 seats in the Knesset, and he can form a government with right-wing parties.

Q: How do you see the positions of Western countries and international institutions toward the annexation plan? Will it affect relations between the European Union and the Zionist regime?
A: With regard to the positions of the European Union and international institutions, the important point is that European countries often limit themselves to condemning and objecting, but nothing will translate into action. Three cases proved this approach during the last period: The first case is the annexation of the Golan and recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan. The second case is moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and the third point is the “Deal of the Century.”
“If the Palestinian Authority decided to confront Israel and let the people resist on their own, I think we can expect a new Intifada.”There was indeed opposition from some Western countries and international institutions, but it was not translated into real policy. 
Consequently, he does not believe that these international institutions can change the annexation decision or prevent Israel from implementing the plan, or imposing sanctions on Israel. 
In addition, even if these institutions could change something, Israel possibly would be affected minimally. Still, soon Israeli diplomacy will restore balance to relations, and relations with these institutions will recover. Since Israeli diplomacy is rooted in these institutions, it cannot be affected in the long run.
During the past years, the European Union was against settlement and imposed sanctions on the settlements and their products, but Israel continued to build many Jewish settlements and did not stop, on the contrary accelerated it.
Q: What will be the reaction of the Palestinian factions if the West Bank is annexed? Do you expect a new uprising?
A: The Palestinian factions threatened that the annexation plan would be considered declaring a war. It may be an escalation, but it will not lead to a comprehensive war. 
I believe that the Palestinian factions are not interested in entering an all-out war because any war will be disastrous, and post-war is more complicated than before, and will not prevent Israel from taking the annexation step.
In the event the Palestinian factions respond, the responses may be limited, but to enter into a comprehensive confrontation, in my estimation, is not in their interest.
 The Intifada (vast uprising) is linked to an issue; the decision of the Fatah movement and the Palestinian Authority. One of the most significant obstacles that undermine the Intifada in the West Bank is the security coordination between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. This obstacle has long prevented the Palestinian resistance from achieving any progress and execution of any operations against Israel in the West Bank.
“The Arab countries are an essential part of ‘deal of the century’.”The second point is intelligence penetration or Israeli intelligence control of the West Bank.
 If the Palestinian Authority decided to confront Israel and let the people resist on their own, I think we can expect a new Intifada.
Indeed, we can bet on the continuation of individual operations with an individual weapon. This can give a result, but it needs continuity and media support against Israel and help and sponsor the families of the people who resist Israel, especially since most of these families are subject to the demolition of their houses and harassment.
The resistance is facing a difficult situation in the West Bank because of the policies exercised by the Palestinian Authority. Still, if Fatah decides to push and invite people to uprising and give them a weapon in order to carry out operations, at my discretion, that could lead to problems for Israel and will bring a long-term achievement, or at least they will send a message to the world that there are resistance groups who stand in the face of this occupier racist regime.
Q:  How do you evaluate the attitudes of Arab countries towards the annexation plan?
A: If it was not for certain Arab states’ consistency with the Israeli vision, the Zionist regime would not have actually dared to take such a step. 
The Arab countries are an essential part of the “deal of the century,” and the annexation comes in this context, and it is not separate from this deal. There are some distinct stances, but they are fragile. One of these positions which may affect the American administration is Jordan’s position, but can Jordan continue to oppose the annexation plan? 
In my opinion, it will not be able to continue. The question is that can Jordan cancel the peace agreement or at least overlook some provisions of the peace process? I think it is not easy because of its relationship with the international community and U.S. influence and its miserable internal economic situation. In the best condition Jordan can allow a flow of arms to Palestinian factions in the West Bank.
Nevertheless, the annexation plan will eliminate the possibility of forming a Palestinian state, and Jordan will bear the burden of displaced Palestinians from the West Bank in the future. 
Although it has been said that the annexation is partial in this phase, on the strategic level, Israel will not give up a single inch in the West Bank due to (the so-called) religious and strategic considerations. In fact, it will not allow the establishment of a Palestinian state.
 The alternative is displacing the Palestinians and forcing them to go to Jordan. In this case, Jordan will face a big problem.
So Jordan’s opposition comes from this point of view. But can it stand alone? In my opinion, it will not be able to stand alone.


The Arab reality is catastrophic, and this provided a window and opportunity for Israel to take advantage of some influential Arab countries to pass the annexation plan. If not for the Arab collusion, it would not have passed this plan.

Forging Greater Israel: Annexation by Any Other Name

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by JENNIFER LOEWENSTEIN

JULY 15, 2020

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Photograph Source: Ralf Roletschek – GFDL 1.2

July 1st came and went and Netanyahu made no formal statement regarding annexation. That left many journalists, politicians, activists, and others feeling abandoned to speculation. Declarations of support or opposition went forward accompanied by an air of uncertainty and the frustration of trying to second guess the objectives of those whose actions would determine the coming months.

Palestinians living in the occupied territories slated for absorption would have scoffed cynically at those seeking to imagine how this might affect their daily routines as well as the dynamics of regional politics. Israel’s purported intention is to annex 30% of the West Bank where Jewish population density and “security” considerations make this a “natural” consequence of the decades’ long illegal settlement strategy and a “necessity” for the “survival” of the geographically “besieged” Jewish State.

Muhammad, a young man from Hebron who gives virtual tours of Palestine, showed his viewers a debris-strewn street where hostilities had broken out a day earlier over the proposed annexation. His explanation for the urgency of these protests adds a layer of irony to the grim reality of occupied life. Israel retains ultimate control over the land and lives of the Palestinians living here after all. The Palestinian Authority (PA) is its willing subcontractor. It serves primarily as a buffer between the commands of its overlord and the will of its people. “We have to make it clear that annexation is illegal,” Muhammad says in earnest, though he understands – and his work underscores this – the critical value of US public opinion.

The Master’s voice will become louder and clearer with official annexation. Most Palestinians recognize this instinctively. Those who will be living peacefully within the latest official state boundaries will awaken to find the question of their residency looming ever nearer, a matter of whim; a gamble the state might act upon with relatively little risk based on the world’s record of indifference.

With or without a declaration of intent, annexation creeps over the lives of these people hour by hour. Across 43 villages, approximately 107,000 people – who will, in all likelihood, still be nominal subjects of the PA—will conceivably face another Nakba, this one orchestrated in silence and with discretion, aimed at fulfilling the Zionist myth of a “land without a people.”

A rise in the rate of Israeli abuses has already signaled the changes to come. In the Jordan Valley, for example, more land has been expropriated, more homes have been destroyed, more property damaged, and more olive trees uprooted, than has happened for some time. On June 8, a report noted that Israel has started implementing annexation plans by “sending electricity bills directly to municipal councils…and removing signs” that designated certain areas as Palestinian. A violent military campaign launched on June 1st “targeted water networks, confiscated equipment and destroyed and confiscated 15 vegetable stalls in Bardala in the northern Jordan Valley. It also destroyed 800 meters of water lines that supply water to citizens.”

…[P]olice notified several Bardala and Ain al-Baida inhabitants in the Jordan Valley on June 2nd to settle their legal situation as they would soon be under Israeli laws. Israeli authorities also removed banners they had set up at the entrances of some villages… or at the military Tayasir checkpoint that warned settlers not to enter because they were Palestinian areas. In a first of its kind incident, the Israeli Civil Administration delivered to some village councils in the Jordan Valley direct financial requests to increase the electric current feeding the village. [Ahmad Melhem; June 8, 2020]

Israeli journalist Gideon Levy documented the expulsion of a Bedouin family from its home behind the Greek Orthodox Monastery of Saint Gerasimos in the Jordan Valley. Abu Dahuq’s is not the first or only Bedouin family to suffer this fate. Residents of the now infamous Khan al-Ahmar community “have been living with the pervasive fear of demolition and expulsion for several years.” Its fate won enough media attention to become an issue in recent Israeli elections.

Abu Dahuq’s family lived relatively undisturbed for 17 years, Levy tells us. Then, at the beginning of June, Israeli troops demolished and confiscated all of Abu Dahuq’s possessions. “They took the water containers, his six coolers, the solar panels and the canvas that had covered the shacks. The rest was bulldozed. The heaps of ruins tell the whole story: Tin walls with insulation material in them, a crushed children’s bike, a torn painting, pipes rolling about, and so on.” Abu Dahuq was told to move to (Palestinian controlled) Area A from (Israeli controlled) Area C, but he claims there is no space there for him to live. His saga of arbitrary expulsion from territory Israel intends formally to annex would almost certainly have gone unnoticed without Levy’s article.

Why provoke a media and political relations’ storm by making public the controversial West Bank annexation plan when that process can be carried forward in a gradual, step by step manner, ‘in the dark’, far from the damning eye of international condemnation? Netanyahu could still, for whatever reasons, decide it is in his interest to create another political firestorm. It might, however, be more politically expedient to keep his audience guessing as facts on the ground roll forward like tank treads. Greater Israel has come a long way over the decades using this very technique. Like the proverbial frog in its pot on the stove, by the time the water is boiling it’ll be too late to hop out.

When God forges the destiny of a devout people, it is carried forth with zeal. Whether that god is a secular or religious deity, fervent believers will remove the obstacles impeding their progress even if they are people. They will be conveniently demoted from “human” to something like “merciless Indian savages” (US Declaration of Independence) those relics of the unsaved world who threatened to block the advance of civilization across the North American continent.

Palestinians may yet prove fortunate that their history is unfolding on such a public stage and under the often unblinking eyes of media and video surveillance. Native Americans had no such luck, a fact that cost them approximately one hundred million lives over a period of 400 years. The United States bloomed out of the bloody ground of genocide. Greater Israel has had to find more creative ways to eliminate a people without their collective physical death.

In 1845, calling for the annexation of Texas, a little known American columnist –John O’Sullivan—coined the phrase, “manifest destiny” giving voice to the subconscious shared belief that the white pioneers of America had a divine mission to colonize, civilize, and create a new world, “…to possess the whole of the continent which Providence has given us for the development of the great experiment of liberty and federated self-government entrusted to us.”

Israel’s manifest destiny derives both from a biblical and modern belief that the land of Zion belongs to the Jews. In its current incarnation, such a destiny contains within itself the insidious notion of organic and exclusive nationhood; the idea that only those bound by blood and a historic, quasi-religious bond to the land of their alleged origin can ever be a part of this whole. Contemporary Zionism absorbed the toxic nationalist beliefs of 19th and 20th century Europe and has applied them mercilessly in its quest for political and territorial supremacy.

This has not stopped people such as outgoing Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, from resorting to the Bible alone to justify Israel’s actions. According to him, “You cannot annex something that belongs to you” referring to the West Bank – or Judea and Samaria – bequeathed in the Bible by God to the Jewish People.

When Israel passed the Nation State Law of July 2018 it reinforced the defining principles of modern Zionism. These were not novel ideas; they were the codification of the national chauvinist beliefs at the core of its existence. Jews alone have the right to self-determination within the deliberately unspecified boundaries of the state, one of whose primary objectives is Jewish settlement of the land. Hebrew alone must be the official language. ‘Natural’, ‘religious’, and ‘historic’ qualifications promote Jewish status only and make expansion a national value.

The slated annexation of 30% of the West Bank will take place whether or not it is formally announced. It is taking place as I write. Equally so, it is neither the final nor the most serious step in the process of expansion that has defined Israel’s behavior since its creation.

On a sultry midsummer evening in August 1968 then Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan told a group of kibbutzniks gathered around him that it was Israel’s fate “to live in a permanent state of fighting against the Arabs.” His words reflected the times he was living in, the post-1967 euphoria and confidence of the young Jewish State that had, in six days, crushed the combined forces of Arab nationalism as they attacked from Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. The 3-year-old Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) had barely begun its struggle to liberate Palestine; the nascent Palestinian National Movement scarcely underway.

Israel’s advance across the region, territorially and politically, represents an extension of American manifest destiny and its complement within Zionism. Dayan outlined Israel’s path to his listeners in his famous speech, “We Are Fated”:

For the hundred years of the Return to Zion we are working for two things: the building of the land and the building of the people. That is a process of expansion, of more Jews and more settlement. That is a process that has not reached the end. …It is not your duty to reach the end. Your duty is to add your layer to expand the settlement to the best of your ability, during your lifetime… [and] not to say: this is the end, up to here, we have finished. (Uri Avnery)

The process of settling the land and creating a Jewish nation is one that must never cease. To determine the final borders of the state would be sacrilegious; a sin against Israel’s destiny; its will to expand. “Before [the Palestinians’] very eyes we are possessing the land and the villages where they and their ancestors have lived,” Dayan explained. “We are a generation of settlers, and without the settle helmet and the gun barrel, we shall not be able to plant a tree or build a house.”

The military conquest, piecemeal annexation, killing with impunity, dispossession by decree and expulsion under Israeli law that has been underway for nearly a century, is continuing before our eyes today. There is no end in sight.Join the debate on FacebookMore articles by:JENNIFER LOEWENSTEIN

Jennifer Loewenstein is a human rights activist and member of Amnesty International’s Young Leadership Group, The Arms Control Association, the Arizona Palestine Solidarity Alliance, the Tucson Samaritans, & Palestine Chronicle. She is an independent researcher and freelance journalist who has lived and worked in cities across the Middle East. She is the former Associate Director of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Associate Lecturer in Middle Eastern and Native American Studies. Jennifer currently lives and works in Tucson, AZ & can be reached at sarinj111@gmail.com.

PCHR: Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine (02– 08 July 2020)

Source

July 10, 2020 3:56 AM

Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)

Summary

Israeli forces continued to commit crimes and multi-faceted violations against Palestinian civilians and their properties, including raids into Palestinian cities that are characterized with excessive use of force, assault, abuse and attacks on civilians. This week, IOF’s excessive use of force rendered 21 injuries among Palestinian civilians, including two children, during attacks on peaceful protests in the West Bank.

Furthermore, in Salfit, armed illegal Israeli settlers shot and injured two Palestinian civilians, one critically.

During the reporting period, Sa’di Khalil al-Gharabli (74), a Palestinian from Gaza, died in Israeli prison after spending 26 years in confinement. Al-Gahrabli died at Kaplan Medical Center in Israel, where he was recently transferred from al-Ramlah prison after his health condition deteriorated. Al-Gharabli suffered a prostate cancer, high blood pressure and diabetes, which he developed while in prison.

Over the past several weeks, the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem witnessed wide-scale demolitions and distribution of demolition notices of civilian houses and properties as well as confiscation of lands for establishing roads for settlements. This development comes as Israeli occupation authorities prepare to commence its annexation plan of large parts of West Bank territories.

This week, PCHR documented 145 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by Israeli and settlers in the occupied Palestinian Territories (oPt).

Israeli Forces shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity: Israeli forces shot and wounded 21 Palestinians, including 2 children, in excessive use of force against peaceful protests in the West Bank: 2 in Nablus; and 12, including 2 children, in Kufur Qaddoum weekly protests; and 7 were wounded in military invasion into Abu Dis village in occupied East Jerusalem.

In Gaza, opened fire at fishermen on 6 separate occasions; Israeli warplanes also launched several airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, one against a farm, and another on an agricultural land in al-Zaitoun neighborhood, eastern Gaza City. The airstrikes resulted in damage to the farm and nearby homes.

Israeli army incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: Israeli Forces carried out 78 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, enticing fear among civilians, and attacking many of them.

During this week’s incursions, 71 Palestinians were arrested, including 4 children and a woman. Forces confiscated Palestinian property, including cash and gold jewellery.

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli Forces stationed at Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing arrested a Palestinian from Gaza while en route to Tel HaShomer Hospital in Israel for a bone marrow donation for his ill brother.

Settlement expansion activities and settlers’ attacks: IOF continued its settlement expansion operations in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, PCHR documented 13 violations, including:

PCHR also documented 3 settler attacks that included firearm assault in Salfit that rendered 2 Palestinian civilians wounded, one critically, as well as arsenal attacks on private lands in Nablus, and racist verbal assaults in Hebron.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement: The Gaza Strip continues to suffer the worst closure in the history of the Israeli occupation of the oPt as it has entered the 14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods, humanitarian conditions and bearing catastrophic consequences on all aspects of life.

Furthermore, since the PA ended security coordination with Israeli authorities in May 2020, hundreds of critically ill patients whose condition cannot afford delays in treatment were denied travel. This was amplified by the restrictions put in place by IOF since March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, that had already had grave implications on the humanitarian and economic situation of the Gaza Strip population.

Recently, a very limited number of individual cases of patients who have obtained medical referrals and financial coverage to Israel were able to travel, and some others referred to Israeli organizations working in the field of health for assistance in coordination.

Meanwhile, IOF continued to divide the West Bank into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the Second Intifada and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilian movement is restricted, and they are subject to arrest.
 
I. Violation of the Right to Life and Bodily Integrity/Shooting and other Violations:

  • At approximately 09:00 on Thursday, 02 July 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed north west of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area (3 nautical miles). Fishermen, as a result of that, panicked and sailed back to the shore. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 15:00 on the same Thursday, a number of Palestinian young men gathered in Bab al-Zawiyah area in the center of Hebron. They threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed at a military checkpoint established at the entrance to al-Shuhada’a Street, which is closed. Israeli soldiers fired several rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at stone-throwers and chased them between commercial shops. As a result, a number of stone-throwers suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. No arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 20:30, Israeli gun boats stationed west of Rafah in southern Gaza Strip, chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area (6 nautical miles). They surrounded 2 fishing boats and arrested 4 fishermen who were on board. Namely: Mohammed Zeyad Ali Syam (24), Emad Omer Mohammed al-Bardawil (22), Wadee’a Ismail Mohammed al-Bardawil (22) and Khalid Sameer Ali al-Bardawil (23).
  • At approximately 11:30 on Friday, 03July 2020, a peaceful protest took part from the center of Asirah northern village, north of Nablus, into lands threatened to be confiscated in al-Marj and Beit al-Zaki areas in Ebal Mount, east of the above-mentioned village. The protest was organized upon calls of the village residents and with participation of national factions in Nablus. The participants raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans against IOF, settlers, Israeli annexation plan, and the U.S president Donald Trump’s Middle East plan. When the participants arrived at the area, a large number of IOF were waiting for them in the area. The participants performed Friday prayer in the above-mentioned land while Israeli soldiers were surrounding them and chanted slogans against IOF and settlers at the end of the prayer. IOF immediately suppressed the protest and fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 2 civilians were wounded; one of them was shot with a live bullet in his left leg and the other was shot in his chest with a sound bomb.
  • It should be noted that Israeli settlers recently established 2 houses in the area and brought their belongings and sheep to it and seized control over the area adjacent to a military camp established in the above-mentioned mount in premier to establish a settlement outpost, alleging that there is a historical shrine for them in the area, knowing that 6000 dunams of lands are owned by Palestinians in the area that is threatened to be confiscated.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF stationed at the northern entrance to Kufur Qaddoum village, north of Qalqilia, suppressed a protest in which dozens of Palestinian civilians participated. IOF chased young men who gathered in the area, confronted them, and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 12 civilians, including 2 children, were shot with rubber bullets. (the names of the wounded civilians are available at PCHR)
  • At approximately 17:00 on the same Friday, an Israeli infantry unit stormed al-Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. Soldiers indiscriminately fired tear gas canisters between houses alleging that a military watchtower established at the camp’s entrance was stoned. Many civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.
  • At approximately 21:00 on the same Friday, a number of Palestinian young men gathered near al-Jabal area in Abu Dis village, east of occupied east Jerusalem, and threw stones and Molotov Cocktails at an Israeli military border point established in the area. A large Israeli force stormed the village and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors and civilians as confrontations erupted in the area. As a result, 7 civilians were wounded. One of the wounded was shot with a live bullet in his body’s lower limb and, causing him severe bleeding and he was transferred to a local hospital. Other wounded civilians were shot with rubber bullets and they received medical treatment on the field. Also, 13 civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation and 3 sustained burns.
  • At approximately 23:30 on the same Friday, IOF stormed Zabuba village, west of Jenin. a number of Palestinian young men gathered in the center of the village and threw stones at Israeli military vehicles that raided the village. Israeli soldiers immediately fired tear gas canisters at stone-throwers and chased them. A number of civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation and they received medical treatment on the field. IOF also arrested Mojahed Nayaz Jaradat (17) and released him later.
  • At approximately 02:00 on Saturday, 04 June 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area (3 nautical miles ). Fishermen, as a result, of that, panicked and had to sail back to the shore fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 17:00 on Sunday, 06 July 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed west of Rafah in southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area (4 nautical miles). Fishermen, as a result, of that, panicked and had to sail back to the shore fearing for their lives. Neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
  • At approximately 22:20 on the same Sunday, Israeli warplanes launched a missile at a shepherds farm built on an area of 130 square meters owned by Mohsen Mohammed Salamah Abu Namous (53), in east of al-Zaytoun neighborhood, east of Gaza City. As a result, part of tools used for grazing the sheep and the farm’s outward wall were destroyed. No casualties were reported. The bombardment also caused partial damage in 3 nearby houses owned by Abu Namous family.
  • At the same time, Israeli warplanes launched 4 missiles at an agricultural land, east of al-Zaytoun neighborhood, east of Gaza City. As a result, civilians’ houses that are in the area sustained partial damage. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 16:30 on Monday, 06 July 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed adjacent to Khan Younis shore in southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area. Fishermen, as a result of that, panicked and had to sail back to the shore fearing for their lives. Neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
  • At approximately 15:00 on Tuesday, 07 July 2020, a number of Palestinian young men gathered in Bab al-Zawiyah area, set tire on fire, and threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed at a military checkpoint established at al-Shuhada’a street, which is closed. Israeli soldiers immediately fired rubber bullets, sound bombs, and tear gas canisters at the young men and chased them. As a result, a number of stone-throwers suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.
  • On Wednesday, 08 July 2020, Palestinian detained in Israeli prisons for the past 26 years, Sa’di Khalil al-Gharabli (74) from Gaza City, was pronounced dead in Kaplan Medical Center where he was recently transferred from al-Ramlah prison after his health condition Al-Gharabli suffered a prostate cancer, high blood pressure and diabetes, which he developed while in prison.PCHR communicated with al-Gharabli’s family after contradictory news about his death emerged the previous day due to the deterioration of his health condition. Accordingly, PCHR’s lawyer attempted to visit al-Gharabli in Kaplan Medical Center, but the hospital administration informed him that he should obtain the approval of the prison service. When PCHR’s lawyers contacted al-Ramlah Prison’s administration where al-Gharabli was detained, they stalled and refused his request for a visit permit.Al-Gharabli, has been detained since 1994 and sentenced to life imprisonment. The Israeli authorities disregarded the repeated calls for his release as is standard in such humanitarian cases, despite their knowledge of the deterioration of his health. Al-Gharabli was left to die in prison despite his age and having spent a very long period in prison.

 
II. Incursions and Arrests

Thursday, 02 July 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Ramin village, eats of Tulkarem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Khaled Adnan Mohammed Salman (28).
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Hebron and stationed in Ras al-Joura. They raided and searched Mohannad Hussain Falah al-Natsha’s (29) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into moved into al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron. They raided and searched Alaa Mohammed al-Titi’s (17) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Tulkarem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mahmoud Abdul Rahman Khalaf (26).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Saf street, in the central Bethlehem. They raided and searched Ramadan Zeyad Janazra’s (26) house and handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in “Gush Etzion” Settlement, south of the city.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Abu Dis, east of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Omar Yousef Makharza’s (17) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:05, IOF moved into Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Omar al-Jamal (31), from his house in al-Marah neighborhood, and Nasser Zeidan al-Jada’ (32), from his house in Kharouba neighborhood, north of the city.
  • At approximately 05:30, IOF moved into al-Tiba village, west of Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched Aws Ibrahim Ali Jabarin’s (21) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 17:00, Israeli special unit arrested Nidal Na’eem Abu Akar (52), while present in Caritas area, north of Bethlehem, and took him to an unknown destination. It should be noted that Abu Akar is a former prisoner in the Israeli prisons.
  • At approximately 18:30, IOF severely beat and arrested Ehab Mohammed Abu Sunaina (18), while present near Bab al-Asbat “Lions’ Gate”, which is one of the Al-Aqsa Mosque gates in Jerusalem, in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. Eyewitnesses said that IOF stationed at Bab al-Asbat, stopped Abu Sunaina to check his ID card before they severely beat him and arrested him.
  • IOF carried out an incursion in al-Ma’ajeen neighborhood, west of Nablus. No arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 21:10 on Thursday, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased and sporadically opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area (3 nautical miles). As a result, fishermen panicked and had to sail back to the shore fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.

Friday, 03 July 2020:

  • At approximately 05:00, IOF moved into Zububa village, west of Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched Hussam Jamal As’ad Jaradat’s (31) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 07:00, IOF moved into al-Taur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Hijazi Nazmi Abu Sbaih’s (36) house and arrested him.
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Ein Yabroud and Bettin villages in Ramallah, and ‘Atouf village, southeast of Tubas in the northern valleys. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 05 July 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, and stationed near the UNRWA distribution center. They deployed between the Palestinian houses in the northern areas of the camp, raided and searched Abdul Karim Khaled Abu Sil’s (20) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli infantry unit moved into al-Ras neighborhood, west of Ethna, west of Hebron, coming from the western gate established adjacent to the annexation wall. IOF stormed 3 houses under construction, 200-meters away from the annexation wall, belonging to Farajallah family. IOF conducted a training session inside the houses that included shooting and withdrew from the area in the early morning.
  • At approximately 12:00, IOF stationed at a temporary military checkpoint at Jerusalem-Jericho street, the main road leading to al-Khan al-Ahmar village, east of the occupied East Jerusalem, arrested Saleh Majdi Saleh Abu Zeid (20), from Birzeit.
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in Ein Yabroud and Bettin villages in Ramallah. No arrests were reported.

Monday, 06 July 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Kherbet Bani Harith, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Adnan Tal’at Hamouda (27) and Mohammed Motea’ Hamouda (24) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 01:40, IOF moved into Ein Yabroud village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Farhan Hosni Dahabra and Adel Nadeem Hoy, and arrested them.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into south of Hebron. They raided Mashhour Mahmoud al-‘Ajlouni’s house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:40, IOF moved into Deir Ghasana, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched Mo’tasem Naser Mes’hal’s (25) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Kobar village, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched Tha’er Tawfiq al-Barghouthi’s (29) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Beit Rima village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched Saher Omar al-Barghouthi’s (57) house in al-Batha neighborhood, the father of the PCHR’s fieldworker, Huda al-Barghouthi. Huda said that IOF detained all the family in one room in the house and ordered her to call her brother, Emran, to surrender himself; otherwise they will arrest his family. Meanwhile, IOF accurately searched the house and confiscated a golden ring, cigarettes, and (1,300 NIS), and arrested Saher and his son Saddam (30). Later, IOF released Saher and Saddam and ordered them to surrender Emran. However, Saher al-Barghouthi received about 7 phone calls from the Israeli security officer to surrender his son Emran or they will storm their house again.
  • At approximately 05:00, IOF moved into Deir Qdais village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Sami Mahmoud Naser (22).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Bettin village, east of Ramallah. They raided and searched Lotfi Tharwat al-Kilani’s (26) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF stationed at Beit Hanoun “Erez” checkpoint, north of the Gaza Strip, arrested Abdullah Shaker Mohammed al-Daghma (38), from Tal al-Sultan neighborhood in Rafah. The family of the detainee said to PCHR’s fieldworker that Abdullah, a father of 4 children, was heading to “Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer” in Israel, for a bone marrow donation for his brother Hani (45), who diagnosed with a blood cancer and receiving treatment several months ago in the above-mentioned hospital with a critical health condition.Al-Daghma’s family told PCHR’s fieldworker that after all family members did the necessary medical examinations; Abdullah’s results were the only ones that matched his brother. Accordingly, necessary procedures were conducted for his travel along with his sister. When they arrived at the Israeli side at Erez Crossing, ‘Abdullah was arrested while his sister was sent back to the Gaza Strip and quarantined according to the measures applied in the Gaza Strip.It should be noted that PCHR’s lawyer, in his capacity as legal representative of al-Daghmah, follows up with the Israeli authorities to determine Abdullah’s place of detention and to visit him as soon as possible.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF moved into al-‘Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Ra’fat Tareq al-Issawi’s (47) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF moved into Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Mohammed Ali al-Ghoul’s (16) house, after releasing him from al-Damoun prison where he spent 12-months in. Meanwhile, IOF rearrested him, his brother Ibrahim (18), and their father Ali (44); Mahmoud al-Bazlamit (23), and Ali al-Khayyat (21); on charge of using fireworks. Three hours later, IOF released the detainees under condition of 50 days of house arrest, ban on any connection between them, and ban the celebrations for one month.
  • IOF carried out two incursions in al-Fawwar refugee camp and al-Samoua’ in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 07 July 2020:

  • At approximately 00:00, IOF stationed at Beit Fourik military checkpoint on the northeastern entrance of Nablus, arrested Mohammed Khaled Banhajawi (19) and Qusai Ishaq Shehada (21), from Balata refugee camp, east of the city. IOF took them to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Beit Rima, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (5) civilians: Saher Omar al-Barghouthi (57), Yehya Samer al-Rimawi (19), Ahmed Husam al-Rimawi (18), Amir Ahmed al-Rimawi (18), and Yousef al-Rimawi (19).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Tulkarem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (7) civilians: Majd Ibrahim al-Hamshari (23), Mahmoud Atef Abu Zeina (25), Eslambolly Reyad Bdeir (29), Nour Osama Yasin (23), Mathna Fo’ad al-Masri (22), and Hasan Ra’ed al-Jamala (26).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Anabta village, east of Tulkarem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Abdul Rahman Sabha (33).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Qalqilia. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians: Mohammed Sameeh Jabr (28), Mohammed Adel Enaya (38), and Oday Yousef Hanini (Hasayen) (24).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Deir Abu Mesh’al village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched Mousa Naser Zahran’s house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Awarta village, southeast of Nablus, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mos’ab Abdul Salam Awwad (19).
  • At approximately 05:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron. They raided and searched Mousa Ahmed Abu Hashhash’s house, and no arrest was reported.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF arrested Nahla Sa’eed Syam (31), while present in Bab Hatta, one of al-Aqsa Mosque’s gates, in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. IOF took her to one of the investigation centers in the city.
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF moved into Obaid neighborhood, northwest of al-‘Isawiya village, northeast the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Ahmed Harbi Obaid’s (29) grocery, and severely beat and arrested its owner and Eyad Dawoud Obaid (23). IOF took them to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out two incursions in Hebla and Qalqilia villages in Qalqilia governorate. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 08 July 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Qarawat Bani Hassan village, west of Salfit. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Salama Azzam Mar’i (21).
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Kufur Qaddoum village, east of Qalqilia. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Rajab al-Qadoumi (35).
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Hebron, and stationed in Karbat Zaheda area. IOF raided and searched Shadi Mohammed Mousa Shaheen’s (45) house and his tobacco factory, which is licensed by the Palestinian National Authority, and confiscated (20) barrels of Glycerin, which is used in manufacturing the tobacco, and arrested Shadi’s son.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Eisa neighborhood, the western side of Hebron. They raided and searched ‘Aa’ed Mohammed Haimouni’s (30) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Jeet village, northeast of Qalqilia. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohannad Jamal al-Sidda (25).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Obaid neighborhood, northwest of al-Issaweya village, northeast the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mohammed Marwan Obaid (20) and Mohammed Esmat Obaid (19), and arrested them.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Surif, west of Hebron. They raided and searched Fadi Mohammed Ghuneimat’s (35) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:30, IOF stationed Bab al-Asbat, arrested Mohammed Yaser Abu al-Hawa (27), while getting out from the Aqsa Mosque in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City and took him to one of the investigation centers in the city. It should be noted that Mohammed is a former prisoner in the Israeli prisons.
  • At approximately 09:00, IOF arrested the engineer, Bassam Khalil al-Hallaq (62), who is in charge of construction works, inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City and took him to one of the investigation centers. It should be noted that IOF arrested al-Hallaq several times on grounds of doing some construction works in the Aqsa Mosque.
  • At approximately 10:00, dozens of IOF and Intelligence Services moved into Daheyat al-Bareed area, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched the office of the Maps Department of the Arab Studies Society and arrested it’s director and the expert in maps and Israeli colonies, Khalil Mohammed al-Tafkaji (64), and took him to an unknown destination.It should be noted that al-Tafkaji is an expert in maps and Israeli colonies who follow up and document the settlers’ activities in the oPt, was arrested a few months ago for several hours before he was released.
  • At approximately 09:00, IOF arrested Emran Saher Al-Barghouthi (28), from Beit Rima village, northwest of Ramallah, while driving near Hilmich settlement with his father Saher al-Barghouthi (57), heading to Ofer settlement after being summonsed to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services. Day before, Saher was arrested and released on the same day from his house in Beit Rima.
    Saher al-Barghouthi said to PCHR:“My son and I were driving our car heading to the Israeli Intelligence Services office after my son was summoned during my detention. Before we arrived to Helmich settlement, west of Ramallah, an Israeli vehicle crossed our way and arrested Emran, and took the keys of my car and locked me in it. I shouted at the Israeli soldiers while they were severely beating my son, but to no avail. In the end, they took my son and one of the soldiers ordered me to take my car and immediately leave the area, without my son”.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF moved into Ras al-‘Amoud neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched two houses belonging to the judge in the Sharea’ court, Dr. Eyad Mohammed al-‘Abbasi (54) and Jamil Eissa al-‘Abbasi (32) and took them to al-Maskoubeya investigation center. At approximately 19:00, IOF released them on condition that cut the connection between each other and 5 more persons.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF deployed in Hebron’s Old City’s neighborhoods, arrested Khaled Ibrahim al-Batsh (21), awhile present in Khan Shaheen area, and took him to “Kiryat Arba’” settlement’s investigation center, east of Hebron.

III. Settlement Expansion and Settler Violence in the West Bank

a. Demolition and Confiscation of Palestinian Civilian Property for Israeli Settlement Expansion Activities

  • At approximately 10:00 on Thursday, 02 July 2020, Israeli authorities accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers and a vehicle of the Israeli Water Authority (Mekorot) closed the entrance to Ethna village, west of Hebron. IOF stopped 4 trucks for transporting water and confiscated them under the pretext they transported stolen water from the main water line located near the bypass road (60).
  • At approximately 12:00, IOF accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Khelet Mosbah in western ‘Aqrabah village, southeast of Nablus. IOF confiscated 2 diggers belonging to Shaker Shokri Lafi Bani Fadel and Fares al-Jama’ni, under the pretext of illegal working in Area C. Shaker and Fares were building an agricultural street in the area.
    Suhail Sameeh ‘Abed al-Fattah, a digger driver, told PCHR’s fieldworker that “At approximately 12:00, a digger driver and I were building an agricultural road in Khelet Mosbah area in western ‘Aqrabah village, southeast of Nablus, through 2 diggers belonging to Shaker Bani Fadel and Fares al-Jama’ni. During which, we found 4 Israeli vehicles carrying soldiers, who stepped out of the vehicles and approached us. They got into the diggers and forcibly ordered us to step out. They confiscated the diggers under the pretext of illegal working in Area C. IOF took the diggers to an unknown destination and left us in the area.”
  • On Thursday, 02 July 2020, Shalaldah and ‘Arameen families implemented the Israeli Municipality order and self-demolished their houses in al-Sahel neighborhood in al-Tour village, east of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Waleed Shalaldah said that Jerusalem Municipality court issued a decision to stop construction works in the 2 houses, under the pretext of non-licensing.On Wednesday, the Ministry of Interior stated that the demolition order must implement within 72 hours or the 2 families will pay the demolition costs estimated at NIS 10,000 for the municipality. Shalaldah pointed out that his house along with his neighbor ‘Arameen’s house were built few months ago on an area of 130 square meters. Hussain ‘Arameen said that it was supposed to live in the house with his wife and their 8 children.
  • On Sunday, 05 July 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles moved into Kherbet ‘Allan in al-Shona area, north of al-Jeftlik village, north of Jericho. IOF were deployed in the area, where they arrested Mousa Ahmed Salem Jahaleen while working in his agricultural land and took him to an unknown destination. Also, IOF confiscated Jahaleen’s bulldozer under the pretext of working in Area C.
  • On Tuesday, 07 July 2020, an Israeli police force accompanied with Israeli Municipality staff moved into al-‘Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, for the 2nd consecutive day and hanged demolition notices on 15 residential and commercial facilities, under the pretext of non-licensing. Mohammed Abu al-Humus, Member of al-‘Isawiya Follow-up Committee, said that on Monday and Tuesday morning, IOF accompanied with Israeli Municipality staff moved into al-‘Isawiya village, where they hanged demolition notices on 15 residential and commercial facilities; some of them were under-construction while others were inhabited. He also pointed out that most of the owners obtained decisions from the Israeli Municipality to freeze the demolition.Abu al-Humus added that among the notified facilities were: Rafat Tareq al-‘Issawiy’s house that was bulldozed by IOF in 2013, houses belonging to ‘Eliyan, Dari and Mahmoud families, and Ihsan Abu al-Humus’s barrack. Abu al-Humus clarified that the Israeli Municipality photographed dozens of facilities and streets in the village. He added that the Israeli Municipality recurrent incursions and distributing demolition notices and summonses to refer to the municipality caused confusion and instability among the villagers, who attempt to license their facilities, but in vain.
  • At approximately 06:00 on Tuesday, 07 July 2020, Israeli military construction vehicles demolished a retaining wall in ‘Ein al-Jowizah area, north of al-Walajah village, west of Bethlehem, under the pretext of non-licensing. An activist Ibrahim ‘Awadallah, from al-Walajah village, said that the Israeli military construction vehicles demolished a retaining wall surrounding Ahmed al-Atrash’s house in ‘Ein al-Jowizah area, under the pretext of non-licensing. ‘Awadallah pointed out that this area is exposed to a fierce attack by settlers, including demolishing houses and retaining wall, levelling lands, distributing notices to stop construction, and summoning dozens of civilians for investigation.‘Ein al-Jowizah area is located within the Israeli municipality boundaries in occupied East Jerusalem, and its residents are obliged to pay taxes “Arnona” even though they do not have a Jerusalemite identity card. Observers and experts in the settlement issue believe that the Israeli authorities are launching a campaign against al-Walajah village, aiming at completing the construction of the annexation wall and implementing new settlement plans, including confiscating more lands in favor of the so-called “Israeli National Park.”
  • At approximately 06:00 on Wednesday, 08 July 2020, Israel Nature and Parks Authority’s crews accompanied with IOF raided a bricks workshop in Wadi al-Jouz neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. The workshop belongs to civilians from al-Salimah, Marar, Srour and Abu Nab families. The Israel Nature and Parks Authority’s crews and IOF demolished the workshop and confiscated its contents estimated at NIS 500000, under the pretext of being in “National Parks” lands, where construction is prohibited.The workshop owners said that the Israel Nature and Parks Authority’s crews completely surrounded the industrial area in Wadi al-Jouz and raided the workshop. They demolished the workshop and confiscated its contents, including 3 bulldozers, 2 mounted-crane trucks, 14 tractors, concrete emptying and casting machines, tiles and stones. The workshop owners pointed out that the Israel Nature and Parks Authority’s crews handed them along with other workers summonses to refer to the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and Israeli Ministry of Interior and ordered him to pay the transportation and confiscation costs. The workshop owners clarified that the Israel Nature and Parks Authority’s crews implemented the demolition and confiscations before the court hearing, which is slated to be held in August 2020. The workshop owners pointed out that their losses are estimated at NIS 500,000, and many workers lost their work.
  • At approximately 09:00, IOF accompanied with a bulldozer raided Eyad Abu Subaieh’s house in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. IOF vacated the house contents as a prelude to demolish it. During which, lawyer Sami Irsheed managed to freeze the demolition order, so the IOF withdrew and stole some of the house contents. Abu Subaieh clarified that his family comprising of 9 members lives in the house from 3 years and after raiding their house, they vacated all its contents for fear of demolishing the house. He added that after the lawyer managed to freeze the demolition for 21 days, they found that IOF stole a piece of gold belonging to his wife, in addition to mobile phones, devices, glasses, and other contents. Abu Subaieh added that he informed a soldier about the stolen items, then the soldier replied: “go and file a complaint!”
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF backed by Israeli military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Hamida area in Yatta, south of Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration officers demolished a livestock bran built of sheds and iron angels. During which, al-Najada family self-demolished their livestock sheds for fear of confiscating them. It should be noted that Israeli authorities sell the confiscated items in a public auction and if their owners want to recover them, Israeli authorities compel them to pay high financial amounts, impose fines on them and prevent them from using these items in Area C.
  • At approximately 11:00, Israel Nature and Parks Authority’s crews accompanied with IOF raided Omar and Ismai’l Samareen’s plot of land in Wadi al-Rababa neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. The Israel Nature and Parks Authority’s crews and IOF demolished a room built of tin plates and used as a store of agricultural tools, under the pretext of non-licensing. Omar Samareen said that he built 20-square-meter room in his plot of land in Wadi al-Rababah neighborhood 3 years ago to put the agricultural tools in it. He added that he was previously handed several demolition notices, but he appealed the decision and the court did not issue a final decision. Samareen pointed out that the Israeli Municipality and Israel Nature and Parks Authority deprive the lands owners of using their lands, as construction in this area is prohibited.
  • At the same time, IOF handed a notice to seize 689 square meters belonging to Qarawet Bani Hassan lands, west of Salfit. This plot of land is property of Ratib Mohammed ‘Abdullah Khatib, from Sertah village. Khatib said that: ” I was notified by IOF and informed about the seizure notice by the municipality. On 08 July 2020, IOF hanged the seizure notice on my 698-square-meter land located between Bedia and Sertah villages. It should be noted that I previously filed a case in the court about removing a workshop and the court stop the demolition.”
  • At approximately 12:00, Israeli bulldozers demolished foundations of Eyad and Feras Nabil Da’na’s house in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. It should be noted that Eyad and Feras implemented the Israeli Municipality order and self-demolished their house 3 weeks ago, under the pretext of non-licensing. Feras Da’nah said that IOF insisted on raiding the house and demolished its foundations, despite having self-demolished it 3 weeks ago. He clarified that both his family and his brother’s (11 persons) lived in the 140-square-meter house for the past 10 months.
  • At approximately 19:00, Israeli bulldozers cut and broke 200 olive trees in al-Shajarah area in Yasouf village, east of Salfit. These trees belong to the heirs of the Musleh family. Mohammed Musleh said that: “on 08 July 2020, Israeli bulldozes moved into al-Shajarah area in Yasouf village, east of Salfit, where they cut and broke 200 olive trees belonging to me and cousins.” It should be noted that IOF did not hand us any notices to demolish the trees and they suddenly raided the land and bulldozed the trees as a prelude to establish a settlement road.”

b. Israeli Settler Violence

  • At approximately 19:00 on Friday, 03 June 2020, dozens of Israeli settlers, from “Kiryat ‘Arba’” settlement, which is established on Palestinians’ confiscated lands in eastern Hebron, gathered in Palestinian agricultural lands in Wad al-Husain area, east of Hebron. Israeli settlers chanted racist slogans calling for killing Arabs. It should be noted that Israeli forces were present in the area and made no attempt to stop the settlers.
  • At approximately 14:00 on Saturday, 04 July 2020, Israeli settlers, from ” Price Tag groups”, set fire to Palestinians’ lands in the western mount in Hawarah village. As a result, dozens of dunams were burnt.
  • At approximately 16:00 on Sunday, 05 July 2020, at least 8 armed settlers opened fire at 4 Palestinian farmers working in their agricultural land in Khelet Hassan area in Bidia village, west of Salfit. As a result, Mohanad Omar Sadeq ‘Asi (52) was shot and injured with a live bullet that settled in his waist; and Dawoud ‘Abed al-Rahman Salama al-Wafiyia (58), was shot and injured with 2 live bullets in the shoulder and neck. Following that, Palestinian young men gathered in the area and confronted the settlers while the mentioned farmers were taken to Yaser ‘Arafat Hospital for treatment. ‘Asi was in critical heath condition, so he was referred to Plension Hospital in Israel.

Israel Annexation Plan: Jordan’s Existential Threat

Jordan is being forced to confront a new reality with alarming cartographic and demographic consequences

By Emile Badarin

Global Research, July 09, 2020

Middle East Eye 6 July 2020

More than any other Arab state, Jordan’s past, present and future are inextricably linked to the question of Palestine. Jordan’s emergence is an outcome of British imperialism, which imposed the infamous Balfour Declaration and the Zionist settler-colonial project on the indigenous population of Palestine and the region. 

Settler-colonialism is the essence of the question of Palestine. All else is derivative. Jordan emerged out of this historical reality, and therefore, its present and future will always be subject to it.

The founder of present-day Jordan, Emir Abdullah bin Al-Hussein, successfully carved a new sovereign space in Transjordan. But this was only possible because of his cooperation with British imperialism and “collusion” with Zionist settler-colonialism. This tacit relationship resulted in mutual restraint between Jordan and Israel, even during their direct military confrontations.

National security interest

In 1994, Jordan and Israel signed the Wadi Araba peace treaty, turning their tacit understandings and secretive relationship into an official peace between the two countries – even if an unpopular one. This peace treaty would have been inconceivable without the 1993 Oslo Accord and the implied promise of Israel’s withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza, which were occupied in 1967 from Jordan and Egypt respectively, to establish an independent Palestinian state.

Land repatriation and Palestinian statehood hold a high national security interest for Jordan. Only the achievement of these two conditions can halt the border elasticity of the Israeli state and its expansion eastwards, which poses grave geographic and demographic threats to the Hashemite kingdom.

Besides the strategic significance, a Palestinian state would allow a substantial number of Palestinian refugees displaced in 1967 to return to the West Bank, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 237.

Yet, not only have neither of the two conditions been realised, but regional and international political dynamics have changed since 1994. In Israel, the political landscape has dramatically shifted to the far right, fuelling the settler-colonial practice of creating “facts on the ground” that make the prospect of Palestinian statehood and self-determination via the “peace process” a remote fantasy.

The political and material developments on the ground are complemented by complex regional and international dynamics. In particular, the Trump administration has taken a new approach towards most international conflicts, especially in the Middle East.

The Trump-Netanyahu plan (aka “the deal of century”) for Israel-Palestine promotes Israeli colonisation/annexation of the West Bank and sovereignty over the entirety of historic Palestine, as well as the Syrian Golan Heights.

Shifting geopolitics

Even worse for Jordanians and Palestinians, this plan enjoys the support of influential Arab states, especially Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which have stepped up their political rapprochement and normalisation with Israel.If Israel Annexes Part of West Bank, Palestine “Will Declare Statehood on 1967 Borders”

The EU, a staunch supporter and sponsor of the so-called peace process and two-state solution, failed not only to reach a common position on the US plan, but also to condemn Israel’s plans to officially annex any part of the West Bank.

Amid the changing international and regional politics, Jordan’s alliance with the US and EU has been a letdown. Jordan has become a victim of its own foreign and security policy, which has grown interlinked with the US and, more recently, the EU.

While half of this alliance, the US, is promoting Israel’s annexation and sovereignty over Palestine, the other half, the EU, is unwilling to act decisively.

The annexation is planned to take place while the entire world, including Jordanians and Palestinians, and the media are exhausted by the coronavirus pandemic. It provides the needed distraction for Israel to complete the annexation quietly, without effective local and international scrutiny and resistance.

Covid-19 has further entrenched the nationalist-driven trend in the Middle East. Even before the outbreak, the Arab world was consumed by domestic concerns, showing few qualms about the Trump-Netanyahu plan or recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

Israeli expansionism

The feeble Arab (including Palestinian and Jordanian) and international response to the US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, has encouraged Israel and the US to press ahead and turn Israel’s de facto sovereignty over all of Palestine into de jure.

While this is all illegal under international law, it is a mistake to believe that empirical reality and time will not deflect, strain and fractureinternational law and legality.

Since 1967, the Israeli strategy has pivoted on two parallel components: empirical colonisation on the ground, coupled with the facade of a “peace and negotiations” public relations campaign to obfuscate the settler-colonial structure and market it to the international community, as well as Arab regimes.

With this strategy, Israel has expanded in the region both territorially, by de facto taking over Arab land, and politically, through overt and covert relations with most of the Arab states.

Only formal territorial annexation and gradual de-Palestinisation remains. The formal annexation of the West Bank, especially the Jordan Valley, officially torpedoes the century-old Jordanian foreign and security strategy of cooperation with its imperial patrons (Britain, then the US) and the Zionist movement, which evolved into a Jordanian-Israeli peace with an expected Palestinian buffer state between the two.

Another ethnic cleansing

It also puts Jordan face-to-face with a new reality with alarming cartographic and demographic consequences. The chances of another ethnic cleansing become a palpable prospect under the formulae of official annexation and a Jewish statehood in the entirety of Palestine, as articulated in the 2018 nation-state law meant to ensure a Jewish majority.

This is very much tied in with Jordanian fears grounded in previous (1948, 1967) and current experiences of forced migration in the Middle East. Against this backdrop, another ethnic cleansing in the West Bank, forcing a large number of Palestinians to flee to Jordan, is a real possibility. The transfer and elimination of Palestinians from Palestine are embedded in the settler-colonial structure of the Israeli state, which looks at Jordan as their alternative homeland.

While another population flow would be catastrophic for Palestinians, it would also adversely affect Jordan’s stability and future.

Beyond annexation, the Hashemite regime is witnessing a contestation of its custodianship of the Muslim and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, which constitute a significant source of legitimacy for the regime. Even on this matter, the US plan unequivocally appoints Israel as the “custodian of Jerusalem”.

After five decades, Israel’s grip over and presence in the West Bank is ubiquitous and entrenched. Most of the West Bank is empirically annexed and Judaised, especially the Jordan Valley, Greater Jerusalem, parts of Hebron and Gush Etzion. The pretence of the peace process and negotiations has thus become superfluous.

‘Considering all options’ 

Only against this background may one understand the depth of the trepidations that underlie the warning of King Abdullah II that the Israeli annexation will trigger a “massive conflict” with Jordan and that he is “considering all options” in response.

This warning does not reveal a strategy to respond to what constitutes a “direct threat to Jordan’s sovereignty and independence”, as the former foreign minister of Jordan, Marwan Muasher, put it.

It displays, however, the difficult decisions that have to be taken. Indeed, King Hussein was prepared to discontinue the Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty had Israel refused to supply the antidote for the poison its agents had used in an attempt to assassinate Khaled Meshaal, the former head of Hamas, in 1997. It remains to be seen whether the termination or suspension of this treaty and the realignment of alliances are currently options for Jordan.

The Jordanian response to Covid-19 has generated a unique, popular rally around the state – a perfect opportunity to conduct serious reforms to stamp out corruption and involve citizens in the decision-making process, in order to forge a nationally grounded response to Israel’s planned annexation of the West Bank.

Historically, the survival of the Hashemite kingdom has been at stake several times. But today, Jordan finds itself in an unprecedented political, security, economic and health emergency.

Whatever domestic, economic and foreign-policy decisions – or indecisions – that Jordan takes are likely to leave a long-lasting mark on the future of Jordan and the question of Palestine. Such existential decisions must be collective, with broader national consensus and real citizen participation.

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Emile Badarin is a postdoctoral research fellow at the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) Chair, College of Europe, Natolin. He holds a PhD in Middle East politics. His research cuts across the fields of international relations and foreign policy, with the Middle East and EU as an area of study.The original source of this article is Middle East EyeCopyright © Emile BadarinMiddle East Eye, 2020

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