It’s Time to End the ‘Special Relationship’ With ‘Israel’ – FP

28/05/2021

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It’s Time to End the ‘Special Relationship’ With ‘Israel’ - FP

By Staff, Agencies

In an opinion piece published by the Foreign Policy, Stephen M. Walt said the United States should no longer give ‘Israel’ unconditional economic, military, and diplomatic support due to the “zero” benefits of such policy and its rising costs.

“Instead of a special relationship, the United States and ‘Israel’ need a normal one,” Walt wrote in the publication.

Consistent with Zionism’s core objectives, it said, ‘Israel’ privileged Jews over others by conscious design, expanded illegal settlements, denied Palestinians legitimate political rights, treated them as second-class citizens, and used its superior military power to kill and terrorize residents of the Gaza Strip, the occupied West Bank, and Lebanon with near impunity.

“Given all this, it is not surprising Human Rights Watch [HRW] and the human rights organization B’Tselem have recently issued well-documented and convincing reports describing these various policies as a system of apartheid,” it said.

In the aftermath of the latest ‘Israeli’ aggression on Gaza, which began on May 10 and lasted 11 days, the Zionist entity has been increasingly described as an “apartheid” regime, including by HRW, B’Tselem, the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions [BDS] movement, and last but not least, by the French government.

However, the United States has continued to back the Zionist regime’s so-called “right to self-defense” which amounted to heavy bombardment of civilians in Gaza, killing at least 254 Palestinians, including 66 children, and displacing over 72,000 people in the besieged enclave.

According to FP, in the past, it was “possible to argue ‘Israel’ was a valuable strategic asset for the United States, though its value was often overstated,” but that argument holds no water any more.

“During the Cold War, for example, backing ‘Israel’ was an effective way to check Soviet influence in the Middle East because ‘Israel’s’ military was a far superior fighting force than the armed forces of Soviet clients like Egypt or Syria. ‘Israel’ also provided useful intelligence on occasion,” according to the author.

“The Cold War has been over for 30 years, however, and unconditional support for Israel today creates more problems for Washington than it solves. ‘Israel’ could do nothing to help the United States in its two wars against Iraq; indeed, the United States had to send Patriot missiles to ‘Israel’ during the first Persian Gulf War to protect it from Iraqi Scud attacks,” he added.

According to the publication, the real costs of the special relationship between the US and ‘Israel’ are political, saying that as demonstrated this month, unconditional support for ‘Israel’ makes it much harder for the United States to claim the moral high ground on the world stage.

FP also made a reference to the United States’ unilateral vetoing of UN Security Council ceasefire resolutions as well as its authorization of sending ‘Israel’ an additional $735 million worth of weapons, saying Washington’s claim to moral superiority stands exposed as “hollow” and “hypocritical.”

“With a normal relationship, the United States would back ‘Israel’ when it did things that are consistent with the United States’ interests and values and distance itself when ‘Israel’ acted otherwise,” FP added.

Social Media Giants Ban Trump, but the Real Censorship is of Palestinians

Facebook censorship

By Jessica Buxbaum

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“Israel is using this for its political aim to silence Palestinians. They’re using hate speech as a political tool.” —  Alison Ramer, 7amleh 

In the wake of the Capitol Hill insurrection, Facebook and Twitter finally took a principled stand against President Donald Trump by suspending his accounts. While Trump lashed out at the tech giants, media analysts condoned the move—noting stronger moderation of his and other inflammatory posts are long overdue.

Facebook, Twitter, and other social media behemoths have faced criticism over the years for allowing misinformation and dangerous incitement to run rampant on their platforms. Yet while these companies seem to fail at controlling right-wing propaganda, they’ve had no problem suppressing content on Palestine.

Palestinian Facebook pages see 50% drop in reach

According to Palestinian non-governmental organization Sada Social Center, Palestinian Facebook pages saw their content’s reach dip by more than 50%, and in some cases, by more than 80%. Sada Social attributes the steep decline to coverage of Arab countries’ normalization agreements with Israel.

“Most of the pages that brought complaints to us are followed by millions of users through Facebook,” Sada Social wrote in their report. “These pages actively participated in covering the issue of Arab normalization with the Israeli occupation recently.”

The Global Campaign to Return to Palestine and Muslim Scholars were just two of the numerous Facebook pages to have their content blocked or restricted in the last month.

When pressed for an explanation about the recent removals, a Facebook company spokesperson told MintPress News:

We do our utmost to ensure that only content in violation of our Community Standards is removed. Where mistakes are made, due to human or technical error, the content is restored. The Global Campaign for Return to Palestine page was unfortunately removed due to an error – it has now been restored. We were not trying to limit anyone’s ability to post or express themselves.”

In response to the increasing censorship, The Palestinian Content Protection Initiative—a group of media outlets, activists, and journalists working to defend Palestinian content online—called for a two-hour boycott of Facebook on Jan. 9.

“The administrations of social media websites have been pursuing, targeting, and restricting the publishing and access of Palestinian pages and accounts, and in full coordination with the Israeli occupation government,” the Initiative said in a statement. “As a result, Palestinian media have been restricted, and were unable to convey their national message.”

Facebook working with Israel to suppress content

Facebook’s targeting of Palestinian content isn’t new. The social media titan has a long history of working with Israeli authorities to remove Palestinian information.

Under the guise of hate speech, Facebook cracks down on content often related to certain keywords such as “Hamas” or “Zionism,” Alison Ramer, International Relations Manager at 7amleh – The Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media, explained.

“A lot of times this is done through artificial intelligence, which the companies are really being pushed to use under increasing pressure from governments and the public to respond to hate speech,” Ramer said.

But it’s not just automatic processes that are determining what’s permitted on social media. According to a 2020 7amleh report, the Israeli government has orchestrated a systematic campaign through Facebook to ensure content related to the Palestinian cause is removed.

“The Israeli Minister of Justice, Ayelet Shaked stated that ‘Facebook, Google, and YouTube are complying with up to 95% of Israel’s requests to delete content that the Israeli government says incites Palestinian violence.’ This shows a significant focus on Palestinian content and efforts to label Palestinian political speech as incitement to violence,” 7amleh wrote.   

These requests are done through the Ministry of Justice’s Cyber Unit, which was established in 2015. Even Facebook’s own personnel appear to be in bed with Israel. Currently, Emi Palmor, Israel’s former Justice Ministry director-general, sits on Facebook and Instagram’s Oversight Board — a committee responsible for content moderation.

Additionally, governmental and non-governmental organizations are urging citizens to report Palestinian content. “Several of these organizations — dubbed “GONGOs” (government-operated NGOs) — are working to conflate criticism of Israel and anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism and hate speech and have designed strategies to manipulate social media algorithms with the support of online trolls,” 7amleh wrote.

These efforts not only remove Palestinian content but elevate smear campaigns against Palestinians. As Facebook works diligently to remove white supremacist content, Ramer acknowledged that it leaves hate speech directed toward Palestinians on its site.

“7amleh has documented hate speech directed toward Palestinians in Hebrew, which we have seen left online for many years, while legitimate political speech critical of Israel is being flagged as hate speech and censored,” Ramer said. “We know that the Israeli government and government-supporting NGOs are pushing for tech companies to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism, which is leading to increasing censorship of Palestinians and human rights defenders.”

According to Ramer, pressure from the Israeli Lobby is the motivating factor in restricting Palestinian content.  

“There’s pressure on Facebook to expand the definition of anti-Semitism, and we know that the intention of this is to censor those critical of Israel, Palestinians and human rights supporters. And this, obviously, can have a large impact on the development of many other tech companies’ policies,” Ramer said.

Not just Facebook

Facebook is the most popular social media platform for Palestinians, but it’s not the only one restricting their content.

TikTok recently removed the account belonging to Palestinian news organization, Quds News Network (QNN). The account manager, Hamzah al-Shobaki, said it was deleted after sharing 1,200 posts about Arab countries’ normalization with Israel. TikTok has since reinstated the account, claiming a violation error led to the account’s removal.

This isn’t QNN’s first experience with social media censorship, however. In 2019, the news outlet had four of its Twitter accounts deactivated without warning. QNN editors also had their personal Facebook accounts suspended in 2016, reportedly by mistake. Other Palestinian media sources have also had their Twitter and Facebook accounts removed over the years.

YouTube has been accused of violating Palestinian digital rights as well. Research from 7amleh details that the video-sharing platform uses hyper-surveillance tactics referred to as “locative discrimination” to monitor content coming from Palestine.

According to their findings, Palestinian YouTube user Ahmad conducted an online experiment to see if the removal of his content was due to his location:

“I sent the same video which has been deleted from my YouTube account to my friend’s YouTube account in Europe…and YouTube was fine with the video being published from a European country.”

“This simple test showed that content that’s being uploaded in the Palestinian Territories is being treated differently than the content uploaded by Western countries,” 7amleh’s Ramer said. “These policies are discriminatory and overly surveying and censoring Palestinians.”

Ramer emphasized that tech companies should not be the decision-makers regarding freedom of expression. Yet because they control these communication channels, they are ultimately tasked with monitoring what is shared—and Israel is taking full advantage of that.

“Israel is using this for its political aim to silence Palestinians. They’re using hate speech as a political tool,” Ramer said, clarifying that what’s happening not only blacks out Palestinian issues but the global conversation on human rights as a whole.

“This won’t just silence Palestinians, but it’ll silence human rights defenders, and it will show other governments how to use hate speech to silence and censor people.”

Palestinian rights have always been secondary to the ‘national interest’ of Arab regimes

Joseph Massad

28 December 2020 12:18 UTC 

Normalisation with Israel is just the latest example of Arab rulers advancing their own interests at the expense of Palestinians

The Arab League summit meeting held in Mecca on 31 May 2019 (AFP)

Since the First World War, the Palestinians have been used as a bargaining chip by different Arab regimes to advance their own interests by sacrificing Palestinian rights.

Yet, apologists for the Arab regimes, which recently normalised relations with Israel, defend their governments’ decision with the same arguments the earliest normalisers – Egypt and Jordan – used decades ago, namely that these countries made sacrifices since 1948 by placing Palestinian interests above their own “national”, read regime, interests.

Their decisions to normalise with Israel now, they tell us, have finally placed their own national interests first, and yet at the same time in normalising they are also helping the Palestinians!  

American propaganda

A major argument – proffered in this regard – relates to the American-sponsored ideological notion of “peace”, a cornerstone of American propaganda against peoples struggling against colonial and racist oppression, whether in the colonised world or inside the US itself.

Arab regimes have always put their own national interests first and had established ties and collaborated with Israel since 1948

“Peace”, which maintains oppressive colonial and racist relations, we are told, brings prosperity, whereas struggling against injustice and oppression, dubbed “war” in US lingo, brings destruction and poverty.

In contrast with the Arab peoples who have ceaselessly shown solidarity with the Palestinians since Britain issued the Balfour Declaration in 1917, Arab regimes, as I have written in Middle East Eye before, have always put their own national interests first and had established ties and collaborated with Israel since 1948 – in the case of the Hashemite Amir Faisal since 1919. Apologists for Sadat’s surrender to Israel claimed for decades that President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s excessive zeal to defend the Palestinians led Egypt, as  Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi put it in 2014, to sacrifice “100,000 Egyptian martyrs” for the Palestinians.  

In fact, Egypt’s losses in the 1948 war, according to Egyptian military sources, were 1,168 soldiers, officers, and volunteers killed (as mentioned in Ibrahim Shakib’s book: The Palestine War 1948, p432-433), whereas other Egyptian official sources  (noted in Benny Morris’ book, 1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War, p406-407) put it at 1,400.

Moreover, King Farouk of Egypt entered the war in 1948 not because he placed Palestinian interests ahead of Egypt’s, but as analysts have shown, on account of his rivalry with the Iraqi monarchy for hegemony over the post-colonial Arab world. 

Not only did Nasser not launch a single war against Israel, but also all of Egypt’s subsequent wars were fought to defend Egypt, not the Palestinians. In 1956 and in 1967, Israel invaded Egypt and occupied Sinai.

photo taken on September 9, 1980 in Alexandria shows Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (L) and President of Egypt Anouar el Sadate (R).
Former Israeli PM Yitzhak Rabin (L) and President of Egypt Anwar el Sadat (R) in Alexandria on 9 September 1980 (AFP)

Egyptian soldiers died in these wars defending their country, not the Palestinians. Between 1968 and 1970, Israel and Egypt fought the “War of Attrition” in which Egyptian soldiers were killed defending their country against continuing Israeli aggression, a war fought on Egyptian soil; and in 1973, Egypt launched a war to liberate Sinai, not Palestine, and Egyptian soldiers were again killed defending their country against foreign occupation.

Sacrificing Palestinians

When Sadat signed the Camp David Accords in 1978, not only did he not defend the Palestinians, he in fact sacrificed the Palestinians and their right to independence in exchange for the return of Sinai to Egypt (without full Egyptian sovereignty) and a lavish US aid package that served to enrich the Egyptian upper classes and impoverish most of the population.Arab rulers and Israel’s leaders: A long and secret history of cooperationRead More »

The Jordanian regime, whose army was led by a British colonial general, entered the 1948 war to expand its territory, which it did by annexing central Palestine (renamed the “West Bank”) after the war. In 1967, the Israelis invaded Jordan and occupied the West Bank. In both wars, Jordanian soldiers died for Jordanian regime interests, not Palestinian interests. 

When Jordan signed in 1994 its peace treaty with Israel, Palestinian interests were sacrificed yet again by Jordan’s recognition of Israel’s right to exist on stolen Palestinian land, and by securing some sort of Hashemite role over Muslim holy places in Jerusalem.

In exchange, Jordan also received a lavish US aid package benefiting the regime and the upper classes. In contrast with Egypt’s deal, Jordan’s deal was concluded without even requiring Israel to withdraw from any of the territories it occupied in 1967. Jordan’s “peace” with Israel, as a result, legitimised Israeli occupation and conquest and did not reverse any of it. 

While historically Egyptian and Jordanian soldiers might have been told they fought these wars for Palestine, the truth of the matter is that, unbeknownst to them, they fought them for their regime’s interests. As for Sudan, Morocco, Bahrain and the UAE, it remains unclear how they had ever put Palestinian interests before their own.

Peace ‘dividend’

A related argument is the so-called “peace dividend“, heavily marketed by the Americans since the 1970s, wherein we are told all the money spent on wars and armaments with Israel would now be used for economic development and prosperity.

To prove their allegiance to the anti-Palestinian policies of the US and Israel, Gulf officials have ceaselessly attacked Palestinians in the oil-families-owned Gulf media

The irony, of course, is that the military budgets of Egypt and Jordan, abetted by huge US military aid packages as a reward, skyrocketed since they normalised with Israel.  Economic development and state social benefits were in contrast reduced to unprecedented levels in both countries, bringing about massive poverty, and a decline in educational and health services. Even Jordanian officials who support the peace deal claim that Jordan has not properly cashed in on the “peace dividend”.

On the public relations front, as a result of congressional and media hostility to the Saudis and other Gulf countries after 9/11, the oil ruling families decided yet again to benefit at the expense of Palestinian interests by abandoning demands that Israel abide by international law and withdraw from the occupied territories as prerequisites to warmer relations. They quickly cosied up to Israel and its US lobby to stem the tide of such hostility by promising closer relations, which have now become open. 

 Pro-Palestinian protesters wave Palestinian flags and chant slogans against the US and Israel on December 10, 2017 in Rabat against
Pro-Palestinian protesters wave Palestinian flags and chant slogans against the US and Israel in Rabat on 10 December, 2017 (AFP)

None of this is the stuff of the past, but is part of ongoing normalisation, whereby President Trump announced huge SaudiMoroccanBahraini, and UAE purchases of US arms during the preparation and brokering of the normalisation deals in 2019 and after, which will militarise the region more than ever.

To prove their allegiance to the anti-Palestinian policies of the US and Israel, Gulf officials have ceaselessly attacked Palestinians in the oil-families-owned Gulf media and press in the last few years. Such attacks have recently become more vigorous, especially in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

National interests

Ironically, the UAE had hoped to obtain the sophisticated F-35 fighter planes from the US in exchange for its peace with Israel. Israel and its supporters in Congress, however, refuse to allow this. Humiliated by this outcome, the UAE has suggested to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in order to assuage Israeli concerns, that Israeli fighter pilots take charge of the F-35s for a temporary period, after which they would train UAE pilots to replace them. How Gulf states became business partners in Israel’s occupation

Read More »

Morocco has also finally received US legitimisation of its takeover and annexation of the Western Sahara and Sudan was removed from the US list of terrorism-sponsoring countries. Neither country conceded nor sacrificed any part of its national interest to obtain such rewards.

Rather, like other Arab countries since 1948, they sacrificed Palestinian rights enshrined in international law to obtain benefits for themselves.  The  Arab League, an enemy of Palestinian interests since its establishment, also refused to condemn these peace deals even though they contradict its standing policy. 

Rather than sacrifice their national interests to defend the Palestinians, the Arab regimes have used every opportunity to sell out Palestinian rights to advance their own interests without respite.

Starting with the Hashemite Emir Faisal in 1919 who cooperated with the Zionists to ensure their support for his then Syrian kingdom, to King Mohammad VI’s normalisation with Israel to legitimise Morocco’s control of the Western Sahara, the Palestinians have been a God-send to Arab regimes which used and continue to use and abuse them for their own benefit.

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

The ‘Israel’ Lobby at the University of Sydney

The ‘Israel’ Lobby at the University of Sydney

By Tim Anderson – The American Herald Tribune

Documents released under freedom of information law show that an ‘Israeli’ organization has, over many years, privately contributed millions of dollars to the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences [FASS]. A sub-branch of the ‘Israeli’ World Zionist Organization [the Fund for Jewish Higher Education] contributes around half a million dollars to FASS each year, with contributions peaking at $819,000 in 2019. The WZO is committed to the ‘Israeli’ colony in Palestine, where more than half the population is denied full citizenship rights.

These amounts are way out of proportion to the nominal beneficiaries at the University: Hebrew, Biblical, Jewish and Holocaust Studies, and give the ‘Israeli’ lobby influence with University of Sydney management. This ‘Israeli’ funding is sustained while federal ‘foreign influence’ laws are trumpeted against China, and form part of a much larger private fund pool – one billion dollar plus, announced with pride in the University’s 2019 Annual Report  – at the University, for which there is little public accountability. The door is wide open for corruption, alongside secret foreign influence.

2020 data on the WZO confirms documents provided to me by a whistle-blower within the administration, back in 2018, which showed that the ‘Committee for Jewish Higher Education’ had been the largest single donor [by far] to FASS, with combined donations of $571,000 [in eight separate donations] in the first five months of 2012, all tagged for the Department of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies, including its specialty in Holocaust Studies.  With about 10 academics staff [not all full time] that department represents less than 2% of the 700 or so academic staff in the Faculty.

With all senior managers eligible for performance bonuses, at least in part based on their fund raising, these large undisclosed sums indicate a great potential for corruption, all the more so now that the Federal Court of Australia [in the case brought by the NTEU and myself] has rubber stamped management gag orders, even when they concern public academic work.

The ‘Israel’ lobby, acting through the tabloid media, pressured University of Sydney managers to expel me from my academic position in 2018-2019. The final issue was my graphic linking of one of ‘Israel’s’ Gaza massacres with the racial massacres of Nazi Germany; and my refusal to submit to secret gag orders, effectively made under pressure from the ‘Israel’ lobby. In late 2020 the Federal Court ruled that academics must follow management orders, even when it concerns their research and teaching. I have published some detail on this case and its implications; showing the vulnerability of the corporate university to outside pressures.

‘Israel’ lobby influence on the wider phenomenon of academic ‘cancel culture’ deserves attention. A recent Guardian article cites several British academics on the problem of university managers trying to “silence academics on social media.” This was said to be part of a tension between the corporate university and social media, where “on the one hand unis are pushing their staff to be more active online … but when that individual voice is in conflict with the official brand it creates a tension … it is about brand protection.” The corporate media has discovered that it can use this tension to goad management to move against certain academics.

The ‘Israel’ lobby has spent time and effort in this territory, in particular by trying to vilify as ‘racist’ public figures who criticize ‘Israel.’ The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance [IHRA] has had some success in its attempts to extend the definition of anti-Semitism “to criticism of ‘Israel’ and support for Palestinian rights.” But I am one of many who have written that there is no legitimate basis for conflating criticism of a state or government with inciting hatred against a people.

An ‘Israel’ lobby group in the USA, under the guise of ‘protecting Jewish students’ branded as ‘biased’ more than 200 academics who supported the boycott against ‘Israel.’ Academics and teachers have been hounded from their positions in the USA, the UK, Australia and New Zealand because of their comments on ‘Israel,’ including those who have raised legitimate academic questions about ethno-nationalist settler colonialism” and of “victims becoming perpetrators.”

Jewish writers have not been immune from these attacks. Some have hit back, saying that “unfounded allegations of anti-Semitism [are used to] cover up ‘Israeli’ apartheid.” Last year sixty Jewish and ‘Israeli’ academics condemned the German parliament for its attempts to equate the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement with anti-Semitism.

A 2017 letter signed by more than 200 British academics complained of the ‘Israel’ lobby’s repeated attempts to link academic criticism of ‘Israel,’ and support for the Palestinian people, with anti-Semitism. These moves were “outrageous interferences with free expression” and “direct attacks on academic freedom.” The group said “we wish to express our dismay at this attempt to silence campus discussion about ‘Israel,’ including its violation of the rights of Palestinians for more than 50 years. It is with disbelief that we witness explicit political interference in university affairs in the interests of ‘Israel’ under the thin disguise of concern about anti-Semitism.”

In the USA, President Donald Trump in 2019 signed an executive order to withhold funds from universities which did not do enough to stop “anti-Semitic practices,” which includes criticism of ‘Israel.’ Defense of the ‘Israeli’ colony in Palestine is taken seriously.

‘Israel’ and academic freedom became an issue at the University of Sydney in March 2015, after students shut down a talk by former British Army Colonel Richard Kemp, who had been invited on campus to defend the ‘Israeli’ military’s slaughter of more 2,000 Palestinian civilians in Gaza in 2014. According to the Times of ‘Israel,’ Kemp was to give a lecture about “ethical dilemmas of military tactics and dealing with non-state armed groups.” The ‘Israel’ lobby claimed the protest and student behavior was an attempt to intimidate Jews. A wider debate over the intellectual freedom afforded to visitors like Richard Kemp ensued.

At around this time I looked into the reporting of the slaughter in Gaza, preparing a graphic which showed – from relatively independent sources – that ‘Israeli’ forces had slaughtered more than 1,000 Palestinians [the final count was more than 2,000] of whom, according to UN sources, more than 75% were civilians.

The person who invited Colonel Kemp was former University of Sydney academic Dr. Suzanne Rutland. At her retirement a few months later Provost Stephen Garton praised Suzanne as a person of “moral courage” who had made “an effort to bridge the cultural and political divide, to promote tolerance and understanding … [and] we owe her a debt of gratitude.” Stephen used the occasion to backhand the students who had confronted Kemp, saying that some on campus “confuse academic freedom with the right to disrupt.”

Dr. Rutland had a high profile from her academic and community work. In 2008 she received the Order of Australia for her services to Higher Jewish Education and “interfaith dialogue.” She was also active in campaigns against anti-Semitism and Holocaust Denial. However her response to the students who confronted Colonel Kemp was not so tolerant. She denounced them as vicious racists, saying “when they stand there chanting, ‘free Palestine’ what they mean is the dismantling of the Zionist entity which means genocide against ‘Israel’s’ Jewish population.” This is an extreme view.

In fact, the better view is that ‘Israel,’ by its repeated massacres and ethnic cleansing, is engaged in a form of genocide. The US Centre for Constitutional Rights, noting a controversy over this question, wrote that:

“Prominent scholars of the international law [on the] crime of genocide and human rights authorities take the position that ‘Israel’s’ policies towards the Palestinian people could constitute a form of genocide. Those policies range from the 1948 mass killing and displacement of Palestinians to a half century of military occupation and, correspondingly, the discriminatory legal regime governing Palestinians, repeated military assaults on Gaza, and official ‘Israeli’ statements expressly favoring the elimination of Palestinians.”

Attacks on the critics of ‘Israel’ are often aimed at deflecting attention from this.

The now Emeritus Professor Suzanne Rutland was not just an academic, she was a conduit of ‘Israeli’ finance to the university.  Her online CV [now redacted online] listed her as ‘Chair of the National Advisory Committee on Jewish Education for Australia, for the World Zionist Organization.’ The WZO was founded in 1897 with the aim of creating a Jewish ‘state’ and, since the creation of ‘Israel,’ it has become an umbrella group for a range of ‘Israel’ lobbies. The WZO declares its commitment to “‘Israel’ education.”

At the political level the ‘Israel’ lobby remains influential. A 2018 study by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute [APRI] found that an ‘Israeli’ lobby group in Australia [AIJAC] was the biggest single foreign funder of Australian MPs’ overseas travel. MPs from both major parties were beneficiaries of these ‘study tours’. While the public focus of foreign influence in Australia has become China, with special new laws to criminalize ‘foreign influence,’ the APRI study showed that influence peddling from ‘Israel’ has been greater than that from China or the USA. While Australian MPs had been funded for nearly 60 trips to China and 45 to the US, AIJAC had sponsored around 100 visits to ‘Israel,’ “nearly evenly split between Labor and Liberal.”

Against the Witch Hunt: On the Instrumentalization of Antisemitism in Britain’s Labour Party

December 17, 2020

UK Labour Party voted in favor of a motion which could see Britain cease trade with Israel. (Photo: via Twitter)

By Ronnie Kasrils

The assault on free speech within Britain’s Labour Party speaks like a ghost from my past. I was banned from public speaking in apartheid South Africa almost sixty years ago. My crime aged 23, was advocating votes for all. The apartheid government accused those like me of undermining the safety of whites. When all avenues of peaceful change were blocked, we had no option but to turn to armed struggle.

We argued that there was no equivalence between the state violence of the oppressor and the resistance of the oppressed. International solidarity helped bring about the demise of the apartheid system. We empathize with those in the Labour Party today, who are being victimized by a double agenda: for their socialism and defending Palestinian rights. It is astonishing and deplorable that a witch hunt is underway within those ranks – as elsewhere.

I was invited to address a BDS event in Vienna over a year ago which the city council quickly banned. A couple of months ago I was involved in a planned event with Palestinian freedom fighter Leila Khaled, at San Francisco State University, which was blocked. Then attempts to have our discussion broadcast via Zoom, Facebook and YouTube were obstructed. The voice opponents of free speech were desperate to gag was Leila Khaled. The Palestinian narrative being the primary target.

Those who attack human rights, whether in advanced capitalist countries or feudal tyrannies, simultaneously attack Palestinian rights. They follow violent precedents and consequences.

Repressing freedom of speech in South Africa paved the way for the emergence of a terrorist state. Ruthless suppression was instrumentalized in Europe’s colonies, and by USA imperialism on the back of slavery and genocide; and in the colonization and dismantling of Palestine.

The latter context falls within the project to counter the national liberation upsurge of the 20th Century.

The Apartheid regime’s use of anti-communism as a blanket device to smash opposition; along with Joe McCarthy’s witch-hunting; is mirrored in manipulating “anti-Semitism” as a shield to protect Israel. It is an umbrella formula to delegitimize the Palestinian cause and BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) campaign.

Upholding Palestinian rights has been reflected in United Nations resolutions; and statements by Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Tutu, Angela Davis, Arundhati Roy, Noam Chomsky; and back in time Jewish scholars such as Eric Fromm and Martin Buber.

Apartheid alleged the South African struggle was about sweeping whites into the sea and handing the country to Russia. This echoes the claim that giving in on the human and national rights of the dispossessed Palestinians means the extinction of the Jewish people.

Those linking freedom of expression and Palestinian solidarity articulate the same goals as we did in South Africa’s struggle – the objective is about changing a system not destroying a people.

Criticizing Zionism, an exclusivist ethnic-based political doctrine is not anti-Semitic. It is the valid criticism of a reactionary political theory.

Zionism, not the Judaic religion; Israel, not the Jewish people is the focus of criticism.

The anti-communism of apartheid South Africa, and charges of anti-Semitism against Israel’s critics, are terms of Machiavellian elasticity stretched by charlatans to stifle opposition. This is the new taboo. The untouchable holy cow shamelessly peddled in Western countries that preach freedom of expression.

Those who fall prey, who are deceived by the confusion sown, should note the lesson of the boy who cried wolf. When the real monster of anti-Semitism strikes, the most steadfast of opponents, have been on the left of the political spectrum.

False allegations of anti-Semitism weaken the fight against the real demon. This is exactly the pitfall of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) treatise conflating criticism of Israel with hate speech. It is biased and fatally flawed. A dubious, non-internationally represented Eurocentric document, devised by a hand-picked cabal of sophists seeking to be referee and player at the same time. With a veiled attempt at “objectivity,” Israel is given umbrella-like cover, impunity for its crimes and a cudgel to beat its opponents.

In 1948 when Menahem Begin visited New York to raise funds for his party – later to become Sharon and Netanyahu’s ruling Likud – Albert Einstein and Hannah Arendt labeled him a “fascist”. After cold-blooded massacres of Palestinians that year, an Israeli cabinet minister, Aharon Cizling, declared “now we too have behaved like Nazis and my whole being is shaken.”

In terms of the IHRA’s guidelines, they would be labeled anti-Semitic. Jeremy Corbyn’s “crime” that accusations of anti-Semitism within the Labour Party have been exaggerated is minuscule by comparison.

Manufacturing mountains out of molehills, characterizes the sophistry of medieval inquisitors, hitching Labour to the Blairite anti-socialist bandwagon. Unopposed this witch hunt will escalate, attacking popular protest wherever humanity opposes injustice.

We say to the deceit of Labour Party leaders, Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner, who misappropriate a sacred trade union principle: Yes! “An injury to one is an injury to all” – but in your denialism you ignore the millions of Palestinians facing the bullets and bombs of Israeli aggression.

The recent statement of prominent Palestinian and Arab figures with regard to the IHRA’s false strictures eloquently attests to how the issue of anti-Semitism should be formulated.

They declare:

“Antisemitism must be debunked and combated. Regardless of pretense, no expression of hatred for Jews as Jews should be tolerated anywhere in the world.”

The left and human rights movement, including Black Lives Matter and formations such as the African National Congress of South Africa, should join those Palestinian and Arab voices in formulating genuinely international guidelines regarding defense of free speech; and in combatting the scourge of anti-Semitism and all forms of racism.

– Ronnie Kasrils, veteran of the anti-apartheid struggle, and South Africa’s former Minister for Intelligence Services, activist and author. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle

US Election 2020: Muslim Congresswomen Win Re-election

US Election 2020: Muslim Congresswomen Win Re-election

By Staff, Agencies

Muslim-American Democrats Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar have won reelection to US House in the 13th District of Michigan and in Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District respectively.

According to The Associated Press, Omar 38, defeated her Republican challenger, Lacy Johnson, by 64.6 percent of the vote to 25.9 percent.

Elected as the first Muslim female to Congress in 2018, both politicians comfortably fended off primary challenges in August to secure a second term for their seats.

44 years old Rashida in a recent tweet said “It is an honor to stand against all forms of hate and oppression. Shukran [Thank you]!”

Earlier in an interview Tlaib vowed to push for Palestinian rights. She said Covid-19 relief will be her top priority for her second term in the House.

History: The Zionist Origins of Saudi Arabia and Its Royals

Part I

By Rez Karim

Global Research, September 22, 2020

Recognizing the contentious nature of the subject, this two-part article relies only on official treatises, pacts and primary sourced evidence to compile a historically accurate account of the founding of Saudi Arabia and Al Saud family becoming ‘Royals’.

Growing up Muslim in a Muslim majority country, I spent most Friday afternoons at a mosque, attending the Jummah prayer. First part of a Jummah prayer calls for the Imam to perform a Khutbah – a weekly sermon of sorts. It was in one of those Khutbahs that I, as a very young boy, learnt about the plight of the Palestinians for the first time.

Indeed, it’s a common practice among Imams around the world to bring up the Palestinian issue at mosques, especially during Friday sermons, and pray for the Palestinian people. In those prayers and discussions, Israel’s name comes up inevitably. In fact, Israel’s oppression of Palestinians bears no ambiguity in Islamic thoughts. And condemnation of Israel, therefore, comes naturally to Muslims around the world.

However, what escapes awareness in almost all Muslims is the connection between Israel and Saudi Arabia. While zealously castigating Israel for its atrocities, Muslims often revere Saudi Arabia as the custodians of Islam’s holiest sites; completely ignoring the Kingdom’s role in founding the Zionist state in the first place.

Notwithstanding the existence of a deep-seated bias against Israel among Muslims, it’s important to recognize that the lack of criticism for Saudi Kingdom, alongside Israel, doesn’t come from bias. Indeed, this absence finds its roots not in bias, but in a complete lack of knowledge. Knowledge among current generation of Muslims, as well as among the world population, about how Saudi Arabia and its founding king, Abdel Aziz Ibn Saud, played a critical role in establishing the Zionist state of Israel.

Suffice it to say, this ignorance about one of the most critical periods in world history seems anything but normal. Amazingly, the world, especially the Muslim world, had been kept in darkness about this momentous chapter in Middle East history. Propaganda and omissions run rampant within the historical accounts of this period. Official Saudi sources like House of Saud website, for example, avoids any mention of British involvement in founding the KSA. Although this omission seems predictable to many, it’s worth noting that even mainstream media outlets like the BBC, and prominent historians such as Professor Eugene Rogan etc., routinely portray Ibn Saud as having acted independently during WWI, and not as an instrument for the British Empire.

Therefore, recognizing the contentious nature of the issue – and to avoid becoming yet another ‘perspective’ on the subject – this article relies only on primary sourced evidence and the following four official treatises and declarations to compile a historically accurate account of the events:

  1. The McMahon-Hussain Correspondence
  2. The Treaty of Darin
  3. The Sykes-Picot Agreement
  4. The Balfour Declaration

1. The McMahon-Hussain Correspondence

To properly understand the events that led to the creation of both Israel and Saudi Arabia, we must travel back to the early 1900s’ Middle East. At the outbreak of WWI in the region, Sir Henry McMahon, then British High Commissioner in Egypt, offered Hussain bin Ali, Sharif of Hijaz (or ruler of the Hijaz – the western Arabian region in which Mecca and Medina lie), an independent Arab state if he would help the British fight against the Ottoman Empire. Hussein’s interest in throwing off his Turkish overlords converged with Britain’s war aim of defeating the Ottomans. McMahon made this offer via a series of letters exchanged between him and Sharif Hussain, collectively known as the McMahon-Hussain Correspondence. On his 14 July 1915 letter to McMahon, Hussain stated, among other things, the following as one of his propositions:Palestine: Britain Should Apologise for the Balfour Declaration, Not ‘Celebrate’ It

“Firstly.- England will acknowledge the independence of the Arab countries, bounded on the north by Mersina and Adana up to the 37th degree of latitude, on which degree fall Birijik, Urfa, Mardin, Midiat, Jezirat (Ibn ‘Umar), Amadia, up to the border of Persia; on the east by the borders of Persia up to the Gulf of Basra; on the south by the Indian Ocean, with the exception of the position of Aden to remain as it is; on the west by the Red Sea, the Mediterranean Sea up to Mersina. England to approve the proclamation of an Arab Khalifate of Islam.”

In response, McMahon wrote on 24 October 1915:

“I regret that you should have received from my last letter the impression that I regarded the question of the limits and boundaries with coldness and hesitation; such was not the case, but it appeared to me that the time had not yet come when that question could be discussed in a conclusive manner.

“I have realized, however, from your last letter that you regard this question as one of vital and urgent importance. I have, therefore, lost no time in informing the Government of Great Britain of the contents of your letter, and it is with great pleasure that I communicate to you on their behalf the following statement, which I am confident you will receive with satisfaction:-

“The two districts of Mersina and Alexandretta and portions of Syria lying to the west of the districts of Damascus, Homs, Hama and Aleppo cannot be said to be purely Arab, and should be excluded from the limits demanded.

“With the above modification, and without prejudice of our existing treaties with Arab chiefs, we accept those limits.”

Interestingly, throughout history, there has been much disagreement as to whether this promise included Palestine. However, as we can see above, the area promised to the Arabs in McMahon’s letter excluded only the territory to the west of a line from Damascus north to Aleppo. Palestine, far to the south, was, by implication, included. Nevertheless, the British subsequently denied that they included Palestine in the promise and refused to publish the correspondence until 1939.

At the time however, Sharif Hussain believed this official promise from the British Government. He went on to make the most significant contribution to the Ottoman Empire’s defeat. He switched allegiances and led the so-called ‘Arab Revolt’ in June of 1916, which removed the Turkish presence from Arabia.

The defeat of the Ottoman Empire by the British in WWI left three distinct authorities in the Arabian peninsula. Sharif of Hijaz Hussain bin Ali of Mecca (in the west); Ibn Rashid of Ha’il (in the north); and Emir Abdel Aziz Ibn Saud of Najd and his religiously fanatical followers, the Wahhabis (in the east).

2. The Treaty of Darin

On 26 December 1915, Sir Percy Cox, on behalf of the British Government, signed the Treaty of Darin with Abdel Aziz Ibn Saud. Also known as the Darn Pact, the treaty made the lands of the House of Saud a British protectorate. The British aim of the treaty was to guarantee the sovereignty of Kuwait, Qatar and the Trucial States (later UAE). Abdul-Aziz vowed not to attack these British protectorates. He also pledged to enter WWI in the Middle East against the Ottoman Empire as an ally of Britain.

Britain’s signing of Darin Pact in December went against their promises of mutual protection made to Sharif Hussain in October; because Britain’s treaty with Ibn Saud does not oblige him to not attack the Hijaz.

The treaty also saw Abdel Aziz receiving £5000 per month ‘tribute’ from the British Government. After World War I, he received further support from the British. Support included substantially more monetary rewards and a glut of surplus munitions.

3. The Sykes-Picot Agreement 

On May 19, 1916, representatives of Great Britain and France secretly reached an accord, known as the Sykes-Picot Agreement. The accord aimed at dividing most of Arab lands under the Ottoman rule between the British and the French at the end of WWI. In its designated sphere, it was agreed, each country shall be allowed to establish such direct or indirect administration or control as they desire and as they may think fit.

Two diplomats, a Briton and a Frenchman, divided the map of one of the most volatile regions in the world into states that cut through ethnic and religious communities. The secret agreement largely neglected to allow for the future growth of Arab nationalism; which at that same moment the British government was using to their advantage against the Turks.

A century on, the Middle East continues to bear the consequences of the treaty. Many Arabs across the region continue to blame the subsequent violence in the Middle East, from the occupation of Palestine to the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), on the Sykes-Picot treaty.

Indeed, Britain’s signing of this treaty went directly against what it promised to the Sharif of Hijaz in October of previous year. As we will see in Part II of this article, Britain’s betrayal of their promises of an independent Arab state eventually led them to unleash their attack dog, Ibn Saud, on Sharif Hussain and topple him. This allowed the British to effectuate the Sykes-Picot accord, and subsequently establish the Zionist state of Israel.

Read Part II

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Author Rez Karim is an Electrical Engineer and Chief Editor at VitalColumns.com.

Featured image is from the authorThe original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Rez Karim, Global Research, 2020

بين المثقف والمثوقف – عبد الستار قاسم

   الصفصاف

مفهوم الاعتدال في الوعي العربي - عبد الستار قاسم

يتداول الناس على مختلف أوساطهم كلمة مثقف ويجتهدون في تفسيرها وفي المسؤوليات المترتبة على حملها. عموما، يرى الناس ان الذين يتصفون بهذه الكلمة يمكن أن يكونوا أعمدة في المجتمع ويقفوا مع الحق وضد الباطل والظلم. الناس يفترضون من دون تحليل أو فلسفة للكلمة أن الذي يتصف بالثقافة يحمل مسؤولية وأمانة كبيرتين، وهو لا بد يدافع عن العدالة ضد القهر والكبت والانحراف الأخلاقي. الخ.

لكن من المفروض أن يكون هناك تعريف للمثقف حتى يكون الناس عموما على بينة مما يتحدثون عنه، ومن المفروض أن تلعب وسائل الإعلام دورا أساسيا في البحث عن تعريف أو تعاريف ذات صبغة علمية وتنقلها للناس. بخاصة في هذه الأيام حين يكثر الحديث حول دور المثقفين في مواجهة التطبيع مع الكيان الصهيوني، وشد أزر القابضين على الجمر الرافضين للاعتراف بالكيان الصهيوني والتطبيع معه وإقامة أي علاقات معه سوى علاقة المقاومة ضده وضد من يدعمونه. هذا المقال القصير يقدم تعريفا، وللناس التفاعل معه.

المثقف هو صاحب علم ومعرفة يوظفهما لإحقاق الحق ومواجهة الظلم والقهر والاستعباد ومعالجة هموم الناس والسهر على راحتهم. وهذا هو الناجي الوحيد من بين أصناف المثقفين العديدة. وقد سبق أن كتبت كتابا بعنوان  قبور المثقفين العرب ونشرته دار الفرسان في عمان/ الأردن، وصنفت فيه المسمون بالمثقفين إلى أصناف وفئات عديدة، وكلها وضعتها في خانة مختلفة عن الخانة التي آوت المثقفين الحقيقيين وفق التعريف الذي اقدمه هنا.

صاحب العلم والمعرفة الذي لا يوظف علمه ومعارفه لخدمة الناس ليس مثقفا، إنما هو مثوقف يستعمل ما يحمل من علم ومعرفة من أجل الحصول على مكاسب آنية وشخصية ويكاد لا يلتفت بتاتا إلى مصالح الناس وهمومهم والمظالم التي تقع على رؤوسهم. هو يبحث عن منصب أو مال أو جاه، ولديه الاستعداد لأن ينافق ويكذب ويدجل من أجل مصالحه وفوائده المادية سواء كانت له مباشرة أو لأبنائه وزوجه وبناته. أغلب المثوقفين العرب ينتمون إلى خانة إرضاء المسؤول عساه يعطف عليه بمنصب أو جاه أو مال، أو تجنب العقاب الذي يمكن أن يمارسه المسؤول ضده. المثوقفون يخشون على الوظيفة، ويخشون الاعتقال وعقوبات أجهزة المخابرات والأجهزة الأمنية الأخرى. وهؤلاء يرون دائما أن الرزق والحياة بيد المسؤول وليس بيد الله سبحانه وتعالى، ولا يؤمنون بفكرة الاعتماد على الذات وتدبير الأمور ذاتيا إذا اصابه وأصاب عائلته سوء أو مكروه.

وسائل الإعلام في أغلبها تتحدث الآن عن دور المثقفين العرب في مواجهة التطبيع. أكيد هناك مثقفون يقفون مع الحق الفلسطيني ومع كل القضايا العربية، لكن المثوقفين يعدون أعدادا مضاعفة. أنظروا إلى دول الخليج والتي تحول العديد من رجال الدين فيها عن دينهم وأنكروا الخليفة عمر بن الخطاب ونقضوا عهده وأنكروا قول الله سبحانه بحق القدس والمسجد الأقصى وفرطوا بالديار المقدسة. لقد ثبت أنهم كانوا يعبدون الله لمصلحة، وبدلوا عندما أمرهم الحاكم الظالم الشهواني بذلك . وأسوق مثلا بعض المثوقفين المصريين الذين يجب أن يكونوا الشعلة في الدفاع عن تاريخ مصر وقضايا الأمة العربية، هم يمتدحون اللحاق بالكيان الصهيوني الآن. وحتى لا يدير مثوقف عربي ظهره أقول إننا في الساحة الفلسطينية خبرنا مواقف المثوقفين الفلسطينيين الذين صفقوا للاعتراف بالكيان الصهيوني والتنسيق الأمني معه وتوقيع اتفاق أوسلو المشؤوم، وارتضوا لأنفسهم أن يكونوا أدوات لتطبيق الاتفاق وإرضاء الكيان الصهيوني والأمريكيين. لي زملاء كثر في مختلف الجامعات الفلسطينية قبلوا على أنفسهم القبول بمناصب تخدم سلطة أوسلو، وتخدم الاحتلال في النهاية. لا تغضبوا أيها العرب فإن مثوقفينا لا يختلفون عن مثوقفيكم. كلانا في الشؤم واحد. لكن أيضا كل مثقفينا الكبار العظام على امتداد الوطن العربي الذين يضحون بمصالحهم يقفون شامخين يدا واحدة في مواجهة الانهيار العربي والفجر آت إن شاء الله.

تقليص أجنحة الإمارات يجمع إيران وتركيا

تقليص أجنحة الإمارات يجمع إيران وتركيا - ميدل ايست نيوز بالعربي

عباس بوصفوان

الخميس 17 أيلول 2020

أتقنت الإمارات، على نحو لم يحدث من قبل، تجميع خصوم أشدّاء ضدها، يملكون مشروعاً وطنياً يرتكز على القومية، والإسلام، والتاريخ المديد المتعدد الطبقات، وسردية دستورية تستند إلى بُعدَي الجمهورية (البعد الشعبي والانتخابات، على علاتها) والدين في شكله الشيعي أو السني، وعقيدة سياسية ذات قوام ناعم قابلة للنمذجة والتصدير والجذب، وموقعاً استراتيجياً، وغنى ثقافياً، وعدداً سكانياً ضخماً، وقوة اقتصادية ذاتية، وعتاداً عسكرياً يحسب له ألف حساب، وحلفاء عقائديين، وحضوراً عالمياً… وكذا تحديات جمّة تجعل من الإمارات الصغيرة غير قادرة على إزعاج النّمرين الآسيويين الصاعدين.

أهداف طهران وتركيا

يبدو أن ما يشغل طهران وأنقرة، بعد التطبيع الإماراتي مع الاحتلال الإسرائيلي، ليس الدخول مع الإمارة الصغيرة الطموحة في حرب ساخنة، فذاك ما تكرهه إيران، التي تجيد القيادة من الخلف. وهو أمر تعلّمته تركيا، في ما يبدو، في تدخلها المثير للجدل في ليبيا، لكن «المتوازن» إن صح القول مقارنة بتدخلها الفج والقبيح والدموي في سوريا.
الأرجح أن الدولتين المسلمتين الكبيرتين، ستضعان الخطط الساعية إلى تقليص أجنحة الإمارات، بما يعيد الدولة الخليجية الفتية الغنية إلى ما كانت عليه تقليدياً، من سوق تجارية كبرى، لا خصماً سياسياً متقدماً، ولا موطئ قدم للمخابرات المعادية، ولا منصّة لإطلاق النار، ولا مقراً لتغذية النزاعات الإقليمية، ولا بؤرة للتناحر الإقليمي والدولي، وإن احتفظت لنفسها بموقع المنبر الإعلامي المعادي فذاك من الأمور المتفهمة. ولا شك في أن هذا الموضوع كان في صلب النقاش الإيراني التركي في الاجتماع الذي التأم افتراضياً قبل أيام، ودعا فيه الرئيس روحاني نظيره التركي إردوغان إلى موقف مشترك من التطبيع الإماراتي.

التطبيع إيرانياً وتركياً

تستثمر كل من إيران وتركيا الكثير في القضية الفلسطينية، بعدما أدركت أنقرة أن نفوذ طهران عميق بين فصائل المقاومة، في وقت يظهر فيه الخطاب السعودي – الإماراتي رغبة متزايدة في إسدال الستار على قضية العرب الأولى. بيد أنه يجدر أن نلحظ فارقاً نوعياً بين مقاربة طهران مقارنة بأنقرة في موضوع إسرائيل، ووجودها في المنطقة، وتالياً إرساء علاقات دبلوماسية معها، وخصوصاً في الوقت الراهن، حيث يتنافس محور تركيا – قطر – «الإخوان» من جهة، مع محور السعوديين والإماراتيين والمصريين من جهة أخرى، على كسب ود أميركا، الحاضن الرئيسي للاحتلال. يفرض ذلك على تركيا، التي تملك علاقة دبلوماسية قديمة مع تل أبيب، وقطر التي سبق لها أن استقبلت مكتباً إسرائيلياً في قلب الدوحة، أن لا يظهرا رفضاً مبدئياً لوجود الكيان الإسرائيلي والتطبيع معه.

يحرص المحور التركي على تمييز مساره عن المحور السعودي


يحرص المحور التركي على إبراز معارضته للتطبيع استناداً إلى رفض إسرائيل الإقرار بالحقوق الفلسطينية، كما يحرص على تمييز مساره عن المحور السعودي، المتحالف هو الآخر مع واشنطن. تظهر قناة «الجزيرة»، «توازناً» لافتاً بين مختلف الآراء، فلا تعطي وقتاً أوسع للأصوات المعبرة عن موقف مبدئي للاحتلال، بل تمنح متسعاً عريضاً للمثقفين العرب «المعتدلين»، الداعين إلى تسوية مع إسرائيل تفضي إلى التطبيع، وأولئك الذين يبررون العلاقة معها، حتى من دون تسوية.
السعوديون يسعون، من جهتهم، إلى القول بأنهم أقرب إلى أميركا، بيد أن القطري والتركي نجحا في السنوات الماضية في شد عصب العلاقة مع واشنطن، وحتى واشنطن ترامب، الأقرب إلى السعودي. من ناحيتها، تعتقد إيران وحلفاوها أن المنطقة لن تبلغ مستوى الاستقلال الحقيقي إلا بإخراج القوات الأميركية، التي تتحالف معها تركيا وقطر. أمّا إسرائيل، فهي إيرانياً قاعدة أميركية متقدمة، وجب اجتثاثها، ولمّا كان من الصعب أن تقوم إيران مباشرة بذلك، فإنها تحتضن ما بات يعرف بحركات المقاومة، التي تهدد الكيان وتحشره في الزاوية.

ما الذي أجّج الخلافات؟

ما يجعل الأتراك والإيرانيين يرفعون الصوت عالياً تجاه أبو ظبي، هو مضيّ الأخيرة في رفع عقيرتها إلى درجة إرسال طائرات للمشاركة في مناورات يونانية، موجهة ضد تركيا، والمضيّ – بالمقابل – في إرساء علاقة متينة مع تل أبيب، موجهة ضد طهران. اعتاد الطرفان التركي والإماراتي أن يتصادما في ليبيا وسوريا ومصر، لكن الإمارات تمضي بعيداً حين تنقل الصراع إلى حدود أنقرة، كما على حدود قطر. وطالما اصطدم الإماراتي والإيراني في اليمن ولبنان والعراق والبحرين، لكن إدخال أبو ظبي إسرائيل على خط المواجهة يفرض على طهران تعاملاً مختلفاً.
سمعنا تنديداً من إردوغان وروحاني بالإماراتيين، والتقديرات المرجحة أن أبو ظبي ستضطر، على الأرجح، ولو في هذه الفترة التجريبية، إلى دعوة إسرائيل وأميركا إلى أن لا تحوّلا المدينة التجارية إلى منصة عسكرية موجّهة نحو إيران، بيد أن ذلك لن يطمئن طهران إلا بعد أن تتحول الفرضية إلى واقع، وإلا باتت «المدينة التي من زجاج» هدفاً إيرانياً مشروعاً.
ولا ننسى أن الحصار ضدّ قطر وإيران وتركيا يجمعها ضد الإمارات، التي يعني تحجيمها تحجيم الرياض.

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UAE-Israel normalization agreement pours salt on Palestinians’ wound: Emirati activist

“The Emirati-Saudi alliance, in my view, is based on Mohammed bin Zayed’s plan to push Saudi Arabia towards Yemen’s swamp, and the ultimate goal was to weaken it politically and exhaust its economy.”

By Mohammad Mazhari

August 24, 2020 – 11:48

TEHRAN – Abdullah al-Tawil, an Emirati political activist, is of the opinion that “Emirates-Israel normalization agreement pours salt on Palestinians’ wound and it is a bridge over the rubble of the Palestinian cause.” 

Israel and the UAE reached an agreement on August 13 that will lead to the full normalization of diplomatic relations between the two sides.
The deal came after a phone call between United States President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi. 

Under the agreement, Israel has promised to suspend the annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank. However, just hours after the announcement Benjamin Netanyahu said he remained committed to the annexation plan.

In this regard, al-Tawil tells the Tehran Times that the agreement will not serve the Palestinians’ interests and won’t stop the annexation of the West Bank.

“This agreement pours salt on Palestinian’s wound, and it is a bridge over the rubble of the Palestinian cause,” says Al-Tawil.

Following is the full text of the interview:

Q: What are the causes or motives that prompted the UAE to normalize ties with Israel?

A: Firstly, I must record my personal position on normalization with Israel.

It was a stab in the back of the Arab nations. Israel denies clearly the rights of the Palestinians on their land and their just cause. 

Regarding the UAE’s reasons for overt normalization of ties with the Israeli regime, it must be pointed out that normalization was not a result of the moment, but rather it was passing quietly under the table.

Secret meetings were held in Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv, as well as secret talks at a high level. 

Besides the governmental level, there were plans to prepare Emirati people to accept the normalization by the public media and official statements on social media.

The Emirati regime pursues a policy of intimidating the Emirati citizens and restricting them with laws that criminalize the ruler’s criticism accordingly.

The ultimate goal of normalization is to guarantee Mohammed bin Zayed’s chance to reach power in a comfortable way after became notorious for hatching conspiracies and now looking for peace.

Given Turkey’s growing political and military power in the Middle East (West Asia) and the failure of Qatar’s blockade and undermining its mediatory role in the Palestinian cause, the Emirates feels need new allies to protect its interests.

Therefore, it believes in such a normalization agreement, which will form a strong ally for it to protect itself. This is in the level of politics, but economically the Corona crisis greatly affected the UAE’s markets and trades, especially in the real estate field.

Thus, they resorted to Jewish investors and finally tried to satisfy the U.S. administration, whether Trump remains or not because Trump is a lifeline for the Emirati rulers, but if he loses the upcoming election, then they will find a return line to the American Democrats.

Q: How do you assess the reaction of the people in the Arab world, including those on the southern shores of the Persian Gulf, to the UAE’s decision to normalize relations with Israel?

A: Arab people as a whole still love Palestine, and their hearts beat with hatred of the Zionist regime which has killed Palestinians and demolished their houses. 

But we are talking about a policy of “destroying the awareness” practiced on the (Persian) Gulf peoples, especially the Emirati people when the Ministry of Tolerance was established.

The ministry tries to teach citizens the arts of tolerance with Hindu religions and Judaism in particular 

So, temples were opened for Hindus and synagogues for Jews. We cannot say that reactions inside the UAE are non-existent, but we can confirm that there are many people who refuse normalization but fear to openly object or reject it, given that what awaits them is an unfair judiciary, secret prisons, and inevitably a large financial fine due to laws that criminalize freedom of opinion.

By the way, there are Emiratis who have created a “resist normalization” association which its aim is to educate the citizens and refuse to sign treacherous agreements and support the Palestinian cause.

As for the (Persian) Gulf states, there are a very large number of those who expressed their objection to normalization. In many countries, the activists have launched tags with their names to refuse normalizing ties with Israel, a very important matter. Awareness at this phase has a critical role, and we wish it will continue.

Q: Do you think that the Emirates’ decision would serve the Palestinian people and the Palestinian cause?

A: Of course, this agreement pours salt on Palestinians’ wounds, and it is a bridge over the rubble of the Palestinian cause.

This agreement will not stop the annexation of the West Bank as explicitly declared by Netanyahu, nor will it restrain the regime which commits crimes against the Palestinians, nor will it ever restore al-Quds (Jerusalem), nor will it give them an independent state. Rather, it is an explicit recognition of Israel over the Palestinian lands and legitimizing the occupier of Jerusalem and the Al Aqsa Mosque.

In short, it is an Emirati-Israeli agreement, and Palestine in this agreement was just a bridge to cross. 

“Mohammed bin Zayed has succeeded in weakening Saudi Arabia by influencing Mohammed bin Salman, who transferred the Emirati experience to Saudi Arabia in the cultural and security level.”

Q: Who actually rules the UAE? What are the main groups that govern the Emirates?

A: After the death of Sheikh Zayed, announcing his death was delayed for many reasons, including disputes among his sons.

I assure you that the phase that preceded the announcement of Sheikh Zayed’s death was that Mohammed bin Zayed managed to rig the process of electing his successor, in which Sheikh Sultan was more entitled.

And according to Sheikh Zayed’s will, Sheikh Khalifa became ruler of Abu Dhabi, and since then, Mohammed bin Zayed has messed with the country’s policies.

In 2011, when the Arab Spring started, Mohammed bin Zayed exploited it to suppress freedoms and restrict society with strict laws.

 Moreover, Mohammed bin Zayed ordered mass arrests of 94 Emirati citizens affiliated to the intellectual and academic classes, and that was to pave his way to fully control the reins of power in the country, especially after Sheikh Khalifa’s illness and absence of him in the media and political scene.

So, the actual ruler in the United Arab Emirates is Mohammed bin Zayed, who controls the country and exerts his influence on all other emirates, whose rulers are unfortunately coward and fearful of his authority.

Q:  What is the secret of the UAE-Saudi alliance? Would you expect Saudi Arabia and Bahrain to follow the example of the Emirates?

A: The Emirati-Saudi alliance, in my view, is based on Mohammed bin Zayed’s plan to push Saudi Arabia towards Yemen’s swamp, and the ultimate goal was to weaken it politically and exhaust its economy to undermine its influence after it was the most important state of the (Persian) Gulf.

Mohammed bin Zayed seeks greatness and fame. Unfortunately, he has succeeded in weakening Saudi Arabia by influencing Mohammed bin Salman, who transferred the Emirati experience to Saudi Arabia at the cultural and security level. Actually, the controls Mohammed bin Salman’s childish impulses.

As for his involvement in the normalization, Mohammed bin Zayed challenged Saudi Arabia for his superiority over the Arab peace initiative that Saudis had signed it, as if he is saying, “Come with me for the peace agreement, Saudi agreement is out of date.”
If Mohammed bin Salman remains in power, sooner or later, Saudi Arabia will, unfortunately, engage in the normalization process.

Bahrain is a dependent state and will inevitably be the first to sign the normalization agreement after the UAE.

We wish the other (Persian) Gulf states to be steadfast in facing pressures and to take a position that immortalizes in history, and when the grandchildren read it, they say that there are Arab countries who have betrayed and there are others that kept the covenant.  

RELATED NEWS

“Greater Israel” in the Making: Netanyahu Regime’s Illegal Annexation Scheme Nears Implementation

By Stephen Lendman

Global Research, June 24, 2020

Trump’s unlawful Deal of the Century scheme green-lighted Israeli annexation of illegally established settlements on stolen Palestinian land and the Jordan Valley.

Netanyahu earlier vowed to press ahead with annexation. 

Reportedly on or around July 1, he’ll initially announce the annexation of what the Times of Israel called “three West Bank (settlement) blocs,” not the Jordan Valley for now, adding:

“Well-placed sources told The Times of Israel last week that the joint mapping committee tasked with delineating the contours of the annexation move still had weeks if not months of work, and the IDF has not been told precisely what Netanyahu has in mind.”

For starters, Ma’ale Adumim, Ariel and Gush Etzion, three large settlements, will be annexed in the coming days, ruling coalition partner Benny Gantz reportedly going along with what’s clearly a flagrant breach of international law.

According to the broadsheet, there’s “relative consensus, domestically and in Washington,” to making the move.

Or is there? The Times of Israel added the following:

“The US initially said it would recognize annexation immediately, but subsequently appears to have at the very least tempered its enthusiasm for the controversial move before the joint mapping committee can complete its work.”

“The (Trump regime) is highly unlikely to approve an Israeli move to unilaterally annex parts of the West Bank by the July 1 date envisioned by Netanyahu,” according to an unnamed “well-placed source.”

Annexation of historic Palestinian land in whole or in part will formally end the two-state illusion — what long ago was possible, clearly not now.

Trump regime hardliners are on board with the most extremist of Netanyahu regime policies — time and again blaming victims of US/NATO/Israeli high crimes for what’s committed against them.

At most, Trump and Pompeo et al may only press Netanyahu to slow, not abandon, illegal annexation of Palestinian land.

It’s highly unlikely that Biden will soften US policy toward long-suffering Palestinians if he succeeds Trump in January.

Throughout his time as US senator and vice president, he one-sidedly supported Israel, including three preemptive wars on Gaza based on Big Lies.

On June 16 at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel and four Palestinian human rights groups discussed the illegality of Israel’s annexation scheme.

They warned that it’ll “normalize Israel’s colonial project and amounts to apartheid via the continued expansion and construction of illegal settlements, displacement and dispossession of Palestinians, and demographic manipulation,” adding:

“The Israeli plan would further entrench racial, ethnic, and religious segregation as a legal norm, and Israel will formally establish itself as the sole sovereign regime over the Palestinian people in historic Palestine.”

On the same day, 47 UN special rapporteurs denounced the annexation scheme as “a vision of 21st century apartheid.”

A presentation by Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies’ international advocacy officer Nada Awad to the UNHRC on behalf of Adalah and the four Palestinian human rights groups said the following:

“Last month, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Israel swore in a new government seemingly committed to formally annexing parts of the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT) in the West Bank in July, in a blatant violation of international law.”

“This annexation, part of the so-called Trump-Netanyahu ‘Deal of the Century’ and the Netanyahu-Gantz coalition agreement, normalizes Israel’s colonial project and amounts to apartheid via the continued expansion and construction of illegal settlements, displacement and dispossession of Palestinians, and demographic manipulation.”

“The principles of this plan are enshrined in Israel’s Jewish Nation-State Basic Law enacted in July 2018.”

“This law established a constitutional order based on systematic ethnic supremacy, domination, and segregation in the so-called ‘Land of Israel’ and the denial of the realization of national self-determination for the Palestinian people.”

“Article 7 of this law provides that Jewish settlement is a national value to be encouraged and strengthened, giving the state authorities further constitutional legal tools to justify the illegal settlement enterprise in the occupied Palestinian and Syrian territories.”

“This law intends to justify as constitutional segregation in land and housing that targets all Palestinians in historic Palestine, including Palestinians citizens of Israel, who have suffered decades of systematic oppression.”

“Annexation would further entrench racial, ethnic, and religious segregation as a legal norm.”

“In this context, Israel will formally establish itself as the sole sovereign regime over the Palestinian people in historic Palestine.”

“We call on the UN and the international community to call for the dismantling of all settlements, to vehemently oppose any annexation, and to guarantee the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right of return to their homes and property.”

Separately, Adalah called Netanyahu’s annexation scheme a flagrant breach of the UN Charter, the Geneva Conventions, and other international law, including binding Security Council resolutions.

Israeli occupation, settlements, land confiscations, resource theft, and related abusive practices are “profound” high crimes against peace and the fundamental rights of all Palestinians.

If annexation proceeds as planned, the West Bank will resemble Gaza, a second open-air prison for a bludgeoned into submission people.

It’ll resemble Dante’s hell, its gate bearing the inscription: “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”

A Final Comment

On Monday, thousands of Palestinians rallied in Jericho against Netanyahu’s annexation scheme.

Dozens of foreign diplomats joined them, including Nickolay Mladenov, UN special coordinator for Middle East peace — a position accomplishing nothing because of the US/Israeli regional imperial project.

As long as Washington supports Israeli aims, views of other nations never made a difference because a price to pay by the world community on its ruling authorities for the worst of their high crimes was never imposed.

The so-called peace process was and remains a colossal hoax, a notion the US, NATO and Israel reject.

Yet the illusion of what never was and isn’t now persists, establishment media, Western officials, and UN secretary general fostering it.

Palestinians were abandoned over a century ago by the infamous Balfour Declaration, the beginning of the end of historic Palestine.

Generations of political, military and cultural repression of its people followed, including dispossession from their land, other property, their fundamental rights, and in countless thousands of cases their lives.

Establishment of a nation for Jews on stolen Palestinian land was and remains a scheme to advance Western interests in the oil-rich region.

It led to over 100 years of endless conflict, occupation, dispossession, and repression, along with social and cultural fragmentation,

Historic Palestine and rights of its people were and continue to be abandoned in deference to Western/Israel regional control.

Palestinians are largely on their own, resistance their only option, staying the course no matter the long odds against them.

The world community never offered more than lip service help — the plight of ordinary people everywhere, exploited to benefit privileged interests.

It’s much the same in the West as in the Middle East and Occupied Palestine.

Ordinary people are largely on their own to press for positive change they’ll never get any other way.

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Featured image is from Another Day in the EmpireThe original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Stephen Lendman, Global Research, 2020

Must Watch – Storyville, Lea Tsemel-an Israeli true hero

 BY GILAD ATZMON

In the past I have been critical of many aspects of contemporary Left, in general and Jewish Left, in particular. But my criticism of Jewish Left ends with Lea Tsemel. This Israeli human rights lawyer is out of this world. For decades Tsemel has been supporting the Palestinians and their rights including their rights to emancipate themselves and their land, Watch this video before it is removed

Iranian FM, Palestinian President Reiterate Stance on ‘Deal of Century’

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and President of the Palestinian National Authority Mahmoud Abbas voiced strong opposition to the so-called “deal of the century”, a US-initiated plan for Palestine.

  • February, 05, 2020 – 09:56

In a telephone conversation with Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday, Zarif reiterated the Islamic Republic’s opposition to the plan, stressing that Iran will keep supporting the Palestinian nation’s rights and formation of a sovereign Palestinian government with East al-Quds as its capital.

The top Iranian diplomat also hailed Abbas’ efforts to create national unity in Palestine, reaffirming that Tehran will continue to support the process of reconciliation among Palestinians.

For his part, the Palestinian president briefed Zarif on the stances adopted by Palestinian groups against the American plot and on the political movements to counter the plan proposed by US President Donald Trump.

Highlighting the efforts to ensure national unity in Palestine, Abbas said he will dispatch a delegation to Gaza to contribute to unity between Palestinian groups.

Last week, Trump unveiled his long-delayed Middle East plan, a proposal Palestinian leaders called a “conspiracy” that “will not pass”.

Following Trump’s announcement, Abbas said “a thousand no’s to the plan.

The American plan has sparked widespread international condemnation.

The deal of century ploy, fronted by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, had already been rejected by the Palestinians, who say the White House’s policies have been blatantly biased in favor of Israel.

حكام العرب في مأزق وليس لبنان… فلا تبتزّوا دياب!

ناصر قنديل

– تتعرّض حكومة الرئيس حسان دياب، التي لا تتبنّى انحيازاً مسبقاً لأي رأي أو محور إقليمي، للابتزاز تحت عنوان، إياكم وأن تُغضِبوا حكام الخليج، فلبنان في مأزق ويحتاج إلى عطف ورحمة هؤلاء الحكام، عساهم يمنّون عليه ببعض مما لديهم من المال. وينطلق أصحاب التحذير من معطىً معلوم وهو حاجات لبنان المالية ومعطيين خاطئين، الأول أن قرار دفع المال للبنان من العرب ليس عربياً، بل هو قرار تتخذه واشنطن، بمعزل عن كيفية تعامل لبنان مع الحكومات الخليجيّة، والثاني هو أن الحكومات العربية والخليجية خصوصاً مرتاحة لوضعها، وآخر همها ما يفعله وما يقوله لبنان واللبنانيون؛ بينما واقع الحال وما يجري في المنطقة يعبر عن ارتباك خليجي خصوصاً وعربي عموماً، سواء تجاه التجاذب الأميركي الإيراني ومخاوف دفع فواتيره، أو تجاه صفقة القرن وكيفيّة التعامل مع الإحراج الذي تسبّبت به لهم، وهم في السرّ شركاء وفي العلن خصوم.

– لبنان عموماً وحكومة الرئيس دياب خصوصاً، رغم ضغط الوضع المالي الصعب في وضع وصفه السفير الأميركي الأسبق جيفري فيلتمان، إن أفرج العرب والخليجيون خصوصاً عن بعض المال اللازم، ليس لديهم سبب ليكونوا في موقع سياسي مناوئ ولا يبحثون عن خصام. وإن لم يفعلوا، وقد ذكر فيلتمان السعودية بأن ديون لبنان بالعملات الصعبة تبلغ 35 مليار دولار أي أقلّ مما تنفقه السعودية على حرب اليمن في عام واحد، فعندها سيسلك لبنان بدائل لا تُفرح واشنطن وربما دول الخليج، ويفتح أبواب التفاوض مع روسيا والصين، سيتغيّر الوضع إلى غير رجعة، وللذين يقولون إن المال عند العرب والغرب ويختصرون الحديث عن المقارنة بروسيا فيتذاكون بالسؤال، وهل روسيا لديها مال لتعطيه؟ لا بد من إجابتهم أننا في النفط والغاز والخيارات الاستراتيجية نتحدث عن روسيا، أما في المال والشركات الناجحة في مجالات الاتصالات والموانئ والسكك الحديدة والمطارات والكهرباء، وهي تنفذ أهم المشاريع في الغرب نفسه، فالحديث هو عن الصين وليس عن روسيا، ويجب أن يقترن بالتذكير أن أكبر حامل لسندات الخزينة الأميركية هي الصين، بما يزيد عن 3,6 تريليون دولار. ومعلوم أن لا الصين ولا روسيا ستُبديان الاهتمام بلبنان إذا لم يكن لهما فيه نصيب سياسي، ولهما عنده مكانة مميزة. وهذا إن حدث يعرف العرب أن لبنان ليس في مأزق، على ذمة فيلتمان، الذي نصح حكومة بلاده والحكام العرب بتمويل لبنان وعدم الدفع بالأزمة أكثر، كي لا تذهب الأمور إلى خيارات يصعب التراجع عنها.

– في السياسة جاء اجتماع وزراء الخارجية العرب وما بعده الإسلامي، ليقولا إن الخطاب اللبناني كان الأكثر انسجاماً مع نفسه. فلبنان مناهض لصفقة القرن تمسكاً منه بالقضية الفلسطينية وإدراكاً منه أنها قلب قضايا المنطقة وأزماتها، وكل حل لها على حساب حقوق الشعب الفلسطيني سيزيد من التأزم والتوتر. وفوق ذلك لإجماع اللبنانيين على أن الصفقة تنهي حق العودة للاجئين الفلسطينيين وتستبدله بتوطينهم في بلدان اللجوء، وهو ما يرفضه اللبنانيون ويعرفون مدى تأثيره السلبي على توازناتهم وسلمهم الأهلي. بينما أغلب الحكام العرب الواقفين في خندق واشنطن فقلوبهم مع الصفقة، لكنهم يدركون بعقولهم أن ما سبق وقالوه لشعوبهم تبريراً للتهرّب من مسؤولياتهم نحو فلسطين قد صار اليوم قيداً عليهم، فهم أصحاب شعار، نكون وراء الفلسطينيين في ما يختارون وما يقبلون وما يرفضون. وها هم الفلسطينيون يقولون لا مدوية لصفقة ترامب. فوجد العرب أنفسهم في الجامعة وفي المؤتمر الإسلامي ملزمون بقول ما لا ينسجم مع ما فعلوا لتصير الصفقة مشروعاً على الطاولة. وحكام العرب يحتاجون لبنان المناوئ للصفقة والذي يملك مقدرات ودور بقوة مقاومته يحسب له الإسرائيليون ألف حساب، ويشكل إلى جانب الفلسطينيين عقبة كبيرة بوجه مرور الصفقة. ولبنان الذي سيذهب إلى سورية من باب مصلحته الوطنية والاقتصادية منسجم مع نفسه، بينما أغلب الحكام العرب في مأزق فهم يدركون حاجتهم أمس قبل اليوم واليوم قبل الغد لإعادة أفضل العلاقات مع سورية، لكنهم ممنوعون بقوة القرار الأميركي من فعل ذلك، فيستطيعون تحميل المسؤولين اللبنانيين الذاهبون إلى دمشق التحيات والاعتذارات، ويراهنون على القول لاحقاً، نحن شجّعنا اللبنانيين للذهاب إلى دمشق، أو إلى بغداد.

– المواجهة الدائرة في المنطقة بين إيران ومعها محور المقاومة من جهة، وأميركا من جهة مقابلة، ليست معركة قابلة للتحوّل إلى حرب كبرى، وإن حدث ذلك فستكون دول الخليج مسرحها أكثر من لبنان، لكن كما يبدو فنهايتها تسوية تضمن خروج الأميركيين، وحفظ ماء وجههم، وترتيبات جديدة في المنطقة. وهذه الترتيبات تؤكدها الخطوات الأميركية نحو إعلان صفقة القرن وهي تدرك استحالة تحولها مشروعاً عملياً لتكون إبراء ذمة تجاه كيان الاحتلال، لأن واشنطن تدرك أنها كي تذهب إلى التسوية مع إيران ومحور المقاومة يجب أن لا تحمل “إسرائيل” معها ولا تحمل مطالبها، ولذلك فعليها أن تمنح لـ”إسرائيل” ما تستطيع كي تتمكّن من الذهاب للتسوية ولا تتّهم بخيانة “إسرائيل” والتخلّي عنها، لكن في النهاية سيربح دوراً من يملك رصيداً في المحور الذي ستكون له الكلمة العليا في المنطقة، ومن حظ العرب أن يمنحوا لبنان اليوم بعضاً من مال، أملاً بأن يمنحهم لاحقاً بعضاً من نتائج الدور.

GOLAN-JERUSALEM: ROBBERY OF THE CENTURY BY TWO CLOWNS UNDER TRIAL

 

The biggest problem in the world are journalists.

Many of whom work for editorial groups financed by multinationals that aspire to control the planet, others are really incapable and serve to support the same project, some of the best remain confined to talk-show that appear more like gossip broadcasts rather than real insights into journalism of inquiry.

Next to them there are very few characters, Max Blumenthal of GrayZone is certainly one of these, who try to challenge the logic of the mainstream every so often they succeed. Still others have fallen into battle trying to fight what, after a public admission by a former CIA director, I have called Deep International State.

Among these was the Italian Mauro di Mauro, who vanished while he was investigating the death of Enrico Mattei, former president of the italian National Hydrocarbons Authority (ENI), who died in a mysterious plane crash like his friend Dag Hammarskjold, UN general secretary still awaiting justice after 58 years for dossiers secreted by the United Kingdom.

There was Mino Pecorelli, believed by the Carabinieri general Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa, also killed by the Mafia, sentenced to death for his knowledge of the P2 covered lodge and above all on the secrets about the imprisonment and killing of the Christian Democrat politician Aldo Moro, kidnapped and killed by the terrorists of the Red Brigades in 1978.

We cannot forget Mauro Rostagno who was assassinated while in Trapani he was investigating the report on the Masonic lodges of the Centro Scontrino, the Mafiosi of Cosa Nostra and the military secret services with ties to Stay Behind, the US paramilitary operation in Italy.

In more recent times it is worth mentioning Lasantha Wickrematunge, the Sri Lankan journalist killed in an ambush while he was investigating some government politicians about some suspected arms supplies from the United Kingdom. And finally Jamal Kashoggi, Islamic columnist of the Washington Post torn to pieces in the consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul.

Just because many journalists have been sold or repaid, representatives of two world powers such as the US and Israel can make people believe they are serious while they are gambling on the table of international provocations.

If we were in a world at least a little serious, at least half of the journalists would have burst out laughing when American President Donald Trump together with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented his Deal of the Century.

The project is quickly summarized in a few words: to recognize the Palestinian Territories as a State in order to certify Israel’s annexation of the Golan stolen from Syria together with a slice of Jerusalem destined to become the capital of the Zionist state with good peace of Muslims.

The Palestinians, however, would also be allowed to make a tunnel between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank to maintain continuous and uninterrupted connections, at least until some Mossad secret service agent will be given orders to place a bomb in the middle of the underground passage.

Let’s face it: Monty Python would not have been able to study a better screenplay for a show that would only be comical if the bombings that Israel and the USA, whenever they want, continue to do in the Middle East were not involved.

Only the idiots, like many hired Western journalists, can believe the conditional proposal to recognize Palestine as a state only in the face of the possibility of claiming a dominance over Jerusalem and, above all, to legitimize the robbery of the Golan, with its precious waters of the underground and its strategic position, to the detriment of Syria by President Bashar Al Assad that the Israeli Defense Forces army did everything to destroy together with the USA.

The disgusted response of Muslims is inevitable.

“Jerusalem is not for sale, and our rights are not bartered.” Palestinian President Abu Mazen said so, rejecting the peace plan announced today by US President Donald Trump. Trump’s plan “is aggressive and will provoke a lot of anger.”

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the Israeli part of the Plan “does not make sense”, Reuters told Israeli media. “Jerusalem – he continued – will always be a land for the Palestinians. The Palestinians will face this Plan and Jerusalem will always remain a Palestinian land”.

Trump’s plan is “doomed to failure”. So Iran rejects the American President’s proposal without appeal for peace in the Middle East between Israelis and Palestinians. “The shameful American plan imposed on the Palestinians is the betrayal of the century and is doomed to failure,” the foreign ministry said in a statement. The Lebanese Shiite allies of Tehran, Hezbollah, along the same lines, according to which the Trump plan is “an attempt to eliminate the rights of the Palestinian people”.

What makes the farce of the White House plan really comical is the situation in which the two allies who propose it find themselves.

Trump under trial in the Senate for an Impeachment on the conditioning of Ukraine, Netanyahu, still in the role of prime minister in extension for the failure of two parliamentary elections in Tel Aviv unable to give a majority to the Knesset, is formally indicted for various episodes of bribery.

Two politicians hovering over the abyss of electoral defeat, Netanyahu in the elections of March 3, 2020 and Trump in those of November 3 of the same year, try to win consensus by proposing the impossible to Palestinians on the skin of Syria.

More than the Deal of the Century, as defined by the tenant of the White House, the attempted robbery of the century appears to give Israel the Golan plateau in defiance of the last UN pronouncement, peremptory in reiterating that that area must go back to Syria where it belongs.

It would be a dangerous robbery. But above all it becomes grotesque and ridiculous because invented by two politicians at risk of defeat in their respective countries where they are under investigation. Two shameless clowns in the service of Deep International State.


By Fabio Giuseppe Carlo Carisio
Source: Gospa News

Trump’s Executive Order on Anti-Semitism: A Category Mistake

December 23, 2019  

Lawrence Davidson is a retired professor of history from West Chester University in West Chester PA. His academic research focused on the history of American foreign relations with the Middle East. He taught courses in Middle East history, the history of science and modern European intellectual history.

 Lawrence Davidson 

Trump’s Executive Order on Anti-Semitism: A Category Mistake—An Analysis (23 December 2019) by Lawrence Davidson

Part I—Trump and the Constitution

It is a pretty sure thing that President Donald Trump is ignorant of what is in the U.S. Constitution and, in any case, does not care much about what the document says. Take the idea of freedom of speech as set down in the First Amendment. Does he understand the importance of this amendment? Actually, it would seem that the only freedom of speech he finds sacrosanct is his own, expressed almost daily in angry, often rambling “tweets.” Those frequent missives hardly make the man a model of critical thinking and, as it turns out, for the price of some special interest’s political support, President Trump is willing to tell us all that we must believe the opposite of what is true. If we don’t, he will take away some federal benefit. Trump is by nature both authoritarian and simple-minded—not an unusual combination. 

Part II—Confusing Categories

It was in this simplistic frame of mind that, on 12 December, President Trump issued an executive order directing the federal government to deny funds to universities and colleges that allow alleged anti-Semitic speech on campus. Well, the reader might respond, such an order is understandable because we know that anti-Semitism is a particularly vicious form of racism. And so it is. The mistake here is to assume that President Trump actually knows how to recognize genuine anti-Semitism, so as not to confuse this expression of bigotry with its opposite: the support of human, civil and political rights—in this case, those of the Palestinians. Now, the reader might ask, how could anyone confuse these two categories: on the one hand, the support of an oppressed people’s rights and, on the other, racist anti-Semitism? It helps if you are ignorant, amoral and opportunistic. 

And so, with the encouragement of the Zionist lobby, a particularly powerful lobby dedicated solely to the interests of the Israeli state, President Trump, who is in fact ignorant, amoral and opportunistic, based this executive order on a logical fallacy—a category mistake. He identified protests against Israeli state behavior with anti-Semitic racism and declared that any university or college that allows the former (say, by permitting criticism of Israel for its violent suppression of Palestinian rights) is to be found guilty of the latter (anti-Semitism), and therefore is not to receive federal funds. 

Part III—A Zionist Project 

Working for the purposeful confusion of anti-Semitism and the support for Palestinian rights is a Zionist project. It should be emphasized that the Zionists who carry this project forward are not, like the president, ignorant or confused. They know what they are doing. And that is why this effort constitutes a tragedy of the highest order not only for the Palestinians, but for the Jewish people as well.

After World War II every sane individual knew that racism, particularly racism expressed through state power, was bad news. The consequences of such empowered bigotry was there to see across the world: Japanese behavior in China, Korea and Southeast Asia generally, along with German behavior throughout occupied Europe, constituted the worst examples. They resulted in the deaths of tens of millions—among them six million Jews. That is why as early as the late 1940s, an expansion of international law and the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights sought to make such behavior criminal, particularly when carried out as the policy of governments.

As it turned out, those resolutions constituted direct obstacles to the Zionist goal of a “Jewish state” in Palestine. The Zionist conquest of Palestine in the military campaigns of   1948 and 1967, was followed by the systematic narrowing or outright denial of the human, civil and political rights for Palestinians. In the case of Palestinians residing in Israel proper, the racist policies and practices were often obscured behind a facade of benign-sounding declarations that, more often than not, had little impact on minority rights. No such facade was adopted within the Occupied Territories. In this way racism became an essential tool for achieving Zionism’s goal of ethnic exclusivity.  

So how do you rationalize this behavior? Even though Ashkenasi (that is, European) Jews have been one of the most persecuted groups in Western history, it was not hard for the Zionists to see their own racist behavior as necessary. Founding a state first and foremost for one group, in a territory already occupied by hundreds of thousands of “others,” easily led to discriminatory policies and practices. It also led to indoctrination of Israeli Jews and their diaspora supporters through the distortion of the history of conquest and colonial occupation. The inevitable resistance of the Palestinians, even when non-violent, became labeled as lawlessness at best and terrorism at worst. In this sense, Israeli society has mimicked not only the apartheid sentiments of South Africa, but also the culture that prevailed in the United States before the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.

Part IV—Exporting the Fallacy

Yet it was not enough for the Israelis to convince their own Jewish citizens that Zionist racism was righteous self-defense and support of Palestinian rights the equivalent of anti-Semitism. This logical fallacy had to be pushed on Israel’s primary ally, the United States. And, at least in the halls of power, this effort has been remarkably successful, probably because the Zionist lobby has a lot of money to help or hinder ambitious American politicians. 

However, outside of those halls, the effort has been exposed for what it is: a dangerous reversal of categories that threatens to turn the clock back on much of the post-World War II progress in political, civil and human rights. As the growing popularity of the boycott Israel movement (BDS) has shown, American citizens, both Jewish and non-Jewish, have an increasing ability to see the reality of the situation. A survey released in mid June 2017 by an organization known as the Brand Israel Group, “a coalition of volunteer advertising and marketing specialists” who consult for pro-Israel organizations, indicated that “approval of Israel among American college students dropped 27% between the group’s 2010 and 2016 surveys” while “Israel’s approval among all Americans dropped 14 points.” Brand Israel’s conclusion: in the future, the U.S. may “no longer believe that Israel shares their values.” This is the case not because of any big increase in anti-Semitism, but due to ever-growing evidence of Israeli racism.

One reaction to this increasing popular clarity of vision is President Trump’s executive order. If, in this case, colleges and universities do not enforce the Zionist logical fallacy, they lose federal money. 

Part V—Conclusion

Governments do not have a very good reputation for telling their citizens the truth. For instance, just this month it was made known that the U.S. government and military misled the American people about the ability to achieve victory in the Afghan war—a conflict that has been going on for 18 years. The same thing occurred during the Vietnam War. However, it is one thing to withhold information, or downright lie about a situation, and another to urge a population to swallow the category contradictions Trump and the Zionists are peddling. There is something Orwellian about that. It is no mistake that it is the brightest of college students, those who are actually overcoming ignorance and practicing the art of thinking straight, who are most put off by this propagandistic tactic. 

As for those Zionist students who claim that protests against Israeli policy and behavior on their campus make them feel uncomfortable, or even unsafe, they might try to learn something from those feelings. After all, it’s the closest they will ever come to the much more profound feelings of anxiety and danger that Palestinians feel every day, in their own homes, neighborhoods and campuses as well. So which category do all of us want to defend—the category of state-sponsored racism or the category of human, civil and political rights? Just be sure not to confuse one for the other.

The International Zionist Conspiracy

It poisons everything it touches

Education In Palestine: West Bank Struggle For School Dreams — Rebel Voice

Crimes against humanity can take many forms. Ethnic cleansing is one, sexual assaults as a policy is another. Starving people is a third as is the random slaughter of civilians. Israel is guilty of all of these and more. They are also guilty of depriving Palestinian children of their right to an education. Schools are […]

via Education In Palestine: West Bank Struggle For School Dreams — Rebel Voice

Exclusive: Rashida Tlaib’s Granny Supports Her Refusal of ‘Israeli’ Conditions

By Al-Ahed Correspondent

Occupied Palestine – Soon after the ‘Israeli’ occupation imposed restrictions on the visit of Democratic US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib’s visit to the occupied territories, the family anticipating her was totally disappointed.

Tlaib was supposed to visit her grandmother’s home in the village of “Beit Aour al-Fawqa” in the West Bank.

But following the Zionist conditions imposed on the US congresswoman’s visit, Rashida voiced rejection and said in a tweet on her account:

“Silencing me & treating me like a criminal is not what she wants for me. It would kill a piece of me. I have decided that visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions stands against everything I believe in–fighting against racism, oppression & injustice.”

The lady in her nineties, called Muftiyya, told al-Ahed in an exclusive interview that she is sad that the occupation’s authorities barred Rashida from visiting occupied Palestine without conditions.

“I was happy with her visit, which was supposed to happen in the coming days, but the occupation’s conditions barred her,” she told al-Ahed, adding that “I prepared delicious meals to receive her, but the occupation killed our joy.”

Her family further voiced support for Rashida’s refusal to submit to the Zionist conditions, considering it a restriction of her freedom. They were also proud of the decision Rashida has made.

Tlaib’s uncle supports her decision

For his part, Rashida’s uncle Bassam said that their stance is the same as Rashida: “We reject the humiliating conditions that were put on her visit of family and relatives in Palestine,” adding that “Rashida has the right to visit Palestine without any condition.”

Bassam also hailed the congresswoman’s stance from the Zionist occupation, noting that the Zionist entity rejects the voices calling for people’s right to self-determination, explaining that the enemy wants Rashida to meet with ‘Israeli’ officials before visiting the Palestinian territories, which she rejected.

The Zionist occupation had blocked the visit of Rashida Tlaib and her fellow Ilhan Omar after pressures from US President Donald Trump. However, according to Zionist officials, the block came due to their Boycott, Divestment, Sanction ‘Israel’ BDS movement ties.

Earlier, Tlaib and Omar voiced solidarity with the pro-Palestinian BDS Movement due to the Zionist policies towards Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Tlaib later tweeted: One day @IlhanMN and I will see Bethlehem and InshAllah it will be free when we do. #FreePalestine

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Paul Findley: A Man of Courage

Global Research, August 14, 2019

Paul Findley one of the most remarkable Congressmen that the US House of Representatives had produced since the Second World War passed away on the 9th of August 2019. He was 98 years old. He was first elected to Congress in 1960 from a district in Illinois once represented by Abraham Lincoln, his immortal hero.  Findley was elected 11 times from that constituency until his defeat in 1982.

As a Congressman, he played a significant role in the formulation of the War Powers Act which required the US president to notify Congress of foreign military engagements. He was also critical of wasteful pentagon spending. He was one of a handful of early legislators who opposed the Vietnam War.

But Findley’s “notoriety” is associated with something else. He was a consistent critic of the influence of the Israel Lobby over Congress. He could see how the Lobby shaped US policies especially in West Asia. He was very much aware of the tactics the Lobby employed to silence anyone who questioned even mildly the biasness of the US position in the Israel-Palestine/ Arab conflict.

Findley himself was a victim of the Lobby’s vicious targeting. Because of his concern over the conflict he had visited the late Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, who was then regarded by the US government as a “terrorist.” That visit became cannon-fodder for the Israel Lobby to mount a massive campaign against Findley which was one of the main reasons for his defeat in the 1982 Congressional election.

Following his defeat, he wrote a couple of books about the power of the Lobby in US public life and how institutions and individuals were confronting the Lobby. They Dare to Speak Out had a bigger impact outside the US than within. His next book, Deliberate Deceptions, revealed the nexus between US and Israel forged through money, corporate links and personal relationships. Findley was now perceived by the US Establishment as a staunch opponent of Israeli power over the US.

His explorations into Israeli and Zionist power in the US invariably compelled him to look into how that power determined public perceptions of Islam and Muslims in general. His tentative perspective on the issue received a boost when he was invited to participate in a workshop in Penang, Malaysia on perceptions of Islam and Muslims in the Western media organised by JUST in October 1995. That workshop, as Findley had observed many times since changed his outlook on not only Islam but also the West’s relationship with a civilization which often invoked negative sentiments especially among the ‘educated.’ He began to realise that the roots of the antagonism towards the religion and its followers were deeply embedded in the West’s history and entangled with the crusades and colonialism  and post-colonial structures of global power and dominance.

On his return he produced a Friendly Note on his Muslim Neighbour which was widely circulated and later authored a book entitled Silent No More that sought to demolish America’s false images of Islam and Muslims. The book sold 60,000 copies.

As Findley’s mission to combat ignorance about, and prejudice against, another civilisation was beginning to make some progress, it suffered a severe setback through two major events at the start of the new century. Both the destruction of the twin towers in New York on the 11th of September 2001 — the infamous 9-11 incident — which was the rationale for the US helmed ‘War on Terror’ and the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq in March 2003 made bridge-building between Christians and Muslims a monumental challenge. Nonetheless, Findley persevered. He continued to lend support to the work of the Council on American—Islamic Relations (CAIR) and other such causes.

His last correspondence with me was in January 2016. He had written an article for the JUST Commentary January 20, 2016 entitled, “Truth Seeking About Islam.”  He lamented that his eye-sight was failing — though his spirit was still high.

Findley was a man of extraordinary courage. The positions he adopted on Israeli power or on Palestinian rights or on justice for Muslims in the US incurred the wrath of many. He was often isolated and marginalised. But he never abandoned his principles.

The tenacity with which he adhered to them was what made him a man of integrity and dignity. He knew the price would be heavy.  But it was a price he was prepared to pay.

It is this — his moral conduct in the face of adversity — that will be his lasting legacy.

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Dr. Chandra Muzaffar is the President of the International Movement for a Just World (JUST), Malaysia. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

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