نتنياهو في جزيرة العرب

الجزيرة العربية

فؤاد إبراهيم

الثلاثاء 24 تشرين الثاني 2020

نتنياهو في جزيرة العرب
تتشكّل خريطة جيوسياسية جديدة وتعيد رسم المشهد الشرق الأوسطي (أ ف ب )

كتب الأمير تركي الفيصل، رئيس الاستخبارات العامة السعودية سابقاً والسفير السعودي السابق في لندن وواشنطن، رسالة في 7 تموز/ يوليو 2014، موجّهة إلى “مؤتمر إسرائيل للسلام” في تل أبيب، جاء فيها: “تخيّلوا أني أستطيع ركوب الطائرة من الرياض وأطير مباشرة إلى القدس.. يا لها من لذة ألّا أدعو الفلسطينيين فقط، بل الإسرائيليين الذين سألقاهم أيضاً، ليأتوا لزيارتي في الرياض، حيث يستطيعون التجوّل في بيت آبائي في الدرعية التي تشبه معاناتها التي نالتها من قهر إبراهيم باشا معاناة القدس على يد نبوخذ نصر والرومان”.

لم تكن تلك من تنبّؤات نوستراداموس، بل هو قرار مضمر منذ عقود، وضعه بن غوريون، أحد مؤسّسي الكيان، نصب أهدافه قائلاً: “إن المصالحة التاريخية بين اليهود والعرب لن تتمّ إلا على يد آل سعود”. في المقابل، آمن الملوك السعوديون بأن شرط وجود كيانهم واستقراره ليس في تعزيز ثقة الشعب، وإنما في بناء تحالف مع الدولة العبرية برعاية أميركية.

زيارة رئيس الوزراء الإسرائيلي، بنيامين نتنياهو، لجدّة، ومدينة “نيوم” السياحية على وجه التحديد، يوم الأحد الماضي، ولقاؤه ولي العهد السعودي، محمد بن سلمان، سوف تبقى شأناً إعلامياً إسرائيلياً لبعض الوقت، قبل أن تتلقّفه وسائل الإعلام الغربية والأميركية، مع تمنّع سعودي خجول قبل أن يصبح واقعاً، ويتولّى الإعلام السعودي نفسه الدفاع عنه والتطبيل له. وهكذا هي قصة التطبيع السعودي ــــ الإسرائيلي، يبدأ بتسريب خبر في الإعلام العبري، ثمّ يكتسب صدقية بنسبة الخبر إلى مسؤول إسرائيلي يكشف عن هويته لاحقاً، ثم ينتشر فيصبح واقعاً لا يقاوَم.
ما يلفت في خبر الزيارة ليس أصل حصولها، بل ردّ الفعل عليها؛ إذ إنها كانت واردة على الدوام، في ظلّ التسريبات المتلاحقة منذ شهور حول قرب توقيع “اتفاقية سلام” بين الرياض وتل أبيب، والمصمّمة لغرض تأهيل الأجواء لبلوغ التطبيع حيّز الإعلان. السؤال هنا: هل الهرولة السعودية نحو التطبيع تأتي وفق حسابات محلية، كما هي الحال بالنسبة إلى نتنياهو المأزوم داخلياً، أم هي مؤسَّسة على حسابات وطنية وقومية ودينية؟ الجواب كلا، ببساطة لأن شعب الجزيرة العربية في غالبيته الساحقة لا يتمنى اليوم الذي تطأ فيه أقدام الصهاينة جزيرة العرب.

اضطلاع الرياض بدور الموجّه الخفيّ لمسيرة التطبيع في صيغتها الأخيرة، كما ظهرت في تدشين علاقات طبيعية بين الكيان الإسرائيلي وكلّ من الإمارات والبحرين والسودان، ليس منفصلاً عن أدوار سابقة طبعت مسيرة تطبيع تعود إلى عام 1981، حين تَقدّم وليّ العهد حينذاك، فهد بن عبد العزيز، الملك لاحقاً، بأوّل “مبادرة سلام” تتضمّن، من بين بنودها الثمانية، اعترافاً جماعياً بالكيان الإسرائيلي. أريد للمبادرة حينذاك أن تكون “مشروعاً عربياً”، كما أراده فهد في قمّة فاس، ولكن اعتراض عدد من الأنظمة العربية إلى جانب قيادة “منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية”، أفضى إلى سحب المشروع من التداول، وأسبغ عليه صفة “المشروع السعودي”.

نحن أمام معادلة جديدة ربح فيها الإسرائيلي المعركة، وأَخرج السعودية من سوق المزيدات


أثارت المبادرة السعودية أسئلة مشروعة عن الدوافع والغايات، بالنظر إلى قرب عهد العرب بصدمة توقيع الرئيس المصري الأسبق، أنور السادات، اتفاقية سلام مع الكيان الإسرائيلي. كانت الإجابة تَتطلّب قراءة مختلفة لسياق الوقائع الإقليمية والدولية. إذ إن المنطقة كانت تشهد حينذاك تحوّلاً كونياً على وقع الثورة الإسلامية الإيرانية وتداعياتها داخلياً (انتفاضة الحرم بقيادة جهيمان العتيبي في تشرين الثاني/ نوفمبر 1979، وانتفاضة المحرّم في المنطقة الشرقية في كانون الأول/ ديسمبر من العام نفسه)، وخليجياً (انتفاضة شعبية في البحرين في كانون الأول/ ديسمبر 1979، وتالياً محاولة قلب نظام الحكم في 1981)، إلى جانب التداعيات العربية والدولية. أدركت السعودية، في وقت مبكر، أن سقوط أحد العمودين المتساندين، أي إيران، يتطلّب إجراءً عاجلاً للحيلولة دون سقوط العمود الآخر. كما أدركت الرياض، حينذاك، أن الوصول إلى قلب البيت الأبيض يمرّ عبر تل أبيب، وهذا ما ظهر جليّاً في كلّ الأزمات التي واجهت الرياض على مدى أربعة عقود. في آذار/ مارس 2002، تقدّم ولي العهد، عبد الله بن عبد العزيز، الملك لاحقاً، بـ”مبادرة سلام” أخرى معدّلة، تضمن حق الكيان الإسرائيلي في الوجود، ولا تتمسّك بحق العودة كثابت غير قابل للنقاش.

كانت السعودية في أسوأ حالاتها، ولأول مرة يتمّ تصنيفها بـ”بؤرة الشر” من قِبَل الحليف الأميركي، على خلفية اتهامات لها بالضلوع في هجمات الحادي عشر من أيلول/ سبتمبر. مَثّلت المبادرة السعودية، التي أُعلن عنها في “قمة بيروت” محاولة لفكّ العزلة الدولية وتلميع صورة النظام السعودي، بصفته الراعي الرسمي لأيديولوجية الكراهية العابرة للقارات. لم تحظ المبادرة بتوافق رسمي عربي، على الرغم من الجهود الكثيفة التي بذلتها الرياض لسنوات طويلة، وتخلّلتها نشاطات تطبيعية، من بينها لقاءات الأمير تركي الفيصل، وعادل الجبير، السفير السعودي ووزير الخارجية سابقاً ووزير الدولة للشؤون الخارجية حالياً، مع مسؤولين إسرائيليين مثل تسيبي ليفني، وزيرة خارجية الكيان سابقاً، ورئيس الحكومة الإسرائيلية الأسبق إيهود باراك في تموز/ يوليو 2013 وآخرين، إضافة إلى مشاركات مكثّفة في ندوات أمنية وسياسية برعاية إسرائيلية، ولقاءات مع مسؤولين إسرائيليين في الخليج وفي عواصم أوروبية وأميركية.

تلزيم “صفقة القرن” لوليّ العهد، محمد بن سلمان، شرطُ تتويج. وقد أمضى الرجل عامَي 2018 و2019 من أجل إقناع الأردن والسلطة الفلسطينية على نحو الخصوص بمتطلّبات الصفقة، وعلى رأسها التخلّي عن القدس الشرقية وحق العودة. كان سقف المطلب السعودي، ومِن خلفه الأميركي والإسرائيلي، عالياً إلى القدر الذي مسّ بصميم السيادة الفلسطينية والشرعية الدينية والتاريخية للعائلة الهاشمية، ناهيك عن رفض كثير من الدول العربية مشروع سلام لا يقوم على حلّ الدولتين ولا تكون القدس الشرقية فيه عاصمة للدولة الفلسطينية.

في النتائج، لم يكن الخروج على المبادرة العربية بنسختها السعودية قراراً إماراتياً أو بحرانياً أو حتى سودانياً، بل كان قراراً سعودياً بالدرجة الأولى. سِجلّ التطبيع منذ مطلع الألفية حتى الآن كان يحمل البصمة السعودية، وقد تكفّلت الإمبراطورية الإعلامية التي يديرها الملك سلمان وأبناؤه والوليد بن طلال وخالد بن سلطان بمهمّة التطبيع النفسي والثقافي والإعلامي. لقد عبث الإعلام السعودي بسيكولوجية الرأي العام الخليجي، وإلى حدّ ما العربي، حتى باتت فكرة التطبيع وحضور المسؤول الإسرائيلي في المنتديات الخليجية بدرجة أساسية أمراً مألوفاً. وللقارئ تخيُّل ردود الفعل، إن وُجدت، على زيارة نتنياهو لبلاد الحرمين، ولقائه وليّ العهد السعودي في مكان لا يبعد سوى أقلّ من مئة كيلومتر عن مكة المكرمة.

لا فائدة مرجوّة من النفي السعودي أو من الصمت الرسمي الإسرائيلي، طالما أن ركب التطبيع يسير كما تَقرّر سعودياً وإسرائيلياً وأميركياً. فنحن أمام خريطة جيوسياسية جديدة تتشكّل وتعيد رسم المشهد الشرق الأوسطي، على وقع انقسامات في النظام الرسمي العربي، واختلال موازين قوى إقليمية ودولية.

خطورة زيارة نتنياهو ليست في الأجندة المباشرة المعلَن عنها، لأن في ذلك تبسيطاً للمستور من أصل العلاقة، بل وأصل الشراكة الاستراتيجية التي سوف تفرض نفسها في العلاقات البينية العربية والإقليمية والدولية. نحن أمام معادلة جديدة ربح فيها الإسرائيلي المعركة، وأَخرج السعودية، شريكه الاستراتيجي، من سوق المزيدات. إذ لم تعد فلسطين بالنسبة إلى الرياض قضية، فضلاً عن كونها القضية، بل باتت العبء الذي تريد الخلاص منه، وهذه المرّة تفعل ذلك بنحر “مبادرة السلام” التي تبنّتها سابقاً، على علّاتها.

زيارة نتنياهو لجزيرة العرب هي تدشين لتاريخ جديد، يضع شعب الجزيرة العربية أمام خيارين: إما القبول بأن يكتب نتنياهو وابن سلمان هذا التاريخ بحبر الخيانة، أو أن يكتبه الشعب بدم التحرير من عار يرتكبه آل سعود بحق شعب يأبى إلا أن يكون مع فلسطين بلا شروط.

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علّقت بجرأة على قرار السلطة

أسيل سليمان

الجمعة 20 نوفمبر 2020 | 09:20 صالضفة المحتلة – بوابة الهدف

تداول نشطاء عبر مواقع التواصل الاجتماعي، مساء أمس الخميس، مقطع فيديو يحتوي على مقدمة من إحدى المذيعات الفلسطينيات لبرنامجها الإذاعي، إذ عبَّرت خلاله عن نبض الشارع وغضبه العارم إزاء قرار السلطة الفلسطينية بعودة التنسيق الأمني والعلاقات الكاملة مع الكيان الصهيوني.

اذاعة راية حذفت هذا المقطع للصحافية اسيل سليمان الذي تحدثت فيه عن عودة التنسيق الامني وعن انتصار حسين الشيخ
الاذاعة قامت بحذف الحلقة من موقعها وصفحتها على الفيس بوك ، وقامت الاجهزة الامنية بتهديد الصحافية واهلها

مقطع قوي وكلمات نارية 👍…See More

وقالت المذيعة أسيل سليمان في مقدمة برنامجها (بانوراما راية) عبر أثير إذاعة راية بالضفة المحتلة بغضبٍ مفعمٍ بثورةٍ وشجاعة منقطعة النظير: “جعل الله هذا المساء جحيمًا على من باع وخان ونسق، ثم أعلن ذلك نصرًا، لم تجف دماء الشهيد الأسير كمال أبو وعر بعد، كيف تهادن مع من قتله؟، واصفةً قبول السلطة بتعهد “إسرائيل بالالتزام بالاتفاقيات” بأنه “سذاجة”، والبارحة، وفي خضم انشغال سيادتكم في الإعلان عن نصركم، أصيب الطفل بشار عليان برصاصة مطاطية في عينه، بعدما اقتحم جيش الاحتلال مخيم قلنديا، ذاته الجيش الذي وعد بالالتزام لك سيادة المناضل.. لقد فقد بشار عينه، ومع ذلك يمتلك من البصيرة ما لا تمتلك.. مات أمل دنقل ولكنه قال: لا تصالح ولو منحوك الذهب، تُرى حين أفقأ عينيك ثم أثبت مكانهما جوهرتين أترى؟ هي أشياء لا تُشترى”

فور ذلك انتشرت مجموعة من الأخبار التي تُفيد بأنّ المذيعة أسيل وردًا على ما قالته من كلماتٍ هاجمت فيها أفعال السلطة على حساب الحقوق الوطنية، أنّها فُصلت من عملها في الإذاعة، أو جرى توقيفها عن العمل، بل تقوم أسلطة وأجهزة مخابراتها بالضغط عليها وتهدد عائلتها بإغلاق الشركة الخاصة بوالدها.

رواد مواقع التواصل الاجتماعي هبّوا سريعًا لنصرة إسراء، إذ دُشن على مواقع التواصل الاجتماعي عدّة وسوم كان منها “كلنا أسيل”، و”صوتك ثورة” و”أسيل سليمان تمثلني”.

في حين، قامت صفحة “الحج مش هيك” بنشر عديد التغريدات التي تُناصر وتدعو لمناصرة المذيعة الفلسطينية أسيل التي ناصرت المظلومين من أبناء شعبها في ظل هذه الأفعال المخزية للسلطة الفلسطينية والتي وصفها أزلامها بأنّها “انتصار كبير”، ما قوبل بسخريةٍ كبيرة بين النشطاء على مواقع التواصل، مُؤكّدين رفضهم عودة السلطة للتنسيق مع الاحتلال الصهيوني.

هل فُصلت أسيل من عملها؟

كشفت الإعلامية أسيل سليمان، عن حقيقة الأنباء المتداولة على وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي حول إقالتها من عملها في إذاعة راية أف أم التي تبث من الضفة الغربية؛ بسبب مقدمة برنامجها الأخيرة، إذ قالت أسيل في رسالة لها نشرها مديرها في إذاعة راية شادي زماعرة: “مساء الخير ويعطيكم العافية، أود أن أوضح أنني لم أتعرّض لأي نوع من التهديد بالإقالة بخصوص مقدمة برنامجي، ولم يتم استدعائي للتحقيق من قبل أي جهاز، ولا حتى مخاطبتي بشكل مباشر، وسأكون على رأس عملي يوم السبت المقبل بشكلٍ اعتيادي

يُشار إلى أنّ حسين الشيخ، أعلن يوم الثلاثاء الماضي عن “عودة العلاقات مع الاحتلال الإسرائيلي كما كانت”، واصفًا ذلك بالانتصار الكبير “للرئيس عباس”.

وكتب الشيخ عبر صفحته في موقع “توتير”، إنّه “على ضوء الاتصالات التي قام بها الرئيس بشأن التزام إسرائيل بالاتفاقيات الموقعة معنا، واستنادًا إلى ما وردنا من رسائل رسمية مكتوبه وشفوية بما يؤكد التزام إسرائيل بذلك، وعليه سيعود مسار العلاقة مع إسرائيل كما كان”، في حين قوبل هذا الأمر برفضٍ فلسطيني شعبي وفصائلي واسع.

ظهر أمس الخميس، عبَّرت الفصائل الوطنية الفلسطينيّة في قطاع غزّة، عن رفضها القاطع لقرار السلطة الفلسطينية في رام الله بالعودة إلى العلاقة الكاملة مع الاحتلال الصهيوني واستئناف التنسيق الأمني.

فهرس.jpg

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

الميادين نت

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trump’s Middle East triumphs will soon turn to disaster

David Hearst

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

Trump’s Middle East triumphs will soon turn to disaster

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The grand deception

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wicked witch

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

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

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

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

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

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

Changing the map 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Going for broke

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

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

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

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

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

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

An important lesson

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

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

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

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

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

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

The lesson for Palestine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recognising Israel does not work. Nor does talking. 

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

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

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

Related

Saudi FM Calls for Israeli-Palestinian ‘Peace’ Talks

October 16, 2020

Saudi FM Calls for Israeli-Palestinian 'Peace' Talks – Al-Manar TV Lebanon

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said the main focus of the so-called Middle East peace efforts should be to bring Israel and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table.

The remarks were made on Thursday as the top Saudi diplomat as asked to comment on a suggestion that the Israeli-Saudi normalization is unlikely any time soon.

“We welcome the recent efforts to bring the parties together towards a comprehensive peace plan because an important step for a secure… Middle East remains a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. All other things will follow from that,” bin Farhan said in a virtual appearance at a US think tank.

“I believe that the focus now needs to be on getting the Palestinians and the Israelis back to the negotiating table. In the end, the only thing that can deliver lasting peace and lasting stability is an agreement between the Palestinians and the Israelis. If we don’t manage to achieve that, we will continue to have that festering wound in the region,” the Saudi foreign minister told the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

“We always envisioned that normalization would happen but we also need to have a Palestinian state and we need to have a Palestinian-Israeli peace plan,” he added.

Source: Israeli media


The Zionist enemy government undermines the traitors ’agreement by approving the building of more than two thousand settlement units

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As Long as Hezbollah Exists, ‘Israel’ Can Never Reach ‘Peace’ with Lebanon: Zionist Circles نتنياهو: لا سلام مع لبنان طالما حزب الله مسيطر

As Long as Hezbollah Exists, ‘Israel’ Can Never Reach ‘Peace’ with Lebanon: Zionist Circles

October 15, 2020

As Long as Hezbollah Exists, 'Israel' Can Never Reach 'Peace' with Lebanon: Zionist  Circles – Al-Manar TV Lebanon

The Zionist prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed Thursday that the border demarcation talks between ‘Israel’ and Lebanon will never tackle any ‘peace’ deal as long as the latter remains under the control of Hezbollah.

Speaking at the Knesset vote to ratify the normalization deal with the United Arab Emirates, Netanyah called on the Lebanese government to continue with and conclude talks with ‘Israel’ regarding the borders.

On Wednesday, October 14, indirect UN-sponsored negotiations between Lebanon and the Zionist entity to demarcate the borders started as Lebanon firmly rejected any attempt to turn the talks into mulling a deal to normalize deals between the two sides.

Zionist circles stressed that the negotiations are restricted to the maritime border negotiations, adding that Hezbollah will not allow expanding the talks to include more issues.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi highlighted the importance of holding military drills that simulate a direct confrontation with Hezbollah despite all the coronavirus-related risks.

Kochavi’s remarks came in response to a threat made by one of Hezbollah military officers who vowed to storm the Zionist settlements and barracks in the upcoming war with the Israeli enemy.

In the context of Al-Manar TV’s episodic documentary, Second Liberation Secrets, which highlights the military victories achieved by Hezbollah during its fight against the terrorist groups in Syria, one of the Resistance officers threatened to defeat the Israelis in a way similar to that inflicted by the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (P) in the Battle of Khaybar.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

نتنياهو: لا سلام مع لبنان طالما حزب الله مسيطر

يحيى دبوق

الجمعة 16 تشرين الأول 2020

نتنياهو:  لا سلام مع لبنان طالما  حزب الله مسيطر

ما لم يرد في البيانات الرسمية الإسرائيلية، حتى الأمس، حول أهم أهداف المفاوضات من جانب تل أبيب على ترسيم الحدود البحرية مع لبنان، ورد أمس على لسان رئيس حكومة العدو، بنيامين نتنياهو: إمكان إضعاف حزب الله نتيجة التفاوض، وإنْ لاحقاً.

إذاً، المفاوضات هي جزء من الحرب الإسرائيلية الأشمل في مواجهة حزب الله، إضافة إلى ما يمكن أن تجبيه «إسرائيل» من فائدة اقتصادية. في تشخيص نتنياهو، وهو رأس الهرم السياسي في تل أبيب والمعنيّ الأول بأهدافها ومقاصدها، إقرار بأن أي محاولة لفرض الإرادة السياسية والأمنية والاقتصادية على لبنان، غير ممكنة طالما أن حزب الله يحتفظ بقوته وحضوره وردعه، وهو أهم دلالات موقف نتنياهو، كما صدر عنه أمس.
من على منبر الكنيست، وفي مقدمة للمصادقة على «اتفاق السلام» مع الحلفاء الجدد في الإمارات، قال نتنياهو: «طالما استمر حزب الله في السيطرة على لبنان، فلن يكون هناك سلام مع هذا البلد. إلا أننا بدأنا مفاوضات على الحدود البحرية، وأدعو الحكومة اللبنانية إلى الاستمرار فيها حتى استكمالها، وقد يكون ذلك بمثابة خطوة أولى ليوم آخر مقبل في المستقبل، يتحقق فيه سلام حقيقي». أما بشأن «السلام الحقيقي» مع لبنان وغيره، فشدّد نتنياهو على المعادلة الإسرائيلية: «لطالما اعتقدت أن السلام الحقيقي سيتحقق من خلال القوة، وليس الضعف».

مما انتهت إليه عبارة نتنياهو، يجب أن تبدأ معاينة اللبنانيين لمجمل الموقف الصادر عنه، سواء ما يتعلق بالمفاوضات الحالية حول ترسيم الحدود البحرية، أم تجاه الملفات العالقة بين الجانبين: السلام الحقيقي هو نتيجة للقوة الإسرائيلية. وهي عبارة ملطّفة للإشارة إلى القدرة الإسرائيلية على الإملاء من موقع الاقتدار والسطوة، وإلى خضوع الطرف الآخر نتيجة ضعفه. وهذه المعادلة لا تتحقق لـ«إسرائيل» في مواجهة الدولة اللبنانية، وهذا هو جوهر حديثه، طالما أن لديها عنصر قوة قادراً على مواجهة الإملاء ومنعه: حزب الله بوصفه مقاومة مسلحة قادرٌ على الإيذاء وبالتبعية على الردع.

مع ذلك، قد يكون لبنان الرسمي استجاب من حيث يدرك أو لا يدرك، لأولى الخطوات المطلوبة للوصول إلى الخطوة التي أشار إليها نتنياهو أمس، ونتيجتها ما قال بأنه السلام الحقيقي بين الجانبين: الاستجابة للتفاوض غير المباشر / المباشر، مع تضمين الوفد شخصيات مدنية دون مسوغ أو ضرورات، إلا إن كنا نلبي إملاءات ما، أو نتيجة فهم خاطئ ومغلوط لأبسط قواعد التفاوض التقني غير المباشر، مع العدو. وهذا «الخطأ» هو الذي مكّن «إسرائيل» (يديعوت أحرونوت) من الحديث عن «مفاوضات مدنية – سياسية تجري بين لبنان وإسرائيل».

في تصريح نتنياهو قلب حقائق وتموضعات ثابتة منذ نشأة الكيان الإسرائيلي. باتت مقاومة الاحتلال هي المدانة وهي التي تعرقل «السلام الحقيقي»، مقابل تحويل الاحتلال نفسه إلى كيان سوي، رغم كينونته القائمة على الاعتداء. ومنطق تل أبيب هنا بات مستساغاً لدى البعض، ممن يتطلعون إلى هذا «السلام الحقيقي» مع «إسرائيل»، وإن كانوا هم حسب وصف نتنياهو، يتطلعون إليه من موقف الضعف والجهوزية لتلقي الإملاء من تل أبيب، صاحبة السطوة والقوة.

واحدة من الدلالات الواردة في تصريح نتنياهو، هي الحفر أكثر في الوعي الجمعي للرأي العام، بما يرتبط بادّعاء سيطرة حزب الله على لبنان، رغم أن هذا الحديث بات ممجوجاً. أما ما يمكن الوقوف عنده طويلاً، فهو القول إن حزب الله هو المعرقل الوحيد لـ«السلام الحقيقي» مع إسرائيل. ولهذا الحديث وجهان: وجه صحيح، وهو أن حزب الله يمنع الإملاء الإسرائيلي عن لبنان وفقاً لمعادلة نتنياهو عن السلام الحقيقي، الذي يريده فقط مبنياً على ضعف الجانب اللبناني؛ أما الوجه الآخر ففيه إدانة واتهام، بأن اللبنانيين بأحزابهم ومؤسساتهم ومجتمعهم المدني وجمهورهم العريض يتلهّفون لـ«السلام» مع «إسرائيل»، وأن ما يمنع ذلك هو سيطرة حزب الله؟ السؤال برسم القوى السياسية في لبنان، التي عليها هي الرد على العدو، عدا تلك التي لا تُخفي، بطبيعة الحال، تطلعها إلى «الشراكة» مع العدو.

في سياق التفاوض الذي يراد له أن يخدم تموضع «إسرائيل» المواجه لحزب الله في موازاة الفائدة الاقتصادية، ذكرت صحيفة «يديعوت أحرونوت» أمس، أنه إلى جانب البعد الاقتصادي للمفاوضات، ثمّة ثلاثة أبعاد أمنية: على الساحل حيث يوجد موقعان متقدمان جداً لـ«إسرائيل» ولبنان؛ وبعد آخر يتركز داخل المياه الإقليمية، وأين تفرض «إسرائيل» منطقتها الأمنية؛ أما البعد الثالث فيأتي نتيجة التوصل إلى اتفاق على المياه الاقتصادية، الأمر الذي يثير تحديات أمنية لأن «إسرائيل» ستضطر إلى الاستعداد والجهوزية لمواجهة سيناريوات وفرضيات «تخريبية» ضد منشآتها للتنقيب في المنطقة.

الحريريّة السياسيّة نحو نموذج جديد؟

د. وفيق إبراهيم

رئيس الحكومة السابق سعد الحريري في حركة سياسية جديدة، وضاغطة يستأنف فيها نشاطه السياسيّ الأوليّ بعد سبات له أسبابه الخارجية، يريد العودة إلى رئاسة الحكومة على متن سياسات فرنسية خارجية تمهد له تأييد التغطيات الخارجية للبنان المتجسدة في الأميركيين والإيرانيين وآل سعود.

هذا يضع مستقبل المعادلة التي بناها والده رفيق الحريري في إطار معادلة جديدة تتأسس على نمط جديد من العمل في المعادلة السياسية اللبنانية.

فرفيق الحريري استثمر منذ بداية مشروعه في معادلة ثلاثية سعودية أميركية وسورية أصبحت إيرانية بعد انسحاب الجيش السوري من لبنان في 2005 وكان يريد الإمساك بكامل لبنان السياسي من خلال تطويع القادة السياسيين للطوائف ومرجعياتهم الدينية.

هذا يؤكد انه كان يعمل على إلحاق كامل لبنان في إطار حريرية سياسية مدعومة دولياً وإقليمياً.

هذا لا ينفي نجاح رفيق الحريري في كسب الجمهور الأكبر في الطائفة السنية بل معظمها، لكنه لم يذهب ناحية التحريض المذهبي او الطائفي بل للتأكيد على مرجعيته الداخلية انطلاقاً من طرابلس وبيروت، وذلك لمنع أي اختراقات سنيّة قد تعرقل أدواره اللبنانية.

لذلك حاول المرحوم رفيق الحريري الاستفادة من المشروع الأميركي الذي بدأ بالحركة منذ 1990 بعد عام فقط على انهيار الاتحاد السوفياتي، معتبراً أن المنطقة ذاهبة نحو سلام مع «اسرائيل»، فراهن عليها معتقداً بإمكانية أداء دور سياسي كبير في الداخل السوري.

يتضح أن مشروع الرئيس السابق رفيق الحريري ذهب نحو الإمساك بكامل الطوائف مراهناً على ولاءاتها الغربية من جهة وانتهاء أدوار حزب الله من جهة ثانية، وارتباط زعاماتها بتمويل أحزابهم من الوظائف في الادارات والمال العام من جهة ثالثة.

هذه مداميك مرحلة الحريري الأب فماذا عن معادلة نجله سعد؟

الاختلاف كبير لسببين مركزيين: التبدل الذي حدث في المشهد الإقليمي شاملاً موازنات القوى فيه وصعود أدوار حزب الله وتحالفاته في الداخل اللبناني، وما كان ممكناً في زمن «الرفيق» أصبح متعذراً في مرحلة ابنه او المنتمين اليه سياسياً مثل السنيورة وسلام والميقاتي.

إقليمياً تعرض المشروع الاقليمي الاميركي لإخفاقات بنيوية في اليمن وسورية والعراق، ومنيت «اسرائيل» بهزيمتين بين الألفين وألفين وستة وسقط المشروع الإرهابي بالقضاء على دولة خلافة كادت أن تتحقق على اراضٍ سورية وعراقية.

ما استتبع صعوداً اضافياً لحزب الله باعتباره جزءاً اساسياً من المنتصرين عسكرياً.

هذا هو الفارق بين الشيخ رفيق الذي أتى الى لبنان بمشروع اميركي مقبل على المنطقة وبين الشيخ سعد الذي يحاول إعادة «قولبة» مشروع ابيه و»دوزنته» ليتلاءم مع الموازنات الجديدة، وعصر الانسحاب الاميركي القريب من الشرق الاوسط.

لذلك فهو مضطر لهذه الهندسة الجديدة على أساس أن الدور السعودي الكبير يتراجع بسرعة.

الأمر الذي اضطره لاستعمال الدور الفرنسي الطموح وقدرته على إعادة كسب السياسة السعوديّة الى جانبه.

داخلياً يعرف الشيخ سعد أن مشروع أبيه بالسيطرة على كامل طوائف لبنان من خلال الإمساك بالكاردينال صفير ووليد جنبلاط والعلاقات العميقة مع الرئيس بري. هذه مرحلة انتهت لمصلحة تأسيس دفاعات خاصة بكل مذهب، وله رئيسه ومعادلته الحزبية او السياسية بما يؤكد أن على الشيخ سعد العودة بقوة الى الملاذ السنيّ والسيطرة عليه. فبذلك يستطيع الإمساك الدائم برئاسة الحكومة عبر وسيلتين: سيطرته على المركز الأوسع والأكبر في السنية السياسية في لبنان وإقرار مبدأ عرفي يقضي بتسلم القوى السياسية الأكبر في كل مذهب للمواقع الدستورية الخاصة بها في رئاسات الجمهورية والنواب والحكومة.

لإنجاح هذه الطريقة، المطلوب من الشيخ سعد العودة الى اسلوب التحشيد المذهبي بالتحريض السياسي على قيادات من مذاهب وطوائف اخرى، والعودة الى أسلوب توزيع المكرمات والنجدات عند الأزمات. وهذا ما يجري تطبيقه حالياً من قبل الشيخ سعد ومعظم قيادات الطوائف والمذاهب اللبنانية الأخرى ومن دون استثناء.

يتضح أن الحريرية السياسية انتقلت نهائياً من معادلة كانت تعمل على الإمساك بكامل لبنان السياسي الطوائفي الى مستوى التموضع في إطار مذهبها السنيّ واستخدامه لتحقيق مكانة تقليديّة على غرار صائب سلام وتقي الدين الصلح وأمين الحافظ وآخرين.

هذا هو سعد الحريري الجديد بجولته على رؤساء البلاد وقادة الأحزاب بمواكبة العودة الى تجميع قادة الأحياء والعائلات في صيدا وبيروت وطرابلس وعكار والبقاع الغربي وإقليم الخروب.

لذلك فإن زمن سعد الحريري هو مثابة مدد لنظام طائفيّ كان منهكاً وعلى وشك الانهيار، فتأتي المرحلة الجديدة لإعادة نصب الحواجز المذهبيّة بما يوفر دعماً كبيراً لنظام 1948 و1990 – 2020 وتمديد عمر سياسيّ لطائفية يعمل كامل الوسط السياسي الحالي على تعميقها في المجتمع اللبناني لتحقيق مصالحهم وسياساتهم.

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The House of Saud Struggles to Normalize Ties with “Israel” As It Sinks in the Yemeni Swamp

The House of Saud Struggles to Normalize Ties with “Israel” As It Sinks in the Yemeni Swamp

By Staff

The father and son relationship between Saudi King Salman and his son the Crown Prince – Mohammed bin Salman [MBS] – is at crossroads regarding the methods in which normalization with the apartheid “Israeli” entity would occur; though the sand kingdom is over its head regarding the consequences of the brutal war it waged on Yemen.

MBS is interested in a normalization with the entity, while King Salman likes the so-called “Arab Peace Initiative”, but the war in Yemen and threats to the Crown Prince at home are keeping them busy.

In a rare speech this week, Salman said Saudi Arabia still adheres to the so-called “Arab Peace Initiative”, which conditions normalization on an “Israeli” withdrawal to the 1967 lines and the establishment of a Palestinian state. But MBS wants to speed up normalization as part of his strategic and, above all, economic vision.

In his speech, King Salman focused on regional affairs: Iran and the “Israeli”-Palestinian so-called “peace” process – though he never mentioned the “Israeli’ entity’s normalization with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Was he trying to prove that he’s still in control of his kingdom and that he still sets foreign policy? Is this an intergenerational dispute, pitting the son’s project against the father’s traditional attitudes?

Saudi Arabia’s decision-making processes are enigmatic, as are relationships among members of the royal family and the kingdom’s domestic and foreign-policy considerations.

Yet, Saudi-“Israeli” normalization – which Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser announced will be happening very soon – seemed to be delayed.

Moreover, it’s not clear whether the delay is a matter of principle – that is, until a Palestinian state arises, or at least until “Israeli”-Palestinian negotiations resume – as King Salman said, or only a temporary one, until MBS manages to persuade him.

The difference in the two royals’ positions also raises another question. Saudi Arabia has provided an umbrella for the latest “peace” deals. Not only did it not condemn them, it praised the UAE and Bahrain for taking this step, which was coordinated with MBS, and opened its airspace to flights to and from the “Israeli” entity.

Not to mention, the public opinion in Saudi Arabia for a historic turnabout in the sand kingdom’s relationship with the “Israeli” entity is being paved.

Though, one issue stays unresolved.

It’s clear that Riyadh need to make peace with Washington, either before or as part of a deal with the “Israeli” entity. The main dispute between them is the war in Yemen, which began after King Salman was crowned in 2015.

In this war, the Saudi and UAE armies have treated Yemen’s civilian population brutally and used American weapons to do so. More than 125,000 people have been martyred, including 14,000 who were killed in deliberate attacks on civilian targets.

Hence, the Saudis’ aggression on Yemen has reappeared on the Washington agenda due to a partially classified report on US involvement in the conflict written by the State Department’s inspector general. The document’s unclassified sections, which were reported in the American media, reveal the magnitude of war crimes by Saudi and Emirati forces and their mercenaries, to the point that the US faces a risk of prosecution at the International Criminal Court.

Oona Hathaway, a former Department of Defense lawyer and now a Yale professor, told The New York Times: “If I were in the State Department, I would be freaking out about my potential for liability. I think anyone who’s involved in this program should get themselves a lawyer.”

Public and international pressure led Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, to freeze an arms deal with Riyadh in 2016 as a way of pressuring the Saudis to change their tactics in Yemen. One year later, Trump reversed that decision and opened the floodgates of US arms sales to the Saudis.

To Trump, Saudi Arabia, he said, has “nothing but cash,” which it uses to buy American services, protection and other goods. Regarding the slaughter of civilians in Yemen, he said the Saudis “don’t know how to use” American weapons.

Congress didn’t believe Trump’s explanations, and in April 2019, it passed a bipartisan resolution calling for an end to US military involvement in Yemen. Trump vetoed the resolution and circumvented the ban on arms sales to Riyadh by declaring a state of emergency over Iran, which allowed him to continue complying with Saudi requests.

The US government did budget $750 million to train Saudi soldiers and pilots on fighting in populated areas, with the goal of reducing harm to civilians. It also gave the Saudis a list of 33,000 targets they shouldn’t strike. But the Saudis don’t seem to have been overly impressed, and violations continue to this day.

Unlike Saudi Arabia, the UAE understood the dangers of its involvement in the war in Yemen and withdrew its forces, overcoming the ban on selling it F-35 fighter jets and other arms. It then overcame the “Israeli” obstacle by signing this month’s so-called “peace” deal.

MBS, who started the war in Yemen along with his father, is still wallowing in the Yemeni swamp that has complicated his relationship with the US. And that’s on top of his resounding failures in managing the Kingdom’s foreign policy, like forcing then-Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to resign, imposing a blockade on Qatar, waging an unsuccessful oil war with Russia that sent prices plummeting and abandoning the Palestinian issue.

Domestic issues haven’t gone that well for MBS either. His Vision 2030 is stumbling. The Kingdom’s treasury has had problems funding megalomaniac projects like his city of the future, which is supposed to involve three countries (Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan), diversify Saudi Arabia’s sources of income and reduce its dependence on oil. So far, it remains on paper.

He did boast an impressive achievement in the war on corruption when he detained dozens of billionaires at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and shook them down, but this was more about squeezing his political rivals’ windpipes than fighting corruption.

Accordingly, MBS can only envy his friend, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed [MBZ], the UAE’s de facto ruler who extricated his country from the war in Yemen and became Washington’s darling – not only because he normalized ties with the “Israeli” entity. And above all, he isn’t surrounded by hostile relatives.

So the question arises: Did all this happen in defiance of Salman’s wishes?

MBS who according to US intelligence didn’t hesitate to put his own mother under house arrest and keep her away from his father for fear she would work against him – may also prove to be someone who doesn’t see obeying his parents as a cardinal virtue. King Salman may be able to give speeches in support of the Palestinians, but his son, as defense minister, has the power to stage a coup against his father if he thinks this will serve him or his agenda, which might yet include normalizing ties with “Israeli” entity.

Why the Middle East “peace agreements” will fail to achieve their purpose

Why the Middle East “peace agreements” will fail to achieve their purpose

September 25, 2020

By Aram Mirzaei for the Saker blog

This week, a third Arab country has reportedly agreed to submit to Washington’s pressure to normalize relations with the Zionist state. This was very much expected and I’m sure it didn’t catch most observers by surprise. In the end, I expect most of the shameful Arab League to submit since it is known that most of them have had secret dealings with the Zionist state since many years, if not decades ago. So why come out of the closet now? What is the purpose of these “peace agreements?”

Personal I find it rather humorous that they are calling these deals “peace agreements” since peace agreements are signed by countries who have been at war, not long-standing allies who have never fired a single bullet towards each other. But the purpose of these deals are unfortunately not to make us laugh, but to intimidate.

Washington has realized that it cannot remain in the Middle East for ever. This is not because the Islamic Republic of Iran has vowed to expel them, but because reality has finally caught up to them. They are hated in this region, every act of terror that they commit against the people of this region, be it through sanctions or bombs- will attract more support for the Resistance Axis, the only force that truly fights them in the Middle East.

Moreover, their own people have grown tired of these constant wars and acts of terror overseas, and with a 22 trillion dollar debt, their economy is no longer what it used to be. On top of that, they’ve been humiliated by their own allies on the world stage, who refuse to re-impose sanctions and embargoes on the Islamic Republic – despite the constant threats issued by the likes of Mike Pompeo.

Taking a step back from its traditional role of lead terrorizer of the world is also an outspoken foreign policy issue for US President Donald Trump. Trump has on many occasions made it clear that he considers many of Washington’s allies to be “free-riding” on Washington’s “generosity”. He has repeatedly told his NATO allies that they “must pay” for Washington’s supposed protection. The same has been said about Washington’s Persian Gulf vassals. I know some people would say these statements by Trump are just excuses to redeploy US troops closer to Russia and China, but if we play with the idea that Trump perhaps isn’t the 5-dimensional chess player that some believe him to be, I would say this:

Trump has been an outspoken critic of Washington’s role in the Middle East. He even admitted himself that Washington has killed “hundreds of thousands of people in the Middle East” and that “the single greatest mistake we ever made was to go to the Middle East”.

So this takes us back to the so called “peace agreements”. Both the timing and the way they were presented by the media gives us many clues as to what Washington’s intentions are. Western diplomats, think tanks and journalists have been quick to call the “peace agreements” a “nightmare for Iran” and a “a major geo-strategic shift in the region”. Brian Hook, the former US State Department’s lead official on Iran, said the “agreement amounted to a ‘nightmare’ for Iran in its efforts against Israel in the region.” But why? What is their reasoning?

At first glance, if one were to follow the Western narrative, it would seem that Washington’s allies have all united against the Islamic Republic and now stand to offer a collective deterrence against Iran. But anyone who has even the slightest knowledge of Middle Eastern politics would reach the same conclusions that were stated above – peace agreements are signed by countries who have been at war, not long-standing allies who have never fired a single bullet towards each other.

Of course the timing for President Trump is also perfect. A few months before the US elections, he presents his own version of the Camp David Accords, which resulted in the normalization of relations between Israel and Egypt in 1978. He will certainly portray this as a great political victory for him at home.

But what Washington is really doing is merely posturing. This is what they’ve been doing for over 4 decades against the Islamic Republic. For Washington this will be a great way to exit the region without being thrown out and without compromising Israel’s security. But they’re not kidding themselves, they know that nothing has changed and that this is just more of a PR stunt than it is a “diplomatic coup”. Let’s be honest, no country will ever fear Bahrain or the UAE, and Washington knows this. Collectively the Arab League’s military forces would offer little resistance in a regional war against the Resistance Axis. These are the same Arab League armies that cannot even defeat the Houthis in Yemen despite massive Western assistance. Not only are they extremely incompetent, as proven on multiple occasions in Yemen where the Saudi Air Force has bombed their own forces on the ground, but they are also cowards, again proven in Yemen where Saudi forces have been filmed abandoning their superior US-made vehicles and running away from the field of battle.

It would seem that Washington’s eventual withdrawal from the Middle East is to the detriment of Israel’s interests rather than to the benefit. Unless of course we forget that Israel possesses nuclear weapons and that it probably won’t be long before the US and Israel will arm Saudi Arabia with Nuclear Weapons to target Iran. But still, the secret dealings between Israel and “some Arab states” as Zionist Chieftain Benjamin Netanyahu said years ago, the not-so-secret Israeli Nuclear Weapons arsenal and the fact that Washington’s potential “taking a step back” policy does not really mean that it wouldn’t come to the aid of Israel in a matter of minutes, don’t really strike anyone in the region as “shocking news”.

So what have these “Peace Agreements” really shown us? Nothing really. We all knew this day would come eventually. They were cautious when they sent the UAE and Bahrain out of the closet first, dipping their toes into the water to see the reaction of the people in the region. Seeing how the Arab league and most other countries didn’t really react with outrage, they are now sending more countries to step out and admit their shameful alliance with Israel. Really, the only thing that the Gulf monarchies have achieved is to write their own names into the history books as the shameful allies of a terrorist state. We have yet to see [at the time of writing 2020-09-25] which country will be the “third Arab state” to sign the agreement with the Zionist state, but it matters not, camps were chosen long ago despite not having been declared officially by some countries.

My bets are on Morocco by the way.

Occupying Palestine Is Rotting ‘Israel’ From Inside. No Gulf ‘Peace’ Deal Can Hide That

Occupying Palestine Is Rotting ‘Israel’ From Inside. No Gulf ‘Peace’ Deal Can Hide That

By Raja Shehadeh – The Guardian

More than a quarter of a century after Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat shook hands on the White House lawn, ‘Israel’ has managed to turn its occupation of Palestinian territory from a burden into an asset. What was for so long a liability – the flagrant violation of international law – has now become a valued commodity. Understanding this development is key to explaining why the ‘Israelis’ are making ‘peace’ with two distant Gulf states but not their closest neighbors, the Palestinians – without whom there can be no real ‘peace.’

‘Israel’ has learned in recent years how to manage the occupation in perpetuity with minimal cost. But from the very beginning of the occupation in June 1967, ‘Israel’ has been unwilling to recognize the Palestinian nation or cede control of the Palestinian territory occupied in order to make ‘peace.’

The evidence to support this claim is easily found in ‘Israel’s’ own archives. Two days after the occupation began, ‘Israel’ passed military order number three, which referred to the fourth Geneva convention relative to the protection of civilian persons in time of war – mandating that military courts apply the provisions of the convention to their proceedings. Four months later, this portion of the order was deleted.

In September 1967, the legal counsel to the ‘Israeli’ foreign ministry, Theodor Meron, was asked by the prime minister, Levi Eshkol, whether building new settlements in the occupied territories would violate the Geneva convention, which prohibits an occupying power from transferring its civilians into the territory seized in war. He answered in the affirmative. But his advice was rejected and the government proceeded from that moment to establish illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Over the following months, ‘Israel’ began a process that would continue for many years: amending laws governing Palestinian land – from the periods of Ottoman, British mandate and Jordanian control of the territory – to construct a false “legal” basis for the acquisition of land and other natural resources for the establishment of Jewish settlements.

I spent much of my working life, from 1979 until 1993, investigating and resisting ‘Israel’s’ abuses of law in the occupied territories, and warning about the implications of building illegal settlements, all to no avail.

Yet it was not the legal transformations alone that enabled settlements to be built and to flourish. The militant Zionist thinker Vladimir Jabotinsky had written, in the 1920s, that “settlement[s] can … develop under the protection of a force that is not dependent on the local population behind an iron wall which they will be powerless to break down”. And so it was.

There was an added component to the transformation of the laws to enable the settlement project and that was sheer violence by settlers: vigilante actions that seemed to go against the law ‘Israel’ had put down and bound itself to. In the early 80s Al-Haq, a West Bank-based human rights organization that I was then directing, worked hard to document incidents of settler violence.

At the time we naively believed that if only ‘Israelis’ knew what was taking place and the failure of law enforcement to stop it, they would take action to prevent it. We were unaware that it was all part of the ‘Israeli’ struggle for the land. The agents of the orderly ‘state’ can stay within the boundaries of their rewritten laws while the unruly settlers do the work of intimidation and violence to achieve the desired goal. It is all part of the same scheme.

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, settler violence in the West Bank has become an almost daily occurrence. It is all out in the open and the government and the courts are on the same page in supporting the settlers and working to achieve the goal of greater ‘Israel.’ The Knesset has passed the regularization bill, which “legalizes” settlements built on privately owned Palestinian land via de facto expropriation.

While Jewish settler violence against the Palestinians rages – preventing Palestinians from working their land or using it as their own, with no real attempt by the ‘Israeli’ military or police to prevent this – ‘Israel’ declares any and all Palestinian resistance to occupation to be terrorism.

When Palestinians began to organize non-violent resistance to the occupation, ‘Israel’ redefined attacks by the army on these unarmed protesters to bring them under the category of “combat operations”. Recently, the villagers of Kafr Qaddum were staging weekly demonstrations against the blocking of a road, which prevented access to their village, because it was claimed that the road passes through a new part of the settlement of Kedumim. The army planted explosives on roads used by the villagers – but the soldiers who took this decision would be immune from prosecution for any injuries caused to the villagers.

With all these “victories” on ‘Israel’s’ part, it has now decided that it can manage the occupation rather than end it. The occupation even began to be seen as an asset. ‘Israel’ has turned the occupied territories into a laboratory for testing weapons and systems of surveillance. ‘Israelis’ now market their crowd control weapons and systems of homeland security to the US, based on testing in the occupied territories. Yet all this financial investment in the occupation – and all the twisting of domestic laws to protect the illegal settlement project, all the political contortions to cultivate authoritarian allies, from Trump to Orban to Bolsonaro – is rotting ‘Israel’ from the inside, turning it into an apartheid ‘state’ that rules over millions of Palestinians without rights.

In Arundhati Roy’s novel The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, one of her characters, Musa, says that if Kashmiris have failed to gain independence from India, at least in struggling for it they have exposed the corruption of India’s system. Musa tells the book’s narrator, an Indian: “You’re not destroying us. It’s yourselves that you are destroying.” Palestinians today might say the same of our struggle with ‘Israel.’

The hypothetical compromise: The end of 10 years of war in West Asia

Source

September 5, 2020 – 23:12

On my way back from the south to Beirut two months ago, Elea crossroad in Saida was closed. As I took the long [S] turn to be able to reach Beirut road again, I came across the Lebanese Army.

I stopped the car next to one of the officers and asked him: “What is going on? They are not more than 20 young men and women! How could they? Why don’t you send them back home? The officer said: “It is better to let them steam off!” He added: “It is the Turkish intelligence! They are sending millions of American dollars to start eruption and chaos in Lebanon.”

The Lebanese Army confirmed the information a while after the incident. On the 4th of July, Lebanese Interior Minister Mohammad Fahmi announced that four citizens, including two Syrians, were arrested as they were trying to smuggle $4 million. He said that the money was meant to finance “violent street movements”.

He added that instructions were given via WhatsApp to promote violence against the government.

The Turkish role in the Arab countries has been escalating since the war on Syria in 2011. It is not a secret anymore that tens of thousands of terrorist fighters entered Syria through Turkey and were protected by Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s regime. Unfortunately, the Arab region is not only facing a new Ottoman dream but also a new wave of colonialism led by the Americans and their puppets.  

In his speech on the 10th of Muharram, Ashura, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah several times repeated that Syria has won the war. Nasrallah’s description of Syria’s situation is shared with several observers, who perceive that Syria awaits the international political solution. Nonetheless, whether it is going to be a compromise, or it is going to coincide with Syrian political demands, we need to wait and see.

It is practical to understand the complications in West Asia. The region has been on a hot tin roof since the burst of the Arab eruptions in 2011.  The Americans titled the eruptions as “the Arab Spring” are now recognized as the “Arab Drought.” 

The area has been going through an endless chain of wars with terrorism and occupation forces, which exhausted it and awaiting compromises. Complicated and interrelated files, such as the war on Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Egypt, and Libya, need to be solved. However, there are two factors that delay the solution. The first is Turkey, which seems to have its own agenda. And the second is the so-called Deal of the Century. 

Today, the struggle has been fueled among the allies, who started the war on Libya, Syria, and Yemen. According to several resources, the powers that have led the wars are now accelerating the steps towards proper solutions. And each one of them is trying to save face and withdraw with minimum losses. 

Ten exhausting years have passed on West Asia (the Middle East). It witnessed the discovery of gas fields in the Eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea. Countries and their major companies are rushing to ensure shares in the new gas fields’ investments. Amongst them is Turkey, which is demanding a place in the eastern Mediterranean shores.

Accordingly, through the “Muslim Brotherhood” parties, Turkey has found a way to be part of the struggle in West Asia. It seems that Turkish President Erdogan is trying to undo the Ottoman’s defeat in the First World War. He is leading to constant wars against Arab countries. For most of the Arabs in the region, these wars are manipulating the Islamic world and leading to the destruction of their countries. It distorts the attention from the true enemy, which is “Israel,” and leads to the rise of Islamic “radicalism” and terrorism. 

Turkey has accelerated the struggle with Arab countries in Libya. Add to that, the current military exercises by Greece and Turkey over the rights of natural gas fields and the legal rights in the marine economic zones. The exercises have escalated EU awareness towards Turkish intentions. Subsequently, it led to further tension with the EU. 

The main force behind the current events in West Asia was the U.S. plan to create what they call” the New Middle East”. The plan was supposed to be applied by force in 2003, starting with the war on Iraq, but it failed. Combined regional forces resisted Iraq’s division, and the resistance was able to force the final withdrawal of the Americans in 2011. Ironically, in the same year, the Arab eruptions started in different Arab countries. 
Nonetheless, ten years of a brutal war on Syria revealed the following aims:

1-     The war mainly aimed to secure the safety of Israel. The Americans set in mind that controlling Syrian territories will eventually lead to controlling the flow of arms to Hezbollah.

2-     Controlling the gas and petrol pipes running through Syria to Turkey and Europe. By doing so, Iran, Russia, and eventually China fuel trade will be monitored and controlled.

3-     Changing the Arab regimes to pro-Turkish or Islamic Brotherhood’s governments and Saudi controlled ones to control the Arab decision in the Arab League and eventually dissolve it.

4-     Making way for the (Persian) Arab Gulf countries to sign peace treaties with Israel, this has already started with Abraham Accord.

5-     Giving Israel full control over gas and oil production and distribution through the Mediterranean Sea to Europe.

Not all of the goals set were achieved! The power of Turkey was controlled in Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan, and Libya. Furthermore, Europe now considers Turkey as a greater danger to the peace and security of West Asia, Northern Africa, and Greece. In addition, Europe was flooded by waves of migrants that crossed to the continent through Turkey, whom it used as a pressure card to manipulate Europe for greater benefits.

This has provoked different European countries that saw their interests were threatened, not only by Turkey but also by the United States. The latter has taken the world into economic chaos after the election of Donald Trump, who canceled all trade agreements and the nuclear agreement with Iran. Trump prohibited European trade with Iran and China and issued sanctions that disabled Europe.

Therefore, Iran’s successive diplomatic and legal victories at the UN Security Council in August were the first step towards a solution and a serious step towards peace in the region. They represent the first political triumph of the axis of resistance. The sequence of events is directing now towards another series of steps that should be perceived soon.

Soon the Syrian forces and its allies are heading towards implementing the Astana Accord by force. As soon as the Syrian Army is in control of Jesser al-Shogor and the Zawiah Mountain again, it will take control of the Syrian territories from Latakia to the Syrian-Iraqi borders, east of the Euphrates included.

Once the Syrian accomplishment is reached in Jesser al- Shogor, the Americans are not only leaving Iraq but Syria as well. In addition, the Iranians are leading now negotiations with Western powers through the German mediator concerning the nuclear agreements. However, an informed person revealed that the talks are including terms to end the American presence in Syria. This means that all foreign forces, including Turkish ones, are leaving, through force or voluntarily.

However, the Turks are negotiating with the Russians the possibility of keeping a couple of cities, but the Syrians refused it.

After the big blast in Beirut’s harbor on the 4th of August, the Turkish foreign minister offered to rebuild the harbor when he visited Beirut. This must-have provoked the French again. Erdogan’s new attempts to be involved in Lebanese affairs has raised doubts over his intentions for the European Union [EU], especially France. Paris tries not to allow Turkey to approach Beirut’s harbor. This would leave Turkey as the biggest loser in the region again. 

The upheaval Turkey created with Greece is leading it again to a conflict with Europe. Although Germany is leading to serious negotiations with all sides of the dispute, it seems that there are not any foreseen solutions in the near future. Europeans now identify Erdogan as the supporter of radical militant groups fighting in different Arab countries. These actions are of great concern to Europe. Rumor has it; Turkey now needs to be controlled. Western powers are planning to divide it again into two states, Western Turkey and Islamic Turkey. Of course, that is left for time to tell.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer.

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Intensified American Diplomatic Activities in the Middle-East

Intensified American Diplomatic Activities in the Middle-East

September 01, 2020

By Zamir Ahmed Awan for the Saker Blog

The U.S. has intensified its diplomatic activities in the Middle-East. After the Secretary of State Pompeo’s tour to six nations in the Middle-East, the Power-Pillar in White House, Jared Kushner, who is Senior advisor and son-in-law of President Donal Trump, along with Senior officials, is on his Middle-East trip currently.

The enhanced focus of the U.S. diplomatic and political engagement in the Middle-east has several objectives as:

On the surface, all efforts are for Israel, as the US is the only supporter of Israel blindly. The U.S. has been exercising its veto powers for Israel on several occasions and extends extraordinary political and diplomatic support, matched with non. It should be understood that, among the three prominent divine religions, Judaism is the oldest one, Christianity is the most populous in the Western World. However, Islam is the third one in its series and the last one of divine religion. A majority of Muslims inhabit the Middle East. The creation of a Jewish state in the heart of the Muslim World was not logical in the first step. The Jewish population in Palestine was only 11 % at the time of planning for the creation of Isreal. Later on, Jewish were shifted to Palestine from various parts of the World; and mostly, the wealthy Jews were motivated and encouraged to purchase land and property from the Arabs.

The Zionist struggle of the late 19th century had led by 1917 to the Balfour Declaration, by which Britain assured an ultimate separate state only for Jews in Palestine. When that former Ottoman province became a British mandate under the League of Nations in 1922, it contained about 700,000 people, of whom only 58,000 were Jews, approximately 11 % only.

Bulk relocation happened during the period of 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. The well-off Jews were buying the property in Palestine. If some patriotic Arabs refuse to sell their property, they face severe consequences like murder, injuries, detention, arrest, hostage, or expelled to exile. The Zionist militias of the Haganah and Irgun killed 5,032 Arabs and wounded 14,760, consequential in over ten percent of the adult male Palestinian Arab population killed, wounded, imprisoned, or exiled. At the end of World War II, the Jewish community in Palestine had increased to 33% of the total population.

The U.N. General assembly, backed by the U.S. and U.K., approved the creation of the state of Israel only limited to 5,500 Square Kilometers in 1947. But The Jews militant grabbed more land from local Arabs in 1948. It created an adversary between Arabs and Israelis. It led to an Arab-Israel War in 1967, and Israel seized even more land from Arabs.

The core reason for unrest in the Middle-East is the irrational creation of the state of Israel. The illogical creation of a Jewish state in the heart of the Muslim World was the root cause of all problems. There are an estimated 8 million Jews all over the World, and out of which 6 million settled in the state of Israel, mostly migrated from Eastern Europe, Africa, Russia, and also from other parts of the World. The settlers were aliens, and not the son of the soil and not the local indigenous people, and furthermore, the expansionist approach of the State of Israel has been pushing Arabs out of their homeland. Millions of Palestinians have lost their home.

The World has a moral stance on the state of Israel that it should be limited to original approved state with an area of 5,500 Square Kilometers, and return the all illegal occupied Arab Land occupied in 1948 and 1967. Furthermore, the State of Israel promises and ensure that it will not hold any Arab land in the future. This principle-stance is in line with the UN Charter, OIC, and Arab-League decision. Most of the nations, including Russia and China, share similar views. But it is only the U.S. who support all irrational acts of Israel blindly. The Secretary of state will lobby for Israel during this trip and may gain more recognition from the Arab World.

Egypt was kicked out from the Arab league in 1979, as displeasure on its recognition of the State of Israel. It is worth citing that six nations founded the Arab League: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria in 1945 in Cairo, the Capital of Egypt. Later on, the other Arab countries kept on joining the Arab League, and currently, there are 22 members of the Arab League. The prime objective of the Creation of the Arab League was to promote the Palestinian Arab cause. The Arab League opposed the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine in 1947 and implementing a boycott of Jewish State. Especially imposed an oil embargo, which lasted until the Khartoum Resolution in September 1967. The Arab League, in 2002, endorsed a Saudi Arabian Arab Peace Initiative, which called for a full withdrawal by Israel “to the 1967 borders” in return for fully normalized relations.

Egypt signed the Peace Treaty with the State of Israel in 1979, following the 1978 Camp David Accords. The treaty was received with vast controversy across the Arab World, where it was condemned and considered a stab in the back. The sense of outrage was principally strong amongst Palestinians. However, as a result of the treaty, Egypt was expelled out from its own created Arab League in 1979–1989. Syrian President Hafez al-Assad disconnected all relations with Egypt after the signing of the peace deal, and diplomatic relations were not restored until 2005, under the rule of Bashar al-Assad.

Jordan also recognized the State of Israel in 1984, which was also not welcomed by the Arab World, mainly the Palestinian.

Keeping solidarity with the Arab World, the 57-members OIC (The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation), the second-largest organization after the United Nations, spread over four continents, takes a strong stance on Israel and demands the return of Arab Lands which Israel occupied in the 1967 war.

Israel has not been welcomed by the international community, even, in E.U., Russia, and China, in addition to the Arab & Muslim World. However, it enjoys extraordinary support from the U.S. and favors from its creator UK.

UAE (United Arab Emirates) becoming the third Arab state, besides Egypt and Jordan, to fully recognize Israel, after signing a peace deal on August 13, 2020. The U.S. mediated the peace agreement. However, the unofficial interaction began as early as 2010, and cooperation was based on their joint opposition to Iran’s nuclear program and regional influence. Israel opened an official diplomatic mission in Abu Dhabi in 2015, under cover of the International Renewable Energy Agency.

UAE’s decision has shocked the Muslim World, and there was a reaction. The most severe reaction came from Turkey, who is thinking to cut its diplomatic ties with the UAE. Iran is the most affected country, as rival Israel may sit next door in UAE. The growing defense cooperation between Israel and UAE is an alarming and significant threat to Iran. UAE and Israel were not at good terms with Iran historically.

Some of the other Arab countries also shown displeasures. In fact, the Arab World might lose unity and may divide pro and anti-this decisions. It may weaken the unity of the Arab World further. This agreement will have a far-reaching impact, and over time, the outcomes will be visible.

Secondly, the U.S. has lodged a media war against Russia and China. Their controlled media is building a narrative against Russia and China and projecting Russia and China as a severe threat. The Secretary of State also tried to convince the Arab World against Russia and China, building alliances in case of any confrontation in the region. The U.S. is in the habit of forming partnerships and alliances against their adversaries, and in the past, their such approach was successful. Secretary of State also traveled to four countries in Europe to convince them to join the U.S. against Russia and China but failed, and Europe seems more divided on the U.S. stance on Russia and China. It is believed that The U.S. efforts may also divide the Arab-Word into groups pro-America and Anti-America. This may create a space for Russia and China to lead the Anti-American block in the Arab World as well as in Europe.

The third objective is a part of the election campaign for the presidential election. President Trump has determined to re-elect again and can go to any extent. One can expect any abnormal decision from him to win the election. He wanted to prove that his foreign policy is in the best interest of American people “America First.” He is also using anti-Russia and Anti-China card to gain sympathy from the American voters.

Most of the Arab World, especially the oil-rich Gulf countries, is ruled by Kings and dictators, who depend on U.S. support to sustain their rule. But anti-American sentiments are growing immensely. As a matter of fact, the U.S. has widened its objectives in such tours, which makes it more difficult to achieve any significant results. Secretary of State trip failed to convince any other Arab country to recognize Israel. Contrary, the adversary has been enhanced. Either he was unable to persuade the State of Israel to suspend its expansion plans. In contrast, Prime Minister Netanyahu categorically announced that the expansion plans are postponed or delayed only but not canceled or dropped out. He was also not able to convince most of the Arab countries to be part of the Anti-China-Russia alliance. Neither any direct impact on the Presidential Elections to be held in November later this year. His tour was counterproductive. Jared Kushner’s mission may also meet the same fate and no net gain at all.


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

It Is Neither Decades of Occupation, Years of Blockade, Nor Days of Bombing. It Is Just “Shalom”!

It Is Neither Decades of Occupation, Years of Blockade, Nor Days of Bombing. It Is Just “Shalom”!

By Al-Ahed

The United Arab Emirates’ [UAE] Ambassador to the United States Yousef al-Otaiba hailed his country’s new agreement with the ‘Israeli’ entity occupying the land of Palestine and killing its people, and celebrated it with an opinion piece he wrote for Yedioth Ahronoth, with the title: “Shalom, salaam and welcome”!

Turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to all the suffering the Palestinians have been passing through ever since this intruder regime came to settle in their lands, the Emirati ambassador sent his greetings to the audience.

As if the 13-year old Gaza blockade, which turned the strip almost inhabitable, and is if the most recent ongoing three-week long bombing of the same place are not enough for a human being to witness the daily ‘Israeli’ crimes against the indigenous people. Al-Otaiba boldly claimed that such deal “will help move the region beyond a troubled legacy of hostility and strife to a more hopeful destiny of ‘peace’ and prosperity.”

Unashamed, al-Otaiba viewed the normalization as a gate to a better future across the Middle East, claiming “it includes growth and innovation, better opportunities for the young and a breakdown of long-held prejudices.”

In his 900-word article, he announced that his country “of course looks forward to welcoming ‘Israelis’ to visit and worship at the soon to be built Abrahamic Center in Abu Dhabi, a multi-faith complex that will include a co-located mosque, church and synagogue.”

However, the ‘tenderhearted’ but unfortunately ill minded representative of his country alleged that “the UAE will remain an ardent and consistent supporter of the Palestinian people – for their dignity, their rights and their own sovereign state. They must share in the benefits of normalization.”

Let’s accept that he is kind enough to take care of the landowners. How shall his country claim this? How could it be possible to share two enemies and consider them, both, at the same time, its friends?

This is not the first time the Emirates’ diplomat generously pens to the ‘Israeli’ newspaper. His first opinion piece for Yedioth Ahronoth was published in June, entitled: “Annexation will be a serious setback for better relations with the Arab world.”

Back then, al-Otaiba claimed that “a unilateral and illegal seizure of Palestinian land defies the international consensus on the Palestinian right to self-determination, will ignite violence and send shock waves around the region.”

He stressed also that for years, the UAE has been an unfailing supporter of Middle East ‘peace’. 

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

Source

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

17 August 2020 12:36 UTC

David Hearst

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

End of the affair

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just watch the reaction

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

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

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

Israel-UAE deal: Emirati influencers criticised for praising normalisation
Read More »

If this new sense of common purpose between the two main rival Palestinian factions is sustainable  – and Abbas in the past  has been unwilling to accept any partners in the governance of Palestine – this is the beginning of the end of arrests of Hamas activists in the West Bank by the Palestinian Preventive Security.

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

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

The Dahlan plan

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

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

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

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

Mohammed Dahlan: Philanthropist or notorious fixer?
Read More »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Velayati: “Israel’s” Disintegration to Speed Up after Normalization

Velayati: “Israel’s” Disintegration to Speed Up after Normalization

By Staff, Agencies

A senior advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei said normalization between “Israel” and the United Arab Emirates serves to further galvanize the regional peoples against the occupying regime, thus bringing its ultimate disintegration closer.

Ali Akbar Velayati, who advises the Leader on foreign policy matters, made the remarks in a statement on Saturday in his capacity as secretary general of the World Assembly of Islamic Awakening. The body was formed after the 2010 protests that sprung in Tunisia before spreading throughout much of the Arab world, toppling several tyrannical rulers.

The United Arab Emirates and the “Israeli” entity announced a deal enabling eventual full normalization of their relations on Thursday. It was met with uniform condemnation of all Palestinian factions, who called it a stab in the back of the Palestinians and sheer betrayal of their cause.

Velayati called the agreement “ignominious and reprehensible.” The deal would only result in Abu Dhabi’s isolation, alienation from the rest of the international Muslim nation, and engender such level of Islamic awakening among the regional peoples that “will precipitate the Zionist regime’s disintegration,” he added.

Velayati stated that historically, since the “occupation” of Palestinian and other Arab territories by the “Israeli” entity, all of Tel Aviv’s victories were owed to a “lack of alignment and necessary cooperation within the Arab world” as well as to “some Arab states’ clandestine collaboration with the global arrogant powers and the Zionist lobby”. He added that the situation was balanced following Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979.

The official said that the removal of the country’s US-backed and “Israel”-allied former regime of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi “invited a new phase in the developments that concerned Palestine, and the course of the [regional] resistance tipped the balance of power in favor of the oppressed people of Palestine”.

Velayati said that the entity’s biggest ally, the US, suffered a “terrible defeat” after its failure to adopt the so-called “Deal of the Century”, which would have granted the entity another large part of Palestinian lands on the occupied West Bank, suggested by Trump earlier this year. He also argued that the Trump administration failed to “break down the axis of resistance in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen”.

The advisor called on Muslim nations across the world to “openly condemn” the UAE-“Israel” deal and to “spare no effort until the final victory of the Palestinian cause, i.e. disintegration and fall of the usurping Zionist government.”

On Saturday, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani fiercely denounced the UAE-“Israeli” normalization attempt as a “huge mistake” and a betrayal of the Muslim and Arab world, arguing that the move was made primarily to support Trump’s November re-election bid.

“They [the UAE] have committed a huge mistake, a treacherous act. We hope they will realise this and abandon this wrong path,” Rouhani said in a televised speech on Saturday. “Why then did it happen now? If it weren’t a wrong deal, why was it then announced in a third country, in America? So a gentleman in Washington wins votes, you betray your country, your people, Muslims and the Arab world?”

Israeli-UAE Peace Deal Marks Tectonic Shift In Middle Eastern Balance Of Power

August 14, 2020

South Front

The Middle East is on the brink of the new tectonic shift in the regional balance of power. The previous years were marked by the growth of the Iranian and Hezbollah influence and the decrease of the US grip on the region. The January 2020 started with the new Iranian-US confrontation that had all chances to turn into an open war. August 202 appeared to mark the first peace agreement between an Arab state and Israel in more than 25 years.

Israel and the United Arab Emirates have reached a historical peace agreement. US President Donald Trump announced the breakthrough agreement on August 13, calling Israel and the UAE “great friends” of his country. In a joint statement, Israel, the UAE and the U.S. said the agreement will advance peace in the Middle East. The statement praised the “bold diplomacy” and “vision” of the three country’s leaders.

Delegations from Israel and the UAE are expected to meet within a few weeks to sign bilateral agreements regarding investment, tourism, direct flights, security, telecommunications, technology, energy, healthcare, culture, the environment, the establishment of reciprocal embassies, and other areas of mutual benefit.

In the framework of the peace agreement, Israel will suspend declaring sovereignty over areas outlined in Netanyahu’s “Vision for Peace” in the Western Bank. Also, Tel Aviv will reportedly focus its efforts on “expanding ties with other countries in the Arab and Muslim world.” The agreement will also provide Muslims with greater access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and other holy sites in the Old City of Jerusalem. It still remains in question how Israel will comply with its part of the deal as the annexation of Palestinian territories is the cornerstone of its regional policy.

In the near future, the United States will likely work to motivate other Gulf states to follow the UAE’s footsteps. In particular, another US regional ally, Saudi Arabia, is already widely known for keeping close ties with Israel in the field of security and military cooperation. Both states are allies of Washington and are engaged in a regional standoff against the Iranian-led coalition of Shiite forces.

The support of the UAE-Israeli agreement is also a logical step for the Trump administration’s regional policy, which is based on the two main cornerstones: the unconditional support of Israel and the confrontation with Iran. Through such moves, Washington may hope to create a broader Israeli-Arab coalition through which it will try to consolidate the shirking influence and contain the ongoing Iranian expansion in the region. At the same time, the overtures with Israel, which has undertaken wide and successful efforts to destabilize neighboring Arab states, could cause a public backlash among the Arab population and contribute to its further dissatisfaction with the course of its leadership. All these developments, together with the consisted Iranian policy aimed at the defense of Palestinians, will increase the popularity of Iran as not only defender of Shiites across the Middle East, but all Muslims in general. Tehran has been seeking to achieve this goal for years and achieved a particular progress in the field. The US-Israeli aggressive policy in the region also played an important role in fact promoting the popularity of the so-called Axis of Resistance. Now, the Iranian soft power in Arab states will become even more noticeable and create additional threats to Gulf states involved in a direct confrontation with it.

The Saudi Kingdom, as the main candidate for the next peace deal, will find itself in an especially shaky position. It is already involved in the long, bloody, and unsuccessful intervention in Yemen, with Yemen’s Houthis regularly conducting cross-border raids into Saudi Arabia and even striking its capital, Riyadh. Also, the Saudi leadership has a long-standing problem with the oppressed Shia minority, protests of which are regularly and violently suppressed by Saudi forces. Other factors are the apparent economic and social problems, not least due to Riyadh’s own adventures on the oil market and the coronavirus crisis. Therefore, at some moment the Saudi regime may easily find itself on the brink of collapse under the weight of its own social, political and economic mistakes, and controversial policies on the international arena. And it’s highly unlikely that the friends in Tel Aviv or Washington will decide to undertake any extraordinary steps to rescue the current political regime in the Saudi kingdom.

ISRAEL AND UAE REACHED HISTORICAL PEACE AGREEMENT

 13.08.2020

Source

Israel And UAE Reached Historical Peace Agreement
A view of Jerusalem. FILE IMAGE: Ronen Zvulun / Reuters

Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have reached a historical peace agreement with support from the U.S.

President Donald Trump announced the “breakthrough” agreement on the afternoon of August 13, calling Israel and the UAE the “great friends” of the U.S.

The agreement was sealed in a phone call between Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed, crown prince of Abu Dhabi.

In a joint statement, Israel, the UAE and the U.S. said the agreement will advance peace in the Middle East. The statement praised the “bold diplomacy” and “vision” of the three country’s leaders.

“All three countries face many common challenges and will mutually benefit from today’s historic achievement,” the statement reads.

According to the statement, Delegations from Israel and the UAE will meet within a few weeks to sign bilateral agreements regarding investment, tourism, direct flights, security, telecommunications, technology, energy, healthcare, culture, the environment, the establishment of reciprocal embassies, and other areas of mutual benefit.

In the framework of the peace agreement, Israel will suspend declaring sovereignty over areas outlined in Netanyahu’s “Vision for Peace” in the Western Bank. Tel Aviv will focus its efforts on “expanding ties with other countries in the Arab and Muslim world.”

The agreement will also provide Muslims with greater access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and other holy sites in the Old City of Jerusalem.

“Along with the United States, Israel and the United Arab Emirates share a similar outlook regarding the threats and opportunities in the region, as well as a shared commitment to promoting stability through diplomatic engagement, increased economic integration, and closer security coordination,” the three countries said in their statement.

Israel and the UAE will also expand and accelerate cooperation regarding the treatment and the development of a vaccine for the coronavirus under the agreement.

This is the first peace agreement between an Arab state and Israel in more than 25 years. Other Gulf states, including Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, may follow the UAE’s footsteps. This will lead to more pressure on the Palestinians, as well as Syria and Lebanon.

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Nasrallah: ‘Israel is not a Jewish State and will be destroyed, the settlers will be expelled or decimated’

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Date: 13 July 2020

Author: lecridespeuples


Extract from an interview with Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on May 26, 2020, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Liberation of southern Lebanon. The interview lasted almost 3 hours.
Will Al-Quds (Jerusalem) be ‘liberated’ like the Crusaders in 1099, who put to the swords all the Muslims & Jews, including women and children, or like Saladin in 1187, who allowed the Christian occupiers to leave safe and sound? For its part, in 1948, Israel largely resorted to massacres in order to terrorize and expell the Palestinian population. Nasrallah clearly marks his preference, but as he explains, it will not be up to him, and once the Great War of Liberation has started, “there may be no more time for [the Jews] to leave Palestine, and there might be no safe place for them in occupied Palestine. […] And the scale of the massacres committed by Israel against the Palestinian people and the peoples of the region, its partnership with Daesh and its open complicity in the project of partition of our region […], all this will push the people of the region to issue a capital verdict against them.”
Translation : resistancenews.org
Transcript:
Journalist: […] Eminent Sayed (descendant of the Prophet), we started (this interview) by tackling (recent statements by Ehud Barak affirming that as early as 1985, he had foreseen the Israeli debacle which occurred in 2000), and you declared that as early as 1982, the Resistance envisaged victory as a certain horizon. Now, I look to the future and ask you: in the eyes of Hezbollah and the Resistance, how do you envisage the year 2035 (regarding the existence of Israel)?
Hassan Nasrallah : 2035? You are therefore asking me about the 25 years (of maximum existence) predicted by His Eminence the Supreme Guide (Sayed Khamenei in 2015). His Eminence the Guide, may God preserve him, did not declare that Israel would disappear in 2035, but said that he was not even sure (and that it was even unlikely) that it would survive until then.
This is an intimate conviction, an absolute certainty in our eyes. This entity —we no longer speak only of (the occupation) of southern Lebanon, but of (the very existence of) the Israeli entity— is, firstly, an artificial entity, fabricated from scratch and (a body) foreign to this region, it is a foreign body (implanted by force) in the Middle East.
Second, there is a very important point, that it is a racist entity. His Eminence the Imam Musa al-Sadr, may God bring him back safe and sound among us, insisted a lot on a very important point, namely that Israel is not a Jewish State. They claim it is a Jewish state, but it is (by no means) a religious State. Why, is Netanyahu someone pious? If we consider his government, there are a few ministers of religious parties, but the Israeli right and left (who are the majority) are not pious or religious. It cannot be said that it is a religious State governed by the Torah. Why is it a racist state? Because they consider themselves to be the descendants of the children of Israel (another name for Prophet Jacob), they consider this land to be their (exclusive and eternal) property, that they are God’s chosen people, that it is their right, (that the Goyim are inferior creatures vowed to serve them), etc., etc., etc. And it behaves racistly.
On the one hand, it is therefore a racist, artificial state, foreign to the region and its texture. On the other hand, fundamentally, it is based on terrorism, murder, rape, and has no legality, no legitimacy, no moral or ethical foundation, no humanitarian foundation. And it relies partly on its limited intrinsic force, which is not an absolute force, partly on the passive environment (of the Arab regimes subservient to Washington), and on its main support force, namely the United States of America and the West. All of this is not going to last (forever).
The pre-2000 Israel —and they themselves recognize it today— is no longer the post-2000 Israel. The allegedly invincible army has become a defeated army, not only in southern Lebanon, but even in Gaza. And it will be defeated in any new confrontation, with the grace of God. The situation of our region must not deceive them because of the complacency of some regimes (Arab-Muslim vassals of the United States). For the peoples (of the region), the faith in the (armed) Resistance and the credibility of this choice in the eyes of the Arab-Muslim peoples are stronger than ever, despite the lies of the electronic armies.
And the foundation on which Israel fundamentally rests, their true pillar, namely the United States, is not meant to always remain so powerful, so imposing and so arrogant, capable of threatening the whole region, all the Arab regimes, and constituting an unwavering and eternal support for the Israeli entity. Recently, one of the great intellectuals of our time, Chomsky, said that the United States is headed for disaster. Whoever looks at this President (Trump), this administration, his behavior, it is clear that they are heading (straight ahead) towards a disaster, a disaster in every sense of the word.
A State whose very existence relies on a foreign element is bound to collapse when the foreign element weakens. This is why we consider that it is only a matter of time (before Israel disappears). The future we are looking at (with certainty) is not only that of the year 2000 (an Israeli withdrawal from this or that area); it is that of a region in which it is absolutely impossible —this is how I see it— it is absolutely impossible for this cancerous tumor to remain, this germ of corruption, this absolute evil, this artificial entity devoid of any legitimacy, any ethical foundation, based on racism and terrorism, and which only endures thanks to foreign support. When the equations are changed, (the Zionist settlers) will have no choice but to pack up and leave.
As far as I am concerned, the spectacle of the Zionist settlers packing their bags and boarding planes or boats to return to where they come from is an absolute certainty, an inevitable necessity. It’s just a matter of time. And that day, I hope that the Resistance movements in the region will allow them to pack up and flee (safe and sound), just like they fled (from southern Lebanon) in 2000 and like they fled from the Gaza Strip (in 2005).
Journalist: “We will be praying at al-Quds soon”, (you said). This certainty that you have…
Hassan Nasrallah : I cannot say exactly what length of time we should put behind the word “soon”, but it is only a matter of time. I see it as a spectacle that will inevitably happen. It is above all a divine promise, and a well-rooted historical tradition. The whole story (shows that the Empires collapsed and that the colonists and invaders ended up packing up). We are not talking about something that would be unprecedented or contravene historical experience. It is history itself and its laws that predict such an outcome.
Journalist : Eminent Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, Secretary General of Hezbollah, what you are saying is a strong, existing and present opinion. But on the other hand, there are people who consider that Israel has succeeded in creating changes (in its favor) in the strategic environment. We know that Israel often holds conferences and likes to talk about its “strategic environment” (in the Middle East). Some believe that Israel has succeeded in bringing about (profound) upheavals which will enable it to restore its capacity for initiative. They maintain that in 2000, the strategic environment was much more favorable to Hezbollah than today: you had the upper hand, there was an Intifada in occupied Palestine (from 2000 to 2005), there were armed operations (of the Palestinian Resistance) in the heart of Tel Aviv, there was universal and massive Arab popular support (for the Palestinian cause), there were Arab regimes embarrassed (by their inaction & alliance to the West), stability reigned in Syria, and even Turkey then approached the Resistance Axis and distanced itself from Israel. But today, the United States has been present in our region for 20 years (since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and then Iraq in 2003), Syria has withdrawn from Lebanon, the Arab Spring led to the targeting of Arab armies (destruction of major Arab countries like Syria and Libya), Arab countries normalize their relations (with Israel), and even in Lebanon, there is no internal stability. Is all this true? And my second question is this: to whom does the strategic environment give the capacity for initiative today?
Hassan Nasrallah : These are very broad questions… Even in the clues you mentioned… There are things that have not changed, at least not in favor of Israel, and may have improved (in our favor) in some way.
For example, in 1982, in Lebanon, there was a civil war. There were fundamental divisions, frontlines (in Beirut itself), battles, Lebanese (movements) who fought alongside the Israelis against other Lebanese (like the militias of Samir Geagea, Bachir Gemayel, etc.). Today, there is no more civil war. There are no more frontlines, are there? There are certainly…
Journalist : But I asked you about the situation in 2000. It was in 2000 that the strategic environment was particularly favorable to the Resistance, and (obviously) not in 1982.
Hassan Nasrallah : All right, let’s not talk about 1982. But even in 2000, I don’t consider that the interior atmosphere in Lebanon was much better than that of today, if we want to speak of the interior atmosphere. Some of the fundamental divisions persist internally (between the pro-Westerners of the so-called March 14 alliance and the pro-Iran sovereignists of the March 8 alliance).
And there is something I want to focus on: when we talk about near or distant history, we should not embellish reality. You have to describe the history as it is. In 2000, there was no unanimity on the principle of Resistance (to the Israeli occupation). There was no union of the Lebanese (besides Hezbollah). It’s a fiction. On the contrary, there were severe differences on the question of the Resistance, and some Lebanese forces considered that Hezbollah was not even a patriotic movement or linked to Lebanon, and was only fighting in the interest of Syria and Iran. (Resistance) operations in the south were mentioned as (reprehensible) violence, and some Lebanese media did not designate our martyrs as martyrs, but simply as “killed”: the young resistance fighters were “killed”, and the Israeli soldiers were “killed” (they made no difference between the two). I don’t want to reopen this page of history. But I emphasize that there was no unanimity. Contrary to all those who claim that Hezbollah would have lost the unanimity it enjoyed before, I maintain that since 1982 to this day, the Resistance has lost nothing, for there was NEVER unanimity on the question of the Resistance. This has always been a point of disagreement.
Regarding the points you raised about the strategic environment, we interpret the arrival of the Americans in the region (in 2001) differently. In our eyes, this is proof of the advance of the Axis of Resistance: when the United States realized that Israel alone was unable to protect the interests of Washington, which is its fundamental role, because this entity is an instrument (of British and then American imperialism); when the United States became convinced that the regimes in the region it supports (Saudi Arabia, Gulf countries, Egypt, etc.) became incapable of protecting the interests of Washington, when they started to be afraid of certain States in the region (Syria, Iran) and of the peoples of the region, who risked transforming the Middle East in a direction contrary to Washington’s interests, this forced them to be present directly with their fleet, their military bases, their armed forces, etc. It is a sign of the strength of the strategic environment in our favor, not in favor of the enemy. So much for the first point.
Second, so as not to tackle all the points you mentioned one by one, let’s look at the other side. Where was the Resistance? Today, when we ask to Israel if the Hezbollah of 2000 is the same as that of today, Israel answers: “Of course not ! It has grown and strengthened, and it is dozens of times more powerful than before!” We went from the status of a (guerrilla) Resistance, a small group of young people, people with faith but with (very) limited capacities, to that of a “terrorist army”, in the words of the Israeli chief of staff, but I underline the word “army”. And he adds that Israel must work to widen the gap between the Resistance and the Israeli army again, which indicates that Hezbollah is on the rise.
If we consider the Palestinian people, there were a lot of people within Palestine who were counting on negotiations (to achieve a peace agreement and a Palestinian State), but today negotiations have reached an dead end. Today, the level of support of the Palestinian people for the choice of the Armed Resistance is higher than ever. So we are talking about an upheaval in the strategic environment (but it is certainly not in favor of Israel). Because the Palestinian people are the key. The main element that will decide the future of the (Zionist) entity is the state of mind, the point of view and the convictions of the Palestinian people, as well as their will and determination.
And with regard to Gaza, which was occupied in 2000, to speak of the year 2000, today, Gaza is in the hands of the Resistants. After 2000, all that the Israelis feared from the Palestinians was an ambush, an explosive charge, or a martyrdom (operation) here or there. But today, the leaders of the factions of the Resistance in Gaza (Hamas and Islamic Jihad) claim that their ballistic capacity allows them to strike all the cities of occupied Palestine. Who is this development favouring? And this is happening in the very heart of Israel, in its security and existential depth!
In our view, the transformations in the region are in our favor, not in favor of the enemy. We are not saying that the strategic environment is entirely in our favor, but it is not entirely in favor of the enemy. There are strengths on both sides…
Journalist: Is there a balance?
Hassan Nasrallah : Yes, there is a high level of balance. Without this balance, Israel would have waged a war against Lebanon now (taking advantage of the war in Syria and the economic and health crisis in Iran).
Journalist: Does the current strategic environment give Hezbollah the initiative, the capacity for initiative?
Hassan Nasrallah : Hezbollah has the capacity for initiative, and the enemy also has the capacity for initiative. But because of the balance (mutuel deterrence) between the two, each one thinks twice (before attacking the other). Everyone thinks twice. […]
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“Any amount counts, because a little money here and there, it’s like drops of water that can become rivers, seas or oceans…” Hassan Nasrallah

لا حياد بين الأرض والاحتلال

بشارة مرهج

في ما ضى كان كلّ مسؤول أميركي يزور لبنان والمنطقة العربية يقول لأهل البلاد: «ما بالكم تتشبّثون بالمقاطعة والحصار الاقتصاديّ على «إسرائيل»؟ هذا لا ينسجم مع روح المرحلة ومستلزماتها، ولا يتفق مع شروط العصر ومعطياته. فإذا أردتم أن تكونوا داخل الزمن وحركته كونوا واقعيين. اخرجوا من الصندوق وافصلوا بين السياسي والاقتصادي. دعوا الاقتصاد يسبح في فضائه. ضعوا الحصار جانباً. اتكلوا علينا حتى نتمكن من إقناع «إسرائيل» بالحلّ السلمي الذي يعيد إليكم الأرض والسلام والاستقرار».

وكلما كانت الأنظمة العربية تتجاوب وتسترخي مع الدعوات الأميركية الملتبسة، كانت «إسرائيل» تتمرّد وتتطرّف فيأتي الصوت من بعيد: «مهلاً. لماذا الانفعال، لماذا التذمّر؟ أنتم لم تقدّموا بعد ما هو كافٍ لإرضاء «إسرائيل» والمجتمع الدولي حتى تنحلّ العقد وينفتح باب الحلول. على أيّ حال القرار لكم، لكن كلما تفوّق العقل على العاطفة وابتعدتم عن الشعبوية اقتربتم من مدار العصر وحصلتم على مرادكم».

بعد عقود من الوعود المعسولة لم يعد ثمة مساحة للتراجع. لقد أعطت الأنظمة العربية كلّ ما لديها وما استبقت في يدها شيئاً. أما «إسرائيل» التي أخذت فوق ما أعطاها «الكرم» الدولي فلم يعد أمامها ثمة مساحة للتقدّم. بدأ القلق يساورها. فقد بدأ الحديد يحكّ على الحديد وبات الجميع في الزاوية.

في المقلب الآخر واشنطن تنسى كلّ التعليمات والإرشادات التي أصدرتها، وتتجاهل كلّ الاتفاقات والمعاهدات التي سبق ان أشرفت عليها. بعد خضوعها للاستيطان الإجرامي ها هي بقيادة ترامب تغادر آخر درجة من درجات سلّم القيم الذي تدحرج سابقاً على أبواب بغداد ويتدحرج نهائياً اليوم على أعتاب القدس.

واشنطن التي تجاهلت موقع القدس فلسطينياً وعربياً ودولياً.

واشنطن التي تجاهلت موقع القدس مسيحياً وإسلامياً تربط الرسن السياسي بالملف الاقتصادي وتمارس على لبنان أعلى درجات الحصار موزعة «نصائحها» على العواصم العربية ألا شاركوا في هذا الحصار الاقتصادي الذي تطلبه «إسرائيل»… «إسرائيل» التي انكسرت هيبتها وتزلزلت سطوتها على أرض الجنوب المخضب بدماء اللبنانيين وسائر الأشقاء العرب الذين ما بخلوا يوماً على هذه الأرض بالتطوّع والمقاومة والفداء.

عندما تسقط الأمم تجاه ما ترمز إليه مجازر من مستوى مجزرة صبرا وشاتيلا، وعندما تتخلى الأمم عن الحدّ الأدنى الذي كانت تمثله، أو بالأحرى تدّعي أنها كانت تمثله على صعيد المبادئ والأخلاق، تفقد اتزانها وتضيّع طريقها وتعود بالمدينة إلى الأدغال القريبة. أما الذين يتعرّضون للقهر والحصار فبالتأكيد سيشعرون بالألم والمرارة. لكنهم سيعودون الى الصخر يفتتونه ويزرعونه كما فعل أجدادهم من قبل. إذ لا حياد بين الأرض والاحتلال.

*نائب ووزير سابق.

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Robert Inlakesh is a Documentary Filmmaker, Journalist, and Middle-East  Analyst

I recently spoke with him on his visits to Occupied Palestine nd in  particular his two-part documentary, “Steal Of The Century’: Trump’s  Palestine-Israel Catastrophe” , the first part of which he released on  June 5.

Watch part 1

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