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.

MORE ON THIS TOPIC:

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

Source


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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U.S. interfering in Arab countries to guarantee Israel’s security: Lebanese journalist

By Mohammad Mazhari

July 4, 2020 – 10:56

Source

TEHRAN – A Lebanese journalist believes that U.S. interference in the Arab countries is first and foremost intended to provide security for Israel.
After U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea’s comments against Hezbollah in an interview with Saudi state-owned broadcaster al-Hadath, her words were rebuffed as open interference in the domestic affairs of Lebanon and a violation of diplomatic norms.
Shea had accused Hezbollah of obstructing economic reforms in Lebanon.
“Frankly, this resembles an act of war against a certain group of Lebanese society,” Abir Bassam tells the Tehran Times 
Bassam says, “It is not the ambassadors’ job in general to discuss the country’s internal affairs.” 
Following is the text of the interview:
Q: What is your comment on the statements of the U.S. ambassador to Lebanon?
A: In the best-case scenario, we can say that the ambassador was critical of Hezbollah in Lebanon. However, it did not stop at this stage. The ambassador accused Hezbollah of taking the Lebanese government hostage and holding back its economic growth.
Firstly, this kind of speech addresses the Lebanese people and their officials and is considered interference in domestic affairs.
“This kind of remarks (by the U.S. ambassador) is provocative to those who have always been aligned with the resistance movement, and even causes frustration to those who are against Hezbollah.”Secondly, this kind of remarks are provocative to those who have always been aligned with the resistance movement, and even causes frustration to those who are against Hezbollah.
Thirdly, it is not the ambassadors’ job in general to discuss the countries’ internal affairs. Besides, this shows Americans’ intentions towards Hezbollah and Lebanon’s stability, which is becoming more and more fragile since the 17th of November 2019.
The ambassador’s accusations present an aggressive political attitude towards a certain group of people who are part of the Lebanese population and are officially represented with Hezbollah parliamentarians in the Lebanese parliament. Frankly, this resembles an act of war against a certain group of Lebanese society.
Q: Do you think these statements signal new developments in Lebanon? 
A: It might be. Or perhaps the Americans are preparing for such a thing. In the end, the Americans’ interferences in the Arab countries have been aimed at one end goal, which is the security of Israel.
However, the Resistance in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, is their biggest challenge to protect Israel. And it is still true. Hence, one element of protection for Israel can be provided by recalling for civil war in Lebanon again.
Q: Why Lebanon’s economy is in crisis? Is Hezbollah really jeopardizing the economy in Lebanon?
A: The Lebanese fundamental economic crisis has started with the economic procedures adopted by the governments of Lebanon since 1991. The economic policy was based on services, turning Lebanon into a service provider state in the region. These services depend mainly on monetary services and different kinds of tourism: from sightseeing to medical tourism. To a large extent, this marginalized agriculture and industry and made Lebanon dependent solely on imports and very little export. However, Lebanon had to compete with other main countries that have been remotely providing these services and doing an excellent job, such as India, Australia, and Belgium. Lebanon, especially after the 15-year civil war (1975-1990), cannot be such a competitor to these states.
This policy was deeply related to the atmosphere that prevailed in 1990, with many Arab countries signing peace treaties with Israel. Syria was leading such peace talks as well, after the first war in the (Persian) Gulf in 1990. However, the foundation of such economic policy proved to be based on cartoon boards. Syria withdrew from the peace talks, Rabin was killed, and Lebanon backed by Syria continued its resistance against the Israeli occupation in South Lebanon. In this period of history, Hezbollah demonstrated formidable Resistance and Islamic Resistance that led to significant accomplishments against Israel until the liberation of the South in May 2000.
Regarding the second part of the question, it can be simply stated in the following manure: the U.S. will not give any financial aid to Lebanon as long as Hezbollah is in the government. The U.S. doesn’t have any problem with Hezbollah as a political party; it has a problem with its Axis of Resistance; in other words, it has a problem with Hezbollah’s advanced missiles arsenal, which brings us back to the basics that are the Israeli’s security! 
Therefore, the World Bank will not be giving any more loans based on its conditions. Hezbollah insists that the conditions should not contradict Lebanon’s sovereignty and its autonomous decisions. It argues that the World Bank is not allowed to interfere in the Lebanese internal and external decisions.
Q: Do you expect the Lebanese government to contain the economic crisis?
A: Diab’s government has been doing fine with all the crises accumulated during the past 20 years. However, this government is not getting the support it needs even from the parties that have brought it into existence. Too many conflicting interests are governing these parties and, in particular, the coming (U.S.) presidential elections.
A sharp fall in the value of the Lebanese currency is the worst thing that was tasked with this government to deal with. Working with a central bank governor who has allowed the smuggling of the dollars outside the country and guarding the U.S. interests are among the major obstacles, as politicians and fiscal specialists have repeatedly accused him of. The dollar price defines the prices in Lebanon, including gasoline, bread, rice, vegetable, meat, medicine, etc. 
The government’s main problem is that it has not been able to present an emergency policy for passing the current stage or a long-term plan to face the following phases. 
The government’s measures are trying to take into account the development of the agricultural and industrial sectors. Still, Lebanon’s borders to the East are closed, even with its sister country, Syria. It is under American restrictions; it seems that Lebanon is unable to face these challenges.
In the end, all should take responsibility for this condition, including the current government and the majority in the parliament. They need to take bold steps towards Syria, Iran, China, and Russia…etc. It should get close to the whole countries mentioned above, or at least Syria. This is a must.
Q: Concurrent with increasing pressure on Hezbollah, the world is witnessing the Israeli move to excavate gas on Lebanon’s marine border. What’s your evaluation of this?
A: In my opinion, it is irrelevant. Israel must have received the U.S.’s approval to take such a step, which meets Trump’s need to establish something he can please his AIPAC voters with.
It will have an added value for both the Israeli and the Americans if the Lebanese government and Hezbollah do not take bold steps in the face of the Israeli move. It will be a retreat for Lebanon and the Resistance.
Still, if they (Lebanon) make a move, the consequences must be measured carefully. At the end of the day, Israel does not want to open war on its “northern borders”. However, if the Americans decided to do so, the Israelis could not refuse, as it happened in 2006. The war was an American decision.
I believe that both the Israelis and the Americans want Iran’s head on a spike first. Thus, Hezbollah will be out of Syria; this is their aim. I came across that in many of my readings. They pushed for war against Iran; it turned out to be very costly for the Americans, especially after what the U.S. had experienced in Ein al-Assad in Iraq. Indeed, this is the scale by which I would measure the Israeli step. Nevertheless, until today, Israel has not come even a meter close to the Lebanese territorial waters. So, let us wait and see!

يا نبضَ الضفّة…

ألأخبار

فلسطين بيار أبي صعب الجمعة 26 حزيران 2020

يتهيّأ بنيامين نتنياهو، حسب معظم المؤشرات، لتنفيذ وعوده الانتخابيّة، عبر ضم أجزاء من الضفّة الغربيّة وأغوار الأردن، في الأوّل من تموز/ يوليو المقبل. ما الذي يمكن أن يردع «إسرائيل» عن هذه الخطوة الجديدة، والخطيرة، ضمن استراتيجيّة استيطانيّة هي فلسفة وجودها منذ نكبة فلسطين؟ إن استراتيجيّة الاحتلال والاستيطان والضمّ، هي جوهر الكيان الذي تأسّس على المجزرة، واغتصاب الحقوق، ومصادرة الأرض. ولم تنجح في الحدّ منها اتفاقيات «السلام» المتعاقبة منذ «كامب ديفيد»، بل بالعكس، مكّنت العدو منا أكثر، فحيّد مصر، ودجّن منظمة التحرير، وقضى على «الكفاح المسلّح» حينذاك، وواصل سياساته الاستعماريّة الدموية بعدما اكتسب مزيداً من الثقة والزخم و«الشرعيّة» والغطاء الدولي، وازداد غطرسة وإجراماً. كل ذلك بحماية غربيّة سافرة، وجدت في سرديّة السلام الجوفاء ما تحتاج إليه من تبريرات للخديعة الكبرى. لقد واصلت «إسرائيل» جرائمها بمنأى عن أي محاسبة أو ضغط دوليين، أو رد فعل عربي يمكن أن يُحسب له حساب.

نتحدّث هنا عن «زمن عربي سعيد»، كان هناك مكان فيه للوهم، وكانت الأنظمة العربية ترفع، على الأقل في الشعار، لواء مواجهة الاحتلال واستعادة الحقوق العربيّة المسلوبة. فماذا نقول عن الراهن، وقد سقطت الأقنعة عن أنظمة الاستبداد والانحطاط والخيانة؟ الأنظمة التي تنازلت عن حقوق شعوبها، وباعت فلسطين، وباتت تبشّر بـ«نهضة إسرائيلية» موعودة، هي الطريق إلى التقدّم، وإلى تجاوز «التخلّف العربي» الذي لم يأتِ على ما يبدو لشعوبنا إلا بالخيبة. تلك بروباغندا محمد بن سلمان التي تشق طريقها بين الناس في الجزيرة العربية وبعض الخليج… عبر وسائل ترويج مختلفة وصلت أخيراً إلى الدراما الرمضانيّة.

العالم العربي الممزّق، السائب، يبدو اليوم أشبه بمشروع «نيوم» كبير، على طريقة المشروع الذي يحلم به عُصابيّ الرياض ضمن «الشرق الأوسط الجديد». وفي سبيل تحقيقه يهجّر ويقتل المواطنين السعوديين ويصادر المدن والبلدات والمزارع في شمال الجزيرة، ليقدمها مهراً لحليفه المفترض، ضمن استثمارات مشبوهة في منطقة اقتصادية حرّة تضمّهما مع الأردن ومصر. وفي هذا السياق «المنطقي» لا يطلب الكيان التوسّعي الشيء الكثير: يريد فقط أن يسترد الأراضي التي لم تخرج عن سيطرته عمليّاً، لكنّه تظاهر بالتصدّق بها على «السلطة الوطنية»، في مهزلة «أوسلو» التي لم يبق لها أي أساس قانوني أو سياسي. وها هي السلطة تتخبّط الآن في عجزها وعقمها، بل وتلجم غضب الناس في الضفّة، وهي لم تكن يوماً أكثر من إدارة ذاتية وحارس حدود، تحت رحمة الاحتلال وفي خدمته.
من يردع نتنياهو اليوم عن ضم أراضٍ عربيّة جديدة؟ هل ننتظر الغيث من مصر التي باتت «شريكاً استراتيجياً» للعدو (في الحقيقة تابعاً بائساً)، والغارقة في مواجهاتها بين إثيوبيا جنوباً وليبيا غرباً؟ لن يترك عبد الفتاح السيسي حتى تظاهرة تضامن واحدة تخرج في الشارع، في بلد نعرف أن شعبه مسكون بهاجس الدفاع عن قضيّة فلسطين. هل ننتظر الموقف المجلجل من النظام الأردني المفطور على التبعية للغرب؟ هل يقف العاهل الأردني بوجه «إسرائيل» بـ«الحزم» نفسه الذي أبداه بعد شطب القدس التي يفترض أنّه وصيّ على أماكنها المقدّسة؟

أم أن هناك من يظنّ أن الكيان الغاصب سيتردّد قبل القيام بخطوته الانتحاريّة، لأنّه يقيم وزناً للتحفّظات الأميركيّة على الضمّ مثلاً؟ وللعريضة التي وقّعها البرلمانيون الأوروبيون الألف؟ أو غير ذلك من احتجاجات غربيّة ودوليّة خانعة وخجولة؟ تعرف «إسرائيل» تماماً أنها فوق أي قصاص أو عقوبة أو محاسبة، وأن العالم المدعو حرّاً ــــ أي الاستعمار الأبيض ــــ كلّه في خدمتها، ومستعدّ لحمايتها وتغطية جرائمها. إلا إذا… طبعاً! إلا إذا تعرّضت مصالحه للخطر، وانجرّ إلى استنزافات ومواجهات يخشاها ولا يريدها وليس مستعدّاً لها.

إلا إذا اشتعلت الضفّة وكل فلسطين بالغضب. إلا إذا قلنا كلمتنا، دافعنا عن أرضنا وحقّنا بأيدينا، بكل الأشكال والوسائل المتاحة. هذا ما لمّح إليه ‫أبو عبيدة، الناطق باسم «كتائب القسّام»، حين أكّد أن المقاومة «تعتبر قرار الاحتلال ضمّ الضفة الغربية والأغوار، إعلان حرب على شعبنا الفلسطيني».

إذا لم يتعلّم العرب والمسلمون إلا درساً واحداً على امتداد العقود الماضية، فهو أن إسرائيل لا تفهم إلا لغة الحديد والنار. بالأمس القريب أُرديَ الشاب المقدسي الأعزل أحمد عريقات، على حاجز للاحتلال شرقي القدس المحتلة، وترك ينزف حتّى الموت، وهو يستعدّ لعرس أخته وعرسه. بالدم البارد نفسه، قَتل جندي إسرائيلي في نابلس، قبل 44 عاماً، طالبة في السابعة عشرة تتظاهر في ذكرى النكبة (16 أيار/ مايو 1976).

كان اسمها لينا النابلسي، وأشعل استشهادها الضفّة وكل فلسطين. خلّدها الشيخ إمام «لؤلؤةً حمراء»، في أغنية من شعر فدوى طوقان. ونستعيدها كل يوم في قصيدة حسن ضاهر التي غنّاها أحمد قعبور: «‫للجسد المصلوب الغاضب/ للقدس ويافا وأريحا/ للشجر الواقف في غزّة/ للنهر الهادر في الأردن/ للجسد الغاضب في الضفة/ يا نبضَ الضفة لا تهدأ/ أعلنها ثورة/ حطّمْ قيدك/ اِجعلْ لحمك/ جسرَ العودة./ فليمسِ وطني حرّا/ فليرحل محتلّي فليرحل».

الشعر وحده قد لا يحرّر فلسطين، لكنّه يدلّنا على الطريق. الباقي يمهّد له الغضب الشعبي وتتولّاه المقاومة. دراكولا الصهيوني الذي لا يرتوي من دمائنا، ليس أمامنا إلا أن نزرع خازوقاً في قلبه، كما في حكايات مصاصي الدماء. الشعب الفلسطيني يخوض اليوم معركته الأخيرة. على الشرفاء في المنطقة والعالم، ألّا يتركوه وحيداً…

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The Oslo process was a trap from which the Palestinians never escaped: ex-UN Special Rapporteur for Palestine

Source

By M.A. Saki

TEHRAN- Richard Anderson Falk, professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University and former UN Special Rapporteur for Palestine, says “the Oslo process was a trap from which the Palestinians never escaped”.
“Indeed, the dynamics of this Oslo period from 1993 until the start of the Trump presidency in 2017 was to raise Israeli expectations with respect to its maximal territorial ambitions,” Falk tells the Tehran Times in an exclusive interview.
Here is the full text of the exclusive interview:
Q: As a UN Special Rapporteur for Palestine your reports revealed many facts about the Israeli settlement policies, its apartheid approach, and so on. Your efforts in this regard are commendable. To what extent did these reports have a practical impact on Israeli policies?
A: My period as UN Special Rapporteur to Palestine was between 2008 and 2014. During that time Israel carried out massive attacks on Gaza in 2008-09, 2012, and 2014, while expanding the archipelago of its unlawful settlements on the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and blocking any realistic process of a political compromise in the context of the Oslo Peace Process. I mention these negative developments as background for responding to your question about whether my reports had any ‘practical impact on Israeli policies.’ I would have to acknowledge that I could not identify any positive impact on Israeli practices and policies, especially in relation to its efforts to pursue its expansionist ambitions with regard to the control of Palestinian territory and its non-Jewish inhabitants or its unabashed defiance of international law and UN authority.
A more promising Palestinian strategy, additional to continuing acts and displays of resistance, is to encourage pressures mounted by the global solidarity movement including at the UN. Such campaigns can gain inspiration from the South African worldwide anti-apartheid movement, which overcame seemingly insurmountable odds to achieve an unexpected, mostly bloodless, victory over racism in the form of a nonviolent transition to multi-racial constitutional democracy.It seems that the heightening of criticism of Israel’s behavior by myself and others did encourage Israel’s new approach, which abandoned defending itself against allegations of unlawfulness and criminality, and instead mobilizing energy and devoting resources to defaming critics, and doing its best to discredit, and even criminalize support for the BDS Campaign and other global solidarity initiatives as the Free Gaza Campaign. This Israeli pushback culminated in the widespread adoption of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism that deliberately conflated hatred of Jews as a people with criticism of Israel as the State of the Jewish people. It is ironic that this regressive move has been most influential in countries such as the U.S., UK, and Germany that pride themselves on being the most respected constitutional democracies the world has known since ancient Athens, and yet when it comes to Israel the right of free expression and nonviolent protest are violated with official approval.
I believe my reports did have some beneficial impact on the discourse within the UN itself (including civil society NGOs), and on the understanding of the diplomatic community, with respect to four distinct aspects of Israeli behavior: 1) Understanding the settler colonial character of Israel’s domination and dispossession of the Palestinian people; 2) The de facto annexationist aspects of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem carried out in violation of international humanitarian law; 3) The unsupportable character of prolonged belligerent occupation, the abusive nature of which is not addressed by international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Conventions and Protocols; 4) The apartheid character of Israel’s Jewish State, not only in relation to the occupation of the territory acquired in the 1967 War but in relation to the Palestinian people as a whole, including refugees and involuntary exiles, the minority living in pre-1967 Israel, and those in Gaza after Israel’s ‘disengagement’ of 2005.
I gave particular attention in my reports to the daily injustices associated with prolonged occupation of Palestinian territories, which had not attracted much prior attention, although my successor as SR, Michael Lynk, has carried my arguments further and to their logical conclusion that the occupation must be ended by judicial and political action at the international level. The legally, morally, and politically problematic character of ‘prolonged occupation,’ especially as combined in this with a denial of all civil and political rights to the residents of the occupied Palestinian territories and subversive of underlying Palestinian sovereignty as evidenced by UN recognition of Palestine in 2012 as a non-voting member State in the UN.
I believe that my reports helped in small ways to change the discourse and perceptions of civil society activists as well as of many members of the diplomatic community who privately conveyed to me their agreement with my analysis. The reports also brought up to date the lawlessness of Israel’s behavior with respect to the settlements, the separation wall, and reliance on excessive force, most pronouncedly in Gaza, which figured in the way the media and public opinion understood the competing arguments being put forward by Israel and Palestine, and seemed of some use to governments in formulating their approach to the underlying conflict.
Q: One of your reports on Israel was removed from the UN website under pressure from the United States and Israel. What was the content of the report, and why was there so much sensitivity about it?
A: My report was temporarily removed from the UN website in either 2009 or 2010, but interestingly, not at the initiative of either Israel or the United States, but by the Palestinian Authority, which represents Palestine at the UN. Their sole objection to my text was its acknowledgment of Hamas as the administering authority of Gaza, ineffective control of the governing process, reflecting both through its electoral victory in the 2006 elections in Gaza and as a result of the expulsion of Fatah forces associated with the Palestinian Authority during the following year.
What is worse (during the Oslo process), the Palestinians went along with their own entrapment, somehow thinking that they would be rewarded by their cooperative attitudes.It was the mere mention of Hamas that disturbed and agitated the PA to the point of seeking my resignation as SR, especially after I criticized aspects of the PA administration of the West Bank and their surprising controversial support of Israeli and U.S demands that the UN disregard the recommendations of the Goldstone Report that had been critical of Israel’s violation of the Laws of War during Operation Cast Lead, its devastating military attack on Gaza that started at the end of 2008 and lasted for several weeks in January 2009. After failing to oust me from my position, the PA shifted its tone and posture, and for the remaining years of my mandate was cooperative, and did not subsequently object to my reports even when the role of Hamas was discussed.
Q: You have repeatedly criticized Israel’s policies and considered the peace process as a hoax. Why do you think this process is a hoax?
A: Maybe the word ‘hoax’ overstates my view, which was that the peace process as structured and implemented greatly favored Israel, discriminated against Palestine to such an extent that it was naïve to expect a sustainable and just peace to emerge from such one-sided diplomacy. This basic imbalance was evident in a number of respects. Above all, the framework for negotiations was seriously flawed by giving the United States, an overt and unconditional supporter of Israel, the inappropriate role of intermediary or ‘honest broker.’ This flaw exhibited itself by diplomats and staff representing the United States in the course of the Oslo process often being closely identified with the Zionist Movement, including being drawn from former employees of the pro-Israeli extremist lobbying group AIPAC. Such partisanship also explained the U.S. pressure on the Palestinian negotiating team not to object to settlement expansion or press other legal grievances as such objections would disrupt the peace process, insisting that such issues be left unresolved until ‘final status’ negotiations occurred at the last stage of the process, which was never reached. This pressure to mute international law objections to Israeli expansionism was perversely coupled with Washington’s acceptance of ‘facts on the ground’ as taking precedence over legal objections to the settlements, in effect, punishing Palestinians for following the advice to defer objections. This play of arguments reveals the entrapment of the Palestinians by the Oslo process—instead of insisting to Israel to freeze settlement activity to safeguard the diplomatic prospects, it exerted pressure on the Palestinians to suppress their objections to Israeli unlawful behavior, which by its nature, threatened reaching a two-state compromise. What is worse, the Palestinians went along with their own entrapment, somehow thinking that they would be rewarded by their cooperative attitudes.
The framework for negotiations was seriously flawed by giving the United States, an overt and unconditional supporter of Israel, the inappropriate role of intermediary or ‘honest broker.’The Oslo process was a trap from which the Palestinians never escaped, and ended up worsening Palestinian prospects as well as inflicting additional torments, including the frequency and viciousness of settler violence directed at Palestinian residents of the West Bank. Indeed, the dynamics of this Oslo period from 1993 until the start of the Trump presidency in 2017 was to raise Israeli expectations with respect to its maximal territorial ambitions, and to depress Palestinian hopes of reaching a political compromise in the form of the co-existence of separate sovereign states enjoying equal standing in international society. It became evident, as well, that Israeli internal politics drifted steadily to the right, partly reflecting the increasingly leverage of the settler movement. These developments made it increasingly clear that a two-state political compromise was no longer seen by the Israeli leadership as an expedient goal. In effect, it was no longer necessary to hide the Israeli belief that the West Bank, known in Israel by its biblical names of Judea and Samaria, was an integral element of the entitlement of the Jewish people to the land of Palestine as interpreted by mainstream Zionism as ‘the promised land.’ Some Zionists, attached to the ‘democratic’ claim attached to Israel’s political identity, worried that annexing the West Bank would explode a demographic bomb that would make it impossible to hide the apartheid nature of the Israeli state.
Q: U.S. President Donald Trump has now proposed a so-called Deal of the Century, and Israel is seeking to annex the West Bank. How do you evaluate this process?
A: As the occupation continued, and Israel’s annexationist moves met with only token international resistance, there was a noticeable shift in the outlook of Netanyahu, the dominant Israeli political figure of the period, from an international posture favoring political compromise to an outcome reached unilaterally in the form of an imposed Israeli one-state solution. When Trump arrived in the White House in early 2017 this shift for the first time enjoyed the explicit geopolitical support of the U.S. government, and need no longer be hidden from view. In this atmosphere Israel moved to affirm its claims to most of the promised land, and relinquished any attachment to ‘peace’ through negotiations, even negotiations biased in their favor.
The Trump Plan, whether known as ‘the deal of the century’ by its official name of ‘From Peace to Prosperity’ gives its seal of approval to the Israel vision of a one-state solution, slightly disguised by designating areas set aside for Palestinian administration as ‘a State,’ what was correctly associated with the Bantustans established by the apartheid regime in South Africa to hide the ugliest features of racist domination and exploitation.
The Trump Plan, whether known as ‘the deal of the century’ by its official name of ‘From Peace to Prosperity’ gives its seal of approval to the Israel vision of a one-state solution, slightly disguised by designating areas set aside for Palestinian administration as ‘a State,’ what was correctly associated with the Bantustans established by the apartheid regime in South Africa to hide the ugliest features of racist domination and exploitation. As is now known to the world, even the PA was unable to treat the Trump Plan as a serious negotiating proposal, correctly dismissing it as a blueprint for the Israeli one-state victory scenario. Israeli plans to annex a large portion of the West Bank by de jure enactment, on the basis of a green light from Washington, seems likely to be implemented in coming months, although opposed by some prominent security officials in Israel and even by maximalist Zionists on the grounds either of imperiling the Jewish demographic majority or provoking a surge of renewed Arab and international support for Palestinian grievances, and perhaps a trigger for a third intifada.
It should be internationally understood that the Trump Plan lacks any respectable international backing, and as such is in no way deserving of respect at the UN or elsewhere. It is an extremely partisan and arrogant set of proposals that are inconsistent with international law, the UN consensus, and elementary morality. Rather than being seriously considered, it should be summarily dismissed as an irrelevant geopolitical attempt to deny the Palestinian people of their inalienable right of self-determination.
Q: May 15 marked the 72nd anniversary of the establishment of Israel, and all through these years Israel has been supported by countries such as the United States and Britain. It is also noticeable that countries are consenting to Israel’s occupation. Please explain?
A: The core rationale of support for Israel over the years has changed. Back when Israel was established in 1948 the public mood was shaped by the experience of World War II, including an acute sense of guilt on the part of liberal democracies in the West as having done so little to oppose Nazi racism toward Jews. From the start of the Zionist Project in the late 19th century anti-Semitic governments in Europe oddly shared the goal of Zionists of inducing Jews to leave their countries, and were eager to encourage emigration to Palestine. These attitudes underlay the 1917 colonialist initiative of the UK, known to the world as the Balfour Declaration, by which Britain pledged to look with favor on the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine although the Jewish minority was less than 8% and the Arab majority was never consulted. The more politically active personalities in Palestine opposed the idea of a Jewish homeland in their midst from the beginning. In that sense, Western support rested on these rather weak moral foundations that were not even consistent with regional strategic interests such as access to (Persian) Gulf oil reserves, trade routes, and leverage in the post-Ottoman Arab world. Zionism in Palestine turned against its British backer when Arab unrest in the 1930s led to some limits being imposed on Jewish immigration to Palestine, and the more militant Zionist militias started an ‘anti-colonial’ war in Palestine despite themselves being colonists. Of course, this was not so unusual in the British experience, having their earlier memories of the American Revolutionary War waged by their own colonists to gain political independence.
This hostile propaganda (against Palestinians), popularized by Hollywood movies demonizing Arabs and glorifying Israelis, bestowed on Israel the political space to impose an apartheid structure of control over the Palestinian people as a whole, and to avoid any international accountability relating to its defiance of international law beyond token expressions of disapproval from European capitals and Washington whenever Israel’s provocations could not be entirely ignored.
In Palestine, as elsewhere, British divide and rule tactics during its administration of Palestine between the two world wars suggested to the UN that partition, again without consulting the smaller, yet still Arab majority, was the solution, which in turn sparked a series of regional wars, culminating in the 1967 War. In that war Israel demonstrated its military prowess, and was no longer regarded by American policymakers as a troublesome burden of conscience for the United States, but was seen as a reliable strategic ally in a turbulent region, and Israel has remained reliable over the course of the last fifty years. All in all, Israel made this unusual transition from being a burden of conscience to becoming a geopolitical junior, often not so junior, partner of the United States. In the process of a string of military defeats of the Arab countries by Israel, especially the 1973 War, there was a gradual weakening of regional support for the liberation of Palestine, and more of an Arab elite disposition to normalize the presence of Israel, and more recently join in an implicit coalition confronting Iran with the lead role being assumed by the U.S., a result of Trump’s tightening regional alignments with Israel and Saudi Arabia during the last four years. The Jewish diaspora also provided a major source of Zionist pro-Israeli leverage around the world, first, in the post-Holocaust context, and after 1967, in the course of celebrating Israel’s military successes and modernizing record of achievement.
Throughout the process, the native Palestinian population was Orientalized, denigrated as ‘backward’ and inclined toward ‘terrorism.’ This hostile propaganda, popularized by Hollywood movies demonizing Arabs and glorifying Israelis, bestowed on Israel the political space to impose an apartheid structure of control over the Palestinian people as a whole, and to avoid any international accountability relating to its defiance of international law beyond token expressions of disapproval from European capitals and Washington whenever Israel’s provocations could not be entirely ignored. Although Israel has benefitted over the decades from American aid and support and European less blatant support, Israeli leadership has always had a Plan B. Israel, sought by every means to be self-reliant with respect to its security, highlighted by its covert acquisition and development of a nuclear weapons arsenal. In this sense, unless there are important shifts in the outlook of Arab governments (although not among the captive populations), even the withdrawal of U.S. support, which seems highly unlikely, would not make Israel much more vulnerable to external pressures.
Q: Based on the realities on the ground, it seems that the only way for the Palestinian people to get their rights is to resist the Israeli occupation. What is your opinion?
A: In view of the considerations discussed above, the most opportune Palestinian strategy would be to give up hopes under present conditions for reaching a satisfactory solution through diplomacy or at the UN. A more promising Palestinian strategy, additional to continuing acts and displays of resistance, is to encourage pressures mounted by the global solidarity movement including at the UN. Such campaigns can gain inspiration from the South African worldwide anti-apartheid movement, which overcame seemingly insurmountable odds to achieve an unexpected, mostly bloodless, victory over racism in the form of a nonviolent transition to multi-racial constitutional democracy.
The UN should not be forgotten. It remains a crucial site of struggle in waging what I have in the past referred to as ‘the legitimacy war’ fought to gain control of world public opinion, as well the high ground of public morality and international law. It should be appreciated that since 1945 the side that prevailed in the legitimacy war, rather than the side that controlled the battlefield, usually achieved political victory in the end. Gandhi appreciated the role of international public opinion in changing the balance of forces in India against the British Empire as did Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam in leading the defeat of overwhelmingly superior American military capabilities. Each conflict has unique characteristics, but the Palestinian struggle, despite present difficulties, can draw hope from the historical record of liberation and self-determination struggles of the past 75 years, and it is winning the legitimacy war, despite the Zionist defamatory pushback.

Jordanian PM threatens to reconsider relations with Israel over West Bank annexation

BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:30 P.M.) – Jordanian Prime Minister Omar Al-Razzaz said that the Hashemite Kingdom will not accept unilateral Israeli measures to annex Palestinian lands in the occupied West Bank, “and we will be forced to reconsider the relationship with Israel.”

Al-Razzaz stressed that “His Majesty was clear, decisive and in harmony with the Jordanian constants, which he reiterates repeatedly in any international forum that talks about global peace and security.”

“The king always reminds the international community, that without a just solution to the Palestinian issue preserving the rights of the Palestinian people, we should not talk about peace without this file,” he continued.

“Jordan, with the king’s words, is clear: We will not accept this, and our opportunity will be to reconsider the relationship with Israel in all its dimensions, but without rushing and anticipating things,” Al-Razzaz said, pointing out that the Hashemite Kingdom is hoping that Israel will reconsider these measures.

Al-Razzaz expressed his hope that “a unified Arab position will be formed and that the international community will fulfill its duty to protect peace not only in this region but also at the world level.”

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«اتفاق 17 أيار»… ومحاولة التخلص من المقاومة التي أسقطته وهزمت القوة التي لا تقهر…

حسن حردان

تحلّ ذكرى اتفاق الذل والإذعان، اتفاق 17 أيار، الذي وقع بين السلطة اللبنانية عام 1983، والعدو الصهيوني، الذي كان جيشه يحتلّ لبنان آنذاك.. والذي استهدف من الاتفاق جعل لبنان محمية صهيونية وتشريع العلاقات رسميا مع كيان العدو الصهيوني ليكون لبنان البوابة الصهيونية الثانية في المشرق العربي، بعد أن نجح قادة العدو في تحويل مصر إلى بوابة أولى من خلال توقيع اتفاقيات كامب ديفيد معها، وكان المايسترو وطابخ هذه الاتفاقيات، في الحالتين، وزيرا خارجية أميركا هنري كيسنجر وجورج شولتز…

الحديث عن اتفاق17 أيار والظروف التي أحاطت بولادته واهدافه، يكتسب أهمية هذه الأيام انطلاقاً من المحاولات الدؤوبة لإعادة إنتاج مثل هذا الاتفاق، والسعي إلى تشريع وجود هذا الكيان الغاصب الاستعماري على أرض فلسطين العربية المحتلة، ومحاولة النيل والتخلص من المقاومة التي هزمت الجيش الصهيوني الذي قيل يوماً إنه لا يُقهر، وأسقطت اتفاق 17 أيار ودشنت عصر قوة لبنان بمقاومته وشعبه وجيشه، واضعة نهاية لمقولة «قوة لبنان في ضعفه» التي كانت تجعل من لبنان فريسة سهلة لاعتداءات وأطماع العدو الصهيوني.

لكن مع ذلك لا زال قادة العدو «الإسرائيلي» يحلمون بإعادة لبنان إلى كنف الوصاية والهيمنة الأميركية الصهيونية ليبقى ساحة للتآمر على العرب، ويعبثون من خلالها بأمن الدول العربية التحرّرية، وفي المقدّمة سورية التي دعمت المقاومة وأسهمت في إسقاط 17 أيار وصناعة انتصار المقاومة عام الفين والذي نحتفل فيه بعد أيام في 25 أيار الحالي.. ولهذا عملوا وما زالوا يعملون للقضاء على المقاومة التي شكلت المثال في إثبات القدرة على مقاومة جيش الاحتلال «الإسرائيلي» وإلحاق الهزيمة المذلة به…

لقد جاء القرار1559 «الإسرائيلي» الصنع كمحاولة أولى لإحداث انقلاب في لبنان ضدّ المقاومة ولإعادته إلى فلك الوصاية الأميركية الصهيونية، ولدى فشل الإنقلاب بعد اغتيال الرئيس رفيق الحريري عام 2005 شنّ العدو محاولة ثانية، حربه العدوانية على لبنان سنة 2006 بدعم غربي وغطاء من بعض الأنظمة العربية، لسحق المقاومة وضرب المثال الذي قدّمته في مقاومة الاحتلال وإمكان هزيمته وتحرير فلسطين والأراضي العربية. لكن فشل هذه الحرب وانتصار المقاومة التاريخي والاستراتيجي ضاعف القلق الأميركي الصهيوني، ودفع واشنطن و»تل أبيب» إلى التحضير لمحاولة ثالثة تمثلت في تنظيم الحرب الإرهابية على سورية لإسقاط نظامها المقاوم الذي كان له دور مهمّ في تمكين المقاومة من الصمود وتحقيق نصر تموز، ولهذا الغرض حشدت جيوش الإرهابيين من أنحاء العالم وقدمت إليهم مختلف إشكال الدعم العسكري والمالي والتسهيلات من دول جوار سورية، وشُكل تحالف دولي إقليمي عربي وفر الدعم السياسي لهؤلاء الإرهابيين، ومع ذلك فشلت هذه الحرب الأمريكية الصهيونية الرجعية في تحقيق أهدافها في السيطرة على سورية وتحويلها إلى دولة عميلة ومتابعة للاستعمار، وها هي سورية بقيادة الرئيس المقاوم الدكتور بشار الأسد تقف على أعتاب إعلان تحقيق النصر النهائي ضدّ أشرس حرب كونية إرهابية قادتها إدارة العدوان والارهاب العالمي في واشنطن..

إذا كان أمراً طبيعياً أن يعمل أعداؤنا على محاولة إنتاج اتفاق 17 أيار جديد، بلوغاً إلى تصفية القضية الفلسطينية من خلال محاولة إسقاط سورية، ظهير المقاومة، كي يسهل بعد ذلك القضاء على المقاومة، فمن غير الطبيعي أن تنخرط قوى لبنانية وعربية، بأشكال مختلفة، في هذه الحرب ضدّ المقاومة وسورية وعموم جبهة المقاومة، والسعي إلى إعادة إنتاج ظروف مماثلة لتلك الظروف التي أنتجت اتفاق 17 أيار..

إنّ بعض الأصوات الداخلية التي وقفت مع الاتفاق ودافعت عن الاتفاق وصوّتت له هي نفسها لا تزال تنخرط في الحرب الناعمة الأميركية الصهيونية لتشويه صورة المقاومة والإساءة إلى سمعتها في سياق العمل للنيل منها.. وهذه الأصوات هي التي تستمرّ في الدفاع عن الاتفاق وتصويره على أنه يحقق ما سموه جلاء القوات «الإسرائيلية» عن لبنان، بينما تشكل جميع بنود الاتفاق انتقاصاً من سيادة لبنان واستقلاله وتعطي «إسرائيل» مكاسب أمنية وسياسية واقتصادية كانت في طليعة الأهداف التي سعت إليها من اجتياح لبنان سنة 1982 إلى جانب ضرب المقاومة الفلسطينية وتنصيب نظام موالٍ لها في بيروت، والعمل على محاصرة سورية تمهيداً إلى محاولة فرض الاستسلام عليها، بعدما فشلت جميع محاولات الترغيب والترهيب والحصار وتقويض استقرارها الداخلي بثنيها عن التشبث بمواقفها الوطنية والقومية والدفاع عنها.

إنّ الذين يدعون الدفاع عن سيادة لبنان واستقلاله اليوم، والذين يشكّكون في صدقية ومناقبية المقاومة، كان بعضهم في طليعة من وقّع على الاتفاق وصوّت وسوّق له، والبعض الآخر لم يطلق طلقة واحدة ضدّ الاحتلال بل استقبل قادة العدو وسهل لهم دخولهم، ولم يتوان عن لعب دور أمني في حماية الاحتلال من عمليات المقاومة.

فهذا الاتفاق الذي صدّق عليه مجلس النواب اللبناني بتاريخ 13/6/1983 لم يرفضه من النواب، سوى النائبين زاهر الخطيب ونجاح واكيم، اللذين يسجل التاريخ لهما هذا الموقف المقاوم المشرّف للاحتلال وعملائه.. ولقد تمّ التوصل إلى الاتفاق بعد مفاوضات طويلة بين الجانبين «الإسرائيلي» واللبناني، وبرعاية أميركية مباشرة، في ظلّ ظروف وتطورات مهّدت للاتفاق.

ما هي تلك الظروف؟

1

ـ احتلال قوات الجيش «الإسرائيلي» لمعظم الأراضي اللبنانية، بما فيها العاصمة بيروت، وسيطرته على سائر المرافق الحيوية في البلاد، بعد انسحاب منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية من بيروت بموجب اتفاق رعته الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، وبلغ عدد القوات «الإسرائيلية» التي اجتاحت لبنان 120 ألف جندي.

2

ـ إجراء انتخابات لرئاسة الجمهورية في ظل الاحتلال وإشرافه وتدخله المباشر بدعم ترشيح بشير الجميّل الذي سارع البرلمان اللبناني، بضغط من «إسرائيل»، إلى التعجيل في عملية انتخاب أمين الجميّل، شقيق بشير الجميّل، بعد مقتل الأخير.

انطلقت المفاوضات بين فندق ليبانون بيتش في خلدة قرب بيروت، ومستوطنة «كريات شمونة» في فلسطين المحتلة قرب الحدود مع لبنان.

3

ـ قيام نظام أمين الجميّل بالتنسيق مع الاحتلال بحملة قمع منظمة للقوى الوطنية واعتقالات واسعة للقيادات والعناصر الوطنية، وحصل تواطؤ مع جيش الاحتلال في ارتكاب مجزرة صبرا وشاتيلا التي استهدفت بث الرعب في صفوف المواطنين وخلق مناخات من الاستسلام ومحاولة قتل إرادة المقاومة، والانتقام في الوقت ذاته.

4

ـ ممارسة عملية ترهيب وترغيب مع النواب، لدفعهم إلى الموافقة على الاتفاق أو الامتناع عن معارضته، وحصل تهديد مباشر للنواب الذين أعلنوا رفضهم للاتفاق إذا ذهبوا إلى الجلسة العامة في 17 أيار. (زاهر الخطيب، ونجاح واكيم).

هذه الظروف الذي نشأ فيها اتفاق 17 أيار المشؤوم ووقع عليه البرلمان اللبناني، تشير إلى أنه فُرض بالإكراه وقسراً في ظلّ الاحتلال والسيطرة «الإسرائيلية» الكاملة والضغط المباشر، وكان نظام أمين الجميّل من أشدّ المتحمّسين له.

يؤكد القانون الدولي في هذا المجال أن الاتفاقات التي تبرم في ظلّ الاحتلال باطلة بطلاناً مطلقاً أو قابلة للإبطال من قبل الدولة المقهورة، علماً أنّ لبنان كان عهدذاك مسلوب الحرية ومنتقص الإرادة، ولذلك فإن مثل هذا الاتفاق سمي باتفاق الإكراه والإذعان والاستسلام لشروط الاحتلال «الإسرائيلي».

إذاً كانت هذه الظروف التي جرى في ظلها إنضاج وتوقيع الاتفاق، فإنّ فكرة توقيع اتفاق صلح مع لبنان نشأت بعدما رأت «إسرائيل» أنّ اتفاقيات كامب ديفيد لم تلبّ أهدافها لناحية تحقيق الانفتاح الاقتصادي معه، وتحويل مصر إلى جسر عبور للدول العربية، بل رأت أنّ الفرصة مواتية لبلوغ ذلك عبر لبنان الذي اختير محطة ثانية بعد مصر لعدة عوامل ومبررات أبرزها:

العامل الأول: إن لبنان يشكل المنافس الاقتصادي الأول لـ«إسرائيل» والعقبة الأهمّ أمام أطماعها في تحقيق الهيمنة والسيطرة على الدول العربية، ولذلك أرادت استغلال روابط لبنان مع الدول العربية لتحقيق ذلك.

العامل الثاني: حالة التمزّق التي كان يعيشها لبنان نتيجة الحرب الأهلية، والتي اتخذت منحى تآكلياً فيما انهارت مؤسسات الدولة وتضرّر الاقتصاد اللبناني كثيراً.

العامل الثالث: التذرّع بأمن «إسرائيل» لتبرير اجتياح لبنان واحتلاله إن بحجة وجود المقاومة الفلسطينية، أو بحجة الدفاع عن المسيحيين.

العامل الرابع: توافر مناخ شجع «إسرائيل» على الاجتياح ويتمثل ببعض القوى المتعاملة والمتعاونة معها ولم تكن تخفي تأييدها لإقدام «إسرائيل» على غزو لبنان كي تتمكن، عبر الاستقواء به وبواسطته، من السيطرة على الحكم في البلاد.

إنها الظروف التي أنتجت توقيع اتفاق 17 أيار المشؤوم ونشوء الفكرة «إسرائيلياً» لاختيار لبنان كثاني بلد عربي بعد مصر لتوقيع اتفاق صلح مع «إسرائيل»، في سياق المخطط «الإسرائيلي» الأميركي الهادف إلى تشريع وجود الكيان الصهيوني الغاصب لفلسطين وجعله كيان طبيعي في المنطقة يملك جميع مقومات التفوق والهيمنة فيها، كما قال وأوضح موريس الجميّل في كراس له تحت عنوان «اسرائيل وسياسة النعامة».

انطلاقاً مما تقدّم، ان ما تتعرّض له المقاومة اليوم من حرب ناعمة تشنها ضدّها واشنطن والدول والأنظمة التابعة لها، إنما يندرج في سياق السعي الى تحقيق:

1

ـ محاولة اضعاف والقضاء على المقاومة، التي أسقطت اتفاق 17 أيار والحقت الهزيمة بجيش الاحتلال وحطمت اسطورته عامي 2000 و 2006.

2

ـ إعادة إخضاع لبنان إلى الهيمنة الاستعمارية.. وخصوصا بعدما أصبحت المقاومة تشكل العقبة الكأداء امام هذا المشروع الاستعماري وتسهم في اضعاف سيطرته في المنطقة، وكذلك بعد ان تحولت المقاومة إلى قوة رادعة تحمي لبنان وثرواته من الاعتداءات والأطماع الصهيونية، وتهدد وجود الكيان الغاصب وتجعله في حالة قلق على وجوده، لا سيما بعد انتصارات محور المقاومة في سورية واكتساب المقاومة المزيد من الخبرات والقدرات في الحرب ضد جيوش الإرهاب..

من هنا فإنّ الالتفاف حول المقاومة والتمسك بالمعادلة الماسية، جيش وشعب ومقاومة، هو الضمانة التي أثبتت انها القادرة على حماية لبنان من العدوانية والأطماع والصهيونية، ومنع إعادة لبنان إلى زمن الخضوع للمحتل الصهيوني، والحيلولة دون إنتاج اتفاق مشابه لاتفاق ١٧ إيار المشؤوم الذي اسقطته المقاومة الشعبية والمسلحة وتضحيات الشهداء والجرحى والأسرى…

Ex-Qatari PM Talks About Prospective Agreement Between Arab States, «Israel»

Ex-Qatari PM Talks About Prospective Agreement Between Arab States, «Israel»

By Staff, Agencies 

The former Qatar Prime Minister, Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani, said that a non-aggression agreement will be signed between Arab countries and the “Israeli” entity, as a next step to the American announcement of the so-called “peace” plan in the Middle East region, known as the “Deal of the Century”.

In a series of tweets on Sunday evening, Bin Jassim said, that he had previously posted on December 14 of last year about the “deal of the century”, and he expected that the deal would announced at the beginning of this year.

Indeed, US President Donald Trump announced it at the end of last January, stressing that “now it will be followed by a non-aggression agreement between ‘Israel’ and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries in addition to Egypt, Jordan and possibly Morocco.”

He continued: “Today, as the ‘deal of the century’ has been announced, as its enemies call it, I must first repeat, as I have always said, that I am not against a just ‘peace’, and then I am not against signing a non-aggression after reaching clear results in the ‘peace’ process.”

He added, “However, I followed up on the rejection of the deal in the Arab League, although there are Arab countries that promised the American side that they would take a positive position on the deal, but they did not, and justified it by saying that it was unable because of the media.”

Bin Jassim pointed out that “these countries want those promises to come closer to America, even though they know that the deal will be held up by the majority in the Arab League, and that they benefit when they appear as America wants, and they renounce, as they imagine, the burdens of opposing or rejecting the deal, and bear it to states. The other rejects, but this is a short-term policy that is open to the American side”.

The former Qatari prime minister stressed that “America and ‘Israel’ need what will result from the announcement of the deal from a beneficial electoral momentum for Trump and Netanyahu, which may add to both an external victory that would enhance the chances of winning the upcoming elections,” explaining that “the Arab side follows a policy based on short-term tactics. Meanwhile, the ‘Israeli’ side places its policies on long-term strategic foundations”.

He asked about the possibility of the Arab countries adopting, as well, an actual and deliberate policy and tactics that benefit from it by exploiting the need of “Israel” and the US for what they want the deal to achieve, “instead of being just tools that others use to achieve their goals.”

According to Trump and Netanyahu, the “deal of the century” will recognize the “Israeli” entity as a Jewish “state”, in addition to working on a “two-state” solution, considering al-Quds [Jerusalem] as an “indivisible” capital for the “Israeli” entity; and thus recognizing the entity’s “sovereignty” over the Jordan Valley, and making investments worth 50 billion dollars to the Palestinian state.

Israel Prepares for Annexation of the West Bank

By Jeremy Salt

Source

Netanyha Gantz b3bd0

Since the election of Donald Trump in 2016, Israel and its global lobbies have had an extraordinary run of success.

In the US and Canada, the passage of laws against the BDS movement; US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the shifting of the embassy there; the appointment of an ambassador who is no more than Israel’s point man in Washington; the Kushner plan and US acceptance of Israeli annexation of the West Bank; and in the UK, the defeat of Jeremy Corbyn, partly if not largely based on  a slanderous campaign launched against the Labor Party generally and Corbyn personally.

This was the most malicious political assassination in British history, with the corporate media and the zionist lobby driving in the knives day after day. The main Jewish newspapers had already maligned Corbyn in the same front page editorial when the Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, used the Corbyn-hating Times to attack Corbyn as “mendacious” and to plant fear amongst British Jews: “What will become of Jews and Judaism in Britain if the Labor Party forms the next government?” Nothing would happen, of course, not to British Jews, but there would be significant changes affecting Britain’s relations with the racist settler enterprise it established in Palestine more than a century ago.

These attacks were not about Judaism but Israel. Jeremy Corbyn is not an anti-semite. This is so obvious that it should not need saying. The false charge of anti-semitism is the weapon used by zionists throughout modern history to destroy critics of Israel and here it was being used again.

Had Corbyn expressed undying support for Israel – as Keir Starmer has since done –  this issue would never have arisen.  Jews inside and outside the Labor Party would have issued statements that while there were bad apples in every barrel,  anti-semitism was a minor issue which the party leadership was dealing with. They would not have hesitated to canvass votes for the Labor Party.

Corbyn has a lifelong record of defending human rights everywhere and that includes the human rights of the Palestinians. Had he been elected he would have re-orientated foreign policy in their favor. That had to be prevented at all costs and the accusation of anti semitism was the weapon used,  on the grounds that repeated often enough people would believe it.

Thus a good man with good policies was thrown aside and a buffoon with no policies installed in his place. In time, once they realize they were duped, the British people may remember the knifing of Corbyn by the zionists.

Now Israel is moving on to its next success, the annexation of the West Bank. This is due to begin on July 1, Netanyahu and Gantz having agreed on its fundamentals and the US ready to rubber-stamp whatever portion of territory they decide to take.

Initially, this seems to be 30 percent plus the Jordan Valley. The 70 percent ostensibly left to the Palestinians will mostly consist mostly of rural land running alongside the border with Jordan.

The Trump-Kushner  ‘peace’ plan was deliberately written to be unacceptable to the Palestinians, all of them, including the now-embittered Mahmud Abbas. His ‘threats’ to rip up all accords if they go ahead is no more than the squeaking of a rusty wheel. He used the zionists and they used him. Now he has been discarded, Mahmud Abbas is of no relevance to anyone.

In the soundings he would have taken before his plan was released,  Kushner would have known perfectly well that the Palestinians would never accept it. No capital in Jerusalem, disarmament in Gaza as well as on the West Bank, Israel in charge of ‘security’ and all borders, no right of return, no more legal claims against Israel on the basis of history, no independent foreign policy, no joining of any international organization except with Israel’s approval, no more payments to the families of martyrs (Israel’s ‘terrorists’) and the acceptance of Israel as a Jewish state.  This was the price demanded of the Palestinians in return for their ‘state’ and as Kushner well knew, they could not possibly pay it.  His plan was designed from the start to be rejected by the Palestinians.

Even if they had accepted this ‘deal’ every loophole had been inserted into it to make sure  Israel ultimately gets what it wants  – all of the West Bank – anyway.  This situation,  of an offer they could not possibly accept,  is one imposed on them throughout their modern history.  When they reject what they cannot possibly accept, whether it be the Peel partition plan of 1937, the UN partition plan of 1947, the establishment of Israel on their land in 1948 or  the Camp David plan of the 1990s,  it is they who are made to shoulder the blame for the failure of the latest ‘peace process.’ If there is a difference now, it is that the Kushner-Trump-Netanyahu plan is so transparently shoddy that anyone with eyes in their head can see right through it.

With increasing portions of the West Bank annexed, under the false sovereignty of an occupying power, the Palestinians will eventually be outnumbered by the settlers poured into their land.  This is the script being written by Netanyahu and his cohorts. A racist parliament will endorse it and even more pseudo-legal and practical obstacles will be raised to make life even more unbearable for the Palestinians.

This is a heinous plan, a plan devoid of any legality, a plan cooked up by criminals and charlatans. The zionists may see it as the end of the road but this is a long war and annexation is no more than another milestone in the struggle against the takeover of Palestine by European colonists in the 20th century.

اشتباك فلسطين المقبل: ليس هناك وسيلة إلا المسير للقتال!

صادق النابلسي

سير الأحداث الحالية تنسج خيطاً نتابعه جميعاً بأبصارنا. ليس «كورونا» إلا جزءاً من اشتباك عالمي كبير يهدف في مكان ما للوصول ببعض الدول إلى النتيجة المقرّرة. يعكس هذا الأمر مفاد الفكرة القائلة: بأنّ «النتيجة التي تحققها القوة بوسائلها المتنوّعة، ستكون هي النتيجة الملائمة إذا ما تحققت في الواقع». هكذا إذاً. فماذا عن صفقة القرن؟ هل تدّل على منتهى الدهاء والتخطيط والذكاء البشري أم على تعاويذ سحرة «الويكا»؟

في الشكل تبدو الصفقة تبادلاً للهدايا الانتخابية. نتنياهو وترامب بحاجة إلى بعضهما البعض للفوز بفترات رئاسية جديدة. كلاهما يختنق بمشاكله الخاصة ويسعى للهروب منها إلى الأمام ولو كان هذا (الأمام) مغامرة محفوفة بالمخاطر، لكن «الجيوبولتيكا التاريخية» التي تجعل الأساطير مركز تصوراتها، تدفع بأحدهما ليغزو المدى الفلسطيني مبشراً بيهودية الدولة، ومن الثاني ليغزو المدى العالمي مبشراً بنهاية التاريخ!

ينطلق الاثنان من أفقين لتعزيز رؤيتها وروايتهما للمستقبل. الأول مكاني (جغرافي)، والثاني زماني (تاريخي). ينعكس العامل الجغرافي في القدرة على التوسع والتموضع والاستحواذ على المزيد من الأعماق المكانية، أما العامل التاريخي فينعكس في قوة الإنسان وحضوره ودوره في صياغة القيم المستحدثة وخلق الوقائع الجديدة.

وعلى الرغم من كلّ العثرات والإخفاقات في سياسات الرئيس الأميركي ورئيس الوزراء الإسرائيلي لكن الاثنين يسعيان لامتلاك الوضعية التي تتيح لأحدهما تصدّر المشهد العالمي والآخر لتصدّر المشهد الإقليمي.

قد يبدو ما تمّ الإعلان عنه في 29 كانون الثاني/ يناير 2020 لحظة تفوّق أميركي إسرائيلي غير مسبوق. أو أنّ التطورات في المنطقة والعالم تقترب بنا أكثر من معادلة جيبولتيكية حتمية صارمة تتمكّن من خلالها الولايات المتحدة الأميركية ومعها الكيان الصهيوني من تحقيق السيطرة العالمية على التاريخ والجغرافيا معاً. ولا شك أنّ الدعاية ساعدت كثيراً في إبراز التآكلات العربية، وموقعية العرب التي إن لم تكن في الهاوية فهي على حافة الهاوية، وكنتيجة منطقية لهذا المسار العربي الرسمي يجب أن يتقلص بصورة نهائية وحاسمة ما دار عليه الصراع منذ مطلع القرن الماضي وتبلّور تحت مسمّى «القضية الفلسطينية». لكن الحقيقة تحجب عمداً التراجعات البنيوية لكلّ من الحليفين على مساحة العالم والمنطقة. «أميركا هذه ليست التي كنّا نعرفها» كما يقول الكاتب الأميركي ديفيد أغناتيوس. ولا «إسرائيل» هي «إسرائيل» التي تعيش هواجس التطويق، والبيئة المحيطة «الغنية بالأسلحة»، والصواريخ الدقيقة و«المتوحشة» لمحور المقاومة، وأزمات الكيان التي تقول عنها الكاتبة ياعيل دايان: «من يقرأ ويتقصّى الحقائق ويتعمّق في الداخل الإسرائيلي ويطّلع على التناقضات والمشاكل الداخلية يدرك ضعف هذا المجتمع… ما بين التصدّع القومي والتصدّع الديني والطائفي والطبقي، تتشكل عوامل انهيار دولة «إسرائيل» في المستقبل».

من الواضح أنّ فكرة الهروب إلى الأمام لدى كلّ من نتنياهو وترامب، تقاطعت مع بيئة الصراع الحالية في المنطقة التي تتميّز بالحركة والتغيّر الشديدين، وأيضاً مع التأسيسات الدينية والاستعمارية التاريخية، وكذلك مع الحسابات الاستراتيجية المتعلقة بالمنافسة العالمية على موارد وثروات الوطن العربي. من هذا المنطلق تعكس الصفقة في جوهرها التصور الأميركي الإسرائيلي لحلّ القضية الفلسطينية. فلا تشير إلى شريك فلسطيني وإنما إلى شريك عربي، ولا هي معروضة للتفاوض وإنما للتطبيق. وهذا التطوّر يشير أولاً، إلى أنّ الحاجة إلى الفلسطينيين في بلورة هذا التصوّر لم تعد ضرورية. وثانياً، إنّ كلّ مسارات التسوية والتفاوض حول قضاياها كاللاجئين والدولة والقدس والحدود والأمن أصبحت من زمن سابق، وحتى مرجعية الأمم المتحدة وقراراتها لم تعد ذا بال. قبل هذه الصفقة يمكن الإشارة إلى أنّ مركب التآمر لحذف فلسطين من الجغرافيا والتاريخ، وإنهاء القضية الفلسطينية كقضية إنسانية عربية إسلامية مرت بصياغات أربع:

الأولى: سياسة الاستعمار البريطاني المتمثلة بتصريح بلفور عام 1917.

الثانية: إجراءات الأمم المتحدة التي أوصت بترسيخ شرعية الاحتلال عبر قرار التقسيم 181.

الثالثة: استخدام القوة الخشنة في محاولات فرض الوقائع الجغرافية الإحلالية عبر النار أعوام 1973 -1967 – 1956 – 1948.

الرابعة: مسارات التسوية التي هدفت إلى تحويل الصراع العربي الإسرائيلي من صراع وجود إلى نزاع حدود.

لقد كان واضحاً من خلال المسارات التفاوضية مع الفلسطينيين أنّ الولايات المتحدة الأميركية لم تكن من الأساس تدعم مبدأ الحلول التوافقية، فقد مرّت على اتفاقية «أوسلو» ما يقارب 27 عاماً من دون نتيجة على الرغم من إجحافها الكبير بحقوق الفلسطينيين، وإنما هدفت إلى أن تحصل (ربيبتها إسرائيل) على ثمار «التسوية» من دون تقديم استحقاقاته، ورسمت إطاراً سياسياً وجغرافياً جديداً تحت مسمّى «الشرق الأوسط الموسع» في سياق عملية يُستعمل فيها عامل الزمن لتغيير معادلة القوة، وإنتاج بنية نفسية وسياسية يقبل فيها العرب بـ (إسرائيل) كياناً طبيعياً في هذه المنطقة، هذا من جانب، ومن جانب آخر، يصل معها الفلسطينيون إلى حالة اليأس من إمكانية استرداد الأرض التاريخية وحتى أجزاء أساسية منها لبناء دولتهم، بل إنّ الزمن عندما يُستفاد منه، بحسب الرؤية الإسرائيلية، بدرجة قصوى سيدفع الفلسطينيين إلى الإعراض عن كثير من مطالبهم السابقة ومبادئهم التي من أجلها قدّموا الدماء، وحينها سينتزع الصهاينة من الفلسطينيين الاعتراف بشرعية وجودهم. وقد كان ملاحظاً منذ «أوسلو» كيف أنّ إسرائيل كانت تتعمّد شراء الوقت وتصطنع الاتفاق تلو الاتفاق وتخترع البروتوكولات والمذكرات حول أيّ قضية جزئية لتواصل عملية توسعة المستوطنات وشقّ الطرق وتغيير معالم القرى والمدن الفلسطينية وصولاً إلى هذا اليوم الذي لم يعد يحق فيه للفلسطينيين إلا ما هو معروض عليهم من فتات!

إنّ محدّدات هذه الصفقة تاريخياً تنطلق من التالي:

أولاً: الحاجة الملحة لتطهير الأرض من السكان الأصليين عبر عمليات الإبادة والطرد أو العزل الجغرافي. فليس لدى «إسرائيل» سوى معادلة واحدة تقوم على أساس محو الوجود الفلسطيني مادياً ومعنوياً وهوية وانتماء.

ثانياً: العدوان يعتبر خاصية سلوكية أيّ سمة تميّز الشخصية الإسرائيلية العميقة التي تتوثب للعدوان وتتحفز له وتهيّئ مقدّماته ولا تأسف لنتائجه، وعلى امتداد السنين الماضية كانت هذه الشخصية محمية ومدعومة بإطار قانوني إداري يسمح لها بالتعبير عن نفسها حتى لو تخطت كلّ الحدود الأخلاقية والإنسانية والقوانين الدولية.

ثالثاً: السلوك الإسرائيلي في التوّسع وسرقة الأرض وبناء المستوطنات يشير إلى هدف أكثر فساداً من مجرد إرضاء حاجة للأمن، على الرغم من خطورة هذا العامل في السنوات الأخيرة، وهو منع إقامة كيان فلسطيني. فقد كانت المدرسة المتطرفة داخل الكيان تعتبر أنّ مثل هذه «الحلول الانهزاميّة» سوف تعطي شرعية للفلسطينيين ولو كانت نسبيّة ومحدودة، كذلك من شأنها أن تثبّت الوجود الفلسطيني البشري. فما من تفاهم، بحسب تلك المزاعم، إلا وسينتهي بقنبلة ديمغرافية لا يمكن منع انفجارها في المستقبل!

رابعاً: الصفقة انعكاس لفكرة «البقاء للأقوى». فالمعادلة بين دولة متقدمة (إسرائيل) ومجموعة من البشر المتخلفين (الفلسطينيون) تُثبت انتصاراً للمتمدّنين على المتخلفين بفعل الهوة الحضارية التي تفصل بينهما. فقد آن الأوان لإعلان هذا الانتصار الساحق لدولة إسرائيل المتقدّمة على الصعد التكنولوجية والعسكرية والاقتصادية والصناعية. وهذا الأمر يؤكد صلاحية نظرية داروين البيولوجية التي أكدت على أنّ البقاء للأصلح والأقوى وانطباقها، بحسب المزاعم الإسرائيلية، على الظواهر التاريخية والاجتماعية أيضاً!

خامساً: تشكل الإمكانات التي يمتلكها الكيان الإسرائيلي أمراً هاماً في إطار عملية إدارة الصراع. هو الأقدر والأكفأ على توظيفها واستثمارها بالطريقة التي تحقق له أهدافه.

أي الضغط بها على العدو( العربي أو الفلسطيني) وابتزازه حتى يرضخ بتسليمه لهزيمة لا مفرَّ منها. فالهدف الأقصى هو جعل الأنظمة والجماهير في حالة اقتناع جذرية من أنّ تحدي القوة التي تمثلها إسرائيل مستحيلة!

سادساً: تدني سقف المطالب العربية. فلم يعد النظام الرسمي العربي يريد للفلسطينيين أن يحصلوا حتى على أبسط حقوقهم. عند هذا النظام انتهت القضية. المرحلة هي للتطبيع والتعامل مع الوقائع والموازين بطريقة «واقعية». وهذا ما يريده الصهاينة، أيّ أن يُقرّ العرب أنّ الصراع قد حُسم لصالح «إسرائيل» وأن ليس أمامهم إلا تبني نظرية المنتصرين والاستسلام لترتيبات وإجراءات المرحلة!

لا شك أنّ «صفقة القرن» هي رمز جديد من رموز هزيمة النظام الرسمي العربي، الذي حكم على نفسه بالهزيمة عندما امتنع عن استخدام جزء من وسائله في الوقت الذي صمّم فيه «العدو» على استخدام وسائله كلها.

لكن قوى المقاومة تملك مقاربة مختلفة للمرحلة وإن كانت ضاغطة بتحدياتها. فعلى الرغم من حالة الإحباط التي سرت في نفوس الجماهير من استمرار مسلسل الهزائم والنكبات، فإنّ الضغط يستدعي المزيد من الأمل لا العكس.

ويمكن أن نسجل الملاحظات السريعة التالية:

أولاً: قوى المقاومة تخوض اليوم معركة دفاعية حقيقية على مستوى المنطقة بأسرها، ومع ذلك قد تشتمل أفعالها على حركة هجومية خصوصاً أنّ موقع العدو الدفاعي ليس قوياً جداً بشهادة الخبراء العسكريين الإسرائيليين أنفسهم.

ثانياً: تعمل قوى المقاومة إلى نقل المعركة إلى قلب الضفة الغربية. المكان الذي طلب فيه جمال عبد الناصر من الفلسطينيين «رصاصة واحدة تدوي كلّ يوم» لجعل العدو في حالة استنزاف وهلع وتراجع وجودي.

ثالثاً: الطاقة المعنوية الهائلة التي تمتلكها قوى المقاومة المرتكزة على الإيمان الديني والوطني والقومي. وهي أداة أساسية من أدوات الحرب لا يمكن إغفال أهميتها في حسم الصراع. ولا شك أنّ قوى المقاومة متفوقة في هذا المضمار وهي تحقق من خلال هذه الأداة تناسباً ضرورياً تحتاجه وهي تخوض صراعاً تسعى للفوز به.

رابعاً: جميع خيوط النشاط التاريخي الحضاري مؤدّية إلى الاشتباك. والنشاط هذا لا يهدف إلى تدمير القدرات القتالية للعدو وإنما إلى إزالة العدو من الوجود. إنّ ضخامة هذا التحدي لا يرتبط بسيرورة التطورات والتحولات في المنطقة وإنما تقديراً لنتيجة الاشتباكات المحمومة حالياً على مستوى العالم بأسره.

صفقة القرن تعكس في وجه من وجوهها العملانية مَن استخدم موارده بمهارة وقوة، ومَن تخلّى عن موارده بخفة وسذاجة، فوصل العرب إلى ما وصلوا إليه! لكن في قصتنا، فالأمر لا يُحسب على قاعدة جيش يجابه جيشاً آخر بمجرد اختبار صارم للقوة، وإنما قيمة أيّ فعل تُقاس بالنتائج. أيّ بنتائج الصفقة وتأثيرها الحاسم على مجمل القضية. ويكفي اليوم أن نفحص التأثير الناجم عن تشكل محور المقاومة لنلحظ مخاوف العدو الذي تقترب الهزيمة منه أكثر ما تزايد النشاط العسكري عند هذا المحور ورجحان وقوع الحرب.

هذه المرة نحن لا نعتمد على حاسة سادسة أو مجرد شعور عاطفي زائف بأنّ الصفقة ستموت كما قال الإمام الخامنئي، وإنما على مقدّمات عقلية، وملاحظات منطقية مُشَاهَدة من داخل فلسطين وخارجها، ودلائل متناثرة في فوضى هذا العالم وتناقضاته الواسعة، تدّل على شيء ما. شيء لم نره بعد ولكن متأكدون أنّه آت!

‘Zionist’ Biden in His Own Words: ‘My Name is Joe Biden, and Everybody Knows I Love Israel’

March 16, 2020

By Ramzy Baroud

“I am a Zionist. You don’t have to be a Jew to be a Zionist,” current Democratic Presidential candidate, Joe Biden, said in April 2007, soon before he was chosen to be Barack Obama’s running mate in the 2008 elections. 

Biden is, of course, correct, because Zionism is a political movement that is rooted in 20th-century nationalism and fascism. Its use of religious dogmas is prompted by political expediency, not spirituality or faith.

Unlike US President, Donald Trump, or Bernie Sanders, Biden’s only serious opponent in the Democratic primaries, Biden’s stand on Israel is rarely examined.

Trump has made his support for Israel the cornerstone of his foreign policy agenda since his inauguration into the White House in January 2017. The American President has basically transformed into Israel’s political genie, granting Tel Aviv all of its wishes in complete defiance of international law. 

Sanders, on the other hand, came to represent the antithesis of Trump’s blind and reckless support for Israel. Himself Jewish, Sanders has promised to restore to the Palestinian people their rights and dignity, and to play a more even-handed role, thus ending decades of US unconditional support and bias in favor of Israel. 

But where does Biden factor into all of this?

Below is a brief examination of Biden’s record on Palestine and Israel in recent years, with the hope that it gives the reader a glimpse of a man that many Democrats feel is the rational alternative to the political imbalances and extremism of the Trump administration.

August 1984: Palestinians and Arabs are to Blame

Biden’s pro-Israel legacy began much earlier than his stint as a vice-President or presidential candidate. 

When Biden was only a Senator from Delaware, he spoke at the 1984 annual conference of ‘Herut Zionists of America’. Herut is the forerunner of Israel’s right-wing Likud party. 

In his speech before the jubilant right-wing pro-Israel Zionist crowd, Biden derided the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Arab governments, for supposedly derailing peace in the Middle East. 

Biden spoke of “three myths (that) propel U.S. policy in the Middle East” which, according to the American Senator, are, “the belief that Saudi Arabia can be a broker for peace, the belief that King Hussein (of Jordan) is ready to negotiate peace, and the belief that the Palestine Liberation Organization can deliver a consensus for peace.”

April 2007: ‘I am a Zionist’ 

Time only cemented Biden’s pro-Israel’s convictions, leading to his declaration in April 2007 that he is not a mere supporter of Israel – as has become the standard among US politicians – but is a Zionist himself. 

In an interview with Shalom TV, and despite his insistence that he does not need to be Jewish to be a Zionist, Biden labored to make connections with the ‘Jewish State’ revealing that his son is married to a Jewish woman and that “he had participated in a Passover Seder at their house,” according to the Israeli Ynet News.

March 2013: ‘Qualitative Edge’

This commitment to Israel became better articulated when Biden took on greater political responsibilities as the US vice-president under Obama’s administration.

At a packed AIPAC conference in March 2013, Biden elaborated on his ideological Zionist beliefs and his president’s commitment to ‘the Jewish state of Israel’. He said:

“It was at that table that I learned that the only way to ensure that it could never happen again was the establishment and the existence of a secure, Jewish state of Israel. I remember my father, a Christian, being baffled at the debate taking place at the end of World War II ..” that any country could object to the founding of Israel on the ruins of the Palestinian homeland.

“That’s why we’ve worked so hard to make sure Israel keeps its qualitative edge in the midst of the Great Recession. I’ve served with eight Presidents of the United States of America, and I can assure you, unequivocally, no President has done as much to physically secure the State of Israel as President Barack Obama.”  

December 2014: ‘Moral Obligation’ 

In one of the most fiercely pro-Israel speeches ever given by a top US official, Biden told the annual Saban Forum at the Brookings Institution in Washington on December 6, 2014, that, “If there weren’t an Israel, we would have to invent one”.

In his speech, Biden added a new component to the American understanding of its relationship with Israel, one that goes beyond political expediency or ideological connections; a commitment that is founded on “moral obligation”.

Biden said, “We always talk about Israel from this perspective, as if we’re doing (them) some favor. We are meeting a moral obligation. But it is so much more than a moral obligation. It is overwhelmingly in the self-interest of the United States of America to have a secure and democratic friend, a strategic partner like Israel. It is no favor. It is an obligation, but also a strategic necessity.”

April 2015: ‘I Love Israel’ 

My name is Joe Biden, and everybody knows I love Israel,” Biden began his speech at the 67th Annual Israeli Independence Day Celebration held in Jerusalem in April 2015.

“Sometimes we drive each other crazy,” the US vice-president said in reference to disagreements between Israel and the US over Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu’s refusal to halt construction of illegal Jewish settlements. 

“But we love each other,” he added. “And we protect each other. As many of you heard me say before, were there no Israel, America would have to invent one. We’d have to invent one because … you protect our interests like we protect yours.”

July 2019: US Embassy Stays in Jerusalem

In response to a question by the news website, AXIOS, which was presented to the various Democratic party candidates, on whether a Democratic President would relocate the American embassy back to Tel Aviv, the Biden campaign answered:

“Vice President Biden would not move the American embassy back to Tel Aviv. But he would re-open our consulate in East Jerusalem to engage the Palestinians.”

October 2019: Support for Israel Unconditional 

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal on October 31, 2019, Biden was asked whether he agrees with the position taken by his more progressive opponent, Bernie Sanders, regarding US financial support to Israel and Jewish settlement.

Sanders had said that, “if elected president he would leverage billions of dollars in U.S. military aid to Israel to push Jerusalem to change its policies toward the Palestinians,” The Hill news website reported

Biden’s response was that, “ ..  the idea that we would draw military assistance from Israel, on the condition that they change a specific policy, I find to be absolutely outrageous. No, I would not condition it, and I think it’s a gigantic mistake. And I hope some of my candidates who are running with me for the nomination — I hope they misspoke or they were taken out of context.”

March 2020: ‘Above Politics, Beyond Politics’ 

Biden’s fiery speech before the pro-Israel lobby group, AIPAC, at their annual conference in March 2020, was a mere continuation of a long legacy that is predicated on his country’s blind support for Israel.

Biden’s discourse on Israel – a mixture of confused ideological notions, religious ideas and political interests – culminated in a call for American support for Israel that is “above politics and beyond politics”.  

“Israelis wake up every morning facing an existential threat from their neighbors’ rockets from Gaza, just like this past week .. That’s why I’ve always been adamant that Israel must be able to defend itself. It’s not just critical for Israeli security. I believe it’s critical for America’s security.” 

Palestinians “need to end the rocket attacks from Gaza,” Biden also said. “They need to accept once and for all the reality and the right of a secure democratic and Jewish state of Israel in the Middle East.”

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

Palestinians have only one option left: Stay and fight

Palestinians demonstrate in front of Israeli soldiers during a protest against Trump’s Middle East peace plan in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on 29 January (Reuters)

David Hearst 29 January 2020 13:13 UTC | 

A new wave of struggle has to start now for equal rights in one state on all of the land of historic Palestine


An elephant trap has for years now laid in the path of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s messianic plans to establish the state of Israel between the river and the sea.

It was the demographic fact that, in that space, there were more Palestinians than Jews. According to 2016 figures from the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) that were provided to the Israeli Knesset’s foreign affairs and defence committee, there were 6.5 million Muslims and 6.44 million Jews between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea, although those figures are out of date now. The committee referred to Muslims rather than Palestinians, thus excluding Palestinian Christians.

This means that Netanyahu’s annexation plan on its own cannot work. The huge concrete infrastructure with which Israel has cemented its occupation of the West Bank – settlements, walls, roads and tunnels – and its apartheid state as cruel and as complete as anything manufactured in South Africa, are all palliatives – medicines which reduce the pain to a Jewish majority state but not the cause.

Another Nakba

You can announce as many times as you like, as US President Donald Trump did yesterday, that Israel will take over the Jordan Valley and thus about 30 per cent of the West Bank, and establish Israeli law over the settlements. But without physically moving greater and greater numbers of Palestinians out of the expanded state of Israel, little changes. Annexation just becomes another form of occupation. 

Population transfer, mass population transfer, another Nakba or Catastrophe, therefore, lies at the heart of Trump’s and Netanyahu’s “vision” for peace. 

This is a peace of sorts. It’s the silence you hear in the Palestinian villages in 1948, in Beit Hanoun in 2014, when Israel bombed a UN school in northern Gaza crowded with hundreds of displaced civilians killing 15 and injuring 200 people, or in East Aleppo or Mosul, after each in turn have been bombed to a pulp. It’s the peace created in the total and complete defeat of the Palestinian struggle for a state built on their own land.

The hidden plan

So, for me, the heart of the apocalyptic vision lay not in the supremacist speeches of Trump or Netanyahu, in which both proclaimed “mission accomplished”, and the complete victory of the Zionist movement over the Palestinian people. It lay in a paragraph buried deep inside the 180-page document, the most detailed document Trump bragged that had ever been produced about this conflict. Precisely.

It’s the paragraph which says that land swaps by Israel could include both “populated and unpopulated areas”. The document is precise about the population it is referring to – the 1948 Palestinian population of the so-called northern triangle of Israel – Kafr Qara, Baqa-al-Gharbiyye, Umm al-Fahm, Qalansawe, Tayibe, Kafr Qasim, Tira, Kafr Bara and Jaljulia.

The document goes on: “The Vision contemplates the possibility, subject to agreement of the parties, that the borders of Israel will be redrawn such that the Triangle Communities become part of the State of Palestine. In this agreement, the civil rights of the residents of the triangle communities would be subject to the applicable laws and judicial rulings of the relevant authorities.”

This is the hidden and most dangerous part of this plan. The triangle is home to about 350,000 Palestinians – all of whom are Israeli citizens – perched beside the north western border of the West Bank. Umm al-Fahm, its main city, has been the home of some of the most active defenders of Al Aqsa.

Yousef Jabareen, a member of the Israeli Knesset from the Joint List, told me: “Umm al-Fahm is my hometown, Wadi Ara is my lifeblood. The Triangle is home to hundreds of thousands of Arab-Palestinian citizens living in their homeland. Trump and Netanyahu’s annexation and transfer programme remove us from our homeland and revoke our citizenship; an existential danger to all Arab minority citizens. Now is the time for Jews and Arabs who value democracy and equality, to stand and work together against this dangerous plan.”

Official ‘ethnic cleansing’

For years now the “static transfer” of this population out of Israel has been toyed with by Israeli leaders of the centre or the right. The idea of a population and land swap was alluded to by former prime ministers Ehud Barak and Ariel Sharon. But it was only Avigdor Lieberman who took the expulsion of Palestinians up consistently as a cause. 

He advocated stripping a suggested 350,000 Palestinians in the Triangle of their Israeli citizenship and forcing the other 20 per cent of the Israeli population, who are non-Jews, to make a “loyalty oath” to Israel as a “Jewish Zionist state”, or face expulsion to a Palestinian state.

Two years ago, Netanyahu proposed to Trump that Israel should rid itself of the Triangle. Today these plans for ethnic cleansing have been sealed in an official White House document. 

As Palestinian member of the Knesset, Ayman Odeh, tweeted, Trump’s announcement was “a green light to revoke the citizenship of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arab citizens who live in northern Israel”.

Supporting Trump

The presence of the Emirati, Bahraini and Omani ambassadors in the audience was the other remarkable feature of the announcement in the White House on Tuesday. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the UAE welcomed the plan without reservation. Qatar did too, although it added that the Palestinian state should be negotiated on 1967 borders and Palestinians should retain their right of return.

Trump said he was amazed at the number of calls he received from world leaders in support of his plan. Not least from our very own British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Ditching four decades of British foreign policy on an equitable and just two-state solution, Johnson threw the UK’s weight behind the Trump plan. British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab also released a statement to say they “welcome” the deal. “This is clearly a serious proposal, reflecting extensive time and effort,” he said.

“I cannot believe the amount of support this morning has,” Trump bragged. “I have been called by leaders, Boris [Johnson] called; so many called. They’re all saying, ‘whatever we can do to help”.

There are some, however, who realise the danger of this plan. Senator Chris Murphy is one of them. He tweeted: “The unilateral annexation of the Jordan River valley and existing settlements, deemed illegal under US and international law, will set back the peace process decades. And it risks real violence and massive destabilization inside places like Jordan.”

Home alone

No-one should underestimate the historic nature of the declaration that has just taken place. The two-state solution or the idea that a viable, contiguous Palestinian state can be created alongside a Jewish majority state is dead. It was dead long before Oslo Accords. 

Arab peacemakers like King Hussein of Jordan was told in terms by both the Soviets – Yevgeny Primakov – and James Baker, then secretary of state, that an independent Palestinian state would never be achieved. This was even before the Madrid conference which preceded Oslo. The king did not need to attend the funeral of his friend Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated in 1995, to realise this. He knew it already. But it really is dead now. 

The US has now given its official imprimatur to the eastern borders of the state of Israel. The map Middle East Eye published says it all. The Palestinian state envisioned by the plan looks like an MRI scan of the brain of an Alzheimer’s victim. The Palestinian state has been entirely eaten away.

US President Donald Trump and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s on 28 January (Reuters)

The message of this map to Palestinians of whatever faction is now crystal clear. Forget your divisions, forget what happened between Fatah and Hamas in Gaza in 2007, cast aside claims of coups, and unite. Unite against an existential threat.

The Palestinians are truly alone. All of the staples of their negotiating position have gone. They have no Jerusalem, no right of return, no refugees to return, no Golan Heights and now no Jordan Valley. They have no Arab allies. Syria is wrecked, Iraq divided, Egypt and Saudi Arabia are now Israel’s playthings. The Palestinians have lost the support of the most populous Arab nation and its richest one.

They have nowhere to flee to. Europe is closed for any future mass migration. They have only one option: to stay and fight. United, they can undo Israel’s supremacist plans for ethnic cleansing. They have done this before and they can do this again.

A new struggle

Palestinians now have to face this reality. The PLO’s recognition of Israel, in 1993, has finally hit the dead end that this road was always going to lead to. The US, international law, UN resolutions were never going to come to their rescue, and in this sense alone, Trump’s brutal plan has done Palestinians a favour. It has blown away decades of fantasy.Trump’s ‘deal of the century’: A blessing in disguise?Read More »

What has to start now is a new wave of struggle for equal rights in one state on all of the land of historic Palestine. This will involve a huge fight. No-one should underestimate what will happen if the Palestinian people rise up again. But no-one should be in any doubt too, of the consequences of acquiescence.

This is the first time since 1948 that all Palestinians can join together to do this. They have to seize this opportunity or wither away as a footnote in history.

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

Netanyahu’s Real Crimes

Global Research, November 26, 2019
Arab American Institute 23 November 2019

After years of investigation and months of delay, Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit formally indicted Benjamin Netanyahu for crimes ranging from his violation of public trust to bribery and fraud. Israel’s apologists will argue that the fact that a sitting Prime Minister has been charged with crimes against the state and people presents compelling evidence of the country’s democracy and commitment to the rule of law. This is the very point that Mandelblit made in announcing the indictments – “The public interest requires that we live in a country where no one is above the law.” However, this is only partially true since it appears that in Israel the principles of democracy or the rule of law only apply to Israeli Jews or the interests of the state, itself. In fact, Netanyahu’s entire sordid career is evidence of the selectiveness of Israelis’ sense of justice.

In the past the Netanyahu household has been charged with some of the pettiest forms of corruption imaginable. For example, his wife was found guilty of taking the empty bottles from beverages consumed at official state functions and keeping the money she received for turning them for recycling. The Netanyahus were also known to bring three weeks of dirty laundry on two-day official state trips and sending them to the hotel in which they were staying for a night so that the cleaning bill would be charged to the state’s budget. This is the sort of past petty thievery for which the Netanyahus were famous.

Looking at the recent indictments, it is clear that the Prime Minister has graduated to bigger and better forms of fraud and corruption. What’s striking, however, is that all of the crimes with which he is charged were focused on feeding his ego or his appetites. In some instances, they were favors done for a businessman in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts, in others they were the corrupt deals he made with various media tycoons in which he promised them benefits in exchange for their guaranteeing him positive coverage in their news outlets.

There is no doubt, that in all of these cases, Netanyahu’s behavior has been clearly criminal and reprehensible, and, as described by the Attorney General, a breach of the public’s trust. But what I find so striking and disturbing, is that these crimes pale in significance when compared to what Netanyahu has done to the Palestinian people and the prospect for Israeli-Palestinian peace – crimes for which he will not be called to account.

After Oslo, Netanyahu organized a back-door lobby to mobilize US Congressional opposition to the peace accords. This was the first time an Israeli lobby worked in the US to oppose their own government. He should have been charged with treason.

Back in Israel, during the same period, he organized with Ariel Sharon and a few others a smear campaign of incitement against Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The campaign was so virulent and threatening that many Israelis, including Rabin’s wife, held Netanyahu responsible for Rabin’s assassination. Netanyahu should have been charged with incitement.

Image result for yitzhak rabin death

In 1996, he was elected Prime Minister on a platform dedicated to ending the peace process and he did everything he could to slow down, distort, and ultimately sabotage the Oslo Peace Process. Even the agreement he signed with the Palestinians at Wye so encumbered the process that by the end of his first term in office, peace was on life support.  He should have been charged with destroying the prospects for peace and putting at risk the lives of millions.

During his last three terms in office, he incited violence and hatred against Palestinians, both those who are citizens of Israel and those living under occupation. This has fueled extremist settler movements that have engaged in daily acts of violence, destruction of property, and murder. He also encouraged soldiers in the Israeli army to murder defenseless Palestinians and supported them when they were charged with crimes. In addition, as he did with Rabin, he has falsely accused his Israeli opponents of being too close to the Arabs and accused the Palestinian citizens of Israel of being enemies of the state. He should have been charged with hate crimes.

During his time in office he has: expanded settlements on stolen Palestinian land and the demolition of Palestinian property; overseen a number of devastating assaults on Gaza resulting in the indiscriminate massacre of thousands of innocent civilians and the destruction of Gaza’s infrastructure; instituted and maintained a cruel blockade of Gaza’s population, as an act of collective punishment, in which, for long periods of time, food, medicine, and other essential items were restricted or severely regulated – resulting in death, disease, and impoverishment of millions of innocents. He should have been charged with war crimes.

The list could go on, but this should suffice.

The bottom line is that, to be sure, Netanyahu is a criminal. But in today’s Israel he can’t be found guilty of his most serious crimes – treason, incitement, destroying peace, hate crimes, and war crimes. Instead, he will be asked only to answer for his narcissistic appetites and corruption.

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تحرير الأسيرين… فرحة وليس إنجازاً

 

نوفمبر 9, 2019

طارق سامي خوري

انشغل الرأي العام الأردني خلال الشهرين الماضيين باعتقال سلطات الاحتلال الصهيوني للمواطنين هبة اللبدي وعبد الرحمن مرعي وحبسهما إدارياً من دون توجيه تهمة إلى أيّ منهما، وقد تحوّل استقبالهما بعد إطلاق سراحهما منذ أيام إلى عرس وطني وشعبي.

ورغم محاولة وزارة الخارجية الأردنية تصوير ما جرى على أنه «إنجاز» حقّقته الوزارة في هذا الملف، إلا أنّ ذلك لا يُعدُّ إنجازاً خصوصاً أنّ وزارة الخارجية كانت مُغيّبة تماماً وقد مرّ شهران تقريباً على حادثة الاعتقال حتى تحركت في اتجاه إطلاق سراح اللبدي ومرعي، ذلك أنّ التحرُّكات الشعبية المُندّدة بما جرى والمطالبة بتحرير الأسيرين، إضافة إلى صمود اللبدي التي أعلنت إضراباً عن الطعام مدة 42 يوماً ومرعي رغم أنه يعاني من مرض السرطان في سجنيهما هي التي دفعت الوزارة إلى التحرُّك ما أسفر أخيراً عن إطلاقهما.

للأسف، ورغم مرور ربع قرن على توقيع اتفاقية الاستسلام «وادي عربة»، كانت علاقة الأردن مع الكيان الصهيوني تتّسم على الدوام بأنها علاقة ضعيفٍ بقوي، ولن أخوض بعيداً في الأحداث التي تدلّ على ذلك وهي كثيرة، سأكتفي فقط باسترجاع حادثة مقتل مواطنين أردنيين عام 2017 على يد أحد حراس سفارة العدو في الأردن بدم بارد، وكيف غادر قاتلهما إلى فلسطين المحتلة في اليوم نفسه حيث استقبله رئيس وزراء العدو بنيامين نتنياهو استقبال «الأبطال» بطريقة مُستفزّة لمشاعر الأردنيين ومُهينة للمملكة.

أعادت قضية اللبدي ومرعي طرح قضية الأسرى الأردنيين في السجون الإسرائيلية، وهم 21 أسيراً إضافة إلى 30 مفقوداً، ورغم وجود أوراق ضغط كثيرة في يد الأردن أبرزها اتفاقية «وادي عربة» و»اتفاقية الغاز» و»ناقل البحرين» ووجود سفارة للكيان الصهيوني على الأراضي الأردنية إلا أنّ ذلك لم يُصرف فعلياً في ملف إنساني ووطني حسّاس كملف الأسرى الذين قضى بعضهم حتى الآن أكثر من عشرين سنة في زنازين الاحتلال، وكلّ ما فعلته الحكومات الأردنية المتعاقبة في هذا الملف هو تضييع فرص كثيرة للضغط على الكيان الصهيوني للإفراج عن الأسرى وإغلاق الملف، وتفعيل معاهدتي جنيف الثالثة والرابعة اللتين تُلزمان الدول «المُتحاربة» بإطلاق سراح الأسرى بعد انتهاء الأعمال العسكرية، وجميعنا نذكر رفض الحكومة الأردنية عام 2004 شمول الأسرى الأردنيين في صفقة تبادل بين «حزب الله» اللبناني وسلطات الاحتلال، معتبرة «ملف الأسرى شأناً أردنياً خالصاً»، إضافة إلى إضاعة فرصة إجبار الكيان الصهيوني على تبادل عميلي الموساد اللذين ألقي القبض عليهما بعد فشل محاولة اغتيال رئيس المكتب السياسي لحركة «حماس» خالد مشعل في عمّان 1996 بأسرى أردنيّين خصوصاً من أصحاب الأحكام العالية والمؤبدة، وغير ذلك الكثير من الفرص.

إنّ عدوَّنا الذي يقاتلنا «في حقنا وأرضنا وديننا» والذي أنشأ كيانه المزعوم فوق دماء شهدائنا وأراضي أبناء شعبنا في فلسطين ومنازلهم لا يفهم لغة الدبلوماسية والمفاوضات، لذلك يجب أن يكون اتصالنا معه «اتصال الحديد بالحديد والنار بالنار» وإنّ اتفاقية الاستسلام لم تخدم الأردن بل خدمت الكيان الصهيوني. هم يسمّونها «اتفاقية سلام» لأنها في الحقيقة جلبت السلام للعدو، وإذا نظرنا إلى حال الدول التي وقّعت سلاماً مع الاحتلال نجد أنّ الإنجاز الكبير قد تحقق للكيان الصهيوني وهو إخراج مصر والأردن والسلطة الفلسطينية من معادلة الصراع معه ليستفرِد بدول عربية أخرى، في حين تراجعت أوضاع الدول المُستسلمة على كافة الصعد السياسية والاجتماعية والاقتصادية عقوداً إلى الوراء، لكنّ الرهان هو على الشعوب الحيّة التي لم تُطبِّع مع العدو، فالتطبيع لم يكن يوماً شعبياً ولن يكون لأنّ العداء لـ»إسرائيل» يزداد في كلّ لحظة ولا يزال الكيان الصهيوني هو العدو الأوحد. كذلك نراهن على دول رفضت أن توقّع مع العدو إيماناً منها بأنّ السلام لا يأتي على متن دبابة المحتلّ وأنّ العلاقة مع هذا الكيان الهجين يجب أن تكون علاقة صراع فقط، أعني بذلك الدولة السورية والمقاومة اللبنانية التي سطّرت بطولات أسطورية في مواجهة المحتلّ ومقارعته حتى دحره مُغيّرة بذلك وجه المنطقة برمّتها.

أخيراً، وبعد فشل الأطر الدبلوماسية بمفاوضة المحتلّ تارة واستجداء الأميركيين طوراً والتي لم تُسفر إلا وعوداً لم تُغنِ ولم تسمن، فإنّ المطلوب اليوم هو متابعة جدية لملف الأسرى، ولأننا لا نتوقع كثيراً من الحكومة، من تلقاء ذاتها، فإننا ندعو إلى استثمار الحالة الشعبية التي تكوّنت بعد اعتقال اللبدي ومرعي وضغطت باتجاه تحريرهما علّها تدفع الحكومة الأردنية إلى إعادة النظر في طريقة التعاطي مع هذا الملف خلال العقود الماضية، من دون أن ننسى طبعاً دور اللجنة الوطنية للأسرى والمفقودين الأردنيين في معتقلات الكيان الصهيوني ومسؤوليتنا نحن كنواب ممثلين لأبناء شعبنا في البرلمان الأردني في الضغط باتجاه تحرير جميع أسرانا من سجون الاحتلال.

عضو مجلس النواب الأردني

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Closer than Ever: US Preparing with ’Israel’ a Camp David-style Summit, Gulf Monarchies on Guests List

 

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By Staff, Agencies 

“Israeli” News channel 12 revealed that the United States and the Zionist occupation entity are advancing plans for an agreement with some Gulf Arab states to tackle their mutual enemy, Iran.

The initiative, championed by Zionist Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz, will see Arab Gulf states sign a non-aggression treaty and economic cooperation agreement, a major step towards normalizing relations with the apartheid “Israeli” entity.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the initiative is “excellent”, News 12 reported.

Katz also said during talks with American officials that “the goal is to sign an agreement [with Gulf states] on the White House lawn, during Trump’s current administration”.

In November 2018, Katz announced the “Peace Rails” initiative that would connect some Gulf monarchies to the Mediterranean ports of Occupied Palestine.

Katz presented the “Israel”-Gulf initiative to the former US envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt, and according to News 12, the initiative aims at “developing friendships and cooperation ties”.

The initiative will oblige its parties to “take effective measures so that acts of wars, threats or hostility” or any incitement does not arise from signatories’ territories against any of the treaty’s parties.

The sides will be obliged to “refrain from joining, promoting or assisting a coalition, organization or an alliance of military or security nature, with a third party”, News 12 added.

In January, it was reported that the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is “seriously considering” setting up a “game-changing” Camp David-style summit meeting with Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with US President Donald Trump playing host.

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

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Tuesday, 05 November 2019

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

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

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

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

Introduction:

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

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

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

Chapters of the book:

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

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

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

The mission of liberation:

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

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

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

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

The October War of Liberation

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

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

The Peace Process:

Image result for hafez assad

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Adapted by Haifaa Mafalani

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