Raisi to ’Dear Brother’ Sayyed Nasrallah: Islamic Resistance An Influential Element in Regional Equations

September 2, 2021

Raisi to ’Dear Brother’ Sayyed Nasrallah: Islamic Resistance An Influential Element in Regional Equations

Translated by Staff

Iranian President Sayyed Ebrahim Raisi sent a thank you letter to Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, which read the following:

The Secretary General of Hezbollah

My dear brother, Hujjatul Islam wal Muslimin, You Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, may your blessings perpetuate

I thank you for your special congratulations on electing me as the President of the Islamic Republic, and the honest meanings of love conveyed in your letter.

Hezbollah is the good tree that has borne fruits thanks to your leadership, the resistance of the revolutionary and faithful youths, and the bloods of the righteous martyrs of the resistance… As long as we move forward, the blessings of this tree and its achievements will shine and sparkle more, to be the true hope of the Muslim nation. The power of the Islamic Resistance has made the leading revolutionary youth a nightmare that haunts the Zionist entity. It has also imposed a new deterrence equation on this usurper entity.

The role played by the Islamic Resistance in cementing safety and security in the face of the state terrorism and the Takfiri terrorism has turned this revolutionary tide of resistance into an influential element in regional equations… in which neither any political, military, or security side in the region, nor could any international power ignore its existence.

I am totally confident that, under the political guidance of His Eminence Imam Khamenei “May his shadow endure”, the Islamic Resistance can present a unique model of political work that conforms with the religious principles, in the course of cementing national independence through wide horizons of stability, development, and welfare.

Despite all animosities and grudges trailing it, the geography of the Islamic Resistance is not any more limited with Lebanon and Palestine… additionally, its efforts are not only focused on fighting the oppressors, aggressors, and the disordered… as the Islamic Resistance today has turned into an integrated school that raises the banner of security and stability in Lebanon, and calls for liberating the occupied Palestinian territories, and urges peace based on regional justice.

I ask Allah the almighty for the health, safety, and sublimity of my dear Mujahid brother, and for the good luck, happiness, and prosperity of the Islamic Resistance fighters.

Sayyed Ebrahim Raisi

President of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech in the “Renewing Media Discourse and Managing Confrontation” Conference

July 23, 2021

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Translated by Staff

The Secretary-General of Hezbollah, His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, delivered a speech at the opening session of the Renewing Media Discourse and Managing Confrontation Conference on July 5th, 2021

I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan. In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Merciful. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and prayers and peace be upon our Master and Prophet, the Seal of Prophets, Abi al-Qassem Muhammad Bin Abdullah and his good and pure household and his good and chosen companions and all the prophets and messengers.

Peace, mercy, and Allah’s blessings be upon you all. Welcome to you all.

To begin with, I would like to welcome everyone attending this honorable and blessed conference. God willing, we will benefit from the dialogs, discussions, and outcomes of this conference to be used in our media battle, which is an essential and the main part of the great battle – the battle of the comprehensive confrontation. I would also like to thank the organizers of this conference, who made an effort to complete it today, and thanks to all the participants.

My speech will focus on the conference. But at the end of the speech, I will leave a small window, to discuss the political situation. Nevertheless, the bulk of the time will be dedicated to this conference.

First: The importance of the media and media discourse in this confrontation is very clear, and we do not need to talk to the media professionals, and the leaders of the media front in the resistance about this matter.

Second: The necessity and importance of developing and renewing the media discourse in this confrontation is also clear, precisely now and in principle. This is the circle of life; everything must develop and progress. There should be no stagnation. Since the conflict’s capabilities and methods of confrontation in its other forms developed so did the military, security, and political confrontations. It is natural that the media confrontation also develops. Firstly, because it is an integral part of the battle. And secondly, to keep pace with the developments in other arenas.
Another factor requiring this renewal in discourse is the steadfastness of the axis of resistance for ten years and its victory in more than one arena and field. When we say: the steadfastness of the axis of resistance within countries, governments, movements, parties, and peoples, people may see it as simple or small. But a huge number of martyrs, wounded, tears, blood, and pain were given and dangers, challenges, difficulties, obsessions, and battles of existence were fought.

Another reason is the resounding victory of the Palestinian resistance in the Al-Quds Sword battle and the new equations it imposed, in addition to the existing challenges as the battle continues. The battle is not over yet. Rather, it is on the rise and facing new dangers, new challenges, new hopes, and new equations.

Third: The media discourse that we want to renew and develop is in the face of whom? Here, we are not talking about internal problems of internal, local, or national nature. We are talking about a confrontation with the “Israeli” occupation and the American hegemony, with the Zionist project and the American project in the region, the “Israeli” occupation of Palestine, all of Palestine – Gaza is outside the circle of occupation – the occupied Syrian Golan, the Shebaa Farms, the Kafr Shuba Hills, and the Lebanese part of the town of Ghajar, the “Israeli” occupation as well as the American hegemony. 

In this confrontation, dismantling is not correct. The American hegemony is the basis and the most dangerous because this hegemony is, first and foremost, a problem for our countries and people. It is based stealing the decision-making process, plundering goods, imposing regimes, and preventing our people from deciding their fate in any field. This American hegemony is the one that is protecting “Israel.” Palestine cannot be liberated without confronting the American hegemony in our region because it has transformed the regimes and armies into dead structures – there is no movement, no will, and no action. This hegemony provides support and all the survival elements of this usurper entity.

Can you imagine, brothers and sisters, that after only 11 or 12 days of the Al-Quds Sword battle, voices in the Zionist entity began to rise and appeal to the United States of America to support it with what the Iron Dome needs in terms of missiles to confront the missiles of the resistance? After 12 days only! This entity is basically dependent on its existence, survival, continuity, arrogance, and superiority. It depends on American hegemony and support. Therefore, we cannot dismantle or isolate during our speeches and confrontation. Every massacre committed by the “Israeli” army is an American and an “Israeli” massacre as it is. Every “Israeli” aggression is an American as well as an “Israeli” aggression.

So here we are talking about a confrontation with the “Israeli” occupation and the Zionist project with its ambitions, threats, and challenges to all countries and people in the region. We are also facing an American hegemony, which sometimes turns into a direct occupation as in Afghanistan that extended for nearly twenty years. And it is now over, with a humiliating, weak, and failed withdrawal. The US was unable to achieve anything. [The US occupation] turned into a direct occupation in Iraq. The American forces now in Iraq are occupying forces. They claim that they came at the request of the Iraqi government, but they are behaving as occupation forces, with their hegemony over Iraq’s skies, attacks against the Iraqi people, and in its recent aggression against the Popular Mobilization Forces at the Iraqi-Syrian border. These are the practices of occupying forces and not friendly or supportive forces. They also occupied east of the Euphrates in Syria. Hence, we are facing a hegemony that sometimes turns into an occupation, as well as other areas, as it is now said about the presence of US forces in southern Yemen. The speech, then, aims to confront the Zionist project, the American project, the “Israeli” occupation, and the American hegemony.

4- The media rhetoric in the axis of resistance was and still is based on main elements of power, and when we want to develop this discourse or renew it, we must renew and develop it based on these main elements of power, which the other media, the hostile media, lacks most of them. 

First: Relying on righteousness. The media of the resistance and the resistance axis as well as the media discourse here express righteousness, the right to Palestine, the right of the people of Palestine to their land from the sea to the river, Syria’s right to the Golan, and Lebanon’s right to the rest of its occupied territories. I always used to say that one of the features of the Palestinian cause is that today if we go around the world, we will find that the most important and clearest cause when it comes to righteousness, the legal right, the religious right, the humanitarian right, the moral right is the Palestinian cause. We find that the standards of righteousness that we use as a reference is the clearest in the Palestinian cause and in this conflict.

Hence, we rely on righteousness in our discourse and in our position. You stand for righteousness, while the other media outlets express falsehood by all standards – legal, religious, moral, and humanitarian standards. It is the right for our people to decide their fate away from American hegemony. America and the West must not impose on these people regimes and options. It is the right for our people to benefit from their wealth, while America and international actors loot these goods. So, first we rely on righteousness.

Second: We also rely on strength, and this is one of the developments in the struggle with the enemy today. The resistance’s media does not recite poems of lament and reminisce, but rather it recites poems of glory from victories and changing the equations. This is the truth.

Hence, today we also rely on the element of strength. When we talk about the resistance and its discourse, we are talking about achievements and victories, especially in the last two decades, in the past 20 years – the liberation of the south in 2000, the victory in 2006, the liberation of the Gaza Strip, the victories and steadfastness of Gaza in the face of several “Israeli” wars, and finally the last battle of Al-Quds Sword against the Zionists. There are also the achievements and victories of the axis of resistance against the global war and the biggest strife in our region, the rules of engagement imposed by the resistance in Lebanon and Palestine, on the “Israeli” enemy as well as the Americans in Iraq and elsewhere.

The resistance imposed rules of engagement and balance of deterrence in more than one arena and area. The enemy’s army was considered the strongest and an invincible army that assaults, bombs, kills, and commits massacres without taking anyone into account. The resistance imposed new equations in protecting Al-Quds. The project I am talking about is liberating Palestine, and I will return to this point later. Therefore, reliance on strength and from a position of strength, and the media’s contribution in creating victory.

Third: Relying on external facts and realities. This is one of the strengths of the resistance’s media and media discourse. It relies on external facts and realities at the political, cultural, and emotional levels of the nation, its people, the resistance, and the resistance’s environments, and the enemy.

Knowing the enemy is one of the most important features of the discourse of the axis of resistance during the past 20 years. It was not gibberish discourse. I will use the expression scientific discourse, an objective discourse, a discourse based on numbers, facts, realities, studies, and research. Knowing the enemy’s points of strength and weakness, acknowledging them, confronting them, absorbing them, overcoming them, and weakening them. We should also know the enemy’s weaknesses to create victories.

The most important matter in the media discourse for 40 years, since 1982 when the resistance began in Lebanon; then, it escalated in Lebanon and Palestine, even though the Palestinian resistance came before. But now we are talking about our experience. The most important thing in this stage and in our psychological warfare is that it was based on facts, not illusions, fantasies, inventions, dreams, or lies. Of course, we must continue in this manner.

Fourth: Based on the third point, we come to the fourth point. One of the most important elements of strength in the media and the resistance axis is honesty. Honesty, which led to credibility, and credibility does not come for free. Credibility is not created by money, by the abundance of media outlets, or by the increasing expertise of media outlets.

True credibility is made by honesty – honesty in several areas:

1- Honesty in conveying the news of what the resistance is saying to the people and what the resistance’s media and its discourse are saying to the people. Honesty in conveying facts must continue regardless of the difficulties and challenges because this honesty accumulated and led to real credibility. Today, the enemy, its leaders, and settlers – because there is no people. There are occupying settlers, occupation army, and occupied people. There are no real civilians. These people today trust and believe the resistance’s media more than they believe their own leaders and media. How did we reach this conclusion? It is as a result of honesty, the long experience, and the facts that appeared before their eyes. Hence, honesty in conveying news.

2- Honesty in the promise. During all these decades, the resistance did not make promises that are far from reality and far from being achieved. When the resistance in Lebanon was founded – with all its parties and factions whose roles we appreciate – it promised liberation. It fulfilled its promise on May 25, 2000, and before that in 1985. When the resistance promised that we are a people who do not leave our prisoners in prisons, it waged wars for their release. The Palestinian resistance also entered into serious confrontations and challenges until it was able to release large numbers of prisoners, and the Palestinian prisoners are still at the top of the Palestinian resistance’s priorities. The resistance in Gaza promised to defend Al-Quds and start a battle with the enemy if it threatened the Maqdisis, the holy city, and the sanctities. Many in the nation were waiting [for this promise]. Some considered it a worthless threat. Hence, the resistance in Gaza began its battle starting with the defense of Al-Quds to create a new equation. Therefore, honesty in fulfilling a promise is also an element of strength. 

There is also honesty in the hopes you give.     The resistance does not promise dreams as a way of deception or false hopes. Today, when the resistance promises something, sets goals, or talks about equations of protection, it accomplishes the equations, as it did in Lebanon by establishing the rules of engagement and the balance of deterrence. The brothers in Palestine are now trying to do so too.

When we talk today in the axis of resistance about the liberation of Palestine – allow me to be very clear, and this disturbs many in the world – about the removal of this usurping entity that occupies, the cancerous gland, and the main enemy from existence, we are not talking about dreams, fantasies, or false hopes. And when we say that Al-Quds today is closer, yes, it is closer. The Al-Quds Sword battle brought Al-Quds closer, closer than ever before.

So, we’re talking about real hopes. We’re not exaggerating. This is one of the most important elements of the resistance’s strength: not exaggerating, not exaggerating in conveying the facts, being accurate, not exaggerating in portraying events, not exaggerating in describing achievements and victories, not exaggerating the goals achieved or the ones we seek to achieve, and not exaggerating hopes and distant goals.

Fifth: The popular base – on which the resistance media and the resistance discourse are based – is the broad popular base in our Arab and Islamic world and in the world as well. Among the characteristics of this base is that it is religiously diverse – Muslims, Christians, and even Jews who reject Zionism and have a real presence – intellectually, culturally, ideologically, nationally, and ethnically diverse. It extends throughout the region and in the world and is united by Al-Quds, its sanctities, and the grievances of the Palestinian people. It is the most important common denominator upon which followers of religions and ideas can agree because they agree on truth, justice, and confronting injustice. This broad base receives the discourse, accepts it from you, and interacts with it on more than one level.

Interaction can happen through the media or the people. It may be by being present in the field, by expressing a position in the media or on social media, by financial support, by going to the border with occupied Palestine, by participating in the battle fronts, by the willingness to sacrifice all that is precious and valuable, or by martyrdom.

There are people whose houses were destroyed, and yet they stand patiently over the wreckage, expressing their determination to continue resisting.

There are those whose family members are killed, as we have recently seen in Gaza and see every day in Al-Quds and the West Bank in Palestine as well as in the occupied Palestinian territories in 1948. There are similar scenes in Lebanon, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and many places. Therefore, this base exists. It needs your discourse, the facts that you report, as well as your interaction because the word that comes from the heart enters the heart. In many events, battles, and wars, when we used to see, for example, the commentator, the analyst, or the broadcaster emotionally interacting and shedding tears, the fighters on the battlefronts cried.

So, this level of interaction exists. When media outlets are launched, they search and want to establish an audience for themselves. I always used to say that when the resistance’s media was launched, it was based on an existing audience base. But the media must address the audience, preserve it, develop its culture and awareness, strengthen its will, respect its emotions and feelings, and increase its strength, momentum, and determination. It is also the responsibility of the media here to address the others who are still neutral, expanding this base. It should also address the others who lined up behind the enemy, championing it, normalizing with it, or conspiring against the resistance. This is a hard and difficult task, but it is possible. No one must despair, not those who are neutral or those who stood with the enemy.  

The historical facts in many wars show us – there is not enough time to mention examples – how true, honest, and logical discourse bring or push large numbers of people from the enemy’s front to join the front of the friend. This transformation was caused by logical and scientific discourse, truthful and persuasive discourse. This also falls under the domain of strength that bears responsibility.

Sixth: The great human and material capabilities that the axis of resistance enjoys these days. This, of course, has no precedent. It is as they say: It is what it is. If we compare between the resistance’s media in the past and now, there is a very big development – compared to the capabilities of the enemy is another research. There is no proportionality in quantity. Yes, there is a balance. The axis of resistance can sometimes dominate in its influence because it is based on elements of real strength. These capabilities include the television, radio, magazines, newspapers, social networking sites, popular platforms, various popular discourse platforms, and all other means. This, of course, today is one of the important points of strength of the resistance axis and in the battle of the resistance. These means were able, during all wars, to participate in creating victory.

Allow me to say that it did not only report or cover news of the victory, but it also participated in creating victory in every sense of the word. There is no exaggeration in it at all. In the latest battle, the Al-Quds Sword, the unbeatable enemy supported by the first superpower in the world, after days of military failure in the face of the besieged resistance and the besieged people in Gaza, what was it looking for? It was looking for an image of victory, an image of victory, and not for a real achievement of victory. As for the resistance front, there were real achievements of victory and real images of victory, and the media of the resistance participated in creating this victory. During all the previous stages, I believe that the media participated in creating victory, preserving it, and showing it. Without the media, victory would have been lost. This is one of the challenges that I will return to talk about shortly. This is possible thanks to the elements of strength as well as the human and material capabilities available to the resistance today, in addition to your blessed presence – there are distinguished human minds, experiences, and capabilities; there are creative people. This is a fact and not a compliment. We say this knowing that there is no proportionality between the material and financial capabilities available to the resistance media and the other camp’s media. We must be objective since we are examining. 

Unfortunately, we sometimes rush to focus on the elements of weakness, on the negatives, on the gaps, on the mistakes, and this is not objective. Objectivity in any evaluation assumes that we talk about achievements and failures, and not only about failures. We must talk about elements of strength and elements of weakness. We must talk about everything. Hence, we confirm, strengthen, and develop our strengths and achievements, address the weaknesses, and fill in our shortcomings and gaps.

Putting ourselves down as we always do is wrong. In the military field, there have always been gaps and mistakes, but they usually do not appear. What appears is the achievement, which is the field victory. The same applies to the security field where everything is even more concealed. When a failure occurs, only those concerned know about it. In the media, however, since it is clear and is public, yes, the failures, gaps, and errors appear and are highlighted. I tell you that the achievements of the resistance’s media are great and very important during the past decades. We must build on them. Focusing on the weaknesses only and beating down oneself does not lead to an objective evaluation nor does it open up prospects for development and renewal. Rather, it leads us to frustration, despair, and weakness. We can’t do anything; we’re weak and powerless – if we always think like this in the fields of media, the military, politics, and economy, we are choosing death, demise, and loss for ourselves. This should not happen at all. The first and most important sign of the influence of these media outlets is the position of the enemy front. Why are they taking down channels from satellites? If these channels have no effect, let them be.

There are hundreds of satellite channels, maybe thousands of satellite channels, I don’t know. Here, there is a hundred on the cable, at the very least. There is a thousand or more elsewhere. There are many satellite channels in the world. Let them forget and ignore these satellite channels the way they do with the rest of the channels in the world. But they take certain satellite channels, I will not name any so as not to leave some of the channels out, in more than one Arab and Islamic country and take them down. Today, the rest of the satellite channels live under the threat of being taken down from the satellites. The same goes for radio stations. Newspapers are prohibited from entering, even if we are now in the age of the Internet, because the issue is difficult. The same goes for the websites of some media outlets. A few days ago, the Americans shut down more than 33 websites. If these had no influence and were ineffective, why would the enemy bother taking them down?

This is evidence of influence, that it has a positive effect on the nation and is a source of disturbance to the enemy, regardless of the degree of disturbance. I’m getting close to the last part. We need to strengthen these means. They should complement each other. There should be positive not negative competition between them. We need to benefit from each other’s experiences in the media field the way we are doing it in the military field. One of the most important strengths in the armed resistance today is that there is an exchange of experience and expertise. There is no dismantled military front, but rather there is a continuous, cooperating, and integrated military front that will expand in terms of integration, God willing, in the future. The same goes for media.

What we need today which also requires your guidance and your expertise is to make the most of the great potential available via social media platforms and whatever reasons the enemy has in opening this door to the world. This is because we can turn threats into an opportunity. I looked over some statistics that asked why the world interacted more with the Al-Quds Sword battle than any other battle. Some studies credited the effectiveness of social media platforms for this. You can ban satellite channels, radio stations, and newspapers and bring them down. But you can’t do that with social media since it reaches the whole world today. It was able to transmit images and sounds of the battle in a way that wasn’t possible during past confrontations, injustices, and massacres in occupied Palestine.

This is a very great opportunity in which every human being, every individual, not only the elites, thinkers, analysts, intellectuals, and the media, but every individual in this axis and in this nation can become a creator and address the whole world and convey images, facts, and positions. Brothers and sisters, today we are waging the battle of revealing righteousness, reviving the people, and resurrecting sincere hopes. On the other hand, in the media, we are waging a battle against misinformation, distortion, fake news, and deception. This is a harsh battle.

This needs a plan on its own. This is in the defensive field, and all we talked about is included in the attack plan. Yes, today there are a lot of capabilities invested in this, especially in Lebanon, the Arab world, and the Islamic world. These people cannot defend the enemy. They cannot talk about the right of the enemy because it is false; they cannot talk about the humanity of the enemy, even if some Gulf media outlets tried to do so during the past year. However, the Al-Quds Sword battle erased these lies. Thus, they cannot defend the enemy, its behavior, brutality, crimes, falsehood, massacres, ugly face, past, or its present. And they cannot convince the nation that this enemy has no ambitions in the future. Hence, they turn their weapons toward the resistance in order to distort its image, distort its truth, falsify its positions. But the central focus is distortion, distortion in every sense of the word. So, today we see when we keep up with other hostile media outlets, I am not saying the opposite [media outlets], but hostile, that they are waging a media war day and night. Many human cadres and billions of dollars are provided for them, by their own admission. What for? For the purpose of distortion.

But in general, the focus is first on the Palestinian cause – intellectually, culturally, and religiously. We have been hearing lately – here it also needs a cultural and religious effort –  from some Gulf media outlets, especially religious theorizations that yes, Palestine is a right of the Jews, it is the right of the “Israelites” – Allah Almighty says they believe in part of the Scripture and disbelieve in part.

Focusing on the ability of the enemy – this enemy cannot do anything, so we have to accept the wreckage – and the inability of the nation. But the most dangerous is the focus on distorting the image of the resistance. Today, for example, the resistance fighters in Iraq are accused of being Iran’s tail by some hostile Iraqi media outlets and on social media. When you are a jihadi resistance fighter and want the sovereignty, independence, and freedom of Iraq and Iraq’s oil to belong to the Iraqi people, you are a tail. But when you are an agent of the American embassy and a servant at its gates, you are a patriot. The same applies to the resistance in all the region, in Lebanon, in Palestine – you are tails, you are agents, you are Iran’s agents, you are an Iranian community, etc.

This is all easy – communities and agents, especially in this time. Accused of being an agent has become a normal thing. But the worst is when the resistance movements are accused of being mafias, mafias that steal, drug-trafficking mafias, crime mafias, without presenting a single evidence. They work on this night and day, and some people believe it. They even hold the resistance movements responsible for the dangerous situations in their countries – the economic and living conditions in Lebanon and elsewhere – even though they have nothing to with them. In any case, they even deny the victories created by the resistance and work to deny them. This happened in Lebanon in 2006. 

But after the Al-Quds Sword battle, I was watching some Arab satellite channels. While the Palestinians were talking about their victory and how the world and the Zionists recognized their victory. These channels were focusing on the numbers of the wounded, on the job opportunities that were lost, and on the pain and suffering of the people, even though the owners of the destroyed homes and the families of the martyrs and those who lost job opportunities were expressing their belief and their pride in victory. Just like what happened in Lebanon. The enemy was unable to create an image of victory. Yet, the hostile Arab media outlets created an image of a victory for it out of the bones and limbs of children, women, martyrs, and the wounded in the Gaza Strip and in occupied Palestine. This, of course, needs to be confronted. This is a tough battle that needs to a planned and follow up. But, first, allow me to say we need self-confidence. First, we must not be shaken by this distortion. We must have great confidence in ourselves, in our brothers and sisters, in our environment, in our people, in the resistance movements. These people are not infallible. They make mistakes, but the resistance movements enjoy credibility, sincerity, a high level of willingness to sacrifice, and loyalty. But these qualities do not prevent them from having some who make mistakes and commit sins. We must work to address mistakes and sins. They exaggerate the mistakes, but in general, they are fabricating lies and fake news that have nothing to do with the resistance and the resistance movements.

Today, you are invited to study this discourse on the basis of these elements of strength and to develop and renew it on every level in line with all the developments taking place in our region, with all the capabilities available in our hands – militarily, politically, culturally, socially, financially, etc. Development should also be in accordance with the threats, challenges, and opportunities. We must work to transform threats into opportunities. We need to review our rhetoric, our discourse, our literature, the terminology, methods, means, tools, ideas based on these constants. We do not want to start from scratch, but we want to take this great amount of quantitative and qualitative achievements in the axis of resistance, including achievements in the media, as a basis. We all must benefit from the results of your discussions and dialogues, God willing.

I would like to personally ask you for your own effort to help consolidate the new regional equation that we are proposing, to make it the regional equation for the protection of the Holy City. The resistance in Gaza wanted to indicate that they will meet any threat against al-Quds. The entire region will protect Al-Quds against any threat. This talk is not for media consumption, not for scoring points. We didn’t do that in the past, and we won’t do it now. This is a serious and real project that can be used as a basis. It is now being used as a basis – even if it has not yet been translated into practice. When the Zionists are convinced, and they are convinced, that threating the Holy City as well as the Islamic and Christian sanctities in the Holy City will lead to a regional war, they will reconsider and tread carefully when taking such a step. Launching the equation can impose a deterrent rule, let alone working to stabilizing it or even translating it into reality in the near or medium future.

We are working to link the elements of strength – states, governments, movements, and people – to this equation in the axis of resistance. We stay up at nights, hold meetings, coordinate, communicate, study, make plans, and put possible and hypothetical scenarios and various plans, etc. But this also needs the creating of a new public opinion, as we are emerging from a difficult stage during the past ten years. We need a new public opinion. If we were talking about an equation that will protect a geographical area in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, or Yemen, the idea of a regional equation or a regional war might not be acceptable to many of our people. But when we talk about the Holy City and the sanctities that concern everyone – the entire nation, the governments in the nation, all the free people of the world, and all the followers of the heavenly religions – this idea must be accepted and appreciated and has fertile ground, and we must work strongly for it. This requires focused effort during the next stage.

The last part of my speech is a look into the local situation. It will be said that O Sayyed and brothers – the speech can be addressed to you and me – now you are gathered to discuss the media discourse and its renewal in the face of occupation and domination, assessment, investment, and appreciation of the victory in Palestine.  We were expecting you to talk to us about the queues at gasoline stations, absence of medicines and baby formula, and the internal problems we suffer from. I would like to comment on this point and conclude with a couple of words.

In fact, it is required of those who conspire and lay plans in the region, in our Arab and Islamic world is to make all the people of this region preoccupied with internal issues, political problems, bread, gasoline, fuel, a bottle of gas in their homes and the milk of their children, their salary, and the national currency, so that there will be no place in their minds and hearts nor will they have the will, determination, concern, planning, and following on matters that concern the nation, including Palestine and Al-Quds. This is well known, and there is nothing new. But I am only reminding you. This has been in the works for decades, in one form, other than regional wars, wars between brothers, wars between friends, tearing up the nation, tearing up countries, etc. This is what is taking place in every country; the siege and economic sanctions on our countries, especially on countries and people belonging to the axis of resistance. In fact, their goal is for us to reach the point where there is no place for Palestine – in our minds, hearts, emotions, sentiments, our media follow-ups, our interests, our participation in the battle at any level. This is where they wanted people to be, and they are relatively successful. Let’s be realistic, and they are relatively successful. We have to acknowledge this and face it.

The correct thing to do is to work on two tracks or paths at the same time. The first path is to remain fighting this main conflict, not to lose sight of it, not to leave it, not to neglect it. The second path is to address our internal problems in our local, national society. We must do our utmost to address our political, living, financial, and economic crises and not abandon them. But we have to – here is our problem – work on both tracks, and I admit to you that working on both tracks is stressful, tiring, confusing, and difficult. However, with will and determination, we can advance. The first path does not make us abandon our internal interests, and the second path should not drown us and cause us to fall into our internal problems at the expense of the first path. This is the complexity of our battle that we must continue and fight.

Today, the Lebanese people and all those who queue in front of petrol stations and pharmacies must know what is happening with their currency and salaries. They must not lose sight of all the real causes of the crisis. The same goes for the countries in the region. Yes, there are real reasons that are frankly related to the crisis of the system in Lebanon. We are not only facing a government crisis. The government crisis in Lebanon expresses the crisis of the system. It is the product of the crisis of the system. There is a crisis of the system in Lebanon. There is a political crisis in Lebanon. There is rampant corruption. There are a lot of thefts. There is limitless monopoly. Until now, it is incomprehensible what is happening with the  gasoline and diesel and in renewing its causes. Sometimes some reasons are being exaggerated. They talk to you about smuggling. Control the issue of smuggling. How much is the percentage of smuggling? But look at the percentage of protected and abandoned monopoly. Well, we have a problem. True! It is a political crisis, corruption, a crisis of administration, a crisis of government, monopoly, a crisis in responsibility. Allow to speak at the popular level. There is a crisis of awareness among the people. We are not beating our people down. There are many people who are aware. But there are people take things where the enemy really wants. We need a little patience. It doesn’t make sense for people to shoot and attack each other with knives at the gasoline station. This is ignorance. This is ignorance beyond ignorance.

In any case, there is another reason, a real reason, a very big reason –  it’s America and its policies. It besieges, punishes, and prevents any help that can come from anyone in the world, whether it comes in the form of deposits in the Central Bank, donations, or loans. The US is the one that is preventing [them from reaching Lebanon]. You are America’s friends in Lebanon, don’t you know that? Aren’t you ashamed of that? The US ambassador makes appearances every day and sheds crocodile tears. Isn’t her government and administration the one preventing any country in the world from providing assistance, gifts, a deposits, or loans to Lebanon for political goals that are not related to Lebanon? Rather, it they are in the service of the “Israeli” occupation, in the service of the project to stabilize “Israel”, in the service of the settlement project, in the service of usurping gas and oil from our territorial waters, in the service of for “Israel’s” security. Isn’t it? Is it not the US administration that is preventing Lebanese banks from bringing their money and dollars from abroad? Is it not the US administration that is imposing sanctions and threatening sanctions? Is it not the US administration and its policies that are preventing the Lebanese, the Lebanese governments, the Lebanese state from seeking the assistance of any friend from the East? It is forbidden to ask assistance from China. Here, we are not just talking about arguments. There are real opportunities to address the economic and living situation in Lebanon. Real opportunities. Lebanon needs investments. This does not require a lot of philosophizing, either deposits to strengthen the Lebanese pound a little, gifts, aids, loans, or investments. The best are gifts and investments because they do not have effects on the budget and the Lebanese people. There are major Chinese and Russian companies that are ready to invest in Lebanon based on the BOT method, and without the Lebanese state paying anything. Then, these companies are told: No, no, no.

Don’t the Lebanese officials know that this will revive the Lebanese economy and the country, address a large part of our crisis, and secures tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of job opportunities? They know, but I tell you frankly, there is the American veto and fear of the Americans. They do not fear that the US will include the Lebanese state and the Central Bank on the list of sanctions. Rather, there is personal fear – they fear that they, their people, their wives and children, be included in the list of sanctions. 

The Lebanese people in various areas and from various parties and factions offered their best youth, men, and women, as martyrs to save Lebanon and liberate it. In order to save them financially and economically, don’t Lebanon and the Lebanese people deserve that the politicians in Lebanon sacrifice and bear, even if that means they will be included in America’s list of sanctions? Why don’t we have the courage?!

Otherwise, tell me what are the solutions? What are we waiting for? The Lebanese are waiting for a slow death; everyone is talking about collapse. They only differ on the timing of the collapse. Well, these are real solutions, these are realistic solutions. America is threatening to put Lebanon, the officials, or political figures in Lebanon on the sanctions lists. Reality is telling us that all of Lebanon is heading toward death. What will you do? How will you act?

This should not be forgotten while facing the internal confrontation. This is part of the main conflict. This is basically their goal. They tried for years in Gaza to incite the people against the resistance. They besieged Gaza. 

After more than two years of calm, stability, and security in most of the Syrian regions and governorates, and when Syria was calling on companies from all over the world, from the east and elsewhere, from the Arab world, even Lebanese companies to invest, America’s Caesar Act came to impose a siege on Syria. It threatened any company that invests in Syria within a certain scope with sanctions. So, the companies retreated. They got frightened and retreated, even countries friendly to Syria. This is in order to put pressure on Syria.

Iraq is still suffering. Iran is still suffering. Yemen is besieged. Gaza is still under siege. This is the logic of the sanctions in Lebanon. The Americans are frankly saying that our goal in Lebanon is to incite the Lebanese people against the resistance in general and specifically the environment of the resistance against it. These people have no shame. They do not hide their goals. They said years ago that we spent 500 million dollars in 2005 and 2006 just to tarnish the image of Hezbollah. Today, the Americans are saying we want to incite the Lebanese people and the environment of resistance against the resistance.

O Lebanese, the main partner in destroying your national currency, the reason for the crises and calamities you are also experiencing, the high prices, hunger, and the loss of job opportunities is the US administration, the US policies, and the US embassy in Lebanon, which deceives you by giving you two or three masks here and malicious smiles. Yes, there are other problems – I don’t want to defend – but other problems have always been there, corruption, banditry, wrong policies for decades. But the difference is that these practices were protected by American policies and by successive American administrations. The most prominent thieves, spoilers, and corrupt people in Lebanon are America’s friends in Lebanon as well. Why did America remain silent about them during all the past years and now came out to fight corruption? It is not even honest when it talks about corruption. This is a cover for the real economic battle.

Today, we find them clearly speaking in “Israeli”-American discussions. Following their failure in the July 2006 war – so far, they have failed, and we are in 2021 – they threatened us with war. They threatened us with bombing, bombing our places, our camps, and our factories if we do not stop with precision missiles. All their threats were in vain because they know the nature of the equation. They know that war with Lebanon is not a picnic. They keep on threatening, but they also know the price in return. Well, what are they betting on? Today, all the “Israeli” enemy’s research centers are pinning their hopes om the economic and living crisis in Lebanon. So, I tell our people to, first, arm yourselves with awareness, patience, and determination – yes, with hard work, you can address these crises – to, at the very least, persevere during these crises.

In conclusion, the issue of the government. Now, the prime minister-designate has returned. These days are supposed to be decisive. I do not want to say anything now because there are meetings that will be held today, tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow that can clearly paint a picture of the government scene.

We also have the news that we heard in the media about allegations against the caretaker prime minister, a number of former ministers, and a number of military and security leaders. We did not read names of judges, and it was not said that there were judges. Of course, it is unfortunate that the defendants find out about the allegations against them from the media. Until this moment, I think – at least this morning – no one has been officially informed that they are the defendants or wanted for investigating over the Beirut Port case. Of course, this is one form of political exploitation of the issue. We previously rejected this, and we reiterate our rejection of this issue.

Today, I will not comment. I will leave the comment for a later time until the real judicial information comes out to see whether the information circulated and leaked in the media is true or not. We previously talked about the standards and the difference in standards. What we are seeking as the anniversary of the explosion and this horrific massacre nears is justice and truth. Until now, justice is still far away, and the truth is hidden. For a year and for months, we called on the former investigative judge and the current judge to publish the file of the technical investigation regarding this horrific incident. So far, our demands have fallen on deaf ears. Was what happened an explosion? Was it intentional? Was it caused by negligence? Were there rockets owned by the resistance in the Beirut Port? Were there resistance weapons stores Beirut Port as was said in the first few days and weeks?

This is part of the campaign of lies that we did not spare time to give evidence for. And you know it doesn’t need evidence. So far, no one told the truth yet, not even to the families of the martyrs. We do not want you to hold a press conference, my brother. Just gather the families of the martyrs and tell them how their children were martyred. Was there an “Israeli” missile? Was there an “Israeli” aggression? Were there explosives? Did the resistance use the warehouses in the port? Was there negligence? And secondly, we want to see whether there is a unity of standards or not, a real judicial action or political targeting. Then based on this, action will be taken.

As for the living conditions, we must all continue to work towards real solutions, effective solutions, not small or simple actions. This can only happen through a courageous will and a high willingness to sacrifice to open the doors to save the Lebanese economy.

Thank you for giving me your attention. You are used to listening to me for an hour and maybe I go further to an hour and a quarter. I wish that your conference will be productive and useful, God willing. And we will certainly benefit from all your ideas, opinions, and creations. May God grant you wellness. Thank you for all your efforts from now and in the past. And thank you, in advance, for your sincerity and loyalty in this battle. 

May the peace, mercy, and blessings of Allah be upon you.

Owner of Al-Jawarha Tower Speaks to The Palestine Chronicle: ‘We Will Never Compromise on Our Freedom’ (PHOTOS)

May 21, 2021

Owner of the Al-Jawarha Tower, Ahmad Moustafa al-Za’im, with his children. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

On May 12, Israel destroyed the Al-Jawarha tower in Gaza City, a large building of many stories and numerous flats. It was not the only tower that Israel destroyed in its latest war on Gaza. A few others too were leveled to the ground, as if they were legitimate military targets. 

Palestine Chronicle correspondent in the Gaza Strip, Mahmoud Ajjour, met with one of the main owners of the tower, Mr. Ahmad Moustafa al-Za’im. A successful businessman, al-Za’im is also a loving father of two boys and two girls. 

The Chronicle also interviewed Al-Za’im’s young daughter, Malak. Like her father, her testimony was that of pride and defiance. This is what they have to say:

Ahmad Moustafa al-Za’im:

“I have invested my whole life, everything I owned and worked hard for, in this building. Israel bombed it for no reason at all, aside from scoring a point that it simply can. It is a residential tower, which also hosted law offices, media companies, and the like. Lots of accountants and engineers were based here as well. Also, it had advertisement companies and a few clinics. We had an office that facilitates pilgrimage to Mecca. Also, an optical clinic and an office for marriage services.

“It was a thriving place of families and businesses and nothing else that could be understood, even from Israel’s point of view, as a ‘security threat’. 

“But thank God for everything in this life, good or bad. Israel has destroyed it completely. But I say it proudly, I am Ahmad al-Za’im, everything I own, my very life, in fact, my whole family, is a small price to pay for the freedom of Al-Quds, Jerusalem, for Al-Aqsa Mosque and for our people in Sheikh Jarrah. In fact, for Al-Khalil (Hebron), Jenin, Palestine ‘48 and the whole of Palestine. Thank Allah for everything. 

“My message to the Resistance: We will continue to be steadfast, you lead the way and we will march behind you. Israel will never break our will or weaken our steadfastness. We know that Israel has destroyed the tower, and all other towers to put pressure on the Resistance to relent and accept an end to the war with no achievements. But that will never happen. We will never compromise on our rights and our freedom, no matter the cost.”

Malak Ahmad al-Za’im:

“I am Malak Ahmad al-Za’im. We were living in this tower. When the Israelis decided to bomb it, they called the neighbors, then the neighbors called my dad and we hurried very, very fast. But there was no time to gather any of our belongings. I had so many toys in my house, but also so many memories as my brothers and I were always playing on the stairs. There was a very nice restaurant here that we often ate. Also, many lawyers worked here and there was a place where you can get your eyes fixed. Many many things and many people. But more importantly, all of our dreams, hopes and memories were in this tower. 

“When the tower was destroyed, I cried a lot. I don’t know what else to say aside from that, that I cried all the time.”

(All Photos: Mahmoud Ajjour)

(The Palestine Chronicle)

The Image of Victory

 BY GILAD ATZMON

Image of victory .jpg

by Gilad Atzmon

See the source image

If winning a military battle is defined by the accomplishment of one’s military objectives, then Hamas won the current round of violence with its very first ballistic barrage on Jerusalem ten days ago. Israel, on the other hand, won’t win, can’t win and doesn’t even dream of winning. Like in recent ‘rounds’, all Israel hopes to achieve is an ‘image of victory.’ Despite its military might and destructive enthusiasm, Israel can’t prevail militarily because it doesn’t even remember what military objectives are or what they look like.  

In the last seven decades Israel has worked relentlessly to divide the Palestinians in an attempt to dismantle their ability to resist as one people. This project had been so successful in the eyes of the Israelis that many of them started to believe that the Palestinian cause had evaporated into thin air. But then, completely out of the blue (as far as the Israelis are concerned), Hamas managed to unite the Palestinians into a unified fist of resistance: on Tuesday every Palestinian between the River and the Sea joined a strike called by Hamas. Such a collective, multi-sectorial strike didn’t happen in Palestine since 1936.  

Military victory is not measured by the carnage you inflict on your foe. It isn’t measured by the number of casualties or the residential towers one reduces into dust. Admittedly, there is no room for comparison between Israeli military capabilities and Hamas’ firepower. Israel is one of the most technologically advanced military forces in the world. Hamas is decades behind, yet it wins over Israel in every round of violence. 

The reason is simple. Hamas’ military objectives are simple and modest. Hamas has vowed to keep the resistance alive. It fulfills its promise. By achieving this goal Hamas has positioned itself as the Palestinian unifier. Israel, on the other hand, can’t decide its military goals. We hear Israel’s Defence Minister vowing to bring security to the Israelis but Hamas proves him wrong, continuing to rain Israel with rockets at a growing rate. Israel brags about its precision bombing of Hamas’ tunnels, yet rather cynically, Hamas keep operating from tunnels that seem intact and operational.

It doesn’t take a military genius to grasp that in order to stop Hamas, Israel needs to deploy ground forces and to engage in a fierce battle in the streets of Gaza. But this is exactly the one thing the IDF refuses to do and for a manifold of very good reasons. Firstly, the Israelis are fearful of a house-to-house battle. Second, Israel doesn’t want to control 2.5 million Gazans. Third, not one Israeli military leader is willing to face the relentless Israeli mothers brigade. In the region, however, Israel’s reluctance to send foot soldiers to Gaza is understood as cowardice and weakness. 

For Israel, Gaza in particular and Palestine in general is a no-win situation.

But there is a deeper reasoning behind Israel’s hopeless situation. Israeli decision makers (both within the political realm and in the military) subscribe to the power of deterrence. For Israelis, the power of deterrence means punishing the Arabs so heavily that their will to fight would practically stop existing. For one reason or another, the Israelis manage to clumsily zigzag through their troubling history in the region in an attempt to validate this doctrine. For instance, Israel works hard to convince themselves that despite their military fiasco in Lebanon in 2006, Hezbollah has been reluctant to enter a new round of violence with Israel because it is intimidated by the consequences.

Examination of Israeli history actually defies the Israeli doctrine. When Arabs are defeated and humiliated in the battlefield they keep fighting until they win. When Arabs win, they often lose their motivation to keep fighting. They occasionally seek peace and harmony in accordance with the Islamic teaching.

In 1967 Israel defeated 3 Arab armies in just 6 days. Israel performed a perfect Blitzkrieg operation. The Israeli air force surprised and destroyed the Egyptian, Jordanian and Syrian air forces on the ground in less than four hours. Simultaneously, Israeli Panzers raided into Sinai, within hours the Egyptian forces collapsed. The humiliation of the Egyptian army was unprecedented in military terms.

If the Israeli doctrine carried any validity, Egypt wouldn’t consider any military confrontation with Israel. But the reality on the ground proved the opposite. Just a few months after their June 1967 defeat, the Egyptian Army launched a war of attrition against Israel, one which exhausted the Israeli forces (including the air force). In the War of Attrition (1967-70) Egypt displayed new capabilities, relying on new Soviet ground-to-air missiles that obliterated Israeli air superiority. Yet Israel refused to draw the necessary conclusions. It was suffocated by hubris that prevented it from reading its neighbors and their intentions.

On 6 October 1973 (Yom Kippur) at 2 PM, Egypt and Syria launched a coordinated attack on Israeli forces in the Suez Canal and in the Golan Heights. Within hours the two Arab armies managed to obliterate the Israeli defence lines. A few days later and thanks to a close American airlift Israel recovered. It gained its lost land in the occupied Golan heights and even managed to conquer some new territory in Syria. In the South, Israel managed to establish bridgehead over the Suez Canal. It encircled the Egyptian 3rd army and cut its supply lines. But Israel failed to push the Egyptian 3rd and 2nd armies back. The Egyptian army ended the war, claiming a narrow strip of Sinai back. It was this victory that empowered Anwar Sadat to launch a peace initiative four years later (1977).

Hafez al-Assad, the Syrian leader at the time, didn’t manage to claim a victory. Syria remained a defiant enemy of Israel. It is reasonable to speculate that if Assad was allowed to cling to some of his territorial gains in October ‘73, Israel and Syria could have proceeded into further reconciliatory talks.

The same logic can be applied to Hezbollah. The Lebanese Shia resistance movement is reluctant to fight Israel not because it is afraid of the consequences, as Israelis delude themselves, but because it already won significantly over the IDF. A war with Israel is dangerous for Hezbollah not because Israel will do its best once again to destroy Lebanese infrastructure and flatten half of Beirut, but because the outcome of such a war is unknown. Hezbollah is in a much better position retaining its status as the Arab military force that made the IDF run home with its tail between its legs (2006).

One may wonder whether Israeli strategists are so thick as not to grasp the most obvious facts about their neighbors and what fuels their motivation to fight. It may of course be possible that Israel’s decision makers aren’t as excited by tranquility as some of us want to believe. Gaza is where Israel tests its new weaponry and tactics. Gaza rockets are a necessary ingredient in the Iron Dome’s public relations. Most importantly, the Gaza crisis emerged when Netanyahu’s political options were running out. It was the Gaza current conflict that made the political powers in Israel subside and then crystalize lucidly within the realm of the hard right. This war made both Netanyahu and Hamas stronger.

It would be fair to argue that Hamas is operating within the modernist perception of conflicts as devised by Carl von Clausewitz. For the German military philosopher “war is the continuation of politics by other means.” In ‘postmodernist’ Israel, it seems war is one of the means that keeps some politicians out of prison.

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The One State Reality

 BY GILAD ATZMON

one state finally .jpg

by Gilad Atzmon

There is a war in Jerusalem right now, a war that ends the Israeli illusion that the Palestinian cause has somehow faded away or evaporated.

Veteran Israeli General  Amos Yadlin, former commander of the IDF’s  intelligence and a chief Israeli National Security analyst, described the Israeli reality in the most brutal terms in his commentary on Israeli N12:   “The Israeli delusions are over. The Palestinian problem is Back. “

Yadlin believes that Israel’s lack of leadership has led to strategic paralysis, in which Israel and Palestine have practically morphed into ‘one state’ and it has only two options to choose from: either to ‘stop being a Jewish State’ or to be ‘undemocratic’! According to Yadlin, the “Palestinians are engaged in a different discourse today than in the past. After the failure of their three main strategies – terrorism, internationalization of the conflict and reliance on the Arab world, the Palestinians have greatly strengthened the discourse of rights. If they cannot achieve their own state, they seek equal rights as citizens of the Greater State of Israel – with the long-term hope of an Arab majority in one state. In the meantime, they hope to exhaust Israel’s economic benefits and gain points in the campaign for Israel’s delegitimization.”

I wouldn’t use Yadlin’s misguided terminology, as the Palestinians are already the majority of the people between the river and the sea. Yet, I believe that his dissection of the situation is largely accurate. It is also consistent with IDF intelligence’s reading of the Israeli Palestinian conflict since the early 1980s. IDF generals have been saying it for years: for the Palestinians to win, all they need to do is to survive. Mahmoud Abbas, whom many Palestine supporters tend to detest, also came to the same realization a while back. It is not war that will defeat Israel, it is actually peace which Israel fears the most.

As if the news is not bad enough for the Israelis and their future prospects in the region, the last election made it clear that the new Israeli kingmaker is no other than Mansour Abbas, the Leader of the Islamic party Ra’am.  Benjamin Netanyahu was ready to form a government with him just to sustain his primacy, with the hope that this may help him stay out of prison. But an alternative  centrist coalition also can’t be formed without the support of Abbas.

The hardcore right wing within the Israeli Knesset do understand that such political power in the hands of an Islamic party empowers their bitterest enemies. It is destined to bring many more Israeli Arabs to the polls in the next election and if Arabs in Israel enjoy the same political representation as the Jewish majority, they can easily become the biggest political force in Israel. Is Israel ready for an Arab PM, or Muslim minister of defence? I’ll let you ponder over that.

The most peculiar fact in all of that is that Jewish lobbies around the world are actually very successful in dominating different nations’ affairs that are relevant to Israel and Jewish interests. A lot has been written about AIPAC dominating American foreign affairs. A lot was said about the power of the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) and the Labour friends of Israel (LFI) in Britain. Yet in the USA Jews amount to less than 2% of the entire population. In the UK, Jews are less than 0.5% of the Brits. In Israel, on the other hand, Jews are 80% of the Israeli society and about 50% of the people who dwell between the Jordan river and the Mediterranean Sea.  One may draw a conclusion that Jews are doing far better for themselves as a marginal exilic identity than being a majority on the land. Zionism, for those who do not know, was born to refute that observation but it failed.    

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‘Israeli’ Occupation Forces Violently Storm Al-Aqsa Mosque, Attack Worshipers [Live Updates]

10/5/2021

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‘Israeli’ Occupation Forces Violently Storm Al-Aqsa Mosque, Attack Worshipers [Live Updates]

By Staff

‘Israeli’ occupation forces have once again stormed the holy al-Aqsa Mosque in the city of occupied al-Quds on Monday morning, and attacked Palestinian worshipers with live fire.

Not having enough with the causing scores of injuries among the landowners, they Zionist regime forces also targeted those injured using rubber bullets although the suffocating worshipers started exiting the southern prayer hall inside the holy site.

Additionally, the enemy’s forces banned ambulances from moving the injured worshipers for treatment, with many reports of critical injuries caused to the worshipers in their eyes and jaws.

The attacks also caused significant damage in the Dome of The Rock Mosque.

Palestine’s Islamic Jihad movement commented on the developments as saying: The resistance is present and will not be far from the “Israeli” crime.

For its part, Hamas urged all Palestinians to pour into the streets and clash with the “Israeli” occupation.

Mufti of al-Quds Sheikh Mohammad Hossein described what is happening as a premeditated aggression by the occupation against al-Aqsa and the Palestinians.

UN Chief Antonio Guterres urged “Israel” to cease demolitions and evictions in line with the obligations of international law.

Commenting on the events, Head of Al-Aqsa Worshipers Yousef Mukhaimer considered the real disaster is the official Arab silence over what is happening in al-Aqsa.

For his part, Archbishop of Sebastia from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Al-Quds Atallah Hanna said the “Israeli” attack on al-Aqsa is an attack on the Holy Sepulcher Church.

The “Israeli” occupation seeks to seize our sanctities and turn Muslims and Christians into minorities, Archbishop Hanna added.

As the confrontations escalate, al-Quds governor warned of an imminent “Israeli” massacre against Palestinian worshippers inside Al-Aqsa Holy Mosque.

Later reports cited the Palestinian Red Crescent as counting hundreds of injuries during the confrontations, while about 50 injuries have been transferred to al-Quds hospitals and the field hospital.

The Red Crescent committee reported then that more than 180 Palestinians were injured as the occupation forces suppressed them in the holy al-Aqsa Mosque & the Old City’s surroundings, with more than 80 injuries being transferred to the hospitals, one in critical condition and was transferred with a respirator installed.

Meanwhile, “Israeli” media reported the martyrdom of a Palestinian men in the continuous confrontations.

Soon after, Palestinians reported that youth Omar Zalloum has been injured in the head in the al-Aqsa Mosque, and stress that the medical situation is very terrible inside the holy mosque, with reports pointing to “Israeli” forces trying to expel all medical personnel from inside the place.

‘Israeli’ occupation forces attacked and beat female journalist Fatima al-Bakri while covering the confrontations taking place inside the holy al-Aqsa Mosque. They also attacked Al-Araby TV correspondent Ahmad Jaradat and photojournalist Eithar Abu Ghraybah.

Injuries were also reported among the Palestinian Red Crescent crews.

Meanwhile, a Zionist settler rammed a number of Palestinians standing off the Bab al-Asbat in the occupied al-Quds, after which at least one Palestinian was martyred.

Other ‘Israeli’ settlers attempted to take off the Moroccan Gate and storm the al-Aqsa Mosque after the Zionist occupation forces greenlight their move

.

The attacks included the use of live bullets and explosive rubber against Palestinians inside al-Aqsa Mosque after the Zionist occupiers stormed the holy site while hundreds of Palestinians are remaining inside the Mosque as part of a religious rituals that happens during the Muslims’ fasting month of Ramadan.

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انتفاضة «القدس» وحتميّة المقاومة

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 د. جمال زهران

حادث جديد منذ عدة أيام… أهدانا الله إياه.. وهو انهيار جسر في الكيان الصهيوني وسط احتفالات يهوديّة للمغتصبين والمستوطنين، راح ضحيته (60) شخصاً، وإصابة أكثر من (400) آخرين، والمؤكد أنّ غطرسة القوة لدى العدو الصهيوني لن تجعله ينتبه إلى أخطائه، وهو ما نتمناه حتى ينهار هذا الكيان من الداخل، وهو أمر محتمل إلى حد كبير، كما انهار نظام الأبارتهايد في جنوب أفريقيا ورحل الرجل الأبيض الحاكم والمغتصب، بإرادة المقاومة لشعب الجنوب، والتفتيت الداخلي. فهناك قاعدة واضحة، وهي لا عمر لمغتصب وإن طال الزمان.

كما أن شهر رمضان المعظم الذي يأتي بالخيرات دائماً، مهما كانت الكوارث العالميّة، فقد هلَّ بخيره في أرض المقدس الشريفة، باندلاع انتفاضة شعبية فلسطينية ضد العدو الصهيونيّ الذي هدف من وراء منع المصلّين الفلسطينيين من الصلاة في ساحة المسجد الأقصى، إثارة هؤلاء، ووضع العقبات أمام إتمام الانتخابات الفلسطينية في مدينة القدس، حيث أصبحت تحت السيطرة الصهيونيّة وعاصمة دولة الكيان، حسب تقديرهم وإعلاناتهم المدعومة أميركياً. وبالتالي يمكن أن يعوق ذلك إتمام الانتخابات الفلسطينية، تحت شعار أن لا انتخابات فلسطينية من دون القدس، باعتبارها رمز السيادة للدولة الفلسطينيّة وشرعيتها.

وما حدث يوم السبت 24 نيسان/ أبريل الماضي، هو انتفاضة جديدة للشعب الفلسطينيّ في القدس، حيث إنه يوم تاريخي جديد، وفصل جديد من فصول المقاومة الفلسطينيّة ضد الاستعمار والاستيطان الصهيوني. فقد قدم المقدسيون، أجسادهم بصدور الشباب العارية، والذين ولدوا بعد اتفاق أوسلو الكسيح، لمجابهة العدو الصهيونيّ العنصري، لإجباره على التراجع عن منع الفلسطينيين من الصلاة في بيت المقدس، وحدث ذلك، أن تراجع هذا العدو كالعادة مع ازدياد درجة المقاومة.

ولا يمكن نسيان الصورة التي تبنّتها وسائل الإعلام في فيديو رائع، حيث الشرطيّة الصهيونيّة، وهي تمنع فتاة فلسطينية من دخول المسجد، بالقوة، وكانت معها والدتها. فمع إصرار الفتاة على دخول المسجد، وإصرار الشرطية الصهيونية على منعها باستخدام الأيدي والضرب والسحل، إلا أن الأم رفضت تعرّض ابنتها لهذا الاعتداء، وقامت بالاشتباك مع الشرطية الصهيونية، فتم ضربها وسحلها وإلقائها في الأرض بقوة وشدّة، حتى تجمّع الكثيرون، وتجمّع أفراد الشرطة الصهيونية، وأصبحت «معركة» كبيرة، كان على إثرها، نجاح الفتاة وأمها، في دخول المسجد الأقصى، لأداء الصلاة (العشاء والتراويح).

هكذا هي المقاومة اليومية بما تحمله من مجابهات بين المقدسيين وبين الصهاينة العنصريين. وانتصرت المقاومة في معركة جديدة لدخول المسجد الأقصى في رمضان، بإجبار العدو/ الصهيوني على التراجع بالمنع، والسماح للفلسطينيين بأداء صلواتهم في المسجد الأقصى الشريف.

تلك صفحة جديدة من صفحات الجيل الجديد الشاب، الذي يتشبّع بروح المقاومة ضدّ الصهاينة الأمر الذي يعني استمرار سريان المقاومة ضدّ الوجود الصهيوني في أرض فلسطين المحتلة، وتأكيد على فشل كلّ مشروعات السلام المزعوم/ والتسويات، الكسيحة، وأن الأمل كلّ الأمل، في هذا الجيل المشبع بفكر وروح المقاومة.

وقد عبّر الكاتب/ عريب الرنتاوي، في مقاله بجريدة «الدستور» الأردنيّة يوم 25 نيسان/ أبريل الماضي، بالقول: «إن القدس هي درّة المشروع الوطني الفلسطيني، وتاج المشروع القوميّ العروبي، وعنوان وحدة المسلمين، وقبلة المسيحيين الشرفاء والأحرار في العالم كله..». وأنا اتفق معه، وتلك هي الحقيقة التي لا يجب أن تغيب عن كل المناضلين الأحرار في العالم العربي، والعالم كله.

فتحرير فلسطين من النهر إلى البحر، وتحرير كلّ التراب الفلسطيني، وفي القلب القدس بطبيعة الحال، وطرد العدو الصهيوني الغاصب، وكسر إرادة المشروع الصهيو/أميركي، التآمري، هو المشروع الوطني الفلسطيني، والمشروع القومي العروبي بلا جدال. ولا يمكن بحال من الأحوال أن تتحرّر فلسطين كاملة، عبر الاتفاقيات الكسيحة والعميلة والتآمرية على القضية والشعب، مثل كامب ديفيد.. وادي عربة – أوسلو) فضلاً عن اتفاقيات التطبيع التي تتسم بالعمالة والحقارة والفجور من بعض الأنظمة العربية العميلة لأميركا وللصهيونية. فالمقاومة هي الحلّ، بلا جدال، وهي الآلية لتحرير فلسطين وتحرير بيت المقدس، كما سبق أن حرره صلاح الدين الأيوبي (جدّي الذي افتخر به مثالاً للمقاومة والصمود).. ومن بعده الزعيم جمال عبد الناصر الذي تظلّ كلماته المقاومة هادية لكلّ مناضل عربي حقيقي، حينما قال: (لا للتفاوض لا للاعتراف لا للصلح مع الكيان الصهيوني).

وأختم بالقول إن نهاية الكيان الصهيوني قد حانت، وأراها قريبة، واستشهد بقول الكاتب الصهيوني المعروف (آرى شبيث)، في صحيفة هآرتس الصهيونية: «لقد اخترنا نقطة اللاعودة.. ولم يعد بإمكان «إسرائيل» إنهاء الاحتلال، ووقف الاستيطان، وتحقيق السلام، كما لم يعُد بالإمكان إصلاح الصهيونيّة، وإنقاذ الديمقراطيين وتقسيم الناس في هذه الدولة. ولم يبق أمامنا إلا مغادرة البلاد.. والانتقال إلى سان فرانسيسكو – برلين – باريس – فقد فشلت صهيونيتنا».

وهذا ما أشرت إليه بالتحليل العلمي في كتابي (مناهج قياس قوة الدول.. ومستقبل الصراع العربي الإسرائيلي)، الصادر في أعقاب حرب تموز 2006، عن مركز دراسات الوحدة العربية، بيروت، عام 2007. فللشعب الفلسطيني كل التحية عموماً، وللمقدسيين كل التقدير والاحترام، فلا تحرير لفلسطين والقدس من دون استمرار المقاومة، وهو حادث بإذن الله..

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

The ICC and Israel’s Charge of Anti-Semitism

MARCH 12, 2021

BY NEVE GORDON

Photograph Source: Greger Ravik – CC BY 2.0

We are at a critical historical juncture in which it is becoming increasingly difficult to criticize Israel without being branded an anti-Semite. You are an anti-Semite if you support the International Criminal Court’s recent ruling that it has jurisdiction to open a war crimes investigation against Israel. But you are also likely to be called an anti-Semite if you reject the logic informing the court’s decision.

Target List

The ICC is on Israel’s target list. This becomes clear when searching for the terms “ICC ruling” and “Israel” together; instantaneously, an ad pops up at the very top of Google’s list of 1,390,000 results: “ICC & Israel: No Standing. No Jurisdiction. No Case.” Clicking the ad, will take you to a slick blue and white website (i.e., the colour of Israel’s flag) called “ICC Jurisdiction” with the large “No Standing….”  slogan at the centre of the page.

Under the slogan one reads that “The International Criminal Court (ICC) was established as a court of last resort to try the perpetrators of some of the world’s worst crimes. It has been widely recognized that the ICC has no jurisdiction over Israel. Any other conclusion is the outcome of a politicized process which upholds a wrong interpretation of international law.”

Israel’s official view, then, is that the ICC has no standing to investigate alleged war crimes in the Palestinian territories that Israel had occupied in 1967. Israel, so the claim goes, is not a party to the Rome Statute that established the ICC; moreover, the Palestinian Authority is not sovereign and therefore cannot delegate jurisdiction and request that the ICC intervene on its behalf as required by the Statute. This is why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu angrily rejected the ICC’s recent ruling that paves the way for a war crimes probe, averring that “The decision of the international court to open an investigation against Israel today for war crimes is absurd. It’s undiluted antisemitism and the height of hypocrisy.”

Several Israeli allies, including the US, Germany, and Hungary, appear to agree with Israel’s analysis. Although US Secretary of State Antony Blinken did not invoke the anti-Semitism charge, he did parrot Israel’s Prime Minister when he declared that “the Palestinians do not qualify as a sovereign state and therefore, are not qualified to obtain membership as a state in, participate as a state in, or delegate jurisdiction to the ICC.”

Avoiding Hypocrisy

Yet, if one insists that the Palestinians have no standing before the ICC since they lack sovereignty, then the only way to avoid Netanyahu’s accusation of hypocrisy would be to infer that the entire area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River as well as the people living in it are controlled by Israel.

This, however,  would mean agreeing with Israel’s foremost human rights organization B’tselem, which has claimed that the Palestinian territories are ruled by one regime—namely, Israel. B’tselem goes on to explain that this regime is “organized under a single principle: advancing and cementing the supremacy of one group—Jews—over another—Palestinians.” The human rights organisation concludes that “a regime that uses laws, practices and organized violence to cement the supremacy of one group over another is an apartheid regime.”

But the claim that one regime controls the entire area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River is also considered anti-Semitic. After the publication of B’tselem’s report, professor Eugene Kontorovich, head of the Kohelet Policy Forum’s International Law Department, said that the rights organization’s charge of apartheid was akin to an anti-Semitic “blood libel.” In a similar vein, NGO Monitor claimed that B’Tselem’s report is informed by anti-Semitic tropes, while specifically flagging the phrase from the “River to the Sea” as extremely disturbing.

Of course Palestinians who have dared to talk about “Israeli apartheid” or students who have organized an “Israel Apartheid Week” on campuses have frequently been subjected to similar accusations.

Parallel Universe 

There is, of course, one way to speak about Israel without being cast as an anti-Semite. But to do so one would have to have a very creative imagination or live in some kind of parallel universe, where Israel does not have a colonial project, where Palestinian rights are not continuously violated, and where, in fact, Palestinians do not even exist.

Neve Gordon teaches human rights and international humanitarian law at Queen Mary University of London and is the co-author of Human Shields: A History of People in the Line of Fire.  

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