The US Plan for Weakening Hezbollah: a Civil War and the Exodus of the Christians

Hezbollah and its differences with the Christians of Lebanon

By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai

The Christian political and religious leaders of Lebanon are theologically distant from Twelver Shia; they have political and ideological objectives that fundamentally differ from those of Hezbollah. Gebran Bassil, the Leader of the larger Christian Parliamentary Group “Al tayyar al-watani al-Hurr” (Free Patriotic Movement – FPM) made this clear last Sunday in a televised statement in response to US sanctions over alleged corruption and his close political alliance with Hezbollah. However, these differences of ideology are a kind of insurance, a guarantee which prevents civil war in Lebanon and the exodus of Christians from the Middle East. “This (a civil war in Lebanon and the exodus of Christians) is what Israel wishes to see, a desire expressed overtly by US officials during private meetings,” Bassil revealed. Thus, questions have to be asked: what are the fundamental differences between Lebanese Christians and Hezbollah, and what does the US want from the Christian Lebanese so as to weaken Hezbollah?

Just after the day of the Presidential election, on the fourth of November, the US administration announced- in a move that seemed incomprehensible and without strategic or tactical benefit either to Israel or the US- that it was sanctioning the MP Gebran Bassil. Bassil said that the US ambassador to Lebanon, Dorothy Shea, visited him to give him an ultimatum and warned him of the start of US sanctions if he didn’t terminate the Hezbollah FPM alliance. Bassil rejected the threat, and President Donald Trump’s administration sanctioned him. Bassil decided to reveal the content of his meetings with the US officials to strike a balance between his relationships with Hezbollah and with the west. The Christian leader detailed the points of difference with Hezbollah in terms of “thinking, language and ideology”.

The Shia Hezbollah consider the US as “the great Satan, the head of the snake”, and as far as Israel is concerned, their objective is to end its existence. Hezbollah’s aim is clearly stated: to liberate Palestine. The Christians are not the only group who don’t share the same goal as Hezbollah in Lebanon. The Shia group of Amal led by Speaker Nabih Berri, considered to be the closest ally of Hezbollah, doesn’t share Hezbollah’s slogans and objectives. Berri, unlike Hezbollah, has excellent relationships with the west and with the Gulf states.

Furthermore, Bassil has said that the Christians of Lebanon believe the relationship with the US is essential- and that it should be treated accordingly. He said that he believes that Israel has the right to live in security when the guaranteed safety of Arab territories is also provided for, and the rights of the Palestinians are guaranteed based on King Abdallah of Saudi Arabia’s peace plan. Bassil here meant the return of the Syrian occupied Golan Heights and Lebanese territories, the right of return of the Palestinian refugees, and a state for Palestine in exchange for normalisation with Israel, as stated in the Saudi King’s initiative.

This same initiative was agreed to by the late President Hafez Assad prior his meeting with Prime Minister Ehud Barak in the year 2000 but it failed at the last minute.

Syrian History - President Hafez al-Assad and US President Bill Clinton in  Geneva in March 2000
The Syrian side, from right to left: National Security Adviser Abdul Raouf al-Kassem, President Assad, his interpreter Bouthaina Shaaban, Foreign Minister Farouk al-Shara, the presidential note-taker Iskandar Luka. The US side, from left to right: Middle East envoy Dennis Ross, Secretary of State Warren Christopher, President Clinton, National Security Advisor Sandy Berger

(FACT: Hafez Assad never met with Barak. Hafez Assad met with CLINTON in Geneva in March 2000, not with Barak as the author claimed)

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Lebanese President Emil Lahoud, both close allies of Hezbollah, agreed on King Abdallah’s peace plan initially proposed in December 2002.

(FACT: King Abdulla and others failed to pass the so called Arab initiative without ROR. Thanks for Presidents Lahoud and Bashar who insisted that the initiative Must contain the RIGHT OF RETURN, moreover, Lahoud prevented Arafat from addressing the SUMMIT, as planned, to declare Palestinian approval of the initiative as written by US ). Related Video

The Palestinian Authority (PLO) and Hamas are both calling for the right of return of refugees and two states in Palestine to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

It is clear that Bassil doesn’t want to look as if he is totally in the arms of Hezbollah, nor does he accept a conditional relationship with the West when the stated conditions could lead to civil war in Lebanon. What Bassil did not share was the US Ambassador to Lebanon’s request to join, in one coalition, the Christian “Lebanese Forces” of Samir Geagea and the Kataeb, and the Druse of Walid Jumblatt- thus isolating Hezbollah.

The FPM believes the US request to isolate the Shia would divide Lebanon into two parts wherein one part Christians will be on one side of the country (with the US-supporting Lebanese Druse as allies) and Sunni and Shia on the other side. It would be effortless to create a Sunni-Shia sectarian conflict to keep Hezbollah busy. In this case, Israel could hit the Shia villages, and the western community would applaud a partition of Lebanon under the excuse of protecting the Christian of Lebanon. The Christian area would be financed and supported by the west. If the borders between the two sides were to be broken and Hezbollah had the upper hand, the Christians would be rushed outside the country, an ideal situation for the west. It would force the migration of the Christians, and leave Lebanon to a sectarian conflict between Sunni and Shia Muslims, as in Iraq and Syria in the last decade. In fact, in reality, this is what French President Nicholas Sarkozy proposed to the Christian Patriarch when asking for support for the community in Lebanon back in 2011.

Gebran Bassil rejected the US offer even though the Christians of Lebanon are by nature close to the west. Bassil wants a relationship with the US and Europe: he is not ready to exchange it for relations with Iran, Russia or China. The US requests from the Lebanese Christians include the naturalisation of the Palestinians and the Syrian refugees. That would create a vast demographic imbalance in Lebanon where the majority would then be Sunni, followed by the Shia in the second place. In consequence, it would no longer be feasible or justified to give the reduced minority Christians half of the total share in all institutional positions of the state, Parliament, cabinet and security forces as stipulated by the Taef agreement.

One of the most significant differences between Hezbollah and Gebran Bassil is not only ideological but concerns the Speaker Nabih Berri, accused of corruption along with Prime Minister Saad Hariri, the Druse Leader Walid Jumblat, the governor of the Central Bank Riyad Salame and others. Gebran accuses Hezbollah of protecting his closest Shia ally Berri who, along with Hariri, protects Riyad Salame. The Central Bank governor is accused of facilitating the transfer of dozens of billions of dollars to Lebanese officials, accumulated from corruption and abuse of power over decades. Hezbollah understands Bassil’s accusation and finds itself powerless due to the limited choices available. Berri is the Leader of Amal who may not hesitate to confront Hezbollah if left alone or even go as far as an inter-Shia conflict. The price would be very high, mainly when the US and Israel are waiting for every opportunity to weaken Hezbollah from within, or through its allies.

Bassil also spoke about a plan thwarted by the local security services – who arrested several militants – to revive the terror group “Islamic State” (ISIS) in the north of Lebanon where a group of 40 militants linked to Idlib (Syria where the base of al-Qaeda is established) were uncovered. The Christians understand that their separation from Hezbollah would render them without protection, particularly when the ISIS card is still on the table and can manifest whenever the opportunity presents itself. This is why Bassil can’t break with Hezbollah: it is its guarantee and protection from radical Islamists who amply demonstrated how brutal they could be against all religions and sects in Syria and Iraq. In reality, the only political friend Bassil has in Lebanon today is Hezbollah, since all the other groups – including Maronite Christians, Sunni and Druse –have demonised him and are trying to isolate the FPM and its Leader.

In fact, being a Christian in Lebanon is not the privileged position it would be in the West. The only advantage it confers is facilitating a visa to change residence. Moreover, the US clearly doesn’t interact with Lebanese politicians on a humanitarian or « favour for favour » basis, but on the grounds of interests (theirs). Indeed, despite facilitating the departure of Amer Fakhoury to the West, Bassil didn’t win popularity with the US. On the contrary, events confirm that when the US administration considers the time has come to sacrifice Lebanon’s Christians as wood for a civil war fire, it will not hesitate. For the US, the interests of Israel come first. This is unfortunately unlikely to change with the new administration.

The US and Israel tried to confront Hezbollah face-to-face but failed to defeat or weaken the group. They tried to divide Iraq and Syria to cut the supply road to Hezbollah, but to no avail. Their last attempt was to impose “maximum pressure” on Iran. The result was that Tehran did not submit and Hezbollah continued to pay wages to tens of thousands of militants in US currency even when this is largely missing in Lebanon. No other choices remain for the US /Israeli side but the possibility of a civil war in Lebanon, and to dispose of the Christians in order to relieve Israel from the pressure applied by Hezbollah, with its growing strength and effectiveness.

Hezbollah is not expected to fall into this trap despite their Christian ally having significant differences in ideology and objectives. Differences can be managed when it is in the mutual interest of both sides to stick together. On the contrary, far from weakening him, the US sanctions on Bassil have boosted his position and freed the young Christian Leader to claim his right representation in the new government he was previously denied. But that puts the elected Prime Minister Saad Hariri – who holds the minority in Parliament – into a weaker position: he was counting on French President Emmanuel Macron’s initiative to overlook the Parliamentary results and form his government without Bassil. The US sanctions, predictably, produced a counter effect, giving wings to Gebran Bassil and making him stronger than ever.

Note:

A. King Abdullah’s initiative: the Arab states were to call upon Israel to affirm a full Israeli withdrawal from all the territories occupied since 1967, including the Syrian Golan Heights, to the lines of June 4, 1967, as well as the remaining occupied Lebanese territory in the south of Lebanon. It includes a just solution to the Palestinian refugee question on the basis of UNSC Resolution 194. There is also a request for the acceptance of the establishment of a sovereign independent state on the Palestinian territories occupied since 4 June 1967, in the West Bank and Gaza, with East Jerusalem as its capital. Consequently, the Arab states will do the following: One, consider the Arab-Israeli conflict to be completely over; two, establish normal relations with Israel in the context of comprehensive peace. It also called upon the government of Israel and the Israelis to accept this initiative in order to safeguard the prospect for peace and stop further shedding of blood in the region. These are the key issues. They have been described as peace for withdrawal, as a normalisation for a normalisation: the Arab states are asking Israel to be a normal state. In return, they would normalize their relationship with Israel – economic, cultural and otherwise.

B. During the 1982 Israeli occupation of Lebanon, Amer al-Fakhoury was a commander at the Israeli-established Kiyam detention camp and was responsible for the killing and torture of many members of the resistance. Lebanese authorities exerted pressure on the head of the military court to release Israeli collaborator Amer al-Fakhoury as requested by President Donald Trump.  Al-Fahkoury was then delivered to the US embassy and smuggled out of the country. The release order was carried out following pressure from the Chief of Staff and the President Michel Aoun, Gebran Bassil’s father-in-law.

C. Amal Shia Leader and Speaker Nabih Berri said in a statement.: “UNIFIL welcomes today’s announcement on the framework agreement to launch negotiations between the two states of Lebanon and Israel on demarcating the maritime borders between the two countries.”

Balfour Declaration Anniversary: Protests in UK, Palestine (PHOTOS)

November 2, 2020

Activists and representatives of Palestinian political groups and civil society in Gaza commemorate the 103rd anniversary of the Balfour Declaration with vehement rejection. (Photo: Fawzi Mahmoud, The Palestine Chronicle)

Factories belonging to Israel’s largest arms manufacturer, Elbit System, woke up this morning to groups of protesters demanding their closure. 

Protests led by the direct action campaign group Palestine Action were organized to coincide with the anniversary of the infamous Balfour Declaration of 1917, which the campaign group says had “paved the way for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the violent dispossession of 750,000 Palestinian.”

Activists simultaneously blocked Elbit’s many subsidiaries in the UK forcing three of their weapons factories to shut down. They sprayed red paint on the premises in what looks to be a symbol of Palestinian blood spilled by weapons manufactured by the firm. 

The activists claim that Elbit weapons are marketed as “field-tested” on Palestinian civilians, notably Gazans who are mostly children and refugees.

Palestine Action is “a new grassroots network of anti-racist groups and individuals taking direct action to end UK complicity with Israel’s colonial and Apartheid regime.”

“The ultimate aim is to shut Elbit down and end all UK complicity with Israeli apartheid.”

Balfour Declaration 

The Balfour Declaration refers to a letter by British Secretary of State, Arthur James Balfour, in November 1917, addressed to a leading British Zionist, Baron Lionel Walter that ‘promised’ Palestine as a national home for the Jews.

“Dear Lord Rothschild,

“I have much pleasure in conveying to you. on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet

“His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

“I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.

“Yours,

“Arthur James Balfour.”

The British intention of ensuring the establishment of an exclusively Jewish state in Palestine was becoming clearer with time. The Balfour Declaration was hardly an aberration but had indeed set the stage for the full-scale ethnic cleansing that followed three decades later. 

In his book, ‘Before Their Diaspora,’ Walid Khalidi wrote: 

“The Mandate as a whole was seen by the Palestinians as an Anglo-Zionist condominium and its terms as instrument for the implementation of the Zionist program; it had been imposed on them by force, and they considered it to be both morally and legally invalid. The Palestinians constituted the vast majority of the population and owned the bulk of the land. Inevitably the ensuing struggle centered on this status quo. The British and the Zionists were determined to subvert and revolutionize it, the Palestinians to defend and preserve it.” 

Photo Gallery

Activists and representatives of Palestinian political groups and civil society in Gaza commemorated the 103rd anniversary of the Balfour Declaration with vehement rejection, carrying signs that called for a British apology and the dismissal of the colonial legacy that determined the fate of Palestinians for over a century.

(All Photos: Fawzi Mahmoud, The Palestine Chronicle)

(The Palestine Chronicle, MEMO) 

لبعض المتفذلكين على المقاومة في مفهوم الصراع مع العدو

ناصر قنديل

من حيث المبدأ لا يستقيم نقد إلا مع سلوك وموقع صاحبه، فمن يريد توجيه الانتقاد لفريق في الصراع عليه أن يكون متجاوزاً له نحو الأعلى في سياق الموقف والموقع والفعل، إذا كان حزباً أو قوة سياسية، أو على الأقل منتمياً على المستوى الفكري والسياسي الثابت والمستدام لمدرسة ومنهج أشد جذرية من الفريق المنتقد في النظر لقضايا الصراع إذا كان فرداً وصاحب رأي. وبالتوقف أمام ما قيل وكتب من انتقادات تناولت الإعلان عن اتفاق الإطار لترسيم الحدود البحرية من قبل رئيس مجلس النواب نبيه بري، الذي لم يعد موضع نقاش لكونه حاصل تنسيق بالتفاصيل مع قيادة المقاومة منذ يوم التفاوض الأول مع الأميركيين حتى الخاتمة المتمثلة بالبيان المصوغ بلغة تفاهم نيسان، الذي لم يكن أحد يومها مستعداً لرؤية كلمة «حكومة إسرائيل» فيه مصدراً لتساؤل، لأن الصادقين رأوا فيه الجوهر الصراعي التراكمي، في سياق واقعية مقتضيات هذا التراكم، أما الآخرون فتجاهلوا الانتقاد يومها لأنهم كانوا يعتقدون أن المقاومة كلها قائمة أصلاً على المبالغة في تقدير قوتها وما تسميه إنجازاتها، وسوف لن يطول عمر «أوهامها وأحلامها» بالتفوق على الاحتلال. من هنا يجب الوضوح بالقول إن كل نقد يوجه للإعلان تحت شعار التشكيك بما يعبر عنه في سياق الصراع مع العدو، ولو حصر سهامه برئيس مجلس النواب من باب الكيد السياسي، فهو يعلم أنه يستهدف حزب الله والمقاومة تشكيكاً بصدقية الموقع من الصراع مع العدو، فهل يملك هذا التشكيك قدراً من الصدقية؟

ماذا يعني مفهوم الصراع المفتوح مع كيان الاحتلال، هو السؤال المنهجيّ الأول الذي يطرحه النقاش، فهل هو يعني أن حركة المقاومة والدولة المقاومة في أي بلد عربي مجاور لفلسطين، ستسعى لجعل بلدها مجرد منطقة محرّرة من الاحتلال في حرب تحرير مفتوحة نحو فلسطين، على قاعدة أن الأمة واحدة، سورية أو عربية، وهل هذا ممكن واقعياً، أم أن على حركات المقاومة أن تضع منهجاً يقوم على ثنائية، ربط نضالها وموقفها بسقوف وطنية. فالدولة السورية المقاومة تضع سقفها الوطني بتحرير الجولان حتى خط الرابع من حزيران، كما قال القرار الأممي 242 والقرار 338، والمقاومة في لبنان تضع سقفها الوطني بتحرير الأراضي اللبنانية المحتلة حتى الحدود الدولية المعترف بها، وفقاً لنص القرار 425، وبالتوازي التمسك بالالتزام بالقضية الفلسطينية والحقوق التاريخية في كل فلسطين، ولو فرضت منعرجات الصراع استعمال مفردات ولغة تتناسب مع موازين القوى الدولية، كإعلان سورية وقبلها مصر مع الرئيس جمال عبد الناصر، السعي للسلام العادل والشامل، لرمي كرة التعطيل في ملعب العدو، والرهان على الزمن لبناء توازنات جديدة تتيح ملف التحرير للأراضي الفلسطينية، وكما تفعل المقاومة في لبنان عندما تربط وجود سلاحها بعناوين مثل حماية لبنان من العدوان، وضمان حق العودة للاجئين الفلسطينيين، وهل يعني ذلك تفريطاً بالقضاياً المصيرية والاستراتيجية في الصراع؟

عندما ننطلق من فهم ضبط الأداء الهجومي للمقاومة بالسقوف الوطنية، وضبط منهجها السياسي برفض التخلي عن أسباب القوة لأنها جزء من مقتضيات الصراع الذي لم ينته ولن ينتهي بالنسبة لها، إلا بتحرير كامل فلسطين وزوال الكيان، ندرك معنى المسار المتعرج للصراع، الذي يعرف مراحل سكون وتصعيد، ويعرف مراحل هدنة وحروب، لكن ضمن معادلة الحفاظ على أسباب القوة، وخوض الصراع على الوعي في كل تفاصيل الصراع، ولا يمكن رؤية كل الحملة التي تستهدف إعلان اتفاق الإطار، إلا في سياق تعطيل مهمة مراكمة الوعي لصالح ثقافة المقاومة وخيار المقاومة وجعل المقاومة في حال دفاع، تحت وابل التشكيك كي لا تتمكن من ترسيخ خلاصة جوهرية محورها، ان كيان الاحتلال فقد القدرة على التسيّد في المنطقة. وهو رضخ مجبراً لشروط لبنان، القوي بمقاومته، لأن الكيان لن يستطيع توفير الأمن لاستثمار الغاز في فلسطين المحتلة، من دون أن يسلّم بحقوق لبنان التي كان يرغب بالسطو عليها. وهذا يعني بمفهوم معركة الوعي تظهير المقاومة كمصدر قوة للدولة الوطنية، بعد حروب فكرية وسياسية وإعلامية ممتدة خلال أعوام بشراكة دولية وعربية ولبنانية تريد تظهير المقاومة كعبء على بلدها وسبباً لاستجلاب العقوبات والحصار وفقدان الموارد. وإذ هي تظهر حامية للثروات ومصدراً للحفاظ على الموارد وتحصيل حقوق كانت ستضيع لولا وجود هذه المقاومة وقوتها، من دون أن تبيع للعدو شيئاً في السياسة، أو تفتح بازراً للبيع والشراء، فالتفاوض غير مباشر وعسكري وتقني وسينتهي بمحاضر وخرائط اسوة بما جرى في نقاط البر على مراحل متعددة.

السؤال الذي تجب الإجابة عليه بشجاعة، بعيداً عن التفذلك، هل يعيب المقاومة أن يكون معادل فرض شروطها في التفاهمات المؤقتة ضمن حركة الصراع، هو التوقيت، فالذي أجبر العدو على قبول تفاهم نيسان الذي قيل فيه إنه شرعن المقاومة وصولاً لتمكينها من إنجاز التحرير، هو نفاد الوقت منه ضمن مدى قدرته على الاحتمال، ومثل ذلك حدث في حرب تموز 2006 وفرض شروط المقاومة ضمن القرار 1701، فسقطت مشاريع القوات المتعددة الجنسيات ونزع سلاح المقاومة كشروط لوقف النار. وها هي المقاومة في ظل القرار 1701 باعتراف أعدائها أشدّ قوة ومصدر خطر وجودي على الكيان، ومثل ذلك حصل في عام 2000، مع نفاد الوقت المتاح لإعلان إتمام الانسحاب من لبنان، فنال لبنان ملايين الأمتار المربعة، ومثل ذلك يحدث اليوم، مع فرض شروط التفاوض غير المباشر والرعاية الأممية لعملية الترسيم، وما فرض على العدو ومن خلفه الأميركي القبول هو حاجته للتوقيت، سواء لجهة الاستثمار الذي يحتاجه في ما يمكن تحصيله من حقول الغاز، أو الاستثمار السياسي الذي يحتاجه الأميركي في سياق انتخاباته الرئاسية، وفي كل هذه المحطات هل كانت المقايضة على نصف الشروط بدلاً من مقايضة كل الشروط بالتوقيت هي الأصحّ والأسلم وفقاً لقوانين الصراع حيث التوقيت عابر، والشروط دائمة، أم أن الأفضل هو التخلّي عن فرصة تحقيق الشروط لحرمان العدو من كسب التوقيت، وهل تبني هذه العدمية العبثية مقاومة وتحقق تراكم وعي وإنجازات في الميدان؟

السؤال الذي لا يقلّ أهمية، هو أنه في كل هدنة ووقف نار، من تفاهم نيسان، وقبله فك الاشتباك في الجولان، وبعدهما بعد العام 2000، وبعد القرار 1701، تبادل مع العدو في الحصول على مقدار من الأمن التكتيكي، من دون منحه ضمانات للأمن الاستراتيجي الذي يبقى تعزيز مقدرات المقاومة والتذكير بمعادلاتها الرادعة مصدر تهديد دائم له ضمن التأكيد على الطابع المصيري والوجودي للصراع. فهل في هذا المفهوم لنيل الأمن من جانب العدو تكتيكياً ما يعيب المقاومة في صدقيتها؟ وهل في نيل العدو أمناً تكتيكياً لاستثماراته في حقول الغاز، مقابل التسليم بحقوق لبنان، التي كان يرغب العدو بالسطو عليها وأجبرته مخاوفه على أمن الاستثمار، على التسليم بالحقوق اللبنانية، وهل ينتقص هذا الأمن التكتيكي الذي يصاحب كل مراحل التفاهمات من جدية مشروع المقاومة وصدقيته في نهائية مواجهته مع الكيان وسعيه لإزالته عن الخريطة؟

المقاومة الصادقة في توجهاتها الاستراتيجية تحتاج لرسم خريطة طريق نجاحها، إلى عدم الوقوع تحت ابتزاز تطرفين، تطرف يقيس صدقيتها القومية بأن تتجاهل أنها حامل موضوعي لأسباب القوة لهوية وطنية، وأن تتجاهل قوانين الصراع وقواعد تراكم موازين القوة، ومن ضمنها مراكمة الوعي، وبنظر هؤلاء على المقاومة أن تمتنع عن كل هدنة، والهدنة أمن للعدو بمثل ما هي أمن للمقاومة، فتبقي جبهاتها مشتعلة حتى لو خسرت شعبها من ورائها، وتورطت بمواجهات تفقدها مصادر قوتها كي تثبت أنها مخلصة لفلسطين، وتطرّف آخر يقيس صدقيتها الوطنية بأن تتجاهل مسؤوليتها القومية، وتنسى فلسطين، وتبني على قواعد المعادلات الوطنية اللبنانية وحدها مصير حركتها، فتنتهي مهمتها في الصراع بمجرد تحقيق المصالح الوطنية، ولو كان الثمن التخلي عن مسؤوليتها القومية، فلا مشكلة لدى أصحاب هذا التطرف بالتطبيع والاعتراف بشرعية كيان الاحتلال إذا كان الثمن مكاسب لبنانية، والمقاومة لا تنتمي لهذا التطرّف ولا لذاك لسبب بسيط، لأنها تعي وطنيتها وقوميتها بصفتهما مصدري تكامل لا تنافر.

Between Malek, Shiha, Al-Rahi, and Macron? بين مالك وشيحا والراعي وماكرون؟

By Nasser Kandil

The Patriarch Bishara al-Rahi’s statement that Hizbullah accused him of agency and treachery is most regrettable. Everyone assures that any attempt to learn Hizbullah’s response to the Patriarch’s call for neutrality was met with “No comment.” In her refrain from declaring her opposing perspective to the Patriarch’s stance, Al Mukawama aimed at preventing an interpretation of its position through lenses of sectarian defensiveness, giving lurkers the opportunity of fanning flames, resulting in exchanges of volleys of accusations of agency and treachery.

The invitation is open for the Patriarch to rise above allegations of treachery against him from a Party and a Mukawama, which have a full awareness and appreciation of sensitivities in Lebanon, and who prioritize a diligence about not taking positions, in order to ensure communication respectful of honorifics, including the Bkirki Honorific, and to preserve national unity.

To say that an understanding exists between the Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri and

Al-Sayyed Hassan Nasrullah, to refrain from comments on the Patriarch’s call for neutrality, personally or through their respective party platforms, would not be revealing a secret. In addition, they have both expressed their displeasure towards individual voices and religious, political, and publicity sites which went against their chosen direction.

In view of such diligence and approbation, they would have rightfully expected from Bkirki a reciprocal approach through an invitation for a discussion of her position with all the Lebanese entities, in an effort to promote agreement and harmony, before her declaration. What is occurring today instead, is that the Patriarch’s call transformed into a mudslinging campaign against Al Mukawama and her arms, unjustly relegating to her the responsibilities for and the dire consequences of the multitude of crises Lebanon has been facing.

This declaration provided an opportunity for its exploitation by those lying in wait, through a discourse insinuating that the injurious and demonizing campaign targeting Al Mukawama has gained a solid base through Bkirki’s leadership. The duo’s silence was the utmost they could offer amidst all that, as an expression of care and respect, awaiting reciprocity from the Bkirki Seat, to provide the opportunity for communication about disagreements behind closed doors.

The Patriarch’s call and his speech on the occasion of Lebanon’s Centennial is being presented as a reading about Lebanon’s future and a project for a new contract benefitting from past experiences and present dangers. He refers to a fear that what is meant by a new contract is an invitation to trilateral power sharing, i.e. power sharing on an almost equal basis between Christians, Shias, and Sunnis, rather than current power sharing divided equally between Muslims and Christians in Lebanon. Such expressed fear sounds strange in view of  Speaker Berri’s refusal decades ago of a trilateral power sharing proposal, and Hizbullah’s refusal of  more generous sectarian power-sharing offers as a trade-off for its power which constitutes a major security threat to the Israeli Occupation.

Both parties confirmed and continue to confirm their insistence on the preservation of the position and role of Christians in Lebanon and the region as a fundamental constituency in the Orient, independent of the actual number of Christians in it.  They have repeatedly emphasized the necessity of reassuring this constituent and ensuring all elements of stability for its continued existence. Their belief is that the Orient’s Christians confer an added value to the Orient, and the loss or weakening of this constituent will rob the Orient of its distinctive characteristics.

These two parties who are implied in the “trilateral” accusation have been clear in attaching to every call for the end of sectarianism, another call for a positive Christian partnership which is reassuring to them, on one hand, and provides existential reassurances for Christians, on the other. A discussion is needed among the Lebanese about a new contract on the basic principles held by the duo encapsulated in progress towards a democratic state, unfettered by the federalism of sectarian protectorates, and ensuring guarantees against the transformation of democracy into a tool in the hands of a sectarian majority, shaking the equilibrium between sects or posing an existential threat to them.

The passage of one hundred years on the establishment of the political Lebanon, in the shade of which we stand today, makes it worthwhile to go back to the writings of two great Lebanese Christian thinkers who have had a strong influence on the conceptualization of Lebanon as an entity, and of Lebanese nationalism, and with whom every Christian political speaker affiliates or aligns his or her position with what had been attributed to them. The reference, of course, is to Charles Malek and Michel Chiha, who have drawn the picture for the Lebanese entity and the principles for its political and economic growth, and unequivocally warned of what they considered to be an imminent threat to its being, namely the earth shaking event of the creation of the Occupation State in 1948.

Both Malek and Chiha were terrified for the fate of the Lebanese entity, and called for the Lebanese to be vigilant about a future in an environment of increasing difficulties. They agreed, each from his own perspective, about the dangers associated with that cataclysmic event which made Lebanon a constant target for Zionist expansion, and at risk of structural damage to the culture of coexistence on which it is based. They agreed that this event created nurturing climates for religious prejudices and extremism, which in turn were expected to launch eras of threat to peace between the Lebanese, and geographic locations posing such threats, in the form of consecutive waves.

They stated that the Jewish State, which they described as racist and reliant on the potency of money and power, will constitute an existential threat to a Lebanon weak and helpless by comparison.  They believed that the newly formed entity will pump waves of Palestinian refugees, and as their hopes of return to their homeland became increasingly out of reach, would place at risk the sectarian equilibrium in Lebanon.

Charles Malek, from his position in the United Nations, sent a report in 1949 to Lebanon’s President and Prime Minister in which he went further, pointing out the approach of a Jewish epoch to the area, that Palestine was the mirror for conditions in the Middle East, that the scant influence of the Arabs will result in an increasing “Jewish” influence, and warned against betting on international positions because the West, headed by the Americans, will side with the “Jews.” He stated: “ In every principal conflict between Israeli and Arab interests, America will support  Israeli interests.  I warn strongly against falling blindly into the trap of seductive American construction projects before their full scrutiny and the scrutiny of Jewish connections to them.”  He proposed a countermeasure based on the building up of Arab armies, an Arab renaissance, and a liberation movement led by Lebanon and Syria. He wagered on a role supportive to the Palestinian cause, and aid to Lebanon and the area in the face of the “Jewish” threat, by the Worldwide Catholic Church, led by the Christian Church in the Orient, with Lebanon being its more important base.

Both Malek and Chiha believed, in the first place, that the triad of threats, expansionist, structural, and economic, posed by the Occupation, along with the Palestinian refugee issue, should form an axis for Lebanese policies internally, at the Arab level, and internationally.  Secondly, they pointed to the losing bet on the effectiveness of international interventions without possession of a considerable interest potential and adequate power to enable participation in the big equations, implying that begging for protection from a position of weakness will inevitably result in disappointment. Thirdly, they bet on the leading role of the Church in escalating and reinforcing power resources internally, and moving outward from that position of political, economic, and military strength, to rouse the Worldwide Church, in the hopes of creating a balance protective of Lebanon.  Can anyone say today that the threats no longer exist, or that the effectiveness of the Arab position has increased, or that the laws governing the movement in international relations have changed?

Al Mukawama, capable and competent, liberated and deterred, and became a source of anxiety for the Occupation in regard to its security and existence.  She became one of the manifestations of what Chiha and Malek asked of the Lebanese.  Sage and prudent,

Al Mukawama is the missing link which Bkirki should feel happy to meet halfway, for a complementarity in roles, translated into what should be done for Lebanon’s protection, with differentiation and variation lending strength to positions rather than being problematic. What has come forth instead from Bkirki’s positions only weakens power sources, aborts opportunities for complementarity between politics and power, and whets the appetite of those in wait for the possibility of weakening or isolating Al Mukawama. It fails to attempt seeking guarantees for Lebanon and the Lebanese using the pacification of Al Mukawama as leverage.

The neutrality initiative, even in its “active” form, fails to tell how it will solve the refugee issue in a time of Arab abandonment; how it will protect Lebanon’s economic role in the era of “normalization;” how it will protect Lebanon from the threat of aggression in the times of disintegration of Arab armies; and who will benefit from the weakening of Al Mukawama and from targeting her morale and reputation except lurking Takfeeri Extremism, lying in wait for Lebanon, the Orient, Christians, along with all the other constituents in the area?

Renewal of the Greater Lebanon starts with a dialogue between the Lebanese to form  understandings which address points of defect and invest in power sources.  Bkirki is the first invitee to openness towards Al Mukawama and investment in her sources of power, after Bkirki has clearly seen France coming to acknowledge Al Mukawama as a reality unsusceptible to marginalization or weakening. In making such acknowledgement, France was speaking for herself and on behalf of her allies, whom Bkirki considers as friends and fears Lebanon’s loss of their support.

The French movement confirms that the attention of those friends to Lebanon and lending their aid has come only as a result of the Al Mukawama raising their anxiety about “Israel’s” security and existence. Any reassurance to decrease such anxiety embedded in the  calls for neutrality will only mean that such attention will shift, and any helping hand will be withdrawn and washed from anything related to Lebanon. Perhaps this is the most prominent conclusion Chiha and Malek came to 70 years ago.

بين مالك وشيحا والراعي وماكرون؟

ناصر قنديل

ثوابت يجب عدم نسيانها وأوهام ممنوع السماح بمرورها وتغلغلها في نفوس الناس وعقولهم في النظر للحركة الفرنسيّة التي يقودها الرئيس امانويل ماكرون، حيث يتمّ تمرير كل شيء تحت ضغط الكارثة التي يعيشها اللبنانيون، أولها التوهّم أن فرنسا أم حنون جاءت لتساعد وتسهم في رفع المعاناة عن كاهل اللبنانيين، وثانيها أن إدراك أن السياسة باعتبارها لغة مصالح لا يعني الرفض المطلق لسياسات الآخرين ومصالحهم إذا لم تتعارض مع سياساتنا ومصالحنا، وثالثها أن ما لا يتعارض مع سياساتنا ومصالحنا ويؤسس لنقاط تقاطع لا تجوز إدارته بتساهل واسترخاء لأن المصالح تتراكم وتتغيّر والأطماع لا يردعها إلا حضور الحذر واستحضار القدرة وتحصين القوة. والمشهد اللبناني المقزّز في درجة التهافت أمام الرئيس الفرنسي، وتغيّر المواقف وتبدل الثوابت وتقديم أوراق الاعتماد، أظهر خصال انحطاط ليست حكراً على ما يحلو للبعض وصفه بطبقة سياسية فاسدة، فقد نخر سوس التهافت والانحطاط، صفوف الذين سمّوا أنفسهم ثواراً، والذين قدّموا أنفسهم بدائل، والنخب والكتاب والفنانين، ومن له مصلحة ومن ليس له مصلحة، إلا قلة رفيعة الشأن كبيرة النفس شامخة الأنف، لا عارضت علناً وقدمت الولاء سراً، ولا قاطعت، ولا سوّقت، ولا تهافتت، حالها كحال فيروز التي بقيت تشبه أرز لبنان يحتاجها ماكرون ولا تحتاجه، وتقاطع المصالح يعني لها النديّة، وليس الذل والاسترهان، ولا الزحف والبكاء، والبكاء السياسي والإعلامي، ليس بكاء وجع الناس المفهوم، وبقيت هذه القلة تحفظ سرّ المقام والدور والمسؤوليّة، فشارك بعضها بجدية ومسؤولية واحترام وندية، ولكنه لم يمنع نفسه من متعة التفرج على “الزحفطة” السياسية والإعلامية والاقتصادية و”الثورية” و”المدنية” وغير المدنية”، ولم يكن بعضها موجوداً فتابع عن بُعد وهو يجمع السخرية والألم من درجة هبوط وانحطاط مشهد، هو بالنهاية مشهد وطن لا يفرح محبّوه برؤيته على هذه الحال.

توضح زيارة امانويل ماكرون للعراق وتصريحات وزير الخارجية الأميركية مايك بومبيو، أن الحركة الفرنسيّة محميّة أميركياً، ولا تحظى فقط بالتغطية، بل هي جزء من سياسة أميركية بالوكالة، حيث تحتفظ واشنطن بالخطاب الدعائي ضد إيران والمقاومة، وتتولى فرنسا تبريد جبهات المشرق الملتهبة، بينما تتفرّغ واشنطن لتزخيم حفلات التطبيع العربي “الإسرائيلي” في الخليج، فماكرون المتحمّس لمرفأ بيروت بدا متحمساً لمشروع مترو بغداد، بينما كان الأردن والعراق ومصر يبشرون بمشروع “الشام الجديد” الذي يلاقي نتائج التطبيع الإماراتيّ الإسرائيليّ، بربط العراق عبر الأردن الذي يقيم معاهدة سلام مع كيان الاحتلال، بمرفأ حيفا، أسوة بالإمارات، في زمن خروج مرفأ بيروت من الخدمة، ولا يُخفى أن المشروع الذي قام أصلاً وفقاً لدراسة للبنك الدولي على ضم سورية ولبنان وفلسطين على المشروع قد اعتبر تركيا جزءاً منه، وقد أسقطت سورية ولبنان وفلسطين، واستبعدت تركيا حكماً، وفي زمن التغوّل التركي ورعاية أنقرة للإرهاب وتطبيعها مع الكيان لا اسف على الاستبعاد، وبمثل ما رحبت بالشام الجديد واشنطن وتل أبيب، هرول الرئيس الفرنسي مرحباً باستبعاد تركيا، على قاعدة تناغم مصري فرنسي سيظهر أكثر وأكثر، من ليبيا إلى لبنان، وصولاً للعراق، بحيث تقوم فرنسا بالإمساك بلبنان عن السقوط و”خربطة الحسابات” بانتظار، تبلور المشروع الذي يريد ضم سورية ولبنان معاً في فترة لاحقة، بعد إضعاف قدرتهما التفاوضيّة وعزلهما عن العراق، والمقصود بالقدرة التفاوضيّة حكماً قوى المقاومة وتهديدها لأمن الكيان، وهذا هو معنى التذكير الأميركي بأن المشكلة هي في حزب الله وصواريخه الدقيقة، كما يؤكد بومبيو.

لا مشكلة لدى قوى المقاومة بالمرحلة الانتقالية التي يتمّ خلالها انتشال لبنان من قعر السقوط، ليس حباً ولا منّة ولا مكرمة من أحد، بل خشية انفجار كبير يحول التهديد الإفتراضي للكيان إلى تهديد واقعي، ويأتي بالصين على سكة حديد بغداد دمشق بيروت، هي السكة التي يريدها ماكرون لفرنسا، لكن بعد التفاوض، بحيث تحفظ حدود سايكس بيكو، لكن يتغيّر مضمون التفويض بنقل الوكالة في حوض المتوسط إلى فرنسا، التي منعت من العراق والأردن قبل قرن، لحساب بريطانيا، المتفرّجة اليوم إلى حين. وهذا يكفي للقول إنه بعد فشل الرهان “الإسرائيلي” على نظرية معركة بين حربين كادت تفجّر حرباً، جاءت فرنسا بمشروع تسوية بين حربين، عساها تجعل الحرب الثانية اقتصادية، هدفها إبعاد الصين عن المتوسط، وإبعاد صواريخ المقاومة الدقيقة عن رقبة الإسرائيليين، والمقاومة المدركة للتحديات والاستحقاقات، تعرف ما بين أيديها كما تتقن ذكاء التوقيت.

لا شام جديد بدون الشام الأصلي والقديم، حقيقة يجب أن ينتبه لها ماكرون قبل أن يرتكب الأخطاء القاتلة، فلا ينسى أن التذاكي لا يحل المشكلات الأصلية، وأن روسيا لا تكتفي بالكلمات طويلاً، وأن بريطانيا لا تطيل النوم بعد الظهر.

Related

#ICantBreathe: ‘Israeli’ Soldier Kneels on Palestinian Elderly’s Neck in West Bank Protest

By Staff, Agencies

Footage circulating from Palestine’s occupied West Bank has shown a Zionist soldier brutally kneeling on the neck of a Palestinian man whose age is above that of the years since the ‘Israeli’ occupation entity has come to exist on his land.

The Zionist occupation soldiers brutally assaulted and arrested the Palestinian man during a protest held near the city of Tulkarm against stealing his country’s lands in Shufa village.

The video showed an ‘Israeli’ soldier push the old man to the ground and kneel on his neck — a grim reminder of the US police violence and racial injustice that led to the murder of unarmed African American George Floyd in May.

The 46-year-old died after a white officer knelt on his neck and pinned him to the ground for nine minutes in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with his last words ‘I Can’t Breath’ being a global expression that represents injustice and oppression across the world.

Dozens of protesters were also injured by ‘Israeli’ fire in Tulkarm on Tuesday, with Zionist forces firing tear gas and live rounds to disperse the demonstrators.

The protests come against the ‘Israeli’ occupation regime’s plans to build new illegal settlements in a number of Palestinian villages near the northern West Bank city.

Tulkarm Governor Issam Abu Bakr, who participated in the protest, stressed that the rallies would continue until the settlement project, which is a threat to Tulkarm, was halted.

US President Donald Trump’s so-called ‘peace’ plan on the decades-old ‘Israeli’-Palestinian conflict envisions the occupied holy city of al-Quds as the Zionist entity’s ‘undivided capital’ and allows the Tel Aviv regime to annex settlements in the occupied West Bank and the Jordan Valley.

The plan also denies Palestinian refugees the right of return to their homeland, among other controversial terms.

The alleged ‘deal’ was immediately rejected by all Palestinians, triggering waves of protest rallies around the globe as well.

About 600,000 ‘Israelis’ occupy over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds.

Israeli Forces Violently Suppress Anti-Settlement Protest in West Bank (VIDEO)

September 1, 2020

Israeli soldiers handcuff Palestinian protester Khairy Hannoun from Tulkarem, West Bank, during a peaceful protest.(Photo: via Twitter)

Israeli occupation forces today violently suppressed a peaceful Palestinian protest against land grab affecting several northern West Bank villages, the Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

Israeli soldiers attacked Palestinian protesters firing teargas at them and beating them up in an effort to crush their protest at a road that links the three villages of Jabara, al-Ras, and Shoufa, south and east of the northern West Bank city of Tulkarm, where Israel plans to build an illegal industrial settlement.

Younes Arar

Talking about George Floyd… well, it’s a very common happening in occupied Palestine, under Zionist military occupation… Pics taken today of the Palestinian elder Khairi Hannoun
during a nonviolent protest against establishing a huge colonial industry zone in Palestinian privately owned land of Shofa, Jbarah and Kafreyat villages, occupied Palestine, 1 September 2020.
Pics: Mohammad Hamdan

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The protest was organized by local nationalist forces and the Wall and Settlements Resistance Commission.

Journalists covering the event were also attacked and prevented from filming it, said WAFA correspondent.

The army set up checkpoints on the roads leading to the protest area and stopped activists attempting to reach it and prevented them from continuing on the road.

Tulkarm Governor Issam Abu Bakr, who participated in the protest, said that the protest will continue until the illegal settlement project is stopped.

Between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law.

(Palestine Chronicle, WAFA, Social Media)

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تحريف التاريخ وتقديم رأس يوحنا لسالومي مناقشة لمقالة سجعان قزي عن الحياد

ناصر قنديل

عندما يكتب الأستاذ سجعان قزي مقالاً تنظيرياً لدعوة الحياد، وهو من الذين يُقال عن قربهم للبطريرك الراعي ودورهم في صياغة مشروعه للحياد، يفترض أن يكون المقال تشريحاً لمعادلات في التاريخ والجغرافيا والسياسة الدولية والإقليمية والمحلية تضيف لدعوة الحياد بعض الرصيد، لكن القارئ سيصدم بأن المقال محاولة تحريفية للتاريخ، باعتماد انتقائي أقرب للنشيد منه للتحليل الموضوعي، فالحديث عن تاريخ لبنان كتاريخ للحياد، يجافي حقيقة أن لا بلد في العالم تاريخه أحادي الوجهة بالحياد أو بالتحالفات، أو الحروب، ولبنان ليس شواذاً عن القاعدة، فلم يسبق منظرو الحياد السويسري والنمساوي الأستاذ قزي بالقول إن تاريخ سويسرا والنمسا تاريخ حياد، بل فعلوا العكس، وقالوا إن تاريخ أزمات البلدين ناجم عن عدم تبني خيار الحياد، الذي نضجت ظروفه الداخلية والخارجية في فترة من التاريخ تزامنت مع تلك الدعوات.

أسهل المهام في قراءة التاريخ هي الانتقائية، لكنها أسوأها، فيمكن بجلب وقائع عن تاريخ أحلاف خارجية كان لبنان في قلبها، كتحالف الأمير فخر الدين مع الأوروبيين بوجه السلطنة العثمانية في مرحلة من حكمه، أو تنصيب الأمير بشير الثاني حاكماً لبلاد الشام بعد غزوة محمد علي باشا ودخوله سراي بيروت، أو السردية المعلومة لانضمام حكم الرئيس كميل شمعون إلى حلف بغداد وطلبه للأسطول الأميركي، أو العلاقة المميزة لحكم الرئيس فؤاد شهاب وتموضعه في حضن المحور الناصري، والاستخلاص من كل ذلك على طريقة الأستاذ قزي، أن تاريخ لبنان الذي كتبته صور بمقاومة الإسكندر وصيدا التي أحرقت نفسها، هو تاريخ حروب ومواجهات ومحاور، والمحرّف للتاريخ وحده يفعل ذلك، لأن تلك ليست إلا البعض وليست كل تاريخ لبنان، كما يمكن لآخرين الاستعانة ببعض التاريخ للقول إن تاريخ لبنان هو تاريخ انقسام وفتن وحروب أهلية، وسيجد الباحث عشرات ومئات المحطات التاريخية لإسناد استنتاجه، لكنه يقع في التحريف لأنه اقتطع البعض وسمّاه الكل. ويعلم أصحاب العلوم ومنهم أصحاب علم التاريخ أن الحديث عن الإطلاق يكذبه استثناء واحد أو شواذ واحد عن القاعدة، فهل فات الأستاذ قزي، كم من المعاكسات التي يسوقها التاريخ أمام ناظريه لفرضيته، التي تصير تحريفا للتاريخ يستسيغه لمجرد غائية مسبقة في قراءة التاريخ، تريد التلاعب بالعقول لادعاء اكتشاف بارود التاريخ، والصراخ بفرحة أرخميدس، لقد وجدتها.

لم تجدها أستاذ قزي، فتاريخ لبنان هو تاريخ تنقل فيه بين حالات فيها الحروب الخارجية والداخلية، وفيها مقايضة السيادة بالحكم الذاتي، وفيها الخضوع للانتداب والاحتلال ومساومته، وفيها المقاومة وفيها الحياد والمحاور، ومن كل لون نصيب، كما هو تاريخ كل المجتمعات البشرية.

أما الحياد اليوم، الأنشودة التي يعرف أصحابها أنها تشبه أنشودة نحن نحب الحياة، والتي يعرفون أن لا وظيفة لها إلا شيطنة خصم، لا تصير دعوة الحياد ذات جدوى إلا بموافقته كشريك في الوطن، إلا إذا كان الحياد بنسخته الجديدة يقوم على الانقسام الداخلي للأوطان، وعلى حد علمنا أن التوافق كان ولا يزال من شروط دعوات الحياد، فالأنشودة تريد توصيف الشريك المقابل في الوطن كمحبّ للموت، وهي تدرك فراغ الحديث عن حب الحياة من أي معنى سياسي، ومثلها تريد أنشودة الحياد شيطنة الخصم بصفته داعية حروب، بينما يدرك أصحاب الأنشودتين أن الحياة والحياد بمعناهما الحقيقي ما كانت لهما فرص لو بقي لبنان تحت الاحتلال الإسرائيلي، بعد تجربة سنوات من مساعٍ للرئيس الكتائبي، الذي حمل خلفيته ذاتها الأستاذ قزي، وشعاره ذاته لعهده، وهو الحياد، الذي يعترف الرئيس الجميل بأنه رهان خائب انتهى بالفشل، لأن الأميركي لا يرى المنطقة إلا بالعيون الإسرائيليّة، ويقول التاريخ إن المقاومة هي التي حررت لبنان من الاحتلال بعد فشل وصفة الحياد، كما يقول إن قوة المقاومة هي التي جعلت الغرب ومن خلفه بعض العرب وكيان الاحتلال، يرتضون للبنان الحياد كعنوان لدعوة الراهن بعدما فشلوا بوضع اليد عليه، ولكن ليس سعياً لسلامه، بل كمشروع حرب بديلة.

الحياد يقوم كما لا يغيب عن الأستاذ قزي، على يقين طرفي الحدود سورية و«إسرائيل»، كما يسمّيهما الأستاذ قزي، بأن صراعهما أو سلامهما يحتاج حياد لبنان، ولبنان في الصراع المقصود هو المقاومة التي تؤرق أمن «إسرائيل» وتطمئن أمن سورية، ولا وظيفة لدعوة الحياد سوى طمأنة «إسرائيل» وإثارة قلق سورية، وبغض النظر عن المعنى السيئ لطلب ما يريح «إسرائيل» ويقلق سورية، يبقى المهم أن الحياد بالنتيجة، لن يلقى قبول «الجارين»، لأن أحدهما رابح والآخر خاسر، وفي الداخل لا يخفي دعاة الحياد وفقاً لمضمون كلام البطريرك صاحب الدعوة، أنه يستهف إضعاف فريق لبناني طائفي، وتصوير لبنان تاريخاً وبيئة لطوائف دون سواها، ومن المصادفات أن هذا الطرف المطلوب إضعافه قد عجزت كل دول العالم القريب والبعيد عن إضعافه، وكل ما تفعله الدعوة هو أنها تضع بعض لبنان في جبهة ومحور يستكملان الحرب ضد هذا الفريق أملاً بتعزيز مصادر قوته للفوز بحرب فشل في كسبها ضد هذا البعض الآخر من لبنان. وأين نبل الحياد هنا، وحقيقته؟

في العائدات المفترضة للحياد كما يقول البطريرك صاحب الدعوة، ويردد الأستاذ قزي، ترغيب بالمال والازدهار، وهما حاجتان لبنانيتان، لكن السؤال هو ببساطة، طالما ليس خافياً أن الحياد يستهدف استرضاء جبهة عالمية إقليمية، تملك المال المنشود وفقاً لأصحاب الدعوة، وتستهدف دفع الثمن من مصادر قوة فريق لبناني تناصبه العداء، فهل يملك أصحاب الدعوة وصفة لمعالجة النتائج العكسية لمشروعهم، القائم على ضمّ لبنان إلى محور غربي خليجي يجاهر بأن القضية الفلسطينية لم تعد ضمن اولوياته، ويتبنى التطبيع مع «إسرائيل» من دون حل هذه القضية، ويجاهر بالدعوة لتوطين اللاجئين الفلسطينيين، إلا إذا كانوا قد قبلوا ضمناً مقايضة التوطين بالأموال، ومثله توطين النازحين السوريين الذين لا يقبل الغرب بعودتهم، وبالتوازي سيتكفل العداء المضمر بالدعوة مع سورية، بقطع الطريق على فرص التعاون معها لإعادتهم؟

السؤال الحقيقي هو لماذا لم يقدم أصحاب الدعوة بدلاً منها، بفتح حوار مع المقاومة التي يسعون لشيطنتها، ويقدمون رأسها على طبق من ذهب للغرب والخليج طلباً للمال كما قدم هيرودس رأس يوحنا، طالما يؤمنون بأن الحياد شرطه التوافق الداخلي، فيكون الحوار بهدف توظيف مصادر قوة المقاومة لضمان عدم التوطين، بوضع السلاح في مقابل حق العودة، ووضع انسحاب المقاومة من سورية مقابل عودة النازحين وإعفاء لبنان من العقوبات، والتزام المقاومة الحياد في صراعات الخليج واليمن والعراق، مقابل إزالة الحظر عن تدفق أموال الخليج والسياح إلى لبنان؟

قد لا ترضى المقاومة بهذه العروض، لكننا كنا سنصدّق بأن خلفية الدعاة وطنية لبنانية حقيقية، وكان هذا ليكون الحياد الحقيقي المحقق للمصالح الوطنية، أو المؤكد لوطنية أصحابه، كمشروع مطروح على الطاولة لتعزيز قوة لبنان وتماسكه الداخلي، تماسك قالت التجارب إنه يبقى أغلى من أي تعصّب لفكرة يتبناها فريق وتتسبب بتعميق الانقسام، مهما كانت الفكرة صحيحة، فكيف إن كانت مبنيّة على تحريف للتاريخ وضعف نظر في الجغرافيا، وتنكّر لألفباء السياسة.

“But The Jews Also Suffered An Injustice”

By Rima Najjar

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Question: Have there been other examples in history where victims of gross injustice, like that perpetrated against Palestinians by colonizing European Jews, are asked to acknowledge and embrace the poisonous and false claims of their oppressors?

Of course, there have been. Those with the military or political power to oppress have historically imposed their “narratives” on their victims and written their history books accordingly. When liberation came, when the oppression was lifted, the colonial downtrodden and dispossessed were able to reclaim their geographic territory and their history. The oppressors were forced to reevaluate their racist/supremacist self-education.

I am not saying, by any means, “and they all lived happily ever after,” because they haven’t, as we observe in continuing struggles today, many years after liberation technically occurred, especially in settler-colonial countries. To use Angela Davis’ words, freedom is a constant struggle. But “progress,” albeit in fits and starts, is still evident in many, if not all (Kashmir!), of these causes.

The case of Palestine has many similarities with other settler-colonial cases. These are often pointed out in discussion. Our case, however, has been stubbornly resistant to “progress,” even in a century in which “progressive causes” are largely self-evident — except for Palestine.

The reason for the cognitive dissonance embedded in the expression “progressives except for Palestine” lies in the Jewish identity of those who orchestrated the implementation of Zionism on Palestinians. By that I mean Jewish history in Europe continues to pose a challenge to Palestinian liberation.

There was/is something about Palestinian liberation that plays havoc with the minds of Jews on the Left in the “diaspora,” not to mention in the minds and hearts of Israeli Jews. Now that Peter Beinart has opened the door for some revision — not of that history, but of the mindset that balances Palestinian human rights against Jewish interests and reluctantly (or in anguish) finds room for Palestinians in a “Jewish tent” — the key to acceptance of the Palestinian cause as a “progressive cause” appears to lie in the hands of Jews, especially young American Jews, who are growing up rejecting their parents’ beliefs that Jews worldwide are “a people” with a right to self-determination outside their countries of origin.

But it’s still “complicated.”

In pleading our cause, it appears, we have the burden of convincing our oppressors that they have nothing to fear and everything to gain by recognizing our humanity and by sorting out what many have described as their pathology. What’s more, we must, it seems, also be credentialed as their allies in the struggle to end antisemitism — an antisemitism we in Palestine have had nothing to do with, and in which they themselves are complicit!

Israel celebrates its so-called “independence,” as the US does; both are settler-colonial states; both perpetrated genocide/ethnic cleansing and displaced native inhabitants — a criminal project that’s ongoing in Israel. But when people say about “the Middle East” that “it’s complicated,” they are referring to the Israeli phenomenon of successfully selling the status of colonizing Zionist Jews as indigenous. Therein lies the “complication.”

What it is, really, is a hoax. Deception has always been Israel’s first option for the attainment of its Zionist goals. And through deception, Israel has turned the internationally recognized Palestinian right of return into a “redemption fantasy of return across the Green Line,” and the Biblical fantasy of Jewish redemption, i.e., “God redeeming the people of Israel from their exiles,” into a reality.

If reconciliation in conflict means restoring the right relationship between adversaries, our biggest challenge as Palestinians is to persuade all those otherwise rational Jews and non-Jews who understand, on the one hand, that the creation of Israel in Palestine in 1948 was a terrible injustice to the Palestinians, and on the other, fully accept the legitimacy of Israel, that they are wrong.

When you ask such people for an explanation, the answer invariably begins with: “But the Jews also suffered an injustice.” This is exactly what Israeli historian Avi Shlaim says.

To that I say, give us Palestinians a break!

كفى تحاملا على الأخوة الفلسطينيّين والسوريّين

معن بشور 

خطاب التحريض العلني أو الضمني على الأخوة الفلسطينيين والسوريين، كما خطاب التحريض الطائفي والمذهبي ضد هذا المكوّن اللبناني أو ذاك، ليس مرفوضاً لأسباب وطنية وقومية وأخلاقية وإنسانية فحسب، بل مرفوض لأسباب تتصل بالاستقرار اللبناني، والاقتصاد اللبناني، أو ما تبقى من اقتصاد لبناني…

فالتحريض على أي جماعة لبنانية أو مقيمة في لبنان يؤدي إلى إثارة مخاوف وهواجس عدة تشكل بدورها التربة الخصبة لأي مشروع فتنوي أو إرهابي أو تقسيمي يهدد البلاد، بل إنّ التحريض نفسه هو عامل التفجير الأساسي الذي دفع لبنان، بأبنائه والمقيمين على أرضه أبهظ الأثمان بسببه..

فالجميع يعلم أنّ الفلسطينيين موجودون في لبنان، بغير إرادتهم، وأنهم يناضلون منذ عشرات السنين، ويقدّمون الشهداء بعشرات الآلاف، من أجل العودة إلى بلادهم، وما من أمر يعيق عودتهم إلى بلادهم سوى إدخالهم في حروب مع الشعوب المضيفة التي من المفترض أن تخوض إلى جانبهم معركة العودة والتحرير…

فإسقاط التوطين، الذي نص الدستور اللبناني في مقدّمته على رفضه، معركة مشتركة بين اللبناني الذي لا يتحمّل وجود هذا العدد البشري على أرضه المحدودة المساحة، والمحكومة بجملة اعتبارات معقدة، والفلسطيني الذي يؤكد، ولو كان يقيم في أغنى بلدان العالم، أن لا أرض عنده أغلى من أرض فلسطين، ولا وطن أعز من الوطن الفلسطيني.. ولا كرامة له إلا في وطنه الأمّ…

فهل التحريض بين يوم وآخر ضد الفلسطيني يؤدي إلى مقاومة التوطين، أم أنه يسهل من خلال الفتنة تحقيق مشروع التوطين نفسه، وقد قلت في بداية التسعينيات من القرن الماضي في ندوة عقدها المنتدى القومي العربي في دار الندوة إنّ “فتنة التوطين تؤدي إلى توطين الفتنة”، ولعل ما شهدناه في لبنان من حرب فتنويّة امتدت أكثر من 15 عاماً هو أكبر دليل على عبثية هذا التحريض وخطورته التفجيرية..

ولن ندخل هنا في تعداد إسهامات الأخوة الفلسطينيين “اللبنانية”، على صعيد العلم والثقافة والإبداع والاقتصاد والأعمال، ومساهمتهم عبر العاملين من أبنائهم في الخارج بإرسال تحويلات مالية كبيرة كانت أحد موارد لبنان من العملة الصعبة، فلقد كانت مقالة الأستاذ طلال سلمان “الفلسطينيون جوهرة الشرق الأوسط” رائعة في إبراز دور الفلسطينيين في النهضة اللبنانية العامة خير معبّر عن هذه الحقائق.

أما الأخوة السوريون، فهم أيضاً ضحايا حرب كونية لعينة استهدفت بلدهم، ودمّرت دولتهم، وحاصرت دور وطنهم وموقعه التاريخي والجغرافي معاً، وهم كانوا دائما شركاء مع اللبنانيين في مراحل نهوضهم، سواء كعمال كادحين أو كمتمولين كبار، كما أنّ سورية كانت تفتح ذراعيها لكل لبناني، وإلى أيّ جماعة انتمى، ممن كانت ظروف صعبة تدفعه إلى مغادرة بيته لأشهر أو سنوات.

وبدلاً من أن نكتفي بالحديث عن العبء الذي يشكله وجودهم في لبنان، وهو بالتأكيد عبء حقيقي رغم المليارات من الدولارات التي دخلت إلى الخزينة من الخارج لإغاثتهم، يجب أن نسعى لوضع اليد مع الحكومة السورية لتأمين العودة الآمنة والكريمة لهم، خاصة أنّ بلادهم الحمدلله قد نجحت في إعادة الأمن إلى الجزء الأكبر من ربوعها، وأن نضغط بكلّ الوسائل على القوى الخارجية، وهي معروفة للجميع، وفي مقدمها الولايات المتحدة وأدواتها، والتي تحول دون عودتهم إلى بلادهم في محاولة منها لاستخدامهم في أجندات “مواصلة الحرب” على سورية بأشكال جديدة، وزعزعة الاستقرار فيها، وهناك أكثر من سيناريو يجري تداوله بهذا الصدد..

ثم ألا يدرك أصحاب الخطاب التحريضي، على اختلاف مواقعهم، أنهم يزرعون أحقاداً بين شعوب تربطها عبر القرون وشائج قربى وروابط أخوة، ومصالح مشتركة، فتعيش المنطقة بأسرها أجواء توتر دائم وتفجر مستمر، يكون لبنان ضحيتها الأولى، لا سيما أنّ بوابته إلى العمق العربي والإقليمي هي البوابة السورية. وانّ مطامع العدو الصهيوني في أرضه وكيانه ونفطه ليست خافية على أحد.

إلا ان أخطر ما في الخطاب التحريضي، المنتشر هنا وهناك، هو حين يساوي أصحابه بين الوجود المدني الفلسطيني والسوري، وهو وجود اضطراري كما يعرف الجميع، وبين الاحتلال الإسرائيلي والمشروع الإرهابي التدميري، وكلاهما ثمرة مشروع أكبر يستهدف وحدة مجتمعنا، واستقرار بلادنا، وتدمير مقومات نهوضنا.

وهذا الخطاب الذي لا يميّز بين الجلاد والضحية هو كما يعرف الجميع، خطاب غير أخلاقي وغير إنساني، وغير عادل في الوقت نفسه.

أما الذين يعتقدون أنّ الخطاب التحريضي، طائفياً كان أم مذهبياً أم عنصرياً، قد يحقق لهم مكاسب سياسية أو انتخابية، مشابهة لما كان يحصل في السابق، فهم مخطئون جداً، لأنّ ظروف اليوم هي غير ظروف الأمس، علماً أنّ نتائج خطاب الأمس التحريضيّ لم تأتِ سوى بالوبال على لبنان وعلى أصحاب هذا الخطاب نفسه.. وإلى الجماعات التي يدّعون حمايتها.

من المعروف أنّ “أول الحرب كلام” وأنّ من يطلق كلامه على عواهنه إرضاء لعصبية أو غريزة أو جماعة، إنما يسيء إلى نفسه أولا وإلى الجماعة التي ينتمي إليها ثانياً، وإلى وطننا الغالي لبنان دائماً…

قليلاً من التبصّر يا أولي الألباب، فالتبصّر وحده طريقنا لمنع التفجر.

الأمين العام السابق للمؤتمر القومي العربي

How Two Seemingly Unrelated Events Laid Israel’s Racism Problem Bare

A viral video showing an Israeli family mocking impoverished Palestinian children and a controversial New York Times editorial by famed Zionist commentator Peter Beinart have exposed the racist underpinning of the so-called Jewish state.

Source: MintPress News

by Miko Peled

Protesters attend a rally against Israel plans to annex parts of the West Bank, in Tel Aviv, June 6, 2020. Sebastian Scheiner | AP

Two seemingly unrelated items hit social media recently and both received a lot of attention. The first was an article by Peter Beinart that was published in the New York Times where Beinart claims he no longer believes in a Jewish State and calls for a binational state with equal rights in Palestine. The other, a video clip showing an Israeli family riding in a car when two children approach them. The car window opens and we hear the father ask the children in Hebrew, “Who wants to feed a Bedouin?” While these two seem unrelated, there is something equally disturbing about both of them.

A Jewish home in Palestine

One might think that the epiphany experienced by yet another liberal Zionist, and one that has access to the mainstream media, should be celebrated. After all, another well known Jewish American has reached the conclusion that Palestinians deserve equal rights in their own country. However, as we read this article there are several disturbing elements that dampen the excitement.

Beinart shares with the readers, “I knew that Israel was a source of comfort and pride to millions of other Jews.” He explains that this is why he believed in the Jewish state. One could argue that slavery was a source of comfort and pride for millions of white Americans, yet to support slavery is still abhorrent.

Peter Beinart
Peter Beinart, center, talks to people after speaking at the University of Washington Hillel, October 23, 2014. Photo | Joe Mabel

He goes on to describe a sentiment that one hears from many liberal Zionists. “One day in early adulthood, I walked through Jerusalem, reading street names that catalog Jewish history, and felt that comfort and pride myself.” Jerusalem was an Arab city for over a thousand years. In 1948, Palestinians in Jerusalem were subjected to a total and complete ethnic cleansing, and not a single Palestinian was allowed to remain in the city. Jerusalem then became the capital city of the state of Israel and the street names, which used to catalog the long and magnificent Arab history of the city, were changed.

“I knew Israel was wrong to deny Palestinians in the West Bank citizenship, due process, free movement and the right to vote in the country in which they lived.” What about the rights of millions of Palestinians languishing in refugee camps? This country that gave him, and Jews like him, such pride is denying millions of Palestinians their right to return to the lands and homes from which they were expelled.

“But the dream of a two-state solution that would give Palestinians a country of their own let me hope that I could remain a liberal and a supporter of Jewish statehood at the same time.” That was precisely what the scam of the Two State Solution was set to do. To allow liberal Zionists to support the crimes of Zionism and the creation of a racist state in Palestine while still feeling good about themselves.

The idea that the Two State Solution would give Palestinians “a country of their own,” is puzzling. Palestinians have a country of their own, it is Palestine. According to historian Nur Masalha, it has been Palestine for thousands of years before the establishment of the Zionist state on May 15, 1948.

The epiphany experienced by liberal Zionists who suddenly realize they can’t have it both ways is really not an epiphany at all. It is a compromise that allows them to continue to justify their patronizing attitude towards Palestinians. Beinart is not unlike another liberal Zionist, Avram Burg. Burg, a staunch Zionist who served as speaker of the Knesset and chairman of the Jewish Agency, and in between, profited greatly from peddling Israeli weapons. He is a Zionist through and through, and yet, he too claims it is time for a single state. In a piece he authored in 2018, he writes, “Since 1967 Israel had occupied Palestinian territory.” Not unlike Beinart, he sees only the West Bank as Palestinian territory.

To feed a Bedouin

A disturbing video clip was recently shared on TikTok by Roy Oz, also known as Roy Boy, an Israeli entertainer who hosts various programs for children. In the clip, an Israeli family is driving comfortably in what appears to be an SUV, with young children in the backseat and the parents in front. The father, Roy Oz, is driving. As they drive, two young children approach the car. The children in the car are white, the children outside are brown. The landscape is barren, like a desert, and we can safely assume it is the Naqab region in southern Palestine.

The father opens the window and hands a cookie to the children outside and says to his children in Hebrew, “Who wants to feed a Bedouin?” He speaks to the children outside in Arabic and then turns to his children again, asking in Hebrew, “You don’t want to feed a Bedouin, Ariel?” One of the two children outside is older than the other and hands the cookie to the younger child. Then, the father turns the camera, showing his children’s faces and asks again, “Do you want to feed a Bedouin? You don’t?” We hear him also saying to himself, “they are so cute,” referring to the children outside.

The father then turns to the children outside and asks in Arabic how much money they want. “One thousand shekel?” He asks. “No, just ten” one of the children answers. “Only ten?” The father asks at which point the mother reaches out of the car and hands one of the children a coin.

Expressions of Shock

Expressions of shock came fast from Palestinian communities, who demanded an apology and an explanation. Some even said this was the worst expression of racism they had ever seen. But there is nothing shocking about this clip because this was a normal Israeli middle-class family expressing what countless Israelis express all the time. The appalling racism and patronizing colonial attitude toward Palestinian Bedouin children, as we see in the video, is the foundation upon which the state of Israel was established and exists throughout Israeli society.

Without structural, systemic, deeply ingrained racism, Israel would not exist. Furthermore, without this white supremacist attitude, no Israeli pilot would be able to push the button that releases the bombs which then burn and rip Palestinian children in Gaza to shreds. No sniper would be able to pull the trigger and kill and maim Palestinians. It is an essential part of Zionist education.

Many Israelis had expressed their displeasure at this expression of racism. However, their displeasure aside, this is nothing new or abnormal. It is not unlike the incident where an Israeli army medic, who is charged with saving people’s lives and had taken an oath to do so, executed a wounded Palestinian laying on the ground. The incident was caught on video and went viral, resulting in the medic being court-martialed and receiving a slap on the wrist. This medic also acted as he was trained, as he was taught, that a Palestinian life does not matter.

Recognizing that Palestinians have rights within a Zionist construct is a symptom of Zionist racist supremacy. This racism is what allows a family to drive by Palestinian children and treat them like animals in a safari. It is how the state of Israel is able to continue the Naqba, the systemic, catastrophic destruction of Palestine and its people for close to one hundred years.

Feature photo | Beinart speaks at a 2012 event in Atlanta after being banned from a Jewish book festival over his criticism of Israel. David Goldman | AP


Related

PA Political Circus: Why Abbas Must Hand the Keys over to the PLO

Source

June 24, 2020

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh in Ramallah. (Photo: via Facebook)

By Ramzy Baroud

The painful truth is that the Palestinian Authority of President Mahmoud Abbas has already ceased to exist as a political body that holds much sway or relevance, either to the Palestinian people or to Abbas’ former benefactors, namely the Israeli and the American governments.

So, when the Palestinian Authority Prime Minister, Mohammed Shtayyeh, announced on June 9, that the Palestinian leadership had submitted a ‘counter-proposal’ to the US’ Middle East peace plan, also known as the ‘Deal of the Century’, few seemed to care.

We know little about this ‘counter-proposal’, aside from the fact that it envisages a demilitarized Palestinian state within the pre-1967 borders. We also know that the Palestinian leadership is willing to accept land swaps and border adjustments, a provision that has surely been inserted to cater for Israel’s demographic and security needs.

It is almost certain that nothing will come out of Shtayyeh’s counter-proposal and no independent Palestinian state is expected to result from the seemingly historical offer. So, why did Ramallah opt for such a strategy only days before the July 1 deadline, when the Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to launch its process of illegal annexation in the occupied West Bank and the Jordan Valley?

The main reason behind Shtayyeh’s announcement is that the Palestinian leadership is often accused by Israel, the US and their allies of supposedly rejecting previous ‘peace’ overtures.

Rightly, the Palestinian Authority rejected the ‘Deal of the Century’, because the latter represents the most jarring violation of international law yet. The ‘Deal’ denies Palestine’s territorial rights in occupied East Jerusalem, dismisses the right of return for Palestinian refugees altogether, and gives carte blanche to the Israeli government to colonize more Palestinian land.

In principle, Netanyahu also rejected the American proposal, though without pronouncing his rejection publicly. Indeed, the Israeli leader has already dismissed any prospects of Palestinian statehood and has decided to move forward with the unilateral annexation of nearly 30% of the West Bank without paying any heed to the fact that even Trump’s unfair ‘peace’ initiative called for mutual dialogue before any annexation takes place.

As soon as Washington’s plan was announced in January, followed by Israel’s insistence that annexation of Palestinian territories was imminent, the Palestinian Authority spun into a strange political mode, far more unpredictable and bizarre than ever before.

One after another, Palestinian Authority officials began making all sorts of contradictory remarks and declarations, notable amongst them Abbas’ decision on May 19 to cancel all agreements signed between Palestinians and Israel.

This was followed by another announcement, on June 8, this time by Hussein Al-Sheikh, a senior Palestinian Authority official and Abbas’ confidante, that if annexation takes place the Authority would cut off civil services to Palestinians so that Israel may assume its legal role as an Occupying Power as per international norms.

A third announcement was made the following day by Shtayyeh himself, who threatened that, if Israel claims sovereignty over parts of the West Bank, the Authority would retaliate by declaring statehood within the pre-1967 borders.

The Palestinian counter-proposal was declared soon after this hotchpotch of announcements, most likely to offset the state of confusion that is marring the Palestinian body politic. It is the Palestinian leadership’s way of appearing pro-active, positive, and stately.

The Palestinian initiative also aims at sending a message to European countries that, despite Abbas’ cancellation of agreements with Israel, the Palestinian Authority is still committed to the political parameters set by the Oslo Accords as early as September 1993.

What Abbas and Shtayyeh are ultimately hoping to achieve is a repeat of an earlier episode that followed the admission of Palestine as a non-state member of the United Nations General Assembly in 2011. Salam Fayyad, who served as the Authority Prime Minister at the time, also waved the card of the unilateral declaration of statehood to force Israel to freeze the construction of illegal Jewish settlements.

Eventually, the Palestinian Authority was co-opted by then-US Secretary of State, John Kerry, to return to another round of useless negotiations with Israel, which won the Authority another ten years, during which time it received generous international funds while selling Palestinians false hope for an imaginary state.

Sadly, this is the current strategy of the Palestinian leadership: a combination of threats, counter-proposals and such, in the hope that Washington and Tel Aviv will agree to return to a by-gone era.

Of course, the Palestinian people, occupied, besieged, and oppressed are the least relevant factor in the Palestinian Authority’s calculations, but this should come as no surprise. The Palestinian leadership has operated for many years without a semblance of democracy, and the Palestinian people neither respect their government nor their so-called President. They have made their feelings known, repeatedly, in many opinion polls in the past.

In the last few months, the Authority has used every trick in the book to demonstrate its relevance and its seriousness in the face of the dual-threat of Trump’s ‘Deal of the Century’ and Netanyahu’s annexation of Palestinian lands. Yet, the most significant and absolutely pressing step, that of uniting all Palestinians, people and factions, behind a single political body and a single political document, is yet to be taken.

Considering all of this, it is no exaggeration to argue that Abbas’ Authority is gasping its last breath, especially if its traditional European allies fail to extend a desperately needed lifeline. The guarded positions adopted by EU countries have, thus far, signaled that no European country is capable or even willing to fill the gap left open by Washington’s betrayal of the Palestinian Authority and of the ‘peace process’.

Until the Authority hands over the keys to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) so that the more democratically representative Palestinian body can start a process of national reconciliation, Netanyahu will, tragically, remain the only relevant party, determining the fate of Palestine and her people.

– 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

جيفري و2011… أم برّي و1982؟

ناصر قنديل

وضع رئيس مجلس النواب نبيه بري الأزمة المالية التي تزداد وطأتها على اللبنانيين، في قلب مقاربة يتجاهلها الكثير من السياسيين، ويرغب الكثير من المسؤولين مواصلة حالة الإنكار في النظر إليها؛ وجوهرها أن صراعاً استراتيجياً يدور من حول لبنان، وتتداخل فيه محاولات الاستحواذ على موقع لبنان الحساس في هذا الصراع المثلث الأبعاد، لدرجة تحوله إلى الموقع المقرر في رسم مستقبل الوجهة التي سيسلكها الوضع من حوله في ضوء الموقع الذي يرسو عليه لبنان، والصراع المثلث الذي تحدّث عنه بري، هو الصراع على قوس النفط والغاز في الساحل الشرقي للبحر المتوسط، وفي قلبه محاور الممرات المائية نحو أوروبا، والصراع على سورية ومن حولها من بوابة قانون قيصر، وموقع دول الجوار السوري فيه، والصراع على أمن كيان الاحتلال ومستقبل القضية الفلسطينية، من بوابة صفقة القرن، ضمن محاولة تفتيت المنطقة إلى كيانات عنصريّة متناحرة.

التدقيق في خريطة بري، يُظهر نقاط الضعف والقوة في المشهد الاستراتيجي، كما يظهر الموقع الحاسم لتموضع لبنان في رسم مستقبلها، بصورة تفسر استعارته لتشبيه الوضع بما كان عليه عام 1982، مع اجتياح جيش الاحتلال للعاصمة اللبنانية، فمن جهة تقف مصر سداً أمام الأطماع التركية في نفط وغاز ليبيا، لكنها شريك في أنبوب غاز مع كيان الاحتلال يستهدف شق الطرق المائية نحو أوروبا، تمنعه اتفاقات تركيا مع حكومة فائز السراج في ليبيا، فتحمي عملياً أحادية الأنبوب الروسي التركي نحو أوروبا، ومن جهة مقابلة، يقف العراق في ظل حكومته الجديدة برئاسة مصطفى الكاظمي على ضفة التمسك بالاستثناءات من العقوبات الأميركية على إيران، فيما تسعى واشنطن مقابل ذلك لضمان مشاركته في إغلاق حدود الجوار السوري ضمن مفاعيل قانون قيصر، ومن جهة ثالثة يشكل الأردن المتضرّر الأكبر من صفقة القرن، سواء بضم القدس وغور الأردن إلى كيان الاحتلال، أو أصلاً بإحياء نظرية الوطن البديل للفلسطينيين، الرئة التي يراد إقفالها على سورية، وهو الشريك في أنبوب الغاز المشترك بين مصر وكيان الاحتلال.

وفقاً لخريطة بري يبدو لبنان حلقة الترجيح في ظل تعقيدات محاور الاشتباك الساخن الدائر من حول لبنان، كما عام 1982، فرفض رفع الراية البيضاء أمام المشروع المثلث لكيان الاحتلال، بعناوين أميركية، لخنق المقاومة وسورية وتمرير أنبوب الغاز إلى أوروبا، سينتج خريطة جديدة. وتبدو صيغة بري للمواجهة هذه المرة من موقع الدولة خلافاً لمواجهة عام 82 في الميدان، ولذلك فهي تقوم على تمسك لبنان بحقوقه في النفط والغاز، في المفاوضات التي يمسك بري بإدارتها، غير القابلة لإعادة النظر، ويتكامل مع سورية لتشكيل أنبوب ثالث لثروات المتوسط، يتطلع لضمّ الأردن ومصر إليه، وبناء علاقة تعاون مع روسيا من موقع عربي مستقلّ عن تركيا وكيان الاحتلال. ونقطة القوة اللبنانية هنا يكشفها الربط الأميركي الذي كشف عنه معاون وزير الخارجية الأميركية ديفيد شينكر بين ترسيم حدود لبنان البحرية بما يُرضي كيان الاحتلال وأزمة لبنان المالية، من جهة، وبين هذا الترسيم وقدرة كيان الاحتلال على استثمار ذي قيمة تجارية لكيان الاحتلال لثروات الغاز، من جهة موازية، تفسر الإلحاح الأميركي، وفي المسارات الموازية لا تبتعد خطة بري عن سعي لسوار لبناني عراقي أردني يخاطب العقوبات على سورية بلغة المصالح الوطنية لدول الجوار السوري، وعن سعي لموقف مصري سوري أردني عراقي لبناني موحّد من صفقة القرن الهادفة لتصفية مصالح الفلسطينيين وقضيتهم، وإصابة مصالح حيوية للبنان بتصفية حق العودة، وللأردن بجعله وطناً بديلاً للفلسطينيين، وتصيب مصالح العراق ومصر باستقرار إقليمي سيتكفل بتفجيره حصار سورية وانهيار لبنان، وانفجار فلسطين.

تقابل دعوة بري، دعوة أميركية أطلقها المبعوث الأميركي الخاص حول سورية، جيمس جيفري، كاشفاً الإدراك الأميركي لتغير الموازين، بإعلان هدف الضغوط الأميركية الجديدة، تحت عنوان العودة إلى ما قبل 2011، لجهة التسليم بانتصار الدولة السورية، مقابل سحب وجود قوى المقاومة من سورية. بينما العودة إلى ما قبل العام 2011 في روزنامة بري تعني، العودة إلى ما قبل خط هوف المقترح أميركياً لترسيم الحدود البحرية للبنان بمنظار مصالح كيان الاحتلال، وما قبل صفقة القرن والاعتراف الأميركي بضم الجولان، وما قبل العقوبات المشددة على إيران، وما قبل حرب اليمن، فهل غابت عن العقل الأميركي استحالة العودة إلى العام 2011 على قدم واحدة، وما يمكن أن يفتحه العنوان من أبواب موازية، تلاقيها دعوة بري التي تنتظر لتكتمل معالمها نضجاً لبنانياً، وانتباهاً مصرياً وعراقياً وأردنياً؟

روسيا والصين وكسر حاجز الصمت

لزمن طويل كانت الدوائر الدبلوماسية في الصين وروسيا تفضل البقاء في دائرة الدفاع عن سياساتهما الرسمية القائمة على عناوين عريضة من نوع رفض الحروب والتدخلات والاحتكام إلى القانون الدولي والمساعي الأممية بحثاً عن الحل السياسي. وبعد التموضع الروسي في سورية رفع الروس وتيرة المشاركة في السجال الذي تمتهنه واشنطن لتسويق سياساتها، لكنهم بقوا عند حدود الدفاع عن نزاهة الدور الروسي وقانونيته وشرعيته والحرص على عدم توجيه الاتهامات المباشرة لواشنطن حرصاً على عدم التورط في الرد والرد على الرد.

أظهرت الأيام الأخيرة تطوراً نوعياً في السجال الأميركي الروسي الصيني حول لبنان، فخرج السفير الروسي على قناة المنار يصف اتهامات معاون وزير الخارجية الأميركية ديفيد شنكر لحزب الله بالمسؤولية عن الأزمة الاقتصادية بدفاع مستغرَب عن الفساد ومسؤوليته في تخريب الاقتصاد اللبناني ومحاولة تسييس يائسة للملف الاقتصادي، مؤكداً اهتمام الشركات الروسية بلبنان، واضعاً محاولات واشنطن إبعاد روسيا والصين عن لبنان في دائرة السعي لوضع اليد على لبنان كحلقة في النفوذ الحساس في منطقة الشرق الأوسط من زاوية جيواستراتيجية بينما روسيا والصين تؤمنان بأن لبنان بلد توازنات يجب أن يتعاون مع الجميع.

كلام السفير الصيني، الذي نادراً ما يدخل على الملفات الخلافية، ونادراً ما يتحدث عن السياسات الدولية واللبنانية خارج إطار العموميّات، جاء بسقف عالٍ في رده على شينكر، وصولاً لحد نصيحة الدبلوماسي الأميركي بالاهتمام برفاه شعبه وصحته في ضوء تعثر إدارته بمواجهة وباء كورونا مفصلاً في رده كل النقاط التي اثارها شينكر في محاولة التشويش على أي انفتاح لبناني صيني. واللافت هو اللغة العالية النبرة التي استخدمها السفير الصيني قياساً بتحفظه التقليدي، وبالطريقة الصينية المعتمدة بتفادي السجالات.

الواضح أن روسيا والصين قررتا كسر جدار الصمت أمام الحملات الأميركية، لكن الأوضح من خلال اللغة الأميركية القاسية في التطاول على روسيا والصين، والردود الروسية الصينية الأشد قسوة، ولو من موقع الدفاع، هو أن لبنان بات نقطة صراع مفصليّة على ساحل المتوسط، وأن التبعية الثقافية للعديد من السياسيين والمسؤولين اللبنانيين التي تعميهم عن رؤية حجم تراجع القدرة الأميركية على الاستئثار بالنقاط الجيواستراتيجية على ساحل المتوسط، ستجعل الصراع أشد وطأة على لبنان واللبنانيين.

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Questions to do with Erasing the History of Slavery and Colonial Abuse

 BY GILAD ATZMON

questions.jpg

Raised by Gilad Atzmon

Are the young Brits and Americans who genuinely feel guilty about the colonial and racist crimes of their white ancestors also willing to be subject to a special whites-only tax allocating a significant portion of their incomes to Black organizations so justice can, finally, prevail? Will these young White revolutionary spirits support, for instance,  a bill that prevents White people (including their parents of course) from passing their wealth to their offspring  so justice can be done and Black people can be  compensated for centuries of racist abuse?  I really am trying to figure out the true meaning of ‘White guilt,’ does it carry personal consequences? 

Since the history of the British Empire’s criminality is vast, I find myself wondering whether our guilt-ridden revolutionary youngsters also feel responsible for the situation in Palestine?  Are they going to push the British Government to put to an end to its ties with Israel until justice is restored in Palestine and the indigenous people of the land are invited to return to their villages and cities? Are those young British anti racists willing to come forward and apologise to the people of Pakistan or Ireland? And what about the people of Dresden? In short, I would like to know what, exactly, are the boundaries of this British post-colonial ‘ethical awakening’? 

I wonder whether those who insist upon toppling Churchill’s monuments are willing to accept the possibility that David Irving  might have been right all along in his reading of the British leader? 

Since the Left has fought an intensive and relentless battle against the notion of ‘historical revisionism,’ I wonder whether those who currently insist upon ‘setting the record straight’ understand that what they do de facto is revise the past. Is it possible that the Left has finally accepted that revisionism is the true meaning of historical thinking? 

Finally, are the youngsters who adhere to left and progressive values and insist  upon a better, more diverse and anti racist future willing to admit that there are a few Black slaves under the monopoly board? I ask because to date, not one Left or Progressive voice has come forward to state that this Mural is all about Black slavery and capitalists.

The PA’s ‘Counter-Proposal’ Facilitates Its Colonial Collaboration with Israel

June 16, 2020

Palestinian PM Mohammad Shtayyeh . (Photo: via Facebook)

By Ramona Wadi

Further proof that the Palestinian Authority will not attempt to safeguard what remains of Palestine, let alone insist on decolonization, is the plan submitted to the Middle East Quartet which does nothing other than confirm subjugation to the two-state compromise. Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh is reportedly calling the plan “a counter-proposal” to the US deal of the century.

Scant details are available at the moment. The PA’s proposal, however, puts forth the creation of “a sovereign Palestinian state, independent and demilitarised,” while allowing for “border modifications”.

According to a senior official of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), Wasel Abu Yousef, “No Palestinian leader can agree to the American and Israeli conditions to give up the right of return of Palestinian refugees, agree to the annexation of Jerusalem or allow Israel to annex parts of the West Bank where it has built its illegal Jewish settlements.”

However, the Palestinian leadership sees no contradiction in abiding by the earlier plans to colonize Palestine which were determined by the international community. As long as the PA remains entrenched within the two-state framework, it cannot claim that it is countering the “deal” concocted for Israel’s benefit by US President Donald Trump.

The PA has no allies in the Quartet, which consists of the UN, the EU, Russia, and the US. The US, despite departing from international consensus with its slavish gifts to Israel, is still part of the group. Trump’s plan does not truly contradict the two-state paradigm’s aims; it hastens the process to bring the international community’s intentions to fruition. From the illusion of state-building, the deal of the century moves towards eliminating the idea, which puts the Quartet’s insistence upon the two-state diplomacy on a par with Trump’s plan. The PA is acquiescing, once more, to the colonization of what remains of historic Palestine.

At a time when Palestinians need an alternative that departs from further colonization, the PA is strongly emphasizing what UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is fond of describing as “no Plan B”. The PA is rejecting the deal of the century, as it should, to uphold a defunct imposition that actually supports Trump’s plan. Or perhaps the PA’s concept of “Plan B” is to facilitate Israeli colonization by championing the international community’s violent political blunders.

A sovereign, demilitarized Palestinian state is not politically independent but an entity which, in theory, and in fact will please Israel and the international community. The PA’s purported counter-proposal supports Israeli colonization and presents another obstacle to the legitimate anti-colonial struggle which should be guiding Palestinian politics. Palestinians have long ceased to believe that the PA’s propaganda will produce any results, yet its representatives will continue to exploit the people of Palestine to ensure that Israel can complete its colonial project.

Far from opposing Trump’s deal, the PA is entrenching its corrupt stance and strengthening the international community, at the cost of the Palestinian cause disintegrating politically on a permanent basis. If the PA’s notion of a counter-proposal is aiding the international actors to implement the final phase of the Zionist colonization process, it would do better to stop its pompous posturing and admit that it is an ally of the collective that seeks to destroy Palestine forever.

– Ramona Wadi is a staff writer for Middle East Monitor, where this article was originally published. She contributed this article to the Palestine Chronicle.

Empires and their puppets including Israel will eventually fall: “Free Gaza Movement” co-founder Greta Berlin

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June 8, 2020 – 12:45
Berlin likens the situation in the occupied Palestinian lands to South Africa under the apartheid regime which will finally be a country for all citizens including Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
 “This kind of situation, like its predecessor in South Africa, will eventually fall apart, and the country will end up being a country for all citizens, Jews/Christians/Muslims,” Berlin, an author and activist, tells the Tehran Times in an exclusive interview:  
This is the text of the interview:
1: Madame Greta Berlin, please tell us what Israel has achieved after 72 years since its establishment. Has it succeeded to win legitimacy?
 A: Israel has achieved what all white/colonial/racist entities have achieved; subjugating, terrorizing, marginalizing, and stealing from the indigenous population to make an illicit country. It’s no different than the U.S. or Canada or South Africa or Australia. 
Israel has the biggest gorilla in the room on its side and that’s the U.S.It’s gotten its legitimacy from the very countries who have done the same thing to a population that was already there and perceived as, somehow, being “less human” than the invaders. After 72 years, it’s only legitimate claim to the land of Palestine has been through force, and all empires and their puppets eventually fall. Israel will as well.  
2: How do you analyze the situation inside Israel?
 A: There are three strata inside Israel; Ashkenazi Jews, the white Jews from Europe/Russia, and the U.S. who control power, politics, and money. The second tier is the Sephardic or Arab Jews who were often forced to immigrate to Israel immediately after Israel was founded on the backs of the Palestinians. Once the European Jews drove out 750,000 Palestinians, they needed workers to come and settle in the land they stole. What better place to find them than the Arab Jews of the Middle East and North Africa? If they didn’t want to come peacefully, Mossad made sure they changed their minds. 
After arriving in Israel, they even made up a name for themselves… Mizrahi… so they didn’t have to be called Arab Jews. They are becoming the largest segment of the population, but they have little power. You’ll often see them as members of the IOF, subjugating the third tier in Israel; the Palestinians, who have no power whether they are Israeli citizens or living in the Bantustans of the occupied West Bank and Gaza. 
Americans are beginning to wake up to the terrorism of the Israeli occupation This kind of situation, like its predecessor in South Africa, will eventually fall apart, and the country will end up being a country for all citizens, Jews/Christians/Muslims. 
 3: Israel plans to annex parts of the West Bank, and Netanyahu and opposition leader Benny Gantz are unanimous in this move. Netanyahu has confidently said that annexation will take place within “a few months,” or before the American presidential election in November. What has made Israel behave so unashamedly and intransigently? Don’t you think that an impotent international community or inaction by international bodies have made Tel Aviv so emboldened?
 A: Israel has the biggest gorilla in the room on its side and that’s the U.S. It makes no difference who is President in the U.S., Israel controls Congress, and most politicians will bow to its demands. However, watching what is happening in the U.S., everything is going to change over the next few years, as China emerges triumphant and the U.S. becomes another failed empire like Britain and France. 
Personally, I’m all for a one-state solution and have been for decades. And the sooner, the better for everyone living there. Palestinians already outnumber Jews, and those demographics are only going to improve for Palestinians, both Christian and Muslim.  
 4: You are internationally famous for advocating “justice” for Palestinians since early 1960. What prompted you to highlight the sufferings of the Palestinians?
 A: While in graduate school in 1963, I met and married a Palestinian and had two Palestinian/American children who couldn’t return to Safad, the city where their father was raised, while a Jew from New York City could immigrate there with no other credentials except religion. 
That sense of injustice has challenged me since then. The most outspoken advocate for the rights of marginalized people like Palestinians are often the people who learned the truth after being lied to as children. Like many Americans, I grew up thinking Israel was the victim and Jews had the right to settle in the Holy Land. When I met my husband, and he began telling me the truth of the violent takeover of his land by European terrorist Jews, I became an advocate for justice in Palestine for life.  
 5: You were a co-founder of the Free Gaza Movement and among those brave persons who broke the Gaza siege. Can you please explain your experiences and reactions?
 A: This is such a long story, encompassing two years of planning, buying the boats, sailing to Gaza and so much pain, laughter and delight at finally getting there. It’s a book and a movie and a webinar already. The best way of describing our journey to Gaza is to provide people with these three links.
 6: The U.S. has been blindly defending the illegal behavior of Israel toward Palestinians over the past seven decades. How can such support be justified by a country which proclaims leadership of the free world and defender of democracy and human rights?
 A: The U.S. has never been a defender of democracy and human rights. The country was founded on the genocide of the native population and got rich on the back of slavery. It has had, however, one of the most brilliant PR campaigns of any country in the world. Israel tries to emulate it with many of the same catchphrases such as, “the only democracy in the Middle East.” That’s as big a lie as the U.S. saying it stands for human rights.
However, there is a difference between government propaganda and the citizens of the U.S. Americans, once they wake up, are among the most outstanding advocates for justice for people seeking equal rights, and have put their lives on the line, from the martyrs of the civil rights movement, https://www.splcenter.org/what-we-do/civil-rights-memorial/civil-rights-martyrs
to Rachel Corrie in Palestine. They are the one bright and hopeful beacons of light in the U.S., especially this younger generation. I have great hopes they will become like many of us out of the 1960s, advocates for a better world. 
 7: How is it possible that successive Congresses and to a lesser extent administrations remain so biased in favor of Israel? Does it show that the American people who vote for their representatives are indifferent or ignorant toward the situation of the Palestinians?
A: Bribery, Blackmail, and Benjamins. 
It is true, however, that Americans are beginning to wake up to the terrorism of the Israeli occupation. But to be honest, Americans can barely make it from one paycheck to the next and are overwhelmed with problems in their own back yards. 
And the country is huge, with 331 million people, only 20% who even own a passport. Very few of us travel outside the Northern Hemisphere. America and much of its population are isolated and not very well-educated about other countries.  
 8: And, why anybody who opposes the stealing of the Palestinian lands or criticizes suppression of Palestinians is easily being accused of ant-Semite?
 A: It’s become a badge of honor to be called anti-Semitic. Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter, Stephen Hawking, Roger Waters have all been called anti-Semites. I’m proud to be in their company.

Imam Khamenei: There Is No Crime Equivalent to the Theft of Palestine, ’Israel’ to Be Uprooted

Imam Khamenei: There Is No Crime Equivalent to the Theft of Palestine, ’Israel’ to Be Uprooted

By Staff

Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei marked International al-Quds Day this year by referring to it as a smart announcement from late Imam Khomeini with smart innovation, which came to link Muslims with Palestine.

Imam Khamenei delivered the Quds Day Sermon with a plate behind him that read “We Will Pray in al-Quds”.

His Eminence urged the confrontation of the absenteeism of the Palestinian issue, which is woven by the agents of political and cultural enemies of the Islamic countries.

“In the recent ages, there is no crime that is equivalent to the theft of Palestine and the cultivation of the cancerous Zionist gland in it,” Imam Khamenei pointed out, adding that the main criminal in the tragedy of Palestine is the policy of western countries and the division of lands under the Ottoman government.

After World War II, Western countries took advantage of the regional countries’ negligence to declare the Zionist ‘state’, Imam Khamenei said, noting that “the main goal of Westerners and Jewish cartels in creating the Zionist entity was to build a base for their presence and influence.”

“Unfortunately, most Arab countries, that had shown resistance to the Zionist entity, began to gradually surrender. After their jihadist operations, the Palestinian fighting factions have followed a disappointing approach of negotiating with the occupier,” His Eminence underscored.

With the emergence of the resistance front, Imam Khamenei highlighted that the obstacles facing the Zionist entity became harder and harder, stressing that the Zionists and the global Arrogance are seeking to marginalize the Palestinian cause.

He noted, however, that the struggle for Palestine is a jihad for the sake of God and an Islamic obligation, then slammed that action of occupying a country and committing such crimes against its people for decades as being, in fact, a new record of barbarism in human history.

Imam Khamenei further said that negotiations with America and other western governments, and also negotiations with useless international groups, were bitter and unsuccessful experiences for Palestine.

Yasser Arafat's Speech at the UN General Assembly Olive Branch ...

Holding out an olive branch at the United Nations General Assembly had no result other than the injurious Oslo Accords, and it led to the eye-opening fate of Yasser Arafat, Imam Khamenei said.

His Eminence also noted that the Zionist regime will encounter even more problems in the future, God willing.

He further lashed out at human rights defenders, considering that “The slogan for defending the rights of women and children in international forums does not include defending the rights of women and children in Yemen and Palestine.”

His Eminence then asked: Who is responsible for all this blood that has been unlawfully shed in Afghanistan, Palestine, Yemen, Libya, Syria and other countries?

Praising the Islamic Resistance movements, Imam Khamenei said:

“The emergence of the faithful, young, self-sacrificing force of Hezbollah in Lebanon and the formation of Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Palestine unsettled and alarmed the Zionist ringleaders and the US.”

“The resistance front is moving with increasing power and hope, and it marches on towards attracting increasing elements of power,” he stressed.

On the other side, Imam Khamenei labelled the opposing front of oppression, unbelief and arrogance as being more hollow, hopeless and powerless.

Imam Khamenei also touched upon the struggle to liberate Palestine, saying it is Jihad in the way of God, and it is an obligation and an Islamic goal.

Imam Khamenei then warned those who consider the concessions made by a few Palestinian elements or rulers of a few Arab countries as a license to sidestep this Islamic and human issue, telling them that they are making a grave mistake.

“The aim of this struggle is the liberation of all the Palestinian lands – from the river to the sea – and the return of all Palestinians to their homeland,” Imam Khamenei emphasized.

His Eminence also lashed out at the world, which is today counting every victim of the coronavirus across the globe, but nobody of them has asked who is responsible for the hundreds of thousands of martyrdoms where America and Europe have waged wars.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Palestine and Hezbollah in Lebanon have been a proof for everyone, Imam Khamenei stated, stressing that the world has not forgotten and will not forget the day when the Zionist army broke through the Lebanese borders and marched till Beirut or the day when a criminal murderer named Ariel Sharon caused a bloodbath in Sabra and Shatila.

The “Israeli” army, which was pounded by Hezbollah, had no choice but to retreat from the borders of Lebanon and beg for a truce after sustaining heavy casualties and admitting defeat, Imam Khamenei said.

Meanwhile, “the European government, which should be eternally ashamed for selling chemical agents to the regime of Saddam Hussein, designate the devoted Hezbollah as illegal.”

“Illegal is a regime like the US that creates Daesh and a regime like the European governments whose chemical agents caused the death of thousands in Iran and Iraq,” Imam Khamenei stressed.

“My final word is that Palestine belongs to the Palestinians; therefore, it should be run as they wish,” Imam Khamenei concluded.

His Eminence, on this day, said he would like to remember the martyrs of Quds Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, Fathi Shaqaqi, Sayyed Abbas al-Moussawi, Martyr Soleimani, and also the great Iraqi Mujahid Martyr Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

The “Zionist Virus” and the Future of Palestine

New York Governor Cuomo, the Virus, the Nakba and Me

By Rima Najjar

Global Research, May 13, 2020

To me, an American-Palestinian, the world tainted by the corona virus is analogous to Israel tainted by the evil it contains.

Every day for the past few days, I have been listening to New York Governor Cuomo give his daily briefing on the virus. His words resonate with me eerily transforming themselves to advice on how to handle Israel’s cruel manifestation in Palestine as a Zionist Jewish apartheid colonial state. As talk of “re-opening” the New York increases in volume, so does my feverish imagination.

For those who don’t know, the Arabic word “Fateh” [فتح], the name of the Palestinian National Liberation Movement, which is the political bloc now dominating the Palestinian Authority in the occupied West Bank, means “opening”. It also carries the meaning of “conquering”. What’s more, “Fateh” and “key” [مفتاح], that profoundly indicative word of Palestinian longing for return, have the same linguistic root in Arabic. Hence, all these unbidden associations in my mind as I listen to Cuomo.

Every day, I wait for Cuomo’s briefing impatiently and watch while perched, tense and hyper-alert, at the edge of my seat, mesmerized by the shifting lines of his charts that, I swear, often morph into the outline of the map of Palestine.

My mind automatically sucks in Cuomo’s words and echoes them back at the TV in an altered form. I am Muslim, but the dynamic gripping me is one akin to the relationship between a pastor and his congregation at a black church. Cuomo calls and I respond, sometimes aloud. I hold back from hollering and shouting at his image, so as not to scare my family.

I take in every word of his sane, hopeful message — facts, not “facts on the ground”; science, not myths; let’s learn from our mistakes. Yes!

I translate his sentences into something else, like this: After decades of land theft, when will Palestinians be finally in control of their destiny and not subject to the whims of Israel and the international community? You tell me how Israel behaves today; I will tell you how Palestinians will be resisting a year from now.

The Zionist virus that is the Jewish state of Israel has yet to be stamped out. Hot-spot outbreaks have been with us since the Nakba of 1948. Currently, they are in the form of Israel’s horrifying annexation of parts of the West Bank, preying on the most vulnerable of peoples. We need to look for solutions that make things better for the Palestinian people. We need to reimagine the status quo and pose such a solution.

“In the first phase, we had to figure out what we are dealing with because we had no idea.” Yes, we had no idea — just intimations of unbelievable cruelty and diabolical greed! In 1947–48, we really had little idea. Remember, Palestine was 80% agrarian then — not the sophisticated community of Basle, Switzerland, where the plot for our dispossession was hatched at the First Zionist Conference in 1897.

“In the first phase, stabilize, control the damage,” says Cuomo. It turns out the key (here is that word again!) is information.

“I worked hard every day to make sure they knew the facts. ‘Trust the people’ — Lincoln, right? An informed public will keep this country safe. True, and that’s exactly what happened here,” Cuomo continues.

Funny Cuomo should say that, because, just the other day, a Palestinian friend on Facebook, Imad Jibawi, was saying something similar. He was commenting on a Zoom discussion I had posted titled “What do we do now?” conducted by Hani al-Masri, Director General of Masarat — The Palestinian Center for Policy Research & Strategic Studies (Masri is also a Policy Advisor for Al-Shabaka).

Imad Jibawi wondered:

“What is it that would drive the Palestinian people to the streets to protest by the thousands? Is it the annexation of Jerusalem? No; is it annexation of the Jordan Valley? No; is it Israel’s new settlements, then? No.

Why is that so?

I think the answer is in the question: Who is it mainly that we expect to take to the streets? They are those who are primarily under 30 — i.e., the Oslo generation.

These Palestinians were born and brought up in the reality of the Palestinian Authority, a government, ministries, VIPs, jobs, loans, etc.

[Preserving that] has been the national project for which our people sacrificed for years. People’s very livelihoods are now the red lines, holding them back. Their concerns are the teachers’ movement, the social security movement, the “we want to live” movement.

The question that concerns the political class as a whole is this: What next? What to do? The answer is: We start with our ABCs all over again. The first lesson is: Who are the Palestinians? What are the borders of the homeland of Palestine? The second lesson is: Who is our enemy? And what do we want?

Wanted: a new national awareness ….” [my translation from Arabic]

But then, as I continued to listen to Cuomo, I realized that, even though he and Jibawi are appealing to people to act collectively in their best interests by looking to themselves, rather than to their governments, there is a fundamental difference.

Cuomo is invoking security of health, family and livelihood as a raison d’etre for a certain set of collective behaviors, whereas what Jibawi is pushing for, necessarily given the Palestinian condition, is a revolutionary national consciousness that calls for a sacrifice of the very same things Cuomo is protecting for New Yorkers.

To Jibawi, the ideal of home and hearth (job security, health care, education, etc., as provided currently by the Palestinian Authority and the Oslo regime) must be superseded by the ideal of liberty, justice and equality for a people under occupation, who have escaped Israel’s genocide so far, but who continue to be dispossessed, brutally subjugated and oppressed by a vicious, powerful judeo-fascist entity and its allies.

Cuomo says,

“I don’t know when government became so political. It all became about rhetoric rather than actual competence, but it happened somewhere along the way that government could not handle the situation. People had to get engaged; people had to be informed and that’s the new thing I did. They got engaged because it mattered — this is not an abstract issue we are talking about people’s lives and people’s health and the health of their children.”

They’ll get engaged, because it matters. For both Palestinians and New Yorkers, these are not abstract issues. Far from it. In our case, all you have to do to realize the concreteness is to tune in to the daily news of thievery and savagery in their myriad forms the Israeli regime inflicts on the Palestinian people.

Many ask, if not the Palestinian Authority, if not the status quo of self-government for the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, what then? My answer is this: First, hard as it is for many, we must find the will and steadfastness to effect an insurrection to continue the interrupted Palestinian revolution, returning to the political and community structures that sprang up to further the first intifada. We need a supreme manifestation of popular resistance against both the Palestinian Authority and Israel in all of occupied Palestine from the river to the sea with aid from Palestinians in exile.

Cuomo is right! “No government can impose any of these things … Stay in the house. Close every school. Close every bus. State government can’t enforce that. People had to understand the facts people had to engage in governing themselves in a way they hadn’t in decades … We are tough, smart, united, disciplined and loving” — even if our governments aren’t. We are samidoun.

Amen to that! Hallelujah!
*

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Rima Najjar is a Palestinian whose father’s side of the family comes from the forcibly depopulated village of Lifta on the western outskirts of Jerusalem. She is an activist, researcher and retired professor of English literature, Al-Quds University, occupied West Bank.

All images in this article are from the authorThe original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Rima Najjar, Global Research, 2020

بين أم عطا المقاومة.. وأم هارون اليهوديّة القدس عاصمتنا الأبديّة

سماهر الخطيب

تتفقّد منزلها بين الحينة والأخرى تستدين المال كي تدفع ما يطالبها به الاحتلال من ضرائب قد استوجبت على منزل «لا يساوي شيئاً» وتقف أمام الباب شامخةً رافضة لعرض السمسار الذي قدّمه لها لبيع هذا المنزل الصغير وتنعته بكلمات لا تحرّك به ضميره الغائب ليترنّح قائلاً «بيعيه اليوم أفضل من أن تخسريه غداً وتصبحين بلا منزل ولا مال»؛ تزداد إصرارً بالرفض.. وتهدي المفتاح لذاك الطالب الكهنوتي ليتذكّر بأن «له بيت في القدس» ولتردّ له شيئاً من معروفه لها..

حدث ذلك مع أم عطا في أربعينيات القرن الماضي هذا ما عرضه عنها مسلسل درامي يحمل اسم «حارس القدس».

وفي المقلب الثاني وفي الحقبة ذاتها تسرد «أم هارون»، قصتها كطبيبة يهودية واجهت تحديات كثيرة مع أسرتها والجالية اليهودية في دول الخليج، في دليل فاضح على تمهيد الإعلام «السعودي» للتطبيع مع «إسرائيل»..

وشتان ما بين أم عطا وأم هارون ليست حبكة درامية تتجلى وإنما قضية راسخة لا يمكن أن نغفل عنها.

فنحن من تربّى على أناشيد الشاعر السوري سليمان العيسى والذي رددنا كلماته إلى اليوم..

فلسطين داري ودرب انتصاري

تظل بلادي هوى في فؤادي

ولحناً أبياً على شفتيا

وجوه غريبة بأرضي السليبة

تبيع ثماري وتحتلّ داري

وأعرف دربي ويرجع شعبي

إلى بيت جدّي إلى دفء مهدي

فلسطين داري ودرب انتصاري

هذه الكلمات شكلت بدايات الوعي لدى كل طفل عن القضية الفلسطينية وحفرت في ذاكرة أجيال من الأطفال على امتداد المعمورة ليس من النهر إلى البحر فحسب، إنما من المحيط إلى الخليج فهذه الأرض لنا وفي تلافيف العقل قد حيكت بساتينها وقراها وحجارها وشطآنها.

هي بلادنا وأرضنا لا تطبيع إعلامي يمكن أن يمحو الحقيقة ولا تطبيل وتزمير «عربي» خانع كخنوع بعض حكام العرب الذين باتوا دمية بأيدي ذاك الصهيوني الغاشم بلا حياء يطبلون له ويزمرون..

وكما يُقال في المثل الشعبي «فوق الموتة عصّة قبر» فبينما تعاني أرضنا المحتلة ما تعانيه من تدنيس المحتل وتعذيب لشعبنا وحاصرته والبحث عن شتى السبل لإخضاعه والعالم أجمع أصم أبكم فهو لا يفقه ومنشغل بأزمة الفيروس المستجد القاتل لجنسنا البشري يعاني شعبنا في فلسطين من فيروس من نوع أخطر وأعتى وأشرس، فيروس صهيوني استشرى بأرضنا وشعبنا يجتمع القادة العرب في جامعتهم ليدينوا ضمّ الضفة الغربية لدولة الاحتلال «إدانة» فقط هذا ما استحصلنا عليه من «سموّهِم المعظم» يمنّون علينا بها.

وفي كل مرة يجتمعون فيها منذ تاسيس جماعتهم المفرقة، ومن قبلها منذ عهد «الشريف حسين» ومراسلاته مع مكماهون إلى اليوم وفي كل كلمة يتفوّهون بها نخسر المزيد من أرضنا المقدسة ودولة الاحتلال لا تترك فرصة إلا وتبخ في كل إناء سُمّها.

وها هي اليوم تستغل انشغال العالم أجمع بمواجهة الفيروس كوفيد– 19 لتسعى بخبث نحو نسج مكائدها..

فجاء إعلان ضمّ الضفة الغربية تزامناً مع ظهور هذا الفيروس المستجد دونما مغيث لشعبنا الفلسطيني سوى مَن كان ضميره حاضراً مقاوماً بالقول والفعل، بالكلمة والسلاح.

وإذا عدنا للوراء في الأشهر القليلة المنصرمة فإننا سنجد الكثير من الانحياز الغربي للكيان الصهيوني على أرضنا، بل نجد أن ستار وغطاء السياسة الغربية والأميركية تجاه دولة الاحتلال قد تكشّف وظهر ما كانت تكنّه من نيات في طياتها العنصرية والاستعمارية.

منذ نقل السفارة الأميركية إلى مدينة القدس وإعلانها عاصمة لدولة الاحتلال مروراً بانسحاب أميركا من مجلس حقوق الإنسان لكونه بحسب زعمها يظلم حقوق الشعب الصهيوني، وصولاً إلى التصديق على قانون يهودية دولة «إسرائيل» وصولاً إلى الإعلان المزعوم بضم الجولان السوري المحتل كل ذلك يصب في مصلحة الكيان الصهيوني وراعيته أميركا، فما جاء به ذاك المدير الترامبي وصهره من نداءات لـ»صفقة القرن» قد بدأ يحيك فصولها بدقة متناهية منذ تسلمه دفة القيادة من دون أن يرفّ لهما جفن.

فالدول العربية منشغلة وكذلك الأوروبية والآسيوية لا مجال الآن للالتفات إلى ما يعنيه قرار الأمم المتحدة 181 بشأن القدس ولا حتى القرار 194 بشأن حق العودة ولا حتى هل سيكون قرار إنشاء الأونروا أو الانسحاب منها متاحاً للنقاش والتي أنشئت بقرار من الأمم المتحدة والتي من المفترض أن تكون أعلى سلطة عالميّة لولا تحكم الولايات المتحدة الأميركية بقراراتها وانتهاكها مبادئ الشرعة الدولية.

في القرارين الأميركيين اللذين أظهرا صهيونية ترامب أكثر من الصهاينة أنفسهم يفسران بعضهما البعض، فإذا ما أسقط حق العودة فليس للأونروا عمل بعد اليوم، ليصبح جميع اللاجئين الفلسطينيين مواطنين داخل الدول التي احتوتهم.

وهو ما علا الصوت بتوطين اللاجئين، ولم يكن الهدف منه اللاجئين السوريين إنما الفلسطينيون هم من كانوا مقصودين بالتوطين ليسقط حق العودة وتنسحب الولايات المتحدة من تمويل الأونروا لانتفاء الحاجة إليها ويتوافق ذلك مع يهودية «إسرائيل».

أما بالنسبة للضفة الغربية والقطاع بعد أن حلّ ترامب وصهره قضية القدس فإنّ لهما تتمة في السيناريو الأميركي المعنون بصفقة القرن.

فالكيان الصهيوني لن يكلّ أو يملّ من دون أن يضمهما أو يضم أحدهما لحكمه الاستعماري. وليتم ذلك أولاً الخضوع والاعتراف بيهودية هذا الكيان، ولمن رفض فله سيناء. تلك تتمة السيناريو الخبيث فلم يعد خافياً على أحد تلك القمة السرية في البحر الميت من دهاء بين الرئيس المصري والأردني ورئيس وزراء العدو لتتدافع بعدها اللقاءات وحبك المؤامرات ونقل ما صنعوه من ممثلين وبدعتهم الإرهابية إلى سيناء وإفراغها من سكانها الأصليين ريثما يحين الموعد «توطين الفلسطينيين».

ولا ننسى أزمة تيران وصنافير أحد فصول «صفقة القرن»، وليس الهدف من جعلها سعوديّة إلا إرضاء للكيان الصهيوني، لما تشكله هاتان الجزيرتان من رمزية النصر المصري والفشل الصهيوني إبان عدوان 1967 على مصر.

فكانت تنطلق منها القوات البحرية باتجاه الأراضي المحتلة هذا من جهة، ومن جهة أخرى ربما يريد العدو تحويل المياه في البحر الأحمر إلى مياه دولية فيستطيع العبور فيها والتجارة دونما تعليق يذكر.

وبعد سلسلة قرارات أميركية وصهيونية اتخذت وسط صمت دولي وتراخٍ عربي، لم يعد لدولة الاحتلال ذاك الحلم بالتوسّع وخوض الحروب طالما أنها توسعت في «مجالها الحيوي» فلِمَ تخسر عسكرياً وهي تكسب اقتصادياً وثقافياً وفنياً واجتماعياً..! بعد حملة التطبيع و»أم هارون» التي جالت معظم البلاد العربية من خليجها إلى مغربها، وهو ما أشار إليه بنيامين نتنياهو في مكان تحت الشمس بإنشاء حلف اقتصادي تقوده دولة الاحتلال..

إنما على الساحة السورية، ما سيسقط هذا المشروع الأميركي الصهيوني. فالحرب في الشام أصبحت شبه منتهية بنصر الدولة السورية وحلفائها على الإرهاب. وفي العراق كذلك كما في لبنان وفي الداخل الفلسطيني تبقى المقاومة عتية عن القبول بالانصياع لقرارات أميركية ووجود لكيان غاصب. وفي كل بلد لا تزال فيه أنفاس المقاومة فالشعوب تبقى صاحبة القرار لو بعد حين.

ولا نصرَ يمكن أن يتحقق إنْ لم يروَ بتكاتف الشعب والجيش والمقاومة لتنعكس قوة تنبثق من رحم عقيدة متأصّلة في وجدان أبنائها.

وحارس القدس في كل ضمير مقاوم موجود ليس بدعة وليس ذكرى بل ذاكرة تدق بأننا سنعود.. متجاوزين ما اصطنعوه من حدود سياسية، لتظهر الوحدة الجغرافية، فيجب أن نضطلع بمسؤولية قضايانا القومية لنصنع النصر وأن نقرّر مصيرنا بإرادتنا نحن.

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Land Day 2020 in the Time of the Coronavirus

March 30, 2020

Samidoun issued a call for a rally in New York City to commemorate the second anniversary of the Great Return March in Gaza, that has been transformed into a virtual event. (Photo: via Samidoun)

By Benay Blend

On March 3, 2020, Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Network issued a call for a rally in New York City to commemorate the second anniversary of the Great Return March in Gaza.

Plans were to hold the march in conjunction with the Palestine Writes Festival (March 27-29), but due to the Coronavirus the literary gathering has been postponed, and the march, like so many other events, has been transformed into a virtual event.

Two years ago, on March 30, 2018, Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip launched the Great March of Return in order to demand an end to Israel’s closure of the Gaza Strip and the right of return for millions of Palestinian ethnically cleansed from their homes.

Despite Israel’s ongoing use of live ammunition, tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets, Palestinians continue to use every legitimate means possible—including armed resistance, general strikes, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns, and the Great Return March—in their struggle for national liberation.

This year, in the words of Tamara Nassar: “Palestinians face two enemies: occupation and pandemic.” As Nassar notes, their struggle against the virus entails the same precautions as the rest of the world, while, in addition, Israel “continues to demolish structures, conduct night raids, arbitrarily arrest children and routinely harass civilians.”

For example, palinfo.com reports that on March 27, 2020, Israeli occupation soldiers invaded several areas in the West Bank city of al-Khalil where they “deliberately spat” at Palestinian homes and cars. After their departure, Palestinian workers sterilized the places where the soldiers spat in order to reduce the chances of infection.

Moreover, while the West Bank and Jerusalem are quarantined, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights last week recorded that Israelis undertook 59 home raids and 51 arrests.

All of these atrocities and more are unique to the Occupation. Nevertheless, there is a larger framework that makes it possible to place the Palestinian struggle within a broader context. As stated in Samidoun’s decision to transform the various rallies in support of Gaza into virtual events:

“Protecting each other’s health at this critical time is essential to continuing the struggle against the forces of oppression and exploitation that deny people health care or price it with a profit motive.”

For many in the labor force, this is not an option. In countries under the rule of right-wing capitalist leaders, workers are being told that they have a choice between staying home without a paycheck, thus placing their families under economic hardship, or going to workplaces that put them at risk for serious infection with the virus.

For example, the lieutenant governor of Texas Dan Patrick suggested that older Americans would surely sacrifice themselves in return for guaranteeing their grandchildren’s economic future. He also advocated that the country should be opened up for business in weeks, not months as health professionals propose.

President Donald Trump’s call to open up the country for business by Easter echoed a similar prioritizing of business and mega-church religious leaders over the lives of workers and their families.

In Palestine, too, Akram Al-Waara reports that workers face a similar dilemma, though aggravated by realities of the Occupation. For those working in Israel, new restrictions related to the Coronavirus mean that they have a choice between sacrificing a “much-needed income,” or taking the chance of being apart from their families for months.

As the virus continued to extend across Israel and the West Bank, Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennet, who had already closed the borders around Bethlehem, announced that only workers in “essential” fields—construction, healthcare, and agriculture—would be granted entry; everyone else would be quarantined at home.

“While the Israelis are staying inside their homes, they are putting us to work so that things don’t collapse,” Kareem, a Palestinian construction worker, told Middle East Eye, all “for the sake of saving their economy.” Though the situation is different within the context of the Occupation, the paradigm of profit over people is inevitable wherever there is a capitalist economy. In New Mexico, where I live, Indian reservations make up expendable labor pools, much like Palestinians are today.

In the preface to Simon Ortiz’s Fight Back: For the Sake of the People, For the Sake of the Land (1980), historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz explains that “Indians have a basis of unity with non-Indians,” and it is there, “in the fields and on the picket line, that they may see through the smokescreen of racism” to pinpoint the real cause of their oppression: capitalism.

She continues:

“For the Indian and non-Indian worker in the United States and most of the hemisphere, their exploited labor provides the profits for those who claim to own the land and the factories and have armies to back their claim.”

Dunbar-Ortiz’s analysis is more important today than ever as we see workers around the world faced with the choice of watching their families starve without a paycheck or bringing sickness home from their workplace.

As Italians called for a General Strike on March 25 under the slogan “Our lives are worth more than your profits,” and requests for a nationwide rent strike erupt in the U.S., it seems an excellent time for international solidarity among the working class, Indigenous, immigrants and all other oppressed groups of people.

Meanwhile, news sources such as NPR are using fears over the Coronavirus to air the following message: “Israelis and Palestinians now have a common enemy: the Coronavirus.”

Described by +972 Magazine as “ ‘colonization of the mind,’ whereby the oppressed subject comes to believe that the oppressor’s reality is the only ‘normal’ reality that must be subscribed to, and that the oppression is a fact of life that must be coped with,” “normalization” never sleeps. Neither does colonialist oppression, even during the height of the pandemic.

As Akram Al-Waara relates, Palestinian workers in Israel who are suspected to have the virus are “dumped…like trash” near the most convenient checkpoints. “This is the true face of the Israeli occupation,” Ibrahim Abu Safiya told Middle East Eye. “They kill us on a daily basis, so this isn’t any different for them.” No cooperation here over a “common enemy to battle,” as Daniel Estrin of NPR termed it, only the continuation of the Palestinian struggle for liberation.

In Israel, the United States, and around the world, exploited groups of people are expendable, thrown away when no longer serving the needs of the elite. As a community activist and scholar Oliver Baker wrote on Facebook, this is how “whiteness in capitalism works. It expects you to consent to give it your labor and enforce empire. But it cares nothing about your life. It’s time to betray it, or if not, you’ll be in the way of people trying to free themselves from these conditions, and you don’t want to be in the way of that right now.”

Nevertheless, the message of Land Day 2020 remains one of sumoud (steadfastness) and creativity, as Palestinians from Gaza to Bethlehem mobilize collectively to fight the virus.

“If we can overcome Coronavirus, we can overcome the occupation,” writes Suha Arraf, a sentiment echoed by Lucy Thaljiyeh, a city council member and feminist political activist: “The solidarity between people has returned, the solidarity we had during the First Intifada which somehow disappeared in the Second Intifada. We are together once again, trapped; we are taking care of each other.”

As support gathers around the world in the coming days for Land Day 2020, it seems fitting to end with the words of Palestinian American activist and scholar Steven Salaita:

“I find myself thinking about the Gaza Strip, Attica, Wounded Knee, the Warsaw Ghetto, not because our situation is analogous, and not because suffering must be exceptional to have meaning, but because they’re examples of incredible strength amid hardship and insecurity and therefore provide a radical vision of fortitude in which victims of power, not its beneficiaries, serve as inspiration for survival.”

– Benay Blend earned her doctorate in American Studies from the University of New Mexico. Her scholarly works include Douglas Vakoch and Sam Mickey, Eds. (2017), “’Neither Homeland Nor Exile are Words’: ‘Situated Knowledge’ in the Works of Palestinian and Native American Writers”. She contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

Sayyed Nasrallah Calls for Comprehensive Confrontation with The Arrogant Trump Administration: Boycott American Goods

Sayyed Nasrallah Calls for Comprehensive Confrontation with The Arrogant Trump Administration: Boycott American Goods

Zeinab Essa

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered on Sunday a speech in which he tackled various regional and internal topics.

Addressing tens of thousands of Resistance lovers commemorating Hezbollah Martyr Leaders and 40 days on the martyrdom of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Al Muhandis, Sayyed Nasrallah congratulated the Iranian people on the 41 anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. “The revolution in Iran has remained strong despite all wars and sieges, thanks to the presence of its people in all fields and all stages.”

His Eminence further recalled that “The enemy was betting on the collapse of the regime in Iran.”

Congratulating the oppressed Bahraini people on the ninth anniversary of the revolution, led by loyal scholars, particularly Sheikh Isa Qassem; His Eminence highlighted that “The Bahraini people are fighting today to restore Bahrain to its natural position in the nation, after its rulers has turned it into a base for normalization and conspiracy on the Palestinian cause.”

“The martyrs Soleimani, Al-Muhandis, Sayyed Abbas al-Moussawi, Sheikh Ragheb Harb and Hajj Imad Mughniyeh shared common features. They had faith, loyalty and honesty and they were loved by the people. One of the main traits of the martyr leaders is that they were responsible, along with the constant willingness to sacrifice without limits,” he added.

Urging people to read Martyr Soleimani’s will, Sayyed Nasrallah underscored that “When we read the will of martyr Soleimani, we find that we are in front of a knowledgeable Mujahid commander who was concerned for his country and people.”

“The resistance is neither based on speeches nor on words that are disconnected from reality. These leaders embodied it on the ground,” His Eminence stated, noting that “With the martyrdom of each of our leaders, we move from one phase into another and this is the case with the martyrdom of Hajj Qassem”

On this level, the Resistance Leader confirmed that “[US President Donald] Trump’s administration recently committed two horrible crimes resembled by the uncovered assassination of Martyrs Soleimani and Al-Muhandis as well as announcing the so-called ‘Deal of the Century’.”

“Trump’s unilateral ‘Deal of century’ isn’t a deal but an “Israeli” scheme to end the Palestinian cause,” he said, pointing out that “The two crimes are in the service of American and “Israeli” hegemony, tyranny, and looting to our goods and sanctities.”

Sayyed Nasrallah further mentioned that “The US isn’t an inevitable destiny, and the American administrations have always presented schemes, but they have failed because the peoples and states decided to confront them.”

Describing the ‘Deal of Century’ as a crime committed in the White House, His Eminence hailed the fact that “There is no Palestinian group or faction that accepts to give up the Palestinian cause and Al-Quds.”

“Today, no one supports Trump’s ‘Deal of Century’. No influencing country has shown any approval of this scheme,” he clarified, lauding the Lebanese unity and solidarity in rejecting Trump’s scheme as they [the Lebanese] are aware of its danger.”

As His Eminence warned that Trump’s scheme hands the occupied Lebanese territories to “Israel” in addition to settling the refugees, Sayyed Nasrallah wondered “Who guarantees that these stances will remain the same in the future, especially if the Gulf stance changes.”

“There are Gulf countries that say that Trump’s scheme is capable of being studied, and this is how defeat and surrender begin,” he stated, pointing out that “The positions that followed Trump’s announcement of his ‘Deal of century’ were full of strong rejection.”

On another level, Sayyed Nasrallah viewed that “The new stage requires from our people in the region to go and not to escape the primary confrontation.”

“When Trump kills our leaders in a public and brutal manner, he declares war and we are still in the stage of slow response,” His Eminence declared, calling the peoples in the region to move to the main confrontation, which is inevitable, as the other party is on the offensive.

In this context, Sayyed Nasrallah said: “Our people are urged to go to the confrontation with the arrogance symbol resembled by Trump’s administration. Awareness away from fear of America and confidence in our ability are a must as the US is responsible for all “Israel’s” wars and practices.”

“We are not taking anyone into a confrontation with America,” he added, pointing out that “America has imposed a confrontation on the nation.”

Sayyed Nasrallah went on to explain that “We need a comprehensive confrontation with this brutal authoritarian monster, resembled by Trump’s arrogant administration. Daesh [Arabic Acronym for the terrorist “ISIS/ISIL” group] has taken control of provinces in Syria and Iraq, committed massacres, and the Americans are responsible for these atrocities.”

Stressing that “Boycotting US goods is painful for the Americans,” Hezbollah Secretary General wondered “Why don’t we resort to this choice?”Sayyed Nasrallah: I call on all the elites, scholars and thinkers to set programs and plans as part of a major confrontation with the American administration

“In order to impose its hegemony and plans, The US uses all available means, including proxy wars and assassinations,” he underlined, stating that “All forms of resistance are required: the legal, judicial, economic, and other levels.”

According to His Eminence, His Eminence cautioned that “The US is using the weapon of economic sanctions against people. The US supports the ongoing war against the Yemeni people to benefit economically from selling weapons to the countries of the aggression.”

In response, Sayyed Nasrallah declared that “All the peoples of the region will carry the weapons in face of the US arrogance, and America left no choice to us.”

To the Iraqi people, Sayyed Nasrallah sent a message of love and advice: “The beloved Iraqi people know Hajj Abu Mahd Al-Muhandis, who spent his life in jihad leaving his home, family and children. Abu Mahdi fought in all Iraqi provinces and carried his blood on his palm and shroud on his shoulder. The primary responsibility of the Iraqi people is preserving the Popular Mobilization Forces as well as strengthening it and its spirituality.”

On the same level, His Eminence confirmed that “Martyr Soleimani was interested in seeing the dear Iraq as capable, independent and present in the issues of the region, not isolated.”

“I tell the dear, loyal and aggrieved Iraqi people that the first responsibility for responding to the assassination of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Qasem Soleimani falls on their shoulders,” He confirmed.

Regarding the current Lebanese internal situation, he cautioned that “We have a clear financial and economic crisis in Lebanon, and there is concern that this crisis will affect the security situation in Lebanon.”

Sayyed Nasrallah warned that “There is concern for the state’s health, social and development services, which will be negatively affected.”

Reiterating that “We, in Hezbollah do not fear for the future of the resistance and its men,” Hezbollah Secretary General stressed that “Our concern is for Lebanon and the Lebanese.”

“Hezbollah will not escape the responsibility,” he said, announcing that “We, in Hezbollah, do not think in a partisan way and think for ourselves. Rather, we are concerned for the people in all Lebanese regions.”

In addition, His Eminence underlined that “The financial and economic situation needs to be addressed, and we are ready to take and share the responsibility for solving the crisis.”

“We lost our dignity because we did not compliment so that we prevent the country from going into chaos and civil war,” Sayyed Nasrallah explained, warning that “We are facing a very difficult economic situation, and there is no discussion about that, but the discussion is about bankruptcy or not.”

Urging all Lebanese sides to separate the financial and economic file from the political conflict in the country and to leaving aside settling of scores, His Eminence viewed that “Naming the government as “Hezbollah’s government” harms Lebanon’s Arab and international ties.”

To the Lebanese, he said: “Help the government, because should it manage to stop the collapse, it would be offering a great service to all Lebanese and those who live in Lebanon.”

Being Ahead of Time

 BY GILAD ATZMON

By Gilad Atzmon

https://www.unz.com/

In my recent book, Being in Time, I analyse Jewish controlled opposition. I argue that some self-identified Jews end up being on both polar extremes of every debate that is even mildly relevant to Jewish existence: Those who have recently been disturbed about the Jews who are at the centre of the impeachment trial have also found that Jews hold key positions on Trump’s defense team. Those who accuse Jews of pushing immigration and multiculturalism can’t deny that Trump’s senior policy advisor on immigration is Stephen Miller and that breitbart.com was “conceived in Jerusalem.” The Palestinians’ solidarity movement is dominated by a few well organized Jewish solidarity groups that do little but divert the discourse from the Palestinian right of return and exhaust the movement in their relentless witch-hunting of truth speakers and seekers.

In Being in Time, I point out that as soon as an issue or event is identified as a potential Jewish problem, a Jewish satellite dissent emerges to ‘calm things down.’ As soon as Corbyn became the modern Amalek (‘existential threat’), Jews for Jeremywas formed to dismantle the idea that Jews hate Corbyn collectively. Those who view Capitalism as a Jewish construct are similarly reminded that Marx was also a Jew. In Being in Time I argue that none of this is necessarily conspiratorial. It is only natural for Jews to denounce the crimes that are committed on ‘their behalf’ by a state that defines itself as ‘The Jewish State.’ The same applies to Jews who are genuinely tormented by the vast over representation of Jews in some problematic spheres. Yet, the outcome of all this is potentially volatile: every crucial debate regarding the West and its future; Globalism, Neocons wars, capitalism, immigration, multiculturalism, Israel and so on, is too frequently reduced into an internal Jewish exchange.

It was therefore just a matter of time before some Jews would admit that the involvement of a few prominent Jewish celebrities in some spectacular sex crimes is becoming rather embarrassing and even dangerous for the Jews.

It seems as if Jonah Goldberg has launched the ‘Jews against pedophilia’ campaign. Today, The Jewish World Review published an article titled “French pedo flap a cautionary tale for OUR cultural aristocrats.” In the commentary, Goldberg digs into the activities of Jewish radical ideology, along with those of the notorious paedophile, Gabriel Matzneff.

Goldberg was triggered by a New York Times article that examined the rise and fall of the paedophilia devotee. Matzneff is 83, an old man now, but he has been the darling of the French literary world and media for decades: his work was supported by leading newspapers and literary publications. “He’d appear on highbrow TV shows,” Goldberg writes, where he’d “regale interviewers and audiences with the sublime pleasures of having sex with children in France and on sex tours of southeast Asia.”

In his book “Under 16 Years Old,” Matzneff wrote, “To sleep with a child, it’s a holy experience, a baptismal event, a sacred adventure.”

But the contrast Goldberg draws between Jeffrey Epstein and Matzneff is surprisingly clumsy: “The well-connected billionaire spent vast sums to keep his sexual abuses at least somewhat secret. Matzneff not only confessed to his crimes, his confessions were celebrated as literary contributions.” I feel the need to remind Goldberg that nicknaming one’s plane the “Lolita Express” is hardly an attempt to hide one’s sexual morbidity and crimes. If anything Matzneff is like Epstein in that both celebrated a peculiar sense of impunity. Needless to mention, no Jewish outlet denounced either of them or their not very secretive activities before they were caught and charged.

Jewish Radicals and the role of the Orgasm

Next comes the ‘rationalisation.’ “Matzneff was a Child of 68,” Goldberg writes, “a product of the left-wing ‘May 68’ movement that shook France in the 1960s. These radicals subscribed to the idea that anything smacking of traditionalism or bourgeois morality was backward. Conventional sexual morality was part of the same rotten edifice as imperialism and racism.”

Goldberg doesn’t approve of the ‘Jewish radicals and their ideology. He reminds us that “a few years ago, Daniel Cohn-Bendit (a.k.a. Dany le Rouge), the famous former radical and leader of the European Green movement, got in hot water for his earlier writings and statements about “erotic” encounters with 5-year-olds. He (Cohn-Bendit ) dodged major consequences by disavowing his own words, saying they were merely intended to provoke.”

Goldberg is a well-known and successful writer, he could have published his criticism of Matzneff and Jewish radicals in numerous national American news outlets but, presumably he made the decision to use a Jewish outlet. Whether intentionally or not, Goldberg provides an insight into Jewish survival strategy in general and Jewish controlled opposition in particular. Criticizing radical philosophy and the advocacy of pedophilia on ideological grounds by Jews in a Jewish media outlet conveys the image that Jews can deal with their problems. The goyim should let it go or, even better, move on.

But Goldberg’s account is either mistaken or misleading. The sex revolution that branched into advocating paedophilia wasn’t invented in 1968. Its radical Jewish roots take us back to the 1920-30s and, in particular, to the early work of Wilhelm Reich.

The Following is an excerpt from Being in Time in which I delve into Wilhelm Reich and his ‘genital utopia.’

In his 1933 work, The Mass Psychology of Fascism, Jewish Marxist and Freudian psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich attempted to explain the striking victory of ‘reactionary’ Fascism over ‘progressive’ Communism. Reich was desperate to rescue the relevance of revolutionary Marxism. In order to do so he formed a new ‘post Marxist’ theoretical outlook to explain why the Germans of his time favoured ‘authoritarianism’ over a ‘preferable’ communist revolution.

According to Reich, the attraction of reactionary and conservative politics and the inclination towards fascism is driven by a long history of rigid, authoritarian patriarchy which affects the family, parenting, primal education and eventually, society as a whole.
Of course, the remarkable popularity of fascism in Europe could have provided the scientifically-orientated Reich with a clear refutation of Marxist working class politics, theories and predictions. After all, dialectical Marxism had failed as a social theory as well as a methodical prophecy. But for some reason, he, like many other Jewish intellectuals of his time, decided to stick with Marx. Hoping to rescue what was left of dialectical materialism, and insisting that true communist political revolution would prevail once sexual repression was overthrown, Reich synthesized Marx and Freud into a ‘Sex Revolution.’

Wilhelm Reich posited that sexual liberation on a mass scale would save Marxist dogmatism and working people as well. In chapter five of The Mass Psychology of Fascism, he declared war on the patriarchal and conservative family which he saw as being at the core of mass conservatism: “From the standpoint of social development,” Reich wrote, “the family cannot be considered the basis of the authoritarian state, only as one of the most important institutions which support it.” The traditional family is a “central reactionary germ cell, the most important place of reproduction of the reactionary and conservative individual. Being itself caused by the authoritarian system, the family becomes the most important institution for its conservation.”

In the eyes of the neo-Marxist affection, both romanticism and traditional family values were obstacles to socialist reform and Reich’s vehicle towards the new world order was … orgasm! In his 1927 study, The Function of the Orgasm, he came to the conclusion that: “there is only one thing wrong with neurotic patients: the lack of full and repeated sexual satisfaction.” In the hands of Reich, the Marx-Freud hybrid was leading to what some critical cynics dubbed “genital utopia.”

Reich believed that for women within the patriarchal society, sex was within the realm of duty and/or restricted to procreation. “The maintenance of the authoritarian family institution requires more than economic dependence of wife and children on husband and father. This dependence can be tolerated only under the condition that the consciousness of being a sexual being is extinguished as far as possible in women and children. The woman is not supposed to be a sexual being, only the producer of children.”(The Mass Psychology of Fascism, Wilhelm Reich pg 56 37. Ibid pg 56)

Within the traditional society, the woman was robbed of any libidinal consciousness: “This idealization of motherhood is essentially a means of keeping women from developing a sexual consciousness and from breaking through the barriers of sexual repression, of keeping alive their sexual anxieties and guilt feelings. The very existence of woman as a sexual being would threaten authoritarian ideology; her recognition and social affirmation would mean its collapse.” Women were mere baby factories, who had only an instrumental role because: “Imperialistic wars require that there be no rebellion in the women against the function that is imposed on them, that of being nothing but child-bearing machines.” This description of the woman and the family fits the traditional Jewish orthodox family rather better than, say, the German, French, Italian or Spanish family cell.

But Wilhelm Reich wasn’t only a dialectic social revolutionary, he was also a pragmatist. He invented the Orgone Energy Accumulator, a wooden box about the size of a telephone booth, lined with metal and insulated with steel wool. The Orgone itself was a vague concept: an esoteric energy, a universal life force that was massless yet omnipresent and promised to charge up the body with the life force that circulated in the atmosphere and which he christened “orgone energy.” His Orgone box promised to improve “orgastic potency” and, by extension, physical and mental health Thus, the newly liberated Western subject was invited to experience the true meaning of Marx and Freud through sweating towards full emancipation by means of accumulating ‘Orgone energy’ in this wooden box.

Those who watched Woody Allen’s comedy film Sleeper (1973) probably remember the Orgasmatron – the orgasm inducing machine. In Allen’s satirical take on Reich’s Orgone box, it is actually the authoritarian regime that encourages its citizens to emancipate themselves by means of their genitalia. In Allen’s prophetic movie, the orgasm, like consumerism is a reward from the oppressive regime that diverts the masses’ attention from their existential misery.

The ‘authoritarian’ Germans, both fascist and communist, quickly expelled Reich from their ranks. By 1934, even Freud didn’t want anything to do with Reich. The progressive Americans however, tolerated his ideas, at least for a while. Reich was eventually arrested and died in an American prison leaving behind some radical minds, still convinced that the Orgone box was acting as a greenhouse for cosmic, libidinal energy. Within the free-ranging pornographic realm in which we live, the universe has become an extended Orgone container: pornography is free to all; genital sex is deemed almost Victorian; heterosexuality, at a certain stage, was on the verge of becoming a marginal adventure. And yet authoritarianism hasn’t disappeared. Quite the opposite; to borrow Marx’s metaphor – it is sex and pornography rather than religion that have become the opium of the masses. And yet, this ‘progressive’ universe in which we live didn’t defeat the inclination towards violence. We are killing millions by proxy in the name of moral interventionism and Coca Cola.

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