Family Separation Law: Israel’s Demographic War on Palestine Intensifies

July 14, 2021

Palestinians waiting at Qalandia Checkpoint (Photo: Patrick Edgar, Supplied)

By Ramzy Baroud

When the Israeli Knesset (parliament) failed to renew what is commonly referred to as the Family Reunification Law, news reports and analyses misrepresented the story altogether. The even split of 59 MKs voting in favor of the law and 59 against it gave the erroneous impression that Israeli lawmakers are equally divided over the right of Palestinians to obtain permanent residency status or citizenship in Israel through marriage. Nothing could be further away from the truth. 

Originally passed in 2003, the Citizenship and Entry Law was effectively a ban on Palestinian marriage. Under the guise of ‘security’, the law prohibited Palestinians in the West Bank, who marry Israeli citizens, to permanently move to Israel, obtain work, permanent residency and, ultimately, citizenship. 

The law was never made permanent as it was subjected to an annual vote, which successfully renewed it 17 times, consecutively. The 18th vote, on July 6, however, ran into an obstacle. Contrary to the perception given by media coverage, those who voted against the renewal of the ban did so for purely political reasons and not out of concern for the tens of thousands of Palestinian families that have splintered and broken up since the law came into effect.

Since the ousting of former Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, at the hands of his protégé, current Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, Israel’s former leader has been determined to topple Bennett’s already fragile coalition. Bennett’s government allies cobble up extreme right-wing parties, including Yamina, the party of the prime minister himself, centrist and even leftist parties, the likes of Meretz. It even hosts an Arab party, United Arab List, or Ra’am, of Mansour Abbas. A coalition of this nature is unlikely to survive long, considering Israel’s tumultuous politics, and Netanyahu – eager for an early election – will do everything in his power to facilitate what he sees as an imminent collapse.

Netanyahu’s Likud party and its allies in the opposition voted against renewing the discriminatory law to score a political point. Their justification, however, was more appalling than the law itself. The Likud wants the temporary law to become a permanent fixture, a Basic Law, to be added to dozens of other similar racially motivated laws that target the very fabric of Palestinian society. 

Welcome to Israel’s demographic war on the Palestinian people. This one-sided war is situated in the belief among Israel’s Jewish majority, that Israel’s greatest challenge is sustaining its demographic advantage which, thanks to a decided campaign of ethnic cleansing that began over seven decades ago, has been held by Jews over Palestinian Arabs. 

Israel’s main fear is not simply a decisive Palestinian majority between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea. Israel’s Jewish ruling classes are also rattled by the real possibility of the growing political influence of Israel’s Palestinian Arab constituency, and are doing everything in their power to ensure Palestinian holders of Israeli citizenship are kept at a minimum. The Citizenship and Entry Law was designed specifically to keep this population in check. 

The general elections of March 2020, in particular, provided a taste of what a doomsday scenario would look like.  Arab Israeli parties unified under the single ticket of the Joint List and emerged with 15 seats, making it the third-largest political bloc in the Israeli Knesset, after Likud and Blue and White. If Palestinian Arabs mastered this much influence, though they represent only 20% of the overall Israeli population, imagine what they could do if the demographic tide continues to shift in their favor.

For Israel, the future of Jewish majority – read: supremacy – is dependent on keeping the population equation in favor of Israeli Jews at the expense of Palestinian Arabs. Most of the laws that discriminate against Palestinians, regardless of where they reside – in fact, anywhere in the world – is motivated by this maxim.  

According to the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel (Adalah), Israel’s Palestinian Arab population is targeted with 65 different government laws and regulations, which ensure Palestinian Arabs do not prosper as a community, remaining politically disempowered, socio-economically disadvantaged and constantly threatened with the loss of their residency, and even citizenship. 

Palestinians elsewhere suffer an even worse fate. For example, Palestinians living in Jerusalem, who supposedly hold permanent residency status, are subjected to different types of legal harassment, so that Jerusalem can maintain its current Jewish majority. When Israel illegally occupied East Jerusalem in 1967, the city was almost entirely Palestinian Arab. Through numerous tactics, the city’s Arab population is now an ever-shrinking minority. Worse still, in 2018 Israel passed a law that granted the Ministry of Interior the right to revoke the residency of Jerusalemites based on the murky accusation of ‘breach of loyalty’.  

The occupied West Bank and Gaza are confined, as only Israel determines who remains and who is permanently exiled. The Israeli military occupation of these regions has taken population control to a whole new level; it is almost an exact science.

This is also precisely why Israelis abhor the very discussion of the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees, for they consider it an implicit call for the ‘destruction of Israel as a Jewish state’. According to this logic, if millions of Palestinian refugees are allowed to return to their homes and lands in historic Palestine, Israel will no longer exist in its current form, as a Jewish state, but will become a democratic state for all of its citizens, instead.

What is likely to happen next is that Israel’s Interior Ministry will continue to find caveats in Israel’s ever-flexible laws to block the reunification of Palestinian families, until the Knesset officially renews the Citizenship and Entry Law or, worse, make it permanent. Either way, Israel’s demographic war on Palestinians is likely to intensify in the future. Considering that it is a war that cannot rationally be won, Israel is likely to delve deeper into the abyss of apartheid.

As Israel continues to experiment with controlling the Palestinian population, it would be shameful if the international community continued to remain silent. This moral outrage must end. 

 – 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). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) and also at the Afro-Middle East Center (AMEC). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

The Fight to Save Lifta, the Last Remaining Palestinian Village

July 09th, 2021

By Jessica Buxbaum

Source

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Lifta, the only town Israel did not demolish after the Nakba, stands as a symbol of the Palestinian right of return, but an Israeli government “development” plan may soon change that.

LIFTA, JERUSALEM — Yacoub Odeh is 81 years old but he can still remember his childhood in the Palestinian village of Lifta as if it were yesterday. Children playing together in the gardens, swimming in the pools and laying in the grass.

Today, Lifta remains as a frozen time capsule. While the residents were expelled during Israel’s 1948 ethnic cleansing campaign (Nakba), the ruins of their homes still stand. These ruins carved into the lush hillside are perceived as a symbol of the Palestinians’ right of return. This is the only town Israel did not demolish after the Nakba, but a government plan may soon change that.

In May, the Israel Lands Authority (ILA), the government agency in charge of managing public lands, issued a new tender for construction in Lifta. The development scheme, known as Plan 6036, seeks to build 259 housing units along with a commercial and business space and a luxury hotel on top of and around the existing houses. Daphna Golan-Agnon, a law professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and part of the Save Lifta Coalition’s board, explained that while the homes may not be demolished, “the village will disappear behind walls of concrete needed to hold new construction.”

The bid was supposed to be held on July 4, but significant public opposition delayed it to July 29.

Lifta Jerusalem
The ruins in Lifta, a Palestinian village ethnically cleased in 1948. Liebe Blekh | MintPress News

Attempts to demolish Lifta have been ongoing for years. The ILA first published a tender for Plan 6036 in 2010 after the Israeli state approved the construction plan for Lifta in 2006. A 2012 Jerusalem District Court ruling found Plan 6036 insufficient and requested amending it in accordance with a conservation survey on Lifta from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA).

The IAA survey was completed in 2017 and found that Plan 6036 could not be executed without making significant adjustments in order to preserve the ancient village. Plan 270b was drawn up to fit the survey’s findings but in 2017 the Local Planning and Building Committee of Jerusalem temporarily halted the initiative for further examination.

The recent ILA announcement was met with hundreds of letters to Jerusalem’s mayor rejecting the sale. When reached for comment, the Municipality of Jerusalem told MintPress News that it “wasn’t informed about the publication of this tender and didn’t approve it. The mayor of Jerusalem asked all the relevant authorities to reconsider the construction plan.” The Israel Lands Council, which operates the ILA, did not respond to a request for comment.

‘In one hour, we became refugees’

Lifta’s strategic location at the edge of Jerusalem has made it a prime target for land grabs. Acting as a suburb of Jerusalem, Lifta’s placement next to the Jerusalem-Jaffa Highway makes for an easy trip to the Mediterranean while still being tied to the city of Jerusalem.

Lifta, often referred to as the entrance to Jerusalem, was a wealthy, agricultural community supported by olive presses and flour mills and situated atop the Wadi al-Shami spring. Homes made of limestone were cut into the hillside and Lifta’s roads wended through the valley.

Prior to the 1948 Nakba, Zionist militias like the Haganah saw seizing Lifta as necessary to cement Jewish control over all of Palestine. According to the Haganah Historical Archives, “[s]ecuring the western exit of the city [of Jerusalem] entailed the eviction of Arabs.”  Israeli historian Benny Morris said the Haganah fired the first shots in 1947, setting off the mass expulsion of Lifta’s 2,960 residents.

In December 1947, the Haganah killed a Palestinian business owner in Lifta. Later that month, one of Lifta’s two coffeehouses was ambushed with gunfire and grenades. The attack killed six and wounded seven. Two months into 1948, the Jewish Agency chairman and future first prime minister of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, boasted of the ethnic cleansing’s success, telling his political party members: “From your entry into Jerusalem through Lifta — Romema, through Mahane Yehuda, King George Street and Mea She’arim — there are no strangers. One hundred percent Jews.“

Odeh, head of the Lifta Cultural Heritage Protection Commission, was 8-years-old when Lifta came under siege by Zionist forces.

Lifta refugee
Yacoub Odeh, Nakba survivor and head of the Lifta Cultural Heritage Protection Commission. Liebe Blekh | MintPress News

“I remember one day my mother was preparing the fire to heat our room, and then [the Zionist miltiias] began to shoot. My brothers began to cry, ‘Mama, mama! They’re shooting us!’ My mom took us inside the room in the corner and under a table to protect us,” Odeh said, recalling two stories of Lifta — the town’s beauty and charm and then its tragic fall.

“There is the beautiful life and then began the miserable life because of the occupation.”

Toward the end of February 1948, Odeh’s father put him, his siblings and his mother into a truck heading to Ramallah to escape the violence in Lifta. Odeh’s father stayed behind to defend the village from the Zionist gangs.

“We were only wearing the clothing we had on because we are coming back tomorrow. We are coming back. Now we just want to be far from the shooting.” Odeh took a deep sigh and said, “In one hour, we became refugees.”

Today, 55 buildings out of approximately 450 remain in Lifta, including a club, mosque, cemetery and school, which now operates as a school for Israeli Jews. Liftawi refugees are estimated at around 30,000 and live in Jerusalem, the Occupied West Bank and the Diaspora. Most of the homes are empty, but a few are occupied by Israeli settlers. According to Zochrot, the Israeli nonprofit seeking to raise awareness of the Nakba, the “settlements of Mey Niftoach and Giv’at Sha’ul were built on village lands and now have become parts of the suburbs of Jerusalem.”

Saving Lifta

The Save Lifta Coalition orchestrated the campaign to the mayor and has been organizing since 2010 against Plan 6036. The organization spent five years working with scholars, activists, conservation specialists and higher education professionals to develop an alternative to 6036.

Their proposal aims to “expand the area of the national park and turn the village into a natural urban space for the adjacent neighborhoods,” while preserving Lifta’s cultural landscape.

The World Monuments Fund added Lifta to its list of endangered sites in 2018 and UNESCO added the village to its tentative list of world heritage sites.

‘Not something we can discuss now’

When asked about the plan’s responsibility regarding the right of return for Palestinians, Golan-Agnon said, “our plan is a plan to save Lifta as it is for the future generations to decide upon its fate.” She explained:

Many of us [in the coalition] do think there should be a right of return for Palestinians but we know it’s not something we can discuss now. So we say, it’s beautiful, keep it open, and then one day there can be a decision about what happens and who’s coming.

Dana Amawi’s grandmother grew up in Lifta and was expelled from the village in 1948. Now the family lives in Amman, Jordan. The 20-year-old said she was shaken to her core upon hearing the news of the sale. “Lifta symbolized a tiny, very small bit of hope that maybe we will be able to return to it,” Amawi told MintPress. “And now to think that other people might live in the house that I have the right to be in, it’s very sad.”

Lifta Jerusalem
A Palestinian woman holds a partially eaten fig picked from a tree in Lifta. Liebe Blekh | MintPress News

Amawi said that her grandmother fell ill after learning of the auction. “She got sick. She had a fever and she was really, really sad because to her, this is where she grew up. This is where her earliest memories are and this is where she has the right to be,” Amawi said.

Stone houses like the one Odeh spent his early childhood in now crumble from neglect. The walls are sprayed with graffiti and piles of trash line the floors. On Shabbat (the Jewish sabbath), you’ll often find Israelis bathing in the spring’s waters.

Aseel AlBajeh, advocacy officer and legal researcher at the Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq, visited Lifta in 2018. Her grandmother, who lives in Ramallah, is from Lifta. “It was a painful experience,” AlBajeh said of her time in Lifta. “I wasn’t sure if I wanted to come back to Lifta in this situation.”

‘You are here as a visitor’

During her visit, AlBajeh tried recalling her grandmother’s memories of a flourishing Lifta, but she said those stories were disrupted by the fact that she’s only in Lifta because of a permit she received from the Israeli government to enter 1948-occupied Palestine or modern-day Israel from the West Bank. “You are here as a visitor. It’s like it’s not a place where you belong, or this is what [the Israeli government] intends for refugees to feel like,” AlBajeh said. “Settlers were swimming in the spring of the village and they were blasting loud music, and it also disrupted my ability to even imagine Lifta as Palestinian.”

Jewish settlers in LIfta
Israeli settlers in Lifta hold a middle finger to a group of Palestinian children. Blekh | MintPress News

To help her reclaim Lifta, AlBajeh took a small piece of the village’s remains during her visit. She collected a broken tile painted with traditional designs from one of the house’s floors, knowing this might be the last physical object she can have of Lifta.

“Lifta is a witness of what happened during the Nakba,” AlBajeh said, explaining:

We have this connection as Palestinians, and when we see the cactus plants, we connect this as evidence that displacement happened here. And if you go to Lifta, you’ll see the huge amount of cactus. So even if the houses remain and [Israel] tries to remove the cactus, it’s still painful… It’s not about the stones or about the trees. It’s about the whole identity of Lifta and the Palestinian history, which we still connect to. “

‘We were kings in our village’

Odeh’s memories paint Lifta as an idyllic place, an oasis carved into the steep slopes of Jerusalem where life was carefree and bountiful. “We were kings in our village,” Odeh said. “Everything we need, we had — a life so simple. We didn’t need cinema or computers, no, everything we needed came from our land.”

But the minute Odeh and his family became refugees, their resources became scarce. “At that time there were no charitable associations or agencies ready to help,” Odeh recalled. “You know what Nakba means? Nakba does not mean to destroy homes. No, Nakba means to destroy the life — economic life, social life, educational life, political life. They destroyed our life.”

Upon reminiscing about Lifta, Odeh said his dream is to go back home:

I miss my childhood. Palestinian children have lost their childhood life to play like children, to go to the theater, to concerts, to football. No, until now we have house demolitions, we have arrests, we have land confiscation and killings. Every day we have events like these — if not my family, my neighborhood.”

Netanyahu Follows Trump’s Footsteps: Political Downfall, Internal Crisis, and Attempt to Bridge the Gap

11-06-2021

Netanyahu Follows Trump’s Footsteps: Political Downfall, Internal Crisis, and Attempt to Bridge the Gap

By Ali Abadi

The recent developments in the Zionist entity reopen the discussion regarding the extent to which this entity is influenced by the US policy as well as the changes inside the United States.

Since Trump’s failure in the US Presidential Elections, the countdown to Benjamin Netanyahu’s downfall has started -who represents the ‘Israeli’ version of Trump’s personality- even though the former was able to reproduce his leadership via three consecutive elections, and prepared to a fourth round to fortify his position against probes in cases of corruption, and to fight the possibility of moving him away from the political scene through a rival party coalition. However, Netanyahu’s ploys didn’t survive in front of the results of the recent war with Gaza, which turned the political atmosphere inside the occupation entity to the extent that Netanyahu’s government was found responsible or losing the deterrence with Gaza, not to mention his weakness to handle the resistance and its growing might.

Herein, we should notice the relative comparison between the American and the ‘Israeli’ arenas:

On the one hand, the extravagance of America’s right wing led to dangerous division that caused an intense desire among all of Trump’s opponents [including some of the Republican party members] to get rid of him via ballot boxes, so they voted majorly against the far-right policies [represented by Trump] more than to support his rival Biden and his electoral program. And in the ‘Israeli’ arena, the right policies led to attractions from within the Zionist society, not between the left and the right, but within the right itself. A dominant agreement emerged that Netanyahu is sticking to power at any price, even if it led to a ‘civil war’, and that he is using Zionist religious parties that exchange with him the electoral services and well as the governmental benefits.

On the other hand, it happened previously that the personalities of Trump and Netanyahu have been linked to each other, in the course of unprecedented similarity in political tendencies of both sides regarding several issues. Trump’s failure in the US has motivated many ‘Israeli’ politicians to think about a way to get rid of his closest ally, Netanyahu. However, they didn’t possess the required energy to unite. Then came the recent confrontation with the Palestinians to uncover the weak structure of the entity as well as the policies of Netanyahu’s government. The decision was among several political parties to scapegoat him based on the rule of preserving the rightist policies that are threatened with the strong Palestinian uprising on the one hand, and the harmony with the American policies as much as possible on the other hand. Hence, the Zionist right settlement scheme would be saved, while Netanyahu’s attempts to shake the alliance with the US due to his objection of its return to the nuclear deal with Iran would fail.

Separation

Both American and ‘Israeli’ societies suffer from not yet hidden political, ideological, and ethnic divisions. Both societies need to absorb the tension from time to time via changing the top of the pyramid. This is one issue. Another remarkable one is that ‘Israel’ didn’t succeed for long in staying away from the requirements of the American interests in the region. And without harboring hopes on a major separation between the two sides, we witness a sort of coldness in relations due to three main points over the past three decades.

First: With launching the Madrid Conference for settlement in the region in the beginning of the 1990s after the US-led war in Kuwait, when Isaac Shamir [Likud] government objected to the principle of establishing an independent Palestinian state, but the Zionist entity’s need for the US financial support to contain the Jewish migration from the Soviet Union and other places pushed ‘Israel’ to reduce its objections and conditions. Washington was able, through guaranteed loans worth billions of dollars, to tame the ‘Israeli’ policy in favor of its wider interests. Then, Shamir was displaced from the ‘Israeli’ scene, and was succeeded by Isaac Rabin [Labor Party] to lead the Oslo track which happened to become later the Palestinian Authority in Gaza and Ariha. However, after the assassination of Rabin in 1995, the abilities of the most harmonized Zionist parties with the US policy declined on the level of their potential to attract, and the base of the far-right parties, which reject the issue of ‘Two-state-solution’ or freezing the settlement activity grew, especially in the aftermaths of the major migration from the previously-known Soviet Union and other places. This led to a change inside the Zionist society, in addition to the structure of its successive governments.

Second: Netanyahu’s impediment of Barack Obama’s attempts to revive negotiations with the Palestinian Authority based on freezing the settlement activity in the West Bank, and then the US signing of a nuclear deal with Iran in 2015. Netanyahu objected to it publicly and inside the US congress in a famous speech. Meanwhile, the dispersion within Netanyahu’s rival ‘Israeli’ parties didn’t allow the formation of a change that suits the US regional policy.  Trump came to power in 2016 to revive Netanyahu’s hopes about change that he didn’t dream about from the part of the American orientation on other levels [such as moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to al-Quds, recognizing the ‘Israeli’ sovereignty in the Golan, supporting the settlement activity in the West Bank, cutting funds of the Palestinian refugees’ UNRWA agency, shutting the office of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington, and encouraging the ‘Israeli’ normalization with Arab states regardless to the Palestinians.] A parallel US shift took place when Trump left the nuclear deal with Iran.

Third: Biden’s rising to power in Washington, which modified the ‘Israeli’ expectations. This is not limited to some differences regarding the traditional support of ‘Israel’ between America’s Republican and Democratic parties. The truth is that a change started to be witnessed in the public American mood in which a new political generation in the US, and inside the Democratic party is more liberal than its predecessors and doesn’t grant ‘Israel’ an ultimate support. It also cannot digest the rightist ‘Israeli’ thinking to ban the establishment of a Palestinian state, and the Palestinian people’s right to live on their land within internationally recognized borders. The ‘Israeli’ narrative, which has dominated the minds of the US elite over several decades regarding the right of Jews alone to establish their national Jewish state, has turned less tempting to many Americans. Additionally, the pro-Palestinian activism on social media platforms managed to breach the pro-‘Israel’ traditional media, in which Facebook and Twitter’s restrictions couldn’t curb this activism that was crystal-clear during the latest round of ‘Israeli’ aggression. It also scored important attractions in English and other foreign language.

Moreover, the Biden administration prioritizing of returning to the nuclear deal with Iran formed a separation from Netanyahu government’s orientations. He has started hinting to moving without an agreement from Washington, a matter that is not only underestimated in the US, but also among ‘Israeli’ milieus that are worried about losing the strategic alliance with the US.

Back to the house of obedience

After this third stop, ‘Israel’ returns to the so-called American ‘house of obedience’ or to adapting with the major US interests. This return is based upon avoiding confrontation with the US policies and their regional requirements to deal with the nuclear Iran in particular, reducing tension and difference with the American administration when dealing with the flaming Palestinian issue nowadays. However, it is not necessarily at the expense of the rightist tendencies regarding the settlement scheme that is the core of the Zionist project. The official US interest intersected with the internal ‘Israeli’ parties’ interests to remove Netanyahu from the scene. The US administration will take advantage of this shift in an attempt to revive negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and the occupation’s government to delegitimize the Palestinian resistance and the Axis that supports it in the region. Washington is to offer significant motivations to the future Zionist right government, led by Naftali Bennett, to allow progress in negotiations. Hereby, new obstacles will emerge from the side of Netanyahu’s successors who publicly adopt a hardline track regarding the rights of the Palestinian people, especially regarding the evacuation of some occupied land, freezing settlement, or establishing the Palestinian state. This will later turn things to the previous empty circle on the level of negotiations.

It is worth noting that Biden’s administration is not totally free to dictate its policies on ‘Israel’, especially amid the contradictions within the US political environment and inside the democratic party itself. However, ‘Israel’s’ dire need to the US support is an existential need to bear the pressures and preserve the qualitative military superiority. This will push the next ‘Israeli’ government to reduce the public contact with the US to overcome the challenges posed in this phase.

Finally, it is important to examine the extent to which the future Zionist government would succeed in:

– Managing the internal chaos along with threats of physical killing among the right affiliates

– Managing the military confrontation with the Gaza Strip

– Managing the variations with the US administration regarding the Palestinian issue and the Iran nuclear deal

On the American level, it is important to note the US administration’s ability to:

– Pass the nuclear deal with Iran without shockwaves inside the US congress and the circles of the conservatives who are more sticking to the ‘Israeli’ interests

– Dealing with the critical Palestinian issue, militarily and politically, based on the results of the recent confrontation that raised the voice of the Palestinian resistance

Lost in (Hebrew) Translation

Lost in (Hebrew) Translation

lost in Hebrew Translation.jpg

by Gilad Atzmon

 Those who follow my work are probably familiar with the idea that there is no modern Hebrew word for peace (meaning harmony and reconciliation). The Hebrew Word Shalom (שלום) is interpreted in modern Hebrew as ‘security for the Jews.’ In Israel the reference to ‘shalom negotiation’ is construed as a premeditated set of conditions that guarantees ‘security’ for Jewish Israelis by means of: secure borders, disarmament of the Arabs, an American commitment to supplying arms to Israel, economic expansion and so on.   

It would be unreasonable to expect a culture that lacks a lucid notion of peace and reconciliation to lead the region towards harmony and human brotherhood. The truth of the matter is that even in the delusional heydays of the Oslo Accord, when some were foolish enough to believe that peace was about to prevail, the so-called peace enthusiasts amongst the Israeli decision makers (Shimon Peres & co) advocated the phantasy of a “New Middle East,’ a vision of a regional new order: an economic cooperation with the Jewish State at its very centre. The ‘dream’ of a ‘new Middle East’ entailed a coalition of so called ‘democratic states’ defying ‘Khomeinism’ by means of Western orientation and hard capitalism. Though the globalist agenda was clear to Shimon Peres, the one ingredient he managed to skip was the Palestinians and their prospects of returning to their land, orchards, fields, villages and cities.

Shalom in its contemporary Hebrew meaning, is a judeo-centric concept that is blind to otherness.

The recent conflict in occupied Palestine (especially the clashes in Israeli/Palestinian mixed cities) brings to light another crucial concept that has been lost in translation into modern Hebrew.

Often enough we hear from Israelis officials and Hasbara spokespersons about ‘Israeli/Arab coexistence.’ Yet, bizarrely enough, there is no Hebrew word for coexistence. While the English concept of coexistence refers to an harmonious and peaceful existence of two entities or more, the Hebrew word for coexistence is du ki-yum (דו קיום ). Du ki-yum literally translates as twofold – existence, it refers to two entities that live side by side. Du ki-yum sustains the differentiation and particularity of its elements. In du ki-yum the elements stay apart, separated or even segregated. The notion of du ki-yum practically sustains the binary distinction between the ‘Jew’ and the ‘Goy.’ While coexistence is a synonym for harmony, togetherness and assimilation, du ki-yum, defies the possibility of human brotherhood. It points at success in ‘conflict management,’ presenting a prospect of living ‘alongside’ rather than ‘together’.

I guess that at this point no one will be surprised to find out that there is no word in Hebrew for harmony either. The first Israelis, who worked day and night to revive their biblical language and rename every possible Latin and Greek concept, didn’t bother to find a Hebrew word for harmony. When Israelis refer to harmony they deploy the Latin word harmonia (הרמוניה).

When we attempt to delve into the prospect of peace in the region, we may have to accept that a culture lacking notions of peace, harmony and coexistence may not be able to lead the region towards harmonious and peaceful coexistence. If peace ever prevails between the river and the sea, it is because Israel has surrendered to accepting its meaning.

Hezbollah Mourns Martyr Mohammad Tahhan Killed by Israeli Fire While Protesting on Borders in Support of Gaza

Hezbollah mourned on Friday the martyr Mohammad Tahhan who was killed by the Zionist fire during a demonstration on the Lebanese-Palestinian borders in support of Gaza against the Israeli aggression.

Al-Manar reporter mentioned that the Zionist occupation forces opened fire at a popular demonstration on Lebanon’s border with the occupied Palestine, adding that the martyr was holding the Palestinian flag when he was shot by the enemy troops.

126 Palestinians were martyred and 950 others were injured in the ongoing Israeli aggression on Gaza. The Palestinian resistance has fired around 2500 missiles at the Zionist cities and settlements since the start of the aggression on May 10, inflicting heavy losses upon the Israelis.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Imagining Palestine: On Barghouti, Darwish, Kanafani and the Language of Exile

February 24, 2021

An archive photo of Mourid Barghouti with his late wife Radwa Ashour. (Via: Mourid Barghouti’s Twitter account)

By Ramzy Baroud

For Palestinians, exile is not simply the physical act of being removed from their homes and their inability to return. It is not a casual topic pertaining to politics and international law, either. Nor is it an ethereal notion, a sentiment, a poetic verse. It is all of this, combined.

The death in Amman of Palestinian poet, Mourid Barghouti, an intellectual whose work has intrinsically been linked to exile, brought back to the surface many existential questions: are Palestinians destined to be exiled? Can there be a remedy for this perpetual torment? Is justice a tangible, achievable goal?

Barghouti was born in 1944 in Deir Ghassana, near Ramallah. His journey in exile began in 1967, and ended, however temporarily, 30 years later. His memoir “I Saw Ramallah” – published in 1997 – was an exiled man’s attempt to make sense of his identity, one that has been formulated within many different physical spaces, conflicts and airports. While, in some way, the Palestinian in Barghouti remained intact, his was a unique identity that can only be fathomed by those who have experienced, to some degree, the pressing feelings of Ghurba – estrangement and alienation – or Shataat – dislocation and diaspora.

In his memoir, translated into English in 2000 by acclaimed Egyptian author, Ahdaf Soueif, he wrote, “I tried to put the displacement between parenthesis, to put a last period in a long sentence of the sadness of history … But I see nothing except commas. I want to sew the times together. I want to attach one moment to another, to attach childhood to age, to attach the present to the absent and all the presents to all absences, attach exiles to the homeland and to attach what I have imagined to what I see now.”

Those familiar with the rich and complex Palestinian literature of exile can relate Barghouti’s reference – what one imagines versus what one sees – to the writing of other intellectuals who have suffered the pain of exile as well. Ghassan Kanafani and Majed Abu Sharar – and numerous others – wrote about that same conflict. Their death – or, rather, assassination – in exile brought their philosophical journeys to an abrupt end.

In Mahmoud Darwish’s seminal poem, ‘Who Am I, Without Exile’, the late Palestinian poet asked, knowing that there can never be a compelling answer: “What will we do without exile?”

It is as if Ghurba has been so integral to the collective character of a nation, and is now a permanent tattoo on the heart and soul of the Palestinian people everywhere. “A stranger on the riverbank, like the river … water binds me to your name. Nothing brings me back from my faraway to my palm tree: not peace and not war. Nothing makes me enter the gospels. Not a thing …,” Darwish wrote.

The impossibility of becoming a whole again in Darwish and Barghouti’s verses were reverberations of Kanafani’s own depiction of a Palestine that was as agonizingly near as it was far.

“What is a homeland?” Kanafani asks in ‘Returning to Haifa’. “Is it these two chairs that remained in this room for twenty years? The table? Peacock feathers? The picture of Jerusalem on the wall? The copper-lock? The oak tree? The balcony? What is a homeland? .. I’m only asking.”

But there can be no answers, because when exile exceeds a certain rational point of waiting for some kind of justice that would facilitate one’s return, it can no longer be articulated, relayed or even fully comprehended. It is the metaphorical precipice between life and death, ‘life’ as in the burning desire to be reunited with one’s previous self, and ‘death’ as in knowing that without a homeland one is a perpetual outcast – physically, politically, legally, intellectually and every other form.

“In my despair I remember; that there is life after death … But I ask: Oh my God, is there life before death?” Barghouti wrote in his poem ‘I Have No Problem.’

While the crushing weight of exile is not unique to Palestinians, the Palestinian exile is unique. Throughout the entire episode of Palestinian Ghurba, from the early days of the Nakba – the destruction of the Palestinian homeland – till today, the world remains divided between inaction, obliviousness, and refusal to even acknowledge the injustice that has befallen the Palestinian people.

Despite or, perhaps, because of his decades-long exile, Barghouti did not engage in ineffectual discussions about the rightful owners of Palestine “because we did not lose Palestine to a debate, we lost it to force.”

He wrote in his memoir “When we were Palestine, we were not afraid of the Jews. We did not hate them, we did not make an enemy of them. Europe of the Middle Ages hated them, but not us. Ferdinand and Isabella hated them, but not us. Hitler hated them, but not us. But when they took our entire space and exiled us from it they put both us and themselves outside the law of equality.”

In fact, ‘hate’ rarely factors in the work of Barghouti – or Darwish, Kanafani, Abu Sharar and many others – because the pain of exile, so powerful, so omnipresent – required one to re-evaluate his relationship to the homeland through emotional rapport that can only be sustained through positive energy, of love, of deep sadness, of longing.

“Palestine is something worthy of a man bearing arms for, dying for,” wrote Kanafani. “For us, for you and me, it’s only a search for something buried beneath the dust of memories. And look what we found beneath that dust. Yet more dust. We were mistaken when we thought the homeland was only the past.”

Millions of Palestinians continue to live in exile, generation after generation, painstakingly negotiating their individual and collective identities, neither able to return, nor feeling truly whole. These millions deserve to exercise their Right of Return, for their voices to be heard and to be included.

But even when Palestinians are able to end their physical exile, chances are, for generations they will remain attached to it. “I don’t know what I want. Exile is so strong within me, I may bring it to the land,” wrote Darwish.

In Barghouti too, exile was ‘so strong’. Despite the fact that he fought to end it, it became him. It became us.

– 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). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) and also at the Afro-Middle East Center (AMEC). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

Dr Tim Anderson: dismantling apartheid in occupied Palestine

‘Beyond Vietnam’: Where Do We Go from Here?

January 14, 2021

Martin Luther King (1929 – 1968)

By Benay Blend

In “Beyond Vietnam” (1967), his speech delivered at the Riverside Church in New York, Martin Luther King opened by quoting from Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam. “A time comes when silence is betrayal,” King explained, then concluded: “That time has come for us in relation to Vietnam.”

King’s words that followed still ring true today. In what was perhaps the most significant, but least appreciated, speeches of his career, King warned against falling into “conformist thought,” in particular regarding official policy during times of war.

There is no war today like Vietnam, but there is an ongoing foreign policy that commits imperialist acts abroad. As Peter Dreier notes, over 50 years since King’s Riverside Church address, the US remains involved in several ground wars as well as a war on “terrorism,” which is principally a battle against Muslims as well as immigrants, the latter of whom are motivated to flee their countries because of US-sponsored violence abroad.

In particular, there is foreign aid that goes, among other destinations, to the state of Israel. In this way, the Unites States allows the Zionist state to continue its Occupation of Palestinians by using all the brutality that we used in Vietnam.

As Ramzy Baroud observes, by going against “not only the state apparatus” but also the “liberal hierarchy” which posed as if they were his allies, King’s self-described “inner truth” cost him some support. “It was a lonely, moral stance,” wrote Michelle Alexander. “And it cost him.”

In her landmark Opinion Piece published one year ago in the New York Times, Alexander goes on to hold up King’s example as a standard that still holds true today. In particular, Alexander is concerned with questioning her own silence on what she calls “one of the great moral challenges of our time: the crisis in Israel-Palestine.”

Alexander circumvents King’s well-known advocacy for Israel’s “right to exist” by suggesting that “if we are to honor King’s message and not merely the man, we must condemn Israel’s actions.”

It is impossible to know how King’s position on the Middle East would have changed over time. Building on Alexander’s piece, David Palumbo-Liu cites King’s opposition to apartheid South Africa as a clue to how he would feel towards the same practices in Israel today.

“The fact that King explicitly linked colonialism and segregation suggests that he would indeed recognize the expansion of the occupation as a settler-colonial project. If he did, he would then have to reevaluate his support for Israel pre-1967, as so many others have in recent years. He might well have come to recognize the absolute continuity between the 1948 dispossession, exile, and colonization of Palestinians and the post-1967 occupation.”

Indeed, Hagai El-Ad, executive director of B’Tselem, Israel’s largest human rights organization, has just called for the end of “the systematic promotion of the supremacy of one group of people over another,” i.e. apartheid very similar to what existed in South Africa.

In other ways King’s voice speaks to present-day concerns. In his 1968 call for an “economic bill of rights,” King challenged the notion that this country could afford both “guns and butter,” a conundrum that still prevails today. “We have come to see that this is a myth,” he explained, “that when a nation becomes involved in this kind of war, when the guns of war become a national obsession, social needs inevitably suffer.”

Theoretically we are not at war. On the other hand, as long as we give military aid to countries that repress their people we are not at peace. At a time when Congress continues to propose huge increases in the country’s military budget by cutting programs for the poor, King’s speech holds true today.

As Ramzy Baroud observes, there has been very little direct aid to Americans struggling under the impact of the virus, yet Congress continues to provide Israel with enormous sums of money ostensibly for defense. In reality, these funds are very much needed at home.

“The mere questioning of how Israel uses the funds – whether the military aid is being actively used to sustain Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine, finance Jewish settlements, fund annexation of Palestinian land or violate Palestinian human rights,” Baroud explains, remains a “major taboo.”

Many years ago, Reverend King described “adventures like Vietnam” as “some demonic, destructive suction tube” that drew “men and skills and money” into the effort to keep it going. What would he think now of massive funds that go to another country which oppresses its people in ways similar to the Jim Crow South in which King was born?

At the closing of her memorial to Martin Luther King, Alexander pledges “to speak with greater courage and conviction about injustices beyond our borders, particularly those that are funded by our government, and stand in solidarity with struggles for democracy and freedom. My conscience leaves me no other choice.”

King, too, chose to address his vision “beyond Vietnam,” thereby to “a world that borders on our doors.”

In a statement regarding the January 6th right-wing riots in D.C., the US Peace Council reiterated that guns at the expense of butter were part of the root cause of disaffection. “While a record $740B military appropriation sailed through Congress with only 20 Democrats in opposition,” the statement read, “desperately needed reforms that benefit working people have been sidetracked.”

Moreover, the statement refuted a comment often heard in response to recent riots. According to the press and much of social media, what happened at the Capital was “sedition,” because this is America, and its “not who we are.” In reality, notes the Peace Council, what is happening today

“is a microcosm of what the capitalist financial institutions and elites have wreaked upon the planet through trade agreements and an imperialist foreign policy that has suppressed populations through illegal acts of interference, aggression, and economic warfare designed to create the conditions for exploitation, the theft of land and resources and environmental destruction.”

Because the root causes of our problems extend beyond our borders, the Council calls for solutions very much in the manner of King’s focus on the global nature of oppression. Accordingly, the statement concludes that:

“A unified grassroots mass movement is needed to address the fundamental class contradictions of the system as a whole and not limit itself to fighting against the symptoms solely by seeking cosmetic changes through elections and reforms from above. We need to bring all contingents of the people’s movement — labor, social justice, civil rights, human rights, environmental, peace — together under a single coordinated network, with a clear agenda that addresses the root causes of the present crisis and not only its variegated symptoms.”

In this way, more people will come to understand that the catastrophes we face will not be solved as long as what we allow to be done in our name abroad comes home to our nation’s capital. King knew that local police, in conjunction with para-military hate groups, used violence in much the same way as the far-right factions that more recently invaded D.C.

In both cases, the Klan and other groups were/are motivated by a desire to oppose the struggle for civil rights at home. Nevertheless, “our actions cannot be limited to the US,” concludes the US Peace Council, “because if the global elites are willing to oppress and exploit people anywhere, the crises we face will continue.”

The United States, concluded King, is “on the side of the wealthy, and the secure, while we create a hell for the poor.” In order to solve domestic problems while promoting global peace, he suggested “giv[ing] up the privileges and the pleasures that come from the immense profits of overseas investments,” and, he might have added, ending aid to countries like Israel that use the funds to wreak violence on Palestinians under the Occupation.

With “Beyond Vietnam,” concludes Baroud, King “courageously broke free from the confines of American exceptionalism,” thereby joining the civil rights struggle to “a worldwide movement of struggles against racism, colonialism and war.”

In 2021, it is more important now than ever to heed King’s words. Indeed, as Baroud suggests, “new strategies” will have “to replace the old ones” for the Palestinian struggle to succeed. His vision calls for unity among all factions, bringing together Palestinians in the homeland and elsewhere to formulate a blueprint for One Democratic State that would grant the Right of Return.

Harking back to King’s international idea, Baroud calls for “a global solidarity movement that rallies behind a unified Palestinian vision,” a plan that bypasses official circles that have done little to promote peace. While Baroud’s strategy focuses on freedom for the Palestinian people, if such a movement becomes one of transnational mutuality, it would be possible to bring about the liberation of all oppressed people worldwide, thereby remaining true to the “other, more revolutionary, radical and global King” that Baroud explains is more often “hidden from view.”

– 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.

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.

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#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

Image may contain: one or more people
Image may contain: one or more people, outdoor and nature
Image may contain: ‎one or more people and shoes, ‎text that says '‎Made, Made,with with SIEK حمدان حمد محمد مصویر‎'‎‎
Image may contain: one or more people and outdoor
Image may contain: ‎one or more people and outdoor, ‎text that says '‎KINEMASTER Made,with محمد حمد حمدان‎'‎‎

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

Source

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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.

مقالات متعلقة

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

 BY GILAD ATZMON

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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.

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