Biden and the Middle East: Misplaced optimism

Khalil al-Anani

25 November 2020

The Arab region in general will not rank high on the list of foreign priorities for the incoming US president

US president-elect Joe Biden speaks in Wilmington, Delaware, on 19 November (AFP)

There has been a state of optimism in the Arab world since the announcement of Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s win in the US presidential election.

Even if the optimism is justified, especially in light of the disasters and political tragedies that the Arab region has witnessed and lived through over the past four years under President Donald Trump, this optimism is somewhat exaggerated. Some believe that the region under Biden will witness radical changes, breaking with Trump’s negative legacy – but I don’t think that will happen.

We need to dismantle the various issues that Biden is expected to engage with over the next four years in order to understand whether the situation will remain as it is, or undergo radical change. 

During the Biden era, the Arab region in general is not expected to rank high on the list of US foreign priorities. There are many reasons for this, including Biden’s vision, which does not stray far from the view of former US President Barack Obama on global issues and international conflicts, with Asia and the Pacific given priority over all other matters. 

The US relationship with China is an important file for any US administration, whether Republican or Democratic. As the rise of China represents an economic and security threat to the US, the Obama administration moved its foreign-policy compass towards China and the Pacific region. For Biden, China will continue to represent a top priority. 

The issue has become even more urgent in the wake of Trump’s more hostile policies towards China over the past four years. Observers will be watching as to whether Biden can put an end to what the average US citizen sees as Chinese encroachment and hegemony in global markets, at US expense. Some saw Trump’s China policies as a historic victory, due to the imposition of tariffs on US imports from China. 

The importance of accountability for China might be one of the few issues that has consensus among Americans of all orientations, but there are differences in how the issue is approached and handled. While Republicans, especially under Trump, use the confrontational method through the well-known strategy of “maximum pressure”, the Democrats prefer dialogue and cooperation with Beijing.

Iran, Israel and Arab authoritarians

In the Arab region, the three issues expected to dominate Biden’s agenda are the US relationships with Iran, Israel and the authoritarian regimes in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

We may witness an important shift in US policy towards Iran, especially on the nuclear file and Trump-era sanctions, which resulted in unprecedented levels of pressure on Tehran since the unilateral US withdrawal from the nuclear deal in 2018.

It is expected that Biden will bring the US back to the nuclear deal, but with new conditions – unless the Trump administration, in alliance with Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, launches military strikes, as Trump has reportedly contemplated.

Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet in Jerusalem in 2010 (Reuters)
Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet in Jerusalem in 2010 (Reuters)

As for the US-Israel relationship, and in particular the issue of a two-state solution and normalisation with Arab countries, we can expect the status quo to continue. Despite Biden’s embrace of the two-state solution and rejection of Israeli attempts to impose a fait accompli on Palestinians, Biden is not expected to prevent Israel from annexing parts of the occupied West Bank.

US pressure on more Arab countries to normalise with Israel, as Trump pushed with the UAE, Bahrain and Sudan, may diminish. But this does not mean the Biden administration would impede any such normalisation. On the contrary, Biden welcomed the Gulf normalisation deals with Israel.

The issue of Israel’s security and qualitative superiority is a subject of agreement among Republicans and Democrats alike; none can imagine this changing under the Biden administration.

Condemnation without action

As for the US relationship with Arab authoritarian regimes, particularly with respect to support for human rights and democracy, while Biden may not support human rights violations – especially in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE – he is not expected to exert great pressure on these countries if the violations continue.

A Biden administration, for example, would not likely cut off military aid to Egypt, or halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia or the UAE as an objection to the Yemen war or their miserable record on issues of democracy and human rights – despite Biden’s pledge to the contrary during his election campaign. 

Statements and condemnations may be issued from time to time, but it is unlikely that they will translate into real policies and actions. While Biden will not consider someone like Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi his “favourite dictator”, as Trump did, he will not likely sever the relationship or punish Sisi seriously for his flagrant violations of human rights in Egypt.

Perhaps optimists in the Arab world should be wary of getting too hopeful about the incoming Biden administration and the potential for regional change. If it is true that the number of bad guys around the world will decrease due to Trump’s departure from power, this does not necessarily mean that the good guys will make a comeback with Biden coming to power.

Khalil al-AnaniKhalil al-Anani is a Senior Fellow at the Arab Centre for Research and Policy Studies in Washington DC. He is also an associate professor of political science at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies. You can follow him on Twitter: @Khalilalanani.

شركاء جدد للعدوان الخليجيّ على اليمن؟

 د. وفيق إبراهيم

تراجع الحلف السعوديّ – الإماراتيّ ومرتزقتهم في حربهم على اليمن والأزمات التي يتخبّط بها حليفهم الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب تضع حكام السعودية والإمارات في مأزق تاريخيّ.

فلا هم قادرون على الانسحاب بعد خمس سنوات على هجوم قواتهم على اليمن بدعم أميركي بريطاني بالتسليح والتخطيط والتدريب ومرتزقة من السودان وبعض بلدان العالم العربي والإسلامي، مع شراء مفتوح للسلاح من بلدان أوروبية ومشاركات إسرائيليّة متنوّعة ودعم مصري بحريّ.

هؤلاء لم يعد بوسعهم إكمال حربهم التي ادركت في جوانب منها مرحلة الخسارة المتدحرجة، فها هو جيش دولة صنعاء على وشك تحرير منطقة مأرب بما يعنيه من انهيار الدور العدوانيّ السعوديّ في كامل اليمن، والقضاء على طموحه في الاستيلاء على حضرموت والجوف.

كذلك الإمارات التي لم تتمكن حتى الآن من توطيد احتلالها لمدينة عدن وبعض أنحاء الجنوب وجزر سقطرى.

ما أدى الى ولادة معادلة تقوم على ان الانسحاب من حرب اليمن ممنوع بقرار أميركي والانتصار فيها مستحيل لقوة المدافعين عن بلادهم في دولة صنعاء.

هذا الى جانب الذعر الذي أصاب حكام الخليج بسبب تراجع حظوظ وليهم الأميركي ترامب في الانتخابات الرئاسية الأميركية في الثالث من تشرين الثاني المقبل.

هناك الآن فارق يزيد عن ثلاث عشرة نقطة تؤكد مكاتب استطلاعات الرأي الأميركية ان منافسه بايدن يحوز عليها، وقد تزداد في مقبل الأيام لتخوف الأميركيين من الحالة الصحية المتفاقمة لترامب التي يحاول إخفاءها بالتهريج والضجيج والادعاء انه تمكن من القضاء على وباء الكورونا المصاب به.

لذلك يجب الربط بين الانسداد العسكري للعدوان على اليمن ونجاح الحُديدة في إجهاض كل محاولات إسقاطها من قبل السعوديين والإماراتيين، وأزمات ترامب هي من العوامل التي دفعت مفتي السعودية آل الشيخ لمطالبة المسلمين عموماً بالدعاء لشفاء ترامب.

إلا أن السفير الاميركي في «اسرائيل» ديفيد فريدمان كشف المستور مسقطاً التوريات الدينية، فأعلن أن فوز بايدن على ترامب يمثل خطراً كبيراً على جهود واشنطن وحلفائها في حرب اليمن من جهة والتطبيع الإسرائيلي – الخليجي العربي من جهة ثانية.

فإذا كان الأميركيون أنفسهم يتوجّسون على مشاريعهم الاستعمارية، فماذا حال أدواتهم في الشرق الأوسط وهل لديهم سياسات بديلة؟

ليس لدى السعودية والإمارات إلا العمل لإنجاح ترامب بضخ كميات وافرة من المساعدات لحملاته الانتخابية والإعلامية، علماً ان الفوارق في الأهداف بين الحزبين الأميركيين الجمهوري والديموقراطي هي في اسلوب التطبيق وليس في الأهداف، فالطرفان يعملان على السطو على موارد بلدان الشرق الاوسط وافريقيا وآسيا، لكن الحزب الديموقراطي يميل الى الربط بين الدبلوماسية والنفوذ الجيوبوليتيكي والصفقات الاقتصادية، فيما يسطو الحزب الجمهوري على اقتصاد المرتبطين به بشكل مباشر ومن دون حوارات على الطريقة الترامبية المليئة بالغطرسة والاستكبار.

كما أن الحزب الديموقراطي يميل الى حل الدولتين في فلسطين المحتلة مع تسويات لمصلحة الكيان المحتل، فيما يريد الحزب الجمهوري منح «إسرائيل» كامل فلسطين والجولان والأراضي اللبنانية المحتلة، معززاً فرصها في علاقات كاملة مع العالم الغربي على اساس حل بينهما معادٍ لإيران وروسيا والصين.

فأين المهرب الذي قد يفر اليه الخليج لإجهاض التداعيات المحتملة لخسارة ترامب الانتخابات الرئاسية؟

يبدو ان الخليج ذاهب الى تعميق تطبيعه مع العدو الإسرائيلي الى درجة تقديم دعم مالي مفتوح لهذا الكيان مقابل خدمات عسكرية جوية وبحرية وتقنية وتدريبية ويريد السعوديون والإماراتيون التعجيل في التطبيع السوداني مع «اسرائيل» لهدفين: الاول هو الكسر المعنوي لجبهة الأول الرافضة للعلاقات مع «اسرائيل» فيما يذهب الهدف الثاني إلى مسارعة الكيان الإسرائيلي إلى تدريب قوات سودانية بأعداد كبيرة قد تصل الى ثمانين الف جندي، يعمل نصفها تقريباً على حماية العائلات الحاكمة في السعودية والإمارات فيما يجري زج القوات الباقية داخل معارك اليمن للمحافظة على الأقل على «الستاتيكو» القائم في مأرب وبعض الوسط والجنوب وللدفاع ايضاً عن الجهة السعودية في نجران وجيزان المواجهتين لأعالي صنعاء.

هناك ايضاً محاولات سعودية – إماراتية لطلب مساعدات عسكرية أوروبية لها ميزتان: الاحتراف العسكري والتغطية السياسية لحرب الخليج على اليمن، الأمر الذي يزيد من مناعة النظامين السعودي والإماراتي في الاتحاد الاوروبي والامم المتحدة بالإضافة الى الدور العسكري، فهل تنجح هذه المساعي الشديدة الكلفة في زمن يتراجع فيه استهلاك البترول والغاز، وتختفي موارد الحج والعمرة ومختلف انواع العلاقات الاقتصادية؟ الصمود اليمني المتحول الى هجوميّ لن يتيح لكل هؤلاء فرصة ترقب تحولات ميدانيّة لمصلحتهم. لكن عملية طرد الغزاة السعوديّين والإماراتيّين من اليمن أصبحت مسألة وقت بانتظار تشكل موقف جنوبي يمني يلتقي مع الشمال والوسط المحرّر لإنقاذ بلادهم والمحافظة على ثرواتها ودورها اليمني والإقليمي وبالتالي العربي.

Jewish Settler Chief: ‘Palestinians have no right to a state, Bible says Israel for the Jews’

Via The saker

Jewish Settler Chief: ‘Palestinians have no right to a state, Bible says Israel for the Jews’

September 23, 2020

Middle East Observer

Description:
In an extended interview with the Israeli i24News Arabic channel, Jewish settler leader Daniella Weiss says that Palestinians have no right to establish a state, and that the land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people as proclaimed by the ‘eternal words of the Bible’.

Weiss also expresses her disappointment with the UAE for demanding that the annexation plan for parts of the West Bank be frozen in exchange for Emirati peace with Israel. Weiss wondered, “I don’t understand why for peace, we, the settlers in Judea and Samaria (i.e. the West Bank), are expected to stop developing ourselves!”

Source: i24NEWS Arabic (YouTube)

Date: Sep 4, 2020(Important Note: Please help us keep producing independent translations for you by contributing as little as $1/month here: https://www.patreon.com/MiddleEastObserver?fan_landing=true)

Transcript:

Host:

Welcome, dear viewers, to a new episode of “Hadith Akhar”.

Her settlement activity in the West Bank began in the early 1970s. She was the secretary general of the most hardline settlement movement. She was imprisoned for rioting in the West Bank. In past years she has also been active in a movement that supports the establishment of illegal settlement outposts.

We talk to Daniella Weiss in “Hadith Akhar”.

TV report:

Daniella Weiss was born in Bnei Brak, just east of Tel Aviv in 1945. During the period 1984-1988, she was the General Secretary of the Gush Emunim settlement movement. In 1987, she was arrested and convicted with respect to rioting in the city of Qalqilya (located in the north of the West Bank). During the period 1996-2007, she was elected head of the local council of the Kedumim settlement, just near Qalqilya. In 1992, she failed to reach the Knesset on a ticket supported by settlers.

Host:

Welcome Ms. Daniella. Let us start from the latest developments in the (Israeli) political arena.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu froze the annexation plan (to annex the West Bank, or parts thereof, to Israel territory)in exchange for establishing ties with the United Arab Emirates (UAE). First, how do you view this step by Netanyahu?

Weiss:

Greetings. I think that this step is a big mistake on the part of our Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stop the development of the Jewish community in Judea and Samaria (i.e. the Israeli government term for the West Bank). But, I’m not sure that he specifically said that he will “freeze” (the annexation plan), I think he said that he will ‘stop the process of annexation of declaring Israeli law on the Jewish community (in that region). But if you’re telling me that it’s even worse (than this), then I’ll be disappointed with him, since (Netanyahu) is a great leader and I, as a member of the Jewish community in Judea and Samaria, always expect more from him.

Host:

This is a controversial topic (cancelation of annexation plan); Netanyahu says that he “halted” or “froze” (the annexation plan). In contrast, the Emirati state says that this plan is “canceled and is now off the table” in exchange for ties with the UAE. So, was it peace in exchange for (cancelling) this Israeli (annexation) plan?

Weiss:

I must say that I am very much disappointed also from the Emirati side, that they demand stopping the annexation or the development of the Jewish community (in exchange) for peace. Well, I was planning to show you what is the stage of (sic) – these black spots (on the map) show what is planned for the Palestinian state, and the white color refers to Jewish settlement. This means that the Israeli state is threatened by a Palestinian state which doesn’t express love or support for the Jewish state.

For this reason, I don’t understand why for peace, we, the settlers in Judea and Samaria (i.e. the West Bank), we are expected to stop developing ourselves. It doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t sound like a step towards peace, it sounds like leaving us, the settlers in Judea and Samaria, and leaving the state of Israel with a narrow strip (of land), if they were (indeed) to take off part of this land for the sake of a Palestinian state.

This is (most) unreasonable. And I am looking forward to seeing how (Netanyahu) sees this peace agreement, because there doesn’t seem to me much peace in this agreement. It seems to be an intersection of interests, which is good for the Emirates, good for the US, but not good for Israel.

Host:

Yet peace (between Israel) and the Arabs, and several Arab states, considering that many of (these states) had mutual enmity with Israel, isn’t Israel’s sense of security and safety in relation to neighbouring Arab states, isn’t this worth giving up the annexation plan and settlement expansion in the West Bank?

Weiss:

I think I am trying to explain. There is a reason to give away the annexation (plan).  But there is a map which shows that the narrow waist of the Israeli state is an impossible situation for (Israel) to live long with. I think we should be more careful, since some say that the Sinai Peninsula that was given to the Egyptians poses some threat to Israel. But (for me) it is livable. Certain parts from the borders that were given to Jordan were small. Gaza was a catastrophe, but we can live with it. But can we live without our heart? The center of our homeland? This makes no sense. I know there is a high level of celebration but I am not celebrating. I am warning. I warn if the condition was to stop Jewish life in the heart of our homeland for what is defined as a peace, then this is not a peace.

Host:

Yet you had your own stance in relation to the annexation plan. When this plan was proposed and put into implementation, it faced opposition due to ideological reasons that considered (the plan) destructive for the Israeli state and for the settlement project. On the other hand, the world and the majority of the world view it as being destructive for the two-state solution. What threatens this plan? What threatens your (settlement) project in this regard?

Weiss:

You did very good homework. Not many people in Israel know exactly what the stance of some settlers was. It is correct that I was in the settler camp which was very much against the annexation plan which went by the plan which is called the “Trump Plan” or the “Deal of the Century”. Why was I against it? Because it was directly connected with building a Palestinian (home) state, and here it’s not just about giving 30% (of the area) for the settlers and the rest is for the Palestinians It was a formal recognition that gives the possibility for the establishment of a Palestinian state in the heart of the homeland of the Jews. Why would I agree with it? Do you know why some did agree with it? Because we were under so much stress – I mean we the settlers – for so many years, with the freezing (of the settlements) in Obama’s time, in addition to the redlines even during Trump’s term.

So some people were thinking that there will be (positive) change; that we (as settlers in certain outposts) will become considered a part of the Israeli state, and that this will be in our favor. Usually, I see life in its positive fold. This time though, I saw that Trump, Kushner, and their team pledged that 70% of this area be for a Palestinian state that will be established. I believe that this is impossible. There is a Palestinian Authority that has the democratic ability to run life for Palestinians in a democratic way, but not through an independent state.

Host:

You oppose Trump’s Deal of the Century; don’t you feel concerned that you will lose such an American ally who backs Israel? Don’t you fear that Israel and the settlers may lose this supportive friend of Israel?

Weiss:

Mohammad, you are asking me this question on the day of the first ever flight from Israel to Abu Dhabi into the Emirates. It’s not just about this tiny thing, i.e. what is going to happen in Judea and Samaria. It is a global interest. More than Israel needs the US, the US needs Israel. Because it is a global interest. It is the ongoing struggle between Russia and US; it’s about natural resources; about oil; about the world fight against terror; about the Iran threat; about the conflict between Iran (on the one hand), and Saudi Arabia, the Emirates and the US (on the other). It is a global thing.

I was planning to to tell (Netanyahu), who’s going to deliver an address in 20 minutes, that he shouldn’t be afraid of the US. Trump is an ally of Israel. And since the (US) has (shared) interests with Israel and interests in the Middle East, (Netanyahu) knows well that the US can rely on Israel (which serves its interests). It is time for Netanyahu to demand from Trump the growth of the Jewish community in Judea and Samaria, and not the freezing of such construction. We must be brave and not bow down.  (Netanyahu) is a brave man, but the freezing (of settlement construction) in Judea and Samaria is not a brave step from him.

Host:

You are against the establishment of a Palestinian state and the freezing of settlement construction in the West Bank as well. If we want to talk about the borders of the state of Israel as far as you’re concerned, where do the borders of the state of Israel extend to? You have shown your map (to the viewers), kindly show us the Israeli state borders (on your map), as far as you’re concerned.

Weiss:

From the political point of view, the state of Israel, in the current political situation, is located between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, including the entire Golan Heights, the Galilee and the Golan (regions). Regarding the Jewish religion and its creed, we can (then) speak the language of the religion and creed; we have the ‘promised land’ from the Bible. The Middle East in WWI and WWII was different from now. Some day, according to the Bible, a change may occur in this land. But in this current political situation, (Israeli) borders are between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

Host:

What about the Palestinians for whom you deny the right of statehood? Where should they go? Is the solution, as you use to say, to encourage (the Palestinians) to migrate?

Weiss:

Let’s start from the first part of your question. The Palestinians have the ‘Palestinian Authority’. This authority has the right to have its own democratic elections; it has the right to have its own institutions and departments; however, it is not a state of its own. The only state in Israel is Israel. This is its name, Israel, coming from our forefathers. So there’s no option to build another state within France or the United Kingdom, just as there is no option to establish another state within Israel. Israel is for the Jews. ‘Israel’, meaning Jacob, this is the beginning of our nation.

Today, what will happen? (The Palestinians) have an Authority, they have independent lives, but they have no ability to vote for the Knesset. They can vote for their own institutions, not as (institutions) of a state, but rather institutions belonging to the (Palestinian) Authority.

Host:

However, more than 5 million Palestinians live in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Don’t they have the right to have an independent state in which they can live?

Weiss:

I think that – and we will not debate now whether there are four or five million (Palestinians), four million is still a good number – let’s continue from this point: the fact that the Jewish state was established, and even before this, the fact that the Jewish pioneers came from all over the world and began to revive the holy land of Israel once again, which was a desolate country at the end of the Ottoman Empire.

Then it attracted – and this is a well-known fact – it attracted many Arabs, Bedouins, tribes, from Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt, they all came to the land of Israel, and this is how (this land) was developed. It was the result of the Jews who came to this land; the new cities and towns that were established by Jewish pioneers, who revived the desolate land, and made it an attractive place for people all over the Middle East.

That does not mean that we – that the Jews – have to give up and say: ‘well, we have to share the only state that the Jews have in the world, to share it with another country’. They should have taken this into consideration, and we said it at the appropriate time, that we will never divide up our homeland in Israel (with other people). By the way, and here I made a mistake: there was a partition plan in 1947, and the Jewish leadership did agree (to it), to share the western part of the land of Israel. This proposal was rejected by the Arabs, and I (personally) was not in support of this proposal either.

Bahrain Rejects US Push for Normalization Deal with Israel

Source

August 27, 2020

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lands in Bahrain to push normalization with Israel. (Photo: via Social Media)

Bahrain said Wednesday it was committed to the creation of a Palestinian state in talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, implicitly rejecting his push for Arab countries to swiftly normalize ties with Israel.

Pompeo was in Manama as part of a Middle East trip aimed at building more ties between the Jewish state and the Arab world after a landmark US-brokered deal with the United Arab Emirates.

However, Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa said he told Pompeo that his country remains committed to the Arab Peace Initiative – which calls for Israel’s complete withdrawal from the Palestinian territories occupied after 1967, in exchange for peace and the full normalisation of relations.

“The king stressed the importance of intensifying efforts to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict according to the two-state solution… to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital,” the official Bahrain News Agency (BNA) reported.

The US chief diplomat has said he is hopeful other nations will follow the UAE, which earlier this month became only the third Arab country to agree to normalize relations with the Jewish state.

Manama, whose contacts with Israel date back to the 1990s, was the first Gulf country to welcome the UAE move and was considered a front-runner to follow in its footsteps.

On August 13, Israel and the UAE have reached a deal that is expected to lead to “full normalization of relations” between the Arab nation and Israel in an agreement that US President Donald Trump reportedly helped broker.

The agreement is considered a severe blow to Palestinian efforts aimed at isolating Israel regionally and internationally until it ends its military occupation and apartheid-like system in occupied Palestine.

(Palestine Chronicle, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, Social Media)

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

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

June 16, 2020

Palestinian PM Mohammad Shtayyeh . (Photo: via Facebook)

By Ramona Wadi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

خطاب الرئيس وأسئلة المواطن

هكذا يقوم العميل الصهيوني الخائن أبو مازن بتسليم المقاومين للسلطات ...

سعاده مصطفى أرشيد

أخيراً وبعد طول انتظار اجتمعت القيادة الفلسطينية في رام الله (مع غياب حركتي حماس والجهاد الإسلامي والقيادة العامة والصاعقة) مساء الثلاثاء، وأعلنت على لسان الرئيس الفلسطيني محمود عباس عن سبعة قرارات وملاحظة ختامية لافتة للانتباه، هذه النقاط السبع يمكن إجمالها في ثلاثة محاور.

المحور الأول: أنّ منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية والسلطة الفلسطينية في حلّ من الاتفاقيات والتفاهمات والالتزامات المعقودة مع الإدارة الأميركية و»إسرائيل»، وأنّ على «إسرائيل» منذ اللحظة اعتبار نفسها قوة احتلال مسؤولة عن الضفة الغربية بموجب اتفاقية جنيف الرابعة عام 1949 وأكد على اعتبار الإدارة الأميركية شريكة لـ «إسرائيل» في عدوانها على الشعب الفلسطيني.

المحور الثاني: إنّ منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية والسلطة الفلسطينية ملتزمتان بقرارات الشرعية الدولية وبحلّ الدولتين ومكافحة الإرهاب (أي كان مصدره أو شكله).

المحور الثالث: هو الاستنجاد بالموقف الدولي من خلال الطلب من الدول التي تعارض إجراءات الضمّ باتخاذ إجراءات عقابية رادعة ضدّ «إسرائيل» في حال نفذت تهديداتها والطلب من الدول التي لم تعترف بفلسطين لأنّ تسارع بإعلان اعترافها، وقد ذكر الرئيس عباس الدول الأوروبية بالاسم، في حين تمّ تغييب البعد العربي، كما أعلن الرئيس أنه وقع وسيوقع طلبات انضمام لاتفاقيات ومنظمات دولية.

أما الملاحظة الأخيرة في الخطاب فهي الحديث عن وحدانية ومشروعية تمثيل الشعب الفلسطيني، وكأنّ لدى الرئيس المعلومات أو الشعور بأنّ هناك مَن يحاول سلب منظمة التحرير مشروعيتها ووحدانيتها في تمثيل الكلّ الفلسطيني.

يبدو أنّ الرئيس عباس والقيادة من حوله في رام الله، لديهم التصوّر انّ هذه القرارات بالتنسيق مع جهات عربية من شأنها الضغط على الإدارة الأميركية لتأجيل تنفيذ قرار الضمّ، بما يسمح بشراء الوقت، إلى أن ينقضي موعد الثالث من تشرين الثاني المقبل – الاستحقاق الانتخابي الرئاسي الأميركي، حيث أنّ التفكير الرغائبي يميل للاعتقاد بأنّ حظوظ المرشح الديمقراطي جو بايدن هي الأقوى في الفوز بالانتخابات، وبجرعة رغائبية إضافية فإنّ الرئيس الأميركي الجديد حكماً هو جو بايدن الذي لن يوافق على ضمّ المناطق، تذهب التصورات والتحليلات إلى ما هو أبعد من ذلك لترى أنّ الرئيس ترامب في موقف ضعيف، وأنّ قوى عديدة نافذة وقوية داخل الولايات المتحدة تعمل ضدّه، منها وزارة الدفاع والجيش، ومنها المخابرات المركزية وكذلك الكونغرس الذي خصّه الرئيس عباس بالذكر في خطابه. شراء الوقت سيستمرّ إلى السابع عشر من تشرين الثاني عام 2021، موعد تسلم بني غانتس رئاسة الحكومة الإسرائيلية من رئيسها الحالي بن يامين نتنياهو (هذا بالطبع إنْ عاشت الحكومة حتى ذلك التاريخ). حيث من الممكن العودة للتفاوض مع غانتس بصفته أقلّ غلواً وتطرفاً من نتنياهو، وانه – حسب التصوّر الفلسطيني – رافض لفكرة الضمّ وإنما أُكره عليها عند تشكيل الحكومة. من الجدير التذكير بأنّ الجنرال بني غانتس رئيس أركان سابق وخريج المؤسسة العسكرية هو وشريكه في حزب أزرق – أبيض جنرال آخر ورئيس أركان أسبق غابي أشكنازي، كلاهما مؤمن بالعقيدة العسكرية والأمنية للجيش الإسرائيلي تجاه الأغوار والتلال المشرفة عليها من الناحية الغربية، فهي مصيدة الدبابات التي لا يمكن التخلي عنها تحت أيّ ظرف من الظروف باعتبارها ضرورة ماسّة من ضرورات الأمن القومي، والموقف ذاته ينطبق على مستوطنات وسط الضفة.

صرّح الجنرال غابي اشكنازي في حفل تسلّمه منصبه الجديد وزيراً للخارجية الاثنين الماضي، أنّ رؤية الرئيس ترامب (صفقة القرن) تمثل فرصة تاريخية لترسيم حدود «دولة إسرائيل» وضمان مستقبلها لعقود مقبلة، وانه سيدفع باتجاه ضمّ الأغوار وشمال البحر الميت والتلال المشرفة على الأغوار وأراضي المستوطنات، وذلك بالتنسيق مع الإدارة الأميركية، والحوار مع الجيران والأصدقاء الذين تجمعهم بـ «إسرائيل» اتفاقيات السلام والصداقة (والصداقة تشمل دولاً غير مصر والأردن).

الحكومة الإسرائيلية لم تبدِ اكتراثاً بالخطاب، ولم يصدر عنها ما يشير إلى الخوف أو القلق من تداعيات ما ورد فيه، أو حتى من مدى جديته، ولم تبد أنها بصدد مراجعة موقفها وقراراتها باتجاه الضمّ، بقدر ما تبدي إصراراً وتأكيداً عليه ولكن يمكن ملاحظة بعض ما ورد في الصحافة الإسرائيلية خاصة المقرّبة من رئاسة الحكومة وعلى ذمة مراسليها من أخبار لم يتمّ نفيها، تنقل صحيفة «هايوم إسرائيل» عن مسؤولين كبار في السلطة الفلسطينية، أنّ الخطوة الفلسطينية ليست إلا خطوة كلامية (بيانية) فقط. وهي في الوقت ذات رسالة إلى نائب رئيس الحكومة الجنرال بني غانتس تقول ما سلف ذكره في المقال، إنّ السلطة الفلسطينية جاهزة للتفاوض معه عند تسلمه رئاسة الحكومة من بن يامين نتنياهو بعد سنة ونصف السنة (بالطبع إنْ طال عمر الحكومة حتى ذلك الوقت)، وعادت «هايوم إسرائيل» للقول إنّ مسؤولين فلسطينيين كباراً، ولكن في هذه المرة من الجانب الأمني، أبلغوها أنّ التعليمات صدرت لهم من مكتب الرئيس الفلسطيني، تنصّ على تقليص التنسيق الأمني مع الطرف الإسرائيلي إلى حدّه الأدنى، وهي التعليمات ذاتها المعمول بها من أيام الرئيس الراحل ياسر عرفات عام 2000 عند اندلاع الانتفاضة الثانية.

يملك «الإسرائيلي» والأميركي مصادر القوة التي تمنحهم القدرة على تنفيذ رؤاهم وخططهم، ووضع مروحة واسعة من الخيارات والبدائل، في حين لا يملك الفلسطيني هذا الترف وأحياناً بإرادته عندما يضع العراقيل أمام محاولات إنهاء الانقسام أو الوحدة الوطنية القائمة على برنامج حدّ أدنى من التوافق، وأحياناً أخرى رغم إرادته بسبب تداعي الوضع العربي وما يجري من حروب عبثية واقتتال، وكما بسبب الأزمات المتلاحقة في الضفة الغربية وغزة السابقة لوباء الكورونا واللاحقة له.

يتساءل الفلسطيني حول جدية هذه القرارات ومفاعيلها وهو الذي لم يستشعر أنّ السلطة الفلسطينية قد استحوطت لهذا الوضع إلا باستدانة مبلغ ثمانماية مليون شيكل من العدو، وقد أصبحت الآن ترفض السداد بموجب البند الثاني الوارد في خطاب الرئيس الذي ينص أنّ على «إسرائيل» تحمّل مسؤولياتها كقوة احتلال، وهل تبلغ السذاجة بالحكومة الإسرائيلية لأن تقرض من يعلن رفضه للسداد؟

كما يتساءل الفلسطيني مَن هي الجهة التي أراد الرئيس عباس إيصال الرسالة لها في ختام خطابه والتي تريد أو تحاول سرقة وحدانية ومشروعية تمثيل منظمة التحرير للشعب الفلسطيني؟

ليس من الحصافة وسداد الرأي الحكم المبكر على الخطاب أو الجزم بمسائل سياسية متحركة، ولكنها أسئلة برسم الإجابة، وإنّ غداً لناظره قريب.

*سياسي فلسطيني مقيم في الضفة الغربية

The Worst Deal of the Century for Palestine

Tim KirbyFebruary 22, 2020

Trump is full of surprises and no one in the punditry was expecting anything like his “Deal of the Century”. It promises to solve the Israel/Palestine situation in a way that is fair to both sides and end a political crisis that has gone on for generations with a few pen swipes. Bold moves and showmanship are to be respected in politics, but is this really some new grand answer or a means for Israel-loyal Trump to trick the Palestinians? Well, on the surface it certainly looks like a great step forward if you are on the Israeli side of things.

It is important to note that if one geopolitical “wedge issue” exists, then it is most certainly Israel. The narrative surrounding Israel’s 20th century restoration divides people into two bitter raging camps. For many (Socialists, the Left) the European looking Israelis cutting out space for themselves in a foreign land while pushing the brown people back looks like some sort of microcosm of Western Imperialism. On the other hand, for those in the West who actually like their civilization (Republicans, the Right) they see Israel as a shining Democratic/Western light on a hill surrounded by barbarians. In many ways today’s Israel is like a living satire of the Old West in America – for some it is Manifesting Destiny and taming wild lands but for others it looks more like apartheid/genocide. Although it is unprofessional to mention oneself in a piece of analysis it is important to say that I personally subscribe to neither of these narratives. I can see them, understand them, but I do not believe in them. Meaning, as you will see I think the Deal of the Century is bad for the Palestinians not because they are victims of Jewish pioneers in the Wild Wild Middle-East but simply because accepting the deal means their side loses. This is not a deal but a request for capitulation.

Video

At first glance the “two-state solution” style deal sounds very attractive for the Palestinian side. Being a recognized state, even if very poor and cut up into awkward chunks is still much better than being an “in name only” pseudo state within the official borders of another. If Palestine was more like a state it could control is territory and engage in trade much more easily with nations that are sympathetic to their cause giving them breathing room. The problem is that the Deal of the Century only offers two-state flavour and not the two-state substance that could woo the Palestinians into signing it.

One of the key clauses of the proposition is to disarm the Palestinian Authorities, Hamas and whomever else may be on their side in Israel… and this is where the deal falls apart before it even begins. Disarmament as part of any deal is coded language for capitulation. If your tribe lays down its arms and my tribe does not, guess who is going to be the Helots and who is going to be the Spartans. Strategically speaking if the Palestinians give up their ability to fight they have obviously lost.

Another aspect of this Deal of the Century that works only in Israel’s favour is the clause that the Palestinians must acknowledge Israel as a “Jewish State”. If the deal was to create a true two-state solution with real borders between them this would not be such a problem, but since ultimately the Palestinians would still technically be within Israel’s borders acknowledging that this region is the property of a different religious group would be a huge mistake. If the United States officially acknowledged the “Russianess” of Alaska you could see how that would really not be in America’s interests. It would essentially mean that Russia would by logic have the “right” to this territory and that is why America would and should never ever acknowledge any claim by a foreign power over U.S. territory. As they say in Russian “it was yours, now it’s ours”. If you do not follow this type of policy then you are asking for succession and strife.

This is why Palestine, if it wants to survive cannot sign off on Israel being Jewish. The second they do this it will mean that bureaucratically they have no place in this country and lose any claims to it.

The Palestinians are unlikely to say that all of Israel is “Jewish”.

Other aspects of the deal also force the Palestinians into a submissive state like demanding that they have to end “all programs, including school curricula and textbooks, that serve to incite or promote hatred or antagonism towards its neighbors” when the Israelis do not. Furthermore the Palestinians must have an open and free press, which in reality, means that as a desperately poor region they must open their press up to being bought up or overwhelmed by Western Mainstream Media.

Again as an Orthodox Slav I have no horse in this race, the core narratives in support of the Israelis and Palestinians do not speak to me, but objectively taking a look at the terms, if the Palestinians take this “deal” then they have ultimately capitulated. A completely helpless and yet completely “open” Palestine that may have to give up even more territory officially will erode even faster. No break-away movement in any nation on Earth could agree to similar terms and yet still desire independence.

If I were in Trump’s shoes and very deeply tied to support for Israel I would not have offered some sort of deal between the two sides, but instead offered the Israeli Jews the chance to become the 51st state, which in some ways it already is. Although the bureaucratic realization of this idea would be tough to say the least, it would be good PR within the Beltway and beyond even if the idea was completely rejected. This peace attempt which will get shot down for the reasons stated above and will be yet another blow to Trump’s competency like not knowing where Kansas City actually is. More than anything I hate farces and if the U.S. is so tied to Israel why not just take it? If Israel really is the shining light on the hill in the Middle-East or at least the “beachhead” America needs in the region then just absorb it. Strategically this is really the best option for a pro-Israel America. If they really want to defend it then they should just extend the border around it, which would justify the U.S. to take any actions it deems necessary to secure the territory including ones that would be quite “rough” towards the Palestinians.

In summation…

  • For the Palestinians this deal is a form of capitulation, they must say “no”.
  • For the Israelis this is yet another step to ending the Palestinian problem, they must say “yes”, and blast the other side for rejecting the offer.
  • The United States has such heavy interesting in Israel that they may as well just absorb it, which would ultimately solve all problems for the Israeli Jews that the Beltway claims to want to protect/support.

The Shame of the Century: Kushner’s Deal Is Dead on Arrival

The “Deal of the Century” has been written by Israeli officials

By Steven Sahiounie

Global Research, February 04, 2020

Imagine a lawsuit being tried in a courtroom.  The case is coming to a close, and one side is sure of their position of being ‘in the right’, and then the opposing side offers a ‘deal’ to settle the case out of court.  However, the deal they offer is empty and does not satisfy the basic legal claims. They decide to reject the offer, and wait for the chance of winning their full rights, depending on the justice system, and the merits of their case as presented.

Details of the deal

The “Deal of the Century” has been written by Israeli officials, which is made clear not only from the style but content as well. President Trump announced the deal in the White House’s East Room on January 28, with his guest Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and others, giving Israel full control of the settlements and Jerusalem as its undivided capital. The illegal settlements will now be considered the same as any other part of Israel under Israeli law and by the US. Netanyahu was thrilled that Israel can now annex land in Judea and Samaria, which previously had threatened to bring sanctions in the UN Security Council.  “The idea of dividing Jerusalem is buried,” Netanyahu said while adding “The idea of returning to 1967 lines as we knew it is buried. The right of return is buried; not even one refugee will be entering Israel.” Additionally, the IDF and Israeli security forces will have access to defend all territory west of the Jordan River, and  Israel will control “air, sea, land and electromagnetic fields,” according to Netanyahu. The US will accept Israeli sovereignty over all Jerusalem neighborhoods within the security fence.

The US deal sets a plan for a Palestinian state if they meet conditions within four years, including stopping: terrorism; payments to terrorists; armed resistance. If the conditions are met, then a Palestinian state could be recognized, with limited sovereignty, as Israel would have full security control.

This is an American plan, and an American map, and not binding on anyone.  Some would call it a diktat, defined as ‘a harsh settlement unilaterally imposed on a defeated nation’, or ‘terms of capitulation.’

The two-state solution

The two-state solution has for decades been the basis of negotiations in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and has been the official policy of the United States, the United Nations, the Palestinian Authority and Israel. Beginning in 1948, Palestinians fled, or were expelled from their homes; however, the UN Resolution 194 was adopted on December 11, 1948, which guarantees everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country. Following the Arab-Israeli war of 1967, the UN adopted Security Council Resolution 242. The resolution calls for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the occupied territories, adopted unanimously on November 22, 1967, and those are the borders referred to in the two-state solution. Jerusalem was to be divided into an Israeli West and a Palestinian East.

The Trump deal has bulldozed the two-state solution.

Resistance

Resistance to the occupation of Palestine was most often coordinated by a committee made up of local social and political leaders, who held strikes, protests, and general political activism. The occupied people supported tax revolts, general strikes, teach-ins, prisoner hunger strikes, as Israeli law allows for the arrest and detention of Palestinians without charge or trial.

In 2005 the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement began, targeting corporations and institutions that reinforce Israeli occupation and the denial of Palestinian human rights.

All nonviolent protests have been brutally suppressed and popular resistance leaders have been imprisoned, exiled, and killed.  All public gatherings of more than 10 people are forbidden by Israeli military orders enforced by the Israeli military in the occupied Palestinian territory.  Nonviolent protest actions and public political and/or cultural gatherings of Palestinians in areas under Israeli control are broken up by the Israeli military and police, often using tear gas, pepper spray, water cannons, rubber bullets, live ammunition, and physical force, resulting in deaths and injuries.

Apartheid

The ‘Deal of the Century’ regurgitates apartheid, a racist political system, and we only have to look to Israeli historian Uri Davis’s book “Apartheid Israel”.

Under the Trump deal, the Palestinians may have limited autonomy within a homeland that consists of multiple non-connecting enclaves scattered throughout the West Bank and Gaza. Israel would retain security control over the enclaves and would continue to control borders, airspace, aquifers, maritime waters, and electromagnetic fields. Israel would be allowed to annex the Jordan Valley and Jewish settlements in the West Bank. The Palestinians would be allowed to choose their leaders but would have no political rights in Israel, the state that rules over them.

The Trump deal for racial control and segregation harkens back to South Africa, before the ANC and armed resistance groups fought a bloody fight, which had international support, ultimately winning their freedom and rights with Nelson Mandela at the helm.

Like South Africa’s apartheid, the Trump deal gives the Palestinians autonomy over matters like education and healthcare, while trade, immigration, and security would remain under Israeli control. It would give Israelis a false sense of security while living under a regime based on racial oppression. The deal may constitute a crime against humanity, under the Rome Statute (1998), since it violates the rights and dignity of the Palestinian people.

President Trump

President Trump has done more for Israel than any previous US President.  He allowed the personal ‘pet-project’ of his son in law, Jared Kushner, an Orthodox Jew, to reverse decades of US foreign policy. Many have questioned what gives the US the power to decide that Palestinians will live under apartheid?

Occupation

According to Noam Chomsky, Gaza is the world’s largest open-air prison, where some 1.5 million people on a roughly 140-square-mile strip of land are subject to random terror and arbitrary punishment, with no purpose other than to humiliate and degrade. He wrote, a visitor to Gaza can’t help feeling disgusted at the obscenity of the occupation, compounded with guilt, because it is within our power to bring the suffering to an end and allow the Samidin to enjoy the lives of peace and dignity that they deserve.

Israelis don’t like the plan

Yisrael Beytenu leader, Avigdor Liberman, said: “The Trump plan is an escape plan from the real problems on the agenda” for Netanyahu, and the PM is using the deal to hide from real domestic issues he refuses to deal with. While Trump has been impeached by the House, Netanyahu has been indicted by the courts, and it seems the two wounded leaders are using the deal as camouflage.

Palestinian Christians

Daoud Kuttab, a Palestinian journalist and secretary of the Jordan Evangelical Council in Amman, said after reading the deal, it “sounded more like a surrender dictate than a peace plan. The fact that of 13 million Palestinians, the Americans couldn’t find a single one to attend [the rollout] spoke volumes in its one-sidedness,” he added,  “It is a surrender document that will lay the grounds for Palestinians to continue to live under Israeli discrimination. This is a formula for further violence and unrest.”

The deal allows Israel to keep land they have managed illegally to grab, while they promise to pause for four years while the Palestinians capitulate to unjust terms, but the only offer on the table. If the Palestinians decide the deal is unacceptable, then Israel will undoubtedly begin to grab even more lands and justify their actions by pointing the finger of blame at the other side.  This is the likely outcome unless those insisting on justice will intervene from outside and exert pressure on Israel.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

This article was originally published on Mideast Discourse.

Steven Sahiounie is a political commentator. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Featured image is from Jerusalem PostThe original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Steven Sahiounie, Global Research, 2020

Finally the USA Supports the One State Solution

 

One State .jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced yesterday that the US is softening its position on Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Secretary Pompeo repudiated the 1978 State Department legal opinion that stated that Jewish settlements in the occupied territories are “inconsistent with international law.”

 It is hard to determine whether the move was intended to rescue Benjamin Netanyahu’s political career or to buy the Jewish Lobby’s support for President Trump at a critical time. It is reasonable to assume that the policy was put forth to advance both aims.

 Pompeo’s declaration was, predictably, welcomed by PM Netanyahu and denounced by Palestinian officials and anyone else who still advances the delusional Two State Solution. Like Secretary Pompeo, I am far from an expert on international law, but it seems the notion of international law is vague or elastic enough to allow the secretary to (mis) interpret it in a radical manner. Yet, unlike most Palestinian solidarity campaigners, I see Trump, his administration and the recent move as a positive development.

 However inadvertently, Trump has finally committed the USA to the One State Solution. It is hard to deny that the area between the ‘River and the Sea’  is a single piece of land. It shares one electric grid, one pre-dial code (+972) and one sewage system. Ay present, the land is ruled over by a racist, tribal and discriminatory ideology through an apparatus that calls itself  ‘The Jewish State;’ and declares itself home for every Jew around the world; yet, is abusive, lethal and some would say genocidal toward the indigenous people of the land.

Yesterday’s move may buy Netanyahu some time and it may save Trump from being evicted from his current residence, but what it did most clearly was to redeliver a message to the Palestinians: In the battle for your liberation you are alone. America is not a negotiator, it has never been one. The USA has a side in the conflict and it is not your side.

In categorical terms Pompeo’s declaration repeats Trump’s earlier decision to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. On December 6, 2017, President Trump announced that the United States recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and ordered the relocation of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. No doubt, the move bought Trump support from the Jewish Lobby in America, and political gain for Netanyahu in the Jewish State, it was also an unambiguous message to the Palestinians: there is no prospect of a  harmonious and peaceful solution for your plight.

 For the Palestinians, the move also exposed the misleading and dangerous nature of their ‘solidarity’ movement. Jewish ‘anti’ Zionist institutions have undertaken a relentless effort to suppress the Palestinian’s Right of Return and replace it with watery alternatives such as ‘End of occupation’ or  ‘the Right to BDS.’ Trump’s move forced the Palestinians to accept that they were alone in their battle and finally  accept that The Right of Return is the core and the essence of their plight. Less than four months after Trump’s Jerusalem decision, on 30 March 2018,  thousands of Gazans gathered on the Israeli border to demand a return to their land.

That clumsy decision by Trump made to serve some immediate political purpose to do with Jewish support has matured into a vast awakening for the Palestinians.  Week after week, for almost three years, Gazans have arrived at the Gaza border in the thousands to bravely confront the IDF’s merciless snipers, tanks and air force.  The Hamas owes a big thank you to Trump who has managed to fuel and unite the Palestinians with a renewed spirit of fearless resistance. Israeli military analysts and commanders admit that the situation at the Gaza border is pretty much out of control. They agree that Israel’s power of deterrence is literally a matter of  nostalgia. Accordingly, Palestinian resistance organizations do not hesitate to retaliate against  Israel. Last week Israel was hit by the rain of 400 rockets fired over the course of only two days in response to  Israel’s assassination of a Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant.

 Pompeo’s declaration provides an explicit and necessary message to the Palestinians in general and in the West Bank in particular. The conflict is not progressing toward a peaceful resolution. Those amongst the Palestinians who advocated the ‘Two States Solution’ will have to hide now.  Pompeo has affirmed that there is one Holy Land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. From now on the battle over this disputed land is whether it will be subject to the racist discriminatory ideology implied by the notion of “The Jewish State” and its ‘National Bill,’ or if it will transform itself into a ‘State of its Citizens’ as is inherit in the notion of One Palestine.

Axis of Resistance Frustrated Three Phases of the Project for a ‘New Middle East’

Trump Kushner

Al-Manar Website Editor

August 13, 2019

The first phase of the so-called New Middle East was just after ‘the Summit of Peacemakers’ in 1996, when former Israeli premier Shimon Peres applied his New Middle East vision by declaring the “Operation Grapes of Wrath” on Lebanon for 16 days in April 1996.

During the 2006 Lebanon war, former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced the beginning of the New Middle East. After almost one decade of political attempts to resolve the Arab- Israeli conflict, the US decided to use a brute force to eliminate what it saw an impediment to the ‘peaceful’ resolution of the conflict by pushing ‘Israel’ to attack Lebanon, destroying its infrastructures.

The first phase of the above mentioned project has fallen after the US-Israeli failure to impose their conditions for the 2006 ceasefire agreement on Lebanon. It was Lebanon which emerged victorious after a 33-day war, as declared by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah. It was the resistance of Hezbollah that turned the table on the New Middle East project, said the Winograd Commission report, after the investigation of the causes of failure in the 2006 war.

In 2011, the second phase of the scheme has started, Syria was the battlefield. However, the US-backed terrorists failed to overthrow the Syrian government, and the second phase was over. Then, the old Shimon Peres vision was revitalized and there was the third phase of the so-called New Middle East project.

The US administration proposed an economic approach, allegedly to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict, in a bid to gain in politics what it couldn’t achieve in the war.

US President Donald Trump sent Jared Kushner, his son-in-law, who is presented as the godfather of the ‘Deal of Century’, to the region. Kushner decided to replace the well-known slogan of “land for peace” principle with his own one: “peace to prosperity”.  He believes that such a slogan could reduce the conflict to an economic problem that can be resolved by improving the living standards of the Palestinians.

The absence of a draft solution for major political issues, particularly Palestinian statehood, the status of Al-Quds (Jerusalem), and the Palestinians’ right to return to their land, turns Kushner proposal to be a mere attempt to bribe the Palestinians into giving up self-determination.

The funding issue is also a significant factor of disruption for that deal, especially that EU, the traditional donor, did not participated in the workshop in Bahrain, neither Russia, nor China.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, which has shown an extreme enthusiasm for the deal, has been already facing an economic problem and the war in Yemen, which has cost it billions of dollars. The US, where the proposal was launched, certainly would not spend that much money, particularly under Trump administration, who prides himself on extracting monetary concessions from other countries, including Saudi Arabia by extortion, or by the arm sales.

The development and prosperity that Kushner is heralding can only happen if the Israeli occupation is ended.

In contrast, the Trump administration has already made major steps in strengthening the pillars of the occupation, including recognizing Israeli annexation of Al-Quds and the Golan Heights.

With all these major flaws, it was hardly surprising that the Bahrain Workshop failed to jump-start the deal process.

The Axis of Resistance is accomplishing important steps in the warfare in Syria, Yemen and Iraq, preventing Trump and his allies to step forward for the announcement of the “Deal of Century” that could eradicate the Palestinian cause in favor of the Israeli occupation. Hence, the third phase of the New Middle east has also failed.

A flashback to Madrid conference in 1990: the peace process had been built on the principle of “land for peace”, where ‘Israel’ withdrew from occupied Arab land in 1967 in exchange for peace and normalization of ties with the Palestinians and Arabs.

The 1993 Oslo Accord provided a political vision for Shimon Peres’s plan – a two-state solution – which was followed by the 1994 Paris Protocol that established rules regulating economic relations between the Palestinians and Israelis.

This vision was also the core of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative proposed by Saudi Arabia in Beirut Arab League summit.

Needless to say, all past proposals have failed for one simple reason: They were all in favor of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Kamel Hawwash: Trump’s Deal of the Century, A Mirage Already Rejected by Palestinians

Mon May 06, 2019 9:12
Kamel Hawwash: Trump’s Deal of the Century, A Mirage Already Rejected by Palestinians
Kamel Hawwash: Trump’s Deal of the Century, A Mirage Already Rejected by Palestinians

US “Deal of the Century” Eliminates Two-state Solution

Capture

May 3, 2019

US president’s son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner said that the upcoming ‘peace’ plan (“Deal of the Century”) will not include a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, considering that it has not worked out during the previous rounds of talks.

Speaking at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Kushner said that the creative ideas must be suggested to reach a solution, rejecting to reveal more details.

So far, US has carried out some of the Deal of the Century’s dangerous stipulations by acknowledging Al-Quds as the capital of the Zionist entity and annexing Syria’s Golan to ‘Israel’. It also stopped aiding the United Nations relief agency for Palestinian refugees in preparation for naturalizing them in the host countries.

Kushner pointed out that Washington would mull annexing the Zionist settlements in the West Bank with the Israeli officials after the formation of their government.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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The South and Gaza were liberated due to the growing resistance …but time is not over بفعل الممانعة نَمَت المقاومة وتحرّر الجنوب وغزة… والزمن طويل

أبريل 29, 2019

Written by Nasser Kandil,

Long decades ago, the occupation was the strongest, it was said what was refused by the leaders who stick to the Arab rights especially the right of the Palestinians has become a dream after awhile, and the resolution of the division of Palestine which was not accepted by the Arabs has become an unattainable dream later. It is known that Israel does not accept such resolution and no one in the United Nations initiated to put an agenda to implement the resolution of division no 181 as the resolution dedicated to the return of the displaced no 194. And what would have issued due to the Arab acceptance is similar to what was issued by the Arab acceptance of the resolutions 242 and 338; the survival of the occupation and the rash towards peace.  While Israel is Judaizing the land and devouring more geography, it strengthens itself in preparation for a war to come and to occupy new territories. The Arab acceptance of those resolutions does not prevent the occupation of Beirut and the South of Lebanon.

After the American announcement of the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the annexation of Golan to Israel, there were who said similarly that if the Palestinians have accepted what was offered by Bill Clinton and Ehud Barak in 2000 as half or quarter of the Eastern Jerusalem, they would not have lost all Jerusalem today, and if Syria has accepted Golan without Tiberius, it would not have lost all Golan. Those do not forget to say the contradiction; While they are pretending that they highly appreciate the leading capacity of the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and the Late Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad, they refuse to admit that the rejection was made by them. Then they say that if they have known that before , they would not done so.

Let us discuss that, when the President Yasser Arafat accepted Oslo Accords, did the Israeli implement it? What was the result in areas A, B,and C, and when Syria accepted the Agreement of disengagement in 1974 as a temporary starting point for the withdrawal from Golan under American guarantee, did that happen/? when Lebanon accepted the resolution 425 and was seeking to implement it, did anyone respond?  And when Washington signed the nuclear understanding with Iran, did it hesitate to withdraw from it? Therefore, will the American signing on the agreement on Golan prevent the withdrawal from it, since the American signing on the agreement of disengagement which is based on the recognition that Golan is Syrian did not prevent it from the recognition of the annexation of Golan to Israel. Therefore, the only constant is not what was not accepted by the Arabs to avoid the worse or a search for a peaceful solution or what is signed by the American or the Israeli, rather it is the balance of forces.

Jerusalem and Golan are under the occupation since 1967, and the talk about the annexation is a political interpretation of the occupation not an expression of the change in the balances of forces, it is an interpretation of the inability to got the Syrian-Palestinian recognition of the legitimacy of the occupation of Palestine as an inevitable cost of any understanding proposed by Washington and Tel Aviv. So those who forgot that the Syrian rejection of bargain in the time of the late President Hafez Al-Assad has led to balances of forces which contributed in the rise of the resistance forces which liberated the South of Lebanon and Gaza without negotiation and without the recognition of the legitimacy of occupation have to be reminded that the objection that prevented the incomplete return of Golan as Sinaa has fortified the resistance and ensured the complete return of the South of Lebanon and Gaza, and because time is not over, the resistance which led to these two successive liberations will soon liberate Golan and what is far from Golan and Gaza…Jerusalem as well,,, let days witness that.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

بفعل الممانعة نَمَت المقاومة وتحرّر الجنوب وغزة… والزمن طويل

مارس 30, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– خلال عقود طويلة كانت يد الاحتلال فيها هي القوية وصاحبة القضاء والقدر، كان يقال لنا إن ما رفضه القادة المتمسّكون بالحقوق العربية وأولها الحق بفلسطين كل فلسطين صار حلماً بعد حين، وإن قرار تقسيم فلسطين الذي لم يقبله العرب، صار حلماً بعيد المنال لاحقاً. وللعلم والتذكير فإن «إسرائيل» لم تقبل القرار، ولم يبادر أحد في الأمم المتحدة لوضع روزنامة لتطبيق قرار التقسيم الذي يحمل الرقم 181 مثله مثل القرار الخاص بعودة اللاجئين الذي يحمل الرقم 194، وكل ما كان سينشأ عن القبول العربي هو شبيه بما نشأ عن قبول العرب المشابه بقرارات مثل الـ242 و338، وهو بالتحديد بقاء الاحتلال واللهاث وراء سراب اسمه السلام، فيما إسرائيل تهوّد الأرض وتلتهم المزيد من الجغرافيا وتزيد منسوب القوة استعداداً لحرب قادمة واحتلال أرض جديدة، فاحتلال بيروت وجنوب لبنان لم يمنع وقوعهما القبول العربي بمشاريع الحلول التي سبقت.

– مع الإعلان الأميركي عن الاعتراف بالقدس عاصمة لـ»إسرائيل» وبضمّ «إسرائيل» للجولان صعدت أصوات تتحدّث بلغة مشابهة تقول، لو قبل الفلسطينيون بما عرضه عليهم بيل كلينتون وإيهودا باراك عام 2000، وفيه نصف القدس الشرقية أو ربعها، لما كانوا كما هم اليوم يخسرون كل القدس، ولو قبلت سورية بما عُرض عليها من الجولان بلا أمتار طبريا، لما وصلت الأمور إلى خسارة كل الجولان، وطبعاً لا ينسى المتحدثون أن يقولوا النقيضين، فهم يحاولون الإيحاء أنهم يقدّرون عالياً القدرة القيادية للرئيس الفلسطيني الراحل ياسر عرفات والرئيس السوري الراحل حافظ الأسد، وينسون أن الرفض تمّ على يديهما، ثم يستدركون بأنهما لو عرفا أن رفضهما سيجلب هذه النتائج لما فعلا.

– حسناً. سنأخذ الكلام بقدر حجم عقول أصحابه ونسير بالأمر كما يقدّمونه، فنسأل عندما قبل الرئيس ياسر عرفات باتفاقية أوسلو، هل نفّذها الإسرائيلي؟ وماذا كانت الحصيلة في المناطق أ وب و ج؟ وهل ما يحكم التنفيذ لأي اتفاقية هو شيء آخر غير موازين القوى التي تولد فيها؟ وعندما قبلت سورية باتفاقية فك الاشتباك عام 1974 كنقطة انطلاق مؤقتة للانسحاب من الجولان بضمانة أميركية هل حدث ذلك وتمّ الانسحاب؟ وعندما قبل لبنان بالقرار 425 وبقي يلاحق العالم لتطبيقه هل سمع له أحد؟ وعندما وقعت واشنطن على التفاهم النووي مع إيران، هل منعها ذلك من الانسحاب منها من طرف واحد؟ وهل سيمنع التوقيع الأميركي على اتفاق حول الجولان من الانسحاب منه لاحقاً، كما لم يمنع التوقيع الأميركي على اتفاق فك الاشتباك القائم على أن الاعتراف بأن الجولان سوري الهوية من إعلان معاكس بالاعتراف بضم الجولان لـ»إسرائيل»؟ فالثابت الوحيد لم يكن يوماً بما يقبل العرب، تفادياً للأسوأ، أو سعياً لحل سلمي، أو ما يوقع عليه الأميركي أو يوقع عليه الإسرائيلي، الثابت الوحيد هو ميزان القوى، وميزان القوى فقط.

– القدس والجولان تحت الاحتلال أصلاً منذ العام 1967، والحديث عن الضمّ هو ترجمة سياسية للاحتلال وليس تعبيراً عن تبدّل في موازين القوى، بل الأصح هو ترجمة للعجز عن الحصول على الاعتراف السوري والفلسطيني بشرعية احتلال فلسطين، كثمن حتمي لأي تفاهم تعرضه واشنطن وتل أبيب، والذين ثقبت ذاكرتهم ونسوا أن الرفض السوري للمساومة في زمن الرئيس الراحل حافظ الأسد، أنتج موازين القوى التي ساهمت بتصاعد قوة المقاومة التي حرّرت جنوب لبنان وغزة دون تفاوض ودون منح الشرعية لاحتلال باقي الأرض العربية، لا بدّ من تذكيرهم بأن الممانعة التي حالت دون العودة المنقوصة للجولان على طريقة عودة سيناء، هي التي حضنت المقاومة فضمنت عودة غير منقوصة لجنوب لبنان وغزة، ولأن الزمن بيننا وبين أميركا طويل، فالسياق الذي بدأ مع الممانعة وتطوّر مع المقاومة وأنتج تحريرين متلاحقين، سيكتمل بتحرير غير بعيد للجولان، وتحرير لاحق لما بعد الجولان وما بعد غزة، والقدس ليست بعيدة، والأيام بيننا.

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Hamas Won Again

April 10, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

hamas won again.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won a decisive victory yesterday. He is likely to carry on to a fifth term in office. As of this morning, the right-wing bloc has a clear advantage of 65 seats (out of 120) over the centre/left parties and seems more likely to form a coalition.

The meaning of yesterday’s election results are obvious and undeniable. The Israeli left is now marginal, verging on non-existent. The Israeli Labour party has been reduced to a miniature caricature, pretty much the size of Meretz, themselves a parody of left thinking. Needless to mention that these two parties are Zionist to the core. They deny the Palestinian right of return and believe in segregation between Jews and Arabs by means of a two-state solution.

Netanyahu is, beyond doubt, the most sophisticated player in the Israeli political theatre. In the weekend he  vowed to annex the West Bank Settlements. By performing this election ploy, he managed to completely obliterate his hard-line rivals on the right such as Bennett-Shaked’s New Right and even Zehut, which promised to be a ‘rising political force.’ As for this morning neither Zehut nor Bennett, who promised his voters he would be the next Defence Minister, made it to the Knesset.  Netanyahu has also managed to reduce the USA into a subservient colony.  We saw President Trump working hard for his friend in Jerusalem, recognising Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and castigating Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a ‘terror organisation’. But most significantly, Netanyahu is also Hamas’s favourite prime minister.

Hamas knows very well that Israeli centrist government are genocidal in their approach to Arabs and Palestinians in particular. Hamas remembers Ehud Olmert, Tzipi Livni and Ehud Barak. They clearly prefer Bibi. They know very well that Bibi has been anxious to operate in Gaza. Hamas knows very well that Israel is running out of military and political options, let alone solutions to the conflict. Hamas voted Bibi. It entered ceasefire negotiations with Israel just a few days before the election. There is good reason to believe that Hamas would prefer to deal with Netanyahu rather than with a ‘centrist’ party led by three war criminals. Hamas won again, it has pushed Israel into a state of further paralysis. Israel does not have a prospect of a future in the region. Israel may not be defeated by Quasam rockets but by its own Ghetto mentality. 

The One Jewish State Solution

April 07, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

One Jewish State solution.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

Some of the more advanced Israel/Palestine commentators have agreed amongst themselves that the ‘one-state solution’ amounts to empty talk for the simple reason that Palestine is ‘one-state’ already: It has natural borders, one electric grid and even one international pre-dial number (+972). But this beautiful and historic land, stretched from the river to the sea, is dominated by a foreign and hostile ideology that is racially supremacist and vile towards the indigenous people of the land.

Some of those perceptive analysts have been bewildered following a peculiar shift in Israeli politics: while the so-called Israeli ‘Left’ has been advocating racial and ethnic segregation between Jews and Palestinians by adopting the two-state solution, it is actually the Zionist ultra-right that has been pushing constantly for an integration of the ‘land’ by means of Israeli annexation.

While very few within the Israeli Left joined the call for a one-state solution, it seems as if PM Benjamin Netanyahu and the entire Israeli Right are thrilled by the idea.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Saturday to extend Israeli sovereignty to the settlements of the West Bank if he is re-elected in Tuesday’s poll.

Netanyahu’s declaration shouldn’t take us by surprise. Two weeks ago, a Haaretz poll revealed that 42% of Israelis back West Bank annexation. Apparently, 16% of those polled support annexing the entire West Bank without giving any political rights to the Palestinians who live there. I guess that it is hard not to see the political reasoning behind PM Netanyahu’s promise to annex settlements. Netanyahu, who is likely to form the next Israeli government, is attempting to appeal to the Israeli ultra-right voters. He wants them to vote Likud on Tuesday rather than ‘wasting’ their vote on a small ultra-right party or another.

There is obviously a big difference between the one-state call that has been pushed by Palestinian solidarity activists and Netanyahu’s politics of annexation.  While Palestinian rights advocates are referring to one democratic state, Netanyahu is not committed to democracy at all. He is solely faithful to the Jewish population and what he offers in practice is a ‘One Jewish State Solution.’ After all, Israel defines itself as ‘the Jewish State’ and it is there to serve one people while denying others their most elementary rights. Israel, as we know, is not a state of its citizens, it is a state of its Jewish citizens. By the time Israel comes to term with its sin and transcends into a state of its citizens regardless of their race, ethnicity or religious belief it will be renamed. It may as well be called Palestine.

UAE to “Israel”: Sorry, We Were Wrong!

 

By Staff

Sorry “Israel” for not being with you when slaughtering Palestinians.

Sorry “Israel” for being wrong all over your long years of occupation.

Sorry “Israel” for not being your killing machine.

Sorry “Israel”, two words that summarize the surrender of some Arab leaders to the “Israeli” entity.

A top Emirati minister surprised no body by his country’s stance. It was blatant as his rulers’ decision to dance on the scattered bodies in Sanaa.  But history will not forgive and time will continue to draw the ugly faces of some Arab tyrants.

“The historical choice made by most Arab nations to freeze out ‘Israel’ was “very, very wrong,” UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash is quoted by the Abu Dhabi-based daily The National highlighting the importance of creating a divide between political issues and “lines of communication” with “Israel”.

“Many, many years ago, when there was an Arab decision not to have contact with “Israel”, that was a very, very wrong decision, looking back,” Gargash said.

“The strategic shift needs actually for us to progress on the peace front,” he added.

Alluding to a so-called “one-state solution”, he said: “What we are facing, if we continue on the current trajectory, I think the conversation in 15 years’ time will really be about equal rights in one state.”

“A two-state solution will no longer be feasible because a sort of reduced rump (Palestinian) state will no longer be practical,” Gargash concluded.

من “أوسلو” إلى “صفقة القرن”: حكاية تلازم المسار والمصير، والرجل، الرجل، الذي لم يوقع

من “أوسلو” إلى “صفقة القرن”: حكاية تل

محاولات حثيثة تبذلها أمريكا مع شركائها الخليجيين والكيان الإسرائيلي من أجل تنفيذ الفصل الأخير من تصفية القضية الفلسطينية، وذلك عبر إبرام صفقة القرن مع قادة المنطقة، وتطويع الرأي العام العربي والإسلامي، لتقبّل الكيان الإسرائيلي الغاصب، كدولة جارة، و”شقيقة”، تربطها علاقات ودّية اقتصادية وحيوية مع جيرانها العرب.

ومع تنفيذ الجزء الأكبر من مراحلها، يصبح الإعلان الرسمي عن صفقة القرن قاب قوسين أو أدنى، وذلك بدءاً من الاعتراف الأمريكي بالقدس عاصمة للكيان الاسرائيلي، مروراً بإعلان “إسرائيل” دولة قومية يهودية، وصولاً لقطع التمويل عن منظمة غوث اللاجئين الفلسطينيين الأنروا، والمساعي التي تبذلها السعودية لإقناع الأردن ومصر لتوطين اللاجئين الفلسطينيين على أراضيهما، وأخيراً الخطوات التطبيعية الفجّة بين الكيان الإسرائيلي ودول منظمة مجلس التعاون، والتي توّجت بزيارة رئيس الوزراء الإسرائيلي بنيامين نتنياهو إلى سلطنة عمان، وعزف النشيد الوطني الإسرائيلي في أبو ظبي خلال استقبال وزيرة الثقافة الإسرائيلية.

إلا أن نقطة البداية التي أسست لصفقة القرن وتسببت بكل ما آلت إليه القضية الفلسطينية من مآسٍ في يومنا هذا، ينبغي إرجاعها إلى ربع قرن مضى، وعلى وجه التحديد إلى المصافحة “التاريخية” بين رئيس وزراء الكيان الصهيوني آنذاك اسحق رابين، وزعيم منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية الراحل ياسر عرفات، وذلك احتفاءً بتوقيع اتفاق أوسلو المشؤوم.

فالاتفاق الذي نص نظرياً على “حل الدولتين” وتشكيل دولة فلسطينية في حدود 1967 وانسحاب “إسرائيل” من أراضي الضفة الغربية، لم يتحقق شيء منه على أرض الواقع، بل على العكس، عزز أمن وشرعية الاحتلال الإسرائيلي، وأضعف الحالة الفلسطينية، وساهم في تشويه صورتها أمام العالم أجمع، وحوّل منظمة التحرير الفلسطيني وفدائييها إلى شرطة لدى الاحتلال تتولى مهام قمع المقاومة، والتنسيق الأمني معه.

في الحقيقة إن صفقة القرن ما هي إلا المرحلة الأخيرة من اتفاقية أوسلو، وهي نتيجة حتمية للمسار الذي خطّته منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية، منذ قبلت الوصاية الأمريكية، وتخلت عن الكفاح المسلح، بل ووجهت بندقيتها باتجاه الشعب الفلسطيني المقاوم، بدلاً من الكيان الإسرائيلي الغاصب، فطالما أن التنسيق الأمني بين السلطة الفلسطينية وجيش الاحتلال بقي “مقدساً” وفق وصف رئيس هذه السلطة محمود عباس، فلا عجب اليوم أن نرى صفقة القرن وهي تطوي أغلب مراحلها، وصولاً إلى الإعلان النهائي الوشيك.

إن اتفاقية أوسلو هي التي فتحت باب التطبيع العربي والإسلامي مع الكيان الإسرائيلي، حيث جاءت الاتفاقية الأردنية مع “إسرائيل” في وادي عربة كنتيجة طبيعية لهذا المسار، وبالرغم من أن بعض العلاقات الإسرائيلية مع الدول العربية، قد سبقت أوسلو بكثير إلا أن هذه العلاقات بقيت في الإطار السري، ولم تجرؤ الدول العربية على الإفصاح عنها خشية نقمة شعوبها، إلا أن أوسلو قد أعطت المسوّغ لهذه الحكومات، لتتبجح بعلاقاتها مع الكيان الإسرائيلي، بدعوى أن الفلسطينيين كانوا هم من سبق بالمبادرة في الخروج عن الإجماع العربي، والاعتراف والتطبيع مع دولة الاحتلال الإسرائيلية.

Image result for ‫الانتفاضة الفلسطينية الأولى 1987‬‎

أهدرت اتفاقية أوسلو إنجازات الانتفاضة الفلسطينية الأولى وذلك بعد سنوات على صمودها واستمراريتها، كما فقد الشعب الفلسطيني القاسم المشترك الأهم بين أبنائه، الذي كان يستند إلى الهدف الوطني بإنشاء دولة فلسطينية مستقلة، وتراجع دور منظمة التحرير ومكانتها العربية والدولية، بعد أن تخلّت عن المقاومة المسلحة وتولّت السلطة الذاتية وسخّرت أجهزة أمنها لملاحقة أي احتمال للعمل المقاوم، وتشبثت بالتنسيق الأمني مع العدو، وأحبطت عشرات العمليات ضد الاحتلال في الضفة الغربية، وباركت كل إجراءات خنق قطاع غزة، دون أن يسهم ذلك في دفع الكيان الإسرائيلي للالتزام بما وقّع عليه 

إن ضعف الحالة الفلسطينية الذي أفرزته اتفاقية أوسلو، وارتهان القضية الفلسطينية إلى وسيط غير نزيه أي أمريكا وحلفائها، هو ما جعل من القضية الفلسطينية هدفاً سهلاً للبازارات السياسية، ووسيلة تتقرب بها الحكومات الضعيفة من السيد الأمريكي، ولعل الدور الذي تلعبه السعودية وأميرها محمد بن سلمان في صفقة القرن، يجسّد مثالاً واقعياً لهذا الأمر، إذ إن الأمير الشاب الذي يواجه الكثير من الأزمات الداخلية والخارجية في حكمه، يعوّل بشكل أساسي على الدعم الأمريكي للسيطرة على العرش، وبذلك فهو يلجأ إلى دفع الفاتورة إلى السيد الأمريكي من قوت الشعب السعودي، وكرامة الشعب الفلسطيني، ودماء شعوب اليمن وسوريا والعراق.

وعليه فإن إحياء حالة المقاومة بجميع أشكالها في الداخل الفلسطيني خصوصاً، والعالم العربي والإسلامي عموماً، وإسقاط اتفاقية أوسلو، من شأنه أن يضعف حظوظ صفقة القرن، حتى بعد الإعلان عنها، وسيسحب البساط من تحت أمريكا وحلفائها، ويحدّ من تحكمهم بمجريات الأمور، فالمقاومة هي السبيل الوحيد لاستعادة الكرامة وتحقيق الإرادة، ولنا بالانتصارات التي حققها محور المقاومة طوال السنوات الماضية أكبر دليل، سواء من خلال تحرير جنوب لبنان عام 2000 أو هزيمة الكيان الصهيوني في عدوان تموز 2006، أو إخفاق الاعتداءات الإسرائيلية على غزة، وصولاً إلى انتصار محور المقاومة على العدو التكفيري، كما أن على حركات المقاومة في غزة أن تحذّر من خديعة التمويل التي تهدف إلى احتواء حالة المقاومة، فمنظمة التحرير الفلسطينية سقطت ووقعت في فخ أوسلو منذ أن قبلت أن يصبح تمويلها أمريكياً، وكذلك فإن هذا الخطر قد يصيب حركات المقاومة التي تعتمد اليوم على حلفاء أمريكا في عملية التمويل، فالمقاومة الحقيقية لن تثمر إلا من مال الحلال.

قد يفرح الكيان الإسرائيلي وأصدقاؤه العرب بإنجازهم في صفقة القرن، إلا أن فرحهم هذا لن يدوم طويلاً، فحالة المقاومة وإن اعتراها بعض الصعوبات نتيجة الصراع مع التكفير، إلا أنها في حالة نمو متواصلة، وهي تسجل النصر تلو الآخر، وما زالت الحالة التي تعبّر عن مشاعر أغلبية أبناء الأمة الإسلامية، التي ترفض الاعتراف بالوجود اللاشرعي للكيان الإسرائيلي في منطقتنا، فضلاً عن التطبيع معه، ولن تسكت على تمرير صفقة القرن عاجلاً أم آجلاً.

الوقت

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نتنياهو يستنفر لإبن سلمان: حلف الخاسرين

 

نوفمبر 3, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– كما ظنّ وروّج الكثيرون لمقولة إن روسيا لا تتخلى عن «إسرائيل»، في ذروة الكلام الروسي عن نشر صواريخ الأس 300 في سورية وتسليمها للجيش العربي السوري، معتقدين أنهم أساتذة يعلمون ما لا يعلمه سواهم، يروّجون لنظرية أن واشنطن لن تتخلّى عن سعودية إبن سلمان، وأن طلب «إسرائيل» بهذا الخصوص في واشنطن لا يُردّ، وهم يظنون أنهم أيضاً اساتذة يعلمون ما لا يعلم سواهم. وكما سقطت نظريتهم السطحية في فهم الموازين الاستراتيجية التي تحكم الدول التي تديرها عقول المؤسسات وحسابات المصالح في الحالة الروسية، ستسقط مزاعم ما يدعونه من عمق الفهم والتحليل وتظهر الحقائق الجديدة التي ترسم الحسابات والمصالح الأميركية.

– يبدو أن رئيس حكومة الاحتلال بنيامين نتنياهو أكثر مَن يستشعر خطورة الوضع، ويدرك وقوفه على ضفة الخسارة التي يقف عليها إبن سلمان بأن واشنطن دخلت مرحلة إعادة رسم الخرائط، وأن مكانة الحلفاء يُعاد تحديدها، وأن خطة صفقة القرن التي سقطت بصمود الشعب الفلسطيني ورفضه السماح لأي من قادته بالجلوس في مقاعد البازار المفتوح على مستقبل القدس، ستأخذ معها الوكيل الذي وقف وراء التورط الأميركي في الانسحاب من التفاهم النووي مع إيران وفي الخروج الأميركي من قيادة التفاوض حول القضية الفلسطينية وفق حل الدولتين، ولو كان تفاوضاً للتفاوض يستمر عقوداً بلا نتائج، فوجدت واشنطن نفسها بين خياري قبول الخسارة ودخول المعارك الفاشلة مع روسيا وإيران، أو دخول حرب كبرى لا قدرة لها على تحمّل تبعاتها، ولا مصلحة لها بفتح ملفاتها، وإلا فعليها أن تفعل ما تفعله الآن، وهو إعادة ترتيب خريطة الحلفاء ومن خلالهم خريطة المنطقة، وعلى أحد هؤلاء على الأقل أن يدفع فاتورة الأثمان التي تترتب على إقفال ملفات الحروب التي انتهت بهزائم، من اليمن إلى سورية وأوكرانيا وغيرها من إنصاف حروب في العراق ولبنان، وخصوصاً المواجهة مع إيران، وهي عشية جولة جديدة انتهت قبل أن تبدأ مع إعلان أميركي بإعفاء نصف زبائن النفط الإيراني من العقوبات.

– يتدخّل نتنياهو علناً ويسانده وزير خارجية البحرين، في إطلاق الدعوة لعدم سلخ الجلد السعودي كما تمّ سلخ جلد وجه جمال الخاشقجي، وهما ومَن معهما يدركون أن قضية جمال الخاشقجي ليست إلا الذريعة والعنوان، لكن كل شركاء الحقبة السعودية يتحسّسون رقابهم كي لا ينالهم بعضٌ من الفاتورة السعودية، وهم يعرفون أن وقف حرب اليمن بقرار أميركي ليس عقاباً للسعودية على قضية الخاشقجي، بل تموضع جديد عنوانه الاعتراف بالفشل في إقامة تحالف إقليمي وزان بوجه إيران في المنطقة، ركيزته صفقة القرن المقبورة، كما يعرفون أن صراخهم تحت عنوان طلب الرحمة بالسعودية، بعنوان أن الحفاظ على استقرارها وعبرها على استقرار المنطقة، دعوة لعدم رسم خرائط جديدة باشرت واشنطن بفتح ملفاتها، وخشية من أن ينالهم من شظايا التغيير في وضع السعودية فقدان الكثير من أوراق القوة، فيصير الصراخ تحت عنوان التضامن مع السعودية وطلب عدم تدفيعها ما لا تتحمّل دفعه، طلباً لتحييدهم عن الثمن الناجم عن الوضع الجديد للسعودية، وهو أمر يصعب التحكم به بالتأكيد.

– بين المتحدّثين من حلفاء السعودية وحده كلام نتنياهو له قيمة في واشنطن، أما الخليجيون المتحدثون من جماعة الفلك السعودي فيعرفون أن ساعتهم آتية، خصوصاً في البحرين واليمن والإمارات، ولو بنسب مختلفة. وأن قطر وعمان والكويت سينالون بعضاً من أثمان وعائدات التغيير، ونتنياهو يدرك خطورة اللحظة بعد سقوط مشروع صفقة القرن لجهة ما رآه من تأقلم أميركي مع الموقف الروسي الرادع لـ»إسرائيل» في سورية، كما يدرك أن التراجع الأميركي خطوة إلى الوراء عن صفقة القرن سيعني نيل «إسرائيل» جوائز ترضية بالتطبيع الذي يعنيها كثيراً، لكنه لا يجلب لها أمنها المفقود، لذلك يدخل على الخط الساخن مع واشنطن لمحاولة تعديل الخريطة بضمان بقاء المشروع على قيد الحياة ومنحه بعض الأوكسجين إن أمكن، بتسويات موضعية منفصلة لكل من الملفات، لكن يبدو أن ما كُتب قد كُتب، وقمة باريس بين الرئيسين الأميركي والروسي تفتتح مسار قمم تليها في واشنطن وموسكو، حيث سترسم الخرائط والمشاريع وتصنع التسويات، وتحدّد الأثمان والفواتير، ولو كان الدفع بشيكات مؤجلة منعاً للانهيارات التي تخرج عن السيطرة.

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Khan Al-Ahmar Exposes the Misplaced Priorities of the PA and the International Community

Residents of Khan al-Ahmar block Israeli bulldozers to stop the demolition of their village. (Photo: Oren Ziv, Activestills.org)

October 20, 2018

By Ramona Wadi

The Palestinian Authority and the international community made a PR spectacle out of Khan Al-Ahmar and its impending demolition. Suffice to say that when facing human rights violations which are listed as war crimes, protocol is given precedence and the media follows suit. Two recent statements testify to this collective experimentation upon the Palestinian people.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor warned that Khan Al-Ahmar’s demolition would constitute a war crime under the Rome Statute. Fatou Bensouda will, she added, “continue to keep a close eye on the developments on the ground.” It is worth noting that the situation in Palestine has been under preliminary investigation at the ICC since 2015 and the rhetoric remains stagnant in concordance with the bureaucratic procedures that allow war crimes to be committed rather than prevented.

Meanwhile, PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah paid a so-called “solidarity visit” to the threatened village in which verbal distinction between the people and the politicians was blurred.  “Our presence here today in Khan Al-Ahmar carries a message that says we are going to fight to defeat the deal of the century,” Hamdallah declared.

Whose presence was he referring to? The PA’s presence is a symbol devoid of any symbolism, diplomatic or otherwise; it’s an authority without authority. There will be no official PA presence in Khan Al-Ahmar when the Israeli bulldozers roll in and rhetoric about fighting the deal of the century will be spouted forth at another opportune time and place.

While the fate of the Bedouin village has indeed attracted international attention, there is a constant failure to note that all such forced displacements from 1948 onwards are part of Israel’s plan to colonize all of historic Palestine. The insistence on framing this eviction as detrimental only to the two-state compromise is not only inaccurate but also dangerous.

To what extent is Khan Al-Ahmar important to the international community? Is it because there is a commitment to uphold human rights — if so, why are they not being upheld? — or is there some value to be derived from maintaining the clearly obsolete two-state rhetoric? It is not difficult to guess that human rights have little to do with what is happening. This should prompt collective outrage at the international community’s own abuse and exploitation of Palestinian rights depending on whether they concur with the accepted paradigm.

The PA and the international community have tethered Palestinians to future hypothetical support. Furthermore, there is an adamant refusal to view Khan Al-Ahmar’s demolition as another macabre chapter in a long history of forced displacement of the Palestinian people. Historically, the villagers’ struggle is not unique, yet we are forced to view it as an isolated incident.

The difference lies beneath the perception. Palestinian communities targeted with forced displacement are aware of their solitary predicament in relation to the political unraveling of their cause. The PA’s alignment to Israel and the international community, on the other hand, leaves it with little choice other than to continue the charade of allegedly protecting Palestinian rights while failing, more than ever, to find a foothold for its survival beyond what is dictated to, and implemented by, itself as an institution created to defend Israel. Like the international community, PA officials have attempted to tie Khan Al-Ahmar to the two-state delusion in vain, while the community has persisted in its resistance within the framework of historic Palestine.

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

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