NAZARETH – Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu has suggested deploying international forces in the Gaza Strip as a security solution to deal with the Gaza Strip.
According to Israel’s Channel 2, Netanyahu made his remarks during his meeting on Sunday morning in Sydney with Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop.
The two sides discussed several regional issues and Israel’s concerns over taking legal action against its officials at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.
Netanyahu told the Australian minister that he did not oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state with the presence of Israeli security control over the entire West Bank and limited Palestinian sovereignty.
He also expressed his rejection of any presence of peacekeeping forces in the West Bank because of Israel’s bad experience with such forces, and called for dispatching them to Gaza.
He urged the minister to make efforts to prevent the ICC from putting pressure on Israel and dissuade it from seeking to try Israeli officials accused of committing war crimes against Palestinians.
He said that Australia could influence other countries to act against the ICC and force it to reduce its investigations and fact-finding missions on claims related to war crimes.
The two officials also talked about Iran, its nuclear program and its intervention in regional problems and agreed on promoting relations and cooperation between the two sides in the areas of security, intelligence, economy and technology.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will face hundreds of protesters when he meets with his British counterpart Theresa May in London on Monday morning.
Pro-Palestine activists have organized a demonstration outside Downing Street, where Netanyahu is due to discuss among other things the rising ‘threat’ of Iran.
A Facebook page advertising the event claims to have support from several activist organizations, including Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War Coalition, War on Want and the Muslim Association of Britain.
Some 268 people have confirmed they will attend, according to the page.
Before flying to Britain, Netanyahu said he wants to “tighten” relations with the UK in the face of the “extraordinary aggression” from Iran after the Islamic Republic tested a ballistic missile over the weekend. Tehran denies the test was in breach of the 2015 nuclear deal.
“We are in a period of diplomatic opportunities and challenges. The opportunities stem from the fact that there is a new administration in Washington, and a new government in Britain,” Netanyahu said.
“I intend to speak with both of them about tightening relations, between each side and Israel and trilaterally.”
According to the Telegraph, a Downing Street spokesman said May was expected to raise concerns about illegal settlement building, but it would only form a small part of their discussions.
Netanyahu’s visit comes six weeks after Britain assisted in the passage of a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s illegal settlements in the West Bank as a “flagrant violation under international law.”
The resolution was able to pass because the United States made the unusual choice not to exercise its veto power.
Britain played a key role in brokering the resolution, according to the Guardian, which claimed the Foreign Office did not deny it had been involved in the drafting process.
Netanyahu reacted furiously to UNSC resolution 2334, reserving his strongest condemnation for outgoing US President Barack Obama.
In a sign of frustration with London, Netanyahu summoned Britain’s ambassador on Christmas Day for a telling-off.
Nine other ambassadors were also summoned by the Israeli PM, including the US ambassador.
“America First” Means Arising from Zionist Captivity: A New US Embassy “to” Jerusalem Sets a Good Tone
By Douglas Edward Steil | Aletho News | February 5, 2017
One of President Trump’s most popular slogans in the context of key policy goals is “America First”, which necessarily implies that this ideal is not currently – and has not in the recent past – been the case. More importantly, in light of the facts, it signals a direct challenge toward the only foreign entity, together with its domestic supporters, that brazenly demands that its interests to be place ahead of America’s and has repeatedly gotten its way through its lobbying efforts: Israel. Political pundit Patrick Buchanan put it succinctly many years ago when he pointed out that Capitol Hill was Israeli-occupied territory.
By now nearly everyone knows that America’s many wars in the Middle East were not waged for the sake of “oil”, nor which currencies oil might be sold for, but simply to destabilize and ultimately destroy Israel’s perceived adversaries in the region in order to remain the strongest power and expand its territorial ambitions in accordance with the Oded Yinon Plan, formulated in 1982, to achieve the “Greater Israel” envisaged by Zionist fanatics, symbolized by the blue stripes of Israeli national flag, which represent the Nile and Euphrates rivers. Prior to the second US invasion of Iraq in 2003 anti-war demonstrators deceptively waved signs or chanted slogans that said “No War for Oil” even though the US Oil-Lobby publicly opposed the war while the Israel-Lobby, spearheaded by the then ascendant Neo-Con political movement, enthusiastically promoted it.
It is understood that this and subsequent wars, including the ongoing military conflict in Syria, have been a disaster for America and, by extension, Europe. Viewed from a Zionist perspective, however, they are continuing to achieve their intended goal. On the tenth anniversary of the ground incursion into Iraq from Kuwait by the US Army – almost exactly on the hour during the vernal equinox – Puppet Obama duly arrived at the airport near Tel Aviv amid widely televised fanfare, accompanying prime minister Netanyahu for an extended tour on the tarmac, where his entire cabinet of ministers were standing there on that windy and sunny day to personally greet and thank Obama for his servitude.
Nearly two years later, in March 2015, during what must surely have been, thus far, the lowest point in American history since 1776, Buchanan’s observation years before was proven correct in a grandiose way for all to see and hear. Netanyahu appeared before a joint session of Congress to give a rousing speech, which was interrupted by applause 39 times, of which 23 were standing ovations – more than a quarter of the time Netanyahu stood before the podium consisted of applause and jubilation by America’s “elected representatives”, conveying unambiguously that, as far as they are concerned, Israel comes first, not America.
A few days from now, on February 15, Netanyahu is scheduled for an official visit to the White House. There has been much speculation and chatter recently regarding the possible establishment of a US Embassy in Jerusalem. President Trump will have an opportunity to signal to Netanyahu what “America First” means. At the very least he should remain true to the same executive position since Harry Truman’s presidency, which recognizes, as does the United Nations, that no state has sovereignty over Jerusalem, given that the specifics pertaining to this issue remain subject to future negotiations between the parties involved in the dispute. This longstanding executive position was reaffirmed by the US Supreme Court on June 8, 2015 in Zivotofsky v. Kerry (“Jerusalem Passport Case”) and therefore constitutes “settled law”.
President Trump could surprise many by indeed proclaiming his intent to establish a US Embassy to Jerusalem in the heart of Jerusalem (inside the walled old town, ideally as close as possible to the key point where the Armenian Quarter, Christian Quarter, Jewish Quarter, and Muslim Quarter meet, perhaps at the LaHamin Market or St. Marks Road) while – of course – continuing to maintain the US Embassy to Israel in Tel Aviv. Additionally, so as to demonstrate even-handedness, he should announce plans to also establish a new US Embassy to Palestine in Ramallah, perhaps also a General Consular office in Gaza as well as the eastern part of the West Bank, if their Consular office in western part of Jerusalem were to remain in place. Such a public announcement could be crafted to fit within the 140 available characters of a “Tweet” message and could be timed for release just a few seconds before Trump and Netanyahu were to meet – so that Netanyahu would first learn about it from the press afterwards, on camera. This would be consistent with Israel’s regular announcements of new illegal settlements timed to greet US high officials in the past.
A new US Embassy to Jerusalem would formally extend the Supreme Court decision and thus formally recognize in a highly symbolic way the official “Corpus Separatum ” status of Jerusalem. Such an embassy would not even need to be manned inside; it could be as small as a big high definition screen and a server inside a thick storefront window, advertising an informational web site, but would include at least an armed Marine guard on duty. Presto – with rapid follow-through action after such an announcement Trump will have delivered “in style” on the promise for a new US Embassy in Jerusalem, as other countries will be scrambling to do likewise – after nearly seven long decades of stalling let the serious negotiations finally begin.
This editorial may be freely distributed only in its entirety, with an explicit reference “initially appeared at Aletho News” that includes a direct link or URL to this original site.
A senior Israeli official played down Friday remarks from the White House that building new or expanding existing settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories “may not be helpful” in securing peace.
In an apparent break from President Donald Trump’s previously full-throated support of settlements building, White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters on Thursday that the new administration hadn’t yet taken an official position on settlements.
Responding Friday, Israeli ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon said Spicer’s comments didn’t amount to “a U-turn”.
“The statement is very clear and essentially means: wait for the meeting with (Israeli) Prime Minister (Benjamin) Netanyahu, who is arriving in Washington in less than two weeks to meet President Trump, and then we’ll determine our policy,” Danon told Israeli public radio.
The Zionist entity has now approved more than 6,000 settler units since Trump took office having signaled a softer stance on settlement construction than predecessor Barack Obama.
“While we don’t believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace, the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful,” Spicer said on Thursday.
Trump is scheduled to welcome Netanyahu to the White House on February 15.
Upon entering public service, the need to sell oneself to the highest donors has a way of morphing politicians into private-interest puppets; therefore, few sights are as inspiring as a politician rediscovering his testicular fortitude at the end of his political career, free to do what he dared not do while his political career still mattered. President Barack Obama, in this instance at least, was one such politician. With only weeks to go before he left the White House, he managed to get his balls out of hock in time to deliver a stinging uppercut to Benjamin Netanyahu’s imperial glass jaw.
UNSC Resolution 2334 (2016)
Adopted by the Security Council at its 7853rd meeting, on 23 December 2016 (excerpt)1. Reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace;2. Reiterates its demand that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and that it fully respect all of its legal obligations in this regard;3. Underlines that it will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations ….
As I have shown, the United States has long been a client state of Israel, which means that the U.S. veto for Israel in the UN Security Council is taken for granted. In one of his last acts as Israel’s governor, though, Obama chose not to do his imperial duty. He abstained on UNSC Resolution 2334, which condemned Israel’s continued colonization of Palestine as illegal. Doing the right thing in a zionist-dominated world is risky, but even a satrap can get pissed off if pushed too far.
The main reason for Obama’s decision was Emperor Netanyahu, himself, because of two acts of imperial hubris. The first came in March 2015 when Netanyahu was invited by Israel-firsters in Congress to come to speak against Obama’s Iran policy. The sight of a foreign politician receiving ovation after ovation from U.S. lawmakers for attacking U.S. policy was virtually treasonous and proof that the U.S. is owned by Israel.
The second act came last September. After the U.S. government announced a record $38 billion military “aid” package for Israel, Netanyahu quickly announced the construction of new illegal Jewish colonies (“settlements”) and made no secret that the “aid” money was being used for that purpose. The U.S. was forced to watch as its “aid” was openly used to bankroll a criminal act—the dispossession of Palestinians. It also showed that Israel’s military “aid” is just imperial tribute. The U.S. was played for a chump. UNSC Resolution 2334 gave Obama a rare chance to get back at the emperor and the treasonous Israel-firsters for their hubristic anti-Americanism.
Obama’s imperial defiance also was directly related to the U.S. election. He could not have acted as he did while the campaign was going on because to have placed U.S. policy over Israeli imperialism would have split the Democratic Party into pro-U.S. and pro-Israel factions, thus making Hillary Clinton’s chances of victory even slimmer than they already were. Even if Clinton had defeated Trump, though, Obama would still likely have abstained since he no longer had any reason to fear imperial retribution.
Finally, Obama wanted to give a parting kick to Donald Trump, who selected rabid settler apologist David Friedman to be his ambassador to Israel. Now, with the UN on recorded as refusing to normalize Israel’s illegal settlements, Trump will not have a free hand to involve the U.S. further in Israel’s criminality.
Obama’s abstention should have been greeted with relief in the U.S. Since 1967, successive governments have had to pay at least lip service to the fiction of a two-state solution both to feign respect for Palestinian rights and to pretend to be in charge of foreign policy. Nevertheless, Israel-firsters inside and outside the U.S. government reached for their hysterical hasbara hymn books and intoned the ritualistic imprecations: Obama’s vote was a betrayal of the imperial homeland! The U.S. stabbed its friend in the back! Obama showed himself to be a Jew-hating anti-Semite! We must work to rebuild our alliance [sic!] with Israel!
Israel’s loyalists dutifully gave the anti-Obama/poor-wounded-Israel propaganda campaign wide dissemination, and leading the way has been Israel’s newly elected governor Donald Trump. It still has not dawned on His Donaldness that the UN vote was both consistent with U.S. policy and necessary under international law.
It would have been expedient, logical and patriotic for Trump, Congress and the media at least to feign respect for Obama’s abstention on Resolution 2334. Every time the U.S. runs interference for Israel in the UN Security Council—at least 41 times to date—it further isolates itself from civilization.
As a candidate who ran against the political establishment and its warmongering swamp critters, Trump sounded like a president who would finally put America’s interests first, but by regurgitating the stale “Israel is a friend and ally” schtick Trump is sending mixed signals:
Did he run a disingenuous campaign?
Was he forced to chug the Kosher Kool-Aid®?
Is his cheerleading for Israel a reflexive impulse that can be corrected?
Because Trump was never steeped in corporatist neo-fascism that permeates the political establishment he ran against, it is possible for him to be taught to distinguish right from Zionism. First, though, he has to be taught to act like a president. So far, the disconnect between Trump and reality is nearly total, and he acts less like a president than as the producer/writer/star of his own reality show in which reality is what he says it is.
Trump puts the ‘twit’ in Twitter
A president is supposed to make policy statements after proper consideration and analysis, especially in areas where he has little or no expertise. Trump the amateur, though, spouts whatever half-baked impulse crosses his mind on Twitter, essentially an unfiltered gossip medium. After the UN vote, he proceeded to put his impulsive vacuity on display for the whole world to see.
What did he mean, for example, when he tweeted: “As to the UN, things will be different after Jan. 20”? The U.S. will go back to sabotaging the will of the international community? The U.S. will go back to being an accomplice in the Zionist genocide of Palestine after committing one act of decency? On what rational basis could Trump object to the U.S. abstention on a resolution that demands Israel cease building illegal “settlements” on Palestinian land?
The next day, on Dec. 24, Trump posted this gem: “The big loss for Israel in the United Nations will make it much harder to negotiate peace. Too bad, but we’ll get it done anyway.”
Trump apparently believes that peace would be easier to negotiate if the U.S. had vetoed UNSC Resolution 2334. In other words, he believes that Israel’s creeping, violent theft of Palestine is a benefit to peaceful negotiations. What Trump claims is a “big loss for Israel” is really a great victory for the law and Palestinian rights. By reflexively pandering to Israel, Trump has begun his presidency by disgracing his country and declaring himself to be an outlaw.
Bibi Goes Bughouse!
The star of the other half of this farcical double-bill is Benjamin Netanyahu. As the mad emperor of Isramerica and other subject nations, he does not handle disobedience well. Emperors seldom do. When the Security Council voted its conscience, such as it is, Netanyahu threw a tantrum—there is no other word for it. It was a spectacular blend of hubris, petulance and impotence.
After the vote, the emperor summoned ambassadors from the 14 “offending” countries for an official rebuke. These even included Malaysia and Venezuela, which don’t have diplomatic relations with Israel. Netanyahu also recalled its own ambassadors to New Zealand and Senegal and even cut all aid to the African state. Despite the U.K.’s long history of abject Zionist subservience, Netanyahu cancelled a meeting with his governor in London, Theresa May, who reportedly was reduced to tears.
Writing in late December on mondoweiss, editor Phillip Weiss depicted how Netanyahu’s tantrum epitomized the waning influence and credibility of Israel:
[By abstaining on Resolution 2334, Obama] has nudged Israel, and the media, toward recognition of [Israel’s] new status, as a rogue state; he has split the Israel lobby right down the middle, or down the side anyway; and he has given huge impetus to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS). That is why Israeli leaders are going crazy this weekend, flinging accusations against the president on the cable networks and national news too because what Obama did is so meaningful.
Israel’s supporters long claimed that Israel only makes progress if you embrace it and tell Israel you love it. (Dennis Ross says this all the time.) Obama heeded that advice for years and got nothing. Now he has made one gesture against Israel, and the progress in a few days is amazing.
The hysteria against the resolution from Israeli leaders is a reminder to even-moderately well-informed Americans of ideas that were once heresies but are now hardening into public attitudes here: We give these people tens of billions of dollars and they act like spoiled brats.
Asking for trouble
For a political entity built on a fraudulent history, drawing attention to the historical record is not recommended, but Isramerica’s hubris-intoxicated emperor was beyond thinking rationally. In the wake of the vote, he declared that Israel would re-evaluate its relationship with the UN. If he meant that as a threat, he was sorely mistaken.
Contrary to popular myth, Israel is not now, nor has it ever been, a legitimate member of the world body. It lied to gain conditional admission, but the world has lacked the courage to do anything about it. Now, Netanyahu has made Israel’s illegitimacy a topic political discussion. Nearly eight years ago on the 60th anniversary of Israel’s illegitimate admission, I ran “a speech” by former Secretary-General Ban Ki–Moon in which he called for Israel’s expulsion for this very reason:
Few people know that Israel is the only state to be given a conditional admission. Under General Assembly Resolution 273, Israel was admitted on the condition that it grant all Palestinians the right to return to their homes and receive compensation for lost or damaged property, according to General Assembly Resolution 194, paragraph 11. Suffice to say, Israel has never lived up to these terms, and never intended to. For 60 years Israel has violated its terms of admission, and for 60 years the UN has done nothing about it. It has watched as Israel heaped misery upon misery on Palestine, and violated international law with impunity.… Therefore, I will ask the General Assembly to meet in special session at the earliest possible time to strip Israel of its membership.
Regrettably, the Zionist interloper is still around, but now the world has the perfect opportunity to be rid of it, thanks to Netanyahu. As if his tantrum weren’t enough, he virtually asked to be expelled by spitting on the UN’s authority: “Israel rejects this shameful anti-Israel resolution at the UN and will not abide by its terms.” Interestingly, this is not the first time a spokesman has declared Israel to be an outlaw nation. Within two weeks of the end of the 1967 War, Abba Eban said:
If the General Assembly were to vote by 121 votes to 1 in favor of ‘Israel’ returning to the armistice lines [pre June 1967 borders] ‘Israel’ would refuse to comply with the decision.” (New York Times, June 19, 1967.)
If only one state demands that the General Assembly enforce the terms of UNGA Resolution 273, Netanyahu won’t have a relationship to re-evaluate.
Those who see nothing but doom and gloom from Trumpian America can take solace in one historical analogy. When he was elected in 1980, Ronald Reagan was a moralistic loose cannon with a profound ignorance of foreign policy and government in general. He was a staunch Cold Warrior who called the Soviet Union “the focus of evil in the modern world” and declared that anyone who did not believe in God and the afterlife could not be trusted. For this former actor who built his own reality, the presidency was just another role, and accordingly he treated speeches as ends in themselves. By the end of his second term, Reagan had put aside his prejudices to work with Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev to put and end to the Cold War.
Despite Trump’s early bouts of stupidity, he may also be forced to grow into his position. His nominee for defense secretary, Gen. James Mattis (Ret.), has reaffirmed that the capital of Israel is Tel Aviv, thereby contradicting Trump’s amateurish and unnecessary ambition to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.
The world has spoken in unison that it will no longer tacitly accept Israeli cruelty and criminality in the name of Zionist determinism. Trump can either accept reality and join the civilized world in asserting an honourable, non-Zionist Middle East policy, or he can continue to isolate the U.S. by acting as Israel’s bitch.
Reagan was an inept president who managed to rise above his limitations on one crucial issue. Let’s hope Trump can overcome his prejudices to recognize Israel as an existential threat to the U.S.
It seemed to come almost out of nowhere. The United States usually protects Israel from critical resolutions at the UN Security Council. However, in a dramatic move, the US abstained and a resolution criticizing recent settlement activity was passed by the 15-member body.
But this was not the end. John Kerry, Obama’s former Secretary of State, gave a lengthy address a few days later. Kerry’s speech was not so different from the statements of previous leaders, both Democrats and Republicans. He defended Israel’s existence, and denounced almost all forces actively opposing Israel.
However, Kerry harshly criticized specific Israeli policies. While Kerry’s speech defending the UN abstention uttered the standard, mildly critical, pro-Israeli talking points, it did contain some words that, taken out of context and spread throughout the internet, could and did indeed make a lot of Israelis and Zionists very angry. The most quoted one was: “If the choice is one state, Israel can either be Jewish or democratic, it cannot be both.”
Kerry was alluding to the fact that if Palestinians are absorbed into Israel in a “one state solution” but Israel remains a “Jewish State” this will not be democratic. According to Kerry, under such circumstances Palestinians would be second class citizens, i.e. non-Jews in a Jewish state.
Immediately, Kerry’s speech was decried by Israelis. Netanyahu fired back, as did the entire pro-Israeli blogosphere. The Republican and Likud Party aligned voices escalated the shrill accusations that Obama was a secret Muslim, a member of the Muslim brotherhood, a terrorist sympathizer, a Neo-Nazi, a Communist, and everything else he has been called for 8 years straight.
Meanwhile, Israel did not stop its settlement activity, and was not really affected at all by the resolution. The billions of dollars in US aid to Israel continued. Obama has left the office on January 20th, and is now replaced by Donald Trump, who claims to be more pro-Israel than Obama. The UN Security Council is not taking any specific action to halt the settlement activities condemned in its resolution.
Nothing really changed, but a lot of dramatic, heated words were exchanged between the USA and its closest Middle Eastern ally. Why did this happen?
Napoleon & Obama: “I Come to Restore Your Rights”
In 1798, the French militarist Napoleon Bonaparte, who seized power in the aftermath of the revolution and eventually became Emperor, set out to conquer Egypt. He issued a proclamation saying:
People of Egypt! You will be told by our enemies that I am come to destroy your religion. Believe them not. Tell them I am come to restore your rights, punish your usurpers, and revive the true worship of Mohammed. Tell them that I venerate, more than do the Mamelukes, God, his prophet, and the Koran.
Among the people of Egypt and Syria, as well as the entire Arab world, there was deep hatred for the British and Ottoman empires, who functioned as Napoleon’s rivals. Napoleon hoped that he could convince Muslims throughout the region to support him, and on this basis that he could defeat their hated colonial enemies, and conquer the region for France.
Napoleon was lying. He was not an adherent of the Islam faith. Some speculate that he may have been a freemason, and became familiar with the Koran and Islam due to their inclusion in Masonic rituals. Regardless, years later, Napoleon explained the proclamation to his fellow French Christians saying:
A change of religion, inexcusable for the sake of private interests, becomes comprehensible when immense political results are involved…. Do you think the Empire of the East and perhaps the subjugation of the whole of Asia was not worth a turban and some loose trouser? The state of feeling in the army was such that it would have undoubtedly lent itself to a joke.
Barack Obama, like Napoleon Bonaparte, is not a Muslim. As offensive and heretical as some evangelical Christians and Catholics may consider the teachings of the United Church of Christ and Reverend Jeremiah Wright, they are not Islamic in any conceivable way. Barack Obama was married in a church. He has been photographed drinking wine and eating hot dogs.
Obama’s middle name is “Hussein.” As a child, while living in Indonesia, he attended an Islamic elementary school. Obama apparently did meet with the Palestinian-American professor Edward Said. With all of this to cite as evidence, the allegation that he was a “secret Muslim” has not vanished.
The endless, semi-hysterical attacks on Obama for having alleged links to Islam certainly had an impact outside of US borders. This impact may not have been accidental. Writing in the Atlantic Monthly in 2007, the self-described conservative Andrew Sullivan considered the colorful background of the future president to be an asset:
What does he offer? First and foremost: his face. Think of it as the most effective potential re-branding of the United States since Reagan. Such a re-branding is not trivial—it’s central to an effective war strategy… The next president has to create a sophisticated and supple blend of soft and hard power to isolate the enemy, to fight where necessary, but also to create an ideological template that works to the West’s advantage over the long haul. There is simply no other candidate with the potential of Obama to do this.
Sullivan’s widely read and cited article said:
If you wanted the crudest but most effective weapon against the demonization of America that fuels Islamist ideology, Obama’s face gets close. It proves them wrong about what America is in ways no words can.
The USA certainly had a lot of credibility to regain as the Bush era came to an end. The unilateral invasion of Iraq had been widely opposed, not just in the Middle East, but even among NATO states. Bush had gone as far as to say “this crusade, this war on terrorism, is going to take a while.” The word “crusade” doesn’t exactly bring up pleasant feelings among Muslims around the world.
Meanwhile, the federal agencies of the United States flew into a very Islamophobic mode after the 9/11 attacks. The leaders of a religious charity known as the “Holy Land Foundation” were imprisoned for nothing other than running soup kitchens for Palestinian children. Mosques across the United States were then and continue to be widely surveilled.
His Middle Name is “Hussein”
Voices like Andrew Sullivan’s hoped that Obama’s background could restore the credibility of the USA in the eyes of Muslims. But this was just the tip of the iceberg. What came about in the first term of the Obama administration? In 2011 the world watched the “Arab Spring.” Across the Middle East, impoverished people rose up against their governments.
Analysts often argue that the Arab Spring was spawned by the global financial crisis and the regional drought. Throughout the Arab world, crops failed, water was scarce, and impoverished people piled into the cities facing dire economic conditions. The uprisings that eventually erupted were predictable. Such conditions are known to spark unrest.
But the world did not see a repeat of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, where the Persians toppled a western puppet dictator under the slogans of “Not Capitalism but Islam” and “War of Poverty Against Wealth.” The western capitalist apparatus was ready. The Arab Spring was immediately redirected to serve their ends. Social media outlets based in western countries, and the global apparatus of pro-American NGOs swung into action.
With a commander-in-chief who most people in the Middle East had a favorable opinion of, the forces of global power were able to ensure that the revolt did not become an uprising against western capitalism. No new anti-imperialist regimes were born. Rather, the opposite happened.
In Egypt, the pro-US regime of Hosni Mubarak fell, but what replaced it? First, Egypt elected Mohamed Morsi, a leader of the CIA-linked Muslim Brotherhood. Morsi was then toppled by a military coup d’etat. Now General Sisi, a top military leader under Mubarak, is in power.
The US backed Saudi regime was allowed to crush the uprisings within its own borders. Ayatollah Nimr Al-Nimr, a Shia cleric who led protests demanding civil liberties and religious freedom in the country was eventually beheaded for his role in the Arab spring. Saudi troops poured into Bahrain to keep the monarchy in power and crush the Shia majority that demanded their rights. In the aftermath of the revolt, Yemen staged a sham election in which Mansour Hadi, a Saudi puppet, was the only candidate on the ballot. Yemen is now torn apart by war, as many Yemenis reject Hadi’s pro-Saudi and Pro-US regime.
The energy and momentum of the Arab Spring, amplified and directed by the western TV networks along with Twitter and Facebook, went toward targeting two anti-imperialist, socialist governments. Gaddafi’s Libya had the highest life expectancy in Africa. Syria’s Bashar Assad presides over a centrally planned economy, supports Palestinian resistance, and is aligned with Iran, Russia and China.
In both Libya and Syria the United States began actively working to transform the Arab Spring into a successful regime change operation. Though the faces promoted on western television were often middle class, secular young people who dreamed of American consumerism while mouthing words about “democracy,” the brute force behind the Syrian and Libyan “revolutions” were religious extremists.
Based from the Syrian and Libyan countryside, forces linked to Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood were joined by many foreign Jihadist fighters from throughout the region. The forces who toppled the Libyan government and continue to fight against the Syrian Arab Republic are dominated by those who adhere to Wahabbism, the ideology of Saudi Arabia and Osama Bin Laden. These deeply religious forces, working to topple anti-imperialist governments, happily took guns and funding from a country led by a man who went to a Muslim school, met with Edward Said, and whose middle name happened to be “Hussein.”
Imagine what could have happened in the region, if the wave of uprisings had taken place while George Bush “the crusader” was still in office. Obama’s presidency played a decisive role in manipulating and redirecting the events of 2011.
Netanyahu vs. Obama: A Made For TV Drama
It is not uncommon for celebrities to clash with each other in the public arena. Often, these fights are not spontaneous, but intentionally provoked, or even planned, in order to generate publicity for both parties involved. For example, long before running for President, Donald Trump captured the attention of news headlines by having a spat with TV personality Rosie O’Donnell.
The perceived tension between Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama has the looks of a “made for TV drama.” It is a prolonged public spat that is mutually beneficial to both parties. Do they actually dislike each other when the cameras are not rolling? Who knows.
While Obama and Netanyahu have butted heads, the US aid to Israel has not decreased or been cut off. Under Obama, the United States has worked to topple the Baathist Syrian government, one of Israel’s primary regional opponents. Israel has supported the regime change efforts with airstrikes in Syria targeting the anti-ISIS fighters of the Hezbollah organization.
The 2011 NATO intervention in Libya, championed loudly from the White House, toppled the Islamic Socialist government that had a long record of opposing Israel and arming Palestinian resistance.
Obama boasts that he has ended Iran’s peaceful nuclear energy program, and is making Israel safer from a supposed Iranian threat in the process. While there is occasionally criticism of Israel’s settlement activities, they continue unabated.
However, Obama’s clash with Netanyahu plays well for him, and the United States, in the Arab world. Throughout the Middle East, Netanyahu and Tel-Aviv are the most hated villains. Obama’s trading of nasty words with Israeli leaders raises the credibility of the United States. It gives the United States a kind of distance from Israel on the international stage, while US support remains key and keeps flowing in without pause. Obama’s Department of Justice has even conducted raids against pro-Palestinian activists.
Netanyahu benefits from the spat as well. Fear and hatred of Palestinians, Muslims, and Arabs has been key in securing the recent electoral victories of the Likud Party. If Netanyahu looked like he was friendly toward someone who attended an Islamic elementary school, or had the middle name “Hussein” this would discredit him in the eyes of his base.
Despite the fact that Israel receives billions of dollars from the United States, as well as weapons and other assistance, Netanyahu looks as if he is not afraid to bite the hand that feeds him. Fighting with Obama allows Netanyahu to look like a brave, fearless, true believer in the Zionist cause.
“Don’t Forget About Obama!”
Though many Israelis and supporters of Israel in the United States dislike Donald Trump, he has presented himself during the campaign as a pro-Israeli hardliner. His speech to the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee was a repetition of standard pro-Israeli talking points, saying:
“When you live in a society where the firefighters are the heroes, little kids want to be firefighters… In Palestinian society, the heroes are those who murder Jews.”
Trumps statements about banning Muslim immigration haven’t exactly been popular in the Arab world. Statements like “Islam hates us” don’t go over so well either.
The fear among certain forces in the United States is that Trump could alienate the many Muslim allies of the United States in the Arab world. Wall Street oil companies make lots of money from the various autocratic regimes in Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arab, UAE, and elsewhere. Pentagon weapons manufacturers also make lots of money from selling their hardware to these regimes.
Like Napoleon’s strategy in Egypt, efforts to portray Obama as sympathizer with Muslims and Arabs haven’t exactly worked out so well. While the elites within the US aligned Gulf States and some of extremists forces who have poured into Syria have bought into the idea Obama is a trustworthy ally, many people in the region have not. The Syrian government has not fallen. Iran has not really been weakened.
The economic problems and other factors that fueled the discontent of 2011 have not vanished. There is no guarantee that the oil bankers of the United States will keep their grip over this vastly important territory. Certain sectors harbor real fear that Trump’s brash tone could now ruin everything. [emphasis added]
The last minute moves at the UN Security Council, publicly invoking Israel’s wrath, was a message to the Arab world. It was a desperate, final attempt to say: “Whatever Trump does, don’t forget about Obama! Not all Americans are hardline supporters of Israel! Not everyone in Washington hates the Arabs! Muslims of the world, keep trusting us, don’t turn against America!”
Caleb Maupin is a political analyst and activist based in New York. He studied political science at Baldwin-Wallace College.
A recording has emerged of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proposing commercial favors to an Israeli newspaper owner in return for positive coverage.
In a report aired by Israel’s Channel Two television station on Sunday, there is a recording of Netanyahu allegedly offering a commercially beneficial deal to the owner of the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, Arnon Mozes.
The report claimed that Netanyahu had said he would reduce the circulation of the pro-Netanyahu newspaper, Israel Hayom, if Mozes’ paper took a more favorable stance towards him. A drop in the circulation of Hayom would be a direct benefit to Mozes as it is his main rival in advertising revenues.
The report suggested that the recording was made a few months ago although the exact date is unknown. It also noted that Mozes made the recording.
Netanyahu is already under investigation over alleged corruption charges related to receiving illegal donations and gifts.
He is also under investigation over suspicions that he accepted one million euros (about 1.1 million dollars) from French fraudster Arnaud Mimran for campaign funds during the 2009 Israeli elections.
There are also calls for Netanyahu to be investigated for his role in a billion-dollar deal to purchase three submarines from German shipbuilder ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems GmbH.
The Netanyahu family has faced scrutiny over accusations that their lifestyles are out of touch with regular Israelis. Netanyahu’s wife, Sara, has also come under fire for her lavish tastes and abusive behavior toward staff members.
The United States hardly stood up to Israel in the latest meeting of the U.N. Security Council, where a historic, but largely symbolic, motion was passed condemning the apartheid state’s illegal settlement-building.
But Israel’s seething anger towards its ally, for what it perceives as betrayal, has prompted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to summon the U.S. ambassador to Israel on Christmas day.
While the envoys of 10 other nations were also summoned by the Israeli foreign ministry, harsher words were reserved for Washington after Friday’s vote.
“Over decades American administrations and Israeli governments disagreed about settlements, but we agreed that the security council was not the place to resolve this issue,” Netanyahu said, as reported by Reuters.
“We knew that going there would make negotiations harder and drive peace farther away. As I told John Kerry on Thursday, ‘Friends don’t take friends to the Security Council’,” he added.
Friday’s resolution was passed only because the United States broke its long-standing approach of diplomatically shielding Israel and did not wield its veto power, abstaining instead.
“According to our information, we have no doubt the Obama administration initiated it (the resolution), stood behind it, coordinated the wording and demanded it be passed,” Netanyahu told the cabinet.
The other envoys summoned included 10 of the 14 countries that voted for the resolution with embassies in Israel — the U.K., China, Russia, France, Egypt, Japan, Uruguay, Spain, Ukraine and New Zealand.
Local media also reported Sunday that Netanyahu ordered his ministers not to travel to the 14 countries that approved the U.N. resolution, forbidding them from even meeting their counterparts from those countries.
On Friday Israel also announced that it would recall its ambassadors to New Zealand and Senegal, cancel a planned state visit by the Senegalese foreign minister, as well as cut off all aid to the impoverished West African country.
While many have criticized the motion for being both toothless and too late, Israel’s retaliation suggests it may help further delegitimize the country’s system of apartheid, and could provide material support for Palestine’s complaint to the international criminal court about the settlements.
On 23 December the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) voted to adopt a resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity as illegal, and demanding that Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem”.
For once, the USA decided to join the rest of humanity and didn’t veto the resolution. The message is obvious: if Zionism was a promise to make the Jews people like other people, its failure is colossal. The Jewish State and its lobbies are people like no other. 14 out of 15 members of the UNSC voted against Israel, the US abstained. In the most clear terms, the UNSC denounced the Jewish state’s treatment of the Palestinian people. If Israel would be an ordinary state, as Zionism initially promised, it would take some time to reflect on the resolution and consider the necessary measures to amend its public image. But as one would expect, the Jewish State did the complete opposite. It took the path of the bully and decided to punish the world.
In his first reaction to the resolution Israeli PM Netanyahu told his followers that the Security Council’s behaviour was “shameful.” He also harshly denounced President Obama’s choice to abstain. A list of American elected spineless characters were quick to cry havoc and promised to correct the damage. Netanyahu has instructed Israel’s ambassadors in New Zealand and Senegal to “return to Israel for consultations.” A scheduled visit of the Ukrainian PM in Jerusalem next week was cancelled. Netanyahu also ordered to block the shekel pipeline to some UN institutions.
But things may be slightly more complicated than they look at first glance. If the One (Bi-National) State is an existential threat to Israel being the Jewish state, then the recent UN resolution is obviously a last attempt to revive the Two-State Solution. It, de facto, legitimises the existence of the Jewish State within the pre-1967 borders. The resolution provides Israel with a practical and pragmatic opportunity to dissolve the West Bank settlements. Banks and businesses may start to refrain from operating in the occupied territories. Israeli military personnel serving in the occupied territories are about to become subject to the scrutiny of international law. Netanyahu, so it seems, made a fuss about the resolution, but the resolution plays into his hands. It provides him with an opportunity to break the stalemate with the Palestinians. Netanyahu knows it. President Obama knows it, the president-elect will be advised about as soon as he takes some time off Twitter.
But if the resolution serves Israeli national and security interests, why did Netanyahu react like a bully? The answer is simple. Bibi is a populist. Like president-elect Trump he knows what his people are like. He knows what the Jews and the Israelis seek in their leader. They want their king to celebrate Jewish exceptionalism. They want their master to perform contempt towards the Goyim. PM Netanyahu knows very well that David Ben Gurion (the legendary first Israeli PM) dismissed the UN, famously saying “it doesn’t matter what the Goyim say, the only thing that matters is what Jews do.”
It is far from clear whether Ben Gurion was really dismissive of Goyim. However, he was loved by his people for conveying the image as if he did. Bibi follows the same rule. In the public eye, he is dismissive of the UN, he is full with contempt to the nations and Goyim in general. But in practice he knows that the resolution is essential for the existence of the Jewish state. It is probably the last opportunity to scale down the pretentious Zionist dream and make it fit with the reality on the ground. Let me reassure you, I don’t hold my breath. In reality it is actually the Israelis who don’t miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
A draft decision by UNESCO, which criticises Israel’s activities at holy places in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, has been denounced by Israeli officials. “It ignores thousands of years of Jewish ties to Jerusalem and aids Islamist terror,” claimed Education Minister Naftali Bennett very dramatically.
Never one to miss an opportunity to conflate Judaism and Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a Facebook post that UNESCO had become a “theatre of the absurd”, to which he added: “To say that Israel has no connection to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall is like saying that China has no connection to the Great Wall of China or that Egypt has no connection to the pyramids.”
The World Jewish Congress, meanwhile, called UNESCO’s announcement an “inflammatory, one-sided decision” as Israel took the predictable step of freezing co-operation with the UN cultural body which seeks to “contribute to peace and security” by safeguarding world heritage and cultural sites.
The UNESCO decision, however, does none of the things that the Israelis and their supporters claim. The draft decision “affirms the importance of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls for the three monotheistic religions” while also affirming that “nothing in the current decision, which aims, inter alia, at the safeguarding of the cultural heritage of Palestine and the distinctive character of East Jerusalem, shall in any way affect the relevant Security Council and United Nations resolutions and decisions on the legal status of Palestine and Jerusalem”.
Israel’s problem with the UNESCO decision emanates from the simple fact that it has no way of reconciling its colonialist policies in the West Bank and Gaza with international law. Israeli officials were just as quick to denounce the International Court of Justice’s decision on its construction of the “separation” wall or the dozens of UN Security Council resolutions condemning the construction of illegal settlements. Like its condemnation of the UNESCO decision, Israel extorts political gain by claiming security concerns and its fight against “Islamist terrorism”.
The 58 member of the UNESCO board voted this week on a draft document that raises concerns about Israel’s violation of international law. Israel, predictably, hopes to deflect these concerns by conflating Jewish history with Israeli policy. The draft text, which was passed by 24 votes in favour to six against, with 26 abstentions, noted the following:
- The failure of Israel, the Occupying Power, to cease the persistent excavations and works in East Jerusalem particularly in and around the Old City and reiterates the request to Israel to prohibit all such works in conformity with its obligations under the provisions of the relevant UNESCO conventions, resolutions and decisions;
- Called on Israel, the Occupying Power, to allow for the restoration of the historic status quo;
- Strongly condemned the escalating Israeli aggressions and illegal measures against the Awqaf [Religious Endowments] Department and its personnel, and against the freedom of worship and Muslims’ access to their Holy Site;
- Deplored the continuous storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque by right-wing Israeli extremists and uniformed forces, and urges Israel, the Occupying Power, to take necessary measures to prevent provocative abuses that violate the sanctity and integrity of Al-Aqsa Mosque;
- Deeply decries the continuous Israeli aggressions against civilians including Islamic religious figures and priests, and urges Israel, the Occupying Power, to end these aggressions and abuses which inflame the tension on the ground and between faiths;
- Disapproves of the Israeli restriction of access to Al-Aqsa Mosque and called on Israel to stop all violations against Al-Aqsa Mosque;
- Criticised Israel’s refusal to grant visas to UNESCO experts in charge of the UNESCO project at the Centre of Islamic Manuscripts in Al-Aqsa Mosque;
Raised concern regarding the illegal demolitions of Umayyad, Ottoman and Mamluk remains as well as other intrusive works and excavations in and around the Mughrabi Gate Pathway, and also requests Israel, to halt such demolitions, excavations and works and to abide by its obligations under the provisions of the UNESCO conventions.
The draft resolution, which also goes on to deplore the continuous Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip and reaffirms the integral link between Palestine and the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, is a full scale condemnation of Israel’s total lack of disregard for Al-Aqsa Mosque, and its refusal to act in accordance with UNESCOs recommendation in maintaining the sanctity of the religious sites that are holy to all three Abrahamic faiths. Despite the best efforts of Israeli officials to paint this decision as yet another anti-Jewish declaration it is actually nothing of the sort.
A UN body such as UNESCO has a duty to highlight Israel’s ongoing annexation and colonisation of Palestine. It has an even bigger obligation to raise awareness of the systematic efforts by hostile parties — no matter who they are — to seize control of world heritage sites. Only in the eyes of Israel — the Occupying Power, remember — could that be seen as “inflammatory”.
An Israeli archaeological expert has asserted that there is no relation between the Western Wall of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and an ancient Jewish temple, Al Jazeera reported today. This will likely serve to undermine Israeli excavations of the site.
Meir Ben-Dov, an Israeli archaeological expert who is author of many books about Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, further asserted that the Wailing Wall, the Jewish name for the Western Wall, has no sacred significance in the Jewish faith.
In related news, UNESCO members are expected to vote on a resolution that denies Jewish links to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Western Wall, known as the Buraq Wall to Muslims, agencies reported on Thursday.
Israeli newspaper Haaretz said that the resolution is expected to pass by a large majority, referring this to the inability of Israeli lobbying to persuade UNESCO members not to support the resolution.
“Israel has made efforts to block the resolution or at least soften it, but succeeded only in swaying the positions of a few member states,” Haaretz stated.
The Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar and Sudan pushed the draft resolution forward that declares that Jerusalem is holy for all the three Abrahamic religions of Islam, Christianity and Judaism.
The draft also includes a section that stresses that the Al-Aqsa Mosque is sacred only for the Muslims, referring to it as Al-Haram Al-Sharif, or the Sacred Sanctuary.
In April, UNESCO’s executive board ratified a similar resolution, which was supported by a number of European countries, including France.
However, after a “harsh” telephone call between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and French President Francois Hollande, France promised not to support any such resolution in the future.
Netanyahu’s recent ethnic-cleansing video offers us a spectacular glimpse into Jewish identity politics and the ease with which the Jews morph between ideology and political stance. In the video below, PM Netanyahu accuses the Palestinians and their supporters, by making it a condition of peace that Israel withdraws its illegal settlement, of leanings towards ethnic cleansing.
I am not here going to argue with Netanyahu’s ridiculous idea. I am obviously in total agreement with Gideon Levy and others who have taken the trouble, time and again, to prove that Israel is the only ethnic cleanser between the river and the sea.
But if Israel is the only ethnic cleanser in Palestine, then all Bibi is doing is simply projecting i.e. attributing his own racist symptoms onto the Palestinians and their supporters. Now, I’m no great fan of Freud and even less enthusiastic about his terminology, but he sure did help us understand the Jew or, shall we say, the Jewish psychological nature. Seemingly, projection is at the core of the Jewish psyche. Jews see racism everywhere, simply because they attribute their own racism to others. So, Netanyahu, in accusing others of ethnic cleansing, is simply projecting his own symptoms onto the Palestinians.
But it goes further. The concern with people being ethnically cleansed is a humanist, empathic position, traditionally associated within Left and progressive thought. It is in fact totally foreign to the Lebensraum, racist ideology that drives the Zionist precept of which PM Netanyahu is a devout follower.
So one may wonder how Bibi managed to transcend himself from oppressor to victim? How does he manage to so abruptly switch sides from being a practitioner of Lebensraum into a ‘progressive voice’? The answer is devastatingly simple. For a Jew to switch sides, to move from the hard right into the poetic left and vice versa is a mere verbal exercise. This capacity of metamorphosis is embedded within Jewish identity politics and I guess that Kafka was the first to point us towards it.
So, with a little help from Binyamin Netanyahu, Israelis mange to simultaneously be oppressors as well as victims. But are the anti Zionists that different?
How long did it take Max Blumenthal to morph from being an enthusiastic Zionist Nazi Hunter into a pro- Palestinian who only occasionally hates Germans for being White. The same can be said about pretty much every Jewish Left and anti-Zionist organisation. They preach anti-racism in the name of the most enlightened liberal and progressive ideologies but at the same time, they themselves operate within racially inclusive political cells.
The so-called ‘antisemites – those who hate Jews for being Jews, used to refer to Jews as chameleons. They simply could not understand the lack of integrity at the heart of Jewish politics. They could not grasp how Jews switch allies so rapidly.
Netanyahu’s video this morning certainly made me wonder at how comfortable he seems lying compulsively in front of the camera. But what, I wonder, happens to Bibi when he faces himself, alone in the morning in front of the mirror? Who (or what) does he see in front of him? Is it the head of the Likud party? Is it a progressive humanist? Or is it simply a lizard, a chameleon who morphs constantly as it moves along.
I guess David Icke has, more than once, attempted to address this question…