Ahead of the May 7 French presidential runoff, Marine Le Pen chose defeated Debout la France (Arise France) presidential candidate Nicolas Dupont-Aignan as her prime minister if elected.
He’s ideologically right-wing like herself. With him at a Saturday news conference, she said “(w)e will form a government of national unity that brings together people chosen for their competence and their love of France.”
Both support abandoning the euro, what Dupont-Aignan called a “racket,” and restoring the franc as France’s currency, regaining control over its monetary and fiscal policies from Brussels.
Former UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage called him an “utterly respectable Eurosceptic.” Dupont-Aignan said “I am and remain a free man. I have dared before history to build a government agreement.”
Unlike establishment figures throughout Europe and America, Dupont-Aignan is pro-Palestinian.
In July 2014, during Israeli aggression on Gaza, Dupont-Aignan said the following:
“Gaza: Nicolas Dupont-Aignan deplores the inertia of France in the conflict.
After the bombing, ground fighting and unacceptable collateral damage of the deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians, men, women and children, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict entered last night in a new phase with the invasion of the gang Of Gaza by the Israeli army (with) complicit silence of the UN, the West and France. The disproportion of the forces involved is blatant.
Whatever the responsibilities of the irresponsible leaders of Hamas in the outbreak of this new confrontation, the path chosen by Israel only pushes it into an impasse.
It is not by accumulating the ruins and the dead that Mr. Netanyahu will appease the tensions, passions and hatreds in this region of the world.
In this bloody context, the inertia of France is perfectly scandalous. We expect our government to finally take the initiative for international action to impose Israel’s compliance with UN resolutions, that is, the withdrawal and dismantling of settlements illegally settled in the territories The recognition of the Palestinian state.
It is only under these conditions that we will avoid importing the conflict into our country, and that the new massacre in progress will be stopped.
It is only under these conditions that lasting peace can finally return to the Middle East. Letting aggravate and aggravate an unbearable situation is not only stupid but criminal.”
Fact: On July 8, 2014, Israel launched premeditated aggression on Gaza. Hamas had nothing to do with initiating it – planned by Israel, waged until August 26.
Thousands were killed or wounded. Defenseless civilians were willfully targeted. Entire neighborhoods were destroyed. Entire families were annihilated. Schools, hospitals, mosques and UN shelters were attacked.
So were clinics, ambulances, healthcare workers, journalists and human rights supporters. During the war, Israeli forces rampaged throughout the territories, invading over 3,000 homes, terrorizing families, traumatizing children, making mass arrests, including Palestinian parliamentarians.
Nearly three dozen were lawlessly imprisoned. Israeli aggression went way beyond attacking Hamas.
It was war on Palestine, vicious collective punishment, the highest of high crimes against peace. More Israeli aggression could happen anytime, likely worse than 2014 if launched.
Dupont-Aignan supports Palestinian self-determination. Le Pen said they share a “common project (they’ll) promote together.”
Macron backs continuity, dirty business as usual. Le Pen wants France out of US-dominated NATO and EU membership.
Macron is the choice of the “oligarchy,” she said. She wants French sovereign independence restored – free from control by Washington, Brussels and Berlin.
Stephen Lendman can be reached at email@example.com. His new book is titled Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.
The alleged chemical attack, reported yesterday, is the latest in a series of atrocities notionally carried out by the Syrian government (“The Regime”, in the partisan parlance of the press). There has not been time, as yet, to fully examine and analyse all the evidence – the claims and counter claims, the photographs and videos – but it would be a massive mistake to view it in a vacuum.
First, the situation on the ground needs to be considered. The Syrian government – with assistance from Iran and the Russian Air Force, have been making steady progress for months. Aleppo has fallen. Palmyra was retaken. The rebels are losing. So cui bono? What good does dropping chemical weapons on children do Assad, at this point? It is both strategically pointless, and a crushing blow to his international image. It would serve no purpose, unless he’s a comic-book style villain intent on being cruel for cruelty’s sake – and they don’t exist outside of cinema or the American press. Conversely, it would make all the sense in the world for cornered zealots and mercs to try to disrupt the upcoming talks (from which they are excluded).
Second, the timing. Much like a previous “chemical attack” (and subsequent BBC Panorama documentary) came on the eve of a commons vote on military intervention in Syria, this attack comes at a key moment. In two days there is a meeting in Brussels on the Syria peace process, and the future of the country. This attack will allow Western leaders – especially the European voices, increasingly separate from the US on this issue – to ride an artificial high-horse into those proceedings. Deals can be scuppered and progress refused in the wake of such “atrocities”.
Third, we have seen this all before. There was the chemical attack in Ghouta, initially pinned on the government (and still unquestioningly attributed to them in the MSM), that was revealed to be carried out by rebels. there was also the aforementioned napalm/chemical attack on a school – thoroughly debunked by Robert Stuart. We have seen the same girl rescued three different times by the White Helmets, and seen people in Egypt arrested for faking footage of bombings. The “last hospital in Aleppo” was knocked down everyday for a month, and the last doctors slaughtered bi-weekly. There is no reason, as yet, to think this is not just more of the same.
This is in fine tradition of media manipulation – from filming people on the outside of a fence and pretending they’re inside, to moving bodies for a better photograph, to deliberately removing an image’s context, and lying about it. Events are ignored, twisted, exaggerated and outright fabricated in order to push an agenda. Accordance with reality is immaterial to the process, and coincidental when it occurs.
Real or not, false flag or not – No one can deny convenience of the timing. Given the conflict the UK/EU find themselves in with the new US administration re: Syria. During the campaign Trump, unlike Clinton, totally refused to countenance the idea of no-fly zones or any kind of American/NATO backed military action against Syria and their Russian/Iranian allies. The last few weeks have seen even a softening of America’s “Assad must go” mantra. Rex Tillerson, speaking in Turkey last week, said:
I think the… longer term status of president Assad will be decided by the Syrian people,”
And the American ambassador to the UN added:
You pick and choose your battles and when we’re looking at this, it’s about changing up priorities and our priority is no longer to sit there and focus on getting Assad out.”
Though she did later clarify these remarks, after being named-and-shamed in the media.
John McCain called Tillerson’s words “one of the more unusual statements I have ever heard”, stating it would be ridiculous to let Syrians decide the fate of Syrian government (probably because they would choose wrong).
The press, of course, have not referenced any of this. They continue to cite the partisan White Helmets and completely discredited “Syrian observatory for Human Rights” as if they are reliable sources. They continue to assert gossip and rumor as if it were fact. They continue to lie, but give themselves just enough room to manoeuvre should their lies be exposed.
The Guardian view on…, one of the Guardian’s anonymous editorials (that definitely don’t come straight from GCHQ, you cynics), is a classic example. The headline reads:
The Guardian view on Syria: Assad knows he acts with impunity
A sharp, hard-edged, statement of absolute certitude… and the only sentence of conviction in the whole piece. The rest is littered with uncertain, selective language. Weasel-words and guesses. I have added the emphasis:
Tuesday’s attack in rebel-held Idlib province has forced a reaction: it is one of the worst suspected chemical attacks in the six-year war
the symptoms suggest the use of a nerve agent, probably sarin
ascertaining the agents used, by whom, is always difficult – particularly given the problems experts will face in accessing the site.
The suspicion is that Tuesday’s strike, like another suspected sarin attack which killed 93 people in eastern Hama in December,
Some have already drawn a link between what seems to be the use of a more deadly agent and the US shift on Syria
That’s an awful lot of “seems” and “suspecteds” to cram into 700 words. It’s a suspected attack, that seems like it might be similar to other suspected attacks, which might have happened. As of right now, it appears, we don’t who attacked, how they attacked, what they attacked with or – indeed – if anyone attacked anything at all.
Nevertheless, the nameless and completely non-partisan and objective author reassures us that:
Nonetheless, the evidence so far points in one direction,
… he just neglects to mention exactly what that evidence is, or tell us where we can find it.
Just hours later we are treated to a longer variation on the exact-same theme, this time the author doesn’t feel ashamed to put his name to it… he probably should be. But years of writing about the Guardian teaches you that Jonathan Freedland is never ashamed of putting his name to anything.
Let’s not even condemn these attacks any more – because our condemnations ring so hollow.
… he says, before condemning the attacks – at interminable length and in trite manipulative language. That these condemnations “ring hollow” might be the only honest words in the article. The level of selective blindness, historical dishonesty, and flat-out hypocrisy is astounding. Even for him,
Assad has himself broken international law, indeed broken a set of precious, century-old conventions and agreements that ban chemical weapons.
… he says, as if a) It was a proven fact and b) It was the only example. No mention of American use of depleted Uranium, Agent Orange or napalm is made. No mention of Israeli White Phosphorus or of the cluster bombs we used in Iraq, and sold to Saudi Arabia to be used on Yemeni civilians. The use of any and all of those substances is illegal under International law. America and Israel cannot be charged with a breach of The Geneva Convention, of course, because they have never ratified protocols I and II, outlawing the targeting of civilians and infrastructure and banning certain weapons.
We are all too aware of the costs of action. But the dead of Khan Sheikhoun force us to make another calculation. They force us to see that inaction too can exact a terrible price.
This could be a straight copy-and-paste job from his many articles on Libya. He made the same arguments back then, and must take partial responsibility for post-apocalyptic wasteland that he (and his colleagues in the media) helped to create. Libya is destroyed, he knows this, and if he could excuse or downplay his role in that destruction… he would do so. To ignore it, and employ the same reasoning to encourage the same fate to yet another Middle-Eastern country, displays a callousness and vanity that belies is saccharine concern for “values”.
However, no amount of faux-moral agonising and dishonesty will ever trump this:
For more than a decade, we have rightly weighed the grave consequences of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, counting the toll in human suffering.
The tone mirrors the same tone ever-taken by members of the Western press when it comes to Iraq. “Our consciences are agony”, they scream at us. As if Iraq was all a tragic accident, fuelled by the fervor of our best intentions and naivety of our governments. They will never address the truth of it – that it was a cynical and brutal war of conquest, cheered on a by braying, controlled media, with more regard for their appearance of virtue, and their bank balances, than any idea of objective truth.
Now, the lame self-flagellation is one thing, but that it should appear alongside this:
Assad’s impunity is, at this very moment, being noted and filed away by the world’s most brutal regimes: the precedent is being set. This is what you can get away with.
… is quite another. The world is VERY aware “what you can get away with” in international law…and it’s not 70 dead in what “seems” like a gas attack. What you can “get away with” is walling up millions of people in a giant ghetto, and cutting off their water and power supply. It’s dropping carcinogens on villages, that give babies tumors 50 years later. It’s illegal sanctions that kill 500,000 children but are “worth it”.
“what you can get away with”, as the author so po-facedly admits, is the invasion of Iraq. An illegal war, a million dead, an ancient seat of civilisation reduced to a glass crater. Was anyone fired? Did anyone resign in disgrace? Has anyone faced charges in the Hague. No, the perpetrators walk free. They collect paychecks from the boards of the most powerful companies in the world, and are given column inches in the Guardian when ever they want them.
In terms of making an actual argument, he hits the exact same talking points as The Guardian view, uses the exact same phrases… and produces the exact same amount of evidence:
… we almost certainly know who did it. Every sign points to the regime of Bashar al-Assad.
He doesn’t say what these “signs” are. Or link to where we can see them.
We know that the poison spread after warplanes dropped bombs
We “know” no such thing. That’s just what the White Helmets said. The White Helmets are paid by the governments of several countries… including the US and UK. They are completely discredited as a source. But this article isn’t about making an evidence-based case, it is about harnessing created public outrage in order to further a specific political agenda.
So, what is the agenda? Well, it won’t be full-blown war in Syria. Number 10 was very quick to – shall we say – shoot-down that idea. It won’t be any kind of overt NATO or American backed intervention… if the PTB had wanted that, they would have pushed harder for a Clinton victory. And Freedland’s reference to Anne-Marie Slaughter’s suggestion is laughable:
Anne-Marie Slaughter, formerly of the Obama administration, suggests a single strike that would crater, say, a runway used by Assad’s warplanes – not an invasion, not a full-scale military operation, but some way of punishing Syria for what it has done.
No, the agenda being pushed here is two-fold, firstly an attack on the UN and its apparent impotence, and secondly a pre-emptive defense of the status quo.
To deal with the first point, the article launches a sidelong attack on the UN Security Council, most specifically the veto power:
In February, the UN security council considered imposing sanctions over the use of chemical weapons. Russia vetoed it, of course: it would never want to stay the hand of its murderous chum. But China vetoed it too.
This is not new material for the Guardian, they have been attacking the UN veto for years now – as have other liberal papers and news outlets. You don’t need to be a genius to understand the drive to undermine the only regulatory body that can put a hold on neo-liberal imperialism. But for the UNSC, Iraq would have been so much easier and Syria would have been levelled by now.
The second point is more subtle. For years the CIA et al have been seeking to remove Assad from government, most openly through supplying arms and money to the “moderate opposition” in order to wage a proxy war. Trump’s election, and his public undermining of the intelligence agencies, poses a threat to this on-going plan.
Now that this chemical attack has happened, of course, Trump’s administration can be condemned for being “soft”. Now, we can call on Trump and his cabinet to “act”… and when they refuse to change their policy, rightfully fearful of a conflict with Russia, they will be further derided and undermined in the press as “Russian agents” who are “easy on tyrants”.
All the while, the covert operations carried out by American and European alphabet agencies all over Syria will continue.
When the State Dept., the CIA and all their co-members of America’s (totally imaginary) “deep state” completely disregard the orders of their Commander-in-Chief, and continue to pursue their own agenda – continue to supply arms and funding to their mercenaries and proxies – they will be applauded in the press for their “bravery” and “resolution”.
We will be encouraged to be “thankful” that the mechanics of democracy and freedom cannot be impeded by the election of an autocratic buffoon. We will be told, with a bright smile, that our choice of leadership means literally nothing as it pertains to foreign policy.
It will be thrown in our faces that our elected officials have no real power, and we will be told to applaud the death of democracy… in the name of freedom.
A former British lawmaker and cabinet member has called for dozens of British nationals fighting for the Israeli military to be treated as foreign fighters and prosecuted on their return to the UK.
Sayeeda Warsi said in an interview with the Middle East Eye on Wednesday that the Israeli regime had committed war crimes and British nationals who volunteered to fight in the Israeli army should be legally prosecuted upon their return to the country.
Warsi, who was born in the UK to Pakistani parents and served as Britain’s first female Muslim cabinet minister, slammed the Israeli regime for committing war crimes in the Palestinian territories back when she was part of the UK government from 2010 to 2014.
The Israeli regime killed thousands of Palestinians and injured many more during the 51-day onslaught on the Gaza Strip in 2014.
The former foreign office minister and baroness, who resigned her cabinet post over the government’s failure to condemn Israel’s war on Gaza in 2014, said the UK had made little effort for the formal recognition of Palestine as a state.
Palestine, which is a legal sovereign state in the Middle East and is recognized by 136 members of the United Nations, has a status of a non-member observer state in the UN.
“If you go back to statements that [then-foreign secretary] William Hague made, at the time of the recognition of Palestine as a state, the government said not now, maybe in six months’ time…. we are four or five years forward. What’s changed? The settlements are still being built. There is no formal recognition [of Palestine], the peace process is no further forward. The reality on the ground is changing,” she warned.
Warsi, 45, also criticized British Prime Minister Theresa May for her lack of leadership and failing to integrate British Muslims.
“May’s government is disengaging with British Muslims”, she said, adding that, May lacks the “moral courage and leadership” to run the country.
Spokesman for Hamas Movement Sami Abu Zuhri
GAZA – Spokesman for Hamas Movement Sami Abu Zuhri said Monday that Israel’s Army Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s recent threats to assassinate senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyyah prove his government’s “terrorist nature”.
Abu Zuhri called in his Twitter account on all the free people around the world to unite their efforts in the face of “Israeli terrorism” and in support of the Palestinian people.
Earlier on Sunday, Lieberman renewed his earlier threats to assassinate Haniyyah before he leaves office.
In a live chat, Lieberman was asked about his promise before he was appointed Army Minister to eliminate senior Hamas leader Ismail Haneyyah. “It is wise to progress responsibly,” he answered.
“Speak with me about Haneyyah at the end of my term as Defense Minister,” he proclaimed.
Lieberman’s statements came only few days after the assassination of al-Qassam commander Mazen Fuqaha outside his house in Gaza city by six bullets to the head.
Former Palestinian prisoner, released in the 2011 Wafa al-Ahrar prsoner exchange, Mazen Fuquha, was assassinated with four shots to the head with a silenced gun yesterday evening, 24 March, outside his home in Tal al-Hawa, south of Gaza City in the Gaza Strip, Palestine. Fuquha, 38, is from Tubas in the West Bank, and was forcibly displaced to Gaza after the prisoner exchange.
Fuquha was well-known as a leader in Hamas, and was sentenced to nine life sentences before his release, accused of participation in the armed Palestinian resistance. His father spoke with Asra Voice radio station, and said that the Israeli occupation army had broken into the family home in Tubas on multiple occasions and threatened his son, demanding the father tell his son to stop his activity.
Palestinian political parties and resistance factions condemned the killing of Fuquha and placed responsibility for the crime with the Israeli occupation forces. Internal security police in Gaza are investigating the killing and seeking evidence as to how the assassination was carried out.
Khalil al-Hayya of Hamas said that “the only beneficiary of this assassination is the occupation; the martyr Fuquha had no quarrels with anyone.” The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine denounced the killing as a “cowardly crime” of the occupation that attempts to target Palestinian resistance, emphasizing the importance of protecting Palestinian fighters. The Islamic Jihad movement said in a statement that the assassination is a “treacherous crime on the agenda of the occupation and carrying the fingerprints of its terror.”
Fuquha grew up in Tubas before attending An-Najah National University in Nablus, where he became involved with the Islamic Bloc and later the Hamas movement. He was arrested three times by Palestinian Authority security and by the Israeli occupation army on 5 August 2002 after a siege that lasted six hours. He was accused of organizing Palestinian armed actions and was sentenced to nine life sentences, and was one of the high-profile prisoners released in the Wafa al-Ahrar exchange. Nearly 60 prisoners released in the exchange, including the longest-serving prisoner Nael Barghouthi, have been targeted for re-arrest and the reimposition of their former sentences by Israeli occupation forces.
Australia finds no funds diverted in World Vision probe, further debunking Israeli claims against al-Halabi
In yet another blow to the propaganda-driven case against Palestinian aid worker Mohammed al-Halabi, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade reported on Tuesday, 21 March that “an internal review into World Vision funding in Gaza has uncovered nothing to suggest any diversion of government aid funding to Hamas.”
Al-Halabi was seized by Israeli occupation forces at the Beit Hanoun/Erez crossing and in August 2016, Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, went on a propaganda offensive, claiming that Halabi had redirected World Vision funds to the Palestinian resistance organization, Hamas. Israeli occupation officials declared that he had diverted $43 million in charitable funds to the Palestinian resistance, including a video from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accusing Palestinians of not caring about their people. The amounts cited dwarfed the actual budget to which al-Halabi had access, by all accounts. These seemingly impossible claims were made after nearly a month of interrogation, during which Halabi was subjected to torture and inhumane treatment.
The claims against Halabi were accompanied by similarly touted claims against civil engineer Waheed Bursh, a contractor with the UN Development Program, also accused of redirecting resources to the Palestinian resistance – in his case, rubble from the Israeli bombing of Gaza. However, despite the large-scale publicity surrounding Borsh’s arrest, he was released seven months later, indicating that no serious charges were ever made. He was cited as a “witness” againat al-Halabi, and later confirmed that he completely denied any allegations against the aid worker.
“The news DFAT found no evidence of the misuse of World Vison funds comes as Mr Halabi’s trial continues in Israel. He has rejected a plea deal offered by Israeli authorities and has pleaded not guilty, claiming he is innocent of all charges,” reported the Australian Brodcasting Corporation. The plea agreement he rejected would have seen him imprisoned for three years, a short sentence which again indicates a lack of serious charges or evidence in the case.
Indeed, rather than presenting any evidence to back up the widely-publicized public claims against World Vision and Halabi, Israeli occupation officials have instead submitted additional, lesser charges against Halabi that have no relation to diverting funds or his work with World Vision; two such charges are those of “passing information to the enemy” and of “aiding and abetting the enemy in a time of war,” with the enemy in question being Palestinians in Gaza. Al-Halabi is, himself, of course, a Palestinian living under occupation and siege in Gaza.
He is also charged with giving small donations of his own money, rather than redirecting World Vision funds, to charities and mosques in Gaza. ABC notes that “One incident detailed accuses El Halabi of allegedly giving ‘300 Israeli shekels on a monthly base to a charity managed by Hamas’…Another says the defendant transferred ‘hundreds of shekels during 2015-2016 to a mosque managed by Hamas’… No details are given of the ‘millions’ of dollars Israeli intelligence officials initially accused El Halabi of diverting.” 100 NIS is approximately $26 USD.
“So far, our own ongoing forensic audit has not uncovered any money subverted and to hear DFAT say their investigation hasn’t either is consistent and is very good news,” said Tim Costello of World Vision.
Despite the severe lack of evidence or credibility for Israeli claims in this case, World Vision’s work in Gaza – and government funding from the Australian and German governments – have been shut down. Over 100 Palestinian workers for World Vision have lost their jobs in Gaza in an area already suffering from massive unemployment and poverty.
RAMALLAH – Israeli forces detained 420 Palestinians during the month of February, including 70 minors and 22 women and girls, according to a statement released on Saturday by the Palestinian Prisoners’ Center for Studies.
The center said in its monthly report that 12 of the detentions were carried out in the besieged Gaza Strip, including five fishermen whose boats were destroyed by Israeli forces before their detention, two who were detained at the Beit Hanoun crossing, and five who were detained after Israel alleged they attempted to cross the border fence between the besieged enclave and Israel.
A journalist was also among the detainees, identified by the center as Humam Muhammad Hantash from the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron. He was sentenced to Israel’s widely condemned policy of administrative detention — imprisonment without charge or trial based on undisclosed evidence.
The center added that 88 administrative detention orders were issued by Israeli courts in the same period, 23 of which were issued for the first time, while 65 were renewed orders. Meanwhile, 32 administrative detention orders were issued against Palestinians from Hebron.
While Israeli authorities claim the withholding of evidence during administrative detention, which allows detention for three- to six-month renewable intervals, is essential for state security concerns, rights groups have instead claimed that the policy allows Israeli authorities to hold Palestinians for an indefinite period of time without showing any evidence that could justify their detentions.
Rights groups say that Israel’s administrative detention policy has also been used as an attempt to disrupt Palestinian political and social processes, notably targeting Palestinian politicians, activists, and journalists.
According to Addameer, as of January, 6,500 Palestinians were being held in Israeli prisons, 536 of whom were being held under administrative detention.
The Tel Aviv regime has prevented five European parliamentarians from entering the Gaza Strip as the Palestinian enclave remains under an inhumane Israeli siege.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Neoklis Sylikiotis, a Cypriot Member of the European Parliament (MEP), denounced the Israeli obstruction of the lawmakers’ access to the Palestinian coastal sliver.
“The refusal of access to Gaza by the Israeli authorities to the European Parliament on arbitrary grounds is unacceptable,” the statement read.
However, Israel claimed that the MEPs were not among those allowed to enter the Gaza Strip.
Similar European delegations have been barred from Gaza since 2011 though a team led by the head of the European Parliament’s budget committee was allowed to visit once, the statement added.
“What is there to hide from us?” it further asked, condemning Israel’s “systematic” entry bans to Gaza.
It also called on the international community to pressure the Tel Aviv regime to lift the Gaza blockade that has been in place Since June 2007 and affected almost all the two million inhabitants of the enclave.
The World Bank and the United Nations say the Gaza siege has killed all exports and damaged the Palestinian territory’s economy.
Tel Aviv has waged three wars on Gaza since 2008, including the 2014 offensive that left more than 2,200 Palestinians dead.
Israel’s demolition plan ‘unacceptable’
Separately on Wednesday, Robert Piper, the UN humanitarian coordinator for the Palestinian territories, visited the Palestinian Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar in the occupied West Bank and voiced alarm over an Israeli plan to demolish structures there.
On Sunday, Israeli forces distributed demolition orders to 40 structures, including tents, huts and a school in the village.
According to Palestinian media outlets, Khan al-Ahmar residents were given until Thursday to vacate the village.
“Khan al-Ahmar is one of the most vulnerable communities in the West Bank struggling to maintain a minimum standard of living in the face of intense pressure from the Israeli authorities to move,” Piper said in a statement. “This is unacceptable and it must stop.”
International bodies and rights groups say Israel’s sustained demolitions of Palestinian homes are aimed at uprooting Palestinians from their native territories, and expropriating more land for the expansion of settlements.
Tel Aviv is has accelerated its land grab and settlement construction activities in the occupied Palestinian lands after pro-Israel US President Donald Trump took office.
Israeli forces have demolished over 48,000 Palestinian homes and buildings since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian lands, according to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.
The stark reality is that both solutions are impossible unless imposed from outside, and just where do we see any prospect for that?
By John Chuckman | Aletho News | February 22, 2017
Israel has created a terrible problem which it is incapable of solving. That is why it has always been the case that the United States must pretty much dictate a solution, but it is unable to do so, paralyzed as it is by the heavy influence of Israel and America’s own apologists and lobbyists.
Trump’s suggestion of a one-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict is welcomed by some because Israel’s settler policy is said to have made two states impossible, as it was most certainly intended to do. However, a little reflection on hard facts makes it clear that a one-state solution is just as impossible.
A single-state solution would be acceptable to all reasonable minds, but you only have to follow the news to know that Israel contains a good many unreasonable minds. Its early advocates and founders were, quite simply, fanatics, and its policies and attitudes were shaped by that fanaticism.
The Israeli establishment could simply not accept a Palestinian population with equal rights and the franchise as part of Israel. They could not do so because they have embraced an almost mystical concept of Israel as “the Jewish state.” Of course, the de facto reality of today’s combined population of Israel and its occupied territories is that Palestinians, who importantly include not just Muslims but many Christians, are already about half of the total.
And there are physical realities forming huge barriers against a single state, things of which many people are not aware. Very importantly, fertility rates in Arab populations are considerably higher than in the European Ashkenazi population which forms Israel’s elite. That has nothing to do with ethnic characteristics. It is a result of much lower levels of affluence influencing the behavior of people having children. It is a universal reality we see.
That’s why Arabic populations are such relatively young populations with a high proportion of children. When Israel bombs a place like Gaza or Lebanon, as it does periodically, it always kills many hundreds of children because they make a big share of the population. An advanced country like Japan has low fertility and traditionally is averse to much migration. It faces a future with an aging and declining population.
All older European and North American countries have fertility rates too low to replace their otherwise declining populations. America or France or Israel or similar states simply do not have enough babies to replace their populations. That’s a fundamental reality of advanced, affluent society. People with rich, demanding lives do not have large numbers of children, anywhere, knowing, as they do, that the few they do have will almost certainly survive and will better thrive with more concentrated resources.
That’s the real reason behind most countries’ immigration policies, not generosity or kindness. But, of course, Israel has a serious problem with immigration, too. As the “Jewish state” it is open to only one category of migrant, and that category of people makes a tiny fraction of the world’s population. Further, most of that tiny fraction live in comfortable, affluent places, far more desirable to live in than Israel – places like America, Canada, Australia, Britain, France, etc.
A single-state Israel would combine low fertility Europeans with higher fertility Arabic people, thus creating a long-term trajectory for a minority-Jewish state, a reality which would be repellent to all conservative Jews and many others, in light of the founding notion of Israel as a refuge from believed widespread anti-Semitism, plus the vaguely-defined but emotionally-loaded notion of a “Jewish state,” and, still further, the biblical myths of God’s having given the land exclusively to Jews.
You simply cannot make rational sense out of that bundle of attitudes and prejudices, yet you cannot get a rational solution to a massive problem otherwise, a problem, it should be noted, of Israel’s own deliberate making in the Six Day War. Likely, when Israel’s leadership started that war, they calculated that Palestinians would come to feel so miserable under occupation that they’d just pick up and leave over time. Moshe Dayan, one of the architects of the war, actually spoke along those very lines of keeping the Palestinians miserable so they would leave. But their calculations were wrong. Most people, anywhere, do not pick-up and leave their native place. Otherwise the world would be a constant whirlwind of migrations.
Although Israel does not discuss the relative population growth rate situation in public, authorities and experts there are keenly aware of the reality. It is difficult to imagine them ever embracing a single state for this reason. When you found a state on ideology and myths, as Israel was founded, you very soon bump up against some unhappy realities.
So, if there is not to be a Palestinian state, what are Israel’s other options? There seem to be only two.
One is to deport all or most Palestinians, an ugly idea which is probably also unworkable, although it has very much seriously been discussed among educated Israelis periodically. Apart from the Nazi-like connotations around such an act, who, on earth, is going to take literally millions of people from Israel? In the past, Israeli ideologues have seriously suggested both the country of Jordan and parts of Egypt contiguous with Israel as possibilities.
Can any realistic person believe those states stand ready to take millions of people in? No, of course not, but that hasn’t stopped the ideologues of Israel from going back to the idea again and again. Of course, there is the pure ethical problem of moving millions against their will and seizing all their property, but ethics have never featured large in Israel’s policies from the beginning.
The other solution is to re-create apartheid South Africa’s Bantustans, little enclaves of land with often undesirable characteristics into which you crowd all the people that you don’t want and declare that these are their new countries. We see this already in Israel, notably in Gaza, which really is a giant refugee camp much resembling a concentration camp with high fences and automated machine-gun towers surrounding it, the residents being permitted almost no freedom of movement or even economic activity, as for example Gaza’s fishermen being fired on by Israeli gunboats if they stray even slightly beyond tight boundaries in the sea.
The world would not long tolerate that approach no matter how much influence the United States might unfairly exert. After all, for a long time, the United States protected and cooperated with apartheid South Africa, always regarding it as an important bulwark against communism, anti-communism being the fervent secular religion of the day in America. This was so much the case that it even overlooked what it absolutely had to know about, apartheid South Africa’s acquisition of a small arsenal of nuclear weapons with the assistance of Israel, Israel always being keen to keep good access to South Africa’s mineral wealth.
Clearly, those two options are not solutions. Realities absolutely demand either a legitimate two-state solution – which Israel’s leaders have never truly accepted while giving it time-buying lip-service – or a one-state solution which is probably even more unacceptable to Israel’s leaders and much of its population, guaranteeing, as it does, the eventual minority status of Jews.
Israel has itself created a terrible problem which it is incapable of solving. That is why it has always been the case that the United States must pretty much dictate a solution, but it is unable to do so, paralyzed as it is by the heavy influence of Israel and America’s own apologists and lobbyists.
So, in effect, the world just goes around and around on this terrible problem, never doing anything decisive. The macabre dance of Israel and the United States we’ve had for decades yields today’s de facto reality of Israel as nothing more but nothing less than a protected American colony in the Middle East, one in which all kinds of international norms and laws are completely suspended, one where millions live with no rights and no citizenship. But, after all, colonies have never been places where the rule of law and human rights prevail, have they? Never.
GAZA – A Palestinian child was reportedly injured on Friday evening after being struck by an Israeli bullet in Beit Lahiya in the north of the Gaza Strip after Israeli forces opened live fire at homes in the area.
According to medical sources, the six-year-old girl was injured in her stomach, and described her injury as moderate.
The child was taken to al-Shifa hospital in Gaza city and was later transferred to a hospital in the north of the besieged enclave.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an she would look into reports on the incident.
The anti-Iran, anti-Syria US Washington, DC district court of the absurd illegally ordered both countries to pay $178.5 million in damages to the family of an Israeli infant killed in a 2014 vehicular incident.
Israel calls wars of aggression, lethal shootings of Palestinians, and other barbarous acts self-defense. It considers legitimate resistance against brutal occupation harshness terrorism – a knee-jerk response to all incidents, Palestinians automatically guilty by accusation.
The family in question has dual Israeli-American citizenship. Their three-month-old infant was killed when Palestinian Abdel Rahman Shaludi’s vehicle struck people at Jerusalem’s Ammunition Hill light-rail station in October 2014.
Israel accused him of ties with Hamas, illegally called a terrorist organization. It’s Palestine’s legally elected government.
Parents of the deceased child sued in the US district court, awarded a default judgment, the entire procedure a sham, a scheme to denigrate and punish Iran and Syria illegally.
Attorneys for the plaintiff claimed both countries support Hamas, their legal right if true. Based on this flawed judgment, the court ruled against them – an unjust decision Tehran and Damascus denounced, intending to pay nothing, now now, not ever, nor should they.
In March 2016, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari denounced a US court ruling against the Islamic Republic for the US state-sponsored false flag 9/11 attack, assessing it $10.5 billion in damages to family members of individuals killed, as well as to insurers for costs incurred.
At the time, Ansari minced no words calling the ruling “ridiculous and absurd to the point that it makes a mockery of the principle of justice while further tarnishes the US judiciary’s reputation.”
The new ruling against Iran and Syria is just as spurious, offensive, and illegal. Neither country has had anything to do with incidents in Israel or America. Claiming otherwise is a despicable fabrication.
Stephen Lendman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His new book as editor and contributor is titled Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.
Israeli navy ships attacked, several Palestinian fishing boats in the Sudaniyya Sea, northwest of Gaza city, on Thursday morning, causing one boat to capsize while a fisherman went missing in the aftermath of the assault.
The Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza said the fisherman, identified as Mohammad Ahmad al-Hassi, went missing after the navy sank his boat, and that Palestinian search and rescue teams are trying to locate him.
The ministry added that the navy fired live rounds at the boats, then flooded them with high-pressure water cannons.
One of the fishers said several navy ships attacked the Palestinian boats less than four nautical miles from the Gaza shore, causing excessive damage to several boats, including the boat that sank.
The attack is part of repeated Israeli violations against the fishers on Palestinian territorial waters, in the besieged and impoverished coastal region, and have led to many abductions of fishers, and scores of casualties, including several fatalities.