Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

The shameful intelligence leaks confirmed what we already knew

Dr Amira Abo el-Fetouh | MEMO | January 15, 2018

We did not need media leaks to reveal that an officer in Egypt’s intelligence agency, Captain Ashraf El-Kholi, was telling presenters on Egyptian TV channels what they should say about Donald Trump’s announcement concerning Jerusalem Published by the New York Times and broadcast by Egypt’s Mekameleen television station, the leaks merely confirmed what we already knew about Egyptian media outlets being fully mobilised to push the US-Israeli viewpoint.

Egypt’s media has become just like all state institutions in the country; it is under the control of the army. Companies owned by the intelligence agency have bought most of the satellite TV stations, in addition to establishing a new satellite network, DMC. In doing so, it has taken complete control of the media and has not limited itself to instructing those working in the sector on specific policies of the government, as happened in the past. Now, the state has completely monopolised an important sector that shapes public opinion and forms the sentiments of an entire nation, which has been spoon-fed what the Israeli enemy wants.

Herein lies the danger and catastrophe, as the nation’s constants have changed. The enemy has become the friend and vice versa. This was exposed by the leaks. TV presenters were told to explain to the people that there is no difference between Jerusalem and Ramallah, in an attempt to quell their anger and fill them with a sense of desperation and defeat. These journalists and presenters were told to say that they cannot fight Israel directly and that they must put poison in honey in order to achieve their goals.

The presenters must do this in such a way that it seems that they are trying to preserve the blood and lives of the Palestinians, because if there is another Palestinian uprising the victims — they didn’t say martyrs — will be Palestinians and not Israelis. They must also say that they want to resolve the Palestinian issue permanently and that a new uprising would be in favour of the Islamists and Hamas, who will rise once again after a decline.

This is what the intelligence officer was dictating to various presenters and this is what they want the people to believe. The purpose of this is to play with the people’s doctrinal and national constants in order to redirect the conflict compass from Israel, the nation’s traditional enemy, towards the Islamist trend, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood, of which they consider Hamas to be a part, and which the intelligence agency labels as a terrorist organisation.

Unfortunately, they were successful with this ploy, and not just with a small section of society who have been brainwashed by this false and corrupt media that is being managed by intelligence officers.

I am not concerned with who leaked the recording or who benefits from these leaks. I am not concerned with whether this is a result of a conflict amongst the various branches of the deep state. All of this will pull us into a cycle of questions until we doubt the leak itself, and this is what the government wants to happen, in order to divert us from the essence of what was said in the disgraceful recordings.

As such, I pay no attention to what is being said about the conflict between the military intelligence and general intelligence branches, as over 20 of their senior officers were retired in the past year alone. The general intelligence agency is currently controlled by Al-Sisi’s son, who also took it upon himself to form a parliament made up of individuals completely loyal to the government, as admitted by Hazem Abdel Azim, who was associated closely with the government and in charge of the youth in Al-Sisi’s election campaign in 2014.

I am more concerned about the deterioration and decline of Egyptian intelligence. The image in the minds of Egyptians about this sovereign agency is far from the truth. Many novels, shows and movies have been written about the agency’s heroic stories and exposure of espionage within Egypt, or the spies planted in Israel. The most famous of these shows are perhaps “Raafat Al-Haggan” by Mahmoud Abdel Aziz and “Dumou fi Oyoun Waqiha” (Tears in Shameless Eyes) by Adel Imam, as well as the movies “El-Soud Ela Al-Hawia” (The Climb into the Abyss) by Mahmoud Yasin and “Mohema fi Tal Abib” (Mission in Tel Aviv) by Nadia Al-Jundi. All of these have planted in our minds the heroics of the Egyptian intelligence agents and how they were able to infiltrate the Israeli Mossad spy agency.

Regardless of the credibility of all of these stories, all intelligence agencies around the world are tasked with preserving the security of the state and the safety of its territories, not dictate to TV presenters what they should and should not say. However, this is the situation in Egypt after the 2013 coup and after the conflict compass stopped pointing at Israel, with which the country is currently enjoying — if that’s the right word — a lukewarm peace. Instead, it is pointed at the Muslim Brotherhood, which the deep state in Cairo wants to eliminate from its roots and present it as a sacrifice to Donald Trump, who remains the biggest enemy of Islam and Muslims.

Video: Leaked tapes reveal Egypt’s support for Trump’s Jerusalem decision

Egypt: media blackout on Palestinian reconciliation talks

January 15, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Daesh declares war on Palestine’s Hamas resistance movement

Press TV – January 5, 2018

The Egyptian wing of Daesh Takfiri terrorists has released a new execution video, declaring war on the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement based in Gaza.

The video, released Wednesday, purports to show the execution of a man who Daesh claims cooperated with Hamas’ armed wing.

“Never surrender to them. Use explosives, silenced pistols and sticky bombs. Bomb their courts and their security locations, for these are the pillars of tyranny that prop up its throne,” said one of the militants in the video.

The Egyptian wing of Daesh, known as the Sinai Province, is notorious for its brutal massacres, including the Sinai 2015 plane crash which killed 224 passengers and mass killing of over 300 people at a Sufi mosque in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, the deadliest attack in modern Egyptian history.

The video comes as Hamas has been cooperating with Egyptian security forces to restore stability to Sinai, which borders Gaza.

In October, the Palestinian resistance movement arrested four senior Daesh terrorists in Sinai.

In July 2015, Daesh released a video saying that it would overthrow Hamas “tyrants” for their perceived lack of religious rulings in Gaza.

Takfiri groups such as Daesh have never attacked Israel despite operating close to Syria’s borders with the occupied Palestinian territories. Israel is widely believed to be supporting terrorists in Syria by launching airstrikes against various targets there from time to time.

Meanwhile, the US and its allies, which have been conducting airstrikes against what are said to be Daesh targets inside Syria, have repeatedly been accused of providing logistic support and air cover for Daesh terrorists.

Daesh, however, lost all the territory under its control in Syria and Iraq late last year.

January 5, 2018 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Energy in Palestine – an introduction

By Palestina, Gas en de Palestijnse Revolutie | 25-12-2017

Fifteen gas fields have been found on the coast of Palestine since 1999. With a value of at least two hundred thirty billion dollar, this gas will play an important role in the region. The key question for us is how the gas will influence the Palestinian people and their struggle for liberation. This article is a short introduction to this topic.

Who, what, how much?

The first gas field off the coast of Palestine was found in 1999 and the first flow of gas was realized five years later. Up until today fifteen gas fields have been found that belong to Palestine, six of which are being exploited by ‘Israel’.[1] The total amount of gas is between forty and fifty TCF (trillion cubic feet) and has a minimal value of $230bn.

‘Israeli’ state and exploitation

As a settler-colony and apartheid state, ‘Israel’ has complete control of the gas fields. 40% of the gas will be exported and the remaining 60% will be used for domestic consumption.[2] The sole current export is to Jordan with a total value of fifteen billion dollars. Cyprus, Greece, Italy and the EU also have a joint agreement for the construction of a pipeline to facilitate ‘Israeli’ gas exports to Europe. In regards to domestic consumption the gas makes ‘Israel’ energy independent for the coming decades. ‘Israel’s’ economic position and economic independence are clearly strengthened by the exploitation of the gas fields.

The PA and political parties

The gas has far reaching political consequences. Gas deals with foreign states on the one hand further normalize ‘Israel’ and strengthen its economy. On the other hand gas platforms, pipelines and complicit companies are new targets for the Palestinian resistance and the international solidarity movement. It is only a matter of time before the global BDS movement becomes a significant force against the ‘Israeli’ exploitation of the gas. In this sense, the political meaning of the gas is two-sided or contradictory: on the one hand it strengthens the occupation economy; on the other hand it offers more ways of resistance.

But not all Palestinians have a problem with the Zionist gas exploitation. The Palestinian Authority is as always positive about ‘Israel’ and ‘their’ gas. While the PA canceled a $1.2 billion gas deal with ‘Israel’ in March 2015[3], they offer no resistance to ‘Israeli’ control over the gas. This holds for the gas in Gaza, the Dutch institute SOMO wrote that ‘Israel’ is currently stealing the gas there.[4]

Hamas, who govern Gaza, and the PFLP have been confronting ‘Israel’ about the gas. Mohammed al Zoari, aka ‘the engineer’, was killed in Tunisia in December 2016. He was working on an underwater drone for Hamas to attack gas- and oil platforms.[5] The PFLP rejects all non-Palestinian exploitation of the gas and also agitates against regimes that make gas deals with the Zionist entity.[6][7][8][9]

The Palestinian struggle for liberation in the Netherlands

Noble Energy (United States), Delek Group and Avner (both ‘Israeli’) are the most active companies currently involved with Palestinian gas. Additionally involved is, Royal Dutch Shell (British-Dutch), mainly working on the gas fields on the coast of Gaza. While the PA is in talks with Shell about exploitation of these fields, this is likely never to be a reality. Multiple high-placed ‘Israeli’ scientists and politicians have spoken negatively about a fast exploitation of the Gaza fields. Shell also wants to buy ‘Israeli’ gas to sell in Egypt.[10]

It may be clear that the Dutch movement can play an important role because of the Shell involvement. Add to this that work is being put into constructing a pipeline from Palestine to Europe.[11] With a government that probably wants less dependence on Russian gas[12], Palestinian gas can be flowing through the Netherlands in a decade.

The BDS-movement, especially in the Middle East, is already working on stopping the gas theft. It is our task in the Netherlands to follow this example and stand shoulder to shoulder with activists in Jordan,[13], Turkey[14] and Palestine. We have to struggle in order to guarantee that the resistance will be stronger than the ‘Israeli’ gas profits.

[1] Al-Haq. 2015. ‘Annexing Energy’ report. http://www.alhaq.org/publications/Annexing.Energy.pdf

[2] Jordan BDS. 2014. ‘$8.4billion to Israel’s treasury from Jordanian citizens’. http://jordanbds.net/?page_id=581

[3] Winer, Stuart. 11 maart 2015. ‘Palestinians cancel natural gas deal with Israel’ https://www.timesofisrael.com/palestinians-cancel-natural-gas-deal-with-israel/

[4] SOMO. 2017. ‘Beneath troubled waters’ report. https://www.somo.nl/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Beneath-troubled-waters.pdf

[5] Burton, Fred. 31 December 2016. ‘Mossad’s Fingerprints on a Murder in Tunisia’.  https://worldview.stratfor.com/article/mossads-fingerprints-murder-tunisia

[6] 25 februari 2015. PFLP denounces “treacherous” gas deal (between PA and ‘Israel’) and demands immediate cancellation. http://pflp.ps/english/2015/02/25/pflp-denounces-treacherous-gas-deal-and-demands-immediate-cancellation/

[7] 18 mei 2016. PFLP denounces joint US/Israeli/Greek military exercises, calls for action from Greek popular movement. http://pflp.ps/english/2016/05/18/pflp-denounces-joint-usisraeligreek-military-exercises-calls-for-action-from-greek-popular-movement/

[8] 1 juli 2016. PFLP warns of dangerous Turkish-Israeli agreement built on looting the natural gas of the Palestinian people. http://pflp.ps/english/2016/07/01/pflp-warns-of-dangerous-turkish-israeli-agreement-built-on-looting-the-natural-gas-of-the-palestinian-people/

[9] 25 oktober 2016. Jordan protests continue against national gas deal with Zionist state. http://pflp.ps/english/2016/10/25/jordan-protests-continue-against-national-gas-deal-with-zionist-state/

[10] 21 augustus 2017. Shell ‘to buy Israeli gas’ for Egypt market.  https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2017/8/21/shell-to-buy-israeli-gas-for-egypt-market

[11] https://www.reuters.com/article/energy-mediterranean-natgas/greece-italy-israel-and-cyprus-back-natgas-pipeline-to-europe-idUSL8N1O537F

[12] https://www.fluxenergie.nl/europa-wordt-steeds-afhankelijker-russisch-gas/

[13] 12 november 2016. (Jordanian) Protesters detained briefly over protest against gas deal with Israel. http://www.jordantimes.com/news/local/protesters-detained-briefly-over-protest-against-gas-deal-israel

[14] 28 maart 2017. BDS Turkey: Turkish-Israeli energy cooperation is unacceptable! http://bdsturkiye.org/bds-haberler/bds-turkey-turkish-israeli-energy-cooperation-is-unacceptable/

Translation by Samidoun

December 25, 2017 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Haneyya: Three means to thwart Trump’s decision over Jerusalem

Palestine Information Center – December 14, 2017

GAZA – The head of the Political Bureau of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) Ismail Haneyya has outlined three means to confront Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and topple ‘the deal of the century’, stressing that the Palestinian people, Hamas, and the resistance will work to achieve this objective on the ground.

In a speech during celebrations marking the 30th Hamas founding anniversary in the Gaza Strip on Thursday, Haneyya stressed that his Movement is now working on two parallel goals: to thwart both the Trump decision and ‘the deal of the century’.

He added, “We will work to force the US administration to retreat from its unjust decision, our goal is to break the US position and annul the Trump decision once and for all.”

He praised the Palestinian people in Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza, and in the refugee camps and the diaspora. He saluted the people of all nations from Indonesia to Morocco and all the free people who responded to the call and rose for the sake of Jerusalem.

Objectives of the battle

“No one could take away our sacred sites or change their identity, and no force could grant Jerusalem to the occupier. There is no such thing as the State of Israel in the first place to have a capital called Jerusalem,” he said, stressing that this is not limited to political speeches and positions. Gaza, the West Bank, Jerusalem, Palestinians in the 1948 occupied territories, the refugee camps and the diaspora, know their role well. Our lives, our people and our homes are sacrificed for Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa.”

He noted that the people of Jerusalem removed the Israeli gates installed at Al-Aqsa and prayed in the streets, adding, “If they alone defeated Netanyahu and broke his decision and victoriously entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque, can’t we as a people and a nation foil the decision? Yes, we can.”

He added, “This ominous decision is no less dangerous than the Balfour Declaration,” stressing that the Palestinian and Arab Muslim generations will not allow for this decision to pass.

Haneyya stressed that the second goal of the uprising of our people and nation along with the world’s free people and their religious and political authorities is to overthrow the so-called ‘deal of the century’, which Palestinian President Abu Mazen described as ‘the slap of the century’.

He said, “We as a people and a nation are able to respond to this slap by thwarting the so-called ‘deal of the century’, because the issue of Jerusalem came at a time of proposing projects that aim at liquidating the Palestinian issue.

Three ways

Haneyya stressed that Hamas needs today to follow three paths, the most prominent of which is the achievement of national unity and partnership in the management of the country, adding, “the most effective response would be a unified Palestinian position.” He reiterated Hamas’s adherence to national reconciliation, which was revived over the last few months, with Hamas making important steps along that the path.

He said: “Achieving unity and reconciliation requires speeding up applying all the measures we have agreed upon in Cairo and Gaza and everywhere, and requires that our people live a decent and dignified life in Gaza. Gaza is the stronghold of resistance and the incubator of the national project. And despite fighting three wars, it comes out today to say we are with the resistance and unity with all of Palestine.”

He added, “We have to deal with the details quickly, the issue is bigger and is more serious. We must agree on a national strategy of struggle that takes all reasons of strength and steadfastness into consideration within the framework of the overall popular resistance to confront the occupier, and on the top of that armed and popular resistance.”

Haneyya stressed the need to work quickly to restructure the PLO, the house that includes under its umbrella all Palestinians, so tas to include all national and Islamic forces under it.

Building alliances

Haneyya stressed the need to build strong alliances at the regional and national levels. He said: “The battle of Jerusalem is not our battle alone; it is the battle of the entire nation.” He welcomed every genuine position that supports Jerusalem and every idea that could build a strong Muslim and Arab front at the regional level.”

He called for the formation of action groups that include all forces and components of the nation, adding, “Our nation is invited to forget its differences and internal conflicts and tears, and to seek to re-establish its connection to Jerusalem and the blessed land of Palestine.”

He stressed that Hamas has started and will continue to build alliances in the region to address the Israeli-American project, noting that that would also include “maintaining the strategy of openness to all Arab and Muslim countries and peoples.”

Continuation of Intifada

The third path is the continuation of the intifada, Haneyya said, stressing that it should not stop. “Netanyahu and the US administration are betting on the exhaustion of the Nation.”

Haneyya called on Arab and Muslim nations to make Friday of every week a day of anger and marches for Jerusalem.

He called on scholars and preachers to make Jerusalem present in their speeches and lessons and to incite people and the free world, until the decision is dropped.

He also called on Christian churches in Palestine and the Levant to devote their prayers on Sunday for Jerusalem, the Church of the Resurrection and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, affirming that “We still stick to the Pact of Omar.”

He called on the youths from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf to form frameworks to organize events monthly and weekly until Trump’s decision is revoked, adding: “We should not suffice with an emotional event, or with a march or a single event, but we want permanence and persistence. Let young people of our nation form national frameworks and design programs and strategies to support Jerusalem and Palestine and to foil Trump’s decision.”

Hamas and the resistance project

Haneyya paid tribute to the Palestinian people in all places of their presence, saluting the participants in the Hamas anniversary, prominent leaders of the national and Islamic factions, who attended the event, and all segments of the Palestinian people.

Haneyya stressed that this unique national presence that takes part in the Hamas anniversary is a proof that “Hamas is a natural extension of the resistance and steadfastness project on our land, and a proof of the blessed resistance that has been going on in our land since the beginning of the last century.”

He pointed out that other forces and factions preceded Hamas in this regard and will continue with it, noting that this national rally is an evidence of the popularity of Hamas, which keeps the identity and principles and stability and mobilization of our people.

He pointed out that Hamas has served as “a qualitative addition to our people and our resistance. Today, we celebrate this anniversary with these masses.”

“Let us emphasize that the Intifada was for Jerusalem and the resistance is for Jerusalem and Jihad is for Jerusalem, so are the martyrs, the blood, the wounded, the prisoners and all the heroic works”, he highlighted.

The Hamas leader said: “The celebration of Hamas is the celebration of a people and a nation and represents a great contribution to the resistance, Jihad and heroism project. Hamas gave the best of its people for the sake of Jerusalem. The entire Muslim nations celebrate this anniversary because they see in Hamas an example to follow that carries the flag of resistance and represents these nations in the battle to liberate Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

He said: “The Palestinian issue is central to our nation and our people and the free world. After many thought that the issue has been overshadowed, and that the people of the nation were preoccupied with their concerns.”

In just eight days, the issue of Jerusalem became the center issue for all Muslims and Arabs, he explained, adding that for the first time in the history of the issue, “the whole world is standing on one side, and Netanyahu and Trump are standing on the other, which asserts that the occupation no longer has an important status even among the European countries.”

December 14, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hamas asks PA government to fulfill its duties or resign

Palestine Information Center – December 2, 2107

GAZA – Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, on Saturday urged the Palestinian Authority (PA) government to fully assume its responsibilities, including lifting the unjust sanctions on the Gazan people, or resign and form a national salvation government.

The Movement said in a press statement that the PA government, led by Rami Hamdallah, was handed over all Gaza ministries yet it has not exerted any single effort to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinians people in Gaza and miserably failed in implementing the agreements reached in Cairo.

Hamas accused the PA government of fighting against the resistance and stressed that it has not made any serious step to confront the Israeli Judaization and settlement schemes and defend the Palestinian people in Occupied Jerusalem and the West Bank.

This is the first time that Hamas has openly asked Hamdallah’s government to resign. The request came in response to the government’s procrastination in lifting the sanctions imposed on the Gaza Strip despite having taken over all government institutions in the enclave under Egyptian and international supervision.

PA officials demand that the PA government be fully “empowered” as a condition for lifting sanctions. Palestinian factions and observers see this term as unrealistic, especially that lifting the sanctions was earlier linked to dissolving the administrative committee and handing over Gaza ministries and crossings.

The sanctions imposed on Gaza, which include reducing power and medical supplies and cutting the salaries of PA employees, are still in place despite the reconciliation talks. The humanitarian situation in the territory, meanwhile, keeps worsening in view of the 11-year Israeli blockade.

December 2, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | Leave a comment

The Inevitable Collapse of Israeli-Saudi-American Alliance Against Iran and Resistance

By Miko Peled | American Herald Tribune | December 2, 2107

From the earliest years of the Zionist project, the leaders of the movement which then morphed into the State of Israel understood that regional coalitions were crucial to its success. But Israel is a settler colonial project and therefor it was and still is very much hated by people in the region. Israel and its leaders invested in creating and promoting corrupt unprincipled despots to leadership in the countries around it, men who would control the Arab world by keeping its people poor, uneducated and without representation and would pose no threat to Israel and its policies of genocide and ethnic cleansing perpetuated against the people of Palestine. Israel has had some degree of success in this, especially with the reactionary monarchies. Countries who had leaders that resisted Israel ended up paying a heavy price. These were states like Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya which are now destroyed and so it can come as no surprise that the new Saudi Crown Prince is keen to take his regime’s relations with Israel to a new level, some say he even intends to establish diplomatic ties with Israel.

It is ironic that some of the greatest perpetrators and supporters of terrorism are those who talk of fighting terrorism. The latest unholy alliance between the US, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt is a source of unspeakable terror which without fail is inflicted on innocent civilians but guarantees Israeli interests will be safe. The new boss calling the shots from Riyadh, Mohammad Bin Salman is for now at the center of this unholy alliance which in the short term will satisfy his hunger for power and influence but is sure to fail and in the meantime, will surely produce more misery in Yemen, Palestine, Lebanon and God only knows where else. But state terrorism like that perpetuated by Israeli military against Palestinians and the Saudis in Yemen is heralded by the weapons suppliers in the US and the UK as heroic while the people who fight for their rights are inevitably forgotten and left to die.

Two issues that have been brought to the forefront by the unholy alliance are Iran and its fictional threat to world peace and stability and its mythical support for terrorism. Iran which has invaded no one and attacked no one but supports Hezbollah and Hamas in their resistance against Israel is the favorite enemy in Tel-Aviv, Washington, DC and Riyadh. The new Saudi boss wants to consolidate regional power and he thinks he can do so by aligning with Israel and the US in order to weaken Iran. What he may not realize is that Iran is not a threat and cannot be threatened. While the Saudi monarchy gets its legitimacy from oil and money and from Israel and the US who supply it with weapons, Iranian legitimacy stems from its people, its long history and extraordinary culture. As for weakening Iranian influence in the region by weakening Hezbollah and Syria, that has been a colossal failure. Hezbollah is strong and well respected and is seen as the guarantee for stability in Lebanon. Furthermore, having been struck by Hezbollah might twice, Israel will not dare challenge it. And in Syria regardless of what one may think of the regime, it has clearly maintained the upper hand as a result of the support of Iran and Hezbollah.

What Israel wants however is legitimacy. It wants to continue the genocide of the Palestinian people uninterrupted, it wants to demonstrate to the world that it won on all fronts and it wants the US embassy to move to Jerusalem once and for all. And while Israel is being allowed to destroy Palestine and kill its people, the Jerusalem issue is a more complicated one and can only happen if ambitious yet ignorant and careless people are in power. And so it happens that at this moment in time there is precisely such a combination in place. With the new Saudi Crown Prince, Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu, let the games begin. Interrupting the status quo regarding Jerusalem is so dangerous and has such destructive potential that even King Abdullah of Jordan, who himself owes his power to Israel and the US is warning the US to avoid meddling with it. Jerusalem has been a Muslim city with a minority of other religions who are living there for around fifteen hundred years. It was only the sheer brutality of the Israeli military and the ethnic cleansing campaign Israel has put in place that has somewhat changed the nature of the city. But no recognition was ever given to the Zionist conquest of Jerusalem and hard as they try, it will never be seen as legitimate. Although for seven decades Israel has maintained that Jerusalem is its capital, the rest of the world was not able to swallow this breach of international law and common sense. And even today after seven decades of destruction the city of Jerusalem still maintains its Muslim heritage and is considered to be an icon of Islam peppered with symbols of other religions which reside within it. If Mohamad Bin Salman, Trump and Netanyahu attempt to make change this, it will surely hasten the collapse of the unholy alliance but it is also sure to bring a great deal of misery and violence.

In the meantime, the three musketeers have a plan for the Palestinians. They are to give up their dignity, forgo their rights and swallow an indignation designed especially for them. With their land stolen, rights taken away, water denied and existence ignored at best and mostly destroyed, they should accept a small fraction of Palestine designated as Area A of what used to be the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as a Palestinian state. But what if they do not accept this indignation? The US is threatening to close down the PLO mission in Washington DC. The mission is not an embassy and in many ways its existence is in and of itself an indignation which the Palestinian Authority seems to be willing to swallow. Palestinians will be no worse off if it is closed and as was said by my friend Issa Amro, co-founder and leader of Youth Against Settlements in Hebron, recently, there are enough Palestinians in the US to represent the Palestinian voice proudly and truthfully until such time that a real ambassador of an actual Palestinian government presents credentials to the president of the United States.

Mohammad Bin Salman summoning the Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri and attempting to force him to discredit Hezbollah – a legitimate and stabilizing part of the Lebanese government – and the summoning of Mahmoud Abbas from Ramallah and ordering him to accept the new peace deal, is nothing more than a show of muscle by a new and inexperienced player. Even the praise Thomas Friedman heaped on him in the New York Times, and rather foolishly wrote that, “The most significant reform process underway anywhere in the Middle East today,” only shows that Bin Salman is over reaching and that he is too young and inexperienced to understand the Middle East. Having failed miserably in Yemen, Syria and Iraq, Saudi Arabia lost massive ground to the Iranians and he hopes that Trump and Netanyahu will come to his aid. But he is relying on some very weak allies: The very legitimacy of Netanyahu and the entire Zionist project are now being brought to question and Trump will be fortunate if he is able to see the end of his first term as president without being forced to resign. One hopes that with the inevitable collapse of this alliance a new one will rise, one that will support a free Palestine and a peaceful Middle East.

December 2, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hariri’s Resignation and More Plans for War

By Jeremy Salt | American Herald Tribune | November 21, 2017

Undoubtedly the media’s account of Saad Hariri’s ‘forced’ resignation is not the whole story, but how true or untrue is it? As Hariri is a Saudi-US asset, the ‘forced’ resignation seems more like the sacking of a company executive who has not lived up to expectations. Told to step out of office Hariri did what he was told, following through by issuing a Saudi-scripted statement accusing Hezbollah and Iran of sowing discord across the region, and talking of a plot to assassinate him.

In fact, it was Saudi Arabia sowing discord, by blaming Hezbollah and Iran for Hariri’s resignation, with the apparent aim of throwing Lebanon into chaos. Predictably, Netanyahu jumped in immediately, saying the resignation was a call to the ‘international community’ to take action against Iranian aggression but no-one else bought it, not even Lebanon’s Sunni Muslims. Hezbollah reacted calmly and if anyone came out of it badly it was Saudi Arabia.  In the Iranian view the removal of Hariri was a plot cooked up by Trump and Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman.

Hariri himself did not return to Lebanon where he could have defied the Saudis and resumed his position but moved on to France, where he was welcomed by President Macron at the Elysee Palace. Soon after talking to Hariri, Macron was on the phone to Trump, discussing the Iranian ‘threat’ and how to deal with it.  According to Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun, Hariri told him he would return to Beirut by Independence Day, November 22, marking the end of the French mandate. The Lebanese parties, including Hezbollah, still regard Hariri as the country’s Prime Minister so how all of this plays after Hariri’s return will be interesting to see.

What lies behind all this?  What is the connection between Hariri’s resignation (forced or otherwise) and the other events running concurrently in Saudi Arabia, namely the arrest of some of the most powerful figures in the kingdom and the confiscation of their assets, estimated at about $800 billion?  One has to assume there is a connection. It seems far too much of a coincidence for there not to be one.

The claim that the purge of the princes was part of an anti-corruption drive is bunk, seeing that corruption is intrinsic to how the Saudi government operates, domestically and in its foreign policy.  If corruption is a cover story, why were these princes removed?  Could it be their opposition to Saudi Arabia’s policy failures, in Syria and Yemen, and their opposition to what is now clearly being moved from the drawing board to implementation, a war on Iran, involving the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia?  They would hardly be alone in seeing Crown Prince Muhamad bin Salman as reckless, foolhardy and lethally dangerous to the stability of the Saudi kingdom: his accession to the throne they would regard, literally, as a crowning act of folly.

That another war is on the horizon is clear from all the signals coming out of Israel in the past six months. That not just the US but Saudi Arabia will be part of it is obvious. Intermittently, Israel and Saudi Arabia have been pushing for war on Iran for a decade.  With the US refusing to bite, to the extent of launching an open military attack, Syria was chosen as the next best target: if the government in Damascus could be destroyed, the strategic alliance between Iran, Syria and Hezbollah would collapse at its central arch. This plan B was partly foiled by the refusal of the UN Security Council, thanks to the vetoes of Russia and China, to sanction an aerial war on Syria along the lines of the assault on Libya. Plan C had to come into effect, reliance on a war of attrition fought by takfiri proxies organised, financed and armed mainly by the US, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Israel, Britain and France, and coordinated with the assistance of governments ranging from the Balkans to Central Asia.  Seven years later Plan C has now ground to a halt. The ‘axis of reaction’ (the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia) has suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of the ‘axis of resistance’ (Iran, Syria and Hezbollah). Russian intervention has been critical, so the victory is Russia’s as well, and a particular humiliation for the US.

This does not end the list of defeats suffered by the ‘axis of reaction.’ Another severe blow has been suffered through the collapse of the Kurdish drive for independence in northern Iraq. Both the US and Israel have assiduously cultivated the Kurds for decades, seeing northern Iraq as a new strategic centre for military and intelligence operations across the Middle East. The US and British ‘no fly’ zone and ‘safe haven’ initiatives of 1990/91 were the first steps in the planned breakup of an Iraq that no longer suited imperial purposes. The invasion of 2003 and the imposition of a constitution dictated by the US, weakening the authority of the central government, led to Kurdish autonomy which, in time, would have been expected to end in independence and a new base for US/Israeli operations across the Middle East.

Even the US was against the referendum called by Masoud Barzani: seeing that it was already getting what it wanted, the referendum would be premature and cause more trouble than it was worth.

This proved to be the case. Turkey and Iran reacted viscerally, ending flights and closing border crossings: the Iraqi army retook Kirkuk and all the territory conquered by the Peshmerga in 2014. Barzani stepped down as president of the KRG: Jalal Talabani, the head of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), had died only recently, leaving the Kurds leaderless and at each other’s throats over who was responsible for this debacle. Iraq is now being reconstituted as a unitary state. The largely Shia Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) has developed into a powerful annex to the regular army. Moreover, the government in Baghdad has a close working relationship with the government of the Islamic Republic in Tehran.

The paradox of these defeats is that they increase to a critical level the danger of a new attack by the ‘axis of reaction’ on the ‘axis of resistance.’ Russia, Iran, Syria and Hezbollah cannot be allowed to get away with these victories.  The Israeli chief of staff, Gabi Eisenkot, hardly needed to say, as he did recently, that there is ‘complete agreement between us and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’ on the question of Iran’s spreading influence across the Middle East, or ‘control’ of the region as he put it. Unable to impose its will on one of the poorest countries in the world, Yemen, Saudi Arabia would be of little help on the front line in a war against dangerous targets such as Hezbollah and Iran.  But it has money and according to Hasan Nasrallah, has offered to pay Israel billions of dollars for a new war on Hezbollah.

As Israel always has the next war on the drawing board, the central question is ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ it will be launched. In recent months it has held some of the largest-scale land and air exercises in its recent history in preparation for a new war on Hezbollah, including training for fighting in tunnels. It has warned repeatedly over the years that the next time around the ‘Dahiyeh strategy’ will be applied across Lebanon and is busy selling the propaganda package that there really is no Lebanon any more but only a Hezbollah enclave controlled by Iran.

Dahiyeh, of course, is the largely Shia Beirut suburb and urban HQ of Hezbollah that was pulverised from the air in 2006. Given the huge civilian casualties Israel is willing to inflict in the next war, Iran and Syria would be hard pressed to stay out but the moment they intervene, Israel, the US and Saudi Arabia will have their three primal enemies directly in their line of fire. The refusal of the US to withdraw its forces and dismantle its air bases in Syria now that the Islamic State has been ‘defeated’ (if still being used as an American tool) is probably connected with preparation for the coming conflict.

Israel’s existential struggle in the Middle East since 1948 has now reached the point of crisis. Israel may think it has all the time it needs to completely engorge the West Bank but it does not have such a luxury on the regional front. If Iran is stronger now than before the wars on Iraq and Syria, it will be even stronger in two or three years’ time. It has a large standing army, fought an extremely destructive war against Iraq (1980-89), has been deeply involved at the planning and combat level in the defence of Syria and has built up a large arsenal of locally developed short and long-range missiles.

By comparison, Israel has not even fought a regular army since 1973: in 2000 it was driven out of Lebanon by a guerrilla force and when it attempted to retrieve lost ground by launching a new war in 2006 its ground troops proved incapable of taking villages even a few kilometres from the armistice line. Its attacks on Gaza have been onslaughts on a largely defenceless civilian population.

Given that since 1948 its security/insecurity situation has ultimately been based not on diplomacy but on full spectrum military domination from the possession of nuclear weapons down to conventional warfare, Israel cannot allow the current situation of strengthening enemies to continue. Hostile to any kind of diplomatic settlement that would generate a real peace, Israel must go to war. It says it is much stronger and better prepared than in 2006 but so are Hezbollah and Iran. Hezbollah alone has a large stockpile of missiles able to reach any corner of occupied Palestine: Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system will stop some of them but not all.

If it does go to war Israel is certainly going to suffer civilian casualties unprecedented in its history but the politicians and generals around Netanyahu will argue that its existential situation will demand these sacrifices. The US would come in behind Israel, but Russia could not be expected to sit by while its diplomatic alliances and strategic assets in the Middle East are destroyed. The commentator Abd al Bari Atwan has warned that such a war would be the most destructive in the region’s history, developing into a global conflict, and has raised the question of whether Israel, having started it, could survive it. This is a truly apocalyptic scenario.

As usual the Palestinians find themselves caught in the middle. Mahmud Abbas is being told to go along with the Trump-Kushner-Israel ‘peace initiative’ or else, even by Saudi Arabia. This would involve Abbas publicly sharing the anti-Iranian, anti-Hezbollah and anti-Shia views of the Saudis at a time he is engaged in a reconciliation process with Hamas, which has refused to take a stand against Hezbollah. Furthermore, several of its senior leaders have recently been in Tehran.  For the moment all eyes are on Hariri as he returns to Beirut: how will he explain himself, will he resume his position as Prime Minister and on what terms?

November 26, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Lebanon has right to resist, foil Israeli plans: Aoun

Lebanese President Michel Aoun
Press TV – November 20, 2017

Lebanese President Michel Aoun says his nation has the absolute “right to resist and foil” Israel’s aggressive plans by “all available means” as Tel Aviv continues “targeting” the Mediterranean country.

President Aoun made the remarks via his official Twitter account on Monday, a day after Arab League Secretary-General Ahmad Aboul Gheit announced at a press conference in the Egyptian capital of Cairo that Arab states had agreed to designate Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement a “terrorist organization.”

Being a member of Lebanon’s coalition government, the popular Hezbollah movement, which currently holds 14 of the 128 seats at the parliament of Lebanon, has been a strong aid to the Lebanese army in thwarting any Israeli aggression against the country. Back in 2000, the resistance movement successfully forced Israel to withdraw from southern Lebanon.

Hezbollah is also playing a major role in fighting against foreign-backed Takfiri terrorist groups, which have been wreaking havoc in neighboring Syria for the last six years.

The Arab League’s extraordinary general meeting on Sunday was held at the request of Saudi Arabia, which has assumed an aggressive stance against Hezbollah for its alleged links to Iran, Riyadh’s powerful rival in the region. Riyadh associates Hezbollah with Iran and has been trying to weaken the resistance movement, which is Lebanon’s de facto deterrent force against Tel Aviv.

In its concluding resolution, the Arab League announced that Arab foreign ministers, excluding those of Lebanon and Iraq, would hold Hezbollah responsible for supporting “terrorist groups” across the region.

Furthermore, it also blamed the Lebanese government for aiding and supporting the resistance group, accusing Beirut of being an accomplice to what Hezbollah is doing.

However, in a separate tweet on Monday, Aoun strongly defended Hezbollah, saying he “cannot accept suggestions that Lebanon’s government is a partner in acts of terrorism.”

Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil says he refused to list Hezbollah as a terror group as it is a “fundamental component of the Lebanese state.”

The accusations leveled by Saudi-dominated Arab League against Hezbollah echoes exactly what Israel alleges against the resistance movement, strongly suggesting Riyadh is trying hard to help the Israeli entity by weakening Hezbollah.

The developments came some two weeks after Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his shock resignation in a televised address aired from the Saudi capital, shortly after he arrived there for a visit, repeating the same accusations against Hezbollah. After resigning, Hariri spent two more weeks in Saudi Arabia amid rumors he was under house arrest there, before traveling to Paris on Saturday.

After meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, Hariri promised to be in Lebanon in time to mark its independence day on Wednesday. His awkward decision, however, has already plunged the country into political turmoil.

Meanwhile, the Arab League’s head said that Lebanon should be “spared” from spiraling regional tensions after arriving in Beirut to meet with Aoun.

“Arab countries understand and take into account the situation in Lebanon and want to spare it … from any dispute,” said Aboul Gheit.

Hamas slams Arab League for terrorist labeling of Hezbollah

Later on Monday, Palestinian Hamas movement slammed Arab League for labeling Lebanon’s Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

A statement released by the Gaza-based Hamas said it “rejects the description of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement as terrorist.”

The Palestinian movement added that instead of Hezbollah, Israel’s actions against Palestinians should be labeled “terrorism.”

Hamas also called on Arab states to “support the legitimate struggle of the Palestinian people,” urging them to work together to solve their differences through dialogue.

November 20, 2017 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , | 1 Comment

Palestine: Saudi Arabia, Egypt using Rafah crossing to pressure us

MEMO | November 17, 2017

The Rafah crossing between the besieged Gaza Strip and Egypt is being used a tool to pressure Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to enter into US-backed peace talks with Israel, a Palestinian Authority official has said.

“The Rafah crossing has become a tool that Egypt and Saudi Arabia use to pressure Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to accept the entry into a new round of US-backed negotiations with Israel,” the PA official said, warning that “the negotiations could reach results that may affect the rights of the Palestinians.”

According to the Cairo agreement which was signed on 12 October, Egypt agreed with Fatah and Hamas to reopen the Rafah border crossing last Tuesday, but the official said that “Saudi Arabia seemed to have pressured Egypt to retreat until the PA approves the two-state solution deal.”

The official described the exploiting of the only humanitarian crossing for Gaza’s residents as “suspicious”.

“They [Arab countries] are using the crossing to strengthen their ties with the US and Israel” he added.

Israel has maintained a blockade on Gaza for a decade, with tight restrictions in place on the movement of people and goods at its crossings, citing the need to control Hamas and stop Islamic groups from obtaining weapons or materials that could be used against Tel Aviv. Egypt has supported the blockade by closing the Rafah crossing, leaving Palestinian in Gaza no access to the outside world.

Gaza’s two million residents suffer from worsening humanitarian conditions, with only a few hours of power a day and a lack of clean water. Control of the Rafah crossing at Gaza’s southern border has long been a sticking point between the two Palestinian factions, and between Egypt and the Palestinians in Gaza for whom the crossing represents a vital gateway to the outside world.

November 17, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment

The resumption of PA security coordination with Israel is no surprise

By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | November 14, 2017

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas is not one to miss an opportunity to collaborate with Israel. At sporadic intervals, the suspension of security coordination with Israel was implemented temporarily only when Palestinians were protesting over Israeli violence or, for example, surveillance at Al-Aqsa Mosque. Despite congratulatory statements regarding Abbas’s decision to suspend what he has called “sacred” coordination with the occupation authorities, there was still doubt over its implementation; there were even occasional comments that security coordination had resumed even as the PA was still congratulating itself over the “suspension”.

Last week, all doubts were dissipated as the PA confirmed that it had resumed security coordination with Israel two weeks earlier. In terms of accuracy, the time frame can be contested, given that reports as early as August had already confirmed such collaboration. In light of the reconciliation agreement between the PA and Hamas, it is thus ever more pertinent to question the underlying motives behind such a deal, which has the potential to open up Gaza to Israel.

According to comments on Press TV, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum declared the movement’s “surprise” at the announcement. Security coordination “is the equivalent of the greatest danger to the Palestinian people, its unity and its legitimate rights, including the right to resist the occupation,” he said. Barhoum also described the move as distorting “the reputation” of the Palestinian people, their struggles and history.

While Barhoum’s comments show an understanding of the implications, claiming to be surprised was surely an exaggeration. Had Gaza not been forced to seek a compromise with Fatah, it is possible that the current political scenario would not be defined by a reconciliation agreement, particularly one which so far is seeking to overturn the resistance with which Hamas has been identified and which sets the movement apart from other political factions due to being forced into situations necessitating defence in the enclave.

Within the same time frame of the security coordination announcement, senior Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzook also stated that responsibility for Palestinians in Gaza now rests entirely with the PA as a sign of credibility to eliminate internal division. The problem is that the emphasis on internal division is being isolated from the repercussions upon Palestinians. If the current trend continues, Palestinian leaders will be making the same mistakes as the international community by separating the political from the humanitarian, thus creating different levels of responsibility, visibility and accountability.

If the PA determines the course of the reconciliation agreement, security coordination will ultimately provide Israel with access to the Gaza Strip unless Hamas decides on an alternative course of action, which is to refute the entire facade of “unity” that has been shaped by Mahmoud Abbas. Coercion has been a primary factor influencing the reconciliation agreement, compounded with the international isolation of Gaza, its people and Hamas. Security coordination is another form of coercion which will determine additional levels of oppression for Palestinians, including those in Gaza.

For many years, Abbas has sought to maintain different forms of violence in Gaza and the occupied West Bank, using deprivation and security coordination respectively. Under such circumstances, Hamas will be in dire need of further evaluation and a different strategy.

Read Also: What prisoners mean to the Palestinian Authority

PA’s security coordination with Israel greatest threat to unity

November 14, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hamas delegation meets with the Lebanese president

Palestine Information Center – November 8, 2017

BEIRUT – Member of the Hamas Political Bureau, Ezzat al-Resheq, on Wednesday led a Hamas delegation on a visit to Lebanon to meet with the Lebanese president, Michel Aoun, and a number of Lebanese officials.

Hamas’s representative in Lebanon, Ali Baraka, said in an interview with Quds Press that the delegation will discuss with the Lebanese officials the latest developments in the Palestinian arena and the reconciliation file.

Baraka affirmed that the delegation is interested in conveying a message to the Lebanese leadership that Hamas cares about Lebanon’s security and civil peace and rejects using the Palestinian refugee camps in the country to spark internal conflicts.

He added that the Hamas delegation had earlier today met with the head of the internal security service, major-general Ibrahim Basbous, Lebanon’s Mufti, Abdullatif Derian, and the secretary-general of the Islamic Group in Lebanon, Azzam al-Ayyoubi, and briefed them on the latest developments in the Palestinian issue in general and the reconciliation in particular.

The Hamas official noted that Hamas has asked for a meeting with the Lebanese Prime Minister, Saad al-Hariri, before his resignation but the recent developments prevented the meeting from taking place.

Baraka stressed that Hamas’s visit to Lebanon comes within the framework of the Movement’s efforts to inform the Arab and Muslim leaders about the latest developments in the Palestinian scene, including the reconciliation agreement signed in Cairo in October, and has nothing to do with any other agendas.

November 8, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , | Leave a comment

Hamas slams PA for insistence on EU mission at Rafah crossing

Palestine Information Center – November 4, 2017

GAZA – Member of Hamas Political Bureau, Mousa Abu Marzouk, condemned in a tweet on Saturday the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) insistence on the existence of the EU mission at Rafah border crossing. This means the return of the Israeli control over the crossing, he highlighted.

“Why is the PA keen on the Israeli existence at the crossing when it has become managed by a national administration?” Abu Marzouk wondered.

Last Wednesday, the Palestinian consensus government took over the control of Gaza Strip crossings in accordance with the latest Cairo reconciliation agreement.

November 4, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , | Leave a comment