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Monbiot Still Burying his Head in Sands of Syria

By Jonathan Cook | Dissident Voice | November 21, 2017

Investigative journalist Gareth Porter has published two exclusives whose import is far greater than may be immediately apparent. They concern Israel’s bombing in 2007 of a supposed nuclear plant secretly built, according to a self-serving US and Israeli narrative, by Syrian leader Bashar Assad.

Although the attack on the “nuclear reactor” occurred a decade ago, there are pressing lessons to be learnt for those analysing current events in Syria.

Porter’s research indicates very strongly that the building that was bombed could not have been a nuclear reactor – and that was clear to experts at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) even as the story was being promoted uncritically across the western media.

But – and this is the critical information Porter conveys – the IAEA failed to disclose the fact that it was certain the building was not a nuclear plant, allowing the fabricated narrative to be spread unchallenged. It abandoned science to bow instead to political expediency.

The promotion of the bogus story of a nuclear reactor by Israel and key figures in the Bush administration was designed to provide the pretext for an attack on Assad. That, it was hoped, would bring an end to his presidency and drag into the fray the main target – Iran. The Syrian “nuclear reactor” was supposed to be a re-run of the WMD deception, used in 2003 to oust another enemy of the US and Israel’s – Saddam Hussein of Iraq.

It is noteworthy that the fabricated evidence for a nuclear reactor occurred in 2007, a year after Israel’s failure to defeat Hizbullah in Lebanon. The 2006 Lebanon war was itself intended to spread to Syria and lead to Assad’s overthrow, as I explained in my book Israel and the Clash of Civilisations.

It is important to remember that this Israeli-neocon plot against Syria long predated – in fact, in many ways prefigured – the civil war in 2011 that quickly morphed into a proxy war in which the US became a key, if mostly covert, actor.

The left’s Witchfinder General

The relevance of the nuclear reactor deception can be understood in relation to the latest efforts by Guardian columnist George Monbiot (and many others) to discredit prominent figures on the left, including Noam Chomsky and John Pilger, for their caution in making assessments of much more recent events in Syria. Monbiot has attacked them for not joining him in simply assuming that Assad was responsible for a sarin gas attack last April on Khan Sheikhoun, an al-Qaeda stronghold in Idlib province.

Understandably, many on the left have been instinctively wary of rushing to judgment about individual incidents in the Syrian war, and the narratives presented in the western media. The claim that Assad’s government used chemical weapons in Khan Sheikhoun, and earlier in Ghouta, was an obvious boon to those who have spent more than a decade trying to achieve regime change in Syria.

In what has become an ugly habit with Monbiot, and one I have noted before, he has enthusiastically adopted the role of Witchfinder General. Any questioning of evidence, scepticism or simply signs of open-mindedness are enough apparently to justify accusations that one is an Assadist or conspiracy theorist. Giving house room to the doubts of a ballistics expert like Ted Postol of MIT, or an experienced international arms expert like Scott Ritter, or a famous investigative journalist like Seymour Hersh, or a former CIA analyst like Ray McGovern, is apparently proof that one is an atrocity denier or worse.

Inconvenient facts buried

Monbiot’s latest attack was launched at a moment when he obviously felt he was on solid ground. A UN agency, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), issued a report last month concluding that the 100 people killed and 200 injured in Khan Sheikhoun last April were exposed to sarin. Monbiot argues that the proof is now incontrovertible that Assad was responsible – a position that he, of course, adopted at the outset – and that all other theories have now been decisively discounted by the OPCW.

There are reasons to think that Monbiot is seriously misrepresenting the strength of the OPCW’s findings, as several commentators have observed. Most notably, Robert Parry, another leading investigative journalist, points out that evidence in the report’s annex – the place where inconvenient facts are often buried – appears to blow a large hole in the official story.

Parry notes that the time recorded by the UN of the photo of the chemical weapons attack is more than half an hour *after* some 100 victims had already been admitted to five different hospitals, some of them lengthy drives from the alleged impact site.

But potentially more significant than such troubling inconsistencies are the conclusions of Gareth Porter’s separate investigation into Israel’s bombing of the non-existent Syrian nuclear reactor. That gets to the heart of where Monbiot and many others have gone badly wrong in their certainty about events in Syria.

Extreme naivety

Monbiot has been only too willing to promote as indisputable fact claims made both by highly compromised and unreliable western sources and by supposedly reputable and independent organisations, such as international human rights groups and UN agencies. He, like many others, assumes that the latter can always be relied upon to stand apart from western interests and can therefore be implicitly trusted.

That indicates an extreme naivety or possibly the lack of any experience covering on the ground highly charged conflicts in which western interests are paramount.

I have been based in Israel for nearly two decades and have on several occasions taken to task Human Rights Watch (HRW), one of the world’s most esteemed human rights organisations. I have shown that assessments it has made were patently not rooted in evidence or even credible interpretations of international law but in geopolitical considerations. That was especially true in the case of the month-long fighting between Israel and Hizbullah in 2006. (See here and here.) My concerns about HRW’s work, I later learnt from insiders, were shared in its New York head office, but were silenced by the organisation’s most senior staff.

Nuclear plant deception

But Porter helps shine a light on how even the most reputable international agencies can end up similarly following a script written in Washington and one that rides roughshod over evidence, especially when the interests of the world’s only superpower are at stake. In this case, the deceptions were perpetuated by one of the world’s leading scientific organisations: the International Atomic Energy Agency, which monitors states’ nuclear activities.

Porter reveals that Yousry Abushady, the IAEA’s foremost expert on North Korean nuclear reactors, was able immediately to discount the aerial photographic evidence that the building Israel bombed in 2007 was a nuclear reactor. (Most likely it was a disused missile storage depot.)

The Syrian “nuclear plant”, he noted, could not have been built using North Korean know-how, as was claimed by the US. It lacked all the main features of a North Korean gas-cooled reactor. The photos produced by the Israelis showed a building that, among other things, covered too small an area and was not anywhere near high enough, it had none of the necessary supporting structures, and there was no cooling tower.

Abushady’s assessment was buried by the IAEA, which preferred to let the CIA and the Israelis promote their narrative unchallenged.

Atomic agency’s silence

This was not a one-off failure. In summer 2008, the IAEA visited the area to collect samples. Had the site been a nuclear plant, they could have expected to find nuclear-grade graphite particles everywhere. They found none.

Nonetheless, the IAEA again perpetrated a deception to try to prop up the fictitious US-Israeli narrative.

As was routine, they sent the samples to a variety of laboratories for analysis. None found evidence of any nuclear contamination – apart from one. It identified particles of man-made uranium. The IAEA issued a report giving prominence to this anomalous sample, even though in doing so it violated its own protocols, reports Parry. It could draw such a conclusion only if the results of all the samples matched.

In fact, as one of the three IAEA inspectors who had been present at the site later reported, the sample of uranium did not come from the plant itself, which was clean, but from a changing room nearby. A former IAEA senior inspector, Robert Kelley, told Parry that a “very likely explanation” was that the uranium particles derived from “cross contamination” from clothing worn by the inspectors. This is a problem that had been previously noted by the IAEA in other contexts.

Meanwhile, the IAEA remained silent about its failure to find nuclear-grade graphite in a further nine reports over two years. It referred to this critical issue for the first time in 2011.

Chance for war with Iran

In other words, the IAEA knowingly conspired in a fictitious, entirely non-scientific assessment of the Syrian “nuclear reactor” story, one that neatly served US-Israeli geopolitical interests.

Porter notes that vice-president Dick Cheney “hoped to use the alleged reactor to get President George W Bush to initiate US airstrikes in Syria in the hope of shaking the Syrian-Iranian alliance”.

In fact, Cheney wanted far more sites in Syria hit than the bogus nuclear plant. In his memoirs, the then-secretary of defence, Robert Gates, observed that Cheney was “looking for an opportunity to provoke a war with Iran”.

The Bush administration wanted to find a way to unseat Assad, crush Hizbullah in Lebanon, and isolate and weaken Iran as a way to destroy the so-called “Shia crescent”.

That goal is being actively pursued again by the US today, with Israel and Saudi Arabia leading the way. A former US ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, recently warned that, after their failure to bring down Assad, the Saudis have been trying to switch battlefields to Lebanon, hoping to foment a confrontation between Israel and Hizbullah that would drag in Iran.

Abandoning science

Back in 2007, the IAEA, an agency of scientists, did its bit to assist – or at least not obstruct – US efforts to foster a political case, an entirely unjustified one, for military action against Syria and, very possibly by extension, Iran.

If the IAEA could so abandon its remit and the cause of science to help play politics on behalf of the US, what leads Monbiot to assume that the OPCW, an even more politicised body, is doing any better today?

That is not to say Assad, or at least sections of the Syrian government, could not have carried out the attack on Khan Sheikhoun. But it is to argue that in a matter like this one, where so much is at stake, the evidence must be subjected to rigorous scrutiny, and that critics, especially experts who offer counter-evidence, must be given a fair hearing by the left. It is to argue that, when the case against Assad fits so neatly a long-standing and self-serving western narrative, a default position of scepticism is fully justified. It is to argue that facts, strong as they may seem, can be manipulated even by expert bodies, and therefore due weight needs also to be given to context – including an assessment of motives.

This is not “denialism”, as Monbiot claims. It is a rational strategy adopted by those who object to being railroaded once again – as they were in Iraq and Libya – into catastrophic regime change operations.

Meanwhile, the decision by Monbiot and others to bury their heads in the sands of an official narrative, all the while denouncing anyone who seeks to lift theirs out for a better view, should be understood for what it is: an abnegation of intellectual and moral responsibility for those around the globe who continue to be the victims of western military supremacism.

November 21, 2017 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Trump’s ‘ultimate deal’ only offers hard choices for Abbas

By Jonathon Cook – The National – November 20, 2017

The long wait appears to be coming to an end on Donald Trump’s “ultimate deal”, one supposedly capable of unlocking the impasse between Israel and the Palestinians.

The United States peace initiative may be unveiled as soon as January, marking the first anniversary of Mr Trump’s arrival in office. Other reports suggest it may be delayed until March. But all seem sure it will be upon us soon.

Neither Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu nor Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, appear keen to enter another round of fruitless dialogue.

But for good reason, Mr Abbas is far more reticent.

This month, in statements presumably directed at Washington, he insisted he would not agree to a Palestinian state without Gaza, or one restricted to Gaza. He also warned again that, in the absence of a two-state solution, Israel would face demands from Palestinians for equal rights in one state.

That was presumably the context for Mr Abbas being called to Riyadh earlier this month, doubtless after the White House urged Saudi Arabia use its leverage with the Palestinian leader to bring him onside. According to Palestinian sources cited by Israeli reporter Ben Caspit, Mr Abbas was told in no uncertain terms that he had to respond positively to the coming peace initiative.

Strong-arming Mr Abbas was doubtless also the motive behind US threats at the weekend to shut down what is effectively the Palestinians’ embassy in Washington – unless the Palestinian leader agrees to peace talks.

Outrage from Palestinian officials, who referred to the White House move as “extortion”, was an indication of their mounting exasperation.

Given that Mr Abbas is invested exclusively in diplomacy, his resistance to this round of US-led peacemaking should serve as warning enough of how bad a Trump peace is likely to prove.

At the weekend Israeli media offered the first substantive clues of what might be on offer.

The headline news is not entirely bad – so long as one ignores the small print. Most significantly, if reports are accurate – and Washington and Israel claim they are not – the US is said to be ready to recognise a Palestinian state.

It is a move characterised by the kind of bullishness that is Mr Trump’s trademark and has left Mr Netanyahu anxious. But everything else should reassure him.

The US will apparently agree that no one will be forcibly moved from their home. That may prove the answer to Israel’s prayers. It will finally have US blessing for all its illegal settlements, which have eaten into the bulk of the West Bank, turning it into a patchwork of Palestinian enclaves.

After five decades of Israel clearing most of the Palestinian population from the same area, penning them up in cities, the reported Trump deal will offer no restitution.

The most intractable issue, Jerusalem, will supposedly be kept off the table for now. But reports say Israel will be allowed to continue its military chokehold on the large agricultural spine of the West Bank, the Jordan Valley.

Everything else will be up for grabs – or as a US official noted, its role would be “not to impose anything” on the two parties. In practice, that means the strongest side, Israel, can impose its will by force.

All of this indicates that the “state” the US recognises will be a demilitarised archipelago of mini-Palestines. This Trumpian version of statehood could be the weirdest one ever conceived.

That should not surprise us. At a meeting in London this month to mark 100 years since the signing of the Balfour Declaration, Mr Netanyahu suggested that the Palestinians were an example of a people unsuited to “sovereignty”.

It is striking how little the prospect of a Trump peace process has ruffled the feathers of Israel’s far-right government.

That is in part because they have put in place measures to tie Mr Netanyahu’s hand. He is precluded from negotiating with a Palestinian unity government that includes Hamas, and he would have to refer any peace proposal to a referendum. And if he tests his colleagues’ loyalty too far, they can always bring down the coalition.

But their best hope is that the Trump deal will be so outrageously divorced from reality that Mr Abbas could never sign up to it, even if Washington secures Arab money to pay for its implementation.

The biggest danger may turn out to be the US president himself. Previous efforts at peacemaking, however skewed to Israeli interests, were at least premised on reaching a consensual agreement.

It is in Mr Trump’s nature to bargain ruthlessly and then cut a quick deal. In this environment, something has to give.

In one scenario, that could be the US president’s interest in solving the Israel-Palestine issue. But it could also be Mr Abbas and his increasingly authoritarian Palestinian Authority.

Forced into the corner by a bull-headed Trump administration, Mr Abbas may be faced with a hard choice: either he agrees to a series of non-viable statelets under Israel’s thumb, or he steps down and dismantles the Palestinians’ government-in-waiting.

In these circumstances, bringing down the house of cards that is the Palestinian Authority may be the best option, even if it delights many in Mr Netanyahu’s cabinet. It will leave a void, and one to be filled by a new generation of Palestinians no longer distracted by empty promises of statehood.

November 21, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 2 Comments

India Scraps $500M Military Deal With Israel Amid Rising Popular Concern About India’s Complicity in Israeli Crimes

BDS | November 21, 2017

Yesterday, media reported that the Indian Ministry of Defense scrapped the $500M deal with Israeli arms manufacturer Rafael Advanced Defense Systems for its missile systems. Years in the making, the deal had been celebrated in international media and was finalized after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel in July. In August, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and its Indian partner Kalyani Strategic Systems opened a facility in Hyderabad to manufacture the missile systems.

The deal was cancelled after India’s state-run Defense Research Development Organisation asserted that India should not import this Israeli technology.

Jamal Juma’, coordinator of the Palestinian Stop the Wall Campaign and BNC secretariat member said:

India’s decision to scrap this massive arms deal with Israel is a huge blow to the Israeli weapons industry. This $500 million deal would have fueled Israel’s military industry, which is deeply implicated in war crimes against the Palestinian people.

It is also a major setback for Israel’s propaganda hubris that its technology is indispensable for India’s development and modernization. As many Indians are recognizing, Israel is marketing military and agricultural technologies in India and trying to cement Indian dependence on Israel.

Israel seeks a flow of Indian cash for it’s own profit and to help finance its criminal wars and apartheid regime.

India is by far the globe’s biggest importer of Israeli weapons, and Israel is enjoying almost unparalleled influence in the Indian military system. Israel is equipping the Indian army with Israeli guns, the Indian airforce and navy with Israeli airplanes and missiles, and is also providing communication systems and technology in all levels of the Indian military.

Over the last two decades, Indo-Israeli military relations have continuously increased despite various corruption scandals and technical failures.

Similar patterns have started to surface in other sectors as well. India’s 16 million-strong farmer’s union AIKS has endorsed the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) “in order to stand for the rights of the Palestinian people and to resist the corporate takeover of Indian agriculture sector by Israeli companies.”

Members of Telengana’s state assembly last week denounced state-sponsored trips of Indian farmers to Israel as “a wastage of money.”

Omar Barghouti, co-founder of  the BNC said:

We hope this is the beginning of the end of Indian complicity in Israel’s egregious violation of international law and Palestinian human rights. As Palestinians we ask the Indian people to maintain their proud legacy of commitment to independence,  to growing local knowledge and to respecting other people’s struggles for self-determination.

Israel’s regime of oppression can never be a model for the great Indian nation that once led the non-aligned movement and upheld the right of all nations to self determination and freedom. Israel exports to India what it knows best — technology that represses, militarizes and dispossesses people of their land and water rights. India is better off without that.

Last week it was announced that Indian Oil and Natural Gas Corporations are bidding for drilling rights in gas fields claimed by Israel, despite the many controversies linked to territorial disputes in such fields.  In August, India’s Adventz group signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop Israel’s Jerusalem Light Rail, which serves Israel’s settlements in and around occupied East Jerusalem in violation of international law.

Omar Barghouti said:

As large multinationals increasingly abandon their illegal projects in Israel due to effective BDS pressure, Israel has started dragging India into deals fraught with legal and political problems. Indian companies would be well advised to avoid getting sucked into Israel’s human rights violations as more and more international corporations refuse to get involved in such complicity.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) is the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society. It leads and supports the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement for Palestinian rights. 

November 21, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 2 Comments

The consequences of symbolic recognition of Palestine

By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | November 21, 2017

Seeking recognition of Palestine has been one of the Palestinian Authority’s diplomatic strategies which lose significance when juxtaposed against Mahmoud Abbas’s collaboration with the Israeli occupation. Behind statements of recognition lies silence and the tacit acceptance of Israel’s colonisation of Palestinian land and forced displacement of the indigenous people. Other than the obsolete two-state paradigm, there has been little discussion of what such recognition actually means in practice, or whether it could generate a tangible outcome for Palestinians.

On Monday, during an official visit to Spain, Abbas urged the Spanish parliament to recognise Palestine, “so that Palestine and Israel can live side-by-side in security, stability and good neighbourly relations, which will bring hope in a better future for Palestine and its people who have suffered from historical injustice when they were uprooted from their homeland in the 1948 Nakba and the occupation of the rest of our land in 1967.”

According to Wafa news agency, Abbas also reiterated his support for international impositions, including “efforts by [US] President [Donald] Trump’s administration to achieve a historic peace deal.” Presumably Abbas is referring to the latest wheeze from Washington; according to Haaretz, the US State Department has threatened to shut down the Palestinian diplomatic mission in the country if it does not embark upon negotiations with Israel and instead seeks recourse through the International Criminal Court for Israel’s war crimes. PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat stated that all communication with the US would be halted if such a threat materialises.

However, with an entity that is bolstered by both the US and Israel, continuing or halting diplomatic communication will ultimately continue to reveal the degree of collaboration that is ongoing, with the PA on the bottom rung and through which decisions detrimental to Palestinians continue to be imposed. Whether countries recognise Palestine or not, Israel and the US continue a seamless plan to strip away Palestinians from their land. Clearly, symbolic recognition is neither helping nor hindering Palestine’s diplomatic efforts. It is merely a symbol of the PA purportedly attempting to take a stand for Palestinian rights.

Palestine has become many things, depending upon the interests of the actors involved. Colonialism constituted the first laceration between land and people. For the international community, it has been simplified into a “question” to be debated at regular intervals but never answered. Abbas, on the other hand, has followed the trajectory of exploiting Palestine after allowing Israel to continue its expansion. The ensuing question is, therefore, what recognition is Abbas demanding from governments? If there was no two-state imposition, what would constitute recognition of Palestine?

As things stand, recognition of Palestine upon Abbas’s demand also implies recognition of the PA’s concessions to Israel which have resulted in divesting Palestinians of their land. This is in line with Israel’s colonial ambitions. If Palestine and Palestinians become two separate, isolated entities, there will be no obstacle to expansion, since the international community is in agreement regarding its refusal to take a stand in favour of decolonisation. Perhaps, to complete the PA’s quest for symbolic recognition, some fragments of Palestinian territory will remain for the purpose of creating a symbolic rump Palestinian state that makes a mockery of historic Palestine, all of which rightfully belongs to all Palestinians.

November 21, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

A state without a state and an authority without authority

By Rasem Obidat | Al-Quds News | November 20, 2017

Israel’s Channel 2 has revealed the features of the American plan to resolve the Palestinian issue. The essence of the solution is based on Netanyahu’s economic project, a state without a state.

The Palestinian issue and the rights of the Palestinian people are also being addressed by Netanyahu and the American Zionist team in the US administration who are tasked with formulating this plan (Kushner, Greenblatt, Nikki Haley and David Friedman) who have worked in the US President’s office in real estate. Therefore, they look at our cause as a real estate issue that can be resolved with a package of huge economic aid, presented by the Arabs and Gulf sheikhs in order to make the plan a success.

The proposed plan abandons the notion of an independent Palestinian state on the 4 June 1967 borders. Instead, it states that the presence of settlers in the West Bank is legal and any evacuation of these invading settlers who have taken over Palestinian territories is a form of ethnic cleansing, according to Netanyahu. Hence, the plan legitimises the presence of the occupation and permits the confiscation of others’ land by force.

At the same time Netanyahu is stating that evacuating settlers from their settlements built on occupied Palestinian territories is considered ethnic cleansing, he is exercising all forms of ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people. He plans to expel, evacuate and displace Arab Jahalin Bedouins from the Jabal Al-Baba area, near Al-Eizariya, because these Bedouin communities on the outskirts of Jerusalem prevent the Ma’ale Adumim settlements, which include Mishor Adumim, Kedar and Mitzpe Yeriho, from being linked and annexed to the city of Jerusalem.

Construction in the area known as E1, 12 kilometres northwest of the Ma’ale Adumim settlement, would completely isolate the city of Jerusalem from its Palestinian surroundings and permanently bury the two-state solution. This would separate the northern part of the West Bank from the south and separate its northern and southern parts from its central area. It is a plan to separate and fragment the West Bank.

Netanyahu is well aware of the details and clauses of the American plan expected to be put forward, as the American team preparing the plan is more Zionist than Netanyahu himself. He is the most hostile and denies the rights of the Palestinian people, and therefore, it is not surprising that Netanyahu has described the evacuation of settlers from the occupied territories as a form of ethnic cleansing.

The Zionist American Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, said that Israel has the right to establish settlements anywhere in Jerusalem and the West Bank, on public or private Palestinian land. He even described Israel’s occupation of the West Bank as false claims and alleged occupation.

Therefore, Netanyahu’s proposals align with Friedman, Kushner and Greenblatt’s vision, as well as his expulsion of the Jahalin Bedouins from the areas surrounding Jerusalem. Furthermore, pushing back the Al-Walaja barrier by 2.5 kilometres in order to control the Ain Haniya area, and creating a connection in order to annex settlements south of Jerusalem, the Gush Etzion settlement blocs, and the settlements located east of it to the city, making them under its sovereignty and authority are all part of the American plan. This would make the area of Jerusalem 10 per cent of the West Bank.

This also means pumping 150,000 settlers into Jerusalem and removing 100,000 Jerusalemites from the city, as well as the villages and towns behind the wall, including Kafr Aqab, Shuafat Camp and parts of the village of Sawahra. This plan is proposed by the so-called minister of Ze’ev Elkin in order to ensure a Jewish majority in the city and shifting its demographic reality in favour of the settlers.

Twenty-four years after the signing of the Oslo Accords, we still have not reached a state, as believed by those who signed it. Unfortunately, it has led us to the disastrous situation where the PA is nothing more than a civil administration and local police that has no security or civil control, even in the areas that are supposed to be under complete Palestinian authority, i.e. Area A. The occupation violates and breaches the PA’s areas however and whenever it wants, without referring back to the Oslo Accords, and even considers its actions part of the agreement. In short, our situation is exactly how President Abbas put it at the UN General Assembly 72nd session, “an authority without authority”.

The new “creative” American plan to resolve the Palestinian issue according to the so-called regional framework preserves and legitimises the presence of setters in the West Bank. The plan also has the support, blessing and participation of Arab backers and funders of this plan.

We are well aware, whether or not President Abbas and the Saudi officials denied this, that the purpose of his summons to Riyadh was not to fill him in on the details of the American plan and what is required of the Palestinians according to the plan, but to present the American plan and reveal its temptations and threats.

Saudi Arabia is part of the financing of this plan, and one of its enthusiasts, as it is strongly seeking to normalise and legitimise Arab relations with Israel and integrate it into the region as a natural component. It sees Israel as a “friendly” state and that Iran and its advanced arm in the region, Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which Saudi Arabia has classified as a terrorist organisation, is the real threat to the security and stability of the region.

Therefore, Abbas’ approval of the American plan means pumping millions of dollars, perhaps billions, to the PA treasury. Rejecting the plan would mean a financial blockade and the creation of alternatives, and perhaps even America’s failure to renew the permit for the Palestinian representation office in Washington. This is all a part of America and its allies’ policy to pressure the PA to accept the plan.

Just as the disastrous Oslo Accords led us to an authority without authority, the so-called deal of the century will lead us to a state without a state. It will lead us to economic peace, which is Netanyahu’s project, entailing of the exchange of the Palestinian’s legitimate right to freedom and independence for economic projects and bribes that improve the Palestinians’ living situation under occupation. This will be achieved through Arab and international funding, with the occupation’s support and legitimisation.

Therefore, what awaits the Palestinian people is far more dangerous than the Oslo Accords. The “deal of the century” carries with it the complete liquidation of the Palestinian cause, unfortunately with Arab participation and blessing. Therefore, our people and leadership are facing true challenges and risks, requiring those meeting in Cairo today to be highly responsible. They arrange the internal home and our internal front in accordance with unified visions and strategies and a national project based on a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders and guaranteeing the refugees’ right of return, in accordance with UN resolution 194.

Failure and the continued division is not an option for our factions in Cairo, as it would mean disaster, destruction and loss for everyone. What we need is unity and an end to the division, as we are facing enormous dangers and challenges. Are our leaders aware of this?

Translation from Arabic by MEMO

November 21, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 1 Comment

70 Years of Broken Promises: The Untold Story of the Partition Plan

By Ramzy Baroud | MEMO | November 21, 2017

In a recent talk before Chatham House think-tank in London, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, approached the issue of a Palestinian state from an intellectual perspective.

Before we think of establishing a Palestinian state, he mused, “it is time we reassessed whether the modern model we have of sovereignty, and unfettered sovereignty, is applicable everywhere in the world.”

It is not the first time that Netanyahu discredits the idea of a Palestinian state. Despite clear Israeli intentions of jeopardizing any chances for the creation of such a state, the US Administration of Donald Trump is, reportedly, finalizing plans for an ‘ultimate peace deal’. The New York Times suggests that “the anticipated plan will have to be built around the so-called two-state solution.”

But why the wasted effort, while all parties, Americans included know that Israel has no intention of allowing a Palestinian state and the US has no political capital, or desire, to enforce one?

The answer may not lie in the present, but in the past.

A Palestinian Arab state had initially been proposed as a political tactic by the British, to provide a legal cover for the establishment of a Jewish state. It continues to be used as a political tactic, though never with the aim of finding a ‘just solution’ to the conflict, as is often propagated.

When British Foreign Secretary, Arthur James Balfour, made his promise, in November 1917, to the Zionist movement to grant them a Jewish state in Palestine, the once distant and implausible idea began taking shape. It would have been effortlessly achievable, had the Palestinians not rebelled.

The 1936-1939 Palestinian rebellion revealed an impressive degree of collective political awareness and ability to mobilize, despite British violence.

The British government then dispatched the Peel Commission to Palestine to examine the roots of the violence, hoping to quell the Palestinian revolt.

In July 1937, the commission published its report, which immediately ignited the fury of the native population, who were already aware of the British-Zionist collusion.

The Peel Commission concluded that “underlying causes of the disturbances” were the desire of the Palestinians for independence, and their “hatred and fear of the establishment of the Jewish national home.” Based on that view, it recommended the partition of Palestine into a Jewish state and a Palestinian state, the latter to be incorporated into Transjordan, which was itself under the control of the British.

Palestine, like other Arab countries, was supposedly being primed for independence, under the terms of the British Mandate, as granted by the League of Nations in 1922. Moreover, the Peel Commission was recommending partial independence for Palestine, unlike the full sovereignty granted to the Jewish state.

More alarming was the arbitrary nature of that division. The total Jewish land ownership then did not exceed 5.6 percent of the total size of the country. The Jewish state was to include the most strategic and fertile regions of Palestine, including the Fertile Galilee and much of the water access to the Mediterranean.

Thousands of Palestinians were killed in the rebellion as they continued to reject the prejudicial partition and the British ploy aimed at honoring the Balfour Declaration and rendering Palestinians stateless.

To strengthen its position, the Zionist leadership changed course. In May 1942, David Ben-Gurion, then the representative of the Jewish Agency, attended a New York conference which brought together leading American Zionists. In his speech, he demanded that all of Palestine become a “Jewish Commonwealth.”

A new powerful ally, President Harry Truman, began filling the gap left open, as the British were keen on ending their mandate in Palestine. In ‘Before Their Diaspora,’ Walid Khalidi writes:

“(US President Harry Truman) went a step further in his support of Zionism by endorsing a Jewish Agency plan for the partition of Palestine into a Jewish state and a Palestinian state. The plan envisaged the incorporation into the Jewish state about 60 percent of Palestine at a time when the Jewish landownership in the country did not exceed 7 percent.”

On November 29, 1947 the UN 33-member state General Assembly, under intense pressure from the US administration of Truman, voted in favor of Resolution 181 (II) calling for the partition of Palestine into three entities: a Jewish state, a Palestinian state and an international regime to govern Jerusalem.

If the British partition proposal of 1937 was bad enough, the UN resolution was a reason for total dismay, as it allocated 5500 square miles to the proposed Jewish state, and only 4500 square miles to Palestinians – who owned 94.2 of the land and represented over two-thirds of the population.

The ethnic cleansing of Palestine began in earnest after the Partition Plan was adopted. In December 1947, organized Zionist attacks on Palestinian areas resulted in the exodus of 75,000 people. In fact, the Palestinian Nakba – Catastrophe – did not begin in 1948, but 1947.

Palestinians being expelled and travelling to find refuge during the 1948 exodus

Palestinians being expelled and travelling to find refuge during the 1948 exodus or otherwise known as the Nakba.

That exodus of the Palestinians was engineered through Plan Dalet, which was implemented in stages and altered to accommodate political necessities. The final stage of that plan, launched in April of 1948, included six major operations. Two of them, Operation Nachshon and Harel, aimed at destroying the Palestinian villages in and around the Jaffa-Jerusalem border. By cutting off the two-main central mass that composed the proposed Palestinian Arab state, the Zionist leadership wanted to break up any possibility of Palestinian geographical cohesion. This continues to be the aim to this day.

The Israeli achievement after the war was hardly guided by the Partition Plan. The disjointed Palestinian territories of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem made up 22 percent of the historic size of Palestine.

The rest is painful history. The carrot of the Palestinian state is dangled from time to time, by the very forces that partitioned Palestine 70 years ago, yet worked diligently with Israel to ensure the demise of the political aspirations of the Palestinian people.

Eventually, the partitioned discourse was remolded into that of ‘two-state solution’, championed in recent decades by various US administrations, who exhibited little sincerity of ever making such a state a reality.

And now, 70 years after the partition of Palestine, there is only one state, although governed by two different sets laws, one that privileges Jews and discriminates against Palestinians.

“A single state has already existed for a long time,” wrote Israeli columnist Gideon Levy in a recent Haaretz column. “The time has come to launch a battle over the nature of its regime.”

Many Palestinians already have.

November 21, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

Nasrallah: US did what it could to help Daesh in Syria’s Bukamal

Press TV – November 20, 2017

The secretary general of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement says despite the US claims about fighting terrorism, it spared no effort to help Daesh forces in the Syrian town of al-Bukamal.

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah made the remarks in a televised address to the Lebanese nation in capital city of Beirut on Monday.

Nasrallah noted that recapturing Bukamal was a major victory over Daesh, because Bukamal was the last Syrian city occupied by Daesh.

“The US helped Daesh as much as it could in Bukamal short of directly engaging forces that fought to liberate the town from Daesh,” the Hezbollah leader noted.

Nasrallah went on to note that the US provided Daesh terrorists with full air cover in Bukamal.

The US sent its drones to Bukamal and provided Daesh with accurate information about what was going on, Nasrallah said, adding that American forces also waged electronic warfare against forces that were fighting to liberate Bukamal.

American forces also provided air transfer for Daesh commanders and facilitated their escape to eastern shores of the Euphrates, he said. The Hezbollah leader stated that even Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed the US for helping Daesh.

Nasrallah emphasized that recapturing Bukamal led to unity of Syria and ended Daesh’s self-proclaimed state in the country.

Following recent victories in Iraq and Syria, he added, the military structure of Daesh collapsed in the two countries and Iraqi forces have reached the Syrian border.

Hezbollah leader noted that the victory over Daesh was victory of Islamic values over terrorists’ savagery.

Nasrallah also highlighted the role played by Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps’ Quds Force Major General Qassem Soleimani in anti-terror operations in both Iraq and Syria.

He noted that Soleimani was commanding anti-Daesh operations in the two countries at the frontline and was never a commander to issue orders from behind the lines.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Nasrallah referred to the latest meeting of the Arab League foreign ministers in Cairo, who designated the Lebanese Hezbollah as a terrorist group, saying that this was not the first time that such accusations were leveled against Hezbollah.

Arab League Secretary General Ahmad Aboul Gheit announced at a press conference in the Egyptian capital of Cairo on Sunday that Arab states had agreed to designate Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement a “terrorist organization.”

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.

Nasrallah said the Arab League statement has labeled Hezbollah’s council, which is part of the Lebanon’s government, as a terrorist outfit, alleging that it provides missiles to terrorist groups in the region.

He added that accusations about Hezbollah sending missiles to regional countries were false and undocumented, emphasizing that the group has never sent any missiles or even light weapons to Kuwait, Yemen, Iraq or Bahrain or any other country in the region.

The leader of Hezbollah went on to say that the Arab League has warned Lebanon that if Hezbollah is not disarmed, security of the country would be in jeopardy.

Hezbollah rejected the accusation, noting that the main threat to security of Lebanon was the Zionist regime of Israel.

He added that the resistance front’s weapons were the main factor restoring security and stability to Lebanon, because they were used for defensive purposes in the face of the Israeli aggression.

Nasrallah emphasized that Hezbollah’s weapons were used only against terrorist groups such as Daesh and posed no threat to security of Lebanon.

A United Nations Security Council-appointed panel says it has seen no evidence to support Saudi Arabia’s claims that missiles have been transferred to Yemen’s Houthis by external sources.

Nasrallah stated that the main reason behind the recent Arab League meeting was not to discuss the issue of Palestine or other problems facing the Islamic world, but its main reason was the recent missile attack against a Saudi airport near the country’s capital, Riyadh.

Refusing Saudi Arabia and Arab League claims that the missile was provided to Yemeni Ansarullah fighters by Iran or the Lebanese Hezbollah, Nasrallah said Iran or Hezbollah had not sent any missiles to Yemen and Yemeni forces made their own missiles in the country.

He categorically rejected Arab League’s claims in this regard, noting that Saudi Arabia and its allies must admit that they have been defeated by Yemeni forces in their war of aggression against the country.

Nasrallah emphasized that Arab countries must put an immediate end to their support for terror groups, and do not fill the Middle East region with such outfits.

He reiterated that no member of Hezbollah was involved in the November 5 Yemeni missile strike against King Khalid International Airport of Riyadh.

The Hezbollah leader then took the Arab League to task for failing to address Saudi Arabia’s devastating aerial bombardment of the “Arab country of Yemen,” saying, “Saudi Arabia is bombing Yemeni people day and night.”

Strongly denouncing the Riyadh regime over perpetrating outrageous atrocities against millions of “Arab Muslims” in Yemen, Nasrallah lashed out at the Arab world’s “deafening silence” over the grim situation in Yemen.

“The turmoil we are witnessing in the Arab world is a cover for the announcement of normalization of relations with Israel,” he commented.

Nasrallah then called on Arabs to do their best to maintain their national unity in the face of all divisive efforts.

The Hezbollah secretary general also praised Lebanese officials and politicians for their firm stance regarding Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s shock resignation, calling on him to return to Lebanon as soon as possible.

November 20, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Leave a 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

Here’s why Saudi Arabia, Israel and the US are not going to invade Iran

By Adam Garrie | The Duran | November 20, 2017

Members of the Arab League have met in Cairo at the behest of the Saudi regime, to discuss the supposed “threat of Iran”. The meeting featured all the crude, undiplomatic and nonfactual language about Iran that one has come to expect from American, Israeli and Saudi Arabian spokesmen.

Highlights from the meeting included a statement from the Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir who stated,

“We will not stand idly by in the face of Iran’s aggression….Showing leniency toward Iran will not leave any Arab capital safe from those ballistic missiles….

Iran created agents in the region, such as the Houthi and Hezbollah militias, in total disregard for all international principles”.

These meritless statements are almost identical to that which is frequently said by the US White House and Tel Aviv. In this sense, there was nothing novel about the meeting. What was remarkable was how hastily the meeting was organised as if to demonstrate Saudi’s commitment to its “clear and present danger” narrative about Iran.

Furthermore, a statement was released at the Arab League meeting, saying that there are no immediate plans to go to war with Iran but that at the same time, such plans have not been ruled out.

To quickly sum-up just how ridiculous the statements made during the Arab League meeting were

1. Iran’s missile programme is perfectly legal and is not covered by the JCPOA. The UN has said this many times.

2. Iran is currently at war with zero nations while Saudi is at war with Yemen causing one of the largest humanitarian disasters in the 21st century. Saudi Arabia has also been exposed as a major source of terrorist sponsorship, including in Iraq, Syria, Libya and beyond.

3. Iran has come to the legal assistance of Syria and Iraq in fighting terrorists groups including ISIS and al-Qaeda, while Saudi Arabia has known links to ISIS and al-Qaeda.

Of course, for the states with an obscene anti-Iranian agenda, none of this has ever mattered.

What does matter to the rest of the world though is whether the threats from the Arab league, indicated a short and/or medium-term readiness for war against Iran?

The short answer is, they almost certainly do not.

The Arab League today is a shadow of its former self. With the Syrian Arab Republic’s membership suspended, Qatar facing a boycott from proponent members, Iraq having better relations with Iran than most Arab states and Lebanon being deprived of its Prime Minister due to Saudi political meddling, the Arab League is hardly a united body of strong nations. It has declined so much so, that it is increasingly little more than a Saudi and GCC dominated organisation which is used in attempts to gain some form of broader international legitimacy for Riyadh’s often ridiculous foreign policy statements.

However, Riyadh’s ability to unite the Arab world over any matter, let alone an act of war, amounts to little. Syria, Iraq and due to its multi-confessional history, Lebanon, would never go to war against Iran. In fact, the Iraqi armed forces, Syrian Arab Army, Hezbollah and other volunteers from Lebanon would almost certainly fight with Iran, during the course of any Saudi led military action against Tehran.

Qatar, whose armed forces are small as it is, would never join any military ‘crusade’ led by its Saudi opponent and the fact remains that Doha’s slowly expanding relations with Iran have been one of the reasons for the Saudi led boycott of Qatar. Libya can no longer be called a functional state, while further into the Maghreb, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco are far removed from Iran issue, in spite of their Arab league membership. Saudi’s GCC allies, Kuwait, UAE, Bahrain and to a lesser degree Oman, simply have little to offer in respect of any military coalition.

The biggest question mark which remains, is Egypt. Egypt is the largest country in the Arab world and likewise, boasts the biggest Army in the Arab world.

In order to even approach effectiveness, Egypt would have to join any would be anti-Iranian Arab League coalition. As to whether Egypt would join, one can objectively say that the incentives for not joining, far outweigh those that might compel Egypt to enter into a war pact with Saudi Arabia, against Iran.

Ever since secular rule was restored to Egypt in 2013, after US backed regime change against former President Hosni Mubarak briefly brought the once again illegal Muslim Brotherhood to power, Egypt has been in a position wherein promoting internal stability has been far more important than international outreach. Furthermore, while the Egyptian government is disproportionately dependent on Saudi cash injections in order to stay afloat, Cairo continues to show surprising amounts of foreign policy independence at times.

Egypt recently expressed disapproval of US attempts to extend a UN mandate for investigating “chemical weapons” in Syria. Egypt has further made strong statements in favour of Syria’s territorial unity, backed up by remarks that only a political solution can bring peace to Syria. This language is very similar to that used by Russian diplomats which should come as no surprise, as the foreign ministries of Egypt and Russia have a very good relationship. Furthermore, when it comes to Egypt’s most pressing international issue, that of terrorists in neighbouring Libya, Russia appears far more inclined to support the Cairo backed Libyan National Army than the fledgling Government of National Accord which is supported by the US and EU.

Furthermore, Egypt recently rejected calls from Riyadh to economically sanction the Lebanese party Hezbollah, in a move which shows a clear divergence from Saudi policies on Hezbollah.

While Egypt is compromised by its financial ties to Saudi Arabia, Egypt still seeks to balance out its old Arab Nationalist history as a fiercely independent and anti-imperialist nation with the modern realities of being far less influential than in the days of Nasser and the early days of Sadat.

Furthermore, in spite of its formal diplomatic ties with Israel, Cairo is all too aware that if the situation inside Egypt, especially in respect of the Sinai Peninsula were to become destabilised, Egypt could not afford to have its armed forces in distant Iran. This is especially true as Israel is ready to exploit any instability on Sinai to its own advantage. If anyone thinks that Israel somehow respects Egypt just because diplomatic relations were established, this view is, to put it mildly, delusional. Israel will exploit any country and any situation it can and Egypt is no exception. The same is true of Jordan, the only other country which has formal relations with Tel Aviv. Jordan, like Egypt is far more concerned with its own immediate neighbourhood than with Iran.

In this sense, in spite of whatever financial incentives Saudi might offer Egypt for backing military efforts against Iran, the preponderance of evidence would demonstrate that Egypt would refrain from actively participating.

When asked to consider the position of the Vatican in geo-political affairs, Josef Stalin is thought to have said, “The Pope? How many divisions has he got?”.

In this sense, looking at the disunity in the Arab world, Iran could easily turn to Riyadh and say “how many divisions have you got”? The answer is not enough to seriously challenge Iran, while Iran certainly has enough divisions and enough regional allies to challenge and beat Saudi Arabia and its Persian Gulf allies.

Then there is the matter of Israel, the US and Turkey.

When it comes to antagonising regional powers that Tel Aviv doesn’t like, the Israeli regime’s military is all too happy to conduct strikes and even occupy territory. Israel occupied party of Egypt between 1967 and 1982 and part of Lebanon between 1982 and 2006. Israel continues to occupy Syria and military strikes from Israel against Syria have happened on and off for the last several decades.

Likewise, Israel attacked Iraq in 1981 in a short airstrike against a French built Iraqi nuclear reactor.

All of these actions have been illegal and Tel Aviv simply doesn’t care. Why should they care about Iran in this case? The answer is because Iran today is far more powerful than any of the aforementioned countries that Israel attacked and it also has many regional allies stretching from Iran itself to the borders of Israeli regime controlled territory.

Israel has not attacked Iran in the way it has so frivolously attacked parts of the Arab world. Israel has not done this because Tel Aviv knows Iran would strike back and so too would Iran’s allies in southern Lebanon. Furthermore, with Turkey becoming ever more distant with NATO, the west and Israel, all the while growing ever closer to its Eurasian partners, including neighbouring Iran, there is no guarantee that Turkey would remain neutral in such a conflict.

Turkey does not want any instability on its border with Iran. This is one of the reasons that both countries cooperated in the building of an anti-terrorist rampart on their borders. Turkey knows that any further regional instability would only hurt Turkey’s short term security prospects and its long term financial prospects. If Turkey even gave air support to Iran, the entire conflict would be ‘game over’ for the anti-Iranian powers, unless Israel decided to use its nuclear weapons.

As Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah recently stated, Israel prefers short blitzkrieg style conflicts that it can win rapidly at little material cost or bloodshed from its own side. History has shown such an analysis to be absolutely correct. Furthermore, as Israel’s last attempt to conduct such a war against Lebanon in 2006 failed, Israel has reverted to measures which from its perspective are more realistically “productive” such as short, illegal airstrikes against Syria and military manoeuvres intended as provocations against Lebanon.

Any war with Iran would be much more difficult for Israel to conduct. In many ways it would be impossible, short of Tel Aviv using its nuclear weapons in what Israel watchers know to be called the “Samson Option”.

Such extreme measures would likely be opposed even by the United States. While the Trump administration continues to turn up the volume on anti-Iranian rhetoric, many more level headed individuals in the Pentagon and State Department are totally opposed to war on Iran. These people know that the cost of such a war would be incredibly high and that the US might ultimately lose.

In this sense, with Israel too afraid to attack Iran and while still too restrained by the US to go nuclear, with the Pentagon generally opposed to direct military action against Iran and with Saudi Arabia incapable of pulling together a genuine Arab coalition capable of fighting against Iran, there is little chance that any nation short of one on a suicide mission, would attempt to declare war on Iran.

Much like any war on North Korea, a war on Iran would bring unparalleled destruction to the entire region, and no invading party’s victory would be assured. In other-words, Iran has more or less checkmated the situation, largely in its favour and all without firing a shot, while if anything gaining rather than losing allies.

The Arab League, Israel and the US can certainly blow smoke, but when it comes to attacking Iran directly, even these countries are not quite foolish enough to start that fire.

November 20, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Iran: Saudi-drafted Arab League statement full of lies, worthless

Press TV – November 20, 2017

The spokesman of Iran’s Foreign Ministry has described as “worthless” the closing statement of the latest Arab League foreign ministers’ meeting in Cairo, emphasizing that the statement was “full of lies and distortions.”

“In line with the policies of the Zionist regime [of Israel] to intensify differences in the region and to divert [the attention of] Muslim nations and states away from the continued occupation of Palestine as the main issue of the Islamic Ummah, Saudi Arabia has succeeded through pressure as well as extensive political and propagandistic hue and cry to have a statement that is full of lies and distortions be issued in the name of foreign ministers of the Arab League,” Bahram Qassemi said on Monday.

On Sunday, the Arab League foreign ministers held an extraordinary general meeting in the Egyptian capital at the request of Saudi Arabia. At the end of the meeting, the participants issued a statement accusing Iran of interfering in the internal affairs of the countries in the region and pursuing aggressive policies against Arab states.

Qassemi dismissed the resolution as “worthless” and urged Saudi Arabia to “immediately end its savage aggression” against the Yemeni Arab people so that the Yemeni civilians, particularly women and children, would no longer be affected by the “flames of their spite.”

Iran also calls on Saudi Arabia to stop its policy of exerting pressure on Lebanon, Qatar and the entire Middle East and allow the Bahraini people to find a peaceful solution to the current crisis in the country by removing its forces there, he said.

Qassemi said Iran’s policy was to boost good relations with regional countries, adding that the Islamic Republic had made great efforts to counter terrorism and help resolve regional crises by actively participating in several rounds of peace talks in the Kazakh capital city of Astana on the Syrian conflict and presenting a peace plan for Yemen.

The Iranian spokesperson emphasized that the solution to the regional problems was not to issue such worthless statements but to stop following the policies of the Israeli regime, put an end to bullying and terrorism and accept the demands of regional nations and states.

Saudi policies root cause of regional, world instability: Deputy FM

Meanwhile, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Jaberi Ansari also on Monday criticized the Arab League statement and said Saudi Arabia’s policies were the root cause of insecurity and instability in the region and the world.

“Saudi Arabia must stop pursuing the Zionist regime’s policies through causing escalation of differences and conflicts in the region and providing extensive support for terrorism and extremism,” Jaberi Ansari added.

He emphasized that regional crises would never be resolved through making false claims, distorting evident realities and publishing statements under the pressure of Saudi Arabia.

The Iranian official urged Riyadh to end its interference in and pressure on Qatar, Lebanon, Iraq and Syria as well as the use of terrorism and extremism as a means.

The Saudi-drafted Arab League’s statement came on the same day that Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz for the first time revealed that Tel Aviv had covert contacts with Saudi Arabia.

“We have ties that are indeed partly covert with many Muslim and Arab countries and usually [we are] the party that is not ashamed,” Steinitz said in an interview on Army Radio on Sunday.

He added that Saudi Arabia was the side that was interested in hiding its ties with Israel and Tel Aviv had no problem with this.

November 20, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lebanon, Palestinian groups rap Arab League for labeling Hezbollah

Press TV – November 20, 2017

The Lebanese government and Palestinian resistance forces have strongly condemned a decision by the Arab League to designate the Hezbollah resistance movement as a terrorist organization.

Lebanon’s Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil said in a statement that he had refused to list Hezbollah as a terror group as it was a “fundamental component of the Lebanese state.”

Arab League Secretary-General Ahmad Aboul Gheit announced at a media conference in Cairo on Sunday that Arab states agreed to designate Hezbollah a terrorist organization, adding that he would not “rule out going to the United Nations Security Council as a next step.”

Lebanon’s representative to the Arab League, Antoine Azzam, rejected the statement, saying Hezbollah represents a large part of the Lebanese people. He said the resistance group has representatives in the Lebanese parliament.

Lebanon abstained from Sunday’s communiqué that labeled Hezbollah as a terror group. Iraq also expressed reservations about the designation.

The details of the resolution were not made public. However, media reports said the only concrete measure from the meeting was for Arab telecommunications satellites to ban Iranian-financed stations for allegedly posing a threat to Arab security.

Palestinian resistance groups also denounced the Arab League’s decision, saying it serves the interests of Israel and the US and aims to satisfy the Saudi regime.

The alliance of the Palestinian resistance forces described the decision as “dangerous”, stressing that “Hezbollah represents the most important resistance force against Israel and terrorism.”

The decision was issued during an emergency Arab League summit, which Saudi Arabia called to discuss “confronting” Iran and Hezbollah.

Riyadh associates Hezbollah with Iran, and has been trying to weaken the resistance movement which is Lebanon’s de facto deterrent force against any Israeli aggression.

Hezbollah, both a military force and a political movement, is part of a Lebanese government made up of rival factions.

The Saudi request for the Arab League meeting “was based on a missile it says its air defenses intercepted near Riyadh after being fired from Yemen on November 4,” according to a document seen by AFP last week.

Saudi Arabia has claimed that the missile had been manufactured in Iran but Tehran has vehemently rejected the allegation.

November 20, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

After PLO halts ties with US, Arab League steps in to salvage peace process

Ma’an – November 20, 2017

BETHLEHEM – The Arab League has reportedly approached the United States government regarding its recent decision to punitively shut down the office of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Washington D.C, over the Palestinian leadership’s efforts to bring Israel before the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency reported on Sunday, shortly after the US State Department announced its decision, that the Arab League — a regional organization of 22 Arab countries — announced that its Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit approached the US President Donald Trump’s administration over the closure.

The league is reportedly attempting to do damage control and resume US-led peace negotiations following the PLO’s reaction to the closure, in which the group’s secretary general, Saeb Erekat, threatened to “put on hold all our communications with this American administration” if the US did in fact close the PLO Washington office.

According to Wafa, Aboul Gheit met with the league’s foreign minister, Riyad al-Maliki, where the two discussed the the official position of the PLO and the PA, “saying it will harm the peace process and the role of the US as peace broker.”

The PLO announced in September its decision to submit a request to the ICC to investigate illegal Israeli settlement activity in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Separately, four Palestinian human rights organizations submitted a 700-page communication to the ICC alleging that Israeli officials have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

International media reported that the PLO’s plans would breach conditions previously imposed by US Congress on the PLO, preventing it from taking any cases to the ICC.

The PLO office could allegedly be reopened 90 days after closure if Trump believes the PLO has entered into “direct, meaningful negotiations with Israel.”

The events came amid weeks of speculation in Israeli and Palestinian media over the Trump administrations “ultimate peace plan” for the region, which is set to be presented soon.

Israeli news daily Haaretz quoted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeina as calling the US move to shut down the PLO office as “a dangerous threat… that leads (to the conclusion that (the United States is losing its position as a negotiator” and that it was “withdrawing from its role as a sponsor of the diplomatic process for peace as promised by President Trump.”

While Trump has maintained on many occasions that, under his auspices, the decades-long Palestinian-Israeli conflict will be solved, his administration has painted a rather unclear picture regarding Trump’s plans in the region, while a number of high-profile US officials are known to be staunch supporters of Israel.

In February, Trump said that when it came to a solution for the decades-long conflict he could “live with either” a one- or two-state solution, in a significant departure from the US’ publicly held position in favor of a two-state solution to the conflict.

However, his elusiveness has not belied the fact that Trump and his administration have maintained their pro-Israel stance, despite stated efforts to renew the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, which he said in the past was “not as difficult as people have thought over the years.”

November 20, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | Leave a comment