Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was born April 28, 1937 and died December 30, 2006. He was the fifth President of Iraq, holding that position from July 16, 1979 until 9 April 2003. He was one of the leading members of the revolutionary Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party, and afterward, the Baghdad-based Ba’ath Party and its regional organization Ba’ath Party, Iraq Region, which advocated ba’athism, an ideological marriage of Arab nationalism with Arab socialism. (Patricia Ramos, july 2013)
"The national security of America and the security of the world could be attained if the American leaders [..] become rational, if America disengages itself from its evil alliance with Zionism, which has been scheming to exploit the world and plunge it in blood and darkness, by using America and some Western countries. What the American peoples need mostly is someone who tells them the truth, courageously and honestly as it is.
They don’t need fanfares and cheerleaders, if they want to take a lesson from the (sept. 11) event so as to reach a real awakening, in spite of the enormity of the event that hit America.
But the world, including the rulers of America, should say all this to the American peoples, so as to have the courage to tell the truth and act according to what is right and not what to is wrong and unjust, to undertake their responsibilities in fairness and justice, and by recourse to reason..."
Saddam Hussein, INA 15-9-2002
"No petit bourgeois politics"
Saddam Hussein and his ideologists sought to fuse a connection between the ancient Babylonian and Assyrian civilizations in Iraq to Arab nationalism by claiming that the Babylonians and ancient Assyrians are the ancestors of the Arabs. Thus, Saddam Hussein and his supporters claim that there is no conflict between Mesopotamian heritage and Arab nationalism. Saddam Hussein based his political views and ideology upon the views of Michel Aflaq, Ba'athism's key founder. Saddam was also an avid reader of topics on moral and material forces in international politics. His government was critical of orthodox Marxism, opposing the orthodox Marxist concepts of class conflict, the dictatorship of the proletariat and atheism; it opposed Marxism–Leninism's claim that non-Marxist–Leninist parties are automatically bourgeois in nature, claiming that the Ba'ath Party was a popular revolutionary movement and the people rejected petit bourgeois politics. (Wikipedia info)
"The despot thinks he is just as God... What a nadir and mean fate!
The despot, as represented in this age, in our day, imagines he can enslave the people..
But they were born free. They were freed by God’s will through prophets and messengers, to be slaves only to Him and not to anyone of the people." Saddam Hussein, Iraq Daily 4-3-2003
A person with a God Complex may refuse to admit the possibility of their error or failure, even in the face of irrefutable evidence, intractable problems or difficult or impossible tasks.
The person is also highly dogmatic in their views, meaning the person speaks of their personal opinions as though they are unquestionably correct.
Someone with a god complex may exhibit no regard for the conventions and demands of society, and may request special consideration or privileges.
"...To be a human being among human beings, and remain one forever, no matter what misfortunes befall, not to become depressed, and not to falter - this is what life is, herein lies its task." Fyodor Dostoevsky (to his brother Mikhail, Dec. 22, 1849)
“All mankind is from Adam and Eve. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly.
“Do not therefore do injustice to yourselves. Remember one day you will meet Allah and answer your deeds. So beware, do not astray from the path of righteousness after I am gone." Prophet Muhammad, Last Sermon
“Human beings are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul.
If one member is afflicted with pain,
Other members uneasy will remain.
If you have no sympathy for human pain,
The name of human you can not retain.”
(Persian poet & humanist, born in Shiraz, Iran, c. 1210)
Israel needs to stop being an ideology and start being a nation. A nation of all of its citizens, all with equal national, civil and religious rights.
After 70 years, only partial justice and restoration is possible for the Palestinian people. Whatever constitutional arrangements are arrived at, equality should be the guiding principle at work.
As for Zionism let’s ditch it and move on. 'It’s time to place it in a glass cabinet and put it in a museum in a room marked: ‘Dead Ends & False Messiahs’.
There is no “Judaeo-Christian heritage.”
"The practices under which Jesus was raised in Galilee were anathema to Judaic orthodoxy. One might discern the seedbed of Christianity and the teachings of Jesus within “Galilee of the Gentiles” and why his teachings were regarded with outrage by the Pharisaic priesthood. One can also discern why there has been such a hatred of Christianity and Jesus in the rabbinical teachings of the Talmud and elsewhere.
The phenomenon of such an oddity as “Christian Zionism” is for Zionists and the Orthodox rabbinate (which should not be confounded with Reform Judaism) nothing more than the equivalent of a “shabbez goy,” a Gentile hired by Orthodox Jews to undertake menial tasks on the Sabbath. “Judaeo-Christianity” only exists in the minds of craven Gentiles who embrace delusional creeds, or who wish to further their careers by making the correct noises to the right people.
(Kerry R Bolton, Foreign Policy Journal, May 29, 2018)
Choseness is what binds Zionists together.
To be chosen is to see oneself as an exceptional creation. It entails blindness to otherness. It is a form of impunity. To be chosen often involves a near or total lack of empathy. Such lack is often defined in terms of acute narcissism and psychopathy....
I know well that Zionism was born to emancipate Diaspora Jews from their exceptionalist cultural traits and to make them ‘people like all other people.’
Like an early Zionist, I would have liked to see Jews liberate themselves from the choseness prison, but I accept that such a shift can not occur in the form of a collective or political movement. The escape from choseness to the ordinary must be an individual struggle, a surrender to self-contempt that eventually matures into a genuine search for peace and harmony with the universe, with the soil and with one’s neighbours. (Gilad Atzmon, 24-6-2019)
"Holism is the most fundamental discovery of 20th century science. It is a discovery of every science from astrophysics to quantum physics to environmental science to psychology to anthropology.
It is the discovery that the entire universe is an integral whole, and that the basic organizational principle of the universe is the field principle: the universe consists of fields within fields, levels of wholeness and integration that mirror in fundamental ways, and integrate with, the ultimate, cosmic whole...." "For many thinkers and religious teachers throughout this history, holism was the dominant thought, and the harmony that it implies has most often been understood to encompass cosmic, civilizational, and personal dimensions. Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, Lord Krishna, Lao Tzu, and Confucius all give us visions of transformative harmony, a transformative harmony that derives from a deep relation to the holism of the cosmos."
About political holism
Political holism is based on the recognition that "we" are all members of a single whole. There's no "they," even though "we" are not all alike. Because "we" are all part of the whole, and therefore interdependent, we benefit from cooperating with each other. Political holism is a way of thinking about human cultures and nations as interdependent. Political holists search for solutions other than war to settle international disagreements. Their model of the world is one in which cooperation and negotiation, even with the enemy, even with the weak, promotes political stability more than warfare.
In an overpopulated world with planet-wide environmental problems, the development of weapons of mass destruction has rendered war obsolete as an effective means to resolve disputes.
Political dualists consider political holists unpatriotic for questioning the necessity to defeat "them." In times of impending war, political dualists tend to measure patriotism by the intensity of one's hostility to the country's immediate enemy. Naturally, they would view as disloyalty any suggestion that the enemy is not evil, any call for cooperation with the enemy, any criticism of one's own country.
To political dualists, cooperation with the enemy means capitulation, relinquishment of the nation's position of dominance. At its extreme, political dualism is essentially tribalism. (Betty Craige, 16-8-1997)
Desmond Tutu & Ubuntu
"A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, based from a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed."
"We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole World.
When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity." (Ubuntu info)
The long-anticipated “Deal of the Century” peace plan is the manifestation and affirmation of the Bible for Evangelical Christians.
“The Bible talks about the land that the Jewish people are living on, the land which the Jew haters call ‘settlements’ and ‘illegal,’” Dr. Mike Evans, founder of Friends of Zion Museum and a member of the Trump Faith Initiative said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post. “What the president is saying is that America does not believe the Bible is illegal,” he said.
“Our base will be weeping” with joy at the plan’s formal reveal about the prominence of the Bible, he said.
Evans revealed that in private briefings both with the president’s peace team and the president himself, he learned that, “the plan does not take away the major biblical sites, and this is everything we were hoping for – everything.”
“Israel just got kissed by God,” Evans continued. “I am not referring to Donald Trump as God, but I am saying he has Divine inspiration.”
Trump’s understanding of the need to support the Jewish state intensified in 2003, when he contacted Evangelist Paula White-Cain, senior pastor of the New Destiny Christian Center in Orlando, Florida, after watching her television show.
They became quick friends and White-Cain introduced Trump to several other Evangelicals. Since then, she has served as his personal pastor – and these other Evangelicals, including Evans, have been influencing the president.
Most recently, Trump named White-Cain as an adviser to the Faith and Opportunity Initiative in the Office of Public Liaison, the part of the White House responsible for overseeing outreach to groups and coalitions organizing key parts of the president’s base. “There are 25 of us Evangelical leaders that came on board during the primaries, and no matter what secular media threw at the president, we stood with him,” Evans told the Post.
THE SO CALLED “Deal of the Century” is the next step in a plan Trump has been slowly unveiling all along...
Each of the moves has been, in Evans’ view, pragmatically motivated by a simple understanding of Genesis 12:3 – “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse.”
According to Evans, “the president can begin implementing this plan without the Palestinians supporting it, because all the cash cows that the Palestinians need are on board, minus Qatar.”
Evans himself travels to these regions regularly and told the Post that the leaders of these countries have “tremendous compliments for Israel” and feel that “the Palestinians have wasted our money.”
For the first time in American history, there is an Evangelical Christian secretary of state and vice president and a president that loves the Evangelicals. “I think the combination of this beautiful dream team has given Israel the opportunity of a lifetime..."
The Trump administration’s Middle East peace plan, better known as the “Deal of the Century”, was written off as dead on arrival, even in the early stages of its planning, after President Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel...
Once the plan was released Tuesday, and it became clear the plan would not only permit Israel to retain all of its towns in Judea and Samaria, but even to annex them in the near future, the spate of protests simmering throughout Palestinian Authority towns much of the day exploded into riots, reflecting the PA’s rejection of the Trump plan. With Israel retaining roughly 30% of Judea and Samaria and gaining US recognition for its annexation immediately, before any deal is signed with the Palestinian Authority, some have interpreted the Trump plan as a symbolic gesture, one intended to grant Israel its long-desired goal of establishing its eastern border, while making an offer to the PA the Trump administration knows in advance Ramallah will reject.
What Israel Gets:
Israel will retain security control over the entire area west of the Jordan River, and the Palestinian state proposed by Trump will be demilitarized – reflecting a long-time Israeli demand.
In addition, the Palestinian Authority must disarm Hamas and completely demilitarize the Gaza Strip – another Israeli demand, and one which is not easily achieved.
Furthermore, the plan requires the PA to end its anti-Israel incitement, as well as its funding of jailed terrorists and the families of terrorists killed during attacks on Israelis.
And with the plan, the US rejects the idea of a Palestinian “right of return” to pre-1967 Israel.
But perhaps most significantly, Israel not only gets to retain all of its towns in Judea and Samaria and annex them, it can do so without actually reaching a deal with the Palestinian Authority.
Some thirty-percent of the land in Judea and Samaria would become part of the State of Israel, compared to less than ten percent in previous US proposals.
What the Palestinians get
Less publicized are the plan’s requirement that Israel surrender land to a future Palestinian state, if established, in amounts equal to the land it gained through annexation in Judea and Samaria.
The land swaps in the new peace plan would include large Palestinian enclaves in the Negev for industrial zones, farms, and even residential areas. The plan also suggests Israel hand over the Wadi Ara Triangle, a predominantly Arab area in central Israel.
If a final status agreement is reached, Israel will also grant a Palestinian state the right to build a tunnel from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank
Perhaps the most contentious issue, the future of Jerusalem, was, surprisingly, not clearly addressed in President Trump’s speech Tuesday, even as he discussed its future. Seemingly contradicting himself, Trump vowed that the Jerusalem would remain undivided as Israel’s capital – yet in the same address, said a future Palestinian state would have its capital in Jerusalem.
The sovereign capital of the State of Palestine should be in the section of East Jerusalem located in all areas east and north of the existing security barrier, including Kafr Aqab, the eastern part of Shuafat and Abu Dis, and could be named Al Quds or another name as determined by the State of Palestine.
If accepted, the plan offers the cash-strapped PA a massive economic growth package totaling some $50 billion dollars spread over 10 years.
If the Palestinian Authority rejects the deal, which it is widely expected to do, it will have a grace period of four years to change its mind.
During that time, Israel will be barred from establishing new towns outside of the areas to be annexed, or expanding existing towns outside of the area designated for Israel.
But, unlike previous proposals, the Trump plan gives Israel the green-light to annex in Judea and Samaria before a peace deal is reached, and not contingent on an agreement being signed. Thirty percent of Judea and Samaria will be annexed to Israel and recognized by the US as Israeli territory.
U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu both spoke about a peace plan on Tuesday at the White House. Trump went further and announced that the plan will include a Palestinian state.
But when the details of the plan are examined, it is clear that no Palestinian state will be established. Instead, it will lead to Israel gradually taking full control over the entire West Bank.
The plan allows Israel to take the immediate step of annexing all the settlements that are spread throughout the West Bank, in addition to the vast area of the Jordan Valley....
The solution that the Trump plan offers is the creation of a Palestinian “state” that could potentially be established four years from now, in the areas of the West Bank that will not be annexed by Israel. This future 'state', however, will have none of the actual characteristics of a state. The streets of all of its cities, towns and villages, as well as the roads connecting them, will be under the full control of the military of another state – Israel. It will have no control over its borders, which will also be controlled by Israel.
In addition, this 'state', despite Trump’s claim that it will have territorial continuity, will in fact be dissected by Israeli settlements that will remain as “enclaves” inside its territory and will be under full Israeli sovereignty.
This means that Palestinian citizens of the future “state” could still stand at Israeli checkpoints – not at the border points between their state and Israel, but well inside their own state, between one town and the next.
What the Trump plan is offering the Palestinians is basically to take the existing reality – living under Israeli military occupation, with settlements spread in-between their cities, towns and villages – and to enshrine it by labeling it as a state.
For the Palestinian citizen, this would still mean living in a territory that is fully controlled by Israel – but one where one group of the population enjoys all the rights and benefits that come with Israeli citizenship, while the other, larger group is under military control.
Another reason why any Palestinian leader will reject the plan is a call to examine a “population swap” between Israel and the future “state.”
The Trump plan endorses the idea that large Arab towns in central Israel, clustered in an area known as “the Triangle,” will become part of the future Palestinian state, because many of the Arab Israeli citizens who live there define themselves as Palestinians.
Meanwhile, settlers living in-between Palestinian villages and towns within the future Palestinian “state,” and who define themselves as Israelis, will not face a similar fate.
This idea, which was first proposed by Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman and has now been adopted for the first time ever by a U.S. administration, is a complete nonstarter for the Palestinian leadership.
It again creates two sets of rules – one for Israeli Jews (who can live in “enclaves” inside the Palestinian “state” and remain Israeli citizens) and one for Israeli Arabs (who will lose their Israeli citizenship).
This is another reason the Palestinians will surely reject the plan.
The only part of the Trump plan that will assuredly be implemented is the annexation bit. This means that as a result of the plan, Israel will continue to control the entire West Bank and no Palestinian state will be established.
On Tuesday an American president announced a historic plan for Israel-Palestine... The plan was drafted by a team allegedly led by Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, who has no real government position and is a far right wing Israel nationalist, in consultation with the far right wing Likud government of Israel, headed by PM Binyamin Netanyahu.
The Palestinians declined to be involved in what was obviously a crooked and fixed process that gave away their East Jerusalem to Netanyahu before it even got going.
Just as the Palestinian people were not consulted in 1917 when the British cabinet adopted the Balfour Declaration, designating geographical Palestine as a site for a “homeland” for the Jewish people, so the doomed-to-failure Trump plan also did not consult them about their own fate.
If you want to know what Iran is really about, it is mostly a protest against these imperial injustices. For that reason, the Trump Plan is a huge boon to Iran, since it makes transparent precisely the “global arrogance” of Washington that Iran is always going on about.
About 5 million stateless Palestinians live under Israeli military occupation (the Palestinian West Bank) or under Israeli military siege (the Gaza Strip). Some 400,000 stateless Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are from families that were expelled from the British Mandate of Palestine by militant Zionist militias.
Another 400,000 stateless Palestinians in Syria are from families expelled from the British Mandate of Palestine by Zionist militias. About 40,000 stateless Palestinians in Jordan are from families . . . you get the picture.
That is, about 6 million stateless Palestinians are being kept without basic human rights by Israel’s refusal to allow them to return to their homes and by Israel’s refusal to allow the Palestinians to establish a genuine state to which the refugees could return.
Although the Trump Plan uses the diction of allowing a Palestinian “state,” the entity proposed does not have control over its borders or airspace or coastal waters and cannot make treaties with other states or go to the United Nations over continued Israeli violations of international law.
In other words it is not a state at all. It is a Bantustan of the sort the Apartheid South African government created as a way of unloading its African population so that they could be stripped of South African citizenship.
The Trump Plan is full of measures that constitute War Crimes in international law, and a systematic pattern of War Crimes is categorized as a Crime against Humanity. Here are the War Crimes the Plan proposes
- 1. Israel has flooded 400,000 of its citizens into the Occupied Palestinian West Bank, where they have stolen Palestinian land and built squatter-only settlements on it, where Palestinians are not allowed to live.
This squatting on Palestinian land contravenes the Fourth Geneva Accord of 1949 on Occupied Territories, which forbids transferring populations from the Occupying Power into the occupied lands.
- 2. The Trump Plan allows Israel to annex about a third of the Occupied West Bank, on which Israeli squatters have squatted. Annexation is an act of aggression, forbidden by international law.
- 3. The Plan envisages depriving many Israeli citizens of Palestinian heritage of their Israeli citizenship, which amounts to denaturalization. Since they would be instead given “citizenship” in a “state” that no one will recognize and which is a Bantustan rather than a state, in which they will enjoy no actual rights over their own property because Israel won’t permit the Bantustan to so guarantee them, that would amount de facto to forcing these Israeli citizens into statelessness, which contravenes the UN Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, signed by 75 member states.
- 4. The Plan envisages that the Palestinian Bantustan will be disarmed, which means that Palestinians will be deprived of the right of self-defense. The Right of Self-defense is recognized in Chapter 7 of the United Nations Charter...
- 5. The enclaves to which the Palestinians would be consigned give them no control over their lives, as B’Tselem pointed out.. The Israeli human rights organization pointed out,
“With no territorial contiguity, Palestinians will not be able to exercise their right to self-determination and will continue to be completely dependent on Israel’s goodwill for their daily life, with no political rights and no way to influence their future. They will continue to be at the mercy of Israel’s draconian permit regime and need its consent for any construction or development. In this sense, not only does the plan fail to improve their predicament in any way, but, in fact, it leaves them worse off as it perpetuates the situation and gives it recognition.”
Trump: "We are a force for good.."
Actually a whole book could be written about all the ways the Trump Plan for the hapless Palestinians contravenes international law.
Since the over-all rubric is Apartheid, and Apartheid is a War Crime in the Rome Statute that underpins the International Criminal Court, the whole plan is a series of War Crimes, which amount in the aggregate to a crime against humanity.
Flanked by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu but no Palestinian leader, President Donald Trump unveiled “a vision for peace” in the Middle East on Tuesday which permits Israel to annex much of the occupied West Bank immediately, offering the Palestinians only local control in isolated Bantustans surrounded by Israeli territory.
Extensively documented, relying mostly on Zionist, British, and Israeli sources, 'Might over Right' makes a crucial contribution to the growing effort to challenge the simplistic and reductive accounts in media and scholarship in the West, one of the principal causes of the perpetuation of the conflict.
The release of the 180-page plan — which was drafted by aides to Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and an old family friend of Netanyahu — was staged as a celebration, and acted as a dual campaign rally, with the American president and the Israeli prime minister boasting of all they had achieved for Israel to a room filled with far-right supporters of the Jewish state, including Sheldon Adelson, the Republican and Likud megadonor who spent millions of dollars to elect both leaders.
Trump, who intervened in a previous Israeli election campaigns on Netanyahu’s behalf — by recognizing Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights last year — gave the embattled prime minister a podium at the White House to detail conditions imposed on the Palestinians which sounded like terms of surrender.
The Palestinians, Netanyahu said, would be required to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, cede the entire Jordan Valley, disarm Hamas, and abandon the hope for both the return of refugees who fled homes in what is now Israel and for a capital in Jerusalem’s Old City. Saeb Erakat, the chief negotiator for the Palestine Liberation Organization, described the plan delivered by Kushner to Trump as “100 percent the ideas I personally heard many times from Netanyahu and his negotiators. I can assure you that the American so-called peace team have only copied and pasted Netanyahu’s and the settlers’ councils plan.”
Within hours of the plan’s release, Netanyahu said that his government would move on Sunday to formally annex the 131 Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank, all of which are illegal under international law, as well as the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea. Because the Israeli settlement blocs, which are home to more than 400,000 settlers, are stitched together with a network of roads and checkpoints that restrict the freedom of movement of Palestinians, the territory Trump said his plan “allocated” for a future Palestinian state would exist only as a series of enclaves inside Israel.
Like South Africa’s grand apartheid, the Trump plan physically and politically separates Palestinians by placing them within a non-contiguous homeland, and declaring them citizens of that homeland.
Like South Africa’s grand apartheid, the Trump plan grants the Palestinian homeland autonomy over civil matters like education and healthcare, while critical areas such as trade, immigration, and security will remain under Israeli control.
Like South Africa’s grand apartheid, the Trump plan is political sleight of hand: a thinly veiled attempt to claim that Israel, a state that rules over roughly the same number of Jews and Palestinians, is actually a Jewish-majority state.
Also like apartheid South Africa, the Trump administration claims the homelands are a temporary solution. Once the indigenous population proves itself ready for self-governance they will one day be granted something that resembles a state.
Using a combination of financial sticks and carrots, some of which were unveiled last June at the economic summit in Bahrain, the Trump administration will try to force Palestinians to accept the ‘peace plan’ and declare independence within their homeland, just as the apartheid South African government once tried to force the native black population to declare independence within their Bantustans.
While the crony leadership of some Bantustans did indeed declare independence, South Africa’s grand apartheid ultimately failed because local leaders, including the African National Congress and the legendary Nelson Mandela, waged a determined and powerful international campaign against apartheid.
A Bantustan (also known as Bantu homeland, black homeland, black state or simply homeland; Afrikaans: Bantoestan) was a territory set aside for black inhabitants of South Africa and South West Africa (now Namibia), as part of the policy of apartheid.
Ten Bantustans were established in South Africa, and ten in neighbouring South West Africa (then under South African administration), for the purpose of concentrating the members of designated ethnic groups, thus making each of those territories ethnically homogeneous as the basis for creating "autonomous" nation states for South Africa's different black ethnic groups.
In terms of the Bantu Homelands Citizenship Act of 1970, blacks were stripped of their South African citizenship, which deprived them of their few remaining political and civil rights in South Africa, and made them citizens of their designated homelands.
The government made clear that its ultimate aim was the total removal of the black population from South Africa.
Connie Mulder, the Minister of Plural Relations and Development, told the House of Assembly on 7 February 1978: "If our policy is taken to its logical conclusion as far as the black people are concerned, there will be not one black man with South African citizenship..." (Wikipedia info)
President Trump’s peace plan was labeled the ‘Deal of the Century’ because it was supposed to bring peace and dignity to the people of the Middle East. Instead the ‘peace plan’ does the exact opposite and resurrects apartheid, a racist political system that should have been left in the dustbins of history.
The Trump peace plan cannot, and should not be implemented because it gives Israelis the illusion of security while in reality trapping them within an unstable regime based on racial oppression.
The Trump peace plan cannot, and should not be implemented because it gravely violates the rights and dignity of the Palestinian people and very likely constitutes a crime against humanity under the Rome Statute (1998).
The Trump peace plan cannot, and should not be implemented because once we look past all the streamers and confetti, it turns out The Deal of the Century is nothing less than Apartheid.
US President Donald Trump’s Senior Adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner said on Tuesday that Palestinians should accept the “full package” of the so-called peace plan and give up fairy tales.
In a media interview with Al Jazeera network, following the announcement of the so-called ‘Deal of the Century’ by Trump in Washington, Kushner said that the detailed plan offers practicality to Palestinians and Israelis. Kushner called the decades-long Palestinian efforts for statehood “old claims, myths, lies” and said the plan gives Palestinians an “ability to have a pathway” for a state of their own.
He praised Trump for his “achievement” to convince Israelis to put a four-year settlement freeze and went on to say that this is the “last chance” for Palestinians to have a state and to find peace and economic prosperity.
Referring to the Palestinian Authority’s rejection of the plan, Kushner commented: “They are not ready to have a State. If you are ready to have a state, you don’t call for a day of rage. You go to the table, … you make compromises to allow your people to have a better life.”
“The Palestinian people are on a terrible trajectory thanks to a lot of bad decisions by their leadership,” Kushner continued. “They have to stop holding out for myths that will never come, and fairytales that will never come.”
Dominic Raab (UK) and Mike Pompeo (US) discussed their countries respective foreign policies, as they relates to Iran, Russia, and China, during a one hour event hosted by the UK-based centre-right Policy Exchange think tank. Iran must be "held to account" for the fact that it has been reducing its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA aka the Iran Nuclear Deal) and for its "destabilising behaviour" in the Middle East, the UK Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said in London on 30 January. Raab was speaking with US Foreign Secretary Mike Pompeo as part of a discussion on foreign policy, hosted by the influential Policy Exchange think tank.
"Look, you've got the JCPOA and our different views that we have on it but it's the only deal in town at the moment. Our approach... is to hold them to account for that non-compliance.
That's why the E3 [UK, France Germany] has triggered the dispute resolution mechanism. We want to say to Iran we're calling you out. Equally.. we want them to come back to compliance".
Under the JCPOA Iran agreed to what observers referred to as among the most comprehensive inspections that any state has ever accepted. In exchange the US, and allied states, agreed to withdraw sanctions which have had a deleterious effect on the Iranian economy. The International Atomic and Energy Agency (which is responsible for ensuring compliance of the deal) repeatedly confirmet that Iran was in full compliance with the JCPOA. But the US ultimately abrogated the deal and re-imposed economic sanctions onto the country in May 2018.
Iran continued to abide by the agreement until May 2019, when it said it could not longer allow restrictions on its nuclear programme so long as the main party to the JCPOA, the US, had completely withdrawn from it.
Raab also said that there was an appetite for a more "wide-ranging rapprochement" with the Iranian state, but that it was down to the Iranian government to change its behaviour.
"This comes down to a decision by the regime in Tehran. Does it want to take the steps to respect international law and to come back into the community of nations?
And it can only demonstrate that by its behaviour: on the nuclear issue, on supporting terrorism, and frankly on the appalling treatment of dual nationals... And we can't make that choice for the regime in Tehran. What we can do is hold them to account, every step of the way." The UK, France and Germany announced on 14 January 2020 that they were launching a complaint against Iran under the dispute resolution mechanism built into the JCPOA.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will speak in the United Nations Security Council in the next two weeks about the US Middle East peace plan, Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour announced.
Mr Mansour told reporters he hoped the 15-member Security Council, at the same meeting that Mr Abbas would address, would vote on a draft resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian peace plan unveiled by US President Donald Trump on Tuesday.
The announcement has sparked protests in the West Bank and occupied territories as well as in neighbouring states.
"We will try our best with our friends to have the strongest possible draft resolution and to receive the strongest and largest possible voting in favour of that resolution," Mr Mansour said. He did not give details of what might be in the text.
"Of course, we would like to see a strong, large opposition to this Trump plan," he said with Tunisian UN Ambassador Moncef Baati, currently serving a two-year term on the Security Council, standing beside him.
He said Mahmoud Abbas would use his visit to the United Nations in New York to "put before the entire international community the reaction of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian leadership against this onslaught against the national rights of the Palestinian people by the Trump administration."
The White House declared the start of the third Nakba. The Palestinians were tossed by the side of the road and abandoned to their fate.
Right-wing Israel is delighted, left-wing Israel is lost as usual, and the world is silent. It’s the end of the world.
The White House looked like Habayit Hayehudi the other day, awash in kippot and Yiddishkeit. Does one have to be an anti-Semite to wonder about this? With all the wheeler-dealer peacemakers – all these Friedmans, Adelsons, Greenblatts, Kushners and Berkowitzes, these supposedly fair and unbiased mediators, it’s impossible to even think about the start of a fair accord.
It’s not hard to guess what goes through the mind of every Palestinian and every seeker of justice at the sight of this all-Jewish and all-right-wing class picture.
But the Palestinians weren’t just missing entirely from the ceremony, they were also nowhere to be found in the plan that could seal their future and that heralds the elimination of their last chance for some belated decency, for a bit of justice, for a drop of compassion.
This is their third Nakba. After losing most of their land, property and dignity in the first and their liberty in the second, now comes the third to crush whatever is left of their hope.
They’ve tried everything. Diplomatic struggle and armed struggle, nonviolent protest and economic boycott. Nothing has helped. The ‘deal of the century’ only reconfirms what was known: The evil thrive, this time in a particularly extreme edition of one-sidedness, racism and arrogance. The mighty take all. All.
If this plan is fulfilled, God forbid, it will be the end of the Palestinian people. Not the physical end, the national end.
Israel never assumed responsibility for the first and second Nakbas, perhaps it will also evade its responsibility for the third. But it will never be able to escape the blame and disgrace for stamping out another people.
The Arab League on Saturday rejected US President Donald Trump's controversial Middle East plan, saying it did not meet the "minimum rights" of the Palestinians.
The pan-Arab bloc convened in Cairo days after the US unveiled its plan which is seen as favouring Israel.
The meeting brought together Arab senior officials including Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister and the United Arab Emirates' minister of state for foreign affairs.
In a statement released afterwards, the League said it "rejects the US-Israeli 'deal of the century' considering that it does not meet the minimum rights and aspirations of Palestinian people." Arab states also vowed "not to ... cooperate with the US administration to implement this plan."
They insisted on a two-state solution that includes a Palestinian state based on borders before the 1967 Six-Day War -- when Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza -- and with east Jerusalem as its capital.
The US plan suggests that Israel would retain control of the contested city of Jerusalem as its "undivided capital" and annex settlements on Palestinian lands. Trump said Palestinians would be allowed to declare a capital within annexed east Jerusalem. The only Arab ambassadors present at the plan's unveiling were from Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates -- three of Washington's closest allies in a region where many nations host US forces.
Other Arab states gave carefully worded initial responses to the plan, which was strongly rejected by Palestinian leaders. Abbas said on Saturday "there will be no relations" with Israel and the US including on security cooperation following their "disavowal of signed agreements and international legitimacy"
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was urged on Saturday to take part in talks based on a new Middle East peace plan rather than reject it out of hand.
"This is a disgrace"
“It is important … to come out with a constructive stance, a realistic stance and a positive strategy that goes beyond just condemnation,” UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said. He spoke as Arab League foreign ministers meeting in Cairo rejected the new plan.
Abbas himself not only condemned the Trump plan, but withdrew security cooperation with Israel in the occupied West Bank. Abbas said he had refused to discuss the plan by with Trump by phone, or to receive even a copy of it to study it. “Trump asked that I speak to him by phone but I said ‘no,’ and that he wants to send me a letter ... but I refused it.” Abbas said he did not want Trump to be able to say that he had been consulted.
Abbas has threatened to withdraw security cooperation before and it was unclear whether he would carry it out, analysts told Arab News.
“If he does, then he might finally have some leverage to negotiate a better deal with the Israelis,” said Fadi Elsalameen of the Foreign Policy Institute at The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. “I am very skeptical about his ability to carry this through.” Hanna Issa, secretary-general of the Islamic-Christian committee to support Jerusalem and the holy sites, and a member of the Fatah revolutionary council, told Arab News the total suspension of security coordination would mean the end of the Oslo accords. Jamal Dajani, former head of communications at the Palestinian prime ministry, said Abbas was left with no option but to end all cooperation with Israel based on the Oslo agreement. “President Trump did not offer a peace plan, he outlined a one-sided proposal in order to pave the way for Israel to annex large areas of the West Bank and lock up Palestinians in bantustans,” he said.
“I don’t think, however, that Palestinians should sever ties with the US, as Trump’s deal does not reflect the sentiment of the American people or US Congress. In fact, it has been condemned by many prominent people and politicians in the US.”
Jewish radicals, seen as occupiers by the 'state of palestine'
Joseph Gutnick, the Australian mining tycoon who helped Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu win his first election for prime minister in 1996 came out strongly against Netanyahu's endorsement of US President Donald Trump's Middle East peace plan.
Netayahu trailed incumbent Shimon Peres in that race but received a last-minute boost from the “Netanyahu is good for the Jews” campaign that was funded by Joseph Gutnick, a Chabad rabbi who made a fortune from taking the advice of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, to mine diamonds in Australia’s Northern Territory.
"President Trump has been misled to come to believe that a demilitarized Palestinian state is acceptable," Gutnick said. "It would be catastrophic for the security of Israel, much worse than the Gaza Strip withdrawal and its terrible consequences.
The Lubavitcher rebbe warned for more than 40 years and 101 times the enormous dangers of any type of Palestinian state and even talking about such a possibility.
"The prime minister must realize that he is leading Israel into a dangerous trap if he continues talking about a Palestinian state in any form."
Gutnick has maintained a close relationship with Netanyahu. He warned that if Netanyahu did not clarify the Palestinian state issue immediately it would cause him "serious damaging results" in the March 2 election, because he will lose the support of opponents of a Palestinian state to other parties on the Right.
"How do you stop them?" Jewish radicals in the 'state of palestine'
Asked if he has relayed that message to the prime minister, Gutnick said he spoke to him a few weeks ago and he has warned him about the dangers of even a demilitarized Palestinian state many times.
"How do you stop Islamic radicals from entering such a state?" he asked. "What stops another prime minister from making it into a militarised state, like we saw with Oslo? We have discussed all the dangers at length. I can’t fathom what he is doing and why?
President Reuven Rivlin on Sunday rebuked Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for his claim a day earlier that Israel had brought non-Jewish Russian and Ethiopian immigrants en masse, and for citing that as a reason he wouldn’t recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
Abbas made the comment in a lengthy speech Saturday delivered at an Arab League meeting in Cairo denouncing the new White House plan for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in which he said he was cutting all ties, including security coordination, with both Israel and the US. Abbas, protesting that the plan requires him to recognize a Jewish state, derided the very notion, claiming many immigrants to Israel weren’t Jewish at all.
“There are 1.5 to 2 million Russians in Israel today, some of whom are Christians and some of whom are Jews. When the Soviet Union collapsed, the gates opened. To prove that they were Jewish, they would go to some rabbi, pay him 100 rubles, get a certificate that they were Jewish, and go to Israel.”
He added: “Even the Falash Mura from Ethiopia — believe me, the percentage of Jews among them is tiny.”
Abbas’s comments on Soviet immigrants were strikingly reminiscent of remarks made by Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef last month, in which he referred to them as “religion-hating gentiles.”
“Hundreds of thousands or tens of thousands of gentiles came to Israel under the Law of Return,” Yosef had said at a rabbinical gathering. Abbas’s comments were used Sunday to fuel political jabs between the secularist right-wing Yisrael Beytenu party and the ultra-Orthodox parties.
Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman argued on Facebook that Abbas — who is also known by his nickname Abu Mazen — had been building off Yosef’s remarks...
Liberman assailed the leaders of both ultra-Orthodox parties — Shas’s Aryeh Deri and United Torah Judaism’s (UTJ) Yaakov Litzman — saying that “for me, anyone who serves in the IDF, works and pays taxes is more of a Jew than Deri and Gafni combined, who spend all day squeezing money from the public coffers at our expense.”
In response, UTJ MK Moshe Gafni said that “the damage Liberman is trying to do to the State of Israel, the Torah and the people of Israel, is greater than the damage Abu Mazen is trying to cause.”
If a Jew need not live in Israel, need not speak Hebrew, need not be committed to formal communal relations with other Jews, need not believe in the God of Israel and His Torah, and does not necessarily have to be the child of a Jewish mother, who then, is a Jew?
According to Jewish law, a child born to a Jewish mother is considered a Jew; one does not have to reaffirm their Jewishness or practice any of the laws of the Torah to be Jewish.
According to the Orthodox movement, the father’s religion and whether the person practices is immaterial. No affirmation or upbringing is needed, as long as the mother was Jewish. (jewish virtual library)
"It is important to note that being a Jew has nothing to do with what you believe or what you do.
A person born to non-Jewish parents who has not undergone the formal process of conversion but who believes everything that Orthodox Jews believe and observes every law and custom of Judaism is still a non-Jew, even in the eyes of the most liberal movements of Judaism, and a person born to a Jewish mother who is an atheist and never practices the Jewish religion is still a Jew, even in the eyes of the ultra-Orthodox. (judaism 101)
Historically, Judaism has held that a Jew is anyone born to a Jewish mother or converted to Judaism in a halakhic manner (that is, according to Jewish law).
A halakhic conversion usually means that one is converting out of personal conviction -- he or she believes the Torah to be the absolute truth -- and has studied Jewish laws and traditions (myjewishlearning)
"If you claim that Zionism as an ideology is morally corrupt and that its policies are war crimes on the basis of your professional credentials, for instance as a historian trained in the history of Israel and Palestine, you have crossed a red line... I have crossed the red lines and the result was that I could not work any more in an Israeli academic institution, which instead of being bastions of freedom of expression are bastions of censoring expression." Ilan Pappe, 21-2-2014
I have read through the entire 181 pages of President Donald Trump’s “peace deal” for Israel, and it is breathtaking.
It is not just that the “solution” it proposes is ludicrously one-sided, it is the entire analysis of the problem to be solved which reads as pure, unadulterated zionist propaganda.
For example, the word “violence” is used repeatedly. But it only ever refers to violence by Arabs. There is not one single mention of violence by Israel against the Palestinians...
The analysis of the refugee issue is the same. Nowhere can the paper bring itself to note the key historic fact, that the Palestinian refugees were expelled from Israel. The paper treats Palestinian refugees as if they had simply materialised as an inconvenient phenomenon, like a plague of locusts. This “othering” of Palestinian refugees permeates the entire paper:
"It must be stressed that many Palestinian refugees in the Middle East come from war torn countries, such as Syria and Lebanon that are extremely hostile toward the State of Israel.."
No. Palestinian refugees were driven by violence from the land that is now Israel. Families who lived there two generations ago have been displaced in favour of families who claim the land because their ancestors lived there eighty generations ago. That is a matter of indisputable fact.
The “deal” makes a direct equivalence between Palestinian refugees and “the Jewish refugees who were forced to flee from Arab and Muslim countries.”
The language here is extremely revealing. The Jewish refugees “were forced to flee.” There is no hesitation about this claim of victimhood. Whereas there is no acknowledgement at all that the Palestinian refugees “were forced to flee” by the Israelis.
It is undoubtedly a valid point that many Jews were disgracefully and involuntarily driven out by Arab nations.. However to claim the numbers are equivalent is to ignore the fact that a significant portion of the Jewish population of Arab states moved voluntarily to the new homeland, whereas none of the Palestinians expelled from Israel left voluntarily.
But the more glaring fact ignored in the paper is that the majority of the Jewish refugees from Arab lands were given the property of Palestinian refugees in Israel. The claim that both sides are in equal need of compensation is therefore a nonsense.
Nakba: more than 700,000 Palestinian Arabs fled
or were expelled from their homes, during the 1948 war.
If you cannot bring yourself to acknowledge, even once in 181 pages, that the Palestinian inhabitants were driven out of Israel, there is no chance the proposals built on these fundamentally dishonest foundations will be solid.
The Trump paper has three fundamental “solutions” to the Palestinian refugee issue.
1) Only those originally displaced to be deemed refugees, not their families.
2) Not one single refugee to be allowed to return to Israel
3) No compensation to be paid to refugees by Israel.
Last week, the Trump team tabled “Peace to Prosperity” otherwise known as Deal of the Century, in which they set out their vision for achieving peace. It includes the creation of a Palestinian “state”. Nobody believes the “state” will come to be. Surely the Trump team knows this. So why did they table the vision?
In my opinion, the Trump team wanted to present a new vision to replace the old vision. During the next four years they will advance their vision and negate the old vision. The old vision was based on the Oslo Accords signed in 1993 and 1995 and the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 which demanded 100% withdrawal by Israel. In addition, it demanded the right of return for all Palestinian "refugees" and the division of Jerusalem.
The new vision is built on recognizing the “Israel’s valid legal and historical claims”.
'Peace to Prosperity' asserts “The State of Israel and the United States do not believe the State of Israel is legally bound to provide the Palestinians with 100 percent of pre-1967 territory.”
President Trump, soon after he was inaugurated, began to undo the harm foisted on Israel by the US, the EU and the UN over the years. To this end, Trump has
- weakened UNRWA, cutting its funding and questioning its legitimacy.
- weakened the PA (Palestinian Authority) by kicking it out of Washington and reducing its financial support
- recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and has moved the US Embassy to it. In other words, he took Jerusalem off the table
- declared the "settlements" not illegal
- induced Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, and others to abandon the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 upon which the old vision is based
- challenged the UN and the EU for their efforts to delegitimize Israel
- questioned the number of real refugees remaining
The Arab League members unanimously endorsed the peace initiative on March 27,2002. It consists of a comprehensive proposal to end the entire Arab–Israeli conflict. It provides in a relevant part:
(a) Complete withdrawal from the occupied Arab territories, including the Syrian Golan Heights, to the 4 June 1967 line and the territories still occupied in southern Lebanon; (b) Attain a just solution to the problem of Palestinian refugees to be agreed upon in accordance with the UN General Assembly Resolution No 194. (c) Accept the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state on the Palestinian territories occupied since 4 June 1967 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as its capital.
In return the Arab states will do the following: (a) Consider the Arab–Israeli conflict over, sign a peace agreement with Israel, and achieve peace for all states in the region; (b) Establish normal relations with Israel within the framework of this comprehensive peace.
Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia made a speech to the Arab League on the day of its adoption saying that:
"In spite of all that has happened and what still may happen, the primary issue in the heart and mind of every person in our Arab Islamic nation is the restoration of legitimate rights in Palestine, Syria and Lebanon.... We believe in peace when it is based on justice and equity, and when it brings an end to conflict. Only within the context of true peace can normal relations flourish between the people of the region..."
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Monday rejected US President Donald Trump's peace plan for the Middle East, calling on its 57 member states not to help implement it.
The pan-Islamic body, which represents more than 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide, "rejects this US-Israeli plan as it does not meet the minimum aspirations and legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and contradicts the terms of reference of the peace process", it said in a statement. A meeting of foreign ministers at OIC headquarters in Jeddah called on "all member states not (to) deal with this plan or cooperate with the US administration efforts to enforce it in any way or form".
Under the US plan unveiled last week, Israel would retain control of the disputed city of Jerusalem as its "undivided capital" and annex settlements on Palestinian lands.
The OIC reiterated its support for east Jerusalem as capita l of a future Palestinian state, stressing its "Arab and Islamic character".
It said peace would "only be achieved with the end of the Israeli occupation, the full withdrawal from the territory of the State of Palestine in particular the holy city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif (Jerusalem) and the other Arab territories occupied since (the) June 1967 (Middle East war)".
French ambassador to Tehran Philippe Thiebaud said his country is fully determined to make efforts for removal of unilateral sanctions on Iran and expansion of cooperation between the two sides.He made the remarks in a meeting with the governor of Hormozgan province. The re-imposition of US’ sanctions on Iran, regrettably, has had an adverse effect on the level of cooperation between Iran and France, the ambassador said, adding “the French president, however, has been making efforts to lift the sanctions through holding political talks at the highest of levels.”
Philippe Thiebaud went on to add that French President Emmanuel Macron is fully resolved to take steps for the removal of sanctions and expansion of cooperation with Iran; “for this purpose, he has had many talks with Iranian President Rouhani,” he added.
“We are ready to move forward with mutual understanding to develop cooperation between France and Iran,” the ambassador said, adding that Hormozgan province could act as the center of cooperation between the two sides, especially in the fields of economy, trade and tourism.
For his part, the governor of Hormozgan, Freydoun Hemmati, said “We expect France, as an important European country, to take practical steps to preserve the nuclear deal and establish closer cooperation with Iran after the irrational and unlawful withdrawal of the US from the JCPOA.”
France could be Iran’s focus for further cooperation with Europe, he added.
Algeria's president is proposing that Libya's tribal groups hold meetings in a neighboring country to find new solutions to the conflict tearing oil-rich Libya apart.
Fighting among militias, arms and migrant trafficking and extremism in Libya are a big concern to neighboring Algeria and Tunisia, whose presidents met Sunday in Algiers.
Both leaders were elected in recent months, and are eager to keep Libya's lawlessness from further spilling over their borders.
Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune called for meetings in either the capital of Algeria or Tunisia "with all of Libya's tribes, to begin a new era for building new institutions, allowing for the organization of general elections and establishment of new foundations of a democratic Libyan state.’'
Tebboune insisted that any solution to Libya's conflict should come from Libyans themselves and "protected from foreign interference and weapons flows.’'
Libya is torn between a weak U.N.-recognized administration in the capital of Tripoli overseeing the country's west, run by Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj, and the self-styled Libyan Arab Armed Forces led by Gen. Khalifa Hifter, based in eastern Libya.
Sarraj's administration is backed by Turkey and to a lesser degree Qatar and Italy. Hifter's forces have received support from the United Arab Emirates and Egypt as well as France and Russia.
What exactly was toppled in Libya with the overthrow of Muammar Gadaffi? A dictator, or a working power structure?
It was utterly predictable that military intervention would be a fiasco. Sadly the lessons of the Iraq war did not alert Nato leaders to the disastrous consequences of their punitive mission.
Western military strategists had, of course, identified the nerve centres they would need to target to bring down their enemy. They made detailed appraisals of Gaddafi’s defensive strongholds, his air bases, listening stations, electronic warfare and communications networks, tank regiments, ground troops, planning and command centres, logistics hubs, key infrastructure and administration. Everything.
But they failed to take account of the most essential consideration: the nature of the Arab-Berber world.
And it’s this monumental oversight that holds the key to Libya’s current’s chaos, along with the chaos that has been tearing the Iraqi people apart for over a decade. You cannot simply launch an attack on a country without any knowledge of the mindset or character of its inhabitants.
You can destroy every tank and combat aircraft in its arsenal, wipe out its entire strategic networks, but if you don’t know what kind of people you’re dealing with, you are merely opening a Pandora’s box, and every idle peace operation embarked on later is doomed only to throw fuel on the fire.
To understand the Libyan tragedy we must first study the peculiarities of Arab-Berber culture... The Libyan people did not exist as a homogenous nation under one flag and sharing one common ideal. It was a collection of fiercely autonomous, proud and unruly tribes, suspicious of centralised rule, which they saw as a potential threat and to which they would only give allegiance to preserve their own independence.
The history of deeply hostile relationships between Libya’s ethnic groups is littered with violent raids, betrayals, unfulfilled vendettas and long-held frustrations carried like shameful injuries that have festered over the years as each generation is brought up to seek revenge for old sins. The terrible reality of the Libyan situation is precisely what Nato’s generals did not deem it necessary to know, dangerously choosing to ignore the unique combination of factors that make up the Libyan mindset. They failed to consider how Libyans would react to having a war thrust upon them.
During Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year rule, Libya has made great strides socially and economically thanks to its vast oil income... Women in Libya are free to work and to dress as they like, subject to family constraints. Life expectancy is in the seventies. And per capita income - while not as high as could be expected given Libya's oil wealth and relatively small population of 6.5m - is estimated at $12,000 (£9,000), according to the World Bank. Illiteracy has been almost wiped out, as has homelessness - a chronic problem in the pre-Gaddafi era, where corrugated iron shacks dotted many urban centres around the country. BBC News, 21-2-2011
Gaddafi played a defining role in the rebuilding of the modern Libyan nation. By overthrowing the monarchy and declaring the Jamahiriya (a republic of the masses in which political power was to be passed to the people), the revolutionary army officer achieved what no sovereign before him had accomplished.
Born of the tribes and the outcasts, a wretched child destined for menial tasks and a lifetime of poverty, Gaddafi – thanks, in large part, to his humble roots – immediately won the adoration of the disadvantaged on the fringes of society and rallied the aggrieved and the rejected to his cause.
But his greatest feat, after the coup d’etat, was absolutely remarkable: he succeeded in bringing together the intensely opposed ethnic groups of the north and south, who had always despised one another.
To the casual western observer this might seem a basic achievement and of little import, but for an inveterate tribalist it is little short of a miracle. For four decades Gaddafi acted as guarantor of the nation’s stability and a careful moderator between tribal leaders, reconciling warring parties and delicately handling the hangovers of the past that still awoke old demons from time to time. .. By toppling Gaddafi, Nato interfered with the order of things. Once the personal guarantor of national unity had been lynched by his compatriots, the Libyan people were left to their own devices in an appalling state of upheaval, with no roadmap to guide them.
Through herd mentality, or pure atavism, the leaderless state was drawn back to its one familiar point of reference, the tribal system of its ancestors, and with it the full force of its legacy: a return to the hatred of the past, to intractable rivalries, violent raids and an unquenchable thirst for vengeance.
The majority of Jordanians support scrapping the gas deal with Israel, a recent opinion poll has shown.
The poll, conducted by the University of Jordan's Centre for Strategic Studies from January 21-25, surveyed a representative sample of Jordanian society from all governorates, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported on Wednesday. The poll revealed that 66.5 per cent of respondents want the deal to be scrapped, while 14 per cent oppose scrapping and 19.5 per cent say they have "no idea" about the agreement.
Data from the poll showed that 77 per cent of the respondents know about the public protests against the gas deal, while 67 per cent are aware of the Lower House's recent deliberations over the deal.. In September 2016, Jordan’s National Electric Power Company (NEPCO) signed a 15-year agreement with Noble Energy, a Houston-based company that holds the largest share in the Israeli Leviathan Gas Field, to purchase $10 billion worth of natural gas. Under the deal, Jordan will receive 3 billion cubic metres of gas per year.
In a majority vote, the Lower House in Januray passed a draft law that bans the import of Israeli gas to the Kingdom, proposed by the Chamber’s Legal Committee.
MPs approved referring the bill to the government as a matter of urgency. During a special session on the subject last March, the House declared its “utter rejection” of the gas deal, and requested that the agreement be “cancelled at all costs”. MPs called on the government to look for alternative energy resources from Arab states, arguing that the gas deal threatens Jordan’s energy security and serves the Israeli occupation’s economy.
Other deputies called for legal action against the government that signed the gas deal with Israel.
Although United States ally Jordan has a peace treaty with Israel, the deal - which supplies Jordan for 15 years - has faced much popular opposition, with legislators arguing it makes the kingdom dependent on its neighbour for energy.
"The gas of the enemy is an occupation. Down with the gas deal," placards carried by protesters said.
"We are here protesting against the gas deal which has been signed in 2016 without the knowledge of the parliament, and we want to send a message to the prime minister that it is enough with the humiliation and shame," protester Nadia al-Awad said.
"How can we purchase our own [Palestinian] gas from them [Israelis] and pay with our own money? We send this message to them and we say enough with the humiliation, enough shame, enough selling our homelands."
Public opinion across Jordan has remained against the normalisation of ties with Israel, and on the government level, these relations have become under increasing strain since the gas deal was struck since Donald Trump replaced Barack Obama as US president. Jordan and Egypt are the only two Arab countries that have a peace treaty with Israel.
The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is still advancing inside the southern region of the Aleppo Governorate after a successful day northeast of Saraqib.
According to the latest report from the Aleppo front, the Syrian Arab Army has captured a number of points this evening, including several sites along the Aleppo-Damascus Highway (M-5).
The Syrian Arab Army’s advance has resulted in their forces crossing the Aleppo-Damascus Highway and entering the southwestern countryside of the Aleppo Governorate for the first time since 2013.
With this advance, the Syrian Arab Army is now likely to clear the last remaining jihadist points along the Aleppo-Damascus Highway in order to reopen this imperative highway that links southern and northern Syria.
Syrian regime forces supported by Russian aircraft on Friday evening took control of seven rebel-held villages south of the city of Aleppo, coming close to capturing the entire length of the M5 highway which links Aleppo to the Syrian capital Damascus. Control of the strategic M5 highway is believed to be one of the main objectives of the ground and air campaign the regime and Russia are waging against the Idlib pocket..
All of the length of the M5 highway in Idlib province is now in regime hands, leaving only a 30 kilometre stretch of it in Aleppo province still under rebel control.
Running up from the Jordanian border in the south of the country, the M5 is Syria's longest highway. It cuts through fertile fields, industrial zones and four major cities, including Damascus and Aleppo.
The correspondent of The New Arab’s Arabic-language service said that heavy fighting was still ongoing around the seven villages the regime has entered.
Earlier, the regime took control of the rebel stronghold of Saraqeb, east of Idlib city, amid clashes with Turkish forces. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said previously this week that he “will not allow” the regime to take control of the entirety of rebel-held Idlib province.
Over 580,000 people have been displaced in the past two months by the regime’s assault...
Government forces seized control of a highway in northwest Syria for the first time since 2012 on Tuesday, a war monitor said, as talks ended between Turkey and Russia on stopping clashes that killed 13 Turkish soldiers in a week.
The M5 highway is the main road between Aleppo and the capital Damascus and runs through to Deraa in southern Syria. Syrian forces seized the entire length of the M5 after driving rebels from their last foothold on the road, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based war monitor, said.
The pro-government forces, backed by Russia and Iran, took control of the highway after capturing a western suburb of Aleppo from insurgents as the government intensified its campaign to capture the last rebel-held stronghold in Syria's nearly nine-year-old war.
Last week, government troops recaptured Saraqeb, a strategic crossroads town where the M5 intersects with a main west-east highway. The Hama-Aleppo section of the highway, linking Damascus with industrial regions in the north and the country’s economic capital, Aleppo, has remained under the control of terrorist groups since 2014.
Head of the Kuwaiti Umma Council, Marzouk Al-Ghanem, expressed his firm rejection of the US Mideast plan during an urgent meeting for the Arab Parliamentary Union in Amman on Saturday. Al-Ghanem threw the documents of the so-called “deal of the century” in the dustbin, stressing that the plan’s suitable position is in the dustbin of history. (Al-Manar News, 9-2-2020)
President Trump’s Israel plan was loudly rejected by the Palestinians, but it’s the Israeli side that’s really proving a challenge, as the US struggles to slow them down, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tries to score political gains with a quick annexation. US Ambassador David Friedman is warning Israel against any “unilateral” action, and warns any annexation must be consistent with a joint US-Israeli committee’s finding on the map. Ironically, Friedman was the first to endorse an Israeli plan of annexation, and explicitly told them there was no need to wait to annex parts of the West Bank consistent with US plan language. Now, clearly, US officials are rethinking that.
An annexation would fuel a backlash against Israel, and the US. US officials are hoping to buy a bit of time, with Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner suggesting that finalizing the map could take a “couple of months.” That would get past the latest Israeli election.
Already a large political matter within Israel, settler leaders are pushing Netanyahu to “put the US in its place” and carry out the annexations as quickly as possible.
This past week AIPAC found a way to alienate just about everyone in the American political world.
After the group’s decision to run Facebook ads calling out some Democrats as "radicals" and "anti-Semitic" only to apologize for doing so, both liberals and conservatives were disgusted with the pro-Israel lobby, accusing it of political bias as well as incompetence.
The problem facing the pro-Israel lobby is that the political climate simply isn’t conducive to the way it has carried out its mission for the last several decades.
The first obstacle to AIPAC’s ability to maintain at least a façade of bipartisanship rests on the fact that the Trump administration has given both Israel and its American friends more or less everything it has been demanding of every White House for the last 40 years.
Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal put him in sync with the lobby’s desperate battle to defeat President Barack Obama’s signature foreign policy accomplishment.
But with Trump’srecognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, support for its sovereignty on the Golan Heights, demands for the Palestinian Authority to halt its subsidies for terrorists and their families and now a peace plan that is heavily tilted toward the Jewish state, he’s left no room for the Democrats to compete with him for the title of Israel’s friend.
At the same time, AIPAC is broadly supportive of efforts by centrist Democrats to prevent their party from being hijacked by left-wingers that don’t share their friendly attitude toward Israel.
In the lead up to the Iowa caucus, the Democratic Majority for Israel, a year-old political action group and super PAC, invested heavily in negative ads aimed at derailing the campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders.
It’s in that context that the AIPAC Facebook ads that so offended Democrats must be seen.
For centrist pro-Israel Democrats, the problem with Sanders is not just that he is the most critical toward Israel of all the Democrats. It’s that the left-wing activist base that is fueling his candidacy is also largely hostile toward the Jewish state. Sanders is backed by Representatives Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich), who are supporters of the BDS movement and are accused of using anti-Semitic language and tropes in their criticisms of Israel’s supporters.
Sanders’ surge and the apparent collapse of support for the centrists’ favorite candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden, has left the Democratic Majority for Israel and its allies in full stop-Sanders mode.
Which is undoubtedly why AIPAC was following the Super PAC’s lead when it ran ads that alleged that "radicals in the Democratic Party are pushing their anti-Israel and anti-Semitic agenda down the throats of the American people." Faced with criticism from those Democrats who are supportive of Israel, AIPAC had to apologize and take the ads down. Doing that however angered right-wingers...
Jonathan S. Tobin is editor in chief of JNS (the Jewish News Syndicate)
The United Nations human rights office has issued a report on companies it said have business ties to illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.
In a statement on Wednesday, the UN body said it identified 112 business entities which it has reasonable grounds to conclude have ties with Israeli settlements - 94 domiciled in Israel and 18 in six other countries.
It identified companies listed in the US, France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Thailand and the United Kingdom. Among these was the US-based home-sharing company, Airbnb.
Airbnb said in November 2018 that it would remove listings in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.
But it said the following April that it would not implement the planned delisting and would donate proceeds from any bookings in the territory to international humanitarian aid organisations.
Other companies include travel sites Expedia and TripAdvisor, tech giant Motorola, consumer food maker General Mills and construction and infrastructure companies including France's Egis Rail and British company, JC Bamford Excavators.
In its report, the UN office said the companies' activities "raised particular human rights concerns".
I am conscious this issue has been, and will continue to be, highly contentious,” U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said in a statement.
Commenting on the report, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki hailed the decision, calling a "victory for international law".
"Publishing this list of companies and entities operating in the settlements is a victory for international law and diplomatic efforts," Malki said in a statement.
He urged UN member states and the UN Human Rights Council to "issue recommendations and instructions to these companies to end their work immediately with the settlements". Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh threatened to take international legal action against the companies named in the report, demanding they "immediately close their headquarters and branches inside illegal Israeli settlements because their presence contradicts international and UN resolutions".
He added Palestinians would also "demand compensation" for what he called "their use of our occupied land illegally."
In an initial reaction, Israel's foreign minister, Israel Katz, called the publication of the list a "shameful surrender" to countries and organisations that want to hurt Israel.
Later on Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the UN rights council was a "biased and uninfluential body".
"Instead of dealing with human rights this body is trying to blacken Israel's name. We reject any such attempt in the strongest terms and with disgust," he said.
Israeli president Reuven Rivlin responded to the database published Wednesday by reading out a long list of Israeli companies mentioned on the list, and encouraging Israelis to support them.
“I am proud that these are Israeli businesses, patriots who contribute to Israeli society, to economy and to peace.
Human Rights Watch's deputy advocacy chief Bruno Stagno welcomed the publication of the database.
This "should put all companies on notice: to do business with illegal settlements is to aid in the commission of war crimes", he said.
The Iranian Embassy in Damascus held a reception ceremony Monday marking the 41st anniversary of the victory of Iran’s Islamic Revolution at Damascus-based Dama Rose Hotel.
In his speech during the ceremony, the Iranian Ambassador in Damascus Javad Turk-Abadi underlined that his country will continue supporting Syria in its war against terrorism and in the reconstruction of what the terrorists have destroyed.
Turk-Abadi reiterated Iran’s support to Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, asserting that only the Syrian people have the right to determine the future of their country without any foreign interference.
The Iranian Ambassador hailed the victories achieved by the Syrian Arab army led by President Bashar al-Assad against terrorism.
For his part, Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister Fayssal Mikdad said that Syria is fighting terrorism on behalf of entire world, asserting that the Syrian Arab Army will continue its battles against the terrorist organizations till restoring security and stability to all the Syrian territories.
Mikdad hailed Iran and Russia’s supportive stances towards Syria and their standing by Syria in its war against terrorism.
Russia on Wednesday accused Turkey of flouting agreements it had made with Moscow on Syria and of aggravating the situation in Idlib where Syrian forces have made gains in their campaign to eliminate the last insurgent bastion in a nine-year-old war.
In one of the strongest signs yet that Syria is placing relations between Moscow, which backs the Syrian government, and Ankara, which backs Syrian anti-government rebels, under increasing strain, the Kremlin, the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Russian Defence Ministry all accused Turkey of bad faith. The Kremlin said Turkey had failed to deliver on a promise to neutralise militants in Idlib, something it called unacceptable, the Foreign Ministry reminded Ankara its forces were in Syria without the blessing of the Syrian government, and the Defence Ministry said Turkish troops were seriously aggravating the situation on the ground in Idlib.
“Statements by Turkish representatives about alleged attacks by Russian forces on civilians in the Idlib de-escalation zone do not correspond with reality,” the Russian Defence Ministry said in a statement.
“The real reason for the crisis in the Idlib de-escalation zone unfortunately is the non-fulfilment by our Turkish colleagues of their undertakings to separate moderate opposition militants from terrorists.”
It said the presence of Turkish troops and armour in Idlib was making the situation there much worse, as was the transport of weapons and ammunition across the Syrian-Turkish border. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow remained committed to a deal on Syria it had struck with Ankara, but that Russia considered militant attacks in Idlib to be unacceptable and in contravention of that same agreement.
“We continue to note with regret that these groups are carrying out strikes from Idlib on Syrian forces and also taking aggressive action against our military facilities,” Peskov told reporters. “This is unacceptable.”
A recent statement by the top United States diplomat in charge of fighting the Islamic State group (IS), Brett McGurk in which he associated Turkey with a robust al-Qaeda presence in Syria drew Ankara's protest on Sunday.
"Idlib Province is the largest al-Qaeda safe haven since 9/11.... This a huge problem," McGurk said last Thursday at a Washington DC panel, before pointing the finger at the NATO ally.
Al-Qaeda's Syrian franchise - al-Nusra Front - controls much of the northwestern province of Idlib on the Turkish border since President Bashar al Assad's regime lost the area to the Islamist opposition groups.
"But we have to ask a question; why and how is Ayman al-Zawahiri's deputy finding his way to Idlib Province. Why is this happening? How are they getting there? They are not paratroopers," asked McGurk at the event organized by the DC think tank Middle East Institute.
"The approach by some of our partners to send in tens of thousands of tons of weapons, and look the other way as these foreign fighters come into Syria may not have been the best approach," McGurk continued. He added that al-Zawahiri's al-Qaeda has taken "full advantage" of Turkey's turning a blind eye.
"Idlib is a huge problem. It's an al-Qaeda safe haven right at the border with Turkey...
Yisrael Beytenu Chair MK Avigdor Liberman does not rule out the possibility of sitting in the same government with the Labor-Gesher-Meretz faction.
"I sat in the government with Amir Peretz and I had no problem getting along. It all depends on the basic guidelines," Liberman said Thursday morning in an interview with Galei Tzahal.
He claimed that Yamina would also join a Blue and White government if it could. "As soon as Yamina can join the Blue and White - Bennett and Shaked will do so, therefore Netanyahu decided to support Ben Gvir."
[Itamar Ben-Gvir (born 6 May 1976) is an Israeli lawyer, and a leader in the Israeli far-right Otzma Yehudit party.]
Liberman estimated that there was no chance of establishing a unity government in the light of the previous attempt. "It is clear that a unity government will not be established.”
Later in the interview, Liberman argued that Likud also wants to replace Netanyahu, "More than half the Likud faction dreams of electing a new chairman. They dream of the day that this nightmare will be over. "
The prime minister’s overtures to the Jewish Power (Otzma Yehudit) party are not, in the context of his political character, surprising. His readiness to rely on white supremacists and ultranationalists abroad to prop him up provides ample evidence of the types of characters he’ll make common cause with. It has also long been clear that there are very few depths Netanyahu will not plumb when his perch at the top of Israeli politics is under threat.
Jewish Power’s 2019 election manifesto bears a resounding resemblance to Kach’s platform. The party proposes implementing Jewish law as the law of the land, and having an education system that teaches love of Israel and the Jewish people. It promises “total war” against “Israel’s enemies,” and seeks the annexation of the West Bank and Gaza.
It calls to expel “Israel’s enemies” (which should be read as Palestinians) “back to their countries of origin.” At the same time, the party wants to encourage diaspora Jews to emigrate to Israel, in order to try and prevent assimilation.
As far as security policy, the party wants “deterrence” to be restored to the Israeli army, and for the military to move from “a policy of ‘containing the enemy’ to one of elimination and annihilation.” They envision a “Jewish democracy” that “rejects universal values.” And they name their economic policy “Jewish capitalism” — part of which proposes that once “Israel’s enemies” have been expelled from the country, the security budget will be reduced by billions of shekels that can be partially reinvested in industry, small businesses and the periphery. Total war, expulsions, annihilation, mandatory Orthodox religious law, pro-natalism, ethnic supremacism — those were Kahane’s calling cards, and they are Jewish Power’s, too.
Thirty years ago, those policy proposals saw Kach outlawed. Today, they have led to an invitation from the prime minister, delivered via Jewish Home, to join his coalition.
Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), an outspoken critic of Israel’s occupation of Palestine, accused the influential lobby group American Israel Public Affairs Committee of being a hate group that weaponizes anti-Semitism to silence dissent. Last month, AIPAC started running paid Facebook advertisements with pictures of McCollum, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.).
"a bigger threat to Israel than ISIS"
The ads warned that the “radicals in the Democratic Party are pushing their anti-Semitic and anti-Israel policies down the throats of the American people,” according to the Jewish Telegraph Agency.
“The decision by AIPAC to use my image in paid Facebook ads weaponizing anti-Semitism to incite followers by attacking me, my colleagues, and my work promoting human rights for Palestinian children detained in Israeli military prisons is hate speech,” McCollum said in her response to the advert.
“AIPAC claims to be a bipartisan organization, but its use of hate speech actually makes it a hate group,” McCollum said in a statement on Tuesday. “By weaponizing anti-Semitism and hate to silence debate, AIPAC is taunting Democrats and mocking our core values.”
The implication that McCollum and her colleagues represent a bigger threat to Israel than ISIS “is not a call to action, it is incitement,” McCollum said.
Omar and Tlaib, who are the first Muslim women elected to Congress, have faced racist threats and attacks — including from the president. “Hate speech is intentionally destructive and dehumanizing, which is why it is used as a weapon by groups with a stake in profiting from oppression,” McCollum continued.
AIPAC removed the most offensive ads, but the group reiterated its claim that a certain group of members in Congress are “deliberately working to erode the bipartisan consensus on this issue and undermine the U.S.-Israel relationship.”
No one from AIPAC has reached out to McCollum to apologize or discuss the Facebook advertisements, McCollum spokeswoman Amanda Yanchury told HuffPost in an email.
McCollum has long been one of the few members of Congress willing to criticize Israeli policy and stand up to AIPAC’s bullying. But her statement on Wednesday represents the strongest rebuke from a sitting member of Congress of a group that has a reputation of being untouchable on Capitol Hill.
“There’s always this narrative that AIPAC is not an organization you can criticize or else it will cost you politically,” Omar Baddar, the deputy director of the Arab American Institute said in an interview.
“McCollum is proving that you can absolutely criticize AIPAC and criticize Israel’s human rights violations and go on to have a successful career.”