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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

True Lies: Poroshenko Sells His Business to Dmitry Firtash, the “Party of Regions”, and Vice Presidents of the United States

November 20, 2018
The anonymous “NEZYGAR” Telegram channel, whose authorship is attributed to the top manager of the Moscow company “Renova”, published information about the current president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko carrying out negotiations on the sale of his own assets on the territory of Ukraine.
The corresponding post on the Telegram channel appeared on November 15th:
http://www.stalkerzone.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/1021771066.png
“Petro Poroshenko holds negotiations on the sale of his own assets on the territory of Ukraine. There is a task to complete the deal before March 1st, 2019.
Two independent auditors from among the ‘Big Five’ handed over reports to two potential buyers.

The first candidate is a syndicate of disgraced oligarchs from the Russian Federation, Ukraine, and Lithuania.

The second candidate is the group of Dmitry Firtash and two high-ranking members of the US Democrat Party, with the support of Joe Biden and Michael Pence.

Negotiations are at the final stage, the coordination of a discount is ongoing, as well as concerning the form of payment and the final points of the withdrawal of capital.

85% of non-cash payments will go to special accounts in the Federal Treasury of the US and the Manhattan Chase bank”.
Most likely, the publication is referring to Chase bank, the old name of which is Chase Manhattan Bank – a subsidiary of the American bank with the biggest capitalisation in the world — JPMorgan Chase, whose cumulative quantity of bank deposits totals $2.6 trillion.
The second destination that is spoken about in the channel’s post is the special account of the US Treasury Department. It is curious that the author of the information speaks not just about a special account that banks are authorised to open for the clients, but about the special account of the Treasury Department itself, which, assuming this statement is true, points to Poroshenko having an arrangement with representatives of the US establishment at the highest level.
The mentioned potential buyers of the business of Poroshenko are no less curious.
If cooperation with a group of “disgraced oligarchs” from Ukraine, Russia, and Lithuania is approximately clear to all – obviously, it is representatives of the “Party of Regions” who fled abroad who are meant here, some of who, according to the investigation carried out by journalists from the “Scheme” program, Poroshenko maintained business relations with, then the structure of the second group of buyers causes certain questions to be asked.
As a matter of fact the only question is: what can connect “high-ranking members of the US Democratic party” and Dmitry Firtash, against who a criminal case was initiated in the US, from the Themis of which the oligarch tries to find protection in the Austrian courts in order to avoid extradition? The cooperation and patronage of the two vice-presidents Joe Biden and Michael Pence (Republican and Democrat parties respectively) look convincing, but would high-ranking members of the American establishment start to deal with such a partner as Dmitry Firtash? It is unlikely.
However, the most curious thing in this publication isn’t so much the technical details of the financial transfer, and even not its beneficiaries, but the information claiming that the sale has to be wrapped up by March 1st — a month before the future presidential elections in Ukraine.
And concerning this part, the allegedly false information of the “NEZYGAR” channel obtains quite distinct real outlines.
The decision in itself to sell, as well as the date that it has to be concluded by, is deeply symbolic. If this information is even partly truthful (and it also also happens like this in the world of big business), then the question, probably, is about the full surrender by the current president of his position in light of his understanding of the fact that he stands no chance of being re-elected for a second presidential term, which is confirmed by the latest polls. And if things are indeed like this, then Poroshenko is preparing to sell his property in Ukraine in advance, being afraid that after a change of power he might lose control over it. Because it is obvious that if Yulia Tymoshenko becomes the president, for example, then criminal proceedings will be initiated against her sworn and long-term enemy Petro Poroshenko for the unleashed civil war, total corruption, the organisation of illegal political processes and the criminal prosecution of his political opponents, the impoverishment and destruction of Ukraine and its industrial and economic potential, etc.
In brief: everything that was accumulated by back-breaking oligarchical toil will be arrested and nationalised.
In this case Poroshenko is waited by the fate of Mikheil Saakashvili and many other politicians supported by the US authorities, due to unpopular measures and criminal prosecution for violating the rights of citizens and corruption, the lack of support from the population, and becoming a pariah in their motherland as a result of all this. Such figures are obliged to flee from their country, being afraid of punishment after losing their presidency.
Whether or not the information presented by the Telegram channel is a leak from confidential negotiations or purposeful information “planting” that is designed to shake the already fragile pre-election position of Poroshenko, we will be able to learn only from the subsequent events. It is obvious that, fleeing from his motherland, Poroshenko needs to sell up his property (it is impossible to take the “Roshen” confectionery factory and “Kuznya na Rybalskyom” to Spain).
So with all the apparent “fakeness” of this information about the sale of property and business, there is also a certain amount of common sense in it…

INTERVIEW WITH SAMUEL HASSOUN, AMERICAN EX-MILITARY WHO MOVED TO SYRIA IN 2011

Published on Nov 19, 2018
Samuel Hassoun is an American of Syrian descent. His grandfather was Syrian, and in 1995 he first visited Syria, visiting numerous times afterwards, eventually meeting what would become his wife. He and his Syrian wife moved to Syria in March 2011.
We discuss the realities he was seeing and hearing in Syria versus the lies reported on corporate and Gulf media on Syria, as well as many other aspects of life in Syria and the long-manufactured war on Syria.

Related Links:

EARLY DAYS IN SYRIA: WESTERN NARRATIVE VS REALITY

Talk With American-Syrians in Latakia, part 1

Talk With American-Syrians in Latakia, part 2

Daraa Priest, Father Gerges Rizk, on What Really Happened in Daraa 2011

Dr Amer Ghantous on Lies Around Daraa 2011

Kassab Resident: Why the Attack on Syria

Deconstructing the NATO Narrative on Syria

“Prem Shankar Jha’s, “Who Fired The First Shot?” described the slaughter of 20 Syrian soldiers outside Dara’a a month later, “by cutting their throats, and cutting off the head of one of the soldiers.” A very “moderate”-rebel practice.
In “Syria: The Hidden Massacre” Sharmine Narwani investigated the early massacres of Syrian soldiers, noting that many of the murders occurred even after the Syrian government had abolished the state security courts, lifted the state of emergency, granted general amnesties, and recognized the right to peaceful protest. [https://www.rt.com/op-ed/157412-syria-hidden-massacre-2011/#_blank]
The April 10, 2011 murder of Banyas farmer Nidal Janoud was one of the first horrific murders of Syrian civilians by so-called “unarmed protesters.” Face gashed open, mutilated and bleeding, Janoud was paraded by an armed mob, who then hacked him to death.
Father Frans Van der Ludt—the Dutch priest living in Syria for nearly 5 decades prior to his April 7, 2014 assassination by militants occupying the old city of Homs—wrote (repeatedly) of the “armed demonstrators” he saw in early protests, “who began to shoot at the police first.”

Syrian comedian Treka on Fake Revolution, Fake Chemical Attack, and more

Syria: NOT A Revolution!
SUPPORT FOR PRESIDENT ASSAD:
“On March 29, 2011 (less than two weeks into the fantasy “revolution”) over 6 million people across Syria took to the streets in support of President al-Assad. In June, a reported hundreds of thousands marched in Damascus in support of the president, with a 2.3 km long Syrian flag. In November, 2011 (9 months into the chaos), masses again held demonstrations supporting President al-Assad, notably in Homs (the so-called “capital of the ‘revolution’”), Dara’a (the so-called “birthplace of the ‘revolution’”), Deir ez-Zour, Raqqa, Latakia, and Damascus.
Mass demonstrations like this have occurred repeatedly since, including inMarch 2012, in May 2014 in the lead-up to Presidential elections, and in June 2015, to note just some of the larger rallies.
In May 2013, it was reported that even NATO recognized the Syrian president’s increased popularity. “The data, relayed to NATO over the last month, asserted that 70 percent of Syrians support” the Assad government. At present, the number is now at least 80 percent.
The most telling barometer of Assad’s support base was the Presidential elections in June 2014, which saw 74 percent (11.6 million) of 15.8 million registered Syrian voters vote, with President al-Assad winning 88 percent of the votes. The lengths Syrians outside of Syria went to in order to vote included flooding the Syrian embassy in Beirut for two full days (and walking several kilometres to get there) and flying from countries with closed Syrian embassies to Damascus airport simply to cast their votes. Within Syria, Syrians braved terrorist mortars and rockets designed to keep them from voting; 151 shells were fired on Damascus alone, killing 5 and maiming 33 Syrians.”

Syrians Flock to Vote in Lebanon

Homs Heflah to Celebrate June 3 Presidential Elections

INTERNAL REFUGEES HOUSED IN GOVERNMENT SECURED REGIONS:
“…the owner is displaced from Aleppo, from one of the first areas to be infested by terrorists. He lost he three apparently very-well known and loved croissant/bakery shops, all the equipment, his home and all furnishings when he and family fled the terrorists to Latakia. His personal loss also of course affected the 10 employees he had in Aleppo. Here, he worked for about 4 months in Jableh before opening his first croissant shop in Latakia, which has since blossomed into two apparently very popular croissant shops.
Of note: one of millions of internally displaced in Syria who have fled the terrorists to government-secured safe areas to re-start life, losing all his investment, but also again dispelling the MSM myth of Syrians fleeing the government and SAA.
Another shop owner fled a different area of Aleppo for the same reason, losing his garment factory (where 76 people worked), all of the equipment inside (including 40 machines), and his shop in the Old City of Aleppo, which like the factory was looted by western-backed “freedom-loving” “moderate-rebel” terrorists.
He too has re-opened in Latakia, starting slowly, first getting a small space in one of the markets here and selling others’ clothes, then acquiring a small workshop to manufacture his own again.
His story is filled with sadness and loss, including a 20 day old son…of kidnappings by the thugs the west calls “rebels”, and also of the steadfastness exhibited by Syrians over and over during this dirty war on the sovereign nation….”
“Tartous houses 1 million internally-displaced from all over Syria, including people from Deir ez-Zor, Raqqa, Aleppo, Homs, and elsewhere, according to the Governor of Aleppo (as of mid-2016), who said the city is known as “mini-Syria” in recent years due to its hosting of Syrians from all over.
“The 1 million IDPs share Tartous’ resources, schools, and hospitals with 1 million inhabitants.”
They are not housed in tents and camps, but in schools/other buildings-turned refugee centres, as well as houses. I visited one of these centres while in Tartous, also visiting centres in Latakia, Aleppo, Damascus over the past few years.”
US ILLEGAL OCCUPATION OF SYRIA:
Russian Ministry Of OD updates on Rukban, us presence
“Such a situation in which the camp finds itself reminds concentration camps of the Second World War, which seemed to be long gone. How is it possible in the modern world?
Why, in these conditions, the world community, which cares so much about human rights, continues to persistently keep silent about the humanitarian disaster in the Rukban camp? In fact, being held hostage.
40 martyred in new massacre by “Int’l Coalition” in Deir Ezzor countryside
Implausible Denials: The Crime at Jabal al Tharda. US-led Air Raid on Behalf of ISIS-Daesh Against Syrian Forces
TERRORIST ATTACKS ON HOSPITALS:
Former Director of Kindi Hospital Talks About Terrorist Truck Bombing of Hospital
Western corporate media ‘disappears’ over 1.5 million Syrians and 4,000 doctors (Ignore Terrorist Attacks on Hospitals)
ERDOGAN COMPLICITY IN THIEVING ALEPPO FACTORIES, SENDING TERRORISTS TO SYRIA:
19:26, MP Fares Shehabi on lawsuit against Turkey for theft of factories
November 2016, MP Shehabi on the lawsuit
Serena Shim exposed Turkey’s role in Syria:
“As Shim’s sister Fatmeh Shim stated in 2015, “She caught them bringing in ISIS high-ranked members into Syria from Turkey into camps, which are supposed to be Syrian refugee camps.”
Serena Shim’s January 2013 expose, “Turkey’s Pivotal Role in Syria’s Insurgency: PressTV Report from Inside Turkey,” showed footage of what she estimated to be 300 semi-trucks “awaiting militants to empty them out”; included testimony explaining how Turkey enables the crossing of foreign terrorists “freely” into Syria; spoke of the funneling of arms via the Incirlik US Air Base in Turkey to terrorists in refugee camps or on through to Syria; and highlighted the issue of terrorist training camps portrayed as refugee camps, guarded by the Turkish military.
Shim named the World Food Organization as one of the NGOs whose trucks were being used to funnel terrorists’ arms into Syria, and stated this in her last interview, just one day before being killed. Notably, in that interview she also explicitly stated that she feared for her life because Turkish intelligence had accused her of being a spy.
EXTENSIVE TUNNELS IN SYRIA:

Jaysh al-Islam Tunnel Labyrinth in Douma, Syria

ON THE SYRIAN ARAB ARMY:
While in Tartous I saw an endless sea of posters of martyred soldiers, billboards listing their names, to give respect to their defense of Syria.
I was also treated with an unplanned visit to the sea, where I saw normal beach scenes, and more: Syrians of varying ages and faiths, living, loving, resisting the war of terror on their country.
While there, my host made sure to note: “Do not think these people haven’t suffered. There isn’t a house here that hasn’t lost a family member or relative,” she said of Syria’s fight against terrorism and for the restoration of peace
When Private Ryan is shamed by quiet heroes in the Syrian Arab Army

Israel Cannot Use Violent Self-Defense While Occupying Gaza

Photo Source U.S. Embassy Jerusalem | CC BY 2.0
Whenever bombings and shootings escalate in the Middle East, Israeli propagandists say that Israel is exercising its right of military self-defense against indiscriminate attacks coming from the Gaza Strip. But as this article documents, the right to use force in self-defense is contingent on Israel ending its military occupation and blockade of Gaza.
DON’T MISQUOTE ME ON THAT!
Doubtless some unscrupulous person or persons will quote or interpret this article out of context and claim that I’m saying that Israel has no right to self-defense at all. So, let me be clear: Israel is a nation-state like any other, like it or not. It therefore has the same legal rights as any nation-state, like it or not; including the right to use self-defense when under attack.
However, that right within the context of occupation is contingent on Israel’s adherence to international law; again, just like any state. For example: The US and British forces had no legal right to hurt or kill Iraqis resisting the illegal US-British invasion and occupation, which began in 2003. The only rights that the US and British had there was to leave.
Since 1967, Israel has occupied the Gaza Strip (and the West Bank of the Jordan, which it has now de facto annexed) in violation of international law. Yes, Israel withdrew its illegal colonies from Gaza in 2005, but it maintained the military blockade, which is an act of war and a violation of the IV Geneva Convention, which prohibits collective punishment.
As long as it continues its occupation/annexation of the Palestinian territories, Israel cannot use force in self-defense from attacks, even indiscriminate ones, emanating from Gaza. If it ended the occupation and blockade of the Palestinian territories, then it could argue a case for the use of force, assuming peaceful options are exhausted.
WHAT THE LIBERAL MEDIA SAY
Forget the madcap right-wing (e.g., a Fox News reporter standing next to what he claims is a flaming bakery hit by Palestinian rockets). How are the supposedly more intelligent and humane liberal media reporting the current violence?
The BBC says that “Violence has flared between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza, a day after seven militants and an Israeli soldier were killed during an undercover Israeli operation in Gaza.” Militants? It goes on to say that: “Militants fired 300 rockets and mortars at Israel. One hit a bus, seriously injuring a soldier nearby. Israel responded with more than 70 strikes on what it said were targets belonging to Hamas and Islamic Jihad.” Responded? Surely the BBC means to say that armed Palestinian groups responded to Israel’sactions, which occurred in the context of its unlawful 50-year occupation?
Notice the use of the word “militants.” The report doesn’t use words like “Zionists” when describing Israelis.
The online article includes an embedded tweet from the Israeli Defense Forces: “RAW FOOTAGE: The skies of southern Israel RIGHT NOW. Dozens of rockets are being fired from #Gaza at Israeli civilians.” There is no embedded video of the shocking conditions in which Palestinian civilians are forced by Israel to live (a point to which we shall return). Near the bottom of the article, the BBC approaches something bordering truthfulness when it says: “Israel, along with Egypt, has maintained a blockade of Gaza,” but it then goes back to the lies: “…since about 2006 in order, they say, to stop attacks by militants.”
The word “occupation” is mentioned not once. So, the gist of the BBC’s reporting is that Gaza is plagued by dangerous Islamists hell-bent on Israel’s destruction and that Israel is doing what it can, sometimes ham-fistedly (as in the latest “botched” special forces operation), to defend itself.
CNN quotes Israeli PM Netanyahu as saying that “Hamas vowed to destroyed Israel,” ergo long-term peace was “impossible.”
The Washington Post claims that the latest “flare-up” was “triggered” by a “botched” Israeli operation inside Gaza. It quotes Israeli Army spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, that Israelis under Palestinian rocket-fire face “the most severe attack on … civilians by terrorist organizations from Gaza since our 2014 operation [Protective Edge].” Near the end of the article, the reporters mention, casually, Israel’s “tight restrictions on trade and travel.” Below, we’ll take a look at what these “tight restrictions” actually mean.
The New York Times describes what is happening as “An eruption,” rather than a continuation and predictable consequence of Israel’s ongoing brutality. It also mentions Israel’s “tight control over the border,” which has endured since 2005, they claim (not 1967 as is the reality), when Israel withdrew its illegal colonies. Approaching truth toward the end of the article, the NTY, unlike the BBC, quotes Chris Gunness of the UN Relief and Works Agency, who describes the humanitarian situation in Gaza for nearly 2 million ordinary civilians, half of whom are children, as a disaster and a “collective punishment.”
WHAT HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS SAY
With the exception of the Gunness quote, the media have suppressed the severity of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The crisis is caused by the US-enabled Israeli blockade. Its importance in terms of the number of people affected vastly eclipses the firing of indiscriminate rockets into Israel by armed Palestinian groups.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs states:“Palestinians in Gaza are ‘locked in’, denied free access to the remainder of the occupied Palestinian territory and the outside world.” According to the UN children’s fund UNICEF, “more than 96 per cent of abstracted water is polluted and not fit for human consumption due to high salinity levels from sea water intrusion and high nitrate levels from excessive use of agrochemicals and wastewater infiltration.”
Jamie McGoldrick and James Heenan of the UN say:
“All over the occupied Palestinian territory, but particularly in the Gaza Strip, we see children robbed of every right. Families cope with four hours of electricity per day in the sweltering heat. Clean drinking water is expensive and hard to find. The start of the school year in one month will be very difficult for tens of thousands of families who cannot afford basic school supplies.”
When trapped Gazans resist with overwhelmingly non-violent protest, they receive the following treatment, as described by a Red Cross doctor, Gabriel Salazar: “We estimate there are over 1,300 people with complex, sometimes multiple injuries,” care of the Israeli Defense Forces responding to the protests, “that will require at least three to five surgeries each. The recovery period may take months or even years and we believe some 400 will remain with temporary or permanent disability.” Many demonstrators are deliberately shot in the legs and refused treatment by Israel in neighboring Jordan.
IS GAZA STILL OCCUPIED?
Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, have been unlawfully occupied by Israel since June 1967. This means that every Israeli military action in those territories, except withdrawal, is unlawful. In November 1967, the United Nations adopted Security Council Resolution 242, which states:
Emphasizing the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in which every State in the area can live in security,…
1. Affirms that the fulfillment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:
(i) Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict…
In 2004, the International Court of Justice opined:
“All these territories (including East Jerusalem) remain occupied territories and Israel has continued to have the status of occupying Power … Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal … The Court concludes that the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (including East Jerusalem) have been established in breach of international law.”
In 2018, the UN Human Rights Council reaffirmed that Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are occupied by Israel:
“In the resolution, adopted by a vote of 29 in favour, two against [the US and Australia], and 14 abstentions, the Council decided to urgently dispatch an independent, international commission of inquiry, to be appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council, to investigate all alleged violations and abuses of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip, in the context of the military assaults on the large-scale civilian protests that began on 30 March 2018.”
ISRAEL’S RIGHT OF SELF-DEFENSE
Given that the international consensus is that Israel remains the illegal occupying power in the Palestinian territories (including Gaza and East Jerusalem), Israel has no right to use force to defend itself against Palestinian attacks while it remains the illegal occupying power. If Israel ended the occupations of Gaza and the West Bank, it would be entitled to use force in self-defense, assuming that peaceful options are exhausted.
Hyde’s International Law Volume III states: “A belligerent,” i.e., Israel in this case, “which is contemptuous of conventional or customary prohibitions,” i.e., Israel continues to occupy Gaza, “is not in a position to claim that its adversary,” i.e., Hamas and other armed Palestinian groups, “when responding with like for like,” i.e., rocket-fire into Israel, “lacks the requisite excuse” (emphasis in original).
The Annual Digest and Reports of Public International Law Cases 1948 states: “Under International Law, as in Domestic Law, there can be no reprisal against reprisal. The assassin who is being repulsed by his intended victim may not slay him and then, in turn, plead self-defense.” By the same logic, Israel cannot occupy Gaza, collectively punish the population, and then claim to be acting in self-defense against Gazan rocket-fire.
In response to the Gaza massacre 2014, international jurist John Dugard said: “given the fact that Gaza is an occupied territory, it means that Israel’s present assault is simply a way of enforcing the continuation of the occupation, and the response of the Palestinian militants should be seen as the response of an occupied people that wishes to resist the occupation.”
More articles by:
Dr. T. J. Coles is director of the Plymouth Institute for Peace Research and the author of several books, including Voices for Peace (with Noam Chomsky and others) and the forthcoming Fire and Fury: How the US Isolates North Korea, Encircles China and Risks Nuclear War in Asia (both Clairview Books).

The Art of the Smear — The Israel Lobby Busted


By Sheldon Richman
In 2016 and 2017 Al Jazeera produced a program that unmistakenly documents the Israel government and U.S. Israel lobby’s all-out effort to spy on, smear, and disrupt American students and other activists who are working to build an understanding of the Palestinians’ plight. The Lobby — USA, however, has never been broadcast by Al Jazeera. Reporting indicates that it was suppressed after pressure from the lobby on the government of Qatar, which funds Al Jazeera. Nevertheless, it is now available at The Electronic Intifada and on YouTube. Watch all four parts here and here. What the program presents is shocking.
The Lobby — USA, which features an undercover journalist who won the trust of key pro-Israel operatives and who videoed revealing meetings, demonstrates beyond question the lengths to which the Israelis and their supporters in the United States will go to prevent a change in American thinking about the beleaguered Palestinians. The effort aims to smear Palestinian students in the United States and pro-Palestinian American activists and political candidates who criticize Israeli policy as anti-Semites and enablers of terrorism. The paid pro-Israel operatives, guided by Israeli government officials and embassy staff, have used social media and other channels in an attempt to destroy the career potential of student activists who work to raise Americans’ consciousness about the Palestinians. Establishment news operations, such as the Washington Post, are also implicated. Major targets are activists in the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) Movement and Students for Justice in Palestine.
Al Jazeera produced a similar program about Israeli interference in British politics, which led to resignations of a key Israeli embassy official and other reactions that confirmed Al Jazeera’s damaging charges.
I could not do justice to the program even in a long article. Instead, I will urge readers to watch it in its entirety — and think carefully about what it means.
As one critic of Israel asks on the program, if Russia or Iran or China were doing what Israel and its American friends are doing, most people would be outraged. This is hardly the first time that Israel and friends have been caught covertly and overtly trying to influence discourse and even elections here through smear campaigns against activists, writers, and political candidates, but this is certainly among the most flagrant and elaborate examples.
Let’s step back from the poisonous trees for a moment to view the forest. In 1948 the leaders of a European and nominally Jewish movement, Zionism, unilaterally declared the existence of the State of Israel, which they proclaimed the nation-state of all Jews everywhere, a status recently reaffirmed by the Israeli Knesset. (The UN General Assembly recommended partitioning Palestine into a larger Jewish state and a smaller Palestinian state, but it had no power to actually create the state of Israel.)
It so happened this state was built on land taken by force from the long-standing majority indigenous Palestinian population, most of which was Muslim and Christian. Hundreds were massacred, three-quarters of a million were driven from their homes, and the remainder were subjected to martial law for two decades, before being given third-class citizenship with no power to improve their legal status. (Arab nations half-heartedly tried to assist the overwhelmed Palestinians, although the king of Jordan worked with Israel to divide the spoils.) Almost 20 years later, the rest of Palestine was taken through warfare, producing what are known as the occupied territories in the West Bank, with its apartheid-like regime, and the Gaza Strip, which is nothing more than an open-air prison under a cruel Israeli blockade.
Why? Because a “Jewish State” could not be realized if it were populated by non-Jews. And if some non-Jews remained, the state could not be a liberal democratic state, with equality under the law, for obvious reasons. All this was aided from the start by European Christians who, apparently guilt-ridden over how the Jews of Europe had been tyrannized, culminating in the Nazi genocide, opted to assuage their guilt with the land, blood, and liberty of the innocent people of Palestine, long the plaything of colonial powers.
Since that time, Israel has repressed the Palestinians in a variety of ways, depending on whether they are in the state as it existed in 1949; the West Bank, which was seized during the June 1967 war; or the Gaza Strip (also called the Gaza Ghetto), also seized in that war. Meanwhile, millions of refugees — people (and descendants of people) driven from their homes by Zionism’s terrorist militias, have been confined to refugee camps, stateless, rightless, and destitute. At various time, Israel, with America’s backing, has cut deals with Arab states and Palestinian quislings for the purpose of keeping the Palestinians from winning their rights either in a single secular democratic state or through a two-state plan. Western political and media establishments have overwhelmingly sympathized with the Israelis and demonized the Palestinians (and Arabs and Muslims generally). It didn’t take long for the public to be propagandized, against all evidence, into believing that the Palestinians are the aggressors and the Israelis the victims. Apparently, a person is anti-Semitic if he objects to having his property stolen by someone who claims that property in the name of the Jewish People.
But after so many decades of Israeli wars, massacres, repression, and routine brutal dehumanization, the tide has started to turn. Israel pulverized Gaza and its people one too many times; it shot and broke the bones of too many children before too many video cameras. And so public opinion, especially among younger Americans — and particularly among younger Jewish Americans, has been turning against Israel. Then the BDS Movement arose to accomplish what a similar movement help to accomplish against apartheid South Africa: bringing world attention to an intolerable situation and take concrete steps to change it.
All of this has been too much for Israel’s ruling elite and its supporters in the United States, Great Britain, and elsewhere, and they are fighting back. They know they can’t win on the merits. Well-documented historical studies and basic morality have seen to that. So they smear their opponents as Jew-haters and supporters of terrorism. As one Israel lobby operator puts it in the Al Jazeera program, you discredit the message by discrediting the messenger — which is what The Israel Project, Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Israel on Campus Coalition, Canary Mission, Emergency Committee on Israel, Israeli Embassy in Washington, Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs, and the other co-conspirators have set out to do. Their goal, as their leaders themselves acknowledge, is to identify criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. (Also see this.)
But it goes beyond that. The Israel lobby realizes that the anti-Semitism charge no long sticks so tenaciously to people who merely indict Israel for its obvious mistreatment of the Palestinians. So the lobby has resorted to a broader brush: it says that those who support BDS and the Palestinians are anti-American, anti-democracy, and anti-all-blessed-things. BDS and Students for Justice in Palestine, the lobby contends, are hate groups. This of course is patently absurd, but Israel’s side observes no limits it what it is willing to say and perhaps do to destroy the reputations anyone who realizes that the Israeli emperor has clothes.
Al Jazeera, the Electronic Intifada, Max Blumenthal’s The Gray Zone Project, and others have performed a much-needed service on behalf of freedom, justice, and decency. I urge you to watch this program and spread the word.
Sheldon Richman is the executive editor of The Libertarian Institute, senior fellow and chair of the trustees of the Center for a Stateless Society, and a contributing editor at Antiwar.com. He is the former senior editor at the Cato Institute and Institute for Humane Studies, former editor of The Freeman, published by the Foundation for Economic Education, and former vice president at the Future of Freedom Foundation. His latest book is America’s Counter-Revolution: The Constitution 

خطأ باسيل وتوقيت الكلام عن سورية


نوفمبر 20, 2018



ناصر قنديل

– تصريح وزير الخارجية جبران باسيل حول رفع صخرة على نهر الكلب عن الانسحاب السوري من لبنان مغالطة تاريخية وسياسية. فالوجود السوري كان موضوعاً خلافياً في لبنان، وهذا صحيح، لكن توصيف الاحتلال ليس مزاجياً ولا يملكه فريق لبناني ويفرضه بقوة التباهي على الآخرين، وليس من إجماع بين اللبنانيين في دستورهم وفي خطابهم السياسي، على توصيف احتلال غير الاحتلال الإسرائيلي، وقبله الاحتلال الفرنسي. وإذا كان التوقيت مناسباً لفتح نقاش تاريخي للتوافق على توصيف موحّد حول الوجود السوري من موقع قراءة موحّدة للتاريخ اللبناني، فالمبادرة إلى ذلك على عاتق من يريد اعتبار الأمر قضية وطنية راهنة، تتفوق على كل قضايا الخلاف اللبنانية وتستحق حواراً وطنياً حولها، فعليه حينها أن يبادر للدعوة إلى هذا الحوار بدلاً من التصرف كأنه وحده يمثل الوفاق الوطني.

– كان هذا التوصيف مقبولاً مقابل توصيف آخر في التداول في فترة الوجود السوري عنوانه أن هذا الوجود ضروري وشرعي ومؤقت حفلت به البيانات الوزارية للحكومات المتعاقبة، ولم تكن مشكلة في مقبولية المواجهة بين الرؤيتين، ومصدر المقبولية هو الراهنية، أي أن هناك طرفا اعتبر قضيته الأولى خروج القوات السورية من لبنان ليفتح الباب لحياة سياسية يظنها استقلالية، ونظنها استبدالا لرعاية بوصاية، ولنا ولغيرنا الحق في الاختلاف حولها ووضع الخلاف في التداول، أما وأن القوات السورية صارت خارج لبنان منذ سنوات، ولا يوجد أي إشارة تستدعي فتح الحديث عن تدخل سوري في الشأن اللبناني، فيصير مدعاة استغراب هذا الاستحضار المتتابع منذ الانتخابات النيابية، وفي مناسبات وبلا مناسبات، عن توصيف استفزازي وعدائي نحو سورية، بينما سورية تقاتل مشروعاً دولياً لتقسيم المنطقة على أسس عرقية وطائفية، ومن قلبه تواجه مشروعاً تكفيرياً لتطهير المنطقة من أقلياتها، ما يجعل التيار الوطني الحر في قلب المعركة التي تخوضها سورية، ويخوضها معها حزب الله الحليف اللبناني الأبرز للتيار، ويصير إطلاق النار العشوائي على سورية كمن يطلق النار على نفسه، ويمنح المشروع المواجه لسورية رصاصات مجانية.

– لا شيء مجاني في السياسة، ولا تباهي بنرجسية يبرر الأخطاء، ولا تذكير بوطنية يفسر الاستفزاز، وليست سورية ولا حلفاؤها بلا حجة في هذا النقاش إن كان ملحاً وراهناً، لكن استغلال الصمت المسؤول، والحرص على وحدة جبهة المواجهة مع المشاريع العدائية والعدوانية، لا يبرر لأحد التصرف وكأن الصمت ضعف او عجز أو فقدان للحجة، وبين أيدينا الكثير الكثير من الوقائع التي تتحدث عن الاستقلال الذي يراد لنا أن نحتفل به بعد خروج القوات السورية، التي كانت على الأقل سنداً للمقاومة، فيما الوصاية الأميركية على جيشنا ومصارفنا والوصاية السعودية على سياستنا لا يملك ألف عطار أن يبدّد الروائح الكريهة التي تفوح منها، وفي قلب معركة ضارية عنوانها حرب الاستقلال عن مشاريع الهيمنة، ومن ضمنها مواجهة قوى الإرهاب التكفيري كجيش احتياطي تم الزج به في الحرب، وفي قلبها حماية النسيج الاجتماعي لشعوب المنطقة، يقول المنطق وتقول التجارب التاريخية أن يطوي الحلفاء ما بينهم من خلافات، خصوصاً ما لم يتبقَّ منه سوى الذكريات، ليمنحوا الأولوية لرص صفوفهم، وتظهير وحدتهم، وإبراز مشتركاتهم، والأهم عدم منح أعدائهم فرص الاشتغال على تناقضات وهمية بينهم، مفهوم أن يحاول العدو إثارتها لنكء الجراحات لكن من غير المفهوم أن يقدّم له الحلفاء مادتها كل يوم مجاناً.

– سئل قائد الثورة الفيتنامية هوشي منه يوماً، إن أشكل عليكم الأمر فيما تفعلون أو تقولون، فكيف تعرفون الصح من الخطأ، فأجاب نتساءل، من سيفرح ومن سيغضب من فعلنا أو قولنا، فكل ما يُفرح العدو ويُغضب الصديق مذموم، وكل ما يُغضب العدو ويُفرح الصديق مطلوب، وإن تعادلا فالصمت، فالعاقل لا يُفرح أعداءه مجاناً ولا يفرح عندما يصفقون له، لا بل كنا نتساءل إذا رأيناهم يصفقون لنا عن طبيعة الخطأ الذي اقترفناه.

– كلام الوزير باسيل مغالطة تاريخية، لأنه خارج التوافق الوطني لمفهوم الاحتلال، ومغالطة سياسية لأنه خارج التوظيف السياسي الصحيح، لا بل هو توظيف في الاتجاه الخاطئ.

A Palestinian Tree Resisting Occupation



A Palestinian Tree Resisting Occupation

Occupied Palestine
Its roots sink deep into the ground. It has a diameter of about 25 meters and a height of 12 meters. Its shadow covers a quarter of a dunum. This is the oldest and largest olive tree in Palestine. It clings to the mountains of the al-Walaja village located west of Bethlehem in the West Bank.
This 5500-year-old tree resists settlements and the Zionist separation wall that surrounds the entire village. The Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture has appointed Salah Abu Ali to tend to the tree. He waters it, grazes the grass under it and protects it from attacks by settlers and occupation forces. The tree belongs to his cousin Dawoud (Abu Ali), who inherited it from his father Muhammad Hussein Abu Ali.
Abu Ali, 45, said that he had been guarding the tree for many years from the hands of the settlers and the occupation forces, who repeatedly tried to uproot it but to no avail. He stressed that he would not leave it despite attacks from settlers and other “Israelis”.
“The tree is located in the original village of al-Walaja whose residents were displaced by the occupation in 1948. In 1956, its buildings were destroyed and a series of settlements were built instead,” Abu Salah said.
This tree has a special place in history as stories are told about it. One of these was born when al-Quds was liberated during the days of the “Islamic Conquest”. It was said that Muslim leaders sat under the shade of this tree. The inhabitants call the tree the “Badawi [Bedouin] tree” in attribution to a Sufi sheikh who had followers in Palestine. His name was Sheikh Ahmad al-Badawi. He was born in Morocco and died in Egypt in 267 AH. They also tell tales about the gifts attribute to him.
“The olive tree, visited by thousands of Palestinian, Arab and foreign delegations over the years, represents the image of the conflict between us and the enemy because it is older than the occupation of Palestine, which is trying to kill it,” Abu Ali added.
He pointed out that “the village has historical and archaeological features. It is part of the occupation’s ambitions. Olive trees are the most important component of their key ambitions. ”
Abu Ali calls the fruits of his ancient tree the “green gold”, noting that the taste is similar to the “urban ghee”.
He adds that there are those who resort to the use of its oil and leaves as a kind of treatment for some diseases. It is rich in benefits that restore human health after the illness.
In the early days, the tree used to produce about 600 kilos of olives, but its production declined to 250 – 300 kilos of olives due to natural factors and attacks from settlers.
Approximately 2,000 Palestinians live in al-Walaja village on an area of 4500 out of 17793 dunums – the majority of which the Zionist occupation has taken over and turned into settlements and security reserves.
Al-Walaja is one of the Palestinian villages that rely heavily on olive cultivation. It produces high quality olive oil due to its high altitude and it is one of the most beautiful villages in southern Palestine overlooking the occupied city of al-Quds.
It is noteworthy that years ago, an “Israeli” group working under the guard of the occupation army took a sample of the tree to examine and compare it with another tree, located elsewhere in Palestine, which was occupied in 1948. It found out that it was older than that tree.
Related

US Rabbi: Gulf Emirates ’Competing’ Over Ties with “Israel”


President of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding [FFEU], American Rabbi Marc Schneier, said he has recently seen a vast improvement in relations between the Zionist entity and the Gulf States.
In the same respect, he said he believes we will see establishment of official diplomatic relations between “Israel” and the six emirates as soon as 2019: “We will soon see the official forming of relations with Bahrain, and the rest will follow.”
Schneier said in an interview with “Israeli” newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth that the six Persian Gulf emirates are competing over who will be the first to go public with their relationship with “Israel”, and establish diplomatic ties.
“I believe we will soon see the official forming of relations with Bahrain, and the rest will follow,” he asserted.
Over the past 15 years, Rabbi Schneier has visited many palaces in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.”The current Emir of Qatar and leaders in Saudi Arabia said that the combination of Gulf’s wealth and “Israel’s” high-tech knowledge could potentially transform the region into the most successful area in the world,” Schneier explained.
“If in the past it was argued that the Gulf states would be willing to establish official relations with “Israel” only after ‘peace’ with the Palestinians is achieved, then today the leaders of these countries say that merely returning to the negotiating table will suffice,” said the rabbi.
“I believe we will see diplomatic relations developing with all six Gulf States as early as 2019,” he emphasized.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

أين صفقة القرن؟


نوفمبر 19, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– منذ البدايات يوم قلنا إن صفقة القرن ولدت ميتة، وإن شرعنة تأبيد القدس عاصمة لـ«إسرائيل تتوقف على توقيع فلسطيني لن تنجح محاولات تأمينه في ظل موقف شعبي مقاوم رادع لكل محاولة تفريط، وإن موازين القوى التي صنعتها الانتصارات في سورية تشعّ بعيداً في تأثيراتها على كامل مساحة المنطقة، وأن النظام السعودي المأزوم في حرب اليمن أعجز من أن يحلّ أزمة كيان الاحتلال، وأن التفاهم الروسي الإيراني الاستراتيجي أكبر من أن تهزّه الإغراءات والتهديدات الأميركية، وأن إسرائيل المردوعة في لبنان وفي سورية أضعف من أن تهدّد غزة بالحرب لتفرض وقائعها السياسية، كان الكثيرون يبشروننا بأن صفقة القرن قدر لا يُردّ، وقد بدأ تنفيذها كأمر واقع. وكان واضحاً أن العالم كله يقرأ التوازنات الجديدة ويرفض السير وراء واشنطن في رعونتها السياسية.

– ثلاثي صفقة القرن الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب ورئيس حكومة الاحتلال بنيامين نتنياهو وولي العهد السعودي محمد بن سلمان، بعد شهور قليلة على وضع برنامج التحالف قيد التنفيذ، عبر الانسحاب الأميركي من التفاهم النووي مع إيران والإعلان الأميركي عن اعتماد القدس عاصمة لـ«إسرائيل ، يحصد الفشل تلو الفشل تباعاً، من العقوبات التي بدأت تستهدف جعل صادرات إيران النفطية في المستوى صفر كما صرّح ترامب وأركان حكمه، وصار حجم تأثيرها أقل من 20 من الصادرات، وصارت الاستثناءات من العقوبات طريقاً وحيداً لتفادي فضيحة الفشل، فشملت كل زبائن إيران الكبار في سوق النفط، إلى حرب اليمن التي تلقت صدمة الفشل الكبير في الحديدة بعد حشود وسلاح واستخبارات، وجاءت النتائج معاكسة للتوقعات وتلقت قوات التحالف الذي تقوده السعودية هزيمة قاسية، وصولاً إلى حرب غزة التي لم تستمر ليومين بسبب ردع المقاومة النوعي لكيان الاحتلال، وإيصاله إلى حافة الهاوية في القرارات الصعبة بين حرب محكومة بالفشل ووقف للنار يعني الهزيمة.

– ثلاثي صفقة القرن يترنّح بالتناوب اليوم، فولي العهد السعودي متهم أول بقتل جمال الخاشقجي وفقاً لتقرير رسمي لوكالة المخابرات الأميركية، والأمر ليس تقنياً، فالمخابرات الأميركية تُفرج عن التحقيقات التقنية يوم تصير مصلحة سياسية عليا لواشنطن، وتحجم الرئاسة عن التحرّك. فالإعلان هنا هو إعلان نهاية صلاحية العبوة المسمّاة محمد بن سلمان، والباب بات مشرعاً لخلعه وعزله أو فرض العزلة عليه، ورئيس حكومة الاحتلال يترنّح وتترنّح حكومته معه، ولا يستطيع أحد التكهن بنسبة احتمال الذهاب لانتخابات مبكرة تحت وطأة انهيار التحالف الحاكم القائم أصلاً على كذبة استعادة قدرة الردع، ومع الرحيل سيكون كل شيء ممكناً في كيان الاحتلال، أما الرئيس الأميركي الذي لا يزال متمسكاً بأوهام حلفه الثلاثي، وفرص المواجهة مع إيران فيواجه عزلة داخل الحزب الجمهوري الذي ضاق ذرعاً بخطابه التدميري لسمعة الحزب في الرأي العام، ولسياساته الفاشلة، وقد حصد الجمهوري أكثر من مجرد فشل انتخابي تقليدي أمام الديمقراطيين في مجلس النواب، مع صعود موجة شبابية ونسائية وبين الإتنيات غير البيضاء تمثلت بزيادة المقترعين مرة ونصفاً، وعنوانها منع ترامب من ولاية رئاسية ثانية، وها هو ترامب برفض الأخذ بتقرير مخابراته حول إبن سلمان يواجه حملة الجمهوريين قبل الديمقراطيين بتهمة التستر على أعمال إجرامية تفتح باب اتهام ترامب نفسه ومساءلته عن طبيعة العلاقة التي تربطه بالعرش السعودي وربما دوره ودور صهره في الكثير من ارتكابات السعودية التي باتت ملفاً مفتوحاً في واشنطن اليوم.

– صفقة القرن سقطت بوعي الشعب الفلسطيني ومقاومته أولاً، وسقوط رموز الصفقة نتيجة سقوطها وليس سبباً لهذا السقوط.

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