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US military presence in Iraq aimed at protecting Israel’s security, interests: PMU leader

Press TV – May 25, 2020

A high-ranking official with Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), better known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi, has strongly denounced US military presence in his country, saying such a deployment is meant to safeguard the security and interests of the Israeli regime.

“There is a national and courageous will, which rejects the presence of any foreign troops on Iraqi soil. There have been talks of US intentions to withdraw from Iraq, but we doubt them,” Qais al-Khazali, leader of Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, which is part of the PMU, was quoted as saying by the Lebanon-based and Arabic-language al-Ahed news website on Monday.

He added, “The US [military] presence in Iraq is meant to protect the security and interests of the Israeli regime. Neither are we warlords nor thirsty for blood, but rather patriots looking for the dignity and sovereignty of the Iraqi nation.”

“If the withdrawal [of US troops] does not take place, the foreign occupier must know that Iraqis will not accept the presence of its forces. The Americans, who will open negotiations [on the extension of their presence] in June, must remember the centenary of the Great Iraqi Revolution of 1920 against British forces,” Khazali pointed out.

He also praised the sacrifices made by Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of PMU, who were assassinated along with their companions in a US airstrike authorized by President Donald Trump near Baghdad International Airport early on January 3.

Iraqi lawmakers unanimously approved a bill two days later, demanding the withdrawal of all foreign military forces led by the United States from the country following the targeted killings.

Later on January 9, former Iraqi prime minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi called on the United States to dispatch a delegation to Baghdad tasked with formulating a mechanism for the move.

The 78-year-old politician said Iraq rejected any violation of its sovereignty, particularly the US military’s violation of Iraqi airspace in the assassination airstrike.

May 25, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , | 5 Comments

Iranian Supreme Leader Tweets Country Will Support Any Nation That Fights Israel

Sputnik – 20.05.2020

Iran’s Supreme Leader announced on Wednesday his country would “support and assist any nation or any group anywhere” in its struggles against Israel. His comments follow a Palestinian withdrawal from agreements with Israel over its proposed annexation of the West Bank.

“The Zionist regime has proven it won’t abide by any treaty & understands no logic except force,” Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei wrote in a Wednesday statement posted on Twitter as a series of tweets. “The nature of the Zionist regime is incompatible with peace, because the Zionists seek to expand their territories & will certainly not be limited to what they have already occupied.”

“Eliminating the Zionist regime doesn’t mean eliminating Jews. We aren’t against Jews. It means abolishing the imposed regime & Muslim, Christian & Jewish Palestinians choose their own govt & expel thugs like Netanyahu. This is ‘Eliminating Israel’ & it will happen,” the Shiite religious leader explained. “A proposal for a referendum to choose the type of govt for the historical country of #Palestine was registered with the UN as offered by Iran. We say the true Palestinians with Palestinian roots of at least 100 years, and Palestinians living abroad, choose the govt of Palestine.”

“Comprehensive struggles by the Palestinian nation – political, military & cultural – should continue till the usurpers submit to the referendum for the Palestinian nation. This nation should determine what political system should rule there; struggle must continue until then,” Khamenei continued. “We will support and assist any nation or any group anywhere who opposes and fights the Zionist regime, and we do not hesitate to say this.”

Khamenei’s comments follow an announcement by the Palestinian Authority on Tuesday that it would cease to abide by any of its agreements with either Israel or the United States – a move itself in response to an announcement by the newly formed Israeli government to begin annexing one-third of the West Bank as soon as July. […]

The area Tel Aviv seeks to annex is part of what is known as “Zone C” under the Second Oslo Accords in 1995, a part of the West Bank subjected to Israel military control. However, the area Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has proposed annexing is roughly 30% of the West Bank and not all of Area C, but mostly the Jordan River valley. As Sputnik has reported, the Israel Defense Forces have used this control to systematically evict Palestinian villages from the fertile land along the River Jordan for decades, later turning the land over to Israeli settlers who now number close to 400,000 in the zone.

Full article

May 21, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , | 1 Comment

Washington’s tall tale of Iranian-Al Qaeda alliance based on questionably sourced book ‘The Exile’

A disinformation campaign aimed to justify the assassination of Qassem Soleimani by painting him and Iran as willing enablers of al-Qaeda. The propaganda operation relied heavily on a shoddily sourced book, “The Exile.”

By Gareth Porter | The Grayzone | May 19, 2020

The U.S. assassination of Qassem Soleimani in January touched off a new wave of disinformation about the top Iranian major general, with Trump administration allies branding him a global terrorist while painting Iran as the world’s worst state sponsor of terrorism. Much of the propaganda about Soleimani related to his alleged responsibility for the killing of American troops in Iraq, along with Iran’s role in Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen.

But a second theme in the disinformation campaign, which has been picked up by mainstream outlets like the Wall Street Journal and National Public Radio, was the claim that Soleimani deliberately unleashed al-Qaeda terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s campaign to kill Shiites in Iraq. That element of the propaganda offensive was the result of the 2017 publication of “The Exile,” a book by British journalists Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark, which spun a new version of the familiar U.S. propaganda line of a supposed Iranian terror alliance with al-Qaeda.

Levy and Scott-Clark introduced the theme of secret collusion between the two open adversaries with an article in the The Sunday Times in early 2018, dramatically entitled “Tehran in devil’s pact to rebuild al‑Qaeda.” Soleimani, they claimed, “first offered sanctuary to bin Laden’s family and al-Qaeda military leaders,” then proceeded to “build them a residential compound at the heart of a military training center in Tehran.”

But those two sentences represented a grotesque distortion of Iran’s policy toward the al-Qaeda personnel fleeing from Afghanistan into Iran. Virtually every piece of concrete evidence, including an internal al-Qaeda document written in 2007, showed that Iran agreed to take in a group of al-Qaeda refugees with legal passports that included members of bin Laden’s family and some fighters and middle- and lower-ranking military cadres – but not Zarqawi and other al-Qaeda military leaders — and only temporarily and under strict rules forbidding political activity.

The crucial fact that Levy and Scott-Clark conveniently failed to mention, moreover, was that Iranian officials were well aware that al-Qaeda’s leadership figures, including military commanders and with their troops, were also slipping into Iran from Afghanistan, but Iranian security forces had not yet located them.

Keeping the legal arrivals under closer surveillance and watching for any contacts with those illegally in the country, therefore, was a prudent policy for Iranian security under the circumstances.

In addition, having bin Laden’s family and other al-Qaeda cadres under their surveillance gave Iran potential bargaining chips it could use to counter hostile actions by both al-Qaeda and the United States.

Al-Qaeda documents undermine narrative of cooperation with Iran

Careful study of the enormous cache of internal al-Qaeda documents released by the U.S. government in 2017 further discredited the tall tale of Iranian facilitation of al-Qaeda terrorism.

Nelly Lahoud, a senior fellow at the New American Foundation and former senior research associate at the West Point Combating Terrorism Center, translated and analyzed 303 of the newly available documents and found nothing indicating Iranian cooperation with, or even knowledge about the whereabouts of Zarqawi or other al-Qaeda military leaders prior to their detentions of April 2003.

Lahoud explained in a September 2018 lecture that all actions by al-Qaeda operatives in Iran had been “conducted in a clandestine manner.” She even discovered from one of the documents that al-Qaeda had considered the clandestine presence of those officials and fighters so dangerous that they had been instructed on how to commit suicide if they were caught by the Iranians.

Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark were well aware that those al-Qaeda operatives living in Tehran’s military training center were under severe constraints, akin to a prison.  Meanwhile, senior figures like Zarqawi and Saif al-Adel, the head of the al-Qaeda shura council, were far away from Tehran, planning new operations in the region amid friendly Sunni contacts. These plans included Zarqawi’s campaign Iraq, which he began organizing in early 2002.

Nevertheless the authors declared, “From [the Iranian training center], al-Qaeda organized, trained and established funding networks with the help of Iran, co-ordinated multiple terrorist atrocities and supported the bloodbath against Shi’ites by al-Qaeda in Iraq….”

Anti-Iran think tanker Sadjadpour jumps on the conspiracy bandwagon

Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a reliable fount of anti-Iran spin, responded within days of the Soleimani assassination with an article in the Wall Street Journal’s right-wing editorial section that reinforced the budding disinformation campaign.

Entitled “The Sinister Genius of Qassem Soleimani,” Sadjadpour’s op-ed argued that in March 2003, before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, “Soleimani’s Quds Force freed many Sunni jihadists that Iran had been holding captive, unleashing them against the U.S.” He cited “The Exile” as his source.

Levy and Scott-Clark did indeed spin a tale in the book of Zarqawi’s troops — and Zarqawi himself — being rounded up and locked to the same prison as those al-Qaeda members who entered with passports in March 2003. The authors claimed they were released within days. But the only sources they cite to support their claims were two people they interviewed in Amman, Jordan in 2016.

So who were these insider sources? The only identifying characteristics Levy and Scott-Clark offer is that they were “in Zarqawi’s group at the time.” Furthermore, neither of these sources is quoted to substantiate the claim that Zarqawi was arrested and then released from prison, and they are mentioned only in a footnote on the number of Zarqawi’s troops that had been sent to the prison.

Sadjadpour offered his own explanation — without the slightest suggestion of any evidence to support it — of why Soleimani would support an anti-Shiite jihadist to kill his own Iraqi Shiite allies. “By targeting Shiite shrines and civilians, killing thousands of Iran’s fellow Shiites,” he wrote, “Zarqawi helped to radicalize Iraq’s Shiite majority and pushed them closer to Iran—and to Soleimani, who could offer them protection.”

In late January, on National Public Radio’s weekly program “Throughline,” Sadjadpour pushed his dubiously sourced argument, opining that Soleimani had figured out how to “use the al Qaeda jihadists of Zarqawi … to simply unleash them into Iraq with the understanding that you guys do what you do.”

The BBC promotes “The Exile” as the book’s narrative crumbles

In a BBC radio documentary broadcasted in late April, titled “Iran’s Long Game” (an allusion to Iran’s alleged long-term plan for domination of the entire Middle East), Cathy Scott-Clark told a story intended to clinch the case that Iran had helped Zarqawi: Other prisoners “heard conversations in the corridors” in which Iranian authorities allegedly assured Zarqawi, “You can do whatever you want to do … in Iraq.”

That story does not appear in her book, however. Instead, Adrian Levy and Scott-Clark related a comment by Abu Hafs al-Mauritani, a spiritual adviser to bin Laden, on hearing about the arrest and subsequent release of Zarqawi from another prisoner who eavesdropped by tapping the pipes leading into his room.

That narrative had already been definitively contradicted long before, however, in an account provided by Saif al-Adl, the most senior member of the al-Qaeda top leadership in Iran. Al-Adl had fled with Zarqawi from Afghanistan across the border into Iran illegally in late 2001 or early 2002 and was apprehended in April 2003 — weeks after the alleged events portrayed in al-Mauritani’s story.

In a memoir smuggled out of Iran to Jordanian journalist Fouad Hussein, which Husayn published in 2005 in an Arabic-language book (but available online in an English-language translation), Saif al-Adl described an Iranian crackdown in March 2003 that captured 80 percent of Zarqawi’s fighters and “confused us and aborted 75 percent of our plan”.

Because of that round-up, al-Adl wrote, “[T]here was a need for the departure of Abu-Mus’ab and the brothers who remained free.” Al-Adl described his final meeting with Zarqawi before his departure, confirming that Zarqawi had not been caught prior to his own apprehension on April 23, 2003.

Levy and Scott-Clark cited Saif al-Adl’s memoir on other matters in “The Exile,” but when this writer queried Scott-Clark about al-Adl’s testimony – which contradicted the narrative that underpinned her book – Scott-Clark responded, “I know Fuad Hussein well. Most of his information is third hand and not well sourced.”

She did not address the substance of al-Adl’s recollections about Zarqawi, however. When asked in a follow-up email whether she challenged the authenticity of Saif al-Adl’s testimony, Scott-Clark did not respond.

Gareth Porter is an independent investigative journalist who has covered national security policy since 2005 and was the recipient of Gellhorn Prize for Journalism in 2012.  His most recent book is The CIA Insider’s Guide to the Iran Crisis co-authored with John Kiriakou, just published in February.

May 20, 2020 Posted by | Book Review, Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 1 Comment

Israel strikes Syria to keep the USA in the Levant

By Elijah J. Magnier – 19/05/2020

Following its defeat in the second war on Lebanon, Israel discovered that its only way to suppress Hezbollah would be to close the supply line between Lebanon and Syria. That could only be achieved by removing President Bashar al-Assad from power, disrupting the “Axis of the Resistance” that extends from Tehran to Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Gaza. But Israel and the US, supported by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the Emirates, Turkey, Europe and many other countries all failed to achieve their goal of making Syria a failed state. President Assad called upon his allies whose own national security was in jeopardy. If Syria were to fall, jihadists of al-Qaeda and the “Islamic State” would be fighting in the streets of Beirut, Baghdad and Tehran. The jihadists would also be powerful enough to remove Russia from its Syrian naval base and to export the war beyond the Levant’s borders. So, Israel and the US failed to destroy Syria and to corner Hezbollah. On the contrary, Hezbollah has become stronger than ever. The Resistance has reaped the harvest of its victory. It has become the decision-maker with key institutions in Lebanon.

Israel sought to destroy Hezbollah because it is an obstacle to Israel’s expansionist plans in Lebanon, namely to steal Lebanon’s water and some of its territories, to force a peace deal of unconditional surrender, to break Lebanon’s alliance with Iran and deprive Tehran of its strongest ally in the Middle East. For the last forty years, since the victory of the “Islamic Republic” in 1979 led by Imam Ruhollah Khomeini which unseated the US proxy ruler, the Shah of Iran, Washington has imposed sanctions, because Iran has refused to submit to US power and because it supports its allies in the Middle East, mainly Palestine, Lebanon and Syria, to stand against Israel.

In 2006, the US was involved in the planning of Israel’s war on Lebanon. At the 2006 G8 Summit, President George W. Bush described the relationship between Hezbollah, Iran and Syria as one of the root causes of “instability”: “The World must deal with Hezbollah, with Syria, and continue to work to isolate Iran.” (Roshandel J. & Lean C.N. (2011) Iran, Israel and the United States, ABC-CLIO, CA, p. 109).

US Secretary Condoleezza Rice refused to mediate a ceasefire unless “the conditions are conducive”, thinking Israel would win the war. Hezbollah was not only left on its own to face the US and Israel, but Lebanese US-Saudi proxies (Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and Druse leader Walid Jumblat) supported the position of the US and Israel, and argued that there was “no point in a ceasefire.” (Wilkins H. (2013). The Making Of Lebanese Foreign Policy: understanding the 2006 Hezbollah-Israeli War, Routledge, Introduction).

When Israel failed to achieve its objectives, the US agreed to mediate an end to the war. Negotiations concentrated on ceasing all hostilities (not a ceasefire) between the two countries. Tel Aviv and Washington failed to obtain the deployment of United Nations Forces in Lebanon, UNIFIL, on the borders with Syria. The US sought to accommodate Israel in its attempt to gain by negotiation what it failed to achieve using its huge war machine in 33 days of the war in 2006. “Israel’s objective was never realistic”, said Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.

When its attempt to control the Lebanese-Syrian borders failed after its defeat in the 2006 war, Israel had one remaining option with which to counter Hezbollah: close the road via Damascus and find a way to curb Hezbollah’s supply line. This required war on Syria.

Since confronting Hezbollah face-face was no longer an option, Syria became the next target in the campaign to isolate Iran, as President Bush declared. The motives behind the war in Syria have been erroneously described by many researchers and analysts around the globe, who have depicted the war as the outcome of an “Arab Spring” against a dictatorial regime. Yet Saudi Arabia, Bahrein and other Gulf countries have been ruled by dictatorships and the same family members for decades and indeed are considered by the west as its closest- oil-rich- partners!

Actually, the war on Syria started just after the al-Qaeda 9/11 attack on the US. Four-star US general Wesley Clark disclosed Washington’s plan as he learned of it in the days after 9/11: “occupy Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and finish with Iran.” Just a few months after the US invasion of Iraq, US Secretary of State Colin Powell visited President Bashar al-Assad and warned him that the US would invade Syria if he refused to interrupt his support for the anti-Israel organisations, Hezbollah and the Palestinian groups: the Syrian president would share the same fate as the Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

The 2003 invasion of Iraq was far from being a piece of cake. The US occupation generated new resistance among both Sunni and the Shia. This encouraged President Assad to rebuff the US threat, unaware of what the future held for Syria. Dozens of states, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Turkey, the Emirates, Europe and the US all supported a regime change operation via Takfiri proxies. But the consequences of destabilising Syria gave a unique opportunity for al-Qaeda to blossom in Syria and a more lethal group emerged, the “Islamic State” ISIS. President Assad called upon his few allies, Iran, Russia and Hezbollah, to stand against the massive coalition gathered to create this failed state in Syria. The Syrian war which ensued offered unprecedented experience to the Syrian army, gave birth to a new Syrian resistance and offered unique warfare knowledge to Hezbollah, with a base for Iran that Tehran could never before have dreamed of having in the Levant.

Hezbollah had forced unconditional Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon in the year 2000 and challenged all those Israeli-US plans for a “new Middle East” after the second Israeli war on Lebanon in 2006. And the long nine years of war in Syria forced Hezbollah to refine its tactics and armaments and provided Hezbollah with an unprecedented victory. Just as Israel had boosted the creation of Hezbollah, it taught this quasi-state actor all manner of skills and forced it to acquire more training and weapons to repel wars and dismantle the enemy’s objectives. Israel’s former Chief of Staff and Prime Ministerial candidate Benny Gantz believed that Hezbollah had become one of the strongest irregular-organised armies in the Middle East, capable of imposing its rules of engagement and its “balance of deterrence” on the strongest classical army in the Middle East.

“Show me four or five states with more firepower than Hezbollah: they are the US, China, Russia, Israel, France, & the UK,” Gantz said when speaking at the 2014 Herzliya Conference.

That was Israel’s assessment in 2014. Six years later, last February, Israel’s minister of defence Naftali Bennet said: “For every convoy you hit, you miss five convoys and slowly Hezbollah accumulates the critical mass of rockets [missiles] that threaten us.”

Hezbollah has become stronger than many armies in the Middle East. Hezbollah is no longer the organisation that clashes with the Israelis on a hill or site or ambushes a patrol behind an alley. Rather, in Syria and Iraq, it has successfully experienced different warfare scenarios. It has acquired many advanced weapons and became a strategic threat to Israel if it ever contemplated waging outright war on Lebanon and Syria.

Israel set as its goal bringing down Assad in Syria and separating Syria from the “Axis of Resistance.” Israeli defence minister Moshe Ya’alon said that “Israel prefers ISIS on its borders over Assad.” But Israel, America, Europe, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the Emirates have lost the war. Israel has now chosen to maintain the conflict because it fears that America would let go. This is why Israel is hitting hundreds of targets in Syria, – most of the time without no strategic value whatsoever.

Sources in the “Axis of Resistance” in Syria say that:

“Israel targeted the Iranian HQ at Damascus airport (a building with green glass where Israel destroyed two floors). The following day, Iran restored it and it is back in operation. Israel has repeatedly targeted warehouses with Iranian weapons but also an abandoned training centre in the Kiswa area that has been empty for years. Their aim is to signal to the US that Israel is threatened and that the departure of the US forces would constitute a threat to Israel’s national security. It is indeed too late for Israeli jets to make any difference to Syria’s capabilities. Iran is not exporting weapons but manufacturing them. If it took Israel 9 years and 300 bombing raids to destroy Iranian warehouses in Syria, it took Iran only one year to refill and equip the Syrian army with much more sophisticated precision missiles – and all strategic missiles are in underground warehouses.”

Iran has only a few hundred advisers and officers in Syria, but it leads some tens of thousands of allies from Lebanon, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and auxiliary Syrian forces that resemble irregular-organised military formations.

In Syria, Hezbollah was able to operate in an area ten times the size of Lebanon, which gave it a unique experience any army in the world would have wished to have. It was also subjected to attacks by a NATO member, Turkey, which used armed drones on the battlefield. That provided Hezbollah with a wealth of experience and taught them lessons that have become integrated into curricula at military schools and colleges in Iran with Hezbollah and their allies.

President Assad does not say that it is time for his allies (especially Hezbollah) to leave Syria. Rather, he says – according to this source – that “Syria has a debt to Hezbollah. Wherever Hezbollah wants to be, it will be also Syria’s wishes.” America and Israel created an unbreakable alliance between Syria, Iran and Hezbollah.

In Lebanon, Hezbollah has started to harvest its gains. Hezbollah was able to impose the name of the President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, despite repeated opposition from Saudi Arabia and the US, the losers in the Syrian war. Lebanon remained without a president for several months until General Aoun assumed the presidency.

Hezbollah rejected multiple offers from different countries by giving the Presidency of the Parliament to anyone other than President Nabih Berri, leader of the Amal movement, who has been on this throne for decades. Hezbollah holds the real power – though not all of it – in Lebanon to call for the appointment of the President of the Republic and the Speaker of the Parliament.

As for the premiership, it cannot be assumed without Hezbollah’s approval of the candidate. Hezbollah has sufficient political weight within the House of Representatives and the Presidency of the Republic to nominate or accept the nomination or direct the appointing of a prime minister. Former prime minister Saad Hariri is making sure his daily friendly contacts with Hezbollah are maintained because he would very much like to return to power. Hariri knows that the door to the premiership goes through one gate: Hezbollah.

This does not mean that Hezbollah wants to take control of Lebanon as a whole. Hezbollah leaders are aware that the Druse leader Kamal Jumblatt, Sunni leader Rafic Hariri, the Maronite Christian leader Bashir Gemayel and the Palestinians have all failed in controlling Lebanon and seizing the country. Hezbollah does not want to succumb to the same mistakes and doesn’t wish to control all of Lebanon. This means that the counter influence of other countries exists and is well-rooted in Lebanon. For example, the US ambassador in Beirut is threatening the Lebanese government with a warning not to remove the Central Bank Governor Riad Salama. Also, the US removed a Lebanese-Israeli agent, Amer Al-Fakhouri, via a plane which landed him at the US embassy without taking into consideration Lebanese sovereignty. The US supports the Lebanese army and internal security forces to maintain its dominance over certain key figures.

Syria has given the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, powers in Lebanon that he would not have obtained without the intervention of Israel and the allies in Syria. Hezbollah has managed to preserve its military pipeline via Syria by defeating the Takfiris (al-Qaeda and ISIS) and has prevented them from establishing an “Islamic emirate” in Lebanon and Syria.

Hezbollah’s victory comes at a price: thousands of martyrs and thousands of wounded. However, the resulting harvest is so abundant and strategic that the Lebanese Shiites now enjoy more power in Lebanon and Bilad al-Sham than they have since the year 661 when the fourth caliphate’s Imam Ali bin Abi Talib was killed.

Proofread by:  C.G.B. and Maurice Brasher

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May 20, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How Israel Instructed Its Worst Nightmare in the Art of War

A woman mocks an Israeli tank left behind when withdrawing from south of Lebanon in the year 2000, using it as a hanger to dry cloths. Credit: Younes Zaatari
By Elijah J. Magnier | American Herld Tribune | May 17, 2020

We were Hezbollah trainers. It is an organization that learns quickly. The Hezbollah we met at the beginning (1982) is different from the one we left behind in 2000”. This is what the former Chief of Staff and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gabi Ashkenazi, said twenty years after the Israeli unconditional withdrawal from Lebanon.

For the first time we met a non-conventional army, but also an ideological organization with deep faith: and this faith triumphed over us. We were more powerful, more technologically advanced and better armed but not possessing the fighting spirit …They were stronger than us”. This is what Brigadier General Effi Eitam, Commander of the 91st Division in counter-guerrilla operation in south Lebanon said.

Alon Ben-David, senior defense correspondent for Israel’s Channel 13, specialized in defense and military issues, said: “Hezbollah stood up and defeated the powerful Israeli Army”.

Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, the architect of the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, said: “The withdrawal didn’t go as planned. The deterrence of Hezbollah and its capability increased greatly. We withdrew from a nightmare”. Barak meant he had planned to leave behind him a buffer zone under the control of his Israeli proxies led by the “South Lebanon Army” (SLA) commander Antoine Lahad. However, his plans were dismantled and the resistance forced Lahad’s men to run towards the borders, freeing the occupied buffer zone. As they left Lebanon, the Israeli soldiers said: “Thank God we are leaving: no one in Israel wants to return”.

In 1982, Israel believed the time had come to invade Lebanon and force it to sign a peace agreement after eliminating the various Palestinian organizations. These groups had deviated from the Palestinian compass and had become embroiled in sectarian conflict with the Lebanese Phalange, believing that “the road to Jerusalem passed through Jounieh” (the Maronite stronghold on Mt. Lebanon, northwest of Beirut, a slogan used by Abu Iyad). Israel intended Lebanon to become the domicile of its Palestinian conflict. It failed to realize that in so doing it was letting the Shiite genie out of the bottle. Signs of this genie began to appear after the arrival of Sayyed Musa al-Sadr in Lebanon and the return of students of Sayyed Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr from Najaf to their home country and residency in the Lebanese Bekaa. Also, the victory of Imam Khomeini and the “Islamic revolution” in Iran in 1979 was not taken into consideration by Israel, and the potential consequences for the Lebanese Shia were overlooked.

The 1982 Israeli invasion triggered the emergence of the “Islamic resistance in Lebanon”, which later became known as “Hezbollah”, and it forced Israel to leave Lebanon unconditionally in 2000. This made Lebanon the first country to humiliate the Israeli army. Following their victory over the Arabs in 1949, 1956, 1967 and 1973, Israeli officials had come to believe they could occupy any Arab country “with a brass band”.

Israeli soldiers exited through the “Fatima Gate” (on the Lebanese border, also known as Good Fence, HaGader HaTova) under the watchful eyes of Suzanne Goldenberg on the other side of the border. She wrote:

After two decades and the loss of more than 1000 men, the chaotic Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon leaves its northern flank dangerously exposed, with Hezbollah guerrillas sitting directly on its border. The scale of the Israeli fiasco was beginning to unfold… After the Israelis pulled out of Bint Jubayl in the middle of the night, their SLA allies, already in a state of collapse in the center of the strip, simply gave up. Branded collaborators, they and their families headed for exile. Behind them, they left tanks and other heavy equipment donated by their patrons. Shlomo Hayun, an Israeli farmer who lives on Shaar Yeshuv farm, said of the withdrawal, “This was the first time I have been ashamed to be Israeli. It was chaotic and disorganized.”

What did Israel and its allies in the Middle East achieve?

In 1978, Israel occupied a part of southern Lebanon and in 1982, for the first time, it occupied an Arab capital, Beirut. During its presence as an occupation force, Israel was responsible for several massacres amounting to war crimes. In 1992, Israel thought that it could strike a death blow to Hezbollah by assassinating its leader, Sayyed Abbas Al-Mousawi. He was replaced by his student, the charismatic leader, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah. Nasrallah has proved to be more truthful than the Israeli leaders, and thus capable of affecting the Israeli public through his speeches, as Israeli colonel Ronen, chief Intelligence officer for the Central Command of Israel Defence Forces, has said.

The new Hezbollah leader showed his potential for standing up to and confronting Israel through TV appearances. He mastered the psychological aspects of warfare, just as he mastered the art of guerrilla war. He leads a non-conventional but organized army of militants “stronger than several armies in the Middle East,” according to Lieutenant General Gadi Eisenkot, the former Israeli Chief of Staff.

The Israeli doctrine relies on the principle of pre-emptively striking what is considered as a potential threat, in order to extinguish it in its cradle. Israel first annexed Jerusalem by declaring it in 1980 an integral part of the so-called “capital of the state of Israel”. In June 1981, it attacked and destroyed the Iraqi nuclear reactor that France had helped build. In 2007, Israel struck a building in Deir Ezzor, Syria, before it was completed, claiming that the government had been building a nuclear reactor.

6 years after its withdrawal, Israel declared war on Lebanon in 2006, with the aim of eradicating Hezbollah from the south and destroying its military capacity. Avi Kober, a member of the department of political studies at Bar Ilan University and researcher at the Israeli BESA center said:

“The war was conducted under unprecedented and favorable conditions the like which Israel has never enjoyed – internal consensus, broad international support (including tacit support on the part of moderate Arab States), and a sense of having almost unlimited time to achieve the war objectives. The IDF’s performance during this war was unsatisfactory, reflecting flawed military conceptions and poor professionalism and generalship. Not only the IDF fail in achieving battlefield decisions against Hezbollah, that is, denying the enemy’s ability to carry on the fight, despite some tactical achievements, throughout the war, it played into Hizballah’s hands.”

Israel withdrew from the battle without achieving its goals: it was surprised by Hezbollah’s military equipment and fighting capabilities. Hezbollah had managed to hide its advanced weapons from the eyes of Israeli intelligence and its allies, who are present in every country including Lebanon. The result was 121 Israeli soldiers killed, 2,000 wounded, and the pride of the Israeli army and industry destroyed in the Merkava Cemetery in southern Lebanon where the Israeli advance into Wadi al-Hujeir was thwarted.

Hezbollah hit the most advanced class Israeli destroyer, the INS Spear saar-5, opposite the Lebanese coast. In the last 72 hours of the war, Israel fired 2.7 million bomblets, or cluster bombs, to cause long-term pain for Lebanon’s population, either through impeding their return or disrupting cultivation and harvest once they did return. “An unjustified degree of vindictiveness and an effort to punish the population as a whole”, said the report of the UN commission of inquiry conducted in November 2006 (Arkin M. W. (2007), Divining Victory: Airpower in the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah War, Air University Press, Alabama, pp 67-71).

The battle ended, Israel withdrew again, closed the doors behind its army, raised a fence on the Lebanese borders, and installed electronic devices and cameras to prevent any possible Hezbollah crossing into Palestine.

When Israel’s chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi said “Israel instructed Hezbollah in the art of war”, he was right. Hezbollah has learned from the wars that Israel has waged over the years. In every war, Hezbollah saw the necessity of developing its weapons and training to match and overcome the Israeli army (which is outnumbered) and which enjoys the tacit support of Middle Eastern regimes and the most powerful western countries. Hezbollah developed its special forces’ training and armed itself with precision missiles to impose new rules of engagement, posing a real threat to the continuity of the permanent Israeli violations of Lebanon’s sovereignty.

Today, Hezbollah has sophisticated weapons, including the armed drones that it used in Syria in its war against the Takfirists, and precision missiles that can reach every region, city and airport in Israel. It has anti-ship missiles to neutralize the Israeli navy in any future attack or war on Lebanon and to hit any harbor or oil platform. It is also equipped with missiles that prevent helicopters from being involved in any future battle. The balance of deterrence has been achieved. Hezbollah can take Israel back to the Stone Age just as easily as Israel envisages returning Lebanon to the Stone Age.

Hezbollah is Israel’s worst nightmare, and it was largely created by the Israeli attempt to overthrow the regime in Lebanon, occupy Lebanon, and impose an agreement that Israel could then mold to its own liking. But the tables were turned: a very small force emerged in Lebanon to become a regional power whose powerful support was then extended to the neighboring countries of Syria and Iraq. The harvest journey has begun.

May 19, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 2 Comments

Iranian Official Denies Rumors about Agreement on Assad’s Resignation

Tasnim | May, 17, 2020

TEHRAN – A senior adviser to Iran’s parliament speaker categorically denied reports about Tehran and Moscow agreeing on the resignation of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

In a post on his Twitter account, senior adviser to the Iranian parliament speaker for international affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian dismissed as “a big lie” the rumors about a plan for the resignation of Syria’s president.

“Dr. Bashar al-Assad is the legitimate president of Syria and the great leader of the fight against Takfiri terrorism in the Arab world,” he said.

“The rumor of an agreement between Iran and Russia on his (Assad’s) resignation is a big lie and a plot from the American-Zionist media,” the Iranian official added.

“Tehran strongly supports the sovereignty, national unity and territorial integrity of Syria,” Amir Abdollahian underlined.

His comments came in response to media speculations that Iran, Russia and Turkey may reach a consensus to remove the Syrian president and establish a ceasefire in exchange for forming a transitional government that includes the opposition, members of the Syrian government and the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

May 17, 2020 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 2 Comments

Bahraini officials discontinue virtual debate against normalization with Israel: Report

Bahraini FM calls for normalization with Israel
Press TV – May 10, 2020

Bahraini authorities have reportedly cut off an online debate dedicated to the condemnation of attempts by a number of Arab countries to normalize diplomatic relations with Israel.

On Saturday evening, Bahrain Democratic Youth Society organized a virtual event in cooperation with Bahraini Society against Normalization with Zionist Enemy to discuss the matter, the Arabic-language Bahrain Mirror news website reported.

The organizers, however, received phone calls from officials at the Bahraini Ministry of Labor and Social Development as the live broadcast of the seminar started, ordering them to cut it off immediately without providing any explanations.

The presenter of the session surprised the viewership by informing them of the decision and saying, “We received a call from authorities few minutes ago, asking us to cancel this dialogue. We apologize to you all.”

Omani activist Mohammed al-Shehri, one of the participants in the debate, told the London-based al-Araby al-Jadeed media outlet that the decision reflects the fear of Persian Gulf states of any event in condemnation of such normalization.

“Bahraini authorities proved that pressure on activities against normalization with the Zionist enemy is part of preparations for comprehensive normalization, and that the process is being planned in full swing,” he said.

A foreign-based Bahraini activist, requesting not to be named, also said, “What happened delivers a clear message to the world about how Bahraini authorities transform the country into a base from which the Zionists reach out to the rest of (Persian) Gulf countries.”

Last December, Shlomo Amar, the chief rabbi of Jerusalem al-Quds, paid a rare visit to Bahrain at the invitation of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah.

He attended a conference featuring religious leaders from Lebanon, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt, Russia, the United States, Italy, India, and Thailand.

Addressing the event, Amar expressed hope that the Israelis and Bahrainis would be able to visit the occupying territories and the Persian Gulf island without special coordination.

The Israeli rabbi further met with the Bahraini king and conveyed to him what he called “a blessing from Jerusalem that will lead to a solid relationship” with Tel Aviv.

The visit was organized by American officials acting as intermediaries, Israel’s Kan news agency reported.

Separately, Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifah recognized Israel’s “right to existence” in an interview with English-language The Times of Israel daily newspaper on the sidelines of the US-led economic workshop in Manama on June 26 last year, saying the regime was “there to stay, of course.”

“Who did we offer peace to [with] the [Arab] Peace Initiative? We offered it to … Israel…. We want better relations with it, and we want peace with it,” the top Bahraini diplomat added.

He pointed to the Arab Peace Initiative as the blueprint for normalization of diplomatic relations with Israel, terming the Tel Aviv regime’s rejection of the plan as a “missed opportunity.”

The Arab Peace Initiative, proposed by Saudi Arabia in 2002, calls on Israel to agree to a two-state solution along the 1967 lines and a “just” solution to the Palestinian refugee issue. The initiative has been repeatedly endorsed by the Arab League in 2002, 2007, and 2017.

The Bahraini Foreign Minister also encouraged Israel to approach Arab leaders about issues of concern regarding the proposal.

“Come and talk to us. Talk to us about it. Say, guys, you have a good initiative, but we have one thing that worries us,” he said.

The so-called Peace to Prosperity workshop opened in Bahrain on June 25 and ran through June 26.

May 10, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | Leave a comment

US lowers threat perception on Iran

Iraq’s new Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi won vote of confidence in the parliament in Baghdad on May 7, 2020
By M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | Indian Punchline | May 9, 2020

The drawdown of US military presence in the Middle East, especially from Saudi Arabia, may not be an automatic open sesame — to borrow the magical phrase in the story of “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”— leading to the hidden treasure of regional peace and stability, but it does open up a tantalising vista that is seamless in its possibilities.

Speculations are galore about the Pentagon announcement Thursday that the US military will withdraw two Patriot batteries, which have been deployed to protect Saudi oil facilities, along with two jet fighter squadrons.

US President Donald Trump added an ambiguous explanation: “We’re making a lot of moves in the Middle East and elsewhere. We do a lot of things all over the world, militarily we’ve been taken advantage of all over the world… This has nothing to do with Saudi Arabia.” Trump seems to suggest there is a ‘big picture’.

Nonetheless, the move is seen as a showdown between the US and Saudi Arabia, where Washington says to Riyadh that if you do not follow our oil advice, we will throw you under the bus. The fluctuations in the oil market have put strains on the ties binding the two staunch allies and the US oil industry has been hit doubly hard, since even after the recent OPEC+ deal, oil prices continue to fluctuate at the expense of American producers even as Saudi oil tankers reach the US, selling their commodity at lower prices to American buyers, which Washington’s oil industry cannot possibly compete with.

With the storage capacity in the US industry dwindling, the highest ever number of Saudi oil tankers in years are on their way to American shores. Riyadh appears to be flooding the market to drown the shale industry. The mood in Washington has turned ugly, as Trump’s allies in the Congress whose states have been hurt by the price crash, sought a mitigation measure — the Strained Partnership Act — which threatened to punish the Saudis by way of pulling troops and reducing other military commitments unless Riyadh reduced its oil output.

Without doubt, the American oil crash in the wake of the pandemic has taken its toll on US-Saudi relations. But, having said that, Trump cannot be unaware that any US-Saudi friction at this juncture can only work to Iran’s advantage insofar as the coronavirus pandemic is providing an opening to challenge the US presence in Iraq and other places in the Middle East. Top Iranian military officials have openly said in recent weeks that they see the US at its weakest in a while.

Tehran seems to settle for a ‘wait-and-see’ approach until the November election in the US is over, refraining from escalating tensions. Tehran can afford to wait, since the US’ Gulf allies — the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar — are no longer pushing the US into a confrontationist policy but instead engaging with Iran. There is growing disenchantment in the region regarding the consistency of the US policies.

What lends enchantment to the view is that some easing of US-Iran confrontation is also discernible. Most certainly, the establishment of a new government in Baghdad under Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi harks back to a priori history of tacit US-Iranian co-habitation in Iraq.

Al-Kadhimi is a secular-minded figure who does not belong to any of the Shi’ite political parties and yet he won with the votes of the Fateh Coalition, the second largest in the Parliament, made up of Shiite political parties that have close ties to Iran.

He briefly lived in Iran as a dissident but moved on to life in exile in UK and the US — and yet, he’s an acceptable choice to Tehran. He is close to the Washington establishment, which is open to making deals with him, and also enjoys personal rapport with the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, but Tehran is unperturbed and seems to estimate that he is both pragmatic and can also be tough with the US in a way that no Iranian-backed candidate can be.

Above all, Al-Kadhimi is smart enough know Iran’s support is vital if his government is to perform effectively. The hugely sensitive post of Interior Minister in his cabinet has gone to Othman Ali Farhood Musheer Al Ghanimi, an ally of Iran, while the key post of Finance Minister will be held by Ali Allawi, a pro-western figure and nephew of late Ahmed Chalabi. (Chalabi helped the Bush administration to topple Saddam Hussein in 2003.)

Significantly, no sooner than Al-Kadhimi’s government got parliamentary approval on May 7, Washington announced yet another waiver of sanctions against Tehran by allowing Iraq to continue to buy electricity from Iran. Now, unlike previous monthly waivers, Washington has given a 120-day waiver up to September. Tehran is sure to take note.

And this has happened while Washington and Tehran are working out arrangements for another ‘win-win’ prisoner swap. There are four Americans imprisoned in Iran, while Tehran claims “around 20” Iranians are in US custody. Then, there is also the case of a fifth American often thought to be imprisoned in Iran — Robert Levinson, a former FBI and CIA contractor.

Prisoner swaps are a low-cost way of easing tension and Trump places high priority on winning the freedom of Americans imprisoned abroad, and is quick to boast that he is doing better than Barack Obama.

Clearly, neither the US nor Iran is spoiling for a fight. Tensions will spike if the US presses ahead to get the UN Security Council to extend the arms embargo on Iran beyond October (failing which to invoke the ‘snapback’ clause of the 2015 nuclear deal to reimpose UN sanctions against Iran.)

But then, for want of support from the EU or UK, Britain and Germany — and Russia and China’s opposition — Washington may not press ahead. Trump may discuss Iran with Russian President Vladimir Putin, if the frequency of their phone conversations — six times in as many weeks already — is kept up and the range of topics broadens.

Moscow is counselling Tehran to show strategic patience in the face of US provocations. In the final lap of Trump’s term, Russia is keenly seeking an improvement of relations with the US and a showdown over Iran would spoil the climate.

Thus, there is a lull in the fighting in Syria and Iraq. A pause is noticeable in militia attacks on US troops in Iraq in recent weeks. Talks are due in June in Baghdad between Pentagon and Iraqi government regarding US deployments. Israeli officials speak of signs of an Iranian retrenchment in Syria.

Some US officials have also openly acknowledged that Tehran no longer poses an immediate threat to US strategic interests. In this backdrop, the partial drawdown of US forces in Saudi Arabia can also be regarded as a trimming of the US belligerence toward Iran.

May 9, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 1 Comment

Ansarullah slams Saudi Arabia, UAE for using television programs to promote Israel

Press TV – May 8, 2020

The leader of Yemen’s popular Houthi Ansarullah movement has slammed Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for using certain television programs to promote relations with Israel and demean the Palestinian struggle against occupation.

“Those who are directly coordinated with Israel, or through intermediaries allied with Israel, are partners in their crime,” Abdul-Malik Badreddin al-Houthi said in a speech on Thursday, according to Yemen’s al-Masirah television network.

Al-Houthi added that colluding in crimes committed by the Israeli regime was amongst “the most dangerous” of acts.

“The evils committed by the Zionists are the most significant. This is because the scope of their crimes extends to all of humanity given the large scope of Zionist influence over major countries,” he said.

“People have to avoid providing any assistance to Israel, the United States or their supporters,” al-Houthi added.

Riyadh’s pro-Israel programming

Al-Houthi’s remarks come in response to the airing of a string of media productions by certain Persian Gulf countries promoting ties with Israel.

The new “Umm Haroun” television series is one of such programs produced by the Dubai-based Saudi-owned Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC).

The series directed by Egypt’s Ahmed Gamal el-Adl in the United Arab Emirates stars a Kuwaiti actress who plays the role of a Jewish midwife of Turkish origin living in the Persian Gulf country before settling in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Hebrew-language outlet N12 reported on Sunday that many believe Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is involved in the series as he is interested in closer relations between the kingdom and Israel.

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas in Gaza denounced the TV series as a “political and cultural attempt to introduce the Zionist project to Persian Gulf society.”

Critics regard the show as an invitation to normalized ties with Israel. The show has consequentially provoked a storm in the Arab world.

The airing of the series has taken place as Riyadh, along with certain other Persian Gulf states such as the UAE, have moved to embrace relations with the Israeli regime, specifically in the past year.

Numerous Israeli delegations have consequently visited certain Persian Gulf states in recent months. Arab delegations from Persian Gulf states have also visited Israel.

No Arab country has formal relations with the Israeli regime, with the exception of Jordan and Egypt.

“Exit 7”: Yet another pro-Israel production

The “Umm Haroun” series is not the only MBC production seeking to promote ties with Israel to the Arab public.

“Exit 7” is another series currently being aired by the Saudi company.

According to Asia Times, the program seeks to promote various western values alongside breaking taboos regarding Israel.

Characters in the series promote “doing business with Israel” and argue against Saudi aid being sent to Palestine.

The program also disseminates blatantly anti-Palestinian themes, such as claiming that Palestinians “attack Saudi Arabia” whenever an opportunity arises.

Characters in the series also seek to legitimize Israeli occupation of Palestinian land by claiming that Palestinians “sold their land” to Jewish settlers.

Egypt, which signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, has disseminated similar claims of Palestinians selling their lands to Jewish settler to legitimize its ties with the Israeli regime.

According to Persian Gulf states analyst Nabeel Nowairah, MBC’s pro-Israel themes clearly “came from the high levels of the government”.

“You cannot talk about these things unless they’re approved by some agency or another. So it has the blessing of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in some way,” he said.

The Arab-Israeli attempts to normalize ties come as Tel Aviv and Washington have stepped up attempts to legitimize Israeli occupation as part of US President Donald Trump’s so-called “deal of the century” initiative unveiled earlier this year.

Al-Houthi’s remarks on Thursday also come as Tel Aviv has mulled military intervention against Sana’a following the failure of the Saudi war on Yemen seeking to crush the popular Ansarullah, according to reports.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched the devastating war on Yemen in March 2015 in order to bring the country’s former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and defeat Ansarullah.

The Saudi-led attempt has, however, been brought to a standstill by the Yemeni resistance.

The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that the war has claimed more than 100,000 lives over the past five years.

The UN says over 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger.

Riyadh makes inroads into Hollywood

The push to normalize ties with Israel comes as bin Salman has also sought to greatly westernize the kingdom ever since being appointed crown prince in 2017.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, many major US entertainment brands are bracing themselves for large Saudi investment opportunities in the near future.

Last month, Saudi Arabia was disclosed to have bought a 5.7 percent stake in the American events operator Live Nation.

According to the report, Saudi Arabia’s public investment fund has also specifically made an offer to buy the Warner Music Group, one of the three major music moguls in the US.

Many major Hollywood stars have also visited and performed in the oil-rich kingdom in the last year.

The report highlighted that Hollywood companies seeks to overlook the brutal murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi under the orders of the Saudi state in 2018 – which caused major international uproar – as they step up cooperation with the Saudi regime.

See also:

Israel gearing up to attack Houthis in Yemen: Report

May 8, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

100 years of shame: Annexation of Palestine began in San Remo

By Ramzy Baroud | MEMO | May 5, 2020

One hundred years ago, representatives from a few powerful countries convened at San Remo, a sleepy town on the Italian Riviera. Together, they sealed the fate of the massive territories confiscated from the Ottoman Empire following its defeat in World War I.

It was on April 25, 1920, that the San Remo Conference Resolution was passed by the post-World War I Allied Supreme Council. Western Mandates were established over Palestine, Syria and ‘Mesopotamia’ – Iraq. The latter two were theoretically designated for provisional independence, while Palestine was granted to the Zionist movement to establish a Jewish homeland there.

“The Mandatory will be responsible for putting into effect the (Balfour) declaration originally made on November 8, 1917, by the British Government, and adopted by the other Allied Powers, in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people,” the Resolution read.

The Resolution gave greater international recognition to Britain’s unilateral decision, three years earlier, to grant Palestine to the Zionist Federation for the purpose of establishing a Jewish homeland, in exchange for Zionist support of Britain during the Great War.

And, like Britain’s Balfour Declaration, a cursory mention was made of the unfortunate inhabitants of Palestine, whose historic homeland was being unfairly confiscated and handed over to colonial settlers.

The establishment of that Jewish State, according to San Remo, hinged on some vague ‘understanding’ that “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.”

The above addition merely served as a poor attempt at appearing politically balanced, while in reality no enforcement mechanism was ever put in place to ensure that the ‘understanding’ was ever respected or implemented.

In fact, one could argue that the West’s long engagement in the question of Israel and Palestine has followed the same San Remo prototype: where the Zionist movement (and eventually Israel) is granted its political objectives based on unenforceable conditions that are never respected or implemented.

Notice how the vast majority of United Nations Resolution pertaining to Palestinian rights are historically passed by the General Assembly, not by the Security Council, where the US is one of five veto-wielding powers, always ready to strike down any attempt at enforcing international law.

It is this historical dichotomy that led to the current political deadlock.

Palestinian leaderships, one after the other, have miserably failed at changing the stifling paradigm. Decades before the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, countless delegations, comprised those claiming to represent the Palestinian people, traveled to Europe, appealing to one government or another, pleading the Palestinian case and demanding fairness.

What has changed since then?

On February 20, the Donald Trump administration issued its own version of the Balfour Declaration, termed the ‘Deal of the Century’.

The American decision which, again, flouted international law, paves the way for further Israeli colonial annexations of occupied Palestine. It brazenly threatens Palestinians that, if they do not cooperate, they will be punished severely. In fact, they already have been, when Washington cut all funding to the Palestinian Authority and to international institutions that provide critical aid to the Palestinians.

Like in the San Remo Conference, the Balfour Declaration, and numerous other documents, Israel was asked, ever so politely but without any plans to enforce such demands, to grant Palestinians some symbolic gestures of freedom and independence.

Some may argue, and rightly so, that the ‘Deal of the Century’ and the San Remo Conference Resolution are not identical in the sense that Trump’s decision was a unilateral one, while San Remo was the outcome of political consensus among various countries – Britain, France, Italy, and others.

True, but two important points must be taken into account: firstly, the Balfour Declaration was also a unilateral decision. It took Britain’s allies three years to embrace and validate the illegal decision made by London to grant Palestine to the Zionists. The question now is, how long will it take for Europe to claim the ‘Deal of the Century’ as its own?

Secondly, the spirit of all of these declarations, promises, resolutions, and ‘deals’ is the same, where superpowers decide by virtue of their own massive influence to rearrange the historical rights of nations. In some way, the colonialism of old has never truly died.

The Palestinian Authority, like previous Palestinian leaderships, is presented with the proverbial carrot and stick. Last March, US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, told Palestinians that if they did not return to the (non-existent) negotiations with Israel, the US would support Israel’s annexation of the West Bank.

For nearly three decades now and, certainly, since the signing of the Oslo Accords in September 1993, the PA has chosen the carrot. Now that the US has decided to change the rules of the game altogether, Mahmoud Abbas’ Authority is facing its most serious existential threat yet: bowing down to Kushner or insisting on returning to a dead political paradigm that was constructed, then abandoned, by Washington.

The crisis within the Palestinian leadership is met with utter clarity on the part of Israel. The new Israeli coalition government, consisting of previous rivals Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz, have tentatively agreed that annexing large parts of the West Bank and the Jordan Valley is just a matter of time. They are merely waiting for the American nod.

They are unlikely to wait for long, as Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, said on April 22 that annexing Palestinian territories is “an Israeli decision.”

Frankly, it matters little. The 21st century Balfour Declaration has already been made; it is only a matter of making it the new uncontested reality.

Perhaps, it is time for the Palestinian leadership to understand that groveling at the feet of those who have inherited the San Remo Resolution, constructing and sustaining colonial Israel, is never and has never been the answer.

Perhaps, it is time for some serious rethink.

May 5, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The goal of Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon was to turn Jordan into Palestine, says Ehud Barack

MEMO | May 4, 2020

The goal of the First Lebanon War was to bring down the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and turn the country into Palestine, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak has said in a shocking admission about the true intention of the Zionist state.

Israelis were told that the objective of the 1982 invasion of Lebanon was to remove forces belonging to the Palestinian Liberation Organisation and end the threat posed by the resistance group to its northern communities. Barack admitted that this was untrue, explaining that the real goal was to use the “pretext of Palestinian terror” to force the PLO back to Jordan where they would take over government from the Hashemite Kingdom.

“The idea was to use the pretext of Palestinian terror, which they (the PLO) were providing us with, to attack them in south Lebanon and turn that into a leverage [Israel can use] and join the Christian (forces) in Beirut,” Barak said in an interview with Maariv, the sister publication of the Jerusalem Post.

“The assumption was that they (the PLO) will have to return to Jordan and unlike what happened in 1970 (when the late King Hussein ordered the forcible expulsion of the PLO) this time they will be ready and take over the government.”

“And in that way Zion is redeemed,” Barak continued. “In Jordan a Palestinian state will be created and the conflict could be resolved.”

Barack suggested that the PLO would have learnt the lessons of Black September – the 1970  conflict with Jordan which led to the expulsion of Palestinians to Lebanon – and stand a better chance of deposing the late King Hussein.

Barack’s admission would suggest that Israel did not achieve any of its war objectives. A second stated goal was to aid Lebanese Christians in order to gain a regional ally. A Christian-dominated Lebanon was seen as a potential ally, supportive of the Jewish state as two minority-countries in the region.

Not only was this hope dashed when the Christian President of Lebanon Bachir Gemayel was assassinated in September 1982, Israel’s image across the world took a tumble for enabling hundreds of Phalangist fighters – Israel’s paramilitary ally in Lebanon – to carry out a massacre in Sabra and Shatila refugee camp.

May 4, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

George Soros Wants You to Believe Russia Is a Danger to World Peace, Turkey’s Erdogan an Angel

By Philip Giraldi | American Free Press | April 16, 2020

George Soros is a billionaire Hungarian-born investor who is extremely controversial due to his promotion of what he chooses to define as democracy and free-trade movements, primarily conducted through the Open Society Foundations, which he founded and has funded with $32 billion, according to one estimate. He contributed to the campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, which has in part led to conservative politicians in the United States and elsewhere frequently citing Soros when complaining about politically motivated interference in support of a progressive agenda for the United States and also globally. At least they used to do so until Soros’s allies began to fire back with accusations of anti-Semitism, which had the effect of muting the complaints.

Soros moved from Europe to the United States in 1956 and is now an American citizen. The sources of at least some of his wealth are somewhat controversial. He made over $1 billion in 1992 by selling short $10 billion in British pounds sterling, leading to the media dubbing him “the man who broke the bank of England.” He has been accused of similar currency manipulation in both Europe and Asia. In 1999, New York Times economist Paul Krugman was highly critical of Soros’s interference in financial markets, writing, “Nobody who has read a business magazine in the last few years can be unaware that these days there really are investors who not only move money in anticipation of a currency crisis, but actually do their best to trigger that crisis for fun and profit. These new actors on the scene do not yet have a standard name; my proposed term is ‘Soroi.’ ”

Soros was heavily involved with the restructuring of former communist regimes in eastern Europe and had a hand in the so-called Rose Revolution in Georgia in 2003 and the Maidan Revolution in Ukraine in 2014, both of which were supported by the U.S. government. But in March 2017, six conservative U.S. senators sent a letter to then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson asking him to look into several grants that the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) had given to groups connected to Soros, most particularly in Macedonia. Soros’s projects are particularly targeted by conservatives and nationalists, as they are transnational in nature, and, indeed, some critics have noted that the well-funded and broadly supported Open Society is the most effective and visible weapon in the arsenal of the progressive dominated globalist movement.

Soros has been linked to a number of theories that see him as a puppet-master pulling the strings on a worldwide conspiracy to control key elements of the world economy as well as leading politicians. His critics are generally conservatives who are opposed to the progressive causes that he promotes. Soros has been in the news recently for his financial support of a Washington-based think tank called the Quincy Institute, which is also funded by the libertarian Koch family. The institute claims to be a non-partisan organization that promotes a “restrained” foreign policy using diplomacy as a means to resolve international disputes rather than threats followed up by warfare, which has become the preferred option for successive U.S. presidents and their administrations.

Soros’s motives in suddenly embracing diplomacy and non-intervention might well be questioned. On March 4, the Financial Times published an op-ed (unfortunately behind a paywall) by Soros entitled “Europe Must Stand With Turkey Over Putin’s War Crimes in Syria.” It had the subtitle “Focusing on the Refugee Crisis Russia Has Created Addresses Symptoms Not the Cause.” In it, he let loose a sharp attack on both the Kremlin and President Vladimir Putin.

The Soros op-ed is full of errors of fact and is basically a call for aggression against Russia. It starts with, “Since the beginning of its intervention in Syria in September 2015, Russia has not only sought to keep in place its most faithful Arab ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. It has also wanted to regain the regional and global influence that it lost since the fall of the Soviet Union.” First of all, Russia did not “intervene” in Syria. It was invited there by the country’s legitimate government to provide assistance against various groups, some of which were linked to al Qaeda and the Islamic State, that were seeking to overthrow President al-Assad.

And apart from Soros, few actual experts on Russia would claim that it is seeking to recreate the “influence” of the Soviet Union. Moscow does not have the resources to do so and has evinced no desire to pursue the sort of global agenda that was characteristic of the Soviet state.

There then follows a complete flight into hyperbole with: “Vladimir Putin has sought to use the turmoil in the Middle East to erase international norms and advances in international humanitarian law made since the second world war. In fact, creating the humanitarian disaster that has turned almost 6 million Syrians into refugees has not been a byproduct of the Russian president’s strategy in Syria. It has been one of his central goals.” None of Soros’s assertions are supported by fact. The U.S. and Israel are the two top flaunters of international norms and law, not Russia, and there is no evidence whatsoever that Moscow sought to create the “humanitarian disaster” in Syria. That was the work of the U.S. and its “allies” in the region who were supporting both separatists and terrorists.

Soros states his belief that “Assad is the most barbarous ruler that the world has seen since Joseph Stalin. When his own people rose up against him, he developed a military strategy designed to inflict the greatest possible harm on his civilian opponents. He deliberately targeted hospitals, schools and kindergartens, trying to kill or maim caregivers. He has used poison gas and chemical attacks over the course of a conflict that has left more than half a million dead.” None of the assertions are true and a lot of the “evidence” comes from propagandists for the terrorist groups, to include the notorious White Helmets. The lies advanced about the use of chemical weapons have recently been exposed.

Soros goes on to describe how Russia has “deliberately targeted” and bombed schools and hospitals, claims that largely derive from sources hostile to al-Assad and Putin that are impossible to check. Soros also asserts that, “The only government that has put up military forces to defend the civilians trapped in Idlib by Mr. Assad and its Russian ally is Turkey.” It is a claim that is perhaps the biggest lie of all, as Ankara is involved in Syria in support of its own completely selfish irredentist objectives and its desire to crush the Kurdish militias operating in the north and east of the country. Back in October, Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan issued an emotional call to Jihad to his supporters, saying, “Inshallah, God has promised us in Syria victory from Allah and an imminent conquest; and give good tidings to the believers. We see it is happening right now.”

The Soros op-ed also included a bit of reminiscence, describing how, “In 2014, I urged Europe to wake up to the threat that Russia was posing to its strategic interests, albeit in a different context and geography. Russia had invaded Ukraine knowing that Europe would seek to avoid any confrontation with Moscow. Yet what is happening in Idlib now is following the same pattern: Europe is evading a confrontation with Russia over its Syria policy when it should be standing up to it . . . with respect to Syria at least, Turkey deserves Europe’s support. Europe should therefore seek to bolster Turkish President Erdogan’s negotiating position. . . . I hope that this would also put Mr. Putin’s war crimes at the center of the European conversation.”

The op-ed is neither conciliatory nor “diplomatic” and is a clear sign that Soros picks his enemies based on ideological considerations that also drive his choices on how to frame his ventures. He is a billionaire who has chosen to use his money to remake the world in an image that he is comfortable with. Unfortunately, there is a lot of that kind of thinking going around—that having lots of money ipso facto equates to some kind of superior wisdom. And the whole process is facilitated by the fact that politicians as well as space on editorial pages of leading newspapers can easily be bought. Soros would have Europe and the United States taking on Russia over what he perceives to be going on in Syria, where they have no genuine interests. It is a formula that we have seen played out repeatedly in the past 20 years and can only lead to disaster.

April 29, 2020 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , , , , | 1 Comment