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US setting up military bases in eastern Yemen cashing in on UN-brokered truce: Ansarullah

Press TV – May 20, 2022

The leader of Yemen’s popular Ansarullah resistance movement says the United States, with the help of its allied Takfiri militant groups, is building several military bases in the country’s eastern provinces of Hadhramaut and al-Mahrah as well as on the Red Sea coast.

Addressing a delegation of tribal leaders from the western Yemeni province of Ibb on Thursday evening, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi said Washington is setting up military installations in eastern Yemen and the country’s southern coastal city of Aden.

He asserted that the Yemeni nation cannot accept Washington’s diktats, warning that the enemies are hell-bent on sowing the seeds of discord and division among people by hook or by crook.

“We must work for security and social stability in Ibb province through compromise and cooperation among local authorities,” the top Yemeni resistance leader told the delegation.

He said the “enemies” have begun to mobilize military reinforcements by taking advantage of the UN-brokered ceasefire, which clearly shows their orientation towards the next stage of the war, and bears testimony to their failure in the previous phase.

“Enemies, having become fairly frustrated with attempts to impose their diktats through ousted Yemeni president Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, have decided to remove him in a humiliating matter,” Houthi said.

“They brought a bunch of criminals, traitors, and thieves to power, and declared them as the leaders of the Yemeni nation. They are actually the picks of outsiders, not Yemenis.”

The leader of the Ansarullah movement further asserted that the Yemeni nation will never accept being under the ominous specter of the United States.

“It is the traitors and mercenaries who would like to prove their servitude to Saudi or Emirati officers,” he said, calling for an immediate end to foreign domination of the Arab country.

Normalization deals with Israel

In other remarks, Houthi pointed to the controversial normalization agreements between the Israeli regime and some Arab countries, describing the process as an opening for the Tel Aviv regime to flex its clout in the Middle East region.

“The parties displaying animosity and military aggression against our nation are the ones that are pushing for the normalization of ties with the Israeli enemy. The enemies’ main goal is to shatter the Yemeni nation’s unity and solidarity, and easily dominate it,” the Ansarullah leader said.

“Yemeni people will continue to tread the path of independence and freedom, and will prevent foreigners from interfering in their domestic affairs.”

Saudi Arabia launched the devastating war on Yemen in March 2015 in collaboration with its Arab allies and with arms and logistics support from the US and other Western states.

The objective was to reinstall the Riyadh-friendly regime of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and crush the Ansarullah resistance movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of a functional government in Yemen.

While the Saudi-led coalition has failed to meet any of its objectives, the war has killed hundreds of thousands of Yemenis and spawned the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

May 20, 2022 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Wars for Israel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Iraqi Parliament Approves First Reading of Anti-Normalization Law

Al-Manar | May 12, 2022

The Iraqi parliament on Wednesday set a date for the first reading of a proposed law “prohibiting normalization and establishing relations with the Zionist entity.”

Well-informed parliamentary sources in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, revealed to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that the committee tasked with preparing a draft law on “criminalizing normalization with the Zionist entity” had finished writing the law.

An official in the legal department of the Iraqi parliament told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that “the law was completed by a legal committee affiliated with the Sadrist bloc in the Parliament, and it includes 10 main articles.” He explained that “the head of the Sadrist bloc in the House of Representatives, Hassan Al-Adhari, is scheduled to hand the law over to the parliament’s presidency, to start the procedures for the first and second readings, before putting it to a vote for approval, after Parliament’s decision to extend the current legislative term for another month.”

The official pointed out that “the most important paragraphs of the law about the criminalization of any kind of political, security, economic, artistic, cultural, sports and scientific cooperation or dealings, and under any activity or title whatsoever, with the Zionist entity.” He added that the law affirms “that Iraq is in a state of war with the occupying power, and all that is issued by individuals, institutions, groups, movements, or parties, that violates this concept, in a way that supports the existence of the occupation, materially or morally, falls within the crimes of high treason that There are sentences between death and life imprisonment, according to the amended Penal Code No. 111 of 1969.

And he indicated that the law also deals with “the prohibition of dealing with companies and institutions that deal with, support or are associated with this entity,” noting that the law “contains important paragraphs about the penalties imposed in case of violation, and there is political consensus to pass it easily.”

May 12, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Sanctions against Russia: Reactions from the Middle East

By Yuriy Zinin – New Eastern Outlook 12.05.2022

The Middle East media have not stopped commenting on recent developments in Ukraine through the prism of their perception in the region. Particular attention is paid to the topic of the sanctions imposed on Moscow and their resonance in the Arab world.

As can be seen, attitudes towards these measures are negative in the region. After all, a number of Arab countries that refused to follow the dictates of the US and the West in their policies have been subjected to sanctions.  Their inhumane nature has damaged the economy, led to the death and suffering of civilians, but has not caused the fall of regimes in Libya, Iraq, Syria. However, Arab lawyers remind that in the case of both the Arabs and Russia, the sanctions are unilateral and contrary to the letter and the spirit of the UN Charter.

Observers see duplicity in the authors of these coercive measures under the pretext of “taking over” Ukraine. They are annoyed that action of this kind has not been taken against Israel in many decades of occupation of Arab lands. They note that the media and politicians immediately rushed to condemn Russia in relation to Ukraine, but have been silent for 19 years on the US-British aggression in Iraq and the results of the disaster it has brought to its people. Those results include the destruction of the infrastructure of that country, the economic and humanitarian losses, the distress and impoverishment of the population, etc.

The headlines in the media – “Why is the world paying the price?”, “The conflict in Ukraine and its impact on our weak peoples”, “Will the Arabs starve?” and others – are telling.  Their authors do not hide their concern about the possible consequences of sanctions against Russia, the shadow of which is being cast over the political landscape in the region and wider world.

The rise in inflation that has plagued Europe is somehow being transferred to the Middle East region, pushing up consumer prices for the population. This exacerbates the external debt of a number of countries, especially where it is high: Egypt and Tunisia.

This year, according to the World Bank, global food prices are at their highest level since they began to be formally recorded 60 years ago. At the same time, the cost of grain has risen by 42% this year and that of sunflower oil by 30%, while energy prices have grown by 50%.

Arab countries are major importers of cereals and food products. Here Egypt leads the way (13 million tonnes per year). These countries meet 63% of their needs for grain, 65% for sugar, 55% for vegetable oil, etc. through imports. Meanwhile, they meet 42% of their grain needs from the Russian Federation and 40% from Ukraine.

Russia is also at the forefront of fertilizer production, especially in nitrogen. Fertilizer prices were already at an all-time high before the conflict erupted, affecting overall food security.

The effects, the Arab Monetary Fund suggests, will affect the Arabs in varying degrees. For example, the region’s oil-producing countries will earn more from the energy they sell in 2022 due to a surge in energy prices following the escalation of events in Ukraine. But they will have to increase the cost of importing foodstuffs, especially grain, as well as industrial products and equipment. Those members of the Arab world that import hydrocarbons will be more affected.

Media reports and analysts have sounded the alarm about supply chain disruptions, failures in the supply of some goods, especially foodstuffs.  General tensions could affect the tourism sector, a source of important foreign exchange earnings in a number of Arab countries. All this has the potential for food shortages, the threat of hunger, volatility due to possible outbreaks of discontent, etc.

A number of local analysts are outraged as to why the region should somehow “pay the bills of hatred” of the West towards Russia. Sanctions are designed to bleed Russia white and set it back, but they also make the world pay the price for the US to remain on the throne as the planet’s sole ruler, even if its allies suffer as a result.

Given the impact of the possible detrimental effects of the anti-Russian sanctions, local experts urge the authorities to monitor the situation and act wisely for the sake of their national interests.

In general, it is not in the interest of the Middle East and its individual states to spoil relations with Moscow, as each country has its own ties to Russia. One way or another, countries in the Middle East interact with the Kremlin and therefore need it, Al-Quds stresses.

Observers refer to the fact that their mutual trade has been growing markedly in recent years. They conclude that the Arabs should move in two directions: increasing trade with Moscow, which exceeded $18 billion in 2021, and following India and China in switching to local currencies. In addition, they advise to take advantage of the departure of American and European companies that are investing in the Russian market. Arab capital has great opportunities to take their place and compete successfully in this Russian market.

Russia is a strategic partner of the Gulf countries when it comes to oil and security issues. In these countries, as partners in the OPEC+ agreement, everyone has an interest in the stability of oil prices on world markets. Therefore, a win for one side at the expense of the other would not serve the interest of the balance sought in the hydrocarbon market, but would only risk increasing chaos in the field.

American politicians should understand, commentators argue, that Russia is an organic part of the OPEC+ alliance which will not oppose Moscow or take any part of its oil exports from the market. The Russian Federation will remain in OPEC even after the Ukrainian crisis is over.

Western attempts to press oil-producing countries to increase hydrocarbon production and exports must be seen in the context of the economic diversification policies implemented by a number of Arabian monarchies. They envisage a shift away from oil and gas dependence, innovation in everyday life, etc.

In recent years, Gulf countries have been implementing modernization programs called Qatar National Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia Vision 2030, and Oman Vision 2040, etc. They are dictated by pragmatic considerations and economic benefits that are emerging in the light of new realities.

Arab countries have been victims of the unipolar world since the end of the Cold War, when the era was marked by the US turning their region into a battle and rivalry field, a Jordanian political scientist believes.

Today, in light of the crisis in Ukraine and the accompanying changes looming, they have a chance to make things right. It is a matter of local players using their large financial, economic and natural resources to diversify politics and international relations more actively. So that as they shift their political navigation towards Russia and China, they can have their own say.

Yury Zinin is a senior researcher at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies of Moscow State Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MGIMO).

May 12, 2022 Posted by | Economics | , , | Leave a comment

Nasrallah: Those pushing for disarmament of Hezbollah want to sell Lebanon to US

Press TV – May 9, 2022

The secretary general of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, speaks in a televised speech broadcast live from the Lebanese capital city of Beirut on May 9, 2022.

The secretary-general of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement has denounced calls by some political parties for the disarmament of the movement in the run-up to next week’s parliamentary elections, saying the demand comes amid those parties’ utter disregard for the worsening economic crisis in the country.

“I want the entire Lebanese nation to know that those who are calling for the disarmament of the resistance are unaware of what the southerners went through since 1948,” Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised speech broadcast live from the Lebanese capital city of Beirut on Monday evening.

“Some political forces have unfortunately turned Hezbollah’s disarmament into the main topic of their electoral campaigns,” Nasrallah said, stressing that the parties that are “pushing for the handover of Hezbollah’s weapons want to sell Lebanon to US and make it susceptible in face of Israel.”

“Those who are calling for Hezbollah’s disarmament disregard its achievements as to liberation of the occupied Lebanese territories and freedom of prisoners” from Israeli detention centers, Nasrallah said.

“Does Israel dare bomb any area in Lebanon today?” Nasrallah asked, attributing the deterrence to the presence of Hezbollah forces.

“We respect the army. It has a national creed as well as competent officers and soldiers. The Lebanese army, however, cannot shoulder the responsibility on its own at the moment, and cannot confront the Israeli enemy alone,” the Hezbollah leader said.

Nasrallah went on to emphasize that his movement is ready to discuss a national defense strategy, because it has “reason and evidence.”

He added that those making demands for Hezbollah’s disarmament have not yet offered “an alternative” in the face of Israeli acts of aggression.

“Who will protect southern Lebanon if the resistance abandons its duties? Hezbollah is the strong force protecting Lebanon today,” Nasrallah said.

He went on to lament that some Lebanese politicians “do not view Israel as an enemy” and do not believe that “the regime has ambitious plans for Lebanon’s territorial waters and gas reserves.”

Nasrallah highlighted that the May 15 parliamentary elections will be a “political war” and that Hezbollah “will practice political resistance in the polls.”

“Those who want to defend Lebanon, extract its oil resources and protect its waters must vote for the resistance and its allies,” he pointed out.

“Some people are saying that they won’t vote for the resistance due to the economic crisis. We tell that the resistance will guarantee extraction of natural gas and crude oil from Lebanon’s territorial waters in order to resolve the crisis,” Nasrallah added.

“Hundreds of billions of dollars are present in our waters,” Nasrallah said of Lebanon’s potential oil and gas reserves.

The Ansarullah chief went on to call on the Lebanese government to start investment in the country’s offshore oil reserves.

Nasrallah said the United States wants Lebanon to recognize Israel, and naturalize the Palestinian and Syrian refugees.

He finally made a reference to the Israeli military’s drills near the border with Lebanon, emphasizing that Hezbollah resistance fighters will not hesitate to respond to any aggression against their homeland.

“We are not afraid of your drills and your deployment. We are the ones who coined the expression ‘Israel is weaker than a spider web’ more than 20 years ago,” Nasrallah concluded.

May 9, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 1 Comment

Does Israel Permit Freedom of Worship?

Palestinian Christians will soon be extinct

By Philip Giraldi | Unz Review | May 3, 2022

A week ago I wrote a piece describing how Israel’s power over the US government is such that no American official will confirm that the Israelis have, and have had for years, a secret nuclear arsenal consisting of as many as 200 nukes. The situation is particularly odd in that the United States is on record as being strongly opposed to nuclear proliferation, except for Israel, and the enriched uranium that was used to create Israel’s bombs as well as the nuclear triggers were stolen and exported illegally from the US. Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself was reportedly involved in the thefts. One lawyer friend has suggested that the reason for the reticence is that under US law by way of the Symington Amendment, no assistance or aid can be given to any country that has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Israel has not signed and also has a widely acknowledged nuclear arsenal. To preserve Israel’s billions of dollars in annual largesse from the US taxpayer, silence over what goes on when the government breaks its own laws must be maintained. Some might consider that a case of pandering to Israel rather than taking steps to enhance United States security, but when it comes to the Jewish state that argument is a non-starter in Washington as Israel always comes first.

This week I am going to describe another aspect of the Zionist state’s policy that has been invisible if one relies on the mainstream media or the chattering magpies that occupy Capitol Hill and the White House. That is the ongoing elimination of Christianity in the region where it was born being carried out by Israel and its friends. The United States has been the enabler of much of the change in spite of the prevalence of self-described devout Christians in Congress, many of whom ironically are vocal and even enthusiastic supporters of Israeli “security” policies. Killing Palestinians is all too often justified in Congress and the White House with the meaningless expression “Israel has a right to defend itself.”

American power wielded on behalf of Israel has already destroyed a thriving Christian community in Iraq while still laboring to do the same in Syria and possibly even Lebanon. At Christianity’s very birthplace, in what was once Palestine, Israel has been engaged in making the lives of Palestinian so miserable that they frequently choose to emigrate. Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion famously declared in a letter to his son that “We must expel the Arabs and take their places…” and he exploited massacres of unarmed civilians carried out by the Haganah to create terror to accomplish that end. Since that time, Israel has refused to allow Palestinians driven from their homes by the 1948 fighting to return, has destroyed more than 400 Arab villages and confiscated other Palestinian properties, has appropriated additional land and water resources for its illegal settlements, has allowed armed settlers to destroy Palestinians crops and other forms of livelihood, and controlled Palestinian movements through a network of Jews only roads and numerous checkpoints. Even Palestinians who happen to be Israeli citizens are legally and in practice treated like second-class citizens with limited rights. There are more than 60 laws in Israel that discriminate against non-Jews while Israel now legally defines itself as a Jewish state. Israel has also imprisoned without any trial thousands of West Bank and Jerusalem Palestinians, including children, and shot dead hundreds more.

I could go on, but the point is that Israel wants Palestinians gone, a process that has particularly impacted on the Christian community. It has not been done by ethnic cleansing in the classic sense after the initial Nakba massacres and appropriations in 1948, but rather accomplished by creating incentives to leave. And it has been successful. At the end of the Second World War, an estimated one third of the Palestinian population identified as Christian, but the percentage is currently closer to 9% and continuing to decline. The numbers suggest that Christians in the former Palestine are verging on extinction. In fact, Christians have been able to become disproportionately emigrants from their homeland because they more frequently than Muslims have family already established in Europe and the US and have also been able to rely on networking through their churches for resettlement assistance in a new country.

Even by the wretched standards of the past 70 years, Israel’s seeking a “final solution” with the Palestinians recently has become particularly outrageous, focusing as it does on loosening their ties to their religious and cultural institutions while also destroying their livelihoods and appropriating their properties.

Hardly reported in the US media was the use of new Israeli imposed security restrictions to disrupt this year’s Palestinian Christian Orthodox Easter celebrations of Christ’s Resurrection at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. This comes on top of similar police action to support the usual crowd of rampaging settlers and other Jewish extremists at the most recent Ramadan services held by Palestinian Muslims at the al-Aqsa Mosque, which included using a drone to fire tear gas at worshipers.

What took place during Holy Week and more particularly on Easter Sunday has been described by Rod Dreher, who writes for The American Conservative. I will confess that I do not much like Dreher as he is fond of celebrating himself in everything he writes, full of navel gazing and smug sanctimonious twaddle, but as he was a participant and eye witness to what occurred his account is of necessity extremely valuable. To be sure, he makes it clear that readers understand that he is not criticizing Israelis in general, nor is he engaging in anything objectionable to Jewish sensitivities when he includes himself in how “we American Christians, especially those who support Israel,” also as “an American who cares about Israel,” and who refers to “my Israeli Jewish friends” and then goes on to assert “I condemn anti-Semitism unreservedly. Criticizing the Jewish settlers and official Israeli policy does not constitute anti-Semitism” before concluding that “most Israeli Jews wouldn’t support these hate-filled radical settlers.”

Actually, the US and other governments as well as many states do believe that criticism of Israel is anti-Semitism as defined by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. And, depending on how the question is phrased many, possibly most Jews worldwide, support firm action against Muslims in particular, who are routinely described in the media and by the Israeli government as “terrorists.” Rod clearly understands that it is a bad idea to veer into areas that Jews are uncomfortable with as they can be surprisingly sensitive and unreasonably reactive to perceived slights. No need to bite the hand that feeds you, as one might put it, particularly if one wants to stay employed.

Dreher reports how he was “staying at a hotel inside the Old City, where I was advised to book a room out of fear that the Jerusalem police would not let Christians into the Old City on Holy Saturday. This turns out to have been very good advice.” Holy Saturday for Orthodox Christians features a “miracle” of the Holy Fire, which is believed to be the first sign of the Resurrection of Jesus. Normally, at 11 am, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher opens and is quickly packed with believers. After noon, the Greek Patriarch the “little house” built directly over the tomb of Christ, prays, and what is referred to as “divine energy” descends from heaven to light the Patriarch’s candles, the flames from which are shared with everyone present. He then emerges and passes the flame to everyone there.

Dreher and a friend reportedly left their hotel early to pray but when they arrived at the end of the street at the Jaffa Gate, two Jewish police officers refused to allow them to pass out of the Old City, warning that if they left they might not be able to come back in. They then walked over to an access point to the Jaffa Gate, and witnessed a large group of Christians behind a barrier on the other side, blocked from entering into the Old City where the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is situated. Dreher observed that at the same time Orthodox Jews wearing white prayer shawls, entered freely into the Old City on their way to the Western Wall to pray on the Jewish Sabbath. Later that morning, Dreher was only allowed to pass into the Church of the Holy Sepulcher because he had obtained a ticket to the “fire” service. The tickets, to control and limit attendance at the church was an innovation by the Israeli police. The Patriarch objected, observing that tickets had never before been required. The tickets allowed entry of only 1,800 worshipers in the church, which normally accommodates 10,000, a reduction of 82% of the faithful permitted to be in attendance on the highest of all holy days.

An Anglican priest from Virginia who spoke to Dreher at the service described that morning’s experience this way: “Police checkpoints were at every corner. Even when we reached the private property of the Greek Patriarchate, police had taken over there as well. They actually turned back nearly a dozen Consuls General and other diplomatic representatives, including ones from the United States. We had to take an alternative route to get inside. If that was the way it worked for VIPs, imagine you’re a local Palestinian Christian simply trying to worship on the holiest of Christian holidays inside the church built over the very Tomb of Christ.”

At issue are demands by radical Jewish groups, most notably the extremist Jewish settlers’ organization Ateret Cohanim, a type of Jewish Taliban, to “cleanse” Jerusalem of all non-Jews. They have been aggressively buying or otherwise occupying properties in and around the traditional Christian and Muslim quarters of the city and often use violence when they are resisted by local residents. Christians, unlike the Muslim community, notably do not tend to resort to violence in support of their property or civic rights even though recourse to the Israeli courts is useless as the judges have consistently sided with the settlers and police.

In Jerusalem there have been regular instances of verbal abuse, vandalism and spitting on Christian clergy, as well as sporadic violent assaults. In the Armenian Christian quarter a monk reports how “[The settlers] destroy the tires of our cars, graffiti ‘death to Christians’, break windows, they desecrate our cemetery, you know… ugly things, and it’s really invasive.” Some Christians have pointed to what happened to the former St John’s Hospice near the Jaffa Gate as a prime example of what the Christian churches fear could happen across the quarter. The building’s lintel still shows the tau-phi monogram of the Greek Patriarchate but in 1990, this pilgrims’ hostel was illegally occupied by Ateret Cohanim, and now the vast building is covered with multiple Israeli flags and houses violent armed Israeli settlers. The local Christians Dreher talked to “believe that this is part of a settler plot to choke off access to Christian holy sites within the city, and force Christians out.”

The Israeli authorities tend to ignore the settler activity as they have powerful supporters, including from the diaspora community in the US and some Evangelicals who help to fund them. Ateret Cohanim’s 2010 annual gathering featured as guest speaker no less than John Bolton and the Kushner Family Foundation has reportedly helped finance its activities. In addition, Israel’s religious conservative parties are a necessary component in the coalition government and their extreme behavior is tolerated and even aided and abetted on the sly. Nor will secular Jews stand up for their Christian brothers in Israel in enough numbers to matter. Also, many Israelis believe that increasingly hardline radical Jewish groups are actually the future of Israel based on demographic trends. All excuses aside, clearly enough of the ruling elite in America, and in Israel, support the radical settlers, or none of this would be happening.

And the situation is little better for Christians in Palestine outside Jerusalem. A Franciscan monk visitor to a monastery outside of the city reported how the Israeli authorities had cut off water to the building while the missionaries themselves were verbally abused and had rocks and other debris hurled at them by settlers. In Bethlehem, a Christian gift shop was deliberately put out of business after nearby Jewish settlements were allowed to erect walls blocking access to it. Other attacks on Christians have included a June 2015 arson incident at the Church of the Multiplication and a nearby Benedictine monastery in Tabgha, located 120 miles north of Jerusalem. The church is built on the site where Christ fed the 5,000 through the multiplication of loaves and fishes. The attackers left Hebrew graffiti on the walls, reading “all idols will be smashed.” In 2014 occurred vandalization of a Romanian Orthodox church, the Benedictine Abbey of the Dormition, and Catholic offices in Jerusalem, as well as a monastery in Beit Shemesh. The year before, more than 20 Christian sites of the Latin Patriarchate were attacked by vandals. And in 2012, a Trappist monastery in Latroun was subject to arson and graffiti, while the Convent of St. Francis on Mt. Zion was vandalized. Non-Jews in Bethlehem and on the West Bank meanwhile live under a system of Israeli military laws and check points established by government order number 101. In Hebron, non-Jews living on Jewish-only streets cannot even walk out their front doors and they are regularly bombarded by feces and other waste hurled down upon them by the settlers.

Israel’s anti-Christian policies are international and includes support of groups the US has called terrorists. Israel has given money and weapons to the jihadists fighting against Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, which includes al-Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda affiliate. Wounded jihadists even have crossed into Israel to received hospital treatment. Once, ISIS accidentally fired into Israel and then publicly apologized. Israel is intent on removing al-Assad, which will lead to an exodus of Christians from Syria, similar to what took place in neighboring Iraq after US forces deposed Saddam Hussein.

There is a certain irony in how the United States doggedly pursues China over its alleged maltreatment of the Uighurs while at the same time rewarding and protecting Israel even though it spies relentlessly on the US and very clearly persecutes Palestinians. Dreher asks the question why the US government, which gives Israel multiple billions of dollars a year, cannot stop Israel’s de facto official punishment of its Christians. The answer is at least in part simple, that most American Christians do not care about the plight of their co-religionists in the Middle East. Millions of true-blue Christians not unlike Dreher, many weaned on the Scofield Bible and its dispensationalism, and many of whom wind up in government or other positions of power, choose to disengage from the problem, accepting that Jews are the “chosen people” of God and, for some, part of End Time prophecy. They are therefore to be given a pass by both the media and government on all their exclusivism and bad behavior even as they meddle in US politics and work to hobble freedom of speech by criminalizing anyone who criticizes Israel or supports Palestinians by urging a boycott against it. Until all that changes, if it even can happen, Christians in the so-called Holy Land will be on the chopping block and when the churches and monasteries no longer have a community to sustain them, it will be the end of Christianity in the place where it was born. And more’s the pity, the United States will have played a major role in enabling that to happen.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

May 3, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 8 Comments

IRGC chief: Resistance sole way to liberation of Palestine

Press TV – April 28, 2022

Chief Commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Hossein Salami says negotiations and accords brokered by the United States only aim to buy time for Israel, and weaken the Palestinian resistance front.

The senior commander made the remarks in a televised address to a ceremony in Gaza City on Thursday, on the eve of International Quds Day.

“The so-called peace treaties like the Camp David Accords, the Oslo Accords, the Sharm El Sheikh Memorandum etc have never been and will never be able to result in the liberation of Palestine.

“All such accords, which former US presidents, [former Israeli prime ministers Ehud] Olmert, [Benjamin] Netanyahu, Yitzhak Shamir and Yitzhak Rabin tried to seal, as well as the deal of century are nothing but deception and a conspiracy to marginalize jihad, weaken the resistance front, buy time and obliterate the awareness of the nations,” he stated.

He underscored that Palestinian people have come to realize that they will not achieve their goals except through resistance and struggle in the path of God (jihad).

Salami described the recent developments in the occupied Palestinian territories as a sign of the Israeli regime’s brutality and the strength of resistance groups, stressing that Palestinian resistance fighters have reinforced the Muslim Ummah and changed the balance of power in the region.

The IRGC chief hailed International Quds Day as a gift from Imam Khomeini, the late founder of the Islamic Republic in Iran, stating that the designation of the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan for the event made Palestine a top priority for the entire Muslim world.

“Palestinian people are close to victory as the Zionist enemy is growing weaker. Weakness inside the Zionist entity is evident in its politics, economy and security apparatus, he said.

“All Muslims around the world are united with Palestinians in the struggle against the Israeli regime. Al-Quds and al-Aqsa Mosque are symbols of unity among Muslims in support of Palestinians,” Salami pointed out.

IRGC: Events herald Israel’s imminent end

Earlier, the IRGC said current developments in the occupied Palestinian territories show that the demise of Israel is imminent and the regime is doomed to end very soon.

“Recent developments, particularly the fact that the flames of Intifada (uprising) have passed through the inner walls of the regime, suggest that the Tel Aviv regime’s days are numbered and occupiers of holy al-Quds are quickly nearing their end,” the force said in a statement released on the eve of International Quds Day.

It lauded the decision by Imam Khomeini to designate the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan as International Quds Day, describing the prudent initiative and historic move as a novel phenomenon and a source of pride for the Iranian nation to play an effective role in supporting the oppressed Palestinian nation.

The IRGC underlined that free and justice-seeking nations have joined forces more than ever to support the oppressed Palestinians, the Palestinian cause and the liberation of al-Quds.

“Zionists thought they could consign the Palestinian issue and the cause of al-Quds to oblivion by following satanic schemes such as the so-called ‘Deal of the Century’ and normalization of ties with some Arab countries. They were, however, wrong and their dream of sustainable and permanent security has now been broken,” the statement read.

The statement further stressed that the discourse of resistance and support for Palestine states that an end to the Israeli occupation, expulsion of occupiers, return of Palestinian refugees and free elections are the only solution to the Palestinian issue.

The IRGC went on to term any concession, including normalization of ties with the child-killing regime of Israel as an act of treason, emphasizing such bids are doomed to failure.

Hamas official: Normalization with Israel a crime

Meanwhile, a high-ranking official from the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement said the Arab states that have normalized diplomatic ties with the Israeli regime have not only committed a grave crime against Palestinians but also their own peoples.

Khalil al-Hayya, a member of the Hamas political bureau and the deputy chief in the Gaza Strip, made the remarks in an exclusive interview with Iran’s English-language Press TV television news network on Thursday ahead of International Quds Day.

Hayya slammed normalization with Israel as the regime kills Palestinian civilians, including women and children, in cold blood.

He stressed that establishment of relations with Israel only serves the best interests of the United States and the Tel Aviv regime.

The senior Hamas official said Palestinians are a nation under occupation and reserve the right to defend themselves against Israeli occupiers.

Hayya also condemned Israeli forces’ attacks against Palestinian worshippers at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied Old City of al-Quds.

He said Palestinians are always ready to defend the holy place, warning that Israeli officials are seeking to alter its true image by preventing Palestinians from entering the site.

April 29, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , | Leave a comment

Russian airlines told to prepare to fly without GPS

Samizdat | April 22, 2022

Russia’s air traffic regulator has told carriers to learn to fly their planes without relying on the American Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite-based-navigation facility, newspaper Izvestia reported on Friday.

According to the letter from the regulator, Rosaviatsia, which was seen by the paper, it has instructed national airlines to prepare to cope without GPS after a March report by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which warned of increased cases of jamming and spoofing of the system’s signal after February 24 – the day Russia started its military offensive in Ukraine.

These were apparently registered in such areas as Russia’s western enclave, the Kaliningrad Region, the Baltics, eastern Finland, the Black Sea, the eastern Mediterranean, Israel, Cyprus, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey and northern Iran.

The interference has led to some planes changing their course or destination as the pilots were unable to perform a safe landing without the GPS, EASA has reportedly said.

According to Rosaviatsia, carriers should evaluate the risks of GPS malfunction and provide additional training to its pilots on how to act in such situations. The crews have also reportedly been told to instantly inform traffic control about any problems with a satellite navigation system.

The letter from the agency should be treated as a recommendation only and doesn’t constitute a ban on the use of GPS by the Russian airlines, the paper clarified.

Several Russian carriers, including major ones like Aeroflot and S7, have confirmed receiving a relevant message from the traffic regulator. However, they insisted that they didn’t encounter any problems with GPS over the past two months.

Rosaviatsia later clarified that “disconnection from GPS or its disruption won’t affect flight safety in Russia.”

The GPS signal isn’t the only source of information about the location of a plane at any given moment. Crews can also rely on the aircraft’s inertial navigation system, as well as ground-based navigation and landing systems, the agency said.

Last month, Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, warned that Washington may well disconnect the country from GPS as part of draconian sanctions imposed on it over the conflict in Ukraine.

On Friday, Rogozin took to Telegram to propose switching all of the country’s commercial planes from GPS to its Russian counterpart, Glonass.

However, it might be a complicated thing to do as Boeing and Airbus planes, mainly used by the country’s carriers, are designed to solely support the GPS technology.

April 22, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , | 8 Comments

World food prices hit new high – UN

Samizdat | April 10, 2022

Global food prices surged to a historic high last month on grain and edible oil supply woes brought about by the conflict in Ukraine, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Friday.

“World food commodity prices made a significant leap in March to reach their highest levels ever, as war in the Black Sea region spread shocks through markets for staple grains and vegetable oils,” the FAO said in a statement.

The FAO’s food price index rose by 12.6% to a record 159.3 points in March against February’s high of 141.4 points, “making a giant leap to a new highest level since its inception in 1990.” The index represents a measure of the monthly change in international prices of a basket of food commodities.

The current surge includes new all-time highs for vegetable oils, cereals, and meats, the agency said, noting that prices of sugar and dairy products “also rose significantly.”

The FAO also recently warned that food and feed prices could further jump by up to 20% as a result of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and lead to a surge in global malnourishment.

Russia and Ukraine are the globe’s largest exporters of wheat, corn, barley, and sunflower oil. Ukrainian exports have been stalled, and sanctions placed on Russia may affect its own deliveries as Black Sea ports used to ship grain remain blocked. Industry analysts fear the planting season in Ukraine may also be affected by the current crisis.

The situation could lead to famine and food rioting in poor countries, especially in Africa, the head of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, warned earlier this month. She specified that food imports from the Black Sea region were crucial for the survival of 35 African nations.

Meanwhile, the FAO also lowered the projection of global wheat production in 2022 to 784 million tons from last month’s forecast of 790 million, citing the possibility that at least 20% of Ukraine’s winter crop area would not be harvested. It also cut its forecast of global cereals trade in the current marketing year due to disruptions in Black Sea exports. The agency noted, however, that larger exports from India, the EU, Argentina and the US could somewhat offset the trend.

April 10, 2022 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , , | 1 Comment

UK plans to designate Yemen’s Houthis as terrorists risk disaster warns aid agencies

MEMO | April 3, 2022

The British government’s plans to designate Yemen’s Houthi movement as a terrorist group risk worsening the humanitarian crisis in the country, leading aid agencies have warned in a letter to cabinet ministers.

According to a report yesterday by The Guardian, 11 British aid agencies, including Save the Children, Care, the International Rescue Committee and Islamic Relief sent the letter upon being informed that Home Secretary Priti Patel was pushing for the designation under the Terrorism Act as part of a review of British policy in Yemen.

There are fears that the move, described as a “blunt tool” could hamper aid efforts in the country, already on the brink of famine, as international banks and companies that import food, medicines and fuel could be impacted by terrorism laws, especially as the Houthi-led, de-facto government based in Sanaa control the most densely populated areas in the north.

“The likely ‘chilling effect’ on banks and other commercial actors could prove catastrophic for the millions of Yemenis already at risk from hunger, conflict and disease,” the letter stated.

“Grain importers and banks told humanitarian agencies they are unsure if they will be able to continue supplying Yemen if the UK proceeds with proscription of Ansar Allah,” the aid agencies explained, referring to the formal name of the Houthi group.

“[If] banks were to refuse transfers because of UK proscription, this would likely have a serious impact on remittances, which are a lifeline for 500,000 Yemeni families. Up to one in 10 Yemenis rely on remittances to meet their essential needs. They are the biggest source of foreign exchange into the country, making up 20% of the country’s GDP. More than 100,000 Yemenis living in the UK would no longer be able to support their loved ones.”

However, the plans have received the support of some of the Gulf states, especially Saudi Arabia and the UAE who have been hit by cross-border attacks by the Houthis. Both are joint-leaders of the Arab coalition which militarily intervened in the country in 2015 at the request of the internationally-recognised Yemeni government following the fall of Sanaa to the Houthi forces and their military allies the year before.

Last year the Houthis were listed as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation towards the end of former US President Donald Trump’s administration, which was condemned by human rights groups at the time who warned it could further exacerbate the humanitarian crisis. However, President Joe Biden formally delisted the movement amid announcements that the US would end its support for the Saudi-led war. Earlier this year, Biden said he would consider relisting the Houthis as a terrorist group and it has become a source of tensions between Washington and its Gulf allies, Saudi and the UAE.

April 3, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Subjugation - Torture, Wars for Israel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel to send military attache to Bahrain soon, says envoy after Negev summit with Arab states

Press TV – March 29, 2022

Israel will “soon” appoint a military attache to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet headquarters in Bahrain, says the Israeli ambassador to Manama, as diplomats from the Persian Gulf country and three other Arab states attend a meeting in the Negev desert in occupied Palestine.

“This will happen soon – an attache to the fleet,” Eitan Naeh told Israel’s Army Radio. “It is in the midst of various bureaucratic processes. I reckon that, by the summer, we will have a fuller staff, along with other officials who will join the embassy.”

Last month, the Israeli minister of military affairs, Benny Gantz, visited the US fleet in Bahrain and met with its commander, Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, and Bahraini naval commanders.

Bahrain, a tiny island in the Persian Gulf and a former Iranian province, is some 300 kilometers to the south of the coastal Iranian province of Bushehr, which hosts a key nuclear power plant.

In Tehran, an Israeli presence so close to the Bushehr nuclear site is deemed a threat to the country’s national security, as the regime in Tel Aviv has in the past covertly carried out acts of sabotage against Iran’s nuclear facilities and assassinated Iranian scientists while overtly threatening to launch attacks on Iran’s nuclear program.

On Sunday, top diplomats from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Morocco, Bahrain, Egypt, the United States, and Israel met in the Negev desert to press ahead with a US-brokered normalization of relations between the Arab states and the Israeli regime.

Egypt was the first Arab country to have diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv, while the UAE and Bahrain reached normalization agreements with Israel in 2020 through the mediation of former US President Donald Trump’s administration.

Morocco and Sudan later reached similar US-brokered deals, which have been roundly condemned by Palestinians as a brazen betrayal of their cause.

US, Israel launch naval exercise

Also on Sunday, the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet and the Israeli Navy launched a 10-day maritime exercise in the Red Sea.

The drill, dubbed Intrinsic Defender, focuses on maritime security operations, explosive ordnance disposal, health topics, and unmanned systems integration.

Over 300 American personnel as well as US Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67), dry cargo ship USNS Wally Schirra (T-AKE 8), and various unmanned vessels are also scheduled to participate in the exercise.

The drill comes amid Washington’s diminishing role in the region, including its withdrawal from Afghanistan and a change in its role in Iraq from military to advisory under the pressure of Iraqi resistance groups.

The US military is also expected to be expelled from Syria, where it has retained an illegal military presence throughout a foreign-sponsored conflict that began in 2011.

Observers believe Washington is scaling down its presence in the Middle East to focus on a large-scale confrontation with China, which is poised to soon overtake the US economically.

March 29, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

US resets the containment of Iran

BY M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | INDIAN PUNCHLINE | MARCH 28, 2022

The summit of Arab diplomats on March 27-28 hosted by Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid in the southern Negev Desert is doubtless a landmark event. The UAE’s Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Bahrain’s Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, Morocco’s Nasser Bourita, and Egypt’s Sameh Shoukry are the Arab participants, while the visiting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken becomes the sole “extra-regional” participant.

The expectation that more West Asian countries would join the Abraham Accords failed to materialise, but the security and military ties between Israel, UAE, Bahrain — and Saudi Arabia behind the curtain — have deepened. Egypt also joins the nascent partnership.

There is much symbolism surrounding the venue of the Arab-Israeli summit: Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, lived at Sde Boker and he is buried there, overlooking the Zin wilderness. Lapid hopes to take his guests to visit the gravesite.

To be sure, wherever Blinken goes, the agenda would include Ukraine conflict and he is sure to make a pitch for isolating Russia and urge his Arab interlocutors to join Western efforts in support of Ukraine, but it has had limited success even with his Israeli hosts, much less so with the US’ Arab allies.

For a variety of reasons, Israel is wary of antagonising Russia (although under US pressure it set up a field hospital inside Ukrainian territory to treat those injured by Russian forces and has also sent several shipments of humanitarian supplies to the war zone.) Israel has refused repeated requests from Kiev for weapons.

Israel also opted out of imposing sanctions against Russian oligarchs. This rankles the Biden administration. The acerbic tongue of US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland lashed out during a Channel 12 interview, “You (Israel) don’t want to become the last haven for dirty money that’s fuelling Putin’s wars.”

Israel ignored her barb. Israel sought a mediatory role in the conflict initially but lately stepped back, and, at any rate , Russia does not really need mediators to bring this conflict to an end once its special operation is successfully concluded. On the whole, Israel tries to walk a tightrope to maintain good relations with both Ukraine and Russia. 

As for Gulf states, they do not even pretend to take a neutral stance. None of them has rallied to the western call to impose sanctions against Russia. The foreign ministers of Qatar and the UAE visited Moscow recently to discuss expansion of bilateral relations. 

The crux of the matter is that the major oil producing countries of the Gulf would have congruence of interests with Russia to preserve OPEC+ not only to maintain their present income level, but also are in anticipation of the lifting of US sanctions against Iran leading to full flow of Iranian crude back into the global oil markets.

The point is, Iran remains a great oil power, with an estimated 157 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves, nearly 10 percent of the world’s total and 13 percent of those held by the OPEC. Its habitation within the OPEC+ is an absolute must for all oil producing countries. Now, Russia has a major role to play to leverage both short-term and longer-term bearish effects of Iran’s entry on global oil prices.

Experts estimate that Iran could see an 80 percent recovery of full oil production within six months and a 100 percent recovery within 12 months, and in the immediate terms, once sanctions are lifted, its overnight impact may already manifest as a 5-10 percent fall in the oil prices. 

Nonetheless, Ukraine conflict aside, the real significance of the Israel-Arab diplomatic summit in the Negev Desert should be sought somewhere else. Prima facie, it is a diplomatic coup for Israel, as its efforts to integrate into the Arab family are making progress. What lends enchantment to the view is that this bucks the overall trend of the US’ regional influence in West Asia.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s accent on diplomacy to win friends and influence neighbours is proving productive and Israel is no longer depending on the US to cut new paths for it to navigate as a regional state. This is a paradigm shift. 

Principally, Israel taps into the angst in the Arab world that Iran is poised to surge as a regional power very shortly and the future trajectory of Iranian policies remain unclear. In fact, this is the leitmotif of the diplomatic event in the Negev Desert. 

In immediate terms, Israel and the Arab states believe that the intensifying drone attacks by the Houthis lately is only possible with the help and even participation by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which provides missiles, rockets, drones, intelligence equipment and training. They apprehend that Iran’s resistance politics are signalling a new cutting edge, as the recent missile strike on alleged Israeli assets in Erbil in northern Iraq showed.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE have been depending on US-made anti-missile defences, mainly the Patriot systems, but their performance so far has been less than satisfactory. Thus, a stunning idea has taken shape lately in the nature of building an architecture of “joint air defences” between Israel, the UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. 

After all, Israel has the expertise in developing a multi-layered air defence system devolving upon the famous Iron Dome, David’s Sling systems (which can intercept missiles up to 200km away) and Arrow batteries, which are capable of intercepting and destroying long-range missiles at ranges of up to 2,000km, including ballistic missiles. The three layers of Israeli systems are integrated and assisted by advanced radars and other early warnings equipment. 

Interestingly, coincidence or not, the Israeli air defences are also linked to a powerful American radar, stationed in the Negev Desert which is where the Arab diplomats from Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE have gathered for the 2-day event.

Blinken’s mission at the summit is principally to get the regional allies accustomed to the imminent conclusion of the negotiations at Vienna leading to the removal of US sanctions against Iran. The Biden administration is yet to take the plunge on lifting the designation of the IRGC as a “Foreign Terrorist Organisation”. The US’s regional allies, especially Israel, have opposed such a move tooth and nail. 

But the US has a sense of urgency about Iran’s increased oil output entering the world market. That said, however, Washington’s containment policy against Iran is not going to be mothballed. Rather, it will continue in a newer form. In fact, the lifting of sanctions without any reciprocal assurances from Tehran as regards its regional policies necessitates that the containment strategy will have to remain as the US’ geopolitical tool for the foreseeable future.  

The Arab-Israeli summit with Blinken’s participation underscores that the US-Iran entanglement is being reset. There is no question that the JCPOA is of vital importance to check Iran’s nuclear programme. Israel also tends to go along with that thinking lately. The Abraham Accords is providing the foundation for a new US-backed security architecture in West Asia to counter Iran.

March 28, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , | 2 Comments

Israel’s balancing act in Ukraine is likely to backfire

By Ramzy Baroud | MEMO | March 24, 2022

Israel’s balancing act in the Russia-Ukraine war is likely to falter soon, simply because the resulting NATO-Russia conflict is expected to last for years, not weeks or months. Eventually, Israel would have to make a choice. Alas, whatever that choice may be, Israel will stand to lose.

From the first day of the war, Israel somehow became involved. Top Israeli officials, including the country’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, began calling their Ukrainian and Russian counterparts. Initially, some in the media surmised that Israel is concerned because of the large Jewish populations in both Ukraine and Russia.

However, the headlines quickly moved on, with terms such as ‘Israeli oligarchs‘, ‘Jewish oligarchs‘, and other combinations of Israel-friendly oligarchs dominating the news. Business interests quickly began replacing the supposed concern over the safety and welfare of ordinary Ukrainians.

The latter fact was demonstrated in a most tragic way when Israeli Channel 12 reported, on 10 March, that many Ukrainian refugees were “stuck at Ben Gurion Airport, facing cold and callous treatment”.

Israeli hypocrisy reared its ugly head once more on 26 February, when Israeli Minister of Aliyah and Integration, Pnina Tamano-Shata, said in a statement, “We call on the Jews of Ukraine to immigrate to Israel – your home.”

It is obvious that Israel does not care about the welfare of Ukrainians or, frankly, Ukrainian Jews either. After all, these newcomers to Israel would eventually be incorporated into the country’s illegal settlement enterprises. We know this from history and particularly from the history of the migration of Russian Jews to Israel, who arrived in their hundreds of thousands in the early 1990s. Not only do many of them now reside in illegal Jewish settlements, but to some extent, they also represent the backbone of some of Israel’s far-right political parties, the likes of Avigdor Lieberman‘s Yisrael Beiteinu.

Aside from the fact that a country moving its residents to an occupied territory is a stark violation of international law, it is also a violation of the rights of these vulnerable refugees, who will be expected to live in another war zone in the service of Israel’s Zionist ideology.

It is unfortunate, but typical that Israel finds opportunities to bolster its settler colonial model in occupied Palestine by exploiting the tragedies of other societies to its advantage. It has done so many times in the past: in Ethiopia, following the famine in 1984, in Russia, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, and in France, following the Paris terrorist attacks in 2015.

While France was still trying to fathom the enormity of its tragedy when 130 people were killed in broad daylight on 13 November, 2015, then Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on French Jews to move to Israel. “Of course, Jews deserve protection in every country, but we say to Jews, to our brothers and sisters: Israel is your home,” he said.

Shamelessly, Israel finds tragedies as political opportunities worth exploiting. While this quality is not unique to Israel – the Russia-Ukraine war has also exposed the opportunism of other countries around the world – Israel’s exploitation is doubly shameful as it hopes that war-torn Ukraine would help it sustain its own war waged against the Palestinian people.

However, serious cracks in the Israeli balancing acts are already on display. On 11 March, US Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Victoria Nuland called on Israel to join sanctions against Russia. “We’re asking as many countries as we can to join us. We’re asking that of Israel as well,” she said.

Understandably, much of that pressure is coming from the Ukrainian government itself. Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly called on Israel to reciprocate for the Ukrainian support of Israel during its genocidal wars on the Palestinians. Indeed, Zelensky has taken every opportunity to express his solidarity with Israel in the past, even though Palestinians were the ones dying in their thousands.

“The sky of Israel is strewn with missiles. Some cities are on fire. There are victims. Many wounded. Many human tragedies,” the Ukrainian President tweeted on 12 May, 2021. Even during his inauguration speech in May 2019, Zelensky did not forget to bring Israel into his budding political discourse. “We must become Icelanders in soccer, Israelis in defending our land, Japanese in technology,” he said.

Still, aside from the occasional lip service, Israel insisted on remaining largely neutral. Analysts have explained the Israeli position in terms of Israel’s concern over Russia’s possible retaliation in Syria, for example, by allowing Iran greater geopolitical access to Syria that may compromise Israel’s ‘security.’ Others cited Israel’s deep financial interests, especially through the aforementioned oligarchs. Whatever the reasons may be, pressure is mounting on Israel to completely abandon its interests in Russia in favour of fully supporting Ukraine.

On 20 March, Zelensky upped the ante when he gave a speech at the Israeli Knesset. Not only did the Ukrainian President ask for Israel to provide Ukraine with an Iron Dome similar to the one that Tel Aviv uses to intercept Palestinian resistance rockets, he went much further, by infusing the Holocaust, an extremely sensitive discourse that only Israeli officials are allowed to use – and, indeed, manipulate – to silence any criticism of Israel internationally.

“The Nazis called this ‘the final solution to the Jewish question,'” Zelensky said. “And now, in Moscow, (…) they’re using those words, ‘the final solution’. But now, it’s directed against us and the Ukrainian question.”

For the Ukrainian President, although himself Jewish, to dare strike such a historical parallel to serve his country’s interests outraged many Israelis. “I admire the Ukraine president and support the Ukrainian people in heart and deed, but the terrible history of the Holocaust cannot be rewritten,” Israeli Communications Minister, Yoaz Hendel, tweeted. Many others joined in, in Israel and the US, attacking Zelenky’s supposed audacity.

Aside from its fear that injecting the Holocuast as part of Ukraine’s anti-Russian discourse could deprive Israel from its monopoly over the use and misuse of that historic tragedy, the Israeli official response to Zelensky also further exposed Israel’s stance on the war as defensive, suspicious and uncertain.

As the war rages on, Israel’s balancing act is becoming increasingly unsustainable. By allying fully with Ukraine, Israel could find itself at risk of losing Russia’s somewhat tolerant position pertaining to Israel’s ‘security’ in Syria and throughout the Middle East. Israel could also likely find itself at odds with Russia’s allies and semi-allies in China, India and other Asian countries. However, taking Russia’s side, a less likely scenario, means a break up of Israel’s historic alliance with its main benefactors in Washington and other European capitals.

As the world is likely to splinter among various power camps, Israel will find itself torn between its interests in the West, on the one hand, and the massive, emerging markets in the East, on the other. Though the West’s margin for tolerance when it comes to Israel by far exceeds its patience with other countries, it is only a matter of time before Israel will be expected to make a clean break from Russia and its economic, political and military interests that are tied to Moscow. When that happens, the geopolitical balance of power in the Middle East will likely shift against Israel, a scenario that would become even more difficult for Tel Aviv, if Iran manages to negotiate a return to the nuclear deal with the US and its western allies.

Though from the onset, Israel attempted to exploit the Russia-Ukraine war to its advantage, future scenarios are quite bleak for Tel Aviv.

March 24, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | 1 Comment