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UAE, Bahrain, Israel ‘Abraham Accords’ should be renamed ‘Benjamin Accords’

By Robert Inlakesh – Press TV – October 22, 2020

The first UAE delegation, since the signing of its infamous normalization deal, traveled to Ben-Gurion airport yesterday, in order to secure trade deals with Israel. Amongst deals regarding travel between the two sides and a pipeline deal, Israel, the US and the UAE also agreed to set up a 3 billion dollar investment fund, headquartered in Jerusalem (al-Quds).

Dubbed by media pundits throughout the Western media as a “peace deal”, the so-called “Abraham Accords” have proven to bear the fruits of economic prosperity, instead of sowing the seeds for peace. It is obvious at this point that the official reasons, according to the United Arab Emirates, the US and Israel, for having signed the deal were a farce, it was not about peace but rather about the Benjamins (slang for currency).

Upon the announcement from the UAE that it was to normalize ties with Israel, the narrative was spun from their side that Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, would halt going forward on his campaign promise to annex the West Bank, in return for “peace” with the UAE.

However, Netanyahu instantly positioned himself in front of all available cameras and stated that to the contrary Israel will continue with its annexation. Despite this, it seems that Netanyahu was never truly interested in a de jure annexation of the West Bank and had failed to deliver by the promised date he had set forth to begin accomplishing the task.

Benjamin Netanyahu had won an election, campaigning on the promise of annexation, but had failed and was hesitant to enforce the policy, likely due to a fear of European backlash. Netanyahu needed a distraction, so instead of annexation, he delivered a so-called “historic” peace deal with the UAE and Bahrain, nailing in the hundredth nail into the cothin [coffin] of the “two-state solution”.

Although annexation seems to have been put on the back burner, Israel has since the signing approved for over four thousand new settler units to be constructed, in violation of international law, in the occupied West Bank. This is how Israel truly annexes land in the West Bank, through physical expansion onto that land, which is much more cement than a declaration or signing something on paper. So ultimately, annexation has only escalated, on the ground, since the “peace deal” was signed.

Also, on top of this, Israel, the UAE and the US have agreed to set up a three billion dollar trust fund, which will reportedly allow for the creation of further investment, based in Jerusalem (al-Quds).

In a bid to inject investment into the UAE regime owned airline ‘Emirates’, Israeli citizens will be allowed to travel to the UAE without any visa.

But perhaps the most significant of all in this new series of business deals is the announcement that Emirati Crude is set to be sent from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean, this being transported via a pipeline seized by Israel from Iran.

The pipeline was originally built for joint Israeli-Iranian trade, however this no longer became an option after Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979.

A Swiss court ruled in 2016 that Israel was liable for its seizure of this pipeline and was required to pay Iran at least 1 billion dollars in compensation, which Israel continues to refuse to pay.

If oil is transported between the UAE and Israel, it is likely to further inflame tensions between the UAE and Iran. One of the aims of the so-called ‘Abraham Accords’ having been to combat Iran’s influence in the Middle-East.

With major trade deals being secured, via illegally seized pipelines, a joint mission having been set up to exacerbate tensions which could lead to all-out war in the region and with Israel’s ongoing bombardment of Gaza, expansion of settlements and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians, it is clear the deal is not about peace.

The UAE has not been forced to end its involvement in the genocidal war waged against the people of Yemen, with Israel now being able to openly cooperate with them on that front.

The “peace deal” is nothing more than corrupt dictators, coming together with opportunistic Western politicians, in a bid to secure greedy business deals and a policy of joint aggression against their enemies in the region, all whilst saving face to their blind and clueless populations who clap along as they fail to recognize that the “peace deal” is in fact a distraction from how they have been lied to.

Robert Inlakesh is a journalist, writer and political analyst, who has lived in and reported from the occupied Palestinian West Bank. He has written for publications such as Mint Press, Mondoweiss, MEMO, and various other outlets. He specializes in analysis of the Middle East, in particular Palestine-Israel. He also works for Press TV as a European correspondent.

October 22, 2020 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , | 1 Comment

We have lived to see Arabs enter Al-Aqsa under Israeli protection

By Abdullah Al-Majali | MEMO | October 19, 2020

We have lived to see Arabs enter Al-Aqsa Mosque under Israeli protection. It is shameful.

Is there any real difference between an Arab delegation visiting Al-Aqsa Mosque under Israeli protection and hordes of extremist Israeli settlers whose incursions and practice of Talmudic rituals there take place under the protection of the same security forces? The crime of these Arabs is arguably greater.

The storming by Israeli extremists under the guns of the Israeli occupation does not whitewash the image of the occupation in the eyes of the world, nor does it give it legitimate sovereignty over the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa. The Arabs’ visit does, however, whitewash the image of the military occupation and is “evidence” that all Muslims can go to Al-Aqsa Mosque. It also shows the world the false image of Israel providing protection for religious sites and allowing religious freedom.

A delegation from normalising Arab countries entered Al-Aqsa last week under the protection of the Israeli police and intelligence agencies, despite the occupation authorities’ closure of the mosque to Palestinian residents of Jerusalem. More dangerous than that, the normalisation delegation entered Al-Aqsa without informing the Religious Endowment Department there, and this ignored the authority of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan over the holy sites in Jerusalem. According to Jerusalemite activist and member of the Silwan Defence Committee, Fakhry Abu Diab, this also withdraws any recognition by these Arab countries of Jordan’s guardianship; instead, these states demonstrated their acceptance of Israeli sovereignty over the holy sites, especially Al-Aqsa.

This exploratory delegation was a faithful implementation of the deal of the century, which speaks with admiration of the Zionist occupation’s management of the Noble Sanctuary. This is a deliberate and blatant falsehood belied by the facts on the ground. “The State of Israel has been a good custodian of Jerusalem,” claims the Trump deal. “During Israel’s stewardship, it has kept Jerusalem open and secure.” This is a lie.

“Unlike many previous powers that had ruled Jerusalem, and had destroyed the holy sites of other faiths, the State of Israel is to be commended for safeguarding the religious sites of all and maintaining a religious status quo,” the text continues. “Given this commendable record for more than half a century, as well as the extreme sensitivity regarding some of Jerusalem’s holy sites, we believe that this practice should remain and that all of Jerusalem’s holy sites should be subject to the same governance regimes that exist today. In particular, the status quo at the Temple Mount/Haram Al-Sharif should continue uninterrupted.”

Unfortunately, the normalising delegation was loyal to its masters by implementing this deal, which was rejected by all the Arab and Muslim peoples who were able to express their opinion freely. It is a deal that buries the right of the Muslims to the third holiest site in Islam, after the Two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Madinah, and hands it over to the Israeli occupation on a silver platter. Sadly, it also demonstrated the urgently-issued religious and political opinions urging Muslims to visit Al-Aqsa Mosque with permission from Israeli embassies.

Continuing this naivety and even foolishness, even more Arab delegations are likely to enter Al-Aqsa in collaboration with the Israeli occupation forces and intelligence agencies. They will provide implicit recognition of the occupation’s sovereignty over Al-Aqsa Mosque giving Israel the right to determine who enters the mosque and who is turned away. Everyone already knows the serious restrictions imposed by the Israelis on Jerusalemites and other Palestinians regarding prayers at Al-Aqsa.

READ: Israel exploits normalisation deals to escalate violations against Al-Aqsa Mosque

The new situation places a great responsibility on Jordan, which is the guardian of the holy sites, and its diplomats must act quickly in those Arab countries and explain the threats to the Noble Sanctuary that these delegations pose. If Jordan does not get a response in this regard, then it must tell the Arab and Muslim people explicitly, beginning with the Jordanians and Palestinians, of the dangerous situation that threatens its sovereignty over the sanctities. This is not to absolve itself of responsibility, but to stand together against the danger that is being hatched against Islamic sanctities in Jerusalem in the name of the odious deal of the century.

Translated from Arabi21, 18 October 2020

October 20, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , | Leave a comment

Israel’s occupation is the main problem, not Iran, says Arab MK

MEMO | October 19, 2020

The head of the Arab Joint List in the Israeli parliament has said that Israel’s occupation of Palestine is a greater problem than Iran in the region.

Knesset member Ayman Odeh made his remark in an interview with a Lebanese television station in which he also slammed the UAE’s normalisation with the Zionist state.

The interview followed last week’s vote by the Arab bloc in parliament against UAE-Israel normalisation. When asked to explain the decision of the bloc to criticise the so-called Abraham Accords, Odeh said that they are based on a flawed assumption.

“The fundamental issue is the Iranian question, not the Palestinian question,” he insisted. “Practically, the Israeli occupation is the fundamental problem. We cannot accept the twisted logic of ‘combating Iran’, either morally or nationally.”

In its statement against the normalisation agreement signed between Israel and the UAE, the Joint List said that, “Replacing the principle of land for peace with Netanyahu’s deceptive vision of ‘peace for peace’ will bring disaster to the country and all its people.”

Eighty members of the Knesset voted in favour of the agreement, with 13 voted against, all of them from the Joint List.

October 19, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | Leave a comment

Hamas: the US has told Arab states to stop supporting the PA

MEMO | October 19, 2020

A senior Hamas official has claimed that the US has told a number of Arab states to stop giving financial support to the Palestinian Authority, Al-Aqsa TV reported on Sunday. According to Saleh Al-Arouri, a number of states have been asked to put pressure on Fatah, which controls the PA, in order to pull out of any reconciliation with Hamas.

The Deputy Head of the Hamas Political Bureau added that these countries are those which sponsored the US deal of the century. He stressed, however, that Hamas is committed to the Palestinian understandings reached in Istanbul and would never backtrack on them.

Al-Arouri also revealed that the US had offered to talk with Hamas over the so-called “deal”, but Hamas refused because Washington’s intention was to split the national Palestinian stance and threaten the PLO leadership.

In July, the former Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said that the best way to undermine the Israeli annexation plans “is to change the function of the PA” from serving the Israeli occupation to confronting it. He stressed that if such a change was not made, the PA should be dissolved after discussions with the different Palestinian factions and reaching an agreement on a replacement in order not to end up in chaos.

October 19, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , | 1 Comment

UAE official accuses Palestinians of ‘ungratefulness’ after criticism of Israel ties

Press TV | October 14, 2020

A high-ranking United Arab Emirates (UAE) official has accused Palestinians of “ingratitude” and “lack of loyalty” after Ramallah’s envoy to France harshly criticized the Persian Gulf state and Bahrain over signing normalization agreements with the Israeli regime.

“I was not surprised by the statements made by the Palestinian Ambassador to Paris [Salman El Herfi], and his ungrateful discussion of the Emirates,” Anwar Gargash, the UAE’s minister of state for foreign affairs, wrote in Arabic on his Twitter account.

“We have grown accustomed to the lack of loyalty and the ingratitude. We proceed toward the future confident in all our actions and beliefs,” he added.

Earlier, El Herfi told French magazine Le Point in an interview that UAE and Bahrain “have become more Israeli than Israel” itself and are violating the Charter of the United Nations.

‘UAE dictator playing with fire’

The Palestinian diplomat said that the UAE had long abandoned the Palestinian cause and that he wasn’t surprised by Abu Dhabi’s decision to normalize with Tel Aviv.

“The only new thing was the formalization of this relationship. I thank them (UAE officials) for having revealed their true face,” he said.

“The truth is that the Emirates were never at the Palestinians’ side,” El Herfi went on, noting that the UAE froze aid for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) back in 1985.

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan is merely “a little dictator who wants to become known, and he’s playing with fire,” the veteran Palestinian diplomat said.

The UAE’s de facto leader “surrendered to Israel without a fight,” El Herfi added.

He said the UAE and Bahrain violated a long list of Arab League and UN resolutions by normalizing ties with Israel.

The Palestinian ambassador also denounced the two deals as “pure propaganda,” saying they had neither parliamentary approval nor public support.

“And with all due respect, how many Emiratis are there in the world, 800 thousand? And Bahrainis, 500 thousand? There are 340 million Arabs,” he said.

“In fact, these two countries have come more Israeli than the Israelis. But we have full confidence in the fact that their people will not accept this over the long term,” El Herfi pointed out.

Relations between the UAE and the Palestinians have soured ever since the Emirates and Israel agreed as part of a US-brokered deal to establish formal relations on August 13.

Emirati officials have described the normalization deal with the Tel Aviv regime as a means to stave off annexation and save the so-called two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Palestinians, however, dismiss the claims, saying the deal had long been in the works in the course of secret contacts between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv.

Israeli leaders have lined up to reject the UAE’s bluff that Israel’s annexation plans were off the table. Netanyahu has underlined that annexation is not off the table, but has simply been delayed.

Palestinians, who seek an independent state in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital, view the deals as a betrayal of their cause and say they run counter to a long-standing Arab consensus over a “two-state solution” along the 1967 borders.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said the agreements will be fruitless as long as the United States and the Israeli regime do not recognize the rights of the Palestinian nation and refuse to resolve the issue of Palestinian refugees.

October 14, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , | 1 Comment

UAE encouraged Yemen to normalise relations with Israel 16 years ago: classified documents

MEMO | October 8, 2020

Two classified documents have revealed that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) played a key role in urging Yemen to formally normalise relations with Israel 16 years ago.

The first document issued on 3 March, 2004, was a letter sent from the Emirati Ambassador to Yemen at the time Hamad Saeed Al-Zaabi, to the UAE under-secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The letter stated that a delegation from the Jewish Heritage Authority had recently visited Yemen and met with several officials including President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar reported.

According to the pro-Hezbollah newspaper, the delegation included Israeli Yahya Marji and Ibrahim Yahya Yacoub, a US citizen, as part of Zionist efforts to normalise relations between the Jewish state and Yemen.

The delegation made several requests to Yemeni officials, including the construction of a museum of Jewish heritage in Sanaa and fencing the tomb of Al-Shabazi (one of the rabbis of the Jews of Taiz) and the Jewish cemeteries in Aden, Rada’a and the different regions where Jews lived. Requests were also made to grant naturalisation to 45,000 Israeli Jews and 15,000 Jewish Americans, and to build a temple and a Jewish school in Raydah.

According to the Emirati ambassador: “The Jewish Heritage Authority sent a letter to the Yemeni prime minister to request the construction of the museum, while outlining the importance and reasons behind the request.”

The Jewish delegation also met the Yemeni Deputy Minister of the Interior Major General Mutahar Al-Masri, who received the authority representatives warmly and seemed to already know them.

The same source disclosed that Al-Masri claimed at the time that: “He had visited Israel earlier according to previous arrangements with the relevant parties.”

The delegation held a meeting with Brigadier General Ali Mohsin Al-Ahmar, commander of the north-western military district, during which Marji asked him to grant his wife and children, who live in Israel, Yemeni citizenship.

The document stated that Al-Zaabi intended to inform the UAE official about Sanaa’s expected role in the Yemeni-Jewish normalisation, which is part of a broader US plan for the region.

October 8, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel sets its sights on the Red Sea and Bab El-Mandeb

Dr Adnan Abu Amer | MEMO | October 6, 2020

Day after day, the magnitude of the Israeli benefits from normalisation with the Gulf become clearer, especially on the military and strategic levels. The latest benefit is talk about establishing Israeli military bases in the Gulf, the Red Sea and Bab El-Mandab, or benefiting from the Emirati bases scattered in these areas, and the military benefits for Israel brought about by controlling these international seaports.

The Emirati-Israeli agreement included many clauses with security and military aspects, which stipulate bilateral cooperation in these areas, and their commitment to take important measures to prevent the use of their territories to carry out a hostile or “terrorist” attack targeting the other party, and that each side will not support any hostile operations in the territory of the other party. It also stipulates bilateral security coordination and strengthening the military security relationship.

These carefully worded texts have increased the assumptions regarding the possibility of Israel benefitting from the Emirati military bases in the region, whether in the Gulf, Bab El-Mandab, or the Red Sea. This may lead to the establishment of Israeli military base in the Emirates, as well as its use of Emirati waters, and the possibility that it will continue down this path to increase its foothold in Socotra, the Bab El-Mandab Strait and Djibouti.

It is worth noting that the possibility of establishing Israeli military bases in the Gulf, or Israel benefiting from the Emirati military bases, is not easy, but very dangerous. This is because as much as it may give hope to the Gulf states, and the UAE in particular, to defend itself against the threat of any imagined attack from Iran, it, at the same time, exposes it to danger. This is because the fulfilment of this premise means that Israel can strike Iranian targets in the Gulf waters, or in the heart of Iran itself, which will be matched by Iran targeting these Israeli bases in the Gulf.

The agreement allows Israel to get geographically closer to Iran and allows it to improve ties with the Gulf which is a strategic area in terms of trade and oil.

Iran will not stand idly by and remain silent regarding the Emirati-Israeli move, which means the situation in the Gulf region is likely to grow tense and suffer. Iran is present everywhere through the Revolutionary Guard and its sleeping armed cells.

Security of maritime navigation in the Gulf is a purely Israeli interest within the strategy of “curbing the Iranian threat” and strengthening the relationship with the Gulf states, former Israeli Foreign Minister, Yisrael Katz, has said.

Israel aims to gain control over the most important sea straits in the region, which belong to the Emirati and Saudi bases, which enhances the expansion of Israel’s military and strategic influence.

A document by the Israeli Ministry of Intelligence revealed that the agreement with Abu Dhabi paves the way for intensifying military cooperation between them in the Red Sea. This is because it is interested in expanding security cooperation in the region, leading to strengthening the military alliance between them. This includes intensive Israeli military movement, especially through the countries of the Horn of Africa, most notably Ethiopia, at a time when Israeli arms companies are seeking to increase their exports to the Emirates.

US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, announced that the UAE and Israel had agreed to build a security and military alliance against Iran to protect American interests and the Middle East, and to increase security and intelligence cooperation to confront what he referred to as “terrorism”.

But Israel has not left Yemen out of its view, the country offers a gateway to the Bab El-Mandab Strait. Tel Aviv aims to crack down on the Palestinian resistance to prevent it from receiving the weapons that reach it from Iran through the Red Sea, reaching the Sinai, and then the Gaza Strip.

As long as the most important provisions of the Emirati-Israeli agreement are related to security and military relations, Israel will work to exploit the agreement to increase its influence in the Gulf. Meanwhile, the UAE is looking for control in the Gulf with the support of the US and Israel, so there is joint Israeli and Emirati work in Yemen to establish joint military bases and areas of influence, specifically on the island of Socotra, which would allow it to completely control the path that passes from India to the West, and penetrates into Africa, which is a strategic location for Israel.

October 6, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Militarism | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mercenaries from Sudan, Senegal arrive on Yemen’s Socotra

MEMO | October 2, 2020

Sudanese and Senegalese troops have arrived on the Yemeni Island of Socotra, reported the Yemen Press Agency yesterday. A batch of some 600 soldiers from the two African countries turned up on the island amid earlier reports that the UAE had requested forces belonging to the Southern Transitional Council (STC) return back to Aden on the mainland, with others moving onto the Hadramaut province.

At the start of the year Sudan announced it had begun reducing the number of its troops deployed in Yemen. Senegal, a Sunni Muslim majority country is the only non-Arab country to be involved in the US-backed, Saudi-led coalition and – along with Sudan – has been since the formation of the coalition in 2015.

According to a local source, Socotra Post reported that an Emirati ship has arrived at a port of the island, carrying an unknown cargo, two weeks after the arrival of a “suspicious Emirati ship” suspected of unloading military and communications equipment. It is speculated that the shipments may be used to complete the construction of a military and intelligence base on the island. There are already concerns that Israel, which has normalised relations with the UAE and is growing closer to Sudan is working with the UAE to set up a spy base on the Yemeni island.

The Post also reported that 21 local and three international lawyers have joined a human rights group in working to file a lawsuit against the internationally recognised Yemeni government over its failure in fulfilling its duty to protect the sovereignty of the Socotra Archipelago as the UAE consolidates its influence on the island.

 

October 2, 2020 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , | Leave a comment

UAE signs contracts with Israel firms on UN blacklist

MEMO | September 24, 2020

Emirati companies have signed contracts with Israeli firms and banks blacklisted by the United Nations (UN) for supporting illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, an investigation by Anadolu Agency revealed on Wednesday.

In February, the UN released a database of 112 companies on its blacklist for doing business inside Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

On 13 August, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel announced a US-brokered agreement to normalise their relations. The move was followed by a series of announcements on agreements and contracts between companies from both countries.

However, Anadolu Agency found that some of the deals struck between the two sides included Israeli companies and banks on the UN blacklist.

Pro-settlement banks

Among the contracts announced by Emirati media was one struck with Bank Leumi, one of the banks on the UN blacklist.

According to official Emirati media, this Israeli bank has signed agreements with three of the top Emirati banks: Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), First Abu Dhabi Bank and Emirates NBD.

Bank Hapoalim, another Israeli bank blacklisted by the UN, has reportedly signed a memorandum of understanding with Emirates NBD, an agreement celebrated as the first between Israeli and Emirati bankers, according to Emirati media outlets.

Film production companies

The agreements that UAE companies have signed with blacklisted Israeli companies were not limited to banks. The Abu Dhabi Film Commission (ADFC) announced that it has reached an agreement with the Israel Film Fund (IFF) and the Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film & Television School (JSFS), for promoting tolerance and cultural cooperation between the Emirati and Israeli people.

The IFF is supervised by the Israeli Ministry of Culture and the Israel Film Council.

In November 2019, Israeli newspaper Haaretz announced that the IFF approved the establishment of three new cinema funds, including one in the occupied West Bank settlements.

Many international companies have suspended their dealings with their Israeli counterparts on the UN blacklist for fear of being prosecuted by the International Criminal Court (ICC). The ICC is expected to soon decide on launching a criminal investigation into alleged war crimes committed by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Palestinians have long called for an immediate halt of dealings with the blacklisted Israeli companies.

September 24, 2020 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

US: UAE will not get F-35 jets for up to 7 years, despite Israel peace deal

MEMO | September 23, 2020

US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, said that the United Arab Emirates, which has recently signed a historic US-sponsored peace deal with Israel, would not receive American F-35 stealth fighter jets for six or seven years.

“The Emiratis have been trying to get the F-35 for six or seven years. And delivery time is probably another six or seven years from now,” the official told the Jerusalem Post in a pre-recorded interview.

Washington has not yet expressed explicit approval of an Emirati purchase of American F-35s. Israeli newspapers reported that the UAE expects such approval after the Gulf Arab country signed a deal normalising its diplomatic relations with Israel, to the dismay of many supporters of Palestinian rights across the world.

Last Tuesday Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz held meetings in Washington with his counterpart Mark Esper and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner. The American and Israeli officials discussed the possibility of the US sale of F-35 stealth fighter jets to the UAE based on the principle of Israel’s military superiority in the region.

Israel is currently the only state in the region that owns F-35s.

US law stipulates that Washington commits itself to Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge (QME), which guarantees the occupation state’s technological military superiority in the Middle East.

When asked about whether a possible sale of American F-35s to the UAE would threaten Israel’s QME, David Friedman said: “QME is a matter of law, not a matter of policy. It has been US law since 2008, and US policy a lot longer than that. Israel has dealt with the QME behind the scenes professionally and successfully for more than a decade; it is going to continue to work this way.”

In the past few years, Israel has received at least 26 F-35s from the United States as part of a deal that will see the state gain possession of 50 stealth fighter jets.

On 13 August, US President Donald Trump announced a peace deal between the UAE and Israel brokered by Washington.

Abu Dhabi said the deal was an effort to stave off Tel Aviv’s planned annexation of the occupied West Bank, however, opponents believe normalisation efforts have been in the offing for many years as Israeli officials have made officialvisits to the UAE and attended conferences in the country which had no diplomatic or other ties with the occupation state.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu however denied this saying annexation is not off the table, but has simply been delayed.

Many have said the real purpose of the deal was to allow the UAE to access superior military strength.

September 24, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism | , , , , | 1 Comment

A Peace Deal Like No Other

Much ado about nothing, but Act 2 is coming up

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • September 22, 2020

It is odd that the White House is gloating over its claimed peace agreement in the Middle East at the same time as one of the signatories is bombing Syria, Lebanon and Gaza. It all suggests that peace in the region will exclude designated enemies and the friends of those enemies, since the ties among the three parties – Israel, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain – is transparently in part an offensive alliance directed against Iran and its friends, to include Syria and Lebanon. A significant amount of the horse trading that preceded the gala signing ceremony in the White House involved who would get what advanced American weapons down the road. The UAE wants F-35 fighter bombers while Israel is already asking for $8 billion for more top-level weapons from the U.S. taxpayer to maintain its “qualitative edge” over its new found friends.

For the more sagacious readers who chose to ignore what took place, a short recap is in order. Last Tuesday President Trump hosted a White House signing ceremony during which Israel established formal ties with the two Arab states. The agreement was dubbed the Abraham Accord because it purports to build on the foundation provided by the fraternity, as one might put it, of the three Abrahamic religions, namely Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. More specifically, it created the mechanism for diplomatic, economic, and cultural ties between Israel and the two Arab countries. It should be observed that both the UAE and Bahrain are close to being client states of the U.S. Bahrain is in fact the home port of the U.S. Fifth Fleet that operates in the region and it also hosts headquarters of the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT). Both countries have long had de facto semi-secret relations with Israel on security issues and Israelis have been able to travel to them as long as they do not do so on an Israeli passport. And they both also know that the road to improving already good relations with Washington passes through Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu personally attended the ceremony, together with the foreign ministers of the UAE and Bahrain. Trump enthused “We’re here this afternoon to change the course of history” and presented a replica gold key to the White House to Netanyahu. It is not known if the two Arab ministers received anything beyond a “don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.”

The president observed that the two Arab nations were the third and fourth to normalize relations with Israel, following on Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994, and predicted that five more Arab countries might soon also recognize Israel. Oman and Qatar, which hosts the major U.S. airbase at Al-Udeid, are likely to be next in line as both have close ties to the United States and have never exhibited much hardline anti-Israeli fervor. The claim made before the signing, that Israel would stand down on its plan to annex much of the Palestinian West Bank as a quid pro quo for the agreement was not discussed at all, nor was it part of the document. It is generally believed that Israel will wait until after the U.S. election to make its move.

The Palestinians, who have been on the receiving end of Israeli nation-building were not invited. There were some demonstrations by Palestinians in Gaza and Ramallah denouncing the signing as it took place, together with chanting that “Palestine isn’t for sale.” Indeed, Palestinians are more-or-less invisible in Washington, having had their representational office closed by Trump in 2018 after he had been shown a fabricated video by Netanyahu in which Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas appeared to be calling for the murder of children. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also viewed the video and informed the president that it was an obvious fabrication, but Trump was convinced by it.

The U.S. media, always inclined to applaud anything that advances Israeli interests, registered its approval of the agreement. And there were calls for awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Trump for his miraculous achievement, not as ridiculous as it sounds as it is at least as well deserved as the one that was given to Barack Obama. Trump the peacemaker has a nice ring to it, and it quite possibly would pay off for the president in terms of votes and political contributions. Indeed, if one looks at the White House ceremony dyspeptically, it becomes clear that the whole event was staged for political purposes to advance GOP interests in the upcoming election. If it changes anything on the ground at all it actually worsens the chances for peace in the region. The UAE and Bahrain are now locked into a unified effort to oppose Iran by military force if necessary, with open support from Israel plus covert aid from Saudi Arabia as well as the full backing of the United States.

One might reasonably argue that the agreement was a win for Israel, the UAE and Bahrain, as they have succeeded in obliging the U.S. to support their own regional security interests for the foreseeable future. The media, defense contractors and politicians bought and paid for by Israel will be able to assert that the U.S. must retain significant forces in the region to defend Israel and friendly Arab states against the largely fictitious “Iranian menace.” It is unfortunately a major setback for United States efforts to limit its exposure to any and all political developments in an increasingly unstable Middle East. If the White House had really wanted to disengage from the quagmire that it has found itself in, it was an odd way to go about it.

And the Palestinians are left with nowhere to go, the presumption being that with lessening Arab support they will be reduced to begging Israel (and the U.S.) for a deal that will reduce them to the status of helots. That conclusion just might make them desperate and could trigger a new and even more bloody intifada.

The downside of the agreement is already beginning to play out as the United States is preparing to unilaterally impose sanctions on Iran that will include possible seizure of Iranian ships in international waters, while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has also warned Russia and China against trying to sell weapons to Tehran. One might well ask, how exactly does Pompeo propose to do that? Will he shoot down Russian transport planes or sink Chinese and Russian flagged ships? How does one go from being crazy to being batshit crazy, and what about all those Americans and others who would prefer not to be on the receiving end of a nuclear exchange?

Trita Parsi, who follows the situation in the Middle East closely, has suggested that Pompeo might even be planning an October Surprise, which might amount to some kind of provocation or even a false flag operation that would result in open conflict with Iran with the U.S. arguing that the fighting is both lawful and defensive in nature.

Such a suggestion might be considered insanity, but there are signs that the U.S. is heightening its delegitimization campaign against Iran. Unconfirmable allegations from anonymous U.S. government sources are surfacing about an alleged Iranian plot to kill the U.S. Ambassador in South Africa. And, as of Saturday, Washington is now implementing its new sanctions regime and there is a distinct possibility that an Iranian vessel in the Persian Gulf might be seized, forcing Iran to respond. The U.S. Navy has already intercepted four Greek flagged tankers in the Atlantic Ocean on their way to Venezuela, claiming they were carrying Iranian petroleum products, which were then confiscated. Given the demonstrated propensity to use armed force, anything is possible. The thinking in the White House might be that a containable war against a recognized enemy might be just the ticket to win in November. Of course, once the fighting starts it might not work out that way.

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 https://councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

September 22, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Rights groups: UAE hired 450 mercenaries to carry out assassinations in Yemen

UAE mercenaries in Yemen [Twitter]

UAE mercenaries in Yemen [Twitter]
MEMO | September 19, 2020

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has hired thousands of mercenaries and deployed 450 of them in Yemen to carry out high-profile assassinations, the International Institute for Rights and Development, and the Rights Radar Foundation revealed on Thursday.

These remarks came in a statement that the International Institute for Rights and Development and the Rights Radar Foundation read during the 45th session of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council held in Geneva.

“The International Institute for Rights and Development and Rights Radar Foundation are deeply concerned about the escalation of assassination cases in Yemen by the mercenaries,” the statement read.

It added:

The UAE hired American mercenaries to carry out high-profile assassinations in Yemen. They conducted several operations in Aden and several cities, resulting in the assassinations of dozens of politicians and public figures during the past five years of conflict in Yemen.

According to the statement: “Among 30,000 mercenaries from four Latin American countries hired by the UAE, at least 450 mercenaries have been deployed to Yemen after they received training by US trainers.”

“They take advantage of the UN’s disregard for their human rights abuses in Yemen to continue their crimes with no accountability.”

In the statement, the rights groups confirmed that: “Over 80 per cent of Yemeni politicians, lawmakers and media professionals have been displaced locally or globally, seeking safety as they become potential targets for assassination.”

The rights groups warned that “the right to life in Yemen is in extreme danger,” stressing that the situation: “Needs the UN to offer effective action not just kind words. Enough is enough.”

September 19, 2020 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment