Zionist Saudis make ‘groundbreaking’ visit to Auschwitz

‘To be here… is both a sacred duty and a profound honor,’ Saudi head of Muslim World League says during tour of Nazi death camp with the American Jewish Committee. Have they ever stood with Palestine?

Al-Issa’s outreach to Jewish organizations also coincides with a broader alignment of interests and ties emerging between the Arab Gulf states and Israel, which share a common foe in Iran.

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Muslim religious leaders joined members of a US Jewish group at Auschwitz on Thursday for what organizers described as “the most senior Islamic leadership delegation” to visit the site of a Nazi German death camp.

The interfaith visit came four days before the 75th anniversary of the camp’s January 27, 1945, liberation by Soviet forces and as world leaders gathered in Jerusalem to commemorate the Holocaust.

The secretary general of the Muslim World League, Mohammad bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, and the CEO of the American Jewish Committee, David Harris, led the tour to the Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial in Poland.

The Nazis operated extermination and concentration camps in Poland when Germany occupied the country during World War II.

The American Jewish Committee said that Al-Issa, who is based in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, led a delegation of 62 Muslims, including 25 prominent religious leaders, from some 28 countries during the “groundbreaking” visit.

At one point, they prayed with their heads pressed on the ground at Birkenau, the largest part of the camp and the most notorious site of Germany’s mass murder of European Jews.

A delegation of Muslim religious leaders perform prayers during a visit to the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz, in what organizers called “the most senior Islamic leadership delegation” to visit, in Oswiecim, Poland, January 23, 2020. (American Jewish Committee via AP)

The AJC delegation included members of the organization, among them children of Holocaust survivors.

“To be here, among the children of Holocaust survivors and members of the Jewish and Islamic communities, is both a sacred duty and a profound honor,” Al-Issa said.

“The unconscionable crimes to which we bear witness today are truly crimes against humanity. That is to say, a violation of us all, an affront to all of God’s children.”

Auschwitz was the most notorious in a system of death and concentration camps that Nazi Germany operated on territory it occupied across Europe.

In all, 1.1 million people were killed there, most of them Jews from across the continent.

The visit comes as Saudi Arabia works to be seen abroad as a moderate and modernizing country following decades of adherence to a hard-line interpretation of Islam known as Wahhabism.

The Muslim World League, under al-Issa’s leadership, has embraced the effort.

Muslim religious leaders are guided during a visit to the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz, in what organizers called “the most senior Islamic leadership delegation” to visit, in Oswiecim, Poland, January 23, 2020. (American Jewish Committee via AP)

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s strategy to modernize the kingdom is aimed in part at attracting greater foreign investment and fostering a national Saudi identity that is not founded solely on conservative religious values.

Al-Issa’s outreach to Jewish organizations also coincides with a broader alignment of interests and ties emerging between the Arab Gulf states and Israel, which share a common foe in Iran.

On Friday, members of the delegation will visit the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw and attend Muslim and Jewish religious services there.

Yad Vashem: World Holocaust Center, Occupied Jerusalem

The Foundation was established in 2005 following the First International Holocaust Forum in Krakow, Poland and marked the sixtieth anniversary of the liberation of KL Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Recognizing that the world will soon lose the last survivors of the Holocaust, and in light of the troubling upsurge of global antisemitism, the World Holocaust Forum Foundation is committed to preserving the memory of the Holocaust and to fostering tolerance between religions and nationations in the aspiration of eliminating all forms of antisemitism, racism, and xenophobia.

“This is a historic gathering, not only for Israel and the Jewish People, but for all humanity,” Rivlin said. “This evening as we remember the victims of the Holocaust, and World War Two, we also mark the victory of freedom and human dignity.” He added that at Thursday’s ceremony at the Yad Vashem memorial, the leaders will gather to “remember and to promise ‘never again’.”

False Flag: US Hacked Ukrainian Plane Transponder

US launched cyber-attack on Iran weapons systems’ 23 June 2019

The US launched a cyber-attack on Iranian weapons systems on Thursday as President Trump pulled out of air strikes on the country, US reports say. Both the Washington Post and AP news agency said the cyber-attack had disabled the systems. The New York Times said it was intended to take the systems offline for a period of time.*

01/18/2020  Philip Giraldi, a former counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer of the CIA, penned a piece in the American Herald Tribune speculating that the U.S. launched several cyber-attacks, one on an Iranian missile defense system, and another on the transponder of the doomed Ukrainian plane.

Giraldi explains the Iranian missile operator experienced extreme “jamming” and Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752’s transponder was switched off several minutes before the two Russian made Tor missiles were launched.

“The shutdown of the transponder, which would have automatically signaled to the operator and Tor electronics that the plane was civilian, instead automatically indicated that it was hostile. The operator, having been particularly briefed on the possibility of incoming American cruise missiles, then fired,” he said.

Giraldi said the Tor missile system used by Iran is vulnerable to being hacked or “spoofed,” and at the same moment, Flight 752’s transponder was taken offline “to create an aviation accident that would be attributed to the Iranian government.”

The Pentagon has reportedly developed technologies that can trick enemy radars with false and deceptively moving targets, he said.

“The same technology can, of course, be used to alter or even mask the transponder on a civilian airliner in such a fashion as to send false information about identity and location. The United States has the cyber and electronic warfare capability to both jam and alter signals relating to both airliner transponders and to the Iranian air defenses. Israel presumably has the same ability,” Giraldi said.

Iran made the claim Wednesday that “enemy sabotage” cannot be ruled out in the downing of the plane. 

Iranian Brigadier General Ali Abdollahi suggested the U.S. hacked missile defense systems to make it appear Flight 752 was an incoming missile.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also accused the U.S. of being responsible for the downing of the plane, saying that:

“The root of all sorrows goes back to America… this cannot be a reason for us not to look into all the root causes.”

He added that:

“One cannot believe that a passenger plane is struck near an international airport while flying in a [commercial] flight channel,” after previously saying that IRGC commanders were not the only ones involved in the plane downing, noting that “There were others, too.”

The Iranian parliament also stated that “we are in powerful confrontation with the criminal U.S. and do not allow a mistake… to pave the ground for misusing the issue by the enemies.”

Giraldi concludes by saying electronic warfare by the U.S. to bring down a civilian jet and blame it on Iran “suggests a premeditated and carefully planned event” to create a false flag for the next world war.

Pompeo’s New War, Two Christian Archbishops Killed On White House Orders

As a partner to both Israel and the extremist rulers of Saudi Arabia, the CIA under Trump’s guidance has begun to slaughter Christian leaders across the Middle East, kidnapping, drone assassinations, car bombs.

By Rev. Andrew Ashdown for VT Damascus

Heart-rending stories from Syria. Everyone is suffering the consequence of sanctions. Whilst America steals Syria’s oil, heating and cooking fuel is running out, the currency is crashing and with average income being between 50-100 dollars a month, people can barely afford to buy food.

Tens of thousands of Syrians have been killed by the terrorist groups the international community have supported. Now the same international governments (including our own) are starving a nation.

Rev. AShdown (right) in Homs, Syria

(We also learned yesterday that the two abducted Archbishops have probably been murdered – by members of a group the British and American governments actively supported. So much for our government’s empty claim to be concerned for the Christians of the region).

As a Syrian Christian said to me in Saidnaya: “The policy of the British government is a crime against humanity.” Another friend of mine in Syria wrote today: “ISIS has killed thousands of us Syrian people .

Archbishop Theodosios -worldly known as Nazar Hanna- of Sebastia of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem was taken to the hospital after being attacked inside the church with, an unknown for the moment, gas. The Orthodox Palestinian Archbishop of Sebastia has repeatedly made statements against the Israeli policy in Palestine, pillorying the repression that both Christian and Muslim Palestinians who live in Jerusalem endure.

USA is starving millions of Syrians to a long sufring death .Who is more evil, ISIS or USA ?”. The British government are equally culpable.

But it seems western political and church leaders – and the media – have sealed their eyes, ears, voices, hearts and minds to these realities. All that matters is to achieve a political goal. The lives, needs and well-being of millions of innocent civilians are irrelevant. Shame on them.

Israel has the Bomb, not Iran

For over fifty years, Israel has been producing nuclear weapons at the Dimona plant, built with the help mainly of France and the United States. It is not subject to inspections because Israel, the only nuclear power in the Middle East, does not adhere to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which Iran signed fifty years ago.

13 January 2020

Iran is not respecting the nuclear agreements » (Il Tempo), Iran withdraws from the nuclear agreements – a step towards the atomic bomb » (Corriere della Sera), « Iran is preparing atomic bombs – goodbye to the nuclear agreement » (Libero) .

This is the way that almost all of the media have presented Iran’s decision, after the assassination of General Soleimani ordered by President Trump, to no longer accept the limitations on the enrichment of uranium planned in 2015 by the 5+1Group (United States, France, the United Kingdom, Russia, China, plus Germany).

So these organs of « information » are obviously in no doubt as to the source of the nuclear threat in the Middle East.

They are forgetting that it was President Trump, in 2018, who withdrew the USA from the agreement, which Israël had described as « the surrender of the West to the Axis of Evil guided by Iran ».

They do not say a word about the fact that there is only one nuclear power in the Middle East – Israël – which is not submitted to any form of control because it does not adhere to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which is, however, signed by Iran.

Israel is above being questioned or signing commitments.

The Israëli arsenal, shielded by a dense cloak of secrecy and omertà, is estimated at between 80 and 400 nuclear warheads, plus sufficient plutonium to build hundreds of others.

Israël certainly also produces tritium, a radioactive gas with which it is building new generation nuclear weapons.

Among these are mini-nukes and neutron bombs which, since they cause minimal radioactive contamination, would be more adapted to targets close to Israël.

The Israëli nuclear warheads are ready for launching on ballistic missiles which, with the Jericho 3, have a range of 8 to 9,000 kilometres.

Germany supplied Israël (in the form of a gift or for knock-down prices) with four Dolphin submarines modified for launching Popeye Turbo nuclear missiles, with a range of approximately 1,500 kilometres.

Silent, and with the capacity to remain under water for a week, the Dolphins are cruising in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, ready on twenty-four hour alert for a nuclear attack.

The United States, which have already supplied Israël with more than 350 F-15 and F-16 fighter-bombers, are currently delivering at least 75 F-35 fighters, which also have both conventional and nuclear capacity.

The first squadron of Israëli F-35’s became operational in December 2017.

Israël Aerospace Industries produce wing components which make the F-35’s invisible to radar. With this technology, which will also be applied to Italian F-35’s, Israël is potentiating the attack capacities of its nuclear forces.

Extract from a mail by the ex-Joint Chief of Staff, then US Secretary of Defense, Colin Powell

Israël, with 200 nuclear weapons permanently aimed at Iran, as was indicated by ex-US Secretary of State Colin Powell in 2015 , is determined to maintain its monopoly of the Bomb in the Middle East, by preventing Iran from developing a civil nuclear programme which might one day enable the construction of nuclear weapons, a capacity which is today possessed by dozens of countries throughout the world.

In the cycle of the exploitation of uranium, there is no clear line between civil and military use of fissile material.

In order to block the Iranian nuclear programme, Israël is determined to use whatever means it can. The assassination of four Iranian nuclear scientists between 2010 and 2012 was most probably the work of Mossad.

Israëli nuclear forces are integrated in NATO’s electronic system, in the framework of the « Individual Cooperation Programme » with Israël, a country which is not a member of the Alliance, but has a permanent mission at the Alliance’s headquarters in Brussels.

Related image

According to the plan tested during the USA-Israël exercise Juniper Cobra 2018, US forces would arrive via Europe (especially from bases in Italy) to support Israël in a war against Iran , a war which could start with an Israëli attack on Iranian nuclear sites, like the one made on the Iranian site of Osiraq.

The Jerusalem Post confirms that Israël possesses non-nuclear anti-bunker bombs, which can be used particularly with the F-35’s, able to hit the Iranian nuclear site at Fordow.

But Iran, although it has no nuclear weapons, has a military riposte capacity, which Yugoslavia, Iraq and Libya did not possess at the moment of the attacks by the USA and NATO. In this case, Israël could use a nuclear weapon by triggering a chain reaction causing unforeseeable results.

Ottoman archives help Palestinians reclaim their land

RAMALLAH, West Bank — Deeds 100 years old from the Ottoman archives are helping the Palestinians in their battle to prove their rights to lands around Jerusalem and the West Bank that have been confiscated by Israel.

Turkish officials had announced as early as 2015 that they were handing Ottoman documents to the Palestinians to help them claim ownership of properties taken over by Israel.

Daily Sabah, a pro-government paper, quoted Kudret Bulbul, head of the Turks Abroad and Related Communities Directorate of the Prime Ministry between 2014-2016, as saying that the archives included “land registers, sultans’ decrees and historical documents proving the property ownership of Palestinians in Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories.”

 In 2018, a full electronic archive of 140,000 documents was available, spanning over 400 years of Ottoman rule in Palestinian lands.

Israel Hayom newspaper published an article Jan. 2, titled “Erdogan’s Quiet Jihad,” reporting that Turks handed the Palestinians 140,000 microfilm pages from the Ottoman archives in an effort to extend their “influence-peddling in Jerusalem and on the Temple Mount.”

“The Palestinians see these documents as a game-changer in their battle with Israel over land.

They have already used the archive to challenge Israeli ownership of land and real estate in various parts of the country,” the article noted, adding that the Turkish authorities delivered the microfilms to the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Ankara last year.

Lawyers affiliated to the Colonization and Wall Resistance Commission reclaimed hundreds of lands from Israel in 2019 with the help of those records, Walid Assaf, the commission’s director, said. The commission, affiliated with the PLO, provides legal aid to citizens who appear before Israeli courts to defend their lands.

Assaf said during a Jan. 5 press conference in Ramallah that the commission’s lawyers reclaimed 6,000 dunams (1,483 acres) in 2019. He also pointed out that another 40,000 dunams (9,884 acres) had been reclaimed since 2015 by proving that they were acquired through fraud.

According to Assaf, the Turkish authorities, specifically the Directorate of Ottoman Archives, handed copies of the archives on Palestine to the Palestinian Embassy in Turkey, which in turn delivered the documents to Methaq Center for Heritage and Islamic Research, which is affiliated with the Palestinian Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs, in March 2018.

The ministry then shared the archive with the Palestinian Land Authority and the Colonization and Wall Resistance Commission. The archive includes maps, documents and real estate plans during the Ottoman rule of Palestine between 1516 and 1917.

The Ottoman archives on Palestine proved to be a huge advantage for the Palestinians, as it allows them access to many title deeds and properties that existed prior to the creation of the State of Israel, specifically in the area currently classified as Area C.

No Israel here.

This area, established under the 1995 Oslo II Accords, constitutes 60% of the West Bank. The agreement gives Israel judicial and security control over Area C, but the Palestinians maintain that Israel intends to annex and declare sovereignty over the whole area by displacing Palestinians and establishing Jewish settlements.

Head of the Palestinian Land Authority Musa Shakarna told Al-Monitor, “The existence of historical documents proving ownership of lands over 400 years of Ottoman rule of Palestine is significant.

Israel expropriated most lands under the pretext they were state property.

The documents are important to prove that Palestinians owned these lands hundreds of years before the establishment of Israel.”

The Palestinian Land and Water Settlement Commission, a public association that has financial and administrative independence and legal competence, also said it relies on Ottoman archives in its work.

Its work is to provide land ownership, settle disputes between citizens and register land in the Palestinian Land Authority Registry. 

Shakarna said, “We sometimes refer to the archive documents to verify land ownership” as part of the commission’s work that took off in 2016 to register all Palestinian territories.

Shakarna noted, “Ever since we started the project of land [Tapu] registration in 2016, we have settled the situation of 1 million dunams and registered them completely under the names of their owners in official records.

Around 2 million dunams are also in the final stages of registration. The commission will finish registration of all West Bank territories by 2022.” 

Encouraged by what they can find in archives in terms of land registry, Methaq Center for Heritage and Islamic Research is also working on receiving a new batch of historical Palestinian documents from some Arab states.

Khalil Karaja al-Rifai, director of Methaq, told the local Maan news agency Jan. 2 that the center is procuring new, important documents that will soon be revealed, in cooperation with

the Arab League.

Assaf told Al-Monitor that the Ottoman archive that was obtained provides many more documents and manuscripts than the Jordanian archive that the Palestinian Authority (PA) received from the Jordanian kingdom after its establishment in 1993.

The Ottoman Empire, which ruled the lands for 400 years, has a larger archive.

Assaf noted that the Ottoman archive will help the Palestinians challenge the Israeli interpretation and application of the 1921 Ottoman Mewat Land Ordinance related to deserted and remote lands.

The law allowed people to restore these lands, provided they receive the government’s approval and restoration happens within three years at most.

If the lands were not reclaimed during this duration, they were taken from the initial person and given to another.

If the person restored the lands with governmental approval, he could register them under his name, provided he paid registration costs.

Assaf said that Israel activated the Ottoman law in the early 1980s and announced all lands that were not used during three consecutive years would become state territory. Consequently, it managed to control thousands of dunams.

He added, “Thanks to these documents, we have restituted wide stretches of land, and we will recover thousands of additional dunams that Israel had previously declared state territory.” 

He said that the archive is being used for two purposes: to solve internal disputes between citizens over land ownership and to reclaim Israeli-controlled lands in Israeli courts.

“We used Ottoman archives to restitute lands in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Salfit,” he said.

The PA might succeed in proving ownership of some territories with the Ottoman archives, but it might fail to reclaim important landmarks in Jerusalem and around Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Israel is imposing its full sovereignty on the city and relying on the green light of the US administration, which declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel, and on annexing Area C in the West Bank to Israel. 

ICC chief prosecutor dismisses anti-Semitism allegation

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has rejected the charge of anti-Semitism following its announcement to launch a full investigation into alleged Israeli war crimes in the Palestinian Territories.

The landmark decision was met with hostility in Tel-Aviv. Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, dismissed the court’s decision, stating that it had no jurisdiction to investigate in the Palestinian Territories.

To disrupt the court’s investigation, Israel threatened to prevent ICC officials from entering the occupied territories; a move that would mirror its treatment of United Nations investigators, also prevented from entering the region.

Further attack on the ICC ensued. Netanyahu denounced the court’s decision as “pure anti-Semitism,” during a candle-lighting ceremony marking the start of the eight-day Hanukkah holiday, last month.

“New edicts are being cast against the Jewish people – anti-Semitic edicts by the International Criminal Court telling us that we, the Jews, standing here next to this wall … in this city, in this country, have no right to live here and that by doing so, we are committing a war crime,” asserted the Israeli prime minister.

READ: More war crimes are Israel’s plan for the immediate future

Other senior politicians, The Times of Israel reported, similarly condemned the court and its prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, because of her decision.

Some Israeli journalists published articles highlighting her past as a senior official in the Gambian government, where she served under a brutal dictator, in an apparent effort to sully her reputation.

This week chief ICC prosecutor, Bensouda, dismissed the accusation, in an interview with The Times of Israel. “This is a particularly regrettable accusation that is without merit,” stressed Bensouda.

Bensouda explained that she expected to face attempts to undermine her credibility through “character assassination” in the same way that witnesses are discredited and undermined during a legal case.

“I, along with my office, execute our mandate under the Rome Statute with utmost independence, objectivity, fairness and professional integrity.

We will continue to meet our responsibilities as required by the Rome Statute without fear or favour,” she added.

READ: Will Israel ‘invade The Hague’ now?

Bensouda is the latest in a growing list of people to face the charge of anti-Semitism. Last week a Jewish teacher in a New York school was fired for expressing remarks critical of Israel.

150 people signed a letter in defense of the teacher, in which it was claimed that the controversy around her firing was another instance in the “weaponisation of anti-Semitism” which “is the subject of a pitched battle within Jewish communities.”

Their concerns were echoed in December by the author of a controversial definition of anti-Semitism, who spoke out over its misuse and warned of its “chilling effect” on free speech. US attorney, Kenneth Stern, who drafted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) “working definition of antisemitism,” warned that “right-wing Jews were weaponizing” it to supress criticism of Israel.

From Ukraine to Palestine

“One of the best-trained, best-equipped, best fed terrorist organizations in the world. Their entire purpose is terrorism” ~ Miko Peled, son of an Israeli general

‘We are living by the sword’: The regrets of an Israel founder’s son

Yaakov Sharett

My name is Yaakov Sharett. I am 92 years old. I happen to be my father’s son for which I am not responsible. So this is how it is.” 

1946

A kibbutz in the northern Negev in the summer of 1946 (AFP)

From Ukraine to Palestine

His grandfather, Jacob Shertok – the original family name – was one of the first Zionists to set foot in Palestine, leaving his home in Kherson, Ukraine, in 1882 after Russian pogroms.

“He had this dream of tilling the land. The big Zionist idea was going back to the land and leaving the superficial activities of Jews who had become remote from land,” he says.

“They thought that, little by little, more Jews would immigrate until they became a majority, and could demand a state, which they then called a ‘homeland’ to avoid controversy.”

I wonder what Yaakov’s grandfather thought would happen to the Arabs, who then comprised about 97 percent of the population, with Jews around 2 to 3 percent.

“I think he thought the more Jews that came, the more they’d bring prosperity and the Arabs would be happy. They didn’t realize people don’t live only on money. We would have to be the dominant power, but the Arabs would get used to it,” he says.

In case the Arabs didn’t bend the knee

Adding with a wistful smile: “Well, either they believed it or they wanted to believe it. My grandfather’s generation were dreamers. If they had been realists, they would not have come to Palestine in the first place.

It was never possible for a minority to replace a majority that had lived on this land for hundreds of years. It could never work,” he says.

Four years later, Jacob wished he hadn’t come, returning to Russia, not because of Palestinian hostility – Jewish numbers were still tiny – but because he couldn’t make a living here.

Many of the very early settlers in Palestine found working on the land far harder than they had ever imagined, often returning to Russia in despair.

But in 1902, after more pogroms, Jacob Sharett returned, this time with a family including Moshe, aged eight.

Palestinians were still – for the most part – welcoming to Jews as the threat of Zionism remained unclear. A member of the prosperous Husseini family, who was headed abroad, even offered Yaakov’s grandfather his house to rent in the village of Ein Siniya, now in the occupied West Bank.

For two years, grandfather Shertok lived there like an Arab grandee while his children attended a Palestinian kindergarten. “My father herded sheep, learned Arabic and generally lived like an Arab,” says Yaakov.

Psychology of the minority

But the Zionist plan was to live like Jews so before long, the family had moved to the fast-growing Jewish hub of Tel Aviv and Moshe was soon honing every skill – including studying Ottoman law in Istanbul – in order to further the Zionist project.

Thanks to the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which promised a Jewish homeland in Palestine and ushered in British colonial rule, plans for a full-blown Jewish state now seemed possible, and over the next two decades, Moshe Sharett helped design it, becoming a key figure in the Jewish Agency, the state’s government-in-waiting.

Moshe Sharett seen seated to the left of first Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion with the first Israeli government in 1949 (Wikicommons)

Moshe Sharett seen seated to the left of first Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion with the first Israeli government in 1949 (Wikicommons)

Central to the project was the creation of a Jewish majority and ownership of as much of the land as possible, to which end Sharett worked closely with his ally David Ben-Gurion. Immigration rose fast, and land was bought, usually from absentee Arab landlords.

‘My father and the rest still thought that most Arabs would sell their national honour for the food we would give them’

– Yaakov Sharett

The pace of change provoked the Palestinian revolt of 1936, brutally crushed by the British. In the light of that revolt, did the future prime minister ever question whether the Jewish state could work?

“No,” says Yaakov. The leadership were “still full of justifying their ideas of Zionism. You must remember that they all thought in terms of being Jewish and how they had been subjugated by majorities in the countries in which they had lived.

“My father said this: ‘Wherever there is a minority, every member has a stick and rucksack in his cupboard’. Psychologically, he realizes a bad day will come and he will have to leave.

So the priority was always to create a majority and shake off the psychology of the minority for ever.

“My father and the rest still thought that most Arabs would sell their national honour for the food we would give them. It was a nice dream, but at the cost of others.

And anyone who did not agree was a traitor.”

Becoming mukhtar

As a young teenager, in the early 1940s, Yaakov didn’t question his father’s outlook. Quite the contrary.

“I must say,” he continues, “when I was in the Zionist Youth Movement, we went around the Arab villages on foot and you saw an Arab village and learned its Hebrew name as in the Bible and you felt the time has not divided between you and it. I have never been religious, but this is what you felt.”

By 1939, World War Two had broken out and many young Israelis had joined the Jewish Brigade of the British Army, serving in Europe. The Jewish Brigade was an idea of Yaakov’s father, and as soon as he was old enough, Yaakov volunteered, joining up in 1944, aged 17. But a few months later – in April 1945 – the war was over and Yaakov was too late to see any service.

Yaacov Sharett, 22, in Hatserim (Courtesy Yaacov Sharett)

Yaakov Sharett, 22, in Hatzerim (Courtesy Yaakov Sharett)

Back in Palestine, those young Jewish soldiers who had served in Europe were amongst those now being recruited to fight in what many knew was coming next: a new war in Palestine to establish a state of Israel.

 Yaakov – who had clearly not yet started to see that Zionism “was at the cost of others” – readily agreed to play his part.

Now aged 19, Yaakov was picked to play the role of a Jewish mukhtar, or village head, at a quasi-military outpost in the Negev, a barren terrain barely settled by Jews.  

“I didn’t think a lot about politics back then. To build this settlement was literally our dream,” he says.

His wife, Rena, has joined us, perching on a stool, and nods in agreement. Rena Sharett was another eager Zionist who claimed the Negev in 1946.

Before 1948, the Negev constituted the British administrative district of Beersheva and the district of Gaza, which together made up half the land of Palestine. Touching the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba, the terrain had vital access to water.

So not surprisingly, the Zionists, who had to date succeeded in purchasing just 6 percent of Palestinian land, were determined to seize it.

However, given that about 250,000 Arabs lived in the Negev, in 247 villages, compared to about 500 Jews in three small outposts, a recent Anglo-American partition plan had divided mandate Palestine between Jews and Arabs, apportioning the Negev region as part of a future Palestinian state.

A British ban on new settlement had also hindered Zionist attempts to alter the status quo. Arabs had always opposed any plan that envisaged the Palestinians as “an indigenous majority living on their ancestral soil, being converted overnight into a minority under alien rule,” as the Palestinian historian, Walid Khalidi, summarised it.

In late 1946, however, with a new United Nations partition plan in the making, the Zionist leaders saw it was now or never for the Negev.

Now or never

So the “11 points” plan was launched. Not only would the new settlements boost the Jewish presence there, they would serve as military bases when war broke out, as it inevitably would.

Everything had to be done in secret due to the British ban and it was decided to erect the outposts on the night of 5 October, just after Yom Kippur. “The British would never expect the Jews to do such a thing the night after Yom Kippur,” says Yaakov. 

“I remember when we found our piece of land on the top of a barren hill. It was still dark, but we managed to bang in the posts and soon, we were inside our fence. At first light, trucks came with pre-fabricated barracks.

It was quite a feat. We worked like devils. Ha! I will never forget it.”  

‘I remember when we found our piece of land on the top of a barren hill. It was still dark, but we managed to bang in the posts and soon, we were inside our fence’

– Yaakov Sharett

Looking out from inside their fence, the settlers at first didn’t see any Arabs, but then made out the tents of Abu Yahiya’s village, and a few “dirty huts”, as Yaakov described them.  

Soon, they were asking the Arabs for water. “I collected our water for our settlement from that well every day in my truck, that’s how I became friends with Abu Yahiya,” he says.

With his smattering of Arabic, he chatted to others too: “They loved to talk. On it went when I had work to do,” he laughs. “I don’t think they were happy with us there exactly, but they were at peace with us. There was no enmity.”

Another local Arab chief watched out for their security in return for a small payment. “It was a kind of agreement we had with him.

He’d act as guard and every month, he’d come up to our fence and sit there quite still – he looked like just a small bundle of clothes,” Yaakov says, smiling broadly.  

“He was waiting for payment and I shook his hand and got him to sign some sort of receipt with his thumb which I gave to the authorities in Tel Aviv and they gave me money for the next time.

That was my only real responsibility as mukhtar,” says Yaakov, adding that everyone knew he only got this role as chief because he was his father’s son. 

Moshe Sharett, by now a leading political figure, was known as a moderate, and as such was viewed with suspicion by some military hardliners.

The new Negev desert outposts were planned in large part as centres for gathering intelligence about the Arabs, and Yaakov believes it was probably because of his father he too was distrusted and excluded by those sent to the outpost to lay military plans

“Instead I was really used just as a jack of all trades” – driving, collecting water, buying fuel in Gaza or Beersheba. He sounds nostalgic for the freedom of that arid landscape, though the settlers were always back inside their fence at night.

He came to know other Arab villages, too, like Burayr “which was always hostile, I don’t know why,” but most were friendly, particularly a village called Huj. “I used to drive through Huj often and knew it well.”

During the 1948 war, the residents of Huj reached an agreement in writing with Jewish authorities that they be allowed to stay, but they were driven out like all the other 247 villages of this area, mostly to Gaza. The Palestinians called the expulsions their Nakba – or catastrophe.

I asked Yaacov what he recalled of the Arab exodus in May 1948, but he was absent at the time as Rena’s brother was killed in fighting further east so the couple had left to join her family.

I told Yaacov I’d met survivors of the Abu Yahiya clan, who recounted being driven by Jewish soldiers into Wadi Beersheba where the men were separated from the women and some were shot, then the rest were expelled.

“Somehow I don’t remember that,” says Yaakov. But plumbing his memory, he suddenly recalls other atrocities including events at Burayr, the hostile village, where in May 1948 there was a massacre, with between 70 to 100 villagers killed, according to survivors and Palestinian historians. 

“One of our boys helped take Burayr. I remember he said when he got there the Arabs had already mostly fled and he opened the door of a house and saw an old man there so he shot him. He enjoyed shooting him,” he says.

By the time Beersheba was taken in October 1948, Yaakov had returned to his nearby outpost, now given the Hebrew name, Hatzerim.

“I learned our boys had led the army to the town,” he says. “We knew the area very well and could guide them through the wadis [riverbeds]”.

After Beersheba fell, Yaakov drove his comrades down in a truck to take a look: “It was empty, totally empty.” The entire population of about 5,000 had been expelled and driven in trucks to Gaza.

I had heard there was a lot of looting. “Yes,” he says. “We took things from several empty houses. We took what we could – furniture, radios, utensils. Not for ourselves, but to help the kibbutz. After all, Beersheva was empty and belonged to nobody now.”

What did he think of that? “Again, I must confess I didn’t think much at all at the time. We were proud of occupying Beersheva.  Although I must say, we’d had so many friends there before.”

Yaakov says he couldn’t remember if he had looted himself: “I probably did. I was one of them. We were very happy. If you don’t take it, someone else will. You don’t feel you have to give it back. They were not coming back.”

What did you think about that? He pauses. “We didn’t think about it then. My father, in fact, said they will not come back. My father was a moral man. I don’t think he was a party to the orders to expel the Arabs. Ben-Gurion was. Sharett no. But he accepted it as a fact. I think he knew something was going wrong, but he didn’t fight it,” he says.

“After the war my father gave a lecture and said I don’t know why a man should live two years secluded in a village [a reference to his time growing up in Ein Siniya] to realise that Arabs are human beings. This kind of saying you won’t get from any other Jewish leader…this was my father.”

Then, as if confessing on behalf of his father too, Yaakov adds: “But I have to be frank, my father had some cruel things to say about the refugees. He was against their return; he agreed with Ben-Gurion on that.”

Far more cruel than Sharett was Moshe Dayan. Appointed after the war as chief of staff by David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, Dayan had the task of keeping back the Negev refugees and many others “fenced in” behind the Gaza armistice lines.

Moshe Dayan delivers a eulogy for Roi Rotberg in Kibbutz Nahal Oz in April 1956 (Twitter/@ProvMagazine)

Moshe Dayan delivers a eulogy for Roi Rotberg in Kibbutz Nahal Oz in April 1956 (Twitter/@ProvMagazine)

In 1956, a Gaza refugee killed an Israeli settler, Roi Rotberg, and at his funeral, Dayan gave a famous eulogy urging Israelis to accept, once and for all, that the Arabs would never live in peace beside them, and he spelled out why: the Arabs had been expelled from their homes which were now lived in by Jews.

But Dayan urged the Jews to respond not by seeking compromise but by “looking squarely at the hatred that consumes and fills the lives of Arabs who live around us and be forever ready and armed, tough and hard”.

This speech made a profound impression on Yaakov Sharrett. “I said this was a fascist speech. He was telling people to live by the sword,” he says. Moshe Sharett, who was foreign minister at the time, had been urging compromise through diplomacy for which he was called “weak”.

But it wasn’t until 1967, when he started working as a journalist for the centrist Israeli paper, Maariv, that Yaakov lost his faith in Zionism.

‘They were the majority’

In the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, Israel seized more land, this time in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip, where military occupation was imposed on the Palestinians who hadn’t fled this time.

Touring the West Bank, Sharett stared at the stunned but defiant Arab faces and felt “uneasy” once again, particularly when he visited his old family village of Ein Siniya, which his father, now dead, had spoken of so affectionately.

It was here that as a child, Moshe had herded sheep and “learned that Arabs were humans”, as Moshe Sharett would say in a later speech.  

“The villagers were under the first shock of occupation. They knew the Jews were now the dominating power, but they showed no feelings of hatred. They were simple people.

And I remember that several residents came and surrounded us and smiled and told me they remembered my family and the house in which our family lived.

So we smiled at each other and I left. I didn’t go back. I didn’t like this occupation and I didn’t want to go there as a master,” he says.

“Have you heard of shooting and weeping?” he asks, with another wistful smile, explaining this was an expression to describe Israelis who, after fighting in the West Bank in 1967 showed shame, but accepted the results.

‘We smiled at each other and I left. I didn’t go back. I didn’t like this occupation and I didn’t want to go there as a master’

– Yaakov Sharett

“But I wanted nothing more to do with this occupation. It was my way of non-identification with it. I was depressed by it, and ashamed.”

The faces of the Ein Sinya villagers revealed something else: “I saw in this defiance that they still had the psychology of the majority. My father used to say war always makes waves of refugees. But he didn’t see that usually those who flee are the minority. In 1948, they were the majority so they will never give up. This is our problem.

“But it took me years to realise what the Nakba was and that the Nakba didn’t start in 1967 but in 1948. We have to realise that.”

Rena chips in. “In 1948, it was a matter of them or us. Life and death. That was the difference,” she says.

“We two disagree on this,” says Yaakov. “My wife lost her brother in 1948. She views it differently.”

‘I would leave tomorrow’

In older age, Yaakov has gone back even further in time, looking into the problems with Zionism since the very beginning.  

“Now at [92]-years-old, I realise that the story started with the very idea of Zionism which was a utopian idea. It was meant to save Jewish lives but at the cost of a nation of occupants who inhabited Palestine at this time. The conflict was unavoidable from the beginning.”

I ask if he describes himself as an anti-Zionist. “I am not an anti-Zionist, but I am not a Zionist,” he says, turning to look at Rena, perhaps in case she disapproves – his wife holds less radical views.  

On the wall beside the picture of his father are photographs of their children and grandchildren; two of Yaakov’s granddaughters have emigrated to the United States. “I am not afraid to say I am happy they are there and not here,” he says.

Moshe Sharett (Courtesy Moshe Sharett)

Yaakov Sharett today (Courtesy Yaakov Sharett)

I ask if he has “a rucksack and stick” packed ready to go and join them? After all, with his views, Yaakov himself is now in a minority – a small minority – living amid a majority of right-wing Jews here in Israel.

And not only is he ideologically “fenced in” but also physically too. He talks of how he can barely move around Israel nowadays. He refuses to go to Jerusalem which he says has been taken over by ultra-orthodox religious Jews.

“This is one of the most terrible disasters. When we were young, we thought religion was going to vanish.” He says he never wishes to return to his beloved Negev because it was long ago settled by new generations of Jews “who have no empathy with Arabs”. 

He can still “breathe” in Tel Aviv, and enjoys speeding around on a scooter, but even here, feels that he lives inside a “bubble”. He chuckles again. 

“I call it the Haaretz bubble,” and he explains he is referring to a group of left-wingers who read the liberal Haaretz newspaper. “But this clan has no connection with each other except this daily paper that more or less expresses our opinion.

It is the last stronghold. And I feel very bad about it…. It’s true I do not feel at home here.”

‘Look. When you make me think about it, I would leave tomorrow. Thousands are already leaving’

– Yaakov Sharett

Yaakov says he is always thinking about leaving. If other members of his family would join him, he would.  

“Look. When you make me think about it, I would leave tomorrow. Thousands are already leaving, most have two passports. We have the worst government we have ever had with Bibi Netanyahu,” he says.

“We are living by the sword, as Dayan said we should…as if we must be forced to make Israel into a kind of citadel against the invaders, but I don’t think it is possible to live by the sword for ever.”

I ask how he sees the future for the Palestinians?

“What can I say? I feel very bad about it. And I am not afraid to say that the treatment of the Palestinians today is Nazi treatment. We don’t have gas chambers, of course, but the mentality is the same. It is racial hatred. They are treated as subhuman,” he says.

Yaakov is well-aware that he – a Jew – will be accused of “antisemitism” for saying such things, but says he believes Israel is “a criminal state”.

“I know they will call me a self-hating Jew for saying that. But I cannot automatically support my country, right or wrong. And Israel must not be immune from criticism. Seeing the difference between antisemitism and criticism of Israel is crucial.

To be honest, I am amazed how in 2019 the world outside accepts Israeli propaganda. I really don’t know why they do,” he says.

“And remember that the very aim of Zionism was to release Jews from the curse of antisemitism by giving them their own state. But today, the Jewish state by its own criminal behaviour is one of the most serious causes for this curse.”

What is his prediction for the Jewish state? “I will tell you what my prediction is. I am not afraid to say it. When the time comes, it might come tomorrow, there will be a conflagration, maybe with Hezbollah … a big catastrophe of some sort that will destroy thousands of Jewish homes.

“And we will bomb Beirut but having Lebanese lose their homes won’t help the Jew who loses his home and family, so people will see no reason to stay here anymore. All rational Israelis will then have to leave.

“It doesn’t have to be Hezbollah. The catastrophe might be the strong domination of our own rightists. All the laws enacted by the Knesset now are fascist laws. I have no solution. Israel will become a pariah state,” he says.

‘To be honest, I am amazed how in 2019 the world outside accepts Israeli propaganda. I really don’t know why they do’

– Yaakov Sharett

Surely, America and the Europeans would never treat Israel as pariah state, I suggest, but Yaakov doesn’t agree: “Their support is mostly shame over the Holocaust. But these feelings of guilt will dwindle in the next generations,” he says.

I ask Yaakov what his father would say if he had heard all this? Rena says she hadn’t even heard Yaakov speak like this before. His eyes dart under his woolly hat.

“I think my father would have to agree with me somewhat. He remained a Zionist to the end, but I think he realised something was wrong. Sometimes, I say he was too moral to be at peace with what is going on here,” he says.

“But he is disappointing because he didn’t arrive at the conclusion his son did. I don’t blame him for that. He absorbed Zionism in his mother’s milk.  If he had lived to my age – I am 92, he died at 71 – perhaps he would have seen things like me. I don’t know.”

I get up to leave and pick up my laptop, thereby lighting up the picture of Abu Yahiya’s well again. Our interview has been haunted not only by Moshe Sharett but also by the image of that “tall lean Bedouin with the sympathetic face” last seen by Yaakov, stricken and alone.

“I must say, the picture of that nice man does sometimes come into my mind,” says Yaakov, who then takes me down to the street. Grabbing his scooter, he waves goodbye cheerily and kicks off into the traffic of Tel Aviv.

My Struggle for Peace, the Diary of Moshe Sharett 1953-1956 is published by Indiana University Press. Sarah Helm is a former Middle East correspondent and diplomatic editor of The Independent. Her books include A Life in Secrets: Vera Atkins and the Lost Agents of SOE, and If This Is a Woman, Inside Ravensbrück: Hitler’s Concentration Camp for Women.​​​​​​​

Lead photo: Yaakov Sharett, 18, serving as a soldier in the Jewish Brigade (Courtesy Yaakov Sharett)

Israel: The Zionist Outpost for Imperialism in Occupied Palestine

Israel constitutes the largest undeclared military base in the world.

The illegal and deceitful Balfour Declaration will soon be 100 years old. This imperial agreement made by the British government cbecome a Jewish national homeland with total disregard to the will of the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians living there. 

The colonization process of Palestine was not characterized by military occupation of an imperialist country as the French did in Algeria. It was also not the European model used to colonize the U.S. and Australia that committed genocide against indigenous people in the nation building process.

Palestine, which was colonized by the Zionist project, was a model more like what happened in Latin America where national independence struggles fought back against racist regimes and did not accept the colonial nature of the conquering nations.

These struggles have taken on different forms but continue to this day. Cuba for example fought 2 wars of independence against Spain and then went on to defeat the United States in the great victory of the Cuban Socialist Revolution.

Under the most severe form of apartheid oppression the Palestinian people have never given up or accepted the conditions of the Balfour Declaration.

What makes the Palestinian struggle even more complex is that it is fighting against a regime that is supported and operates on the behalf of the U.S. in the Middle East and visa versa.

The essence of the Balfour Declaration in all its arrogant content contradicted and violated the Charter of the League of Nations, making it false and illegal for the following reasons.

  1. The declaration was issued in 1917 when Great Britain had no legal international link to Palestine. The British occupation mandate was not declared until after the end of the First World War on July 24, 1922.
  1. The Balfour statement was issued by an elite English Zionist of Jewish origin who had no right nor any legitimacy to declare anything on a territory that did not belong to them. And it did not have the right to surrender the Palestinian territory to a select group of Zionists alien to the Arab world as it did not belong to them either.
  1. The statement was not considered as a pact or treaty between States and recognized Nations, consequently the Zionist claim has neither legitimacy nor obligatory character from the point of view of International Law.
  1. The statement ignores and violates the historical rights of the national permanence of the Palestinian population in their native territory for more than 7 thousand years.
  1. The Balfour Statement contradicts and violated article 20 of the Charter of the League of Nations. In there the obligation of all members of the League was to maintain respect while applying the principles and objectives of the Charter “to help in the advancement of peoples and facilitate the freedom of their homelands, while respecting the cultures, religions and socio-economic development, in order to establish a national and independent Government”.

The history of foreign military bases has always been a direct form of intervention of foreign powers into the internal affairs of other States and the usurpation of sovereignty and national independence, as well as the dignity of the people.

It is a way of enforcing colonization and occupation to maintain a military and or economic condition favorable to the imperial powers. In other cases military bases occur at the request of governments who for reasons of military and economic dependence submit to this condition.

However there is an extremely serious form of installation of foreign military bases, with catastrophic consequences for the geography, demography, history and the very existence of the people of the region and that is the case of the Zionist State of Israel, artificially created in 1948 in the historic land of Palestine.

In the period of 1917 – 1947 there was a process of gradual multiplication of the installations of settlers that went from 50 thousand to 650 thousand. It was an invading army aided by mercenaries from 37 countries occupying 78% or the greater part of the territory of Palestine.

What followed was a reign of terror of Nazi-Zio style ethnic cleansing. Tens of thousands of Palestinians were massacred, another 850 thousand were expelled from their homeland, 532 cities and villages were either burned or bulldozed.

The holocaust was designed to distribute European Jews to Palestine as a labor force and to falsely legitimize a state before the world.

The same forces that created the holocaust now conducts it’s business in Palestine.

Later in the war of expansion that began on June 5, 1967 Israel seized the rest of historic Palestine and Arab territories in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.

In 1948, the Zionist entity was formed primarily by Ashkenazi ( non-Semitic) Jews from various European groups, primarily Polish and Russian. But the project has never been about religion but rather culture and geographic location.

Since the beginning Israel has been a political, economic, ideological project, complex and globalized, inseparably organic and functional to imperialism and capitalism in its different phases that has gone from mercantilism to neoliberal globalization.

The militarization of the Israeli state with the help of regional powers created a country that in itself is essentially an occupying military base that has served the interest of U.S. Imperialism by participating in endless wars in the region with the most modern of weaponry.

Gaza: A Cruel Testing Ground for Israel’s Weapons-Marketing Campaign

War, or rather maintaining an ongoing conflict, is for Israel a lucrative business. The label “combat proven” translates directly into “healthy global sales” of firearms, drones and rockets.

This reality has been the decisive factor in the destabilization of peace and security in the area. In nearly seven decades of its spurious and illegal existence Israel has waged at least 11 wars against Palestinians and Arabs.

From its position of quantitative and qualitative military supremacy, backed by  U.S. imperialism, this rogue state has become a nuclear power without declaring it.

Israel has been a conventional and nuclear military base of the U.S. without any control or supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (AIEA) since it has refused to sign their Protocols, alleging lacking foreign policy, according to Henry Kissinger, “Israel has no foreign policy; only domestic politics”.

The racist mindset of the founders of Israel can be seen in David Ben Gurion when he said, “We can only become Arabs as much as the Americans became Redskins..

Our war against the Arabs is to be or not to be; it is not for borders;  Israel lives with war and dies with peace.”

Paul Findley took it further when he said, “The doctrine of Christian fundamentalists stipulates that the existence of a strong Israel is a necessity for the designs of God in Palestine. The United States has the duty to make Israel very strong until the last day of the judgment.”

Prisoner support and human rights organizations claim that approximately 700 Palestinian children under the age of 18 from the occupied West Bank are being prosecuted each year in Israeli military courts following their arrest, interrogation, torture and detention by the Israeli army.

More recent Zionist leaders are no less fanatical. On 13 March 1992, the Israeli newspaper Haartz, echoed a statement from the former NATO Secretary, Joseph Linz when he said, “Israel is the least expensive mercenary in our era”. 

Meanwhile, Simón Pérez said that “Israel could not survive without the help of the United States”. Since 1973 the U.S. has been the real guarantor of the existence and technology-military superiority of Israel.”

Currently there are no tensions in bilateral diplomatic and political relations and the Presidents of the United States and Israel, at the economic-military level have grown and has experienced improvement especially since the W. Bush administration.

The U.S. has command has posts and military warehouses, including nuclear weapons in Israel – there are at least 150 nuclear weapons according to former President Carter – at the service of the war fighting needs of both powers in the Middle East.

Billions of U.S. tax dollars has propped up the Israeli infrastructure and build up the largest military force in the Middle East. Each consecutive president since 1950 has followed suit including Obama who, on his way out the door, signed an agreement with Israeli that would include $38 billion in military aid over the next decade.

The current situation in the Palestinian territories occupied in the West Bank continues to deteriorate. The Jewish settlements continue to escalate and push Palestinians off their land to the point that they only control 15% of it and movement is extremely restricted.

In the West Bank there are some 700,000 settlers in more than 600 Zionist colonies. These are militarized areas controlled by state sanctioned paramilitary groups.

There are also more than 1000 military check points along the 720 km. wall.

Conclusion

The Zionist entity of the State of Israel with its racist colonial role against the Palestinian people and all Arab people is a major threat to global peace. It constitutes the largest undeclared military base in the world. Israel is a constant violator of all human rights agreements and continues to mock all UN resolutions.

Today the 1975 UN resolution declaring Zionism as form of racism and racial discrimination is truer than ever before.

To do any justice for the cause of the Palestinian people this artificial entity has to be dismantled. Today there are 7 million Palestinians who are either refugees or exiled.

We demand the right of return for all Palestinians to their homeland and an end to occupation, looting, prison, torture and death.

While preparing this presentation I thought of the seven thousand Palestinian prisoners who remain in Israeli jails under administrative detention without any legal protection.

Many of them are children, young people and women.

On April 17 over 1,500 of these political prisoners began an open ended collective hunger strike. The demands are basic; an end to administrative detentions, solitary confinement and torture, the right to receive medicines and medical care and to install public telephones for maintaining contact with their families.

The Zionist response to the strike is alarming.  Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz, urged on his Twitter account the “necessity” that the Parliament of Israel, as soon as possible, pass a bill authorizing the death penalty of Palestinian prisoners being held.

This is the same Israeli Parliament, which adopted a resolution to legalize all the colonies that they occupy and currently usurp the land of Palestine.

The question for all justice loving people is how can we build peace with an occupant of this nature?

* Bassel Ismail Salem, is a Palestinian journalist and member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) living in Cuba

Source: Resumen Latinoamericano

Israel rejects call to join anti-nuclear treaty

“As a non-signatory state of the NPT, Israel is not obligated by the decisions of this conference, which has no authority over Israel,” the Israeli government said in an emailed statement.

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel on Saturday rejected as “flawed and hypocritical” a declaration by signatories of a global anti-nuclear arms treaty that urged it to sign the pact and make its atomic facilities subject to U.N. inspections.

All 189 parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, including the United States, called on Friday in a declaration that singled out Israel for a conference in 2012 to discuss banning weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.

“As a non-signatory state of the NPT, Israel is not obligated by the decisions of this conference, which has no authority over Israel,” the Israeli government said in an emailed statement.

“Given the distorted nature of this resolution, Israel will not be able to take part in its implementation,” it said.

The 28-page declaration said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and key states would arrange a conference that would include all nations in the region, by implication including bitter enemies Israel and Iran.

Israel is presumed to have a sizable nuclear arsenal but neither confirms nor denies it. It is the only Middle East state that has not signed the NPT and, like fellow non-members India and Pakistan, did not take part in the review conference.

U.S. officials, irked at efforts to single out Israel, made clear the proposal might go nowhere, saying the Middle East could not be declared WMD-free until broad Arab-Israeli peace prevailed and Iran curbed its uranium enrichment programme.

“HYPOCRITICAL”

Alluding to this point, the Israeli statement said: “This resolution is deeply flawed and hypocritical. It ignores the realities of the Middle East and the real threats facing the region and the entire world.”

Iran was not mentioned in the NPT declaration.

Israel and Western powers suspect Iran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons capability due to its past concealment of nuclear activity from the watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency and continued restrictions on IAEA access.

Tehran says it is enriching uranium only to generate electricity and isotopes for agriculture and medical treatment.

The Israeli statement said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would discuss the NPT declaration with President Barack Obama when the two leaders meet on Tuesday at the White House.

Obama welcomed agreements on a range of non-proliferation issues at the NPT meeting but said he would oppose efforts to isolate Israel and any actions to jeopardize its security.

Israel, whose jets bombed Iraq’s nuclear reactor in 1981 and mounted a similar sortie over Syria in 2007, has hinted that it could use force to deny Iran the means to build an atomic bomb.

The Israeli government statement said: “The real problem with WMDs in the Middle East does not relate to Israel but to those countries that have signed the NPT and brazenly violated it: Iraq under Saddam, Libya, Syria and Iran.”

Libya in 2003 ended years of international isolation after it promised to give up nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and has followed through on those promises.

 

 

Foreign Intervention Behind Iran Protests: CIA


Lethally shooting around 20 or Iranians through New Year’s day, including at least one policeman, suggests foreign interference.

What’s going on resembles March 2011 protests in Daraa, Syria. US-supported armed protesters fired on police, instigating conflict.

Security forces responded to violent armed insurgents, killing civilians and police, attacking government offices.

What began in Daraa, spread elsewhere in Syria, things escalating into Obama’s war, unresolved nearly seven years later.

Events are also similar to late 2013, early 2014 Euromaidan violent protests in Kiev. The Obama administration’s coup involved snipers, killing and injuring hundreds of civilians and police, firing on them with automatic weapons from Kiev’s Philharmonic Hall.

Witnesses saw them carrying military-style bags used for sniper and assault rifles with optical sights.

Ahead of the uprising, Maidan leaders practically lived at Washington’s embassy in Kiev. US-supported putschists toppled Ukraine’s democratic government.

Fascist tyranny replaced it – the most brazen European coup since Mussolini’s 1922 march on Rome.

Events in Iran also eerily similar to earlier CIA-instigated street violence in Venezuela, scores killed, hundreds injured – a US-orchestrated color revolution attempt to replace Bolivarian social democracy with fascist tyranny.

Tactics included shootings, roadside bombs, arson and other vandalism against state facilities, barricades of burning rubbish, blocking roads, destroying a food storage depot, and holding a maternity hospital under siege.

Later, a helicopter attacked the Interior Ministry and Supreme Court. Other disruptive tactics were used.

Since early in Hugo Chavez’s tenure, Washington sought regime change. The Trump administration is committed to ousting President Nicolas Maduro, perhaps a renewed attempt to come this year.

Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Ali Shamkhani said a “proxy war” is being waged against the Islamic Republic on streets and via social media.

He blamed Washington, Britain and Saudi Arabia for what’s going on.

“Based on our analyses, around 27 percent of the new hashtags against Iran are generated by the Saudi government,” he explained.

Israel’s dirty hands are involved, long wanting its main regional rival eliminated, pro-Western puppet rule replacing the Islamic Republic.

A “small and minority group” is responsible for rioting, lawbreaking and violence, Rouhani said.

Reportedly, Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is now in charge of cracking down on elements responsible for violence if it continues – ongoing since December 28.

On Monday, a policeman was lethally shot, three others wounded from gunfire, the death toll mounting, anti-government armed gunmen responsible.

Maryam Rajavi from the so-called People’s Mujahedin of Iran called on Washington, Brussels and the Security Council to intervene. The CIA-supported group calls for toppling the Islamic Republic violently.

Trump and Netanyahu expressed support for protesters. Reportedly, Washington and Israel may try to assassinate IRGC al-Quds Force commander General Qassem Soleimani.

He’s in charge of Iranian anti-terrorist operations in Syria.

Things remain volatile. They bear the disturbing earmarks of an attempted US-orchestrated color revolution.

Iran is well aware of what’s going on, its security forces trained and able to confront made-in-the-USA violence and instability.