“the Israeli government presented no evidence that rock-throwing and other violence by some demonstrators seriously threatened Israeli soldiers across the border fence.”
The New York Times claims that, until the demonstrations began in Gaza last month, Hamas had been firing “a fairly steady tempo” of rockets at Israel. In fact, it had been firing none.
On March 30, fourteen peaceful demonstrators were killed and hundreds wounded when Israeli soldiers fired across the border fence at unarmed Palestinians in Gaza.
The day of the crime, New York Times reported that, although the protests were “billed as the start of a peaceful, six-week sit-in”, Palestinian protesters had “quickly turned violent”.
The Times added, “But as some began hurling stones, tossing Molotov cocktails and rolling burning tires at the fence, the Israelis responded with tear gas and gunfire.”
Three days later, the editorial board of the Times acknowledged that the claim that Palestinians were “hurling stones, tossing Molotov cocktails and rolling burning tires at the fence” was the “Israeli version of events”.
In other words, the Times tacitly acknowledged that it had presented the Israeli propaganda version — in which the violence was instigated by the Palestinians — as though truthful.
By contrast, as Human Rights Watch noted, “the Israeli government presented no evidence that rock-throwing and other violence by some demonstrators seriously threatened Israeli soldiers across the border fence.”
Rather, “The high number of deaths and injuries was the foreseeable consequence of granting soldiers leeway to use lethal force outside of life-threatening situations in violation of international norms, coupled with the longstanding culture of impunity within the Israeli army for serious abuses.”
The Times hasn’t been faring any better with its reporting on Gaza since. In fact, it gets worse.
In an article published as “News Analysis” on April 15, David M. Halbfinger wrote in the Times about Hamas’s attitude toward such non-violent resistance.
To its rockets Israel had responded with the Iron Dome antimissile system. To its tunnels Israel was answering with a $2 billion reinforced-concrete wall buried deep underground.
And on Sunday, Israel said it had uncovered and destroyed the longest operational tunnel yet from Gaza.
It was no surprise, then, that after a grass-roots idea for a peaceful, long-lasting protest along the Gaza fence started gaining widespread support, Hamas brought a halt to what had been a fairly steady tempo of rocket launches into Israel and threw its considerable organizational might behind the demonstrations.
That is a lie.
Hamas had not been routinely launching rockets into Israel until the protests began.
Hamas had not been firing rockets into Israel at all.
Not in the days prior. Not in the weeks prior. Not in the months prior. Not even in the years prior.
According to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), 25 rockets fired from Gaza struck Israel in 2015, and 15 rockets in 2016. The IDF itself identified none of those rockets as having been fired by Hamas.
In 2017, according to the IDF, 35 rockets and mortars were fired at Israel from Gaza. Most of them, about 30, had been fired in the very last month of the year, after US President Donald Trump on December 6 said Jerusalem was Israel’s capital (even though East Jerusalem is under international law “occupied Palestinian territory”, and for the US to move its embassy there would be illegal).
About half of them landed inside Gaza.
The IDF also acknowledged that these rockets were not being fired by Hamas. Rather, as the Israeli daily Haaretz reported, the IDF attributed the attacks to “the desire by Islamic Jihad and other Salafi organizations to thwart the planned reconciliation between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas”, as well as Islamic Jihad’s “desire to avenge Israels destruction of a cross-border attack tunnel in October that killed 12 of the organizations operatives.”
The Zionist regime presents no evidence to back most of it’s claims. The world is to rely solely on it’s say so.
See, Hamas has actually long been trying to suppress the very rocket attacks the New York Times would have you believe it was responsible for routinely until the Gaza protests. Hamas and the Salafi groups firing these rockets are actually at odds with each other.
Of course, Israel holds Hamas responsible for any rocket attacks — even though it knows that Hamas isn’t the one doing it.
This has been the situation for quite a long time. Every serious observer knows this. Halbfinger is the Times‘ Jerusalem Bureau Chief. He cannot not know this.
Data for this year isn’t so easily obtained. But according to the list compiled at Wikipedia, there were six rockets fired in January and five or more in February.
Pointing out the low number of rocket attacks is not to trivialize their seriousness. Indiscriminate rocket attacks on Israeli civilian population centers are a war crime. T
he point is that the Times‘ claim that there had been “a fairly steady tempo” of rocket attacks until the Gaza protests started last month is at best misleading. And the Times‘ insinuation that rockets that have been fired were fired by Hamas is also maliciously false.
I would challenge Kaplow even to support his implication that Hamas fourteen months ago was responsible for firing rockets at Israel; but regardless, it puts the lie to the Times‘claim that Hamas had been steadily raining down rockets on Israel until the demonstrations began last month.
The falseness of the Times‘ claim also goes to the broader propaganda purpose of the article.
What the Times won’t tell you is that, actually, it is Israel that has routinely violated its ceasefire agreements with Hamas — including the ceasefires in place prior to its major operations “Cast Lead” (2008-2009), “Pillar of Defense” (2012), and “Protective Edge” (2014).
Hamas has also since 2005 expressed its acceptance of a Palestinian state alongside Israel within the 1949 armistice lines (a.k.a. the 1967 lines or “Green Line”).
And there is a great deal more about Hamas, and the Israel-Palestine conflict in general, that the Times does not disclose to its readers.
“The United States waged biological warfare against its own Congress in 2001 with the anthrax component of the 9/11 anthrax false flag operation, which terrorized Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy, the leaders of the movement that blocked the Patriot Act, into giving up and allowing the Patriot Act.
“Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event––like a new Pearl Harbor.”… “And advanced forms of biological warfare that can ‘target’ specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool.” The Project for a New American Century, Rebuilding America’s Defenses (September 2000)
I spent most of 2004 through 2006 blaming Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld for 9/11. As you can imagine, I got plenty of pushback.
Strangely, the loudest, most hysterical shrieks came not from red-white-and-blue Republican patriots, but from seemingly insane Zionists screaming: “Why do you hate the Jews so much, you anti-Semite?”
At first, I could not for the life of me figure out why blaming two non-Jews, Cheney and Rumsfeld, elicited that kind of reaction.
It also seemed odd that anyone talking about the explosive demolitions of World Trade Center Towers 1, 2, and 7 was reviled as a Jew-hater.
Questioning what happened to the Pentagon, whether there were really any hijackers or cell phone calls, who really sent the anthrax, who bought the put options, who exhibited foreknowledge, and so on elicited the same hysterical reaction from Israel-firsters.
It was only after I looked into the ethnic and foreign-loyalist backgrounds of PNAC, Larry Silverstein, and other 9/11 suspects that it began to dawn on me that “the Zionist doth protest too much.”
We are now experiencing 911-2B, the coronavirus black swan. Just as 9/11 terrorized, shocked, and shut down the USA for a few days, it seems that Covid-19 will do the same, only more so.
Instead of a few days, we may be shut down for a few months, maybe even a few years. And once again, Zionists are hysterically pushing back against those of us questioning the official story.
Press TV, meanwhile, published an article by American conspiracy theorist Kevin Barrett to back the claim that the coronavirus is a US-Israeli conspiracy using biological warfare to hurt Iran.
“US, Israel waging biological warfare on massive scale,” was the March 7 story’s headline.
Barrett, a “9/11 truther,” got crazier in the story:
“The United States waged biological warfare against its own Congress in 2001 with the anthrax component of the 9/11 anthrax false flag operation, which terrorized Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy, the leaders of the movement that blocked the Patriot Act, into giving up and allowing the Patriot Act.
“So the United States is run by lunatics, by psychopaths who are entirely capable of launching World War 3 by way of a biological warfare attack on China and Iran, with the Iran component presumably led by Israel. That’s the most likely explanation for what we’re seeing.”
This is the kind of rot Press TV publishes.
The Algemeiner also vilified Muslims reacting negatively to Israel’s announcement that it would have a coronavirus vaccine ready “in a few weeks.”
It cited British, Iranian, and Algerian Muslims balking at the prospect of buying vaccines from Israel, and/or questioning how Israel could possibly develop a vaccine for a new rogue virus in such short order, assuming it hadn’t simultaneously developed both the virus and the vaccine.
Might Israel profit from a disastrous black swan that it helped create? It already happened once.
Prior to 9/11, the Jewish population of Israel was fleeing, with net emigration outpacing net immigration, while the dotcom bust and suicide bombings collapsed the Jewish State’s economy.
The global Islamic movement was picking up steam; it seemed likely that Muslims might soon win back custody of their holy places.
(Muslims have administered the holy sites in and around Jerusalem/al-Quds virtually ever since Islam existed, minus a couple of brief and bloody crusader interludes, until the current Zionist genocide began less than a century ago.)
During the run-up to 9/11, as Naomi Klein explains in The Shock Doctrine, Israel put all its chips into anti-terror start-ups—and hit the jackpot on 9/11/2001.
An anti-Islam propaganda tidal wave swept the globe, washing away the Islamic Awakening surge and leaving in its place the 27-million-Muslim holocaust that continues today.
The 9/11 black swan was in essence a propaganda operation designed to demonize Islam and Muslims in general, and anti-Zionists ones in particular, in service to changing the arc of history to benefit Israel.
But it was sold by PNAC crypto-Zionists to people like Cheney and Rumsfeld as a recipe for prolonging US empire for a New American Century by way of a “New Pearl Harbor.”
Today’s coronavirus black swan, like 9/11, has all the characteristics of a trauma-based mass-mind-control op.
It has already been used to demonize China in the same way 9/11 was used to demonize Islam: Just as we were supposed to hate the crazy suicidal Muslims yearning for harems of afterlife virgins, we are now supposed to feel disgust for Chinese slurpers of bat soup.
And just as we were supposed to loathe the brutal and incompetent governments of Muslim-majority nations, now we are told to revile the oppressive censorship-addicted regime in Beijing.
It may be purely coincidental that this wholesale demonization of the world’s two greatest classical civilizations, based on two fear-inciting black swan events of suspicious origin, just happened to arrive in the wake of the Bernard Lewis-Samuel Huntington pronouncement that the 21st century would be era of the “clash of civilizations.” After all, even the craziest coincidence theories sometimes turn out to be true.
It may be a coincidence that at the same time those “athletes” were in Wuhan, the World Economic Forum, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, and other Establishment titans were hosting a pandemic simulation called Event 201.
The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation hosted Event 201, a high-level pandemic exercise on October 18, 2019, in New York, NY. The exercise illustrated areas where public/private partnerships will be necessary during the response to a severe pandemic in order to diminish large-scale economic and societal consequences.
It may be purely coincidental that the virus appeared in Wuhan, home of China’s biggest biodefense laboratory, and China’s biggest transportation hub, just in time for the Chinese New Year, when most Chinese travel to visit relatives.
Likewise, it could be coincidental that the real-life Covid-19 pandemic almost perfectly mimics Lockstep, the Rockefeller Foundation’s recipe for a global police state emerging on the back of a coronavirus-style pandemic.
Then again, it could be that the Chinese government’s suspicions about the US, or others’ suspicions about Israel (especially regarding the coronavirus catastrophe in Iran) are justified.
But such possibilities are far outside of the mainstream media’s Overton Window. The whole topic of bioweapons in relation to coronavirus is an MSM no-go zone, just as the evidence and arguments refuting the official story was a no-go zone after 9/11.
The very fact that such things are unspeakable in the Mockingbird media suggests that yet another nefarious propaganda operation is underway.
Just as I came to reject the official story of 9/11 by comparing the arguments and evidence cited by proponents and opponents of that thesis, I am currently leaning toward the “Anglo-Zionist bioweapon” interpretation of coronavirus based on what I’ve seen so far by opponents as well as proponents.
I recently listened to Peter Myers’ arguments that Covid-19 was made in a lab—”most likely from Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).” (Read his sources here.)
Myers focuses on a paper trail documenting bat virus research at Wuhan and the University of North Carolina, allegations of Chinese germ warfare espionage, and so forth. While his scenario, an accidental release from WIV, is not impossible, the evidence he cites is also compatible with the deliberate fabrication of a second-level cover story that would be deployed if the first-level legend, “Covid-19 spontaneously jumped from bats to humans,” is conclusively disproven.
The same second-level cover story would in the meantime function as a “blame the Chinese” conspiracy theory pushed by Steve Bannon, Tom Cotton, and other neocon and anti-China sources.
The question of whether the virus is naturally evolved or man-made is still open. Mainstream authorities like Nature Magazine are, quite naturally, pushing the “naturally evolved” position as hard as they can…which they would be expected to do whether or not it was true.
As with 9/11, the scientific evidence on coronavirus may give rise to a long-running debate. Meanwhile the world moves on.
With 2020 hindsight I can now see that I should have interpreted 9/11 as a likely false flag immediately, based on cui bono. Today, asking the same question about coronavirus, “who benefits,” yields only slightly less obvious results.
But if Covid-19 was a biological attack on China, China’s number one European partner Italy, and China’s close Middle Eastern friend (and Anglo-Zionist arch-enemy) Iran, why is it spreading elsewhere? A skeptic on Pepe Escobar’s email list recently responded: “Hi Pepe, I’m convinced the facts do not support your theory.
The damage to the West is greater than to China and it would be suicidal for US to engineer this. Why rule out natural causes like the Spanish flu?”
It is true that most military strategists dislike bioweapons due to their massive blowback potential: There is no guarantee that a mutating virus will stick to the race or geographical area you are attacking.
Though Covid-19 hit China first, under highly suspicious circumstances, making it “the Chinese virus” in the words of Donald Trump (and, subliminally, in MSM reporting and global public opinion) it is now cratering the US and European economies.
Could any US biowar team, however “rogue”—much less the commanding heights of the National Security State—have been crazy enough to risk that kind of blowback?
They were certainly crazy enough in 2001. Covid-19 is the new 9/11, the new “Transformative Event,” the new “watershed event in American history.
It could involve loss of life and property unprecedented in peacetime and undermine America’s fundamental sense of security…Like Pearl Harbor, this event would divide our past and future into a before and an after.
The United States might respond with draconian measures, scaling back civil liberties, allowing wider surveillance of citizens, detention of suspects, and use of deadly force.”
That sounds, to most of us, like an unpleasant prospect. Yet one of the authors of “Catastrophic Terrorism: Tackling the New Danger,” Philip Zelikow, is a leading suspect in the orchestration of 9/11, which occurred less than three years after that article was published.
Cover-up czar Zelikow, essentially the sole author of the risible work of fiction known as The 9/11 Commission Report, might conceivably have viewed the massage damage to the United States—not just the loss of the condemned-for-asbestos Trade Towers and a few thousand replaceable people, but also the hemorrhage of more than $6 trillion dollars alongside the even greater reputational loss in the 9/11-triggered “forever wars”—as being “worth it,” in the same way Madeleine Albright famously said that murdering half a million Iraqi children was “worth it.”
Might the neocon crazies who thought 9/11 was worth it feel the same way about a coronavirus biowar strike? They might. As Pepe Escobar suggested, the Covid-19
Transformative Event is acting as a “global circuit breaker.”
His conclusion: “What’s certain is that the whole global economy has been hit by an insidious, literally invisible circuit breaker. This may be just a ‘coincidence.’ Or this may be, as some are boldly arguing, part of a possible, massive psy-op creating the perfect geopolitical and social engineering environment for full-spectrum dominance.”
How could a circuit-breaker foster full-spectrum dominance? First, the neocons recognize that China’s inexorable rise to #1 world power status, and the concomitant collapse of the Anglo-Zionist Empire, is pretty much a done deal absent some circuit-breaking black swan event.
Just as the Zionists needed the 9/11 black swan to get their “Clean Break” with a historical trajectory leading towards the end of the apartheid Jewish State, so too the Anglo-Zionists might realize that something equally “transformative” would be required to forestall the rise of China.
The US cannot win a trade war with China. It cannot win a nuclear war. It cannot win a conventional land war.
Yet from the neocon perspective it needs some kind of war ASAP before China grows too strong.
So if you were a hardline neocon strategist dedicated to stymieing China at all costs, you might opt for a stealth 5G warfare approach featuring deniable biowar strikes among other tactics. You might be stupid or crazy enough not to consider the possibility of blowback.
But more likely you would welcome the blowback as an opportunity to tear down the current US economy, which is totally dependent on Chinese imports, and rebuild a new, more Spartan system geared for a long 5G war on China (and Russia and Iran and Venezuela and anybody else who won’t follow your orders).
Strategic analysts agree that the necessary prelude to ramped up US-vs.-China warfare would be a decoupling of the US and Chinese economies.
That decoupling is happening now, thanks to coronavirus. Once it has passed the point of no return, war becomes far more likely.
Hunkering down for a serious war on China and its allies would also require a momentous psychological and cultural shift on the part of the American people.
Until now, they have been lazy, undisciplined, addicted to consumption without much production, and unwilling to sacrifice themselves (though quite willing to murder foreigners from the safe distance of a drone base).
Only a profound psychic shock, and some serious deprivation, could retool them as potential soldiers and total war participants in a deadly and dangerous struggle to maintain their rulers’ global dominance privileges. Or so the neocons might imagine.
Will the panicked American sheeple, stampeded toward the toilet paper aisles by Coronavirus 911-2B, be redirected into a hyper-militarized mode of life befitting a long war for full spectrum dominance?
Will the Great Coronavirus Depression end in World War III just as the first Great Depression ended in World War II, with military Keynesianism once again “rescuing” a dead-in-the-water economy? Will 9/11 and the 9/11 wars seem like small potatoes once we’ve seen the Coronavirus Wars?
 From 2006 through around 2011 my 9/11 truth focused Wikipedia page was defaced by false accusations, sourced to an anonymous blog, that I was a “supporter of Holocaust deniers.” At the time I knew almost nothing about Holocaust revisionism, and did not even recognize the name of the “Holocaust denier” I was accused of supporting. Over a period of several years, countless attempts to correct the dozens of false statements about me on Wikipedia were made, but the false information would immediately reappear within hours, sometimes within minutes.
 When I brought Richard Gage of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth to Madison, Wisconsin, the WORT “alternative” radio interviewer’s first question was “why do you hate the Jews?” Gage was nonplussed. He and his organization focus on scientific evidence of controlled demolition, not the question of who did it.
 “A slew of new start-ups were launched, specializing in everything from ‘search and nail’ data mining, to surveillance cameras, to terrorist profiling. When the market for these services and devices exploded in the years after September 11, the Israeli state openly embraced a new national economic vision: the growth provided by the dot-com bubble would be replaced with a homeland security boom.” (Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine, p.435)
 Chinas Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is poised to end Western dominance of world trade in the same way the European sea route to Asia ended Muslim dominance via the Silk Road 500 years ago. For historical perspective, read Peter Frankopan’s The Silk Roads: A New History of the World.
 “On this perverse (neocon) view of the world, if America fails to achieve her national destiny, and is mired in perpetual war, then all is well. Man’s humanity, defined in terms of struggle to the death, is rescued from extinction… To my mind, this fascistic glorification of death and violence springs from a profound inability to celebrate life, joy, and the sheer thrill of existence.” –Shadia Drury
Canadian firm says it could make 10 million doses per month — if its innovative production method wins FDA approval.
A Canadian company says that it has produced a COVID-19 vaccine just 20 days after receiving the coronavirus’s genetic sequence, using a unique technology that they soon hope to submit for FDA approval.
Medicago CEO Bruce Clark said his company could produce as many as 10 million doses a month. If regulatory hurdles can be cleared, he said in a Thursday interview, the vaccine could start to become available in November 2021.
An Israeli research lab has also claimed to have created a vaccine. But Clark says his company’s technique, which has already been proven effective in producing vaccines for seasonal flu, is more reliable and easier to scale.
“There are a couple of others who are claiming that they have — well, we will call them vaccine[s]” for COVID-19, he said. “But they’re different technologies.
Canadian firm says it could make 10 million doses per month — if its innovative production method wins FDA approval.
Some are RNA– or DNA-based vaccines that have not yet been proven in any indication yet, let alone this one. Hopefully, they’ll be successful.”
How did Clark’s team create one so quickly,? They use plants, not chicken eggs, as a bioreactor for growing vaccine proteins.
Traditional vaccine production requires eggs, a lot of them. Vaccine manufacturers inject the virus into the eggs, where it propagates.
But using eggs is expensive, takes a long time, and is far from perfect. Mutations can yield vaccines that don’t match up to the virus they aim to shut down, Clark said
So Medicago doesn’t work with a live virus. Instead, it uses plants, a relatively new approach that has seen much advancement in the past decade.
It inserts a genetic sequence into agrobacterium, a soil bacteria, which is taken up by plants — in this case, a close cousin to tobacco.
The plant begins to produce the protein that can then be used as a vaccine. If the virus begins to mutate, as is expected for COVID-19, they can just update the production using new plants.
“That’s the difference between us” and egg-based methods, he said, ”we go directly to producing the vaccine or the antibody without having to propagate the virus.”
How, then, does it continue to portray itself as the victim, while painting the actual victims – Palestinians – as the aggressors?
It has become a tired and broken record, one that Israel and its ardent supporters play, regardless of the rationality of their arguments.
Any criticism of Israel, or any peaceful act to put pressure on the state, draws the same outrage, expressed through carefully thought out, yet irrational, talking points.
One soldier is heard to say “Who’s the coward now?” as the dogs tear at the youth’s clothes.
Anyone, or any organization, who dares to criticize the self-proclaimed “only democracy in the Middle East” is accused of being motivated by anti-semitism.
Any critical act or protest aimed at pressing Israel to uphold international law, no matter how peaceful, is denounced.
Israel’s treatment with kid gloves is not new; what is new, however, is its launching of the bullying trigger button within seconds of an attack.
The reality is that the settlement enterprise itself is racist, because homes are only built for Jewish Israelis
While access to the nuclear button is normally reserved for the head of state, any pro-Israel civilian can launch the bullying trigger button, and they are encouraged to do so by Israel.
An army of social media trolls linked to Israeli missions abroad have their fingers hovering over this button, ready to defend as soon as they perceive an attack. It’s a button they have pressed repeatedly in recent days.
Take the case of Airbnb. The holiday property listings company enraged the bullying army by withdrawing listings for properties built in illegal Israeli settlements from its website.
Pro-Israel critics claimed that Airbnb was singling out Jewish Israeli properties, and therefore, this was anti-semitic.
Breaking international law
The first Zionists to establish “Israel” arrived wearing Hitler mustaches.
The reality is that the settlement enterprise itself is racist, because homes are only built for Jewish Israelis.
Imagine the outcry if Britain built homes only for white Christians, banning other inhabitants of Britain from acquiring them.
Settlements are also illegal under international law.
Airbnb said it took action because settlements were at the “core of the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians”.
A statement from the company noted: “US law permits companies like Airbnb to engage in business in these territories.
At the same time, many in the global community have stated that companies should not do business here because they believe companies should not profit on lands where people have been displaced.”
A reasonable person would see clear logic in that stance. However, the bullying trigger button was pressed, and an illegal settler is now bringing a lawsuit against Airbnb.
Consider that for a moment: an illegal settler is suing a company for a moral and legal act.
It was then the turn of British Quakers to enrage the pro-Israel lobby. Their crime? Divesting from companies that profit from Israel’s illegal occupation.
Paul Parker, recording clerk for Quakers in Britain, said in a statement: “With the occupation now in its 51st year, and with no end in near sight, we believe we have a moral duty to state publicly that we will not invest in any company profiting from the occupation.”
More pressure needed
This time, it was the Board of Deputies of British Jews that pressed the bullying trigger button. In a statement, the board’s president, Marie van der Zyl, condemned the decision: “The appalling decision of the Friends House hierarchy to divest from just one country in the world – the only Jewish state – despite everything else going on around the globe, shows the dangers of the obsessive and tunnel-visioned approach that a narrow clique of church officials have taken in recent years.”
Any reasonable person who knows the Quakers would realize that they would have reflected seriously before making such a decision, and that it was based on their deep knowledge of the situation over decades.
Divesting from companies that profit from an illegal occupation is moral and legal.
Speak if you want to, they say, but the price will be high. The bullying trigger button can be pressed by anyone in defense of Israeli apartheid
Israel does not recognize that the West Bank and East Jerusalem are occupied. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has deemed it absurd to talk of an occupation, and the long-advertised US “deal of the century” will likely reflect this by avoiding a call to end the occupation.
This will certainly not lead to peace. What is needed is more pressure on Israel to comply with international law and to finally end the occupation of Palestinian land.
Airbnb was correct to identify the settlements as a core issue, and it is time that others follow suit.
Israel is a military force planted in Palestine for the Western powers from over a century ago.
Whither free speech?
The bullying trigger button will now be pressed regularly, judging by the number of moves to ban trade with illegal Israeli settlements.
Chile’s congress overwhelmingly passed a resolution demanding that the government “forbid the entry of products manufactured and coming from Israeli colonies in the occupied Palestinian territory”.
This follows hot on the heels of Ireland’s senate passing a bill banning the import of products from illegal Israeli settlements.
The vicious attack on CNN contributor Marc Lamont Hill, fired for standing with Palestinians, shows that Israel is being singled out not for criticism, but rather for protection from accountability.
Israel is shutting down its critics on social media. It happened to me
Free speech, it seems, is a value that most claim to uphold – except those who blindly support Israel. Speak if you want to, they say, but the price will be high. The bullying trigger button can be pressed by anyone in defense of Israeli apartheid.
The Israelis love to muddy the water in order to take the focus away from the fact that they’re not Hebrews (all Hebrews are irrevocably dead) and have no right to the land of Palestine, a country they’ve stolen and destroyed.
The Israelis have been feeding us all a steady diet about this or that country or politician being a “new Hitler’ who will either gas 6M Jews “again”, or wants to wipe Israel “off the map” or even engage in a new Holocaust.
Gilad Atzmon brilliantly calls this mental disorder “pre-traumatic stress disorder”, and he is spot on.
The Israelis mostly used this “preemptive geschrei*” as a way to squeeze out as many concessions (and money) from the western goyim as possible.
But in a deep sense, it is possibly that the Israelis are at least dimly aware that their entire project is simply not viable, that you cannot ensure the survival of any state by terrorizing all of your neighbors.
Violence, especially vicious, rabid, violence can, indeed, terrorize people, but only for so long.
Sooner or later, the human soul will outgrow any fear, no matter how visceral, and will replace that fear by a new and immensely powerful sense of determination.
Here is what Robert Fisk said in distant 2006, 14 years ago: You heard Sharon, before he suffered his massive stroke, he used this phrase in the Knesset, you know, “The Palestinians must feel pain.”
This was during one of the intifadas. The idea that if you continue to beat and beat and beat the Arabs, they will submit, that eventually they’ll go on their knees and give you what you want.
And this is totally, utterly self-delusional, because it doesn’t apply anymore.
It used to apply 30 years ago, when I first arrived in the Middle East. If the Israelis crossed the Lebanese border, the Palestinians jumped in their cars and drove to Beirut and went to the cinema.
Now when the Israelis cross the Lebanese border, the Hezbollah jump in their cars in Beirut and race to the south to join battle with them.
But the key thing now is that Arabs are not afraid any more. Their leaders are afraid, the Mubaraks of this world, the president of Egypt, King Abdullah II of Jordan.
They’re afraid. They shake and tremble in their golden mosques, because they were supported by us. But the people are no longer afraid.
20 years ago this was unheard of. Even Palestine was mostly unheard of!
What was true only for some Arabs in 2006, has now become true for most (maybe even all?) Arabs in 2020.
As for the Iranians, they have never had any fear of Uncle Shmuel, they are the ones who “injected” the newly created Hezbollah with this qualitatively new kind of “special courage” (which is the Shia ethos, really!) when this movement was founded.
Empires can survive many things, but once they are not feared anymore, then their end is near.
The Iranian strike proved a fundamental new reality to the rest of the world: the USA is much more afraid of Iran than Iran is afraid of the USA. U.S. rulers and politicians will, of course, claim otherwise.
But that futile effort to re-shape reality is now doomed to failure, if only because even the Houthis can now openly and successfully defy the combined might of the “Axis of Kindness”.
You can think of U.S. and Israeli leaders as the orchestra on the Titanic: they play well, but they will still get wet and then die.
(*geschrei: the Yiddish word for yelling, crying out, to shriek)
“One of my first reservations about Zionism was and is that, semi consciously at least, it grants the anti-Semite’s first premise about the abnormality of the Jew.”
― Christopher Hitchens
The Abu Kabir Forensic Institute in Tel Aviv, which holds bodies of Palestinians killed in alleged attacks on Israelis, is notoriously known as the place where Palestinian organs and body parts have been harvested.
Israel’s use of “necroviolence” on bodies of Palestinians has been condemned as part of its policy to exert further control over the people living in the occupied territories.
On Sunday, a video (I don’t like to watch it) that went viral on social media showed an Israeli bulldozer violently scooping up the body of a Palestinian who had been shot by Israeli forces east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.
Israeli authorities alleged that the man, identified as 27-year-old Mohammed Ali al-Naim – a member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) movement, was attempting to plant an explosive device near the Israeli fence. (a ready excuse)
The video showed a group of Palestinians running forward with a wheelbarrow to try to carry al-Naim’s body, as well as another man who was wounded, back from the fence but they were also targeted by Israeli soldiers.
At least two men were shot in the legs, according to Gaza’s health ministry.
Muthana al-Najjar, the journalist who shot the video, said the Israeli bulldozer, which was accompanied by a Merkava tank, ran over al-Naim’s body and tried several times to pick it up with its blade before taking it back to the Israeli side as the body dangled from the edge of the blade.
“Desecrating the dead body of a young unarmed man on the borders of the Gaza Strip in front of the cameras of the whole world is a heinous crime that adds to the occupation’s list of crimes against our Palestinian people,” said Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for the Hamas movement that governs the Gaza Strip, in a press statement.
According to Budour Hassan, a legal researcher with the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC), this necroviolence – the act of humiliating human bodies – is a means of exerting control over bodies of the Palestinians.
“We see it as an extension of an entire policy designed by Israel to control bodies of Palestinians,” Hassan told Al Jazeera.
A Rock and a Hard Place: What is it like to live in Jerusalem?
The word necroviolence, Hassan added, is borrowed from anthropologist Jason De Leon’s book, The Land of Open Graves, in which he coined the term to describe the mistreatment of bodies of migrants who crossed the US border from Mexico.
Hassan added that while desecrating Palestinian bodies was not exceptional to the Israeli forces, the video of the incident was a rare instance where it was carried out publicly.
“Israel carries out similar forms of humiliation on bodies silently in morgues or in the cemeteries of numbers,” she explained, referring to mass graves marked with numbers etched on metal plates rather than names.
The cemeteries are situated in secret locations that Israel has deemed closed military zones. Some of the bodies have been there since the 1967 war.
Furthermore, the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute in Tel Aviv, which holds bodies of Palestinians killed in alleged attacks on Israelis, is notoriously known as the place where Palestinian organs and body parts have been harvested.
According to JLAC and Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights, an NGO, Israel is the only country in the world that has a policy of confiscation of human remains, where it relies on regulations dating back to 1945 (during the British Mandate) as grounds for its policy.
In September 2019, the Israeli High Court approved the practice after several legal cases were brought against the state.
According to Adalah, the ruling stated that emergency regulations allowed the Israeli military to order temporary burial of Palestinians classified as enemies “based on considerations that take into account state security, civil order, and the need to negotiate for the return of the bodies of Israeli soldiers”.
However, international law considers the practice a violation of human rights. According to the Geneva Conventions, the parties of an armed conflict must bury the deceased in an honorable way, “if possible according to the rites of the religion to which they belonged and that their graves are respected, properly maintained, and marked in such a way that they can always be recognized”. (Even Osama Bin-Laden had a better end)
Ramy Abdu, the founder of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, said Israel withholding bodies of Palestinians is an act of collective violence that is considered a war crime.
“The Israeli authorities have repeatedly adopted a policy of withholding Palestinian bodies, which blatantly contradicts several international conventions,” Abdu told Al Jazeera.
“Articles in the Geneva Conventions assure the necessity of burying the bodies of deceased detainees or those who were killed with respect according to procedures that are appropriate with their religious culture,” he added.
‘Dehumanising Palestinian bodies’
According to the JLAC, 52 bodies of Palestinians have been detained by the Israeli government as part of a cabinet decision in 2016.
A further 18 bodies were also detained by Israel from the 2014 Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip, whereas the cemeteries of numbers hold at least 253 bodies.
“There are two branches to this policy,” Hassan said. “One is the legalised violence that is approved by the Israeli High Court, and the other is the violence practised by the Israeli army. Both follow the same pattern of dehumanising Palestinian bodies.”
It is widely known that Israel employs the practice as a tactic for leverage in negotiations. In 2012, Israel released bodies of 90 Palestinians in a gesture for reviving peace talks. Between 2013 and 2014, some 27 bodies were returned.
Speaking about Sunday’s incident, Israeli Defence Minister Naftali Bennett confirmed the bulldozer was used to “collect” al-Naim’s body.
He said he intended to keep the bodies from Gaza to use as bargaining chips with “Palestinian militants” in body-swap deals, and slammed the uproar over withholding al-Naim’s body as the “hypocritical criticism of the left”.
“I back the IDF that killed the terrorist and collected the body,” he said in a post on Twitter. “This is how it should be done, and this is how it will be done.”
Hassan said while Bennett’s comments are not surprising, they are interesting in the way “it justifies the extent to which Palestinians have been dehumanised in Israeli media and by Israeli officials which is a culmination of the whole system of necroviolence that is being exerted on Palestinians”.
12 children among dozens killed in Israel’s merciless slaughter. Eighty percent of the fatalities are civilians and half of the injured are women and children, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
In a letter sent to the Israeli chief military advocate general, Adalah called for a criminal investigation of the incident, and termed the manhandling of the body a “blatant” violation of international criminal law, human rights and humanitarian law.
“The Israeli Supreme Court has likewise recognized in past rulings that harm to the dignity of the deceased is a violation of Israel’s basic law: human dignity and liberty,” the center said.
Aida Touma-Sliman, a Palestinian Israeli member of Knesset representing the Hadash party – a part of the Joint List alliance, called Bennett “the minister of death and brutality”.
“They steal a body, abuse it with a bulldozer and still argue that the army is the most moral in the world,” she said. “Since Bennett took office as defense minister, hoarding bodies to bargain with is Israel’s declared policy.”
Ofer Cassif, another Joint List parliamentarian, called the abduction of a body as “the nauseating, blood-thirsty act of vampirism”.
“Here is what [Israeli Prime Minister] Netanyahu has to offer: Siege, killing and abducting bodies,” Cassif wrote on Twitter. “We need to put an end to their celebration of death.”
As the Arabs say: nothing comes out of the pot except what’s in it.
Coronavirus has an ‘HIV-like mutation’ which helps it to attack human cells, scientists claim
The vaccine could “achieve safety approval in 90 days
Israeli scientists are on the cusp of developing the first vaccine against the novel coronavirus, according to Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis. If all goes as planned, the vaccine could be ready within a few weeks and available in 90 days, according to a release.
“Congratulations to MIGAL [The Galilee Research Institute] on this exciting breakthrough,” Akunis said. “I am confident there will be further rapid progress, enabling us to provide a needed response to the grave global COVID-19 threat,” Akunis said, referring to the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
For the past four years, a team of MIGAL scientists has been developing a vaccine against infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), which causes a bronchial disease affecting poultry. The effectiveness of the vaccine has been proven in preclinical trials carried out at the Veterinary Institute.
“If Americans were ever polled on it—and they never are—the majority who now object to increasing aid to Israel would also likely object to quasi-governmental and governmental positions being staffed by people who — by citizenship or sheer strength of identity politics — are primarily occupied with advancing Israeli interests rather than those of the United States.
It is obvious that the real reason AIPAC and its economic luminaries such as Fischer never substantiate any of the advertised benefits the U.S. – Israel “special relationship” delivers to America in return for all of the costs is simple—there simply aren’t any.
As greater Dual Citizen numbers of Americans become aware that the entire “special relationship” framework is sustained by nothing more than Israel lobby campaign-finance and propaganda networks, the harder the lobby will have to work…
In the very short term, Americans can only fight such undue Israel lobby influence by again — like during the drive to attack Syria—staging a mass action to demand their senators reject Stanley Fischer’s nomination,” Grant Smith, IRMEP US Politicians Who Hold Dual US/Israeli Citizenship
Excerpt of article by Philip Giraldi February 15 ,2020
Israel’s willingness to kill Americans in support of what it perceives as its own interests goes back nearly to the founding of the state in 1948.
The Lavon Affair of 1954 was an Israeli plot to bomb the U.S. Embassy Information Agency libraries in Alexandria and Cairo Egypt, blaming the attacks on the Egyptians to draw the United States closer to Israel.
The bombs were placed by Egyptian Jews acting for Israeli intelligence. They exploded, but fortunately no one was killed.
In June 1967 Israel was at it again, attacking the intelligence gathering U.S. naval vessel the U.S.S. Liberty in international waters, killing thirty-four American sailors, Marines and civilians in a deliberate air and sea onslaught that sought to sink the intelligence gathering ship and kill all its crew.
It was the worst attack ever carried out on a U.S. Naval vessel in peace time. In addition to the death toll, 171 more of the crew were wounded in the two-hour assault.
The Israelis, whose planes had their Star of David markings covered up so Egypt could be blamed, attacked the ship repeatedly from the air and with gunboats from the sea.
When one Israeli pilot hesitated, refusing to attack what was clearly an American ship, he was instructed to proceed anyway.
The most disgusting part of the tale relates to how U.S. warplanes sent to the Liberty’s aid from an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean were called back by Defense Secretary Robert McNamara acting under orders from President Lyndon Baines Johnson, who declared that he would rather see the ship go to the bottom of the sea than embarrass his good friend Israel.
Ironically, the first ship to reach the Liberty and offer assistance was from the Soviet Union, an offer that was declined.
More recently there have been a number of killings of Americans. In a bizarre incident in August 1988, an elderly Palestinian-American with a heart condition died after being forced to climb stairs to paint over anti-Israeli graffiti on a school wall. Rebhi Barakat Kaid, 67, of Columbus, Ohio, was on the West Bank visiting relatives.
He died of a heart attack after three Israeli soldiers ordered him and his 14-year-old Chicago-born grandson at gunpoint to climb the 22 steep steps that led from the house to the street above without his being allowed to take his heart medicine first.
Much better known is the March 2003 killing of Washington State’s Rachel Corrie, who was deliberately run over by an Israeli military bulldozer when she was protesting the destruction of a Palestinian village.
A month later there was an incident in which Brian Avery, a 24-year-old from Albuquerque, New Mexico, was shot in the face in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin by Israeli soldiers in an armored personnel carrier firing machine guns at protesters.
*(Picture taken at 4:47PM on 16 March 2003, Rafah, Occupied Gaza. Rachel Corrie lies on the ground fatally injured by the Israeli bulldozer driver. Rachel’s fellow activists have dug her a little out of the sand and are trying to keep her neck straight due to spinal injury. Photo by Joseph Smith. Credit: ISM Handout)
In March 2009 Tristan Anderson, a 37-year-old from Oakland, California, suffered permanent brain damage when Israeli soldiers shot him in the face with a tear gas canister as he watched a protest in the West Bank village of Nilin.
Another American citizen, Furkan Doğan, an 18-year-old born in Troy, New York, was killed aboard the Turkish flagged Mavi Marmara in the Mediterranean Sea in May 2010 as a flotilla of international activists attempted to break Israel’s illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip to deliver humanitarian supplies.
The same day that Israel murdered Furkan Doğan, 21-year-old Emily Henochowicz of Potomac, Maryland, was protesting the attack on the flotilla at the Qalandiya checkpoint near Jerusalem, when an Israeli soldier shot her in the face with a teargas cannister, resulting in the loss of an eye.
The Israeli army claimed that Hammad was throwing a Molotov cocktail at the time of his death, but witnesses stated that he was among a group of children throwing rocks at the heavily armed and armored soldiers.
And most recently, there is the case of Florida-born 16-year-old Palestinian-American Mahmoud Shaalan who was shot repeatedly at an Israeli check point on the West Bank on February 26, 2016 while he was walking to a nearby village to visit his aunt.
He was still alive after the shooting, but Israeli soldiers denied him any medical treatment for three hours and he died before an ambulance was allowed to approach him.
Arrest of Palestinians and others without probable cause under “administration detention” guidelines followed by torture has also become a hallmark of Israel’s occupation of Arab land.
Torture methods used by Israel include stress positions, severe beatings, sleep deprivation, emotional blackmail, threats of torture of family members and the transfer of detainees to secret prisons where torture is constant.
In one case reported to a Human Rights Association “The harsh beating was committed with the intention to kill the detainee.”
In another reported case of torture, nineteen-year-old Mahmoud Zakarner’s testicles were smashed by soldiers in front of his uncle to force the man to provide the names of Palestinian resistance members. Mahmoud is now paralyzed and unable to speak as a result.
Israeli expertise in torture is in demand from authoritarian regimes worldwide, creating a growth industry for the specialized “advisers and technicians.” Many are currently working with right wing regimes in South and Central America.
Inside Israel torture of Palestinians is routine on the grounds of “necessity” and absurd “ticking-bomb” scenarios. The courts and the medical profession aid and abet the practice.
Over 1200 complaints regarding the torture of Palestinians in Israeli prisons have not resulted in even a single indictment of the torturers.
So, killing Americans as well as many others and torturing prisoners are all in a day’s work for the Jewish state. What is disgraceful, of course, is the fact that the United States government, which has the power to do something about it, instead chooses to do nothing to stop the bleeding or even to demand inquiries to find out who is to blame.
Instead, Washington lavishes money and praise on Israel, reportedly America’s best friend and closest ally, while it also avoids looking at the horrors that are evident to most of the rest of the world.
Netanyahu’s goal is to convince Congress to torpedo the US-led Iranian nuclear negotiations, which he thinks will result in a deal that hands Iran the bomb on a silver platter. He wants Congress to vote to impose new sanctions on Iran, which would kill the talks, and thus significantly alter US policy toward the Middle East. Dual Israeli citizen Sen Chuck Schumer enthusiastically applauds Netayahu.
The U.S. relationship with Israel has long been a challenge in the context of wider U.S. foreign policy.
It has often touched on national security issues, for instance when the government of Israel and its U.S. supporters (most notably the American Israel Public Affairs Committee [AIPAC]) opposed arms sales to Arab nations.
Important and annoying as such efforts were, they did not threaten vital U.S. national security interests.
The unprecedented invitation by Speaker of the House John Boehner to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress on the issue of Iranian nuclear negotiations demonstrates a new level of chutzpa.
We need to comb through the 5th column and eliminate.
These developments raise the question as to whether Israel is becoming a strategic liability for America.
Conventional wisdom holds that Israel is a strategically vital asset based on its being the only democracy in the area and one that provides crucial support to the United States against terrorism and other threats.
Further, Israeli democracy is by no means secure. Demographic trends will inexorably dictate that Israel will have to choose between a two-state solution with a majority Jewish state and a Palestinian one, or a single state solution with a majority Palestinian population ruled by a Jewish minority.
All indications are that the Netanyahu government, if it survives the March elections, will continue to move toward a one-state solution.
Settlements continue to be built in East Jerusalem and West Bank territories that would be part of any viable Palestinian State, people on both sides have declared the Oslo peace process dead, and laws are proposed establishing Israel as an exclusivist Jewish state.
Attempts by Palestine to take non-violent protective steps such as joining the International Criminal Court (ICC) on their own behalf are met with financial threats from Israel and the United States.
These and other Israeli actions, such as the last operation in Gaza, are problematic for the United States not only in dealing with the Arab and Muslim worlds but also with our European allies.
Enter the Netanyahu bull in the china shop. Through the Israeli ambassador in Washington, Ron Dermer, a former GOP operative, he has engineered an invitation from House Speaker John Boehner to address a Joint Session of Congress on the nuclear negotiations with Iran without even informing the White House.
“Members of Congress, I have the high privilege and the distinct honor of presenting to you His Excellency Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel,” Boehner said, using an honorific — “His Excellency” — that even Netanyahu’s biggest supporters in Israel don’t use.
This is a massive breach of diplomatic protocol. Netanyahu has inserted Israel into the U.S. partisan political process in a way that could upset long-standing bipartisan support for Israel. He also inserted the United States into Israeli politics by procuring a Congressional platform for his domestic campaign.
In December Senator Lindsey Graham (R) of South Carolina held a press conference in Israel and pledged to the Prime Minister that Congress would “follow your lead” on the Iran negotiations.
This is the same senator who threatened Palestinian aid if they joined the ICC. Is it any wonder that many believe that Netanyahu has been given a veto over the final Iran agreement?
Why does this intrusion threaten U.S. security? First, if Congress is seen as causing the talks collapse at the behest of Israel, the international sanctions regime will collapse.
The Europeans, as well as Russia and China, will begin to expand economic ties with Iran.
Such a coalition breakdown could have adverse blowback on EU and NATO sanctions against Russia. Second, the enhanced inspection of Iranian nuclear facilities will be imperiled.
In an atmosphere where we know less of what is happening in Iran, worst case scenarios will prevail. And then many in Congress and Israel will call for military action.
Military action may someday be needed but there is no harm in continuing to negotiate under the current transparent arrangements.
And if we are to put American lives at risk again, that decision should be made in the U.S.A. based on U.S. security interests and those of our negotiating partners and allies, including Israel, not by senators pledging fealty to Israel’s prime minister.
Israel and AIPAC have long been pushing the bounds of a relationship that is, not that you would know it, between a patron and a supplicant. U.S. policy is for a two-state solution and the end of settlements.
A civil Airbus-320 was trying to land at Damascus airport when Israeli F-16 fighter jets struck Damascus’ suburbs early Thursday, putting 172 passengers on board in danger.
The Syrian military said earlier they had thwarted hostile targets above Damascus, adding that the attack had been launched by Israeli forces from the Golan Heights.
The Russian Ministry of Defense says Israeli F-16 fighter jets carried out strikes with eight air-to-surface missiles on Damascus’ suburbs early Thursday, without entering Syrian airspace, Sputnik reported.
According to the Russian military, a civil Airbus-320 with 172 passengers on board was trying to land at Damascus airport during the Israeli airstrikes that night, but landed instead at the Russian airbase in Hmeymim.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry’s spokesman, it has already become a common practice for the Israeli air force to use civil aircraft to shield their own fighter jets from the Syrian air defense systems.
Eight troops were injured and some material damage was caused as a result of Thursday morning’s airstrikes on Damascus and other Syrian cities, a Syrian military source said earlier.
The military source confirmed the attack was launched from the Golan Heights, part of which has been occupied by ‘Israel’ since 1967, and from southern Lebanon’s airspace. ‘Israel’ has remained silent about who was responsible for the strikes.
According to media reports, the strikes targeted Damascus’s Mezzah district, where the Al-Mezzah Military Airport is located, the dislocation point of the 75th Brigade of the Syrian Army in the vicinity of the village of al-Maquilbiya, and the Center for Scientific Research in Jamaria.
Netanyahu had hoped to immediately “finish the job” before Israel’s March vote. He also didn’t get his war with Iran via the US HAHA!
Israelis protest in Israel against the ‘Deal of the century”
US President Donald Trump’s newly unveiled Middle East “peace plan” sparked exceedingly divergent reactions around the world, but also within Israel itself — despite the fact that most see the state of Israel as the big winner in Trump’s latest announcement.
And no one seemed more surprised by that split reaction than Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself. In his view, his appearance alongside Trump in Washington and the duo’s collective praise for the US plan should have kicked off the final stretch of Israeli parliamentary elections — the third within one year’s time — that would this time secure the politician’s grip on power, something the prior two elections failed to do.
More than anything, Netanyahu had hoped to immediately “finish the job” before Israel’s March vote, cementing the current status quo in the occupied territories in the West Bank with US approval.
Jewish settlements in the occupied territories are a priority for Netanyahu, who immediately implemented steps to “expand Israel’s sovereignty” on land occupied by Jewish settlers, initiating Israeli annexation of the disputed area.
Netanyahu forced to back off
Meantime Netanyahu bombs Palestinians
But Washington called on Netanyahu to pause, saying that such steps could not begin immediately, but were instead contingent upon negotiations and agreements between all parties involved in the matter.
The statement had less to do with Jewish settlers than with Palestinians and Jordanians.
Thus, Netanyahu was forced to back off his plan, despite his calculus that the bold move would translate into political capital for his conservative Likud party.
In his eyes, nothing could facilitate Likud’s political advantage like the the “deal of the century” propagated for three years by Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Likud members have discreetly omitted the word peace when speaking of the new plan, for how could a politician like Netanyahu score electoral points with it?
For the past several years, it was Netanyahu who repeatedly and systematically torpedoed every attempt to reach agreement between Israel and Palestinian leaders.
Ultimately, his actions have left the historic Oslo Accords in tatters, a fact that those on the right of the Israeli political spectrum have quietly avoided talking about.
Thus, it appeared that only one thing mattered: Securing US support on points seen internationally as impediments to peace with the Palestinians.
Trump has done much to aid the Israeli cause since coming to office. Most notably, by moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, thereby changing the city’s status, as well as recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which Israel annexed from Syria.
It was widely thought that the next phase of the historic project could now be undertaken, something that seemed self-evident to many Israelis.
That clarity of purpose is, among other things, the direct result of the fact that Israelis have been taught — in kindergarten, in school and in the military — to view West Bank territories occupied in 1967 as part of Eretz Yisrael, or the biblical Land of Israel.
Opinion polls show an even split among Israelis who approve and reject the Trump plan. No one can say with certainty if and how that might change ahead of the election on March 2.
Still, if the vote once again fails to provide a clear electoral winner, the peace plan will have to be abandoned. The same must be said if a March victor tries to implement the plan on his own at all costs — as Netanyahu attempted to do earlier this week.