Thursday, 14 December 2017

قمة التورّط في الخطوة الأولى


ديسمبر 14, 2017

ناصر قنديل

– نجح الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله بخوض تكتيك لاعب سنوكر، فعبّأ الشارع الفلسطيني لصالح شعارين رئيسيّين، وهما قطع العلاقات مع «إسرائيل»، وإنهاء المسار التفاوضي، ولأنه يدرك درجة التوتّر في الشارع الفلسطيني ويدرك تأثير كلماته فيه ومكانته عنده، ويدرك حجم الإحراج الذي تعيشه السلطة الفلسطينية تجاه شعبها، الذي أخذته لأكثر من ثلاثة عقود إلى وهم التفاوض والتنسيق مع «إسرائيل» كمدخل مزعوم لاستعادة الحقوق، فكانت النتيجة قضم «إسرائيل» للضفة والقدس وتوسّع الاستيطان فيهما وتهويد أغلب القدس، وتوّجت بإقدام راعي التفاوض الأميركي على حسم هوية القدس خارج التفاوض، عاصمة لـ «إسرائيل». بسبب هذا كله تصير المعادلة أنّ ما يصير في الوجدان الفلسطيني سيشكل سقفاً ضاغطاً على القيادة الفلسطينية، في زمن مواجهة مفتوحة تحتاج هذه القيادة لتزخيمها ولتأكيد مكانة بديلة للمكانة التي استندت إليها في زمن التفاوض، حتى لو أرادت استعادة هذا الزمن فهي تحتاج عناصر القوة. وفي المقابل أغلب المشاركين في القمة الإسلامية لا يرغبون بالتصعيد مع أميركا ولا بكسر الجرّة معها، ولا يُحرجهم إلا الموقف الفلسطيني، فكلّ ضغوطهم ستكون قبيل القمة على السلطة الفلسطينية لطرح سقوف منخفضة لا تُحرجهم، لأنه في مثل هذه الحال وكلّ ما يحيط بها سيكون من الصعب رفض ما يطلبه الفلسطينيون.

– حمل الرئيس الفلسطيني في خطابه بعضاً مما ينتظره الشارع منه بصفة وعود لاحقة كالخروج من اتفاقات أوسلو، والدعوة لسحب الاعتراف بـ«إسرائيل»، وبعضاً من الذي يقبله المؤتمرون، فاكتفى بالشكوى لمجلس الأمن على قرار الرئيس الأميركي حول القدس، والدعوة للاعتراف بدولة فلسطين وعاصمتها القدس الشرقية، كعنوان للمطلوب من القمة الإسلامية، ومدخل الهدفين والقدرة على تحقيقهما وقفٌ على التجاوب الأوروبي، وأوروبا المستهدفة هنا، لم يتمّ إحراجها بما هو أعلى، بل تمّ إغراؤها ضمناً بأن تكون هي من جرت تسميته بالوسيط النزيه البديل لأميركا، في رعاية المفاوضات، التي لم يتمّ إسقاطها كخيار، ولا سحبت المبادرة العربية للسلام عن طاولتها، رغم قول الرئيس اللبناني بأنّ التّمسك بها مشروط بوسيط نزيه، وإلا فلا بدّ من سحبها حينها، لتصير المعادلة اللبنانية واقعياً خريطة طريق حكمية. فالزمن ليس مفتوحاً والانتفاضة الفلسطينية هي مَنْ سيتكفّل بفرض الإيقاع، وبعد أوّل العام سيكون قد مرّ من الوقت ما يكفي للسؤال عما تحقق من خطوات القمة الإسلامية، والسيد نصرالله واثق من حيوية الانتفاضة وتعبئة قوى المقاومة لإبقاء سيف الزمن مسلطاً على قرارات القمة.

– بعد شهر سنكون مع كشف حساب، هل نجح التوجّه لمجلس الأمن بإسقاط القرار الأميركي، واعتباره باطلاً؟ وهل نجح التوجّه لأوروبا لدفعها للاعتراف بدولة فلسطين، وهل تجرؤ أوروبا على احتلال المقعد الأميركي في المفاوضات، وسيكون على السلطة الفلسطينية أن تفي بوعودها التي ستتجه نحوها الأنظار بعد الطريق المسدود للقرارات التي أقرّتها القمة، فإعلان سقوط معادلات أوسلو سيكون وراء الباب، وسحب الاعتراف بـ «إسرائيل» سيكون مثله حداً أدنى لمواكبة الشارع، والحفاظ على الحضور. وأوروبا التي يتوهّم الكثيرون أنّ معارضتها ستذهب أبعد مما قالته بصدد القرار الأميركي، ليست بوارد خوض معركة العرب والفلسطينيين ولا التغطية على عجز قياداتهم وضعف حكومات العالم الإسلامي. وهي تعلم أنّ دور الوسيط ليس وقفاً على قبول فلسطيني وعربي وإسلامي، بل على قبول «إسرائيلي» أيضاً، والجواب «الإسرائيلي» واحد ونهائي في زمن عدم اعتراف أميركا بالقدس عاصمة لـ«إسرائيل»، إما الوسيط الأميركي أو لا تفاوض، فكيف في زمن هذا الاعتراف؟

– ما أرادته القيادة الفلسطينية لتغطية عجز الحكومات العربية والإسلامية، والحصول على الممكن من دعمهم المادي والسياسي، لن يعيش لأكثر من شهر، والعيون مفتوحة بانتظار ماذا بعد، والشارع في ذروة الغليان والمواجهة، ولا بعد أقلّ من إنهاء أوسلو، وسحب الاعتراف بـ «إسرائيل»، ورفع السقوف الضاغطة على النظامَيْن العربي والإسلامي، فالمواجهة ليست خياراً إرادياً يمكن التحكّم بسقوفها، بل هي قانون صراع يفرض معادلاته. المهمّ أنّ السباق هو بين القدرة «الإسرائيلية» على سحق الانتفاضة وقدرة الانتفاضة على الصمود، وليس من كلمة لأيّ فريق فلسطيني مهما كان راغباً باللعبة السياسية بعد الذي جرى إذا سُحقت الانتفاضة، ولكن صمودها سيرسم سقوفاً قد لا تكون مرغوبة، لكنها ستكون قدراً، كما ورد على لسان الرئيس الفلسطيني، الحديث في القمة، عن إلغاء أوسلو وسحب الاعتراف بـ «إسرائيل».

– نجح التوريط بالخطوة الأولى، مقابل ما كان مقترحاً على القمة من وفد يزور واشنطن مفاوضاً على القرار مستوضحاً خلفياته، والفضل يعود للشارع الحي في فلسطين أولاً، وفي ما حولها ثانياً، وللبنان منه نصيب وافر.

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Gebran Bassil, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Arabs جبران باسيل وزير خارجية العرب

Gebran Bassil, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Arabs

ديسمبر 13, 2017
Written by Nasser Kandil,
“When Lebanon carries a message of peace based on justice, it plays a natural role, and when it defends the people of Palestine it adds from its life style  to the eloquence of speech what is more eloquent”.
As right and justice have logic, wisdom has its logic too.
Let’s listen to it while it is assuring that violence is short-term, it is incapable of ensuring permanent peace, it is fruitless if it turned deaf ear to the main rights of people, as in the case of the people of Palestine, it is weaker than affecting the Palestinians’ determination to resist from inside the occupied territories and weaker than affecting the intention of continuing the pressure from outside for liberation, this is history in the movements of resistance and liberation”.
Those were the words of the late President Suleiman Franjieh before the General Assembly of the United Nations 14/11/1974.
These words used by the late Lebanese President Suleiman Franjieh half of a century ago to describe the position and the role of Lebanon towards the Palestinian Cause and the position of this cause in making stability in the world can be used to comment on the word recited by the Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil at the meeting of the Arab Foreign Ministers devoted to discuss the US decision to adopt Jerusalem as a capital of Israel.
Bassil added to the legitimacy of resistance which was foreshadowed by the President Franjieh, the experience of  the resistance which Lebanon built its structure and raised it to the level of liberation and the law of deterrence. He addressed the Arab ministers as the President Franjieh addressed the world on the behalf of all the Arabs, but Bassil found himself talking in front of deaf people, so he just talked leaving the last judgment to the history as the President Franjieh did, so they gained the honor of talking on behalf of the right of the peoples will when the rulers abandoned, as in Lebanon, as in Palestine, as in everywhere. Violence, arrogance, and agony are expressions about narrow-minds when the matter is related to the issues of peoples and their essential rights “as the violence is short-term, it is weaker than affecting the people’s determination to resist”.
“We are here, because our Arabism does not give up Jerusalem, we are in Lebanon, we do not escape from our fate in confrontation and resistance till martyrdom”. Bassil added “Our identity is Jerusalem, and we will keep our dignity and our identity, we are here to regain our lost Arabism between Sunnis and Shiites, between East and West, between Arab-Persian conflict, and which is motivated by illusion to mutual Muslim-Christian intimidation”. He concluded ” we did not come here to raise our hands for the statement uselessly, so let us revolt for our pride, let’s avoid the curse of history and the questions of our grandsons about our negligence, because the uprising can only face-saving, and returns our rights, so either to move now or peace be upon Jerusalem ….where is no peace.
Worthily Bassil deserved to be the Foreign Minister of the Arabs who do not have foreign ministers. His scream did not pass in vain, it reached to where it must reach, the people of Palestine have heard it as all the Arabs, the oppressive occupier has heard it and who has granted him the authorization and the Judaization in Jerusalem. Those who must fear the US decision are still have hearts that beat with freedom and voices that express dignity, as the relationship between light and darkness, some light is enough to dispel all the darkness while  darkness cannot cover the light of right. Bassil’s word was the conference and he was the only minister where there is no need for other ministers and for other words. What must say has been said and who must hear has heard.
Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

جبران باسيل وزير خارجية العرب

ناصر قنديل

ديسمبر 11, 2017

– «عندما يحمل لبنان رسالة السلام مبنيّاً على العدل، إنّما يقوم بدور طبيعي. وعندما يدافع عن شعب فلسطين، فإنّه يضيف إلى بلاغة الكلام، من طريقة عيشه وتصرّفه، ما هو أبلغ من الكلام. وكما أنّ للحقّ والعدالة منطقاً، فللحكمة منطقها أيضاً.

– فلنستمع إليها تؤكّد أنّ العنف قصير الأجل، عاجز عن تأمين سلمٍ صحيح دائم، عقيم إذا تصدّى لحقوق الشعوب الأساسية، كما هي الحال بالنسبة إلى شعب فلسطين، «أضعف من أن ينال من عزم الفلسطينيين على المقاومة داخل الأراضي المحتلّة أو من تصميم على مواصلة الضغط من الخارج من أجل التحرّر. تلك هي سنّة التاريخ في حركات المقاومة والتحرير».

– من كلمة الرئيس الراحل سليمان فرنجية أمام الجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة 14/11/1974.

– تصحّ هذه الكلمات التي استعملها الرئيس اللبناني الراحل سليمان فرنجية قبل نصف قرن تقريباً من منبر الأمم المتحدة لتوصيف موقع لبنان ودوره من القضية الفلسطينية وموقع هذه القضية في صناعة الاستقرار في العالم، للتعليق على الكلمة التي ألقاها وزير خارجية لبنان جبران باسيل في اجتماع وزراء الخارجية العرب المخصّص لمناقشة القرار الأميركي باعتماد القدس عاصمة لـ «إسرائيل».

– أضاف باسيل لشرعة المقاومة التي بشّر بها الرئيس فرنجية تجربة المقاومة التي شيّد لبنان بنيانها ورفعها إلى مستوى لاهوت التحرير وقانون الردع، وخاطب الوزراء العرب بما افترض الرئيس فرنجية أنه يخاطب العالم به نيابة عن العرب كلّهم، ليجد باسيل أنه يتلو مزامير داود على من بهم صممٌ، مكتفياً بالتحدث للتاريخ الذي ترك له الرئيس فرنجية الحكم الأخير، لينالا معاً شرف التحدث بالنيابة عن الحق وبلسان الشعوب التي لا تكلّ ولا تملّ من المقاومة عندما يتخاذل الحكام، كما في لبنان، كما في فلسطين، كما في كلّ مكان، والعنف والجبروت والعنجهية، تعبيرات عن قصر نظر عندما يتصل الأمر بقضايا الشعوب وحقوقها الأساسية، «حيث العنف قصير الأجل وأضعف من أن ينال من عزم الشعوب على المقاومة».

– «نحن هنا، لأنّ عروبتنا لا تتنازل عن القدس، ونحن في لبنان لا نتهرّب من قدرنا في المواجهة والمقاومة حتى الشهادة»، قال لهم باسيل، وأضاف «نحن من هوية القدس، كرامتنا لا تُمَسّ وهويتنا لا تُخطَف، بل تعود لتتحرّر فتنطلق من لبنانيتها إلى مشرقيتها إلى عروبتها. نحن هنا لنستعيد عروبتنا الضالة ما بين سنة وشيعة، والمهدورة بين شرق وغرب، والمتلهية بصراع عربي – فارسي، والمدفوعة وهماً الى تخويف إسلامي – مسيحي متبادل». وختم قائلاً، «لم نأت الى هنا لرفع اليدين لبيان رفع العتب، فتعالوا ننتفض لعزتنا ونتجنّب لعنة التاريخ وأسئلة أحفادنا عن تخاذلنا، لأنّ الانتفاضة وحدها تحفظ ماء وجهنا وتُعيد حقوقنا، فإما أن نتحرّك الآن، وإلا على القدس السلام… ولا سلام».

– استحقّ باسيل بجدارة أن يكون وزير خارجية العرب الذين لا وزراء خارجية لهم، وصرختُه لم تذهب هباء، ولا تبدّدت في الهواء، فقد وصلت إلى حيث يجب أن تصل، سمعها شعبُ فلسطين، وسائر العرب، وسمعها المحتلُّ الغاصب ومَنْ منحه تفويض التقويض والتهويد في القدس، فمن يجب أن يُصيبهم الذعر من القرار الأميركي لا زالت قلوبهم نابضة بالحرية وأصواتهم تنبض بالرجولة، ومَنْ يجب أن ينجحوا بالتعمية والتغطية والتورية فضحهم صدق الكلمات النابعة من الحق، وكما في العلاقة بين النور والظلمة، يكفي بعض النور لتبديد كلّ الظلمة ولا تكفي الظلمة كلّها للتعمية على نور شمعة منفردة، فكانت كلمة باسيل هي المؤتمر وكان هو الوزير، ولا حاجة لوزراء وكلمات، فما يجب أن يُقال قد قيل، ومَنْ يجب أن يسمع فقد سمع.

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Why JERUSALEM is So Important to the Apocalypse Fantasists

NOVANEWS
Jerusalem is regarded as an international city, under a world body protectorate.

That is its prevailing status.
The United Nations has affirmed in a number of resolutions that continued Zionist colonisation of Jerusalem is illegal under international law. Every Zionist settlement in illegally occupied East Jerusalem is a direct contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which forbids an occupying power from transferring colonists into the areas it occupies.
The UN Partition Plan in 1947 – which divided Palestine between Jewish and Arab states – was clear to grant Jerusalem special status, placing it under international sovereignty and control. To some, this situation isn’t ideal – but to most, it’s the situation that works.
This special status was based on the historic city’s cultural and religious importance to Muslims, Christians and Jews, meaning that no one party should have control over it. Jerusalem houses some of the most important buildings or locations in all three religions and has always been a melting pot of all three – and other – communities.
Apart from Donald Trumpno leader or country in the world recognises Israeli claims to Jerusalem – and no country has its embassy in Jerusalem (including, at this time, the United States).
Juan Cole does a good job of laying out the case here way back in 2010 for why East Jerusalem doesn’t belong to Israel.
It is generally understood that Israel has no legally recognised claim to Jerusalem, that annexation of Jerusalem was never part of any internationally-recognised agreement, that every Zionist settlement or house in occupied Jerusalem is illegal, and that any Israeli move to annex Jerusalem will have dire consequences.
Zionist agents in various countries, however, have been openly pushing for the annexation of Jerusalem in recent years. In fact, various political figures or parties (the Austrian Far-Right, for example) have gone to Israel and made “the Jerusalem Declaration”.
Trump isn’t the only one. Geert “What We Need is Zionism For Europe” Wilders was calling for complete Israeli annexation during his bid to win the recent Dutch election, while Trump has previously expressed support for the Zionist claim to seize Jerusalem and make it the Israeli state capital and Jewish national capital – in keeping with Biblical Prophecy and evangelical ‘End Times’ agenda.
An alternate title for this article could be ‘Armageddon – an organised event starring the fanatical zealots of all three Abrahamic religions’. And, of course, it has to center on Jerusalem. Where else?
And that’s what’s scary. Even Donald Trump, in all his cluelessness, surely understands that there’s nothing non-dangerous or non-loaded about making toxic and unnecessary statements about that city.  It’s as if the cheerleaders for the apocalypse are all getting geared up for the big event, doing whatever they now can to push it into motion.
The underlying reason for the longstanding Zionist/nationalist agenda for occupying Jerusalem is to seize the Temple Mount and rebuild Solomon’s Temple – an event that relates to the coming of the Jewish Messiah (and for Christian Zionists, to the Second Coming of Christ).
What is extraordinarily stupid about this is that those two ideas or expectations – the coming of the Jewish Messiah and the Second Coming of Jesus – are fundamentally contradictory.
Nonetheless, for a good understanding of the true nature of this Zionist/American agenda for the ‘Holy Land’, see Grace Halsell’s article here, or seek out his book Forcing God’s Hand, which exposes the strange alliance between millions of ‘born again’ American Christians who long for the ‘Rapture’ and ‘Armageddon’ and believe it all hinges on the land of Israel.
The main problem with this idea of rebuilding Solomon’s Temple is of course that it will require the demolition of the Al-Aqsa mosque – an act that could potentially set off a religious/sectarian conflict like nothing seen in recent times.
That’s kind of the point, however.
christian-zionism_armageddon
Victoria Clark’s 2007 book, Allies for Armageddon: The Rise of Christian Zionism, is also a good resource for understanding the apocalyptic/religious dynamics of the Zionist/US alliance in regard to the Holy Land.
Again, in this context, we should remind ourselves that President Trump (backed by the Zionist propagandist and apocalypse-enthusiast Steve Bannon) did express his support for Jerusalem being seized and made the Israeli capital quite some time ago. This isn’t some new, shocking thing – as the MSM seems to think it is – but has always been a stated part of the Trump/Bannon/Kushner agenda.
Which is why it is no surprise that both Bannon and Kushner fund illegal Zionist demolition of Palestinian homes and colonisation of occupied territory.
So after all these years, is the Zionist movement finally maneuvering to seize the Temple Mount and begin the prophesied rebuilding of Solomon’s Temple?
The answer is most likely yes. It has been planned by certain elements in Israel for a long time; but it was waiting for the right sets of circumstances to be in place.
It has long been regarded as an event that – as inevitable as it might be – would probably trigger off a major conflict. From even when I was a child, I remember being told by someone older than me that Israel would never go that far because it would set off a Holy War.
However, those were simpler times.
There is already holy war in some form or another going on across virtually the entire Middle East; and with both the regional and the Western powers fully distracted with jihadists, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and the Iran/Saudi proxy war, now is the perfect time for the extreme right-wing government in Israel to move on the Temple Mount.
With everything else going on in the Middle East, the plight of the Palestinian people has been pushed into the background of regional concerns, and moreover the across-the-board demonisation and mistrust of ‘Muslims’ and of Islamic militancy in the West that has occurred in the last 10 – 15 years has eroded a lot of the international sympathy for the Palestinians (even though Palestinians are also Christian).
I am increasingly convinced all of that has been by design.
And that it goes as far back as the assassination of the moderate and peace-seeking Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1994 (by Zionist-Jewish extremists) and the later assassination of PLO figurehead Yasser Arafat (via pollonium poisoning and almost certainly by Mossad).
Just to say something else here, before we carry on: every government or country is entitled to (or, more accurately, expected to) look out for its own self-interests, sometimes even via nefarious, convoluted means. Most countries do it, especially powerful countries.
But there does come a point where you’re just taking the piss.
I wrote in a very long article early this year about the warning that had been issued from *within* Israel about an extremist take-over that had occurred within the Israeli government; including a warning by a former Israeli Prime Minister (Ehud Barak) about the “seeds of fascism” that were present in what others were calling “the most extreme government in Israeli history”.
I argued in that same article that a lot of the crises going on elsewhere – that we think are entirely unrelated to the situation in Israel – might in fact be entirely connected to the agenda of that extreme government in Israel. And I concluded in that piece that the central purpose of all of this was to place Israel in a position to be able to make a play for Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.
Interestingly, although the right-wing nationalists in Israel have sought annexation of Jerusalem for a long time – along with seizure of the Temple Mount; they have never been in a position to do so, due to international opposition (as well as domestic opposition within Israel) and the political make-up of (1) a Western world-order mostly dominated by liberal political parties that, despite their general support for Israel as a state, would not support forceful annexation of Jerusalem, and (2) an Arab world dominated by strong, independent states and leaders who (until relatively recently) generally supported the Palestinians and were a threat to Israeli military ambitions.
More interestingly, as I argued in this older article, Neo-Con-led geopolitics from the PNAC-orchestrated 9/11 onward have already ensured that the key regional states that might’ve intervened militarily against Israel in the event of full annexation of the Holy Land (or whose military power and strong, independent nature might’ve acted as a deterrent) – specifically the Pan-Arabists (like Gaddafi) and the Ba’athists (like Syria and pre-war Iraq) – are no longer in a position to do so.
In fact, every one of those regimes has either been toppled by the Neo-Cons or collapsed from the so-called Arab Spring (leaving now only Iran, Lebanon and whatever’s left of Syria).
4578                                                                                                                   In effect, something that no Israeli government could’ve really done twenty years ago is now wholly possible, because the way has been cleared: from the removal of Arafat and perceived de-legitimisation of Palestinian organisations/authorities to the proxy warfare waged on neighbouring Arab states to weaken them, the widespread encouragement of Islamophobia and demonisation of Muslims, the psychological warfare of the Islamist terror wave in Europe and the West (so that Palestinian terrorism can be equated in the popular mind with the virus of broader Islamist extremism – even the methods of all terror attacks in Europe seem to mimick older Palestinian attacks), and, finally, the conditions – and propaganda arrangements – being right for pro-Zionist nationalist-populists like Trump and Wilders to come into place to advocate for militant Zionism and to work to legitimise actions that are wholly illegitimate.
Quite simply, the time is finally right – and having true Zionist supporters or agents in the White House (as opposed to a reluctant ally like an Obama) is arguably the final piece of the equation.
This has all been building for some time, step by step. Two years ago, when groups of extreme Jewish-nationalists – backed by paramilitary – were violating the mosque area, with Palestinian access to the Old City being more and more restricted and illegal Zionist colonists seizing more and more Palestinian homes, Mazin Qumsiyeh wrote ‘It is now clear that there is an orchestrated campaign to destroy the indigenous presence here. The Israeli military occupiers have decided to close down the Old City of Jerusalem to Palestinians while allowing Israeli Jews to rampage, taunt and attack the native Jerusalemites, Christians and Muslims…’
Indeed, that crisis at that time – which included multiple Palestinian knife attacks on Israelis and  instances of some Jewish/Zionist settlers setting fire to Palestinians in Jerusalem and calling for “shoah” against the non-Jewish population – might well have been a partly (or wholly) manufactured situation to act as a dry-run for what might need to happen in the future.
Some even then were claiming it was a manufactured situation: if it was (and I don’t know if it was or wasn’t), it might’ve been to see what would happen if Zionist zealots began to act more aggressively in Jerusalem.
On a similar note, if Trump genuinely moves towards Jerusalem being made Israeli capital, it is liable to provoke a resurgence in Palestinian attacks – which, in turn, will give the Israeli military all the justification it needs to take harsh, sweeping actions (witness ‘Operation Protective Edge‘ in 2014). The day afyer Trump’s Jerusalem announcement, there was already talk from some quarters of “a new intifada”.
Likewise, it seems likely that Trump’s announcement was also designed to provoke further backlash or inflame further anger across the Middle East, allowing a further escalation of the much sought-after ‘clash of civilisations’ scenario that many of the key players (including apocalypticist Steve Bannon, who has spoken at length about wanting an apocalyptic showdown between – in his mind – a Judaeo/Christian Crusader-style West and Radical Islam) seem to believe in.
Of course, it gets worse.
Zionist Jewish nationalists want to ‘rebuild the Temple’; as in what they perceive to be Solomon’s ancient temple, destroyed by Vespasian and the Romans in AD 79.
The only way to do this is to demolish the Al-Aqsa mosque. And the only people who want this to happen more than Jewish nationalists are the Christian/American Zionists, specifically right-wing evangelicals who fully back ultra-nationalist Jewish activity in Jerusalem, simply because they want to trigger a Third World War and, more importantly, the Biblical ‘Armageddon’ and subsequent Second Coming of Christ.
Why? Because they believe they – as pure, ‘Born Again’ Christians – will survive the ‘rapture’ and be raised by Jesus, while the rest of the world burns.
Israeli Zionist extremists in Jerusalem are fully backed and funded by American Christian zealots who want the Second Coming and the ‘rapture’ (despite the fact that Jewish lore insists the rebuilding of the Temple will mean the arrival of the Jewish Messiah and not the Christian version of Jesus – as pointed out earlier, it’s completely contradictory).
It’s also fair to say that the Christan evangelical Zionists don’t care at all about the traditional Christians of Jerusalem and Palestine – you know, the proper Christians who pre-date modern evangelical McChristianity by a few dozen centuries?
To make matters even more perverse, Muslims also believe that a ‘Second Coming’ of the Christian Jesus is to occur, but the fundamentalist Islamic view/prophecy has it that whoever the so-called Jewish ‘Messiah’ is (whose arrival is meant to be foreshadowed by the rebuilding of the temple), he is to be regarded as ‘the Anti Christ’.
In other words, the moment the Al-Aqsa is demolished and the Temple of Solomon is ‘restored’, we are probably looking at a Holy War to end all Holy Wars.
Even more perversely, as I’ve explored before (see here), some of this has already been playing out with the ‘Islamic State’ group in Iraq and Syria, with the so-called ISIS ‘Caliph’ – Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – being fabricated to play into Islamic prophecies about the End of the World and to convince would-be jihadist recruits that the End-of-the-World struggle between Good and Evil was in play.
For the record, there have long been claims that Baghdadi was an Israeli Mossad agent named Shimon Elliot. I’ve never particularly subscribed to that theory – my own belief, based on various sources, is that the so-called ‘caliph’ Baghdadi never really existed and was a fictional figurehead crafted to help all of those events gather momentum.
A key part of the ISIS psy-op was to bewitch or frighten people – both those in the terror group and those civilians in areas or towns that ISIS was taking over – with the idea that what was playing out was the Islamic ‘End-Times’ prophecy.
One wonders then if much of what is intended to play out over Jerusalem is also intended to excite or bewitch those who subsribe to Christian End-Times theology or Jewish Messianic expectations. Clearly that is what’s driving most of this: my question is whether those at the top of the agenda genuinely believe in all this stuff or whether it is simply a vehicle for bringing about some other objective or desired state of affairs.
But the point is that, across the board – whether it’s in the camps of extreme Islamism or in the camps of zealous Zionists or ‘End-Times’ Christians – we appear to be looking at deluded, zealous lunatics and apocalypse-fantasists.


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Jerusalem Is (Is Not) the Capital of israel

Jerusalem Is (Is Not) the Capital of Israel
Jerusalem
Those who speak on behalf of Israel like to defend Donald Trump’s provocative decision of December 6th to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel with this contention: “Israel is the only state in the world that is not allowed to locate its capital in a national city of its choice.” It seems like an innocent enough proclamation, and even accurate pushback against global double standards, until one considers the political, moral, and legal dimensions of the actual situation.
With the benefit of just a moment’s reflection, a more thoughtful formulation of the issue would be: “Israel is the only state in the world whose government dares to locate its capital in a city located beyond its sovereign borders and subject to superior competing claims.” Granted, Israel has declined to date to define its borders for purposes of international law, presumably to leave room for its own further territorial expansion until the whole of the Promised Land as understood to comprise biblical Israel is effectively made subject to Israeli sovereign control. At stake, in particular, is the West Bank, which is known within Israel by its biblical names of Judea and Samaria, signifying Israel’s outlier belief that the ethnic and religious heritage of the Jewish people takes precedence over modern international law.
Further reflection casts additional doubt on this Trump/Netanyahu approach to the status of Jerusalem. It is helpful to go back at least 70 years to the controversial UN partition proposals set forth in General Assembly Resolution 181. Israel over the years has often congratulated itself on its acceptance of 181, which it contrasts with the Palestinian rejection. Palestinians suffered massive dispossession and expulsion in the war that ensued in 1947, known as the Nakba among Palestinians.
Israel has argued over the years that its acceptance of 181 overrides the grievances attributable to the Nakba, including the denial to Palestinians of any right to return to their homes or place of habitation however deep and authentic their connections with the land and regardless of how persuasive their claims of Palestinian identity happen to be. What Israelis want the world to forget in the present setting is the UN treatment of Jerusalem that was integral to the 181 approach. Instead, Israel has sold the false story to the world that 181 was exclusively about the division of territory, and thus the bits about Jerusalem contained in the resolution can be ignored without comment, and deserve to be long forgotten.
What the UN actually proposed in GA Res. 181, and what Israel ‘accepted’ in 1947 was that the city of Jerusalem, in deference to its connections with Palestinians and Jewish national identity, should not be under the sovereign control of either people, but internationalized and subject to UN administration. Beyond the difficulty of reconciling Jewish and Palestinian claims to the city, the symbolic and religious significance of Jerusalem to the three monotheistic religions provided a parallel strong rationale for internationalization that has, if anything further vindicated with the passage of time.
It can be argued by proponents of Trump’s recognition that even the Palestinians and the Arab World (by virtue of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative) have silently replaced the internationalization of Jerusalem with the so-called ‘two-state solution’ in which the common assumption of both sides is that Jerusalem would be shared in ways that allowed both Israel and Palestine to establish their respective capital within the city limits. Most two-state plans called for the Palestinian capital to be located in East Jerusalem, which Israel has occupied for the past 50 years, that is, ever since the 1967 War.
Israel over the years has often congratulated itself on its acceptance of 181, which it contrasts with the Palestinian rejection. Palestinians suffered massive dispossession and expulsion in the war that ensued in 1947, known as the Nakba among Palestinians.
The clarity of this conviction is what explains the view that the thorny question of the relationship of both Israel and Palestine to the disposition of Jerusalem should be addressed at the last stage of peace negotiations. But suppose that the prospect of genuine peace negotiations is postponed indefinitely, then what? The geopolitical effort to fill this vacuum is undertaken at the expense of UN authority, as well as international law and international morality.
Here again we encounter an awkward split between what Israel claims (as reinforced by U.S. foreign policy) and what international law allows. Israel after the war ended in 1967 immediately asserted that the whole of Jerusalem was ‘the eternal capital’ of the Jewish people. Tel Aviv went even further. It expanded by Israeli legal decree the area encompassed by the city of Jerusalem, almost doubling its size and incorporating a series of Palestinian communities in the process. Israel acted unilaterally and unlawfully, against unified opposition within the UN, in defiance of world public opinion, and even in the face of rebuke by such a widely respected moral authority figure as Pope Francis.
East Jerusalem, at least, is ‘Occupied Territory’ according to international humanitarian law, and as such is subject to the Geneva Conventions. The Fourth Geneva Convention governs ‘belligerent occupation,’ and rests on the basic legal norm that an Occupying Power should take no steps, other than those justified by imperative security considerations, to diminish the rights and prospects of a civilian population living under occupation. In this regard, it is hardly surprising that Israel’s actions designed to obliterate East Jerusalem as a distinct ‘occupied’ territory have met with universal legal and political condemnation within the UN. For Trump to depart from this international consensus is not only striking heavy blows against the U.S. role as intermediary in any future peace process, but also mindlessly scrapping the two-state approach as the agreed basis of peace without offering an alternative, leaving the impression that whatever reality Israel imposes the United States will accept, giving scant attention to international concerns or Palestinian rights.
Returning to the burning question as to why Israel should be denied the right to locate its capital wherever it wishes, as other states do, it is clarifying to reformulate the Israeli claim: “Does any state have the right to establish its capital in a city that is ‘occupied’ rather than under the exclusive sovereign authority of the territorial government?” This is especially relevant in this instance, given the general agreement within the international community that the Palestinian right of self-determination includes the right to have its national capital both within its territory and in Jerusalem.
Trump’s initiative tries to ease the pain by the confusing accompanying assertion that the final disposition of Jerusalem’s borders is something for the parties to decide as part of final status negotiations, that is, at the end of the diplomatic endgame. Aside from Israel’s belief that it need not make further concessions for the sake of peace, a geopolitical assertion of support for Israel’s approach to Jerusalem, especially without the backing of the Arab League, the UN, and the European Union is worse than an empty gesture. It uses an iron fist on behalf of the stronger party, where a minimal respect for law, morality, and justice would counsel giving support for the well-grounded claims of the weaker side, or at least staying neutral.
The harm done by the Trump initiative on recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and declared intention to start the process of moving the embassy is impossible to assess fully at this time. Whether there will be an upsurge in resistance violence, political extremism, anti-American terrorism, and wider warfare is now essentially unknowable, although the stage has been recklessly arranged so that these developments seem more likely to occur than earlier, and if they do, will be treated as outcomes of Trump’s faulty diplomacy.
What is already evident on the basis of the decision itself is the severe damage done to the global and regional leadership reputation of the United States. As well, the authority of the United Nations has been shown to be no match for geopolitical resolve, and international law and world public opinion have been pushed aside.
For the Trump presidency the special relationship with Israel has been enlarged beyond previous outer limits and the part of the Trump base that wanted these policies has been appeased for the moment. Prospects for a diplomacy based on the equality of rights of Palestinians and Israelis have been reduced to zero, and thus no just end of the Palestinian ordeal can be foreseen. Overall, it is not a pleasant balance sheet of gains and losses if evaluated from the perspective of American grand strategy in the Middle East, and if the wider regional setting of Iran’s spreading influence is taken into account, the situation looks even worse.

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US still desperately trying to defend their ISIS terrorists in Syria

On Decembers 9, Major General Igor Konashenkov spokesman for the Ministry of Defense of Russia revealed that a F-22 warplane of the US Air Force tried to prevent two Russian Su-25 warplanes from bombing a base of ISIS on the western bank of the Euphrates River on November 23.
Later, the US F-22 withdrew when a Russian Su-35 warplane arrived to escort the two Su-25, according to Maj. Gen. Konashenkov.
“The F-22 launched decoy flares and used airbrakes while constantly maneuvering [near the Russian Su-25 warplanes], imitating an air fight … most close-midair encounters between Russian and US jets in the area around the Euphrates River have been linked to the attempts of US aircraft to get in the way [of the Russian warplanes] striking against Islamic State terrorists,” Maj. Gen Konashenkov said, according to RT.
Maj. Gen Konashenkov also denounced a statement made by Lieutenant Colonel Damien Pickart, a spokesman for the US Air Force Central Command, in which he claimed that the aerospace over the eastern bank of the Euphrates River belongs to the US-led coalition.
“We saw anywhere from six to eight incidents daily in late November, where Russian or Syrian aircraft crossed into our airspace on the east side of the Euphrates River,” Lt. Col. Pickart told CNN during an interview on Decembers 9.
The spokesman of the Russian military described Lt. Col. Pickart statement as “puzzling” and stressed that Syria is a sovereign nation and a member of the UN. The general also said that the US-led coalition should focus on destroying ISIS in Iraq instead of close encounters between US and the Russian jets.
“Unlike the Russian Air Force, the US-led coalition is operating in Syria without any legal basis,” Maj. Gen. Konashenkov said.
Many Syrian experts believe that these harrassments are a part of the US plan not only to stay in Syria after defeating ISIS, but also to divide the country if possible, in a way similar to the Korean Peninsula. However, this scenario is opposed by both the Syrian government and the opposition.
Featured image is from South Front.
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SYRIAN WAR REPORT – DECEMBER 12, 2017: GOVT FORCES LIBERATED 67,000KM2 OVER 7 MONTHS

Over 1,000 localities, 78 oil and gas fields and two deposits of phosphate ores have been liberated in Syria over the past 227 days, commander of Russia’s military group in Syria Colonel-General Sergey Surovikin has told Russian President Vladimir Putin during this visit to the Khmeimim airbase on December 12. In total, the area of 67,000 square kilometers has been liberated.
Col. Gen. Surovikin added that Russian warplanes have flown 6,956 sorties and helicopters have conducted more than 7,000 sorties killing over 32,000 militants and destroying 394 battle tanks and 12,000 pieces of other equipment.
The general revealed that Russia is set to withdraw 23 warplanes of different types and 2 Ka-52 attack helicopters, the military police force, the commando unit, the field hospital and the mine-clearing center. The remaining forces will continue conducting tasks in the country.
Thus, some number of attack helicopters and warplanes will remain in the country. The Khmeimim airbase and the Tartus naval facility will remain operational. Moscow will also continue providing supplies to the Syrian Arab Army (SAA).
Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders revealed that the US is not going to pull out its forces from the country. The war on ISIS was once again named as a key reason of the continued military presence.
ISIS launched a large attack on positions of the SAA near the border city of al-Bukamal. According to pro-ISIS sources, the terrorists conducted at least one vehicle-borne improvised explosive device and killed over 20 government troops during the attack. A battle tank and a BMP vehicle of the SAA were reportedly destroyed. The situation in the area remains tense.
Clashes between the SAA and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) continued in northeastern Hama. According to pro-militants sources, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham took back the village of Mushayrifah. The fighting is ongoing.
On December 11, a rocket was launched from the Gaza Strip on targets in southern Israel, according to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). The IDF said that the target of the rocket was not identified.  In response, an IDF battle tank and the Israeli Air Force conducted strikes on positions of the Hamas movement in southern Gaza. This was the fourth incident between Israeli forces and Palestinian groups in the area of Gaza in the last few days.

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Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Rouhani: We’re Ready for Cooperation with Muslim States to Defend Al-Quds

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the Islamic Republic is prepared to join hands with other Muslim countries and help defend the holy city of al-Quds against US-‘Israeli’ plots with no strings attached.
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“…The Islamic Republic of Iran stands ready to cooperate with each one of the Muslim countries to defend the holy Quds without any reservation or pre-condition,” Rouhani said on Wednesday, addressing an urgent summit in Istanbul on Washington’s contentious declaration on occupied al-Quds.
Representatives from 57 OIC [The Organization of Islamic Cooperation] members are attending the summit, which is meant to coordinate a response to a US decision to recognize al-Quds as the Zionist entity’s “capital.”
Rouhani also said attempts by certain regional countries to normalize ties with the apartheid ‘Israeli’ regime prompted US President Donald Trump to take the decision.
“I believe that other than any other reason, the attempts of some countries to establish relations and even consultation and coordination with the Zionist regime have incited such a decision”.
Instead of countering the threats of the Zionists, some countries in our region are aligned with the US and Zionists to prescribe the fate of Palestine-If such prescriptions are taken, the Zionists would permanently dominate the Palestinians, Rouhani stressed.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team
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