Tag Archives: Israel

Palestinians: Victims of Arab Apartheid, by Khaled Abu Toameh

When Israel “oppresses” Palestinians, it’s news. When Arabs “oppress” Palestinians, it’s ignored. Nobody should be oppressing Palestinians, but Khaled Abu Toameh argues there’s a clear double standard in media coverage. From Toameh at gatestoneinstitute.org:

  • Tens of thousands of Palestinians are now living in a Lebanese ghetto called Ain Al-Hilweh, and the world seems to be fine with that.
  • No one cares when an Arab country mistreats and discriminates and kills Palestinians. But when something happens in the West Bank or Gaza Strip, the international media and community suddenly wake up. Why? Because they do not want to miss an opportunity to condemn Israel. One can only imagine the uproar in the world were Israel to pass a law denying Arabs jobs or the right to inherit property.
  • There are no protests on the streets of London or Paris. The UN Security Council has not — and will not — hold an emergency session to condemn Lebanon. Of course, the mainstream media in the West is not going to report about Arab apartheid and repressive measures against Palestinians. As for the leaders of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, they do not have time to address the problems of the camp residents. The Palestinian Authority and Hamas are too busy fighting each other, and the last thing they have on their minds are the interests and well-being of their people.

Lebanon is one of several Arab countries where Palestinians are subjected to discriminatory and apartheid laws and measures. The plight of Palestinians in Arab countries, however, is apparently of no interest to the international community, and pro-Palestinian activists and groups around the world.

Recently, the Lebanese authorities placed electronic screening gates at all entrances to Ain Al-Hilweh, the largest Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon. The move has sparked a wave of protests in Ain Al-Hilweh and among Palestinians living in other refugee camps in Lebanon, who are describing the installation of the electronic gates as collective punishment.

Until a few years ago, Ain Al-Hilweh had a population of 75,000. However, with the influx of refugees from Syria, which began in 2011, the camp’s population is now estimated at more than 160,000.

To continue reading: Palestinians: Victims of Arab Apartheid

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Telling the Truth Is More Expensive than a Ferrari, by Paul Craig Roberts

Challenge the establishment and tell the truth, and you’re probably going to pay for it, one way or the other. From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.org:

This is my quarterly call for your support

For the last 3 or 4 years I have been invited to speak at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia. I have never accepted, not from lack of interest or lack of something to say, but because the demonization of Russia has curtailed my freedom to travel and to speak. Unless I pay my own travel expenses, I would be accused of being compromised by an expense-paid trip. This never happens to US senators and representatives who accept all expenses paid trips to Israel, but Russia is different. Moreover, even if I were to pay my own expenses, as Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein did when she attended the 10th anniversary celebration of RT in Moscow, I would still be accused. Jill Stein was summoned before the Russiagate “investigation” to account for her attendance.

In other words, my participation in an important Russian event would be used by those who don’t like what I write to undermine my credibility as a commentator on Washington/Russian relations. I would henceforth be described as a “Putin mouth.”

Indeed, it is not necessary to go to Russia to be accused. There are all sorts of sites, such as PropOrNot, the shadowy website that published a list of “Putin agents,” a list on which I was included. There are apparently an endless number of websites funded by Israel, George Soros, the CIA, the US State Department, and so on and on, the purpose of which is to slander and demonize Internet writers who challenge the elite’s control over the explanations.

Just the other day I received from a distinguished British intellectual of impeccable credentials a missive that an Israeli-funded German website, “Meldungen aus dem Exil,” that publishes in English alleges that I am the “editor of the white nationalist website VDare.” This is abject nonsense for at least two reasons. Peter Brimelow is the editor of VDare and always has been. VDare is not a white nationalist website but a website that favors limited immigration that can be assimilated as formerly was the case prior to Identity Politics. What VDare opposes is America being overrun by hordes of foreigners who have every incentive to remain unassimilated. Not only have I never been editor of VDare, but it has been 5 years since VDare reposted one of my columns. VDare’s readers constantly complained to the editor that my columns were not about immigration. Responding to his readers, a half decade ago the VDare editor stopped reposting my columns.

To continue reading: Telling the Truth Is More Expensive than a Ferrari

Iran And Israel In Unprecedented Indirect Talks Over Syria: Report, by Tyler Durden

Iran and Israel may be negotiating an arrangement in Syria. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

After continuing escalation in Syria last week in which Syria accused both the US and Israel of conducting two separate airstrikes on pro-government forces, there are new reports of unprecedented indirect talks being held between Iran and Israel. And related unconfirmed reports suggest the Syrian government may have asked Iranian forces to withdraw their presence from key bases previously targeted in Israeli airstrikes. 

Though neither side has yet to confirm the events first reported in Saudi media and subsequently picked up in some Israeli media outlets (and are likely not going to), it could constitute the closest the two longtime Middle East enemies have come to engaging in diplomatic dealings over the crisis in Syria.

Israeli military personnel look from the Golan Heights over southwest Syria, November 2017. Image source: Reuters via EA Worldview

The news also comes after the May 10 massive exchange of missiles between Israel and Syria in what was described as the “most direct confrontation between Israel and Iran in decades,” and after Putin told Assad there is a need to withdraw “all foreign forces” from Syria, though it was unclear at the time whether the Russian president meant foreign jihadists and Western forces like the United States, or (as most US outlets reported) Iran’s heavy troop presence in Syria.

The Saudi-owned news site Elaph first revealed that the indirect Iran-Israel talks took place this weekend at a hotel in Amman. Elaph has lately become known for gaining a surprising level of access to Israeli officials, giving it a reputation as a news source Israel uses to communicate its message across the Arab world.

Middle East Eye summarizes the Arabic language story as follows:

Iran reportedly pledged to stay out of fighting in southwest Syria between Syrian forces and rebel groups while Israel said it will not intervene in battles near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights or the Israel-Jordan border so long as Hezbollah and Iranian-backed militias are not involved.

For the negotiations, Iran’s ambassador to Jordan, Mostafa Moslehzadeh, stayed in a hotel room with Iranian security personnel next door to a room of senior Israeli security officials, including the deputy head of Mossad, Elaph reported.

Jordanian officials served as mediator, shuttling messages between the two rooms, according to the report.

Apparently, the two sides did come to some agreement of terms. Middle East eye continues:

One participant told Elaph that the Iranians “arrived at a quick agreement” that its forces would not intervene in fighting near the Golan Heights and the Israel-Jordan border, surprising the Israeli representatives.

To continue reading: Iran And Israel In Unprecedented Indirect Talks Over Syria: Report

Blowing Up the Iran Deal Brings Eurasia Closer to Integration, by Federico Pieraccini

Trump withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal will not win him any new friends in Eurasia. From Federico Pieraccini at strategic-culture.org:

The annulment of the Iran nuclear deal framework could not be fended off by the visits or entreaties of Merkel, Macron or May. Donald Trump has refused to renew the agreement formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), removing the United States from the deal. In reality, it changes little for Washington, as the US never really removed any sanctions against Iran in 2015, and mutual trust has never risen above minimal levels. The American move, which was never surprising, arises from four fundamental factors, namely: the link (especially vis-à-vis electoral financing) between the Trump administration and the Israeli government of Netanyahu; the agreement between Mohammad bin Salman (MbS) and Donald Trump to acquire hundreds of billions of dollars worth of arms as well as investments in the United States; directly targeting European allies like Germany, France and England; and, finally, the wish to please the anti-Iranian hawks Trump surrounded himself with in his administration.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Saudi Prince Mohammad bin Salman are united against Iran and are now publicly cementing their alliance that has hitherto been shrouded in secrecy. The political rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Israel has been constant over the last 12 months, converging over anti-Iranian interests. Trump’s anti-Iran tilt enjoys support from the Netanyahu and bin Salman clans, representing a 180-degree change in US policy direction away from the one forged through the nuclear agreements reached by the previous administration.

Saudi money and Israel’s political support (and neoconservative pressure within the United States) are factors important to the Trump administration, particularly as it is besieged by domestic politics and has to deal with the Mueller investigation that buzzes annoyingly around the president of the United States.

Trump’s need to surround himself with the likes of Pompeo, Haspel and Bolton betrays an acquiescing desire to appease the deep state rather than fight it. Whatever fight might have been present in Donald Trump upon assuming his office has given way to a fruitful collaboration with the deep state. Donald Trump seems to have concluded that it is better to negotiate and find agreements with the deep state than to try, as he promised during his election campaign, to drain the swamp.

To continue reading: Blowing Up the Iran Deal Brings Eurasia Closer to Integration

Palestinians: Sand In The Eye Of The Mideast, by Eric Margolis

There is almost no possibility that Israel will allow the creation of a Palestinian state. From Eric Margolis at lewrockwell.com:

To date, 62 Palestinians have been shot dead in the Gaza Strip by the Israeli army and over 5,500 wounded by gunfire.  Their crime: protesting the loss of their ancestral homes in the West Bank.

Here was an example of Gandhi-style passive resistance that failed.  Israeli sniper teams just fired at will at the protestors, some of who were throwing rocks or firing sling shots.  High concentration tear gas was dumped by drones on the demonstrators.  Israel claimed it was killing ‘terrorists.’

The United States, Israel’s patron and financier, reveled in the move of its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move seen by Bible Belt religious fundamentalists as a key step to the return of the Christian Messiah and Armageddon.  The rest of us, Jews included, are fated to be burned alive.  The American Republicans, who have become a far-right theocratic party, cheered this good news.  The Trump administration, by now an extension of Israel’s hard right Likud Party, was cock-a-hoop.

There was no joy in Gaza.  This miserable, squalid human garbage dump is a giant open-air prison packed with 2 million Palestinian refugees driven from the newly created state of Israel in 1948.  Israel and its close ally Egypt keep Gaza bottled up on its land and sea borders.  Palestinians are only allowed to fish along the shore. Coastal gas and oil reserves have been expropriated by Israel and Egypt.

Gaza’s two million people subsist on the edge of starvation. Israel openly boasts that it allows just enough food into the enclave to prevent outright starvation.  Chemicals to treat water are banned. Electricity runs only a few hours daily because the power plant was bombed by Israel’s US-supplied air force.  Hospitals have almost no medicines.  In short, wartime conditions in the open-air prison. Even the wretched animals in Gaza zoo are starving.

The intensive punishment of Gaza, a crime under international law, began after its people voted in a free election for the Hamas movement over the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) which is more or less run by Israel and the United States.  Israel helped found Hamas in 1987, but then sought, with the US, to destroy the organization, branding it ‘terrorist.’

To continue reading: Palestinians: Sand In The Eye Of The Mideast

Introducing “Bad Guy” Theory, by Bill Bonner

Who are the good guys and who are the bad guys? Bill Bonner has some unsettling answers. From Bonner at bonnerandpartners.com:

Nothing much to report from the markets…

So we gird our loins, put on our armor, and go into battle.

We’re anticipating a fight.

Power Corrupts

Has Israel become a “bad guy”? we asked yesterday. Iran, the U.S… Who’s bad and who’s good?

Our guess yesterday was that power really does corrupt. And when you have too much of it – a near monopoly on power – you give yourself permission to do things you otherwise wouldn’t do. Because you know you can get away with it.

What prompted this line of thought may have been the news… or indigestion. As for the news, here is Jeremy Scahill, editor of The Intercept:

Israel has once again conducted a premeditated, full-scale massacre in broad daylight, in front of the cameras of the world. Once again, it took place in Gaza.

On May 14, Israeli snipers and other forces gunned down more than 60 Palestinians, and wounded thousands of others, including civilians, journalists, and paramedics.

Among those killed by Israeli forces was an 8-month-old infant. Her name was Laila al-Ghandour. They also killed at least seven other children and a man in a wheelchair, and that man had lost his legs after they had to be amputated following an earlier Israeli attack.

“Bad Guy” Theory

Here at the Diary, we try to connect the dots. There are the bare “facts,” which are squirrelly enough. And there are the ideas, myths, and delusions surrounding them.

These latter dots, like ball bearings on a sidewalk, are the ones that cause the broken bones.

People think they know, for example, not only what happened, but why it happened. They think they can look into black hearts and see corrupted souls – even from thousands of miles away.

They think they know who the real bad guys are. In the case at hand…

The Palestinians were fiends from Hell, said one Diary reader:

When faced with a screaming horde of fanatics who want to exterminate your existence, do what it takes. Be glad that Mexico is not dominated by Islamists.

They had blood dripping from their hands, said another:

A significant number of Palestinians killed were unquestionably identified by independent sources as terrorists.

They were mass murderers, said a third:

They intend to kill indiscriminately and create a fifth column within Israel to destroy it.

In other words, “Bad Guy” Theory says they all deserved to die. They – not the Israeli gunmen who shot them down – were the evil ones.

To continue reading: Introducing “Bad Guy” Theory

Trumpism Folds into Netanyahu-ism, or ‘Neo-Americanism’, by Alastair Crooke

Has Trump become a neocon, dancing, like most of them, to Israel’s tune? From Alastair Crooke at strategic-culture.org:

The 8 May US Presidential declaration (on exiting JCPOA) requires of us fundamentally to revise our understanding of Trumpism. At the outset to his term of office, Trumpism was widely understood to be based on three key pillars: That the costs incurred by the US in upholding the full panoply of Empire (i.e. policing the American, rules-based, global order) were just too onerous and unfair (especially in the provision of the defence umbrella) – and that others must be coerced into sharing its cost. Secondly, that American jobs had been, as it were, stolen from America, and would have to be recovered through forced changes to the terms of trade. And thirdly, that these changes would be effected, through applying the tactics of the Art of the Deal.

That seemed, at least, to be clear, (if not necessarily a wholly feasible blueprint). But mostly we thought that the Art of the Deal was about threatening, blustering, and hiking leverage on ‘whatever the counterparty’ – raising tensions to explosive levels – before, at the very eleventh hour, at the very climax of crisis, offering ‘the deal’. And that was the point (then): Yes, Trump would toss verbal grenades intended to upend conventional expectations, take actions to force an issue – but the objective (as generally understood), was to get a deal: One that would tilt towards America’s mercantile and political interests, but a deal, nonetheless.

Maybe we misread Trump’s build-up of America’s already super-sized military. It seemed that it was about potential leverage: something to be offered (in terms of an umbrella to compliant states), or withdrawn from those who would not put their hand in their pocket deeply enough.

But everything changed with Trump’s 8 May statement. It was not just an American ‘exit’ that was mooted, it was full court financial war that was declared against Iran (with ‘terms of surrender’ couched in terms of regime change, and total submission to the US). But this is no longer about how to reach a ‘fairer’, better deal for the US; how to make it more money. Rather the financial system was to be leveraged to destroy another state’s currency and economy. The US military are being super-sized further, to be used: to be able to rain down ‘fire and fury’ on non-compliant states.

To continue reading: Trumpism Folds into Netanyahu-ism, or ‘Neo-Americanism’