Archive | July 28th, 2013

Putin hosts world’s Orthodox leaders at unique gathering


President Vladimir Putin praised tight ties between the Kremlin and the powerful Orthodox Church as he hosted top Orthodox clergy from across the world Thursday to mark the 1025th anniversary of the Christianisation of Russia.

Convening the heads and senior members of 15 Orthodox Churches for an unprecedented meeting at the Kremlin, Putin praised the moral authority of the church, which supported the Russian strongman throughout his 13 years in power.

“It is important that relations between the state and the church are developing at a new level,” Putin said in televised remarks, with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill by his side.

“We act as genuine partners and colleagues to solve the most pressing domestic and international tasks, to implement joint initiatives for the benefit of our country and people,” he told the black-robed clerics.

Alongside Kirill, those present included Patriarch Theodore II of Alexandria, Theophilos III of Jerusalem and Ilia II of Georgia, the Kremlin said.

Also present were the heads of the Bulgarian, Serbian, Polish and Cypriot Orthodox Churches. Together they represented more than 227 million faithful.

The Russian Orthodox Church was suppressed under Communism but has staged an astonishing recovery in post-Soviet Russia to become one of the country’s most powerful institutions.

Putin, an ex-KGB agent who has said his mother had him secretly christened in the Soviet Union, has enjoyed unstinting support from the Church throughout his years in power including during the unprecedented protests that broke out in Moscow and other big cities in winter 2011.

Since returning to the Kremlin for a third term last year, Putin has been promoting an unflinchingly conservative agenda in a move aimed at cementing his support among blue-collar workers and elderly Russians, his core backers.

This summer Russia’s parliament passed a law imposing jail terms of up to three years on those who offend religious believers.

The controversial bill was proposed after several members of rock band Pussy Riot belted out a “punk prayer” against Putin and his close ties with the Church last year.

Two Pussy Riot members, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, are now serving two years in prison after being convicted last August on charges of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.

The Russian parliament also adopted a law imposing jail terms for people promoting homosexual “propaganda” to minors, while another recently adopted law bans gay and lesbian couples in foreign countries from adopting Russian children.

Putin said Thursday that the church was giving Russians a moral compass when so many were looking for help.

“Today when people are once again searching for moral support, millions of our compatriots see it in religion,” Putin said. “They trust the wise, pastoral word of the Russian Orthodox Church.”

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Nasrallah: EU giving “legal cover” for an IsraHell war on Lebanon


The European Union is paving the way for Israel to justify a war on Lebanon, Hezbollah’s secretary general said late Wednesday, two days after the 28 member states issued a decision to put Hezbollah’s military wing on its terror list.

“EU countries should know they are giving legal cover for Israel to launch any war on Lebanon because Israel can claim it is waging war on terrorists,” Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised speech at the annual iftar ceremony held by the Women’s Committee of Islamic Resistance Support Association of Hezbollah.

“These countries make themselves undeniable allies during any Israeli aggression on Lebanon, on the resistance and on any target for the resistance [in the country],” Nasrallah added.

The EU 28-member bloc agreed Monday to blacklist Hezbollah’s military organization as a terrorist group following years of relentless US and Israeli pressure.

The EU cited accusations that the powerful Lebanese Shia movement was behind a bus bombing in Bulgaria last year which killed five Israelis and their driver, as well as the party’s involvement in the Syrian conflict.

Hezbollah has denied any involvement in the Bulgaria bombing.

Last month a new socialist-led Bulgarian government backed away from the claims of the previous administration, saying that the EU could not justify blacklisting Hezbollah solely based on the little evidence produced to implicate it in the crime.

“It is important that the (EU) decision be based not only on the bombing … because I think the evidence we have is not explicit,” Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin had told national state radio BNR.

Nasrallah noted that the EU’s official statement will be issued within days and the party will see then what is to be discussed.

He also posed the question to the EU of why the union hadn’t considered placing Israel’s army on its terror list.

“[The EU] repeatedly admits that Israel occupies Arab land but hasn’t implemented international resolutions for ten years. The whole world has witnessed the Israeli massacres,” he said.

Nasrallah advised the member states to reconsider the decision, stating that it is doomed to fail and that “the decision wasn’t worth the ink it was written with.”

The EU’s blacklisting of Hezbollah’s military wing is merely the result of external pressure and interests, he said, instead of being based on values and principles. He added that the effect of the decision is nothing but psychological.

“In this country, resistance fighters fought the Israeli occupation, endured a lot of pressure and sacrificed martyrs. Then you come to those who are the sons of these people and say they are terrorists. This is abuse to fighters, to their people and to their successive governments,” Nasrallah stated.

“This decision aims at making us bow, at forcing us to step back and be afraid. But, I tell you that all you will get is failure and frustration,” he said, adding that anyone who thinks the resistance will be undermined by the decision is either “ignorant or delusional.”

The Secretary General hinted jokingly at having members of Hezbollah’s military wing in Lebanon’s new government, assuring viewers that the resistance has gained credibility among people in Lebanon and the Arab and Muslim world.

“The most important thing for the Lebanese resistance is to get the support of its people and to express their will, pride and view in defending their land and their sovereignty,” he said.

“The Resistance will remain and will be victorious by God’s will,” Nasrallah concluded.

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Egypt’s Morsi ordered held over Hamas contacts, murder


Supporter of Egypt's ousted president Mohammed Morsi in Cairo, Egypt, on Thursday, July 25, 2013. (photo credit: AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

Hours before rival protests, deposed ruler probed for ‘anti-state acts, attacking police stations, army officers … and premeditated killing’


ed note–Morsi’s sin was cozying up to Russia and Iran, opposing NATO intervention in Syria and making noises about joining the new BRICS economic block challenging Jewish monetary monopoly on the world. Now they have to make an example out of him lest other poodles start to tug at their leashes as well.

Times of Israel

An investigating judge has ordered the detention of Egypt’s ousted president over alleged contacts with Hamas to help in his escape from prison in 2011, the official state news agency reported Friday in the first official word on Mohammed Morsi’s status since he was overthrown by the military on July 3.

The announcement came hours before mass protests were set to take place across the nation in response to a call by military chief Gen. Abdel-Fatah el-Sissi for a show of popular support for his anticipated crackdown on Morsi’s supporters and radical Islamists loyal to the ousted leader who have been attacking security forces in the strategic Sinai Peninsula.

The Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist group from which Morsi hails, also called for mass protests on Friday.

The rival rallies and the announcement that Morsi faces accusations that could carry the death penalty on conviction further raised the specter of violence between the two camps.

Starting legal proceedings against Morsi, however, could also halt repeated calls by Western governments to free Morsi or file charges against him.

The military and the police have pledged to protect Friday’s protesters, and the army deployed tens of thousands of troops across the country, supported by armor and helicopters.

The MENA news agency said Morsi has been detained for 15 days pending the completion of the investigation into the accusations. His detention can be extended as the inquiry continues. The news agency indicated that Morsi has already been interrogated.

Senior Brotherhood official Essam el-Erian rejected the detention order, saying Morsi continues to enjoy immunity as the nation’s “legitimate” president, and he can stand trial only as part of a constitutional process that allows that.

The detention order, he wrote on his official Facebook page, “lays bare the fascist nature of military rule … our response will be with millions in peaceful rallies in the squares.”

The case against Morsi is rooted in the mass jailbreak of more than 30 Muslim Brotherhood leaders from a prison northwest of Cairo during the 2011 popular uprising that toppled Morsi’s predecessor, autocrat Hosni Mubarak. There have been many reports in the Egyptian media that the Brotherhood collaborated with Hamas, its Palestinian wing, and Hezbollah militants in Lebanon to arrange the breakout.

Muslim Brotherhood officials have said they were aided by local residents in breaking out of prison, not foreigners. However, a court in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia has heard testimonies from prison officials and intelligence officers strongly indicating that Morsi and his Brotherhood colleagues were freed when gunmen led by Hamas operatives stormed the Wadi el-Natroun prison.

Hamas has consistently denied any involvement. On Friday a spokesman for the militant group, Sami Abu Zuhri, condemned Morsi’s detention order. “The Egyptian decision is an attempt to drag Hamas into the Egyptian conflict,” he said. “We call on the Arab League to bear its responsibility in facing the incitement against Hamas.”

Morsi’s only account of his jailbreak came in a frantic phone call he made to Al-Jazeera Mubasher TV moments after being freed. “From the noises we heard … It seemed to us there were (prisoners) attempting to get out of their cells and break out into the prison yard, and the prison authorities were trying to regain control and fired tear gas,” Morsi said in the call.

By the time they got out, the prison was empty, and there was no sign of a major battle, he said.

Other Brotherhood leaders gave similar accounts of the jailbreak, in which at least 14 members of the security forces were killed and the jail’s documents and archives destroyed.

The Brotherhood has been demanding that Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected president, be reinstated. His ouster in a military coup followed days of nationwide demonstrations, when millions turned out to demand his resignation after just one year in office.

Egypt’s military, which views Hamas as a threat to Egypt’s national security, has been holding Morsi in an undisclosed location since deposing him.

The MENA report said Morsi was being investigated over allegations of collaborating with Hamas “to carry out anti-state acts, attacking police stations, army officers and storming prisons, setting fire to one prison and enabling inmates to flee, including himself, as well as premeditated killing of officers, soldiers and prisoners.”

Friday’s surprise announcement about Morsi comes as Egypt’s divisions appear to grow deeper, with Islamists stepping up their campaign against el-Sissi and state media whipping up sentiments against the Islamists.

On Thursday, the spiritual leader of the Brotherhood, Mohammed Badie, said ousting Morsi was a worse crime than if el-Sissi had destroyed the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest site — an attempt to fire up the religious fervor in the pro-Morsi camp ahead of Friday’s rallies.

It was not clear what el-Sissi meant by seeking a mandate against violence — and how far the military would go. The most explosive move would be if troops were to eventually try to clear the two major sit-ins by Morsi’s supporters. The largest has been outside Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque, where crowds some nights have grown to tens of thousands. Several thousand had congregated at the site by midday Friday.

A more limited move would be for troops to take tougher action against any sign of Morsi supporters engaged in violence. Some Islamist protesters have been seen with weapons — though their opponents have been as well, and each accuses the other of sparking clashes. Another possibility is that the military would detain Brotherhood and other Islamist leaders who already face arrest warrants, including Badie.

On Thursday, military spokesman Col. Ahmed Mohammed Ali said el-Sissi’s call was “not a threat to any specific political group.” He said the military respects peaceful protests.

But he said any violence or terrorism will be “dealt with decisively and with force” — signaling a likely tough approach on any sign of violence, which Islamists’ opponents have largely blamed on the pro-Morsi camp.

He said a national reconciliation conference and a system of transitional justice, called for by military-backed interim President Adly Mansour, are the only way out of Egypt’s current standoff.

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Zio-Nazi bars European aid staff from entering Gaza, Western diplomat says


Diplomat says move is part of Zio-Nazi response to new  settlement guidelines; Ashton’s spokesperson: EU hasn’t received official communication on orders to limit work with EU on the ground, is seeking ‘urgent clarifications.’


Several European aid staff have been barred from entering Gaza as part of Israeli measures in the wake of new EU guidelines barring cooperation with settlements, a western diplomat said Friday.

The diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the humanitarian aid staff had failed to receive permits to enter the Gaza Strip.

On Thursday, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon ordered defense officials to halt cooperation on the ground with EU representatives. This includes any assistance to EU infrastructure projects in Area C, which is under full Israeli civilian and military control. Ya’alon also reportedly planned to make it more difficult for EU officials to pass through the Erez Crossing, to the Gaza Strip or back to Israel.

In Brussels, Maja Kocijancic, spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, said on Friday: “The EU is concerned by reports in the Israeli media that the Israeli Minister of Defense has announced a number of restrictions affecting EU activities supporting the Palestinian people.

“We have not received any official communication from the Israeli authorities. Our delegations on the spot are seeking urgent clarifications,” Kocijancic added.

In his decision, Ya’alon adopted a list of recommendations he received from the coordinator of government activities in the territories, Maj. Gen. Eitan Dangot. Israel’s security establishment would adopt a cold shoulder policy toward EU activities in the territories, Haaretz learned from security sources Friday morning.

However, they clarified, this would apply only to specifically EU activities and not activities conducted by EU member states.

It seems that Ya’alon’s moves are being made in coordination with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Following the EU announcement of the new guidelines, Israeli political and defense officials warned that Israel would retaliate to the new policy.

The European Commission published the guidelines barring EU agencies from funding entities connected to settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and residential areas in the Golan Heights on July 19.

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Zio-NAZI Rat’s Execute Over 50 Syrian Troops, 150 Killed Overall


Rebel Fighters Retake Key Aleppo Town

by Jason Ditz

Syrian rebels have retaken the strategically important town of Khan al-Assal in Aleppo Province, killing at least 150 Syrian troops in the process, according to internal reports from within the group.

A large number of the troops slain, more than 50 by rebel accounts, were actually captured and summarily executed, and rebels issued video footage of the rows of bodies of slain soldiers.

Exactly which rebel faction is responsible remains unclear, however, as a secular faction was the first to announce the offensive, and today’s videos attributed the executions to Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Qaeda-linked faction.

The same town had previously fallen to Syrian troops in March, in heavy fighting which left over 200 people slain. The town was at the center of one of the alleged chemical weapons strikes in Syria,

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Syria says Zio-NATO Rats killed 123 people in north, majority civilians

Syrian state media accused insurgents on Saturday of killing 123 people, the majority of them civilians, during a rebel offensive this week to take the northern town of Khan al-Assad.

A two-year revolt-turned-civil war has left more than 100,000 people dead and both forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and rebels are accused by rights groups of war crimes.

State news agency SANA said that “armed terrorist groups” committed a “massacre … mutilating the bodies of the martyrs and throwing them in a big hole on the outskirts of the town, in addition to incinerating a number of (their) bodies.”

The accusations come a day after a rebel group, calling itself the Supporters of the Islamic Caliphate, posted a video on YouTube of around 30 bodies of young men piled up against a wall who they said were pro-Assad militiamen.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an anti-Assad monitoring group, cited activists on Friday in Khan al-Assal who said that more than 150 soldiers were killed on Monday and Tuesday in and around the town, including 51 soldiers and officers who were executed.

Having won Western support in the early stages of the revolt, the opposition has since succumbed to infighting between moderate and hardline Islamist groups. Meanwhile, Assad has been able to rely on Iran, Russia and Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group to support his crackdown.

Islamist militants fought with ethnically Kurdish units on Saturday near the border with Turkey in part of an ongoing territorial dispute.

An official in Turkey said there were reports that the al-Qaeda linked Nusra Front had approached the border and that shelling from Syria had fallen on Turkey. It was not clear who controlled the nearby border gate of Ras al-Ain, he said.

The war – pitting Sunni majority rebels against Assad’s own Alawite sect and Shi’ite Hezbollah – has descended into sectarian hatred.

The army continues to hit major cities with artillery and airstrikes. The Observatory reported on Saturday that 29 civilians, including 19 children and four women died when a surface-to-surface missile hit a building in the northern city of Aleppo, once Syria’s commercial hub.

Insurgents have focused on taking isolated army outposts, mostly in rural areas while forces loyal to Assad have made gains in recent months around the capital Damascus and the central city of Homs.

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Kerry to meet Syrian terrorists at UN



US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet with the new leader of the Syrian opposition at the UN this week, as US plans to boost military aid to the rebels gain steam.

Kerry will meet newly-elected Syrian opposition chief Ahmad Jarba on Thursday afternoon at the United Nations in New York, on the sidelines of a Security Council meeting.

“The secretary plans to meet with… president Jarba and other members of the coalition, including Michel Kilo and Burhan Ghalioun,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.

“They will discuss the current situation in Syria, how to support a process of political dialogue and the Geneva conference, and ways to bolster our assistance to local communities.”

It will be Kerry’s first meeting with Jarba since he was elected head of the Syrian National Coalition on July 6.

Kerry will seek to convey “the US commitment to continuing to help strengthen the opposition,” Psaki said.

Jarba met on Tuesday with French leaders and said he called for “total political support, diplomatic support, humanitarian emergency aid and military and other aid.”

Jarba was accompanied in Paris by the Free Syrian Army chief General Selim Idriss, who said the opposition was “working with our European and American friends to obtain technical, medical and humanitarian assistance and, we hope, also weapons and ammunition.”

Idriss repeated his complaint that the rebels did “not have enough” weapons as they battle the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The United States is currently providing humanitarian and non-lethal military aid to rebel groups but has said it will significantly expand the “scope and scale” of its military assistance.

President Barack Obama’s plan to provide vetted Syrian rebels with weapons and strategic military aid appears to have gained traction in Congress after lawmakers said a “consensus” had been reached to accept the proposals.

House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers said they had agreed to the plan despite “very strong concerns about the strength of the administration’s plans in Syria and its chances for success.”

But the details have been kept secret, and it remains unclear precisely what extra aid Washington intends to give the rebels.

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US State Department “Tactics”: Kerry Uses Arabs to Bully Palestinians

Global Research
A new tactic by US Secretary of State John Kerry is causing a split within the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) ranks regarding further talks with Israel. Kerry is apparently using the Arab League’s Follow-Up Committee on the Arab Peace Initiative (FCAPI) to bully the Palestinians into accepting new ground rules for the talks to which they had objected in the past.
In his sixth tour of the region as secretary of state, Kerry did something unusual. Instead of visiting Israel , as he always does, he left it out of his itinerary, deciding instead to hold most of the talks in the Jordanian capital Amman . While there, he conferred with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as well as members of the FCAPI. As the talks progressed, it became clear that Kerry was no longer focussing on Israel , the country that has torpedoed all previous attempts at peace, but on the PLO. His aim is to get the latter to offer more concessions than any they have accepted in the past.
In order to do this, Kerry wanted to get the FCAPI to accept these concessions on behalf of the Palestinians, a new tactic that may or may not be working but that so far has succeeded in causing divisions and widespread consternation in Palestinian circles. The tactic is not totally new, for it resonates with the manner in which US diplomats have used the Arab League to justify foreign intervention for the sake of regime change in countries such as Iraq and Libya in the past.
Speaking after a meeting with Kerry in Amman , FCAPI diplomats voiced their “great support” for Kerry’s efforts to revive the talks. Their remarks were seen as a “victory” for Kerry, said the Associated Press. It was a “success” for his diplomacy, added The New York Times. Kerry, for his part, announced that the gap was “narrowing” between the Palestinians and the Israelis, and that all that was needed now was to “iron out” a few kinks.
For the Palestinians, ironing out these kinks is going to be a quite a job, however. PLO chief negotiator Saeb Ereikat is said to have had a “stormy” meeting with the PLO leadership concerning Kerry’s proposals. The PLO, its back to the wall, is now forming a working committee to decide what to do about the talks.
All of this is unprecedented. In the past, the FCAPI used to take its cue from the Palestinians. When the Palestinians were faced with demands for concessions they were reluctant to give, they politely said they needed to consult with the FCAPI, which was a courteous way of turning down unacceptable proposals. Now the FCAPI is getting them into trouble by agreeing to concessions before the Palestinians even have time to discuss them at length.
In the absence of FCAPI support for the PLO negotiators, the latter had no option but to play along with Kerry’s proposals. On Friday, the US secretary of state declared his satisfaction with the current plans to get the Palestinians and the Israelis talking again about a “final status” deal. He has invited the PLO and Israel to send negotiators to Washington soon to work out details of the agreement. PLO senior officials told the French news agency AFP that Kerry was determined to declare the resumption of the talks before leaving the region.
US Department of State spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters that unless progress was made on Kerry’s sixth visit to the region, he would not be returning for more visits. If anything, this sounds like an unveiled threat aiming to put pressure on Abbas and his chief negotiator and force their cooperation.
During this round of talks, Kerry also left Abbas no chance to play for time. Instead of waiting for Abbas to go to talk with the FCAPI, Kerry brought the Arab League diplomats to Amman and had them agree to his proposals without prior consultation with the PLO.
In Amman , members of the FCAPI issued a statement saying that Kerry’s ideas for the resumption of talks were a “suitable foundation” for further negotiations. The FCAPI stamp of approval placed the PLO in a difficult position. Abbas, unable to wiggle free from this diplomatic ordeal, remained silent. But his silence, as the saying goes in Arabic, was seen as a “sign of approval”.
Yet, the situation is likely to spark resentment back home, where most of the PLO leaders are opposed to Kerry’s proposals. However, they know that a blunt rejection of these proposals may invoke an unpleasant US reaction, if not sanctions.
Abbas is waiting to give his answer following consultations with the PLO leadership. In all likelihood, the latter will have to agree, despite its deep reservations about Kerry’s proposals.
As a result of all this, the FCAPI has let down the Palestinians, and it is not the first time that this has happened. On 29 April, a Qatari-led FCAPI delegation offered Kerry what amounted to its consent to a land swap at a meeting in Washington . Critics of the FCAPI correctly noted that the step was extraordinary, for the FCAPI is not empowered to make such concessions. Only the Arab summit, which issued the Arab Peace Initiative, is entitled to make any amendment to this initiative. As a mere follow-up committee, the FCAPI had exceeded its mandate.
Israel, of course, is pleased to see the FCAPI offer concessions that the Palestinians do not seem willing to make. Tzipi Livni , Israel ’s foreign minister at the time, described the FCAPI statement as “good news.”
Lebanese analyst Ziad Al-Sayegh recently wrote that “after the failure of the internationalisation of the talks [through the Quartet], we are now going through a regionalisation of the talks [through the Arab League].” One symptom of this regionalisation is that the land swap, overwhelmingly rejected by the Palestinians, is now getting the Arab League’s stamp of approval.
Last Thursday, the Jordanian news agency Petra cited the Arab League chief, Nabil Al-Arabi, as saying that the “US plan concerning the peace process is based on three axes; political, economic and security-related”. The Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot then offered an interesting interpretation of this statement. The political axis, it said, was the resumption of talks. The security axis was going to be left to the US top brass to decide. And the economic axis would mean a lot more aid to the Palestinian Authority.
During his last tour of the region, Kerry made no reference to the Israeli settlements. Nor did he object when Israel declared plans to build 732 new settlement units in the settlement of Modi’in Illit in west Jerusalem . For him, this was not even a kink worthy of ironing out. Even worse, the FCAPI has not seemed interested in Israel ’s active settlement-building programme, and it did not even mention that future talks should focus on a two-state deal based on the 1967 borders.
Last Friday, Kerry said that the best way to give the talks a chance was to keep them “private”. He declined to reveal the details of his plan as a result, and the FCAPI had nothing to say. For now, the PLO leadership is also keeping its cards close to its chest.
This article was first published and translated from Arabic by the Al-Ahram Weekly.

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IsraHell/Palestinian Peace Talks: Dead on Arrival

Stephen Lendman

So-called peace talks are fake. They’re a sham. They’ve always been this way. Decades of talks were stillborn from inception. This time’s no different.

Chances for a just peace are ZERO. Palestinians have no say. Believing otherwise defies reality.

Israel deplores peace. So does Washington. They’re jointly running things. Both nations are longstanding imperial partners. They prioritize violence and instability. Peace defeats their agenda.

They don’t negotiate. They demand. It bears repeating. Palestinians have no say whatever. They never did. They don’t now.

Abbas is a longstanding Israeli collaborator. He sold out long ago. He betrayed his own people. He’s well compensated for doing so.

He surrendered at Oslo. So did other Palestinian co-collaborators. They did so in subsequent agreements. They included Oslo II, Wye River, Camp David, Taba, Bush’s Road Map, Annapolis, and other one-sided deals.

Israel’s all take and no give. So is Washington. They’re allied against Palestine. High-sounding rhetoric is cover. It reflects doublespeak duplicity.

Israeli/US policies won’t change. They’re hardline. They’re hard-wired. They’re fixed. They won’t change. They never have. They won’t now. Long suffering Palestinians are on their own. It’s always been this way. It’s no different now.

Palestine’s legitimate government is excluded from talks. It’s the one Palestinians elected. Imagine proceeding on this basis. Doing so puts a lie serious peace efforts.

Imagine declaring a democratically elected government a terrorist organization. It’s because it wants Palestinians to live free, on their own land, in their own country.

Israel calls it a crime. So does Washington. Imagine holding talks on this basis. Doing so puts a lie to legitimacy. It mocks the very notion.

It shames anyone believing otherwise. Media scoundrels lined up in lockstep. They support the Big Lie. They endorse it. It doesn’t surprise. The New York Times was typical.

On July 19, it headlined “Kerry Achieves Deal to Revive Mideast Talks,” saying:

Israeli and Palestinian leaders have ‘established a basis’ to resume direct peace negotiations for the first time in three years, Secretary of State John Kerry announced Friday, after an intense round of shuttle diplomacy aimed at reviving the dormant Middle East peace process.

It’s not “dormant.” It’s dead. It’s nonexistent. Don’t expect Times contributors to explain. They pretended John Kerry’s rhetoric was sincere. They quoted him saying:

The representatives of two proud peoples today have decided that the difficult road ahead is worth traveling and that the daunting challenges that we face are worth tackling.

They have courageously recognized that in order for Israelis and Palestinians to live together side by side in peace and security, they must begin by sitting at the table together in direct talks.

On September 30, 1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain declared “peace for our time.”

Only fools believed it. Wise men knew otherwise.

Chamberlain returned from Munich. He waived Hitler’s agreement. It wasn’t worth the paper it was written on.

Hitler knew it. Chamberlain pretended otherwise. So did others. They did so foolishly. Hard reality awaited. WW II followed. Tens of millions perished. So much for “peace for our time.”

“We, the German Fuhrer and Chancellor, and the British Prime Minister, have had a further meeting today and are agreed in recognizing that the question of Anglo-German relations is of the first importance for our two countries and for Europe,” said Chamberlain.

We regard the agreement signed last night and the Anglo-German Naval Agreement as symbolic of the desire of our two peoples never to go to war with one another again.

We are resolved that the method of consultation shall be the method adopted to deal with any other questions that may concern our two countries, and we are determined to continue our efforts to remove possible sources of difference, and thus to contribute to assure the peace of Europe.

A follow-up statement added:

My good friends, for the second time in our history, a British Prime Minister has returned from Germany bringing peace with honour.

I believe it is peace for our time…Go home and get a nice quiet sleep.

According to TimesSpeak, resuming Israeli/Palestinian talks suggests “progress.”

Israeli negotiator Tzipi Livni was quoted saying “four years of political stagnation are coming to an end.”

Times contributors stopped short of declaring “peace for our time.” Despite daunting obstacles, perhaps they believe it.

Fools go where angels fear to tread. Peace is a convenient illusion. It’s always been this way. It’s no different now. Big Lies don’t wash. High-sounding rhetoric rings hollow.

In 1993, Edward Said minced no words denouncing the Oslo Accords and Declaration of Principles.

He explained “the fashion-show vulgarities of the White House ceremony, the degrading spectacle of Yasser Arafat thanking everyone for the suspension of most of his people’s rights, and the fatuous solemnity of Bill Clinton’s performance, like a 20th century Roman emperor shepherding two vassal kings through rituals of reconciliation and obeisance, (and) the truly astonishing proportions of the Palestinian capitulation.”

It was unilateral surrender. It was a Palestinian Versailles. It affirmed a vaguely defined negotiating process. No fixed timeline or outcome were specified.

Israeli officials obstructed and delayed. They refused to make concessions. They continued stealing Palestinian land. They never stopped.

Colonization is official Israeli policy. It wants all valued Judea and Samaria areas. It wants Jerusalem as its exclusive capital. It prefers Palestinians cast into the sea.

At most, they’ll get worthless cantonized scrubland. They’ll continue being persecuted ruthlessly. Resisters will be brutally treated. Thousands of Palestinian political prisoners fill Israel’s gulag. It’s one of the world’s worse.

In 1993, Palestinians got nothing for renouncing armed struggle, recognizing Israel’s right to exist, and agreeing to leave major unresolved issues for later final status talks. They’re still waiting.

Major unresolved issues include an independent sovereign Palestine, ending Israel’s occupation, the right of return, settlements, borders, water, air and resource rights, and East Jerusalem as Palestine’s exclusive capital.

Mazin Qumsiyeh’s a distinguished Palestinian academic. He serves on multiple boards.

They include Peace Action, the US Campaign to End the Occupation, the Palestinian American Congress, Association for One Democratic State in Israel/Palestine,, and

He’s unequivocal saying:

Mr. Abbas agreed to go back to public negotiations with a pathological liar.

Private negotiations have been ongoing behind the scenes.

Public and private negotiations for the past 20 years produced nothing tangible except increasing the number of colonial Jewish settlers in the West Bank from 200,000 in 1992 to 650,000 today and subcontracting Israeli security to Palestinian security officials.

Israel will release some prisoners (and replace them with others) and the US will give more money to corrupt officials on all sides.

The question is whether the only two choices available to us are sitting around not doing anything or going to fruitless unbalanced negotiations intended to liquidate Palestinian rights?

Do we really give up on resistance, on democratizing the PLO or on freedom or on human rights?

BDS efforts are working, said Qumsiyeh. Mahmoud Abbas and complicit Palestinian officials spurn them. They’re working on normalizing Israeli/Palestinian relations.

They’re doing so deceitfully. They’re in it for self-serving reasons. They don’t give a damn about Palestinian rights. They never did. They don’t now.

It shows in their overt betrayal. They say one thing. They do another. Why Palestinians put up with them, they’ll have to explain.

Robert Danin’s a Council on Foreign Relations Eni Enrico Mattei Senior Fellow for Middle East and African Studies. From 2008 – 2010, he conspired with Tony Blair.

He’s a reinvented war criminal. He’s the Quartet’s Middle East envoy. He’s an imperial tool. Danin worked closely with him.

On July 20, he headlined “Secretary Kerry’s Creative Ambiguity and Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks,” saying:

His announcement about talks resuming “was short on details and ambiguous, even by diplomatic standards.”

Such imprecision at first blush suggests that the parties still have a ways to go before America’s chief diplomat can declare negotiations fully back on track.

But it also reflects a highly creative use of diplomatic ambiguity as a means towards allowing each side to find a way back to the negotiating table.

Getting the two sides to agree to an enduring peace agreement will require clarity and transparency – two elements lacking to date.

Substantive progress will require Secretary Kerry’s constant engagement and a tremendous expenditure of diplomatic capital. That alone, however, is unlikely to be sufficient.

To his credit, Danin suggested something’s rotten in Denmark. He didn’t explain what’s most important. Talks are more pretense than real. Peace is a convenient illusion. He knows. He didn’t say.

On July 19, Mossad-connected DEBKAfile (DF) headlined “Kerry obtains Israeli, Palestinian consent to negotiate interim accord, without borders issue.”

DF claims it knows details Kerry didn’t reveal. Netanyahu agreed.

“(F)orthcoming negotiations (will) focus on attaining an interim peace accord – without determining final borders – for establishing a Palestinian state in broad areas of the West Bank from which Israel would withdraw,” it said.

Fact check:

Israel withdraws nowhere. Gaza’s August 2005 disengagement achieved nothing. Less than two years later, siege followed. It remains virtually unchanged. So did war, intermittent bombings, and regular incursions.

Israel maintains de facto control over all West Bank and East Jerusalem territory. Peace talks won’t change things. They never did before. They won’t now.

Two states once were possible. No longer. Israel controls over half the West Bank and much of East Jerusalem. More is added daily.

When completed, Israel’s apartheid wall will control over 10% of Palestine. Maybe 12% or more. Isolated ghettoized bantustans on worthless scrubland won’t work.

Sovereign viability’s a convenient illusion. It’s impossible. One state for all its people alone makes sense. Nothing else.

According to DF, Palestine, as negotiators define it, will be “subject to trilateral US-Israeli-Palestinian consensus on security arrangements, and require some Jewish settlements to be removed.”

None will be removed. New ones may be built. They’ll all expand. Some may be consolidated by combining them. More stolen land will facilitate doing so.

“Initial negotiations will start next week in Washington behind closed doors.” Secrecy alone belies credibility. Transparency is vital.

Palestinians have a right to know what’s being negotiated in their name. They have no say whatever. Israel and Washington control things. Take it or else is policy.

Talks will last “no less than nine months,” said DF. Israel duplicitously agreed to a “partial” construction “standstill” – “except for building to accommodate natural growth.”

In other words, it’ll continue unabated. Hundreds of new units will be built. Perhaps thousands. Many others will be planned.

Israel wants all valued Judea and Samaria areas Judaized. It wants Jerusalem as its exclusive capital. It’s longstanding policy. It won’t change now. Abbas knows it. He pretends otherwise.

He “dropped his stipulation for a total construction freeze.” He never had one. He only claimed to. He lied. He’s a serial liar. He repeatedly broke major promises made. He serves Israeli interests. He’s disdainful of Palestinian rights.

He pledged “not to carry out his threat to push anti-Israeli measures through UN and other international institutions during the talks.”

He won’t do so under any conditions. His talk is cheap. It’s meaningless. Rogue leaders operate that way.

Kerry “persuaded (him) to waive his ultimatum for peace talks based on 1967 borders.” He settled for Obama’s duplicitous promise.

He’ll “send him a letter affirming US recognition that the object of the negotiations is to establish a Palestinian state as the national home of the Palestinian people whose borders will be based on 1967 lines.”

Weasel wording will disguise his intent. Palestine won’t choose borders. Israel and Washington alone have final say. They control the agenda. They’ll decide terms.

Israel’s the only country without fixed borders. It’s because land theft is planned. It won’t stop until Israel gets all it wants.

Obama will send another letter to Netanyahu, affirming that the negotiations must lead to the recognition of the state of Israel as the national home of the Jewish people, whose future borders will be based on the 1967 lines while also accommodating Israel’s security needs and its realistic demographic circumstances.

In other words, he’ll assure Netanyahu what he already knows. Whatever he wants, he’ll get. A bus awaits Palestinians to be thrown under. They know the drill. It happened so often before.

It bears repeating. This time’s no different. Betrayal’s baked in the cake. It’s longstanding reality. Liberation’s a distant dream. Maybe some day. Not now.

A Final Comment

On Sunday, Netanyahu held his weekly cabinet meeting. Negotiations won’t be easy, he said. He disingenuously said he’s “entering them with integrity, honesty and hope.”

He lacks honor, morality, and ethical honesty. He’s unscrupulous. He spurns rule of law principles. He mocks democratic values. He reflects the worst of rogue leadership. He’s all take and no give.

“Our negotiating partners will have to make concessions that enable us to preserve our security and crucial national interests,” he said.

In other words, what Israel says goes. Palestinians have no say. It’s always been that way. Expect nothing different now.

Netanyahu called new talks “an essential strategic interest for Israel.” He stopped short of explaining what he means.

Peace for our time won’t happen. It remains a convenient illusion. Settlement construction will continue unabated. It’s on stolen Palestinian land.

Abbas won’t stop it. He’ll pretend otherwise. “We must continue the peace process that we started a few years ago and finish it,” he claimed.

Senior Hamas official Fawzi Barhoum calls talks a “disaster.” He said so for good reason. Abbas’ notion of peace is sellout.

It’s cover for Israel’s Judaization project. It’s unconditional surrender. It’s baked in the cake. It’s coming. Expect it next year or sooner.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on IsraHell/Palestinian Peace Talks: Dead on Arrival

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