Tag Archive | "Jerusalem"

On Trump’s Announcement on Jerusalem


NOVANEWS

By Rich Siegel

I would like to present an opinion on Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem using my friendship with Ayman Nijim, a native of Gaza, to offer important perspective. I have his permission. We discussed it the other night. Having a conversation with someone from Gaza is unlike having a conversation with someone from anywhere else. Me: “Ayman, how is your family in Gaza?”. Ayman: “Trying to reach them for 30 days. Maybe electricity will come on soon and I will be able to connect with them.”

Ayman’s family comes from Isdud, Palestine, which has since become Ashdod, Israel. Ayman has never been there. He has never been to Jerusalem. He is not permitted into any part of Israel or the occupied territories except for his native Gaza. Ayman’s family fled Isdud in 1948, after they heard about the massacre at Deir Yassin and other such incidents, and when it became clear that Zionist terrorists were attacking across the region. They had a very real fear of losing their lives if they remained. They fled intending to return. That never happened. They ended up in Gaza, like so many other victims of the Nakba (catastrophe in Arabic, the word used to describe the events of 1948). Ayman was born and raised there.

Ayman came to the US and earned an MA of Arts in Intercultural Leadership and Management at the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont. He is now Director of Programs at Maine Immigration and Refugee Services in Portland. He frequently gives talks at universities and churches about Gaza and the Palestinian situation generally.

When I visited Jerusalem this past October, I took photos which I then texted to various friends, including Ayman. Ayman texted back a request: Would I write his name on a piece of paper and take photos with it? I was confused. He explained, “It will be like my soul is in Jerusalem”. I did as he asked. I wrote his name in English and asked a hotel clerk to write his name in Arabic. (I stayed in Sheik Jarrah, in an Arab hotel in an Arab neighborhood).

Taking photos with my friend’s name changed my experience of Jerusalem. Of course I was aware that Palestinians hold Jerusalem very dear to their hearts and consider it their capitol, and I was aware that many Palestinians are prevented from going there, (those who live in Gaza, and those who are refugees in various places). But having traveled with my friend Ayman, having spent time with him in different parts of the US, the fact that I was in a place that he cherishes but is not permitted to visit, suddenly became very painful.

To fully understand the impact of Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem an appreciation of the history of the international community’s relationship with Israel and the Palestinians must be understood. Due to holocaust guilt in Europe and the influence of the pro-Israel lobby in America, Israel has been allowed to attack Gaza repeatedly, to attack neighboring states, to expand settlements, to build a wall outside Israel’s “green line” effectively stealing more land, and to visit any number of humiliations on the Palestinians, all with impunity. The one crumb that has been thrown to the Palestinians, the one thing that leaders around the world have given to show the Palestinians that their plight is seen at all, is the refusal to give in to Israel’s desire to have Jerusalem recognized as its capital, and to insist that embassies remain in Tel Aviv.

An understanding of the difference between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem is also necessary. Jerusalem is holy to three faiths. For Christians it contains the Via Dolorosa and Calvary. For Muslims it is the site of Mohammed’s night journey and al Aqsa Mosque. Zionist Jews claim exclusive entitlement to Jerusalem as site of the ancient temple, but this fails to recognize the significance of this city to the other two faiths. Prior to Zionism members of all three faiths lived in harmony in Jerusalem. Arabic-speaking Muslims and Christians, and yes, Arabic-speaking Arab Jews and those who escaped the Spanish Inquisition and were welcomed. It is an ancient city, and it is an Arab city, albeit much of it now dominated by Jews from all over the world. It remains dearly beloved by Palestinians as their capital.

Tel Aviv was founded in 1909 by 60 Jewish families on the outskirts of Jaffa. Even though it is part of historic Palestine, it is a Jewish city, not significant to other faiths. If there is to be a Jewish state in historic Palestine, a situation of dubious morality but never the less a modern reality, its capital should be there. Of course, Israel will put its capital where it wants, but the rest of the world doesn’t have to recognize its decision.

Trump’s statement can be compared to Sharon’s march on the Temple Mount in 2000, which ignited the 2nd intifada. It is a flagrant insult to the Palestinians, and a nasty provocation. While Sharon knew he was making a provocation and did it deliberately, it is likely that Trump is too ignorant to appreciate the ramifications of his actions, and did it just to please factions in the US. He stated that it would help “the peace process”, but he did not state how it would help, and what peace process exactly he was referring to. It was a ridiculous assertion.

The actual results of this action are unknown at this point, but clearly it has inspired anger among those who support peace and justice, and among those who will be adversely affected: The Palestinians. Most Israelis are cheering. It is very likely to strengthen the convictions that most Israelis and many Zionist Jews around the world have, that they are entitled to all of Jerusalem, and embolden actions related to ethnically cleansing and Judaizing Arab neighborhoods there. It is already commonplace for Arab families in East Jerusalem to be booted out of their homes with full cooperation of Israeli authorities, and then replaced by Jewish settlers. The number of such incidents is likely to increase due to Trump’s announcement, along with an increase of settler activity in other areas, taking Trump’s support as a pat on the back for Zionist expansionism generally. It is a tragic step in the wrong direction.

I am old enough to remember when Jerusalem was “unified” in 1967. My mother was full of joy when she told me that Jerusalem was now “OURS!” And that sounded great to an 8 year old. But what “OURS!” meant was “not theirs any more”. And what that meant to people whose families had lived there for centuries, was not even part of our awareness at all. It has been a painful but very gratifying process to see beyond Zionist narrative and Jewish tribal loyalty, to appreciate the reality of my Palestinian brothers and sisters who experienced Zionist conquest from the other side. (To her credit my mother has taken that journey, too).

“If we love one another, God lives in us, and His love is perfected in us.” -1 John 4:12

(In the second photo I am with Ayman in Washington, DC. Unlike Jerusalem and Ashdod, Ayman is allowed to visit Washington, DC).

 

Posted in Palestine Affairs, USA, ZIO-NAZIComments (0)

‘Race Law’ Takes Jerusalem a Step Closer to Being a Jewish-Only City


NOVANEWS
Image result for JERUSALEM UNDER JEWISH CONTROL CARTOON
By Ramzy Baroud 

The Israeli government is planning a series of measures aimed at fully denying Palestinians their legal rights in Jerusalem and precluding any future peace settlement based on sharing the city between Israel and a future Palestinian state.

One of the most aggressive measures to date is a bill that was approved by the Israeli Knesset on Tuesday, January 2.

The bill, which passed with the support of Israel’s ruling rightwing and far-right coalition has several dangerous stipulations.

According to the bill, two thirds of the Knesset majority is required for Israel to relinquish sovereignty over any part of Jerusalem. International law insists that Israel has no sovereignty over East Jerusalem, illegally occupied and annexed in 1967 and 1980 respectively.

An equally disturbing stipulation in the bill is that it removes two Palestinian neighborhoods from the municipal jurisdiction of the city.

The two affected neighborhoods are Kufr Aqab and the Shufat refugee camp.

By doing so, the Israeli government would have achieved another milestone in its demographic war on Palestinians.

It is important to note that the two Palestinian areas are located on the other side of what Israel refers to as the ‘Separation Wall’.

This move confirms the assumption that the Wall was built around Palestinians areas that Israel plans to annex in the future.

Now, that the wall construction is at an advanced stage, the process of annexation seems to have begun.

But the latest bill – dubbed by Palestinians as the ‘race law’ for it aims at vacating Jerusalem from Palestinian Arabs and increasing the number of the city’s Jewish settlers – is a rewritten version of an earlier bill.

‘The Greater Jerusalem Law‘, which was poised to win a majority vote at the Knesset was only shelved temporarily.

The delayed bill called for expanding the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem to include major illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank, including Ma’aleh Adumim and the Gush Etzion settlement cluster.

Moreover, it endeavored to bring 150,000 Jewish settlers into Jerusalem as eligible voters, who would naturally tip the political scene more to the right.

Concurrently, the law would further demote the status of 100,000 Palestinians, who would find themselves in a politically gray area.

That bill was cast aside only weeks before the United States government agreed to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

While many in the international community were focused on what the American move would mean for the future of the region and the so-called peace process, few paid heed to the fact that the US and Israel had something far more consequential in mind.

News agencies at the time reported that Israel agreed to shelf a popular bill “under US pressure.” But that ‘pressure’ only aimed at giving President Donald Trump the needed time to formulate his own strategy and make the troubling announcement.

Since then, many Palestinians were killed, hundreds wounded and more detained as Palestinians and their allies around the world displayed outrage by the US decision.

A symbolic but telling vote at the United Nations on December 21 showed that the US and Israel stood alone in their fight to deny Palestinians their rights in their unlawfully occupied city.

Wasting no time, Israeli lawmakers are now pushing forward with designs to further isolate Jerusalem and to empty it from its Palestinian inhabitants.

They understand that the unparalleled US support must be exploited to the maximum, and that any delay on these bills would certainly be missed opportunities.

The nature of the US-Israel coordination is indeed unprecedented. Just as the Knesset voted to approve the bill, the US moved quickly to cap any strong Palestinian reactions.

That job was entrusted to US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, who has gone further than any other US official in her attempt to intimidate, and even bully Palestinians.

Haley declared that the US will cut off US funding of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and will only resume funding when the Palestinians agree to return to the negotiations.

UNRWA is the main channel for support for Palestinians refugees. That decision will further tighten the noose on a struggling Palestinian economy and the Palestinian Authority which relies mostly on international aid to survive.

Haley, of course, understands that no Palestinian leadership can engage politically with Israel and the US when the two countries refuse to accept international law as a frame of reference in the negotiations.

Now, the Palestinian leadership has to choose between its existing humiliation or further humiliation.

But Haley’s threat is also aimed at changing the conversation, and taking the focus away from the racist Israeli bill that will surely lead to further annexation in Jerusalem itself and throughout the West Bank.

The US and Israel are now actively invested in a system of political Apartheid in Palestine, and are twisting the arm of the PA to facilitate such a dreadful regime.

PA officials have made many threats so far, including the exclusion of the US from the peace process and changing their demand to a one state solution.

But there is nothing concrete so far regarding that coveted Palestinian strategy; one that is predicated on a united Palestinian leadership that truly explores new options, allies and future outlook.

It is that lack of vision that compromises the Palestinian position even further, emboldening Israel to push forward with its racist laws and apartheid walls.

 

 

 

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZIComments (0)

Jerusalem – The Straw that Breaks the Empire’s Back?


NOVANEWS

Posted by: John Phoenix

When President Trump on 6 December 2017 declared unilaterally Jerusalem as the capital of Israel to where the US Embassy shall relocate, he violated UN Resolutions, international law, common sense and went against all diplomatic efforts to eventually bring peace to the region, not to speak about 130 countries that have already voiced opposition to such a decision. And this, before the Peace Process is coming to an end, at which point the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords would play out. They are also called the Road Map for Peace, between Palestine and Israel, which foresees a two-state solution and accordingly a mutual decision on Jerusalem becoming the capital city for both Palestine and Israel. These Oslo Peace Accords are still valid today.

But Mr. Trump may not have a clue that such a Peace Accord even exists. And his handlers obviously had no interest of telling him. – And even if they did, it would make no difference, because the exceptional nation has no scruples demolishing any agreements of the past, regardless whether or not it – the US of A – were party to the shaping of them. – See also the Iranian Nuclear Deal.

By the same token, Washington does not give a hoot about international law and UN Resolutions. We are talking about the only and perfect rogue state the world has known in the past two centuries, by far surpassing, actually without any comparison with the western customarily accused villains, like Zimbabwe, North Korea, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba — and all those that refuse to bend to the Chief-Rogue-State, the United States of America.

In fact, what Trump has done, was just confirming what previous US Administrations had already as an objective, namely following the so-called „Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995“, with which the US Congress already 20 years ago, requested and prepared this step by legislation that says, “Since 1950, Jerusalem is the Capital of the State of Israel…”. Never mind and, of course not reported by the mainstream media, that immediately after promising the US Embassy would be moved to Jerusalem, Trump signed a ‘waiver’ postponing the move indefinitely, or until the international situation becomes ‘clear(er)’. – Who does the US Congress think they are – God the Almighty? To decide over the “Holy City”, Jerusalem, the historic center of the three-religion monotheist culture of 5,000 years of Judo-Christianism, also incorporating Islam, is an act of arrogance without comparison.

This insensitive Trump decision or affirmation at this point in time – another one in his basket of disasters – brought everything else but peace to the region, and especially to Palestine. It caused unrest, angry demonstrations from people who are basically fighting with their bare hands; protests which were immediately oppressed with firepower and violence by the Israeli military and police force, killing people in the Israel imposed ghetto of Gaza and the West Bank – i.e. in Palestine, what should become an independent state.

Instead of bringing peace, Trump killed the aspiration of peace, he de facto killed the notion of a two-state solution – and he effectively isolated the US from literally the rest of the world. Was this a bold provocation inspired by Trump’s Zionist masters, a trial balloon to find out how much of impunity the world would tolerate?

At no time was even mentioned that Jerusalem, if anything, might also be the capital of Palestine. The Motherland of Israel, let’s not forget, Palestine, was ignored. Palestine was provoked into protests, just to be brutally suffocated by the Israeli defense Forces (IDF). They do this with sadistic pleasure, like killing helpless flies. All this prompted by the criminal and irresponsible behavior of the President of the United States, the exceptional Nation – or rather his invisible handlers behind the throne.

But the propaganda mantra must go on – the lie that declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel was good for the Middle East, was good for peace, was and still is repeated over and over again, like a mantra, tras-mantra, tras-mantra – by Trump and his mannequins, his foreign affair puppets, Rex Tillerson and Nikki Haley, who is masquerading as Washington’s UN Ambassador, repeating over and over again, the same lie, the same lie, the same lie, in the hope, as the common saying goes after Goebbels, Hitler’s Propaganda Minister, if repeated enough, the lie becomes the truth. Do these clowns really believe that if a world renown repeat-liar keeps repeat-lying the globes populace believes that the repeat-lie becomes the truth?

The people at large have moved forward towards awakening since the horrendous murderous lies about Iraq with weapons of mass destruction that weren’t; about Gaddafi horrors committed to his people, which he didn’t, to the contrary, he provided them with free education, health services and cutting edge medical facilities, with free infrastructure and a broad social safety net; or UN-proven lies about Bashar Al-Assad’s poison gas used against his own people; the lies about Iran’s nuclear program that never was; the lies about Russia’s meddling in Ukraine, when it is now amply proven that the Maidan massacre was planned and carried out via the US Embassy in Kiev and through US and NATO military and paid mercenaries; the lies about the US and NATO fighting against ISIS which Washington created – and the list of lies go on – endlessly.

The entire vassal state of the European Union, country after country – led by the three “Ms”, Germany’s Merkel, France’s Macron, and the UK’s May – have said they would not go along with Trump’s decision and moving their Embassies to Jerusalem. Bravo! – Will this decision last, or will there be some high-power arm-twisting by Washington? – Is Washington still able to do arm-twisting, economic sanctions? Haven’t they noticed yet, that the west, even the hitherto puppet West, is gradually but surely moving away from the Atlantic Alliance towards the East. Probably for purely selfish economic and financial reasons, though some western politicians may look deeper and see the light, what I call, the Future is in the East.

What is also mazing though, is that nobody seems to even question the basics – the right of the self-styled emperor Trump, the typical emperor without cloths – intervening with the decision of another nation’s capital city. Of course, we know that Trump’s buddy and family friend, Bibi Netanyahu, holds and / or twists arms (smilingly) with the Donald on Jerusalem through the infamous family relations of the two warrying aggressors and through the seemingly unbeatable Zion-power the western world is being subjected to.

Trump, with this unwise decision, may have brought Jerusalem back to the 12th Century, the ages of the Crusades, when in 1187, on behalf of the Muslim Ayyubids Dynasty, Sultan Saladin, a Sunni Muslim, of Kurdish origins, besieged and eventually re-conquered the so-called Christian Kingdom of Heaven, invaded and stolen by the ‘Christian’ emperors of Rome two-hundred years earlier.

Perhaps Mr. Trump nilly-willy has started a new Arab Crusade against the artificially imposed Kingdom of Israel, artificially implanted in the land of Palestine, implanted by the Zionists who used the power of the British Empire which at that time was colonizing Palestine, to corrupt the freshly created UN system in 1948 to cut up and destroy Palestine – see the Balfour Declaration,

The British Foreign Secretary, Arthur Balfour, wrote on 2nd November 1917, hundred years ago, to Lord Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community, suggesting the carving up of Palestine the creation of a State of Israel. The ‘proposal’ was to be transmitted to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland. Lord Rothschild was co-drafter of the letter. The text of the declaration was made official by publication in the media on 9 November 1917.

The idea was eventually carried out by a UN Resolution in 1948, bringing about the State of Israel on 14 May 1948, the day Palestine became a non-country and enslaved to Israel.

Behind the Trump strategy lays a broader objective, the creation of a Greater Israel, that would stretch from the Euphrates to the Nile, cutting through Saudi Arabia, absorbing Jordan, a large portion of Syria and most of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. This is to make Israel a Middle Eastern super-power, sitting on a huge junk of the sub-continent’s energy wealth and on most of the Middle east’s fresh water reserves, on behalf of the Anglo-Zionist Empire.

It is yet to be seen whether this bold and aggressive move by Trump went a step too far; whether this impunity is the straw that may break the empire’s back.

What if nobody – not even the traditional allies – participates in this nefarious endeavor to move their embassies from Tel Avia to Jerusalem?

What if sanctions that Washington undoubtedly may dish out to those who do not obey its orders do no longer work?

What if this Trump lunacy opens the gates to the East even further for all those who have been fed-up with the empire’s financial-, fury-and-fire, and propaganda-crusades to conquer the world; and that this Washington insanity leads them to a new healthier, promising and honest economic system striving towards equality – of which we know already the fundamental bedrock – the multi-trillion New Silk Road, President Xi’s One Belt Initiative?

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Trading Jerusalem for war on Iran


NOVANEWS
Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad and President Trump

By James M. Dorsey

US President Donald J. Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem potentially sets the stage for a controversial American effort to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict backed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The United States and the two Gulf states see a US peace plan-in-the-making as a way of paving the way for more overt cooperation with Israel in confronting Iran, whom they accuse of destabilising the Middle East.

At the core of the US draft plan is reportedly the controversial suggestion that Abu Dis, a Palestinian village bordering on Jerusalem, rather than East Jerusalem, would be the capital of a future Palestinian state.

In doing so, the United States, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are navigating a minefield. Protests against Mr Trump’s move have so far underplayed the link between the fight against Iran and apparent Saudi and UAE willingness to compromise on minimal Palestinian demands for peace that include East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

That could change as US plans for an Israeli-Palestinian peace crystalise and the link to the Saudi-Iranian rivalry manifests itself. At the core of the US draft plan is reportedly the controversial suggestion that Abu Dis, a Palestinian village bordering on Jerusalem, rather than East Jerusalem, would be the capital of a future Palestinian state.

Perceived Saudi and UAE backing for the proposal that is reportedly being drafted by Mr Trump’s aide and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, would bring anger at alleged Arab complicity to the forefront, fuel the persistent anti-US and anti-Israel protests, and complicate the campaign by the US and the two Gulf states against Iran.

The notion that Abu Dis could replace East Jerusalem has been around for almost two decades. It failed to garner support during the 2000 Camp David Israeli-Palestinian peace talks because Arab and Palestinian leaders rejected it. Saudi and UAE eagerness to work with Israel coupled with Mr Trump’s seemingly unqualified support for the Jewish state has given the proposal a new lease on life.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE, despite their official condemnation of Mr Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem, have signalled a willingness to be more flexible by continuing to support Mr Kushner’s effort and playing a low-key, if not dampening, role in Arab and Muslim rejection of the president’s move.

Ironically, differences among Arab leaders about how to respond to Mr Trump’s Jerusalem decision may have temporarily prevented Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman from adding Palestine to a string of failed foreign policy moves aimed at escalating the kingdom’s proxy war with Iran. Prince Muhammad’s devastating military intervention in Yemen, botched effort to force Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to resign, and hamstrung boycott of Qatar have backfired and only strengthened Iran’s regional influence.

Inadvertently, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordanian King Abdullah did Prince Muhammad a favour when they reportedly rejected pressure by Prince Muhammad not to participate in this week’s summit of Islamic countries in Istanbul. Saudi Arabia was represented by a lower level Cabinet official. Mr Abbas may have further shielded the Saudi leader when his refusal to further accept the United States as a mediator was adopted by the summit.

The two leaders’ stand coupled with the Islamic summit’s rejection of Mr Trump’s move make it more difficult for Saudi Arabia and the UAE to endorse any resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that does not recognise East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. The problem is that Prince Muhammad and his UAE counterpart, Prince Muhammad bin Zayed, run the risk of misreading or underestimating public anger and frustration in significant parts of the Arab and Muslim world.

The link between Israeli-Palestinian peace making and Iran is likely to become undeniable when Mr Trump next month must decide whether to uphold the 2015 international agreement with Iran that put severe restrictions on its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.

Under US law, Mr Trump has to certify Iranian compliance every three months. In October, Mr Trump refused to do so. He threatened to pull out of the agreement if Congress failed to address the agreement’s perceived shortcomings within 60 days. Congress has so far refrained from acting on Mr Trump’s demand. Mr Trump wants Congress to ensure that Iranian compliance involves accepting restrictions on its ballistic missile programme and support of regional proxies.

Mr Trump and his Gulf allies are walking a tightrope by fuelling suspicion that they are willing to compromise on minimal Palestinian demands for peace in a bid to cater to Israel, a natural ally in the fight against Iran.

It is anybody’s guess what Mr Trump will do. At first glance, US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley’s presentation of Iranian missile parts as evidence of Tehran’s support for Houthi rebels in Yemen and Iranian destabilisation of the Middle East would suggest that Mr Trump is preparing to decertify Iran and possibly withdraw from the agreement.

It could, however, also be an effort to project a tougher US stance towards Iran while cooler heads in the administration prevail on Mr Trump to keep the agreement in place.

In either case, Mr Trump and his Gulf allies are walking a tightrope by fuelling suspicion that they are willing to compromise on minimal Palestinian demands for peace in a bid to cater to Israel, a natural ally in the fight against Iran.

In doing so, Mr Trump and the Saudi and UAE crown princes risk misreading not only the public mood but also Iranian influence and intentions, particularly regarding the Islamic republic’s ability to control the Houthi rebels. Ms Haley’s evidence that was supplied by Saudi Arabia and the UAE failed to convince many in the international community.

Ms Haley’s missile parts display was prompted by the Iranian-backed Houthis’s firing of a ballistic missile at Riyadh on 4 November. It remains unclear whether that missile was supplied by Iran, or possibly North Korea, and when it was given to the Houthis – key questions that need to be answered to determine possible Iranian culpability.

The Houthis, a fiercely independent actor who have repeatedly demonstrated that they do not take orders from Tehran and at times ignore its advice, could throw a monkey wrench into the fragile Middle East mix if they make good on a threat to target not only Saudi,  but also Emirati cities. A missile strike would no doubt provoke a harsh response, possibly involving a joint US-Saudi-UAE strike against Iran rather than against the Houthis in Yemen.

Anger already aroused by Mr Trump’s decision on Jerusalem potentially could then turn against Arab leaders who would be seen to be cooperating with the United States and willing to sacrifice Palestinian rights to work with Israel.

In short, it could open a can of worms in which public anger is directed against multiple parties ranging from the United States to Israel to Arab leaders to Iran and the Houthis and/or prove to be a perfect storm.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, USA, Iran, Saudi ArabiaComments Off on Trading Jerusalem for war on Iran

OIC recognizes E. Jerusalem al-Quds as Palestine’s capital


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Image result for Jerusalem CARTOON

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has invited all nations to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as the capital of Palestine, blasting the United States for disregarding Middle East peace by moving its Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied city.

The 57-member organization issued a communique at the end of an emergency summit on Wednesday, declaring that it would recognize “East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine and invite all countries to recognize the State of Palestine and East Jerusalem as its occupied capital.”

The declaration was a direct response to US President Donald Trump days after he referred to the city as the “eternal capital” of Israel.

The OIC rejected and condemned “in the strongest terms the unilateral decision by the president of the United States of America in recognizing Jerusalem al-Quds as the so-called capital of Israel, the occupying power.”

Renouncing Trump’s move as “null and void legally,” the OIC members said the decision was tantamount to “an attack on the historical, legal, natural and national rights of the Palestinian people, a deliberate undermining of all peace efforts, an impetus to extremism and terrorism, and a threat to international peace and security.”

The OIC reaffirmed its continued commitment to the so-called two-state solution for ending the years-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Some speakers, however, said the US was no longer deemed reliable to mediate any peace deal.

OIC members also said they would hold the US responsible for the consequences of the decision.

The communique also denounced Israel’s actions and policies against the people of Palestine as “colonial” and “racist.”

Trump has tasked the US State Department with making preparations for the relocation of Washington’s embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied Palestinian city.

The dramatic shift in Washington’s Jerusalem al-Quds policy has drawn fierce criticism from the international community, including Washington’s own allies, while triggering demonstrations against the US and Israel worldwide.

As the second-largest inter-governmental body after the United Nations, the OIC was established during a summit in Rabat, Morocco, in 1969, following an arson attack on the al-Aqsa Mosque in the occupied city.

Shortly after the OIC declaration, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif hailed Islamic leaders for attending the summit in high capacities, taking an indirect jab at countries like Saudi Arabia and Egypt, which only sent low-level officials.

Saudi Arabia only sent its minister for OIC affairs, while Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry represented Cairo.

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Zionism In The Light of Jerusalem


NOVANEWS
Image result for Jerusalem UNDER ZIONISM CARTOON
By Jim Kavanagh | The Polemicist 

Donald Trump’s official recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is an embarrassment. A salutary embarrassment.

It’s a clumsy, all-too-obvious unmasking of decades of bipartisan U.S. policy whose contempt for Palestinians has been cloaked with a smile and a handshake.

As such, it’s an embarrassment for the Zionist political and media elite that prefers to operate behind smiles and handshakes, and not flaunt their power.

It’s an embarrassment to liberal Zionists and “peace process” promoters everywhere—in the American political parties and media, in European conservative and social democrat governments, and in Jewish Zionist organizations. For fifty years, they have laser-focused attention on the post-’67 “occupation,” and done all that they can [nothing concrete], in solidarity with the Israeli Jewish peace movement [dwindling to insignificance in an increasingly fascistic political culture], to end the occupation [ minimize its cost to the Jewish state, ‘cause “no concessions, no withdrawals, no Palestinian state” is already proclaimed Israeli policy].

It’s an embarrassment to the Arab monarchs and the Palestinian Authority functionaries, who for decades have collaborated in the task of subduing Palestinian rage as Israel went about its colonizing project, holding out the promise that the good American Daddy and his kinder, gentler Israeli Jewish progeny would one day reward the Palestinians for their good behavior.

It’s an embarrassment to those liberals who want to portray Donald Trump as a uniquely evil interloper imposed on American politics by a foreign power, rather than understand him as the product of an American political culture that they helped to create while obtusely refusing to recognize what they were doing.

The only parties who are not embarrassed are the “hard”—that is, intellectually honest and consistent—Zionists in Israel and the United States (many liberal Democrats included) and Donald Trump himself, who is immune to embarrassment.

All this embarrassment provides a fine example of the positive repercussions of the “Trump-effect” that I discussed in a previous essay, which is steadily eroding the thin remaining patina of America’s “soft power” in the world, an essential support of the Euro-American imperialist alliance.

After all, Israel’s relentless Judaization of East Jerusalem, consistent with its long-held declaration of sovereignty over the entire city, was proceeding swimmingly, with only the feeblest occasional murmurs of protest, accompanied by massive countervailing deliveries of arms and money, from the peace-process-loving governments of Europe and America. Trump’s gratuitous, self-aggrandizing gesture, by unmasking that as the de facto acceptance of annexation that it is, only brings unwanted attention to the whole rotten game, and to the hypocrisy of those governments especially.

Good riddance to the pretense! As Noura Erakat says: “Trump has removed the emperor’s clothes to reveal the farce of the peace process…[He] has finally ended the United States’ double-speak and should have ended any faith that the US will deliver Palestinian independence or that Israel is interested in giving up its territorial holdings captured in war.” And Rashid Khalidi: “Trump may have inadvertently cleared the air. He may have smashed a rotten status quo of US ‘peace processing’ that has served only to entrench and legitimize Israel’s military occupation and colonization of Palestinian land for a quarter-century.”

In other words, Trump has suddenly and single-handedly destroyed American’s pose as the “honest broker” in the Middle east and the Solomonic arbiter of world affairs in general, in a way that forces the European and Palestinian political leaders to make an explicit break from what is now declared American policy. For now, of course, that break is rhetorical, but should it remain so—if European and Palestinian leaders do not work a political strategy independent of, and in opposition to, the United States—there will be no denying their capitulation and servility.

Indeed, Europe, in the person of the German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, has already laid down the markers for itself: “Germany can no longer simply react to U.S. policy but must establish its own position…even after Trump leaves the White House, relations with the U.S. will never be the same.” Even after Trump leaves the White House. This is a recognition that the American regime—not just Trump, but precisely what he is the culmination of—is not a trustworthy and reliable partner for the management of global capitalist stability. This is what Trump is wreaking. And it’s a very good thing.

As excessive and gratuitous as Trump’s Jerusalem announcement was, there is no question that it is the culmination of American politics. It is the perfect example of how Trump is the symptom not the cause of long-festering political rot, the product not the antithesis of American political culture. His recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is the fulfillment, exactly as Trump says, of a promise that’s been de rigueur for presidential candidates, and of the demand of a law (Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995) passed twenty-two years ago by overwhelming majorities in both Houses of Congress. Just six months ago, the Senate—including Chuck Schumer, Dianne Feinstein, Kamala Harris, and Bernie Sanders—voted 90-0  to demand that Trump “abide by its provisions.” Schumer, who believes he’s on a mission from God to be the guardian of Israel, had last week criticized Trump for his “indecisiveness” about declaring Jerusalem the “undivided capital of Israel” and moving the embassy.

Who can forget the scene at the 2012 Democratic Convention, when an amendment to the platform declaring Jerusalem the Israeli capital was adopted against the clear opposition of the majority? That was shoved down the party’s throat by Obama, who had it shoved down his throat by AIPAC. (It was language Obama had removed from the platform, which AIPAC browbeat him into restoring.) As I discussed in a post at the time, the blithely ignored floor vote was a display of Stalinist party discipline for which Obama was congratulated by an MSNBC roundtable including O’Donnell, Maddow, and Sharpton.

It was Obama, too, who (after becoming first American President to give bunker-buster bombs to Israel. He did that secretly, because he didn’t want it to be known that his really brave and progressive and highly-publicized peace-process demand that Israel stop settlement construction in exchange for such gifts, which Israel of course ignored, was another empty American bluff. And it was Obama who, in 2013, became the first American President to demand that “Palestinians must recognize that Israel will be a Jewish state.” That was a new, gratuitous and excessive demand at the time, foisted on everyone by Netanyahu and AIPAC because they knew it would be unacceptable to the Palestinians. Obama’s adoption of that requirement, which has become locked into American policy, was no less damaging to the ostensible peace-process, with its infinitely-receding goalpost, than Trump’s Jerusalem declaration, and perhaps more contemptuous of the Palestinians. It’s the equivalent of demanding that “Native Americans must recognize that America is a White Man’s state.”

Really. Think about it.

So, whatever the problem is with declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel, it’s not Trump’s. It’s America’s. It’s a problem the Democrats share responsibility for, and will not get us out of.

Past Prologue

Let’s name it clearly: It’s America’s problem with Zionism.

After the “You must accept the Jewish State” insult and the “You must accept Jerusalem as capital of the Jewish State” insult, can we dispense with the diversions? Can we recognize that the problem isn’t how many settlers are in which part of which city, or how long and where exactly the wall should be located, or the Green Line or the Blue Line, or, indeed, the “occupation”? Let’s, without any more fear or hesitation, name and critique the fundamental problem: Zionism.

Zionism is a colonialist project. Israel is a colonial-settler state. The fault lies in colonialism—you know, that thing where a group of people, who want the land somebody else is living on, take it. By subjugating, expelling, and/or exterminating the indigenous population. That’s what has to be named and opposed. Every other problem in the context is a derivative of that.

Zionism has the particular distinction of being the last major initiation of a blatant settler-colonial project. It was possible at the end of WWII (1945-8) because racism and ethno-supremacist colonialism were still integral parts of the Western worldview. The great world powers could still blithely dismiss the lives, land, and humanity of an Arab population as dispensable—secondary both to the aspirations of the largely European Jews who formed the Zionist vanguard and to the guilty consciences of European gentiles. It was compensatory colonialism, with the compensation paid by an expendable third(world) people.

In the post-WWII, post-holocaust context, Zionism had the further peculiar distinction of being able to conjure about itself an aura of virtue that effectively occluded the blatant injustice of the colonialism it is. Thanks to the consistent and intensive Zionist influence on Euro-American political, media, and cultural institutions, that aura has enshrouded Zionism for Westerners’ eyes for 69 years, long past colonialism’s sell-by date. That aura of virtue is what makes breaking up with Zionism so hard to do, for so many, to this day.

I’ve discussed more of the history and arguments about this in a previous essay. At this point, there is so much information available from so many channels, including Israeli scholars, that supporters of Israel who are intellectually-honest have a hard time denying that the Zionist conquest of Palestine was colonialist ethnic cleansing, and Israel a colonial state. Liberal Americans know very well that, if such a project were to be proposed today, they would denounce and reject it—no ifs, ands or buts. Today, any person of a modern, secular, liberal cast of mind recognizes the abolition and rejection of colonialism as one of history’s irrefutably progressive milestones, and would see any attempt at colonial conquest as an unacceptable historical crime.

Yet that is exactly what Israel is doing. Israel is exactly that attempt.

“Attempt” is an important word here. Zionists want to think all the nasty work of ethnic cleansing is in the ancient (1948) or at worst early-modern (1967 when liberal Zionists grudgingly acknowledge, colonial aggression was certainly past its sell-by date) past. They present Israel, whatever its nasty origins, as a finished historical product: a liberal democracy filled with juice bars and tech startups—which would be stable and progressive, if only the fanatical Arabs/Muslims would leave it alone.

Indeed, a favorite Zionist argument I’ve heard delivered as if it’s a killing rhetorical blow packed with irrefutable historical realism, is some version of: “So what, you’re a colonizer, too. American Indians!” Gotcha!

It baffles me that anyone thinks that’s an effective argument. Accepting the damning admission that the relationship between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs today is analogous to that between European settlers and Native Americans from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century (and leaving the ethics of that aside), one might start a reply with the following:

Being historically realist and all, we have to recognize that, tragically, over those four centuries, the Native American population was so completely ravaged that it now constitutes less than 1% of the population. If Native Americans were now the majority of the population in North America under white settler control; if they were engaged in a fierce resistance struggle to prevent being expelled or exterminated; if they had the support of hundreds of millions of their neighbors, as well as of populations and governments throughout the world, as well as of an established international ideological and legal framework that forbade and denounced the colonial project the white settlers were still trying to complete (while demanding that everyone recognize America as the White Man’s State)—then you would have a relevant analogy.

Sorry, but the Zionist project, Israel, is not finished. It is quite unfinished and precarious, and Israeli leaders know it.

Back to the Future

This is so because the Palestinians are not defeated and have not surrendered. Too few of them have been exterminated; they have not been expelled far enough away; they have not been thoroughly enough subjugated. The existence and resistance of Palestinians put the lie to the idea that Israel is a stable, finished state and that the dirty work of Zionist colonialism is in the past. As the rallying cry of many Zionists in Israel today has it, they still have to “finish ’48.”

Israel is profoundly insecure. Not because of any external military threat, but because of the presence of the Palestinians. Their defiant presence is an intrinsic threat to the Zionist project. External threats—whether ideological or economic or military, whether from specific countries or from the international community—derive from the presence of the Palestinians and what that implies about the legitimacy of the Zionist project in an anti-colonial, anti-apartheid world.

Every attack on Gaza, Lebanon, or Syria, all the hair-pulling anxiety over Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran, and where the next war will just have to be, and how many Palestinians can be dispossessed or expelled how quickly before somebody in the world—especially Americans, and most especially American Jews—starts to push back, demonstrates that Israel is an unfinished colonial project that hasn’t quite figured out how to achieve the final submission of its colonial subjects. It was as true in 1999, when Edward Said said it, as it was in 1948, and as it is now: “the contest is as alive as ever.”

Indeed, the famous loaded question “Does Israel have a right to exist?” is posed by Zionists so insistently precisely because it is an unsettled question about the future. It’s not only about past events—whether Zionists back in the day had the right to establish the colonial entity they did, but also about a present, aspirational practice—whether they now have the right to establish the colonial entity they would like to. The question, really—and those hard-core, “finish ‘48” Zionists know it—is: Will Israel exist?

The question is also asking us: “Do you agree that it is right for Zionists to be establishing a colonial-settler Jewish State, ethnic cleansing and all?” Are you going to sign on for that?

Israel will only be finished and stable if it achieves that. One can argue that it’s almost there or that it’s a long way off, but done it ain’t.

That’s why we should take the opportunity that Trump’s latest embarrassment of American policy gives us to exit for good the phony two-state peace-process paradigm, to forthrightly name and reject Zionism and the colonialism it is. We need to go back to the future, to a proposal for a single, if bi-national, secular democratic state, a de-colonized polity in the territory of historic Palestine, where Arabs and Jews can live in peace and equality. Something along the lines of the “secular, democratic state” the PLO called for in 1968 and the “full secular democracy” that Edward Said championed again in 1999.

Love It Loud

To be sure: I am not sanguine about this. The political way forward is not clear.

On the one hand, the exhaustion of the peace process and the Palestinian Authority is now a done deal, as I hope everyone now recognizes. At least as important, the de-legitimization of Zionism, is already well-advanced. Politically and ideologically, the actions and discourse of Israel and its partisans themselves do as much as anything to discredit Zionism. And, despite its being kept in the cultural shadows, more Americans are aware of the problems with the dominant Zionist narrative. The BDS movement is strong and growing. On American campuses today, Zionism is losing the all-important ideological battle, especially in the crucial constituency of young Jewish-Americans, and the effects of that are radiating throughout the culture. The reality of this effect is demonstrated by the increased anxiety among the guardians of Zionism, with their increasing efforts to censor and suppress criticism of Israel, to define anti-Zionism as anti-Semitism, and to outlaw anti-Zionism and the BDS movement. The arc of history is not bending toward Zionist colonialism.

To wax ironic, Zionism’s fatal weakness may be the effect of its greatest strength—its tenacious entwinement in our political culture, which is hard to overstate. We live in a country where powerful politicians and the wealthy donors who control them proclaim their fealty to Israel; where Israeli officials enjoy veto power over candidates for office down to the level of State Assembly. where the Secretary of State gives a “devoutly Zionist” speech and is still criticized for not being obsequious enough to Israel, where the Vice-President declares “I am a Zionist,” and where a President who was excoriated for avoiding service in the American army can say “I would personally grab a rifle, get in a ditch, and fight and die” for Israel, and nobody bats an eyelash.

Really, think about it.

Perhaps most vomit-inducing in the present context, it’s a country where the Congress has just overwhelmingly passed a bill de-funding the Palestinian Authority (except, at Israeli insistence, the PA security forces) if they give any support to any family member of a Palestinian convicted of what Israel calls “terrorism” (and others would call anti-colonial resistance), and at the same time that Congress allows the great charitable organization, The Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), to collect $50 million a night, tax-free to itself and tax-deductible to its donors. All that money is needed, over and above the $3.7+ billion the U.S. gives Israel every year, in order to provide extra-comfortable “well-being facilities” for the beleaguered Israeli “coed infantry units” who have the tough job of dragging Palestinian families from their homes and blowing them up—those families the PA is now forbidden to support. Friends of the IDF galas are hosted in New York by Republican billionaire Sheldon Adelson, and in Los Angeles by Democratic billionaire Haim Saban, and entertained by celebrities like Seal and Israeli-born KISS-er, Gene Simmons (Chaim Witz). Bi-partisanship rocks.

America has become a Zionist country. And it shows. And it’s discomfiting. For the most powerful people and institutions in the United States, Zionism has become a core component of American ideology and politics, married, like nothing else is, to capitalism and imperialism as a co-equal existential imperative.

It’s a peculiar relationship because capitalism and imperialism do not need Zionism, and may even be weakened by it. Zionism is a surplus oppression. The excessiveness and gratuity of Trump’s declaration on Jerusalem, which so many people recognize, is only a reflection of the excessiveness and gratuity of Zionism itself, which too many people have for too long taken for granted.

Dragging people from their homes and blowing them up is excessive, an atrocity too far. A partner who is addicted to such behavior will inevitably create trouble for the capitalist-imperialist family, which has enough problems of its own to deal with. It’s the U.S who insists, excessively, on including Zionism in a polyamorous arrangement, and who is, as can be expected in such cases, losing its mind over this misplaced affection, and endangering the core relationship.

This is what the German FM and other members of the European First Wives’ Club see in Trump’s Jerusalem declaration. This is what a lot of people see in all the state-destroying, jihadi-chaos-creating aggression from Iraq to Syria and heading toward Iran—all of which makes no sense until you understand that the American project throughout has been an over-complicated ménage-à-trois: capitalism-imperialism-Zionism.

As Shoshana Bryen says: “The United States military, then, is a Zionist institution.” Bryen is herself a perfect example of the intimate relations between Israel and the American military, having made the rounds as former Director of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA, the prime meeting spot where Israelis entice senior American officers to see the world as Israel does), and as a lecturer at the National Defense University and the U.S. Army War College.

The hope is that it’s all becoming too obvious and too much—an embarrassment of too many riches for Zionism. It’s why Hillary Clinton’s campaign decided not to highlight—except to donors—her passionate love for Israel: “We shouldn’t have Israel at public events. Especially dem (Democratic) activists…. What about this as a base, and then she can drop in Israel when she’s with donors.” While the donors and elite still swoon, the arc of the Democratic base is bending away from Zionism—and the Zionists know it.

There Is No Time

On the other hand, we have to recognize the persistent weaknesses of the Palestinians, who suffer constant, horrendous, human and material losses every day at the hands of a Zionist colonial machine. Israel, the Jewish State, has already established an apartheid regime, the late stage of colonialism, and has made clear that it is determined to extend that as far and as long as it can, with all necessary force. The illusion that America would do something to stop or reverse this has been finally shattered. Though it’s stance may be changing, thanks to the likes of Trump, and it is a medium- to long-term weak spot for Israel, the “international community” still grants Israel effective impunity.

The Arab countries? Ha! Saudi Arabia, the Gulf monarchies, and Egypt will supply the rope and tie the knot. The staunchest Arab supporters of Palestine—Iraq, Libya, and Syria—just happen to be the countries ravaged by that United States military institution. A weakened Syria and (non-Arab) Iran may give some assistance, but really, nobody’s coming to save the Palestinians.

External support in the way of boycott and sanctions will help also, but significant victories can only come from organized resistance by Palestinians themselves. The Palestinian political leadership which, as Noura Erakat says, “has abandoned confrontation with Israel as a matter of policy” would have to be changed. New leadership would have to emerge that renounces Oslo and forges a militant struggle for equal political and social rights, a multi-level strategy of resistance against colonialism and apartheid. This will be very tough, in a community that’s been ground down for decades by the Israeli-PA security apparatus, and the collaborationist mindset and economic interests that support it.

To be thoroughly frank: though militant non-violent civilian resistance must be the core of struggle, it has to be backed by some kind of armed power. The ANC’s victorious fight against South African apartheid was not confined to “terrorist” Nelson Mandela’s prison cell; his comrades were busy outside. A movement to defeat colonialism and apartheid must demonstrate the capacity not only to take punishment, but also to inflict it, to hurt the forces and institutions imposing Zionist oppression and to disrupt the normalcy of Zionist daily life. Everywhere, enemies of the IDF. No “well-being” respite. No justice, no peace. That is the only way victory over colonialism and apartheid ever has, or ever will be, won.

Since the Zionists’ founding spasm of brutal ethnic cleansing—expelling over 700,000 Palestinian Arabs while killing thousands of others—and since colonialism fell into disgrace, Israel has been constrained to pursue further ethnic cleansing in a fitful series of measures, with levels of brutality adjusted for various international political and ideological exigencies. But it has not ceased to probe those limits. Israel is working very hard to compress political time and make it suddenly possible again to exterminate or expel enough Palestinians (we’re talking at least tens of thousands) to stabilize Israel for most of a century. That’s one of the things Israel’s, and its American patron’s, support of jihadi chaos in the region, as well as its attempt to foment war with Iran, is all about. The fat lady hasn’t sung, but the orchestra is in full swing. The Palestinians don’t have forever to stop the music.

So, there’s no room for false hope or assumptions of inevitable victory. There’s an opportunity now for a successful fight to defeat Zionism, pitched precisely as struggle against colonialism and apartheid, and it must be seized quickly. It is also not impossible for Zionism to defeat the Palestinians in some effectively irreversible way, as it keeps trying to do.

It’s just the case—the practical, utterly realistic political case—that nothing, not a thing, can be gained by trying to revive the zombie two-state peace process that has been killed over and over again by the U.S. and Israel themselves. To seal the deal, Donald Trump just drove a stake through its heart. There is no two-state solution. There is only one state: either the one colonial, apartheid state that’s coalescing now, or the one democratic state of equal rights that justice demands.

For American left allies of Palestine, it’s time, past time, to clearly reject, not just the occupation of Jerusalem or the West Bank, but Zionism tout court.

Back to the future it is. Liberal Zionists like to imagine ’48 is finished in some democratically acceptable way. Militant Zionists know they still have to finish ’48 as ruthlessly as possible. Principled anti-Zionists—that is, principled anti-colonialists—have to work very hard to make sure that ‘48 ends in failure, and that Israel never becomes the finished colonial project it wishes to be.

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How Jerusalem issue plays into Iranian, Turkish (and Russian) hands


NOVANEWS
Image result for Jerusalem CARTOON
By M.K. Bhadrakumar | Asia Times 

Iran has, predictably enough, taken a hard line on the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. There were public demonstrations in several Iranian cities following Friday prayers and statements by President Hassan Rouhani and other senior politicians. Notably, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, warned: “Al-Quds (Jerusalem) will be the place where the Zionist regime will be buried.”

It was Turkey’s reaction that set the mind thinking that the ground beneath our feet is shifting, however. President Recep Erdogan used exceptional language in his response, calling Israel a “terrorist” state. His stance is important for a variety of reasons. Turkey is currently chairing the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and has called for an emergency summit in Istanbul on Wednesday. This puts Erdogan in the driving seat.

The OIC has traditionally kowtowed to Saudi Arabia. But the Saudi regime finds itself on the defensive at the moment. The unsavory talk in the bazaar is that King Salman and the Crown Prince have played footsie with Trump and Jared Kushner. Erdogan hears bazaar gossip, for sure. Will the OIC recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Palestine? This is a possibility.

Both Iran and Turkey repudiate the notion of Jerusalem being Israel’s capital. Iran has brought into play the politics of “resistance,” whereas Erdogan stresses “We will continue our struggle decisively within the law and democracy.” The distinction must be noted – but then, so must the degree of convergence.

Iran and Turkey have both long wished for an end to Saudi Arabia calling the shots in the Muslim Middle East. Now that the issue of Jerusalem has come to the fore, the Saudi regime must be wary of being seen to coordinate with Israel, or dancing to Trump’s tune.

The Saudi regime is also grappling with the quagmire in Yemen, where it is shedding “Muslim blood.” Pressure will now increase to end the war in there. Rouhani put forth on Sunday two preconditions to normalize ties with Saudi Arabia – stop “bowing” to Israel and, secondly, end the war in Yemen.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, Iran, TurkeyComments Off on How Jerusalem issue plays into Iranian, Turkish (and Russian) hands

Jerusalem: The Red Line for Muslims


To Netanyahu it is Yerushalayim (city of peace) in Yiddish; to Muslims it is Bayt Al-Maqdis (the house of peace). To Google and now to Trump Jerusalem (city of peace) is the capital of Israel.

On December 7, 2017 Yeni Safak, a conservative Turkish daily newspaper and strong supporter of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reported Erdoğan as saying that Trump’s Jerusalem step ‘will throw the region into a ring of fire’, ‘Trump’s declaration aims to stir up the region, not to bring peace,’ and that “Jerusalem, Mr. Trump, is the red line for Muslims”. No empty words from a NATO partner and a country that has recognized Israel.

“It is not possible to understand what Trump wants to achieve,” Erdoğan said in the capital Ankara before leaving for a visit to Greece.

“The (US) announcement has the potential to send us backwards to even darker times than the ones we are already living in” Federika Mogherini, EU Foreign Policy chief added.

She shared German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s sentiments that the European Union had a “clear and united position” on the issue:

“We believe that the only realistic solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine is based on two states and with Jerusalem as the capital of both.”

On December 7, 2017 Newsweek reported Iran says Arabs and Muslims must defend Jerusalem as rockets target IsraelLike Turkey, Iran has demonstrated its resolve on several occasions that it is a country with a leadership that is not impotent. Iran’s military chief of staff, Major General Mohammad Bagheri stated on Press TV

The world of arrogance, and foremost the criminal U.S., should know that the unity of the Muslim world will obstruct this desperate move and will be defeated with the vigilance of the Muslim world.

Unity? Is that possible?

A statement from nuclear Pakistan’s Prime Minister’s office stated

It is deeply regrettable that pleas from states across the globe not to alter the legal and historical status of Al Quds Al Sharif have been ignored, more out of choice than necessity.”

Even Trump’s closest Middle East ally Saudi Arabia has ostracized President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, calling the move “unjustified and irresponsible”. The statement added that

“The kingdom has already warned of the serious consequences of such an unjustified and irresponsible move.”

But Saudi agenda is to block Iran, not Israel.

Probably the strongest message that the Islamic countries should send is voiced by the Chairman of Indonesia’s Youth Association of Nahdlatul Ulama (IPNU), Irfan Mujahid:

“Expel the US ambassador (to Indonesia) if he ignores this demand.”

Indonesian President Joko Widodo also called on Muslim countries to unite and reject the US move.

So there are four strong Muslim nations Turkey, Iran, Indonesia and Pakistan (I’m always wary of Egyptian intentions) with formidable militaries and a collective population of over 600 million voicing their opposition designating Jerusalem as Israel’s capital against the UN resolution 478 of August 20, 1980.

The OIC (Organization of Islamic Conference) comprising 57 nations will be convening an extraordinary summit for Muslim leaders on December 12-13 in Istanbul to “discuss the repercussions of the American decision, and to formulate a unified Islamic position on this dangerous escalation.” Is a unified Islamic position possible?

The key question that needs to be addressed is one posed by Erdogan: what does Trump want to achieve by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel? Only then can the consequences of Trump’s decision be taken for discussion and whether it’ll result in Erdogan’s ring of fire in the region.

I posed a question on my recent article on Oriental Review if Trump is unpredictable, senile or juvenile?  It seems from opinions of several political and media analysts who know him enough that he truly is all three. His decision to recognize Jerusalem therefore comes as no surprise. But behind these attributes may lay a cunning plot which may well be the genius of Benjamin Netanyahu. Trump wants to make America great and therein is his genius for an irrational war.

As the sun begins to set on any empire, and the most classical ones have been the Roman and British, there develops desperation to somehow keep the sun from setting. The empire’s leadership starts fragmenting and the rationale that made a nation an empire starts to crumble.

America has witnessed no threat from its Muslims citizens as the vast majority have contributed their professional and business talents towards making it great. However, Trump is not willing to accept the contributions of all immigrants including Muslims, Chinese, and Mexicans or even the contributions of his predecessor of Afro-American origin. He favors the alt-Right group as the true contributors. He sees the Muslims, most specifically, within its borders as well as outside as the threat to America in a manner similar to the Germanic tribes that threatened the Roman Empire under the able leadership of Emperor Marcus Aurelius till his son Commodus began the Roman descent. Trump shares the fear of Muslims with Netanyahu.

Trump has thus far failed to drive a wedge between the Shias and Sunnis or between Arabs. The rationale of Trump to making America great is a war-the ring of fire in the region. Trump is not going to backtrack his decision so what responses can be expected from the Islamic leaders following the OIC summit?

If Jerusalem is the red line for Muslims, how do they intend to address it? Will they blink and open up the opportunity for Trump to enforce his decision leading other nations to follow in recognizing Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel?

Or will the Muslims unite on the Jerusalem platform? Trump is expecting the Muslims to capitulate and his hopes are pinned among the weaker ones Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Jordan who are fully capable of upsetting the proverbial apple cart and dissent with the stronger nations Turkey, Pakistan and Iran whose actions are needed for Palestinians (including Hezbollah) to continue their struggle.

OIC countries may demonstrate at the Istanbul summit they’re united but historically they’ve always been splintered. It is something that Netanyahu is aware of. They cannot speak with one voice and there is no leadership except venom within their ranks. Most importantly the OIC summit must not show any willingness to negotiate on the position of Jerusalem within the framework of UN resolution 478 because that would be seen as weakness which can easily be exploited by Trump and Netanyahu. In fact the only solution that should be a part of the final OIC communique is the member countries are willing to be prepared for the ring of fire in the region if the US will not retract its decision. If the OIC leaders proffer that unity then Trump and Netanyahu are doomed.

The outcome of the OIC summit will be carefully watched by both Russia and China whose support is critical for Muslims.

 

 

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Watch: Jerusalem, “The Flower of Cities”


NOVANEWS
Fairuz, "The Flower of Cities"

Nureddin Sabir, Editor, Redress Information & Analysis, writes:

This beautiful song by Lebanese singer Fairuz encapsulates the beautiful city of Jerusalem, occupied by the Israelis, an occupation that has just been endorsed by Donald Trump.

Jerusalem is an Arab, Muslim-Christian city and will remain thus, whatever Trump and his like say.

Everything comes to an end, and one day the Israeli occupation will also collapse, despite the disaster sweeping the Arab world thanks to the Muslim Brotherhood and its offspring – Islamic State group, Al-Qaeda and their countless offishoots and clones.

The song is in Arabic but you should enjoy it even if you do not understand Arabic.

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Nazi regime to build touristic park on Mount of Azzeitun in Jerusalem


NOVANEWS

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Mount of Azzeitun

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM – Nazi municipal authority in Occupied Jerusalem plans to seize a large tract of Palestinian land on Mount of Azzeitun (Olives) to carry out development of a touristic park.

According to a report published by Iroshalim newspaper, a master plan for the park was submitted recently to the district planning and building committee in Occupied Jerusalem to obtain approval.

The local residents in Azzeitun area, however, are deprived of using the land where the park project would take place for building homes or establishing projects for their own benefit.

The new project will be 6.3 kilometers long and extend to the Hebrew University on al-Masharif (Scopus) Mount.

It will overlook the Old City of Jerusalem and include roads, bistros, public toilets, an information center, a souvenir store, a parking lot and other structures.

Nazi regime seeks to carry out many Judaization plans in Jerusalem as part of its effort to change the historical Arab character and identity of the city.

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