Tag Archive | "Zionist Puppet Ab-A$$"

Zionist puppet Ab-A$$: Salman’s Palestinian Poodle


Saudi's New King: Establishing Legitimacy Through Murder, Hate and War

Abbas: Salman’s Palestinian Poodle

We haven’t heard too many new outrages from Saudi Arabia in a few days.  So perhaps the ambitious Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is toning down his ambitions after the U.S. warned him he was going too far; or else he temporarily moderated himself preparing for a new onslaught on as yet unspecified targets.

Salman has been doing a lot of summoning of his rivals and satraps in order to apprise them who’s the new sheriff in town and demand broad obeisance.  If he doesn’t like the answers he’s getting or doesn’t trust his interlocutors, he has them shipped off to the “spa” for a session with one of his royal masseurs, schooled in the art of relaxation techniques.  Many of the royal rivals he arrested received such treatment.

But Salman has treated his foreign satraps a bit more gingerly.  He didn’t like seeing Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri meeting in Beirut with the former Iranian foreign minister, Ali Akbar Velayati.  That led to the Lebanese leader getting a ‘special invitation’ to join Salman at his Ritz Carlton “guest house.”  Once he was safely under the Saudi thumb, they told Hariri if he expected any more business or infusion of capital into his bankrupt construction business he must resign as punishment for his impudence.  No satellite state of the Saudis would ever exhibit such a streak of independence again if he wished to retain any Saudi financial support.

Hariri dutifully resigned as if he was a trained seal, on Saudi TV, leaving Lebanon in political chaos and not knowing what was going on.  Now you have the strange phenomenon of Hariri’s political enemies, the Shiite Hezbollah, speaking of him as if he was the nation’s beloved leader and begging him to return and resume his presidency.  While Hariri remains imprisoned in his gilded cage.

Though Salman appears to have temporarily backed off his worst impulses and perhaps decided to take a breather, the second stage of his putsch could be worse.  He has already placed Qatar in the doghouse for its temerity in seeking out an independent political path in the Gulf by pursuing commercial ventures and relations with Iran.  Qatar is under siege by all of the Gulf and Sunni states in the region.  It remains to be seen how severe the long-term impacts will be on Qatar.  It certainly will harm their economy.  But to what degree is unknown.

Salman may have the same plan in store for Lebanon if he doesn’t get his way there.  His demands, like those he made against Qatar, are entirely unrealistic.  He wants Iran to stop meddling in Lebanon.  He wants Hezbollah to withdraw from Lebanese politics.  One presumes that if his demands aren’t met (as they weren’t by Qatar) that he could pursue the same path against Lebanon.  The Saudis provide immense amounts of aid and commerce to Lebanon.  Withdrawing it, would have a severe impact.

abbas and salman

Abbas gets the satrap treatment from Crown Prince bin Salman, fading into the background under a mound of offerings (AFP)

But Salman doesn’t seem to have realized that Hezbollah and its Iranian allies are a tough, hardened lot.  Lebanon survived a brutal civil war and two decades of Israeli occupation.  No matter the level of pain the Saudis tried to inflict, it would not break the country just as western sanctions never broke Iran.  In fact, such a draconian approach would likely strengthen the hand of Hezbollah in Lebanon.  It would pose itself, just as it does regarding Israel, as the chief force defending Lebanese independence and sovereignty.  And what could Hariri or his Sunni Future Movement offer?  Their fealty to a sclerotic, corrupt Saudi petro-state?

Hariri wasn’t the only satrap summoned to Riyadh.  Salman also snapped his fingers and demanded that Mahmoud Abbas make an appearance before him at the royal court.  We don’t know what they discussed.  But it’s not hard to guess.

We’ve been hearing about the much-vaunted Trump Middle East peace plan.  Apparently, it will be rolled out in a matter of weeks.  Kushner and Greenblatt have made their own jaunts to the House of Saud to iron out the details.  They’ve huddled with Netanyahu as well to be sure that the proposed plan ratifies all of Israel’s current rights and privileges.

The odd man out here was Abbas.  No one cared much what he thought.  That’s why he was summoned.  Salman likely informed him of what he would be expected to do when the time came–to perform like a seal before the world.  This “deal” would be ratified by the Saudis on behalf of their Palestinian brethren.  The latter would be expected to bow obediently and accept the lot offered them.  Israeli TV even reported that the Saudi prince told Abbas to take the deal or resign.  That would be a suitably bleak appraisal for Israeli media of their quisling Palestinian interlocutor.  I doubt even the Saudis would be that crude.  But who knows?

If I were a Palestinian I would be very apprehensive about what the future holds.  The Saudis don’t give a farthing for the Palestinians or their interests.  They would sell them out for an oil well.  The deal, if one is ever presented, will make Palestine into a bantustan.  No Palestinian in his right mind would consider accepting whatever Trump and the Saudis will offer.

The question is how Abbas and the PA will react.  Clearly, the Saudis hold the purse strings and the PA leadership is as crooked as the day is long.  So in that sense, the Palestinian fate may be sealed.  The only question is how frightened are they of the Palestinian street?  What will Marwan Barghouti do?  Will he call out the resistance?  Or will he remain quiet?

And if the Palestinians resist, can the Saudis bring them under their thumb as they did Hariri?  Can they lay siege to Ramallah like the Israelis are laying siege to Gaza?

In fact, one might argue that much of Salman’s approach has been learned at the knees of the Israelis.  They have taught Salman how to wage war on his neighbors like Yemen and how to cultivate proxy forces like the Yemenis fighting against the Houthis there (think of Israel’s repeated incursions into Gaza and Lebanon).  They’ve offered the example of a decade long siege of Gaza in order to throttle the political ambitions of uppity Hamas militants.  That is likely one reason Salman is employing siege tactics in Qatar and threatening them in Lebanon.

The problem is that none of these Israeli tactics worked.  Cultivating proxies to fight your battles has failed in Lebanon (the South Lebanon Army) and in Syria (al-Nusra in the Golan).  The Gaza siege has not ended Palestinian militancy nor has it destroyed Hamas.  The most you can say is that they temporarily “mowed the grass.”  That is, they beat back their opponents, tamped down their military power and forced them to spend down their weapons arsenal a bit.  That’s not statecraft.  It’s managing chaos like the Dutch boy holding his finger in the dike.

If this were a poker game, Israel and Saudi Arabia would bluff and bluster.  But their Iranian and Hezbollah opponents would see right through it.  They are the ones with the strong hand.  Bibi and Salman have a weak hand.  While they may fool the world into thinking they don’t.  Nasrallah and his Iranian allies know what cards they really hold.

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Zionist Puppet Ab-A$$ shows its ‘authoritarian’ face through Cyber Crimes Law


Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer has joined a growing chorus opposition to the Palestinian Authority (PA) — which the NGO described as “an ever increasingly authoritarian regime” — for a new far-reaching law that effectively criminalizes “any form of digital dissent.”

The decree, issued by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on June 24, has been described by rights groups as “draconian” and “the worst law in the PA’s history,” for imposing jail time, hard labor, and fines for creating, publishing, and sharing information deemed dangerous by the PA.

In a statement last last week, the leftist PLO faction the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestinian (PFLP) called the law “a repressive tool” against all who disagree, oppose, and “confront the misdeeds” of the PA.

The PFLP said the law’s passage came as “the (Israeli) occupation is waging a frantic campaign against journalists, including prosecutions, arrests and attacks, sometimes amounting to direct physical targeting leading to the death and injury of dozens of journalists,” and that that PA “is seeking to prosecute and arrest the same journalists.”

In detailed breakdown of the new law published Sunday, Addameer, which provides legal support to Palestinian political prisoners held by Israel and the PA, explained that the vague and far-reaching law could mean prison time, hard labor, and/or hundreds of dollars in fines for journalists, leakers, meme-sharers, and someone “watching Game of Thrones using a VPN.”

“The most troubling aspects of this document are its vague definitions of what constitutes a punishable offence, its extension of punishment to any individual who assists or agrees with what the decree considers a felony, and the clear attacks on dissenters, journalists, and leakers,” the prisoners’ rights group explained.

Addameer slammed the law for using quasi-legitimate restrictions on hacking and internet fraud as legal camouflage for serious curtailments of privacy and freedom of expression.

While the rights group said there was a “kernel of truth” that such a decree was needed to combat hackers and fraudsters, “it by no means represents a ‘necessity’ as stipulated in the Basic Law.”

Palestinian Basic Law says that presidential decrees may only be issued in a “time of necessity, if the situation is urgent enough as to not be able to wait until the next sitting of the Palestinian Legislative Council,” according to Addameer.

Since Hamas won parliamentary elections in 2006, the Palestinian Legislative Council has not convened in Ramallah, meaning that Abbas, who extended his presidency indefinitely in 2009, has been ruling solely by decree for a decade.

Prison time, fines, or both

The law mandates that “any person who…has abused any information technology” can face imprisonment, a fine 200 to 3,000 Jordanian dinars, or both. If the alleged offence affects government data, a minimum sentence of five years of hard labor and a minimum fine of 5,000 Jordanian dinars ($7,070) is called for, Addameer said.

This clause, according to Addameer, is clearly directed at journalists and leakers, though such “abuse” is undefined and open to interpretation.

A person who threatens to commit a felony or an undefined “immoral act” on the internet also faces temporary hard labor.

Anyone who creates or shares content that “infringes on public morals” faces a minimum one-year sentence or a minimum fine of 1,000 Jordanian dinars capped at 5,000 dinars ($7,070), or both.

The greatest threat to press freedoms in the law, Addameer said, is an article that punishes “anyone who creates or manages a website or an information technology platform that aims to publish news that would endanger the integrity of the Palestinian state, the public order or the internal or external security of the State” with a fine between $1,414 and $7,070 or at least a year of jail time, or both.

Anyone who shares such content would also be punished with a maximum one-year prison sentence or fine of between 200 Jordanian dinars ($283) and 1,000 dinars ($1414), or both.

“Something as simple as a share on Facebook could result in a fine, jail time, or both. The decree even goes as far as to criminalize the use of any means to bypass the blocking of certain websites, such as a VPN,” Addameer said.

The decree also demands website providers comply with the PA to block certain websites, enshrines the right for the PA to seize equipment allegedly used in cyber crime felonies, and allows the PA to monitor anyone’s communications and data for a renewable period of 15 days with magistrate’s court approval. Violators of these clauses can expect hard labor or temporary hard labor.

“In essence, besides the infringement on freedom of the press, the PA can now imprison and fine individuals for a Facebook share, watching Game of Thrones using a VPN, making an ‘offensive’ meme, posting a tweet against certain policies, or asserting political allegiances,” Addameer said.

2 known instances of law being used so far

Addameer said that the PA has already used the law to curtail press freedoms and freedom of expression at least twice.

Most recently, five journalists were arrested and accused of “leaking information to hostile entities,” and four others were also questioned. Initial claims said the arrests were not related to the decree, but the prosecutor later cited the law as the reason for their arrest.

The journalists were held for five days and were made to agree to a 1,000 dinar bond, the amount stipulated in the decree. “It is unclear if charges will be further pursued but, at this point, none have been officially issued,” according to Addameer.

The journalists, barring one freelancer, all worked for news outlets that were blocked by the PA in mid-August. The majority of the 30 affected sites were affiliated to PA rivals Hamas and discharged Fatah member Muhammad Dahlan, with a few others being associated with so-called Islamic State.

“The fact that these websites are run by political rivals to the current ruling faction of the PA indicates that that these laws are being and, will continue to be used, to stifle free speech, legitimate decent (sic), and discussions regarding the state of politics in Palestine,” Addameer said.

Despite not being detained under the decree, Addameer also cited the arrest of Palestinian Today journalist Jihad Barakat, as a violation of press freedoms since the law was enacted. He was detained for filming Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah being searched by Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint.

Barakat was charged for a range of offenses, including panhandling, for which he will stand trial in the PA court system in September.

Addameer reminded the PA of its obligations under a number of human rights conventions the decree violates regarding freedom of expression, to which the Ramallah-based government has committed.

“Despite the ‘Electronic Crimes Law’ using the language of ‘national security,’ the decree itself is clearly contrary to the spirit of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The fact that the limits on free speech have been applied to opposition voices, and critical journalists, is more than enough to conclude that the PA is currently in violation of their international commitments,” the prisoners’ rights group affirmed.

“Furthermore, Addameer urges that the Palestinian Authority must abide by the conventions to which it is a party, especially considering the ongoing deteriorating human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territories.”

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