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Almost all religions are practically copy/paste of previous ones, with small editing

Note 1: Let’s start from the end, shall we? Almost all religions are practically copy/paste of previous ones, with small editing to correspond to the myths, stories, customs and tradition of the society it was disseminated within, before going universal, once power was secured.

Notes 2: this article is a re-editing of a previous post written on May 15, 2008.: Foundations and history of the monolithic religions

Discovering the mysteries of life and the Universe might not be attainable: for the simple reason that any paradigm would not stick long enough to capture the mind of a few generations.

This article is intended for those who accept the validity of the hypothesis that

  1. Earth is billions years old and that a form of mankind emerged, at least more than a couple millions years ago;
  2. That human kind was on the verge of extinction several times, due to drastic climatic changes and the eruption of monster volcanoes.

Thus, prior civilizations, which may have been as developed as today, could have vanished with no traces left.

We need to accept the fact that if the number of the world population was far less than it should have been at the beginning of the 19th century, from simple mathematical computation in the last 2,000 years, it is because most of our ancestors were the product of incest and Not from couples of different families or tribes, even after accounting for the casualties of wars, pestilence, famine and climate calamities.

I also would like to state that mythologies were based on real events and the transmitted verbal stories accounted for their longevity:  the verbal communication of these stories extended the imagination and gave the various mythologies the religious power and the dimension that are interpreted nowadays.

When dealing with religions, people feel the need to contrast faith versus facts and logic.

People who have sincere faith must have experienced supernatural revelations or gone through a moment of irrational state of out-of-body exposure.

I believe that faith cannot be acquired by reason or logic and those who repeat frequently the word “truth” in their conversations are not sincere in their belief system because truth is plainly, simply and absolutely a subjective attitude: It means “do not bother using facts, science or logic. All those reasoning principles do not mean a thing and would not change my mind”.

Truth is for me the most dangerous term that man has invented:  Truth blocks any consensus or negotiation or meaningful conversation and it connotes an extremist disposition based on ignorance and lack of intellectual interactions.

Thus, the concept of truth is practically opposite to faith, although people positively correlate it with faith.

Logic is a construct, a system of the mind used to expose a coherent hypothesis, hopefully based on some facts, or a story that hold a convincing alternative.  Logic can be used in science, in rhetoric and as well in religion.

Institutionalized religions heavily make use of logic, though they hammer out the concept of faith because its concept is not founded on anything tangible or can be proved rationally.

Religion is basically a theological philosophy that has been manipulated to be grounded in myths, symbols, and secrecy to satisfy the initiated High Priests and generates its power through scare tactics within the psychic of man.

Let me offer a logical story, one of the alternative stories, of the monotheist religions of the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim religions.

The root of these three religions is the religion practiced in the Kingdom of Sumer, in southern Iraq, 6,000 years ago.  This ancient religion believed in a trinity and its mythology stated that out of space creatures, arriving from the tenth dying planet, landed on earth to exploit gold and oil because the environment of their planet required abundant quantities of gold to be pulverized and injected in their outer atmosphere to rejuvenate the deteriorating environment of their planet. (Sound that saving the degradation of earth environment might require another drastic mythological story)

These creatures created human artificially (test tube for example) to serve as cheap and mechanical slaves in the mines.

After many centuries, the created human revolted against their masters and fled from the Eden of the super cruel creatures and had to fend for themselves to survive and develop their intelligence.

The Kingdom of Sumer and its far developed civilization that discovered the existence of ten planets (there is nine in our solar system so far, and lately this year the tenth planet was discovered) and their rotations; the Sumerians divided the day into 24 hours, the hours into minutes and minutes into seconds.

Ancient mythologies mention that this kingdom was destroyed by a natural calamity (resembling to an atomic explosion used by the outer space creatures).

The Sumerian mythology had ramifications into all the neighboring civilizations that came after it, when it was weakened.

Jewish “scholars” in 200 BC in Alexandria (Egypt) assembled faked stories and borrowed many myths in orde rto attach a faked history to their tribes. For examples:

It is narrated that Abraham left the Kingdom of Sumer with his tribe during a period of famine and carried with him the verbal mythology of the country.

Moses was a High Priest in Egypt and fled persecution because he adhered to the Akhenaton new religion of the one God the Sun and carried with him the ten laws and the secrets of the Egyptian religion.

Jesus was initiated by the Essen sect (indirectly related to Jewish religion), located in upper Galilee by Mount Carmel and had their Great Temple on the Mount.

The members of the Essen sect believed in knowledge and spirituality and shared the resources in common.

It is also narrated that Jesus lived for a time in Sidon (Saida) in this Lebanese southern City-State, teaching in its famous law school.  Mary, his mother and part of her family were from the town of Qana (closer to the main port of Tyr that was the administrative district of Upper Galilee) and lived there when Jesus was a lecturer in the law school.

It is no fluke of an incident that Jesus and Mary attended a wedding in Qana; it is also very rational that Jesus decided to start his message after Qana when his mother removed the cover of secrecy and exposed his supernatural gifts of turning water to wine.

Jesus was a high priest in the Essen sect and preached a message based in symbolism and fables and was highly spiritual and staunchly anti-Pharisee, this Jewish sect that believed that adhering to the Laws was sufficient to be saved.

The Jewish Cabala sect is a branch of the Essen sect and is founded on the Sumerian theology and myths.

Albert Schweitzer, a theologian, physician, thinker, organ player and Nobel Peace laureate offered his version on Jesus.  He said, based on the first two testaments of Mathew and Marc, that Jesus preached his message to the general public in the last year before his crucifixion.

Just six months, all in all, Jesus was accompanied by the public and the remaining months he spent them among his close disciple around Caesarea of Philippi.

In the beginning, Jesus accepted the label of a prophet among the prophets but then he reached the belief that he is the Messiah of the Jews.

Thus, he sent his disciples two by two to preach the message of the end of time (as all monolithic religions claim).  Jesus was very surprised when all his disciples returned safe and sound; he expected his disciples to suffer terribly and be put to death in order for the prophesy to be accomplished.

Jesus then decided that God would accept his sacrifice and save his close disciples from atrocious deaths before the first coming of the Messiah.

The apostles and disciples of Jesus believed that Christ would return to Jerusalem during their life time, and thus they stayed in Jerusalem for as long as they could before they were forced to leave that city out of persecution by the Jews.

The Christian-Jews would not relinquish the Jewish Laws and they harassed and even persecuted St. Paul for preaching to the gentiles and establishing Christian communities based on faith in Christ who came to absolve our sins and who was resurrected from death.

St. Paul insisted that without the belief that Christ resurrected there would be  no foundations for Christianity.  That is true because Christianity would be another extremist and salafist Orthodox Jewish sect.

The Council of Nicea in 325 adopted only four out of the hundreds of testaments that were written, and which accounted for more credible eye-witness testimonies before four testaments were adopted as Not apocryphal (teaching of wisdom).

The authors of the four testaments were biased toward the message of their respective gurus.

For example, Marc followed Paul for a while and then he proselytized with Peter and wrote the biography of Peter.

Lucas stuck with Paul for the longest parts of his trips and the foundations of Christian communities.

The Talmudic Mathew outdid himself forcing the genealogy of Jesus to descend from David.

The educated Jean was of a noble family and wrote his testament when he was already senile at the age of 95; he had acquired the Hellenistic culture and symbolism.

It is unfortunate that Jean had to write the apocalyptic hallucination that is wrecking havoc at the beginning of every millennium.  Apparently, the apocalypse is not from the same Jean the disciple.

The Arab Prophet Mohammad was not illiterate and he was initiated to the Jewish-Christian sect (the Ebionites) located in Mecca with his uncle as Patriarch of the sect.

Mohammad read the Books and listened to the proselytism of the Eastern Christian sects during his caravan commerce to and within Syria. 

These Christian sects believed in the mono-physism of Jesus (No divine spiritual identity), in contrast to other monophysist sects that believed Jesus was spiritual, for example the Orthodox Church of Byzantium. These Eastern churches staunchly adhered to the Jewish Laws, the Jewish prophets and their books.

Consequently, the religion of Mohammad during its first 13 years was almost a duplicate of these Eastern Christian sects with strong Jewish foundations in their religions.

At that period of his message, Mohammad had decreed that Muslims should face toward Jerusalem for prayer. When Mohammad had to fight the Jewish tribes in Yathreb  he changed the direction for prayer to facing Al Ka3ba (the Black Stone) in Mecca.

Mohammad had to flee to Medina after the Kureich tribe decided to terminate him; he then endeavored to establish firmly his community of Muslims in Yathreb (Medina).

The next phase of taking up the civil social responsibilities and politics for maintaining this community forced upon Mohammad to linking the spiritual dogma with the civil laws and regulations.

It was while strengthening the community of Islam in Medina that Mohammad had to wage many wars against a few Jewish communities who ended siding with Mohammad’s archenemy, the Kureich tribe in Mecca.

Mohammad thus learned to discriminate between the practices of the Jews and the Jewish religion and hundreds of Jews were displaced.

After Mohammad showed clemency twice with Jewish rebellions, he finally ordered the beheading of 700 members of the Jewish Khyber tribe.  For some reason, Mohammad selected his nephew and son-in-law Ali to have the honor of the decapitation; it is no wonder that the Jews have an animal hatred for Ali and his followers.

To comprehend the nature of Islam it would be beneficial to collect the revealed verses before relocating to Yathreb or Medina.

Most of the verses generated in Medina were generally rules and laws designed for managing the daily lives of the believers.  You will realize that most of these laws are identical to the desert and Bedouin customs of the Jews before and long after they got established in Palestine.

Personal hypothesis:

The ancestor of all the Gods that were created since antiquity is this scary total Silence before a coming major natural cataclysm.  It is the silence of death when the whole earth is still and the atmosphere suffocating, no breezes of any kinds, that generates in all living creature a terrible reaction of wholesome anger, of pure revolt against the sense of death in this universal silence.

It is the silence and quietude before tornadoes, cyclones, sand desert storms and all the kinds of whirling at great magnitude in the atmosphere, the seas, deserts and the bowel of earth in volcanoes.

There is no avoiding the silence of coming cataclysms as there is no avoiding death, a correlation that people noticed and prayed for their own God of Total Silence to keep chatting through winds, birds, animals, rains, thunderstorms, shouting, crying and anything that can be heard, lest miseries, devastation and evil spirits hovering over the land befall their region.

The same behavior is applied to the starting of wars and their ending.

It is no wonder that men shout stupid songs, curse loudly at fictional enemies like if drunk, bang on batteries and metals, light and heavy metals, blow on air instruments and all the hysterical trepidation at the announcement of a major war, an ancient psychic custom within our deepest pre-historic brain to ward off the cataclysm wrapped into maddening songs of patriotism and cursing at the evil enemies.

Indeed, heavy silence is the root of our fundamental fear, and dealing with fear should pass through learning to accept silence as a necessary step to investigating our soul.

Note 3: The Catholic religion, and most of its offshoots, were extremist and bloody organizations during most of their history. They were too the primary weapons in colonizing and subjugating other people.

Note 4: Every time, anyone of these monolithic sects mentions the faked stories in the “Bible”, they are providing ammunition to the Zionist movement and its head, creator and financier the western colonial powers.

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A plausible settlement for the “Deal of Century” to both Palestinians and Israelis

Note: The created State of Israel by the colonial powers has all the blueprints of a colonial occupation of a land by force. The State of Israel, with all the determination of the colonial powers to keep it alive and floating financially, politically and militarily, has gone way too far in its brutality, its calamitous myths, and unwavering decision to wipe out the culture and identity of the Palestinian people.

This article, (dated on November 13, 2008) is a temporary resolution until the far-right Israelis desist from their occupation mentality and reach a reasonable state of common status of living together with Palestinians on equal rights. Until then, Israel is our existential enemy.

There are reams and reams of plans and counter plans and resolution suggested to containing this everlasting unjust and uncalled for reality of the 20th century monstrosity that permitted the establishment of the State of Israel by displacing its original inhabitants (the Palestinians), as so many monstrosities in this century.

There are two viable solutions for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, short of exterminating one party or the other or most probably both, that has been spreading death, disabilities, miseries, indignities and humiliation since 1920.

The Israeli Olmert PM has lately declared that the time to facing truth has come.

Since the Madrid convention in 1990 among the “Arab States” (excluding Syria) and Israeli delegations and mediated by the US Administration, during the Bush Sr. tenure as President, for a resolution of this conflict, it was becoming evident that the “Biblical” strategy of Israel, for further expansion and pre-emptive wars, is no longer tenable, especially after its total failure in 2006 of invading Lebanon.

A resolution was contemplated but the US had an old battle plan to invade Iraq before resolving this conflict.

The Bush “Son” Jr. administration dusted off this war plan and invaded Iraq. This invasion has failed miserably but Israel is no longer necessary for the strategic interest of the US in the Middle East:  The US has military bases in the Arab Gulf States and Saudi Kingdom, and it has many heavy weight allies among the Arabic States.

And the price of oil on the market is far cheaper than physically securing its exploitation and distribution in Iraq or elsewhere or even resuming plans to intimidating China and blackmailing her by outdated military presence in Iraq.

The return of the heavy investments of the US in Israel has been reflecting sharp negative rates of return for decades, politically, economically, and socially within the US society and foreign policies.

My plan is of two phases:

The first phase is recognizing the State of Palestine by the United Nation, a State self-autonomous, independent and all.  It is of primordial interest by the world community and the Jewish State that the Palestinian people recover their dignity and rights as a full fledged State and be permitted to exercise the complex task of administering and governing a State.

At least from a psychological necessity, the Palestinian people should feel that persistent resistance and countless “martyrs” for re-establishing their rights as legitimate and independent people have brought fruits, as any genuine national resistance ultimately should.

The second phase is the merging of the two States of Palestine and Israel into a confederate State with a central government and several self-autonomous “cantons”.  I can envisage the following cantons: West Bank, Gaza (including Escalon), Galilee (including Haifa and Akka), Judea (around Jerusalem and Bethlehem), the “East Shore” (Tel Aviv, Yafa), and the Negev (including Akaba).

I have this impression that the tight religious extremists on both sides would opt to move to Gaza and Judea, and the very secular citizens would move to the East Shore or Galilee, and the economically minded people might reside in the Negev backed by strong financial incentives.

The second phase will witness the return of the Palestinian refugees as ordered by the UN resolution of 193 in 1948 and the refugees would have the right to select the canton of their preferences.

I can foresee that the key offices in the central government would be equally, including genders, shared by the Palestinians and Israelis on a rotation imposed law.

The representation in the cantons would be proportional to the general census of the period (at 5 years intervals).  The representation among sects, factions, or other types of social divisions within each “people” would also follow the proportions in the census.

I suggest to the interest of the future “Palesrael” State that Israel let Lebanon structure and experience, without foreign interventions, study the pitfalls and strength of such a system of co-existence and avoid the unnecessary miseries of minor civil wars and countless frustrations in its future unfolding.

It would be inevitable that the State of “Palesreal” be guaranteed a neutrality status (No pre-emptive wars within and outside its borders) by the world community and the regional powers.  It is evident that this could be plausible after Syria recover all its lands and settles on a political constitution that safeguard its autonomous decisions.

Then, it is hoped and strongly desired that the State of Lebanon would secure this neutrally status.  Amen.

25 photos: Aleppo before and after the Syrian uprising

In 2011, Aleppo was Syria’s largest city with a population of 2.5 million people.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it has been described by Time as Syria’s commercial capital. (Turkey main goal was to take Aleppo and administer it because it was the main trade and industrial challenge to Turkey economy and its skilled artisans. Actually, Turkey dismantled most of the industrial complexes and shipped them to Turkey)

Author Diana Darke has written that “The city has long been multi-cultural, a complex mix of Kurds, Iranians, Turkmen, Armenians and Circassians overlaid on an Arab base in which multi-denominational churches and mosques still share the space.”

Since the battle for Aleppo began: at least 30,000 people have died and half its 2.5 million inhabitants have been forced to flee.

Barrel bombs, rockets and mortars along with conventional munition have destroyed 80% of the buildings, and of the old city’s 100 mosques, a quarter lie in ruins while the rest are badly damaged.

More than half of the listed buildings in the old city – including many souks, its famous citadel, the minaret of the 11th-century Omayyad mosque, along with bath houses, schools, hospitals and entire residential districts – have been reduced to rubble.

This is so sad to see a beautiful country turned to rubble. The following set of images shows exactly the real cost of war that many do not see.

Note: Turkey failed in its attempts to capture Aleppo and this city is back as Syria economic and industrial hub, and its skilled people are returning.

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Courtesy of Hannah Karim

Via BoredPanda

Gaza now has a toxic ‘biosphere of war’ that no one can escape

Israel/Palestine

 and  on 

Gaza has often been invaded for its water. (What water? No rivers passing through and no mountain-caped snow)

Every army leaving or entering the Sinai desert, whether Babylonians, Alexander the Great, the Ottomans, or the British, has sought relief there. But today the water of Gaza highlights a toxic situation that is spiralling out of control.

A combination of repeated Israeli attacks and the sealing of its borders by Israel and Egypt, have left the territory unable to process its water or waste.

Every drop of water swallowed in Gaza, like every toilet flushed or antibiotic imbibed, returns to the environment in a degraded state.

Palestinian workers drill water wells, in Gaza city, on June 01, 2014.

Palestinian workers drill water wells in Gaza city, June 1, 2014.

Over pumping the coastal aquifer, Gaza’s main water source, has significantly lowered the groundwater level which has led to contamination of the aquifer’ by seawater seeping in, and saline groundwater rising from deeper in the reservoir. (Photo: Ezz al-Zanoun/APA Images)

When a hospital toilet is flushed, for instance, it seeps untreated through the sand into the aquifer. There it joins water laced with pesticides from farms, heavy metals from industry, and salt from the ocean.

It is then pumped back up by municipal or private wells, joined with a small fraction of freshwater purchased from Israel, and cycled back into people’s taps. This results in widespread contamination and undrinkable drinking water, about 90% of which exceeds the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines for salinity and chloride.

Incredibly, conditions are getting worse: the emergence of “superbugs”. These multi-drug resistant organisms have developed thanks to an over-prescription of antibiotics by doctors desperate to treat the victims of the seemingly endless assaults.

The more injury there is, the more chance there is of re-injury. Less regular access to clean water means infections will spread faster, bugs will be stronger, more antibiotics will be prescribed – and the victims will be ever-more weakened.

The result is what has been termed a toxic ecology or “biosphere of war”, of which the noxious water cycle is just one part. A biosphere refers to the interaction of all living things with the natural resources that sustain them.

The point is that sanctions, blockades and a permanent state of war affects everything that humans might require in order to thrive, as water becomes contaminated, air is polluted, soil loses its fertility and livestock succumb to diseases. People in Gaza who may have evaded bombs or sniper fire have no escape from the biosphere.

War surgeons, health anthropologists and water engineers – including ourselves – have observed this situation developing wherever protracted armed conflict or economic sanctions grind on, as with water systems in Basrah and health systems throughout Iraq or Syria. It’s now well past time to clean it up.

There is water – for some

It’s not as if there is no fresh water nearby to alleviate the situation in Gaza. Just a few hundred metres from the border are Israeli farms that use freshwater pumped from Lake Tiberias (the Sea of Galilee) to grow herbs destined for European supermarkets.

As the lake is around 200 km to the north and lies 200 metres below sea level, a massive amount of energy is used to pump all that water. The lake water is also fiercely contested by Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Palestinians in the West Bank, each of which is seeking their legal entitlement of the Jordan River basin.

Gaza City on one side of the border, Israeli farms on the other. (Image: Google Maps)

Gaza City on one side of the border, Israeli farms on the other. (Image: Google Maps)

Meanwhile, Israel desalinates so much seawater these days that its municipalities are turning it down. Excess desalinated water is being used to irrigate crops, and the country’s water authority is even planning to use it to refill Tiberias itself – a bizarre and irrational cycle, considering the lake water continues to be pumped the other direction into the desert.

There is now so much manufactured water that some Israeli engineers can declare that “today, no one in Israel experiences water scarcity”.

But the same cannot be said for Palestinians, especially not those in Gaza.

People there have resorted to various ingenious filters, boilers, or under-the-sink or neighbourhood-level desalination units to treat their water. But these sources are unregulated, often full of germs, and just another reason children are prescribed antibiotics – thus continuing the pattern of injury and re-injury.

Doctors, nurses, and water maintenance crews meanwhile try to do the impossible with the minimal medical equipment at their disposal.

Embedded video

UNRWA USA@unrwausa

The implications for all those who invest in Gaza’s repeatedly destroyed water and health projects are clear. Providing more ambulances or water tankers – the “truck and chuck” strategy – might work when conflicts are at their most acute, but they are never more than a band aid. Yes, things will get better in the short term, but soon enough Gaza will be onto the next generation of antibiotics, and dealing with teflon-coated superbugs.

Donors must instead design programmes suited to the all-pervasive and incessant biosphere of war. This means training many more doctors and nurses, providing more medicines, and infrastructure support for health and water services.

More importantly, donors should build-in political “cover” to protect their investments (if not the local children), perhaps by calling for those who destroy the infrastructure to foot the bill for repairs.

And there is an even bigger message for the rest of us.

Our research shows that war is more than simply armies and geopolitics – it extends across entire ecosystems. If the dehumanising ideology behind the conflict was confronted, and if excess water was diverted to people rather than to lakes, then the easily avoidable repeated injuries suffered by people in Gaza would become a thing of the past. Palestinians would soon find their biosphere a whole lot healthier.The Conversation

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

US Slaughter Of Syrian Troops Risks World War 3

Sean Adl-Tabatabai. Editor-in-chief at Your News Wire

US warplanes and artillery batteries carried out the massacre in the northeastern province of Deir Ezzor Wednesday.

Wsws.org reports: The Syrian government denounced the attack as a “war crime” and “direct support to terrorism,” insisting that its forces came under US attack as they were carrying out an operation against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) elements between the villages of Khasham and al-Tabiya on the eastern side of the Euphrates River.

While the Pentagon proudly claimed to have killed 100 pro-government fighters, Damascus allowed that the US strikes claimed “the lives of dozens, injuring many others and causing massive damage in the area.”

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, meanwhile, said it had confirmed only 20 dead among the pro-government forces.

Whatever the precise number of casualties—the Pentagon’s figures are suspect given that the bombings and artillery barrages were not followed up by any ground attack—the incident marks a major escalation of US aggression against Syria, eclipsing the firing of 59 US cruise missiles last April in response to an unsubstantiated allegation of a chemical weapons attack in Idlib province.

The only previous US attack resulting in comparable bloodshed was the September 17, 2016 US airstrike against a Syrian army position near the Deir Ezzor airport, which killed 62 soldiers and wounded some 100 more. The Pentagon claimed that attack was the result of an “unintentional, regrettable error.”

This time around, the US military said that it was exercising its “inherent right of self-defense” in attacking the forces of a government whose territory American troops are occupying without either its consent or any mandate from the United Nations.

The official story from the Pentagon is that a column of 500 pro-government fighters, including tanks and artillery, had attempted to take control of territory east of the Euphrates River that had been seized by the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the US proxy ground force that is overwhelmingly dominated by the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia.

It accused the government forces of launching “an unprovoked attack on a well-established SDF position,” where US Special Forces “advisors” who direct the Kurdish fighters were deployed.

Pentagon officials speaking on condition of anonymity told the media that they believed Russian military contractors operating with the Syrian government forces were among the dead.

The Russian Defense Ministry reported that it had no military personnel in the area. It also said it was aware only of 25 Syrian militia members having been wounded in the US strikes.

Russia’s Defense Ministry added in a statement that the American attack once “again showed that the US is maintaining its illegal presence in Syria not to fight the Daesh group [ISIS], but to seize and hold Syrian economic assets.”

The area where the fighting took place is a center of Syria’s oil and gas fields.

The village of al-Tabiya is the site of the Conoco gas plant, which was previously run by ConocoPhillips until the energy corporation turned it over to the Syrian government in 2005. After the area fell under ISIS control, the Islamist militia used gas and oil exports to secure much of its financing.

Washington is determined to deny the Syrian government control over these resources and to that end has sought to carve out a US zone of control covering roughly 30 percent of the country, while cutting off its borders with Turkey and Iraq.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry raised pointed questions about the US version of events, particularly the vast disparity between the claim of 100 Syrian government troops killed and, on the other side, a total of one SDF fighter wounded.

“First of all, how could a 500-strong unit attack a headquarters with tank and artillery support and, as a result, inflict an injury on one counter-attacker?” asked Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova. “How could those who were in that headquarters remain in those conditions for the half hour or more needed to call in and ensure air support?”

“How, within such a short period of time, could a decision have been made to open massive fire for effect on Syrian armed forces?” she continued. “To clarify all these questions, and to get a full picture of what happened, relevant information is now being gathered, both through our military experts and through the Foreign Ministry.”

Despite the words of protest from Moscow, the Pentagon reported that it had used its “deconfliction line” with the Russian military to provide advance notice of its strike on the Syrian government forces and remained in contact during and after the attack.

“We had a very productive conversation,” said Pentagon spokesperson Dana White. “…we told them, they knew what was happening. They agreed not to attack Coalition forces. So, from that respect, it was successful.”

The attack on Deir Ezzor is part of a steady ratcheting up of the multisided conflict in Syria, provoked overwhelmingly by Washington’s announced decision to maintain a permanent US military occupation of the country and pursue a “post-ISIS” policy centered on the original US objectives of Syrian regime change and rolling back Iranian and Russian influence in the region. Until launching the anti-ISIS campaign in 2014, Washington had sought the ouster of the government of President Bashar al-Assad by means of supporting and arming the Al Qaeda-linked militias out of which ISIS itself emerged. This sparked the bloody seven-year-long war that has claimed the lives of some 350,000 Syrians, while displacing millions of others.

Since invading the country over three years ago, the US military has relied primarily on the Kurdish YPG as its proxy ground force, but it also continues to arm and train Islamist militia groups.

During the US-backed siege of Raqqa and other formerly ISIS-occupied towns, the US military and its Kurdish proxies organized the evacuation of large numbers of ISIS fighters and their redeployment to Deir Ezzor in order to turn them against the Syrian government forces advancing on the province’s strategically vital oil and gas fields.

To the west, the Turkish invasion of the Kurdish-controlled enclave of Afrin, which came in response to US plans to organize a 30,000-strong “border security force” based largely on the Kurdish YPG and create what Ankara sees as a de facto Kurdish state on its border, threatens to escalate into a direct conflict between the US and Turkey, ostensible NATO allies.

On Wednesday, the top US commander in Syria and Iraq, Lt. Gen. Paul Funk, visited Manbij, the Syrian city on the western side of the Euphrates that has been occupied by the YPG and its US Special Forces handlers. The visit came just one day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanded that the American forces withdraw from Manbij, vowing that the Turkish military would extend its offensive into the city.

Asked if he was worried about the Turkish threat, Gen. Funk responded, “It’s not in my job description to worry; my job is to fight.”

Meanwhile, both the US and French governments have issued condemnations of Damascus over bombings in Idlib province and Eastern Ghouta, as well as unverified allegations of using chlorine gas against civilian populations. The State Department issued a statement saying that the bombings “must stop now.”

The hypocritical Western media, which went largely silent as the US killed tens of thousands of civilians and razed entire cities to the ground in last year’s sieges of Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria, has suddenly woken up to report the civilian casualties resulting from the bombardments by Syrian and Russian warplanes.

Once again they are churning out propaganda to prepare for a military escalation that has the potential of triggering a direct military confrontation between the world’s two major nuclear powers, the US and Russia.

This was Beirut before the civil war in 1975

Before 1975, the tiny city of Beirut enjoyed more varieties for tourists and fair affordable life-style for the citizens than many current megalopolis. The dollars was for 2 LL and I could attend theaters, movies and eat for barely a single $ during the entire day

منذ ما قبل الإستقلال حتى العام 75صنع البيارتة مسلمين ومسيحيين مدينة نموذجية… فيها ارقى المدارس والجامعات… واكبر الشركات… وأجمل المنتجعات والفنادق… والمراكز السياحية…

واروع الشوارع وانظفها واكثرها اناقة من التباريس الى شارع سرسق… الى البسطة حيث عاشت نجاح سلام ومحمد سلمان وحسن علاء الدين شوشو… وفي نفس منزله عاشت الممثلة بدور…

فالمصيطبة صائب سلام… وزقاق البلاط حيث ولدت وترعرعت فيروز …
وشارع حمد والجميزة والمزرعة وغيرها …


كان لكل شارع موهبته وشخصيته الخاصة الجميلة المحببة والملفتة…
وفيها تعايش كل الأديان والمذاهب والثقافات والحضارات سنة وشيعة ودروز ويهود وموارنة وروم وغيرهم بفطرة وتلقائية وعفوية وبدون مظاهر وتظاهر…


وتعاظمت السياحة فلم يبق سائح عربي او اجنبي الا وزارها مندهشا غير مصدق مما يراه…
وأذكر تماما وقوفهم متأملين مندهشين بسطات سوق الفرنج اول سوق اياس… وكيف تتواجد فيها جميع الفواكه الموسمية وغير الموسمية… وعند بركة العنتبلي لما تحويه من اطايب ملونة بجميع الالوان..

.
كذلك مسابح السان سيمون… والسان ميشال.. والفينيسيا والسان جورج… والكوت دازور وخلدة … ومطعم يلدزلار حيث تجد مازة من 45 صحن بسعر 42 ليرة….


وكثر فيها السواح عربا حيث كانت تبدو كأنها جدة او الكويت او الامارات وحتى اجانب المان وهولنديين وسويديين وانكليز واميركان وفرنسيين… لا يصدقون ما يرون..

.
فكانوا يشعرون انهم في جنة…. وليس في مدينة صنعها مجموعة من اهلها الطيبين حيث كانت الكنيسة والجامع احباب واصحاب وجيران والجار يحب جاره…

.
والناس تتكافل اجتماعيا وماديا بفطرة وغريزة وفروسية قل مثيلها…
ويذكر كبار السن ان صاحب الحظ والميسور كان يسكن بنايات الصادق قرب المدينة الرياضية…
فسكنها وزراء واثرياء ودكاترة الجامعات واطباء…


وكانت النساء تخرج قبل الغروب تغسل الرصيف قرب منزلها وتعبق الشوارع برائحة الياسمين والفل….
هذه بيروت الجمال…
بيروت الثقافة…
بيروت … التياترو الكبير
بيروت…الصمدي والبحصلي والعريسي….
بيروت العيش الفطري البريء…
بيروت درة الشرق وسويسرا الشرق عن حق…
بيروت الجامعة والمدرسة والثقافة والعلم والادبيات والعادات الحضارية …

بيروت الدولار بليرتين وربع.
بيروت … تعا كيس
بيروت قهوة الحاج داوود والبحري….
بيروت…. مرحبا جار يسعد صباحك…
بيروت … الله يرزقك خيي بحسنة عيلتك….
بيروت… كيفك حبيبي سلم على بابا يا عمي….
بيروت… خللي عنك عمو انا بحمل الاكياس عنك وبساعدك…
بيروت … غض النظر…

بيروت… افساح الطريق للمارة…
بيروت …. انا استفتتحت يرضى عليك روح اشتري من عند جاري بعد مااستفتح….
بيروت .. صباحا…

يا فتاح يا عليم يا رزاق يا كريم…
بيروت …. توزيع الزكاة سرا ومساعدة المحتاج طوعا….
بيروت …. توكلنا على الله…
بيروت … الأركيلة والمفتقة واربعة ايوب…

بيروت…الزيارت وصلة الرحم والاحتفال بالاعياد والخرجية وزيارة الكبير والقريب والعم والخال والعمة والخالة ….
بيروت… شارع الحمراء والمثقفين والقهوة والجريدة….
بيروت ملجأ كل مظلوم ببلده….

.
بيروت … الحرية المسؤولة والصحافة الرصينة….
بيروت … نزار قباني… ويا ست الدنيا يا بيروت…
يا ست الدنيا يا بيروت….

The crimes of 1948: Jewish fighters speak out

“The most ferocious Jewish terrorists on Palestinian civilians were those who had escaped the Nazi camps”.

#Nakba

Thomas Vescovi. Thursday 28 June 2018 13:08 UTC

More than 60 years after these events, the combatants express little remorse: the territory needed to be liberated to found the Jewish state and there was no room for “Arabs” (Meaning Palestinians)

For the Israelis, 1948 represents the high point of the Zionist project, a major chapter in the Israeli national narrative when the Jews became masters of their own fate and, above all, succeeded in realising the utopia formulated 50 years earlier by Theodor Herzl – the construction, in Palestine, of a state of refuge for the “Jewish people”.

(This utopia was the concept of the USA “Christian” Evangelists, 50 years prior to Herzl ideology: They believed the Second Coming will take place only when the Jews occupy Jerusalem)

For the Palestinians, 1948 symbolises the advent of the colonial process that dispossessed them of their land and their right to sovereignty – known as the “Nakba” (catastrophe, in Arabic).

In theory, Israeli and Palestinian populations disagree over the events of 1948 that drove 805,000 Palestinians into forced exile. However, in practice, Jewish fighters testified early on to the crimes of which they perhaps played accomplice, or even perpetrator.

Dissonant voices

Through various channels, a number of Israelis would testify to the events of the day, as early as 1948.

At the time of the conflict, a number of Zionist leaders questioned the movement’s authorities on the treatment of Arab populations in Palestine, which they considered unworthy of the values the Jewish fighters claimed to defend. Others took notes hoping to testify once the violence had stopped.

Yosef Nahmani, a senior officer of the Haganah, the armed force of the Jewish Agency that would become the Army of Defense for Israel, wrote in his diary on 6 November 1948:

“In Safsaf, after the inhabitants had hoisted the white flag, [the soldiers] gathered the men and women into separate groups, bound the hands of fifty or sixty villagers, shot them, then buried them all in the same pit. They also raped several women from the village. Where did they learn such behaviour, as cruel as that of the Nazis? […] One officer told me that the most ferocious were those who had escaped the camps.”

During the conflict, a number of Zionist leaders questioned the movement’s authorities on the treatment of Arab populations in Palestine, which they considered unworthy of the values the Jewish fighters claimed to defend

The truth is, once the war was over, the narrative of the victors alone was heard, with Israeli civil society facing a number of far more urgent challenges than that of the plight of the Palestinian refugees. People who wanted to recount the events of the day had to turn to fiction and literature.

,In 1949, the Israeli writer and politician, Yizhar Smilansky published the novella Khirbet Khizeh, in which he described the expulsion of an eponymous Arab village. But according to the author, there was no need to feel remorse about that particular chapter of history. The “dirty work” was as a necessary part of building the Jewish state. His testimony reflects, instead, a kind of atonement for past sins. By acknowledging wrongs and unveiling them, one is able to cast off the burden of guilt.

The novel became a bestseller and was made into a TV film in 1977. Its release provoked heated debate since it called into question the Israeli narrative claiming the Palestinian populations had left their lands voluntarily to avoid living alongside Jews.

A squad of Jewish fighters during the Nakba. Photo from the TV drama, Khirbet Khizeh, based on the eponymous novella (Wikipedia)

Other works were published but few as realistic as Netiva Ben-Yehuda’s trilogy, The Palmach Trilogy, published in 1984, recounting the events of a three-month period in 1948.

A commander in the Palmach, the elite fighting force of the Haganah, she evokes the abuses and acts of violence perpetrated against Arab inhabitants and provides details of the massacre at Ein al Zeitun, which took place around 1 May 1948.

The Deir Yassin massacre

On 4 April 1972, Colonel Meir Pilavski, a former Palmach fighter, was interviewed by Yediot Aharonot, one of Israel’s three largest daily papers, on the Deir Yassin massacre of 9 April 1948, in which nearly 120 civilians lost their lives.

His troops, he claims, were in the vicinity at the time of the attacks, but were advised to withdraw when it became clear the operations were being led by the extremist paramilitary forces, Irgun and Stern, which had broken away from the Haganah.

From then on, the debate would focus on the events at Deir Yassin, to the point of forgetting the nearly 70 other massacres of Arab civilians that took place. The stakes were high for the Zionist left: responsibility for the massacres would be placed on groups of ultras.

The debate would focus on the events of Deir Yassin, to the point of forgetting the nearly 70 other massacres of Arab civilians that took place

In 1987, when the first works of a group of historians known as the Israeli “new historians” appeared, including those of Ilan Pappé, a considerable part of the Jewish battalions of 1948 were called into question. For those who had remained silent in recent decades, the time had come to speak out.

Part of Israeli society seemed ready to listen as well. Within the context of the First Palestinian Intifada and the pre-Oslo negotiations, pacifist circles were ready to question Israeli society on its national narrative and its relationship to non-Jewish communities.

These attempts at dialogue ended suddenly with the outbreak of the Second Intifada, which was more militarised and took place in the aftermath of the failed Camp David talks and the breakdown of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. The Katz controversy would perfectly embody the new dynamic.

The Katz controversy

In 1985, a 60-year-old kibbutznik, Teddy Katz, decided to resume his studies and enrolled in a historical research programme under the direction of Ilan Pappé at the University of Haifa. He wanted to shed light on the events that took place in five Palestinian villages, deserted in 1948.

He conducted 135 interviews with Jewish fighters, 64 of which focused on the atrocity that allegedly took place in the village of Tantura, cleared of 1,200 inhabitants on 23 May 1948 by Palmach forces.

After two years of research, Katz states in his work that between 85 and 110 men were ruthlessly shot dead on Tantura beach, after digging their own graves. The massacre would then continue in the village, one house at a time, and a man hunt was played out in the streets.

The killing only stopped when Jewish inhabitants from the neighbouring village of Zikhron Yaakov intervened. More than 230 people were murdered.

Ilan Pappé: “The Nakba, the observation of a crime, ignored but not forgotten

In January 2000, a journalist from daily Maariv newspaper decided to talk to some of the witnesses mentioned by Katz. The main witness, Bentzion Fridan, a commander for the Palmach forces present in Tantura, denied the whole story point blank, then filed a complaint, along with other senior officers, against Katz, who found himself forced to face a dozen lawyers determined to defend the honour of the nation’s “heroes”.

Under pressure from the media – who were calling him a “collaborator” and were only covering his accusers’ version of the facts – and the courts, he agreed to sign a document acknowledging he had falsified their statements. Though he withdrew his acknowledgement a few hours later and had the backing of a university commission, the legal proceedings were over.

With the collapse of the Oslo Accords, the return to power of the Likud, the failure of the Camp David Accords and the Taba Summit, the Second Intifada and the kamikaze attacks, Israeli pacifists were no longer interested in the Palestinian version of 1948. Indeed, most were too busy falling into rank to escape the repercussions of the country’s increasingly conservative social order.

Testifying for posterity

In 2005, the filmmaker Eyal Sivan and the Israeli NGO Zochrot developed the project Towards a Common Archive aiming to gather testimonies from the Jewish soldiers of 1948. More than 30 agreed to testify on the events of those days which had been subject to such conflicting accounts.

Why had fighters now agreed to testify, a mere few years later? According to Pappé, the scientific director of the project, for three reasons.

They did all agree on the necessity, in 1948, of forcing Arab populations into exile in order to build the State of Israel

First, most were approaching the end of their lives and were no longer afraid of speaking out.

Second, the former fighters had fought for an ideal that had deteriorated with the rise in Israel of religious circles and the far right, as well as the neoliberal electroshock imposed by Netanyahu during his successive mandates.

Third, they were convinced that sooner or later the younger generations would discover the truth of the Palestinian refugees, and they believed it was their duty to pass on the knowledge of the disturbing events.

The testimonies are Not identical across the board.

Some fighters went into great detail, whereas others did not wish to address certain topics. Nevertheless, they did all agree on the necessity, in 1948, of forcing Arab populations into exile in order to build the State of Israel, though their views differed at times on the usefulness of firing on civilians.

All claim to have received specific orders concerning the razing of Arab villages, however, to prevent the exiled populations’ return.

The villages were “cleaned out” methodically.

As they approached the site, soldiers would fire or launch grenades to frighten the local populations. In most cases, such actions were enough to drive the inhabitants away. Sometimes, a house or two had to be blown up at the entrance of a village to force the few recalcitrant inhabitants to flee.

As for the massacres, for some, the acts were merely part of the “cleansing” operations, since the leaders of the Zionist movement had authorised them to “cross this line”, in certain cases.

The “line” was systematically crossed when inhabitants refused to leave, put up resistance, or even fought back.

No remorse

In Lod, more than 100 people took refuge in the mosque, believing rumours that Jewish fighters would not attack places of worship. A rocket launcher destroyed their shelter, which collapsed on them. Their bodies were burned.

For others, the leaders Yigal Allon, of the Palmach, and David Ben Gurion, of the Jewish Agency, reportedly opposed the shooting of civilians, ordering forces to first let them go and then to destroy the homes.

The combatants also testify to a contrasting Palestinian response. In most cases, they seemed “frightened” and overwhelmed by the events, hastening to join the flow of refugees. Some Arabs begged the soldiers not to “do to them what they did in Deir Yassin”.

Other inhabitants seemed convinced they would be able to return home at the end of the fighting. One witness spoke of residents of the village of Bayt Naqquba who left the key to their houses with Jewish neighbours in the Kiryat-Avanim kibbutz, with whom they were on good terms, so the latter could ensure that nothing was looted.

Good Jewish-Arab relations come up regularly, and few witnesses speak of being on bad terms with their neighbours before the beginning of the war.

During an eviction around Beersheba, Palestinian peasants came to ask for help from the inhabitants of the neighbouring kibbutz, who did not hesitate to intervene and denounce the actions of Zionist soldiers.

More than 60 years after these events, the combatants expressed little or No remorse.

According to them, it was necessary to liberate the territory promised by the UN in order to found the Jewish state, and this meant there was no room for Arabs in the national landscape.

– Thomas Vescovi is a teacher and a researcher in contemporary history. He is the author of Bienvenue en Palestine (Kairos, 2014) and La Mémoire de la Nakba en Israël (L’Harmattan, 2015).

READ MORE ►

“Nakba’s harvest of sorrow: We will be back, grandmother 

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

Photo: On 12 May 1948, members of the Haganah escort Palestinians expelled from Haifa after Jewish forces took control of its port on 22 April (AFP).

This article originally appeared in French.


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