Adonis Diaries

Archive for the ‘Jews/Israel/Palestine’ Category

How the Lebanese Jews were pressured to vacate Lebanon, and many to transfer eventually to Palestine (to State of Israel)

  • Ahmad Ashqar published this piece in Sept.2017أحمد أشقر 
  • Source Mayadeen Net
  • A critical review of Nada Abed Samad “Wadi Abu Jamil” book that included 23 short stories on the Jews living in Lebanon.
  • Wadi Abu Jamil was and is the quarter in Beirut where many Jews resided for centuries. This is Not the only book that talked about the Jews of Lebanon where many acceded to high positions, even in the internal security institutions.
  • Mind you that France extended the French nationality to all Algerian Jews in 1870 and built network of schools “Alliance Francaise” that exclusively taught French curriculum and denied the teaching of the Arabic language and even punished students who spoke Arabic in school. Actually, I studied in a French school run by the “Brethren” and we were prohibited to speak Arabic and were passed the “Signal” for punishment.
  • One of the Brethren would tell stories in the first half hour about the holocaust and implicitly laud the State of Israel. During the 1967 war, he “predicted” that the war will be short with Israel victory.
  • This strategy was applied in all the French colonies, a method that alienated most Jews from the local societal fabric and pressured them to seek French colonial ideology, history and idiosyncrasies. The end result was Jews tended to betray their countries whenever the Israeli Mossad contacted them to the benefit of the State of Israel
  • I did read this book a few years ago and posted a few articles on that subject

تعتمد تقنيات اختراق الوعي وتدميره على إخفاء المعلومات المُحيطة بالأحداث و/أو تزويرها و/أو تشويهها.

في كتابها وادي أبو جميل: قصص عن يهود بيروت، الصادر عن دار النهار عام 2010 (ص 14- 15)، تقول الكاتبة ندى عبد الصمد: “غالبية القصص في هذا الكتاب تتوقّف عند الرحيل، من دون أن تكمل لتروي ما حلّ بهؤلاء منذ لحظة رحيلهم”.

أي أن الكاتبة تتعمّد سلفاً وضعنا في هذه الحلقة المليئة بالثغرات والنواقص والمواقف السياسية المُكثّفة. بكلمات أخرى تقول الكاتبة: إن أوضاع يهود لبنان (واليهود العرب عامة) قبل

فهم أناس مساكين اضطروا إلى الرحيل عن بلادهم بفعل أمور لا نعرفها بدقّة. ولا دخل للصهيونية وكيانها بتحوّلهم إلى مُعادين لمجتمعهم العربي الذي عاشوا فيه قروناً عديدة!

وبما أن الكتاب يتطرّق إلى اليهود الذين احتلوا بلادنا وتسبّبوا بنكبتنا واحتجزوا تطورنا ويطاردوننا في كل مكان على وجه الأرض، لذا لا بدّ من العودة إلى التاريخ عبر الوثائق والدراسات لسبْر غور “رحيل” يهود لبنان والنظر في قضية استجلاب كافة يهود العالمين العربي والإسلامي إلى فلسطين وفهم إسهامهم في المشروع الصهيوني.النكبة ودورهم في المشروع الصهيوني يجب ألا يهم أحداً بالمرّة.

صلاة ليهود في بيروت

يعتقد عبد الوهاب المسيري (1938- 2008) أن اليهود كانوا ضمن المجموعات الوظيفية التي أنتجها الاستعمار في الدولة العثمانية وتحديداً أثناء فترات ضعفها المعروفة بفترة التنظيمات. وبالتالي أصبحت هذه المجموعات خنجراً في خاصرة الدولة العثمانية والمجتمعات المحلية، لأن ولاءها أصبح لغير النظام الوطني وأبناء الوطن.

وبما أننا نتحدّث عن اليهود فقد أوكلت مهمة إنتاج اليهود كمجموعة وظيفية إلى أطر كثيرة وأهمها شبكة “مدارس الإليانس” و”نوادي مكابي”، وبالرغم من أهمية هذه الأطر في المشروع الصهيوني وترحيل يهود لبنان، إلا أن الكاتبة تحجم عن تعريفها.

لذا سنقوم باستنطاق المسيري لتعريفهما. يقول المسيري عن “الإليانس”: بأنها شبكة مدارس غربية في العالمين العربي والإسلامي كانت تدرّس طلبتها وفقاً للمناهج الفرنسية وباللغة الفرنسية ولغات أوروبية أخرى من دون أن تهتم بتدريس اللغة العربية،

“ما أدّى إلى صبغ معظم أعضاء الجماعة اليهودية بصبغة غربية فرنسية فاقعة، وإلى عزلهم عن بني أوطانهم وتهميشهم من الناحية الثقافية والاجتماعية والاقتصادية. وقد اكتسبت شريحة كبيرة من أعضاء الجماعات اليهودية الثقافة الغربية في مدارس الأليانس، واعتمدت عليهم سلطات الاحتلال البريطانية للخدمة في إدارتها الجديدة في أعقاب الحرب العالمية الأولى”.

وأما عن “نوادي مكابي” فيقول المسيري: “في العشرينات قامت الوكالة اليهودية بتكوين شبكة جاسوسية في العالم العربي، حيث لجأت إلى استخدام المؤسّسات والمنظمات اليهودية الشرعية (مثل نوادي المكابي) كواجهات تخفي عبرها نشاطها المُعادي وغير الشرعي”.

وبالنسبة لجمعية “قطرة الحليب”، تزعم الكاتبة أنها تأسّست بمبادرة من “نساء الطائفة من العائلات الغنية بغرض تأمين مواد غذائية للعائلات المُحتاجة” (ص 12- 13)، وهي، كما هو معروف، منظمة صحية صهيونية أسّسها الصهاينة في بداية العشرينات من القرن الماضي ولا تزال تعمل إلى الآن في مجال رعاية الأم والطفل.

وفي سياق النشاط الصهيوني في لبنان نقول: كان لهذا النشاط بيئة حاضنة  وداعِمة أو لا مبالية في المجتمع اللبناني، ألا وهو دعم الكنيسة المارونية التي أشار إليها الباحث أسعد أبو خليل وآخرون أكثر من مرّة.

وللتدليل إلى ذلك نقتبس هذا الخبر من صحيفة مرآة الشرق الصادرة في الثاني من شهر شباط 1935 بعنوان الصهيونية في لبنان- بيروت: “روت الصحف التصريحات الآتية وقد أفضى بها غبطة بطريرك الموارنة عن تعاون اللبنانيين واليهود ،

قال أنني أؤيّد التعاون مع الصهيونيين لأنهم سوف يأتوننا بشيئين نحن مسيس الحاجة إليها وهما الرأسمال والملكة الفنيّة أنا نفسي أدخلتهم في مشروع شكا للإسمنت، فبعتهم حصّتي ثلاثة آلاف سهم ثم اشتروا من بنك سويسرا 12 ألف سهم ، ودخول رؤوس أموال الصهيونية إلى لبنان من شأنه ترقية الصناعة وارتفاع أثمان الأراضي وتخفيف وطأة الأزمة” (نصّ الخبر كما ورد في المصدر).

أما البطريك المذكور فهو أنطون عريضة (1863- 1955) الذي ترأّس الكنيسة في الأعوام (1932- 1955). وتندرج زيارة البطريرك الماروني الكاردينال بشارة بطرس الراعي إلـى “إسرائيل” في 24- 26 أيار 2014 وتصريحه ضد حزب الله في التاسع من شهر آذار 2017 في سياق التعاون الماروني- الصهيوني.

وعن استجلاب اليهود العرب بالقوة من أوطانهم يشهد “شلومو هليل” المولود في بغداد عام 1923 ولا يزال حيّاً في كتابه رياح شرقية (1985) ، أنه قام بمهمة سرّية إلى البلاد العربية وقام بتفجير دور العبادة والمراكز اليهودية الأخرى وإلصاق التهمة بالعرب في ما بعد كي يوحي لليهود العراقيين أن وطنهم بات غير آمن وعليهم مغادرة البلاد فوراً.

وكذلك (فضيحة لافون عام 1954- 1955) في مصر الشبيهة بما فعله “هليل”. ولا تزال بعض الصفحات من سجّل الاستجلاب مطويّة. يبقى السؤال المطروح هنا: لماذا لم تأتِ الكاتبة بمثل هذه المقدّمة؟

فلو أوردت الكاتبة مقدّمة تشرح فيها هذه الأحداث، لاستقبل القرّاء كتابها بفهم ووعي وإدراك مختلف.  

صفّ في مدرسة الإليانس في بيروت

يحتوي كتاب عبد الصمد على 23 قصة سأختار منها خمساً للإشارة إلى ما أقوله:

القصة الأولى– سليم مزراحي وماري السمن: تتحدّث هذه القصة عن الشاب اليهودي العراقي الشيوعي سليم مزراحي الذي “[…] هرب من الاضطهاد الذي لحق باليهود بعد النكبة”. “هرب” سليم إلى لبنان وهناك تعرّف على فتاة لبنانية مسيحية وتزوّجها. ضاقت بهما السبل بعد عدوان عام 1967 لذا نصحه “حاخام” الطائفة بالهجرة إلى “إسرائيل”. أما ماري فقد قلقت على مصير زواج بناتها، لذا وافقت هي الأخرى على الهجرة إلى فلسطين: “إسرائيل”  عام 1967 (ص 17- 54).

وبما أننا نتحدّث عن هجرة مستعمرين إلى وطننا، فلا بدّ لنا من أن نطرح بعض الأسئلة الهامة: كيف يمكن لشيوعي أن يتحوّل فجأة إلى أداة في مشروع استعماري كولونيالي؟

ألم يكن بإمكانهما الهجرة إلى بلاد الله الواسعة كغيرهما!؟ أنَّى لنا أن نصدّق أن ماري المسيحية التي تزوّجت يهودياً قلقت على زواج بناتها بحجّة أن غير اليهود لن يتزوّجوا منهن!؟ وما هي الظروف التي أحاطت بهجرتهما؟ وماذا كان دورهما في المشروع الصهيوني في فلسطين؟

القصة الثانية- تتضمّن ثلاث روايات عن “جواسيس”: تنقل الكاتبة رواية اللبنانية سلمى التي تقص قصصاً حول ثلاثة جواسيس يهود وهم: نهى ب، وخواجة روبين وشيلا (ص 82- 109). الكاتبة التي لا تريد لنا أن نقبل بصدق روايات سلمى تجعل منها امرأة ثرثارة وغير أمينة في

قصصها. بالطبع، قد تكون السيّدة سلمى ثرثارة وقد تكون قد بهرّت القصص بعض الشيء، لكن جعلها غير أمينة بالمرّة هو أمرٌ مُثير للريبة. لأننا بتنا نعلم أن الصهيونية قد جنّدت مئات الآلاف في مشروعها الاستعماري ومنهم مَن تورّط في الجاسوسية،

لذا ما الضير لو تفكرّ ملياً بصدق قصص سلمى؟ نذكر قصة منها: مات في نهاية شهر كانون الأول 2016 “شاؤول بقاعي” الذي هاجر من حلب إلى فلسطين عام 1943 وانضم إلى عصابة الـ”بلماح” التي جنّدته جاسوساً وأرسلته إلى بيروت، وقام هناك بكل الأعمال القذرة من جمْع المعلومات وإرسالها إلى الكيان إلى تنفيذ عمليات القتل والاغتيال.

“شاؤول بقاعي” المولود عام 1927 غيّر إسم عائلته وأصبح “شاؤول كَرملي” (“هآرتس”: “المستعرب من البلماح الذي شرب القهوة مع القاوقجي”، 5. 1. 2017).

القصة الثالثة– أبو عمر سلمون من “قبضايات” بيروت- تتحدّث هذه القصة عن يهوديين: “يعقوب” وهو شاب هامشي يعمل على احتكار تذاكر السينما ثم يبيعها بسعر أعلى، و”سلمون” اليهودي المُثقّف الذي كان يعمل محرّراً في الإذاعة اللبنانية وفي يوم من الأيام قرّر الخواجا سلمون أن يهاجر إلى فلسطين من دون أن يخبر أصدقاءه (ص 124- 132)

والسؤال هو: إذا كان الأمر كما ظهر في الرواية وكان سلمون موظفاً في الدولة لم يضطهده أحد، فما الذي دفعه ليهاجر بسرّية تامة؟ هل كان عميلاً للمخابرات استزرعته في الإذاعة الوطنية من أجل تمرير مخطّطاتها ثم رحّلته إلى فلسطين بعد أن انتهى دوره المُحدّد؟

في سياق هذه القصة نضيف ما ذكره الدكتور محمود محارب من جامعة القدس العربية حول دسّ الحركة الصهيونية 280 مقالاً تحابي مشروعها في الصحافة اللبنانية والسورية. يقول محارب إن الذي نظّم هذا المشروع وأداره هو إلياس (إلياهو) ساسون المولود في دمشق عام 1902 والمتوفّى عام 1978 في القدس والذي دسّ نفسه لسنوات عدّة كجاسوس في حركة القوميين العرب.

قام ساسون بدسّ هذه المقالات على شكل مقالات رأي وتحليلات وتقارير صحفية بأسماء مستعارة في السنتين الأخيرتين من ثورة (1936- 1939) ، تحابي المشروع الصهيوني كي تُصبح مصدراً للقرّاء العرب ومُتّخذي القرار،

وذلك حين كان رئيس الدائرة العربية في الوكالة اليهودية في الأعوام (1933- 1948)، وتحوّل بعدها إلى دبلوماسي. بناء على ما تقدّم نتساءل: ألا يمكن الاعتقاد أن سلمون كان واحداً من الذين يعملون على دسّ هذه المقالات!؟ وماذا فعل سلمون في فلسطين؟ هل عمل مترجماً لدى المخابرات؟

هل هو الذي كان يشطب بعض العبارات من الرسائل التي كان يرسلها العرب إلى بعضهم البعض؟ هل كان يمزّق بعضها؟ نقول هذا، لأن نسبة لا بأس بها من اليهود العرب كانوا الأداة التنفيذية بأيدي السلطة ومخابراتها للتجسّس علينا وقمعنا. وعمليّاً هم الذين أقاموا وحدات التجسّس والتحقيق وتعذيب الأسرى. 

إلياس (إلياهو) ساسون (1902- 1978)

وفي هذا السياق نضيف أيضاً بأن المخابرات الصهيونية دسّت عملاءها بيننا، حتى أنها زرعت بعضهم كأئمة في المساجد!

نعم، يتضّح الآن أنها زرعت عشرات اليهود العرب أئمة في مساجد القرى العربية في فلسطين. وهؤلاء لم يُكشف أمرهم إلا بعد وفاتهم ودفنهم في مقابر اليهود! كشف هذه القضية أبناء هؤلاء العملاء الذين طالبوا الدولة بتعويضهم نتيجة المُعاناة التي يعيشونها كونهم من أب يهودي وأم عربية وما يساورهم من تناقض وصراعات نفسية إضافة لتعقيدات زواجهم زواجاً دينياً يهوديّاً.

القصة الرابعة– مروان وأليغرا: بعد خلاف شديد مع الأهل تزوّج مروان الشاب المسلم مع إليغرا الفتاة اليهودية. ومن كثرة ضغوط إخوانها الذين هاجروا إلى البرازيل استجابت لطلبهم وبدأت تزورهم لمدة شهر في كل سنة.

وفي إحدى زياراتها لهم قرّرت أليغرا الهجرة والبقاء هناك! إلا أنها استمرّت بمهاتفة مروان لكنها ظلّت ترفض إعطاءه رقم هاتفها كي لا يفتضح أمر زواجها من مسلم (ص 187- 196).

في هذا السياق يبقى السؤال المطروح: بما أن أليغرا لم يضطهدها أحد، وزوجها مروان يعشقها إلى درجة الجنون، لماذا قرّرت الهجرة من دون علمه؟ هل كانت بمهمة ما وسافرت بعد إتمامها؟ وماذا فعلت في البرازيل وهل هاجرت في ما بعد إلى فلسطين؟

القصة الخامسة– وحيدة وادي أبو جميل: تتحدّث هذه القصة عن ليزا اليهودية الوحيدة التي بقيت في الحيّ (ص 259- 274). قصتها تثير التقدير والتعاطف معاً، التقدير كونها بقيت رغم كل الضغوط التي تعرّضت لها، والتعاطف لأنها امرأة عجوز لا يوجد مَن يرعاها لا مؤسّسات دولة ولا أقارب.

والكاتبة التي لا تستهويها الطبقة التي تنتمي إليها ليزا، عمدت إلى وصفها بصورة منفرّة وكاريكاتورية قد تثير السخرية لدى أولئك غير الحسّاسين بمصائر الناس،

والغضب لدى الحسّاسين منهم. والسؤال الذي يتبادر إلى الذهن هنا هو: ما الذي يستدعي هذه السخرية من امرأة يهودية عجوز اختارت البقاء للعيش معنا رغم كل ضغوط الهجرة. هل كانت الكاتبة تفضّل لو أن ليزا اختارت كغيرها الذهاب مستعمرة إلى فلسطين كجزء من المشروع الصهيوني؟

الكنيس اليهودي في بيروت

هذا هو الكتاب الذي يضم 274 صفحة، وهو مثير إلى أبعد حدّ حين تتم قراءته في السياق التاريخي للصراع العربي- اليهودي، عندها ندرك دور المؤلّفة باختراق وعينا وحجْب تداعيات المشروع الصهيوني على أمتنا.

The View from Israel’s Occupation policies: hasbara (propaganda)

Rebecca Stein. Feb 19, 2018

Among the numerous ideological affinities and governing styles shared by Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a commitment to the rhetoric of ‘fake news.’

In the last year, Netanyahu has increasingly borrowed this Trump formulation in an attempt to quell dissent and undercut critical Israeli and international media scrutiny.

Netanyahu is not unique in this regard.

Over the course of the last year, authoritarian regimes across the globe – have adopted the fake news script to silence detractors and critics, frequently in response to the charge of human rights violations.

But while the global scale of this accusation may be unprecedented, charges of fake news have a long history and preceding the Trump era.

In Israel, the accusation of fraudulence, employed against political critics and foes, can be traced to the onset of the Zionist settler-national project.

As post-colonial studies show, the repudiation of indigenous claims (to history, land, humanity and so on) was a foundational logic of colonial projects, enabling the violence of colonialism in its various forms.

This formulation was also at work in the history of Zionism and has had a lasting hold on dominant Israeli ideology.

Over the course of the last two decades, amidst the ascendance of nationalist extremism in Israel, the fraudulence charge has grown ever stronger among the Jewish right-wing public as a popular means of indicting critics and undercutting Palestinian claims, particularly where Israel’s military occupation is concerned.

Mohammed al-Dura

Video footage of Israeli state violence against Palestinians has been a favorite target of this accusation – footage shot by international journalists and human rights workers, and increasingly as cameras have proliferated in the West Bank, by the cameras of Palestinians living under occupation.

It was in the language of fake news that Israelis famously responded to the killing of 12-year-old Mohammad al-Dura by the Israeli security services in 2000, in the early days of the second Intifada.[1]

His killing was filmed by French television and was replayed around the world in the aftermath of the event, becoming no less than a viral global icon of the Israeli military.

What ensued was an organized campaign by the Israeli right wing, and their international supporters, to debunk the images as fake.

Netanyahu convened an Israeli government committee of inquiry in 2012 to investigate the incident, (12 years later?) and the committee eventually endorsed the popular discourse of fakery, blaming manipulative editing for falsely producing the damning images.

The state committee did more than exonerate the Israeli security services in al-Dura’s death; indeed, they argued that he was Not actually dead.

Right-wing Israeli newspapers put it succinctly in their headlines: “Mohammed al-Dura: The Boy Who Wasn’t Really Killed.” 

Pleas by the al-Dura family to exhume the boy’s body were declined.

Despite the Israeli response to the al-Dura affair in 2000, it would take nearly two decades for this argument about Palestinian fakery to become commonplace where video evidence of Israeli state violence is concerned.

By 2014, amidst the ascendance of far-right politics in Israel, and the threatening spread of cameras among Palestinians living under occupation, the argument finally gained a mainstream foothold.

Footage from Bitunya

For example, the charge of fake news would predominate in Israel following the killing of 2 Palestinian youths in the West Bank town of Bitunya in 2014, fatally shot by the Israeli security services during an annual demonstration commemorating the Nakba (the transfer of 700,000 Palestinians in 1948).

The military denied responsibility, claiming that their forces had only used non-lethal rubber bullets that day, in compliance with regulations governing engagement in protest contexts.[2] 

But the scene had been filmed by numerous on-site cameras, including four security cameras, and those of CNN and a Palestinian photojournalist.

The Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem took on the case, believing that the unusually high volume of associated footage conclusively established military responsibility for the deaths.

Mainstream Israelis felt differently, and the volume of footage from Bitunya did little to persuade them of the military’s responsibility.

To the contrary, the videographic evidence fueled a widespread repudiation campaign.

State actors and institutions were among the first to join the fake news chorus, including the defense minister, the foreign minister and official military spokesmen.

All argued that “the film was edited and did not reflect the reality of the day in question.”

Their assertions were parroted by the national media, who insisted that the shootings were “staged and faked.”

That accusation was then picked up by right-wing Israelis and supporters internationally.

Some focused on the image of the falling body, arguing for its self-evident theatricality (Palestinian “Pallywood”, Hollywood-like industry in manufactured images of Palestinian victims).

Others claimed there was a lack of adequate blood in the footage, proof that the victim had not been killed.

Most proponents of the fraudulent charge did not dispute the deaths themselves, as they had in the al-Dura case, but focused on exonerating the IDF through a re-reading of the footage, arguing that the bullets had come from other sources.

The charge of fraudulence haunted the case as it wound its way through the Israeli legal system.

The Bitunya case established the fake news charge as a default Israeli script for responding to video-graphic evidence of state violence against Palestinians.

A few months hence, during another violent Israeli military incursion into the Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Netanyahu would famously rehearse a variant of this discourse when he accused people in Gaza of performing their deaths for the media: “They want to pile up as many civilian dead as they can. They use telegenically dead Palestinians for their cause.”

The language of “fake news” had moved from the margins of the conspiratorial blogosphere to become the language of state – presaging a dynamic that we would watch unfold in the US in the Trump era, a few years hence.

High Stakes

For Israelis who support the fake news accusation, the stakes are considerable – just as they are in Trump’s America for those who parrot this rhetoric.

In the Israeli context, these accusations aim to protect the image of Israel by stripping Palestinian victims and Israeli perpetrators from the videographic scene of the alleged crime.

And to do so in a way that removes all traces of repressive Israeli military rule and its histories.

The charges of fraudulence, forgery or Palestinian theatrics are an attempt to correct the record, to right the wrongs done by a libelous Palestinian public that is intent on Israel’s defamation by means of fictive image-making – or so many believe.

In this way, the discourse of fake news is just another tool in the Israeli struggle against the so-called existential threat.

[This article was originally published in Middle East Report (Issue 283).]

[1] Adi Kuntsman and I explore this in more detail here.

[2] For a more detailed discussion of this case, see Stein, “GoPro Occupation: Networked Cameras, Israeli Military Rule, and the Digital Promise,” Current Anthropology 58/S15 (February 2017).

Can you Guess from which town the Third Palestinian Intifada (mass civil disobedience) Will Start? This article was posted in 2013.

Note: the first Intifada took place in 1936 and lasted 3 years against the British mandated power for denying municipality elections to the Palestinians, on the basis that the Jew were a minority (about 20%). Britain dispatched 100,000 soldiers to quell this Intifada and trained Jews to fight. Only the start of WWII stopped the intifada

South of the village of Nabi Saleh, you can see the red roofs of Halamish, an Israeli settlement on the hilltop across the valley.

This settlement was founded in 1977 by members of the messianic nationalist group Gush Emunim, and growing steadily on land that once belonged to residents of Nabi Saleh and another Palestinian village.

Next to Halamish is an Israeli military base, and in the valley between Nabi Saleh and the settlement, across the highway and up a dirt path, a small freshwater spring, which Palestinians had long called Ein al-Kos, bubbles out of a low stone cliff.

In the summer of 2008,the youth of Halamish began building the first of a series of low pools that collect its waters. Later they added a bench and an trees for shade.

The land surrounding the spring has for generations belonged to the family of Bashir Tamimi, now 57 of age,

(Years after, the settlers retroactively applied for a building permit, which Israeli authorities refused to issue, ruling that “the applicants did not prove their rights to the relevant land.” Recently, several of the structures have been removed.)

When Palestinians came to tend to their crops in the fields beside it, the settlers threatened them and threw stones at them.

It took the people of Nabi Saleh more than a year to get themselves organized.

In December 2009 they held their first march, protesting not just the loss of the spring water, but also the entire complex system of control — of permits, checkpoints, walls, prisons — through which Israel maintains its hold on the region.

Nabi Saleh quickly became the most spirited of the dozen or so West Bank villages that hold weekly demonstrations against the Israeli occupation. Since the demonstrations began, more than 100 people in the village have been jailed.

Ben Ehrenreich wrote:

“On the evening of Feb. 10, the living room of Bassem Tamimi’s house in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh was filled with friends and relatives smoking and sipping coffee, waiting for Bassem to return from prison.

His oldest son, Waed, 16, was curled on the couch with his 6-year-old brother, Salam, playing video games on the iPhone that the prime minister of Turkey had given their sister, Ahed (this young girl that defied with fists the Israeli soldiers).

Ahed had been flown to Istanbul to receive an award after photos of her shaking her fist at an armed Israeli soldier and this resistance won her, at age 11, a brief but startling international celebrity.

Their 9 year-old brother Abu Yazan was in tears in the yard, wrestling with an Israeli activist friend of Bassem’s.

Nariman, the children’s mother, crouched in a side room, making the final preparations for her husband’s homecoming meal, laughing at the two photographers competing for shots from the narrow doorway as she spread onions onto oiled flat-breads. Slide Show

On the living-room wall was a “Free Bassem Tamimi” poster, left over from his last imprisonment for helping to organize the village’s weekly protests against the Israeli occupation, which he has done since 2009.

Bassem was gone for 13 months to prison that time, released for 5 months before he was arrested again in October.

A lot happened during this latest stint: another brief war in Gaza, a vote in the United Nations granting observer statehood to Palestine, the announcement of plans to build 3,400 homes for settlers, an election in Israel.

Protests were spreading around the West Bank.

That night, the call came at about 7:30. Twenty people squeezed into three small cars and headed to the village square. More neighbors and cousins arrived on foot.

(All of Nabi Saleh’s 550 residents are related by blood or marriage, and nearly all share the surname Tamimi.)

Then a dark Ford pulled slowly into the square, and everyone fell silent. 

Is This the town Where the Third Intifada Will Start?Peter van Agtmael/Magnum, for The New York Times. Protesters fleeing from tear gas launched by the Israel Defense Forces. In the background, the Israeli settlement of Halamish. More Photos »

Bassem, who is 45, stepped out of the car, straight-spined, his blue eyes glowing in the lamplight. He seemed a little thinner and grayer than the last time I saw him, in July.

He hugged and kissed his eldest son. Ahed was next, then one by one, in silence, Bassem embraced family and friends, Palestinian activists from Ramallah and Jerusalem, Israeli leftists from Tel Aviv.

When Bassem had greeted everyone, he walked to the cemetery and stopped in front of the still-unmarked grave of his brother-in-law Rushdie, who was shot by Israeli soldiers in November while Bassem was in prison.

He closed his eyes and said a quick prayer before moving on to the tomb of Mustafa Tamimi, who died after being hit in the face by a tear-gas canister in December 2011.

Back at home, Bassem looked dazed. Nariman broke down in his arms and rushed outside to hide her tears.

The village was still mourning Rushdie’s death, but the young men couldn’t keep up the solemnity for long. They started with little Hamoudi, the son of Bassem’s cousin, tossing him higher and higher in the air above the yard.

They set him down and took turns tossing one another up into the night sky, laughing and shouting as if they never had anything to grieve.

Nariman told me that by her count, as of February, clashes with the army have caused 432 injuries, more than half the injured were minors.

The momentum has been hard to maintain — the weeks go by, and nothing changes for the better — but still, despite the arrests, the injuries and the deaths, every Friday after the midday prayer, the villagers, joined at times by equal numbers of journalists and Israeli and foreign activists, try to march from the center of town to the spring, a distance of perhaps half a mile.

And every Friday, Israeli soldiers stop them with some combination of tear gas, rubber-coated bullets, water-cannon blasts of a noxious liquid known as “skunk” and occasionally live bullets.

Last summer, I spent three weeks in Nabi Saleh, staying in Bassem and Nariman’s home.

When I arrived in June, Bassem had just been released from prison.

In March 2011, Israeli soldiers raided the house to arrest him. Among lesser charges, he had been accused in a military court of “incitement,” organizing “unauthorized processions” and soliciting the village youth to throw stones.

(In 2010, 99.74 % of the Palestinians tried in military courts were convicted.)

The terms of Bassem’s release forbade him to take part in demonstrations, which are all effectively illegal under Israeli military law.

Thus, on the first Friday after I arrived, just after the midday call to prayer, he walked with me only as far as the square, where about 50 villagers had gathered in the shade of an old mulberry tree.

They were joined by a handful of Palestinian activists from Ramallah and East Jerusalem, mainly young women; perhaps a dozen college-age European and American activists; a half-dozen Israelis, also mainly women — young anarchists in black boots and jeans, variously pierced.

Together they headed down the road, clapping and chanting in Arabic and English. Bassem’s son Abu Yazan, licking a Popsicle, marched at the back of the crowd.

There were the journalists, scurrying up hillsides in search of better vantage points.

In the early days of the protests, the village teemed with reporters from across the globe, there to document the tiny village’s struggle against the occupation.

“Sometimes they come and sometimes they don’t,” Mohammad Tamimi, who is 24 and who coordinates the village’s social-media campaign, would tell me later.

Events in the Middle East — the revolution in Egypt and civil war in Syria — and the unchanging routine of the weekly marches have made it that much harder to hold the world’s attention.

That Friday there was just one Palestinian television crew and a few Israeli and European photographers, the regulars among them in steel helmets.

In the protests’ first year, to make sure that the demonstrations — and the fate of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation — didn’t remain hidden behind the walls and fences that surround the West Bank, Mohammad began posting news to a blog and later a Facebook page (now approaching 4,000 followers) under the name Tamimi Press.

Soon Tamimi Press morphed into a homegrown media teamBilal Tamimi shooting video and uploading protest highlights to his YouTube channel; Helme taking photographs; and Mohammad e-mailing news releases to 500-odd reporters and activists.

Manal, who is married to Bilal, supplements the effort with a steady outpouring of tweets (@screamingtamimi).

News of the protests moves swiftly around the globe, bouncing among blogs on the left and right.

Left-leaning papers like Britain’s Guardian and Israel’s Haaretz still cover major events in the village — deaths and funerals, Bassem’s arrests and releases — but a right-wing Israeli news site has for the last year begun to recycle the same headline week after week: “Arabs, Leftists Riot in Nabi Saleh.”

Meanwhile, a pilgrimage to Nabi Saleh has achieved a measure of cachet among young European activists, the way a stint with the Zapatistas did in Mexico in the 1990s.

For a time, Nariman regularly prepared a vegan feast for the exhausted outsiders who lingered after the protests. (Among the first things she asked me when I arrived was whether I was a vegan. Her face brightened when I said no.)

Whatever success they have had in the press, the people of Nabi Saleh are intensely conscious of everything they have not achieved.

The occupation persists. When I arrived in June, the demonstrators had not once made it to the spring. Usually they didn’t get much past the main road, where they would turn and find the soldiers waiting around the bend.

That week though, they decided to cut straight down the hillside toward the spring.

Bashir led the procession, waving a flag. As usual, Israeli Army jeeps were waiting below the spring. The four soldiers standing outside them looked confused — it seemed they hadn’t expected the protesters to make it so far.

The villagers marched past them to the spring, where they surprised three settlers eating lunch in the shade, still wet from a dip in one of the pools. One wore only soggy briefs and a rifle slung over his chest.

The kids raced past. The grown-ups filed in, chatting and smoking. More soldiers arrived in body armor, carrying rifles and grenade launchers.

Waed and Abu Yazan kicked a soccer ball until a boy spotted a bright orange carp in one of the pools and Abu Yazan and others tried to catch it with their bare hands, splashing until the water went cloudy and the carp disappeared.

Four settlers appeared on the ledge above the spring, young men in sunglasses and jeans, one of them carrying an automatic rifle. Beside me, a sturdy, bald officer from the Israel Defense Forces argued with an Israeli protester. “I let you come,” the officer insisted. “Now you have to go.”

The children piled onto the swing the settlers had built and swung furiously, singing. A young settler argued with the I.D.F. officer, insisting that he clear the protesters away.

“What difference does 10 minutes make?” the officer said.

Every 10 seconds makes a difference,” the settler answered.

But before their 10 minutes were up, one hour after they arrived, the villagers gathered the children and left as they had come, clapping and chanting, their defiance buoyed by joy. For the first time in two and a half years, they had made it to the spring.

They headed back along the highway, which meant they would have to pass the road leading to Halamish.

Ahed, her blond hair in a long braid, clutched a cousin at the front of the procession. As they approached the road, a border-police officer tossed a stun grenade — a device that makes a loud bang and a flash but theoretically, at least, causes no bodily harm — at Ahed’s feet, and then another, and another.

Within a few seconds, the marchers were racing up the hill back toward their village, tear-gas grenades streaking through the sky above their heads.

On warm summer evenings, life in Nabi Saleh could feel almost idyllic. Everyone knows everyone. Children run in laughing swarms from house to house.

One night, Bassem and Nariman sat outside sharing a water pipe as Nariman read a translated Dan Brown novel and little Salam pranced gleefully about, announcing, “I am Salam, and life is beautiful!”

Bassem is employed by the Palestinian Authority’s Interior Ministry in a department charged with approving entrance visas for Palestinians living abroad. In practice, he said, P.A. officials “have no authority” — the real decisions are made in Israel and passed to the P.A. for rubber-stamping.

Among other things, this meant that Bassem rarely had to report to his office in Ramallah, leaving his days free to care for his ailing mother — she died several weeks after I left the village last summer — and strategizing on the phone, meeting international visitors and talking to me over many cups of strong, unsweetened coffee. We would talk in the living room, over the hum of an Al Jazeera newscast.

A framed image of Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa Mosque hung above the television (more out of nationalist pride than piety: Bassem’s outlook was thoroughly secular).

Though many people in Nabi Saleh have been jailed, only Bassem was declared a “prisoner of conscience” by Amnesty International. Foreign diplomats attended his court hearings in 2011. Bassem’s charisma surely has something to do with the attention. A strange, radiant calm seemed to hover around him. He rarely smiled, and tended to drop weighty pronouncements (“Our destiny is to resist”) in ordinary speech, but I saw his reserve crumble whenever one of his children climbed into his lap.

When Israeli forces occupied the West Bank in 1967, Bassem was 10 weeks old. His mother hid with him in a cave until the fighting ended. He remembers playing in the abandoned British police outpost that is now the center of the I.D.F. base next to Halamish, and accompanying the older kids who took their sheep to pasture on the hilltop where the settlement now stands. His mother went to the spring for water every day. The settlers arrived when Bassem was 9.

Halamish is now fully established and cozier than most gated communities in the United States. Behind the razor wire and chain-link perimeter fence, past the gate and the armed guard, there are playgrounds, a covered pool, a community center and amphitheater, a clinic, a library, a school and several synagogues. The roads are well paved and lined with flowers, the yards lush with lemon trees. Halamish now functions as a commuter suburb; many of the residents work in white-collar jobs in Tel Aviv or Modi’in. The settlement’s population has grown to more than double that of Nabi Saleh.

I first met Shifra Blass, the spokeswoman for Halamish, in 2010. She talked about how empty the West Bank — she used the biblical name, Judea and Samaria — was when she and her husband emigrated from the U.S. in the early 1970s, intent on establishing a Jewish presence in a land they believed had been promised to them. Relations with the surrounding villages, she told me, had remained cordial, friendly even, until the first intifada. (When I asked people in Nabi Saleh about this, no one remembered it that way.) During the second intifada, three residents of the settlement, Blass said, were killed by gunfire on nearby roads. They weren’t near the village, but attitudes hardened.

When I visited Shifra again last month, she was not eager to talk to me about the conflict over the spring and the lands surrounding it. “We want to live our lives and not spend time on it,” Blass said. She dismissed the weekly demonstrations as the creation of “outside agitators who come here and stir the pot — internationalists, anarchists, whatever.” It was all a show, she said, theater for a gullible news media. “I’ll tell you something: it’s unpleasant.”

On Fridays, Shifra said, the wind sometimes carries the tear gas across the valley into the settlement. “We have some grown children who say they cannot come home from university for Shabbat because of the tear gas. They call and say, ‘Tell me how bad it is, because if it’s really bad, I’m not coming.’ ”

When the first intifada broke out in late 1987, Nabi Saleh was, as it is now, a flash point. The road that passes between the village and the settlement connects the central West Bank to Tel Aviv: a simple barricade could halt the flow of Palestinian laborers into Israel.

Bassem was one of the main Fatah youth activists for the region, organizing the strikes, boycotts and demonstrations that characterized that uprising. (Nabi Saleh is solidly loyal to Fatah, the secular nationalist party that rules the West Bank; Hamas, the militant Islamist movement that governs Gaza, has its supporters elsewhere in the West Bank but has never had a foothold in the village.)

Bassem would be jailed 7 times during the intifada and, he says, was never charged with a crime. Before his most recent arrest, I asked him how much time he had spent in prison. He added up the months: “Around four years.”

After one arrest in 1993, Bassem told me, an Israeli interrogator shook him with such force that he fell into a coma for eight days. He has a nickel-size scar on his temple from emergency brain surgery during that time. His sister died while he was in prison. She was struck by a soldier and fell down a flight of courthouse stairs, according to her son Mahmoud, who was with her to attend the trial of his brother. (The I.D.F. did not comment on this allegation.)

Bassem nonetheless speaks of those years, as many Palestinians his age do, with something like nostalgia. The first intifada broke out spontaneously — it started in Gaza with a car accident, when an Israeli tank transporter killed four Palestinian laborers. The uprising was, initially, an experience of solidarity on a national scale. Its primary weapons were the sort that transform weakness into strength: the stone, the barricade, the boycott, the strike.

The Israeli response to the revolt — in 1988, Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin reportedly authorized soldiers to break the limbs of unarmed demonstrators — began tilting international public opinion toward the Palestinian cause for the first time in decades. By the uprising’s third year, however, power had shifted to the P.L.O. hierarchy. The first Bush Sr. administration pushed Israel to negotiate, leading eventually to the 1993 Oslo Accord, which created the Palestinian Authority as an interim body pending a “final status” agreement.

But little was resolved in Oslo.

A second intifada erupted in 2000, at first mostly following the model set by the earlier uprising. Palestinians blocked roads and threw stones. The I.D.F. took over a house in Nabi Saleh. Children tossed snakes, scorpions and what Bassem euphemistically called “wastewater” through the windows. The soldiers withdrew. Then came the heavy wave of suicide bombings, which Bassem termed “the big mistake.”

An overwhelming majority of Israeli casualties during the uprising occurred in about 100 suicide attacks, most against civilians. A bombing at one Tel Aviv disco in 2001 killed 21 teenagers. “Politically, we went backward,” Bassem said.

Much of the international good will gained over the previous decade was squandered. Taking up arms wasn’t, for Bassem, a moral error so much as a strategic one. He and everyone else I spoke with in the village insisted they had the right to armed resistance; they just don’t think it works. Bassem could reel off a list of Nabi Saleh’s accomplishments. Of some — Nabi Saleh had more advanced degrees than any village — he was simply proud. Others — one of the first military actions after Oslo, the first woman to participate in a suicide attack — involved more complicated emotions.

In 1993, Bassem told me, his cousin Said Tamimi killed a settler near Ramallah. Eight years later, another villager, Ahlam Tamimi escorted a bomber to a Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem. Fifteen people were killed, eight of them minors. Ahlam, who now lives in exile in Jordan, and Said, who is in prison in Israel, remain much-loved in Nabi Saleh.

Though everyone I spoke with in the village appeared keenly aware of the corrosive effects of violence — “This will kill the children,” Manal said, “to think about hatred and revenge” — they resented being asked to forswear bloodshed when it was so routinely visited upon them.  Manal told me, “lost his father, uncle, aunt, sister — they were all killed. How can you blame Said?

The losses of the second intifada were enormous. Nearly 5,000 Palestinians and more than 1,000 Israelis died. Israeli assassination campaigns and the I.D.F.’s siege of West Bank cities left the Palestinian leadership decimated and discouraged.

By the end of 2005, Yasir Arafat was dead (assassinated by Israeli poison), Israel had pulled its troops and settlers out of Gaza and the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, had reached a truce with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. The uprising sputtered out. The economy was ruined, Gaza and the West Bank were more isolated from each other than ever, and Palestinians were divided, defeated and exhausted.

But in 2003, while the intifada was still raging, Bassem and others from Nabi Saleh began attending demonstrations in Budrus, 20 minutes away. Budrus was in danger of being cut off from the rest of the West Bank by Israel’s planned separation barrier, the concrete and chain-link divide that snakes along the border and in many places juts deeply into Palestinian territory. Residents began demonstrating. Foreign and Israeli activists joined the protests. Fatah and Hamas loyalists marched side by side.

The Israeli Army responded aggressively: at times with tear gas, beatings and arrests; at times with live ammunition. Palestinians elsewhere were fighting with Kalashnikovs, but the people of Budrus decided, said Ayed Morrar, an old friend of Bassem’s who organized the movement there, that unarmed resistance “would stress the occupation more.”

The strategy appeared to work.

After 55 demonstrations, the Israeli government agreed to shift the route of the barrier to the so-called 1967 green line. The tactic spread to other villages: Biddu, Ni’lin, Al Ma’asara and in 2009, Nabi Saleh. Together they formed what is known as the “popular resistance,” a loosely coordinated effort that has maintained what has arguably been the only form of active and organized resistance to the Israeli presence in the West Bank since the end of the second intifada in 2005. Nabi Saleh, Bassem hoped, could model a form of resistance for the rest of the West Bank.

The goal was to demonstrate that it was still possible to struggle and to do so without taking up arms, so that when the spark came, if it came, resistance might spread as it had during the first intifada. Bassem said: “If there is a third intifada,we want to be the ones who started it.

Bassem saw three options:

1.  “To be silent is to accept the situation, and we don’t accept the situation.”

2. Fighting with guns and bombs could only bring catastrophe. Israel was vastly more powerful,

3.  “But by popular resistance, we can push Israel power aside.”

As small as the demonstrations were, they appeared to create considerable anxiety in Israel. Paul Hirschson, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told me that while the West Bank demonstrations do not pose an “existential threat” to Israel, they “certainly could be more problematic in the short term” than a conventional armed revolt.

Eytan Buchman, a spokesman for the I.D.F., took issue with the idea that the weekly protests were a form of nonviolent resistance.

In an e-mail Eytan described the protests as “violent and illegal rioting that take place around Judea and Samaria, and where large rocks, Molotov cocktails, improvised grenades and burning tires are used against security forces. Dubbing these simply demonstrations is an understatement — more than 200 security-force personnel have been injured in recent years at these riots.” (Molotov cocktails are sometimes thrown at protests at the checkpoints of Beitunia and Kalandia but never, Bassem said, in Nabi Saleh.)

Buchman said that the I.D.F. “employs an array of tactics as part of an overall strategy intended to curb these riots and the ensuing acts of violence. Every attempt is made to minimize physical friction and risk of casualties” among both the I.D.F. and the “rioters.”

One senior military commander, who would agree to be interviewed only on the condition that his name not be used, told me: “When the second intifada broke out, it was very difficult, but it was very easy to understand what we had to do. You have the enemy, he shoots at you, you have to kill him.” Facing down demonstrators armed with slings and stones or with nothing at all is less clear-cut. “As an Israeli citizen,I prefer stones. As a professional military officer, I prefer to meet tanks and troops.”

But armies, by their nature, have one default response to opposition: force. One soldier who served in Nabi Saleh testified to the Israeli veterans’ group Breaking the Silence about preparing for Friday protests. “It’s like some kind of game. Everyone wants to arm themselves with as much ammo as possible. . . . You have lots of stun grenades . . . so they’re thrown for the sake of throwing, at people who are not suspected of anything. And in the end, you tell your friend at the Friday-night dinner table: ‘Wow! I fired this much.’ ”

According to a leaked 2010 U.S. State Department memo, Maj. Gen. Avi Mizrahi of Israel “expressed frustration” with the West Bank protests to American diplomats, and “warned that the I.D.F. will start to be more assertive in how it deals with these demonstrations, even demonstrations that appear peaceful.” The memo concluded that “less-violent demonstrations are likely to stymie the I.D.F.,” citing the Israeli Defense Ministry policy chief Amos Gilad’s admission to U.S. officials, “We don’t do Gandhi very well.”

Sagi Tal, a former I.D.F. soldier, who was stationed near the villages of Bil’in and Ni’lin, which also held weekly demonstrations, explained to me that his unit sometimes conducted night raids to gather intelligence or make arrests and sometimes simply so “that they should feel that we are here and we are watching them.”

After dinner one Sunday, Nariman put on a DVD shot both by her and Bilal, the village videographer. (“From the beginning,” Bilal told me at the march on the previous Friday, filming calmly as tear-gas grenades landed all around us, “we decided that the media is the most important thing in the popular resistance.”)

We watched a clip shot in the house in which we sat: soldiers banged on the door late at night and rifled through the boys’ room as Salam and Abu Yazan cowered beneath the covers and Nariman yelled in Arabic: “What manliness this is! What a proud army you’re part of!” The soldiers confiscated a gas mask, two computers, Waed’s camera and two of his schoolbooks — geography and Palestinian history. (In an e-mail, an I.D.F. spokesman described such night raids as “pre-emptive measures, taken in order to assure the security and stability in the area.”)

We watched footage of Nariman being arrested with Bilal’s wife, Manal, early in 2010. Soldiers had fired tear gas into Manal’s house, Nariman explained. Manal ran in to fetch her children, and when she came out, a soldier ordered her back in. She refused, so they arrested her. Nariman tried to intervene, and they arrested her too. They spent 10 days in prisons where they were beaten repeatedly, strip-searched and held for two days without food before each was dumped at the side of a road. (The I.D.F.’s Buchman said, “No exceptional incidents were recorded during these arrests.” He added that no complaints were filed with military authorities.)

We watched a clip of crying children being passed from a gas-filled room out a second-story window, down a human ladder to the street. Early on, the villagers took all the children to one house during demonstrations, but when the soldiers began firing gas grenades into homes, the villagers decided it was safer to let them join the protests. We watched footage of a soldier dragging a 9-year-old boy in the street, of another soldier striking Manal’s 70-year-old mother. Finally, Nariman shook her head and turned off the disc player. “Glee” was on.

One Friday, shortly after the marchers had barricaded the road with boulders and burning tires in order to keep the army out of the village center, a white truck sped around the bend, a jet of liquid arcing from the water cannon mounted on its cab. Someone yelled, “Skunk!” and everyone bolted. Skunk water smells like many things, but mainly it smells like feces. Nariman wasn’t fast enough. A blast of skunk knocked her off her feet. Moments later, she was standing defiantly, letting the cannon soak her and waving a Palestinian flag at the truck’s grated windshield. An hour or so later, smelling of skunk and shampoo, she was serving tea to a dozen protesters.

Every Friday was a little different. Some demonstrations were short and others almost endless. Some were comic, others not at all. Some days the I.D.F. entered the village, and others they stuck to the hills. Sometimes they made arrests. The basic structure, though, varied little week to week: a few minutes of marching, tear gas fired, then hours of the village youth — the shebab — throwing stones while dodging tear-gas canisters and rubber-coated bullets until the sun set and everyone went home. Or failed to make it home.

It was strange, asymmetric combat: a few dozen masked shebab ranging in age from 8 to 38, armed with slings and stones, against 20 or more soldiers in armored vehicles and on foot, dressed in helmets and body armor, toting radios and automatic weapons. The shebab put a great deal of thought into tactics, trying to flank and surprise the soldiers. But even when their plans were perfectly executed, they could not do much more than irritate their enemies. The soldiers, though, would inevitably respond with more sophisticated weaponry, which would motivate the shebab to gather more stones Friday after Friday despite — and because of — the fact that nothing ever seemed to change, for the better at least.

I asked one of the boys why he threw stones, knowing how futile it was. “I want to help my country and my village, and I can’t. I can just throw stones.”

We see our stones as our message,” Bassem explained. The message they carried, he said, was “We don’t accept you.”

While Bassem spoke admiringly of Mahatma Gandhi, he didn’t worry over whether stone-throwing counted as violence. The question annoyed him: Israel uses far greater and more lethal force on a regular basis, he pointed out, without being asked to clarify its attitude toward violence. If the loincloth functioned as the sign of Gandhi’s resistance, of India’s nakedness in front of British colonial might, Bassem said, “Our sign is the stone.”

The weekly clashes with the I.D.F. were hence in part symbolic. The stones were not just flinty yellow rocks, but symbols of defiance, of a refusal to submit to occupation, regardless of the odds. The army’s weapons bore messages of their own: of economic and technological power, of international support. More than one resident of Nabi Saleh reminded me that the tear gas used there is made by a company based in Pennsylvania.

One afternoon, I visited the family of Mustafa Tamimi, who was 28 when he died in December 2011 after being shot at close range with a tear-gas canister from the back of an Israeli Army jeep. (An I.D.F. investigation concluded, according to Buchman, that when the soldier fired the canister “his field of vision was obscured.”) The walls were covered with framed photos: an action shot of Mustafa in profile, his face behind a red Spider-Man mask as he slung a stone at soldiers outside the frame.

In the weeks before her son’s death, Ekhlas Tamimi, his mother, told me that soldiers had twice come to the house looking for him. When she got a call that Friday asking her to bring Mustafa’s ID to the watchtower, she thought he’d been arrested, “like all the other times.” Beside me, Bahaa, a tall young man who was Mustafa’s best friend, scrolled through photos on a laptop, switching back and forth between a shot of Mustafa falling to the ground a few feet behind an I.D.F. jeep, and another, taken moments later, of his crushed and bloody face.

Ekhlas told me about a dream she’d had. Mustafa was standing on the roof, wearing his red mask. There were soldiers in the distance. She called to him: “Mustafa, come down! Everyone thinks you are dead — it’s better that they don’t see you.”

He turned to her, she said, and told her: “No. I’m standing here so that the Israeli soldiers will see me.”

“This is the worst time for us,” Bassem confided to me last summer. He meant not just that the villagers have less to show for their sacrifices each week, but that things felt grim outside the village too. Everyone I spoke with who was old enough to remember agreed that conditions for Palestinians are far worse now than they were before the first intifada.

The checkpoints, the raids, the permit system, add up to more daily humiliation than Palestinians have ever faced. The number of Israeli settlers living in the West Bank has more than tripled since the Oslo Accords. Assaults on Palestinians by settlers are so common that they rarely made the news. The resistance, though, remained limited to a few scattered villages like Nabi Saleh and a small urban youth movement.

I sat down one afternoon in Ramallah with Samir Shehadeh, a former literature professor from Nabi Saleh who was one of the intellectual architects of the first intifada and whom I met several times at Bassem’s house. I reminded him of the car accident that ignited the first uprising and asked what kind of spark it would take to mobilize Palestinians to fight again. “The situation this time is 1,000 times worse. There are thousands of possible sparks,” and still nothing has happened.

In the 1980s, youth organizers like Bassem focused on volunteer work: helping farmers in the fields, educating their children. They built trust and established the social networks that would later allow the resistance to coordinate its actions without waiting for orders from above. Those networks no longer exist. Instead there’s the Palestinian Authority. Immediately after the first Oslo Accord in 1993, the scholar Edward Said predicted that “the P.L.O. will . . . become Israel’s enforcer.”

Oslo gave birth to a phantom state, an extensive but largely impotent administrative apparatus, with Israel remaining in effective control of the Palestine Authority’s finances, its borders, its water resources — of every major and many minor aspects of Palestinian life. More gallingly to many, Oslo, in Said’s words, gave “official Palestinian consent to continued occupation,” creating a local elite whose privilege depends on the perpetuation of the status quo.

That Palestinian  elite lives comfortably within the so-called “Ramallah bubble”: the bright and relatively carefree world of cafes, NGO salaries and imported goods that characterize life in the West Bank’s provisional capital. During the day, the clothing shops and fast-food franchises are filled. New high-rises are going up everywhere. “I didn’t lose my sister and my cousin and part of my life,” Bassem said, “for the sons of the ministers” to drive expensive cars.

Worse than any corruption, though, was the apparent normalcy. Settlements are visible on the neighboring hilltops, but there are no checkpoints inside Ramallah. The I.D.F. only occasionally enters the city, and usually only at night. Few Palestinians still work inside Israel, and not many can scrape a living from the fields.

For the thousands of waiters, clerks, engineers, warehouse workers, mechanics and bureaucrats eeking a living in Ramallah who spend their days in the city and return to their villages every evening, Ramallah — which has a full-time population of less than 100,000 — holds out the possibility of forgetting the occupation and pursuing a career, saving up for a car, sending the children to college.

But the checkpoints, the settlements and the soldiers are waiting just outside Ramallah, and the illusion of normalcy made Nabi Saleh’s task more difficult.

If Palestinians believed they could live better by playing along, who would bother to fight? When Bassem was jailed in decades past, he said, prisoners were impatient to get out and resume their struggles. This time, he ran into old friends who couldn’t understand why he was still fighting instead of making money off the spoils of the occupation. “They said to me: ‘You’re smart — why are you doing this? Don’t you learn? Don’t you want to make money..’ ”

At times the Palestinian Authority acts as a more immediate obstacle to resistance. Shortly after the protests began in Nabi Saleh, Bassem was contacted by P.A. security officials. The demonstrations were O.K., he said they told him, as long as they didn’t cross into areas in which the P.A. has jurisdiction — as long, that is, as they did not force the P.A. to take a side, to either directly challenge the Israelis or repress their own people. (A spokesman for the Palestinian security forces, Gen. Adnan Damiri, denied this and said that the Palestinian Authority fully supports all peaceful demonstrations.)

In Hebron, P.A. forces have stopped protesters from marching into the Israeli-controlled sector of the city. “This isn’t collaboration,” an I.D.F. spokesman, who would only talk to me on the condition that he not be named, assured me.“Israel has a set of interests, the P.A. has a set of interests and those interests happen to overlap.”

Bassem saw no easy way to break the torpor and ignite a more widespread popular resistance. “The P.A  have the power, more than the Israelis, to stop us.” The Palestinian Authority employs 160,000 Palestinians, which means it controls the livelihoods of about a quarter of West Bank households. One night I asked Bassem and Bilal, who works for the Ministry of Public Health, how many people in Nabi Saleh depend on P.A. salaries. It took them a few minutes to add up the names. “Let’s say two-thirds of the village,” Bilal concluded.

Last summer, my final Friday in Nabi Saleh was supposed to be a short day. One of the shebab was getting engaged to a girl from a neighboring village, and everyone planned to attend the betrothal ceremony. The demonstration would end at 3.

Four armored cars waited at the bend in the road, the skunk truck idling behind them. Manal pointed to the civilian policemen accompanying the soldiers. “There is a new policy that they can arrest internationals,” she explained. Earlier that month, as part of the effort to combat what Israelis call the “internationalization” of the conflict, the defense forces issued an order authorizing Israeli immigration police to arrest foreigners in the West Bank.

About half the marchers headed down the hillside. Soldiers waiting below arrested four Israelis and detained Bashir, the owner of the land around the spring. Everyone cheered as Mohammad raced uphill, outrunning the soldiers. (Three months later they would catch up to him in a night raid on his father’s house. He was imprisoned until late December.)

I saw Nariman standing in the road with a Scottish woman. I walked over. Two soldiers grabbed the Scottish protester. Two more took me by the arms, pulled me to a jeep and shoved me in. I showed my press card to the driver. His expression didn’t change. Two frightened young women, both British, were already locked inside.

After almost an hour, the soldiers brought a Swede and an Italian who had been hiding in the convenience-store bathroom. More soldiers piled in. I showed one my press card and asked if he understood that I was a journalist. He nodded. Finally, the driver pulled onto the road. As we passed the gas station, the shebab ran after us.

“They were so beautiful a few minutes ago, right?” the soldier beside me said as the shebab’s stones clanged against the jeep. “They were so cute.”

They drove us to the old British police station in the I.D.F. base in Halamish. While I was sitting on a bench, an I.D.F. spokesman called my cellphone to inform me that no journalists with press cards had been detained in Nabi Saleh. I disagreed. (The next day, according to Agence France-Presse, the I.D.F. denied I had been arrested.) A half-hour later, an officer escorted me to the gate.

As I walked back to Nabi Saleh, the road was empty, but the air was still peppery with tear gas. I made it back in time for the engagement party and flew home the next day. The five activists detained with me were deported. Two nights after I left, soldiers raided Bassem’s house. The following week, they raided the village five days in a row.

This past October, the popular resistance movement began to shift tactics, trying to break the routine of weekly demonstrations. They blocked a settler road west of Ramallah, and the following week staged a protest inside an Israeli-owned supermarket in the settlement industrial zone of Shaar Binyamin. Bassem was arrested outside the market — soldiers grabbed at Nariman and dragged Bassem off when he stepped forward to put his arms around her.

Less than two weeks later, Waed was arrested at a Friday demonstration. Soldiers beat Waed “with their fists and their rifles.” When he appeared in court, Waed was still bruised. The judge threw out the charges. But while he was detained, he was in the same prison as his father and saw him briefly there. “When I said goodbye to him,” Waed told me with obvious pride, “he had tears in his eyes. I was stronger than him.”

On the day of Waed’s arrest, a camera caught Ahed shaking her fist, demanding that soldiers tell her where they were taking her brother. The Internet took over: video of the tiny, bare-armed blond girl facing down a soldier went viral. She and Nariman were invited to Istanbul, where, to their surprise, Nariman said, they were greeted at the airport by dozens of children wearing T-shirts printed with Ahed’s photo. They drove past billboards displaying Ahed’s image. Reporters followed them everywhere. Crowds gathered when they walked in the streets. They were taken to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the southeastern city of Urfa, Nariman said, and flew back with him to Istanbul on his plane.

Not everyone reacted so enthusiastically. One right-wing blogger dubbed Ahed “Shirley Temper.” The Israeli news site Ynet took the images as evidence that “Palestinian protesters use children to needle I.D.F. soldiers in the hope of provoking a violent response.”

In mid-November, Israeli rockets began falling on Gaza. Protests spread throughout the West Bank. “We thought it was the start of the third intifada,” Manal told me. The demonstrations in Nabi Saleh stretched beyond their usual Friday-evening terminus. One Saturday in November, Nariman’s brother Rushdie — who worked as a policeman near Ramallah and was rarely home on Fridays — joined the shebab on the hill. He was standing beside Waed when he was hit by a rubber-coated bullet.

Then the soldiers began shooting live ammunition, but Rushdie was hurt and couldn’t run. As he lay on the ground, a soldier shot him in the back from a few meters away. Nariman ran to the hillside with her video camera and found her brother lying wounded. “I wanted to attack the soldier and die with Rushdie right there, but I knew I had to be stronger than that,” Nariman said. “Why is it required of me to be more humane than they are?” Rushdie, who was 31, died two days later. An I.D.F. investigation found that soldiers fired 80 shots of live ammunition and neglected to “control the fire.” The unit’s commander was reportedly relieved of his command.

When the fighting stopped in Gaza, the protests in the West Bank ceased. I went back to Nabi Saleh in January, three weeks before Bassem was expected home. The village seemed listless and depressed, as if everyone were convinced of the futility of continuing. On my first Friday back, the demonstration ended early: the shebab had a soccer match in another village. It rained the next week, and everyone went home after an hour. “We are still living the shock of Rushdie’s killing,” Mohammad told me.

Elsewhere in the West Bank, though, momentum was building. In late November, Netanyahu announced plans to build 3,400 settlement units in an area known as E1, effectively cutting off Jerusalem from the West Bank. Just before I arrived in January, popular-resistance activists tried something new, erecting a tent “village” called Bab al-Shams in E1, symbolically appropriating the methods of land confiscation employed by settlers. “The time has come now to change the rules of the game,” the organizers wrote in a news release, “for us to establish facts on the ground — our own land.”

The numbers were relatively small — about 250 people took part, including Nariman and a few others from Nabi Saleh — and, on direct orders from Netanyahu, soldiers evicted everyone two days later, but the movement was once again making headlines around the globe. Copycat encampments went up all over the West Bank — some in areas where the popular resistance had not previously been active.

The day after his release, Bassem told me that even sitting in prison he had felt “a sense of joy” when he learned about Bab al-Shams. The popular resistance was finally spreading beyond the village demonstrations. “We have to create a sense of renewal,” he said, “not only in Nabi Saleh but on a larger scale.” The village’s losses — and his own — he acknowledged, were daunting. “The price is now higher,but if we don’t continue, it would mean that the occupation has succeeded.” It would take constant creativity, he said, to hold onto the momentum. He didn’t know what it would look like yet, but just talking about it seemed to add inches to his height.

Within days, thousands of Palestinians would protest around the West Bank, first in solidarity with prisoners on hunger strikes to demand an end to the indefinite detention of Palestinians without trial, later in outrage at the death of a 30-year-old prisoner named Arafat Jaradat. Once again, the words “third intifada” were buzzing through the press. Avi Dichter, the head of Israeli domestic security during the second intifada and the current minister of Home Front Defense, cautioned in a radio interview that an “incorrect response by the security forces” might push the protests into full-out revolt.

When I saw Bassem in February, I asked him whether he was worried that the uprising might finally arrive at Nabi Saleh’s moment of greatest self-doubt, that it might catch the village drowsing. “It doesn’t matter who is resisting,” he said. “What’s important is that they are resisting.”

On the last Friday I was there, the wind was against the demonstrators. Nearly every grenade the soldiers fired, regardless of how far away it landed, blew a cloud of gas up the road right at them. A dozen or so villagers watched the clashes from the relative safety of the hillside. Bassem’s cousin Naji was sitting on a couch cushion. Mahmoud, Bassem’s nephew, poured coffee into clear plastic cups. Bright red poppies dotted the hill between the rocks. The way was clear, but no one tried to walk down to the spring.

When the demonstration seemed over, I trekked back to the village with a young Israeli in a black “Anarchy Is for Lovers” T-shirt. He told me about his childhood on a kibbutz bordering the Gaza Strip. His parents were “right-wing Zionists,” he said, “hard-core.” They didn’t talk to him anymore. A group of soldiers appeared behind us, and we ducked into Nariman’s yard as they tossed a few stun grenades over the wall.

Later that evening, at Naji’s house, I watched Bilal’s video of the same soldiers as they strolled down the drive, lobbing tear-gas grenades until they reached their jeeps. They piled in and closed the armored doors. One door opened a crack. A hand emerged. It tossed one last grenade toward the camera. Gas streamed out, the door closed and the jeep sped off down the road.

Ben Ehrenreich won a 2011 National Magazine Award in feature writing. His most recent novel is “Ether,” published by City Lights Books. Editor: Ilena SilvermanAdvertisem

World Zionist Congress is meeting.

You might have the impression that ‘world Zionism’ is an antisemitic organization.

Or you have succumbed to the conspiracy theory…

While the World Zionist Congress is in session, with 720 delegates from over 30 countries.

by Alison Weir October 23, 2020

Menifee, CA (IAK) — I’m sometimes astounded at the fact that a major political movement over a century old is so little known among Americans – especially since it has had a momentous impact on the world in general and on the U.S. in particular, causing multiple wars, vast population displacement, and global instability.

In my travels around the US, I’ve found that most Americans know extremely little about Zionism.

I would guess that the vast majority of Americans could not define the term (that was certainly my situation for most of my life), and that a great many may Not have even heard of it.

And among those who have heard the term, many may think it refers to some antisemitic conspiracy theory.

The fact is that Zionism – according to the dictionary, “a worldwide Jewish movement that resulted in the establishment and development of the state of Israel and that now supports the state of Israel as a Jewish homeland” – is both very real and extremely significant.

Zionism succeeded in establishing the state of Israel in 1948 after decades of open and frequent covert efforts.

It promoted a successful, and extremely false, slogan – “a land without a people for a people without a land” – and succeeded in perpetrating one of the major hoaxes of the 20th century, in which victims (indigenous Palestinians) were designated aggressors while the aggressors (Zionist colonists) were portrayed as victims.

This hoax was documented by diverse authors, and perpetrated through the silencing of others.

And today this movement contains numerous powerful international entities (see the list below), while remaining largely invisible to millions of citizens of the country that gives Israel massive amounts of money, shields Israel apartheid system internationally, and has fought at many pre-emptive wars on Israel’s behalf of Israel, in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Somalia and Yemen. (The rationale is to secure the existence of the State of Israel and its dominance on the region)

The dictionary definition captures only the simplest meaning of the word, but not its deep impact: how Israel was established and what supporting Israel today enables.

As numerous historians have documented, Israel was established through a war of ethnic cleansing, in the words of a major Israeli historian, in which approximately 750,000 men, women, and children were violently expelled. Hundreds of villages were destroyed and much of the indigenous population was displaced, their ancestral homes and land confiscated and the former owners made into penniless refugees.

Today, in its pursuit of the Jewish identity mentioned in the definition, Israel continues to confiscate Palestinian land, discriminates against the remnants of the non-Jewish population that remain in the area, and holds the four and a half million people in the remaining portion of their land (the West Bank and Gaza), in two virtual prisons, their ability to leave and to return to their homes controlled by Israel.

Palestinian villages are invaded daily, people terrorized and abducted, homes and crops are regularly destroyed, youth administratively detained to “security reasons.”.

For over a year there was a weekly mass demonstration during which Israeli forces shot with live bullets unarmed demonstrators every week. More than a thousand Palestinians were handicapped from the snipers children, women, nurses, journalists…(To see these actions go here.)

Zionist movement in the US – a century of activism

As I describe in my book, the Zionist movement in the U.S. began in the late 1800s and played a significant role in the events that led to the establishment of Israel.

Today the pro-Israel lobby is probably the most powerful and pervasive special interest group in the U.S. Its members have diverse views and sometimes sharply disagree with one another on aspects of the issue, but all share one goal: support for Israel.

Israel partisans have become extremely influential in both political parties and have obtained numerous US policies of support for Israel.

Most recently, they are promoting bills to expend $19 million per day on behalf of Israel.

Altogether, 90 bills for Israel have been introduced in the current Congress alone.

In addition, there is also considerable evidence that Israel partisans were central in pushing the US into invading Iraq, and that many are similarly active in demonizing Iran. (See thisthisthis, and this.)

Conspiracy theory?

Since little of the above is known by the general American public (U.S. media rarely report any of this), some Americans are under the impression that even suggesting there is a “world zionist movement” is an antisemitic conspiracy theory.

(In fact, even discussing the Israel lobby in the U.S. can be dangerous to reputations and careers.

For example, respected professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt were attacked as “antisemitic” for their scholarly work in detailing the power of the Israel lobby.)

Fact is that the World Zionist Organization has been in existence since the late 1800s, and this is just one of a number of international organizations that work on behalf of Israel.

All of these are very public – if one knows where to look.

Currently, the World Zionist Organization is holding its 38th Congress in an online format from Israel. The Congress is convened every five years.

World Zionist Organization

While US mainstream media have largely failed to even mention this organization and event, it has been big news in the Israeli and Jewish-American press, with numerous stories leading up to the event.

Below is an image from an article in the Jewish News of Northern California entitled “Your vote in Israel: Here are the Bay Area Jews running for the World Zionist Congress.”2017 World Zionist Organization

Image featured on March 3, 2020 in the Jewish News of Northern California about candidates running for the World Zionist Congress. The caption read: “2017 event in Jerusalem commemorating the 120th anniversary of the first World Zionist Congress

The World Zionist Organization (WZO) was founded in 1897. It has an elaborate structure, including a World Zionist Congress, a Zionist General Council, a Zionist Executive, and a Zionist Supreme Court.

It also has a department devoted to “repatriation” – encouraging Jews to leave their birth countries and move to Israel – and lists numerous affiliates and partners around the world.

Currently, the WZO convened its 38th Congress, with 720 delegates and observers from over 30 countries participating in a 3-day conference.

Based in Israel as usual, this year’s event is being held online because of the pandemic, and sessions are being synchronized with time zones in Israel, North America, Latin America, Europe, Australia, and South Africa.

The World Zionist Congress allocates about a billion dollars a year to various projects and is popularly known as the “parliament of the Jewish people.”

The Israeli Jerusalem Post newspaper reports that during the Congress “elections will take place for the leadership positions of the National Institutions – the World Zionist Organization, Keren Kayemeth Le’Israel (Jewish National Fund-JNF), and Keren Hayesod [aka United Israel Appeal:  

“the preeminent worldwide fundraising organization for Israel, which was established in London in 1920, to serve as the fundraising arm of the Jewish People and the Zionist Movement]. Current issues on the world Jewish agenda will be deliberated…”

Among the issues to be deliberated will be how to “allocate nearly $5 billion to Jewish organizations and programs in Israel and around the world.”

The event is being live-streamed and can be viewed here.

Additional Zionist organizations:

The WZO is far from the only organization with “Zionist” in its title.

Among the others are:

Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO): founded in 1902, it currently has 250,000 members around the world.

Mizrachi, the global Religious Zionist movement: “Mizrachi is the global Religious Zionist movement, spreading Torat Eretz Yisrael across the world and strengthening the bond between the international Jewish community and the State of Israel.”

It was founded in 1902, is based in Jerusalem and has branches across the globe. It opposes the international movement supporting Palestinian rights known as BDS. It says the Mizrachi Global Summit was held on October 18th.

Zionist Organization of America: “Founded in 1897, the Zionist Organization of America (“ZOA”) is the oldest pro-Israel organization in the United States.” It has 25,000 members and chapters throughout the U.S.

Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America: Over a century old, it says its vision is to “strengthen a connection to Israel.” It says it is “the largest women’s Zionist membership organization in the United States. It inspires a passion for and a commitment to its partnership with the land and the People of Israel.”  (Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a lifelong member.)

American Zionist Movement: “AZM works to promote and defend Zionism in the United States; to deepen and expand the active relationship of the American Jewish Community to Zionism in a contemporary context; to facilitate dialogue and collaboration among Zionist organizations through and with the AZM; and to be the central hub for Zionist resources in America.”

(An interesting bit of history is that “Zion” was one of the names Zionist leaders considered in 1948 for the new state, before they finally settled on the name “Israel.”

(Israel means the Land of God El, the Canaan all encompassing God in Palestine, Lebanon and Syria and whom Jew considered their God too. The bedouin Jews created Jehovah as their God of war as Canaan hired them as mercenaries to fight along them. )

Still more Zionist organizations

There are also a number of other major international organizations that work for Israel. Virtually all of these organizations have large staffs, elaborate structures, and multi-million dollar budgets.

Their websites provide an abundance of information about their global reach and diverse activities. Many openly state that they work to oppose the international movement to boycott Israel, which has been organized because of Israel’s long documented human rights abuses.

Known as “BDS” (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions), the movement “upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity.”

(BDS is demanding that countries boycott the product generated in the occupied land of West Bank by illegal settlers and settlements)

Below is a partial list:

• World Jewish Congress (WJC) is another international congress that supports Israel. According to its website, the WJC “represents Jewish communities and organizations in 100 countries around the world. It advocates on their behalf towards governments, parliaments, international organizations and other faiths.”

The WJC represents significant global wealth. Its annual gala held in New York last year was, as I wrote in a detailed article, attended by billionaires, Russian oligarchs, Ukrainian ambassadors, international financiers, the Rothschilds, and assorted other glitterati.

• World Holocaust Forum is another international entity that supports Israel. It is held in Israel and was founded and run by Russian-Israeli oligarch Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor.

Last year, at least 45 world leaders attended his fifth event. Israel’s Ha’aretz newspaper called it “an airlift of presidents, prime ministers and royalty from around the world.” Kantor, a billionaire known for unscrupulous business practices, is president of the European Jewish Congress and heads up a network of pro-Israel international entities.

In an interview for a Zionist publication, Kantor was asked: “Why are you so interested in Holocaust education and in creating big events to memorialize the Holocaust?” Kantor answered:

The Holocaust was an essential tool used to bring about the establishment of the State of Israel. In 2006, it is the most effective tool we have to fight against anti-Semitism and to protect Israel.”

Holocaust Forum

Some of the world leaders from 49 Countries who came to Israel for Kantor’s World Holocaust Forum. Source | Israel Hayom

AJC member list

Source | AJC

• Jewish Agency for Israel has been in existence for 90 years, has branches around the world, and encourages people to move to Israel. It has a branch in the US where donations to it can be deducted from U.S. taxes. It states that it works to oppose BDS.

• B’nai B’rith International has been in existence for 175 years and had a connection to Israel from the state’s earliest years. Like many of the organizations, it periodically works to prevent events supporting Palestinian rights.

• Maccabi World Union, headquartered in Israel, spans five continents, is in 80 countries, has 450 clubs, and 450,000 members. Its website says it’s “a Zionist organization that utilizes sports as a means to bring Jewish people of all ages closer to Judaism and Israel.”

It has a multitude of programs focused on Israel and works to “fight BDS.”

• Jewish National Fund was founded in 1901 and played a major role in transferring Palestinian land to Israel. It is holding its national conference right now (video here).

Like many of these entities, it has a presence in the U.S. and has acquired tax deductible status.

• American Jewish Committee (AJC), despite its name, is yet another international organization. It has 30 offices around the world in Europe, Africa, Latin America, Asia-Pacifiic, and Israel. It also has numerous regional offices throughout the US.

Note: I posted many articles on How the State of Israel was established and which colonial powers and personalities actively worked toward that plan

Lebanon: An improbable Statehood in the making

Mind you this article was posted in February 20, 2008, 12 years before the total bankruptcy of the State of Lebanon, politically, economically and financially.  

Under the leadership of Hezbollah, the Shias in the south and the Bekaa Valley are basically and currently the main caste shouldering the heavy burden of defending Lebanon from the frequent aggressions of Israel. 

Before Hezbollah, Lebanon had many secular political parties confronting Israel aggressions (The Communists and the Syria National Social parties), especially during Israel invasion of Lebanon in 1982 until 1989, when mandated Syria gave Hezbollah the “monopoly to conduct the resistance.

Without the Shiaa, south Lebanon would have long been swallowed by Israel and Lebanon divided and scraped from the number of independent States. 

It is the Shiaa who forced Israel to withdraw unconditionally from the south in May 24, 2000. 

It is the Shiaa who foiled the strategy of Israel of reconquering the south of Lebanon in July 2006 and installing a Pax Americana in the Greater Middle East.  

Hezbollah split from the main “Amal” Shia movement (of Mousa sader) around 1983 and adopted an ideology tightly linked to the Khomeini hardliners in Iran and is made responsible for the suicide attacks against the US and French headquarters in Beirut. 

Hezbollah was the only resistance movement allowed by Syria to operate against Israel’s occupation in the south of Lebanon since 1989 when the US Administration permitted Syria mandate over Lebanon for over 15 years. 

Syria had prohibited all the other Lebanese nationalistic and progressive parties to resume their liberation resistance during its occupation of Lebanon. 

After the assassination of Rafic Hariri PM in 2005 and the withdrawal of the Syrian troops from Lebanon we have been experiencing a serious void in the legitimacy of the current government. 

The signed entente between the Tayyar political party of Michel Aoun (Free Patriotic Movement for Reform and Change) and Hezbollah has allayed the perception that schemes for a recurring civil war in under planning. 

The patient internally non-violence strategy of Hezbollah in conducting non-cooperation activities against an unjust and and mafia control of the government has permitted the Lebanese population to gain the assurance and relief that another civil war is not feasible.  

This Seniora’s government and its allies have been plundering the public treasury for the past three years (since 2005) and for the last 15 years under Rafic Hariri.

This feudal/sectarian/contractor continuous regime, establishing a Ponzi scheme for our financial system, has been spreading poverty and deepening the indebtedness and ineptness of Lebanon, with the explicit support of the Bush administration, and under the guise of empty rhetoric of democracy, security and independence from Syria’s indirect involvement in Lebanon.

Consequently, the Shia have proven to be the legitimate sons of an independent Lebanon and have paid the prices of martyrdom, suffering, sacrifice and pain in order to be the guarantor for the emergence of a Nation against all odds. 

It is the sacrifices of the Shia and their patience to suffer for the benefit of all Lebanese that is providing them with the leverage of flexibility, intent to change, learn from experience and improve. 

The successive unilateral withdrawals of Israel from Lebanon in 2000, an occupation that lasted since 1982, without any preconditions have given the Lebanese citizen grounds to standing tall. 

Our main problem is that the International requirements of Lebanon and our local politics are at odds. 

The USA, Europe and Saudi Kingdom would like to settle the Palestinian refugees as Lebanese citizens with full rights and thus avoiding the corny problem of their legitimate rights to be repatriated to Israel as stated in the UN resolution of 194. 

The Monarchy in Saudi Kingdom has been viewing the Palestinian question as a major liability since the extremist party of Hamas has taken power in Gaza.

Saudi Kingdom is exhausted of paying the bills every time Israel destroys the infrastructure of Lebanon and covering some of the expenses of the Palestinian refugees and would like an end to this conflict that is hampering the internal stability of the Wahhabi Saudi regime.

Israel invasions of Lebanon and its genocide tactics against the Palestinians are done at the urging of the USA 

The two main local movements of the Future Party (Hariri clan) and Hezbollah are more than content for this unconstitutional political dilemma which suits their short-term interests. 

The Future is satisfied with its dominance among the Sunnis in Beirut and the North and thus, giving the Palestinian refugees citizenship might create an unknown variable that could disrupt the majority of the Sunni allegiance to the Al Moustakbal. 

Consequently, the Hariri clan cannot disobey the Saudi orders but it cannot shoot itself in the foot. 

Externally, the Hariri clan is pro Saudi but in reality it is very cozy with the Syrian position on the Palestinian refugee status as its strongest card during the negotiations with the USA and afterward. 

The unstable constitutional political system in Lebanon may delay indefinitely any serious pressures from Saudi Kingdom and the USA to resolving the Palestinian refugees’ question. 

Hezbollah is weary of having to deal with a constitutional government and negotiate returning its arms to the Lebanese army. 

Thus, the two main parties in Lebanon are supporting each other practically and just playing the game of opposing forces.

Furthermore, The USA has decided after the fiasco of the July war in 2006 that no more investment in time on Lebanon is appropriate at this junction.  We have to wait for a new US administration to decide whether it is willing to re-open the file of the Near East problems.

The allies to the two main parties are side shows: they know it and they cannot change camps with the deep mistrust for the other side pledges and dependent policies to foreign powers. 

Thanks to the vehement rhetoric against Syria or its allies in Lebanon by Walid Jumblatt and Samir Geagea, the Future party has been able to give the impression that it is against the Syrian regime while practically it agrees with the Syrian positions and would like to keep the present status quo in Lebanon’s political system of the Taef Constitutional amendments.  

General Michel Aoun has realized that he has been taken by the sweet tender offers of Hezbollah but he cannot shift allegiance or form a third alliance since non resolution of the situation is the name of the game until further agreement among the main Arab states and the main superpowers.

Recently, General Aoun has demonstrated his independence by visiting Syria for 5 days amid a popular welcome to re-establish entente between the two people, if not the regimes.

So far, the polemics among the government’s allies and the opposition political parties are not shy of harboring sectarian allegiances in their charged speeches, but somehow they failed to discuss the actual caste, or closed religious system in our social structure, which is the fundamental problem toward a modern state of governance.

I do not believe that any fair and representative electoral law is of utility unless the basic caste system is recognized as a sin and altered accordingly to represent an alternative for the citizen joining a united and free status under one State. 

The first step is to instituting a voluntary State marriage law and letting the situation unfold into a more liberal understanding of the need of the people. 

The road is very long and arduous before the beginning of a semblance of trust among the Lebanese is established. 

However, I feel that the Shia under the leadership of a wise and disciplined Hezbollah and their corresponding Christian Free Patriotic movement are leading the way for a semi-autonomous Lebanon, at least in its internal restructuring. 

I believe that the necessities of survival would loosen up many stiff ideological and caste roadblocks toward a reformed political system and the institution of a governing body that abide in integrity, accountability and justice for all.

It is a fact that extremist Sunni “salafist” ideology is gaining quickly in all the Arab and Moslem World, out of desperation and the widespread illiteracy and lack of job openings. (See note 3). 

Maybe our mix of all kinds of sects might be a rampart to our moderate liberal tendencies.

The spirit of Statehood is coming from an unforeseen quarter. Mainly the Shia caste freshly arriving in the social and political scene around 1970. 

This disinherited caste was already a majority when the civil war of 1975 broke out and it suffered from the total ignorance of the central government for infrastructure and social services and had also to suffer the humiliation and atrocities of frequent Israeli air raids and land attacks and bombing of their villages under the disguise of dislodging the Palestinian guerillas.  

The Shia caste is opening up to almost all sects and managed to ally with large sections of many other castes. 

This extending arm might be considered as necessary out of the realization that they are a majority in Lebanon and a real minority in the neighboring States of Syria, Jordan, and Egypt.

This necessity is a blessing to Lebanon because the main major caste is encouraging unity against foreign invaders. 

In the event that Hezbollah maintains its strength, then it can be forecasted that the economic strategy of Lebanon will shift from tourism and third sector (the Hariri’s clan strategy) into more emphasis on agriculture and small and medium industries, many of it geared toward guerilla warfare. 

This is how the future looks like to me if no overall peace treaty with Israel is realized any time soon.

I used the term “Statehood” for Lebanon in a general sense to convey that a form of unity is developing in the conscious of the Lebanese, but this notion of Nation is far from appropriate to Lebanon simply because experiences since independence could not provide any evidence to a unified people under legitimate and responsible central governments. 

Lebanon is fundamentally an amalgamation of castes that enjoy self-autonomy. 

I still believe that the Syrians, Lebanese, Palestinians, and Jordanians naturally form a Nation and they should generate a common market with separate recognized States.

I am convinced the Taef Constitution was meant to have total entente among the various main three religious castes in Lebanon before starting to elect a new president to the Republic.

The entente should involve everything from election law, to the constitution of the government and other priorities. 

This fact translates into agreement among the main Arab States and the main superpowers on how Lebanon should be governed during six years. 

Unless the Lebanese leaders and political parties get together to review the Taef Constitution and be willing to pay the price of deciding to have a mind of their own, then Lebanon is de facto under the UN protectorate.

Note 1: the current Dawha agreement, after Hezbollah destroyed Israel communication control in 2008, translated the spirit of Taef in its temporary execution until the Parliamentary election takes place.

Note 2:  The Future movement of the Hariri clan (Saad Hariri is a Saudi citizen) is practically pro-Syrian but it cannot overtly open up to the Syrian regime as long as Saudi Kingdom is not currently in good term with President Bashar Assad.

Note 3:  The Sunni “salafist” movement expressed its strong arm tendencies in the Palestinian camp of Nahr Al Bared. The Lebanese army destroyed the camp along with the extremist Sunni groups and the ramifications are not over in our internal strife.

Note 4:  The social/political structure is held by 19 recognized religious castes that grow at different paces in demography.  Thus, the top of our Temple must be very flexible and changeable when foreign powers decide to destabilize the tacit agreement among the caste political feudal leaders.

Hazards of Revolution?

What about planned destabilizing goal by colonial powers?

Note: recall that this article was written 8 years ago. Wish that Cockburn has assimilated the new changes in the region.

Patrick Cockburn London Review of Books Vol. 36 No. 1 · 9 January 2014

Soon after the Libyan capital (Tripoli) fell to the “rebels” in August 2011 I got to know a 32-year-old man called Ahmed Abdullah al-Ghadamsi.

We met when he tried to evict me from my hotel room, which he said was needed for members of the National Transitional Council, in effect the provisional government of Libya. (Still in effect and recognized by the UN?)

I wasn’t happy about being moved because the hotel, the Radisson Blu on Tripoli’s seafront, (The capital is Not on the sea shore, but very far off) was full of journalists and there was nowhere else to stay.

But Ahmed promised to find me another room, and he was as good as his word.

He was lending a hand to the provisional government because he was strongly opposed to Qaddafi – as was the rest of his family. He came from the Fornaj district of the city, and was contemptuous of the efforts of government spies to penetrate its network of extended families.

He derided Gaddafi’s absurd personality cult and his fear of subversive ideas: ‘Books used to be more difficult to bring into the country than weapons. You had to leave them at the airport for two or three months so they could be checked.’

He had spent 6 years studying in Norway and spoke Norwegian as well as English

On returning to Libya he got a job on the staff of the Radisson Blu. One of Gaddafi’s sons, Al-Saadi, had a suite in the hotel, and he watched the ruling family and their friends doing business and enjoying themselves.

Ahmed was a self-confident man, not noticeably intimidated by the sporadic shooting which was keeping most people in Tripoli off the streets. I asked him if he would consider working for me as a guide and assistant and he agreed.

Tripoli had run out of petrol but he quickly found some, along with a car and driver willing to risk the rebel checkpoints. He was adept at talking to the militiamen manning the barricades, and helped me get out of the city when the roads were blocked.

After a few weeks I left Libya; I later heard that he was working for other journalists.

In October I got a message saying that he was dead, shot through the head by a pro-Gaddafi sniper in the final round of fighting in Sirte on the coast far to the east of Tripoli. It turned out that there was a lot that Ahmed hadn’t told me.

When the protests started in Benghazi on 15 February he had been among the first to demonstrate in Fornaj, and he was arrested.

His younger brother Mohammed told me that ‘he was jailed for two hours or less before his friends and the protesters broke into the police station and freed him.’

When Gaddafi’s forces regained control of Tripoli, Ahmed drove to the Nafusa Mountains a hundred miles south-west of the capital to try to join the rebels there, but they didn’t know or trust him so he had to return.

He smuggled weapons and gelignite into Tripoli and became involved in a plot, never put into action, to blow up Al-Saadi Gaddafi’s suite in the Radisson.

Mohammed said Ahmed felt bad that he’d spent much of the revolution making money and, despite his best efforts, had never actually fought.

He went to Sirte, where Gaddafi’s forces were making a last stand, and joined a militia group from Misrata. 

He had no military experience, as far as I know, but he didn’t flinch during bombardments and was stoical when he was caught in an ambush and wounded by shrapnel from a mortar bomb, and the militiamen were impressed.

On 8 October his commander told Ahmed to take a squad of five or six men to hunt for snipers who had killed a number of rebel fighters. He was shot dead by one of them a few hours later.

What would Ahmed think of the Libyan revolution now?

An interim government is nominally in control but the streets of Tripoli and Benghazi have been full of militia checkpoints manned by some of the 225,000 registered militiamen whose loyalty is to their commanders rather than the state that pays them.

When demonstrators appeared outside the headquarters of the Misrata militia in Tripoli on 15 November demanding that they go home, the militiamen opened fire with everything from Kalashnikov to anti-aircraft guns, killing 43 protesters and wounding some 400 others.

This led to popular protests in which many militias were forced out of Tripoli, though it’s not clear whether this is permanent.

Earlier the prime minister, Ali Zeidan, was kidnapped by militia gunmen without a shot being fired by his own guards to protect him. (He was released after a few hours.)

Mutinying militias have closed the oil ports to exports and eastern Libya is threatening to secede.

The Libyan state has collapsed, for the simple reason that the rebels were too weak to fill the vacuum left by the fall of the old regime. After all, it was Nato airstrikes, not rebel strength, that overthrew Gaddafi.

It’s a similar story elsewhere in the Middle East.

The uprisings of the Arab Spring have so far produced anarchy in Libya, a civil war in Syria, greater autocracy in Bahrain and resumed dictatorial rule in Egypt.  (All these failures thanks to US/Saudi Kingdom/Israel/France ) who don’t want changes and democracy in the region)

In Syria, the uprising began in March 2011 with demonstrations against the brutality of Assad’s regime. ‘Peace! Peace!’ protesters chanted. But ‘if there was a fair election in Syria today,’ one commentator said, ‘Assad would probably win it.’

It isn’t only the protesters and insurgents of 2011 whose aspirations are being frustrated or crushed. In March 2003 the majority of Iraqis from all sects and ethnic groups wanted to see the end of Saddam’s disastrous rule even if they didn’t necessarily support the US invasion.

But the government now in power in Baghdad is as sectarian, corrupt and dysfunctional as Saddam’s ever was. (Not true, even then. Obama dispatched ISIS to occupy Mosul because Maliki PM refused to have US military presence in Iraq)

There may be less state violence, but only because the state is weaker. (just witness what is happening by the end of 2017)

Its methods are equally brutal: Iraqi prisons are full of people who have made false confessions under torture or the threat of it. An Iraqi intellectual who had planned to open a museum in Abu Ghraib prison so that Iraqis would never forget the barbarities of Saddam’s regime (you mean USA occupation?) found that there was no space available because the cells were full of new inmates.

Iraq is still an extraordinarily dangerous place. ‘I never imagined that ten years after the fall of Saddam you would still be able to get a man killed in Baghdad by paying $100,’ an Iraqi who’d been involved in the abortive museum project told me. (Isis is now defeated in Iraq and US still claim it is Not in order to remain militarily in the region)

Why have oppositions in the Arab world and beyond failed so absolutely, and why have they repeated in power, or in pursuit of it, so many of the faults and crimes of the old regimes? (Simple: still confronting the colonial powers who refuse any change)

The contrast between humanitarian principles expressed at the beginning of revolutions and the bloodbath at the end has many precedents, from the French Revolution on. But over the last twenty years in the Middle East, the Balkans and the Caucasus the rapid degradation of what started as mass uprisings has been particularly striking.

I was in Moscow at the start of the second Russo-Chechen war in October 1999, and flew with a party of journalists to Chechnya to see the Chechen president, Aslan Maskhadov, in his headquarters in Grozny, where he was desperately trying – and failing – to avert the Russian assault by calling for a ceasefire.

We were housed in a former barracks which seemed worryingly vulnerable to Russian air attack. But it soon became evident that the presidential guard’s greatest anxiety was that we would be abducted by Chechen kidnappers and held for ransom.

The first Chechen revolt in 1994-96 was seen as a heroic popular struggle for independence. (An extremist Islamic regime, as the one ISIS was trying to install?)

Three years later it had been succeeded by a movement that was highly sectarian, criminalized and dominated by warlords. The war became too dangerous to report and disappeared off the media map. ‘In the first Chechen war,’ one reporter told me, ‘I would have been fired by my agency if I had left Grozny. Now the risk of kidnapping is so great I would be fired for going there.’

The pattern set in Chechnya has been repeated elsewhere with depressing frequency. The extent of the failure of the uprisings of 2011 to establish better forms of governance has surprised opposition movements, their Western backers and what was once a highly sympathetic foreign media.

The surprise is due, in part, to a misunderstanding of what the uprisings were about. Revolutions come into being because of an unpredictable coincidence of forces with different motives targeting a common enemy. (Never confuse long-term causes with instant catalysts)

The political, social and economic roots of the upsurges of 2011 go deep. That this wasn’t obvious to everyone at the time is partly a result of the way foreign commentators exaggerated the role of new information technology. Protesters, skilled in propaganda if nothing else, could see the advantage of presenting the uprisings to the West as nonthreatening ‘velvet’ revolutions with English-speaking, well-educated bloggers and tweeters prominently in the vanguard.

The purpose was to convey to Western public that the new revolutionaries were comfortingly similar to themselves, that what was happening in the Middle East in 2011 was similar to the anti-communist and pro-Western uprisings in Eastern Europe after 1989.

Opposition demands were all about personal freedom: social and economic inequality were rarely declared to be issues, even when they were driving popular rage against the status quo. (Wrong. Personal freedom was the slogan, Not the real demands)

The centre of Damascus had recently been taken over by smart shops and restaurants, but the mass of Syrians saw their salaries stagnating while prices rose: farmers ruined by 4 years of drought were moving into shanty towns on the outskirts of the cities.

The UN said that between two and three million Syrians were living in ‘extreme poverty’; small manufacturing companies were put out of business by cheap imports from Turkey and China; economic liberalization, lauded in foreign capitals, concentrated wealth in the hands of a politically well-connected few.

Even members of the Mukhabarat, the secret police, were trying to survive on $200 a month. ‘When it first came to power, the Assad regime embodied the neglected countryside, its peasants and neglected underclass,’ an International Crisis Group report says. ‘Today’s ruling elite has forgotten its roots. It has inherited power rather than fought for it … and mimicked the ways of the urban upper class.’

The same was true of the quasi-monarchical families and their associates operating in parallel fashion in Egypt, Libya and Iraq.

Confident of their police-state powers, they ignored the hardships of the rest of the population, especially the underemployed, over-educated and very numerous youth, few of whom felt that they had any chance of improving their lives.

The inability of new governments across the Middle East to end the violence can be ascribed to a simple-minded delusion that most problems would vanish once democracies had replaced the old police states. (No delusion here. Cannot construct anything in the presence of extremist violent factions created by the US and its allies)

Opposition movements, persecuted at home and often living a hand to mouth existence in exile, half-believed this and it was easy to sell to foreign sponsors. A great disadvantage of this way of seeing things was that Saddam, Assad and Gaddafi were so demonized it became difficult to engineer anything approaching a compromise or a peaceful transition from the old to a new regime.

In 2003  Iraq former members of the Baath Party were sacked, thus impoverishing a large part of the population, which had no alternative but to fight. The Syrian opposition refuses to attend peace talks in Geneva if Assad is allowed to play a role, even though the areas of Syria under his control are home to most of the population.

In Libya the militias insisted on an official ban on employing anyone who had worked for Gaddafi’s regime, even those who had ended their involvement 30 years before. These exclusion policies were partly a way of guaranteeing jobs for the boys. But they deepen sectarian, ethnic and tribal divisions and provide the ingredients for civil war.

What is the glue that is meant to hold these new post-revolutionary states together?

Nationalism isn’t much in favour in the West, where it is seen as a mask for racism or militarism, supposedly outmoded in an era of globalisation and humanitarian intervention. (everything but capitulation is Not favored by the Western colonial powers, even now)

But intervention in Iraq in 2003 and Libya in 2011 turned out to be very similar to imperial takeover in the 19th century. 

There was absurd talk of ‘nation-building’ to be carried out or assisted by foreign powers, who clearly have their own interests in mind just as Britain did when Lloyd George orchestrated the carve-up of the Ottoman Empire.

A justification for the Arab leaders who seized power in the late 1960s was that they would create powerful states capable, finally, of giving reality to national independence. They didn’t wholly fail: Gaddafi played a crucial role in raising the price of oil in 1973 and Hafez al-Assad created a state that could hold its own in a protracted struggle with Israel for predominance in Lebanon.

But to opponents of these regimes nationalism was simply a propaganda ploy on the part of ruthless dictatorships concerned to justify their hold on power. But without nationalism – even where the unity of the nation is something of a historic fiction – states lack an ideology that would enable them to compete as a focus of loyalty with religious sects or ethnic groups.

It’s easy enough to criticise the rebels and reformers in the Arab world for failing to resolve the dilemmas they faced in overturning the status quo. Their actions seem confused and ineffective when compared to the Cuban revolution or the liberation struggle in Vietnam. (Simply because one people  in Syria, one people in the Nile river and one people in north Africa were artificially divided in pseud-States by colonial powers)

But the political terrain in which they have had to operate over the last twenty years has been particularly tricky. The dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 meant that the endorsement or tolerance of the US – and the US alone – was crucial for a successful takeover of power.

Nasser was able to turn to Moscow to assert Egyptian independence in the Suez crisis of 1956, but after the Soviet collapse smaller states could no longer find a place for themselves between Moscow and Washington. Saddam said in 1990 that one of the reasons he invaded Kuwait when he did was that in future such a venture would no longer be feasible as Iraq would be faced with unopposed American power.

In the event, he got his diplomatic calculations spectacularly wrong, but his forecast was otherwise realistic – at least until perceptions of American military might were downgraded by Washington’s failure to achieve its aims in Afghanistan as well as Iraq.

So the insurgencies in the Middle East face immense difficulties, and they have faltered, stalled, been thrown on the defensive or apparently defeated. But without the rest of the world noticing, one national revolution in the region is moving from success to success.

In 1990 the Kurds, left without a state after the fall of the Ottomans, were living in their tens of millions as persecuted and divided minorities in Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria.

Rebellion in Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-88 failed disastrously, with at least 180,000 killed by poison gas or executed in the final days of the conflict. (The Shah of Iran and Saddam resolved this conflict in a single day)

In Turkey, guerrilla action by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), who combined Marxism-Leninism with Kurdish nationalism, began in 1974 but by the end of the 1990s it had been crushed by the Turkish army; Kurds were driven into the cities; and three thousand of their villages were destroyed. (Western media never covered these atrocities)

In north-east Syria, Arab settlers were moved onto Kurdish land and many Kurds denied citizenship; in Iran, the government kept a tight grip on its Kurdish provinces.

All this has now changed. In Iraq the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), though it shares power with the central government in Baghdad, is close to becoming an oil-rich independent state, militarily and diplomatically more powerful than many members of the UN.

Until recently the Turks would impound any freight sent to the KRG if the word ‘Kurdistan’ appeared in the address, but in November the KRG president, Massoud Barzani, gave a speech in the Turkish Kurd capital of Diyarbakir and talked of ‘the brotherhood of Turks and Kurds’.

Standing with him was the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who spoke of ‘Kurdistan’ as if he’d forgotten that a few years ago the name had been enough to land anyone who uttered it in a Turkish jail. In Syria meanwhile, the PKK’s local branch has taken control of much of the north-east corner of the country, where two and a half million Kurds live.

The rebellion in the Kurdish heartlands has been ongoing for nearly half a century. In Iraq the two main Kurdish parties, Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party and Jalal Talabani’s Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, were expert at manipulating foreign intelligence services – Iranian, Syrian, American and Turkish – without becoming their permanent puppets (Crappy pronouncement on these expertise)

They built up a cadre of well-educated and politically sophisticated leaders and established alliances with non-Kurdish opposition groups. They were lucky that their worst defeat was followed by Saddam’s self-destructive invasion of Kuwait, which enabled them to take control of an enclave protected by US airpower in 1991.

At this point, despite having gained more independence than any previous Kurdish movement, the KDP and PUK embarked on a vicious civil war with the Iraqi state. But then they had another stroke of luck when 9/11 provided the US with the excuse to invade and overthrow Saddam. The Kurdish leaders positioned themselves carefully between the US and Iran without becoming dependent on either.

It isn’t yet clear how the bid of thirty million Kurds for some form of national self-determination will play out, but they have become too powerful to be easily suppressed.

Their success has lessons for the movements of the Arab Spring, whose failure isn’t as inevitable as it may seem. The political, social and economic forces that led to the ruptures of 2011 are as powerful as ever. Had the Arab opposition movements played their cards as skilfully as the Kurds, the uprisings might not have foundered as they have done.

None of the religious parties that took power, whether in Iraq in 2005 or Egypt in 2012, has been able to consolidate its authority. Rebels everywhere look for support to the foreign enemies of the state they are trying to overthrow, but the Kurds are better at this than anyone else, having learned the lesson of 1975, when Iran betrayed them to Saddam by signing the Algiers Agreement, cutting off their supply of arms. The Syrian opposition, by contrast, can only reflect the policies and divisions of its sponsors.

Resistance to the state was too rapidly militarised for opposition movements to develop an experienced national leadership and a political programme.

The discrediting of nationalism and communism, combined with the need to say what the US wanted to hear, meant that they were at the mercy of events, lacking any vision of a non-authoritarian nation state capable of competing with the religious fanaticism of the Sunni militants of al-Qaeda, and similar movements financed by the oil states of the Gulf.

But the Middle East is entering a long period of ferment in which counter-revolution may prove as difficult to consolidate as revolution.

How the western colonial powers rewrote the history of Jerusalem

Mahmoud Shrih reviewed the book of Bader Haj, published in English, “Jerusalem 1854: pictures, archeology and Colonialism”

Sept. 26, 2020

كتاب قيّم يضمّ صوراً توثّق المواقع الدينيّة في «زهرة المدائن»: بدر الحاج… هكذا زوّر الاستعمار تاريخ القدس

تحت عنوان «القدس 1854: التصوير والآثار والاستعمار» (دار الكتب – بيروت)،

أصدر البحاثة والمؤرخ اللبناني بدر الحاج كتاباً قيماً يضم مئات الصور لمدينة القدس التي التقطها أوغست سالزمان عام 1854 بهدف «البرهان على أصالة النصوص التوراتية».

الأمر بكل بساطة يتعلّق بتزوير علم الآثار وإخضاعه لخدمة بعث إمبراطوريات وسلالات قديمة بغرض طرد السكّان الأصليين من بلادهم، كما حدث في فلسطين!

بدر الحاج، البحّاثة الثقة والمؤرخ، رفيقي في «الجامعة الأميركية» هنا على مطلّ من المتوسّط، ورافع بيرق سعادة، من قبل، ومن بعد،
أصدر هذا الشهر بالإنكليزيّة «القدس 1854: التصوير والآثار والاستعمار» عن دار «كتب» في بيروت [Badr El Hage, Al Quds 1854: Photography, Archaeology, Colonisation, Beirut: Kutub, 2020]. يضمّ العمل مئات الصور لمدينة القدس التي التقطها أوغست
سالزمان Auguste Salzman لمدينة القدس في شتاء 1854 وهي صور نادرة. ولعلّها الأكثر توثيقاً للمواقع الدينيّة في مدينة القدس في كتابه الصادر عام 1854، وهي أساساً تندرِج تحت بحثه الرامي إلى البرهان على أصالة النصوص التوراتيّة وتأييد ادّعاء عالم الآثار Félicien de Saulcy في إرجاعه تاريخ الآثار المدوّنة تاريخيّاً في حقبة اليونان والرومان في القدس إلى فترة الحكم اليهودي القديم لها.
يرى الأستاذ الحاج أنّ القدس جذبت إليها على مرّ العصور فنّانين ورحّالة وحجّاجاً وعلماء من دول عديدة، إضافة إلى أُدباء سطّروا تاريخ
الحجّ إليها منذ الأيام الأولى لظهور المسيحيّة. إلّا أنّ المؤلّف بدر الحاج يلحّ ها هنا على أنّ الانجذاب إلى القدس لم يكن آنذاك فقط لقيمتها الدينيّة، بل أيضاً لموقعها الاستراتيجيّ ومكانتها الاقتصادية في سورية الكبرى،
فكان الدين غطاء ملائماً لخطط استعماريّة على مدى الألفيّة الأخيرة.
ففي السابع والعشرين من تشرين الثاني (نوفمبر) عام 1095، أذاع البابا أوربان الثاني خطاباً تاريخيّاً دعا فيه مسيحيي أوروبا إلى حمل
السلاح في وجه المسلمين واحتلال الأراضي المقدّسة، فكانت الحملات الصليبيّة وآثارها المدمّرة.

مئذنة الغوانمة عند باب الغوانمة تعرف باسم مئذنة السلطان قلاوون الذي رممها مطلع القرن الرابع عشر (القدس 1854 ـ تصوير سالزمان)

سبيل طريق الواد. النافورة العربية في القدس، بناها السلطان سليمان القانوني عامي 1537 ـ 1536 (تصوير سالزمان ـ 1854)

إنّ الفظائع التي ارتكبها الصليبيّون في تمّوز (يوليو) 1099 كما أتى على وصفها وليم الصوري، أسقف المملكة الصليبية هناك، لهي مثال ساطع على التطهير العرقيّ. ووفق تأريخه،

أقرّ الأسقف أنّ الرحمة لم تلحَق بأحد وأنّ المكان بأسره تضرّج بدماء الضحايا. هذا التطهير العرقيّ الذي ارتكبه الصليبيّون يكرّره طبق الأصل المشروع الصهيونيّ في فلسطين منذ نهاية القرن التاسع عشر في خطّته الاستعماريّة باسم الدين.

إنّ هدف هؤلاء الاستعماريين الجدد كان ولا يزال تأسيس دولة يهوديّة بامتياز. إنّ الصلة الوثيقة بين المشروع الصهيونيّ الأصلي في سورية الكبرى والجهود الغربية للسيطرة على فلسطين جليّة، ليس فقط في الدعم اللامحدود الذي يوفّره الغرب منذ 1948 لإقامة النظام العنصريّ، بل كذلك في مدّ ذلك النظام بكلّ الوسائل اللازمة لإبقائه على قيد الحياة والاستمرار في تنفيذ برنامجه الرامي إلى الاحتلال التدريجيّ لما يسمّونه «أرض الميعاد».

يقرّ المؤلّف أنّ سردَ الأحداث التاريخية التي أدّت إلى قيام المشروع الاستيطاني الصهيوني ليس غرضه، فهذه الأحداث ليست ضمن نطاق البحث هنا، لكن من الضروري الإشارة إلى أنّ على الرغم من أنّ المشروع الاستيطاني الصهيوني يرتكز أساساً إلى العنصر الديني، فإنّ مقاومة هذا المشروع لم تكن دينيّة بالضرورة، إذ لم تكن المواجهة بين المُستعمِر وسكّان أهل البلاد النازحين عنها مواجهةً دينيةً كما زعم الغرب وصوّر النزاع على أنّه مواجهة بين اليهود والمسيحيين والمسلمين الغرض منها السيطرة على الأماكن المقدّسة.

هنا يرى بدر الحاج أنّه رغم الحججَ الدينيّة التي تخدمُ المشاريع الاستعمارية وتروّجها، فإنّ مقاومة تلك المشاريع لا تتّخذ إلّا صفة النضال القومي. وعليه، فإنّ القدس على مصاف واحد مع يافا وصفد وحيفا ومرتفعات الجولان.
ينتبه المؤلّف إلى حقيقة أساسيّة يختزلها بقوله إنّ لنشاط المتشدّدين المسيحيين المُغالين في تعصّبهم دوراً خطيراً خلال الحقبة الممتدّة

من الحملات الصليبية إلى بداية المشروع الصهيوني. وعليه، فإنّ صُوَر أوغست سالزمان لا تنفصل عن حُمّى الحماس الاستعماريّ الدينيّ الذي شاع في أوروبا وإلى حدّ ما في أميركا الشمالية.
يشير الحاج إلى أنه ليس في صدد مناقشة في ما إذا كانت صائبة وصحيحة القصص والمعجزات التوراتيّة التي يوردها سولسي وسالزمان، إذ يرى أنّ نقاش هذه الصور ليس ضمن إطار دراسته؛ ذلك أنّ المسألة الجوهريّة تكمن في كيفيّة استلهام علم الآثار وإخضاعه لخدمة بعث إمبراطوريات وسلالات قديمة بغرض طرد السكّان الأصليين من بلادهم، كما في فلسطين،

للبرهان على أنّ «النصّ المقدّس» على صواب، ولهو سياقٌ فاضح ومُهين. وباختصار، فإنّه استعمار تحت ستار الدين، ولفهم صُوَر سالزمان في إطارها التاريخي، يرى المؤلّف أنّ من الضروري فهم الأسباب الدينية لزيارة كلّ من سالزمان وسولسي إلى فلسطين، ومن هنا معالجته لكتابه في ثلاثة فصول.

مغارة البستان. قبر المسيح. تل وادي الجمجمة. تعرف أيضاً بمغارة ارميا (القدس 1854 ــ سالزمان)

«بركة حمام ستنا مريم» لأوغست سالزمان (خارج أسوار القدس)

يُسهب الفصل الأول في نقاش أنشطة سولسي في مواقع فلسطين الأثرية، وهي ما حفّز سالزمان على زيارة القدس وانكبابه على تصوير معالم المدينة المقدّسة؛ كان سولسي عالم آثار مهتمّاً بالبحث عن مواقع توراتيّة بغرض إلقاء الضوء على تاريخ فنّ العمارة اليهودي، فزعم أن بعض المعالم في القدس سابقة على العهد البيزنطيّ وتعود إلى زمن سليمان وداوود، لا بل إنّه مضى في ضلاله وعيّن سدوم وعمورة في موقعَين خاطئين.

وحيث إن أقرانه وجدوا مزاعمه لا تطابق الحقائق التاريخية، قرّر سالزمان الذهاب إلى القدس للدفاع عن مزاعم صديقه سولسي بلجوئه إلى التقاط صُوَر تؤيّد حجّة سولسي الواهية.
في الفصل الثاني من كتابه «القدس 1854»، يركّز المؤلّف بدر الحاج على دور صُوَر سالزمان في تأييد مزاعم سولسي وادّعائه بأنّ التصوير «يؤّدي خدمة للعلم وأن هذه الصُوَر لم تعُد سرداً بل حقائق ذات زخم دافع».

لكنّ المؤلّف يرى أنّ فشل سالزمان كان متوقّعاً. الفصل الثالث من «القدس 1854» يشتمل على صُوَر سالزمان للمدينة المقدّسة، فيجد أنّها صور فنيّة لمواقع المدينة الأثرية من حيث الإضاءة والظلال، وهذه تقنية لا سابقة لها في تصوير المدينة المقدّسة،

وفي الفصل هذا حشد من صُوَر القدس، سوى ثلاث منها، واحدة لبيت لحم واثنتان لفسيفساء كنيسة المهد في بيت لحم.

ارتكز الغرب إلى منهجيّة بحث تُعيد تركيب الشرق بغرض تطويعه والسيطرة عليه

يلحّ الأستاذ الحاج على أنّ دراسة الماضي أساسٌ لفهم الحاضر ومعياره أنّ الغرب سعى في القرنين التاسع عشر والعشرين لتصويب سهامه على فلسطين،

فالغرب ارتكز إلى منهجيّة بحث تُعيد تركيب الشرق بغرض تطويعه والسيطرة عليه. ومن هنا عمد سالزمان وسولسي إلى سرد إشارات الكتاب المقدّس بما يخدم دعوة الحركة الصهيونية إلى عودة اليهود إلى أرض الميعاد،

فاستعمار الشرق إذن من باب تمدينه عبر أدبيّات غلاة الإنجيليين، ومن هنا حركة بريطانيا باتّجاه تشريد السكان العرب الأصليين، وعليه كان تحالف السياسيين وعلماء الآثار والاجتماع تحت راية استعمارية تُلقي بظلالها حتى الآن مطلع الألفية الثالثة.
على هذا النحو، كتاب «القدس 1854» ضرورة لا بدّ منها، إذ سدّ فراغاً كان لا بُدّ له من سدّه من باب فهم الحاضر عبر استيعاب دروس الماضي.

Israel immediately started its ethnic cleansing planned in 1935: After the UN unfair partitioned land of Palestine in 1947

Posted on December 3, 2015

Israel immediately started its ethnic cleansing planned in 1935:

After the UN unfair partitioned land of Palestine in 1947

U.N. voted to partition Palestine 68 years ago

 In an unfair plan made even worse by Israel’s ethnic cleansing

Palestinians were 2/3rds of the population but were offered only 43% of land.

Then, Israel ethnically cleansed it and kept occupying more of the land

Ben Norton , Nov 30, 2015

Enlarge (Credit: United Nations)

68 years ago yesterday, the United Nations voted to partition Palestine, with General Assembly Resolution 181.

The front page of the November 29, 1947 edition of the New York Times read “[General] Assembly Votes Palestine Partition;

Margin Is 33 to 13; Arabs Walk Out; Aranha Hails Work as Session Ends.” 

(Do Not confuse with UN resolution to recognize Israel in 1948, by a single vote majority when most States were colonies and Not independent at the time)

(Credit: New York Times)

(Credit: New York Times)

Why were the Palestinians angry?

Because, for the indigenous Palestinians, the deal was a thoroughly bad one. Palestinians comprised approximately two-thirds of the population, yet were offered just 43% of their land in the deal.

Osvaldo Aranha, a Brazilian diplomat was president of the U.N. General Assembly. Aranha lobbied strongly on behalf of the Zionist movement (a settler colonialist Jewish nationalist political movement that called for the creation of the state of Israel).

He delayed the vote on resolution 181 by two days in order to give the U.S. and other pro-Israel countries more time to pressure U.N. member states to vote for the plan.

Scholar Fred Khouri writes that, in these two days:

“The United States and Zionists led the lobbying efforts of the pro-partition forces. The delegates, as well as the home governments, of Haiti, Liberia, Ethiopia, China, the Philippines, and Greece were swamped with telegrams, telephone calls, letters, and visitations from many sources, including the White House, congressmen, business corporations, and other fields of endeavor. 

As a result of these tremendous official and nonofficial pressures, Haiti, Liberia, and the Philippines finally agreed to vote for partition.”

These last-minute changes ensured that resolution 181 would have the two-thirds majority vote needed to pass.

The following is the U.N.’s map of the proposed partition.

The blue areas comprising roughly 57 percent of the land were to be allotted to Jews; orange areas were to be allotted to Palestinians.

Jerusalem was to be left under the governance of the international community, because of its historical and religious importance for numerous religions and cultures.

religious importance for numerous religions and cultures.

(Credit: United Nations)

(Credit: United Nations)

The Partition Plan was never implemented, however. The very next day after it was voted on, the 1947-1948 war broke out.

In this war, Zionist militias systematically ethnically cleansed large portions of historic Palestine, sacking hundreds of Palestinian villages and expelling more than 750,000 people — around two-thirds of the indigenous Arab population.

Prominent Israeli historian Ilan Pappé notes that, in Israel’s Plan Dalet (also known simply as Plan D), “veteran Zionist leaders” created “a plan for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.” They dispatched military orders in March 1948, Pappé explains:

“The orders came with a detailed description of the methods to be employed to forcibly evict the people: large-scale intimidation; laying siege to and bombarding villages and population centres; setting fire to homes, properties and goods; expulsion; demolition

Aand, finally, planting mines among the rubble to prevent any of the expelled inhabitants from returning.”

Plan D “spelled it out clearly and unambiguously: the Palestinians had to go,” writes Pappé.

“The aim of the plan was in fact the destruction of both the rural and urban areas of Palestine and contain[ed] a repertoire of cleansing methods that one by one fit the means the U.N. describes in its definition of ethnic cleansing.”

The book that excited Hillary Clinton to Hate “Arabs” and mindlessly side with apartheid Israel: “The Apocalypse”

“The Apocalypse” and “Entretien avec moi-meme” “by Oriana Fallaci

Note: I reviewed this book in 2007 that was published after the September 11, 2001 on the Twin Tower.and posted it on October 24, 2008.

I learned later that this fatal and heinous book excited many colonial powers to launch campaign plans to discredit Islam and the Islamic population. We are still suffering from the consequences of this dangerous generalized ideology. 

Oriana Fallaci was born in 1929 in Florence and died of cancer, maybe of the esophagus in 2006, as her mother, father, and another sister died.

She was a journalist and covered many wars in Vietnam and the Middle East and managed to interview Khomeini for 6 hours and turned to a writer.

Of her publications we can list: “La force de la raison”, “La rage et l’orgueil”, “Un homme”, “Inchallah”, “Lettre a un enfant jamais né”, “Entretiens avec l’Histoire”, and “La vie, la guerre et puis rien”.

Fallaci had a refuge in Manhattan for 10 years and stopped publishing anything and was treating her cancer when the Twin Towers were taken down by Al Qaeda hijacked airplanes.

She remembered seeing Ben Laden in the 1980s in Beirut when the Israeli war planes imploded a high rise to the ground and she conjectured that the way the towers went down was an exact revenge of Bin Laden two decades later.

The attacks on the Twin Towers forced Fallaci to feverishly go back to write about current dangerous phenomena and stored her 800-pages novel in the drawer waiting for an opportune time to work on her “baby”, but she never got around to finish and publish it.

She wrote in “Rage and Pride” that there come times in life where keeping silent is a fault and speaking out an obligation, a civil duty, a moral defiance, a categorical imperative we cannot escape from.

She felt it impossible to stay quiet and apathetic and thus, facing the enormity of the danger she was forced to resume writing.

She wrote a long article in 3 weeks and lived on coffee and cigarettes and her crying was dry because of a congenital nervous case that occurred to her in 1943 when she was about 14 years old.

Then, the allies were bombing Florence and she got scared and started to cry and her dad slapped her hard saying: “young girls do not cry” (go figure, her scared dad reacted nervously and uttered a stupid sentence).

Fallaci fell in love once in her life with the Greek activist Alekos Panagulis who was assassinated at the age of 38 and she wrote a book about Panagulis titled “A man“.

Alekos suffered 5 years of prison in seclusion and when he was freed he cried in front of the Parthenon and repeated “Bitch of democracy, but it is democracy after all”.

Fallaci doesn’t see any other alternative political system but democracy, though it has many flaws and is unable to bring stability quickly when major upheavals strike a nation.

She never returned to Greece because the authorities removed the expensive wedding ring that she inserted in the finger of the deceased when they exhumed the body.

She kept raging against the “falaka” such as hitting the sole of the feet that she says the Greek police have inherited from 4 centuries of Ottoman hegemony in Greece.

Oriana dedicated her introduction to the memories of the many foreigners who were kidnapped and slaughtered by the Muslim fanatics in Iraq and Afghanistan and to the victims in the school of Beslan by the Chechen and to the Danish Theo Van Gogh the director of a short movie on the status of women in the Muslim World.

Her previous volume “The Force of Reason” was in memories of the Madrid train victims.

She unfurled a huge Italian flag over her window to remind the Italian to be proud of their country instead of the rainbow flag of the European Union, along with two tiny US flags to thank America for deposing Saddam Hussein and fighting “Islam terrorism” and for saving Europe during the two World Wars. (US could have remove Saddam, but they wanted to take hold of  strategic Iraq physically and the US created the Islamic extremist movement))

Oriana was furious when her physician suggested not to mention explicitly to others that she is suffering from cancer.

Most people who died of cancer were referred to as dying from incurable disease.  She didn’t think that people would shun her, since cancer is not contagious and not the results of sinful activities, but people were scared to approach cancer afflicted victims.

The atrocities committed by the US forces at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq was frustrating and she felt betrayed, offended and lied to because Western civilization cannot swallow acts of brutalities against helpless and chained prisoners. She took comfort that the perpetrators were legally judged, convicted and imprisoned (Not so sure about imprisoned or got fair punishment. She just wanted to comforted herself on the values of western colonial power “civilizations”).

Fallaci is bitter and angry that the European and Italian leaders, leftist and green parties are pacifying with the Muslims immigrants and being too tolerant to the Islamic laws of living that she labeled Europe “Eurabia” because it is falling under the Arabic Islamic hegemony and Nazi Islamism.

She calls the communists in Italy the caviar left and that the left and right parties the two faces of the same coin as two soccer teams running hard to grab the ball of Power and they are homogenous; the only dirty and backward right that still exists is Islam and those sons of Allah.

She fumes that the crucifix is taken off the school rooms and Christmas crib is no longer installed in, so that not to offend the Muslims. Oriana wonders: “Who is supposed to get integrated, us or them?”

She resent the new laws that allow immigrants to vote which will alter the way the European and Italian live.

Democracy is based on the two concepts of equality and liberty and Oriana believes that people likes equality and are ready to give up on some of their liberty.

Equality is understood to be legal equality under the law of the land, but it does not transfer to moral and mental equality, and equality in value and merit.

Individuality and competition are what make life worth living and fighting for.

Fallaci rages against the Italian Communist party that infiltrated every municipality and the courtrooms and is over lording its monolithic dogma and cultural hegemony as filtered to them by former Communist Russia.

The communists have appropriated the Italian resistance to Nazi Germany although they didn’t react until the American forces were chasing out the occupying forces; worst, they intimidated and killed many Italian national resistance fighters such as Justice and Action party of which Oriana was member when an adolescent.

She lambasted Sigrid Hunke who wrote “The sun of Allah shines over the West” and her activism at smuggling African immigrants to Italy.

The support that Hunke accords to the enemy of Fallaci culture and Christian civilization exacerbates her failing health.

Although Fallaci is atheist she would like to believe that Europe is a Christian culture and was upset when the European Constitution refused to state that the religion of Europe is Christianity. 

She certainly is furious at the Italian successive government acting more royal than France and Germany in matters of the European Union laws and legislations that are emptying the national character and specific culture of Italy.

She admits that she is a manichist, a cult that Mani spread in the 3rd century in Iran and reached Europe. The concepts of Bad and Good are totally separate entities and no shades should alter the process of distinguishing between them and taking firm stands.

Half of the interview with herself is antagonizing most of the Italian leaders and political parties for homogenizing their doctrines and not exhibiting any serious differences in politics and thus, rendering the democratic process void of any meaning.

Fallaci pinched Berlusconi ears in her two previous books but she claimed that she will not become another Maramaldo who killed an already dying man Francesco Ferrucci in Florence in 1530.

Berlusconi did not have much education and he could not believe that the Italians elected him Prime Minister, though he is a very intelligent man in business and one of the richest according to Forbes.

Even his numerous mass media television channels were Not sucking up to him because he was too proud and over confident to attract the right counselors but opted to be surrounded by “yes men”.

Berlusconi worst enemies are of his own coalition and they have been blackmailing him all the time in order for him to remain in power.

Fallaci does not like Bush and she thinks that he lacks education and is antipathetic but much better than the insipid Al Gore.

Bush is a leader because he can take stands and stick by his decision and, mostly, because he has moral and would not humiliate his wife with extra marital activities like Clinton. (Moral inside the household? And this morality can be altered outside the confinement of the family?)

Bush is not two faced and unreliable like Kerry who flaunts his 3 purple hearts that he got from fighting in Vietnam and yet condemn wars without relinquishing his war medals.

Oriana really dig Bush’s wife Laura because she resemble exactly to the mother of Fallaci mother in looks and in manners.

Oriana is starting to like Hillary Clinton after she learned that Hillary loved her book “Rage and Pride” and does not stop commending it to her acquaintances to read but she didn’t considers Hillary sympathetic before.

Fallaci considers that there are only 3 leaders in the second half of the 20th century who are Wojtyla (the previous Pope), Khomeini, and Ben Laden (the Napoleon of Islam and the prophet of darkness).

Ben laden does not need to harangue the masses but can make others execute his orders from a distance and she would gladly interview him, even though she had swore never to interview anyone anymore.

She would dwell on Bin Laden childhood and upbringing because she does not think that religion was the main factors to his megalomania.

Ben Laden was normal adolescent, frequenting bars, drinking whisky and dating girls in abundance and bought his wardrobe from Bond Street.  She strongly believes that Ben Laden anger at the Saudi Royal family was a result of them kicking him out of the palace once King Faisal was assassinated.

Bin Laden’s father was the closest counselor to Faysal and the (Saudi Wahabi caste) disliked this infringement to the rules.

Oriana appreciates the contribution of Wojtyla for the crumbling of the Soviet Union and for continuing to write at the age of 84 and for keeping up with his heavy travel schedule.  She blames the Pope for doing a lot of harm for Christianity and the West because he pacified with the Muslims.

Fallaci condemned the war on Iraq and worried that the end result would be establishment of an Islamic Republic of mullah and imams; but she supported Bush once it started. (The same position of all those Silent Majorities around the world?)

Unfortunately, terrorism has increased and deaths are accumulating for an obscure result because democracy has to be won the people, and to be won it has to be wanted, and to be wanted people has to know what it is.  Thus, since the Iraqi people do not know what democracy is then they certainly do not want it.

The Iraqis as Muslims deeply believe that destiny is not in their hands but coming from Allah. Even the educated people in Iraq proclaim that they want democracy “Islam style”.

The UN is an impotent organization ruled by many members of Islamic states and so far the Janjaweed, the pro-ultra-Muslims of the Sudan government have killed 50,000 Christian blacks and almost one million displaced to camps in Tchad, and in Kalma; the Sudan has a flourishing slave trade of girls raffled during the Janjaweed forays.

The Americans are providing the humanitarian food and the EU refuses to call what is happening as genocide and prefers to label it a complex civil war situation.

Kofi Annan is not sympathetic to her and is two faced and that is why Blair didn’t trust him and had his phone calls intercepted.  She is obfuscated that the UN declared the Wall of Shame that Sharon built on Palestinian lands as illegal; though she would urge Sharon to erase the sections of walls in Palestinian lands proper and reimburse for the damage to the private Palestinian properties.

Her logic considers that anti-Americanism feelings is attached to anti-West behavior which is synonymous to pro-Islamism and thus anti-Semitism.

Fallaci loathes Arafat like the plague and describes as a despot and totally corrupted who amassed over $200 millions and used to send his wife in Paris and allocated $12,000 a day for her expenses.

Arafat was able to control the other Palestinian factions because he held the string to the purse.  Fidel Castro has $150 millions according to Forbes.

As for the state of affairs with the adolescents in Italy Fallaci likes to refers to Plato in a section of his 8th volume of “The Republic“:

When a people, thirsty for liberty, find “echansons” that deliver whatever he wishes, to the point of drunkenness, it happens to calling despots the governments that are eager to satisfying these exigencies of citizens ever more exigent.

A disciplined individual is then decried as void of characters and servile. The scared father end up treating his offspring as equals and lose respect; the teacher refrains from reprimanding the students when they mock him; youth claims the same rights as the old and the latter submit to these claims in order not show severity. 

Under such a climate of liberty and in its name there vanish respect and consideration for anybody.  Within the womb of this kind of license germs and develop a bad grass: Tyranny”

Fallaci tried to glorify her old age because it is at this age that liberty might be attained; a privilege that younger people are striving all their life to grasp it.

At old age fear from judgments stops conditioning our behavior and we are no longer scared of the future because it is here already.

At old age useless desires, superfluous ambitions, and senseless chimeras are out the window.

At old age we are the wiser because we comprehend much better what were obscure through accumulated experience, information and reflection.  She said that she frequented death several times in her career that she has no fear at the idea of dying.

Oriana recalls asking the Emperor of Ethiopia Haile Selassie: “Have you any fear of death?” and the Emperor started screaming “What death?” and he chased her out to the park where a huge lion was eating beef steaks.  Though, as Anna Magnani said: “It is not fair to have to die since we were born anyway“.

Being able to survive so many years is the real miracle and the best gift of reaching old age.  Anyway, if there was no death then the word life would have no meaning.

The vehement attitude of Fallaci toward Islam stems from two premises;

First, all of the terrorist attacks in the Western World are perpetrated by Muslims, and

Second, the practices of Muslims’ behavior in the Western World are based on the teaching of the Koran which cannot b reconciled with the rational civil laws in the western countries they live in.

(Wrong premises: It is Muslims that were the mostly massacred and killed by the extremist Muslim movement in “Islamic world”)

Fallacy used St. John’s apocalyptic vision to offer her version of Islam as the Monster and enliven her ejaculations and substantiate her stand, as if a flawed concept can be clarified by a more obscure premise.

In St. John’s apocalyptic version a Monster with seven heads and ten horns would emerge from the sea and the Beast on land would execute all the Monster’s orders until an angel descends from heaven and lock up the Monster and punish the Beast.

Thus, the Monster is Islam and the Beast is represented by the European liberals and leaders who are trying to appease Muslims and exhorting them to moderation by dangling carrots instead of raising the heavy sticks.

Note: I generated two articles from this manuscript: “Are there moderate Muslims?” and “An alternative version of Fallaci  interpretation of St. John’s apocalyptic vision”

Another Open Letter to French President Macron

Deuxième lettre ouverte au Président Macron :
Où est l’image satellite du port de Beyrouth ?

Par Hassan Hamadé : Écrivain et journaliste libanais – Membre du Conseil national de l’audiovisuel (CNA)

1er octobre 2020, par Comité Valmy

Monsieur le Président,

Je souhaite commencer par vous féliciter chaleureusement pour votre franchise. Je n’ai pas été déçu que vous soyez allé directement au cœur du sujet, lequel n’a nul besoin de fioritures pour dissimuler sa vérité, vu que cette vérité est la raison directe ayant fait de vous le gagnant de la mission au Liban. J’entends par là : le problème posé par les armes de la Résistance.

Il ne vous a pas fallu longtemps pour avouer ouvertement cette première moitié de ce qui vous intéresse au Liban ; l’autre moitié se résumant à votre obsession de gagner des contrats s’appropriant ce qui reste de la richesse de l’État et du peuple.

Des richesses passant du port martyr de Beyrouth à son aéroport menacé du même sort, à l’électricité, à l’eau, au téléphone cellulaire, aux infrastructures et, bien sûr, à ce que la terre et les eaux du Liban contiennent de pétrole et de gaz, là où le géant de l’énergie, la société Total, occupe le devant de la scène.

Mis à part ces deux préoccupations majeures, votre discours [1] sur la dimension humanitaire, réformatrice et éthique de votre mission au Liban est resté dans les limites de sa fonction de maquillage et d’un semblant d’élégance.

Ceux qui attendaient le contraire de votre part ont été désagréablement surpris. C’est leur problème car dans le dictionnaire des États, les promesses n’ engagent que ceux qui y croient.

Outre les félicitations, il nous faut discuter ensemble, chacun à partir de son camp, de la question de l’affrontement direct avec les forces qui s’opposent à la campagne coloniale destructrice désignée par « printemps arabe ».

Pour rappel, Monsieur le Président, cette expression avait déjà été utilisée par les gouvernements français il y a 172 ans, lorsqu’ils avaient affirmé que la création de la sinistre mission « Baudicour » [2] serait le début du printemps des peuples. Mission qui consistait à déraciner les maronites libanais de leurs terres et à les transférer en Algérie.

Conformément à votre habitude des raccourcis, votre conférence de presse du 27 septembre 2020 est venue confirmer vos déclarations annoncées quelques heures avant votre deuxième visite au Liban, le 1er septembre 2020.

C’est ainsi que vous avez ajouté une zone d’ombre encore plus dense dans l’espace des relations libano-françaises ; autrement dit, une nouvelle ambiguïté qui s’ajoute aux précédentes déjà évoquées [3] et qui mène à une lecture différente du devenir des relations entre nos deux pays, loin de la propagande entourant le mythe d’amour et de tendresse pour le Liban.

Cette fois, vous nous avez rappelés une époque supposée révolue, étant donné qu’aujourd’hui vous nous apparaissez plutôt proche d’un haut-commissaire.

Cependant, avec moins de pouvoirs que vos prédécesseurs à ce poste, car leur référence était Paris, tandis que votre véritable référence se situe quelque part dans le « Nouveau Monde ».

Cela ne vous est absolument pas étranger. Vous êtes le tenant d’une démarche politique ayant opté pour une France européenne, plutôt que pour une France française et si vous aviez à choisir entre une Europe européenne et une Europe atlantiste, vous opteriez pour une Europe atlantiste.

Et je n’irai pas jusqu’à dire, comme certains, que vous iriez jusqu’à préférer l’appartenance aux États-Unis à l’appartenance à l’Europe atlantiste.

C’est probablement la raison qui fait qu’à aucun moment vous n’avez abordé la question cruciale de la Résistance qui protège autant qu’elle le peut le Liban du monstre raciste sioniste, alors que vous considérez le manque de respect à la mémoire de la Résistance française comme un péché mortel.

En effet, la résistance à l’occupation et la défense des patries est par principe une question morale, éthique, légale et humaine, toute proche de la sainteté.

Trouvez-vous qu’il est sérieux de parler de la nôtre comme vous l’avez fait ? Pour de nombreux Libanais, votre discours sur la Résistance libanaise est venu comme un coup de poignard en plein cœur.

Peut-être que vous ne l’avez pas voulu. Et, peut-être que vous avez écouté plus qu’il ne le faut vos conseillers et vos amis, lesquels n’ont fait que vous impliquer dans un problème pouvant fortement compromettre la relation historique entre nos deux pays dans le présent et le futur.

Monsieur le Président,

Je n’ai pas été surpris par votre totale indifférence à l’analyse du dossier libanais par le respecté homme d’État français [4], Maurice Couve de Murville.

La différence entre vous porte non seulement sur l’époque, l’expérience et la culture, mais aussi sur l’appartenance. Il était dans la fleur de l’âge lorsqu’il a rejoint le Commandant de la France libre, a travaillé à la radio de la Résistance, est resté proche du Général de Gaulle tout au long de sa vie et a été ministre des Affaires étrangères, puis Premier ministre.

Ce qui explique qu’il ait tenu à ne pas prendre parti face aux querelles des Libanais et donc à ne pas les encourager à détruire leur pays.

Naturellement, à l’époque il n’a pas eu à s’opposer à la résistance naissante qui a expulsé les monstres sionistes de la capitale Beyrouth ; première capitale arabe occupée par l’armée israélienne lorsque le Hezbollah n’était pas encore né. Lequel Hezbollah est néanmoins né de la matrice de cette première résistance triomphante qui a brisé les crocs des monstres sionistes et les a expulsés de Beyrouth que vous avez visité et dans les rues duquel vous vous êtes promené.

Vous êtes censé avoir été informé de ces faits historiques avant d’user d’expressions offensantes contre notre Résistance, abstraction faite de votre position de principe en raison de vos engagements otano-sionistes.

C’est là une atteinte à la dignité de la patrie libanaise, laquelle suppose que vous lui présentiez vos excuses.

Vous avez parfaitement le droit de haïr la Résistance et de la combattre, mais vous n’avez pas le droit de l’offenser alors que vous traitez du sujet libanais au titre de l’amitié.

Imaginez la situation inverse où un Libanais se tiendrait devant vous pour traiter de la sorte la Résistance française. Quelle serait votre réaction ? Je m’attends à ce que vous entriez dans une grande colère ; là aussi, abstraction faite de votre propre opinion sur la Résistance française qui ne concerne que vous.

Et que dire de vos propos prétendant que la Résistance libanaise sème la terreur en Syrie ?

Que cela vous plaise ou non, Monsieur le Président, cette Résistance est le fer de lance de la défense territoriale contre le terrorisme, à commencer par les organisations atlantistes de la terreur, c’est-à-dire Daech, le Front al-Nosra, la Brigade Sultan Mourad, la Harakat Nour al-Din al Zenki et l’ensemble de leurs dérivées bénéficiant globalement du parrainage de votre Organisation du traité de l’Atlantique nord [l’OTAN] et du financement puisé dans les caisses des pays du Golfe, occupés par vos armées atlantistes.

Plus de 170 000 terroristes venus d’Europe et d’autres pays, amenés par votre organisation au cœur de la géographie syrienne pour la déchirer de l’intérieur, menant ainsi la plus monstrueuse des campagnes coloniales que l’histoire ait connues au cours de ses différentes époques. Organisations qui « font du bon boulot », comme l’a dit un jour l’un de vos ministres des Affaires étrangères !

C’est pourquoi vous vous en prenez à la résistance libanaise. C’est peut-être aussi parce qu’elle a énormément contribué à la défense de la présence chrétienne sur la sainte terre syrienne pendant que votre alliance atlantique, laquelle excelle dans la flagellation des peuples et la négation de leurs droits humains les plus élémentaires, travaille jour et nuit à effacer les traces du christianisme de la terre palestinienne du premier révolutionnaire humaniste, Jésus-Christ, et les traces du crime commis le 30 septembre 2000 contre l’enfant Mohammed al-Durah [5], son père, ses frères et ses sœurs.

Et c’est plus probablement encore, Monsieur le Président, la raison qui vous pousse à voir une contradiction incompréhensible entre la résistance du Hezbollah à Israël et son droit d’être un parti respecté au Liban.

Imaginez, là aussi, qu’un Libanais vous dise que toute force française ayant résisté aux nazis perdrait son droit à former un parti politique respecté en France. Serait-ce raisonnable ? Question, évidemment indépendante de votre propre opinion sur le fascisme et le nazisme qui ne concerne que vous.

Tout comme le Christ, le peuple du Christ est persécuté. Le pape Benoît XVI n’a-t-il pas condamné « l’hostilité et les préjugés à l’encontre des chrétiens » en Europe » ?

Lisez, Monsieur le président, son message pour la Journée mondiale de la paix du 1er janvier 2011. Cette même année où vous avez inauguré l’orgie sanguinaire via votre printemps arabe. Dans le quatorzième paragraphe de ce terrible message, le penseur Joseph Ratzinger semble considérer que vos discours au monde manquent de sincérité.

Contentez-vous de lire ce seul paragraphe, votre excellence, car il est fort probable que vous ne soyez pas intéressé par ce genre de lecture.

Lors de votre conférence de presse, alors que je vous observais pendant que vous déversiez vos ressentiments, j’ai senti toute la froideur de vos paroles en dépit de la volubilité de votre langage corporel.

Vous êtes apparu froid et nullement concerné par la requête libanaise qui vous a été personnellement adressée ; celle de fournir une image satellite [6] de la terrible explosion terrestre engendrée par le crime complexe contre l’existence même du Liban. Vos paroles resteront creuses et sans valeur tant que vous éluderez notre demande destinée à savoir qui a dirigé l’explosion hirochimienne contre le port de Beyrouth, pour favoriser le port de Haïfa en Palestine occupée.

Nous voulons la vérité ; la vérité pour le Liban. Nous avez-vous entendus, vous qui vous permettez de nous donner des leçons en insultant nos politiciens voleurs, afin de susciter notre amitié et de gagner notre confiance, tout en continuant à vous entendre avec eux et à dissimuler le coupable ? Il en est toujours ainsi : généralisation, hausse du ton, débats creux aboutissant à la dissimulation du coupable. Une technique, cher Président, qui ne trompe que ceux qui croient aux paroles des États. Où sont donc les images satellite ? Et que cache leur non divulgation ?

Désolé, Monsieur le Président, pour avoir oublié que votre éloquence en matière de transparence, de démocratie et de droits humains n’a d’égale que l’éloquence de vos confrères banquiers lorsqu’ils insistent pour que les clients déposent leur argent et leurs économies dans les coffres de leurs banques, pour qu’une opération de sublimation transforment ensuite leurs dépôts en vapeurs lorsque sonnera l’heure du grand pillage et de la destruction des familles, sous couvert de telle ou telle révolution colorée, comme cela s’est passé et se passe encore au Liban. Choses que ne pouvez ignorer, votre Excellence.

Et c’est peut-être parce que vous maitrisez ce savoir que vous avez complètement ignoré les aveux particulièrement terribles, formulés quelques heures avant votre grande conférence de presse, devant le Congrès américain, par le diplomate américain, David Hale ; un homme d’une grande politesse, un amoureux de la paix et de l’harmonie entre les humains au point d’accompagner les orgies sanguinaires au Liban depuis des décennies. Il a déclaré que son administration avait dépensé et distribué dix milliards de dollars [7] au profit de ceux en qui vous avez confiance au Liban : des organisations non gouvernementales et des inféodés fiables au sein des cercles politiques et des médias menteurs.

Des aveux venus s’ajouter aux déclarations antérieures d’un autre diplomate américain, tout aussi féru des orgies sanguinaires au Liban : le nommé Jeffrey Feltman. Lequel avait affirmé le 8 juin 2010, toujours devant le Congrès américain, que son administration pacifique, qui hait les massacres et les assassinats, avait dépensé un demi-milliard de dollars au cœur du Liban afin de défigurer l’image du Hezbollah [8].

Les oreilles de ces individus, Monsieur le Président, entendent essentiellement vos collègues parmi les banquiers internationaux, tandis que leurs yeux sont tournés vers la Banque centrale libanaise qu’ils se préparent à dépouiller de son droit exclusif d’émettre la monnaie. Pour cela, le prétexte est fin prêt : la Banque du Liban n’étant plus digne de confiance, ce privilège doit être confié à des banques privées.

Mais, puisque les banques privées ont également perdu leur crédibilité avec la complicité du gouverneur de la Banque centrale (l’équivalent d’Edgar Hoover en matière de finances) et des sommités du comité des banques, lesquels passent la moitié de leur temps à Paris loin des projecteurs des patriotes libanais, le privilège doit plutôt être confié à des banques internationales.

Et la « Bank of New York », l’une des plus grande banques, propriétaire de la Réserve fédérale américaine, détient désormais 34% des plus grandes banques libanaises, grâce à une opération furtive de vol mi-2019. Une opération que les médias libanais « libres » ont dissimulée, ces mêmes médias financés par les dix milliards de dollars précités et devenus promoteurs de ladite révolution ; la révolution de l’autodestruction au nom de la lutte contre la corruption.

Est-il possible, Monsieur le Président, que vous ignoriez ce vol généralisé de tout un peuple par les banques !? Il est étonnant que vous ayez pu oublier un fait aussi terrible, exactement comme vous semblez avoir oublié les images satellite, lesquelles faciliteraient grandement la désignation des responsables de l’explosion hirochimienne du port de Beyrouth.

Monsieur le Président,

Il m’est difficile de croire ceux qui prétendent que vous n’êtes pas au courant de tout cela, tout comme il m’est difficile de croire que vous ne sachiez pas que vos avions de l’OTAN brûlent systématiquement des champs de céréales et des cultures de terres fertiles en Syrie, pour que les Syriens meurent de famine pendant que le blocus atlantiste les prive des moyens de combattre l’invasion de la pandémie virale.

Vous qui êtes issu du monde civilisé, transparent, défenseur des droits humains, naturellement et avant tout démocrate, vous devez présenter vos excuses aux Libanais, à nous tous, Monsieur le Président. Ce serait honteux de vous en abstenir. Quant à nous :

Notre Liban est et restera à nous, il n’est pas à vendre. Notre Syrie est et restera à nous. Notre Palestine était et reviendra au peuple du Christ… notre peuple.

Une fois de plus, Monsieur le Président, veuillez accepter mes meilleures salutations.

Hassan Hamadé
01/10/2020

Traduction de l’arabe par Mouna Alno-Nakhal

Source : Al-Intichar (Liban) http://alintichar.com/123852

Notes :

[1][ Conférence de presse du Président Emmanuel Macron sur la situation au Liban. (diffusée en direct le 27 septembre 2020 (vidéo)]
[2][ Le projet Baudicour de 1848]
[3][Première lettre ouverte au Président Macron ; par Hassan Hamadé]
[4] [La crise libanaise et l’évolution du Proche-Orient [Maurice Couve de Murville]
[5][Charles Enderlin & l’affaire Mohammed al-Durah (vidéo)]
[6][Aoun demande à Macron des images aériennes du moment de l’explosion]
[7] [Al-Mayadeen / Hale : nous avons dépensé 10 milliards de dollars pour les forces de sécurité et la société civile libanaises (vidéo)]
[8][Al-Mayadeen / Jeffrey Feltman : Les USA ont dépensé 500 milliards de dollars pour défigurer l’image du Hezbollah (vidéo)]


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