The following article is reprinted with permission from Ma’an News Agency, Bethlehem.
Hamas: P.A. colluding with U.S. Blackwater
© Ma’an News Agency
January 13, 2011
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Following an agreement that would give private U.S. security group Blackwater access to the West Bank, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said the move meant Palestinians were “under double attack.”
Chief of the P.A. security forces in the West Bank Adnan Dmeiri, who confirmed the arrival of the security personnel, said the agents would only be fulfilling their mandate to protect U.S. officials when they are in the West Bank and institutions in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
“They will not reside in Palestinian areas,” Dmeiri said, dismissing the concern.
Hamas’ Barhoum, however, accused the P.A. of coordinating with U.S. intelligence, and called the move a reflection of the “multinational authority” ruling the West Bank, which aims to “oppress the freedom of the Palestinians, their sovereignty on their land enable the Israeli occupation to apply its agenda of rubbing out all those defending the Palestinian cause.”
The arrival of Blackwater security personnel to Palestine “represents the largest danger to the lives and sovereignty of Palestinians,” Barhoum said, adding that he believed it “confirmed the existence of U.S.-Israel security cooperation,” and would add to the “violations of freedoms and human rights already carried out in the West Bank.”
The Hamas spokesman called on the “Fatah Authority” to fall in line with the desires of Palestinians, to “resist the occupation,” and demanded that the P.A. refocus on the “national project.”
The following commentary is reprinted with permission from Global Research.
Islamophobia and the Plight of Christian Arabs
© Nicola Nasser
Source: Global Research
January 12, 2011
Suddenly, the U. S.-European alliance is acting to protect the “existence” of the Christian Arab minority against the Muslim Arab majority whose very existence is besieged and threatened by this same alliance, drawing on a wide spread Islamophobia while at the same time exacerbating Islamophobia among western audiences whom the international financial crisis is now crushing to the extent that it does not spare them time or resources to question the real political motives of their governments, which have been preoccupied for decades now with restructuring the Arab world geographically, demographically, politically and culturally against the will of its peoples with a pronounced aim of creating a “new Middle East.”
Ironically this sudden western awakening to the plight of Christian Arabs comes at a time when all Arabs, both Muslims and Christians, are crushed by U.S. and Israeli military occupation or foreign political hegemony, but worse still when they are in the grip of a social upheaval in the very states that are by will or by coercion loyal to this alliance, where unbalanced development and an unemployment rate more than double the world average are pushing masses onto the streets to challenge the legitimacy of their own pro–west governments. Exactly at this time, when Arab masses need their “social” unity for national liberation, sovereignty, liberty and freedom, a European campaign is being waged to divide them along religious and sectarian lines.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy — who on Dec. 9, 2009 wrote in Le Monde defending a Switzerland vote banning Muslim mosques from building minarets and made a national fuss on banning less than two thousand French citizens from wearing Niqab — said on Jan. 6 that he “cannot accept” what he described as “religious cleansing” of Arab Christians. His Foreign Minister, Michele Alliot-Marie, wrote to the EU’s foreign affairs baroness, Catherine Ashton, asking for the union to draw up a plan of action in response. France took the initiative to call a meeting of the U.N. Security Council last Nov. 9 to discuss international protection of Iraqi Christians. On Dec. 22, Italy’s foreign Minister Franco Frattini said his country was presenting a resolution to the U.N. to condemn their “persecution.” Together with his French, Polish and Hungarian counterparts, Frattini wrote a joint letter to Ashton asking her to table the issue at the foreign ministers meeting on January 31 and to consider taking “concrete measures” to protect them. On Dec. 17, the German Bundestag passed a resolution defending the freedom of religion around the world, but viewed with “great concern” the resolution of the U.N. Human Rights Council on March 25 last year against the “defamation of religions” because it “undermines the existing human rights understanding.”
The European political reaction sounds excessively selective in its concern over an allegedly missing right of the freedom of religion of the Christian minority in a region where civil and human rights for the Muslim majority are missing thanks in the first place for the support the regional governing regimes, which confiscate these same rights, receive from the U.S.–European alliance, and the European selectivity allegedly in defense of the “threatened” existence of the Christian Arab minorities speaks louder when it is compared with the deafening European silence over the threatened existence of the Arab and Islamic cultural identities of the majority, let alone the European incitement against both identities, a double standard that explicitly invokes suspicious questions about the credibility and sincerity of the European “rights” concerns and about the real political goals behind these pronounced concerns. For example, more than 300 mosques were attacked, some of them of a UNESCO World Heritage Center standards, hundreds of Muslim clerics were murdered, millions of Muslims were forced either to migrate internally or immigrate externally in the U.S.–occupied Iraq, and the plight of Iraqi Christians has been and still is merely a side show of the overall destruction of the whole state there, but the European rights consciousness did not and still does not find it worth a similar call for defense and protection.
Unfortunately, this traditional European divide–and–rule policy in the Arab world, as it was the case for centuries, is today finding ample papal blessing from the Vatican to justify itself, not in the eyes of Arabs, but in the eyes of its own audiences. President Sarkozy’s whistle blower cry this January 6 that Christians in the Arab–Islamic world are victims of a planned “religious cleansing,” came on the backdrop of the Vatican’s Pope Benedict XVI repeated call on the world leaders to rise up for the protection and “defense of the Christians in the Middle East.” It is a cry fraught with the connotations of the historical precedent of the Vatican–blessed Fourth Crusade, which consisted mainly of a crusading army originating from areas within France and which was diverted from invading Egypt by sea to the sacking of Constantinople, the capital of the political and spiritual rival, the Orthodox Church, to which the overwhelming majority of Christians in the Arab–Muslim world belong, instead of “liberating” Jerusalem from Muslims.
Pope Benedict XVI’s wilful or careless indifference towards exploiting his church concerns by “secular” politicians like Sarkozy to serve their down to earth goals, or towards exacerbating Islamophobia, which in turn fuels Christianphobia, is reminiscent of how the older Sarkozy–type “Christ–abiding” and non–secular politicians concealed from the bulk of the crusading army a letter from Pope Innocent III, who made the new Fourth Crusade the goal of his pontificate, warning against the diversion of the crusade, forbidding any atrocities against “Christian neighbors” and threatening excommunication. In as much as the indifference of the crusader pope to carry out his threat had led to the demise of the Byzantine Empire, the fall of Constantinople in the hands of the Muslims less than three hundred years later and turning the crusades into a war against the rival church more than against the Muslims, the indifference of the present day Pope Benedict XVI is threatening to counterproductively achieve the demise of Christian existence in the “East,” which he has made, it seems, the goal of his pontificate.
Ever since the Fourth Crusade sacked Constantinople in 1204, Arab Christians in the Muslim world have been wary of the messages and emissaries of Rome as a cultural spearhead of foreign invasion and hegemony. Even a Catholic loyal to the Vatican like the incumbent Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal, had this to tell the Israeli Haaretz exclusively four days before Benedict XVI’s “pilgrimage” to the Holy Land in September 2009: “The thing that worries me most is the speech that the pope will deliver here. One word for the Muslims and I’m in trouble; one word for the Jews and I’m in trouble. At the end of the visit the pope goes back to Rome and I stay here with the consequences.” Patriarch Twal’s fears were vindicated last week when Egypt recalled its Vatican envoy for consultations over the Pope’s remarks on Egyptian Copts: The “new statements from the Vatican” are “unacceptable interference” in Egypt’s “internal affairs,” the Egyptian foreign ministry said in a statement. Syrian analyst Sami Moubayed recently wrote that similar papal remarks were to the “fundamentalists … a blessing in disguise.”
Pope Benedict XVI since he occupied the papacy seat seems totally insensitive to the worries of his representative in Jerusalem; he doesn’t seem short of words and seems careful not to miss an opportunity to utter provocative anti-Muslim pronouncements that place both his church clergy and followers on the defensive among both their Christian as well as Muslim compatriots. However, he places them in a more critical position by his helplessness to find any words or an opportunity in his latest torrential rhetoric about the protection of Christians and their plight in Holy Land itself, where they have been victims of actual ethnic and religious cleansing for more than sixty years now since the Palestinian Nakba in 1948, when the state of Israel was declared independent on the ruins of their homes.
From a regional perspective, both Christian and Muslim, the very existence of Christians is threatened, besieged and gradually cleansed by the Israeli military occupation in the Palestinian cradle of Christianity — where Christ was born, spread the word of God, love and peace and crucified. The papal silence on this simple fact of life is much louder in the region than Pope’s pronounced appeals for the defense and protection of Christians on the peripheries of the birthplace of Christianity, in Iraq, Egypt or Lebanon for example, because when the center of Christian gravity crumbles in Jerusalem, the periphery supports would not hold for long and even the important St, Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican would be a pale substitute, and the center of Christian gravity in Jerusalem is almost totally Judaized, and is off limits to the Christians both in the Palestinian cradle of Christianity as well as to their brethren on the Arab and Muslim periphery, unless they are granted an Israeli military permit to visit, which is rare and very tightly selective.
Viewed from Christian regional perspective, the papal appeals for their protection could hardly be described other than contradictory, if not hypocrite, particularly in view of a Vatican’s document in July 2007, approved by Benedict XVI, which declared Catholicism as “the only true church of Christ” and “other Christian communities are either defective or not true churches.” So, “what” Christians Pope Benedict is appealing to defend and protect? A year earlier, Coptic Pope Shenouda III denied there was any dialogue or contacts with the Vatican although thirty three years before both sides agreed to form joint committees for bilateral dialogue. With the exception of Armenian church as a late newcomer but nonetheless an independent church, the Coptic, Orthodox, Chaldean, Assyrian, Syriac, Melkite and other Eastern communions have existed and coexisted among and with Arabs since the earliest days of Christianity, because they are Arabs either by ethnicity or by culture and they are the overwhelming majority of Christians in the Middle East and an integral part of the Arab society.
Islamophobia is warning that Muslims are “returning” to Islam, but is it not top on the agenda of Pope Benedict XVI to return Europe to Christianity? “We must reject both secularism and fundamentalism,” the Pope said in his annual address on Christmas Day, but is it not secularism that the Pope, Europe and the U.S. are preaching now to de-Arabise and de-Islamise Arabs? This double standard ironical western contradiction deprives their calls for the protection of Arab Christians of whatever credibility it might still have in the Arab eyes. Their “protection” will prove counterproductive sooner or later. Christianphobia that fuels anti – Christian blind terror is an already active byproduct.
The ‘Church of Islam’’
Commenting on the Synod of Middle East Christian leaders that convened in the Vatican last October, the spiritual leader of the Melkite “Catholics,” Patriarch of the Church of Antioch, Gregorios III, had this to say, quoted by the Lebanese Daily Star last December: “The Synod for the Middle East is a Synod for Arab countries, for Arabs, a Synod for Arab Christians in symbiosis with their Arab society. It is a Synod for the ‘Church of the Arabs’ and ‘Church of Islam’.” The adviser to the Muslim Sunni Mufti of Lebanon, Dr. Mohammad Al–Sammak, who was invited to the Synod, recognized the Arab identity of Christians in the Middle East: “I cannot live my being Arabic without the Middle Eastern Christian Arab … They are an integral part of the … formation of Islamic civilization,” he told the Synod.
Politically and religiously these Christians have been on the other side of the Vatican–blessed old or modern western conquests, and politically and religiously they have been all along protected by Arabs and Muslims, otherwise they would not have survived. Their existence is now under threat because the existence of their Arab–Islamic incubator is on the line, besieged either by direct military occupation in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan or by economic sanctions and political hegemony; their existence was not threatened when the Arab–Islamic state was an empire and a world power, nor was it threatened during the crusades despite the atrocities committed by their western co-religious crusaders, which would have invited a reprisal had it not been for the teachings of Islam itself.
The U.S.–led world war on terror targeting mainly Arabs and Muslims is perplexing western pro–law, peace and human rights audiences by smoke–screening their governments’ military adventures and modern crusades, which is the real action that created terrorism as the only possible reaction expected by the overpowered nations. However the invading creator and the created terrorists in their bloody divide are smoke–screening also any possible resurface of the forgotten Islamic covenants that protected the indigenous two thousand–year old Arab Christians since the advent of Islam in the seventh century. In the year 628 AD, a Christian delegation from St. Catherine’s Monastery, in Egypt’s Sinai, met Prophet Mohammad and requested his protection. The Prophet granted them a protection charter.
Dr. Muqtedar Khan, Director of Islamic Studies at the University of Delaware and a fellow of the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, wrote this about the charter: “The document is not a modern human rights treaty but even though it was penned in 628 A.D., it clearly protects the right to property, freedom of religion, freedom of work, and security of the person. A remarkable aspect of the charter is that it imposes no conditions on Christians for enjoying its privileges. It is enough that they are Christians. They are not required to alter their beliefs, they do not have to make any payments and they do not have any obligations. This is a charter of rights without any duties! The first and the final sentence of the charter are critical. They make the promise eternal and universal. By ordering Muslims to obey it until the Day of Judgment the charter again undermines any future attempts to revoke the privileges. These rights are inalienable.” In the year 631, Prophet Muhammad received a delegation of sixty Christians from Najran in the Prophet’s mosque in Medinah, allowed them to pray in the mosque, and concluded the “covenant to the Christians of Najran” treaty which granted them religious and administrative autonomy as citizens of the Islamic State. In 637, Islamic Caliph Omar ibn al–Khattab granted the similar “Covenant of Omar” to the Patriarch of Jerusalem Sophronius.
However, neither Islamophobians nor their terrorist Islamists have any interest but to dump these Islamic ideological covenants for the protection of Arab Christians. No Arab Christian fears for his life from his Muslim neighbor or his government, but he or she definitely fears these two protagonists, who are both foreign to his history and culture. No foreign protection of Arab Christians could match the protection and solidarity they received from their Muslim compatriots both in Iraq and Egypt following the bombings of a church in Baghdad on October 31 and a church in Alexandria on New Year Eve. In the latter case there were reports of Muslim human shields to protect the Christmas religious celebrations of Egyptian Christians, let alone the solidarity statements by both outlawed Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya and the Muslim Brotherhood and the thousands of police deployed for the same purpose, in a remarkable show of national unity and historic coexistence.
The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), scheduled to meet in the UAE on January 19, will discuss the situation of Christians in member states, according to Lebanon parliamentary Speaker Nabih Berri. On this background, there are also reports that Egypt will ask the Arab League economic summit this month, to discuss foreign, and in particular western, interference in Arab Affairs. European offers of protection are already backlashing.
The only real threat to the existence of Arab Christians showed for the first time when the European colonialism first, then the U.S. imperialism, self–appointed western powers as their protectors. It is noteworthy that in both the Iraqi and Egyptian cases the native Christian Arabs are now paying the heavy price of the U.S. anti–Pan–Arabism of both late Jamal Abdul Nasser and Saddam Hussein. Their plight started with the forcing of pro– U.S. regimes in both countries.
To describe the latest attacks against Christians as a plan of “religious cleansing,” as President Sarkozy has done, suggests a persecution that doesn’t exist; this is “not the case in the Middle East at the moment,” it is “not supported by the wider community,” said Fiona McCallum of the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, who is a specialist on the Christian communities in the Middle East, adding: “It’s important to also note that immigration takes place from the region from both Christians and Muslims as well.”
Nicola Nasser is a veteran Arab journalist based in Bir Zeit, West Bank of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.
[Blogmaster note: Although out of power for many years, Cuba’s Fidel Castro Ruz continues to write articles and commentaries about current affairs. These “Reflections of Fidel” are published in Spanish but usually appear a few days later in English.]
The following commentary was translated by Granma International, Havana, citing “CubaDebate” as the Spanish source.
What would Einstein say?
© Fidel Castro Ruz
Source: Granma Int’l
January 7, 2011
IN a Reflection published on August 25, 2010, under the title “The opinion of an expert,” I mentioned a totally unprecedented activity on the part of the United States and its allies which, in my view, underlined the risk of a conflict of a nuclear nature with Iran. I made reference to a long article by the well-known journalist Jeffrey Goldberg, published in The Atlantic Monthly, a U.S. magazine, datelined September of that year, titled “The Point of No Return.”
Goldberg was not anti-Israel, but on the contrary an admirer of Israel, whose citizenship he shares with that of the United States, and did his military service in the former country.
In the initial part of his article he wrote, textually: “It is possible, as well, that ‘foiling operations’ conducted by the intelligence agencies of Israel, the United States, Great Britain, and other Western powers (programs designed to subvert the Iranian nuclear effort through sabotage and, on occasion, the carefully engineered disappearances of nuclear scientists) will have hindered Iran’s progress in some significant way.”
The parentheses are his as well.
After mentioning that enigmatic phrase, I proceeded with an analysis of that Gordian knot of international politics which could lead to the war so much feared by Einstein. What would he say if he had known about the “foiling operations” aimed at the physical disappearance of the most capable nuclear scientists?
Perhaps because it seemed absurd and incredible, I didn’t pay it too much attention, but on reading some months later the recent exposés of the government of Iran, as well as news and opinions from well-informed people, that paragraph came forcefully back to my mind.
Four weeks before the end of 2010, an AFP cable reported:
Iranian nuclear scientist murdered
Tehran accuses USA and Israel of being behind double bomb attacks.
AFP, November 30, 2010
‘The hand of Western governments and the Zionist regime is involved in the assassination.’ Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was in no doubt at the point of discovering those responsible for the double attack on nuclear experts perpetrated in the early hours yesterday in Tehran. Majid Shahriar, a professor at the Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran and a member of the Nuclear Society of Iran, was killed and his wife wounded in an explosion a few meters from their home. His colleague, Fereidoun Abbasi, a laser physics specialist at the same university, and his wife were wounded in an attack with similar characteristics. Although Abbasi’s death was announced in the media, the Mehr agency finally confirmed that his life had been saved. According to the Fars agency, ‘unknown terrorists’ on motorcycles had attached magnetized bombs to their cars.
Members of the Ahmadinejad executive, such as Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, directly accused the CIA and Mossad – U.S. and Israeli intelligence services respectively – of being behind these acts, which would seem to be a fresh blow to the country’s nuclear program on the threshold of a new round of talks with members of the 5+1…
With yesterday’s attack, three Iranian scientists have now been murdered since 2007. Doctor Masoud Ali Mohammadi lost his life in Tehran last January in a bomb blast outside his home, a death that has not been clarified by the authorities, which also accused Western intelligence agencies of attempting to abort what they consider a right, their nuclear program for civilian purposes. The first victim in the heart of the scientific community was Ardeshir Hosseinpur, who died in strange circumstances in 2007 at the Isfahan nuclear plant.
I do not recall any other moment in history in which the assassination of scientists became the official policy of a group of powers equipped with nuclear weapons. The worst is that, in the case of Iran, they are implementing it in a Muslim nation, with which, while they can compete and surpass it in technology, they could never do so in a terrain where, on account of cultural and religious matters, it could surpass them many times over in terms of its citizens’ disposition to die at any moment if Iran should decide to apply the same absurd and criminal formula to its adversaries’ professionals.
There are other serious events related to the butchery of scientists, organized by Israel, the United States, Britain and other powers against Iranian scientists, details of which the corporate media is not informing world opinion.
An article by Christian Elia published on the Rebelíon website on August 25, 2010, communicates the following:
An explosion killed the father of Iran’s drone aircraft, but he is merely the latest scientist to have lost his life in the country.
Finding a photo of Reza Baruni on the Internet is mission impossible. However, in the last two days, his name has been at the center of a mystery with many international aspects…
The only known fact is that Iranian aeronautical engineer Reza Baruni is dead. All the rest is shrouded in total mystery. Baruni is considered by all analysts in the industry to be the father of the […] Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) of the Islamic republic. His house was blown up on August 1, 2010.
On August 17, 2010, Debka (very close to Israeli intelligence) published the news of Baruni’s death and announced its conclusions: the Iranian engineer’s home flew through the air as a result of the detonation of three highly powerful explosive devices. Baruni was murdered.
But the murkiest episode, on the other hand, is that of the death of Masoud Ali Mohammadi, a nuclear physics professor at the University of Tehran, killed on January 11, 2010 in the Iranian capital. Professor Ali Mohammadi died in a remote controlled car bomb attack when he left his house to go to work…
An article published on the CubaDebate website states:
Israel admits responsibility for death of Iranian nuclear scientist last week
The Israeli secret service, Mossad, has claimed responsibility for the assassination last week of Majid Shahriar and the wounding of another physicist in Iran, according to sources linked to Mossad itself, in an operation carried out in Tehran. ‘It is the latest operation of the chief of Mossad,’ as heads of Israeli secret services meeting at their headquarters in Geliot, north of Tel Aviv, confirmed with satisfaction.
Gordon Thomas, a British expert on Mossad, confirmed to the U.K. Sunday Telegraph that Israel was behind the double operation to hinder Tehran’s nuclear program.
Thomas affirms that all attacks carried out in recent years against individuals linked to Iran’s nuclear program were organized by the Kidon (bayonet) unit.
According to the Hebrew Yediot Aharonot daily, Kidon comprises 38 agents, including five women, all aged from 20 to 30, who speak different languages, including Farsi, and travel to Iran with fake identities. Their base is in the Neguev desert.
In the times of the Diaspora, the world’s left was in solidarity with the Israeli people. Persecuted on account of their ethnicity and religion, many of them fought in the ranks of revolutionary parties. The peoples condemned the extermination camps which the European and world bourgeoisie attempted to ignore.
Today, the leaders of the state of Israel are practicing genocide and are associated with the most reactionary forces on the planet.
Still to be clarified is the alliance that the leaders of that state sustained with the odious South Africa of apartheid, to which, in complicity with the United States, it supplied the technology to develop nuclear weapons destined to strike the Cuban troops who, in 1975, confronted the invasion of racist South Africa, whose contempt for and hatred of the African peoples was in no way distinguishable from the ideology of the Nazis who murdered millions of Jews, Russians, Romany peoples and other European nationalities in the extermination camps of Europe.
If it had not been for the Iranian revolution – which, lacking weapons swept aside the best equipped ally of the United States on the southern flank of the Soviet superpower – today, the Shah of Iran, supplied with nuclear weapons, not Israel, would be the principal bulwark of the yankee empire and of NATO in that highly strategic region, immensely rich in oil and gas for the secure provision of the most developed countries of the planet.
It is an almost inexhaustible subject.
Fidel Castro Ruz
January 6, 2011
The following commentary is reprinted with permission from Veterans Today.
“Israeli Spying Network” Uncovered in Egypt Days Before Church Blast
© Dr. Ashraf Ezzat
Source: Veterans Today
January 1, 2011
* People in Egypt don’t have to waste their time suspecting and accusing al Qaeda,.. Egyptians know better,.. they know that al Qaeda is a joke,.. they only point the finger at Israel, the one implacable enemy who happened to be the conspirator behind destabilizing Iraq and the whole region.
What kind of images come to your mind whenever Egypt is mentioned? To a lot of people Egypt is automatically associated with the pyramids, the river Nile and the historical monuments of the great pharaohs. But modern Egypt is a lot more than just a world tourist attraction. Egypt besides the long history and culture is one of the leading nations in regard to liberation from European colonialism; the Egyptian revolution in 1952 was an inspiration to a lot of liberation movements in Africa and the Middle East.
During the era of the cold war, Egypt — with India and former Yugoslavia — initiated the non alignment movement (NAM) an intergovernmental organization of states considering themselves not aligned formally with or against any major power bloc. But the enthusiastic call for pan-Arabism was and still is — one of the most important political projects Egypt had adopted and advocated during the 1960s. The idea of an Arabic union with economic, political and military collaboration is a dream all Arab peoples long for but on the other hand this project of Arabic unity is deemed a potential and clear danger to a small country in the Middle East namely, Israel.
The Egyptian policy kept changing according to the local and international variables throughout the years. Egypt transformed from a constitutional monarchy at the first half of the twentieth century, to a socialist republic during the 1950-60s and now to a state with a free market economy. Egyptians changed in so many ways, socially and economically that is, throughout the last 60 years. Egyptians vary in their political perspectives; they might as well disagree on a wide range of public issues but all Egyptians agree on one indisputable fact concerning their national security, they all view Israel as the permanent and implacable enemy.
Sometimes people get so wrapped up nowadays in news and conflicts they nearly forgot what happened during the last 60 years.
Egyptian-Israeli military conflict
From day one to its foundation, Egypt knew very well that Israel is a real threat to its eastern strategic borders and to the whole area as well. Egypt knew that the newly implanted Zionist regime was mainly aiming to expand by illegally grabbing more of the Arabic land.
So the Arab-Israeli conflict began as an Egyptian-Israeli military confrontation for the simple fact that Egypt was the strongest and the leading nation of the Arab world not to mention that it shared borders with Israel and Palestine.
From 1948 till 1973 Egypt got into 4 wars with Israel:
· Palestine war, the brutal Israeli occupation of Palestine (Nakba) 1948.
· The Suez war (tripartite aggression) was a war fought by Britain, France, and Israel against Egypt beginning on 29 October 1956.
· The six-day war in June 1967, a sneaky Israeli attack that left part of the Egyptian land-Sinai peninsula- occupied by Israel.
· October war 1973, in which the Egyptian military managed to retaliate against the humiliation of the June war and proudly put an end to the Israeli military invincibility and complacency.
The late president Anwar El Sadat of Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979 -– Camp David accords — thus making Egypt the first ever Arabic nation to officially recognize Israel as a sovereign state in the Middle East and amidst the Arab world. That was a political dream Israel had been begging for through official political channels and backstage diplomacy as well.
The Camp David accords gave Israel what she wanted, Israel enjoyed peace on the long congested Egyptian front and she even enjoyed bilateral political, economical and agricultural exchange with Egypt. Israel even managed to sign a deal that allowed Egypt to supply Israel with all its needs of the natural gas through pipelines — extending all the way from Egypt to Israeli territories — which the Israeli officials called “peace pipelines”.
Israel used natural gas to replace fuel oil that powers its three major electric plants that run its military facilities in the country as well.
One thing kept this peace treaty from being fully activated, namely the reluctance of the masses of Egyptian people to accept it, so the normalization of the bilateral relations remained virtually frozen till this very day.
The Camp David accord was an Egyptian political decision not a public one, consequently it remained as such. The policy makers in both countries exchanged ambassadors and delegations and often held meetings but the ice was never broken amongst Egyptians and Israelis.
Throughout the last 30 years since the signing of the Camp David accords not one Egyptian journalist or artist or writer or even a college student or a professor dared — voluntarily that is — to visit or participate at any international event where Israel is an active participant.
Even more, all Israeli cultural activities, artists and products are banned from collaborating or participating at any Egyptian events like cinema and musical festivals. Israeli literature and books are banned in Egypt. This antagonist attitude is something the Israelis always complained about and tried to bring about any change to it.
For the Egyptians and most of the Arabs there was nothing peculiar about their refusal to normalize the relations with the Israelis on the cultural level for they cannot shake hands with settlers who occupied the Arabic land by brutal force. They cannot forget 60 long years of military massacres and political deception. They cannot turn a blind eye to the ongoing genocide in Palestine. They cannot forget the long history of bloodshed and grabbed land. And most of all they cannot get over the deeply embedded into the collective Arabic psyche belief that Israel is never to be trusted.
Another Israeli spy network uncovered inciting sectarian violence between Muslims & Christians in Egypt
Lately, Egypt has uncovered a spy ring that included two Israelis and an Egyptian businessman suspected of collecting info on telecoms companies, and once again the days proved that 350 million people in the Arab world can’t be wrong about distrusting Israel.
The Egyptian general prosecutor ordered the transfer of three accused persons, who included two Israeli fugitives and one detained Egyptian Tarek Abdel Aziz, to be sent for trial before the emergency state security supreme criminal court on January 15th on the charges of spying for Israel and harming the country’s national interests.
The investigations with the suspected Israeli spy revealed a lot of surprising findings:
· The Egypt-based Israeli ring had links with other Israeli espionage networks operating in Syria and Lebanon.
· The Mossad was conducting covert surveillance of the phone calls of top Egyptian officials.
· Israel — in the post-Camp David era — is targeting the stability of Egypt by inciting the sectarian violence between Muslims and Christians in Egypt – …as a matter of fact, as I was editing this post a car bomb exploded in front of a churh in Alexndria (St. Mary & St. Peter church) on the New Year’s eve leaving 21 killed and 80 wounded and some of the initial speculations are seriously pointing the finger at an Israeli agenda behind this terrorist attack.
· Israel was behind the mysterious cut of Egypt’s main internet cable — connecting Egypt to the international network in January, 2008. The cut led to millions of dollars losses to the Egyptian economy especially the tourist sector.
· The Mossad has recruited another Egyptian spy -– still on the loose — who managed to infiltrate and work with the Islamists groups in Egypt.
Given the aforementioned findings one couldn’t help but to wonder why a nation that is supposed to officially be in peace terms with Egypt would act in such a disgraceful and hostile way.
… The answer to this perplexing question is very simple. Israel never meant peace with Egypt or any other Arabic nation… Israel doesn’t believe in peaceful coexistence, Israel only believes that it has the right to exist and the right to defend itself while denying other neighboring nations the same rights. Israel views its security and future only through destabilizing and dismantling neighboring Arab countries. And in the case of Egypt there is one evil way to destabilize the country and that is through inciting violence between the Egyptian Christians (Copts) and their fellow Muslim citizens.
What is more interesting is that Egyptians were never astounded by the news of the uncovered Israeli spy network. In a way they got used to it, this was the 15th Israeli espionage operation to be uncovered since the signing of the Camp David so-called peace treaty with Israel.
And on the first day of the new year of 2011, after the deadly church blast in Alexandria, most Egyptians are growing more aware of the Israeli conspiracy targetting their national unity. People in Egypt don’t have to waste their time suspecting and accusing al Qaeda,.. Egyptians know better,.. they know that al Qaeda is a joke,.. they only point the finger at Israel, the one implacable enemy who happened to be the conspirator behind destabilizing Iraq and the whole region.
The Egyptian–Israeli peace treaty never changed anything. Israel is still seen as the enemy in the eyes and mind of every Egyptian. Israel is clearly seen by most Arabs as the evil doer in the Middle East.
2010 witnessed a lot of Mossad covert operations in the Middle East, few of those operations were uncovered like the assassination of Palestinian Hamas leader Mahmoud Mabhouh in January in what is known as the Dubai assassination job and the uncovered spy ring based in Egypt in December. The Mossad is certainly one of Israel’s most active and highly acclaimed government agencies that comes next to its defense forces and outside lobbies on the efficiency chart.
Israel might be able to grab more Arabic grounds and incite more violence in the Arabic world by covert operations, military aggression and dirty politics… but at the same time, Israel is practically losing credibility, popularity and most of all tolerability amongst the Arabic people… and those are the very same things that neither lobbying nor intelligence can win them back.
Dr. Ashraf Ezzat is a medical doctor and writer from Alexandria, Egypt. His articles have been published in Egyptian magazines and newspapers. For more articles by Dr. Ashraf Ezzat visit his website at: ashraf62.wordpress.com
The following article is reprinted with permission from Ma’an News Agency, Bethlehem.
Unexplained recorders behind arrest of U.S. national at Rafah
© Ma’an News Agency
December 31, 2010
EL-ARISH (Ma’an) — Egyptian authorities on the Rafah crossing said Thursday that officers detained a Palestinian woman with a U.S. passport for failing to explain why she carried six camera-pens with her.
Each recorder, Egyptian officials said, had an eight gigabyte memory, three cameras and high-grade voice recorder. The click-device at the top of each pen act as the on/off switch, officials said.
The woman, a resident of the American state of Florida, was said to have “not given a clear reason” for why she was carrying the pens, and transferred to the public prosecution by Egyptian state security.
One official told Ma’an that he believed the pens could be used for spying, adding that the sites of Gaza militant groups were a prime target for spy operations. The official, who preferred to remain unnamed, would not explain why he believed the woman was involved in a spy operation.
The following article is reprinted with permission from Ma’an News Agency, Bethlehem.
Jesus was Palestinian and why it matters
© Jehanzeb Dar
Source: Ma’an News Agency
December 25, 2010
Because of modern alarmist reactions to the word “Palestine,” many non-Arabs and non-Muslims take offense when it is argued that Jesus was a Palestinian (peace be upon him).
Jesus’ ethnicity, skin color, and culture often accompany this conversation, but few people are willing to acknowledge the fact he was non-European. A simple stroll down the Christmas aisle will show you the dominant depiction of Jesus: a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, white man.
Islamophobia and anti-Arab propaganda have conditioned us to view Palestinians as nothing but heartless suicide bombers, “terrorists,” and “enemies of freedom and democracy.” Perpetual media vilification and demonization of Palestinians, in contrast to the glorification of Israel, obstructs us from seeing serious issues such as the Palestinian refugee crisis, the victims of Israel’s atrocious three-week assault on Gaza during the winter of 2008-2009, the tens of thousands of homeless Palestinians, and many other struggles that are constantly addressed by human rights activists around the world.
To speak from the perspective of the Palestinians, especially in casual non-Arab and non-Muslim settings, generates controversy because of the alignment between Palestinians and violent stereotypes. So, how could Jesus belong to a group of people that we’re taught to dehumanize.
When I’ve spoken to people about this, I’ve noticed the following responses: “No, Jesus was a Jew,” or “Jesus is not Muslim.” The mistake isn’t a surprise to me, but it certainly is revealing. Being a Palestinian does not mean one is Muslim or vice versa. Prior to the brutal and unjust dispossession of indigenous Palestinians during the creation of the state of Israel, the word “Palestine” was a geographic term applied to Palestinian Muslims, Palestinian Christians, and Palestinian Jews. Although most Palestinians are Muslim today, there is a significant Palestinian Christian minority who are often overlooked, especially by the mainstream Western media.
That dominant narrative not only distorts and misrepresents the Palestinian struggle as a religious conflict between “Muslims and Jews,” but consequentially pushes the lives of Palestinian Christians into “non-existence.” That is, due to the media’s reluctance to report the experiences and stories of Palestinian Christians, it isn’t a surprise when white Americans are astonished by the fact that Palestinian and Arab Christians do, in fact, exist. One could argue that the very existence of Palestinian Christians is threatening, as it disrupts the sweeping and overly-simplistic “Muslim vs. Jew” Zionist narrative. To learn about many Palestinian Christians opposing Israeli military occupation, as well as Jews who oppose the occupation, is to reveal more voices, perspectives, and complexities to a conflict that has been immensely portrayed as one-sided, anti-Palestinian, and anti-Muslim.
Yeshua (Jesus’ real Aramaic name) was born in Bethlehem, a Palestinian city in the West Bank and home to one of the largest Palestinian Christian communities. The Church of the Nativity, one of the oldest churches in the world, marks the birthplace of Jesus and is sacred to both Christians and Muslims. While tourists from the around the world visit the site, they are subject to Israeli checkpoints and roadblocks. The Israeli construction of the West Bank barrier also severely restricts travel for local Palestinians. In April of 2010, Israeli authorities barred Palestinian Christians from entering Jerusalem and visiting the Church of Holy Sepulchre during Easter. Yosef Zabaneh, a Palestinian Christian merchant in Ramallah, said: “The Israeli occupation in Gaza and the West Bank doesn’t distinguish between us, but treats all Palestinians with contempt.”
Zabaneh’s comments allude to the persistent dehumanization of Palestinians, as well as the erasure of Palestinians, both Christians and Muslims. By constantly casting Palestinians as the villains, even the term “Palestine” becomes “evil.” There is refusal to recognize, for example, that the word “Palestine” was used as early as the 5th century BCE by the ancient Greek historian Herodotus. John Bimson, author of “The Compact Handbook of Old Testament Life,” acknowledges the objection to the use of “Palestine”:
The term ‘Palestine’ is derived from the Philistines. In the fifth century BC the Greek historian Herodotus seems to have used the term Palaistine Syria (= Philistine Syria) to refer to the whole region between Phoenicia and the Lebanon mountains in the north and Egypt in the south… Today the name “Palestine” has political overtones which many find objectionable, and for that reason some writers deliberately avoid using it. However, the alternatives are either too clumsy to be used repeatedly or else they are inaccurate when applied to certain periods, so “Palestine” remains a useful term…
Deliberately avoiding the use of the name “Palestine” not only misrepresents history, but also reinforces anti-Palestinian racism as acceptable. When one examines the argument against Jesus being a Palestinian, one detects a remarkable amount of hostility aimed at both Palestinians and Muslims. One cannot help but wonder, is there something threatening about identifying Jesus as a Palestinian? Professor Jack D. Forbes writes about Jesus’ multi-cultural and multi-ethnic environment:
When the Romans came to dominate the area, they used the name Palestine. Thus, when Yehoshu’a [Jesus] was born, he was born a Palestinian as were all of the inhabitants of the region, Jews and non-Jews. He was also a Nazarene (being born in Nazareth) and a Galilean (born in the region of Galilee)… At the time of Yehoshu’a’s birth, Palestine was inhabited by Jews-descendants of Hebrews, Canaanites, and many other Semitic peoples-and also by Phoenicians, Syrians, Greeks, and even Arabs.
Despite these facts, there are those who use the color-blind argument: “It does not matter what Jesus’ ethnicity or skin color was. It does not matter what language he spoke. Jesus is for all people, whether you’re black, white, brown, yellow, etc.” While this is a well-intentioned expression of inclusiveness and universalism, it misses the point.
When we see so many depictions of Jesus as a Euro-American white man, the ethnocentrism and race-bending needs to be called out. In respect to language, for instance, Neil Douglas-Klotz, author of “The Hidden Gospel: Decoding the Spiritual Message of the Aramaic Jesus,” emphasizes the importance of understanding that Jesus spoke Aramaic, not English, and that his words, as well as his worldview, must be understood in light of Middle Eastern language and spirituality. Douglas-Klotz provides an interesting example which reminds me of the rich depth and meaning of Arabic, Urdu, and Farsi words, especially the word for “spirit”:
Whenever a saying of Jesus refers to spirit, we must remember that he would have used an Aramaic or Hebrew word. In both of these languages, the same word stands for spirit, breath, air, and wind. So ‘Holy Spirit’ must also be ‘Holy Breath.’ The duality between spirit and body, which we often take for granted in our Western languages falls away. If Jesus made the famous statement about speaking or sinning against the Holy Spirit (for instance, in Luke 12:10), then somehow the Middle Eastern concept of breath is also involved.
Certainly, no person is superior to another based on culture, language, or skin color, but to ignore the way Jesus’ whiteness has been used to subjugate and discriminate against racial minorities in the West and many other countries is to overlook another important aspect of Jesus’ teachings: Love thy neighbor as thyself. Malcolm X wrote about white supremacists and slave-owners using Christianity to justify their “moral” and “racial superiority” over blacks. In Malcolm’s own words, “The Holy Bible in the White man’s hands and its interpretations of it have been the greatest single ideological weapon for enslaving millions of non-white human beings.” Throughout history, whether it was in Jerusalem, Spain, India, Africa, or in the Americas, white so-called “Christians” cultivated a distorted interpretation of religion that was compatible with their racist, colonialist agenda.
And here we are in the 21st century where Islamophobia (also stemming from racism because the religion of Islam gets racialized) is on the rise; where people calling themselves “Christian” fear to have a black president; where members of the KKK and anti-immigration movements behave as if Jesus were an intolerant white American racist who only spoke English despite being born in the Middle East. It is astonishing how so-called “Christians” like Ann Coulter call Muslims “rag-heads” when in actuality, Jesus himself would fit the profile of a “rag-head,” too. As would Moses, Joseph, Abraham, and the rest of the Prophets (peace be upon them all). As William Rivers Pitt writes:
The ugly truth which never even occurs to most Americans is that Jesus looked a lot more like an Iraqi, like an Afghani, like a Palestinian, like an Arab, than any of the paintings which grace the walls of American churches from sea to shining sea. This was an uncomfortable fact before September 11. After the attack, it became almost a moral imperative to put as much distance between Americans and people from the Middle East as possible. Now, to suggest that Jesus shared a genealogical heritage and physical similarity to the people sitting in dog cages down in Guantanamo is to dance along the edge of treason.
Without acknowledging Jesus as a native Middle Eastern person — a Palestinian — who spoke Aramaic — a Semitic language that is ancestral to Arabic and Hebrew — the West will continue to view Islam as a “foreign religion.” Hate crimes and discriminatory acts against Muslims, Arabs, and others who are perceived to be Muslim will persist. They will still be treated as “cultural outsiders.” Interesting enough, Christianity and Judaism are never considered “foreign religions,” despite having Middle Eastern origins, like Islam. As Douglas-Klotz insists, affirming Jesus as a native Middle Eastern person “enables Christians to understand that the mind and message” of Jesus arises from “the same earth as have the traditions of their Jewish and Muslim sisters and brothers.”
Jesus would not prefer one race or group of people over another. I believe he would condemn today’s demonization and dehumanization of the Palestinian people, as well as the misrepresentations of him that only fuel ignorance and ethnocentrism. As a Muslim, I believe Jesus was a prophet of God, and if I were to have any say about the Christmas spirit, it would be based on Jesus’ character: humility, compassion, and Love. A love in which all people, regardless of ethnicity, race, culture, religion, gender, and sexual orientation are respected and appreciated.
And in that spirit, I wish you a merry Christmas. Alaha Natarak (Aramaic: God be with you).
The following column is reprinted with permission from Gordon Duff, staff writer and Senior Editor at Veterans Today.
Zionism’s “Anti-Semitism” Ploy, A Dangerous Game
© Gordon Duff
Source: Veterans Today
December 22, 2010
* Making The World Fear And Hate Jews A Dreadfully Wrong Policy
When the rabbi advising Prime Minister Netanyahu goes on television claiming “goyim,” all non-Jews, only are allowed to stay alive as beasts of burden, serving Jews who are ordained by g-d to “bask in luxury” from the work of others, it isn’t an accident. He had a job. That job was to make people hate Jews. If people forget to hate Jews, Israel will have no purpose, it won’t need nuclear weapons or the continual wars it has convinced the United States to fight in its stead.
When Antisemitism began to disappear and Jews were no longer reviled because of primitive prejudices, Zionists lost a valuable weapon. The real problem is that the weapon, meant to serve expansionist Israel is also a weapon that has in the past sacrificed the lives of millions of Jews.
When a synagogue is burned, a Zionist lights the fire. When an Antisemitic slogan is painted on a wall, the offending hand is that of a Zionist. The world would have long forgotten its bizarre ideas of Jews as Christ killers and moneylenders were it not profitable for political extremists with no real religious views at all to renew them and give them life.
We are seeing a resurgence in Antisemitism, hatred of Jews as human beings, because of Zionism. America, in economic collapse, tired after 10 years of war and a total loss of faith in government is now being forced into two more wars, Korea and Iran. The hand of the ultra-nationalists, the Likudists in Israel and the ADL and AIPAC, their American “fifth column” is obvious to everyone. The terror attacks on 9/11 are now branded as “false flag” and even the most dull witted are seeing the hand of Israel.
American Jews, long convinced that Israel stood vulnerable to attack, subjected to constant terrorism are now questioning. It doesn’t take a genius to see that the stupidity of Israel, the blatant human rights violations in Gaza, the ties to long discredited neocon extremists in America, the attack on the Freedom Flotilla and the continual drum-beating for war on Iran, is going to have consequences. It is already happening.
An American public, dumbed down by decades of censored press, substandard education and propaganda is only inches away from becoming a violent mob. The rage against Islam, created for profit, created as a screen for oil and arms thievery and the looting of trillions of dollars from the American economy, has run its course. Hundreds of thousands of veterans have returned from war, reporting only corruption in their own leadership. The terror training camps, the bunker complexes, Osama bin Laden, all never found, perhaps they never existed at all. This is what is being said.
In 1940, Adolf Hitler was the most popular man in America. His hatred of Jews was seen as one of his best characteristics. Hitler had accused Jews of financial attacks on Germany, of building world communism. His proof was a few documents, unclear as to origin and yet, most of the world chose to follow him. Today, Israel under its current leadership spits in the face of nearly every nation, its academic leaders threaten Western Europe with nuclear attack, its religious leaders speak of American troops as “donkeys” to be sacrificed, no accusation made against Iran comes close to the things Israel publicly announces about itself.
Who could be this stupid? We know it is a game, building hatred of Jews so as to keep national victimhood status. Israel, or rather key groups claiming to be Israel, have made billions on this game.
Fomenting hatred for the Jewish people for financial gain, for political gains, spreading fear, all part of a childishly obvious globalist ploy is insane.
Mikey Weinstein and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation picked up on the problem early on. The love affair between the American right, the Christian Zionists, quickly turned to its Antisemitic roots when Jewish cadets at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs complained about persecution at the hands of supposed “Zionist” Christians.
The thrall followers of pro-apocalypse preacher, John Hagee, Israel’s “bestest” friend in America, have always been “strange bedfellows” for any minority, particularly Jews with their history of valuing education and support for progressive causes. Hagee and his followers represent primitive and backward beliefs, violent, racist, extremist in every way.
Christian Zionism, as a religious doctrine, looks on Judaism as an abomination. Though it supports the return of Jews to Israel, it also supports the destruction of Israel and the forced conversion of all Jews to Christianity. They simply jumped the gun a bit at the Air Force Academy.
One of the hidden undersides of Hitler’s policies toward the Jews was his alliance with Zionists. With all current battles pitting one version of the Holocaust against another with historical revisionists claiming that the holocaust is a myth created to further a Hitleresque “Greater Israel” plan, those things that are well within known history are sometimes pushed aside. One of those things is the strange relationship between Zionists and Hitler, a relationship even a “revisionist” has to admit had unpleasant consequences.
Lenni Brenner, in Counterpunch, writes of his discovery of this dark and shrouded period in history, a period when Zionist Jews in Germany came to an agreement with Hitler. He would call them to control Jewish life in Germany, eventually settling Jews in Palestine in a pro-German Nazi state. Zionist Palestine, allied with Hitler, was meant to offset British and German influence in the Middle East, a policy almost identical with the American Middle East Strategy a generation later. In fact, Israeli policies, first seen as “apartheid” and now more closely resembling the ethnic cleansing of the Serbs, also seems to have a truly “Hitleresque” aspect.
Following the odd history of the relationship between the Zionists and Hitler’s Nazi party, Jews cheering Wehrmacht victories, Jews shocked and dismayed at the Stalingrad defeat, a bitter pill for historians who have to fit this well documented mainstream scenario into a more fanciful historical narrative.
The clear note here, of course, Zionism isn’t Jews and opposing Zionist policies should have nothing to do with labeling anyone, race, religion, ethnicity, not damning them or their children. However, in our imperfect world, those who too often let greed and ambition blind them from the baser aspects of the human soul do so often misjudge. Believing that only you can hate, can deceive, can connive, is the height of arrogance. The Greeks call that hubris.
We call such people fools, perhaps something worse.
Gordon Duff is a U.S. Marine Vietnam veteran and Senior Editor at Veterans Today. His career has included extensive experience in international banking along with such diverse areas as consulting on counter insurgency, defense technologies or acting as diplomatic officer of U.N. humanitarian groups. He is a widely published expert on military and defense issues.