Showing posts with label All. Show all posts
Showing posts with label All. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

New York Times tells its journalists which words to use when covering the war on Gaza

    Tuesday, April 16, 2024   No comments

According to a leaked memo, The New York Times restricts its journalists from covering the war on Gaza. The New York Times has instructed journalists covering the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip to restrict the use of the terms “genocide” and “ethnic cleansing,” and to avoid using the phrase “occupied territories” when describing the Palestinian territories, according to a copy of an internal memo obtained by The Intercept. American.

According to the site, the New York Times memo also directs journalists not to use the word Palestine except in very rare cases, and to stay away from the term “refugee camps” to describe the places to which Palestinians have historically been displaced within the Gaza Strip, who fled from other parts of Palestine during the Arab-Israeli wars. Previous.

It is noteworthy that the United Nations recognizes the areas to which Palestinians were displaced as camps housing hundreds of thousands of registered refugees.

The memo, written by New York Times Standards Editor Susan Wesling, international editor Philip Ban, and others, provides guidance on some of the terms and other issues that have imposed themselves on the scene since the start of the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip last October.

While the document is presented as a blueprint for maintaining journalistic principles of objectivity when dealing with the war on Gaza, several New York Times journalists told The Intercept that some of its contents provide evidence of the newspaper adopting the Israeli narrative.

The website quoted a source in the New York Times newsroom - who requested anonymity for fear of being held accountable - saying that the matter “seems professional and logical if you do not have knowledge of the historical context of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, but if you do know, it will be clear how much it identifies with the Israeli narrative.” ".

The Intercept noted that the guidelines were first distributed to New York Times journalists last November, and were updated regularly over the following months.

On March 14, demonstrators supporting the Palestinian cause stormed the building of the New York Times newspaper in protest against its bias towards Israel in the ongoing war on the Gaza Strip. This is the second storming, as pro-Palestinian demonstrators had previously occupied the newspaper’s lobby on November 11, demanding an immediate cessation. Because of the Israeli aggression on Gaza, they accused the newspaper of bias towards Israel in its coverage of the war on the Gaza Strip.


Saudi Arabia UAE--two allies no longer able to solve their problems on their own

    Tuesday, April 16, 2024   No comments

Disagreements in secret come to light with the Saudi complaint to the United Nations due to a border dispute.. “Al Yasat” is showing that the two allies and regional economic powers no longer able to solve their problems on their own.

In a letter addressed to the United Nations, Saudi Arabia accused Abu Dhabi of encroaching on the Kingdom’s borders, through the UAE authorities issuing an Emiri decree in 2019, declaring Al Yasat a “marine protected area.”

The complaint indicated that Saudi Arabia does not recognize any measures or practices taken, or their consequences, by the UAE government in the area off the Saudi coast, the “Al Yasat area,” including the Kingdom’s territorial sea and the area of joint sovereignty on the two islands of Makasib.

The UAE demanded the completion of implementation of Article Five of the agreement demarcating the land and sea borders dated between the two countries in 1974.

Riyadh considered the memorandum official, and also called on the United Nations to circulate it to the members of the United Nations, according to established procedures.

This step, according to Gulf affairs experts, means that both Saudi Arabia and the Emirates are no longer able to solve their problems on their own, or within Gulf frameworks such as the Gulf Cooperation Council or Arab ones such as the Arab League, and that the dispute has reached the United Nations, the highest international body for conflict resolution. The issue of the “Al Yasat” region is not the only controversial issue between the two countries, as there is something bigger than it, according to what experts point out. The dispute over the “Shaybah” oil field is considered one of the most prominent headlines at the core of the border disputes, and the silent struggle between the two countries over influence in Yemen. Both Abu Dhabi and Riyadh were unable to hide it, or solve it through understandings, and it remained like fire under the ashes. The UAE’s support for the Transitional Council in Yemen, its efforts to divide it north and south, and its fight against the Islah Party, are all actions that worry Riyadh, and push it to thwart Emirati projects and stand up to them. Although the conflict has so far been in its silent and hidden context, most odds say that the clash is not coming. A dispute between groups affiliated with both parties in Yemen.

These are some of the forces that are reshaping a critical region in the world, Southwest Asia and North Africa, the center of gravity of human civilizations for thousands of years,


Monday, April 15, 2024

Israeli media: Israeli politicians should thank Jordan; Jordan summons Iran's ambassador to protest

    Monday, April 15, 2024   No comments

Some Israeli media outlets want Jordan to be thanked for standing with Israel during Iran's retaliatory strike for the attack on its diplomatic facilities in Syria. These recent developments are forcing many regional and global actors to make tough decisions and the effects of those decisions may not be felt or known immediately, testifying to the power of these events as transformative ones. 

"While Netanyahu shows nothing but ingratitude towards Biden, the Iranian attack produced the most significant show of support in the history of Israeli-U.S. relations. It also proves the importance of a regional alliance of moderates, including the Palestinians." said the daily Haaretz.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the Iranian ambassador in Amman and asked his country to stop “questioning” Jordan’s positions on the Palestinian issue after the Kingdom announced the interception of “flying objects” during the Iranian attack on Israel.

Foreign Minister Ayman Al-Safadi said, “Today (Sunday) the ministry summoned the Iranian ambassador and sent him a clear message that these insults to Jordan must stop, and this questioning of Jordan’s positions must stop.”

He added, "Unfortunately, there were offensive statements (against Jordan) by the Iranian media, including the Iranian official news agency."

Al-Safadi explained that "Iran's problem is with Israel and not with Jordan, and neither Iran nor anyone else can outbid what Jordan is doing, what it offers, and what it has provided historically for Palestine."

He stressed that "if this danger was coming from Israel, Jordan would take the same action it did, and this is a position we confirm clearly and frankly, and we will not allow anyone to endanger the security of Jordan and the Jordanians."

Jordan confirmed on Sunday that it had intercepted "flying objects" that violated its airspace on Saturday night, coinciding with the missile and drone attack launched by Iran on Israel.

Video clips showed the interception of objects in the Kingdom's airspace during the night, at a time when the remains of at least one missile fell in the Marj Al-Hamam area in the Jordanian capital. Users of social media platforms in the Kingdom also shared video clips showing the wreckage of another missile in the Al-Hasa area in the Tafila Governorate in the south of the Kingdom.

Iran launched more than 300 drones and missiles at Israel on Saturday night, in the first attack launched by Iran directly from its territory on Israel, and not through groups loyal to it. It came in response to a missile attack that targeted the consular section of the Iranian embassy in Damascus at the beginning of this April.

Related, French President Emmanuel Macron revealed on Monday that his country used its base in Jordan to intercept Iranian air targets during the attack on Israel, at the request of the Jordanian authorities.

The French President said, in a television interview, that his country's forces stationed in Jordan intercepted Iranian drones and missiles that were heading to Israeli sites, explaining that the French planes were launched from a French base that has been on Jordanian territory for years.

Yesterday, Sunday, the Jordanian government announced that it was “dealing with some flying objects” that entered the country’s airspace, in reference to the drones and missiles that Iran launched against “Israel.”

Israeli media described the Jordanian move as “historic cooperation,” adding that “for the first time, military cooperation between the two parties is taking place publicly.”

 The decision by the rulers of Jordan to be involved in this conflict may further increase division among Jordanians, many of whom either sympathize with Palestinians or are Palestinians themselves, as the kingdom is home to one of the largest displaced Palestinian communities in the world.

Media review: Is Iran's attack on Israel really a failure?

    Monday, April 15, 2024   No comments

The French newspaper "Le Figaro" argues that the effectiveness of the "Dahiya Doctrine" had already ended, after the Iranian attack, which targeted "Israel."

The “Dahiya Doctrine” is an Israeli military strategy adopted by the occupation in all its wars, since 2006, and takes its name from the systematic destruction of the southern suburb of Beirut during the July 2006 aggression. It includes the use of firepower disproportionate to the source of the threat, and leveling the entire infrastructure to the ground. With the aim of making the popular incubator pay the price for the choices of the resistance leadership, and turning it against them.

The newspaper saw that “the image of the state, which cannot be touched, and which commands respect because it intimidates others,” in turn, after the attack on “Israel,” was hanging by a thread.

The French newspaper said, "After Hamas's direct attack on Israel, on October 7, and for the second time in less than one year, more of Israel's enemies are crossing the difficult borders, ignoring the potential consequences, and this time it is Iran's turn."

The newspaper noted that “Tel Aviv woke up groggy on Sunday morning,” and that millions of Israelis spent a sleepless night, due to the impact of Iranian weapons explosions.

"Le Figaro" confirmed that the Israelis are not naive, and that their confidence in their government was basically limited, and that for them the matter is more important than launching 200 missiles from Iranian territory towards "Israel."

The newspaper pointed out that "Israel" and the Americans must quickly return to the land, instead of continuing to blindly believe in their invincible ability, noting that "Western branches in the Middle East are in danger."

"Le Figaro" confirmed that "Israel's security" has never been threatened to this extent since "its establishment in 1948, and its strong support from the United States."

In a comment carrying a sarcastic tone against the head of the occupation government, Benjamin Netanyahu, the newspaper saw that he believed that he would emerge as the “new Goliath” that the entire region fears after October 7, despite the hostility of the world, including the White House itself, But he is now "the person who was in power when Iran fearlessly struck Israel for the first time."

The newspaper reminded that, regardless of even its nuclear program, Iran is the first military power in the Gulf, and its army is one of the strongest armies in the region, in terms of human resources and weapons, with 350,000 soldiers and 350,000 reserve soldiers.

She saw that while Iran has traditionally been criticized for the weakness of its army, the slap directed at “Israel” has completely reshuffled the cards, stressing that this is an absolute success for Tehran, and it is right to consider it as such, and that Tel Aviv is afraid and that there is a reason for that.

The newspaper stressed that Iran clearly demonstrated its ability, by making this attack a large-scale test of the worst that could happen, stressing that “the unpleasant truth is clear: since the beginning of the rumors about its possible intervention, Iran has not shown any weakness, but on the contrary, "She showed incredible strength."

The newspaper said that the Iranian attack represented a tremendous strategic success in all respects, and that “Israel” is no longer the only one that is deeply afraid of Iran, but there are Western and Arab capitals that completely understood the message.

The newspaper confirmed that the world with Biden is worse than before, and that his weakness has led to the liberation of the regimes most hostile to his global hegemony, adding that it is not certain that the return of Donald Trump now will change anything.

The newspaper concluded by saying: “In less than five years, Russia, China, and now Iran have proven that the West is on the brink of abyss every day, starting with Israel. We need to think about the matter and sound the alarm.”


In a related context, the British newspaper “Financial Times” saw that the fear in Washington is that “Israel” will continue to act according to its own perception of the threat, and launch a major attack on Iran, believing that the United States will eventually join the war, and perhaps defeat Iran on its behalf. .

The newspaper stressed that any such calculation would be fraught with risks for “Israel,” as waging a broader war with Iran could drag the United States into the battle, but this test of the United States’ commitment to “Israel” may quickly bring that commitment to the breaking point. .

The newspaper pointed out that, in light of the tense discussions in Washington regarding what this “strict” commitment entails, there is another question that is often unstated, which is: “Is Israel still a strategic asset to the United States, or has it become a strategic burden on it?” ".

The newspaper confirmed that after Washington’s support for “Israel” in Gaza caused damage to the image of the United States in many parts of the world, and the complexity it led to in its efforts to mobilize support against Russia and China, the greatest concern today is that Israeli actions will drag Washington into the ground. To another war in the Middle East.

The newspaper stated that Biden is also paying a domestic political price, as he loses support among young voters, noting that this is not a trivial consideration, especially if it is interrupted with the fact that Benjamin Netanyahu is close to Donald Trump, so that these matters together increase the White House’s reservations towards the government. Israeli.

The newspaper warned that while Iran is being portrayed in Washington as one of four members of the “axis of adversaries,” which also includes Russia, China, and North Korea, for Iran to have the upper hand over “Israel” will mean that this axis will gain more strength and confidence.

The newspaper concluded with certainty that if there is no “game theory” expert in the White House who can balance all these competing data, the United States will need luck, as well as judgment, to reach the other side of this crisis without getting involved in another war.

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Iran retaliates: Israel's miscalculation allowed Iran to sideline US and attack Israel at the same time

    Saturday, April 13, 2024   No comments

It may take time before the world learns that Biden's angry 30-minute call with Israel's pm, Netanyahu, two weeks ago, was not really triggered by Israel armed forces killing aid workers, for Israel had already killed more than 250 aids workers in Gaza before this event, but it was about the attack on the Iranian diplomatic facility in Syria. The next few days and months will reveal how costly Israel’s miscalculation was and that would explain Biden's anger.

Biden's anger was not motivated by his respect for Iran's or Syria's sovereignty, of course. It is motivated by the fact that no other State, ever, had deliberately attacked diplomatic facilities even when two states were at war. This global consensus is enshrined in several treaties and protocols. So, for the State of Israel to be the first to attack a diplomatic facility, violating two sovereignties in one strike, other states were put in a very difficult position, and that opened a window for Iran to re-assert its sovereignty and claim self-defense, the same international principle that has been used by Israel to destroy Gaza and kill more than 41,000 of its people after Hamas launched its own attack on October 7, 2023.

So, on Saturday evening, Iran launched its expected attack on Israel, in response to the bombing of its consulate in the Syrian capital, Damascus, in early April, by launching dozens of drones and missiles into Israel.

Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari said that the army and air force are prepared for the expected Iranian threats, he said.

He added that the army will try to prevent the Iranian drones from reaching Israel, and will deal with them as soon as they arrive, "but we warn that the defense will not be 100%."

ABC quoted a senior American official as saying that he believes Iran will launch between 400 and 500 drones and missiles at Israel.

CNN also reported that an Israeli military official reported that he expected Iran to launch additional waves of drones over time.

This American news network also said that President Joe Biden has now met with his national security team in the White House Situations Room.

 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel will protect itself from any threat, and that it will do so calmly and with determination, he said.

Netanyahu added, "Israel is strong, its army is strong, its people are strong, and whoever harms us, we harm him," stressing that "Israel is prepared for any direct targeting from Iran."

He continued by saying, "Our defense systems are deployed, and we are prepared for any scenario, whether in defense or attack."


Thursday, April 11, 2024

Media review: Israel arresting and assassianting family members of Hamas political leaders including chidlren

    Thursday, April 11, 2024   No comments

Three of the sons of the head of the political bureau of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), Ismail Haniyeh, and several of his grandchildren were assassinated, on Wednesday, in an Israeli raid on a civilian car in the Beach Camp in Gaza City, north of the Strip.

Aljazeera journalist, Ismail Al-Ghoul, reported that the “martyrs, who were at least 5, fell while they were traveling in a car to perform family ties and congratulate residents on the occasion of Eid Al-Fitr.”

He pointed out that the toll is temporary and is likely to rise because a larger number of people were on board the targeted car.

The head of the Political Bureau of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), Ismail Haniyeh, received the news, while visiting the wounded in Gaza, with patience and composure. The moment he heard the news, he said, “May God make it easy for them.”

Haniyeh insisted on continuing his visits to the wounded after receiving the news.

In his first comment on the assassination, he said in an interview with Aljazeera: “I thank God for this honor with which he bestowed upon us the martyrdom of my three sons and some grandchildren... With this pain and blood, we create hopes, a future, and freedom for our people, our cause, and our nation.”

He added, "The occupation believes that by targeting the sons of leaders, it will break the resolve of our people. We tell them that this blood will only make us more steadfast in our principles and adherence to our land."

 The assassiantion took place after Israel arrested Hanieh' sister just lastr week. 

The Israeli police and the Shin Bet said in a joint statement that their forces, along with border guard reinforcements, carried out a security operation dubbed “Early Sunrise,” during which they arrested a relative of the Hamas leader who lives in the town of Tel Sheva, east of the city of Beersheba.

The statement added that she was arrested on suspicion of having made contact with leaders and activists in the Hamas movement and inciting to carry out "terrorist operations" in Israel.

Sabah Abdel Salam Haniyeh (57 years old) lives with her family in Tel Sheva, a few kilometers east of the city of Beersheba.



Monday, April 08, 2024

Was Biden angry with Netanyahu for attacking Iran’s diplomatic building, a treaty violation, or for killing aid workers, a war crime, or both?

    Monday, April 08, 2024   No comments

With news reports about US administration reaching out to Iran with an offer to stop its promise of retaliatory strikes against Israel for the latter's attack on Iran's diplomatic facility in Syria, and with Iran's foreign minister making an unscheduled trip to Oman yesterday, it appears that Biden used the killing of aid workers to mask his anger with Israel crossing a red line and carrying out what is essentially a direct attack on Iran.

There is no doubt that Iran can retaliate directly against Israel. It did so against the US when Trump assassinated Soleimani in January 2020. An Iranian retaliatory attack against Israel could set new course for the entire region, however. 

If Iran attacks Israel directly, the right-wing government in Israel will be forced to retaliate or it will collapse. If it were to retaliate to the retaliation, the armed confrontation enters a new phase, similar to the active front with Hezbollah. That will be catastrophic for Israel for many reasons.

Israel cannot invade Iran and if the US does not get involved directly, all Israel can do is to trade rockets and bombs from distance. That formular favors Iran for many reasons, too.  

First, Iran is a much larger country, and its weapons systems are dispersed all over the country. It will not be possible for Israel to take out all weapons systems. If that was possible, US could have done that in Yemen where a much smaller and less prepared group, the Houthis, have overcome a military Western coalition that has been bombing them for months.

Second, Iran has a formidable array of weapons, rockets and drones, that can be launched for months or even years. In addition to these long-distance weapons, Iran can rely on its allies in Gaza, Lebanon, Yemen, and Iraq to provide support.

Iran will respond given that the highest authority in the country already stated that Iran will receive “a slap”. The question is whether US diplomacy will manage to limit Iran’s response to limits of Israel’s attack. That is, an attack on Israeli diplomatic missions and perhaps an attack on military installations in occupied territories to end the cycle. Iran has the option to attack Israel directly because it considers its diplomatic facilities sovereign territories of Iran. However, attacking Israel diplomatic facilities places Iran outside International norms, too, which it has been using to get the world community to condemn it. 

All these factors give credence to the reporting about the US offer to Iran, possibly through Oman. Because all these indicator show that Israel committed a grave mistake when it attacked a diplomatic facility. It may not just US acting to prevent the widening of a conflict, it is likely that Israel wants to limit the damage too. 

The following media reports provide more contect to what might be behind the scene negotiations.

Iranian diplomatic sources say the US is trying to convince Iran not to retaliate against Israel for its bombing of the Iranian embassy in Syria earlier this month, Al-Jarida newspaper reported on 8 April.

The Israeli strike targeted a building attached to the Iranian embassy in Damascus. It led to the killing of the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, his deputy, and five other IRGC officers.

A source in the Iranian foreign ministry told Al-Jarida that Washington offered Tehran direct negotiations with Tel Aviv to de-escalate the conflict.  

According to the source, Washington will guarantee to persuade Tel Aviv to stop its military operations in Syria and Lebanon on the condition that Iran commit not to retaliate against Israel for the Damascus attack.

At the same time, a diplomatic source in Beirut told Al-Jarida that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected an American proposal to pledge to stop attacks in Syria.

The source added that Iranian leader Ali Khamenei is reviewing the US offer but is not expected to accept it if it does not include guarantees for a comprehensive ceasefire in Gaza and to stop all Israeli and US attacks on Iranian targets or those belonging to Iran's allies in the Axis of Resistance.

The source revealed that the Iranians had also previously received a verbal Israeli proposal via a Gulf state. In the proposal, Tel Aviv claimed it was ready to stop operations against Iranian targets in Syria and Lebanon in exchange for Tehran abandoning retaliation for the killing of Zahedi, whose killing was considered the most significant blow to Iran since the assassination of Qassem Soleimani.

According to the source, the Iranian Foreign Ministry responded to the Israeli message by saying that the proposal must also include a ceasefire in Gaza.

However, some IRGC leaders were unhappy with the foreign ministry's response, viewing the Israeli proposal as a trap. The IRGC leaders argued that any negotiations with Israel must take place only after Iran has retaliated.

The source stated that IRGC commanders believe that Israel's targeting of the Iranian consulate is an opportunity that should not be missed to strike a strong blow at Israel, especially since the consular building in Damascus is considered sovereign Iranian territory and was targeted in a clear violation of international law.

The source said that the IRGC leadership believes Washington will not enter a war with Iran even if it retaliates against Israel. They also consider that an adequately harsh strike against Israel will compel it to accept a ceasefire in Gaza and abandon any plans to invade Lebanon or escalate its bombing in Syria.

Western government continue to lose credibility

Despite the fact that the attack on Iran’s diplomatic mission in Syria violated global treaties including the Vienna Conventions regulating diplomatic and consular relations and the immunities of diplomats and headquarters (1961, 1963, 1969) and the Rome Statute, US government and its Western allies did not explicitly condemn the attack. Instead, they called on Iran to exert “self-restraint.” 

On Thursday, the German Foreign Ministry called, through a statement, on all parties in the Middle East to calm down, exercise restraint, and act responsibly, following a call by Minister Annalena Baerbock who discussed the matter with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian.

On Thursday, British Foreign Secretary David Cameron warned of “expanding conflicts”. During a phone call with his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, according to a statement by the Iranian Foreign Ministry that was reported by local media outlets, including the private “Tasnim” agency.

According to the agency, the Iranian Foreign Ministry quoted Cameron as saying that he asked Iran to exercise restraint, and said that “lack of restraint on the part of the parties could lead to further expansion of conflicts in the region.”

Regional powers on the other hand voiced condemnation, directly accusing Israel of violating international norms.

Turkey denounced, in a Foreign Ministry statement, the bombing and considered it a violation of international law, warning that the attack may lead to an exacerbation of the conflict in the region.

Saudi Arabia also condemned the targeting in a Foreign Ministry statement, expressing its “categorical rejection of targeting diplomatic facilities for any justification, and under any pretext.”

In a brief Foreign Ministry statement, the UAE condemned “the targeting of the Iranian diplomatic mission in the Syrian capital, Damascus,” without any additional comment.

Qatar also condemned, in a Foreign Ministry statement, the attack, and considered it “a blatant violation of international agreements and conventions,” stressing “its complete rejection of targeting diplomatic and consular missions and the necessity of providing protection for their employees in accordance with the rules of international law.”

Egypt said, in a statement to the Foreign Ministry, “We categorically reject the attack on diplomatic facilities under any justification, and we stand in solidarity with Syria in respecting its sovereignty and the integrity of its lands and people.”

Kuwait also considered, in a Foreign Ministry statement, the attack a “flagrant assault,” renewing its call on “the international community and the Security Council to assume its responsibilities towards taking the necessary measures and exerting the necessary efforts to preserve the safety and stability of the countries of the region and reduce tension and escalation.”

In a statement condemning the attack, the Omani Foreign Ministry stressed “the need to stop the escalation in the region and reject aggression and other actions that threaten security and stability,” expressing condolences to the families of the victims and wishing a speedy recovery to the injured.

Iraq also confirmed in a Foreign Ministry statement that the attack “represents a clear and flagrant violation of international law and Syrian sovereignty,” warning that “the expansion of the cycle of violence in the region will lead to more chaos and instability.”

China and Russia, on the other hand, took advantage of Western reluctance to denounce the flouting of international law

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said that his country strongly condemns the Israeli attack and stresses that the security of diplomatic institutions cannot be violated. He stressed in a press conference in Beijing that “China opposes any actions that lead to escalation of tensions in the Middle East region.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry on Monday strongly condemned the Israeli attack on the Iranian consulate building in the Syrian capital Damascus earlier in the day, denouncing the action as "unacceptable."
"We consider any attacks on diplomatic and consular facilities, the inviolability of which is guaranteed by the relevant Vienna Conventions, to be categorically unacceptable," the ministry said in a statement.
Noting that the attack was carried out in a densely populated metropolitan area with a high risk of mass civilian casualties, the ministry said such "aggressive" actions by Israel are "absolutely unacceptable and must be stopped."


The Saudi Mufti Prohibits giving money for Iftar charity, legitimizes slavery

    Monday, April 08, 2024   No comments

Saudi Arabia’s highest religious authority, issuing a religious decree concerning the practice of giving Iftar sadaqa in the form of cash (money), provided reference that can be seen as legitimizing slavery despite its abolition all around the world and despite the evidence in the Quran that designated slavery as evil and encouraged Muslims to free slaves when unable to fast, break an oath, or commit other moral or legal infractions. The Fatwa comes in a time when more than 2 million people in Gaza are starved to death and could need cash provided to them through aid organizations who can only receive money from the world community.

According to the Saudi Press Agency, the Grand Mufti of the Kingdom said, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Chairman of the Council of Senior Scholars and Chairman of the Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Fatwa, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al Sheikh, issued a ruling that giving Zakat al-Fitr in money is not valid “because that is contrary to the Sunnah of the Messenger of God, may God’s prayers and peace be upon him. May God bless him and grant him peace and the Rightly Guided Caliphs who used to remove it from food.”

The Saudi Mufti added that “Zakat al-Fitr has been prescribed for all Muslims, males and females, old and young, free and slaves.”

It should be noted that other Sunni schools of law consider giving iftar charity in the form of cash (or anything of value), to be valid.

The kingdom has been run through an arrangement that granted Wahhabi scholars from Al Sheikh clan, religious power in return for their blessing of the form of governance in the kingdom under the control of the Al Saudi clan. Saudi Arabia’s official religious practices are derived from the Wahhabism, the strictest religious sect in Islamic societies and Wahhabi religious figures use textual evidence irrespective of rational facts and changed circumstances. The same sect is followed by members of al-Qaeda and the “Islamic State”.

Wednesday, April 03, 2024

China condemns Israeli attack on the Iranian embassy in Damascus: it is a grave violation of the UN Charter and international law

    Wednesday, April 03, 2024   No comments

"This is a grave violation of the UN Charter and international law and a breach of the sovereignty of both Syria and Iran. This attack is of an extremely vicious nature... 25 years ago, China's embassy in Yugoslavia was bombed by a US-led NATO airstrike... we feel the grief and pain of the Iranian government and people...

To allow impunity for such reckless acts would send a seriously wrong signal and would encourage even more risky acts... the red line of international law and the basic norms of international relations has been breached time and again, and the moral bottom line of human conscience has been crushed time and again."

Why does it take the killing of non-Gazans for the West to see war crimes?

    Wednesday, April 03, 2024   No comments

Politico reported that the US and other Western governments were “outraged” by the “devastating” attack that killed 7 workers from the World Central Kitchen, just another a war crime. Ironically, these governments do not seem to be outraged by the fact that these seven aid workers were killed because they were in Gaza feeding 2 million people starved by a war that is enabled by them. 33,000 civilians killed in Gaza, 70% of whom are children and women, did not cause outrage to summoned Israel diplomats. But this incident does.

The news outlet reported that

 "Israel’s strike against aid workers trying to get food to residents in Gaza reverberated across Washington on Tuesday, particularly resonating because of the American death and the connections the group’s founder — José Andrés — has to the capital. Administration officials lashed out at new levels, and Israel was left struggling for damage control."

Western media provided extensive coverage as if these are the only seven uninvolved civilians killed by Israelis strikes in the past 6 months. 

Sunday, March 31, 2024

For the first time in 20 years, Erdogan's party loses elections to opposition party in Turkiye

    Sunday, March 31, 2024   No comments

According to preliminary data, the opposition party is leading ahead of the ruling party for the first time in 20 years in Turkey, and opposition mayors of major cities – Ankara, Istanbul, and Izmir – have retained their positions.

Erdogan acknowledged that the ruling party did not achieve the desired results in the municipal elections, the outcomes of which indicate shortcomings at the local level.

Ekrem Imamoglu, the mayor of Istanbul and the candidate of the opposition Republican People's Party, announced that he had won a new term, and his colleague, the mayor of Ankara, Mansur Yavaş, announced his victory in the elections, while Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that these elections are "not the end of the road."

Opposition candidates advanced in the three largest Turkish cities (Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir) after about 90% of the votes were counted in the municipal elections held on Sunday.

The Turkish President said in a speech he delivered from the balcony of the headquarters of the ruling Justice and Development Party after midnight, "The municipal elections are not the end of the road, but they are a turning point."

He added, "The people have their say through the fund and send their warning to politicians through the fund, and this is a success for our democracy."

Erdogan pledged to analyze the results of the municipal elections frankly, and said, "We will review ourselves through constructive criticism."

Earlier, Ekrem Imamoglu announced that he had won a new term as mayor of Greater Istanbul, noting that he had an advantage of more than a million votes over his rival, Murat Kurum, the ruling party’s candidate.

Mansur Yavaş, the candidate of the opposition Republican People's Party, also announced that he had won a new term as mayor of Ankara.

According to the results published by the official Anadolu Agency, Imamoglu received 50.9% of the votes, compared to 40% for his competitor, after 94% of the votes were counted.

In Ankara, Yavaş obtained 59.7% compared to 32% for his competitor, after counting about 88% of the votes.

In all Turkish states, the Republican People's Party obtained 37.4% after counting more than 93% of the votes.

The ruling Justice and Development Party received 35.7%, while its ally, the National Movement Party, received 4.9%.

The Peoples' Democratic Party received 5.6%, and the Good Party received 3.7%.

Has US threat to force Qatar to expel Hamas out of Doha collapsed the Ceasefire negotiations?

    Sunday, March 31, 2024   No comments

Although the US has warned the leaders of Qatar as early as October that they will need to reconsider the presence of the leaders of Hamas in Doha, the US wanted to use their presence there to strike deals that it wanted. However, with the negotiations for a ceasefire going nowhere, the US administrations wanted to leverage Qatar hosting of Hamas leaders to force them to accept a proposal the Biden administration formulated. 

CNN reported recently that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken “delivered a stern message to Qatar earlier this month: Tell Hamas that they must deliver on a hostage and ceasefire deal that would halt the war in Gaza or risk getting kicked out of the Qatari capital of Doha.” That threat appears to have failed to achieve its goal and worse, it may have backfired.

First, Hamas leaders are now saying that there is no negotiation because their last counteroffer was not responded to by Israel in a way that will allow them to go on negotiating. Hamas and other Palestinian factions insist that there will be a deal only when a permanent ceasefire is approved and guaranteed by the mediators, when aid is delivered to all the people in Gaza, and when Israel forces leave Gaza, when people who lost their homes are sheltered. 

Second, Hamas and other Palestinian resistance leaders took the threat of being kicked out of Doha, the same way they way forced out Turkey, and offered a demonstration of what will happen if they are forced out of Doha: they will settle in Iran. Iran seems to be willing to not only host Hamas leaders, but to host them in a formal manner—something no other host nation has done for Hamas since their days in Syria pre-2012.

Just after the conclusion of the Persian new year celebrations, leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad were received by the highest officials of the Iranian government, including a couple meetings with the supreme leader. The message is clear: you can kick us out of Qatar and when you do, we will find home in a country that recognizes us as official representatives of the Palestinian peoples. That means, if Israel or the US wants to negotiate with Hamas, they will have to find someone else other than Qatar or Egypt to mediate. China and Russia willingness to receive Hamas leaders as official representatives of the Palestinian people make Iran's move less problematic.

Based on events on the ground, Hamas leaders having to leave another country to find refuge in Iran will only make Arab countries, like Qatar and Jordan look week. The daily denotations that are growing by the day in Jordan are a good indication of this trend.

Pro-Palestinian protesters in Jordan, March 30, 2024.

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Demonstrations in Morocco are escalating and demanding an end to the siege, starvation, and killing of civlians in Gaza by Israel's armed forces

    Saturday, March 30, 2024   No comments

Demonstrations and marches in support of Gaza continue in dozens of Moroccan cities, as demonstrators demand an end to the siege, starvation, and killing practiced by the Israeli occupation against the residents of the Gaza Strip for nearly 6 months.

During the solidarity march called for by a number of local non-governmental bodies, including the Moroccan Authority for Supporting the Nation’s Issues, on Friday evening, the participants denounced the continued Israeli aggression against Gaza, which they described as “contrary to all human rights and international standards.”

According to a statement by the Moroccan Authority for Supporting the Nation's Issues, the demonstrators demanded that the government stop normalization with Israel once and for all, denouncing international silence and complicity, and Arab and Islamic failure to support Palestine.

The demonstrators considered that "Israel's challenge to all humanitarian laws and standards, in light of Western support for it," is unacceptable, and demanded that the residents of Gaza be protected and that "Israel" be prevented from displacing them from the Strip. They stressed that the Rabat march is considered a continuation of the activities in support of Gaza, in parallel with the occasion of commemorating “Land Day.”

The statement added that participants in the marches raised Palestinian flags and chanted solidarity slogans in support of Gaza, such as “The people want to liberate Palestine,” “Palestine is a trust... and normalization is treason,” “We are going to Jerusalem... martyrs in the millions,” and “Despite the bombing and siege. “Free Gaza will not collapse” and others.

They called for immediate and urgent intervention and pressure to stop the war, open the crossings, and lift the siege on the Palestinians.

It should be noted that calls are continuing to organize new protests in various regions in the context of support and support for Palestine, the resistance and Gaza, in the context of the protest activities witnessed by the Moroccan street since the beginning of the Al-Aqsa flood on October 7, 2023.

The statement of the “Moroccan Authority for Supporting the Nation’s Issues” pointed out that 100 demonstrations in support of Palestine were organized in 52 Moroccan cities, explaining that “more than 100 demonstrations were organized on Friday, in 52 cities, in support of Gaza, which presents honorable images of steadfastness and struggle,” according to the statement of the authority. .

The statement also indicated that marches and demonstrations spread across dozens of cities and regions in Morocco, most notably in Tangier, Sidi Yahya, Kenitra, El Jadida, Tetouan, Beni Mellal, Chefchaouen, Chaouen, Azrou, Casablanca and Agadir.

Today, Saturday, marks the anniversary of “Land Day,” when Israel occupied vast areas of Arab population’s lands in 1976.

Palestinians everywhere in the world commemorate “Land Day,” which falls on March 30 of each year, by launching several activities in solidarity and support for Palestine and the cause.

This year's anniversary comes amid the escalation of the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip since last October 7, and the escalation of the settlement attack in the West Bank.

It is noteworthy that tens of thousands of Moroccans demonstrated last February in the main roads of the capital, Rabat, in rejection of the Israeli genocide against the people of the Gaza Strip, demanding an end to the normalization of relations between Morocco and “Israel.”

The demonstrators raised banners in front of the Parliament building in the center of the capital, reading: “Stop the massacre,” “Normalization is treason,” and “No embassy, no ambassador.” They also set fire to the Israeli flag.


Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Media Review: The New York Times debunks its own reporting on alleged sexual assaults in Kibbutzim by Hamas on October 7

    Tuesday, March 26, 2024   No comments

The US newspaper "The New York Times" is reporting about a new video that demolishes the story of the alleged sexual assault, which was previously reported by the same newspaper--The New York Times, in which it alleged that Hamas committed "crimes of sexual violence and rape on the 7th of last October."

The newspaper referred to a previous claim by an Israeli military medic, in which he claimed that “two teenage girls, killed in the October 7 attack, were subjected to sexual assault.”

The New York Times reported that the unnamed medic, who is from an Israeli commando unit (and served as the source of the allegation), was among dozens of people who were interviewed in an article published by the newspaper on December 28, which dealt with “sexual violence on the 7th of May.” October". He claimed that he discovered "the bodies of two partially clothed girls in a house in the Kibbutz settlement (Be'eri) with signs of sexual violence."

However, now the newspaper reports about footage taken by an Israeli soldier who was in “Be’eri” on October 7, and which it reviewed, refuting this narrative. The paper explained that this footage shows “the bodies of three female victims, fully clothed and with no clear signs of sexual violence in a house where a number of residents believe the assaults allegedly occurred.”

The newspaper quoted the settlers as saying, “there was no talk about the killing of two teenage girls in any other house in Be’eri.” Accordingly, the settlers concluded from the video that “the girls were not subjected to sexual assault.”

The newspaper referred to what was said by Nili Bar-Sinai, a member of a kibbutz group, who researched allegations of “sexual assault” at home, and said that “this story is false,” denying the existence of victims of sexual assaults.

On March 4, the spokesman for Kibbutz Be’eri, Michal Paikin, denied the accounts contained in the report published by the New York Times in December of last year, under the title “Screams Without Words,” which reported it contains allegations that Hamas used “sexual violence as a weapon on October 7,” according to the newspaper’s description.

In his statements to the US website The Intercept, the spokesman for Kibbutz Be'eri, an agricultural community within the Gaza Strip, refuted the accounts reported by the NYT newspaper.

Kibbutz Be'eri spokesman Michal Paikin cast doubt on "the graphic, highly detailed claims of the Israeli Special Forces medic, who served as the source of the allegation, and whose claims were published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and CNN" and other media.

It should be noted that while reporting on the alleged sexual violence committed by Palestinians was extensive and persistent in western media outlets, UN reported sexual violence committed by Israeli officers, which US officials seem to confirm recenlty as well as by UN experts, went underreported or unreported. Researchers have also noted that when allegations of serious abuses or violations committed by armed forces of Western States are reported, Western media will go beyond due diligence to verify the information and sometimes refute it through resource-heavy investigations. However, when instances of alleged abuse by at the hands of non-Western actors are reported, Western media will report it without due diligence checks. The reporting of the fake story about Hamas beheading 40 babies and other atrocities, which was spread at the highest level of government and by mainstream media outlets is a good example of this media bias.

Monday, March 25, 2024

With US refrained from using its veto this time, 14 UNSC members adopted a resolution calling for a cease fire in Gaza

    Monday, March 25, 2024   No comments

None of the UNSC P5 member States used their NO vote; that is all it took.

For the first time, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution calling for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, more than 5 months after the Israeli war, as the United States - the main supporter of Tel Aviv - refrained from using its veto this time.

The resolution presented by non-permanent members of the Security Council calls for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, stressing the urgent need to increase aid and demanding the removal of all obstacles to its delivery.

Algeria's representative to the United Nations, Ammar Ben Jama, said that the adoption of the resolution is a message to the people of Gaza that the international community feels their pain and has not abandoned them.

He continued, saying, "We want Palestine to become a full and sovereign member of the United Nations."

The adoption of the resolution came after the Council failed to pass an amendment to the draft by adding the phrase “permanent ceasefire.”

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said a failure to implement the resolution would be “unforgivable.”

“The Security Council just approved a long-awaited resolution on Gaza, demanding an immediate ceasefire, and the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages.

This resolution must be implemented. Failure would be unforgivable,” Guterres wrote on X.

Last Friday, Russia and China used their veto power to drop a US draft resolution calling for a ceasefire “in the framework of a deal to release the hostages,” a formulation that the Arab countries, Moscow, and Beijing described as “politicized and ambiguous.

The United States has previously systematically opposed the term “ceasefire” in United Nations resolutions, and has obstructed 3 texts in this context, since the beginning of the war.

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Canada bans the export of weapons to Israel... Will other Western governments follow

    Sunday, March 24, 2024   No comments

In a remarkable decision, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Jolie announced that her country would suspend arms exports to Israel, describing the decision as important and that it was “not a symbolic change.”

This step comes after Parliament approved a non-binding resolution proposal presented by the New Democratic Party, urging the government on a set of points, including demanding an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, halting further arms export permits to Israel, and ensuring continued support for UNRWA and active work to establish the State of Palestine. As part of a comprehensive and just peace in the Middle East.

Despite the non-binding nature of the resolution, it represents a historic step, according to what many observers described, and comes in line with the shift witnessed in Ottawa’s speech towards the war on Gaza.

Following the October 7 operation, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement in support of Israel and its right to defend itself, before later announcing his condemnation of the pro-Palestinian marches.

The contrast between Ottawa and Tel Aviv became clear with Canada voting in favor of a UN resolution for a ceasefire in Gaza in December, while Jolie later stated that her country had not agreed to issue a permit to export military lethal products to Israel since October 7, as It has stopped issuing any permits at all since January 8.

The stage before submitting the proposal to a vote witnessed strenuous efforts by representatives of the ruling Liberal and New Democratic parties to amend a proposal from the latter that included many points, the most important of which was urging the government to call for an immediate ceasefire, suspension of trade in all goods and military technology with Israel, and official recognition of the state of Israel. Palestine.

These efforts resulted in fundamental amendments to many items, as a more flexible formula was agreed upon, including “stopping further permits and transferring arms exports to Israel, and working with international partners to actively pursue the goal of reaching a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, including: This is the establishment of the State of Palestine as part of a negotiated two-state solution.”

The move of the ruling party’s representatives is due to many reasons, the most important of which is that voting on the proposal in its initial form, yes or no, would have led to damage to the party’s popularity among one of the two blocs, whether supporting Israel or opposing the war on Gaza.

This is important given that next year's general election will be held amid an unprecedented decline in the Prime Minister's popularity, according to a Mainstreet Research poll, which showed Trudeau trailing his biggest rival, the Conservative Party, by more than 15 points. While 63% of respondents expressed a somewhat negative or unfavorable view of Trudeau.

The arrival of the Liberals and New Democrats to a settlement formula also strengthens the agreement between the two parties, as the two parties signed an agreement in 2022 that allowed the Trudeau government to continue without the threat of a no-confidence vote against it in Parliament by the opponents, as the two parties have 181 deputies out of 338.

Canada, the main ally of the United States, provides Israel with military aid annually, but it has already reduced its arms shipments to Israel to non-lethal equipment, such as communications equipment, after the war that Israel declared on Gaza following the October 7 attack.

A Canadian official told news agencies, requesting anonymity, that the conditions on the ground make it difficult for Canada to export any type of military equipment to Israel.

Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Jolie confirmed to the Toronto Star that Ottawa will halt future arms exports.

The issue of arms delivery to Israel raises public anger in a number of countries around the world and has led to legal measures being taken in many of them.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed great concern about the possible Israeli attack on the city of Rafah, which houses hundreds of thousands of displaced people.

Canada is not the first to decide to suspend arms sales to Israel. The Netherlands, Japan, Spain and Belgium preceded it, and many other countries said that they would no longer buy Israeli weapons.

Last week, a group of Danish NGOs said they would sue Denmark to stop arms exports to Israel, citing fears that its weapons would be used to commit serious crimes against civilians during the war in Gaza.

Meanwhile, a Dutch court in February ordered the Netherlands to ban all exports of F-35 fighter jet parts to Israel over concerns they would be used to violate international law in Gaza.

Israel denounced the decision to suspend arms sales, and its Foreign Minister Israel Katz commented by saying that the decision “undermines Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas terrorists.”

“History will judge Canada’s current behavior harshly,” he wrote on the X platform.

But US Senator Bernie Sanders welcomed the Canadian move and wrote on X: “Given the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza, including the spread and worsening of hunger, the United States should stop sending a dime to Netanyahu’s war machine.”

Israel is one of the most prominent importers of Canadian weapons, as it received military equipment worth 21 million Canadian dollars in 2022, according to Radio-Canada, and this was preceded by shipments worth 26 million dollars in 2021.

This puts Israel in the top 10 recipients of Canadian arms exports. But a Canadian government official explained that his country has not sent any exports to Israel since the beginning of this year.

This month, a group of Canadian lawyers and activists of Palestinian origin filed a lawsuit against the Canadian government demanding the suspension of arms exports to Israel, considering that Ottawa, with these exports, violates domestic and international law.

Friday, March 22, 2024

UN Security Council rejects US draft resolution on War in Gaza

    Friday, March 22, 2024   No comments

 Algeria, the country that proposed an earlier UNSC resolution to stop the war on Gaza, rejected the US-drafted resolution. It was joined by both China and Russia, whose vetoes sunk the US resolution.

Amar Bendjama, Algeria’s ambassador to the UN, said the text was inadequate and failed to address the immense suffering endured by the Palestinians. “Those who believe that the Israeli occupying power will choose to uphold its international legal obligations are mistaken,” he told the council. “They must abandon this fiction.”

Last February, it objected to the use of the term “immediate” in the draft resolution submitted by Algeria.

Since blocking the Algerian draft resolution, which calls for an "immediate humanitarian ceasefire" in Gaza at the end of last February, US officials have been negotiating an alternative text that focuses on supporting diplomatic efforts on the ground for a six-week truce in exchange for the release of the hostages.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, said that children, women and men are “living an endless nightmare,” stressing that there is no effective way to distribute aid without a ceasefire.

US rejection of three previous UNSC resolutions made some members skeptical and worried that US intentions have been thus far about shielding Israel and not about stopping the bloodshed. They want to see a clean resolution that orders an immediate cease fire and the unhindered delivery of food, water, medicine, and shelter to end the starvation of civilians in Gaza. Other issues can be addressed in separate resolutions.

China insists on an immediate and unconditional ceasefire not linked to the release of the captives

China's Permanent Representative to the Security Council, Zhang Jun, said: "We voted against the American draft resolution because it does not request an immediate ceasefire, even though the Secretary-General used Article 99 of the Charter for that purpose," adding that "the Council wasted a long time and did not request a ceasefire." Fire after."

The Chinese delegate believed that “the American draft resolution is ambiguous and does not meet the aspirations of the international community,” and that it is “unbalanced because it does not explicitly oppose the attack on Rafah,” and “it does not warn of the dire consequences that could result from such an attack.”

He continued: "The Council now has before it a clear draft resolution requesting an immediate ceasefire, and China supports it," expressing his hope "that it will gain the support of member states," because it "requests an end to the conflict and the immediate release of the hostages."

The Chinese delegate also indicated that “China rejects the accusations of America and Britain” related to its positions, considering that “if the United States is serious about a ceasefire, it should support this draft resolution.”

Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the UN, offered further explanation about China's voting position and relevant considerations after the vote.

Zhang said that more than 160 days have passed since the outbreak of the Gaza conflict. In the face of this human tragedy in which more than 32,000 innocent civilians have lost their lives and has left millions suffering from famine, the most urgent action to be taken by the Council is to promote an immediate, unconditional, and sustained ceasefire, which is the universal call of the international community. But the Council has dragged its feet and wasted too much time in this regard, Zhang said.

The envoy added that the US has always evaded and dodged the most essential issue, which is a ceasefire. The final text remains ambiguous and does not call for an immediate ceasefire, nor does it even provide an answer to the question of realizing a ceasefire in the short term. This is a clear deviation from the consensus of the Council members and falls far short of the expectations of the international community. 

"An immediate ceasefire is a fundamental prerequisite for saving lives, expanding humanitarian access, and preventing further conflict. The US draft, on the contrary, sets up preconditions for a ceasefire, which is no different from giving a green light to continued killings, and thus unacceptable," Zhang noted.

Moscow said that the American draft resolution does not call for a ceasefire in Gaza.. Talk about that is a hoax

The Russian Deputy Representative to the United Nations, Dmitry Polyansky, confirmed that the American draft resolution on the situation in the Gaza Strip does not include any call for a ceasefire.

Polyansky stated that the draft resolution "does not include any call for a ceasefire, as previous drafts did not include. Rather, only a philosophical statement appeared there about its importance, while linking it to the release of prisoners."

 The Russian diplomat believed that talk about the United States including a ceasefire in Gaza in the draft resolution for the first time is “just an American trick.”

In addition, “there is practically a green light for an Israeli military operation in Rafah, while attention should be focused mainly on praising the United States’ own efforts on the ground,” according to Polyansky.

He added, "This is not what humanitarian agencies need," stressing that "no philosophy will be useful in the absence of a direct demand for a ceasefire."

Polyansky pointed out, "We should not give in to Washington's attempts to present the hope as if it were a real thing, as the United States is still not interested in a real ceasefire, and is doing everything in its power not to prevent its closest ally in the Middle East from abusing the Palestinians."

History of the American veto to protect Israel

The United States’ position on UN Security Council resolutions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is consistent with its historical use of the veto to prevent any resolutions criticizing Israel, or calling for the establishment of a Palestinian state.

The United States, Israel's main backer, had previously used its veto power in the Security Council to prevent the international body from calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Palestinian territories.

Since 1945, one of the five permanent members of the Council - the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France - has used its veto to stop 36 draft Security Council resolutions related to Israel and Palestine before. Of these decisions, the United States objected to 34 decisions, while Russia and China objected to two of them.

Security Council resolutions after October 7

The US veto blocked the resolution issued on October 18, 2023, which had demanded a “humanitarian truce” and Israel’s cancellation of its evacuation order in northern Gaza.

The US representative to the United Nations said, “Resolutions are important... but the actions we take must be based on facts on the ground and support direct diplomacy that can save lives,” according to what Reuters reported.

On February 20, the United States used its veto power again to stop another draft resolution in the Security Council, blocking a demand for an immediate ceasefire on humanitarian grounds.

13 members of the Council voted in favor of the text drafted by Algeria, while Britain abstained from voting.

This is the third American veto against a draft resolution since the start of the fighting in Gaza.

The draft resolution drafted by Algeria and objected to by the United States did not link the ceasefire to the release of the hostages, but rather demanded this separately.

Washington has opposed the use of the word ceasefire in any UN action on the war between Israel and Hamas, but the American text uses language that President Joe Biden said he used last week in a phone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

This is the second time since October 7 that Washington has proposed issuing a Security Council resolution on Gaza. Russia and China had used their veto power to stop its first attempt.

In December, more than three-quarters of the 193-member UN General Assembly voted to demand an immediate ceasefire on humanitarian grounds. General Assembly resolutions are not binding, but they reflect a global consensus on critical matters—More than 150 countries thinking that the war in Gaza should be stopped immediately to address the starvation and killing of civilians leave the US position quite exposed. Only 10 countries voted against this UNGA resolution. The global consensus, if it continues to be opposed by the US alone, will eventually degrade US standing in the world.

Sunday, March 17, 2024

US admin: US will not support invasion of Rafah without protecting civilians; Netanyahu vows to defy allies; UN it will be "a disaster beyond imagination"

    Sunday, March 17, 2024   No comments

If Western governments did not want a massacre in Rafah, they should not have supported a ground invasion of Gaza in the first place. The conditions in Rafah are not any different from the conditions of Gaza Strip in general: millions of people crammed in a small piece of land, isolated from the rest of the world; no one can leave or enter.

Western governments did not have to see the killing and wounding of 110,000 people and the destruction of 80% of the homes in parts of Gaza now under the control of occupation forces to realize that a ground invasion of Rafah will be catastrophic... "a disaster beyond imagination", to quote UN medics.

There is only one sure way to stop the attack on Rafah: stop the war through a UNSC resolution; something the US government prevented all other members of the UNSC from stopping the killing every time a resolution for a cease fire was put for a vote--three times thus far.

So when US National Security Council spokesman draws a red line against the invasion of Rafah, the last urban area in Gaza Strip still untouched by the US provided weapons of home destruction and killing, many would be skeptical. 

US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby confirmed that Washington will not support any major military operation in Rafah in the Gaza Strip without an implementable plan that guarantees the care of 1.5 million refugees there.

Kirby explained that America has concerns about some Israeli military operations and how they are launched, saying that his country needs to ensure that civilians are protected.

 On the other hand, Kirby said that Washington did not see any evidence that the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) stole humanitarian aid in the Strip.

 Netanyahu has reaffirmed his determination to launch an offensive in Rafah, defying international criticism.

 The city is crammed with some 1.5 million Palestinians from other parts of Gaza seeking refuge.

 His comments come as the German chancellor, on a Middle East trip, restated his opposition to the plan.

 But Mr Netanyahu said "no international pressure will stop Israel" from achieving all of its war aims.

 "If we stop the war now before achieving all of its goals, the meaning is that Israel had lost the war and we will not allow this," Mr Netanyahu told a meeting of his cabinet.

 He said Israel must be able to continue its war, with the aims of eliminating Hamas, releasing all hostages and ensuring Gaza "no longer pose a threat".

 "To do this, we will also operate in Rafah."

 Mr Netanyahu said the offensive in city at the southern tip of the Gaza Strip "will happen" and will take "several weeks".

 He also lashed out at his critics, saying to them: "Is your memory so short?


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