• Israel already an apartheid state says outgoing French ambassador, discussing Trump’s peace plan - Israel News - Haaretz.com

    Gérard Araud recalls that ’once Trump told Macron [the French president], ‘I have given everything to the Israelis; the Israelis will have to give me something’’


    Outgoing French Ambassador to the United States, Gérard Araud, gave a bombastic interview to the Atlantic, published Friday, as he ends his five year tenure in Washington, D.C. Araud told Yara Bayoumy that Israel is already an apartheid state and that U.S. President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan is 99% doomed to fail.

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    Araud, who Bayoumy notes is known for “his willingness to say (and tweet) things that other ambassadors might not even think,” also offered his opinion on Trump’s foreign policy team. He said that John Bolton is a “real professional,” even though “he hates international organizations” and that Jared Kushner is “extremely smart, but he has no guts.”

    Araud recalled that “once Trump told Macron [the French president], ‘I have given everything to the Israelis; the Israelis will have to give me something.’ He is totally transactional. He is more popular than [Benjamin] Netanyahu in Israel, so the Israelis trust him.” Araud cited that exchange with Macron as evidence that Trump will ask for something tough from the Israelis in his peace proposal.

    Read the full interview in the Atlantic

    He concluded, however, that “disproportion of power is such between the two sides that the strongest may conclude that they have no interest to make concessions.” He continued by discussing Israel’s dilemna in the West Bank, noting that Israel is hesitating to make “the painful decision about the Palestinians” - to leave them “totally stateless or make them citizens of Israel.”

    He concludes, “They [Israel] won’t make them citizens of Israel. So they will have to make it official, which is we know the situation, which is an apartheid. There will be officially an apartheid state. They are in fact already.”

    Trump’s Middle East peace plan will not involve giving land from Egypt’s Sinai peninsula to the Palestinians, an American envoy said on Friday.
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    Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s Middle East envoy, apparently sought to deny reports on social media that the long-awaited plan to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would involve extending Gaza into the northern Sinai along Egypt’s Mediterranean coast.

    “Hearing reports our plan includes the concept that we will give a portion of Sinai (which is Egypt’s) to Gaza. False!”, Greenblatt, one of the architects of the proposal, tweeted on Friday.

    The American plan is expected to be unveiled once Israel’s newly re-elected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu forms a government coalition and after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which ends in June.

    Trump’s senior advisor Jared Kushner said on Wednesday the plan would require compromise by all parties, a source familiar with his remarks said.

    It is unclear whether the plan will propose outright the creation of a Palestinian state, the Palestinians’ core demand.

    Reuters contributed to this report

  • UK May Reopen Its Embassy In Damascus Soon – Reports

    The United Kingdome may reopen its embassy in the Syrian capital of Damascus in a year or two, the Sunday Telegraph newspaper hinted in a report on January 6 citing a British diplomat.

    “Give it a year or two and you can bet we’ll be reopening our embassy,” the unnamed diplomat said in the what the British newspaper described it as “an off-the-cuff remark.”

    During the last two weeks, the restoration of the Syrian-British relations was discussed by several unofficial figures. On December 30, former UK Ambassador to Syria said that we may witness the return of the British and French ambassadors to Damascus during 2019.

    Le même jour : https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/01/05/roads-lead-damascus-world-welcoming-bashar-al-assad-cold
    All roads lead to Damascus: How the world is welcoming Bashar al-Assad in from the cold
    Bashar al-Assad’s international rehabilitation has begun

    #normalisation #syrie #prédiction_autoréalisatrice

  • Jewish Arab village in the spotlight after Israel passes nationality law


    Some ambassadors to Israel celebrate their country’s national day at the poolside of their official residences in Herzliya, just north of Tel Aviv. Others mark the day with receptions at fancy Tel Aviv hotels. Swiss Ambassador Jean-Daniel Ruch chose to celebrate his country’s independence in a unique spot. He will welcome his guests, among them government, Foreign Ministry and Knesset representatives, to the Jewish Arab village of Neve Shalom-Wahat al-Salam, which lies midway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. The principles on which this community, the first and only one of its kind, was founded run counter to the spirit of the nationality law — Israel’s new law that excludes the country’s 20% Arab minority, strips their mother tongue of its official status and negates their national narrative.

    The official invitation to the event says that Neve Shalom — Hebrew for “Oasis of Peace” — is a village of Jewish and Palestinian Israeli citizens working together for justice, peace and equality in the country and the region. Its vision, the invitation quotes from Neve Shalom’s founding principles, is to offer "a model of equality, mutual respect and partnership, challenging the existing patterns of racism and discrimination as well as the continued conflict.” Contrary to the nationality law, which reads that Israel “views the development of Jewish settlement as a national value and will act to encourage and promote its establishment,” the 70 Jewish and Arab families living in the village reject the idea of Jewish-only communities. The Arabic language has equal footing with Hebrew. The village children attend a bilingual school and unlike other Israeli schoolchildren, are allowed to mark the Palestinian Nakba and to protest the Israeli occupation.

  • 21 Books You Don’t Have to Read | GQ

    C’est bone liste pour la Californie. Et pour la France, l’talie, le Sénégal, le Cameroun, le Congo, l’Égyte, la Russie, l’Inde et la Chine ? Et pour l’Allemagne ?
    Une fois ces listes réunis je me prends un an de vacances avec des amis et on se traduit et s’explique mutuellement le pour et le contre des livres.
    On commence là sur #Seenthis ?

    We’ve been told all our lives that we can only call ourselves well-read once we’ve read the Great Books. We tried. We got halfway through Infinite Jest and halfway through the SparkNotes on Finnegans Wake. But a few pages into Bleak House, we realized that not all the Great Books have aged well. Some are racist and some are sexist, but most are just really, really boring. So we—and a group of un-boring writers—give you permission to strike these books from the canon. Here’s what you should read instead.

    1. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
    Instead: The Mountain Lion by Jean Stafford

    2. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
    Instead: Olivia: A Novel by Dorothy Strachey

    3. Goodbye to All That by Robert Graves
    Instead: Dispatches by Michael Herr

    4. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
    Instead: The Summer Book by Tove Jansson

    5. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
    Instead: Near to the Wild Heart by Clarice Lispector

    6. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
    Instead: The Great Fire by Shirley Hazzard

    7. Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
    Instead: The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt

    8. John Adams by David McCullough
    Instead: Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard

    9 & 10. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
    Instead: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Fredrick Douglass
    Instead: The Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll by Alvaro Mutis

    11. The Ambassadors by Henry James
    Instead: The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer

    12. The Bible
    Instead: The Notebook by Agota Kristof

    13. Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger
    Instead: Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather

    14. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
    Instead: Earthsea Series by Ursula K. Le Guin

    15. Dracula by Bram Stoker
    Instead: Angels by Denis Johnson

    16. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
    Instead: The American Granddaughter by Inaam Kachachi

    17. Life by Keith Richards
    Instead: The Worst Journey in the World by Apsley Cherry-Garrard

    18. Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
    Instead: Too Loud a Solitude by Bohumil Hrabal

    19. Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
    Instead: Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon

    20. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
    Instead: Veronica by Mary Gaitskill

    21. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
    Instead: The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne

    #USA #littérature #société

  • #football Stars who chose to be ICO Football Ambassadors

    With the recent surge of #blockchain and cryptocurrency projects, competition has become stiff among companies concentrating on the same niche. Therefore celebrities have become a secret weapon, to companies that can afford them, to turn the market to their favor.Celebrity endorsement can go a long way in boosting a brands global profile. In the recent past, there have been a few football stars fronting ICO ad campaigns. In this post, we shall explore four famous football stars that have come in handy as ICO ambassadors.So, let’s delve in and explore:1. Luis Figo for STRYKZFrom Left to Right: Luis Figo, Dirk Weyel (Strykz CEO)“When I heard about Football-Stars for the first time I immediately liked the idea. Football becomes more and more data-driven with detailed statistics about all (...)

    #fantasy-football #ico-ambassadors #sports

  • Egypt and Sudan: Diplomatic pacification, unresolved affairs | MadaMasr


    Quietly and without an official announcement is how Osama Shaltout, Egypt’s ambassador to Sudan, returned to his post in Khartoum on Tuesday. On the same day, Abdel Mahmoud Abdel Halim, Sudan’s ambassador to Egypt, returned to Cairo two months after he was recalled due to tension between the neighboring countries.

    Shaltout spent the better part of two months in Cairo, as the Egyptian government worked to resolve the tension. Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid told Mada Masr on Wednesday morning that the reason for the ambassador’s stay in Cairo had been to “take part in official meetings.” Abu Zeid also stressed that Cairo did not recall Shaltout, either in response to Khartoum’s January decision or at any point since.

    Although the return of both ambassadors to their respective posts is an indication of the end of the public escalation of tensions, several Egyptian and Western diplomats as well as observers believe that the matters which originally triggered the crisis earlier this year have yet to be settled, even if the restoration of diplomatic relations is a step in the right direction.

    “The kind of escalation we saw in the January [between Sudan and Egypt] was kind of a negotiation being carried out in public, with a ratcheting up of rhetoric that didn’t necessarily match what was happening on the ground,” International Crisis Group’s Horn of Africa Analyst Magnus Taylor tells Mada Masr. “Of course, there are some real structural problems in the relationship on the Renaissance Dam, on the Muslim Brotherhood, the border conflict over Halayeb. But I’ve never really seen any of those issues as escalating into a border war or proxy war.”

  • Israel sets up secret firm with top ex-generals, envoys for online ’mass awareness’ campaign ’to fight delegitimization’

    Among the shareholders are former UN ambassador Dore Gold and ex-generals Amos Yadlin and Yaakov Amidror. The new initiative will not be subject to the Freedom of Information Law

    Noa Landau Jan 09, 2018 3:26 PM
    read more: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.833817

    The Strategic Affairs Ministry has set up a public-benefit corporation to engage in what it calls “mass awareness activities” as part of “the struggle against the delegitimization campaign” against Israel internationally.
    Haaretz has obtained a list of the shareholders and directors of the company, Kella Shlomo, who include former Israeli ambassadors to the United Nations.
    The government recently allocated 128 million shekels ($37 million) to the initiative, in addition to the 128 million shekels it will raise from private donors around the world.
    The new initiative will not be subject to the Freedom of Information Law, in accordance with the secrecy policy of the ministry, which refuses to release detailed information about its activities.
    The shareholders and directors include former ministry director general Yossi Kuperwasser; former UN ambassador Dore Gold, who is also a former adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; and former UN ambassador Ron Prosor.

    Reuven Rivlin with Amos Yadlin. Mark Neiman

    FILE PHOTO: Protestors march behind a banner of the BDS organization in Marseille, southern France, on June 13, 2015George Robert / AP
    They also include businessman Micah Avni, whose father, Richard Lakin, was killed in a 2015 terror attack in Jerusalem; Maj. Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin, who heads the Institute for National Security Studies; and Col. (res.) Miri Eisin, who served as the prime minister’s adviser on the foreign press during the Second Lebanon War.
    skip - Israel Publishes BDS Blacklist

    Also on the list are a former National Security Council chief, Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror, and Sagi Balasha, a former CEO of the Israeli-American Council, which has casino magnate Sheldon Adelson as a major supporter.

    Most refused to discuss the initiative and referred questions to the office of Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan.
    The most recent data from the Companies Authority shows that the last report the company submitted to the authority came this past October. On December 28, the cabinet approved an allocation of 128 million shekels to the company over three years. The decision to provide the funding was made by the special procedure under which a government resolution is distributed to the ministers and goes into effect automatically if no one objects or demands a discussion.
    According to the government resolution, the funding was granted “to implement part of the ministry’s activities related to the struggle against the phenomena of delegitimization and boycotts against the State of Israel.” It says the agency will work to raise its portion of the financing for the initiative (around half) from “philanthropic sources” or “pro-Israel organizations.” A steering committee will be appointed for the initiative to comprise government representatives and representatives of the other funding partners.

    Ron Prosor at the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon oath ceremony forr his appointment as the Secretary-General of the United Nations for second termShachar Ezran
    Itamar Baz of the media watchdog website The Seventh Eye has been covering the Strategic Affairs Ministry, most of whose activities are concealed from the public. He reported Monday that while ministry officials have for months been advancing legislation that would exclude the company from being subject to the Freedom of Information Law, the law in any case does not apply to this new agency so its activities will be easy to hide.
    He also revealed that Liat Glazer, the ministry’s legal adviser, wrote in a legal opinion that the activities conducted through the company would be “those that require ‘non-governmental’ discussions with various target audiences.”
    According to a ministry document, Kella Shlomo people would work via social networks because “the enemy directs most of its awareness and motivating efforts to this area.” Similarly, the document, published by The Seventh Eye, says the organization was expected to carry out “mass awareness activities” and work to “exploit the wisdom of crowds,” an activity defined as “making new ideas accessible to decision-makers and donors in the Jewish world, and developing new tools to combat the delegitimization of Israel.”
    A report in the daily Yedioth Ahronoth the day after the cabinet approved the funding described the initiative positively, saying it would “raise the level of efforts in the struggle against BDS” — the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. Yedioth said the new company would “provide a speedy and coordinated response to efforts to stain Israel’s image around the world,” for example, in the event of a military operation, terror attacks or UN votes against government policies.
    This would be done by launching online campaigns, lobbying, engaging organizations abroad and bringing delegations to Israel.
    The Strategic Affairs Ministry declined to clarify whether the company would act in accordance with the principles of the Freedom of Information Law.
    “This is a joint initiative that meets all the requirements of the law for this type of engagement and is similar to other government initiatives like Taglit [Birthright] and Masa,” the ministry said.
    “In the agreement with [the company] there are distinct control procedures, as defined by the Finance Ministry and the Justice Ministry during the joint work with them on setting up the project. It will be subject to auditing by the state comptroller,” it added.
    “In addition, as the ministry leading the initiative, one that attributes great importance to it as part of the campaign against the delegitimization of Israel, the ministry has allocated additional control tools and functions to what is required. Both the ministry’s legal adviser and its controller will sit on the steering committee managing the project.”
    skip - WTF is BDS?

  • Swiss Newspaper reveals: Secret military cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Israel
    Middle East Monitor - January 8, 2018 at 3:17 am

    The Swiss newspaper Basler Zeitung revealed the fact that there exists a “secret alliance” between Saudi Arabia and Israel, intended “to restrain Iran’s expansion in the region, despite the absence of any official relations between the two countries.”

    “For the time being, Riyadh rejects any official normalization of relationships with Israel as long as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is not resolved and normalization has not been publically declared by Arab countries and thus there will be no exchange of ambassadors,” said Pierre Heumann, the newspaper’s correspondent in Israel in his report.

    “There is an intensive secret cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Israel in order to achieve the main goal of curbing Iran’s expansion project and undermining its regional ambitions,” said the reporter. He added that “there exists indeed military cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Tel Aviv.”

    The reporter quoted unidentified sources from Riyadh as saying “the Kingdom is currently considering the possibility to purchase Israeli weapons and it has shown an interest in purchasing defence systems for the tanks and the iron dome, which Israel claims has proven to be effective in countering rocket attacks from Gaza Strip.(...) ”


  • Il “vicedittatore” eritreo, aggredito a Roma: è colui che ha ordinato il mio rapimento in Somalia

    Il 5 luglio scorso a Roma all’uscita da un ristorante l’ambasciatore dello Stato di Eritrea,
    Petros Fessazion, è stato aggredito da alcune persone, quasi certamente suoi connazionali
    stanchi di un regime repressivo che nega le libertà fondamentali dell’uomo.
    Ma con l’ambasciatore Petros, probabilmente c’era Yemane Gebrehab, il numero due della dittatura
    al potere nell’ex colonia italiana, rimasto gravemente ferito a uno zigomo.

    Ma nell’ospedale romano dove è stato ricoverato non risulta nessuno con quel nome.
    Che abbia dato generalità false per evitare di essere riconosciuto è assai probabile, ma, ovviamente
    non è certo. Per altro la presenza di Yemane era prevista in numerose iniziative in Europa
    dove il “vice-dittatore” non è comparso. Massimo Alberizzi scrive a Petros e a Yemane,
    che a suo tempo l’aveva condannato a morte e fatto rapire in Somalia.


    #Petros_Fessazion #Erythrée #Yemane_Gebreab #Isaias_Afeworki

    Et quelques #victimes du régime:

    Dove sono finiti in miei amici #Petros_Solomon, #Haile_Woldensaye, #Mohammed_Sharifo , ex ministri, o #Isaac_Dawit, giornalista, solo per citarne alcuni, arrestati e messi in qualche arroventata galera dell’infuocato bassopiano? E Aster, la moglie di Petros? Avete ingannato anche lei, una combattente per la libertà, una vostra compagna d’armi.


    • Et un article sur Yemane Gebreab, numéro 2 du régime érythréen, reçu via la newsletter de Human Rights Concern Eritrea, 15.11.2017 :
      Yemane Gebreab’s Deadly Schemes and Network of Terror

      Various media outlets have reported that Yemane Gebreab (the Eritrean President’s Advisor) was not allowed to address the Eritrean government supporters’ public seminar, in Arlington, on 8 October 2017, during his visit in the United States. He was denied entry to the seminar venue by US law enforcement officers. It seems plausible that he was in violation of a US Executive Order which listed him as a person who threatened US national security and foreign policy with regard to the Somalia situation. Human Rights Concern Eritrea (HRCE) has previously written about the danger Yemane Gebreab poses to Eritreans inside and outside Eritrea and the international community at large. In particular, Yemane Gebreab set-up an unsuccessful assassination attempt in Somalia on an Italian journalist who lived to tell the story.

      Whilst the flier which was distributed to advertise the event at which Yemane Gebreab was going to be present, alongside Eritrean Foreign Minister Osman Saleh, the official website of the Eritrean Government reported that Osman Saleh alone conducted the seminar. Since the news that Yemane Gebreab was detained spread quickly, it appears the Eritrean Government tried to cover up this embarrassing turn of events. Manufacturing after-the-fact appearances is no new thing for the Eritrean government.

      The UN conducted an inquiry into human rights violations in Eritrea and concluded in June 2016 that crimes against humanity were both widespread and systematic. The country is a one-party state, run by the top members of the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ), whose chairman is also the current and only president since 1991, Isaias Afewerki. His personal advisor is Yemane Gebreab, the man who proposes policies and implements them. Except that he does much more.

      Yemane Gebreab is widely known as the Presidential Advisor in Eritrea and head of Political Affairs in the PFDJ. However, these titles are nominal and only some of the roles he plays. Not only is Yemane Gebreab one of the main political minds behind the PFDJ, but his activities also range as widely in scope and depth as they do in nefariousness. He is active both at national and international level. HRCE has previously called for his arrest, and has since spoken to and received confidential testimonies from agents who in the past were deployed by Yemane Gebreab himself. They confirmed what most Eritreans already knew about him, through word of mouth or partial first-hand experience.

      On the international front, Yemane Gebreab is perhaps most infamous for masterminding and establishing the Young PFDJ (YPFDJ), a youth organisation which has parallels with the Balilla organisation which existed in Fascist Italy during the first half of the 20th century. YPFDJ even has enforcers called Eri-Blood, who intimidate anyone who expresses discontent with the Eritrean government and its practices. However, intimidation is not the only purpose of this organisation. Through the YPFDJ, whose members are not necessarily only youth, the PFDJ organises propaganda campaigns and spreads misinformation among the diaspora and other groups which interact with the Eritrean community abroad. Just as the YPFDJ meetings, often headed by Yemane Gebreab himself, spread false propaganda, they also serve as a means to fundraise and host events where money is either directly collected or obtained through sales of tickets or other items. This alone should have landed Yemane Gebreab in a US jail in the years since the standing executive order was first issued in 2010 by the then president Barack Obama.

      Most of the funds raised by the YPFDJ and PFDJ in the diaspora come from the older segments of the Eritrean community abroad. Worryingly, however, Yemane Gebreab organises these supporters to act as his informants. The former-agents whom HRCE has spoken with say that even middle-aged or elderly women, or other members of the Eritrean community abroad who might not raise suspicion, are used to spy on fellow Eritreans in the diaspora. Though many Eritreans knew this already, the testimony HRCE has received confirms the extent to which this tactic is systematic and widespread. Whilst the ordinary civilian may be used as an informant for Yemane Gebreab, trained individuals ranging from youth to middle-aged are deployed in the diaspora community.

      These youth, invariably members of the YPFDJ, but not necessarily openly so, are individuals who are carefully selected and sent to training camps inside Eritrea, often under the pretence of a vacation visit. They are trained using a program run by Yemane Gebreab which is intended to produce cadres fiercely loyal to the regime. These youth are taken around the country in a program called Zura-Hagerka, to the youth festival in Sawa Military Camp, to Nakfa (the old bastion town during the war for independence) to camps around Asmara (such as Asha Golgol) and other towns where their training is conducted. Not all of these youth are selected to become Yemane Gebreab’s agents. However, those who are selected are deployed in the diaspora and made to inform on the community, infiltrate organisations or set-up money laundering businesses, or even become part of the Eri- Blood.

      It is worrying that Eritrean youth from the diaspora willingly and voluntarily choose to partake in these criminal affairs, although the PFDJ regime has become expert at targeting the more vulnerable and disillusioned amongst the youth abroad. Unlike them, however, there are other Eritreans who also operate in the diaspora but have no choice in the matter. These are conscripts who hail from within the country and are trained in special cadre programs. These Eritreans might get brainwashed to the level of accepting the rhetoric fed them by Yemane Gebreab, although most are deeply aware that they have no choice but to obey, for it is not only their lives which are endangered; they also fear for their families. Few who manage to escape the grip of Yemane Gebreab’s network manage to share inside information. They are unambiguous about the fact that Yemane Gebreab runs these programs, participates in training and brainwashing cadres, as well as being the person who has the final word in all decision-making.

      The cadres deployed outside Eritrea by Yemane Gebreab have a slightly different job from the YPFDJ youth who are trained in the country and then sent back to their diaspora communities, although it must be kept in mind that often their roles overlap. These agents are told the country depends on them and that their training and job has been entrusted to them by the Eritrean people. They are made to believe they are the true inheritors of the legacy which led to the country’s independence and are instructed in no uncertain terms to put the country before their lives. Of course, by “country” Yemane Gebreab means the interests of himself, Isaias Afwerki and their kleptocratic clique. In fact, veneration of Isaias Afwerki is part of their training as they are assured that if it were not for Isaias Afwerki and the PFDJ, the country would be lost.

      Thus trained, involuntarily conscripted men and women from Eritrea are often sent to work in embassies, consulates or other PFDJ offices around the world. The former agents whom HRCE spoke with clarify that these cadres are assigned the job of spying and watching every move of ambassadors, consuls and other staff in these offices. The sources recall how, during their training, Yemane Gebreab would warn them to watch very closely Eritrean officials, diplomats and other leadership figures who visit from Eritrea. He would caution them that they are to monitor these diplomats’ movements as if they were a cancerous tumour. Accordingly, he instructs the agents he sends abroad to record what Eritrean diplomats and officials say in meetings and at public events, keeping an eye out for any sign of dissent or criticism. If these officials show any hint of discontent, they are to be reported and are consequently recalled back to the country.

      While abroad, the cadres deployed from Eritrea are also made to monitor and report on Eritrean-owned businesses and Eritrean individuals. They may receive orders to repatriate individuals targeted by the PFDJ and Yemane Gebreab. In practice, this translates to finding ways to undermine these individuals and business owners so that either their immigration status or licences are revoked. It may even extend to outright abduction and enforced disappearance. This practice seems to be done more in African and middle-eastern countries, where some of governments might even co-operate with the PFDJ in deporting targeted individuals. Examples of this can be found in neighbouring countries such as Sudan, where, throughout the years, abductions of Eritreans from Sudanese territory are conducted by Eritrean agents.

      Moreover, agents who answer to and co-operate with Yemane Gebreab can also be foreign nationals. Recalling the assassination attempt on the Italian journalist mentioned above, the Somalis who allowed the journalist to escape were reprimanded by Yemane Gebreab. Furthermore, part of the reason his name is the only non-Somali name on the list in the Executive Order concerning the turmoil in Somalia is due to his and his agents’ work in the region.

      However, the international activities by Yemane Gebreab form only part of the picture, as he is also deeply entrenched in the terror his activities within the country cause to the Eritrean People. As mentioned in a previous article, Yemane Gebreab admits in an interview that he and the PFDJ arrested without due legal process and detained incommunicado a group of journalists and his former colleagues and senior ministers known as the G11 in 2001. (The G11 were part of the G15, a group of senior government officials who publicly called for democracy and change, but only 11 of them were in the country at the time of arrest, and few are thought to survive to this day). Though this case is the most famous internationally, Yemane Gebreab is co-perpetrator of other persecutions and enforced disappearances within the country.

      Inside Eritrea, Yemane Gebreab is one of the main political minds behind the PFDJ, and as such, he plans and implements various repressive internal policies. He plays a crucial role in the establishment and running of youth programs, including the national service and the National Union of Eritrean Youth and Students (NUEYS), the internal equivalent of the YPFDJ and the organisation which handles all Eritrean youth affairs before they are conscripted into the military, which occurs before they even finish secondary education. This includes participation in PFDJ organised events and the release or withholding of the ID card all students must have before they are conscripted, on penalty of detention and early conscription into the military.

      Whilst Gebreab partakes in shaping such national policies to the extent that he is known as second-in-command in the country after Isaias Afewerki, the cadres he controls are put to work even inside Eritrea. The espionage network in Eritrea is as unnerving as possible, but what makes it even more fearsome for those who have to live under it is that elements like those organised and deployed by Yemane Gebreab do not fall under the control of any normal intelligence agency. They receive orders and respond solely to the president’s office and to Yemane Gebreab. For years the Eritrean population has lived in dread of accidentally offending one of these informants or any other covert agents infiltrated within the population.

      A particular terrorising effect is achieved by the agents of Yemane Gebreab inside Eritrea by the fact that they not only spy on the population but also demand that citizens inform on each other. The testimonies received by HRCE clarify that the cadres and agents trained and deployed by Yemane Gebreab are often given quotas and targets to monitor. Consequently, they follow the target in public places such as cafes, places of work, churches, mosques, etc. In such places, these agents approach the persons running the locales, businesses or places of worship and force them to inform on the targeted citizens. This creates a daily atmosphere of terror in the population, because no one can be sure if their colleague, their waiter, their church leader or their imam is watching their every move and reporting to these agents. To use a recent development within the country as a further example, it appears that the PFDJ regime is now assigning one family in each neighbourhood to act as informants on a group of surrounding families, reporting the comings and goings of each member of the assigned families they watch.

      At this point it is important to remind the reader that Eritreans live in terror of the consequences that may befall them if they appear to know anything unauthorised or do not cooperate with the demands made of them. In such ways Yemane Gebreab instils fear among Eritreans so that no one dares to speak to their neighbour openly, let alone organise to demand their rights or change the system. There is now an entire generation born and raised in such conditions of fear, and Yemane Gebreab is the main actor pulling the strings of the mechanisms that have terrorised many of the young people as well as most of the adult population for their entire lives, both inside and outside Eritrea. Gebreab has committed crimes against humanity and used people who have been forced into slavery to partake in his schemes. He is one of the main persons, perhaps only the second after Isaias Afwerki, to have illegitimately detained and directly caused the deaths of hundreds accused of dissenting against the PFDJ, of whom the most famous are amongst the G11 and journalists forcibly disappeared in September 2001.

      It baffles the mind then that Yemane Gebreab has thus far been allowed to enter Europe and the United States of America freely. European leaders and representatives of other United Nations member states should refuse to interact with such a criminal and should denounce him. The UN has recommended that those who systematically perpetrate crimes against humanity in Eritrea should face prosecution and Yemane Gebreab should be one of the most wanted men in Eritrea, detained immediately upon setting foot outside Eritrea and prosecuted at the International Criminal Court (ICC). HRCE recognises that some steps such as sanction and seizure of financial assets have been taken by the United States. However, it is feared that the seriousness of Yemane Gebreab’s crimes are grossly underestimated by the leaders of such countries and international organisations.

      HRCE appeals to all countries to deny entry to Yemane Gebreab and to refuse political and financial cooperation with him and the party he represents. It seems that Yemane Gebreab has been set free losing a major opportunity to detain him. However, if the U.S, European or other country’s authorities get another chance to put him in custody, HRCE recommends that instead of being released to perpetrate further crimes against humanity, he should be detained until he is brought before the ICC to answer for the major role he has played in terrorising and eliminating innocent Eritreans.

  • Endocrine Disruptors | Corporate Europe Observatory

    The TTIP negotiations have been a major source of pressure against the EU taking action on endocrine disruptors. For instance, in March 2013, the US and EU pesticide lobby groups Croplife America and ECPA paid a joint visit to the Commission’s Secretary General to talk about the way the EU would deal with endocrine disruptors and how that seemed contrary to the goals of TTIP. Croplife America’s position was that the US should take action at the WTO “if the EU pursues its proposed new regulatory regime for endocrine disruptors without an approach based on risk assessment”. (Toxic Affair p.14).

    Three years later, mid-June 2016, the Commission had finally presented a proposal for criteria to identify endocrine disruptors. It was strongly criticised, among others by the Endocrine Society: the Commission criteria require “a level of certainty that are nearly unachievable scientifically”.
    One month later on 13 July 2016 Health Commissioner Andriukaitis received a visit from the ambassadors of the United States, Canada, Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina, specifically to address the issue of EU regulation of endocrine disruptors and the impacts on international trade... The minutes of this meeting, obtained by Oneworld.nl, show how the US ambassador opened the meeting by “expressing concern of countries on proposals submitted by COM [the Commission, red] on criteria for ED [endocrine disruptors, red], in particular their impact on import tolerances”.

    The Commission then responded: “COM proposal foresees possibility to establish MRLs [maximum residue levels, red], which should be accepted as an ambitious proposal to address the concerns expressed by the Ambassadors”.

    #ue #perturbateurs_endocriniens #commerce #santé

  • Joshua Landis on Twitter: “In some respects, Syria’s move to USSR was driven by the Arab/Israeli conflict.”

    1. In some respects, Syria’s move to USSR was driven by the Arab/Israeli conflict.
    2. US was planning to rebuild Syrian military in 1947, with training mission and arms sales.
    3. The start of fighting in Palestine in 1947 caused Sec State Marshall to cancel the agreement & training mission.

    He knew that congress could not support helping Syria military w war looming in Palestine. Also Tripartite Arms Embargo imposed by US/FR/GB
    5. Once Syria’s Pres. Quwatli was told of US retraction, his men began counseling him to seek arms from USSR. Quwatli refused for fear of GB
    6. But the refusal of all Western Powers 2 help Syrian military, caused it to turn 2 USSR w friendship agreement & follow Nasser’s arms deal
    7. These BBC interviews w Syrian statesmen & PM, underline that they did not associate Friendship Agreement w becoming Communist, as US did
    8. By organizing failed coups against Khalid al-Azm and Sabri al-Asali’s government, the US undermined the pro-Western politicians of Syria.

    The Baath Party leaders and their military officer sympathizers used the West’s interventions and plotting to go to Nasser & form the UAR.
    10. Politicians, such as Azm & Quwatli, who knew making Nasser was a bad idea & who had fought for Syrian independence, had to go along.
    11. They feared being called Western stooges. They also were confused by the West’s stupidity and aggression against them.
    12. This is the context of these BBC interviews, which were carried out during the lead up to the UAR and the time of the Suez Crisis.
    13. Between 1955 and 1958, Syria received about $294 million from the Soviet Union for military and economic assistance.
    14. In a meeting of Ambassadors at end of WWII, US decided best postwar strategy was to align w KSA & Syria. The KSA because of oil & Aramco
    15. Syria, because pipelines would run from KSA thru Syr. Also Syria had no exclusive agreement with FR or GB. It was free & turned to US
    16. Khalid al-Azm who was PM at end 1948, negotiated military agreement w US & base rights w GB, which wanted 2 est MEDO - Mid East Def Org
    17. But the US broke off these agreements to support Jewish State in Palestine & then supported Chief of Staff Husni Zaim to overthrow Azm.
    18. US supported Azm/Quwatli overthrow, even though they were democratically elected gov, because Zaim offered to sign armistice w Israel.
    19. Zaim also offered to build Tapline, oil pipeline that Syr parliament put on hold, and to arrest communists, etc.

    The US was not a driving force behind Zaim coup. Zaim was determined 2 take power, b/c Quwatli gov was going to accuse him of corruption.
    21. Pres Quwatli was going to use Zaim as the scapegoat for loss of 1948 war. Major corruption trials were leading to top officers.


  • Hack, fake story expose real tensions between Qatar, Gulf

    While Qatar quickly denied the comments attributed to ruling emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Saudi-owned satellite channels repeatedly aired them throughout the day Wednesday. The incident revived suspicions that exploded into the open three years when several Gulf nations pulled their ambassadors from Qatar over similar worries about its politics.

    The alleged hack happened early on Wednesday morning and hours later, the website of the Qatar News Agency still was not accessible.

    The fake article quoted Sheikh Tamim as calling Iran an “Islamic power” and saying Qatar’s relations with Israel were “good” during a military ceremony.

    Online footage of Qatari state television’s nightly newscast from Tuesday showed clips of Sheikh Tamim at the ceremony with the anchor not mentioning the comments, though a scrolling ticker at the bottom of the screen had the alleged fake remarks. They included calling Hamas “the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people,” as well as saying Qatar had “strong relations” with Iran and the United States.

    “Iran represents a regional and Islamic power that cannot be ignored and it is unwise to face up against it,” the ticker read at one point. “It is a big power in the stabilization of the region.”

    The hackers also purportedly took over the news agency’s Twitter feed and posted alleged quotes from Qatar’s foreign minister accusing Arab nations of fomenting a plot against his country. A series of tweets said Qatar had ordered its ambassadors to withdraw from Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates over the plot. The tweets were later deleted.

  • The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب

    #catastrophe_arabe (1)

    Franchement, c’est très compliqué. Si j’ai bien suivi la chose, et je vais essayer de donner quelques éléments : un jour après le grand show Trumpien en arabie saoudite, les équilibres politiques dans le Gofe semblent voler en éclats. En cause, une violente dispute, sur les médias et via les agences de presse, entre le Qatar d’un côté et l’Arabie souadite (Egypte, Emirats, Bahreïen) de l’autre.

    Le Qatar se fâche très fort parce qu’on l’accuse de (soutien au) terrorisme (notamment parce qu’il s’obstine à conserver des liens, même ténus, avec l’iran). Des nouvelles ont circulé selon lesquelles le Qatar retirait ses ambassadeurs des pays mentionnés, puis la nouvelle a été démentie. Au milieu d’une vraie bataille médiatique de la part des chaînes arabes, le Qatar - si j’ai bien compris - a levé le drapeau blanc en disant que le site de l’Agence de presse officielle a été hacké. Naturellement, on “explique” déjà que ce sont les Iraniens qui ont fait le coup.

    Ci-dessous, un bricolage de liens :
    Le 1er signalement chez Angry Arab : Qatari-Saudi feud out in the open
    So what happened today: the Qatari News Agency was hacked and it posted statements by the Qatari Emir in which he criticized US policies and declared that Hamas and Hizbullah are resistance movement and had warm words about Iran. Al-Arabiyya TV (owned by the deputy Crown Prince) went berserk: it unleashed on the Qatari regime and hosted various guests to attack the Qatari regime even AFTER the Qatari regime issued a statement denying that the Emir made those statements.

    PS Wow. Al-Arabiyya can’t stop. They are still unleashing against the Qatari regime. More fun in inter-Arab relations is ahead of us.

    Un autre, trois heures plus tard : What is happening in Qatar?
    Qatari foreign minister now says that his statements were misinterpreted and that he did not call for recall of Qatari ambassadors in GCC countries (except Oman) and Egypt.

    Et, parmi toute une série, le dernier, 5 heures après le premier : Stupid Western media theories about the origins of the Saudi-Qatari rift
    Of course, it will start now: that Iran will be blamed for hacking the Qatari News Agency website and starting the rift between Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Only those who don’t know a word of Arabic and who has not read or watched the media of the two regimes in the last 12 hours will believe this. It was clear that Saudi regime was prepared for this in advance: the column already appeared in the morning papers against Qatar, and the guests were already lined up to voice criticisms of the Qatari regime and its Emir. It makes more sense that the Saudi regime was behind the hacking if there was any hacking. The statements of the Emir sounded true to me, and they are in line with the previous stances of Qatar. So either there was an inside sabotage within the Qatari regime or the Saudis were behind the hacking with the assistance of their friends the Israelis. And if Iran was behind the hacking, why were the statements about Iran not far more favorable?

  • Israel fighting to stop FIFA from suspending settlement soccer teams -
    Move against six teams initiated by Palestinians, backed by FIFA panel; Israelis pessimistic

    Barak Ravid Apr 20, 2017
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.784442

    Israel is increasingly concerned that when the FIFA Congress holds its annual meeting in another four weeks, the international soccer federation will decide to suspend six Israeli soccer teams based in West Bank settlements.
    Consequently, ambassadors in dozens of capitals worldwide have been ordered to work with officials of their host countries to foil the move.
    An official involved in the issue said that two weeks ago, Israel learned that Palestinian Football Association President Jibril Rajoub had asked to put the issue of the settlement teams on the agenda of both the FIFA Council, which will meet in Manama, Bahrain on May 9, and the FIFA Congress, which will meet in the same city on May 10 and 11.
    On Tuesday, the Foreign Ministry sent a cable to dozens of Israeli embassies instructing embassy staffers to try to persuade their host countries to remove the issue from FIFA’s agenda or ensure that no vote on it takes place. But the official said Israel must be prepared for the worst-case scenario, in which a vote does take place. If so, Israel’s chances of winning are negligible.
    “Our growing assessment is that the FIFA Congress is liable to make a decision on suspending six Israeli teams that play over the Green Line, or even on suspending Israel from FIFA,” the cable said. “We urge you to contact your countries’ representatives on the FIFA Council as soon as possible to obtain their support for Israel’s position, which rejects mixing politics with sport and calls for reaching an agreed solution between the parties ... and to thwart an anti-Israel decision if it is brought before the council.”

    #BDS #Israel #Palestine

  • #Israel’s Scramble for #Africa

    Israel has eleven embassies in Africa. Last week Prime Minister #Benjamin_Netanyahu met the ambassadors in Jerusalem. He had a clear message for them: “The automatic majority against Israel at the UN is composed – first and foremost – of African countries. There are 54 countries. If you change the voting pattern of a majority…

    #POLITICS #Macky_Sall #Paul_Kagame #Uhuru_Kenyatta

  • Jordan ponders a change of course on Syria | The National

    “Since the beginning of the crisis, we haven’t operated against the regime at all, our relations with the regime have remained, and our diplomatic relations with Syria have also remained,” he said. “Our objective is to fight terrorism anywhere.”

    Crucially, Lt Gen Freihat noted that Jordan has remained in touch with the Syrian government despite his country’s ­anti-Assad position.

    Driving the backchannel contacts was the status of the border and the refugee flows that have placed social and economic strain on Jordan. The message from Amman was clear: once the Syrian army re-establishes control of the border, Jordan will move to reopen it completely.

    Less than a week after these remarks, Mohammed Al Momani, Jordan’s minister for information, echoed Lt Gen Freihat’s comments, stating Jordan had maintained diplomatic relations with Syria throughout the crisis and embassies in both countries remain open. Mr Al Momani noted that the Arab League had voted to suspend Syria’s membership and recall Arab ambassadors from Damascus, with Jordan voting in favour of the first motion, but abstaining from the latter.

  • Do we all have a right to cross borders?

    n early December, British foreign secretary Boris Johnson was forced to deny reports that he’d told a group of ambassadors he was personally in favour of the free movement of people across the European Union.

    Given his previous negative public statements on the issue, reports of his private support for the principle, which allows all EU citizens to move freely around the bloc, came as a surprise. Speaking to a Czech newspaper in mid-November, he had rubbished the idea that free movement is a central principle of the EU and denied that “every human being has some fundamental God-given right to move wherever they want”.

    #frontières #murs

  • UN resolution is a breath of hope in sea of darkness and despair -
    It’s now even more crystal clear: The world thinks the settlements are a crime. All the settlements and all the world
    Gideon Levy Dec 25, 2016 12:12 PM


    On November 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly voted to establish a Jewish state (alongside an Arab state) in the Land of Israel. Sixty-nine years later, on December 23, 2016, the UN Security Council voted to try to save it. Resolution 2334 that was approved Friday is a gust of good news, a breath of hope in the sea of darkness and despair of recent years.

    Just when it seemed that everything was going downhill – the deepening occupation increasingly supported by America, with Europe galloping to the right – along came a Hanukkah resolution that lights a thin candle. When it seemed that the evil ones would remain victorious, along came New Zealand and three other countries and gave the world a Christmas gift.

    Read more on the Security Council resolution: It’s the settlements, stupid: UN failure is entirely Netanyahu’s / Analysis | Obama, where have you been for 8 wasted years? / Analysis | Why the Palestinians are jubilant and Israel is spooked / Analysis | Security Council punch knocks Netanyahu down from hubris to humiliation

    So thanks to New Zealand, Venezuela and Malaysia. True, the Christmas tree they’ve supplied, with all its sparkling lights, will soon be removed; Donald Trump is already waiting at the gate. But the imprint will remain. Until then, this temporary rejoicing is a joy, despite the expected hangover.

    We of course must ask U.S. President Barack Obama in fury: Now you’re doing something? And we must ask the world in frustration: What about actions? But it’s impossible to ignore the Security Council decision that rules that all the settlements are illegal by nature.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can call back his ambassadors, while his right-hand minister Yuval Steinitz can shriek that the resolution is “unfair.” (He has a sense of humor.) And opposition leader Isaac Herzog can babble that “we need to fight the decision with all means.” But there isn’t a person in the world with a conscience who won’t rejoice over the resolution.

    There also isn’t a decent Israeli who ought to fall for the propaganda that calls the resolution “anti-Israeli,” a definition that the Israeli media rushed to adopt – with its characteristic slavishness, of course.

    This decision has brought Israel back to the solid ground of reality. All the settlements, including in the territories that have been annexed, including in East Jerusalem of course, are a violation of international law. In other words, they are a crime. No country in the world thinks otherwise. The entire world thinks so – all Israel’s so-called friends and all its so-called enemies – unanimously.

    Most probably the tools of brainwashing in Israel, along with the mechanisms of repression and denial, will try to undermine the decision. But when the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia unite in such a clear statement, this will be difficult work.

    So you can say “the entire world is against us.” You can scream “anti-Semitism!” You can ask “What about Syria?” In the end this clear-as-crystal truth will remain: The world thinks that the settlements are a crime. All the settlements and all the world.

    True, the world doesn’t lift a finger to have the settlements removed, but maybe one day this will happen. Still, it will be too late by then, too late.

    Resolution 2334 artificially distinguishes between Israel and the settlements in that it is aimed at the settlements, not the occupation. As if the guilt of Amona were on its settlers and not all Israelis. This deception proves how much the world continues to treat Israel with leniency and hesitates to takes steps against it, as it did with Russia’s conquest of Crimea, for example.

    But Israelis who don’t live in Amona, who have never been there, who have no real interest in its fate – it seems most Israelis – have to ask themselves: Is it really worth it? All this for a few settlers they don’t know and don’t really want to know?

    Resolution 2334 is meant above all for Israeli ears, like an alarm clock that makes sure to wake you up on time, like a siren that tells you to go down to the bomb shelter. True, the resolution has no concrete value; true, the new U.S. administration promises to erase it.

    But two questions won’t let up: Why don’t the Palestinians deserve exactly the same thing that Israelis deserve, and how much can one country, with all its lobbying power, weapons and high-tech, ignore the entire world? On this first day of both Hanukkah and Christmas, we can enjoy, if only for a moment, the sweet illusion that Resolution 2334 will rouse these questions in Israel.

  • Israel to pay Turkey $20 million in compensation after six-year rift | Reuters
    Wed Aug 17, 2016

    Turkish lawmakers on Wednesday submitted to parliament a settlement deal with Israel that would see Israel pay Ankara $20 million (15.38 million pounds) within 25 days in return for Turkey dropping outstanding legal claims, ending a six-year rift.

    Relations between the two countries crumbled after Israeli marines stormed a Turkish ship in May 2010 to enforce a naval blockade of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, killing 10 Turks on board.

    Israel had already offered its apologies for the raid. Both countries are to appoint ambassadors, and Turkey is to pass legislation indemnifying Israeli soldiers as part of an agreement partly driven by the prospect of lucrative Mediterranean gas deals.

    (Reporting by Gulsen Solaker; Writing by Ece Toksabay; Editing by David Dolan)

  • Few American women have broken the glass ceiling of diplomacy

    Since the beginning of U.S. diplomatic relations with the rest of the world, American ambassadors have overwhelmingly been men, an imbalance that speaks to a persistent diversity challenge within the U.S. Foreign Service. The numbers make it clear. Over 4,600 U.S. ambassadors have served in foreign countries since the founding of the nation – and only 9% of them have been women.

    #diplomatie #ambassadeurs #femmes #genre #hommes #USA #Etats-Unis #inégalités #cartographie #visualisation #statistiques #chiffres

  • On Iran-Saudi rift, Gulf Arab states tread with caution

    Gulf Arab states rallied dutifully behind Saudi Arabia when it cut relations with Iran last week, recalling their ambassadors and cancelling flights to Tehran in solidarity with the oil-rich kingdom after its embassy in Iran was torched by protesters.

    But all apart from Bahrain stopped short of severing ties, responses that suggest these small states - energy powers but military minnows - wish to safeguard strategic interests and avoid a full-blown conflict with Iran in which they would fare poorly.

    #Arabie_saoudite #Iran #Golfe

    Non traduit en français.

  • Israeli, Turkish officials meet in secret, reach agreements

    Mossad chief Yossi Cohen Joseph Ciechanover, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s special envoy to Turkey, met secretly in Switzerland on Wednesday with Feridun Sinirlioğlu, the Turkish Foreign Ministry’s Undersecretary. The two nations agreed on a number of steps: Israel will found a compensations fund for victims of the raid on the Marmara; all charges against Israel will be cancelled; the ambassadors will be returned to work; and high-ranking #Hamas official Saleh al-Arouri will be banned from entering Turkey.

    Additionally, discussions on a gas pipeline from Israel to Turkey are expected to begin soon.

    #Turquie #Israel #Israël

  • The Illusion of Palestinian Sovereignty - Opinion - Israel News - Amira Hass Dec 01, 2015

    PA President Mahmoud Abbas (5th from left in front) with ministers at the unity government’s swearing-in ceremony, Ramallah, West Bank, June 2, 2014.Reuters

    Israeli military incursions into the West Bank’s Area A and even Area B – the districts where only Palestinians live and the Palestinian Authority operates – have one positive aspect. Yes, even when they include the destruction of radio stations or raids on hospitals. Despite all the shock and the denunciations, these raids are a lesson in reality. For a few hours, they destroy the illusion of Palestinian sovereignty. It’s a virtual sovereignty, fragmented and curtailed. Therefore, it’s an illusion – but an illusion that works.

    Broadcasters in Hebron think they can tell their listeners where soldiers are located, as if they lived in an independent state. Palestinian Facebook users inhabit a virtual reality twice over: They see the real world in cyberspace and are convinced that it protects them from raids and arrests. Doctors treat people with bullet wounds and forget that the sovereign is the settlement defense forces, which don’t recognize the immunity of medical institutions.

    Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas receives ambassadors with great pomp, but is dependent on exit permits from the army. And professors from abroad are shocked when Israeli security services raid the campus of Al-Quds University in Abu Dis; their political geography classes evidently ended in 1993. That is when Zionism achieved one of its greatest military and diplomatic successes.

    Short of expelling every Palestinian or “causing them to flee,” this is the outcome most closely resembling transfer that was possible to achieve. The international political circumstances didn’t allow the territory to be emptied (again) of its Palestinian inhabitants. So reservations were set up (Areas A and B). They were supposed to be temporary, but meanwhile they’ve become permanent.

    It’s not important for now whether this is exactly what Zionist leaders intended when they concocted the Oslo Accords’ interim agreements. The result is the same either way: Palestinian pseudo-sovereignty in territorial capsules, which is one of the main reasons why the current uprising hasn’t taken off.

    The checkpoints that surround these enclaves block any mass demonstration that might, for instance, seek to march toward another water-sucking, land-swallowing settlement or a shepherds’ village that’s about to be demolished. But what’s most effective of all, from the standpoint of Israeli interests, is that people have gotten used to the illusion. Within these population enclosures, life is lived in a way that closely resembles normalcy.

    In Tel Rumeida, the silence is blood-curdling. But beyond the concrete that isolates the neighborhood, one hears the enticing municipal clamor of Hebron. Cars honk, vendors in the market sell their wares, pedestrians chat. A multitude of seminars takes place in the hotels of cozy Jericho and Ramallah, while half an hour’s drive to the north, Israel’s Civil Administration is demolishing the houses of the tiny village of Hadidiyeh and the army is once again expelling 13 families from their tents in Khirbet Khumsa. Studies at An-Najah National University in Nablus take place as normal, but a few kilometers southward, settlers burst into the villages of Madama and Burin and sow fear.

    Just how strong the delusion of sovereignty is can be seen in the way East Jerusalem residents, and even Palestinian citizens of Israel, often travel to these West Bank enclaves and feel a sense of relief. In these enclosures, which are free of any army presence, they get a break from routine Israeli racism and vulgarity. This temporary feeling of rest and relief is only strengthened by the necessary return to Israel via an intimidating path of walls, barbed-wire fences, pointed rifles, threatening policemen and soldiers, and deluxe, verdant suburbs for Jews only.

    The foreign ruler and his permanent aggression are divided into fractions and experienced differently in every Palestinian “territorial cell,” as they are called in army jargon. The more numerous, smaller and fragmented these territorial cells are, the harder it is for the Palestinians to develop a uniform response to Israeli aggression and violence.

    That is how the phenomenon of the lone-wolf stabbers emerged – for lack of any other choice. This is a privatizing of the natural and general urge to rebel, a response to Israeli violence that breaks up into dozens of supposedly unconnected little incidents.

    This privatization of the struggle is the opposite of an intifada, which is a mass uprising. But because it has become such a widespread phenomenon, it constitutes an internal message: that the normalcy of the enclaves isn’t normal.