position:defense minister

  • Hunter Killer (2018) [WEBRip] [720p] [YTS.AM]
    https://yts.am/movie/hunter-killer-2018#720p

    IMDB Rating: 6.7/10Genre: Action / ThrillerSize: 1.02 GBRuntime: 2hr 2 minA U.S. submarine, the USS Tampa Bay, vanishes while shadowing a Russian Akula-class submarine in the Arctic. Rear Admiral John Fisk sends a Virginia-class submarine, the USS Arkansas, under the command of newly-promoted and unorthodox Commander Joe Glass to investigate. At the same time, a Navy SEAL team under the command of Lieutenant Bill Beaman is sent in to discreetly observe a Russian naval base, but their mission is swiftly complicated when Martinelli, the team’s new DM recruit, is rendered unconscious during the HALO drop. When they arrive at the naval base, they witness defense minister Dmitri Durov conducting a coup d’eta and taking Russian President Zakarin prisoner, and swiftly realize that Durov (...)

    https://yts.am/torrent/download/D58952BDBBBFBA9DA444F8FE99DCF2C7F2E4AB77


  • Egyptian soccer star Salah may quit team if Israeli player joins - Israel News - Jerusalem Post
    https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Mohamed-Salah-may-quit-Liverpool-should-Israeli-player-join-575402
    https://images.jpost.com/image/upload/f_auto,fl_lossy/t_Article2016_ControlFaceDetect/417434

    Egyptian super-star Mohamed Salah has allegedly threatened to leave Premier League football club Liverpool if Arab-Israeli soccer player Moanes Dabour joins the team, Israeli media reported.

    According the report, Salah said that he will leave Liverpool should Dabour be signed.

    However, people close to the Egyptian athlete said he needs to be left alone to focus on playing soccer and that he is a professional, and it is not his concern with whom Liverpool is discussing a possible contract.

    In the past Salah, refused to shake hands with Israeli players with the pretext of tying his shoes during a game between Maccabi Tel Aviv and FC Basel, his team at the time.

    Former Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman tweeted in April, in jest, that he would recruit Salah to the Israeli army after seeing how he led Liverpool to a 5-2 victory over Roma.

    Dans Rai al-yom par exemple (https://www.raialyoum.com/index.php/%d9%85%d9%82%d8%b1%d8%a8%d9%88%d9%86-%d9%85%d9%86-%d8%a7%d9%84%d9%86%d8%a), on rappelle que le joueur en question est un Palestinien de 48 (et par ailleurs bien musulman !!!)

    En tout état de cause, LA nouvelle de l’année pour une bonne partie de l’opinion arabe #foot


  • Pushing for an Israeli victory is the only way to end the conflict with the Palestinians

    Il faut lire ce point de vue d’un néoconservateur américain car il reflète une partie de la pensée de la droite pro-israélienne

    Lieberman and Bennett failed to impose a new paradigm on how to deal with Hamas, but more and more people in Israel are recognizing that compromises and concessions have only led to more violence

    Daniel Pipes SendSend me email alerts
    Dec 02, 2018 4:04 PM
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-an-israeli-victory-is-the-only-way-to-end-the-conflict-with-the-pa

    From a practical political point of view, Avigdor Lieberman, Naftali Bennett, and their idea to take a tougher stand toward Hamas just went down to defeat, if not humiliation. 
    That’s because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once again showed his political skills; the first is now ex-defense minister, the second failed to become defense minister.
    >> ‘Get used to the rockets’: What Netanyahu should tell Israelis living near Gaza | Opinion
    From a longer-term point of view, however, the duo raised an issue that for decades had not been part of the Israeli political discourse but, due to their efforts, promises to be an important factor in the future: that would be the concept of victory, of an Israeli victory over Hamas and, by extension, over the Palestinian Authority and Palestinians in general.
    Victory – defined as imposing one’s will on the enemy so he gives up his war goals - has been the war goal of philosophers, strategists, and generals through human history. Aristotle wrote that “Victory is the end of generalship.” Karl von Clausewitz, the Prussian theorist, concurred: “The aim of war should be the defeat of the enemy.” Gen. James Mattis, the U.S. secretary of defense, finds that “No war is over until the enemy says it’s over.” 
    Palestinians routinely speak of achieving victory over Israel, even when this is fantastical: to cite one example, PA leader Mahmoud Abbas called his Hamas counterpart, Ismail Haniyeh, after eight days of violence with Israel that left Gaza badly battered in November 2012 to “congratulate him on the victory and extend condolences to the families of martyrs.”

    Contrarily, in Israel, the notion of victory has been sidelined since at least the Oslo Accords of 1993, after which its leaders instead focused on such concepts as compromise, conciliation, confidence-building, flexibility, goodwill, mediation, and restraint. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert immemorially articulated this attitude in 2007 when he stated that "Peace is achieved through concessions.”
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    >> Israel is incomparably stronger than Hamas – but it will never win: Interview with Hamas leader in Gaza
    his perverse understanding of how wars end led Israel to make extraordinary blunders in the 15 years after Oslo, for which it was punished by unremitting campaigns of delegitimization and violence, symbolized, respectively, by the Durban conference of 2001  and the Passover Massacre of 2002. 
    Such nonsense ended during Netanyahu’s near-decade-long term as prime minister, but it has not yet been replaced by a sturdy vision of victory. Rather, Netanyahu has put out brush fires as they arose in Sinai, Gaza, the West Bank, the Golan Heights, Syria, and Lebanon. While agreeing with the concept of an Israeli victory when personally briefed, he has not spoken publicly about it.
    Meanwhile, other leading figures in Israel have adopted this outlook. Former deputy chief of staff Uzi Dayan called on the army “to return the path of victory.” Former education and interior minister Gideon Sa’ar has stated that “The ‘victory paradigm,’ like Jabotinsky’s ‘Iron Wall’ concept, assumes that an agreement may be possible in the future, but only after a clear and decisive Israeli victory ... The transition to the ‘victory paradigm’ is contingent upon abandoning the Oslo concept.”
    In this context, the statements by Lieberman and Bennett point to a change in thinking. Lieberman quit his position as defense minister out of frustration that a barrage by Hamas of 460 rockets and missiles against Israel was met with a ceasefire; he called instead for “a state of despair” to be imposed on the enemies of Israel. Complaining that “Israel stopped winning,” Bennett demanded that the IDF “start winning again,” and added that “When Israel wants to win, we can win.” On rescinding his demand for the defense portfolio, Bennett emphasized that he stands by Netanyahu “in the monumental task of ensuring that Israel is victorious again.”
    >> Netanyahu’s vision for the Middle East has come true | Analysis
    Opponents of this paradigm then amusingly testified to the power of this idea of victory. Ma’ariv columnist Revital Amiran wrote that the victory the Israeli public most wants lies in such arenas as larger allocations for the elderly and unbearable traffic jams. Meretz leader Tamar Zandberg, replied to Bennett that for her, a victorious Israel means winning Emmy and Oscar nominations, guaranteeing equal health services, and spending more on education.
    That victory and defeat have newly become a topic for debate in Israel constitutes a major development. Thus does the push for an Israeli victory move forward.
    Daniel Pipes is president of the Middle East Forum think tank, which promotes Israel Victory, a project to steer U.S. policy toward backing an Israeli victory to resolve the conflict with the Palestinians. Follow him on Twitter @DanielPipes


  • Ex-defense minister says IS ’apologized’ to Israel for November clash | The Times of Israel
    https://www.timesofisrael.com/ex-defense-minister-says-is-apologized-to-israel-for-november-clash

    Former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon on Saturday said the Islamic State terrorist group in the Syrian Golan Heights “apologized” for attacking an Israeli unit.

    “There was one case recently where Daesh opened fire and apologized,” Ya’alon said, using the terror group’s Arabic nickname.

    Comme l’écrit Angry Arab qui passe l’info, difficile après cela de ne pas donner crédit aux thèses conspirationnistes : (كيف لا نركن لنظريّة المؤامرة عندما نتذكّر أن وزير حرب العدوّ الاسرائيلي اعترف بتواصل بين دولة الاحتلال وبين « داعش » وكيف أن الأخيرة اعتذرت للأولى في عام ٢٠١٧ عن اشتباك طفيف بينهما؟)

    #israel #isis #daech #syrie


  • How Hamas sold out Gaza for cash from Qatar and collaboration with Israel

    Israel’s botched military incursion saved Hamas from the nightmare of being branded as ’sell-outs’. Now feted as resistance heroes, it won’t be long before Hamas’ betrayal of the Palestinian national movement is exposed again

    Muhammad Shehada
    Nov 22, 2018 7:04 PM

    https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/.premium-how-hamas-sold-out-gaza-for-cash-from-qatar-and-collaboration-with

    Earlier this month, Hamas was confronted by one of its worst nightmares. The Palestinian mainstream began to brand Hamas with the same slurs that Hamas itself uses to delegitimize the Palestinian Authority. 
    "They sold us out!” Gazans began to whisper, after Hamas reached a limited set of understandings with Israel in early November. Its conditions required Hamas to distance Gazan protesters hundreds of meters away from the separation fence with Israel and actively prevent the weekly tire-burning and incendiary kite-flying associated with what have become weekly protests.
    In return for this calm, Israel allowed a restoration of the status quo ante – an inherently unstable and destabilizing situation that had led to the outbreak of popular rage in the first place. 

    Other “benefits” of the agreement included a meaningless expansion of the fishing zone for few months, restoring the heavily-restricted entry of relief aid and commercial merchandise to Gaza, instead of the full-on closure of previous months, and a tentative six-month supply of Qatari fuel and money to pay Hamas’ government employees. Basically, a return to square one. 
    skip - Qatari ambassador has stones thrown at him in Gaza
    Qatari ambassador has stones thrown at him in Gaza - דלג

    The disaffected whispers quickly became a popular current, which took overt form when the Qatari ambassador visited Gaza. He was met with angry cries of “collaborator,” as young Gazans threw stones at his vehicle after the ambassador was seen instructing a senior Hamas leader with the words: “We want calm today...we want calm.”
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    Hamas leaders didn’t dare show their faces to the people for several days following, and the movement’s popular base had a very hard time arguing that the agreement with Israel - which offered no fundamental improvement of condition – and sweetened by Qatari cash wasn’t a complete sell-out by Hamas. 
    Inside Hamas, there was evident anxiety about public outrage, not least in the form of social media activism, using Arabic hashtags equivalents to #sell-outs. One typical message reads: “[Suddenly] burning tires have became ‘unhealthy’ and [approaching] the electronic fence is suicide! #sell-outs.”

    Social media is clearly less easy to police than street protests. Even so, there was a small protest by young Gazans in Khan Younis where this “sell-out” hashtag became a shouted slogan; the demonstrators accused Hamas of betrayal.
    But relief for Hamas was at hand – and it was Israel who handed the movement an easy victory on a gold plate last week. That was the botched operation by Israel thwarted by Hamas’ military wing, the al-Qassam brigade, which cost the life of a lieutenant colonel from an IDF elite unit.
    The ensuing retaliation for Israel’s incursion, led by the Islamic Jihad (prodded into action by Iran), who launched 400 improvised rockets into Israel, was intended to draw a bold red line of deterrence, signaling that the Israeli army cannot do as it pleases in Gaza. 
    For days after this last escalation, Hamas leaders rejoiced: that exhibition of muscle power proved their moral superiority over the “collaborationist” Palestinian Authority. Boasting about its heroic engagement in the last escalation, Hamas easily managed to silence its critics by showing that the “armed resistance” is still working actively to keep Gaza safe and victorious. Those are of course mostly nominal “victories.”

    But their campaign was effective in terms of changing the political atmosphere. Now that the apparatus of the Muqawama had “restored our dignity,” further criticism of Hamas’ political and administrative conduct in Gaza was delegitimized again. Criticism of Hamas became equivalent to undermining the overall Palestinian national struggle for liberation.

    Unsurprisingly that silenced the popular outrage about Hamas’ initial agreement of trading Gaza’s sacrifices over the last seven months for a meager supply of aid and money. The few who continued to accuse Hamas of selling out were promptly showered by footage of the resistance’s attacks on Israel, or reports about Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s resignation, for which Hamas claimed credit, coming as it did a day after a Hamas leader demanded he resigned. 
    Mission accomplished, a piece of cake. Now it was time for Hamas to return to business, strengthened by a renewed shield of resistance-immunity that branded criticism as betrayal.
    Although Hamas leaders have admitted the reality: no more fundamental cease-fire is being negotiated, and so no fundamental improvements for Gaza can be expected - it continues to sell Gazans the delusion that their decade of endurance is finally bearing fruit and soon, more prosperity, employment and hope will trickle down to the masses.
    What has actually trickled down so far are temporary and symbolic painkillers, not an actual end to Gaza’s pain.

    Hamas agreed to give a small share of the Qatari spoils to 50,000 poor Gazan families; $100 for each household. They agreed to creating temporary employment programs for 5,000 young university graduates with the aspirational title of Tomoh (“Ambition”). They promised to keep up the fight until Gaza is no longer unlivable, and Hamas leaders pledged with their honor to continue the Gaza Great Return March until the protests’ main goal - lifting the blockade - was achieved.
    But does that really mean anything when the protests are kept at hundreds of meters’ distance from the fence, essentially providing the “Gazan silence” Netanyahu wants? When no pressure is applied anymore on the Israeli government to create a sense of urgency for action to end the disastrous situation in Gaza? And when Hamas continues to avoid any compromises about administering the Gaza Strip to the PA in order to conclude a decade of Palestinian division, and consecutive failures?
    That Hamas is desperately avoiding war is indeed both notable and worthy, as well as its keenness to prevent further causalities amongst protesters, having already suffered 200 deaths and more than 20,000 wounded by the IDF. That genuine motivation though is mixed with more cynical ones – the protests are now politically more inconvenient for Hamas, and the casualty rate is becoming too expensive to sustain.
    Yet one must think, at what price is Hamas doing this? And for what purpose? If the price of Gaza’s sacrifices is solely to maintain Hamas’ rule, and the motive of working to alleviate pressure on Gaza is to consolidate its authority, then every Gazan has been sold out, and in broad daylight.

    Only if Hamas resumes the process of Palestinian reconciliation and a democratic process in Gaza would those actions be meaningful. Otherwise, demanding that the world accepts Hamas’ rule over Gaza as a fait accompli – while what a Hamas-controlled Gaza cannot achieve, most critically lifting the blockade, is a blunt betrayal of Palestinian martyrdom.
    It means compromising Palestinian statehood in return for creating an autonomous non-sovereign enclave in which Hamas could freely exercise its autocratic rule indefinitely over an immiserated and starving population.
    Which, according to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, is what Hamas has always wanted since rising to power in 2009: an interim Palestinian state in Gaza under permanent Hamas rule, not solving the wider conflict but rather obliterating in practice the prospect of a two state solution.
    It remains to be seen if the calls of “sell-outs” will return to Gaza’s social networks and streets, not least if Hamas’ obduracy and appetite for power end up selling out any prospect of a formally recognized State of Palestine.
    Muhammad Shehada is a writer and civil society activist from the Gaza Strip and a student of Development Studies at Lund University, Sweden. He was the PR officer for the Gaza office of the Euro-Med Monitor for Human Rights. Twitter: @muhammadshehad2

    Muhammad Shehada


  • Germany opens new military camp in Niger

    The German defense minister has called Niger a strategic partner “in the fight against terrorism, organized crime and illegal migration.” Nearly 900 German troops are deployed in the Sahel region, including 40 in Niger.

    German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen on Sunday opened a new Bundeswehr camp in the Niger capital of Niamey.


    https://m.dw.com/en/germany-opens-new-military-camp-in-niger/a-46253187

    #externalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Niger #Allemagne #camps_militaires


  • Israel’s defense chief resigns, slams Netanyahu for ’surrendering to Hamas terror’
    Haaretz.com - Chaim Levinson Nov 14, 2018 12:47 PM
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israel-s-political-arena-holds-breath-as-defense-chief-calls-surpr

    Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced his resignation on Wednesday and called for elections to be held as soon as possible, saying he hopes a date will be set by Sunday. Lieberman said of all the members of his party, Yisrael Beiteinu, will quit the coalition.

    However, a senior source in Likud, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s party, said that elections are not neccessarily the next step and added that Netanyahu will initially take on Lieberman’s portfolio. Lieberman, who heads Yisrael Beiteinu, will retake his Knesset seat following his resignation, as provided for by law.

    “I didn’t look for reasons to quit,” Lieberman said. “I tried to remain a loyal government member, in the cabinet, keep differences internal even at an electoral cost.” The two turning points, he said, were the millions of dollars in cash delivered from Qatar to Gaza, and the cease-fire Israel reached with Hamas on Tuesday.

    “There is no other definition, no other significance, but a capitulation to terror,” he said, adding: “What we are doing now as a country is buying short-term quiet at the cost of our long-term security.”

    “It is no secret there were differences between the prime minister and I,” he said. “I did not agree to allow entry of Qatari money [into Gaza], and I had to allow it only after the prime minister announced it.” Lieberman said similar differences revolved around the evacuation of the West Bank Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar.

    Yisrael Beiteinu’s departure means Netanyahu still holds a Knesset majority of 61 seats to maintain the coalition. Another key coalition partner in Netanyahu’s government, Habayit Hayehudi (headed by Education Minister Naftali Bennett) said that unless the defense portfolio goes to Bennett, the party will also quit the coalition.

    Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, said Lieberman’s resignation is a recognition of Israel’s defeat in this week’s military confrontation with the Islamic group.

    Following the cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Lieberman and Education Minister Naftali Bennett published statements against the truce reached with Hamas. Sources said that as soon as the latest round of fighting erupted, Lieberman demanded a “harsh, decisive” move against Hamas. Sources near Bennett say that his opposition to the cease-fire was clear as could be.

    Other sources, however, say that ultimately, the ministers unanimously supported the defense establishment’s position that action should be taken to restore the calm.

    According to associates of Lieberman, the Prime Minister’s Office’s claim on Tuesday that he had supported the cease-fire agreement that was reached to end hostilities in Gaza infuriated him.

    Senior Hamas official Husan Badran said Tuesday, the third day of hostilities, that “if Netanyahu is interested in ending this round, he must fire [Defense Minister] Lieberman, who in his foolish conduct caused the escalation.”

    In recent weeks, Lieberman and Bennett have publicly argued between them about Gaza and Israel’s actions there. Last month, Bennett charged Lieberman of a weak, left-wing defense policy, while Lieberman retorted that in cabinet meetings, Bennett says the opposite of what he says in public.

    Lieberman and the cabinet were divided about the sale of gasoline and natural gas to Gaza, and in defense forums, it was decided that the defense minister may not make decisions on the subject without the cabinet’s agreement. The ministers were surprised last month by Lieberman’s decision to cut off the fuel supply to Gaza, a decision he made on his own, in contradiction to the position of the defense establishment. Netanyahu and the cabinet members heard of the decision for the first time through the media.


  • Notes sur l’“arrogance israélienne” et conséquences
    http://www.dedefensa.org/article/notes-sur-larrogance-israelienne-et-consequences

    Notes sur l’“arrogance israélienne” et conséquences

    26 septembre 2018 – Pour mieux appréhender les derniers développements entre la Russie et Israëlaprès la destruction de l’Il-20 dans les conditions qu’on sait, ce texte(ci-dessous) de E.J. Magnier nous paraît intéressant. Il y a d’abord la compétence, l’expérience et les sources du commentateur, que nous connaissons bien ; mais il y a aussi et surtout son point de vue, qui nous permet de mieux éclairer la situation en Syrie.

    Magnier, en effet, perçoit la position de Poutine et l’intervention russe en Syrie d’une manière qui est assez peu habituelle aux commentateurs occidentaux, et notamment aux antiSystème pro-Poutine, et notamment à ceux que nous avons nommés affectueusement “hyper-antiSystème”. Pour lui, Poutine est beaucoup moins un allié de la Syrie (...)

    • D’une façon générale, DEBKAFiles estime que la mesure la plus importante décidée par les Russes est la livraison vers la Syrie de matériels de guerre électronique, notamment les stations Krashuka-4 qui, dans l’architecture électronique que les Russes ont mis en place en Syrie, pourraient se révéler comme un élément déterminant en réduisant considérablement sinon radicalement les capacités d’action israéliennes (le Saker-US parle d’une “no-fly-zone”de facto). Le site assortit cette considération de l’annonce que Netanyahou, qui rencontre Trump aujourd’hui à New York, va sans doute lui demander que les USA offrent des concessions à Poutine pour que la Russie retire ses Krashuka-4 qui ont d’ores et déjà commencé à être déployés en Syrie…

    • Russia’s first Krasukha-4 electronic warfare unit lands in Syria. It can jam spy satellites, enemy radar - DEBKAfile
      https://www.debka.com/russias-first-krasukha-4-electronic-warfare-unit-lands-in-syria-it-can-jam-sp

      The Russian Krasukha-4 mobile electronic warfare system, which can neutralize spy satellites and ground-and airborne radars and damage enemy EW, landed in Syria on Tuesday, Sept. 25. It was unloaded at the Russian Khmeimim Air Base near Latakia, one day after Russian Defense Minister Gen. Sergei Shoigu pledged systems for jamming satellite navigation and the on-board radars and communication systems of combat aircraft attacking Syria, in punishment for Israel’s alleged role in downing the Russian IL-20 spy plane.
      The Krasukha-4 is highly advanced, although not the most sophisticated EW system in the Russian arsenal. But it fits Shoigu’s book. The system can jam communications systems, disable  guided missiles and aircraft, and neutralize Low-Earth Orbit spy satellites  and radars (AWACS) at ranges of 150-300km, which cover northern and central Israel. The Krasukha-4 can also damage  opposing EW.
      Israel’s military has focused its response to Russia’s hostile measures on the eight S-300 aid defense batteries promised the Syrian army in the coming weeks.  Little mention has been made by Israeli spokesmen of the electronic warfare duel awaiting the IDF with Russia.  Israel’s military and  air force know about the Krasukha-4 but have never met it in action. However, it is well known to the Americans. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is expected to ask Donald Trump when they meet at UN Center on Wednesday to offer Vladimir Putin some incentive for removing the EW jamming threat. There is scarcely any chance of any such a trade-off. Our sources believe that Putin will hold out for nothing less than the withdrawal of US troops from Syria, to which President Trump will not agree.


  • With Russia’s S-300 in Syria, Israel will have to think twice about the next strike
    The new missile system provided by Russia is not a total barrier to airstrikes, but Israeli jets’ freedom of action will be significantly curbed

    Amos Harel SendSend me email alerts
    Sep 25, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-with-russia-s-s-300-in-syria-israel-will-have-to-think-twice-about

    The two latest developments in Moscow – the Defense Ministry’s report that placed full responsibility for last week’s downing of a Russian plane over Syria on Israel, and the announcement of the transfer of advanced S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems to the Assad regime – shouldn’t surprise anyone in Israel except maybe a few foolish supporters of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. No matter how good his relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin may be, Netanyahu can’t make the problem disappear.
    Russia suffered an embarrassing blow when Assad’s anti-aircraft fire shot down the plane, and it still has widespread interests to promote in Syria. It was quite clear that the affair would lead to a Russian condemnation of Israel and to demands of Israel. The bottom line still depends on Putin, who initially sufficed with a cautiously worded statement the day after the incident. For the time being it seems the result of the Russian steps will be a significant restriction of Israel’s freedom of action over Syria.
    >> Netanyahu warned Putin: S-300 air defense system in irresponsible hands will endanger region
    Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced Monday that his country would supply Syria with S-300 ground-to-air missiles. Russia, he said, would also use electronic warfare systems to prevent the activation of satellite tracking systems along Syria’s coast, making it harder for Israel to conduct airstrikes. And Russia will equip Syrian anti-aircraft units with Russian tracking and guidance systems to prevent mishaps in which Syria downs Russian aircraft.

    S-300 Air Defense System infographicHaaretz


  • Sabra and Shatila: New Revelations
    Seth Anziska , The New York Review of Books, le 17 septembre 2018
    https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2018/09/17/sabra-and-shatila-new-revelations

    Historians try not to audibly gasp in the reading rooms of official archives, but there are times when the written record retains a capacity to shock. In 2012, while working at the Israel State Archives in Jerusalem, I came across highly classified material from Israel’s 1982 War in Lebanon that had just been opened to researchers. This access was in line with the thirty-year rule of declassification governing the release of documents in Israel. Sifting through Foreign Ministry files, I stumbled upon the minutes of a September 17 meeting between Israeli and American officials that took place in the midst of the Sabra and Shatila massacre.

    The startling verbatim exchange between Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon and US diplomat Morris Draper clearly demonstrated how the slaughter of civilians in the Palestinian refugee camps of south Beirut was prolonged by Draper’s acquiescence in the face of Sharon’s deceptive claim of “terrorists” remaining behind. This made the US unwittingly complicit in the notorious three-day massacre carried out by militiamen linked to the Phalange, a right-wing political party of Lebanese Maronite Christians that was allied with Israel.

    Some critics have always suspected, and hoped to uncover evidence, that Israeli officials explicitly ordered the massacre or directly colluded in its execution. These new documents don’t supply that smoking gun. What they do show is a pattern of extensive cooperation and planning between Israeli and Maronite leaders in the aims and conduct of the war that provides a more comprehensive framework for judging moral accountability. These sources suggest a line of thinking about the political and military defeat of Palestinian nationalism that built on the legacy of the Nakba itself, reaching tragic ends through the destruction wrought in Beirut.

    The excerpts from the Kahan Appendix do, however, underscore the fact that members of the Israeli military and intelligence organizations knew in advance what the Phalange was intending to do to the Palestinians—at a minimum, forced expulsion through threatened or actual deadly violence, and the subsequent razing of the refugee camps. According to the testimony of Colonel Elkana Harnof, a senior Israeli military intelligence officer, the Phalange revealed that “Sabra would become a zoo and Shatilah Beirut’s parking place.” Harnof added details about acts of brutality and massacres that had already taken place, inflicted by Maronite forces with “specific references to acts of elimination of locals ‘most likely Palestinians.’” This was relayed to Defense Minister Sharon as early as June 23, little more than two weeks after the start of the Israeli invasion (II: 78). On that day, a report was passed to Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir and Defense Minister Sharon that described the Christian militia’s “terminating” 500 people in the evacuation of West Beirut. The Mossad Director Nahum Admoni and others met with Bashir Gemayel and the description of the meeting contains harrowing evidence of what was planned for the Palestinians throughout Lebanon.

    https://www.scribd.com/document/388796835/Kahan-Commission-Appendix-English#from_embed

    http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4887715-Kahan-Commission-Appendix-Complete-English.html

    #Palestine #Liban #Sabra #Chatila


  • Growing demand for Russian arms in the Middle East: The Syria Effect?
    https://www.mesp.me/2018/06/21/growing-demand-for-russian-arms-in-the-middle-east-the-syria-effect

    A quick look on arms transfers databases reveals a growing demand for Russian arms in the Middle East. In 2012, Russia delivered weapons to four countries (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan and the UAE – in addition to Syria and Iran). Five years later, in 2017, it delivered weapons to eight countries (Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Qatar, the UAE and Turkey – in addition to Syria and Iran), and sales grew in variety, size and value. Compared to 2012, the sales, according to announced figures and estimates, at least doubled in size, both because of the expansion to new markets and increased sales to traditional partners. What could explain this increased interest in Russian weapons? Is President Vladimir Putin correct to credit the boost to the “marketing effect” of the Syrian war? Or are there other, more important, factors at play?

    The Russian military industrial complex showcased the best it has to offer in Syria, deploying a vast array of naval, air and ground weapon systems. Furthermore, the conflict has served as a major testing ground. According to various statements by Russian officials, a minimum of 60 and up to 200 of these weapons have been tested in combat for the first time in Syria. “Combat-proven” is in itself a major marketing argument. As Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said in 2017, “it cannot be overestimated (…) Customers have started queuing up for the weapons that have proven themselves in Syria.” Among those publicly confirmed first-time combat-tested weapons were both examples of the latest Russian state-of-the-art technology, as well as weapons serving in the Russian military for decades.

    “it cannot be overestimated (…) Customers have started queuing up for the weapons that have proven themselves in Syria” – Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov.


  • Russia says only Syrian army should be on country’s southern border with Israel

    Israel believes Russia may agree to withdrawing Iranian forces and allied Shi’ite militias from Israel-Syria border

    Noa Landau and Reuters May 28, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/syria/russia-says-only-syrian-army-should-be-on-country-s-southern-border-1.61198

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday that only Syrian government troops should have a presence on the country’s southern border which is close to Jordan and Israel, the RIA news agency reported.
    Lavrov was cited as making the comments at a joint news conference in Moscow with Jose Condungua Pacheco, his counterpart from Mozambique.
    Meanwhile, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman will leave on Wednesday for a short visit to Russia. He is scheduled to meet with his counterpart, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shvigo, the ministry said in a statement on Monday. Lieberman is expected to discuss with his hosts the recent events in the Middle East, primarily the tension between Israel and Iran over the Iranian military presence in Syria.
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at the Knesset Monday, saying that “there is no room for any Iranian military presence in any part of Syria.”
    Lieberman said that “these things, of course, reflect not only our position, I can safely say that they reflect the positions of others in the Middle East and beyond the Middle East.”
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    On Sunday, Haaretz reported that Israeli political and military officials believe Russia is willing to discuss a significant distancing of Iranian forces and allied Shi’ite militias from the Israel-Syria border, according to Israeli officials.
    The change in Russia’s position has become clearer since Israel’s May 10 military clash with Iran in Syria and amid Moscow’s concerns that further Israeli moves would threaten the stability of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime.
    Russia recently renewed efforts to try to get the United States involved in agreements that would stabilize Syria. The Russians might be willing to remove the Iranians from the Israeli border, though not necessarily remove the forces linked to them from the whole country.
    Last November, Russia and the United States, in coordination with Jordan, forged an agreement to decrease the possibility of friction in southern Syria, after the Assad regime defeated rebel groups in the center of the country. Israel sought to keep the Iranians and Shi’ite militias at least 60 kilometers (37 miles) from the Israeli border in the Golan Heights, east of the Damascus-Daraa road (or, according to another version, east of the Damascus-Suwayda road, about 70 kilometers from the border).

    FILE – Iran’s Army Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri, left, in Aleppo, Syria, in photo provided October 20, 2017/AP
    According to Israeli intelligence, in Syria there are now around 2,000 Iranian officers and advisers, members of the Revolutionary Guards, around 9,000 Shi’ite militiamen from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, and around 7,000 Hezbollah fighters. Israel believes that the Americans are now in a good position to reach a more effective arrangement in Syria in coordination with the Russians under the slogan “Without Iran and without ISIS.”
    The United States warned Syria on Friday it would take “firm and appropriate measures” in response to ceasefire violations, saying it was concerned about reports of an impending military operation in a de-escalation zone in the country’s southwest.
    Washington also cautioned Assad against broadening the conflict.
    “As a guarantor of this de-escalation area with Russia and Jordan, the United States will take firm and appropriate measures in response to Assad regime violations,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement late on Friday.
    A war monitor, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, reported on Wednesday that Syrian government forces fresh from their victory this week against an Islamic State pocket in south Damascus were moving into the southern province of Deraa.
    Syrian state-run media have reported that government aircraft have dropped leaflets on rebel-held areas in Deraa urging fighters to disarm.
    The U.S. warning comes weeks after a similar attack on a de-escalation zone in northeastern Syria held by U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces. U.S. ground and air forces repelled the more than four-hour attack, killing perhaps as many as 300 pro-Assad militia members, many of them Russian mercenaries.
    Backed by Russian warplanes, ground forces from Iran and allied militia, including Lebanon’s Hezbollah, have helped Assad drive rebels from Syria’s biggest cities, putting him in an unassailable military position.


  • Natalie Portman and the Crisis of Liberal Zionism
    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/04/natalie-portman-and-the-crisis-of-liberal-zionism.html

    This month, Israeli snipers shot hundreds of Palestinian protesters — including one journalist wearing a vest marked “PRESS” — who posed no life-threatening danger to them, or to the people they’re meant to protect. Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman then justified these shootings on the grounds that “there are no innocent people in the Gaza Strip,” suggesting that the area’s 1.8 million Palestinian men, women, and children are all legitimate targets of state violence. Meanwhile, Israel reneged on an agreement with the United Nations to grant legal status to 40,000 African asylum-seekers (whom the Netanyahu government had previously intended to jail en masse or deport), leaving those long-suffering refugees in a state of limbo.

    #israël #bds #palestine


  • Dear occupiers, sorry if we hurt your feelings - Opinion - Israel News | Haaretz.com
    Not one Israeli statesman today intends to apologize for the Nakba – not for the ethnic cleansing, nor for the exiling. But Abbas had no choice but to apologize for his Holocaust remark

    Gideon Levy May 06, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-dear-occupiers-sorry-if-we-hurt-your-feelings-1.6055095

    It’s hard to imagine a more unfounded, bizarre and insane scenario than this: The leader of the Palestinian people is forced to apologize to the Jewish people. The one who was robbed apologizes to the robbers, the victim apologizes to the rapist, the dead to the killer.
    After all, the occupiers are so sensitive – and their feelings, and only theirs, must be taken into account. A nation that hasn’t stopped occupying, destroying and killing, and has never considered apologizing for anything – anything – gets its victims to apologize for one measly sentence by their leader. The rest is known: “apology not accepted.” What did you think would happen? That it would be “accepted”?
    You don’t have to be an admirer of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to understand the depths of the absurd. You don’t have to be an Israel hater to understand the extent of the chutzpah.
    Israel holds a magic card, the lottery of the century: the horror of anti-Semitism. The value of this card is on a dizzying rise, especially now as the Holocaust recedes and anti-Semitism is being replaced in many countries by criticism of Israel. Playing this lucky card covers everything. Its holders not only can do anything they please, they can be insulted and put on the squeeze.
    The world became agitated over Abbas like it never was over any Israeli incitement – the chorus of the European Union, the UN envoy and of course, the ambassador of the settlers, David Friedman, who never denounces Israel for anything, only the Palestinians. Even The New York Times took on an amazingly sharp tone: “Let Abbas’ vile words be his last as Palestinian leader.”
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    It’s hard to imagine that the newspaper the Jewish right has marked as an Israel hater, baselessly of course, would use similar language against an Israeli prime minister; the one responsible, for example, for the massacre of unarmed protesters.

    There’s a double standard in Israel as well: It will never attack the anti-Semitic right in Europe as it attacks Abbas, who is certainly much less anti-Semitic, if at all, than Austrian Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache or Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
    Abbas said something that should not have been said. A day later he apologized. He regretted and retracted what he said, condemned the Holocaust and anti-Semitism, and reaffirmed his commitment to the two-state solution. It wouldn’t have taken much more for him to bend his knee to Israel’s hobnail boots and ask forgiveness for continuing to live under them.
    But Israel won’t let any apology stop its nefarious gloating. Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman was quick to damn the other side, as usual: “despicable Holocaust denier apology not accepted.”


  • Despite Iran’s threats, Israeli army pushes aggressive line against Tehran in Syria

    IDF believes Iran won’t strike back before Trump’s deadline on nuclear deal, elections in Lebanon

    Amos Harel May 04, 2018
    Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/.premium-israeli-army-chief-eisenkot-stay-forceful-in-syria-despite-iran-1.

    Both the government and the military are sticking to an aggressive policy on Iran, arguing that Israel must continue to act in any way possible to stop Iran’s military consolidation in Syria.
    To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz
    Even after the two latest airstrikes attributed to Israel in Syria, on April 9 and April 29, and despite Iran’s threats of revenge, there has been no sign of any change in Israeli policy.
    The person spearheading this activist policy in the north is Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, whose position is backed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman. Reportedly, no cabinet minister has voiced opposition to the IDF’s stance, despite the risks it entails.
    According to the defense establishment’s analysis, Iran continues to send advanced weapons systems to Syria. But these arms are no longer necessarily slated to be passed on to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Instead, they are being used to bolster Iran’s military deployment in Syria, and may even be meant to prepare an Iranian military response against Israel.

    For now, however, Tehran seems to be debating over the nature of its promised retaliation against Israel, and even more, over its timing.
    One theory being advanced is that Tehran may be reluctant to respond prior to Lebanon’s parliamentary elections this coming Sunday and U.S. President Donald Trump’s expected announcement on May 12 as to whether his country is quitting the nuclear agreement with Iran. Israel’s announcement of the theft of Iran’s nuclear archive by Mossad agents is likely to increase Iranian leaders’ embarrassment.


  • Gaza
    Once again: Stop shooting
    – Haaretz Editorial - Israel News | Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/editorial/once-again-stop-shooting-1.6032762

    This Friday the “March of Return” demonstrators in the Gaza Strip will once again face off with Israel Defense Forces soldiers. But this Friday must not, for the fifth time in a row, become the last day in the lives of yet more desperate but unarmed young men who aren’t endangering anyone, or the day on which more and more young demonstrators become disabled for the rest of their lives.
    Whether this happens is in the hands of the IDF and its officers. This fifth Friday in the ongoing series of demonstrations must finally bring the cessation of the IDF’s use of potentially lethal fire at unarmed demonstrators. It must end without casualties.
    >> Hamas hijacked the Gaza protests ■ Killing of Gaza protesters undermines Israel’s claims of self-defense >>
    On Wednesday, the 40th victim of this shooting at demonstrators died of his wounds. The victim was press photographer Ahmed Abu Hussein, who was severely wounded in the stomach two weeks ago by a sniper’s bullet.
    Abu Hussein was one of only four casualties, including an 11-year-old boy who lost his leg, whom Israel allowed to be sent to a hospital in Ramallah. And even those four were allowed to be transferred only after a petition to the High Court of Justice. Of the 5,511 people who have so far been wounded in the demonstrations along the Gaza-Israel border fence, some 1,700 were wounded by live bullets.

    According to doctors in Gaza, the wounds during these demonstrations have been especially severe. Thousands of wounded is a frightening statistic considering that the demonstrators whom the army is confronting are unarmed and, as a rule, nonviolent. Given the collapse of Gaza’s health system, the fact that the defense establishment, on orders from Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, isn’t letting more of the casualties receive treatment in Ramallah or Israel adds insult to injury. Abu Hussein ultimately died in an Israeli hospital, after his condition deteriorated.

    The 40 people who have been killed in the demonstrations were all young, and two were children. Their deaths could have been avoided had restrictions been imposed on the IDF’s use of live fire against the protesters.
    The consistent, ongoing decline in the number of casualties from week to week isn’t only due to the decline in the number of demonstrators from week to week. It also attests to relative restraint in the conduct of IDF soldiers. But this isn’t enough. Starting on Friday, the IDF must set itself a clear goal – zero Palestinian casualties as long as they aren’t endangering anyone’s life.



  • Israel Kills Palestinians and Western Liberals Shrug. Their Humanitarianism Is a Sham.
    https://theintercept.com/2018/04/02/israel-killing-palestine-civilian-liberal-humanitarian

    So, where is the outcry from liberal interventionists across the West? Where is BHL, as Palestinians are being shot and wounded in the hundreds in 2018?

    Where is the call from former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, whose 1999 speech in Chicago defending the concept of a “just war” and a “doctrine of the international community” became a key text for liberal interventionists, for a “no-fly” zone over Gaza? Why does a guest speaker at Ariel Sharon’s funeral have nothing to say about the increasing number of Palestinian funerals?

    Where is the moral outrage from former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, the famously pro-intervention, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of a “A Problem From Hell,” which lamented U.S. inaction in Rwanda, over the sheer number of unarmed Palestinians shot, killed, and injured in recent days? How does she have time to retweet a picture of an elephant and a lion cub, but not to make a statement about the violence in Gaza?

    Where is the demand from Canadian academic-turned-politician Michael Ignatieff, who was once one of the loudest voices in favor of the so-called responsibility to protect doctrine, for peacekeeping troops to be deployed to the Occupied Territories?

    Where are the righteously angry op-eds from Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times, or Richard Cohen of the Washington Post, or David Aaronovitch of The Times of London, demanding concrete action against the human rights abusers of the IDF?

    And where is the appeal from former U.S. Secretary of State and arch-interventionist Madeleine Albright for economic and financial sanctions against the state of Israel? For an arms embargo? For travel bans on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Lieberman, and IDF chief of staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot?

    Their silence is deafening — and telling. Palestinians, it seems, have been so dehumanized that they don’t deserve a humanitarian intervention


  • ’Shoot anyone breaching the fence’: Israeli army gears up for Gaza mass protest -
    Israeli army calling up snipers and extra soldiers to help local troops deal with Friday’s demonstration ■ Defense officials certain army can prevent Palestinian from crossing Gaza border

    Yaniv Kubovich Mar 29, 2018 10:07 AM

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israeli-army-gears-up-for-gaza-mass-protest-1.5957896

    The defense establishment believes that the army will succeed in preventing Gazans from crossing the border into Israel during the March of Return scheduled for Friday, even if that means Palestinian deaths.
    To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz
    Defense officials said Gaza residents do not seem eager to take part in the event, but Hamas is making efforts to bring as many of them as possible to the fence on Friday. As a result, the troops may have to deal with a particularly large demonstration.
    <<This Friday, Israel’s Tear Gas and Tanks Will Confront Palestinian Marchers. But Brute Force Can’t Be Israel’s Only Answer |Opinion

    A Palestinian poster calling for people to join ’The Great March of Return’ on the Gaza-Israel border on Friday, March 30 2018
    Over the last few days the Israel Defense Forces has warned that it would open fire on anyone who tries to breach the border fence and enter Israel.
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    The IDF has brought a brigade, snipers and soldiers from various courses, to help local troops deal with Friday’s demonstration. The snipers have been instructed to shoot demonstrators who breach the fence.
    In a ceremony marking a change of Military Intelligence commanders on Wednesday, Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot said that the situation in Gaza is “highly explosive” and “threatens to damage the sensitive life fabric and safety of the region’s residents.”

    <<Israel’s Defense Minister Says There’s No Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza. Here Are the Facts<<
    Eizenkot visited the Gaza division several times this week to supervise the preparations. On Wednesday he and Shin Bet chief Argaman presented to the cabinet ministers preparations and intelligence evaluations ahead of the events, noting that stopping the Palestinians from crossing the fence and entering Israel was the troops’ main task.
    They also presented a scenario in which a large crowd comes to the tent compound on the other side of the fence. The assessment is that the army will manage to handle the event, though possibly only at the cost of Palestinian fatalities.

    ’Grandfather, we will return soon’ - Palestinian poster ahead of ’The Great Return March’
    On Wednesday, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Major General Yoav Mordechai, warned the Palestinian bus companies slated to carry demonstrators to the fence that their entry permits would be revoked.
    “We contacted more than 20 bus companies in Gaza, who were paid by Hamas to take people to violent demonstrations and warned that we’ll take personal steps against their owners,” he said.
    Preparations for Friday’s event come in the wake of growing tension along the Gaza border and several attempts — some successful — to cross it.
    On Wednesday, the army struck two Hamas observation posts in the northern Gaza Strip after two Palestinians set a fire near the border fence. The suspects did not cross into Israel.
    Also Wednesday, a Palestinian from Gaza was arrested on the Zikim beach in Israel near the Gaza border and taken in for questioning. He was unarmed.
    On Tuesday, three Palestinians, armed with grenades and knives, were found and arrested after infiltrating 20 kilometers into Israeli territory. On Saturday, Israel struck Hamas targets after four Palestinians carrying bottles filled with flammable material approached the fence on foot and managed to cross the border into Israel near Kibbutz Kissufim.
    The army also said it will impose a closure on the West Bank and Gaza crossings for the duration of the Passover holiday. The closure will begin Thursday at midnight and be lifted on Saturday, April 7. The army added that passage will be allowed for humanitarian and medical cases, pending approval by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.


  • The maritime border dispute between Lebanon and Israel explained

    The comments made by Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman at a Tel Aviv conference on January 31 sparked outrage in Lebanon. It brought the issue of the maritime border dispute between Lebanon and Israel back into the spotlight and managed to catch Washington’s attention once again.

    Little was happening on this front after the change of Administration in the U.S. After a few months, Lebanese officials stopped announcing that a resumption of mediation efforts was imminent. Then, in October, the decision, by a Total-led consortium to place a bid for Block 9 (which includes a disputed area) in Lebanon’s first licensing round, rekindled interest once again in the topic. But the buzz was discreet, confined to experts and diplomatic circles, until it was out in the open when Liberman described Lebanon’s offshore tender as “very provocative” and urged international companies not to bid, about a month and a half after licenses were awarded (see our roadmap).

    The dispute unfolded in December 2010, when Cyprus and Israel signed a maritime border agreement that was denounced by Lebanon because it encroached on parts of its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). On July 10, 2011, the Israeli cabinet approved a map of Israel’s northern maritime border, and two days later, the Israeli mission to the United Nations submitted a list of geographical coordinates for the delimitation of the northern limit of Israel’s territorial sea and EEZ. Some of the points defined in the Cypriot-Israeli agreement and submitted later to the U.N. overlap with the Lebanese EEZ.


    https://www.mesp.me/2018/03/05/maritime-border-dispute-lebanon-israel-explained
    #disputes_territoriales #frontières_contestées #Liban #Israël #frontières #frontières_maritimes
    cc @reka


  • The War on Yemen and the Credulous Western Embrace of Mohammed bin Salman | The American Conservative

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/the-war-on-yemen-and-the-credulous-western-embrace-of-moham

    David Ignatius ably writes down whatever Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) tells him in a new column. This is the only mention that the war on Yemen receives:

    He described ambitious plans to mobilize Yemeni tribes against the Houthis and their Iranian backers in Yemen, a war that has dragged on longer than the Saudis hoped.

    Whenever MbS is interviewed by Western reporters and pundits, the subject of Yemen comes up rarely and the countless crimes committed by the Saudis and their allies are never mentioned. It is bad enough that one of the architects of a disastrous war supported by our government is never forced to answer for the war crimes committed by his military and other coalition forces, but it is even worse when the interviewer makes no attempt to put the crown prince’s statements in context. Readers should know that MbS is responsible for a war that has plunged another country into the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, and they should be aware that the Saudi-led coalition has committed numerous war crimes by bombing civilian targets and inflicts cruel collective punishment on millions of people through its blockade. Given the paltry coverage that Yemen usually receives in the U.S., most of Ignatius’ readers probably don’t know this. If MbS’ interlocutors aren’t willing to challenge him about this directly, they ought to be bringing it up in whatever they end up writing about the conversation. The war on Yemen hasn’t just “dragged on longer than the Saudis hoped.” It has been a complete failure in achieving any of its stated goals, and that failure reflects very poorly on the unqualified, reckless defense minister (i.e., MbS) who has overseen the debacle.

    It is possible that there could be some news value in uncritically restating the things that a foreign leader says to you, but there doesn’t seem to be any of that here. MbS spins his power grabs and reckless foreign policy decisions to Ignatius, and the columnist gamely relays that spin to us. On the “anti-corruption putsch,” Ignatius tells us that MbS told him that “shock therapy” was required. The fact that MbS’s arbitrary shakedown has frightened foreign investors and undermined his own economic agenda goes unmentioned. We are later informed that the “crown prince said he had been unfairly criticized for pressuring Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to resign,” but of course he would say that.

    Treating Saudi royals with kid gloves is nothing new in American media, but I have been struck by how positive the coverage of Mohammed bin Salman has been when his record has been almost entirely destructive and destabilizing. Were he not the Saudi heir and already de facto ruler of a U.S. client state, he could not hope to buy the friendly coverage that he is freely given in a number of American publications. That would be embarrassing enough at any time, but when the authoritarian ruler in question is also presiding over one of the great crimes of the century it is inexcusable.


  • Two Gaza Youth Killed by Israeli Airstrikes– IMEMC News
    http://imemc.org/article/two-gaza-youth-killed-by-israeli-airstrikes

    Two Palestinian youth, both aged 17, were killed by Israeli airstrikes in the city of Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip.

    According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza, the two Palestinians, identified as Salim Sabbah and Abdullah abu-Sheikha , arrived to the hospital in serious condition.

    Both of the young teens received life-saving treatment, but neither of them survived, the ministry said in a statement, according to Days of Palestine.

    The two civilians, local sources said, were part of a group of six teens affected by an Israeli airstrike in an empty area in the city of Rafah.

    In the statement, the ministry said that the other four were lightly wounded.

    On Saturday, an explosive device detonated in an Israeli military jeep after crossing the Gaza borders in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis, where four Israeli soldiers were wounded, including two who sustained serious injuries.

    Several Israeli officials, including PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman vowed to take revenge for them.

    Therefore, the Israeli occupation army launched about 20 airstrikes in different areas, including police and border guard stations across the Gaza Strip, claiming they attacked “terror posts.”

    #Palestine_assassinée

    • Israeli Air Force Fires Missiles Into Palestinian Land In Rafah
      February 19, 2018
      http://imemc.org/article/israeli-air-force-fires-missiles-into-palestinian-land-in-rafah

      On Sunday, four Israeli soldiers were injured, including two who suffered serious wounds, when an explosive device detained near their vehicle close to the border fence in southern Gaza.

      The Israeli army then struck eighteen targets in the Gaza Strip, including six sites believed to be run by the al-Qassam Brigades of Hamas, one of them reportedly a tunnel extending from the Zeitoun neighborhood in Gaza towards Israeli areas across the fence.

      Also Sunday, two Palestinians, identified as Salem Mohammed Soliman Sabbah , 17, and ‘ Abdullah Ayman Salim Irmeilat , 15, were killed by Israeli airstrikes in the city of Rafah.


  • Behind the extravagant hype of an Israeli-Saudi ’courtship’, Israel is setting the price for Riyadh to go nuclear

    The exaggerated reports and rumours about ever-closer ties are trial balloons: Jerusalem is signalling its reluctant assent to Riyadh obtaining a nuclear deterrent – but at a high price

    Victor Kattan Feb 13, 2018

    The real stumbling block between the two countries isn’t just the Palestinian issue. The elephant in the relationship, which is far less often mentioned, is Saudi Arabia’s pursuit of nuclear power.
    Israel is currently fighting a political battle in Washington to stop the U.S. from letting Riyadh develop its own nuclear energy program that would allow it to enrich uranium that could be used to develop a bomb.
    Israel has good reason to be concerned. According to reports, the Trump administration might be willing to lower certain safeguards that prevent U.S. companies from sharing sensitive nuclear technology with Saudi Arabia for fear that it might be used to develop weapons. This administration might not insist on the same precautions that Obama did in its nuclear cooperation agreement with Abu Dhabi, for example, which forfeited its right to enrich uranium or reprocess plutonium.

    Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s president, at a news conference to mark the 39th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Tehran, Iran. Feb. 6, 2018ATTA KENARE/AFP
    In its negotiations with the U.S., Saudi Arabia is not backing down from its demand to enrich uranium under its planned civilian nuclear program – using, ironically, as its rationale, the conditions of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, in which Iran has been allowed to enrich uranium. Prince Turki has made it clear, more than once, that should Iran acquire nuclear weapons, Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries would look at all available options to meet the potential threat, including the acquisition of nuclear weapons. 
    The only snag for Saudi Arabia is the U.S. Congress, because this is where Israel has influential friends. Even if a deal is reached between Saudi Arabia and the Trump administration, Congress could either block the deal or add clauses preventing the U.S. from selling Saudi Arabia technology needed to enrich uranium or reprocess plutonium. 
    It is more than possible that through its media campaign, Israel is sending a signal to Riyadh that it understands very well Saudi Arabia’s desire for a nuclear deterrent regarding Iran - but there’s a price to be paid for Israel reducing the level of its direct and indirect opposition in Congress to an independent Saudi nuclear capability.
    What Israel appears to be saying to Saudi Arabia, via a variety of trial balloons, is that if Riyadh wants Israel’s help with obtaining support from Congress, then Israel wants something in return: Jerusalem, overflight rights for Israeli aircraft, direct military cooperation and intelligence exchanges, lucrative business deals for Israeli companies in Saudi Arabia, and so on.
    The publication of stories about Israel’s ever-closer relationship with Saudi Arabia, which are then magnified by media conglomerates in Qatar and Iran, is certainly one way of ensuring that the messages are received loud and clear.
    Saudi Arabia would likely have anticipated that Congress could give them trouble as it has done before. 
    But this time things might be different - and these changes might scupper Israel’s strategy.

    President Donald Trump meets with Saudi Defense Minister and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington D.C. March 14, 2017Evan Vucci/AP
    A deal between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia could aid the ailing U.S. nuclear industry and have wider benefits for corporate America. Moreover, the U.S. does not have a monopoly on nuclear technology.
    Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has already visited Moscow and signed agreements with Russia to build 16 nuclear reactors by 2030. Saudi Arabia already has nuclear related understandings with China, France, Pakistan, South Korea, and Argentina. One expert has even suggested that Pakistan could assist Saudi Arabia by supplying Riyadh with sensitive equipment, materials, and the expertise that would aid Riyadh with enrichment or processing.
    Riyadh is also expanding research at the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy and developing a cadre of nuclear scientists. Saudi Arabia is home to large uranium deposits that could be extracted with the appropriate technology.
    Obviously, Riyadh would prefer Washington’s blessing and support in developing its nuclear energy program within the rules of the global nonproliferation treaty rather than having to develop the program clandestinely with the aid of other states. Israel senses this, and would be willing to help Riyadh, but has set the price high.
    Israel would far prefer a covert alliance with Saudi Arabia to contain Iran over the U.S. allowing Riyadh to develop an independent nuclear deterrent. But Jerusalem is working to prepare for both eventualities. Whether that strategy will work remains to be seen.
    But should the Iran deal blow up on Trump’s watch, and Tehran acquires the capability to develop a weapon, no one should underestimate Riyadh’s resolve for self-preservation.
    Victor Kattan is Senior Research Fellow at the Middle East Institute of the National University of Singapore and an Associate Fellow at the Faculty of Law. Twitter: @VictorKattan


  • Egypt Sami Anan’s whereabouts unknown: Son | MadaMasr

    https://www-madamasr-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.madamasr.com/en/2018/01/24/news/u/sami-anans-whereabouts-unknown-son/amp/?platform=hootsuite

    The whereabouts of former Chief of Staff Sami Anan, who was arrested and brought before the military prosecution after announcing his presidential bid, remain unknown, his son Samir Anan told Mada Masr on Wednesday.

    After attending a six-hour interrogation with Anan on Tuesday, his lawyer from the Dina Hussein Law Firm was told that he would be released and sent home. However, Anan’s family has been unable to reach him since, according to Samir.

    The former chief of staff was arrested from his car and brought before the military prosecution early on Tuesday, right before the Armed Forces’ statement on Anan’s “violations and crimes” was broadcast, Mostafa al-Shal, the head of his personal office, previously told Mada Masr.

    Samir’s comments follow Tuesday evening media reports that the National Elections Authority (NEA) removed Anan’s name from the national electoral register due to his contested military status, citing an NEA statement, rendering the former chief of staff ineligible to participate in the 2018 electoral process as a candidate or as a voter. The NEA spokesperson confirmed in statements to the media that Anan’s name had been removed from the register, adding that copes of the statement in question were not available to the press.

    In its televised statement broadcast on Tuesday afternoon, the Armed Forces accused the presidential candidate of announcing his bid for office without first acquiring a permit from the military, aiming to incite a rift between the Armed Forces and the public, as well as forging his end of service documents. A few hours after the statement was aired, Anan’s official campaign Facebook page announced that the campaign was suspended until further notice.  

    The Cairo Court of Urgent Matters ruled on Tuesday in favor of lawsuit filed by lawyer Samir Sabry requesting the release of documents proving that Anan is enlisted as a military reserve officer, according to the privately owned Al-Shorouk newspaper.

    Anan formally announced his intent to run for presidency via an online video on Friday night, released on the heels of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s announcement that he intends to seek a second term in office. In the video, Anan demanded that civilian and military state institutions refrain from showing an “unconstitutional bias toward a president who might leave his chair in a few months.”

    Ousted President Mohamed Morsi forcibly retired Anan from his position as chief of staff of the Armed Forces in August 2012, using the same decree which saw Sisi replace former Defense Minister Hussein Tantawi.

    Presidential candidates have until 2 pm on January 29 to submit the necessary paperwork to be officially recognized as candidates by the NEA. To be eligible to run in the 2018 presidential election, Egypt’s Constitution and presidential elections law stipulate that candidates must collect endorsements from at least 20 members of Parliament, or from 25,000 eligible voters from 15 different governorates, with a minimum of 1,000 endorsements from each governorate.

    Tags: 2018 presidential electionsArmed Forces statements


  • ’We look at them like donkeys’: What Israel’s first ruling party thought about Palestinian citizens -

    Quand Ben Gourion et le parti travailliste israélien (la “gauche”) qualifiaient des Palestiniens d’Israël d’ “ânes” et réfléchissait sur la manière de les expulser

    Israel’s first ruling party, Mapai, was torn about the status of Arabs who remained in the country after the War of Independence; almost 70 years later, the ’Arab question’ has yet to be answered
    By Adam Raz Jan 13, 2018
    read more: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.834355

    “The Arab question in Israel” was the term used in the top ranks of Mapai, the ruling party in the young State of Israel – and forerunner of Labor – to encapsulate the complex issue that arose after the War of Independence of 1948-49. In the wake of the fighting, and the armistice agreements that concluded the war, about 156,000 Arabs remained within Israel (out of an estimated 700,000 before the war), accounting for 14 percent of the nascent state’s population. So it was with some justification that Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett stated in a meeting of Mapai Knesset members and the party’s senior leadership, on June 18, 1950, that “this is one of the fundamental questions of our policy and of the future of our country.” He added that the issue was one “that will determine the direction of the country’s morality,” for “our entire moral stature depends on this test – on whether we pass it or not.”
    Almost 70 years later, the “Arab question in Israel” continues to pose a conundrum for politicians when they address the issue of the status of Palestinian citizens of Israel (or, as they are often imprecisely called, “Israeli Arabs”).
    The minutes of the meetings held by Mapai, which are stored in the Labor Party Archive in Beit Berl, outside Kfar Sava, attest to the deep dispute in the party over two conflicting approaches concerning the Arabs in Israel. Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and his associates – Moshe Dayan (Israel Defense Forces chief of staff 1953-1958) and Shimon Peres, at the time a senior official in the Defense Ministry – urged a policy of segregation and a hard hand against what he argued was a communal threat to national security; while Sharett and other Mapai leaders – Pinhas Lavon, Zalman Aran, David Hacohen and others – promoted a policy of integration.

    The disagreement between Ben-Gurion and Sharett mirrored the respective approaches held by the two regarding the Arab world in general. Sharett was critical of Ben-Gurion’s policy, which he said, held that “the only language the Arabs understand is force,” and called for an approach that preferred the “matter of peace.” Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, then a Knesset member, and later Israel’s second president (1952-1963), summed up succinctly the alternatives in a meeting of the Mapai MKs several weeks later, on July 9, 1950: “The question is the attitude the state takes toward the minorities. Do we want them to remain in the country, to be integrated in the country, or to get out of the country We declared civic equality irrespective of race difference. Does this refer to a time when there will be no Arabs in the country? If so, it’s fraud.”
    ’Transfer’ option
    The discussions within the party were quite freewheeling, even if speakers frequently expressed concern of leaks to the press, which could have lead to international pressure on Israel to improve the treatment of its Arab citizens. Indeed, the future of the relations between the peoples who inhabited the country demanded weighty political decisions. Among the issues in question: the right to vote, the Absentees’ Property Law, the status of the Arab education system, membership of Arab workers in the Mapai-affiliated Histadrut federation of labor, and more.

    One proposition that arose frequently in the discussions was that of a “transfer” – the expulsion of the Arabs who continued to reside in Israel – a term that some found grating already then. In the June 1950 meeting, Sharett took issue with the allegation, voiced by Ben-Gurion and his supporters, that the Arabs in Israel were a “fifth column.” That was a simplistic assumption, Sharett said, “which needs to be examined.” As he saw it, the fate of the relations between the two peoples depended overwhelmingly on the Jews. “Will we continue to fan the flames?” Sharett asked, or try to douse them? Even though a high-school education was not yet mandatory under law (and the state was not obligated to offer one), a large number of the Jewish youth in the country attended high school, and Sharett thought that the state should establish high schools for the Arabs as well. Israel needs “to guarantee them their cultural minimum,” he added.
    For political reasons, the segregationists tended to ignore the difference between the Arabs living in Israel and those who were left on the other side of the border following the war, many of whom made attempts to “infiltrate” and return to their homes. Sharett took the opposite view: “A distinction must be made between vigorous action against Arab infiltration” and “discrimination against Arabs within the country.”

    David Ben-Gurion. Fritz Cohen / GPO
    Ranking figures such as Sharett and Lavon, who was defense minister in 1954-55, viewed positively a further exodus of Arabs from the country, but only “by peaceful means.” Sharett vehemently objected to the position taken by Dayan, who not only wanted to bring about a situation in which there would be fewer Arabs in Israel, but sought to achieve this through active expulsion. In Sharett’s view, “We must not strive to do this by a wholesale policy of persecution and discrimination.” Sharett spoke of “distinctly unnecessary forms of cruelty, which are tantamount to an indescribable desecration of God’s name.”
    Dayan, notwithstanding the fact that he was serving in the army at the time – as head of Southern Command – participated in Mapai’s political meetings and helped set public policy. He was one of the leaders of the aggressive stance against the country’s Arabs and was against a proposal that they should serve in the army (an idea that came up but was shelved). He opposed granting the Arabs “permanent-citizenship certificates,” opposed compensating those who had been dispossessed of their land, and in fact opposed every constructive action that could contribute to bridge-building between the peoples. “Let’s say that we help them live in the situation they are in today” and no more, he proposed.
    Dayan’s approach remained consistent over the years, and conflicted with the view taken by Sharett and the stream in Mapai that he represented. Speaking in the same June 1950 meeting, Dayan asserted, “I want to say that in my opinion, the policy of this party should be geared to see this public, of 170,000 Arabs, as though their fate has not yet been sealed. I hope that in the years to come there will perhaps be another possibility to implement a transfer of these Arabs from the Land of Israel, and as long as a possibility of this sort is feasible, we should not do anything that conflicts with this.”
    Dayan also objected to Sharett’s proposals to improve the level of education among the country’s Arabs. “It is not in our interest to do that,” he said. “This is not the only question on which the time for a final solution has not yet arrived.”
    Zalman Aran, a future education minister, objected to the military government that had been imposed on Israel’s Arabs at the time of statehood and remained in effect until 1966. Under its terms, Arabs had to be equipped with permits both to work and to travel outside their hometowns, which were also under curfew at night. “As long as we keep them in ghettos,” Aran said, no constructive activity will help. Lavon, too, urged the dismantlement of the military government. In 1955, a few months after resigning as defense minister, he savaged the concept at a meeting in Beit Berl. “The State of Israel cannot solve the question of the Arabs who are in the country by Nazi means,” he stated, adding, “Nazism is Nazism, even if carried out by Jews.”
    Even earlier, Lavon was a sharp critic of the line taken by Dayan and other advocates of transfer. At a meeting of another Mapai leadership forum, on May 21, 1949, he said acidly, “It’s well known that we socialists are the best in the world even when we rob Arabs.” A few months later, on January 1, 1950, in another meeting, he warned, “It is impossible to take action among the Arabs when the policy is one of transfer. It is impossible to work among them if the policy is to oppress Arabs – that prevents concrete action. What is being carried out is a dramatic and brutal suppression of the Arabs in Israel... Transfer is not on the cards. If there is not a war, they will not go. Two-hundred thousand Arabs will be citizens in terms of voting... As the state party, we must set for ourselves a constructive policy in the Arab realm.”
    Back in December 1948, during the discussions on granting the right to vote for the Constituent Assembly – Israel’s first parliamentary institution, which was elected in January 1949, and a month later became the “Israel Knesset” – Ben-Gurion agreed to grant the right to vote to the Arabs who had been in the country when a census was taken, a month earlier. About 37,000 Arabs were registered in the census. The decision to enfranchise them apparently stemmed from party-political considerations. The thinking was that most of them would vote for Mapai.
    This assessment was voiced in the discussions on the Citizenship Law in early 1951, when Ben-Gurion expressed the most assertive opinion. He refused to grant the right to vote to the Arabs who were living in the country lawfully (as Sharett demanded) but who had been elsewhere during the census (because they had fled or had been expelled in the wake of the war); or to those Arabs who resided in the “Triangle” (an area of Arab towns and villages on the Sharon plain), which was annexed to Israel only in April 1949, under the armistice agreement with Jordan. “Is there no country in the world that has two types of citizens in elections [meaning voting and non-voting],” Ben-Gurion asked rhetorically in a meeting of Mapai MKs on February 20, 1951.

    Moshe Dayan. Fritz Cohen / GPO
    In the view of Sharett, who submitted a conflicting draft resolution, it would not be possible to defend “this situation in regard to ourselves and in regard to these Arabs, and in regard to the Arabs in Israel as a whole and in terms of world public opinion. Accordingly, I suggest granting them the right to vote... Discriminate only against the Arabs who entered Israel without permission.”
    Sharett maintained that Ben-Gurion had not given consideration to the root of the problem. “Terrible things” were being done against Arabs in the country, he warned. “Until a Jew is hanged for murdering an Arab for no reason, in cold blood, the Jews will not understand that Arabs are not dogs but human beings.” Sharett’s view carried the day in the vote, and the Arabs in the Triangle voted in the elections.
    In the July 9, 1950, meeting, MK David Hacohen disputed the argument that discrimination against the Arabs and the institution of the military government were essential for the country’s security. Assailing the Absentees’ Property Law – a series of measures that allowed the state to expropriate land and homes abandoned by Palestinians who were displaced during the war, even if they subsequently returned to the country – he said, “I don’t know whether it was clear to us all, when we voted, how grave it is.” He noted that, “According to the law, when an Arab dies, his property does not go to his wife but to the Custodian of Absentees’ Property It is inconceivable for us to declare equality of all citizens and at the same time have a law like this on the books.”
    Apparently, no one took issue with the next comparison Hacohen drew: “These laws that we are coming up with in regard to Israel’s Arab residents cannot even be likened to the laws that were promulgated against the Jews in the Middle Ages, when they were deprived of all rights. After all, this is a total contrast between our declarations and our deeds.”
    A similar approach was voiced during the same meeting by Zalman Aran, who viewed Mapai’s handling of the Arabs as a “process of despair” that must be rejected instead of finding excuses for it.
    “Morally, if we are a movement that does not lie, and we do not want to lie, we are here living a total lie,” he said. “All the books and articles that have been written, and the speeches made internally and for external consumption, are groundless when it comes to implementation. I am not talking about the attitude of individuals in the country toward the Arabs. I am talking about a [policy] line. I reject this line, which has emerged within society and has a thousand-and-one manifestations. I do not accept all the excuses that have been put forward.”
    Taking issue with Dayan’s approach, Aran compared the situation of the Arabs in Israel with the situation of Jews in other countries. “On the basis of what we are doing here to the Arabs, there is no justification for demanding a different attitude toward Jewish minorities in other countries I would be contemptuous of Arabs who would want to form ties with us on the basis of this policy. We would be lying in the [Socialist] Internationale, we are lying to ourselves and we are lying to the nations of the world.”
    Dayan – still an officer in uniform, it must be remembered – objected to the opinions voiced by Hacohen and Aran, and saw no reason to draw a distinction between the Arab public in Israel and Arabs in enemy countries. “I am far more pessimistic about the prospect of viewing these Arabs as loyal,” he countered.

    Moshe Sharett. Frank Scherschel
    Flawed democracy
    During the same period of a decade-plus when Ben-Gurion was premier, a political battle raged in Mapai over the continued existence of the military government. Ben-Gurion persistently defended the military government, which he saw as a “deterrent force” against the Arabs in Israel. In a meeting of the Mapai Secretariat on January 1, 1962, he railed against the “dominant naivete” of those, such as Sharett and Aran, who do not understand the Arabs, and warned of the possible consequences: “There are people living under the illusion that we are like all the nations, that the Arabs are loyal to Israel and that what happened in Algeria cannot happen here.”
    He added, “We view them like donkeys. They don’t care. They accept it with love...” To loosen the reins on the Arabs would be a great danger, he added: “You and your ilk” – those who support the abolition of the military government or making it less stringent – “will be responsible for the perdition of Israel.” A decade earlier, on January 15, 1951, Shmuel Dayan, Moshe Dayan’s father, a Mapai leader and longtime Knesset member, had voiced similar sentiments in a meeting of Mapai MKs. The Arabs, he said, “could be good citizens, but it’s clear that at the moment they become an obstacle, they will constitute a terrible danger.”
    A decade later, Aran offered an opposite assessment of the situation. Speaking at a meeting of the Mapai Secretariat in January 1962, he maintained that it was the military government that “is exacerbating the situation.” He also rejected the Algeria analogy. On the contrary, he thought, the existence of the military government would not delay an Arab uprising but would only spur it. He reiterated his critique of the early 1950s a decade later. He was against a situation in which the Arabs are “second-class” citizens who lack rights like the Jews, and he was critical of both himself and his colleagues: “We accepted this thing, we became accustomed to it... We took it in stride... It’s hard to swallow... No Arab in the State of Israel is able, needs to, is capable of – whatever you give him economically, educationally – accepting that he is a second-class citizen in this country. I think that the world does not know the true situation. If it did, it would not let us keep going on this way.”
    Already then, Finance Minister Levi Eshkol, under whose term as prime minister the military government would be abolished, foresaw the dire consequences: “It would not surprise me if something new suddenly emerges, that people will not want to rent a stable – or a room – to an Arab in some locale, which is the [logical] continuation of this situation. Will we be able to bear that?”
    One person who was not impressed by such arguments was the deputy defense minister, Shimon Peres. In a Mapai Secretariat meeting on January 5, 1962, he maintained that in practice, the military government “is not a strain on the Arabs.” The military government, he added, was [effectively] created by the Arabs, “who endanger Israel and as long as that danger exists, we must meet it with understanding.” In contrast, Isser Harel, head of the Shin Bet security service (1948-1952) and the Mossad (1952-1963), stated in 1966, days after resigning as Eshkol’s adviser for intelligence and security, that “the military government is not a security necessity, and therefore there is no need for its existence. The army should not be dealing with the Arab citizens. That is a flaw in terms of our democracy” (quoted in the daily Maariv, July 10, 1966). That had been the view of the security hawks, including Yigal Allon, since the early 1950s.
    Over the years, it was claimed that the military government had served as a tool in Mapai’s hands for reinforcing its rule, both by giving out jobs and by distributing benefits, and also by intervening in election campaigns through the creation of Arab factions within existing parties that were convenient for the ruling party (and suppressing opponents on the other side). This is not the venue to discuss that allegation – for which evidence exists – but it’s worth noting one of the motifs of the hard-hand policy, which preserved the segregation between Arabs and Jews, as expressed candidly by Ben-Gurion in the meeting of the Mapai Secretariat on January 5, 1962: “The moment that the difference between Jews and Arabs is eliminated, and they are at the same level If on that day there does not exist a regime in a world where there are no more wars, I do not have the shadow of a doubt that Israel will be eradicated and no trace will remain of the Jewish people.”

    Adam Raz
    Haaretz Contributor