Shimon Peres

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Sharmine Narwani is no fool and if she says that Israel will be the target of a Syrian retaliatory strike, I believe her.

It makes me sick to the stomach. That’s not because I consider Israel an innocent party in the Syrian crisis. On the contrary, the ‘rock solid evidence’ that the US claims to have of Assad’s culpability in the chemical weapons attack probably comes from Israel, and the Israeli government has provoked Syria repeatedly this year with acts of aggression. It sickens me simply because this will inevitably lead to massive escalation of the conflict – to a third world war and untold human suffering.

As someone who is considering going to Damascus as a human shield, I appreciate that my chances of surviving the American assault are not great, but my chances of surviving an Israeli assault are close to zero.

Father Dave

Grass-roots activists in Damascus, working for peace

with local peace activists in Damascus

source: english.al-akhbar.com…

Yes, Syria and Hezbollah Will Hit Israel if US Strikes

By Sharmine Narwani

Informed insiders have confirmed that Syria and Hezbollah plan to retaliate against Israel in the event of an American-led military attack on Syria. Says one: “if even one US missile hits Syria, we will take this battle to Israel.”

An official who spoke to me on the condition that neither his name or affiliation is published, says the decision to retaliate against Israel “has been taken at the highest levels within the Syrian state and Hezbollah.”

Why attack Israel after a US strike?

“Israel has been itching for a fight since their 2006 defeat by Hezbollah,” explains an observer close to the Lebanese resistance group. “They have led this campaign to draw the US into a confrontation with Syria because they are worried about being left alone in the region to face Iran. This has become an existential issue for them and they are now ‘leading’ from behind America’s skirts.”

The “Resistance Axis” which consists of Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and a smattering of other groups, has long viewed attacks on one of their members as an effort to target them all.

And Israeli aggression against this axis reached a new high in 2013, with missile strikes and airstrikes unseen for many years in the Levant.

Israel has reportedly conducted at least three separate, high profile missile strikes against Syria this year, effectively ending a 40-year ceasefire between the neighboring states. The last overt violation of this uneasy truce was in 2007 when the Jewish state destroyed an alleged nuclear site inside Syria.

Then two weeks ago, Israel launched its first airstrike in Lebanon since the 2006 war, bombing a Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine–General Command (PFLP-GC) target in an entirely unprovoked attack. Earlier, four rockets had been launched into Israel from Lebanese territory, but an unrelated Al Qaeda-linked group took credit for that incident.

When asked whether Syrian allies Russia and Iran would participate in retaliatory strikes against Israel or other targets, the official indicated that both countries would back these efforts, but provided no information on whether this support would include direct military engagement.

The Russians have stated on several occasions that they will not participate in a military confrontation over Syrian strikes. Iran has not offered up any specifics, but various statements from key officials appear to confirm that strikes against Syria will result in a larger regional battle.

On Tuesday during an official visit to Lebanon, Iranian parliamentarian and Chairman of the (Majlis) Committee for National Security and Foreign Policy Alaeddin Boroujerdi told reporters: “The first party that will be most affected by an aggression on Syria is the Zionist entity.”

His comments follow a steady stream of warnings by senior Iranian officials, which have escalated in tenor as western threats to attack Syria have intensified.

“The US imagination about limited military intervention in Syria is merely an illusion, as reactions will be coming from beyond Syria’s borders,” said the Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari last Saturday.

Even Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has stepped into the fray, warning the US and its allies: “starting this fire will be like a spark in a large store of gunpowder, with unclear and unspecified outcomes and consequences”.

Concurrent with these warnings, both Iran and Russia have been urging the West to avoid further confrontation and return to the negotiating table to resolve Syria’s 29-month conflict. But instead, western officials and diplomats in the Mideast have spent the past few weeks hitting up their regional sources for information on how Syria’s allies will react to a strike.

An unusual visit to Tehran by UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman (a former senior US State Department official) was one such “feeler.”

According to several media outlets, the Iranians had a singular response to Feltman’s efforts to gauge their reaction to a US strike: if you are serious about resolving the Syrian crisis, you must first go to Damascus, and follow that by launching negotiations in Geneva.

Gunning for a fight

While Israel plays heavily in the background, by turns provoking and encouraging western military intervention in Syria, it publically denies any role in this business.

Just this week, Israeli President Shimon Peres attempted to distance the Jewish state from events in Syria by insisting: “It is not for Israel to decide on Syria, we are in a unique position, for varying reasons there is a consensus against Israeli involvement. We did not create the Syrian situation.”

He’s right about one thing. Any visible Israeli military intervention in Syria will likely raise the collective ire of Arabs throughout the region. But Peres is being disingenuous in suggesting that Israel hasn’t played a pivotal role in dragging the region to the brink of a dangerous confrontation.

In fact, since its establishment as a state, Israel has possibly never been more motivated to force a military confrontation in the Mideast:

The Arab uprisings, a shift in the global balance of power, increased isolation and the waning influence of Israel’s superpower US ally have all served to remind Israel that it stands increasingly alone in the Mideast in confronting its longtime adversaries – Iran, Hezbollah, Syria and various Palestinian resistance groups.

Before a US exit from the region becomes patently clear to one and all, Israel needs to disarm its foes – and it needs the Americans to do that. For years, the Israeli establishment has regularly threatened military strikes against Iran, in most part attempting to inextricably embroil Washington in this military venture.

Forcing ‘red line’ narratives into western political discourse – whether it be the use of chemical weapons in Syria or a civilian nuclear program in Iran – has become a clever way to commit allies to an Israeli military agenda.

When US President Barack Obama last week appeared to suddenly revise his plans to launch a strike on Syria by deferring the decision to Congress, Israel went into overdrive:

Two Israeli missiles were launched off the Syrian coast in the Mediterranean Sea to raise temperatures again. Whether this was meant to be veiled threat, a provocation, or an attempt to pin the deed on Syrians is unclear. What is certain is this: Russian early radar systems caught the activity and publicized it quickly to ward off misunderstandings that might trigger counter-strikes.

This quick reaction forced Israel – under US cover – to acknowledge it had participated in unannounced ballistic missile tests. The Iranians reacted very skeptically. Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, General Hassan Firouzabadi, said the missiles were “a provocative incident” conveniently executed as western nations withdrew from plans to attack Syria, and called Israel “the region’s warmonger.” He further charged: “If the Russians had not traced the missiles and their origin, a Zionist liar would have alleged that they belonged to Syria in a bid to pave the way for breaking out a war in the region.

On an entirely different front, Israel has been amassing its considerable army of US supporters and lobbyists to ensure a compliant Congressional vote on strikes against Syria.

All its heavy hitters have now stepped up to push US lawmakers into backing military intervention, even though polls continue to show the majority of Americans rejecting strikes.

The Israeli lobbying effort has been particularly critical to ensure there is bipartisan consensus and that Obama’s Republican opponents join the bandwagon. To ensure this, the scope of the “surgical strikes” had to be expanded for GOP members opposed to a cursory punitive strike against Syrian government interests.

Key Republicans have since piled on, and already there are soundings of ‘mission creep.’ Obama told lawmakers on Tuesday that his plan “also fits into a broader strategy that can bring about over time the kind of strengthening of the opposition and the diplomatic, economic and political pressure required – so that ultimately we have a transition that can bring peace and stability, not only to Syria but to the region.”

This suddenly sounds remarkably like President George W. Bush’s plans to remake the Middle East. And it is everything Syria and its allies have both feared and suspected from the start.

Existential for you, existential for me

If ever there was a real ‘red line’ in the region, this is it. Any “limited” or “broad” military intervention in Syria is simply unacceptable to Syria, Iran, Russia, Hezbollah, China and a whole host of other nations that want to turn the page on US hegemonic aspirations in the region and beyond.

Washington has miscalculated in thinking that an attack in any shape or form would be palatable to its quite incredulous adversaries. They are all intimately familiar with the slippery slope of American interventionism and its myriad unintended consequences.

Israel, in particular, appears to be victim to a false sense of security. Analysts and commentators there seem to think that the lack of a Syrian military response to recent Israeli missile strikes is a trend likely to continue. Or that Hezbollah and Iran would have no ‘grounds’ to climb aboard a counterattack if Syria were attacked.

But the fact is that, to date, no member of the Resistance Axis has faced a collective western-Israeli-GCC effort to strike a blow at their core. This promised US-plus-allies strike against Syria makes their calculation aneasy one: there is nowhere to go but headfirst into the fracas.

As Israel warplanes pounded Lebanon during the 2006 war, then-US Secretary of State Condaleeza Rice got one thing right. Refusing to call for a ceasefire, Rice explained that battle was sometimes necessary to break free of the status quo and emerge with a new regional order. The carnage, in short, was simply “the birth pangs of a New Middle East” – something to endure in order to reach a desired outcome.

But in 2006, conditions were not yet ripe for an all-out confrontation on multiple fronts. Today’s confrontation, however, has all the ingredients to fundamentally shift the region in a clear new direction, depending on which side emerges victorious.

What Rice did not anticipate seven years ago was that a few thousand Hezbollah fighters could shake the region beyond Lebanon’s small borders in a mere 33 days – simply by emerging from battle with Israel, leadership and capabilities intact.

The US has never predicted outcomes successfully in the Middle East and is unlikely to do so this time given that its strategic and military objectives seem even more muddled than usual. What we do know is that Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah has promised that the “next battle” will take place inside Israel’s borders and that he will fight proportionately this time – striking Israeli cities when Israel hits Lebanese ones.

On the Syrian front, Israel imagines a war-weary adversary. But the Syrian armed forces have the kinds of conventional weapons and ballistic missiles that can level a town in short shrift – that is not an outcome Israel has the capacity to endure.

In yet another corner is Iran, boasting a rare combination of military manpower, hardware, technology and tactical skills that Israel has never faced in any adversary on the battlefield. Russia looms large too – it may provide military intelligence to its allies or it may just use its clout in the UN Security Council to intervene at opportune moments in the fight. Either way, Moscow is a huge asset for the Resistance Axis – and will be joined by China to coach and calibrate responses to the fighting from the ‘international community.’

Meanwhile, as if unable to stop a ‘war trajectory’ once it starts, the US Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee has just voted to widen and deepen the scope of a US attack on Syria. The new goal? To “reverse the momentum on the battlefield” against the Syrian army and “hasten Assad’s departure.”

This is no different than Libya, Afghanistan or Iraq. Israelis and Americans need to understand that language and behavior threatening ‘regime-change’ gives their adversaries only one choice: to retaliate withall their capabilities and assets on all fronts. Washington just made this existential. No more games, no more rhetoric. Any strike on Syria will be ‘war on.’ In US military parlance: a ‘full-spectrum operation’ will be heading your way. And you can call it Operation “Tip of the Iceberg” out of sheer accuracy, for a change.

Sharmine Narwani is a commentary writer and political analyst covering the Middle East. You can follow Sharmine on twitter@snarwani

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Father Roy writes:   The highlight in the following article is mine.  Also note what our Vice President is doing:  Biden: U.S. prepared to hold direct talks with Iran.  

Peace, Roy

Kerry calls PM, Abbas, vows commitment to peace

US secretary of state discusses Syria, Iran with Netanyahu, vows to work to restart talks in phone call with PA president.

Netanyahu, Kerry at the US Capitol, March 23, 2010. Photo: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

New US Secretary of State John Kerry phoned both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday to discuss the diplomatic process, in an early sign he intends to make this a top priority on his agenda.

In both conversations he commended Netanyahu’s decision last week to release some NIS 400 million in tax revenues to the PA and praised it as a positive step.

The calls followed Kerry’s phone conversation Saturday with President Shimon Peres, who said the election results in Israel provided new opportunities in the diplomatic process.

Kerry is expected to visit the region on his first trip abroad in the middle of the month.

A US State Department communiqué said that Netanyahu updated Kerry on his efforts to put together a new government.

The statement also said Kerry “underscored his personal commitment and that of President [Barack] Obama to support Israel’s security and to pursue a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.”

Kerry and Netanyahu also spoke about Iran and Syria, and – according to the statement – pledged to work closely together during Kerry’s tenure.

Kerry spoke to Abbas of his “personal commitment and hope for continued efforts to pursue peace,” and pledged to continue efforts with Congress to release budget support for the PA.

According to Palestinian news agency Wafa, Kerry conferred with Abbas about the necessity of holding meetings in the near future with the ultimate aim of restarting the peace process.

Citing PA spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh, Wafa reported that Kerry assured the PA head that Obama “cares about the peace process” and is eager restart the stalled talks.

Last week, Kerry suggested that time was running out for a two-state solution with Israel living alongside a sovereign Palestinian state, and said such an eventuality would be “disastrous.”

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According to the following article in today’s Jerusalem Post, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has publicly confirmed that he still supports the idea of a ‘two-state solution’ to the Israel-Palestine conflict, along the lines spelled out in his Bar-Ilan speech of 2009.

Apparently others within the ranks have been saying publicly that Netanyahu’s  Bar-Ilan speech had been “tactical” and directed to international ears (in other words, that it was a blatant lie). This latest statement is designed both to salvage Netanyahu’s reputation for honesty and his international standing as a man of peace.

But when we look at the details of the Bar-Ilan proposal, it’s a little difficult to distinguish between Netanyahu’s concept of a Palestinian state and no state. The requirements he spelled out then included:

  • That the Palestinian state be allowed no military
  • That Israel must retain control of all its borders
  • That no portion of Jerusalem be a part of this new state

Such an entity could hardly be considered a ‘sovereign state’ and Netanyahu knows full well that this form of ‘statehood’ is something that the Palestinians will never accept.

So perhaps Netanyahu’s rivals in the Likud party are simply being more honest? They are not interested in a Palestinian state and they don’t pretend to be.  Perhaps their rise to power will (ironically) hasten the day of peace?

Father Dave

Father Dave

Father Dave

source: www.jpost.com…

PM reiterates support for demilitarized ‘Palestine’

By LAHAV HARKOV
12/31/2012 21:32

Contrary to claims by top Likud candidates, Netanyahu stands behind his words in Bar-Ilan speech, spokesman says.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stands by his support for a Palestinian state under the conditions described in his 2009 Bar-Ilan speech, despite claims to the contrary by other Likud Beytenu candidates, a spokesman for the joint election list said on Monday.

The Likud-Yisrael Beytenu slate does not have a platform, and several candidates have spoken out recently against Palestinian statehood and a two-state solution.

“A Palestinian state will be established when the Palestinians recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people, will declare the end of the [Israeli-Palestinian] conflict and only if arrangements ensuring the security of Israeli citizens are made,” the Likud Beytenu spokesman stated.

Netanyahu, according to the spokesman, does not see a Palestinian state at the top of his agenda, with Hamas ruling Gaza and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas working with Hamas and taking unilateral actions. The prime minister’s priority, he said, is to lead Israel while it is faced with a growing Hamas and the Iranian threat.

“The Left brought up questions [about Palestinian statehood] because they are ignoring the true, immediate threats of what is happening around us in the Middle East,” he added.

The comments came a day after President Shimon Peres, addressing Israeli ambassadors gathered in Jerusalem, called Abbas a “partner for peace” and argued that there is no alternative to the two-state solution.

In response, Likud Beytenu blasted Peres as being disconnected from public opinion.

“A Palestinian state would not only fail to bring peace and stability to the region, but would increase the tension and usher in permanent instability,” Yair Shamir, fourth on the Likud Beytenu list, said on Monday.

“The long and determined effort by Israeli leaders to promote a Palestinian state and to soften the Palestinian Authority’s harsh features cannot change the fact that a Palestinian state would add fuel to the fire of terrorism in the region,” Shamir added. “We must remove the idea of a Palestinian state in our area from the Israeli agenda immediately if not sooner.”

read the complete article here: www.jpost.com…

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This is a significant article by Alan Hart – the former Middle East Chief Correspondent for Independent Television News. I take issue with him though at two points. Firstly, I think he is guilty of trying to ‘delegitimize’ the state of Israel, which I think is as unhelpful as it is inappropriate. Secondly, Hart calls for the mobilizing of a ‘universal lobby’ in support of Palestine as if it is a new idea, when the ‘Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions’ (BDS) campaign already represents a broad coalition of Palestinian groups and international supporters. Surely more could be accomplished by focusing on achieving the goals of BDS through the peaceful means that the campaign advocates? Father Dave

Is Palestine a Lost Cause?

By Alan Hart

September 08, 2012 “InformationClearing House” – A long version of the headline question would be something like this: Given that in the 46th year of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank Jewish settlers are continuing to consolidate their hold on the territory’s land and water resources by stealing more and more of both, thus demonstrating not only Zionism’s contempt for international law but, also, that the only peace Israel’s leaders are interested in is one that requires a complete Palestinian surrender to Zionism’s will, is there any real prospect, in any foreseeable future, of justice for the Palestinians?

It is probably still the case that, in the name of Arafat-like pragmatism, a majority of the oppressed Palestinians would regard the establishment of a state of their own on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem its capital as an acceptable minimum amount of justice.

They are, of course, fully aware that in such a scenario the right of return for those dispossessed of their land and their rights in 1948 and again in 1967 would have to be limited to return to the territory of the Palestinian mini state, which would mean, because of the lack of space, that only a relatively small number of the dispossessed Palestinians and their descendants would be able to return. (Arafat and his leadership colleagues calculated that initially not more than 100,000 would be able to return). The rest would have to settle for financial compensation.

Beyond that the Palestinians of a mini state would entertain the hope, as Arafat did when he persuaded the institutions of Palestinian decision-making to accept the need for unthinkable compromise with Israel (peace with it in return for only 22 percent of their land, thus legitimizing Israel’s occupation of the other 78 percent) that a genuine two-state solution could lead in one or two generations to one state by mutual consent. In that event there would be greater scope for more diaspora Palestinians to exercise their right of return.

But it isn’t going to happen. Though not yet buried, the two-state solution has long been dead, killed by Israel’s colonization with the complicity of the major powers and, by default, the regimes of an impotent Arab Order. As I document in detail in my book Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, the Arab regimes never had any intention of fighting Israel to liberate Palestine or using the leverage they have to press the U.S. to require Israel to end its occupation of land grabbed in 1967.

As I also reveal in my book, the most explicit statement about why the two-state solution has long been dead was made to me in early 1980 by Shimon Peres. He was then the leader of Israel’s Labour Party, in opposition and hoping to win Israel’s next election and deny Begin a second term in office as prime minister. I was then acting as the linkman in a secret and exploratory dialogue between Peres and Arafat. At a point in our very first conversation for this initiative, Peres said that he feared it was “already too late”. I asked him why. He replied:

“Every day that passes sees new bricks on new settlements. Begin knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s creating the conditions for a Jewish civil war. He knows that no Israeli prime minister is going down in history as the one who gave the order to the Jewish army to shoot large numbers of Jews (to end the occupation)…” “I’m not.”

Obvious question. If it was too late in 1980 when there were only about 70,000 illegal Jewish settlers on the occupied West Bank including Arab East Jerusalem, how much more too late is it today when they number in excess of 500,000, with that number rising on an almost daily basis, thanks in large part to funding assistance from America’s Christian fundamentalists?

In passing it is interesting to note that the U.S. State Department has now defined Israeli settler violence against Palestinians as “terrorism”.

It is now clear beyond any doubt that the most any Zionist leadership will offer the Palestinians for peace is a maximum of 35-40 percent of the West Bank (the Sharon plan) in the shape of two, three or four Bantustans which the Palestinians could call a state if they wished. This is and always will be totally unacceptable to all Palestinians.

As things are and look like going, I believe the course is set for a final Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

I mean that when Israel’s leaders conclude that their policy of making life hell for the occupied Palestinians in the hope of causing them to abandon their struggle and leave in large numbers has failed, and that they can’t bring on a puppet Palestinian leader who will force his people to accept crumbs from Zionism’s table, they will create a pretext to drive the Palestinians off the West Bank and into Jordan or wherever. One possible pretext could come about with a classic false flag operation – Mossad agents posing as Palestinian terrorists to plant bombs and kill Israeli Jews.

What about the Palestinians of the blockaded Gaza Strip? According to the latest UN report, it will not be “a liveable place” by 2020 unless action is taken to improve basic services in the territory. My guess is that in Zionism’s plan for the future the Gaza Strip’s Palestinians will be left to sink deeper and deeper into poverty, misery and despair in the hope, Zionism’s hope, that this will eventually cause large numbers of them to flee and seek a new life elsewhere. If that doesn’t happen Israel’s leaders will have the option of creating a pretext for a Gaza Strip ethnic cleansing operation by military means.

After months of reflection my conclusion is not only that the Zionist state of Israel is a monster beyond control but that Palestine IS a lost cause UNLESS… The main purpose of this article is to put some flesh on the bone of what I see as the Unless Scenario.

In it there are two initiatives for the Palestinians themselves to take.

The first is to demand and insist upon the dissolution of the impotent and discredited PA (Palestine Authority) in order to make Israel completely responsible and therefore fully accountable for its occupation.

Without the PA’s American trained security forces to keep the Palestinians of the occupied West Bank (Hamas supporters especially) under control for Israel, having to take complete responsibility for occupation would be costly financially and in terms of the additional call on Israel’s own security resources.

More to the point, if the Zionist (not Jewish) state had complete responsibility for the occupation, calling and holding it to account for its defiance of international law and its occupation policies would be, in theory, less than what it is at present – a mission impossible.

But if theory is to be turned into practise, something very significant has to happen.

Only governments can call and hold Zionism to account for its crimes, but they won’t act unless they are pushed to do so by informed public opinion. The problem, as I never tire of saying and writing, is that public opinion, in the U.S. especially, is too uninformed – too conditioned by Zionist propaganda – to do the pushing in big enough numbers. So here’s THE question: With the mainstream media unwilling to come to grips with the truth of history as it relates to the making and sustaining of the conflict in and over Palestine that became Israel, how can the citizens of nations be informed and empowered to do the pushing in big enough numbers?

There are hundreds of groups of all faiths and none around the world which call and campaign for justice for the Palestinians, but (generally speaking) they are each and all doing their own little things in isolation, which makes them like flies to be swatted away by Zionism. In that light I think the informing to mobilise public opinion to push governments can only be done if groups of all faiths and none everywhere which call and campaign for justice for the Palestinians collaborate and form one (Zionist-like) universal lobby. The internet makes the necessary collaboration and coordination perfectly possible.

The strategy of a universal lobby for Palestinian rights should be determined by asking and answering one question. Why, really, has Zionism succeeded to date?

The short answer is its success in selling propaganda lies about the making and sustaining of the conflict as truth; an amazing achievement that was assisted by having the obscenity of the Nazi holocaust to play as a blackmail card.

It follows, or so it seems to me, that the first priority of a coordinated, universal lobbying campaign for justice for the Palestinians should be to present in forums and on platforms of every kind the documented evidence which exposes Zionism’s propaganda lies for the nonsense they are.

Four of the many essential truths to be communicated are:

  1. that almost all if not all the Jews who went to Palestine in answer to Zionism’s call had no biological connection whatsoever to the ancient Hebrews and therefore no claim on the land;
  2. that Israel was created mainly by Zionist terrorism and ethnic cleansing;
  3. that Israel’s existence has never been threatened by any combination of Arab force – i.e. Israel has not lived in constant danger of annihilation, the “driving into the sea” of its Jews;
  4. and that it was Israel not the Arabs which closed the door to prospects for peace time and time again.

I am assuming (am I guilty of wishful thinking?) that if the citizens of nations, Westerners especially and Americans in particular, were aware of the truth of history as it relates to the making and sustaining of the conflict, they would insist that their governments called the Zionist monster to account – not only for the sake of justice for the Palestinians but also to best protect the interests of all, including the Jews of the world. (In a Footnote below there is reference to a report of the thinking of America’s intelligence community on what must be done to protect US national interests).

Now to the second initiative the Palestinians could and in my view should take if they are to play their part in preventing Palestine becoming a lost cause.

Obviously the dissolution of the PA will only happen if enough Palestinians demand it. But in my view it’s not only the occupied and oppressed Palestinians who need to do the demanding. In my view it’s time for Palestinians everywhere to become engaged by peaceful and democratic means in the struggle to end the Zionization of their homeland. Put another way, if the Zionist colonial project is to be contained and defeated, the incredible, almost superhuman steadfastness of the occupied and oppressed Palestinians must be supplemented by practical, effective and co-ordinated Palestinian diaspora action. For what purpose?

Not only to bring about the dissolution of the PA but to have it replaced as soon as possible by a re-structured and re-invigorated PNC (Palestine National Council). Once upon a time this now side-lined parliament-in-exile represented Palestinians nearly everywhere in the world and was the supreme decision-making body on the Palestinian side. Even Arafat was accountable to it. (It did, in fact, take him six long years to persuade a majority of PNC delegates to endorse his policy of politics and compromise with Israel. That happened towards the end of 1979. The PNC vote in favour of Arafat’s policy – the two-state solution – was 296 for it and only four against. From then on the Palestinian door was open to peace on terms which any rational government and people in Israel would have accepted with relief. Arafat’s problem then was that he didn’t have a partner for peace on the Israeli side. He did eventually get one in the shape of Prime Minister Rabin, but he was assassinated by a Zionist zealot. The assassin knew exactly what he was doing – killing the Oslo peace process Arafat started and to which a reluctant Rabin pushed by Peres responded positively. It is fashionable today for pro-Palestinian activists to rubbish the Oslo peace process, but I still think Arafat’s take on the matter was correct. When it was obviously doomed to failure by Israel’s complete rejection of it after Rabin’s death, I asked Arafat if he thought that history would say he had made the mistake of his life in thinking that he could trust Israeli leaders to keep their word and honour agreements. He replied to the effect that if the US had backed the Oslo process it could have worked – could have achieved “something concrete” for the Palestinians on which they could, hopefully, build).

For the PNC to be brought back to life re-structured and re-invigorated there would have to be elections to it in communities throughout the Palestinian diaspora.

The composition of the Palestinian diaspora by countries and numbers of Palestinians resident in them is roughly the following. Jordan – 2,900,000; Israel – 1,600,000; Syria – 800,000 Chile – 500,000; Lebanon – 490,000; Saudi Arabia – 280,245; Egypt – 270,245; United States – 270,000; Honduras -250,000; Venezuela – 245,120; United Arab Emirates – 170,000; Germany -159,000; Mexico – 158,000; Qatar – 100,000; Kuwait – 70,000; El Salvador – 70,000 Brazil – 59,000; Iraq – 57,000; Yemen – 55,000; Canada – 50,975; Australia – 45,000; Libya – 44,000; Denmark – 32,152; United Kingdom – 30,000; Sweden – 25,500; Peru – 20,000; Columbia – 20,000; Spain – 12,000; Pakistan – 10,500; Netherlands – 9,000; Greece – 7,500; Norway – 7,000; France – 5,000; Guatemala – 3,500; Austria – 3,000; Switzerland – 2,000; Turkey – 1,000; and India – 300.

The prime task of a re-structured and re-invigorated PNC would be to debate and determine Palestinian policy and then represent it by speaking to power with one credible voice. That could only assist the task of empowering the citizens of nations with the truth of history.

There is also a joint initiative a universal lobby for Palestinian rights and a re-structured and re-invigorated PNC could that would of itself be a game changer. Just imagine what would happen if a million or more diaspora Palestinians, other Arabs and peoples of all faiths and none marched peacefully on Greater Israel from Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.

I can see only two ways in which any Israeli government could react. It could order the IDF to shoot to kill in unthinkable numbers – a reaction that would so horrify the world that governments, including the one in Washington D.C., would have no choice but to take whatever steps were necessary to bring Zionism’s colonial enterprise to an end; or it, the Israeli government, pushed perhaps by a majority of its own people, could say something like: “We are now ready to be serious about real peace even if the outcome of negotiations is One State for all, provided only that the wellbeing and security of all its citizens. Arabs and Jews, is guaranteed.”

I have suggested the need for such a march in the past. It really could be organized if the groups of all faiths and none everywhere who call and campaign for justice for the Palestinians put their act together.

Footnote

I think I am not alone in wondering if there is real substance to a recent report in Foreign Policy Journal by Franklin Lamb with the headline America Preparing For a Post-Israel Middle East? (A Professor of Law and a former Assistant Counsel to the US House Judiciary Committee, Lamb, currently based in Beirut, is a real Middle East expert with very good sources).

The lead point of Lamb’s article was that the 16 agencies of the U.S. intelligence community commissioned a study which has produced in draft form an 82-page analysis, apparently due for publication very soon, which concludes that “the American national interest is fundamentally at odds with that of Zionist Israel”, and that “Israel is currently the greatest threat to US national interests because its nature and actions prevent normal US relations with Arab and Muslim countries and, to a growing degree, the wider international community.”

According to Lamb’s account, the draft study is nothing less than a call for the next president to put America’s own interests first by withdrawing its support (funding and other) for the Zionist monster.

My first reaction to Lamb’s account was – if true, wow!

If it is true, I mean if such a draft analysis does exist, one speculation invited is that whoever is the next American president will have to choose between saying “No” to his intelligence community and putting America’s own best interests first or “No” to Zionism. In that event a key factor in the presidential decision-making process would be the state of American public opinion. In my view the president would need it to be much better informed about the truth of history than it is today if he wanted to say “No” Zionism and have the best possible chance of staying on that track when the Zionist lobby and its many stooges in Congress tried to push him off it.

Alan Hart has been engaged with events in the Middle East and their global consequences and terrifying implications – the possibility of a Clash of Civilisations, Judeo-Christian v Islamic, and, along the way, another great turning against the Jews – for nearly 40 years… Alan is author of “Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews” – www.alanhart.net…