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Israel and the barrel of gunpowder

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While the Muslim Brotherhood were guarantors of the implementation of the Camp David Accord (1978), the Egyptian revolution puts into question the conditions for peace with Israel.

Arab affairs

Editorial: Israel and the barrel of gunpowder
As soon as the Eilat operation occurred, it revived all the strategic fears which preoccupied the Israeli strategic mind since the fall of President Hosni Mubarak’s regime. The United States thus reacted and dispatched its Assistant Secretary of State Jeffery Feltman to try to reestablish the Egyptian authorities’ commitment to the Camp David accord, especially on the security level.
- Firstly: the Israeli talk about a southern front was resumed, but what is more dangerous in the Israeli viewpoint is the Palestinian turmoil reflected by the gatherings organized on Jerusalem Day in Al-Aqsa Mosque, around it and even on the checkpoints erected by the occupation to prevent the worshipers from reaching their destination to perform the prayer. Since the beginning of the year, the Israeli decision-making circles have been focusing on following the Palestinian popular mood, amid expectations surrounding the eruption of a new uprising in September which is supposed to be a decisive point in the action of the Palestinian authority to request the UN recognition of a fictive state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. But the situation becomes even more dangerous in light of the national awakening on the Egyptian street and the chronic Israeli complaint against the situation in Sinai. At this level the test of strength which followed the Eilat operation came to confirm the growing deterrence capabilities enjoyed by the resistance fighters who are defending the Strip that is still blockaded from all sides, including the Egyptian side of the border.
- Secondly, there is a lot of talk in the region and around the world about an upcoming and possible Israeli war. But the American planning centers and President Obama’s administration are asking the Israeli officials not to rush into any adventure and allow the repercussions of the Syrian events to take their course. They know very well –just like Tel Aviv- that any Israeli involvement in the regional events will change their path and provide an important opportunity for a Syrian national rallying behind Bashar al-Assad.
- Thirdly, the region today appears to be similar to a gunpowder barrel and despite the American efforts, Israel’s strategic security seems to be threatened by a new Palestinian uprising and an imminent transformation at the level of Egypt’s position towards the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Palestinian cause. In the meantime, Syria is regaining it strength in the resistance and independence bloc, while the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance movements are continuing to enhance their capabilities.

News analysis

The outcome of the Syrian Ramadan
The events of the last week of the month of Ramadan confirmed the bankruptcy of the Syrian opposition movements abroad and the confusion prevailing over the opposition movements on the domestic arena, while it turned out that the Muslim Brotherhood and the tafkiri wing are determined to lead the events toward military and security escalation through the terrorist operations that were carried out in more than one location, targeting security and military posts and featuring ambushes, attacks and kidnappings. The protests have clearly retreated despite the exposed attempts to say otherwise via websites and satellite channels participating in the instigation against Syria. All the calls throughout the month of Ramadan were unable to secure the implementation of the opposition’s threats to turn each day of Ramadan into a Friday, while the oppositionists were unable to ensure any mobilization in the Syrian cities and their media outlets consequently resorted to blackouts.
In the meantime, many oppositionists are recognizing that the external and internal opposition movements are divided, scattered and without a program, and that all the attempts to organize them and bring them together have failed. It would also be true to say that the Syrian opposition movements seem to be afraid of dialogue and political solutions, which is why they resorted to boycotting and negativity and exposed their submission to the colonial West and the Zionist lobbies in the United States and Europe before the Syrian public opinion.
The foreign interferences carry clear and specific goals to undermine Syrian national autonomy. And although some considered that what happened in Libya will motivate some in the Syrian opposition to request colonial intervention, the bloody Libyan experience itself will offer evidence proving the opposite, especially after the colonial pillaging and hegemony appetite has started to generate spontaneous comparisons - among the Syrian citizens - between the Libyan and Iraqi experiences. The new course adopted by Syria after the army was able to eliminate the main rebellion and terrorism pits in the country will witness the further enhancement of stability. As for the political solution launched by President Al-Assad, it will ensure a new stage marked by the transformations generated by the ratification of the parties, electoral, media and local administration laws.
Many surprises might emerge in the next few months, the least of which being a Palestinian uprising. We will also see a new chapter in the crisis of the financial collapses in the Western colonial states at the head of which is the United States, in parallel to qualitative possibilities that will be produced by the strengthening of the resisting Syria following its victory as a people and a command over the sabotage plan.

News analysis

Libya and the renewal of colonial control
The Libyan developments seized a lot of attention after the opposition forces entered Tripoli and following the official announcement of the intervention of American and European Special Forces on the ground, in addition to companies of mercenaries mobilized since the Benghazi uprising and including Israeli companies that are active in Africa. What firstly characterized the events was the United States’ and the Western colonial countries’ move to spread their power and influence over Libya at the expense of the Libyan people’s sovereignty and independence following the toppling of Gaddafi’s regime after decades of suffering, oppression and the pillaging of national wealth and the end of its proclaimed and unannounced tight relations with colonial circles. Colonel Gaddafi placed the fate of his regime in the hands of the colonial West a long time ago. Since the 70s of last century he eluded any practical commitment alongside Syria and the resistance forces in the East, while always resorting to verbal outbidding over Syria and these resistance forces in all the critical moments which the Arab-Zionist conflict went through. Indeed, following the first Zionist invasion in 1978, Gaddafi kidnapped Imam Moussa al-Sadr, Syria’s reliable ally and the founder of the Lebanese popular resistance, while following the Zionist occupation in 1982, he denied the victories of the resistance, turned against pan-Arabism and moved toward Africanism.
There are many factors which might explain the fall of Gaddafi’s regime, while there are many factors that might maintain some of his supporters in a number of strongholds on Libyan soil. But what is clear, is that NATO wishes to exploit these factors to extend the international tutelage and expand the deployment of NATO’s units over the Libyan territory, thus tightening its grip around the country’s future and guarantying the establishment of an authority that is affiliated with the West and will ensure the control over the oil resources.
If the West is seeking the renewal of colonial hegemony after it used Gaddafi and his regime throughout the last four decades, and if the tribal and regional conflicts are prone to resume following the recent events, the Libyan opposition powers that were able to control the capital will have to choose between an independentist project that would rebuild Libya on national and democratic bases, or the colonial circles’ project to establish a Banana Republic.

The Arab file

Syria
In an interview with the Syrian television, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in response to a question regarding the entry into the stage of security reassurance: “We cannot consider the security facet far away from all the other facets, i.e. the political, economic and social facets which are very important. It is important to know where we are and the reasons behind the current incidents, as it is important to know how to deal with them.” He added: “What is reassuring today is not the security situation that seems to have improved but the fact that the plan had completely different goals. What was requierd was to topple Syria within weeks and what protected the country was the awareness of the Syrian people. And this is what reassures us.”
On Wednesday, a Western resolution draft was distributed at the Security Council to impose sanctions on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and twenty figures in the regime, ban the exportation of arms to Syria and allow the states to search all the freights entering and exiting Syria in case there is information saying that they contain whichever types of weapons. Russian Ambassador at the UN Vitaly Churkin said that the resolution draft was being studied although he believed the time was not right for the imposition of sanctions. Russia and China boycotted the discussions at the Security Council while Russia distributed a counter resolution bill opposing any interference in Syrian affairs and calling for the support of the march towards reform.

Egypt
American Assistant Secretary of State Jeffery Feltman assured there were American contacts being made with Egypt and Israel to appease the situation between the two countries. For his part, Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammad Kamel Amro stressed the importance of the presence of the Egyptian ambassador in Israel during the current stage, describing it as a “necessity for Egypt’s interests.” In the meantime, thousands of Egyptians continued to demonstrate in front of the Israeli embassy in Cairo and Egypt’s provinces witnessed massive protests on Friday demanding the ousting of the Israeli ambassador, the summoning of the Egyptian ambassador from Tel Aviv, the severance of relations with the entity, the annulment of the Camp David accords and the imposition of Egyptian sovereignty over Sinai.

Libya
The Libyan revolutionaries gained control over the capital Tripoli while Colonel Muammar Gaddafi assured he will not surrender and urged the capital’s inhabitants to fight in its defense. On Tuesday, the Libyan revolutionaries were able to enter Muammar Gaddafi’s home in the Bab al-Azizyah compound in Tripoli after hours of violent confrontations. This was accompanied by NATO’s bombardment of the Bab al-Azizyah area.
Head of the Libyan transitional council Mustafa Abdul Jalil announced that the era of Muammar Gaddafi had ended and confirmed the attempts to build a democratic state within a moderate Islamic framework. He warned however that the next stage would not be paved with roses, calling on the Libyan revolutionaries to exert self-restraint and not to attack or pillage the Libyans among others in the capital Tripoli. On Wednesday, the transitional council offered a 1.7 million dollars reward to whoever arrests Gaddafi.
For their part, several states recognized the transitional council as being the sole legitimate representative of the Libyan people, at a time when the African Union refused to express such a recognition.

Palestine
The launching of rockets onto southern Israel proceeded in parallel to the Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip. In the meantime, the Israeli army arrested dozens of Hamas cadres in the West Bank. The number of victims resulting from the Israeli aggression since Thursday amounted to fifteen martyrs and forty eight wounded, including twelve children, twelve women, three elderly and one paramedic. On Friday at dawn, the Palestinian factions announced they reached an agreement to consecrate truce in Gaza under Egyptian auspices, and Hamas called on the Palestinian movements to commit to calm to prevent the occupation from exporting its crisis.

Yemen
The bloody battles escalated between the governmental forces and the tribesmen opposing the regime in the northern part of the capital Sana’a. In the meantime, the Yemeni combat jets launched new air raids against alleged positions of Al-Qaeda organization in the eastern part of the city of Zinjibar, the capital of the coastal Abyan province.
Prime Minister Ali Mohammad Majour returned to the Yemeni capital Sana’a from Saudi Arabia and assured that the remaining officials who were being treated in Saudi Arabia were recovering and that their return to the country was imminent.
Over thirty Yemeni personalities withdrew their membership from the national council, including twenty three southern figures.

Israeli file

A few hours after the Eilat operation which was carried out last week, its repercussions had spread out on the regional level after it placed many Israeli, Egyptian and Palestinian files at stake, namely the peace agreement with Egypt, Palestinian reconciliation and the truce. According to the papers issued this week, Israel violated the truce agreement and decided to retaliate against Hamas and the Islamic Jihad although none of them proclaimed responsibility for the operation. It thus forced the armed Palestinian organization to respond, while the Israeli army was caught off guard and could not reinstate calm.

For its part, Maariv revealed a message from Egypt to Israel saying that it will be difficult for the Egyptian government to confront the angry public opinion in case Israel were to launch a wide scale military operation against the Gaza Strip.

As for Haaretz, it tackled the mounting Turkish-Israeli crisis, especially with the imminent publication of the report of the UN-affiliated committee in regard to the Freedom Flotilla incident in 2009.

Lebanese affairs

Editorial: Nasrallah and the position towards the Syrian crisis
A wide political controversy was generated over Hezbollah’s position towards the events witnessed in Syria since last march. Unjust arrows were thus directed against Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah by some who are affiliated with the resistance movements and governed by the traditional leftist tendency which was once referred to by Lenin as being a worshiper of spontaneity, i.e. as being one that perceives any popular action with superficiality, while praising the form far away from the content. Some veteran progressive elements and orphan leftists thus poured their anger against Sayyed Nasrallah’s talk in which he assured in his first public tackling of the Syrian events that Hezbollah was standing alongside Syria’s command and people, called for the insistence on the resistance option and the introduction of reforms to increase Syria’s immunity and strength in the face of the colonial plan.
That day, the critics said that the Sayyed showed a practical position at the expense of the principles and assured that this practical position was due to the need for the alliance with Syria in the face of Israel, as though the struggle against the Zionist project in the region was a secondary battle without any principles. This conceals an arbitrary attempt to separate a critical issue which is national liberation and independence from political and social change, knowing that any transformation in the authority’s political shape stems from the principle of national sovereignty in order to serve popular will.
As for Sayyed Nasrallah’s recent statements, they were clear in regard to the reality of the partnership between the resistance and Syria which he announced was the one behind the prevention of the liquidation of the Palestinian cause and the protection of the Middle East from Israeli control. In the two speeches in which he tackled the Syrian events, Sayyed Nasrallah focused on the support of reform and assured he was confident that President Bashar al-Assad was committed to the reformatory project, warning against the goals behind the American and colonial interference in Syria which aims at pressuring the country and its command to succumb to the known American and Israeli dictations and conditions.

The Lebanese file
The American Time magazine carried an interview which it claimed its correspondent Nicholas Blanford conducted with one of the Hezbollah elements whose names were featured in the indictment into the assassination of Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri. Blanford denied having met any of the four elements and assured Al-Akhbar newspaper that the magazine’s editing body was the one that sent him the content of the interview from New York to be published in the context of his article.
Prime Minister Najib Mikati contacted the minister of justice and the prosecutor of the court of appeal who summoned Blanford to listen to his testimony. Following the hearing, the latter reiterated he did not conduct the interview and that the questions should be addressed to the person who did, mentioning that if the International Tribunal were to ask him to stand before it, he will repeat what he said to Mirza. In this context, a series of positions condemned the falsification of the interview to serve the instigation campaign targeting the resistance.
Head of the telecommunications committee in parliament Hassan Fadlallah held a press conference at the parliament’s headquarters to refute the indictment from a scientific perspective, with the participation of specialized experts and officials. Fadlallah said: “Relying on the telecom data is based on a series of assumptions that can lead to hundreds of possibilities.” He noted: “The international tribunal which is claiming to be working based on the highest standards of criminal justice completely disregarded what was proven by the most prominent international telecommunications commission affiliated with the United Nations in regard to Israel’s control over the Lebanese telecom sector.”
From Maroun al-Rass, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah announced he was standing alongside Syria and its command which is supporting the resistance in Lebanon and Palestine, not only on the moral and political levels. He then rejected the targeting of the army and said that whoever instigated against the resistance and the army and spoke on sectarian bases was serving Israel. In regard to the tribunal, he stressed it was without value.
The electricity plan was the only item on the agenda of the cabinet session held on Tuesday. Energy Minister Gibran Bassil went over the details of the project by use of all possible and human and technical means and answered - along with his team - all the questions and inquiries. In this context Minister Bassil said: “All the clarifications were presented and what is left is the political facet. It is unfortunate to introduce political calculations at the level of people’s right to have electricity.”
Deputy Walid Jumblatt informed As-Safir newspaper he rejected the logic of the last opportunity which aims at exerting pressures. He added: “There are two choices before the ministers of the National Struggle Front. Either their remarks over the electricity plan are taken into consideration to secure an agreement on clear bases or they hold on to their reservations. It is impossible to allocate 1.2 billion dollars to fund the first part of the plan, without there being any specific mechanism to guarantee its fate.”

Source
New Orient News

Wassim Raad

New Orient Center for Strategic Policies

 
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