Middle East affairs

Editorial: International Jerusalem Day

By Ghaleb Kandil

The International Jerusalem Day call issued by Imam Ayatollah Khomeini, the leader of the Islamic revolution in Iran and the founder of its republic, was among the pillars of the instatement of a liberation political system which takes pride in its cultural and civilizational identity and its progressive role in resisting colonialism and Zionism. Iran, mixed words with actions, ever since that time, and its stringent position in support of the liberation of Palestine and of stripping the Zionist occupation’s grip of the Islamic and Christian sanctities, constituted a motive to embrace the resistance movements in strategic partnership with the independent and the pro-liberation Syrian state that is opposed to Zionism and colonialism.
Today, Iran is a regional and international power but is targeted by all sorts of pressures and threats due to its position vis-à-vis the Palestinian cause. Moreover, many Arab states are hostile to it due to the strong popular sympathy enjoyed by the Iranian liberation policy and the admiration from which Iran benefits among the populations and elite groups alike, because of its scientific, industrial and military progress and its liberation initiatives against colonial hegemony over the East. This year, Jerusalem is facing the most serious Judaization conspiracy ever since it was entirely occupied in 1967. In addition, the sanctities located in it are threatened with destruction and elimination, at a time when the Zionists are trying to change its historical facet within the context of the Judaization plan, while producing a fictive image of the Zionist tale about the alleged temple.
All the Arab governments that are part of the Western hegemony system and especially some Gulf governments among them, do not wish to hear the word Jerusalem to begin with and are working day and night to preoccupy the Arab public with sectarian instigation to besiege Iran. Despite their tyrannical character and blatant submission to Western colonialism, they are trying to promote their implication in the plan to destroy Syria in order to serve Israel as being a plan in support of the calls for democracy and freedom spread by the American rhetoric within the countries of the region, in order to cover up the wars of hegemony and dismantlement which also aim at serving Israel and its control over this part of the world.
Iran is the capable power on which the free in Palestine, in the Arab world and around the globe are relying and is a key partner in the front opposed to Western hegemony. Moreover, it is a key partner in the free East whose final materialization requires the liberation of Palestine and the undermining of the Zionist base. Syrian-Iranian partnership, which was built around Palestine, Jerusalem and the resistance, was and will continue to constitute a backup for the resistance movements in Lebanon and Palestine against the Zionist entity. The International Jerusalem Day aims at promoting a resisting popular awareness in the region, one which is wanted to be directed away from the ongoing Judaization and settlement activities on the Palestinian land and in the heart of the Holy City. In the meantime, the conspiracy is ongoing to destroy the accomplishments of the resistance system which deterred Israel, cost it its status and paralyzed its ability to wage wars and hostile adventures in the region.

News analysis: America and terrorism: supporting and condemning it at the same time.

By Mirna Karouny

Following the September 2001 events, during which the two World Trade Center towers were detonated and destroyed causing the US government to accuse nineteen people linked to Al-Qaeda organization of having carried out the attacks by using hijacked civilian aircrafts, United States gave itself the right and pretext to dispatch its armies to the Arab world, establish bases in the Arab countries and proclaim war on terrorism. The beginning was in Afghanistan where the Taliban regime was toppled, followed by the war on Iraq where the regime was also brought down and the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 2006 to get rid of Hezbollah, which is a terrorist organization in the US dictionary. This last invasion also went in line with the statements of Condoleezza Rice in regard to the New Middle East, one in which Israel would be a strong nuclear state imposing its control over the Arabs. But the Lebanese resistance gave a painful blow to Israel and in 2011, with the launching of the so-called Arab Spring, America used the spontaneous popular revolutions and allowed intervention in Tunisia, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, Egypt and finally in Syria.
Whether in its direct interferences or the ones it is carrying out by proxy, the United States is using the takfiri terrorist factions which it previously used and whose formation it sponsored since the eighties of last century. Many thought that after September 11, the United States stopped using the tafkiri factions. Nonetheless, many suspicions surround the support it provided them in Iraq following the occupation and in Iran where the Jundallah organization is connected to it. And once again, takfiri terrorism is emerging in a multi-national mobilization on Syrian soil, with American support and facilitations to destroy Syria. The United States obstructed all the initiatives aiming at reaching a global and clear definition of terrorism. Hence, it identified the principle of terrorism in a way going in line with its military policies, its exploitation of the oil wealth in the Arab states and its attempts to control the Arab governments.
The US commitment to the enhancement of Israel’s role and the protection of its existence as a dominating power is the only principle prevailing over US’s dictionary in regard to terrorism, considering that Israel is a terrorist base practicing organized killing and oppression against an entire population. The takfiri terrorist factions in Sinai are considered to be practicing terrorism by the United States because they are threatening Israeli security. In Syria, they are part of the so-called Free Army which is supported and funded by the United States. Hence, the legitimacy of the method is justified by the Americans based on the extent to which they serve its or Israel’s interests.
It is based on these double standards that those who carried out the attack against the WTC towers in New York were themselves freedom knights who were granted medals at the White House when they fought the Soviet Union in Afghanistan under the command of an international alliance led by Washington.

News analysis: The Tehran conference

The conference held by the Iranian command under the headline of the preparation for initiatives that would ensure a political solution in Syria, is an event which will characterize the next stage. The attempts to downplay the conference’s importance by saying that the attendance will only be at the level of ambassadors is without value, seeing how the event will be held with the participation of thirty states which will compose the international club for a political solution, in the face of another international club sponsored by France and aiming at imposing a military solution in the name of Syria’s friends.
The value of diplomatic activities resides in their timing. This is why Tehran waited to test the results of the French-Turkish-Gulf military solution in Homs and Damascus, the beginning of its collapse in Aleppo and Annan’s discovery of the scam on which he was appointed secretary general. Tehran read into the outcome of the transformation which affected the voting over the Saudi resolution bill at the United Nations, considering that around fifty states exited the military solution club, in exchange for one hundred and thirty which supported it. Tehran undertook the initiative and thirty states cooperated with it. We thus saw the formation of an alliance which will come together in later conferences in a way reflecting the transformations affecting the international equations, not just in Syria, but also around the world.
Thirty states constituting more than half the world on the demographic, geographic, economic and military levels will become fifty, while the opposite alliance will retreat to one hundred. Is a new world order being born at the level of ambassadors? The answer is yes.

Arab File

• The regular forces, in cooperation with the Aleppo population, imposed their full control over the Salah al-Din neighborhood in Aleppo, thus afflicting the armed terrorist groups with major losses and causing the fall of many dead and wounded among their elements. Some news agencies mentioned that the armed men in the city of Aleppo abandoned their posts in the neighborhood while fleeing the army forces that were able to impose their control. On the other hand, hundreds of people demonstrated in Sidney in Australia in support of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and in rejection of any foreign intervention in the conflict.
• President Bashar al-Assad met with the head of the Iranian Higher National Security Council, Sa’id Jalili, and the delegation accompanying him. During the meeting, they discussed bilateral and strategic relations between Syria and the Islamic Republic of Iran, the situation in the Middle East and the ongoing attempts deployed by some Western states and their allies in the region to strike the resistance axis by targeting Syria with terrorism to undermine its security and stability.
• The Syrian government revealed that Prime Minister Riad Hijab had been ousted from his post following his defection, adding that Syria was a state of institutions not individuals and that this defection will not affect the cohesion and strength of the Syrian state. President Bashar al-Assad issued a decree to appoint Wael Nader al-Halki, the former health minister, as the new prime minister of the Syrian government.
• A consultative meeting was held in Tehran with the participation of more than thirty states to discuss the situation in Syria under the slogan “the rejection of violence and the support of national dialogue.” Among the most prominent participating states in the meeting were Russia, China, India, Brazil and Pakistan. In his inauguration speech, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi assured that the goal behind the consultative meeting was to support the Syrian people and seek solutions to end the violence and exit the crisis.

• Fifteen Egyptian policemen, including an officer, were killed and seven others were wounded in an attack launched by unidentified armed men who are likely affiliated with a takfiri group in the area. The Egyptian armed forces accused elements from the Gaza Strip of being implicated in the attack, at a time when army units were deployed in Sinai following the armed attack in the Egyptian city of Rafah on Sunday. For their part, Egyptian security sources said that contacts were launched with the security bodies in Gaza and the Hamas-led government to close the tunnels indefinitely and prevent the entry of any people from the Palestinian side across the border into Egypt. At this level, President Mohammad Morsi said that the army will impose its full control over the Sinai Peninsula, in parallel to the army’s pledge that it will quickly retaliate against the perpetrators of the attack “whether they are inside or outside the country.”

• The Palestine committee meeting with the Non-Aligned states organization was cancelled after Israel prevented four foreign ministers from entering the Palestinian territories, as it was announced by a Palestinian official. For his part, a senior Israeli official said on condition of anonymity: “A decision was made to prevent the foreign ministers of several states that do not recognize Israel from crossing the border with Israel.” At this level, member in the Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee Hanan Ashrawi said that Israel was practicing political blackmail by preventing foreign ministers from meeting in the West Bank.

• The national transitional council in Libya surrendered power to the national congress which emerged from the July 7 elections, during a symbolic ceremony which registered the first peaceful transfer of power in more than forty years. The head of the national transitional council, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, symbolically surrendered power to the head of the 200 members in the national congress. The two men then signed a document which said: “The national transitional council surrenders its constitutional prerogatives to lead the country to the national congress which, from this moment on, is the sole and legitimate representative of the Libyan people and the one responsible for the protection of Libya’s independence and security and for the upholding of the unity of its soil.”

Saudi Arabia
• The population of the city of Taef in the eastern part of the Land of the Hejaz, took to the streets of the city in protest against the authorities’ oppressive practices and the ongoing arrests targeting the citizens who are demanding their right to freedom and democracy.

Israeli File

• Two prominent events seized the attention of the Israeli papers issued this week. The first was carried by Haaretz which stated that Iran achieved major progress - which was much greater than expected - at the level of its nuclear project, indicating that new information was made available to the West two months ago, confirming that Iran achieved major progress in its attempts to develop its nuclear capabilities. Haaretz thus quoted an Israeli official it described as being prominent as saying that the Iranian sword brandished against Israel today was much stronger than the one which existed prior to the 1967 war.
• The second topic was the attack which targeted a checkpoint in Sinai and claimed the lives of sixteen Egyptian border guard elements. At this level, Maariv said that after the targeting of the Egyptian soldiers in Sinai, the Israeli government demanded the deployment of Egyptian commando units inside the Sinai Peninsula to contain the security situation in the area. For its part, Yediot Aharonot quoted Defense Minister Ehud Barak as saying in this context that the operation constituted an alarm bell for Egypt that ought to push it to assume its responsibilities.
• On the other hand, Yediot Aharonot also mentioned that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia recently conveyed to the Israeli government a message of threat via the United States, saying that it will shoot down the Israeli aircrafts if they were to infiltrate the Saudi airspace on their way to strike Iran. The paper continued that Israeli political and military sources perceived this Saudi message as being part of the American pressures exerted on Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to prevent Israel from launching any attacks against Iran without coordination with or approval from President Barack Obama’s administration.

Lebanese affairs

News analysis: The way to prevent strife is clear

The attempts to generate sectarian and denominational conflicts in the Arab and Islamic region in order to tear it apart are still ongoing. Hence, the Israelis are starting to talk about the dismantlement of Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, while the American planners are trying to drown major states in the great Middle East - such as Iran and Pakistan - in sectarian bloodbaths, by using terrorist organizations that are mobilized and trained under the banner of the movement for the liberation of Baluchistan and other headlines carried by Takfiri formations.
 Firstly, for years now, Lebanon has been living in fear of sectarian strife. This threat is very serious and realistic and attempts were recently deployed to generate frictions on the field and get the situation out of control. The planners recently implemented many scenarios to serve that purpose, by transferring for example the Northern battles which erupted against the Lebanese army and the security forces into a friction line between Bab al-Tebenneh and Jabal Mohsen, by provoking clashes in Tarik al-Jdideh or carrying out the kidnapping of the Lebanese hostages by armed Syrian gangs.
 Secondly, the planners were relying on the instigation of sectarian reactions, the spread of a state of security anarchy and the provocation of kidnappings, killings and assaults. They tried to cause a clash or armed skirmishes at any price and failed due to a stringent decision adopted by the Amal and Hezbollah commands to contain strife. Following their failure, they assigned Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir to carry out the mission on their behalf. Consequently, the latter issued his provocative statements, but was unable to push toward a sectarian reaction although he exceeded all limits, and despite the judicial and security failure to fight the instigation and the complete media frenzy which surrounded these events.
 Thirdly, the blocking of the road leading to the South from Sidon’s Eastern highway, shed light on the path that should be adopted to confront strife. Indeed, the rise of the national leaders in Sidon imposed a new popular and political balance, which stripped the action of its content and undermined its goals. Hence, the planners started seeking an exit, which led to the ending of the sit-in and the withdrawal of Al-Assir and his group from the main road, amid signs pointing to the convergence between the Future Movement’s command and the group trying to generate strife both domestically and abroad.
 Fourthly, the conclusion we should draw is that the national powers can topple the strife plans through their role within the Sunni sect, one which is widely committed to the resistance option and the Arab national identity. The national powers and the command of the resistance in Lebanon in particular showed great patience in dealing with many sensitive issues in order to uphold the main priority, i.e. the prevention of strife. The opponents of the resistance used this as an opportunity to carry out blackmail and provocation, while wagering on the silence of the resistance and its allies. Hence, the insistence on national unity became a point of weakness, in a way going against any logic.
The experience witnessed during the last few months revealed that the national Sunni leaders who are stringent at the level of their positions are reliable partners who can be counted on to prevent the bloody attempts deployed by the Gulf intelligence networks that are implicated in the American-Israeli plan. The shortcomings at the level of enhancing this key dimension are what we mainly focused on when we criticized the behavior of the Lebanese national alliance since 2005.

Lebanese File

• In an unprecedented, unconstitutional and illegal development, the Information Branch in the Internal Security Forces arrested former minister and deputy Michel Samaha in a police operation which featured the storming of his house in the Al-Jwar town in Al-Metn, and his accusation of having committed “the sin of his life” by preparing assassinations and mobile strife projects in the North.
• In the absence of a unified official source of information, Al-Diyar newspaper said that Michel Samaha was the victim of politics. It added that because the security bodies had previous records of recruitment, they were abele to recruit a group to set up Samaha while believing they had earned a precious treasure as it happened in the case of Fayez Karam. The paper continued that the attempt failed this time around and that day after day, it will become clearer how Samaha was the political victim of a dangerous security game that will not protect any among citizens.
• According to the tale of the Information Branch, a man whose name carries the initials M.K. came to the Information Branch headquarters around three weeks ago, and informed its head General Wissam al-Hassan that Samaha had asked him to get a group of reliable men to transfer bombs to the Northern region and detonate them in the area in exchange for a sum of money. The tale added that Al-Hassan was very surprised Prosecutor Judge Sa’id Mirza who had not yet retired, and told him about this recent confession. Consequently, Mirza asked that a request by filed to the Prosecution to provide the informant with legal protection, before he earned security protection from the Information Branch. When M.K. was told about these measures, he asked the security officials: “If the mission fails, you must make sure that my family and I travel abroad.” He received a subsequent promise and was provided with a small pen equipped with a camera. A short while later, contact was established between Samaha and M.K. and they agreed to meet in Samaha’s office in Ashrafieh. During the meeting, M.K. recorded all the details and surrendered them the next day to al-Hassan. The tapes featured talk about the bombs, their transportation to the North, their detonation in any major gathering in Akkar and the targeting of any important figure.
• This is the tale which was promoted by the Information Branch to target the team to which Samaha belongs. However, the wide condemnation campaign provoked by Samaha’s arrest and the way the events started unfolding later on, forced the head of Internal Security Forces, General Ashraf Rifi, and head of the Information Branch, General Wissam al-Hassan, to conduct a tour to earn political support in favor of their new targeting campaign. At this level, they visited President of the Republic Michel Suleiman and surprisingly, Druze leader Walid Jumblatt.

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