Saturday 22 May 2021

Russia: White Helmets Planning New Gas Attack Outrage in Syria

By VT Editors -May 21, 2021

Damascus will be holding presidential elections on 26 May even though the government still does not control the province of Idlib, where the opposition and terrorist groups are in charge. It also does not control the country’s north-east, seized by the Kurdish militia backed by US forces.

The Al-Nusra Front* terrorist group is amassing chemicals in the Idlib de-escalation zone in Syria’s north in order to use them against the civilian population, the Russian Foreign Ministry has warned. According to the ministry, the terrorists are planning to carry out the provocation in the form of time-tested false-flag chemical attacks with the help of the White Helmets.

The White Helmets group calls itself a volunteer organisation and was established by former UK Army officer James Le Mesurier to allegedly help the victims of the Syrian civil war. However, they’ve often been spotted working hand-in-hand with terrorists from the Al-Nusra Front* and, according to Russian authorities citing witnesses, helped the group stage false-flag chemical attacks pretending to be assisting victims.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said that it obtained the information about the planned false-flag attack from a reliable source. The ministry stressed that the attack is scheduled to take place ahead of a crucial moment for Syria – the presidential election on 26 May.

“We express the hope that the disclosure of this information may help disrupt these criminal plans and prevent the deaths of innocent people”, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

The western media and governments have repeatedly accused Damascus of using chemical weapons against its own citizens in the war against the opposition and terrorists. Following the first accusations, the government agreed to destroy all of its stockpiles of chemical weapons under the surveillance of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). While Damascus destroyed its chemical armaments by June 2014, it warned that terrorists controlling some regions of the country, including Syrian Army warehouses, might still possess some.

Despite the supervised destruction of chemical weapons, western governments once again accused Damascus of using them in Douma, a city not far from the capital, on 7 April 2018. That attack was reported by the White Helmets, who published videos showing them purportedly treating survivors of the alleged attack. Although Damascus denied the act, the US, UK, and France launched airstrikes against Syrian government objectives claiming it was retaliation for the alleged chemical attack.

Smoke is rising over town of Saraqib, Syria's Idlib Governorate

Terrorists Preparing Provocations Using Poisonous Substances in Syria’s Idlib, Russian Military Says

Russian chemical and military experts later found individuals who witnessed the actions of the White Helmets and who testified that there was no chemical attack and that members of the pseudo-humanitarian group simply grabbed them from off the street, poured water on them, and injected unknown medicine pretending to treat them for exposure to chemical weapons. Despite their testimonies, the OPCW failed to officially recognise the Douma incident as a false-flag attack.


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VT Editors is a General Posting account managed by Jim W. Dean and Gordon Duff. All content herein is owned and copyrighted by Jim W. Dean and Gordon Duff

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“Israeli” Military Official: What We Experienced in Gaza Just Tip of the Iceberg if Hezbollah Enters the Scene

“Israeli” Military Official: What We Experienced in Gaza Just Tip of the Iceberg if Hezbollah Enters the Scene

By Staff

Former “Israeli” official, Major General Yitzhak Brick, shed light on various aspects of diplomatic and security failures all over the Zionist arena.

“Despite what the ‘Israeli’ army spokesman will say, this is a huge victory for Hamas,” Brick said, noting that “Hamas can decide at any hour and at any moment to start shooting because it doesn’t like someone in ‘Israel’.”

He further mentioned: “The next multi-arena war will foresee a massive catastrophe, in human casualties and tens of thousands of injuries, the destruction of strategic infrastructure, economic, transportation and government institutions.”

“It is now possible to mention those responsible for the situation, on both security and political levels, who have caused the army to lose ground in the past few years,” the “Israeli” military official stated.

According to Brick, “What we experienced during the ‘Guardian of Walls’ in Gaza resembles a tip of the iceberg compared what will happen if Hezbollah enters the scene.”

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A Unified Palestine, the Occupier’s Greatest Defeat


A Unified Palestine, the Occupier’s Greatest Defeat

By Faisal al-Ashmar

The Zionist enemy worked for decades to separate the West Bank from Gaza, and when it withdrew from Gaza in 2005, it thought that it had given the Palestinians freedom and the territory that would make them forget about the rest of the occupied Palestinian cities. Since in Gaza, they can form a State they want, they can exercise whatever sovereignty they want, and may God protect the Gazans from fighting.

While in the West Bank, Palestinians have a State and authority, a Government and a flag, and it is okay to exercise all means to create disputes between the West Bank and Gaza, so the more the Palestinians are divided, the better and more beneficial it is.

Throughout the military confrontations between the Palestinians and the enemy, the battlefield was only in Gaza and the surrounding Zionist settlements, and the enemy has always been the initiator of the war, under or without a pretext, and Gaza has been defending itself by its men and weapons.

In the recent confrontation in which hostilities ceased at dawn on Friday, Gaza crossed into all of Palestine, and it was the first time when Palestinians decides to start the fight. The first missiles launched from Gaza were a gift from the Gazans to their Maqdessis, who celebrated watching them fill their sky as if they were carrying Gaza’s longing for al-Quds and Gaza’s decisive decision that the resistance is for all Palestine and that the men of Gaza were ready to start a war – for the first time – for the sake of al-Quds and its people.

We also saw the people of the occupied Palestinian cities and villages since 1948, rising up a major intifada, striking the biggest strikes, linking between East Palestine [the West Bank] and West Palestine [Gaza] indifferent to the enemy’s arms and threats, participating in the confrontation and the war in their own way and as far as they can, and confirming once again, to the enemy and the entire world, that they are Palestinians above all and Palestinians after all.

It is true that it was the enemy’s military defeat, but the greatest defeat was by this great Palestinian unity, and by the strong interdependence of all members of the unified Palestine. So if the enemy attacks even a small member such as the Sheikh Jarrah’s neighborhood, the rest will be there for it with jihad and resistance.

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جعجع… قاطع الطرق

فراس الشوفي

الجمعة 21 أيار 2021

جعجع... قاطع الطرق
(هيثم الموسوي)

يمتهن سمير جعجع قطع الطرقات، ولذلك هو قاطع طرق. قطع في الماضي الطريق على السلم الأهلي، واليوم يحاول قطع الطريق على التغيّرات الإقليمية وانعكاساتها في لبنان، كما قطع قبل عام ونصف العام الطريق على اللبنانيين وبالأمس على السوريين بهراوات من الحقد، وحجارة من الجهل، اعتدى عددٌ من أنصار حزب القوات اللبنانية في منطقتي نهر الكلب وجل الديب، على سياراتٍ وحافلات تقلّ ناخبين سوريين أثناء توجّههم للمشاركة في الانتخابات الرئاسية السورية، في مقرّ السفارة في اليرزة.


وبالتوازي، كانت مجموعات أخرى، تضمّ خليطاً من «متعصّبين» في بلدتي سعدنايل وتعلبايا، وعلى خط الساحل الجنوبي في خلدة والناعمة من بقايا مجموعات أحمد الأسير، تعترض أيضاً طريق السوريين، في عملٍ هجين من العنف والجهل، أنتج ما لا يقل عن عشرين جريحاً تعرّضوا للضرب بآلات حادة.

هذا المشهد، لم يأت من فراغ، إنّما من قرار تخريبي اتخذه رئيس حزب القوات اللبنانية سمير جعجع قبل يومين، وعبّر عنه أول من أمس بسلسلة تغريدات دعا فيها إلى طرد الناخبين الذين يقترعون لصالح الرئيس بشّار الأسد في الانتخابات، معطياً الضوء الأخضر لمجموعات الشغب للاعتداء على الأبرياء لمجرّد أنّهم يمارسون حقّهم في التعبير عن موقفهم السياسي. كلام جعجع، سرعان ما لاقاه بيانٌ تحريضي آخر من النائب السابق خالد الضاهر، صاحب بطولات التحريض على القوميين الاجتماعيين في حلبا، والتي أنتجت مجزرةً بحقّ 11 شهيداً عام 2008. الضاهر لم يتكف بالتحريض، إنّما لفّق موقفاً عن لسان مفوضية شؤون اللاجئين التابعة للأمم المتّحدة، إذ ذكر في بيانه أن المفوضيّة تطالب بقائمة أسماء الناخبين لتزيلهم من لوائح النازحين الخاصة بها، في محاولة لثنيهم عن الاقتراع. في المقابل، أكّدت الناطقة باسم المفوضية ليزا أبو خالد لـ«الأخبار» أن كلام الضاهر عارٍ من الصّحة، وأن «التصويت لن يؤدّي إلى فقدان صفة اللاجئ».

لا يمكن قراءة حركة جعجع، إلّا من ضمن سياق الخيبات السياسيّة التي تعرّض لها مشروعه في الآونة الأخيرة، محليّاً وإقليمياً ودولياً. ومن التأثير النفسي لمشهد الناخبين السوريين وما يعنيه الأمر من إعلان استفتاء على الشرعيّة الشعبية والدولية للرئيس بشّار الأسد، التي ظهرت من خلال فتح السفارات السورية مقراتها في العديد من دول العالم للناخبين، لا سيّما في دول الخليج وعلى رأسها الإمارات.

لطالما استند جعجع منذ خروجه من السجن في 2003، إلى تطرّف الموقف الخليجي، لكي يبني موقفه الهجومي على سوريا والمقاومة وإيران، مستفيداً من الرغبة الأميركية في التصعيد بالداخل اللبناني. ثم لاحقاً، تسلّح جعجع بالنازحين لابتزاز الدولة السورية بمواطنيها، وسعى، مع آخرين، إلى تخريب كل جهود عودتهم بالمواقف المتطرّفة كجزء من حملة الاستغلال الدولية بالسوريين في آتون الحرب. وهو أيضاً اشترك في دعم المجموعات الإرهابية، على الأقل إعلامياً، فيما يملك أكثر من طرف لبناني، معطيات عن علاقات ربطت أمنيين (سابقين؟) في القوات بمقاتلين من «جبهة النصرة»، لتمرير الأسلحة وتأمين أماكن آمنة لهم في عددٍ من المناطق الجبلية.

ليس تشبيهاً قاسياً مقارنة موقف «إسرائيل» من المتغيّرات الدولية والإقليمية وموقف جعجع

See the source image

صحيح أن جعجع يمثّل ما تبقّى من تيار شوفيني لبناني – مسيحي متطرّف في الشكل ضد «الغريب»، لكنّه في المضمون يختار «الغريب» على هواه. فإذا كان الغريب معادياً لسوريا والمقاومة، فهو محلّ ترحيب، أمّا إن كان القريب مؤيّداً للمقاومة، فهو غريبٌ وخصمٌ وجب مهاجمته والتحريض عليه. تماماً، كما كانت علاقة جعجع بياسر عرفات نهاية الثمانينات: عداء للمقاومة الفلسطينية، ثم علاقات مفتوحة وتلقّي الأموال من حركة فتح عندما اشتعل الخلاف بين أبو عمار ودمشق.

ومن لا يذكر دعوات جعجع لـ«حكم الإخوان»، ودفاعه عن «غزوة الأشرفية» وكلام مي شدياق عن أن «عودة النازحين السوريين لن تتمّ ولو على دمائنا»؟

بكل الأحوال، إن الأجواء الدولية والإقليمية، تجعل جعجع في موقفٍ متوتّر. فالاندفاعة العربية نحو سوريا بعد انتصارها على الإرهاب وثبات الدولة وتوسّع الغول التركي، يصيب جعجع بخسارةٍ كبيرة. كما أن الحوار الإيراني – السعودي المستمر بمعزلٍ عن مفاوضات الملفّ النووي الإيراني، والغضب السعودي على الرئيس سعد الحريري، تعني أيضاً سقوطاً لخطاب جعجع التحريضي ضد إيران وحزب الله، وتعني مستقبلاً تهدئةً في لبنان أو تسويةً بالحدّ الأدنى، لا مكان لجعجع فيها، لا سيّما في ظلّ خطوط الاتصال الجديدة بين الرئيس ميشال عون والمملكة العربية السعودية، بعد أن راهن جعجع على سقوط العهد في الشارع.

أما على أرض فلسطين المحتلة، فإن التحوّلات التي واكبت انتفاضة الفلسطينيين على كامل التراب الفلسطيني، والقلق الوجودي الذي تعيشه «إسرائيل» الآن، يعني أن كل الخطط التي بنيت على مرحلة ما بعد إعلان يهودية الدولة، قد تعرضّت لانتكاسة كبرى، فسقطت صفقة القرن بالضربة القاضية.

See the source image

ليس تشبيهاً قاسياً، إن جرت مقارنة موقف «إسرائيل» من سلسلة المتغيّرات الدولية والإقليمية، وموقف جعجع، بحيث تبدو إسرائيل أكبر الخاسرين في الإقليم، ويبدو جعجع أكبر الخاسرين في لبنان.

من هنا، يمكن تفكيك سلوك جعجع أمس، وفي الأيام والأسابيع المقبلة، والنزعة التخريبية عنده. فلا شيء يمكن أن يوقف التحوّلات سوى فتنةً كبرى في لبنان، لا يبدو أن أحداً مستعداً لها غير جعجع، تماماً كما كان موقفه في العام 1994، عندما حاول قطع الطريق على مشهد استقرار ما بعد الحرب. ربّما برّأ المجلس العدلي جعجع من جريمة تفجير كنيسة سيّدة النجاة، التي اعترف العميل اللحدي جريس الخوري بوضع المتفجّرة فيها، لكنّه أدان رئيس القوّات بـ«تأليف عصابة أشرار».

اليوم أيضاً، جعجع ألّف عصابة أشرار هدفها قطع الطرقات، قطع الطرقات على الناس وقطع الطرقت على التهدئة وقطع الطرقات لمنع التحوّلات الإقليمية من أن تنعكس على لبنان. وهي مارست أيضاً قطع الطرقات على مدى العامين الأخيرين مستغلةً حالة الغضب الشعبي. قد تردّ القوات اليوم بنفي علاقتها بما حصل بالأمس، إلّا أنها فعلت الأمر عينه طوال العامين الماضين بالتبرؤ من قطع الطرقات، حتى خرج قبل أيام الوزير ملحم رياشي وأكّد المؤكّد. فهل ننتظر رياشي بعد عام أو عامين ليكشف عن دور القوات في الاعتداء على السوريين الآمنين أمس؟

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Terrorizing and Massacring Civilians Israel’s Specialty


Victorious Gaza

By Stephen Lendman

Global Research, May 21, 2021

Israeli terror-bombing and shelling of besieged Gazans continues in its 11th day with no letup so far.

Unindicted war criminal Netanyahu says he’s “determined” to keep massacring Gazans and terrorizing Palestinians throughout the Occupied Territories until his diabolical aims are achieved.

A readout of Wednesday’s conversation between him and Biden’s impersonator was more head-fake deception than a White House call for “significant de-escalation today on the path to a ceasefire (sic).”

For 73 years, the US aided, abetted, and financed the worst of Israeli high crimes of war, against humanity, slow-motion genocide of the Palestinian people, and preemptive wars against neighboring states.

In the past week, the Biden regime blocked three Security Council (SC) joint statements that called for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas — showing its dominant hardliners support war, not resolution.

On Wednesday in response to a French draft SC statement, jointly supported by Egypt and Jordan — that states “(t)he shooting must stop.” 

“The time has come for a ceasefire and the UN Security Council must take up the issue,” the Orwellian response of the Biden regime’s UN mission was as follows:

“(W)e will not support (what furthers deescalation and ceasefire) actions that we believe undermine efforts to de-escalate (sic).”

According to an unnamed French source, Wednesday discussions on the above joint proposal at the UN were “very intense.”

See the source image

Separately from Beirut, Lebanon,  Islamic Jihad official Ziad Nakhaleh said neither nuclear weapons, warplanes or peace agreements between Israel and some Arab states achieved regional peace and security, adding:

Gazan resistance against Israeli state terror “made miracles that you can see with your own eyes and you live them every moment when you run to shelters.”

He referred to Strip responses to longstanding Israeli state terror against millions of long-suffering Palestinians under militarized occupation.

Because of increased dispossession of Palestinians from their homes on their own land, “we had two choices, to surrender and to give them everything or fight them over everything,” he explained.

One-sided US-dominated Western support for the highest of high Israeli high crimes permits its ruling regimes to do whatever they damn please with impunity — no matter how egregiously in breach of international law.Israeli War on Gaza Over Kites?

As for long-suffering Palestinians, rhetorical Western concern for their rights and welfare is hollow.

It’s virtually never followed by actions with teeth on their behalf. 

Support for apartheid Israel has always been and remains entirely one-sided.

In January 2006, Hamas democratically won a Palestinian legislative majority over pro-Israeli puppet rule under Fatah.

Yet in October 1997 at the behest of Israel, the Clinton co-presidency false designated Hamas a “foreign terrorist organization” — what it never was and isn’t now.

At the time in response to what Israel urged, Hezbollah was falsely given the same designation.

Its officials are part of Lebanon’s elected government.

In May 2018 general elections, its candidates and allies won a 67-seat majority of parliament’s 128 seats – equally divided between Muslims and Christians. 

At the time, Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah called parliamentary results a “political and moral victory” for the resistance — giving the group and its allies power to veto legislation they consider unacceptable.

For self-defense against threatened Israeli aggression, its ruling authorities maintain a military wing.

Much stronger today than during Israel’s 2006 aggression against Lebanon, embarrassing IDF ground forces at the time, it’s a force to be reckoned with if the Jewish state again preemptively attacks the Lebanese people.

In April 2019, the Trump regime falsely designated Iran’s military — the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)— a terrorist organization even though the Islamic Republic never attacked another nation preemptively or threatened one except in self-defense if attacked, the UN Charter right of all nations.

In stark contrast, aggression is what the US, NATO and Israel are guilty of time and again.

The world community of nations for peace, stability and compliance with the rule of law should designate them terrorist organizations.

Overnight Wednesday, Israel continued to terror-bomb and shell Gazan residential areas.

According to the Strip’s health ministry, at least 64 children and 38 women was massacred so far, the overall death toll around 230 — numbers that keep rising by the hour.

Interviewed on French television Wednesday, South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa said the following:

“Palestinians want their own self-determination rights.” 

“They want their own state. They want to be able to run their own affairs and have freedom, and not have to be restricted to move around.”

Israel denies them “their rights” as affirmed under international law.

It’s an “apartheid” state. “I have no other reference point to describe what the Israelis are doing against the Palestinians.”

According to political analyst Omar Baddar, “Israeli leadership understands that…they are completely free to carry on with their massive assault against Gaza’s civilian population.”

No US/Western actions against the Jewish state will follow.

For 73 years, Israel has been free to commit the most egregious high crimes with impunity.

The US-dominated West and world community never did anything to hold its ruling authorities accountable for Nuremberg-level high crimes.

Nothing punitive will follow its ongoing rape and destruction of Gaza — for the fourth time since December 2008.

Nor will anything be done to halt its state terror against Palestinian civilians throughout the Occupied Territories.


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Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG).

VISIT MY WEBSITE: (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at

My two Wall Street books are timely reading:

“How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion, and Class War”

“Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity”

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Unity at Last: The Palestinian People Have Risen


May 21, 2021

The Palestinian people observe a nationwide general strike to protest Israel’s relentless bombardment of the besieged Gaza Strip. (Photo: via Al-Haq)

By Ramzy Baroud

From the outset, some clarification regarding the language used to depict the ongoing violence in occupied Palestine, and also throughout Israel. This is not a ‘conflict’. Neither is it a ‘dispute’ nor ‘sectarian violence’ nor even a war in the traditional sense.

It is not a conflict, because Israel is an occupying power and the Palestinian people are an occupied nation. It is not a dispute, because freedom, justice and human rights cannot be treated as if a mere political disagreement. The Palestinian people’s inalienable rights are enshrined in international and humanitarian law and the illegality of Israeli violations of human rights in Palestine is recognized by the United Nations itself.

If it is a war, then it is a unilateral Israeli war, which is met with humble, but real and determined Palestinian resistance.

Actually, it is a Palestinian uprising, an Intifada unprecedented in the history of the Palestinian struggle, both in its nature and outreach.

For the first time in many years, we see the Palestinian people united, from Jerusalem Al Quds, to Gaza, to the West Bank and, even more critically, to the Palestinian communities, towns and villages inside historic Palestine – today’s Israel.

This unity matters the most, is far more consequential than some agreement between Palestinian factions. It eclipses Fatah and Hamas and all the rest, because without a united people there can be no meaningful resistance, no vision for liberation, no struggle for justice to be won.

Right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could never have anticipated that a routine act of ethnic cleansing in East Jerusalem’s neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah could lead to a Palestinian uprising, uniting all sectors of Palestinian society in an unprecedented show of unity.

The Palestinian people have decided to move past all the political divisions and the factional squabbles. Instead, they are coining new terminologies, centered on resistance, liberation and international solidarity. Consequently, they are challenging factionalism, along with any attempt at making Israeli occupation and apartheid normal. Equally important, a strong Palestinian voice is now piercing through the international silence, compelling the world to hear a single chant for freedom.

The leaders of this new movement are Palestinian youth who have been denied participation in any form of democratic representation, who are constantly marginalized and oppressed by their own leadership and by the relentless Israeli military occupation. They were born into a world of exile, destitution and apartheid, led to believe that they are inferior, of a lesser race. Their right to self-determination and every other right were postponed indefinitely. They grew up helplessly watching their homes being demolished, their land being robbed and their parents being humiliated.

Finally, they are rising.

Without prior coordination and with no political manifesto, this new Palestinian generation is now making its voice heard, sending an unmistakable, resounding message to Israel and its right-wing chauvinistic society, that the Palestinian people are not passive victims; that the ethnic cleansing of Sheikh Jarrah and the rest of occupied East Jerusalem, the protracted siege on Gaza, the ongoing military occupation, the construction of illegal Jewish settlements, the racism and the apartheid will no longer go unnoticed; though tired, poor, dispossessed, besieged and abandoned, Palestinians will continue to safeguard their own rights, their sacred places and the very sanctity of their own people.

Yes, the ongoing violence was instigated by Israeli provocations in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem. However, the story was never about the ethnic cleansing of Sheikh Jarrah alone. The beleaguered neighborhood is but a microcosm of the larger Palestinian struggle.

Netanyahu may have hoped to use Sheikh Jarrah as a way of mobilizing his right-wing constituency around him, intending to form an emergency government or increasing his chances of winning yet a fifth election. His rash behavior, initially compelled by entirely selfish reasons, has ignited a popular rebellion among Palestinians, exposing Israel for the violent, racist and apartheid state that it is and always has been.

Palestinian unity and popular resistance have proven successful in other ways, too. Never before have we seen this groundswell of support for Palestinian freedom, not only from millions of ordinary individuals across the globe, but also from celebrities – movie stars, footballers, mainstream intellectuals and political activists, even models and social media influencers. The hashtags #SaveSheikhJarrah and #FreePalestine, among numerous others, are now interlinked and have been trending on all social media platforms for weeks. Israel’s constant attempts at presenting itself as a perpetual victim of some imaginary horde of Arabs and Muslims are no longer paying dividends. The world can finally see, read and hear of Palestine’s tragic reality and the need to bring this tragedy to an immediate end.

None of this would be possible were it not for the fact that all Palestinians have legitimate reasons and are speaking in unison. In their spontaneous reaction and genuine, communal solidarity, all Palestinians are united, from Sheikh Jarrah, to all of Jerusalem, to Gaza, Nablus, Ramallah, Al-Bireh and even Palestinian towns inside Israel – Al-Lud, Umm Al-Fahm, Kufr Qana and elsewhere. In Palestine’s new popular revolution, factions, geography and any political division are irrelevant. Religion is not a source of divisiveness but of spiritual and national unity.

The ongoing Israeli atrocities in Gaza are continuing, with a mounting death toll. This devastation will continue for as long as the world treats the devastating siege of the impoverished, tiny Strip as if irrelevant. People in Gaza were dying long before the Israeli airstrikes began blowing up their homes and neighborhoods. They were dying from the ack of medicine, polluted water, the lack of electricity and the dilapidated infrastructure.

We must save Sheikh Jarrah, but we must also save Gaza; we must demand an end to the Israeli military occupation of Palestine and, with it, the system of racial discrimination and apartheid. International human rights groups are now precise and decisive in their depiction of this racist regime, with Human Rights Watch – and Israel’s own rights group, B’tselem, joining the call for the dismantlement of apartheid in all of Palestine.

Speak up. Speak out. The Palestinians have risen. It is time to rally behind them.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is “These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity Press). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) and also at the Afro-Middle East Center (AMEC). His website is

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The Image of Victory


Image of victory .jpg

by Gilad Atzmon

See the source image

If winning a military battle is defined by the accomplishment of one’s military objectives, then Hamas won the current round of violence with its very first ballistic barrage on Jerusalem ten days ago. Israel, on the other hand, won’t win, can’t win and doesn’t even dream of winning. Like in recent ‘rounds’, all Israel hopes to achieve is an ‘image of victory.’ Despite its military might and destructive enthusiasm, Israel can’t prevail militarily because it doesn’t even remember what military objectives are or what they look like.  

In the last seven decades Israel has worked relentlessly to divide the Palestinians in an attempt to dismantle their ability to resist as one people. This project had been so successful in the eyes of the Israelis that many of them started to believe that the Palestinian cause had evaporated into thin air. But then, completely out of the blue (as far as the Israelis are concerned), Hamas managed to unite the Palestinians into a unified fist of resistance: on Tuesday every Palestinian between the River and the Sea joined a strike called by Hamas. Such a collective, multi-sectorial strike didn’t happen in Palestine since 1936.  

Military victory is not measured by the carnage you inflict on your foe. It isn’t measured by the number of casualties or the residential towers one reduces into dust. Admittedly, there is no room for comparison between Israeli military capabilities and Hamas’ firepower. Israel is one of the most technologically advanced military forces in the world. Hamas is decades behind, yet it wins over Israel in every round of violence. 

The reason is simple. Hamas’ military objectives are simple and modest. Hamas has vowed to keep the resistance alive. It fulfills its promise. By achieving this goal Hamas has positioned itself as the Palestinian unifier. Israel, on the other hand, can’t decide its military goals. We hear Israel’s Defence Minister vowing to bring security to the Israelis but Hamas proves him wrong, continuing to rain Israel with rockets at a growing rate. Israel brags about its precision bombing of Hamas’ tunnels, yet rather cynically, Hamas keep operating from tunnels that seem intact and operational.

It doesn’t take a military genius to grasp that in order to stop Hamas, Israel needs to deploy ground forces and to engage in a fierce battle in the streets of Gaza. But this is exactly the one thing the IDF refuses to do and for a manifold of very good reasons. Firstly, the Israelis are fearful of a house-to-house battle. Second, Israel doesn’t want to control 2.5 million Gazans. Third, not one Israeli military leader is willing to face the relentless Israeli mothers brigade. In the region, however, Israel’s reluctance to send foot soldiers to Gaza is understood as cowardice and weakness. 

For Israel, Gaza in particular and Palestine in general is a no-win situation.

But there is a deeper reasoning behind Israel’s hopeless situation. Israeli decision makers (both within the political realm and in the military) subscribe to the power of deterrence. For Israelis, the power of deterrence means punishing the Arabs so heavily that their will to fight would practically stop existing. For one reason or another, the Israelis manage to clumsily zigzag through their troubling history in the region in an attempt to validate this doctrine. For instance, Israel works hard to convince themselves that despite their military fiasco in Lebanon in 2006, Hezbollah has been reluctant to enter a new round of violence with Israel because it is intimidated by the consequences.

Examination of Israeli history actually defies the Israeli doctrine. When Arabs are defeated and humiliated in the battlefield they keep fighting until they win. When Arabs win, they often lose their motivation to keep fighting. They occasionally seek peace and harmony in accordance with the Islamic teaching.

In 1967 Israel defeated 3 Arab armies in just 6 days. Israel performed a perfect Blitzkrieg operation. The Israeli air force surprised and destroyed the Egyptian, Jordanian and Syrian air forces on the ground in less than four hours. Simultaneously, Israeli Panzers raided into Sinai, within hours the Egyptian forces collapsed. The humiliation of the Egyptian army was unprecedented in military terms.

If the Israeli doctrine carried any validity, Egypt wouldn’t consider any military confrontation with Israel. But the reality on the ground proved the opposite. Just a few months after their June 1967 defeat, the Egyptian Army launched a war of attrition against Israel, one which exhausted the Israeli forces (including the air force). In the War of Attrition (1967-70) Egypt displayed new capabilities, relying on new Soviet ground-to-air missiles that obliterated Israeli air superiority. Yet Israel refused to draw the necessary conclusions. It was suffocated by hubris that prevented it from reading its neighbors and their intentions.

On 6 October 1973 (Yom Kippur) at 2 PM, Egypt and Syria launched a coordinated attack on Israeli forces in the Suez Canal and in the Golan Heights. Within hours the two Arab armies managed to obliterate the Israeli defence lines. A few days later and thanks to a close American airlift Israel recovered. It gained its lost land in the occupied Golan heights and even managed to conquer some new territory in Syria. In the South, Israel managed to establish bridgehead over the Suez Canal. It encircled the Egyptian 3rd army and cut its supply lines. But Israel failed to push the Egyptian 3rd and 2nd armies back. The Egyptian army ended the war, claiming a narrow strip of Sinai back. It was this victory that empowered Anwar Sadat to launch a peace initiative four years later (1977).

Hafez al-Assad, the Syrian leader at the time, didn’t manage to claim a victory. Syria remained a defiant enemy of Israel. It is reasonable to speculate that if Assad was allowed to cling to some of his territorial gains in October ‘73, Israel and Syria could have proceeded into further reconciliatory talks.

The same logic can be applied to Hezbollah. The Lebanese Shia resistance movement is reluctant to fight Israel not because it is afraid of the consequences, as Israelis delude themselves, but because it already won significantly over the IDF. A war with Israel is dangerous for Hezbollah not because Israel will do its best once again to destroy Lebanese infrastructure and flatten half of Beirut, but because the outcome of such a war is unknown. Hezbollah is in a much better position retaining its status as the Arab military force that made the IDF run home with its tail between its legs (2006).

One may wonder whether Israeli strategists are so thick as not to grasp the most obvious facts about their neighbors and what fuels their motivation to fight. It may of course be possible that Israel’s decision makers aren’t as excited by tranquility as some of us want to believe. Gaza is where Israel tests its new weaponry and tactics. Gaza rockets are a necessary ingredient in the Iron Dome’s public relations. Most importantly, the Gaza crisis emerged when Netanyahu’s political options were running out. It was the Gaza current conflict that made the political powers in Israel subside and then crystalize lucidly within the realm of the hard right. This war made both Netanyahu and Hamas stronger.

It would be fair to argue that Hamas is operating within the modernist perception of conflicts as devised by Carl von Clausewitz. For the German military philosopher “war is the continuation of politics by other means.” In ‘postmodernist’ Israel, it seems war is one of the means that keeps some politicians out of prison.


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Owner of Al-Jawarha Tower Speaks to The Palestine Chronicle: ‘We Will Never Compromise on Our Freedom’ (PHOTOS)

 May 21, 2021

Owner of the Al-Jawarha Tower, Ahmad Moustafa al-Za’im, with his children. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

On May 12, Israel destroyed the Al-Jawarha tower in Gaza City, a large building of many stories and numerous flats. It was not the only tower that Israel destroyed in its latest war on Gaza. A few others too were leveled to the ground, as if they were legitimate military targets. 

Palestine Chronicle correspondent in the Gaza Strip, Mahmoud Ajjour, met with one of the main owners of the tower, Mr. Ahmad Moustafa al-Za’im. A successful businessman, al-Za’im is also a loving father of two boys and two girls. 

The Chronicle also interviewed Al-Za’im’s young daughter, Malak. Like her father, her testimony was that of pride and defiance. This is what they have to say:

Ahmad Moustafa al-Za’im:

“I have invested my whole life, everything I owned and worked hard for, in this building. Israel bombed it for no reason at all, aside from scoring a point that it simply can. It is a residential tower, which also hosted law offices, media companies, and the like. Lots of accountants and engineers were based here as well. Also, it had advertisement companies and a few clinics. We had an office that facilitates pilgrimage to Mecca. Also, an optical clinic and an office for marriage services.

“It was a thriving place of families and businesses and nothing else that could be understood, even from Israel’s point of view, as a ‘security threat’. 

“But thank God for everything in this life, good or bad. Israel has destroyed it completely. But I say it proudly, I am Ahmad al-Za’im, everything I own, my very life, in fact, my whole family, is a small price to pay for the freedom of Al-Quds, Jerusalem, for Al-Aqsa Mosque and for our people in Sheikh Jarrah. In fact, for Al-Khalil (Hebron), Jenin, Palestine ‘48 and the whole of Palestine. Thank Allah for everything. 

“My message to the Resistance: We will continue to be steadfast, you lead the way and we will march behind you. Israel will never break our will or weaken our steadfastness. We know that Israel has destroyed the tower, and all other towers to put pressure on the Resistance to relent and accept an end to the war with no achievements. But that will never happen. We will never compromise on our rights and our freedom, no matter the cost.”

Malak Ahmad al-Za’im:

“I am Malak Ahmad al-Za’im. We were living in this tower. When the Israelis decided to bomb it, they called the neighbors, then the neighbors called my dad and we hurried very, very fast. But there was no time to gather any of our belongings. I had so many toys in my house, but also so many memories as my brothers and I were always playing on the stairs. There was a very nice restaurant here that we often ate. Also, many lawyers worked here and there was a place where you can get your eyes fixed. Many many things and many people. But more importantly, all of our dreams, hopes and memories were in this tower. 

“When the tower was destroyed, I cried a lot. I don’t know what else to say aside from that, that I cried all the time.”

(All Photos: Mahmoud Ajjour)

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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