Archive for the ‘ The Zionism Plague ’ Category

Pro-Israel Hungary to send sole European representative for Trump’s ‘peace’ ceremony

September 14, 2020

European states have on the whole decided against sending a representative to tomorrow’s signing ceremony in Washington to celebrate normalization between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. The only country that will be sending a delegation is the right-wing Hungarian government of Victor Orban.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto announced yesterday that he will be the only EU diplomatic leader to attend the signing ceremony which has been dismissed as a public relations spectacle designed to boost US President Donald Trump’s chances in November’s election. The much maligned US commander and chief is currently trailing his rival Joe Biden in opinion polls.

“At the invitation of U.S. President Donald Trump, as the only European Union minister, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto will also attend … the signing ceremony in the White House on Tuesday,” Mate Paczolay is reported saying in Reuters.

Szijjarto’s announcement underlines the deep relations between Hungary, under Prime Orban, with his US and Israeli counterparts. Both Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu are seen as sharing Orban’s hostility towards immigrants and disdain for democratic principles.

Szijjarto is one of the few European leaders to offer effusive praise for the Trump-led normalization deal. “Since the White House prepared the agenda for stabilizing the region, this has been the second development to prove that this is the best peace plan thus far and promises to bring peace in the Middle East at last,” Szijjarto wrote on Facebook on Saturday.

“The U.S. President thus deserves gratitude,” he said, adding praise for Israeli, UAE and Bahraini leaders.

Reuters also confirmed that Szijjarto will also hold talks with Trump’s son-in-law and chief adviser, Jared Kushner.

American Jews have expressed “horror” over the deep ties between Netanyahu and Orban, who is accused of being an anti-Semite.

Source: Middle East Monitor.

Link: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200914-pro-israel-hungary-to-send-sole-european-representative-for-trumps-peace-ceremony/.

Jordan: Bahrain, Israel normalization deal not welcomed

September 12, 2020

Jordan announced today that necessary steps to achieve a fair peace should come from Israel after Bahrain and Israel announced a normalization deal, Anadolu Agency reports.

Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said Israel should stop procedures to undermine the two-state solution and end its illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.

Morroccan Tawheed and Islah Movement described the agreement as a betrayal to Palestinians.

The head of the movement, Abdurrahim Sheyhi, told Anadolu Agency that Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), who last month signed a similar deal with Israel, served the interests of US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during difficult election campaigns before elections in those countries.

Sheyhi said residents in Bahrain and the UAE will definitely continue to reject the deals and the agreements will remain between the regimes.

Bahrain is the fourth Arab nation to have diplomatic relations with Israel, after Egypt in 1979, Jordan in 1994 and the United Arab Emirates in August.

Source: Middle East Monitor.

Link: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200912-jordan-bahrain-israel-normalisation-deal-not-welcomed/.

Israel, Bahrain agree to establish full diplomatic ties

[9/11/2020]

AMMONNEWS – Bahrain and Israel have agreed to establish full diplomatic relations, US President Donald Trump announced on Friday, hailing the deal as “a historic breakthrough”.

In a joint statement, the United States, Bahrain and Israel said the agreement was reached after Trump spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa on Friday.

“This is a historic breakthrough to further peace in the Middle East,” the statement reads.

The deal comes after Israel and the United Arab Emirates announced a similar agreement last month.

Bahrain will join Israel and the UAE for a signing ceremony at the White House on September 15, Trump told reporters on Friday.

“It’s unthinkable that this could happen and so fast,” he said about the Israel-Bahrain deal.

Trump’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser, Jared Kushner, hailed the agreements as “the culmination of four years of great work” by the Trump administration.

“We’re seeing the beginning of a new Middle East, and the president has really secured alliances and partners in trying to pursue that,” Kushner said.

In a Hebrew-language statement, Netanyahu said he was “moved” to announce the agreement with Bahrain, which he said “adds to the historic peace with the United Arab Emirates”.

For its part, Bahrain said on Friday it supports a “fair and comprehensive” peace in the Middle East, the country’s BNA state news agency reported.

That peace should be based on a two-state solution to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, King Hamad said.

‘Treacherous stab’

Palestinian leaders have criticized Arab states for normalizing ties with Israel while it continues its military occupation of Palestinian lands, saying such deals threaten to cement the status quo.

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) said the Bahrain-Israel deal was “another treacherous stab to [the] Palestinian cause”.

Al Jazeera’s Nida Ibrahim, reporting from Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, said Palestinians have unequivocally condemned Friday’s announcement.

Ibrahim said Al Jazeera spoke to a Palestinian official close to Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas who said peace between Arab countries and Israel “will not happen without the Palestinian issue being resolved”.

She said the official also said they did not believe Israel’s deals with Bahrain and the UAE would have happened “without regional backing”.

Kushner, speaking to reporters in a call from the White House soon after Friday’s announcement, said the UAE and Bahrain agreements “will help reduce tension in the Muslim world and allow people to separate the Palestinian issue from their own national interests and from their foreign policy, which should be focused on their domestic priorities”.

US election looms

Since coming into office, the Trump administration has pursued staunchly pro-Israel policies, from moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem to ordering the PLO to shutter its Washington, DC, office and recognizing Israel’s occupation on the Syrian Golan Heights.

The US president and his advisers have championed a so-called “deal of the century” proposal to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – and they have courted Arab Gulf states to try to drum up support for that initiative.

Bahrain, for example, hosted a US-led conference in June 2019 to unveil the economic side of the proposal, and Emirati and Saudi leaders voiced support at the time for any economic agreement that would benefit Palestinians.

Palestinian leaders boycotted that summit, however, saying the Trump administration was not an honest broker in any future negotiations with Israel.

Source: Ammon News.

Link: http://en.ammonnews.net/article.aspx?articleno=43985.

Israeli soldier’s plea deal in fatal shooting faces scrutiny

September 09, 2020

JERUSALEM (AP) — Ahmad Manasra was traveling home from a wedding when he spotted a family in distress on the side of a West Bank road. Moments later, the 22-year-old Palestinian was fatally shot while another Palestinian driver was seriously wounded — both by an Israeli soldier in a nearby watchtower.

The shootings are now the focus of a plea bargain offering the soldier three months of community service — a deal that has come under fierce criticism from the victims and their families. It also revived accusations by Palestinians and human rights workers that Israel’s military justice system is hopelessly biased and creates an atmosphere of impunity for soldiers suspected of violent crimes against Palestinians.

While the soldier has claimed he mistook the victims for attackers, and any indictment of a soldier is extremely rare, the proposed deal is now being reviewed by the Israeli Supreme Court. “When it comes to clashes with the army or the police, it is very very rare that you will find a fair trial,” said Shlomo Lecker, an Israeli lawyer who filed the appeal to the high court on behalf of the Palestinian families. Even by what Lecker considers the military’s lenient standards, “it will be hard to justify the sentence that the army is interested in,” he said.

The shootings took place on March 20, 2019 near the West Bank town of Bethlehem. At the time, Manasra and three others were in a car, heading home from a wedding. They spotted a parked car and a woman screaming for help on the side of the road.

The woman’s husband, Alaa Ghayadah, had pulled off the road after a traffic dispute with another driver. When Ghayadah got out of his car, a soldier in a nearby guard tower shot him in the stomach, according to witness testimony gathered by the Israeli rights group B’Tselem.

Manasra’s co-travelers took Ghayadah in their car to a hospital, while Manasra offered to drive Ghayadah’s wife and two young daughters behind them. When their car wouldn’t start, he got out of the vehicle and was shot himself, according to B’Tselem. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

In a statement, the army, quoting from the indictment, said the soldier had opened fire after assuming Ghayadah was throwing stones at Israeli motorists. It said the soldier “wrongly assumed” Manasra was the same stone thrower and fired again. It also said forces had received a report about “the possibility of a terror attack in the area” shortly before the incident.

It said that in the Aug. 17 plea bargain, the soldier was indicted for “causing death by negligence.” It said victims were represented in legal proceedings and the various parties “jointly petitioned” for a sentence of “three months imprisonment served through military work,” probation and a demotion to the rank of private.

“Complex evidentiary and legal considerations, significant operational circumstances of the incident and the soldier’s willingness to take responsibility were all considered,” the army said. “In addition, the rights of the victims of the offense were preserved throughout the proceedings.”

The victims strongly disputed the military account and said they never accepted the plea bargain. The military did not explain what appears to be a sharp discrepancy between its claims and the families’ view of the plea deal.

Wafa Manasra, Ahmad’s mother, called the deal “unjust.” “The soldier killed my son in cold blood,” she said. “My son wasn’t going to carry out any attack. He was going to help others when he was killed.”

Ghadayeh, a former tile layer, said he can no longer work because of the severe damage to his stomach. He said he tried to work as a taxi driver but that also was too grueling on his body. “If the soldier was sentenced to life in prison, that won’t be enough for me,” he said.

Critics say potentially criminal shootings of Palestinians rarely result in convictions or even indictments. B’Tselem, Israel’s leading human rights group, grew so frustrated with the military justice system that in 2016 it halted its decades-long practice of assisting military investigations.

According to the group, the plea bargain results from the first indictment in the death of a Palestinian in the West Bank since a landmark 2016 case in which a soldier was caught on video shooting and killing a badly wounded Palestinian attacker in the head who was lying on the ground. The soldier, Elor Azaria, served nine months in prison for manslaughter. B’Tselem says there have been at least 11 cases over the past two years in which Palestinians who did not pose a threat were killed while fleeing security forces.

The plea bargain is “not an aberration,” said Amit Galutz, a spokesman for the group. “It is a policy of whitewashing and of protecting perpetrators instead of their victims.” In Israel, military service is compulsory for most Jewish males, and there is widespread sympathy for young soldiers. Azaria’s trial bitterly divided the country, with top generals saying he should be punished for violating a military code of ethics. But large segments of Israel’s nationalist right, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, pushed for leniency.

Emmanuel Gross, a professor emeritus at the University of Haifa’s law school and a former military judge, said military cases are different than civilian cases. “A soldier finds himself on a battlefield. Therefore he is under constant threat to his life and must be aware to defend himself and his colleagues,” he said. “You must take those circumstances under consideration.”

Gross said that on the surface, the sentence in the Manasra case appeared to be “lenient and inappropriate.” But he said the High Court could determine there were special circumstances that make the plea bargain reasonable.

Lecker, the Palestinians’ lawyer, said the families have few expectations that the plea bargain will be altered. “Just the fact that it will be reviewed by the court is an achievement,” he said.

Associated Press writer Mohammed Daraghmeh in Ramallah, West Bank, contributed to this report.

Saudi Arabia cautiously welcomes UAE, Israel normalization

August 19, 2020

BERLIN (AP) — Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister on Wednesday cautiously welcomed an agreement between its close ally the United Arab Emirates and Israel to establish full diplomatic ties and exchange embassies.

Prince Faisal bin Farhan said the deal, which also halted unilateral annexation by Israel of West Bank territory sought by the Palestinians, “could be viewed as positive.” But he refrained from outright backing the move, while saying that Saudi Arabia was open to establishing similar relations on condition that a peace agreement is reached between Israel and the Palestinians.

Prince Faisal’s remarks during a news conference with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas were the first public comment by Saudi Arabia on Thursday’s surprise announcement by U.S. President Donald Trump that his administration helped broker the UAE-Israel agreement.

While Bahrain, Oman and Egypt issued official statements welcoming the agreement, the kingdom did not at the time and did not respond to requests for comment until Wednesday’s news conference in Berlin.

The UAE framed its agreement as a successful measure that halted Israeli plans to annex West Bank territory. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, however, has said the suspension is only temporary.

The Palestinians have issued scathing statements saying the UAE undermined Arab consensus and described the move as a “betrayal of Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Palestinian cause.” Saudi Arabia, like other Arab Gulf states, has built quiet ties with Israel over the years, in part because of shared concerns over Iran and its policies in the region.

The kingdom, however, is home to Islam’s holiest site and has historically positioned itself as a defender of Islam and Muslims, a title that foes Turkey and Iran have also tried to claim. King Salman is also seen as a steadfast supporter of the Palestinians, but his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has expressed more willingness for the kingdom to engage with Israel.

“We are committed to the Arab Peace Plan and that is the best way forward to a settlement of the conflict and to normalization with Israel with all states,” the Saudi foreign minister told reporters in Berlin. “That said, any efforts that could promote peace in the region and that result in holding back the threat of annexation could be viewed as positive.”

Prince Faisal noted that the Arab Peace Initiative — sponsored by Saudi Arabia in 2002 — promises Israel full ties with Arab states if a peace settlement is reached with the Palestinians. Conditions for that, however, must be based on internationally recognized parameters, he said.

“Once that is achieved, then all things are possible,” Prince Faisal said. He reiterated the kingdom’s long-held public stance that a future Palestinian state should include east Jerusalem as its capital.

Batrawy reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

UAE, Israel health ministers agree to enhance cooperation on health

August 24, 2020

The United Arab Emirates and Israel on Monday agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation in the health sector following an accord between the countries to normalize relations 10 days ago, UAE state news agency WAM said.

The health ministers of the two countries discussed cooperation on pharmaceuticals, medical research, and COVID-19 in a telephone call. A statement from Israel’s Health Ministry added that they agreed on “initial and immediate cooperation” in the health sector.

Israel and the UAE have agreed to normalize diplomatic ties and forge a broad new relationship under a US-sponsored deal, making the UAE the third Arab country to have formal diplomatic ties with Israel after Egypt and Jordan.

The two countries will each appoint representatives and set up business delegations, the Israeli health ministry said.

The countries will also work to create a student exchange program once the coronavirus pandemic conditions allow, it added.

Since the deal, the countries have signed a few agreements on technologies to fight the coronavirus. Several small-scale medical and defense collaborations were announced in the weeks preceding the normalization agreement.

Source: Middle East Monitor.

Link: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200824-uae-israel-health-ministers-agree-to-enhance-cooperation-on-health/.

Iran, Turkey lash out at UAE over agreement with Israel

August 14, 2020

JERUSALEM (AP) — Iran and Turkey lashed out at their regional rival the United Arab Emirates on Friday over its decision to normalize diplomatic relations with Israel in a U.S.-brokered deal, accusing it of betraying the Palestinian cause.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry called the deal a “dagger that was unjustly struck by the UAE in the backs of the Palestinian people and all Muslims.” Turkey said the peoples of the region “will never forget and will never forgive this hypocritical behavior” by the UAE.

The UAE, which has never fought Israel and has quietly been improving ties for years, said the agreement put a hold on Israel’s plans to unilaterally annex parts of the occupied West Bank, which the Palestinians view as the heartland of their future state.

But the Turkish Foreign Ministry said the UAE had no authority to negotiate with Israel on behalf of the Palestinians or “to make concessions on matters vital to Palestine.” The agreement would make the UAE the first Gulf Arab state — and the third Arab country, after Egypt and Jordan — to have full diplomatic ties with Israel. The Palestinians say the deal amounts to “treason” and have called on Arab and Muslim countries to oppose it.

The historic deal delivered a key foreign policy victory for U.S. President Donald Trump as he seeks re-election and reflected a changing Middle East in which shared concerns about archenemy Iran have largely overtaken traditional Arab support for the Palestinians. Trump has predicted that other countries in the region will follow the UAE’s lead.

Israel, the UAE and other Gulf countries that view Iran as a regional menace have been cultivating closer ties in recent years. Turkey has had diplomatic relations with Israel for decades, but under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has positioned itself as a champion of the Palestinians. Turkey and the UAE support rival camps in the conflict in Libya.

Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas welcomed both the agreement and the decision to suspend annexation and called to congratulate his Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi on “this historic step.” “We stand by our position that only a negotiated two-state solution can bring lasting peace to the Middle East,” Maas said in a statement. “Together with our European partners and the region we have campaigned intensively in past months against an annexation and for the resumption of direct negotiations. We are also ready to actively support such a process.”

Associated Press writers Amir Vahdat in Tehran, Iran; Suzan Fraser in Ankara, Turkey, and David Rising in Berlin contributed.

Iran says UAE-Israel deal a ‘stab in the back’ to Muslims

August 14, 2020

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s Foreign Ministry strongly condemned a historic deal establishing full diplomatic relations between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, calling it a stab in the back to all Muslims, state TV reported Friday.

Iran, in the ministry statement, called the normalizing of ties between the two countries a dangerous, “shameful” measure and warned the UAE against Israel interfering in the “political equations” of the Persian Gulf region.

“The UAE government and other accompanying governments must accept responsibility for all the consequences of this action,” the statement said. In a deal brokered by the U.S., the UAE and Israel announced Thursday they agreed to establish full diplomatic ties and Israel will halt plans for annexation of occupied land sought by the Palestinians for their future state.

The agreement makes the UAE the first Gulf Arab state — and the third Arab country, after Egypt and Jordan — to have full diplomatic ties with Israel. They announced it in a joint statement, saying deals between Israel and the UAE were expected in the coming weeks in such areas as tourism, direct flights and embassies.

Iran said in the state TV report the establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and the UAE revealed the “strategic stupidity” of the two countries and said it “will undoubtedly strengthen the axis of resistance in the region.”

The ministry statement called the deal a “dagger that was unjustly struck by the UAE in the backs of the Palestinian people and all Muslims.” The historic deal delivered a key foreign policy victory for U.S. President Donald Trump as he seeks re-election and reflected a changing Middle East in which shared concerns about archenemy Iran have largely overtaken traditional Arab support for the Palestinians.

A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the deal amounts to “treason,” and should be reversed. Hossein Amirabdollahian, advisor to Iran’s Parliament speaker, criticized the deal on his Twitter account on Friday.

“UAE’s new approach for normalizing ties w/fake, criminal #Israel doesn’t maintain peace & security, but serves ongoing Zionists’ crimes,” he said. Iran’s former chief of the powerful Revolutionary Guard, Mohsen Rezaei, said in a tweet the UAE has been making itself “the paradise of Israel” for the last 10 years.

“No Muslim zealous warriors and no Arabs betray Palestine, only nerveless stabs from behind,” he said.

U.S. military trucks land in Israel to be fitted for Iron Dome defense system

AUG. 3, 2020

By Ed Adamczyk & Daniel Uria

Aug. 3 (UPI) — U.S. military Oshkosh trucks were delivered to Israel on Monday, to be fitted for the Iron Dome defense weapons system, hours after Raytheon Co. and Israel’s Rafael announced a joint venture produce the Israeli system in the United States.

The world’s largest cargo plane, an Antonov AN-225, landed at Israel’s Ben-Gurion Airport Monday afternoon delivering the trucks that will be fitted with the Iron Dome systems.

The U.S. Army purchased several Iron Dome batteries for testing in 2019.

The Iron Dome system, which has been used successfully by Israel since 2011 to identify and destroy missiles aimed at populated areas, has a 90 percent success rate, according to the companies.

“This will be the first Iron Dome all-up-round facility outside of Israel, and it will help the U.S. Department of Defense and allies across the globe obtain the system for defense of their service members and critical infrastructure,” Sam Deneke, vice president of land warfare and air defense business execution at Raytheon, said in a press release.

A site location in the United States will be announced by the end of the year, the companies said.

The system works by tracking incoming short-range projectiles by radar, then analyzes data about the likely impact zone and assesses whether to provide co-ordinates to a missile firing unit to intercept.

The portable system then targets incoming rockets and fires an interceptor missile, typically a Skyhunter missile made in the United States by Raytheon, to destroy the incoming projectile in the air.

The companies claim the system has a 90 percent success rate, with over 2,500 intercepts.

The joint venture was announced days after the United States and Israel also signed an agreement to make the U.S.-made Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, defensive missile system interoperable with Iron Dome.

“After a virtual meeting with the USAFE-AFAFRICA [U.S. military commands in Europe and Africa], the Israeli Air Force & the U.S.A.F. [U.S. Air Force] signed a document defining the interoperability between the American THAAD missile & the Israeli Iron Dome in case of an emergency in Israel,” the Israel Defense Forces said on Twitter on July 30.

Source: United Press International (UPI).

Link: https://www.upi.com/Defense-News/2020/08/03/US-military-trucks-land-in-Israel-to-be-fitted-for-Iron-Dome-defense-system/5551596471954/.

Israel blocks Palestinian mothers travelling with newborn babies

July 27, 2020

The Israeli authorities have prevented two Palestinian women from leaving the occupied West Bank for Jordan because their newborn babies are not registered in the Zionist state, Wafa news agency has reported.

Although the babies are registered with the Palestinian Interior Ministry, they were not allowed to cross into Jordan via the Allenby Bridge.

A number of Palestinians have been denied travel recently at the Israeli-controlled border crossing with Jordan. The bridge connects the West Bank with the Hashemite Kingdom and is the sole designated exit and entry point for West Bank Palestinians travelling into and out of the Israeli occupied territories.

The women were attempting to travel to Jordan to be reunited with their husbands who work in the UAE, after giving birth in the occupied territories. Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Ahmad Al-Dik condemned Israel’s actions and asserted the right of the babies to stay with their mothers.

“This stance by the occupation state is a violation of the Geneva Conventions,” he explained, “which guarantee freedom of movement for people under occupation, particularly since the two women carry valid documents for themselves and their babies issued by the State of Palestine, which is under occupation.”

Rights groups have pointed out that preventing Palestinians from travelling through this crossing is part of the political pressure put on them. It bears no relation to any valid security or other issues, they insisted.

Source: Middle East Monitor.

Link: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200727-israel-blocks-palestinian-mothers-travelling-with-newborn-babies/.