During the evening of November 3, Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman (MBS) launched his “Night of the Long Knives” – a virtual coup d’état. It included the house arrest of 11 princes and four ministers and scores of other former government lackeys in political, security, and business spheres, not to overlook the freezing of up to 1,700 bank accounts worth $800 billion. This coup has serious regional and international implications.The next day, a missile headed toward Riyadh from Yemen, which the Saudis quickly called an act of war. The visiting prime minister of Lebanon, Saad Hariri, was placed under house arrest and forced to resign in a letter reportedly dictated by his hosts blaming Iran and the resistance organization Hezbollah for threatening the security of Lebanon; the Saudis called on expatriates to evacuate. In parallel, Israel launched new air strikes against Syria and the Trump regime escalated its offensive against Iran; the US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley later in the week called for sanctions against Tehran, citing Saudi “evidence”. Iran has dismissed the claims as baseless, pointing to the Saudi air, sea and land blockade on Yemen as preventing any such weapons supply. Continue reading
Monthly Archives: November 2017
Washington’s plan for regime change in Damascus has failed. Albeit it has not gone the way that the US and Israel have desired, it can be said using the geopolitical language of Israeli and US planners and strategists that Syria has been “rolled back.” This does not mean Syria will stay in this “rolled-back” state statically.
In Iraq, the federal government has come out victorious and pushed back the so-called “Islamic State” and demands have started for a withdrawal of US forces. In the Levant, the Palestinians have managed to form a national unity government that will change the equation of talks between the Palestinians and Israel whereas Hezbollah and its political partners in Lebanon are stronger than ever. While in Yemen, the Houthis or Ansarallah have been able to repel the Saudis.
The US and its allies are the ones in the bigger geopolitical picture that are being “rolled back” steadily. In this context, Washington is now turning to the strategic depth of Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, the Houthi, and the Palestinians. That strategic depth is the Islamic Republic of Iran. Continue reading
This week Daniel Shapiro, a former US ambassador to Israel, wrote in the Haaretz newspaper that the Saudis were meddling yet again in Lebanese politics, forcing Hezbullah into greater political prominence, to provide the pretext for Israel to renew its confrontation with the Lebanese militia and thereby stoke a new war between Israel and Lebanon and Syria.
In his words: “Israel and Saudi Arabia are fully aligned in this regional struggle, and the Saudis cannot help but be impressed by Israel’s increasing assertiveness to strike at Iranian threats in Syria … When the moment of truth arrives, Israel’s allies, with the United States in the lead, should give it full backing.”
Politics in Lebanon itself is complex, largely due to the confessional system inherited from French colonialism. Ghassan Kadi gives a brief background on Saad Hariri and offers some thoughts on the reasons behind Hariri’s sudden resignation. With events in the region proceeding at a dizzying pace, and especially the news of arrests in Saudi Arabia, which happened after Ghassan wrote this article, some of the thoughts expressed may merely represent a snapshot in time as the landscape keeps changing, but essentially his article analyzes Saudi Arabia’s attempts to regain control over Lebanon. – TS
Seventeen years ago the Palestinian hero, Faris Awdah (Fares Udah), 13, was martyred while facing Israeli occupation tanks during an attack on the outskirts of Gaza City on 29 October 2000. The youth survived the encounter with the tank only to be assassinated by an Israeli sniper a week later on November 8th under the pretext the youth was a “terrorist”. Faris was memorialized on the front cover of the acclaimed Dossier on Palestine (Shunpiking Magazine, Halifax, 2002).
By TONY SEED
In the context of the offensive of the Trump regime against Iran and for domination of West Asia (Middle East), the CIA released on November 1 a “never-before-seen 19-page document,” as well as a 228-page “journal” ostensibly written by Osama Bin Laden as all U.S. and Canadian media (as directed by the U.S. government) are promoting. Continue reading
100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration: Palestine – Ethnic cleansing and dispossession (Excerpt)
By Dr. ISMAIL ZAYID*
It was the second of November 1917 when Arthur Balfour, the British Foreign Secretary, issued his infamous declaration in the form of a letter written to Lord Rothschild. It read:
“His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people…, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.”
It is interesting to note that the four-letter word “Arab” occurs not once in this document. To refer to the Arabs who constituted, at the time, 92 per cent of the population of Palestine and owned 98 per cent of its land, as the non-Jewish communities is not merely preposterous but deliberately fraudulent. I do not need to tell you that this letter has no shred of legality, as Palestine did not belong to Balfour to assume such acts of generosity. Dr. Arnold Toynbee described the British role, in issuing this document, accurately:
“We were taking it upon ourselves to give away something that was not ours to give. We were promising rights of some kind in the Palestinian Arabs’ country to a third party.”
Similarly, the well-known Jewish writer, Arthur Koestler, summed it up aptly when he described the Balfour Declaration as a document in which “one nation promised a second the country of a third.” Continue reading