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American Preparing For A Post-Israel Middle East


Posted on  Aug 29, 2012 by Akashma Online News

By Franklin Lamb

Beirut

Congresswoman Illena Ros-Lehtinen will have her hands full as she makes the political and social rounds at this month’s Republican National Convention.  Illena, is the only female committee chair in the House of Representatives and arguably Israel’s most ardent agent. She is a constant thorn in the Obama administration’s side, regularly castigating the president for playing “political games with U.S. foreign policy” and being “soft on Iran” and undermining the legitimacy of Israel.  Ros-Lehtinen is a congressional cheer leader also for her Jewish voters in Florida — a key battleground in the rapidly approaching US presidential election. Most recently, Ros-Lehtinen helped shepherd through Congress yet another bill tightening sanctions against Iran while calling for US military action against the Assad regime in Syria.

The Congresswomen’s focus will likely not be on pushing the republican’s talking points regarding her party’s nominee, Mitt Romney the former “moderate Massachusetts governor” who she is aware is unlikely to win the White House. Nor, according to a source at the Democratic National Committee, frantically putting together final touches on their own Convention, to be held the week of September 3 in Charlotte, North Carolina,will Ileana spend much time with or promoting Mitt’ running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan. Ryan, an Ayn Rand (author of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged as well as founder of the Objectivism movement) follower, regularly tells audiences that “ Ayn Rand’s teachings have been one of the most profound philosophical influences of my life,”  Well, except for religion and abortion, as Ayn who passed away in 1982 was an avowed atheist and strongly pro-abortion,  the opposite of  what Ryan tells audiences he is.

Rather, Ros-Lehtinen will be meeting with local, national, and international Jewish leaders in this must win state where she has been assigned the task of reassuring them that the Republican Party is Israel’s best friend and that a recent US government draft report urging a US re-think of its relationship to Israel is the responsibility of none other than Barack Obama, and it reveals his true disdain for Israel.

Helping her smear the White House with the findings in the draft  analysis will be  William Kristol, publisher of the neoconservative Weekly Standard and Director of the New American Century, an “Israel first” Washington-based lobby “promoting joint Israeli and American political and military leadership across the globe, while bringing democracy to the Middle East”.

So what is all the fuss about?

It’s a paper entitled:  Preparing For A Post Israel Middle East, an  82 page analysis that concludes that the American national interest in fundamentally at odds with that of Zionist Israel. The authors concludes that Israel is currently the greatest threat to US national interests because its nature and actions prevent normal US relations  with  Arab and Muslim countries and, to a growing degree, the wider international community.

The study was commissioned by the US Intelligence Community comprising 16 American intelligence agencies with an annual budget in excess of $ 70 billion. The IC includes the Departments of the Navy, Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Defense Intelligence Agency, Departments of Energy, Homeland Security, State, Treasure, Drug Enforcement Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Security Agency, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, National Reconnaissance Agency and the

Central Intelligence Agency commissioned the study.

Among the many findings that Ros-Lehtenin and Kristol and other unregistered agents of Israel will likely try to exploit politically between now and November 6, by using them to attack the Obama Administration are the following:

  • Israel, given its current brutal occupation and belligerence cannot  be salvaged any more than apartheid south Africa could be when as late as 1987 Israel was the only “Western” nation that upheld diplomatic ties with South Africa and was the last country to join the international boycott campaign before the regime collapsed;
  • The Israel leadership, with its increasing support of the 700,000 illegal settlers on the occupied West Bank is increasing out of touch with the political, military and economic realities of the Middle East;
  • The post Labor government Likud coalition is deeply complicit with and influenced by the settlers’ political and financial power and will increasingly face domestic civil strife which the US government should not associate itself with or become involved with;
  • The Arab Spring and Islamic Awakening has to a major degree freed a large majority of the 1.2 billion Arab and Muslims to pursue what an overwhelming majority believe is the illegitimate, immoral and unsustainable European occupation of Palestine of the indigenous population;
  •  Simultaneous with, but predating,  rapidly expanding Arab and Muslim power in the region as evidenced by the Arab spring, Islamic Awakening and the ascendancy of Iran, as American power and influence recedes,  the US commitment to belligerent oppressive Israel is becoming impossible to defend or execute consistent given paramount US national interests which include normalizing relations with the 57 Islamic countries;
  • Gross Israeli interference in the internal affairs of the United States through spying and illegal US arms transfers. This includes supporting more than 60 ‘front organizations’ and approximately 7,500 US officials who do Israel’s bidding and seek to dominate and intimidate the media and agencies of  the US government which should no longer be condoned;
  • That the United States government no longer has the financial resources, or public support to continue funding Israel. The more than three trillion dollars in direct and indirect aid from US taxpayers to Israel  since 1967 is not affordable and is increasingly being objected to by US taxpayers who oppose continuing American military involvement in the Middle East. US public opinion no longer supports funding and executing widely perceived illegal US wars on Israel’s behalf. This view is increasingly being shared by Europe, Asia and the International public;
  • Israel’s segregationist occupation infrastructure evidenced by  legalized discrimination and increasingly separate and unequal justice systems must no longer be directly or indirectly funded by the US taxpayers or  ignored by the US government;
  •  Israel has failed as a claimed democratic state and continued American financial and political cover will not change its continuing devolution as international pariah state;
  • Increasingly,  rampant and violent racism exhibited among Jewish settlors in the West Bank is being condoned by the Israeli government to a degree  that the Israel government has become its protector and partner;
  • The expanding chasm  among American Jews objecting to Zionism and Israeli practices, including the killing and brutalizing of Palestinians under Israeli occupation,  are gross violations of American and International law and raise questions within the US Jewish community regarding the American responsibility to protect (R2P) innocent civilians under occupation;
  • The international opposition to the increasingly  apartheid regime can no longer be synchronized with American claimed  humanitarian values or US expectations in its bi-lateral relations with the 193 member United Nations;
  • The Draft ends with language about the need to avoid entangling alliances that alienate much of the World and condemn American citizens to endure the consequences.

Interestingly, it notes Iran as an example of a country and people that have much in common and whose citizens have a real interest in enjoy bilateral associations (here an apparent reference to Israel and its US lobby) not determined by the wishes of other countries and their agents. It also highlights the need for the US to undertake “the repairing relations with Arab and Muslim countries including the drastically curtained use of drone aircraft.

The coming days will clarity the success of Israel’s in making an issue of the finding in the soon to be published daft report and the degree to which the Republican Party will gain for its findings in the race for the White House.

More on Israel

The loss of human lives was and still pain our history but more hurtful is when is by design. There is no doubt that in every war or every conflict that humanity have suffered, the hand that planed the horror will be the main benefactor of such a tragedy. We can go back in history and pin point to every event and every time the winner is shown to gain the most. Will Israel fall in five years? CIA Predicts 20, Israelies are seaking a way Out!

Guilt by Association.  I Recommend this book to to Anyone that is alive and  directly or indirectly was and is a supporter of the State of Israel. Also I recommend to reading the  Nuremberg Trials,

PALESTINIANS IN LEBANON; RAW DEAL


Posted on 23 Jul, 2010 by Marivel Guzman

Dr Franklin Lamb

Palestinians Refugees-October 30, 1948  JalilShatila Palestinian Refugee Camp, Beirut

“Some members of Parliament prefer that the camps explode and then they will insist that, “Palestinian security problems must be resolved before Parliament can consider giving them civil rights”—meaning several more years of delay.  That would be a disaster for all concerned.”
‘Ahmad’, Resident of Al-Buss refugee camp, Tyre, Lebanon;

Following some initial optimism after MP Walid Jumblatt’s June 15 introduction of draft legislation that would exempt Palestinians from the Kafkaesque work permit process, grant them the right to own a home outside their oxygen scarce ‘sardine can’ camps, and allow them to receive some worker paid earned social security benefits, progress has dramatically slowed .

During last week’s Parliamentary session Head of the Administration and Justice parliamentary committee, MP Robert Ghanem, reiterated his request to Berri and Parliament for a two-month “rest period”. Premier Saad Hariri called for postponing the voting for “two months or two months and a half.” Several other members asked the same. Parliament Speaker Berri quickly agreed and postponed voting on the subject until August 17, adding that “…the law will not pass unless it enjoys consensus among Lebanese parties.”

Some supporters of Palestinian civil rights see problems with more delays and with Berri’s “no passage of civil rights without consensus”. What is meant by consensus? A simple majority plus one, two-thirds or..? “ Does it mean taking no legislative action on Palestinians civil rights unless and until MP Jumblatt can agree with MP Sami Gemayel-normally polar opposites on important issues?.  Others argue that Berri has no authority to require ‘consensus’ as it would likely mean any proposal will deteriorate into the lowest common denominator with virtually no rights being granted. Under the Lebanese Constitution, a law passes when it receives one more vote in favor than against and what is needed for passage is not determined by the Speaker. Some in Parliament are insisting on a straight up or down vote on bills presented on the subject of Palestinian civil rights. If Jumblatts or any other draft law garners 65 votes out of 128 it passes.
A review of Lebanon’s Parliamentary history shows that virtually all of Parliament’s important decisions have been made by a straight up or down vote, not ’consensus’. Surely one very important vote was the one that took place on August 17, 1970. The Parliamentary vote margin that elected ‘consensus’ candidate Suleiman Frangieh President of Lebanon over Elias Sarkis was one vote, a result of last minute vote switches engineered by Druze leader Kamal Jumblatt. Forty years later to the day, August 17, 2010, the ‘consensus’ vote” on Kamel’s son Walid’s historic Palestinian Civil Rights bill is scheduled for a vote.

InsaAllah? We hope so!

Ambivalence has spread around Parliament despite two additional measures being offered. One was introduced in Parliament in early July by the Syrian Socialist National Party (SSNP). This draft law closely reflects internationally mandated civil rights for refugees and of all the proposals to date the SSNP draft is what Parliament should enact to finally remedy six decades of civil wrongs. If enacted it would remedy the serial discrimination by successive Lebanese governments since the 1969-1982, “Ayyam al-Thawra” (“the Days of the Revolution”), when Palestinian refugees had many more employment prospects and benefited from improved camp living conditions. The SSNP proposal is a preferred “one package” solution that will avoid a protracted piece by piece process and would largely finish this urgent problem.

Faced with two substantive draft bills, the right wing Christian parties, often at odds, have joined ranks with Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s  ( “If it were up to me I would grant Palestinians their rights tomorrow”-April, 2010) Future Movement (“Muqtaqbal) to slam on the Parliamentary brakes. All the March 14th coalition except the Phalange Party have accepted this draft bill which currently has the most support in Parliament probably because it offers the refugees the least civil rights. According to its sponsors, the draft must be studied more before formally considered. A draft being circulated reveals that those refugees with a Palestinian ID Card approved by the Lebanese General Security can receive a temporary residency permit including a 5 year ‘laissez passer’ travel document but not the approximately 5000 non-ID’s who came in the 1970’s following Black September. Regrettably, this draft bill keeps the work permit and only amends Article 59 of the labor law in order to waive work permit fees for Palestinians. Nor does it allow participation in the 25 Syndicated Professions because it retains the impossible to meet Reciprocity requirements.
Some MPs are dexterous in their efforts to limit civil rights granted to Palestinians. MP Robert Ghanem, argued on 7/19/10 that work permits are good for Palestinians “because they will preserve the refugee status of Palestinians in Lebanon. We fear that if we exempted the Palestinians from a work permit, we will drop their refugee status and this does not come in line with their interests.” MP Ghanem surely is aware that being allowed to work is very much in line with the refugees interests and has nothing at all to do with “dropping their refugee status.” In fact they do not have refugee status as provided by international law. That is one of the main problems. Lebanon considers Palestinians variously as “foreigners”, “special category of foreigners” and other times a “Palestinian refugees” without allowing them the legal rights that their refugee status warrants.

With respect to Social Security benefits, the March 14 proposal requires that refugees pay into the Lebanese Social Security Fund but allows only for end of service and a family allowance payment. Its specifically forbids sickness, accident or maternity benefits to Palestinian refugees. Without health and accident coverage the incentive to even seek a work permit wanes. This ‘consensus’ proposal is more of a gesture than a solution and unless redrafted remains a bare bones proposal that will do little to provide internationally mandated civil rights. Nor will it satisfy the pursuit of genuine rights among Lebanon’s Palestinians, increasingly insisted on by the international community. Many Palestinians and their supporters are critical of this latest proposal and see it as offering ‘a little something’ that will allow its supporters to say, as one MP boasted last week: “we will finally have achieved something for the refugees and anyhow, how much more can we be expected to squeeze from our flesh for these Palestinians?”

No InsaAllah please! Just tell us Yes or No ok?

Meanwhile scores of Palestinians protested outside Parliament last week as Palestinian frustration continues to mount in the camps over delays in granting civil rights. True, it sounds nice enough and more likely than not it comes from lips with a smile, and the literal translation is good also: “God willing”.
However in reality, it’s a deadly and vicious expression that every guide book publisher on Lebanon has a moral duty to warn their readers about. For the real meanings of “InsaAllah” are: “probably not”, “almost certainly not going to happen”, “forget about it fool”, or simply, “no way and go away!” So if one is presented with the response, ‘InsaAllah’, whether by the office of the Speaker of Lebanon’s Parliament , or from someone you might be asking out on a date or trying to get something done in Lebanon, or tying to get civil rights legislation enacted into law, one has a big chance of being disappointed.

In Lebanon’s Parliament, about the worst thing that can happen to a members pet legislative initiative is to have it placed in “the InsaAllah drawer”, meaning it is set aside for ‘Enshalleh’ consideration sometime in the ‘InsaAllah’ future. Often never to be heard from. Some fear this is what may happen to proposals to grant Palestinian refugees their internationally mandated right to work and to own a home.

Other reasons for Parliamentary delay?

Some Parliament watchers speculate that certain members seek to delay granting Palestinians civil rights until the Special Tribunal for Lebanon hands down expected indictments, concerning the 2005 assassination of Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. They calculate the STL announcements will dramatically increase Lebanese-Palestinian tensions. Change and Reform parliamentary bloc MP Michel Aoun (Free Patriotic Movement leader), no advocate of any meaningful civil rights for Palestinians, is warning of a US ‘green lighted’ Israeli invasion of Lebanon if the STL indicts “uncontrolled” Hezbollah members. Others claim the main problem is that Lebanon cannot move beyond the 1975-1990 Civil War and raising in Parliament the subject of Palestinians brings up also many painful memories that most of the confessions wish to forget.

While some political analysts in Lebanon think there is a chance that Parliament may well ease the restrictions on the right to work, there is still strong opposition to granting Palestinian refugees the internationally recognized right to own real property or even a single home–an international right allowed in all other countries. As a scare tactic on this issue the specter of ‘Naturalization’ is again raised even though it has nothing to do with home ownership.

If Israelites can buy homes in Lebanon why not Palestinian refugees?

There is no shortage of Lebanese politicians who will explain why Palestinian home ownership is out of the question including the claim that there is simply not enough land in crowded Lebanon for foreigners to be allowed to purchase any. Kataeb-Phalance bloc MP Elie Marouni told his followers on Bastille Day last week “that the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon will never be naturalized as long as there are Christian believers who will sacrifice themselves for the sake of Lebanon. We don’t have the space.” His colleague and Phalange Party leader Amin Gemayel warned the day before that “granting Palestinians the right to own property would lead to their naturalization”.

Neither of these leaders has explained why during the half century (1948-2001) when Palestinian refugees were allowed to own property the question of “naturalization” was never an issue. There was no problem. The fact is that the assertion that ‘naturalization’ would be the result of a refugee family owning a home is false and it is was invented solely for the reason that it provides ‘raw meat’ for detractors who basically don’t want any rights for any Palestinians no matter what the facts are.

According to Lebanese Human Rights Ambassador Ali Khalil: “Fanning the coals of ‘naturalization’ is a recent bogeyman meant to scare Christians who already are nervous because their numbers continue to shrink. Generally more affluent than other sects, they are able to leave Lebanon for better prospects. If Palestinians were able to work and became a bit more affluent many of them would leave also but that fact appears lost on those who prefer to keep them in squalid camps in Lebanon rather than allowing them to work and perhaps move out of Lebanon.”

The ‘not enough land for foreigners’ claim is faulty on two grounds. Regarding population density, in Saida’s Ein el Helwe Camp, the largest of the 12 in Lebanon, approximately 90,000 refugees are tightly packed into less than 1 km sq. area whereas the average Lebanese population density is close to 350 persons per sq, km.

Foreigners buy as much land in Lebanon as they wish and can afford despite the ‘legal’ limitations for foreigners of 3,000 sq. meters in Beirut and 5000 sq. meters outside Beirut. Foreigners regularly ignore the “law” and sometimes pay bribes to purchase whatever land they want and sometimes even citizenship.

Free Patriotic Movement leader and Hezbollah ally MP Michel Aoun is calling for a new law to reclaim property from foreign owners in response to complaints about his voicing strong objection to granting Palestinian refugees in Lebanon the right to own property.

“We can’t issue a law that gives the Palestinians the right to own property, but we can issue a law to reclaim properties owned by foreigners,” Aoun said with a straight face, adding that “Christian parties didn’t act with prejudice when the issue of civil rights for Palestinian refugees was raised. “Our stance is similar to that of the Phalange Party and the draft law would only be put to the vote of the parliament after being studied,” Aoun added. Some in Lebanon are waiting to see if General Aoun’s “No buying a little bit of Lebanon” law gets introduced in Parliament and what the US Congress and Arab league reaction will be if it does.

BayIt BeyLebnan? ( Hebrew for ‘your home in Lebanon?’)

The Israeli-American Likud banker and warmonger Irving I. Moscowitz, financial backer of the archeological tunnel in east Jerusalem and supporter, financially or otherwise, of virtually all Zionist groups developing stolen Palestinian land including his own properties in Maale Adumim, Har Homa in Palestinian east Jerusalem and Beitar Illit is claimed to have moved into the real estate market in Lebanon.

Regarding occupied Palestine, Moscowitz has for years advised would be investors, (ignoring the Geneva Conventions and settled International law) at Jewish only “real estate fairs” in American and European Synagogues: “Your investment is insured, protected and 100% legal. You should consider strengthening your portfolio and Israel’s future!”
Moscowitz is said to expect competition for Lebanese land from Lev Leviev, who the NYT refers to as ‘the missionary mogul”. Leviev, now the world’s largest cutter and polisher of diamonds, also specializes in illegal real estate developments on stolen Palestinian land. Leviev’s, Leader Management and Development, is currently building the settlement of Zufim on Palestinian land in the illegally occupied West Bank. When asked recently by Ha’aretz Daily if he has a problem building on expropriated Arab land he replied, “For me, Israel, Jerusalem, Lebanon are all the same.” So are the Golan Heights. As far as I’m concerned, all of Eretz Israel is holy. To decide the future of Jerusalem? It belongs to the Jewish people. What is there to decide? Jerusalem is not a topic for discussion.”

Both tell associates that with their American partners, they are moving into the Lebanese real estate market which they find attractive. If true, Lebanon’s Parliament might want to consider using some of the extra time they have extended themselves this summer, currently being devoted to sounding the ‘chicken little sky is falling’ alarm about Palestinians wanting to exercise their internationally mandated civil right to own a home pending their return to Palestine. Parliament should investigate claims that “American” companies”, some with 100% Israeli stockholders are buying up Lebanese land and using bribes to avoid Lebanese law.

‘Darwish’, a school teacher in South Lebanon explained this week what many Palestinians feel:
“My family home and property were stolen by Zionist thugs in Akkad in 1948 and also our cousin’s home outside Jerusalem. If you look at the current advertisement in Israeli newspapers, (‘Darwish shows a copy of an ad he printed off the internet from Haaretz.com that reads, “Own a little piece of Switzerland” which describes a quaint Swiss like scene, and it shows a bucollic vista that Darwish claims was his family’s village, now a Zionist colony.) so you see this is my problem. In Palestine our home was stolen and in Lebanon I cannot own one. Worse than this, it bothers me and my family that Zionists can now sell my land in Palestine to foreigners while as a Palestinian in Lebanon I cannot buy a temporary home. Israelites can invest their profits from our stolen Palestinian land and they can build homes in Lebanon and sell to other foreigners, but Palestinians can’t buy a home here. We have heard that some of the same “American and European” companies that sell our Palestinian land to foreigners in Palestinian now operate in Lebanon. One ‘American’ company is reported to have 11 stockholders. All of them Israelis”.

Parliament appears to be ‘playing’ the Palestinians this summer, as well as ‘playing’ the international community that expects more courage, compassion and respect for international human rights from a gifted people. Parliament risks degrading Lebanon in the process and its leaders should schedule a straight up vote without further dilatory tactics such a ‘more study’ and ‘building near unanimous consensus’ that appears designed to produce the lowest common denominator which means that without political will and courage it will likely produce not much at all.

Regarding six decades of annual calls for ‘more study of this sensitive problem’ there are already more than 30 studies completed just since 2000. They unanimously conclude what nearly every ten years old in Lebanon understands needs to be done and that is to grant the internationally mandated right to work, to own, inherit and bequeath a home, and access to some social security protection without further dilatory tactics.

LACK OF RIGHTS
• Palestine refugees lack many basic rights, are restricted from employment in
most professions and are not allowed to own property
• Palestine refugees have extremely limited access to the legal system
• Palestine refugees who do not have identification cards (known as non-IDs)
have even fewer rights and less freedom of movement

POVERTY
• 2/3 of Palestine refugees are poor, subsisting on less than $6 per day
• 6.6% of these subsisting on less than $2.17 per day
• The majority of those living in poverty and extreme poverty reside
in camps in South Lebanon     UNRWA LEBANON

The events 28 years later by a survivor of the Massacre: The untreated psychic wounds are still open. Accountability, justice and basic civil rights for the survivors are still denied.

Scores of horror testimonies have been shared over the past nearly three decades by survivors of the September 1982 Sabra- Shatila massacre. More come to light only through circumstantial evidence because would be affiants perished during the slaughter. Other eyewitness are just beginning to emerge from deep trauma or self imposed silence Munir’s Story: 28 years after the Massacre at Sabra-Shatila

Franklin Lamb volunteers with the Palestine Civil Rights Campaign as mission of his life. He blogs at Civil Rights.

Dr. Franklin Lamb is Director of the Americans Concerned for Middle East Peace, Beirut-Washington DC, Board Member of The Sabra Shatila Foundation, and a volunteer with the Palestine Civil Rights Campaign, Lebanon. He is the author of “The Price We Pay: A Quarter-Century of Israel’s Use of American Weapons Against Civilians in Lebanon” and is doing research in Lebanon for his next book.

Lamb has been a Professor of International Law at Northwestern College of Law in Oregon. He earned his Law Degree at Boston University and his LLM, M.Phil, and PhD degrees at the London School of Economics.

As a Middle East expert and commentator, Dr. Lamb has appeared on Press TV, Al-Manar and several other media outlets. His articles and analyses have been published by Counter Punch, Veterans Today, Intifada Palestine, Electronic Intifada, Opinion Maker, Dissident Voice, Daily Star and Al Ahram.

Dr Lamb is a frequent contributor to Opinion-Maker.org

Palestinians Refugees on the Move

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