• “Israel needs him.” Netanyahu presses Trump to save Mohammed bin Salman - International News
    http://www.tellerreport.com/news/--%22israel-needs-him-%22-netanyahu-presses-trump-to-save-mohammed-bin
    http://www.aljazeera.net/file/GetImageCustom/8fdd25a0-2599-494b-b477-f18a4ce4e5f8/1200/630

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked US President Donald Trump in a telephone conversation not to touch Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman after the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the Israeli expert on Arab affairs, Jackie Khoji, said.

    “The Israeli request from Washington means that Riyadh for Tel Aviv is a strategic treasure, and that Netanyahu volunteered to save Mohammed bin Salman means that Israel needs him,” Khuji said in an article published on Saturday in Maariv newspaper. “To the Secretary General of the UAE, As well as to the Bahrainis and other leaders.”

    http://www.aljazeera.net/news/politics/2018/12/9/%D9%85%D8%B9%D8%A7%D8%B1%D9%8A%D9%81-%D9%86%D8%AA%D9%86%D9%8A%D8%A7%D9%87

    #israël #mbs

    https://seenthis.net/messages/742441 via gonzo


  • Opinion | Anti-Zionism Isn’t the Same as Anti-Semitism - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/07/opinion/rashida-tlaib-israel-antisemitism.html
    https://static01.nyt.com/images/2018/12/06/opinion/06goldbergWeb/06goldbergWeb-facebookJumbo.jpg

    A consensus set in “that Jewish identity can be reduced to Israelism,” Eliyahu Stern, an associate professor of modern Jewish history at Yale, told me. “That’s something that takes place over the second half of the 20th century in America.”

    The centrality of Israel to American Jewish identity has at times put liberal American Jews in an awkward position, defending multiethnic pluralism here, where they’re in the minority, while treating it as unspeakable in Israel, where Jews are the majority.

    #sionisme #Israel #anti-sémitisme #progressisme

    https://seenthis.net/messages/742358 via Kassem


  • 33 Palestinians injured during 37th Friday of Gaza protests
    Dec. 8, 2018 12:17 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 8, 2018 4:14 P.M.)
    https://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=782016
    http://www.maannews.com/Photos/493707C.jpg

    GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Thirty-three Palestinians were injured during the 37th Friday of “The Great March of Return” along the eastern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip.

    A Ma’an reporter said large crowds of Palestinians gathered by the return camps near the eastern Gaza border, in order to participate in the weekly protests to break the ongoing Israeli siege.

    Israeli forces repeatedly fired live ammunition and tear-gas bombs directly towards protesters gathered near the Israeli security fence, which led to injuring 33 Palestinians.

    Sources added that Israeli snipers were deployed across the eastern border.

    The Hamas movement spokesperson, Hazem Qassem, said that the return marches reaffirm the rights of the Palestinian people against plans to “disregard” the Palestinian cause.

    Qassem stressed, “The legitimate and just struggle of the Palestinian people will continue until our goals are achieved. The marches will continue until the siege of the Gaza Strip is lifted.”

    #marcheduretour

    https://seenthis.net/messages/742343 via Loutre


  • Egypt. Regeni lawyer discloses names of Egyptian suspects in murder case | MadaMasr
    https://madamasr.com/en/2018/12/06/feature/politics/regeni-lawyer-discloses-names-of-egyptian-suspects-in-murder-case

    The lawyer representing the family of Giulio Regeni says she has compiled a list of at least 20 people suspected of involvement in the death of the Italian PhD student, who was tortured and killed in Egypt nearly three years ago.

    Alessandra Ballerini made the comments at a press conference in Rome on Wednesday alongside Regeni’s parents and their supporters. She said the list was based on an extensive investigation with a legal team in Egypt, and that most of the suspects were generals and colonels in the Interior Ministry’s National Security Agency (NSA).

    “It is very unlikely that President [Abdel Fattah al-]Sisi was unaware of what was going on,” Ballerini said.

    Regeni, a PhD candidate who was researching independent trade unions in Egypt, disappeared from a metro station on January 25, 2016 — the fifth anniversary of the 2011 revolution — while on his way to meet a friend in downtown Cairo. His body was found several days later, bearing marks of severe torture, on the side of a highway on the outskirts of the city.

    Among the names Ballerini identified were the five Egyptian security officials Rome prosecutors placed under official investigation on Tuesday. They include Major General Tarek Saber, a senior official at the NSA at the time of Regeni’s death, who retired in 2017; Major Sherif Magdy, who also served at the NSA where he was in charge of the team that placed Regini under surveillance; Colonel Hesham Helmy, who served at a security center in charge of policing the Cairo district where Regeni lived; Colonel Asser Kamal, who was the head of a police department in charge of street works and discipline; and junior police officer Mahmoud Negm, according to the Associated Press.

    “These people should fear being arrested when they travel abroad because they murdered an Italian citizen,” Ballerini said.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/741755 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Comment le plus grand festival de films de Palestine défie les murs, les barrages routiers et le manque de moyens
    6 décembre | Melanie Goodfellow pour Screen Daily | Traduction Michel Basileo

    Comment créer un festival national du film dans un pays morcelé et étouffé par le manque de financement ? Screen Daily rend visite aux « Palestine Cinema Days ».
    https://www.aurdip.org/comment-le-plus-grand-festival-de.html

    La cinquième édition des « Palestine Cinema Days » - le plus grand festival de cinéma de Palestine - s’est déroulée en octobre avec un programme généreux de projections de 60 titres, réparties dans les villes de Ramallah, Bethléem et Naplouse, ainsi qu’à Jérusalem et dans la Bande de Gaza déchirée par une situation conflictuelle.

    L’événement a été lancé par le Filmlab Palestine de Ramallah en 2014 afin d’encourager les jeunes Palestiniens à s’emparer du cinéma pour témoigner de leur vécu, de construire une structure de production et de promouvoir une culture du cinéma. « Les Palestiniens ont principalement accès au cinéma par le biais de chaînes de télévision par satellite, qui ont tendance à diffuser des films commerciaux hollywoodiens », explique Hanna Atallah, directeur artistique du Filmlab Palestine. « Au début, il n’y avait q’une poignée d’invités, principalement nos amis. Nous leur disions : "Viens, puis fais marcher le bouche à oreille." »

    L’édition de cette année accueillait les deuxièmes Rencontres du Film Palestinien (PFM), animées par le cinéaste Muayad Alayan, qui a récemment réalisé le film « The reports on Sarah and Saleem » plusieurs fois primé. Ces rencontres présentaient des projets de longs métrages locaux, dont sept avaient participé à un atelier proposé par « l’European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs » (EAVE) organisé à Ramallah en mars dernier. (...)

    #Soumoud

    https://seenthis.net/messages/741707 via Loutre


  • Sean Penn producing ’Khashoggi murder film’ in Istanbul | Jamal Khashoggi News | Al Jazeera
    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/12/sean-penn-producing-khashoggi-murder-film-istanbul-181205164119722.html

    Oscar-winning actor and filmmaker Sean Penn has reportedly begun filming a new documentary about the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul earlier this year.

    Penn, accompanied by a crew of around 10 including bodyguards, was spotted shooting in front of the consulate building in the Turkish city on Wednesday, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

    #khashoggi

    https://seenthis.net/messages/741619 via gonzo


  • Israel’s Supreme Court, a place of deceit

    Court, a Place of Deceit
    East Jerusalem residents have learned that while justice may be meant to be seen, it’s not necessarily meant to be heard

    Ilana Hammerman
    Dec 05, 2018 2:39 AM

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-israel-s-supreme-court-a-place-of-deceit-1.6719983

    “Go, and try to understand every word spoken in this chamber, which hover for a moment in its enormous space, before escaping to the sides and above through the many cracks in its walls,” I muttered to myself several weeks ago in Chamber C of Jerusalem’s Supreme Court.
    From those words I could decipher, I learned that in the case being heard there are people seeking to remain living in their homes and there are others who claim that the land under these homes belongs to them, and thus the homes as well. And some claim the destiny of the land is not the destiny of the homes. One belongs to so-and-so and his descendants, while the other belongs to another person and his issue. Plus, there are documents attesting one thing and others attesting to another. And there are documents related to this parcel of land but not to its neighbor.
    To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz
    I also understood that the petitioners representing the people seeking to stay in their homes – who are making legal arguments on their behalf, pleading persistently, shouting beneath the enormous domes – are wasting their time. For the destiny of the people who have sent them here has already been determined, and the Supreme Court, sitting on high, believes that it does not have the authority to discuss the evidence they bother to formulate in the Hebrew language that is not their own.
    It turns out that all the evidence was already discussed exhaustively in a lower court, which already ruled that the residents are themselves the trespassers. And because they delayed – the proceedings intended to get rid of them were unfortunately for them done without their knowledge – the statute of limitations applies to some of their lawsuits.
    This is not the first time that I have wondered whether the acoustic conditions in this chamber do not bear witness that while justice may be meant to be seen, it is not necessarily meant to be heard. Nor is it the first time that I have thought while sitting in it that perhaps it is better that way. For more than one of the details debated here lack content that should really interest human beings who have the brains to understand and the tools to take interest and learn the facts. And indeed, I know the facts well, and so this list will end with a decisive decision.

    On that fall day, November13, the Supreme Court discussed the fate of dozens of people who have lived for 64 years in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. Israeli law had made it possible for three Israeli associations – the Council of the Sephardi Community in Jerusalem, the Committee of Knesset Israel and Nahalat Shimon – to evict them from their homes and to replace them with other people.
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    The judges, after masquerading briefly while as people sincerely and innocently seeking to decide without bias between the attorneys wrangling at their feet, then began to play their true role. They obeyed the law, and with it the policy determining what the law is, and ruled against the petitioners, and in favor of the three associations; the appeal was denied.
    And what does Israeli law state, and in particular, what are its practical implications, what is the personal tragedy to which it condemns its victims? Because the law here serves to cover for usurpation and ideology, things are best explained simply without leaving this issue to legalists.
    A woman my age, sitting with me in her house, from which she is to be evicted, explained the story in simple terms, albeit it with agitation. Here is a summary: Her parents were born in Jaffa and raised there. She was born in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria, to which her family was expelled/fled in 1948. As part of a family reunification program, she went from there to Sheikh Jarrah to live with her husband, who also comes from a family of refugees from Jaffa. That family had been lucky enough to find temporary shelter with relatives in Jerusalem, and the Jordanian regime, the sovereign at the time, allocated her and other refugee families land in Sheikh Jarrah in 1954, and the UNRWA funded the construction of their homes.
    Some 40 members of her family, including her, her children and her grandchildren, live there. Meanwhile, they became subjects of Israel, which tripled the size of Jerusalem in 1967 and extended civilian law over all of it. According to that system of laws and to the decisions of the courts of the new sovereign, the entire compound in Sheikh Jarrah, where hundreds of families live, now belongs to those who made themselves the inheritors of the small Jewish community that had bought it during the Ottoman period.
    Therefore, this family, like its partners in misery who were already evicted and the dozens of others destined to be condemned in future cases – can expect soon to receive notice of an eviction date from the bailiff’s office. If they don’t leave of their own free will, they will be evicted by force in the dead of night. The woman who told me the story kept looking in my eyes, asking: “Perhaps you will tell me where we should go to now? Where to?”
    A week later, on November 21, the Supreme Court rejected the appeal of hundreds of other Jerusalem Palestinians – residents of Batan al-Hawa in the Silwan neighborhood. These residents are being harassed by other Israeli groups: Ateret Cohanim and Elad. Regarding this appeal as well, exacting hearings had already been held in Chamber C, and then too I really tried to grasp the legal thinness in their tale before they drift off through the traditional openings in the lofty dome. And this story also deserves being told in the language of man.
    It goes like this: At the end of the 19th century, merciful Jews bought a modest site in the village of Silwan, which then was outside Jerusalem, to build under cover of Ottoman law, a poorhouse for Yemenite Jews who couldn’t find a roof to live under in the holy city. Not many years later, the land was full of violent altercations and the poorhouse residents were forced to evacuate their homes. Years passed. They and their successors spread across the country.
    The country’s rulers changed three times, and self-proclaimed heir also arose: Atret Cohanim. It was clever in various ways – the time was the beginning of this century and Silwan had become a Jerusalem neighborhood crowded with tens of thousands of Palestinians, and the ruler was now the State of Israel – and demanded and received the inheritance from the Administrator General, who had received it from the state, which authorized him to determine what would be done with properties in Jerusalem that had once belonged to Jews. Based on this procedure, the courts in Israel awarded Ateret Cohanim rights to the compound in the heart of Silwan. And now justice will be done without pity.
    You can read in full how everything unfolded, if you want, in the 2015 investigative report published by Nir Hasson in this paper . It’s a tale spiced with bribes paid behind closed doors, people who were tempted to condemn their souls in order to attain a more comfortable life and, above all, the story of M, the resident of a West Bank settlement, whose hand is in everything but whose name it is forbidden to publish, lest it be to his detriment. The story does not end well or fairly, or even with finality, as the rejection of the petition makes clear – it just gets worse.
    Thus, you may want to go the trouble of visiting the neighborhood for yourself, in order to see the explosive and forlorn reality that the splendor of Chamber C in the Supreme Court swallowed in its entirety, like it swallowed the more modest site in Sheikh Jarrah. The law that rules here is the law of naked power. The military regime that embitters the lives of thousands to protect a few dozen Jews, who settled among the thousands in homes whose residents were already evicted, and to protect the stylized national park established next to them for the thousands of visitors streaming here. The sovereign here is the Elad organization. Thanks to its iniquities, you can see how the lives of thousands of Palestinians here are imprisoned and destroyed, and feel the cracks that are gaping in their residences because of the tunnel dug under them for the greater glory of Israel’s ideological archaeology.
    And if you don’t want to venture into areas unfamiliar to you and to your worldview, remain at home, but turn on your honest brain and the integrity of your heart. It will not take much to persuade you that all the legal hairsplitting that has for decades filled the courts of the Jewish-democratic state with hearings on the fate of the homes and lands of people in the territories conquered in 1967 collapses and is crushed like so much straw, in spite of the opposition by lawyers who continue to insist on defending human rights and serving as extras in an absurd farce. For one and only one law whispers yet thunders here behind the scenes, and only that one triumphs over this theater of deceit – the law of the godly promise written in a book that is thousands of years old: “For I give all the land that you see to you and your offspring forever” (Genesis 13:15).
    Thus, this and nothing else is the lesson: Until the statute of limitations is applied to this ancient law, there will be no justice here. For whether the god who made the promise still lives on high and watches his creatures in great sorrow from there, or whether he has been redeemed and died – here, on Earth, in this unholy land, the lives of tens of thousands of people are being destroyed and will be destroyed many times over, because of those who appointed themselves as the arm of power of the sole rulers.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/741232 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Les néonazi autrichiens champions de la lutte contre l’antisémitisme ?

    Non au détournement par Israël de la lutte contre l’antisémitisme - Association France Palestine Solidarité

    http://www.france-palestine.org/Non-au-detournement-par-Israel-de-la-lutte-contre-l-antisemitisme

    C’est à Vienne que le coup s’est préparé, dans une réunion des ambassadeurs des pays membres de l’Union européenne, réunion qui s’est tenue sous les auspices du gouvernement autrichien… qui comprend plusieurs néo-nazis tout en étant courtisé par le Premier ministre Benyamin Netanyahou…Sous la pression du lobby européen inconditionnel de l’État d’Israël, ce comité a adopté un projet de résolution « pour la lutte contre l’antisémitisme et la protection des communautés juives en Europe » qui sera soumis à la décision finale du Conseil européen « Justice et affaires intérieures ».Jusqu’ici rien à dire… sauf que l’article 2 de ce projet de résolution demande aux États membres d’adopter la « définition IHRA » de l’antisémitisme. Une définition manipulée, car elle cherche à assimiler toute critique visant la politique de l’État d’Israël à de l’antisémitisme. Une définition indigente sur le fond, mais qui est là pour introduire des « exemples » qui entretiennent confusion et manipulation.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/741111 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • France-Israel propaganda « season » ends in failure | The Electronic Intifada

    https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/france-israel-propaganda-season-ends-failure

    A major propaganda effort sponsored by the French and Israeli governments has been a failure, Israeli officials are acknowledging.

    The so-called Saison France-Israël, or France-Israel Season, was a series of hundreds of “cultural” events backed by both governments, running for six months until the end of November.

    “We were hoping that culture would have a diplomatic impact. We put an enormous amount of money into this operation, which had zero success regarding Israel’s image in France, or that of France here,” an Israeli diplomatic source told the newspaper Le Monde last week.

    BDS France, a group that supports the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign, is celebrating the admission of failure as a victory for activism in support of Palestinian rights.

    The France-Israel Season was an attempted “whitewashing operation, cleansing the state of Israel of its crimes against the Palestinian people, its constant violations of international law and universal human rights,” BDS France stated on Saturday, noting that dozens of French artists, including legendary film director Jean-Luc Godard, had declared they would not cooperate with it.

    #BDS

    https://seenthis.net/messages/741083 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Pushing for an Israeli victory is the only way to end the conflict with the Palestinians

    Il faut lire ce point de vue d’un néoconservateur américain car il reflète une partie de la pensée de la droite pro-israélienne

    Lieberman and Bennett failed to impose a new paradigm on how to deal with Hamas, but more and more people in Israel are recognizing that compromises and concessions have only led to more violence

    Daniel Pipes SendSend me email alerts
    Dec 02, 2018 4:04 PM
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-an-israeli-victory-is-the-only-way-to-end-the-conflict-with-the-pa

    From a practical political point of view, Avigdor Lieberman, Naftali Bennett, and their idea to take a tougher stand toward Hamas just went down to defeat, if not humiliation. 
    That’s because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once again showed his political skills; the first is now ex-defense minister, the second failed to become defense minister.
    >> ‘Get used to the rockets’: What Netanyahu should tell Israelis living near Gaza | Opinion
    From a longer-term point of view, however, the duo raised an issue that for decades had not been part of the Israeli political discourse but, due to their efforts, promises to be an important factor in the future: that would be the concept of victory, of an Israeli victory over Hamas and, by extension, over the Palestinian Authority and Palestinians in general.
    Victory – defined as imposing one’s will on the enemy so he gives up his war goals - has been the war goal of philosophers, strategists, and generals through human history. Aristotle wrote that “Victory is the end of generalship.” Karl von Clausewitz, the Prussian theorist, concurred: “The aim of war should be the defeat of the enemy.” Gen. James Mattis, the U.S. secretary of defense, finds that “No war is over until the enemy says it’s over.” 
    Palestinians routinely speak of achieving victory over Israel, even when this is fantastical: to cite one example, PA leader Mahmoud Abbas called his Hamas counterpart, Ismail Haniyeh, after eight days of violence with Israel that left Gaza badly battered in November 2012 to “congratulate him on the victory and extend condolences to the families of martyrs.”

    Contrarily, in Israel, the notion of victory has been sidelined since at least the Oslo Accords of 1993, after which its leaders instead focused on such concepts as compromise, conciliation, confidence-building, flexibility, goodwill, mediation, and restraint. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert immemorially articulated this attitude in 2007 when he stated that "Peace is achieved through concessions.”
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    >> Israel is incomparably stronger than Hamas – but it will never win: Interview with Hamas leader in Gaza
    his perverse understanding of how wars end led Israel to make extraordinary blunders in the 15 years after Oslo, for which it was punished by unremitting campaigns of delegitimization and violence, symbolized, respectively, by the Durban conference of 2001 and the Passover Massacre of 2002. 
    Such nonsense ended during Netanyahu’s near-decade-long term as prime minister, but it has not yet been replaced by a sturdy vision of victory. Rather, Netanyahu has put out brush fires as they arose in Sinai, Gaza, the West Bank, the Golan Heights, Syria, and Lebanon. While agreeing with the concept of an Israeli victory when personally briefed, he has not spoken publicly about it.
    Meanwhile, other leading figures in Israel have adopted this outlook. Former deputy chief of staff Uzi Dayan called on the army “to return the path of victory.” Former education and interior minister Gideon Sa’ar has stated that “The ‘victory paradigm,’ like Jabotinsky’s ‘Iron Wall’ concept, assumes that an agreement may be possible in the future, but only after a clear and decisive Israeli victory ... The transition to the ‘victory paradigm’ is contingent upon abandoning the Oslo concept.”
    In this context, the statements by Lieberman and Bennett point to a change in thinking. Lieberman quit his position as defense minister out of frustration that a barrage by Hamas of 460 rockets and missiles against Israel was met with a ceasefire; he called instead for “a state of despair” to be imposed on the enemies of Israel. Complaining that “Israel stopped winning,” Bennett demanded that the IDF “start winning again,” and added that “When Israel wants to win, we can win.” On rescinding his demand for the defense portfolio, Bennett emphasized that he stands by Netanyahu “in the monumental task of ensuring that Israel is victorious again.”
    >> Netanyahu’s vision for the Middle East has come true | Analysis
    Opponents of this paradigm then amusingly testified to the power of this idea of victory. Ma’ariv columnist Revital Amiran wrote that the victory the Israeli public most wants lies in such arenas as larger allocations for the elderly and unbearable traffic jams. Meretz leader Tamar Zandberg, replied to Bennett that for her, a victorious Israel means winning Emmy and Oscar nominations, guaranteeing equal health services, and spending more on education.
    That victory and defeat have newly become a topic for debate in Israel constitutes a major development. Thus does the push for an Israeli victory move forward.
    Daniel Pipes is president of the Middle East Forum think tank, which promotes Israel Victory, a project to steer U.S. policy toward backing an Israeli victory to resolve the conflict with the Palestinians. Follow him on Twitter @DanielPipes

    https://seenthis.net/messages/740975 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Rashida Tlaib Plans to Lead Delegation to Palestine
    Alex Kane, Lee Fang | December 3 2018
    https://theintercept.com/2018/12/03/rashida-tlaib-palestine-israel-aipac-congress-trip
    https://theintercept.imgix.net/wp-uploads/sites/1/2018/12/AP_18319671683357-tlaib-1543848502-e1543848580713.jpg?auto=compress%2Cformat&q=90&fit=crop&w=1200&h=800

    Rashida Tlaib, a Democratic representative-elect from Michigan, belongs to a cohort of incoming members of Congress who’ve vowed to upend the status quo — even on third-rail issues in Washington like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. To that end, Tlaib is planning to lead a congressional delegation to the Israeli-occupied West Bank, she told The Intercept. Her planned trip is a swift rebuke of a decades-old tradition for newly elected members: a junket to Israel sponsored by the education arm of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, known as AIPAC, the powerful pro-Israel lobby group.

    The AIPAC trips are among the lesser-known traditions for freshman members of Congress. They’re typically scheduled during the first August recess in every legislative session and feature a weeklong tour of Israel and meetings with leading Israeli figures in business, government, and the military. Both critics and proponents of the AIPAC freshmen trip say the endeavor is incredibly influential, providing House members with a distinctly pro-Israel viewpoint on complex controversies in the region. In recent years, the Democratic tour has been led by incoming Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md. Incoming Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., traditionally leads the Republican trip. (...)

    #Rashida_Tlaib

    https://seenthis.net/messages/740893 via Loutre


  • CNN firing Marc Lamont Hill proves Israel is untouchable in U.S. media

    You can attack the Palestinians in America uninterrupted, call to expel them and deny their existence. Just don’t dare say a bad word about Israel, the holy of holies.

    Gideon Levy
    Dec 02, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-cnn-firing-marc-lamont-hill-proves-israel-is-untouchable-in-u-s-me

    Marc Lamont Hill is an American writer and lecturer in communications at Temple University in Philadelphia, and also an analyst with CNN. In a speech last week at a United Nations conference he called for “international action that will give us what justice requires and that is a free Palestine from the river to the sea.”
    In a matter of hours, the skies collapsed into well-orchestrated hysteria. Seth Mandel, editor of the Washington Examiner, accused Hill of having called for Jewish genocide; Ben Shapiro, an analyst on Fox News, called it an anti-Semitic speech; Consul Dani Dayan tweeted that Hill’s remarks were like a “swastika painted in red,” the Anti-Defamation League said they were tantamount to calling for Israel to be wiped off the map. The inevitable outcome was not long in coming and CNN fired the rebel analyst on the very same day.
    skip - Haaretz Weekly 2/12/2018

    Does Netanyahu care about anti-Semitism?Haaretz
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    How dare he? What was he thinking? Where did he think he’s living, in a democracy with free speech or a country where dialogue about Israel is under the serious censorship of the Jewish establishment and Israeli propaganda? Hill tried to claim that he’s opposed to racism and anti-Semitism and his remarks were intended to support the establishment of a binational, secular and democratic state. But he didn’t stand a chance.
    In the heavy-handed reality that has seized control over dialogue in the United States, there’s no room for expressions that may offend the Israeli occupation. On a liberal day it’s permissible to say “two states” as long as you do it in a whisper.
    What would have happened if Hill had called for the establishment of a Jewish state between the Jordan and the sea? He would have safely continued holding down his job. Rick Santorum, the former senator, said in 2012 that “no Palestinian” lives in the West Bank. Nobody thought of firing him. Even Hill’s critic, Shapiro, has called in the past for ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the territories (he backtracked on it a few years later) and nothing happened to him.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/740736 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • CIA Intercepts Underpin Assessment Saudi Crown Prince Targeted Khashoggi - WSJ
    Conclusion that Mohammad ‘probably ordered’ killing relies in part on 11 messages he sent to adviser who oversaw hit squad around time it killed journalist

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/cia-intercepts-underpin-assessment-saudi-crown-prince-targeted-khashoggi-154364

    WASHINGTON—Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sent at least 11 messages to his closest adviser, who oversaw the team that killed journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in the hours before and after the journalist’s death in October, according to a highly classified CIA assessment.

    The Saudi leader also in August 2017 had told associates that if his efforts to persuade Mr. Khashoggi to return to Saudi Arabia weren’t successful, “we could possibly lure him outside Saudi Arabia and make arrangements,” according to the assessment, a communication that it states “seems to foreshadow the Saudi operation launched against Khashoggi.”

    Mr. Khashoggi, a critic of the kingdom’s leadership who lived in Virginia and wrote columns for the Washington Post, was killed by Saudi operatives on Oct. 2 shortly after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, where he sought papers needed to marry his Turkish fiancée.

    Excerpts of the Central Intelligence Agency’s assessment, which cites electronic intercepts and other clandestine information, were reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

    The CIA last month concluded that Prince Mohammed had likely ordered Mr. Khashoggi’s killing, and President Trump and leaders in Congress were briefed on intelligence gathered by the spy agency. Mr. Trump afterward questioned the CIA’s conclusion about the prince, saying “maybe he did; and maybe he didn’t.”

    The previously unreported excerpts reviewed by the Journal state that the CIA has “medium-to-high confidence” that Prince Mohammed “personally targeted” Khashoggi and “probably ordered his death.” It added: “To be clear, we lack direct reporting of the Crown Prince issuing a kill order.”

    The electronic messages sent by Prince Mohammed were to Saud al-Qahtani, according to the CIA. Mr. Qahtani supervised the 15-man team that killed Mr. Khashoggi and, during the same period, was also in direct communication with the team’s leader in Istanbul, the assessment says. The content of the messages between Prince Mohammed and Mr. Qahtani isn’t known, the document says. It doesn’t say in what form the messages were sent.

    It is unclear from the excerpts whether the 2017 comments regarding luring Mr. Khashoggi to a third country cited in the assessment are from Prince Mohammed directly, or from someone else describing his remarks.

    Saudi Arabia has acknowledged Mr. Khashoggi was murdered in the consulate. But it has denied Prince Mohammed had any role and blamed the operation on rogue operatives. The Saudi Public Prosecutor’s office last month announced charges against 11 Saudis in connection with Mr. Khashoggi’s death, saying it would seek the death penalty in five cases. The office didn’t release their names.

    The U.S. Treasury Department in mid-November slapped sanctions on 17 Saudis whom it linked to the killing. But Mr. Trump, in a statement days later, said he intended to maintain strong relations with the crown prince because of Saudi Arabia’s opposition to Iran, its investments in the U.S. and its role in the oil market.

    The Trump administration’s posture has angered many in Congress, and the intercepts and intelligence gathered by the CIA may complicate Mr. Trump’s efforts to maintain relations with Prince Mohammed, the de facto leader one of the world’s biggest oil producers. The two are among the world’s leaders meeting this weekend in Buenos Aires for a summit of Group of 20 nations.

    Earlier this week, the Senate voted to begin consideration of a resolution to withdraw U.S. support for a Saudi-led military coalition fighting against Houthi rebels in Yemen, with senators venting their frustration over Mr. Trump’s reluctance to hold Prince Mohammed responsible for Mr. Khashoggi’s death.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/740221 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Macron-MBS : les yeux dans les yeux - Le Point

    VIDÉO. En marge du G20, le président français a interpellé le prince héritier d’Arabie saoudite pour lui envoyer, selon l’Élysée, un message de fermeté. Par Armin Arefi

    https://www.lepoint.fr/monde/macron-mbs-les-yeux-dans-les-yeux-30-11-2018-2275658_24.php

    C’était sans aucun doute l’invité le plus attendu du sommet du G20 à Buenos Aires. Pour son premier face-à-face avec des dirigeants occidentaux depuis l’assassinat du journaliste saoudien Jamal Khashoggi le 2 octobre au consulat d’Arabie saoudite à Istanbul, le prince héritier Mohammed ben Salmane (MBS), soupçonné par la CIA d’avoir commandité le meurtre, se savait attendu au tournant par les chefs d’État et de gouvernement des vingt premières puissances mondiales.

    « J’aurai l’occasion indubitablement de l’évoquer [cette affaire, NDLR] avec le prince héritier en marge du sommet », avait d’ailleurs prévenu dès jeudi en Argentine Emmanuel Macron, alors que la France a déjà décidé de sanctionner 18 personnes en lien avec l’affaire, mais pas le prince héritier. « Je souhaite que les investigations apportent une clarté complète à la famille, aux proches et à la communauté internationale, et qu’il puisse y avoir une association de la communauté internationale », avait ajouté le président de la République. Pour l’heure, la justice saoudienne a inculpé 11 personnes – sur un total de 21 suspects – et requis la peine de mort contre 5 d’entre elles. Mais elle a totalement mis hors de cause le prince héritier. En outre, Riyad a fait savoir à la Turquie qu’il ne souhaitait pas qu’une enquête internationale soit ouverte sur cette affaire.

    Macron : « Je suis inquiet »
    Indéniablement, Emmanuel Macron a joint le geste à la parole. Dans une vidéo d’une minute, mise en ligne sur Twitter ce vendredi par le journal saoudien en langue anglaise Saudi Gazette (et supprimée depuis, NDLR), on aperçoit les deux dirigeants dialoguer jeudi en face à face dans l’espace d’accueil réservé aux chefs d’État. Visage fermé, le président français glisse quelques mots à l’oreille du prince héritier saoudien, visiblement sur la défensive. « Ne soyez pas inquiet », assure ce dernier, dont le sourire appuyé trahit un certain embarras. « Je suis inquiet », lui répond le chef de l’État français, alors que MBS lui tapote le bras gauche pour tenter de le tranquilliser.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/740190 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Israel’s president to CNN : Fighting anti-Semitism alongside neo-fascists is ’absolutely impossible’

    Reuven Rivlin’s remarks come after PM Netanyahu praised Austria, Hungary for combating the issue

    Noa Landau SendSend me email alerts
    Nov 29, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-rivlin-fighting-anti-semitism-alongside-neo-fascists-is-absolutely

    President Reuven Rivlin responded on Thursday to a poll published by CNN earlier in the week that revealed the depth of anti-Semitism in Europe.
    Rivlin told CNN that anti-Semitism is “an evil that can be found anywhere – left and right, nationalist and religious” and argued that combatting the phenomenon by forming coalitions with neo-fascist movements is impossible.
    >> The man challenging the narrative that Netanyahu is Israel’s one and only savior | Analysis ■ Germany’s Nazi-friendly, anti-Semitic far right has a new mission: Recruiting Jews | Opinion

    Rivlin’s comments come after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the right-wing leaders of Austria and Hungary for fighting anti-Semitism, a problem which Netanyahu said is fueled today by the “extreme left and radical Islamic pockets.”
    "I saw [Prime Minister] Viktor Orban in Hungary," Netanyahu told CNN on Tuesday in response to the poll. “He’s opened up a center against anti-Semitism. I saw [Chancellor] Sebastian Kurz in Austria, he just held a conference against anti-Semitism, and that’s encouraging.” 
    In the interview Thursday, Rivlin told CNN that neo-fascism is “absolutely incompatible” with Israel’s principles and values. “You cannot say ‘we admire Israel and want relations with your country, but we are neo-fascists,’" Rivlin said.
    “I meet leaders from all around the world – presidents and prime ministers – and they tell me that sometimes they need to work with movements like these to build coalitions and that although they are neo-fascists they are great admirers of Israel. I tell them that this is absolutely impossible,” Rivlin said.
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    According to the president, rejecting neo-fascists movements is a way of fighting anti-Semitism. “The fact that the President of Israel says to neo-fascist movements ‘you are persona non grata in the State of Israel’ is a statement that fights anti-Semitism in a concrete way. It is a statement that makes clear that memory is important and that we will not compromise on for the political expediency of the state of Israel,” Rivlin said.
    CNN’s poll, conducted in seven European countries, found that a quarter of Europeans believe Jews have too much influence in business and finance. Additionally, more than one-third of respondents said they have no substantial knowledge of the Holocaust. One-third of respondents also said that Jews use the Holocaust to advance their own positions or goals
    According to Rivlin, the problem can be fought by “strengthening memory” and sticking “to the historical facts, not politicians’ talking points.” Rivlin added that Israel must collaborate with other nations “to fight against xenophobia and discrimination, of which anti-Semitism is a variant.”

    https://seenthis.net/messages/739988 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Macron irrite Israël en n’honorant pas une visite qu’il avait promise
    Par Piotr Smolar Publié le 28 novembre 2018
    https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2018/11/28/macron-irrite-israel-en-n-honorant-pas-une-visite-qu-il-avait-promise_539001
    https://img.lemde.fr/2018/11/11/87/0/3500/1748/1440/720/60/0/60a83c9_PHW17_WW1-CENTURY-LEADERS-ELYSEE_1111_11.JPG Emmanuel Macron et Benyamin Nétanyahou à Paris, le 11 novembre. PHILIPPE WOJAZER / REUTERS

    Le gouvernement israélien est irrité contre Paris. Nulle crise ou tension majeure, mais une affaire de bienséance diplomatique et d’étiquette. Dans la soirée du jeudi 29 novembre aura lieu à Tel-Aviv, au Musée d’art, la cérémonie de clôture de la saison croisée entre les deux pays. Elle a permis l’organisation de nombreux événements culturels et scientifiques, en France comme en Israël, et avait été lancée en grande pompe.

    Or, contrairement à son engagement initial, Emmanuel Macron ne fera pas le déplacement cette fois-ci. Seul le ministre de la culture, Franck Riester, sera présent à Tel Aviv. Aucun officiel israélien de haut rang ne se trouvera à ses côtés.
    (...)
    Or, cette visite n’a pas eu lieu et n’est pas programmée pour l’instant. A cela s’ajoute l’annulation de la visite du premier ministre Edouard Philippe, les 31 mai et 1er juin, pour des « raisons d’agenda ». Le gouvernement gérait alors la réforme de la SNCF. Cette visite avait été ensuite envisagée au cours de l’automne, explique-t-on de source française, avant d’être encore reportée.

    D’où la mauvaise humeur du gouvernement israélien, d’autant que dans l’intervalle, M. Nétanyahou a effectué un second déplacement à Paris, à l’occasion du centenaire de l’armistice de 1918. En outre, le bilan de la saison croisée, sur le plan de l’impact politique et médiatique, est décevant, estime-t-on du côté israélien. « On espérait que la culture aurait un impact diplomatique. On a mis énormément d’argent dans cette opération pour zéro succès, en ce qui concerne l’image d’Israël en France et celle de la France ici » , explique une source diplomatique. (...)

    #BDS

    https://seenthis.net/messages/739978 via Loutre


  • Not just Ireland: Chilean congress calls for boycott of Israeli settlements
    Resolution passes as Ireland advances bill banning settlement produce ■ Legislation promoted to mark the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

    Noa Landau SendSend me email alerts
    Nov 29, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-chilean-congress-follows-ireland-and-calls-for-boycott-of-israeli-

    The Chilean congress approved this week a resolution calling for its government to boycott Israeli settlements in any future agreement with Israel and to reexaime past agreements.
    The resolution passed with 99 congressmen voting in its favor, seven voting against it and 30 abstaining.
    To really understand Israel and the Palestinians - subscribe to Haaretz
    The resolution approved in Chile on Tuesday includes a demand from the government to examine all agreements signed with Israel, in order to ensure they only cover territories within the Green Line. The second clause requests that the Chilean Foreign Service ensure that future agreements relate to territories within Israel proper. 
    It was also decided to give guidelines to Chilean citizens visiting or doing business in Israel, so that they understand the historical context of the place and “not support colonization or cooperate with human rights violations in the occupied territories.”
    Finally, the resolution calls for the creation of a so-called mechanism to forbid imports of products made in settlements.
    >> Meet the Chilestinians, the largest Palestinian community outside the Middle East
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    The resolution recognizes a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. Chile has in the past recognized a Palestinian state. 
    The foreign ministry in Chile will study the resolution and it may be legislated into law in the future. 
    On Wednesday, the Irish senate passed another stage of a bill calling to boycott produce originating in Israeli settlements.
    Both of these legal moves were pushed by the Palestinians ahead of International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, which takes place Thursday.
    The current stage of the Irish law corresponds with a first reading in the Israeli Knesset.
    In July, the Senate approved the bill in a preliminary reading with support from the opposition. Twenty-five Parliament members voted in favor, 20 opposed and 14 abstained.
    The bill prohibits the export and selling of products and services which come from “illegal settlements in occupied territories.” The vote was postponed earlier this year in an attempt to reach a compromise with the government, which sought to soften it after Israel broached the subject.

    However, mutual understandings were not achieved on the matter.
    Saeb Erekat, the Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), lauded the legislative moves on Thursday by saying: “On the occasion of International Solidarity Day with Palestine, it is important to extend the Palestinian peoples’ gratitude to the courageous efforts of both the Chilean and Irish Parliaments. The efforts of both distinguished parliaments have triumphed for the justice and rights of the Palestinian people.”

    https://seenthis.net/messages/739936 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • AHMED SAADAT : « RECONSTRUIRE LA RÉSISTANCE PAR LE MOUVEMENT POPULAIRE » - [UJFP]
    http://www.ujfp.org/spip.php?article6810

    Mercredi, 28 Novembre, 2018. Par Stefano Mauro.
    Entretien avec le secrétaire général du FPLP, Ahmed Saadat, emprisonné en Israël, en collaboration avec le quotidien italien Il Manifesto et le réseau des prisonniers de cette organisation palestinienne.

    Incarcéré à Jéricho par l’Autorité palestinienne suite à l’assassinat d’un ministre israélien en représailles à celui d’Abou Ali Mustafa, alors secrétaire général du FPLP, Ahmed Saadat a été enlevé par les Israéliens en 2006 et condamné à trente ans de prison. Une campagne internationale demande sa libération. (...)

    https://seenthis.net/messages/739772 via Loutre


  • Le corps enseignant de Pitzer vote en faveur du soutien au mouvement BDS pour les droits palestiniens
    29 novembre | PACBI |Traduction CG pour l’AURDIP
    https://www.aurdip.org/le-corps-enseignant-de-pitzer-vote.html

    27 novembre 2018— Plus tôt ce mois-ci, les enseignants du Pitzer College en Californie ont massivement voté en faveur de deux motions soutenant le mouvement de Boycott, désinvestissement et sanctions (BDS) pour les droits palestiniens.

    Dans la première motion, les enseignants ont rejeté une décision prise l’an dernier par le président et les administrateurs de Pitzer [1] de rendre nulle une résolution du Conseil des étudiants soutenant BDS. Cette résolution du Conseil des étudiants, adoptée en avril 2017, visait à empêcher qu’une subvention pour des activités étudiantes soit utilisée pour acheter des biens d’entreprises complices dans l’occupation militaire illégale des territoires palestiniens par Israël.

    Dans la deuxième motion, les enseignants ont appelé le Pitzer College à suspendre le programme d’échange universitaire avec l’université de Haifa jusqu’à ce qu’Israël cesse de restreindre l’admission selon l’ascendance ou les discours politiques et « adopte des politiques accordant des visas pour des échanges avec les universités palestiniennes sur une base totalement égale à ce qui se fait pour les universités israéliennes ».

    BDS

    https://seenthis.net/messages/739746 via Loutre



  • Kasrils tells Herzlia to take heed | Weekend Argus
    https://www.iol.co.za/weekend-argus/news/kasrils-tells-herzlia-to-take-heed-18247266
    https://image.iol.co.za/image/1/process/620x349?source=https://inm-baobab-prod-eu-west-1.s3.amazonaws.com/public/inm/media/image/iol/2018/11/24/18247266/kasrils.jpg

    [Former anti-#apartheid activist Ronnie Kasrils] turned his attention to the government, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (#BDS) against Israel and the Israel-Palestine conflict.

    “Firstly, make BDS a powerful tool, as was the case during the Struggle against racist South Africa, to isolate #Israel until change comes,” Kasrils, a Jewish man, said.

    #Afrique_du_sud

    https://seenthis.net/messages/738859 via Kassem


  • Nancy Pelosi and Israel : Just how hawkish is the likely next speaker of the house ? - Israel News - Haaretz.com

    Plus pro-israélien, on ne peut pas imaginer ! la probable future présidente de la chambre des représentants

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/nancy-pelosi-and-israel-why-the-house-s-pro-israel-stance-is-unlikely-to-ch

    Pelosi has also held staunchly pro-Israel views that have at times even out flanked the GOP from the right.
    In 2005, while addressing AIPAC, Pelosi had waxed poetic about her personal experiences in Israel and how they shaped her views: “This spring, I was in Israel as part of a congressional trip that also took us to Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq. One of the most powerful experiences was taking a helicopter toward Gaza, over the path of the security fence. We set down in a field that belonged to a local kibbutz. It was a cool but sunny day, and the field was starting to bloom with mustard. Mustard is a crop that grows in California, and it felt at that moment as if I were home.”
    Pelosi, who was the 52nd Speaker of the House, previously served from 2007 to 2011 in the position which coincided with the 2008-2009 Israel-Gaza war known as Operation Cast Lead. In 2009, Pelosi sponsored a resolution that passed the House by a 390-5 majority blaming the Palestinian side for the violence and reaffirming U.S. support for Israel and a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
    The resolution quoted then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who said in 2008, “We strongly condemn the repeated rocket and mortar attacks against Israel and hold Hamas responsible for breaking the cease-fire and for the renewal of violence there.”
    Stephen Zunes, author and professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of San Francisco, pointed out at the time that the language in the House decision was even to the right of the Bush administration, which supported the UN Security Council resolution condemning “all acts of violence and terror directed against civilians” - the congressional resolution only condemns the violence and terror of Hamas.
    Pelosi’s resolution also called for “the immediate release of the kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who has been illegally held in Gaza since June 2006.”
    The Shalit kidnapping was a personal issue for Pelosi, who in 2008, while meeting with then Israeli Knesset speaker Dalia Itzik, held up dog tags of three Israeli soldiers kidnapped in 2006. Two of them belonged to Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, whose bodies were repatriated to Israel earlier that year. The third belonged to Gilad Shalit, who at the time was still believed to be held by Hamas in Gaza. Shalit was famously freed in 2011 as part of a prisoner exchange deal.
    Pelosi said she kept them as a “symbol of the sacrifices made, sacrifices far too great by the people of the state of Israel.”
    However, she hasn’t always been been on the right side of the pro-Israel divide. In 2014 Pelosi was criticized for suggesting Hamas is a humanitarian organization. On CNN she said, “And we have to confer with the Qataris, who have told me over and over again that Hamas is a humanitarian organization.” The host of the segment Candy Crowley then interrupted her to ask, “The U.S. thinks they’re a terrorist organization though, correct? Do you?” Pelosi responded with, “Mmm hmm.”
    After receiving a lashing from the likes of Megyn Kelly on Fox News and The Republican Jewish Coalition Matthew Brook, Pelosi’s office released a statement, “As Leader Pelosi reiterated in her CNN interview, Hamas is a terrorist organization.”
    Pelosi was also a vocal critic of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a joint session of the U.S. Congress denouncing then-President Obama’s nuclear deal, which she supported.
    After the speech she released a very harshly worded condemnation saying, “That is why, as one who values the U.S. – Israel relationship, and loves Israel, I was near tears throughout the prime minister’s speech – saddened by the insult to the intelligence of the United States as part of the P5 +1 nations, and saddened by the condescension toward our knowledge of the threat posed by Iran and our broader commitment to preventing nuclear proliferation.”
    Pelosi, who was endorsed this week by J Street in her bid for speaker, addressed the 2017 AIPAC Policy Conference by reading a J Street-backed letter, which was signed by 191 members of Congress, mostly Democrats, urging U.S. President Donald Trump to support a two-state solution.
    “As strong supporters of Israel, we write to urge you to reaffirm the United States’ long-standing, bipartisan commitment to supporting a just and lasting two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Pelosi said.
    “It is our belief that a one-state outcome risks destroying Israel’s Jewish and democratic character, denies the Palestinians fulfillment of their legitimate aspirations, and would leave both Israelis and Palestinians embroiled in an endless and intractable conflict for generations to come,” she continued.
    Pelosi, at 78, represents the Democratic establishment’s traditional position on Israel, coupling unwavering support for Israeli defense and the two-state solution for peace between Israel and Palestinians, a bipartisan position that courts both AIPAC and J Street and doesn’t diverge too far from that of centrist Republicans. Unlike some new members of her caucus who criticize Israel for “occupying” the West Bank or for human rights abuses, Pelosi reservers her criticism only for Israeli leaders or policies she disagrees with, most prominently Netanyahu.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/738428 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Egypt. 2 years after the loan agreement: What the IMF failed to anticipate | MadaMasr

    https://madamasr.com/en/2018/11/22/feature/economy/2-years-after-the-loan-agreement-what-the-imf-failed-to-anticipate

    On November 11, 2016, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Egyptian government finalized a US$12 billion loan agreement tied to an economic reform plan that included a series of austerity measures and the liberalization of the Egyptian pound.

    At the time, Egypt was facing a shortage in foreign currency reserves, and both the IMF and the Egyptian authorities made optimistic forecasts about the future of the Egyptian economy under the new economic program.

    Two years later, the crisis in foreign currency reserves has largely been alleviated and the IMF’s growth targets appear to be on track. Yet those achievements have been offset by soaring rates of inflation and foreign debt, along with the plummeting purchasing power of the local currency. Meanwhile, fuel subsidies, which were meant to be reduced to alleviate the government budget — a specific goal of the economic program — have instead increased as a result of the devaluation of the pound.

    A number of these unanticipated challenges now facing the Egyptian economy are highlighted in a new report by the investment bank Shuaa Capital, which was issued to its clients several days ago and of which Mada Masr has obtained a copy.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/738405 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Lobby pro-israélien aux Etats-Unis : “Au fond, Israël se fiche de l’antisémitisme” - Médias / Net - Télérama.fr

    Un entretien avec alain gresh sur @orientxxi

    https://www.telerama.fr/medias/lobby-pro-israelien-aux-etats-unis-au-fond,-israel-se-fiche-de-lantisemitis

    La série documentaire sur l’action du lobby pro-israélien aux Etats-Unis, produite par Al-Jazira mais censurée par le Qatar, est désormais visible sur la plateforme française Orient XXI. Son fondateur Alain Gresh nous explique comment il a mis la main sur ce reportage explosif.
    Malgré le gel de sa diffusion par le Qatar, l’intégralité de l’enquête d’Al-Jazira sur le lobby pro-israélien aux Etats-Unis est visible ailleurs, sur le Web. Les quatre volets de ce travail de longue haleine menée par la cellule d’investigation de la chaîne qatarie sont désormais en ligne (et sous-titrés) sur Orient XXI, site d’information français sur le monde arabe et musulman. 
    Après avoir regardé les deux premiers épisodes de ce reportage explosif, nous avions quelques questions à poser à Alain Gresh, fondateur d’Orient XXI et ancien rédacteur en chef du Monde diplomatique. Il nous explique pourquoi ce document a été censuré, comment il l’a récupéré et pourquoi il a finalement décidé de le diffuser.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/738403 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Israeli cyber firm negotiated advanced attack capabilities sale with Saudis, Haaretz reveals

    Just months before crown prince launched a purge against his opponents, NSO offered Saudi intelligence officials a system to hack into cellular phones ■ NSO: We abide the law, our products are used to combat crime and terrorism

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israeli-company-negotiated-to-sell-advanced-cybertech-to-the-saudi

    The Israeli company NSO Group Technologies offered Saudi Arabia a system that hacks cellphones, a few months before Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman began his purge of regime opponents, according to a complaint to the Israel Police now under investigation.
    But NSO, whose development headquarters is in Herzliya, says that it has acted according to the law and its products are used in the fight against crime and terror.
    To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz
    Either way, a Haaretz investigation based on testimony and photos, as well as travel and legal documents, reveals the Saudis’ behind-the-scenes attempts to buy Israeli technology.
    In June 2017, a diverse group gathered in a hotel room in Vienna, a city between East and West that for decades has been a center for espionage, defense-procurement contacts and unofficial diplomatic meetings.
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    Arriving at the hotel were Abdullah al-Malihi, a close associate of Prince Turki al-Faisal – a former head of Saudi Arabia’s intelligence services – and another senior Saudi official, Nasser al-Qahtani, who presented himself as the deputy of the current intelligence chief. Their interlocutors were two Israeli businessmen, representatives of NSO, who presented to the Saudis highly advanced technology.

    >> Israel’s cyber-spy industry helps world dictators hunt dissidents and gays | Revealed
    In 2017, NSO was avidly promoting its new technology, its Pegasus 3 software, an espionage tool so sophisticated that it does not depend on the victim clicking on a link before the phone is breached.
    During the June 2017 meeting, NSO officials showed a PowerPoint presentation of the system’s capabilities. To demonstrate it, they asked Qahtani to go to a nearby mall, buy an iPhone and give them its number. During that meeting they showed how this was enough to hack into the new phone and record and photograph the participants in the meeting.
    The meeting in Vienna wasn’t the first one between the two sides. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has recently expressed pride in the tightening ties with Gulf states, with Israel’s strength its technology. The message is clear: Israel is willing to sell these countries security-related technologies, and they forge closer ties with Israel in the strategic battle against Iran.
    >> $6 billion of Iranian money: Why Israeli firm Black Cube really went after Obama’s team
    According to the complaint, the affair began with a phone call received by a man identified as a European businessman with connections in the Gulf states. On the line was W., an Israeli dealing in defense-related technologies and who operates through Cyprus-based companies. (Many defense-related companies do business in Cyprus because of its favorable tax laws.) W. asked his European interlocutor to help him do business in the Gulf.

    FILE Photo: Two of the founders of NSO, Shalev Julio and Omri Lavi.
    Among the European businessman’s acquaintances were the two senior Saudi officials, Malihi and Qahtani.
    On February 1, 2017, W. and the businessman met for the first time. The main topic was the marketing of cyberattack software. Unlike ordinary weapons systems, the price depends only on a customer’s eagerness to buy the system.
    The following month, the European businessman traveled to a weapons exhibition in the United Arab Emirates, where a friend introduced him to Malihi, the Saudi businessman.
    In April 2017, a meeting was arranged in Vienna between Malihi, Qahtani and representatives of Israeli companies. Two more meetings subsequently took place with officials of Israeli companies in which other Israelis were present. These meetings took place at the Four Seasons Hotel in Limassol, Cyprus, where Israeli cybercompanies often meet with foreign clients.
    >> Snowden: Israeli firm’s spyware was used to track Khashoggi
    The meetings were attended by W. and his son. They were apparently friendly: In photographs documenting one of them, W. and Qahtani are shown after a hunting trip, with the Saudi aiming a rifle at a dead animal.
    In the Vienna meeting of April 2017, the Saudis presented a list of 23 systems they sought to acquire. Their main interest was cybersystems. For a few dozens of millions of dollars, they would be able to hack into the phones of regime opponents in Saudi Arabia and around the world and collect classified information about them.
    According to the European businessman, the Saudis, already at the first meeting, passed along to the representatives of one of the companies details of a Twitter account of a person who had tweeted against the regime. They wanted to know who was behind the account, but the Israeli company refused to say.

    Offices of Israeli NSO Group company in Herzliya, Israel, Aug. 25, 2016Daniella Cheslow/AP
    In the June 2017 meeting, the Saudis expressed interest in NSO’s technology.
    According to the European businessman, in July 2017 another meeting was held between the parties, the first at W.’s home in Cyprus. W. proposed selling Pegasus 3 software to the Saudis for $208 million.
    Malihi subsequently contacted W. and invited him to Riyadh to present the software to members of the royal family. The department that oversees defense exports in Israel’s Defense Ministry and the ministry’s department for defense assistance, responsible for encouraging exports, refused to approve W.’s trip.
    Using the initials for the defense assistance department, W. reportedly said “screw the D.A.” and chartered a small plane, taking with him NSO’s founder, Shalev Hulio, to the meetings in the Gulf. According to the European businessman, the pair were there for three days, beginning on July 18, 2017.
    At these meetings, the European businessman said, an agreement was made to sell the Pegasus 3 to the Saudis for $55 million.
    According to the European businessman, the details of the deal became known to him only through his contacts in the defense assistance department. He said he had agreed orally with W. that his commission in the deal would be 5 percent – $2.75 million.
    But W. and his son stopped answering the European businessman’s phone calls. Later, the businessman told the police, he received an email from W.’s lawyer that contained a fake contract in which the company would agree to pay only his expenses and to consider whether to pay him a bonus if the deal went through.
    The European businessman, assisted by an Israeli lawyer, filed a complaint in April 2018. He was questioned by the police’s national fraud squad and was told that the affair had been transferred to another unit specializing in such matters. Since then he has been contacted by the income tax authorities, who are apparently checking whether there has been any unreported income from the deal.
    The European businessman’s claims seem to be substantiated by correspondence Haaretz has obtained between Cem Koksal, a Turkish businessman living in the UAE, and W.’s lawyers in Israel. The European businessman said in his complaint that Koksal was involved in mediating the deal.
    In a letter sent by Koksal’s lawyer in February of this year, he demanded his portion from W. In a response letter, sent in early March, W.’s attorney denied the existence of the deal. The deal had not been signed, the letter claimed, due to Koksal’s negligence, therefore he was due no commission or compensation of any kind.
    These issues have a wider context. From the claims by the European businessman and Koksal’s letter, it emerges that the deal was signed in the summer of 2017, a few months before Crown Prince Mohammed began his purge of regime opponents. During that purge, the Saudi regime arrested and tortured members of the royal family and Saudi businessmen accused of corruption. The Saudis also held Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri for a few days in a Riyadh hotel.
    In the following months the Saudis continued their hunt for regime opponents living abroad, which raised international attention only when the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul came to light in October.
    It has recently been claimed that NSO helped the Saudi regime surveil its opponents. According to an article in Forbes magazine and reports from the Canadian cyber-related think tank Citizen Lab, among the surveillance targets were the satirist Ghanem Almasrir and human rights activist Yahya Asiri, who live in London, and Omar Abdulaziz, who lives in exile in Canada.
    These three men were in contact with Khashoggi. Last month, Edward Snowden, who uncovered the classified surveillance program of the U.S. National Security Agency, claimed that Pegasus had been used by the Saudi authorities to surveil Khashoggi.
    “They are the worst of the worst,” Snowden said of NSO, whose people he accused of aiding and abetting human rights violations.
    NSO’s founders and chief executives are Omri Lavie and Shalev Hulio. The company is registered in Cyprus but its development headquarters is in Herzliya. In 2014 the company was sold to private equity firm Francisco Partners based on a valuation of $250 million.
    Francisco Partners did not respond to Haaretz’s request for comment.
    In May, Verint Systems offered to buy NSO for $1 billion, but the offer was rejected. The company is awash in cash. Earlier this month all its employees went on vacation in Phuket, Thailand. Netta Barzilai, Lior Suchard, the Ma Kashur Trio and the band Infected Mushroom were also flown there to entertain them.
    The Pegasus system developed by NSO was a “one-click system,” meaning that the victim had to press on a link sent to him through phishing. The new system no longer requires this. Only the number of the SIM card is needed to hack into the phone. It’s unknown how Pegasus does this.
    Technology sources believe that the technology either exploits breaches in the cellphone’s modem, the part that receives messages from the antenna, or security breaches in the apps installed on a phone. As soon as a phone is hacked, the speaker and camera can be used for recording conversations. Even encoded apps such as WhatsApp can be monitored.
    NSO’s operations are extremely profitable.
    The company, which conceals its client list, has been linked to countries that violate human rights. NSO says its products are used in the fight against crime and terror, but in certain countries the authorities identify anti-regime activists and journalists as terrorists and subject them to surveillance.
    In 2012, NSO sold an earlier version of Pegasus to Mexico to help it combat the drug cartel in that country. According to the company, all its contracts include a clause specifically permitting the use of its software only to “investigate and prevent crime or acts of terror.” But The New York Times reported in 2016 that the Mexican authorities also surveilled journalists and lawyers.
    Following that report, Mexican victims of the surveillance filed a lawsuit in Israel against NSO last September. This year, The New York Times reported that the software had been sold to the UAE, where it helped the authorities track leaders of neighboring countries as well as a London newspaper editor.
    In response to these reports, NSO said it “operated and operates solely in compliance with defense export laws and under the guidelines and close oversight of all elements of the defense establishment, including all matters relating to export policies and licenses.
    “The information presented by Haaretz about the company and its products and their use is wrong, based on partial rumors and gossip. The presentation distorts reality.
    “The company has an independent, external ethics committee such as no other company like it has. It includes experts in legal affairs and international relations. The committee examines every deal so that the use of the system will take place only according to permitted objectives of investigating and preventing terror and crime.
    “The company’s products assist law enforcement agencies in protecting people around the world from terror attacks, drug cartels, child kidnappers for ransom, pedophiles, and other criminals and terrorists.
    “In contrast to newspaper reports, the company does not sell its products or allow their use in many countries. Moreover, the company greatly limits the extent to which its customers use its products and is not involved in the operation of the systems by customers.”
    A statement on W.’s behalf said: “This is a false and completely baseless complaint, leverage for an act of extortion by the complainants, knowing that there is no basis for their claims and that if they would turn to the relevant courts they would be immediately rejected.”

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