Articles – Israel Shamir http://www.israelshamir.com Ideas that will Derail the descent to Barbarity Mon, 18 Dec 2017 20:30:23 +0000 en hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.2 Jerusalem in My Heart (Long Version) http://www.israelshamir.com/article/jerusalem-in-my-heart/ http://www.israelshamir.com/article/jerusalem-in-my-heart/#respond Sat, 16 Dec 2017 19:04:30 +0000 http://www.israelshamir.com/?post_type=article&p=3328 Jerusalem is first of all a symbol, and a potent one; the American recognition of Jewish sovereignty over the Holy City is a sign of the final Jewish victory over Christianity, and it is to be deeply regretted. Richard Coeur de Lion and Tancred would not understand this surrender of the city they fought for, but the times have changed. The Christians of yesteryear did not refer to Jews as their “elder brothers”. What began with Americans saying “Season greetings” instead of ‘Merry Christmas,’ ended with this shameful act of Christ denial.

The Palestinians won’t be able to save the city. The Third Intifada is not coming yet, despite the annoying in-your-face Trump declaration, and despite the Hamas call for a rising, and it is not likely to come anytime soon, unless Israelis will provoke it. Thousands of men and women protested during the week that passed; a few were shot by Israeli soldiers, among others, a double amputee in his wheel chair. However, Palestine did not explode in anger. For a regular reader of my articles, the muted Palestinian response to the American provocation does not come as a surprise. I wrote recently that it has never been so good, Palestine has now a run of modest prosperity, a building boom, a tourist boom, restaurants’ boom, and they are not likely to go and die for a statement, even for an annoying statement.

The Palestinians of East Jerusalem have it better than other Palestinians: they have no citizenship, but they can move more-or-less freely about the whole of Palestine, including the “old Israel”. They are pragmatic and patriotic. They consider themselves the guardians of their legacy, including the great shrines of al Aqsa and of the Holy Sepulchre. If and when the Jews touch the shrines, they respond in force, as it happened last August when Israel tried to limit the access to the Mosque.

But President Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state did not ignite them. Nobody in his right mind has had any doubts about American feelings. Americans are for Israel, it is a national obsession. So now they declared Jerusalem – a Jewish capital. And before, when they had sent their ambassadors, all Jews, all devout Zionists, all “Israel Firsters” – was it any different?

Trump is not different from his predecessors. All American Presidents declared Jerusalem – the eternal united and indivisible capital of the Jewish state. Obama did it, and so did Bush. True, they said it while running for the office, and they avoided repeating the mantra while in the White House, but they never repudiated it, either.

Ninety out of a hundred US Senators approved of Trump’s statement. Ten abstained, probably being unable to support Trump for any reason at all. Still, it was a most-approved step of the President. The American political establishment is thoroughly pro-Israel, both liberal and fundamentalist, Republican and Democrat, from Sanders to Bannon; we knew it, and now Trump allowed the people to read it loud and clear. He did what the people want. That is why you elected him: so he will do what you want, not what somebody else who claims to know better, tells you.

Why do you Americans want it? America is working out its Gestalt as the Shining City on the Hill, the New Israel of Manifest Destiny. This great country does not yet want to become just another great country, it wants to lead mankind and to re-form the world after its own shape and image. America had been messianic for a long time, and this habit is hard to kick.

Under the shell of a hard-nosed Yank, there is a fanatic Dispensationalist with The Scofield Reference Bible under his arm waiting for the Gog and Magog war against Israel. You can look at this site, just one of plethora of sites predicting the war between Israel on one side, Iran and Russia on the other side, with the US siding with Israel but staying away until being Raptured into Second Coming. This is insane, but such Gestalts run deep, and they explain insane behaviour (seeking war with Iran, bombing Babylon and supporting Israel) better than a calculation of profit and loss.

Love, or rather obsession with Israel is a part of this Gestalt. Though Southern Baptists and Eastern Liberals appear different, they have the same original imprint cast by the Founding Fathers, by Puritans and Pilgrims. This Gestalt breaks out unexpectedly. The present fight against harassment is just another break-out of Puritan zeal, though the Fundamentalists will quote the Bible, and the Liberals will appeal to Woman whose rights should not be violated.

This is the only plausible explanation to such complaints in the New York Times: “Samantha Holvey, a former contestant in the Miss USA pageant, said that Mr Trump ogled her and other women in the pageant’s hair and makeup room.”

For a sane person, it is apparent that a participant in the Miss USA pageant came there to be ogled and desired by multitudes of men. For a Puritan fanatic, “anyone who looks at a woman lustfully etc”, just looking lustfully (=ogling) is a sin. A Boston zealot circa 1650 would approve of the very modern persecution of lusting and ogling men.

The difference between enlightened de-Christianised American Democrats for Clinton in Vermont and a Fundamentalist Christian Republican for Trump in Mississippi is minor, in rationalisation of their feelings and actions. Both find ogling or flirting or courting – wrong, though they explain it differently. That is why so many American politicians commit suicide while being accused of some non-actionable non-offence, like lusting after a 17 year old girl some years ago.

It is the same in foreign relations. The Eastern Liberal descendants of the Puritans want to go and kill people abroad to save black women from being ravished by black men in Afghanistan, the Fundamentalists want to crush Babylon; in both cases they are motivated by messianic zeal and desire to transform the world.

It would be the best for the Americans to forget for a while about the Middle East, about Babylon, Israel and Gog and Magog. Perhaps Trump will achieve even that, by fully accepting the people’s will. After all, he has some real reasons to do what he did. He is the Destroyer of Falsitude in his struggle against the Congress. The Congress forced the US President to certify Iran’s good behaviour every six months; Trump refused to do it, and the world did not come down. The Congress forced the US President to postpone the Tel Aviv Embassy move every six months; Trump refused that, and the world did not come down. Just another falsity of the Political Establishment had been destroyed.

By his deed, he probably gained some time and postponed his impeachment. The Jews are not famous for their gratitude, as they accept every good deed as something they anyway deserved, but still, there is a chance they won’t dump him right away.

Paradoxically, the Trump declaration has had many good effects. The US President can say, after Mephistopheles, “I am part of that power which eternally wills evil and eternally works good.” The President refused to sustain the old mischievous pretence of the US being a neutral broker. He revealed the true feelings of the US establishment towards the Middle East, their Muslims and their Christians, the feeling of total disdain. He undermined the beastly MBS of Arabia. He brought Palestine back into the world agenda after long abeyance. He gave Europe a chance to regain its independence. He did another step in undoing the unsustainable American Empire, and this is also to be welcomed.

Trump resurrected the dying reconciliation agreement between the Fatah and Hamas. The agreement had been on the rocks: Fatah asked for more and more, and Hamas began to lose its patience. The biggest obstacle was the US aid: the Americans didn’t want to subsidise Hamas. As the aid is not coming anyway, this stopped being a hindrance. Trump’s declaration encouraged the sides to move their negotiations onto the fast track.

Trump allowed the Europeans to say what they really feel about him, and with good reason. His declaration mobilised President Erdogan of Turkey and he called for a summit of Muslim states. Istanbul had been the seat of the Caliphate for six hundred years, from 1362 to 1924, and now Erdogan has a valid claim for this grand title. By denouncing the Israelis and their American stooges, the President of Turkey has gained a lot of authority and influence.

One needs an Arab to betray Arabs, and this job has been taken by the Brat of Riyadh. MBS, when he does not torture his kin in a shake-down, has been involved in denying Palestine and Jerusalem. It is he who proposed and agreed with Jared Kushner to surrender Jerusalem in the so-called “the deal of the century”. MBS tried to force the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to accept the deal or resign. Abbas flatly refused.

The best Middle East journalist David Hearst (his book The Gun and the Olive Branch is an excellent primer for Palestine modern history) noted that in the heavily censored KSA, where a wrong tweet can send you to jail for years, denial of Palestine and Jerusalem had been encouraged.

The Saudi novelist and writer Turki al-Hamad tweeted, ‘Palestine should no longer be regarded as the prime Arab cause. I have my own country’s cause of development, freedom and emancipation from the past. As for Palestine, the house (Palestine) has a Lord (God) who would protect it if abandoned by its inhabitants (Palestinians).” Hamzah Muhammad al-Salim, the writer and economic analyst, tweeted: “Once peace is concluded with Israel, it will become Saudi Arabia’s first tourist destination.” The former director of al-Arabiyah TV channel, Abd al-Rahman al-Rashid, wrote: “It is about time to reconsider the concept of dealing with Palestine and Israel.” Muhammad al-Sheikh said: “The issue of Palestine is not ours…”

These sentiments have been promoted by MBS, and based on them, he proposed to Trump his “deal”. Now, I think, the deal is dead, and MBS is likely to follow Anwar as-Sadat, the Egyptian president who made a deal with Israel and was assassinated. Already Saudi princes have begun a litany of speeches for Jerusalem and for Palestine.

Trump’s declaration was a great gift to Iran. After the Saudis, the greatest enemies of Iran, have revealed their duplicity, the Arabs will have a new and positive view of Iran. Shia or Sunni, Iran proved its steadfast devotion to the cause of Jerusalem and Palestine, and it will be rewarded.

President Putin has good reason to thank Trump for his declaration. Russia is an important player in the Middle East, and after the American betrayal of Palestine, it is likely to become a sought-after mediator in intra-Arab affairs. We may expect that future negotiations between Israel and Palestinians will be managed by the Russians, with UN assistance.

It is possible, though it is not certain that Trump provided the coup de grâce to the Two-State paradigm, to the very idea of partition. Saeb Erekat, the leading Palestinian negotiator, said that now is the time to turn to One-State Solution, which is to be greatly preferred.

The One State won’t be “Jewish”, and this is fine with me. There is no French state for pure ethnic French, but France is the state for all its inhabitants; there is no Islamic State anymore, but Syria for all Syrians, whether Muslims, Christians or adherents of other faiths. There is no reason to have a Jewish state, either. Let it be Israel/Palestine for all its dwellers.

If it will cure American fascination with Zion, and fantasies of Rapture, that would be the best contribution of President Trump to mankind.

East or West?

If the efforts to partition Palestine continue, however, what could be the future of Jerusalem?

The Jews say all Jerusalem is theirs.

The Americans agree with the Jews, as they always do.

The Europeans disagree with the Americans and the Jews, and reserve their judgment.

The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) says East Jerusalem should be Palestinian, while West Jerusalem may be Jewish.

In April this year, the Russian Foreign Office declared that West Jerusalem is to be the capital of Israel, while East Jerusalem should be the capital of Palestine.

This week, the summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) met in Istanbul, the last seat of the Caliphate and declared East Jerusalem the Capital of Palestine. The declaration had been approved by 54 nations comprising billions of Muslims.

It sounds fair: West Jerusalem to the Jews, East Jerusalem to the Arabs. Or is it?

I lived for a few years in Jerusalem, in a well-proportioned and solid two-store-high Arab mansion built of white Jerusalem stone sitting in a green garden. The masons of 1920s knew how to dress the stone: we did not need air condition even in the hottest summer days; the houses keep warmth in chilly mountain winters. The ceilings were high, the windows opened into the gardens with leafy loquat and lemon trees, the floors were tiled by Armenian multi-coloured ceramics and marble stubs.

This area of Jerusalem has been created and populated by Palestinian Christians of Arab, Armenian, Greek, German origin. It is the prime real estate of the city declared by the US administration to be the eternal capital of 70-year old Jewish state. The area I described above is not East Jerusalem; it is West, the best part of the West. The residence of Israeli President is just around the corner.

Nobody argues against its belonging to Israel. West Jerusalem is out of discussion, only East Jerusalem has been argued about. This is the greatest achievement of Israeli Jews and their American supporters, and as it is often true, the greatest achievements are unreported or under-reported because they appear so obviously trivial.

But we may go beyond what you can read in the New York Times and learn the obfuscated truth. By right, Jerusalem should be internationalised.

The whole of Jerusalem had been declared a corpus separatum, a separate body under international jurisdiction, by the same UN resolution (181 (II) 1/ of 29 November 1947) that called for creation of a Jewish and an Arab state in Palestine. The Jews did not care and took over West Jerusalem in 1948 and expelled its Christian and Muslim population. The UN refused to recognise the Jewish rule over West Jerusalem (303 (IV) of 9 December 1949). The city should be placed under a permanent international regime, ruled the UN.

In 1967, the Jews took over East Jerusalem. This time, they did not expel its Christian and Muslim population, but they weren’t given Israeli citizenship. Since then, the people of East Jerusalem live as guests in their own city. They have residency rights, but if they travel abroad to study or work, they lose their residency and can’t come back.

East and the West Jerusalem have one thing in common: both parts of Jerusalem are illegally occupied by the Jewish state. They differ in the fact that the original population of the West had been expelled, while the population of the East had been stripped of their rights. This difference does not turn West Jerusalem into a legitimate Israeli possession. Mass expulsion and ethnic cleansing should not be rewarded with international recognition. Trump actually took a good step by uniting the two illegally occupied parts of Jerusalem in one sentence.

The Jews (with American support) have made us forget that West Jerusalem is also illegally occupied. (Noam Chomsky wrote about this feat at length. He described Israel and the US as the real “Rejection Front”. They rejected the original UN resolutions dealing with 1948 conquest and expulsion, and tried to limit discussion to the 1967 conquest. They succeeded: even friends of Palestine discuss 1967 territories, while leaving 1948 as an old stuff.)

But the Palestinians do know and do remember, how they were thrown out of their homes, and how the Jews moved in. Whatever is the political future of Jerusalem, this dispossession should be reversed. The Gentiles have returned to the Jews the properties they had lost during the turmoil in Europe; now it is the right time to return the stolen Gentile property to Arabs, Germans and Greeks of West Jerusalem.

Israel Shamir can be reached at adam@israelshamir.net

This article was first published at The Unz Review.

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American Gestalt (Short Version) http://www.israelshamir.com/article/american-gestalt/ http://www.israelshamir.com/article/american-gestalt/#comments Fri, 15 Dec 2017 19:07:21 +0000 http://www.israelshamir.com/?post_type=article&p=3331 Tramp’s recognition of Jewish sovereignty over Jerusalem had made a lot of good for many actors: for Russia and Iran, for Palestine and Europe, and even for the people of America, though perhaps it was not expected by the Israelis who pushed for this decision.

Now the old mischievous pretence of the US being a neutral broker is gone; the true feelings of the US establishment towards the Middle East, their Muslims and their Christians, the feeling of total disdain, has been revealed, and President Putin has good reason to thank Trump for his declaration. Russia is an important player in the Middle East, and after the American surrender of Jerusalem, it is likely to become a sought-after mediator in intra-Arab affairs. We may expect that future negotiations between Israel and Palestinians will be managed by the Russians, with UN assistance.

Trump’s declaration was a great gift to Iran. After the Saudis, the greatest enemies of Iran, have revealed their duplicity, the Arabs will have a new and positive view of Iran. Shia or Sunni, Iran proved its steadfast devotion to the cause of Jerusalem and Palestine, and it will be rewarded.

Trump gave the Europeans an opportunity to say what they really feel about him. Now Europe can make a step towards its independence.

His declaration mobilised President Erdogan of Turkey and he called for a summit of Muslim states. Istanbul had been the seat of the Caliphate for six hundred years, from 1362 to 1924, and now Erdogan has a valid claim for this grand title. By denouncing the Israelis and their American stooges, the President of Turkey has gained a lot of authority and influence.

Trump had brought Palestine back into the world agenda after long abeyance. Now the world sat up and paid attention to complaints from Gaza and Ramallah. For years nobody cared much what happens there, and Trump changed it.

Trump resurrected the dying reconciliation agreement between the Fatah and Hamas. The agreement had been on the rocks: Fatah asked for more and more, and Hamas began to lose its patience. Gaza had suffered. The biggest obstacle was the US aid: the Americans didn’t want to subsidise Hamas. As the aid is not coming anyway, this stopped being a hindrance. Trump’s declaration encouraged the sides to move their negotiations onto the fast track.

Trump didn’t make a distinction between East and the West Jerusalem, as he declared the whole lot belonging to Israel. This is good: both halves of Jerusalem are illegally occupied by the Jewish state. They differ in the fact that the original population of West Jerusalem had been expelled, while the population of East Jerusalem had been stripped of their rights. This difference does not turn West Jerusalem into a legitimate Israeli possession. Mass expulsion and ethnic cleansing should not be rewarded with international recognition. Trump actually made a good step by uniting the two illegally occupied parts of Jerusalem in one sentence, as he undid many years of cautiously spread Israeli web of lies in one stroke.

Trump undermined the beastly MBS of Arabia. One needs an Arab to betray Arabs, and this job has been taken by the Brat of Riyadh. MBS, when he does not torture his kin in a shake-down, has been involved in denying Palestine and Jerusalem. It is he who proposed and agreed with Jared Kushner to surrender Jerusalem in the so-called “the deal of the century”. MBS tried to force the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to accept the deal or resign. Abbas flatly refused. Now, I think, the deal is dead, and MBS is likely to follow Anwar as-Sadat, the Egyptian president who made a deal with Israel and was assassinated.

Trump did not move an inch from the mainstream of American opinion. Americans are for Israel, it is a national obsession. So now they declared Jerusalem – a Jewish capital. And before, when they had sent their ambassadors, all Jews, all devout Zionists, all “Israel Firsters” – was it any different?

Trump is not different from his predecessors. All American Presidents declared Jerusalem – the eternal united and indivisible capital of the Jewish state. Obama did it, and so did Bush. True, they said it while running for the office, and they avoided repeating the mantra while in the White House, but they never repudiated it, either.

Ninety out of a hundred US Senators approved of Trump’s statement. Ten abstained, probably being unable to support Trump for any reason at all. Still, it was a most-approved step of the President. The American political establishment is thoroughly pro-Israel, both liberal and fundamentalist, Republican and Democrat, from Sanders to Bannon; we knew it, and now Trump allowed the people to read it loud and clear. He did what the people want. That is why you elected him: so he will do what you want, not what somebody else who claims to know better, tells you.

Why do you Americans want it? America is working out its Gestalt as the Shining City on the Hill, the New Israel of Manifest Destiny. This great country does not yet want to become just another great country, it wants to lead mankind and to re-form the world after its own shape and image. America had been messianic for a long time, and this habit is hard to kick.

Under the shell of a hard-nosed Yank, there is a fanatic Dispensationalist with The Scofield Reference Bible under his arm waiting for the Gog and Magog war against Israel. You can look at this site, just one of plethora of sites predicting the war between Israel on one side, Iran and Russia on the other side, with the US siding with Israel but staying away until being Raptured into Second Coming. This is insane, but such Gestalts run deep, and they explain insane behaviour (seeking war with Iran, bombing Babylon and supporting Israel) better than a calculation of profit and loss.

Love, or rather obsession with Israel is a part of this Gestalt. Though Southern Baptists and Eastern Liberals appear different, they have the same original imprint cast by the Founding Fathers, by Puritans and Pilgrims. This Gestalt breaks out unexpectedly. The present fight against harassment is just another break-out of Puritan zeal, though the Fundamentalists will quote the Bible, and the Liberals will appeal to Woman whose rights should not be violated.

This is the only plausible explanation to such complaints in the New York Times: “Samantha Holvey, a former contestant in the Miss USA pageant, said that Mr Trump ogled her and other women in the pageant’s hair and makeup room.”

For a sane person, it is apparent that a participant in the Miss USA pageant came there to be ogled and desired by multitudes of men. For a Puritan fanatic, “anyone who looks at a woman lustfully etc”, just looking lustfully (=ogling) is a sin. A Boston zealot circa 1650 would approve of the very modern persecution of lusting and ogling men.

The difference between enlightened de-Christianised American Democrats for Clinton in Vermont and a Fundamentalist Christian Republican for Trump in Mississippi is minor, in rationalisation of their feelings and actions. Both find ogling or flirting or courting – wrong, though they explain it differently. That is why American politicians commit suicide while being accused of some non-actionable non-offence, like lusting after a 17 year old girl some years ago.

It is the same in foreign relations. The Eastern Liberal descendants of the Puritans want to go and kill people abroad to save black women from being ravished by black men in Afghanistan, the Fundamentalists want to crush Babylon; in both cases they are motivated by messianic zeal and desire to transform the world.

It would be the best for the Americans to forget for a while about the Middle East, about Babylon, Israel and Gog and Magog. Perhaps Trump will achieve even that, by fully accepting the people’s will. At least, he did another step in undoing the unsustainable American Empire, and this is also to be welcomed.

In short, the Trump declaration has had many good effects. The US President can say, after Mephistopheles, “I am part of that power which eternally wills evil and eternally works good.”

We may even hope that Trump provided the coup de grâce to the Two-State paradigm, to the very idea of partition. Saeb Erekat, the leading Palestinian negotiator, said that now is the time to turn to One-State Solution, which is to be greatly preferred.

The One State won’t be “Jewish”, and this is fine with me. There is no French state for pure ethnic French, but France is the state for all its inhabitants; there is no Islamic State anymore, but Syria for all Syrians, whether Muslims, Christians or adherents of other faiths. There is no reason to have a Jewish state, either. Let it be Israel/Palestine for all its dwellers.

If it will cure American fascination with Zion, and fantasies of Rapture, that would be the best contribution of President Trump to mankind.

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The Dog That Didn’t Bark http://www.israelshamir.com/article/the-dog-that-didnt-bark/ http://www.israelshamir.com/article/the-dog-that-didnt-bark/#respond Thu, 30 Nov 2017 20:22:25 +0000 http://www.israelshamir.com/?post_type=article&p=3315 The best solutions to difficult problems are simple. The Columbus Egg. The Gordian Knot. The Procrustean Bed. So many people strained their fingers trying to untangle the messy knot, until Alexander came and slashed it open with one fine stroke of his mighty sword. Wise men vainly tried to make an egg stand upright on its end on the table, until Columbus smashed one end. Procrustes solved the problem of the great diversity of population height-wise, by chopping off the legs of the tall and stretching the legs of the short.

Now the glorious if a tad too long name of the Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman (or MBS) should join the list of the great solution-makers. He faced the problem of having a broke country, an empty treasury, and a lot of very rich citizens with full coffers.

Trump faces a similar problem; in the US, the top dogs have the whole hog, while the state is in multi-trillion debt. Just three well-to-do gentlemen—Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg—have as much in their coffers as all the ordinary folk. The annual deficit is about $400 billion; the Rockefellers would not even notice if this paltry sum went amiss from their holdings, estimated at well over a trillion dollars, that is twelve zeroes after the first digit.

The Greeks have it even worse: they are in debt, biting the bullet of austerity, while the moneys the Greek state borrowed has lined the pockets of the rich.

The problem is universal. Everywhere, from the UK to Russia and from Brazil to Greece it’s the same: the state coffers are empty, politicians prescribe austerity for the people, while a few rich guys enjoy the fast growth of their untaxed capital.

Now, we know that, but what will you do about it, smart guy? Will you bite your moustache? Will you complain, in sotto voce or loudly, or just drink some cold beer to forget of this unhealthy fact of life? You know that you are not allowed to tax the rich people, you can’t stop them moving their capital offshore, you should not even utter such hateful words as it may be found anti-Semitic. It happened to Trump: when he attacked bankers in his election campaign, he was immediately called an ‘anti-Semite’.

Crown Prince MBS found a solution. He rounded up hundreds of the wealthiest people in his Kingdom, placed them in the posh five-star hotel Ritz Carlton in his capital Riyadh, and told them to cough up the dough. When they laughed at his face, he called for torturers to begin, Mafia-style, his extortion racket.

The Daily Mail, in an exclusive report, tells us that “the Saudi princes and billionaire businessmen arrested in a power grab earlier this month are being strung up by their feet and beaten by American private security contractors. The arrests have been followed by ‘interrogations’ which a source said were being carried out by ‘American mercenaries’. ‘They are beating them, torturing them, slapping them, insulting them. They want to break them down,’ the source told DailyMail.com.

(‘Blackwater’ has been named as the firm involved, and the claim of its presence in Saudi Arabia has also been made on Arabic social media, and by Lebanon’s president. The firm’s successor, Academi, strongly denies even being in Saudi Arabia and says it does not engage in torture.)

The torture in the glamorous hotel had been reported by one of best old-hand journalists in the Middle East, David Hearst. Several detainees were taken to hospital with torture injuries, he writes.

There is a vast difference between ‘incredible’ and ‘impossible’, and the princes of Saudi Arabia learned by their own experience that though it is incredible that these worthies, pillars of society, owners of great hotels in London and film companies in Hollywood would be tortured, it was by no means impossible.

The wealthiest Arab of all, Prince Al-Walid bin al-Talal, a billionaire 18 times over, an “important partner” to Bill Gates, co-owner of 21st Century Fox and Twitter, of Paris’ Hotel George V and London’s Savoy Hotel, inter alia, had been hung upside down, Mussolini-style.

Hundreds of other princes and gentlemen were tortured, too, until they agreed to surrender their ill-gotten assets, 70% of all they have. As I write, and as you read these lines, the torture goes on, and so far MBS has already milked his victims of hundreds of billions $$ worth of cash and assets.

“An Extortion racket”, you’ll exclaim. Perhaps MBS watched The Godfather in his impressionable youth and was impressed by efficiency of their methods. However, he has solved, or rather is in the process of solving, the problem of solvency.

Perhaps this is the method to be advised to Trump and Putin, as well as to other leaders? If the neoliberal dogma forbids taxing, if the offshore are sacred, what remains for a diligent leader but a plush five-star hotel and a band of experienced torturers?

But surely, the torturer will be condemned and ostracised by human rights’ defenders! Not at all. Not a single voice, neither from liberal left nor from authoritarian right objected to this amazing deed of mass torture and extortion. While the co-owner of Twitter has been subjected to daily beatings, the prime voice of liberal conscience, Tom Friedman of the New York Times, eulogised MBS as the bearer of progress. In an article as panegyric as they come, titled Saudi Arabia’s Arab Spring, at Last and subtitled “The crown prince has big plans for his society”.

Tom Friedman does not use the word “extortion”, saying that [MBS’s] “government arrested scores of Saudi princes and businessmen on charges of corruption and threw them into a makeshift gilded jail — the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton — until they agreed to surrender their ill-gotten gains.” No condemnation at all! Can you imagine what he would say if Putin were to arrest his oligarchs “until they agreed to surrender their ill-gotten gains”?

I believe one line in Friedman’s eulogy, saying that the Saudis are content with the extortion act: “the mood among Saudis I spoke with was: “Just turn them all upside down, shake the money out of their pockets and don’t stop shaking them until it’s all out!” Moreover, I am sure the Americans would applaud if their billionaires were to get the MBS treatment. The Russians were mighty pleased when Putin locked up the oligarch Khodorkovsky, and complained that he was the only one to be jailed. They would love to see the whole lot of oligarchs who plundered Russia through manifestly fraudulent, staged auctions under American advisers in Yeltsin’s days, to be shaken “until it’s all out”.

Not only the media is supportive of the extortion scheme. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC: “I think that the Crown Prince [Mohammed bin Salman] is doing a great job at transforming the country.” President Trump blessed MBS along similar lines. Not a word of condemnation came out of President Putin, either. Even Al Jazeera, though reporting the extortion in a matter-of-fact way, didn’t make too much out of it.

There is a veritable conspiracy around the MBS actions, a conspiracy embracing the media and governments. He kidnapped the Lebanese Prime Minister, placed him under arrest, took away his telephone and watch, forced him to read on TV a resignation letter composed by MBS people, – and the response of the world has been subdued. He bombed Yemen, causing hundreds of thousands to die of cholera and famine, and the world does not give a damn. Do you remember the response when the Russians bombed Aleppo? None of this indignation accompanies MBS’s war on Yemen.

But the blanket of silence covering the Extortion Racket beats all. Usually, the global media mainstream system propagates and amplifies the news in a game of rebounding agencies that indirectly end up also to maximize headline sales, wrote the Italian journalist Claudio Resta. But in this case, the important and spectacular news made no headlines. In our Society of the Spectacle, failing to exploit the “spectacular” is a waste of the most valuable resource for the media.

The potential for a great spectacle is all here. The arrest of dignitaries and princes of blood, including the famous Al-Walid bin al-Talal, well-known investor and Bakr bin Laden, brother of the most notorious Osama would normally feed the media for days. Add to it the marvelous setting of the glorious hotel on the verge of the desert. Make it even more dramatic by open rocket fire on the escaping helicopter of Prince Mansour bin Muqrin, killing him and the other dignitaries who tried to flee.

Such a story, so brilliant and spectacular, with the colour and costume of a Middle Eastern monarchy, could sell newspapers for a week at least. But it was followed by deafening silence.

The same media that overwhelms us with the flood of details and opinions in a case of human rights violations in Russia or China in this case shows off an Olympic indifference to the fate of the princes and billionaires, unjustly and arbitrarily arrested and tortured in a country of no constitution or Habeas Corpus. The United Nations joins in the conspiracy of silence.

This is probably the most unusual aspect of the story, reminiscent of The Dog that Didn’t Bark by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In that Sherlock Holmes story, a dog did not bark during the night when a race horse was removed from a stable, and that indicated that the thief was the dog’s master.

In the case of MBS, the media dog keeps silent. It means that its mighty mega-owner, whom I called The Masters of Discourse, allowed and authorised the racket. We witness a unique media event, bordering with revelation. How could it be that a prince of a third-league state would be allowed the licence to kidnap prime-ministers, kill princes by ground-to-air missiles, keep and torture great businessmen and dignitaries with impunity and the media would keep mum?

Is it fear of the robber barons that the example of MBS extorting billions from his super-rich will be picked up and acted upon in their own lands? Perhaps.

Or, is it more likely that The Axis of Goodness: Trump, Netanyahu and MBS, and the force behind them, that decided to free the hands of the strong-willed prince, who promised to surrender Jerusalem and present Palestine to the Jews in perpetuity? This was the offer of the old Saudis, who became the lords of Arabia because of their willingness to satisfy Jewish desires. For there were equally, or even more prominent Arabian lords and dynasties, with a better claim to rule the peninsula. The Saudis were the only ones ready to give up Palestine. And they were treacherous enough, as they already betrayed their Ottoman masters during the Arab Revolt of Colonel Lawrence.

The so-called Trump Peace Plan, discussed and charted by Jared Kushner and MBS, contains the surrender of Palestine, giving up on the Right of Return of the 1948 refugees, giving up Palestinian sovereignty, giving up Jerusalem. Palestinians will pay, and the Jews and the Saudis will share the spoils.

MBS has to suborn Mahmoud Abbas and the PNA, not an impossible task. Abbas has no mandate, and he rules by Israel’s permission. But he also has to suborn Hamas, otherwise Gaza will remain a thorn in the flesh. This is the reason for the reconciliation efforts between Gaza and the West Bank, Hamas and Fatah managed by Egypt. These efforts meanwhile are not spectacularly successful.

Hamas agreed to reconciliation hoping to improve life of much-suffering Gaza residents. Fatah was supposed to lift sanctions, to allow electricity to pour in, and people to enter and leave via the Rafah checkpoint. However, the sanctions remain in place, life is miserable as it ever was, and now the PNA demand reinstalling thousands of its people fired in 2007. It would lead to firing thousands of Hamas appointees. And worse, the PNA calls for disarmament of Hamas military wing, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades. This is plainly impossible.

Instead of lifting sanctions, the PNA demands surrender, and blames Iran for Hamas intransigence. Azzam al-Ahmad, the head of Fatah’s delegation for Palestinian reconciliation, said Iran is the “number one sponsor” of division between Palestinian factions. He said that on the Saudi TV channel al-Arabiya.

Iran is the main (if not the only) hindrance on the way of the Kushner-MBS plan. This partly explains the Saudi fury. Iran’s “supreme leader is the new Hitler of the Middle East,” said MBS to Tom Friedman. – “But we learned from Europe that appeasement doesn’t work. We don’t want the new Hitler in Iran to repeat what happened in Europe in the Middle East.” MBS pinched these words from a Netanyahu UN speech, but he refrained of referring to the source.

Iran blocks MBS’s plan to sell Palestine down the river, it blocks MBS’s war on Yemen, it blocks the takeover of Syria. Really, a new Hitler! But what about the Russians, Iran’s allies in the Syrian war?

The Russians decided to keep out of these events. During the historical recent visit of King Salman and his son MBS to Moscow, apparently the guests explained their ideas to their host. They promised to keep price of oil up, and this is important for Russia. When Saudi Arabia dropped the price of oil in 1980s, the USSR collapsed. Now, with high oil price, Putin has decided to pay 10,000 roubles, ($150) per month to each family upon birth of their first child. Apparently, the Saudis agreed to the Russian presence in Syria, too.

Putin is a man of reason; he is satisfied with half a loaf, he is not overreaching. He learned the lesson of the Iliad, of the Greek and Trojan Princes who could have had almost all they wished, – Greeks could have had Helen and a rich ransom, the Trojans could have allowed the Greeks to escape, – but they reached for more, for total destruction of their enemy, and eventually they lost all. Simone Weil wrote: “The tempered use of force, indispensable to the escape from its [force’s] machinery, would demand superhuman virtue, as rare as steadfast dignity in weakness.” This is Putin, in both his tempered use of force and in his steadfast dignity in weakness.

However, while Russian policies differ from Western ones, the Russian media was incorporated into the Masters of Discourse’s domain many years ago. Putin succeeded in partially releasing some TV channels from their clutches, but in general the Russian media follows the same guidelines as the Western media. An anti-Zionist article, a critique of Jewish rule in Palestine has as little (or less) chance to appear in Izvestia, as in the NY Times. An honest coverage of Gaza blockade is equally impossible on the CNN and on Russia 1st Channel and the RT.

Now, the critique and discussion of the KSA events in Russia has been blocked. The same people who block discussion of Israel/Palestine now block the discussion of the KSA crisis.

Thus, Iran and war-weakened Syria are all that stand on the way of a decisive Jewish victory in the Middle East. If a hundred years ago, the Jews pushed the unwilling US into WWI as a payoff for the Balfour Declaration, probably now they can repeat it to railroad the Kushner-MBS peace plan over Palestinian heads. For over this hundred years, the Jewish positions in mind control have only improved, via Facebook and Google.

Their plans are likely to misfire, as all MBS plans did. There was nothing he yet succeeded in achieving, from pressuring Qatar to vanquishing Yemen. A lot of blood and a lot of money will flow, adding to miseries in the Middle East and elsewhere.

The only satisfaction is that now you know who owns the dog that did not bark.

Israel Shamir can be reached at adam@israelshamir.net

This article was first published at The Unz Review.

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The Sexual Inquisition http://www.israelshamir.com/article/the-sexual-inquisition/ http://www.israelshamir.com/article/the-sexual-inquisition/#respond Sun, 19 Nov 2017 20:23:56 +0000 http://www.israelshamir.com/?post_type=article&p=3318 A burly unattractive woman in her late fifties or sixties, dyed hair, pearl laces around wrinkled neck, tearfully relating a story of unwanted sexual attention that maybe occurred many years ago, presents a most embarrassing sight. Perhaps once Beverly Young Nelson was young and pretty, and could awake passion in a man’s loins, but that was long time ago. And still this awkward creature effectively had stopped the suspect, Roy Moore from Alabama, from winning an election.

If this old crow were to claim she loaned Moore a hundred dollars thirty years ago and demanded it back with accrued interest, she would be laughed out of court. Where was she until now, where is the proof, people would say. Why nobody asks this question now, when the political career of the man is at stake? How could it be that a few unsubstantiated claims can ruin a man?

Moreover, this person has a name and a face, if an ugly one, but in many cases, the accuser remains anonymous, hidden by a letter, while the accused has a name, and a face, and often he had a job until this accusation. Only the Inquisition had similar features, with anonymous sources and obscure charges. Now we have sexquisition.

Is it a purely American phenomenon? A payback for Salem, where a similar spasm of mass paranoia caused a small New England town to hang some twenty women accused of witchcraft?

In Salem, men hunted witches; just three hundred years passed, and now witches hunt men.

Alas, no, it is a world-wide epidemic. The US is the model for the whole of Pax Americana, where people imitate American music and movies, and now they imitate this trend. No man of any confession or age is safe from persecution.

In Israel, the smaller soul-mate of America, a Rabbi has been indicted for raping and sodomising a teenage girl seven years ago. A feminist policewoman was given the case. The Rabbi spent a month in jail and almost a year under house arrest, he lost his job, his name was besmirched forever. Eventually it became clear that the girl couldn’t even remember and repeat her own lies. The State Prosecutor’s Office has withdrawn the indictment filed against Rabbi David Harrison, and he has been set free. Will somebody return to him the year of his life lost, his good name, his work? Will his accuser and the insistent policewoman pay for it? No.

He was anyway a lucky one. The Israeli President Moshe Katsav had less luck. His first accuser, hidden behind letter A. turned out to be a liar, and her claims were dismissed. But as her story unfolded, many women joined in the royal hunt, and eventually Katsav was jailed. Now, the judges in Israel are predominantly women, and men are doomed.

Europe meekly follows the US. There, the accused is a Swiss-born Muslim scholar Oxford University Professor Tariq Ramadan, the man who worked to make Muslims in Europe feel European. A string of women came claiming he raped them or made unwanted sexual advances to them some years ago. He had to take a leave of absence from the University.

In short, no man, Christian, Jew or Muslim, is safe from such an accusation, provided he has a name, a position and some money in his bank account. For a mysterious reason, ordinary hard-living guys, taxi drivers, lift operators or assembly belt workers were never remembered by the likes of Beverly Young Nelson twenty years later. Is it plausible that the working class blokes never push their way or even squeeze a girl? That only rich and famous guys do it?

This assault on men coincides with the very successful campaign #MeToo in the social networks. Many women were forced to join: if you didn’t, perhaps nobody ever found you attractive enough to make a pass. And they did join en masse. Men, too, are receptive to mass hysteria, but women much more so. Social networks are the breeding grounds for such trends.

Is there some kernel of truth in those woeful tales? Up to a point. Perfectly ordinary action can be described in extreme sensationalist language. Instead of saying “he embraced and kissed me”, use “he forcibly introduced his tongue into my mouth while holding me tight”, and then “by his weight he kept me pinned to the bed”. Sex can be described – by a Puritan, by a man-hater, by a psycho, – in such a way that you will call for death sentence for the perpetrator.

The word “rape” has little of its original meaning remaining. My friend Julian Assange has been imprisoned for years, and his perfectly consensual sex with two of his groupies has been described as ‘rape’ for some technicalities (a broken condom, a semi-sleeping or not fully awake condition). In both cases it was buyer’s remorse, the women regretted what they did after a couple of days because he did not call back. A man-hating woman, the state attorney, a self-proclaimed lesbian, insisted on sending Julian to jail. In her view, jail is a good place for any man, even if the complaint is baseless. Even after making such a discriminating statement, she was not fired.

Sweden has had a lot of rape complaints recently. Some readers connected it with mass immigration from the Middle East. And indeed a normal man from the Middle East may misinterpret girl’s words and actions. No means no, say the feminists, but it wasn’t so understood by European men even in the 1950s. A girl had to insist on her ‘no’, otherwise it would be construed as normal feminine way to be coy. So many ordinary actions are called ‘rape’ nowadays in Sweden, that the word had been properly devalued.

Anything can be described in nauseating manner. Eating meat can be compared to cannibalism, flirt can be described as horrible rape. In the same time, actions that nauseate a normal person can be described as normal and even normative. Normal men are revolted by the description or presentation of same-sex relationships. Nowadays they are forced to accept it as normal while considering usual man-to-woman act as almost criminal.

Americans voted for Donald Trump hoping he would end the emasculating trend in their society. It still can be done by enforcing two simple rules that were taken for granted until the US Supreme Court removed them.

One, end with reminiscences. The Bible, this great source of common sense, tells us what rape is and how to deal with it. If the crime occurred in town, the woman should raise hell. She should cry and shout. If it did not help, or if the crime occurred out of town, she should go right away to police. Not twenty years later, not in a week time, not even in a couple of days, but right away. If she kept silent, it is her problem.

This attitude will solve the question whether the woman means ‘no’, when she says ‘no’. If she cries out for help, she definitely means that.

And there will be no sleeping mines ready to go off any moment.

Two, no anonymity for the accusers. If you accuse a man, be prepared to stand for it, do not hide behind the veil of anonymity.

This two simple rules will restore sanity and make rape the horrible crime it was and is.

As for harassment, this is most often an invention of man-haters. It should be out of criminal law and out of police business altogether. If a lady feels that somebody’s stares annoy her, she might sue the guy. Or call for a policeman if it is more than just stares. Policemen know how to deal with such guys.

Reminiscences of harassment have no value, even if true. If the woman did not act on the spot, forget it.

Otherwise, soon the US will have no normal men politicians left; only women and effeminate men. And then the disease will spread all over Europe, until the Old World and North America will be ready for its repopulation by virile Africans.

Russia remains a safe zone for males. Though many American trends come to Moscow, emasculation is not one of them. When, a few years ago, Russians banned same-sex propaganda for minors, they broke with emasculating trend. Actually, Russian women prefer things done Russian way, too. Men pay for dinners, keep doors open, help with putting a coat, in short, they keep doing what the American and European gentlemen did some fifty years ago.

Russia has had its #MeToo campaign a year ago (#янебоюсьсказать , I dare to tell, in Russian), and a lot of women recited or invented stories of their harassment. But it remained in the Facebook, for the law did not allow to complain years after the alleged crime occurred.

Moreover, the Russians consider sex between men and women as a normal thing. They have no horror of sex between a teacher and a student, or between a boss and his assistant. Reports on severe punishment American judges meted on female teacher having sex with teenage boys are met with bewilderment and disbelief. Out of fifty recent stories of this kind probably not even one of them would be punished in Russia. I wouldn’t understand, either, what is the harm for a 17 year old student to be seduced by his 23-year old teacher. The kid should be envied, if anything. This traditional attitude toward sex is the main reason for the current mass media attack on Russia, not the mythical “Russian hackers”.

It is very difficult to defend Weinstein, with his Holocaust obsession and his desire of taking revenge upon blondes. However, his case had opened the gates of Hell. Let us shut them up before the Yin and Yang, male-female balance of the universe collapse.

Why has the US been hit by this strange trouble? I would explain it as an undoing of the 1968 revolution, including the Sexual Revolution. For us, for children of 1960s, the living was easy, and sex was free and plentiful – in California, Crimea, Côte d’Azur. We had a lot of it, wonderful unprotected sex, often with strangers. That was Communism. Fear of free and available sex is the fear of Communism.

The rich guys and gals who came to power afterwards turned everything into money, and with that purpose on their minds they created scarcity, even scarcity of sex, a sex counter-revolution. Harassment complainants are the soldiers of the Sexual Counter-Revolution as they increase scarcity in order to monetize their charms. They will be the losers, poor things; hopefully they won’t ruin the world before they understand it.

Israel Shamir can be reached at adam@israelshamir.net

This article was first published at The Unz Review.

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It Has Never Been So Good http://www.israelshamir.com/article/it-has-never-been-so-good/ http://www.israelshamir.com/article/it-has-never-been-so-good/#comments Tue, 14 Nov 2017 17:55:03 +0000 http://www.israelshamir.com/?post_type=article&p=3311 One Hundred years after the Balfour Declaration – what is actually going on in Palestine?

I’d like to say that Palestine is burning and Israel suffers, but the truth must be told:

Israel and Palestine are prospering under Netanyahu. It has never been so good. The minimum wage on the Israeli side is now over $1500; in a couple of years it went up from 4000 to 5300 shekel per month. Inflation didn’t follow this rise, despite dire predictions. The poor are not poor anymore, though perhaps some are less than prosperous.

The prices in local currency are stable. On the international scene, the shekel is high, very high (though still below its dizzying heights of 2014), and the Treasury fights to prevent its further rise. That’s why prices appear rather expensive for a foreigner. A sandwich, the humble Israeli/Palestinian falafel and a soft drink will set you back (at least) 10 bucks, and in Tel Aviv it will probably be prepared and served by an African refugee. A modest sit-down lunch costs about 20 dollars, a good dinner much more, and you have to book it well in advance to find a table. This is on the Israeli side. On the Palestinian side, a similar lunch will cost slightly less, perhaps $15. Still the restaurants are full; Israelis love to eat and they do eat all the time, talking about food a bit too much.

Tourists stampede into the Holy Land like never before. This October, all the hotels in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv were full up; it was difficult to find a room for less than $200 per night even further afield. Bethlehem and even Hebron hotels are full, too. Their occupants are tourists heading for Jerusalem. There are queues to enter the more important sanctuaries and tourist attractions, the Nativity Church in Bethlehem and in the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem they queue for hours to venerate the spot of the Saviour’s birth and entombment.

The Palestinians are joining in this prosperity by building homes. There is a great building boom all over the West Bank. New apartment houses grow on every empty spot. Yesterday’s poor villages like Imwas near Bethlehem and Taffuh near Hebron became real towns of 3 to 4 floor modern houses, very similar to those coveted by Israelis. They are not as charming and beautiful as those built by their fathers and grandfathers, but it is a global trend.

Israel minimized the internal checkpoints that previously separated practically every Palestinian village from its neighbours. Nowadays, a Palestinian can travel more or less unhindered in his area. It is still pain in the neck to go from Bethlehem (just south of Jerusalem) to Ramallah (just north of Jerusalem), and it is almost impossible to go to Jerusalem, but this is already progress.

Ramallah is a modern city, with many recently built good houses, five-star hotels, fancy restaurants, and the near-by university of Bir Zeit. It is no longer the city that valiantly had fought the Israeli army during the Second Intifada of 2001. It has become softer. The Israeli army still enters the city whenever it wants and snatches citizens, sometimes for a irreverent posting in Facebook. Recently they arrested a young man when Google mistranslated his ‘Good Morning’ as ‘Go and Kill them’, or something similar.

Israeli citizens are not allowed by the Israeli government to enter Palestinian territories. It is probably a smart move: if the Israelis could see how similar, in the same Western-style milieu, their neighbours live, they’d understand that the Wall is not needed, for there is preciously little difference between the two sides, and that would be the end of self-imposed Jewish separatism.

I can’t possibly celebrate this convergence; I loved the good old Palestine of private stone houses amid vineyards, and Palestinian peasants always at work with their olive trees and springs. It is gone. In Dura al-Kari’a, a charming village with beautiful springs, the fields are deserted. Children of hard-working peasants work in the government offices of Ramallah and they do not dream of going back to field work. The springs are not cherished as the only source of life, they are taken care of as a pleasant memory from the irrelevant past. Neo-liberal capitalism destroyed what Zionism failed to kill.

However, this is reality of the 21st century. The same developments occurred in Provence and in Toscana across the sea; while much worse things happened in nearby Syria and Iraq. People got used to this new reality, it is only us, old romantics, who complain.

This prosperous Israel can easily absorb prosperous Palestine by voiding its apartheid laws. Years ago it would be a jump into unknown, today it will be as normal and easy step as making the border between Maryland and Virginia (there was even a border dispute between the two over Potomac River) practically invisible.

However, there are no voices in Israel calling for such a step. Jewish right-wing parties that want to integrate Palestine are willing to do so sans the inhabitants. They produce plans on how to keep the land and get rid of the people. The Jewish Israeli Left has practically disappeared. Its main Labour Party elected a new leader this month, and he already promised never to give up on settlements (they should remain Jewish forever) and never allow Arabs into his government. He also called for even a more vigorous and fighting attitude toward neighbours of the Jewish state: if they shot a missile, we should shoot fifty. The Arabs understand only the language of force, he said. With such a Left, who needs a Right?

So it would be sensible from the point of view of loss and profit to integrate, but it was always sensible, even in 1948, when Israel owned the only modern harbour of Haifa in the Eastern Mediterranean, the pipeline could deliver Kirkouk oil to Haifa refineries and railways connected Beirut with Damascus and Cairo via Jaffa and Tel Aviv. Even then the Jews could roll in gold, but they preferred eternal hostility. Knowing that, I am not sure this time it will be different.

The second part of the Balfour Declaration, the promise to safeguard the rights of non-Jews, turned out to be a hard part. And until the Jews are forced to reconsider, any real progress is unlikely. But even without progress and in conditions of inequality, the unique geographical position of Palestine and the reasonable economic policies of Netanyahu makes life quite bearable. It is very annoying not to be able to drive freely from Bethlehem to Ramallah or Jaffa, it is a great pain not to be able to fly from and to the only airport in the country, but economically things are not that bad. Perhaps many blacks prospered even in the days of Jim Crow, and in the days of SAR apartheid.

Israel Shamir can be reached at adam@israelshamir.net

This article was first published at The Unz Review.

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The Greek Occupation http://www.israelshamir.com/article/the-greek-occupation/ http://www.israelshamir.com/article/the-greek-occupation/#respond Tue, 07 Nov 2017 18:01:05 +0000 http://www.israelshamir.com/?post_type=article&p=3302 The Pope of Jerusalem (one of the five original popes, His Beatitude the Patriarch of the Holy Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem and Holy Land, by his usual title) Theophilos III hardly dares to visit churches nowadays. Whenever he is coming, his flock stands outside and prevents his entry. Last week, Jewish police helped him to enter a village church, while hundreds of believers stood by and cursed him loudly. There is a plan to stop him on Christmas from entering the Nativity Church.

Bear in mind that his predecessor Irineos I had been deposed by the bishops twelve years ago, and since then he lives in a lonely cell in the monastery, refusing to leave its walls. He knows that if he leaves he will not be allowed to return. Looking at his travail, the present Patriarch is far from complacent.

The laity and lower clergy, the Christian Palestinians in the Holy Land are very unhappy with the Patriarch and the whole setup of the Church management. The Patriarch sells church lands at fire-sale prices; the church-owned lands of Caesarea worth billions were sold by him for less than the price of one house on this immense tract of land. Soon the church will be destitute, and the Palestinian Christianity established by Christ Himself will wither, the clerics say.

But money is not the only issue. The Patriarch does not allow Palestinians to rise in the church: just one Palestinian, His Beatitude Theodosius Atallah Hanna the Archbishop of Sebaste had been ordained years ago, but even he has not been allowed to participate in church decisions, he is kept out of the Synod, the ruling church body, out of the Holy Sepulchre Brotherhood, he has no church of his own and no salary, the only Archbishop kept out in the cold. That is because he is not a Greek by blood.

In the Orthodox Church only monks can rise to the episcopate, while ordinary parish priests may (and usually do) marry. The Patriarch does not allow Palestinian monks who studied theology in Greece to come home to Holy Land, so they could not claim the bishop mantle in his church. There are 24 Palestinian monks now in monasteries of Greece; all of them applied to move back to their native land, all of them have been refused.

“If you want to move to Palestine, give up your monastic rites and marry. Otherwise, stay away!” – the Patriarch replied to them. All bishops in the Jerusalem Church are ethnic Greeks; and they are determined to keep this occupation forever.

While the Jews keep Palestinians out of political decisions (even left-wing Israelis would never allow Palestinian parties to join the government), the Greeks keep Palestinians, descendants of the Apostles, out of church control. Everybody knows of the Jewish occupation of Palestine, it is frequently discussed in the UN, presidents deal with it and activists fight it, but the Greek occupation of the Church of Jerusalem is not being mentioned in polite company.

Many good Greeks support the struggle against the Jewish occupation, and sail to break the Gaza blockade. While this is surely good, it would be better if they were to deal with the Greek occupation.

The Greek Church, that is the Orthodox Church of Greece, knows of this shameful story. Their bishops visit the Holy Land and meet with the Palestinian Christians. But they do not dare confront the hierarchy of the Jerusalem Church, and they – led by the present Patriarch – consider Palestine their own milch cow to be milked at will.

The results are dreadful. Palestine and Israel have no services for all their citizens, but each community takes care of its own. The Muslims take care of Muslims, Jews care of Jews, Catholics and Protestants care for their own flocks, build and staff schools, organize activities from olive oil sales to beer production. Only the Orthodox Christians of Palestine, the oldest and the greatest community, have nothing. Their numbers dwindle with every year. Oh yes, we can justifiably blame Jews for not doing enough, but it would be fair to attach a portion of guilt to the leaders of the Orthodox Church. They just do not care about the local flock at all. They are not shepherds of the flock.

They do not build churches. There are many new new Israeli cities, Beer Sheba, Afula, Eilat, even Tel Aviv with thousands of Orthodox Christians (baptized Jews or immigrants of Orthodox faith), but not a single church has ever been established in them. The Russians proposed to build the churches for the Jerusalem Church, but the Patriarch is just not interested. He cares only about the profitable old pilgrim churches visited by Greek and Russian tourists.

The leaders of the Church of Jerusalem, the Greek bishops who refuse to accept the Palestinians as their equals, practice ecclesiastical racism, or “ethno-phyletism”, as it is called. The Orthodox Church condemned this practice as heresy in its Synod of 1872 in Constantinople. However, the condemnation didn’t change the reality in Palestine.

The Holy Land is the only place on earth where the hierarchs of the church are invariably of Greek, and never of local stock. Everywhere else, the Orthodox churches are grounded in local tradition, use the vernacular tongue, and are ruled by local bishops. The Russian Orthodox Church has Russian laity and Russian bishops, the Church of Greece has Greek laity and Greek bishops, the Church of Antioch has Syrian Arab laity and bishops, and only the Church of Jerusalem has Palestinian laity and parish priests and Greek bishops.

The roots of this problem go back for hundreds of years, to 1534, when after the Ottoman conquest a Greek monk Germanos had been installed as the Patriarch of Jerusalem by the decision of the Sublime Porte, that is the Ottoman Empire. He appointed only Greek bishops, and since then the Greeks have kept the monopoly of power in the Church. They collaborated with the Turks, with the British and now with the Jews, as they had no independent power base of their own, but they could exist only by obliging the supreme foreign power in the land.

The Greeks, the Jews and the Armenians formed three elite groups in the Empire; they provided the bulk of educated classes, kept the trade (Jews), administration (Greeks) and crafts (Armenians) in their hands, while Turks were satisfied with being soldiers and peasants. The three nations have a similar modus operandi: tightly knit, tribal in their outlook, mutually competitive and exclusionary. If you want to understand the roots of Jewish domination in the US and elsewhere, you may look into the way these three groups managed things in Imperial Turkey. And there was not much to choose between the Jew and the Greek.

Ethnic Greeks had seized full control over the churches within the Empire, that is the churches of Constantinople, Antioch, Jerusalem and Alexandria. No ethnic Arab, Turk or Copt could become a bishop. The result was good for the Greeks but tragic for the Church: laity voted with their feet and left the church to convert to Islam or (to lesser extent) to non-Greek-controlled churches, among them, the Roman Catholic Church, Syriac Church and more exotic denominations. This Greek ecclesiastical racism killed, or at least undermined the native Middle East Christianity of Christ and His Apostles.

Eventually the Copts of Egypt broke with the Greek-dominated church of Alexandria and established their own Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, leaving communion with other Orthodox churches, while the Greek Orthodox church of Alexandria withered and remained a shadow of itself.

An opposite development took place in Syria, where (at the end of the 19th century) the local Arabs frogmarched their Greek bishops to the harbour and had shipped them away to Greece. They elected Arab bishops and an Arab Patriarch, while remaining in communion with other Orthodox Churches. Their Church of Antioch flourished until the rise of ISIS, but hopefully it will regain its lost ground as their Orthodox brothers from Russia helped them defeat the jihadists.

The Constantinople and Jerusalem Sees remained in ethnic Greek hands, in both cases with very unhappy consequences. In Constantinople, the Greeks spurned Ataturk’s proposal to become the Turkish Orthodox Church, though it would have returned to them many churches including the great Hagia Sophia, and probably would have prevented the tragic Greek dispossession and expulsion in 1920s. The Church of Constantinople became a withered ghost dominated by the CIA, and so it remains until nowadays.

Jerusalem and the Holy Land were too important to the Christendom to let it go native. The Russians supported nativisation of the Church, but quite cautiously, as they cherished their unity in communion with other Orthodox churches. There was much Jewish meddling, too. Thus the Church of Jerusalem remained in ethnic Greek hands, and more and more Orthodox Palestinians converted away, to the Catholic or Protestant denominations. From being majority in 19th century and from being a full third of the entire Palestinian population in the days of the British Mandate, the Orthodox have nowadays shrunk to some 30,000 members of the church.

And now, the Greeks at the helm of the church have decided to turn their milch cow into a meat-producing one and slaughter it, by selling its assets to Jews.

The recent and much-in-news development is the story of two hotels at Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem, once the best New Imperial Hotel and Petra. Both are run-down and sorry shadows of themselves, but still occupy the best positions in Jerusalem. They were sold by the previous Patriarch Irineos for peanuts; Haaretz revealed the buyers had paid twenty times less than the assessed sum. And who are the buyers? An extremist Jewish settler organisation Ateret Cohanim, whose purpose is to rebuild the Third Jewish Temple on the ruins of Al Aqsa Mosque and meanwhile try to cleanse Jerusalem of non-Jews and settle Jews in their homes.

The current Patriarch Theophilos III solemnly promised to revert the sale. Indeed he went to Jerusalem District (Jewish) court demanding to void the deal for it was done fraudulently for too low a price and by bribing officials. The Court ruled: the deal stays. I, for one, was outraged by this obvious Jewish injustice, but it turned out the villains weren’t Jews.

I have met with a Palestinian Christian, a leading member of the Central Orthodox Council in Israel, Mr Alif Sabbagh of Al Buqaia (or Pekiin) village in Galilee, the man who dedicated his life to documentation about the church lands and about the Patriarchate dealings. He owns a veritable full archive of all the deals of recent years. He told me the court had no choice: the Patriarch Theophilos refused to provide proof for his claims, and he secretly entered into an agreement with the Jewish settlers.

In Israeli law, there are two stages of appeal. In the first stage, the claimant makes a claim, in the second stage, he brings proof of his claim. The Patriarch made a claim, but refused to furnish the proof. The Jewish judge said she can’t accept the claim without the proof.

And it is not that the Patriarch could not do it. The man in the heart of the problem, Nikolas Papadimas, the former church treasurer, who allegedly signed the sale contracts without Irineos’ knowledge, had fled the country and been wanted by Interpol on an international warrant amid allegations that he stole millions of dollars from the Patriarchate, came back to Athens and demanded to give his evidence at the court. His evidence would trash the Jewish claim, and it is clear why the Jewish settlers objected to his evidence being introduced at court. But the Greek Patriarch Theophilos also objected to placing Papadimas on the witness stand, and the Jewish judge really could not do anything, even if she were willing.

At the same time, the Patriarch sold the church lands in Western Jerusalem, huge and valuable tracts of land including the plot on which the Knesset is built to mysterious offshore companies for pennies. (The real money came into his account in his own real name in an offshore bank, says Alif Sabbagh.) In response, the Jewish parliament, the Knesset, began to discuss the Rachel Azaria bill of expropriation of church lands sold to third parties since 2010.

The Patriarch Theophilos called upon Christian solidarity, and the churches of the West responded by speaking against the bill. However their stand was based on mis-representation by the Patriarch, who claimed the bill expropriates church lands. I have read the bill, and it just is not true: the bill makes sales of church lands to third parties practically impossible. After the bill becomes law, the Patriarch will have a choice: to sell the lands to the Jewish state, or not sell at all. This obviously undermines his bargaining position and his ability to pocket more bribes, but does not really damage the position of the Church.

The Palestinian Christians are a well developed and prosperous community. They are better educated than the Jews, they are well-to-do, rooted in the soil of Palestine. They were and are active in the struggle for Palestine, often leading it despite their small numbers. (The name of George Habash, the Christian leader of Popular Front, comes to mind, as well as the name of Emile Habibi, the great Palestinian writer). They have good relations with the Palestinian Muslims, and they would like to get along with Jews, too. You can read a short and rather good entry in Wikipedia about them, balancing its usual bias by reading the discussion. Though you will notice the ubiquitous presence of known Zionist operators (Jayjig etc), still it conveys the message and allows one to understand the subject, which is a rare thing in Palestine-related Wikipedia articles.

Their spiritual leader is the hard-working and relatively young Archbishop Theodosius Atallah Hanna, who by uncanny coincidence bears the name (Atallah) of the last Palestinian Patriarch before the Greek takeover. He is very active, meeting delegations daily and usually posting the report on his Facebook page or on his other page, where his message is “Palestinian Christians are not a minority in Palestine; in Palestine, there are no minorities , but there are people struggling for freedom”.

He is popular with Muslims, too. During the recent confrontation over the Al Aqsa Mosque he went there in solidarity with the Jerusalem Mufti, his personal friend. He is a good friend of the Orthodox Jews of Naturei Karta, who I witnessed personally accompanying him on a visit of condolence. He is willing to be a good friend to Jews, too, for he recognises they are here to stay in his beloved Palestine. And he naturally bears no animosity to Greeks, as he studied in Greece, speaks Greek fluently, visits Greece frequently and recognises the importance of Greek culture for Palestinian Christians.

He would be a perfect new Patriarch, ending the discord and bringing unity and peace to the oldest Christian Church created by Christ himself. The quarrels over lands would go away, Greeks would peacefully mesh with the Palestinians, losing their monopoly but preserving their important position. In short, he would be the ideal de-colonising figure, allowing not only native Palestinians, but other Orthodox Christians of the Holy Land, notably baptised Russian ex-Jews and ethnic Russians to fully integrate in the church, a prospect that horrifies the present Patriarch Theophilos.

He is also well known in the Middle East. Recently he visited Syria, went to its Orthodox Monasteries and churches, and met with President Bashar al Assad whom he admires for his defence of the Christians in face of the Jihadi onslaught. (Israeli police and Israeli media attacked him for this visit to “the enemy”, though he merely fulfilled his ecclesiastical duty). He is liked by the Russians and by baptised Russian Jews in Israel, and he often baptises them and their children. He baptised me and my wife and son, for which I am eternally grateful to His Beatitude.

However, the Palestinian Christian activists who now lead their Intifada against the present Patriarch, think that the best solution for the much-suffered church is to have a few years without a Patriarch at all. They told me they would prefer the church to be run by a committee of three bishops (including Archbishop Theodosius Atallah Hanna) for a while, and at that time the church should establish new rules of Patriarch succession, forever forfeiting the Ottoman-inherited rule of asking consent of the sovereign (presently of the Israeli government, of the PNA and of the King of Jordan). This consent-seeking opened the church to blackmail – the Israeli government refuses to give its consent until the candidate promises to give some Church lands to the Jews. The rebels have an even farther-reaching idea of taking economic decisions (be it lands or salaries) out of the Patriarch’s hands for good. Let the Patriarch deal with spiritual questions, while the laity manage the material problems, they say.

The Patriarch is not waiting quietly for these developments. He is using all the resources of the church to bribe those who bear influence: the PNA, the Jordanian princes and Israeli officials. The Palestinians speak of a big land lease the Patriarch granted to Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad of Jordan, thus turning Jordanian royalty to his side. The Israelis had received even more generous gifts, and the PNA officials weren’t forgotten either.

The Russians could influence the outcome, but they are quite unwilling to interfere in the affairs of the sister church. In private conversations, they express their sympathy for the Palestinian cause, but they do not want to endanger their relations with the Patriarchates of Jerusalem and Constantinople. These can painfully retaliate by accepting the demands of the Ukrainian bishops for recognition, and in general cause more trouble than it is worth, for the Russians.

For this reason it is hard to predict how the struggle will end, whether the wily Patriarch will keep his position and the Greek dominance in the church by granting more and more lands to the people in power, or whether this Palestinian Intifada succeed after all and the church will become independent of the Greek colonisers. Probably the best force able to interfere and solve the dispute peacefully is Greece, namely the Greek people, who are able to understand the problem and do what they preach to other colonial powers, namely to end the colonisation and occupation. Otherwise the fate of the oldest Christian Church is in doubt.

Israel Shamir can be reached at adam@israelshamir.net

This article was first published at The Unz Review.

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A Soft Landing in the Middle East? http://www.israelshamir.com/article/a-soft-landing-in-the-middle-east/ http://www.israelshamir.com/article/a-soft-landing-in-the-middle-east/#comments Mon, 23 Oct 2017 16:51:45 +0000 http://www.israelshamir.com/?post_type=article&p=3293 Trump fans, that endangered and vanishing species, are going through hard times. Even a devoted admirer of the Orange Man couldn’t swallow his strange battle of words with Kim, his threats to Iran, his UNESCO farce – and keep a straight face. The only comfort is that Hillary would have been even worse. Is he a comic miscast, a buffoon? Actually, Trump is doing the thankless job of soft-landing the US Empire.

The giant spaceship America still may crash under the unsupportable weight of its obligations and ambitions, and bury much of the world under its debris. (The Third World War is another name of that impending crash.) Trump is an expert in bankruptcies, and he was supposed to downsize and soft-land the ship in the best (for Americans) terms.

This is what he is doing, helped by the Congress and the mainstream media. Yes, you’ve heard it right. By limiting the manoeuvrability of the US President, by their open animosity to his proposals they speed up the landing. Perhaps it won’t be as soft as it would be in dreams, but without the Establishment’s resistance, Trump might be tempted to keep the ship flying.

The Middle East has been a place of huge American involvement for many years, and here – I write this after coming to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem from Moscow – the feeling of impending US withdrawal is particularly strong. Many years ago, the British Empire contracted and withdrew from many of its colonies and possessions; now it the US turn.

It is being said that Russia is moving in, while the US is moving out of the Middle East. This is not exactly so: the Russians can’t and won’t assume the Imperial functions in the area, or anywhere else. The Russians feel that the idea of one state ruling them all has outlived its practicality and is dead, for good. We are back in the multi-polar world of the 19th and early 20th centuries, with different actors, but the same paradigm. It makes the Russians try hard to stabilise the area, without becoming a sheriff-on-the-beat.

They achieved their centuries-old dream: gaining a foothold on the Mediterranean, on the other side of the Bosporus. That dream pulled Russia into World War One; and it has been obtained without heavy sacrifice. Now they seek stability, and that the neighbours of Syria get used to the Russian newcomers.

The Middle Eastern rulers, who feel that the US is out, flock to Moscow, while the emissaries of the Kremlin fly to the Middle East. They have to sort out and re-establish some regional order after the Syrian war. There are a few separate and still interconnected confrontations: Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Yemen, and the major players are Russia, the US, Israel, Turkey, Iran and the Saudis.

Israel is playing a dangerous game: it bombs the Syrian army almost daily. Despite their renowned anti-missile shield of the S-400, the Russians are not protecting Syrian targets, only their own bases. The Israeli planes decided that they may fly with impunity over Lebanon. Sometimes these are reconnaissance flights, sometimes these are bombing sorties. During their recent reconnaissance flight, the Israeli jets were met with Syrian anti-aircraft missiles of older generations, and apparently escaped unscathed (the Syrians claimed a hit, but this was not independently verified). Two hours later, the Israeli jets came and destroyed the Syrian missile battery. The Russians just sat tight and did nothing. This Russian silence has an interesting history and an important follow-up.

On his last visit to Russia, PM Netanyahu warned Putin that Israel would not quietly observe Iran and Hezbollah improving their positions versus Israel in Syria, and he demanded that the Russian remove the Iranians. Putin refused, but expressed his understanding. He promised to try and keep Iranians at five miles away from the Israeli border. He could not do much more even if he wanted.

Iran is a Russian ally in Syria and beyond. It participates (together with Turkey and Russia) in the Astana peace process. Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia form an important South-North route for oil and goods; Iran, Turkey and Russia plan a joint venture to supply gas to Europe. The Iranians supported Moscow in its fight against Chechen extremists supported by Washington, as Vladimir Putin described at length in his interview with Oliver Stone. The Iran-Russia relations are not those of great passionate love, but of good cooperation and coordination.

The Iranians in Syria do a lot of hard fighting; without them, Russia would have to send ground troops and Putin is reluctant to do this without a very good reason. (Dislike of Israel does not count.)

(Aside: There are some Russian troops in Syria, and there is one private Russian military contractor, usually called Wagner (for the composer of The Ride of the Valkyries). There were publications in Soros-owned Russian media claiming there were many casualties among them. However, I met a person with first hand knowledge of the Wagner Group, and he told me that their activity is very limited. They are no longer being armed, supplied and paid by the Russian MoD, as it was done for a while. The Russian Minister of Defence, Sergey Shoygu, a strong man of Mongolian stock, didn’t like having independent troops on the ground.

Now they are employed by a Syrian company as security guards for the oil fields. They say they are not being armed and paid as well as before, but still they stay. Their casualties are bearable, and the Russian armed forces have very few casualties, in spite of the dire predictions of 2015.)

My Arab friend visited Damascus, his native city, and he observed that the Syrians greatly prefer Russians to Persians, as the Persians do interfere and indoctrinate, as opposed to Russians. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, a great fighting force, try to turn the Alawites and other similar religious communities into good Iranian-style Shias. But these many sects of Shia origin were formed centuries ago, and they do not want to join the Persian orthodoxy. Imagine Catholics trying to bring the Protestants back into Roman fold. In addition, the Syrian Alawites feel that the Iranians are likely to antagonise the Sunni majority.

However, with all these drawbacks, the Iranians are good warriors, and they are needed for the Syrian government to win its battle. They proved their mettle last week when the Iraqi Shia forces (trained by the Revolutionary Guards) took Kirkuk, together with Iraqi government army, putting paid to the hare-brained Iraqi Kurdistan ‘independence’ project. Kurdistan had been announced as “the second Israel”, a secular non-Arab state friendly to Tel Aviv. Being a ‘second Israel’ is not a great recommendation in the area still troubled by the first one.

Kurdistan took a page from the Israeli book and ethnically cleansed Arabs and Turcoman tribes from its own area and from the adjacent area of Kirkuk and Mosul governorates. The Kirkuk area with its oil fields is of particular importance and value. It was taken by the Kurds when Daesh (the Islamic State) expelled the Iraqi Army. Daesh didn’t fight the Kurds, who allegedly helped the Islamists take Mosul. Beside being ‘a second Israel’, Kurds were locally considered ‘a second Daesh’, another Israeli-American project to break fragile Arab unity.

As opposed to Israel, Kurdistan did not manage things well. The lord of Erbil, Masoud Barzani, called himself the ‘President of Kurdistan’, though he was not recognized as such even by the Kurds of the second largest city Sulaymaniyah; he decreed himself a huge salary. Though he officially received more per month than President Obama received per year, it was not enough, and the man privatized the oil profits and became a multibillionaire.

What was worse, he was a bad manager. While oil was expensive, Kurdistan stopped producing anything at all but oil. The rest of its population lived on handouts for loyalty. When oil became cheap, the economy of Kurdistan crashed, and with 20 billion of national debt, Barzani decided to double the stakes and declared the independence of his autonomy including Kirkuk. He hoped Israel and the US wouldn’t let the Iraqis call his bluff, as he had American military instructors and Israeli advisers. Besides, he believed the PR myth of Kurdish military prowess, of his fighting Amazons.

It turned out the Kurdish soldiers did not want to die for Barzani, for they knew Kirkuk has never belonged to the Kurds. They withdrew with little fighting, and the Iraqi Shia militias trained by Iran took over Kirkuk for the Iraqi state. The Israelis were upset. Trump had betrayed an ally, wrote Haaretz, and Iran has been allowed to gain the upper hand. It was a great relief for everybody else: for ethnically cleansed Arabs and Turcoman as they can now return home, for Iraq, Turkey, Iran and Syria as as independent Kurdistan would encourage sedition in their states. Thus the Iranians saved the Damascus government from the real danger of Kurd secession.

And now we come to the Israeli part. The destruction of the Syrian battery I referred to above had a complication. That was done on the day that Sergey Shoygu, the Russian Minister of Defence, visited Tel Aviv. Though the Israelis claimed they notified the Russians in advance, actually they notified them post factum, and Shoygu received the news from his headquarters when his plane was on the tarmac ready to take off to Israel. What’s worse, he received it on his phone, not by secure connection.

Shoygu was very annoyed by this welcoming present, and he expressed his dissatisfaction to his Israeli hosts. They coolly replied that while they take notice of Russia’s interests in Syria, they need nobody’s advice when their security is on stake.

This was probably a mistake, a very common one for the Israelis. They always push too hard, escalate confrontation in deep belief this will give them a great win. The results are often sad.

(Aside: I remember as a young soldier I served in the War of Attrition on the Suez Canal; the Israelis endlessly escalated the conflict, bombing Egyptian cities and refusing negotiations, until the Russians moved their anti-aircraft systems to the Canal. That was it, the Israelis lost their air superiority and quietly asked for a cease-fire. Another example, the Israelis killed the head of Hezbollah, and as the result, Seyid Nasr Allah became the new head and a much more efficient one.)

This time, too, their aggressive attitude was counterproductive. The Defence Minister of Iran stepped into the breach and promised to help Syria to secure its skies. This offer may have two possible consequences. One, the Russians will feel jealous and will seal the airspace of Syria and Lebanon against the Israeli Air Force. Two, the Russians will stand aside and allow (perhaps assist) Iranians to do this job. In both cases, Iranian positions in Syria will improve, and Israelis will lose their freedom to operate over Lebanon and Syria.

Israeli intransigence is unlikely to pay off regarding the Palestinian reconciliation. Two main parties, the PLO (mainly Fatah) ruling the West Bank, and Hamas ruling Gaza strip, succeeded in settling their differences. Gaza will come under the rule of PNA. Israelis were furious. They always enjoyed inter-Palestinian cold war; this allowed them to say they can’t negotiate with Mahmud Abbas as he represents only the West Bank. Now they say they can’t negotiate because Hamas are terrorists.

They demanded three preconditions from Hamas: (1) recognise Israel, (2) disarm, (3) stop anti-Israeli propaganda. Hamas replied: when hell will frieze over. The US supported the Israeli refusal, and said they will stop their financial help to the PNA if Fatah and Hamas fully join in one government.

Russia took over the reconciliation efforts management. Hamas leaders went to Moscow, and they were well received. I was present at their press conference, and I have heard of their optimistic prognosis. Immediately after them, the Fatah people went to Moscow, and were well received. Moscow wants them to make up and kiss. Probably it will happen. But what about the Israeli threats?

Now Hamas leaders went to Iran to ask for their support. The Iranians promised to help. Thus unnecessary Israeli intransigence has allowed Iran to enter Gaza on a much stronger footing. You may say that Russia/Iran play the good cop/bad cop game. Russia proposes peace initiatives, and when they are rejected, enter Iran with the military alternative. (This was the case in Kurdistan, too: Russians begged Barzani to postpone his quest for independence for some years, he did not listen, and then Iran came in and took Kirkuk.)

Israeli defence minister Mr Lieberman said this week that in near future, Israel will fight a three-front war at once: in Lebanon, in Syria and in Gaza. In all three locations, Israelis will find the Iranians waiting for them. That is, unless the Israelis agree with Russian ideas. What about the US? Trump still has the option of war with Iran, and it is not impossible. Then the Middle East is likely to become uninhabitable. If the US will stay out, a sort of peaceful arrangement is possible.

Another angle of the new configuration has been provided by Turkey, where President Erdogan practically broke with the US in a very public way. The Turkish police arrested a Turkish employee of the American consulate in Turkey. The US responded heavy-handedly, by ceasing to issue visas for Turks. The Turks responded by ceasing to issue visas for Americans.

This tit-for-tat comes right after Turkish decision to buy the S-400, the Russian missile defence system, which annoyed the US immensely. Removal of German (NATO) forces from the most important air base in Turkey practically took Turkey out of NATO. Turks also helped Russia and Iran undermine the short-lived Kurdistan independence: they closed the border for Kurdistan oil, and the land-locked small state economy went into a free fall.

The Saudis, the reliable and preferred friend of the US, began to feel heat. Recently the old King Salman of KSA came to Moscow on a grand visit. He promised to buy the fashionable S-400, and complained that Iran is too active and powerful in the region.

More importantly for the Russians, the Saudis agreed to cut their oil production output to keep the price up. The Russians have still nightmares from the late 1980s, when Saudis, at the US request, dropped oil price to five dollar a barrel and undermined the Soviet Union. Now it seems the Saudis and the Russians quietly do business together.

There weren’t high expectations of the Saudi royal visit: Saudis have little money left, and their promises often remain just that, promises. ‘Promising to marry’ is not the same ‘to marry’, people say. However, the visit confirms that the countries of the Middle East accepted Russia as one of the key countries in the region, and this counts.

These are the main points of the Middle Eastern realignment now under way. It is being formed now in front of our eyes, and it seems that the US will be able to leave the volatile region in relative peace.

Israel Shamir can be reached at adam@israelshamir.net

This article was first published at The Unz Review.

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Antisemitism Weaponised http://www.israelshamir.com/article/antisemitism-weaponised/ http://www.israelshamir.com/article/antisemitism-weaponised/#respond Wed, 18 Oct 2017 16:54:56 +0000 http://www.israelshamir.com/?post_type=article&p=3296 Palestine with its wonderful rolling landscapes and venerable old olive trees, – some of them planted by Mary’s own hands, by the Virgin, Mother of Jesus Christ, the Palestinian peasant woman who owned a plot of olive orchard near present Cremisan Convent in Beit Jalla, still bearing Her name; Palestine with its sturdy mountain folk, lean, sun-tanned and blue-eyed, my second- or perhaps first homeland, where I write these lines, Palestine is also a rare place in the world, where people are not afraid to mouth the word “Jew”.

My Palestinian friend, a retired chemistry professor Ghassan Abdulla – we became friends years ago while trying to promote the idea of One State for all the inhabitants of the Holy Land of whatever faith, the idea universally accepted all over the world, certainly in your country be it the US, the UK, Russia or France, but still considered extremely radical here – Abdulla often receives visitors from Germany and Austria, as his wife hails from German-speaking part of Switzerland. These guests look shocked whenever they hear the word “Jew”, especially with a negative connotation, like “The Jews do not allow us to have water” or “The Jews do not allow us to use the airport”, “The Jews declared a siege and we can’t go to the church”, “Jews shot at the kids at the crossing”, and so many similar sentences all too frequent in the country where the Jews rule, and the Gentiles obey or die. The German guests are instinctively looking for a bed to crawl and hide under. If they find to escape route, they mumble “Surely not all the Jews”, or “We love Jews”, or something equally silly.

The US occupation army in Europe instilled terrible fear of Jews in European hearts and minds. This fear was known before: the Gospel is a witness that people were afraid to speak openly of Christ “for fear of the Jews”. Since then, the fear only grew and multiplied. And provided such fear exists, it would be strange if it weren’t used.

The Austrian elections of last Sunday are a prime exhibit. During the election campaign, the ruling Social Democratic Party of Austria (called SDO for short) imported an Israeli dirty-tricks master, a macher in Yiddish, Tal Silberstein, to besmirch its adversary Sebastian Kurz. Silberstein established a Facebook page in the name of Kurz and posted there strong anti-Jewish diatribes, he organised a FB group of Kurz fans and posted there hard-core Nazi slogans. The idea was that the Austrians will get cold feet and run away from Kurz.

Kurz figured this out and asked the Facebook moderators to stop it. Usually you do not have to ask FB twice to stop Nazi stuff. And a false identity claim usually gets sorted out in a reasonable time. Here, however, Mr Zuckerberg and his minions tarried a while, reluctant to undermine Silberstein’s outing of an antisemite. Kurz was lucky as Silberstein had been arrested in Israel for corruption-related offences. After that, the FB unplugged its ears and removed Silberstein’s created pages and groups. This was sheer luck: if he were arrested elsewhere, he would be considered a victim of antisemites, and his nasty web would remain intact.

This Silberstein has quite a name to fit the Hall of Shame: an expert in Black PR, he had been previously connected with bribery-related offences when he ran the campaign for Mrs Julia Timoshenko, a Ukrainian politician. She went to jail, and he went to Israel. In Austria, he had a go of misfortunes: hackers released his correspondence with the SDO, his plans became known to public, the SDO leaders had to stand down and SDO had lost the election.

So the attempt of Silberstein to frame Kurz as an antisemite had failed, up to a point. He anyway continued to smear another Austrian politician as a Jew-hater. That was the FPO leader Heinz-Christian Strache. The end of the story may comfort us: the Austrians preferred these two parties, Kurz List and FPO, despite the alleged antisemitism, and punished SDO, the kosher party.

However, before celebrating let us see the downside of this wonderful event. In order to extricate themselves and their parties from the Jewish smear, the two leaders swore loyalty to Israel. They went (separately) to Israel, took photo-op with PM Netanyahu and at the Holocaust memorial, they spoke endlessly how much they adore and appreciate Israel.

The antisemitism accusation is a win-win proposition for Jews. If a politician doesn’t do what the Jews want, they call him antisemite, and he (a) does what they want, and/or (b) swears fealty to Israel. In case (a) he is a liberal, in case (b) he is a nationalist. In both cases, Jews win.

And the Palestinians lose. They are locked up behind a high wall; they can’t leave, and the Jews drive in whenever they feel for it, to snatch a man and kill him, or drop him into their nameless gaols. From time to time, the Jews take over a hill or a valley and build there a gated community just for Jews. They take water, they take fields. If the Palestinians build themselves say, a power plant, Jews bomb it to smithereens. They say, otherwise the Palestinians will be able to use electricity to make weapons and kill Jews. It is better for Jews to sell them electricity: the EU pays for some of electricity, the PNA pays for the rest, the money goes to Jewish pockets, while the power switch remains in Jewish hands.

Can you read the previous paragraph without feeling acute discomfort? If not, you are also a victim of antisemitism hunters. I am not fond of Jew-haters, but these antisemitism hunters are worse, much worse – because they cause real, not imaginary damage.

Look at Weinstein, the Hollywood wanker – he is a typical antisemitism hunter, dreaming of killing goyim like in his Basterds, or screwing shiksas in real life. He called to “kick ass” of the enemies of Jews, to organize “like Mafia did”, though these guys could teach Mafia a lesson or two. He forced the Gentile girls to have sex with him because he was a simple Jewish boy from Bronx who dreamed of revenge, wrote the editor of the Jewish Tabletmag.com: “It goes without saying that nearly every one of these women — was a Gentile, all the better to feed Weinstein’s revenge-tinged fantasy of having risen above his outer-borough, bridge-and-tunnel Semitic origins.” At the Algemeiner‘s gala in New York City, Weinstein declared, “I love Israel, I love what it stands for, I am proud to be Jewish. I am an Israeli in my heart and mind.”

Whenever a Palestinian child is killed, whenever an olive tree is uprooted by Jewish bulldozers, Weinstein and Silberstein are accomplices of the crime.

Now in England, there is a terrible witch-hunt for antisemites in the Labour Party. The idea is to destroy Jeremy Corbyn, to return the party to the people of Blair and his Jewish paymaster Mandelson, who said, “I try to undermine Jeremy Corbyn ‘every single day” with their antisemitism allegations. Corbyn is doing everything to cover himself from this side. Good people, strong activists had been expelled for very little reason, if the Jews demanded their heads. Even an old Professor Moshe Machover, an academic and Israeli socialist, long resident in the UK had been expelled from Labour for this was the command of Israeli ambassador in the UK.

The US is the worst case of fear of the Jews. The Americans are so afraid of Jews that they express their servile love for Jews at every occasion. Not in private, no. I had met with some American dignitaries; whenever they thought they are not listened to and recorded by NSA, they spoke quite freely of being locked in the Jewish vice. But in public, they would never say anything against the Jewish will. I know only one congresswoman who dared, Cynthia McKinney. She lost her seat, but she won hearts. A person of colour, as you say in the US, she is the whitest one.

Now consider Donald Trump. From the very beginning of his political career, every day or twice a day he says he is not an antisemite. And he is getting more and more attached to Israel in order to prove it.

He is doing everything for Israel. He stormed out of UNESCO because they are not obedient enough to Israel – though they even broke their own rules to elect the French-Moroccan Jewish woman as their head in order to please Trump and Netanyahu. He destroyed the nuclear accord with Iran, because that was Netanyahu’s demand. And still, every day the Jews scream that he is an antisemite. (Today, as I write these lines, they call him ‘antisemite’ because he advised Senator Chuck Schumer to check with Israel on his attitude to the Iran nuclear accord.)

Together with Netanyahu, Trump prepares now an inter-Palestinian civil war, or at least he blocks the Palestinian way of democratically sorting out their internal problems. Since 2006, the Palestinians have been split between Fatah and Hamas. Now they want to form a coalition government and run proper democratic elections like they did in 2006. Israel is surely against it, as they are against every attempt to stop bloodshed in the area. The Jews want more war anytime – from the Iran-Iraq war to the War on Terror to the Syrian war, they are always for war, but especially the Jews want a Palestinian civil war. And here the US comes in, by saying that Hamas are terrorists and the US will block PNA in the US courts and banks if they accept Hamas.

So the Jews keep using this wonderful tool of attacking antisemites. Even if they do not destroy their enemy – Trump hasn’t been destroyed, Corbyn hasn’t been destroyed, Kurz hadn’t been destroyed – they force the attacked politicians to support Israel even more. Heads you lose, tails I win. And this is the road to perdition.

The only way out of it is to desensitize people to the antisemitism charge. That is why I welcome certain pugnacious publications on the Unz.com and elsewhere, for even if not perfectly fair, they still help to desensitize the reader.

Good Jewish activists suggest to move in an opposite way. – “Fight antisemitism, do not give it an inch, – they say, – Antisemitism is counterproductive”. There are good Jewish activists, for sure. For instance, Philip Weiss or Norman Finkelstein. And from time to time, they give a salvo on suspected antisemites, like the Israeli writer and musician Gilad Atzmon. I do not want to argue with them, for they are doing good work – until they join the fight with antisemitism hunters. It is perfectly ok to dislike this or other anti-Jewish sentence or slogan; moreover, it is unavoidable for critique of Jews has many faces. But there is a distance between disliking and actually joining with Netanyahu and Weinstein.

The souls of Gentile politicians are so fragile, they are so scared of Jews, that it is better not to traumatize them by suggesting that there are some evil antisemites to confront. Every lost Jewish vote will be well compensated by the votes gained. It is the right time to get rid of Jewish yoke, especially that this yoke is purely psychological block.

People may dislike Gypsies, they may dislike mass immigrants, they may dislike bankers, slick journalists, and machers. It is perfectly ok to dislike Jews. It is not against the law. You do not have to compensate that by kneeing to Israel.

If you remember that, we shall free Palestine; and if you won’t, the war is inevitable.

Israel Shamir can be reached at adam@israelshamir.net

This article was first published at The Unz Review.

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Philip Giraldi’s Remedy for Wars http://www.israelshamir.com/article/philip-giraldis-remedy-for-wars/ http://www.israelshamir.com/article/philip-giraldis-remedy-for-wars/#respond Wed, 27 Sep 2017 16:56:27 +0000 http://www.israelshamir.com/?post_type=article&p=3299 Once in a while, an observer notices a concerted Jewish action, and reports on it pro bono publico. It could be that Jews support Third-world immigration, or Jews fight the memorials, or, in the recent case, Jews promote the war on Iran. The Jews respond with a huge vehement counterattack and make life very difficult for the outspoken observer. Afterwards, the subject recedes, as people get cold feet to proceed, or do not know how to proceed, though the problem remains at large.

The recent example is a piece by Philip Giraldi on the Unz.com, which still produces waves on the web. In his piece he rolled the list of Jews who were keen on Iraq invasion, and who are pushing the US now into an attack on Iran: “David Frum, Max Boot, Bill Kristol and Bret Stephens, Mark Dubowitz, Michael Ledeen… And yep, they’re all Jewish, plus most of them would self-describe as neo-conservatives.”

Giraldi proposed to keep Jews out of the positions of influence on the foreign affairs, in order to keep the US out of wars it does not need. Giraldi wrote: “We don’t need a war with Iran because Israel wants one and some rich and powerful American Jews are happy to deliver.”

Actually, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz wrote at the time (in April 2003): “The war in Iraq was conceived by 25 neoconservative intellectuals, most of them Jewish, who are pushing President Bush to change the course of history. Two of them, journalists William Kristol and Charles Krauthammer, say it’s possible.”

I also wrote things in the same vein during Iraq invasion, and it is good to see that this thesis did not die but keeps resurging from time to time. One could add that these very persons are pushing for conflict with Russia, demonise Putin and attack Trump, though the Orange Man tries to fulfil their wishes as an eager Santa Claus of diligent Lizzie.

While agreeing with Giraldi on the malady, let us discuss the remedy. Would keeping Jews out of foreign policy making actually help? Did the US keep out of wars before the Rise of Jews in late 1960s? The Jews weren’t specially prominent before that time, and certainly weren’t overrepresented in the establishment. A Jewish couple, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg has been fried on the electric chair in 1953, and there were few objections. McCarthy terrorized Jews. The word Holocaust had yet to make its first appearance (in 1968). Jews were still kept out of clubs and out of high level politics. Israel had been threatened by the US (in 1956) rather than assisted.

And still, the free-from-Jews US had fought in Korea the terrible three-year long war (1950-1953), and in Vietnam (up to 1974), invaded and caused regime change in Guatemala and Iran, violently interfered in elections in France and Italy, and had fought the fierce Cold War against the USSR. In all these campaigns, the US Jews were actually for peace and against war. The Jews were nowhere in power when the US fought its wars against Spain and Mexico. The non-Jewish US made a coup in Iran, and non-Jewish and not-pro-Israel President Carter tried to invade Iran. Jews weren’t involved in the conquest of Panama, in Nicaragua intervention, in Granada operation.

Perhaps the Jews had moved the arena of wars to the Middle East and out of Latin America. Less Jewish-influenced America would rather invade Venezuela than Iraq or Iran. But is it so wonderful?

The idea of correcting or channelling the excessive Jewish influence is a reasonable one, but can this goal be achieved by keeping Kristol and Krauthammer out of media (an excellent thought anyway)?

The Jewish prominence in the US is inbuilt in the US culture and tradition. Karl Marx wrote that “in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression”. He said that all Yankees are Jews, behave like Jews, aspire to be Jews and even are circumcised like Jews. So it is natural that real Jews succeed better in being Jews than their Gentile neighbours. Werner Sombart added that Jews were prominent from the very dawn of America and they created American-style capitalism the way that fits them. The Jews are prominent now because America is custom-built for Jews to fit and suit them, he said.

This is what should be corrected, and then the Jewish scribes, these Krauthammers will be out of business of inciting wars. Stop subscribing to Jewish success model, and the Jews won’t be able to influence the Senate. Make the US Christian as Christ taught, share labour and wealth, aspire to God instead of Mammon, make the first last and the last first, love thy neighbour and the problem will be solved.

If this is too tall an order, make it a smaller one. Unseating Ledeens and Frums (and I think they deserve tar and feathers all right) will not do the trick unless the rich Jews are un-wealthed. Without excessive Jewish wealth, there will be no excessive Jewish push for wars. And provided that more than half of all US wealth is in few Jewish hands, freeing it will make a colossal effect of improving life of every American, even every person on earth.

And why to stop there? The super-rich non-Jews are as Jewish as any Jew. They share the same aspirations. Strip them of their assets. Why should we worry whether Jeff Bezos is a Jew by blood or faith, or he is not? He behaves like a Jew, and that is enough. Establish a ceiling of wealth, a counterpart of minimal wage. This idea has been mulled: Jeremy Corbyn called for the maximum wage. Taxes can do it easily – in wonderful Sweden of 1950s, top tax rate was 102%. Or this can be achieved in a more festive way of stripping the richest men of their ill-gotten wealth on the main square of Washington, DC on Mardi Gras Sunday. Do not say this is a punishment for their diligence – other way around, this is assistance on their way to spiritual improvement. Too many assets imprison the spirit.

This would be good for Jews and for all concerned: while the average Jewish wealth in the US had been lagging below total average (that is as long as Jews were less wealthy than Gentiles), the Jews acted in the interests of the people. Around 1968-1970 the Jews became more wealthy than all Americans, and that was it: they ceased to strive for the common good.

Jews could be a force for good if their excessive tendency to collect material goods is nipped in the bud. So it was in the USSR: as the Jews could not make money, they went into science and worked for the common good. Even oligarchs could be good managers instead of pain in the neck for the society.

This is not more complicated than booting Max Boot out of writing business. So why to go for a palliative if you can go for the jugular?

Israel Shamir can be reached at adam@israelshamir.net

This article was first published at The Unz Review.

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Kabuki Politics http://www.israelshamir.com/article/kabuki-politics/ http://www.israelshamir.com/article/kabuki-politics/#respond Sat, 23 Sep 2017 22:47:29 +0000 http://www.israelshamir.com/?post_type=article&p=3280 Donald Trump has chosen the wrong career. His flamboyant style would make him a popular and much loved Kabuki actor. The Japanese call it aragoto, literally a “rough business” style of heroic drama, featuring a big bold warrior with red and black makeup and a huge sword. The warrior trumps up to the scene with thundering strides and shouts his sky-rending Shibaraku (‘Wait a moment’, or better, ‘cease and desist’) call. His appearance in the UN General Assembly would be remembered with delight by Kabuki devotees for years and years if it were performed in Tokyo Kabukiza theatre.

In Japanese art, there would be a place for Kim, his adversary, in the play called Tora-no-O, Tiger’s Tail. He would be The Man Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail.

Trump and Kim could star together in a rap battle, calling each other out:

– He is surely a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire!

– I will surely tame the mentally deranged dotard with fire!

– Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime!

– A frightened dog barks louder!

They could assume stage names Rocket Man and Orange Dotard, as rappers wont. It could be fun.

However, for an American President in the United Nations his speech was unbecoming and shockingly brutal. The people of the world listened to his United Nations General Assembly speech, and experienced a touch of nostalgia for the late Mr Adolf Hitler, a kind and mild man of subtle messages in comparison to the fiery US President.

The German Chancellor allegedly killed six million civilians, and this sublime sacrifice (do not ask me to what deity, this is just a translation of the Greek ‘holocaust’) is considered the worst crime in the bloody history of mankind. Mr Trump publicly and loudly promised to incinerate five or six times that amount. While the German never boasted of that crime, the American already boasts of his still undone crime. His desire to “totally destroy North Korea”, to wipe out an entire nation of 25 million, and in addition to cause the death of millions of Koreans in the South of the peninsula as well, secures him a unique place among the villains.

Kim, the brazen King of the North, dismissed Trump as a ‘barking dog’ who, people say, never bites, and this is surely a comforting thought, but not as comforting as a muzzle for the beast. This barking dog is obviously dangerous and should be restrained, or put out of its misery. The hound has been hounded by his domestic enemies, and thus he became possessed by a demon, for just a few months ago Trump was a peace-loving creature who wanted to attend to the US infrastructure, who refused to bow to AIPAC and was friendly to Putin. It’s Mrs Clinton who was the warmonger. But invocation magic worked on him.

Once, the magicians did invoke Beelzebub’s name, and the Evil One would make his appearance. The Americans and their Jewish masters are obsessed with Hitler’s Germany; Hollywood outputs a Hitler-related movie every month at least. They invoked the names of Hitler and Gestapo so often that it came to haunt them.

In a divine intervention of poetic justice, Trump’s nemesis bears the Gestapo chief’s name, and applies the methods deliberated by his German namesake. Many of Mr Trump’s leading supporters lie awake in cold sweat night after night expecting Mueller’s thugs to pick their locks and force entry to their bedrooms in predawn mist as they did to Paul Manafort. This Gestapo-style terror knocked the wind out of Trump’s sails. The American billionaires and politicians are not that brave. They can roar against a small far-away state, but feeling vulnerable at home reduces their courage to naught. Adolf Hitler had Mueller on his side, but Trump cuts a miserable figure of a wannabe Hitler persecuted by Mueller.

Donald Trump invoked Hitler to reject attempts to solve Korean crisis by negotiations. He called this attempt by South Korean president ‘appeasement’, like in Munich in 1938. This is the favourite derisive term of Trump’s demon Bibi Netanyahu. For Bibi and for the new, possessed Trump, whoever does not submit to the Jews is a Hitler who should be annihilated. This is thoroughly anti-Christian attitude, for we know Who said Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God. If somebody in Trump-Kim High Noon scene has to be a new Hitler, it is surely not the plump Korean.

Every statesman on the planet knows you can’t cross the US. America is powerful, vindictive and vicious, and you must obey or else. They will destroy you and/or your country sooner or later for your disobedience. If they can’t invade, they will bomb, if they can’t bomb, they will starve first – and then bomb, and only afterwards, invade. One should be crazy to resist. But the little Korean resisted. He is definitely crazy. But we humans adore such crazy rebels against supreme authority, be it Che Guevara or Luke Skywalker. Or McMurphy.

Yes, by his suicidal courage, Kim reminds me of ‘Mac’, Randle McMurphy, the protagonist of Ken Kesey’s novel and Milos Forman’s movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Probably you remember his hopeless stand and a futile, doomed fight against the almighty Nurse Ratched. She rules supreme over the inmates. Against her will, there is no appeal. The inmates tremble before her. But she can’t break Mac. She is forced to burn his brain, to kill him by other means, and this evil deed releases the inmates. Until then, they supported and obeyed the Nurse like the nations of the world obeyed the Judeo-American power. Incineration of Mac’s brain puts paid to her dominion. In revulsion, the placid inmates leave the ward, chose freedom and leave her behind, broken. This is human nature. There is no way for the US to prevail in its fight against Kim the Bold. They can kill him and thirty million of other Koreans, but they can’t prevail.

Perhaps Kim’s stand is unreasonable.

Perhaps, if/when radioactive dust will be blown by winds over the Korean peninsula, and the few surviving Koreans winter in tents near Ussuriysk on the Russian side of the border, reasonable people will say – Kim didn’t have to resist the bully. He should have keep his mouth shut, like we do. But even then we will think – even if we do not say – God damn the mega-killer from Washington! And Kim was bold guy, too bold for his own good, God bless him.

We are used to the fact that Americans do whatever they want – they invade independent countries, wage wars of conquest, seize consular buildings and disregard conventions and treaties while risking not more than a protest note. Insanely bold Kim promises to hit Americans if they hit his country. We are horrified, but we are secretly happy that somebody dares to say that.

Everyone wants to live, and the Russians, of course, are happy with the prudence of their leadership. But they look at Kim like the docile inmates of the asylum looked at McMurphy. Russia is upset and concerned with this conflict. Korea is next to Vladivostok, a big Russian city, and the consequences of the conflict will have to be cleared up by Russia and China. Russia offered Americans a reasonable solution – a double freeze. The Koreans freeze their tests, the Americans freeze their manoeuvres. The Koreans accepted the Russian proposal, and the Americans arrogantly rejected. “This would be a reward to the Koreans,” the State Department said.

Is it really a reward – right to live on one’s own land without facing threats of nuclear genocide? It seemed to us that this is an inalienable right of every nation. The new president of South Korea and the people of South Korea are not eager for a new Korean war, where millions of their brothers and sisters in the North and in the South will perish. South Korea wants negotiations and a peaceful solution. What right does Trump have to refuse – and still claim that he acts in the interests of South Korea? If Kim survives this campaign, it will be a huge breakthrough for humanity. But if he does not, and Trump incinerates Korea and sends millions of Koreans to paradise, then America will achieve only the hatred and contempt of mankind, as Nurse Ratched did, when she fried the brains of the rebel McMurphy.

It would be good if the Pope were to exorcize the demons of Trump, so he will became the Trump Americans voted for. But then, Trump is just more outspoken than the rest of the people in power. Liberal Americans propose to starve the Koreans to death, instead of bombing them. The idea of letting the Koreans live their own way has no buyers on Capitol Hill.

The Russians were dismayed with Trump’s plans to reform the UN and eliminate or undermine their right of veto. They noticed an uncanny similarity of Trump’s call for the UN reform 2017 with Adolf Hitler’s call to reform the League of the Nations in 1937. They aren’t likely to agree to any attempt to cancel their veto. They will not leave the UN, either. They tried to walk out once, and it did not work out well.

In January 1950, the Russians were dismayed by America’s steadfast refusal to transfer the seat in the UN Security Council to the new Chinese Government of Chairman Mao. They insisted the seat should be occupied by Kuomintang-ruled Taiwan. The Russians boycotted the Security Council to their peril: the Security Council (sine Russians) voted to invoke military action by the United Nations for the first time in the organization’s history. The Russians could have blocked the action in the Security Council, since they had absolute veto power, but no Russian delegate was present. In just a short time, a multinational U.N. force under American leadership arrived in South Korea and the grueling three-year Korean War was underway. The Russians immediately returned to the Security Council but they never could reverse the decision, and until today the US troops in Korea use the UN banner.

The Russians remember that, and they will never repeat the mistake. Even if Trump takes his allies out, the Russians and the Chinese will remain and they will keep the Security Council running, if necessary, without the Americans.

The Americans want to have the UN without the Russians. Trump-proposed declaration of intent to revamp the UN has been endorsed by many small states, but the great ones declined to join. In a brazen act, countries that were hesitant or unwilling to sign the declaration – which include Russia, China, Brazil and South Africa – were not invited to the launch. An organization without them, will not be the United Nations, perhaps NATO 2.0.

The Russian feelings towards the US hardened a lot in the aftermath of the General Assembly. The Russians helped the Syrian government army cross Euphrates and seize the east bank, despite American demands to stay away on the other side of the great river. For the first time ever, they threatened the Americans present in Syria with using their supreme fire power if their troops will be jeopardized like they were a few days ago, when the Islamists led by American instructors made an attempt to snatch a group of Russian policemen.

The dream of many American politicians to begin a war with Russia does not seem as improbable as it was a few months ago. There are people who believe it is unavoidable – for a strange reason. They say this will be a fulfilment of the prophecy of the Armageddon battle as described in Ezekiel, 39 and in the Revelation, 16. They say that as the present battlefield spreads over Euphrates to Babylon, the deep-seated neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) has been activated leading mankind to utter destruction. In plain words, prophesies we are aware of tend to be self-fulfilling. It just remains to be seen whether it will begin in the Far East in Korea or in Syria, in the Middle East.

It would be better if Trump were to take up Kabuki acting…

Israel Shamir can be reached at adam@israelshamir.net

This article was first published at The Unz Review.

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