Friday, August 6, 2021

Timing exposes China's weaponization of virus - Steve Stockman

 

​ by Steve Stockman

It appears that the Chinese vaccine was made months before the virus was set loose on the world.

Recently, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) aggressively rejected the call of the World Health Organization (WHO) for a fresh investigation into the deadly global virus.  But a closer look raises more questions and serious problems for the CCP.

Anyone who watches the television series Forensic Files knows that the criminal hides his crimes in order to escape punishment.  Such actions as hammering phones, destroying emails, scrubbing the online archives, and forcing medical experts to change or delete publications all make cover-ups possible.  But, as in TV, the criminal leaves a trail, and any determined reporter can uncover the tailings. 

Unfortunately, too many reporters are lazy or are just following the hand-fed press releases, repeating the narrative dictated to them.  Here is a disturbing case in point.  It is a story of international intrigue and a global plot to divide the forces of freedom versus the overlords of captive peoples.

Brazil 

A little footnote in a press account of a spat between two political rivals in Brazil raises a twofold flag.  João Doria, the Brazilian governor of the state of São Paulo, is a potential opponent of the populist Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro.

The governor wanted to embarrass the president and appear as if he were taking action to defend his state from the Wuhan Virus.  On the other hand, the president did not want to blindly risk the health of his nation's citizens to the circumspect and dubious actions of the Chinese communists.

In this fight, the Chinese communists saw an opening to divide support for the popular president.  After all, President Bolsonaro is no fan of the communists in China.  In an attempt to add fuel to the fire, China offered its vaccine to Governor Doria.

This offer reveals two things.  It raises the question of how China had a COVID vaccine in a timeframe all pundits said was impossible, but it also shows China's use of the virus and vaccine to ingrain their influence in other nations — something to which the U.S. should not turn a blind eye. 

What might a sleuth pull from all these actions by China?

Upon further investigation, it turns out that CNN reported in the summer of 2020 that the Chinese were constructing a massive building to produce the vaccine.  In the same general timeframe, the Chinese were giving the vaccine to their own citizens.  The timing here pulls apart much of the drummed-up narrative hoisted upon the world by communist China.  Hard evidence of timing is not fudgeable. 

America

Most of us Americans lived through the tortuous election of 2020 and can remember the calls and mockery by renowned medical experts denouncing as lies President Trump's claims that the vaccine would be developed by the end of the year.  

But President Trump tore apart the rule book.  He cut red tape and lavished billions of dollars on free enterprise.  He called for a new way to make vaccines.  The political class and the "science experts" saw his efforts as laughable and outrageously ignorant.

The bellicose critics continued their loud opposition.  Indeed, in 2020, candidate Biden promised that he would not take the vaccine because of its association with Donald Trump.  And "expert" Dr. Fauci said there was no way we'd have a vaccine in 2020 — that, at the earliest, it wouldn't be developed until 2021. 

China

As Biden's spokesman says, "let us circle back" to China and do simple calculations.  A reporter can ask any scientist or medical expert if the vaccine could be made in weeks or days.  Still, to this day — it's clear. 

The world did not have the skills or the knowledge to speed the development of the vaccine.  Even with President Trump's Warp Speed initiative, it would take the better part of a year, billions of dollars, and a network of global scientists to make the vaccines.  Everyone said it was an impossible task to do quickly.  The task was like the Manhattan Project.  More importantly, the Chinese chose to use the longer traditional method of making the vaccine. 

That brings us to the timing and math.  How did China possibly research, develop, and produce a vaccine in less than 2–3 months? 

The sale to Brazil was in July 2020, just 10–20 weeks after the CCP said the virus was found.  China was administering the vaccine to its citizens in the summer of 2020, just a few months after the CCP's declaration that they had the virus. 

This timing presents a conundrum raising many disturbing questions.  Who made the Chinese vaccine?  When exactly was it developed?  And, most importantly, why?  But there are no reporters investigating this miracle.

Given most experts' estimates, the Chinese vaccine would have had to be under development by 2019, 2018, or even earlier.

It appears that the vaccine was made months before the virus was set loose on the world, calling into question the Chinese narrative and pointing directly at a deliberate release of the virus — a weaponization — germ warfare. 

This also exonerates the much-maligned and courageous whistleblower, Chinese virologist Li-Meng Yan, who all along said it was the Chinese military who developed, released, and spread the virus.  Most reporters, let alone the World Health Organization, will not ask the hard questions, including, how did the communist Chinese have the vaccine before the virus was released? 

Any claim that the vaccine was made in days or weeks is absolutely impossible according to the experts, who in 2020 said vaccine development would take 2–10 years.  Thus, leftists are left with the dilemma: do they continue embracing "experts" who say a lengthy development time is required, or do they acknowledge that China was developing the virus and vaccine at the same time long before the virus was ever released?

This timing points directly to the weaponization of the virus by the CCP.

To comment, you can find the MeWe post for this article here.

 

Steve Stockman

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2021/08/timing_exposes_chinas_weaponization_of_virus.html

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Biden to End U.S. Combat Mission in Iraq - Joseph Puder

 

​ by Joseph Puder

The Kurdish Peshmerga envision a new Afghanistan for America.

 


At a White House meeting last Monday (July 26, 2021) with Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, US President Joe Biden declared that the US mission in Iraq would conclude by the end of 2021. Biden stated, “We are not going to be, by the end of the year, in combat mission.” He added, “US military forces would be available to continue to train, to assist, to help and to deal with ISIS.”

Biden’s announcement is thrilling for the Iranian mullahs, and the pro-Iranian, and anti-American Shiite factions in Iraq. Iran’s strategy has been focused on nullifying US combat presence in the region, and in particular, in neighboring Iraq. The Pro-Iranian factions, and militias who have attacked US forces with rockets, have demanded the US departure from Iraq following the drone attack that killed the Iranian commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, Maj. General Qassim Suleimani, in January, 2020. The Iraqi Parliament, dominated by radical pro-Iranian Shiites, has called upon the Iraqi government to expel the US forces from Iraq.

President Biden, while trying to end the long lasting (20 years) US involvement in Afghanistan, is in fact applying the same to Iraq, in the name of ending “forever wars.” In the process of dismantling the US involvement in the region, he is surrendering to Tehran’s wishes, and to the Iraqi pro-Iranian factions. At the same time however, the end of the US combat mission will substantially weaken the pro-American allies, the Kurdish Peshmerga forces, fighting ISIS. 

The head of the Peshmerga Affairs Commission in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Parliament, Rifnik Herori, reacting to Biden’s declaration of withdrawing US combat troops from Iraq, pointed out that it will create a huge gap for the (Iraqi) army and for the Peshmerga forces in the fight against terrorism, and that it would create for the US “a new Afghanistan.” Herori said, “The American and Iraqi sides need to think seriously about the complete withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. It is because Iraq and the Kurdistan region need US help, especially in providing air cover, and logistical support. On the other hand, the threat of terrorist groups against Iraq remains strong.”

Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein has spoken of the need for US troops to remain in Iraq. Iraqi National Security Adviser Qassim al-Araji has called for an immediate end to the US presence in Iraq. The pro-Iranian groups are under the umbrella of the Popular Mobilization Units, which models itself after the Iranian IRGC. The groups have over 100,000 armed fighters that include gangs, and militias such as Badr, Asaib Ahl al-Hak, Harakat Nujaba, and Kataib Hezbollah (designated by the US as a terrorist organization).

Kurdish Peshmerga Gen. Sirwan Barzani commanded the Kurdish forces in the bloody battles of 2015 and 2016, to regain Kurdish territory lost to the Islamic State (or ISIS). Gen. Barzani is a member of the leading Iraqi Kurdish Barzani clan, and a nephew of the former President of the KRG, Masoud Barzani. He is also the managing director of Korek Telecom, a mobile phone operator in Iraq with seven million subscribers. The company’s worth is estimated to be about $2 billion. Barzani believes that the US and Coalition forces should increase their presence in Iraq rather than withdrawing them. He maintains that ISIS is still a threat to the region as a whole.

In an interview with Arab News (July 27, 2021), Barzani pointed out that, “Daesh (the Arabic term for ISIS) is starting to reorganize themselves again; the militants are very active, and almost every day they launch terror attacks against civilian targets, military or security services.” Barzani continued, “I am responsible for Sector Six, south and southwest of Irbil (capital of the KRG). We have a permanent ISIS presence in these mountains. Even with all these operations, cooperating with the Coalition and with the Iraqi army, the (ISIS) fighters are still there. ISIS is not defeated like al-Qaeda. ISIS is there still, and without the support of the Coalition, ISIS will become stronger and stronger.”

In fact, Gen. Barzani would like the Biden administration to send more ground troops to Iraq. He believes that the situation in Iraq is different from Afghanistan. “I think it is different. You cannot compare Afghanistan and Iraq. The stability of Iraq is the stability of the Middle East, and of course, everyone knows that all of the world is looking for stability in the Middle East for many reasons, especially economic reasons.”

Barzani is asking the US and Coalition members to provide the Peshmerga with defensive military technology. Regretfully, US military aid goes largely to Baghdad, and not the Kurdish Peshmerga. The Peshmerga, while it is supposed to get budgetary assistance from the Iraqi government to combat ISIS, is not getting it according to Barzani.  The Iraqi Parliament passed the 2021 budget that formalizes the agreement between Baghdad and the KRG.  Irbil will transfer 250,000 b/d of oil revenue to the Baghdad central government, and in return it will receive 12.67% share of Iraq’s federal budget, amounting to around $11billion.  The KRG however, is yet to receive its share.  It is ironic that the US is providing military assistance to the Baghdad government, which is dominated by Iranian-backed parties and militias.   Conversely, the pro-American Kurds, who have made the primary sacrifices in bloody fighting against ISIS, have been essentially left behind.

Barzani is asking the Biden administration for help, “The most important thing they (the US and its Coalition allies) have to do is to just give us, as Peshmerga, some new technology. For example, we don’t have any drones. Even technologies like night-vision or thermal cameras and defensive weapons - we still don’t have them. All the end users for such equipment are meant to be from Baghdad, and unfortunately, not from here (Irbil, KRG).”

The Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), which holds significant clout in Baghdad, on June 26, 2021, used an explosive-laden drone to attack the US base near Irbil, but instead, the drone hit a Kurdish village causing major damage. The same Iranian proxy has threatened the US with more sophisticated weapons. Significantly, the PMF was incorporated into the Iraqi security forces three years ago.

About 2,500 US troops are currently in Iraq. They are part of a global coalition supporting local security forces, and in particular, the Kurdish Peshmerga, in the fight against the Jihadist ISIS terrorists. It is imperative that the US maintain its presence in Iraq, not only to provide aerial support for the ground forces fighting ISIS, but also as a logistical base against Iranian nefarious machinations in the region. The party most happy with Biden’s decision to “end the US mission in Iraq,” are the Iranian mullahs and their Iraqi proxies.

* * *

Photo credit: PFC. Laura M. Buchta.

 

Joseph Puder

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2021/08/biden-end-us-combat-mission-iraq-joseph-puder/

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Moral Anorexia in the Cognitive War Against Israel - Robert L. Cravatts

 

​ by Robert L. Cravatts

Meet the virtue-signaling progressives who promote lies about the Jewish state.

 


The cognitive war against Israel, which has continued almost unabated since the Jewish state’s founding, intensifies after specific events on the ground, as happened in May during Israel’s latest incursion into Gaza to suppress homicidal rocket fire from Hamas terrorists. When more than 3000 rockets were fired indiscriminately into southern Israeli towns by Hamas with the express purpose of murdering Jewish civilians there was, of course, an almost universal silence; only when Israel, in its necessary self-defense, finally moved to neutralize terrorist enclaves and stop the deadly rocket fire did academics, NGOs, unions, and the other reliably anti-Israel entities rise up in a collective denunciation of the Jewish state, howling about Israel’s malign behavior.

Perennially unhappy with the very existence of Israel, anti-Israel activists and scolds use any escalation in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict to renew their incessant, obsessive criticism of Israel, ignoring the existential threat Israel faces from homicidal psychopaths dedicated to the murder of its citizens and focusing instead of mendacious claims of colonialism, genocide, ethnic cleansing, asymmetrical warfare, disproportionate force, land theft, illegality, apartheid and unredeemable and intolerable racism on the part of Jewish extremist settlers occupying an indigenous people’s land.

Even corporations got into the act, the latest being the shameful boycott launched in the so-called “occupied territories,” Judea and Samaria, by Ben & Jerry’s, the eponymous ice cream company created by two Vermont leftists.

Trumpeting the virtue-signaling rationale for their corporate decision to defame the Jewish state in a New York Times op-ed, “Men of Ice Cream, Men of Principle,” the two founders, Bennett Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, claimed they “took the step to align its business and operations with its progressive values” and that they “believe this act can and should be seen as advancing the concepts of justice and human rights . . ,” although like their fellow travelers in the social justice left, it is never clear how, in this case, anyone’s human rights or equality will be enhanced or protected by being deprived of eating ice cream.

In fact, like all social justice warriors, Ben and Jerry make the same hypocritical error that all progressives do when they purported seek justice and equality for the oppressed; namely, they care nothing for any other parties involved—in this case, Israelis who live in the biblical areas of Judea and Samaria, carelessly referred to as the West Bank.

In the Manichean view of the world embraced by leftists, oppressors deserve no protection and will not be insulated from harm when social justice for the oppressed is achieved—even if that involves resistance, violence, insurrection, military conflict, revolution, and the overthrow of the prevailing order. Social justice does not imply or necessitate justice for all parties, only the oppressed victims. In the case of the Palestinians and Israelis, groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) seek justice in the Holy Land, but only for the so-called Palestinians, not for Israelis. If the creation of a new Palestinian state entails the extirpation of the Jewish one, so be it.

The rectitude of academics or corporate heads pushing for condemnations of Israel manifests itself as what has been termed “moral narcissism,” the tendency of members of the well-meaning, intellectual elite to align with causes and ideological positions which are based, not on the actual viability or justice of a cause, but on how the moral narcissist feels about him- or herself by committing to a particular cause or movement.

One of the symptoms of the moral narcissist is a condition that might be called moral anorexia. In the eating disorder known by its formal name as anorexia nervosa, the patients are identified by their abnormally low body weight, even while they perceive themselves to be heavier and healthy. The moral anorexic, similarly, is manic in his attempt to control how he appears to themselves and others; but the moral anorexic looks in the mirror thinking he is imbued with moral weight and virtue and yet is empty, rationally thin, morally unhealthy in his self-deception. People with anorexia place a high value on controlling their weight and shape, using extreme efforts that tend to significantly interfere with their lives.

Moral anorexia makes such efforts as the genocidal campaign against Jews in the name of Palestinian self-determination acceptable to those who proclaim themselves to be the most tolerant of all people—those who care for all victims of all types of oppression. But by being able to look in the mirror and see a virtuous, well-meaning, tolerant and moral person when a morally questionable person actually is standing there is both the harm and symptom of moral anorexia: that if you profess goodness and tolerance, and only heed the purported needs of the oppressed, you are in a moral position to justify bad things happening to those who you condemn with your judgment--racists, militarists, Islamophobes, land thieves, settlers, religious extremists, supporters of apartheid—the very people slandered, maligned, and libeled by anti-Israel activism and rhetoric.

But because they feel empowered by their alleged virtue and insulated from critique because they are promoting social justice for the victim, moral anorexics are careless with the truth, contorting facts and history to suit their invented narrative in which powerful, bullying Israel is fundamentally evil and the Arab Palestinian, lacking any agency, is essentially virtuous and guiltless. Thus, for example, when Ben and Jerry wrote that they “support the decision of the company to end business in the occupied territories, which a majority of the international community, including the United Nations, has deemed an illegal occupation,” they mistakenly relied on a version of the truth which has been concocted to delegitimize any claim Israel might have to the disputed, not “occupied” territories of Judea and Samaria, and yet justified the ice cream boycott on that faulty misreading of international law, just as many other Israel critics promiscuously do.

Nevertheless, the founders trumpet the grand significance of this example of moral narcissism, writing in their op-ed that “While we no longer have any operational control of the company we founded in 1978, we’re proud of its action and believe it is on the right side of history” and that “In our view, ending the sales of ice cream in the occupied territories is one of the most important decisions the company has made in its 43-year history.”

Really? How does this grand gesture of withdrawing ice cream products from the disputed areas accomplish anything of value for either the Palestinians or Israelis? How does it end terrorism and random rocket fire? How does it discourage incitement in Palestinian schools, mosques, and summer camps which inspire a new generation of Arab youths to be new kindling as martyrs in a cult of death dedicated to murdering Jews? How does it bring Palestinians to the negotiating table to work toward a just resolution of outstanding issues so that they can finally achieve the statehood they claim to so assiduously pursue? In fact, it is Palestinians in the West Bank who will actually be punished by not being able to buy Ben & Jerry’s products now, not Israelis, so the gesture is totally useless anyway.

Universities, of course, have been fueling the cognitive war against Israel for more than a decade now, and it was no different this June in the wake of the Gaza conflict between the IDF and Hamas. At Rutgers, as one recent example (which coincidentally has the largest Jewish undergraduate population of any university in the country) the Executive Board of the Part-Time Lecturer Chapter of Rutgers AAUP-AFT (Local 6324) issued a “Statement in Solidarity with the Palestinian People” odiously trumpeting that “As teachers and union members, we can no longer allow ourselves to be complicit in the illegal acts of the Israeli government that have driven Palestinians from their homes or with military actions that have targeted, killed and maimed civilian populations of Gaza and the occupied West Bank, and that have destroyed vital infrastructure, including schools and hospitals.”

There is, conspicuously, no mention of the terrorism of Hamas and the 3000 plus rockets that had rained down on Israeli neighborhoods unabated and launched with the intention of randomly murdering Jews. In the moral anorexic’s world, the facts of his or her condition are less important than the perception of his or her morality, virtue, and tolerance, so the inconvenient truth that the Hamas was created as a military tactic to kill Jews—wherever they live—and not to help to create a new Palestinian state “living side by side in peace” with Israel is, of course, ignored, as is the fact that Israel, like any sovereign state, has the right and obligation to protect its citizenry from attack and can, if it must, kill its opponents as part of that defensive effort.

Members of the Rutgers University faculty issued a longer and even more grotesque statement to demonstrate that they “Stand in Solidarity with the Palestinian People,” including the obtuse comment that they “are in awe of the Palestinian struggle to resist violent occupation, removal, erasure, and the expansion of Israeli settler colonialism,” resistance, of course, the euphemism for what is actually terrorism against Israeli citizens.

And these moral anorexics dismiss Israel’s legal right to self-defense because, they claim, it is the stronger party in a disproportionate conflict between oppressor and oppressed, so law and rights can be ignored by the moral anorexic if they favor Israel. “The language of both-sidedness, of timeless or religious ‘conflict’ with moments of ‘escalation,’” the statement reads, “erases the military, economic, media, and diplomatic power that Israel, as an occupying force has over Palestine,” suggesting that if the two parties are asymmetrical, it is fundamentally unjust and therefore the Palestinian side does not have to conform to normal rules.

“While we mourn the loss of civilian life in Israel, “the Rutgers faculty begrudgingly acknowledge in admitting that Hamas’s terroristic violence caused Jewish deaths, “we also refuse to engage narratives that demand an ‘equal sides’ approach to a fundamentally unequal reality.” Israel, they contend, has no legitimacy in the first place because of its colonial nature and because it occupies and usurps an indigenous people’s lands, and cannot, therefore, justify the assaults on Hamas as being the lawful behavior of a sovereign state. “The demand to center Israel’s right to ‘self-defense,’” the statement continues, “erases the colonial context and delegitimizes the Palestinian right to resistance and to self-defense, both principles enshrined in international law.” So, they contend, if Israel’s very creation was unjust, the Jewish state can not now, or ever, claim legal rights when it acts to protect itself—only victims, the oppressed, can do that.

In May, following the Gaza disturbances, morally anorexic faculty and various academic departments and programs at the University of California, Davis issued their own grotesque “Faculty Statement of Solidarity with Palestinians” in which they expressed their “concerns for the suffering inflicted on Palestinians by the Israeli airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip and condemn the state-sanctioned violence by settlers and lynch mobs against Palestinians in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Israel.” The characterization of Gaza as “besieged,” or, as it is frequently described, as the world’s largest outdoor prison, is yet another trope in the defamation of Israel. It will be remembered, specifically, that Israel completely disengaged from Gaza in 2005, removing every Jew—living and dead—from Gaza at great human and financial expense—all with the intention that a putative Palestinian state could be created there, and Gazans could take over successful and thriving greenhouses and other Israeli facilities left after the disengagement.

Instead, as moral anorexics are fond of forgetting, Hamas turned Gaza into a launching pad for rockets and mortars with more than 15,000 of them having been fired at southern Israel towns over the past 16 years, each one constituting a war crime and each one fired with the intention of murdering Jews. That is the reason for any blockade, or “siege,” and that is the reason the IDF finally had to enter Gaza in May to suppress the escalation in both the number and lethality of the weapons used against Israel.

The statement also includes inane references to the commonality of oppression of all victim groups in the contorted, self-righteous language of intersectionality, the moral anorexic’s attempt to slander Israel with suffering well beyond the borders in the Middle East.

“The Black Lives Matter movement in the US has helped spotlight the distressing similarities between, and the collaborations binding, US and Israeli policing,” the statement reads, raising the false accusation, referred to by activists as The Deadly Exchange, that the IDF trains U.S. police officers in tactics used to subdue, and harm, black suspects in this country—a very convenient, though disingenuous, way to pull Israel into the debate about Black Lives Matter and police brutality toward blacks.

It may be comforting for the moral anorexic to look at her- or himself and think they are full of virtue, tolerance, and morality, and that others can see these attributes in them and admire them for the values they profess. But, like the anorexic, it is a false view of the real person, someone who is frail and wasted away by his or her own self-deception.

 

Robert L. Cravatts, Ph.D., a Freedom Center Journalism Fellow in Academic Free Speech and President Emeritus of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, is the author of Dispatches From the Campus War Against Israel and Jews.

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2021/08/moral-anorexia-cognitive-war-against-israel-richard-l-cravatts/

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Hollywood, BLM Beg Biden to End Trump’s 'Cruel' Cuba Embargo - Humberto Fontova

 

​ by Humberto Fontova

The Castro regime has never lacked useful idiots among the American Left.

 


“We, the undersigned, are making this urgent, public appeal to you [President Biden] to reject the cruel policies put into place by the Trump White House that have created so much suffering among the Cuban people.”

The entire fascinating documented signed by -- among many other historic lovers of freedom and enemies of cruelty -- Jane Fonda, Oliver Stone, Danny Glover, Black Lives Matter, and Daniel Ellsberg, alongside many apparatchiks of the Castro regime, can be seen here.

But many of us who follow this issue note a stark divergence between what the Cuban people have been calling for the past couple of weeks and what their self-appointed celebrity benefactors are calling for. To wit:

“Down with communism!” Down with the dictatorship! “Diaz-Canel [Castro’s eunuch hand-puppet] SINGAO!” (Cuban slang for Motherf**ker!) -- the Cuban people.

"If you understood what Communism was, you would hope, you would pray on your knees that one day we would become Communist….My biggest regret is I never got to f*** Che Guevara.” -- Jane Fonda, as quoted by her biographer Patricia Bosworth.

“Fidel Castro is very selfless and moral, one of the world’s wisest men.” -- director Oliver Stone.

“My heart beat faster!–one of the most important moments in my life!” -- A hyperventilating actor Danny Glover while placing flowers on Che Guevara’s tomb on one of his frequent red-carpet trips to Stalinist Cuba.

“As Fidel ascends to the realm of the ancestors, we summon his guidance, strength, and power as we recommit ourselves to the struggle for universal freedom. Fidel Vive! We are indebted to him for his guidance and inspiration.” -- Black Lives Matter.

 Oh, sure, like all of Castro’s U.S.–based agents (on Castro’s payroll and off), especially like former senator Jeff Flake, embargo opponents swear up and down that their fanatical efforts against the so-called Cuba embargo are, in fact, an immensely shrewd ploy to undermine Castroism by showering the regime with U.S. dollars!

“Hah!” snort these embargo-opponents with an eye roll. “How can you right-wing Cuban-exiles (people with the most knowledge of and experience with Castroism, who Pres. Trump confided in for his Cuba policy) not comprehend our brilliant plan to end Castroism!”  

Well, for starters, Flake, along with all his fellow "shrewd underminers of Cuban Communism by a shower of U.S. dollars," all got and get heroes' treatment in Cuba’s Communist media, limitless visas to visit the Castro’s Communist fiefdom, and the red-carpet treatment upon every visit.

Whereas your humble servant is prevented from setting foot in Cuba and denounced as “SCOUNDREL!" and "TRAITOR!” by the same Communist media which hails Flake and his anti-embargo cohorts as heroes.

I guess those Castros are just too dumb to see through the anti-embrgo activists' devilishly shrewd scheme! 

Gosh, I guess those Castros qualify as total nincompoops in the art of maintaining dictatorial power! (In power over twice as long as Stalin, four times as long as Hitler, and even longer than Kim Il Sung.) Guess those poor deluded Cuban communist fools have no idea what the brilliantly crafty Jeff Flake was up to!

I apologize for insulting your intelligence with this issue, amigos. But that idiotic “the embargo is Castro’s best friend” meme pops up often and demands a response. So here it is:   

If Castro “secretly favors the embargo,” then why did Castro’s secret agents in the U.S. ALL secretly and obsessively campaign AGAINST the U.S. embargo while working as secret agents?

Castro managed the deepest and most damaging penetration of the U.S. Department of Defense in recent U.S. history. The spy’s name is Ana Belen Montes, known as "Castro’s Queen Jewel" in the intelligence community. In 2002 she was convicted of the same crimes as Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, and today she serves a 25-year sentence in Federal prison. Only a plea bargain spared her from sizzling in the electric chair like the Rosenbergs.

Prior to her visit from the FBI and handcuffing, Ana Belen Montes worked tirelessly to influence U.S. foreign policy AGAINST the embargo. The same holds for more recently arrested, convicted and incarcerated Cuban spies Carlos and Elsa Alvarez and Kendall and Gwendolyn Myers. All of these worked tirelessly to influence U.S. policy AGAINST the "embargo," while working as secret agents… Duh?

As Obama implemented his Cuba “opening” (to cheers from libertarians like Rand Paul) your humble servant went blue in the face trying to explain the horrible, but eminently predictable, consequences to some libertarians on John Stossel’s show.

In fact, for the past two decades, the so-called U.S. embargo has mostly stipulated that the Castro regime pay cash upfront through a third-party bank for all U.S. agricultural products — no taxpayer financing of such sales. Enacted by the Bush team in 2001, this cash-upfront policy has been monumentally beneficial to U.S. taxpayers, making them among the few in the world not stiffed by Cuba, which per capita, qualifies as the world’s biggest debtor nation, with a foreign debt estimated at $60 billion.

The Castro Crime Family has gleefully fleeced taxpayers from the European Union to Canada, from Mexico to South Africa—in brief, the taxpayers of virtually every nation whose government granted trade credits to these kleptocrats—in brief, to the taxpayers of virtually every nation whose government refrains from “embargoing” the Castro Crime Family.

We’ve been spared such fleecing because on Oct. 1960—right after Castro’s gunmen stole $7 billion from U.S. businessmen and tortured and murdered a few who resisted--President Eisenhower imposed the first economic sanctions against the thieving, mass-murdering Stalinists who mostly (still) run Cuba. These sanctions grew into one of the CROWN JEWELS of recent U.S. foreign policy: the Cuba embargo, which Pres. Trump put more teeth into than any recent U.S. President. 

Any chance that the signers of this anti-embargo letter which ran as an add in the New York Times are working as agents-of-influence (on the payroll or off) for the Castro regime?

There was a day when The Foreign Agents Registration Act was actually enforced – i.e., when agents of foreign governments were obligated to register as such with the U.S. Dept. of Justice. Should this law ever be enforced regarding agents for the Castro regime, we could expect most of Hollywood and half the Democrat party in handcuffs and escorted by bailiffs.

Photo credit: The All-Nite Images

 

Humberto Fontova

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2021/08/hollywood-blm-beg-biden-end-trumps-cruel-cuba-humberto-fontova/

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An open letter to Ben and Jerry - Clifford D. May

 

​ by Clifford D. May

Men of ice cream, men of unjust deserts, you should check your facts before making potentially irreversible moves.

Dear Messrs. Cohen and Greenfield,

Or is it okay if I call you Ben and Jerry? (You can call me Cliff!) So, anyhow, I read your op-ed in The New York Times, headlined, "We're Ben and Jerry. Men of Ice Cream, Men of Principle," and I thought you might like – or at least tolerate – a little feedback.

First: You call yourselves supporters of Israel. I don't doubt it. But you should be aware that the boycott, divest and sanction movement with which you're now associated openly seeks Israel's extermination.

"Definitely, most definitely we oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine," Omar Barghouti, founder and leader of the movement (it's really an agit-prop campaign) has said. "No Palestinian, rational Palestinian, not a sell-out Palestinian, will ever accept a Jewish state in Palestine."

Perhaps you believe that the Palestinian state Barghouti hopes to see replace the Jewish state would refrain from killing or expelling Jews, and allow them to remain as a minority. But that's hardly a safe bet considering what's happened to Jews elsewhere in the region. (You know what I'm talking about, right?) And is there any country in the Middle East (other than Israel) where minorities – Kurds, Bahai, Druze, Christians, whatever – enjoy even basic rights?

In fact, in Gaza and the areas of the West Bank governed by the Palestinian Authority, selling land to Jews is a crime (with the death penalty for those who transgress), bounties are paid to terrorists who murder Jews (children included), and the educational system demonizes Jews (not just Israeli Jews). None of that is boycott-worthy?

Your second point is that "it's possible to support Israel and oppose some of its policies." Agreed. The policy you most vociferously oppose is the presence of Israelis in the West Bank. But consider: If Israelis were to withdraw from the West Bank, as they withdrew from Gaza in 2005, is it not probable (inevitable?) that the West Bank would become what Gaza has become?

I hope you're aware that after the Israelis left Gaza – removing every soldier, farmer, synagogue, and cemetery – Hamas forcibly drove out Palestinian rivals. Since then, Hamas has ruled the territory. Since then, Hamas, along with Palestinian Islamic Jihad (both backed by the regime in Tehran which calls Israel a "cancerous tumor") have been waging war against Israelis utilizing rockets, terrorist tunnels, incendiary kites, etc.

If Hamas takes over the West Bank, how long before rockets are fired at Israelis in nearby Jerusalem and Tel Aviv? Israelis will respond. Both Israelis and Palestinians will be killed. Your policy preference will have helped bring about this carnage. You're okay with that?

Maybe you'll say that Israelis need to work out a two-state solution. But they've tried. Offers were made in 2000, 2001, and 2008, not to mention the 1937 Peel Commission proposal and the 1947 UN plan which would have created one state for Palestinian Arabs and one for Palestinian Jews. Those offers were rejected by Palestinian leaders. No counteroffers followed.

It's been years since Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has been willing to engage in serious talks with Israelis. He's currently demanding concessions as a pre-condition for returning to the table.

My theory: At age 85, he's contemplating his legacy. He wants his portrait hanging next to that of Yasar Arafat not used for target practice – as would happen were he to end his career as a "sell-out Palestinian" shaking the hand of an Israeli leader on the White House lawn.

Other Arab leaders know this. It's one reason many are no longer unfriendly to Israelis, some even signing the Abraham Accords. A prominent Arab leader (you'd know his name, but the conversation was off-the-record) told me that he and others are "fed up" with Mr. Abbas.

There's much more you should know but may not. For example, the "occupied territories" were seized by the Israelis from Jordan – not from Palestinians – in the defensive war of 1967,

Jordan had conquered that territory, then known as Judea and Samaria, in the 1948 war against Israel. Jordan subsequently renamed it "the West Bank" (for obvious reasons), forcibly expelled all Jews, desecrated Jewish religious sites, and prohibited Jews from worshipping at their holiest sites.

Prior to Jordan's occupation, the West Bank had been ruled by Britain. Before that, for centuries, it was a backwater of the Ottoman Empire.

For these and other reasons, the "occupied territories" are in truth disputed territories – of which the world has many: the Western Sahara, Cyprus, Catalonia, Crimea, Tibet, Taiwan, among them. Do you think the Uighurs of Xinjiang would choose to be ruled by Chinese Communists?

Unusually and perhaps uniquely, Israelis are willing to give – to say "give back" would be inaccurate – disputed territories to Palestinians in exchange for nothing more than peaceful coexistence. To date, no Palestinian leader has been willing to accept that deal.

You're encouraging such rejectionism. Your boycott asserts that Jews have no right to live in "Palestinian territories" – which even includes the ancient Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem.

This is why The Babylon Bee recently headlined Ben & Jerry's Introduces Fun New Flavor 'Push The Jews Into The Sea Salt Caramel. The article adds: "All proceeds will go to Iranian rocket manufacturers to arm noble Hamas mujahideen warriors in their fight to destroy the Jews."

The Bee is a satirical newspaper but there's a double scoop of truth in its recognition that you're serving Israelis unjust deserts.

Ben and Jerry, one of your flavors is "Half Baked." If you're really "men of principle," you'll ponder what I've said here, and ask yourselves whether your anti-Israeli boycott doesn't qualify for the same moniker.

Your friend,

Cliff

 

Clifford D. May

Source: https://www.israelhayom.com/opinions/an-open-letter-to-ben-and-jerry/

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Nasser and the Palestinians - Michael Sharnoff

 

​ by Michael Sharnoff


When addressing Western audiences, Nasser downplayed Palestinian calls for Israel's destruction.

 

Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser (left) with the PLO's Yasser Arafat (right) and Saudi King Faisal, September 1970. Despite Nasser's celebrated championing of the Palestinian cause, he often seemed indifferent to the Palestinians during his early career.

Nearly fifty-one years after his death, Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser remains a celebrated figure for his staunch championing of pan-Arabism in general and the Palestinian cause in particular. The Mahmoud Darwish Museum in Ramallah has organized a forum celebrating Nasser's legacy in the struggle against Israel[1] while a Palestinian columnist claimed that if the Egyptian president were alive today, the Arab world would continue its march toward unity and the "liberation of Palestine."[2]

Some dissenting voices notwithstanding,[3] Nasser's popularity among Palestinians seems to live on because of fond recollections of his fiery pledges to destroy Israel and refusal to make peace with the Jewish state. Yet recently declassified documents reveal that Nasser's championing of the Palestinian cause was largely driven by ulterior motives of personal aggrandizement and pan-Arab leadership. Indeed, as illustrated by his acceptance of U.N. Resolution 242 in November 1967 and the Rogers Plan of July 1970, as well as his private contacts with Soviet, American, and British interlocutors among others, Nasser seemed amenable to dropping the Palestinian cause for a separate Egyptian-Israeli agreement that would restore the Sinai Peninsula to Cairo's rule.

Years of Indifference, 1952-54

Nasser experienced combat firsthand as a 30-year-old major in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, blaming Egypt's poor military performance on King Farouk whom he perceived as a corrupt British lackey. "I felt from the depths of my heart that I hated war," he wrote in his memoirs. "Not only this particular war in which we were engaged, but the idea of war itself. I felt that humanity does not deserve the honor of life if it does not strive with all its heart in the cause of peace."[4]

Nasser's celebrated championing of the Palestinian cause notwithstanding, he not only did not endorse this cause during his early career, but he often seemed indifferent to the Palestinians and reluctant to confront Israel. In the early 1950s, U.S. and British intelligence reports deemed Nasser a moderate who would not eschew possible agreement with Israel.[5] Indeed, in 1952, Nasser reportedly engaged in clandestine talks with Israel, and while these talks failed to produce any results, they revealed a sense of pragmatism and interest in a political agreement.[6]

In August 1954, Nasser told the French daily Le Monde that Egypt needed peace to focus on domestic issues and that Washington could facilitate peace between Israel and the Arab states.[7] In a conversation with a pro-Israeli British politician, Nasser said that he had no desire to destroy Israel and that "the idea of throwing the Jews into the sea is propaganda."[8] He reiterated this claim to a New York Times correspondent and in a Foreign Affairs article: "A war would cause us to lose, rather than gain, much of what we seek to achieve."[9]

Reinforcing Nasser's ostensible aversion to war, Yitzhak Rabin recalled an encounter with the future Egyptian president during local military negotiations during the 1948 war:

Nasser was sitting next to me. He looked at the emblem of the Palmach and asked me what it meant, and I explained. Then he told me the war we are fighting is the wrong war against the wrong enemy at the wrong time. And I remember that, because he didn't say it in private.[10]

What then produced the sea change in Nasser's attitude toward the Palestinian problem in the mid-1950s? While some scholars cite Israel's failed 1954 sabotage operation in Egypt as the turning point,[11] it is more plausible to ascribe the change to Nasser's ambitious pursuit of power and prestige. His flirtation with different ideologies on the way to power, the grandiose vision of Egypt's geopolitical role espoused in his memoirs, and his calculated embrace of pan-Arabism all point in this direction.

By shunning the Islamist way, Nasser became an obstacle to the realization of Muslim Brotherhood goals.

As a teenager in the mid-1930s, Nasser spent some time in the ultranationalist Young Egypt Party,[12] and in the following decade, as a young officer, he joined the Muslim Brotherhood and was active in its paramilitary organization at-Tanzim al-Khass (The Special Apparatus). According to Maj. Khaled Mohieddin, a fellow member of the "Free Officers," which would topple the monarchy in July 1952, Nasser met Brotherhood founding-leader Hassan Banna in 1947 and swore allegiance to the Islamist movement on a pistol and copy of the Qur'an. This, nevertheless, did not prevent Nasser from leaving the Brotherhood after the 1948 war when it no longer served his political needs and later launching a sustained purge against the organization following an assassination attempt on his life in October 1954 by the Brotherhood, which realized that his regime had no intention of establishing an Islamic state in Egypt. By shunning the Islamist way, Nasser became an apostate or disbeliever in Brotherhood eyes and an obstacle to the realization of its goals that had to be removed. "Nasser used and abused the Ikhwan for his own selfish interests," lamented a senior Brotherhood official.[13]

In his search for power and glory, Nasser sought a new cause that would elevate Egypt's and his own stature. "We cannot look at the map of the world ... without realizing Egypt's position on the map and her role by the logic of that position," he wrote in his book, The Philosophy of the Revolution.

Can we fail to see that there is an Arab zone surrounding us? ... Can we possibly ignore the fact that there is an African continent, which we have been made part of by fate? ... Can we ignore the fact that there is an Islamic world with which we are united by bonds of religious principles reinforced by historical realities? ... It always strikes me that in this area in which we live is a role running around aimlessly looking for a hero to give it being ... The role is there. Its characteristics have been described. This is the stage. By the laws of geographical circumstance, we alone are able to play it.[14]

Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser (right) signs a pact with Syrian president Shukri Quwatli, forming the United Arab Republic, February 1958. Nasser championed the doctrine of pan-Arabism, which viewed the Palestinians not as a nation but as part of a unified Arab state.

Leadership of the Islamic world was difficult to achieve given Nasser's relentless persecution of the Brotherhood. African leadership was also out of reach given Egypt's relative marginality in the continent and the African nations' sympathy for Israel and its national liberation struggle against the British, plus Israeli aid programs to the continent. And so, the "Arab zone" constituted Nasser's most promising avenue to power and glory. To achieve this goal, he opted to champion the doctrine of pan-Arabism, which had dominated inter-Arab politics since the fall of the Ottoman Empire, envisaging the creation of a unified vast Arab state on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire.

Be that as it may, Nasser's endorsement of the Palestinian cause was not particularly motivated by concern for Palestinian national rights, for pan-Arabism viewed the Palestinians not as a distinct nation deserving a state of its own, but as an integral part of the prospective unified Arab state. As the eminent historian Philip Hitti told an Anglo-American commission of inquiry on Palestine in 1946, "There is no such thing as Palestine in history, absolutely not." A decade later, Nasser told a Western journalist, "The Palestinians are useful to the Arab states as they are ... Can you imagine yet another nation on the shores of the eastern Mediterranean!"[15]

Consider, for example, his treatment of the 250,000-strong Palestinian population of the Gaza Strip (many of them refugees), which was occupied by Egypt during the 1948 war. Though in September 1948, the Arab League (with the sole objection of Transjordan) proclaimed the formation of an All-Palestine Government whose jurisdiction was to extend over the country's entire territory from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, it was effectively an Egyptian puppet that had no actual authority. Nasser, who inherited this charge from the monarchy, did little to change this state of affairs and, in 1959, dropped the pretense of Palestinian sovereignty altogether and abolished the All-Palestine Government.[16]

Nor did Nasser do much to improve the economic and political lot of the Gaza inhabitants, let alone advance them toward statehood. Unlike the West Bank Palestinians, who were given Jordanian citizenship and were incorporated into the kingdom's socioeconomic fabric (albeit with a good measure of discrimination), Gazans were not offered Egyptian citizenship but rather were kept in squalid camps as a political and propaganda tool against Israel. A string of Egyptian governors ensured their subservience through heavy-handed restrictions on political activities and freedom of movement. This situation did not change until the strip was captured by Israel during the June 1967 war.

Apex of Support, 1955-66

Whatever his true sentiments about the Palestinians, Nasser was keenly aware that winning the pan-Arab mantle required escalating his anti-Israel rhetoric and policies as this ideology rejected the existence of a Jewish state on what it considered a part of the "pan-Arab patrimony."

Since he was reluctant to be drawn into an all-out war with Israel, in late 1954, Nasser began using Egyptian-trained Gazan Palestinian terrorists (dubbed fedayeen) for attacks on civilian targets within Israel,[17] which he lauded as heroic acts of sacrifice to expedite Israel's destruction. "Egypt has decided to dispatch her heroes, the disciples of Pharaoh and the sons of Islam, and they will cleanse the land of Palestine," he gloated in a well-publicized speech on August 31, 1955. "There will be no peace on Israel's border because we demand vengeance, and vengeance is Israel's death."[18]

Rather than bring about Israel's demise, the fedayeen raids triggered a sustained Israeli retaliatory campaign against Egyptian military targets in Gaza, which killed scores of Egyptian soldiers and humiliated the Egyptian military and the Egyptian president. They also played a key role, together with a vast Egyptian-Soviet arms deal signed in 1955, in driving Israel to join Britain and France in the October-November 1956 Suez War, during which it defeated the Egyptian armed forces in Sinai and occupied the peninsula within a week.

Destroyed Egyptian tanks, Sinai, 1956. Despite defeat by Israel, Britain, and France in the October-November 1956 Suez War, Nasser was able to consolidate his pan-Arabism mantle with anti-Israel rhetoric and policies.

Fortunately for Nasser, the performance of the Anglo-French forces that landed in the Suez Canal was far less impressive, which allowed him to present the war as a glowing Egyptian victory against a "tripartite aggression" and to consolidate his regional and international position. Armed with this newfound preeminence, Nasser intensified his propaganda campaign against Israel. At some times, he simply reverted to standard euphemisms for Israel's destruction such as "the liberation of Palestine" and "the restoration of the full rights of the people of Palestine." He declared, "If the refugees return to Israel, Israel will cease to exist."[19] On other occasions, he claimed that, just as Arab divisions had led to the 1948 "disaster," so the elimination of the traces of Western colonialism in the region, first and foremost, the "malignant imperialist Zionist implant," would only be achieved through complete pan-Arab unity. In the words of an official 1962 charter outlining Egypt's socioeconomic and political philosophy:

The insistence of our people on liquidating the Israeli aggression on a part of the Palestine land is a determination to liquidate one of the most dangerous pockets of imperialist resistance against the struggle of peoples. Our pursuit of the Israeli policy of infiltration in Africa is only an attempt to limit the spread of a destructive imperialist cancer.[20]

Nasser's information department circulated an anti-Semitic tract, which denigrated Jews as "cheats, thieves, and murderers."

In yet other instances, Nasser's propaganda contained straightforward anti-Jewish bigotry. In 1965, for example, the Egyptian information department circulated an anti-Semitic tract in Africa titled, "Israel, The Enemy of Africa," which vilified Judaism and denigrated Jews as "cheats, thieves, and murderers." To support their bigoted claims, the authors cited two notorious anti-Semitic screeds, the Russian Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Henry Ford's The International Jew.[21] For its part, the journal of the Egyptian military described freemasons as a secret Jewish society seeking to eliminate Christianity by "luring young Christians 'into the arms of Jewesses' and into moral ruin."[22]

Cairo 1970: (Left to right) Yasser Arafat is welcomed by Nasser and Jordan's King Hussein as the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which Nasser created as a ploy to give him full control of this cause.

No less importantly, in 1964, Nasser created, with Soviet assistance, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and appointed the Lebanese-born Ahmad Shukeiri, a former Syrian and Saudi ambassador to the U.N., as its chairman. On the face of it, this was a bold move to promote the Palestinian national cause; in fact, it was a shrewd ploy to give the Egyptian president full control of this cause as Yasser Arafat's rival Fatah organization, established a few years earlier, quickly pointed out.[23] Indeed, even the Palestinian National Charter, one of the PLO's founding documents rejecting Israel's legitimacy and urging its destruction, defined Palestine as part of the "Arab homeland" and tied its "liberation" to the pan-Arab cause, which by that time had come to be fully associated with Nasser:

Arab unity and the liberation of Palestine are two complementary goals; each prepares for the attainment of the other. Arab unity leads to the liberation of Palestine, and the liberation of Palestine leads to Arab unity. Working for both must go side by side.[24]

At the same time, the Palestinian charter renounced claims to "any territorial sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, [and] on the Gaza Strip,"[25] thus effectively excluding these areas, occupied respectively by Jordan and Egypt since the 1948 war, from the territory of the would-be "liberated" Palestine. (Four years later, this exclusion was removed from the revised version of the charter, following the West Bank and Gaza's capture by Israel during the June 1967 war.)[26]

When addressing Western audiences, Nasser downplayed Palestinian calls for Israel's destruction.

By fronting the PLO, Nasser sought to appear simultaneously radical and moderate so as to boost his pan-Arab stature on the one hand, and to maximize political and economic gains from Moscow and Washington (as well as the Arab states) on the other. Thus, while addressing Western audiences, Nasser would downplay Palestinian calls for Israel's destruction as hyped talk, noting the 1949 armistice agreements as proof that Cairo had effectively accepted the reality of Israel's existence.[27] But while addressing Arab audiences, particularly in such radical states as Syria, Iraq, and Algeria, he stressed Egypt's championing of the Palestinian struggle for Israel's destruction while refraining from the specifics of the "liberation of Palestine." Thus, for example, he argued in a November 1965 speech that Egypt's objective was to destroy Israel yet refused to say how and when this would be achieved on the pretext that elaborating on this issue would only benefit Israel.[28] Eight months later, addressing a large crowd, Nasser claimed that Egypt and the Arab world's real strength lay in their overwhelming demographic superiority over Israel and that the only way to "liberate Palestine" was to mobilize a four-million-strong Arab army to fight and destroy Israel.[29] Such vague statements led one U.S. intelligence report to conclude that "Nasser's main stance vis-à-vis Israel has been the defense of Egypt from, rather than an attack of Egypt on, Israel."[30]

Nonetheless, by May 1967, Nasser's Palestine policy and the anti-Israel hype he stirred in the Arab world drove him into a series of highly provocative moves that triggered a preemptive Israeli strike. He moved large Egyptian forces into the demilitarized Sinai Peninsula; expelled the U.N. peacekeeping force that had been deployed along the Israeli-Egyptian border since the 1956 war; blockaded the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping, which the U.N. deemed illegal and an act justifying war; and signed a military defense pact with Jordan that implied war was imminent.[31] "We knew that, by closing the Gulf of Aqaba, it might mean war with Israel. [If war comes] it will be total, and the objective will be to destroy Israel," Nasser acknowledged a week before the outbreak of hostilities.[32]

An Egypt-first Policy, 1967-70

As it was, not only was Israel not destroyed in the war that ensued on June 5, 1967, but in the swiftest military campaign of modern history, it routed the Egyptian, Jordanian, and Syrian forces in six days and captured vast territories three times its size, including the Gaza Strip with its 500,000-strong Palestinian population and the West Bank and its 800,000 Palestinian residents. Faced with this humiliating defeat, the Egyptian president quickly changed his foremost foreign policy goal from "destroying the Jewish state" to "eliminating the consequences of aggression"—an ambiguous phrase that did not specify what this action entailed and which territories Egypt would liberate. Should it prioritize the liberation of Sinai that was an integral part of its territory? And if so, did it include Gaza, which was outside Egypt's border and had never been considered part of the motherland? Did Nasser suggest that Egypt should help Jordan and Syria "eliminate the consequences of aggression" in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights, or was the restoration of these territories the sole responsibility of the two states? Would the territories be liberated through the use of force, diplomacy, or both? And would Nasser reject a political solution with Israel that only entailed the return of the lost Egyptian territories? Nasser's deliberately vague language was thus a strategic choice designed to provide the greatest possible flexibility in entertaining a political arrangement with Israel without excluding the military option.

Israeli troops enter Gaza, June 6, 1967. During clandestine talks following the Six-Day War, recently declassified documents reveal that Nasser engaged in discussions often without mentioning the fate of the Palestinians.

By way of "eliminating the consequences of aggression," Egypt participated in the U.N. deliberations on the conflict in the summer and autumn of 1967 where it insisted on a total Israeli withdrawal to the prewar lines. Concurrently, clandestine talks were held and plans were floated by various foreign officials and mediators to end the state of war between Egypt and Israel. And while none of these private initiatives matured into full-fledged peace agreements, recently declassified documents reveal willingness by Nasser not only to entertain a political settlement with Israel but also to accept an arrangement based on the Egyptian-Israeli border.[33] Discussions of such an agreement often occurred without Nasser mentioning the fate of the Palestinians, or if he did, by insinuating a more pragmatic approach that offered refugee compensation rather than repatriation in Israel (the standard euphemism for the Jewish state's demographic subversion). Nor did Nasser make open threats to destroy Israel during these private talks, and seldom did they appear in his public speeches at the time.

Nasser reportedly agreed to allow Israeli shipping through the Strait of Tiran, provided the negotiations were conducted in private.

Thus, for example, a U.S. intelligence memo disclosed that as early as June 1967, in response to several messages from undisclosed third parties, Nasser reportedly agreed to recognize Israel and to allow Israeli shipping through the Strait of Tiran, provided the negotiations were conducted in private by personal emissaries of U.S. president Lyndon Johnson and France's Charles de Gaulle rather than the normal diplomatic channels. Egypt was also to be economically rewarded for its concessions.[34] Nasser repeated his purported readiness for concessions in a July 11 meeting with the Soviet deputy foreign minister, Yakov Malik, with the contingency that the Suez Canal remained closed to Israeli shipping. "In such conditions, giving Israel the right of shipping in the Canal would be for us a new blow," he reasoned. "We can accept any political solution, personally I agree to anything, but not to the passage of Israeli ships through the Canal."[35]

Nasser's purported readiness to recognize Israel's existence signified a sea change from his decade-long, vociferous commitment to its destruction though his insistence on private, indirect talks indicated his reluctance to admit this change publicly; indeed, at a later stage of this covert exchange, he backtracked on his ostensible readiness to recognize Israel's existence. Yet his seeming willingness to give secret diplomacy a chance without conditioning it on the resolution of the Palestinian problem (but rather on preventing Israeli shipping in the canal), insinuated a crystalizing "Egypt-first" approach.

This shift was also indicated by the Egyptian president's response to the draft agreement prepared by his Yugoslav counterpart and close associate Josip Tito for the forthcoming U.N. General Assembly's annual session in September 1967. According to the envisaged agreement, which was to be guaranteed by the four great powers (the United States, the Soviet Union, Britain, and France), Israel was to withdraw from the territories conquered during the 1967 war in return for an end to the state of belligerency and navigation rights in the Tiran Straight and the Suez Canal. The Golan Heights were to be demilitarized while Jerusalem, including the Old City, was to be partitioned along national and religious lines. The Gaza Strip was to revert to Egypt, and the West Bank was to return to Jordanian rule with some border modifications in favor of Israel.[36]

Though this latter stipulation closed the lid on the idea of Palestinian independence, the Egyptian foreign minister, Mahmoud Riad, suggested in a conversation with his Italian counterpart on September 4 that the plan could serve as a basis for a settlement provided the U.N. Security Council ensured Israel's withdrawal to the pre-June 1967 lines.[37] Had this scenario come to fruition, "the PLO would have been finished. Absolutely finished," to use Arafat's candid admission.[38]

While Tito's plan was never put to a General Assembly vote due to insufficient support,[39] Nasser's tacit readiness to drop the Palestinian cause while contenting himself with satisfying Egypt's direct interests was repeated yet again with his grudging acceptance of Security Council Resolution 242 of November 1967, which established the "land for peace" formula as the cornerstone of future Arab-Israeli peace negotiations and accepted Israel's right to a peaceful and secure existence. And while Nasser interpreted the resolution's call for Israel's withdrawal "from territories occupied in the recent conflict" as requiring withdrawal from all territories captured during the war, he acquiesced in its effective "partition of Palestine and the sovereign existence of Israel in that part of Palestine it has held since 1949"[40] as well as its exclusion of the possibility of Palestinian statehood. Indeed, the resolution did not even mention the Palestinians by name but rather spoke of the need for "achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem,"[41] which not only considered the Palestinian issue a humanitarian rather a national problem but could also be interpreted to include the near-million Jewish refugees driven from the Arab states during and after the 1948 war. Small wonder that the PLO rejected Resolution 242 as a "Zionist plot."[42]

Nasser was prepared to subordinate the Palestinian cause to Egypt's national interest.

If Nasser was prepared to subordinate publicly the Palestinian cause to Egypt's national interest, he was even more forthcoming in this respect in private. In a meeting with U.S. secretary of state Dean Rusk on October 2, 1967, the utmost sacrifice Riad was prepared to make on behalf of the Palestinians was to keep the Suez Canal closed until Israel either helped resettle the refugees or provided reparations. When Rusk noted that PLO chairman Shukeiri had threatened to cut the throats of Palestinians unless all refugees agreed to return, Riad dismissed this as hollow words and bragged that Egypt "could remove Shukeiri."[43] These blunt remarks, which would never have been uttered in public, implied that the PLO, which Nasser established, was an expendable foreign policy tool that could be disposed of once it had outlived its usefulness for Egypt's national goals.

Former U.S. treasury secretary Robert Anderson was similarly impressed by his meetings with Nasser on October 31 and November 2. Though told by the Egyptian president that the Arab leaders could not negotiate directly with Israel due to the "Three Nos"—no negotiations, no recognition, and no peace with Israel—adopted by the Khartoum summit on September 1, Anderson felt that Nasser seemed interested in an Egyptian-Israeli agreement, mediated and guaranteed by the two superpowers, which would restore Sinai and, presumably, Gaza to Egyptian control.

Speaking of Palestinian refugees, Nasser said, "Let us settle with them by agreeing to pay them compensation."

Reflecting his nascent Egypt-first approach, Nasser did not raise the issue of the other territories lost during the war, including Jerusalem, leaving responsibility for their return to Jordan and Syria. With regard to the Palestinians, Nasser repeated the refusal to allow Israeli shipping through the canal before resolution of the Palestinian refugee problem though he indicated that there was room for flexibility on this point.[44] When Anderson doubted that Israel could ever agree to repatriate the refugees in its territory, Nasser appeared surprisingly flexible. "All right, then, let us settle with them by agreeing to pay them compensation," he said, "let us try to be practical and, if we all want peace, and we do, then let us find a way to settle our differences and live in peace."[45]

Nasser reiterated the same theme a month later in an oral message to President Johnson's personal emissary, New York attorney James Birdsall, in which he asked that Washington influence Israel to withdraw from Arab territories in exchange for an Egyptian-Israeli non-belligerency pact. Backtracking from past public demands for refugee repatriation, Nasser now accepted that a solution to the problem could be found "consistent with the continued existence of Israel."[46]

Repeated to visiting British politicians,[47] the significance of these messages cannot be overstated. The repatriation of the refugees was perhaps the foremost pan-Arab article of faith regarding the resolution of the "Palestine problem" and the standard euphemism for Israel's destruction through demographic subversion. And here was the leader of the most powerful Arab state and the widely acknowledged champion of the pan-Arab cause, who had been articulating this precept as late as June 1967, not only renouncing it (albeit in private) for the sake of cutting a separate deal but also apparently amenable to acquiescence in the existence of the "Zionist entity."

Conclusion

By the time of his death on September 28, 1970, Nasser's Palestine policy seemed to have come full circle: from apathy and indifference, to full embrace and support, to disengagement and reversion to an "Egypt first" policy. As late as July 1970, he agreed to entertain a new peace plan espoused by U.S. secretary of state William Rogers, telling a senior PLO official, "I am going to accept it. You are free to reject it—that is your right. But whatever you decide, do not criticize me."[48] He was similarly dismissive of his Arab peers' fiery Palestine rhetoric. "You issue statements, but we have to fight," he told an all-Arab summit in Cairo a few days before his death. "If you want to liberate, then get in line in front of us ... but we have learnt caution after 1967, and after the Yemenis dragged us into their affairs in 1962, and the Syrians into war in 1967."[49]

Had Nasser been truly committed to the Palestinian cause—and for that matter to the pan-Arab ideal—he would not have entertained dropping this cause for the sake of a separate Egyptian-Israeli deal. Instead, just as he had been associated with the Young Egypt Party and the Muslim Brotherhood in pursuit of his grandiose ambitions, Nasser championed the Palestinian cause so long as this helped catapult him to pan-Arab leadership and maintain this role. The Palestinians, like the Brotherhood, were expendable pawns that could be disregarded or discarded once their usefulness to Nasser's—and by extension Egypt's—goals had been exhausted.

As more primary sources on Egyptian history and foreign policy become available, it is possible that Nasser's image and legacy will undergo further change. And yet, it is also entirely possible that these revelations will not make much of an impact as many Egyptians, Palestinians, and other Arabs continue to view Nasser as an incorruptible, towering symbol in the tenuous era of decolonization. As one Egyptian academic put it, "At the end of the day, Nasser was the leader that the vast majority of people truly related to; he was the strong leader that people looked up to."[50]

Michael Sharnoff is associate professor at the National Defense University's Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies. He is author of Nasser's Peace: Egypt's Response to the 1967 War with Israel. The views expressed are solely those of the author.


[1] "Gamal Abd an-Nasir fi Filastin," al-Ayyam (Ramallah), Jan. 17, 2017.

[2] Bassem Barhoum, "Law Kana Abd an-Nasir Hadiran," al-Hayat al-Jadida (Ramallah), Jan. 17, 2018.

[3] See, for example, Muhammad Shehada, "Egypt Has Always Held the Palestinians of Gaza in Contempt," Haaretz (Tel Aviv), Feb. 19, 2018; Abdullah al-Arian, "Egypt and Palestine in the Age of Sisi," Aljazeera TV (Doha), June 25, 2014.

[4] Abdel Nasser, "Nasser's Memoirs of the First Palestine War," Walid Khalidi, trans., Journal of Palestine Studies, Winter 1973, pp. 3-32.

[5] P.J. Vatikiotis, Nasser and His Generation (London: Croom Helm, 1978), p. 249.

[6] Ido Yahel, "Covert Diplomacy between Israel and Egypt during Nasser's Rule: 1952-1970," SAGE Open, Oct. 2016.

[7] "Gamal Abd an-Nasir bi-Ayoon Falastinia," Masr al-Arabia (Giza), July 27, 2015.

[8] Janet Morgan, The Backbench Diaries of Richard Crossman (London: Hamish Hamilton and Jonathan Cape, 1981), p. 287.

[9] "Hadith ar-Ra'is Gamal Abd an-Nasir li-Murasil Jaridat 'New York Times' fi-l-Qahira," Aug. 20, 1954, Gamal Abdel Nasser Digital Archive (hereafter GANDA); Gamal Abdel Nasser, "The Egyptian Revolution," Foreign Affairs, Jan. 1955.

[10] Reuters, Feb. 1, 2017.

[11] Leonard Weiss, "The Lavon Affair: How a False-Flag Operation Led to War and the Israeli Bomb," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, July 2013, pp. 58-68.

[12] Cynthia Farahat, "The Arab Upheaval: Egypt's Islamist Shadow," Middle East Quarterly, Summer 2011, pp. 19-24.

[13] Fawaz Gerges, Making the Arab World: Nasser, Qutb, and the Clash that Shaped the Middle East (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2018), pp. 91, 166.

[14] Gamal Abdel Nasser, The Philosophy of the Revolution (Cairo: Ministry of National Guidance, 1954), pp. 58-9.

[15] Efraim Karsh, Palestine Betrayed (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010), pp. 39-40; Karsh, "The Palestinians' Real Enemies," Middle East Quarterly, Spring 2014.

[16] Avi Shlaim, "The Rise and Fall of the All-Palestine Government in Gaza," Journal of Palestine Studies, Autumn 1990, pp. 37-53.

[17] Lela Gilbert, "An 'Infidel' in Israel," The Jerusalem Post, Oct. 23, 2007; Kameel Nasr, Arab and Israeli Terrorism: The Causes and Effects of Political Violence, 1936-1993 (London: McFarland and Co., 2007), p. 40.

[18] Middle Eastern Affairs, Dec. 1956, p. 461.

[19] See, for example, Nasser's interview with Zuercher Woche, Sept. 1, 1961, as quoted in Harris O. Schoenberg, A Mandate for Terror: The United Nations and the PLO (New York: Shapolsky Books, 1989), p. 239; "Answers by President Gamal Abdel Nasser at Free Discussion Held at Arab Socialist Union Youth Training Camp at Helwan, Cairo, Nov. 19, 1965," Arab Political Encyclopedia, Documentation Research Centre, Information Department, July-Dec. 1965, p. 54.

[20] The Charter (Cairo: Information Department, 1962), p. 115; see, also, "Kalimat ar-Ra'is Gamal Abd an-Nasir bi-Munasabat Ziyarat al-Wafd al-Filastini bi-Dimashq," Mar. 24, 1959, GANDA.

[21] "Nasser's Anti-Jewish Propaganda," Congressional Record, U.S. Senate, July 8, 1965; General CIA Records, CIA-RDP67B00446R000400170011-8.

[22] "Nasser's Anti-Jewish Propaganda"; General CIA Records; "Personality of the Month: Nasser El-Din Nashashibi," This Week in Palestine, Aug. 9, 2014.

[23] Efraim Karsh, Arafat's War (New York: Grove Atlantic, 2003), pp. 36-40.

[24] "Palestine National Charter of 1964," Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations, New York, art. 12.

[25] Ibid., art. 24.

[26] "The Palestinian National Charter: Resolutions of the Palestine National Council, July 1-17, 1968," The Avalon Project, Yale Law School, New Haven.

[27] "Record of Conversation Held in the Foreign Office on 13 October at 3:30 p.m.: Anglo/UAR Relations - Sir D. Foot's Visit to Cairo, Oct. 16, 1967," FCO 39/256: Parliamentary Visits to United Arab Republic (1967), U.K. National Archives, London; Foreign Office, North and East African Department and Successors: Registered Files (V and NA Series) (1967–1972), U.K. National Archives; United Arab Republic, Political Affairs (External), File No. VK 3/7, U.K. National Archives.

[28] "Answers by President Gamal Abdel Nasser," Arab Political Encyclopedia, p. 54.

[29] "Khitab ar-Ra'is Gamal Abd an-Nasir min Istad al-Iskandariyya fi Mu'tamar al-Ittihad al-Ishtiraki Ihtifalan bi-l-Eidd ar-Rabi'a Ashara li-l-Thawra," July 26, 1966, GANDA.

[30] "Nasser's Public States RE: Israel," n.d., The Papers of William Averell Harriman, Arab-Israeli Crisis 1967, Box 432, Folder 9, Library of Congress, Manuscript Div., Washington, D.C.

[31] Egypt and Syria had signed a defense pact in 1966.

[32] The Washington Post, May 27, 1967.

[33] Yehuda U. Blanga, The US, Israel, and Egypt: Diplomacy in the Shadow of Attrition, 1967-70 (London: Routledge, 2020); Yahel, "Covert Diplomacy between Israel and Egypt during Nasser Rule."

[34] "Memorandum from the Director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (Hughes) to Secretary of State Rusk," Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964–1968 (hereafter FRUS), Vol. XIX: Arab-Israeli Crisis and War, 1967 (Washington D.C.: Office of the Historian, 2004), July 3, 1967, doc. 339.

[35] "Polish Record of Meeting of Soviet-bloc Leaders (and Tito) in Budapest (excerpts)," Wilson Center Digital Archive, Washington, D.C., July 11, 1967.

[36] "Rejection by Israel," Arab Report and Record, Sept. 1-15, 1967, p. 287; The New York Times, Sept. 2, 1967.

[37] "Letter from Foreign Minister Fanfani on his Recent Conversation with UAR Foreign Minister," Sept. 8, 1967, Middle East Crisis Files, U.S. National Archives, College Park, Md. (hereafter NACP), 1967, vol. IV; "Control Group Data to Rusk Correspondence in ME Crisis, May-Sept. 1967," Record Group 59, Box 19, NACP.

[38] Alan Hart, Arafat: A Political Biography (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1989), p. 357.

[39] "Riad Meets Yugoslav, Indian Ambassadors," Sept. 13, 1967, Cairo Domestic Service, FBIS/UAR, Sept. 14, 1967, B1; "Yugoslav Proposals for a Peace Settlement in the Middle East," Israel State Archives, Israel-Cyprus Relations, 1961-1967, no. 200.

[40] "Airgram from the Department of State to the Embassy in the Soviet Union," Dec. 17, 1969, Middle East Region and Arabian Peninsula, 1969-1972, Jordan, September 1970, vol. 24, doc. 16, FRUS.

[41] "United Nations Security Council Resolution 242," The Avalon Project, Yale Law School, New Haven.

[42] Efraim Karsh and Asaf Romirowsky, "Land for War," The Wall Street Journal, Aug. 5, 2011.

[43] "Secret Section Two of Two USUN, Oct. 4, 1967," Central Foreign Policy Files, 1967-1969, Record Group 59, Box 2556, NACP.

[44] "Briefing of Robert B. Anderson, Nov. 2, 1967," ibid.; "For the Secretary of State (Eyes Only) Attention of the President from Anderson, Oct. 31, 1967," ibid.

[45] "Telegram [text not declassified] to the White House," Nov. 3, 1967, Arab-Israeli Crisis and War, 1967, doc. 500, FRUS.

[46] "Message from President Nasser, Dec. 27, 1967," Central Foreign Policy Files, 1967-69, Record Group 59, Box 21529, NACP.

[47] "Beeley Mission Cairo, Oct. 12, 1967," Central Foreign Policy Files, 1967-1969, Record Group 59, Box 2556, NACP; "1041/67 Dispatch No. 7, Oct. 30," FCO 39/270: Sir Harold Beeley's Visit to Cairo (1967), U.K. National Archive.

[48] Hart, Arafat, p. 315.

[49] Vatikiotis, Nasser and His Generation, p. 245.

[50] Dina Ezzat, "Nasser: A National Hero or Founder of a Military State?" Ahram Online (Cairo), July 23, 2012.

 

Michael Sharnoff is associate professor at the National Defense University's Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies. He is author of Nasser's Peace: Egypt's Response to the 1967 War with Israel. The views expressed are solely those of the author.

Source: https://www.meforum.org/62399/nasser-and-the-palestinians

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