Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Biden's Headache in Middle East: Israel

by Oui Thu Sep 28th, 2023 at 10:20:39 AM EST


Israeli Minister: West Bank is a Prison, But Not Apartheid | Tikun Olam |

Foreign minister holds secret meeting with Libyan foreign minister, boasts about it and gets her fired

Bibi Netanyahu's government is a clown car full of half-wits, thieves, goons and grifters.  The latest embarrassment comes in a TV interview with "Heritage minister," Amihai Eliyahu, who is also a protege of Itamar Ben Gvir and his Religious Zionism party. His heritage? Apartheid, West Bank prisons, land theft?

Here he's defending a prohibition against traveling on "Jewish roads" in the West Bank.  He explains why it's cool to refuse the Palestinians a right to travel:


Barak Ravid reports that Biden administration officials (undoubtedly in the State Department) have severely reprimanded Israel for revealing the secret meeting. This and the firing of the foreign minister have, according to US officials, damaged US security interests:

Al Aqsa Attack and Intrusion

Kahanists to boost Likud power in Knesset, save Bibi from conviction in graft allegations

What Israel's New Kahanist Government Really Wants

For spectators of Israeli politics, particularly those following from afar, one of the most shocking aspects of the new Israeli government was the inclusion of Itamar Ben Gvir, a lifelong disciple and now political successor of the radical American-Israeli rabbi and militant Meir Kahane, as a senior minister. In the Israeli political ecosystem of yesteryear, that would have been a red line not even Benjamin Netanyahu would have crossed.

Kahane, who founded more than one group that the United States considered terrorist organizations and who was eventually barred from public office in Israel in the 1980s, never came close to the type of power Ben Gvir has acquired, partly because the latter has moderated his rhetoric. But Ben Gvir's shift in tone does not represent any changes in ideology or political vision.

Their sudden rise to power is particularly destabilizing for many progressive or liberal Zionists in Israel and the United States, who may have trouble reconciling the ideas of Ben Gvir's Jewish Power with the vision of most mainstream Zionist parties, particularly when boiled down to its creed of "maximum land with minimum Arabs." Netanyahu, though, certainly did not have to make any ideological compromises to include Jewish Power in his latest coalition.

Arab News Op-Ed Close to Saudi Throne

What Netanyahu got wrong in his UN speech

His enamor for showing graphs and maps was pitiful. His "new Middle East" offering had nothing new. The idea goes back to the era of the Oslo Accords, when a different brand of Israeli -- and Arab -- politician contemplated the vision of a time when Arabs and Israelis could live in peace and use their vast human and natural resources to turn the region into a potent powerhouse.

His enamor for showing graphs and maps was pitiful. His "new Middle East" offering had nothing new. The idea goes back to the era of the Oslo Accords, when a different brand of Israeli -- and Arab -- politician contemplated the vision of a time when Arabs and Israelis could live in peace and use their vast human and natural resources to turn the region into a potent powerhouse.


While avoiding all this, Netanyahu still believes he can sell something to the world, when in fact his coffers are empty. His final act at the UN was to claim he was delivering a new Middle East, aptly his last show and legacy.

The reality is that his government is so radioactive that even his Abraham Accords partners are in disgust. Support for the accords has dipped, according to various surveys.

At the UN, Netanyahu brandished a map that underlined a total denial of the existence of the Palestinians. But he offered no solution. The big question today in Netanyahu's Israel is what to do with more than 3.5 million Palestinians if "Eretz Israel" is to become a reality. His new Middle East premise is missing one giant component, and he is in denial.

Netanyahu avoided mentioning how Israel is changing under his watch and he skirted mentioning the peace process altogether, as if normalizing ties with the Arab world would make the Palestinian issue disappear.

He again tried to play the Iran card but was a few steps behind in the latest geopolitical shifts. The region's countries now agree that they must deal with Iran as a neighbor and possibly a partner.

Netanyahu was rash to celebrate possible rapprochement with Saudi Arabia -- the big prize -- while ignoring Riyadh's crystal-clear and principled position on what needs to be delivered before such a historical breakthrough is ripe for the picking. In short,

Netanyahu got everything wrong at the UN; just as it appears he is getting a lot wrong back home in Israel.

Israel-Saudi Normalization: the Fix is In | Tikun Olam |

Saudi Arabia sells out Palestine in order to get US nuclear reactor and defense pact

It has promised the Saudis unspecified relief for the Palestinians, which is far short of what the Saudis themselves have demanded in the past: an independent Palestinian state.  Now, the Saudis are perfectly willing to give up the Palestinians for their 30 pieces of silver.

The US has sought Israeli approval for the most nettlesome part of the deal as far as Israel is concerned: the nuclear reactor.  It is aware that a "civilian" nuclear reactor can fairly easily be turned into a military reactor, enriching enough uranium to produce a nuclear weapon. No promise by the Saudis or undertaking by the US that this reactor will be restricted to civilian use, is credible.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Oct 3rd, 2023 at 09:11:09 AM EST
My comment ...

Normalization would mean joining the Abraham Accords, I do not see this happening within 24 months.

KSA sees itself not only as guardian of the most holy shrines, but also the Islamic canter of all 1.5 bn Muslims. I watch the development in other majority Islamic states like Indonesia (Jakarta-Bandung HSR BRI deal), Pakistan, Kazakhstan, ... and Maldives. These nations are turning towards China.

The rapprochement between KSA and Iran is not a done deal, but is the balance how King Salman (yes ultimate decision maker) views Israel and agreement with Netanyahu.

Link Saudi Arabia opinion Arab News:

What Netanyahu got wrong in his UN speech by Osama Al-Sharif

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Oct 3rd, 2023 at 09:12:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
By the time the US discovered the ruse [Duplicity and Self-Deception: Israel, the United States, and the Dimona Inspections, 1964-65], it already had the bomb and presidents decided not to make an issue of it. 

Another example of Israeli impunity. The world routinely permits it to get away with murder-sometimes literally.

Dimona inspections: Only after John F. Kennedy was removed from power ... Lyndon B. Johnson was supportive of Israel and had a close Middle East advisor with a pro-Israel bias. The best US-Israel duality during 5 years of the Johnson administration.

The Battle of the Letters, 1963: John F. Kennedy, David Ben-Gurion, Levi Eshkol, and the U.S. Inspections of Dimona

Remember Eisenhower and tough decision on Suez crisis 1956. UK - France - Israel.

The Eisenhower Administration and the Discovery of Dimona: March 1958-January 1961

h/t Wilson Center

The US Discovery of Israel's Secret Nuclear Project

Remember the USS Liberty - 1967

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Oct 3rd, 2023 at 11:33:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Settler Accessory to Murder of Palestinian Endorses Spitting on Priests | Tikun Olam |

Israeli settlers arue routinely spitting on priests walking the streets of the Old City. During religious processions they block the path of worshipers, shouting curses and insults.  A few months ago, an American Orthodox Jew entered a church and toppled priceless icon statues breaking them.  Israeli police have done nothing to stop it.  Because the police minister is Itamar Ben Gvir, who himself is one of them.

.... the Judeo-messianist goal is to rid the land of every faith other than Judaism (or their misbegotten version of it).  To destroy the churches and mosques (including Al Aqsa) and replace them with a rebuilt Temple and synagogues.

I hesitate to use the term "religion" when describing the views of these repellent humans.  But their goal is a religious version of Nazism.  They want to purify the Holy Land of the stench of Christian churches.  Drive the Christians and Muslims out at any cost.  The only thing lacking for this "theology" to become full-fledged Nazism, is a Final Solution. One Likud MK has even endorsed sending Palestinians to death camps.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Oct 4th, 2023 at 10:06:52 AM EST
My comment ...

It must be horrific to write about the abuses of your faith.

Putting power to govern in the hands of Kahanist and illegal colonists is setting the stage for the next level of violence. The nationalist movement everywhere leads to right wing populism and fascism ... in the West white supremacy.

Politicians use violent acts for political gain. Break the cycle of violence now.

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by Oui (Oui) on Wed Oct 4th, 2023 at 10:07:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
2022 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Israel, West Bank and Gaza

Significant human rights issues included credible reports of: unlawful or arbitrary killings; arbitrary or unjust detention, including of Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories; restrictions on Palestinians residing in Jerusalem including arbitrary or unlawful interference with privacy, family, and home; substantial interference with the freedom of peaceful assembly and association; arbitrary or unlawful interference with privacy; punishment of family members for alleged offenses by a relative; restrictions on freedom of expression and media including censorship; harassment of nongovernmental organizations; violence against asylum seekers and migrants; violence or threats of violence against Palestinians and members of national, racial, or ethnic minority groups; and labor rights abuses against foreign workers and Palestinian workers.

The Israeli military and civilian justice systems have rarely found members of the security forces to have committed abuses. The government took some steps to identify, investigate, prosecute, and punish officials who committed human rights abuses, engaged in corruption, or both within Israel.

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by Oui (Oui) on Sat Oct 7th, 2023 at 08:07:24 AM EST

Israeli forces kill two Palestinians amid overnight West Bank raids | MEE - 2 days ago |

At least five Israeli soldiers are wounded from a grenade bomb used by Palestinian fighters during clashes

Israeli forces killed two Palestinians and wounded dozens more while suffering five injuries as they raided several areas in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday and into Thursday morning.

Abd al-Rahman Faris Atta, 23, and Huthaifa Mohammad Faris, 27, were killed south of Tulkarm city, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

The Israeli military claimed they opened fire at an Israeli settler who was unharmed. They were then pursued and shot dead by Israeli soldiers.  

Separately, Israeli forces stormed parts of Tulkarm and Nablus overnight, leading to confrontations with residents and heavy clashes with resistance fighters.

At least 200 civilians were wounded in the eastern parts of Nablus on Wednesday night as they protested at the entry of settlers into Joseph's Tomb, a religious site, under the protection of soldiers.

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by Oui (Oui) on Sat Oct 7th, 2023 at 08:26:35 AM EST
More than 200 Palestinians, nearly 30 Israelis killed so far this year: UN

UN Middle East envoy Tor Wennesland says deaths from violence so far this year are the highest recorded in the conflict between Israel and Palestinians since 2005.

Tor Wennesland, UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, told the UN Security Council on Monday that escalating violence is being fuelled by growing despair about the future among Palestinians and a lack of progress towards achieving an independent state.

"Palestinians and Israelis are killed and injured in near-daily violence - including just hours before this briefing when another fatal shooting attack killed an Israeli in the West Bank," he told the Security Council, speaking from Jerusalem.

"The lack of progress towards a political horizon that addressed the core issues driving the conflict has left a dangerous and volatile vacuum, filled by extremists on all sides," Wennesland told the Security Council.

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by Oui (Oui) on Sat Oct 7th, 2023 at 08:35:38 AM EST
The Security state undermined shown not to be invincible ... a day of reckoning came after decades of human rights abuse under illegal occupation.

Hamas attacked Israel on multiple fronts ... after Israel's devastating 2014 Gaza War.

    The 2014 hostilities saw a huge increase in firepower used in Gaza, with more than 6,000 airstrikes by Israel and approximately 50,000 tank and artillery shells fired. In the 51 day operation, 1,462 Palestinian civilians were killed, a third of them children. Palestinian armed groups fired 4,881 rockets and 1,753 mortars towards Israel in July and August 2014, killing 6 civilians and injuring at least 1,600.

More in ET archive - key word | ICC | Karim Khan |

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by Oui (Oui) on Sat Oct 7th, 2023 at 10:23:35 AM EST
Israel and State Terrorism with impunity

EU's top diplomat says bloc `unequivocally' condemns Hamas terror attacks | TOI |

The European Union "unequivocally" condemns attacks by the Palestinian group Hamas on Israel and called for an immediate stop to the violence.

It came after a barrage of rockets was fired and fighters from the Palestinian enclave infiltrated Israel, a major escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

EU chief Ursula von der Leyen says she "unequivocally" condemns the "terrorist attack by Hamas on Israel," adding that it was "terrorism in its most contemptible form."

"Israel has the right to defend itself against such odious attack," she adds.

"This horrific violence must stop immediately. Terrorism and violence solve nothing.

The EU expresses its solidarity with Israel in these difficult moments," EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell sas.

European Council president Charles Michel also condemns the "indiscriminate attacks launched against Israel and its people this morning inflicting terror and violence against innocent citizens."

"My thoughts are with all the victims. EU stands in solidarity with Israeli people in this horrific moment."

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by Oui (Oui) on Sat Oct 7th, 2023 at 10:37:43 AM EST
Not with the Palestinian people ⁉️ Damn biased German lady ... Holocaust.

"Terrorism and violence solve nothing," says EC president Ursula Von der Leyen. The Jewish State of Israel ... 75 years of terror in Palestine

Additional reading ...

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by Oui (Oui) on Sat Oct 7th, 2023 at 11:21:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Germany 'strongly' condemns Hamas attacks on Israel | JPost |

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said she strongly condemned a surprise attack by Palestinian Islamist group Hamas on Israel on Saturday, saying violence against innocent people must stop straight away.

"I strongly condemn the terrorist attacks against Israel from Gaza. Violence and rockets against innocent civilians must stop now. We stand in full solidarity with Israel and its right under international law to defend itself against terror," Baerbock said on social media platform X, previously known as Twitter.

Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz

Baerbock verurteilt Angriffe auf Israel "aufs Schärfste" | DW News |

Außenministerin Baerbock hat dem von der militanten Hamas angegriffenen Israel die volle Solidarität Deutschlands versichert. Andere europäische Staaten und die EU äußern sich ähnlich.

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by Oui (Oui) on Sat Oct 7th, 2023 at 01:07:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Shameful ... highly intelligent and educated, but dumb as an ass.

Israel in 2023: The Nation-State That Is Not, But Might Be | Clingendael by Erwin van Veen |

Speeches and articles in Western media that consider the state of the "State of Israel" on the occasion of its 75 years of existence abound this year. Such reflections tend to laud the achievements of the Israeli people and spotlight the Israeli State as a flourishing and progressive beacon in the Middle East. They lament the current upheaval that results from the Israeli extreme right trying to make the country more autocratic and possibly more theocratic. In most cases, such pieces add that, regrettably, the Palestinian issue remains to be solved. But then go on to note that it has lost relevance.

Finally, they finish on a positive note by stating Israel has all the means it takes to chart another 75 years of progress and only needs to get its act together. For European Commission president Von der Leyen it was sufficient to mention only Israel's successes, while The Economist took a somewhat rounder view in its article "As Israel turns 75, its biggest threats now come from within." In general, such reflections maintain an upbeat view of Israeli achievements and prospects.

Europe is adrift in the Middle East and must do better | CEPS - 25 May 2023 |

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by Oui (Oui) on Sat Oct 7th, 2023 at 08:58:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Oct 7th, 2023 at 09:31:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dutch PM slams "unprecedented attack by Hamas" during call with Netanyahu | NL Times |

Israel has the "full right" to defend itself against the "unprecedented attack" by the Palestinian group Hamas, outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte told his Israeli colleague Benjamin Netanyahu in a conversation about the attack by the terrorist organization. "I told him that the Netherlands unequivocally condemns this terrorist violence," Rutte wrote on X.

Overall, politicians in The Hague were shocked and condemned the Hamas' attack on Israel. The terrorist organization itself speaks of a military operation on Israel carried out on the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah.

Rutte expressed horror at the images of "innocent civilians being attacked by terrorists." "This violence must stop," the outgoing prime minister wrote on X.

    Appalling images from Israel. Terror organisation Hamas is waging an unprecedented attack on Israel. Innocent civilians are being attacked by terrorists. This violence must stop; Israel has every right to defend itself.

VVD chairwoman Dilan Yesilgöz [heavily biased pro-Israel] called the images on social media "heartbreaking." "Hamas terrorists brutally attack civilians. What a horror." Israel has the right to defend itself against this, she said. Her reaction on X.

According to her party colleague Ruben Brekelmans, this is an "unacceptable wave of terror." "Israel has the right to defend itself against it," the MP said.

Decision made by caretaker cabinet of Rutte III, in last days before new ministers in cabinet Rutte IV would be sworn in. Cowards. Dutch government's blow to Palestinian civil society

Letter UNHRC to caretaker cabinet Rutte III: Decision of the Government of the Netherlands to end funding for the Union of Agricultural Work Committees

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by Oui (Oui) on Sat Oct 7th, 2023 at 11:44:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Truth can cause pain ...

Bij1 - Edson Olf

According to Olf, "decades of colonization, expulsion, displacement, murder and apartheid are the cause of this conflict. The Netherlands and the EU are actively to blame for this by not guaranteeing international law and allowing injustice to continue," he says on X.

Rotterdam Edson Olf party leader BIJ1 [Together]: 'Fighting against the climate crisis, the capitalist system and institutional racism' | Rhine Delta |

Edson Olf, born in Paramaribo, Surinam, and raised in South Rotterdam, has been active with the party for some time, including as a district councilor in Rotterdam. He is also a board member and vice-chairman. As the father of a 4-year-old, he wants to "fight the climate crisis, the capitalist economic system and institutional racism."

In addition, his dream is to create a "society in which everyone is treated equally and has equal opportunities regardless of who you are". "If we achieve this, the foundation will be laid for a new world based on equality and justice."

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by Oui (Oui) on Sun Oct 8th, 2023 at 12:18:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Oct 12th, 2023 at 10:08:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Palestinian resistance in Gaza launches unprecedented surprise attack on Israel | Mondoweiss |

At around 6:30 a.m., Palestinian resistance factions in Gaza launched a surprise attack on Israel from land, sea, and air, as thousands of rockets have been launched into Israel and reportedly dozens of Israelis, including soldiers, have been killed and abducted by the resistance.

In the early morning hours of Saturday, October 7, the Palestinian resistance in the besieged Gaza Strip launched an unprecedented surprise multi-prong attack on Israel, including firing a barrage of rockets toward Israeli territory while simultaneously carrying out a ground offensive into nearby Israeli towns which breached the Israeli Gaza barrier and overwhelmed surrounding Israeli military posts. 

As of 12:30 local time, it was reported that thousands of rockets had been fired from Gaza into Israel and that Israeli air forces had targeted multiple areas across the Gaza Strip with airstrikes. The Shifaa hospital in Gaza reported that 20 Palestinians had been killed and over 100 were injured so far. Israeli emergency services report at least 22 Israeli casualties, and dozens of other unconfirmed reports indicate the casualties to be much higher. There have also been reports that a number of Israelis, including soldiers, had allegedly been captured and taken into Gaza. 

While Hamas reported firing more than 5,000 rockets into Israel, including long-range rockets, the Israeli army claimed just over 2,200 rockets were fired into Israel Saturday morning. 

Israel Is At War

At 11:47 a.m. local time, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israel was "at war," vowing that "the enemy" would pay a price "like they have never known before."

The Israeli army confirmed that Palestinian fighters had successfully breached the Gaza barrier in "several places," and that dozens of fighters had infiltrated into Israeli territory by land, air (unconfirmed videos showed alleged Palestinian fighters descending into an Israeli town via hang glider), and by sea, Israeli media reported. 

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Oct 7th, 2023 at 11:35:15 AM EST
At least 40 Israeli killed and 750 wounded ... at least three settlements near Gaza occupied by Palestinian resistance fighters.

A reaction to unlimited incursions of IDF forces on the Islamic holy Al Aqsa Mosque and unprovoked lethal violence by illegal settlers.

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by Oui (Oui) on Sat Oct 7th, 2023 at 12:31:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Russia calls on Palestine and Israel to cease fire - Deputy Foreign Minister

Moscow is in contact with all parties, including Arab states, said deputy head of the department Mikhail Bogdanov

Russia is in contact with Israel, Palestine, and Arab countries and calls on all parties involved in the conflict to cease fire, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told TASS.

"This is a relapse of a 75-year-old conflict. Moscow is in contact with all parties, including the Arab states. We call for an immediate ceasefire and peace," he said.

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by Oui (Oui) on Sat Oct 7th, 2023 at 01:11:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Commander of IDF Nahal Brigade killed during clashes with Hamas, IDF says | TOI |

The commanding officer of the Nahal Infantry Brigade, Col. Jonathan Steinberg, was killed this morning during clashes with Hamas terrorists in the Kerem Shalom area near the border with the Gaza Strip, the military says.

Steinberg, 42, from the southern town of Shomria, was en route to the site of clashes being managed by his subordinates when he encountered a terrorist who killed him.

He is one of the most senior Israeli officers to have been killed in combat in recent memory.

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by Oui (Oui) on Sat Oct 7th, 2023 at 11:05:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Attack on Israel shocks politicians in The Hague: 'We have never seen anything like this'. Political figures in The Hague react with dismay to the attack on Israel. "This is very scary, different than usual," says Alexander Hammelburg (D66) in a telephone response.

Fools in The Hague ... blindness for the terror by settlers and illegal occupation.

Qatar and Iran support Palestinians, Turkey calls for de-escalation | Dutch NRC |

Qatar's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that "Israel alone is responsible for the continued escalation of violence against the Palestinian people." International news agencies report this. In the statement, the country calls on both sides to withdraw.

Qatar also makes an urgent appeal to the international community to prevent Israel from "using these events as an excuse to start a disproportionate war against Palestinian civilians in Gaza."

'Operation al-Aqsa Storm': Palestinians capture Israeli base, kill soldiers

Iran also says it supports the Palestinian attack, reports the Iranian news site ISNA. "We congratulate the Palestinian fighters and will assist the Palestinian fighters in the liberation of Palestine and Jerusalem," said an adviser to Iran's supreme spiritual leader, Ali Khamenei.

Turkey calls for de-escalation. "We call on all parties to exercise restraint," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at a congress of his party in Ankara. "They must refrain from aggressive acts."

Türkiye, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE calls for restraint in Hamas-Israel clash | TRT World |

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by Oui (Oui) on Sat Oct 7th, 2023 at 12:54:32 PM EST
Saudi Arabia calls for 'immediate halt to escalation of conflict between Palestinians, Israelis' | Arab News |

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has called for an "immediate halt to the escalation of conflict between Palestinians and Israel" after Hamas militants carried out an unprecedented attack on daybreak Saturday.

Saudi Arabia's foreign affairs ministry said in a statement that it "is closely following developments in the unprecedented situation between a number of Palestinian factions and the Israeli occupation forces, which has resulted in a high level of violence taking place on a number of fronts there."

"We recall our repeated warnings of the dangers of the situation exploding as a result of the continued occupation," the statement said. It also called on the international community to activate a credible peace process that would lead to a two-state solution.

The UAE has called for exercising the utmost restraint and an immediate ceasefire in order to avoid serious repercussions, and "urged the international community to immediately reactivate the international Quartet to revive the path process of Arab-Israeli peace, and increase all efforts to achieve a just and comprehensive peace, and prevent the region from experiencing further violence, tension, and instability."

Oman also called on both parties to "exercise utmost levels of restraint, stressing the importance of protecting civilians."

"Oman is following with concern the ongoing escalation between the Palestinian and Israeli sides as a result of continued illegal Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, constant Israeli aggressions, which portend serious repercussions," Oman's state media said.

Egypt has warned of "grave consequences" from an escalation in tensions between Israel and the Palestinians amid widespread condemnation of Hamas' rocket attacks on Israel.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Oct 7th, 2023 at 01:27:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
General / The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques arrives in NEOM, Jerusalem, from Jeddah | SPA |

NEOM 16 Safar 1445 AH corresponding to September 1, 2023 AD SPA

With God's protection and care, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, arrived in NEOM today, coming from Jeddah.

His Highness Prince Khalid bin Fahd bin Khalid, His Highness Prince Khalid bin Saad bin Fahd, His Highness Prince Faisal bin Saud bin Mohammed, and His Royal Highness Prince Dr. Hossam bin Saud bin Abdulaziz, Prince of Saudi Arabia, arrived with the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques - may God support him - Al-Baha Region, His Royal Highness Prince Dr. Abdulaziz bin Sattam bin Abdulaziz, Advisor to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, His Royal Highness Prince Turki bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, and His Royal Highness Prince Faisal bin Ahmed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz.

Also arriving with him - may God protect him - were His Excellency the Head of Royal Protocol, Mr. Khalid bin Saleh Al-Abad, His Excellency the Deputy Private Secretary to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Assistant to the President of the Royal Court for Executive Affairs, Mr. Fahd bin Abdullah Al-Askar, and His Excellency the Assistant Private Secretary to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Mr. Tamim bin Abdulaziz Al-Salem. His Excellency the Head of Private Affairs of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Mr. Abdulaziz bin Ibrahim Al-Faisal, His Excellency the Chairman of the Board of Directors and Executive Director of the Royal Clinics, Dr. Saleh bin Ali Al-Qahtani, and His Excellency the Chief of the Royal Guard, Lieutenant General Suhail bin Saqr Al-Mutairi.

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, left Jeddah earlier today.

God Save the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques in the travel and residence.
/ I finish /

On decision of normalization relationship with the Jewish State of Israel, the Palestinian independent state, it's not the Crown Prince Salman (MBS), but King Salman and his Royal Court of advisors calling the shots.

At Invitation of King Salman, Chinese President to Kick off Visit to Saudi Arabia | 8 Dec. 2022 |

Three summits to be held, 30 heads of state to attend, deals worth 29 billion dollars to be signed.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Oct 7th, 2023 at 07:46:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
'We have never seen anything like this'
by Cat on Sat Oct 7th, 2023 at 06:24:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Live: At least 70 Israelis killed in unprecedented Hamas assault on Israel, 198 killed in Gaza | France24 |

Israel not `sufficiently prepared' for Hamas attack, says ambassador to France

Israel's ambassador to France admitted on Saturday that his country was not "sufficiently prepared" for the attack launched by Hamas, pointing to a failure of the intelligence services.

"Following this surprise [attack], we were not sufficiently prepared for it, we could even say barely prepared," ambassador Raphael Morav said in an interview with France's Europe 1 radio.

Asked about a possible failure of the Israeli intelligence services, the Israeli diplomat replied "certainly, certainly, yes... because normally we should have been prepared".

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by Oui (Oui) on Sat Oct 7th, 2023 at 06:22:25 PM EST
Gaza Declares War | Surprise Infiltration, Massive Barrages Shock Israel; Over 150 Israelis Killed, Hundreds Wounded; Civilians and Soldiers Held Hostage in Gaza | Haaretz |


Netanyahu's Likud party: Prime minister offered Lapid, Gantz form emergency government

A statement published on behalf of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party said Netanyahu offered National Unity party head Benny Gantz and opposition leader Yair Lapid to enter a "broad emergency government," on Saturday.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Oct 7th, 2023 at 06:23:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Oct 7th, 2023 at 06:23:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Occupying authority responsible for Gaza concentration camp of millions of Palestinians ... today Hamas forced a great prison break ... future has been uncertain for 75 years. Late PM Ariel Sharon intended to pull illegal settlements out of West Bank in 2006 until he fell ill to a brain hemorrhage and never recovered from coma.

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by Oui (Oui) on Sat Oct 7th, 2023 at 08:17:13 PM EST
Mapping Palestinian Politics | ECFR |

The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades (IQB) was founded in 1991 as the military wing of Hamas. It is the largest and best-equipped group operating in Gaza and has fought several wars against Israel. In recent years, it has significantly enhanced its missile and rocket capacity, and has experimented with drones and underwater commandos -- with limited success. IQB also has its own internal security force (al-Majd).

IQB has claimed responsibility for many attacks against Israeli civilians, including suicide bombings. IQB is led by Mohammed Deif. Its deputy is Marwan Issa.

While its centre of power remains Gaza, IQB has also maintained activities in the West Bank, including in the northern town of Jenin where it cooperates with Fatah's al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and Islamic Jihad`s al-Quds Brigades under the umbrella of so-called `Jenin Battalion'.

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by Oui (Oui) on Sat Oct 7th, 2023 at 10:04:52 PM EST

Earlier escalation storming Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem ...

Over 500 Israeli settlers storm Al-Aqsa complex on 4th day of Sukkot holiday | Anadolu Agency - 3 Oct. 2023 |

More than 1,100 settlers had stormed the complex on Monday and made tours of the mosque's courtyards and attempted to perform "Talmudic rituals," according to an official with the Islamic Waqf Department.

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by Oui (Oui) on Sat Oct 7th, 2023 at 10:05:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gaza Invasion: 300 Israeli Dead, 230 Palestinian Dead as Israel Prepares Massive Assault | Tikun Olam |

Netanyahu vows to turn Gaza to rubble, warns residents to flee

The chickens, as Malcolm X once said, "have come home to roost." After Israeli forces murdered nearly 300 Palestinian civilians, including 40 children so far in 2023; after settler terrorists mounted a Palestinian Kristallnacht in Huwara yesterday, murdering two teenage boys; after enduring 20 years of Israeli siege...finally Hamas decided it had had enough.

Yom Kippur War redux

It is an eerie reminder of the surprise Egyptian attack which commenced the Yom Kippur War. Hamas timed its attack for the same day Egypt attacked in 1973.  To increase the horror for Israelis, this assault began on the Simchat Torah holiday, a joyous commemoration of God's bestowing the Torah on the Children of Israel.
An Israeli security source told me that the attack on southern Israel is the "Shin Bet's Yom Kippur War." A failure of epic proportions.

Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the 1973 War, a bloody event which took the lives of 3,000 Israeli soldiers.  Just as Israel complacently assumed it was impregnable then, so the IDF and Shin Bet were caught flat-footed now.

Haaretz security correspondent, Yossi Melman, noted that this invasion was an even worse failure than 1973. Then the army of a formidable nation launched a surprise attack that shocked Israel. But this invasion was carried out by an insurgent militia with infinitely less sophisticated weaponry than Israel possesses.

Hamas was planning this operation right under their noses and they had no clue. So much for the security fence, surveillance technology, drones monitoring Gaza and thousands of troops defending from such an attack. It was all for naught.

I do not want to hear the mock horror of a single Israel apologist or Biden official about Hamas' "shameful" "indiscriminate" attack on Israeli civilians. Please. Israel murders 6 Palestinians for every Israeli killed. No weeping for them. No gnashing of teeth for them. Instead, abject silence.

There have already been expressions of outrage and a requisite call for "lessening tensions." Not to mention a tired warning that hopes for a two state solution were fast fading. To paraphrase Golda Meir's repugnant saying: perhaps when the world cares half as much about dead Palestinian children as it does about dead Israelis, then there can be peace.

Israel and Hamas: terror for terror

Do not complain about booodthirsty Palestinian terrorists attacking innocent civilians. These are resistance fighters taking up arms against a foreign army illegally occupying their land. Stealing their land and resources, expelling them from their villages, murdering them indiscriminately, defiling their holy sites. Not to mention that a  United Nations General Assembly resolution declared such armed resistance legitimate.

Israeli press review: Columnist warns 'Kristallnacht was relived in Huwwara'

Meanwhile, Israel's military is accused of 'deliberately turning blind eye' to violent riots and legal experts say the state could face war crime charges

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Oct 8th, 2023 at 10:43:10 AM EST
Daily settler violence on occupied Palestinian land ...

A young Palestinian man was killed on Friday as Israeli settlers attacked the occupied West Bank town of Huwwara, just hours after Israeli forces killed another Palestinian in the area, the Palestinian news agency Wafa reported. 

A settler shot 19-year-old Labeeb Mohammed Dmaidi in the heart, after dozens of settlers carried out attacks on Palestinian property in Huwwara under the protection of Israeli troops, according to Wafa.

The settlers damaged homes and buildings, and confronted Palestinian locals, who gathered to fend off the attacks. 

Wafa later reported that Dmaidi's funeral was also attacked by Israeli soldiers, wounding at least eight people.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Oct 8th, 2023 at 10:43:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Comment by Peter @TikunOlam

Another Pearl Harbor? But where are the Palestinian aircraft carriers I wonder? The Israeli government are gaslighting the world. Also, not much mention of the Re'im kibbutz being set up by the terrorist organisation Haganah, not to mention that the all-night rave two miles from the barbed wire of Gaza was an obvious provocation. Britain and the US are absolutely complicit in this, Rishi Sunak sees fit to project the Star of David on 10 Downing St... good grief. We will now see Hasbara in its most sociopathic form in the coming days.

    [links added are mine - Oui]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Oct 9th, 2023 at 02:32:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mohammad Dahlan is a former head of the Palestinian Authority`s Preventive Security in Gaza and a senior member of Fatah opposed to president Mahmoud Abbas.

Between 2006-2007, as head of the National Security Council, Dahlan reportedly led preparations for a US-backed military effort by Fatah security forces to overthrow the Hamas government in Gaza. This was pre-empted by a Hamas coup in June 2007 and resulted in the Islamist movement seizing full control of the Strip following bloody clashes.

At that time, Dahlan fled to the West Bank but fell out with Abbas and other Fatah leaders, who blamed him for the Gaza debacle.

In 2016, Abbas stripped him of his parliamentary immunity. The same month, he was convicted by the PA's Anti-Corruption Crimes Court of embezzling $16m and was sentenced in absentia to three years in prison.  

In November 2019, Turkey offered a $700,000 reward for information leading to his arrest, accusing him of "being a mercenary for the UAE and involved in a 2016 coup attempt.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Oct 8th, 2023 at 01:49:15 PM EST
The fight didn't start 48 hours ago ...

Saudi FM rejects targeting of civilians in Gaza violence | Arab News |

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan on Saturday said that the Kingdom rejected the targeting of unarmed civilians "in any way," according to a foreign ministry statement.

His comments came during separate phone calls with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell to discuss violence in Gaza, which broke out on Saturday morning.

The Palestinian Hamas group launched the biggest attack on Israel in years and the assault followed months of surging violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with fatalities in the occupied West Bank hitting a scale not seen in years.

The early morning Hamas offensive by air, land and sea was met by Israeli air strikes on the blockaded coastal enclave, in the bloodiest escalation with the Palestinians since May 2021.

Prince Faisal stressed the need to stop the escalation and for all parties to respect international humanitarian law. He also called for "concerted efforts to calm the situation and avoid further violence," the ministry said.

The Saudi minister also held separate calls with his Qatari counterpart Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim, and his Egyptian and Jordanian counterparts, where he emphasised the need for a joint action plan.

Prior to these calls, Prince Faisal issued a statement urging an immediate cessation of hostilities and calling upon the international community to initiate a peace initiative aimed at achieving a sustainable two-state resolution.

Prince Faisal asserted last month that "there is no solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict other than the two state solution", and that while "people have started losing hope in the two-state solution, our efforts aim to bring it back to the forefront."

Meanwhile, Blinken urged the Palestinian Authority to restore calm and stability in the West Bank in a call with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the US State Department said in a statement.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Oct 8th, 2023 at 02:14:14 PM EST
Abbas to Blinken: Injustice toward Palestinians is driving conflict toward explosion | Al Arabiya |

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that "injustice" toward Palestinians is driving the conflict with Israel to an "explosion," the Palestinian news agency WAFA said.

In a phone call, Abbas also said the ongoing escalation is down to the "practices of the colonialists and the Israeli occupation forces, and the aggression against Islamic and Christian sanctities," according to WAFA.

For decades the U.S. and Israel succeeded to abort any progress towards peace in the Middle East and made Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas irrelevant.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Oct 8th, 2023 at 02:14:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ICC chief can't be trusted to put Israeli war criminals on trial | EI - 3 Oct. 2023 |

Last December, Karim Khan - its chief prosecutor - stated that he had a "goal" of visiting Palestine this year. It is now October and Khan still has still not undertaken such a trip.

When I contacted the court asking if one had been scheduled, Khan's office replied that it is "making every effort to achieve this objective."

The ICC's refusal to answer a simple question with a "yes" or a "no" is symptomatic of a bigger problem. While Khan may sometimes throw a few crumbs towards Palestinians, he is in no rush to deliver anything that resembles justice.

Formally nominated for the post by Britain, Khan won a vote held at the United Nations headquarters in New York on 12 February 2021. Exactly one week earlier, ICC judges gave the green light for an investigation into war crimes carried out in the occupied West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and Gaza.

In April 2021, Boris Johnson responded to grievances about the ICC expressed by the lobby group Conservative Friends of Israel.

Britain wished to "bring about positive changes" at the ICC, Johnson wrote, claiming that Khan's appointment as chief prosecutor "will help serve reform." Johnson then stated, "We oppose the ICC's investigation into war crimes in Palestine."


A British attorney who then had the formal title given to senior lawyers of "queen's counsel," Khan is very much part of the establishment. So it was unlikely that he was going to act against Britain's perceived interests.

And regardless of whether it had a formal deal with Khan, Britain voiced its confidence in him. The official British statement of nomination praises Khan's "political antennae."


Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed UK's opposition to ICC investigation, asserting it doesn't have jurisdiction and gives impression of being "partial and prejudicial attack" on Israel.

What we do know for certain is that Khan has generally avoided saying anything in public about Palestine since assuming the post of the ICC's chief prosecutor.

About Palestine? "Sorry I'm busy"

In May this year, Al Jazeera's Kristen Saloomey approached Khan, asking whether the ICC would examine Israel's killing of her colleague Shireen Abu Akleh 12 months prior.

Khan's response? "Sorry I'm busy." Video via Twitter or X.

His reticence on Israeli aggression contrasts with the strident approach he has taken toward Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Not only did the ICC open investigation within a few weeks following the February 2022 invasion, it issued an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin, the Russian president.

That was lightning speed considering it took the court years to finally decide to formally open an investigation on the situation in Palestine, a probe that has not produced a single indictment and generally appears stalled.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Oct 8th, 2023 at 04:28:34 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Oct 8th, 2023 at 04:29:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Protesters in Rotterdam and The Hague express support for Palestinians

In Rotterdam there are several dozen people carrying both Palestinian and Turkish flags. The demonstration was allegedly organized by the Palestinian organization Samidoun.

A demonstration is underway at Rotterdam Central Station. They gathered at Stationsplein around 2 p.m. They express their support for the Palestinian resistance in Israel.

Protesters expressed their support for the Palestinians, in The Hague on the Court outside Parliament and outside the office of PM Mark Rutte.. The demonstrators carry signs with the text "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be Free." Pro-Palestinian demonstrators are also said to have gathered at Koekamp in The Hague and in Leiden, known for its tolerance to refugees .

At the Hague demonstration, attended by several dozen people, people wish, among other things, "the liberation of Palestine." The demonstrators also refer to this weekend's events as "decolonization." Those present also chant the slogan "Israel terror state".  

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Oct 8th, 2023 at 05:54:44 PM EST
Two years ago ...

Thousands of demonstrators support Palestinians: 'Nothing remains of Palestine'| Het Parool - 16 May 2021 |

The protest started on Dam Square, where speakers took turns amid loud applause and expressed their criticism of Israel. Among them was a Palestinian student who called on the United Nations to support her people. Outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte and the media also had to suffer several times in various speeches because of their 'Zionist perspective'.

Thousands of people demonstrated in the center on Sunday afternoon to express their solidarity with the Palestinian people. They protested against the oppression of the people by Israel and the violence in the Gaza Strip.

After standing on Dam Square for more than an hour, the demonstrators began a march through the city under police escort. From Dam Square, thousands of demonstrators walked onto Rokin, towards the Amstel.

The demonstration was mainly attended by young people. Protester Mamoun Maser (45) found it especially wonderful to see so many different nationalities walking around. "That shows that the situation in Gaza is not only close to the hearts of Palestinians. Injustice affects all people." Maser himself was born as a Palestinian refugee in Syria. "My parents had no rights in the occupied Palestinian territory and could not be full citizens. That is incorrect."

Many demonstrators have roots in the Middle East, but 29-year-old Maurice does not. According to him, the current situation in Palestinian areas is something that the Netherlands should be much more concerned with. "It is a colonial issue, and we also have a colonial past. We should feel partly responsible for the oppressed Palestinians and stop seeing Israel as an ally."

Although almost all flags and banners are about the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, some extremist signs stood out with texts such as 'one state: the caliphate'.

10 Years ago in Rotterdam ...

Thousands attend pro-Palestinian rally in Rotterdam | TOI - 27 July 2014 |

Thousands of people protest in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam against what some labeled Israel's "genocide" in Gaza, the media reports.

State broadcaster NOS says as many as 10,000 people took part in the demonstration, with marchers waving posters reading: "Free Palestine" and "No Dutch support for Palestinian genocide."

The event is organized by a coalition of pro-Palestinian organizations in the Netherlands, according to a Facebook events page.

Israel Rejects Dutch Balanced I-P Policy | Dec 8th, 2013 |

Dutch cabinet isn't united in its approach towards the I-P issue and Rutte stated as such. He doesn't want a proxy-war in his cabinet between pro-Israel (VVD) and pro-Palestinian (Labor-PvdA) ministers.

Dutch FM Timmermans An Apologist for Israel's War on Gaza | Aug. 5, 2014 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Oct 8th, 2023 at 05:58:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Free Palestine  🇵🇸 🇵🇸 🇵🇸

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Oct 9th, 2023 at 06:07:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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