By Dr. Elias Akleh
Last week the UN halls have been the battlefields of aggressive covert wars in the form of speeches by world leaders. Each speech has maneuvers of attacks, defense, threats and bullying, lies and justifications, and rallying support of the international community.
My interest is in the speeches concerning the Middle East; a very dangerous and volatile area, whose unfolding battles are affecting the whole world. The warriors of these battles were American Donald Trump, Zionist Israeli Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian Mahmoud Abbas, Iranian Hassan Rouhani, and Syrian Walid Al-Moualem.
In a monotonous voice, that drags one to sleep, Trump started his speech bragging about himself and the accomplishment of his administration “that has accomplished more than almost any administrations in the history of our country”; adding $10 trillion to American wealth, high stock-market, low jobless claims in 50 years, added half a million jobs, tax cuts, record military funding of $700 billion this year and $716 billion next year, and starting the construction of border wall with Mexico that made US “stronger, safer and richer.”
One cannot but explode in laughing about these narcissistic false claims as the whole audience had done. The American people have not seen those $10 trillion, that were paid to military corporations, stock-market prices have been artificially raised, unemployment is record high with the majority of people living from one pay check to the next, homelessness has become epidemic, tax cuts went only to the wealthy, educational budgets were severely cut, medical coverage are not affordable by the millions, crime rates and police violence are on the rise, record military funding for perpetual wars and border walls are shame to brag about.
Trump stated that “We”; his administration, stand up for the American people and for the world and “… that is why America will always choose independence and cooperation over global governance, control and domination.” Politicians excel in camouflaging their dubious behaviors into the exact opposite, and Trump is the master in this.
History has proven that the choice of these Zionist Judaic controlled American administrations has always been perpetual wars, terrorism, intimidation, bullying, blackmail, control and dominance without any respect for the rights and well-being of other nations and not even for their own citizens.
Recent administrations have felt emboldened even to confess that they create, finance and arm terrorist groups to wage American as well as Israeli proxy wars around the globe. Strong historical evidence prove that the US had toppled many democratically elected governments; e.g. 1953 Iranian democratically elected Mosaddeq’s regime, created al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, ISIS and al-Nusra in Syria, and waged proxy war against Yemen among many other documented examples around the globe.
The American administrations have used, and are still using, financial resources and armies of other states such as Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Jordan, Egypt to wage its proxy wars against other states in the region.
As NATO members are beginning to free themselves from the American warmongering whims Trump has assigned CIA director; Mike Pompeo to work “with the Gulf Cooperation Council, Jordan, and Egypt to establish a regional strategic alliance so that Middle Eastern nations can advance prosperity, stability, and security across their home region.” This is actually an Arab NATO-like alliance similar to the 1990 anti-Iraq Gulf War Coalition, whose main function is to wage American/Israeli proxy wars in the region specifically against Iran.
Iran has become a painful thorn in the Israeli and American rears after spoiling their plan to destroy and fragment Syria as they had done to Iraq and Libya. Thus, Iran has to be demonized in order to weaken and contain it if not toppling its regime and destroying it. So, Trump called for “Every solution to the humanitarian crisis in Syria must also include a strategy to address the brutal regime that has fueled and financed it: the corrupt dictatorship in Iran.”
Trump demonized Iran’s leaders stating “Iran’s leaders sow chaos, death, and destruction, they do not respect their neighbors or borders or the sovereign rights of nation” Actually, Iran’s leaders sow respect, cooperation, security and humanity that gained them popularity and respect in the region. They fought American/Israel/Saudi terrorists, sheltered and secured refugees, and donated aid to disaster areas.
Trump continued “Iran’s leaders plunder the nation’s resources to enrich themselves and to spread mayhem across the Middle East and far beyond” and “have embezzled billions of dollars from Iran’s treasury, seized valuable portions of the economy, and looted the people’s religious endowments, all to line their own pockets and send their proxies to wage war.” He is, here, actually describing his own administration, Wall Street, Federal Reserve and banking system, and American mega corporations, who are perpetrating these crimes.
Trump warned that “We cannot allow the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism to possess the planet’s most dangerous weapons. We cannot allow a regime that chants “Death to America,” and that threatens Israel with annihilation, to possess the means to deliver a nuclear warhead to any city on Earth.” It is the USA that possess the most dangerous weapons, bully other nations, call for regime change and destruction of countries and is advancing its nuclear warheads to make them “so strong & so powerful.”
As soon as Israeli Netanyahu started his speech he immediately accused Iran of having secret nuclear program, again using his silly drawings, “Disclosing for the first time that Iran has another nuclear facility, a secret warehouse for material for secret Iran’s nuclear program” where Iran is storing at least 15 gigantic ship containers full of 300 tons of nuclear equipment and materials hidden in nuclear compounds in “Turqusabad”.
Iranians could not but explode in laughter when Netanyahu mentioned Turqusabad, because in their folklore stories Turqusabad is a non-existent fictional place. Yet this did not stop Netanyahu from urging IAEA to inspect this imaginary location.
Netanyahu accused Iran “Last year Iran attacked Kurds in Iraq, slaughtered Sunnis in Syria, armed Hezbollah in Lebanon, financed Hamas in Gaza, fired missiles into Saudi Arabia, and threatened freedom of navigation in the straights of Hurmuz and straights of Bab el-Mandab.” Using scare tactics, he warned UN members that “Iranian aggression will not be confined to the Middle East” citing alleged arrested Iranian agents plotting terror attacks in the US and in the heart of Europe.
Justifying Israel’s 210 air raids against Syria Netanyahu accused Iran of building military bases in Syria, launching missiles and drones in Israeli territory, arming Gaza Palestinians to rain rockets onto Israeli cities, directing Lebanese Hezbollah to build secret sites to manufacture precision guided missiles to target Israel, and use Lebanese as human shields when placing these missile sites along Beirut’s international airport. His proof is a kiddy drawing he claimed to be “worth a thousand missiles”
Netanyahu implicitly insulted UN members’ intelligence when he stated “while US is confronting Iran with new sanctions Europe and others are appeasing Iran by trying to help it bypass these sanctions… While Iran was caught red handed plotting against Europe, European leaders are rolling the red carpet for Iranian leader; president Rouhani, promising to give Iran even more money … have these European leaders learned nothing from history, will they wake up?”
Netanyahu urged UN countries to stop cuddling Iran’s dictators and to join Trump’s sanctions against Iran because companies would abandon Iran and do business with US, whose GDP is 50 times the size of Iran’s GDP, Iran’s economy is destined to collapse, it’s currency is plummeting, inflation and unemployment are souring and most important when next patch of economic sanctions are imposed in November Iranian people will rally against the regime rather than around it, and will chant “death to the dictator rather than death to America”, and instead of chanting to export the Islamic revolution they will demand to leave Syria and Lebanon and Gaza and to take care of us.
One cannot help but be amazed by Netanyahu’s wide unrealistic imaginations and lying creativity. Maybe he thinks people are so stupid that he can outsmart them. Really, will the world learn lessons from Netanyahu’s perpetual lying episodes?
Due to the myths of America’s manifest destiny, and god’s chosen people, both Trump’s administration and Israel seem to feel privileged and entitled to dictate their will, to violate international laws and conventions and to undermine international organization using bullying, intimidation and economic and financial sanctions.
Trump’s administration has withdrawn from climate accord, from NAFTA, from Transpacific Partnership, from JCPOA in violation of UNSC resolution 2231, undermined World Trade Organization to impose unreasonable tariffs and sanctions on other countries, undermined and withdrew from UN Human Rights Council after Nikki Haley threatened to take names of its members, undermined International Criminal Court (ICC), pulled out of UNESCO, cut down US contribution to UN peacekeeping budget, and stopped funds to UNRWA.
Israel has never implemented any related UN resolution since its illegal establishment. Since 1947 there have been 705 UN resolutions and 86 Security Council resolutions related to the Arab/Israeli conflict. Emboldened and supported by American policies and VETO power Israel has never implemented any of these resolutions. Israel has also violated all agreements and accords it signed with the Palestinians.
While praising warmongering butchers king Salman and crown prince; Muhammad bin Salman (MBS), for their alleged bold new reforms, discarding their on-going genocide in Yemen, and celebrating Israel’s 70th anniversary and genocide of Palestinians as a thriving democracy in the Holy Land, Trump did not mention Palestine, but claimed that he took significant steps forward in the Middle East by acknowledging obvious facts and moving US embassy to Jerusalem. Palestinians for Trump are nobody to be concerned about.
Netanyahu expressed Israel’s appreciation to Trump and Haley “for their unwavering support they provided Israel at the UN “, and for pulling out of “history-denied UNESCO in the morally bankrupt UN Human Rights Council, who have more resolutions about Israel than the whole world combined and tenfold compared to Iran or Syria.” In itself, this is a confession that this international human rights organization has recognized that Israeli terror is the utmost danger.
Emboldened by the unwavering but unethical American support Netanyahu diverted blame from Israel by accusing “… unreformed UNRWA; an organization instead of solving the Palestinian problem perpetuate it.” UNRWA is a humanitarian organization, whose job is to aid Palestinian refugees and not solving Palestinian political problem.
Answering accusation of Israel as a racist apartheid state by Palestinian Mahmoud Abbas because Israel adopted the racist law of “Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people”, Netanyahu reminded Abbas that he wrote a dissertation denying the holocaust, and accused him of paying Palestinians to attack Israelis and to impose death sentence on Palestinians, who sell land to Israelis.
He shamelessly and flagrantly defended adopting the racist Jewish nation law by criticizing what he called the “specialty of the UN; slandering Israel” and accused the UN of the old exhausted cliché of anti-semitism, whose “foul stench still clinches to these halls.” He also described UN accusing Israel of racism, apartheid and of ethnic cleansing as “this is the same old anti-semitism with a brand-new face.”
Ignoring the fact that Israel is brutally usurping Palestinian land, destroying their towns and homes, murdering their women and children, locking their teen agers in prisons for years, desecrating their Muslim and Christian holy places, and having armed Jewish religious fanatics routinely attack Palestinian neighborhoods (midnight Sunday 9/30 was the latest), and not mentioning racist Jewish Israelis attacking black African Ethiopian Jews for their color, Netanyahu still insists that Israel is “both Jewish and democratic with guaranteed equal rights to all.”
Resorting to his distorted religious beliefs (the opium of the people), and ignoring the existence of the indigenous owners of Palestine, he told the mythical story of Abraham, Sara and other Judaic figures, who immigrated to Palestine and signed an eternal covenant with god; a contract with a racist real estate broker, who chooses one small group of people over the billions of other people and promises them a piece of land. He concluded his speech with the historical distortion and his disillusioned poetic assertion that Palestine is the land “from which we were exiled and to which we return, rebuilding our ancient and eternal capital Jerusalem. The nation state of Israel is the only place where Jewish people proudly can exercise our collective right of self-determination” – on the expense of indigenous Palestinians.
Mahmoud Abbas’ speech came as a whimpering sick dog begging for help rather than demanding justice. In between sick coughing and throat clearing he complained about Israeli violation of all agreements and accords, and of not implementing even one of the many UN resolutions. He criticized Israel’s nation law describing it an apartheid law. He complained about Israeli oppressive measures against Palestinians and desecration of Palestinian holy places. He complained about Israel’s intention of demolishing the village of Khan El-Ahmar to divide the Palestinian territories into two halves.
He rejected Trump’s unjust actions of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the American embassy there. He also complained that Trump had cut funds to the PA, to Palestinian hospitals in Jerusalem, of cutting funds to the UNRWA, and of closing the Palestinian office in Washington. He expressed his disappointment of Trump’s administration and asked Trump to retract all these measures.
Abbas considered the US to have become a biased to Israel rather than an honest broker to peace process, and asked other nations including the Quartet to become brokers for peace instead. He objected to the fact that although the PLO is considered and is recognized by the UN as the only representative of the Palestinian people the American Congress still considers it a terrorist organization.
He reiterated PA’s commitment to peace, readiness as always to sit at the negotiating table with Israel, renouncing violence and armed resistance but following what he called peaceful popular resistance vis a vie the armed settlers’ aggression. Then he asked what else do you want us to do after we had already given up almost everything.
He confessed that the PA is not able to protect itself nor its Palestinian people and blamed the UN for not protecting Palestinians after they promised to do so. He also requested UN members, who did not recognize Palestinian state to join those who did and recognize the Palestinian state.
Although the UN is not the correct place to do this, Abbas claimed that he is exerting every effort for reconciliation with Hamas in Gaza to re-unite Palestinians, yet he threatened Hamas that he will not take any responsibility if they refused his conditions. Hamas was the democratically elected government in 2007 as certified by international observers.
Abbas, whose term has expired since 2007, has been a huge disappointment to Palestinians. Instead of protecting his people, he, and his so-called security forces, has functioned as Israeli proxy police force protecting Israelis and oppressing his people. He instructed his security forces to arrest hundreds of Palestinian activists the night before his speech.
Syrian Deputy Walid Al-Moualem and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani defended Palestine better than pathetic Abbas. Rouhani considered the Palestinian question as “the most pressing crisis in the Middle East”, and that the passage of time must not and cannot justify Israeli occupation. He accused the US to be a complete partner to Israeli crimes when he stated that “the innumerable crimes of Israel against the Palestinians would not have been possible without the material and military assistance and political propaganda support of the US.”
He considered the US decision to transfer its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and the Israeli enactment of the racist Jewish state law as flagrant violations of international law and clear manifestation of apartheid. “Israel equipped with nuclear arsenal and blatantly threaten others with nuclear annihilation presents the most daunting threat to regional and global peace and stability” he emphasized.
Al-Moualem summed up his defense as such: “The international community must also help the Palestinian people to establish their own independent state with Jerusalem as its capital, and facilitate the return of Palestinian refugees to their land pursuing to international resolutions according to international legitimacy. Any action that undermine these rights are null and void and threaten regional peace and security especially the Israeli racist law known as the nation state law, and the decision of the US administration to move the US embassy to Jerusalem and stop funding UNRWA.”
Both Rouhani and Al-Moualem criticized US administration for its withdrawal from the JPCOA in violation of UNSC 2231and imposing sanctions although IAEA had issued 12 reports indicating that Iran is compliant with the agreement. They considered these sanctions as economic war and warned that US bullying other nations to violate and undermining international laws and conventions will endanger world peace and security.
“The US understanding of international relations is authoritarian. In its estimation might is right. Its understanding of power not of legal legitimate authority is reflected in bullying and in imposition. No nation can be brought to negotiating table by force” accused Rouhani.
Rouhani accused Trump of withdrawing from the JPCOA because it is the legacy of his previous domestic rivals; Obama’s administration, and warned that Trump is threatening international security as a way of escaping from domestic policy problems and scandals in his administration. He asked Trump just to fulfill America’s international obligations explaining that Iran’s proposal is clear: “commitment for commitment, violation for violation, threat for threat, and step for step”
Rouhani explained that Iran is against nuclear weapons yet for nuclear knowledge. Similar to the US and other countries Iran has the right to develop defensive weapons, such as ballistic missiles that have been used only twice against terrorist groups; ISIS, who attacked the Iranian Parliament and a number of cities in the Iranian Kurdish region.
Rouhani accused US of supporting terrorist groups despite its claims of fighting them. Referring to the terrorist attack on Iranian military parade in Ahwaz Saturday 9/22 he questioned “why can the leaders of these terrorist operations, including the organization that had publicly claimed responsibility for the Saturday crime, live and operate freely in western countries and even openly solicit funds?”
In the Syrian crisis Rouhani explained that Iran had warned against any foreign intervention in the internal affairs of Syria, and that the crisis can only be resolved thorough intra-Syrian dialogue. He explained that the presence of Iranian military advisers in Syria has been at the request of the Syrian government, and consistent with the international law, and aimed at assisting the Syrian government in combating terrorists. Through the Astana Process Iran had helped preventing escalation in blood shed in Idlib region.
Syrian Deputy; Al-Moualem explained that the battle in Syria could be a lesson to other countries because it is the battle of ideologies, a struggle between two global camps; one promotes peace while the other promotes terrorism and hegemony. He accused the US of leading an illegitimate international coalition to destroy Syria under the pretext of combating terrorism, while they are providing military support to the terrorists.
He accused the US of releasing terrorists from Guantanamo prison and sending them to Syria where they became leaders of al-Nusra and other terrorist groups. He explained that US forces present in the Tanaf area in south Syria had created a safe haven for ISIS terrorists, who perpetrated suicide attacks against the governate of Suwayda.
Al-Moualem warned that “Any foreign presence on Syrian territories without the consent of Syrian government is illegal and constitutes a flagrant violation of international law and the UN charter. It is an assault on our sovereign nationality” considering US, French and Turkish forces operating on Syrian territories without explicit request from Syrian government as occupying forces and threatening to deal with them as such. He advised that these forces must immediately withdraw without any conditions.
He also explained that Israel, too, has been supporting and protecting terrorist groups attacking Syria. He further stated that Israel continues to occupy Syrian Golan and aggressively oppress Syrian citizens there. He demanded the international community to compel Israel to implement UN resolution 497 on the occupied Golan and expressing his government determination to liberate the Golan to the lines of June 4th 1967 the same way they liberated southern Syria from terrorists.
He defended Syria against accusation of chemical weapons use by reiterating that Syria rejects the use of chemical weapons and reminding that Syria had completely eliminated all its chemical weapons as confirmed by international organizations, and had always cooperated with Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to investigate all alleged accusations.
He condemned the tripartite aggression perpetrated by US, France and UK against Syria last April claiming that chemical weapons were used without any investigation or evidence, and in flagrant violation of Syrian sovereignty, the international law and the UN charter. He accused the White Helmet group, created by British intelligence, as a terrorist organization, who orchestrated and fabricated accusations of chemical weapons attacks.
Al-Moualem concluded his speech expressing solidarity with Palestinians against Israeli occupation and American late illegal measures, solidarity with Venezuela in the face of American interference in its internal affairs, and a call for lifting all unilateral economic sanctions imposed on all countries including Syria, Iran, DPRK, Cuba and Belarus.
Dr. Elias Akleh is an Arab-American from Palestinian descent. His family was evicted from Haifa, Palestine after the 1948 Nakba when Zionists stole his family’s property. Then the family was evicted again from the West Bank during the 1967 Naksah, after Zionists again, occupied the rest of Palestine.