The ‘new normal’ will be the old war games

Palestine Update 411

The ‘new normal’ will be the old war games
Donald Trump’s deal of the century will go down in history as one of the greatest trickeries committed against the Palestinian people. The rulers of those countries who have signed deals with the USA and Israel have already become pawns in US-Israel ploys. The normalization deals were never about peace. They are about setting geopolitics in favour of the USA and that, in turn, means war. It will enrich the arms industry  and the merchants of war will now laugh all the way to the bank. The US military-industrial-complex has been eyeing these deals forever. It is good business for the industry.

Israel will soon have a new set of problems. The Arab street has not accepted ‘normalization’ the dictatorships will supress descent . The rulers have no moral claim while the people want justice. Very soon it will be fascist Israel  having to contend with the Arab streets. On that they have only guns and uniforms. They don’t know the insides of countries they have signed deals with. The region is heading for chaos. Sadly the people will suffer n pay the price.

The next US President has, in his TOR, the same old work as all previous Presidents have had. The routine will be to start  a couple of wars and destroy a few countries. The US will be called to fuel hate, overthrow rulers, profit from the business of reconstructing what you have destroyed. Just one President managed to hoodwink the international community and earn himself a Nobel Peace prize. He then transited into a rogue ruler and fought seven wars that killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people, wrecked countries, and now ex-president Obama parades as ‘Eder statesman’ and pretending to be ‘Senor Decent’! 

 In the US you can find pretexts for war in the wink of an eye. Even idiots manage that quite easily: WMD in Iraq; 9/11, Osama Bin Laden, Al Qaeda are some instances. Any old reason will do. In addition, arms traders are also a conduit to trade in other sectors, and are believed to be the people who invent the ‘reasons for war’.

 The Arab States that have signed the deals, and those who are readying to sign similar deals, are wearing and displaying blinders and showing mindless, thoughtless political mindsets. At the end they will be the laughing stock of the world, notably Israel and the USA, and in hushed tones, the EU too. They will coalesce with the US and Israel, weaken them and convert them into toys in their war games.

Indeed the ‘new normal’ will be the old war games and Arab leaders will be the jokers of the pack. With no clue as to what democracy means, their people will protest the normalization. But they will be crushed. The US will underwrite that and Israel will draw the blueprint.

Ranjan Solomon

  Don’t let the Abraham Accords become the Arms Sales Accords

The normalization agreement between Israel and the UAE, dubbed formally as the “Abraham Accords,” could potentially spark a new Middle East arms race. Given the multiple conflicts already raging in the region, all fueled by imported arms, that cannot be allowed to happen….New sales to the UAE and Israel will likely expand the US role as the dominant weapons supplier to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. A new report by the Center for International Policy has found that the US accounted for nearly 48% of arms deliveries to the region in the period from 2015 to 2019 — nearly three times the level achieved by the next largest supplier, Russia, and far and away ahead of China’s share of less than 3%. Far from providing greater security, these sales have directly or indirectly helped fuel the conflicts in Syria, Libya, and Yemen, as well as an indiscriminate, scorched earth counter-terror campaign conducted by the Egyptian government in the Northern Sinai….Iran will not stand still in the face of this new flood of weaponry to US allies in the region. Tehran can’t afford to match Israel or the Gulf States in traditional armaments like combat aircraft, but it can, if it so chooses, ramp up its programs for missiles and nuclear weapons, or supply more arms and training to its regional allies. The result is likely to be a new arms race at a time when wars in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya continue to cause immense human suffering even as they destabilize the region.

Palestinian filmmakers sign petition against UAE-Israeli cinema cooperation

Over 70 film professionals from Palestine and other Arab countries have signed a petition protesting a recent cooperation pact between Emirati and Israeli cinemas and calling for solidarity among the Arab film world.

The UAE’s Abu Dhabi Film Commission (ADFC), Israel Film Fund (IFF), and the Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film and Television School (JSFS) announced last week that they plan to collaborate on a series of initiatives, including educational exchange, joint film and TV projects and a regional film festival. The Arab filmmakers said they were “shocked” that the ADFC had agreed to work with state-backed Israeli film bodies given that Palestinians were still living under occupation. “For more them seven decades Palestinians have lived under military occupation and a colonial reality that gets worse year after year,” read the letter.

“We Palestinian filmmakers were deeply hindered and affected by this colonialism and military occupation. Our productions depended on foreign financing and support that allowed us to express and write our stories, share our daily lives and aspirations in some small way. We were able to overcome the barriers of our colonial reality to present pioneering and valuable cinematic works,” it continued. “We were and still are part of Arab cinema, our most prominent reference. We have always sought to develop it, and our ambition has crystallized towards partnerships and co-productions with our fellow colleagues as the best way to advance Arab cinema.” The cinema pact follows a deal in August in which the UAE became only the third Arab country to normalize relations with the occupying state of Israel since its creation in 1948. Bahrain also followed suit in early September, becoming the fourth. The normalization agreements were vehemently condemned by the Palestinian leadership as they were not the result of a negotiated peace settlement between Palestine and the Israeli occupation.

The Palestinian filmmakers called on their Emirati counterparts and other Arab film professionals to “renounce the partnership” and to refuse to work with the ADFC and any other institution in the Arab world that entered agreements with the Israeli government. They added that ADFC should be striving instead to support Arab cinema in general and Palestinian and Emirati cinema in particular with the creation of strong Arab institutions and partnerships. In the past, individual Arab film professionals have tended to decline from working with Israeli government-backed film bodies or festivals out of solidarity for Palestinians living under apartheid and occupation.

Four Participants Withdraw From a Tel Aviv Documentary Festival in Solidarity with BDS
Since 1998, the Tel Aviv International Documentary Film Festival, better known as Docaviv, has grown to become one of Israel’s premier nonfiction film events. Several times in recent years, the festival has faced criticism and boycotts due to its sponsorship ties to Israel’s Ministry of Culture and Sports and the nation’s ongoing occupation of Palestinian land. In 2014, when American Revolutionary was entered into the program, both lead subject Grace Lee Boggs and interviewee Danny Glover criticized the move. In 2019, Moroccan director Nadir Bouhmouch declined an invitation to submit his film Amussu to the festival.

This year’s edition of Docaviv, which ran September 3 through 12, was hit with even more withdrawals. Cíntia Gil, artistic director of Sheffield Doc/Fest, had been a member of this year’s jury but confirmed her departure to Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Portugal. Similarly, Danish director Eva Marie Rødbro, whose documentary I Love You I Miss You I Hope I See You Before I Die had been selected for inclusion in the program, withdrew the film. Two others — another unidentified director whose film was in the program and an anonymous international guest — also left. All had been individually contacted by members of the BDS movement.

In a statement, Alia Malak of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel said, “We thank each international filmmaker and guest who has withdrawn from Docaviv 2020 over its complicity in art-washing Israel’s brutal regime of apartheid, occupation and settler-colonialism, and in solidarity with the Palestinian people…Docaviv has never taken a stance in favour of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, as stipulated in international law … support for the peaceful BDS movement continues to grow among artists and diverse communities worldwide,” Malak continued. “We urge all international film and TV workers to join them.”

Protecting and sharing Palestine’s social history

 Palestinians not only have to resist their forced expulsion from their land, but they must also resist history being rewritten to suit the Zionist project. The purpose of this rewriting is clear: To erase the presence of the Palestinians and promote the lie that Palestine was a barren “land without a people” until its true owners returned to make the desert bloom after thousands of year’s absence.

 It is therefore soothing to find a hidden treasure of truth shining amid heaps of fake history.

It is a handwritten manuscript written by an unknown traveler to Palestine and other parts of the Holy Land dating from about 120 years ago. The author did not even put her name on it, just referring to herself as “One Who Went”. The rare find was spotted by Dr Hisham Khatib, a dedicated art collector from his days in Jerusalem in the 1930s of the last century, in an auction in the UK years ago. Khatib, a prominent scholar and author, currently a member of the Jordanian Senate, decided to reproduce the manuscript in a very beautifully printed book. It shows in original colours the handwriting as it was done in 1902 with a typed text on the facing page.

 The 160-page book titled “A Voyage to Jerusalem” includes the manuscript and illustrations.

Along with the handwritten descriptions of life in Palestine, social history and geography of Palestine is beautifully illustrated. The journal includes 69 watercolours, 17 pencil sketches, 16 large albumen photographs and other small photographs. It also includes short poems by the author who must have owned artistic and literary skills as well.

 The handwriting is clearly legible. It shows when the pen ran out of ink before it was next dipped in the well as the writing fades but remains clear. While reading, I felt attracted to the handwritten text rather than the print as it felt more natural that way. I only checked the print to verify some names. It is not easy in this short article to mention even some of the places visited and the very interesting stories told. The book is a great read. It is the kind which once started is difficult to stop.
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