Al Jazeera – November 16, 2023

The Occupied West Bank: The Other Front

Shared stories of violence and forcible displacement of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank as the war in Gaza rages.

Since Israel began its bombardment of the Gaza Strip on October 7, 2023, violence has also surged in the occupied West Bank to unprecedented levels.

More than 2,000 Palestinians have been arrested and almost 200 have been killed in the last month alone. Scores more have been arrested, beaten and tortured, fueling concerns that this could erupt into a second front as Israel pushes on in their stated objective to access and control Palestinian territory.

Constant overnight raids carried out by Israeli military forces have seen families throughout the occupied West Bank forcibly removed from their homes. Within this complex mosaic of hillside cities, farms, Israeli settlements and army checkpoints that split up Palestinian communities, settlers have become empowered to act with even further impunity.

The shooting, killing and intimidation of Palestinians in the streets and in their homes is nothing new. They have been under threat and pressure of military and settler violence for years. The legal phrase that describes these actions is “creating a coercive environment” so that the Palestinians will leave of their own volition — and eventually collapse under this ongoing pressure.

The fact that the occupied West Bank is not controlled by Hamas means the Israeli-stated goal of getting rid of those “terrorists” fails to justify their actions. And this has not stopped them from increasing their military presence throughout the occupied areas.

This film delves into the current situation in the occupied West Bank as experienced by Palestinians, with a range of views from Palestinians and Israelis. It explores how life there, already difficult for Palestinians, is becoming unbearable as well as what is really at stake here for Israel and what long-term plans for the West Bank may be.

Telesure – November 16, 2023

'Israel is a Terrorist State': Turkish President Erdogan

He accused Israel of breaking the first rule of the laws of war, under which children, women, the elderly and the sick should not be harmed.

On Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Erdogan severely condemned Israel for its military operations in Gaza and claimed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is finished.

"I openly say that Israel is a terrorist state. Others say that Hamas is a terrorist organization. Hamas participated in the elections and won in Palestine. Israel and the United States stole their rights afterwards," the Turkish leader said at a parliamentary group meeting of his ruling Justice and Development Party in Ankara.

Erdogan also mentioned that efforts are being made to send the political and military leaders responsible for the mass killing of Gaza civilians to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for trial. More specifically, he accused Israel of breaking the first rule of the laws of war, under which children, women, the elderly and the sick should not be harmed.

He noted that thousands of Turkish lawyers are making efforts to take all necessary steps to bring related political and military leaders to the ICJ for committing mass killings.

Erdogan added that he would also talk to the leaders of countries who abstained from voting on an immediate humanitarian truce in Gaza at the United Nations.

Türkiye and Israel have recalled their respective ambassadors after the Turkish government strongly condemned Israel over the attacks on civilians of Gaza.

Türkiye and Israel are normalizing their relations after years of enmity. The ties between the two countries were strained in 2010 when a Turkish-led flotilla attempting to break Israel's blockade on the Gaza Strip clashed with Israeli forces, killing 10 Turks on board.

In 2022, Türkiye and Israel fully restored their diplomatic ties and re-appointed respective ambassadors.

Times of Israel – November 16, 2023

Biden: Israel’s Gaza operation will end when Hamas no longer able to murder Israelis


US President Joe Biden again firmly aligned himself late Wednesday with Jerusalem’s position on the duration of the war against Hamas, saying Israel can go on until it achieves its goal of eliminating the Gaza-ruling terror group’s ability to endanger Israelis.

In a televised press conference following his long-anticipated meeting with China’s Xi Jinping, Biden said Israel’s operation in Gaza, following the shock Hamas massacres in southern Israeli communities last month, “will end when Hamas no longer maintains the capacity to murder, abuse, and do horrific things to the Israelis.”

Biden added that Israel’s military has “an obligation to use as much caution as they can in going after their targets. Hamas said they plan to attack Israelis again and this is a terrible dilemma.”

The Biden administration has continued to oppose international calls for Israel to cease fire, saying that Israel has a right to defend itself against Hamas after the October 7 onslaught, while pushing for more short-term humanitarian pauses and asserting that it expects Israel to abide by the rules of war while fighting in Gaza.

Biden said Israel was taking risks in operating around Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, but “one thing has been established: Hamas does have headquarters, weapons, materiel, below this hospital, and — I suspect — others.”

Information Clearing House – November 16, 2023

Why the US needs this war in Gaza?

A summit by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) resulted in a blanket condemnation of Israel, but lacked substantive solutions. The summit was sabotaged by Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, and Morocco, who recently normalized relations with Israel. These countries block significant actions due to extensive U.S. influence and future geopolitical calculations, causing disappointment among the international Muslim community.

By Pepe Escobar

After all, the Arab street – even while repressed in their home nations – has pulsed with protests expressing ferocious rage against Israel’s wholesale massacre of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Arab leaders were forced to take some sort of action beyond suspending a few ambassadorships with Israel, and called for a special Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit to discuss the ongoing Israeli War Against Palestinian Children.

Representatives of 57 Muslim states convened in Riyadh on 11 November to deliver a serious, practical blow against genocidal practitioners and enablers. But in the end, nothing was offered, not even solace.

The OIC’s final statement will always be enshrined in the Gilded Palace of Cowardice. Highlights of the tawdry rhetorical show: we oppose Israel’s “self-defense;” we condemn the attack on Gaza; we ask (who?) not to sell weapons to Israel; we request the kangaroo ICC to “investigate” war crimes; we request a UN resolution condemning Israel.

For the record, that’s the best 57 Muslim-majority countries could drum up in response to this 21st-century genocide.

History, even if written by victors, tends to be unforgiving towards cowards.

The Top Four Cowards, in this instance, are Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Morrocco – the latter three having normalized relations with Israel under a heavy US hand in 2020. These are the ones that consistently blocked serious measures from being adopted at the OIC summit, such as the Algerian draft proposal for an oil ban on Israel, plus banning the use of Arab airspace to deliver weapons to the occupation state.

Egypt and Jordan – longtime Arab vassals – were also non-committal, as well as Sudan, which is in the middle of a civil war. Turkiye, under Sultan Recep Tayyip Erdogan, once again showed it is all talk and no action; a neo-Ottoman parody of the Texan “all hat, no cattle.”


The Top Four Cowards deserve some scrutiny. Bahrain is a lowly vassal hosting a key branch of the US Empire of Bases. Morocco has close relations with Tel Aviv – it sold out quickly after an Israeli promise to recognize Rabat’s claim on Western Sahara. Moreover, Morocco heavily depends on tourism, mainly from the collective west.

Then we have the big dogs, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Both are stacked to the rafters with American weaponry, and, like Bahrain, also host US military bases. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MbS) and his old mentor, Emirati ruler Mohammad bin Zayed (MbZ), do factor in the threat of color revolutions tearing through their regal domains if they deviate too much from the accepted imperial script.

But in a few weeks, starting on 1 January, 2024, under a Russian presidency, both Riyadh and Abu Dhabi will expand their horizons big-time by officially becoming members of the BRICS 11.

Saudi Arabia and UAE were only admitted into the expanded BRICS because of careful geopolitical and geoeconomic calculations by the Russia-China strategic partnership.

Along with Iran – which happens to have its own strategic partnership with both Russia and China – Riyadh and Abu Dhabi are supposed to reinforce the energy clout of the BRICS sphere and be key players, further on down the road, in the de-dollarization drive whose ultimate aim is to bypass the petrodollar.

Yet, at the same time, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi also stand to benefit immensely from the not-so-secret 1963 plan to build the Ben Gurion canal, from the Gulf of Aqaba to the Eastern Mediterranean, arriving – what a coincidence – very close to now devastated northern Gaza.

The canal would allow Israel to become a key energy transit hub, dislodging Egypt’s Suez Canal, and that happens to dovetail nicely with Israel’s role as the de facto key node in the latest chapter of the War of Economic Corridors: the US-concocted India-MidEast Corridor (IMEC).

IMEC is a quite perverse acronym, as is the whole logic behind this fantastical corridor, which is to position international law-breaking Israel as a critical trade hub and even energy provider between Europe, part of the Arab world, and India.

That was also the logic behind Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s UN charade in September, where he flashed the whole “international community” a map of the “New Middle East” in which Palestine had been totally erased.

All of the above assumes that IMEC and the Ben Gurion Canal will be built – which is not a given by any realistic standards.

Back to the vote at the OIC, US minions Egypt and Jordan – two countries on Israel’s western and eastern borders, respectively – were in the toughest position of them all. The occupation state wished to push approximately 4.5 million Palestinians into their borders for good. But Cairo and Amman, also awash in US weapons and financially bankrupt as they come, would never survive US sanctions if they lean too unacceptably towards Palestine.

So, in the end, too many Muslim states choosing humiliation over righteousness were thinking in very narrow, pragmatic, national interest terms. Geopolitics is pitiless. It is all about natural resources and markets. If you don’t have one, you need the other, and if you have none, a Hegemon dictates what you’re allowed to have.

The Arab and Muslim street – and the Global Majority – may rightfully feel dejected when they see how these “leaders” are not ready to turn the Islamic world into a real power pole within emerging multipolarity.

It wouldn’t happen any other way. Many key Arab states are not Sovereign entities. They are all boxed in, victims of a vassal mentality. They’re not ready – yet – for their close-up facing History. And sadly, they still remain hostage to their own “century of humiliation.”

The humiliating coup de grace was dispatched by none other than the Tel Aviv genocidal maniac himself: he threatened everyone in the Arab world if they don’t shut up – which they already did.

Of course, there are very important Arab and Muslim brave-hearts in Iran, Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen. While not a majority by any means, these Resistance actors reflect the sentiment on the Street like no other. And with Israel’s war expanding each day, their regional and global clout is set to increase immeasurably, just as in all of the Hegemon’s other regional wars.

Strangling a new century in the cradle

The catastrophic debacle of Project Ukraine and the revival of an intractable West Asian war are deeply intertwined.

Beyond the fog of Washington’s “worry” about Tel Aviv’s genocidal rampage, the crucial fact is that we are right in the thick of a war against BRICS 11.

The Empire does not do strategy; at best, it does tactical business plans on the fly. There are two immediate tactics in play: a US Armada deployed in the Eastern Mediterranean – in a failed effort to intimidate Resistance Axis behemoths Iran and Hezbollah – and a possible Milei election in Argentina tied to his avowed promise to break Brazil-Argentina relations.

So this is a simultaneous attack on BRICS 11 on two fronts: West Asia and South America. There will be no American efforts spared to prevent BRICS 11 from getting close to OPEC+. A key aim is to instill fear in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi – as confirmed by Persian Gulf business sources.

Even vassal leaders at the OIC show would have been aware that we are now deep into The Empire Strikes Back. That also largely explains their cowardice.

They know that for the Hegemon, multipolarity equals “chaos,” unipolarity equals “order,” and malign actors equal “autocrats” – such as the new Russian-Chinese-Iranian “Axis of Evil” and anyone, especially vassals, that opposes the “rules-based international order.”

And that brings us to a tale of two ceasefires. Tens of millions across the Global Majority are asking why the Hegemon is desperate for a ceasefire in Ukraine while flatly refusing a ceasefire in Palestine.

Freezing Project Ukraine preserves the Ghost of Hegemony just a little bit longer. Let’s assume Moscow would take the bait (it won’t). But to freeze Ukraine in Europe, the Hegemon will need an Israeli win in Gaza – perhaps at any and all costs – to maintain even a vestige of its former glory.

But can Israel achieve victory any more than Ukraine can? Tel Aviv may have already lost the war on 7 October as it can never regain its facade of invincibility. And if this transforms into a regional war that Israel loses, the US will lose its Arab vassals overnight, who today have a Chinese and Russian option waiting in the wings.

The Roar of the Street is getting louder – demanding that the Biden administration, now seen as complicit with Tel Aviv, halt the Israeli genocide that may lead to a World War. But Washington will not comply. Wars in Europe and West Asia may be its last chance (it will lose) to subvert the emergence of a prosperous, connected, peaceful Eurasia Century.


Seasons of Transformation

                                                            An organ of the American Institute of International Studies (AIIS), Fremont, CA Since July 2008



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 The Journal of America Team:

 Editor in chief:
Abdus Sattar Ghazali

Senior Editor:
Prof. Arthur Scott

Special Correspondent
Maryam Turab


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