ΣΥΝΕΧΙΖΟΥΜΕ, ΑΠΟ ΤΟ 1ο ΜΕΡΟΣ!
66. Στις 12/02/2021, πέθανε ο πρώην Δήμαρχος της Πόλης, Καντίρ ΤΟΠΜΠΑΣ. Είχε εισαχθεί σε Νοσοκομείο με “Κορωνοϊό”, αλλά σύμφωνα με την Οικογένειά του, τελικώς πέθανε από γενικευμένα προβλήματα στο ανοσοποιητικό του. Ο θανών ήταν μέλος του “ΑΚΡ” και “κολλητός” του ΡΤΕ.
67. Ο Τ/ΠτΔ ΡΤΕ έφτιαξε τζαμί στο Ρίζε (πόλη καταγωγής του), με το όνομα του Πατέρα του, αλλά και Πανεπιστήμιο στην ίδια πόλη, με το δικό του όνομα. Έκανε τα εγκαίνια του Πανεπιστημίου και κατ’ αυτήν δήλωσε πως, στόχος είναι το Πανεπιστήμιο αυτό να γίνει το πρώτο στην Τουρκία και ένα από τα πέντε καλύτερα του Κόσμου, μέσα στα επόμενα χρόνια. / (13/02).
68. Τηλεφωνική επικοινωνία Α/ΥΠΕΞ Μπλίνκεν – Ε/ΥΠΕΞ Δένδια. / (13/02).
69. Δημοψήφισμα στο Κόσοβο. / (14/02).
70. Ο “ΣΟΡΟΣ-ΣΥΡΙΖΑ” φέρεται να ζήτησε να ονομασθεί “Τουρκική” η μουσουλμανική μειονότητα στην Δ. Θράκη, καθώς και να αφαιρεθούν όλες οι Χριστιανικές Εικόνες, απ’ όλα τα Δημόσια Ιδρύματα και Υπηρεσίες. / (14/02).
71. Οι απ’ ευθείας διεθνείς επενδύσεις στην Τουρκία, το 2019, ήσαν 1 τρις 489 δις $ Η.Π.Α.. Το 2020, λόγω “COVID – ’19”, οι διεθνείς επενδύσεις “έπεσαν” στα 859 δις $ Η.Π.Α. .
Στην Τουρκία, το 2019, είχαμε επενδύσεις, από το εξωτερικό, 9 δις 266 εκ-ρια $ και το 2020 7 δις 733 εκ-ρια $ Η.Π.Α. .
Η Ιταλία ήταν η 1η επενδύτρια χώρα στην Τουρκία, με 977 εκ-ρια $ Η.Π.Α.
Οι Η.Π.Α. ακολουθούν με 798 εκ-ρια $ Η.Π.Α.
Οι Άγγλοι αμέσως μετά με 693 εκ-ρια $ Η.Π.Α.
Το Λουξεμβούργο με 436 εκ-ρια $ Η.Π.Α. και
Το Κατάρ με 399 εκ-ρια $ Η.Π.Α.
72. Ο ΡΤΕ επιτέθηκε λεκτικά στις Η.Π.Α. (15/02), για τους 13 Τούρκους νεκρούς στο “Γκαρά”, λέγοντας πως οι Αμερικανοί υποστηρίζουν την τρομοκρατία. (Είπε και πάλι το περίφημο… ε! Συγκεκριμένα ξεκίνησε λέγοντας, “Ε, Δύση πού είσαι ;”, παρακάτω φώναξε “το αίμα των 13 Τούρκων στρατιωτικών είναι στα χέρια σας”, κλπ, εννοώντας τους Αμερικανούς).
Ακολούθησε (15/02) τηλεφωνική επικοινωνία Μπλίνκεν – Τσαβούσογλου, κατά την οποία συζήτησαν το… “Γκαρά”, την Συρία, το θέμα των “S-400”, την Α. Μεσόγειο, όπως και το θέμα των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων στην Τουρκία.
73. Τηλεφωνική επικοινωνία Ε/ΥΠΕΞ Δένδια – Γ/ΥΠΕΞ Χάϊκο Μας. / (15/02).
74. Αυστηρή και καταδικαστική δήλωση Α/ΥΠΕΞ Μπλίνκεν (15/02), για την επίθεση με ρουκέτα στο κέντρο της Ερμπίλ, κοντά στην περιοχή του α/δ, όπου και η αμερικανική στρατιωτική Βάση, με 1 νεκρό Κουρδικής καταγωγής πολίτη και αριθμό τραυματιών. / Παράλληλα, ο Μπλίνκεν συνομίλησε (15/02), με τον Π-Θ της Κ-Β της “Αυτόνομης Κουρδικής Διοίκησης του Β. Ιράκ”, Μεσρούρ ΜΠΑΡΖΑΝΙ.
75. Η ΜΙΤ συνέλαβε (15/02) στο Ουζμπεκιστάν τους Γκιουρμπιούζ ΣΕΒΙΛΑΫ και Ταμέρ ΑΒΤΣΙ, οι οποίοι φέρεται να προμήθευαν όπλα στο “ΡΚΚ”.
76. Αναφέρθηκε (15/02) ότι έγινε “Ομολογητής” (Συνεργάτης των Αρχών), ο προσφάτως συλληφθείς Γκιουλενιστής Ταξίαρχος Ατασόϋ (“Σερβέτ”). “Κάρφωσε” 11 Γκιουλενιστές, απ’ τους οποίους συνελήφθησαν οι 6.
77. Η Ελλάδα καταδίκασε την επιχείρηση των ΤΕΔ στο “Γκαρά”. / (16/02).
78. Στις 17/02 είχαμε Υπουργικό Συμβούλιο στην Τουρκία, κατά το οποίο καθορίσθηκε ο “ΟΔΙΚΟΣ ΧΑΡΤΗΣ ΤΗΣ ΝΕΑΣ ΠΕΡΙΟΔΟΥ”! Συζητήθηκαν θέματα Οικονομίας, με πρώτο το θέμα της αυξήσεως στις τιμές των αγαθών, το νέο Σύνταγμα, η πορεία της “Πανδημίας” και τα εμβόλια, αλλά και -κυρίως- η στρατηγική που θα “τελειώσει” το “ΡΚΚ”. / Ο θάνατος των 13 Τούρκων στρατιωτικών, αιχμαλώτων του “ΡΚΚ” προκάλεσε πολιτικό σάλο στην Τουρκία, με ένθεν κακείθεν κατηγορίες, μεταξύ Κ-Β και Αντιπολιτεύσεως. / Ο ΡΤΕ, σχετικά με το “Γκαρά” ανέφερε πως “οι ΤΕΔ θα διευρύνουν τις επχσεις”, ενώ η ε/φ “Γενί Μπιρλίκ” έγραψε πως “μετά το Γκαρά, θα ακολουθήσει το Καντίλ, των οποίων η Γεωγραφία (και των 2), όπως τόνισε, είναι εξαιρετικά δύσκολη!..
79. Ο Κύπριος ΥΠΑΜ στην Αθήνα. / (16/02).
80. Οι Τούρκοι (16/02) ενοχλήθηκαν πολύ, διότι οι ΕΕΔ (ΕΠΝ) αποφάσισαν να ονομάσουν μια Φ/Γ τους, “ΚΩΝΣΤΑΝΤΙΝΟΥΠΟΛΗ”! (Φ/Γ από αμερικανικών συμφερόντων εταιρεία “ΟΝΕΧ”*).
* 2019: Contract Award for the repair, maintenance and upgrade of 2 floating docks of the Hellenic Navy
2019: completion of Neorion Shipyards rehabilitation plan by Onex shipyards and the first phase of $20M investment, creation of 600 hundred jobs and historical performance record for Greek shipyards (more than 150 ships since shipyard’s turnaround)
2020: Partnership between Onex shipyards and Israel Shipyards for the Co- Production of the Themistocles Corvette in ONEX Neorion Shipyards.
2020: donation to the Hellenic Army of the ONEX NEORION HERMES XIX fast patrol river boat with embedded high end sophisticated surveillance system a donation of one million USD value
2020: Onex Elefsis shipyards’s a subsidiary of Onex Shipyards reaches to an agreement to acquire the Elefsina shipyards, second bigger shipyard in Greece, through a rehabilitation plan following the successful model of Onex Neorion shipyards.
“İsrail ile Yunanistan, Doğu Akdeniz‘de elektrik kablosu hattı döşerken bile Türkiye’ye danışmak zorundalar. İşte bu durum İsrail’i bir hayli tedirgin etti, İsrail medyası denize kablo döşeyemezken nasıl olur da doğalgaz boru hattı kurulacak, bunu sorgulamaya başladı.
Türkiye’nin son verdiği bir NOTA vardı.
İsrail-Yunanistan ve AB üçlüsüne verildi bu NOTA.
Tabi onlarla birlikte bir de küçük ortakları Rumlar var.
NOTA’nın içeriğine bakalım.
Temeli Türkiye’nin 27 Kasım 2019’da Libya ile yaptığı deniz yetki alanları mutabakatına dayanıyor.
Bu mutabakatla, Yunanistan’ın Doğu Akdeniz üzerinde Girit adası üzerinden hak iddia ettiği alanların, hiçbir hükmü kalmamış oldu.
Başka bir deyişle Girit’in çevresi Türkiye ile Libya’nın deniz alanları olarak tescil edildi.
İsrail, Yunanistan ve Rumlar, Doğu Akdeniz’de suyun dibinden döşeyecekleri elektrik kablolarını Avrupa’ya ulaştıracaklardı.
Projenin adı ise EuroAsia Interconnector’du.
Dünyanın en uzun denizaltı güç kablo hattı, Yunanistan’ın hak iddia ettiği Girit açıklarından geçip, Avrupa’ya gidiyor.
İşte bu noktada Türkiye devreye girdi.
Verdiği NOTA ile “benden izin almadan bu alanda kablo döşemek ya da başka bir faaliyette bulunamazsınız” dedi.
NOTA en çok İsrail’i tedirgin etti.
İsrail gazetelerinin internet sayfalarında gün boyu, “Türkiye İsrail’le Yunanistan’ın Doğu Akdeniz’deki faaliyetlerini engelliyor” şeklinde manşetler vardı.
İsrail medyası şunu sorguladı, “denize elektrik kablosu döşerken bile Türkiye’den izin alacaksak o halde biz doğalgaz boru hattını nasıl döşeyeceğiz.”
Çünkü elektrik kablosunun güzergahında bir proje daha var.
Yine aynı aktörler.
İsrail, Yunanistan ve Rumlar.
2 Ocak 2020’de imzalanan anlaşmayla EastMed adı verilen proje çerçevesinde İsrail’in çıkardığı doğalgazı denizin altına boru döşemek suretiyle Avrupa’ya ulaştırma planı yapıyorlardı.
İşte Türkiye’nin verdiği son NOTA tam da bu EastMed hayaline darbe oldu.
İsrail’e de Yunanistan’a da, “elektrik kablosu döşerken bile benden izin almalısınız” uyarısıyla yarın öbür gün doğalgaz boru hattı konusundaki ikaz şimdiden verilmiş oldu.
İsrail mesajı hemen aldı. Bu elektrik kablosu için geçerliyse yarın doğalgaz için de böyle olacak.
Kısacası imzalandığı andan itibaren İsraillilerin “bu anlaşma Türkiye’nin engeline takılır” diye tedirgin oldukları EastMed projesinin akıbeti, Türkiye’nin hukuki tasarrufuna kalıyor.
Ankara’nın daha önce de söylediği gibi Libya mutabakatı öylesine önemli ve hayati ki, Doğu Akdeniz’de Türkiye’nin içinde olmadığı neredeyse hiçbir denklemin yaşama şansı yok.
İsrail’le bir türlü anlaşma yapılabilir. Onlar neticede olaya rasyonel yaklaşıyorlar. Çıkardıkları doğalgazı en az maliyetli, en az riskli ve en sorunsuz şekilde Türkiye ile anlaşarak transfer edebileceklerini çok iyi biliyorlar. O nedenle eninde sonunda Türkiye’nin kapısını çalacaklar. Bunu kendileri istemese bile hukuki olarak zorunlular.
Yunanistan’ın durumu ise daha kötü. Akılları sıra Türkiye’yi Akdeniz kıyılarına mahkum edip, balıkçılık yaptırmakla sınırlandırmaya çalışırlarken, Türkiye’nin izni olmadan elektrik kablosu bile geçiremez haldeler.
Türkiye’nin Libya ve Doğu Akdeniz hamlelerinin doğurduğu sonuçların daha çok başındayız. Türkiye Libya mutabakatı ve o konudaki ısrarlı tutumu, iradesiyle koca bir haritayı kendi lehine değiştirdi. Bunun Türkiye adına önümüzdeki yıllarda çok ama çok daha güzel sonuçları olacak.”
ABD lideri Biden: Putin bir katil!
ABD‘nin yeni başkanı Biden, 20 Ocak’tan bu yana ilk kez Rusya‘yı doğrudan hedef aldı ve Moskova’nın bedel ödeyeceğini söyledi. Biden, Rusya lideri Putin’in bir katil olduğunu düşündüğünü söyledi.
Moskova’nın ABD seçimlerine müdahale etmesi nedeniyle bir bedel ödeyeceğini vurgulayan Biden, “Rusya lideri Vladimir Putin‘in bir katil olduğunu düşünüyorum” dedi. ABD Başkanı ayrıca Putin’in söz konusu bedeli kısa sürede ödeyeceğinin altını çizdi.
ABC News sunucusu George Stephanopoulos’a konuşan Biden, başkanlık koltuğuna oturur oturmaz Putin’le yaptığı telefon görüşmesine ilişkin detaylar paylaştı.
Stephanopoulos’un “Yani Vladimir Putin’i tanıyorsunuz. Onun bir katil olduğunu mu düşünüyorsunuz?” sorusuna Biden, “Evet” cevabını verirken, “Bedel ödeyecek, göreceksin” diye konuştu.
ABD istihbarat yetkilileri, Rusya’nın son seçimde Joe Biden’a karşı eski başkan Donald Trump’ın müttefikleri ve yönetimi aracılığıyla yanıltıcı ve asılsız iddialar yaymaya çalıştığı sonucuna vardığını dün duyurmuştu.
15 SAYFALIK RAPOR
Ulusal İstihbarat Dairesi tarafından yayınlanan 15 sayfalık rapor, Trump’ın müttefiklerince 3 Kasım seçimlerine giden süreçte Rusya ile bağlantılı Ukraynalı kişiler tarafından Biden’a karşı yapılan iddiaların yayılarak Moskova’nın elinin güçlenmesinin sağlandığının altını çizdi.
Raporda Rus lider Putin’in Moskova’nın 2020 başkanlık seçimlerine müdahale çabalarını yönetmiş olmasının mümkün olduğu belirtildi. İstihbarat yetkilileri Putin’in ABD seçimlerine Trump’ın lehine müdahale edilmesi çabalarını ya yönettiği ya da onayladığı sonucuna vardı.
Rusya’nın seçimlere müdahale çabalarına Putin’in onayını almadan hareket etmeyecek üst düzey ulusal güvenlik ve istihbarat yetkililerinin de katıldığı kaydedildi.
Raporda Ukrayna parlamentosu üyesi Andriy Derkaç gibi isimlerin Biden ve oğlu Hunter’ı karalamak için yapılan kampanyaya isimsiz Amerikalı siyasi figürleri dahil ettikleri sonucuna varıldı. Trump’ın avukatı Rudy Giuliani ile 2019 yılında buluşan Derkaç’ın Putin’in talimatıyla hareket etmese bile hareketlerinin Putin tarafından izlendiği belirtildi.
BIDEN’IN YORUMU KIZDIRDI
Biden’ın yorumları, Rusya’nın parlamentosunun alt kanadı Duma’nın başkanı Vyacheslav Volodin tarafından, “Rusya’ya saldırı” ve “zayıflıktan ötürü histeri” olarak nitelendirildi. Volodin, Biden’ın sözlerini kınadığını söyledi.
Meghan Markle ve Prens Harry boşanacak mı?
Meghan Markle ve Prens Harry’nin yüzü ne zaman gülecek? Geçtiğimiz hafta verdikleri röportajla dünya gündemine bomba gibi düşen çiftimizin iddialarına yanıtlar bitmedi bitmiyor. İddiaları üstüne alınanlar mı dersiniz hiçbir iddiayla ilgisi olmadığı halde açıklama üstüne açıklama yapanlar mı dersiniz, neler neler. Meghan Markle’ın ablasından olay yaratan sözler de neyin nesi? Gelin Prens Harry ve Meghan Markle’a Molatik olalım…
Meghan’ın psikolojik sorunları var!
Durduk yerde, öyle hiçbir sorun yokken, kendisi ile ilgili hiçbir açıklama yapılmamışken bir anda beliriveren Meghan Markle’ın üvey ablası Samantha Markle oldukça ilginç iddialarda bulundu. Meghan Markle’ın üvey kardeşi Samantha Markle kız kardeşinin psikolojik sorunları olduğunu iddia etti.
‘Stockholm sendromu’ iddiası
“Samantha Markle kardeşini yerden yere vurdu” desek yanlış olmaz. Neden böyle bir açıklama yaptı, durduk yerde ne oldu da kardeşinin evliliğinin bitme ihtimaline kadar kafa yordu bilemiyoruz. Samantha Markle, “Meghan’da narsist kişilik bozukluğu görüyorum. Teşhis koymuyorum ama onun bir yardım alması gerekiyor. Harry için kötü hissediyorum. Ailesinden, arkadaşlarından ve bildiği hayattan koparıldı. Bana kaçırılan kişileri hatırlatıyor. Hayatının çok kötü olduğuna inanıp kendisini alıkoyan kişiye aşık olan kişiler gibi” dedi. Yani düpedüz Prens Harry’de ‘Stockholm sendromu’ belirtileri hissettiğini söylemiş.
Lady Diana’yı idol aldı!
Yetmedi! Bitmedi! Samantha abla, Lady Diana’ya kadar gitti ve Meghan Markle’ın dersine iyi çalıştığını söyledi. Samantha Markle, “O, Diana’yı kendine idol aldı. Diana için dersine iyi çalıştı. Onun kıyafetlerini, dilini taklit etti. İlk buluşmalarında onun parfümünü kullandı. Kardeşimin Harry’nin kim olduğunu bilmediğini söylemeyin” ifadelerini kullandı. Samantha abla neler diyorsun sen öyle?
Böyle giderse boşanacaklar!
Samantha Markle, Prens Harry’nin evliliğini sorguladığını ileri sürüp “Görüyorum ki evlilikleriyle ilgili kapsamlı bir danışmanlık almadıkları sürece bu iş boşanmayla sonuçlanır” dedi.
“Babama da çok zarar verdi”
Samantha Markle kendinden vazgeçip bir de babalarını işin içine katmış. Samantha Markle, kardeşi Meghan Markle’ın, babaları Thomas Markle’a da çok zarar verdiğini iddia etti.
Samantha Markle, çifti İngiliz Kraliyet ailesi ile ilgili verdikleri röportajdan dolayı eleştirmeyi de unutmadı ve çiftin İngiliz Kraliyet ailesi hakkında söylediklerinden dolayı özür dilemeleri gerektiğini söyledi.
Prens Harry 12 yaşında değilse…
Son olarak Prens Harry ile ilgili, “Belki de evliliğini sorgulamaya çoktan başlamıştır. Eğer işleyen bir frontal beyin lobu varsa bunu yapmak zorunda. 12 yaşında değil” dedi ve akıllarda kocaman, kırmızı bir soru işareti bırakarak konuşmasını sonlandırdı.
Neden böyle bir açıklama?
Samantha Markle ortada kendisi ile ilgili hiçbir iddia ya da ifade yokken neden böyle bir açıklama yaptı? Aralarının iyi olmadığı bilinen iki kız kardeş arasında bizim bilmediğimiz bir şeyler oluyor olabilir mi? Samantha Markle’ın iddialarının altında gerçeklik payı var mı? Hiç kimse yetmezmiş gibi bir de Samantha Markle nereden çıktı?
Kafamızda oluşan deli sorular öyle çoğaldı ki bu işin içinden nasıl çıkacağız bilemiyorum. Bir yandan Meghan Markle’ın babası ve ablası bir yandan Kraliyet’ten röportaja gelen yanıtlar derken Meghan Markle ve Prens Harry’yi bir süre daha zor günlerin beklediğini söyleyebiliriz. Bakalım daha neler göreceğiz…
4. AX ΧΟΥΛΙΑ ΜΟΥ, ΑΧ!
Μαρινάκης: «Μπράβο στον Ολυμπιακό μας. Με το κεφάλι ψηλά, 3η συνεχόμενη νίκη στο Emirates»!
Μπορεί να μην ήταν αρκετό και να μην κατάφερε ο Ολυμπιακός να κάνει την τεράστια ανατροπή, ωστόσο το πάλεψε και έκανε άλλο ένα μεγάλο «διπλό» στο Emirates.
«Μπράβο στον Ολυμπιακό μας! Πάντα με το κεφάλι ψηλά και 3η συνεχόμενη νίκη στο Emirates Stadium! Η ομάδα μας άξιζε να συνεχίσει, όμως ΣΥΝΕΧΙΖΟΥΜΕ ΝΑ ΟΝΕΙΡΕΥΟΜΑΣΤΕ, ΣΥΝΕΧΙΖΟΥΜΕ ΔΥΝΑΤΑ»!
On 16 March 2021, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg released his Annual Report for 2020.
It covers NATO’s work and achievements throughout the year, including efforts to ensure the health crisis did not become a security crisis, and preparations under the NATO 2030 initiative to future-proof the Alliance.
The Report includes the results of new polls on the public perception of the Alliance. These demonstrate that, in a year of upheaval, overall support for the NATO Alliance, the transatlantic bond and collective defence remains strong.
Below you will find short descriptions of – as well as direct links to – the elements of the annual report.
- For all who serve
- NATO 2030
- Deterrence, Defence and Dialogue
- Fighting the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Engaging with NATO Citizens
- Investing in Defence
- Fit for Purpose
- Projecting Stability
- Promoting Equality
NATO 2030: Future-proofing the Alliance
In 2020, the Alliance – like the rest of the world – was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only did the virus threaten our societies and economies, it also magnified existing security trends and tensions. But it did not prevent NATO from doing its job: our ability to defend the Euro-Atlantic area remains undiminished, and throughout the year, the Alliance worked to help save lives and keep our people safe.
Across NATO, almost half a million troops supported the civilian response to the pandemic. We delivered much-needed medical equipment and supplies, transported patients and medical personnel, secured borders and built field hospitals to treat many thousands of patients. We established a pandemic response plan, a stockpile of medical supplies and a trust fund for the purchase of urgently needed items. Ventilators and other equipment from the stockpile have been delivered to Allies and partners.
For All Who Serve
NATO’s mission is to ensure that the Alliance’s territory and populations remain safe in a world where peace and security cannot be taken for granted. Our free societies and the rules-based international order need to be backed by credible transatlantic defence. NATO continues to rely on the personnel of Allied and partner countries’ armed forces to fulfil this mission.
Throughout 2020 and despite the COVID-19 pandemic, men and women in uniform from Europe and North America stepped up to the mark. They played an essential part to help fight the pandemic and save lives, including by transporting muchneeded medical supplies and equipment, and building military field hospitals. In addition to supporting civilian efforts to combat the pandemic, they also continued to provide security for NATO’s nearly one billion people with strong deterrence and defence – on land, at sea, in the air, in space and cyberspace. Our soldiers, sailors, aircrew and marines served in NATO military commands, exercises, missions and operations to keep us all safe.
We know that, should the need arise, they will stand together to defend and protect each other, keep our nations safe and our Alliance strong. We owe them and their families deep gratitude for their service and sacrifice.
At the December 2019 Leaders Meeting, NATO Heads of State and Government asked Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to lead a forward-looking reflection on NATO’s future. This is why he launched ‘NATO 2030,’ his initiative to further strengthen the Alliance in an increasingly more unpredictable and competitive world.
NATO faces the most complex security environment since the end of the Cold War. Existing threats have not gone away. Russia’s behaviour remains assertive and destabilising, and terrorism continues to represent a global security challenge and a threat to stability. At the same time, the rise of China is shifting the global balance of power, with implications for the Alliance’s security, values and way of life. It is a world of growing global uncertainty, more sophisticated and disruptive cyber and hybrid threats, and exponential technological change rapidly transforming the way wars are fought. An environment where climate change will continue to exacerbate existing security challenges and generate new ones.
NATO’s main responsibility during the COVID-19 pandemic has been to fulfil its core tasks, while ensuring that the health crisis does not become a security crisis. The Alliance maintained its operational readiness, protected its forces and sustained its missions and operations, from the battlegroups in the east of the Alliance, to Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq.
In 2020, NATO further strengthened its collective deterrence and defence posture, on land, at sea, in the air, in space and in cyberspace. It continued to increase the responsiveness and readiness of its forces, to enhance the Alliance’s ability to rapidly reinforce any Ally that may come under threat, and to invest in its hybrid and cyber defences to remain at the forefront of technological change.
Substantial progress was achieved over the year to further strengthen Allied resilience, essential to NATO’s overall ability to deter and defend against both conventional and hybrid threats.
Work also advanced to address the security implications of Russia’s growing arsenal of nuclear-capable missiles. The Alliance is responding by strengthening its advanced conventional capabilities, investing in new platforms – including fifth-generation fighter aircraft – and adapting its exercises, intelligence, and air and missile defence posture. It is doing so while ensuring its nuclear deterrent remains safe, secure and effective. At the same time, NATO remains strongly committed to effective arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, and continues to call for all actors, including Russia and China, to engage constructively.
In addition to fulfilling its main responsibility to prevent the public health crisis from becoming a security crisis, NATO drew on its experience in crisis management and disaster relief to both adapt to the crisis and support Allies’ and partners’ efforts, helping to fight the pandemic and save lives.
From the beginning of the crisis, NATO and Allied military personnel have been supporting civilian efforts: providing military airlift, organising flights to deliver critical supplies, setting up field hospitals, sharing medical expertise, and helping to develop innovative responses. Over half a million military personnel supported civilian authorities during the first wave of the COVID-19 crisis.
Ensuring that citizens in Allied countries understand and support NATO’s mission is an important aspect of the Alliance’s work. NATO actively engages with people around the world to explain and promote the Alliance’s efforts and activities in Allied countries and beyond. At the same time, it works hard to counter disinformation with fact-based, credible public communications.
The security threats and challenges that led to the adoption of the Defence Investment Pledge have not subsided with the pandemic. On the contrary, COVID-19 has exacerbated existing threats and made the security environment more unpredictable. The need to keep investing in defence remains essential.
2020 marked the sixth consecutive year of growth indefence spending by European Allies and Canada, with an increase in real terms of 3.9% from 2019 to 2020. Moreover, 11 Allies met the guideline of spending 2% of their Gross Domestic Product on defence, up from just three Allies in 2014.
One of NATO’s greatest strengths is its ability to adapt to the changing security environment – something it has done again and again since its creation in 1949.
In 2020, NATO adapted to meet the challenges of a more complex security environment. The Alliance continued to modernise its structures and capabilities and redoubled its efforts with respect to emerging and disruptive technologies.
To guarantee the security of its almost one billion citizens, the Alliance must effectively tackle global challenges to the security of Allies, including terrorism, and be able to manage crises and contribute to peace and security beyond its borders. NATO projects stability through political engagement and practical cooperation with a wide network of partners and international organisations, both in its neighbourhood and globally. In 2020, the Alliance continued to assist its partners in building stronger defence institutions, improving governance, enhancing resilience and more effectively contributing to the fight against terrorism.
2020 marked the 20th anniversary of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. The anniversary provided an opportunity to reflect on NATO’s achievements and to define the future focus and priorities of NATO’s work on Women, Peace and Security.
The NATO Headquarters in Brussels houses the Alliance’s International Staff and International Military Staff, along with 30 Allied delegations and military representations, 19 partner missions and staff from several NATO Agencies. It is the main forum for the discussions and consultations that shape NATO policy and practice.
Resolute Support Mission
The Resolute Support Mission is a NATO-led mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan security forces and institutions. The mission was launched on 1 January 2015, immediately following the stand-down of the International Security Assistance Force.
The NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) mission contributes to maintaining a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all communities in Kosovo, as mandated by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 of 1999.
Defence Expenditure of NATO Countries (2013 – 2020)
NATO collects defence expenditure data from Allies on a regular basis and presents aggregates and subsets of this information. Each Ally’s Ministry of Defence reports current and estimated future defence expenditure according to an agreed definition of defence expenditure. The amounts represent payments by a national government actually made, or to be made, during the course of the fiscal year to meet the needs of its armed forces, those of Allies or of the Alliance. In the figures and tables that follow, NATO also uses economic and demographic information available from the Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs of the European Commission (DG-ECFIN), and the Organisation for Economic Co operation and Development (OECD).
Cumhurbaşkanı Erdoğan’dan Biden’a ‘sözünü tut’ çağrısı
Cumhurbaşkanı Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Türkiye’nin insani yardımlara öncülük ederek, terör örgütlerine karşı ön safta yer alarak ve diplomatik süreçlere aktif katkı sunarak Suriye‘de gerekeni yapabilecek tek ülke olduğunu kanıtladığını belirterek, “Biden yönetimi, kampanya döneminde verdiği sözleri tutarak, Suriye’deki trajediyi sonlandırmak ve demokrasiyi müdafaa etmek için bizimle birlikte çalışmalıdır.” ifadelerini kullandı.
Türk ordusunun, geçen yılın bu dönemlerinde Suriye’de muhalefetin son kalesi olan İdlib’e yönelik yeni bir saldırıyı durdurmak ve masum insanların yerlerinden edilmesini veya öldürülmesini engellemek amacıyla Suriye rejiminin pozisyonlarına müdahale ettiğini hatırlatan Erdoğan, böylece milyonlarca hayat kurtarıldığını kaydetti.
Erdoğan, bu dönemde Türkiye’ye övgüler yağdıran ülkelerin, kısmen koronavirüs salgınının etkisiyle Suriye’de yaşanan insani krizi unutuverdiğini belirterek, “İç savaş, Batı’nın bir sonraki vicdani krizine dek ‘bayat haber‘ statüsüne geri döndü. Demokrasi, özgürlük ve insan haklarının yeniden moda olduğu şimdilerde insanlığın Suriye’deki icraatları, samimiyetimizin nihai ölçüsü olacaktır. Bölgede barış ve istikrarın yeniden tesis edilmesinin, Batı’nın Türkiye’yi samimi ve güçlü bir şekilde desteklemesine bağlı olduğuna inanıyorum.” değerlendirmesini yaptı.
“TÜM PLANLARI REDDEDİYORUZ“.
Suriye krizinin onuncu yılında sadece demokrasi, özgürlük ve insan haklarını talep ettikleri için 100 binlerce insanın öldürüldüğünü ve işkenceye maruz bırakıldığını, milyonların ise yerlerinden edildiğini hatırlamak gerektiğine işaret eden Erdoğan, şöyle devam etti:
“Esed rejiminin ve destekçilerinin bu meşru talepleri yok etme girişimi, terör ve düzensiz göç gibi korkunç sonuçları beraberinde getirmiştir. Birçok ülke, çeşitli neden veya bahanelerle Suriye ihtilafına müdahil olmuşlarsa da yaşanan trajedinin çıkış noktasını ıskalamışlardır. Neticede Orta Doğu’nun en önemli ülkelerinden biri, asla bitmeyecek gibi görünen bir katliamın ortasında yapayalnız bırakılmıştır. Gururla söylüyorum ki Türkiye’nin pozisyonu, Suriye iç savaşının başlangıcından itibaren hiç değişmemiştir. Türk milleti, tüm Suriyelileri temsil kabiliyetine sahip bir siyasi sistem kurulmasının, barış ve istikrarın yeniden tesisi için şart olduğuna inanmaktadır. Suriye halkının en temel insan onuru taleplerini karşılamayan tüm planları reddediyoruz. Zira bu tür seçenekler krizi ancak derinleştirecektir. Aynı zamanda barışçıl ve kalıcı bir çözümün, Suriye’nin toprak bütünlüğüne ve siyasi birliğine saygı gösterilmemesi halinde mümkün olamayacağını vurguluyoruz.”
“Türkiye, bir yandan milyonlarca mülteciyi ağırlarken, diğer yandan DEAŞ başta olmak üzere Suriye’de faaliyet gösteren terör örgütlerine karşı muharip güçlerini kullanan ilk ülke olmuştur. Terörden temizlenen yerlerde güvenli bölgeler kurduk; orada umudu yeniden yeşertmek için sabır ve kararlılıkla tüm gerekli adımları attık. Maalesef, yerel ortaklarımız olan ılımlı muhalifler, DEAŞ’ın ve bir diğer terör örgütü olan PKK’nın yenilgiye uğratılması sürecindeki emek ve fedakarlıklarına rağmen organize bir karalama kampanyasının hedefi olmuşlardır. Türkiye’nin yerel unsurlarla birlikte oluşturduğu güvenli bölgeler, komşumuzun geleceğine olan bağlılığımızın kanıtıdır. Bu bölgeler, hem barış ve istikrar adaları, hem de kendi kendine yeten ekosistemler haline gelmiştir. Buralarda kolluk kuvvetlerini oluşturmak ve eğitmek, elektrik ve su gibi altyapı unsurlarını iyileştirmek, okullar ve hastaneleri yeniden açmak gibi temel projeleri hayata geçirdik.”
“EN MAKUL SEÇENEK BATI’NIN TÜRKİYE’Yİ DESTEKLEMESİ, SURİYE’DE ÇÖZÜMÜN PARÇASI HALİNE GELMESİ“.
Cumhurbaşkanı Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Türkiye’nin aynı zamanda, 2019’da BM Genel Kurulu’nda açıkladığı plan uyarınca Suriye’de kalıcı barınma merkezleri inşa ederek, bölgede uzun zamandır yaşanan barınma sorununu ortadan kaldırdığını belirterek, “Ülkemiz, tüm bu tedbirleri alarak, Avrupa’yı düzensiz göç ve terörden korumuş, NATO’nun güneydoğu sınırını güvence altına almıştır. Yaptıklarımız, değerlerimizi yansıtmakta; Türkiye’nin mazlumların umudu, masumların hamisi ve çözümün anahtarı olduğu iddiamızı desteklemektedir.” ifadelerini kullandı.
Batı’nın önünde 3 seçenek bulunduğuna işaret eden Erdoğan, şöyle devam etti:
“İlk seçenek, Suriye’de yaşananları tribünden izleyerek daha fazla masum insan hayatını kaybetmesidir. Bu yaklaşım, yalnızca Batı’nın ahlaki iddialarını zayıflatmaz, aynı zamanda terör ve düzensiz göç gibi yeni tehditler ortaya çıkararak, uluslararası güvenliğe ve Avrupa’nın siyasi istikrarına zarar verir. İkinci seçenek, kalıcı bir çözüm için gereken tüm askeri, ekonomik ve diplomatik çabaları sarf etmektir. 10 yıldır hiçbir ciddi adım atmayan Batılı liderlerin böyle bir niyeti olduğuna inanmak için bir neden bulunmamaktadır.
Son ve en makul seçenek ise Batı’nın Türkiye’yi desteklemesi, asgari maliyet ve azami etkiyle Suriye’de çözümün parçası haline gelmesidir. Burada somut beklentimiz açıktır. Batı’nın öncelikle güvenli bölgelere saldıran ve eli kanlı rejime payanda olan YPG’ye karşı net bir tavır takınması gerekmektedir. Bunun yerine meşru Suriye muhalefetine gerekli destek sağlanarak barış ve istikrara yatırım yapılmalıdır. İlaveten, Batılı ülkelere insani krizin sonlandırılması noktasında üzerlerine düşen sorumluluğu yerine getirme çağrısında bulunuyoruz. Türkiye’nin yükünün paylaşılmaması, Avrupa’ya yönelik yeni göç dalgaları ortaya çıkarabilecektir. Son olarak, Batı’nın Suriye içerisindeki güvenli bölgelere yatırım yapmasını ve bu barış projesini net bir şekilde desteklemesini talep ediyoruz. Suriye için demokratik ve müreffeh bir gelecek alternatifi olduğunu tüm dünyaya göstermek zorundayız.”
BIDEN’A ‘SÖZÜNÜ TUT’ ÇAĞRISI
Erdoğan, makalesini, “Türkiye, insani yardımlara öncülük ederek, terör örgütlerine karşı ön safta yer alarak ve diplomatik süreçlere aktif katkı sunarak Suriye’de gerekeni yapabilecek tek ülke olduğunu kanıtlamıştır. Biden yönetimi, kampanya döneminde verdiği sözleri tutarak, Suriye’deki trajediyi sonlandırmak ve demokrasiyi müdafaa etmek için bizimle birlikte çalışmalıdır. Türk milleti, Suriyeli komşularının çıkarlarına hizmet eden, bölgesel barış ve istikrara katkı sunan her girişimi desteklemeye hazırdır.” sözleriyle tamamladı.
8. ozel – haberler/2021/03/17/adil-oksuz-kuzeni-ali-oksuzu-milli-istihbarat-teskilatina-sizdirmis-alcak-planlari-ifsa-oldu?
ΒΡΕΙΤΕ ΤΟ ΜΟΝΟΙ ΣΑΣ, ΔΙΟΤΙ ΤΟ ΕΧΟΥΝ ΜΑΛΛΟΝ “ΚΑΤΕΒΑΣΕΙ” ΟΙ ΤΗΣ “ΜΙΤ”!
Lies in the Cognitive War Against Israel
Striking down the falsehoods – one libel at a time.
Editor’s note: Below is Part I in a 2-Part Series on ‘Lies in the Cognitive War Against Israel‘. Part 2 will run in our next issue.
Richard L. Cravatts, Ph.D., a Freedom Center Journalism Fellow in Academic Free Speech and President Emeritus of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, is the author of Dispatches From the Campus War Against Israel and Jews.
In the cognitive war against Israel, supporters of what historian Bat Ye’or called Palestinianism have come to accept the fact that Israel will not be defeated employing traditional tools of warfare. Instead, the Jewish state’s enemies, abetted by the academic and media elites in the West, have been using different, but equally dangerous, tactics to delegitimize and eventually destroy Israel in a cognitive war.
By dressing up old hatreds against Jews and transforming it into what comprises the “new anti-Semitism,” combined with a purported goal of seeking social justice for the oppressed and repackaging ugly biases as academic scholarship, professors, student activist groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), and Israel’s other ideological foes have found an effective, but odious, way to ensure that the Jew of nations, Israel, is still accused of being: a racist, apartheid oppressor of an indigenous people; white European Jews with no historical connection to the Holy Land who are colonial usurpers of Muslim land; the main impediment to Middle East peace; and a brutal military occupier of land on which illegal “settlements” are built as a way of subjugating an existing innocent population in the quest for a Great Israel that will swallow even more territory to which the Jews have no legitimate claim.
This is the current narrative in what Melanie Phillips has called “the world turned upside down,” an inversion of truth and fiction, calumnies and lies targeting the Jewish state in an effort to elevate the Palestinian cause, delegitimize Israel, and make Israel a pariah in the world community. But this narrative, unfortunately, is based on a presentation of lies, a series of repeated tropes about the malignancy and illegality of Israel that has little to do with facts, history, or reason. These lies are repeated promiscuously until they accepted as fact, a Goebbel-esque tradition which creates a new truth through the unrelenting repetition of falsity, disingenuity, and distortions of reality.
What follows are some of the major tropes which together serve to perpetuate the false narrative about Israel:
The Racism and Apartheid Lie
In what has become a perverse, recurring rite of spring, and yet more evidence that universities have become, as Abigail Thernstrom has described them, “islands of repression in a sea of freedom,” on campuses across America and Canada virulent anti-Israel student groups, the brownshirts in the cognitive war against Israel, sponsor what is called Israeli Apartheid Week.
During these hate-fests, students are confronted by mock “apartheid walls,” vitriolic guest speakers who defame Israel, and posters, demonstrations, and other materials in which the actual facts about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict are omitted, contorted, or altered to promote the false narrative about Israel’s (and Zionism’s) fundamental racist ideology, its illegality as a colonial usurper of Palestine, its brutal oppression and occupation, and its ethnic cleansing of an indigenous people.
Even before the death of George Floyd last spring in Minneapolis, campuses were obsessed with the issue of race, and pro-Palestinian groups have been very strategic in positioning the conflict between the Jewish state and the Palestinians as being, at base, about race. Those who called for boycotts against South Africa for its actual inhumane system of apartheid, now draw comparisons between Israel and South Africa, falsely claiming that Israel has constructed an analogous system of racial subjugation.
At the Israeli Apartheid Week events, radical sponsors refer to the Israeli security barrier as an “apartheid wall,” and describe it as if it were a massive, unbroken structure that cruelly divides Palestinian areas, all in order to create a broader misconception about the Palestinians living under a South African-style apartheid regime, disingenuously equating race restrictions that blacks lived under in Soweto with the open society of Israel in which Israeli Arabs have more rights than in any Arab state and are asked only not to murder Jews in their midst. And Israel’s non-Jewish citizens, comprising some one-fifth of its total population, are, of course, able to enjoy all the civil and human rights enjoyed by Jewish citizens, including being able to serve in the Knesset and hold other government and professional posts.
But on university campuses, Jews have been successfully cast as white, and, the slander goes, Zionism itself is fundamentally racist, so that white supremacy and Zionism are conveniently, though disingenuously, conflated. At the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign’s SJP chapter, for example, this hateful ideology was on full display when, in a September 2017 Facebook post, the group announced that since “there is no room for fascists, white supremacists, or Zionists at UIUC,” they had organized a rally called “Smashing Fascism: Radical Resistance Against White Supremacy.”
And this assumption is dangerous because, since it is accepted widely by the hate-Israel crowd, it has meant that, as the UN infamously achieved in 1975, Zionism again will be equivalent to racism, and any supporters of Israel can thereby be condemned and thrown into that ideological bucket of white supremacists, racists, and neo-Nazis that now seem to so animate the imaginations of Democrats, liberals, and marginalized and oppressed minorities.
The Lie that Terrorism Against Israeli Occupation is Justified
Frequently confronted at anti-Israel demonstrations are protestors yelling angry chants, carrying signs, and shouting out the oft-heard slogan, “Free, Free Palestine,” or, as they regularly scream out, “Palestine will be free, from the river to the sea.” That phrase suggests the same situation that a rekindled Intifada would help bring about, namely that if the fictive nation of “Palestine” is “liberated,” is free, there will, of course, be no Israel between the Jordan River and Mediterranean—and no Jews.
Another deadly chorus often emanates from protestors during these noxious hate-fests: “When people are occupied, resistance is justified.” That is an oft-repeated, but disingenuous and false notion that stateless terrorists have some recognized human right to murder civilians whose government has purportedly occupied their territory. That is not true in Judea and Samaria and clearly not any longer the case in Gaza, where every Jew was removed in 2005 and where there is a blockade in effect to prevent the influx of weapons, but clearly no occupation or, as commonly referred to, a “siege.”
It may be comforting for Israel’s ideological foes to rationalize the murder of Jews by claiming some international right to do it with impunity and a sense of righteousness. Unfortunately, however, as legal experts have inconveniently pointed out, activists expressing this ambition and their terror-appeasing apologists elsewhere are completely wrong about the legitimacy of murder as part of “resistance” to an occupying force. Article IV of the Third Geneva Convention, the statute which defines combatants and legitimate targets in warfare, is very specific about who may kill and who may be killed, and it does not allow for the murder of either Israeli civilians—or soldiers—by psychopathic Palestinian terrorists who wear no identifying military uniforms and do not follow the accepted rules of wars.
So, when pro-Palestinian activists and critics of Israel repeat the claim that Palestinians somehow have an internationally recognized legal “right” to resist occupation through violent means, they are both legitimizing that terror and helping to ensure that its lethal use by Israel’s enemies will continue unabated.
Those who lend their moral support to terrorism, and who continually see the existence of “grievance-based violence” as a justifiable tool of the oppressed, have helped introduce a sick moral relativism into discussions about radical Islam and Palestinianism, not to mention Israel’s right to protect its citizens from being slaughtered. And the notion that Israel cannot, or should not, retaliate against these rocket attacks until a sufficient number of Israelis has been murdered is equally grotesque.
And when anti-Israel activists carelessly refer to “state violence and control” when describing Israel’s behavior toward terrorists and others attempting to murder its citizens, it is possibly the result of decades of Arab terror against the Jewish state, not the so-called occupation or the presence of Jewish settlers in Judea and Samaria. In fact, as historian Efraim Karsh has correctly pointed out, it was not the occupation that caused Arab terrorism against Israel, at all; in fact, historic and chronic aggression toward Israel and the desire to wipe it off the earth and drive all Jews into the sea precipitated the defensive war in 1967 that precipitated the occupation in the first place.
In fact, the checkpoints, the security barrier, a military presence, and other tactical elements of self-defense exist, not because of Israel’s cruelty and desire to be randomly oppressive, but because these measures have been necessitated by, among other things, 20,000 rockets and mortars sent into southern Israeli neighborhoods from Gaza by Hamas over the past decade, psychopaths with suicide vests, knives, stones, guns, and vehicles used as weapons against the IDF and Israeli citizens, and the publicly stated policies by Hamas of a sacred duty to murder Jews wherever they are found and to never accept treaties, peace plans, or Jewish self-determination of any kind.
Lies About the So-Called Occupation and the Settlements
When pro-Palestinians, the UN, and diplomats and other anti-Israel elites make repeated references to the West Bank and Gaza, as well as East Jerusalem, as “Arab” land, they imagine the putative Palestinian state in waiting, encumbered only by Israeli oppression, the dreaded occupation, and those pesky settlers.
This widely held notion that European Jews, with no connection to historic Palestine, colonized Arab land and displaced the indigenous Palestinian population, of course, is a key part of the false narrative against Israel; it serves the perverse purpose of validating Arab territorial rights to Judea and Samaria, portions of Jerusalem, and Gaza, and, more importantly, casts Israelis as squatters who have expropriated land that is not lawfully or morally theirs.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s 2019 confirmation of the legality of the settlements served to reverse the faulty historical assumptions and misreading of law that has animated the settlement debate, principally the fact that not only all of the land that comprises current-day Israel, but also Gaza and the West Bank is part of the land granted to the Jews as part of the League of Nations Palestine Mandate, which recognized the right of the Jewish people to “close settlement” in a portion of those territories gained after the breakup of the Ottoman Empire after World War I.
The Six Day War of 1967, in which Israel recaptured Gaza and the West Bank, including Jerusalem, resulted in Israel being cast in another perfidious role — in addition to colonial usurper of Arab land, the Jewish state was described as a brutal “occupier” of Arab Palestine, lands to which the Jews presumably had no right and now occupied, in the opinion of many in the international community, illegally.
But when did Judea and Samaria, Gaza, and East Jerusalem become Palestinian land? The answer is: never. In fact, when Israel acquired the West Bank and Gaza and other territories in 1967 after being attacked by Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, the Jewish state gained legally recognized title to those areas. In Israel’s 1948 War of Independence, Egypt, it will be recalled, illegally annexed Gaza at the same time Jordan illegally annexed the West Bank — actions that were not recognized by most of the international community as legitimate in establishing their respective sovereignties.
While those seeking Palestinian statehood conveniently overlook the legal rights Jews still enjoy that enable them to occupy all areas of historic Palestine, they have also used another oft-cited, but defective, argument in accusing Israel of violating international law by maintaining settlements in the West Bank, that since the Six Day War, Israel has conducted a “belligerent occupation.” But as Professor Julius Stone discussed in his book, Israel and Palestine, the fact that the West Bank and Gaza were acquired by Israel in a “sovereignty vacuum,” that is, that there was an absence of High Contracting Party with legal claim to the areas, means that, in this instance, the definition of a belligerent occupant in invalid. So, significantly, the absence of any sovereignty in territories acquired in a defensive war—as was the case in the Six Day War of 1967—means that it is incorrect to characterize Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria as an occupation, belligerent or otherwise.
The matter of Israel violating Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention is one that has been used regularly, and disingenuously, as part of the cognitive war by those wishing to criminalize the creation of Jewish neighborhoods in the West Bank and demonize Israel for behavior allegedly in violation of international law. It asserts that in allowing its citizens (the dreaded settlers) to move into occupied territories, Israel violates Article 49, which stipulates that “the occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into territory it occupies.”
The use of this particular Geneva Convention seems particularly grotesque in the case of Israel, since it was crafted after World War II specifically to prevent a repetition of the actions of the Nazis in cleansing Germany of its own Jewish citizens and deporting them to Nazi-occupied countries for slave labor or extermination. Clearly, the intent of the Convention was to prevent belligerents from forcibly moving their citizens to other territories, for malignant purposes — something completely different than the Israel government allowing its citizens to willingly relocate, build neighborhoods for their families, and settle in territories without any current sovereignty, to which Jews have longstanding legal claim, and, whether or not the area may become a future Palestinian state, should certainly be a place where any person could live, even if he or she is a Jew.
Intersectionality and the Lie About Israel Being an Oppressor
The obsession with Israel and its various perceived modes of oppression and brutality toward a weak, innocent victim group is consistent with the worldview of many academics in the humanities and social sciences who increasingly find a linkage as they seek to affirm the rights of the victimized and name the villains responsible for this oppression. The more that seemingly unrelated instances of oppression can be conflated, it is thought, the greater the ability to confront these oppressors and neutralize the negative effect they have on society at large.
This trend is called “intersectionality,” and it has meant that someone who is a gender studies professor, or queer theorist, or American studies expert can, with no actual knowledge or expertise about the Middle East, readily pontificate on the many social pathologies of Israel, based on its perceived role as a racist, colonial oppressor of an innocent indigenous population of Arab victims. For these Israel-haters, to know one victim group is to know any victim group—with Israel being a tempting and habitual target of their opprobrium.
The idea of brutal, militarized oppression by Israel of the wholly-innocent Palestinian victims is, of course, central to the false narrative that propels anti-Israel activism on campuses where SJP and other anti-Israel groups have a presence, and the current obsession with criticizing and dismantling domestic police forces conflates nicely with a discussion about the way Israel’s predations are perceived to be equivalent to the racist, oppressive behavior of white American police officers in their interaction with blacks and other marginalized groups and “people of color.”
The Deadly Exchange campaign, the name Jewish Voice for Peace and other anti-Israel groups have given to these police training programs, takes the accusation of racism one step further, making it part of a global, ongoing campaign to slander and delegitimize Israel by ascribing to it the worst moral characteristics, including, specifically, the one accusation that is the most grievous and unforgivable: racism. And not only does it provide yet another opportunity for anti-Israel activists to trumpet the predations of the Jewish state, to stress once again the alleged racism, apartheid, and ethnic subjugation of Arab Palestinians, it can also smear Israel with another, even more sinister, accusation: not only has Israel perfected its brutality and oppression toward the Palestinians but now, thanks to these cooperative training programs with U.S. law enforcement personnel, Israel now exports its moral depravity and cruelty, and its racism can metastasize itself in minority communities in the United States, too. The placards seen at protests for years now, reading “From Ferguson to Palestine,” echoed that very theme, purporting that the racial injustices experienced by blacks in America are mirrored in the experience of Palestinians who suffer under the similar racism and oppression of Israel.
That Israel has become of the embodiment of evil, that its racism, militarism, and oppression now are so powerful that they cross borders and infect minority communities in America, and that the Jewish state can now be held responsible for bigotry on campuses far from its own borders indicates how powerful the anti-Israel narrative has become, and how the obsessive hatred by activists against the Jewish state ensures that the oldest hatred shows itself in yet another hateful permutation.
10. Who’s Really Running in Israel’s Elections?
How the Attorney General and the Supreme Court are devouring Knesset.
In about a week, Israel’s polling stations will open and Israelis will elect their representatives to the Knesset for the fourth time in two years. As was the case in the last three elections, the upcoming elections revolve around one issue—Israel’s legal fraternity.
All aspects of public life in Israel today are dictated by the attorney general and the Supreme Court, which have devoured the powers of the Knesset and the government. Over the years, the legal fraternity has acted through judicial and bureaucratic fiat to cancel the checks and balances on its power. Today, the attorney general and the court justices determine their own powers. Not surprisingly, as far as both are concerned, their powers are unlimited.
Whether the issue is deciding who is a Jew, public funding of cultural institutions, public health policy, land use, economic priorities, military rules of engagement, immigration policy, counter-terror policies, or other questions from the mundane to the existential, the only decision makers in Israel are the attorney general and the Supreme Court justices. Elected leaders are at best advisers.
Justice system inspires fear
To preserve and protect their powers, the attorney general and the justices have the state prosecution. The attorney general’s role as head of the state prosecution gives him the power to strike terror in the hearts of Israel’s elected leaders.
They know that he holds the power to open criminal probes against them whenever he wishes. The very existence of this threat generally suffices to convince a majority of politicians to keep their heads down and loudly extol the “rule of law”—that is, the unlimited power of state lawyers — as the guardian of Israeli democracy. Politicians who have spoken out against the legal supremacists have invariably paid the price.
This brings us to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Although substantively, every election since April 2019 has revolved around the unchecked powers of the legal fraternity, the media have presented the elections as referendums on Netanyahu. While the pronouncement is a distortion of reality, it isn’t entirely ungrounded.
It is not Netanyahu’s record that is being judged; as far as the anti-Netanyahu media are concerned, the less his record of achievement is discussed, the better. Rather, the media is able to cast Netanyahu as the central issue of the elections because he is the current target of the legal fraternity’s continued efforts to seize all governing powers from Israel’s elected leaders.
Every pathology of the legal fraternity’s unchecked powers is present in the campaign it is waging against Netanyahu. Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit is waging an unlimited war against Netanyahu because he recognizes that Netanyahu’s political fortunes will determine the legal fraternity’s future. If Netanyahu prevails, the legal fraternity will be stripped of its unchecked power. If he is defeated, the fraternity’s control over the country will be institutionalized.
Netanyahu’s opponents on the right don’t see things this way. Both Yemina chairman Naftali Bennett and New Hope Party chairman Gideon Saar insist there is no connection between the legal fraternity and its war against the premier. Both men claim to support comprehensive legal reform and both say that such reform can happen without reference to the fraternity’s war against the prime minister.
Saar underlined this point this week by announcing that he is “considering” supporting a law that would give the attorney general the power to fire the prime minister by compelling a prime minister to resign if the attorney general indicts him. Bennett says he supports proposed legislation that would give criminal immunity to serving prime ministers, but would not apply the law to Netanyahu.
Bennett and Saar start each discussion of legal reform by insisting Netanyahu has no credibility on the issue. For decades, they note, Netanyahu blocked efforts to rein in the legal fraternity. And they are right.
Not only did Netanyahu sit on the sidelines as the unelected lawyers seized ever wider powers from the Knesset and the government. He also did nothing as successive attorneys general targeted politicians for destruction through frivolous criminal probes.
Netanyahu voiced no objection as now-President Reuven Rivlin, now-Attorney General Mandelblit and then-ministers Avigdor Liberman, Avigdor Kahalani, Raphael Eitan, Yaakov Neeman, Haim Ramon and Tzahi Hanegbi were brought before prosecutorial star chambers.
Only now, when the legal fraternity Netanyahu protected has come after him, has he suddenly become a champion of the reforms he blocked for years.
Saar and Bennett are right to say that Netanyahu’s sudden desire for legal reform is based on his personal interest. If Mandelblit weren’t seeking to destroy him, he would have continued to block all reform efforts.
But the fact that Netanyahu is an opportunist doesn’t make Bennett’s and Saar’s substantive claim — that you can separate legal reform from Netanyahu’s legal woes — correct. To the contrary, they are entirely wrong. You cannot separate the two.
To be clear, there is nothing reasonable about Mandelblit’s prosecution of Netanyahu. In stark violation of Israel’s Basic Law, the criminal probes of Netanyahu were initiated without Mandelblit’s written authorization. And it was all downhill from there. The central charge in the indictment, “bribery,” relates to non-criminal actions that Netanyahu undertook.
Specifically, Mandelblit claims that Netanyahu’s efforts to receive positive coverage from a media outlet owned by a personal friend of his was solicitation of a bribe. And when his friend’s media outlet published a couple of supportive stories, Mandelblit maintains, his friend paid a bribe to Netanyahu.
In other words, Mandelblit invented a new form of bribery, not mentioned in Israel’s criminal code or the criminal codes of any other democracy. The implication of Mandelblit’s determination is not simply that Netanyahu is being railroaded. It is far broader than that. His invention of this new form of bribery transforms the professions of journalism and politics into criminal enterprises. To pursue Netanyahu, Mandelblit has turned criminal law and criminal procedure on their heads.
Mandelblit’s predatory obsession with Israel’s elected leader has served not merely to put the fear of God into Israel’s politicians. He has used his outrageous campaign against Netanyahu as justification to expand his own powers beyond anything imagined in law. Citing Netanyahu’s scurrilous indictment, he seized the government’s power to appoint the chief prosecutor and barred the prime minister from being involved in the selection of the police commissioner.
He has similarly used his legally groundless indictments to take over Israel’s political life. Among other things, Mandelblit held a primetime press conference to campaign against Netanyahu and announced his indictment while the premier was meeting with the U.S. president in the White House. Mandelblit has even used his prosecution of the premier to seize the power to decide if Netanyahu may form a government.
Mandelblit’s behavior is the reason for Israel’s now two-year political deadlock. After his illegally initiated probes of Netanyahu destabilized the government and the political world, Mandelblit used the instability he caused to expand his powers.
The only way politicians will dare to take action to restrain the powers of the legal fraternity is if the fraternity’s power to retaliate by opening criminal probes against them is revoked. So the first step the next Knesset must take is to restore the substantive criminal immunity of Knesset members.
In 2005, the Knesset stood the immunity law on its head. Until then, the law provided automatic substantive criminal immunity to all lawmakers for actions they took while serving in elected office. Under the amended statute, lawmakers have no immunity unless the Knesset Ethics Committee grants it. Obviously, the only lawmakers who will ask for immunity are those facing indictment. In other words, the changed law empowered the attorney general to open criminal probes against lawmakers at will.
The lawmakers amended the law because together with the justices, the then-attorney general waged a massive campaign, enthusiastically supported by the media, to force them to do so—in the name of the “fighting corruption.”
Shortly after the amendment passed, the floodgates opened. Successive attorneys general massively expanded their criminal investigations and indictments of lawmakers and ministers. Almost every politician who tried to limit the powers of the legal fraternity found himself under investigation. Since the 1990s, every sitting prime minister has been placed under criminal investigation. Four justice ministers have been indicted.
If the next Knesset adopts Bennett’s and Saar’s position and tries to advance legal reform without regard to Netanyahu’s trial, their efforts will quickly come to naught.
With or without Netanyahu, they will still need to begin their efforts by restoring the Immunity Law to its original wording. The only way to deny Netanyahu the protection of a restored immunity law would be to determine that the law doesn’t apply to actions taken before the amendment comes into force. But if the lawmakers so determine, then their amendment will be rendered irrelevant from the outset. After all, the attorney general will be able to simply open investigations regarding actions all the lawmakers undertook before the amendment. Once this becomes apparent, all thought of legal reform will disappear faster than you can say “subpoena.”
But assuming that lawmakers figure out a way to give themselves immunity while leaving Netanyahu’s head on the chopping block, what impact will that have on the governing powers Mandelblit has seized? Will he no longer be empowered to haul journalists and editors into police interrogation rooms for publishing nice stories about politicians involved in clipping his wings? Will Mandelblit retain the power to appoint the state prosecutor?
Moreover, if they leave Netanyahu hanging, why would his supporters support their efforts at legal reform? How can they get a majority of Knesset members to support legal reform without Netanyahu’s loyalists on board?
Bennett and Saar are right that the only reason Netanyahu wishes to reform the legal system is because his survival depends on such reform. But they are just as cynical as he, if not more so. They are hoping that Mandelblit’s war against Netanyahu will remove the leader they cannot defeat at the polls and so clear the road for them to rise to power. What they refuse to see is that if Mandelblit succeeds, all future elections will be irrelevant.
Netanyahu’s self-serving position provides the Knesset with an unprecedented opportunity. Thanks to Mandelblit, there is solid majority support among members of Knesset for comprehensive legal reform. The job of lawmakers committed to such reforms—including Sa’ar and Bennett—is to join forces with the lawmakers who want to stop Mandelblit’s railroading of Netanyahu.
Together they can do what lawmakers have been afraid to do since the outset of the so-called “judicial revolution” in the mid-1990s. They can restore the powers of the Knesset and the government by passing and amending laws to restore checks and balances on the judiciary and subordinate the attorney general and the state prosecution to Israel’s elected leaders.
There is No Biden Administration
Only an imminent 25th Amendment crisis and soldiers in the streets.
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
In the final months of the Trump administration, House Democrats universally voted to demand the unconstitutional use of the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office.
The 25th Amendment was meant to remove presidents who were unable to discharge their duties. President Trump was clearly able to do so, but Biden may be exactly the disastrous scenario that the 25th Amendment was created to avoid. And he may be its worst test case.
A basic problem with the Biden administration is that there really isn’t one. Like most journalists I use the term as a formality, but the White House site calls it the Biden-Harris Administration. It’s not unheard of for younger presidents like George W. Bush to lean on more experienced vice presidents, but a politician who spent 46 years in public office letting a newbie like Kamala Harris handle most of the phone calls with foreign leaders is the opposite of that scenario.
The Biden campaign has been open about Kamala Harris being trained to step into Biden’s shoes because it doesn’t expect him to run for reelection or even make it through one term.
Except that presidents aren’t supposed to run for office as figureheads or stalking horses.
Kamala Harris isn’t talking to foreign leaders because she has more experience, but because the guy whose job it is to do it isn’t up to anything challenging beyond some photo ops, stumbling through a teleprompter speech, and then a trip back home over the weekend.
Don’t ask him to hold a press conference or pull off an actual State of the Union address.
Obama was the teleprompter-in-chief, but Biden is also the telecommuter-in-chief.
Biden’s face is everywhere, but there’s no real sign that he’s actually running anything. Instead the Biden administration seems to be exactly the kind of mess that the 25th Amendment was designed to prevent in which a non-functional president is the figurehead for the cabinet members and the special interests who are actually calling all the shots.
The Potemkin village that is the Biden administration was built in two tiers with establishment cabinet members who appear more moderate presented for Senate approval while extremists were being placed in key positions to set policy on everything from civil rights to Iran.
The big policy momentum though isn’t coming from the Biden administration, but from Pelosi.
The Obama administration called the shots, not Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid. The Biden administration is filled with Obama’s old people, but there’s no leader in the White House to push forward an agenda. That’s why the most powerful elected official in the country isn’t Joe Biden or Kamala Harris: Nancy Pelosi has become the closest thing to POTUS.
Pelosi may not have all her marbles, but she’s got enough of them to advance an agenda. And she can also perform incredible feats like remember the name of the Secretary of Defense.
That’s more than Biden can do.
The issue isn’t just mental capacity. Biden can obviously be prepped to perform in public. He may have yet to hold a press conference, which even with softball questions might be daunting, and there’s no actual State of the Union in sight, but leading the country is a lot more than speechifying. It requires a focus and drive that Biden didn’t have during the campaign.
And that he very clearly still lacks.
What the guy in the Oval Office does, more than anything else, is exercise his judgement.
The President of the United States has to sort through national and international problems, get input from his appointees and advisers, pick and choose between the different factions around him, and make the final decision about a course of action. That is actually how the president runs the country and there’s no sign that Biden is doing that or is even capable of doing it.
The role of the Chief Executive exists because one person needs to make those decisions.
In Biden’s mental absence, various appointees chosen by his cronies, think tanks, and donors are making their own policy and their own decisions for a figurehead government. It’s the “I’m In Control” moment from the Reagan assassination writ large and with no end in sight.
Biden’s term will test the question of whether it’s better to have a bad president or no president.
The 25th Amendment was created to protect the presidential transition. The Biden administration is giving us a field test of what would happen with no presidential transition. Instead an inexperienced VP, various cabinet members and appointees, carve out their own territories, and run parts of the government in their own way while trying to avoid clashes.
The only man who can decisively settle the clashes when they come is out to lunch.
Monarchies have functioned with insane and senile kings, but America doesn’t have a prime minister. Instead, the Biden administration is there to sign off on anything Pelosi proposes and Schumer manages to pass, while its cabinet officials flail and the radicals behind the scenes wreck the country making this a farcical rerun of the Obama administration without Obama.
Biden’s old boss could have tried to dominate the administration, but he despised Biden too much to come on board until the very last second. Obama’s own chosen candidates, including a hilarious failure by Deval Patrick, crashed and burned, giving him very little sway. The Left had coalesced around Bernie and no one is giving Obama any credit for swinging the election.
That role instead went to Stacey Abrams.
The only way that Obama could have kept his central role would have been to pull a Clinton and hold out hope that Michelle was going to run. But Michelle didn’t want to run, and without a potential presidential candidate in his pocket, there was no reason for anyone to listen to Obama. Deals with Netflix and Spotify are the perfect sinecures for the laziest man in the White House since Jimmy Carter, but it’s not enough money to duplicate the old Clinton machine.
The Biden administration was built out of the wreckage of the Obama and Sanders campaigns, but staffers and appointees are only loyal to whoever can get them their next job. That’s not Obama and it’s not Biden who can’t name his own Secretary of Defense. It’s the think tanks and non-profits who built the Obama administration and built an even more radical Biden admin.
But non-profits and think tanks can’t actually run a government. Neither can Biden.
That’s why there isn’t a Biden administration. There’s an ongoing Netroots conference on government property. That’s why Jen Psaki can’t answer any real questions. The press secretary is supposed to speak for the White House, but there’s no one to speak for. Like a plane with no airport, she keeps circling back because there’s no administration position.
It’s also why the Biden administration keeps wading into culture wars. They’re comfortable territory and a good distraction from the fact that the lights are on, but nobody’s home. Picking a fight with Tucker Carlson or extending the D.C. military occupation buys a little more time for everyone to figure how an administration can function with no final decision maker at the top.
Forget Harry Truman’s ‘The Buck Stops Here’. There’s nowhere for the buck to stop.
The military occupation of Washington D.C. would be bad under any administration, but deploying the military indefinitely when there isn’t a functional chain of command is ominous. Power-sharing arrangements, like those of the Soviet Union’s Troikas, are the likeliest to break down and descend into violence. And then the military becomes the ultimate power play.
Combine a looming 25th Amendment, a military occupation of Washington D.C., and a leadership that, despite appearances is actually deeply at odds, and the situation is explosive.
Outwardly, if you watch the media, everything appears normal. But it usually does.
The old journalism has been mostly replaced by reporters who only know how to cover social justice issues. They can cover the Biden administration through the lens of race or sex, but don’t ask them to do basic things like figure out who’s making the decisions in the White House.
The facade of normalcy that readers get from the New York Times or that viewers get from CNN comes apart in a crisis. A divided government can run its own spheres of influence, but when faced with something bigger, whether it’s the pandemic, or the border crisis, it all falls apart.
The Biden administration is the equivalent of one of those cartoons of a bunch of kids standing on each other’s shoulders while draped in a trenchcoat so they can all pretend to be one adult.
The illusion holds up until they try to walk.
The Biden illusion holds up as long as all the various parts of the administration are busy dealing with their own problems, but when there’s a national or international crisis, then it becomes obvious that no one is making the overall decisions and no one knows how to do it.
Biden’s people are doing plenty of damage by commission, but if an actual crisis breaks out, such as a war or an economic collapse, they’ll do even more damage by omission. And that’s the ticking time bomb in this administration that the 25th Amendment was designed for.
But it is a Biden-Harris administration. The Biden part of it is running things more or less in Biden’s mental absence. And that inner circle of Biden’s D.C. advisers and loyalists is going to resist ceding power to Kamala’s sister and the California crowd. That’s a major reason why Biden’s leading cabinet members are more moderate than many of their subordinates.
A key role of Biden’s cabinet appointees is stalemating a 25th Amendment coup by Kamala.
Any attempt to invoke the 25th Amendment would lead to legal challenges that would require defining, among other things, which cabinet members can legally vote on Biden’s removal.
Sending the question to the Roberts Court would just stalemate it further. The same court that was unwilling to take a stand on the election is not about to decide who should be president.
Faced with an irresolvable legal battle, there’s always all those soldiers deployed in D.C.
The Biden administration is a disaster because it restores the rule of a radicalized leftist machine. But it could potentially be an even bigger disaster because it’s got a figurehead at the top of a house of cards that could easily collapse or trigger a civil war in a major crisis.
That’s another urgent reason why the military occupation of Washington D.C. needs to end.
If the Biden administration’s power-sharing arrangement catastrophically breaks down in a 25th Amendment scenario, none of the factions should have an easy recourse to armed force in a government town where using the military to deal with a political crisis has become the answer.
The media spent the Trump administration hypocritically lecturing the country about the violation of political norms. Now there are soldiers in D.C. and no functioning commander-in-chief.
The real violation of political norms is going to be spectacular.
Israel and the China Dilemma
Are the opportunities greater than the risks?
In the late spring of 2020, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Israel. His visit came after Israel formed a coalition government between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud and Benny Gantz’s Blue and White Party. Pompeo, while endorsing Israel’s rights to Judea and Samaria, had a blunt message for his Israeli friends: “Beware of China.” Pompeo added, “We don’t want the Chinese Communist Party to have access to Israeli infrastructure, Israeli communication networks, and the kind of things that endanger the Israeli people and the ability of the US to cooperate with Israel.”
Pompeo’s gently expressed admonition to Israeli officials was not new. In the 1990’s, the US pressed Israel to cancel a deal to sell the Phalcon Intelligence surveillance aircraft to China. Israel backed down, and was compelled to return the $250 million to Beijing that the Chinese had invested in the project.
For Israel, the situation was terribly uncomfortable. It was forced to choose between its closest and most trusted ally – the US, and a great business opportunity with China. There was little hesitation however, on Israel’s part. The US will always be Israel’s top priority.
In fact, almost immediately following Pompeo’s warning, the Israeli government decided to pass on a bid by the Israeli affiliate of the Hong Kong conglomerate CK Hutchinson, to build a $1.5 billion water desalination plant in southern Israel. The contract was awarded instead to a local Israeli company named IDE Technologies.
American culture is so pervasive in Israel that many Israelis might quip that Israel is the 51st state of the United States. Every American fad and fashion is almost immediately adopted in Israel. Thankfully for Israel, the US and Israeli interests in the region, although not identical, they come as close as two countries can be. Israel moreover, has voted with the US more often than practically any other country.
While the US views China as a rival, and by some in the US establishment as a potential enemy, Israel sees China as an opportunity. China is now the second largest economy after the US. Yet, insofar as Israel’s security is concerned, China is also a primary supplier of arms, technology, and probably intelligence to Iran, Israel’s major enemy.
The US considers China as a threat in various ways: strategic, commercial, and technological. Today, China is no longer confined to its own region. It operates in Africa, throughout Asia, in Ecuador (Latin America), and is seeking to expand its commercial deals, political influence, and national interests globally, including the Middle East. China has upgraded its military, and has laid claim to the Paracel and Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, which are also claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam. China took over Hong Kong and is suppressing democracy there. Taiwan is under constant threat from Beijing.
Commercially, China’s e-commerce giant company, Alibaba, outstrips America’s Amazon in worldwide sales. With its Belt and Road ventures, China is penetrating into global markets by extending loans, particularly to poor countries that often lag in repayments. When this occurs, China takes over the project by leasing it for 99 years. That is how China is obtaining strategic outposts, and commercial assets. China is also stealing technology (intellectual property) everywhere, particularly from the US. Israel’s high-tech is also an important target for Beijing.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s state visit to China in 2013 opened the door to more extensive commerce between the two countries. During that time, Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing contributed $130 million to open a branch of Israel’s highly acclaimed technological institute – Technion (Haifa), in Shantou, the Chinese city of over 5 million people, located 230 miles northeast of Hong Kong.
Currently, four state owned Chinese companies are involved in major infrastructure projects in Israel. They are operating on the following projects: a) the expansion of the Ashdod port; b) partial construction of a new terminal by the Haifa port (the Chinese have operation rights for 25 years); c) construction and operation of the Tel Aviv light rail; d) digging of the Carmel (Haifa area) tunnels.
Haifa and Ashdod are Israel’s main shipping ports on the Mediterranean, where 99% of its trade goes through the sea. The Tel Aviv light rail will be running close to the Kirya – where Israel’s Defense Force (IDF) main headquarters is located. This could expose Israel to a cyber intelligence attack. China would have an opportunity to conduct surveillance, and given China’s close relations with Iran – Israel’s arch enemy, Israel must consider the risks. Furthermore, one of the Chinese companies working on Israel’s infrastructure projects is CCCC Dredging and its subsidiary includes CHEC, which has worked with the Chinese military, and is now partaking in developing the Ashdod port, located next to an IDF naval base.
The chief of Israel’s General Security Service (Shabach) or Shin Bet, Nadav Argaman, warned (January, 2019) that, “Chinese influence in Israel is particularly dangerous in terms of strategic infrastructure and investments in larger companies.” Argaman argued that the Knesset needs to pass legislation to monitor foreign investments in Israel. He added, “There are gaps in Israeli law in regards to its security needs in terms of overseeing foreign investments.”
Israel cannot afford to let a Chinese company operate the port of Haifa. Should Israel be in a war situation with Iran or Hezbollah, it would constitute a disastrous situation for Israel’s security. Additionally, the US warned Israel that should China run the port of Haifa, the US Six Fleet might limit its visits there.
Chinese companies currently control or influence a quarter of Israel’s high tech sector. Huawei, a giant Chinese telecommunications company that has been investigated by the US Congress, is also invested in Israel. The New York Times reported (10/8/2012) that the House Intelligence Committee, after “a yearlong investigation, it had come to the conclusion that the Chinese businesses, Huawei Technologies and ZTE, Inc., were a national security threat because of their attempts to extract sensitive information from American companies, and their loyalties to the Chinese government.” Apparently, all Chinese companies are required to report to the Chinese government…
Israel needs to adopt a more comprehensive policy to address both US sensitivities and its own national security considerations. Australia and Canada have done it. They have tightened their foreign investment oversight regimes. Israel must do likewise. In recent years, Israel has not done anything that looks like defense deals, or something that can be considered of dual use with China. Israel, however, must look ahead and consider that China might become a threat to the region. The Chinese military already has a presence at the mouth of the Red Sea in the Horn of Africa, in Djibouti, and is seeking to have a role in Syria.
Opportunistic commercial deals with China notwithstanding, Israel must consider its security first. The Jewish state needs to devise a clear plan that specifies what can and cannot be sold for strategic reasons. Mike Pompeo’s warning, “Beware of China,” must guide Israeli policymakers.
Kosovo Becomes First Muslim State to Recognize Jerusalem as Israeli Capital
Will more follow suit?
Now there are three. Kosovo became the third state to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and will be placing its embassy there this spring. This takes on a special importance because it is also the first Muslim state to make such a move, which may in the future be emulated by the boldest, most determinedly friendly to Israel, Arab state, now moving full-speed ahead with its normalization of ties with the Jewish state – the U.A.E. If that happens, others – most likely Bahrain, the Maldives, and Morocco – could be the next Muslim states to follow suit.
Here’s the report on the Kosovo Embassy, and the Czech “embassy branch,” now in Jerusalem: “Following Prague, Kosovo to open embassy in Jerusalem,” by Ariel Kahana and Yori Yalon, Israel Hayom, March 12, 2021:
Kosovo is set to become the third country to open an embassy in Jerusalem. Israel Hayom has learned senior diplomats from both countries will attend the ceremony marking the embassy’s opening to be held in central Jerusalem, on March 7.
On Thursday, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi and Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis were in attendance as the Czech Republic christened a new branch of its embassy in the Israeli capital.
Also on Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a summit with Babis and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
It is important to note that the Czechs are not placing a consulate in Jerusalem, but what Prague calls a “branch of its embassy.” This is a different thing, and brings the Czechs a step closer to elevating that branch so that it becomes the main Embassy, with the Tel Aviv office then becoming, as it ought to, a “branch of the embassy in Jerusalem.” No wonder the PA has howled in protest at this decision by the Czech Republic, calling it “a violation of international law.” The President of the Czech Republic, Milos Zeman, has for several years been calling for moving the embassy to Jerusalem. He has criticized the EU’s position on Jerusalem, calling its member states “cowards” and stating that they “are doing all they can so a pro-Palestinian terrorist movement can have supremacy over a pro-Israeli movement.” He may yet get his way.
Hungary, like the Czech Republic, has an office in Jerusalem. In 2019 it opened its trade office “with diplomatic status,” which suggests that like the Czechs, Hungary may be considering the next likely move, that is elevating the current trade office in Jerusalem to become the Hungarian Embassy to Israel. It is one that the Prime Minister, Victor Orban, supports.
Netanyahu praised both countries for acting to open official offices in Jerusalem and said Israel appreciates “them helping us on the international stage, as true friends do.”
Both European leaders announced they would examine Israel’s vaccination campaign.
Israel’s ability to vaccinate more than 60% of its population within just a few months has astounded the world; many other countries have sent officials to Jerusalem to discover just how the Israelis have managed to outpace every other country. This has led more countries, on whom this feat has made a deep impression, including even some states who in the past have automatically voted against Israel in the U.N., to reconsider their animus. Israel’s medical triumph has also become a diplomatic triumph.
Orban noted that despite the financial crisis Israel and Hungary both face as a result of the pandemic, bilateral trade had increased in 2020.
“This is an expression of true friendship,” he said….
Aside from the embassies of the U.S. and Guatemala, already in Jerusalem, and that of Kosovo, just about to be, and the two “branches of their embassies in Jerusalem” that now both Hungary and the Czech Republic have established, Equatorial Guinea’s president pledged in mid-February to move his country’s embassy to Jerusalem. This makes it the second African state to announce such a move; at the end of 2020 Malawi’s Foreign Minister, Eisenhower Mkaka, announced that his country would be moving its embassy to Jerusalem by the summer of 2021. At least seven other countries have expressed an interest in moving their embassies. These include Honduras, Paraguay, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Moldova, Serbia, and Romania. Paraguay did have its embassy in Jerusalem for four months in 2018, but when Mario Abdo, the grandson of a Lebanese immigrant, was elected president that year, he succumbed to pressure from the P.A., decided to reverse that decision, and moved the embassy back to Tel Aviv.
The most important country on the list of those that might now move their embassy to Jerusalem is Brazil. Both before and after his election, President Jair Bolsonaro declared his intention to make such a move. In mid-December 2019 his son Edoardo in Jerusalem reaffirmed that the Embassy move would come in 2020. It didn’t. Brazil’s President became preoccupied with the coronavirus pandemic; Brazil has the second highest death rate from COVID-19 in the world — but now that same pandemic may lead Bolsonaro to make that long-promised embassy move.
The Brazilians have been impressed with the breakneck speed at which Israel has been vaccinating its own population. But what has captured President Bolsonaro’s imagination is a particular advance in treatment of the virus made by Israeli scientists. His government is placing tremendous hope on an experimental nasal spray, under development in Israel to treat severely ill Covid-19 patients, that Bolsonaro has called a “miraculous product.”
The drug, called EXO-CD24, aims to prevent “cytokine storms,” which are overwhelming immune-system responses to Covid-19 that can cause serious inflammation of the lungs, organ failure and sometimes death.
Initial clinical trials showed that 29 of 30 patients, from moderate to serious symptoms, who used the nasal spray were discharged from the hospital after receiving two to five days of treatment with the drug.
Brazil’s Foreign Minister, Ernesto Araújo, travelled to Israel to meet scientists who are developing the spray, and to find out what has been learned from preliminary tests – the nasal spray is not yet being used in routine patient care. Mr. Bolsonaro’s government says it intends to test the nasal spray on gravely sick patients in Brazil, where more than 260,000 people have died from the virus and where there are close to 2,000 daily deaths.
If the Israeli nasal spray doesn’t deliver what it promises, that is likely the end of the matter. Brazil’s embassy will remain, I assume, in Tel Aviv. But if it turns out indeed to be, as President Bolonsaro claims, a “miraculous product,” that will lift Bolsonaro’s popularity in Brazil, which has been declining, not least because of how he has failed, many believe, to adequately address the pandemic. And he, in turn, will likely choose to express his gratitude – imagine how “muito obrigado” he will feel to those Israeli scientists – in the coin of diplomacy, by moving Brazil’s Embassy to Jerusalem, as he has long promised he would do. And if Brazil, by far the most important country in Latin America, makes that move, others on the short list of Latin American countries that have mentioned moving their embassies in Israel to Jerusalem – the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Haiti (which had had its embassy in Jerusalem until 1980) and even Paraguay — will take note, and one or more possibly follow the mighty example of Brazil.
Should that Israeli drug called EXO-CD24 perform as the first clinical trials suggest, it will prove to be both a medical miracle, and — one hopes — a geopolitical bonanza for Israel, bringing Brazil’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, and possibly leading other Latin American countries to follow suit. By the end of 2021, there may be as many as ten countries – out of a likely shortlist of fifteen candidates – that will have their embassies in Jerusalem.
Next year in Jerusalem? Why should those countries have to wait that long?