miércoles, 13 de diciembre de 2017

Mientras tanto, en Pyongyang...


Dos notas breves de Russia Today de hoy sugieren que cambió el clima entre Corea del Norte y el Imperio. Rusia, por las dudas, acaba de mandar una enigmática misión militar a Pyongyang (foto). Veamos:


Título: Russian military delegation arrives in N. Korea, scouting any chance for dialogue

Texto: Russian Defense Ministry representatives have arrived in the North Korean capital. It is the second visit by Russian officials in two weeks, and comes as Washington claims it is ready for direct talks with Pyongyang, while still staging war games in the turbulent region.
The delegation is headed by Deputy Director of the Russian National Defense Command Center Viktor Kalganov, and has been on assignment in North Korea since Tuesday. The officials are to remain in Pyongyang for the rest of the week.

There has been no word on their mission from the Russian military. However, almost simultaneously with news of the visit, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated that Moscow is using "any opportunity for direct communication" and will continue to do so, including with the help of the Defense Ministry. "North Korea is our neighbor, we must develop relations with this country," Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said during a briefing on Wednesday. "Political dialogue is extremely important," he added.

The Russian military have traveled to Pyongyang to "activate" a settlement of the crisis in the region, Deputy Head of the Defense Ministry's Public Council Aleksandr Kanshin told Interfax. "The aim of the military, political and diplomatic efforts is clear: all sides should be put back at negotiations table, to put away provocative and threatening military rhetoric and demonstration of force," the official said. He noted that such missions are part of a road map proposed by Moscow and Beijing, which seeks a solution to the nuclear tensions through dialogue.

Moscow has repeatedly said that only diplomatic efforts can solve the crisis. Following a recent visit to North Korea by Russian lawmakers, the delegation said that Pyongyang is ready for talks if it is recognized a nuclear power. North Korea can sit at a negotiating table with the US with the participation of Russia as a third party, it proposed.

While the Russian delegation is working in Pyongyang, Washington has made a U-turn in its hardline stance towards the North. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced that the US is ready for talks with no preconditions. Russia, which has always advocated a diplomatic approach, welcomed the new tone of the American rhetoric, with Ryabkov saying that previously the US treated any direct contacts with Pyongyang as “abnormal.”

At the same time, the US has not abandoned another pillar of its policy in the region, which is the continuation of a series of military drills near the Korean Peninsula. The recent maneuvers are considered to be one of the largest military drills to date aimed at North Korea.

"Unfortunately, the US carry on with their non-constructive line aimed at military build-up in North-Eastern Asia," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday. She reiterated that Moscow calls on all sides to refrain from moves that only escalate the crisis.


***


Título: US ready ‘anytime’ for direct North Korea talks – Tillerson

Texto: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said all that stands between direct diplomacy with North Korea is their willingness "to come to the table" with a desire to "make a different choice."

“We're ready to talk anytime they'd like to talk,” Tillerson said about North Korea on Tuesday afternoon. This shift away from US policy demanding North Korea negotiate on terms of its own disarmament came during the secretary of state's remarks in Washington, DC to the Atlantic Council during an event called Reimagining the US-Republic of Korea Partnership in the Trans-Pacific Century.

He also said that the US has assured China that US troops would return to South Korea afterward if they ever had to cross into North Korean territory.

“In the meantime, our military preparedness is strong,” he continued, asserting confidence in himself to prevent war, while also expressing support for Defense Secretary James Mattis should hostilities break out.

The US's stated goals in the region ultimately have not changed, Tillerson made clear.

“Our policy with respect to the DPRK is really quite clear and that is the complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” Tillerson said.

Tillerson added that China and Russia shared in that goal, though “our tactics for implementing the policy may differ a bit.”

The US has implemented the “most comprehensive set of economic sanctions that I think have ever been assembled,” the top US diplomat continued.

Earlier Tuesday, the US and Japan held one of the largest joint military drills aimed at North Korea yet. American B1-B bombers, F-35 stealth fighter jets and F-18 combat jets were flown along with Japanese F-15 fighters, prompting a warning from Moscow that the exercises would “increase tension” with Pyongyang.


Iraq & Syria

Tillerson said on Tuesday that the US seeks to “stabilize” the areas of Syria and Iraq liberated from the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) “to avoid a reemergence of ISIS but also to avoid a reemergence of local conflicts between various groups.”

He said the State Department has to catch up with the military to determine “diplomatic plans as to what comes after the defeat of ISIS.”

The US would also work with Russia to “promote deescalation of the violence,” he said.


Saudi Arabia & Pakistan

The secretary of state praised Saudi Arabia for making an effort to counter terrorism, but said the kingdom must “get these messages into the mosque” and “into the madrasas.” 

On Pakistan, Tillerson said its relationship with the US had deteriorated over the last decade.

“Our concern is really about Pakistan's stability,” Tillerson said, warning that growth of terrorist groups in the country could cause Pakistan “to lose control of their own country.”

martes, 12 de diciembre de 2017

Después de Siria


A medida que cede la resistencia de los chicos malos en Siria (ISIS, Al Nusra y demás siglas) se va asentando el polvo de la guerra. Aquí y allá van apareciendo ganadores y perdedores, realineamientos, nuevas alianzas y demás. Uno se pregunta en qué terminará todo esto. La foto de arriba muestra al presidente Vladimir Putin saludando a las tropas rusas en Siria. "Vuelvan a casa", les dijo. A tiempo para Navidad y las elecciones que vienen. Mientras tanto, los ojos del mundo miran al Imperio. ¿Qué hará esta vez? La nota que sigue viene del sitio web Moon of Alabama:


Título: U.S. Surrenders On Syria - Resistance Turns Eyes On Israel

Texto: This New Yorker piece is notable for its arrogant headline, and several false assertions. Those may be necessary to divert from its real message - the U.S. surrender to the realities of Syria: Trump to Let Assad Stay Until 2021, as Putin Declares Victory in Syria:


[T]he Trump Administration is now prepared to accept President Bashar al-Assad’s continued rule until Syria’s next scheduled Presidential election, in 2021, according to U.S. and European officials. The decision reverses repeated U.S. statements that Assad must step down as part of a peace process.
...
The Trump Administration says it still wants a political process that holds the prospect of Assad’s departure. But it has concluded that it may take until 2021, when the next election is scheduled, to pull it off.
...
U.S. officials worry that Assad could win the 2021 Syrian election, one way or the other, and remain in power for years to come.


The U.S. "lets Assad stay" because there is simply nothing else it can do without waging a large scale war. It has tried everything else - and lost. In 2012 it attempted to assassinate Assad, but he wasn't at the security meeting that the CIA blew up. It send 100,000 Takfiri fighters from all over the world to Syria and shipped in ten-thousands of tons of weapons and ammunition. The global anti-Syrian propaganda campaign in favor of the Takfiris was unprecedented. It tried to build a political opposition and sponsored it with hundreds of millions. It lastly invaded the country and tried to split it by force. It failed on all fronts.


The U.S. decision reflects the Administration’s limited options, the military reality on the ground, and the success of Syria’s Russian, Iranian, and Hezbollah allies in propping up the beleaguered Assad regime.
...
The Syrian opposition groups backed by the United States have been ineffectual. They have squabbled among themselves and split into factions.
...
Diplomatically, Washington has been marginalized by the powerful troika of Russia, Iran, and Turkey, which now dominates the peace process.


In 2013 the author of the piece, Robin Wright, presented the Israeli dream of a split up Middle East.



It was a remake of the "Blood Borders" map peddled in 2006 by the neoconservatives Col. Ralph Peters. That gain was an updated version of a map of a "New Middle East" by Bernhard Lewis published in Foreign Affairs. Those maps went into the trash-bin when the U.S. had to leave Iraq. Wrigth's cartographic expression of imperial arrogance will end there too.

Wright is heavily wired in Washington. She is part of the *borg* and held/holds positions at the U.S. Institute of Peace (which plans wars), the Wilson Center, Brookings and Carnegie Endowment. That she has now given up on her ludicrous map likely reflects the leading opinions within those institutions.

One wonders if the military junta in the White House is on board with this. It continues to dream of keeping Syria and Iraq under its thumb:

Col. John Thomas, spokesman for the US Central Command (CENTCOM), said that the international coalition forces would remain in Syria to support the operations of the Arab-Kurdish “Syrian Democratic Forces” until the conclusion of negotiations on a political solution in Geneva.

He added that the US forces would continue to fight terrorist organizations close to “al-Qaeda” in Syria, including al-Nusra Front, “regardless of ISIS presence.”

Dream on.

Yesterday Putin visited Syria. He declared victory and announced that part of the Russian troops in Syria would return home. He made sure that everyone, the U.S., the Turks, the Saudis and the Israelis, understood that the troops would be back in no-time if they try to reignite the war:

"If terrorists again raise head, we will deliver such strikes on them that they haven’t seen so far," Putin told the Russian military.

Another member of the Syrian alliance, the Lebanese party Hizbullah, is now refocusing on Israel. Trump's hail-Mary pass of illegally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital came just in time to give new impetus to the resistance:

Mr Nasrallah called on the “resistance axis” — a reference to Hizbollah and its Syrian and Iranian allies and patrons — to “devote all its power and time to the Palestinians. I call on all the resistance factions in the region to unite and put one common strategy and practical plan to face this threat,” he said.

It was Israel that was behind (pdf) the campaign to dismantle Syria and Iraq. It utterly failed and the revenge will be harsh. Hizbullah is better armed and trained than ever. Battle experienced Iraqi and Iranian groups stand ready. The Syrian army is much better trained and equipped than before the war. The Iraqi resistance leader Qais Al Khazali recently visited south-Lebanon and took a look over the border into Israel. He was surveying the new battlefield.

Israel's great new alliance with Saudi Arabia has not helped its position. The Salman tyrant and his son are in an insecure position and their great relations with Trump have tanked, allegedly over the issue of Jerusalem.

The Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahoo is under pressure at home. The corruption accusation accumulate and his time in office is now limited.

Who will replace him? What is the new plan the Zionists will come up with to react to the changed situation?

domingo, 10 de diciembre de 2017

Jerusalén


¿Qué hay detrás de la recinte decisión del presidente Donald Trump de reconocer a Jerusalén como la capital de Israel? Una nota de Andrei Akulov para el sitio web Strategic Culture Foundation sugiere algunas puntas: 


Título: Analysis: Trump’s Statement on Jerusalem Has Hidden Agenda

Texto: This week, President Trump made a step other presidents did not dare to take since the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act  came into force, stating that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and should remain a united city, with the US Embassy moved there from Tel Aviv. Instead of another waiver, the president signed an executive order to comply with the law. Donald Trump was well aware that the move would cause indignation in the Islamic world and anger the allies. But there was method to his madness.

Is the president pro-Jewish, acting as Israel’s agent? Certainly, not, otherwise the media outlets backed by Jewish lobby would not attack him. The prominent Jewish leaders in America are not pro-Trump. So, it’s not about being pro-Israel, simply the US president does what he can – he is raising stakes, bluffing and exerting pressure. With his background as a businessman, he perceives foreign policy as the art of making deals. His statement, like the statements he has made on North Korea, results in rising tensions. The exacerbation of the situation on the Korean Peninsula puts pressure on China, pushing it to make concessions on a number of issues in different areas. Pyongyang is still hot on the agenda but somehow the new North Korea’ launches and constant exchange of hostile statements has become routine – something the world has gotten used to. Donald Trump can’t exploit the issue further as efficiently as he did before because the situation has reached an impasse.

It’s not the only impasse in the Middle East. No progress has been achieved in Israel-Palestine peace talks after many years of trying. The process is stalled. The United States is losing its position in the region. It does not appear to be the key actor in the region anymore against the background of Russia making huge gains.

Moscow is seen as the one who calls the shots in the Middle East. It has won in Syria having joined together with Turkey and Iran. Much has been said about the importance of its rapprochement with Egypt. It has close ties with Saudi Arabia, including military cooperation. Russian President Putin enjoys good personal relationship with Jordanian King Abdullah and the relations with Israel are excellent. Friendly with everybody, Moscow is well suited to mediate between Israel and Palestine. If progress is made, Russia’s clout in the region will grow immensely to dwarf that of the United States.

The Washington’s influence in the Middle East has been greatly reduced as a result of its failures in Iraq, and Afghanistan. Muslims do not view favorably its interventions in Libya and Somalia and support of Israel. The Trump’s stance on migration poured more fuel on fire. Can this trend be reversed?

By recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the embassy there, President Trump has come into the focus of attention. Yes, he is under fire at present but it will die down as time goes by. The president is seen now as a resolute leader able to stick to his guns and not succumb to fear or hesitation. He believes that Arab countries will look to the US again, hoping Donald Trump will use his influence to make Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agree to revive the negotiation process.

It serves the purpose to read attentively Trump’s statement. He points out that, despite the frustration with settlement efforts, the decision “is not intended, in any way, to reflect a departure from our strong commitment to facilitate a lasting peace agreement.” And he wants a deal. As the president put it, “We want an agreement that is a great deal for the Israelis and a great deal for the Palestinians.” According to Mr. Trump, “a peace agreement that is acceptable to both sides,” remains to be the goal. The president emphasized that the US is “not taking a position of any final status issues, including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, or the resolution of contested borders. Those questions are up to the parties involved.”

So, Donald Trump is talking about the status of Jerusalem to be negotiated. He does not state the US recognizes East Jerusalem as part of Israel. It fact, the United States recognizes West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, which is viewed as Israel’s territory by international community anyway. There is nothing new in this approach. In the statement, the president never said which Jerusalem, East or West, he is talking about. And he did it on purpose.

Israel’s leaders took the Trump’s bait. Now they cannot say no to the US president known as the great defender of Israel. The only thing president Trump has to do is wait till the dust settles.

The hopes may be dashed and the plans to pursue the hidden agenda may backfire. Moscow can initiate the revival of Israel-Palestine dialogue. It has already made known its readiness to mediate and host the meetings.

It’s worth noting here that in April Russia said it viewed West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, calling for Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem. “We reaffirm our commitment to the UN-approved principles for a Palestinian-Israeli settlement, which include the status of East Jerusalem as the capital of the future Palestinian state. At the same time, we must state that in this context we view West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The Moscow’s stand on the issue is still at odds with the Israel’s position as it claims the entire city as its eternal united capital.

With Palestine turning away from the US and Russia’s clout grown as a result of Syria’s victory, the chances that Moscow could step in to head the peace effort have significantly grown. If it succeeds, the US will be rolled back.

sábado, 9 de diciembre de 2017

Todo puede suceder


No es exagerado decir que vivimos en uno de los momentos más peligrosos de la historia contemporánea. Un Imperio en retirada intentando incendiar el mundo antes de conceder cualquier retroceso, cualquier derrota. El sitio clave es Siria, sobre todo los territorios al noreste del histórico Río Eufrates. Allí queda el grueso de las tropas y mercenarios de la NATO intentando mantener la posición. No les será sencillo: de todas partes avisan que no los quieren allí. Todo puede suceder, chicos; todo. La nota que sigue es del sitio web Moon of Alabama:


Título: Syria - ISIS Is Defeated - The U.S. Is Next In Line

Texto: The Islamic State in Syrian and Iraq is officially defeated. The UN resolution which allowed other countries to fight ISIS within Syria and Iraq no longer applies. But the U.S. military, despite the lack of any legal basis, wants to continue its occupation of Syria's north-east. The attempt to do so will fail. Its Kurdish allies in the area are already moving away from it and now prefer Russian protection. Guerrilla forces to fight the U.S. "presence" are being formed. The U.S. plan is shortsighted and stupid. If the U.S. insists on staying there many of its soldiers will die.

Two days ago the Syrian Arab Army closed the last gaps on the west bank of the Euphrates. Having fought all the way from Aleppo along the river towards the east the Tiger Force reached the liberated Deir Ezzor from the west. All settlements on the way are now controlled by the Syrian government. The remaining Islamic State fighters were pushed into the desert where they will be hunted down and killed.

Two days ago the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, declared a "complete victory" in Syria:

“Two hours ago, the (Russian) defense minister reported to me that the operations on the eastern and western banks of the Euphrates have been completed with the total rout of the terrorists,” Putin said.

“Naturally, there could still be some pockets of resistance, but overall the military work at this stage and on this territory is completed with, I repeat, the total rout of the terrorists,” he said.

Today the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi declared victory and the 'end of the war' against ISIS on the Iraqi side:

"Our forces are in complete control of the Iraqi-Syrian border and I therefore announce the end of the war against Daesh (IS)," Abadi told a conference in Baghdad.

North of the Euphrates the U.S. proxy force SDF had recently negotiated another agreement (42) with the remaining Islamic State fighters there. ISIS allegedly handed over a border crossing with Iraq to the SDF and in exchange was guaranteed free passage through SDF controlled areas. This agreement came after an earlier one in which the U.S. and SDF let 3,500 ISIS fighters flee from Raqqa to fight the Syrian Army in Deir Ezzor. That was a U.S. attempt to delay or prevent the victory of Syria and its allies. It failed.

Shortly after the claimed new ceasefire between the U.S. SDF proxies and ISIS, Russian officers met with officials of the Kurdish YPG, the central force of the SDF. The talks completely changed the situation. In a joint press conference the Kurds and the Russians committed to work together to fight ISIS east of the Euphrates. It seems that the YPG is no longer convinced that the U.S. is willing to do so. The Russians took command and the Russian air forces has since supported the YPG in its fight against ISIS in Deir Ezzor governate on the eastern bank of the river:

“A joint operative staff has been created in the town of Es-Salhiya to provide direct control and organize the cooperation with the popular militia units. Apart from Russian advisors, representatives of the eastern Euphrates tribes are taken part in it,” Poplavskiy said, noting that in the “coming days” the entire territory east of Euphrates River will be free from terrorists.

Mahmoud Nuri, a representative of the Kurdish YPG, stated that the militia “battled ISIS under Russian command very effectively.” Kurdish forces have also expressed readiness to ensure the safety of the Russian military specialists operating on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River.

The U.S. is seriously miffed that the Russians are suddenly supporting the U.S. proxy in Syria's north-east. The U.S. wants to claim the area for itself. (It probably also wants to protect the rest of ISIS there to reuse it when convenient.) The U.S. claims that the Russian air support for the Kurds is violating "coalition airspace".

The U.S. is not invited to Syria but now claims airspace above the country? The Russians, allied with the Syrian government, are invited to fly there. It is obvious who has a sound legal justification to be in the area and who has not. But the U.S. military hates to confront its own malice, and a competent adversary who knows how to play chicken:

In one instance, two Air Force A-10 attack planes flying east of the Euphrates River nearly collided head-on with a Russian Su-24 Fencer just 300 feet away — a knife’s edge when all the planes were streaking at more than 350 miles per hour. The A-10s swerved to avoid the Russian aircraft, which was supposed to fly only west of the Euphrates.
...
Since American and Russian commanders agreed last month to fly on opposite sides of a 45-mile stretch of the Euphrates to prevent accidents in eastern Syria’s increasingly congested skies, Russian warplanes have violated that deal half a dozen times a day, according to American commanders. They say it is an effort by Moscow to test American resolve, bait Air Force pilots into reacting rashly, and help the Syrian Army solidify territorial gains ahead of diplomatic talks aimed at resolving the country’s nearly seven-year-old war.


ISIS is gone. There is no justification for any "coalition airspace". Where please is the "deal" that allows the U.S. to indefinitely occupy north-east Syria as it now officially demands?

The Pentagon plans to keep some U.S. forces in Syria indefinitely, even after a war against the Islamic State extremist group formally ends, to take part in what it describes as ongoing counterterrorism operations, officials said.

There are approximately 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria, along with an unspecified number of contractors supporting them. Last month, the U.S. military withdrew 400 Marines from Syria, which U.S. forces first entered in the fall of 2016.

Officials earlier this week disclosed the plans for an open-ended commitment, known as a “conditions-based” presence.
...
The Pentagon has said the forces will target parts of Syria that aren’t fully governed by either regime or rebel forces. The military says it has the legal authority to remain there.


The U.S. military has lots of fantasies about "legal authority" and "deals". We had already noted that such a "presence" in Syria is obviously illegal. The fig leaf of a UN resolution 2249 to fight ISIS no longer applies. Putin intentionally emphasized the "total rout of the terrorists" and the "complete" victory to point that out. There is absolutely no justification for the U.S. to stay. Moreover - the presence there is unsustainable.

The commander of the paramilitary forces which support the Syrian and Iraqi government sent a note to the U.S. to let it know that any remaining U.S. forces in Syria will be fought down:

[T]he commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp Brigadier General Haj Qassem Soleimani sent a verbal letter, via Russia, to the head of the US forces commander in Syria, advising him to pull out all US forces to the last soldier “or the doors of hell will open up”.

“My message to the US military command: when the battle against ISIS (the Islamic State group) will end, no American soldier will be tolerated in Syria. I advise you to leave by your own will or you will be forced to it”, said Soleimani to a Russian officer. Soleimani asked the Russian responsible to expose the Iranian intentions towards the US: that they will be considered as forces of occupation if these decide to stay in north-east Syria where Kurds and Arab tribes cohabit together.


In 1983 U.S. and French military barracks in Beirut were blown up after their forces had intervened on one side of the Lebanese civil war. Several hundred soldiers died. After the attack the U.S. pulled out of Lebanon. U.S. soldiers staying in north-east Syria can now expect a similar fate.

The U.S. claims that it has 2,000 soldiers in north-east Syria. This after it had claimed that the number was 500.  This new number was announced after it had already pulled out 400 marines and it is still way too low:

The updated figure does not reflect troops assigned to classified missions and some Special Operations personnel, Mr. Pahon said.


The U.S. had for months claimed that it only had 500 soldiers in the area. It did not even mention the contractors that follow its troops everywhere. The real number of U.S. personnal must have been ten times as high as the official one. The new official number is "2,000 and some".  The real new number is likely still above 3,500 plus several thousand contractors. This revelation confirms again that the U.S. military lies whenever and wherever it can.

The now remaining "more than 2,000" will need tens of tons of supplies each day and the U.S. has no secured supply line into north-east Syria. It is arrogant idiocy to keep the troops there in place. A few roving guerillas can easily choke those supplies. Each of the camps those troops occupy will be a target of external and inside attacks.

The YPG Kurds are already skipping out of their coalition with the U.S.. They are now making friends with the Russians who provide them with air-support where the U.S. wants to keep ISIS alive. How much longer will the U.S. soldiers in the YPG controlled areas be able to trust their "allies"?

The Pentagon says that the presence in Syria is “conditions-based” but it does not name any condition that would have to be fulfilled for ending it. General Soleimani seems to believe that a few hundred body bags arriving at Andrews airbase near Washington, DC might be enough condition fulfillment to do the trick.


The situation in other parts of Syria is largely unchanged. The various Takifiri groups in Idelb governate continue to slaughter each other. The Syrian forces will likely hold back their planned attacks into the area as long as their enemies there are devouring each other. But a year from now Idelb, and north-east Syria, will likely be back in the Syrian government's hand.


Brexit, primera fase


La primera fase de las negociaciones entre Gran Bretaña y la Unión Europea sobre la transición hacia el Brexit han concluido. A juzgar por las declaraciones, los europeos parecen estar más contentos que los británicos. La nota que sigue arroja algo de luz sobre estas complicadas negociaciones. Es de Xavier Vidal-Folch para el diario español El País:


Título: Londres se rinde

Subtítulo: Los separatistas sólo han logrado con este acuerdo la apariencia de recuperar soberanía a cambio de su rendición 

Texto: El acuerdo de principios sobre el Brexit alcanzado en la mañanísima de este viernes por Jean-Claude Juncker y Theresa May supone una inequívoca rendición del Reino Unido a todas las condiciones impuestas por los europeos: en los tres grandes asuntos primordiales, los derechos de los residentes, la frontera entre el Ulster e Irlanda y la factura financiera. Es una rendición que apunta a un futuro acuerdo definitivo configurador de un Brexit no ya suave, sino suavísimo. Y solo viene compensada o endulzada por las (obvias) referencias de los comunitarios al respeto de la autonomía de las instituciones británicas insertadas en el Informe conjunto de los negociadores, a la espera de que lo apruebe la 
cumbre europea del próximo día 14.

No cabe la mínima duda de que Bruselas ha alcanzado sus objetivos al 100%, al menos de momento. Impuso su calendario de negociación, sin oposición; estableció —con protestas de la otra parte, ahogadas— el programa de la misma en dos fases sucesivas, primero los tres temas clave y solo tras un acuerdo en ellos, la discusión sobre el estatuto final; llevó la iniciativa en la media docena de sesiones bilaterales; y ha cubierto todas sus pretensiones.

Todo ello ha sido posible por la debilidad doméstica del Gobierno May y por el error inicial del negociante británico, David Davis, de intentar dividir a los casi exsocios, en vez de intentar fraguar la unanimidad de los mismos en favor de sus tesis. También por la habilidad del negociador de los 27, Michel Barnier, en inquirir primero a los británicos qué querían concretamente, de forma que fuese más fácil cohesionar el bloque europeo. El resultado ha sido que el propósito de la segregación del Reino Unido ha unido (en contra) a sus colegas como nunca, gracias al síndrome de defenderse del enemigo (pacífico) exterior. Hasta la muy problemática Holanda, que ve por vez primera a Gran Bretaña como competidora, y los ultraliberales-ultraconservadores del Este y del Báltico, necesitados del apoyo económico de la UE y desengañados por la escapada de una potencia militar que les ha ayudado a blindarse frente al peligro ruso.

La derrota más espectacular del Brexit duro se percibe en el acuerdo de principios sobre la cuestión de Irlanda. Finalmente, la imposible cuadratura del círculo de minimizar la frontera del Ulster con la Irlanda europea (lo que supone una paradójica frontera virtual, con libre circulación efectiva) y mantenerlo adscrito al mercado británico (lo que implicaría su doble militancia en dos espacios económicos distintos, como dos equipos deportivos rivales) se ha enhebrado sobre la idea de que el círculo siga siendo tal, sin cuadrarlo. ¿Cómo? Con el principio de que si ambos mercados (el europeo y el británico) resultan al final ser incompatibles, “el Reino Unido mantendrá su pleno alineamiento con las reglas del Mercado Interior y de la Unión Aduanera” (punto 49). O sea que al cabo, sería como Noruega. Estaría de facto en el mercado único pero sin poder co-dictar sus reglas.

Subrayemos que este “pleno alineamiento” sustituyó a la idea de la “convergencia regulatoria”, expresión que a Londres le incomoda porque daba la idea de que siempre debería alcanzar a Europa; prefería el más frío sustantivo “alineamiento”, interpretable como paralelismo y esfuerzo de ambos en armonizar, más vendible para su engañado público. Pero al final quien debe “mantener el pleno alineamiento” es el Reino Unido.

Y así sucede con todo. Particularmente logrado es el capítulo del reconocimiento de los ciudadanos instalados en la otra zona. Los derechos cívicos de los europeos residentes en el Reino Unido el día D de la segregación seguirán protegidos por todas las directivas de la Unión: a residir, atraer a sus familiares, a sus parejas estables, todo como hasta hoy. Y también a los derechos sociales: a la carta sanitaria europea (punto 29), al principio de “igual trato” en “seguridad social, asistencia social, sanitaria, empleo, autoempleo, establecimiento, educación —incluida la universitaria—, y formación, social, y ventajas fiscales“ (punto 31). De repente, la Europa social a la que tantos acusan de inexistencia, aflora —aunque acotada— con fuerza.

¿Cómo se garantizará eso, más allá de las buenas intenciones? Londres se ha comprometido a dotar a la Ley de Retirada, en la que se incluirán sin modificaciones todas las normas europeas relativas de carácter superconstitucional. A saber, esta ley tendrá las mismas características excepcionales que los Tratados y directivas y reglamentos europeos exhiben frente a los ordenamientos nacionales: efecto directo (será directamente apelable) y primacía (en caso de duda prevalece la Ley de Retirada, o sea, las normas europeas integradas explícitamente en ella (punto 36). Los juristas europeístas —y sus clientes y todos los ciudadanos— pueden gritar de placer.

Y ello lo vigilará como hasta hoy el Tribunal de Justicia de la Unión Europea (TJUE) en su calidad de “árbitro único” al menos hasta el Día D. Luego, los tribunales británicos deberán prestarle “debido respeto” (due regard) a sus “decisiones relevantes” (punto 38). En ese marco, los jueces locales dirimirán en su territorio, pero tienen la ventaja de ser, a diferencia de los actuales gobernantes, muy poco sectarios. Y además, se les otorgará la posibilidad, en caso de que duden, de acudir al TJUE formulando una “cuestión prejudicial”, consulta que actualmente pueden presentar todas las instancias de la UE, desde un juez de base al Tribunal Constitucional alemán.

Queda el capítulo de la factura financiera. Casi nada nuevo bajo el sol. Pese a todas las colosales demagogias enervadas cuando el referéndum, Londres ni siquiera ha logrado un matiz, un adjetivo, un nuevo concepto. Pagará lo que le corresponde mientras sigue dentro de la UE, y da garantías sobre la parte proporcional de todos los programas (o instituciones) a los que siga perteneciendo (quedaba pendiente su aceptación de garantías a ciertas obligaciones “contingentes” derivadas de proyectos aún no realizados). De dinero contante y sonante no se ha hablado. Lo esencial es que el Gobierno May aceptó la metodología, los elementos y los períodos planteados por Bruselas: bingo total. Aunque eso resulta en una cuantía a pagar (durante años) por Londres equivalente a cerca de 60.000 millones netos (según los europeos) o próxima a los 50.000 (de acuerdo con fuentes británicas), bastante más que los 20.000 sugeridos hace un par de meses.

¿Qué han logrado los separatistas a cambio de su rendición? La apariencia de recuperar soberanía.

viernes, 8 de diciembre de 2017

Respuestas


La respuesta global al anuncio del presidente Donald Trump de reconocer a Jerusalén como capital de Israel no se ha hecho esperar. La cosa está caliente, chicos, como para decir algo suave. Mientras que la prensa corporativa occidental toma la noticia más bien como un dato meteorológico, en el mundo árabe parecen estar cambiando de golpe algunas cosas. Alianzas posiblemente. La primera de las tres noticias que siguen es de Harrison Koehli para el sitio web Signs of the Times


Título: Armageddon? World Reacts to Trump's Jerusalem Decision - Hamas, Fatah, Hezbollah Warn of New Intifada

Texto: Yesterday, Trump made good on his promise to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Given that the whole world (minus Israel) is against him - along with international law - he moderated his decision slightly by delaying the decision to move the U.S. embassy there for six months. Predictably, his decision has been unanimously condemned by pretty much everyone not a raving Zionist - and that includes so-called allies of the U.S. (again minus Israel). 

As Piers Morgan put it yesterday in the Daily Mail, "Today, President Donald Trump has taken a million-ton barrel of oil and tipped it all over the Middle East."

Russian MPs made similar comments: "Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and the plan to relocate the US embassy [in Israel] to this city is a continuation of a string of provocations in American foreign policy, which we are continuously witnessing in relation to Syria, Iran and North Korea, among others," said Leonid Slutsky, head of the State Duma Committee for International Relations, RIA Novosti reported on Thursday. The lawmaker also noted in his comments that Trump's move could potentially "explode the situation in the zone of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." 

Head of the Upper House Committee for Information Policy, Senator Aleksey Pushkov, wrote on Twitter that the US president's decision was a global shock with potentially dire consequences. "The whole world except for Israel is in a state of shock because of Trump's decision. He has brought a new fuse to the old powder keg. I am confident that this is not the last shock," he said.

Dmitry Peskov gave the Kremlin's reaction: "What is to be done? We have to continue to search for a diplomatic solution, though, the situation definitely became complicated." The Russian ambassador to Israel reaffirmed that Jerusalem's status will not be determined by some guy in the U.S., but rather as agreed upon in "direct Palestinian-Israeli negotiations".

Hilariously, the Israeli Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Zeev Elkin called on Russia to consider moving its embassy to Jerusalem. It's hard to tell if Elkin is joking, or just a bit funny in the head. 

Trump got similar responses from the UK: Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry called Trump's decision "sheer recklessness": "Donald Trump is not crying fire in a crowded theater, he is deliberately setting fire to the theater," Emily Thornberry told the British Parliament on Thursday, in an urgent question to the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Minister of State. "For all of us in this house, and beyond, who have worked tirelessly for decades in the hope of lasting peace in the Middle East, yesterday's decision took an absolute hammer-blow..." 

"Before [December 6], no other country would locate their embassy in Jerusalem, and no other major country would recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, because to do either, let alone both at the same time, confers legitimacy on Israel's occupation in East Jerusalem," Thornberry said, calling Israel's control of Jerusalem "an occupation with no basis in international law, a permanent barrier to achieving the political settlement that we all wish." 

Thornberry said the "sheer recklessness" of the Trump decision needs no debate, adding that the POTUS had "the unbelievable cheek to claim that he's doing this to move forward the peace process, when in reality he is setting it back decades." 
... 

Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt denounced Trump's decision, telling fellow MPs that peace could be "derailed," and that Britain would make no change to its "clear and long-standing" policy of keeping the UK embassy in Tel Aviv. He also shot down calls from the opposition to revoke Trump's invitation for a state visit by Trump next year.

PM May refused to back Trump, calling his decision "unhelpful". 

China's foreign minister: "We support an independent Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Trump has managed to push away his non-Israeli Middle Eastern "allies" even further. Turkey is threatening to cut off relations with Israel. Protests sprung up immediately in Turkey, Palestine and Jordan. In Iraq, which has grown closer to Iran over the years of U.S. intervention, occupation and "military assistance", one of the powerful Popular Mobilization Units units, Harakat Hezbollah al Nujaba (10,000-strong), has even said that the decision provides a legitimate reason to target American forces. But the fire is just getting started. 

Palestinians are already in the streets, calling for "three days of rage". Today, Hamas's leader, Ismail Haniyeh, called for a new intifada: "We should call for and we should work on launching an intifada in the face of the Zionist enemy," said Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, in a speech in Gaza Thursday, Reuters reports.

Fatah issued a similar statement: "This fierce and systematic attack on Jerusalem, which is being launched by Israel... This attack seeks to erase the Arabic and Islamic existence in the city and Judaise it, as well as change the geographic and demographic reality in a way that serves the expansionist Israeli interests." 

The statement added: "Jerusalem is the gate to war and peace. Continuous escalation against its Arabic identity is considered an alarm of war and this abandons all international agreements and conventions." 

Such an American step, the statement said, gives a "political and legal legitimacy" to the occupation and "enables it to control the holy sites without any observer".

Hezbollah's leader Hassan Nasrallah also backed the call for a new intifada: "The most important response would be a Palestinian uprising and an Islamic summit that would declare Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Palestine," Nasrallah said, as quoted by Lebanon's Naharnet TV. 

"We support the call for a new Palestinian intifada [uprising] and escalating the resistance which is the biggest, most important and gravest response to the American decision," he added. 

Nasrallah also called for unity and support for the resistance among Muslims in the face of Wednesday's announcement by President Donald Trump. 

Nasrallah pointed out that Washington disregarded the Palestinians "although it is the guarantor of the agreements" between Israel and the Palestinians. Trump, by his announcement, told Israel that Jerusalem "is for you, and it is under your sovereignty," Hezbollah's leader said. 

He warned that Muslim people and their sacred sites in the city, including the al-Aqsa Mosque, are now in "extreme danger." 

"Do not be surprised if one day we wake up to find al-Aqsa Mosque demolished," Nasrallah declared calling for a Monday rally in the Lebanese capital, Beirut. "What will be the fate of the Palestinian residents in Jerusalem? What will be the fate of the Palestinian properties in Jerusalem? Will they be appropriated or demolished?"

So, all in all, a good move, right? Alienate practically the entire civilized world (minus Israel once more), stir up tensions, potentially provoke more violence in a region that has essentially been at war since European Jews colonized the region and ethnically cleansed it of its Arab population. 

Right on schedule, today there are reports that two "rockets" were launched from Gaza toward Israel. Israelis were predictably triggered, thanks to the Israeli "Siren App" which warns of such rocket attacks. But, like practically all such rockets, they didn't hit their target. No, rather than harmlessly land in the desert as they usually do (after which Israel retaliates by killing a bunch of Palestinians with high-grade, "precision" weapons), these rockets didn't even make it out of Gaza. 

So far, the only people to support Trump's move are Trump himself, the Israelis, and two types of American: those who have made their careers being bribed and blackmailed by Israel into supporting Israel-first policies, and those who have been brainwashed into the belief that Israel is a democracy and that anything that happens there has any significance whatsoever to their own lives. Oh, and this guy: 

That's right: Donald Rumsfeld, who is still under the mistaken impression that anyone takes him seriously, is giggling about how wrong 'the elites' are on this. Let's check in with American evangelical Christians and see what they have to say:

A prominent US evangelical Christian leader spoke to Sputnik about why Trump's decision brings humanity closer to "the end of days" and the Second Coming of the Messiah. 

Dr. David Reagan, the founder and director of the Texas-based Lamb and Lion Ministries, spoke to Sputnik and said he welcomed Mr. Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. 

"I totally support his decision because Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, always has been for 4,000 years. The Jews have had that as their capital and it has never ever in all of history been the capital of another state, not a Muslim state or an Arab state. It is long overdue. Every US president has made a promise to move the embassy as part of their campaign and then as soon as they're elected they forget about it. But this is a good indication that Trump will keep his campaign promises," Dr. Reagan told Sputnik. 

"Evangelical Christians in America generally agree that most likely there will be a war against Israel which the scriptures call the 'war of annihilation' in which all the Muslim nations which have a common border with Israel, will attack Israel and Israel will defeat them. Then the Arab world will go into a panic and cry out for Russia to come to their aid. And the Russians will come down with a specified group of Muslim nations, countries like Persia (Iran) and Turkey and they will be destroyed on the mountains of Israel," Dr. Reagan told Sputnik.

Yeah, fact-check: if that scenario plays out, it'll be curtains for Israel. 

So, true believers aside, the consensus is that the move portends chaos. 

Is it at all possible that Trump is onto something constructive here? Let's face it, the 'peace process' has been dead-in-the-water for decades. Israel will never give up the land it stole. It has thoroughly entrenched itself in the occupied territories. It has vowed never to leave the West Bank. It is a nuclear power (a rogue one, mind you) with advanced weaponry and would rather take the world down with it than give up even an inch of ground (Israel's 'Samson option'). In the deal-making world, it holds all the cards: international law may be against Israel, but it has managed to get away with murder (literally) for generations, proving to itself and the world that international law is Might Makes Right, and that if you play your cards right, there will be no consequences of any significance. 

What does all this mean? That there will never be a two-state solution. There isn't enough of Palestine left to make a state, and Israel will never concede to the slightest Palestinian demands. Every U.S. president inherits the 'duty' to try and solve the 'Israeli-Palestinian' conflict. And every U.S. president to date has done squat in that regard, usually due to Israeli blocking. The one thing the Israelis have always avoided like the plague is honestly coming to the negotiating table. Life is easier for Israeli politicians when they have an intractable foreign enemy that 'does not recognize Israel's right to exist' and somehow manages to carry out terror attacks right when Israel needs them most to scupper the threat of real peace talks. 

Since a two-state solution is obviously not an option at this point, then what is? A one-state solution. Assuming Trump even thinks that far ahead, here's how that might play out: 

Make the first step towards giving the Israelis what they have always claimed they wanted: a state of their own, without a Palestine. But it will obviously have to include the Palestinians as (at least nominally) equal citizens. After all, Israel claims to be the only (Westernized) democracy in the Middle East, and Israel would be naturally required to treat all of its citizens equally. And it will have a vested interest in doing so because a sovereign state in conflict with its own citizens does not look good to the 'international community', does not encourage foreign investment, and makes life hard for Israeli Jews and Palestinians alike. 

Of course, getting the Palestinians to agree to live in a state officially called Israel, part of which would be on historically Palestinian land, might be somewhat difficult. But it's not impossible. Northern Ireland stands as an example of how an oppressed people can decide to call a permanent ceasefire in a 'long war', swallow their pride (to an extent) and play the 'long political game'. In Northern Ireland, that investment in peace with an undeserving partner now looks like it might be paying off. 

Currently, Israel's population of 8.7 million is 20% Muslim. Palestine's population is about 4.5 million, with an estimated 4 million Palestinians living in refugee camps in neighboring countries. Do the math. Within 10 years, the population living in the former British Palestine is estimated to be majority Palestinian/Arab - and that's not counting the refugees. How much justification will there be for a 'Jewish State' that is less than 50% Jewish? 

As Neil Godfrey put it over at Vridar: 

In one sense, though, this is progress, if we are prepared to measure the pace of progress in generations rather than months or years. 

It makes it all the more inevitable that one day Israel is going to have no option but to grant full citizenship and equal rights to all Arabs living in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza as part of a single nation. (Despite occasional meaningless echoes to the contrary, the two-state possibility is surely long dead.) 

One day Israel is going to have to decide to become a "normal" democratic nation, not a racial one built on an unjust occupation. The wall will have to come down one day.
Either Israel is forced (diplomatically, it can't be done militarily) to act civilized, or it descends into further barbarity, which will create even more pressure for it to act civilized.


***


La segunda nota es del sitio web libanés Al Manar:


Título: Protestas en todo el mundo contra la decisión de EEUU sobre Al Quds

Texto: La gente ha salido a las calles en muchas ciudades en todo el mundo para mostrar su solidaridad con la nación palestina y su indignación ante la decisión de EEUU de reconocer Al Quds de Jerusalén como la “capital” de Israel.

Trump hizo el anuncio el miércoles, lo que provocó una oleada de condenas y advertencias de las facciones palestinas y de muchos líderes mundiales, incluidos los propios aliados de Washington.

El presidente de EEUU también encargó a sus funcionarios que preparen el traslado de la embajada de Washington de Tel Aviv a Al Quds.

El viernes por la mañana, miles de manifestantes en Indonesia y Malasia se unieron a las manifestaciones para condenar la decisión de Washington.

En Malasia, varios miles de manifestantes, algunos de los cuales gritaban eslóganes anti-norteamericanos y quemaron una efigie de Trump, se reunieron frente a la embajada de EEUU en Kuala Lumpur.

El primer ministro malasio Nayib Razak llamó a todos los musulmanes de Malasia a rechazar la propuesta de EEUU de convertir a Al Quds en “la capital de Israel”.

En Indonesia, la población se manifestó ante la Embajada de EEUU llevando pancartas que decían “Jerusalén no es la capital de Israel” y “Estamos con Palestina”.

En Pakistán, el mayor partido islamista Yaamat-i Islami convocó manifestaciones en todas las grandes ciudades tras el rezo del viernes.

En Jordania, miles de manifestantes se concentraron ante la embajada de EEUU en Ammán para condenar la decisión norteamericana.

En la capital de Turquía, Ankara, miles de manifestantes se reunieron ante la embajada estadounidense para denunciar la decisión del presidente Trump sobre Al Quds. El gobierno turco se ha opuesto rotundamente a la decisión de EEUU.

En El Cairo también miles de manifestantes se reunieron en la ciudad para reiterar que Al Quds es y será una ciudad palestina.

En Nueva York y Chicago se han producido asimismo protestas contra la decisión de la administración de Trump.


***


Por último, el análisis que sigue es de Sputnik News


Título: Trump's Jerusalem Move Will 'End Up Strengthening Iran'

Texto: The Palestinian government is under public pressure not to bow in the face of the US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel; Trump's announcement is inflammatory and is actually more likely to strengthen Iran than Israel, Dr. Sreeram Chaulia, Professor and Dean at the Jindal School of International Affairs told Radio Sputnik.

A senior Palestinian official has said that its government would meet with US Vice-President Mike Pence later this month, amid anger over US President Donald Trump's declaration recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

"We will not receive him in the Palestinian territories," Secretary of the Fatah Central Committee Jibril Rajoub said on Thursday, a day after Trump's announcement, which has provoked protests among Palestinians in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza.

Dr. Sreeram Chaulia, Professor and Dean at the Jindal School of International Affairs, Jindal Global University, told Radio Sputnik that the Palestinian government is "under a lot of pressure not to yield to any American inducement," following Trump's declaration that the US will move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. the city is claimed by both the Palestinians and the Israelis as their capital.

"It will be very difficult for Mahmoud Abbas to maintain the 'moderate line.' Most people have realized that the US is not an honest broker, Trump has taken it to an extreme level. He has no strategy, for primarily domestic considerations he wants to prove that unlike Bill Clinton or George W. Bush he is the one that broke all the protocols and all the traditions of US foreign policy. He has done this to show his followers, 'You know what, I am the kind of politician who is loyal to you and keeps your faith,'" Dr. Sreeram Chaulia, Professor and Dean at Jindal School of International Affairs, Jindal Global University, told Radio Sputnik.

Sputnik: Trump did not say anything about East or West Jerusalem, he left that open, although he said "Jerusalem," as a blanket, or umbrella phrase. Do you think that there might be a chance that he will backpedal or be more specific and say, "Actually, I see two Jerusalems, and two capitals?

Dr. Sreeram Chaulia: The Palestinians and some of their Arab backers will try to apply pressure, to try and feel the distinction. Trump did not think about Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinians at all. Trump also said, "This is how it has been and we are simply just recognizing reality. Israel occupies the whole of Jerusalem, West and East. 

He is least inclined to make any concessions. You see, Trump's ideology is closely linked to far-right Jewish and Christian groups, and I don't think they will ever backtrack from this. Rather, he has left some kind of ambiguity, saying, "The final status has to be decided through negotiations." If those negotiations ever start, there won't be a role for the US. One party will not be willing to engage with the US at all. 


Sputnik: Hamas has said that Friday should be the first day of Intifada. What do you think?

Dr. Sreeram Chaulia: I think the concept of Intifada, in recent times, may be a little bit amorphous. Unlike the first two intifadas, the leadership of Palestine is scattered, even though there has been reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas, they are not united on pushing for it, unlike during Yassir Arafat's time. 

Even last year, there was talk of an Intifada and there was a series of stabbings and knife attacks at checkpoints. There was continuous, low-level violence, which was also labeled as an Intifada. But ultimately, it could not coalesce into a large-scale uprising that is both armed and civil resistance and disobedience, because of this political problem the Palestinians have of not having the kind of representatives who can push for it.

Iran will definitely encourage Hamas, will look to escalate [the situation]. It is the most radical anti-American actor in the region and believes that this is an opportunity for them to unify the entire Islamic community against US.  

In Palestine, I think they are tired. They are resigned to their fate, which is that inch by inch, the settlements are increasing. They think that Trump will simply encourage more Jewish settlers to go into East Jerusalem, the West Bank and eat away whatever little prospects they have of an independent state of their own.

It's not looking very good, it's very grim and unfortunately that also means there is a recipe for violence. So, I think we will even see violence and violent acts of resistance. There could be a terrorism surge, small-scale incidents, but I don't see how a very beaten and jaded Palestinian community, which has been under a lot of pressure, can actually muster the resources to create a new Intifada.


Sputnik: Is there any chance that other international players can now effectively intervene to move forward and to avert some of the possible escalations that are on the brink right now?

Dr. Sreeram Chaulia: Unfortunately, the Saudi Arabian monarchy can't play a role, being very close to Israel – so much so that they lost the faith of the Palestinians. Way back in 2002, the Saudis had a peace plan [but] it is rumored that just before this big blow came from Trump, the Saudi crown prince had apparently threatened Mahmoud Abbas. 

[He told Abbas] that he has to accept a kind of moth-eaten Palestinian state, give up a lot of the claims and agree to a watered-down Palestine or not even that, on behalf of Israel. If the Saudis respond to this, they can have an impact but unfortunately, they are obsessed with containing Iran right now. 

They may like what is happening because that way, they feel like they can consolidate and isolate Iran but my view is that this step would actually not strengthen Israel so much. It would actually end strengthening Iran more, geopolitically and regionally, because Iran is the only force that has consistently not compromised on the Palestinian issue, despite being a Shiite power.

Other regional players, like Turkey, Saudi – they are all horrified with what Trump has done, but as the weeks proceed it looks like Saudi, unfortunately, is not going to play the peace broker role that it should ideally do. It can do, [but] it is now very close to Israel and of course traditionally it has voiced at least token support for the Palestinian cause, but I think Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has got a completely different agenda.  

He is least concerned about the state of the Palestinians, because of his obsession with checking the Iranian influence. So, the region as a whole, if you see, is like a powder key. We are seeing the war in Yemen erupting time and again, the violence and suffering there.

We don't know how the Syrian settlement will end up, although the war [there] is kind of winding down. Further afield in Libya, there is instability. Lack of stability means there is no concept or higher vision for the Palestinian question and the resolve the Israel-Palestine disputer right now. So, all Trump has done is added fuel to the fire and made it a lot worse.