Western Donors Still Funding Terrorists

April 12, 2018

International aid money for Palestine is supposed to be rebuilding and developing the Palestinian territories. Some Western countries learned few years ago the shocking revelation that thousands of Palestinian terrorists, including men who have masterminded suicide bombings and murdered children, are given cash handouts from aid money. The European Union, US and other Western donors have been duped by assertions that the Palestinian Authority no longer funds terrorists – PA claims to have ended such links two years ago.

Indeed since 2014, the amount allocated to the Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs has been removed from the PA budget (in an attempt to disguise the fact that it is the PA that finances the payments to imprisoned and released terrorists). In August 2014, the PA closed the PA Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs and announced the ‎establishment of a new PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, which they claimed ‎would pay the salaries. ‎ Investigations discovered that the PA passes millions on to the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) – which in turn gives it to convicted terrorists locked up in Israeli prisons and their families. Now, the amount earmarked for the Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs has once again been openly included in the PA budget.

Payments in the 2018 budget dealing with prisoners, released terrorists, and families of shahids (martyrs).

On March 4, 2018, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas approved the PA’s 2018 budget, in the sum of around NIS 18 billion (around USD 5 billion). The budget specifies the allocation of funds to government ministries and various bodies. The budget includes two items dealing with the allocation of funds to two institutions subordinate to the PLO that assist terrorists and their families.

The Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs is an institution headed by PA Minister Issa Karake. On May 29, 2014, this institution was made subordinate to the PLO, in order to mislead the donor countries (mainly the United States) and to create the impression that their aid funds are not being used for funding terrorism.

The Fund for Families of Martyrs and the Injured is a PLO institution that takes care of the families of shahids (i.e., terrorists who were killed) and the wounded. This institution receives its budget from the PA. It pays them monthly pensions and provides them with welfare, health, education and rehabilitation services. The fund cares for tens of thousands of families (in 2012 it cared for more than 30,000 families of shahids and injured Palestinians). It operates two central offices, one in Ramallah and the other in Gaza, along with 15 sub-branches throughout Judea and Samaria.

The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center has now made an analysis about the 2018 budget of the Palestinain Authority. According this analysis,

the PA allocated around NIS 1.28 billion (around USD 360 million), approximately 7% of the budget, to two institutions that assist terrorists imprisoned in Israel, released terrorists, and families of shahids (martyrs). The institutions are the Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs and the Fund for Families of Martyrs and the Injured, both of which are subordinate to the PLO. Since 2014, the amount allocated to the Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs has been removed from the PA budget (in an attempt to disguise the fact that it is the PA that finances the payments to imprisoned and released terrorists). Now, the amount earmarked for the Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs has once again been openly included in the PA budget.

 

Some developments (to stop funding of terrorism)

The PA’s 2018 budget: The total budget is NIS 18.089 billion (arrow left). 1st arrow right is an estimate of the amount of external aid and donations to the general budget (NIS 2.160 billion). 2nd arrow right is an estimate of the external grants for development purposes (NIS 630 million). In total, the PA expects to receive NIS 2.790 billion (around USD 790 million) in aid from donor countries in 2018. Hence the allocations for assistance to prisoners, released terrorists, and shahids represent nearly 46% of the foreign aid funds that the PA expects to receive.

The US Congress has already March 2018 passed the Taylor Force Act, which is designed to deny hundreds of millions of dollars in US aid that the Palestinian Authority (PA) uses to incite terrorism and to compensate murderous terrorists and their families. The Taylor Force Act would require the US Secretary of State to verify that the PA has ended its policy of paying off terrorists and their surviving family members. The bill also calls on the PA to publicly condemn terror attacks and to take steps to bring the perpetrators to justice. The legislation easily passed both chambers of Congress with strong bipartisan support, 256-167 in the House, and 65-32 in the Senate. The legislation was named after American war veteran Taylor Force, who was stabbed to death in a Palestinian terror attack that left 10 others wounded in Jaffa in March 2016. (Source: United with Israel )

Other developments earlier:

  • Peace can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded and even rewarded.” (US President Trump, 2016)
  • The British government’s Department for International Development in October froze 2016 part of its aid to the PA over concerns it was being used to fund salaries for convicted Palestinian terrorists.
  • In September 2016, the German government for the first time admitted that the Palestinian Authority likely grants financial support to terrorists and their families, and vowed to further investigate the matter. It is not clear if Germany has since cut back on funding.

 

The Great Return March Campaign to change focus

After sc Arab Spring Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has stepped aside for other Mideast conflicts, such as Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Iranian-Saudi and Shiite-Sunni proxy wars. To bring the Palestinian case back to the agenda and media headlines the new innovations are needed, the ongoing ”knifeintifada” in Judea and Samaria and ocassional quassam-fire fro Gaza are interesting issues only in Israel, the Western mainstream media has more newsworthy material elsewhere.

The latest innovation is the idea of a massive procession of 100,000 Gazans with the objective of storming the Israel security fence around Gaza to demonstrate the return of Gaza’s refugees to their original homes. Naturally these fence-stormers will not be the original refugees, there is on some tens of thousands of them worldwide and they are at least 69 years old.

The aim of this action is not immediately to kill Israelis but to get attention by getting killed themselves. According to the plan currently being formulated, there will be a series of ongoing events which will take place over the course of six weeks, between March 30 (Land Day) and May 15 (Nakba Day).

The organizers’ objective is to extend the scope of the events beyond the Gaza Strip and to promote marches not only in Gaza Strip but in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. According to the organizers, they are currently coordinating with Palestinians abroad and with Israeli Arabs. The campaign has good financing as Hamas spent $15 million behind the scenes to fund and organize the march to Gaza’s border with Israel. In addition Hamas has applied the same practice than PA to pay compensations to Gazans wounded or killed during demonstrations – payments are $500 about serious wound and $3000 about death during clashes with IDF.

Sources and more background about PA salaries to terrorists and their familes in Palestinian Media Watch , about PA 2018 budget in The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center  and about Return March campaign in my article “The Great Return March” Campaign Starts 30th March 2018


Appendix: Preparing for martyrdom

Rewarding terrorism and brainwashing starts already in kindergartens via hate education:

 

 

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“The Great Return March” Campaign Starts 30th March 2018

March 28, 2018

Logo: all Palestine belongs to the Palestinians

After sc Arab Spring Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has stepped aside for other Mideast conflicts, such as Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Iranian-Saudi and Shiite-Sunni proxy wars. To bring the Palestinian case back to the agenda and media headlines the new innovations are needed, the ongoing ”knifeintifada” in Judea and Samaria and ocassional quassam-fire fro Gaza are interesting issues only in Israel, the Western mainstream media has more newsworthy material elsewhere.

The latest innovation is the idea of a massive procession of 100,000 Gazans with the objective of storming the Israel security fence around Gaza to demonstrate the return of Gaza’s refugees to their original homes. Naturally these fence-stormers will not be the original refugees, there is on some tens of thousands of them worldwide and they are at least 69 years old.

The aim of this action is not immediately to kill Israelis but to get attention by getting killed themselves. If Israel must use lethal force to protect Israelis and Israeli border the media headlines will come back. If the situation will lead to wider violent protest and self-initiated suicide terrorist acts in the West Bank and among Israel’s Arab citizens or even a full-scale intifada, the better fro Hamas side.

Promotion video by The Palestinian Information Center; Click picture below:

The ”Official” Plan

The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center reports that preparations continue in the Gaza Strip for a mass march to Israel’s border (the “great return march”). The Palestinian organizations operating in the Gaza Strip have organized a “national committee” which in turn appointed professional committees to promote events in the internal Palestinian and international arenas. The organizers’ objective is to extend the scope of the events beyond the Gaza Strip and to promote marches not only in Gaza Strip but also simultaneous “return marches” from Lebanon, Syria and Jordan to the Israeli border. According to the organizers, they are currently coordinating with Palestinians abroad and with Israeli Arabs. One of the activists involved in media preparations is Zaher Birawi, a Palestinian activist based in Britain who is affiliated with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, and who in the past played a central role in organizing convoys and flotillas to the Gaza Strip.

Palestinians carrying a key (the symbol of the return) flying the Palestinian flag. The Arabic reads, “A new spring day and we are close to the return, with the help of Allah” (Facabook)

According to the plan currently being formulated, there will be a series of ongoing events which will take place over the course of six weeks, between March 30 (Land Day) and May 15 (Nakba Day). The plan includes the erection, on Land Day, of a tent camp (or camps) near the security fence on the Israeli border, where thousands of Palestinian families will stay. The campaign will peak with a march of thousands of Palestinians to the Israeli border, probably on Nakba Day (no time table is not final).

Senior figures in the Palestinian terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip, led by Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), welcomed the initiative and called on the Palestinian public to participate.

According The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center Khaled al-Batash, a PIJ operative and coordinator of the national and Islamic forces in the Gaza Strip, held a press conference with Senior Hamas figure Isma’il Radwan and senior Fatah figure Imad al-Agha, and announced the “establishment of the national authority of the border camp and march.” According to al-Batash, the committee was established through a national consensus of Hamas, Fatah, the PIJ, the PFLP, the Palestinian People’s Party and other groups. He said members of the committee included representatives of human rights organizations, clans, mukhtars, refugees’ committees, health organizations and activists from every sector of Palestinian society. He said the activities of the “great return march” would begin simultaneously in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, in coordination with Palestinians abroad and with Israeli Arabs.

The main foreign organizations leading the  Campaign are following:  The Popular Conference of Palestinians Abroad, The Palestinians in Europe Conference, Filistin Dayanışma Derneği (FIDDER), Intimaa – The International Campaign to Preserve the Palestinian Identity and Aaidun – the Jordanian Society for Return and Refugees.

The coordinating committee and the human rights organizations in the Gaza Strip have already begun preparing letters that will be sent in the coming days to human rights organizations around the globe, to UN agencies, foreign ministers, the International Red Cross and other organizations. The objective will be for the recipients to exert pressure on Israel not to use violence against the Palestinians during the marches and accompanying events.

Public statements of the campaign claim that the intention is non-violent protest; however events can easily get out of control, marchers might try to enter Israeli territory and it seems probable that clashes with IDF occur – and this might be the real tactical aim of the campaign.

The “great return march” events – Fence-storming – would begin on March 30th, 2018 (Land Day or Nakba), and that the so-called “march of the millions” would be held on May 14. or 15., 2018 (On May 14th, 1948 Ben-Gurion declared the state of Israel and five Arab states invaded it).  The other milestones for the campaign regarding the main reference dates over the next few months are following: April 17 – Palestinian Prisoners’ Day,  June 5 – the 51st anniversary of the “Naksa” (the 1967 “setback”) and  November 2 – the 101st anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.

On 25th March, Hamas held a large-scale military exercise in Gaza in which it fired rockets into the Mediterranean Sea and tested its readiness for an IDF incursion.

 

IDF is preparing too

After Hamas came to power in the Gaza Strip more than a decade ago, it built, trained, and armed a terrorist army and guerilla force. It deliberately situated these forces in the midst of the civilian population, planting it in high-rise buildings, underground bunkers, and tunnels.

Israel and Hamas have engaged in three large-scale conflicts and numerous smaller-scale flare-ups over the past ten years. As the IDF looks to the future, it is preparing new ways to operate in this urban jungle should the need arise once again. Military drills simulate what the Israel Defense Forces will face in a new kind of ground combat in Gaza – a kind that will inevitably involve civilians amid general chaos.

Jewish News Syndicate reports about a war exercise for IDFs infantry commanders to prepare them for the challenges of combat in Gaza. The drill, held by the Givati infantry brigade, played out over a number of areas, including the southern city of Ashkelon, where officers simulated fighting in and around tall residential towers. In Gaza, such multistory buildings double as military bases for Hamas’s armed wing. The terror group uses them as command posts, lookouts, and firing positions. Such buildings will, in the IDF’s assessment, be used as positions by Hamas cells armed with shoulder-fired missiles, sniper rifles, and additional heavy firepower.

Maj. Guy Madar, a former Givati deputy battalion commander, explained, “In this last drill, we focused in a major way on the concept of the 360-degree threat. The fact is that the enemy can appear from above and below …” He added, “This exercise is about Gaza. We wanted to achieve four training goals: nighttime combat; fighting in armored vehicles; combat in urban closed areas, with a strong emphasis on tall buildings and tunnels; and focusing on the smaller units, at the level of platoons and companies.”

The training also made use of the IDF’s digital network, which links commanders to tanks and strike aircraft. The drill involved new quadcopters that recently entered service in the IDF. The drones – currently commercially made, but to be replaced by military quadcopters – have revolutionized the ability of low-ranking commanders to request and receive an aerial picture of their battle space.

Gaza-fence. Photo credit: Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images

Bottom line

There is a small obstacle with this project as the Palestinians are divided e.g after the attempted assassination of Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in Gaza. So the major actors – the Palestinian Authority and Fatah on the one hand and Hamas and Islamic Jihad on the other – might have troubles to coordinate their actions during campaign.  Also there is view that for the Muslim Brotherhood, this march is part of a wider mobilization to implement its long-held aspiration to take over the PLO.

The campaign has good financing as Hamas spent $10 million behind the scenes to fund and organize the march to Gaza’s border with Israel.

The Israeli army will do everything it can to thwart the protestors in ways that avoid bloodshed. The Israeli military intelligence has warned that violence could escalate in May on the Gaza border and in the West Bank. Maj. Gen. Herzl Halevi said that “the month of May, with the days of independence and Nakba, signal that a possible explosion is coming, [driven on the Palestinian side by] growing frustration and hopelessness. This period will demand determined fighting against terrorism, and that we make a clear distinction between civilians and terror operatives”. Israeli security forces are also bracing for a Palestinian “day of rage,” with thousands of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank expecting to march towards the border fence on the eve of the Jewish holiday of Passover this Friday. Halevi said that “Hamas is at its lowest point because there are civilian and infrastructure crises,” suggesting that it is “running into the arms of Iran and using civilians by sending them to the security fence that divides Gaza and Israel”.

Sources: BICOM , The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center and BESA

 


Update 28/3/2018 by 

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are carrying out intensive preparations for the “great return march.” The first event will be held beginning at 10:00 on Friday morning, March 30 2018. Palestinians will be brought to six locations along the border security fence . A media center will be set up on the Palestinian side of the Erez crossing. Buses will leave from all the mosques in the Gaza Strip beginning at 10:00 to bring participants to the six tent camps along the border. In addition to civilians, members of Hamas and the other organizations will participate. Local committees have been appointed to organize the events in the various districts of the Gaza Strip. They are responsible for recruiting the masses, organizing transportation, and providing food, water, portable toilets and medical services. The activity will peak on May 15, 2018, Nakba Day.


Update 30.3.2018 by Israeli TV Channel 13

At least 12 Gazans have been killed and 1,000 wounded — most of the injuries due to tear gas — in clashes with IDF forces at six locations along the Gaza border. Some 30,000 protests have massed along the security fence. Arab media reported two armed terrorists were killed in a gunfight with IDF soldiers.


Update 30.3.2018 by Times of Israel

The Lebanese Armed Forces dispersed dozens of pro-Palestinian demonstrators who were heading toward Israel’s northern border Friday in solidarity with the “March of Return” protest taking place en masse in the Gaza Strip.  Carrying Palestinian flags, the protesters were moving toward the border fence near the Israeli town of Avivim. Lebanese soldiers managed to disperse them near the village of Maroun al Ras, some two kilometers before they reached the fence, Israel’s Channel 10 reported.



And in addtion the Great Return March campaign is the newest component of hate education for Palestinian kids:


Article first published in Conflicts by Ari Rusila website.


From History: Fasads of Interventions in Yugoslav Secession Wars

February 14, 2018

Term ”humanitarian intervention” came wide distribution during Yugoslav secession wars in mid-90s. Today it is possible to have a critical look at the role that the US, NATO and the EU played in the tragic breakup of a once peaceful and prosperous European state – Yugoslavia. “Humanitarian intervention” was a practical fasade covering the true reasons behind Western intervention in the Balkans. The new perspective on Western involvement in the division of the ethnic groups within Yugoslavia shows that the war was forced from outside — regular people wanted peace – in all cases the biggest beneficiary has been U.S. military-industrial complex.

Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo are good examples how fasades were created with help of U.S. PR-agencies and mainstream western media.

Bosnia, Srebrenica

Srebrenica is an example of (humanitarian)intervention context as well modern media war used more or less successfully in conflicts around the world during last decades. The Aim of PR game played by Bosnian Muslims was to get US to fight aside of them. One part to achieve US involvement was to gain sympathy in West by implementing attacks towards its own citizens.

There is also many arguments about political PR game behind exaggerated death numbers, misrepresentation of early reports and manipulated pictures. Indeed President Izetbegovic according mentioned UNSG Report told in 1993 that he had learned that a NATO intervention in Bosnia and Herzegovina was possible, but could only occur if the Serbs were to break into Srebrenica, killing at least 5,000 of its people.” So from here are the numbers originating – two years before events in Srebrenica. (Source: UN report The Fall of Srebrenica  )

The myth of 8,000 executed men and boys is busted. It was planed well before to get U.S.involvement with war against Serbs. An essential part of narrative was the death toll of 8,000 and that the victims were civilians. However the figures after decade and half intensive bodycount don’t match. Besides numbers it has came clear that most of the military-age men from Srebrenica assembled in the village of Susnjari and from there under-took a 60 kilometer trek through minefields and Serbian ambushes to Tuzla as they were affraid Serb revenge due their atrocities against Serbs during preceding two years. As for the women, children, and elderly, they were left behind and deposited at the UN compound in Potocari. Quite possibly that was done as a convenient bait to the Serbs to perpetrate the anticipated massacre, but whatever the ultimate motive behind it may have been, on the whole nothing sinister occurred. The 20,000 or so enclave residents dumped in Potocari were put by the Serbs on buses and evacuated safely to Muslim territory.

Also the presence of radical Muslims in Balkans is linked to the advent of mujahedeen foreign fighters who joined Bosnian Muslims in their battle against the Serbs in Bosnia’s 1992-95 independence war. After Dayton Saudi-backed charities were funding the movement as well investments and Wahhabis have been establishing a permanent presence in Macedonia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Serbia, Croatia and even in Bulgaria.

Despite international community’s state building efforts in Bosnia the country is splitting parts. Since war mid-90’s foreign aid has exceed USD 80 bn for artificial creature designed in Dayton agreement aiming multi-ethnic state with EU perspective. As a result Bosnia is now even more divided, with less national identity, 20 percent of population living under the poverty line, with a nightmare triple administration plus international supervising making the country as worst place in Europe to do business west of Ukraine, even as it seeks to join the European Union.
More in Srebrenica again – Hoax or Massacre?  and NIOD Report on Srebrenica )

In Balkans Srebrenica was not only case being part of bigger political came and fabricated manipulation; few years later the same tactic was implemented in Kosovo e.g with the Racak case was similar. After over decade it is still difficult in western media to admit that also Serbs were victims of war crimes – instead from year to year media repeats one sided picture about Serbs created mid 90s when US selected its side. Also the same manipulated approach was later applied in Kosovo.

Croatia’s Krajina

Before the war, 12% of Croatian citizens were of Serbian nationality. Half of them lived in the region called Krajina. Krajina was created by Austrians in 16th century as a military zone to protect the Christian West from the advance of Muslim Ottoman Empire. Serbian peasants that escaped Ottoman rule were given free land there in exchange for their military service. The Republic of Croatia declared its independence on June 25, 1991. By the end of the year, the Yugoslav People’s Army and different Serb forces took control of more than one third of the country, proclaiming their own independent state: Republika Srpska Krajina (RSK) with a capital in Knin.

In January 1993, Croatian forces – between 17,000 and 20,000 troops – launched a surprise attack against the Serb-held Krajina. The Serbs fought back and as part of a ceasefire agreement the area became a so-called “Pink Zone” placed under UNPROFOR protection, and within which the warring factions pledged there would be no fighting. No final agreement was concluded until July 16. Croatian President Franjo Tudjman ordered all United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) units to leave Croatian territory by March 31, 1995. The move, supported by U.S., gave the Croatian Government a green light to start their ethnic cleansing.

In 4th August 1995, 200,000 Croat army and police troops from Croatia attacked the United Nations protected zones (safe havens) with Serbian population in northern Dalmatia, Lika, Kordun and Banija. They were helped on the Bosnian side by the Bosnian Muslim fighters and had the operation backed, coordinated and logistically supported by the leading Western powers. During this operation, 2,650 Serbs (mainly civilians) were killed and some 250,000 were “ethnically cleansed” from their ancestral homes. In Europe this was the largest refugee crisis since the Holocaust, since World War II and until Kosovo war 1999. These war crimes and cleansing were passed over in silence in western media as Croatia was being advised by a shadowy group of retired American officers who had been sent to Croatia to help it fight against the Serbs. In fact especially western mainstream media actively and carefully ignored and covered up the war crimes that its allies committed in Croatia and later in Bosnia and Kosovo.

Croatia’s Operation Storm in 1995 against Serb-held areas in the Krajina would not have been feasible had not “Srebrenica” prepared the ground for it, morally and psychologically. The Srebrenica narrative and the outrage it produced served as a convenient veil to shield atrocities committed during the Croatian offensive in August of 1995 from substantial public examination or criticism.
(More about issue e.g. in my articles Krajina – Victory with Ethnic Cleansing   and Operation Storm – forgotten pogrom  )

Kosovo, Racak

In Kosovo U.S. with help of western media used the same best practice as earlier in Croatia and Bosnia. The main elements were need of humanitarian intervention, multiplying (with 10-50) civilian deaths and fabricating massacres.

In the village of Racak, Kosovo, 45 Albanian civilians were reportedly massacred by Serbian forces on January 15, 1999. US diplomat William Walker, who at the time was the chief of the OSCE ceasefire verification mission to Kosovo, first reported the event and said it was a “crime against humanity”, and that the victims were civilians. There is a widespread belief, that Walker’s role in Racak was to assist the KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army) in fabricating a Serb massacre that could be used as an excuse for military action. The theory was that the KLA had gathered their own dead after the battle, removed their uniforms, put them in civilian clothes, and then called in the observers. (More in High pressure to fabricate Racak reports )

William Walker is the man who sold the world the story of the Racak so-called massacre, used to create a climate to justify the bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999. Walker had some earlier experience about clandestine U.S. dirty operations. He was U.S. ambassador to El Salvador in November 1989 when massacres were made by the Atlacatl Battalion/the Salvadoran Army, which was recruited, trained, and deployed by the U.S. military. Before that, he was deputy chief of mission at the embassy in Honduras when U.S. authorities were recruiting officers from Somoza’s deposed National Guard to establish the Contras, and forming military death squads that murdered hundreds of Honduran workers, labor organizers and students.

Walker’s OSCE mission was crawling with CIA operatives and employees of two US paramilitary companies (Dyncorp and MPRI) that had close ties to US military intelligence and to the CIA at least since Bosnian war a half decade earlier . This personnel was there to establish close links with the KLA, to train them, and to prepare the ground in advance of the NATO bombing. Also the CIA had been training the KLA already, since early in 1998, in Albania, where the KLA had its bases. So the decision to bomb had been taken long before. What was needed was an excuse to start, and furnishing that excuse was Walker’s job.

In case of Kosovo U.S. officials claimed that from 100,000 up to 500,000 Albanians had been massacred. When the figure later was near 10.000 from all ethnic groups together the bombings were already over.

In Kosovo since intervention international community has worked with capacity building of Kosovo administration and the outcome I have summarized as follows:
“as Serbian province, occupied and now international protectorate administrated by UN Kosovo mission; as quasi-independent pseudo-state has good change to become next “failed” or “captured” state; today’s Kosovo is already safe-heaven for war criminals, drug traffickers, international money laundry and radical Wahhabists – unfortunately all are also allies of western powers”.

quadruple helix model by Ari Rusila

 

Bottom line

As described earlier Bosnian Muslims, Croatians, Kosovo Albanians and their hired lobbyists made very successful media campaign for their case in western mainstream media and in capitals of West. However the campaigns might not have been so effective unless the politicians were so amenable to campaigner’s views. In my opinion this receptivity is linked to geopolitical changes and interests. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, US big business was focusing on reshaping all of Europe. Nato had lost its enemy and military-industrial complex was afraid to lose its old markets. Nonaligned Yugoslavia was no longer needed in this context. The interest of US Military-industrial complex and Pentagon’s was in creating weak, dependent puppet regimes to Balkans, Black Sea region, Caucasus in order to dominate these regions and their energy sources and transportation routes – economically and politically. Without this political and business interest it would not be so easy for PR-agencies to demonize the Serbs, to hide the reality of Croatian fascism, to canonize the Bosnian Muslims, and to whitewash OC-clans in Kosovo.

My conclusion is that the great powers implement interventions whenever and wherever they see it beneficial for their military, economical and/or political interests with or without UN approval while humanitarian and legal aspects are serving only nothing but a facade.

I would draw following time axis about some core events with this campaign:

 


Federation Plan As New Approach To Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

December 15, 2017

Throughout two decades of the Israeli-Palestinian “peace process,” direct negotiation with aim of ‘Two-State’ solution has been perceived as the only paradigm of international community and it has been the main option for Israeli and Palestinian authorities. The outcome has been a serial of repeated failures reaching peace agreements and implementing e.g. Oslo accords, combined with varying levels of violent confrontations. There is deepening lack of trust between Israelis and Palestinians and more blaming the other party for failure to progress, and destroying the belief that an agreement is possible in the foreseeable future. The bottom line: Two-State solution and the roadmap towards it seems to be the dead end at least in the short term and sure with its outdated version.

As possible solutions for Israeli-Palestinian conflict there has been besides 2-State solution also bi-national ‘One-State’ solution, partial solutions like Sinai and Jordan Options and different variations of ‘Three States’ solutions. One of course easy ‘solution’ is zero-option – ‘frozen conflict’ or ‘status quo’ scenario which can be implemented also through pseudo-talks. Today also unilateral actions – instead vain negotiations – can pave way towards some solutions.

Recently a new approach to the Jewish-Arab/Palestinian conflict was proposed by sc Federation Movement. Its Federation Plan or Federation Program presents a new approach to the Jewish-Arab/Palestinian conflict. The plan calls for a transformation of Israel’s system of governance into a federal government, such as is found in the USA, Canada, Switzerland and 25 others countries. This will be a progressive regional system whereby the State of Israel is divided into cantons (empowered provinces), which enjoy a great degree of independence in managing their affairs.

 

The Federation Program

According their webpage The Federation Movement is a public ideological movement which advocates a new political approach in order to achieve regional stability and prosperity. The key points of The Federation Program/Plan are following:

  • Application of Israeli law to Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley (the West Bank)

  • Obtaining broad international consensus to leave settlements in place

  • Granting of Israeli citizenship and rights to Palestinian residents of the West Bank who are interested

  • Formulation of one single common constitution, accepted by the majority of Israelis as well as the Arabs of the West Bank

  • Formulation of a common vision for the federal state

  • Establishment of a federal government, and the division of the country into 30 cantons, 20 of which will have a Jewish majority and ten will have Arab majorities (one of which will have a Druze majority).

  • Establishment of an additional house of representatives in the Knesset: the Council of Cantons.

  • Foster reciprocal and collaborative relations between Jewish cantons and Arab and Palestinian cantons.

  • Economic and social reconstruction of refugee camps in the West Bank and Jerusalem and Bedouin settlements in the Negev

  • Obtain international recognition and support for the application of Israeli law in the West Bank, the granting of citizenship to West Bank Palestinians, and Israel’s transformation into a federal state

  • Promotion of joint economic developments with neighboring countries, primarily Jordan and Egypt

  • Maintaining the Gaza Strip as a separate entity.

  • The Jewish population will maintain its unique relationship with the Jewish diaspora, while the Arab population will develop similar reciprocal relations with the Arab and Muslim worlds. The Druze will enhance their special relationship with the Druze population in Syria and Lebanon.

Overview

The Federation Movement believes that the enactment of Israeli law in Judea and Samaria and the bestowing of citizenship rights to their residents is the only realistic solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict that does not entail displacing hundreds of thousands of people from their homes. It believes that a federal government between the Mediterranean and the Jordan will provide all residents with security, peace, and economic and social prosperity.

The plan calls for a transformation of Israel’s system of governance into a federal government. The implementation of the federation plan entails formalizing the status quo. The State of Israel, together with the West Bank, but excluding Gaza, are already in practice one federal bi-national state: The IDF and other Israeli security forces control the West Bank; The Israeli Shekel is the coin used in the Palestinian Authority; 85% of the West Bank’s agricultural and industrial products is sold in Israel; 300 thousand out of 800 thousand Palestinians who work are employed in Israel and in Jewish settlements; approximately half of the Palestinian Authority’s budget is funded by taxes levied on Palestinian workers in Israel; about 300 thousand Palestinians in East Jerusalem hold Israeli residency cards, which allow them to work and move through all of Israel freely; more than 400 thousand Israeli Jews live in approximately 160 settlements throughout the West Bank.

Each canton – empowered province/autonomous district – will have its own government and representative council, which will legislate local law and administer education, local government, policing, planning and housing, and the like. The federal government will oversee matters of security, foreign relations and macro-economics. The Knesset will be expanded to include, in addition to the legislative assembly of today, an assembly of representatives from the cantons. The cantons’ high level of administrative autonomy will enable each canton to manage life in accordance with that canton’s population profile, the only limitation being the constitutional obligation to maintain the civil rights of all the citizens of the federation.

According an interview in Fathom The Federation Movement claims that the Israeli political system remains for all intents and purposes neutralised when it comes to a political resolution of the conflict: neither the Right which mostly objects to the two-state solution, nor the Left which will probably be too weak to implement the required withdrawal of about 30,000 households from the West Bank should it regain power in the near future, will likely be willing or able to garner the required majority in the Knesset or whip up the necessary public support to carry out such a major national undertaking and the traumatic measures it entails.

Another option raised in Israel, a unilateral withdrawal, is politically just as unlikely to materialise as is a negotiated two-state solution. After the 2005 Gaza withdrawal precedent, where Hamas took over the Gaza Strip, it is highly improbable that Israel will give up territory or remove settlers and settlements without getting anything tangible in return from the Palestinians, even if strategic thinking and common sense would call for such a move to keep the two-state solution alive.

So – according Fathom – The Federation Movement believes that their approach does have advantages, especially when looking at the alternatives, a continuation of the status-quo or an apartheid state. The biggest advantage is that political implementation appears easier since there is no need for a formal agreement, there is no need for a large scale withdrawal of Jewish settlements and the economic well-being of the whole area will improve substantially after a period of adaptation.

 

The context

There is a strong believe that regional cooperation based on the Riyadh declaration will soon led to Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. The American – President Trump’s – plan will most probably, or according most optimistic view, be made public even before X-mass 2017, and it will be of a regional nature. It will emphasize regional cooperation against radical Islamists and Iranian ambitions. The United States will lead cooperative measures and consultations with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority and Israel. Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations should take place within this context to bring about regional peace. This is an ambitious plan, yet according to the American diplomat, a feasible one; it does not impose or rule out a two-state solution.

There is speculations that the American plan includes a Palestinian state with limited sovereignty, providing that all of the West Bank remains under Israel’s security control. The US administration will put forth plans aimed at solving the outstanding issue of the Palestinian refugees by settling them in the countries they reside in. A major emphasis will be placed on economic investments for the Palestinians, as well as regional cooperation, anti-terror measures and normalization of relations between the Arab states and Israel, on the basis of the 2002 Saudi peace initiative.

 

My view

At first place the federation idea sounds interesting as it seems to solve a basic dilemma in Israeli-Palestinian conflict: how Israel same time can survive as a Jewish state, have real democracy and keep – more or less – post-1967 boundaries especially in West Bank. In my opinion democratic One-state, Israel-Palestine federation or confederation based on cantons might work in theory but not in practice at least for decades.

My argument is that even since early times of British Mandate first the Pan-Islamic and then pan-Arab rhetoric expressed fundamental ethnic and religious objections to Jews and for the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine. The history of repeated aggressions by neighbours have also created deep distrust among Jews about Palestinians. This kind of ecosystem and peoples’ minds are challenging to transform peaceful coexistence with eternal enemy; it might take decades and generations to change fundamental ethic values. Repetitive variations of influence, education, indoctrination, culture and internationalization have grafted wide ecosystem of Palestinian nationalism – new post-1967 Palestinian national identity; which in turn appeals to latent anti-Semitism.

BICOM research team published on 31st March 2017 a policy paper proposing a new “hybrid” approach to Israeli-Palestinian peace-making. The dialogue analysed and critiqued four models for Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking: Bilateral negotiations focused on agreed parameters; a regional framework; constructive unilateralism; and Israeli-Palestinian confederation.

A consequent absence of a peace process might create the conditions for the emergence of a new paradigm to replace the defunct “two-state solution.” This new paradigm I call as [revised] “hybrid” approach to Israeli-Palestinian peace-making. (More in Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: A Revised Hybrid Model as Solution )

The difference between Herzl’s generation and post-1948 generations was a first-hand understanding of what the absence of a Jewish state means for Jewish survival. The state represents the difference between autonomy and servility, indeed between life and death. In my opinion Israel-Palestine confederation model would be too close one-state solution which would destroy Israel as “Jewish” state. Instead of this model I see Palestine-Jordan confederation – which I call as [revised] “hybrid” approach – much more better alternative.

I agree with Blue White Future co-chairmen Gilead Sher and Orni Petruschka who argue  that the two-state solution is in political trouble but it is still achievable and imperative to the respective parties. However a different paradigm is needed, one that is not based solely on bilateral negotiations towards a fully-fledged Permanent Status peace agreement and thus does not require mutual trust as a necessary condition for progress.

According Sher and Petruschka a more realistic target – than a comprehensive agreement – is a ‘divorce’ two-state agreement between the parties, focused on phased separation between the sides and an absence of violence.

Instead of moving towards an agreement to two states, we need to define our goal as moving towards a reality of two states, and to advance gradually towards that goal. This approach consists of constructive steps that each side can take, independently of the other, in order to advance a situation – both on the ground and in the political realm – which is closer to two states.

My conclusion is that now is the right moment to explore the regional alternative based on maybe soon coming American plan. From my point of view “regional peace process” can be implemented by Egypt, Jordan and Israel and instead of Arab Peace Initiative be based on Sinai and Jordan options. If there is no progress during coming months then the best way forwards from my perspective is Israeli unilateral actions hopefully based on “Constructive Unilateralism” approach.

In long term and in ideal world also with Israeli-Palestinian conflict – a deeper holistic approach is needed to make more sustainable solutions.

Sources:

The Federation Movement and Fathom

 

Related background papers:

Fathom has published an eBook – Two States for Two Peoples – a collection of  essays and interviews drawn from the pages of Fathom focused on the two-state solution and how to reinvigorate it. To download the eBook, click here.

The new “hybrid” approach to Israeli-Palestinian peace-making by BICOM

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 425, March 15, 2017: Becoming Part of Jordan and Egypt: A Palestinian Economic Imperative By Prof. Hillel Frisch; View PDF

 

Related articles:

Peacemaking – a Holistic Approach

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: A Revised Hybrid Model as Solution

Palestinians Put Jordanian Option on the Table

Israel-Palestine Conflict: Regional Approach

Israel’s 5 Strategy Options Regarding West Bank After Abbas

Trump Presidency Brings Realpolitik Back To Mid-East

Constructive Unilateralism (II) as Solution to Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Herzog’s Plan: Security Barrier Around the Major Settlement Blocs of West Bank

Analysis: Resolving The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict


Kurdish Referendum Delivered an Overwhelming Endorsement of Independence

September 29, 2017

Ballot in referendum on independence for Iraqi Kurdistan | image via Wikipedia

Some 5.3 million registered Kurdish voters headed to the polls on Monday 25th Sep. 2017 to decide in a referendum vote whether they want to become an independent nation-state. Three northern Iraqi provinces — Erbil, Duhok and Sulaymaniyah – comprise the parliamentary democracy governed by the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq. The referendum took place within the borders of the Iraqi Kurdistan region, as well as in disputed territories that have been under de facto Kurdish control since their liberation from ISIS (e.g., Kirkuk). Kurds voted to decide whether autonomous Kurdistan should disengage from Iraq and become independent or remain within the Iraqi state.

The referendum was the Iraqi Kurds’ first concrete step towards realizing their over-a-century-old dream of an independent Kurdish state. The vote will likely give the Kurds more bargaining power vis-à-vis Baghdad and the international community once the fight against ISIS has been concluded.

As expected the ballot delivered an overwhelming endorsement of independence, under the leadership of Kurdish president Massoud Barzani. With a turnout around 72 %, more than 92% of voters in Iraqi Kurdistan have opted for independence, according to election monitors, in an overwhelming endorsement of a proposed split from Baghdad.

Unfortunately is only in Iraq where the Kurds were strong enough to have their autonomy inscribed into the country’s constitution, primarily due to the intervention of Western nations following the 1991 U.S. war with Iraq that followed the invasion of Kuwait by Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. In Iraq, Kurds control their land borders with neighboring countries. They maintain their own security force (the Peshmerga, who successfully helped battle the Islamic State terrorist group), they draft their own laws and elect their own parliament. In effect, the Kurds already maintain nearly everything necessary for an independent state.

Peshmerga soldiers replace Daesh flag with Kurdistan flag.

Baghdad, Tehran, Damascus, and Ankara are all opposed to an independent Kurdish state for the same reason as China: it could encourage separatism among their own minorities.

On the other hand, Turkey, Iraq and Iran all reject the establishment of an independent Kurdish state, as does the United States, which is concerned that such a step at this point in time could lead to war in the region. Israel is the only state that has expressed support for Kurdish aspirations. Before ballot President Barzani ignored calls from his neighbors as well as from the US, the UK, the EU, the UN and the Arab League to cancel the vote and delve into more talks about the status of Iraq’s Kurds with Baghdad.

With the exception of Russia and Israel, all regional states and most international allies and foes opposed the referendum, fearing it would destabilise an already volatile area.

It appears that only two nations were celebrating Monday’s Kurdish referendum on independence: Kurds and Israelis.

According JewishPress Israeli social media has been bubbling over the referendum, which is being tallied as this report is being published – and the dominant sentiment being expressed there is: should the free Kurdistan come under attack from its neighbors, Israel would be obligated to come to its aid.

Kurdistan’s and Israel’s enemies are the same. Should a war for free Kurdistan erupt, it will likely focus on Kirkuk, which at the moment is threatened by Shia militias loyal to Iran and to the Iraqi government south of the city. Turkish president Erdogan is threatening to cut the pipeline that exports Iraqi Kurds’ oil to Europe via Turkey. And the Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, has threatened to take military action should the referendum decide on a free Kurdistan. (Source: JewishPress ).

After ballot Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) said the official results of Kurdistan Region’s referendum on independence from Iraq announced on Wednesday were legitimate. Turkey’s second largest opposition bloc said that Erbil’s authorities conducted the referendum in a transparent and participatory manner. The HDP reiterated its call for the creation, without delay, of a national congress that would encompass and be representative of people from the four parts of the historical Kurdish homeland divided between Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Iran. “It is a necessity for making contributions to regional peace and for taking steps towards the establishment of the political, cultural, economic and social unity of the Kurdish people,” the HDP added about the proposed congress. (Source: Kurdistan24.net )

Israel’s approach

Israel’s approach developed not only because it is in its strategic interests, but also because the Kurds have a moral right to statehood. It is also impossible to dismiss the long historic bond between Israel and the Kurds and the many years of cooperation between them. An article in Al-Monitor lists e.g. following Israeli views:

  • Former Minister Gideon Saar from Likud: “I hope that if a majority votes for independence, Israel will be the first state to recognize the independence of Kurdistan.”
  • Communications Minister Ayoob Kara: “The Kurdish referendum will expedite a comprehensive arrangement in the Middle East, and correct the historic Sykes-Picot Agreement, which failed to consider the needs of many minorities, including 40 million Kurds.”
  • Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid: “The Jewish people know what it is to struggle for a homeland, the Kurds have a moral right to a state of their own.” Later in the day, Lapid linked to what he called an “excellent article” in The New York Times, written by Ron Prosor, former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations.
  • Ron Prosor explains the strategic importance of creating an independent Kurdistan and claims that it would be a wise move for the United States to support Kurdish independence because the Kurdish state would contribute to the war against the Islamic State (IS), especially since the Kurds are already important allies in this struggle. Prosor believes that US support for the referendum and an independent Kurdistan would be a victory for democratic values, self-determination and minority rights.
  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his support for an independent Kurdish state in 2014. In a Sept. 12 statement released by Netanyahu, he declared that Israel “support[s] the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to achieve their own state.”
  • Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked of HaBayit HaYehudi supported Kurdish independence in a recent speech: “It is in the interest of Israel and the United States that a Kurdish state be established.” In a speech to the Herzliya Conference in 2015, Shaked had referenced the Kurds’ commitment to democracy, the long ties between the Jewish people and the Kurds and their common interests, which she said were more apparent than ever. They were both fighting against radical forces, particularly IS, which the Kurds of Iraq and Syria have been relentlessly fighting. In that speech, Shaked argued that the situation represented a rare chance to reshape the character and future of the Middle East.

The Israeli media expressed its encouragement and support for the Kurds through its extensive coverage of the referendum. Such encouragement is, in fact, the legacy of a large sector of the Israeli public, as illustrated by interviews with security officials who had been sent by various Israeli governments to northern Iraq in the 1960s to provide the Kurds with support and training. This period of cooperation, which lasted a decade, was particularly fruitful and close, according to Brig. Gen. (Res.) Tzuri Sagi in an interview with Army Radio. Sagi, 83, said that he was sent to train the Kurdish army in 1966 and spent many long years in Kurdistan, together with representatives of Mossad, Israel Defense Forces Medical Corps and Israeli combat officers. Of note, they entered the region through Iran, which then had warm diplomatic relations with Israel. Sagi spoke fondly about the Kurdish people and said that he eagerly awaited the Kurdish declaration of independence “despite the wrath and fury of the entire world.”

Kurdish men hold Israeli and Kurdish flags during a rally to show support for the upcoming independence referendum, Erbil, Iraq, Sept. 22, 2107.

 

Oil & gas aspect

According Reuters – Turkey threatened potentially crippling restrictions on oil trading with Iraqi Kurds on Thursday after they backed independence from Baghdad in a referendum that has alarmed Ankara as it faces a separatist insurgency from its own Kurdish minority. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s office said he had been told by Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim in a call that Turkey would break with past practice and deal only with the Baghdad government over oil exports from Iraq.

KRG natural resources minister Ashti Hawrami (left) and Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin sign their original Investment Agreement 2 Jun 2017 in St Petersburg (Photo credit: Rosneft)

Russia’s interest in the region is growing. Oil major Rosneft (ROSN.MM) is increasing investment in Kurdistan and the Kurds have been developing strong ties with Moscow. The Russian leadership received officials from both Baghdad and Erbil earlier this year. Putin met Iraqi Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani in June and Iraqi Vice President Nuri al-Maliki visited Russia a month later. “Russia is one of the biggest investors in the economy of Iraqi Kurdistan at this moment,” Kirill Vertyayev, a senior research fellow at the Institute of Oriental Studies in Moscow, said. (Source: Reuters)

Russia finds itself in the position of having become the major investor in Iraqi Kurdistan. Russian spending in the area’s oil and gas industry has reached at least $4 billion. In February, Russia’s state-owned oil giant Rosneft announced it would finance in advance a two-year deal, beginning this year, to buy Kurdish crude for the company’s growing global refining system. In early June, Rosneft signed a 20-year deal to buy Kurdistan oil and refine it in Germany. The parties also inked a contract to explore and develop five oil fields “with substantial geological potential” in Iraqi Kurdistan. (Source: Al-Monitor )

On 18th Sept. 2017, Rosneft made public a project to finance construction of Iraqi Kurdistan’s gas pipeline infrastructure, with expected export capacity by 2020 of 30 billion cubic meters (more than a trillion cubic feet) a year. Rosneft said it has negotiated “an opportunity” to participate in a gas infrastructure project with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) of Iraq and that it expects to finalise a separate agreement under this project by year-end. The gas pipeline will not only supply natural gas to the power plants and domestic factories throughout the region but also enable exports to Turkey and Europe in the coming years, said Rosneft. Source: Natural Gas World

China, a permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC) with ambitions to become a major player in the Middle East, will need to take a clear position on the “Kurdish question.” Beijing fears that Kurdish independence could fuel separatist movements within China, the emergence of a Kurdish state could turn out to be a net positive for the Asian giant. China maintains cordial diplomatic and commercial relations with the Kurds, but opposes a unilateral Kurdish declaration of independence. Chinese foreign policy at the global level is to promote peace and the reasonable settlement of disputes through dialogue and negotiation, with an emphasis placed on the role of the UN Security Council.

Dr. Mordechai Chaziza – BESA Center – argues that an independent and friendly Kurdish state could provide Beijing with a new ally in the Middle East and a new instrument of influence in the region. Despite Beijing’s official opposition to separatist movements, Chinese companies have strong energy and economic stakes in Kurdistan, making it different from other such movements. Beijing has also found the Kurds to be a reliable regional ally as well as a lethal and valuable asset against ISIS and al-Qaeda. The Kurdish issue provides China with leverage against Turkey, which continues to host Uyghur separatists and organizations. Finally the most important aspect: China is interested in Iraqi Kurdistan’s rich oilfields, which could diversify its oil supplies.

Peshmerga fighters took control of the Kirkuk oilfields in 2014, when the Iraqi army fled in the wake of Islamic State’s advance on the city. Kirkuk is home to Kurds, Turkmens and Arabs. The latter appeared to boycott the ballot, while Kurds turned out in large numbers. The Kurdish north has completed construction of a pipeline to Turkey, which has helped the Kurds export oil using its Mediterranean port.Trade between Erbil and Ankara is thought to be close to £7.5bn a year, meaning Turkey would face a significant financial blow if it chose to close its borders.

Central Erbil, Iraq. Photograph: Cengiz Yar Jr

Kurdistan24.net reports that Sunni Arab tribes in the disputed areas outside of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) administration support the right of self-determination. On Thursday [28th Sep.2017], Sunni tribal leaders held a summit in Erbil under the banner ‘The Sunni Conference in Solidarity with Kurdistan’ to express their support for the independence referendum held in the Region on Monday. In a statement following the conference, Sunni tribal leaders declared that the right to self-determination is a ‘legitimate right’ of all peoples in line with every international principle and convention. “The Sunni Arabs declare their solidarity with the people of Kurdistan and respect their will and choice,” the statement read.

Kurdish officials say they can withstand an economic blockade because they are self-sufficient in terms of power generation and fuel supply, and they also have fertile agricultural land.

My view

It seems so that everybody – except Israel – fears Kurdish independence much the way everybody once feared Jewish independence – and maybe for a same reason as the new Kurdistan is a democratic island surrounded by tyrannies; it is a prosperous nation; and it is willing and able to fight for its independence.

I agree with those who claim that Kurdish secession could destabilize the rump Iraqi state politically, economically, and militarily. So what? Artificial state-facade in my opinion is secondary value compared to fair will of people from grassroots. From my point of view it is also Israels’ strategic interest to support Kurdish case by all means – military aid included.

Kurdistan

Related article: Kurdistan Taking Shape – with Israeli Support

 


An Epic Moment at the 36th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (Sep 2017)

September 28, 2017

Peacemaking – a Holistic Approach

August 22, 2017

“The only way to solve a conflict at any level of society is to sit down face to face and talk about it.” (John W. McDonald)

Today most wars are intrastate ethnic conflicts. However it is important is to put single conflicts in wider context such as game between great powers, struggle over global energy resources and their supply routes, economic profits of military-industrial-complex etc. From my point of view current peacemaking, peace-building or crisis management structures are not designed to cope with this type of conflict so a deeper holistic approach is needed to make more sustainable solutions.

The British think-tank BICOM, has released its new report on Israeli-Palestinian peacebuilding projects in Israel and the West Bank. The report finds that grassroots Israeli-Palestinian peace building projects work and are a vital missing ingredient in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The report is the first of its kind to attempt a comprehensive review of peacebuilding projects in this area, looking at over 20 years of evaluation data, and based on extensive field work.  [my review about report in article A future for Israeli-Palestinian peacebuilding: The report By BICOM ]

Below I try present brief wider context about peacebuilding and – inspired by report mentioned -conclude the key components of a holistic approach of peacemaking.

The context

I think it is important define also peace mediation and different aspects of that. In my opinion the conflict resolution by most peacemakers is an ad hock fire department activity, important but secondary question. The primary issue from my viewpoint is prevention of problems and their causes, or at least awareness of them. So peace mediation is one part of handling conflicts, it should be applied also before armed conflicts, also post-conflict crisis management in short term and seeking sustainable solutions in long term should be integral part of peace mediation and its training activities.

In my article in Peacemaking – How about solving Conflicts too?   I described four traditional ways in which conflicts between two parties are handled:

  1. A wins, B loses;
  2. B wins, A loses;
  3. the solution is postponed because neither A nor B feels ready to end the conflict;
  4. a confused compromise is reached, which neither A nor B are happy with.

These traditional methods have at least following shortages:

  • Basically peace deals are made between elite’s and their (game) interests where participants are calculating are the wins due the peace bigger than the wins due the war.
  • Many times the process is coercive based to will of outsiders not necessary local needs.
  • In my opinion the traditional process will produce temporary – tactical – solutions and the outcome is frozen conflict. The best examples of these are maybe Bosnia after Dayton and Kosovo after Ahtisaari’s pseudo talks.

As alternatives for these traditional methods I have found three better approach [sure there is more but these three are good examples]:

Galtung himself has employed the “TRANSCEND” Method while serving as a negotiator in a number of international conflicts. He tries to break with four unsatisfactory ways – mentioned earlier – of handling a conflict by finding a “fifth way,” where both A and B feel that they win. He views his role as that of helping the parties clarify their objectives, and working to come up with solutions that meet the objectives of all parties. He presents them with concrete proposals that are intended to give both sides the sense that they are winners. TRANSCEND’s “conflict transformation” approach relies on nonviolence, creativity, and empathy to facilitate an outcome where both parties move beyond their stated positions to create a new reality in their relationship. [more in Johan Galtung’s Conflict Transformation Theory]

I think that “Transcend” approach hits the core question in peace-building process. First it is based to wide participation and even commitment of local stakeholders through dialogue, second it goes to the roots of conflicts and third it is future-oriented.  

Peacemaking – a holistic approach

“…long-term grassroots peacebuilding between the contending parties is always essential to achieving peace.” ((Jonathan Powell, the chief British negotiator during the Northern Ireland Peace Process )

In my opinion peacemaking is only secondary action by managing conflicts – a deeper holistic approach is needed to make more sustainable solutions. The main components from my viewpoint opinion are the following:

  • An approach of active or creative peace-building should be applied to achieve long term solutions
  • Dialogue between local stakeholders is the key component in peace-building process as if the parties are willing to discuss the conflict and work toward reaching a holistic resolution the outcome may be sustainable.
  • Dialogue should be applied through high, middle-range and grassroots levels horizontally across the lines of division in a society. There should also be no gap of interdependence of coordinated relationships up and down the levels of leadership in a society – the vertical capacity means developing relationships between higher and grassroots levels of leadership.
  • To understand the true nature of security issues in each particular context it is necessary to apply also a non-western theoretical framework as the non-western social, political and cultural reality demands maybe different approach – or viewpoint – than normal western practice.
  • Creating an environment of lasting peace is the primary goal of peace-building. The main tool can be different creative therapies being used to create peace, within individuals, groups, and societies. Although used primarily to overcome violence, creative peace-building can also be used as a preventative measure to make the foundations of peace stronger, especially when used with children.
  • The value of civilians in post-conflict stabilization has become increasingly clear and should be appreciated at the expense of military alternatives. Dialogue-based interventions will enhance the motivation and capacity of participants to become “agents of change” in their communities so encouraging long-term engagement in peacebuilding.

 


My related articles:

Civil Crisis Management: Filling the Gaps Between the Aims and on the Ground Effectiveness of a Mission

R2P vs Facades of Interventions,

Multifaceted Intervention Practices ,

Is Peace more than absence of the War? ,

Could EU lead the 3rd Way out from Confrontation? ,

Quality Peace?


Appendix: Some of my related infographs:

mideast peace process alternatives

 

quality peace by Ari Rusila

Cold-Peace-Solution by Ari Rusila

Solving Israeli-Palestinian Conflict by Ari Rusila - https://arirusila.wordpress.com

Solving Israeli-Palestinian Conflict by Ari Rusila – https://arirusila.wordpress.com


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