Biden’s Middle East Visit, and Israel’s New Shopping List

By Jamal Kanj*

July 13, 2022

President Joe Biden’s visit to the Middle culminates months of diplomatic and military meetings between American and Israeli officials preparing Israel’s “Shopping List” for Biden’s trip.

In parallel, the Administration sent several envoys to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia negotiating quietly the political price the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohamed bin Salman (MbS) is willing to pay to exculpate him from Biden’s “pariah’s” list.

After insisting he would not meet MbS, Biden relented once he secured a gathering of local leaders to sign on an Israeli custom design plan, “Regional Defense System, RDS.” Besides the irony of including Israel, the country that introduced the sin of nuclear power to the region, to oppose nuclear expansion in the Middle East, the misnomer RDS is only a subtle catalyst to integrate Israeli in the region under the guise of a hyperbolic Iranian nuclear ambitions.

Biden’s Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan reiterated this on July 12 when he explained that a main objective for the President’s visit is “to deepen Israel’s integration into the region.” In fact, Biden has pointed earlier to the Israeli factor as one reason he would meet MbS.

It’s not the US economy, not the 80-year strategic partnership with Saudi Arabia, not mutual interest that took President Biden to Saudi Arabia. But it is how Biden can surpass Trump’s servitude to Israeli lobby. A foreign lobby with an irrational grip on American politicians, and hence the obsession of US political leaders, especially presidential hopefuls, to placate Israeli firsters and deliver to Israel before Country.

Then, President Donald Trump, and the highest-level Israeli insider in the White House, Jared Kushner, willfully jettisoned the main pillars of the US constitution such as democratic values, human rights, and self-determination to deliver to Israel. US agreed to bailout a military dictatorship, denied the people of Western Sahara the right to determine their future, agreed to sell the most sophisticated fighters to an authoritarian Arab dictator, and provided cover for the murder of a journalist, and an American resident, all as a reward for establishing relationship with Israel.

Israel thrives on conflict; it is how it builds alliance; it’s how it achieves acceptance. This explains why Israel opposes all peaceful efforts to control Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

When in 2015 president Barak Obama secured an agreement to stop Iran from developing nuclear power, the Israeli prime minister, and for the first time in American history, a foreign leader was afforded a national platform to challenge the President’s leadership.

Israel’s amen corner in Congress invited Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu to speak directly to US Congress demanding American elected officials to reject an agreement negotiated by their own president. In a rare occurrence in Washington, even the president Party’s most Senior Senator, Charles Schumer, supported the call from a foreign country leader to defeat his Party leader, and president.

Schumer, boasts, albeit falsely that his name is derived from a Hebrew word, shomer meaning “guard.” He believes god gave him the role of guarding Israel’s interests in the US Senate. When in fact his name came from a North German word meaning good-for-nothing, vagabond. But for the real meaning of his name, Schumer came close to helping a foreign leader defeat a US president, from his own Party, in US Congress.

It begs to ask, what do the obsequious toady politicians get in return for the unprecedented American political servitude to a foreign entity?

At the start of the Russian invasion, Ukrainian officials expressed interest in acquiring the Israeli-US Iron Dome missile defense system, Israel blocked the request so as not to ire Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In February 2022, the US requested non-voting allied countries, like Israel, to endorse a Security Council (SC) resolution condemning Russia. While more than 50 countries signed on, Israel refused to co-sponsor the United States-backed resolution. Then, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid explained Israel’s refusal not to undermine “our mechanism of cooperation with (Russian) them . . .” in Syria.

In May 2022, Israel turned down a U.S. request to allow Germany supply Ukraine with anti-tank missiles manufactured in Germany under an Israeli license. Israel’s excuse the anti-tank Spike missiles―a technology most likely financed by American tax payers―could harm Russian soldiers and hurt regional security with Russia.

“Only Permanent Interest,” Israel perfected Nicholas Machiavel rule. In addition to signing the largest financial aid package for Israel — over $4 billion ahead of his trip, Israel’s Shopping List includes delivering Saudi Arabia, at least in small steps, like RDS, toward eventual normalization.

This week Israeli Prime Minister called for open relations with Saudi Arabia to change the “history for our children.” This is at the same time when the Israeli government approved to displace, change the history, for one of the largest Palestinian children from their homes in Masafer Yatta and make room for another Jewish-only colony.

Israel is not even willing to grant Biden a mere fig leave before his meeting with Arab royals. It continues to block Biden’s efforts to open the US Consulate in occupied East Jerusalem. This time using the same tired ruse, requesting the US to wait until after the election. It’s worth noting, after the last election, Israel denied the same request claiming it could collapse the elected government.

Israel is out for what it can get for self, even if it means creating perpetual conflicts. History has shown that Israel has nothing to offer the US, a “shomer,” vagabond, good-for-nothing milking its US welfare cow.

 *Jamal Kanj (www.jamalkanj.com) is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America, and other books. He writes frequently on Arab world issues for various national and international commentaries

3 Palestinians injured by Israeli fire in West Bank

Palestinians gather to protest the Israel’s seizure of their land, in Hebron, West Bank on June 11, 2022

Three Palestinians were injured by Israeli army fire in the occupied West Bank on Sunday, according to a local medical source, Anadolu Agency reports.

The casualties occurred in clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces during a raid in the town of Tubas in the northern West Bank, a source with the Palestinian Red Crescent Society said.

The injured were rushed to the Turkish Hospital in Tubas for medical attention.

There was no comment from the Israeli military on the report.

The Israeli army frequently carries out wide-ranging arrest campaigns across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem on the pretext of searching for “wanted” Palestinians.

According to a recent UN report, around 60 Palestinians were killed and 6,000 others injured by Israeli army fire this year.

The report showed that Israeli army forces had carried out 1,600 raids into Palestinian areas since the beginning of this year.

READ: UN experts urge Israel to release Palestine child prisoner Ahmed Manasra

(Source / 17.07.2022)

Israeli occupation launches air strikes on Gaza Strip, causes material damage

 Israeli warplanes fired at least 10 missiles at a Palestinian resistance location south-west the Gaza city in the northern Gaza strip on July 16, 2022

Besieged Gaza Strip (QNN)- Israeli occupation has launched a series of airstrikes on several locations in the Gaza strip after midnight on Saturday, causing a lot of material damage while no casualties were reported.

Local sources reported that Israeli warplanes fired at least 10 missiles at a Palestinian resistance location south-west the Gaza city in the northern Gaza strip, causing fire to erupt at the site as smoke plumes were seen in the targeted area. The missiles completely destroyed the site and caused heavy damage to houses in its vicinity.

The Israeli military claimed early on Saturday it hit a rocket-manufacturing site in central Gaza run by Hamas movement. “The site targeted was one of the largest and most important sites in the Strip for the production of base materials for rockets by terror groups,” the IOF Spokesperson’s Unit said.

The bombardment, it claimed, came in response to two rockets that were fired toward the southern city of Ashkelon at around 1:00 a.m. One was intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system while the other struck an open area. There were no reports of damage or injuries, however.

The alleged rocket fire came shortly after US President Joe Biden visited Israeli-occupied Palestine and the West Bank.

Following the airstrikes, Hamas’s oficial spokesperson Hazem Qassem said that “the occupation, with all the tools of terrorism and American support, will not be able to break the will of our steadfast people and their valiant resistance.”

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum also said it was no coincidence that the Israeli airstrikes took place right after Biden’s visit to ‘Israel’.

“This escalation, which came immediately after US President Biden’s visit to the Zionist entity, reflects the amount of American support and encouragement that the Israeli occupation has received for the continuation of its aggression and the perpetration of its crimes,” he said in a statement.

However, no group has claimed the responsibility for launching the alleged rockets.

(Source / 17.07.2022)

Updated: “Israeli Soldiers Shoot Four Palestinians, Abduct Two, In Tubas

Updated: Earlier Sunday, Israeli soldiers shot four Palestinians and abducted two, including one of the wounded, in Tubas city, in the northeastern part of the occupied West Bank.

Media sources said several army jeeps invaded the city, leading to protests, before the soldiers fired many live rounds, rubber-coated steel bullets, and gas bombs.

The head of the Tubas office of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS), Kamal Bani Odah, said the soldiers shot Ashraf Ra’ed Daraghma, 20, and abducted him without allowing Palestinian medics to approach him.

He added that the soldiers also invaded and searched homes before abducting another young man.

Mohammad Samara, the director of Tubas Turkish Governmental Hospital, said Palestinian Red Crescent Medics provided treatment to three Palestinians who were shot with live rounds in the legs, especially the knee, and moved them to a hospital.

Samara added that the three Palestinians suffered moderate-but-stable injuries and said the bullets went through the knee area of two of the wounded Palestinians, but the third required surgery because the bullet remained lodged in his knee.

In related news, the soldiers invaded Tuqu town, east of Bethlehem, stormed and searched several homes, and summoned a young man, Bara’ Raed al-‘Amour, for interrogation at the Etzion military base and security center south of the city.

(Source / 17.07.2022)

Israeli Navy Attacks Palestinian Fishing Boats In Northern Gaza

On Saturday night, Israeli navy ships chased Palestinian fishing boats and attacked and opened fire at them near the shore areas of the northern parts of the Gaza Strip.

Media sources said the navy shops fired live rounds and flares and used water cannons in attacking the boats near al-Waha, as-Sudaniyya, Jabalia, and Beit Lahia, in northern Gaza.

The sources added that the attacks caused property damage and forced the Palestinians to leave.

Earlier Saturday, Israeli soldiers fired many automatic live rounds and gas bombs at Palestinian farmers and shepherds east of Khan Younis in the southern part of the besieged Gaza Strip.

On Saturday morning, Israeli navy ships fired many live rounds at Palestinian fishing boats near the shore in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

On Saturday dawn, the Israeli army fired missiles targeting two areas in Gaza city and the central part of the coastal region.

The attacks are part of constant Israeli violations against the Palestinians, especially the fishermenfarmersshepherds, and workers in the besieged and impoverished Gaza Strip, and resulted in dozens of casualties, including fatalities, in addition to severe property damage and the confiscation of many boats after abducting the fishermen.

In March of 2021, the Palestinian Interior Ministry in Gaza said Israeli mines were responsible for an explosion that led to the death of three fishermen.

(Source / 17.07.2022)

Israeli Soldiers Abduct Two Palestinians In Beit Fajjar

On Saturday, Israeli soldiers abducted two young Palestinian men from Beit Fajjar town, south of Bethlehem, in the occupied West Bank.

The soldiers invaded the al-Manzala area in the town, closed roads, and searched homes before abducting the two young men.

It is worth mentioning that the soldiers repeatedly invaded the town and frequently instant sudden roadblocks at its main entrance before stopping and searching cars.

Also, the soldiers injured six Palestinian workers after chasing their car, causing it to crash near Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank.

(Source / 17.07.2022)