DESPITE THE LULL, WAR CLOUDS LOOM
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DESPITE THE LULL, WAR CLOUDS LOOM

June 4, 2001

TRIGGERS READY

WAR CLOUDS ON HORIZON

MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 6/04: Despite the lull, there are many ominous signs of impending major attacks against the occupied Palestinians about to take place; and there is a real possibility of regional war. The Israelis have their fingers on the triggers and have forced Arafat to either defy his own people by capitulating to their ultimatums or face Israel's wrath, including his own possible demise. International Airlines, including two of the biggest, Air France and Delta, have canceled flights to Israel. Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, now Secretary of State Colin Powell, has cancelled foreign travel plans to remain at his command post now on the 7th floor at Foggy Bottom. Foreign diplomats and U.N. officials are fleeing Palestinian areas. And the Israelis are planting stories that all the planes overhead and military convoys on the ground are just a "scheduled exercise" going to last "a few days".

For purposes of world public opinion the Israelis are orchestrating a campaign about their "restraint" and "giving Arafat a last chance" and how "reasonable" they are being under such provocations. Of course the actual realities are pretty much just the reverse. It is the Palestinians who have been repeatedly and severely provoked; not to mention it is they who are being constantly tortured, mercilessly repressed, and economically strangled -The now apartheid-like occupation has never been more savage nor more ruthlessly bold. Whatever the actual realities historically, and whatever the political theatrics of the moment, furious Israeli war preparations are actually underway, at both the military and the propaganda levels. Indeed, after a period of diplomatic to and fro the Israelis may well strike first maybe even beyond the Palestinians areas as they did in 1967 -- claiming this or that provocation. Certainly they have put everybody in the region on warning -- if you raise any arms against us we will destroy you.

It is not too far-fetched to even suggest that should they get the excuse and be able to maneuver Washington behind-the-scenes, the Israelis could in fact strike both near and far -- they have been wanting, and at times threatening, to take out weapons of mass destruction as far away as Iraq and Iran, even Pakistan if they could possibly get their Indian ally to seize the moment. And if the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan should in the end rise from the smoke and ashes to find itself transformed into a Palestinian State, that would in fact be the fulfillment of Ariel Sharon's long ambition to force the Palestinians out and force them to find political expression elsewhere.

AIR FORCE LAUNCHES MASSIVE AIR EXERCISE

By Ariel O'Sullivan

JERUSALEM (June 4) - The IAF launched a major air exercise yesterday, and apologized to the public for expected supersonic booms over the next few days.

The exercise, held every few years, puts nearly the entire IAF in the sky in a simulated war scenario, military sources said.

Aircraft, among them fighters, transport aircraft, and helicopters are testing their readiness for battle.

The IDF Spokesman said the exercise would take place "for the next few days" in the skies over the country.

"During the exercise many aircraft will fly, and there are certain to be sonic booms," an IDF statement said. "We apologize for the unpleasantness that may be caused by the noise, and are convinced that this will be accepted with understanding."

There were reports that the Palestinians had heard the sonic booms and had feared it was the Israeli retaliation for Friday's suicide bombing.

While the exercise is planned years in advance, its proximity to the rising tensions in the region are sure to put neighboring states on alert.

The air exercise also includes various target placements on the ground, and the public may observe bizarre convoys of military trucks that appear to be towing surface-to-surface missiles.

RUNNING OUT OF TIME

ISRAEL AND PALESTINE MUST FIND A WAY OUT

The Guardian - Monday, 4 June: In the immediate aftermath of a shattering explosion comes a moment of silence, before the screaming begins. Those who have experienced it say it is akin to being stunned, muted and deafened, to being mentally and physically immobilised. For a few split-seconds, the shocking awfulness of what has occurred seems to stop the world in its tracks. Then the momentary pause ends, sound and fury return in a torrent, and reaction, both rational and irrational, ensues.

So it is now in the Middle East, following Friday night's terrible suicide bombing outside a Tel Aviv nightclub. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict teeters momentarily in suspension between action and counteraction, between one vicious, pitiless gesture of revenge and a probably even more destructive and violent response. Those in Syria and elsewhere who in the past 48 hours have attempted to justify this latest massacre of innocents deserve only contempt. Those in Israel who cry "Death to the Arabs!" and demand a "decisive" vengeance are every bit as repulsive. Both are the victims of the same hate-fed delusion.

Once more we say: there is no victory, no decision, and no honour for Palestine to be had in the random butchering of teenage Jewish girls. There is no security, no solace, and no future for Israel to be found in endless iniquities in the Occupied Territories or in the current ratio of almost five dead Palestinians to each dead Israeli. Just how many times has this been said before? And just how much longer before the majority for peace and justice, on both sides of the divide, is heard?

Perhaps now, at this moment of stunned silence, in the fleeting vacuum after the blast, amid a horror that repels and appals all humanity, these voices will be listened to. Israel's prime minister, Ariel Sharon, known as a man of violence and elected on a vow to give no quarter, has shown uncharacteristic restraint so far. No doubt a swingeing Israeli military reprisal is planned; it could come at any time. But it awaits Mr Sharon's order and, rightly, that order has not yet been given. Israel must hold back - because the blood of yet more innocents will not strengthen its cause; because with US diplomacy finally re-engaged, there is just a glimmer of a way forward; and most of all, because Israel's greater strength gives it a greater responsibility.

Yasser Arafat, too, must stop, pause and listen, or risk the destruction of all his dreams. He has rightly, if belatedly, proscribed further attacks inside Israel. He pledges to "exert our utmost efforts ... to do all that is needed to achieve an immediate and unconditional, real and effective ceasefire". He must realise that this may be his last chance. If he can calm his people, he will finally rebut those who claim he is not really in charge - and vitally boost the Mitchell process on which so much now rests. If he cannot deliver this time, his credibility will be shredded and his plans for statehood exploded, perhaps permanently.

Colin Powell, the US secretary of state, the UN's Kofi Annan, Russia's Igor Ivanov, and the EU's Javier Solana spent much of the weekend sending the same message to Mr Sharon and Mr Arafat: stop shooting, start talking. That unanimity of purpose, too, is welcome. Now the world waits to see if the line oh-so-shakily drawn between these two furious nations can hold. If not, the extremists on the fringes of both camps will slam shut the window that has briefly opened in the past fortnight and shattering the lull, and all faint hope of peace, will fill the air once more with the screams of the maimed and dying and the bitter laments of those who love them.

BEN-ELIEZER: ISRAEL HAS ITS 'FINGER ON THE TRIGGER'

By Margot Dudkevitch and Arieh O'Sullivan

JERUSALEM (June 4) - Security forces continue to maintain a high state of alert, focusing on the Green Line border and crowded urban areas in Israel.

Yesterday morning, the international border crossings at the Allenby Bridge and Rafah were closed until further notice, in addition to the closing of the Dahaniye Airport and the seaport in the Gaza Strip, and the general closure on Judea, Samaria and Gaza Strip, that remain in effect. The IDF has also barred Palestinian vehicles from travelling on Judea and Samaria roads and highways, and has tightened its grip on Palestinian towns and villages in the West Bank, increased road patrols, and set up additional roadblocks. IDF officials noted yesterday that the restrictions would not apply to humanitarian assistance.

The IDF, Border Police, and police have beefed up their presence along the Green Line in order to enforce the closure and thwart Palestinian terrorist attempts to cross into Israel. Since Friday night's suicide-bomb attack in Tel Aviv, police have arrested scores of Palestinian workers from the territories, and have taken action against their Israeli employers.

In order to ensure that law and order prevails, police yesterday deployed forces to guard mosques in Tel Aviv and Jaffa to prevent any possible confrontations. After coming under heavy criticism regarding the handling of demonstrators at the Hassan Bek Mosque on Saturday, Tel Aviv police chief Cmdr. Yossi Sedbon said he was satisfied with how forces had handled the situation, noting that the increased police presence remained.

"Tel Aviv police, assisted by forces from other districts, are patrolling the areas and guarding the mosques, securing the funerals of the suicide-bomb attack victims, and cracking down on Palestinians found inside Israel," he said.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said that Israel had its "finger on the trigger," but for the moment was giving the Palestinians more time to impose a cease-fire on all groups in the territories.

Nevertheless, reports have surfaced that the IDF has begun operations against Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists.

The Islamic Jihad claimed yesterday that Israel had attempted to assassinate former Hamas member Ahmed Mohammed Bisharat in the village of Tamoun in the West Bank, saying that a remote-controlled bomb exploded along the road as he drove past. Bisharat, who was freed from a Palestinian Authority prison eight months ago, was unhurt. It was the first reported attack on an Islamic Jihad member since Israel declared a unilateral cease-fire 11 days ago.

Ben-Eliezer said yesterday that since then, 34 Israelis have been killed and over 100 injured. He said that the Palestinians have fired hundreds of mortars and carried out numerous roadside shootings.

So far, Israel is holding off acting on its announced decision to retaliate for Friday night's suicide bombing by a Hamas terrorist in Tel Aviv, in which 19 Israelis, mostly teenage girls, were killed.

"From the moment of the [Friday attack] we have to put our finger on the trigger to ensure the security and safety of every Israeli citizen," Ben-Eliezer said. "If we must open fire, we will immediately." But up until now, the IDF has been kept from pulling the trigger, as it appears that the Palestinians are drastically reducing their shooting attacks.

"I think it is too early to judge. You need time to realize and understand that [PA Chairman Yasser Arafat] is imposing it," Ben-Eliezer said.

Speaking during a tour of Jerusalem's Gilo neighborhood yesterday, Ben-Eliezer said he expects clear orders to be issued to all Palestinian groups, including the Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Force 17, the Tanzim, and the Palestinian Preventive Security Service.

He also said he was waiting to see a reduction in incitement, as well as arrest of terrorists. "That is the test," Ben-Eliezer said.

Various proposals for the Green Line are being examined by security officials. Channel 1 reported last night that Ben-Eliezer is considering declaring the area a closed military zone, stationing a permanent IDF battalion there and increasing security patrols.


June 2001


Magazine



TURKEY HEADING TOWARD "SOCIAL EXPLOSION"...i.e., "REVOLUTION"
(June 30, 2001)
In geostrategic and military terms, the unnamed U.S.-Israel-Turkish military alliance that emerged full-blown during the last decade -- of course with the Turks using the "peace process" as the excuse for such close relations between Turkey and Israel -- was one of the most important developments.

WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTIONS EMERGING
(June 29, 2001)
In a sense there is an arms race under way at this time of a different kind -- a race for whether weapons of mass destruction will be used in a serious and ongoing way should a new war break out first in the Subcontinent over Kashmir or in the Middle East over Palestine.

LABOR AND LIKUD MORE ALIKE THAN DIFFERENT - MER FLASHBACK
(June 29, 2001)
Long before what was to happen with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak (remember him?), MER was informing who he really was and what to really expect. Same with regard to Shimon Peres. Expect the same cutting-edge information and analysis in the months ahead.

Washington Scene: THE HISTORICAL MOMENT
(June 27, 2001)
The Middle East region totters now between further repression and oppression, terrorism and war. The outcome in the short term is indeterminate of course. But the winds and directions are clear; however much camaflouged by the politicians and the usually gullible mass media.

THREATCON DELTA ORDERED TODAY
(June 22, 2001)
One day they will probably get Osama bin-Laden, former confident of King Fahd in Saudi Arabia, former CIA asset against the once mighty Soviet Empire, now arch nemesis of the American Empire.

"ALGERIA IS IN CRISIS"
(June 22, 2001)
"The Battle of Algiers" left North Africa biggest country terribly bloodied and traumatized. This time it was French imperialism and the French military that did the dirty horrifying deeds.

EGYPT ARMING WHILE REGIME IS SHAKING
(June 21, 2001)
Arab States, including Egypt, are arming at a growing pace. Even combined they are still no match to defeat Israel. But their detterence capabilities are growing, they might be able to seriously bloody Israel in years ahead...

ARAFAT'S FLUNKIES
(June 20, 2001)
There are many reasons the Palestinian people are suffering so terribly, worse by the year in fact, and are now endangered by the possibility of a second "nakba" (disaster).

"THE SECOND HALF OF 1948"
(June 20, 2001)
Official declarations and many reports in the Israeli media indicate that the Israeli military and political leadership are aiming, eventually, at a total destruction of the Palestinian authority, and, with it, the process of Oslo, which is now dominantly considered by them a 'historical mistake'.

TELEGRAPHING WHAT I S TO COME
(June 19, 2001)
Arafat had two roles he had been assigned. That's why none other than former "terrorist" Arafat was the most frequent visitor to the White House during the years 1993 through 2000.

SHARON'S LONG MARCH: NEXT TO WASHINGTON THEN TO THE ATTACK
(June 19, 2001)
Ariel Sharon is proving what others before him, including Generals Patton and MacArthur of American legend, learned about modern warfare. There's a heavy messure of political theatrics and personal legend involved in making war, more so now than ever in this age of instant TV and the Intenet.

SHARON Coming To US Again To Coordinate War Plans
(June 19, 2001)
Sharon is coming to the States again next week. Only a firm "absolutely not" from the Americans is likely now to prevent much further brutal subjugation of the Palestinians; quite possibly the exiling again of Yasser Arafat.

SON OF IMPORTANT ISRAELI FAMILY REFUSES OCCUPATION MILITARY SERVICE
(June 17, 2001)
Coordinated non-violent but serious civil disobedience -- there in the Middle East, in Europe, and in the United States -- that is what today's situation desperately calls out for.

ARIEL SHARON - WAR CRIMINAL?
(June 15, 2001)
Years ago the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kurt Waldheim, was brought before a mock international court through a joint effort of Home Box Office (HBO) in the USA and a major British TV network. The question before the court was whether Kurt Waldheim was possibly guilty of war crimes ...

PREPARING FOR DESTRUCTION
(June 15, 2001)
"If a cease-fire does indeed take hold, then all the better... If Arafat rejects the document or professes to accept it, but does not fulfill his part of the bargain, Israel will win more points in the court of world opinion and a more conducive political backdrop will be created for a military response to Palestinian violence."

ALGERIANS FIRE INTO DEMONSTRATING CROWDS TODAY
(June 14, 2001)
The Berbers in Algeria, the brutal civil war in Sudan, the Palestinians in the once Holy Land, the Kurds in Iraq and Turkey, the ongoing Kashmir crisis -- all conflicts exploding throughout the greater Middle East region today in 2001, all conflicts the legacy of Western colonial policies of yesteryear and American imperial policies of today.

MARCH TO WAR CONTINUES: ISRAEL WARNS IRAN AGAIN
(June 14, 2001)
There are major historical and military reasons why Ehud Barak and Bill Clinton (representing of course huge constituencies who at the time pushed them to pursue the policies they did) pressed Yasser Arafat so hard to sign an agreement at Camp David.

THE SO-CALLED "AGREEMENT"
(June 13, 2001)
There is no real "agreement". There is a dictate. Yasser Arafat is in no position anymore to do much other than what his American handlers tell him to do; a day of reckoning he brought on himself by so many mistakes and so much corruption over such a long time.

Another Muslim Rep Foolishly Plays To The Cameras On Behalf of the Regimes
(June 13, 2001)
A week ago outside the State Department one of the latest Muslim organization reps to grab for the cameras -- Khalid Turaani -- declared in loud tones how the time had finally come for "civil disobedience" and how he and the other leaders of the assembled Muslim "client organizations" were going to get arrested in a peaceful protest ...

HASHEMITE KINGDOM CLOSES BORDERS TO PALESTINIANS
(June 13, 2001)
The Hashemite Regime has always, right from the start, been in deep collusion with the Israelis and since World War II with the CIA. This latest step to close off Jordan to Palestinians -- to essentially put a seal on the jar which now contains the Palestinians ...

CIA TELLS ARAFAT WHAT HE HAS TO DO AND WHAT IT WILL DO FOR HIM
(June 12, 2001)
When the Director of the CIA is himself involved so extensively, goes on site half way around the world for a lengthy stay, and the situation is so critical he has to publicly acknowledge his role ...

CLOVIS MAKSOUD DID IT TWENTY YEARS AGO, APPEARING WITH SHIMON PERES
(June 11, 2001)
Those who know Raghida Dergham know what she is, and its certainly not a truly independent journalist. She's been an opportunist for a very long time, and she's used her sexuality to climb the ladder with backing from one influential Arab diplomat or royal along the way for a long time now.

CALAMITY AHEAD
(June 10, 2001)
"A whole nation is now huddled around one tribal bonfire to lament its bitter fate, mourn its dead and ignore the dead of the other side. As usual, it views itself as the victim, turns the enemy into Satan and waits, inactive and bravely unthinking, for the calamity that is about to befall it and for which it is in no small measure to blame."

WAR POSSIBLE WARNS TOP SAUDI
(June 10, 2001)
Normally one of the last places one would turn for truthfulness, integrity, and information would be the Saudi royal family. Currently headed by a former playboy who drank, gambled, and womanized his life away in Beirut and London -- before assuming the throne -- it is the Saudi "royal family which epitomizes the "client regime" realities that have so fractured, weakened, and prostrated the whole region once known as "the Arab world."

CHRISTIAN LEADERS: WRONG TIME, WRONG ADVICE, WRONG REASONS
(June 8, 2001)
"Be assured of our prayers for you and the President and all others in the Administration as you seek to forge a fair and just policy for the two peoples and three faiths who share a common religious heritage in the land we hold as holy."

THE CRUEL REGIMES OF ARABDOM
(June 7, 2001)
There are huge cultural gulfs between East and West, old world and new world. And of course the West is extraordinarily dominant these days not only it terms of financial and military might, but also in terms of cultural influence and "moral" standards.

SHARON'S RISE
(June 7, 2001)
"In reality the Zionist and Hashemite leaderships continue to plot how to control and repress the Palestinians in ever more crafty and ever more duplicitous ways."

ARAFAT 4 YEARS AGO - MER FLASHBACK
(June 6, 2001)
Last year MER first carried information about the increasingly close CIA, Shinbet, and Mossad connections with Yasser Arafat's "Palestinian Authority".

MUSLIM ORGS EMBARRASS THEMSELVES AT STATE DEPT
(June 5, 2001)
With much press fanfare (they just love to play to the cameras) leaders of half a dozen Muslim American groups held a press conference gathering across from the State Department today.

DESPITE THE LULL, WAR CLOUDS LOOM
(June 4, 2001)
Despite the lull, there are many ominous signs of impending major attacks against the occupied Palestinians about to take place; and there is a real possibility of regional war.

EGYPTIANS THREATEN WAR!
(June 4, 2001)
When the American Secretary of State cancels long-planned foreign travel and publicly warns of the "abyss" from which "there may no return" you can bet the situation behind-the-scenes is far more dangerous and explosive than is publicly realized.

SHARON'S HAWKS PLAN FOR WAR
(June 3, 2001)
Peter Beaumont, foreign affairs editor, reports on Israel's growing mood for full-scale hostilities in the aftermath of 17 deaths in a nightclub suicide bomb attack

24-HOURS AND COUNTING
(June 2, 2001)
"Americans should not travel to Gaza at the present time and those who live there should depart to a safer location when they can do so." U.S. Embassy, Israel

HATED RAJOUB GETS READY
(June 2, 2001)
With the days of Yasser Arafat maybe coming to an end one way or another, with Feisal Husseini passed from the scene, with the other Palestinian tough guys bottled up in Gaza, the frontrunner strong man to "control" the Palestinian people throughout the West Bank and Jerusalem appears to be Jibril Rajoub.

ARAFAT'S LEGACY
(June 2, 2001)
Yasser Arafat was hired, courted, and well-paid to control his own people and lead them, however much they tried to resist, to the Apartheid-style arrangement the Israelis always had in mind with the so-called "Oslo Peace Process".

ISRAELIS PLANNING BLITZKRIEG?
(June 1, 2001)
For a long time now we have been desperately warning about what the true Israeli intentions are. We have also been warning that the Palestinians are not at all prepared for these eventualities, neither with the terrible leadership provided by the "Palestinian Authority" nor for the world-wide information and public relations battle that accompanies all major developments in our world these days.




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