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MIDDLE EAST

ISRAEL:

  • U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz in Israel, in the first official visit since President Joe Biden took office in January. This visit will ‘reaffirm the enduring U.S. commitment to the U.S.-Israel strategic partnership and Israels Qualitative Military Edge’.

SOURCE: HAARETZ


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Expert Analysis

Lavrov Authoritatively Debunked The Fake News About Russian-‘Israeli’ Relations

19 MARCH 2021

Lavrov Authoritatively Debunked The Fake News About Russian-

Wednesday’s press conference in Moscow between the Russian and “Israeli” Foreign Ministers authoritatively debunked the rampant fake news that’s been virally spreading throughout the Alt-Media Community for years about the true nature of their bilateral relations, which remain excellent despite consistent efforts from some influential forces to misportray them as rivals for reasons that only such individuals can account for if publicly but politely challenged by their audience to do so.

Debunking The Latest Lie About Russian-”Israeli” Relations

Every member of the Alt-Media Community is familiar by now with the rampant fake news narrative that’s been virally spreading throughout their sphere of the information space for years already alleging that Russia and “Israel” are supposedly heated rivals with one another, so much so that President Putin might even be secretly plotting an all-out war against the self-professed “Jewish State”. The latest disinformation attack in that direction came late last month after it was falsely reported that Russian Special Envoy to Syria Alexander Lavrentiev threatened to shoot down “Israeli” jets over international airspace the next time that they bomb Syria. I responded to this ridiculous claim that even the most casual objective observer should have immediately known was unrealistic earlier this week in an analysis for The Alt World asking “Should Iran Be Worried About Russia’s Coordination With ‘Israel’ & The US In Syria?” That piece cites recent diplomatic developments and my prior work from late last month about the S-300s, the latter of which provides a list of my 15 most relevant analyses over the years for the reader to review at their leisure.

Relying On Lavrov’s Diplomatic Authority To Set The Record Straight

Despite my detailed analyses being based on objectively existing and easily verifiable facts that are always hyperlinked to their original source (which is usually an official one whenever possible), the most indoctrinated members of the Alt-Media Community still angrily claim that they’re “anti-Russian”, “divisive”, and/or “Zionist” “propaganda”, so powerful is the false narrative that they’ve been brainwashed into believing. That’s why it’s so important to review the highlights of Wednesday’s press conference between the Russian and “Israeli” Foreign Ministers as reported by the official website of the Russian Foreign Ministry, which can’t credibly be accused of being “anti-Russian”, “divisive”, and/or “Zionist” “propaganda”. The purpose in doing so is to hopefully enlighten the “moderate” members of the Alt-Media Community who might be willing to finally listen to the truth about Russian-”Israeli” relations so long as it comes from none other than Foreign Minister Lavrov, the most authoritative source on Russian foreign policy by virtue of his position as its top diplomat. What follows is a list of bullet points summarizing the gist of his key statements, followed by the specific quotes themselves:

A Collection Of Key Quotes

* Russian-”Israeli” Relations Are Guided By Putin & Netanyahu’s Shared Vision:

We believe that Russian-Israeli bilateral ties are making progress in accordance with the agreements reached between President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”

* Russia & “Israel” Are Comprehensively Strengthening Their Relations, Including In The Defense Sphere:

We reiterated our commitment to promote interaction across all areas, including the economy, culture, science and education. Steady contacts have been established between the defence ministries.”

* Neither Supports The Dangerous Rehabilitation Of Nazism In Europe:

Russia and Israel have consistently opposed the increasingly frequent attempts to rewrite the history of WWII, to glorify Nazi war criminals and to revive neo-Nazism. We emphasised the importance of our acting jointly with the overwhelming majority of other countries in adopting the related annual resolution by the UN General Assembly.”

* Russia Supports The Arab-”Israeli” Normalization Process:

Moscow welcomes the normalisation of Israel’s relations with a number of Arab states and believes this should help advance a comprehensive settlement in the region, including the long-standing Palestinian problem.”

* Russia & “Israel” Are On The Same Page As Regards A Peaceful Resolution To The Syrian Conflict:

With regard to Syria, we have an overlapping position on the need for a political settlement based on the principles laid down in UN Security Council Resolution 2254. We declared our principled support for Syria’s sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity, and the Syrians’ legitimate right to decide on their own future without outside interference.”

* Russia Briefed “Israel” On Sensitive Aspects Of The Syrian Peace Process, Including Constitutional Reform

We updated our Israeli friends on Russia’s activities as part of the Astana format and other channels in order to help overcome various aspects of the Syria crisis. We focused particularly on stepping up the Constitutional Committee’s activities and shared our steps designed to make the upcoming 6th meeting of the Constitutional Committee’s drafting committee productive.”

* Russia Hinted That “Israel” Might Be Interested In Providing Humanitarian Support To Syria:

We also spoke about the need to help overcome the humanitarian crisis in Syria, where the infrastructure has been destroyed and the people are suffering badly in the wake of crippling sanctions imposed by the United States and other countries.”

* Russia Also Hinted That “Israel” Might Join Moscow’s Proposed Gulf Collective Security System:

We mentioned Russia’s initiative to form a collective security system in the Gulf region with the potential to include neighbouring countries.”

* Russia Sincerely Trusts “Israel” And Vice-Versa:

I believe we had productive talks. We appreciate mutual trust in our contacts with our Israeli colleagues on all matters on the bilateral and multilateral agendas.”

* Russia Is Against The ICC’s Investigation Into “Israeli” War Crimes In Palestine, Believing It’s Politically Biased:

We have a negative impression of this body. This is our principled and consistent position. When the ICC was created, we hoped it would be an independent and professional judicial body with the potential to eventually become a universal body. In reality, it turned out to be the other way round.

The ICC has not lived up to our expectations. It has repeatedly demonstrated a political bias, a lack of professionalism or understanding of certain rules of international law, made mistakes in using them and, contrary to the Rome Statute provisions, unjustifiably tried to expand its competence by invading spheres that are beyond its terms of reference.”

Russia has refused to participate in this and has revoked its signature under statute. Israel did so even earlier. China, India and many other states are not part of the ICC. Even the countries that are parties to the Rome Statute recognise the systemic problems plaguing ICC functions. Unfortunately, the ICC has discredited itself and the mission that was entrusted to it. Any action taken in The Hague must be viewed through this lens and in light of the court’s tarnished reputation.”

Analytical Wrap-Up

As evidenced from the above, there’s no doubt that Russia and “Israel” are much more akin to allies than rivals nowadays. They sincerely trust one another and Moscow supports Tel Aviv on practically every issue of significance, including its opposition to the ICC’s investigation into the self-professed “Jewish State’s” war crimes in Palestine. The Eurasian Great Power hopes to see its de facto regional ally eventually incorporated into the proposed Gulf collective security system, and it also seemingly appreciates the insight that it provides about the Syrian peace process as well during their close consultations on this matter of mutual interest, especially as relates to the Arab Republic’s ongoing constitutional reform. Unlike what many in the Alt-Media Community have been falsely led to believe for years and even as most recently as last month, there exist no serious military disagreements between Russia and “Israel”, as confirmed by Lavrov himself when talking about the “steady contacts” that have been established between their Defense Ministries. This key quote crucially debunks the fake news about Russia allegedly threatening to shoot down “Israeli” jets.

Holding The Alt-Media Community To Account

Nevertheless, it’s all but certain that some of the Alt-Media Community’s key influencers – particularly those whose claim to fame is their coverage of the Syrian conflict – will either suspiciously ignore the objectively existing and easily verifiable policy facts presented in Wednesday’s joint Russian-”Israeli” Foreign Ministers press conference or concoct some crazed theory to protect their precious disinformation narrative about their ties. At all costs, the most responsible truth-seeking members of the Alt-Media Community must hold those said influencers (who in some cases might arguably be deliberate deceivers) to account by publicly but very politely challenging them about their response to this latest diplomatic development. They must be presented with the Russian Foreign Ministry’s official readout of Wednesday’s joint press conference that’s accessible here and asked to share their opinion about Lavrov’s official policy pronouncements. It’s time to find out who’s lying to themselves due to their own wishful thinking delusions as influenced by Alt-Media disinformation and who’s deliberately lying to others about this sensitive issue, including through suspicious omission of the facts.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Russia, Israel, Lavrov, Fake News, Infowars, Alt-Media, Syria, Balancing, ICC, Palestine, Putin, Netanyahu.


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Geopolitics

MIDDLE EAST:

ISRAEL:

  • Thousands of Israelis demonstrated against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and called for him to step down. This is the 32nd week that such protests have been held against the Israeli leader, who faces three indictments on corruption and fraud charges.

SOURCE: MIDDLE EAST MONITOR


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Expert Analysis

Russian Influence In The Mediterranean Is Multipolar, Not Malign

Russian Influence In The Mediterranean Is Multipolar, Not Malign

17 DECEMBER 2020

Russian Influence In The Mediterranean Is Multipolar, Not Malign

US Secretary of State Pompeo’s misportrayal of Russian influence in the Mediterranean as malign is likely due to the fading unipolar hegemon’s fear of the growing multipolar impact that the Eurasian Great Power is having on regional affairs, and it also very conspicuously ignores the de-facto Russian-”Israeli” alliance which voices on both sides of the partisan aisle as well as the vast majority of the Alt-Media Community feel very uncomfortable discussing for vastly different reasons.

Malicious Accusations

America’s top diplomat claimed earlier this week that “Russia continues to threaten Mediterranean stability using a variety of techniques to spread disinformation, undermine national sovereignty, and sow chaos, conflict, and division within countries throughout the [Mediterranean].” Pompeo purported that the Eurasian Great Power’s enormous military support of the Syrian government in its anti-terrorist campaign was proof of this, as well as a diplomatic scandal in Greece a few years back, its diaspora’s financial connections with the region, and its reported mercenary-led intervention in Libya. In reality, however, Russia’s regional role is far from malign but actually represents the embodiment of irreversible multipolar trends, an observation which understandably upsets the fading unipolar hegemon. Moreover, Pompeo also conspicuously ignores the de-facto Russian-”Israeli” alliance which voices on both sides of the partisan aisle as well as the vast majority of the Alt-Media Community feel very uncomfortable discussing for vastly different reasons.

Setting The Record Straight

To briefly address each of his points, Russia’s anti-terrorist military intervention played a decisive role in defeating ISIS. In addition, the author earlier also drew attention two years ago to how “Russia’s Reshaping Syria’s ‘Deep State’ In Its Own Image”, specifically through one of its top think tank’s “recommendations” for security sector “reform” aimed at countering Iranian influence on that country’s armed forces, something which is being pursued independently of US interests but nevertheless dovetails with them. Secondly, the diplomatic scandal that Pompeo touched upon relates to Greece’s expulsion of Russian diplomats for supposedly trying to subvert the so-called “Prespes Agreement”that eventually made Macedonia the world’s first “politically correct” police state exactly as the author predicted, which they never attempted to do. Regarding its diaspora’s financial influence, there’s nothing wrong with this, and it in many ways compares to Western expats’ own. As for Libya, Russia is working closely with Turkey to stabilize the situation despite disagreements.

The Impact Of Multipolarity

The previously unforeseen and subsequently rapid expansion of Russian influence in the Mediterranean — greatly advanced by the newfound Russian-Turkish Strategic Partnership that rose in the wake of their regrettable November 2015 plane incident in Syria — has had the effect of facilitating the spread of multipolarity throughout the region. What’s meant by this is that the US’ unipolar hegemonic designs are being threatened by Russia’s emergence as a credible alternative to it in many respects, thus finally giving regional players someone else to rely upon instead of having to retain their former dependence on America for whatever their needs may be or oppose its aggression almost entirely alone (with Iran’s support to the Resistance being the notable exception). Where Russia doesn’t differ from the US, however, is with its de-facto alliance with “Israel”, which the author elaborated upon at length in his extensively researched piece for Global Research in September 2019 titled “Russia’s Middle East Strategy: ‘Balance’ vs. ‘Betrayal’?”.

Pompeo’s “Politically Correct” Omission

Although some differences still remain between these two strategic partners, notably in terms of the limits to their cooperation in Syria, they’re still largely on the same page in many respects as the cited Global Research analysis explains. This, however, is conspicuously ignored by Pompeo, his partisan opponents, and most of the Alt-Media Community, albeit for their own reasons. Neither America’s top diplomat nor his domestic enemies dare to draw attention to this after spending the past four years defaming Russia since they’re afraid that it would thus make their “Israeli” ally look bad by association. They’re also probably a bit jealous of how close President Putin and Netanyahu have become over the years, the resultant relationship of which the author describes with the portmanteau of “Putinyahu’s Rusrael”. “Israel”, long thought by some to be under the US’ influence, is actually impressively independent as far as cultivating its own strategic relations with Russia goes. These observations make Americans uncomfortable, hence why they choose not to publicly discuss them.

The Alt-Media Community’s Self-Censorship

As for the Alt-Media Community, most are zealously opposed to Zionism, so much so that their beliefs are practically dogmatic at this point. Every member has the right to hold whichever sentiments they want, but they’re unable to reconcile their anti-Zionism and Russophilia like the author explained in his Global Research analysis. This leads to what he described as the “freakish fusion” between the two whereby those who espouse these views cannot accept that President Putin is a proud philo-Semite who’s overseen his country’s de-facto alliance with “Israel”, something that he passionately defended back in September 2019 while speaking before the self-described “preeminent worldwide fundraising organization for Israel” and “fundraising arm of the Jewish People and the Zionist Movement”, the Keren Heyesod Foundation. Instead of supporting Russia on some issues while disagreeing with it on others such as this one for instance, they feel that no such balanced approach is possible, so they simply ignore the Russian-”Israeli” alliance because it’s “politically inconvenient”.

The Jewel In Russia’s Geopolitical Crown

Truth be told, however, this game-changing strategic partnership is actually the jewel in Russia’s geopolitical crown, and no serious discussion of its Mediterranean strategy is possible without focusing the majority of one’s analytical attention on it. However one personally feels about Russia’s extremely close ties with “Israel”, the fact of the matter is Moscow seeks to replace Washington as Tel Aviv’s top regional security partner. There are of course practical limits to how far Russia is willing to go in this regard, but there’s no denying that it successfully pushed Iranian forces back from the occupied Golan Heights in 2018 as publicly acknowledged by Russia’s own Defense Ministry and even passively facilitated “Israel’s” hundreds of strikes against the IRGC and Hezbollah in the Arab Republic by never interfering with them despite receiving advanced notice. These developments — and especially Russia not allowing Syria to use the S-300s to shoot down “Israeli” jets as the author analyzed at length here — helped “Israel’s” security interests much more than the US has in recent years.

Concluding Thoughts

It’s not the author’s intent to argue in support of or against Russia’s de-facto alliance with “Israel” since he respects the reader’s right to arrive at their own conclusions about this sensitive issue, but simply to remind everyone that this strategic partnerships exists and thus raise the “uncomfortable question” of why Pompeo, his domestic opponents, and the Alt-Media Community all fail to mention it when discussing the Eurasian Great Power’s growing influence in the Mediterranean. As it was provocatively described in the article, this is actually the jewel in Russia’s geopolitical crown, and it can also be said that “Israel” regards its privileged relationship with Russia as being a jewel in its own such crown as well. After all, everything that Russia has done for “Israel’s” regional security interests in recent years (particularly with respect to Syria) can’t help but be immensely appreciated by Tel Aviv, especially since it’s much more than its traditional American ally has done for it during the same time. It’s therefore impossible to discuss Mediterranean geopolitics without acknowleding that the de-facto Russian-”Israeli” alliance is one of its most prominent features.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Russia, Mediterranean, Turkey, Israel, Cyprus, Greece, Libya, Syria, Iran, Balancing, Putin, Netanyahu, Pompeo, US.


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Anti-Goverment Protests

Israel

ISRAEL

  • Tens of thousands of Israelis reportedly demonstrated against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in hundreds of sites across Israel on Saturday night, renewing a movement that had been halted by a sharp second wave of the coronavirus.

SOURCE: JEWISH NEWS

 

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Anti-Goverment Protests

Israel

ISRAEL

  • Parliamentary committee approved Protest Bill which critics said was really intended to block anti-Netanyahu protests during Coronavirus Lockdown.

SOURCE: THE WIRE

 

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Anti-Goverment Protests

Israel

ISRAEL

  • Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s allies have threatened to impose emergency regulations to prevent anti-Netanyahu protests, after failing to pass restrictions on coronavirus law.

SOURCE: MIDDLE EAST MONITOR

 

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Anti-Goverment Protests

Israel

ISRAEL

  • Thousands of Israeli protesters gathered Sunday in Jerusalem to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Netanyahu, the first of such demonstrations since the start of a new nationwide coronavirus lockdown.

SOURCE: GLOBAL TIMES

 

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Anti-Goverment Protests

Israel

ISRAEL:

  • Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in Israel late Saturday, demanding the departure of Prime Minister Netanyahu, who has been indicted for corruption.

SOURCE: MIDDLE EAST MONITOR

 

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Anti-Goverment Protests

Israel

ISRAEL:

  • ISRAEL: Thousands of Israelis protested in Jerusalem against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, while smaller protests took place across the country. The protesters want the embattled Netanyahu to give up his post while he is on trial for corruption charges.

SOURCE: EURONEWS

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