Friday 5th of June 2020

the deal of the century...


US President Donald Trump has presented his long-awaited Middle East peace plan, promising to keep Jerusalem as Israel's undivided capital.

He proposed an independent Palestinian state and the recognition of Israeli sovereignty over West Bank settlements.

Standing alongside Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House, Mr Trump said his proposals "could be the last opportunity" for Palestinians.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas dismissed the plans as a "conspiracy".

"I say to Trump and Netanyahu: Jerusalem is not for sale, all our rights are not for sale and are not for bargain. And your deal, the conspiracy, will not pass," he said in a televised address from Ramallah in the West Bank.

The blueprint, which aims to solve one of the world's longest-running conflicts, was drafted under the stewardship of President Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Thousands of Palestinians protested in the Gaza Strip earlier on Tuesday, while the Israeli military deployed reinforcements in the occupied West Bank.


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a blatant attempt to ‘legitimize Israel’s occupation’...

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has blasted a plan for resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict presented by Donald Trump, saying the proposal is a blatant attempt to ‘legitimize Israel’s occupation’ of Palestinian territories.

Erdogan, a long-time critic of Israeli policies, lashed out at the US-proposed roadmap in a Wednesday interview with journalists who were accompanying him on his return from a three-country visit to Africa.

“This is the plan to ignore the Palestinians’ rights and legitimize Israel’s occupation,” Erdogan said, as quoted by Anadolu Agency.

The remark is in line with criticisms voiced earlier by other Turkish officials. The Foreign Ministry branded Trump’s plan “stillborn” and said it was aimed at “killing the two-state solution and stealing Palestinian lands.”



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The Arab League has shot down US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan, saying it would not lead to a just peace between Israel and Palestine. The deal has already been rejected by the Palestinian side.

League members met in Cairo on Saturday to discuss the deal, touted by Trump as the “deal of the century,” and a realistic roadmap to peace between Israel and Palestine. Speaking at the meeting, Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas announced he would cut all ties with the US and Israel over the plan, and would not go down in history as the person who sold out Jerusalem.



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lebanon — an "examplar country"...


by Richard Labévière


The least we can say is that "the deal of the century", namely the "Israeli-Palestinian peace plan" proposed by the gang of Donald Trump, constitutes such a sham — which yields everything to the Tel Aviv regime, in flagrant violation of several hundred United Nations resolutions — a sham which aggravates the conflicts in progress, so much so that it would be wiser to speak of a war plan, if not of a "declaration of war"!

In fact, the Trump plan relaunches the confrontation with the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, which announced "that it is cutting ties with Israel and the United States"; it crystallizes a face to face with Hamas and the other politico-military organizations of the Gaza Strip; it highlights the standoff with Iran — the main supporter of the Palestinian cause; and in general, it hardens relations between "the Jewish state", the Arab-Muslim world and any state that respects international law.

In neighbouring Lebanon, which did not need this — this evil plan adds more difficulties to an already critical, complex, and dangerous situation ... Indeed, the Trump plan — which makes the deportation of the Palestinian populations one of his priorities — bars all hope of the refugees returning to their homeland. That said, the initial number of Palestinian refugees — which reached 600,000 in the 1970s — could have dropped to 400, or even 200,000 today. But, with the burden of more than a million Syrian refugees, Lebanon is more than ever confined to its historic role of "buffer state", to use the expression of Georges Corm.


Since the ill-named "revolution" of October 27, the Lebanese streets have quietened down, if not fragmented. Schematically, we can identify the “8 March-ists” — on the left — who occupied several bank seats, held responsible for the country's corruption and financial bankruptcy — and the “14 March-ists” — on the right and on the far right — who regularly block roads with concrete blocks, the northern highway to Nar el-Karb, the southern route and other major traffic axes, demonstrating in the city center, under the windows of the Seraglio to make the government fall.


Among these protesters, who seek above all to exclude Hezbollah from the political game, a hard core of activists comes from Tripoli — from the background of Ashraf Rifi, the former security chief — those who clearly display their allegiance to the Muslim Brotherhood , in Qatar and Ankara, going so far as to brandish Turkish flags. Other Tripolitan Islamists, for their part, claim support and funding from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

At the heart of the protests, one of our reporters even saw agents of the General Bank Company in Lebanon (SGBL), distributing flags, caps and leaflets to the demonstrators: one of the major Lebanese banks at the heart of the "revolution" !!! THIS is heavy, indeed, and reminds us that the Lebanese banks and banking system are at the heart of the crisis.

For years, however, we have been sold and touted the Lebanese bank, which is safe, reliable and trustworthy because it does not operate in "subprime", to stick to the more conventional financial products. However, in less than a month, this beautiful legend has been shattered. On the verge of bankruptcy, Lebanese banks only allow their customers more than weekly withdrawals not exceeding some 200 dollars! What happened ?

The Lebanese banking system is essentially based on deposits from bank customers, these deposits coming in particular from the Lebanese diaspora, for a very simple reason: it is almost impossible for the banking system to refinance abroad. No bank in the world lends indeed to Lebanese banks. Why ? Their "rating" cannot exceed that of the Lebanese sovereign risk — but this is so negative (Lebanon has just been lowered to Caa by Moody's, a risk considered to be 'high'; in short, a few months before a ' default ', which corresponds for a country to filing for bankruptcy).




Whether the war criminal Netanyahu and his "Jewish state" dislike it, it is certainly by "deconfessionalizing" the territories and their constitutional frameworks, by promoting the consolidation of secular and social states, that we can hope to bring back the peace in the Near and Middle East, or at least work on a new system of collective security and cooperation that bypasses the United States, the regime of Netanyahu and the Wahhabo-Islamist dictatorships of the Gulf.

Speaking of Lebanon, Pope John Paul II called it an "examplar country" because it is, financially, dialectically and, at the same time, late and early. Lebanon often anticipates economic, political and social changes in the countries of the Middle East and elsewhere. With love and humor (let's try) to keep saying that "in Lebanon everything is fine!".

At least let us hope, while waiting for the next Ministerial Declaration, that the crisis will gradually resolve, that the new business leaders will be able to minimise an endemic system of predation and corruption which has done so much harm to the Lebanese.

Until then, happy reading and see you next week.


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Translation by Jules Letambour.




"8-M" and "14-M": March 8 and 14, 2005 marked a demonstration and counter-demonstration after the assassination of ex-Prime Minister Rafic Hariri. Today, and not in 2005, the March 8 camp includes de facto Hezbollah, the Free Patriotic Current (CPL), the Syrian National Party (PSNS) and the Baath Party. Since 2005, the 14M has brought together the "Courant du Futur" (predominantly Sunni), the Lebanese Forces party (far right), the Kataëb and the Socialist Party (druze).