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Russia bans international LGBTQ+ movement as ‘extremist’ – Saved Web Pages Review – The News And Times

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Saved Web Pages Review – The News And Times – TheNewsAndTimes.com

SaveRIGA, Latvia — Russia’s Supreme Court on Thursday banned the “international LGBT public movement” as an extremist organization — even though the alleged movement has no organizational structure, leaders, membership, website or address.While seemingly preposterous — given that there is no such organized movement — the Russian ban nonetheless could…
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WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal watchdog will investigate how the Biden administration chose a site for a new FBI headquarters following a contentious competition marked by allegations of conflict of interest. The Inspector General for the General Services Administration is probing the decision to locate the facility in Greenbelt, Maryland, over a site…
posted 4h ago via apnews.com
 

“On Saturday morning I was at my house in Modi’in,” said the former head of the Mossad, Yossi Cohen. “There was no siren, but the phone started going off, and people reached out to me, and that’s how I learned the magnitude of the horror. A year in the civil service, but you will never be sufficiently prepared for such a shocking event.”What did you…
posted 14h ago via jpost.com
 

The Ukrainian military intelligence (HUR) orchestrated the hacking of television channels in Crimea to broadcast a speech by President Volodymyr Zelensky on the evening of Nov. 29, multiple Ukrainian media outlets reported on Nov. 30.Zelensky’s evening address from Oct. 24, during which he addressed “all our people in Crimea,” was broadcast on Russian…
posted 15h ago via news.yahoo.com
 

Pope Francis, who cancelled his trip to the United Nation climate talks due to flu, urged participants Thursday to reject “vested interests” and focus on the common good.”May participants in COP28 be strategists who focus on the common good and the future of their children, rather than the vested interests of certain countries or businesses,” he said…
posted 18h ago via sg.news.yahoo.com
 

NEW YORK (AP) — Deutsche Bank viewed Donald Trump as a “whale” of a client, was eager to land him and eagerly cultivated a relationship that grew from $13,000 worth of revenue to $6 million in two years, according to documents presented Wednesday at the former president’s civil fraud trial. The bank’s dealings with Trump are a key issue in New York…
posted 21h ago via apnews.com
 

MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, in a ranting speech before a presidential election campaign, cast Moscow’s military action in Ukraine as an existential battle against purported attempts by the West to destroy Russia. Putin, who has been in power for more than two decades and is the longest-serving Russian leader since Soviet…
posted 1d ago via triblive.com
 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has again railed at the West during a speech in which he said that Russia was “at the forefront of building a fairer world order.”Set against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine that he started but did not mention by name, Putin told the World Russian People’s Council plenary session on Tuesday that Moscow was engaged…
posted 1d ago via newsweek.com
 

The majority leader and highest-ranking Jewish official in the country, cautioned progressives and young people against unwittingly embracing bigotry in the name of social justice.
posted 1d ago via nytimes.com
 

В Дагестане задержан заместитель министра внутренних дел по республике и начальник следственного управления ведомства Руфат Исмаилов, у него дома и на работе проходят обыски, сообщили российские государственные агентства ТАСС, “Интерфакс” и РИА “Новости” со ссылкой на источники. По предварительным данным, Исмаилов подозревается в коррупции. Речь…
posted 1d ago via kavkazr.com
 

Among other things, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy (center) says he discussed the situation in the Black Sea with Odesa authorities. (file photo) President Volodymyr Zelenskiy met on November 29 with civilian and military authorities in Ukraine’s southern region of Odesa, which has been a regular target for Russian…
posted 1d ago via rferl.org
 

For Vladimir Putin’s more than two-decade rule, he has promoted himself as a friend and protector of the Jewish community, and he launched an invasion last year with the ostensible goal to “denazify” Ukraine.But the scenes of violence in Makhachkala, Dagestan, this week, as well as images of local people searching out Israeli passport holders in a hotel…
posted 1d ago via theguardian.com
 

Proposed resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “Binationalism” and “Binational state” redirect here. For uses outside the Israeli–Palestinian context, see Two Nations theory, Multinational state and Consociationalism. Part of a series onthe Israeli–Palestinian conflictIsraeli–Palestinianpeace process HistoryCamp David Accords1978Madrid…
posted 1d ago via en.wikipedia.org
 

by Tess Bridgeman and Ryan Goodman Nov 28th, 2023 by Elizabeth Goitein and Noah Chauvin Nov 27th, 2023 by Faiza Patel Nov 21st, 2023 by Norman L. Eisen, Ryan Goodman, Siven Watt, Samara Angel and Beth Markman Nov 17th, 2023 by Norman L. Eisen, Ryan Goodman, Siven Watt, Francois Barrilleaux, Sasha Matsuki and Arava Rose Nov 17th, 2023 by Shahed…
posted 1d ago via justsecurity.org
 

Israel is embroiled in turmoil following the passage of legislation aimed at reducing the Supreme Court’s power. The next key event in the judicial saga will come in September when the Court will hear arguments that the legislation should be struck down. But next month won’t be momentous solely because of the Supreme Court hearing. Sept. 13 will mark…
posted 1d ago via justsecurity.org
 

Siavash Sobhani had applied for a new passport in February.Despite being born in the United States and practising medicine for over 30 years in the country, a 62-year-old doctor from Virginia has shockingly been stripped of his citizenship due to his late father’s status as an Iranian diplomat at the time of his birth. According to the Washington Post,…
posted 1d ago via ndtv.com
 

Former President Donald Trump may look to blame Vladimir Putin for interference in the 2016 U.S. election if it can keep him out of prison, according to a legal filing reported by Politico.Trump still leads the pack in the Republican primaries but faces 91 felony counts across two state courts and two different federal districts, any of which could…
posted 1d ago via newsweek.com
 

Eighty-five of the roughly 240 people captured have now been released.
posted 1d ago via nytimes.com
 

SaveMANAMA, Bahrain — The war in Gaza is testing newly strengthened ties between Arab countries of the Persian Gulf and Israel, raising questions about an American-backed vision for regional order that emphasizes economic ties over political differences and historical rifts.While the conflict is unlikely to lead to the severing of diplomatic relations,…
posted 1d ago via washingtonpost.com
 

DEADLY DINNER The presumed Russian sting operation was an attempt to wipe out the Ukraine’s intelligence top brass, an ex-Kyiv spymaster said Published: 4:30 ET, Nov 29 2023Updated: 4:32 ET, Nov 29 2023THE wife of Ukraine’s spy chief was poisoned by Russia with arsenic and mercury, according to Kyiv’s former intelligence head. Marianna Budanova, 30,…
posted 2d ago via the-sun.com
 

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RIGA, Latvia — Russia’s Supreme Court on Thursday banned the “international LGBT public movement” as an extremist organization — even though the alleged movement has no organizational structure, leaders, membership, website or address.

While seemingly preposterous — given that there is no such organized movement — the Russian ban nonetheless could have sweeping implications for LGBTQ+ people in Russia. It could be used to prosecute any LGBTQ+ organization, activity, communication or mutual support initiative, including those online.

While critics called the ruling legal nonsense, the Kremlin appears to be banking on global homophobia as a unifying ideology that will align intolerant countries — particularly in the Middle East and Africa — against the liberal West.

In many Middle Eastern and African nations, homosexuality is illegal. Anti-LGBTQ+ polices have long been a populist cause, for example in Uganda, which criminalized same-sex relationships earlier this year, including imposing a potential death penalty for “aggravated” homosexuality.

The ruling, which was delivered in a closed hearing, shocked liberal Russians, and prominent independent Russian media organizations on Thursday displayed the rainbow flag on their social media pages in solidarity with LGBTQ+ people.

Judge Oleg Nefedov ordered that the ban, which followed a motion to the court from the Justice Ministry, come into effect immediately.

The ban will probably force LGBTQ+ groups to operate in secret and could be used against LGBTQ+ people, although the legal implications remain far from clear.

Activists said Russian authorities were using the court system to criminalize and persecute LGBTQ+ people.

A striking element of the ban is its sweeping, amorphous nature, raising uncertainty about what actions and organizations may be targeted as extremist. It is a form of legal obscurantism often used by the regime of President Vladimir Putin, sowing confusion and fear about how to avoid arrest and, potentially, prison.

Renat Davletgildeev, an LGBTQ+ activist, journalist and author of the Russian Telegram channel Gay Dynamite, called the ruling “absurd, extrajudicial, illegal.”

Davletgildeev said the case resembled the absurdist writings of Franz Kafka, Eugène Ionesco or Samuel Beckett. “But this is not the reality in which we exist,” he said. “I can’t fit it in my mind.”

“The illegality of this whole process was observed from the first days,” Davletgildeev said. “We sent both individuals and legal entities a petition to the Supreme Court asking to be made interested parties. We have all been denied.”

A ban could force the disbanding of rights groups such as Delo LGBT+, which provides legal advocacy for queer people in court; Center T, a group representing transgender people; the Russian LGBT Network; and others. Activists who try to support LGBTQ+ people could be charged and imprisoned for 10 years. Individual participants in the movement could face six-year terms.

The wording of the Justice Ministry motion implied that LGBTQ+ people are part of a shadowy global organization with extremist goals set on harming Russia.

The Kremlin has long asserted that the West, particularly the United States and its European allies, are enemies of so-called traditional family values and are responsible for promoting “decadent” lifestyles.

None of the arguments or evidence presented to the court by the Justice Ministry were public, nor was any legal representative of LGBTQ+ organizations permitted to appear to argue against a ban. The court denied an application by representatives of the Russian LGBT Network and others to appear as interested parties.

The secrecy around the court hearing reinforced fear and anger in Russia’s LGBTQ+ communities that authorities are using the judicial system to sow hatred against them, and to smear them as representing “decadent” Western values.

One Russian LGBTQ+ Telegram channel, Guys+, called the judgment a “parody” and an “attempt by the state to humiliate LGBTQ+ people and recognize them as second-class citizens.”

“The trial of all of us is taking place without us,” the group said on Telegram.

A Russian cultural magazine, Discourse, announced its solidarity with LGBTQ+ people and said it plans to publish underground material in support of them.

The ban comes after two previous repressive Russian laws against LGBTQ+ people: a ban on “LGBT propaganda,” which criminalized the spread of any information about LGBTQ+ identities, and a ban on gender transition — both changing a person’s sex in official documents, as well as the use of surgery or hormones.

It comes as Putin is pressing a regressive agenda of “traditional” values, with growing restrictions on abortion and officials urging women’s careers and education to be put aside in favor of having many babies at a young age.

Putin has frequently attacked transgender people and parental or marital rights for LGBTQ+ people as alien to what he calls the “Russian world.”

However, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday that the Kremlin was not tracking the controversial court case.

Davletgildeev, the activist and journalist, said that because the hearing was conducted in secret, it was not clear what might constitute extremist behavior. “A gay-okay T-shirt, or a rainbow keychain, or an LGBT Instagram account or a social media post — we don’t know.”

Russian LGBTQ+ organizations were scrambling to publish advice on how people can protect themselves in an environment where the legal implications were murky. Davletgildeev advised LGBTQ+ Russians to flee the country, and called on international rights organizations to help people from those groups find refuge outside Russia.

Pro-Kremlin analyst Yevgeny Minchenko raised doubts about the Justice Ministry motion in comments posted on Telegram before the Supreme Court endorsed the motion to ban the international LGBTQ+ movement: “Is there such an organization? Is it possible to join it? Is there a charter, a program, a leadership and so on? It seems to me that if we are talking about an extremist organization, it must have the characteristics of such an organization,” he wrote.

Minchenko said the legal implications of the ruling were unclear: “Will its nonexistent offices be shut down? There are more questions than answers to the situation.”

Russia’s Supreme Court last year recognized an online movement praising the 1999 Columbine shooting as a terrorist organization, and in 2020 it recognized a Russian youth gang movement, AUE, as extremist.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal watchdog will investigate how the Biden administration chose a site for a new FBI headquarters following a contentious competition marked by allegations of conflict of interest.

The Inspector General for the General Services Administration is probing the decision to locate the facility in Greenbelt, Maryland, over a site in Virginia., according to a letter released Thursday by Virginia lawmakers. The new building would replace the FBI’s crumbling headquarters in nearby Washington, D.C.

Virginia’s senators and representatives said in a joint statement that there was “overwhelming evidence” suggesting the process was influenced by politics and called on the GSA to pause anything related to the relocation until the review is complete.

The acting inspector general said that his office would immediately begin evaluating the GSA’s process and procedures for selecting the site and share a copy of any report that results, according to a letter sent to Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia.

“We applaud the inspector general for moving quickly and encourage him to move forward to complete a careful and thorough review,” Virginia’s delegation said in a joint statement.

The agency said it welcomes the review and pointed out that it had already released decision-making materials and a legal review of concerns raised by the director of the FBI.

“We carefully followed the requirements and process, and stand behind GSA’s final site selection decision,” an agency spokesperson said in a statement.

The review comes after FBI Director Christopher Wray told staff in an internal message earlier this month that he was concerned about a “potential conflict of interest” in a GSA executive choosing a site owned by a previous employer.

Wray said his objections were about the process rather than the site itself.

GSA, which manages the government’s real estate portfolio, denied any conflict. The agency said the site about 13 miles (20 kilometers) northeast of Washington was the cheapest one with the best access to public transit.

Maryland and Virginia have long been vying to land the FBI.

Maryland’s leaders applauded the Greenbelt choice, saying was “never about politics” and the new facility would meet a “dire, longstanding need.”

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“On Saturday morning I was at my house in Modi’in,” said the former head of the Mossad, Yossi Cohen. “There was no siren, but the phone started going off, and people reached out to me, and that’s how I learned the magnitude of the horror. A year in the civil service, but you will never be sufficiently prepared for such a shocking event.”

What did you do?

“The first thing I did was to try to understand what happened. I started piecing together testimonies alongside all of Israel. I haven’t been in the formal update thread for two and a half years. Slowly the magnitude of the horror, which is difficult to describe, became clear to me as well.”

The ceasefire damages Israel’s ground attack capability and the continuation of the fighting. Are these the first signs of the end of the war?

“In every transaction of this type, there are trade-offs that we unfortunately have to pay. This is a negotiation with the devil who demands heavy prices from us that we must pay. The fighting will not stop beyond what is agreed upon, and I hope that the Israeli government will not hesitate from here on out, and will continue to eliminate the military capabilities of Hamas.”

“I am convinced that while we are completing the transaction in question, negotiations are underway for additional transactions for the release of all the abductees with the aid and support of the American government and intermediaries from the Middle East.”

Yossi Cohen and Benjamin Netanyahu (credit: MIRIAM ASTER/FLASH90)

Back to the events of that dark weekend. How could Israeli intelligence have failed like this?

“It’s impossible. We all know, including the military and the intelligence community and heads of other organizations, that Hamas has been building such an operation for a long time. I appreciate that an operation on such a large scale, with such a precise level of execution, with trained teams holding in their hands schematic diagrams of an operation as we have seen its result, in which there is a trained, competent force, well equipped both in the military and in intelligence – this is not something that is prepared from moment to moment, it’s unequivocally clear. In my estimation, this is about long months of preparation, so the intelligence failure is unimaginable.”

How is it possible that the army was not ready in the south, nor was it called in time in the midst of the massacre?

“This is something that will have to be investigated, and in the most in-depth way, and I am not reinventing anything. Also the head of the Israeli Defense Forces, the chief of staff, and the heads of other organizations – we will have to investigate all of them. How did this happen that a proper security system was not provided to the citizens of Israel?”

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Does the Mossad also have a part in this?

“As the head of the Mossad during my time, the division of labor between me and the heads of the other organizations was that we take Hamas abroad and the Shin Bet responsible for Hamas in Israel. The IDF, the Mossad and the Shin Bet cooperate in an unusual way, in a complete and in-depth intelligence structure.

The Mossad can see all the updates of the other bodies, and other organizations can see what is received by the Mossad. We closely observe the intelligence assessments.

“But the practical work of who does what? Every organization does what it does so that we don’t step on each other’s toes, and a group called the ‘Committee of the Chiefs of Services’, which has the head of the Mossad, the head of the Shin Bet, the head of the Security Service, and the military secretary of the prime minister, who serves as an observer, makes the decisions of who does what. That’s where issues come up that we need to agree on in order to reach a correct national result.”

The defense minister, the IDF chief of staff, the head of the Shin Bet and others have already taken responsibility. Everyone, except the prime minister.

“The heads of the organizations admitted failure. Everyone who takes responsibility knows why he is taking responsibility. Those who do not take responsibility know why they are not taking responsibility.”

Why do you think Netanyahu does not take responsibility?

“I suggest that you address the question to the Prime Minister’s office.”

And what do you think about that?

“In the dimension of responsibility, as I perceive it all my life, as soon as you get a position, you are responsible for everything that happens.”

Do you feel any responsibility for implementing Netanyahu’s concept during your tenure as head of Mossad?

“I served as the head of the Mossad from 2016 to June 2021. I am responsible for everything that happened during my shift at the Mossad, for better or for worse. I cannot take responsibility for things that were done before or after my time, unless I saw things that happened and did not correct them, then I am responsible for not correcting them”.

Do you think that everyone who took responsibility, the Chief of Staff, the head of the Shin Bet, will or should resign at the end of the war?

“It’s their personal decision.”

Messenger for special tasks

Since his retirement from the Mossad about two and a half years ago and the cooling off period he took, Cohen disappeared, except for one well-publicized glimpse last July.

“I haven’t been interviewed for two and a half years, since my exit from the Mossad,” he said now. “The judicial reform is not correct, but I first of all asked the political level to stop the process, because this process, as I experienced in conversations with the members of the security systems, is an experience that definitely weakens the security forces. Whether they are right or not, we will discuss it separately.

“And I said: dear friends, all of you, stop everything, nothing will happen to democracy, let’s sit down, talk, think, and strengthen the army. I remember saying that I fear for our security resilience from the response to the legislation, that I fear that our ability to defend ourselves will be compromised. Think about my personal position, a national security advisor, a decent and dedicated citizen, a great democrat and a liberal, coming out and saying: dear friends, this hurts our security edge. Stop.”

After the October 7 massacre and the news that Hamas was holding kidnapped civilians and soldiers, it was reported in the media that Cohen went to Qatar to assist in negotiations for their release. “I did not go to Qatar on this matter, despite the publications,” he said now.

At the end of last month, the Prime Minister’s Office reported that Netanyahu had appointed Cohen as an emissary “for special missions.”

Demonstration by the families of the abductees (credit: AVSHALOM SHOSHANI)

Do you have an official position on behalf of the government regarding the hostages?

“I have no official position, and I never had an official position regarding the negotiations for the return of the hostages. There are other jobs I have done. One is according to the report of the Prime Minister’s Office, the other is in front of Gal Hirsch, to assist him when he received the position of supervisor of the POWs and Missing Persons.

I volunteered to be the link between the civil headquarters of the families of the abductees and his body, and that was the case for a certain period of time. Today it is no more, and I am left only at the civilian headquarters of the hostages, helping the families, explaining what is needed. But no longer alongside Gal Hirsch.”

Who is working these days on the deal to return those kidnapped?

“The people of Israel are a little confused, I know. According to Netanyahu’s announcement from last week, those who are doing the negotiations are Dedi Barnea, the head of the Mossad, and Nitzan Alon, the commander of Central Command for locating the kidnapped and missing persons, they are responsible for this.”

You are known to have connections in the Arab world. They say that King Abdullah is only willing to meet you. Why didn’t Netanyahu take you for the position, as the one most suitable for it?

“Because he decided to appoint someone else, that’s fine. This is the prerogative of a prime minister, to appoint to state positions whoever he thinks is the most correct and suitable to bring about a national result, and I accept the decision.”

We are negotiating with Hamas, but not all the hostages are with them.

“A deal with Hamas also includes a deal with Jihad. We have no direct contact with the Islamic Jihad, but from what I understand, Hamas takes responsibility for all the abductees. We know that there are also people kidnapped by civilians, I can’t say if they are alive. We started the war with thousands of question marks that were reduced to dozens.”

Yossi Cohen and Benjamin Netanyahu (credit: KOBI GIDEON/LAAM)

What happened between you and the prime minister?

“As far as I’m concerned, nothing happened. I am still standing right and ready for any assistance that is required and for any national mission. At the moment my relationship with him is professional and to the point.”

There are reports that you no longer come to the Prime Minister’s Office for consultations.

“The consultations, if necessary, I hold over the phone.”

From your acquaintance with the prime minister, do you expect him to hand over the keys after the war?

“I don’t know, it’s hard for me to estimate.”

Is a government commission of inquiry, as Netanyahu wants, a reasonable option in your eyes?

“Only a state commission of inquiry. I don’t know or think there is anyone who thinks otherwise.”

Meanwhile, these days there are calls to replace Netanyahu immediately. Do you think it is right to replace a prime minister in the middle of a war?

“It’s not my business to decide on the issue.”

We are the only country in the world today that faces a multi-arena war.

“There is no country that faces such a situation. There are countries that have unpleasant conflicts with their surroundings, but this is something related to the world of old. The Russia-Ukraine war is perhaps an opportunity to show that small countries can be threatened by large countries, whether or not they have the ability to fight and defend themselves. But the State of Israel is in a different situation, it is not in an existential threat and we are not in a communist war.”

Are we not in an existential threat? Nor facing rising antisemitism in the world?

“No. The State of Israel will certainly exist. There is no doubt that the Jewish people are going through a shake-up. Antisemitism that was probably hidden under the surface is now coming out with great force. It is a demon now out of the bottle. We know that antisemitism is a present and existing thing, which does not necessarily have a reason. All the researchers of global antisemitism claim that it happens for no reason.”

Do you think that with the end of the war, antisemitism will fade?

“It is difficult to assess. Certainly not immediately. Antisemitism is present, perhaps today it can be called anti-Israelism. Hamas is an antisemitic and anti-Israel organization, it does not accept our presence. Those abroad do not accept our existence, even as Jews.”

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The Ukrainian military intelligence (HUR) orchestrated the hacking of television channels in Crimea to broadcast a speech by President Volodymyr Zelensky on the evening of Nov. 29, multiple Ukrainian media outlets reported on Nov. 30.

Zelensky’s evening address from Oct. 24, during which he addressed “all our people in Crimea,” was broadcast on Russian channels in Crimea at around 9:30 p.m. local time on Nov. 29.

“All of you feel that the Russian presence on our land is not permanent. I know this. Ukraine will reclaim its territory and its people. We will not leave anyone to the occupiers.”

Ukraine will soon have fire control capabilities over Russian-occupied Crimea, Zelensky said.

Speeches by Ukraine’s chief commander, General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, and HUR Chief Kyrylo Budanov were also broadcast before the screen turned black.

Some locals then reported on social media that the names of all television channels had been replaced with a popular obscenity that uses Putin’s name.

A spokesperson of the Russian-installed proxy authorities in Crimea also said that some Crimean internet providers had also been hacked.

Ukrainian media outlets Suspilne and Ukrainska Pravda said that the television hack was part of a long-term operation against the Russian occupation of Crimea, citing unnamed sources in intelligence.

We’ve been working hard to bring you independent, locally-sourced news from Ukraine. Consider supporting the Kyiv Independent.

  • Pope Francis, who cancelled his trip to the United Nation climate talks due to flu, urged participants Thursday to reject “vested interests” and focus on the common good.”May participants in COP28 be strategists who focus on the common good and the future of their children, rather than the vested interests of certain countries or businesses,” he said in a statement posted in English on X, formerly Twitter, as the Dubai conference opened.

  • “The repeated attempts to undermine our democracy are unacceptable,” the state’s attorney general said.

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  • Finland’s prime minister said Tuesday the country will shut its last border crossing with Russia, following an influx of migrants which Helsinki claims is a hybrid attack orchestrated by Moscow.The Nordic country, which shares a 1,340-kilometre (830-mile) border with Russia, has seen a surge in undocumented migrants from third countries seek asylum on its border with Russia in November.

  • Rescuers scoured waters off Japan on Thursday for seven missing US Air Force personnel whose Osprey crashed during a training exercise, in the latest incident involving the tilt-rotor military aircraft.US Air Force Special Operations Command said eight crew had been aboard the CV-22B Osprey in the “routine training mission” out of Yokota Air Base in Japan.

  • Eddie Howe criticised the decision to award PSG a stoppage-time penalty after Newcastle fell just short of a famous victory in Paris

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  • China on Wednesday presented the United Nations Security Council with a four-point plan for Middle East peace in a demonstration of its ambitions to be a global superpower. China has had little role in negotiations over the Israel-Palestinian conflict, which have been largely monopolized by the United States for decades. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the council that the war shows the urgent need for a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

  • During oral arguments in SEC v. Jarkesy, the conservative majority seemed open to an argument that the agency had overstepped its enforcement authority.

  • Far-right Dutch leader Geert Wilders suffered a major setback to his goal of forming a governing coalition Wednesday when a key potential partner ruled itself out, uncomfortable with his extreme views.But the NSC and its popular leader Pieter Omtzigt said Wednesday it did not see a way of working with the PVV unless it clarified the more extreme parts of its manifesto.

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    Context changes everything

  • When delegations from Moscow and Kyiv met in Belarus for secretive peace talks weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine, it took Ukraine’s lead negotiator less than an hour to lose hope.”Russia has never rejected peace talks with Ukraine.

  • Gunners can still top group with win against RC Lens tonight

  • A Russian soldier pleaded for supplies and said his regiment suffered 1,000 deaths in just 10 days in Donetsk, according to a video shared by Ukraine.

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  • The president made a plea to avoid giving Hamas “what they seek” in a message from his personal X account.

  • Singapore faces a surge in anti-Singapore sentiments on social media, with Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam attributing the rise to perceptions of the country as pro-West or pro-Israel following the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas in Israel. In a recent statement on Nov. 27, Minister Shanmugam revealed that comments expressing anti-Singapore sentiments have…

  • Authorities in India’s western state of Gujarat are investigating the deaths of three people after they allegedly consumed a contaminated medicinal syrup, state government and police officials said on Thursday. The deaths took place over the last three days in the district of Kheda, district collector KL Bachani told Reuters. The syrup may also have caused two more deaths in Kheda in the past few days but this has yet to be confirmed, senior state government officials said.

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  • Alistair Darling, the UK finance minister when the 2008 financial crisis hit, has died at the age of 70 following a “short spell” in hospital, his family said on Thursday.Darling died “after a short spell in Western General Hospital under the wonderful care of the cancer team”, it added.

  • The Fox Business host made a cringey transition after a right-wing media report about the hostage’s family.

  • Nearly 200 nations agreed Thursday to launch a fund to support countries hit by global warming, in a “historic” moment at the start of UN climate talks in the oil-rich UAE. The landmark announcement came as the Emirati host of the COP28 talks declared that fossil fuels must be part of any final climate deal negotiated over the next two weeks.The talks in Dubai come at a pivotal moment for the planet, with emissions still rising and the UN on Thursday declaring 2023 on track to become the hottest

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  • India’s main opposition Congress party is likely to win two of five state assembly elections while it is in close contest with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling nationalist party in two heartland states, TV exit polls showed on Thursday. The state elections are seen as a big test of Modi’s chances of winning a third term in a national vote due by next May. More than 160 million people – or about one-sixth of India’s total electorate – were eligible to vote in the regional polls, which were held in four legs ending on Thursday.

  • The Red Cross, which has faced criticism for not doing enough for hostages and prisoners in the Gaza conflict, stresses it has no “superpowers” and relies on the warring parties for access.The International Committee of the Red Cross, founded 160 years ago to serve as a neutral intermediary between belligerents in conflict and to visit and assist prisoners of war, has been accused by both sides in the Israel-Hamas conflict of not providing adequate help to those being held.

  • Visiting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Israeli leaders on Thursday that a temporary truce in their war with Hamas was “producing results” and should continue.”So this process is producing results.

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NEW YORK (AP) — Deutsche Bank viewed Donald Trump as a “whale” of a client, was eager to land him and eagerly cultivated a relationship that grew from $13,000 worth of revenue to $6 million in two years, according to documents presented Wednesday at the former president’s civil fraud trial.

The bank’s dealings with Trump are a key issue in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit, which accuses Trump, his company and some executives of hoodwinking lenders and insurers by presenting them with grossly inflated statements of his asset values.

The defendants deny any wrongdoing. They have sought to show that the bank felt delighted, not deceived, by Trump and courted his business.

“We are whale hunting,” then-bank managing director Rosemary Vrablic wrote colleagues in November 2011, as she began to forge ties to Trump and his family.

At the time, the family was looking for a loan to buy the Doral golf resort near Miami. Over the next three years, Vrablic’s connection to the Trumps yielded loans for that project, then two others in Chicago and Washington, as well as multimillion-dollar deposits in the bank.

Her division’s revenue from Trump business shot up from about $13,000 in 2011 to a projected $6 million in 2013, according to a bank document prepared for the then-co-chairman, Anshu Jain, before a lunch with Trump in early 2013.

The briefing document suggested “key asks” for Jain to make: “Obtain more deposits and investment management assets,” and “strategically discuss leveraging Mr. Trump’s personal and professional network within the real estate industry in NY” for the bank’s benefit.

And how did it go?

“It was a very, very nice, productive lunch,” Vrablic recalled on the stand.

Behind the scenes, she told a colleague at the time in an email: “It went great. Donald was low key and demure. Unbelievable. The conversation was fantastic. Not sure he could do it again for a second meeting but hey … miracles can happen.”

Adding that the two were planning to golf together that spring, she wrote: “I bet the real D shows up for that one.”

The next year, her direct boss went to lunch with Trump to thank him and “ask whether we can work on other opportunities with them,” according to a document for that meeting.

James maintains that Trump’s allegedly inflated financial statements were critical to netting his company the Deutsche Bank loans at favorable rates, saving him many millions of dollars in interest.

Trump says the financial statements actually underestimated his wealth and that a disclaimer on them absolves him of liability for any problematic figures. Trump, the current front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, claims that James, a Democrat, is trying to harm his prospects of returning to the White House.

“There was no defaults, no ‘nothing,’” he wrote Wednesday on his Truth Social plaftorm, calling the case “rigged” and “victimless.”

Trump personally guaranteed the loans at issue — standard practice for lending by Deutsche Bank’s division that caters to rich individuals, Vrablic said. The deals came with conditions about Trump’s net worth and, sometimes, liquidity, and they often required annual submissions of his financial statements.

Other current and former Deutsche Bank executives have testified that while they expected the information to be accurate, they came up with their own numbers.

Documents show the bank sliced Trump’s $4.2 billion estimate of his net worth to $2.4 billion when considering the Doral loan, for example. Asked Wednesday whether the cut had concerned her, Vrablic said that if the bank’s credit experts “were comfortable with it, I would be comfortable with it.”

The $125 million loan went ahead, with one banker writing in an email that Trump had “among the strongest personal balance sheets we have seen.” A top executive agreed to sign off but insisted on an “iron clad” guarantee from Trump.

Trump provided it, Vrablic said Wednesday.

Over the years, she and colleagues spoke enthusiastically among themselves about the potential for building on Deutsche Bank’s Trump ties. The bankers envisioned offering him estate planning services, presenting him investment options and netting more clients through word-of-mouth — “given the circles this family travels in, we expect to be introduced to the wealthiest people on the planet,” Vrablic wrote in a 2011 email.

She advocated within the bank for lending to Trump Organization ventures. In a 2012 email to then-Executive Vice President Ivanka Trump, Vrablic promised to ensure that a Deutsche Bank lending executive knew “how important you and your family’s business have become to the bank.”

Eventually, though, the bank started saying no. In 2016, when Donald Trump was on the campaign trail and his company sought a loan for its golf course in Turnberry, Scotland, the bank decided “to maintain neutrality to any political situation and not lend money to a highly politically exposed person,” Vrablic explained in an email at the time to Ivanka Trump.

Vrablic testified Wednesday that the bank was wary of “the increased exposure, scrutiny” surrounding a potential president and concluded “that it was not appropriate to go up in exposure.”

Judge Arthur Engoron will decide the verdict. He ruled before the trial that Trump and other defendants engaged in fraud and he ordered that a receiver take control of some of Trump’s properties, putting their future oversight in question. An appeals court has put that order on hold for now.

The trial concerns remaining claims of conspiracy, insurance fraud and falsifying business records. James is seeking more than $300 million in penalties and a ban on Trump doing business in New York.

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MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, in a ranting speech before a presidential election campaign, cast Moscow’s military action in Ukraine as an existential battle against purported attempts by the West to destroy Russia.

Putin, who has been in power for more than two decades and is the longest-serving Russian leader since Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, is expected to soon declare his intention to seek another six-year term in a presidential election next March.

“We are defending the security and well-being of our people, the highest, historical right to be Russia — a strong, independent power, a country-civilization,” Putin said, accusing the U.S. and its allies of trying to “dismember and plunder” Russia.

Ukraine and its Western allies have condemned the Russian action against Ukraine as an unprovoked act of aggression.

“We are now fighting for the freedom of not only Russia, but the whole world,” Putin said in a speech to participants of a meeting organized by the Russian Orthodox Church.

He denounced what he described as Western “Russophobia,” claiming that “our diversity and unity of cultures, traditions, languages, and ethnic groups simply don’t fit into the logic of Western racists and colonialists, into their cruel scheme of total depersonalization, disunity, suppression and exploitation.”

“If they can’t do it by force, they will try to sow strife,” he said, vowing to block “any outside interference, provocations with the aim of causing interethnic or interreligious conflicts as aggressive actions against our country, as an attempt to once again foment terrorism and extremism in Russia as a tool to fight us.”

Russian authorities have intensified their crackdown on dissent amid the fighting in Ukraine, arresting and imprisoning protesters and activists and silencing independent news outlets.

Putin said that the U.S.-dominated global order has become increasingly decrepit, declaring that “it is our country that is now at the forefront of creating a more equitable world order.”

“And I want to emphasize: without a sovereign, strong Russia, no lasting, stable world order is possible,” he said.

Categories: News | Politics Election | U.S./World

Putin claims Russia building a new world order

posted on Nov 30 2023 11:40:44 UTC via newsweek.com

Russian President Vladimir Putin has again railed at the West during a speech in which he said that Russia was “at the forefront of building a fairer world order.”

Set against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine that he started but did not mention by name, Putin told the World Russian People’s Council plenary session on Tuesday that Moscow was engaged in a “fight for sovereignty and justice” which was “one of national liberation.”

During the video address, whose transcript was released on the Kremlin website, Putin praised how the “Russian world… has blocked the way of those who aspired to world domination and exceptionalism.”

“We are now fighting not just for Russia’s freedom but for the freedom of the whole world,” he said, describing how “the dictatorship of one hegemon is becoming decrepit.”

President Vladimir Putin

President Vladimir Putin speaks during the 15th World Russian People’s Congress at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow on November 28, 2023. Putin spoke of a “new world order” during the event. Getty Images

Putin has repeatedly pitched the war in Ukraine as a proxy battle between Moscow and the West and in the face of U.S.- led sanctions has positioned himself as leading a pivot away from the current world order towards Asia and the so-called “global south.”

Name-checking the 1917 Russian Revolution, the civil war that followed and the break up of the USSR in 1991, Putin said people “are still paying now, decades later, for the miscalculations made at that time.”

In his view, these events had led to “separatist illusions” as well as “a policy of artificial, forced division in this large Russian nation, a triune of Russians, Belarusians and Ukrainians.”

“We will never forget these mistakes and should not repeat them…any attempt to sow ethnic or religious discord, to split our society is betrayal, a crime against all of Russia. We will never allow anyone to divide Russia.”

“It is our country that is now at the forefront of building a fairer world order,” he said. “Without a sovereign and strong Russia, no lasting and stable international system is possible.”

“We know the threat we are opposing. Russophobia and other forms of racism and neo-Nazism have almost become the official ideology of Western ruling elites,” said Putin, who has given “denazification” of Ukraine as one reason for his invasion.

Putin also said the West “has no need” for Russia which “they want to dismember and plunder” and warned that if there is “outside interference or provocations to incite ethnic or religious conflict as acts of aggression against our country… we will respond accordingly.”

A nuclear threat has hovered over the war in Ukraine and Putin and the Kremlin have sent mixed messages about unconventional weapons, whose use are a regular talking point on Kremlin propaganda channels, especially if it is deemed that Russia faces an existential risk.

“The Russian world and Russia itself do not and cannot exist without Russians as an ethnicity, without the Russian people,” he added.

The World Russian People’s Council is marking the 30th anniversary of its founding with the aim of discussing Russia’s place in the world.

It is headed by the Patriarch of Moscow Kirill, who has faced condemnation from the global Orthodox Church for his support for Putin’s war of aggression in Ukraine.

Putin addressed the church’s primate directly in his speech and praised his work “to bring about the spiritual revival of Russia,” which included a push for “family values” in which women would be encouraged to have more children to address the country’s demographic crisis.

Commenting on Putin’s speech, risk analyst Alex Kokcharev posted on X (formerly Twitter) a split image of the Russian president and a still from a film based on the George Orwell novel 1984.

“Strong 1984 vibes,” he wrote.”Putin delivered a speech in which he reiterated his vision for a ‘new world order’ in which Russia has the right to conquer all countries previously ruled by the Russian Empire or the Soviet Union.”

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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The majority leader and highest-ranking Jewish official in the country, cautioned progressives and young people against unwittingly embracing bigotry in the name of social justice.

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В Дагестане задержан заместитель министра внутренних дел по республике и начальник следственного управления ведомства Руфат Исмаилов, у него дома и на работе проходят обыски, сообщили российские государственные агентства ТАСС“Интерфакс” и РИА “Новости” со ссылкой на источники.

По предварительным данным, Исмаилов подозревается в коррупции. Речь идет о получении взятки в крупном размере, высокопоставленного полицейского вывезли в Москву, утверждает член Общественной наблюдательной комиссии в Дагестане Шамиль Хадулаев. Телеграм-канал ВЧК-ОГПУ, предположительно связанный с российскими правоохранительными органами, называет сумму предполагаемой взятки, которую получил замминистра, – 100 миллионов рублей от одной из страховых компаний.

Ранее утром 7 ноября об обысках у Исмаилова сообщили дагестанские СМИ. “Работают ФСБ и приезжие сотрудники МВД”, – утверждал телеграм-канал “Молодёжка” со ссылкой на источник в правоохранительных органах. Телеграм-канал “Спросите у Расула” сообщал, что обыски также проходят у Далгата Абдулгапурова, заместителя Исмаилова – он тоже задержан и “вывезен” в Москву, утверждает Хадулаев.

МВД эти сведения не комментирует; задержание Исмаилова и Абдулгапурова и данные о возбуждении уголовного дела о коррупции подтвердило республиканское управление ФСБ России.

По информации газеты “Черновик”, Руфат Исмаилов родился в Дербенте в семье мирового судьи, окончил Нижегородскую академию МВД, работал заместителем начальника дербентского ГОВД по следственной работе, на должность замминистра внутренних дел Дагестана его назначили в 2019 году.

  • В Дагестане сейчас расследуют беспорядки во время антисемитской акции в аэропорту Махачкалы 29 октября. Согласно последним данным МВД, всего за участие в акции были задержаны более 200 человек, большинство из них понесли административную ответственность, еще 11 человек проходят в качестве подозреваемых по уголовному делу.
  • В начале октября обыск прошел в доме задержанного главы администрации Кизилюрта Магомеда Магомедова, подтверждающую видеозапись опубликовали СМИ. На кадрах показан четырехэтажный дом чиновника и якобы принадлежащие ему оружие и запасы икры.
Among other things, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy (center) says he discussed the situation in the Black Sea with Odesa authorities. (file photo)

Among other things, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy (center) says he discussed the situation in the Black Sea with Odesa authorities. (file photo)

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy met on November 29 with civilian and military authorities in Ukraine’s southern region of Odesa, which has been a regular target for Russian strikes directed at its port installations critical for food exports.

“Many important questions…. The situation in the Black Sea, mine countermeasures and ensuring the safety of the ‘grain corridor.’ The work of the air defense…protecting Odesa, the infrastructure of the ‘grain corridor,’ and our brigades,” Zelenskiy said on Telegram.

Zelenskiy met with Ukrainian troops in the area and handed them medals and awards for bravery, he said.

The president also met with civilian authorities to discuss measures to bring life in Odesa and other southern regions back to normal after a spell of inclement weather that hit the area, leaving at least 12 people dead and 23 injured.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called on Kyiv’s allies to step up efforts to increase the production of armaments and munitions for Ukraine’s defensive war against Russia’s unprovoked invasion.

“In order to ensure the stability and security of the entire European region, its defense industry must increase production, coordinate, and work as one integral defense industry complex of the Euro-Atlantic community,” Kuleba said in introductory remarks at the first meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council in Brussels on November 29.

The NATO-Ukraine Council, the joint body in which Kyiv and its allies sit as equal participants, was launched at the NATO summit in Vilnius in July.

Earlier this month, European diplomats told RFE/RL on condition of anonymity that the European Union was concerned that it will not be able to supply Ukraine with the 1 million artillery rounds by March next year as promised in spring by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.

Earlier on November 29, Russian shelling of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Kharkiv regions caused casualties among civilians and damage to infrastructure, despite Ukrainian air defenses repelling a large drone attack on several parts of Ukraine.

RFE/RL’s Live Briefing gives you all of the latest developments on Russia’s full-scale invasion, Kyiv’s counteroffensive, Western military aid, global reaction, and the plight of civiliansFor all of RFE/RL’s coverage of the war in Ukraine, click here.

Seven civilians were wounded in Donetsk overnight, the acting head of the region, Ihor Moroz, said on November 29. Five residents were wounded in the industrial city of Toretsk and two in Severniy, Moroz said on Telegram.

In the Kharkiv region, Russian shelling caused extensive damage overnight to infrastructure, residential areas, administrative buildings, businesses, and educational facilities, Governor Oleh Synyehubov said.

The cities of Kharkiv, Chuhuyiv, and Kupyansk bore the brunt of the Russian bombardment, Synyehubov said. No casualties were immediately reported, he added.

Russia also unleashed a fresh wave of drones on Ukraine overnight, launching 21 Iranian-made unmanned aerial vehicles and three Kh-59 guided missiles, the Ukrainian Air Force said in a statement early on November 29.

“All the enemy’s attack drones were destroyed above the Odesa, Dnipropetrovsk, Kyiv, Kherson, Zaporizhzhya, and Khmelnytskiy regions. Also, two guided missiles were destroyed in the Mykolayiv region. A third one did not reach its target,” the air force said. No casualties or damage was immediately reported.

On the battlefield, Ukrainian forces were engaged in 87 close-quarter battles over the past 24 hours, the General Staff of Ukraine’s military said in its daily report on November 29.

Heavy fighting continued in Kharkiv and in Donetsk region where Russian forces have been incessantly attacking Ukrainian positions in the industrial city of Avdiyivka. Moscow’s troops have been unsuccessfully trying to encircle for several weeks at a heavy cost of human lives and equipment. Anton, an artilleryman from a brigade stationed near the southern flank of the embattled city, told an RFE/RL correspondent that the situation had become more “difficult and intense” since the beginning of the Russian offensive in the area on October 10. “I have long stopped counting the targets that we are destroying, and the Russians themselves don’t stop sending thousands [of their soldiers] to certain death,” he said. The costs have been high for Ukraine as well.

Oleksandr, a doctor heading a triage site close to Avdiyivka, said that wounded Ukrainian soldiers were arriving at his facility every few hours. As his team treated a soldier with the call sign “President” for a minor injury, he said he was seeing more and more soldiers come in with bullet wounds, indicating that more close-quarter combat is being fought in the area.

The military said that Ukrainian marines continue to hold bridgeheads on the left bank of Dnieper River after landing there earlier this month. The report could not be independently confirmed.

Russian troops one year ago withdrew eastward from Kherson city in the face of Ukrainian advances, crossing the Dnieper, but continuing to shell the city and its surroundings from the left bank.

On November 19, the Ukrainian military said it had pushed Russian forces some “3 to 8 kilometers” east of the Dnieper River as its forces secured bridgeheads on the eastern side of the waterway.

With reporting by Aleksander Palikot in the Donetsk region

For Vladimir Putin’s more than two-decade rule, he has promoted himself as a friend and protector of the Jewish community, and he launched an invasion last year with the ostensible goal to “denazify” Ukraine.

But the scenes of violence in Makhachkala, Dagestan, this week, as well as images of local people searching out Israeli passport holders in a hotel in the city of Khasavyurt, recalled darker moments in Russian history, when Cossacks rampaged through Jewish communities as local authorities looked on.

For some Russian Jewish leaders, the Kremlin’s recent geopolitical shift away from Israel – which has launched a ground invasion in Gaza – as well as nods toward antisemitism, played a direct role in last week’s events in Dagestan.

“By meeting Hamas last week and not condemning the massacres, the Kremlin might have given the green light to some elements in the Caucasus that the hunting season [against Jews] is on,” said Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, a former chief rabbi of Moscow, who left in 2022 after Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

This week, Putin sought to show he was in control, convening his security council over the rioting and quickly shifting the blame for the attacks abroad. Others asked how a country with such top-down control could allow the riot to take place.

“I think that considering in Russia everything is tightly controlled by the government, it is inconceivable that these riots were not instigated or directed by governmental structure,” said Goldschmidt. “This is my belief and I am not the only one.”

Yet Dagestan, a poor region with striking mountain ranges on the southern tip of Russia, has consistently proved a challenge for the Kremlin to manage. Moscow spent decades attempting to quell an Islamic insurgency there, where more than 90% of the population identify as Muslim, and still struggles to find a solution for poverty and high unemployment.

The area has served as a focus for political protest. It hosted some of the country’s largest anti-mobilisation demonstrations last year, when Putin called up hundreds of thousands of troops for his invasion of Ukraine, and in 2020 had attracted conspiracy-tinged protests against coronavirus quarantines.

A from video footage shows protesters with a Palestinian flag invading the runway of Makhachkala airportA still from video footage shows protesters waving a Palestinian flag invading the runway of Makhachkala airport after a flight landed from Tel Aviv. Photograph: Telegram/@askrasul/AFP/Getty Images

Earlier this summer, spontaneous protests broke out after electricity and water was cut off for more than a week to the city of Izberbash. Later, residents from Makhachkala protested, saying they had lost power for days or weeks at a time. The patternwas repeated in other cities.

“Dagestan is a territory with enormous problems, big infrastructure problems, and when the events in Gaza began, some of the local channels began to share two photographs: Gaza without electricity and [Dagestani city] Khasavyurt without electricity,” said Akhmet Yarlykapov, a senior researcher at the Centre for Caucasus Studies and Regional Security at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. “Of course people are in solidarity with Gaza, with the Palestinians. They’re both Muslim. But the true reasons for these events are in Dagestan’s own internal problems.”

The war in Gaza has unleashed a wave of anger among Russian Muslims, in particular in the poorer North Caucasus. Ziyatdin Uvaisov, an activist and head of Patient Monitor, an NGO in Dagestan that advocates for medics and patients’ rights, said 95% of Dagestanis were “truly angry over the Israeli crimes taking place in Palestine” but that local authorities had prevented them from holding demonstrations.

“If there’d been some ordinary rally, it’s possible people would have calmed down, acted rationally, seen that there are limits … When it’s not approved within the bounds of the law, then you end up with a riot,” he said.

He said that he had not gone to Makhachkala airport because: “I understand that anything can happen with this mass gathering of disorganised people, that they could maybe do something wrong … people were getting really wound up.”

He argued that most people in Dagestan held anti-Israeli views not because they were antisemitic but because of the war, saying there was no violence against the region’s well-established Jewish community, which is largely based in the southern city of Derbent.

Yet vivid images of young Dagestani men chasing airport travellers they believed had arrived from Israel shocked the world, and members of the local Jewish community quickly voiced fears that they could be next.

As the attack unfolded, Ovadya Isakov, a prominent Jewish rabbi from the region and spokesperson for the Dagestani Jewish community, told the Russian news site Podyom that all 700 to 800 families, the last of Dagestan’s mountain Jewish community that traces its origins to the seventh century, may have to leave for other parts of Russia. But, he added: “Is it even worth leaving, since Russia is not our saviour, there have also been pogroms in Russia?”

young and old people hold up phones with torches onA solidarity service is held in Moscow on 15 October for Israeli victims of the Hamas attacks. Photograph: Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP

Grigory Shvedov, the editor of Caucasian Knot, a news website covering the region that recently published a timeline of attacks on local rabbis in Dagestan, said: “Antisemitism was always there.”

He added: “It is not something new. A lot of people, whole generations of Jews left, I know some people from the community and they’re saying that they always felt that antisemitism. We don’t still, thank God, have any stories about attacks against the local communities. Because that could happen any second.

“The most serious threat right now are not moods and actions connected to visitors from Israel,” he said, referring to events at Makhachkala airport. “The real threat is in a change of target from anti-Israel, to antisemitic. Both the national and regional security services would not be able to protect individual Jews from attacks.”

Rabbi Isakov knows this better than most. He barely survived an assassination attempt in 2013, when a gunman shot him in Derbent. And his house had also been vandalised in 2007.

As officials in Dagestan and Moscow sought to project an air of calm this week, Isakov disappeared from public. Calls to his office this week went unreturned.

Earlier he had said: “I don’t feel safe, although the synagogue is guarded.” He recalled how a local police officer had suggested to one of the rabbi’s congregants that she was complicit in the deaths of children in Palestine. “And at any time you can expect something worse.”

Researchers say they have seen a decline in antisemitism across Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union, with recorded attacks against Jewish people and places in Russia in single digits each year. But Denis Volkov, the director of the Levada Centre, an independent polling organisation, a “dormant antisemitism that also, especially in disenfranchised groups, can be activated when people are extremely agitated”.

In the Tsarist era, widespread antisemitism propelled pogroms, or anti-Jewish riots, against Jewish communities in cities such as Chișinău, Odesa and Białystok as authorities did little, or participated in the looting and killing.

Vladimir Putin holds a meeting of his security council after the riot in Makhachkala.Vladimir Putin holds a meeting of his security council after the riot in Makhachkala. Photograph: Gavriil Grigorov/Kremlin pool/EPA

There was official antisemitism during the Soviet era under Joseph Stalin and his successors, such as Leonid Brezhnev. The atmosphere sometimes reflected Soviet relations with Israel, becoming harsher when Moscow broke off diplomatic relations after the 1967 six-day war.

Yevgenia Albats, a Russian journalist based in the US, said casual antisemitism was “everyday life” in her childhood in the 1960s. Russians in the Moscow trams and shops would refer to her and her sister as zhidovochki, a pejorative term for Jewish girls, and schoolmates would snatch away the red “pioneer” scarves worn by the communist youth movement, telling them: “You Jews can’t be pioneers.”

Since the 7 October Hamas raid into Israel, she said she had seen a broad propaganda campaign on television of antisemitic content that she believed was meant to curry favour with Iran and other countries critical of Israel and the US.

“[Putin] is always trying to establish some sort of anti-American unity, just the way there was during the cold war,” she said. “Putin wants to become a leader of the global south. They decided that’s the right moment, the world is once again about to divide into two parts. That’s what drives Russian propaganda.”

As a child, the story goes, Putin had a friendly rapport with neighbours who were Orthodox Jews, and he has generally avoided antisemitic jokes. But that has changed in the past few years. When Anatoly Chubais, his former economic adviser, was rumoured to have received Israeli citizenship, he mockingly called him “some Moshe Israeilevich”.

“I think there is a direct relationship between such jokes and high-level officials and the perception of permissiveness as far as attacks against Jews are concerned,” said Tanya Lokshina, an associate director for Human Rights Watch’s Europe and Central Asia division.

Russian officials have allowed themselves far more aggressive rhetoric about Jews, with the foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, saying last year that, “I could be wrong, but Hitler also had Jewish blood,” as he brushed aside a question about the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s Jewish background. “Wise Jewish people say that the most ardent antisemites are usually Jews,” he added.

Alexander Verkhovsky, the director of the Sova centre in Moscow, a non-governmental group that monitors extremism, said: “The authorities used to clamp down on antisemitic rhetoric, but we have seen a change since the war in Ukraine. We saw a similar jump in antisemitism in 2014 during the Donbas fighting. When state propaganda becomes more aggressive, antisemitism rises.”

Several days before the riots at Makhachkala airport, anonymous Telegram channels published the addresses of synagogues in Stavropol, Krasnodar, Sochi, Nalchik and Derbent, as well as photos of the rabbis, including Isakov.

Yet authorities still appeared to be taken by surprise when, days later, some of the same Telegram channels began to call on Dagestanis to intercept the arriving flight from Tel Aviv at the Makhachkala airport, setting the stage for the riots.

“The authorities were not ready. They have all the instruments to fight the religious dissidents, political dissidents, the foreign agents … but they are not prepared to fight against direct action,” said Shvedov, the Caucasian Knot editor. “I think for officials it is an absolute mistake in their work, this came out of the blue for them.”

Lokshina drew a parallel to the coup launched by Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Wagner leader, whose troops managed to seize the city of Rostov and begin a march on Moscow under the nose of the Russian military.

“It’s like little fires everywhere,” Lokshina said. “And where is the next fire going to be?”

One-state solution

posted on Nov 29 2023 15:15:30 UTC via en.wikipedia.org
Proposed resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
“Binationalism” and “Binational state” redirect here. For uses outside the Israeli–Palestinian context, see Two Nations theoryMultinational state and Consociationalism.
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the Israeli–Palestinian conflict
Israeli–Palestinian
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History
Camp David Accords 1978
Madrid Conference 1991
Oslo Accords 1993 / 95
Hebron Protocol 1997
Wye River Memorandum 1998
Sharm El Sheikh Memorandum 1999
Camp David Summit 2000
The Clinton Parameters 2000
Taba Summit 2001
Road Map 2003
Agreement on Movement and Access 2005
Annapolis Conference 2007
Mitchell-led talks 2010–11
Kerry-led talks 2013–14

The one-state solution is a proposed approach to resolving the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, according to which one state would be established between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean. Proponents of this solution advocate a single state in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.[1][2] The term one-state reality describes the belief that the current situation in Israel/Palestine is de facto a single state.[3] It is sometimes also called a bi-national state, owing to the hope that the state would be a homeland for both Jews and Palestinians.

Various models have been proposed for implementing the one-state solution.[4] One such model is the unitary state, which would comprise a single government on the entire territory with citizenship and equal rights for all residents, regardless of their ethnicity or religion,[4] similar to Mandatory Palestine. Some Israelis advocate a version of this model in which Israel will annex the West Bank but not the Gaza Strip and remain a Jewish and democratic state with a larger Arab minority.[5] A second model calls for Israel to annex the West Bank and create an autonomous region for the Palestinians there.[4] A third version would involve creating a federal state with a central government and federative districts, some of which would be Jewish and others Palestinian.[5][6] A fourth model involves an Israeli-Palestinian confederation, a de facto two-state solution where both independent states share powers in some areas and Israelis and Palestinians have residency rights in each others’ nations.[7][8]

Though increasingly debated in academic circles, the one-state solution has remained outside the range of official efforts to resolve the conflict, where it is eclipsed by the two-state solution. According to a 2017 survey, support for a one-state solution stands at 36% among Palestinians, 19% among Israeli Jews and 56% among Israeli Arabs.[9] However, interest in a one-state solution is growing as the two-state approach has not managed to reach a final agreement.[10][11][12]

Overview

300px-Map_of_Israel%2C_neighbours_and_ocMap of Israel showing the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights

The “one-state solution” refers to a resolution of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict through the creation of a unitary, federal or confederate Israeli-Palestinian state, which would encompass all of the present territory of Israel, the West Bank including East Jerusalem, and possibly the Gaza Strip and Golan Heights.

Depending on various points of view, a one-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict is presented as a situation in which Israel would ostensibly lose its character as a Jewish state and the Palestinians would fail to achieve their national independence within a two-state solution[13] or, alternatively, as the best, most just, and only way to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.

Support for a one-state solution is increasing[when?] as Palestinians, frustrated by lack of progress in negotiations aiming to establish the two-state solution, increasingly see the one-state solution as an alternative way forward.[10][11] In 2016, then-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said that due to expanding settlements, an eventual “one-state reality” was the most likely outcome.[14]

In a 2021 survey of experts on the Middle East, 59 percent described the current situation as “a one-state reality akin to apartheid” and an additional 7 percent “one-state reality with inequality, but not akin to apartheid”. If a two-state solution is not achieved, 77 percent predict “a one-state reality akin to apartheid” and 17 percent “one-state reality with increasing inequality, but not akin to apartheid”; just 1 percent think a binational state with equal rights for all inhabitants is likely. 52 percent say that the two-state solution is no longer possible.[15]

Historical background

Antiquity until World War I

The area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River was controlled by various national groups throughout history. A number of groups, including the Canaanites, the Israelites (who later became the Jews),[16] the BabyloniansPersiansGreeksJewsRomansByzantinesUmayyadsAbbasidsSeljuk TurksCrusadersMamluksOttomans, the BritishIsraelisJordanians, and Egyptians have controlled the region at one time or another. From 1516 until the conclusion of World War I, the region was controlled by the Ottoman Empire.[17]

Ottoman and later British control

From 1915 to 1916, the British High Commissioner in EgyptSir Henry McMahon, corresponded by letters with Sayyid Hussein bin Ali, the father of Pan Arabism. These letters, were later known as the Hussein–McMahon Correspondence. McMahon promised Hussein and his Arab followers the territory of the Ottoman Empire in exchange for assistance in driving out the Ottoman Turks. Hussein interpreted these letters as promising the region of Palestine to the Arabs. McMahon and the Churchill White Paper maintained that Palestine had been excluded from the territorial promises,[18] but minutes of a Cabinet Eastern Committee meeting held on 5 December 1918 confirmed that Palestine had been part of the area that had been pledged to Hussein in 1915.[19]

In 1916, Britain and France signed the Sykes–Picot Agreement, which divided the colonies of the Ottoman Empire between them. Under this agreement, the region of Palestine would be controlled by Britain.[20] In a 1917 letter from Arthur James Balfour to Lord Rothschild, known as the Balfour Declaration, the British government promised “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people”, but at the same time required “that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine”.[21]

In 1922, the League of Nations granted Britain a mandate for Palestine. Like all League of Nations Mandates, this mandate derived from article 22 of the League of Nations Covenant, which called for the self-determination of former Ottoman Empire colonies after a transitory period administered by a world power.[22] The Palestine Mandate recognized the Balfour Declaration and required that the mandatory government “facilitate Jewish immigration” while at the same time “ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced”.[23]

Disagreements over Jewish immigration as well as incitement by Haj Amin Al-Husseini led to an outbreak of Arab-Jewish violence in the Palestine Riots of 1920. Violence erupted again the following year during the Jaffa Riots. In response to these riots, Britain established the Haycraft Commission of Inquiry. The British Mandatory authorities put forward proposals for setting up an elected legislative council in Palestine. In 1924 the issue was raised at a conference held by Ahdut Ha’avodah at Ein HarodShlomo Kaplansky, a veteran leader of Poalei Zion, argued that a Parliament, even with an Arab majority, was the way forward. David Ben-Gurion, the emerging leader of the Yishuv, succeeded in getting Kaplansky’s ideas rejected.[24] Violence erupted again in the form of the 1929 Palestine riots. After the violence, the British led another commission of inquiry under Sir Walter Shaw. The report of the Shaw Commission, known as the Shaw Report or Command Paper No 3530, attributed the violence to “the twofold fear of the Arabs that, by Jewish immigration and land purchase, they might be deprived of their livelihood and, in time, pass under the political domination of the Jews”.[25]

220px-UNGA_181_Map.pngHow UN members voted on Palestine’s partition in 1947

  In favour
  Abstained
  Against
  Absent

Violence erupted again during the 1936–39 Arab revolt in Palestine. The British established the Peel Commission of 1936–1937 in order to put an end to the violence. The Peel Commission concluded that only partition could put an end to the violence, and proposed the Peel Partition Plan. While the Jewish community accepted the concept of partition, not all members endorsed the implementation proposed by the Peel Commission. The Arab community entirely rejected the Peel Partition Plan, which included population transfers, primarily of Arabs. The partition plan was abandoned, and in 1939 Britain issued its White Paper of 1939 clarifying its “unequivocal” position that “it is not part of [Britain’s] policy that Palestine should become a Jewish State” and that “The independent State [of Palestine] should be one in which Arabs and Jews share government in such a way as to ensure that the essential interests of each community are safeguarded.”

The White Paper of 1939 sought to accommodate Arab demands regarding Jewish immigration by placing a quota of 10,000 Jewish immigrants per year over a five-year period from 1939 to 1944. It also required Arab consent for further Jewish immigration. The White Paper was seen by the Jewish community as a revocation of the Balfour Declaration, and due to Jewish persecution in the Holocaust, Jews continued to immigrate illegally in what has become known as Aliyah Bet.[26]

Continued violence and the heavy cost of World War II prompted Britain to turn over the issue of Palestine to the United Nations in 1947. In its debates, the UN divided its member States into two subcommittees: one to address options for partition and a second to address all other options. The Second Subcommittee, which included all the Arab and Muslim States members, issued a long report arguing that partition was illegal according to the terms of the Mandate and proposing a unitary democratic state that would protect rights of all citizens equally.[27] The General Assembly instead voted for partition and in UN General Assembly Resolution 181 recommended that the Mandate territory of Palestine be partitioned into a Jewish state and an Arab state. The Jewish community accepted the 1947 partition plan, and declared independence as the State of Israel in 1948. The Arab community rejected the partition plan, and army units from five Arab countries – LebanonSyriaIraqTransjordan, and Egypt – contributed to a united Arab army that attempted to invade the territory, resulting in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.

Establishment of Israel

The 1948 Arab–Israeli War resulted in Israel’s establishment as well as the flight or expulsion of over 700,000 Palestinians from the territory that became Israel. During the following years, a large population of Jews living in Arab nations (close to 800,000) left or were expelled from their homes in what has become known as the Modern Jewish Exodus and subsequently resettled in the new State of Israel.

By 1948, in the wake of the Holocaust, Jewish support for partition and a Jewish state had become overwhelming. Nevertheless, some Jewish voices still argued for unification. The International Jewish Labor Bund was against the UN vote on the partition of Palestine and reaffirmed its support for a single binational state that would guarantee equal national rights for Jews and Arabs and would be under the control of superpowers and the UN. The 1948 New York Second world conference of the International Jewish Labor Bund condemned the proclamation of the Jewish state, because the decision exposed the Jews in Palestine to danger. The conference was in favour of a binational state built on the base of national equality and democratic federalism.[28]

A one-state, one-nation solution where Arabic-speaking Palestinians would adopt a Hebrew-speaking Israeli identity (although not necessarily the Jewish religion) was advocated within Israel by the Canaanite movement of the 1940s and 1950s, as well as more recently in the Engagement Movement led by Tsvi Misinai.

Palestinian views on a binational state

Prior to the 1960s, no solution to the conflict in which Arabs and Jews would share a binational state was accepted among Palestinians. The only viable solution from the Palestinian point of view would be an Arab state in which European immigrants would have second-class status. The Palestinian position evolved following Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War, when it became no longer realistic to expect the militarily powerful and densely populated Jewish state to disappear. Eventually, Palestinian leadership began flirting with the idea of a two-state solution.[29] In 1979, Moshe Dayan contended that the Palestinian leaders were receptive of a one-state solution.[30] According to a poll taken by the Palestine Center for Public Opinion in 2020, around 10% of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza believe that working towards a binational state should be a top priority in the next five years.[31]

One-state debate since 1999

A poll conducted in 2010 by Israel Democracy Institute suggested that 15% of right-wing Jewish Israelis and 16% of left-wing Jewish Israelis support a binational state solution over a two states solution based on 1967 lines. According to the same poll, 66% of Jewish Israelis preferred the two-state solution.[32]

Some Israeli government spokespeople have also proposed that Palestinian-majority areas of Israel, such as the area around Umm el-Fahm, be annexed to the new Palestinian state. As this measure would cut these areas off permanently from the rest of Israel’s territory, including the coastal cities and other Palestinian towns and villages, Palestinians view this with alarm. Many Palestinian citizens of Israel would therefore prefer a one-state solution because this would allow them to sustain their Israeli citizenship.[33]

Some Israeli Jews and Palestinians who oppose a one-state solution have nevertheless come to believe that it may come to pass.[13] Israeli Prime Minister Olmert argued, in a 2007 interview with the Israeli daily Ha’aretz, that without a two-state agreement Israel would face “a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights” in which case “Israel [would be] finished”.[34] This echoes comments made in 2004 by Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei, who said that if Israel failed to conclude an agreement with the Palestinians, that the Palestinians would pursue a single, bi-national state.[35] In November 2009, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat proposed the adoption of the one-state solution if Israel did not halt settlement construction: “[Palestinians must] refocus their attention on the one-state solution where Muslims, Christians and Jews can live as equals. … It is very serious. This is the moment of truth for us.”[36]

Support for a one-state solution is increasing[when?] as Palestinians, frustrated by lack of progress in negotiations aiming to establish the two-state solution, increasingly see the one-state solution as an alternative way forward.[10][11] In April 2016, then-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said that because of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu‘s policy of steady expansion of settlements, an eventual “one-state reality” with Israeli Jews no longer in the majority was the likely outcome.[14]

Arguments for and against

In favor

Today, the proponents for the one-state solution include Palestinian author Ali Abunimah, Palestinian writer and political scientist Abdalhadi Alijla, Palestinian-American producer Jamal Dajani, Palestinian lawyer Michael Tarazi,[37] American-Israeli anthropologist Jeff Halper, Israeli writer Dan Gavron,[38] Lebanese-American academic Saree Makdisi,[39] and Israeli journalist Gideon Levy.[40][41] The expansion of the Israeli Settler movement, especially in the West Bank, has been given as one rationale for bi-nationalism and the increased infeasibility of the two-state alternative:

“Support for one state is hardly a radical idea; it is simply the recognition of the uncomfortable reality that Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories already function as a single state. They share the same aquifers, the same highway network, the same electricity grid and the same international borders… The one-state solution… neither destroys the Jewish character of the Holy Land nor negates the Jewish historical and religious attachment (although it would destroy the superior status of Jews in that state). Rather, it affirms that the Holy Land has an equal Christian and Muslim character. For those who believe in equality, this is a good thing.”[42]

They advocate a secular and democratic state while still maintaining a Jewish presence and culture in the region.[43] They concede that this alternative will erode the dream of Jewish supremacy in terms of governance in the long run.[43]

Hamas has at times ruled out a two-state solution, and at other times endorsed the possibility of a two-state solution.[44][45] Hamas co-founder Mahmoud Al-Zahar has been cited saying he “did not rule out the possibility of having Jews, Muslims and Christians living under the sovereignty of an Islamic state.”[46] Islamic Jihad for its part rejects a two state solution. An Islamic Jihad leader Khalid al-Batsh stated that “The idea cannot be accepted and we believe that the entire Palestine is Arab and Islamic land and belongs to the Palestinian nation.”[47]

In 2003, Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi proposed a one-state solution known as the Isratin proposal.[1]

The left

Since 1999, interest has been renewed in binationalism or a unitary democratic state. In that year the Palestinian activist Edward Said wrote, “[A]fter 50 years of Israeli history, classic Zionism has provided no solution to the Palestinian presence. I therefore see no other way than to begin now to speak about sharing the land that has thrust us together, sharing it in a truly democratic way with equal rights for all citizens.”[48]

In October 2003, New York University scholar Tony Judt broke ground in his article, “Israel: The Alternative” in the New York Review of Books, in which he argued that Israel is an “anachronism” in sustaining an ethnic identity for the state and that the two-state solution is fundamentally doomed and unworkable.[49] The Judt article engendered considerable debate in the UK and the US, and The New York Review of Books received more than 1,000 letters per week about the essay. A month later, political scientist Virginia Tilley published “The One-State Solution” in the London Review of Books (followed in 2005 by a book with the same title), arguing that West Bank settlements had made a two-state solution impossible and that the international community must accept a one-state solution as the de facto reality.[50][51]

Leftist journalists from Israel, such as Haim Hanegbi and Daniel Gavron, have called for the public to “face the facts” and accept the binational solution. On the Palestinian side, similar voices have been raised. Israeli Prime Minister Olmert argued, in a 2007 interview with the Israeli daily Ha’aretz, that without a two-state agreement Israel would face “a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights” in which case “Israel [would be] finished”.[34]

John Mearsheimer, co-director of the Programme on International Security Policy at the University of Chicago, says the binational solution has become inevitable. He has further argued that by allowing Israel’s settlements to prevent the formation of a Palestinian state, the United States has helped Israel commit “national suicide” since Palestinians will be the majority group in the binational state.[52]

Rashid Khalidi wrote in 2011 that the one-state solution was already a reality, in that “there is only one state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, in which there are two or three levels of citizenship or non-citizenship within the borders of that one state that exerts total control.” Khalidi further argued that the “peace process” had been extinguished by ongoing Israeli settlement construction, and anyone who still believed it could result in an equitable two-state solution should have his “head examined”.[53]

In 2013, professor Ian Lustick wrote in The New York Times that the “fantasy” of a two-state solution prevented people from working on solutions that might really work. Lustick argued that people who assume Israel will persist as a Zionist project should consider how quickly the Soviet, Pahlavi Iranian, apartheid South African, Baathist Iraqi and Yugoslavian states unraveled. Lustick concludes that while it may not arise without “painful stalemates”, a one-state solution may be a way to eventual Palestinian independence.[54]

The Israeli right

200px-Restricted_space_in_the_West_Bank%Area C of the West Bank, controlled by Israel, in blue and red, December 2011

In recent years, some politicians and political commentators representing the right wing of Israeli politics have advocated annexing the West Bank, and granting the West Bank’s Palestinian population Israeli citizenship while maintaining Israel’s current status as a Jewish state with recognized minorities. Proposals from the Israeli right for a one-state solution tend to avoid advocating the annexation of the Gaza Strip, due to its large and generally hostile Palestinian population and its status as a self-governing territory without any Israeli settlements or permanent military presence.[55] Some Israeli politicians, including former defense minister Moshe Arens,[56] and former President Reuven Rivlin[57] and Uri Ariel[58] have voiced support for a one-state solution, rather than divide the West Bank in a two-state solution.[59] Moshe Dayan, on the back of Camp David Accords, felt that an opportunity for a one-state solution with “liberal autonomy” for the Arabs and open borders was within reach, but squandered nevertheless.[30]

In 2013, Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely argued that Jordan was originally created as the Arab state in the British Mandate of Palestine and that Israel should annex the West Bank as a historic part of the Land of Israel.[60] Naftali Bennett, Prime Minister of Israel, included in many Likud-led coalitions, argues for the annexation of Zone C of the West Bank. Zone C, agreed upon as part of the Oslo Accords, comprises about 60% of West Bank land and is currently under Israeli military control.[61]

In a 2014 book The Israeli SolutionThe Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick challenged the census statistics provided by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) and argued that the bureau had vastly over-inflated the Palestinian population of the West Bank by 1.34 million and that PCBS statistics and predictions are unreliable. According to a Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA) study,[62] the 2004 Palestinian population of the West Bank and Gaza stood at 2.5 million and not the 3.8 million claimed by the Palestinians. According to Glick, the 1997 PCBS survey, used as the basis for later studies, inflated numbers by including over three hundred thousand Palestinians living abroad and by double-counting over two hundred thousand Jerusalem Arabs already included in Israel’s population survey. Further, Glick says later PCBS surveys reflect the predictions of the 1997 PCBS survey, reporting unrealized birth forecasts, including assumptions of large Palestinian immigration that never occurred.

Based on this study, Glick argued that annexation of the West Bank would only add 1.4 million Palestinians to the population of Israel. She argued that a one-state solution with a Jewish majority and a political system rooted in Jewish values was the best way to guarantee the protection of democratic values and the rights of all minorities.[63]

The demographic statistics from the PCBS are backed by Arnon Soffer and quite similar to official Israeli figures. Sergio DellaPergola gives a figure of 5,698,500 Arabs living in Israel and the Palestinian territories in 2015, while the core Jewish population stood at 6,103,200.[64]

Against

Critics[which?] argue that it would make Israeli Jews an ethnic minority[65][66] in the only Jewish country. The high total fertility rate among Palestinians accompanied by a return of Palestinian refugees, would quickly render Jews a minority, according to Sergio DellaPergola, an Israeli demographer and statistician.[67]

Critics[which?] have also argued that Jews, like any other nation, have the right to self-determination, and that due to still existing antisemitism, there is a need for a Jewish national home.[68][69]

The Reut Institute expands on these concerns of many Israeli Jews and says that a one-state scenario without any institutional safeguards would negate Israel’s status as a homeland for the Jewish people.[13] When proposed as a political solution by non-Israelis, the assumption is that the idea is probably being put forward by those who are politically motivated to harm Israel and, by extension, Israeli Jews.[13] They argue that the absorption of millions of Palestinians, along with a right of return for Palestinian refugees, and the generally high birthrate among Palestinians would quickly render Jews an ethnic minority and eliminate their rights to self-determination.[13]

Israeli historian and politician Shlomo Ben-Ami, who served as Foreign Minister of Israel, dismissed the one-state solution as “ivory tower nonsense” and said that it creates a “South Africa situation without a South Africa solution.”[70]

In an interview with Jeffrey GoldbergHussein Ibish claimed that it is not realistic for Israel to be compelled to accept a binational solution with full right of return for refugees through international pressure or sanctions. According to Ibish, if a one state solution was to happen, it would come as a result of the status quo continuing, and the end result would be a protracted civil war, with each intifada more violent than the last, and the conflict growing more and more religious in nature. Ibish speculated that in such a scenario, it could even go beyond an ethno-national war between Israelis and Palestinians into a religious war between Jews and Muslims, with Israeli Jews ending up under siege and relying on their nuclear weapons for protection.[71]

Academia

Some scholars had argued that a one-state solution is supported by “anti-Israel” advocates.[72]

Scholars of the Middle East, including New Historian Benny Morris, have argued that the one-state solution is not viable because of Arab unwillingness to accept a Jewish national presence in the Middle East.[73] Morris has dismissed claims that a binational state would be a secular democratic state and argues it would instead be an authoritarian, fundamentalist state with a persecuted Jewish minority, citing the racism and persecution minorities face throughout the Arab and Muslim world, and in particular, the fact that Jews in Islamic societies were historically treated as second-class citizens and subject to pogroms and discrimination. In his book One State, Two States, he wrote “What Muslim Arab society in the modern age has treated Christians, Jews, pagans, Buddhists, and Hindus with tolerance and as equals? Why should anyone believe that Palestinian Muslim Arabs would behave any differently?” Pointing to specific examples of violence by Palestinian Muslims towards Palestinian Christians, Morris writes that “Western liberals like or pretend to view Palestinian Arabs, indeed all Arabs, as Scandinavians, and refuse to recognize that peoples, for good historical, cultural, and social reasons are different and behave differently in similar or identical sets of circumstances.” Morris notes the differences between Israeli Jewish society, which remains largely Westernized and secular, and Palestinian and Israeli-Arab society, which according to Morris is increasingly Islamic and fundamentalist, with secularism in decline. He also pointed to Hamas‘ 2007 takeover of Gaza, during which Fatah prisoners were shot in the knees and thrown off buildings, and the regular honor killings of women that permeate Palestinian and Israeli-Arab society, as evidence that Palestinian Muslims have no respect for Western values. He thus claimed that “the mindset and basic values of Israeli Jewish society and Palestinian Muslim society are so different and mutually exclusive as to render a vision of binational statehood tenable only in the most disconnected and unrealistic of minds.”

According to Morris, the goal of a “secular democratic Palestine” was invented to appeal to Westerners, and while a few supporters of the one-state solution may honestly believe in such an outcome, the realities of Palestinian society mean that “the phrase objectively serves merely as camouflage for the goal of a Muslim Arab–dominated polity to replace Israel.” Morris argued that should a binational state ever emerge, many Israeli Jews would likely emigrate to escape the “stifling darkness, intolerance, authoritarianism, and insularity of the Arab world and its treatment of minority populations”, with only those incapable of finding new host countries to resettle in and Ultra-Orthodox Jews remaining behind.[74]

It has even been argued that Jews would face the threat of genocide. Writing on Arutz ShevaSteven Plaut referred to the one-state solution as the “Rwanda Solution”, and wrote that the implementation of a one-state solution in which a Palestinian majority would rule over a Jewish minority would eventually lead to a “new Holocaust“.[75] Morris argued that while the Palestinians would have few moral inhibitions over the destruction of Israeli-Jewish society through mass murder or expulsion, fear of international intervention would probably stymie such an outcome.[74]

Some critics[which?][76] argue that unification cannot happen without damaging or destroying Israel’s democracy. The vast majority of Israeli Jews as well as Israeli Druze, some Israeli Bedouin, many Israeli Christian Arabs and even some non-Bedouin Israeli Muslim Arabs fear the consequences of amalgamation with the mostly Muslim Palestinian population in the occupied territories, which they perceive as more religious and conservative. (All Israeli Druze men and small numbers of Bedouin men serve in the Israel Defense Forces and there are sometimes rifts between these groups and Palestinians).[77][failed verification] One poll found that, in a future Palestinian state, 23% of Palestinians want civil law only, 35% want both Islamic and civil law, and 38% want Islamic law only.[78] This negative view of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza prompts some critics to argue that the existing level of rights and equality for all Israeli citizens would be put in jeopardy with unification.[79] Benny Morris echoes these claims, arguing that Palestinian Muslims, who would become the ruling majority in any such state, are deeply religious and do not have any tradition of democratic governance.

In response to the common argument given by proponents of the one state solution that Israel’s settlements have become so entrenched in the West Bank that a Palestinian state is effectively impossible, scholars such as Norman Finkelstein and Noam Chomsky have countered that it is far more unrealistic to expect Israel to accept a one-state solution that would spell the end of Zionism than it is to expect it to dismantle some settlements. Nathan Thrall has argued that Israel could implement a unilateral withdrawal at any time of its choosing and that the facts on the ground suggest that a single state is a remote possibility, writing that:

Israelis and Palestinians are now farther from a single state than they have been at any time since the occupation began in 1967. Walls and fences separate Israel from Gaza and more than 90% of the West Bank. Palestinians have a quasi-state in the occupied territories, with its own parliament, courts, intelligence services and foreign ministry. Israelis no longer shop in Nablus and Gaza the way they did before the Oslo accords. Palestinians no longer travel freely to Tel Aviv. And the supposed reason that partition is often claimed to be impossible – the difficulty of a probable relocation of more than 150,000 settlers – is grossly overstated: in the 1990s, Israel absorbed several times as many Russian immigrants, many of them far more difficult to integrate than settlers, who already have Israeli jobs, fully formed networks of family support and a command of Hebrew.[80]

Shaul Arieli has likewise argued that the settlement enterprise has failed to create the appropriate conditions to prevent a contiguous Palestinian state or to implement the annexation of the West Bank. He has noted that the settlers comprise only 13.5% of the West Bank’s population and occupy 4% of its land, and that the settlement enterprise has failed to build up a viable local economic infrastructure. He noted that only about 400 settler households were engaged in agriculture, with the amount of settler-owned farmland comprising only 1.5% of the West Bank. In addition, he wrote that there are only two significant industrial zones in the West Bank settlements, with the vast majority of workers there Palestinian, and that the vast majority of settlers live near the border, in areas that can be annexed by Israel with relative ease in territorial exchanges, while still allowing for the formation of a viable Palestinian state. According to Arieli, 62% of the settler workforce commutes over the Green Line into Israel proper for work while another 25% works in the heavily subsidized education system of the settlements, with only a small percent working in agriculture and industry. About half of the settlements have populations fewer than 1,000 and only 15 have populations greater than 5,000. According to Arieli, the settlement movement has failed to create facts on the ground precluding an Israeli withdrawal, and it is possible to implement a land exchange that would see about 80% of the settlers stay in place, necessitating the evacuation of only about 30,000 settler households, in order to establish a viable and contiguous Palestinian state in the West Bank.[81][82][83]

This sentiment has been echoed by Shany Mor, who argued that in 2020, the geographical distribution of settlers in the West Bank had not materially changed since 1993, and that a two-state solution is actually more feasible now than it was in the past due to the disentanglement of the Israeli and Palestinian economies in the 1990s. According to Mor, nearly all the population growth in the settlements between 2005 and 2020 was concentrated in the Haredi settlements of Beitar Illit and Modi’in Illit, due to their high birth rates.[84]

Journalists

One major argument against the one-state solution is that it would endanger the safety of the Jewish minority, because it would require assimilation with what critics fear would be an extremely hostile Muslim ruling majority.[13] In particular, Jeffrey Goldberg points to a 2000 Haaretz interview with Edward Said, whom he describes as “one of the intellectual fathers of one-statism”. When asked whether he thought a Jewish minority would be treated fairly in a binational state, Said replied that “it worries me a great deal. The question of what is going to be the fate of the Jews is very difficult for me. I really don’t know.”[85]

Imagining what might ensue with unification, some critics[86] of the one-state model believe that rather than ending the Arab–Israeli conflict, it would result in large-scale ethnic violence and possibly civil war, pointing to violence during the British Mandate, such as in 192019211929, and 1936–39 as examples. In this view, violence between Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Jews is inevitable and can only be forestalled by partition. These critics also cite the 1937 Peel Commission, which recommended partition as the only means of ending the ongoing conflict.[87][original research?] Critics also cite bi-national arrangements in YugoslaviaLebanonBosniaCyprus, and Pakistan, which failed and resulted in further internal conflicts. Similar criticisms appear in The Case for Peace.[88]

Left-wing Israeli journalist Amos Elon argued that while Israel’s settlement policy was pushing things in the direction of a one-state solution, should it ever come to pass, “the end result is more likely to resemble Zimbabwe than post-apartheid South Africa”.[89]

Echoing these sentiments, Palestinian-American journalist Ray Hanania wrote that the idea of a single state where Jews, Muslims, and Christians can live side by side is “fundamentally flawed.” In addition to the fact that Israel would not support it, Hanania noted that the Arab and Muslim world don’t practice it, writing “Exactly where do Jews and Christians live in the Islamic World today side-by-side with equality? We don’t even live side-by-side with equality in the Palestinian Diaspora.”[90]

On the aftermath of any hypothetical implementation of a one-state solution, Gershom Gorenberg wrote: “Palestinians will demand the return of property lost in 1948 and perhaps the rebuilding of destroyed villages. Except for the drawing of borders, virtually every question that bedevils Israeli–Palestinian peace negotiations will become a domestic problem setting the new political entity aflame…. Two nationalities who have desperately sought a political frame for cultural and social independence would wrestle over control of language, art, street names, and schools.” Gorenberg wrote that in the best case, the new state would be paralyzed by endless arguments, and in the worst case, constant disagreements would erupt into violence.[85]

Gorenberg wrote that in addition to many of the problems with the one-state solution described above, the hypothetical state would collapse economically, as the Israeli Jewish intelligentsia would in all likelihood emigrate, writing that “financing development in majority-Palestinian areas and bringing Palestinians into Israel’s social welfare network would require Jews to pay higher taxes or receive fewer services. But the engine of the Israeli economy is high-tech, an entirely portable industry. Both individuals and companies will leave.” As a result, the new binational state would be financially crippled.[85]

Public opinion

220px-No_to_the_annexation_005.jpgDemonstration against Israeli annexation of the West Bank, Rabin SquareTel Aviv-Yafo, June 6, 2020

A multi-option poll by Near East Consulting (NEC) in November 2007 found the bi-national state to be less popular than either “two states for two people” or “a Palestinian state on all historic Palestine” with only 13.4% of respondents supporting a binational solution.[91] However, in February 2007, NEC found that around 70% of Palestinian respondents backed the idea when given a straight choice of either supporting or opposing “a one-state solution in historic Palestine where Muslims, Christians and Jews have equal rights and responsibilities”.[92]

In March 2010, a survey by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research and the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem found that Palestinian support had risen to 29 percent.[93]

In April 2010, a poll by the Jerusalem Media and Communication Centre also found that Palestinian support for a “bi-national” solution had jumped from 20.6 percent in June 2009 to 33.8 percent.[94] If this support for a bi-national state is combined with the finding that 9.8 percent of Palestinian respondents favour a “Palestinian state” in “all of historic Palestine”, this poll suggested about equal Palestinian support for a two-state and one-state solution in mid-2010.[93][94]

In 2011, a poll by Stanley Greenberg and the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion and sponsored by the Israel Project revealed that 61% of Palestinians reject a two state solution, while 34% said they accepted it.[95] 66% said the Palestinians’ real goal should be to start with a two-state solution but then move to it all being one Palestinian state.

Views of current situation

In a 2021 survey of experts on the Middle East, 59 percent described the current situation as “a one-state reality akin to apartheid“.[15]

Position of other countries

Iran supports a one-state solution in which Palestine becomes the sole legitimate government of Israel.[96]

See also

References

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Further reading

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Israel is embroiled in turmoil following the passage of legislation aimed at reducing the Supreme Court’s power. The next key event in the judicial saga will come in September when the Court will hear arguments that the legislation should be struck down.

But next month won’t be momentous solely because of the Supreme Court hearing. Sept. 13 will mark the 30th anniversary of Israeli and Palestinian leaders signing the Oslo Accords, intended to pave the way for a two-state solution to end the conflict. There isn’t much to celebrate. Just as the judicial crisis is dividing Israelis internally, 30 years after Oslo, Israelis and Palestinians are farther apart on an agreement than ever before. Many believe a two-state solution is no longer feasible and have suggested alternatives, but none seem viable.

It’s not difficult to see why. The unitary state that many young Palestinians support is a non-starter for Israel; the relative demographics of the two populations mean it would risk the end of Israel’s identity as a majority Jewish state. Some advocate for a Switzerland-like confederation – a model that, as a senior Swiss diplomat recently reminded me, emerged only after hundreds of years of war. But the Swiss model – a quasi-direct democracy led by a seven-member federal council that rules by consensus – is unique among modern states and hardly a realistic solution. Full Israeli annexation would end Palestinians’ national hopes for a sovereign state of their own. A one-state-two-system approach would do little to assure Israelis or Palestinians of lasting stability and peace; in the best example of it, China and Hong Kong, the latter’s independent status has largely evaporated in recent years.

So, the only realistic path for a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians remains a two-state solution.

But it will be impossible to achieve solely as a bilateral agreement, as the political and on-the-ground changes in Israel and the Palestinian Territories over the last 30 years have eroded the required trade space. In other words, neither Israeli nor Palestinian leaders have sufficient political, security, economic, financial, natural resource, and territorial assets available to trade solely among each other in order to reach a bilateral agreement that ends the conflict.

Therefore, paradoxical though it might seem, the best and only chance to resolve the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is to enlarge the number of States – and trades – that would be part of a final agreement. More parties mean more complications, with each State looking to its own national security, political, and economic needs, requirements, and interests. But it also means a vastly increased pool of tradeable resources.

A multilateral agreement that encompasses, as part of it, a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will require concessions from states that will be viewed as outlandish, even heretical – for example, Arab states agreeing to land swaps that permanently alter their territorial boundaries. But creative, outside-the-box proposals are the ones most likely to succeed in this context. And while such an agreement undoubtedly partially shifts the burden from Israeli and Palestinian leaders to those of third states, the benefits to these parties would also be substantial; whether in the form of territory, natural resources, economic support, enhanced security, or prestige.

And the Israelis and the Palestinians would still need to make a critical number of exchanges between them on borders, security, Jerusalem, water, and Palestinian refugees. But within a multilateral framework, the broader collection of tradeable assets available means new configurations exist for the Israelis and Palestinians to make trades for which there previously would have been insufficient assets.

Undertaking this pathway would not guarantee success – indeed, chances remain low – but it is the only realistic way to produce a sovereign Palestinian state and a secure Israeli one.

Creating More Trade-Space

Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, and the United States all stand to benefit from being part of a multilateral agreement and have the resources necessary to help achieve such a deal. Other states – such as Syria, Iraq, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Russia, and China – could also provide assets to help foster a solution, but the pieces don’t fit as well. Syria’s reconstruction demands would be anathema to much of the West, even as it finds its way back into the Arab fold. Iran’s influence in Iraq makes Baghdad equally likely to be a poison pill in a negotiation. Turkey lacks proximity and the same level of influence as Jordan and Egypt on this topic. The UAE lacks Qatar’s relationship with Gaza’s leaders and the leverage that Saudi normalization would bring. Russia lacks the capacity to play a role given its war in Ukraine. China lacks the capability, and desire, to provide Israel and Saudi Arabia the security guarantees the United States could deliver.

The timing of such a proposal comes as the United States is actively trying to broker bilateral Saudi-Israeli normalization. Many in Washington, including myself, support that effort. Modern Middle East history is littered with failed peace talks and renewed conflicts. Opportunities for reconciliation are often fleeting, tied to shifting political conditions. Such that when a chance for normalizing of relations exists, it should be explored to the full extent possible.

But Saudi-Israeli normalization remains far from a fait accompli. Nor would it mitigate the need for a multilateral agreement to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If a multilateral effort that includes Saudi Arabia fails, bilateral normalization would be an inevitable fallback — a notion that could be leveraged to try to convince the Palestinians and some Arab states to join the multilateral negotiating table. But if bilateral normalization comes first, it probably removes the Saudis from playing as meaningful a role, given Jerusalem, Riyadh, and Washington will have already traded the political, economic, and security assets they most desire from each other.

Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United States

The idea of land swaps between Israel and the Palestinians remains a necessary tenet of any two-state solution. Some settlements and the land they’re on are inevitably going to be retained by Israel in any agreement. And the number Israel will insist on retaining increases every year as settlements grow to become small- to mid-sized cities in their own right. But it is not just the size of the settlements that presents an impediment to reaching an agreement on territorial swaps. It is their locations, which challenge the eventual contiguity of a future Palestinian state.

The percentage of a future state of Palestine that would be contiguous could increase, however, with the help of Jordan, since its territory is not impacted by Israeli settlers. Amman’s acquiescence to giving up some territory along the Jordan River could increase the contiguity of a future Palestinian state, once Israel cedes parts of Area C along the border, as the Oslo Accords always envisioned. Doing so would be the definition of infringing on Jordanian state sovereignty. But national borders have always evolved over time, often at the close of a conflict.

For Jordan – which already shoulders a greater burden from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict than any other country – such a fundamental concession should be compensated in two ways. First, Saudi could cede territory in the northern part of the Kingdom equal to that which Jordan gives up to a new State of Palestine. The second form of compensation to Jordan would be a guarantee by the United Nations and acceptance by the international community – which is likely to be skeptical of such an unconventional territorial proposal – that Palestinian refugees currently living in Jordanian territory that is part of the land swap be considered as full citizens of the new Palestinian state. The number of Palestinians affected would depend on exactly where the new border is ultimately demarcated.

For Amman, such an agreement could provide significant economic relief, reducing Jordanian responsibility for potentially hundreds of thousands of Palestinian residents. Jordan has been overwhelmed for decades providing for Palestinian, Iraqi, Syrian, and other refugees, resulting in it having the second-highest share of refugees per capita in the world.

Such an agreement would undoubtedly raise a host of practical, moral, and legal questions. International law is clear: refugees cannot be forcibly moved back to their home state if their safety would be at risk. At minimum, Jordan could not strip Palestinian refugees of their Jordanian citizenship as part of this process, per Article 15(2) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – which most Palestinians living in Jordan have. And some indirect precedent suggests Amman could be responsible for ensuring the refugees would be safe in the new State of Palestine.

On the other hand, Palestinian refugees living in this territory would not be forced to move anywhere. The border would move over them as it did for Mexican citizens living in present-day Texas when, following the conclusion of the Mexican-American War in 1848, they became citizens of the United States.

For Jordan, other inducements would almost certainly be necessary and could include Gulf and Israeli concessions to address the country’s water insecurity – one of the worst in the world. For example, Saudi Arabia and Qatar could agree to jointly finance a 100-year lease for a portion of Saudi Red Sea coastline for the construction of dedicated water pipelines and Israeli-developed desalination plants.

As part of such a multilateral agreement, it should be expected that Riyadh would seek custodianship of Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third-holiest site in Islam and currently under the custodianship of Jordan. For Jordan’s King Abdullah II to agree to such a demand would be an excruciating concession; much of his own legitimacy is predicated on his custodianship of the site. A joint custodianship might leave both Amman and Riyadh unsatisfied, but might be agreeable if the benefit for Jordan is greater political and economic stability and eliminating the persistent spill-over of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Riyadh gaining such a meaningful presence in Jerusalem might concern Israel given Saudi Arabia’s history of Wahhabism. But Jerusalem is likely to be placated given Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s (MBS’s) crackdown on that form of religious practice and recognizing that Riyadh having a direct stake in Jerusalem could create new trade space to help resolve the issue of the city as a point of conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians. And as part of the agreement, both would have demands of Saudi Arabia – financial and political support for the Palestinians, normalization and new security ties for Israel.

MBS has expressed his determination to diversify Saudi Arabia’s economy and would be unenthusiastic about providing gratis financial support or surrendering territory, and he may not yet be ready to normalize ties with Israel bilaterally. But the Crown Prince might reconsider all of these conditions in the context of a multilateral agreement that provided Saudi Arabia joint custodianship of Al-Aqsa, enhanced military ties with Israel, and U.S. weapons, training, security guarantees, and support for a civilian nuclear program.

Moreover, by leveraging its leadership to help drive a resolution to the conflict, Riyadh would also gain something it desperately desires but cannot buy: global goodwill. Leading the Arab world in negotiating a regional deal that ends the conflict won’t erase the murder of Jamal Khashoggi – nothing can. But helping to broker a broader peace in the region would significantly improve relations and rehabilitate MBS’s image in the West.

The Crown Prince may not care as much about that, especially if he’s looking east more often. But Riyadh is currently seeking these same provisions from the United States – weapons systems, a civilian nuclear program, and a security guarantee to support the Kingdom if it is attacked – in return for a bilateral normalization of relations with Israel. On that basis, such a framework is likely to face meaningful opposition in Congress. (Among the concerns would be Riyadh’s desire that a deal permit uranium enrichment on Saudi soil; but such enrichment could eventually be used to produce material for a nuclear bomb..) However, in the context of a multilateral accord that brings with it the end of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it would be far easier for President Joe Biden to sell to Congress, and for MBS to sell to both his domestic population, and the region’s.

Given Washington’s international leadership and efforts at resolving the conflict over the past three decades, the United States would likely welcome such a deal. Washington would probably also be willing to provide support to help address Israel’s core security challenges, both in the context of the Palestinians and Iran. Moreover, it would help reinforce the U.S. commitment to the region at a time when it is being questioned.

Egypt, Qatar, and the Question of Gaza

Three realistic options exist for Gaza. First, Gaza could be a de jure part of a new, sovereign Palestinian state, but the status quo could continue de facto until the minimum requirements set out in the final multilateral agreement are met by the Strip’s leadership. Second, Gaza could be ignored in the final agreement and the status quo could remain as it is today. Third, Gaza could be a meaningful part of the multilateral agreement, but responsibility for it given to a small Arab coalition until it is ready to be integrated into a sovereign Palestinian state.

There would be two facets of an Arab coalition playing a role in Gaza: an on-the-ground presence and a behind-the-scenes financial one. The only realistic option to fill the on-the-ground role is Egypt – the only state with sufficient expertise, proximity, and relationships with both Palestinians there, including Hamas, and with Israel to have a chance of success.

Cairo would be loath to accept responsibility for Gaza. However, Egypt’s dire economic situation may offer a point of leverage. There is no simple solution to Egypt’s economic problems. The military has dominated every sector of the society for so long that the changes required will take decades and cost far more than Egypt could muster, even with support from the International Monetary Fund and the sale of state assets, especially as inflation skyrockets. The Egyptian population is facing record inflation of more than 35 percent, heavily driven by food costs, while Cairo is carrying an approximately $17 billion financing gap over the next four years and a national debt that equals 92.9 percent of GDP.

As a result, despite having no desire to become entrenched in Gaza, Cairo might be cajoled into the role – and into the broader multilateral agreement – in exchange for Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United States, the European Union, and others making financial commitments to enable Egypt to make the difficult economic transition it needs to, without the country facing a collapse – the consequences of which would ripple across the entire region. The loans, grants, and gifts would need to be in the billions. But that amount of financial aid combined with an agreement, for example, to prioritize bringing a newly discovered Egyptian gas field online, could be an offer too tempting for Cairo to dismiss, knowing there are limited, if any, other avenues out of its financial crisis.

In addition to supporting Egypt domestically, the most obvious candidate to provide financial support to the Gaza Strip, and for Egypt’s temporary responsibility for it, would be Qatar. Israeli frustrations over what was once viewed as Doha’s close relationship with Hamas have been replaced by quiet gratitude for the role Qatar has played as an intermediary to tamp down new rounds of violence.

Moreover, Qatar’s current primary foreign policy objective – to be a global mediator – would align perfectly with the need for a trusted interlocutor with financial heft. For Doha, the return in cachet for helping to bring about peace between Israelis and Palestinians would be unmatched by any other diplomatic foray and accelerate its prominence as a global, let alone regional, diplomatic heavyweight.

New Motivations for Israeli and Palestinian Leaders

Ultimately, any multilateral agreement that settles the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is still going to require leaders in Jerusalem and Ramallah to make the key exchanges between them. Neither side sees an impetus to negotiate today. Netanyahu is giving rightwing, ultranationalist members of his coalition almost unilateral control to expand settlements, and his domestic focus is on the judicial crisis; which, ironically, has a direct implication for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict given the Supreme Court is one of the few institutions for West Bank Palestinians to seek recourse against settlers. Conversely, Abbas is unwilling to negotiate and risk further jeopardizing his standing among Palestinians who are – especially among the younger generation – frustrated and angry over the PA’s corruption, which in turn undermines the government’s legitimacy with the Palestinian public. But shifting regional dynamics might provide new motivations in a way that domestic watershed events never will.

The Palestinian cause is no longer a central theme for some Arab leaders, especially the wealthier Gulf States. Indeed, both Riyadh and Abu Dhabi are no longer willing to write large checks or blindly pledge political support to the Palestinian Authority (PA). Publicly, both countries have large pro-Palestinian publics to appease. But behind the scenes, as relations with the PA wane, they are waxing with Israel, especially in the security and commercial domains and even as new rounds of Israeli-Palestinian violence challenge their relationship.

Moreover, while public anti-Israel bias and antisemitism in the region will not end in the coming years, it may ebb as more Arab citizens have direct interaction with Israelis and as textbooks and educational curriculums in the Arab world are revised to take a more moderate line in relation to Israel, Jews, and related issues. Over time, these changes could diminish the reflexive, intense support for the Palestinian cause that exists among Arab publics today. That trend should be worrying for Palestinian leaders and prompt them to consider an opportunity to regain that support — which they never imagined losing in the first place – by working to reach an agreement with Israel today.

From Israel’s perspective, former PA leader Yasser Arafat’s and current President Mahmoud Abbas’ repeated rejections of a peace agreements has inspired skepticism from multiple Israeli leaders across the political spectrum of Palestinians’ sincerity in seeking a deal. Moreover, concessions leading to the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state would seemingly run counter to the current tides of regional politics, including normalization agreements.

But political dynamics in the Middle East are about as stable as the desert sands. For Israel, it viewed the Abraham Accords, especially normalization with the UAE and Bahrain, in part, as a meaningful bulwark against Iran, Israel’s greatest threat, especially if Saudi Arabia joined. But Iranian-Emirati relations continue to advance, bilateral normalization with Saudi Arabia is far from assured, and Riyadh’s decision to undertake its own diplomatic rapprochement with Tehran should give Israel pause about the implicit security pact those Accords offer.

But even if Riyadh were to normalize relations with Israel tomorrow, the number of states in the region that still would not do so is significant. Last year, Iraq criminalized its citizens’ engagement with Israelis. Oman – not long ago thought to be a potential member of the Abraham Accords, or at least the most likely next country to normalize – recently followed Iraq’s lead.

If Israel’s priority is undermining the threat Iran poses, then normalizing relations with the rest of the Arab world would be the most consequential action it could take. Instead, Israel seems to be assuming that it can continue to enable settlers’ claims in the West Bank without meaningful consequences to its relations with the Arab world and wait out, for another three decades, those Arab countries unwilling to engage Israel today. But such a gambit is incredibly dangerous as it inherently assumes, without meaningful evidence, that the trajectory toward normalization of the last 30 years will hold for the next 30.

Unfortunately, when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the only clear trajectory upon which to make a meaningful assessment is that a two-state solution stemming from bilateral Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, as envisioned by the Oslo Accords, will not materialize. But a two-state solution can still come to be, and it will require the inclusion of others.

IMAGE: Israeli soldiers deploy following clashes between Palestinians (not pictured) and Israeli settlers who set up tents on lands in Halhoul village north of Hebron in the occupied West Bank, on August 1, 2023.  (Photo by HAZEM BADER/AFP via Getty Images)
Doctor Tried To Renew His US Passport But Lost Citizenship After 61 Years. Read His Story

Siavash Sobhani had applied for a new passport in February.

Despite being born in the United States and practising medicine for over 30 years in the country, a 62-year-old doctor from Virginia has shockingly been stripped of his citizenship due to his late father’s status as an Iranian diplomat at the time of his birth. According to the Washington Post, Siavash Sobhani found out he was stateless after a letter from a State Department official informed him that he was granted US citizenship by mistake when he was an infant. The letter explained that those born in the US to parents with diplomatic immunity don’t automatically acquire US citizenship. 

“This was a shock to me,” Mr Sobhani told the Washington Post. “I’m a doctor. I’ve been here all my life. I’ve paid my taxes. I’ve voted for presidents. I’ve served my community in Northern Virginia. During Covid, I was at work, putting myself at risk, putting my family at risk. So when you’re told after 61 years, ‘Oh there was a mistake, you’re no longer a US citizen,’ it’s really, really shocking,” he added. 

Mr Sobhani had applied for a new passport in February. He expected no difficulties in the procedure as he had renewed his passport several times previously without problems. However, this time, he did not receive a new passport. Instead, the doctor received a letter from the State Department saying that he should not have been granted citizenship at the time of his birth because his father was a diplomat with the Embassy of Iran. The letter also directed the doctor to a website where he could apply for lawful permanent residence. 

Speaking to the outlet, Mr Sobhani pointed out that the fact he was indeed a US citizen was confirmed over and over again throughout his life, every time his passport was renewed. So naturally it was “a shock” to him when he was told that after 61 years, he was no longer a US citizen. 

Also Read | Starbucks CEO Laxman Narasimhan’s “Favourite” Drink At Coffee Chain Has Indian Connection. Read Here

Me Sobhani told the publication that he has applied for permanent residence, as instructed. He has spent more than $40,000 on legal fees. However, he worries that he could wait in limbo as he still doesn’t know when his case might be resolved. 

“I’m waiting for an interview, but does that mean I wait another year for an interview? Then another three years for the next step? Then another 10 years before I can travel outside of the country?” he said. 

At 62, the doctor said that he has already started to think about retirement. He told the outlet that he and his wife planned to spend this year exploring other countries in hopes of finding a community where they could buy a home. However, now, he can’t even visit his friend in London who recently had a stroke, or his father-in-law, who lives in Lebanon and is seriously ill. “If he passes away, I can’t even go to his funeral,” Mr Sobhani said. 

Donald Trump throws Vladimir Putin under the bus

posted on Nov 29 2023 14:15:46 UTC via newsweek.com

Former President Donald Trump may look to blame Vladimir Putin for interference in the 2016 U.S. election if it can keep him out of prison, according to a legal filing reported by Politico.

Trump still leads the pack in the Republican primaries but faces 91 felony counts across two state courts and two different federal districts, any of which could lead to a prison sentence. He also faces a civil suit in New York that could hurt his business empire.

Trump has repeatedly avoided agreeing with U.S. intelligence assessments that Putin had interfered on his behalf during the 2016 presidential election. In Helsinki in 2018, Trump said he didn’t” see any reason” to disbelieve the Russian leader’s assurances Moscow did not interfere.

Trump and Putin

Former U.S. President Donald Trump (L) chats with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin at the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Danang, Vietnam on November 11, 2017. Trump’s lawyers may use Putin to help the former president’s legal case centered on his attempts to subvert the 2020 election. MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/Getty Images

Trump’s false claims that the next election in 2020 was stolen from him spurred some of his supporters to try to overthrow the Electoral College vote and sparked rioters to storm the Capitol. It triggered a federal indictment obtained by special counsel Jack Smith focused on his attempt to subvert his loss.

Despite Trump’s insistence that Putin had nothing to do with his 2016 victory, which he had termed the “Russia hoax,” Politico has flagged an excerpt of his attorneys’ filing disputing Smith’s claims that the ex-president had damaged Americans’ faith in the electoral system—because Putin did it first.

“Trump wants people to know that it was Russia, not him, who caused Americans to distrust the election system,” wrote Politico’s Kyle Cheney on X (formerly Twitter) next to a screen grab of the legal filing.

MORE: Trump wants people to know that it was Russia, not him, who caused Americans to distrust the election system. He will make this case by relying on intelligence community assessments he and his allies have constantly maligned and disputed. https://t.co/VHze45aUfR pic.twitter.com/zJaYBvIF2V

— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) November 28, 2023

“He will make this case by relying on intelligence community assessments he and his allies have constantly maligned and disputed,” he added.

The excerpt Cheney highlighted said that Smith’s office “falsely alleges that President Trump eroded public faith in the administration of the election.”

It noted how the 2016 Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) also “uses strikingly similar language to attribute the origins of that erosion to foreign influence—that is, foreign efforts to ‘undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process.'”

The filing went on to argue that Trump “is entitled to the detailed information supporting the conclusions in the 2016 Election ICA,” which can “demonstrate to a jury that he did not create or cause the environment that the prosecution seeks to blame him for.” Newsweek has contacted the Trump team and the Kremlin for comment.

Trump once described Putin as “very smart” in the wake of the Russian leader’s launch of a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. In January 2023, Trump suggested on Truth Social he trusted the Russian leader more than the “lowlifes” who work in U.S. intelligence. “Who would you choose, Putin or these Misfits?” posted Trump, referring to the intelligence community.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

2023-11-28-israel-hostages-index-faceboo

Eighty-five of the roughly 240 people captured have now been released.

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MANAMA, Bahrain — The war in Gaza is testing newly strengthened ties between Arab countries of the Persian Gulf and Israel, raising questions about an American-backed vision for regional order that emphasizes economic ties over political differences and historical rifts.

While the conflict is unlikely to lead to the severing of diplomatic relations, it has scrambled the calculations of emergent gulf powers that see in Israel a potential security partner and a counterweight to regional rival Iran. Now, leaders must grapple with an outpouring of public anger over a war that has killed more than 13,300 Palestinians and left much of the Gaza Strip in ruins.

In speeches, statements and social media posts, gulf leaders have condemned the death and destruction in Gaza, but they have also been careful to stress the importance of regional stability and lines of communication. Qatar, the country most diplomatically engaged in the crisis, does not have formal diplomatic relations with Israel but has succeeded in mediating a temporary pause in the fighting — allowing for the release of hostages and Palestinian prisoners.

The United States has championed Arab normalization with Israel across two administrations. The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain formalized ties with Israel in 2020 under the U.S.-brokered Abraham Accords, followed by Morocco and Sudan. Washington had hoped that Saudi Arabia — the gulf’s dominant power — would be next. Now, those plans are on hold.

“I cannot prove what I’m about to say,” President Biden said earlier this month. “But I believe one of the reasons why Hamas struck when they did was they knew that I was working very closely with the Saudis and others in the region to bring peace to the region by having recognition of Israel and Israel’s right to exist.”

Saudi Arabia has called for a comprehensive cease-fire in Gaza, describing the war as a “dangerous development” and a “humanitarian catastrophe.” At home, the kingdom has taken steps to channel public expressions of solidarity with Palestinians into relief and fundraising efforts.

Speaking on Nov. 18 at the IISS Manama Dialogue in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia’s Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former ambassador to Washington and senior member of the royal family, said the crisis in Gaza has shown that regional peace efforts that fail to address the occupation of Palestinian land are an “illusion.”

“This war is a turning point in the process of a serious search for a just solution to the Palestinian issue,” he said. Moving forward, any effort must address “the legitimate demand of the Palestinians for self-determination.”

The UAE and Bahrain have defended their ties with Israel, saying it allows them to act as a moderating force in the crisis.

Anwar Gargash, diplomatic adviser to the president of the UAE, said his country has leverage with Israel that otherwise would not exist. He said they have used their influence so far to push for humanitarian relief, “but this leverage will also grow at some stage.”

When asked if anything would compel the UAE to break ties with Israel, Gargash was circumspect: “What we have found through our diplomatic process is that instant gratification is not the solution in politics. Communication is the solution in politics.”

But on social media, at protests and in dinner table conversations, many gulf citizens say they want their leaders to do more.

“We haven’t seen any benefit. We should pressure Israel. That is how you end apartheid, with boycott,” said a 45-year old pharmacist who attended an anti-normalization protest recently with her sister and infant niece in Manama, the capital of Bahrain. She, like others interviewed for this article, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss politically sensitive subjects.

“With normalization, what you are saying is that what’s happening to the Palestinian people is normal,” she said. The woman, whose family is Palestinian, said she doesn’t believe that diplomatic ties with Israel have helped the region.

“If we had stability, you wouldn’t have what’s happening in Gaza. The instability was always there. Now it’s just out in the open for everyone to see.”

As public anger grows, Israeli businesses in the gulf have adopted lower public profiles. They are sitting out trade shows, pulling advertising and downsizing official delegations.

“Beneath the surface, it’s business as usual. We just advertise the relationship less,” said one businessman in the gulf who works extensively with Israeli companies.

“The business relationship was there before [the Abraham Accords], and it will be there after this blows over,” he said.

But consumers are speaking with their wallets. A grass-roots boycott movement against Western brands, including Starbucks and McDonald’s, has gained support in the gulf and across the Arab world.

A 30-year-old Kuwaiti social media consultant who has spent her whole life in Dubai described the relationship with Israeli businesses in the UAE as “uncomfortable.” She said she used to meet regularly with representatives from Israeli brands but has taken a step back since the war began. She doubts things will ever return to how they were before Oct. 7, when Hamas militants killed at least 1,200 people across southern Israel.

While, on the surface, life in the UAE appears to go on as normal, the woman said the war was all-consuming. It dominates conversations with friends and family. “Everyone is just feeling numb,” she said. Like thousands of others, she joined a government-organized aid drive in Dubai.

“I wanted to have an outlet to feel like I am making a difference, even if it’s trivial,” she said. “This is the best I can do. Your hands are tied, so you’re going to do whatever you can do within your resources.”

However widespread the feelings of helplessness and frustration here, she said they haven’t translated into anti-government sentiment.

“Some people hope the UAE would have a stronger stance, but at the end of the day they trust the government because there is information that we don’t know about,” she said. “We know they prioritize security and stability because look at the track record.”

In Bahrain, the anger feels more raw, and potentially more worrying for authorities.

A few miles from the five-star hotel hosting the security summit in Manama, hundreds of people marched against normalization, chanting “From Ramallah to Bahrain, we are one nation, not two” and “No to displacement, no to normalization, long live Palestine!”

The march was granted a protest permit by Bahrain’s government — an acknowledgment, attendees said, that public discontent is now an undeniable political force.

Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa cautioned against actions that undermine “the rules-based order” in his speech marking the opening of the summit. He said countries such as his must work “with all of the parties involved to make sure that our voice” is heard. The longer the war in Gaza lasts, he cautioned, the more likely it will lead to instability and extremism.

Nearby, in a neighborhood dotted with sleek restaurants and cafes, dozens of people gathered recently outside the office of a Palestinian advocacy group, calling on the government to break ties with Israel.

A 33-year-old Bahraini man, who works as a private art curator and described himself as a government supporter, admitted he was never comfortable with his country’s decision to normalize relations with Israel. Now, after seeing the brutality of the war in Gaza, he hopes that authorities will reverse course.

“I don’t think a society’s values are ever perfectly reflected by its leadership, but on this I hope it changes. I hope they cut ties,” he said.

In Shiite parts of this Sunni-ruled kingdom, where resentment has long simmered, the war in Gaza is fueling more overt fury.

Outside a Shiite mosque in the north, following Friday prayers, dozens of men, women and children gathered, holding signs calling for Israel to be erased and accusing American leaders of genocide.

“We are a small voice, but an important voice,” said a 35-year-old travel agent on the edge of the gathering.

“The people in Saudi Arabia, they can’t protest,” he said, referring to strict controls on public gatherings in Bahrain’s powerful, oil-rich neighbor. “But we are saying out loud what everyone in Saudi, every Arab, every Muslim is thinking in his heart.”

DEADLY DINNER

The presumed Russian sting operation was an attempt to wipe out the Ukraine’s intelligence top brass, an ex-Kyiv spymaster said

  • Published: 4:30 ET, Nov 29 2023
  • Updated: 4:32 ET, Nov 29 2023

THE wife of Ukraine’s spy chief was poisoned by Russia with arsenic and mercury, according to Kyiv’s former intelligence head.

Marianna Budanova, 30, was rushed to the hospital after her food was reportedly spiked with arsenic and mercury in a suspected assassination hit ordered by twisted Putin.

Marianna Budanov reportedly ate a meal poisoned with arsenic and mercury in an alleged assassination attempt

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Marianna Budanov reportedly ate a meal poisoned with arsenic and mercury in an alleged assassination attemptCredit: East2West

Her husband is Maj. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov, 37, chief of Ukraine’s military intelligence

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Her husband is Maj. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov, 37, chief of Ukraine’s military intelligence

Lt-Gen Valeriy Kondratyuk confirmed the poisoning and said it was an attempt to wipe out plenty of Ukraine's intelligence top brass by Russia

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Lt-Gen Valeriy Kondratyuk confirmed the poisoning and said it was an attempt to wipe out plenty of Ukraine’s intelligence top brass by RussiaCredit: East2West

Several other victims of the suspected Russian sting are senior intelligence officers closely involved in the war against Russia, the service’s ex-head Lt-Gen Valeriy Kondratyuk said.

Marianna suffered a “prolonged deterioration of her health”, but survived and is now recovering, an intelligence source said.

She is the wife of highly-respected Lt-Gen Kyrylo Budanov, 37, head of Ukraine’s military intelligence (GUR) and one of Russia’s main targets for elimination in Ukraine.

He was reportedly not poisoned, despite his wife and senior colleagues being struck down by the mercury and arsenic attack.

“I have confidential information that is not yet known,” said former intelligence chief Kondratyuk, 53, who headed GUR from 2015-2016.

“The poisoning… analysis detected metals such as arsenic and mercury,” he revealed.

“It also affected several employees of the [intelligence wing of the] Ministry of Defence.

“And we are not talking about the guards who were, for example, with Budanov’s wife. 

“They are high-ranking persons – heads of individual sections, who are responsible specifically for operations regarding Russia in the Main Intelligence Directorate.”

Budanova’s military intelligence wing has been responsible for key attacks on Russian infrastructure – such as targeting Putin’s favourite bridge to Crimea – as well as assassinations of key war officials and propagandists.

Arsenic and mercury can cause symptoms such as vomiting, fever and life-threatening organ failure.

If the hit job succeeded, considerable damage may have been done to Ukrainian operations against Russia. 

However, GUR spokesman Andriy Yusov revealed that Marianna is heading for the clear.

“[Her] life is currently out of danger, but medical supervision will continue for some time.”

Regarding other officers, a source said on Tuesday: “They didn’t notice anything about themselves, and now they are also being treated.”

The source also claimed that Marianna and her husband have spent most of their time together and in his office since Russia invaded Ukraine.

“They are together 24/7.”

An urgent investigation is underway into the security breach that led to the poisoning.

Retired spymaster Kondratyuk blamed Russia for the attack and said it was presumably aimed at killing Budanov.

Putin’s secret services had regularly used poisons, he said.

“Let’s say this is the most well-known tool, which is used by the special services of Russia not only against those the Kremlin considers enemies there, but also against those abroad who oppose the Putin regime,” he said.

The Kremlin has not commented on the poisoning in Kyiv.

But Russia has issued three separate arrest warrants for Budanov in the past.

Poisons and chemical or nuclear compounds have been used by Russia against Putin’s enemies like former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko – killed in London – attempted assassinations on opposition leaders Alexei Navalny and Vladimir Kara-Murza.

Former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal was poisoned by the nerve agent Novichok in his adopted hometown of Salisbury in March 2018.

Putin’s ‘viciously theatrical’ love of poison

POISON is a weapon which may feel more at home in the Middle Ages – yet it appears to be the method of choice for Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Marianna Budanov joins a list of names such as opposition leader Alexei Navalny and even ex-Chelsea boss Roman Abramovich who have been taken ill in mysterious circumstances.

Poisonings linked to the Kremlin have left opponents disfigured, in medically induced comas, and worst of all dying slow and painful deaths.

And the method seems to differ every time, with poison-tipped umbrellas, chemical agents daubed on doorknobs, or simply toxins spiked into victims’ food and drinks.

At least eight prominent critics of Putin and his regime are suspected to have been poisoned after being taken ill in mysterious circumstances.

Experts have said Putin’s apparent fetish for such a medieval weapon is for two reasons – its “easy deniability” and its “vicious theatricality”.

Mark Galeotti, a senior associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, told Foreign Policy: “One of poison’s great virtues for the politically-minded murderer is their capacity to combine easy deniability and vicious theatricality.

“Even while the murderer denies any role, perhaps with a sly wink, the victim dies a horrific and often lengthy death.

“A message in a poison bottle.”

Victims can spend weeks in hospital fighting for their lives and even if they survive they will have been sent an unforgettable message – don’t mess with Putin.

The loved up pair reportedly spend 24/7 with eachother which led Kondratyuk to allege that her husband was the real target

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The loved up pair reportedly spend 24/7 with eachother which led Kondratyuk to allege that her husband was the real targetCredit: East2West

Marianna is now said to be stable and recovering from the suspected hit job

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Marianna is now said to be stable and recovering from the suspected hit jobCredit: East2West

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