The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 16th February 2018

Syria fights against Israeli aggression

by our Arab Affairs correspondent

The Syrians gave Israel a bloody nose when their air-defences downed an Israeli warplane and hit another during an air-raid last weekend, and they’ve warned the Zionists of more “surprises” to come if Israel continues its provocations. Syrian air-defences also shot down 13 Israeli air-launched cruise missiles during the clash over the skies of the occupied Golan Heights on Saturday.

Russia has denounced the latest violation of Syrian sovereignty as “unacceptable” whilst urging all parties to exercise restraint, whilst Iran says it only maintains military advisors in Syria and that it has no bases in Syria. One Israeli F-16 was shot down and an F-15 hit as they returned from attacking what Tel Aviv claimed were Iranian bases responsible for launching a drone into the occupied Golan Heights last weekend. The two-man crew bailed out successfully but one of them is said to be badly injured.

Renewed Israeli aggression was routinely endorsed by their American masters in Washington. “Israel is our closest security partner in the region and we fully support Israel’s inherent right to defend itself against threats to its territory and its people,” Pentagon spokesperson Major Rankine-Galloway said.

Although Israel has been less than covertly assisting the NATO-backed sectarian Muslim gunmen who have spread death and destruction across Syria for the last seven years, Israeli intervention has become more open than in recent months. This is partly to try to halt the Syrian advance that has swept ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood militias out of most of the country. But it is also being used in Tel Aviv to divert the Israeli public from the scandal surrounding Israeli premier Benyamin Netanyahu that could end his political career once and for all.

Last week Israeli police recommended charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust against Netanyahu in two separate corruption cases. After a month-long investigation the police have handed over their recommendation to the Attorney General, who will decide whether or not to press charges. The police said that they have concluded that there is “sufficient evidence” against Netanyahu to prosecute.

In the first case, dubbed by the police “case 1000,” Netanyau allegedly took bribes from an Israeli businessman and Hollywood tycoon Arnon Milchan, and an Australian businessman, James Packer. The police said that between 2007—2016, Netanyahu and his family received expensive cigars, champagne and jewellery worth about $282,800.

Following Netanyahu’s re-election in 2009, “the scope and frequency of the transfer of goods increased significantly,” the police statement said. In return for the goods, Netanyahu allegedly approached US officials and asked them to extend Milchan’s visa to the USA.

He also acted to promote a law, known as the “Milchan Bill” that gives tax exemption for returning Israeli residents who had lived abroad for over 10 years and helped Milchan to promote his investments in the Israeli media.

In another case, dubbed “case 2000,” Netanyahu allegedly took bribes from Arnon Mozes, the publisher of Yedioth Aharonoth, one of Israel’s largest newspapers.

The police said that Netanyahu and Mozes held talks over an “exchange deal,” in which Netanyahu would receive favourable coverage in Yedioth Aharonoth (Latest News) in return for promoting a law and other measures that would limit the distribution of Israel Hayom (Israel Today), its major rival .Meanwhile the beleaguered Kurdish defenders in Afrin have again called on the Syrian army for help against the Turkish invaders. Sipan Hemo, the commander of the Syrian Kurds’ People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia has appealed to the Syrian government to “immediately send in reinforcements to the border region with Turkey.”

Syrian Army checkpoints deployed west of Aleppo are already letting through food, fuel and staples for the 1.5 million residents of Afrin, the autonomous Kurdish province in northern Syria.

This week Faisal Mikdad, Syria’s Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister, called on Arabs and Kurds in northern Syria to “unite and fight back at Turkish forces.” The Syrian minister also called on the United Nations “to investigate the actions and practices of the United States, which threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Syria and aim to liquidate the Syrian people,” whilst warning that the Syrian armed forces will shoot down any war-plane that launches an assault on Syrian soil “and that is not a mere threat.”