By its very nature, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a non-profit organization exclusively run by Technocrats. As such, it is an apolitical body that is happy to serve whatever form of governance exists as long as funding is received and salaries are paid. To a Technocrat, a world run by science and technology is better than any other form of governance.
That Technocrats have played a supporting role in world history is unquestioned. Scientists, engineers and technicians played a huge role in the Communist dictatorship in the former Soviet Union (For instance, see Science and the Soviet Social Order). Technocrats likewise played a central role in support of Adolph Hitler and National Socialism (See Scientists, Engineers and National Socialism). In both cases, the Technocrat goal was not necessarily Communism or Nazism, but rather the methodical exercise of science according to its Scientific Method. In other words, the process was more important than the outcome – and in both cases, the outcome was not questioned or resisted, but simply accepted.
The reason that ICANN formerly served the interests of the United States was simply that it answered to our government’s judicial, legislative and executive branches. In other words, the U.S. held the umbrella over ICANN and that was enough to keep it working for our national interests and not for someone else’s interests.
Obama changed that when he cut ICANN loose on September 30, 2016 by letting the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) contract expire without being renewed. After expiration, we forever lost the right to renew the contract again.
So, ICANN is now a “free-agent” looking for shelter in the same way that a boll weevil looks for a cotton plant: it needs a host organization in order to practice its craft, and, I dare say, it doesn’t care one whit who that host is.
It is no secret that the United Nations is making a play to become host to ICANN. In particular, the UN’s International Telecommunications Union (ITU), run by the Peoples Republic of China, is expected to play the central role in this effort. However, whether it is the ITU or some other UN agency is immaterial because it will still be the UN in the end.
But, why the UN? Because it is the fountainhead of the plans and operations to establish Technocracy as the sole global economic system while destroying capitalism and free enterprise. Technocracy is the issue here. Others know it as Sustainable Development or Green Economy, but the correct historical term is Technocracy.
In February 2015, the head of climate change at the UN, Christiana Figures, stated,
“This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the industrial revolution.” [emphasis added]
What is unclear about this? Sustainable Development, or Technocracy, is a resource-driven economic model regulated by energy rather than by supply and demand plus monetary currencies. In 1938, the original Technocrats defined Technocracy as “the science of social engineering, the scientific operation of the entire social mechanism to produce and distribute goods and services to the entire population.”
To achieve its Utopia goals, the UN must have ICANN’s steering wheel and throttle. But while everyone is stressing over Internet censorship of web sites and the suppression of free speech, the real prize is completely overlooked: The Internet of Things (IoT).
In terms of “follow the money”, IoT is expected to generate upwards of $3 trillion by 2025 and is growing at a rate of at least 30 percent per year. In other words, it is a huge market and money is flying everywhere. If the UN can figure out a way to tax this market, and they will, it will provide a windfall of income and perhaps enough to make it self-perpetuating. Currently, the UN is financed by contributions from member states.
But, what is the IoT and who cares? IoT are the connections between inanimate objects and the humans that depend upon them. The digital Smart Meter on your home communicates energy usage via WiFi to the utility company; but it also communicates with the major appliances in your home and can even control them remotely without your consent or knowledge. The smart phone that you carry communicates with cell towers and localized signal receptors to create a map of your every movement. Smart home technology lets your stereo send sound to remote wireless speakers and to light bulbs equipped with sensors. The security camera that you installed to watch your home while you were on vacation can communicate with other cameras, microphones, the police department, etc. Examples go on and on.
ICANN issues the so-called IP addresses that are assigned to all these devices on a global basis. The original addressing scheme, IPV4, was based on four blocks of up to three digits each, punctuated with a period (e.g., 192.168.2.14). This scheme allows for a discrete address for up to 16.8 million devices. A few years ago, IPV4 ran out of numbers, forcing Internet service providers, corporations and other organizations to improvise internal numbering systems, known as ‘proxy servers’, to issue safe addresses to devices within their own domain. These systems are not only fragile, but they are bloated beyond reason and generally easy to hack.
To fix this, ICANN devised a new IP numbering system called IPV6, which adds two more blocks of numbers (e.g., 192.168.2.14.231.58). This scheme provides for 3.4×1038 addresses, or 340 trillion, 282 billion, 366 million, 920 thousand, 938 — followed by 24 zeroes. There is probably a way to say this number, but I cannot imagine what it would be. It’s somewhere beyond a trillion trillion unique numbers for every human being on earth!
Thus, IPV6 provides a way to assign a unique and directly addressable number to every electronic device on earth… for centuries to come.
As IPV6 rolls out to the world, the modified mission for ICANN will be to inventory and categorize the device attached to each IP address. For instance, all the air conditioners in the world would be directly addressable from a single list. Likewise for all computers, all automobiles, all cameras, all phones, all refrigerators, all articles of clothing, etc.
Whoever has control over and access to this data will literally be able to control the entire world, down to the last minutiae – and that is the United Nations’ exact mission: inventory, monitor and control.
But, this concept was set in history long before the technology existed. The original bible of Technocracy, the Technocracy Study Course (1934), laid out the hard requirements necessary for its implementation:
- “Register on a continuous 24 hour-per-day basis the total net conversion of energy.
- “By means of the registration of energy converted and consumed, make possible a balanced load.
- “Provide a continuous inventory of all production and consumption
- “Provide a specific registration of the type, kind, etc., of all goods and services, where produced and where used
- “Provide specific registration of the consumption of each individual, plus a record and description of the individual.” [Scott, Howard et al, Technocracy Study Course, p. 232]
As I thoroughly documented in my book, Technocracy Rising: The Trojan Horse of Global Transformation, the United Nations is indeed the engine of modern Technocracy and as such, it is acting in a perfectly predictable manner. It seeks to establish a global Scientific Dictatorship where it controls all resources, all production and limits all consumption to its own liking. These Technocrats will dutifully apply their pseudo-scientific methodology to every problem in the world, and simply issue instructions to the net to ‘make it so.’
Yes, free speech will decrease and censorship will increase, but that pales in comparison to the real prize of the IoT that the United Nations desperately wants and needs in order to accomplish its own twisted goals.
Congress never understood this when they passively let Obama fail to renew our contract with ICANN. However, Obama and his globalist handlers understood it perfectly well, which makes the deception and treachery of it even worse. Thanks to this scurrilous bunch, the world has just been sold into digital slavery, from which there may be no return.
Patrick Wood is Editor-in-Chief of Technocracy.News and author of Technocracy Rising: The Trojan Horse of Global Transformation. He is a frequent guest on radio programs around the world, and is the leading spokesman for resistance against the implementation of Technocracy.
This article may be reposted or printed provided that credit is clearly given to the author and a link back to the article is provided.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday a Western failure to rein in violent Islamists in Syria had indefinitely delayed the resumption of peace talks.
Shoigu said that rebels backed by Western governments had been attacking civilians in the Syrian city of Aleppo, despite a pause in Russian and Syrian air attacks.
“As a result, the prospects for the start of a negotiation process and the return to peaceful life in Syria are postponed for an indefinite period,” Shoigu said.
Russia backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s civil war, and its military operation in Syria, now in its second year, has shored up Assad’s position. That has put Moscow on a collision course with Washington and its allies who want Assad removed from office.
Since Oct. 18, Russia and its Syrian allies say they have halted air attacks in Aleppo. Western governments had alleged that the strikes had been killing civilians in large numbers, an allegation Moscow denied.
But the pause in the air attacks on Aleppo is fragile: Russian President Vladimir Putin said last month its continuation depended on the behavior of moderate rebel groups in Aleppo and their Western backers.
Shoigu, who was addressing a meeting of Russian military officials, railed against those rebels and their backers, saying they had squandered a chance for peace talks.
“It is time for our Western colleagues to determine who they are fighting against: terrorists or Russia,” Shoigu said, in remarks broadcast on Russian television.
“Maybe they have forgotten at whose hands innocent people died in Belgium, in France, in Egypt and elsewhere?”
Listing attacks he said had been carried out by Western-backed rebels inside Aleppo, he said: “Is this an opposition with which we can achieve agreements?”
“In order to destroy terrorists in Syria it is necessary to act together, and not put a spanner in the works of partners. Because the rebels exploit that in their own interests.”
Shoigu said he was also surprised that some European governments had refused to allow Russian navy vessels bound for Syria to dock in their Mediterranean ports to refuel or take on supplies.
But he said those refusals had not affected the naval mission, or interfered with supplies reaching the Russian military operation in Syria.
(Reporting by Katya Golubkova; Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Andrew Osborn)
A Bedouin goat herder discovered the Dead Sea scrolls by accident in 1947. I imagine when the Qumran Jewish community hide them, as Jerusalem was about to be destroyed the late 60’s CE, they wondered who would one day find them. What they didn’t know—not the goat herder, nor the Essene Jews—was that God had planned it out from the beginning!
In late 1947 the United Nations was set to vote on what was called Partition. They would take the remaining 20% percent of the land that Great Britain had promised to the Jewish people in the Balfour declaration of 1917—80% had already been given to create the new Arab country of Jordan—and create another state for Arabs and one tiny state for the Jews. (By the way, if anyone tells you that there needs to be a homeland for Palestinians, you can tell them it was created in 1921 and it is called Jordan!) Anyway…the vote was set for November 29.
Getting back to the scrolls, the goat herder had no idea what he had stumbled upon. He was put in touch with an antiquities dealer in Jerusalem named Kando. When Hebrew University Professor Eliezer Sukenik heard of the discovery, he was intrigued. Risking his life because of the Jewish/Arab tensions over the U.N. vote, he arranges a meeting with Kando and after a brief inspection, he goes to Bethlehem to see the other scrolls. He is overwhelmed as he realizes what he might be reading.
“My hands shook as I started to unwrap one of them. I read a few sentences. It was written in beautiful biblical Hebrew. The language was like that of the Psalms, but the text was unknown to me. I looked and looked, and I suddenly had the feeling that I was privileged by destiny to gaze upon a Hebrew Scroll which had not been read for more than 2,000 years.”
After some negotiations he leaves with scrolls. He catches the bus back to Jerusalem. He was surrounded by Arabs and was quite nervous. Would he actually ever get home with his precious cargo? Yes, and as soon as he arrived home he poured over the scrolls only become more convinced of his historic discovery.
And here is where it gets crazy! I’ll just quote the professor:
While I was examining these precious documents in my study, the late news on the radio announced that the United Nations would be voting on the resolution that night—whether or not Israel would be allowed to become a nation—My youngest son Mati, was in the next room, twiddling radio knobs in an effort to get New York … From time to time, he would give me a brief commentary on what had been said. It was past midnight when the voting was announced. And I was engrossed in a particularly absorbing passage in one of the scrolls when my son rushed in with the shout that the vote on the Jewish State had passed. This great event in Jewish history was thus combined in my home in Jerusalem with another event, no less historic, the one political, and the other cultural.
The timing of this is clearly prophetic. The scrolls remained hidden for anyone to find for nearly 2000 years. And on the very day, the very day, that Israel’s rebirth was confirmed, a Jewish professor confirms the existence of ancient Israel. You really have to intellectually dishonest, if you are going to claim that God was not behind Israel’s dramatic rebirth.
This article originally appeared on Revive Israel, October 27, 2016, and reposted with permission.
The nomination of Antonio Guterres, former prime minister of Portugal, as the next secretary-general of the United Nations did not come as a surprise for those acquainted with his international activity. Guterres, a great believer in multilateralism, served for a decade as the high commissioner for refugees of the UN (2005-2015) in charge of the most burning issue on the international agenda. His efforts to alleviate the suffering of Iraqi and Syrian refugees were possibly without precedent worldwide.
Guterres is very much a champion of collective diplomacy to bring peace to the Middle East. He is well-known to some Israeli Labor Party leaders, as he served as the secretary-general of Socialist International from 1999 to 2005, and he was a close friend of late President Shimon Peres.
Guterres will undoubtedly bring to the office of the UN secretary-general some innovative approaches, both on the international refugee crisis and in the field of conflict resolution, especially regarding Syria and the Israeli-Palestinian issue.
Indeed, he has strong views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He is a friend of Israel, historically inspired by Israel’s dramatic nation-building since its establishment. He is fully opposed to the occupation of the West Bank and to Israeli settlement policies. He believes Israel’s security can only be assured by a fair two-state solution guaranteed by the international community.
Terje Roed-Larsen, the president of the International Peace Institute, was one of the initiators of the Oslo peace talks in the early 1990s while serving as a Norwegian diplomat and was later appointed UN undersecretary-general on the situations in Lebanon and Palestine. He told Al-Monitor that Guterres will bring to the table “out of the box” thinking on conflict resolution and will most probably be a very proactive secretary-general, not giving in to the traditional US pressure on the UN to stay out of international conflict resolution.
His nomination still fresh, Guterres has already started consulting international think tanks on different conflict-resolution perspectives. A diplomatic source told Al-Monitor that such an initiative was recently proposed to Guterres by UN policy planners and New York-based international think tanks. The idea is to enhance the role of the UN in an Israeli-Palestinian two-state solution process, expanding the UN role on the issue beyond serving as a platform for international resolutions at the General Assembly and Security Council.
This proposal, which is currently being studied by Guterres’ aides, seeks to advance Israeli-Palestinian conflict resolution by proposing to create a UN support mission on Palestine to foster the establishment of a Palestinian state, structured somewhat like the UN special mission on Libya, which deals with institution building, human rights and the rule of law, the security sector and international aid. Its purpose would be to work with the Palestinian Authority (PA) on the establishment of a state, leaving the negotiation on permanent status to the parties and the Quartet (of which the UN is a member).
According to a UN policy planner who spoke to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, such a plan can be conducive to a two-state solution with the international community working with the Palestinian leadership and officials on different aspects of statehood, without changing the existing status quo on the ground. The mission would be conducted by experts in governance, economics and security from various UN member states to be decided by the Quartet.
According to the plan explored by these UN policy planners and international New York-based brain trusts, the special mission for Palestine would deal with four issues.
The first would be democratic transition to statehood — the development of modern democratic Palestinian state institutions based on the existing governmental, parliamentary and judicial structures of the PA. The second would be rule of law and human rights, according to the UN charter. This would include formulating a Palestinian Constitution in complete respect of the Palestinian sovereign right to make its own decisions. Another issue would be that of security. The UN — under US leadership — would train PA security personnel in anti-terror policies. The fourth issue handled by the mission would be international assistance for Palestinian state building, coordinated by the European Union. The EU partners would reach out to the international donor community to financially assist the state institution-building process.
The UN policy planners told Al-Monitor that such a plan would demand extensive deliberations and could be decided upon by the UN General Assembly. The next US administration would have to give its greenlight. Such a mission, monitored by the Quartet, could only take place in parallel to permanent status negotiations between the parties.
Asked about these propositions, a Palestinian senior official told Al-Monitor that the Palestinian leadership would accept such a proposal only if coupled with clear terms of reference and a timeline for permanent status.
On the Israeli side, the reaction is negative and condescending. A senior Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs official told Al-Monitor that the UN could have no role in Israeli-Palestinian conflict resolution because of the UN anti-Israel bias.
In any case, there is little doubt that the next UN secretary-general will be a diplomatic activist when it comes to the Middle East, and he will make a genuine effort to convince the international community to engage in a multilateral two-state solution process.
Despite Israeli efforts, World Heritage Committee will likely accept a resolution using only the Muslim name for the site
Just a week after the executive board of the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) ratified a controversial resolution that ignored Jewish and Christian ties to the Temple Mount, a similar resolution is expected to be passed by the body’s World Heritage Committee Wednesday.
Barring any last minute delay, the resolution, entitled “Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls,” will be presented before the committee’s 21 member states. As with last week’s contentious text, the latest draft is expected to pass with a comfortable majority.
The wording of the resolution has not yet been finalized, with frantic multi-party negotiations on the text continuing in UNESCO’s Paris headquarters through the night and into Wednesday morning. A draft of the resolution obtained by The Times of Israel on Sunday once again referred to the Temple Mount compound solely by its Muslim names, “Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif,” and defined it only as “a Muslim holy site of worship.”
As the site of the biblical temples, the mount is the holiest place in Judaism. Unlike last week’s resolution, the draft likely to be adopted Wednesday will not mention the importance of Jerusalem’s Old City for “the three monotheistic religions.”
Last week’s text referred to Israel as “the occupying power” at the holy sites. The new resolution does not, which Israel considers a minor victory. In addition, the new version doesn’t put quotation marks around the designation “Western Wall,” a punctuation seen in Israel as bolstering the original resolution’s disdain of a Jewish connection to Judaism’s holiest site.
The Foreign Ministry worked frantically through the night in a bid to delay the resolution, but it seemed unlikely that they would succeed, and officials said they viewed the outcome of the vote as a foregone conclusion.
“It seems that the resolution will pass and that UNESCO will continue to dance to the Palestinians’ tune,” Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, said Wednesday morning. The vote itself does not have much practical significance, he told Army Radio, but it shows the Palestinians that they can use the body to blame Israel for anything they wish. He referred to the Palestinian efforts as “incitement.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said late Tuesday night that UNESCO’s second vote on the matter within a few days shows the organization remains a “theater of the absurd.” He said that while “extremist Muslim forces are destroying mosques and churches, Israel is the only country in the region that protects them and allows freedom of worship.”
According to Israel’s envoy to UNESCO, Carmel Shama-Hacohen, Netanyahu instructed him to work to convince countries likely to abstain to go further and cast a vote against the resolution, arguing that an abstention is akin to support. He described the resolution as “diplomatic jihad” against the Jewish people, Judaism and Christianity.
“Israel respects Muslim and other faiths and their presence in our holiest of places, and it is tragic that the other side doesn’t have a leadership that will do the same, but rather one that is engaged only in doing the exact opposite,” Shama-Hacohen said Tuesday during a meeting with UNESCO’s director-general, Irina Bokova. “This is no longer an Israeli-Palestinian struggle, but an Arab struggle against the entire Jewish world. It is clear that Israel and the Jewish people will survive this, yet it remains unclear whether UNESCO will.”
Shama-Hacohen and the heads of two pro-Israel organizations, StandWithUs and the International Legal Forum, handed Bokova a petition signed by more than 77,000 Jews and Christians calling on UNESCO “to recognize the irrefutable deep historic, cultural and religious connection between the Jewish people and the land of Israel.”
Israeli diplomats in Paris were working to convince at least two member states to demand a vote on the resolution so that it would not pass on consensus, giving the appearance of a unanimous decision. So far only one of the European countries has agreed to press for a vote, officials said, without elaborating.
This year’s member countries of the committee make things particularly difficult for Israel. Germany, Columbia and Japan, all sympathetic nations to Israel, are no longer involved, and in their place are Tunisia, Kuwait, Lebanon and Indonesia, bringing to nine the total number of Muslim countries, which are all expected to vote in favor of the resolution, along with Vietnam. Poland, Finland, Croatia, Portugal, the four European countries, said they would abstain if the resolution is put to a vote.
The adoption of the resolution would lead to an absurd situation whereby the archaeological digs on and around the site of the Temple Mount, which have unearthed copious evidence of a Jewish connection to the site, may now be designated as destruction of the Muslim site.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.
Dr. Anwar Eshki, the senior Saudi official who regularly meets with Israelis, states in exclusive Yedioth Achronoth interview that there was never a better time for a peace deal, if only PM Netanyahu would announce his support of the Arab peace intiative in front of the UN.
“I want to tell you a story showing how we Saudis like to describe reality: a man is walking alone in the desert as the sun is setting. Suddenly he sees a large shadow behind him. The man seizes up. The shadow approaches him menacingly. The man pulls out a gun, turns around quickly and is set to open fire. Then, at the last moment, he recognizes that it’s his brother’s shadow. Now, imagine what would have happened if that frightened man walking alone in the desert had opened fire and shot, of course out of self-defense and killed his brother. Because of fear, suspicion. It would have ended in disaster.”
Dr. Anwar Eshki, a senior Saudi official in contact with Israelis whose identities he prefers not to disclose, and who has met the Director-General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Dr. Dore Gold in conferences abroad, told me the shadow represents Israeli suspicion, the walk in the wilderness symbolizes the growing Israeli isolation, as well as his concern that Israel is about to miss a unique historic opportunity.
“I assure you, from personal knowledge, that there is now a real opportunity for peace,” he said in an exclusive interview with Yedioth Ahronoth. “Everyone around wants to reach an agreement. I can tell you that in the era of the former Saudi king, Abdullah, who formulated and published the Arab Peace Initiative, which was adopted by all the countries in the Arab world, there was no chance of reaching a comprehensive and true peace. Today, in the era of King Salman, it is possible. The circumstances have changed. The prospects and opportunities have improved immeasurably.”
Dr. Anwar Eshki with Director-General of Israeli Foreign Ministry Dore Gold (Photo: Kaveh Sardari / Council on Foreign Relations)
The interview with Dr. Eshki was held in the lobby of the luxurious Sheraton hotel in Doha, Qatar. It was not a coincidence that we met precisely in the lobby, for all to see. “I refuse all suggestions that I hold meetings behind closed doors,” said Eshki , Director of the Middle East Center for Strategic and Legal Studies in Jeddah. “I have nothing to hide. What I have to say I say directly, openly, without secrets and not behind the scenes.”
On Wednesday morning, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced their support of the Saudi plan – albeit cautiously and reluctantly – Dr. Eshki swang between “good step” and “the right move.” No more. “This is the first step, even if it was not taken the way I would have wished it would have been. Netanyahu should announce from the UN podium in New York that he accepts and adopts the 2002 peace initiative of the Saudi king, which offers Israel a full peace and full normalization with the Arab world control in return for a full withdrawal from the occupied territories. The Saudi initiative solves your conflict with the Palestinians.”
Over 14 years of upheaval and dramatic changes in the Middle East have passed since the initiative was placed on the table. Syria is almost nonexistent. A wave of revolutions and violence has swept the region. Leaders have come and gone.
“Even the leadership of Saudi Arabia has changed, and the new government is signaling to you that he is determined to achieve peace. We have common interests and we can easily designate common enemies.”
Did you pass the Saudi request on to Israel that Netanyahu should announce his support for the Saudi peace plan?
“It was passed on to your people two years ago.”
What answer did you receive from Jerusalem?
“More than once I was told that Netanyahu promises to declare that the Saudi peace initiative is the best solution to establish peace.”
But he did not announce it at the UN.
“Therefore Israel isolated itself. They have imposed a boycott on you, they have distanced themselves from you and are engaged in a struggle against you via BDS, as Israel did not keep up promises to make peace. As a result, Israel is now in bad shape.”
Suppose Netanyahu announced his support for the Saudi peace plan on the international stage. What would happen?
“Saudi Arabia will commence a procedure the goal of which will be to encourage Arab countries to begin implementing normalization with Israel, which will reflect positively on your relationship with Egypt, Jordan and other countries.”
You did not mention normalization with Saudi Arabia itself.
“Egypt recently returned two islands to Saudi Arabia (Tiran and Sanafir). We plan to build the King Salman bridge, which will link Africa to Asia and will be used for the transit of passengers, vehicles and goods. On Tiran Island, which stretches over 80 square kilometers, a free trade zone is being built exempt from taxes and duties. If Israel goes along with the diplomatic process and adopts the Arab peace plan, we shall invite Israel to present goods and sell what you have to offer on the island of Tiran. Such a move will have huge economic returns for you.”
How long will it take for the bridge to be built?
“It will take five years, but when Netanyahu makes the announcement, if he does, you will see officials from Saudi Arabia and Israel sitting down together. Unlike in the past, you will be surprised at how active Saudi Arabia will become.”
Dr. Anwar Eshki (Photo: Hispan TV)
Do you really believe the current Israeli government would agree to a full withdrawal from the West Bank?
“After Netanyahu’s statement (that “the Arab peace initiative includes positive elements”) it is possible to engage in a dialogue on the disputed issues and to reach agreements satisfactory to all parties.”
But it is not certain that the Israeli government is willing to pay the price of peace.
“If peace is not achieved during Netanyahu’s tenure, I’m telling you that peace will not be achieved at all. You and we will miss out on the opportunity, as this opportunity will not return.”
In a Bookstore, on the road from Cairo
Eshki, a young-looking 73-year-old, was born in Medina in Saudi Arabia. Bookstore, via Cairo. He is a retired general in the Saudi military, a graduate of the Military College in Riyadh, has a master’s degree in strategic studies and a doctorate in law from Golden Gate Bridge University in California, and has written 30 books on security issues and the Middle East so far. From 1985 to 2002 he served as Prince Bandar bin Sultan’s special adviser and as the Saudi ambassador in Washington. This is how he paved his way to conferences, lectures, international conferences and high-level meetings. But he started “conversing”, as he calls it, with the Israelis, only after the previous king revealed his peace plan.
How did your dialogue with Israelis begin?
“When I was still in the US, in 1982, I was already thinking about the peace process. I knew that we had to reach a peaceful solution. In the US I met Jews who thought like me, and after I returned to Saudi Arabia I started to attend conferences attended by Israelis. At first no contact was established, but I understood that an effort had to be made, and then, at the end of 2002, King Abdullah unveiled his peace plan and found to my delight that it coincided with my worldview. I was very encouraged during my first meetings with Israelis and Palestinians as well. I discovered that both sides fear their extremists who seek a violent solution.
“If at first I was cautious and reserved, the more meetings we had, the clearer it became to me that we had things to talk about. I meet Israelis with ties to the government. We meet at conferences and I hear what they have to say and I present the Saudi position. If I hear new ideas during these discussion, I pass them on to the necessary persons, and in this regard I must say that the Israelis have never lied to me. Trust has built up between us even if we do not always agree.”
Are you a messenger? A mediator?
“I have conversations and they know where I come from. My government has not asked me to negotiate, and the Israeli side opposite me has not received that mission either.”
As far as is known, only two people in Saudi Arabia meet openly with Israelis. One is Prince Turki al-Faisal, the former head of military intelligence and the Saudi ambassador in London, and the other is Dr. Eshki. About a year ago, Eshki met his veteran interlocutor Dr. Dore Gold at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, and they both shook hands in front of the cameras, revealing their relationship.
“I’ll tell you a story: A month ago I was in Egypt, and I stopped on the road between Cairo and Alexandria to freshen up, and entered a bookstore and found Dore Gold’s book about Saudi Arabia (“Hatred’s Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism published in 2003, which deals with Saudi Arabia’s financial and ideological support of organizations – SP.). This book presents the Saudis in a very negative light. But I can say that as a result of talks with Gold, and what he has heard and learnt from the Saudi side, he stopped attacking and criticizing us. I think he, and others in Israel, have stopped considering Saudi Arabia as an enemy. Some of my Israeli interlocutors even consider us as friends.”
Do you have to get approval from the Saudi authorities before you meet Israelis?
“I do not as I am not a government official and do not serve in an official capacity. I run an academic research center and therefore, at my request, my meetings are always open to all. As long as I am convinced that the meetings are positive and constructive , I will continue. If I was acting in an official capacity, this would not have occurred. I would have to ask permission to meet with Israelis. Overall, I see myself as serving the interests of my country. ”
After so many conversations with his associates, don’t you want to meet with Netanyahu himself?
“I think it wouldn’t be helpful. I would have to ask permission to meet with him, and this will make the process official. I would hate to lose what we have achieved so far.
“I reiterate: I consider all of my meetings with Israelis to have been “private conversations” and not “binding”. I have followed King Abdulaziz Salman’s policy according to which every Saudi citizen has to be his country’s ambassador who acts to achieve its interests in every domain.”
Green light from the palace
We met the day after Avigdor Lieberman’s being sworn in as Defense Minister. I asked Eshki if he was worried about the appointment.
“Put it this way: I am sorry about Ya’alon and the way he was dismissed. He came across to me as a sober military man and a restraining and balancing force. In Saudi Arabia’s eyes, Ya’alon knew how to connect security and government policy. But Lieberman’s appointment does not really worry me nor Saudi decision-makers. We know Lieberman’s worldview and I myself have written memorandums on him.
“I explained that his entry into the government has a positive and a negative side. The negative side: Netanyahu’s ability to maneuver politically will be limited as Lieberman might threaten to leave the government if something doesn’t please him. If Herzog had joined the government, it would have given Netanyahu flexibility in making decisions. He would have more room to maneuver. The positive side: if Lieberman agrees (to the peace plan – SP), the extremists in Israel will go along with him and will agree to it. They will not stand in Netanyahu’s way. They always explain to us that Lieberman is tough outside and soft inside. That he is moderate in direct dialogue, but flexes his muscles in public so as not to lose his supporters. It may be that he will oppose it, but it is Netanyahu who decides and I meet with Dr. Dore Gold, and I know that Netanyahu trusts him. I do not believe that the Israeli government will fall due to supporting the peace plan. 75 percent of Israelis want peace and they will make sure that this government will not fall.
So you will wait patiently until the UN General Assembly which convenes in September?
“If Netanyahu is prepared to support the Arab peace initiative and to get the process started, we will convene a special session of the United Nations or the Security Council in New York. I know that Israel has reservations about the peace plan. We’ve already received comments and requests for ammendments. Some of them can be solved.”
Are you referring to Israel’s reservations regarding the border demarcation, the status and fate of the settlement blocs, the Palestinian’s right of return and the status of Jerusalem?
“These are the primarily issues. And as with compared with the Saudi position of the previous king (who demanded Israel accept the plan as is – SP), today we can have meetings and deliberations to consider your requests.”
All in all, you are optimistic about the political process?
“I have to be optimistic as peace is a strategic objective for Saudi Arabia. And I’m optimistic as all the parties are not content with the status quo. There is no quiet. There is no total security. There is a feeling of sourness and vigilance. When peace is achieved, it will lead to social and economic benefits for the Palestinian side, and Israel will no longer be isolated.”
Until this occurs, Dr. Eshski travels around the world and adjusts his flight schedule, as necessary, to coincide with that of the Israelis who come to conferences in which they all try to bring together ideas that will yield peace.