Libyan strongman bombed Chad rebels, his forces say

Supporters of Eastern Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar take part in a rally in Benghazi, Libya. (Reuters/Esam Omran Al-Fetori/File Photo)
Updated 29 March 2018

Libyan strongman bombed Chad rebels, his forces say

LIBREVILLE: The armed forces of Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar said on Thursday that their warplanes had attacked Chadian rebels in the country’s southern desert last weekend.
Air raids targeted a rebel-held roadblock 400 kilometers (250 miles) southeast of Sebha, as well as other positions in an oasis in the Terbu region 400 km farther south, an official with Haftar’s so-called Libyan National Army (LNA) told AFP.
“The strikes aim at restoring security and applying law in the south,” the official said, without giving details about the identity of the targets.
An armed Chadian group, the Military Command Council for the Salvation of the Republic (CCMSR), said it had been attacked by Haftar’s planes.
CCMSR’s spokesman in exile, Kingabe Ogouzeimi de Tapol, said there were no casualties.
Chadian President Idriss Deby, he charged, had “subcontracted” Haftar to destroy rebels in Libya who are fighting to overturn the Chadian leader.
CCMSR claims to have several thousand fighters in Chad. It split in 2016 from another anti-Deby group in Libya, the Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT), based in Jufra, which is reputedly on good terms with Haftar.
Chad has a long history of revolt by rebels staged from across its borders. Deby and his precedessor Hissene Habre were themselves rebels who seized power by force of arms.
However, rebel groups today are relatively weak and divided, often using trafficking or extortion to raise funds to survive.
Three CCMSR members, including its leader, Hassan Boulmaye, were arrested last October in the fellow Sahel country of Niger.
Haftar, who opposes a UN-backed unity government based in Tripoli, announced the “liberation” of the eastern city of Benghazi last July after a three-year campaign.

How Meir Kahane’s toxic legacy poisoned the Palestinian peace process

Updated 22 April 2019

How Meir Kahane’s toxic legacy poisoned the Palestinian peace process

  • Brooklyn-born rabbi who demanded forced emigration of Arabs and inspired Israel’s far right is latest subject of Arab News ‘Preachers of Hate’ series
  • As a member of the Israeli parliament, Kahane proposed laws to strip Arabs of citizenship and force their emigration

JEDDAH: As Israel’s most right-wing government in living memory prepares to take office, the outlook for the Palestinian-Israeli peace process has rarely been more dismal.

After his narrow election victory this month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is clinging to office by assembling a coalition of Knesset members with no interest in peace. They range from far-right ultra Zionists to overt racists. Many, in particular the Otzma Yehudit, or “Jewish Power” party, are acolytes of Meir Kahane — a Brooklyn-born rabbi who co-founded the militant Jewish Defense League in 1968,  joined the West Bank settler movement and established an extremist Israeli political party.

It is because of this toxic legacy that Kahane is the subject today of Preachers of Hate — the Arab News series that exposes extremist clerics of all religions and nationalities, places their words and deeds in context, and explains their malign influence on those who follow them.

As a member of the Knesset, Kahane proposed laws to strip Arabs of citizenship and force their emigration. 

In the end he proved too extreme even for the Israeli far right; he was disqualified from running for office, and was eventually assassinated in New York in 1990.

Kahane’s hatred lives on, however, in Israel’s continuing rejection of the Palestinian people’s entitlement to basic human dignity, far less a meaningful peace process and an independent state.

As the leading academic and Arab News columnist Yossi Mekelberg writes today: “Few people have contaminated the discourse within Israel with sheer hatred and anti-Arab bigotry as much as Meir Kahane.”


Also Read: Meir Kahane: A torch to fuel anti-Arab hatred