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Commentary

TitleDescriptionDate
Quartet gives Hamas time to change its stripesMohammed Abed - AFP - Senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniya speakes during a news conference in Gaza City ©AFP - Mohammed AbedLONDON (AFP) - The militant Palestinian group Hamas won time from a wary European Union, Russia and the United States to wipe the blood off its hands, renounce violence and recognise Israel`s right to exist before it forms the next Palestinian government. 31/1/2006
Dilemmas all aroundGhassan Khatib - bitterlemons.org - "Before getting into the specifics of Hamas` overwhelming election victory it might be worth pointing out that Palestine is a representative sample of the wider Arab world."31/1/2006
A letter from JerusalemRev. Clarence Musgrave - Commentary on current events31/1/2006
A triumph for SharonGerald Kaufman - The Guardian - "Hamas`s victory is the inevitable result of the failure to do anything about the oppression which Palestinians suffer "31/1/2006
Was Hamas` crushing victory a curse in disguise?Mkhaimar Abusada -Daily Star - commentary by a professor of political science at Al-Azhar University in Gaza. "Victory achieved, Hamas will take on the responsibility for the Palestinian side in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. With the Palestinians` future at stake - not to mention the future of Israel and the Middle East - no one can say if Hamas is up to the task. " 31/1/2006
The Hamas victory: democratization - but not what the US expectedLaurie King-Irani - The Electronic Intifada - "A time of testing and challenge awaits Hamas. The West -- especially the EU -- ought to welcome and assist the democratically elected members of the new Palestinian legislative council for the sake of stability in an already volatile region." 31/1/2006
News Flashes from the Occupied Territories - 30 January 2005IMEMC and WAFA - Army arrests one resident at Tulkarem checkpoint, allegedly carrying explosive; Army invades Bethlehem, arrests one resident; Two residents arrested in Nablus; Armed groups in the WB protest against Danish Newspaper, burn Danish flag 30/1/2006
Palestine abandoned Alain Gresh - Le Monde Diplomatique - "Europe’s media and political leaders have, over the past few years, slowly and silently changed the way they view the Palestinian problem and a solution to the Middle East conflict."30/1/2006
New Paradigm After the Victory of Hamas Sam Bahour - Ohmynews - Secular Palestinians, such as myself, are not thrilled to see an Islamist movement come to the forefront of the historically secular Palestinian struggle to end the occupation and continue with the state-building process. However, those of us willing to look beyond the daily headlines, which emerge out of professionally spun mainstream media, are fully aware that Hamas` victory does not emerge from a vacuum. 29/1/2006
To Talk With Hamas *** Deja Vu!Uri Avnery - 2 articles on Hamas` victory and Israel29/1/2006
Post Palestinian Earthquake SeriesWalid Salem - Editor`s Note - This analysis is fascinating and full of facts. Worth reading in spite of grammatical flaws. 29/1/2006
Election win may force Hamas to change Nidal Al Mughrabi - Jordan Times/Reuters - The victory poses Hamas the challenge of whether to continue as a group dedicated to destroying Israel. At home they are confronted by the enormous hopes of Palestinians tired of corruption and the incompetence of the former government run by the Fateh movement. 29/1/2006
Palestinian election: Results in detail BBC News Online - The Islamic militant group Hamas had a surprise win in the first Palestinian parliamentary elections for 10 years. Hamas, which did not field candidates in 1996, took 76 out of 132 seats - leaving the ruling party Fatah with 43 this time around. 27/1/2006
Palestinians to face economic pressure Mark Gregory - BBC World Service business reporter - As Hamas manoeuvres to form a government, following its election success, attention is turning to the Palestinian economy. 27/1/2006
In quotes: Reaction to Palestinian poll BBC News Online - World leaders have been reacting to the victory of the militant Islamic group Hamas in the Palestinian parliamentary elections. 27/1/2006
Hamas rejects donor `blackmail` BBC News - A senior Hamas leader has rejected demands that the Islamic militant group must renounce violence to prevent aid cuts for the Palestinian Authority. Ismail Haniya, who headed Hamas` election list, said they would not give in to "blackmail" by foreign donors. 28/1/2006
Special Report about Palestinian ElectionsAl Jazeera - Palestinians voted on Wednesday in the first elections in a decade to their parliament, known as the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC). A rish collection of news and background articles 27/1/2006
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Analysts: Win rocks political landscapeLaila El-Haddad & Motasem Dalloul in Gaza - Al Jazeera - The election sweep by the Islamic resistance group Hamas dramatically alters the Middle East`s political landscape and will have major repercussions both regionally and internationally, analysts say. 27/1/2006
Analysts: Win rocks political landscapeLaila El-Haddad & Motasem Dalloul in Gaza - Al Jazeera - The election sweep by the Islamic resistance group Hamas dramatically alters the Middle East`s political landscape and will have major repercussions both regionally and internationally, analysts say. 27/1/2006
Hamas win imperils Palestinian aid Al Jazeera - Agencies - Hamas`s victory has created doubts over funding the PA 28/1/2006
Palestinian street voted for changeLaila El-Haddad in Gaza - Al Jazeera - Palestinians have reacted to Hamas`s unexpected sweep of the legislative elections with a mixture of excitement and uncertainty.27/1/2006
Future depends both on Hamas and Israeli governmentGush Shalom press release - "We must talk with Hamas; they also can be partners - The crucial choice: deterioration and ever more bloodshed or the opening towards a firm peace of which Hamas is part. "28/1/2006
Herzliya Conference reveals Israeli plans after disengagementJonathan Cook - The Electronic Intifada - "Acres of analysis will be dedicated over the coming days to the significance of this week`s Palestinain general election and what it heralds for the Middle East conflict. But that spectacle and Hamas` starring role in it have overshadowed a far more important drama playing out in the wings. "28/1/2006
Power in the PA / Will security personnel now take orders from Hamas? Danny Rubinstein - "Overall, some 70 percent of security service members voted Fatah; only 15 percent chose Hamas. Will they now take orders from Hamas? "28/1/2006
Islamists` win raises more questions than answers Omar Karmi - Jordan Times - "Certainly, Palestinians practised democracy on Wednesday. The outcome of that vote may have ramifications far and wide, and in this particularly complicated cocktail of competing interests, it is not only the programme of the victors that will determine how the near future is shaped. "28/1/2006
U.S. Policy Seen as Big Loser in Palestinian VoteGlenn Kessler - Washington Post - "The election outcome signals a dramatic failure in the administration`s strategy for Middle East peace, according to analysts and some U.S. officials. Since the United States cannot deal with an organization labeled a terrorist organization by the State Department, Hamas`s victory is likely to curtail U.S. aid, limit official U.S. contacts with the Palestinian government and stall efforts to create an independent Palestinian state. "28/1/2006
Key Palestinian figures speak outLaila El-Haddad in Gaza - Al Jazeera - Below are statements by prominent Palestinian political figures in response to the results of the second Palestinian legislative council elections: Hanan Ashrawi, The Third Way; Qais Abd al-Karim, Badil; Mahmud al-Zahar, Hamas` Change and Reform; Ahmed Saadat, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (jailed political leader); Mustafa al-Barghouthi, Independent Palestine; Hussein al-Sheikh, Fatah Secretary-General in the West Bank; Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas Leader, Change and Reform List. 27/1/2006
The Palestinians` democratic choice must be respected Jonathan Steele - The Guardian - The excuses given for refusing to deal with Hamas will not wash. This is a chance for Europe to have an independent role 27/1/2006
Hamas shocks world with clear victorySarah El Deeb - AP - The Islamic Hamas won a clear majority in parliamentary elections as Palestinian voters rejected the longtime rule of the Fatah Party, throwing the future of Middle East peacemaking into question, officials from both major parties said today. 27/1/2006
Hamas scores stunning win - but what happens now? Donald Macintyre - The Independent - The militant Islamic faction Hamas sent shock waves through Israel, Western capitals and its own ranks yesterday by sweeping to an overall parliamentary majority, making it the pivotal force in Palestinian politics. 27/1/2006
A New Chance to Find Peace?Kevin Toolis - The Mirror - In a stunning election victory one of the world`s most feared terrorist organisations, swept away the remnants of Yasser Arafat`s corrupt and politically useless regime. 27/1/2006
Europe is worried, but will wait and see Alan Cowell - The New York Times - LONDON European leaders, whose countries are major financial donors to the Palestinian Authority, registered disquiet verging on hostility toward the Hamas triumph in the Palestinian elections on Thursday. 27/1/2006
Hamas victory in Palestinian vote stuns Mideast Steven Erlanger - The New York Times - RAMALLAH, West Bank With discipline and a well-financed campaign to turn out its faithful, the Islamic group Hamas scored an overwhelming victory in legislative elections, taking 76 out of 132 seats, with the former ruling faction, Fatah, winning only 43. 27/1/2006
Who are Hamas?BBC News - Hamas influence has grown during the intifada Hamas appears to have translated its widespread popularity among Palestinians into a dramatic win in the Parliamentary elections. Its new-found political status does not make it any less controversial, however. 27/1/2006
Hamas victory met with alarm in the west Sharmila Devi in Ramallah and Harvey Morris in Gaza City - Financial Times - Hamas raised its Islamic green banner on the roof of the Palestinian parliament in Ramallah, celebrating a stunning election victory that has cast a new shadow over the quest for Middle East peace. 27/1/2006
Hamas win heralds new reality By Jeremy Bowen - BBC Middle East editor - Fatah ministers and followers are stunned by what has happened. 27/1/2006
Elections signal change, checkpoints only ugly continuityIssa Samander - Bitterlemons - Israel is not changing any of its policies. On the contrary: Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz is talking about holding on to the whole area east of Jerusalem, including the monstrous Maaleh Adumim settlement bloc, and with it the surrounding villages and their land25/1/2006
Elections despite restrictionsGhassan Khatib - Bitterlemons - Of all the factors that will make these elections necessarily imperfect, the inability of people, candidates and election workers to move freely from place to place, town to town and village to village has to count as the biggest25/1/2006
Palestinian candidates condemn U.S. programScott Wilson, Glen Kessler - Washington Post - "Every time the United States says it doesn`t want Hamas, they boost Hamas," said Mustafa Barghouti25/1/2006
Disconnected: The Israeli media`s coverage of the Gaza disengagementKeshev/Centre for the Protection of Democracy in Israel - The media was full of melodramatic headlines such as FINAL EMBRACE; FAREWELL TO GAZA; TEARFULLY; and even DADDY, HOW DO YOU PACK THE SEA?25/1/2006
Rubinstein: in my estimation, Israel poisoned ArafatKeshev/Centre for the protection of democracy in Israel - Danny Rubinstein talks about himself, the Palestinians, the media and the political establishment 25/1/2006
A letter from JerusalemRev. Clarence Musgrave - Commentary on current events 24/1/2006
The Middle East after Sharon - Palestine loses the initiative Hussein Agha and Robert Malley - Le Monde Diplomatique - "The whole landscape is being transformed as a result of Israeli energy and Palestinian lethargy."23/1/2006
Pity the OrphanUri Avneri - Why do the Palestinian organizations refuse to give up their arms? Let`s not deceive ourselves: for most Palestinians, these arms are a kind of strategic reserve. If negotiations with Israel lead nowhere, the armed struggle will probably be resumed. That by itself is not unheard of. (See: Ireland.) 22/1/2006
A misguided conceptionYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - Ariel Sharon`s decision to disengage from Gaza changed Israel`s political map. The new Kadima party incarnates a national consensus created by Sharon. Its content may be stated simply: unilateral separation from the Palestinians. 16/1/2006
Need for a strong Palestinian state Ahmad Y. Majdoubeh - Jordan Times - The people in the Palestinian territories, under the Palestinian Authority, are going through extremely difficult, even tragic times. Their day-to-day circumstances are almost unbearable, and the overall social and political climate is discouraging, frustrating and desperate 21/1/2006
A dire case of collective amnesiaRamzy Baroud - Middle East Times - The mainstream media`s lionizing and exalting of the fatally ill Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon could only be compared to that of great men and women of past years. 19/1/2006
Selling the messageKhaled Amayreh - Al Ahram Weekly - The main political movements in Palestine take to the streets and vamp up their image ahead of national elections, reports Khaled Amayreh in the West Bank 21/1/2006
The non-secular solutionErica Silverman - Al-Ahram Weekly - Hamas is working hard to consolidate its hold on Gaza, traditionally the base of the Islamist resistance movement21/1/2006
Disarray Among the Palestinians The New York Times Editorial - One critical question lost in the hubbub over who will succeed Ariel Sharon is whether there will be any valid authority left among the Palestinians when the Israelis sort out their politics.17/1/2006
Gaza’s Turmoil in Context Ramzy Baroud - The MiliGazette - The most recent kidnappings in the Gaza Strip are a disheartening testimony to how factionalism, corruption and lack of discipline can scar a national struggle that was meant to exemplify precisely the opposite. 21/1/2006
Study shows Palestinians more willing to compromiseNathan Guttman - The Jerusalem Post - According to Palestinian pollster Dr. Khalil Shikaki, who is considered one of the leading experts on Palestinian public opinion, the Palestinians are now more moderate than in the past and are willing to move forward on the basis of a solution which is accepted by most Israelis. 20/1/2006
Hebron reflection - shabbat patrolJohn Lynes - CPT20/1/2006
The myth of the Israeli peacemakerHasan Abu Nimah - The Jordan Times - "When Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated a decade ago, he left behind an unfinished peace process that would have flourished had he lived. Or so many people believe to this day. As Ariel Sharon lay incapacitated by a major stroke, a similar myth was born." 19/1/2006
Hebron for beginners Ran HaCohen - Antiwar - In the Hebron Agreement of 1997, Israel pledged to return the market to the Palestinians and let it be reopened; a wall should have separated it from the settlers’ homes. However, Israel respects treaties only in extremely exceptional cases, and Hebron is not such a rare exception18/1/2006
Hypocrisy in HebronB. Michael - Ynet - Since when do Hebron settlers care about legal niceties?18/1/2006
Sharon`s plan without Sharon? Israeli politics in a post-Sharon eraMichael Warschawski - Alternative Information Center - Reading the local and international media, one gets the feeling that the brain-hemorrhage which pushed Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon out of politics will have almost the same effect as those two bullets which ten years ago ended the life of his friend and predecessor, Yitzchak Rabin18/1/2006
Elections in Israel and PalestineRemi Kanazi - Znet - An aggressive [Israeli] military stance against Hamas could lead to Olmert’s demise. Since the group has restrained itself, inducing a fight or resumption of violence may swing voters over to hard-lined Netanyahu.18/1/2006
Multiple sieges: interview with Hanan AshrawiHanan Ashrawi - Bitterlemons - "We have to break multiple sieges. There is a territorial siege with the settlements, a security siege at the checkpoints, a physical siege with the wall, a political siege with elections now, and a psychological siege, i.e., this fear and intimidation."18/1/2006
We will not sell our people or principles for foreign aid Khalid Mish`al - head of the political bureau of Hamas - "Palestinians voted for Hamas because of our refusal to give up their rights. But we are ready to make a just peace " 31/1/2006
Politics of Chaos: Gaza’s Turmoil in ContextRamzy Baroud - AMIN - "My hope is that the January elections will embroider a new Palestinian political fabric, a sense of collectiveness, a new strategy, a new narrative, and finally a sense of direction."17/1/2006
`Palestinian Dilemmas`Mouin Rabbani - The Nation - The coming elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) are part of broad reconfiguration of the Palestinian political system necessitated by the November 2004 death of Yasir Arafat.15/1/2006
Sharon is not a man of peace Ghada Karmi - As Ariel Sharon exits Israel`s political scene, few Palestinians are mourning him. Israelis will miss Sharon because he entrenched them in the land of others. But if he earns his place in history, it will be for his sleight of hand in making the world believe that the butcher had become a statesman.15/1/2006
With Friends like these…Uri Avnery - On the eve of his meeting with Clinton, Netanyahu met publicly with Falwell of all people, in front of a crowd of hundreds. Falwell, a sworn enemy of Clinton, reveals now that the meeting was deliberately planned as an affront to the President. 15/1/2006
Sharon: A depreciationJerry Levin - From The Inside Looking Out: Report-62. CPT - "Sharon legacy will be that his fellow travelers on both the left and the right will continue to try to make as much of their dream of a Greater Israel as possible come true even though the effort can best be described as 1) trying to force a square geopolitical peg into a round geopolitical hole or 2) trying to move upstream against a tide of history that is flowing the other way...using a gun instead of a paddle. " 14/1/2006
What comes next?Lily Galili - Haarerz - The Sharon era is over, for better and for worse. It was so convenient to stick with Sharon, even for his opponents. To hold him responsible, to lay the blame on him. Mainly, he relieved citizens of the need to think and to make difficult decisions that the majority knows must be taken, but whose consequences it is unwilling to bear. 13/1/2006
The Pied Piper of Hamelin, or Sharon`s EnigmaBaruch Kimmerling - Dissident Voice - Sharon’s intention was obvious: establishing a "Palestinian state" in four enclaves, around Jenin, Nablus, Hebron, and the Gaza Strip, that lack territorial contiguity; connecting the enclaves with tunnels and bridges means that there will be a strong Israeli presence in most other areas of the West Bank. 13/1/2006
Sharon`s Strategic Legacy for Israel:Competing PerspectivesDan Diker - Institute for Contemporary Affairs - Some Israeli opinion-makers, seeking to define Sharon`s political legacy, are determined to transform him into a political dove due to his unilateral disengagement plan that pulled Israel out of Gaza. 13/1/2006
Power to fight both firesSamir El-Youssef - The New Statesman - Amir Peretz won`t win the March election but, argues Samir el-Youssef, he`s the best hope for peace - Palestinian and Israeli 13/1/2006
Disengagement`s Architect Outlines West Bank PulloutForward - "Forward turned to the man who, perhaps more than any other, can claim to be the architect of unilateral disengagement, retired major general Uzi Dayan." 12/1/2006
Them or Us - AIPAC on TrialJames Petras - Counterpunch - "What started out as a small scale spy trial, no different from other recent cases, is growing into a major cause celebre, involving the most powerful lobby influencing the entire direction of US Middle East policy. 9/1/2006
Fatah accused of sabotaging vote"The Palestinian leadership`s failure to rein in militants operating in its name is prompting accusations that elements within the ruling Fatah faction are seeking a pretext to call off elections due in less than two weeks` time." 12/1/2006
Electoral Blocs Seek A Fixed Election Day Hussam Ez-Eddin - Al-Ayyam - Six electoral blocs demanded holding an urgent meeting with President Mahmoud Abbas in order to reach a “joint, clear and decisive” resolution concerning the date of the upcoming elections and so that the meeting is based on the “commitment to hold the elections on their set date.” 13/1/2006
Palestinian Elections: The Merry-Go-Round of the Policeman, the Fighter and the ThugHassan Al-Battal - Al-Ayyam - The Palestinian citizen will go to the ballot protected – supposedly – by the arms of the PA and the “resistance,” but after the elections he will raise his voice in the face of the PA, the resistance and thuggery too. 8/1/2006
Poll: `Hamas closing gap with Fateh ahead of PLC elections`IMEMC & Agencies - "Bir Zeit University in the West Bank conducted a poll which revealed that the Islamic Resistance movement, Hamas, is closing in on the Fateh ruling party ahead of the January 25 Legislative Elections."12/1/2006
Hamas drops call for destruction of Israel from manifesto The Guardian -"The policy is to maintain the armed struggle but it is not our first priority. We know that first of all we have to put more effort into resolving the internal problems, dealing with corruption, blackmail, chaos." 12/1/2006
At a crossroadsHisham Ahmed - Bitterlemons - Right now, there is a possibility that a peace process might again raise expectations among Palestinians. People are willing to believe that with Sharon goes the root cause of the outbreak of the Aqsa Intifada, i.e., the provocation at the Aqsa Mosque, and the many oppressive Israeli measures that followed.11/1/2006
Three fingers, no fistUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - A political earthquake before an election is an unusual event, but not unknown. A second earthquake in such a period is already rare. But a third earthquake before an election, a short time after the first two - now, that is really scary.11/1/2006
Palestinian view: potential for changeGhassan Khatib - Bitterlemons - as far as the basic, legitimate Israeli objectives of peace and security are concerned, Sharon achieved little. 11/1/2006
Making human drama out of a political crisisRachel Shabi - The Guardian - "As Jewish settlers were evacuated from the Gaza Strip in August, the media caught every tearful, defiant move on camera. But how much was real and how much stage-managed? ... "Like everything else in this country, this [story] was a game to be played and now it`s finished and that`s it." " 10/1/2006
He never intended an equitable solution in IsraelHenry Siegman - The Observer - "What hope there is for a revival of a peace process lies not with the success of Kadima, the new centrist party established by Sharon, but with an Israeli commitment to a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza whose claims to security, viability and territorial integrity are entitled the same respect that Israel expects for its own claims. " 10/1/2006
The Whitewashing of Ariel Sharon Saree Makdisi - Los Angeles Times - As Ariel Sharon`s career comes to an end, the whitewashing is already underway. Literally overnight he was being hailed as "a man of courage and peace" who had generated "hopes for a far-reaching accord" with an electoral campaign promising "to end conflict with the Palestinians." 8/1/2006
Sharon’s Indispensable Legacy M.J. Rosenberg - Israelinsider.com - Once Ariel Sharon decided that Israel could not preserve its identity as a Jewish state and a democracy while holding on to the occupied territories, he was intent on getting out. 8/1/2006
Hypocritical Statements of Concern for Fate of ‘Warrior’ Turned Peacemaker Chris Marsden - World Socialist Web Site - A life-threatening stroke suffered by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on January 4 has provoked a predictable deluge of hypocritical statements of concern for the fate of a “warrior” turned peacemaker. 8/1/2006
Sharon’s Flawed Vision William Pfaff - International Herald Tribune - Ariel Sharon has always seemed a man of destiny, whether by calculation or nature; but the Middle East may be fortunate now to escape that destiny. 9/1/2006
Where Does Bush-Sharon Vision for Middle East Peace Go Now? Yochi J. Dreazen - The Wall Street Journal - To a striking degree, Ariel Sharon`s vision for settling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has become the Bush administration`s vision. So Mr. Sharon`s dire medical condition forces the U.S. to confront an immediate question: Where does that vision for Middle East peace go now? 8/1/2006
US Plans for Future without Sharon Barry Schweid - Associated Press - In deference to an ailing ally, the Bush administration is saying little publicly about how it intends to fan flickering Mideast peace hopes if Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon remains incapacitated or does not survive. 8/1/2006
Palestinians Won’t Miss Sharon Richard Curtiss - Arab News - Palestinians are not weeping for “the butcher of Beirut,” Ariel Sharon, as he battles for his life. 8/1/2006
A Napoleon, Made in IsraelUri Avnery - From early youth, he was totally convinced that he was the only person in the world who could save the State of Israel. That was an absolute certainty, free of any doubt. He just knew that he must achieve supreme power, in order to fulfill the mission that fate had entrusted him with. 8/1/2006
A letter from JerusalemRev. Clarence Musgrave - Commentary on current events - "Such are the realities of life in a system which Mr Sharon has done much to create."8/1/2006
Netanyahu and Ahmadinejad - Axis of FanaticsNorman Solomon - Counterpunch - "Iran. Israel. The United States. Each country has the very real potential to move in a better direction -- away from lethal righteousness. "7/1/2006
Full circleKhalid Amayreh and Erica Silverman - Al-Ahram Weekly - With a newly imposed Israeli buffer zone in Gaza and the Palestinian Legislative Council elections approaching, a wave of violence is plaguing the Palestinian territories. 6/1/2006
Sharon is no statesmanKarma Nabulsi - The Guardian - He is no statesman and his motives have never been opaque - conquest by military means 6/1/2006
Ariel SharonRobert Fisk - The Independent - "Israel`s Prime Minister was a ruthless military commander responsible for one of the most shocking war crimes of the 20th century, argues Robert Fisk. President George Bush acclaims Ariel Sharon as `a man of peace`, yet the blood that was shed at Sabra and Chatila remains a stain on the conscience of the Zionist nation. As Sharon lies stricken in his hospital bed, his political career over, how will history judge him? "7/1/2006
Sharon; the myth and the truth Ghassan Andoni - IMEMC - "In summary, Sharon managed to add huge hurdles, physical and psychological, that will have drastic negative effects on the future of this troublesome region. "7/1/2006
The Stealth HawksJerry Levin - From The Inside Looking Out: Report-61. [Editor`s comment: This article was well worth reading despite being written just before Sharon`s hospitalization; as the Stealth Hawks game goes on.]7/1/2006
Unfolding tragedy in PalestineHelena Cobban - "I`ve been wondering recently how to describe the current, cascading collapse of Palestinian secular nationalism. It`s hard to do. There are so many causes."6/1/2006
Bush at Risk of Losing Closest Mideast AllyGlenn Kessler - The Washington Post - "The cerebral hemorrhage suffered by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon yesterday threatens to deprive the Bush administration of its closest working partner in the Middle East, casting doubt on President Bush`s pledge to help create a Palestinian state before the end of his term." 5/1/2006
Rights group urges US to cut Israel aidLaila El-Haddad - Aljazeera - "A prominent US human rights organisation has called on the Bush administration to cut back its direct foreign aid to Israel until the latter complies with calls to stop settlement expansion and work on the separation wall." 5/1/2006
Turning the page, againSam Bahour - This week in Palestine - "Three waves of municipal and village council elections were orchestrated throughout 2005. Hamas and the Islamic Jihad participated and won significant seats across the Palestinian areas. More than a political systemic shift, in my opinion, this was a result of several factors: Palestinian despair after being battered by Israel for five years, following 38 years of occupation and 57 years of dispossession;" 5/1/2006
PA election commission quits over Qureia interference The Associated Press - "The Palestinian election commission sent a letter to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas yesterday tendering its resignation, charging that Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia is interfering in the process, election officials told The Associated Press." 5/1/2006
Interior minister says elections will proceed as scheduled Palestine News Network - "In a meeting with representatives of several factions in his office in the Saraya neighborhood of Gaza City last night, minister of interior and national security Nasser Yousef said his ministry and security services were exerting tremendous efforts to prepare sufficiently for making the elections a success on their scheduled date."5/1/2006
World reacts to Sharon illness BBC News - 5.01.06 "Below is a selection of regional and international reaction"5/1/2006
Abramoff supported terrorism in PalestineJuan Cole - Informed Comment - None of the Jewish extremists, some of them violent, who are invading the West Bank and making the lives of the local Palestinians miserable will ever be branded "terrorists" by the US Government, and Abramoff`s foray into providing sniper lessons will be quietly buried4/1/2006
The view changes, the facts remain. Palestine: the forgotten realityAlain Gresh - Le Monde Diplomatique - There has been a subtle change in the way Europe`s media and political leaders look at the Palestinian problem and a solution to the Middle East conflict. ... it`s now up to the Palestinians - the occupied - to prove their goodwill. 4/1/2006
Israel `aims to scrap peace plan`; “Road Map Bang” Only After ElectionsThe Australian - "Prime Minister Ariel Sharon plans eventually to scrap a US-led "road map" to peace with the Palestinians and instead seek Washington`s blessing for annexing occupied West Bank land, a newspaper said today. " 3/1/2006
Gaza slides closer to chaosThe Economist - "If the Palestinian president is to stop the situation descending into total anarchy, he will have to act fast. "3/1/2006
The PA is DyingAmit Cohen - Ma’ariv - Three weeks before the parliamentary elections, the situation in the Palestinian Authority is continuing to deteriorate quickly. The anarchy in Gaza has already become a routine matter, after yesterday a foreign national was abducted there as well. 2/1/2006
Alternative to Road MapAmnon Dankner and Ben Caspit - Ma’ariv - This is the real political program that has been drawn up in the past few months by the most influential people in Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s immediate circle, in preparation for his next term of office. 2/1/2006
Freedom of Choice for PalestiniansShlomo Gazit - Ma`ariv - Israel must not be involved in obstructing the elections, and must certainly not be blamed for this. We must not try to influence the outcome. 2/1/2006
Defending settler anarchySarit Michaeli - Ynet News - Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz suddenly figured out that violent settlers are damaging Palestinian property, and says he is shocked by this surprising phenomenon. Settler violence in West Bank is well documented. 2/1/2006
Full of unknownsGhassan Khatib - bitterlemons.org - "On both sides, the common denominator at the moment is that internal politics is leading to external escalation. This could be very dangerous. These are very crucial and sensitive days that require the close and hands-on attention of the international community, particularly the Quartet. The kind of American diplomacy displayed during the Gaza crossings agreement is again required."3/1/2006
Palestinian Elections: Fatah keeps lead ahead of Palestinian vote - pollReuters - Ramallah, Palestine - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas`s ruling Fatah has kept a big lead over Islamist rival Hamas despite open divisions in the ruling party, a poll published on Sunday showed. 1/1/2006
Ms. Tali Fahima - the plea bargain was sealed by the courtJacob Katriel - Her visits to Jenin allowed the Israeli public to get acquainted with Mr. Zakharia Zweidi, with whom she met. For the first time a Palestinian militant has been extensively interviewed on all Israeli electronic and printed media. His personal history, including the killing of his mother and brother by the Israeli army in the infamous invasion of Jenin1/1/2006
Who Needs a Camel? Uri Avnery - A drunkard blacks out. His companions pour cold water on him. The drunk opens one eye, licks the water and says: "I don`t know what that is, but it won`t sell!" I was reminded of this when I read the draft of the Labor Party`s political program, which has just been presented by a committee of experts. 1/1/2006
Palestinian Premier, Cabinet ResignsSARAH EL DEEB - The Associated Press - "Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia and his Cabinet ministers submitted their resignations Thursday as the Islamic militant group Hamas appeared to have captured a large majority of seats in the Palestinian elections a shocking upset sure to throw Mideast peacemaking into turmoil." 26/1/2006
Hamas, from violence to votesStephen Farrell - Times Online- "Although it has established itself as an important political force -especially in Gaza - its precise electoral strength was unknown because it refused to take part in Palestinian presidential and parliamentary elections in the 1990s, rejecting the Oslo peace accords under which they were set up." 26/1/2006
Historic Vote in PalestineRamzy Baroud - Palestine Chronicle - "The Palestinian Parliamentary elections pose great dilemmas to all parties concerned, including Hamas, the PA, Israel, the United States, and even Europe and various Arab states." 26/1/2006
Hamas claims election `win` : Haniyah claims Hamas has won more than 70 seatsAljazeera - "As Palestinians await official results from Wednesday`s parliamentary election, a senior Hamas leader says an initial count of votes shows his party has won an absolute majority of seats." 26/1/2006
Palestinians show support for Hamas elections Donald Macintyre - The Independent - "Fatah`s monopoly of power over the Palestinian Authority was decisively broken last night after two exit polls showed Hamas within five seats of overtaking it in parliamentary elections." 26/1/2006
Hamas makes gains against Fatah, but fails to win power; Exit poll shows ruling party clinging to office ; Militant Islamist group mounts strong challenge Chris McGreal - The Guardian - "Some things are more important than religion. Like power. So the party that banned public dancing between men and women in one Gaza town, that firebombed a few Gaza bars and scared the rest out of business, and which routinely glorifies suicide bombers as close to God, yesterday discovered sex appeal." 26/1/2006
Inside Palestinian elections Daoud Kuttab - IMEMC - An unusual calm has settled on the occupied territories with the start of the election campaign. Posters of all shapes and sizes have filled Palestinian streets. In addition to picturing the candidates, many feature figures who are unable to be present in election rallies. 25/1/2006
The New Palestinian Parliament will be colorful George Rishmawi - IMEMC - It is expected that Hamas will win at least one third of the votes in the second Palestinian Parliamentary elections, the second ever since the establishment of the Palestinian state. The ruling Fatah party is expected to win some 40 percent of the votes. 25/1/2006
Grievances and consequences: the terrorist in the mirrorNoam Chomsky - Counterpunch - With regard to Islamic terror, there is a broad consensus among intelligence agencies and researchers. They identify two categories: the jihadis, who regard themselves as a vanguard, and their audience, which may reject terror but nevertheless regard their cause as just. A serious counter-terror campaign would therefore begin by considering the grievances25/1/2006
A marriage cemented by terrorNathan Guttman - Salon - Bush and Sharon`s strong relationship was based on mutual self-interest -- and a shared good-and-evil ideology25/1/2006
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