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The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil,    but because of the people who don't do anything about it    

Barak is back - 12 killed`Gush Shalom - Ehud Barak initiates his return to the Defence [sic] Ministry with a macho gesture of unbridled force, a bloody invasion of the Gaza Strip.30/6/2007
The Dirty WordUri Avnery - - The occupation was not on the agenda of this dark summit.30/6/2007
Israel`s hollow declarationsDror Etkes - Y-Net - Upon the Sharm summit`s conclusion on Monday Prime Minister Olmert declared that Israel has no intention of dictating the way of life in the Palestinian Authority. It is indeed unpleasant to put a damper on such a rare joyous occasion such as a four-way summit where such noble declarations are made, yet the simple facts (which, unfortunately, very few people in Israel take the time to confirm) do not quite match such declarations. 30/6/2007
Twisting Reality: The Failing of GazaPhilip Rizk - the Counterpunch - "Now, the new mini state of Gaza will fail, because the world will not allow it to succeed. Aristotle considered chaos to be a very likely outcome of the competing interests given voice in democracy. In Gaza, Palestinian differences have been exploited to bring about Aristotle`s predicted internal division."29/6/2007
June 1967, 40 years onDialogue number seven, June 2007, between Shlomo Gazit and Abdel Jawad Saleh - bitterlemons.org29/6/2007
What Hamas WantsOp-Ed to New York Times by Ahmed Yousef, political adviser to Ismail Haniya29/6/2007
The 8 Fallacies of Bush’s Abbastan PlanTony Karon - Rootless Cosmopolitan - "Veterans of the peace process, such as Rob Malley and Aaron David Miller, simply roll their eyeballs at the Bush administration’s apparently bottomless capacity to believe its own delusions despite all countervailing evidence. "29/6/2007
Hamastan will not wither awayJonathan Freedland - Guardian Weekly - "It sounds logical enough. Nurture a flowering Fatahland while pariah Hamastan withers away. But it is surely a delusion. The first and most obvious danger is that the more generous the West is to Abbas, the more his credibility will be destroyed...Besides, the whole idea rests on a series of faulty assumptions. First, it assumes that Israel will come through with the goodies it promises. On this, the record is not encouraging. There is also no guarantee that Abbas`s Fatah-dominated administration could translate that into improvements on the ground."29/6/2007
Gush-Shalom on prisoner exchangeAd published in Haaretz. "Gilad Shalit Is a soldier captured in action. There is only one way to bring him home: An exchange of prisoners, a legitimate and customary practice. Both sides have "Blood on their hands" -- including the blood of children. The endless haggling about Gilad`s freedom is a scandal. Enough!!!"29/6/2007
Money for NothingJoharah Baker -- MIFTAH -- “It was long ago when the Palestinians fell into the trap of international funding – basically, the signing of the Oslo Accords marked the first paycheck handed to the fledgling Palestinian Authority at the expense of their ultimate freedom over their own destiny. Since then, the West Bank and Gaza Strip have been prisoners to this financial assistance. When the political leadership was favorable to the funders – mainly the United States and Europe – the dollars flowed” 28/6/2007
Brothers-in-Arms -- the Triumph of US/Israeli Policy in PalestineJennifer Loewenstein -- CounterPunch -- "Hamas will never be allowed to remain in power in Gaza so we must fear for the future of that tiny, desperately overcrowded strip of land and its 1.4 million inhabitants; additionally, Abbas ­in order to maintain his role as `Good Guy`- will have to accede to the dictates of Israel and the United States or suffer the same fate as his predecessor, Yassir Arafat"28/6/2007
Hamas acted on a very real fear of a US-sponsored coupJonathan Steele - the Guardian - " Washington`s fingerprints are all over the chaos that has hit Palestinians. The last thing they now need is an envoy called Blair"27/6/2007
`No` to false trappings of sovereigntyDaoud Kuttab, The Jerusalem Post - "THE FALSE trappings of a state provided to Palestinians as part of the Oslo peace process and the famous White House handshake in 1993 has hurt more than helped Palestinians. "27/6/2007
Yo, Blair IITony Karon - Rootless Cosmopolitan - "President Bush has a new role in mind for Tony Blair: No, no, not, as is being widely reported, as a “Middle East peace envoy.” Goodness, no, the U.S. has no need of such a thing, because that would inevitably involve putting pressure on Israel. Blair’s new job, in fact, will be that of tutor to the Palestinian Authority, helping it to “develop effective institutions.”...Blair’s willingness to take the job certainly indicates that he’s lost none of his sense of humor."27/6/2007
Divide and rule, Israeli-style: Can the Arab world be turned into Gaza’s jailers?Jonathan Cook - Znet - " The problem with [Gideon] Levy’s analysis is that it assumes that Israel and the US wanted sanctions to bring about the fall of Hamas, either by giving Fatah the upper hand so that it could deal a knockout blow to the Palestinian government, or by inciting ordinary Palestinians to rise up and demand that their earlier electoral decision be reversed and Fatah reinstalled. In short, Levy, like most observers, assumes that the policy was designed to enforce regime change. But what if that was not the point of the sanctions? And if so, what goals were Israel and the US pursuing?.. By engineering the destruction of the unity government, Israel and the US have ensured that there is no danger of a new Palestinian consensus emerging, one that might have cornered Israel into peace talks. "27/6/2007
The Crisis in Gaza - made in Israelby Michael Warschawski - Znet - "The old dream of Ariel Sharon is becoming a reality: Palestinians are killing Palestinians, and Israel is counting the number of victims with great satisfaction. The tears of Israeli leaders are crocodile tears, and their claims that they are sorry for the tragic developments in Gaza are mere hypocrisy. The bloody confrontations were predictable, and the Israeli-US responsibility and active involvement are crystal clear...With Gaza being defined as a hostile entity and its whole population as allied to Hamas, there is no doubt that it will be, in the near future, the target of a brutal Israeli aggression: eventual military incursions, bombardments and starvation. This is why our top priority, in Israel as well as throughout the world, is to organize solidarity with Gaza and its population."27/6/2007
Cracks in the Anti-Hamas FacadeTony Karon - Rootless Cosmopolitan - "So, the latest U.S. plan is on a familiar hiding to nothing, precisely because it fails to address the basic problem: Hamas defeated Fatah because Fatah had proved itself unable to end the occupation; the Arab regimes and the Fatah leaders know that the only way they can be revived and strengthened is for Fatah’s path of engagement with the West and Israel to show results, i.e. concrete steps to end the occupation; but Israel has no intention of taking steps now to end its occupation of the West Bank — together with the U.S., it is essentially expecting Abbas and Fatah to police the status quo. "26/6/2007
Israel discovers compassion. We are no longer indifferent to Gaza suffering, as long as it`s Hamas-madeB. Michael - YNET - " Who would have believed it: suddenly it turns out that behind the media`s blind eyes, behind the Israeli population`s indifferent facade, and behind the apathetic facade of Israeli politics, there hides a merciful and sympathetic heart, an emphatic soul, and a stomach filled with gentle compassion."26/6/2007
Hamastan as a challengeShlomo Gazit - NRG - a piece by an Israeli reserve Major-General, former head of military intelligence - translated by Sol Salbe - "Simultaneously with its total takeover of the Gaza Strip, the Hamas leadership implemented a unilateral ceasefire with Israel . For a whole week, not a single Qassam was fired at Sderot and the surrounding district. But then, after only one day as Defence Minister, the new Minister [Ehud Barak] authorised a new operation to seek out people on the wanted list in the Khan Younis region. Five Palestinians were killed while others were injured. As if by magic, the firing of Qassams towards Sderot resumed the very next day. On the political front, Israel continued to pin its hopes on Abu-Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] and Fatah. The Palestinian.. most certainly won’t put their trust in leaders who are supported by the US and Israel . Hasn’t the time come for a re-evaluation of the situation? "26/6/2007
KEEPING ON A STEADY COURSE TO APARTHEIDJeff Halper - Israel Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) - "Israel is not going to bolster Abbas.. So neither the Saudi Inititative nor the Sharm meeting will lead to genuine negotiations. The US , with its moribund Road Map, will not facilitate the establishment of a viable Palestinian state and Europe will not act independently to do so, even in its own interest. The Palestinians, for their part, are powerless to achieve a viable state on their own and will continue to be beaten and blamed for their own incareration and resistance... Unless we, the people worldwide, can mobilize grassroots opposition to the Israeli-US-European Occupation, a new apartheid regime,in the Holy Land no less, will soon emerge before our very eyes." 25/6/2007
Everything is possibleYigal Bronner -- EI -- “The well-oiled machine of push-and-grab has been running for decades without ever stopping. Indeed, it steadily gained momentum and has almost a life of its own now. The ears of Israelis have become so accustomed to its constant sound -- the rattle-and-hum of demolition and uprooting to make room for new settlers -- that they no longer hear it”25/6/2007
Where Nothing Happens By Chance -- Mideast AlightRannie Amiri -- CounterPunch -- "...Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria, and Iraq`s Shia, with help from Israel and a handful of Arab dictatorships, are being systematically hemmed-in by the United States prior to an attack on Iran. This is being accomplished through fomenting division and sectarianism among the people. An evil kindling has indeed been set - in Iraq, Palestine, and Lebanon. We may not be able to predict where the next fire will blaze, but we surely know who has been striking the matches"25/6/2007
Palestine: Freedom Is What They WantCharley Reese -- AntiWar -- "Alas, President Bush discovered that he didn`t like democracy after all. In his mind, democracy is only good if the election produces the results he wants it to produce. He immediately cut off aid and contact to the Palestinians, boycotted them and began a campaign to get other countries to withhold aid. […] Since Hamas officials, unlike Fatah, were not in the habit of squandering public money on personal luxuries, the only people deprived by Bush`s actions were ordinary people"25/6/2007
Legitimacy contested Dina Ezzat -- Al-Ahram -- Differing claims to "legitimacy" are asserted in Palestine and Lebanon, in the unspoken war between "moderation" and "radicalism" 25/6/2007
Carter: Bush`s Palestine policy is "criminal"Shawn Pogatchnik - Seattle Post-Intelligencer - Carter said the U.S. and Israel, with European Union acquiescence, had sought to subvert the Palestinian election outcome by shunning Hamas and helping Abbas to keep the reins of political and military power. "That action was criminal," he said in a news conference after his speech.24/6/2007
Six Day War transformed American Jewish lifeIra Chernus - Commondreams - in June, 1967, Jews flocked to their synagogues to show unprecedented support for Israel. Though they did not know it, they were creating a new form of Judaism. The eminent historian of Judaism, Rabbi Jacob Neusner, has called it the “Judaism of Holocaust and Redemption.”24/6/2007
Israel and Gaza and a summer of war? Haim Baram - New Statesman - It was largely at the demand of the US, and against the advice of both Abbas and Olmert, that the Palestinians held elections. The January 2006 polls led to a Hamas victory. Again under American orders, Abbas refused to accept the results. Both the West Bank and Gaza were plunged into chaos.24/6/2007
Goodbye and good luckCharley Reese - Antiwar - Iraq had no effect on the American people before President Bush`s illegal invasion of it. It has no effect on us now, unless you have loved ones being fed into the meat grinder that is making futility sausage. What possible difference does it make to us who rules Iraq?24/6/2007
The end of dissent?Justin Raimundo - Antiwar - The US House of Representatives, having just handed Bush a hundred million dollars to continue slaughtering the innocent people of Iraq, has now passed a resolution - virtually unanimously, in the Soviet tradition - to put the president of Iran on trial for "genocide". Only Ron Paul and Dennis Kuchinich voted against.24/6/2007
Very bitter lemons from GazaReuven Kaminer - Ghassan Khatib, former Minister of Planning and currently Vice- President of Bir Zeit University, is also the representative of the Palestinian Peoples Party (the Communist Party) in the Palestinian Authority. His current article in the Bitterlemons internet forum continues the line of his party of uncritical support for Fatah. It also reveals a tragic propensity for denial.24/6/2007
A shortsighted maneuverGhassan Khatib - Bitterlemons - By taking over Gaza by force, Hamas has successfully completed the process that Israel started of separating the Gaza Strip from the West Bank. 24/6/2007
The bumbling envoy: how could Blair possibly get this job?Robert Fisk - The Independent/Counterpunch - This vain, deceitful man, this proven liar, a trumped-up lawyer who has the blood of thousands of Arab men, women and children on his hands is really contemplating being "our" Middle East envoy.24/6/2007
Engage with HamasAhmed Yousef - Washington Post - Some critics raise the red flag of "al-Qaeda" and say that Hamas and parliament are a stalking horse for Salafi jihadists. I defy them to demonstrate one instance in which Hamas`s military structure has struck against any force outside the theater of the occupation. The struggle has always been against the Israeli agenda of ethnic cleansing and conquest.24/6/2007
Saving President AbbasUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - EHUD OLMERT is the opposite of Midas, King of Phrygia. Everything the king touched turned into gold, according to Greek legend. Everything Olmert touches turns into lead. And that is no legend. Now he is touching Mahmoud Abbas. He lauds him to high heaven. He promises to "strengthen" him. He is about to meet him. If I might offer some advice to Abbas, I would call out to him: Run! Run for your precious life! One touch of Olmert`s hand will seal your fate!24/6/2007
1967 - a personal testimonyUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - Just before the start of the crisis [that culminated in the Six Day War], the Soviet ambassador, Chubakhin, asked me to come and visit him at his embassy in Ramat Gan. He told me that Israel was planning to attack Syria and was already massing troops on the border. He saw this as a part of a broader US scheme to install pro-American regimes all over the area, starting with the recent coup d`etat of the colonels in Greece (April 1967) and American machinations in Iran. The ambassador wanted me to use my position as Member of the Knesset and Editor-in-Chief of a popular news magazine to alert the Israeli public.24/6/2007
Decoding the media`s "Palestinian civil war"Ben White - The Electronic Intifada - Q. When an elected government is boycotted, its ministers kidnapped, and its defeated rival armed by hostile powers, what do you call it when this same government defends itself? A. A coup. 23/6/2007
Welcome to `Palestine` Robert Fisk - The Independent - How troublesome the Muslims of the Middle East are. First, we demand that the Palestinians embrace democracy and then they elect the wrong party - Hamas - and then Hamas wins a mini-civil war and presides over the Gaza Strip. And we Westerners still want to negotiate with the discredited President, Mahmoud Abbas. Today "Palestine" - and let`s keep those quotation marks in place - has two prime ministers. Welcome to the Middle East. 23/6/2007
Fatah isn`t enoughShaul Arieli - Y-Net - Israel must internalize that it would not be able to enjoy the benefits of any kind of agreement while 40 percent of the Palestinians in the territories, who reside in only six percent of the land area (the Gaza Strip) continue to bleed and go hungry. (...) Israel should in fact be stressing the Palestinian people`s unity and the PLO`s responsibility for a comprehensive agreement that obligates the entire people – in the West Bank, Gaza, and in the diaspora. Israel should be hoping that the dialogue and cooperation between the PLO and Hamas does renew, but under a reality and a balance of power that are different than the ones prevailing today. 23/6/2007
Dividing Palestinians won`t workHaroon Siddiqui - - "Starting in the 1980s, Israel reportedly encouraged the Islamists in order to weaken the secularist resistance. Having done so, it and the U.S. said that Mahmoud Abbas was too weak to negotiate peace with. Now, they are going to prop him up. This attempt at dividing and conquering an occupied people will continue to fail." 22/6/2007
West Chooses Fatah, Palestinians Don’tSaree Makdisi - Dissident Voice - "Has Hamas done unspeakable things? Yes, but so has Fatah, and so too has Israel (on a much larger scale). There are no saints in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." 22/6/2007
Abbas demands final status talks or nothing as he heads to Egypt summit Donald Macintyre - The Independent - "Mr Abbas is reportedly insisting that the summit, hosted by Egypt`s President, Hosni Mubarak, will be fruitless if it does not set in train a process aimed at a final resolution of the key issues in the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, said: "We need to deliver the end of occupation, a Palestinian state. If we don`t have hope, Hamas will export despair to the people." 22/6/2007
`3-state solution` is no path to peaceAli Abunimah - The Chicago Tribune - "Intra-Palestinian dialogue without outside interference, and South Africa or Northern Ireland-style peace talks aimed at ending all forms of military occupation, inequality and discrimination, with strong outside support, may yet save the situation. But so far there are no signs that the Bush administration will heed these obvious rudiments of peace." 22/6/2007
A Tale of Two Governments Joharah Baker - MIFTAH - " It is clear that this divided government will not last for long, not because Hamas lacks determination, but because this is not in the interests of Israel, the United States and least of all, Fateh. These parties have wanted Hamas off the political scene from the start. Ironically, however, where Israeli bombardments, invasions and sieges and a suffocating international boycott have failed to bring the movement to its knees, Hamas’ self-declared “victory” over Fateh just may be the final nail in its own coffin." 21/6/2007
The Light at the End of the Gaza-Ramallah Tunnel - A Secular-Democratic State SolutionOMAR BARGHOUTI - CounterPunch - "While the corruption, lawlessness, profiteering and even betrayal of sections of Fatah have been known and well documented for some time now, the brutal, reckless and in some cases criminal tactics used by armed groups within Hamas were fresh reminders to neutral bystanders who were willing to give the group the benefit of the doubt that it, too, contains a strong, power-hungry faction that is eager to sacrifice principles and human rights to reach its political objectives." 21/6/2007
A shortsighted maneuver Ghassan Khatib - Bitterlemons - "Even more damaging, the fighting will lessen the likelihood of any potential international political efforts to pressure Israel into some form of compromise, especially since Israel will use the situation to further justify its unilateralism, whether in terms of continued settlement expansion, the building of the wall or the draconian closures in the West Bank." 21/6/2007
Palestinian incompetence, Western hypocrisy Rami G. Khouri- IHT - "It`s hard to know who appears more ludicrous and despicable, the Palestinian Fatah and Hamas leaderships allowing their gunmen to fight it out on the streets of Gaza and the West Bank, or an American administration saying it supports the "moderates" in Palestine who want to negotiate peace with Israel." 21/6/2007
Once again, U.S. policy lies in shamblesH. D. S. Greenway - IHT - "When things settle down, Israel and the West are going to have to deal with Hamas and Gaza. Keeping the entire territory in its current embargoed state, increasing unemployment and economic blockade, can only lead to further despair and radicalization." 20/6/2007
Brothers to the bitter endFouad Ajami - IHT - "There is no way that a normal world could be had in the West Bank while Gaza goes under. There is no magic wand with which this Palestinian world could be healed and taught the virtues of realism and sobriety." 20/6/2007
More Troops, More TroublesAndrew J. Bacevich - LA Times - "" the great lesson of Iraq (further affirmed in Afghanistan) is that the umma ¡ª the Arabic name for the entire Muslim community ¡ª is all but impervious to change imposed from the outside. If anything, our ham-handed efforts to inculcate freedom and democracy, even if well-intentioned, have played into the hands of violent Islamic radicals. The Bush administration¡¯s strategy has exacerbated the problem it was designed to solve, while squandering American lives, treasure, moral standing and political influence to little avail.¡±19/6/2007
Whose Coup, Exactly?Virginia Tilley - The Electronic Intifada - "Having sacked Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas and dissolved his democratically-elected government, Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas has now installed Salam Fayyad as the new Prime Minister, to the clear delight of the West... That the new PA has virtually no power in the West Bank, and none at all in Gaza, is the first glaring problem with this pageantry. (Bitter jokes about a `two-state solution` consisting of the West Bank and Gaza Strip have circulated.) The new `emergency government` is illegal, too, according to the Basic Law of Palestine (as amended in 2003), which serves as the constitution of the PA"19/6/2007
Media Propaganda & the Palestinian Civil WarAnthony DiMaggio - Znet - "The reporting of the inconvenient facts above might very well shed more light upon the underlying reasons for the emergence of civil war in Palestine. However, to do so would be a serious challenge to the longstanding American practice of uncritical support for Israel, regardless of its violent provocations and illegal military occupation, which has now entered its 4th decade. And while condemnations of Hamas for attacks against civilians should be well taken by anyone opposed to terrorism and violence, the media’s one-sided pre-occupation with such terror to the neglect of the far more deadly terror of the Israeli military (directed against Palestinian militants and civilians) remains the major obstacle to a real peace in the Middle East. "19/6/2007
How the 1967 War Doomed IsraelTony Karon - Link to an article in Rootless Cosmopolitan (with maps and illustrations) - a perspective of a South African Jew who used to be a member of the socialist-Zionist youth movement - "But precisely because the [Israelis] have continued to expand Israel since 1967, they have dimmed the prospects for a new partition creating a viable Palestinian state separate from Israel. Today, more than ever, the fate of the Israelis is inextricably, and intimately linked to the fate of the Palestinians — and vice versa. The lasting legacy of the 1967 war is the bi-national state it created in the old territory of British-Mandate Palestine."19/6/2007
Gaza: Another Mess Made in U.S.Tony Karon - Rootless Cosmopolitan - "U.S. talked the Europeans around to reluctantly signing on to their siege strategy until Hamas was ready to symbolically surrender. That didn’t happen. Now, Hamas has made clear that it is an intractable reality, although the fighting has likely greatly increased the balance within the organization in favor of the more confrontational element. And Dahlan turned out to be a Paper Pinochet. .. Given the endless capacity for self-delusion of the people running U.S. Middle East policy, I fully expect to see the U.S. rush resources to Egypt where Dahlan can be reunited with his scattered forces in preparation for his next historic role — at the head of a “Bay of Pigs” type invasion of Gaza. "19/6/2007
The people of Palestine must finally be allowed to determine their own fateKarma Nabulsi -- The Guardian -- The drivers of violence in Gaza are clearly external. When all Palestinians can vote for sovereign rule, peace will be within reach18/6/2007
Peterson on the Finkelstein affair: "Shoot the messenger"David Peterson and Norman Finkelstein - Znet Blogs - "Organized American Jewry has exploited the Nazi holocaust to deflect criticism of Israel`s and its own morally indefensible policies. Pursuit of these policies has put Israel and American Jewry in a structurally congruent position: the fates of both now dangle from a slender thread running to American ruling elites. Should these elites ever decide that Israel is a liability or American Jewry expendable, the thread may be cut. No doubt this is speculation -- perhaps unduly alarmist, perhaps not. Predicting the posture of American Jewish elites should these eventualities come to pass, however, is child`s play. If Israel fell out of favor with the United States, many of those leaders who now stoutly defend Israel would courageously divulge their disaffection from the Jewish state and would excoriate American Jews for turning Israel into a religion." [excerpt from the conclusion of Norman Finkelstein`s book "The Holocaust Industry"]17/6/2007
Lying us into war, againCharley Reese - Antiwar - "The United States flatly refuses to endorse the idea of a nuclear-free Middle East. Iran has signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Israel has refused to sign it. Iran admits international inspectors. Israel flatly refuses to allow international inspectors. The only country in today`s Middle East with weapons of mass destruction and a history of invading and occupying other people`s countries is Israel."17/6/2007
Interview with Norman Finkelstein on the battle for academic freedomNorman Finkelstein - US-Americans have every right to deplore the cruel Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands. On DePaul University`s politicized decision to deny Finkelstein tenure, "we will not retreat 1/1000th of an inch". 17/6/2007
Welcome to "Palestine": the wages of corruption and occupationRobert Fisk - The Independent/Counterpunch - First, we demand that the Palestinians embrace democracy and then they elect the wrong party - Hamas - and then Hamas wins a mini-civil war and presides over the Gaza Strip. And we Westerners still want to negotiate with the discredited President, Mahmoud Abbas. Today "Palestine" - and let`s keep those quotation marks in place - has two prime ministers.17/6/2007
Israeli-US failureMenachem Klein - Ynet - The Hamas takeover in Gaza has exposed the Israeli and US-American strategic bankruptcy. Four basic perceptions shared by Israel and the US have been proven false17/6/2007
Academics for Justice letter in support of FinkelsteinEdward Herman et al - Academics for Justice - We the undersigned address this letter to the American Association of University Professors and its committee A. We specifically draw your attention to the recent case of Professor Norman Finkelstein of DePaul University.17/6/2007
DePaul genuflects to DershowitzHoward Friel - Znet - Because few assistant professors with books published by at least three major publishers (in this case the University of California, W.W. Norton, and Verso) are denied tenure, and because even fewer with such books, a vote of support from their department, and glowing student evaluations, are denied tenure, it is difficult to imagine that anything other than outside interference, almost all of it from Dershowitz, led to the denial of Finkelstein’s tenure at DePaul. 17/6/2007
Fighting oil wars to fight wars for oilMichael T. Klare and Tom Engelhardt - The US military alone consumes more oil in one year than does Bangladesh, a nation of 150 million people. The US must continually fight wars for oil in order to maintain the capacity to keep fighting wars for oil. 17/6/2007
Viewers get whitewashed version of historyAntonia Zerbisias - Toronto Star - With the new Canada-Israel-France co-production "Six Days in June", North American television audiences are once again being treated like small children, who must be sheltered from reality. PBS, like Col. Jessep, is telling us that we can`t handle the truth. How much longer must we put up with this humiliating treatment?17/6/2007
A shared responsibility for the War in Gaza By Ben White - Palestine Chronicle - The events in Gaza this week, which represented the dramatic climax of months of tense bouts of fighting between Hamas and Fatah, were painful to watch. Those who stand in solidarity with the Palestinians, like the thousands who marched in London last weekend, need not be shy about speaking out, despite the pressures of the cynical, smug analysis that laughs at Palestinian ‘self-rule’ and says ‘I told you so’. Responsibility for the current crisis is shared amongst most of the protagonists.16/6/2007
Gaza: Not Just a Prison, a LaboratoryNaomi Klein - The Nation/Common Dreams - Israel’s economy isn’t booming despite the political chaos that devours the headlines, but because of it. This phase of development dates back to the mid-nineties, when Israel was in the vanguard of the information revolution - the most tech-dependent economy in the world. After the dot-com bubble burst in 2000, Israel’s economy was devastated, facing its worst year since 1953. Then came 9/11, and suddenly new profit vistas opened up for any company that claimed it could spot terrorists in crowds, seal borders from attack and extract confessions from closed-mouthed prisoners. Put in Friedmanesque terms: Israel went from inventing the networking tools of the “flat world” to selling fences to an apartheid planet. 16/6/2007
Abbas studies his limited optionsIan Black - The Guardian - Neither the Islamist movement nor its Fatah rival can see a quick or easy way out of this new impasse, even if logic suggests both must seek conciliation to avoid a permanent geographical and political split between the coastal enclave and the West Bank - the two parts of any putative Palestinian state. Arab governments, worried by Hamas`s victory, will encourage them to do so. The US and Europe are less sure. 16/6/2007
Sympathy no Substitute for AnalysisReuven Kaminer - The first international responses from the pro-Fatah camp suggest a picture of Abu Mazan`s friends scrambling for a place in the line up of all those bearing sumptuous gifts for the Palestinian people. This demonstration of loyalty is supposed to improve Abu Mazen`s standing. But it is too late. Any concessions to the Palestinians will be correctly understood as a result of Hamas threats to US hegemony and an attempt to build the `stop Hamas` coalition. 16/6/2007
Crocodile Tears Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom Website - An experiment set up by Israel, the US and the EU, with the population of the Gaza Strip as guinea pigs south to find out what happens when one and a half million human beings are imprisoned and cut off in a tiny, arid territory, cut off and starved by an economic blockade. This week came the result: human beings react exactly like other animals, when too many are crowded into a small area in miserable conditions, they become aggressive and even murderous. 16/6/2007
A setback for the Bush doctrine in GazaAli Abunimah - The Electronic Intifada - The dramatic rout of the US and Israeli-backed Palestinian militias in Gaza by forces loyal to Hamas represents a major setback to the Bush doctrine in Palestine. 16/6/2007
UN was pummelled into submission, says outgoing Middle East special envoy Rory McCarthy and Ian Williams -Guardian -"The report criticises the Palestinians for their violence, and Israel for extending its settlements and barrier in the West Bank. But he also argues that Israeli policies have encouraged continued Palestinian militancy. "I wonder if the Israeli authorities realise that, season after season, they are reaping what they sow, and are systematically pushing along the violence/repression cycle to the point where it is self-propelling," he writes. " 15/6/2007
Laboratory for a Fortressed WorldNaomi Klein-The Nation-"So in a way Friedman is right: Israel has struck oil. But the oil isn`t the imagination of its techie entrepreneurs. The oil is the war on terror, the state of constant fear that creates a bottomless demand for spying devices and containment walls, whether in Gaza, in Baghdad or at the US-Mexico border. Israeli entrepreneurs have discovered, just as US politicians did after 9/11, that fear is the ultimate renewable resource."15/6/2007
A setback for the Bush doctrine in GazaAli Abunimah-The Electronic Intifada-"Both leaderships are hemmed in. Abbas appears to be entirely dependent on foreign and Israeli support and unable to takedecisions independent of a corrupt, self-serving clique. Hamas, whatever intentions it has is likely to find itself under an even tighter siege in Gaza."15/6/2007
Was 1967 a victory too far for Israel? Meron Rapoport - Le Monde diplomatique - "The Six Day war transformed Israel from relative poverty into a regional military superpower. It also began an occupation which has been slowly destroying the country’s meaning and identity – and may yet dissolve its existence." 13/6/2007
Speech by Nurit Peled-Elhanan at the demonstration in Tel Aviv to commemorate 40 years of the occupation"For forty years now, racism and megalomania have dictated our lives. Forty years during which more than four million people do not know the meaning of freedom of movement. Forty years in which Palestinian children are born and raised as prisoners in their homes that the Occupation converted into a prison, deprived at the outset of all the rights that human beings are entitled to because they are human. Forty years during which Israeli children are educated in racism of the type that has been unknown in the civilized world for decades. Forty years during which they have learned to hate the neighbours just because they are neighbours, to fear them without knowing them, to see a quarter of the citizens of the State as a demographic danger and an enemy within, and to relate to the residents of the ghettos created by the policy of occupation as a problem that must be solved." 13/6/2007
Analysis: Hamas`s Gaza and Fatah`s West BankKHALED ABU TOAMEH - Jerusalem Post - ""The two-state solution has finally worked," a Palestinian journalist in the Gaza Strip commented sarcastically. "Today, all our enemies have good reason to celebrate."" 13/6/2007
Price of rejectionRan Cohen - Ynet - "The time has come to tell the truth: Israel is not engaging in peace talks in any diplomatic theater - neither the Syrian nor the Palestinian - and not because of these shallow arguments. Israel is not doing it because it lacks leadership with vision that is willing to lead the people who chose it and pay the price of peace." 13/6/2007
Possible, but not for - "Is the two-state solution still viable?" - Ed. 21 -Ghassan Khatib - " The two-state solution is still possible but time is running out. Man-made developments on the ground and internal politics in both Israel and Palestine are working against it. Based on the assumption that a Palestinian state is only possible by peaceful means, the actions of Israel and the international community are a major factor in determining its viability."12/6/2007
Targeted killing won`t bring peaceDr. Mustafa Barghouti - International Herald Tribune - " Why has Israel consistently re-kindled violence? Is it possible that our willingness to negotiate our differences is more dangerous than any military threat our beleaguered population could ever muster against the sixth most powerful military in the world? Could it be that Israel seeks to finish the systematic dispossession of Palestinians begun in 1948, when 750,000 Palestinians were driven or fled in fear from their homes and homeland? Does goading Palestinians into violence permit Israel to dodge peace negotiations, and provide it cover to continue its confiscation of Palestinian land and construction of Jewish settlements in the lands it seized in 1967? After all, "security" was the initial justification for Israel`s settlements, and "military necessity" was the pretext for the seizures of our lands.` 11/6/2007
40th Anniversary of the Six-Day WarGeorge Bisharat - San Francisco Chronicle / Znet - `international opinion has steadily solidified behind a "two state solution." Ironically, this unanimity, so laboriously assembled over decades, upholds a solution that is now impossible to achieve. Israel`s program of colonizing the West Bank has become irreversible, and the land base for a viable Palestinian state has disappeared... Israel`s colonizing juggernaut rolls ahead. There appears to be no political force capable of slowing, let alone halting, this movement...Israel mollifies the United States by engaging in the negotiation charade, exploits the continuing indeterminacy to continue colonizing the West Bank, and advances its strategic objective of permanent control over most or all of former Palestine. Like the shimmering waters of a desert mirage, the two-state solution moves just out of reach with every apparent advancing step. ` 11/6/2007
Domination, not partnershipKhaled Amayreh -- Al-Ahram -- "...what Israel is saying in real terms is that it has the right to kill Palestinian civilians with impunity and carry out any military operation it sees fit, regardless of whether the Palestinians maintain a ceasefire or not"11/6/2007
40 years of lies: "Believe It or Not" in the Middle EastRobert Fisk - The Independent/Counterpunch - General de Gaulle moved into political isolation by telling a press conference several months later that Israel "is organising, on the territories which it has taken, an occupation which cannot work without oppression, repression and expulsions - and if there appears resistance to this, it will in turn be called `terrorism`". This accurate prophecy earned reproof from the Nouvel Observateur - to the effect that "Gaullist France has no friends; it has only interests". And Believe It or Not, with the exception of one small Christian paper, there was in the entire French press one missing word: Palestinians.10/6/2007
40 Bad Years Uri Avnery - - International opinion can express itself in a thousand different ways. It influences the policy of governments and civil society. The attempts at boycott are only an early symptom. (...) Every human being wants to be proud of his country. The occupation deprives us of this.9/6/2007
Moving toward moment of truthJerome Segal - Ynet - Rather than allowing the next Palestinian elections to be about personalities, or corruption, or economics or good government, Israel should strive to have them be about peace and the two-state solution. (...) The strategy that is needed requires going in the direction that Condoleezza Rice advocates, but going much further. (...) The next Palestinian elections should be a referendum on an end-of-conflict offer from Israel. 9/6/2007
Palestinian infighting may be a bigger threat than US-Israeli meddlingThe Daily Star (Lebanon)-"This is not to overlook the role that foreign forces, particularly Israel and the United States, have played in creating conditions in which internal violence has flourished in the Palestinian territories. Since Hamas came to power following the free and fair parliamentary elections of January 2006, the Israelis and the Americans have openly and actively sought to play the two factions against one another by isolating and undermining the elected Palestinian government, imposing (and convincing other nations to honor) a crippling financial embargo, and withholding badly needed tax revenues that rightfully belong to the Palestinian Authority."8/6/2007
U.S. on a disastrous course Marda Dunsky -Chicago Tribune-"The effect of U.S. policy on the Israeli-Palestinian dynamic also has dampened prospects for a just and sustainable peace. This despite the United States` self-described role of "honest broker" in the conflict and its repeated, though mostly failed, attempts at diplomacy."8/6/2007
New UN map charts West Bank realitySharmila Devi and Harvey Morris - Financial Times - "The impact of Israeli civilian and military infrastructure is to render 40 per cent of the territory off-limits to Palestinians. The rest of the territory, including main centres such as Nablus and Jericho, is split into isolated spots. Movement between them is restricted by 450 roadblocks and 70 manned checkpoints. The UN mapmakers focused on land set aside for Jewish settlements, roads reserved for settler access, the West Bank separation barrier, closed military areas and nature reserves. What remains is an area of habitation remarkably close to territory set aside for the Palestinian population in Israeli security proposals dating back to postwar 1967."5/6/2007
An offer that cannot be refused Saeb Erekat - Haaretz - "Arab plan could be last chance for peace" - "The Arab Peace Initiative offers a historic vision and a historic compromise: In exchange for an end to 40 years of Israeli occupation, full withdrawal to the June 4, 1967 borders, establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, and a just and agreed-upon solution to the plight of the Palestinian refugees based on UN Resolution 194, Arab states would provide a comprehensive and sustainable peace based on ending the conflict, achieving regional stability and security for all, and full acceptance and normalization of relations with Israel. "5/6/2007
Endless Occupation? The Nation Editorial - "to abandon the two-state solution, as a way out of today`s seemingly insuperable barriers, doesn`t so much answer questions as raise new ones. The chief difficulty is perhaps in popular reception, from both Israelis and Palestinians: While a large percentage of Israelis--anywhere from 40 to 60 percent, depending on when and how they`re asked--support a two-state solution, 95 percent or more viscerally, emphatically oppose both the binational and secular democratic models. The mainstream of the Palestinian liberation movement, for its part, has for three decades supported the two-state solution, and even the Islamist Hamas has indicated that it would acquiesce. As with the Israelis, there`s no real political constituency in the Palestinian community for the binational or democratic model, just support from a certain, if growing, number of intellectuals...From the Palestinian point of view--and from that of anyone who supports minimal standards of human rights--it`s inevitable that if the two-state solution fades, the calls for inclusion on fully equal terms in one state will grow. "4/6/2007
For a Secular Democratic State Saree Makdisi - the Nation - ..."having unified all of what used to be Palestine (albeit into one profoundly divided space) without having overcome the Palestinian people`s will to resist, Zionism has run its course. And in so doing, it has terminated any possibility of a two-state solution. There remains but one possibility for peace with justice: truth, reconciliation--and a single democratic and secular state, a state in which there will be no "natives" and "settlers" and all will be equal; a state for all its citizens irrespective of their religious affiliation. Such a state has always, by definition, been anathema for Zionism. But for the people of Israel and Palestine, it is the only way out."4/6/2007
`Rockets of futility`?Hasan Abu Nimah -- EI -- "When Abbas was elected to office in January 2005, he managed to secure the agreement of all the Palestinian factions, including Hamas, to a total truce. Israel never recognised that Palestinian unilateral decision to halt violence. Referring to it as an arrangement amongst the Palestinians, Israel continued its own provocations in the various forms of daily arrests, assassinations, house demolition and incursions, on top of the siege and the occupation. […] When a recent truce was arranged for Gaza, this time between both Palestinians and Israelis, Israeli attacks continued in the West Bank, as if the West Bank were a different planet, and as if the Palestinians there were a different species"4/6/2007
Living the lives of othersAkiva Eldar -- Haaretz -- "Forty years ago today was the last day the citizens of Israel were a free people in their own land. It was the last day we lived here without living other people`s lives. After that day, we started paying the price for living the lives of others..And so, our victory on the battlefield - which was meant to make our lives better and safer - is making both our lives and the lives of others miserable. "4/6/2007
Equality, Not Zionism, Will Save IsraelAnthony Loewenstein - Rottless Cosmopolitan - " As an atheist Jew, I struggle with my identity only so far as I wonder how my religion has been hijacked by a militaristic and exclusionary ideology. Israelis are not Nazis, but I wonder, as Harvard academic Sara Roy, herself a child of Holocaust survivors, put it , how have children of the Holocaust ended up as brutal occupiers and oppressors? And why do so few Jews speak out against it?"12/6/2007
On generals and admiralsUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - It seems that no one has any chance of winning an election in Israel until they have proven, beyond any reasonable doubt, that they are a total failure. So it is quite possible that in the next general elections there will be only two candidates for the job of Prime Minister: Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak.3/6/2007
The state of ZionismBrian Klug - The Nation - "Could it be that Zionism, "whose aim was the return of the Jewish people to the stage of history," is caught in a time warp? Could Israel, under its influence, be continually undermining itself, while millions of Jews who have no say in the matter are implicated in its policies?" 3/6/2007
British Professors Approve Israel Boycott - Move Slammed by Jewish Activists, but Anti-Zionist Says He’s Been BlackballedRebecca Spence - Forward - [remarkably, the American Jewish Daily includes in its report on the boycott the experience with Ben Gurion University of professor Yigal Arens - ed.]2/6/2007
The Case for Shared SovereigntyMeron Benvenisti - The Nation - "...This land has witnessed the emergence of a geography, an economy and demographic, and social processes that no longer enable a division into two separate sovereignties. The alternatives are simple and cruel: Either one people controls the other, dooming them both to eternal violence, or else a way must be found to live in a partnership based on shared sovereignty."2/6/2007
Let`s recognise our failure: we are complicit in the escalation of violenceLuisa Morgantini-Arab Media Inernet Network-"We`ve been repeating the slogan "Two peoples and two states" since 1980, but only one state exist, the Israeli state, an occupying power without security. On the other side is an occupied people, humiliated and without freedom...The military occupation kills every hypothesis of security, every hope of peace, for both the Palestinians and the Israelis."1/6/2007
Destroying HamasKhaled Amayreh-Al Ahram -This has brought the number of Palestinian activists imprisoned to date to more than 11,000, including more than 5,000 Hamas leaders and activists. ..The detainees included professor Nassereddin Al-Shaaer, minister of education and former deputy-prime minister of the Palestinian Authority. Al-Shaaer is a moderate who supports the two-state solution and has never been accused of involvement in resistance activities.1/6/2007
U.S. raps Israel for not easing conditions in PAShmuel Rosner and Aluf Benn-Haaretz-"It`s ridiculous to argue that there isn`t a single roadblock that can be removed," 1/6/2007
Cheney, Israel and IranGARY LEUPP-Counterpunch-"Cheney stated on Don Imus` MSNBC show in January 2005 that "Given the fact that Iran has a stated policy that their objective is the destruction of Israel, the Israelis might well decide to act first, and let the rest of the world worry about cleaning up the diplomatic mess afterwards." 1/6/2007
The Six-Day War, 40 Years Later Jon Wiener - The Nation - ""Rabin was chief of staff. He felt it was the right moment to punish Jordan, to take the West Bank away from Jordan, but not God forbid, to control it--instead to give the Palestinians independence.""6/6/2007
Sooner or later, this occupation will end Ghassan Khatib - Bitter Lemons - "Unfortunately, the appetite for settlement expansion and the colonization of the West Bank proved stronger in the Israeli mentality than the appetite for peace. It was for that reason that an Israeli terrorist assassinated an Israeli leader, Yitzak Rabin, who had given the impression that he was about to give up most of the occupied territories in return for peace." 6/6/2007
We should support the Arab peace offerRabbi Dr Andrew Goldstein - The Guardian - "Today the Gaza Strip is the world`s largest prison, with 1.4 million Palestinians trapped inside, deprived of the freedom to travel or trade, and with little hope for the future."6/6/2007
Anniversary of 1967 War Highlights Lasting Divisions ISABEL KERSHNER - NY Times - "Conflicting ideologies and internal divisions came to the forefront across Israel and the Palestinian territories as the meaning of the anniversary was debated."6/6/2007
Hamas` Shock and Awe Sam Bahour- Ramallah Online - "Israel maintained its hypocritical posture of the past 10 years -- talking peace while at the same time destroying any chances for a peaceful settlement."20/6/2007
Q&A: Palestinian embargo Martin Patience - BBC Online - "Israel refuses to hand over any of the tax customs it collects on behalf of the Palestinians to the Hamas administration." 20/6/2007
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