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Commentary

TitleDescriptionDate
Abbas`s gambleAl-Ahram - "The Palestinian president wants to push ahead with fresh elections, but it`s unlikely to happen. Khaled Amayreh writes from Hebron"31/7/2007
Barghuothi: Israeli claims concerning the peace initiative are simply deceivingIMEMC - "Dr. Mustafa Al-Barghuothi the general secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative faction confirmed today that the Israeli allegations of the peace initiative are simply deceiving. Adding, it is just another way of by passing the final status of peace negotiations with the Palestinians."31/7/2007
Bush`s Real Agenda in Palestine Ramzy Baroud - Znet - "The Hamas government crackdown on Mohamed Dahlan`s corrupt security forces and affiliated gangs in the Gaza Strip in June appears to mark a turning point in the Bush administration`s foreign policy regarding Palestine and Israel. The supposed shift, however, is nothing but a continuation of Washington`s efforts to stifle Palestinian democracy, to widen the chasm separating Hamas and Fatah, and to ensure the success of the Israeli project, which is focussed on colonising and annexing what remains of Palestinian land. "31/7/2007
Two pieces pertaining to the Blair`s `mission`(1) "US state department `funding Blair`" - Mark Seddon - Aljazeera; (2) "Brown to appoint his own Middle East envoy" - Ian Black - the Guardian - " Gordon Brown is to appoint his own Middle East envoy, opening up the possibility of a clash with the work of Tony Blair, who is now representing the international "Quartet" - the US, EU, UN and Russia... " His [Blair`s] spokesman refused to confirm or deny reports that the mission was being financed wholly by the US."31/7/2007
European Hypocrisy: A Palestinian ViewSaifedean Ammous - Rootless Cosmopolitan - "A Palestinian town has a wall built surrounding it from all sides, making it impossible for previously prosperous farmers to access their land, patients to reach their doctors and children to reach their schools. Naturally, the town is devastated. That’s when Europeans send in their conscience - assuaging, smugness-propping aid “experts” to “save” the town, in the process relieving Israel from having to deal with the consequences of its crimes. They provide the farmers with food instead of the food they could have produced themselves, and proceed with projects to teach Palestinians “alternative industries”, “new business models”, “good local governance”, “participatory development”, “creative educational techniques” .."31/7/2007
Turning Palestine`s Most Valuable Natural Resource into a Political Tool -- Gaza was a Gas for BlairArthur Neslen -- CounterPunch -- "It`s always nice to start a new job with a trick up your sleeve, and the Middle East`s new envoy Tony Blair could be forgiven for thinking he has just that. In the near future, a $4bn deal to exploit Gaza`s offshore gas reserves will be signed by the Israeli government, Britain`s BG Group (BG), the Palestinian Authority (PA)`s investment arm, the Palestine Investment Fund (PIF) and Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) […] Some reports suggest that up to three-quarters of the $4bn of revenue raised might not even end up in Palestinian hands at all. […] Ziad Thatha, the Hamas economic minister, had previously denounced the deal as ‘an act of theft’"30/7/2007
The cold war between Washington and TehranNoam Chomsky - Znet - The U.S. invasion of Iraq virtually instructed Iran to develop a nuclear deterrent. Israeli military historian Martin van Creveld writes that after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, “had the Iranians not tried to build nuclear weapons, they would be crazy.” The message of the invasion, loud and clear, was that the U.S. will attack at will, as long as the target is defenseless. Now Iran is ringed by U.S. military forces in Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkey and the Persian Gulf and close by are nuclear-armed Pakistan and particularly Israel, the regional superpower, thanks to U.S. support.29/7/2007
A warning to TonyUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - the Gaza "separation" was merely a performance, melodrama at its best, directed by Sharon and the chiefs of the settlers, the army and the police. Many tears, many embraces, many sham battles. This week the performance was again in the media, with a huge propaganda machine trying to show how immense was the pain, how the poor evacuees have remained without villas, how many more billions will still be needed. The intended conclusion: it is impossible to dismantle the settlements in the West Bank.29/7/2007
Our apartheid stateYossi Paritzky - Ynet - In a democratic country, all citizens regardless of race, religious, gender or origin are entitled to equality when it comes to national assets, services and resources, and all citizens regardless of race, religion, gender or origin are equally obligated by national duties.28/7/2007
Israel Launches a New Peace Initiative Sergio Yahni - alternativenews.org - Israel is proposing to delay, yet again, issues which were delayed for thirteen years already, since September 1993.28/7/2007
Peace gamesDina Ezzat - Al-Ahram - According to one informed Egyptian diplomat, "at this stage and maybe for some years to come Israel is only willing to talk about ways to administer its occupation of the Palestinian territories and not about potential political solutions to terminate this occupation." Speaking on conditions of anonymity, he added that the two Arab foreign ministers were basically going to Israel with a message for Israeli public opinion and the US administration rather than on a mission almost-impossible to commit the Israeli government to start final status talks on the Palestinian track.28/7/2007
Former Minister of Information Mustafa Barghouti blames international pressure for failed unity governmentMa`an - "The former minister of information to the now-disbanded unity government, Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, blamed what he called regional and international powers for the Palestinian internal conflict."27/7/2007
When the Poison Spreads Joharah Baker - MIFTAH - "The unfortunate incidents in Palestinian universities, which up until now, have been a safe haven for education, culture and civilization, clearly illustrate what path our leaders have chosen to take. What is worse, these clashes will pale in comparison to what could be in store for us if our leaders do not come to their senses and halt this counterproductive war of words. Our leaders have always been aware of Israel’s policy of divide and conquer and they have often warned of the dangers of such an approach. Still, here we are, clawing at each other’s throats and playing straight into Israel’s hands." 27/7/2007
How Truth Slips Down the Memory HoleJohn Pilger - Dissident Voice - "One of the leaders of demonstrations in Gaza calling for the release of the BBC reporter Alan Johnston was a Palestinian news cameraman, Imad Ghanem. On 5 July, he was shot by Israeli soldiers as he filmed them invading Gaza. A Reuters video shows bullets hitting his body as he lay on the ground. An ambulance trying to reach him was also attacked. The Israelis described him as a “legitimate target.” The International Federation of Journalists called the shooting “a vicious and brutal example of deliberate targeting of a journalist”. At the age of 21, he has had both legs amputated." 27/7/2007
Palestinian leader talks of pact ‘within a year’ as Bush urges peace talks on James Hider - The Times - "“We hope to have a comprehensive peace with the Israelis within a year or even less than that,” he said. His comments came after he told the Israeli press that the Palestinians were under intense pressure to strike a pact before President Bush leaves the White House. Mr Abbas said that Mr Bush had told him he was determined to broker a deal."27/7/2007
No land, by law, to the ArabsMichelangelo Cocco - Axis of Logic - "On a first reading, the Knesset passed a rule by 64 "yes" votes and 16 "no" votes (only one abstention) ­ put forward by the right along with Ehud Olmert`s Kadima ­ which bans non-Jews from purchasing lands belonging to the Jewish National Fund, an institution which controls 13% of Israeli territory." 26/7/2007
Hamas leader claims UK has widened linksConal Urquhart - The Guardian - "The British government has expanded its links with Hamas in recent weeks, according to the militant organisation`s leader, Ismail Haniyeh. Mr Haniyeh, who was the Palestinian prime minister until last month, claims that contacts between Hamas and Britain have increased since they worked together to free Alan Johnston, the BBC Gaza correspondent, who was held captive in Gaza for almost four months." 26/7/2007
The ivory tower behind the Apartheid WallMargaret Aziza Pappano - The Electronic Intifada - "I am certain that "an open exchange of ideas" on university campuses will lead to a lot of different and creative suggestions for considering how we, as academics, can contribute towards improving the plight of our Palestinian colleagues and supporting our Israeli colleagues in doing the same. But let`s not condemn the boycott out of hand before that discussion has taken place." 26/7/2007
Palestine wrecked : Behind the Fatah-Hamas confrontationAlain Gresh - Le Monde diplomatique - "Is there any way to halt the wreck of Palestine? It would help if, just for once, US and EU statements were followed by action and the international community imposed the creation of a Palestinian state. In June 2002 even President George Bush agreed to peace founded on two states living side by side. But nothing has been done since." 26/7/2007
Blair`s first trip as Mideast envoy met with support, skepticismTom A. Peter - Christian Science Monitor - "Palestinians, too, have their concerns about whether Blair will prove effectual, reports The New York Times. Many wonder if, as an envoy, he will have the power to seriously affect the peace process." 25/7/2007
Arab leaders to visit for historic talksHERB KEINON - J-lem Post - "Regev, meanwhile, said that the diplomats` arrival was very significant." 25/7/2007
Blair sees "possibility" of success in Middle EastSteven Erlanger - IHT - "Careful contact by Blair with Hamas through independent intermediaries is likely, but impolitic now, and Hamas officials have been complaining about "unfairness" and "double standards."" 25/7/2007
Bush`s Israeli-Palestinian agenda bitterlemons.org - Ed. 27. Four articles on the subject: Notable only for a lack of imagination - by Ghassan Khatib ; All the right things- by Yossi Alpher ; Turning theory into reality - by Daoud Kuttab ; Olmert`s convenient timetable - by Aluf Benn 24/7/2007
Wanted, for crimes against the stateInterview of Azmi Bishara, by Rory McCarthy - the Guardian - "Bishara denies the accusations brought against him, and argues that the real reason for the investigation is not his actions during the Lebanon war but his long-held and widely published call for a fundamental change to the nature of the Israeli state: his belief that the country should no longer be a Jewish state but must protect Arab rights and become a "state for all its citizens". "They want to condemn the whole political ideology and put it as if it`s a cover for another kind of activity, which is not true," he says. "24/7/2007
The ongoing violent occupationSonja Karkar -- IMEU -- "Unbelievably, little is being said about the Occupation in the current political drama. Instead, we are getting news reports of what Fatah said, what Hamas said, what Israel is prepared to offer or not offer and the usual farcical allusions to peace talks from the US"23/7/2007
The Threat of American Public Opinion -- Israel`s Dirty Little SecretAnthony DiMaggio -- CounterPunch -- "While it is true that the American public has often shown strong sympathy for Israel, such sympathy is nowhere near as supportive of Israel as American propagandists would have us believe" 23/7/2007
Israel releases 256 prisonersIMEMC - Israel is releasing 256 Palestinian prisoners - in a move calculated to bolster the government of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.21/7/2007
Israel and Palestine: an invitation to negotiateDaniel Levy - Guardian - [Bush`s] speech represented more of the same failed policies with even less chance of success. (...) What I propose is a jujitsu move that leverages the expectations created by the speech toward achieving a constructive, if unlikely, outcome.21/7/2007
High Time of Cynicism Adam Keller - The Other Israel - The governments of Israel and the United States are already for years on record as supporting a Two State Solution — and nevertheless Israel`s actual military occupation of the territory, now entering upon its forty-first year, has rarely seemed so far from coming to an end. 21/7/2007
Bush`s credibility deficit (Palestinian reactions to the proposed `Regional Conference`)Khaled Amayreh - Al-Ahram - (...) the kind of state the Palestinians have in mind would include 100 per cent of the occupied territories, with East Jerusalem as its capital. They are unlikely to trade that vision for a territorially disconnected state lacking sovereignty and authority, whatever the blandishments offered in the remaining months of the Bush presidency.21/7/2007
`I think you`d have to find some way to talk to Hamas`AP - Ynet - Former Secretary of State Powell says in radio interview 21/7/2007
Yes, Bush is naked, what of it?Tony Karon - TomDispatch - The U.S. demanded that, prior to any progress in the "peace process," President Arafat would have to cede control over Palestinian finances and security forces to the democratically elected legislature as well as the cabinet and prime minister it picked. Then Arafat died and the U.S.-favored Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas became President. Sharon promptly declared Abbas too weak for peace, a prophecy he helped fulfill by showing the Palestinian electorate that Abbas would achieve nothing through patient, plaintive conversations with Washington. Still, those dopey Americans didn`t seem to get the joke; so, perversely, they pushed for Palestinian elections, which Hamas duly won.20/7/2007
Overcoming the conspiracy against PalestineAli Abunimah - EI - "Since the Oslo accords were signed, Israel has done all it can to undermine the prospects of Palestinian statehood, consistently hobbling the Palestinian Authority. What lies behind Israel`s determination to prop up Abbas` quisling leadership? Why not just let it all collapse and declare victory?" 19/7/2007
Abbas asks PLO to call elections Agencies - Al Jazeera - "The president repeated his charge that Hamas had carried out a coup against him." 19/7/2007
Who wants to be a sucker?Ariella Ringel Hoffman - Ynet - "A significant amount of these processes also stem from a severe credibility crisis between the leadership (primarily the political leadership, but also the military leadership) and the citizens. 19/7/2007
Second Wave Post-Zionism and the Apartheid BacklashUri Ram - Tikkun - "There is concern that the retirement of Aharon Barak from the Presidency of the Supreme Court in 2006 will be remembered as a historic turning point in which the torch of justice in Israel, as feeble as it is, has passed not from one liberal President to his successor (Judge Dorit Beinish), but rather from the hands of judicial liberals to the hands of judicial nationalists." 19/7/2007
U.N. Warns of Possible Gaza Collapse STEVEN ERLANGER - NY Times - "Gaza is full of vegetables and flowers grown for export markets that are being sold cheaply or are rotting." 19/7/2007
Bush speech criticized for not fulfilling PA funding pledgeHILARY LEILA KRIEGER - J-lem Post - ""One of the hallmarks of this administration has been fantasy trumping reality," he said, adding that the whole speech suffered from such delusions."18/7/2007
Israel must release more prisoners, Fatah official saysAli Waked - Ynet - ""It is true that we welcome any prisoners release and hope it will facilitate the release of more prisoners, but the truth is that we had hoped for a larger number. We hoped that those slated for release would be of higher quality"" 18/7/2007
Exchange of letters with Roni Ben Efrat about "Palestine in suicide""Despite the military power you mention, the state cannot protect its own citizens from Qassams or Katyushas. Nuclear bombs do not provide social cohesion, without which a nation under pressure cannot survive. In a word, the state is in danger of collapse from within."17/7/2007
Hollow land: Architecture as military strategyRon Jacobs - Counterpunch - The recent assumption of control in Gaza by Hamas may be more illusory than US media has represented it as. As Eyal Weizman makes clear in is fascinating and detailed book Hollow Land: Israel`s Architecture of Occupation, there are innumerable and often invisible security apparatus set up across the region that ensure almost absolute control of the region`s surface, airspace and subterranean acreage by the IDF and other Israeli security forces. 15/7/2007
Pardon does not seem to be part of the Israeli lexiconDaoud Kuttab - The Jordan Times - " Here is a country that had been at peace with Israel for decades and had actually signed a treaty 13 years earlier. Here are men who have already spent 17 years of their lives for an act committed during a state of war. Why weren’t these Jordanians released on the day of the signing of the peace treaty? Why were they held for so long since? What is it about Israel that makes it so unwilling to pardon? " 14/7/2007
The weapon of the weakGhada Karmi - Bitterlemons International - "Boycotts are the weapons of the weak in conflicts. Their chief importance lies in their ability to raise public awareness and arouse disapproval. Yet, going by the paranoid reaction to the academic boycott of Israel, it might as well have been a declaration of nuclear war." [OM editor`s note: just because Britain is not being boycotted does not mean that Israel should get a free pass. The point here is to help the Palestinians, not to eliminate hypocrisy from the world. Moreover, I assume that Ghada Karmi would support any proposal to boycott British universities until Britain`s criminal leaders are brought to justice and that country rejoins the civilized world]13/7/2007
Who will save Palestine?Sonja Karkar - The Electronic Intifada - These days the Hamas acting government and Fatah "emergency government" are sapping the interest from any news story that might report on Israel`s criminal acts inside Gaza and the West Bank. Both these Palestinian enclaves are still under Israel`s military occupation -- one shunned and isolated by political intrigue and the other apparently working at cooperating with the occupier13/7/2007
Peace camp in the balance Ghassan Khatib - bitterlemons.org - " Abbas needs a serious peace process of the kind that immediately stops the consolidation of the occupation and tangibly can be seen to lead to the achievement of the legitimate and just aspirations of the Palestinian people of freedom, independence and statehood. Only this way will the public`s confidence in the peace camp be restored "17/7/2007
The Israeli police stateAvigail Abarbanel -- EI -- "Israel is not a nice country. It is a powerful police state founded on pathological paranoia with only a veneer of civility, carefully crafted and maintained for the consumption of those who still believe in the myth of Israeli democracy. Mainstream Israelis live in a fictional bubble that separates them from reality. If there is a democracy there, only this select group enjoys it"12/7/2007
Palestine in SuicideRoni Ben Efrat - Challenge - "Defeating the Fatah apparatus of Muhammad Dahlan, the Hamas fighters committed war crimes, aimed at warning other potential nests of opposition. The surviving Dahlan loyalists escaped from the Strip with Israel`s assistance. Israelis take a grim satisfaction in the new Palestinian tragedy, but in this they remain as short-sighted as ever: their country`s national/colonial enterprise cannot long survive without a viable Palestinian counterpart that accepts its legitimacy. "12/7/2007
Re: Edward Corrigan`s Candidacy in London-Fanshawe [Canada]Prof. M. Neuman - "Mr. Corrigan deplores current Israeli policies and champions the Palestinians as they resist the unbearable conditions to which they are subjected. I suspect that his rejection has much to do with supposed offences to `the Jewish community`. .. There is no ` Jewish community`, and therefore none to be offended by Mr. Corrigan`s views. There are only Jewish Canadians, among them myself. Since I share Mr. Corrigan`s views, they do not offend me, nor do they offend the many other Jews who feel as I do. Why then is he rejected? I believe it is because certain `Jewish` organizations falsely represent themselves as the voice of Canadian Jews. This is worse than an illusion; it is a usurpation. Canadian Jews never deputized these organizations or elected their officials to represent the entire Jewish population of Canada."11/7/2007
Answer to Rosenfeld: Jewish History, Anti-Semitism, and the Challenge of Zionism Mark Braverman, Ph.D.- JewishCoscience.org- "...we must all – growing numbers of people of conscience, Jew and non-Jew alike – let our voices be heard in response to him and the attitudes he exemplifies. To remain silent is to be complicit in one of the most dangerous acts of madness of our time. ..I close with this passage from the preface to Roy`s recent book, Failing Peace: Gaza and the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict. ` Why is it so difficult, even impossible to accommodate Palestinians into the Jewish understanding of history? Why is there so little perceived need to question our own narrative (for want of a better word) and the one we have given others, preferring instead to embrace beliefs and sentiments that remain inert? Why is it virtually mandatory among Jewish intellectuals to oppose racism, repression and injustice almost anywhere in the world and unacceptable, indeed, for some, an act of heresy – to oppose it when Israel is the oppressor? For many among us history and memory adhere to preclude reflection and tolerance, where `the enemy become, not people to be defeated, but embodiments of an idea to be exterminated.` "11/7/2007
Statement: One country, one statePress release: "a group of scholars, journalists and activists met in Madrid, at the invitation of Universidad Complutense de Madrid, for five days of intensive discussion on alternatives to this ongoing impasse, framed by their belief that a democratic state in all of historic Palestine provides the only moral and practical basis for a just, sustainable peace."11/7/2007
Mideast Policy in a Fantasy WorldJackson Diehl - Washington Post - "I asked a senior Israeli official to explain what the prime minister thought would be the result of his policy -- quickly embraced by the Bush administration -- of isolating the Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip. His answer: As conditions worsened, Palestinians in Gaza would grow steadily more disgruntled with Hamas. Eventually, they would turn on their rulers, and the rump Islamic state that threatens to take hold between Egypt and Israel would collapse. Fatah -- which Israel and the United States are supporting in the West Bank -- would regain control. "11/7/2007
Guide to the Perplexed for Friends in the International Peace MovementReuven Kaminer - Interesting ideas of a veteran activist on how to tackle ideologically the current Hamas-Fatah conflict11/7/2007
Israel and the culture of impunityby Hala Khoury-Bisharat, Advocate, Adjunct Lecturer in International Criminal Law at Israeli Law Schools and Board Member of Adalah - Adalah`s Newsletter - June 2007 - download pdf 97KB - "The heart of the problem lies precisely in a military justice system that avoids serious and impartial inquiries"10/7/2007
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Compromised and Vulnerable: The New West Bank Palestinian StateJohn Ripton - the Counterpunch - "Palestinian government in the West Bank without addressing the the causes of the violence that brought Hamas to control of Gaza will not work. It will be a weak government at best. Israel will continue its military presence in the West Bank to protect Jewish condominium settlements there and access to them. This virtually assures that a considerable number of the several hundred checkpoints it has established in the West Bank will be maintained. Hamas may control Gaza but it will have no state and no control of its borders and Israeli checkpoints. ..Beyond the segmentation of the West Bank territory as Jewish settlements remain, such a Palestinian government would be fatally compromised."10/7/2007
Global Jihad splits into wars between Muslims: A new enemy, the ShiaAlain Gresh - Le Monde diplomatique / ZNET - `Post 9/11, the world was stupefied to discover that the Afghan "freedom fighters", once lauded by President Ronald Reagan for their resistance to the Soviet empire of evil, had a very specific idea of "freedom". Twenty years after its blindness helped create al-Qaida, has the United States learned its lesson? The answer, if we are to believe the celebrated American journalist Seymour Hersh, is no: the US has brought together a coalition of moderate Sunni Arab states to support all the anti-Iranian and anti-Shia movements, even the most "radical" `9/7/2007
Mark Perry (& others): Why an EU That Knows Better Apes the U.S. on HamasTony Karon & Mark Perry - Rootless Cosmopolitan - "In the end, the Europeans might well know the Americans are wrong (that a boycott of Hamas will not work, that the war in Iraq was a blood-filled waste, that a confrontation with Iran will lead to a military debacle, that Afghanistan is lost … ), indeed, might well be convinced that the American program cannot and will not succeed, ever, anywhere. They might know it now and might someday in the future say that they told us so. Even so, the nation’s of Europe, that grand alliance, will never splinter, as it nearly did in February of 2003. For Europe ’s calculation is quite like Churchill’s: they would rather be wrong with us, than right alone. "9/7/2007
The Palestinian Left: A Lost Opportunity for RelevanceRamzy Baroud -- ZNet -- "Following the elections, the movement’s [Hamas] leadership insisted on governing in accordance to the norms of democracy and civil society, and quickly issued calls for all Palestinian groups to join in forming a unity government. Fatah refused. No surprises there. But why did the so-called Palestinian Left refuse to take part in the government as well – despite their insignificant popularity among Palestinians — an act that could’ve served Palestinian democracy in more ways than one?" 9/7/2007
Our second biggest mistake in the Middle East Alaister Crooke - London Review of Books - The origins of the Hamas action in Gaza lie in the reaction of the international community, and of Fatah, to Hamas’s overwhelming victory in the parliamentary elections of January 2006. Fatah, Yasir Arafat’s movement, saw itself as the founder of the Palestinian Authority; it believed it was the natural party of government; and it had fought a long battle with Arab neighbours to establish itself as synonymous with the PLO, and therefore, implicitly, as the ‘sole representative of the Palestinian people’. Some within Fatah were unable to come to terms with their loss of power, or to reconcile themselves to the claim that, on the basis of the election result, an Islamist party best represented the views of the Palestinian people.8/7/2007
An Israeli love storyUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - NOT SINCE the resurrection of Jesus Christ has there been such a miracle: a dead body buried in a cave has come to life again. The "Jordanian Option" gave up its ghost almost twenty years ago. Even before that, it never was very healthy. But in 1988, some time after the outbreak of the first intifada, it was officially buried by none other than His Majesty, King Hussein, himself. He announced that he had given up any claim to the West Bank.8/7/2007
Report: Syria removing military checkpoints in GolanJerusalem Post - Israel is "concerned" that Syria`s decision to remove military checkpoints on the road to Kuneitra on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights could be a preparation for war, the Arab newspaper Al-Hiyat al-Jedidia reported Saturday.7/7/2007
Give Hamas a chanceDror Zeevi - Yediot Aharonot - Hamas is evidently in distress and its leaders are signaling that they would be prepared for a compromise in exchange for opening crossings and transferring supplies. Sources close to Hamas insist that there is a willingness among Hamas leaders to advance a long-term ceasefire. Israel is currently enjoying clear tactical superiority and it appears that it is holding the entire deck of cards. The easy solution is to lead the area to almost total collapse, or alternately, as army officers and Knesset members have been saying recently, "to allow them to keep their heads above water." However, it would be a mistake to boycott Hamas. The rational mode of action would be to listen to what its leadership has to say and to try and reach an agreement with them. 7/7/2007
Stonewalling in RamallahKhaled Amayreh - Al-Ahram - The Ramallah-based Palestinian "emergency government" continues to adamantly reject any rapprochement with Hamas, despite growing calls to this effect by a number of key Arab and Muslim countries as well as Palestinian intellectuals.7/7/2007
Keeping on a steady course to ApartheidJeff Halper - ICAHD - Israel’s end-game, explicit and unruffled by the recent turmoil on the ground, is clear. It is laid out in detail in the Convergence Plan” Olmert presented to a joint session of the American Congress in May, 2006, based on Sharon’s plan of “cantonization.” With minor adjustments, it constitutes the plan Israel’s Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is quietly advancing with the help of Condoleezza Rice, and it is accepted in its entirety by Ehud Barak, the newly-elected leader of the Labor Party, who played a key role in its formulation. 7/7/2007
Israel Seems Determined to Dig its own GravePatrick Seale - Al-Hayat - The Hamas victory in Gaza is surely a clear signal that an Israeli change of direction is urgently needed. All Israel`s efforts to break the democratically-elected Hamas government have failed. Its policies of boycott, siege and starvation, of bombing and shelling, of extra-judicial murder, of withholding tax revenues, of the systematic destruction of Palestinian institutions have served only to create a time-bomb of hunger, despair and defiance on Israel`s flank. Yet Israel appears to have learned nothing. Instead of seeking peace with the Arabs - instead of seizing their outstretched hand - it persists in rejecting all peace overtures.7/7/2007
Subverting democracyJoseph Massad - Electronic Intifada - The pro-coup position adopted by many of the Oslo secular intellectuals towards Palestinian democracy is indeed transforming Palestinian secularists into the "darkest force" in Palestinian history in decades. What we are witnessing is nothing less than the overall collapse of Palestinian secular example of resistance to the Israeli occupation.6/7/2007
Barghouthi may be the man Palestine needsLinda Heard - Znet - Abbas did not enjoy the support of Yasser Arafat and is not supported by his people. Interestingly, Abbas appears to be aware of his own shortcomings and is apparently set to ask Israel to release Marwan Barghouthi - arguably the one man who could reunite Palestinians of all factions.6/7/2007
Slouching toward a Palestinian holocaustRichard Falk - Znet - There is little doubt that the Nazi Holocaust was as close to unconditional evil as has been revealed throughout the entire bloody history of the human species. ... Against this background, it is especially painful for me, as an American Jew, to feel compelled to portray the ongoing and intensifying abuse of the Palestinian people by Israel through a reliance on such an inflammatory metaphor as `holocaust.` 6/7/2007
The Broader Context -- Civil Strife in PalestineGary Leupp -- CounterPunch -- "The irony here is that for Israel today`s bad guys were yesterday`s good guys. Yassir Arafat […] told L`Espresso that ‘Hamas was constituted with the support of Israel. The aim was to create an organization antagonistic to the PLO. They received financing and training from Israel. They have continued to benefit from permits and authorizations, while we [in the PLO] have been limited, even to build a tomato factory’"5/7/2007
Remembering last summerAriella Ringel-Hoffman -- Second Lebanon War left new graves, deep sorrow on both sides of the border 5/7/2007
Hamas` message to world - at BBC reporter Johnston`s release Ali Waked - Ynet - (...) that it is not just an extremist movement, but rather, a movement that also knows how to be pragmatic and resolve crises. 4/7/2007
An Economist article on the boycott, and a response letter by an Israeli activist"Slamming Israel, giving Palestinians a free pass - A strangely one-sided boycott in Britain stirs global rage " - The Economist; and a response letter by Nina Mayorek, an Israeli anti-occupation activist3/7/2007
A Declaration of Independence from IsraelChris Hedges - Truthdig - "The future is ominous. Not only do Israel’s foreign policy objectives not coincide with American interests, they actively hurt them. The growing belligerence in the Middle East, the calls for an attack against Iran, the collapse of the imperial project in Iraq have all given an opening, where there was none before, to America’s rivals. It is not in Israel’s interests to ignite a regional conflict. It is not in ours. But those who have their hands on the wheel seem determ"3/7/2007
1967A landmark article by Gadi Algazi, political activist and historian. "The settlements are no added bonus to the occupation, no accident that occurred under pressure from the Messianic and nationalistic right; they are its heart and soul and its raison d’être...The far-reaching political project of the settlement movement after 1967 was not confined to dispossessing the Palestinians and taking their land; it was no less an attempt to bring about change in Israeli society – to bring it back to its roots, to make all of it, if not directly than by proxy, a militant settler society, in perpetual war with the Arab East... Stopping the settlement project is hence the most important political task of all the opponents of the occupation." 3/7/2007
London`s joy is Bethlehem`s despairCornelius Eacott -- Ma`an -- “Mr Blair likes the idea of peace. And Mr Blair likes the idea of business. Yes, indeed, Mr Blair will find willing `partners for peace` in the businessmen of the Fatah leadership”2/7/2007
Tony Blair on Work Release -- The Peace EnvoyGilad Atzmon -- CounterPunch -- "What a great day for peace enthusiasts! A new envoy to the Middle East has been appointed for the Quartet, and it`s no other than the former British PM, Tony Blair. Blair, the man who gave the Israelis the green light to flatten Beirut. Blair, the man who started an illegal war in Iraq"2/7/2007
Meet the New Goliath -- Israel is Bad for Jewish EthicsSaul Landau -- CounterPunch -- "On June 10, a group of Naturei Karta (Guardians of the City) joined a demonstration in Washington DC to protest the Israeli occupation of Palestine and of Syria`s Golan Heights. Back in October 2005, Neturei Karta leader Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss had made the group`s position clear about Israel and the Zionist movement. ‘The Zionists use the Holocaust issue to their benefit. We, Jews who perished in the Holocaust, do not use it to advance our interests. We stress that there are hundreds of thousands of Jews around the world who identify with our opposition to the Zionist ideology and who feel that Zionism is not Jewish, but a political agenda’”2/7/2007
Reconciliation stymiedKhaled Amayreh -- Al-Ahram -- Israel continues to nurture the quisling Palestinian government with a carrot in one hand and a big stick in the other2/7/2007
Imminent crises: threats and opportunitiesNoam Chomsky - Znet - The United States is a global power, and its policies should not be viewed in isolation. Going back half a century, the Eisenhower administration identified three major global problems: Indonesia, North Africa, and the Middle East—all oil producers, all Islamic. In Indonesia, the 1965 Suharto coup removed the threat of independence with a huge massacre. The “staggering mass slaughter” was greeted in the West with unconcealed euphoria and relief. Two years later, the major problem in the Middle East was resolved with Israel’s destruction of the Nasser regime, hated by the United States and Britain, which feared that secular nationalist forces might seek to direct the vast energy resources of the region to internal development.1/7/2007
Finding lessons in Gaza`s bloodshedRamzy Baroud - Znet - Palestinian leaders must learn that selling one`s political will to foreign polities for the sake of money, power or political substantiation is unforgivable in the eyes of ordinary Palestinians. After all, it`s those "ordinary" people who have stood up and confronted the awesome powers of Israel, the US and the corruption and brutality of some of their own for many decades.1/7/2007
Palestine: blood is in the airRan HaCohen - Counterpunch - The Gaza Strip is "an independent state" just like any prison cell is: a hermetically sealed cage, overpopulated by 1.3 million people; no sea port or airport; no control over its own borders, waters, or airspace; even its population database, not to mention water, food, electricity, gasoline, and medical equipment, are all strictly controlled by Israel.1/7/2007
A letter to MKs by Jonathan Ben-ArtziA letter by a well-known Israeli army refuser and pacifist to Israeli MKs (members of Parliament), after Bill allocating JNF land to Jews only passed preliminary reading - "I`d like to save you some work phrasing the new law regarding purchase of JNF lands. I hope you will be able to appreciate the help. In May 4th 1939 a law was implemented, forbidding a certain minority in a certain country from purchasing and leasing the majority`s lands in that country..."; Also, an article by Yoav Stern and Shahar Ilan in Haaretz on the subject of the Bill.22/7/2007
A Trap for FoolsUri Avnery - "As Chaim Weizmann, the prominent Zionist leader and first president of Israel, once said: "No state is given to a people on a silver platter." The Palestinians, too, will not get their state without struggle, not as baksheesh from Bush nor as a `"gesture" from Olmert. Nations achieve their freedom by political or military struggle. Every struggle, violent or non-violent, is a matter of power. And power means first of all: Unity. "22/7/2007
The Dissembling of Dennis RossTony Karon - Rootless Cosmopolitan - "The AIPAC sage lends his estimable expertise to the Bush Administration’s refusal to engage with Hamas, by parroting some alarmist myths and soothing fantasies about building Palestinian institutions while ignoring the democratically elected government for fear of giving it “legitimacy.” Uh, Dennis, legitimacy is what it got when it won the Palestinian election. And tell me, who elected this new government that the U.S. has cobbled together under Mahmoud Abbas?"22/7/2007
Symptoms of Decay in Occupied PalestineBashir Abu-Manneh - Zmag - "the closest Palestinians ever came to decolonizing the West Bank and Gaza was in the first Intifada. A whole nation struggled together then in what Edward Said called `one of the most extraordinary anti-colonial and unarmed mass insurrections in the whole history of the modern period`. It is clear that conditions are now much more difficult than they were in the 1980s. Palestinians are cut off, fragmented, politically divided, and made dispensable by Israel`s closure policy, which has diminished their political leverage and capacity to force Israeli society to pay the price of its brutal occupation. Palestinian bantustans are clearly Oslo`s doing, leaving most Palestinians stranded and demobilized. Only 5% of Palestinians actively participated in resistance against the occupation from the beginning of the second Intifada in 2000 to 2005, a measure of severe crisis and political disengagement if ever there was one."17/7/2007
Hamas` standBy Mousa Abu Marzook, the deputy of the political bureau of Hamas - LA Times - An official of the movement describes its goals for all of Palestine. "The sticking point of "recognition" has been used as a litmus test to judge Palestinians. Yet as I have said before, a state may have a right to exist, but not absolutely at the expense of other states, or more important, at the expense of millions of human individuals and their rights to justice. "17/7/2007
Still Looking Busy in the MideastTony Karon - Rootless Cosmopolitan - "In his latest effort to look busy on the Israeli-Palestinian front, President Bush has now proposed a regional conference to be chaired by Secretary of State Condi Rice, in which Israel would join its Arab neighbors at the table. But lest this sound like a peace conference, don’t be fooled. Its purpose, a U.S. official told Haaretz, will be “to review progress toward building Palestinian institutions, look for ways to support further reforms and support the effort going on right now between the parties together.” If that sounds mushy, that’s precisely the intention. It’s all about “looking busy” without actually doing anything; “bolstering” a new Palestinian regime whose purpose in Israeli and American eyes is simply to serve as a gendarmerie for Israel’s security."17/7/2007
A Stupid WarUri Avnery - `That is now finding its expression in the endless talk about "the next war", "war this summer", "a miscalculation that may bring about a war with Syria", "the inevitable attack on Iran`s nuclear installations", and so on. It is the army that determines the public discourse. And as the former Chief Rabbi of France lamented this week in Jerusalem: "Peace has become a dirty word in Israel". Almost every war is stupid. The last war was more stupid than most. The next war, if there be one, will be even stupider.`; Also, " IDF preparing for all-out war" - Haman Greenberg - YNET News 17/7/2007
Language as an Instrument of Crime. A Primer on Israeli DoublespeakRannie Amiri-- CounterPunch -- "Israeli governments have always relied on [doublespeak] to justify the expansionist nature of their state, excuse the confiscation of land and minimize the extent to which its inhabitants have been mistreated or abused" 16/7/2007
When the Crimes of the White House are Unpunishable -- Scooter Libby and Mordechai VanunuDaniel Ellsberg -- CounterPunch -- "On the day that Scooter Libby`s prison sentence was lifted by President Bush, Mordechai Vanunu was sentenced to prison, again, in Israel. In both cases, the underlying offense was the same: speaking to journalists. […] But whereas Libby had passed classified information, and Vanunu had served his earlier sentence for doing the same, in this instance Vanunu was not charged with revealing any secrets"9/7/2007
Stonewalling in RamallahKhaled Amayreh -- Al-Ahram -- Even as the Abbas government does Israel`s bidding, it is being targeted by its new patron9/7/2007
Freedom Rider: The United States of IsraelMargaret Kimberley - Black Agenda Report - The 4th of July is supposed to be a celebration of U.S. independence. But no one can honestly claim that the U.S. is independent of Israel and its immensely powerful domestic lobby. Certainly not the Congressional Black Caucus, all of whose members voted for a resolution charging Iran with "genocide" because of a deliberately misquoted statement by the Iranian president. Israel`s interests override the truth every time. The pro-Israel lobby terrorizes presidential candidates, threatening them with political death if they utter a hint of criticism of the regime. Happy Independence Day.8/7/2007
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