It is impossible to predict the future. But one can state with a degree of certainty that little good can possibly be awaiting Palestinians when their political leadership seems to value their ties with Israel more than the fate of Gaza and all of its inhabitants. An exaggeration? Hardly.
In an interview with Voice of Russia, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas replied to an ‘invitation’ by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak at the Israeli Parliament (Knesset). “If (Netanyahu) wants me to come and say the things I want to say, then I am ready to do it,” Abbas said, according to YNet and other media on November 23rd. However, he had no response to a call for unity by Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.
“Let’s have one government, one parliament and one president,” Haniyeh said in a recent speech, as quoted by Reuters. A spokesman for Hamas’ rival, Fatah, Ahmed Assaf, dismissed the call for it “included nothing new.”
Sure, Hamas and Fatah have been engaged in a terrible factional conflict that continues to undermine Palestinian national unity, and the Palestinian cause altogether. But the timing of Haniyeh’s call and Fatah’s dismissal is particularly sensitive, for Gaza is suffering its worst energy crisis since the Israeli-Egyptian siege of 2007.
For weeks, Gaza has been flooded with sewage as a result of a severe energy crisis caused mainly by Egypt’s systematic destruction of hundreds of tunnels that served as Gaza’s economic lifeline. The cheap diesel fuel which normally helps 1.8 million people survive a very harsh and relentless siege and boycott isn’t being smuggled in from the tunnels anymore. Israel has ensured that there can be no alternative to the Egyptian fuel, thus the Gaza government was forced to shut down the strip’s only power station.
Gaza has a high threshold to suffering, so for a place as poor as Gaza to be hurting, this additional agony means that the humanitarian crisis is at its worst. Even before the most recent crisis, a comprehensive UN report last year said that if no urgent action were taken, Gaza would be ‘unlivable’ by 2020. Since the report was issued in August 2012, the situation has grown much worse. Considering the sea of sewage, one would argue that Gaza is already ‘unlivable’.
But for nearly one year, many had hoped that the dramatic political changes in Egypt could in fact bode well for Palestinians in general and Gaza in particular. Gaza was still bleeding from Israel’s so-called Operation Cast lead – the 22-day war of 2008-9 that killed over 1,400 Palestinians and wounded over 5,500 more. The war had destroyed much of Gaza’s poor infrastructure, and the siege made a complete recovery impossible.
Then there was the war of November 2012 – eight days of fighting that killed 167 Palestinians and six Israelis. As strange as it may sound, the second war was a source of hope for Palestinians. Back then, Egypt had a democratically elected president. Sure, Morsi at times seemed to behave as a lame duck president, but he sided with the Palestinians against Israel, and helped craft a ceasefire agreement that met more of Hamas’ terms than Israel’s. It was the first time that Palestinians felt that the Egyptian government was truly on their side since the Camp David agreement in 1979.
Morsi was under severe pressure from the US and his own military, generously funded by the US, to isolate Hamas. Although he didn’t do so, he was too weak to offer Gaza a sustainable solution to break the Israeli siege. The Rafah border crossing, however, was mostly open, and relations were in constant improvement.
But the ousting by General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi of Morsi on July 3rd changed all of that. The Egyptian military cracked down with vengeance by shutting down the border crossing and destroying 90-95 percent of all tunnels, which served as Gaza’s main salvation. The strip became more vulnerable than ever before. Its haggard infrastructure began falling apart, as Egypt, Ramallah and Israel watched, preparing for various outcomes. Cairo found in Ramallah a willing ally who never ceased colluding with Israel in order to ensure that their Hamas rivals were punished, along with the population of the strip.
The New York Times reported on November 21st that 13 sewerage stations in the Gaza Strip have either overflowed or are close to overflowing, and 3.5 million cubic feet of raw sewage find their way to the Mediterranean Sea on a daily basis. “The sanitation department may soon no longer be able to pump drinking water to Gaza homes,” it reported. Farid Ashour, the Director of sanitation at the Gaza Coastal Municipalities Water Utilities, told the times that the situation is ‘disastrous’. “We haven’t faced a situation as dangerous as this time,” he said.
Gaza’s only power plant has been a top priority target for Israeli warplanes for years. In 2006 it was destroyed in an Israeli airstrike, to be opened a year later, only to be destroyed again. And although it was barely at full capacity when it operated last, it continued to supply Gaza with 30 percent of its electricity needs of 400 megawatts. 120 megawatts came through Israel, and nearly 30 megawatts came through Egypt. The total fell short from Gaza’s basic needs, but somehow Gaza subsisted. Following the ousting of Morsi and the Egyptian military crackdown, the shortage now stands at 65 percent of the total.
It was precisely then that Haniyeh tried to reach out to Abbas. This time, his call for unity had a particularly urgent humanitarian dimension. Although willing to speak at the Knesset, Abbas had no consolatory words for Haniyeh. Instead, it was time for some cruel politics. The PA decided to end its subsidy on any fuel shipped to Gaza via Israel, increasing the price to $1.62 per liter from 79 cents. According to Ihab Bessisso of the PA, the decision to rescind Gaza’s tax exemption on fuel was taken because sending cheap fuel to Gaza “was unfair to West Bank residents,” according to the Times.
Reports by the Economist, Al Monitor and other media speak of Egyptian efforts to reintroduce Gaza’s former security chief and Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan to speed-up the projected collapse of the Hamas government. Al Monitor reported on November 21rst that Dahlan, a notorious Fatah commander who was defeated by Hamas in 2007, had met with General al-Sisi in Cairo. Evidently, the purpose is to oust Hamas. But the question is how? Some “suggest that a Palestinian brigade mustered in al-Arish could march on Gaza and, with Egyptian support, defeat the broad array of Hamas forces created in the last decade.”
No words can describe the deterioration of the moral standards of the Palestinian political elites. Even during particularly disgraceful episodes of their history, things had never sunk so low. In the meantime, Palestinians in Gaza continue to subsist in an atrocious reality, while pondering future possibilities. And with leaders like Abbas and Dahlan, little good can be expected.
- Ramzy Baroud (www.ramzybaroud.net) is a media consultant, an internationally-syndicated columnist and the editor of PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is: My Father was A Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story (Pluto Press).
December 4, 2013 Posted by aletho | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Subjugation - Torture | Hamas, Gaza, Palestinian National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, Ismail Haniyeh, Mohammed Dahlan | Leave a Comment
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights | November 9, 2013
Occupied Palestine – The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) expresses deep concern over the deterioration of humanitarian conditions of the civilian population due to the aggravation of the electricity crisis in the Gaza Strip.
On Friday morning, 01 November 2013, the operation of the Gaza power plant was totally stopped due to the lack of fuel required for its operation. PCHR is deeply concerned that the current crisis may impact the access of 1.7 million Palestinians to vital services, including the supply of drinking water, and that this crisis may result in the suspension of work in some vital sectors, such as health, sanitation and education.
According to PCHR’s follow-up of the chronic power crisis in the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Energy Authority in Gaza announced that the operation of the Gaza Power plant was totally stopped on Friday morning, 01 November 2012. The Energy Authority claimed that its counterpart in Ramallah stopped the fuel supplies required to operate the power plant and its requested taxes on the price of fuel. However, the Energy Authority in Gaza announced its inability to pay taxes on the price of the industrial fuel. On the other hand, the Energy Authority in Ramallah refused to provide any new fuel supplies required for operating the power plant resulting in the total lack of fuel and the shutdown of the plant.
The shutdown of the Gaza plant power has left serious consequences on the humanitarian conditions of the Gaza Strip’s population due to the deficit in daily needs of power in Gaza. The Electricity Distribution Company (GEDCO) in Gaza was forced to increase the hours of power outages on houses and vital facilities from 8 to 12 hours daily. Thus, the schedule, which is applied, based on which power will be distributed for six hours and then cut off for 12 hours resulting in further deterioration in humanitarian conditions of the Gaza Strip’s population. It should be mentioned that the power plant was providing around 65 megawatts during the years of its reparation and rehabilitation after being targeted and destroyed by Israeli forces in June 2006. The power plant had worked since June 2012 to produce around 100 megawatts. The Gaza Energy Authority stated that the electricity is provided to the Gaza Strip as follows: 120 megawatts from Israel and 27 megawatts supplied by Egypt.
The Gaza power plant has been suffering from a significant decrease in fuel supplies required for its operation coming from Egypt through tunnels under the Egypt-Gaza border, as the supplies have almost completely stopped for around 2 months. As a result, the Energy Authority in Gaza purchased fuel from Israel through its counterpart in Ramallah. At that time, the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Ramallah exempted fuel purchases from taxes. However, the Energy Authority in Ramallah demanded its counterpart in Gaza to pay the taxes on the fuel supplies due to the PA’s current financial crisis. The Energy Authority in Gaza refused to pay those taxes claiming that it cannot afford paying them.
PCHR has been following the power crisis consequences in the Gaza strip since the power plant stopped operating after Israeli forces targeted and destroyed it in June 2006 resulting in catastrophic impacts on the power supplies in the Gaza Strip. PCHR has been also following the impacts of the ongoing Palestinian political split, whose two parties failed to find solutions that take into account the best interests of Palestinian civilians in Gaza and stop the deterioration of humanitarian conditions and provide of their electrical power needs and fuel required to operate the Gaza plant power. PCHR is deeply concerned over further deterioration of civilians’ humanitarian conditions as the power crisis has affected all civilians’ daily life needs and violated their right to access to basic and necessary services, including access to health facilities and to treatment, access to educational institutions, including schools and universities, and access to water services, including drinking water in homes and all other vital services.
Through continuous follow-up of the effects of the aggravation of the power crisis, PCHR has observed serious deterioration of the humanitarian situation from which the residents of Gaza are suffering:
· About 1, 7 million inhabitants of the Gaza Strip are facing deficiencies in all walks of their daily life, which have affected their basic needs, including health services, access to water, environmental health services and ability to meet the educational needs of school and university students.
· The deterioration of health conditions in the health facilities of the Gaza Strip due to inability to compensate the shortage of electricity for long hours on one hand, and their inability to provide fuel needed to run the alternative generators in these facilities on the other hand, in addition to breakdown of many machines and medical equipment at hospitals and health facilities of the Gaza Strip.
· Hundreds of patients in the hospitals of the Gaza Strip face serious health risks as the medical equipment are not run regularly, especially in the intensive care units and other medical units like heart and kidney units.
· Local bodies, including municipalities and village councils, are unable to provide alternative fuel to ensure the workflow of their vital facilities serving the population of the Gaza Strip, including water and sanitation facilities. Citizens’ complaints started to resound because of their inability to get water in their houses, especially in high buildings.
· Different bakeries in the Gaza Strip said that they partially stopped working due to the long hours of power outage and the shortage of the fuel needed to run the machines. One can notice overcrowding for long hours in front of bakeries in order to get the basic needs.
· Educational facilities in universities and educational institutions are suffering serious disorder, which led to the inactivity of many educational laboratories and the postponement of some educational assignments due to electricity shortage and lack of alternative power sources. The aggravation of electricity crisis has coincided with the mid-term exams that started about a week ago in the schools and universities of the Gaza Strip. The majority of governmental schools is still without electricity and cannot provide the students with alternatives.
· Hundreds of institutions and associations in the Gaza Strip had to postpone their activities and programs due to the electricity shortage all day and their inability to provide alternative power sources to run their machines and equipment.
· The suffering of the population of the Gaza Strip has seriously aggravated, especially those living in high buildings and who depend on elevators in the ascending and descending from their apartments. Dozens of residents, including elderly people and patients with chronic diseases have been greatly affected.
PCHR is following the power crisis in the Gaza Strip with grave concern and:
1. Calls on all concerned parties, including the Palestinian government in Ramallah, the Palestinian government in Gaza and the Electricity Distribution Company in Gaza to make efforts to provide the fuel needed to run the power plant and ensure its workflow with no cessation;
2. Warns of the serious consequences of the stoppage of the power plant on all vital sectors, including the basic services for about 1, 7 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip, like drinking water supplies, disruption of health facilities, including hospitals and medical centers, in addition to the sewage plants and educational sectors.
3. Calls on the international community to pressure Israel, the occupying power according to international humanitarian law, to lift the illegal closure imposed on the Gaza Strip since June 2007, to fulfill their legal commitments towards the civilian population of the Gaza Strip and to ensure access to all the medicines, food, and basic services, including fuel supplies needed to run the Gaza Power Plant.
November 9, 2013 Posted by aletho | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | Egypt, Gaza, Israel, Palestine, Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Palestinian National Authority, PCHR, Zionism | Leave a Comment
AL-KHALIL — A statistics report prepared by Quds Press International news agency showed that fifteen Palestinians died since the resumption of the negotiations, three months ago.
The negotiation between the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli occupation was resumed in Washington on July 30, for the first time after it had been frozen for three years. Yet the Israeli violations and attacks against Palestinian civilians and their properties and sanctuaries have continued.
The statistical report said that three Palestinians from the Jenin refugee camp died a few days after the resumption of the negotiating sessions, after being shot by Israeli forces.
The Israeli occupation forces have continued killing and attacking citizens and destroying Palestinian properties, indifferent to the ongoing negotiating sessions. On August 26, the IOF special forces committed a massacre in the Qalandiya refugee camp in Ramallah, wounding about 20 Palestinians and killing 3 others.
After the resumption of the negotiations, the Israeli army assassinated 4 Palestinian resistance fighters from the Qassam Brigades.
Quds Press’ report also pointed out that 3 Palestinian youths were killed during the last three months: Ahmed Tzazaah from the town of Qabatiya in Jenin after clashes with the occupation army, and Anas al-Atrash and Bashir Hababin after being shot by Israeli soldiers at Container and Za’atara checkpoints
The deliberate policy of medical neglect has also continued in the occupation jails and recently led to the death of patient captive Hassan al-Turabi from Nablus.
The PA has ignored Palestinian factions’ calls for ending the negotiations, in response to the occupation’s persistent crimes which have led in the past three months to the death of 15 Palestinians, detention of hundreds and displacement of large numbers of residents from their homes that had been confiscated or demolished, not to mention the Judaization projects that continue in Jerusalem unabated and the settlement plans which include the construction of more than 1,700 new housing units.
- Israeli occupation forces close checkpoints before movement of Palestinians on second day of Eid (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Israeli Forces Open Fire On West Bank Protests, Injuring Dozens (eurasiareview.com)
BICOM and the peace process façade: On the views of the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre
Renewed ‘peace talks’ between Israeli and the Palestinian Authority officials have quietly been going on behind closed doors and a U.S.-imposed media blackout for three months now. Like all previous such exercises they will almost certainly break down without delivering justice or bringing peace.
Even though the Palestine Papers made it clear that the leaders of the PA, a creation of the Oslo process, have offered huge concessions in past rounds of talks, pro-Israel commentators are nonetheless pre-emptively rehearsing their arguments to blame the Palestinian side and obfuscate the fundamental longstanding issue: Israeli intransigence. A key – though little known – organisation engaged in this activity in British political circles is BICOM, the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre.
‘BICOM: Giving peace a chance?’, a new report published by Spinwatch, subjects this organisation to detailed scrutiny for the first time. It concludes that BICOM, like Israel itself, seeks to maintain the façade of progress towards peace, but in practice exhibits deep disdain for international law.
BICOM was established in 2001 in the wake of the Second Intifada and increasing international exasperation with Israel. Looking back a decade later, its primary funder, the billionaire businessman Poju Zabludowicz, neatly articulated its raison d’etre: ‘We have learnt over the last 10 years… that the key to creating a more supportive environment for Israel in Britain is convincing people in this country that Israel seeks a lasting peace… As long as this argument remains credible then people will generally forgive mistakes and difficulties even if peace continues to be elusive’, he wrote.
So BICOM’s aim is not to contribute to peace, but to convince people that peace is what Israel wants. The professions of support for a two state solution BICOM issues seem to be little more than a rhetorical device to foster, in Zabludowicz’s words, a ‘supportive environment’ in which people will ‘forgive’ Israel for its ‘mistakes’.
The existence of a broad international consensus in support of Palestinian statehood is enough to explain why BICOM judges it must pay lip service to the abstract idea of a Palestinian state. But the devil is in the detail. Though BICOM poses as the voice of sensible centrism, its political positions, when subjected to scrutiny, are far from moderate. In practice BICOM opposes key tenets of international law that serve as the framework for implementing the recognised prerequisites of a Palestinian state. It echoes Israeli exceptionalism on the four key issues of the conflict: borders, settlements, Jerusalem and refugees. The following is based on an analysis of BICOM’s own statements.
After the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, the UN Security Council passed resolution 242 which called for Israel to end its occupation of territories captured during the war. Following the Israeli government’s unique interpretation, however, BICOM argues that the absence of either the word ‘the’ or ‘all’ from the English language version of resolution 242 when referring to ‘territories captured’, means that Israel need not withdraw to pre-67 borders. This, despite the resolution’s preamble clearly asserting the ‘inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war’.
On settlements too, despite international consensus on their illegality as articulated in UN Security Council resolutions and reiterated in 2004 by the International Court of Justice, BICOM stands by the Israeli government’s position which is, again, at odds with the international community. Israel disputes the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention which outlaws the transfer of civilians into the occupied territories. Indeed, whilst engaging in talks supposedly intended to demonstrate its commitment to achieving peace, Israel yet again announced more settlement construction and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a letter of solidarity to Israeli settlers in Hebron.
While BICOM, for obvious reasons, generally tries to avoid spelling out the extent to which its positions contradict with the requirements of international law, Luke Akehurst, who manages the BICOM spin-off group We Believe in Israel, has explicitly challenged the internationally accepted interpretation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. But more frequently, since Israel is in violation of so many laws and UN resolutions, BICOM simply dispenses with international legal principles as an explanatory framework. Instead its stances are frequently premised upon – and justified by way of reference to – what Israelis are ‘willing to contemplate’ or the ‘broad consensus in Israel’.
On Jerusalem, for example, BICOM asserts that ‘most Israelis would not be willing to contemplate’ Israeli ‘loss of Israeli sovereignty’ over the city. Thus it endorses the Israeli government’s unilateral rejection of the international political and legal consensus. BICOM’s attitude is illustrated in its use of language too. It euphemistically refers to settlements as ‘communities’ or ‘neighbourhoods’, to the West Bank as ‘disputed’ rather than occupied territory and calls the Jerusalem ‘the capital of Israel’ – though even the United States does not recognise this and therefore maintains its embassy in Tel Aviv.
On the thorny issue of the Palestinian refugees BICOM claims that in the 1948 war ‘there was no deliberate, co-ordinated Jewish policy to expel the Arabs’. This Zionist myth has long been disproved by Israel’s so-called New Historians, such as Ilan Pappe, who have shown convincingly that the contrary is in fact true. At any rate, the right of the approximately 700,000 refugees – and their descendants – to return to their homes is upheld in UN resolution 194. Yet BICOM’s take on the refugee issue appears, once more to ignore international law and UN resolutions. Instead it offers the legally insubstantial argument that ‘Israel does not believe it is responsible for resettling the refugees, believing their plight to be the responsibility of the Arab states that rejected the 1947 Partition Plan [and] started the war’.
Cutting to the heart of the situation is BICOM’s statement (again couched in terms of Israeli desires, not legality) that ‘no Israeli government will accept a solution that would allow millions of Palestinians to settle in Israel [as] this would effectively spell the end of the Jewish majority’. Even without reference to the return of refugees, BICOM’s research director, Toby Greene, writing in BICOM’s recently launched glossy publication ‘Fathom‘, speaks of a ‘demographic threat’ posed to Israel – and its self-definition as a Jewish state – by natural Palestinian population growth alone. This illuminates the underlying ethnic exclusivism in BICOM’s vision of ‘two states for two peoples’.
Just as the ‘peace process’ functions as a fig leaf for continuation of the status quo, BICOM’s lobbying activities – which focus on encouraging the British media to take what it paradoxically refers to as ‘the most objectively favourable line‘ – serve to ward off condemnation of Israel. This seems to be true amongst the strategically vital political elite at least, though grassroots trends show increasing pro-Palestinian feeling.
Ultimately it is symptomatic of the tenuous nature of democracy in the UK that by maintaining close relationships at the top – with the likes of the influential Labour and Conservative Friends of Israel groups – BICOM is able to inculcate in the political class the idea that Israel is a benign and reasonable actor in search of peace, while its underlying arguments and Israel’s actions, belie this narrative.
November 4, 2013 Posted by aletho | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular | Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel, Jerusalem, Palestine, Palestine Papers, Palestinian National Authority, Poju Zabludowicz, United Nations Security Council, Zionism | Leave a Comment
Since the Hamas election victory in January 2006 — and particularly after the Hamas-Fatah clashes and split between Gaza and the West Bank in the summer of 2007 — Gaza has undergone a disturbing human experiment, whose toll is unprecedented in the history of the impoverished Strip.
The plotters involve the usual suspects, each with a clear set of objectives behind the isolation and targeting of Gaza. The US and Israel have worked tirelessly to divide Palestinians and derail any chances of a unified government, let alone a cohesive national project. This helped Israel achieve two objectives: Blaming Palestinians for a lack of leadership (as in ‘we don’t have a peace partner’) for the collapse of the so-called peace process and creating distractions as it continued with the construction of its Apartheid Wall and colonies throughout the Occupied Territories.
The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) has assumed the role of the local collaborator and has done its outmost to undermine Hamas at every turn. The US has ensured that no unity agreement is signed between Hamas and the PNA’s ruling Fatah party and if any such agreement is ever reached, it will never be honored. Israel moved into Gaza from time to time to test the resolve of Palestinian resistance, to ‘teach Gaza a lesson’ and to ensure that Hamas’ reign comes at a heavy price. PNA President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah was spoiled with much ‘aid’ and perks. Its officials are well paid, even when the rest of the Palestinians are not paid at all. According to VisualizingImpact.org, Palestinian politicians are the second highest paid in the world after Kenya, as a multiple of gross domestic product per capita.
Abbas, his officials and PNA security bosses have no reason to abandon such a sweet arrangement, especially if the other option will be to let go of their riches and embrace a national liberation project, the cost of which could be too high for pampered men to bear.
Isolated, lacking political savvy and out of options, Hamas made some costly mistakes, especially following the Arab upheaval that promised change, but threw the entire region into a high-stakes political gamble. Hamas became even more isolated, especially after the July military coup against Egypt’s first elected president. Mohammad Mursi, despite immense pressure, was much kinder to Palestinians in Gaza than his predecessor Hosni Mubarak, who was an important player in the Gaza experiment. His regime worked diligently to ensure that the siege on Gaza was complete and that an Islamic movement at his country’s doorsteps had no chance of proving politically viable.
The Mubarak regime played its role according to the script and greatly benefited too. For his tenacious efforts to contain ‘radical Islamists’ in Gaza, Mubarak was spared the sham democracy crusade launched by former US president George W. Bush. The US was and remains completely oblivious to numerous human rights violations carried out by Egypt’s security apparatus, the curtailing of freedoms and the brazen denial of basic rights of Egyptian citizens. US Congress seemed much more forgiving of Egypt’s abuses, compared to rights abuses carried out by other regimes — thanks in part to Egypt’s six-year-long crackdown on Gaza. Out of the four crossings that connect Gaza to the world, Israel is sealing three, while Egypt is choking the fourth and in the last two months, it has destroyed all tunnels that Gazans had dug to smuggle food and other urgent supplies. It is believed that some of these tunnels are also a source of arms that Palestinians in Gaza use in their war with Israel. As Gaza dies slowly, the waiting game continues. All parties — Israel, US, Egypt and the PNA and their regional allies are coordinating their efforts to ensure Hamas’ demise and PNA’s return to power.
In an article titled ‘Gaza: Crushed between Israel and Egypt’, Jonathan Cook wrote of a ‘cynical game’ that is on in full swing. The game expects the Egyptian military to destroy all tunnels and to close the Rafah border crossing for Israel to turn a blind eye to “Egypt pouring troops, as well as tanks and helicopters, into Sinai in violation of the 1979 peace treaty,” so that Gaza can become dependent on Israel’s ‘good favor’ once more. All of this is to “bolster the image of Abbas” and to present the PNA as a sane option as opposed to Hamas’ caustic policies.
Meanwhile, in the name of “national security”, Egypt seems to be planning something sinister as well. Apart from cutting Gaza off, its navy is attacking and imprisoning Gaza fisherman and its generals are constantly accusing Gaza of playing a role in the security unrest in Sinai. One of Egypt’s most prominent military leaders, General Ahmad Wasfi, warned “Gaza jihadists” in Kuwait’s Al Rai newspaper, saying he would “cut off the head of anyone who tries to threaten Egypt’s security”. This comes shortly after Egypt’s Foreign Minister, Nabeel Fahmy, threatened war on the Gaza Strip. More recently, Israeli daily Jerusalem Post cited a senior Egyptian source commenting to West Bank-based Ma’an news agency that “the Egyptian army has planned military attacks on specific targets in the Gaza Strip in the event that the security situation in the northern Sinai peninsula deteriorates”. According to the source, “Egyptian reconnaissance planes had photographed the potential targets”.
It is payback time as far as the plotters are concerned. Israel’s failed, albeit very violent wars on Gaza, fell short of eradicating Hamas or rooting out the Strip’s resistance groups. The US’s carrot-and-stick policies also failed as did most of US policies in the Middle East since the invasion of Iraq, if not even before. As for Abbas, his credibility is at an all-time low and the only reason he remains in charge is because Israel sees some benefits in his continued presence. But since the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated government in Egypt, efforts have been renewed with earnest — this time involving all parties.
For months, there has been growing talk of a new “popular” movement in Gaza to topple Hamas. The movement is modeled after Egypt’s protests of June 29, which emboldened the military coup by Egypt’s strongman General Abdul Fatah Al Sissi. Hamas claims that several cells affiliated to Egyptian intelligence have been apprehended in Gaza. Protests are also planned for next month. “Hamas’ political rival, Fatah … is reported to be behind the new protest movement,” wrote Cook.
True, Hamas is now politically at its weakest, thereby creating an opportunity for its many enemies to make their move. But this is not just about Hamas. The ultimate aim is to remold Gaza, the heart of Palestinian resistance, and to turn the strip into an extension of its western-styled Ramallah under Abbas with its handsomely paid officials. If this goal is achieved, it will come at a very high price that will be exacted not just from Gaza, but from all Palestinians.
- Ramzy Baroud is a media consultant, an internationally-syndicated columnist and the editor of PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is My Father Was A Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story. (Pluto Press).
October 9, 2013 Posted by aletho | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | Egypt, Gaza, Hamas, Hosni Mubarak, Israel, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestine, Palestinian National Authority, Zionism | Leave a Comment
The reigning state of despair among Palestinians has been growing steadily since the end of the Second Intifada. Day after day, the Israeli occupation expands as the options for Palestinians, ostensibly represented by a new generation of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) eager to seek a “settlement,” grow narrower. The killing has not abated, nor the settlement movement and the Judaization of Jerusalem. The “peace process” track continues as a “strategic option.” But the streets have not come to a rest since the Second Intifada, as they didn’t after the First Intifada and during the period of the Oslo Agreement.
Although, the frequency of clashes and confrontations might have decreased, the revolution continues to simmer, awaiting a spark to ignite. Today the situation in the West Bank evokes the period leading up to the First Intifada. The pace of clashes is rising and military operations are intensifying, despite the project for peace.
Ramallah – In a matter of hours, attention shifted from the far north of the West Bank to the south. In Qalqilya in the north, a Palestinian citizen named Nidal Emer led Israeli air force pilot Tomer Khazan to an empty spot. He killed him, in order to swap his body with that of his detained brother. Nidal took the initiative, but ended up like his brother: in an occupation cell.In Hebron in the south, amid daily clashes between occupation forces and residents, a Palestinian sniper shot at stationed soldiers, killing one and injuring another. The occupation forces retaliated, closing the city and waging a sweeping campaign of arrests, but were unable to find the “unidentified shooter.”
Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades – Knights of the Galilee, part of Fatah, claimed the operation in Qalqilya. Some people were optimistic about the movement’s return to special operations and the escape of the Fatah genie from the PNA’s bottle. However, its credibility was soon called into doubt the next day, when it issued another statement also claiming the Hebron operation, which had already been claimed by al-Asifa, part of Fatah-Intifada, which had split from the Fatah Movement in 1983.
On Israeli Radio 2, an Israeli security official spoke about the continuing security coordination between the PNA and Israel to capture the “killer” in Hebron. The father of the man from Qalqilya denounced his son to the station. “My son is a killer and deserves to be killed,” he said.
But it does not matter anymore. What matters is that Palestinian youth can take the initiative from outside of the quarreling factions and narrow interests of the political parties. Two soldiers were killed in less than 24 hours, something that has not happened since the Second Intifada, whose anniversary falls next Friday.
The details of the Hebron operation remain unclear, despite the maniacal security operation, which led to the arrest of a man close to 100 years of age for owning an Ottoman era rifle. The identity of the Hebron sniper is not yet clear, however, and the statements by the factions claiming the operation have not been verified.
Meanwhile, military experts in the occupation army have maintained that the sniper was professional and successfully carried out the operation in its three stages: locating the perfect spot, selecting a target, and the withdrawal of security. The sniper picked a soldier standing on open ground, so that the bullet would not ricochet behind him. However, the downside of the operation were the ensuing squabbles between the parties and their lack of credibility, exposed after contradictory statements were issued within less than an hour by two factions with a long history of political disagreements.This negative fallout also plagued the Second Intifada and was one of the most important factors in its collapse. However, the breadth and size of the clashes of last month, especially in the West Bank and Jerusalem camps, could herald a new uprising.
Amidst all the fury, a young group calling itself the Intifada Youth Coalition is calling for mobilization and protests to protect sacred sites next Friday, which coincides with the anniversary of the Second Intifada. A video made by the coalition is being widely shared on social media sites. In it, a young man calls for confronting the occupation on all fronts set to a song by Julia Boutros, Ya Thuwar al-Ard, which brings to mind the Second Intifada.
Despite differences between the factions, there is a general consensus rejecting negotiations. Several factions launched a popular campaign against the negotiations at a press conference in Ramallah, attended by all PLO factions.
Senior Fatah officials have also expressed their rejection of the negotiations process, including central committee member Abbas Zaki, who declared that negotiations were futile and called for “struggle and insisting on Palestinian constants.”
Even figures who had participated in the Oslo process have expressed, albeit timidly, their regret at signing the agreement, including Yasser Abed Rabbu and Ahmed Qorei. The head Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat went as far as complaining that “Israel is not fulfilling its obligations.”
However, this was not enough to inspire the Palestinian leadership to halt or even postpone negotiations for one day, despite the fact that three young men were martyred in Qalandiya. It did not even review the “legitimacy” of its choice, which contradicts the consensus of PLO factions, nor did it change its policies or strategies, which seem to be wholly focused on turning “Palestinian life into negotiations.”Seven martyrs have fallen since the beginning of the latest round of negotiations two months ago. They were all from the camps where the First Intifada erupted and caused the most trouble during the Second.
It is enough to see the sacrifices of Jenin camp, which was back in the headlines following the martyrdom of Islam al-Toubassi at the beginning of this week. The incident led to a limited military operation at the nearby Jalama checkpoint, before the PNA’s security forces managed to suppress the camp’s anger, prohibiting its residents from reaching the frontline areas.
But Jenin is the not the only camp where the revolution is still simmering. In Qalandiya, three Palestinians were recently martyred and clashes continue near the Qalandiya occupation checkpoint nearby. In al-Oroub and al-Fawwar camps in Hebron, clashes have been occurring on a daily basis with the occupation forces stationed nearby, far from the eyes of the media and the PNA’s forces.
Current conditions and factors do not provide Palestinians with any other option. Al-Aqsa mosque faces daily raids and there have been calls by Israelis for a million person march on the holy site to coincide with the anniversary of its storming by Ariel Sharon, which laid the ground for the Second Intifada.
Popular mobilization against Israel is also on the rise inside the 1948 territories, particularly in the Negev and the Triangle, which also coincides with the October 1 revolt that led to the martyrdom of 13 Palestinians from the occupied territories.
It seems the break out of a third intifada is only a matter of time. Friday could be the day the phoenix rises from the ashes.
The PNA Impedes the Intifada
The PNA has cloaked all options following Oslo under the guise of the “national project.” Anyone who objects or dissents falls outside this project. Under this slogan, the Palestinian resistance was liquidated in the West Bank, including the al-Aqsa Brigades, where the PNA’s forces are the only power on the ground. Any weapons not in its hands have become outlawed.The PNA suppressed all action against negotiations, supported by its wide popular base which follows the Fatah movement and the regional winds that put wind in its sails. The PNA has the money and media and is capable of manipulating the discourse. Sometimes it dons the robe of piety, accusing its detractors of debauchery and blasphemy, as it does with the PFLP, for example.
With Hamas, accusations of bartering with religion and extremism are mounted. Fatah’s minister of awqaf (endowments) unabashedly declared a fatwa for “revolution against Hamas” and forbade any opposition to the president in the West Bank.
In political differences it finds an opportunity to avoid facing reality, accusing others of instigating a crisis.
The bedlam following the killing of the two soldiers is the responsibility of Hamas, according to Fatah spokesperson Usama al-Qawasimi, who said that “Hamas’ credibility in the Palestinian street suffered a serious blow after the uncovering of their real schemes and their use of religion and resistance as a cover. If Hamas wanted to change the situation and aim for resistance, it has to start resisting in Gaza and to maintain the truce with Israel at gunpoint.”
- Intifada Youth announces next Friday a day of escalation (occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com)
- here’s a difficult question: how long can we go on watching other people martyr themselves before we too are moved to action? (niqnaq.wordpress.com)
- Clashes continue in West Bank for third day (worldbulletin.net)
- Abu Marzouk: Third intifada in the offing (occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com)
- Palestine: Al-Aqsa Faces Biggest Threat Since Occupation of Jerusalem (alethonews.wordpress.com)
September 26, 2013 Posted by aletho | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | Al-Aqsa Mosque, Fatah, Hebron, Jenin, Jerusalem, Palestine, Palestinian National Authority, Qalqilya, Second Intifada, West Bank, Zionism | Leave a Comment
By Fayez Rasheed | Al Quds Al Arabi | September 18, 2013
The ill-fated Oslo Accords, signed 20 years ago, have only made Israel more arrogant and open about its disregard of the Palestinians’ national rights. Illegal settlements and their infrastructure now cover 80 per cent of the West Bank, leaving the Palestinians with just 12 per cent of historical Palestine. The occupation has left cities, villages and whole districts disconnected by the Apartheid wall; Jerusalem and its surroundings have been Judaised; the land of the Jordan Valley is being looted. Moreover, Israel is imposing more of its conditions on the Palestinians, including the condition of “recognising its Jewish character” and the power of the Palestinian Authority in its own land is becoming more and more limited. On top of all this, the geographical and political split between the West Bank and Gaza Strip is still in place, which is leading, by means of the Oslo Accords, to the decline of the Palestinian national project.
Israel’s main intention in signing the accords was to get the Palestinian representatives to abandon the armed struggle, which is what happened at the 1996 Palestinian National Council session in Gaza; US President Bill Clinton was present when the PNC voted for all the articles regarding armed struggle to be dropped from the Palestinian National Charter.
Furthermore, the Israelis wanted to limit the Palestinian revolution to specific geographic areas in the West Bank and Gaza, in order to monitor and control it more easily. I recall Yitzhak Rabin’s words in the Knesset shortly after the Oslo Accords were signed, when a fellow member asked him why Israel signed the agreement. His response was that Israel had gathered most of the Palestinians belonging to “terrorist” groups in one geographic area to make it easier to keep an eye on them. When Ehud Barak, who was the Army Chief of Staff at the time, was asked about how to solve disputes between the Palestinians and Israel he said, “We will resolve any contradiction according to the Israeli interpretation of the matter disputed over, because we are stronger.”
Israel wanted to see the Palestinian Authority created for two reasons:
- To solve the administrative and daily problems of the Palestinians in the occupied territories far away from Israel and its budget, thus easing the financial burden of the occupation. This way it was able to continue its occupation, but the international community, including the Arab world, would bear the expense of looking after the Palestinians.
- To establish Palestinian security institutions obliged to coordinate and cooperate with the occupation authorities, under American supervision, in order to prevent military operations against Israel.
The accords did not make any mention, at Israel’s insistence, of the creation of an independent Palestinian state. They only refer to a “self-administrating” state. The main issues of Jerusalem, the borders, refugees, water, etc., were postponed to what it called “final-status negotiations”. These issues should have been resolved by 1999 but, as Rabin said, “Appointments are not sacred.” Now we are in 2013 and these issues have still not been discussed. This, too, is part of Israel’s strategy to make sure that Oslo did nothing for the Palestinians; another Israeli prime minister, Yitzhak Shamir, told the Madrid Conference in 1991 that “we will prolong negotiations with the Palestinians for 20 years”; that is exactly what has happened.
All along, Israel as the stronger signatory, and the occupying power, has interpreted the terms of Oslo in its favour. When the Israelis re-entered the occupied territories in force in 2002, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced Oslo’s “death”, despite which the PA and its officials continued to declare that they would be sticking to it.
The final status discussions, if they ever take place, will be pointless, for Israel has already made it very clear that Palestinian refugees will never be allowed to return to their homeland; it will never withdraw fully from the territories it occupied in 1967; and Jerusalem is the “united and eternal capital” of Israel. As long as Israel is the top dog, this will be its position.
The Palestinians have made a number of strategic errors since Oslo. For a start, they have failed to read Israeli intentions, not least with regards to the illegal settlement programme. They have also limited the Palestinian struggle to popular resistance and negotiations. This is no way to alter the balance of power in order to convince the Israelis that its occupation must end.
In the creation of the Palestinian Authority, the leadership set up an alternative to the PLO as the representative of the people. This has led to the total neglect of Palestinian institutions across the occupied territories as well as the diaspora. Distanced from the people they claim to represent, this has meant that “leaders” such as Yasser Abed Rabbo could go to meetings with Israelis and unilaterally abandon, for example, the refugees’ right of return; and Ahmed Qurei could agree to link the Palestinian economy inexorably to that of Israel.
Moreover, the current round of negotiations has gone ahead even though the stated Palestinian condition of an end to Israeli settlement activity has not been met and the Judaisation of occupied Jerusalem continues apace.
For 20 years the Palestinians have been negotiating despite their utter foolishness, and delegations from both sides have attended “normalisation” meetings to promote contacts between the occupier and the occupied.
All of this is down to the lack of an honest broker in the search for peace and justice. Counting on the US in this role is pointless because no administration in Washington can ever be anything other than Israel’s main ally. Arab states, meanwhile, have almost totally abandoned any pretence of doing anything about the “Zionist enemy”. They have left the resistance movements to their own devices instead of backing them with material, financial and political support.
Any notion that the Palestinian Authority can lead us to the creation of an independent State of Palestine while it is still under occupation is delusional. In becoming an administrative authority and not a liberation movement the PA’s role is inconsistent with the national cause.
Many supporters of Oslo are positive about it. They point to Israel’s recognition of the Palestinian people, it’s acknowledgement of the PLO, the return of nearly half a million Palestinians to the occupied territories in 1967, the establishment of the PA as a prelude to the establishment of a state, the establishment of state institutions, and the failure of the Israelis to falsify the facts.
In response I say this: Israel’s recognition of the Palestinian people was the result of the armed Palestinian revolution, not of the Oslo Accords. If the First Intifada had been followed through then the establishment of an independent Palestinian state would have been a fact rather than a fanciful theory.
We must be honest and acknowledge that the PA was created to act as a vehicle for limited self-rule as determined by Israel, not to be the government of a state. In the interim, the Israelis have made sure that potential and actual Palestinian leaders strong enough to stand up to them have been assassinated. That is the reality.
This is the swamp that Oslo has put us in. It is possible to escape from this predicament by cancelling Oslo and announcing that the Palestinians are no longer bound by its terms. Israel has always ignored them so why can’t we? The legitimate armed struggle must be reinstated along with other forms of civil disobedience and disruption so that the occupation becomes once more a burden for the Israelis. If this requires the dissolution of the Palestinian Authority, so be it. The leadership got us into this swamp; the least they can do is help us to get out of it.
The author is a Palestinian writer. Translated by Middle East Monitor.
September 22, 2013 Posted by aletho | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | Israel, Jerusalem, Oslo, Palestine, Palestinian National Authority, West Bank, Zionism | Leave a Comment
Hundreds of students in the United Arab Emirates have signed-up to a Twitter campaign to expel one-time Fatah strongman Mohammed Dahlan from the country. The students insist that Dahlan has “betrayed” the Palestinian cause for Israel’s benefit and are asking the Emirates government why they allow “Israel’s number one client” to stay in the UAE.
Under the theme “Expel Dahlan from the country”, the activists have stressed their belief that Dahlan’s “nasty streak” in spreading “misleading” ideas about Palestine has already started to be reflected in public attitudes towards the issue. They accuse the government of supporting a “criminal” whose work has led to the deaths of his own people as well as promoted the Israelis at the expense of Islamists. The campaign is pushing for the UAE government to be more discerning about allowing such “criminals” into the country: “Those who are being valued by the Emirati authorities,” they allege, “sell their own land and kill their own people.”
Previous reports suggest that Dahlan, a former leader in the Palestinian Fatah movement who occupied a senior security position with the Palestinian Authority, is the instigator of a number of acts of sabotage against the Egyptian army and police in Sinai, near the Gaza Strip. These, it is claimed, have been coordinated with parties in Egypt in order to blame Hamas and incite distrust and hatred among Egyptians against the Islamic Resistance Movement and the Palestinians in Gaza.
- Fatah security officer loyal to Dahlan captured in the Sinai (altahrir.wordpress.com)
September 2, 2013 Posted by aletho | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Solidarity and Activism, Wars for Israel | Gaza, Hamas, Israel, Mohammed Dahlan, Palestinian National Authority, United Arab Emirates | Leave a Comment
Canadian columnist and political author Greg Felton believes that the new round of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority will ultimately fail and lead to nowhere as the Israeli regime is continuing to insist on its illegitimate demands and also is not ready to engage in talks on equal footing.
Greg Felton is a journalist from Canada who has won several awards for investigative reporting. For seven years, he wrote a political column for the Arabic-English bi-weekly Canadian Arab News. In his recent book “The Host and the Parasite—How Israel’s Fifth Column Consumed America,” Felton gives an analysis on how agents of Israel came to control the US Middle East policy. He has written extensively on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In an interview with FNA, Greg Felton elaborated on his viewpoints regarding the future of Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the dominance of the Israeli lobby over the Western mainstream media and the prospects of the latest round of peace talks between the representatives of the Israeli regime and the Palestinian Authority. What follows is the text of the interview.
Q: Greg; in one of your articles, you wrote about the under-representation of the pain of the Palestinian nation in the mainstream media as a result of the extensive dominance of the Israeli lobby over these media outlets. How has the Israeli lobby gained such an influence that prevents the press in the West from giving a fair and balanced coverage to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and presenting the Palestinian point of view, too?
A: This profoundly important question is the core of my book “The Host and the Parasite—How Israel’s Fifth Column Consumed America”, so a comprehensive, short answer is difficult. Essentially, the Lobby came to dominate the media because of three factors. First pro-Israeli Jews own the vast majority of print and electronic media, and similarly minded reporters and editors populate these media, so filtering out pro-Palestinian, pro-Arab, or Pro-Islamic news is virtually automatic.
Second, Zionist Jews are well represented in governments and the corporate plutocracy, and Israel has many trade relations with governments and corporations. Any reporter who wants access to influential people cannot risk giving respect to Palestine. Notice how repetitively inane most reporting is; it is safer to recycle official propaganda than to do real reporting.
Third, and most importantly, the cult of the Holocaust covers Israel in a cloak of faux legitimacy. There is, to all intents and purposes, no distinction in the media between Jews, Holocaust and Israel, so any accurate reporting on Palestine amounts to de facto criticism of Israel, and this invites the absurd slanders of “Holocaust denial” and “anti-Semitism.” The effect of all this intellectual terrorism and filtering is the active censorship of the Palestinian point of view.
Q: What’s your viewpoint regarding the UN General Assembly’s unanimous vote in 2012 to recognize the Palestine’s non-member observer status? How does the decision by the world countries in granting Palestine an interim membership to the UN contribute to the championing of the cause of the Palestinian nation and the alleviation of the pains of the subjugated people?
A: The vote was expected, but since the US, Canada and other pro-Israel mouthpieces actively sabotage the UN when it does useful work, the vote will have only marginal benefits for Palestine. Interestingly, the vote to admit Palestine was perfectly legal and consistent with UN procedures. In contrast, Israel’s membership was obtained illegally. In May 1947 it became the only state to be admitted conditionally According to United Nations General Assembly Resolution 273, Israel’s membership was contingent upon making reparations to Arabs displaced in 1947-1948 and allowing them to return to their homes. Israel has never lived up to its terms of admission.
Q: The new round of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority has started and is slated to last for 9 months. However, past experience shows that these talks lead to nowhere as the Israeli side is adamantly persisting on its illogical and expansionist demands, such as the continuation of illegal settlement constructions, the Judaization of the East Jerusalem (Al-Quds) and the siege of the Gaza Strip. So, why has the Palestinian authority been deceived into holding new talks with Israel once again?
A: The Palestinian Authority is not deceived. It knows the corrupt reality that allows it to exist. The PA holds “power” by virtue of Israel’s sufferance and Mahmoud Abbas is essentially in the pay of Israel. He and his cronies go through this moronic peace charade to give the illusion they are important and are the representatives of the Palestinians. In fact, all it does is giving diplomatic cover to Israel’s persistent expropriation of Palestine. The fact is, the only legitimate representatives of the Palestinians belong to the duly, and honestly elected Hamas government of Ismail Haniyeh. Therefore, all these “peace” talks are illegitimate, like Israel itself, and designed solely to accomplish nothing short of Palestine’s acquiescence in its own destruction. It is a sad fact of history that oppressed peoples are betrayed by their leaders.
Q: The United States is maintaining its political and economic sponsorship of Israel, and seems to be unwilling to drop its unconditional support. As far as this support continues, Israel will obdurately defy international law, kill the Palestinian civilians, imprison political activists who oppose the occupation and confiscate the rights of the people in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. What’s the reason the United States supports Israel so blindly that it doesn’t really pay attention to Israel’s lawlessness and violations?
A: The US does not support Israel blindly for the simple reason that “the US” as a republic no longer exists. As I explain in “The Host and the Parasite”, the 1980 presidential election that put Ronald Reagan in the White House amounted to a quiet coup d’état. Among other things, it opened Congress and the Pentagon to unfettered Israeli occupation and domination. Over the next 20 years the US would surrender its independence as it accelerated its mutation into Isramerica. It makes no sense to debate if the US supports Israel when Israel owns the government.
Q: How do you think of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement and the success it has made in achieving such goals as preventing Israel from infringing upon the rights of the Palestinian people, impeding the construction of illegal settlements and convincing the Tel Aviv leaders to abide by their obligations under the international law with regard to the Palestinian refugees and the besieged people of the Gaza Strip?
A: The BDS movement has had considerable success because it has attacked Israel where it is most vulnerable—it’s image. Like any unjust society, Israel needs to project the illusion of being civilized, and therefore campaigns that explode this illusion are most effective. Just recently, the EU banned all trade in goods manufactured in Occupied Palestine, a significant blow. The BDS movement is hobbled by servile governments that (of course!) denounce it as “anti-Semitic” and conclude free-trade agreements with Israel, but the popular movement is one hope for the future, just as the Jewish War Veterans of World War One led the successful worldwide boycott against Nazi Germany.
Q: What do you think about the Israeli lobby’s growing influence in such countries as Canada? Here in Iran, many politicians and a great number of people firmly believe it was Israel that stimulated the Canadian government to cease its bilateral relations with Iran and close its embassy in Tehran. It’s clearly understandable that the Israeli lobby is trying to sabotage Iran’s relations with the outside world. Do you agree?
A: Israel has always had a disproportionate influence in Canada. In fact, Canadians like Lester Pearson and Justice Ivan Rand have been at the centre of major decisions that benefited Israel at the expense of Palestine. The difference with Stephen Harper is that he is a thoroughgoing fascist and a devoted Zionist. He is not Canada’s prime minister; he is Israel’s satrap in Ottawa, and nothing emanating from this government should be considered “Canadian.”
Q: An important question regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the way the Western mass media stigmatize and vilify the critics of the actions and policies of the Israeli regime as anti-Semites. Anti-Semitism is an excuse that is blindly used to silence the voices critical of Israel’s misconduct and illegal behavior. However, the global public opinion needs to draw a line between opposition to the apartheid policies of Israel as an illegitimate political entity, and anti-Semitism, as it’s defined by the historians. What do you think?
A: To begin, “anti-Semitism” does not exist—never has. It is an artificial term invented in 1873 by Wilhelm Marr, an anti-Jewish German journalist who needed to redefine Jews as an ethnic, not a religious, group to justify official discrimination; hence, he coined the term Semitismus, based on the linguistic term “Semitic.” By this linguistic corruption, Marr was able to attack not only Jews but the larger concept of Jewishness. The fact that historians and others use this term shows how thoroughly Jewish fascists have co-opted the racialist mentality of German fascists, and how completely we have accepted it. I see little need to be precious about condemning Israel, given that Jews are not the least bit circumspect about smearing Arabs and Iranians because of their religion. The best treatment of the nature of Jews, Jewishness and Zionism is Gilad Atzmon’s outstanding book “The Wandering Who.”
- Futile Peace Talks – Again (alethonews.wordpress.com)
August 15, 2013 Posted by aletho | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | Cult of the Holocaust, Israel, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestine, Palestinian National Authority, United States, Zionism | 1 Comment
RAMALLAH, GAZA — Palestinian MPs and officials expressed support for the formation of a coalition of all national and Islamic factions on the Palestinian arena to stand against the negotiations with the occupation.
MP for the Change and Reform Bloc Nasser Abdel Gawad told Quds Press on Tuesday that the formation of this coalition “could stop the deterioration experienced by the Palestinian cause these days.”
He pointed out that a large number of factions, including the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), refuse the return to negotiations.
For his part, Saleh Zidan, member of the Political Bureau of Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, confirmed there are Palestinian efforts to form a national joint coalition to stop the negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli occupation.
Zidan considered that the formation of such a coalition will also push forward the national reconciliation in order to end the national division.
Informed Palestinian sources told Quds Press that discussions will be held in the coming days between different factions, political parties and leaders; particularly from the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).
The sources said that the National coalition, which is being created, agree on one idea; the opposition to returning to negotiations and considering that the Palestinian negotiators will not represent the Palestinian people.
Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine stressed its rejection of all forms of negotiation with the Israeli occupation, considering that the renewed negotiations aim to liquidate the Palestinian cause.
- DFLP: The PA’s talks with Israel violate the national consensus
- Hamas: Abbas does not have the right to relinquish any part of Palestine
August 14, 2013 Posted by aletho | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism | Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine, Palestine, Palestine Liberation Organization, Palestinian National Authority | Leave a Comment
RAMALLAH — The democratic front for the liberation of Palestine (DFLP) said that the participation of the Palestinian authority (PA) in the US-sponsored talks with Israel are a wrong step and violate the national consensus.
According to Quds Press, an official source from the democratic front stated on Wednesday that the engagement of the PA in these talks violated the requirements that were set by most of the Palestinian factions and national figures.
He said that the political forces in the Palestinian arena had demanded the PA to abide by requirements for its participation in the peace talks with Israel, based on the 1967 borders, and Israel’s commitment to end all settlement activities, respect relevant international resolutions, and release the long-serving prisoners.
The official also belittled the guarantees offered by US secretary of state John Kerry to the PA while Israel insists on refusing the establishment of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders.
The official also called on the executive committee of the Palestinian liberation organization (PLO), which had unanimously opposed the current peace talks with Israel, to urgently convene to work on correcting the Palestinian position and obliging the PA to abide by the national requirements.
August 1, 2013 Posted by aletho | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Israel, John Kerry, Palestine, Palestine Liberation Organization, Palestinian National Authority, United States, Zionism | Leave a Comment
Part I – Happy Birthday, BDS
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement directed toward Israel is eight years old. It was started back in 2005, when a coalition of Palestine-based social and economic organizations called for such a comprehensive effort.
At first the BDS movement appeared to be a long shot. Israel, with its worldwide coterie of Zionist supporters, both Jewish and Christian, seemed invincible. Particularly in the Western world, the belief in Israel’s legitimacy had reached the status of sacred tradition. The Zionists worked very hard to achieve this status by controlling the historical interpretation of events that had led from World War I and the Balfour Declaration to the creation of Israel in 1948, and beyond. They might well have been able to maintain control of Israel’s past, present and future if the Zionist leadership had not succumbed to the sin of hubris. They became so ideologically self-righteous and militarily muscle-bound that they believed their place in the world to be untouchable. Thus, as they built a country based on discrimination and colonial expansion in an age increasingly critical of such societies, they refused all compromise with the Palestinians and treated criticism of their behavior and policies as at once anti-Semitic and irrelevant. They therefore failed to notice that their stubbornness was allowing others to erode the Zionist version of the history of modern Palestine/Israel.
Eight years is not a very long time, but a surprising amount has been accomplished. Increasing numbers of people, particularly in the Western world, have been made aware of the plight of the Palestinians as well as their version of the history of Palestine/Israel. With this change in historical perspective, BDS established a foothold and started to grow. The movement has spent most of its time since 2005 coordinating a series of efforts to convince private-sector consumers, businesses, academics and artists to cut their ties with the Zionist State and its colonies. The latest success in this effort came just recently, when two of the largest supermarket chains in the Netherlands announced they would no longer sell Israeli merchandise manufactured or grown in the Occupied Territories (OT). Indeed, so successful has BDS been that the Israeli government has established an official task force to counteract it.
Part II – The European Union Makes a Move
Another recent event may be even more significant, because it suggests the potential for expanding BDS from the private to the public sphere. This was signaled when the European Union (EU) issued new rules for implementing certain categories of funding agreements with Israel. Funding of grants, prizes, loans and other financial cooperative ventures will now exclude Israeli institutions located in or doing business with the OT.
I want to emphasize the notion of “potential” because the EU move is not a boycott action as such. It is a signal to Israel that the EU will not recognize Israel’s claim to any part of the Occupied Territories without a peace settlement, and therefore this move serves as a point of pressure on the Israeli government to give up its hubris and negotiate with the Palestinian National Authority (PNA). By the way, the PNA as presently constituted is not a representative body and therefore has no legal authority to negotiate anything. However, the EU (along with the Israelis and the United States) persistently ignores this fact.
Nonetheless, this EU ruling is a step in the right direction, and some important Israelis understand the message. For instance, the Israeli peace organization Gush Shalom released a statement that said that the “EU has started to confront the government of Israel – and every citizen of Israel – with a road sign that cannot be ignored.” At least not without moving Israel toward “being an international pariah.” The renowned columnist and reporter for Israel’s newspaper Haaretz, Gideon Levy, has declared “The change [Israel needs] won’t come from within. . . . Change will only come from the outside.” Therefore, “Anyone who really fears for the future of the country needs to be in favor of boycotting it economically.” And, Israel’s justice minister, Tzipi Livni, the present government’s only minister publicly in favor of negotiations with the Palestinians, has warned that the threat of European economic sanctions extends beyond the OT. “It’s true that it will begin with the settlements,” she stated. “But their [a growing number of Europeans’] problem is with Israel, which is perceived as a colonialist country, so it won’t stop with the settlements and will reach all of Israel.”
Livni is correct. Israel’s version of history notwithstanding, the country’s origin is as a colonial settler state. As suggested above, the result was an inherently discriminatory society. This is not because most Israeli citizens are Jewish. It is because most are Zionists. Modern Zionism, which still reflects the colonial outlook of nineteenth-century imperial Europe, is the guiding ideology of Israel, and it proclaims that the country must be a Jewish State. Unfortunately, you can’t design a country for one group only, in a land where there also exists other sizable groups, and not end up with a discriminatory and oppressive society. Therefore, even if, by some miracle, the Israelis see the light and withdraw from the OT, there will still be a BDS movement agitating for an end to discrimination against non-Jews within the 1948 borders.
Part III – Israel’s Negative Reaction
Becoming a real democracy, where all citizens enjoy genuine political equality, is Israel’s only way of escaping the inevitable isolation that comes with the growing BDS movement. Yet, there is no reason to believe that the ideologues who now control the Israeli political and religious power structures are going to move in this direction. One can see this not only from the growing effort the Israeli government is putting into countering BDS, but also from the angry reaction of its political leaders to the EU decision.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted to the EU decision with the temperament of a monarch. “We will not accept any external edicts on our borders.” That was, perhaps, the royal “we” he used. Then it was back to the first-person singular: “I will not let anyone harm the hundreds of thousands of Israelis living in Judea and Samaria, in the Golan Heights, or in Jerusalem – our united capital.” The prime minister was quite off base in his pronouncements. He is the head of a country that has meticulously avoided setting borders for decades just so Israel could expand at opportune moments. That sort of imperial behavior is not well accepted in today’s world. Also, unless he can greatly increase Zionist lobby leverage on the EU, he has no way to prevent the “harm” that may finally befall his compatriots for naively assuming the whole world will accept their criminal behavior forever.
The entire episode points to the fact that, both in the private and public sectors of Western society, greater numbers of people no longer follow the line of historical interpretation set down by the Zionists. This is a major shift. Many Zionists might see this as a sign of growing anti-Semitism, but it really is nothing of the sort. There is nothing inherently Jewish about discrimination and colonialism. However, the same cannot be said for modern Zionism.
Part IV – Conclusion
Again, the BDS movement is only 8 years old. We can compare this to the more than 30 years it took the boycott of South Africa to end apartheid. So, comparatively, BDS is only at the beginning of its trek. Its fast start and ongoing achievements should bring hope and pride to those involved in the movement. They should also raise some serious second thoughts in the minds of those Israelis who think Netanyahu and his government of ideologues can prevent their country’s increasing isolation.
July 29, 2013 Posted by aletho | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism | European Union, Israel, Palestinian National Authority, United States, Zionism | Leave a Comment
or go to
From the Archives
By Gilad Atzmon | January 3, 2009
Communicating with Israelis may leave one bewildered. Even now when the Israeli Air Force is practicing murder in broad daylight of hundreds of civilians, elderly persons, women and children, the Israeli people manage to convince themselves that they are the real victims in this violent saga.
Those who are familiar intimately with Israeli people realise that they are completely uninformed about the roots of the conflict that dominates their lives. Rather often Israelis manage to come up with some bizarre arguments that may make a lot of sense within the Israeli discourse, yet make no sense whatsoever outside of the Jewish street. Such an argument goes as follows: ‘those Palestinians, why do they insist upon living on our land (Israel), why can’t they just settle in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon or any other Arab country?’ Another Hebraic pearl of wisdom sounds like this: ‘what is wrong with these Palestinians? We gave them water, electricity, education and all they do is try to throw us to the sea’.
Astonishingly enough, the Israelis even within the so-called ‘left’ and even the educated ‘left’ fail to understand who the Palestinians are, where they come from and what they stand for. They fail to grasp that for the Palestinians, Palestine is home. … continue
Aletho News Exclusive Content
This article will examine some of the connections between the US and UK National Security apparatus and the appearance of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory beginning after the accident at Three Mile Island. … continue
Also by Aletho News:
September 19, 2011
March 8, 2011
January 2, 2011
October 10, 2010
July 5, 2010
February 25, 2010
February 7, 2010
January 5, 2010
December 26, 2009
December 19, 2009
December 4, 2009
May 9, 2009
- Syria asks UN to censure Riyadh for backing jihadists December 9, 2013
- Road to Geneva II: Will Divided Syrian Opposition Attend? December 9, 2013
- Syrian War Boosts Demand for Lebanese Tobacco December 9, 2013
- Lebanon: Hezbollah Media Apologize to Bahrain Regime December 9, 2013
- Lebanon: Those Responsible for Bahrain Apology Must Resign December 9, 2013
- Moroccan police attack protest against EU fishing deal December 9, 2013
- Somalia jails rape victim for "defamation" December 9, 2013
- Kuwait acquits 70 opposition activists over storming parliament December 9, 2013
- Car bomb kills 11 in northern Iraq December 9, 2013
- Netanyahu to skip Mandela funeral to "save money" December 9, 2013
- Three people detained and several people injured during demonstration in Nabi Saleh December 8, 2013
- In an excessive use of force, Israeli forces kill Palestinian child in al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah December 8, 2013
- Settler attack instigates clashes in Hebron, one Palestinian shot with live ammunition December 6, 2013
Categories"Hope and Change" Aletho News Civil Liberties Corruption Deception Economics Environmentalism Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism False Flag Terrorism Full Spectrum Dominance Illegal Occupation Islamophobia Mainstream Media, Warmongering Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity Militarism Nuclear Power Science and Pseudo-Science Solidarity and Activism Subjugation - Torture Supremacism, Social Darwinism Timeless or most popular Video War Crimes Wars for Israel
Looking for something?
This site is provided as a research and reference tool. Although we make every reasonable effort to ensure that the information and data provided at this site are useful, accurate, and current, we cannot guarantee that the information and data provided here will be error-free. By using this site, you assume all responsibility for and risk arising from your use of and reliance upon the contents of this site.
This site and the information available through it do not, and are not intended to constitute legal advice. Should you require legal advice, you should consult your own attorney.
Nothing within this site or linked to by this site constitutes investment advice or medical advice.
Materials accessible from or added to this site by third parties, such as comments posted, are strictly the responsibility of the third party who added such materials or made them accessible and we neither endorse nor undertake to control, monitor, edit or assume responsibility for any such third-party material.
The posting of stories, commentaries, reports, documents and links (embedded or otherwise) on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such posted material or parts therein.
The word "alleged" is deemed to occur before the word "fraud." Since the rule of law still applies. To peasants, at least.
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more info go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
This is information for anyone that wishes to challenge our “fair use” of copyrighted material.
If you are a legal copyright holder or a designated agent for such and you believe that content residing on or accessible through our website infringes a copyright and falls outside the boundaries of “Fair Use”, please send a notice of infringement by contacting email@example.com.
We will respond and take necessary action immediately.
If notice is given of an alleged copyright violation we will act expeditiously to remove or disable access to the material(s) in question.
All 3rd party material posted on this website is copyright the respective owners / authors. Aletho News makes no claim of copyright on such material.
Visits Since December 2009
- 1,612,137 hits
Contact:atheonews (at) gmail.com
- Our Palestinian Future in Israel: How Long Can We Be Dehumanised in a Racist State? December 9, 2013
- Outdated Electronic Privacy Laws Allow Police to Access Sensitive Data Without a Warrant December 9, 2013
- Witness In No Fly List Trial, Who Was Blocked From Flying To The Trial, Shows That DOJ Flat Out Lied In Court December 9, 2013
- Iran-US Interim Agreement: Historic Breakthrough or Historic Sellout? December 9, 2013
- Obama administration ‘cherry-picked intelligence’ to justify Syria strike December 9, 2013
- The Unwelcome Return of Navi Pillay December 9, 2013
- Israel, Jordan and PA to sign Red Sea–Dead Sea Canal agreement December 9, 2013
- The Negev… Land and Man December 9, 2013
- How to Debunk WTC Thermite December 8, 2013
- The Nakba: an historical event or a continuing political process? December 8, 2013
- Roger Waters Tells The Truth Against All Odds December 9, 2013
- Team TJP: One of these Dayz: Palestine Will Be Free by Team TJP December 8, 2013
- Gilad Atzmon & the Orient House Ensemble at the Arena Theatre. December 8, 2013
- How Whites Took Over America Part 2 December 8, 2013
- Hilariously Predictable - Watch A West Bank Settler Run Away December 6, 2013
TagsAfghanistan Africa al-Akhbar Al-Manar American Civil Liberties Union American Israel Public Affairs Committee Argentina Bashar al-Assad Benjamin Netanyahu Brazil Britain Canada Central Intelligence Agency China CIA Colombia East Jerusalem Egypt European Union FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation France Free Syrian Army Gaza George W. Bush Germany Gilad Atzmon Hamas Hebron Hezbollah Honduras Hugo Chávez Human rights India Intelligence International Atomic Energy Agency International Middle East Media Center International Solidarity Movement Internet Iran Iraq Iraq War Israel Israeli settlement Japan Jerusalem John Kerry Latin America Lebanon Libya Ma'an Middle East National Security Agency NATO New York Times NSA Obama Pakistan Palestine Palestinian prisoners in Israel Press TV Russia Sanctions against Iran Saudi Arabia South America Syria Turkey UK United Nations United States USA Venezuela West Bank Yemen Zionism
Bill Mitchell on Obama’s Popularity Among… dioniomas on Kerry says US will continue to… newsens on How to Debunk WTC Thermit… masteradrian on Israeli authorities refuse Dut… aletho on Israeli authorities refuse Dut… masteradrian on Israeli authorities refuse Dut… R.Sooriamoorthy on OBAMA FALSELY ASSERTS HE IS MA… PeterP on US Spy Satellite Logo Not At A… Pierre Omidyar: givi… on LATE VICTORIAN HOLOCAUSTS BY M… edwinalowes on Hamas: Any peace treaty with I… edwinalowes on Conceived in Israel PokeTheTruth on Will the Pope insist on seeing… Anthony Clifton on Conceived in Israel Netanyahu Screws It… on Israeli settlers storm into Pa… Donna Free on Obama’s Popularity Among…
Site infoAletho News
The Andreas04 Theme.