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Does Hamas Hate Peace?

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[CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names » Does Hamas Hate Peace? ]

Does Hamas Hate Peace?

Ignore Them at Your Peril

by RON SMITH

Certainly, the consistent message of Western Media seems to suggest that this is the case. HAMAS represents the most popular wing of that Western bogeyman, Political Islam, in Palestine. It has been labeled by Western governments as a terrorist group, and is seen as an organization bent on the destruction of Israel. It is also a pragmatic organization that has captured a small majority of Palestinian support for its public refusal to accept the most heinous proposals offered by the Israeli occupation in the interminable peace process. There are no small numbers of Palestinians who bitterly oppose HAMAS’s policy domestically, but in this bloody summer of 2014, proffer their full support for HAMAS’s acts of resistance against the occupation and the siege in Gaza. Here, I hope to provide a critical analysis of the false pretense reproduced as Western media repeats phrases such as “HAMAS rejects Egypt’s cease fire proposal” and HAMAS “opposes terms for ceasefire”, and to explore the importance of HAMAS in the current political landscape.

I have made the siege of Gaza the focus of my research for the last 5 years, and have had the privilege of entering Gaza multiple times to see, first-hand, the effects of Israeli policy on the civilian population. What I have encountered could be considered nothing other than collective punishment, itself a crime against humanity. The strength of the resolve of HAMAS is that it draws upon the deep frustration Gazans have with Western-oriented FATAH leaders who excuse and accept the continued human rights catastrophe that is the Israeli siege.

It is easy to forget that HAMAS won the Palestinian legislative elections in 2006, largely the result of a protest vote against FATAH leadership who seemed disposed to negotiate Palestine into oblivion. FATAH insisted on using the terms of the 1993 Oslo interim agreement as a starting point with any negotiation with Israel, while Israel regularly violates the terms of these accords. The FATAH Palestinian Authority leadership is ossified, seen by many Gazans as trading the crumbs of VIP checkpoint passes for the politicians in the West Bank and access to international donors’ funds for any possible future peace with justice for the wrongs of the ongoing Israeli occupation of Palestine. The terms of Oslo were themselves an absurd step backwards for Palestinian liberation, splitting the West Bank into 3 zones (Areas A, B, and C) and fragmenting potential areas of a future Palestinian state into isolated Bantustans. Gaza itself was completely isolated by Israel, and though the Oslo accords treat Gaza and the West Bank as inseparable, Israel has done all in its power to subvert this collective identity. In effect, the very notion of “facts on the ground” was reified by the FATAH leadership, further empowering Israeli intransigence and an unwillingness to negotiate in good faith.  The extent of this enabling was documented in the Palestine Papers, published by Al Jazeera, wherein PA negotiators allegedly went so far as to ask Israel to reoccupy the Philadelphi corridor along Gaza’s southern border in order to help topple HAMAS.

In contrast, HAMAS, once it came into power in the Gaza Strip followed another tack: HAMAS insisted that Israel honor UN resolution 242 that demands Israel withdraw to its pre-1967 boundaries, Israel must follow the norms of international law, and in return HAMAS would enforce a 99-year truce with Israel. The idea of this proposal is that while the parties to any current agreement are themselves the victims of countless atrocities, if a 99 year truce can be maintained, the progeny of the signatories would have no personal grudges, no personal experience of the pain of occupation, and would be willing to create a permanent solution. HAMAS has made this proposal numerous times, though these proposals are unsurprisingly missing from US media portrayals of the Islamist group.

To begin with the Oslo accords, and to accept further expansion of settlements and the ever greater limitation of Palestinian political aspirations was more than most Palestinians could accept. In the intervening years, Gazans suffered under the brutal regime of the Israeli siege, and many suffered from problematic policies put into place by the HAMAS government itself, which become more professionalized, bureaucratized, and seemed to be unable to settle on a coherent policy of resistance, the very reason they were voted into power in the first place. When I was most recently in Gaza, earlier this summer, I saw a population that was growing tired of HAMAS refusing to support popular positions, and one that spent the majority of its time quashing resistance and democratic movements among the youth and non-affiliated sectors of the population. This was a HAMAS that prevented groups from firing rockets into Israel and enforced the terms of ceasefire agreements with Israel, a far cry from the bastions of armed resistance that had made HAMAS a popular option in the elections. The HAMAS that signed on to the unity government was not in a position of strength, and as the West Bank PA leadership played games with the terms of the agreement, HAMAS struck back by closing the banks across Gaza, a move sure to further alienate it from a people already suffering from the artificial humanitarian crisis of the siege.

Once the Israeli attacks on Gaza began, it became clear that HAMAS was now in a struggle for its own existence, in addition to being the voice of the armed resistance in Gaza. Their popularity has skyrocketed since the invasion began, and they are seen once again as an alternative to the avarice and cowardice of Mahmoud Abbas’s leadership in the West Bank. All of this is in the context of the failure of Arab leaders across the Middle East to take meaningful stands against the occupation. Egypt, after the fall of Morsi, continues to actively aid the Israeli and international community’s enforcement of the siege, and to spread propaganda about the threat Gaza poses to the Egyptian homeland.

Israel has emphatically denied the targeting of civilians, and insists on the humanitarian nature of its operation. This claim, however, comes from the same military and civil organizations that for 2 years denied Gazans access to chickpeas for hummus, bath sponges, and unfertilized chicken eggs (GISHA). Instead, Israel has repeatedly targeted civilians and fundamental civilian infrastructure. This same infrastructure has been made all the more vulnerable by repeated Israeli invasions since 2000 and punitive siege measures that prevent the entry of materials that would allow vital repairs to keep the water flowing and the electricity running.

Many observers fail to understand the importance of this infrastructure. Gaza, as many have pointed out, includes refugee camps which are the most densely populated areas on earth. A lack of electricity is not an inconvenience, it is a calamity. All aspects of clean water provision require uninterrupted electric service, throughout the water chain. This includes the pumps at the wells, the reverse osmosis filters in the desalination plants, the distribution pumps, and even the small electrical pumps in the multistory apartment buildings in the camps, where water and electricity must be present at the same time in order to fill the rooftop tanks. The electricity supplies the refrigerators and the fans in the overcrowded rooms in the camps, often housing 15 people in two 3 by 3 meter rooms, in an area of high humidity and summer temperatures of up to 100 degrees. This same electric supply is all that keeps the lights and incubators on at the hospitals.

This is to say nothing of the sewage systems, again repeatedly targeted in this and all other Israeli bombing campaigns, which create sewage tsunamis, floods, and destruction of the marine ecosystem. This ecosystem sustains the few brave fishermen that return to the seas to face the violence of .50 caliber guns on the Israeli navy ships that patrol the ever decreasing fishing boundaries to augment the protein intake of Gazans and to promote the rich fish-based culinary culture.

Gazans are a resourceful group, by necessity. In the face of the international siege, Gazans moved underground, and created a tunnel economy that by some accounts included as many as 3000 tunnels. These tunnels were regulated by HAMAS, and the goods from the tunnels populated the markets, the convenience stores, and the home goods stores for the entire strip. These tunnels were dug by hand in the sandy soil along the Southern border, using hand-drawn maps. They represented a challenge to the international boundary, and were built in open defiance of the siege. Along with the products smuggled through the tunnels came the expected distortions of Gazan and Egyptian economies. Tunnel owners became relatively wealthy, while the workers were paid less and less as the tunnels became more common. Soon electrical goods flooded the market, from televisions to refrigerators to air conditioners, but what good were these items with no electricity to run them? In the end, this warren of tunnels under the border were ended by the US-supported Sisi regime, and flooded with sewage. The tunnels, for the most part, came to an end, and the largest source of employment disappeared. The economic impacts of the destruction of the tunnels were significant, as more and more Gazans became dependent on international food aid, reaching 80 percent of the population. Population densities in the camps actually increased, as young Gazan families were unable to afford rents on apartments, and moved back in with their extended families. This contributed to an increase in diseases such as scabies and lice, and a resurgence of mumps in the confined spaces of the camps.

Why is HAMAS so reluctant to accept a ceasefire? Because life before the invasion was intolerable. With the ascendence of Sisi to power in Egypt, Gazans are completely dependent on Israel, a hostile occupier, for all goods entering the strip, for electricity, for water, for safe passage. All the while, Israel denies its responsibilities under international law to maintain the wellbeing of the occupied population, and engages in wholesale transfer of populations, another violation of human rights. All the while, the world turns a blind eye to these violations, and Israel becomes ever more blatant in its disregard for common human decency. This is a scenario no country would accept.

It is important to ask at this time, why would HAMAS increase in popularity so dramatically, if, as Israeli and numerous US media pundits would have us believe, that they themselves are to blame for the massive civilian deaths throughout the Gaza Strip since the beginning of Operation “Protective Edge”? Herein lies the contradiction of collective punishment. Gaza’s siege has created unbearable hardship for Gazans throughout the strip, and across class, politics and geography. Gazans that I have met have been harsh critics of the HAMAS regime. Those critiques, by and large, have largely been focused on domestic policy, perceived local mismanagement and the lack of progress in bringing the siege to an end and softening the occupation. HAMAS’s support before the current invasion was far greater in the West Bank, where Palestinians suffer under Israeli colonialism and FATAH collaboration with the Israelis. In the end, this is the explanation for the significant expansion of public support for HAMAS in Gaza. They have come to represent resistance. Resistance in the context of the siege, of periodic invasions, the day to day humiliations and injustices, the lack of clean water, electricity, housing, and medical care, the constant firing on fishermen, farmers and rubble gatherers, is the embodiment for many of sumoud, the spirit of steadfastness that permeates popular Palestinian society. As one Gazan blogger recently posted, “People find it hard to understand, the youth, we hate Gaza, we only want to leave, but we love it and will fight for it. We will not be refugees again, it is our home.”

It is Israel that drops 1-ton bombs into overcrowded housing. It is Israel that attacks UN schools that it acknowledges are shelters. It is Israel that shuts off power and water supplies, and limits the entry of food through the Karm Abu Salem terminal. It is Israel that has killed 1900 Gazans, the overwhelming majority civilians. To blame Gazans or even HAMAS for this is unconscionable, and nonsensical. This was a war of choice, based on false premises. Ostensibly the original justification was the abduction of three teenagers on the West Bank, which all, even Israel, now acknowledges, was not the act of HAMAS. Israel has created and taken advantage of an opportunity to attempt to destroy HAMAS and to try to crush Palestinian resistance through bombs, bullets, and missiles. It will fail, but at an unacceptable human cost. With each Gazan child killed, the pain of international culpability in the siege and the invasion is further exacerbated.

HAMAS’s rocket fire and tunnel strategy, as impotent as it may very well appear, may be the only thing preventing a shift to genuine terrorism. The repeated calls in the US congress to denounce HAMAS activities as human rights violations are intolerable hypocrisy in the face of one of the most advanced militaries on the planet deliberately targeting civilians, their homes, and their infrastructure. Israel does this knowing that unless its siege is lifted, it will be almost impossible to rebuild. HAMAS is not the ideal, neither for Gazans, the West or for Israel. They are, however, a group which carries the support of large sectors of the population, and the democratically-elected leaders of Palestine. This is something Israelis, and the West need to fully comprehend: HAMAS is your partner for peace and for negotiations. Ignore them, or attempt to destroy them at your own peril. It is the very violations of international humanitarian law, the wanton destruction of civilians and UN hospitals, clinics, and schools, and the unwillingness of the world powers to condemn these actions, that makes violent armed resistance, including that aimed at civilian targets, an attractive option to a population that has been deserted by the world. Peace is not a ceasefire. For these reasons, alternatives to violence must be pursued. The most promising of these non-violent forms of resistance is the global grassroots solidarity movement encapsulated in Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions.  BDS is not only practicable, it is also gaining more and more traction in light of the intransigence and complicity of the West in the violations of decency, humanity, and human rights law.

Ron Smith is an Assistant Professor in the Department of International Relations at Bucknell University.

This article originally appeared in Logos.


–Joe

Written by Joe Blow

August 8, 2014 at 6:56 pm

No Recognition – No Peace

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It’s about time.

Abbas: We’ll never sign deal demanding recognition of Israel as Jewish state

“The PA recognized Israel’s existence in 1993, and now Israel needs to recognize the Palestinian state in line with the 1967 borders.”

Mutual recognition and acceptance, represented in the simple handshake, is the first prerequisite for peace.  Israel’s unilateral demand for Palestinian recognition as a legitimate Jewish state – “declare its recognition of Israel as a national home for the Jewish people” – is a demand for surrender and submission.

The New York Times lays out Michael B. Oren’s Israeli position. He is Israel’s ambassador to the United States.

An End to Israel’s Invisibility

By MICHAEL B. OREN Published: October 13, 2010

NEARLY 63 years after the United Nations recognized the right of the Jewish people to independence in their homeland — and more than 62 years since Israel’s creation — the Palestinians are still denying the Jewish nature of the state.

The reason, as history so clearly proves is that the Jewish people’s so-called “independence in their homeland” is illegitimate. The are simply thieves and plunderers and a mob’s acceptance justifies only anarchy, chaos and war. The proof is the Jew’s abject refusal to recognize the Palestinians as a legitimate people for 63 years. As long as the Arabs, in particular the Palestinian people,  reject the legitimacy of a Jewish State regardless of what the United Nations or other exterior countries do, the Jews are without standing and will not hold that land.

–Joe

Talk Peace – Make War

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[Update Below]

Governments continue to alienate their people while they merrily go about their dark, covert dirty business of lying, deceiving, making deliberate false accusations to obfuscate their acts of war.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports today: Report: “U.S., Israeli warships cross Suez Canal toward Red Sea” – “Egypt opposition angered at government for allowing the fleet of more than 12 ships to cross Egyptian manned waterway, Al-Quds Al-Arabi (an independent pan-Arab daily newspaper published in London since 1989) reports.”

According to the report, thousands of Egyptian soldiers were deployed along the Suez Canal guarding the ships’ passage, which included a U.S. aircraft carrier.

Egyptian opposition members have criticized the government for cooperating with the U.S. and Israeli forces and allowing the ships’ passage through Egyptian territorial waters.

According to eyewitnesses, the U.S. battleships were the largest to have crossed the Canal in many years, Al-Quds reported.

As the US and Israel move to further threaten Iran, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday that US intelligence has learned that Iran has the capability to attack Europe with hundreds of missiles.The Jerusalem Post reports today that: Iran: “Our missiles are for defense

 Official:US claims we can rain missiles down on Europe “deception.”

The Jerusalem Post also reports today: Iran: Sanctions reflect double standard” —“Teheran calls for investigation of Israeli nukes.”

 So, what does the future hold for these might empires? How about a lesson from the past? The following commentary by someone that’s worked a lifetime in peace and conflict resolution spoke about the future of America in this world starting in Afghanistan:

 I think it will end, by and large, the same way as Vietnam. That means United States becoming irrelevant.  ****

 And to quote one important exchange of words in that remark, one of the last commanders in Vietnam on the American side said to the top person in North Vietnam, “You were never able to beat us in any open battle.” And the North Vietnamese response was “Correct, but it is irrelevant.” You can be a superpower as much as you want. You’re up against a force, incidentally, which has enormous amounts of world support. That simply is superior.

 It’s called the “silent treatment.”

[UPDATE :: Tuesday, June 22, 2010]

The warmongers just keep pushing and pushing. Our beneficent and benevolent government representatives take the lead as they enforce the corrupt ruling elite’s longterm objectives. Here’s the update: Congress unveils hard-hitting Iran sanctions bill.

–Joe 

Who is the real threat to peace?

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Anyone know why this?

 

President Obama, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton including the majority in Congress support Israel and the Jews without question while Obama has done nothing but pay lip-service to the manufactured foreclosure crisis that is making millions homeless. Anyone know why? 

Do you know why American tax payer’s are subsidizing these people? There seems to be a real contradiction in this country. It seems we have all the money in the world for phony wars, the Jews, Pentagon, banks and big corporations, but no money for meaningful healthcare, Social Security or Medicare. 

Counterpunch has more on this well worth reading if you’re interested in what you buy with some of your tax dollars:
The Pentagon’s Escalating Share
Where Your Taxes Go  

By DAVE LINDORFF – April 13, 2010 


 

[Picture Source] Click the picture and tell me if you’d like to live in a place like that? 

–Joe

Obama, “Join The World”

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chomsky

Noam Chomsky - photo by John Soares

Noam Chomsky on US Expansion of Afghan Occupation, the Uses of NATO, and What Obama Should Do in Israel-Palestine

If you’re interested in an objective observation on Israel and the United States’ true objectives for the Middle East, read NOAM CHOMSKY’s latest on Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu and what he sees coming up.

Well, Benjamin Netanyahu is on the—you can’t say on the far right anymore, because the country has moved so far to the right that he’s almost centrist. To the far right is his foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, who has made his first pronouncement yesterday. He said that Israel has no responsibilities for any previous commitments, not the Annapolis commitment to eventually form some sort of Palestinian state, unclear what, only to the road map. Now, that’s what was reported yesterday in the press.

Now, what’s Israel’s commitment to the road map? He knows very well. The road map is the famous decision of the Quartet—US, Europe, Russia and the United Nations. A couple years ago, it sort of laid out vague plans for what ought to be done. It’s worth looking at them. But put that aside, because really it doesn’t matter, because as soon as the road map came out, Israel formally accepted it and instantly added fourteen reservations, which completely eviscerated it. One of the contributions of Jimmy Carter’s book on Israel-Palestine was that he was the first, I think, to give public attention to the Israeli reservations. They’re in an appendix to his book, bitterly condemned book, but nobody ever mentioned the one major contribution.

In effect, Israel said, “We’ll sign the road map, but we’re not going to observe it, because here’s the conditions.” So, for example, the condition—one condition is that nothing can happen until the Palestinians end, of course, all violence, but also all incitement, so anything critical of Israel. On the other hand, it added, nothing can stop Israel from carrying out violence and incitement. It was explicit, approximately those words. And so it continues. There can be no discussion of the existence of settlements, in fact, no discussion of anything that matters. That’s the road map. Now, the US supported that. That means both the US and Israel reject the road map. And Lieberman’s statement yesterday is, well, that’s our only commitment. You know, if we had a functioning media, those would be the headlines.

And there’s much more to this. You know, President Obama appointed a Middle East emissary, George Mitchell, who’s a reasonable choice if he’s allowed to do anything. So far, he’s only allowed to listen to almost everyone, not everyone. For example, he’s not allowed to listen to the elected government in Palestine, the Hamas-led government. Well, it would be hard to listen to them, because half of them are in Israeli prisons, but nevertheless, you know, they have voices. For example, they’ve supported the call for a two-state settlement that the United States and Israel have rejected. So they’ve joined the world on that.

But why are we not allowed to listen to Hamas? Well, because they don’t meet three conditions that were established. One is, they have to accept the road map, which we and Israel reject, but they have to accept it, otherwise we can’t allow them into the civilized world. The other is, they have to renounce violence. Well, we don’t have to discuss the question whether the United States and Israel renounce violence, so we can put that aside. Third, they have to recognize Israel, but, of course, we don’t have to recognize Palestine, nor does Israel. So they have to meet three conditions that we don’t meet and that Israel doesn’t meet. But again, that passes without comment.

Regarding President Obama role right now:

He should join the world. There has been an overwhelming international consensus for over thirty years. It was made explicit in January 1976, when the Arab states brought a resolution to the Security Council calling for the establishment of two states on the international border, which indeed the international border, up until then, was recognized by the United States. It means the pre-June ’67 border. And official US terminology, when it was still part of the world in the late ’60s, was “with minor and mutual modifications,” so maybe straighten out some curves. Almost the entire world agrees with this. It has been blocked by the United States. The United States vetoed that resolution. It vetoed a similar one in 1980. I won’t run through the record, but it’s essentially the same up ’til now.

So what President Obama should do is, in fact, what President Clinton did in the last few weeks of his administration. It’s important to recognize what happened then. There were negotiations in Camp David in the summer of 2000, which collapsed. Clinton blamed Arafat, the head of the Palestinian delegation, for the breakdown, but he backed off of that pretty quickly. By December, he formerly recognized that the US-Israeli proposals at Camp David could not be accepted by any Palestinian, and he presented what he called his parameters, somewhat vague but more forthcoming. He then made a speech, an important speech, in which he said both sides have accepted the parameters, both sides have expressed reservations. Well, they met in Taba, Egypt, in January 2001, both sides, to iron out the reservations, and they came very close to an agreement, which was very close to the international consensus.

What he thinks about the “two-state” solution:

Nobody supports—I mean, you can talk about a one-state solution, if you want. I think a better solution is a no-state solution. But this is pie in the sky. If you’re really in favor of a one-state solution, which in fact I’ve been all my life—accept a bi-national state, not one state—you have to give a path to get from here to there. Otherwise, it’s just talk. Now, the only path anyone has ever proposed —— is through two states as the first stage.

So, there you have it. There’s no peace in the Middle East because Israel and the United States refuse to recognize the Palestinian people’s legitimate right to exist.

Compliments of Democracy Now

Link to Noam Chomsky’s website. [photo by John Soares]

–Joe

Peace, Peace and NO PEACE PARTNER

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President’s first interview since taking office
Obama tells Al Arabiya peace talks should resume
Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Is this the voice of real change?alarabia_obama

Q: President Bush framed the war on terror conceptually in a way that was very broad, “war on terror,” and used sometimes certain terminology that the many people — Islamic fascism. You’ve always framed it in a different way, specifically against one group called al Qaeda and their collaborators. And is this one way of —

THE PRESIDENT: I think that you’re making a very important point. And that is that the language we use matters. And what we need to understand is, is that there are extremist organizations — whether Muslim or any other faith in the past — that will use faith as a justification for violence. We cannot paint with a broad brush a faith as a consequence of the violence that is done in that faith’s name.

And so you will I think see our administration be very clear in
distinguishing between organizations like al Qaeda — that espouse violence, espouse terror and act on it — and people who may disagree with my administration and certain actions, or may have a particular viewpoint in terms of how their countries should develop. We can have legitimate disagreements but still be respectful. I cannot respect terrorist organizations that would kill innocent civilians and we will hunt them down.

But to the broader Muslim world what we are going to be offering is a hand of friendship.

hamasThese are President Barack Obama’s words recorded in his interview with Al Arabbiya News Channel.

Previously, on Friday, 23 January 2009 he said:

Obama warned Hamas fighters, who seized control of Gaza in 2007, that they must halt rocket fire on southern Israel and that Washington would continue to support Israel’s right to defend itself.

“For years Hamas has launched thousands of rockets at innocent Israeli citizens. No democracy can tolerate such danger to its people,” Obama said.

“To be a genuine party to peace … Hamas must meet clear conditions, recognize Israel’s right to exist, renounce violence and abide by past agreements.”

“To be a genuine party to peace …”or the prerequisite conditions laid down by the aggressor requires the victim to “recognize the legitimate right to exist, renounce violence and abide by past agreements.”

Failure to meet these standards or prerequisites by either side would mean that side is NOT a “genuine party to peace.” Barack Obama says he “cannot respect terrorist organizations that would kill innocent civilians and we will hunt them down.”

Who is killing innocent civilians, mostly children? Anyone see the rank hypocrisy here? The Zionist Jews for 60 years refuse to recognize the Palestinian peoples legitimate right to exist, to renounce violence against the civilian population or keep any agreement. Yet that is what Barack Obama demands. That isn’t making peace. That is forced SURRENDER AND RAPE!

It should be noted that what Israel did to the Palestinians in this latest assault shoves Gaza right up America’s derriere.


Addendum :: Wednesday, Jan. 28  2009

The United States and Israel conspire with their Palestine collaborators to justify more assaults on Gaza. Reuters’ latest, Israel strikes in Gaza as Obama envoy holds talks says in part:

Moments earlier, a militant group with links to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement claimed responsibility for firing a rocket at southern Israel late on Wednesday.

Israel has said it will hold Gaza’s Hamas rulers responsible for all attacks launched from the coastal territory, and had warned of a stronger response to the killing of a soldier on Tuesday in an explosion by a Gaza border fence.

Mitchell met Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Wednesday and will meet Abbas on Thursday.

Western diplomats said Mitchell would not meet Hamas, a group shunned by the U.S. and Europe for it refusal to recognize Israel.

Refusing to recognize the duly and legally elected Hamas government is a refusal to recognize the Palestinian people. Obama is no peace partner.

 


Update:
This is what it all leads to and why: Breaking News: SE Asia Groups Claim to Plan Retaliation for Gaza Killings. Said to Target Israeli Government, Intel in Bangkok, Manila, Singapore. By Allan Nairn

The sources for this report, themselves religious Muslims, say they condemn the groups’ tactics but share their anger at Israeli forces’ repeated killings of civilians.

It is not clear if the planning talk is just bravado, or if it’s true they’ll just target combatants, since — like their Israeli and US counterparts — these groups have repeatedly shown their willingness to kill many civilians to make a point. (Islamist terror leaders like Bin Laden and Abu Bakar Baasyir frequently state this openly; for a rare, frank statement of near-identical Western pro-terror thinking see Thomas L. Friedman, who writes approvingly that in Gaza, Israel was “trying to ‘educate’ Hamas” by attacking not just Hamas combatants but also by “inflicting” “heavy pain on the Gaza population,” just as in Israel’s attack on Lebanon ‘06 “the only long-term source of deterrence was to exact enough pain on the civilians…” Thomas L. Friedman, “Israel’s Goals in Gaza?,” New York Times, January 13, 2009. Also see News and Comment posting of Nov. 28, 2007, “Thomas L. Friedman and the Bali Bombers. Cold-Blooded Celebrity”).

Those that moralize the justification for “inflicting” “heavy pain on the Gaza population Friedman says regarding Lebanon’s Hezbolla:

Israel’s counter strategy was to use its Air Force to pummel Hezbollah and, while not directly targeting the Lebanese civilians with whom Hezbollah was intertwined, to inflict substantial property damage and collateral casualties on Lebanon at large. It was not pretty, but it was logical. Israel basically said that when dealing with a nonstate actor, Hezbollah, nested among civilians, the only long-term source of deterrence was to exact enough pain on the civilians — the families and employers of the militants — to restrain Hezbollah in the future.

need to be taken out and stood against a wall. It is as simple as that.

–Joe

HOPE is a JOKE

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The REAL Mr. Obama begins to show his true colors.

Hope in Hell

Hope in Hell

Is he the Princely Savior most everyone thinks he is? Will he free us forevermore of these evil terrorists and corrupt religious extremist that want to rule the world? Is he the champion of all the bottom-feeders and rock-crawlers of this country and the World?  Is he the promised Messiah for the poor, the downtrodden and all of us no-named refugees cohabiting on borrowed lands? Will he bring peace and justice to an amoral and corrupt society with all the trappings of self-sacrificing harmony and prosperity?  Will he finally give America and Americans that sense of identity and personal worth that defines and establishes our legitimate right to recognize and be recognized as humans with some vague measure of value. Or is he, in fact, the Anti-Christ?

Why would Mr. Obama adopt the same attitude towards the Palestinian peoples that the previous administrations had? Why does it take a couragouse Jew to get out the truth about Zionist Israel’s criminal assaults on innocent civilian people? Here is some of what Noam Chomsky had to say about Mr. Obama and Israel’s burgeoning crimes.

Obama’s Stance on Gaza Crisis “Approximately the Bush Position”

NOAM CHOMSKY: It’s approximately the Bush position. He began by saying that Israel, like any democracy, has a right to defend itself. That’s true, but there’s a gap in the reasoning. It has a right to defend itself. It doesn’t follow that it has a right to defend itself by force. So we might agree, say, that, you know, the British army in the United States in the colonies in 1776 had a right to defend itself from the terror of George Washington’s armies, which was quite real, but it didn’t follow they had a right to defend themselves by force, because they had no right to be here. So, yes, they had a right to defend themselves, and they had a way to do it—namely, leave. Same with the Nazis defending themselves against the terror of the partisans. They have no right to do it by force. In the case of Israel, it’s exactly the same. They have a right to defend themselves, and they can easily do it. One, in a narrow sense, they could have done it by accepting the ceasefire that Hamas proposed right before the invasion—I won’t go through the details—a ceasefire that had been in place and that Israel violated and broke.

But in a broader sense—and this is a crucial omission in everything Obama said, and if you know who his advisers are, you understand why—Israel can defend itself by stopping its crimes. Gaza and the West Bank are a unit. Israel, with US backing, is carrying out constant crimes, not only in Gaza, but also in the West Bank, where it is moving systematically with US support to take over the parts of the West Bank that it wants and to leave Palestinians isolated in unviable cantons, Bantustans, as Sharon called them. Well, stop those crimes, and resistance to them will stop.

Now, Israel has been able pretty much to stop resistance in the Occupied Territories, thanks in large part to the training that Obama praised by Jordan, of course with US funding and monitoring control. So, yes, they’ve managed to. They, in fact, have been suppressing demonstrations, even demonstrations, peaceful demonstrations, that called for support for the people of Gaza. They have carried out lots of arrests. In fact, they’re a collaborationist force, which supports the US and Israel in their effort to take over the West Bank.

Now, that’s what Obama—if Israel—there’s no question that all of these acts are in total violation of the foundations of international humanitarian law. Israel knows it. Their own advisers have told each other—legal advisers have explained that to them back in ’67. The World Court ruled on it. So it’s all total criminality. But they want to be able to persist without any objection. And that’s the thrust of Obama’s remarks. Not a single word about US-backed Israeli crimes, settlement development, cantonization, a takeover in the West Bank. Rather, everyone should be quiet and let the United States and Israel continue with it.

He spoke about the constructive steps of the peace—of the Arab peace agreement very selectively. He said they should move forward towards normalization of relations with Israel. But that wasn’t the main theme of the Arab League peace proposal. It was that there should be a two-state settlement, which the US blocks. I mean, he said some words about a two-state settlement, but not where or when or how or anything else. He said nothing about the core of the problem: the US-backed criminal activities both in Gaza, which they attacked at will, and crucially in the West Bank. That’s the core of the problem.

And you can understand it when you look at his advisers. So, say, Dennis Ross wrote an 800-page book about—in which he blamed Arafat for everything that’s happening—barely mentions the word “settlement” over—which was increasing steadily during the period when he was Clinton’s adviser, in fact peaked, a sharp increase in Clinton’s last year, not a word about it.

So the thrust of his remarks, Obama’s remarks, is that Israel has a right to defend itself by force, even though it has peaceful means to defend itself, that the Arabs must—states must move constructively to normalize relations with Israel, but very carefully omitting the main part of their proposal was that Israel, which is Israel and the United States, should join the overwhelming international consensus for a two-state settlement. That’s missing.

Gaza Burning

Gaza Burning

Noam Chomsky continues to hope for a “two-state settlement,” but the religious bigots in American and their counterpart Zionist Jews foreclosed on the reality when they declared war on innocent women and children with the stated goal of forcing their men to capitulate to the unique superiority of the Jew and their rights to take whatever land they want. In other words they need the Palestinian people to justify their right to exist as a nation or as a legitimate entity. This is why the so-called war an Hamas; they refuse to surrender their manhood and womanhood to the Jew.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Noam Chomsky, I’d like to ask you about the enormous civilian casualties that have shocked the entire world in this last Israeli offensive. The Israelis claim, on the one hand, that it’s the unfortunate result of Hamas hiding among the civilian population, but you’ve said in a recent analysis that this has been Israeli policy almost from the founding of the state, the attack on civilian populations. Could you explain?

NOAM CHOMSKY: They say so. I was just quoting the chief of staff—this is thirty years ago, virtually no Palestinian terrorism in Israel, virtually. He said, “Our policy has been to attack civilians.” And the reason was explained—you know, villages, towns, so on. And it was explained by Abba Eban, the distinguished statesman, who said, “Yes, that’s what we’ve done, and we did it for a good reason. There was a rational prospect that if we attack the civilian population and cause it enough pain, they will press for a,” what he called, “a cessation of hostilities.” That’s a euphemism meaning cessation of resistance against Israel’s takeover of the—moves which were going on at the time to take over the Occupied Territories. So, sure, if they—“We’ll kill enough of them, so that they’ll press for quiet to permit us to continue what we’re doing.”
Actually, you know, Obama today didn’t put it in those words, but the meaning is approximately the same. That’s the meaning of his silence over the core issue of settling and takeover of the Occupied Territories and eliminating the possibility for any Palestinian meaningful independence, omission of this. But Eban [inaudible], who I was quoting, chief of staff, would have also said, you know, “And my heart bleeds for the civilians who are suffering. But what can we do? We have to pursue the rational prospect that if we cause them enough pain, they’ll call off any opposition to our takeover of their lands and resources.” But it was—I mean, I was just quoting it. They said it very frankly. That was thirty years ago, and there’s plenty more beside that.

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