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Stop the False Rhetoric; The Two-State Solution is Dead

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it is time to recognize the impossibility of reaching a two-state solution and start engaging in a new process. (ActiveStills.org, file)

it is time to recognize the impossibility of reaching a two-state solution and start engaging in a new process

It is safe to say that under their present conditions, the Palestinians’ situation is in shambles. Their spatial fragmentation imposed on them by Zionist colonialists and their incompetent self-serving corrupt leadership hardly leaves room for optimism. The rhetoric of Mahmud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority (PA) calls for freedom from occupation and end to settlements but his security forces arrest and jail those who challenge the occupation and the settlers. The IDF and the settlers who perpetuate violence against Palestinians and their property know they are not likely to face any punitive action from the Israeli authorities for their crimes.

The Israelis resent being called “occupiers,” or “colonialists, but their actions are documented as that of colonial/settler society. Israel trashes any report by human rights organization as biased, distorted, and, when necessary anti-Semitic. Abbas asks the Palestinians, who have little legal recourse against the attacks of the occupation forces and armed settlers, not to retaliate and accept the insults and humiliation. He dehumanizes his own people and does not seem to agree with the nineteenth century African-American reformer, Fredrick Douglas that “If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.”

The Palestinian leadership recognized Israel while neither the Zionist project nor the state that it created ever recognized the indigenous Palestinians as a people for whom Palestine had been their homeland for more than 1,500 years. Instead, they were deemed “Arabs,” who would be absorbed into adjacent Arab territories. When David Ben-Gurion came to Palestine in 1906, he came not to escape persecution but to fulfill Hertzl’s dream of a national Jewish home in “Eretz Israel” and in the years to come he was unambiguous regarding the boundaries of that nation. On January 7, 1937, in his testimony before the Peel Commission, he stated, “I say on behalf of the Jews, that the Bible of our Mandate, the Bible which was written by us, in our language, in Hebrew, in this very country [Palestine]. This is our Mandate; it was only the recognition of this right which was expressed in the Balfour Declaration.

In Zionist lexicon Palestine was “a land without people for a people without land,” but when the new state of Israel declared its territorial domain at independence, Jews owned only 6.8 percent of the land. Israel enacted many new laws to transfer ownership of all the land to the state of Israel. Palestinians who fled or expelled from their homes before and during the Arab-Israeli war are not allowed to return to their homes. Even those who remained within the borders of what would become Israel were legislatively deemed “present absentees,” and they were not indemnified for lost property. The Palestinians who retreated to nearby villages when theirs was under attack were deemed to have fled their property, even if they did not intend to leave for more than a few days. The property was expropriated. A common practice was the use of emergency regulations to declare land belonging to Palestinian citizens a close military zone, forcing the population out before using one of the many absentee laws to declare the land the property of the state.

Zionism is a liberal fascist expansionist movement that does not see natural boundaries to its ambitions; and Israel never abandoned the Zionists’ territorial expansion scheme defined in maps presented by the Zionist delegation to the 1919 Paris Conference after World War I. The map covers all historic Palestine and areas from the Arab neighboring states.

While Israel was wreaking havoc in the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza, Abbas told visiting Israelis at his headquarters in 2014: “the security coordination [with the Israeli occupation military and the Shabak] is sacred, and we will continue it.” He said recently: “Security coordination is on until now.” This is consistent with his long-standing strategy of capitulation on Palestinian rights while the Israeli governments never reciprocated. Even the US officials admit that Abbas had bent over backwards to accommodate virtually every Israeli demand.

Abbas was the architect of Oslo agreements that helped Israel control the Palestinians in the occupied lands by proxy and at no cost. He had publically given up on the UN Resolution 194 that gave the Palestinian refugees and their descendents the right of return to their homes, thus legitimized Israel’s cleansing of the Palestinians! Judge Richard Goldstone, a Jewish liberal with close ties to Israel, dared to place his conscience above his career and exalt Israeli crimes against the Palestinians in Gaza in 2009. He told the Israeli military and political leaders, “You have to defend yourself in the Criminal Court.” This was the first time the human rights dimension of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has moved center stage; the Israeli government campaign against Goldstone took the form of venomous denunciation; but Mahmud Abbas, the President of the PA and the Chairman of the PLO, asked his envoy in Washington to ignore the report.

I hate to say that, more than any other time the Palestinians need leaders with the stature and the dedication of their adversaries Chaim Weizmann or David Ben-Gurion to salvage their cause, rather than the likes of the self-serving Abbas and his cronies. When the Zionists thought that Britain, that gave them Palestine in Balfour Declaration, turned from enabler to obstacle and backpedal on its promises, Ben-Gurion and his colleagues did not coordinate with the British Mandate security forces against their people! They turned against Great Britain.

More than six decades after the establishment of Israel on seventy eight percent of Palestine and almost five decades after occupying the rest of their country, the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza and in the refugee camps are frustrated. There is simmering resentment, anger, derogatory remarks against their leadership and accusation of duplicity and demand for dignity and justice among the Palestinians. For every Palestinian, the humiliation and dispossession meted out by the omnipresent of the military occupation and the hordes of settlers trigger both individual and collective outrage.

Abbas explained that his motive for security coordination with Israeli occupation military against his people is to protect his country. The question is: what country is Abbas trying to protect? There are three very different visions for what a Palestinian state should be, the one promised by the PLO leaders rhetoric; the one negotiated by the PLO and Israeli elites behind closed doors in Oslo; and the mini-state that Israel has been creating in the occupied West Bank under the cover of Oslo, Camp David, and the Quart’s fiction of two-state “roadmap.”

Based on their leaders’ rhetoric that pretend they are engaged while Israel establishes and expands settlements, the Palestinian people envisage a state along the lines of the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. It would be a modern nation-state, a full-fledged member of the international community enjoying full sovereignty, control of its borders, and the ability to defend itself. But the 1995 Oslo II agreement that was negotiated by the PLO self-appointed leaders on behalf of the Palestinians talks about a different state.

It fragments the West Bank and gives Israel the whole 61 percent of the West Bank which encompasses the bulk of Palestinian resources and the agricultural abundance of the Jordan Valley. The occupied West Bank was divided into three Areas, A, B, and C. Area A, which comprised 18 percent of the West Bank total area that includes the majority of the Palestinians would give the PA administrative and security control, with the caveat that the IDF could still make forays into the area at will if they think that “security” considerations were at stake, a practice that occurs every day. And within this practice, the Palestinian security would coordinate with the Israeli occupation military. In Area B, that constitutes 21 percent of the West Bank, the PA would exercise the administrative control but share security with the IDF. In Area C, 61 percent of the occupied land, the IDF would exercise total control.

The Oslo Agreements did not touch on some of the most recalcitrant core issues: borders, Jerusalem, the right of return, water and the settlements. This allowed Israel to act unilaterally and create on the ground a Palestinian mini-state that would not be geographically contiguous, with underground tunnels that would connect population centers. Palestinians would not have direct connection to East Jerusalem, large settler blocks would not fall within Palestinian territory, borders would be under Israeli control, Israel would share control of its airspace and the Palestinians would not be in full control of their state electromagnetic spectrum.

After two and half decades of failure to stop Israel from expanding its settlements, effectively annexing a substantial share of Palestinian lands, and more than six decades of bitter animosity, it is time to recognize the impossibility of reaching a two-state solution and start engaging in a new process no longer hamstrung by rhetoric and false assumptions. This needs a new Palestinian leadership.

(Source / 03.02.2016)

Written by altahrir

February 3, 2016 at 11:38 pm

The settlement that killed the Palestinian state

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The Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim would continue to forever separate a great number of Palestinians from Jerusalem

Last week UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon called Israel’s settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem an “affront” to not only the international community but also to Israel’s commitment to a two-state solution.

What does this mean for those who pay scant attention to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Not much.

Not much because typically most casual observers of the conflict, particularly in the West, are befuddled by pro-Israel propaganda (hasbara) that, by design, is meant to mislead and confuse, and there’s hardly a more misleading word in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict lexicon than the word “settlements”.

A settlement sounds quaint, folksy and homely. It conjures images of rustic rural homesteads set among pastoral fields. I have found that almost without exception, those who have not visited the West Bank or East Jerusalem imagine an Israeli settlement to be what in reality is an Israeli outpost, i.e. a handful of brick and mortar homes accompanied by a dozen or so trailers.

It is from these outposts that settlements are born – many of which go on to become the size of large towns or even small cities.

To understand the size and scope of one such outpost come settlement – Maale Adumim – is to understand why and how Israel has essentially made a viable Palestinian state – or two states – impossible.

Located four miles to the east of Jerusalem along Highway 1 – which connects Tel Aviv to Jerusalem to the Jordan Valley – Maale Adumin traces the ridgeline that runs from East Jerusalem to Jericho.

Eight years after Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan in the Six-Day War, a mere 23 Jewish families established Maale Adumim as an outpost in 1975, with the Israeli government granting the outpost official settlement status two years later. Today the population of Maale Adumim exceeds 40,000 Jewish residents, and the settlement occupies nearly 19 square miles.

Moments after taking the Highway 1 Maale Adumim off-ramp, you arrive at the settlement’s state-of-the-art militarised checkpoint, but it’s not the heavily armed security guards that attract your attention, but rather a water park that is located immediately inside the settlement perimeter wall – one that features paddle boats, cafes and sun decks – drawing a stunning contrast between the impoverished Palestinian neighborhoods of East Jerusalem located just up the hill, and the poverty found down just down the hill in the West Bank city of Jericho.

The long sweeping incline driveway takes you the mid-point of the ridge, where a roundabout offers you the options of turning left, right, or back out again. The left turn takes you to a large-scale shopping mall that includes a number of US franchise outlets including ACE Hardware and Body Shop. A right turn takes you past a number of schools and a city-sized police station.

Clearly, Maale Adumim is not your grandfather’s settlement. It’s Israel’s 21st Century version of a sprawling housing development familiar to anyone from Southern California – with palm tree-lined roads and cul-de-sacs, wide footpaths, parks and identical tract homes constructed of Jerusalem stone and red tiles.

For Israel, Maale Adumim is more than a large-scale property development, it’s a fortress – serving as “high ground” protection for Jerusalem, creating “defensible borders,” notes Padraig O’Malley in The Two State Delusion: Israel and Palestine – a Tale of Two Narratives, and Israel is not done fortifying Maale Adumim, as plans to construct an even larger-scale residential complex, which would effectively connect Maale Adumim with Jerusalem, are already underway.

Such plans are in line with the long standing “Allon Plan,” which calls for Israel to “retain the Jordan Valley and eastern slopes of the mountain ridge running through the West Bank, in order to protect against an Arab attack from the east”.

The security wall that runs around Maale Adumim, and current and future neighbouring settlements penetrates nearly 10 miles east of the 1967 border – incorporating 35 miles of Palestinian land.

From an Israel point-of-view, and in regards to any peace deal, Maale Adumim is non-negotiable. Not before. Not now. Not ever – a position that has been made clear by every Israeli Prime Minister from Yitzhak Rabin to Benjamin Netanyahu. “Jerusalem and outlying areas cannot be defined by us as a political issue or a security issue,” Rabin stated in 1992.  “United Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty will remain our capital forever.”

It’s impossible to imagine any Israeli government conceding this strategic piece of seized land, along with evacuating 40,000 upwardly mobile middle-class settlers, and the thousands of others nearby.

From a Palestinian point-of-view, Maale Adumim is nonnegotiable, too.

No Palestinian delegation would ever cede claims to the land the settlement occupies, for doing so would deal a deathblow to the reality of a contiguous Palestinian state. Ceding Maale Adumim would continue to forever separate a great number of Palestinians from Jerusalem.

It would also deliver an almost “fatal blow” to the economic viability of a Palestinian state.

“Look, Jerusalem is not a holy place for us [Palestinians] only,” Abu Ala, the former prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, told then US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at Annapolis.

“Jerusalem is also the most important resource for our economy. We call it our petrol. If Jerusalem is open to the east, I expect no less than 1.5 million tourists to come to East Jerusalem each year. Now, all of them will come through Israel [by way of Highway 1] and will not spend one shekel for a bottle of Coca-Cola in the Palestinian areas, and then they will leave. Without Maale Adumim, no Palestinian state will be viable.”

As you can see, Maale Adumim makes a mockery of the word “settlement”. Not only does the “settlement” defy the implication of the word’s meaning, it also demonstrates how newly constructed settlements are used by Israel to secure more Palestinian land, and how these settlements, by design, make both a viable Palestinian state and a two-state solution near impossible.

(Source / 02.02.2016)

Written by altahrir

February 2, 2016 at 11:03 pm

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Death Penalty: A State of Assassins !!

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By: Sami, the bedouin

Assassins

There’s a worldwide debate over the “legality” of Death Penalty, Execution or Capital Punishment as it is referred to in the different legal systems. There are people and organizations who support capital punishment and even with increasing its rates and the legislation that widens its range alleging that it deters and reduce capital crimes within the society. However, others, people and organizations are against it and fighting and campaigning to stop it as an inhuman way of punishing individuals for committing crimes and offenses that the whole society is responsible for.

You cant justify killing for killing, nor eye-for-eye policy, otherwise you would have a whole dead or blind society. China, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the US are the largest killers in the world in which a whole society is standing up to kill an individual for committing a crime that he is partially responsible for, while actually the whole society is the murderer !!!

No one is born criminal or killer, but the social conditions are the main factor of criminality, and the social conditions are provided and shaped by the society and government !!

However, we are not to discuss the official and judicial death penalty, but extrajudicial assassination, the Death Squads !!

“israel” is out of this debate, simply because it is so “democratic” and never committed such a punishment but once in 1962 against Eichmann, the Nazi. The human blood and life for “israel” is so precious, specially the jewish one as it never executed anyone from the “chosen people”, the beloved sons of God !!!

Can you believe this? I don’t, simply because I have witnessed the mass-killing Israelexecuting the whole people of Palestine. Inside “israel” the conditions are perfect for the jew “citizen” but in the occupied Territories, it is hell for the occupied natives !!! “We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population.” David Ben-Gurion (the father of “israel”), May 1948, to the General Staff. From Ben-Gurion, A Biography, by Michael Ben-Zohar, Delacorte, New York 1978.

jewish

The zionist systematic assassination policy is very well known. “israel” has been using Death Squads even before it was established and once it was terrorist groups of Lehi,Irgun, and Stern, even a long time before they (the zionist terrorists) assassinated the Swedish noble and diplomat Bernadette . It’s a Zionist systematic policy that was established on the Rabbinic genocidal mentality, and the assassins mostly become the top leaders (war criminals) of “israel” like BeginShamir, Sharon, Barak,Livni, Bennett, Shaked and the list is endless.

they are fed hatred by their Talmud teachings:

‘Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.’ (Samuel, 15:3)

Zionist leaders

Barak’s role in the assassination of Abu Jihad makes it clear that all wings of the Israeli Zionist establishment, the so-called doves as well as the open supporters of Israeli expansionism, are tied to the policies of state murder and mass terror. It substantiates the fact that the present recourse to political assassinations is part of a strategy to destroy the Palestinian national movement that has the support of the Labor Party leadership as well as Likhud.

A terrorist state (any terrorist state like “israel”) can allege that it doesn’t apply Death Penalty within its borders, and even that its “legal” system doesn’t have such a penalty, but on the ground they practice it openly and widely to annihilate the indigenous occupied people. Since it was established, “isreal” has never committed Death penalty but once, however they (the Zionists) are applying a systematic and deliberate murder of a whole people politically by eliminating its political and social elite. When its murderers reach to the top of the Government like Shamir and the current offense minister Barak (who slain three Palestinian leaders in Beirut with his bare hands), then the whole government is murderous!!

It [the assassination policy] began with the (Jewish National Fund) JNF Arab village inventory that was a blueprint completed by the late 1930s that included the topographic location of each village with detailed information including husbandry, cultivated land, number of trees, quality of fruit, average amount of land per family, number of cars, shop owners, Palestinian clans and their political affiliation, descriptions of village mosques and names of their imams, civil servants and more. The final inventory update was finished in 1947 with lists of “wanted” persons in each village targeted in 1948 for search-and-arrest operations with those seized summarily shot on the spot in cold blood.
The idea was simple – kill the leaders and anyone thought to be a threat the British hadn’t already eliminated quelling the 1936-39 uprising. It created a power vacuum neutralizing any effective opposition to Zionists’ plans.

 Hundreds of our leader, intellectuals, professors, students, prisoners, women, writers, thinkers, politicians, novelists, researchers, mayors, teachers, peace activists… have been deliberately assassinated by the terrorist state of “israel”. Over the past 100 years, the zionists have been targeting our elite to eliminate any possibility to have a healthy society and leadership, they are annihilating our people.

Thousands of Palestinian prisoners were assassinated inside the prison after being caught and investigated like [Akkawi], others were released and shoot dead in the street a few days after being released. Hundreds of our leaders were assassinated in their offices, cars, homes or the street by the “israeli” assassination units that are ruling the Zionist state. Hundreds of writers, young peace activists, women were deliberately assassinated in their homes or in the street !!!

For the israeli terrorists, there are many different reasons to assassinate. Sometimes they murder a peace activist for his/her ability to convinces the Israelis and international peace activists to act, for his ability to cluster more peace activists [Abu-Rahmeh]. Sometimes a mayor is killed for being a leading national figure that unites Muslims and Christianstogether [Khalaf] the christian mayor of Ramallah. Sometimes when his impartial plan that is about to reach to a peaceful settlement [Bernadotte]. Sometimes students are killed because they are so popular in defending their cause specially those studying in the European Universities [al-Khederi]. Sometimes a leader is assassinated because he so influential in the International politics [Abu-Iyad]. Sometimes, a women is slain simply because her ability to organize and lead [Muna Dahi]. Sometimes a juvenile student is targeted for his a ability to move his fellow students to demonstrate [hundreds]. Sometimes a prisoner is assassinated for his ability to educated other prisoners [Ibrahim alraai]. Sometimes a writer is killed because he is internationally quoted for his authentic writings [Kanafani].  Sometime they assassinate Arab scientist to abort their efforts [Almashad] for developing the Arab society. Sometimes they even slaughter European scientist who are about to reveal the zionist sabotage plots [Bonomo & Ferez]. Sometimes, simply because he doesn’t look good in the zionst eyes…. Shall we go on and name thousands of simple unknown martyrs who were targeted deliberately and shoot from “zero distance מדווח אפס”? if to use the zionist terminology after committing a successful assassination?This policy has been followed all the time even by the zionist terrorists before establishing “israel”, and it was so clear when it was approved by the Knesset in 2000 during the second Intifada where hundreds were deliberately assassinated by the special “israeli” undercover units in a few months…. And still this systematic killing is going on !!!

In an article titled, “The israeli Terrorist State and its Mossad Assassins,” the late professor Israel Shahak, a Holocaust survivor, and chairman of the Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights from 1970 until 1990, famously wrote: “There is nothing new in the fact that Israel is a terrorist state, which, almost from its inception, has used its intelligence service (the Mossad) to assassinate people on foreign soil with any violence or terror it considers necessary for its ends.”

So, “israel” never assassinated but Eichmann? I can believe this only if I am crazy or fool, or drunk maybe !!!

It is not necessary to have a “legal” system to legalize Death Penalty, but you can simply do it widely and systematically while alleging of being a so “Human” occupation and the “only democratic oasis” in the Middle East !!!

(Source / 02.02.2016)

Written by altahrir

February 2, 2016 at 10:30 pm

Posted in Opinion others

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Palestinians need new leadership

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The people who have long been victims of dispossession, ethnic cleansing and external decision-making, deserve to have a say in their future

Last month marked 10 years since the last Palestinian parliamentary elections, in which Hamas overwhelmingly secured the majority of seats. Almost immediately, the international community, which claimed to support Palestinian democracy, decided it would no longer support a Palestinian government with Hamas at its helm, unless and until Hamas agreed to abide by a number of conditions.

No such conditions have ever been placed on any Israeli government, no matter how racist or whether the ministers are illegal colonists who advocate the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. Funds to the donor-dependent Palestinian National Authority (PNA) — dependent only because Israel refuses to allow the Palestinian economy to flourish — were immediately cut and so began the long and still ongoing battle between Hamas and Fatah over who should “rule” over the Palestinians. That divide remains today despite the fact that national unity is consistently mentioned by Palestinians as their foremost concern.

And 10 years later, here is where we stand: Palestinians have one president, whose term expired seven years ago, two prime ministers, who have never been confirmed by parliament, and a parliament that has not convened since 2007, whose term expired six years ago and many members of which have been and remain imprisoned by Israel. Similarly, the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), which claims to represent Palestinians worldwide, has failed to hold elections for its supreme governing body after more than two decades and has failed to convene in years. These failed institutions are not solely the fault of Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President — whose rule has been dismally marked by deflecting blame onto others, consolidating powers unto himself and destroying Palestinian institutions — but on those who continue to allow this deteriorating and divided situation to persist.

The irony of this state of affairs is not lost on Palestinians who remember their history: The Palestinian struggle is, at its core, a struggle for democracy and self-determination. Israel, in its attempt to maintain an apartheid regime over Palestinians, not only has murdered thousands of Palestinians, but has also imprisoned and deported elected officials for attempting to challenge Israel’s military rule. The issue is not simply one of elections, for while Israel holds frequent elections, Israelis also frequently choose war criminals as their representatives.

The central issue for Palestinians is strategy: For more than two decades, Palestinians have been saddled with the failed negotiations process and despite its disastrous effects, this Palestinian leadership has refused to seriously pursue an alternative strategy, preferring instead to threaten to take action if negotiations end. Even Abbas’s declaration before the United Nations last year that the Oslo Accords are “dead” was a guise to press Israel to resume negotiations, as he later clarified. Abbas has failed to endorse the growing boycott, divestment and sanctions movement and has failed to bring war crimes charges against Israel for its attacks on the Gaza Strip and Israel’s continued settlement construction.

Instead, he continues to express his desire for more negotiations and continues to aid Israel in suppressing Palestinian resistance and denying our freedom. And as the Gaza Strip remains besieged and gasping under the rubble of more than 100,000 structures bombed by Israel in 2014, the West Bank leadership behaves as though it is business as usual.

Constitution in tatters

In the Gaza Strip, it is no better: Rather than focusing on mechanisms to liberate Palestine, the government there seems intent on turning its attention to repressing dissent, similar to that of the West Bank government. Caught in between are the rest of us.

This is why it is imperative that Palestinians reform the institutions that represent them without further delay. Abbas, who will turn 81 next month, has no succession plans and despite frequent threats to resign, will likely die in office. The Palestinian constitution is in tatters and so too his Fatah party, which has continued to allow Abbas to rule without elections. The remaining two-thirds of the Palestinian polity, supposedly represented by the PLO, are similarly voiceless: The demographic profile of the current PLO in no way matches the demographic of Palestinians. For example, women and those under the age of 50 are simply absent.

Obviously, the ruling parties of Hamas and Fatah will remain opposed to elections, as they have continued to blame one another for the lack of national unity, preferring instead to feed into Israel’s designs of large Palestinian ghettos instead of executing a sound strategy to attain Palestinian freedom.

Holding mass Palestinian elections clearly will not be an easy task. With Palestinians spread out across different continents, there are bound to be complex practical and political problems. But the enfranchisement of Palestinians, who have long been victims of dispossession, ethnic cleansing and external decision-making, deserve to have a say in their future. Elections will ensure that generations of Palestinians voice their opinion in the struggle and, after liberation, will ensure that Palestinian institutions, the Palestinian economy and leadership rise above subservience to Israeli, US or other international diktats.

(Source / 02.02.2016)

Written by altahrir

February 2, 2016 at 9:34 pm

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Israel wants to make life hell for Palestinians: Alan Hart

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Press TV has conducted an interview with Alan Hart, an author and journalist based in London, to discuss a recent Israel’s court ruling against Mohammed al-Qeeq, a hunger striking Palestinian journalist.

The following is a rough transcription of the interview.

Press TV: What would happen if an unfortunate situation occurs with this journalist to die behind bars? How would that affect Israel?

Hart: If Hamas were to carry out its threat and resort to some violence, it would give Israel’s leaders the pretext to kill more, more Palestinians.

But let me say something that your listeners might not be aware of. This is not at all surprising when you know, really know, who Israel’s justice minister is; it is a woman called Ayelet Shaked. She is on the most extreme right of Israeli politics and she has actually called for the genocide of the Palestinians. Let me tell you concisely what she said. On the first of July 2010, she had a Facebook entry in which she said: “The entire Palestinian people is our enemy”, and she called for its destruction, including, “its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure”. You know with a justice minister who actually believes all that kind of wicked racist non-sense, is it surprising they do not give a damn if one Palestinian journalist in jail is going to die?

It is just getting worse and worse on an almost daily basis, but this is entirely consistent with Israel’s policy which is not going to change or relax. It is to make life hell for the Palestinians in the hope that they will abandon their struggle and accept crumbs from Zionism’s table or better say pack their bags and leave and make a new life elsewhere. That has been Israel’s policy since 1967.

(Source / 02.02.2016)

Written by altahrir

February 2, 2016 at 9:00 pm

Palestinians Say Israel Are Preparing To Commit Genocide In Gaza

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Palestinians have expressed fears that Israel may be about to commit more genocide in Gaza

Palestinians have expressed their concern that Israel may be on the verge of a new war, which will lead to further genocide for residents living in the Gaza Strip.

sraeli media have highlighted the alleged “growing” military strength of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, and have ramped up their offensive against Palestinians living in the besieged territory. Some say its only a matter of time before the mass-killings begin again.

Uprooted Palestinians reports:

At this moment in time, Israel is unable to achieve its strategic goal of liquidating and eliminating the resistance groups within Gaza without reoccupying the enclave, or at least taking control of Gaza City. A strategic document produced by the Israeli Chief of General Staff, Gadi Eizenkot, and published by the army in an unprecedented move five months ago, states clearly and frankly that any future war with Gaza must aim to gain control of Hamas’s main authority and military command centres.

The publication of this document means that the Israeli military leadership is obliging the politicians to adhere to certain conditions for a war in the Gaza Strip. These include allowing the army to achieve its strategic goals, including the reoccupation of Gaza.

Publishing Eizenkot’s document was a response to the criticisms directed by Israeli politicians and media about the army’s performance in the 2014 war, especially its failure to resolve matters in less than 51 days. The paper was viewed as a “political” document issued in the context of a confrontation between the political and military elites in Israel.

It is clear that Eizenkot was telling the politicians that the reoccupation of the Gaza Strip is crucial for the achievement of strategic goals in any future war. The go-ahead for a war that does not include this mandate provides a ready-made excuse for the army if it is unable to fulfil its duty to achieve such goals.

The decision-making circles in Tel Aviv are aware of the high military, political and economic price of reoccupying Gaza and staying there. It is no coincidence that, with the exception of former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, there is little enthusiasm in Israel for the reoccupation of the coastal territory, even among those on the political far-right.

With regards to Israel’s military focusing on evidence of Hamas’s growing strength and the reconstruction of tunnels under the border, this is specifically a means to learn lessons from the previous war. The army and Shin Bet internal security agency were accused at that time of being unable to discover the tunnels and of not providing the necessary information for the politicians to determine the goals to be achieved by the end of the offensive.

What reduces the chances of waging an all-out war is the fact that the decision-makers and strategists in Israel are aware that Hamas does not want a major military confrontation. They also know that the movement’s top priority is to tackle the effects of the illegal siege imposed on Gaza by Israel with the backing of the West and its allies in the region, notably Egypt. The Deputy Head of the Hamas Political Bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, made this priority clear on 23 January, while speaking to the press in Gaza, when he also stressed that the movement is not interested in any confrontation with Israel.

At the same time, the belief that Israel may resort to a war on Gaza to cover up its failure to prevent resistance attacks and operations in the occupied West Bank is not logical. The simple reason why is that such acts are being committed by individuals and are not coordinated with any organisations or factions. As such, no military action in Gaza will reduce the frequency of such attacks and operations; it may actually result in their escalation.

Moreover, in the event that the current discussions between Turkey and Israel result in an agreement whereby the siege of Gaza Strip will be lifted, then the chances of a new war against the territory will be reduced; Hamas would be more concerned with benefitting from the energy behind the agreement to relieve the suffering of the Palestinians. This would also benefit Hamas in trying to maintain the peace. Israel believes that normalisation of its relations with Turkey is a strategic benefit, and so it will not be keen to escalate matters against Gaza in a manner that would threaten its chances of reaching an agreement with Ankara.

Nevertheless, we cannot rule out a new war completely. If the siege and consequent economic hardship leads to the collapse of the government and public services in the Gaza Strip, then chaos would prevail. At the very least, this would probably see an escalation of attacks against Israel, and Netanyahu would feel obligated to “respond” with brute force.

(Source / 01.02.2016)

Written by altahrir

February 1, 2016 at 8:45 pm

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It really is time the world did something about israel’s illegal, brutal siege on Gaza

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Gaza Speaks: This Is What the Decade-long Siege Has Done to Us

Israel’s ongoing illegal siege of Gaza is hindering human development for an entire generation of Palestinians.

Children in the Gaza Strip. Gazans have been largely unable to rebuild from the devastation of three major Israeli military operations due to Israel's ongoing illegal blockade (Photo: public domain)

Children in the Gaza Strip. Gazans have been largely unable to rebuild from the devastation of three major Israeli military operations due to Israel’s ongoing illegal blockade

Whenever Mariam Aljamal’s children hear the sound of thunder at night, they wet their beds. Their reaction is almost instinctive and is shared by a large number of children throughout the Gaza Strip.

Mariam’s three children—Jamal, Lina and Sarah—were all born a few years after the Gaza siege was first imposed in 2006, and all of them have experienced at least one Israeli war.

“My kids feel scared when the electricity goes off, which is most of the time,” says the 33-year-old mother from Nuseirat Refugee Camp, who has a degree in Communications and is currently pursuing her MA. “They are still living the trauma of the 2014 offensive. War is still haunting my family, and life has become so hard for us.”

Indeed, after years of trying, Mariam is yet to find work. Unemployment in Gaza is the highest in the world, according to the World Bank.

The siege on Gaza was imposed in stages, starting January 2006, when the Hamas movement won the legislative elections in the Occupied Territories. Donors’ money was immediately withheld, so the new Government could not pay the salaries of its employees. The conventional wisdom, then, was the new Government would soon collapse, and Hamas’ rival, Fatah, would quickly resume its control over the Palestinian Authority (PA).

The Israeli hope, which was reinforced by the US and also shared by PA President Mahmoud Abbas and many in his party, never came to fruition. To speed up the projected collapse, Israel began sporadic bombardment of Gaza and carried out a sweeping campaign to arrest many of its elected MPs, coupled with a Fatah and Hamas dispute, which eventually turned into street battles in the summer of 2007.

It was then that the siege became complete, now ongoing for ten years. During this time, Fatah resumed its control over the PA in the West Bank, reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah largely failed, the Rafah border has been mostly sealed, and Israel has launched three major wars that have killed thousands.

The destruction in Gaza as a result of three consecutive wars (2008-9, 2012, and 2014) has been so severe, it has affected almost every aspect of the Strip’s already dilapidated infrastructure. Power outages, for example, have become part of life in Gaza. If all goes according to plan, Palestinians here have only 8-10 hours, per day, to utilize electricity, and for the rest of the day they suffer in darkness. The UN had already declared that life in Gaza will become ‘uninhabitable’ by 2020.

But there are aspects of this drama that do not receive a fair share of attention, such as how the siege is hindering human development for an entire generation.

When the siege was imposed, Ahmad Ghazal was only 13-years-old. Now, he is 23 and works at a local library in Gaza City. “Life here is not pleasant,” he says. “In the last ten years my family has suffered the lack of food, clean water, proper medical care and the most basic of human needs. But what frustrates me most is the fact that I am not able to move freely. The Israeli-Egyptian shut down of border crossings has brought our life to a standstill. I feel trapped.”

Maher Azzam is 21 years of age and he, too, feels imprisoned. He teaches English at Smart International Centre for Languages and Development and aspires to be a writer. However, he sees life in Gaza as a slow death.

“The number of martyrs in the Strip over the course of 10 years has exceeded 4,000, but those innocent people only died once,” he says. “People who are still alive in Gaza, have been dying every day for a whole decade. But we must stay optimistic and hopeful. We have learned to be creative to survive, to express ourselves and to carry on without submitting, despite Israel’s ongoing crimes and the silence of the international community.”

Heba Zaher, a 21-year-old graduate from the Islamic University, also understands the centrality of hope to the Gaza narrative. She says, “We have survived all of these years without losing hope, we certainly can’t lose it now. Ten years of hardship have taught us to be stronger, to cope with life and to defeat the siege.”

But defeating the siege is not an easy endeavor, as it has “affected all aspects of our life,” according to Heba. “Many students have lost their opportunities of studying abroad. Many patients have died, waiting for the crossings to open so that they may get proper treatment. Construction is tied to the crossings, and life is now more expensive than ever.”

The consequences of the siege are far-reaching to the extent that Anas Almassri, a student-intern at the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor in Deir al Balah, says that whatever remained of Gaza’s middle class is now dwindling. “The middle class in Gaza continues to shrink as a result of the diminishing economic opportunities, and this affects the income of families terribly, who cannot send their kids to universities and, therefore, cannot maintain their standard of living.”

For Ghada Abu Msabeh, 20, also from Deir Al-Balah, the siege has now become so rooted in the collective psyche of Gazans that it has grown to become the new norm. “I think that we have come to the point that the siege has become a part of our daily life and routine,” she argues. “I honestly cannot imagine what life would be if we are able to move freely or even go for an entire day without power outage.  It is honestly difficult to remember how life used to be before the siege.”

Hana Salah, 25, a writer and humanitarian worker with Oxfam Italy, tried to seek an opportunity outside Gaza, but she was not successful. “I didn’t try again because seeing others’ attempt and fail was enough to depress me,” she says. “I feel that we are living in a cage and have no idea what is transpiring outside this cage. I don’t know what will happen, but can only hope and pray for God’s mercy.”

Some of those who were able to leave to pursue their education outside Gaza, were stuck when they attempted to return for a visit.  Rafaat Alareer, a writer and lecturer, embarked on his PhD studies at Universiti Purra Malaysia in 2012, but has been trapped in Gaza since 2014.  He came to visit his family as the 2014 offensive destroyed their home and killed his brother. “It’s been a year and a half now, and I cannot go back because of the siege and the closure of the Rafah crossing,” which has been practically shut down for a year.

The same was experienced by Belal Dabour, a young doctor at the Shifa Hospital, who is unable to leave Gaza to gain more experience and attend conferences, which he had hoped could bolster his academic qualifications. “I had just graduated when the 2014 war started,” he says. “It was very traumatic. What I have experienced in one month at Al-Shifa is more than what other doctors would experience in many years of their practice. But now I have no job and like many of my colleagues have no source of income.”

Walaa Al-Ghussein, a 23-year-old student at Al-Azhar University, concludes that, although more people now acknowledge the existence of a cruel siege on Gaza, life for Gazans remains the same. “We need more than just protests; real pressure needs to be exerted on Israel so that this siege ends. Hundreds of patients are dying, students are losing their opportunities of studying abroad and a whole people are stranded.”

(Source / 30.01.2016)

Written by altahrir

January 31, 2016 at 12:11 am

Posted in Opinion others

Tagged with ,

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