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Has the Palestine problem slipped back decades?

Sol Salbe is a Melbourne writer and Webdiarist who runs a small Middle East news service. He emailed this commentary today. And see Downer all the way with Israel (June 29)


The situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is bad enough. There was really no need for the Australian and international media to compound the problem by providing such abysmal, simplistic coverage.  The Palestinian situation may have slid back decades but that is no reason for the media coverage to match it.

One example to start with: On 16 June SBS news reported that the Arab League meeting had condemned the Hamas takeover in Gaza. The league condemned the situation all right, but it went out of its way not to apportion blame, something that can be verified by checking the actual statement. Only the BBC world service seems to have picked up the difference.

But this is small fry compared to the big picture. The media and well those mainly western forces which have been referring to the “Hamas coup” seem to have ignored the most obvious point. Whether we particularly like it or not, it was Hamas that won the elections.

The Observer’s Foreign Editor Peter Beaumont summed it up well:

Here is how democracy works in the Alice in Wonderland world of Palestinian politics under the tutelage of the US and international community. After years of being hectored to hold elections and adopt democratic norms, a year and a half ago Palestinians duly elected Hamas with 44 per cent of the vote, ahead of Fatah on 41 per cent.

It was a good election, as former US President Jimmy Carter observed at the time, a free, fair and accurate expression of the desires of a Palestinian people sick of the uselessness, corruption and gangsterism of Fatah. The problem was that it didn't quite reflect the wishes of Washington and the international community.

Some Israeli reporters had no problem in explaining the driving force of the “coup” to their readers. Danny Rubinstein wrote in Haaretz:  

The recent events we have been witnessing in Gaza are actually the disbanding of Palestinian rule. The primary reason for the break-up is the fact that Fatah, headed by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, has refused to fully share the PA's mechanism of power with its rival Hamas - in spite of Hamas' decisive victory in the January 2006 general elections. (Emphasis added)

“Fatah was forced to overrule the Palestinian voters because the entire world demanded it do so. The United States, the European nations, most of the Arab leaders and, of course, the State of Israel, warned Fatah not to share power with Hamas.

So why did matters come to a head now rather than at any other time? Veteran Gush Shalom leader Uri Avnery opined:

The timing of Hamas' decision to take over the Strip by force was not accidental. Hamas had many good reasons to avoid it. The organisation is unable to feed the population. It has no interest in provoking the Egyptian regime, which is busy fighting the Muslim Brotherhood, the mother-organisation of Hamas. Also, the organisation has no interest in providing Israel with a pretext for tightening the blockade.

But the Hamas leaders decided that they had no alternative but to destroy the armed organisations that are tied to Fatah and take their orders from President Mahmoud Abbas. The US has ordered Israel to supply these organisations with large quantities of weapons, in order to enable them to fight Hamas. The Israeli army chiefs did not like the idea, fearing that the arms might end up in the hands of Hamas (as is actually happening now). But our government obeyed American orders, as usual.

Although there are varying views as to the relation between the US and Israel on this issue, Avnery is not telling anything new. The Israeli media had all the details, chapter and verse, of the myriad of these manoeuvrings: Which weapons, which troops were being moved to the point that at least one Palestinian newspaper accused Haaretz of deliberately manipulating the situation. The Palestinian security forces loyal to Mohammed Dahlan, the Fatah chief in Gaza, were about to move on Hamas.

On the other hand Avnery is only telling part of the story. Hamas had the choice to mobilise the Gaza population against any Fatah onslaught. Their experience with getting large numbers of people to come to homes being threatened by the Israeli security forces bode well for this strategy.

Sure it may be easier to deal on this level with Israel - it is more susceptible to public opinion than with Dahlan’s men. Israelis often quote Yitzhak Rabin famous adage on why he preferred Fatah to deal with Israel’s enemies: they can do it “without Bagatz and without B’Tselem.” Bagatz is the Israeli High Court of Justice while B’Tselem is country’s best known human rights organisation. But from Romania to Iran experience has shown that beyond a certain point, no army can be trusted to hurt its own people.

At any rate the Americans and Israelis pressed the right button. The hard liners in Hamas who preferred to respond with force got the upper hand inside the organisation. What happened next was on TV screens everywhere (although later on-the-spot reports suggest that the depiction of violence against ordinary Fatah members was somewhat exaggerated.)

The US and Israel got their wish. Palestinian President Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) dismissed the government and installed Salam Fayyad in his place. Students of Australian history may notice the resemblance to the dismissal of the Labor Government in 1975 by the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr. Both dismissed a legal government that had the confidence of the Parliament. But there are some obvious differences. For a start the Australian caretaker PM, Malcolm Fraser got a lot more votes than 2.4 per cent that Fayyad’s party got. While both Kerr and Abu Mazen had the legal right to dismiss the PM (I do not share Peter Beaumont’s view that it was unconstitutional) there is one big difference. Kerr had the power to prorogue the Parliament while Abu Mazen does not. Thus by law the new PM has to face Palestinian Legislative Council after 30 days from the time of his appointment.

To paraphrase Beaumont: So which was the real coup? Hamas's bloody attack on the violent gangsters allied to Fatah who have terrorised Gaza for a year? Or Abbas's eventual unconstitutional moves with the US’s backing? Either way, once again it is Palestinians who will suffer.

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Great moments in political correctness

This is hilarious.

Yesterday evening I attended the Nicholson Museum at Sydney University for a book launch hosted by auto-didact and self-styled father of the Australian film industry, Phillip Adams, who predictably bored everyone shitless by bragging about his personal familiarity with the sculpture collection of the Vatican Museum and dropping less than subtle hints about being in direct, personal correspondence with Pope Benedict and his two predecessors over curatorial policy at St Peters.

As if.

So while that was happening, I took time to admire some of the Nicholson Museum's collection of lovely and very ancient artifacts from, amongst other places, Jericho in what is now the West Bank.
 
I couldn't help noticing that the captions accompanying those objects in their display cases, objects dating from many hundreds and even thousands of years from before the common era, are described in parentheses as being from 'Palestine'.

Yup, 'Palestine'.

As in, 'circa 2000 to 1800BCE, Palestine'.
 
Palestine as a political entity, and as a place name, did not exist in the until the reign of the Emperor Hadrian, who re-named the whole country about Jericho as 'Syria Palaestina' in 135CE to mark the destruction of Judea, as you are doubtless aware.

So, there was no Palestine BCE.

Eslewhere in the collection, objects are described as being from Troy. Or Phoenicia. Or Athens.
 
Why caption the objects in question as being from 'Palestine' instead of being from, say, 'Judea', which is where they are actually from?

Oh, yes. The Jews. I see.
 
Perhaps it would be better to describe them as being from the Levant? No?

Nup. Let's insult the living while we are expropriating the cultural heritage of the dead, too.
 
Will the Nicholson Museum in future, for example, be describing ancient Etruscan artifacts as coming from 'Italy'?

Or perhaps their collection of Trojan objects as being 'Turkish'?
 
Indeed, is it not even conceivable that some future curator, pursuing the same policy, may choose to describe certain Phoenician artifacts as being from 'Israel', seeing as part of ancient Phoenicia now lies within Israel's borders? 

Yeah, like that's going to happen.

Meanwhile, as you enter the Museum, there's a little sign thoughtfully advising people that its section on ancient Egyptian mummies, described variously as being from Karnak and Giza and the like, features 'human remains'.

This is out of respect for people's cultural sensibilities.

But you can go get stuffed if you feel that Jericho and its history as recalled in the Mosaic Bible might be better regarded as part of the cultural heritage of the Jews and not that of Hamas.

Great moments in political propaganda...

"I couldn't help noticing that the captions accompanying those objects in their display cases, objects dating from many hundreds and even thousands of years from before the common era, are described in parentheses as being from 'Palestine'."

I couldn't help noticing what a big deal is being made about a practice with an entirely reasonable explanation. I couldn't help noticing the way it is implied that the curatorial team at the Nicholson Museum has set out to insult Jews. I couldn't help noticing how wrong that insinuation is.

Here is a link to AUMOL (Australian University Museums Online).

Select 'Advanced Search', then select 'Nicholson Museum Antiquities Collection' (NUSNMa) from the drop list in the Institution field, and then enter say 49.62 in the Institution Item ID field.

You should see the record for a Flint flake.

Notice the record has a field for 'associated places'. In this case the associated places entry reads: "El Karm (Palestine)."

Why 'Palestine'? Well the location of the dig is an associated place. And in this case it looks like the object came from a dig located in El Karm and that was in a place known at the time of the dig as the British Mandate of Palestine.

Now another example. Go back to 'Advanced Search', then once again select 'Nicholson Museum Antiquities Collection' (NUSNMa) from the drop list in the Institution field, and then enter 72.44 in the Institution Item ID field.

You should see the record for a Pedestalled (biconical) bowl.

Notice that again the record has a field for 'associated places'. It is a standard field in the record. In this case the associated places entry reads: "Agrigento District / Sicily"

Notice the date? Early Bronze Age c.1800 BC.

Sicily as a place name is derived from the Latin: Siculi.

According to the traditional ethnic division of Thucydides, the Siculi were one of the three main tribes inhabiting the land before the Greeks colonised it.

The arrival of the Siculi on the island has been tentatively set around 1400 BC.

Obviously the island on which the object was found was not known as Sicily at the time the object was created.

Want to do one more?

Go back to 'Advanced Search', then once again select 'Nicholson Museum Antiquities Collection' (NUSNMa) from the drop list in the Institution field, and then enter 91.01 in the Institution Item ID field.

You should see the record for a Palestinian glass vessel.

What's the associated place?

Looks like it was found in Israel.

Arabic population of USA increased 67.9 per cent in 10 years

Mary J says:

Funny how lessons are learnt isn't it?   In the 1930's the US used immigration controls to keep out refugees from Germany, and so did we by the way.

Now they do the same to keep out arabs (sic).

According to the most recent US Census, in the ten years from 1990 to 2000, immigrants to the USA of Arabic cultural and national backgrounds increased from 716,396  in 1990 to 1,275,641 in 2000.

That's an increase of 67.9 per cent.

According to this 2003 ABC radio news report, Australia's fastest growing immigrant groups are from Africa and the Middle East.

According to the NSW Migration heritage website, in 2006 the fastest growing refugee group is from Sudan followed by Afghanistan and Iraq.

Always at your service, Mary J!

A fascinating read on Nazism

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18061.htm

Funny how lessons are learnt isn't it?   In the 1930's the US used immigration controls to keep out refugees from Germany, and so did we by the way.

Now they do the same to keep out arabs.

Incidentally, Israel locks up refugees and then deports them back to places like Darfur, they "dress up" as Palestinian police on almost a daily basis and invade the West Bank unhindered to carry out cold blooded murders and so on.

Seems the descendents of European Jewish refugees learnt well.

Abbas's only chance

Sol Salbe recommends  Danny Rubinstein's piece in Haaretz,  Abbas' only chance.

Orientalism and Vanessa Redgrave

"It's a pity that no one learns from history. This truism is nowhere better illustrated than in today's savage rift between Fatah and Hamas."

I hate to say it, but this sort of 'Closed Circle' stuff with its "When will the Arabs ever learn" tone is a bit of a stereotyped view of people.

Putting the conflict between Hamas and Fatah down to some supposedly innate incapacity of the Palestinians to 'understand' the 'futility' of their internal quarrels presumes there's no ideological or political basis to the differences.

The fact is, Fatah is absurdly corrupt and incompetent and always was. Even when it was the Left's darling in the '70s and '80s.

The emergence of Hamas as a counter to that, coupled with its redemptionist Jihadist ideology, simultaneously made it popular with Palestinians frustrated with Fatah and with the Syrian and Iranian regimes who think they can use Hamas as a foreign policy instrument in the reion. Which they can.

So, no. They're real differences, not merely another example of 'those whacky Arabs'.

the history of Fatah v Hamas

See A historic anomaly: The rift between Fatah and Hamas is far more damaging to Palestinians than to their enemies in The Guardian:

"It's a pity that no one learns from history. This truism is nowhere better illustrated than in today's savage rift between Fatah and Hamas. What a nadir in Palestinian fortunes for one side in Ramallah to trumpet western support while the other starves in Gaza. This shocking spectacle is a sad echo of an earlier scenario, then as now, infinitely more damaging to the Palestinians than to their enemies. "The Arabs have been so misguided in the conduct of their case that I sometimes wonder whether Jewish agents are not at work inside the Arab camp," wrote a British Foreign Office official following the bungled Arab rebellion against Britain in 1936. For two years the Arabs fought valiantly, suffered enormously and were brutally punished by the British in ways reminiscent of the Israeli army's methods today. They ended up starving, their leaders killed or exiled, and the fruits of their struggle vitiated by internal splits.

"These splits went back to rivalry between two Jerusalem families, the Husseinis and Nashashibis, during the 1930s. The latter wanted compromise and accommodation with the British mandate authorities, while the Husseinis refused to deal with a government so blatantly pro-Zionist. In today's terminology, we might call the former "moderates" and the latter "hardliners". Or, roughly speaking, the Nashashibis might stand for Fatah and the Husseinis for Hamas. The British appointed a Husseini as head of the supreme Muslim council, hoping he would gain them Muslim support. But they also appointed a Nashashibi rival mayor of Jerusalem. In a classic divide and rule strategy, the British played one family off against the other.

"Having unified in 1935 through the Arab higher committee, set up to lead the uprising against British-Zionist manipulation, they soon fragmented. The committee split, each side intimidating, and even killing members of the other. The British punished the Arabs by arming the Jewish settlers, and scholars later speculated that without Arab mishandling of the 1936 rebellion, Zionism might still have foundered..."

No Holocaust. No modern Israel.

"Shimon Peres, who began his term as Israel's ninth president Monday, said that Ze'ev Jabotinsky's revisionist vision of Israel's occupying both banks of the Jordan River would have been possible had it not been for the death of six million Jews in the Holocaust."

More than likely Israel wouldn't exist on either bank of the Jordan if it hadn't been for the Holocaust.

Most Jews would have still either continued living in Europe, representing a range of cultural movements from secular assimilationist to Pious Hassidic, perhaps moving in dribs and drabs to America as various local pogroms were implemented in the Central and Eastern parts of the Continent.

Though in the absence of an event as massive as the Holocaust, there probably wouldn't have been sufficient cultural momentum for the kind of Exodus that happened after 1945.

Longtime Zionists like Isaiah Berlin, for example, though the emergence of modern Israel virtually miraculous. So, clearly, they weren't expecting anything so major to happen in the region prior to the second world war.

In fact, even modern Israel wouldn't have been on the West bank of the Jordan if the Jordanians themselves hadn't virtually ceded that territory to the PLO.

Effect of the holocaust on Israel's boundaries

Sol Salbe recommends  Peres: Holocaust stopped Israel having both banks of the Jordan:

Shimon Peres, who began his term as Israel's ninth president Monday, said that Ze'ev Jabotinsky's revisionist vision of Israel's occupying both banks of the Jordan River would have been possible had it not been for the death of six million Jews in the Holocaust. 

Peres spoke at the annual Mount Herzl memorial service for Jabotinsky, founder of the Betar Movement and Revisionist Zionism. 

Peres said he found similarity between Jabotinsky and prime minister David Ben-Gurion's positions on the issue of Greater Israel. "Jabotinsky advocated holding both banks of the Jordan. Ben-Gurion supported dividing Israel. They both agreed on the need to ensure a Jewish majority - an issue that is topical to this day," he said...

Selective, revisionist reporting of German history, now.

Mary J, Hi!

Did you see my correction to your statement that it was "us and the US and to a lesser extent the Brits" who were responsible for the deaths of "3 million mainly civilian Germans by herding them into cages on the Rhine"?

The author you cited in fact is quite clear that this was in fact mainly a Soviet and Czech responsibility. 

A fact that should be obvious if we are talking about the allied occupation east of the Elbe, which is where "we", the British and the USA halted their advance. This was by agreement with Stalin.

The Soviet Union occupied Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary and the other areas east of the Elbe where Germans were "ethnically cleansed".

While we are on "ethnic cleansing" and the historical justification for Hamas's moral position, shortly after the founding of the Irish Free State, large numbers of mainly Presbyterian Protestants of Scottish-Irish descent were forced from their homes in the South, most of them fleeing to Ulster.

Would that in your view justify Ian Paisley and the Independent Presbyterian Church adopting terrorist bombing tactics against civilian targets in Dublin or Waterford or elsewhere in the Irish Republic?

Also, could you link us to a source supporting your statement that the Israelis killed Yasser Arafat? Thanks.

Darwish, Palestinian poet

Sol Salbe: "It is difficult for outsiders to appreciate the esteem in which Mahmoud Darwish is held by those familiar with his poetry. Few Palestinian carry as much moral authority as he does. So his words in Haaretz will have more of an impact than those of an Amos Oz in Israel or a Thomas Keneally in Australia. The Haaretz reporter is surprised at the presence of non-Arabic speaking Jews in the audience. Having been transfixed to the screen as watched him recite poetry in Arabic on an SBS documentary some years ago I find that totally understandable." 

Pacifism and the Third Reich

Mary j Shepherd says:

In a new book called After the Reich by British Historian McDonogh the allies - that would be us and the US and to a lesser extent the Brits - murdered 3 million mainly civilian Germans by herding them into cages on the Rhine and letting them starve to death, shutting them in the former concentration camps and so on.

Actually, it wasn't "us and the US and to a lesser extent the Brits" at all. It was the mainly Soviet Union and to a lesser extent the Czechs as the book clearly shows.

"His best estimate is that some three million Germans died unnecessarily after the official end of hostilities. A million soldiers vanished before they could creep back to the holes that had been their homes. The majority of them died in Soviet captivity (of the 90,000 who surrendered at Stalingrad, only 5,000 eventually came home) but, shamingly, many thousands perished as prisoners of the Anglo-Americans."

But be that as it may, would that justify today's Germans carrying out suicide bombing attacks against civilians in Prague?

If not, how can you openly support Hamas?

Mary j Shepherd says:

He was Ariel Sharon's minder who admitted in his bio of Sharon that the Israeli's murdered Arafat.

Could you link us to a source supporting that statement. That would be good. Thanks.

By the way, how do you reconcile your claim to be a "pacifist" with your support for Hamas, which according to its own Charter is a military organisation (Article 36: the Hamas are Soldiers)?

Dov Weiglass

He was Ariel Sharon's minder who admitted in his bio of Sharon that the Israeli's murdered Arafat.

I note with interest your story of 10 million Germans being dispossessed.

In a new book called After the Reich by British Historian McDonogh the allies - that would be us and the US and to a lesser extent the Brits - murdered 3 million mainly civilian Germans by herding them into cages on the Rhine and letting them starve to death, shutting them in the former concentration camps and so on.

Ten million refugees forcibly expelled

Actually, here's another surprising figure mentioned in Michael Burleigh's Sacred Causes (Harper Press, London 2006, p 303).

"Some ten million ethnic Germans fled or were forcibly expelled from East Pomerania, Danzig, Lower Silesia and eastern Brandenburg, to be followed by those driven out of Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland."

This was in 1945.

Keep in mind, these weren't necessarily German nationals or know Nazis, but people who had lived their entire lives, as had their ancestors, under the protection of other states or as members of traditional German ethnic communities.

In effect, these were the victims of deliberate ethnic cleansing by the Soviet Union and its proxies in the aftermath of World War Two.

Now, according to the logic of those supporting Hamas and similar groups, these ethnic Germans and their descendants would be entitled to strap bombs to themselves and wander into busy market squares and shopping cnetres, churches and airport lounges in Warsaw, Gdansk, Prague and elsewhere, to blow themselves and scores of innocents to pieces.

That in effect is the logic of the pro-Hamas position.

Muslim state's role in settling refugee Jews in Palestine

Now here's something you won't read in today's revisionist histories of Israel. This item refers to the refugee crisis confronting Jews in Europe during World War Two and the role of the Catholic Church's Papal nuncios in Eastern Europe, including Hungary and Romania:

"The nuncios were also instrumental in seeking safe-conducts for the SS Tari, which the Turkish government offered to send to a Romanian port to ship Jews to Haifa. The Turks noted that despite having huge merchant fleets, neither Britain nor the US were prepared to make available their own ships, nor even replace the SS Tari should it be lost, yet they were 'posing before the world as the saviours of the refugees.'

- Michael Burleigh, Sacred Causes, Harper Press, London 2006, p 275.

I 'Googled' the SS Tari and could find this solitary, obscure reference to it.

 

 

Mary J, did grandfather mention the Grand mufti of Jerusalem?

Mary j Shepherd says:

"My grandfather was based in Palestine during the second world war and he told us all for years that the Jews were horrendous to the Palestinians who were the clear majority of nationals."

Hey, Mary J, I was wondering. While he was telling you about the "horrendous" Jews he encountered in Palestine in the '40s, did your grandfather happen to mention the Grand mufti of Jerusalem Haj Muhammed Amin al-Husseini?

In 1940, al-Husseini requested the Axis powers to acknowledge the Arab right... "to settle the question of Jewish elements in Palestine and other Arab countries in accordance with the national and racial interests of the Arabs and along the lines similar to those used to solve the Jewish question in Germany and Italy.

Perhaps that was what was straining straining inter-ethnic relations in Jerusalem while he was there?

By the way, which unit did Grandfather serve with while he was in Palestine?

 

 

Hamas comes of age.

The Christian Science Monitor article posted by (un-named) on the release of the BBC journalist Alan Johnston is interesting. Take this bit:

Johnston described his captors as a small "jihadi" group focused less on the Palestinian conflict with Israel than on "getting a knife into Britain in some way," he said. In exchange for Johnston, the Army of Islam had originally demanded that Britain free a radical Islamic cleric with ties to Al Qaeda.

Perhaps the timing of the release in not uncoincidentally connected with the car-bombing cock-up in London and Glasgow?

Also, the article reports Hamas may be prepared to negotiate the release of a captured Israeli soldier in exchange for an "honourable" prisoner exchange?

What, with a racist anihilationist organisation actually formally dedicated to an anti-Jewish genocide and which calls for the destruction of Israel?

Would the first "honourable" step be to acknowledge the right of Israel to exist? And drop the obligatory Jew-killing clauses for the Hamas charter?

Wouldn't that break a few hearts?

A release, an interview and an error(?)

Thanks Margo for the video - one of far too many examples of that kind of behaviour. Yes, Angela, it is sad, along term and continuing tragedy. A couple of links I will shortly provide will give you more to think about. But first, as you raised Dolly, and despite being a different thread to his speech - the task speech writers have is to mold a speech to the style of the person who is to deliver it. What if that person is Dolly? Quite a task, and for a professional, could be seen as demeaning. Or it could be that Dolly's speech writers hate him. 

On to the material and Hamas has secured the release of British journalist Alan Johnston.     

Some reactions

An interview with Gilad Atzmon

Tony Karon - The Perils of the West's Hamas error.

Seems there is no solution in sight and perhaps some have no interest in one.

youtube video

From Sol Salbe:

Rarely do I recommend a Youtube segment. But this is such a good example of settler colonialism in the West Bank is like that I could not resist. It is also a good example of my kind of Israel (or my kind of Israelis who made the film.) 

It is the story of how the need of the colonialists always take precedence over that of the native. If your Hebrew is up to it, I recommend the relevant blog in Haokets (sting) website. And no, as of a few minutes ago no one has provided the details of the accompanying music. 

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=cjwI26-zV74

If it's any consolation...

Margo says:

"This is a case where I pretend to be a dictator for the greater good."

If it's any consolation, any Webdiarist can say whatever they want about me. I don't mind. Contradict anything I say.

But do you see what I mean about the totalitarian impulse amongst those defending Hamas?

It is this impulse, I think, which makes Islamist politics so attractive to neo-Nazis and Marxists.

It's the same top-down "think as we say or else shut-up" mentality that is a feature of Theocracies, whether Christian, Islamic, Jewish, or Secular.

I don't mean you and Richard, because you have to live with the consequences of daring to question such people, But, man, that's something else, isn't it?

Margo:  End of discussion on this matter, OK?

Yeah, okay....

Richard says:
If a person has made a request and Webdiary has agreed to honour it, it would save everybody time if you simply agree to abide by the arrangement and "get on with it.' 

Well, naturally, I fully respect your right as Editor to do that. But if the person outright "requests" that their opinions not be second-guessed or contradicted, as in the case in point? Would that be normal practice in Webdiary? That's a pretty unusual privilege to confer on someone, surely?

Margo: Is this about Bob Wall? I've made a decision on that. Yes, it's a privilege. I don't want a blow up, again. This is a case where I pretend to be a dictator for the greater good.

The strange silence on the left about the Hamas charter

Mary j Shepherd says;

"Here is a very simple truth - Israel does not want peace."

Well, no disrespect intended, Mary J, but I have showed you several times now a Hamas document calling for the extermination of Jews worldwide and you remain obstinately and conspicuously silent on that truth.

Richard:  Eliot, I've cut a couple of bits here.  If a person has made a request and Webdiary has agreed to honour it, it would save everybody time if you simply agree to abide by the arrangement and "get on with it.' 

 

The formal Nazification of Religion - contemporary parallels

Mary j Shepherd says:

"Wander off and do some reading then get back to us because I am sick to death of this going around in circles."

Oh, hi Mary J, I did some reading. It seems Hamas intends to resurrect another important feature of Nazi life...

Just checking another feature of the Hamas Charter over at the Palestine Center website, I was reminded of something

Article Eight: The Slogan of the Hamas

Allah is its goal, the Prophet its model, the Qur’an its Constitution, Jihad its path and death for the case of Allah its most sublime belief."

The Nazification of religion was a central policy objective of Hitler's Third Reich.

To protest the formal Nazification of religion in 1934, German theologian Karl Barth and other Confessing Church leaders, including Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Emergency League group, established themselves as independent Protestant German churches, defying the Fuhrer and his “German Christian’ apparatus.

In annnouncing this, they issued the Barmen Declaration which defined the respective spheres of Church and State, rejecting the claim that the state should be “the single and totalitarian order of human life”.

Article 5 of the Declaration states;

“We reject the false doctrine that the state, over and above its special commission, should and could become the single and totalitarian order of human life, thus fulfilling the Church’s vocation as well. We reject the false doctrine that the Church, over and above its special commission, should and could appropriate the characteristics, the tasks, and the dignity of the state, thus itself becoming an organ of the state.”

Contrast that stance with Article Eight of the Hamas Charter with "the Qur’an its Constitution, Jihad its path and death for the case of Allah its most sublime belief."

In effect, Hamas is adopting the Nazi position, subordinating religious life to the purposes of the state, as does the regime in Iran.

It is this totalitarian impulse, in my view, which makes Islamist politics so attractive to neo-Nazis and Marxists alike.

What do you think?

By the way, have you had a chance to think about my earlier question concerning Hamas policy of "killing Jews wherever they find them"?

Chilling, isn't it? Anyway, it's not just the salute and goose-step that Hamas has copied from the Nazis, is it?

What do you think? Mary J? Damian? *** ****?

Yet more reading matter.

Uri Avnery on the summit.

Ramzy Baroud.

Hammam Farar.

Jeff Halper.

There are things that have been done and are being done. Rhetoric is another matter altogether.

Award winning leaders, wood for the trees and sewing whirlwinds

Hi Bob (thanks fo rthe references, so sad all of it), Margo and all,

Interesting how few "democracies" respect the vote of a people, however we may disagree with that vote. And how many accept a non democratic election win in a democracy .

The bizarre arming and training and funding of a Jordanian based "fatah" flag carrying militia, then transited into the Gaza territories wracked by famine,lack of water and destroyed infrastructure gave the "grandstand"experience loved by Likuds but hardly likely to promote peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

 

Indeed as the "fatah" militia flee with Dahlan and ask for israeli help I doubt that with engender trust for Fatah . Bit like the Vichey now aren't they? But here the French resistance terrorists/communists "won". And their, Hamas,  first act is to force the release of the BBC journalist held by the ?Bandar/Cheney/Saudi/jordanian sponsored radical Sunnis. Bit like the cleaning up going on in Lebanon at present in the Palestinian camps. How bizarre to have such people allegedly linked with terrorists. Are Dick's assets being frozen as we type? Seymour Hersh has written much on this already . Failure of plan B.

Really one can only wonder how much more suffering such a people must have on their road to genocide and cleansing as the world watches and some gloat and others plot and plant militia.

So sad for all in the region.

On a slightly different tact,here is an interesting article from the site loyal zionists here quote, and it is about a recent win internationally for compensation by Cypriots and how such may be extrapolated legally to Palestinian refugees and their case for return and compensation.

" ...The case of Loizidou v. Turkey established a precedent for Palestinian restitution claims to be made even after the conclusion of an agreement between states. Legal research has shown that the right of return and restitution, being an individual right, cannot be overridden by intergovernmental agreements.."http://www.palestinecenter.org/cpap/pubs/20010223ib.html

As so few pay attention to international court rulings or justice, unless it excuses a war ,I doubt whether it will result in anything for Palestinians. Tear down this war, paid for by the US people.

But what a shambles of policies in allegedly seeking peace for the region, or is it?

Hamas' election is a consequence of Israeli policy, both in Hamas formation and original support by Israel as a counter to PLO, and in the failure to allow Abbas any credible negotiating progress.

By failing to give support to Abbas the right wing government of israel  failed to regard one of the tenets of the Neocon paper "A Clean Break , securing the realm" where local regional supporters are to be treated loyally, like Jordan and Saudi and Egypt. 

Interestingly, this paper also discusses how US senate support can be aided by encouraging Missile defence spending support. Henry Jackson would b proud! Some things and alliances never change. The military industry has gained enormously by the Israeli need for military security.Hence the Jackson award by Aipac each year eh?

As to Dolly,I think he just wants a forest named after him, like Menzies, Hawke and Howard.That when you know you really have made it as a servant of a foreign country.

I guess we would be more worried if China was giving our leaders medals and naming rights for tibetan forests  for services to China....but are our interests really so similar that it is not of concern? Has there been a cost to our own security/interests? Hard to see the wood for the forests sometimes.

I wonder how people justify their behaviour to themselves sometimes. The children of Gaza are really starving, it is time the election was respected and food and basic needs and freedom served so that proper peace and security can be aimed for. Desperation will only create more willing to do desperate acts, perhaps with better arms now.. Wonder if there were any stingers in the abandoned  Fatah weapons.

Compassion and justice serves the needs of all. Gulags only create more radical feeling and more hatred. All peoples, even jews, have bombed and terrorised when  desperate, and written hate doctrines and committed ethnic crimes.

Some here like to bring up WW2 events, then so be it.If the post ww2 warcrimes of Jewish camp directors can be blamed by their treatment earlier by Nazis, then the same logic can be applied to Palestinians who respond with violence to their treatment. Neither action is justified in my view, but some seem to thin so, on both sides. I just think violence begets violence. One reaps what one sews, the whirlwind so far. A violent paragraph in the Hamas constitution is nothing compared to real violence daily being perpetrated against the civilians of Gaza by those of the IDF who are not brave enough nor principled enough to be Refusniks.

Cheers

 

The reality: Hamas is a racist, genocidal army. Their boast.

Mary j Shepherd says

"All Hamas has ever said is that they do not recognise Israel because they don't know where it is."

Oh, they know where it is, alright. They fire rockets into Israeli townships, send suicide bombers against Israeli civilian targets, over and over. They have no trouble finding it.

And it doesn't matter, anyway, because their mission statement is clear - kill Jews wherever they are. Inside Israel, or outside.

Just getting back to the original question, though, here's what the Hamas charter says, as presented on the Palestine Centre's website.

This is from Article 7;

The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him! This will not apply to the Gharqad, which is a Jewish tree (cited by Bukhari and Muslim).

Trees good. But Jews dead. All of them. Anywhere and everywhere.

Article Eight is pretty good, too;

The Slogan of the Hamas: Allah is its goal, the Prophet its model, the Qur’an its Constitution, Jihad its path and death for the case of Allah its most sublime belief.

To the extent anyone supports Hamas, that's what one supports. And much of the Left supports Hamas.

Racial genocide. Jihad. Martydom operations. Sharia law. Militarism.

That is the reality. Straight from Hamas's own mouth. In black and white right before your eyes. Can you see?

Do you think this could be a problem for anyone if they're Jewish or an Israeli trying to make peace with Hamas?  And why do political Leftists support Hamas?

What's your view on this?  Perhaps ask your grandfather what he thinks?

Eliot, get a grip on reality

All Hamas has ever said is that they do not recognise Israel because they don't know where it is.

Who does?   They won't decide borders, keep stealing land, keep the people in prisons and refuse to co-operate with anyone.

It is Fatah under Arafat that have brought Palestinians to their knees through corruption.

Wander off and do some reading then get back to us because I am sick to death of this going around in circles.

Israel know very well that Hamas does not want to kill them all because Israel formed Hamas so they didn't have to work with Arafat, they murdered Arafat and now they won't work with Hamas and pretend to work with Abbas.

Here is a very simple truth - Israel does not want peace.

Reality

 Mary j Shepherd: "they murdered Arafat". I would love you to tell us how you know this, and where is the proof.

What about this one: "All Hamas has ever said is that they do not recognise Israel because they don't know where it is".

It's funny how their Suicide Bombers manage to find Israel.

Hamas - "military organisation" with genocidal agenda

Mary j Shepherd says:

"Eliot Ramsey and others who keep bleating about those dirty arabs wanting to kill all the Jews ought first to ask themselves how they could when they have 200 nukes and the arabs don't."

There must be some mistake, Mary J, because I never said anything about "dirty arabs (sic) wanting to kill all the Jews".

I referred specifically to the Hamas charter, presented below at the Palestine Centre website, which contains written Articles expressly calling for the killing of Jews wherever they exist, whether inside Israel or not. And for the destruction of Israel.

Proudly displayed for the whole world to see.

Fatah has no such requirement of Arabs or Muslims. Nor am I aware of any other Arab government that openly and formally calls for the actual extermination of Jews regardless of where they live or what they have done.

Hamas does.

My question concerns the impediment that such an Article in the Hamas charter imposes on any effort at finding peace between Israel and the Palestinians - so long as Hamas in in control of things in Palestine.

 Or so long as it continues to enjoy the actual material and political support of Iran (a non Arab country), which has also called for the destruction of Israel.

My question is, Do you think that handicaps the prospect of peace? How can Israel (or any thinking person) deal with such an organisation?

I don't see why that's such a difficult question for people on this thread?

Your response, however, and the complete silence of others also raises another question: How is it morally possible for people in the west who purport to be concerned with peace and justice to support Hamas, a racist military organisation (it's charter describes it as a "military" organisation) with a clearly stated genocidal agenda (Article 7 of the Hamas Charter).

What do you think? Would you like to discuss that?

I'd like to thank **** for the link to the Stephen Zunes article at the so-called Foreign Policy in Focus Website, and I urge other Webdiarists to read it.

The article clearly displays again the increasingly schizoid rationalisations required by the ever growing band of left-wing Hamas apologists in their stance against Israel and in support of Hamas.

Two problems tax them;

1) How to justify the racist/genocidal policies of Hamas to themselves and to others?

2) How sanitise Hamas's image for broader public acceptance?

The first problem is dealt with by redeploying a propaganda trope popular under the Third Reich, and amply demonstrated in Zunes's article - you simply blame the Jews themselves for "causing" the genocidal response.

"Ironically, it was Israel which encouraged the rise of the Palestinian Islamist movement as a counter to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the secular coalition composed of Fatah and various leftist and other nationalist movements..."

This is a thinly disguised variant of the "devil made me do it" rationale employed by the German Nazis and other anti-Semitic groups countless times over the decades.

The second problem, Hamas's difficulty with its image as a paramilitary racist cult, is addressed by continually emphasising that Hamas was "elected" to power - as if that somehow justifies its expressly racist, genocidal agenda?

And somehow morally compels the civilised world to accept Hamas on its terms.

Well, Hitler was democratically elected to office, too. And he blamed the Jews, too, for his agenda.

Margo: Hi Eliot. Bob has ruled out *** too.   

Alvaro de Soto on resignation

http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-files/Guardian/documents/2007/06/12/DeSotoReport.pdf

Eliot Ramsey and others who keep bleating about those dirty arabs wanting to kill all the Jews ought first to ask themselves how they could when they have 200 nukes and the arabs don't.

And then read this very depressing summary of events by the UN rep. who resigned in disgust over it.

good reading on Blair's Quartet

From Sol Salbe:

Quartet games

by Akiva Eldar


The eyes of George Bush, the leader of the world's superpower, and his good friend Tony Blair, who until yesterday was among Europe's most important leaders, were turned toward Jerusalem Tuesday. Four bureaucrats were discussing Bush's proposal to appoint Blair as the Quartet's special envoy to the Middle East. The four spoke for a long time and emerged from the meeting without a response, putting the ball back in their bosses' court in Washington, Moscow, Brussels and New York.

The Quartet works by consensus, and this is Russian President Vladimir Putin's opportunity to settle two matters with one humiliation. He found a loyal partner in Javier Solana, the European Union's foreign policy coordinator, who did not need a senior European politician crawling between his feet. Gordon Brown, the new resident at 10 Downing Street, also did not go out of his way to arrange a job for the outgoing tenant. He would rather Blair clear the way for him to make headlines. But still, this is not how you treat the U.S. president.

Before Blair's appointment was approved later yesterday, members of the Tel Aviv diplomatic community said they believed the Russians and Europeans would celebrate their little victory over America before giving their approval. Generally, a request from the U.S. president would go directly to the "big Quartet" - the U.S. secretary of state, the Russian foreign minister, the European Union foreign policy coordinator and the UN secretary general. The 24-hour delay in Blair's appointment says something about Bush's deteriorated status. When Bush decided in May 2005 that James Wolfensohn should be the Quartet emissary, the appointment was easily approved. The Wolfensohn experience teaches us Blair will not forgive Bush for this humiliating rite of passage.

Wolfensohn, a Jewish millionaire who headed the World Bank, did not suffer from a lack of funds. Until Hamas' election victory, the Palestinian Authority received plenty of money from donor countries, and salaries were paid more or less on time. Wolfensohn's primary obstacle was the Israel Defense Forces checkpoints, which choked the Palestinians' economy and social life. Wolfensohn, who predicted Hamas' win, warned Bush that if he did not demand Ariel Sharon remove the internal checkpoints, he would give up his post. Bush settled the matter by dispatching Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to get Ariel Sharon to sign the crossings agreement. This turned out to be just another paper in the cemetery of unimplemented accords.

If Blair does not get a written commitment from Bush stating that the release of PA funds will be accompanied by the opening of roads and factories, he will curse the day he agreed to this adventure. Money alone will not contribute to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' prestige; nothing has caused greater damage to Fatah's standing among the average unemployed Palestinian than the sight of functionaries' Mercedes parked outside grand Ramallah restaurants.

Solana considers Abbas a lifesaver, and expects the Olmert government to invite him for negotiations. He has told European Parliament members that the most worrisome aspect of the peace process is Israel's lack of interest in discussing borders with the Palestinians. Marc Otte, the European Union special representative for the Middle East peace process, said that if circumstances were not ripe for permanent-status negotiations, more modest proposals may be discussed with Abbas to strengthen his position. The plan he described was based on evacuating isolated settlements in coordination with the Palestinians; assurances that the temporary border will not be the permanent border; an arrangement for European monitors along the Israel-Jordan border similar to that in Rafah; the opening of a port in Gaza; and passage between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

 

These things were reported here a year ago, following Israel's disengagement from Gaza and from its Palestinian partner, and Hamas' election victory ("Europe is Dissatisfied Again," June 24, 2006). Then, too, there was talk of "the last opportunity" to save Abbas and the two-state solution.

 

Two days ago, after leaving the Quartet meeting, Otte said he was determined not to use the "window of opportunity" cliche anymore - the time finally has come to find the door. In a conversation with Haaretz, the European emissary also addressed the "diplomatic horizon" cliche. "We have to stop talking about a theoretical Palestinian state and start promoting it practically. A state is not built in the sky and in the imagination, but on the solid ground of reality," he says.

 

In order not to say "too little, too late" again, Otte encourages learning from past errors - such as ignoring the indicators that Gaza was about to fall into Hamas' hands. "When Abbas asked for arms and other means to fight the extremists, they said committees must be convened and discussions held. The bad people used this time to fortify their power," he says. He is convinced that one cannot expect a Palestinian policeman to jail his cousin if he is not working toward the clear goal of "ending the occupation."

That is why he supports the plan by Rice and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni to present the parties with written principles for a final status agreement, "so that everyone will see we are moving in the right direction."

Yes, he certainly means negotiations over all the issues - borders, Jerusalem and refugees. "We have seen equally difficult conflicts for which a solution was found through negotiation," continues the Belgian diplomat. "To do that, it is not enough to move a few checkpoints. The conflict-management approach must be replaced by a search for a solution. They have to talk to the Palestinians as equals, not like natives during the colonial era."

Otte hints Europe is also partly responsible for the deterioration. "We have a problem deciding on an agenda," he says, and agrees that EU must stop being dragged along by American policy.

Bush's attorney

The Australian Alexander Downer is the democratic world's longest serving foreign minister. A foreign minister with more than 10 years of experience, like Downer, who was in Jerusalem this week, does not easily fall into the trap of inexperienced interviewees. Downer's comments about Bush to Haaretz two days ago presumably are not an unfortunate slip of the tongue.

In contrast to other members of the coalition in Iraq, who are searching for any way out, Australian Prime Minister John Howard supported Bush's decision to send more troops. Senator Barack Obama, a Democratic presidential candidate, suggested Howard set a personal example and send more Australian troops to Baghdad.

Downer does not regret the decision to support Bush's policy. Even today, after everything that has happened in Iraq, Australia would encourage Bush to go back there, he suggests. "In another 20 years, the historians will ask how another president would have reacted to September 11 and if he had alternatives. Bush did not have to go into Iraq, but what would have happened if Saddam Hussein had emerged from the battle against the U.S. and the whole world with the upper hand? Where would we be today if in addition to the Iranian threat, we would have had to deal with Saddam? Do you believe that Iraq would have become a factor advocating quiet? Would the Middle East have been a safer place when a dictator like Saddam controls vast oil resources and strives to obtain weapons of mass destruction?"

In his opinion, Bush is paying for irregularities in the Florida elections, which the president himself had nothing to do with. Downer has no doubt that Bush one day will be far more appreciated than he is right now. The Australian foreign minister also has nothing bad to say about Bush's low profile regarding final status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. He agrees the Palestinian crisis is creating an opportunity to renew negotiations, but says the hawkish parties should take advantage of this opportunity, not the Americans. If and when Olmert reaches an agreement with Abbas that includes an "international component," Australia will be ready to send a force to the territories, and will consider absorbing Palestinian refugees.

The Arabs of Judea and Samaria

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's speech at the Sharm el-Sheikh summit clearly involved great care and consideration. This is also true of the repeated appeal to "the residents of Judea and Samaria." Olmert was not talking to the settlers. He promised the Palestinians, "residents of Judea and Samaria," that if they behave nicely, he would give them a state in "Judea and Samaria." The problem is that many of them have not heard of "Judea and Samaria." And those who have heard of it think "Judea and Samaria" is part of the Greater Land of Israel, the land of the settlers.

Olmert is not the only one using these terms. Internal Military Intelligence documents, even after Oslo and the disengagement, refer to residents of the territories, Jews and Arabs, as "residents of the Judea and Samaria region and the Gaza Strip." This is not just semantics. It is a worldview. At Camp David, 28 years ago, Menachem Begin asked that the agreement with Egypt state "the Arabs of Judea and Samaria and the Gaza region."

Ethnic cleansing continues in the Gaza

It seems Israeli terrorists (and, since they are the invaders, they fall into the category of ‘terrorists’ far more readily than those Palestinians that the Israelis call ‘terrorists’) have struck again in the Gaza and killed 12 Palestinians including at least one child and other civilians, and injured at least forty others including many more civilians as they invaded Gaza City and Khan Younis with tanks and bulldozers.

The ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians continues.

More reading matter.

Does the Hamas call to "kill all Jews" handicap peace efforts?

Hello?

I cannot believe that people have suddenly lost interest in the Palestine Israel conflict.

Mary J, hi!

On Hamas, I mentioned to you before (twice below) how Hamas's charter calls on Muslims to kill Jews wherever they find them (Article 7) . And to destroy Israel (Article 5).

You can see for yourself, here's a copy at the Palestine Centre website.

These two facts (Articles 5 and 7) should inform our understanding on pretty well every pronouncement Hamas makes regarding Israel.

Do you think they perhaps should revise these articles? Could this  standpoint account for the split within Palestinian ranks? And ensure almost continuous conflict with Israel? And perhaps ultimately doom the Palestinian cause, or at least the Hamas cause?

Did you not see the question?

I apprecaite that *** cannnot have his name mentioned in respect of such a question, but how about you Mary J?

Or Damian? Hello?

I really like ***

Margo: Hi Eliot. Bob has taken a dislike to you, and asked that references to him in your posts be removed. I've done so on this one in an effort to keep the peace, so to speak. 

Oh, that's fine. I understand that he would find me irritating.

If it's any consolation, I think he's terrific. Hopefully he'll change his mind as he gets to know me better.

I think I know what upsets Israel about Hamas

"Even before Hamas Islamists took control in violent fighting with their secular Fatah counterparts earlier in the month, triggering the closure of front-line crossing points, aid agencies were warning of growing hardship for ordinary people."

Mary J, hi! Do you think Israel might be more conciliatory towards Hamas if it weren't for the "destroy Israel" (Article 5) and "kill the Jews wherever you find them" (Article 7) clauses of the Hamas charter as detailed below?

The reason I ask is this item in today's media:

THE Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, has said he plans to release 250 Fatah members held in Israeli prisons in response to calls from Arab leaders to shore up the emergency government of the Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas.

That's a small step in the right direction, isn't it?

Perhaps the Iranian President, who backs Hamas, could have a word to them? After all, Mary J says Iran has a good relationship with the Jews.

What do you reckon?

Margo: Hi Eliot. bob has taken a dislike to you, and asked that references to him in your posts be removed. I've done so on this one in an effort to keep the peace, so to speak. 

Some more views but only a trickle of aid.

Some more views of the matter:

Stephen Zunes

Jonathon Cook

Ran HaCohen

On the ground, only a trickle of aid is getting to Gaza

LONDON, June 25 (Reuters) - Unloaded from trucks and ferried across the
no man's land between Israel and Gaza, aid is trickling in to the
Hamas-controlled strip but key checkpoints remain shut and relief
workers warn of a rising crisis.

Even before Hamas Islamists
took control in violent fighting with their secular Fatah counterparts
earlier in the month, triggering the closure of front-line crossing
points, aid agencies were warning of growing hardship for ordinary
people. All sides, including Israel, say they are committed to
getting essential aid to the 1.5 million Gaza residents. However, the
cargo checkpoint at Karni remains shut for security reasons and the
United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) says the remaining supply
links are tenuous. "Put simply, the noose is tightening at the
moment," WFP Gaza emergency coordinator Kirsty Campbell told Reuters.
"There is not enough getting in. We hope by the end of the week there
may be. But it is quite an ambitious task." Prices of essential
foods had risen by between a half and a third, she said, with
authorities in Gaza taking action to control the supply of flour and
prevent traders from hoarding. Farmers are short of supplies and
hospitals of medicines. Aid workers say an international boycott
of the Hamas-led government prevented public sector workers from
receiving their full salaries, deepening poverty in the strip.
Donors have now relaxed the boycott on President Mahmoud Abbas's
administration on the West Bank, but the United States and Israel say
the embargo will remain in place on the Hamas administration in Gaza. That outrages some aid groups.
Oxfam says the boycott has left essential water equipment waiting at
the border for months and that, as a result, a key sewage works could
overflow, swamping up to 10,000 people and contaminating water for
300,000.

 

 

Mary J - clearly you are a caring, compassionate persion

Mary j Shepherd says;

Israel is committing genocide in Palestine and whining about George Galloway knowing Uday Hussein many years ago is utterly irrelevant.

Sorry Mary J. I only got on to George Galloway because you said was not a friend of Uday Hussein.

Though clearly he was profiting very nicely from the arrangement and was keen to appear grateful to Uday in the grovelling video I mentioned.

And it wasn't so long ago that Uday and his father were committing genocide in Iraq. A real genocide in their case. Hundreds of thousands of people.

Mary J says;

Muslims live very happily in Iran with Jews.

Clearly, they don't judging both from the Human Rights Watch link I provided you.

And it's ironic you would say that, given your own complaint on the 'PM who saved the children?' thread about a "Seven year old girl kidnapped from dad and deported to Iran." 

Dad is now a permanent resident of Australia and daughter is still in Iran.

Obviously this girl is of concern to you because she's been deported back to Iran where she is in danger of, what, persecution? Is this because of her ethnicity? Or something else? Could you say?

Anyway, just getting back to Hamas. I mentioned to you before Hamas's charter (Article 7) expressly calling on Muslims to kill Jews wherever they find them.

Did you not see the question?

 

I asked you if you thought that ethnic cleansing? You didn't answer.

Anyway, I'd love to hear your view on this because I can see clearly that you are a compassionate person who cares deeply about issues like human rights and genocide? Obviously you are very concerned about the little girl being shipped of to Iran.

Did you learn whether she is Jewish or not?

 

Psst Eliot

Uday is dead and Bush just keeps the killing going. Enough of that nonsense already.

In 1989 after the Halabja massacre James Baker went to Iraq to see Saddam and assure him that the US didn't care too much about the Kurds and the use of chemical weapons they did want to be friends with Iraq though.

You simply cannot re-write history. Uday did not invade anyone, blow up anyone - he tortured dissenters in Iraq but when any of those dissenters came here we locked them up in Woomera.

Same with Palestinians. The worst law in the world exists in Australia because of two young Palestinian men.

Perhaps you haven't heard of Akram Al Masri and Mohammed Al Kateb? Al Masri was a 24 year old Palestinian locked up in Woomera in 2001 who was denied refugee status and begged to go home. Israel would not let him get to Gaza so the government said he had to stay locked up.

He put his fist through a window and then lawyers took his case to the federal court in a habeas corpus case and won. Ruddock appealed and tried many times to have him locked up again, even had him on a plane for an illegal deportation, then he won again in the Full Federal court.

He left voluntarily in the end but the case went to the High court where in the case which had become Al Kateb four of our seven high court judges deemed it OK to keep him locked up until he died, Palestine became a state or someone would accept him. He had tried ninety countries but is a stateless man.

This law is still on our books and at the time there were three families with 10 kids between them in Baxter who faced their whole lives in jail for committing no crime.

Israel is committing genocide in Palestine and whining about George Galloway knowing Uday Hussein many years ago is utterly irrelevant.

More on the matter.

Thanks for the article, Margo, here are a few more:

Ramzy Baroud.

Tony Karon.

Jennifer Loewenstein.

with friends like these...

Sol Salbe sent me a translation of this Haaretz article:
 
With friends like these...

By Akiva Eldar


Heavy clouds will float over today's summit in sunny Sharm el-Sheikh. The Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza, Jordan and Egypt will be hovering above the four leaders participating in the talks, as will the zealots of worldwide jihad. Iran and Hezbollah will be with them on the other side, while the extreme right-wing national religious camp awaits in the corner. It is hard to say which of the leaders' chairs is shakiest and to guess where the next evil will come from - from Syria, which once again has remained on the outside; from Al-Qaida, which is rearing its head in Iraq and casting its eye on the horizon; or from the Egyptian opposition, which smells weakness in the leadership and is amassing power in anticipation of the inheritance battle. 

And who isn't coming to this sad party? The United States, the superpower with the lion's share of responsibility for the deteriorating situation in the Middle East. Who stayed home? President George W. Bush, the one whose semi-hallucinatory dream of democratization has become a genuine reality of anarchy; whose adopted vision of two states - Israel and Palestine - has become during his tenure a distant dream. It is difficult to think of an American president who has caused more damage to Israeli interests than the president who is considered one of the friendliest to Israel of all time. No leader has done more than Bush - by commission as well as omission - to destroy the Palestinian Authority under Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas. 

It was Bush who imposed the wretched elections on the Palestinians, despite Hamas' refusal to fulfill the terms of the Oslo II Accords concerning the participation of political parties in the democratic process. Bush gave his blessing to sacrificing the road map on the altar of unilateral disengagement, an act of charity toward the Palestinian "refusal front" and a death blow to the already damaged peace camp. 

When Hamas was dragged into the unity government and the cease-fire agreement, with great effort, the Bush administration spared no effort to defeat the new alliance. And now, after cooking up the stew, Bush is leaving his "friends" to eat it alone, while exhorting the use of obsolete tricks to raise the dead, such as removing checkpoints in the West Bank and releasing Palestinian prisoners. The two-state vision will have to wait for the next president. What's the rush? 

It's a good thing Bush wasn't around 30 years ago, when Egyptian president Anwar Sadat decided the time had come to end the war with Israel and regain the Sinai Peninsula. Bush would probably have recused himself, saying something like, "they can handle their own negotiations with Egypt. If the prime minister wants to negotiate with Egypt, he doesn't need me to mediate," as the leader of the free world said after his meeting last week with Ehud Olmert, with regard to the U.S. stance on promoting a peace process with Syria.

There is no way of knowing how Israel and the entire Middle East would look today had former U.S. president Jimmy Carter, considered problematic for Israel, sent Sadat off to work things out for himself with prime minister Menachem Begin instead of inviting them both to the peace summit at Camp David. 

American intervention was one of the primary considerations leading to the Egyptian, Palestinian and Jordanian decision to reach a diplomatic settlement with Israel. Bashar Assad knocked on Bush's door and asked him to send a representative to talks with Israel, despite America's overt declarations concerning their special relationship with Israel and their commitment to its qualitative superiority. The U.S. president's shrugging off of responsibility for the peace process that began in Madrid in 1991, under his father's baton, ruined one of Israel's most important strategic assets: the belief, which bought a grace period from its neighbors, that the only place that was selling tickets to Washington and the right to enjoy its favors was in Jerusalem. 

Officials in Olmert's government are sighing in great relief over the lowering of the American profile. To understand the depth of these leanings, one must go to Damascus. Vice President Farouk Shara interpreted Bush's statements using the following harsh, but accurate, words: "The American president does not want peace between Israel and Syria." Israeli intelligence officials are already warning that the opposite of peace is imminent war between Israel and Syria. This means that Bush is refusing to help prevent another round of blood-letting. What an outcry would erupt here were he to refuse to aid us by shipping a cannon or a helicopter over, and sending us out alone with the Arabs to handle the next war.

It cuts both ways, the 'lickspittle' thing

Mary j Shepherd says;

"George Galloway was not a friend of Uday Hussein; he met Saddam twice as did Rummy."

There's a terrific video of George Galloway fawning over Uday like a total lickspittle. I don't know if you've seen it.

Ironically, a single still photograph of Rummy shaking hands with Saddam Husein was used ad nauseum as 'proof' of US support for the Ba'ath Socialist dictator prior to and immediately after the invasion of Iraq.

George Galloway was a bit luckless when the US military seized Iraqi Oil Ministry documents detailing his millions of dollars worth of illegal oil trading preferences obtained under the Food for Oil programme, and things didn't get better when the Uday video emerged.

George alos had an association with the former Iraqi foreign minister and Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz, a convicted war crminal.

Even after the fall of Saddam, George continued to praise Aziz, calling him "an eminent diplomatic and intellectual person."

George's biography is like a parody on the entire pro-Islamist Left claque, though much of this may be his mere pandering to his own electoral constituency rather than a reflection of any deep concern with the political or philosophical issues that divide the Middle East.

Mary j Shepherd says;

For heavens sake the hyperbole by the zionists is amazing. Muslims live very happily in Iran with Jews. No Jews are being killed by muslims in the 100 nations they live in all over the world.

Only 39% of the world's 14.3 million Jews live in Israel.

Which makes one wonder why the Hamas charter calls for the killing of all Jews regardless of where they live.

The Jews of Iran, like other Iranian religious minorities, are subject to relentless harassment. They don't even share the same basic legal rights of Muslim Iranians.

Jews in Iran are not allowed to communicate with Jewish groups outside of Iran unless the group is opposed to the existence of Israel, for example.

Mary J, Bob, you seem concerned genuinely with human rights and are quick to denounce what you see as violations of human rights in Israel.

Would you agree these principles should also be applied to Hamas and Iran?

Would you for example consider Hamas's torture and humiliation of this captive Israeli soldier a violation of the rules of war and a war crime?

Muslims do not kill Jews everywhere

For heavens sake the hyperbole by the zionists is amazing. Muslims live very happily in Iran with Jews. No Jews are being killed by muslims in the 100 nations they live in all over the world.

Only 39% of the world's 14.3 million Jews live in Israel.

George Galloway was not a friend of Uday Hussein; he met Saddam twice as did Rummy. James Baker thought Saddam was a lovely bloke in 1989 after the gassing of the Kurds and went to Iraq to tell him so.

Israel is the occupier, the Palestinians are the occupied. Is that perfectly clear or not?

What Grandad saw in Palestine

Mary j Shepherd says:

"My grandfather was based in Palestine during the second world war and he told us all for years that the Jews were horrendous to the Palestinians who were the clear majority of nationals."

Notwithstanding the undoubted scrupulousness of your grandad as a social anthropologist, that would have to be the most striking and pejorative ethnic generalisation I have heard in at least 20 years.

Also, I'm wondering what this could mean:

"Ilan Pappe's book The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine has been accepted by every serious Jewish historian as the absolute truth and the film I saw on Friday night backed it up with the footage."

Every serious Jewish historian?

Mary J, you're the one demanding sources. Do you have any sources to back up that claim. Perhaps you could link us to one?

I did find this interview with the author by George Galloway, who appears very excited by the book you mention.

George was a friend of Uday Hussein. And 'Chemical' Ali. So, he probably knows a lot about ethnic cleansing.

It won't be long, will it, before someone on this thread suddenly feels emboldened to announce that Israel is the "same" as Nazi Germany.

Actually, speaking of the historian Michael Burleigh, he points out the venerable ancestry of the Zionist/Nazi "equation".

Those Lutherans who opposed Nazism and played a part in the Confessing Church equated Nazism with Jewish nationalism or Zionism as "a regression from universal humanenesss" in an attempt to discredit the Nazis.

He points out that this trope "has subsequently proved highly popular among left-wing antisemites."

The irony was that the Confessing Church Lutherans themselves were preoccupied with preserving and protecting the German "Volk".

For example:

"We are unconditionally bound to faithfulness, to responsibility, so that the life of the Volk as it has come down to us not be contaminated or weakened through our fault. We are bound to stand for the life of the Volk, even to the point of risking our own life."

- Paul Althaus, quoted in Theologians under Hitler, Robert P Ericksen, New Haven, 1985, p103

Mary j Shepherd says:

Now to the rest of the whinging – Hamas wants to destroy Israel. Wow. What a no-brainer.

Hamas wants more than to merely destroy Israel, Mary J. Hamas's charter (Article 7) expressly calls on Muslims to kill Jews wherever they find them.

Though, it asks them to be careful not to damage any trees in the process.

Is that not ethnic cleansing?

That lack of a sense of irony ...

Writ large ... or more succinctly, a case of the grossest hypocrisy. This story deserves to have a post of its own. We have seen the evidence about the crimes dating back decades, the scores of UNSC Resolutions yet:

Israel said Friday it sent letters to the United
Nations secretary-general and the president of the General Assembly
urging the international community to speak out against human rights
abuses in Iran.

"The international community cannot be silent in
situations where the violation of human rights is systemic, grave, and
widespread, and where states dismiss issues of human rights and refuse
to engage in meaningful dialogue," Israel's deputy UN ambassador Daniel
Carmon said Friday.

Laugh? Cry?

It was the best of times, ...

 .. it was the worst of times[1].

I'm not much of a c'nowser, but I do know what I like.

Paul Morrella: "look me in the eye"[2].

The first thing I thought of was "One in the eye."

Then I thought of looking for quotes, after "the best of times" popped into my head.

Shortly thereafter, I found "Dishonesty will stare honestly out of countenance"[2]. Finding that was what's known as a bit'a serendipity.

Nagging me was "Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?"[3]

-=*end*=-

PS What if this really is "the best of times?"

Ref(s):

[1] «It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.»
Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities English novelist (1812 - 1870)

[2] «I have known a vast quantity of nonsense talked about bad men not looking you in the face. Don't trust that conventional idea. Dishonesty will stare honestly out of countenance any day of the week, if there is anything to get got by it.»
Charles Dickens

[3] Murder in the Cathedral, which itself threw up a few more, (here's one from Olbermann), but IMHO the best of which (natch) being one of my own; from 25Jul'03:

The greatest treason, MkII.

Modestly quoting myself from "Canute and SIEV X", "(it) ... went past Mr Xxx like an Ivan Lendl serve."

You are quite right, I did not appreciate the headline; simply never heard of it - but what a revelation!

Searched the web for "it is the greatest treason". Results 1 - 4 of 4. Search took 0.09 seconds.

I quote from the 4th result:

"In 'Murder in the Cathedral' we are told: 'it is the greatest treason to do the right thing for the wrong reason.'"

Murder? Delicious! It's a politician in the UK; it goes on:

"Tonight, some will do the wrong thing for the right reason. In my constituency annual general meeting last year, I was advised to recall the words of Winston Churchill:

'Your first duty is to your country; your second duty is to your constituents; only in the third instance is your duty to your party's policy and programme.'"

In this context, unswerving support for GWBush comes in at the very least 4th, leaving 5th and upwards for foreign military adventures unrelated to any conceivable threat to us. Unconceivable, that is, except to those on the rabid right who used to and may still see a red under EVERY bed.

Delicious to the power of e squared! The 3rd result is unrelated to "Murder... " but is about Russians spying in Canada: exactly that, a red under a bed!

The 1st 2 results are from the same author and are similar; they refer to the morality (or otherwise...) of MSW - maximizing shareholder wealth. The thesis is that this may not (exactly? nearly? vaguely?) coincide with best results for the customers.

Think Telstra: again, Delicious!

-=*=-

To close the circle, I again quote myself:

"2) Iraq. It may well have been "correct" to remove Saddam but if so, why did B, B & H lie?

Probably the right thing for the wrong reasons."

Think some or all of: oil and SUV's, or oil and PetroDollars, or PetroDollars and free kick to US deficit, etc, etc, etc.

Or just think it really is the greatest treason to do the right thing for the wrong reason.

We thank you.

More to ponder.

A big welcome back Marilyn, and you have returned in fine style. I have been providing material for some time about the ethnic cleansing and such and it seems to have worked on some although others plough blindly on. Have some more articles for people to ponder over:

Oren Ben-Dor.

Mona El-Farra

And a report of a meeting of the "Quartet" to be held  soon. With some added spice.

Backmasking Dr Phil

Phil Kendall:

You may have noticed that SBS now regularly sends stuff with US accents; this probably 'goes over well' with any wannabe-Californicated sheople - but this sort'a pro-war slanted material (some also being relayed by the AusBC; what colossal nerve to allege left bias!) - is truly reprehensible, propagandising paid for out'a the public purse. Then there're the clips featuring the presumed to be Hollywood-groomed Israeli spokespersons...

I dare any person to look me in the eye, and to tell me, they have been a witness to Oprah and Barbara Streisand in the same room?

Oprah's bookclub indeed!

effective counter-propaganda

Re: Rhetoric and propaganda dies away; geo-political reality bites.

-=*=-

G'day Damian Lataan; thanks for your effective counter-propaganda work - there's lots to be none, and every bit helps (but only if enough sheople® were to appreciate such efforts.)
You may have noticed that SBS now regularly sends stuff with US accents; this probably 'goes over well' with any wannabe-Californicated sheople - but this sort'a pro-war slanted material (some also being relayed by the AusBC; what colossal nerve to allege left bias!) - is truly reprehensible, propagandising paid for out'a the public purse. Then there're the clips featuring the presumed to be Hollywood-groomed Israeli spokespersons...

An effective counter to any propaganda is to use one's own eyes and good native sense; one says, for example, if it's asserted to be murder for oil, Q: are there any signs to confirm this? A: naturally enough, the answer is "Yes," see the US insistence that the (puppet) Iraqi government pass the largely US-drafted oil law, say, among other risible 'benchmarks.' (The whole benchmark thing is a ploy; as the Iraqis fail such 'tests' - as planned, the US says "See? We gotta stay!" - and they will, until the Dummocrats finally get the message. Q: too late? A: far too late for far too many Iraqis, perhaps 2mio dead since '91. Mostly due to the US, i.e. see Albright on 60 minutes - "worth it".) The propaganda spin being pushed about the oil law is 'revenue sharing;' the background to this 'sharing' (Haw!) being the 50-year span now being mooted for the brutal, murdering US-boot on Iraqi-neck occupation.

And as for Israel, Q: are their 'borders' being pushed ever further into erstwhile Palestinian 'native' territory? Q: is the perversely named IDF (hardly defensive, far more offensive) killing Palestinians using the very latest revoltingly murderous US whiz-bangery? (Blam! - out'a clear blue skies. Tut, tut - poor collaterals. The murdering trigger-pullers - possibly on both sides - obviously have no scruples. But whose land/water/oil is/was it?)

The geo-political reality of murder for spoil is cloaked in filthy, lying propaganda - which must be countered by all who can. What stands to be won is truth and justice; achieving that is the only reward I seek. (I mean, how else could I profit, daaarlings?) What drives the pro-murder propagandizers, one could wonder? (Tip: such propagandizers may also be often heard to say "Greed is good...")

Margo: Hi Phil. Welcome back.

More views and the Jordanian option.

Thanks for that news, Damian, it's good to see some are thinking and seeing past the spin. For those who do wish to look into the matter, here are some more articles:

Kaveh L Afrasiabi.

Saree Makdisi.

And Leon Hadar with the Jordanian option.

 

Remember that famous line—"The road to Jerusalem runs through
Baghdad"—used by U.S. President George W. Bush and his neoconservative
advisors to drum up support for an American invasion of Baghdad? On the
eve of the war, Bush Administration officials tried to persuade the
international community—and the Arab world in particular—that the
emergence of a pro-U.S. democracy in Iraq, the spread of American
values in the Middle East and a visible American presence there would
create the conditions for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian problem
According to the Bush Administration’s rhetoric, the war in Iraq and
peace in the Promised Land were of a piece.

But like the other
neoconservative grand designs—establishing a pro-American democracy in
Iraq; weakening the power of Hizballah in Lebanon; spreading freedom in
the Middle East; countering the influence of Syria and Iran in the
region—the plans for creating an independent Palestinian state and for
building a lasting Israel-Palestine peace, lie in ruins. Since Bush’s
previous policies towards Palestine have decidedly failed—and the
current one seems doomed to fail as well—it is time to revive the
"Jordanian option." Involving Jordan in the Palestinian issue is the
best hope for stability in the West Bank.

 Read on for details.

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