It is a half year anniversary of the Gaza War of 2009. I love this incisive report. Amnesty must be doing something right for both sides to condemn them. Their critiques are trenchant, to the point, based on simple facts, and they expose the brutality of this confrontation, including Israel’s paradoxical use of pinpoint, precision weapons to create wanton destruction, and Hamas’ purposeful and unabashed targeting of civilians while calling it defense. The moral bankruptcy of the military leaders on both sides is plainly apparent, and cries out for global leaders to intervene forcefully, for the sake of the innocents on all sides. Since the “precision” weaponry of Israel’s is so lethal when used indiscriminately, however, the vast majority of civilians killed are on the Palestinian side as usual, which is why the Occupation must go. (Those who think that Gaza is not occupied anymore with all borders and commerce …
I was concerned by a recent description in the New York Times of the inner workings of Fatah, and the questions facing the United States and Israel. The author writes as if he accepts everything that Israeli leaders tell him at face value. Speaking about the question of a Fatah meeting in order to reform the movement and thus present a better challenge to Hamas at the polls, he writes:
For Israel and the United States, the problem is equally vexing. They have an interest in helping the nationalists to reform and hold their congress. But they also have to decide how much to help the new leaders, some of whom may end up becoming opponents if the peace negotiating process fails.
Oh really? Endless interviews with Fatah activists over the years come back to one theme: the leadership of Israel, in order to hold onto Judea and Samaria for …
Please take a second and vote:
Josh Landis outlines well the problems with America’s decision to maintain the Syria sanctions, but also outlines nicely what the Syrian and the Americans have done and not done so far in the relationship. Here is an excerpt:
What has Syria done for Obama?
* Both Hizbullah and Hamas have reached out to the US, claiming to want engagement and expressing willingness to compromise on key issues. Syria has great influence on these groups and has helped with this outreach.
* Syria wants intelligence sharing on al-Qaida and Iraq, but it has not handed over Iraqi Baathists resident in Syria to the US.
What has Syria refused to do for Obama?
* Syria will not agree to concessions on the Arab peace plan, i.e. stating that Syria will give all resident Palestinians citizenship as part of a Palestinian-Israeli deal. (This is symbolic because Syria is the Arab state that has
This article just appeared in Today’s Zaman and in Zaman which is Turkey’s preeminent journal. As you can see this has been part of my ongoing efforts to introduce and encourage far more intermediaries in the Middle Eastern conflict who can be effective, trustworthy and more even handed that Western intervention. This is meant also to encourage the United States, Hilary Clinton, and others to follow the lead of where the most moderate voices of the Islamic world are going. This is also a development of my work in Syria which has encouraged cultural revival that is peace-oriented, practical and visionary at once.
Turkey’s return to glory
For reasons of history, culture and geography, there is a surprising opportunity for Turkey to assume a position of central global leadership in the 21st century and thereby further all of its legitimate national interests.
This is shocking considering the
Al Jazeera English interviewed me the other day on American intervention so far in Gaza. Here is the story:
The United States is set to pledge $900m for the Palestinians at a donors’ conference in Egypt, but only a third of that will go towards reconstruction in the Gaza Strip and none of the money will go to Hamas, who rule the territory.
Robert Wood, a spokesman for the US state department, said the US would pledge $300m at Monday’s conference on reconstructing Gaza, to meet “urgent” humanitarian needs in the territory after Israel’s military onslaught in December.
Wood said the $300m would be funnelled through the UN and other organisations.
“Hamas is not getting any of this money,” Wood told reporters in the Egyptian coastal resort of Sharm el-Sheik, where Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, arrived on Sunday on the first leg of a week-long trip to
Gershon Baskin’s provocative title is absolutely right, it does not appear to matter anymore which coalition will rule Israel next. The fact is that Olmert had a bigger mandate than Livni or Netanyahu to pursue the peace process, freeze the settlements, and uphold all the commitments Israel made in Annapolis. And he failed at all of them, and instead unleashed a horrifying set of wars in Lebanon and Gaza that have left Palestinians utterly shell shocked. So why not add fuel to the fire with a Lieberman-inclusive government that traumatizes the rest of the Palestinian people who have resided in Israel since 1948, who never left the land, and who have been isolated by everyone ever since, despite their absolutely peaceful resistance to injustice? Despite the fact that by a vast majority of 75% the Arabs of Israel would support a democratic constitution for Israel that also kept it a …
The results of the elections are not as clear as they might seem. The victory of the Right is not so unambiguous.
Central to the election campaign was the personal competition between the two contenders for the Prime Minister’s office: Livni and Netanyahu (or, as they call themselves, as if they were still at kindergarten, Tzipi and Bibi.)
Contrary to all expectations and all polls, Livni beat Netanyahu. Several factors were involved in this. Among others: the masses of the Left were terrified by the possibility of Netanyahu winning, and flocked to Livni’s camp in order to “Stop Bibi!” Also, Livni – who was never identified with feminism – remembered at the last
Hamas has signalled in public and in private for quite a while that they are ready for a long term armistice with Israel, but it appears that this information is being ignored. Recent comments, reported by the conservative Jerusalem Post, are the most explicit yet.
Three Hamas leaders interviewed by AP said they would accept statehood in just the West Bank and Gaza and would give up their “resistance” against Israel if that were achieved.Three Hamas leaders interviewed by AP said they would accept statehood in just the West Bank and Gaza and would give up their “resistance” against Israel if that were achieved.
“We accept a state in the ’67 borders,” said Hamad. “We are not talking about the destruction of Israel.”
This is not about whether Hamas is a good organization. In fact, they are they enemy for Israel, but if they are willing to negotiate, or …
Veteran journalist Orly Halpern writing an excellent piece in the Globe and Mail, deepens the story on the Gazan peacemaker/doctor whose three daughters were killed. The shocking reactions of some Israelis to his agony is an important clue to understanding the deterioration of the political/psychological atmosphere in Israel, and why the country, and its dwindling supporters, may be headed for a clash with the rest of the world.
“I prefer to believe the Israeli army, that a sniper shot from his house, and not [to believe] the doctor,” one Israeli posted on an Israeli news website.
“Is there such a thing as an Arab who is not Hamas?” asked another.
“How can anyone not believe this man?” a third wondered.
Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish grieves at a Tel Aviv hospital this month. The doctor, whose Gaza home was shelled, worked in Israeli hospitals for more than 20 years.