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by CTuttle

Stick Another Fork In The I/P Peace Farce

7:00 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

So, while Abbas and Hamas truly seem to be getting their sh*t together, finally…!

Abbas, Hamas Leader Plan Quick Moves on Unity Implementation

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is in talks with Hamas Premier Ismail Haniyeh about the implementation of this week’s unity deal, with the talks centering on speeding up the process and getting things in place quickly.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah has tendered his resignation today, reflecting the end to a Fatah-only government and setting the stage for a new unity government including Hamas ministers.

The unity government is likely to only be a temporary one, with the goal of holding new elections before year’s end. There have been no Palestinian elections since 2006, when Hamas won decisively.

The Hamas victory at the time led to US pressure for Abbas to refuse to recognize the elections, and eventually to the violence split between the two factions. The reconciliation sets the stage for returning Gaza to the Palestinian Authority’s territory.

+972 mag exposes the sorry state of affairs with the Israeli press…

On peace negotiations, Israeli pundits peddle government distortions

Ari Shavit has written another one of his fabulous treatises in his exemplary prose style that is, as his articles often are, completely detached from the facts. According to Shavit, Mahmoud Abbas is an intransigent negotiator who fails every time he is put to the test. The pièce de résistance of Shavit’s treatise comes at the point where he accuses Abbas of not having signed off on the Geneva Accord. Readers might recall that the Geneva Accord was a foreign affairs initiative between Yossi Beilin and Yasser Abed Rabo. But according to Shavit’s logic, the second most important person in the Palestinian Authority should have risked his own political credibility by signing off on concessions, in order to protect Yossi Beilin.

Yair Lapid gave a truly heartrending speech, in which he wondered aloud if Abbas had any desire to achieve statehood. Again and again, Lapid intoned, the president of the Palestinian Authority uses evasion tactics, refuses to sign agreements, avoids dealing with the end game. The peak of Lapid’s speech comes when he says:

Just about a year ago we agreed to join the governing coalition only after we received a commitment that we would return to the negotiating table on the basis of two states for two peoples.

It would be interesting to know who gave him that commitment. It’s not written anywhere in the guidelines of the government he joined. That commitment was intentionally (Naftali Bennett) excluded from the guidelines. Lapid did not insist upon it, which he probably does not even recall.

The veteran political analyst Nahum Barnea wrote in a column published on Friday [in the print edition of Yedioth Aharonoth] that the ink in Mahmoud Abbas’s pen has been dry since 1993 and the Palestinian leader won’t sign any further agreements.

You read these things and they can make you slowly lose your mind. People who are intelligent, knowledgeable, and experienced simply do not know their facts. Or perhaps they have an interest in distorting them?

In a recent article in the Scoop, Uri Averny, spelt it out…

The language of the Israeli occupation

Semantics of the Israeli occupiers

Imagine a war breaking out between Israel and Jordan. Within two or three days the Israeli army occupies the entire territory of the Hashemite Kingdom. What will be the first act of the occupation authority?

Establish a settlement in Petra? Expropriate land near Aqaba?

No. The very first thing will be to decree that the territory will henceforth be known as “Gilead and Moab”.

All the media will be ordered to use the biblical name. All government and court documents will adopt it. Except for the radical left, nobody will mention Jordan anymore. All applications by the inhabitants will be addressed to the Military Government of Gilead and Moab.

Why? Because annexation starts with words.

Words convey ideas. Words implant concepts in the minds of their hearers and speakers. Once they are firmly established, everything else follows.

The writers of the Bible already knew this. They taught “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” (Proverbs 18:21). For how many years now have we been eating the fruit of “Judea and Samaria”?

When Vladimir Putin last week restored the old name of “New Russia” to the territory of eastern Ukraine, it was not just a semantic change. It was a claim for annexation, more powerful than a salvo of cannon shots.

“Peace” vs “political settlement”

Recently I listened to a speech by a left-wing politician, and was disturbed when she spoke at length about her struggle for a “political settlement” with the Palestinians.

When I remonstrated with her, she apologized. It was a slip of the tongue. She had not meant it that way.

In Israeli politics, the word “peace” has become poison. “Political settlement” is the vogue term. It is meant to say the same. But of course, it doesn’t.

“Peace” means much more than the formal end of warfare. It contains elements of reconciliation, of something spiritual. In Hebrew and Arabic, Shalom/Salaam include wellbeing, safety and serve as greetings. “Political settlement” means nothing but a document formulated by lawyers and signed by politicians.

The “Peace of Westphalia” put an end to 30 years of war and changed the life of Europe. One may wonder whether a “Political settlement of Westphalia” would have had the same effect

Let’s remember that the entire OPT is already referred to by the Biblical Judea-Samaria…!

As MEMO reported…

Israel halts contacts with Palestinians over Fatah-Hamas unity
Israeli cabinet decided on Friday to halt peace talks with the Palestinians because of Fatah-Hamas unity and agreement to form a technocrat government backed by Hamas.

In a statement released by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office after a six-hour meeting for the Israeli reduced cabinet, Israel announced it would stop peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority (PA) government.

“The cabinet today unanimously decided that Israel will not negotiate with a Palestinian government backed by Hamas, a terrorist organization that calls for Israel’s destruction,” the statement said.

An Israeli official was quoted by the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth as saying: “Negotiations became impossible. Abbas [PA President] has gone a step too far. There will be no political contacts with the Palestinians.”

Israel Hayom said that the resolution was supported by all members of the Diplomatic-Security Cabinet: Netanyahu, Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett, Finance Minister Yair Lapid, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and others.

However, Israel would not completely close the door with the Palestinians and said it would not cause the collapse of the PA. Israeli chief negotiator Tzipi Livni said: “Sanctions will be measured. We will not cause the Palestinian Authority to collapse.”

Israeli officials Surprised

Yedioth Ahronoth reported that the Israeli diplomatic and military officials were surprised by the announcement of the unity agreement between Fatah and Hamas.

“We were busy with the warning by Mahmoud Abbas to dismantle the Palestinian Authority,” a source told the newspaper. “The intelligence had not updated the political echelon about developments in talks between Hamas and the PA.”

The source added: “It was quite simply a foul-up – we did not know what was going on.”

Military officials also voiced their surprise about the agreement. They said they were tracking the incidents, but that they “did not know on which day this would happen. We did not even know for sure that there would be an announcement.”

God Bless, and, God Speed to the Palestinians…!

by CTuttle

Flytilla Grounded by Typical Israeli F*ckery

5:45 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

As a former Knesset Member wrote today…

…”Today is a black and shameful page in the history of the State of Israel. The massive aggressive play staged today at Ben Gurion Airport, the hundreds of police flooding the terminal, the systematic hunt for every traveler who dared to openly admit being headed to Bethlehem, as if this was the most horrible of crimes, the hysterical assault on a handful of Israeli peace activists who dared to express a dissident opinion, the worldwide campaign of pressures and threats to make airlines cancel the flights of hundreds of passengers. Had the government set out to exhibit to the world the image of an ugly Israel – oppressive, aggressive, nationalistic, tolerating no criticism – then today was a huge success. But if they had wanted to corroborate the assertion that Israel is “the only democracy in the Middle East”, the government’s conduct conveyed the very opposite message. The government’s “victory” over the the international activists was the very epitome of a pyrrhic victory…

What truly surprised me was the sheer extent of the collusion between the individual European Govt’s(local and federal), the Airlines, and, Israel…

‘Flytilla’ detentions spark fury

…But Israel vowed to prevent their entry, warning airlines they would be forced to foot the bill for the activists’ immediate return home in a move which saw many carriers toeing the line.

With airlines cancelling at least 300 passengers’ tickets, scores of activists staged angry demonstrations at airports in several European capitals. Read the rest of this entry →

by CTuttle

Israeli Air Strikes Test Gaza Truce

6:00 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

I wonder how Paul Jay would’ve reacted had he been in Gaza…!

Now, I’d like to hone in some of what Phyllis Bennis was talking about just prior to the Quake. As the Israeli writer, Uri Avnery, had recently warned about in an article entitled: ‘How Godly Are Thy Tents?’

FIRST OF all, a warning.

Tent cities are springing up all over Israel. A social protest movement is gathering momentum. At some point in the near future, it may endanger the right-wing government.

At that point, there will be a temptation – perhaps an irresistible temptation – to “warm up the borders”. To start a nice little war. Call on the youth of Israel, the same young people now manning (and womanning) the tents, to go and defend the fatherland.

Nothing easier than that. A small provocation, a platoon crossing the border “to prevent the launching of a rocket”, a fire fight, a salvo of rockets – and lo and behold, a war. End of protest.

Hamas’ Az-Zahhar is right in pointing out the Eilat attack was ‘used as pretext to attack Gaza’

…He said all factions agreed to the ceasefire while retaining the right to respond to Israeli attacks.

“Hamas is not a police officer who protects Israeli interests,” he said, explaining that Hamas sought a truce based on deterring Israel rather than cooperating with it or yielding to its demands.

Az-Zahhar denied claims that some factions were actually fronts for Hamas under different names.

“What illusionary groups have Hamas made up?” he asked.

“All the factions operating in Gaza are real and have their supporters and their military wings. They were called by Egypt to attend national occasions such as the reconciliation agreement, so can we claim that Egypt is dealing with made up factions?”

“Israel started its aggression on Islamic Jihad’s activists brutally killing members of the Qureiqi family. The Islamic Jihad’s military wing responded. Is the Islamic Jihad made up by Hamas, or it is a real faction?”

Today, Al Jazeera had reported…

Israeli air strikes test Gaza truce

Three Palestinians killed, amid calls from Hamas for the international community to intervene.

Israel has launched several attacks on Gaza, killing three Palestinians and wounding several others, prompting Hamas to allege that the attacks violated an unofficial two-day-long truce.

Medics in Gaza said an Israeli air strike on Wednesday evening killed 20-year-old Mohammad Moqat. He was a member of the Palestinian resistance group Islamic Jihad.

The latest air strike came after Palestinian fighters lobbed several rockets and mortar shells into southern Israel in retaliation for an earlier Israeli air strike in the border city of Rafah.

An earlier air raid during the day targeted a vehicle, killing Ismael al-Ismar, 34, an Islamic Jihad leader.

An Israeli military spokesman confirmed the strike, saying it had targeted “an activist linked to Islamic Jihad who was implicated in attempted terrorist actions in the Sinai”…

Isn’t it interesting that all the various ‘factions’ do fess up to their own ‘rocket’ attacks, yet, none have stepped up for the Eilat attack…!

Here’s another sobering analysis… Another Attack on Gaza: ‘Retaliation’ or Genocide?

The latest round of atrocities unleashed upon Palestinians proves yet again that the Israeli government is a homicidal opportunist. Instantly, the problem of mass demonstrations deploring increased cost of living and other economic issues plaguing the Jewish State was solved by rallying Israelis behind the one issue they all seem to have in common: the singular desire to annihilate Palestinians.

If that assessment seems harsh, or unfair to Israeli peace activists, it certainly rings true of broader Israeli society. Joseph Dana, a Tel Aviv-based writer and journalist spoke with Aljazeera regarding the protests, which according to him, were mute regarding the Israeli occupation of Palestine. “The sad reality is that if Israelis discuss Palestinian rights and specifically the rights of Palestinians under Israeli occupation, they very quickly lose public support,” he stated…

*gah*

by CTuttle

‘With democracy like this, who needs dictators?’

7:14 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

I would like to applaud another MK member, the current Speaker, Reuven Rivlin, first for defending MK Zoabi, and, then for being the only sane voice in the entire Likud Party!

From a recent Economist article…

…For Mr Rivlin, however, the near-unanimous assault on the privileges of Ms Zoabi, who was almost physically attacked by another woman member when she appeared at the plenary session, illustrates a sad erosion of Israel’s democratic and parliamentary tradition. “Would they do that to a Jewish member?” he asks.

Mr Rivlin, known to everyone as “Rubi”, is a doubly rare bird. An old-style democrat, he is also a hardliner who argues for a Greater Israel that would embrace the whole of Palestine, with the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza given full citizenship of Israel. “The Israeli Arabs are our only bridge to peaceful coexistence,” he says. “And we’re failing to maintain it.”

As GlobalPost’s Matt Beynon Rees, recently wrote…

…The Knesset, Israel’s parliament, broke up last week for its summer vacation. The speaker of the Knesset, Reuven Rivlin, sent lawmakers on their way with an interview in an Israeli newspaper in which he described them as “pathetic.” [...]

Speaker Rivlin attacked the behavior of the legislators who tried to silence Zoabi. “We, as members of the Knesset, were chosen due to our beliefs,” he said. “I believe that everyone should have the right to speak their minds, even if it hurts me.”

From a recent Haaretz article…

Reuven Rivlin: The land is not divisible

…“I would prefer for the Palestinians to be citizens of this country,” he said, “rather than divide the land" [...]

"We’re living in a political reality that requires answers. When people say that the demographic threat necessitates a separation, my reply is that the lesser danger, the lesser evil, is a single state in which there are equal rights for all citizens. Realpolitik requires us to opt for the danger in the demographic threat over the existential threat of separation."

“As a rule, whenever I hear about a demographic threat, it comes first of all from a type of thinking that says the Arabs are a threat. And this leads to thinking of transfer, or that they should be killed. I am appalled by this kind of talk."

“I understand the difficulty with what I’m saying. It seems incomplete. But I know that we’ve overcome much bigger problems in the past. My friends on the left, like Beilin and Jumas [Haim Oron] are true Zionists and Israeli patriots, but this talk about separation, this attitude of patronage, is what gives rise to the hatred that is keeping us from reaching a solution.

As former MK Uri Avnery had noted recently…

…So there is no brake. The production of irresponsible laws, most of them racist and anti-democratic, is booming. The more the government itself is turning into an assembly of political hacks, the more the likelihood of its preventing such legislation is diminishing. The present government, the largest, basest and most despised in Israel’s history, is cooperating with the Knesset members who submit such bills, and even initiating them itself. [...]

Thus a paradoxical situation has arisen: parliament, the highest expression of democracy, is itself now posing a dire threat to Israeli democracy.

Sadly, one could say the same about our current Congress…!