Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Palestinian State

The Boycott Pledge: Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSCP)

Sweden recognized the Palestinian State, among score of States in Latin America.

The Palestinians are asking the UN to set 2016 as the limiting date for full recognition.

The following actions are available

VOTE: Recognition of Palestine
VOTE: Recognition of Palestine
Stop Israel’s collective punishment and assault on Gaza
Israel: stop killing children
Tell the Department for International Development to support Palestinians
Action on business guidance
Don’t trade with settlements, Sainsbury’s
Action on Gaza blockade
Act on Gaza
British Government must act to stop ethnic cleansing
Don’t buy into illegal occupation
Open letter to BBC: bias over casualty figures
Suspend the EU Israel Association Agreement
Sign our letter to David Cameron
Sign our open letter to the BBC
End Israel’s bombing and killing – act to uphold international law
Help save Al Arakib – save this bedouin village from destruction!
Sign our letter against the Prawer Plan
Exclude illegal settlement goods from the UK – Labour Pledge
Ban Settlement Goods

The Boycott Pledge

And Israel Likud party Charter Calls for? Destruction of Any Palestinian State?

The Likud Charter Calls for Destruction of Any Palestinian State

Jonathan Weiler posted this Aug. 4, 2014

Since virtually every comment on Hamas in American media includes the assertion that the group’s Charter rejects Israel’s right to exist, it’s worth noting the following from the Likud Platform of 1999:

a. “The Jordan River will be the permanent eastern border of the State of Israel.” (Israel occupies the land east of the Jordan River and has settlements there. It occupies all of Palestine, the Syrian Golan Heights and land in Lebanon)

b. “Jerusalem is the eternal, united capital of the State of Israel and only of Israel.
The government will flatly reject Palestinian proposals to divide Jerusalem” (Against the successive UN declarations to the contrary)

c. “The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river.” (And has been flaunting all negotiations to that effect)

d. “The Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are the realization of Zionist values. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel. The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting. (There are no Jewish communities in Gaza)

There have been some updates to the platform more recently, reflecting Israel’s withdrawal of settlements from Gaza in 2005.

But the Likud Party has *never* in its statements of principles, accepted a Palestinian State. Its electoral partner, Yisrael Beitenu, has likewise categorically rejected the possibility of an independent Palestinian State, insisting that the idea is nothing more than a ploy to facilitate the destruction of Israel.

The Hamas charter rejects Israel as a sovereign political entity. (Mind you that the UN partitioned Palestine in 1947 and gave the minority Jews more than 57% of the land)

But on the central question of one side denying the other’s legitimacy — it’s hard to ignore the symmetry between Likud – the party of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – and Hamas. (With the understanding that Hamas is not in the Palestinian government, like the Likud)

Some defenders of Israel become indignant at the mention of these realities as scurrilous and spurious because the Likud platform quoted above is just an “old” statement of principles not reflective of the Party’s actions in power.

But by that logic, the Hamas Charter, written over 25 years ago, cannot be said to be the sole controlling document of that organization, since much more recent statements and actions by its leadership have, at least some times, included an expressed willingness to pursue a long-term agreement with Israel.

Furthermore, Hamas also agreed to join the Palestinian Authority in a unity government that accepts all previous PA agreements with Israel.

Too much political discussion in the United States about Israel/Palestine proceeds from the premise that Palestinians have no other interest than to destroy Israel and drive the Jews into the sea.

Therefore, Israel claims that it has no viable negotiating partner for peace. The political reality on the ground does not conform to such a simple-minded tale of good vs. evil.

Israeli hardliners in power have repeatedly rejected any basis for a viable Palestinian state.

Indeed, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s qualified statement in support of a two-state solution in 2009 – which his American apologists repeatedly invoke to demonstrate his “moderate” bona fides – was characterized by a member of his own cabinet as “the spin of our lives.”

In fact. Likud leaders have said unequivocally that no two-state deal is possible. And just three weeks ago, speaking at a press conference, Netanyahu said:

“I think the Israeli people understand now what I always say: that there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan.”

As David Horovitz wrote in The Times of Israel:

“He wasn’t saying that he doesn’t support a two-state solution. He was saying that it’s impossible. This was not a new, dramatic change of stance by the prime minister. It was a new, dramatic exposition of his long-held stance.”

In other words, no independent Palestinian state. Period. Ever.

Arab leaders are accused *all the time* of making one set of (conciliatory) statements in front of some audiences in English, while revealing their (true) rejectionist feelings in front of others, in Arabic.

To the extent that this is true, one could certainly say the same about Netanyahu – relatively conciliatory and reasonable-sounding statements for international audiences.

And altogether different rhetoric for internal consumption. Bibi is, after all, a master – like many politicians – at speaking out of both sides of his mouth.

Since Palestine does not exist as a recognized independent state, there is no need for Israel’s rejectionists to call for Palestine’s “destruction.” (Though programs of annihilating the Palestinians and their identity has been practiced since 1948)

But the consistent avowals of Israeli leaders – and the plain language of the party platforms that express their parties’ core beliefs – to prevent such a state from coming into being is not substantively different from the expressed desire of the Hamas Charter to reject Israel’s existence.

The beginnings of a more fair and balanced appreciation of the conflict would start with that acknowledgment.

Jonathan Weiler

“Do you think you are making progress by eradicating the Moslem Brotherhood”? Interview with Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

CAIRO May 15, 2014 

Egyptian presidential frontrunner Abdel Fattah al-Sisi gave Reuters a wide-ranging interview. The following is the full text.

Text of Sisi interview with Reuters

Egypt's presidential candidate and former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, looks on during an interview with Reuters in Cairo May 14, 2014. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Egypt’s presidential candidate and former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, looks on during an interview with Reuters in Cairo May 14, 2014.

CREDIT: REUTERS/AMR ABDALLAH DALSH

Q: How long do you think it will take to make real difference. What is your expectation as to the timetable before people start seeing real change?

A: The idea of 100 days. The Egyptians expected a lot of things. During two revolutions they were aspiring for bread, freedom, social justice. The Egyptians wanted to love this. I need to give them security and stability and complete development.

The truth is one hundred days is not enough. The challenges present in Egypt are so many. Programmes available in Western countries, the situations are much more stable in all fields compared to the reality in Egypt.

I believe that within two years of serious, continuous work we can achieve the type of improvement Egyptians are looking for.

Q: Is there a leader in past Egypt or anywhere around the world who you are trying to model yourself after? Do you see a Nasser, do you see a Sadat do you see somebody you have in your mind that would be a good model for what you want to be?

A: Every era and every stage has a leader to lead and succeed. The current time we are in the situation is very different than other eras. We need to work with seriousness to serve Egyptians.

Q: I guess the first challenge next week around the 26th is to see if a lot of people are going to vote. How important is voter turnout to your sense of being successful in the election?

A: We succeeded in the first step of the road map and the constitution and this was a very great constitution. It achieved a lot of what Egyptians had hoped for in their lives and their futures.

The number of Egyptians who voted was very considerable, in the millions. But we need in the coming elections a greater number than those who voted in the constitution.  So they can choose with their full will who will lead them in the coming stage.

Q: Is there a particular level of turnout you would consider successful?

A: I hope that all Egyptians vote. We have more than 50 million voters. I hope they all vote. This is an opportunity to express their will.

Q: So you are looking for 100 percent?

A: I hope so.

Q: The U.S. has been a strategic partner of Egypt for a long time.  What is your current assessment of the state of the relations with the United States? What areas would you like to improve?

A: Our relationship with the United States of America is a strategic, stable and steady relationship. It does not mean that during certain times, a state of confusion, that we cannot continue that. Of course not.

These ties are stable and the world now is interrelated. There is no room for one state to form relationships at the expense of the other. In Egypt we need to cooperate with all states as the amount of challenges in Egypt are very huge that need support and the participation of all.

Q: There has been a partial freeze on military aid do you anticipate that lifting once you become president?

A: Let’s be clear, I understand the European, Western and America standards concerning the freezing and suspension of equipment. Although this had a very negative reaction from the Egyptian people. The more time that passes the more the vision gets clearer to everyone.

People and the world realize what happened in Egypt was the will of all of the Egyptian people. The army could not have abandoned its people or there would have been a civil war and we don’t know where that would have taken us. We understand the American position. We hope that they understand ours.

Q: Is there anything in particular you would like to say to President Obama about the direction of Egypt that might be helpful in shifting the views there?

A: We are fighting a war against terrorism. The Egyptian army is undertaking major operations in the Sinai so that it is not transformed into a base for terrorism that will threaten its neighbours and make Egypt unstable. If Egypt is unstable then the region is unstable. I don’t think this is in the interest of security and peace in the entire world.

We need American support to fight terrorism, we need American equipment to combat terrorism. Not just in Sinai.

Today we are present and working to secure our borders which are long and stretch from the start of the Mediterranean Sea until 1,200 kilometres on the Libyan border, and similarly with Sudan. Aside from sea borders that stretch more than 3,000 kilometres. That needs real security. You see how unstable the region is.

Q: On Libya, there is a tremendous amount of instability in Libya. Do you see Libya as a threat?

A: The situation is not just Libya. We have to be wary of the spread of the terrorist map in the region. I imagine there is a role from the West on that. They have not continued their mission in Libya. There should have been a collection of weapons that are present everywhere until the country stabilises and has a government. Because there wasn’t sufficient soldiers or police so that this country would stabilize and enter a process of real democracy.

We have another situation that will take a long time if it is left like that. The international community, headed by the West, has to take part in this operation. I see that it has to resume its mission to achieve stability in Libya. Collect the weapons and enhance security before they abandon it.

Q: You have talked about a peaceful solution in Syria. Do you think Syria would be better off with President Assad remaining in office?

A: The peaceful solution is the appropriate solution. The unity of Syria is in the interest of the security of the region. Syria should not turn into an attractive spot for extremist terrorist elements. That will threaten the entire region. When I sit with my European friends, I tell them there are European citizens fighting in Syria. Their numbers are more than 1,000 to 2,000. 

I imagine after the situation ends in Syria, regardless of how it will end, they will return to Europe. What will they do? What will the situation in Syria turn into? Will they attack us, will they attack Saudi Arabia, Jordan or Israel? We have to be aware of this radical ideology and activity and its effect on security and stability in the Middle East region.

Q: Do you think of a solution that will resolve the problem that would not involve Assad?

A: This matter requires a dialogue and extensive talks because it is more dangerous than just expressing an opinion on it. We have to see the full picture and have in front of us the issue of the unity of Syrian lands.

A peaceful solution so that region does not get more complicated. The issue of dealing with extremist elements what will we do? Otherwise we will see another Afghanistan. I don’t think you want to create another Afghanistan in the region.

Q: How are relations between Egypt and Israel now? How do you see that progressing under your presidency?

A: Let me tell you that our relationship with Israel and the peace treaty has been stable for more than 30 years and had faced a lot of challenges yet it remained stable. We respected it and we will respect it. The Israeli people know this.

We see there a real opportunity for peace that will prepare the region for an era of peace and cooperation between states. This is what I see.

The question of whether we would be committed to the peace treaty is over. The issue is stable among all leaders and the public opinion in Egypt. What we need is to build on it.

We need to see a Palestinian state. We need to move on peace, which has been frozen for many years. There will be a real chance for peace in the region. We are ready to play any role that will achieve peace and security in the region.

Q: Do you have a plan in mind to build the Egyptian economy?

A: We have to admit that the economic situation in Egypt is difficult, and not just over the last three years. Egyptians were aspiring to a more stable life than the reality we are living in.  More than 50% of the Egyptian people suffer from poverty. There is a lot of unemployment. Our entrance according to our programme would be to create job opportunities for Egyptians and fixing the minimum and maximum wage.

The minimum wage in Egypt is considered very small to achieve an appropriate social standard. The subsidies provided by the Egyptian state need to be distributed fairly. The rich get more from the subsidies than the poor. The programme aims to spread the population beyond the 6% of the land it lives on now. We need to provide more work opportunities. And to give opportunities for Egyptian, Arab and foreign investment.

I am addressing this to the West and all friends. Egypt needs your help in this phase so that it gets out of the circle of poverty it is suffering from.

Q: Do you see a continued role for the army in making sure that money from the Gulf is used in the economy?

A: We need all state institutions to take part in the development of the community. All state institutions are involved in this as the challenge is huge and we have to overcome it.

Q: So for the time being is the army the best institution to do that?

A: The army is very busy combating terrorism in the Sinai and on the western border and the southern border. But if there is an opportunity for it to help with engineering work and roads there will be a benefit from its capabilities. There is talk that the army owns 40% of the economy. This is not true. It does not exceed 2% of the economy.

Q: Do you see a way of reducing subsidies?

A: We are in a fearful situation now in regard to these subsidies and the way they are distributed. But we won’t be able to pressure the poor people more than that. But we can revise the subsidies to make more of them go to the poor and not the rich.

Let me give you an example. On the subsidies that the rich get. If a man owns a car above 2000cc the amount of fuel subsidies he gets in Egypt, which is in a difficult economic situation, 3,000 or 4,000 pounds a month. The same goes for electricity. The only citizen that does not benefit is the poor who has no car. We need to move and revise these subsidies to go to the poor.

Q: What type of change are we talking about?

A: Look at the embassies. They go buy fuel that is subsidized. The government pays three quarters of its cost. All citizens, anyone who goes to a gas station, gets these subsidies. There are many people and sectors who don’t need this and we will try to correct it.

Q: Do you have any plans to reduce the influence of businessmen who dominated under President Mubarak?

A: We are a country that always works in the framework of law and the constitution. We want to work within this framework now and in the future. We never want measures that would scare anyone. We also need to have measures that would provide equal opportunities for everyone.

Q: What would draw international investment into Egypt in the next few years?

A: Normally Egypt is a big country with a special status. There is a large labour force. A young country. The number of Egyptian youths is huge and they are capable of work. It is a big market. Investment can be very successful. It is a gateway to Africa. There is a real promising opportunity for investment in Egypt. We will respect our commitments, provide a convenient environment and laws to secure investment.

Q: Do you think the Egyptian pound should float free? Is it an impediment to the economy?

A: The more the economic situation improves the more the currency will improve and vice versa. We need measures to stimulate the economy and pump a lot of money through its veins so that real improvement happens that would be felt by the citizen and Egypt enters a better phase.

Q: For how many more years do you expect aid from Gulf countries?

A: Let’s be honest with each other. We don’t see this as a good thing frankly and hope it ends as soon as possible. It is not just me. All Egyptians think this way.

Q: Would you say ideally two years or five years or ten years?

A: This will depend on results.

Q: You have spoken about eradicating the Brotherhood. Do you think you are making progress?

A: We feel very sorry about how these people express or introduced or presented our Islam. Very ugly face. Look at the global map of extremism and terrorism in the world. You will find that this issue has become rejected and unacceptable for most countries of the world.

This form, the idea of killing, destruction that is present in many countries, I believe you understand that humanity and civilization does not accept this. And logic does not accept this.

Q: Is the best approach a military one or does there need to be education. What approach works best?

A: This issue requires a multi-dimensional plan. The security angle is not the decisive aspect. Education. Economy. Culture. Awareness. We need to move on all of that in Egypt. That confrontation requires everyone to participate. You had a role in supporting democracy.

You want to create democracy in many countries. This is a good thing. But it won’t succeed in the way it is needed, except through good economic support and proper support for education. I was present in the United States and before it in Britain … And I wrote an article on the future of democracy in the Middle East …

Are you ready to open your countries for us for more education that won’t be expensive. To send the intelligent ones among our children to be educated in your countries, to see and learn. This is a form of developing and supporting democracy. Democracy is not only to educate the youth but to create an appropriate atmosphere to make this democracy works, are you ready for this?

Are you ready to provide opportunities in a country like Egypt for people to work so that poverty can ease? And that would be a programme to support democracy in Egypt.

Are you ready to see and participate in the problem of the slums in Egypt so that there would be a real environment for real democracy? Or like what I told to Cathy Ashton that you are paying very small amounts and wash your hands from the issue of democracy. The environment in this country has to be fit for democracy to develop and live.

Q: Can we just pick up on one piece of that? Are you saying that Western countries have become too restrictive in permitting Egyptians and other people from the Middle East to go to universities in the west? In other words post 9-11 restrictions?

A: Yes of course. This is part of the issue as the amount of delegations that get offered … Let’s talk about 27 European countries if every country gave Egypt 30 students each year. We are talking about 2,100 students to be present in European universities.

And if 10 or 20% of America universities gave a similar number we will find that the numbers become huge. We will send the intelligent ones of our children, our best youths to go and see and learn and return to us with science and culture. If you want to help us, there are many things to talk about any real aid to develop democracy in the Middle East and Egypt. But there will be a cost.

We want the student who can’t pay to get an excellent education and they become the society’s elite afterwards to lead it. Take care, you have to have a real contribution in the democratic progress of Egypt.

Q: So if education goes hand-in-hand with security, is it a sensible approach to ban the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, or does not that risk driving these people underground, perhaps making them more radical and more of a problem?

A: The problem is that they lost their connection with the Egyptians, lost sympathy from the majority of Egyptians, and that is an issue we too have to be aware of. Unjustified violence towards Egyptians made them not only lose any sympathy among Egyptians but also meant they have no real chance of reconciliation with society. And this is the reality we are talking about.

The problem is not mine frankly. I assure you. The problem is with the Egyptian people and we have a great opportunity and I ask you to go talk to the simple ordinary Egyptian citizen and ask him. You will find that he is very angry and rejects any form of reconciliation. And frankly during this stage and the coming one, no president can act against the will of the people.

Q: You are known to be a very religious person and you have talked a little about this, can you talk a little bit more about how you see religion interacting with government in Egypt and the role it plays in civic life but also the role in government? What is the appropriate role of religion in government in Egypt?

A: Ask my colleagues in the War College and ask my colleagues in Staff College in Britain, how I interacted with them. I did not deal with them on the basis of religion or race or sect. On the contrary and not only me and my family and I don’t see there is a problem that we all live together like that and that is not a humanitarian address although that is acceptable and needed but this is a religious talk.

Religion cannot clash with humanity as we see now. The entire world has become a very small village and we would not be able to live together with this sort of radicalism and extremism and the inability to comprehend and disagree.

Q: Can I just ask you about the trial of the Muslim Brotherhood members. There has been a large number of executions ordered in courts. Do you feel that the judicial process was a fair one, do you support these decisions?

A: I know the Western culture and I know the humanitarian logic you have and I understand it.

First of all I am an Egyptian citizen now and I am not an Egyptian official and I hope that you accept this as I say it and trust me.

Secondly, I am not going to talk about this case in particular but I want to say that we are founding a state based on the rule of law.

We respect the judiciary and its independence and we do not interfere in it. This is very important … and that is something I appreciate and understand, but also I hoped that we were concerned about the number of victims from the other side.

Q: It is kind of unpleasant topic but you did mention two assassination attempts against you. I haven’t heard any of the circumstances behind them or the background. Can you elaborate a little bit on any of them?

A: It is a radical way of thinking and it doesn’t accept mutual understanding or cooperation with the other. It is not ready for mutual understanding, it considers itself as the only true way and anyone else is not. That’s the problem. Without going into details into the assassination attempts, the assassination attempts will not end.

Because, please look at the world around you, the West has to pay attention to what’s going on in the world and the map of extremism and its expansion. This map will reach you inevitably.

Q: How do you go about dealing with that extremism in the Sinai and the borders around Egypt? What practical steps will you take should you become president?

A: I want to say it will only be more measures. We were keen that Sinai does not turn into a base to launch for attacks which threaten Egypt’s neighbours. This is against Egypt’s sovereignty on its soil and against the peace treaties that we’ve signed. We understood the reaction from their side when some limited operations took place against Israeli soil.

But we on the other side inside Sinai undertook and undertake very wide-ranging operations to fix the security situation and to deal with the terrorist elements present there. Either by detaining them or by dealing with them. But there are two points we are keen on, it’s very important you know them:

The first point, we never want to resort to unjustified acts of violence. And we don’t want violations of human rights. We don’t want killing of innocents so that won’t become an excuse for the expansion of these operations. That’s what makes it go on and also, as we’re speaking of this. There is equipment that we need the United States to give to us. And I believe that this matter must be reviewed now and be accomplished as soon as possible.

I am talking about Sinai now. I am not talking about a border longer than 1,000 kilometres. The other side in Libya don’t have to the opportunity to secure the border appropriately. And we have commitments to Egyptian national security, to the security and stability of this poor citizen so that his life and the life of his children will not be targeted, that won’t work.

This is a point that we need not just America to understand, but the West and the entire world. This is why we extend our hand to every country of the world to help us, we must combat terrorism practically and succeed in this confrontation.

Q: You talk a lot about the frustration of the Egyptian people and impatience. How much time do you think the Egyptian people will give you to show that you’re making a real difference?

A: Egyptians are a very patient people and a great people. And remember it’s a 7,000-year-old civilization. On the condition that there is hope that is realized and achieved on the ground, they will be ready to be patient. I call on the West to look in an appreciative way towards the development and growing and the support of the Egyptian economy to complete the road map for the future of democracy in Egypt. I hope this message reaches you.

(Created by Michael Georgy)

Note: Jonathan Wright, former head of Reuters’ Cairo bureau, had the following great observation on:

“You have spoken about eradicating the Brotherhood. Do you think you are making progress?”

It is the exact same question that was asked to Hitler by a British newspaper to Hitler (1938) –

“You have spoken about eradicating the Jews. Do you think you are making progress?”

Israeli soldiers “gas” themselves in village of Bilin

Last week, Israeli soldiers and police dispersed by force and tear gas hundreds of Palestinians who were trying to rebuild a village that Israel completely erased in the Jordan Valley in 1967. The village of Bilin is another story of confronting the occupier.

Mind you that the Jordan Valley is withing the West Bank territory, but Israel built hundreds of “war settlements” in that region to exploit its water resources and prevent the Palestinians free access to the State of Jordan.

Every week, Israel encourage its radical right-wing Jews to invade and “desecrate” the Islamic Temple in Jerusalem, or the Aqsa Dome Mosque.

Israel is progressing in its plan for erecting more settlement in East Jerusalem, proposed to be the Capital of the Palestinian State in the current negotiation with Kerry.

Cynical Idealism posted these funny pictures on Feb. 7, 2014

Israeli soldiers in Bil’in gas themselves, Palestinian kids chase them away, get gassed
https://m.facebook.com/Bilin.village

Any predictions on “Arab Awakening”? Saudi Arabia be next? And Robert Fisk

Can anybody predict which way the ‘Arab Awakening’ (the title of George Antonius’ seminal work of 1938) will turn this yea?.

Apparently, everyone is predicting, and going strong in their convictions.

Is it better never make predictions in the Middle East?  Then where’s the fun otherwise?

Andrew Bossone wrote: yeah, yeah, you don’t like Fisk… I was in Syria in March 2011 (before the upheaval started) and I was talking with some friends and I insisted that Saudi Arabia would be the last country in the region to fall.

The Syrian guys said no way, Syria would be the last country to go.

Well the next week the uprising started. I still hold to my position about Saudi, in contrast with Fisk.

But Robert Fisk has ventured a very tentative punt or two…

Robert Fisk published in The Independence on Dec. 31, 2012 under: “Could Saudi Arabia be next?”

“My crystal ball broke long ago. But predicting the region has an honourable pedigree.

“An Arab movement, newly-risen, is looming in the distance,” a French traveller to the Gulf and Baghdad wrote in 1883 (not 1983), “and a race hitherto downtrodden will presently claim its due place in the destinies of Islam.”

A year earlier, a British diplomat in Jeddah confided that “it is within my knowledge… that the idea of freedom does at present agitate some minds even in Mecca…”

So let’s say this for 2013:

1. The “Arab Awakening” will continue, the demand for dignity and freedom – let us not get tramelled up here with “democracy” – will go on  ravaging the pseudo-stability of the Middle East, causing as much fear in Washington as it does in the palaces of the Arab Gulf.

2. On the epic scale of history, that much is certain.

3. At the incendiary core of this discontent will be the claims of a Palestinian State that does not exist and may never exist and the actions of an Israeli state which – through its constant building of colonies for Jews and Jews only on Arab land – ensures that “Palestine” will remain only an Arab dream.

If 2012 is anything to go by, the Palestinians themselves face the coming year with the knowledge that:

1) neither the Americans nor the Europeans have the guts to help them, because

2) Israel will continue to act with impunity, and

3) neither the Obamas nor the Camerons nor the Hollandes have the slightest interest in taking on the Likudist lobby, which will scream “anti-semitism” the moment the minutest criticism is made against Israel.

4) Add to this the fact that Mahmoud Abbas and his utterly discredited regime in Ramallah will go on making concessions to the Israelis.  If you do not believe me, read Clayton Swisher’s The Palestine Papers – even when there are no more concessions to make.

Hamas and Khaled Meshaal will go on denying Israel’s right to exist, allowing Israel to falsely claim that it has “no one to talk to”. And preparing for the next Gaza war and the subsequent cowardly request from the West which will “urge restraint on both sides”, as if the Palestinians possess Merkava tanks, F-18s and drones.

A third Intifada (mass disobedience movement)? Maybe.

An approach to the International Court to condemn Israel for war crimes in building Jewish colonies on other people’s land? Perhaps. But so what?

The Palestinians won an international court case which condemned the building of Israel’s apartheid/security wall – and absolutely nothing happened.

That’s the fate of the Palestinians.

They’re told by the likes of Tom Friedman to abandon violence and adopt the tactics of Gandhi. And when they do, they still lose, and Friedman remains silent.

It was, after all, Gandhi who said that Western civilisation “would be a good idea”.

So bad news for Palestine in 2013.

How about Iran?

The Iranians understand the West much better than we understand the Iranians – a lot of them, remember, were educated in the United States.

And they’ve an intriguing way of coming out on top whatever they do. George Bush (and Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara) invaded Afghanistan and rid the Shia Iranians of their Sunni enemy, whom they always called the “Black Taliban”.

And Bush-Blair invaded Iraq and got rid of the Islamic Republic’s most loathsome enemy, Saddam Hussein. Thus did Iran win both the Afghan and the Iraqi war – without firing a shot.

There’s no doubt that Iran would fire a shot or two if Israel/America – the two are interchangeable in Iran as in many other Middle East countries – were to attack its nuclear facilities.

However, Israel has no stomach for an all-out war against Iran – it would lose – and the US, having lost two Middle East wars, has no enthusiasm for losing a third.

Sanctions – and here is Iran’s real potential nemesis – are causing far more misery than Israel’s F-18s. And why is America threatening Iran in the first place? It didn’t threaten India when it went nuclear.

And when that most unstable and extremist state called Pakistan was developing nuclear weapons, no US threat was made to bomb its facilities.

True, we’ve heard that more recently – in case the nukes “fell into the wrong hands”, as in gas which might “fall into the wrong hands” in Syria; or in Gaza, for that matter, where democracy “fell into the wrong hands” the moment Hamas won elections there in 2006.

Now that Obama has entered his drone-happy second presidency, we’re going to hear more about those wonderful unpiloted bombers which have been ripping up bad guys and civilians for more than four years.

One day, one of these machines – though they fly in packs of seven or eight – will hit too many civilians or, even worse, will contrive to kill westerners or NGOs.

Then Obama will be apologising – though without the tears he expended over Newtown, Connecticut. (As Israel apologized to the UN for killing Lebanese refugees in a UN compound in Qana)

And here’s a thought for this year.

The gun lobby in the States tells us that “it’s not guns that kill – it’s people”.

But apply that to drone attacks on Pakistan or Israeli bombardments of Gaza and the rubric changes.

It’s the guns/bombs/rockets that kill because the Americans don’t mean to kill civilians and the Israelis don’t wish to kill civilians.

It’s just “collateral damage” again, though that’s not an excuse you can provide for Hamas rockets.

So what’s left for 2013?

Bashar Assad, of course. He’s already trying to win back some rebel forces to his own ruthless side – an intelligent though dangerous tactic – and the West is getting up to its knees in rebel cruelty. Yes, Assad will go. One day. He says as much.

But don’t expect it to happen in the immediate future. Or Gaddafi-style. The old mantra still applies.

Egypt was not Tunisia and Yemen was not Egypt and Libya was not Yemen and Syria is not Libya.

And Iraq?

Its own latent civil war will go on grinding up the bones of civil societ,y while we largely ignore its agony. There are days now when more Iraqis are killed than Syrians, though you wouldn’t know it from the nightly news.

And the Gulf and Saudi Arabia, where the first Arab awakening began?

Where, indeed, the first Arab revolution – the advent of Islam – burst forth upon the world.

There are those who say that the Gulf kingdoms and Emirates will remain secure for years to come. Don’t count on it.

Watch Saudi Arabia. Remember what that British diplomat wrote 130 years ago. “Even in Mecca…”

In summary:

Syria

‘Yes, Assad will go. One day. He says as much. But don’t expect it to happen in the immediate future.  Or Gaddafi-style.’Israel and the  Palestinian territories

Israel and the Palestinian territories

‘Hamas and Khaled Meshaal will go on denying Israel’s right to exist – thus allowing Israel to falsely claim that it has “no one to talk to” – until the next Gaza war.’

Iran

‘Israel has no stomach for an all-out war against Iran – it would lose – and the United States, having lost two Middle East wars, has no enthusiasm for losing a third.’

Saudi Arabia

‘There are those who say that the Gulf  kingdoms will remain secure for years to come. Don’t count on it. Watch Saudi Arabia.’

Iraq

‘Its own civil war will go on grinding up the bones of  civil society while we largely ignore its agony.’

US

‘Now that Obama has entered his drone-happy second  presidency, we’re going to hear more about those wonderful  unpiloted bombers

Andrew Bossone disagrees that Saudi Arabia absolute monarchy will be next to be swept by the Arab Awakening…Why?

The Saudi governments (absolute monarchy) have suppressed previous uprisings (with American support) starting in the 1930’s. It also suppressed the revolts in Yemen and Bahrain most recently, and had a hand elsewhere.

So I just don’t see Saudi going anywhere for a long time.

My position is Saudi Arabia has built-in a tight-proof military uprising system: The “saudi citizens” don’t have to join the army  or encouraged to get military trained for the “defense” of the Kingsdom. The western nations are supposed to do this job, and paid handsomely for cracking down on any serious militaty activities.

Remenber how the French were asked to directly chase out the uprisers in Mecca a decade ago, a liberate the” haramein”.

Saudi Arabia refrain from directly engaging its own “army”, even for defending its borders, such as in Yemen…

The officers are from this extended Saudi clan family, about 5,000 cousins, and most of the soldiers are foreigners.

Iraq is a goner: Iran, the USA, and Saudi Arabia are not interested for the central government to reconstitute a viable army. De facto autonomous partition to four provinces.

Does the majority of the Israeli Jews know what it wants?

What Israel “Peace Indicator” says?

The Lebanese daily Al Nahar published a piece by its correspondent in Israel, the Palestinian/Israeli Antoine Shalhat, titled “Israel “Peace Indicator”.

The article says: “The September survey for Israel “Peace Indicator”, which corresponded with the repercussions of (Mahmoud Abbas) officially submitting a letter to the UN for recognition of a Palestinian State, showed the following pieces of intelligence:

1)  77% of Israeli Jews are for the resumption of negotiation.

2)  70% believe that negotiations will not lead to any peace between the concerned parties;

3)  43% oppose any reduction in internal security budget;

4)  50% want such a reduction in the budget;

6)  49% asked for government flexibility in resuming the negotiation process, before formal recognition of the Palestinian State;

7)  48% oppose any kinds of negotiations;

8)  59% agree that it is not in Israel interest a recognition of a Palestinian State;

9)  51% are for cooperation with the potential Palestinian State;

10)  79% do not believe that the current Palestinian Authority is capable of delivering on promises;

What do these data demonstrate?

First, the vast majority of Israeli Jews does not believe that the peace and reconciliation is within reach;

Second, the majority does not see how a Palestinian State can serve Israel best interest;

Third, the vast majority considers the negotiation process  as purely tactical in nature. Just to appease world community concerns, and to provide a breathing period…

It seems that the question “Does Israel want negotiation” is not as important as formulating an answer to “What does Israel want from any negotiation“. Israel is plainly faking readiness to negotiate peace and reconciliation with the occupied Palestinians.

Israel has no idea what it wants in the medium-term that could alleviate the fast deteriorating internal and external conditions.

Note:  You may read the previous post on the state of democracy and sectarianism in Israel https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2011/09/29/israel-2011-less-democratic-and-far-more-sectarian-by-antoine-shalhat/

Back to start: Latest news from Egypt, Libya, and US revolt fronts

General Tantawee of Egypt and his high-level officers in the armed forces re-established the emergency laws in Egypt in order to “secure peace and stability in Egypt“.  Why he did that?

Angry Egyptians stormed Israel Embassy and Barack Obama called to ensure security of Israel Embassy… and Tantawee responded by killing and injuring hundreds of Egyptian demonstrators! Why Tantawee did that?

Because dictator Sadat and his successor dictator Mubarak signed a “peace treaty” with terrorist Menuhin Begin without consulting with his people.  Actually, the treaty was linked to Israel withdrawing from occupied Palestinian territories in the West bank and Gaza, a clause that Israel never thought of satisfying.

Menuhin Begin was the first leader to start terrorist activities in the region during British mandate in Palestine: He blew up the King David headquarter and then followed up his terrorist activities by committing genocides in Palestinian towns and villages in order to force Palestinians to vacate their homes and end up refugees…

The Norwegian committee for Peace Prize deemed Begin as good a representative for leading peace behaviors…along with dictator Sadat.

Is something fishy in awarding Peace Prizes to convinced terrorists who never apologized for their brutality, but have been very apologetic about their sound decisions that “terrorism is good for reaching a political end results?

What Menuhin Begin did to confirm his reversal to a peaceful leader after the award?

He and Ariel Sharon preempted a war on Lebanon in 1982 and entered the Capital Beirut, they committed the horrible genocide in the Palestinian camps of Sabra and Chatila, they killed 50,000 civilians in Lebanon, they used phosphorous and cluster bombs, and occupied Lebanon for 25 years…

Guess what. There is this supposed leader of the Libya revolt, Abdul Jalil, claiming that Islam is going to be the source of laws.  He is so funny that he resumed “But our Islam is going to be a moderate Islam!”

I am glad that these revolts are not over yet.

The modern Arab activists will not wait for the next spring to sweep away those archaic and “too matured” leaders who didn’t get it yet.

The people want liberty, transparency, democratic fair elections, referendum on critical problems and ancient biased treaties, return to civic normal way of life, job opportunities, freedom of opinions, respect of human rights, working toward improving and sustaining the human development indicators as defined by the UN…

Did President Barack Obama failed to read the autobiography of GW.Bush in “Decisive moments” on the Palestinian problem?

GW. Bush wrote “The more I thought of the troubles in the Middle East, the more I was convinced that the fundamental culprit is lack of liberty in the occupied Palestinian territories. Without a recognized State, the Palestinians could not find their place in the world community; as long as the Palestinians have no say in their future, the extremist elements were going to fill the void; without legitimate leaders, democratically elected, dedicated to fighting extremist movement, peace with Israel will be compromised… I was the first US President demanding a recognized Palestinian State by the UN…

Not only Obama wants to veto the establishment of a Palestinian State, but he has been consistent in vetoing every UN resolution condemning Israel terrorist activities in the occupied Palestinian territories and the “Freedom boat” massacre against Turkish peace activists.  Obama is black, but he has proven to be the worst “apartheid” leader in the world community.  Apartheid is not defined by color: Observe Israel.

Something fishy is going around, don’t you think?

Check-mate Israel: Last Strategic ally down in region (Egypt)

Israel has no longer any strategic allies in the region (on its borders), not even minor allies:  The people in the region guarantee that no State regime in the region will dare schmooze and negotiate with any Israeli leader who refuses a Palestinian State and support the resumption of building in occupied land and is not serious of transferring the Jews of colonies in occupied land back to Israel.

Not a single State around Israel is scared of Israel’s military retaliation of any kind: the people have risen from the ashes of humiliation and imposed foreign policies.

(Only this obscurantist Saudi monarchy is the last steady ally to Israel and against all Arabic States that it view as a menace to this monarchy…)

The regime of Shah of Iran has long vanished since 1979, Turkey has been alienated and Israel still refuses to apologize for the crime against the peace boat incident, Mubarak of Egypt is down.  Tunisia of Ben Ali is down; the people in Jordan are putting the squeeze on the Hashemite monarch; the people in Lebanon have fired ex-PM Saad Hariri; the Palestinian Authority is discredited with the latest WikiLeaks and Hamas of Gaza and the West Bank are is on the ascendance.

The policies of the US for establishing the so-called Greater Middle East is down the drain:  the US invasion of Iraq has been routed; the US troops in Afghanistan are readying to retreat from a war that cannot be won; the credibility in the sanity of the US Administration’s policies in the Middle East region has disintegrated; the faulty programs of the International Monetary Funds have not been revised for transparency and discussion with the concerned parties that led to the latest upheaval in Tunisia, Egypt, and Yemen.

Israel is no longer in a position to play coy and humiliate the US and everybody else during the negotiation of a Palestinian State, not even Saeb Erakat, one of lame and cowardly Palestinian negotiators.  The crude statement of Tzipi Livni  (Israel ex-foreign affairs minister) “To create your Palestinian State, you have got to agree with Israel in advance on everything.  Your only choice is to relinquish any choices in the future.  Those are the founding bases for negotiation” is one of Israeli posturing relegated to history bins.

The new Palestinian State demands total withdrawal of Israeli troops to the 1967 border; it demands the dismantling of all the Jewish colonies in occupied land; it refuses swapping small portions of lands to legitimizing forced settlement; it wants borders with Jordan and Egypt, it wants and an international airport and a maritime port and full autonomy.  The new Palestinian State, recognized by Russia, most of Latin American States, and Cyprus refuses to be totally dependent on Israel economy, finance, and military support.

The leaders of the Palestinian Authority, those self-appointed President, PM, and negotiators in the name of the Palestinian people (in the West Bank, in Gaza, in refugee camps all around the world…) that refused to have another democratic election for fear of Hamas winning all the way, have been under contemptible situations as leaks of their cowardly negotiations with Israel surfaced in the public domain.

A new election for the Palestinian people is necessary before the resumption of any “peace talk” with the extremist Israeli government.

The cooperation of this defunct Palestinian Authority of Abu Abbass and company with Israel in capturing and assassinating Hamas operators, under the excuse that the Oslo agreement in 1993 to safeguarding Israel’s security, is null and void.  A new generation of Palestinians demand drastic reforms and dignity; they are denying their political leaders to continue  functioning under a prison mentality.

This masquerade of offering free parcels of land to Israel, a parcel from here and a parcel from there and pretty soon there is no land to giving away, is no longer accepted.  The quarters of Har Homa, Gilo, the Armenian quarters, Ariel, and Maaleh Adumin belong to East Jerusalem, the Capital of the Palestinian State.

The oligarchic style of governance of the Palestinian Authority needs to be reformed to a democratic constitution:  currently, the Palestinians living in Jerusalem would rather apply for Israel citizenship, if given choices, and refrain from living under abject conditions and lacking basic rights under this rotten Authority.

The Palestinians living in Israel and having Israeli citizenship and passport have to be included in the negotiation as a full concerned party.  A unified negotiating team, including all the major factions, especially Hamas, is the only viable alternative to resuming a dead negotiation process.

Israel had a window of opportunity to live in peace in 1993 after the Oslo agreement, but it preferred to play the bully, its favorite game. Israel is experiencing a check-mate move:  No free oil from Egypt or Saudi Arabia; no free water from Syria or Lebanon; no free occupied land by force or negotiations; no makeshift democratic mask that the Western States can no longer sustain with the latest public Israeli policies reinforcing the apartheid and racist activities.

Down with the Wall of Shame separating people along the dividing line.

Time for Israel to deal with the UN Charters for human rights, prisoners rights, legal prosecution processes, crimes against humanity, sex market, slave market, drugs market, arms market.

Note 1:  Mubarak is denied political refugee status everywhere, even in Saudi Arabia.  Otherwise, Mubarak would have resigned a couple of days ago.  The US Administration is calling around to finding a resting location for Mubarak.  I suggest that the UN designate an Island State to be the refuge to all deposed Presidents in order to save thousands of casualties in mass upheavals.

Note 2:  You may read my post  “The next holocaust” https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2010/04/09/otherwise-the-next-holocaust-is-imminent/

The leaders of the Palestinian Authority, those self-appointed President, PM, and negotiators in the name of the Palestinian people (in the West Bank, in Gaza, in refugee camps all around the world…) that refused to have another democratic election for fear of Hamas winning all the way, have been under contemptible situations as leaks of their cowardly negotiations with Israel surfaced in the public domain.

The Palestinian Authority is blaming the Emir of Qatar, since Al Jazeera is headquartered in Qatar, to leaking enormous amount of documents that robbed any remaining legitimacy to the Palestinian Authority:  This Authority is holding simply because the US and the western States want them to remain in power. The Palestinian Authority, represented by the defunct President Mahmoud Abass, Fayyad PM (stooges to the IMF and US Administration), Ahmad Korey3,  Saeb Erakat…are claiming that the maps are those presented by Israel and not their own version of land concessions; that the negotiations didn’t waver from what Arafat signed on in Oslo in 1993…

It sounded so disgusting; an “illegitimate government” endeavoring to negotiate from positions of total impotence and helplessness.  This Authority has not the backing of the Palestinian people and has been behaving as an oligarchic political system:  The Treasury is considered as belonging to the Fateh faction and the miniature other factions, factions that relinquished resistance to the occupier and insist on licking asses at every opportunity. This Authority has been cooperating fully with Israel in capturing and assassinating Hamas operators, under the excuse that the Oslo agreement in 1993 was to safeguarding Israel’s security.

This Authority has been cornered since Sharon assigned Arafat to his quarter in Ramallah and then assassinated Arafat by poison.  This Authority has been functioning under a prison mentality and trying its best undignified posturing for being recognized by the western nations are “legitimate negotiators” on behalf of the Palestinian people.

You have commentators saying that the leaks didn’t divulge any strategic shift in the concept of independent State for peace but simple tactical giving away parcels of lands.  A parcel from here and a parcel from there and pretty soon there is no land to give away.  The quarters of Har Homa and Gilo are already under constructions for some years, and Ariel, and Maaleh Adumin well established.

Fact is, this Authority has been governing as an oligarchy to such an extent that the Palestinians living in Jerusalem would rather apply for Israel citizenship, if given choices, and refrain from living under abject conditions and lacking basic rights under this Authority.  What kind of Palestinian State these backstabbing and slandering negotiators are discussing?  Tzipi Livni was pretty crude, responding to Erakat, on the kind of military defenses the Palestinian State should have: “To create your State, you have got to agree with Israel in advance on everything.  Your only choice is to relinquish any choices in the future.  Those are the founding bases for negotiation.”

Rumors would like us to believe that:

First, the negotiation between Arafat and Uhud Barak failed during the Clinton Administration simply because Uhud wanted “what is underneath the Great Mosque” of Haram El-Sherif to be Israeli territory;

Second, Hamas refuses that Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria to return to Israel but exclusively to the long-awaited Palestinian State

Third, the sticky parts in the negotiations is whether the Jewish quarter in Jerusalem should revert to Israel, or that the Armenian quarter should return to Israel…

What if the remaining West Bank land reserved for the Palestinian State barely constitute 30% of the original land before the 1967 borders, since all the 400 Jewish colonies distributed in the West Bank and special highways joining the colonies are to be Israeli territory…

What if the Palestinian State has no borders but with Israel and all its economy is based on Israel?

So far, No party discussed or asked the opinions and input from the Palestinians living in Israel and having Israeli citizenship and passport.

A unified negotiating team, including all the major factions, especially Hamas, is the only viable alternative to resuming a dead negotiation process.  Anyway, with the fall of Mubarak (Egypt), the last “strategic State” in the region to Israel, this Zionist State is no longer in a position to playing coy.  Not a single State around Israel is scared of Israel’s military retaliation of any kind.

In Lebanon, the channel Al Jadid has been diffusing videos of questioning sessions of the International Court representative to Lebanese political personalities,  related to the assassination of Rafic Hariri PM in 2005.  You cannot imagine how these politicians slandered and reviled their opponents in front of a foreigner, simply because he is a UN representative.  Lebanon has been ruled by those same leaders for 60 years; they claimed that stability and peace of Lebanon are linked to satisfying their family, clan, and sect interests.  The newly appointed Mikati PM has a small window of opportunity to demonstrate that he comprehend that the Lebanese people, before the fallen Mubarak, Ben Ali, and Saad Hariri, are no longer the same and demand drastic reforms.

Note:  Mubarak is denied political refugee status everywhere, even in Saudi Arabia.  Otherwise, Mubarak would have resigned a couple of days ago.  The US Administration is calling around to finding a resting location for Mubarak.  I suggest that the UN designate an Island State to be the refuge to all deposed Presidents in order to save thousands of casualties in mass upheavals.

George Mitchell and I; (Apr. 16, 2010)

            George Mitchell is the current US negotiator to establishing a Palestinian State; he is also President of a US university.  Mitchell was once the lead Democratic Senator and had many important functions and public positions; I don’t have the habit of depressing my readers by enumerating viable glorious responsibilities.

            Lebanese journalist, Samir Attallah, interviewed George Mitchell at the “Plaza Hotel” in NY during lunchtime.  George arrived in a Yellow cab and left waving down a Pakistani taxi driver. If George was currently visiting Lebanon for pleasure then the Lebanese government would insist on allocating a limousine and a detachment of internal security guards.

            The mother of George Mitchell, late Muntaha Saad, was originally from the town of Jezzine in Lebanon and immigrated in 1920 to the State of Main.  Muntaha means “the end of what to come”: her father was in a way warning his God that Muntaha was to be the last of a string of four daughters.

            It happened that a neighboring Lebanese family in Main adopted an Irish boy from an orphanage.  By the by, Muntaha and this growing up boy fell in love and got married.  Muntaha’s main conditions were to get married at the Christian Maronite church and that her first boy to be baptized Maronite.  George or Jersis as he was called until he started secondary schooling earned his day and thus enrolled in evening study program; he also enrolled in the evening program at Georgetown University graduating a lawyer.  George worked a doorkeeper at a hotel; I guess this job is excellent: you are the first person to meet before entering the hotel and thus you are the principal representative of the institution; you are necessarily highly respected if you want your stay to be facilitated and enjoyable; and you earn much tips; I could never hope for such a job: I am short and not photogenic.

            There are other discordances between George and I.  My tuition fees were three times more expensive (I was not a US citizen) and I was ordered to work in jobs within university limits at mostly minimum wages. I soon stopped counting the years it took me to earn a PhD in engineering: counting was becoming an onerous luxury.

            George told this joke: “Muntaha used to tell everyone not from Lebanon in Main “See this tree? You should see the one we have in Lebanon.  See this fruit? You wouldn’t believe the ones we harvest in Lebanon.  See this river? It cannot compare with ones with have in Lebanon.”  One year, George managed to save enough and sent his mother Muntaha and his sister to pay a visit to Lebanon. At a gathering in Lebanon Muntaha stood and said: “See this tree? It is a dwarf compared to the ones we have in the State.  See this fruit, this river, this…? Well, better not to compare!”

            There is a high probability that the career of George ends as the other famous Lebanese/US diplomat Philip Habib. Philip Habib was Ronald Reagan’s Ambassador Plenipotentiary to end Israel invasion to Lebanon in 1982.  Israel has even entered the Capital Beirut and Habib ended up negotiating the retreat of the Palestinian military factions from Beirut.  Habib succeeded in negotiating a peace treaty for the Vietnam War but failed in his mission to Lebanon and Israel.  George Mitchell was successful in negotiating a peace treaty of the civil war in North Ireland but now Israel is intent on letting George down: Israel is adamant against establishing a separate Palestinian State.

            I know George Mitchell: I read dailies.  George cannot know me; my hometown people don’t know me: I have been away for 20 years, among other reasons.  In the last ten years I settled a mile away from my hometown; nobody visited me.  People occasionally visit my folks and I happen to be there: I live with my folks.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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