[OPE] Israel/Palestine

From: Jurriaan Bendien <adsl675281@tiscali.nl>
Date: Tue Feb 03 2009 - 18:53:39 EST

Bernard Gwertzman asked Aaron David Miller for NYT (27 January 2009): How can you really deal with Gaza without having some contact with Hamas?

Says Miller, "You can deal with it but not very effectively, and it's safe to assume that there will be no change - none, absolutely none - in the [US] administration's approach to Hamas. By statute, literally by legislation, the United States is prevented from providing any economic or material assistance to Hamas. We have made a judgment by virtue of our own politics and our own priorities that we have no intention of engaging Hamas politically. (...) What's likely is a variation of what occurred in Lebanon, which is a large-scale but slow-moving international effort to provide humanitarian and reconstruction aid. Hamas, however, with plenty of money from the Iranians, is probably able to secure the kind of material and financial support that would boost its stock among the 1.5 million Palestinians who are suffering. In addition to that, you have to consider the anger and humiliation and rage giving way to a whole new narrative of struggle on the streets of Gaza. The chances of importing a new Palestinian leadership into this situation in an effort to undermine or replace Hamas are slim to none. No Palestinian leader who has not personally endured the last month of the Israeli aerial assaults and ground efforts would be able to have legitimacy on the streets of Gaza. So, the Israelis damaged Hamas's military infrastructure and did create a measure of deterrence--there will be no barrages of rockets of consequence for some time to come. But the Israelis clearly, at least as of now, have lost the hearts-and-minds struggle and the fight for who won the war. You know, how a war is perceived is very important." http://www.nytimes.com/cfr/world/slot2_20090126.html?_r=1

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday (3 february 2009) that the United States wants to work with all involved parties to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but insisted that the Islamist group Hamas must first abide by the preconditions for such talks. According to preconditions set by international powers, Hamas must renounce violence, recognize Israel and respect past peace agreements before being included in negotiations. http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1061190.html

This is analogous to saying that if you want to be an American citizen, you have to first let an American screw you up the arse.

Not even most Americans would consider this to be fair, indeed they would say it was contrary to their national spirit. Obviously you cannot renounce violence if your own people are constantly being attacked, you cannot recognize another country if you aren't recognized as a nation yourself, and you cannot respect past peace agreements if the opposition constantly flouts them. If Mitchell has any brains he will try his best to shift out of this braindead American policy, which completely misses the point of everything that's happening. Mrs Clinton tries to come across as a "sensible moderate" but in the interpretive context she talks the words of a bureaucrat who executes a formal procedure while having lost any sense of its purpose, confusing means and ends. To a Palestinian in the territories, she is more likely to come across as just another middleclass Jewish fascist.

In European politics, the Irish Foreign Minister Michael Martin hit a note of understatement: he "hinted on Monday 2 February 2009 that some kind of engagement with Hamas may have to feature in future European Union policy, The Irish Times reported. Martin told reporters in Damascus that several key regional players, apparently including Hamas, had made representations to the EU since the end of Israel's offensive in Gaza last month, the paper said. "What was clear . . . was the request to Europe to be flexible in terms of how one approaches what emerges from this process . . . not to be absolutist," the minister was quoted as saying." http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1061165.html

Europe really should not behave like a Leviathan with feudal absolutist values, while deepening its corruption in financially supporting thuggery which in turn destroys European taxpayer's contributions, but instead exert heavy pressure on Israel and the USA to work towards a political resolution, rather than a military one, among other things by refusing any cooperation with anything other than that which promotes it.

But how likely is that to happen? Not very likely as yet - despite the rhetoric, and insofar as they can agree on any policy, the Brussels politicians are for the most part much more concerned about money and property than they are about people. Their talk about "human rights" cannot be taken very seriously, because if you were really concerned about human rights and knew about them, your policies would be radically different. The mystery is why Brussels continues to kowtow to Washington, when US foreign policies, insofar as they intervene in the political life of other countries, are acknowledged around the world to be mostly useless. It's a bit like the rats following the tune of the Pied Piper, until they all fall off a cliff. After the financial crisis, they should know better than to fall for the "marketing tricks".

Says Asma Agbarieh-Zahalka of the Da'am party (which publishes Challenge Magazine http://www.challenge-mag.com/ ):

"The progress of the workers' movement will also depend on the situation of workers' movements in the rest of the world. Even in Egypt, a dictatorship, we have seen a workers' movement that is beginning to build a different left. I want to believe that this can happen here, too. Today I know that this is my purpose in life, that I have found the answer I sought when I was young. Now, this has also become a personal issue, because I am doing this so that my son will grow up in a healthier society. We named him Adam [which means human being] because this is a universal name, and I hope the love of mankind will be a supreme value for him." http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1061148.html


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