Tag Archives: Israel

States formed on the basis of religion can never survive a peaceful future (Bertrand Russell) e.g Pakistan and Israel!

Gandhi’s Advice for Israelis and Palestinians

By ROBERT MACKEY

Writing from the West Bank town of Bilin, where there are weekly protests against the path of Israel’s separation barrier, my colleague Nicholas Kristof has sparked a discussion of “the possibility of Palestinians using nonviolent resistance on a massive scale to help change the political dynamic in the Middle East and achieve a two-state solution,” in a column and a blog post.

As my colleague Ethan Bronner reported in April, some Palestinians have explicitly endorsed just that approach and Rajmohan Gandhi, grandson of the Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi, visited Bilin three months ago. Mr. Gandhi toured the West Bank with Mustafa Barghouti, a leader of the Palestinian nonviolent movement who explained the approach in an interview on The Daily Show last year.

Although Mahatma Gandhi died in 1948, Pankaj Mishra pointed out in an essay last year on “the eerie echoes between the formative and postcolonial experiences of India and Israel” that the Indian leader did speak out against the resort to violence by both Jews and Arabs in mandatory Palestine in the 1930s and 1940s.

Gandhi told London’s Jewish Chronicle in an interview in 1931: “I can understand the longing of a Jew to return to Palestine, and he can do so if he can without the help of bayonets, whether his own or those of Britain… in perfect friendliness with the Arabs.”

In 1937, after Arabs tried to stop Jewish immigration to British-administered Palestine by force, Gandhi repeated his view that a homeland for Jews in the Middle East would only be possible “when Arab opinion is ripe for it.”

In his most extended treatment of the problem, an essay called “The Jews,” published in his newspaper Harijan in 1938, Gandhi began:

Several letters have been received by me, asking me to declare my views about the Arab-Jew question in Palestine and the persecution of the Jews in Germany. It is not without hesitation that I venture to offer my views on this very difficult question. My sympathies are all with the Jews.

That said, he counseled Jews in both Germany and Palestine to avoid violence, writing:

If I were a Jew and were born in Germany and earned my livelihood there, I would claim Germany as my home even as the tallest gentile German may, and challenge him to shoot me or cast me in the dungeon; I would refuse to be expelled or to submit to discriminating treatment. And for doing this, I should not wait for the fellow Jews to join me in civil resistance but would have confidence that in the end the rest are bound to follow my example. […]

And now a word to the Jews in Palestine. I have no doubt that they are going about it in the wrong way. The Palestine of the Biblical conception is not a geographical tract. It is in their hearts. But if they must look to the Palestine of geography as their national home, it is wrong to enter it under the shadow of the British gun. A religious act cannot be performed with the aid of the bayonet or the bomb. They can settle in Palestine only by the goodwill of the Arabs. They should seek to convert the Arab heart. The same God rules the Arab heart who rules the Jewish heart.

Read more >> The New York Times

U.S. Navy and Israeli warships moving towards Iran

– Aporrea.org

June 19, 2010 – More than a dozen U.S. warships and Israel, including an aircraft carrier, passed through the Suez Canal on Friday and head towards the Red Sea. “According to eyewitnesses, U.S. battleships were larger than crossed the Channel for many years,” reported the London-based newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi on Saturday.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported the Egyptian opposition members criticized the government for cooperation with the U.S. and Israeli forces and allow the passage of ships through Egyptian territorial waters. The Red Sea is the most direct route to the Persian Gulf from the Mediterranean.

Continue reading U.S. Navy and Israeli warships moving towards Iran

The real threat aboard the Freedom Flotilla

By Noam Chomsky

IN THESE TIMES

Israel’s violent attack on the Freedom Flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza shocked the world. Hijacking boats in international waters and killing passengers is, of course, a serious crime.

But the crime is nothing new. For decades, Israel has been hijacking boats between Cyprus and Lebanon and killing or kidnapping passengers, sometimes holding them hostage in Israeli prisons.

Israel assumes that it can commit such crimes with impunity because the United States tolerates them and Europe generally follows the U.S.’s lead.

Continue reading The real threat aboard the Freedom Flotilla

The Earth Is Closing on Us – Mahmoud Darwish

The Earth Is Closing on Us

– Mahmoud Darwish, Translation by Abdullah al-Udhari
The earth is closing on us, pushing us through the last passage, and
we tear off our limbs to pass through.

The earth is squeezing us. I wish we were its wheat so we could die
and live again. I wish the earth was our mother

So she’d be kind to us. I wish we were pictures on the rocks for our dreams to carry As mirrors. We saw the faces of those to be killed by the last of us in the last defense of the soul.

We cried over their children’s feast. We saw the faces of those who’ll
throw our children Out of the windows of the last space. Our star will hang up in mirrors.

Where should we go after the last frontiers? Where should the birds fly after the last sky? Where should the plants sleep after the last breath of air? We will write our names with scarlet steam.

We will cut off the head of the song to be finished by our flesh.

We will die here, here in the last passage. Here and here our blood will plant its olive tree.

Continue reading The Earth Is Closing on Us – Mahmoud Darwish

Leftist and rightist Israelis clash at Gaza flotilla protest in Tel Aviv

Smoke grenade hurled at left wing protesters from unknown source; demonstrators carry banners saying ‘the government is drowning us all.’

By Chaim Levinson

Haaretz

Leftist and rightist demonstrators clashed Saturday night in Tel Aviv as more than 6,000 Israelis gathered to protest the Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship earlier this week, in which nine pro-Palestinian activists were killed.

Continue reading Leftist and rightist Israelis clash at Gaza flotilla protest in Tel Aviv

DETAINED CANADIANS SHARE STORIES OF ISRAELI TREATMENT

VANCOUVER – A Canadian activist who was take into Israeli custody in a raid on a flotilla of ships off the Gaza coast says even though he was beaten up by his captors, the harshest treatment was reserved for Turkish nationals. Kevin Neish, 53, was one of three Canadians detained in Israel after a violent confrontation at sea early Monday left nine activists dead. Neish, Farooq Burney and Rifat Audeh were on the Mavi Marmara as it ferried humanitarian aid to the blockaded Gaza Strip. All three were taken into custody but have since been released and left Israe. Neish, of Victoria, contacted friend Zoe Blunt shortly after being flown to Istanbul late Wednesday. Blunt said Neish told her he’d suffered deep bruises on his arms after being bound for up to 25 hours by plastic handcuffs and was repeatedly threatened with death by soldiers carrying assault rifles…

Courtesy: The Canadian Press

Blackened

by Nadeem F. Paracha

Kudos to television journalist, Talat Hussain, for surviving the audacious Israeli attack on the Freedom Flotilla, and returning home to tell the tale.

Now, if only our brave media personalities could exhibit exactly the same kind of commitment and guts in condemning all the gore and tragedies that take place in the name of faith in our own country …

That would be asking for a bit too much, wouldn’t it? After all, they know that if they were to do so, not only would they suffer labels of being ‘liberal extremists,’ or ‘western/Indian/Zionist agents,’ but no prominent government functionary would dare or bother receive them as heroes either.

The way certain frontline members of the present government received Talat (as if he had just returned after liberating Palestine from the clutches of the aggressive Zionist state), the question arose (at least in some cynical minds), where exactly were the same ministers and elected politicians (from both the PPP and PML-N), when the Ahmadi community was picking up the bodies and limbs of their dead ones slaughtered by extremists on the May 28?

TO READ FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE

Courtesy: http://blog.dawn.com/2010/06/04/blackened/

June 4, 2010

Ex-Mossad Officer Criticizes Israel’s Handling of Flotilla Raid with Alex Jones – Must watch all parts

Ex-Mossad Officer Victor Ostrovsky Criticizes Israel’s Handling of Flotilla Raid with Alex Jones

Source – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Itk02YXuAZM&feature=player_embedded

via – http://www.siasat.pk/forum/showthread.php?36986-Ex-Mossad-Agent-Victor-Ostrovsky-Criticizes-Israel-s-Handling-of-Flotilla-Raid-on-Alex-Jones

What Really Happened: Witnesses shed light on Israeli raid

Source – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cU1EAFshLv0&feature=player_embedded#!

///Other side opinion///

Source – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOGG_osOoVg&feature=player_embedded#!

///-///-///

The language of Live with Talat show is Urdu/ Hindi

Source – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rxqwe-V7jw0&feature=player_embedded

Source – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6g4U6iI4Lc&feature=player_embedded

Source – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xYZWppvP8g&feature=player_embedded

Courtesy: Aaj News, Live with Talat

Via- http://www.siasat.pk/forum/showthread.php?36980-Live-With-Talat-4th-June-2010-Special-Program&s=b13468ed55d820a9adcfbd7b297f7848

The Global Peace Institute condemned the Israeli attack on a refugee cargo ship.

Press Release (May 31, 2010) – Delaware USA : The Chairman of The Global Peace Institute Masood Zakria Choudhary in a press statement strongly condemned the Israeli army attack on a refugee cargo ship proceeding to Ghaza, Palestine in which twenty innocent persons are killed and fifty wounded. Masood Zakria Choudhary regarded it an open aggression of the Israeli government mirroring its’ aggressive and hegemonic designs. By performing such a hideous bloody act Israel has tarnished its’ image in the world community. Israel has breached international law and trampled human rights. The constant Israeli aggression is pushing the peaceful world to war. It is the democratic, moral and human duty of America to harness and bridle the steed and direct it to the right path of peace. Masood Zakria Choudhary said that the secretary general of the UNO Mr. Ban Ki Moon, the U.S.A State Department, the government of France and other countries have condemned the aggression of Israel that shows the sanity still prevails in the world and no nation has supported the inhuman act of Israel. The detainees in Israel must be safely returned to their countries and International Court of Justice should take suo moto action and ask Israel to apologize and pay the ransom to the affected families. The middle east crisis can only be resolved under Oslo Pact agreed by both the nations. Masood Zakria Choudhary appealed to the world powers to intervene for world peace and resolve the middle east issue amicably. He also appreciated the courage of the journalists who put their lives at stake and proceeded on the mission of human rights. He expressed deep grief of the killing of the human rights’ activists. At the same time he paid homage to three Pakistani journalists and human rights activists Talat Hussain, Raza Agha and Nadeem Khan or their courage and conviction.

Egypt a ticking time bomb – Eric Margolis

As battered air travelers struggle to recover from Iceland’s volcanic big bang, another explosion is building up. This time, it’s a political one that could rock the entire Mideast, where rumours of war involving the U.S., Syria, Israel and Iran are intesifying.

President Hosni Mubarak, the U.S. – supported strongman who has ruled Egypt with an iron hand for almost 30 years, is 81 and in frail health. He has no designated successor. Mubarak, a general, was put into power with U.S. help after the 1981 assassination of President Anwar Sadat by nationalist soldiers. Sadat had been a CIA “asset” since 1952.

Egypt, with 82 million people, is the most populous and important Arab nation and Cairo the cultural centre of the Arab world. It is also an over crowded madhouse with eight million people whose population has tripled since I lived there as a boy. Not counting North Africa, one in three Arabs is Egyptian.

Egypt was once the heart and soul of the Arab and Muslim world. Under Sadat’s predecessor, the widely adored nationalist Jamal Abdel Nasser, Egypt led the Arab world. Egytians despised Sadat as a corrupt western today and sullenly accepted Mubarak. After three decades under Mubarak, Egypt has become a political and cultural back water. In a telling incident, Mubarak recently flew to Germay for gall bladder and colon surgery. After billions in U.S. aid, Mubarak could not even trust a local hospital in the Arab world’s leading nation.

The U.S. gives Egypt $ 1.3 billion annually in military aid to keep the generals content and about $ 700 million in economic aid, not counting secret CIA stipends, and vast amounts of low cost wheat. Mubarak’s Egypt is the cornerstone of America’s Mideast Raj (dominion). Egypt’s 469,000-man armed forces, 397,000 paramilitary police and ferocious secret police keep the regime in power and crush all dissent.

Though large, Egypt’s military is starved by Washington of modern weapons, ammo and spare parts so it can not wage war against Israel. Its sole function is keeping the U.S. backed regime in power. Mubarak has long been a key ally of Israel in battling Islamist and nationalist groups. Egypt and Israel  collaborate on penning up Hamas-led Palestinians in Gaza.

Egypt is now building a new steel wall on the Gaza border with U.S. assistance. Mubarak’s wall, which will go down 12 meters, is designed to block tunnels through which Gaza Palestinians rely for supplies. While Washington fulminates against Iran and China over human rights, it says nothing about client Egypt – where all elections are rigged, regime opponents brutally tortured and political opposition liquidated.

Washington could quickly impose real democracy to Egypt where it pulls all the strings, if it wanted.  Ayman Nour, the last man who dared run in an election against the eternal Mubarak – “pharaoh” to Islamist opponents – was arrested and tortured. Now, as Mubarak’s health fails, the U.S. and Israel are increasingly alarmed his death could produce a political eruption in long repressed Egypt.

Mubarak has been trying to groom his son, Jamal, to succeed him. But Egyptians are deeply opposed. The powerful 72-year old intelligence chief, Gen, Omar Suleiman, an ally of the U.S. and Israel, is another army or air force general for the job. Egypt’s secular political opposition barely exists. The regime’s real opponent remains the relatively moderate, highly popular Islamic Brotherhood. It would win a free election hands  down. But its leadership is old and tired. Half of Egyptians are under 20.

Mohammed El-Baradai, the intelligent, principled, highly respected Egyptian former UN nuclear chief, is calling for real democracy in his homeland. He presents a very attractive candidate to lead post-Mubarak Egypt.

Washington hopes it can ease another compliant general into power and keep the security forces loyal before 30 years of pent-up fury at Mubarak’s dictatorship, Egypt’s political emasculation, thirst for change and dire poverty produce a volcanic eruption on the Nile.

eric.margolis@sunmedia.ca

Courtesy: Toronto Sun, April 25, 2010

Middle East : Israel – Palestine issue

by Omar Ali

… expecting the US and Europe to get up on their own and solve this problem (or any other problem they helped to create) you are being foolish.

On the other hand, it is equally foolish to assume that one can ignore the existence of US, Europe, public opinion, etc and decide “we” (meaning the exalted Ummah) will solve it on our own, thank you.

The facts on the ground are that Israel is the more developed power (with a huge advantage over its Arab neighbors, though not as much as it used to enjoy in the past when the camel jockeys were still stuck in the 18th century). The Palestinians are the weaker party. The weaker party has to use more of its brain than the stronger party (and in the best case, they use Judo: they turn the enemy’s strength against them).

The Palestinians have to work long and hard to get public opinion in Europe and the US to turn adjacent to Israel (and they have done a lot of that work and managed to get Europe especially to move further apart from Israeli hardliner positions, with patient hard work they will get the American public to move the same way, it can be done), they have to resist them on the ground, they have to organize enough to be able to sustain the struggle and they have to eventually offer the Israeli public an “out”…a way to settle this without being annihilated.

The last is important because it is important to remember that the Israeli public also consists of human beings, in this case organized in a rather sophisticated and capable culture. If their only option is annihilation or victory, they will fight tooth and nail. If they have a reasonable option short of annihilation, they too can be split between moderates and hardliners.

..read the voluminous literature about Mahatma Gandhi….

Or check out Hussein Ibish on the internet:

http://wws.princeton.edu/event_rep/HusseinIbish03_31/

Courtesy: crdp@yahoogroups.com, Mar 22, 2010

From Pakistan to Israel – by Saleem H. Ali

Courtesy: All voices

Israel – Tel Aviv : As a Pakistani-American, I was initially hesitant to visit Israel in this political climate, but when an invitation from Tel Aviv University beckoned to explore prospects for ecological peace-building in the region, I felt obliged to accept. One of Israel’s most liberal universities was organizing a conference on the prospects for an environmental “peace park” with Syria in the Golan Heights and they wanted me to be the keynote speaker, given my previous research on such efforts worldwide. Some “Realists” might roll their eyes on such a prospect but the concept of “peace parks” is more than an idealist’s ramblings and has shown promise in resolving territorial disputes. Warring parties can be made to realize quite pragmatically that joint conservation is economically beneficial and also a politically viable exit strategy from a conflict. The US used such a strategy in the mid 1990s to resolve a decades-old armed conflict between Ecuador and Peru in the Cordillera del Condor region. The Obama administration’s deputy envoy to the Middle East, Fred Hof, has proposed the Golan peace park effort as a means of a peace-building with Syria as well in a formal paper written for the US Institute of Peace in 2008. So the idea is one which policy-makers are considering seriously and there are even detailed maps and plans that have been prepared to consider such a solution.

Nevertheless, the trip was risky in two ways: first in Pakistan, I would be immediately marginalized for visiting a country that is still perceived by many to be illegitimate. Second, as a Muslim of Pakistani lineage traveling to the region, I would be considered with suspicion in Israel as well as back in the United States. Thus I arrived with conflicting emotions and a protracted security screening at Ben Gurion airport, only to find the country in its latest conflagration in Gaza. An early January air attack on the beleaguered region had left four Palestinians dead and an aid convoy from the UK on Gaza’s border with Egypt was being stopped by Egyptians who claimed that they were under treaty obligations with Israel to ensure proper security measures. An Egyptian soldier was also killed in the frenzied fury of the waiting game for desperately needed aid.

Continue reading From Pakistan to Israel – by Saleem H. Ali

Chief Justice Hit by Shoe Missile

Attacker hits Israeli chief justice with sneaker

Courtesy: Associated press, YahooNews

JERUSALEM – An Israeli man hurled his sneakers at Israel’s Supreme Court chief justice on Wednesday during a hearing on medical marijuana, hitting her between the eyes, breaking her glasses and knocking her off her chair.

Dorit Beinisch, who is in her late 60s, was not seriously hurt, and the incident appeared to be an isolated one, though there have been rising numbers of threats against the judiciary. The judge was hit by the first shoe and knocked to the ground as the second one flew overhead, witness Michael Eden said.

Continue reading Chief Justice Hit by Shoe Missile

Conspiracy Theories Are Clear and Present Danger for Pakistan

Courtesy: NewPakistan, Dec. 14, 2009

Gul Bukhari’s column in today’s Dawn makes a near-perfect case for why the conspiracy theory media is a clear and present danger to Pakistan. Bukhari points out that there are certain media personalities like Nadeem Paracha and Fasi Zaka who are countering this conspiracy trend. There are also a growing number of reasoned voices in the blogs who are speaking out against such conspiracies like the blogs Chagatai Khan, Pak Tea House, Pakistan Media Watch, and Agha Haider Raza among others.

Hopefully more voices will be rising up to counter the conspiracy theory media and to show clearly to the media companies that we want honest and objective journalism, not conspiracies. Our nation depends on it.

To read more, click here

Israeli soldiers say humanity absent in Gaza war

Courtesy: Press TV, Wed, 15 Jul 2009

Israeli soldiers have recounted how “permissive” rules of engagement led to the death of civilians in Gaza where the Israeli army alleges that no crimes have been committed. In print and video testimony published on Wednesday by the activist group Breaking the Silence, some 30 soldiers testified that the Israeli Army sought to minimize its own casualties to ensure public support for “Operation Cast Lead”.

Continue reading Israeli soldiers say humanity absent in Gaza war

India’s first Airborne Warning & Control System (AWACS) arrived from Israel

India’s first Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) arrived from Israel, significantly boosting India’s capability to detect missiles and fighters deep inside enemy territory. AWACS, an IL-76 transport aircraft with unusually powerful engines and fitted with an array of Israeli radar and surveilance systems. Israel had to cancel a Chinese order for the same Phalcon AWACS system, one of the most powerful snooping systems in the world, under US pressure a few years ago. AWACS will altogether “alter the dimension of the see-through capability and tethered electromagnetic sensors. The AWACS is mounted with radar that can detect missiles and aircraft in a few hundred kilometers radius. Simultaneously it can also collate surface information about troop movements and missile launches, while listening to communications between enemy frontline units. As the AWACS entered the Indian airspace, a formation of three Mig-29 and three Jaguar aircraft received the aircraft mid-air and escorted it to the Jamanagar airbase. The commanding officer of the first AWACS squadron group, captain B Saju, was quoted as saying, “It was a great feeling to be escorted by our fighters and it feels really good to be back.

Arab Israel conflict- Who is to blame?

by: Dr Nutan Thakur, Editor, Nutan Satta Pravah, Lucknow

So much has been written about the Arab-Israel conflicts. It is almost universally accepted that this small piece of the Land on the meeting point of the two continents of Asia and Africa is the greatest flash-point in the world- the most violent, volatile and dangerous one. While at the basic level, it is a dispute between Israel and Palestinians, on a broader level it can be extended and linked to the so-called “Clash of the Civilizations” as enunciated by Huntington. With wars in 1948 (the Arab-Israel war), 1967 (the six-day war),1973 ( Yom-Kippur war), 1982 (the Lebanese war), the first and the second Intifada (in 1987 and 2000 respectively) and an innumerable number of continuous attempts and counter-attempts, violent episodes, terrorist and extremist activities, civilian and military skirmishes one can easily gather the potentiality and intensity of these conflicts.

Continue reading Arab Israel conflict- Who is to blame?

Israeli barbarism in Gaza

By Dekel Avshalom in Israel

In a surprise attack last week, Israel’s air force infiltrated the Gaza Strip and started blasting away. On Saturday, the air force was accompanied by blasting from the navy and infiltration of tanks and foot soldiers into the Strip causing death and destruction in horrifying dimensions. Up to this time, the death toll for Palestinians stands at 526 people, with 2500 injured. Israeli officials, in particular Defense Minister Ehud Barak, keep reminding us that “this is just the beginning”. Israeli media is overjoyed in stressing the claim that the “majority” of the victims are Hamas soldiers. We do not exactly know how they define a “Hamas soldier”, but the fact that 107 of the murdered victims were children, makes it very hard for us to believe such claims. This attack is overwhelming in nature. It has been reported that since the 1967 war Israel had never used such a massive air attack.

This attack was preceded by a series of deceptive manoeuvres on the part of Israel in order to keep Hamas off guard. Israel kept up the pretence of negotiations on the ceasefire and even allowed goods to enter the Strip. This deception should not come as a surprise to anyone who knows Ehud Barak’s tactical mind. Just a short while ago, Barak used the same deceptive tactics in order to lull some entrenched Rightist Jewish settlers in Hebron before evacuating them by force.

A statesman in such a high position does not normally use such tactics unless he is desperate. And Barak’s desperation is what lies behind such an unprecedented attack. Barak apparently saved the attack for a special moment in which he could improve his position in the polls for the upcoming national elections. These polls consistently show that the party under his leadership will receive its lowest number of votes to date.

For a long time Barak postponed the attack so it would not seem that he was working under the pressure of his opponents. He wanted the credit all for himself. Now, the Israeli masses, worked up by the media, got what the media told them they wanted: revenge. Barak plans to surf on a wave of Palestinian blood into a position of larger number of seats in parliament.

In many ways, this attack has similarities with the Lebanese fiasco in 2006. It also is a staggering failure for Israel from the very moment it was concocted in the twisted minds of Barak and the army generals. Just as in Lebanon, also here the army has failed to stop the rocket launching into Israel. Hamas launched hundreds of them uninterruptedly, killing 3 Israelis in one day and wounding several others. It would also not be surprising if it comes out that the army wanted this result in order to incite Israelis against the Palestinians and to maintain support for the current operation. Just as in Lebanon, also here the operation has no concrete purpose. It is obvious that it cannot destroy Hamas, which will surely rearm itself within a few months of the operation ending. So it all seems just like an unleashing of random violence by the army for no obvious reason other than crude revenge. The difference between the current operation and the Lebanese one is that now the media is full of praises for the Defense Minister and the army on the exact level of performance that was shown in Lebanon.

Collaborating democracy with imperialism

How do we explain a situation where the Israeli masses have been whipped up into such a state of mind of a vengeful and shortsighted focus of their political worldview on “getting back” at the Palestinians? What should not be underestimated here is the psychological warfare the Israeli ruling elite has been waging against the Israeli masses. The media, the military and the politicians have been collaborating to create the impression that the rocket launching from the Gaza Strip has made the surrounding Israeli settlements look like a war zone. In actual fact, since 2004 to just before the recent operation began, the number of Israelis killed by such rockets is less than 15. To put things in perspective, the number of Israeli workers that died because of accidents in their workplaces during this period, was over 10 times that number. This number also resembles the number of Israelis that die in traffic accidents in less than two weeks. So if Barak is really so eager to protect Israeli lives through military means, he should be mobilising the air force against the Israeli bourgeoisie and the state bureaucrats responsible for transport safety rather than against the Palestinian masses!

The military is making the lives of the Israelis in the settlements around Gaza as fearful as it can be. It is inducing a feeling of panic among the public using every means including loud sirens, arbitrary “defence” measures such as ducking and hiding, and forcing people into bomb shelters, all in response to rockets that pose a minimal security threat. All this horror show is designed with one aim in mind: to make ordinary Israelis support the continuity of Israel’s control over Gaza, and thus to pressure or to help democratically elected politicians to fall in line with imperialist interests.

In the current economic crisis, control over Gaza is crucial to Israeli imperialism more than ever since the first Palestinian uprising in 1987. First of all, it satisfies the military’s hunger for state spending on arms. The military, and the politicians under its influence, have proven themselves eager to do battle in any period in which their fiscal prerogatives are at jeopardy.

The most crucial thing for Israeli imperialism, however, is to maintain stability for the “moderate” PLO in the West Bank which provide Israel with numerous resources in terms of one of the cheapest workforces in the world, a captive market that is dependent on absorbing Israel’s surpluses, and land and water resources that Israel desperately needs. It requires the “pacifying” of Gaza in order to make sure that the terrorism it hosts will not slide over into the West Bank and undermine the PLO regime.

This is not to say that Gaza is meaningless to Israel in its own right. Despite its massive levels of poverty, the fact that the Gaza masses depend on goods coming through Israel gives the Israeli capitalists an advantage in terms of a captive market as well, that is, as a long-term perspective. This may also explain why the Israeli army has made much more of an effort to destroy the tunnels that smuggle goods from Egypt than it has to destroy the rocket launchers which were the formal reason for the operation in the first place!

What does Hamas want?

Unlike common-sense economic reductionism held by many on the Left, terrorist groups don’t simply grow out of poverty. Just as the PLO, Hamas emerged from within the Palestinian petty bourgeoisie. They use the masses and their plight mostly as a tool to achieve their class interests which in this context usually include more lucrative jobs and positions. After Israel co-opted the PLO into collaboration with it in exchange for jobs created especially for the PLO members (the jobs created under the cloak of the “Palestinian Authority”), Hamas wanted its peace of the pie as well.

It started to gather support from many frustrated Palestinians in the face of the PLO’s betrayal using, among other things, vengeful acts of terrorism against Israelis. In parallel, it used similar tactics of terrorism in order to lure Israel into negotiating with it, carrying the risk of Israel’s military, rather than diplomatic, retaliation.

Just like Israel’s ruling class, Hamas also benefits from the occupation. It uses it in order to gather support by the same populist means of violent rhetoric and actions used by the Israeli politicians. It also enjoys political and economic benefits via its control over smuggling commodities into the Strip: just like Israel, it to can benefit from the captive market in Gaza.

In such a situation it is puzzling why, some among the international Left are tempted to take a supportive stance towards Hamas. They usually state that despite Hamas’ reactionary ideology, it should be supported because of its “progressive fight against Israeli imperialism”. The folly of such an idea becomes obvious if we look at Hamas from materialistic lines and ask ourselves what would happen if Hamas were to win this conflict? Will it weaken Israeli imperialism as the idealistic Leftists assume? A victory for Hamas could only mean that Israel would be forced to negotiate with it and give it similar political concessions as it gave to the PLO. The imperial relation of Israel towards the Palestinians may take a different form, but it will remain intact. Because under capitalism Palestine cannot be completely cut off from Israel, and will always be dependent on it, a national liberation movement that limits itself to struggling within the confines of capitalism cannot go in any other direction.

Furthermore, bourgeois or petit bourgeois national liberation leaders have usually tended to push the proletariat in the oppressed nation into accepting their leadership because they became aware of the potential power of the workers. Such was the alliance between the South African workers and the ANC leaders who brought down the apartheid regime. But Here, Hamas has made very little effort to create an alliance with the Palestinian workers. Until now it has mostly just harassed their trade unions. Hamas thus have only the power of terrorism and collisions with the Israeli army to get concessions from Israel. Relying on this broken reed, its “anti-imperialist” credentials appear as somewhat exaggerated.

Is there a way out?

We are entering yet another cycle of violence between Israel’s ruling class and Hamas. Such cycles began with Israel’s opening up to the PLO in 1994. Each cycle brings Israel to a more violent response. However, the army has no intention of remaining entangled in the Strip for too long. This operation may last a bit longer and be much more violent than its predecessors because Barak’s election campaign has to be taken into consideration. Although it is also true that once it ends, the operation always leaves behind the preconditions for the next operation.

The Zionist chauvinism that characterized the first days of the operation is gradually being replaced by fear of yet another debacle such as in Lebanon. Journalists are constantly asking political and military leaders for the actual goals which this operation intends to achieve. The answers are always vague and illusive, such as “to radically change the array of deterrence”. In that background, the announcement of Barak on Saturday was especially alarming. He said that the operation would take a long time and would have numerous victims. With no one knowing what this operation is for, this holds a puzzling future for the stability of the political system in Israel: after the chauvinism fades away, the death toll will keep increasing and many questions will be raised by the masses.

To the dismay of the Israeli ruling class, thousands of Jews and Palestinians came this Saturday to Tel Aviv for a mass demonstration against the war (see video below). This is unprecedented. In the Lebanese war it took two months of bloody entanglement for so many protestors to show up. The protestors were constantly harassed by Zionist counter-protests which show just how frightened they are of the emerging protest movement in Israel. Small as it is now, the Zionists are instinctively aware of the fact that it holds the only real key to their downfall.

As this website has repeated many times over, there cannot be a solution within the confines of bourgeois politics to this or any other major political conflict in the world. However, for the moment Israel and Palestine are deprived of any other form of politics. As long as this situation persists, these cycles of violence will continue. We can be sure, though, that from the impossibility of a solution to the situation under capitalism, new political forces are bound to emerge on both sides. The nature of these new forces is impossible to predict at this stage. But if they do not base themselves on the revolutionary collaboration of Israeli and Palestinian workers and poor against their mutual oppressors, no progressive change can be forthcoming from within the Israeli-Palestinian borders.

Tuesday, 06 January 2009

Courtesy: http://www.marxist.com/israeli-barbarism-in-gaza.htm

Israel’s Flag Is Not Mine- Dr. Alfred M. Lilienthal: historian, journalist, and lecturer

History of Israel

For Jews as a human everything, For Jews as the Zionist nothing

Lilienthal was born in 1913 in New York City. He is a graduate of Cornell University and Columbia Law School. As an American of Jewish faith, he first became interested in the Middle East while in the U.S. military and stationed in Egypt during World War II. He later served with the Department of State and as a consultant to the American delegation at the organizing meeting of the United Nations in San Francisco. In 1949, his article, “Israel’s Flag Is Not Mine,” published in the Reader’s Digest, caused great controversy because of its anti-Zionist position.

Despite condemnation from many influential quarters, Lilienthal has remained in the forefront of the struggle for a balanced U.S. policy not dictated by favoritism toward Israel. He traveled over 25 times to the Middle East for firsthand investigation of events and authored several books including The Zionist Connection that was described by Foreign Affairs journal as “his culminating masterwork.” He continues today, after over a half century of effort, to defend the Palestinian people and to call repeatedly for an independent State of Palestine…

King Hussein (with help from Zia-ul-Haq of the Pakistani army) sent in his Bedouin army on 27 September to clear out the Palestinian bases in Jordan. A massacre of innumerable proportions ensued. Moshe Dayan noted that Hussein “killed more Palestinians in eleven days than Israel could kill in twenty years.” Dayan is right in spirit, but it is hardly the case that anyone can tch the Sharonism in its brutality…

To read more, click here

Courtesy: http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2009/01/history-of-israel.html

The self-delusion that plagues both sides in this conflict

Courtesy and Thanks: Daily Dawn
By Robert Fisk
During the second Palestinian “intifada”, I was sitting in the offices of Hizbollah’s Al-Manar television station in Beirut, watching news footage of a militiaman’s funeral in Gaza. The television showed hordes of Hamas and PLO gunmen firing thousands of rounds of ammunition into the air to honour their latest “martyr”; and I noticed, just next to me, a Lebanese Hizbollah member – who had taken part in many attacks against the Israelis in what had been Israel’s occupation zone in southern Lebanon – shaking his head.

Continue reading The self-delusion that plagues both sides in this conflict

Hamas, the liberal jewish view- Michael Weiss

Hamas as a Political Failure
by Michael Weiss, December 30, 2008
Courtesy and Thanks: Wichaar.com and Jewcy
Commentators in the American and European press too often succumb to a solipsistic way of thinking of the Arab-Israeli conflict, as if only one side had any autonomy or agency. The debate between supporters and critics of Israel is typically couched in the same grammar: Either the Jewish state is acting defensibly, in its own self-interest, or it is not. Thus Tom Segev writes in Ha’aretz that while the latest assault on Hamas military and political infrastructure is morally justified, it represents a strategic blunder. A major fallacy ensues from this one-sided premise, which is that Israel is the sole stimulus for Hamas response, and therefore it alone bears the responsibility for the undeniable misery in Gaza. Those quick to point out how Olmert’s miscalculations have hurt the people he governs will typically suggest that military incursions “radicalize” Arab sentiment, leading to more suicide bombers and more dead Israelis.

Continue reading Hamas, the liberal jewish view- Michael Weiss