Posts Tagged ‘Middle East’

EGYPT is 1 million square Kilometers of land located in the northeastern corner of Africa and through the centuries Egypt has been the link between Europe, Asia and Africa. It’s the cornerstone and the connecting nexus of this continental triad and that’s why it’s considered poly-dimensional. Through this post I’ll try to clarify how Egypt was ‘separated’ from its natural and cultural dimensions and how it was ‘isolated’ to prevent any further cultural contact, integration or fusion.

Since 1981, when Sadat was assassinated, and during the thirty years of Mubarak’s regime, Egypt has gone through two main stages in the relationship with neighbors. The first and shorter stage I like to call the ‘Openness & Reconciliation’ stage; when Mubarak was preaching his new reign and leadership, when Mubarak was trying to be the ‘wise’ leader who brought Egypt and glory back to the Arabs and the ‘wise’ leader who liberated Sinai and regained Taba without a drop of blood. The second stage is called ‘Chair First!’ , the Honeymoon was over, Mubarak began to wake up and realize that his personal interests lied with America and Israel only, not with the Arabs, Africans, Russians and others whose problems are more than their benefits, he thought. That’s when ‘Separation & Isolation’ in the reign of Mubarak began to take place on different axes and dimensions.

Asiatic dimension : 

Represented in Gaza (Palestine) and the Fertile Crescent region (historically parts of Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon), the Asiatic dimension remains the most vital and important because the Arab culture arrived to Egypt from there, because people in this region are closer to Egyptians in traditions, accent, food, culture and many other aspects than any other neighbor.Also because the parts of this ‘Fertile Crescent’ shown on the map complete each other and become very powerful when united. Remember that Baghdad, Cairo and Damascus dominated the cities of the world with knowledge, science and prosperity when they were united. You can guess now why the strange Zionist entity of Israel is existing and blocking the natural tide between Cairo and its Asiatic dimension. The regime of Mubarak strongly supported the Israeli-American policies in this region by unsubstantial rounds of negotiations and tightening the siege on Gaza. 

Sub-Saharan African dimension :

“Egypt is the gift of the Nile”, Herodotus said thousands of years ago. Life flows to Egypt from the headwaters of the Nile, from Sub-Saharan Africa. Egypt had a considerable influence in this region during the reign of Nasser, our relationship with Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and even with western African countries like Nigeria and Cameroon was very good; we sent them teachers, we invested in their industries and agriculture. This excellent heritage of connections with our Sub-Saharan African dimension was not respected by Mubarak and his regime and they let the soft power of Israel take over Africa and directly threaten our National Security.

North African dimension :

Accumulated problems and misunderstandings existed between us and this dimension from the 1960’s but Mubarak totally ignored this dimension, didn’t adopt any conciliatory approach and even created more problems and complications. 

European dimension : 

Politically, the relation between Mubarak and our European dimension was based on Mutualism, but compare between Egypt-Europe balance of trade and that of Egypt-USA to know what happened economics-wise. It is a crime against the Egyptians and the peoples of southern Europe adjacent to us. Imagine all the available jobs and investments if stronger economical relationships existed commensurating with the geography, history and needs. 

Who’s the enemy and who’s the friend ?

Mubarak, who followed the way of Sadat concerning this issue, created enmities, abandoned friends and friended enemies for others’ benefits and for his personal benefits not for Egypt. Why is Iran an enemy ? I don’t know. Why is Israel a friend ? I don’t know. Why don’t we have strong relations with Russia, Turkey, Indonesia, Brazil and India ? I also don’t know.

After what we have done and achieved in Jan25 revolution, I hope that reconsidering the policies and relationships of Egypt with its dimensions will be one of the top priorities for the next president.

The people of the Middle East could learn more about modern democracy from the anti-war camp, and not from former president Bush and his ‘coalition of the willing’, the very anti-Christ of democracy, writes Mamoon Alabbasi.

 
– “Those dirty A-rabs don’t deserve democracy. We give them freedom and they kill our troops. We should nuke them all in their shit-hole.”

-“Bring our troops home. What are they doing dying in some far away land trying to bring democracy to people who don’t want it?”

-“We Arabs are not yet ready for democracy. We need strong authoritarian governments to keep the peace and ensure economic growth.”

-“We should be grateful to the Americans. They got rid of our dictator and brought us democracy.”

-“Is this democracy? Is this freedom? The Americans killed all my family and destroyed my house. If this democracy, I tell you my brother, we don’t want it!”

Such comments and their likes are unfortunately not uncommon among some Americans and Iraqis regarding the US-led invasion of Iraq. Whether American or Iraqi, pro-war or anti-war, one fallacy lies at the bottom of their reasoning: that somehow ‘democracy’ had anything to do with the Iraq war.

Not that possessing WMDs was ever – objectively – enough reason to subject the whole of Iraq to so much senseless destruction; but since it became clear that the only real threat Iraq posed was to itself, the rhetoric had shifted into saving Iraqis from themselves by bringing onto them good old (well, in human history it isn’t actually that old) democracy.

But the fact is, that was never the case. Not in Iraq and certainly not in the region. Not in 2003 and most definitely not before that. After the fall of Baghdad, there were no serious moves to install democracy. Instead, US policies were channelled to inflame the sectarian divide.

After 12 years of merciless US-backed sanctions, all Iraq needed was one small push to descend into total chaos. Yet many Iraqis still waited to see what the US would offer. What they got was complete absence of security, hundreds of thousands of jobs losses, and death and torture at the hands of US forces with the help of some ‘favoured’ Iraqis.

That’s where the seeds of sectarianism had been sown. Instead of promoting reconciliation and unity, the US played a classic ‘divide and rule’ game in Iraq and drew the new Iraq – politically – along sectarian lines.

Militarily, Iraqis who had friends or family members killed or tortured by US forces in the presence (or under the advice) of other Iraqis weren’t always strong enough to punish the Americans so they took vengeance on their fellow Iraqis. The result? A cycle of vengeance that could have been averted.

Meanwhile, on the ‘democracy’ front, we had one segment of the population relatively prepared for campaigning whilst the other barely struggling to stay alive let alone take part in elections. Who would they vote for? How can you have fair elections when all your potential candidates are in hiding for fear of being killed or detained and tortured? Voting may (or may not) have been free, but who would one vote for if his/her choice is not on the list that is approved by the powers that be?

Adding to the confusion, Iraqis were requested to approve a constitution that most of whom have not even had the chance to read, let alone contemplate. ‘Imported’ from the US and released only five days before its referendum date, the new constitution caused further divisions in Iraq. In the meantime, new laws continued to be passed despite strong objection from a large segment of the population that was never properly represented in parliament because there never had been free elections in the first place.

All this was taking place with direct US involvement, with a mainly favourable outcome for the war architects. Big money was being made by the invasion’s supporters while ordinary Iraqis were being killed by many unexplainable attacks. Some of a sectarian nature, others just for money; ones blamed on Iran or Israel, while others blamed on Al-Qaeda (which only came to Iraq post-2003 invasion) or on the US military (frequently accused of secretly targeting civilians to discredit the insurgency).

The absolute truth may never be known, but one thing is certain: the US, as an occupying power, was under obligation, according to international law, to protect Iraqis. We all know how well that went. If it can’t – or is unwilling to – assume such responsibility it should have not been there in the first place, and trigger a ‘sectarian domino effect’, in addition to its own acts of murder and torture.

Washington and its allies in right-wing think thanks and mainstream media experts cannot talk of ‘mistakes’ happening when the average person in the street predicted that total chaos (at least) would befall Iraq in the event of an invasion. How can pro-invasion so called ‘experts’, ‘analysts’, and ‘intelligence’ fail to foresee what an average bricklayer in Tunisia predicted?

 

Charity begins at home

In fact, how can the invading countries ‘export’ democracy to Iraq while they were fighting democratic value at home? Why would an Iraqi believe that the US is bringing him/her democracy when he/she sees American citizens gradually being deprived of their rights and freedoms by the Bush administration? They also ignored the loud voices of their own people protesting against the Iraq war.

Saddam Hussein was accused of torture, detaining suspects indefinitely, spying on his own people, silencing journalist critical of his policies, and inciting fear in the hearts of his opponents. And how does that differ – relatively – from the actions of Bush, the ‘decider in chief’? Can anyone say – with a straight face – that Saddam was more of a threat to the American people than Bush himself?

Yet US and European right-wingers, and their ‘political pawns’ in the Middle East continue to speak favourably of so called ‘democracy and freedom interventions’ in the region. Yes, democracy should be vigorously sought in the Middle East (by the people of the region) and yes Americans and Europeans have every reason to be proud of their democracies (despite many shortfalls). But the pro-war establishment has no right to boast of democracy because whatever rights and freedoms ‘western’ societies enjoy today, they were the direct result of people fighting or challenging a similar-natured establishment in former eras. Today’s anti-war camp is the legitimate inheritor of the women’s-rights and the civil-rights movements. They are the rightful heirs of the anti-slavery and later the anti-empire heroes.

The people of the Middle East could learn more about modern democracy from the anti-war camp, and not from former president Bush and his ‘coalition of the willing’, the very anti-Christ of democracy.

What has the Bush administration really done to support democracy in the region?

 

US-backed dictatorships

Despite few lip services to democracy in the Middle East now and then, American foreign policy has always backed Arab dictators to remain in power and oppress their own people. These ‘puppet presidents’ or ‘drag-queen kings’ are kept in power – with US weapons and intelligence – for as long as they continue to serve American interests, not those of their own peoples.

Although mainstream media is not equally kind to them, the truth is often grossly distorted. These leaders are always much more ‘liberal’ than their predominantly conservative societies on social and religious issues. They would only draw a red line when their hold to power is shaken or challenged. But as Bush does with democracy, they often pay lip service to ‘moral values’. And if you believe Bush then you might as well believe them too.

 

War on words

As is the case with all wars, truth was the first causality too in the Iraq war. But as more details emerge regarding the lead up to the invasion, one could say, to a small degree, that the truth is making a slow but sustainable recovery. I wish I could say the same for the English language which was among the early victims of the Bush administration.

Many may laugh at the clumsy language mistakes Bush made during his speeches or when answering questions from the press, but few know that it is really the former US president who had the last laugh. The truth maybe recovering, but the English language is not. The Bush administration may have gone, but twisted right-wing rhetoric still lingers on in most mainstream media outlets.

From that perspective, killing ‘our’ soldiers is ‘terrorism’ yet killing ‘their’ civilians is not. Their actions are ‘barbaric’ but ours are ‘controversial’, etc.

But my concern here is on terms related to governments and politicians. How come Middle Easterners don’t get to have ‘hawks’ and ‘doves’ like their US (and sometime Israeli) counterparts? And why don’t Americans have ‘moderates’, ‘hardliners’ and ‘radicals’ at the Oval office?

More importantly, why are some US-backed Arab dictators who are extremely repressive of their own populations referred to as ‘moderates’? Is it just because they serve the interests of Washington (or Tel Aviv) instead of their own countries? At the same time, those who are brought to power through the ballot box or enjoy extremely wide support among their populations are termed ‘hardliners’ or ‘radicals’ just because they are not in good terms with foreign invading (or occupying) powers.

Who will defend the English language from ‘radical democracies’ and ‘moderate dictatorships’?

 

Iron Iran

Far from being a perfect democracy, Iran today is much closer to realising the wishes of its people than during the era of the ruthless US-backed dictator, the Shah, toppled by the 1979 revolution. Most Iranians today, despite their young age, are also familiar with the role of the US CIA-backed coup against their democratically elected PM in the fifties, Mohammed Mosadaq.

Iranians are in an uphill struggle to have a modern democracy and more freedoms, but the last thing their reformers or rights activists need is foreign interference that would directly discredit them in the eyes of the majority of their people.

The people of Iran, generally fond of ‘western’ societies, remain suspicious of US foreign policy. And amid rumours that neo-conservatives and Christian Zionists seek to nuke their 70- million population, accompanied with serious threats from the Bush administration, their reformist camp took a heavy blow. You have to remember that during World War II even rooted democracies like Britain suspended all democratic activities, and to Iranians the US is still perceived as an enemy that poses an existential threat.

 

Hands off Hamas

I don’t know of any people who have defended their electoral choice with so much blood and sweat (plus hunger and disease) as the people of Palestine following their election of Hamas.

They faced a superpower (US), an occupation power (Israel), propaganda war by pro-Israelis, Islamaphopbes, anti-Arab racists, Arab dictators, self-loathing Muslims, and tag-along opportunists, while being besieged in a tiny overpopulated strip.

They were punished for their votes and yet at the same time were prevented somehow from being represented. It is OK, according to some Rabbis, to kill them because they voted for Hamas, but Hamas, so Israel wishes, must not be seen as representing them. It wasn’t enough to take away their liberty, health and lives; their political and social voices had to be taken away too. And thus Hamas leaders had to be silenced – but should they speak, then the mainstream media is there to distort their views.

So called ‘experts’ and ‘analysts’ would indulge in debates on why Hamas was elected, fruitlessly seeking to undermine their legitimacy, forgetting that in democracies, reasons of voting for one party instead of another does not affect the power that comes from the ballot box.

They often speak of corruption in Fatah or by some members of the Palestinian Authority, without even giving much thought to what that implies. To Palestinians, corruption is not just breaking the law for some financial benefits; it is deeper than that. Many see corruption as selling Palestinian rights to Israel for personal gains; i.e. treason of the first degree.

The people of Palestine had faced many atrocities before; land theft, ethnic cleansing, occupation, bone breaking, imprisonment, tight sieges, and mass murder, among other injustices. But it was only under Bush’s watch that their first ever democracy and electoral choice came under such ruthless attack.

 

Jews-only democracy

No doubt that in many senses of the word, Israel is a democracy. It could be because the whole system was planted there by the ‘west’, like many of its American and European immigrants who settled there during and after the creation of the Jewish state. It also could be the people there reached that wise decision on their own. Nevertheless, whatever the causes and reasons are, the positive aspects of its democracy must be acknowledged.

But it should not pass as something comparable to ‘western’ democracies (not that they make those like they used to anymore). You have to remember a democracy is usually elected by a majority. Yet the majority of the people of that particular land are forced to live in exile.

Imagine if you’d expel the majority of blacks in the US and then when Election Day comes, you’d say to the few that remained that they have a right to vote and they should count their blessings for living in a democracy. You might even want to consider demanding that they’d show their loyalty to you. You didn’t ban anyone from voting, you just prevented them from returning to their rightful homes, making them unable to cast their ballots.

Until the Palestinian refugees’ problem is solved on a just basis, the Jewish state cannot claim to be a true democracy. But what has the Bush administration done to the plight of those estimated six million Palestinian refugees?

Plus, as the US should know, being a democracy at home does not give you the right to be a dictator abroad.

So why was Iraq invaded? Was it for money (oil)? For love (of Israel)? Or just for fame (keeping superpower reputation means teaching others a lesson every now and then)? I am not completely sure, but you can bet your sorry soul it was never about democracy.

Mamoon Alabbasi is an editor for Middle East Online and can be reached via: alabbasi@middle-east-online.com

http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=31257

art by Jorge Arrieta: http://www.popsiclesandgrenades.com/archives/2009/03/beware-peace-democracy-is-coming/

cartoon of the day

Posted: 03/13/2009 by editor in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

By Amgad Rasim in Asharq Al-Awsat  (click to enlarge)

 

Pundits have asked Palestinians of every persuasion what they think of Israeli elections over the past several weeks. Opinions are varied and thoughtful; yet the truth is that to prefer one of the leading groups over another is an exercise in futility. Asking for a choice is akin to opting hypothetically for France’s Jean-Marie Le Pen (Lieberman), Dutch parliamentarian Geet Wilders (Livni), or Russia’s Vladimir Zhirinovsky (Netanyahu), with South Africa’s Pieter W. Botha (Peres) playing the presidential role of whom to ask for the formation of a national unity government.

 

 

 Israeli democracy is an oxymoron, a reality underscored by the abuse of any non-Jewish party vying for equal representation. Palestinian parties entering elections in 2006 were represented by Muslims, Christians and even atheists, with no obligation or pre-condition other than those recognized by international law. The Israeli State, however, routinely purges or inhibits Arab political movement, such as those of Azmi Bishara, with unsubstantiated claims of treason or treachery. And the political neutering of indigenous Arabs is negligible compared with the dismissive approach to any popular presence across the 1967 border.

 

 Israelis in this year’s elections claimed there were no Palestinian partners for peace. Ironic, since regardless of label, all Israeli politicians play the same game under a different name: settlements are built; borders are open and shut on a whim; buildings are destroyed; banks are stifled; cities are bombed; and so on. How can Palestinians, let alone the democratically elected Hamas, believe any Israeli politician can be spoken to, let alone trusted, when terrorism and/or racism runs through the veins of every political party?

 

 The roots of Labour and Likud are in organizations that terrorized innocent civilians and murdered randomly; before Likud there was Gahal and before that Herut, which was borne of Irgun—a proven terrorist group. Likud’s supposed peacemaker who became Prime Minister in 1977, Menachim Begin, was a key figure in the Irgun and even had a 2,000-British-pound reward for his capture. The Haganah was the militant precursor to the Labour party. Yitzhak Shamir was a leader of the Stern Gang, accused of atrocities against civilians; yet still became PM in 1983.

 

 The mainstream Zionist groups are rooted in Judaism but secular when convenient. The religious parties—those that sell their seats for power in coalition governments—are more numerous, therefore more likely to gain influence in one form or another. Although there are a few anti-Zionists such as Edah Ha Chareidis, Satmar and Neurei Karta International, right-wing Zionists dominate, such as Tsomet, Shas, Morasha, Shinui Ometz, Gush Emunim (Ne’emanei Eretz Yisrael), the Jewish National Front (Hayil), and the National Movement (Herut) among others. Some are defunct, such as Kach, Kahane Chai and Tehiya (Banai), though their members often form other groups, with the usual aim of building Greater Israel.

 

 The emergence of Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu as the “kingmaker” party is no surprise, given that their dependence on the public’s xenophobia is as deep as the religious groups. They play the chords of racism, nationalism, Zionism and Judaism perfectly. Their manifesto includes statements like the group’s “clear vision” to pursue “the three cardinal principles of Zionism: Aliyah (immigration), settlement, and defense of our homeland,” further declaring: “The responsibility for primarily Arab areas such as Umm al-Fahm and the ‘triangle’ will be transferred to the Palestinian Authority. In parallel, Israel will officially annex Jewish areas in Judea and Samaria.”

 

 

At their core, most Israeli political parties are the same when it comes to their neighbours. They dispute among themselves only in terms of controlling budgets and ministries, but as far as contributing meaningfully to regional stability or economic growth, they are satisfied to be parasites off the American taxpayer while bullying the occupied. That is why they have invested so much in lobbying groups, partisan think tanks, and other organizations in the U.S. but made no effort to honour international law.

 

WRITTEN BY William A. Cook

“Become more human, and humans will love you.”

(Text of the Gospel of Phillip, 143)

Predictably, the United States Senate and House of Representatives voted to support Israel’s carnage in Gaza thereby handing the new President yet one more war to contend with, one unhappily more dangerous to America than those in Iraq or Afghanistan. That may seem to be, on its face, a strange thing to say unless one understands that we are in Iraq fighting for Israel and, with this vote, our Congress has indebted itself to the Israeli forces that govern the United States (as Ariel Sharon said long ago), forces that will use endangerment of Israel as leverage to attack Iran and Syria, countries already in their military sites since 1992.

Our Senate’s indebtedness is unanimous; while 20 in the House abstained and five voted against the resolution, all the rest voted to support. The reasons offered: Israel has a right to defend itself even though we do not know where Israel is: that is, Israel has yet to define its borders and remove itself from occupied territories; and the rockets fired over the last 8 years must stop, even though Israel, with one shell in Gaza, killed 43 at the UN school, twice the number killed by rockets in 8 years. But logic, international law and international opinion, and fundamental moral law cannot sway our Congress; money can and does. Obama may have a Senate majority and a Democratically controlled House of Representatives, but he cannot respond to the desires of the American people for change – no more wars – nor to the United community of nations that have voted with their feet against the actions of the Israeli government in open and defiant dissent against their governments in London, Ireland, Scotland, Europe and through out the Arab world including Jordan and Egypt. Our Representatives represent Israeli wishes and policies not those of the American people; the people voted overwhelmingly for change not the continued support of Israel represented by these votes or the appointments made by Obama as advisors.

Ironically our “only democratic ally” in the mid-east, as constantly reiterated by our mainstream media and talking heads, has locked the media out of Gaza in order to isolate truth to its Public Relations campaign begun the day it invaded Gaza three weeks ago. Consequently, Americans receive their news from those that decided to break international law and their own responsibilities as an occupying force under the Geneva conventions. No truth, no morality, only raw force serves this Zionist nation beholden only to itself and those it owns, including our Congress. Yet the news gets out. The people of Gaza transmit the truth by phone cameras and a handful of Al Jazeera  journalists that report from the killing fields. These pictures inundate the Internet and even a European press on occasion.   

Contrast the reality of the coverage with that provided to Americans. In Sderot, the little town used by Israel to portray its misery, devastation, and ultimate demise at the hands of the “terrorists,” the citizens have taken to the hillside overlooking Gaza — binoculars, sunglasses and beach chairs in tow — to watch the rain of Israeli terror by air, sea and land on an imprisoned people. (Shashank Bengali, “Israelis, sipping Pepsi, watch bombardment of Gaza town,” 1/5/2009, McClatchy). Are they in danger? Perhaps, although they do have bomb shelters and warning sirens, something that the people of Gaza do not have. And as I have noted elsewhere (in Counterpunch, 1/5/2009), they have been bombarded on average with 2 rockets per day for 8 years. Twenty three have died over these 8 years, an unsupportable number killed by meaningless use of force. Nonetheless, this has become the rationale for Israel’s current killing that now approaches 1000 half of whom are children. Disproportionate? Not to our Representatives.

Now consider what we are not shown, an image that the western media finds “pornographic,” “irresponsible journalism,” “too graphic,” “too emotional” for public consumption; yet the rest of the world sees these images, hundreds and hundreds of them. This alone should give our representatives pause to reflect on how their subservience to the barbaric behavior of Zionist Israel plays out in the world that is not controlled by American corporations or complicit congressmen. You can go to www.al-ayyam.ps/znews/site/pdfs/7-1-2009/p01.pdf. There you will see the head of a little girl looking forlornly though vacant eyes, mouth still open, completely buried from the neck down in rubble from her crushed home; indeed, too graphic, too emotional to contemplate, just another unnamed casualty of war where death happens … unfortunately, and “we’re sorry.” This appeared in multimedia, a Norwegian site, where you can also hear Sven Egil Omdel, the Director, explain why he decided to publish the photo even though it is against policy: “It is (the publication) a conscious provocation and we have two reasons for it: Israel keep (sic) all western journalists away from the war in Gaza. … The most important reason for us to show this face, is that the Arab world sees pictures like these from Gaza every day. Not a single still, but hours and hours of TV images of hospital floors full of small, dead bodies. Four year olds, two year olds, seven year olds, newly borns – These pictures represent the war in Gaza for millions of muslims – and we wonder why the hatred against Israel and the west grows? (translation)” This now is Obama’s war whether he wants it or not including the 3000 tons of ordnance being shipped now to Israel by the United States to supplement what they are currently using in Gaza.

Americans must understand the timing of this “war” that is not a war but a slaughter of caged people that have no where to hide, no where to go and even then, when following IDF orders, find themselves in a building targeted for destruction, their destruction. Deceit governs; racism motivates; hatred compels and greed for others’ land is the bed rock of action.

Why now? For two years, during the election campaign for the US Presidency, Israel imposed a siege on Gaza, a calculated act of slow, insidious decimation of the people planned in 2004 (www.infoimagination.org) to ultimately compel the Palestinian people to submit to Israeli dominance, without a state, without an army, without freedom of ingress and egress, unclassified and wholly dependent on Israel. Included in that strategy was the need to complete “Securing the Realm,” the document drawn up by our faithful Neo-Con “servants” that drove the policies of Bush’s administration and called for regime change in Syria and Iran in addition to Iraq. During the political campaign, while press coverage crowded out virtually all other news, the Zionist forces destroyed the infrastructure of Gaza, began the locking down of gates and the slow but methodical destruction of Gaza’s economy. Simultaneously they sought, but failed to get in time, Bush’s approval of attacks on Iran’s nuclear sites. Now, as the days of the Bush reign of terror ends, they are desperate to force Obama into a continuation of absolute and unquestioned support of Israeli policies in the mid-east. With the Congress in hand, with the vote made public in America and its continued commitment made known to the world, they believe that hey have locked Obama in a prison not unlike that surrounding Gaza.

What now? Reflection on the past few years, since 2005 to present, especially in the United States, makes possible this observation: the people of the United States and the people of Israel no longer see eye to eye on matters of mutual concern and, indeed, have already expressed that reality in fact. What do I mean? Beginning with the Downing Street memo and the disclosures of Richard Clark and Ambassador Wilson, the ability of the main stream press to hide the truth from the American people could no longer hold. As 2005 evolved, more and more disclosures unraveled the lies protected by the “fair and balanced reporting” of the corporate owned and controlled media. Fair and balanced was neither fair to truth nor balanced. To put two items on a scale, one for, one against, does not present truth or a balanced report. It simply shows two different perspectives, one for and one against. But as facts and documents became available to the American people, items available over the prior years on various Internet publications, the American people reacted by throwing out Bush supporters in the 2006 and 2008 elections and Bush support eroded into the mid-twenties.

They wanted “change” promised from the start by Senator Obama and mimicked eventually by most of the other contenders to the throne. Change meant getting out of Iraq immediately and return to a government that had a concern for America, including less absolute and blind support for Israel. The vast majority of the American people do not accept the disproportionate and cruel invasion of Gaza by Israel. As more and more pictures and videos become available on the Internet, especially the recurring images of savagery on You Tube, the American people are traumatized by the horror, especially the uncountable number of deaths of children. Our representative government does not represent the American electorate; it represents only scared politicians who depend on AIPAC money, men and women who fear for their political seats regardless of what their constituents believe and want.

By contrast Israeli citizens are faced with an election that has all three contenders fighting to convince the electorate that he/she is the one that will inflict more force to subjugate the Palestinians to Israeli will. The focus of this campaign resonates around the war monger Benjamin Netanyahu; both Livni and Barak must demonstrate that they are better leaders to take Israel against the Palestinians, the Syrians and the Iranians. Israel’s future is one of continued war which means in turn continued American billions to sustain their ambitions against their perceived enemies. They do not talk of “talk” with neighbors, only unending war against those that oppose the Jews. One does not speak of Israel as a state or government when “victimhood” is needed to induce unyielding support for the Israeli governments need to acquire more land and control the regimes of its neighbors, one must turn to the bias against Jews that is world wide and endemic. Sympathy cannot be rung from criticism of a government’s policies.

Horribly, the invasion of Gaza can be viewed quite accurately as a campaign war where Livni and Barak have made evident to the electorate that they will use force to ensure Israel’s right to dominate the area regardless of international pressure and opinion, international law or international justice. They know they can do this because they have control of the American Congress and administration including the veto power of the United States in the Security Council. World opinion means nothing. The Israeli electorate, with modest exception, does not want change.

Ultimately, it’s AIPAC’s will against the American citizens’ expressed desires as they voted for this man of change. Who will win? Will the blatant exposure of Israeli violence and mercilessness, in pictures and videos, turn the tide? Can Israeli hacking of Internet sites like that done to The Palestine Chronicle and the attempted erasure of sites that contain the pictures and videos described above stop the flow of sympathy for the plight of the Palestinians in Gaza and quell the building animosity that has arisen world-wide against the cruelty employed by Israel in its savage destruction of Gaza?

Will Obama turn to diplomacy, as he preached when a candidate and, thus doing, fulfill the truth enunciated by Phillip, “Become more human, and humans will love you”? Will he turn to negotiations with those engaged in these brutalities, to stem the violence? Will he recognize the impossible absence of the democratically elected Hamas government from deliberations with Israel over Gaza? How absurd. Will he reconsider the bribery that Bush employed to keep Egypt and Jordan in collusion with Israel despite the agony the people of Egypt and Jordan experience as they watch their people die in Gaza? Will he seek justice by returning to the resolutions of the UN that demand Israel return to the borders of 1948 or 1967, to leave the occupied lands of Palestine including East Jerusalem, to recognize the right of return of the refugees, to realize that Palestinians have a right to their state just as Israel has a right to its, something recognized by Hamas though never recognized as true by our main stream press. (Guardian, 1/12/2006 and Ynet, 1/30/2006). Will Obama seek peace that America might be free of its entanglement with a rogue state that blindly leads America into the darkness of unending conflict and death? Will he demand of Israel that its support from America depends of its recognition that it can only survive if it lives in harmony with its neighbors not out of fear but out of brotherhood? Will he suggest that the Israelis consider a diametrically opposite road to peace, one that understands “People will love you if you become more human”?

WRITTEN BY KHALID AMAYREH – The meeting in Cairo on Monday 26 January, between a Hamas representative and Fatah leader Azzam al Ahmed is a glimmer of hope for millions of Palestinians and their allies who are hoping and praying for a speedy end of the enduring rift between the two biggest political camps in the Palestinian arena.

 

Though symbolic and procedural in nature, the meeting shows that the problems between the two sides can be overcome if both sides display good-will and especially if the Ramallah regime ends its ignominious subservience to Israel and the United States.

 

Needless to say, the rift has wreaked havoc on the reputation of the just Palestinian cause and caused many bleeding wounds to our people, the scars of which will take a long time to heal.

 

However, we are still one people, feeling the same pain, languishing under the same hateful occupation, and harboring the same hopes for freedom and justice.

 

But in order to reach a lasting national harmony, we need to be honest and frank, and refrain from trying to negate the other side.  This is so because neither Hamas nor Fatah will go away or evaporate into nonexistence.

 

There is no doubt that a great calamity has hit our people in the Gaza Strip. But by no means was that evil aggression  a victory for Israel unless the Zio-Nazi entity views the mass killing of innocent civilians and the mass destruction of residential homes and public buildings as an act of heroism.

 

Well, if so, then we would have to view Adolf Hitler as the greatest hero of all times.

 

Nonetheless, we should refrain from whipping ourselves too much or trying to score propaganda points one against the other.

 

Israel did try to decapitate Hamas, destroy its legitimate government (legitimate because Hamas was elected by the Palestinian people) and give the Gaza Strip back to PA leader Mahmoud Abbas on a sliver platter.

 

The fact that Israel couldn’t achieve the criminal goal was not due to Israeli magnanimity. Zionists are too thuggish and too criminal minded to know the meaning of magnanimity. After all, magnanimity requires at least a modicum of humanity and Zionism has none of that.

 

In truth, Hamas and other Palestinian resistance factions earned this spectacular steadfastness, this legendary resoluteness, in the face of overwhelming criminality, hideousness and firepower.

 

Hence, one can only view with utter contempt the cheap canards and calumnies coming out of Ramallah and accusing the resistance of responsibility for the widespread death and destruction in Gaza, as if the murderous pilots who were raining bombs and missiles and white phosphorous on the heads of our children and civilians were members of Hamas, not Israeli war criminals.

 

To be sure, such cheap accusations are made by two categories of people, ignoramuses who don’t know the facts, and bona fide traitors who are doing Israel’s work.

 

The former can be somehow forgiven by virtue of their ignorance or stupidity. However, the latter are willful Judases who ought to be silenced and punished. And if the time is not conducive to dealing with them the proper way, they should be isolated in disgrace.

 

This should be one of Hamas’s key tasks in the coming weeks and months. Otherwise, the Fifth columnists within Fatah and the PA, the very people who committed national adultery in broad daylight by collaborating with the Shin Beth and the CIA for the purpose of raping the Palestinian people’s will and achieving America’s morbid goals in this tortured part of the world, will continue to create mischief and try to rock the collective Palestinian boat.

 

These must be ejected, isolated, exposed, disgraced, and made to pay for their treachery and perfidy.

 

But Fatah is not a movement of traitors, and it is not in the Palestinian people’s interests to see Fatah catapulted into the laps of the likes of Muhammed Dahlan, Nimr Hammad and al-Tayeb Abdul Rahim who probably were dreaming, even loudly, of an Israeli victory in Gaza.

 

Hence, it is both right and wise for Hamas to get closer to true patriots within Fatah. And the time to do that is now.

 

There is no doubt that despite the enormity of the genocidal Zionist blitzkrieg against our people in Gaza, Hamas has not only managed to remain intact, but has also earned overwhelming respect and admiration from around the world.

 

Hamas shouldn’t treat lightly this earned outpouring of support which many movements, parties and governments even dream of receiving a fraction of.

 

In this light, Hamas should show enlightened flexibility toward re-establishing national unity.

 

It is this national unity that will eventually dump the government of Fayadh into the dustbin of history and do away with the whoring practice known as “security coordination.”

 

The restoration of national unity will also impose an early retirement on people like Keith Dayton and other CIA officers who have taught hundreds, if not thousands, of our beguiled and naïve young sons that the enemy is Hamas, not the Zionist thugs who have just murdered and maimed thousands of our children and civilians in the Gaza Strip and who have been stealing our land and narrowing our horizons.

 

In the Quran, God orders Muslims to refrain from falling into disunity and internal conflicts.

 

In Surat al Anfal, God says: “ And obey God and His Messenger and fall not into disputes, lest you lose heart and your power depart; and be patient and persevering: For God stands with those who patiently persevere.” Of all Palestinian factions, Hamas should understand this best.

 

Amen!