Saturday, July 28, 2007

Has Abbas Committed Treason?

A Comment by Tony Sayegh

Here are two, not mutually exclusive, definitions of treason:

1) Violation of allegiance toward one's country or sovereign and/or reneging on an oath of loyalty, especially the betrayal of one's country by waging war against it or by consciously and purposely cooperating with and acting to give aid and comfort to its enemies.

2) The offense of attempting to overthrow, make war against, or seriously injure the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance, or of betraying the state into the hands of a foreign power; disloyalty; treachery.

Let us examine the recent actions of Mahmoud Abbas to see if they meet these definitions. I am not a legal expert, but I will use common sense and available information in making a determination.

Collaboration With the Enemy

As reported in Haaretz(1) “… there has been another significant development in the ties between Israel and the PA, although it has been kept under wraps from the media. For the first time in years, the Shin Bet is making use of intelligence it receives from the PA's security organizations, information it uses against terrorists in the West Bank.”

This is clearly an act of treason, since Abbas is the head of the PA whose security organizations are supplying intelligence to Israel’s intelligence, which is used to abduct and kill Palestinians in the West Bank. The same used to also take place in the Gaza Strip, before Abbas’ collaborating forces were routed there.

Another act of active collaboration with the enemy is the reliance on the enemy (Israel) and the U.S., which is hostile to the Palestinian interests, for weapons which Abbas’ forces use against the Palestinian people. Large shipments of weapons to Abbas’ forces, again from the U.S. and Israel, were previously sent to the Gaza Strip which were intended for use to overthrow the democratically elected Palestinian government. This is as clear an example of treason as one can imagine.

Waging War Against the Palestinian People

Abbas has actively engaged in and authorized many actions which harm and seriously injure the approximately 1.5 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. An example of that is his urging of the enemy to keep the main outlet of the Strip to Egypt, the Rafah crossing, closed. This, while knowing that over 6,000 Palestinians, many of them old and sick, have been stuck in the Egyptian desert for the past 45 days, with no money, food or shelter and unable to return to their homes in Gaza. Over 30 of these Palestinians have already died while waiting. Again, quoting Haaretz(1) “… [Israel] has acceded to Abbas' secret request, not to allow the opening of the Rafah crossing in the southern Gaza Strip.”

It goes beyond that; Abbas’ representatives in the UN have been actively blocking a Security Council initiative to alleviate the Palestinian suffering in Gaza(2), “The Palestinian delegation to the United Nations is blocking a Security Council initiative aimed at expressing the organization's concern over the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.” This action was so unbelievable that Haaretz (2) had this quote, "“This situation is absurd," a Western diplomat told Haaretz. "It is obvious that it is in the Palestinian delegation's best interest to conceal the fact that Hamas is in control of the Gaza Strip," he said.”

Another nefarious action by Abbas that seriously injures Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and contributes to their starvation and suffering, is the active participation of Abbas in the total financial, trade and economic blockade of the 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza. This is simply an active participation in an act of collective punishment and genocide against his own people. Besides treason, this is a war crime.

All people under occupation have the universal right to resist that occupation by all means available, including armed resistance. The Abbas “government” has declared armed resistance to the occupation illegal and Abbas’ forces have been arresting all those even suspected of resisting. Worse still, Abbas is setting up military tribunals to “try” those arrested Palestinians, and potentially sentence them to death. This is active collaboration with the enemy and seriously harming the national interest.

The Palestinian Right of Return and Israel as a “Jewish State”

This goes to the heart of the Palestinian national struggle and is the key issue not only for the Palestinians in the occupied areas but also for the Palestinians who are Israeli citizens (about 1.5 millions) and the Palestinians in the Diaspora (about 5 millions).

Abbas as the head of the PA does not speak for the last two categories of Palestinians (about 6.5 millions). However, he is on record as accepting Israel’s “right to exist as a Jewish state.” This is a betrayal of and disloyalty to the Palestinians who stayed in what became Israel in 1948. It is a betrayal because Abbas is condemning them to live in an Apartheid state that treats them as second-class citizens in their own homes and usurped country.

For the approximately 6 million Palestinian refugees, the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 194 on the Question of Palestine which, "resolves that refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return..."

This historic right of return belongs to the Palestinian refugees, whom Abbas does not represent. Yet Abbas’ position on the right of return is basically the same as Israel’s. Last week he stated that no one can force Israel to accept the right of return; hence to reach an agreement with Israel, which is acceptable to it, the Palestinians would have to forfeit their right of return. This is an act of total betrayal, disloyalty and treachery towards the millions of Palestinian refugees who have not authorized Abbas to give up their rights.

Summing Up

There are many more examples of betrayal, treachery and collaboration with the enemy of which Abbas stands accused. As I said before I am not a legal expert; but based on the evidence provided here, it appears that there is solid ground for a Palestinian tribunal to examine the evidence and to try Mahmoud Abbas according to Palestinian law. I realize that this may not be easy or practical, given the occupied status of the West Bank and the protection Abbas gets from Israel and the U.S. If it is not possible to try him in person, then he should be tried in absentia. This is a duty of all Palestinians determined to keep the Palestinian national struggle alive. It is an obligation to stop this threat to liquidate Palestinian rights and it is the most serious threat the Palestinians have faced in almost 60 years.


(1) Fatah and Israel / Allies, Inc., By Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz, July 28, 2007.
(2) Fatah-led delegation to block UN initiative over Gaza crisis, By Shlomo Shamir, Haaretz, July 27, 2007.

السيد نصر الله: المقاومة حققت نصرا استراتيجيا في تموز

خاص قناة المنار

" أكد الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصر الله أن النصر الذي تحقق في تموز 2006 كان نصراً استراتيجياً بكل المقاييس، ألحق الخزي والعار بدعاة مشروع اسرائيل الكبرى، وأدى إلى تدمير مشروع الشرق الأوسط الجديد التي بشَّرت به كوندوليزا رايس في بداية العدوان. السيد نصر الله وخلال الاحتفال الجماهيري بذكرى شهداء الوعد الصادق في مدينة بنت جبيل، وجَّه الشكر إلى المقاومين لأنهم أثبتوا من جديد ان إٍسرائيل أوهن من بيت العنكبوت. أضاف "إن أعظم ما يُسجّل للمجاهدين في حرب تموز أنهم ثبتوا في ساحة القتال ولم تركوها أو يدفنوا السلاح في التراب". السيد نصرالله نفى المزاعم التي تحدثت عن سعي من حزب الله وحركة أمل للإنقلاب على اتفاق الطائف، واعتبر أن الحديث عن المثالثة في التوزيع السياسي اللبناني مؤكداً أن هذا الطرح لم يظهر إلاَّ في اعلام فريق السلطة. ورأى ان الهدف من وراء ذلك هو تقطيع الوقت حتى لا يتم التوصل الى إقامة حكومة وحدة وطنية.

وقال السيد نصر الله" تقلصت اهداف اولمرت وانجازات اولمرت وحكومته الى حد انني انا العبد الفقير لا استطيع او يمنعني من التجول في شوارع بيروت، اولا انا اريد ان اؤكد لأولمرت انني اتجول في شوارع بيروت، ان حديث اولمرت عن هذه النتيجة هو ادانة لاسرائيل و وصمة عار في جبين الكيان الذي كان يحمل مشروع اسرائيل الكبرى وبعدها اسرائيل عظمى، لا شرق اوسط جديد بعد 14 اب 2006، ذهب مع الريح الا تلاحظون ان رايس قد بلعت لسانها والى الابد، نحن نملك ونبقى نملك صواريخ تقصف أي مكان في فلسطين المحتلة اذا اعتدت اسرائيل على لبنان، في مواجهة أي تهديد سنكون اشد يقينا ً واكثر يقينا ً بالنصر وبأننا سنلحق الهزيمة بالعدو. البنية العسكرية للمقاومة هي اقوى واشد وامضى، هناك اجيال التحقت بالمقاومة بعد انتهاء الحرب في 13 اب اجيال من الشباب، الشباب الذي الان يشعر ان معركته قد بدأت، الشباب الذي لا يعرف الملل، ولا الكلل ولا الهزيمة ولا الضعف، الشباب الذي تفتح عقله وقلبه وعيونه على النصر الاسطوري الذي تحقق، في الماضي اذا كان يقاتل عددا من المجاهدين فأنا اقول للعدو وللعالم يمكنك ان تضرب هذا العدد بأعداد كبيره جدا، اليوم لدينا سيل هادر من الشباب المقاوم على امتداد الساحة اللبنانية الاكثر استعدادا للصمود وتحقيق الانجازظ وصنع الانتصار".

Palestinian faction threatens to kill PM Fayyad

"The Popular Resistance Committees, a Palestinian faction opposed to Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's government, has threatened to "physically hurt" Fayyad following reports that his government's platform does not include the Palestinians' right to resist Israel.

During a press conference in Gaza Saturday, the PRC's spokesman Abdel Al said that resistance to the occupation was a strategic choice that no one, regardless of his seniority, had the right to abolish.

Abdel Al defined Fayyad and his aides as "a bunch of traitors hiding at the Muqata'a in Ramallah," and said that they would be treated, and targeted by the Palestinian factions the same way the IDF forces were.

The spokesman also stated that his organization did not recognize Fayyad's government, which he accused of collaborating with Israel, and declared that the only legitimate government was Ismail Haniyeh's.

Abdel Al told Ynet that Fayyad has failed to draw lessons from the fates of those who had cooperated with Israel in the past. "I warn him and those like him that we will hurt them just like we hurt the soldiers of the occupation if they hold on to their treacherous, arrogant and alienating attitude toward the Palestinian people's rights." "

"Bloodbath" as a Rationale for Staying in Iraq

Now the New York Times Sells "Bloodbath" as a Rationale for Staying in Iraq


"There’s been no stage in the grim progress of the US onslaught on Iraq at which the New York Times hasn’t been shoving the whole ghastly enterprise along. First there were Judy Miller and Michael Gordon promoting the WMD rationale for attack. More recently there was Michael Gordon selling the surge.

Now it’s John Burns, pushing the notion that if the US withdraws there’ll a bloodbath of unimaginable proportions as the Iraqis slaughter each other. The administration is seizing eagerly on this, which is a bit like Dracula saying his castle is the best security guarantee against local peasant girls being attacked by vampires....."

Fatah and Israel / Allies, Inc.


"Palestinian security personnel loyal to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas have put up dozens of roadblocks throughout Ramallah in recent days. Their orders: arrest Hamas activists.

The Preventive Security force in the West Bank, which stood at the forefront of the short campaign Yasser Arafat ordered against Islamist organizations in the mid-1990s, is back with a vengeance......

For the first time in years, senior PA officials and heads of the security organizations in the West Bank are speaking in different tones. The Second Intifada against Israel is over, they say. Now, Fatah must focus its energy against its domestic threat, Hamas.

It is to this end that it is possible to renew ties with Israel, which is also doing its part: it is releasing prisoners affiliated with Fatah, allowing the transfer of arms from Jordan and Egypt for the PA's security forces, and has acceded to Abbas' secret request, not to allow the opening of the Rafah crossing in the southern Gaza Strip.

Furthermore, there has been another significant development in the ties between Israel and the PA, although it has been kept under wraps from the media. For the first time in years, the Shin Bet is making use of intelligence it receives from the PA's security organizations, information it uses against terrorists in the West Bank.....

"The Palestinian public is not very excited about the embrace of Israel by Fayad and Abu Mazen [Abbas]," a Palestinian analyst explains. "From our point of view, Israel is still the real enemy. Not Hamas.....

Why my landlord is expecting the worst

The Lebanese army is about the only institution still working in this country

By Robert Fisk

"......Well, I don't really want an armoured door on my home. But have things deteriorated this far in Beirut? I pondered what to say to Mustafa. Truly, I could not repeat the latest mantra of the late Tony Blair - south of the Lebanese border and talking about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - that he had "a sense of possibilities".

All of us in Lebanon have a "sense of possibilities" right now - and they are all bad. The Lebanese army - still fighting its way into the Palestinian Nahr el-Bared refugee camp in the north of the country more than a month after the minister of defence announced total victory over the army's "Fatah al-Islam" opponents - is about the only institution still working in this country. Yesterday morning's Beirut newspapers carried front-page pictures of Lebanese soldiers aboard an armoured personnel carrier, all making "victory" signs to photographers.

But victory over whom? Day after day, we've been watching the US air force C-130s arriving at Beirut's Rafiq Hariri International Airport .....with their cargoes of weapons for the Lebanese army. Would that they had arrived a year ago, many Lebanese say, when Israel was destroying much of Lebanon. But of course, a year ago, the American air force C-130s were arriving in Israel with weapons to be used against Lebanon, including cluster munitions which have contaminated 36.6 million square metres of Lebanon.

The United Nations (my favourite donkey, which always clip-clops into the killing fields when the United States get stuck) reports that 23 Lebanese civilians have been killed by these wretched weapons since last year's war, and 203 wounded. In a truly pitiful remark, the UN Secretary-General stated last month: "I regret to have to report that, despite a number of attempts by UN senior officials to obtain information regarding the firing data of cluster munitions utilised (sic) during last summer's conflict, Israel has yet to provide this critical data." To which my reaction is: why not ask Washington for the information? Surely a UN official could take the Amtrak out of New York and pick up the figures from the Pentagon?.....

And the UN has discovered much, much more. But the news is all bad. Across the Middle East, it is all bad. From the Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan to the hell-disaster in Iraq, from the mini-civil war in the Pakistani north-west frontier to the chaos of Gaza and the occupied West Bank. This is not a time for a "sense of possibilities". My landlord is right. Weld the iron door to the entrance of our homes."


Desert Peace

"I wrote the other day about the crazies in the 'Christian zionist Movement', but I never thought I would see the beginnings of a Palestinian one. It seems that FATHA has become just that, the Palestine zionist Movement (PzM).

The leader of the movement is the former President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas. In recent history we have seen certain 'leaders' of the Palestinians not always act in the best interests of their nation, we have seen millions of dollars belonging to the people misappropriated. But never before have we seen a 'leadership' sell out that nation to the enemy as is happening today in the West Bank of the Occupied Territories.

The following two short articles taken from the site of the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) says it all.... the third article from HaAretz is a must read as well......"

Because the Pharaoh Has no Balls: Frustration mounts amongst the stranded at al-Arish

Rami Almeghari writing from al-Arish, Egypt, Live from Palestine, 26 July 2007

"Any patience we might have once had has dissipated during the past weeks we've been stranded here in Egypt -- any patience that would have held us over as we have been badly missing our loved ones in Gaza, the patience we might have once had steadily running out along with our money.

These words have been uttered by most of the Palestinians who are stranded at the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing terminal that has been closed by Israel for weeks. They have been forced to stay there, should the border re-open -- yet their plight is becoming more dire day by day, while their appeals fall on deaf ears.

To learn about these seemingly forgotten Palestinians, The Electronic Initfada heard the accounts of some of the thousands of people trying to return to their homes and lives in Gaza......

The author has been stuck in al-Arish along with his sick wife, after she had finished medical treatment in a Cairo hospital.

Yesterday, when I phoned my children, my son Munir answered. When he heard me he cheered and said, "Dad, the crossing will reopen tomorrow." I learned from my mother who took the phone that they heard on al-Jazeera that there have been efforts to reopen the crossing.

Surely, the crossing will eventually reopen, but in the meantime, the patience of all those stranded will have completely run out.

The Rafah crossing terminal, the sole outlet to the outside world for the population of Gaza, has been closed since 10 June, by an Israeli order. Approximately 6,000 Palestinians have been deprived of their right to return back to their homes and families."

Spokesperson of An Nasser Brigades threatens to target PM Fayyad

"Gaza – Ma'an – The spokesperson of An Nasser Salah Addin Brigades, Abu Abeer, on Saturday threatened to target caretaker Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and presidential advisor, Nimir Hammad, whom he described as the "traitorous group in the Mukataa".

The spokesperson of the brigades, which is the military wing of the Popular Resistance Committees, said that these Palestinian figures could be treated like the Israeli occupation.

At a press conference in Gaza City, Abu Abeer pledged to set limits to what he called "US-led figures", due to their criticism of the Palestinian resistance and because they "side with the enemy".

Abu Abeer asserted that the An Nasser Brigades do not recognize the caretaker government of Fayyad, which eradicated armed resistance from its government programme.

Moreover, Abu Abeer affirmed that the brigades solely recognize the deposed government of former Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.

At the same time, Abu Abeer rejected any alternative to the Rafah Crossing as the main crossing point for Palestinians into Gaza. He said that suggestions to use other Israeli-controlled crossings are "traps set to ambush Palestinian resistance fighters". He urged the Palestinians stranded at Rafah Crossing to defy the decisions of the "illegal government". "

Why Does Bush Talk About Israel’s Negev and Galilee?

by Nadia Hijab
(Senior Fellow at the Institute for Palestine Studies and co-director of its Washington office)

"In his 16 July 2007 speech on the Middle East, President Bush declared: “Prime Minister Olmert has also made clear that Israel's future lies in developing areas like the Negev and Galilee – not in continuing occupation of the West Bank.” Bush also restated US “commitment to the security of Israel as a Jewish state and homeland for the Jewish people.” No mention was made of a homeland for the Palestinian citizens of Israel, a fifth of the population. Yet they would be seriously impacted by any development plans that favored Jewish citizens in the Galilee, where they constitute a majority, and in the Negev, where they are a significant minority.1

What Lies Behind the Bush References?......

Reports from the Galilee and the Negev

The Bush remarks are so worrying to Palestinian citizens of Israel because they have experienced extensive loss of land since the state was established. Memories are still fresh of official Israeli programs to “Judaize the Galilee” in the 1960s and 1970s that have left Palestinian citizens with a fraction of the land they had when the state was created in 1948, with little room for the natural growth and development of their towns and villages. Moreover, many of these citizens were internally displaced at that time, and were never able to return to their original land.

And in the Negev, the Israeli government has been relocating some 80,000 Bedouin into seven townships and refusing official recognition to existing villages.8 Most recently, the Israel Land Administration destroyed Bedouin homes in Attir and Umm Al Hiran to establish a Jewish community.9 According to Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, the Attir villagers were moved to that site in 1956 and their original land was transferred to a kibbutz......"

Hamas rejects alternative entry to stranded Palestinians

"GAZA, (PIC)-- Hamas Movement has sternly rejected the idea of allowing thousands of stranded Palestinian citizens through Israel-controlled crossing points, describing the idea as “an attempt to facilitate Israel’s mission in arresting Palestinians”.

The Movement was apparently reacting to statements uttered by member of Salam Fayyd’s “unconstitutional” PA government Ashraf Al-Ajrami that the stranded Palestinians will be allowed entry through [Israeli-controlled] alternative crossing points.

“Those indeed responsible for the tragic conditions of the stranded Palestinians at the Rafah crossing point are those who, now and then, suggest alternative exits with the aim to facilitate the Zionist occupation’s mission in arresting whom they wish among the Palestinian people”, affirmed Fawzi Barhoum, the spokesman of Hamas in Gaza Strip, as he lashed back at the “harmful” suggestions.

He said that the Rafah terminal is a Palestinian-Egyptian crossing point and is nearer to Gaza Strip than any other crossing point in occupied Palestine, accusing those suggesting unacceptable alternatives of increasing their people’s agony.

On the other hand, Barhoum shrugged off rumors that PA chief Mahmoud Abbas would issue a number of edicts amending the PA election law in a way that will deny Hamas Movement future majority in the PLC. “Let him (Abbas) issue what he wants, because, at the end, the truth will prevail, and I believe that a hysteric condition is engulfing Abbas since the Gaza events and routing of his security forces there, and I also believe that any decree he might issue in this concern won’t be implemented on the ground”, Barhoum underlined.

Meanwhile, Egyptian sources revealed that the Rafah crossing point might open before the stranded Palestinians Sunday and Monday to allow them into their homeland after two months of harsh experience.

The sources also added that the issue of Rafah terminal was discussed between Egypt-Jordan-Israeli foreign ministers in occupied Jerusalem a couple of days ago; affirming that the idea of allowing the stranded Palestinians through the Israeli-controlled Kerem Shalom crossing point was totally disregarded.

Palestinian resistance factions and majority of the stranded Palestinians have absolutely rejected to pass through alternative crossing points, and insisted on passing through the Rafah terminal being safer for them.

According to the sources, the Egyptian and European teams are ready for the opening of the border terminal once a decision from Ramallah in this regard is taken. Abbas and his cohorts in Ramallah city were opposing the opening of the terminal in a bid to tighten the grip on Hamas and to turn the Gaza Strip into a big jail for the Gazans in clear harmony with the Israeli plans.

The Strip is reportedly enjoying an unprecedented calm since Hamas took responsibility of security there. "

Armageddon – Bring It On

by Gordon Prather

"Last week the Christians United For Israel organization held its annual show-of-force in our Nation’s Capital and Max Blumenthal recorded for posterity – if, God Willing, there is to be one – this most "politically extreme, outrageous" spectacle.

"Founded by San Antonio-based megachurch pastor John Hagee, CUFI has added the grassroots muscle of the Christian right to the already potent Israel lobby. Hagee and his minions have forged close ties with the Bush White House and members of Congress from Sen. Joseph Lieberman to Sen. John McCain.

"In its call for a unilateral military attack on Iran and the expansion of Israeli territory, CUFI has found unwavering encouragement from traditional pro-Israel groups like AIPAC [America-Israel Public Affairs Committee] and elements of the Israeli government.

"But CUFI has an ulterior agenda: its support for Israel derives from the belief of Hagee and his flock that Jesus will return to Jerusalem after the battle of Armageddon and cleanse the earth of evil. In the end, all the non-believers – Jews, Muslims, Hindus, mainline Christians, etc. – must convert or suffer the torture of eternal damnation."

According to the Jewish Blumenthal, the typical CUFI member apparently believes "God" wants Bush to do what Lieberman and the Likudniks are urging him to do – nuke Tehran – to trigger an all-out nuke war to bring on Armageddon – the final climatic battle, waged here on the planet Earth, between God and Satan......"

The 'right' to discriminate

A new bill in the Knesset seeks to perpetuate discrimination against Israel's Arab citizens.

By Richard Silverstein
The Guardian

"A fixture in the lives of all children who have ever attended Hebrew school is the blue Jewish National Fund (JNF) pushke (or charity box), into which parents and teachers encouraged us to throw our pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. They taught us to perform a mitzvah by giving tzedakah to support the building of the Jewish homeland. Thus, the Jewish National Fund was the Red Cross of Jewish life, a "mom and apple pie" charity doing nothing but good for our people.

How times change! Last week, the Israeli Knesset passed, on first reading, the Jewish National Fund bill which allows the JNF to refuse to lease land to Arab citizens. The JNF is a quasi-public charity established to raise funds to purchase land for Jewish settlement within Israel. In 1961, the Israeli government transferred 13% of Israeli land to the JNF. Included in this were one million dunams expropriated from Arab residents who fled Israel in 1948......

The reason this issue is so complicated is that Israel considers itself the homeland of the Jewish people. As such, it currently discriminates in many ways in favour of its Jewish citizens. But at the same time it considers itself a democracy and includes a sizable minority of Arab citizens. These two elements have always co-existed in a tense relationship. While there undoubtedly remains a high level of prejudice against Israeli Arabs, social developments - which include the High Court ruling - have been very gradually eroding some of the more odious discriminatory regulations.

This legislative attempt to restore to the JNF its right to discriminate in favour of Jews may be seen as a rump effort by the Israeli right to take back its prerogatives and return to the era when Jews predominated and there was never a doubt that Arabs were second-class citizens. Is it too much to expect a majority of the Knesset to see this and put down this attempt to enshrine Jewish dominance into the law of a state otherwise proud to call itself a democracy? "

Al-Jazeera Cartoon

"Democracy," U.S. Style

During in-depth interview, Khalid Mash'al warns against underestimating strength of Hamas in the West Bank

"Bethlehem - Ma'an - Hamas leader Khalid Mash'al has warned against underestimating the power of Hamas in the West Bank, saying "Hamas was never weak, but has been patient for a year and a half, amongst all the coup attempts. Whoever thinks that Hamas is weak in the West Bank is wrong."

In an interview with the Cairo-based Al Ahram newspaper and the Abu Dhabi Al Khaleej newspaper, Mash'al denied that he had been informed by Fatah's Hani Al Hassan about preparations for a coup against Hamas, "We have our own intelligence body which knows what is going on, on the ground."

The two papers published the interview simultaneously on Saturday, reporting Mash'al stating that his movement "only has normal cars, not military cars", but, "our young men have been in open war against the Israeli enemy since years, and that it is natural to now have the necessary military experience." He added that the takeover of military posts and government departments was completed in a strategic manner. "Hamas members held great knowledge of the targeted posts, they have also used new technologies in their operations. They are all well trained people and are ready for military operations." He added that Hamas had been forced to occupy the strip, "it was like a patient who is forced to take the medicine."

Both papers revealed that Mash'al had declared that Hamas "did not choose to fight," but "were forced to defend ourselves against this corrupt group."......"Since a year and half, Hamas has not been given the chance to practice its rights as the victor in the PLC elections. We were oppressed by the security bodies, and the situation escalated until nothing was secure or safe - even the mosques and the Imams of these mosques were threatened. The [Fatah-affiliated] security [services] did everything they could against the movement. Hamas did not act impatiently, but we were pressured until we had no other choice, but to defend ourselves. "......

The Hamas leader-in-exile was asked about the termination of the trend toward US General Dayton's plan in the Gaza Strip, and the allegation that "there is now a more extreme current against Hamas in the West Bank, to which he replied: "This [pro-US] trend is dangerous, not only for the Palestinians in the [Gaza] Strip, but also dangerous for the Palestinians in the West Bank… On the whole, they [supporters of Gen. Dayton] are dealing with the USA and Israelis and receiving orders from them."......

Hamas announced that they had seized documents from the security departments, to which Mash'al clarified, "we have a lot of them, and they are now being classified. When we finish, we will present them to the Arab countries, so that they can know the size of the crimes committed, and who it was who used to work against the interests of both the people and the Arab countries. We will hand each country the documents related to it, so they can protect their countries and their national interests. Some of the documents will also be presented to the media."......

Asked if Hamas are planning on performing the same acts in the West Bank as in Gaza, Mash'al defiantly concluded, "This is a wrong question. We never intended to control the strip, it happened through the defence of its integrity. What is going on in the West Bank is saddening. Our policy is not to clash with anyone, but we warn of underestimating Hamas' power in the West Bank.""

Popular Resistance Committees reject PA platform that excludes "armed resistance"

By Tony Sayegh

Vichy "governments" are not known for resistance, armed or otherwise. To the contrary, they are set up by the occupiers to use violence against the population if it dares to offer any resistance, even resistance through thought and words.

Witness the actions of the Palestinian Vichy goons on the campus of Al-Najah University in Nablus. The students held a peaceful, ordinary protest on campus against the arrests by the IOF of fellow students. They attempted to pass out some leaflets. This form of resistance was not tolerated by the representatives of the Vichy government on campus who called in the Abbas' goons from outside.

Dozens of students were beat up, tear gas was used, arrests were made and one student (21 years old) was dragged away, severely punched and finally shot in the head at close range in full view of scores of witnesses. That student died yesterday. The Vichy authorities did not even allow a funeral and refused to investigate. Two other students remain in critical condition.

So, this is the role and mission of this Vichy government: it is occupation by other means.

"Khan Younis - Ma'an – Abu Mujahid, spokesperson for the Popular Resistance Committees, criticized Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's caretaker government for removing the phrase "armed resistance" from the official platform adopted Friday by the Palestinian Authority.

In a press release issued Saturday Abu Mujahid said, "Resistance has always obstructed the Zionist project." Abu Mujahid asserted it is not within the power of the government to relinquish armed struggle, because resistance is the right of the Palestinian people.

Originally a group of militias dedicated to defending refugee camps, the Popular Resistance Committees formed during the second intifada. They have since grown to include former members of Hamas, Fatah, and Islamic Jihad.

The Arabic word "muqawma," literally meaning "resistance," was not included in this edition of the Palestinian Authority platform, even though it has appeared in all previous versions of it.

Palestinian Minister of Prisoner Affairs Ashraf Al-Ajrami confirmed Friday that the omission of the word was intended to specifically exclude violent struggle, saying, "The Abbas government has dropped the use of armed resistance from its program."

According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, Hamas also rejected the platform, reserving the right to take military action against Israel."

Islamic Jihad leader reveals coordination with Hamas in the Gaza Strip

"Bethlehem – Ma'an – A prominent leader of Islamic Jihad, Mohammad Al Hindi, said on Saturday that the movement has been coordinating with Hamas, since their takeover of the Gaza Strip, to address some previously filed issues.

Al Hindi said that it is imperative that the movements work together due to the "reality of Israeli agents and the Israeli occupation".

Islamic Jihad does not have any administrative or security responsibilities in Gaza, in participation with Hamas, or in the West Bank, as Al Hindi says, "Islamic Jihad refuses to be involved with any government project."......

In an interview with Al Arabiya, Al Hindi said that Islamic Jihad is, and will remain, a resistance movement. He rejected President Abbas' appeal for the dissolution of the military groups in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. Al Hindi said that the resistance fighters have a role to play in combating the occupation......

Haaretz recently reported that Hamas had prevented members of Islamic Jihad firing projectiles into Israel. Al Hindi denied the reports and said that Hamas has never demanded the cessation of Islamic Jihad's "resistance" activity.

Regarding US President Bush's call for an international peace conference, Al Hindi said "Bush has almost completed his term in the White House, he did not move the peace process forward before, so what can he do now? He is currently embroiled in his war on Iraq, which is more important to him, I doubt Bush has the intention or the time to do anything." "

Friday, July 27, 2007

Accustomed to Their Own Atrocities in Iraq, U.S. Soldiers Have Become Murderers

After four years of war, American Marines and soldiers have become socialized to atrocity. The war in Iraq is now primarily about murder. There is very little killing.

By Chris Hedges

".....The rage soldiers feel after a roadside bomb explodes, killing or maiming their comrades, is one that is easily directed over time to innocent civilians who are seen to support the insurgents. It is a short psychological leap, but a massive moral leap. It is a leap from killing -- the shooting of someone who has the capacity to do you harm -- to murder -- the deadly assault against someone who cannot harm you. The war in Iraq is now primarily about murder. There is very little killing.....

We make our heroes out of clay. We laud their gallant deeds and give them uniforms with colored ribbons on their chest for the acts of violence they committed or endured. They are our false repositories of glory and honor, of power, of self-righteousness, of patriotism and self-worship, all that we want to believe about ourselves. They are our plaster saints of war, the icons we cheer to defend us and make us and our nation great. They are the props of our civic religion, our love of power and force, our belief in our right as a chosen nation to wield this force against the weak and rule. This is our nation's idolatry of itself. And this idolatry has corrupted religious institutions, not only here but in most nations, making it impossible for us to separate the will of God from the will of the state.

Prophets are not those who speak of piety and duty from pulpits -- few people in pulpits have much worth listening to -- but it is the battered wrecks of men and women who return from Iraq and speak the halting words we do not want to hear, words that we must listen to and heed to know ourselves. They tell us war is a soulless void. They have seen and tasted how war plunges us to barbarity, perversion, pain and an unchecked orgy of death. And it is their testimonies alone that have the redemptive power to save us from ourselves."

What is the Penalty for Treason?
I Think That the Line Has Clearly Been Crossed
No One in Palestinian History Has Gone This Far in His Treason

Abbas and Bush hamper UNSC resolution to alleviate suffering in Gaza


"NEW YORK, (PIC)-- The PA delegation to the UN, which is accountable to President Abbas, intervened to hamper a draft resolution submitted to the UNSC by Qatar and Indonesia to ease the suffering of the people living in the Gaza Strip.

The US for its part intervened to enforce amendments on the draft resolution and expressed support for the PA delegation's views.

The draft resolution, which was submitted on Thursday and distributed to members of the council, called for the UNSC to express concern for the stranded Palestinians at the Rafah crossing and to urge a quick resolution for their predicament. It also calls for allowing the free flow of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip.

The PA delegation objected to the Indonesian-Qatari move on the pretext that they should have been consulted on the draft resolution before it was submitted. The US delegation expressed, in press statements, support for the PA delegation's stand.

The Qatari delegation commented on the objection of the PA delegation by saying that they have acted on a humanitarian basis and that the draft resolution dealt with the issue on the humanitarian level and not on the political level and added that a number of council members expressed support for the draft resolution.

The US delegation asked for amendments to the resolution whereby Israel is not mentioned in the resolution. The US representative also told reporters that the US wishes to involve the PA delegation in the submission of the draft resolution to the council.

The draft resolution was supposed to be considered on Thursday, but the French delegation asked for more time to consult the French government."

The Ramallah Mafia Wants Gaza to Starve: Palestinians block UN's initiative on Gaza crisis

*** A MUST READ ***

Can You Believe This!

I Want Every Palestinian to Read This to Know How Low These Bastards Hiding in the Green Zone in Ramallah Can Be!

"The Palestinian delegation to the United Nations is blocking a Security Council initiative aimed at expressing the organization's concern over the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.

Since the militant Hamas faction violently seized control over the coastal territory in mid-June, border crossings between Gaza and its neighbors Israel and Egypt have largely remained closed, limiting the transfer of food and supplies into the Strip.

Hamas routed rival faction Fatah in the takeover, and thus the resolution of the humanitarian crisis stands in conflict with the interests of the Fatah-affiliated Palestinian delegation to the UN.

Senior UN officials reported Friday that the Palestinian representatives have been relentlessly operating in recent days to foil an initiative ultimately aimed at issuing a Security Council presidential statement criticizing the situation in the Gaza Strip.

A presidential statement is typically issued when the council is unable to attain a passing vote on a resolution, and is non-binding. However, such a statement requires a consensus among the 15 member states. These statements are meant to apply political pressure and to warn that additional action could follow, and are usually accompanied by a press statement.

Reports from the UN headquarters in New York reveal that Qatar, a member of the Security Council, formulated at least two drafts for the final presidential statement on the Gaza humanitarian crisis. The second draft was formulated in efforts to appease the Palestinians.

However, according to sources, the Palestinian delegation has opposed any move on the behalf of the Security Council regarding this issue.

"This situation is absurd," a Western diplomat told Haaretz. "It is obvious that it is in the Palestinian delegation's best interest to conceal the fact that Hamas is in control of the Gaza Strip," he said. "

Zionist strategy for dividing the Arab East

In his third article on Zionist thought, Hassan Nafaa* reveals how Israel has always wanted the East and northern Arab states to collapse

By Hassan Nafaa, professor of political science at Cairo University
Al-Ahram Weekly

"Oded Yinon's paper A Strategy for Israel in the 1980s was first published in Hebrew, appearing in Kivunin, a magazine specialised in Jewish and Zionist affairs, in February 1982. It was translated into English by Professor Israel Shahak, a prominent Israeli human rights activist in June of the same year. Shahak, who republished under the title The Zionist Plan for the Middle East, with additional comments in a foreword and epilogue, called the paper the most eloquent expression yet of Zionist thinking.

In the first article of this series, I reviewed the general traits of the Zionist strategy as formulated by Yinon. In the second article, I tackled the Zionist way of dealing with Egypt. In the present article, I will focus on the Zionist strategy with regard to the Arab East.

Yinon's paper leaves one in no doubt that the Zionist movement approaches the Arab East -- Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq -- differently from the rest of the Arab and Islamic world. The Zionist movement is generally interested in dividing other Arab world countries for security-related and economic reasons. But its interest in the Arab East runs deeper. So the Zionist project is not just about dividing the Arab East or redrawing its map. It is about geographical expansion within that area. The Zionists want to seize and colonise more land in the Arab East as a prelude to annexing that land to the Jewish state. More specifically, they wish to introduce major demographic changes involving forcible displacement of the population.......

Much of Yinon's predictions failed. Israel couldn't divide Lebanon. It couldn't put in power a Lebanese government that would do its bidding. It couldn't even force Lebanon to sign a peace treaty. Within a few months, Hizbullah came into life and spearheaded the resistance against the Israeli occupation and its proxy militia Israel kept in the south. In 2000, Israel pulled out unconditionally from Lebanon. Israel couldn't even protect the one militia leader it had counted on to establish a mini-state in the south. Syria is still united to this day.

But this is not reason to belittle Yinon's importance. We should make a distinction between what Israel wants and what it can do. Not everything Israel wants can be implemented in the exact time, venue and manner it wants. But it is important to understand that the strategy Yinon suggested truly reflects the workings of the Zionist mind. And it faithfully mirrors Israel's explicit and implicit policies. The fact that Israel invaded Lebanon only four months after Yinon's study was published is significant. Israel did its best to break Lebanon into sectarian cantons. It failed, but it hasn't given up.

Iraq is also relevant. There was nothing subtle about the way Israel egged the Americans to invade Iraq, although we may not yet know all the details. US strategy in Iraq is utterly sectarian, and it has shaken the Arab East to the core. And let's keep in mind that Lebanon is once again haunted by civil war. So perhaps it is time we take Yinon's mindset seriously."

Licence to kill

Samson is the latest incarnation of Israel's policy of murdering Palestinians

By Saleh Al-Naami
Al-Ahram Weekly

"The four men in traditional Arab garb didn't attract the attention of Ahmed Khalil, 27, when he drew near his farm not far from the town of Beit Hanun in northern Gaza. They looked like the vegetable merchants who usually come to buy produce in the early hours of the day. But as soon as they approached, two of them fired at his head with pistols equipped with silencers. He died immediately.

The four men, disguised as Palestinians, were members of the most recent death squad formed by the Israeli government in Gaza to eliminate Palestinian fighters. The four thought that Khalil was a member of the resistance movement on his way to carry out an operation against an Israeli target, Israeli military sources later said. The Southern Zone Command of the Israeli army said that the death squad was formed on instructions of the Israeli mini-cabinet, which urged the army chiefs of staff to take more aggressive action against the resistance in Gaza, so as to end the firing of local-made rockets at Israeli settlements.

The new death squad is code-named Samson. It is a new edition of the Arabists, or units made up of men in Arab garb with orders to attack resistance men deep inside Palestinian territories. On the outskirts of Gaza, members of such squads often abduct farmers and hand them over to Israel's internal intelligence service, Shabak, for interrogation. There, the men are routinely coerced to supply information about the resistance. Yediot Aharonot recently admitted that Palestinians were being blackmailed by the Shabak into working as informers.....

.....In 1990, Barak said in a Russian-language bulletin handed out to Russian emigrants that he used to feel "immense joy" at the sight of his victims's heads being blown up. Former premiere Binyamin Netanyahu also served in the same unit, so did former Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon.

The Israeli army has turned Palestinian territories into a shooting range for the special units of the navy and the air force corps, a place where they hone their skills of target killing......

Although service in the Israeli army is mandatory, service in the death squads is voluntary. According to Israeli television Channel 2, most those who volunteer for service in the elite units are followers of the religious Zionist current, who combine military and religious zeal with racism toward the Palestinians and Arabs.

Israel's official institutions offer young people incentives to get them into the elite units. Military expert Rami Edelis says that one of the major considerations for promotion in the army is service in these units. When members of such units go back to civilian life, they are given priority in employment as well as scholarships."

Pinochet in Palestine is Taking Form: Abbas's militia kill university student, Islamic student bloc calls for inquiry

"NABLUS, (PIC)-- A Najah university student who was beaten and shot in the head on Tuesday in skirmishes that took place between Hamas supporters and Fatah militias died today at hospital.

Muhammad Abdelrahim Raddad (21 years), a third year student at Najah University died this morning of his wounds.

Eyewitnesses said that Radad was dragged by a group of Fatah supporters who ganged up on him, threw him to the ground and one student pulled a pistol and shot him in the head.

Medical reports confirm that Radad was hit in the head from a close range.

The student's family stated that they were holding the university administrators responsible for the death of their son.

The Islamic bloc at the university is calling for a full inquiry into the events of Tuesday, during which teargas was fired by the PA police at university students who held a picket inside the university campus to protest at the arrest of three of their colleagues and led to the murder of Radad."

Declaring the US a Battlefield

Martial Law is Now a Real Threat


"The looming collapse of the US military in Iraq, of which a number of generals and former generals, including former Chief of Staff Colin Powell, have warned, is happening none too soon, as it my be the best hope for preventing military rule here at home.

From the looks of things, the Bush/Cheney regime has been working assiduously to pave the way for a declaration of military rule, such that at this point it really lacks only the pretext to trigger a suspension of Constitutional government. They have done this with the active support of Democrats in Congress, though most of the heavy lifting was done by the last, Republican-led Congress......

That leaves us with the military.

If ordered to turn their guns and bayonets on their fellow Americans, would our "heroes" in uniform follow their consciences, and their oaths to "uphold and defend" the Constitution of the United States? Or would they follow the orders of their Commander in Chief?

It has to be a plus that National Guard and Reserve units are on their third and sometimes fourth deployments to Iraq, and are fuming at the abuse. It has to be a plus that active duty troops are refusing to re-enlist in droves-especially mid-level officers.

If we are headed for martial law, better that it be with a broken military. Maybe if it's broken badly enough, the administration will be afraid to test the idea."

Gaza was a Gas for Blair

Turning Palestine's Most Valuable Natural Resource into a Political Tool

A Very Interesting Piece

"It's always nice to start a new job with a trick up your sleeve, and the Middle East's new envoy Tony Blair could be forgiven for thinking he has just that. In the near future, a $4bn deal to exploit Gaza's offshore gas reserves will be signed by the Israeli government, Britain's BG Group (BG), the Palestinian Authority (PA)'s investment arm, the Palestine Investment Fund (PIF) and Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC). Environmental considerations notwithstanding, an injection of this kind of capital into the occupied territories could transform the political landscape.

By fortune or design, Tony Blair has been crucial to the deal's genesis. But the pressure he has put on other parties to agree a deal that economically ties the PA to Israel has exacerbated Fatah-Hamas tensions, put the PIF on the political defensive, and may even have helped stoke the recent fighting in Gaza.

It was the Gaza-Jericho First agreement in 1994 that first allocated the PA a 20-mile maritime zone off Gaza's coast. But it was not until 1999, the year that BG gained its exploration concession on the field, that Israel agreed to give it to the PA. In exchange, the PA signed away "full security control" of the sea off Gaza to Israel. They probably thought they had got a bargain.....

The PIF maintains that the deal was a purely commercial enterprise. But one informed source told me it was also a "highly political" venture in which Britain's relationship with Israel had been "key". "The UK and US, who are the major players in this deal, see it as a possible tool to improve relations between the PA and Israel," he said. "It is part of the bargaining baggage."......One well-placed Palestinian source told me there was "an obvious linkage" between the BG-Israel deal and attempts to bolster the Olmert-Abbas political process.....

Some reports suggest that up to three-quarters of the $4bn of revenue raised might not even end up in Palestinian hands at all......

Ever sensitive to popular anger at the exploitation of Palestine's national treasure, one of Hamas's first demands after seizing power in Gaza was for a renegotiation of the BG contract. Ziad Thatha, the Hamas economic minister, had previously denounced the deal as "an act of theft" and modern-day Balfour Declaration, that "sells Palestinian gas to the Zionist occupation".....

On April 29, two weeks before fighting flared in Gaza, Yossi Maiman, co-owner of the rival Israeli gas company EMG, claimed that in 2004, while he was in talks to join the project, it was revealed to him that shares in it were being held in trust for two confidential partners: Mohammed Rashid and Martin Schlaff. BG denied the claims but they were damaging......Mohammed Rashid is a former director general of the PIF and erstwhile "mentor" and ally to the now-exiled Gazan warlord Mohammed Dahlan. Conflicts Forum website described Rashid as a sometime advisor to the US and "an essential part of America's programme to undermine Hamas"......

From left to right: The Palestinian Mafiosi Mohammed Rashid, Abbas and Dahlan coordinating with their Israeli military bosses

But a combination of factors--the obsession among Israeli and western leaders with controlling the Palestinian's use of their revenues, the deal's alleged terms, the uncertainty surrounding its beneficiaries, the secrecy with which the whole shebang was negotiated and, critically, the choice of Israel rather than Egypt as a buyer--instead just stirred an already simmering pot......."

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Abbas's gamble

By Khaled Amayreh
Al-Ahram Weekly

".......Indeed, there are large segments of Fatah -- people who support such veteran Fatah leaders as Marwan Barghouti, Jebril Rajoub, Hani Al-Hasan, Farouk Al-Qaddumi -- who are not enthusiastic about the direction taken by Abbas. There are two main reasons for their scepticism.

First, Abbas's rejection of dialogue with Hamas may be an easy and attractive choice in the short run, but in the long run such a course could cause incalculable damage to Fatah itself and the overall Palestinian struggle. Second, there are many who in Fatah believe that Abbas's decision to "place all Fatah's eggs in the American-Israeli basket" is perilous and potentially disastrous.

Many feel, and probably Abbas himself understands, that any modicum of success the Fatah president might be able to achieve depends first on Israel's "goodwill" (whatever that means), and second on the Bush administration's willingness to pressure Israel to give Abbas "tangible accomplishments on the ground," such as dismantling settlements and the so-called separation wall. This seems a very remote prospect, to put it mildly. Hence the precariousness of Abbas's position.

Last week, Israel sought to "strengthen Abbas against Hamas" by releasing from detention some 250 Fatah prisoners. Instead, however, of strengthening Abbas, the Israeli "gesture" actually embarrassed him as it was viewed as a bribe taken at the expense of some 11,000 Palestinians prisoners languishing in Israeli jails and camps, including as many as four thousands who are affiliated with Fatah.

"We are not kids who can be bamboozled and pacified by petty and silly gestures from Israel or America," said Mohamed Amr, a relative of one of the prisoners released on 20 July. "We want one thing, we want an end to this Nazi-like occupation. Anything else, anything less, won't work. This is our message to Abbas, to Olmert, to Blair (the International Quartet's new envoy), and to whomever it may concern.""

تطبيع مجاني.. وبيع اللاجئين

تطبيع مجاني.. وبيع اللاجئين

عبد الباري عطوان

اسرائيل نجحت، وبعد اشهر معدودة من اطلاق مبادرة السلام العربية في تحقيق خطوة تطبيعية كبري مع الجامعة العربية، ودون ان تقدم تنازلا واحدا، وكل محاولات الانكار التي يطلقها السيد عمرو موسي في هذا الصدد غير مقنعة، فالوفد المصري ـ الاردني يمثل الجامعة، ولجنة تفعيل المبادرة التي ينبثق عنها، واي تفسير غير ذلك هو اهانة للعقل العربي، او ما تبقي منه.
وما يثير القلق اكثر، ان الشرط الثاني الذي وضعته اسرائيل للقبول بمبادرة السلام العربية، اي اسقاط البند المتعلق بحق العودة فيها، بدأ يتآكل وبسرعة قياسية مدروسة، بحيث لا نصل الي مؤتمر نيويورك الا وقد تلاشي كليا.
السيد سلام فياض رئيس حكومة الطوارئ الفلسطينية (طوارئ لماذا؟) كان اول من بدأ عملية التمهيد لإسقاط هذا الشرط، عندما صرح لصحيفة اسرائيلية بان عودة اللاجئين الفلسطينيين مسألة تحل بالاتفاق بين الجانبين الاسرائيلي والفلسطيني، دون اي اشارة مطلقا الي الامم المتحدة وقراراتها، وخاصة القرار رقم 194. ثم جاء رئيســـه السيد عـــباس ليطمـــئن الاسرائيليين بصورة اكثر وضوحا، عندما صرح امس لصحيفة معاريف الاسرائيلية ايضا، بانه لا توجد قوة في العالم بامكانها الزام اسرائيل بإعادة ملايين اللاجئين الفلسطينيين الي اراضيها . وقال ان مشكلة اللاجئين هذه يجب ان تحل بين الجانبين الفلسطيني والاسرائيلي عن طريق ايجاد حل خلاق لها.
الرئيس عباس لم يذكر الامم المتحدة وقراراتها ايضا، ولم يقل لمراسل الصحيفة، الذي اجري معه هذه المقابلة، ان الولايات المتحدة الامريكية ومعها ثلاثة وثلاثون دولة، استخدمت القوة المسلحة، ونصف مليون من جنودها لتطبيق قرارات مجلس الامن الدولي الصادرة في حق العراق عندما اجتاحت قواتها الاراضي الكويتية.
ما يمكن استنباطه من كل ما تقدم هو ان هناك عملية تمهيد مدروسة بعناية فائقة لالغاء حق العودة، مقابل تفضل حكومة اولمرت بقبول مبادرة السلام العربية، اي تفريغ القضية الفلسطينية من اهم مضامينها. وهذا ما يفسر رفض الرئيس عباس النزق لاي تحاور مع حركة حماس واصراره علي بقاء السيد ياسر عبد ربه عضو اللجنة التنفيذية في منظمة التحرير الذي تنازل عن هذا الحق كليا في وثيقة جنيف الي جانبه كمستشاره السياسي الابرز.
الايام المقبلة مرعبة ، فهناك حراك غير طبيعي يجري في المنطقة، وزحمة زوار ومبادرات، فالعاهل الاردني الملك عبد الله الثاني طار الي واشنطن، وتوني بلير مبعوث اللجنة الرباعية الدولية الجديد ومهندس الحربين علي العراق وافغانستان، انهي لتوه جولة في المنطقة زار خلالها الاردن ورام الله والقدس المحتلة وابوظبي، ليتبعه فورا وزيرا خارجية مصر والاردن، علي الدرب نفسه، بينما يستعد قادة دول المنطقة لفرش السجاد الاحمر للسيدة رايس ورفيقها روبرت غيتس وزير الدفاع الامريكي، في جولة هي الرابعة في اقل من ستة اشهر.
اليس لافتا ان وزير الدفاع الامريكي يرافق رايس في جولتها هذه؟ الا توجد علاقة لهذه الجولة مع وجود اكثر من نصف السفن الحربية الامريكية في منطقة الخليج لاول مرة في تاريخ هذه الدولة، من بينها ثلاث حاملات طائرات؟
الم نتعود علي مثل هذا الحراك السلمي في كل مرة تستعد فيها الادارات الامريكية لحرب في المنطقة؟ التاريخ يعيد نفسه وبأسرع مما نتصور."

Commentary: Bush's real agenda in Palestine

By Ramzy Baroud
Al-Ahram Weekly

"The Hamas government crackdown on Mohamed Dahlan's corrupt security forces and affiliated gangs in the Gaza Strip in June appears to mark a turning point in the Bush administration's foreign policy regarding Palestine and Israel. The supposed shift, however, is nothing but a continuation of Washington's efforts to stifle Palestinian democracy, to widen the chasm separating Hamas and Fatah, and to ensure the success of the Israeli project, which is focussed on colonising and annexing what remains of Palestinian land.....

It also explains the abundant support offered by autocratic Arab regimes to Abbas, and Arab leaders' warnings about the rise of an Iranian menace. On the one hand, eliminating Hamas would send an unambiguous message to their own political Islamists; on the other, it's a message to Iran to back off from a conflict that has long been seen as exclusively Arab-Israeli. The irony is that to ensure the relevance of the Arab role in the conflict, some Arabs are making historic moves to normalise with Israel, and in return for nothing.

Similarly, to ensure its own relevance, Abbas's Fatah is actively coordinating with Israel to destroy its formidable opponent, which represents the great majority of Palestinians in the occupied territories and arguably abroad. For this, assistance is required: money to ensure the loyalty of his followers, weapons to oppress his opponents, political validation to legitimise himself as a world leader, and new laws to de-legitimise the legal, democratic process that produced the Hamas victory of January 2006. In a conflict that is known for its agonisingly slow movement, nothing short of a miracle can explain how Abbas received all of these perks at an astronomical speed.....

Weapons and military training have also arrived in abundance. Palestinians who have been denied the right to defend themselves, and for decades described as "terrorist", are suddenly the recipients of many caches of weapons coming from all directions. Israel announced a clemency to Fatah militants; the freedom fighters turned gangsters will no longer defend their people against Israeli brutality, but will be used as a militant arm ready to take on Hamas when the time comes.....

While Abbas and his men might bask in the many bonuses they are receiving in exchange for their role in destroying the Palestinian national project, the future will prove that Israel's "goodwill gestures", the support of the Israeli lobby in Washington, and the latter's generosity will not last. Abbas could as easily find himself a prisoner in the basement of his own presidential compound, just like his predecessor, if he dares assert the legitimate rights of his people, by far the ultimate losers in this shameless battle."

Anthology of bigotry

The Israeli state is trying desperately to foreclose all exceptions to its unequivocally racist land laws

By Jonathan Cook in Nazareth
Al-Ahram Weekly

"Israel's parliament last week approved by an overwhelming majority the first reading of a bill to ensure that much of the country's inhabited land remains accessible to Jewish citizens only -- a move described by one leading local newspaper as turning Israel into a "racist Jewish state"......

The move is the latest in a series of battles since Israel's establishment in 1948 to ensure exclusive Jewish control of land through an international Zionist organisation known as the Jewish National Fund (JNF). By the time of Israel's founding, the JNF had bought about six per cent of historic Palestine for Jewish settlement. Rather than demanding that these territories be handed over by the JNF, the new state authorities assigned the organisation a special, quasi- governmental status. The JNF was also given a significant share of the lands and property confiscated from hundreds of thousands of Palestinians expelled during the 1948 War.

Today, the state has nationalised 80 per cent of land inside Israel, and the JNF holds another 13 per cent. Neither sells land to private owners on the grounds that it is being held in trust for worldwide Jewry. Instead, they offer long-term leases on the land in their possession.

The JNF has far more power than the division of land suggests, however: its 13 per cent share is reported to include some 70 per cent of the country's inhabited land; it effectively controls a government body known as the Israel Lands Authority that manages the 93 per cent of land owned by the state and the JNF; and it dominates committees set up to vet applicants to hundreds of rural communities.

Because the JNF charter forbids it from selling or leasing land to non-Jews, this arrangement has allowed the JNF to discriminate against Arab citizens on behalf of the government. The JNF's control of the Israel Lands Authority and the vetting committees has ensured that Arab citizens are excluded from most of the 93 per cent of nationalised land.

Instead they have been restricted to the three per cent of Israel on which Arab communities already exist or which is privately owned by Arab citizens, though even much of this land falls under the jurisdiction of Jewish regional councils that refuse to allow Arab families to build on it. Dozens of other Arab communities are classified as illegal because the state refuses to recognise them, even though they predate Israel's establishment......"

Dim Witted Palestinian Fighters Still Congregate, Wearing Their Uniforms and Carrying Weapons.....
Knowing Full Well That Israeli Drones Monitor Every Square Inch in Gaza, 24 Hours a Day.....
This is not Just Dumb, it is Suicidal.....

Audio: Crossing the Line interviews Ali Abunimah

Podcast, Crossing the Line, 26 July 2007

"This week on Crossing the Line: Ali Abunimah co-founder of The Electronic Intifada breaks down the hegemony of Israel and the United States in regards to supporting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah in the aftermath of Hamas' takeover of Gaza.

Plus Dr. Marcy Newman gives an update on the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared....."

Click Here to Listen

How to Win in Iraq

Leave and Engage Iran


".....The Bush administration's maximalist strategic objectives are not attainable, and they never were. They are the product of fantasy, not strategy. But if, as President Bush repeatedly says, we are fighting to defeat al Qaeda and other "terrorists" -- meaning the non-state forces of the Fourth Generation ­ then victory can realistically be defined as seeing the re-creation of a state in Iraq.

Our invasion and subsequent blunders, such as sending home the Iraqi army and civil service, destroyed the state in Iraq. Iraq currently has a government of sorts, cowering in the Green Zone, but it is a Potemkin government because there is no state. A stateless Mesopotamia is a huge win for Fourth Generation, non-state forces such as al Qaeda, because they flourish in such statelessness......

The central strategic question, then, is, how can a state be re-created in Iraq? There is no guaranteed answer; it may not be possible. What is guaranteed, however, is that the United States cannot do it. The problem is legitimacy. To be real, a future Iraqi state must be perceived by Iraqis as legitimate. But anything the United States, as a foreign invader and occupier, creates, endorses or assists automatically thereby loses its legitimacy.

What the U.S. must therefore do is get out of the way. When elements in Iraq move to re-create a state -- and those elements must be independent of the current al-Maliki government, which, as an American creation, has no legitimacy -- we have to let them try to succeed......"

How the Bush White House Seeks to Destroy Lebanon

Death Squads and Planned Disintegration

(Guardian's Beirut correspondent)

"A year on from last summer's bloody conflict between Israel and Hizbullah, Lebanon's fragile society, paralyzed by a tense standoff between the U.S.-backed government and the Hizbullah-led opposition, teeters on the brink of calamity.....

U.S. policy in Lebanon- focused largely on efforts to disarm Hizbullah and pressure Syria to cooperate on Iraq - has encouraged the division, and propelled the tiny country into the forefront of the Bush administration's campaign to counter the growing regional influence of Iran--which stands as Syria's strongest ally in the Middle East and Hizbullah's primary benefactor.

Intent on diminishing the Shiite militants' powerful role in Lebanese politics, the Whitehouse has authorised a covert CIA fund to support anti-Hizbullah groups through the depleted Lebanese government while seeking to reconfigure the army and security services to more effectively serve American interests: Shiites now constitute less than 10 per cent of new recruits to the Interior Ministry-run police force.....

The anti-Syrian camp's dependence on Washington has exposed Lebanon to the contradiction of being simultaneously in open confrontation with Israel, and yet supported by America. This is reflected in a divided society and last July's war revealed the extent of the gulf between those in Lebanon who are willing to make discreet but unconditional peace with Israel in exchange for western aid and protection from Syria, and those who are compelled to remain in confrontation with Israel and the Bush administration's project for a "New Middle East.".....

Lebanon's competing dangers reflect a wider regional schism, which pits the Western backed regimes of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan, against Iran, Syria, Hizbullah and Hamas--an alliance sometimes referred to in the Arab world as the Jabhaa al Momana'a or 'the rejection front,' but more commonly known to the American public as the "Axis of Terror". The U.S. and its client states, nervous about an ascendant Iran, have worked hard to push the theory of a sinister Shiite Crescent, encompassing Iran Hizbullah and the Alawi regime in Syria, seeking Shiite cultural domination. In reality, the divide is based not along sectarian lines, but on competing ideological positions concerning the Palestinian cause and America's role in the region......

The more the daily horror in Iraq worsens, the more the Bush administration clings to the purported success of Lebanon, once the poster boy for its now redundant "democratization" campaign. But, by allowing the build up of armed groups by its allies, and obstructing compromise in a vain effort to empower an unpopular government, the White House is pushing Lebanon down a dangerous path toward civil conflict, and ultimately disintegration."

The Siren Song of Elliott Abrams

A CounterPunch Special Report

Thoughts on the Attempted Murder of Palestine

A Must Read
Former CIA analyst

""Coup" is the word being widely used to describe what happened in Gaza in June when Hamas militias defeated the armed security forces of Fatah and chased them out of Gaza. But, as so often with the manipulative language used in the conflict between the Palestinians and Israel, the terminology here is backward. Hamas was the legally constituted, democratically elected government of the Palestinians, so in the first place Hamas did not stage a coup but rather was the target of a coup planned against it. Furthermore, the coup -- which failed in Gaza but succeeded overall when Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, acting in violation of Palestinian law, cut Gaza adrift, unseated the Palestinian unity government headed by Hamas, and named a new prime minister and cabinet -- was the handiwork of the United States and Israel......

On the other hand, Zionism is unquestionably under assault these days. Increasing numbers of commentators and politically aware individuals are finally beginning to recognize that the oppression, the atrocities that Israel has been committing in the occupied territories for the last 40 years, are not some kind of aberration but are merely a continuation of a campaign of ethnic erasure begun in 1948. Ariel Sharon himself described the conflict with the Palestinians that began with the second intifada in 2000 as "the second half of 1948." The late Israeli historian Tanya Reinhart recognized this reality and noted in her 2002 book Israel/Palestine: How to End the War of 1948 that as far as Israel's political and military leaders are concerned, "the work of ethnic cleansing was only half completed in 1948, leaving too much land to Palestinians." This leadership, she said, "is still driven by greed for land, water resources, and power," and they see the 1948 war as "just the first step in a more ambitious and more far-reaching strategy."......"

By Mike Luckovich

Delay: US and Israel must enjoy second coming

Contributed by CSS
Raw Story

"After attending the College Republican convention, Nation journalist Max Blumenthal took his camera to the Christians United for Israel's annual Washington-Israel Summit in D.C. Founded by right-wing mega-church pastor John Hagee, the group has "added the grassroots muscle of the Christian right to the already potent Israel lobby," "forging close ties with the Bush White House and members of Congress."

That evangelical support for Israel is largely based on "End Times" theology is largely irrelevant to the Israeli politicians who share the goal of expanding settlements into the West Banks and a military strike on Iran, but it is anything but irrelevant to the rank-and-file members and even one former House Majority Leader.

Blumenthal opens the video by interviewing Tom Delay, who when asked how much the "Second Coming" plays into his support for Israel, says, "obviously, it's what I live for, I hope it comes tomorrow."

Delay closed by saying, "we have to be connected to Israel to enjoy the second coming."

While Hagee and others have stated that "End-Times" theology or eschatology plays no role in their support for Israel, the people Blumenthal interviewed tell a different story. Former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Dore Gold, also claims that it plays no role and is not concerned with the apocalyptic undertones of such a group, claiming only the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad purports to want Armageddon....."

Click Here to Watch Video

Kisses…and the scent of blood

Al-Manar Special - Hussein Noureddine - Translated

"26/07/2007 Thursday, July 26, 2006. It was the peak of the Israeli war against Lebanon and the heroic fighters of the Islamic Resistance were re-writing history in the southern city of Bint Jbeil. As battles were raging and Israeli bombs were destroying houses and killing innocent women and children, the head of the ministerial camp Fouad Saniora was in Rome calling for all arms to be handed to Lebanese authorities.
Two days earlier, Saniora had met in Beirut with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Knowing about the Israeli massacres committed using US made bombs, Saniora did not show any sign of resentment, instead he warmly welcomed Rice…and they exchanged kisses. Rice, whose administration openly backed the Israeli war against Lebanon, held a two hour meeting with Saniora who attentively heard the US demands. He had written them on a piece of paper and delivered it to then Minister of Power and Water Mohamad Fneish, to hand them to the resistance leadership.
Saniora later admitted he had been a mediator to transfer such letters, raising many eyebrows at the role a "Prime Ministers" should assume in times of war. On that same day, the 24th of July 2006, Rice convened the leadership of the February 14 political group in the US embassy. Everybody there exchanged smiles as they were preparing to have lunch. The sound of explosions sounding in Beirut's southern suburb was barely heard there, if not at all. The other side of the picture that generated that day, showed House Speaker Nabih Berri having a very cold meeting with Rice; a meeting that was later described as very tense. The Senior US official had set conditions for a ceasefire. They constituted extreme danger on the unity of Lebanon.
What Rice had suggested over lunch with the leaders of the February 14 bloc, was adopted by Saniora two days later in Rome where he stood next to her and called for spreading the government's authority across Lebanon and confine arms under the Lebanese authority. Saniora went further to put forth the Truce Agreement of 1949 without mentioning the occupied Shebaa Farms. He also pledged to secure the release Lebanese and Israeli prisoners. Three days after Saniora took his position in Rome, he earned Rice's commendation. She said he was the future of the Middle East."

Non literal translation by Mohamad Shmaysani

What is Killing Palestinian Fighters?

In random order:

1) Stupidity.

2) Refusal to learn.

3) Riding cars.

4) Using cell (mobile) phones.

5) Low I.Q. leadership.

6) Not allowing self-criticism.

7) Doing the same thing over and over again, even when it doesn't work. This is a definition of insanity.

8) More interest in martyrdom than in being effective fighters.

9) Poor training.

10) Never reading and learning from history.

11) More interested in show off and sloganeering than being effective.

12) Stubborn ignorance.

13) No accountability of the leadership.

Hoping to Make him a Palestinian Pinochet?? 3,000 rifles arrive in Jericho

"Some 3,000 rifles were delivered to the Palestinian security forces in Jericho on Thursday, a Palestinian security source told Ynet.

Israel allowed the entrance of four Jordanian trucks carrying Kalashnikov's and other rifles, along with hundreds of thousands of bullets and other ammunition into the Muqata'a compound in the city.

Dozens of National Security officers transferred the weapons to warehouses across the West Bank, the source said.

The source could not say where the funding for the equipment came from, but mentioned that nine more trucks were expected to arrive in Jericho over the next few days carrying bullet proof vests and additional equipment......."

Abbas, cohorts, killing Palestinian democracy

A Good Comment
By Khalid Amayreh

"......There is no doubt that going to elections is the right way of resolving an internal conflict. However, under current circumstances and in the absence of a Palestinian consensus, holding the elections would only consolidate disunity among Palestinians and exacerbate the already grave rift between Fatah and Hamas.

To begin with, it is unlikely that without Hamas's consent, orderly and democratic elections can be organized. After all, Hamas is in firm control of the Gaza Strip where a million and a half Palestinians are living, and holding elections without these people's participation would be an act of national irresponsibility.

Moreover, it is clear that it would be very difficult to hold orderly elections under present circumstances in the West Bank, where tension runs high and lawlessness prevails. Indeed, one would really wonder how true elections can be held when institutions are stormed and vandalized, political leaders are abducted, beaten and imprisoned, and when a virulent black smear campaign is being waged against a movement that represents close to 50% of the Palestinian people?

Not only that. The proposed elections would be held under the sinister Israeli occupation whose concentration camps are filled to capacity with Palestinian political leaders of all persuasions. More important is the question of the wisdom of holding elections when the Israeli occupation army would arrest or abduct candidates and elected lawmakers as soon as results are announced?

Israel continues to detain more than 40 Palestinian legislative council members and the main charge leveled against them is their participation in the 2006 elections under the banner of a political party Israel doesn't like. This means that unless a given candidate succumbs to the will of the criminal occupier, he or she will be arrested either during the campaign or following the elections.

For these and other reasons, it would be a grave mistake to hold both presidential and legislative elections in the occupied Palestinian territories. However, if Chairman Abbas insists on holding elections despite everything, it will mean that that he is intent on rigging such elections, probably with American backing and encouragement. After all, it is unlikely that the Bush Administration, which regretted allowing the 2006 elections to take place, will allow another democratic election to take place if there is no solid guarantee that the "right people" will win.

Finally, free-minded Palestinians should realize that even if Abbas succeeded in holding the elections and would be re-elected as President by hook or by crook, he would not be able to do anything worthwhile for the Palestinian people and their enduring national cause. After all, the Palestinian people's problem is the Nazi-like Israeli occupation of their country, not who will form the next government.

Indeed, what is the point of having governments and "states" and "authorities," under foreign occupation.? This is, of course, unless Abbas and his American masters are planning another police-state without a state, otherwise known as a quisling entity."

By Naser Jafari

Bring 'em on: Militants in Pakistan await US

By Syed Saleem Shahzad
Asia Times

"The United States wants to take matters into its own hands to root out "high-value" targets in Pakistan's tribal areas. Hardline al-Qaeda commanders organizing the Pakistani Taliban and militants there can't wait - they are ready for a fight they believe will further their aims. President General Pervez Musharraf is caught in the middle, reduced to the role of a bystander......"

Hunting for diamonds in Iraq

By Col. Daniel Smith (retired)
Asia Times

"......Ghost of Vietnam

Last, like the spirit of the unburied dead condemned to roam the earth, the ghost of Vietnam haunts the entire Iraq debate. The ghost of Vietnam is clearly on display in Congress, but also in the military where, albeit largely unconscious and psychological, it still drives the military's can-do attitude regardless of the events on the ground.

This contradiction from the Vietnam era, between political reluctance and military overcompensation, is illustrated by the famous exchange between an American and a North Vietnamese colonel. It took place at the conclusion of the 1973 Paris peace talks that saw the final withdrawal of US combat forces from South Vietnam. The American asserted that the United States never lost a significant military encounter of the Vietnam War. The North Vietnamese colonel agreed, but then noted that his side won the more important political war.

Two years later, North Vietnam's victory became clear: Saigon fell to the North's army as the last Americans were evacuated from the roof of the US Embassy. In the United States, those two years - the notorious "decent interval" between military and political outcomes - proved sufficient to insulate politicians from a massive policy failure but was insufficient to insulate the Pentagon from charges that it "lost" Vietnam. After all, wars are fought and won (or lost) by the military, not by politicians.

In this context, it is noteworthy that President Bush remains insistent that the generals in Iraq, not politicians in Washington, will be the decision-makers. This insistence may be adding to the lack of clarity on Iraq policy. The three- and four-star generals and admirals still on active duty are the last of the Vietnam War veterans. They were part of the US Army that withdrew from South Vietnam. They lived through the post-Vietnam reduction-in-force, the transition to the all-volunteer army, and the mid- and late 1970s when there were more bases and units than volunteers to fill the ranks.

Most are on their last assignment. At the end of their careers, they do not want to be associated with anything that suggests failure. Thus they will search for every flash of good news as evidence that sustaining political pressure on Baghdad will - like sustained pressure converts carbon into diamonds - transform the country's current chaos into a durable, shining democracy."