Saturday, May 1, 2010

PHRF: “52 Palestinians Gassed in Tunnels Since beginning of 2010”

"The Palestinian Human Rights Foundation (PHRF) reported Friday that since the beginning of this year, 52 Palestinian residents were killed in border tunnels after the Egyptian Authorities gassed the tunnels while the residents were in them.

The PHRF stated that the Egyptian Authorities are deliberately gassing the tunnels used by the residents to smuggle food, medicine, and essential supplies not found in the Gaza Strip due to the ongoing Israeli-led siege.

The foundation said that this is a serious violation to the International Law as it forbids gassing civilian areas and considers the act as a premeditated crime. It said that all proofs and circumstances implicate Egypt in such serious crimes, and demanded the Egyptian government to act against these violations and to stop being part of the unjust and illegal Israeli siege.

The PHRF further stated that the siege is considered a war crime according to the eight article of the basic law of the International Criminal Court. It said that the tunnels became the last resort to the Palestinians living under siege for more than four year now, and added that Egypt must find alternatives and enable the residents to be able to receive all needed supplies.

The foundation said that using gas and other unconventional weapons violate the International law and held Egypt responsible in part for the ongoing siege as it has its own border with Gaza and could open it, but instead it chooses to help Israel and be part of the siege illegally enforced as collective punishment against more than
1.5 million Palestinians.

It demanded Egypt to permanently open the Rafah Terminal and enable the entry of medicine, medical supplies, food and all essential supplies. "

From Norman Finkelstein:

Last night I had the strangest dream,/I never dreamed before./I dreamed I saw Mubarak’s head,/Hanging from a lampost,/And all the world nodded and agreed,/Thank god the cow is dead.”

Al-Jazeera Video: Inside Story - Egypt convicts Hezbollah suspects

Real News Video: Hezbollah and the modern history of Lebanon Pt2

Traboulsi on the PLO, Hezbollah and the roots of sectarian struggle in Lebanon

"Fawwaz Traboulsi is Associate Professor teaching history and politics at the Lebanese American University in Beirut. He is the author of several books including "A Modern History of Lebanon"."

More at The Real News

Pentagon Map Shows Wide Taliban Zone in the South

By Gareth Porter

(Cartoon by Carlos Latuff)

"The Pentagon was still trying to spin its report on the war in Afghanistan issued this week as holding out hope because the instability had leveled off, even as some news outlets were noting that it documents the continued expansion of Taliban capabilities and operations.

The most significant revelation in the report, however, is that Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal and the U.S.-NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) joint command now acknowledge officially that the Taliban insurgents dominate a vast contiguous zone of heavily populated territory across southern Afghanistan that McChrystal regards as the most critical area in the country.

The report admits that the population in key districts across most southern provinces is sympathetic to or supportive of the insurgents......

McChrystal’s announcement earlier this year that ISAF would establish a "contiguous security zone" which would include the bulk of the population of Helmand and Kandahar provinces may have been a response to the recognition that the Taliban had formed its own zone of political dominance in southern Afghanistan.

However, given recent evidence that foreign troops have been unable to clear insurgents from Marja, and that local leaders and elders in Kandahar are opposing U.S. military operations in and around the city, that objective now appears to be well beyond the reach of U.S. and NATO troops."

Afghanistan's ancient treasures must be saved

Over the door of the Kabul museum today is a Persian quotation: 'A nation stays alive when its culture and history are kept alive'

By Robert Fisk

"More than 30 years after I watched the Soviet army slithering in their great T-72s past their new headquarters at Bagram north of Kabul, more than nine years since the first Americans took over the same airbase, I have gazed at last upon the treasures of Bagram....

And why, I wonder, do we so brazenly destroy the story of our own history and humanity? The Afghan hoard was damaged and pillaged during the country's civil war – the magnificent museum at Hadda, near Jalalabad, was burned after the 1979 Soviet invasion – and the Kabul National Museum was hit by a rocket and burst into flames in 1994 while being used as a military base. In Beirut, the National Museum stood on the front line throughout the 1975-1990 civil war, its Phoenician sarcophagi gashed by shell fragments. The great libraries of Sarajevo were deliberately shelled to ruins in the 1990s. The loss of Iraq's inheritance of civilisation in 2003 remains an American as well as an Iraqi disgrace.

Over the door of the Kabul museum today is a Persian quotation: "A nation stays alive when its culture and history are kept alive." But is it possible to believe that even these golden artefacts from Afghanistan will survive the 21st century in their new Kabul home? The Taliban, courtesy of the Saudis and the Pakistanis, brought deliberate destruction to the physical history of Afghanistan. And to Bagram came first the Soviet army – at their base, they taught the Afghans how to use electricity rather than nail pliers to extract information from prisoners – and to Bagram 21 years later came the Americans to waterboard their victims. From antiquity, Afghanistan obtained the culture of gold and collapsible crowns. From us, they obtained the culture of torture. "

The Future of Palestine

The Future of Palestine: Righteous Jews vs. the New Afrikaners

By John J. Mearsheimer

"...There is going to be a Greater Israel between the Jordan and the Mediterranean. In fact, I would argue that it already exists. But who will live there and what kind of political system will it have?

It is not going to be a democratic bi-national state, at least in the near future. An overwhelming majority of Israel’s Jews have no interest in living in a state that would be dominated by the Palestinians. And that includes young Israeli Jews, many of whom hold clearly racist views toward the Palestinians in their midst. Furthermore, few of Israel’s supporters in the United States are interested in this outcome, at least at this point in time. Most Palestinians, of course, would accept a democratic bi-national state without hesitation if it could be achieved quickly. But that is not going to happen, although as I will argue shortly, it is likely to come to pass down the road.

Then there is ethnic cleansing, which would certainly mean that Greater Israel would have a Jewish majority. But that murderous strategy seems unlikely, because it would do enormous damage to Israel’s moral fabric, its relationship with Jews in the Diaspora, and to its international standing. Israel and its supporters would be treated harshly by history, and it would poison relations with Israel’s neighbors for years to come. No genuine friend of Israel could support this policy, which would clearly be a crime against humanity. It also seems unlikely, because most of the 5.5 million Palestinians living between the Jordan and the Mediterranean would put up fierce resistance if Israel tried to expel them from their homes.....

Apartheid is not only morally reprehensible, but it also guarantees that Israel will remain a strategic liability for the United States...

I believe that most of the Jews in the great ambivalent middle will not defend apartheid Israel but will either keep quiet or side with the righteous Jews against the new Afrikaners, who will become increasingly marginalized over time. And once that happens, the lobby will be unable to provide cover for Israel’s racist policies toward the Palestinians in the way it has in the past."

Al-Jazeera Cartoon

Friday, April 30, 2010

Video of Interview of Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah with Al-Rai TV (Arabic)


I have just finished watching the entire interview. It is an excellent wide-ranging interview and if you have 1 hour and a half, watch it. If you don't, watch the last 8 minutes or so. Because in his concluding remarks, Sayyed Nasrallah hit on a couple of critical points, including the inadequate response of the Arabs and Muslims to what is happening in Palestine. Also, he warned against the dangers of sedition between Shi'a and Sunna.

An Arab view on Polish loss

The continuity of government is a function of institutions

By Azmi Bishara
Al-Ahram Weekly

"On 11 April the media expressed the shock widely felt on an incident that until then belonged to the realm of fiction more than fact. That day a Polish plane crashed in western Russia, resulting in the death of the majority of the Polish ruling elite, from the president and members of his cabinet, to parliamentary representatives from the coalition and high- ranking military officials.

It is not difficult to picture many people living under despotic rule wishing that something similar would befall the ruling elites of their countries....

Another thought occurred to me. In spite of the mass death of the majority of Poland's leaders, not only from the executive and legislature but also from other key government institutions, the country continued to be run as normal the following day. No state of emergency was declared. No curfews were set. The army was not deployed throughout the capital. Crowds did not pour out into the street to prove their grief, or to dance to vent their spleen. People were visibly shocked, and at both the official and grassroots levels the expressions of sorrow were sober and restrained.

The reason why government there could continue to function as normal is because it is institutionalised. When a position falls vacant, someone else can be slotted into place. Every leader or administrator has someone to replace him or her. No elected official is irreplaceable. The very process of elections between alternatives proves this. The claim that there are no alternatives is a ruse of regimes that prohibit alternatives from being voiced.....

Remember, by the way, that until two decades ago Poland was a totalitarian country."

Pro-Israel group monitoring, intimidating Columbia faculty

(Click on mural to enlarge)

Jared Malsin, The Electronic Intifada, 30 April 2010

"In the summer of 2000, preeminent scholar Edward Said sparked what became conventionally known as a "controversy" when he was photographed hurling a small stone into the no-man's land between Lebanon and Israel....

In 2002, a year before Said's death, in the aftermath of the 11 September 2001 attacks in the US, as the second Palestinian intifada raged and the US prepared to go to war on Iraq, Campus Watch was founded. Said died in 2003, before the release of Columbia Unbecoming. "Within a year of [Said's] death the attacks quadrupled," Massad remembered.

Then as now, Massad says his own critics have overstated their case.

"They thought when Edward died that they had gotten rid of him. So they tried to do the impossible to make sure I could not stay here, and they couldn't. And so their failure was total. They went berserk."

"It's an inability to realize that they've lost the war.""

'Barbaric' killing of murder suspect by Lebanese mob


"Lebanese officials are investigating the lynching by angry villagers of an Egyptian man accused of killing a local couple and their two grandchildren.

The suspect was with police re-enacting the crime when he was seized by a mob in a village south of Beirut, according to Lebanese media reports.

The mob stabbed him to death and then hung him with a butcher's hook from a pole in the village square.

Officials condemned the action by villagers as "barbaric".

Interior Minister Ziad Baroud ordered an investigation and said such vigilante action was "extremely dangerous"....."

Al-Jazeera Video: Jerusalem's secret land deals

"For years the Greek Orthodox Church has been criticised for leasing its land in Jerusalem and the West Bank to the state of Israel.

Now, Al Jazeera has been shown documents revealing the full extent of secret land deals, made by the former Patriarch with a powerful Israeli settler organisation.
The new patriarch says he is fighting to stop church property becoming Jewish settlements.

Al Jazeera's Sherine Tadros reports."

Real News Video with Transcript: Hezbollah and the modern history of Lebanon

Traboulsi: Wealthy elites directly control government, indebted the state to their own banks

Fawwaz Traboulsi is Associate Professor teaching history and politics at the Lebanese American University in Beirut. He is the author of several books including "A Modern History of Lebanon".

More at The Real News

The Battle of Britain

by Justin Raimondo, April 30, 2010

"....The ultimate irony is that the West, which claimed credit for the fall of the Soviet system, seems to be traveling down the same road, and at an equally rapid clip. How long after the Big Meltdown will the NATO-crats be forced to end their Afghan campaign? And what about the long-planned confrontation with Iran – is this to be put on the shelf?

The button marked "war" is one option for the managers: in wartime, privation is looked upon as a patriotic duty. In addition, war directs anger outward, rather than at those actually responsible for the pitiful condition in which the people find themselves. It acts as a social anesthetic, silencing the complaints of critics, and numbing our moral sensibilities. As the crisis deepens, militarism is the last resort of the Keynesians, who see war and preparations for war as just another jobs-making program, another way to keep the bubble from popping and the system intact.

So that’s what’s on the horizon: imminent economic calamity, rising social protest, and increasing prospects of a major war. Now, please, don’t let me ruin your day...."

Egypt 'Hizbullah cell' convictions marred by torture allegations

Amnesty International
30 April 2010

"Amnesty International has called for a retrial by a regular court of 26 men jailed by an Egyptian emergency court for their alleged links to the Lebanese group, Hizbullah amid allegations of torture.

The special court on Wednesday sentenced the men – who included Lebanese, Palestinians, Egyptians and one Sudanese – to jail terms ranging from six months to life.

Their conviction was based on "confessions" which the defendants say were obtained under torture.

"These men should be retried by an ordinary court which gives them a chance of getting a fair trial," said Amnesty International. "Bypassing justice by referring sensitive cases to emergency courts undermines the criminal justice system and encourages human rights abuses.".

Emergency Supreme State Security Courts (ESSSCs), which were established under emergency legislation introduced in 1958, flout basic guarantees for fair trial and deny defendants the right to appeal. They are also known to rely on "confessions" extracted under torture to secure convictions.....

The ESSSC has failed to order an independent and impartial investigation into the defendants’ allegations of torture and other ill-treatment. Instead, it relied on their “confessions” to convict them.

"This trial leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. The defendants complained of torture and this was brushed off, they were denied an adequate defence, and tried by a special court whose decisions cannot be appealed before a higher tribunal. Convictions after unfair trials can only entrench injustice," said Amnesty International....."

The Palestinian cold war

The split between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority is reflective of the foreign influences dominating the Middle East

Jonathan Spyer, Friday 30 April 2010

"Though rarely alluded to by those engaged in trying to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the split between the Hamas enclave in Gaza and the West Bank Palestinian Authority has the increasing look of permanence about it. The divide reflects regional politics, with each of the rival authorities aligned with one of the opposing blocs in the cold war that currently dominates the Middle East.....

The proudest achievement of PLO and Fatah leader Yasser Arafat was the establishment of a single, authoritative Palestinian national movement not beholden to or dependent on any outside power. This movement no longer exists. The full implications of its disappearance are not yet apparent. But the continued presence of two rival, dependent authorities changes the basic dynamic both of Palestinian politics, and of the framework of possibilities between Israelis and Palestinians. It deserves far greater attention."

Exclusive: Americans consider withholding veto protecting Israel at UN if building goes ahead at Ramat Shlomo

The Guardian UK
US gives Abbas private assurances over Israeli settlements
The US has given private assurances to encourage the Palestinians to join indirect Middle East peace talks, including an offer to consider allowing UN security council condemnation of any significant new Israeli settlement activity, the Guardian has learned.

The assurances were given verbally in a meeting a week ago between a senior US diplomat and the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas. Since then – and after months of US diplomacy – it appears Israeli and Palestinian leaders are close to starting indirect "proximity" talks, which would be the first resumption of the Middle East peace process since Israel's war in Gaza began in late 2008.

There was no official confirmation of the details of the meeting and Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, denied assurances were given. "It's not true," he said. "We are still talking to the Americans."

Latest Cartoon by Emad Hajjaj

Devolution of the Palestinian Struggle:

From Che Guevara to Machiavelli (reference to Arafat) to Hasan Elbanna (founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, parent of Hamas) to Gandhi!

Joseph Massad reads from the Zionist dictionary

"The patent absurdity of much of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict begs for a satirical treatment. On Wednesday night at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs, Professor Joseph Massad answered the call with an incisive and funny lecture on "the language of Zionism."

No one will be be surprised by the overarching theme of his talk -- Israel as a colonial state, etc. But students told me they were surprised by Massad's approach, a marked contrast, they said, from his normally buttoned-down manner in lecturing.

Sponsored by the Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine, the speech gave an abridged version of the dictionary according to Zionism, backing it up with scholarly facts and quotes galore (always book-ended by the spoken "quote... unquote"). Throughout the speech, Massad built upon his dictionary until he ended with this brief statement of Zionist language:

Colonialism is peace, is security.
Anti-colonialism is war, is terrorism.
The West Bank is half the West Bank.

A Bantustan is a sovereign, independent state.

The Pragmatist is someone who accepts all the above.
The Extremist is someone who
rejects it."
Ali Gharib for Mondoweiss

Thursday, April 29, 2010

الزهار: الانفاق قضية تجارية وعائلية وشخصية وحماس ليس لها نفق واحد

**الزهار: الانفاق قضية تجارية وعائلية وشخصية وحماس ليس لها نفق واحد **

"رام الله ـ 'القدس العربي' من وليد عوض: اكد الدكتور محمود الزهار عضو المكتب السياسي لحركة حماس احد ابرز قادتها في قطاع غزة بأن الانفاق قضية شخصية وليست معركة بين حماس ومصر.
واضاف الزهار في تصريحات خاصة مع الـ 'القدس العربي' ان 'قضية الانفاق قضية شخصية وان الذين يقومون عليها هم اشخاص وعائلات وافراد وتجار، وبالتالي فان محاولة تصوير الامر وكأن مصر دخلت مع حماس في معركة حول الانفاق هذا كلام غير صحيح'.
وتابع الزهار 'اذا اغلقت مصر هذا النفق يفتح الف نفق بدله، لان القضية بالنسبة لهم قضية مربحة وهي قضية تجارية بالدرجة الاولى وهي قضية عائلية وشخصية يقوم بها تجار، وحماس ليست لها علاقة بهذا الموضوع، وليس لها نفق واحد، وبالتالي مصر ترى في سياستها ان تفعل ذلك فهي تدخل في معركة حقيقية مع التجار. هذا الموضوع نحن بعيدون عنه تماما'.


This is another confirmation that this high-ranking political leader in Hamas, and former "foreign minister," Dr. Mahmoud Zahhar, is an absolute idiot and an incompetent who should not be allowed to speak in public, in the name of Hamas. Worse, if his views are those of Hamas, then this confirms that there is a split within the leadership in Gaza.

On the same day that other Hamas leaders found the spine to accuse the Egyptian government of the wanton and premeditated gassing to death of four Palestinians, and injuring of six others in one of the Rafah tunnels, this stupid Dr. Zahhar declares that the subject of the tunnels is a family and a commercial issue which does not concern Hamas! He adds that the tunnels are motivated by profit and are run as businesses and that Hamas does not see them as anything more. Totally ignoring the fact that the tunnels are the only available lifeline left to the 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza totally besieged by Israel and its chief ally, the Pharaoh.

Moreover, Zahhar says that the gassing and the demolition of the tunnels by Egyptian forces is a problem between Egypt and the traders who run the tunnels! Hamas could care less, and he does not see this as a problem between Hamas and the government of the Pharaoh!

Who does this idiot represent? If Hamas claims to be the "government" in Gaza, how could it not show any concern for supplying the minimum survival needs of the population? And how could it not stand up to defend Palestinians who put their lives on the line to supply those minimal needs? Dozens of Palestinians have been killed by the goons of the Pharaoh in the tunnels, and Dr. Zahhar considers this , "a commercial matter?"

Hamas: you can't have it both ways. You either represent the people, provide their basic needs and defend them or you abdicate! It is time to silence this idiot Zahhar and to prevent him from speaking in Hamas' name.

Chomsky : Israel is pillaging Gaza’s natural gas reserves

"....Israeli naval attacks began shortly after the discovery by the BG (British Gas) Group of what appear to be quite sizeable natural gas fields in Gaza’s territorial waters. Industry journals report that Israel is already appropriating these Gazan resources for its own use, part of its commitment to shift its economy to natural gas. The standard industry source reports:

“Israel’s finance ministry has given the Israel Electric Corp. (IEC) approval to purchase larger quantities of natural gas from BG than originally agreed upon, according to Israeli government sources [which] said the state-owned utility would be able to negotiate for as much as 1.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas from the Marine field located off the Mediterranean coast of the Palestinian controlled Gaza Strip."

Volvo equipment: Israel's weapons to destroy al-Walaja homes

Adri Nieuwhof, The Electronic Intifada, 29 April 2010

"....... Two years ago The Electronic Intifada first reported the use of Volvo equipment in Israel's violations of international law in the occupied West Bank. So far the company has taken no action to investigate the use of its equipment in Israeli violations of Palestinian rights.

Volvo Group's vice president of media relations and corporate news, Marten Wikforss, wrote in response to The Electronic Intifada's report: "we do not have any control over the use of our products, other than to affirm in our business activities a Code of Conduct that decries unethical behavior."

While the villagers of al-Walaja steadfastly continue their protest against the construction of the wall, the confiscation of their land and the destruction of their property, Israeli forces are increasing the oppression. Some houses have been rebuilt three or four times. Director of the Joint Advocacy Initiative of the East Jerusalem YMCA and YWCA, Nidal Abu Zuluf, explained: "Israel's current repressive policies aim to prevent acts of popular resistance. They don't want the media and internationals to be around."

Perhaps neither does Volvo, as its equipment continues to be photographed destroying Palestinian homes and violating Palestinian rights."

Fooling the world, again, by Carlos Latuff

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)

Al-Jazeera Video: Palestinian teen killed by Israeli army

"April 28, 2010 — A Palestinian teenager has been shot dead by the Israeli army that opened fire on a group of Palestinians protesting against a buffer zone being built on the border between the east of the Gaza strip and Israel.

Moaweya Hassanein, 19, was shot in the abdomen and carried to a hospital, where he died of wounds.

An Israeli human rights group has released video footage which showed a non-violent crowd of Palestinian protesters being taken surprise by a gunshot fired by an Israeli soldier on the other side of a nearby security fence.

Al Jazeera's Nicole Johnston reports."

Rising and Declining Economic Powers: The Sino-US Conflict Deepens

By James Petras

"Will the intensified conflicts between the US and China inevitably lead to a global conflagration? If recent past history is any indication the answer is a resounding yes. The most destructive wars of the 20th century were the result of confrontations between established (EIP) and rising (RIP) imperial powers. The practices and policies of the former serve as guides to the latter......"

Iran, Brazil and the 'bomb'

By Pepe Escobar
Asia Times

"Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva visits Tehran next month and has offered to enrich uranium for Iran. For "full spectrum dominance" hawks this is anathema, and it matters little that there is no consensus among the so-called "international community" on isolating Iran. Lula for his part is adamant that more sanctions on Tehran will open the way for all-out war, not prevent it....."

The Freedom Flotilla Sails to Gaza in May

The Free Gaza Movement

(Left: Mary Hughes Thompson.)

"London, UK) On May 24, 2010, the Freedom Flotilla sets sail for Gaza determined to, once again, challenge Israel’s blockade of 1.5 million Palestinians trapped in an open-air prison. Under the coordination of the Free Gaza Movement, numerous human rights organizations, including the Turkish Relief Foundation (IHH), the Perdana Global Peace Organization from Malaysia, the European Campaign to End the Siege of Gaza, and the Swedish and Greek Boat to Gaza initiatives will send three cargo ships loaded with reconstruction, medical and educational supplies. At least five passenger boats with over 600 people on board will accompany the cargo ships.

These passengers include members of Parliament from around the world, U.N., human rights and trade union activists, as well as journalists who will document the largest coordinated effort to directly confront Israel’s illegal blockade of Gaza and take in basic supplies.

Said Mary Hughes Thompson, one of Free Gaza’s co-founders, “Although we were happy with the first trips, it was bitter-sweet, knowing that our small boats and symbolic amounts of relief paled in comparison to what was really needed in Gaza. Now, we finally feel we are helping to organize a powerful action, one with the potential to translate into a sustained campaign of much more effective challenges to Israel's brutal siege.”....."

New Head of Al-Azhar Quits Party Politics

By Adam Morrow and Khaled Moussa al-Omrani

"CAIRO, Apr 28, 2010 (IPS) - When Ahmed al-Tayeb, the newly-appointed grand sheikh of Egypt's prestigious Al-Azhar religious institution, relinquished his membership in President Hosni Mubarak's ruling National Democratic Party (NDP), it carried significance.

"The government thought it better if the new grand sheikh distanced himself from the ruling party so it could not be accused of mixing religion with politics - which is exactly what it accuses the Muslim Brotherhood [opposition group] of doing," Abdel Menaam Mounib, Islamic affairs expert at the independent daily Al-Dustour, told IPS.

The resignation came despite earlier statements by al-Tayeb in which he insisted that there was "no contradiction whatsoever" between his new position and membership in the NDP....

In an Apr. 15 statement, Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie -- himself elected by the brotherhood's upper echelons only three months ago -- appeared no less conciliatory towards al-Tayeb.

"We reject anything that pushes us to confrontation with Al-Azhar or the grand sheikh. Our goals are the same: to spread a moderate interpretation of Islam in society and the world," Badie declared. "We might differ with the grand sheikh of Al-Azhar on certain issues, but there is no conflict.""

Egypt, Hamas Complicit in Israel’s Gaza Blockade

By Mel Frykberg

"RAMALLAH, Apr 29, 2010 (IPS) - A convoy of boats laden with humanitarian goods and accompanied by hundreds of journalists, human rights activists and European parliamentarians, is due to challenge Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza at the end of May.

The Free Gaza movement’s ‘Freedom Flotilla’ will see three cargo ships and five passenger boats with about 600 people aboard attempting to deliver hundreds of tonnes of emergency aid to Gaza’s besieged civilian population of 1.5 million people.

The move will also attempt to focus international attention on Israel’s crippling blockade of Gaza and its collective punishment of the coastal territory.

However, while Israel will rightly bear the brunt of the negative publicity, the Jewish state’s siege would not have succeeded without international, regional and even some Palestinian support.

The collusion of fellow Muslim and Arab country Egypt, and the tacit approval of other regional regimes, is a particularly strong rallying point for the collective anger of the Arab street.

"Without the coordinated efforts of regional and international players in supporting Israel in its siege of Gaza it would have failed by now," Ahmed Yousef, Hamas’ deputy foreign minister, told IPS......

Samir Awad, from Birzeit University near Ramallah, argues that the Egyptians, as recipients of one of the largest amounts of American foreign aid, are under enormous pressure from the U.S. to cooperate with the blockade.

"If Egypt doesn’t kowtow to Washington’s regional foreign policy they could lose their aid," says Awad. "But the Egyptian authorities are also interested in keeping the region politically stable until President Hosni Mubarak’s son Gamal can take over as his successor.......

Being popular with their people has never been an issue with the Middle East’s dictatorial regimes where democracy and human rights are not priorities. They lost the popularity battle a long time ago.

Instead, they count on continued economic and military aid from the West, particularly the U.S., and political support from their elites who benefit from the mutual cronyism.

By controlling the media the Egyptian authorities have succeeded, to a certain degree, in persuading their public that the fault for the Gaza siege lies with Hamas and Israel exclusively....."

Papering the War Against Iran

by Philip Giraldi, April 29, 2010

"Perhaps the presence of so many lawyers in government has made inevitable the tendency for the United States to attempt to justify a war on paper even before a single shot is fired. George W. Bush decided to invade Iraq virtually from the day that he entered office, but the Administration nevertheless dutifully worked its way through the United Nations, basing its case on a parcel of lies and half-truths, to obtain a legal justification in the form of a Security Council resolution to attack Saddam Hussein.

Currently, the search for a piece of paper that will seal the fate of Iran is underway, with considerable pressure from the White House to come up with a document that can be used to justify war. The battle is being fought out within the intelligence community, not unlike the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq, but this time the CIA analysts are pushing back....

So why does a Washington Post editorial refer to "the likely eventuality that Iran will continue to pursue a nuclear weapon" when in fact the editorial page editor Fred Hiatt knows no such thing? Can it be because the neocons at the Post want war with Iran? The facts about Iran’s nuclear program are well known and they all indicate that there is no weapons development underway. But a constant barrage from the media about evil Iran coupled with an NIE report providing wiggle room for a military option could come together to bring about another disaster in the Middle East. An NIE that emphasizes the negative rather than the positive, suggesting that Iran is likely intending to construct a weapon, could easily turn into another Saddam Hussein moment, with Hillary Clinton and Leon Panetta sternly addressing the UN Security Council and warning about mushroom clouds. As one senior intelligence analyst has concluded, all the evidence continues to indicate that Iran does not have a nuclear weapon and does not currently have a weapons program, but because the Iranian leadership could change direction at any time, without any debate, without any warning, it is a situation that can easily be exploited by those seeking war. It seems clear at this point that the friends of Israel in Congress and the media will seek to emphasize that possibility, not for the first time opening the door to conflict based on something that might happen, putting Iran in an impossible position where it has to prove a negative to avoid being attacked."

Pakistan Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud is alive, says spy agency

Exclusive: Setback for CIA after Pakistan intelligence official admits drone attack failed to kill the Pakistan Taliban commander

Declan Walsh in Islamabad, Wednesday 28 April 2010

"The Taliban leader in Pakistan, Hakimullah Mehsud, survived an American drone strike in January and is alive and well, a senior official with Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence agency told the Guardian today.

Mehsud was reported to have died in a CIA drone strike in South Waziristan in January but, although Pakistan's interior minister claimed he had been killed, the death was never confirmed by either US or Pakistani intelligence.

Today the senior intelligence official said he had seen video footage of the missile attack on Mehsud but other intelligence had since confirmed the insurgent leader survived. He declined to elaborate further. "He is alive," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "He had some wounds but he is basically OK."....."

Egypt next on the line of fire

By Muhammed Amin
28 April, 2010

"Egypt is facing a potential political eruption that could rock the entire Mideast and seriously undermine US domination of the strategic region.

This threat comes as tensions in the Mideast are already extremely high. Threats of war involving US, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, and Iran are flying fast and furious.

President Husni Mubarak, the US-supported strongman who has ruled Egypt with an iron hand for almost 30 years, is 81 and in frail health. Amazingly, he has no designated successor. No one knows who will take over Egypt when he dies.

For Mubarak, it may be "après moi, le deluge." Dealing with elderly dictators is always an extremely tricky business.

Mubarak, an air force general, was put into power with US help after the assassination of President Anwar Sadat by nationalist soldiers in 1981. Sadat had been a CIA "asset" since 1952.

My sharp-tongued mother interviewed Sadat in the 1950's and described him as a "clown." Sadat was a hero in the US and Israel, but Egyptians hated him and greeted his killing with jubilation......"

The Pharaoh in USraeli Service is Gassing Palestinians to Death! Are the Ovens Next??

(Cartoon by Carlos Latuff)

Hamas Says Egypt Gassed 4 Gaza Tunnel Workers 'in Cold Blood'


"29/04/2010 Hamas movement on Thursday accused Egyptian security forces of killing four Palestinians by pumping poisonous gas into a cross-border smuggling tunnel on Wednesday.

Egypt has been under pressure by Israel to seal off the hundreds of tunnels that are a key economic lifeline for the blockaded Palestinian territory......

A Hamas security official in charge of the tunnel area along the border said the Egyptians filled the passage with some type of crowd dispersal gas.

The Hamas Interior Ministry later said in a statement the gas used to try to clear the tunnel was poisonous. Besides those killed, six people were injured, it said.

"The Interior Ministry confirms that the citizens' cause of death was the Egyptian security forces spraying poison gasses into one of the tunnels," the statement said without elaborating.

"Hamas holds the Egyptian side responsible for the killing of four innocent workers after Egyptian security forces pumped poisonous gas into one of the tunnels," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told reporters in Gaza. "We demand an investigation into the incident and for those responsible to be brought to justice."........

Abu Zuhri said the territory's reliance on the tunnels had been imposed on it by the border closures, which keep out all but basic humanitarian aid. "The alternative is not to kill innocent citizens but to open the crossings," he said, adding that some 40 workers had been killed by Egyptian security forces pumping poisonous gas and sewage into the tunnels.
Moreover, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said to The Associated Press, "This is a terrible crime committed by Egyptian security against simple Palestinian workers who were trying to earn their daily bread. It was a killing in cold blood. Hamas and all the Palestinian people condemn it strongly."...... "

Sayyed Nasrallah: Egypt Court Sentences Badge of Honor


"29/04/2010 Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said that the verdicts in Egypt against the freedom fighters who were offering support to the resistance in the Gaza Strip are politicized and unfair.

Speaking to the Kuwaiti Al-Rai television to be broadcast Thursday, Sayyed Nasrallah said that “when those brothers were arrested in Egypt, we stressed – and I’ve said this personally – that those are honest resistance fighters, not outlaws, criminals, and terrorists as the judge described them. They are honest people and their only crime is that they were supporting their brothers in Gaza and giving help to the legitimate Palestinian resistance which should be embraced by everybody. Those men were fulfilling their duty and everything beside this are mere fabrications to cover the measures that were taken against them.”

His eminence addressed the detained resistance men and their families: “When you chose the path of backing the Palestinian people, you knew that you could be arrested or maybe killed as martyrs at any time. What you have gone through in Jail and the sentences that have been issued today is a badge of honor on your chests.”

Sayyed Nasrallah added: “For Arab and Muslim peoples to know that we get detained and jailed because we believe that Allah is our God and we only abide by His order to support our brothers in Palestine and Gaza is something to be very proud of. I don’t see in this any loss for any Arab depth. On the contrary, this confirms the credibility of our position and commitment to the Palestinian people. Of course, we seek more support to them, but even this much backing is costing us. Yet, this is all under Allah’s eyes and for His sake.”......."

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What Israel Means to Me

Over the years there has been a constant spate of books containing the testimonials of American Jews proclaiming their teary-eyed and deeply emotional love of the state of Israel. These books are part of the larger program of Israeli Hasbarah, the form of advocacy that seeks to assert the total primacy of Zionism as the centerpiece of Jewish life the world over.

In order to establish what Israel means to me as a Jew, the first thing I need to do is figure out what it means to other Jews and how that relates to the reality of the Jewish past

American Jews have been conducting a romantic affair with an Israel whose contours are outlined in two recent movies: In Adam Sandler's comedy You Don't Mess with the Zohan and Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, we find that the American Jewish love affair with Israel is based on an almost erotic identification with the perception of Zionism and Israel as a form of revenge fantasy. Sandler's Zohan is a figure whose sexual potency rests in his skill as a Jewish superhero, a man who kills Arabs to defend the Jewish people. Similarly, Tarantino's Nazi-era fantasy is a phantasmagoria of violence in the name of Jewish self-doubt and an inferiority complex.

These fantasies bring to mind the idealist aspects of the original Zionist program and its rejection of traditional Jewish identity

Two current examples -- just in time for last week's commemoration of Israeli Independence Day -- are the Anat Kamm affair and the ongoing demonization of South African judge Richard Goldstone. Kamm has been charged with leaking confidential military documents to the press, while Goldstone continues to be vilified for the report that he prepared for the United Nations on the 2009 Gaza incursion. Kamm is currently under house arrest in Israel while Goldstone has found himself pressured from attending his own grandson's Bar Mitzvah.

In the end, those who are on the receiving end of the Israeli whip understand all too well the pressures that have been placed on Jews to conform: Israel is the new God, the new revelation from on High, and all those who reject its commandments are to be excommunicated from the community, marked as Jewish heretics who deny the new order.

Secret Iraqi government prison was 'worse than Abu Ghraib'

Inmates at covert jail suffered routine electric shocks and sexual abuse

By Kim Sengupta, Diplomatic Correspondent
The Independent
Thursday, 29 April 2010

"A secret Iraqi government prison, where detainees were subjected to horrific abuse and at least one died from his injuries, was described yesterday as being "worse than Abu Ghraib".

Its prisoners, who were mainly Sunni Arabs, included a wheelchair-bound British national. Freed captives told the New York-based organisation Human Rights Watch that they were raped, tortured with electric shocks and suffocated.....

....Mr Maliki is personally implicated in the row. Most of the Sunni detainees at Muthanna were from Nineveh province where the Prime Minister, who leads a Shia party, has been accused of carrying out a vendetta against people associated with Saddam's regime. The prison was under the control of the Baghdad Operations Command, a task force which answers to Mr Maliki.

Yesterday, he claimed the captives were persuaded to make false complaints by opposition politicians. "They had given themselves scars by rubbing matches on some of their body parts," he said. "These are lies, a smear campaign by some foreign embassies and the media. There are no secret prisons in Iraq at all."....."

Jerusalem's mayor denies building has been halted

By Catrina Stewart in Jerusalem
The Independent

Thursday, 29 April 2010

"Jerusalem's firebrand mayor has vowed to speed up Jewish construction in Arab-dominated East Jerusalem in comments that could undermine hopes of a long-awaited breakthrough in the peace process.

Speaking at an event in Washington, Mayor Nir Barkat took aim at the US administration, which has engaged in an intense round of diplomacy to persuade the Israelis to agree to a construction freeze to try to coax the Palestinians into peace talks, stalled now for more than a year.

Mr Barkat vigorously denied reports that the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has quietly instructed officials to halt construction in East Jerusalem while publicly announcing the opposite.

"The answer is no, a clear no," said Mr Barkat when asked if Israel would cease building in East Jerusalem until new talks are launched. "There is no freeze. It's not true."......"

Is the Middle East on a peace process to nowhere?

Israeli iconoclast Meron Benvenisti says negotiations for a Palestinian state are an illusion that perpetuates the status quo

Ian Black, Middle East editor, in Jerusalem, Wednesday 28 April 2010

"Meron Benvenisti has been talking, writing and arguing about the Israel-Palestinian conflict for much of the last 40 years. Now aged 76 he is as forceful, articulate and unconventional as ever – and convinced that President Barack Obama is doomed to fail in his attempt to cajole the two sides to hammer out a solution at the negotiating table....

"The whole notion of a Palestinian state now, in 2010, is a sham," he told the Guardian at his Jerusalem home as the US intensified efforts to get the long-stalled peace process moving again. "The entire discourse is wrong. By continuing that discourse you perpetuate the status quo. The struggle for the two-state solution is obsolete."....

Benvenisti's book, Sacred Landscapes, is one of the very best written on the conflict, interweaving the personal and the political. It is also deeply sympathetic to the Palestinians and their attachment to the land. He defines the Zionist enterprise bluntly as a "supplanting settler society" but also warns that using labels is a way of shutting down debate....

In this situation, the concept of two states is misleading. "What does it mean, a state? It's a solution for less than one quarter of the Palestinian people on an area that is less than 10% of historic Palestine." Palestinian leaders who are ready to accept this "are a bunch of traitors to their own cause". Ramallah, prosperous headquarters of Abbas's Palestinian Authority and the recipient of millions of dollars in foreign aid, is a "bubble in which those who steal the money can enjoy themselves".....

"The peace process," Benvenisti concludes, "is more than a waste of time. It is an illusion and it perpetuates an illusion. You can engage in a peace process and have negotiations and conferences - which have no connection whatsoever to reality on the ground.""

Egyptian law gives fanatics free rein

An attempt to ban One Thousand and One Nights for being 'obscene' shows the hesba principle is increasingly misused

Brian Whitaker, Wednesday 28 April 2010

"One Thousand and One Nights is a classic collection of Arab folk tales. First compiled in written form in 10th-century Iraq, it derived some of its stories from an earlier Persian collection, which in turn made use of even older tales from India. Though some of the content is a bit earthy, it's part of the world's literary heritage. Or so you might think.

But now a group, Lawyers Without Restrictions, is trying to ban it by launching an obscenity case against officials in the general culture authority, which publishes the work in Egypt.....

Hesba is a long-established (and originally honourable) principle in Islamic jurisprudence. In the words of the Egyptian scholar, Gamal al-Banna, it was "used to promote the good and criticise the bad. Every individual in an Islamic society is responsible for the actions of the society".
More recently, though, it has begun to have the opposite effect, stifling critical thought and debate rather than encouraging it......

How far the One Thousand and One Nights case will get in the courts remains to be seen. There are clearly many in Egypt who regard this type of legal vigilantism as ludicrous, and the reaction of Egyptian culture minister Farouk Hosni was to ask: "Does this mean we should destroy all ancient Egyptian statues because of their nudity?"

Hosni was speaking rhetorically, but it's probably unwise to talk of such things, even in jest. There is no doubt some would answer his question in the affirmative. We should not forget what happened to the Buddha statues when the Taliban took a disliking to them in Afghanistan....."

Israel finds allies in Europe's Christian fundamentalists

David Cronin , The Electronic Intifada, 28 April 2010

"Flip through any issue of a major newspaper from the past decade and it is a safe bet you will be confronted with a warning about the dangers of religious extremism. So how could the mainstream media have failed to notice the growing influence of fundamentalists on the European Union's relations with one of its nearest neighbors: Israel? The explanation might lie in how the zealots in question are not Islamic but Christian...."

Israel's dog and pony show

By Sherine Tadros

"I recently jumped at the chance to take an all expenses paid helicopter ride over Israel and part of the West Bank.

The trip was courtesy of The Israel Project (TIP) which describes itself as a non-profit, non-partisan group working to impact world opinion for the sake of Israel's security.

The helicopter ride is meant as an "educational tour" for journalists and was inspired by George Bush, the former US president, who took a similar ride and reportedly said it opened his eyes to just how vulnerable Israel is. The tour operates twice a month and has taken up over 1,400 journalists.....

Throughout the flight, our tour guide used a variety of maps, statistics, pie charts, drawings and graphs to explain the reason for the separation wall (deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice)....

The wall has in fact taken 12 per cent of Palestinian land and drastically changed the landscape of Jerusalem creating a de facto border where Israel would like to see one and not where international law deems one should be.

If we were looking down we would have witnessed this reality, but instead most in the helicopter were busy looking at the diagrams.

What is amazing is that in our 45-minute ride we managed to avoid flying over any of the 120 illegal Jewish settlements that have been built on Palestinian land in the West Bank.

Not a word was said by our guide about these settlements - neither does it get a mention in our info pack.....

When I asked our guide why Israel is making long-term plans for a border he just finished telling us was only temporary, he answered "because one day it will be permanent".

It's a simple strategy and one Israel uses unapologetically - creating facts on the ground they call temporary (because in theory they are still negotiating over these facts) while carrying out actions that would make a final settlement based on anything other than what they have already created almost impossible....."

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

This poll asks:

Do you believe the accusations that Syria and Iran are arming Hizbullah?

With about 900 responding so far, 54% said no.

BBC Video: 'Torture' at secret Iraq jail in Baghdad


"Routine torture, including electric shocks and sexual abuse, was inflicted on detainees held in a secret prison in Baghdad, Human Rights Watch says.

The group's findings are based on interviews with more than 40 people, including a British man who said Iraqi army interrogators were responsible.

Human Rights Watch says the men's stories are credible and consistent.....

More than 400 prisoners were said to have been held at the secret detention centre at an airbase in Baghdad.

One of the prisoners, a 68-year-old man with dual British and Iraqi citizenship, said he had been harshly beaten, sodomised and had electric current passed through his genitals.

Human Rights Watch said he and his fellow detainees were accused of aiding and abetting terrorism, though no-one was officially charged.

The BBC has spoken to a number of other men who were released from the same detention centre and they tell similar stories.

"The torture started when they put plastic bags over our heads. Then they tortured us with electric shocks after pouring water over our bodies," one man said......"

Real News Video: Palestinian village inspires popular movement

Political leaders from all major Palestinian parties endorse grassroots struggle at Bil'in conference.

More at The Real News

"Every Friday for five years, Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists protest the annexation of the lands of the Bil'in village by Israel's segregation wall. Their grassroots effort won them a major victory in Israeli courts in 2007. Now, at the fifth Bil'in conference, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and representatives of all the major political parties endorsed their struggle. Khaleda Jarrar of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine criticized the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority for its recent repression of Palestinian political activists as part of the security collaboration outlined in the Oslo agreements. Fatah's Nabil Shaath noted that negotiations haven't led far as this weekend U.S. envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, led Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to agree to some concessions though they will most likely be rejected by the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas [NOT SO!]."

Settler Sewage Ruins Palestinian Crops, Drinking Water

By Mel Frykberg

"BEIT UMMAR, West Bank, Apr 28, 2010 (IPS) - Residents of this Palestinian village refuse to buy the idea that the flood of raw sewage from the adjacent Israeli settlement of Kfar Etzion, that destroyed vineyards and contaminated their drinking water, was an accident.

The Israeli Civil Administration, which administers the occupied West Bank, claims the spillage was the result of an accidental power malfunction which caused excess settlement sewage to overflow onto Palestinian land.

"This was no mistake," says a British activist who has been documenting life in the village for several months. "The pipe was deliberately unscrewed by hand so that the sewage would spill over into Beit Ummar. That has nothing to do with an electricity cut," he told IPS....."

A Middle East Peace That Could Happen (But Won’t)

by Noam Chomsky, April 28, 2010

Blockading Gaza by Land and Sea

One step towards cantonization and the undermining of hopes for Palestinian national survival is the separation of Gaza from the West Bank. These hopes have been almost entirely consigned to oblivion, an atrocity to which we should not contribute by tacit consent. Israeli journalist Amira Hass, one of the leading specialists on Gaza, writes that.....

Obama and the Settlements

The kinds of restrictions on movement used to destroy Gaza have long been in force in the West Bank as well, less cruelly but with grim effects on life and the economy. The World Bank reports that Israel has established "a complex closure regime that restricts Palestinian access to large areas of the West Bank....

Washington’s "Evenhandedness"

....Obama politely refrained from comment about his host, President Mubarak, one of the most brutal dictators in the region, though he has had some illuminating words about him. As he was about to board a plane to Saudi Arabia and Egypt, the two "moderate" Arab states, "Mr. Obama signaled that while he would mention American concerns about human rights in Egypt, he would not challenge Mr. Mubarak too sharply, because he is a ‘force for stability and good’ in the Middle East…. Mr. Obama said he did not regard Mr. Mubarak as an authoritarian leader. ‘No, I tend not to use labels for folks,’ Mr. Obama said. The president noted that there had been criticism ‘of the manner in which politics operates in Egypt,’ but he also said that Mr. Mubarak had been ‘a stalwart ally, in many respects, to the United States.’"

When a politician uses the word "folks," we should brace ourselves for the deceit, or worse, that is coming. Outside of this context, there are "people," or often "villains," and using labels for them is highly meritorious. Obama is right, however, not to have used the word "authoritarian," which is far too mild a label for his friend.

Just as in the past, support for democracy, and for human rights as well, keeps to the pattern that scholarship has repeatedly discovered, correlating closely with strategic and economic objectives. There should be little difficulty in understanding why those whose eyes are not closed tight shut by rigid doctrine dismiss Obama’s yearning for human rights and democracy as a joke in bad taste."

Gates: Hezbollah More Armed than Most Gov’ts; Resistance Vows to Continue Arming


"28/04/2010 Once again, Scud missiles and Hezbollah’s military capabilities seem to be the chief concern for the US administration and Israeli government.

Though two US officials said last week there were "no indications" any Scud rockets were transported into Lebanon, however Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said Tuesday that Syria and Iran are providing Hezbollah with rockets and missiles of ever-increasing capability in a clear hint to Scud missiles.

Following a meeting with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Tuesday during which Iran and the rearming of Hezbollah were major topics, Gates said that Hezbollah was at a point where it "has far more rockets and missiles than most governments in the world.".......

For its part, Hezbollah has shot back at the US accusations it was stockpiling sophisticated weapons and vowed to continue to build its artillery, in comments published on Wednesday.
"Our choice was and remains to secure all the arms of resistance that we can," Loyalty to the Resistance parliamentary bloc MP Hassan Fadlallah told the Lebanese daily As-Safir.

Hezbollah's arms do not compare to "the level of armament of the United States, which it used in its crimes against peoples around the world, from Hiroshima to the more than 100,000 martyrs killed in Iraq and the tens of thousands killed in Palestine, Lebanon and Afghanistan," Fadlallah said.

He added, "There is a difference between arms which only serve invasions, occupations and aggressions, such as those of the United States and its ally Israel ... and the arms of a resistance which defends, protects, and liberates." "

Video: عباس للقناة الثانية: نأمل إستئناف المفاوضات... (فيديو)

"منح رئيس السلطة الفلسطينية، محمود عباس، مقابلة خاصة ومطولة للقناة الإسرائيلية الثانية أجرها مراسل القناة للشؤون العربية، ايهود يعاري، أكد خلالها انه يأمل بأن يكون رد لجنة المتابعة العربية على مقترحات المبعوث الأميركي، جورج ميتشل، إيجاباً لإستئناف المفاوضات غير المباشرة. وقال "جاء السيد ميتشل وعرض علينا بعض الافكار ونحن اعطيناه بعض الافكار وسمع ايضا من الجانب الاسرائيلي".
وقال عباس انه سيعرض على لجنة المتابعة العربية بداية ايار/مايو افكارا جديدة طرحها المبعوث الاميركي جورج ميتشل خلال جولته الاخيرة من اجل استئناف مفاوضات السلام المجمدة مع اسرائيل.
واضاف الرئيس الفلسطيني "لا تزال المباحثات جارية ونحن في اليوم الاول من الشهر القادم (ايار/مايو) سنطرح ما عرض علينا على لجنة المتابعة العربية ونرجو ان يكون هناك جواب ايجابي".
وفي رد على سؤال حول ما يتردد عن "حساسية" تعتري علاقته مع بنيامين نتانياهو اكد عباس انه يتعامل معه بصفته "رئيس وزراء انتخب من الشعب الاسرائيلي ويتمتع باغلبة في الكنيست".
واضاف "من واجبي ان اتعامل معه على هذا الاساس وليس من حقي ان اقول احبه او اكرهه".
كما اكد عباس خلال المقابلة ان المفاوضات في عهد رئيس الوزراء الاسرائيلي السابق ايهود اولمرت حققت تقدما كبيرا في بعض الملفات، لا سيما الترتيبات الامنية المرافقة لقيام دول فلسطينية، قبل ان تتوقف محادثات السلام بسبب الهجوم الاسرائيلي عل قطاع غزة نهاية العام 2008.
وقال عباس "هناك ملفات بحثت في عهد اولمرت واقفلت، مثل ملف الامن الذي اقفل تماما".
واوضح انه تم الاتفاق في تفاصيل هذا الملف على وجود "طرف ثالث" لضمان تنفيذه مؤكدا ان الحديث دار حينها عن امكانية نشر قوة "للناتو بقيادة اميركية".

كما تطرق عباس الى قضية الجندي الإسرائيلي الأسير في غزة، غلعاد شاليط، وقال إنه طالب حركة حماس بنقل الجندي الى السلطة لإتمام صفقة تبادل "ترضي الجميع"

وقال فيها رداً على محاوره حول تطبيق حق العودة للفلسطينيين: إن "الحل (لقضية العودة) موجود في خارطة الطريق... وفي مبادرة السلام العربية ولن نفرض الحل عليكم