Friday, January 2, 2009

Finkelstein: Israel seeking Arab obeisance

Press TV

"The following is a full-length exclusive text interview with lecturer, author and renowned Palestine-Israel scholar Gary Norman Finkelstein in New York.

Press TV: Nearly a week of violence in Gaza. What do you make of the situation there?

Finkelstein: It is hard to make any definite judgments about the military situation. The goals of the Israeli government it seems to me are pretty clear. Number one Israel wants to reestablish what it calls its deterrence capacity. That is a technical term that the Israelis use. It basically means to restore the fear of Israel among the Arab states in the region.

After the defeat inflicted by Hezbollah and the inability of Israel to launch an attack on Iran it was almost inevitable that they would attack Hamas, because Hamas is defying the Israeli will. According to the Israeli papers, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak was planning the attack before the last ceasefire and they were just waiting for a provocation from the Palestinians.

On November 4, the Israelis broke the ceasefire with Hamas knowing full well--and if you review the Israeli papers, they say so knowing full well that when they killed six militants in Gaza the Palestinians would retaliate and then Israel would have the pretext to invade. Therefore, the first goal was to restore the fear of Israel among Arabs by inflicting a bloodbath in Gaza.....

Press TV: Observers say that a ceasefire is the best Israel can achieve from this. How is the war affecting Israel?

Finkelstein: It is hard to say that whether Israel is in a position for a ceasefire. If Israel accepts the ceasefire I don't think Hamas would accept it if the Gaza blockage continues. It was due to the continuation of the Gaza blockade that Hamas rejected renewal of the truce with Israel. If the blockade is not lifted it is just a slow death for the Palestinians. If Israel agrees to lift this blockade along with a ceasefire then it will in effect have given in to the conditions that it refused last week. So it's really unclear that Israel would propose a ceasefire that Hamas would accept and vice versa......"

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