Saturday, September 24, 2011

West Bank tensions grow as Jewish women settlers learn how to use guns

The quest for Palestinian statehood at the UN has worsened a climate of fear on the ground in the Occupied Territories

Harriet Sherwood in Qusra, Saturday 24 September 2011

"The settlers come down the hill from the outpost, mostly on foot, but occasionally on horseback or in tractors or 4x4s. They carry Israeli flags, and sometimes bring guns, shovels and dogs. There may be as few as three or as many as 40. They taunt the local villagers and sometimes attack them. Often the Israeli army arrives and trains its weapons on the villagers.

In Qusra, deep among the terraced hills of the West Bank, fear is on the rise. "The settlers are provoking us continuously," said Hani Abu Reidi, head of the village council. "They uproot olive trees, kill our sheep, burn our mosques and curse our prophet. They want to drag us into the sphere of violence. We do not want to go there."

As the Palestinian quest for statehood looks set to be mired in diplomatic back rooms for weeks or months, tension on the ground is mounting.....

The settlers are not just fighting to hold on to the land they already occupy; they intend to expand and grow – as they see it, reclaiming the land that has been willed to them by God.

"Our purpose is to build new towns and communities, new outposts in Judaea and Samaria," said veteran activist Daniella Weiss. "It's our role as Jews to build the land of the Jews."

In Qusra, Abu Reidi agreed the land is at the heart of confrontations between Jewish settlers and Palestinian villagers.

"Their ultimate goal is to drive us from our land," he said. "Defending the land is a holy task. If we let them succeed, they will take more and more.""

Al-Jazeera Video: Shias denounce Bahrain elections as fake

Al-Jazeera Video: Interview with senior Hamas official

"Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, has submitted a UN membership request to on Friday.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas official in Beirut, said that while his party wants recognition for Palestine, it does not agree with Abbas' approach."

Al-Jazeera Video: At least 12 people killed in Syria

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

Do you see the application for Palestinian membership in the UN as serving the Palestinian cause?

With about 500 responding so far, 78% said yes.

Real News Video: UN Speeches Show US-Backed Peace Process is Dead

Phyllis Bennis: Abbas bid for Palestinian statehood means he's given up on US-backed peace process

More at The Real News

Friday, September 23, 2011

A token state of Palestine is a compromise too far

Pushing only for limited statehood at the UN risks strangling future progress towards genuine justice

Ghada Karmi
(Ghada Karmi is a leading Palestinian activist, academic and writer. She is a research fellow at the Institute of Arab and Islamic studies at the university of Exeter and is also vice-chair of the Council for Arab-British Understanding (CAABU)), Friday 23 September 2011

"....The Arab revolution sweeping the region should have been an object lesson for Palestinians. The new Arab revolutionaries have not fought just to attain a few of their rights; they have demanded a totally new order. Israel's growing global isolation and enfeeblement should have been another spur to Palestinian action. Rather than seizing this unprecedented historic opportunity, the Palestinian leadership has pulled out the stops for a minimal political arrangement, ignoring the rights of refugees and legitimising Israel's 1948 occupation of almost 80% of the original Palestine, including its post-1967 illegal settlements under cover of the "land swap" device. This misreading of the zeitgeist was a massive blunder and an inexcusable failure of leadership.

The vigorous campaign to enlist world support for this pathetic arrangement, as if it were the acme of Palestinian ambition, should have been fought instead for basic Palestinian rights. If limited statehood had been an interim stage in a longer-term strategy to attain those rights, it could have been acceptable.

As things stand, the danger is that international endorsement of the current statehood proposal will make it the benchmark for all future peace negotiators, and entrench the idea that partitioning Palestine unequally means justice. True friends of the Palestinians should oppose this application and support their struggle for real justice."

Syria: The revolution will be weaponised

Journalist Nir Rosen discusses armed struggle with army officers who have defected to join the opposition.


Nir Rosen

Editor's note: Al Jazeera special correspondent Nir Rosen spent seven weeks travelling throughout Syria with unique access to all sides. He visited Daraa, Damascus, Homs, Hama, Latakia and Aleppo to explore the uprising and growing internal conflict. In the first article of his series he meets with leaders of the armed opposition in Homs. Names of some of the indivduals quoted have been changed to protect their identities.

".....As I spent more time in Syria, I could see a clear theme developing in the discourse of the opposition: A call for an organised armed response to the government crackdown, mainly from the opposition within Syria. Demonstrators had hoped the holy month of Ramadan would be the turning point in their revolution, but as it came to an end - six months into the Syrian uprising - many realised the regime was too powerful to be overthrown peacefully.....

"In the end we cannot be free without weapons," the leader said. "It's necessary, but not by the people, by the army; we need defections."....

The overwhelming majority of the opposition is peaceful and unarmed.....

The most organised and professional armed opposition members are those who are deserters from the army. However, it is important to point out they have not deserted with their weapons and it is not entire units that are deserting, currently just individuals. In much of the country young men arm themselves or are provided weapons by wealthier people to protect themselves from the onslaught of security forces....

...Accordingly, individuals have told me that Islam does provide them with inspiration and strength but they do not fight for Islam and their goals are generally secular. Abu Omar is a senior opposition leader in Homs who coordinates with the defecting military personnel. These defectors are not very religious, Abu Omar told me. "They drink, they have girlfriends," he said. "They are mostly young. They are free thinking. They don't believe Dunya TV (a pro-regime channel). They saw there is no justice in the army, that they cannot advance in the army, and what was happening to the people, who are their family."....

Homs was the centre of armed opposition in Syria. Rastan was the centre for the armed opposition in Homs. There were also deserters operating in Jabal Azzawiya in the north and Daraa in the south. Most of them had deserted from different units on May 30.....

"After the year 2000 they recruited Alawites to the security services," he said. "The regime is Alawite and security forces are the ones doing the killing. The government has convinced Alawites that this is an existential battle for them but this is not true."....

In Homs, the resistance was commanded by a major but the highest ranking deserting officer was a colonel, they told me. They were mostly young because young officers were less restricted in their thought. The older officers have a strong historical memory of the harsh suppression of the Hama armed uprising in 1982....

He told me that the personal mobile phones of soldiers were taken away and even officers were denied access to satellite television so they would only be able to watch state controlled television. The daily reports the government gave the army were written by security forces, he said, and helped motivate soldiers to kill civilians and convince them that civilian demonstrators were terrorists, provocateurs, traitors, foreign agents and Salafi extremists....

The officer in civilian clothes told me they lacked the ability to initiate large operations.

"Our revolution is peaceful still and we don't have weapons," he said, "but it is time to arm the revolution, especially after Libya. Six months without results, and the number of dead ..." He trailed off, but estimated the dead were five thousand, double the official number. They were hoping for a no-fly zone because they believed this would encourage entire units to desert along with their vehicles without having to worry about being attacked by the regime's helicopters or fighter planes....


Within the ranks of the opposition's civilian leadership there is a debate over which course to take. A repeat of the Libya scenario and international military intervention is unlikely. Mostly peaceful demonstrations have failed to shake the foundations of the regime. But an openly armed rebellion would support the regime's narrative and might also lead to a harsher crackdown....."

The Futile Undertaking of Palestinian Statehood

(This cartoon by Steve Bell was drawn in 2007!)

One State, Two States, No State



"....Paradoxically, this month marks the eighteenth anniversary of when Abbas stood alongside Bill Clinton, Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin on the White House lawn in a ceremony celebrating the signing of the Oslo Accords.

As one of its architects, Abbas sold the Oslo agreement to the Palestinian people as the vehicle towards the establishment of an independent Palestinian state and the restoration of the rights of the Palestinian people.

But throughout the past two decades lofty promises were offered to the Palestinians, while endless negotiations across continents took place between Israel and the PA, which Abbas has headed....

Furthermore, as the fearless masses leading the Arab uprisings continue to be successful in deposing their dictators and challenging Israeli and American hegemony in the region, the Palestinian cause will finally regain its status as the center of regional politics and at the heart of the peoples’ passions in the pursuit for justice. As profound democratic reforms sweep the Arab world in favor of a pluralistic and more equal society, the Zionist project will begin to look more like a relic from a medieval era than an enlightened enterprise.

Eventually a state that represents all its inhabitants on the basis of equality and genuine respect and dignity for all its citizens is one that the world will some day celebrate, not a phony declaration that legitimizes the oppressive nature of one and confers false hope on the other."

Syrian teenager believed to be first female to die in custody since uprising

Zainab al-Hosni's mutilated remains were found by her family in a morgue, according to Amnesty International

Associated Press in Beirut, Friday 23 September 2011

Also, See This From Amnesty International:

New evidence of Syria brutality emerges as woman's mutilated body is found

"An 18-year-old Syrian woman, whose mutilated body was discovered in a morgue, is believed to be the first female to die in custody during the country's six-month-old uprising, Amnesty International has said.

The family of Zainab al-Hosni found her corpse by chance as they searched for her activist brother's body in the city of Homs, the human rights group said. The family said she had been decapitated, her arms cut off, and skin removed.

"If it is confirmed that Zainab was in custody when she died, this would be one of the most disturbing cases of a death in detention we have seen so far," said Philip Luther, Amnesty's deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa.

Amnesty said Ms Hosni was abducted by plainclothes individuals believed to be members of the security forces on 27 July, apparently to pressure her activist brother Mohammad Deeb al-Hosni to turn himself in.

The deaths of Ms Hosni and her brother bring to 103 the number of people who have been reported killed in Syrian custody since the uprising began in March, Amnesty said. Overall, the UN estimates 2,600 people have been killed since the revolt began in March, and there is no sign of either side giving up......"

Debate: Does U.N. Statehood Bid Advance or Undermine Palestinian Struggle?

Democracy Now!
With Amy Goodman

"Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to officially submit a statehood request to the United Nations in defiance of U.S. and Israeli threats. A new joint Israeli-Palestinian poll shows the Obama administration’s stance on Palestinian recognition at the United Nations is more extreme than that of a strong majority of Israeli citizens, with 69 percent of Israelis saying their government should accept U.N. recognition of an independent Palestinian state. The survey also found 83 percent of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories support the bid. While supporters have hailed the bid as a step forward in the struggle to end the Israeli occupation and bring peace to the Middle East, critics call it a ploy by the Palestinian Authority to cling to power while undermining the rights of Palestinian refugees. We host a debate with two leading Palestinian analysts: Ali Abunimah, co-founder of the website Electronic Intifada, and author of "One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse"; and Mouin Rabbani of the Institute for Palestine Studies and the webzine Jadaliyya...."

Al-Jazeera Video: Freelance journalist reports from Bahrain

Al-Jazeera Video: Al Jazeera's Nir Rosen on the Syrian uprising

I did not know that Nir works for Al-Jazeera now.

"Activists across Syria are preparing for another day of mass protests following Friday prayers, as security forces continue their deadly crackdown on dissent in the seventh month of the uprising.

Al Jazeera's Nir Rosen, a journalist who recently returned after spending several weeks in several cities and villages across Syria, discusses his experiences during the uprising.

He talks about how the government has manipulated the sectarian divisions in trying to push the country into civil war."

Al-Jazeera Video: Inside Story - Battle brewing over Palestine's UN bid

With Mustafa Barghouti

Real News Video: Palestinians, Israelis Skeptic of UN Bid

Palestinians and Israelis are skeptic the UN bid will lead to real change on the ground, except for anticipated protests and repression

More at The Real News

Egypt's Educators Carry Revolution Forward

The revolution may have left Tahrir Square, but Egypt's education system is boiling with anger.

by Sharif Abdel Kouddous
Foreign Policy

"CAIRO – From overcrowded schools in the southern city of Beni Suef to public universities in coastal Alexandria to an elite American university in the desert outskirts of Cairo, an unprecedented wave of strikes has erupted across Egypt's education system. Tens of thousands of teachers, university professors, and students are taking part in mass protests that have varying demands but all echo the same revolutionary calls for change.....

Mounting frustration boiled over this month, culminating in a series of protests and strikes across multiple levels of the education system....

Although the Education Ministry announced that the number of teachers participating in the strike was minimal, media reports, citing activists and organizers, estimated that 65 to 75 percent of Egypt's 1 million teachers did not report to their classrooms....."

قصة "الاعتراف": مناورة ثم "مأزق".. ومخرج

حسام كنفاني

قصّة الاعتراف لم تنته بعد، وخاتمتها قد لا تكون سعيدة بالمطلق، وخصوصاً في ظل الحديث عن "مخرج مشرّف" للسلطة الفلسطينية ورئيسها، الذي من المقرّر أن يقدم طلب نيل العضوية في أعقاب خطابه أمام الجمعية العامة اليوم.

ملامح المخرج بدأت تلوح في الأفق مع إيفاء الرئيس الفلسطيني بتعهده للشعب و"تقديم طلب العضوية". غير أن اليوم التالي للطلب سيكون مختلفاً عمّا كان يظنّ الجميع، فلا تصويت قبل "أسابيع عدة"، بحسب وزير الخارجية الفرنسي آلان جوبيه، هذا إذا وصل الطلب إلى مرحلة التصويت. وعلى هذا الأساس فإنه لا دولة في أيلول أو تشرين الأول. أما البديل، فهو استئناف التفاوض وفق صيغ تعمل اللجنة الرباعية على بلورتها، قد تكون أساسها مباردة الرئيس الفرنسي نيكولا ساركوزي، الذي تحدث عن مراحل تبدأ بالدولة غير الدائمة العضوية، وتنتقل إلى المفاوضات الإطارية قبل ستة أشهر، وإعلان الدولة خلال عام.

إنه سيناريو أيلول الماضي يتكرّر، لكن في ظل دولة غير دائمة العضوية. المفاوضات قد تنطلق وفق آليات جديدة، لكنها لن تكون بعيدة أبداً عن السقوط مجدداً، وعندها سيرفع أبو مازن لواء العضوية الكاملة، لكن إلى أيلول المقبل.

Mechanized Imperialism

(Cartoon by Mr. Fish)

The drone wars

by Justin Raimondo
, September 23, 2011

"The Obama administration has found a good way to avoid both the domestic political and international fallout that comes of waging constant warfare: let machines do the dirty work. Of course, the Obamaites don’t get the full credit for the discovery – drone attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan were part of the Bush team‘s strategic plan, but the Obama White House has gone much further in utilizing this tactic to escalate and extend American military operations around the world, and they’re doing it in secret – without congressional oversight, without public debate, and without the knowledge or consent of the American people....

While we’re at it, why not delegate the formulation of our foreign policy to these soul-less machines? It wouldn’t be hard: just input the longstanding assumptions that have governed that misguided and bloody policy – American global hegemony, the requirements of crony capitalism, and unthinking support for Israel – and the machines can take it from there. "

US: Stop Proposed Arms Sales to Bahrain

Don’t Give Kingdom a Pass on Protester Crackdown, Repression

Human Rights Watch
September 22, 2011

"(Washington, DC) – The United States should delay a proposed arms sale to Bahrain until it ends abuses against peaceful critics of the ruling family and takes meaningful steps toward accountability for serious human rights violations, Human Rights Watch said today.

The US Defense Department notified Congress on September 14, 2011, of a proposed sale of armored Humvees and missiles to Bahrain worth US$53 million. The sale would appear to be the first since the start of Bahrain’s crackdown on protests earlier this year.

This is exactly the wrong move after Bahrain brutally suppressed protests and is carrying out a relentless campaign of retribution against its critics,” said Maria McFarland, deputy Washington director at Human Rights Watch. “It will be hard for people to take US statements about democracy and human rights in the Middle East seriously when, rather than hold its ally Bahrain to account, it appears to reward repression with new weapons.”....."

Planned US protest gains Egyptian support

Al-Masry Al-Youm

"Egyptian activists are lending their support to a planned protest in Washington, DC, which US activists hope will become an open-ended sit in modeled on the Tahrir Square protests that helped bring down former President Hosni Mubarak.

The demonstration, which is being organized under the banner “human needs not corporate greed,” will be held on 6 October, on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the start of the US occupation of Afghanistan and as the recently passed US budget takes effect.

Egyptian activists plan to hold a concurrent protest in Tahrir Square.

A pledge on, the website of the coalition organizing the protests, says that protesters will commit to maintaining a sit in as long as any “US troops contractors, or mercenaries remain in Afghanistan.”....

The website says protesters have “the intention of making it our Tahrir Square.”

Egyptian and US activists released on 21 September a “statement of solidarity” between “Egyptian revolutionaries and participants.”

“While our nations face many different challenges and remain thousands of miles and cultures apart, we find that we share many of the same concerns within our respective countries,” the statement says in English and Arabic.....

American signatories include noted dissident Noam Chomsky and writer and thinker Chris Hedges, a former Middle East bureau chief for the New York Times, as well as many other progressive activists....."

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A President who is helpless in the face of Middle East reality

Obama's UN speech insists Israelis and Palestinians are equal parties to conflict

By Robert Fisk

"....And as the days go by, and we discover whether the Palestinians respond to Obama's grovelling performance with a third intifada or with a shrug of weary recognition that this is how things always were, the facts will continue to prove that the US administration remains a tool of Israel when it comes to Israel's refusal to give the Palestinians a state.

How come, let's ask, that the US ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, flew from Tel Aviv to New York for the statehood debate on Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's own aircraft? How come Netanyahu was too busy chatting to the Colombian President to listen to Obama's speech? He only glanced through the Palestinian bit of the text when he was live-time, face to face with the American President. This wasn't "chutzpah". This was insult, pure and simple...."

Rug Pulling, by Dave Brown

Obama: America's 'first Jewish president'?

After the president's speech to the UN, our senior analyst wonders why US leaders continue to pander to a foreign power.

Marwan Bishara

"Obama is the "the first Jewish President". That's the title of New York magazine's lead article, written by John Heilemann and quoting a major Obama fundraiser. Listening to Obama speak at the United Nations on Wednesday many would nod in agreement, not less in Palestine and the Arab world.

The US President has embraced the rejectionist Israeli position on the question of international recognition of an independent Palestinian state. But that's not a Jewish position. It's a radical Zionist position. Many Jews, including US and Israeli Jews, do not embrace such extremist views.

But the fact that Obama surpassed his predecessor George W Bush, the most radical supporter of Israel among all US Presidents, has left everyone in Israel dumbstruck. The latest Zionist US president sounded like Israel's own founding fathers.

Never have they heard a US president read straight from the papers of the Israeli government.

Propaganda passes for history

You would think after six decades of dispossession, four decades of occupation and two decades of peace processes that President Obama would recognise a political and moral discrepancy that needs fixing. That he would underline, not undermine, his own words uttered in Cairo a year and a half ago about the need for Israel to stop its illegal settlements in Palestine. That he would underline, not undermine his own projection- read promise- from the same podium last September of a Palestinian state within a year, meaning this week. That he would underline, not undermine, his own rhetoric about freedom in the Arab region.Or that he would underline, not undermine, his own opening emphasis about a peace based on withdrawal, not more of the same logic of war.

Alas, President Obama undermined his entire "change we can believe in" slogan.His narrative is inspired by the worst of Israel's official propaganda. Indeed, much of it is cut and pasted from their playbook. He spoke of historical "facts" that have long been repudiated by Israeli historians, and of truths that are nothing more than one sided interpretations of a political situation.....

It's politics, stupid

Every other commentator in town would like to remind you not to expect much action from a US president on Israel during an election year.As Heilemann illustrates in his article, Obama's career was built on his relationships with generous Jewish contributors in Chicago. Indeed, the guy who brought the most money to the Democratic Party over the last several decades became Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emmanuel. Today, he's the mayor of Chicago.

But it's not only about money. It's also about crucial support in Congress over urgent domestic issues that could make or break the Obama presidency. And the Israeli lobby, AIPAC, can make the president's life miserable over the course of the next year.

Now, I understand all of that. But what I don't understand is why it is accepted as a fait accompli! As the nature of politics! Take it or leave! If this is the case, then let's at least call a spade a spade; and out the US administration(s) for being what so many seem to say it is: not Jewish or Zionist, rather hypocritical.....

The joke is on everyone

Why should the Palestinians be held victims to US politics while being held hostage to Israeli politics for the last six decades. Why should most Israelis continue to live in a garrison state incapable of normalising relations with their neighbors? Why should Americans watch as their politicians are held hostage to a foreign power and its influential supporters?....

Today's Arabs are bitter and angry at US-Israeli complicity in Palestine and they won’t be as easily bounded or bribed as their fallen dictatorships. "

The Middle East’s New Geopolitical Map

America's Most Grievous Mistake


"The Arab Spring is not the only revolution in town. The toppling of dictators in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya; the mounting death toll in Syria and Yemen, where the outcome is still undecided; the revival of long-suppressed Islamic movements demanding a share of power; the struggle by young revolutionaries to re-invent the Arab state — all these dramatic developments have distracted attention from another revolution of equal significance.

It is the challenge being mounted by the region’s heavyweights — Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iran — against the hegemony which the United States and Israel have sought to exercise over them for more than half a century....

America’s most grievous mistake, however — the source of great harm to itself, to Israel, and to peace and stability in the Middle East — has been to tolerate Israel’s continued occupation and dispossession of the Palestinians. These policies have aroused intense hate of Israel in the Arab and Muslim world and great anger at its superpower protector.

We are now witnessing a rebellion against these policies by the region’s heavyweights — in effect a rebellion against American and Israeli hegemony as spectacular as the Arab Spring itself. The message these regional powers are conveying is that the Palestine question can no longer be neglected. Israel’s land grab on the West Bank and its siege of Gaza must be ended. The Palestinians must at last be given a chance to create their own state. Their plight weighs heavily on the conscience of the world....."

أيلول الفلسطيني بين أوسلو والمؤسسات الدولية

أيلول الفلسطيني بين أوسلو والمؤسسات الدولية

Courtesy of

Al-Jazeera Cartoon: The Stupidity of Abbas

War and shopping - an extremism that never speaks its name

By John Pilger
22 September 2011

"....It is an extremism that has emasculated the social democracies that were Europe's redemption following the second world war. The forced impoverishment of Greece with exorbitant returns demanded by German and French central bankers is likely to produce another fascist military coup. The forced impoverishment of millions of Britons by the ancien regime of David Cameron, with its growing police state and compliant bourgeoisie, especially in the media, will produce more riots: nothing is surer. One can count upon the extremism of apartheid in any form to trigger such a result, no matter its consumerist gloss hermetically sealed in a mega mall. The prospect is democracy for the rich and totalitarianism not only for the poor; and "liberal intervention", as the Guardian calls it approvingly, for those useful foreign parts too weak to resist our "precision" Brimstone missiles....."

مصيدة ساركوزي لعباس

مصيدة ساركوزي لعباس
رأي القدس

"لا نعتقد ان الرئيس الفرنسي نيكولا ساركوزي كان يطرح افكاره بمعزل عن اسرائيل والادارة الامريكية عندما اقترح في خطابه الذي القاه امس امام الجمعية العامة للامم المتحدة قبول فلسطين كدولة مراقبة، وجدولاً زمنياً مدته عام للتوصل الى 'اتفاق سلام نهائي' بين الفلسطينيين والاسرائيليين، لان هذا الطرح يأتي كحل وسط من اجل تجنب مواجهة في مجلس الامن الدولي تدفع الولايات المتحدة الى استخدام حق النقض 'الفيتو' ضد مشروع فلسطيني يطالب بالعضوية الكاملة وليس 'المراقبة' فقط.
فمن الواضح ان ادارة الرئيس الامريكي باراك اوباما تعيش مأزقاً اخلاقياً وسياسياً بتهديدها باستخدام 'الفيتو' رضوخاً للضغوط الاسرائيلية، وفي تناقض مخجل مع تعهدات الرئيس اوباما بقيام دولة فلسطينية مستقلة على حدود عام 1967.
بنيامين نتنياهو رئيس وزراء اسرائيل الذي شكر اوباما على مساندته للمواقف الاسرائيلية الرافضة لمشروع الاعتراف بالدولة الفلسطينية وقبولها كعضو كامل في المنظمة الدولية، توقف بشكل خاص عند الفقرة التي وردت في خطاب الرئيس الامريكي في الجمعية العامة وقال فيها ان على الاسرائيليين والفلسطينيين الجلوس معاً والبحث في مواضيع الحل الدائم للوصول الى سلام مستقر.
ما يمكن استنتاجه من كل هذه الخطابات والمواقف ان اي اعتراف بدولة فلسطينية كعضو كامل او عضو مراقب هو العودة مجدداً الى المفاوضات المباشرة والثنائية، ودون اي تجاوب مع المطالب الفلسطينية في الوقف الكامل للاستيطان في الضفة والقدس المحتلة الذي ادى الى انهيارها.
الرئيس ساركوزي كشف في خطابه عن بعض ملامح المستقبل في هذا الخصوص عندما حدد سقف المفاوضات المتوقعة في غضون عام، واقترح جدولاً زمنياً يبدأ بمفاوضات لمدة ستة اشهر للاتفاق على الحدود والامن وستة اشهر اخرى للتوصل الى اتفاق نهائي.
انها مصيدة مفاوضات جديدة للرئيس الفلسطيني محمود عباس وعودة الى المربع الاول مجدداً، وتجسيد كامل لمطالب نتنياهو في العودة الى اساليب المراوغة والمماطلة التي برع فيها، مثلما برع فيها جميع رؤساء الوزارات الاسرائيليين الذين سبقوه.
نتنياهو رفض رفضاً قاطعاً القبول بحدود عام 1967، مثلما رفض اي سيادة فلسطينية كاملة او منقوصة على الحدود مع الاردن، وتمسك بمواقف اسرائيل المتعنتة في ايكال مهمة السيطرة على هذه الحدود للقوات الاسرائيلية وحدها.
عشرون عاماً والرئيس عباس يتفاوض مع الاسرائيليين دون ان يحقق اي تقدم في جميع القضايا المطروحة، وقضايا الحل النهائي على وجه الخصوص مثل القدس المحتلة التي يرفض نتنياهو اي تنازل عنها، او حق العودة الذي يرفض مجرد مناقشته، ويصر على الاعتراف الفلسطيني باسرائيل كدولة يهودية.
اوباما وساركوزي يريدان اخراج الاسرائيليين من حال الحرج الذي يعيشونه حالياً من جراء نسفهم لعملية السلام، ووضع الرئيس عباس ورفاقه فيها مجدداً، وتحميلهم مسؤولية فشل هذه العملية اذا ما رفضوا الاقتراحات المطروحة حالياً بالعودة الى طاولة المفاوضات.
الرئيس عباس شخصيا سيكون الخاسر الاكبر اذا قبل نصف اعتراف، او اقل من الاعتراف الكامل، وتراجع عن خطته بالذهاب الى مجلس الامن، بينما سيعود نتنياهو الى القدس المحتلة منتصراً، ومعززاً مكانته ومكانة دولته المحتلة والمغتصبة لحقوق الشعب الفلسطيني، وبما يكسر عزلتها الدولية.
استخدام اوباما 'الفيتو' سيفجر مظاهرات عربية امام سفاراته في دول عربية واسلامية، ورضوخ عباس للضغوط الامريكية والاسرائيلية ووعود ساركوزي المعسولة قد يؤدي الى تفجر مظاهرات غاضبة امام مقره في رام الله.
على الرئيس الفلسطيني ان يتفحص خياراته جيداً، قبل اتخاذ قراره النهائي حتى لا يعود من الامم المتحدة الخاسر الاكبر.

The age of the Reaper

By Pepe Escobar
Asia Times

"For the MQ-9 Reaper drone that struts its stuff equipped with Hellfire missiles and rains death from above, the sky, literally, is the limit. It's expanding its footprint from AfPak to the whole of East Africa up to the Gulf of Aden. The Reaper, though, can also wear a business suit and incorporate the persona of the president of the United States.....
Yet a glance at the map, comparing the erosion of Palestinian land from 1946 to 2011, is enough to show Israel has already killed the two-state solution, regardless of what happens at the UN.

What matters are the "facts on the ground" of Israel as the supreme dominatrix of US foreign policy as well as the US Congress being Israel's bitch. What matters is Obama trying to entice Muslims with flowery rhetoric in Istanbul and Cairo just to meekly submit, and when the going gets tough, to feel the dominatrix whip.

And all this while from northern Africa to the Middle East multitudes are fighting for the same "freedom" Americans (and Israelis) apparently enjoy, but are forever denied to Palestinians.

Whatever happens at the UN, Israel's got the deal of the century. Under the cover of a return of the living dead "peace process", successive Israeli governments get to steal Palestinian land, build illegal settlements and procrastinate, while the US pays the heavy political price......

He may be a MQ-9 in AfPak or in the new Seychelles-Somalia killer route. He may be channeled by the president of the United States. And he may answer by the name of Bibi. He's here, there, everywhere. Fear the Reaper. Or else ..."

The two state solution is dead

Voting on full membership for the PLO in the UN marks the end of the Oslo accords, says writer.

Ben White

"...Thus while for many in the West it was assumed that the peace process was about geography, in fact for Israel it has always been about demography. Maximum land, minimum Arabs - and through their willing partners in the Palestinian Authority, “maximum power, minimum accountability”.

Recently, a discussion was held in London on Palestinian statehood featuring several prominent Israeli commentators and diplomats. The overwhelming consensus was that ‘demography’ made a two state solution imperative in order to save Israel as a Jewish state. As Fox News regular Alon Pinkas pithily put it: “Our homeland has a lot of Arabs, tough luck”.

David Landau, former-Ha’aretz journalist and now with The Economist, was the most angst-ridden of them all. We should be rejoicing, he said, that the Palestinians under Mahmoud Abbas still want a two state solution and are not asking for ‘one man, one vote’.

To a certain extent, he’s right; it is not the current Palestinian leadership that will reframe the struggle. But that time is coming. While Palestinians and their supporters increasingly and intelligently place ‘rights’ at the centre of their campaigning, soon the recognition that Jews and Palestinians must share one country as equals will mean that the only ones left talking about a Palestinian state will be those trying to preserve a regime of Jewish ethno-religious exclusivity."

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

As Predicted, The Stooge Has Caved in. Back to "Negotiations" For The Next 18 Years!

Palestinians ready to put statehood on backburner in favour of peace talks

Obama causes anger with veto pledge and staunch backing of Israel but Abbas continues to hold out olive branch

Chris McGreal in New York and Harriet Sherwood in Ramallah, Wednesday 21 September 2011

"The Palestinian leadership remains prepared to put statehood on the backburner at the UN security council in order to leave room for the revival of peace talks, according to senior Palestinian sources.

The Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, is said to have told Barack Obama at a meeting on Wednesday evening that he would agree to delaying a security council vote by several weeks, although the Palestinians are maintaining the line in public that any delays will be "procedural not political".

The Palestinian offer comes despite Obama angering them by defending the US threat to veto the bid for statehood....

However, the Palestinians appeared to be pulling back from an immediate confrontation, having come under intense pressure from the Europeans as well as the Americans. Although Sarkozy staked out a position sympathetic to the Palestinian cause in his UN speech, he has advised Abbas to hold off from the security council move....."

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

Do you support freezing the membership of Syria and Yemen in the Arab League?

With about 900 responding, 86% said yes.

دعوة صريحة لتدخل عسكري في سوريا


"دعا المعارض والحقوقي السوري هيثم المالح إلى تدخل المجتمع الدولي عسكريا لحماية الشعب السوري من النظام الحاكم في دمشق، وذلك في شهادته أمام مجلس حقوق الإنسان التابع للأمم المتحدة.

ولم يتمالك المالح نفسه عن البكاء أثناء كلمته في مجلس حقوق الإنسان وهو يذكر عدد الضحايا الذين سقطوا منذ بداية الأحداث في سوريا قائلا، "كم من القتلى يجب أن يسقط حتى يتحرك العالم لإيقاف مجازر النظام السوري ضد شعبه؟".

وجاءت كلمة المالح استجابة لاستدعائه اليوم أمام المجلس في جنيف بسويسرا باعتباره شاهد عيان ضمن عدد من الناشطين والحقوقيين جاؤوا من الميدان لتسليط الضوء على الأحداث في سوريا.

وفي تصريح للجزيرة نت، قال المالح إن "مثل هذه المذابح التي يرتكبها النظام السوري يصنف حسب القانون الدولي وميثاق الأمم المتحدة تحت البند السابع".

وأضاف "وعليه، من أجل حماية الشعب السوري أدعو الأمم المتحدة والمجتمع الدولي بالتدخل عسكريا ضد النظام السوري، نعم بالتدخل عسكريا عبر حلف شمال الأطلسي (ناتو) مثلا، فهذا النظام بصدد ارتكاب جرائم ضد الإنسانية وضد شعبه، وعلى المجتمع الدولي أن يتحمل مسؤوليته في حماية الشعب السوري بأي طريقة يراها".

وقال المالح في تصريحه "كان لدينا موقف حاسم يتمثل في رفضنا للتدخل العسكري في سوريا، ولكن من حق الشعب السوري أن يلجأ إلى المنظمات الدولية والأمم المتحدة من أجل حماية نفسه من المذابح التي يرتكبها النظام".

وأوضح في نفس التصريح "لقد طالبنا المجتمع الدولي بإرسال لجنة تقصّي حقائق دولية فالنظام السوري عبر وسائل إعلامه لن يكف عن كذبه وادعاءاته بوجود عصابات مسلحة".

ونفى المالح صحة وجود عصابات مسلحة وقال إنها "محض افتراء يتحجج به النظام لقتل شعبه"، وأكد أن النظام السوري "استعمل جميع صنوف الأسلحة من دبابات وطائرات وبوارج حربية".

وقال إنه "لم يبق أمام النظام إلا استخدام الغازات السامة، وبالتالي يجب دخول لجان تقصي الحقائق إلى سوريا حتى تتأكد مما يجري هناك".

وختم المالح تصريحه بدعوة الذين يأملون في إصلاح نظام الرئيس بشار الأسد وترديد مصطلح الحرس القديم والحرس الجديد "بالكف عن تهريجهم" قائلا "كلهم حرس واحد. وكلهم يجب أن يحاكموا محاكمة دولية على جرائمهم في حق الشعب السوري".

Al-Jazeera Video: Al Jazeera's Wadah Khanfar on why he stepped down

Real News Video: NATO and the Libyan People are Not One


Paul Jay: We should oppose imperialist "humanitarian" interventions and dictatorships

More at The Real News

The Two-Faced Solution, by Khalil Bendib

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)

Palestinian Authority orders mosques to praise Abbas, UN bid

By Ali Abunimah

"The Palestinian Authority (PA) controlled by Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah has ordered all mosques to join its campaign in support of Abbas and the PA’s bid for UN membership.

An official letter posted on the website of the PA’s religious affairs ministry, in Arabic, and dated 20 September 2011, states the following:

Pursuant to the instructions of His Excellency, brother Dr. Mahmoud, Sidqi al-Habbash – may God save him – the Minister of Awqaf [Islamic foundations] and Religious Affairs, the following instructions should be issued to the muezzins [those who make the call to prayer], to praise God immediately after the completion of the expected speech of His Excellency President Abbas/President of the State of Palestine on Friday, 23 September 2011.

This is to express thanks to God for His favors, imploring Him to grant success to the Commander President Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine, and to guide his steps on the path to realizing the hopes of our people and the return of all our legitimate rights by the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital

Another 'Symbolic Victory': Abbas' New Political Gambit

By Ramzy Baroud
Palestine Chronicle

"....More, the PA itself has neither legitimacy nor credibility. Whatever remained of the latter was lost during the Israeli war on Gaza and the publishing of the Palestine Papers by Al Jazeera and the Guardian. The papers showed that the very individuals now championing a Palestinian statehood bid at the UN once regularly collaborated with Israel to crack down on Palestinian resistance. They helped Israel undermine Palestinian democracy, isolate democratically-elected Hamas, give away the refugees’ right of return, and worse, deprive Palestinians from any meaningful sovereignty in occupied East Jerusalem.

As for its lack of legitimacy, the matter requires no leaked documents. In fact, Fatah’s refusal to concede to 2006 election results led to the circumstances that exasperated a civil war in Gaza. Gaza’s besiegement (a direct consequence of the elections and the civil war) continues to serve both Israel and the PA equally. The latter is functioning in the West Bank with no popular mandate, surviving on international handouts and “security coordination” with the Israeli Army. Even Abbas’s term as a president of the PA has expired.

All of this summons an urgent question: How can an authority that lacks the legal legitimacy as a representative of the Palestinian people take on a role that could change the course of the entire Palestinian national project?....

This iniquitous situation would have easily continued were it not for the so-called Arab Spring, which began demolishing the status quo governing Arab countries. Abbas’ corrupt regime was also a member of the ailing Arab political apparatus. Its existence, like others, was propped by American or other Western support. In order to avoid brewing anger in Palestine and the region, the Palestinian leadership was forced to present itself as breaking away from the old paradigm....

The reasons behind the PA bid for statehood range between tactical politics (involving Israel and the US) and diverting attention from the PA’s own failures. The elitist politics almost complete discount the Palestinian people. If Palestinians truly mattered to Abbas, he would have started by unifying Palestinian factions, reenergizing (as opposed to stifling) civil society, and setting in motion the process needed to reform the PLO (as opposed to destroying its hard-earned international legitimacy).....

Indeed, the Palestinian people are fed up with symbolic victories. They may have guaranteed Abbas and his men all the trappings of power, but they have failed to reclaim even one inch of occupied Palestine."

Palestine & UN: History of a double standard

The struggle for Palestinian nationhood is entering yet another new phase in its decades long history.

Marwan Bishara

"...No cause has consumed as much UN paper work as the plight of the displaced and occupied Palestinians. But hundreds of its resolutions on Palestine have not been respected let alone applied for over half a century.

Nowhere has the UN ideals and mechanisms been more mired in power politics than in Palestine. The efforts to neutralise UN intervention have been championed mainly by the United States. This week’s efforts by the Obama administration working on behalf of Israel took advocacy into a whole new level...

But what justifies sidelining the UN ever since, while keeping it at an arm’s length from a two decades of Peace Process?

The short answer is a double standard.....

Paradoxically, Israel was created by a UN recommendation for Partitioning Palestine in 1947, and was accepted as a new UN member on the basis of its commitment to respect its resolution, and specifically UNGA 194 regarding the return of the Palestinian refugees.

Now that all other venues have been tried and failed, including 18 years of bilateral negotiations, the UN Security Council must carry its responsibilities by demanding that Israel carry its obligations under UN charter and by recognising the Palestinian right for self-determination in a state of their own. Period."

US night raids 'aimed at Afghan civilians'

By Gareth Porter
Asia Times

"United States special forces in Afghanistan have increasingly targeted their night raids at civilian non-combatants to exploit their possible intelligence value, according to a new study. The sweeping up of large numbers of people to find out what they know about insurgents is stoking anger, and their brief detention may violate the Geneva Conventions....

Yemen: Protester Killings Show Perils of Immunity Deal

Rights Council Should Call for UN Monitors

September 20, 2011

"(New York) – Yemeni security forces used excessive force when they opened fire on anti-government protesters in Sanaa on September 18, 2011, and in Taizz on September 19, killing at least 27 and wounding hundreds, Human Rights Watch said today. Witnesses told Human Rights Watch that security forces in Sanaa first sprayed demonstrators with sewage, and then, after protesters responded by throwing rocks, fired directly on them without warning, using rocket-propelled grenades as well as assault rifles and heavy machine guns....

...The immunity deal would extend to Saleh’s relatives, who control key security forces, including Central Security. Negotiators should ensure that a resignation deal does not include immunity from international crimes, including crimes against humanity, Human Rights Watch said, especially in light of the continuing, unjustified lethal attacks by security forces on largely peaceful anti-government protesters.

“These latest killings by Yemeni security forces show exactly why there should be no get-out-of-jail-free card for those responsible,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “The Gulf Cooperation Council and other governments involved in negotiating President Saleh’s exit cannot grant immunity for international crimes.”

Human Rights Watch said the attacks were clearly disproportionate to any threat to the lives of security personnel or others from protesters throwing rocks. Witnesses said the security forces carried shields and wore protective gear including helmets, and that protesters were not carrying, let alone using, firearms....."

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Public Meeting: Towards a General Strike ندوة مركز الدراسات الاشتراكية: نحو الإضراب العام

From Hossam El-Hamalawy

Haitham Mohammadein, labor lawyer and activist with the Revolutionary Socialists…

Half a million Egyptians striking

"During a meeting with labor leaders yesterday, we were discussing the current strike wave. The number of white and blue collar workers taking part in the industrial actions and protests in different sectors over the past two weeks amounts to half a million.. Yes, I repeat, half a million. And still you find people who are pessimistic and think the revolution is over coz of the failure to mobilize mass protests in Tahrir Square! Let’s focus shabab. Let’s continue taking Tahrir to the factories and the university campuses… Egypt’s real revolution is about to start… "

Street fighting spreads in Sanaa as protesters seek to unseat Saleh

By Patrick Cockburn

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

"Street battles between opponents and supporters of the Yemeni president raged in the capital Sanaa yesterday, as fighting spread amid fears the escalating civil conflict could turn the country into another Somalia.

The last three days of fighting are the worst in the eight-month-long confrontation between President Ali Abdullah Saleh and those trying to end his 33-year-rule of Yemen, which was the poorest Arab state even before the present crisis. An estimated 66 people have been killed as government units fire at protesters with heavy calibre machine guns and mortars and pro-opposition soldiers fire back.

The government, whose authority has always been weak, is losing control of outlying parts of the country, while power is divided in the capital.....

Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Co-operation Council and the US are meant to be mediating, but Washington has not demanded that President Saleh step down. Instead the US embassy has called for equal restraint by protesters, who are being shot at, and government soldiers and plain-clothes men who are doing the shooting...."

Palestinian statehood: plan emerges to avoid UN showdown

Compromise would see Mahmoud Abbas submit letter to security council, which would then defer vote until further talks

Chris McGreal in New York, Tuesday 20 September 2011

"International efforts to forestall a showdown in the UN security council over the declaration of a Palestinian state are solidifying around a plan for the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, to submit a request for recognition but for a vote on the issue to be put on hold while a new round of peace talks is launched.

The deal is being pushed by the Middle East "Quartet" of the UN, EU, US and Russia, which is attempting to persuade Abbas to back away from a diplomatic confrontation with Washington, which says it will veto the Palestinian bid.

Obama is expected to meet the Palestinian leader at the UN on Wednesday [The stooge will back down; I guarantee that!] as Abbas comes under intense pressure from the US and Europe to compromise....."

Al-Jazeera Video: Military defectors fight Saleh's forces

Obama's perfect storm

By opposing a Palestinian statehood vote at the UN, Obama will continue to alienate Arabs and the wider Muslim world.

Mark LeVine

"....A system in retreat?

And as Obama looks weaker, the system will search for alternatives that can shore itself up, even if it means further militarising the country, against the needs of the vast majority of Americans. And with a weakened and even more dangerous United States careening towards its own slow Armageddon, we might well witness the "clash of civilisations" that neocons have long prayed for.

Only the civilisations in question won't be drawn from religion, tribe, or nation. They'll be separated by money, power and utterly opposed visions of the future: a global Arab Spring led by third world youth and their Western peers (including, one might dare to hope, millions of unemployed working-class Americans who will no longer sit and support their own impoverishment), versus the dynamic of repression, expropriation, intolerance, and violence of a "nitham" that has linked the world's elite - from Washington to Tehran to Beijing - in a bloody embrace for decades.

It might not be fair for history to let Barack Obama take the fall for such an outcome. But history doesn't care who's right or wrong. It only cares who's smart or strong. And on both counts, it looks today like the US under Obama's leadership is getting weaker and dumber, while its adversaries - from the Arab street to the Chinese State Council - grow more adept at frustrating its wishes with each passing year.

Barack Obama has very little time or manouevering room to change this dynamic, but a bit of honesty at the UN would be a good place to start."

Egypt’s Awakening, Israel’s Denial

Defiance in Tel Aviv


".....Today Tel Aviv has to decide whether it wants to read the revolution’s graffiti on the wall and understand that it’s the people, not a confused government or a military council that lacks imagination beyond Mubarak’s mindset, who hold the cards to Egypt’s future. Any democratically elected government will not revive the defeatist -if not subservient- foreign policy that Mubarak and his successor Anwar El-Sadat engineered.

Their legacy was buried in Tahrir square by a people’s revolution and a struggle that was born ten years ago out of the nation-wide solidarity movement with the second Palestinian Intifada. It evolved – against all odds and – into the anti-Mubarak dissent movement that eventually toppled him on 11 February."

Which countries recognise Palestine already? - interactive

(Click on map to enlarge)

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is to this week make a bid for UN membership. Click below to see the countries that already recognise Palestine as a state, and the proportion of the world's population and economy they account for, Tuesday 20 September 2011

Al-Jazeera boss Wadah Khanfar steps down to be replaced by Qatari royal

TV channel head quits after revolutionising Middle East broadcasting for past eight years, especially during Arab Spring

Ian Black, Middle East editor, Tuesday 20 September 2011

"Qatar's government has replaced Wadah Khanfar, the director-general of the al-Jazeera satellite TV network, with a member of its own royal familya sudden and dramatic move at a time of unprecedented turmoil across the Middle East.

Khanfar, credited with revolutionising the Arab media landscape, announced that he was resigning after eight years that consolidated both the channel's reputation and his position as one of the most powerful figures in the region.

The new director-general is said to be Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani, an executive at Qatargas and a member of the country's ruling dynasty.....

Recently, al-Jazeera has been accused of pulling its punches over the uprising in the Gulf state of Bahrain. It barely reports on events in Qatar itself....."

Real News Video: "Days of Rage" Occupy Wall St.

Five thousand people demand Wall St. pay for the crisis

More at The Real News

The Only Constant The Stooge Will Adhere to, in The End. The Rest is Kabuki Theater.

The humiliation of Barack Obama

As he prepares to singularly veto Palestine's statehood bid, he must be thinking to himself: 'This isn't right'.

Robert Grenier

"....It is one thing to have to sacrifice principle in the face of political reality. All politicians are forced to do so at various points. But it is another to do so in a highly public manner, to have to mouth patent falsehoods in one-on-one meetings with fellow world leaders, who know better and who will think less of you as a result.....

We all know that the president will do no such thing. He will suppress this urge, for to do otherwise would spell political suicide. No, the president will swallow his anger, and do what he must do. But it is worth giving some consideration, as the US again undermines its security and its global position, pointlessly and gratuitously, in blind allegiance to an ungrateful and self-destructive ally, that we will also be watching something else, something far more personal: The public mortification of Barack Hussein Obama. "

Palestinian analysts continue to debate, oppose PA "statehood" bid

By Ali Abunimah

"The journal Foreign Affairs today published a piece I wrote titled A Formal Funeral for the Two-State Solution,” explaining why the Palestinian Authority’s UN “statehood” bid is so flawed:

The Palestinian Authority’s bid to the United Nations for Palestinian statehood is, at least in theory, supposed to circumvent the failed peace process. But in two crucial respects, the ill-conceived gambit actually makes things worse, amplifying the flaws of the process it seeks to replace. First, it excludes the Palestinian people from the decision-making process. And second, it entirely disconnects the discourse about statehood from reality.

This is the latest of a continuing stream of articles by Palestinians assessing the pros and cons of the effort. Here are a few other recent ones that are well worth reading [Most have been posted on PP]....."

الليل السوري الطويل

الليل السوري الطويل
الياس خوري

"بعد اكثر من ستة أشهر على اندلاع الثورة السورية، وبعد سيل التضحيات التي قدمها ابناء الشعب السوري وبناته، لا بد من ان نطرح السؤال المؤجل على القوى السياسية السورية المعارضة.
وسؤالي ينطلق من حقيقة يعرفها الجميع، وهي ان الثورة السورية كغيرها من ثورات الشعوب العربية لم تكن نتيجة عمل تراكمي قامت به احزاب المعارضة. فهذه الأحزاب ومعها الشخصيات الثقافية المستقلة فوجئت بالثورة مثلما فوجئ بها نظام الاستبداد. الثورة جاءت من وعي تشكّل في مكان عميق من العقل والوجدان الشعبيين، وهو مكان لم يعد قادرا على تحمّل او فهم دواعي استمرار الاستبداد المستفحل منذ اربعة عقود. لا يمت هذا المكان بصلة الى نوع النقاشات السياسية التي احترفتها الأنظمة ونجحت في جر المعارضات اليها، وهي نقاشات تتناسى استباحة كرامة الانسان، وتدعي انه لا بد من استمرار الاستبداد كي لا تنهار 'الممانعة'، او كي لا تقفز التيارات الأصولية التكفيرية الى السلطة، او تفاديا لحرب أهلية طائفية.
شباب الثورات العربية ذهبوا الى الأسئلة الأولى، وجعلوا من بديهيات الحياة شعارات لثورتهم، بدأوا بالحرية والكرامة، واعلنوا ان الاستبداد الذي خنق المجتمعات وحطمها، يجب ان يتهاوى، كشرط اولي من اجل ان يبدأ النقاش حول المستقبل.
لكن الثورات العربية لم تأتِ من الفراغ، فتضحيات اجيال من المثقفين والمعارضين، وشجاعة الذين قاوموا البغي والطغيان وهم يواجهون القتل والسجون والمنافي شكلت الخلفية التي بنى عليها جيل جديد من المناضلين افق الحرية الذي تعمد بالدم.
يشير هذا الواقع الى حقيقة لا بد من الاعتراف بها، هي وجود فراغ سياسي كبير لا تستطيع المؤتمرات التي تعقد في الخارج او الداخل، والمجالس التي تشكل على عجل تعبئته. فواقع الحركة السياسية يشير الى ان احزاب المعارضة وقواها، في الخارج والداخل، لا تستطيع ان تتصدى لقيادة تحرك شعبي هو عبارة عن انفجار اجتماعي لا سابق له.
فهذه الاحزاب والقوى، نتيجة القمع الوحشي الذي تعرضت له خلال عقود، ليست مؤهلة لقيادة هذا النوع من التحرك، كما انها لا تمتلك الادوات الفكرية او التنظيمية لقيادة ثورة شعبية تتعرض لأبشع وسائل القمع واكثرها همجية.
من جهة اخرى افرزت الثورة السورية شكلها التنظيمي الخاص بها، الذي اطلق عليه المناضلون والمناضلات اسم التنسيقيات. وعلى الرغم من ان هذا الشكل التنظيمي يبدو غير واضح الملامح، بالنسبة للمراقبين والمتابعين والمتعاطفين عن بعد، غير ان هذا الشكل التنظيمي الجماهيري، اثبت قدرته على قيادة التحرك وتنظيم المظاهرات في اصعب الظروف التي يمكن لأي ثورة شعبية ان تمر بها.
ما تشهده سورية ليس قمعا، بل هو مسلسل كابوسي لا سابق له، حيث يجتمع القتل بالتعذيب بالعقوبات الجماعية، وتجري تغطية الجريمة عبر استخدام مركّب تضليلي قرر ان المتظاهرين والمحتجين هم عصابات مسلحة!
في هذا المناخ الرهيب، لا بد ان يثير الصمود الشعبي والاصرار على مواجهة آلة الموت بصرخة الحرية اعجاب الجميع. فلقد اثبت الشعب السوري في ثورته انه الأكثر شجاعة، وانه يستحق دوره الطليعي في العالم العربي بجدارة.
غير ان البطولات يجب ان لا تحجب واقعا بدأت يشكل عبئا على الثورة. وانا لا اقصد هنا الناشطين السوريين الذين يتحركون في العالم من اجل دعم الثورة، فهذا حقهم وواجبهم، لكنني اسمح لنفسي بالتنبيه الى ان هناك فرقا يجب ان يكون واضحا بين دعم الثورة وقيادتها. قيادة الثورة لا يمكن ان تسقط بالمظلات، القيادة هي فعل تراكمي، يصنعه الشعب من خلال الاشكال التنظيمية التي استنبطها، ولا يحق لأحد باسم دعم الثورة فرض قيادة عليها من خارجها.
وكي اكون واضحا فان ما يجري على المستوى التنظيمي في الخارج ليس ناضجا، وهو بالتالي عاجز عن انتاج تشكيلة تقود الثورة وتمثلها، وان المطلوب هو العودة الى قاعدة الثورة، والعمل معها من اجل انتاج مرجعية سياسية واخلاقية.
الخطوة الأولى يجب ان تكون انتاج هذه المرجعية، كي تكون اطارا لتفاعل التنسيقيات، وخطوة تمهيدية لاعلان تشكيلة سياسية تكون مهمتها قيادة سورية من الاستبداد الى الديمقراطية.
الأصدقاء في داخل سورية وخارجها، يعرفون ان مرجعية هذه الثورة موجودة في سورية، وان المطلوب هو تجاوز الخلافات القديمة، من اجل بلورة برنامج واضح المعالم، يبدأ من نقطة الاجماع الوطني حول اسقاط النظام الاستبدادي، ويبلور ملامح المرحلة الانتقالية الى الديمقراطية.
المرحلة جديدة بشكل كامل، وعدم قدرة رموز المعارضة السورية على تفهم واقع ان اسئلة الماضي مضت الى غير رجعة، تعني شيئا واحدا، هو ترك الثورة السورية في عتمة المجهول.
ان تشكيل هذه المرجعية بوصفها جزءا عضويا من تنسيقيات الثورة السورية، يسمح ببناء تفاعل صحي مع قيادات الخارج من اجل بناء اطار لمجلس وطني سوري، يلعب دوره في حشد الدعم والتأييد وبناء مصادر استمرار الثورة حتى اسقاط النظام.
شباب الثورة السورية يعرفون ان هذا الليل السوري الطويل لن ينجلي بسرعة، وان امامهم مهمات شاقة وتضحيات كبرى، لكنهم يعرفون ايضا ان لا عودة الى الوراء، وان لا خيار امامهم سوى مواجهة العتمة بالصمود والتحدي والتفاؤل.
الثورة لا تنتظر احداً، لكن على القيادات الديمقراطية السورية ان تعي ان التاريخ لا ينتظر، وان عليها اليوم بلورة مرجعية اخلاقية وسياسية تساهم في بناء افق التغيير.

Why the Middle East will never be the same again

The Palestinians won't achieve statehood, but they will consign the 'peace process' to history.

One of Robert Fisk's Best

"The Palestinians won't get a state this week. But they will prove – if they get enough votes in the General Assembly and if Mahmoud Abbas does not succumb to his characteristic grovelling in the face of US-Israeli power – that they are worthy of statehood. And they will establish for the Arabs what Israel likes to call – when it is enlarging its colonies on stolen land – "facts on the ground": never again can the United States and Israel snap their fingers and expect the Arabs to click their heels. The US has lost its purchase on the Middle East. It's over: the "peace process", the "road map", the "Oslo agreement"; the whole fandango is history.

Personally, I think "Palestine" is a fantasy state, impossible to create now that the Israelis have stolen so much of the Arabs' land for their colonial projects..... Sometimes, I suspect that the only thing that prevents the existence of "Greater Israel" is the obstinacy of those pesky Palestinians.....

A great anger has been created in the world by decades of Israeli power and military brutality and colonisation........ But what are the Israeli settlements on the West Bank, in which no Arab Muslim Palestinian can live, but an expression of racism?

Israel shares in this tragedy, of course. Its insane government has led its people on this road to perdition, adequately summed up by its sullen fear of democracy in Tunisia and Egypt – how typical that its principle ally in this nonsense should be the awful Saudi Arabia – and its cruel refusal to apologise for the killing of nine Turks in the Gaza flotilla last year and its equal refusal to apologise to Egypt for the killing of five of its policemen during a Palestinian incursion into Israel.....

In the new Middle East, amid the Arab Awakening and the revolt of free peoples for dignity and freedom, this UN vote – passed in the General Assembly, vetoed by America if it goes to the Security Council – constitutes a kind of hinge; not just a page turning, but the failure of empire. So locked into Israel has US foreign policy become, so fearful of Israel have almost all its Congressmen and Congresswomen become – to the extent of loving Israel more than America – that America will this week stand out not as the nation that produced Woodrow Wilson and his 14 principles of self-determination, not as the country which fought Nazism and Fascism and Japanese militarism, not as the beacon of freedom which, we are told, its Founding Fathers represented – but as a curmudgeonly, selfish, frightened state whose President, after promising a new affection for the Muslim world, is forced to support an occupying power against a people who only ask for statehood.

Should we say "poor old Obama", as I have done in the past? I don't think so. Big on rhetoric, vain, handing out false love in Istanbul and Cairo within months of his election, he will this week prove that his re-election is more important than the future of the Middle East, that his personal ambition to stay in power must take first place over the sufferings of an occupied people. In this context alone, it is bizarre that a man of such supposed high principle should show himself so cowardly. In the new Middle East, in which Arabs are claiming the very same rights and freedoms that Israel and America say they champion, this is a profound tragedy.....

...... The game is lost. America's political power in the Middle East will this week be neutered on behalf of Israel. Quite a sacrifice in the name of liberty... "

Yemen: unfinished business

The US has displayed more energy in hitting al-Qaida affiliates in the south with drone strikes than it has in forcing Saleh out

Editorial, Monday 19 September 2011

"....Little, in other words, has changed, except maybe the characters who are directing the shooting. If the snipers put in place by Saleh were blamed for most of the 52 deaths on 18 March which became a turning point in the uprising, this time the finger of suspicion points to his son Ahmed, soon to be 40 and thus a presidential candidate himself. Saleh Sr once likened running Yemen to dancing on the heads of snakes. But he was surely being modest about his own role in fomenting the chaos and the killing. He is one of those snakes and his bite continues to be lethal.

Neither the US nor the Saudis are innocent bystanders in all this

The US and the Saudis want a co-operative regime in Yemen. The Saudis seek stability on their southern front. Strategic objectives are a long way from meeting the demands of Yemenis who have shed so much blood with such courage. Their champion has yet to emerge, and until it does their uprising is unfinished."