Friday, January 08, 2010

Hell Freezes Over...

Sheesh, I thought all of hell would have frozen over first: Harry's Place has something half-decent to say about Viva Palestina! 'Your View' still gets it wrong on various levels: there was no food in the convoy; all food apparently must pass through Israeli checkpoints (concerned as the Israelis are for food poisoning the Palestinians!) Through that slit in the cell door used the world over by jailers to feed the jailed...

I'm not going spend time tearing this post apart (there is still much I disagree with) but it's a departure from the previous almost insane, deeply counter-humanistic and hyper-hawkish HP stances on what is after all the delivery of humanitarian aid (medical aid solely) to a people in great need.

The last two paragraphs are Hasbara 101, of course:

The fact it comes with an uncomfortable message to Israel is a good thing – the situation is clearly untenable in the long term, but Hamas should absolutely be alongside Israel in taking responsibility for the suffering of the people in the Gaza Strip.

But anything, anything at all, that makes one person, on one side, think before joining Hamas or building a new settlement, or firing a gun, is a good thing – whatever it’s faults.

It's the typical faux-largesse of wanting to 'share the blame'. Sorry Zionists, no can do, the blame still lies entirely with your side: no Occupation, no Resistance. Implement Resolution 242 and live in peace. Shalom and Insh'Allah.

Meanwhile the War on Gaza isn't really over: Lenin has pessimistic analysis of the latest air attacks carried out by the IOF on Gaza...

Hat tip to Alex.

16 Comments:

At 6:20 PM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

No blame whatsoever for Hamas?

If only things were as simple as you say they are, life would be much better.

 
At 8:57 PM, Blogger Gert said...

You don't get it, Emm: no Occupation, no Hamas. This is undeniable. Yes, you can blame Hamas for the rockets, for the suicide bombings, yet without Zionism and the Occupation these things would simply not have happened. No motive, you see...

 
At 9:29 PM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

There was Palestinian terrorism before 1967, so it isn't true that without the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza there wouldn't be terror against Israel.

 
At 10:10 PM, Blogger Gert said...

And what came before 1967, Emm? Oh, yes that'll be the Naqba...

You realise that denying people to resist the occupation of their land, just because they're Arab and not Jewish, is racist, don't you?

Oh, I forgot, Zionism is a racist ideology.

 
At 3:08 PM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

"And what came before 1967, Emm? Oh, yes that'll be the Naqba..."

You referred to Res. 242 in your post, which relates to the Six Day War (and, by the way, Hamas leaders keep issuing conflicting statements regarding how much they accept 242 as a basis for a resolution). So when you say that without the occupation none of this would have happened, which occupation are your referring to - 1948 or 1967?

This kind of thinking is exactly the reason Hamas is to blame, at least in part, for the situation in Gaza. They keep fighting to regain what they lost in 1948 and not just the West Bank and Gaza.

"You realise that denying people to resist the occupation of their land, just because they're Arab and not Jewish, is racist, don't you?"

It's racist of us not to want them to fight against our existence?

 
At 4:17 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Emm:

"So when you say that without the occupation none of this would have happened, which occupation are your referring to - 1948 or 1967?"

Both, of course: Zionism was always the aggressor. While I deplore some of the methods used by the resistance, the Arabs were indeed reactively resisting. Anyone would have done exactly the same: do you consider Native American resistance to the colonisation of N.America to be 'terrorism'?

As I've said many times before, when it comes to Zionism, logic and reason become suspended as if by sheer magic. If a Zionist State had tried to form in the middle of Europe, we would in all likelihood not have allowed it (no one wants to cede territory), but when Arabs do the same it's not acceptable. Double standards, anyone?

"This kind of thinking is exactly the reason Hamas is to blame, at least in part, for the situation in Gaza. They keep fighting to regain what they lost in 1948 and not just the West Bank and Gaza."

That is a barefaced lie: four nearly four years now Hamas states very clearly it is willing to accept a state along 1967 border, capital in E.J'sem, in return for a long term truce. No wonder no progress gets made when a self-professed 'peace lover' like you doesn't know that or doesn't even acknowledge it. You have in the past: you are now resorting to blatant lies. Shame on you... You have a fixation with Hamas which is exactly where Netanshitsu et al want to have you.

"It's racist of us not to want them to fight against our existence?"

What is racist is to consider that is resistance to fight for their existence differently from your resistance. Zionism had no business in Palestine, the bride was already married. All Palestinian opposition to it is justified, except of course they're brown skinned, second class people and not 'Judeo-Christian' to boot! Their existence to Zionism is a mere nuisance.

The methodology of resistance is a different matter (I don't support targeting civilians in any way), unfortunately Israel lost that bit of moral ground it might conceivably have left in the bloody mud of Gaza. Which is why so many like me now can only look at Israel as an abject moral failure, a project of crooks, liars and hypocrites and a bloody stain on that part of Jewry that wanted to take part in it or tribalistically supports it... Very sad.

Sheikh Yassin in Ha'aretz:

'Tzvika [Dr. Zvi Sela, a former senior Israeli police officer and a psychological consultant at present], listen, we had good teachers: You established a state thanks to your military power. The dead I take from you are for the sake of establishing a state, but you are killing women and children for the sake of the occupation. You already have a state. You are dirty and hypocritical. I have no interest in destroying you - all I want is a state."

 
At 5:43 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Ooops, that sentence doesn't rock:

What is racist is to consider that is resistance to fight for their existence differently from your resistance.

Replace with:

What is racist is to consider their fight for existence differently from your fight for existence: yours 'liberating' and 'self-defence', theirs 'terrorism'. Zionism's fight is the fight of the aggressor, the coloniser, Arab resistance is reactive to it.

 
At 5:47 PM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

"That is a barefaced lie: four nearly four years now Hamas states very clearly it is willing to accept a state along 1967 border, capital in E.J'sem, in return for a long term truce."

Nice of you to call me a liar. Four years, you say? Here's a quote from 2008 (from PressTV, who you seem to trust):

"“We will never recognize Israel or cease to fight for our land. Our battle against Israel is one of resistance to occupation,” said Khalid Mashaal in an address to 'The Decline of the Zionist Regime' conference at Tehran University, Press TV correspondent Saman Kojouri reported."

Just last month, Ismail Haniyeh said that "Hamas will not retreat from Jihad and resistance until it achieves freedom and independence for our people" and that it "will not recognise Israel and we will not abandon resistance" (from Reauters). Most telling is this quote from the same event:

"We will never give up on Palestine from the river to the sea", the premier said, referring to the pre-1948 borders of the British Palestine Mandate between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.

"It is not enough for Hamas to liberate Gaza, nor to establish an emirate in Gaza, nor a state, nor an independent entity... Hamas strives to liberate all of Palestine," Haniyeh added.
(Quotes from Al-Jazzeera, whose source is PressTV. Emphasis is mine).

"What is racist is to consider that is resistance to fight for their existence differently from your resistance."

Fighting for the West Bank and Gaza would be indeed fighting for their existence and I can't say it isn't their right to fight, as long as there isn't a meaningful peace process going on. Fighting for Greater Palestine, which is what Hamas is doing, according to their own words as I quote before, is fighting against our existence and that they cannot do. We can't just allow them to do it.

"Zionism had no business in Palestine, the bride was already married."

I'll never be able to convince you that Zionism was right, and you'll never be able to convince me that it wasn't. However, business or no business, Israel exists and isn't going anywhere. You don't expect us to say "Oh, we're so sorry for existing. Here, take everything back", do you? That is what Hamas wants, not just a two-state solution (with a ceasefire [not peace agreement] based on the two-state solution as a no more than a temporary break before resuming the fight for Israel Proper).

 
At 5:51 PM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

Woops, don't know what happened to the Al-Jazeera link. Anyway, here's a link to the quote directly from PressTV.

 
At 10:25 PM, Blogger Gert said...

I called you a liar simply because their effective position on that issue has changed. It is now very close to Fatah's position. And you know that.

Like I said, like all Zionists you are positively obsessed with Hamas. Even a blog post that has nothing to do with the subject ultimately gets derailed into a quarrel about it.

Going back to culpability and how to share it, I suggest you add up the dead on both sides since the start of Zionism, find a way to factor in over a million refugees and the suffering that caused and let me know what your formula for sharing the blame is and how much blame you want to apportion to Hamas and, oh, and those guilty of voting for it too...

Gaza is quite literally dying, now even more thanks to Israel's willing accomplice Egypt and what the Potter's and you want to know is how much of that should be blamed on Hamas!

Perhaps I should draw up a list of pre-Hamas atrocities carried out by Israelis in Gaza alone?

I'm currently reading Joe Sacco's 'Footnotes in Gaza': what I didn't know is that it's an investigation of 1957 extra-judicial killings in Rafah and Khan Younis committed by Israel. Pre-Hamas enough for you? I'll let you know how I get on.

Comment moderation will now be switched on but comments will come through because I found the error.

 
At 5:12 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Ooops, I meant 1956, not 1957, as the incidents are related to Anglo-Franco-Israeli collusion against Egypt in the Suez crisis of '56.

Re. Hamas' changed stance, here's yet another source that confirms what I said (many times):

The Transformation of Hamas (in The Nation):

Far from impulsive and unexpected, Hamas's shift reflects a gradual evolution occurring over the past five years. The big strategic turn occurred in 2005, when Hamas decided to participate in the January 2006 legislative elections and thus tacitly accepted the governing rules of the Palestinian Authority (PA), one of which includes recognition of Israel. Ever since, top Hamas leaders have repeatedly declared they will accept a resolution of the conflict along the 1967 borders. The Damascus-based Khaled Meshal, head of Hamas's political bureau and considered a hardliner, acknowledged as much in 2008. "We are realists," he said, who recognize that there is "an entity called Israel." Pressed by an Australian journalist on policy changes Hamas might make, Meshal asserted that the organization has shifted on several key points: "Hamas has already changed--we accepted the national accords for a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, and we took part in the 2006 Palestinian elections."
Another senior Hamas leader, Ghazi Hamad, was more specific than Meshal, telling journalists in January 2009 that Hamas would be satisfied with ending Israeli control over the Palestinian areas occupied in the 1967 war--the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. In other words, Hamas would not hold out for liberation of the land that currently includes Israel.

 
At 6:40 PM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

Here's the comment I wrote yesterday but didn't go through - it's still relevant evn after the article you quoted:

"I called you a liar simply because their effective position on that issue has changed. It is now very close to Fatah's position. And you know that."

Has their effective position really changed? You're pretty much telling me to believe what they say when they say something relatively positive and not believe what they say when they say things like the stuff I quoted in my previous comment. In other words, let's just hope for the best that they don't really mean it when they say they want to create an Islamic republic from the sea to the Jordan River.

There's still a very big difference between Hamas and Fatah. Fatah says it wants to reach a peace deal. Hamas, even in their most conciliatory remarks, are only willing to reach a temporary (though long-term) ceasefire. I've already explained in the past why that isn't good enough.

"Like I said, like all Zionists you are positively obsessed with Hamas. Even a blog post that has nothing to do with the subject ultimately gets derailed into a quarrel about it."

Well, you did discuss assigning blame between Hamas and Israel in your original post, and even quoted a paragraph on the subject. I'm not off-topic.

"Gaza is quite literally dying, now even more thanks to Israel's willing accomplice Egypt and what the Potter's and you want to know is how much of that should be blamed on Hamas!"

I wouldn't have brought it up if you hadn't been so simplistic and said it's all Israel's fault and if Res. 242 were implemented immediately everything would just be rosy.

I think the policy Israel is implementing is wrong. There should be no limits on how much of most products comes into Gaza, so as to avoid the current humanitarian crisis. However, Israel should keep controlling the border to prevent weapons from getting in.

 
At 7:33 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Emm:

"I've already explained in the past why that isn't good enough."

Well, that's part of the problem, isn't it? Even for the 'Zionist Left' nothing's ever really good enough. You want peace, you say. But it's peace with whistles and bells and knobs on all the way. Caveat till they come out my ears...

Even the recognition issue non-issue you insist on. Yet it's nothing but another bargaining chip, something that has no real value; it doesn't provide security, doesn't prevent future wars, doesn't have any economic value, etc. But a negotiating table it's another useful stick for Israeli 'negotiators'.

You can think of the Hamas situation what you like (of course). Either we engage them politically or there will be another Cast Lead sometime. See also Tony Karon's piece if you haven't already seen it.

We will talk to 'terrorists', you know. In the end we always do. After having wasted years of blood and treasure. The big difference between 'your' 'terrorists' and 'our' 'terrorists' is that 'yours' won.

The alternative with regards to Hamas taken to its illogical extreme is simply extermination of all of Hamas: they will only go so far in changing position without any returns. Israel didn't manage to get rid of the PLO either, even after chasing them to the end of the Earth.

Incidentally you were also wrong on Hamas having instituted Sharia Law in Gaza, as my Khan Younis witness (Dalia El Massri) attested. Not that Israel should scream too loudly about Sharia: its own separation between Synagogue and State is far from clear. And 'Liberal' isn't what I would call it either.

"I wouldn't have brought it up if you hadn't been so simplistic and said it's all Israel's fault and if Res. 242 were implemented immediately everything would just be rosy."

Rosy? Who said anything about rosy? Rosy it might still not be in a 100 years from now. Workable is what's needed. Rosy will have to wait.

There is nothing simplistic about asking for Resolution 242 to be implemented: it's a principled demand for Israel to abide by... International Law. Hey, we demand that of all countries, how mean of us to demand it from the Jewish State. Totally unfair!

Going back to the culpability issue for a minute, I wouldn't worry about it too much. When that Final Status thingy finally arrives in the mail, the quislings like Abbas will be all too willing to oblige with some confessions in return for a hot meal and a photo opp.

Meanwhile in the 'New Palestine', built on less than 25 % of historic Palestine, there will inevitably be some residual resentment, but hey, we can just blame that on those ungrateful Arabs too...

 
At 8:24 PM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

"When that Final Status thingy finally arrives in the mail, the quislings like Abbas will be all too willing to oblige with some confessions in return for a hot meal and a photo opp."

You've got a twisted black and white worldview, where the most hardline Palestinians are saints, while people who talk to Israel are criminal collaborators. Take a look at Amira Hass's latest report from Gaza to see how wonderful your heroes are.

"Even for the 'Zionist Left' nothing's ever really good enough. You want peace, you say. But it's peace with whistles and bells and knobs on all the way. Caveat till they come out my ears..."

Nothing? The two state solution, with a viable and free Palestine is nothing? A temporary ceasefire in exchange for everything we're willing to give, followed after a few years by a return to fighting for the rest of historical Palestine - that's what I call nothing!

Meanwhile in the 'New Palestine', built on less than 25 % of historic Palestine, there will inevitably be some residual resentment, but hey, we can just blame that on those ungrateful Arabs too...

If Palestine will be a flourishing state then resentment would be low. Look at the West Bank now. Much of it is flourishing and violence is low, and once they have an economically strong independent state the situation would be even better.

 
At 4:28 PM, Blogger Gert said...

You accuse me of having a 'black and white worldview' and look at what kind of ultra-simplistic reasoning you're coming up with here!

Firstly I don't consider the PA criminals, only perhaps proverbially criminally incompetent. Addicted like Israel to the 'process' rather than the peace, which pays for their handsome villas and lifestyles without actually achieving anything.

Secondly, I've never been a Hamas supporter but support the Palestinians' right to elect whom they want to elect.

Why do you think Hamas took 76 seats out of a 132 in the 2006 elections? Because the Palestinians had gone collectively mad and decided to vote en masse for the 'Hard Men of Gaza'? No, they voted for Hamas for the same reason the Brits now seem set to vote in the Cons once more: because they were fed up with the status quo provided by Fatah. The non-results since Olso and the corruption and personal enrichment of a new class of Palestinian 'Peace' apparatchiks. They voted for change, period, that's what electorates do. It's what the Israeli Jews did recently too, not really for the better either.

Predictably, the 'Quad' decided to boycott the Palestinian people's choice and refused to talk to Hamas. Like many at that time I insisted that that was merely missing an opportunity to engage them politically and reduce their motive to use force. Well, today those who said that, including me, stand totally vindicated. Not only could the terroristic war on Gaza possibly have been avoided, continuing blocking of any talks with Hamas may well lead to Cast Lead II (there's something to look forward to!)

And lets go back for a minute to Fatah, apart from the fact they recently disgraced themselves even more by spurring on Israel in Cast Lead and for a brief period supported also the suppression of Goldstone, Saeb Erekat now seems to be taking the principled position of 'no complete freeze, no talks!' How does Netanshitsu respond: 'the Palestinians are refusing to talk, they are putting up preconditions, we on the other have made steps in the right direction!' in that upside-down world he seems to live in. I didn't much care for Bill Clinton but his aversion for Bibi I fully support...

"Nothing? The two state solution, with a viable and free Palestine is nothing? A temporary ceasefire in exchange for everything we're willing to give, followed after a few years by a return to fighting for the rest of historical Palestine - that's what I call nothing!"

Based once again on your worst case scenario re. Hamas. And a bit of a Freudian slip there, Emm, this "for everything we're willing to give"? Let me remind you that Zionism stole almost all of Palestine. At best you would be thieves giving back a small part of the loot.

The cease-fire may have been up to 50 years and totally renewable, I don't call that nothing. An economically prosperous Palestine would not be inclined to risk losing everything to 'Little Satan' by waging war against it.

"If Palestine will be a flourishing state then resentment would be low."

True. We'll have to see if a proposal for a viable Palestinian state will ever be on the table. I'm not holding my breath. But 'processing'? Yes, that could go on for another 200 years: Israel has nothing to lose.

 
At 6:30 PM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

"How does Netanshitsu respond: 'the Palestinians are refusing to talk, they are putting up preconditions, we on the other have made steps in the right direction!' in that upside-down world he seems to live in. I didn't much care for Bill Clinton but his aversion for Bibi I fully support..."

I'm totally for a settlement freeze, and a permanent one. Still, demanding a complete freeze now - a demand that never came up as a precondition for talks before Obama foolishly brought it up - is just odd. I'm sure I've previously quoted the anonymous American diplomat who said that Bibi wants negotiations with no solution and Abbas wants a solution without negotiations.

Re: Netanshitsu. I had no idea what I was starting when I referred to Netanyahu as Shitanyahu in a recent post. :)

"And a bit of a Freudian slip there, Emm, this "for everything we're willing to give"? Let me remind you that Zionism stole almost all of Palestine. At best you would be thieves giving back a small part of the loot."

Nothing Freudian about it. Negotiations and agreements are all about give and take. In reality, we have the power to give territories to the Palestinians, whether or not we have a right to hold those territories. In the case of pre-1967 Israel, the part most of the world agrees we have a right to, we'd never give it away, except for small land swaps here and there.

"The cease-fire may have been up to 50 years and totally renewable, I don't call that nothing."

Okay, not nothing, but less than a permanent peace treaty that does not allow an opening for either side to make more claims and act aggressively.

 

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