Style

Friday, November 25, 2011

Why is Israel not a forebearer of human rights given Jewish history with the Nazis?

After the holocaust the Jews adopted a quote that is now found on some of their structures: "Never again"...

Never Again means first and foremost that Jews will never again go quietly and submissively to their deaths. Never Again means that Jews will not bend to the will of oppressors. Never Again is a motto shouted with the recognition that Jews are not commanded by God to be downtrodden and victimized - quite the opposite. Never Again is the motto of the post-Holocaust Jew, who knows that the world can be a dangerous place and that it often gets much more dangerous for Jews when they fail to assert their rights as human beings.

[JDL http://www.jdl.org/index.php/ideology-advocacy/core-ideology/never-again/]

The problem with this quote is that it should have been more specific:
"Never again to anyone" not "Never again" to the Jews.

The "chosen people" as it were, believe that it is their God-given right to return to the land of Palestine to establish a state for the Jews. This is not a generic state, it is a state solely for the Jews. This is in contrast to countries described by their dominant nationality such as Turkey which is considered a Turkish state simply because of its majority. This Jewish state exists regardless of the demographics.

Technically speaking, those who believe in the concept of a God-given Jewish state have nothing against Arabs at all (in fact their zeal is focused more on Christians for the movements in Europe during the late 1800s / early 1900s); Arabs just so happen to inhabit the land they want.

As the Iron Wall teaches us (and as many in this movement today believe), the land must return to their own kind and be maintained by the Jews alone, at all costs, even if that cost is just as severe as the history that was inflicted upon them.

So there is no direct relationship between Nazi treatment and the belief that their race should have a Jewish state of their own, although it is a good means to gain simpathy for their cause.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Why did Palestinians elect Hamas if most view them as a militant organisation?

This is a common trait in a state of conflict where people naturally choose the hard-lined leader in order to protect their people with strength in numbers against an external threat rather than with their PhDs in diplomacy.

We saw the same scenario with the rise of a General who became Prime Minister in Ariel Sharon, or Binyamin Netanyahu who was part of the General forces unit and a captain, and even Menachim Begin who was part of the Irgun terrorist group that bombed several British buildings and traded with illegal weaponry.

This is even evident between two military leaders who took separate paths in their methods of leadership regarding the zealous persona of Gamal Abdel-Nasser who was popular in Egypt because he promoted protection against the Zionist invasion, rather than the more diplomatic approach to peace in Anwar Sadat, who subsequently was assassinated for his attempts at peace. This similarity can also be seen in Israel when Yitzhak Rabin was also assassinated for his attempts at peace in a heightened time of conflict.

This stems from the propaganda created for warfare. The classic situation where newspapers and radios promote the perception of "near-annihilation" as troops battle to defend their country's existence. While a people face the depressing realities of daily bombardment, they need a hero to turn to in order to give them hope of victory.
In the first world countries today, we witness people naturally inclined to seek justice in internal affairs rather than in warfare against an external entity. This is especially common amongst the youth who have lived all their lives in a world without any direct imminent threat from external entities, as was the case before their forefathers fought to win their own independence.

Gaza is no different. Rather than the people seeking a government that can provide them financial stability, economic opportunities, and social justice, they believe that none of this can be achieved with the constant humiliation of occupation and a disruption of normality with ongoing checkpoints and land confiscations in areas that were replaced with settlements, as was the case before the seige began in Gaza in 2006. With absence of peace in their everyday lives and the uncertainty of their future, those who become popular were the highest bidders for security.

Hamas' militant approach is the strongest and most secure option for the people of Gaza because no one else can provide them with the protection they need. It is unfortunate that since they have taken office their militant approach has been like punching the apartheid wall with their bare fists; achieving nothing but reactions from those who imposed the blockade around the Strip, rather than a stable solution for the people's livelihoods. These reactions by the occupying powers continually result in civilian casualties even after democracy was implemented in the region with Hamas. That particular democracy was shunned, and was still frowned upon even after Hamas were willing to accept a truce with Israel based on the pre-67 borders in the same year they were elected into office.

What resulted from the elections that birthed Hamas' political careers was evidence that violence ultimately spawns violence, just as the Gaza siege in 2008/2009 will undoubtedly bring up another child who witnessed brutality with the horrific scenes of burned bodies and the pools of blood. Those scenes could only traumatize a collective group of youth that will grow up in a violent environment and a vengeful disposition.

Israel's mistake in dealing with the situation of trying to remove Hamas has not yet been realised. Rather than a collective punishment imposed on Gaza because the people elected the "wrong leaders", the withdrawal of violence will actually have a positive effect, and it will naturally dissolve such reactionary groups amongst popular Palestinian opinion.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Diplomacy or Militancy? That is the Question

A UN bid for the state of Palestine has been greatly debated with a significant split in opinions amongst Arabs regarding whether or not there is an advantage to Palestinian statehood.

Amongst many critics is the claim that a statehood based on the 1949 Armistice Agreement or "pre-67 borders" removes any legitimate claims for the Right of Return of 4.5 million Palestinian refugees currently residing on the outskirts of historic Palestine, and in countries such as Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan.

Naturally this would be a great advantage for Israel. So why are they afraid of a UN application if the Palestinians believe it removes legitimate claims for a large percentage of Palestinians who were invaded and violently displaced from their homes? Wouldn't removing responsibility for the refugee problem be exactly what the Zionist movement wants?

Currently Israel claims that Judea and Samaria (i.e. the West Bank) is in fact "disputed" territory rather than "occupied" territory. By this definition, it would allow them to believe they can justify land annexation which, in Israel's terms is by de facto "uncharted". This ultimately denies them seeing the reality, that it is in fact inhabited by the indigenous population of Arabs who have lived there for many a millenia.

The implication is extended further by proclaiming that there isn't any official recognition of West Bank borders because the Armistice Agreement was only just a truce, and in effect is not recognised by International Law. However there is one problem with this argument. Such a claim effectively defines Israel as a state without official border lines either, and only just an official state body.

Abbas himself has acknowledged that the final agreements for border negotiations cannot be done in the UN, so a simple bid for "official recognition" would suffice for the PA's cause with noteworthy mention that it should be based on the pre-67 borders and not defined by the borders. This creates a dilemma for Israel whereby having two recognised states as UN members with undetermined borders would result in a level playing field, and negotiations could resume between two official state bodies for any border lines.

That is completely outside Israel's comfort zone, especially when the dynamics of the region would significantly shift further away from the status quo that is sitting in their favour. That, along with the mounting pressures of international isolation could only mean political disaster for the state that already declared independence unilaterally in 1948.

On the flip side, there are those amongst the Palestinians, and Arabs in general, who refuse to believe in the legitimacy of the UN altogether because of the irony it demonstrates towards democracy from an organisation that fundamentally provides five permanent members with the ultimate power to overrule and destroy a resolution with a veto if they wish to do so.

However this argument is also flawed. Denouncing such an organisation plays a dangerous game which removes any argument proclaiming that Israeli settlement activities in the West Bank are indeed illegal, especially since they are defined as illegal by International Law based on the Fourth Geneva Convention, which is in fact endorsed by the United Nations.

There are those who also refuse to believe Israel exists altogether, and that denies the reality of confronting a very real opponent on any level. This forces the situation into a more militant scenario and as we have seen in previous attempts by Fatah's rivals Hamas, its almost like punching the Apartheid Wall with their own bare hands. Hamas have been popularly condemned for causing more harm than good to their people without any viable solution to end their plight.

While Fatah have also been condemned for the atrocities against the people of Gaza after the first and only democratic elections in the Strip, they have also been accused of rubbing shoulders with the West. This opinion has slightly changed amongst some as they heard first-hand Abbas' firm stance in front of the entire world against the diplomatic pressures made by the nations who have supported Fatah as a puppet regime. It might not have won their hearts completely, especially with memories of the betrayal exposed in the Palestinian Papers, however the evident defiance seems to have struck a chord.

With Fatah's approach through diplomacy to defy the powers that occupy the Palestinian people, and Hamas' approach through militancy to defy the powers that occupy the Palestinian people, there doesn't seem to be any other suggestions made by the critics except to play the waiting game for emerging powers in the region, which incidentally does not guarantee an honest alliance of any kind. The support of BDS movements can only provide a means to promote a general disapproval, however there are still no positive steps towards other forms of reform, regardless of whether it is to achieve a one-state or two-state solution.

A UN bid proves to be a rare political victory for Palestinians regardless of a result. A successful bid hastens the demise of legitimacy of Fatah and Hamas, who both lack the resolve to unify their establishments and their people, which in turn forces a hand for elections to take place for the official state body of Palestine; while a veto hastens the political isolation of the United States and Israel throughout the world, and especially in the EU where they have had stark negative responses for the earlier veto on halting illegal settlement activities in February. Saudi Arabia have also threatened to sanction the United States following the expected veto.

Regardless of the pros and cons of a UN bid and its effectiveness, the people must choose from a limited number of options to help achieve any kind of outcome: militancy, diplomacy or the waiting game in the hopes that some other external force tilts the balance of power in their favour before Israel annexes the entire region. This could create a limbo for the entire Palestinian population if we wait too long.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The similitude of the Two-State Solution and the Treaty of Hudaibiya

Many Palestinians are too anxious with regards to their right of return that they believe jumping into a bid for the state of Palestine would be a political disaster. Longer term advantages, however, would significantly benefit the Palestinian cause, just as patience was shown during the early years of the Muslim refugees that were displaced from their homes in Mecca and hunted down. There is a striking similarity between the UN bid and the truce that was agreed upon by the Muslims and the Pagan Arabs who tried to eradicate them.

According to the Treaty of Hudaibiya, a truce was declared between the Muslims and the tribe of Quraish for ten years. If any other tribe wished to enter into a treaty with the Muslims it could do so, and whoever wished to enter into a treaty with the Quraish was likewise free to do so. If any one from the Quraish came to the Muslims and was converted to Islam he was to be returned to the Quraish. On the other hand, if a Muslim sought refuge with the Quraish, he was not to be delivered to the Muslims. It was further stipulated that the Muslims would withdraw that year without performing the Hajj in Mecca, but they would be free to perform the Hajj the following year when they could stay in Mecca for only three days before being removed again.

The truce was obviously very one sided and the pact was significantly in favor of the Quraish, so most of the Muslims were extremely critical of these terms. Umar gave expression of his dissatisfaction with the terms of the treaty, but Muhammad (SAW) assured him to put faith in the truce.

Seventeen years prior to this truce, Quraish had been waging a war against the Muslims with their aim to crush Islam. Therefore the treaty of Hudaibiya, when Quraish agreed to the truce for a period of ten years, amounted to a confession of their failure.

By this treaty both the Muslims and Quraish could have allies from amongst the tribes surrounding them. This was a subtle point fraught with grave consequences. The fact that the Muslims were able to travel freely to forge alliances without fear of being attacked by their enemies, meant that they were more advantageous over the Pagan tribe. And that is exactly what they did. As things took shape, it was such alliances that paved the way for the conquest of Mecca by the Muslims without a single drop of blood spilled.

In this comparison, we can also conclude that the same technique can be implemented with regards to the current volatile situation for the Palestinians where at any given time their lives can be taken by a flyover or a home demolition. The more time they can spend "regrouping" by forging strong alliances amongst the free people of Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, Lebanon, Libya and Jordan whilst a truce is in play, the stronger the Arabs will be united in demanding their right of return regardless of how many settlements are built today, and especially when considering that much larger empires were dismantled in the history of mankind.

Remembering that Jerusalem was brutally occupied by the crusaders for almost 100 years until Salahudeen was successful in giving the land back to the people it was stolen from, we can be reassured that Zionism's brutal occupation of the region for only 63 years will not be an exception. Forcing a situation in the region against its natural demographic has never proven to be a sustainable solution for any ruling power.

Considering a "set-back" by declaring the state of Palestine at the UN assembly and accepting a two-state solution doesn't necessarily mean defeat. It can only provide, at the very least, a legitimacy for the Arab world to take a stronger stance in supporting Palestinians in years to come.

Sources: http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Articles/companion/19_ali_bin_talib.htm

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Treatment of Jews in the Arab world

Currently there are numerous misconceptions surrounding Jewish refugees who were allegedly caused by Arab nations during the years that the state of Israel was established. The notion of collective punishment and discrimination under Arab rule has widely been accepted as a fact based on interpretations from verbal accounts on the historic events surrounding the Arab-Israeli conflict. History paints a different picture of those accusations when the complete story is put into perspective.

Since the beginning of the British frontier in the Middle East, not only was Palestine a British colony in the early 1900s, but the Empire had also controlled Egypt since conquering the French in 1882, as well as Sudan in 1899 and Yemen as early as 1839. The land that was once borderless under Islamic rule was slowly being sliced up and became provinces under the British Commonwealth.

At the outbreak of World War I (1914 - 1918), the new emerging Zionist movement also stood out as a significantly strong entity with slightly differing motives than that of the British. While the British Empire was flourishing from land expansions, Zionism was thriving economically, and many of the Jews of Europe excelled in trade, usury and public relations.

Two of its significant leaders, Dr Weizmann and Baron Rothschild, helped fund Britain’s victory in Europe during the Great War. They had only one request in return for the immense favour they bestowed on the Commonwealth for its victory in the First War, and that was the historic Balfour Declaration which was written to Rothschild in order to hand over one of the regions in the Middle East to establish a Jewish-only state.

Meanwhile Britain had already begun establishing monarchies for favourable families that were subservient to the Empire, so naturally nations such as Egypt became an open gateway to the Middle East for the Jewish community before they could claim a land of their own.

The Kingdom of Egypt subsequently made exemptions to rulings over compulsory visas in favour of Jewish immigrants. Naturally, many Jews flocked to this hub of multiculturalism across the Mediterranean from their origins in Europe. Many Egyptians today tell the tale of Jewish neighbours who had become friends over the years with many cultural exchanges including family recipes and traditions. Egypt provided a safe haven for many Jews who comprised of Sephardi Jews (migrating from Morocco and other Arab countries), Ashkenazim Jews (predominantly from Eastern Europe and those from pre-WWII), Jews from southern Europe, and the native Jews who had already existed in Egypt for centuries (namely the Karaites and Rabbanites) and who were previously living under the laws of the Islamic province of Egypt.

Regarding the lifestyle of these indigenous Jews before British rule, the Islamic governor of Egypt had ordered that others could not interfere with their way of life nor in their celebrated holidays. They were considered Dhimmis or "protected subjects". Their protection came with the precondition that a jizya or "poll tax" must be paid to provide security, build roads, help fund places of worship and other benefits that ultimately influenced fundamental practices of modern governance today with modern tax. While Muslims did not pay jizya, they were obligated to pay zakat, which is part of the tenants of their religious obligations. Obviously since Dhimmis were not required to perform one of the obligatory pillars of Islam, another method of taxation was required of them in society.

In the Muslim world, Jews also obtained high social positions such as doctors, clerks, tax collectors, and even received special positions in the Egyptian courts as early as the 9th century. There are historians today that prefer to consider these minority groups "second-class citizens" simply because they were excused from Muslim duties and the Shari'a Law, yet they were otherwise equal under the laws of property, contract and obligation, and were given rights to maintain their own religious rites and freedoms. Incidentally this provided more flexibility and allowances than what is currently provided in Western society today for those who wish to establish their own religious laws within sub-communities for minorities.

Further to this, under British occupation treatment towards Jews was no different. The Jewish community which had otherwise been persecuted abroad was embraced by Egyptians citizens. Some Jews during British rule even had their entries at the royal court and were able to contribute to the nation's public transport, cotton industry, sugar refinery, banking, department stores, real-estate developments, agriculture, as well as having jobs as accountants, shopkeepers, teachers, and merchants. They had just as much opportunity to fulfil a successful life as any other Egyptian citizen at the time.


Following the popular uprising against British rule in 1919, Britain ended the protectorate in 1922 and the Kingdom of Egypt became nominally independent, although still dependent on Britain financially. This did not phase Jewish migrants.

In 1932 and 1933 the Egyptian government conducted a campaign offering Egyptian citizenship to any resident of Egyptian territory who wanted it. Some Egyptian Jews were among those who took advantage of the offer and became Egyptian citizens, while others chose to remain stateless, though it became more difficult for stateless residents to become citizens later on.

Due to the end of capitulations between Egypt and European countries in 1937, which shielded foreign nationals from the law of the land, and due to high unemployment in Egypt which increased dramatically when many businesses closed after WWII, these foreign nationals, including many Jews, found it difficult to maintain jobs especially because they did not have Egyptian citizenship.

What was worse was that Jewish migration from Europe was growing during WWII and it didn't take long before the Nazis followed them. Amongst many other things, one of the main reasons why Hitler attempted to conquer Egypt was an attempt to eliminate the Jews from Egypt.

These two critical issues created the first wave of Jewish emigration. As a result, they fled based on their own fear and insecurity. But while an attempted eradication of Jews in Egypt was unsuccessful, many Jews still remained in Egypt; especially the higher class citizens that had much of their wealth invested in the country.

After the Nazis failed, the Kingdom continued to maintain its own laws. Some of the Ottoman systems that still existed were sustained by the Egyptian monarchy. At the time, Ottoman systems maintained legal protection for non-Muslim minorities which obviously included the autonomous Jewish communities. Any crimes committed against these Jews were not represented by the Kingdom of Egypt, and were rather considered criminal acts of racism. Although demonstrations and riots broke out following the commemoration of the Balfour declaration with some Egyptians lashing out violently against all who supported the letter to Rothschild, these protests consequently subsided with increased security by the Egyptian government to provide guards to protect the Jewish Quarter.

The Egyptian Kingdom's protection was maintained even after the independence of the state of Israel regardless of the fact that war was declared against the Zionists who took Palestinian territory unilaterally.

Egyptian rulers implemented martial law and stamped down their authority on any Zionist supporters living in Egypt as they were officially declared enemies of the state following the invasion of Palestine. Particular emphasis on "Zionist supporters" rather than Jews themselves was made because it was the growing secular movement with it's intention to take Arab land that was a threat to the nation. This law was not exclusive to Zionists however, as many Egyptians were arrested for violence within a nation that suddenly became volatile. The Muslim Brotherhood became outlawed and so were many other opposition organisations. Egypt was completely alienated due to being in a state of war.

Some Jews (primarily Ashkenazim Jews) were extremely fearful of the animosity of the war between Israel and the Arab world that they decided to migrate to the newly formed state especially because Zionist campaigns encouraged them to run to the hills and take land while it was "there for the taking". This is in contrast to what many people describe as an "exodus" in 1948, especially when the Jews themselves describe this ritual as the spiritual "aliyah" or ascension as was the Jewish aspiration since the Babylonian exile.

Egypt's status changed over the next few years when a military coup overthrew the monarchy in 1952 for failure to protect their neighbours from the humiliating defeat against the Zionist movement's invasion. Other reasons for the coup also included political corruption due to remnants of British influence which had helped form the Zionist state.

The state of Egypt was then transformed into a military ruling nation where emergency laws were enforced. One of the most significant changes due to this law was the deportation of those who lived in Egypt without visas or any other kind of evidence to prove Egyptian citizenship. This wasn't a direct attack on Jews, especially since British and French supporters were primarily considered enemies of the state for their support in the attempted invasion of 1956 by France, Britain and Israel, and so were subsequently expelled from Egypt.

Despite these expulsions, there were still Jews who claimed they were still making a good living from their growing businesses even up until the late 1960's and were reluctant to leave the country empty-handed. They were able to stay because they had citizenship and were not supporters of the enemies of state.

Egypt was drastically changed from having open borders to being in a state of security. This behaviour is common throughout the world today and is mirrored in Western countries such as the US with the establishment of the Office of Homeland Security in response to the September 11 attacks in 2001.

This harsh environment regarding the changes in Egyptian policies were mainly due to the undeniable and overwhelming fear that resulted from the establishment of Israel because the Zionist state posed a very imminent threat for a potential expansion beyond Egypt's borders, as it ultimately did in 1967.

Thus military rule created instability and political uncertainty in Egypt, even when considering the significant shifts in alliances from the Soviet Union to the US and up until the days of Mubarak's downfall. Many Jews actually decided to leave Egypt voluntarily, pre-empting repercussions from the political instability. This is no different than the Egyptian citizens who also fled from their own homeland and became migrants in countries across the world including the United States, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, particularly after the 1967 invasion. These Egyptian migrants were not considered refugees, just as the Jews were not. They fled for much the same reasons, and were considered migrants because applications were never made for refugee status with the UN. Jews either migrated to the United States, France and Australia or had answered to the Israeli call to establish settlements on Palestinian soil.

Currently, some Jews claim that racial discrimination against the few remaining Jews in Egypt still exist today especially because of an isolated incident recently regarding the prevention of a marriage between an Egyptian and a Jew. The reality is that even amongst Jewish sects there are significant cultural differences. The Karaite Jews (followers of the Torah) and the Rabbanite Jews (followers of the Talmud) have their own separate synagogues and their own separate schools, and although they both recognise each other as the indigenous Jews of Egypt who lived there for centuries, mixed marriages were an issue for their cultural traditions, let alone cultural differences between Sephardi Jews from Spain, or the Ashkenazim from Eastern Europe.

Some also claim that discrimination against Jews existed because they were denied the right to vote in elections, however this claim does not take into consideration the fact that all of Egypt including its citizens were denied the right to vote in any national election that existed ever since military rule took control of the country, with the staged formalities of elections to try and show Egypt's "democracy".

There has been a common trend amongst the Jewish Diaspora to isolate the sufferings of Jewish people during the time of war so that their own stories would be vindicated by excluding stories of suffering from the general population in the region as a result of the cruelties of war.

Incidentally this victimisation is also used with the constant reminders of genocide that occurred as a result of the holocaust during WWII while failing to describe the many tens of thousands of men, women and children who also suffered collectively from the war. Somehow the words "holocaust" and "exodus" have only been attributed to the Jewish people and astonishingly these words are not accepted nor tolerated to be used in conjunction with any other suffering people as a result of collective punishment in warfare.

Its time that we started sympathizing for humanity collectively when a population suffers at the hands of invasions and political and economic instabilities throughout the world. This ongoing story of suffering is not exclusively kept for the Jews.

Sources:

Jewish Emigration from Arab and Muslim Countries Following Israeli Independence
Omar's Conduct Towards The Dhimmis

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Israeli deception

In light of a recent campaign by Israel's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Danny Ayalon, to try and justify the settlement expansions in the West Bank by considering the region "disputed" rather than "illegally occupied", there is one important point to note on his failure to mention the Oslo Accords of 1993 and the official agreement to recognize a Palestinian state around the 1967 borders.

This deception runs deep in Netanyahu's government.

Previously, Netanyahu himself has arrogantly described how his own lies were successful in removing relevance to this peace treaty, and how easily swayed the United States are into falling for his trickery.



The point here is that the current Israeli establishment works to find loop-holes in peace agreements made with the Palestinians to deny the rights of Arab legitimacy in the region. Being technically correct based on flaws or not, the fact that peace talks with the Palestinian Authority are not in good faith, in effect denies the state of Israel from being considered a "beacon of peace and hope" in the Middle East. Rather it is one of the causes of violence and oppression because of this deception.

How then can one question the Palestinians for working on establishing a sovereign state of Palestine unilaterally in front of the United Nations when there is evidence to suggest that they would have less of a chance with Israel's lack of cooperation?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Why is the two-state solution the best option for Arabs?

In the eyes of the Arab world, the obvious choice regarding a solution to the endless debate concerning the Palestinian/Israeli conflict is a clear undivided bi-national state consisting of Jews and Arabs living side by side as one. Pure in its concept of multiculturalism and democracy, this unity of the two nationalities is a concept they have been familiar with for more than 1000 years. This sober thought plays the perfect tune in the name of humanity and it is probably the simplest choice when considering that Arabs in the region outnumber the Jews, so there isn't anything too complex about this solution.

However it still remains an Arab utopia and continues to be a distant reality.

So why shouldn’t this be the card they play regarding their policies towards Israel? Realistically, the Arabs are in no position to demand democracy or demand any kind of recognition.

It is obvious that the significant demographic imbalance in the region comes at a disadvantage for the Israelis. They have clearly shown they would rather not opt for a solution best suited for pure democracy; otherwise, as Netanyahu put it, it would "end Israel as we know it". Regardless of how politically incorrect this statement is and how it implies that the state of Israel and pure democracy cannot coincide, the reality is, Israel is here and will remain here for a while no matter how forceful it was created in the first place.

While generally humanity cries out for democracy in its purest form, human history shows that the strongest ultimately survives. Some may argue this case even from an evolutionary perspective. Even when we go back to the time when Hitler was defeated for trying to conquer Europe; simultaneously, Britain and France were conquering the Middle East and their dominance prevailed in deciding the future of the region. It was never a conscious choice of morals to defeat the aggressive nature of the Nazi regime, because these dominant forces sliced the Arab lands and created the borders we see today in much the same way Nazi Germany began with Austria and Poland.

Britain and France, being the victors of the Great Wars, established monarchies in the Middle East that would benefit their respective Empires for strategic and economic gains regardless of what the inhabitants of the land preferred.

The sooner the Arabs submit to the idea that democracy isn't what will decide the fate of the existence of one race over another in the region and realise that the two-state solution is realistically the only solution they can push for regarding the region that was once called Palestine, the sooner they can prevent their own leaders from making ill decisions that result in the loss of more Palestinian lives when trying to fight against this phenomenon.

They simply need to come to terms with the fact that they lost the war against Israel and land was conceded. This was the case in 1949 when the Arabs had no choice but to sign a truce. This truce must be honoured just as their prophetic leader did with the Meccans 1400 years ago because it is as much a viable solution for long term success.

Many decades from now the tides may turn and the balance of power may shift just as it did when Salahudin emerged to end the violent occupation of the Crusaders in Jerusalem that lasted for almost 100 years, but the Arabs are far from providing any kind of shift similar to that today despite what is right or wrong. Israel has only existed for 60 years, and Arabs are already impatient in trying to force their own will against the situation.

Power ultimately determines what is put on the negotiation table, and as is the case today, there isn't much that Palestinians can negotiate with. The more they try to ignore this reality, the more innocent lives will be taken by an overwhelmingly powerful and violent regime.

The only thing the Arabs are currently in a position to do is prevent Israeli war crimes from continuing against their own people because it may threaten the very existence of their legitimacy in the region. This is the reason why the bid for a sovereign state of Palestine within the borders that were agreed upon during the 1949 truce had only developed in recent history, especially when previously Palestinians were more inclined to inhabit a borderless land unsoiled by man-made lines drawn on a map.

Despite Israel’s inability to adhere to the Fourth Geneva Convention to ensure that the demographic situation sways in their favour at all costs, and despite being condemned by the International Community, Israel still stands unchallenged.

Yet international support against the heinous crimes against humanity is the only thing that the Arabs have. The stronger their policies are in gaining traction with international support for the Palestinian cause, the better equipped they would be in defeating the occupation and succeeding in having their own sovereignty for the millions of displaced refugees. Fighting violence with violence hasn't seemed to work out well for the Arabs who currently lack strength in unity.

Regarding long term outcomes, Arabs should learn from their own history because Mecca was given back to the displaced Arabs without a single drop of blood spilled from the truce they had with their Pagan enemies.
Salahudin also returned Jerusalem without having to push the Christian occupiers "out to sea"; in fact he provided a safe passage for them back to their places of origin and indeed offered a place of sanctuary for those who chose to stay in the Holy Land.
South Africa was also liberated with the power of the people prevailing over an oppressive force that could not maintain power against the natural demographic balance. That force also fell without violence with the use of pure democracy.

It is in the best interest of both civil Arabs and civil Jews to have a truce today simply because too many innocent lives are being taken in this conflict. This truce is the pre-67' two-state solution.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Israel's Nuclear Armament

This article has been taken from Iran vs Israel: What the media wants you to forget

The corporate media have been given their orders to throw the focus back on to Iran.
Here is a recap of what they are trying to make you forget:
  1. Last Spring, Rose Gottemoeller, an assistant secretary of state and Washington's chief nuclear arms negotiator, asked Israel to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Israel refused.
  2. The United Nations passed a resolution calling on Israel to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and to submit to inspections. Israel refused.
  3. The IAEA asked Israel to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and to submit to inspections. Israel refused.
  4. Iran's formal notification to the IAEA of the planned construction of the backup fuel-rod facility underscores that Iran is playing by the rules of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which Iran has signed.
  5. Iran allows IAEA inspections of all its facilities.
  6. Contrary to face-saving claims, it appears that the US and Israel were both caught off guard by Iran's announcement. The reasoning is simple. Had the US or Israel announced the existence of he new facility before Iran's notified the IAEA, it would have put Iran on the defensive. As it is now, the US and Israel seem to be playing catch up, casting doubt on the veracity of Israel's claims to "know" that Iran is a nuclear threat.
  7. The IAEA and all 16 United States Intelligence Agencies are unanimous in agreement that Iran is not building and does not possess nuclear weapons.
  8. In 1986, Mordachai Vanunu blew the whistle and provided photographs showing Israel's clandestine nuclear weapons factory underneath the reactor at Dimona.
  9. Israel made the same accusations against Iraq that it is making against Iran, leading up to Israel's bombing of the power station at Osirik. Following the invasion of 2003, international experts examined the ruins of the power station at Osirik and found no evidence of a clandestine weapons factory in the rubble.
  10. Recently revealed documents prove not only that Israel has nuclear weapos, but actually tried to sell some to Apartheid South Africa. Who else Israel approached to sell nuclear weapons remains an unasked question.
  11. In 1965, Israel stole over 200-600 pounds of weapons-grade uranium from the United States.
  12. Declassified documents from the former South African regime prove not only that Israel has had nuclear weapons for decades, but has tried to sell them to other countries

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Was Israel Purchased or Palestine Stolen?

Regarding a recent article called Not Stealing Palestine, but Purchasing Israel by Daniel Pipes there are a few points that can be made about his comments.

The flaw in the argument presented is when the comparison is made on Israel being the "lesser of two evils" regarding colonising Palestinian land compared to those who attained land by violent conquests throughout history.

Too often we hear the same cry of the barbaric rule of the Roman Empire; or how the Crusaders conquered Jerusalem with horses "knee-deep in blood"; or how Hitler used false-flag techniques to achieve the same outcome in Austria & Poland.

The critical flaw in this argument is two-fold: The frequency of these historic events which have shown more or less the same barbaric approaches towards dealing with occupation doesn't necessarily make them the standards by which we consider "historical norm" to be a correct approach to occupation. Moreover, simply by using these examples to fuel the argument for justifying Israeli occupation is by de-facto putting the Zionist movement within the same category as the Greek, Roman and British Empires.

There is, however a grave difference between the previous British colonisation and the current Zionist occupation. Even though Britain colonised most of the surrounding regions, just as the Ottoman Empire did before them, the colonies were still considered Arab land, only with British military rule. Ever since the conception of a "Jewish state" we have seen nothing more than a lack of adhering to the Fourth Geneva Convention with ongoing land confiscations, home demolitions, expanding settlement construction, economic strangulation, child imprisonment, systematic deportations, civilian displacements, violent checkpoint misconduct, water resource reallocation, residency revocation, border blockades, airspace "no-fly" restrictions, and maritime seaport blockades.

In order to justify these actions, some traditionalists like to claim that the Jews were the original inhabitants of the region, however they weren't. They lived there 3000 years ago when David conquered Goliath, then his son Solomon created the a kingdom, then there was civil war two generations later between Judea and Samaria, and Nebuchadnezzar conquered and exiled the Jews to Babylon shortly after that.

That’s all - four generations; a moment in the history of Jerusalem. People lived before the Jewish rule, and people lived after the Jewish rule. One cannot compare four generations with 1000 years of Arab inhabitants. There is no "destiny" for a Jewish-only state because multiculturalism has always undeniably existed in the land whether religious fanatics like to admit it or not.

Starting with the original rallying cry of Zionism - thought up by Israel Zangwill and adopted by Theodor Herzl - the following statement was used: "a people without land for a land without people" and that was the first Zionist lie. They knew full well that the region was not a land without people. In fact, they had sent a delegation of three Rabbis to inspect the territory. The message that the Rabbis sent back was "the bride is beautiful, but she is married to another man". From the very beginning, the Zionists knew that their entire project was based on fabrication.

Palestine belonged to Palestinians on British authority, and before that it was on Ottoman authority.

The cause and effects of the British Mandate when permission was given for a mass Jewish migration in the 1930's (as a gesture of appreciation for Rothschild's funding of WWI) caused great unrest throughout the entire region. The populous began growing at such an accelerating rate and in such a small area of land that it had caused massive collisions which resulted in the British government's decision to halt Jewish immigration. Regardless of this, it led to a large scale illegal Jewish immigration following a bitter conflict with the British pioneers themselves.

The simple fact that there was no room for the influx of European Jews had caused the Jews themselves to drive out Arab farmers by sending their own tractors out onto the fields owned by the indigenous people. Violence broke out and neither party stopped ever since.

While early explanations of the Palestinian refugee crisis alleged that Arab leaders urged them to flee in radio broadcasts so that they wouldn't get in the way of attacks on Israeli forces, there was no evidence to support this. At the time British and US intelligence, as well as the BBC, were monitoring Arabic language radio broadcasts in the region and none of them recorded exhortations to flee. Rather, there were calls to stay.

Palestinians today still consist of the largest population of refugees in the world totalling 4.3 million as confirmed by the UNHCR, and are displaced in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. To claim that they sold their land to become refugees is a complete misrepresentation of historical events.

There are claims that suggest the Jews purchased 10% of the land prior to the mass migration in the late 1930s / early 1940s, and there is in fact evidence to suggest that 10% of the population in the region that was called Palestine were of Jewish heritage; however that still does not include the rest of the land that was either unilaterally declared the state of Israel, annexed, or occupied. Today's PR campaigns do not clarify the specific details of the amount of the land that was actually purchased compared to the remainder that was taken by force.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Is the theory of the Nile to the Euphrates a realistic possibility?

Regarding a recent article called In defense of reason, not Israel by Amr Yossef, an Adjunct Professor of Political Science, there are a few points that can be made about his comments.

Most of his article is very well written and provides a realistic perspective of the situation between Israel and Egypt especially when considering that there are many conspiracy theories regarding the two nations that provide an inaccurate outlook on their relationship. That is because they are exactly what the name suggests: "theories" without tangible evidence or without factual analysis to support any of the accusations mentioned.

However, there is one vital note that Amy Yossef makes that needs to be examined carefully.
"Israel is not interested in a territorial expansion that would go far beyond its capabilities."
This statement is absolutely correct, and as the world witnessed in the events after the six day invasion of 1967, Israel clearly could not defend and maintain the newly occupied territories. The reality is that it wasn't ready to occupy Egypt's Sinai, Lebanon's south, Syria's Golan Heights, and the entire Palestinian territories comprising of the West Bank, Gaza strip, and East Jerusalem because it provided an economic strain on the state especially at such an early stage of its establishment. .

The problem with this statement though is that it does not rule out the fact that the region is actually witnessing territorial expansion and annexation within East Jerusalem and the West Bank today that has not ceased since those six critical days.

One can safely say that almost 45 years on, East Jerusalem and the West Bank are definitely within Israel's capability to annex, otherwise current settlement constructions would not be occurring.

While the quick adolescent approach to occupation proved to be a failure, the more mature and steady approach to increasing the Israeli Empire has proven to be extremely successful, especially when, as Amr Yossef put it, "Israel is satisfied with the current status-quo", and no peace with the Palestinians will help Israel continuously expand.

What no one has asked is whether or not Israel has actually defined a limit to the ever-growing expanding territory. There is no evidence to suggest that Israel will stop at the West Bank and East Jerusalem especially when the state has been internationally condemned for annexing regions within these territories in the first place.

If the Israeli government simply cannot abide by International Law to halt the current illegal activity of expanding its territory, there is no evidence to suggest that there is any limit at all. This raises issues on whether or not a reason to prove the theory of the Greater Israel being from the Nile to the Euphrates is relevant, but rather that a counter to this theory is necessary when considering Israel's current behaviour.

As Israel's economy grows and their military strength increases, there is nothing to suggest they wouldn't try to continue to expand on more Arab land within their "capabilities" so long as they have the ability to do so.


The only thing that has in fact changed since 1967 is that Israel has learnt that conquering its surrounding land in only six days is simply not a sustainably reality.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Are the Palestinians willing to have peace?

Since the beginning of the Oslo Accords in 1993 the PLO had agreed to a cease fire in order to recognize a two-state solution surrounding the original Armistice Agreement's Green Line which is widely known today as the pre-1967 borders.

While they eventually only achieved a self-governing entity, the Palestinian Authority, they did agree that the issues of settlement activity in West Bank and Gaza would be finalised leading on from the Oslo Accords. Considering that there weren't too many advantages to this agreement they were content with the decision, although no concessions were actually made by Israel to retreat from the existing settlements which were part of the negotiations. Instead, during the protracted interim period of the Oslo process, they began new settlements in the occupied territories, expanded existing settlements and constructed a network of bypass roads to enable Israeli settlers to travel from their settlements to Israel proper without passing through Palestinian-inhabited areas. These projects were understood by most Palestinians as marking out territory that Israel sought to annex in the final agreements. [The Oslo Accords]

Radicals had emerged - namely Hamas and Jihad - in reaction to these settlement expansions, and since these groups saw no serious commitment toward an Israeli recognition of a Palestinian state, they decided it was a declaration of war and subsequently based their own charters on a similar concept.

Despite these issues the negotiations were at large still being pursued. However once Netanyahu took office, the Oslo Accords completely failed because he fundamentally opposed it.

In the following years, the Arabs had also accepted the 2000 Clinton Parameters, the Arab Peace Initiative endorsed by Saudi Arabia in 2002, then the Geneva Accords of 2003, and again re-established the Arab Peace Initiative in 2007 all of which described the two-state solution, and yet the settlement expansions still continued. [Why two states]

In late 2006, after Hamas was elected leaders of Gaza, a press release stated Hamas would recognise Israel within the pre-1967 borders: Hamas: We’ll recognize Israel within '67 borders

Regardless of their militant past, Hamas clearly showed they were willing to be committed towards opening dialogues for negotiation which in effect would implement a cease fire in order to have peaceful negotiations regarding the two-state process. Incidentally, subsequent cease fires were in fact honoured by Hamas, then consequently broken by Israel as is thoroughly described in the following article: Reigniting Violence: How Do Ceasefires End?

During this time, the US Bush Administration and Israel branded Hamas a terrorist organisation placing them on their "hit list" regardless of their commitment and actions towards peaceful negotiations.
This significantly affected peace talks because neither government wanted to negotiate with the elected party of Gaza even when considering that history had shown in Arafat's PLO that negotiations were a very real possibility.

Instead, Israel continued to expand with more and more settlements and broken cease fires.
Ultimately they chose war instead of peace, and Hamas replied in kind with their new Al-Qassam rockets. Whenever an F16 fighter jet made a flyover and shelled Gaza's infrastructure, Hamas responded.

In 2011, however, Hamas managed to state that they would still be willing to accept a Palestinian state within the pre-1967 borders and within the Green Lines, even though they were less optimistic about this recognition as described in the following article: Hamas will accept the 1967 Borders and a Truce with Israel

PR campaigns work well to avert attention away from these "trivial" details.

Despite all this evidence however, the above notes only describe the political situation between governing bodies. More notably, the voice of the Palestinian people and their fundamental stance on the situation still outweighs any political commitment made by Hamas or the PA. A more accurate judgement to decide whether or not Arabs genuinely want peace would be needed to illustrate their legitimacy against Israeli claims that Palestinians "do not want to recognize the state of Israel" or worse, that they "want to drive all Jews into the sea".

When looking at this from a practical perspective, populations cannot sustain their livelihood in an ongoing conflict. That is why the Palestinians marched against Hamas and Fatah during the Arab Spring before the two factions decided to create the Unity party as an interim to allow the people to vote once again for a unifying organisation.

There have been numerous polls made to understand the Palestinian perspective, and the general consensus is very different to what the Israeli propaganda like to portray in order to justify their own need for self-determination above all other matters:

  • 70% of Palestinians opposed to the launching of rockets into Israel from Gaza
  • 75% believing that military escalation would not serve them, only Israel
  • 54.8% prefer the two-state solution: an Israeli state and a Palestinian state while most others either don't know, refuse to answer, or are for a bi-nation.
  • 67.5% are in favor of concluding a peace agreement with Israel while 24.8% are in favor of a truce with Israel

[http://www.pcpo.org/]

The above information provides ample evidence to support the notion that Palestinians in general do prefer peace over war whether it is part of the common people's perspective or of their own leaders and representatives.

With this, what more would be needed to convince the Israeli government and its people that Arabs are willing to begin dialogues on the two-state solution? All that is required is an equal commitment by Israel to show they are genuinely willing to begin talks, and this can be proven by agreeing to a complete halt on its pursuit to de-legitimize the concept of a Palestinian state.

Ultimately, that means permanent settlement freezes; not the temporary 10-month plans that only apply for "new" construction sites in the West Bank alone while ignoring both the new constructions in East Jerusalem and the general expansions of existing settlements throughout the entire Palestinian Territories.

Putting this into context, Israel has never once put a complete halt on their land-grab, and that in effect implies they have never once shown a willingness to recognize the self-determination and sovereignty of a Palestinian state.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Letter of response to Obama's Speech

Friday, May 20, 2011

Dear Obama,

Your speech was very informative in raising awareness of our story of freedom, and as an Arab I very much appreciated it. It was as “hopeful” as the speech you gave in Cairo two years ago.

I could only truly falter one comment in an almost perfect speech. You mentioned that Palestine should be a “sovereign non-militarized state”. I foresee this proposal would be an exceptionally unpopular card to play in negotiations. If it is a matter of "trust", do you also believe that we as Arabs would trust Israel to be the only military force? Ironically, this is the current status-quo that cannot provide stability, and you mentioned the problem of instability in the very same speech.

Israel has shown time and time again that they cannot handle situations in a non-violent manner.
There is the matter for them to adhere to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as well as the subject on illegal use of white-phosphorous chemical weapons.

Could you not propose to make them non-militarised as well? That would most likely mean that international security would be required in the region until true stability is reached on either side when they are BOTH able to provide a legitimate defence force. That would definitely provide a peaceful solution for BOTH to enjoy.

This would of course also mean ownership of responsibility with regards to the U.S. foreign aid which is used specifically for the Israeli war machine that should be halted just as urgently as the illegal settlements you mentioned in your speech.

If there is no pure intention of “courage” to act on your powerful words, then it is otherwise a lovely display of smoke and mirrors.

Arabs are not entirely naïve and I hope respect and dignity will be shown to provide a level playing field in which both Arabs and Jews can enjoy the harmony they once experienced many centuries before colonisation plagued their lands.

I'm sure as a leader of an Independent country, you would most definitely agree.

Regards,
Adel Helal

Sent to the White House via http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact


RE:
The White House, Washington
June 10, 2011

Dear Friend:

Thank you for writing.  I have heard from many Americans concerned about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and I appreciate your perspective.  I remain committed to a sustained diplomatic effort to promote peace in the region, because achieving a secure and lasting peace is critical not only for Israelis and Palestinians, but also for their neighbors and the United States. 

Resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict demands our immediate and continued attention.  For generations, the conflict has taken a terrible human toll, and continued instability in the Middle East makes us all less safe.  We must open a more hopeful chapter in the story of the Holy Land.

Through comprehensive and sustained efforts, we can achieve the goal of two states:  a Jewish state of Israel and a viable Palestinian state, living side by side in peace and security.  This approach requires working with Israelis, Palestinians, and other stakeholders over the long term, and my Administration will do just that.

I encourage you to join me online and read more about my Administration's approach to this complex issue and other critical foreign policy matters at:  www.whitehouse.gov/agenda/foreign_policy.

Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts. 

Sincerely,

Barack Obama

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Civilian Casualties: Palestinian / Israeli Conflict

Based on the information provided from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitatian Affairs online database, the data was exported and generated as reports as shown below.

The data compiled includes casualties caused by direct Israeli / Palestinian conflict, internal Palestinian conflict, indirectly related to Israeli Palestinian conflict, reckless handling of explosives, and disputed responsibility within Israel, West Bank and Gaza strip.













Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Western interests in the Middle East

US foreign aid sent to Israel currently stands at a total of $3.6 billion annually which is the largest foreign aid given to any country in the world. With regards to budget for military aid alone, the following figures have been proposed for the next few years:


Military Aid to Israel FY2009-FY2018
  • FY2009 $2.55 billion
  • FY2010 $2.77 billion
  • FY2011 $3.00 billion
  • FY2012-2018 $3.09 billion annually
Source: U.S. State Department

This strong US support has been maintained for many decades and goes well beyond any Presidential administration. It is too strong an alliance for anyone to challenge, and as the Obama administration found, it is extremely hard to put pressure on Israel with a lobby seemingly embedded at the core of Congress.

This "Israel First" lobby is a result of a deal that the two nations struck when the US and Israel acknowledged they had common interests vital for strategic power in the Middle East that stemmed primarily from the 1967 Israeli invasions. This event was quickly followed by the significant influx of funds to help the new state thrive in military and agriculture.

Allowing Israeli control of the region results in the following two strategic benefits:
  1. For the US: Instability in the region would lessen the threat of the Arab and Muslim world on the West. Arabs have two extremely important commodities that could potentially cause serious ramifications that would spread throughout the globe as had happened in the 1950's with the Suez Canal crisis and the embargo of the largest oil deposits in the world. Sanctions on either of these would give enormous power to any Arab demands.
  2. For Israel: The Jews can fulfill their ancient religious beliefs of a Greater Israel and ultimately their prophetic "Promised Land".
Despite these advantages, Obama realises that persistent strain on the region may cause the bubble of power to burst and the "Arab Spring" revolutions have shown a potential breach in the stability of their dominance. However as Obama has realised this, his attempts to draw it to Netanyahu's attention has been spat back in his face.

The tension between Netanyahu and Obama from their back and forth dialogue was a result of the fear that the Arab revolutions might actually spread to Israel's occupation of Palestinian Territories.

Obama's Middle East speech was more an urgent cry to Israel to show some flexibility to their violent occupation, in the fear that Israeli rule could potentially be ousted just like Egypt's powerful dictator Mubarak was ousted - who incidentally received the second largest US foreign aid in the world totaling $2 billion annually to help silence the masses regarding the genocide occurring on the other side of their border.

In the eyes of the Israelis, his speech was a minor hiccup in an otherwise unblemished friendship.

Ultimately, this deadly alliance with the US government has helped Israel stand uncontested with regards to the ongoing land confiscations, home demolitions, settlement expansion, systematic deportations, civilian displacements, violent checkpoint misconduct, water resource reallocation, residency revocation, border blockades, airspace "no-fly" zones, and maritime seaport isolation, regardless of any condemnation coming from the International Community requesting Israel to adhere to the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Complete support for Israel provides a significant boost to America's dominance internationally, however it is seriously affecting national responsibilities. It basically comes down to what would be considered more important for the United States: being a super-power, or providing their own citizens with a better lifestyle.

Priority on the latter seems to be the lesser of the two.

Obama is looking at solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the wrong angle. If the US pulls out funding for this balance of power, then the two parties might actually approach each other on a level playing field, and negotiations could then be taken seriously on both sides. At the moment it is just a staged formality. Israel is getting exactly what they want so why would they need to negotiate?

One would seriously doubt that a few blind Al-Qassam rockets over the borders are a threat against Israel, who incidentally is one of the top 10 most powerful military forces on the planet possessing state of the art tanks, Apache choppers, F16 fighter jets, anti-missile Drones, heat-seeking missiles, white-phosphorous chemical weapons, nuclear weapons, and $3 Billion to spend on a force that provides the state with unlimited ammunition. Israel could quite literally wipe out all of Gaza, the West Bank, Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon in a matter of days if they decided to. Lets face it, they actually did invade those regions in just six days in 1967.

It is a pretty hard PR game to play to try and convince the world that Israel is trying to "defend" itself from being driven out to sea.

Unfortunately what has happened now is that this generous foreign aid has been taken for granted by the Israeli government, and they are not afraid to express their disapproval of US opinions if anything but their own unilateral policies are accepted. The US has no choice but to submit to the overwhelming pro-Israeli support in Congress.
"Since the peace process began with the Oslo accord of 1993, the number of Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank has risen from around 110,000 to more than 300,000. The government of Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu refused to agree even to the extension of a temporary halt, despite an offer of jet fighters worth billions of dollars. American aid has been running at around $8.5 million a day for many years but obviously doesn’t buy much influence."
[Bernd Debusmann - Reuters]
"For far too long many American officials involved in Arab-Israeli peace-making have acted as Israel’s attorney, catering for and coordinating with the Israelis at the expense of successful peace negotiations. If the United States wants to be an honest and effective broker ... then surely it can have only one client: the pursuit of a solution that meets the requirements of both sides."
[Aaron David Miller - Middle East negotiator and adviser, US State Department - Washington Post 2005]

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Netanyahu Exposed

The speech Obama gave last month to the Middle East was spoken perfectly if one were to dissect it using lexical analysis. The structure, tone and context of the speech, whilst trying to appease two cultures with a deep-seeded, bitter conflict was actually admirable. But that is as far as it goes because ultimately a US president cannot give more than what Obama gave: a speech.

There was admiration in his words as he bounced around the joy of witnessing history in the making with regards to the freedom fighters of Egypt and Tunisia, then a stern reminder of the failure of terrorism, and then there was a teasing and a dancing about of his words while trying to work his way through stating what has always been discussed for many years with Israel, and even though nothing new was mentioned, what made the speech successful from an Arab perspective is that it called Netanyahu's bluff.

It exposed him for what he really is, a manipulator of his own words. Netanyahu has always been calling out for a two-state solution as being the "only solution for peace" because he knows very well that a single-state, multi-cultured, purely democratic country involving a majority Arab and minority Jewish population would vote out and subsequently end the Jewish leadership and the identity of a Jewish state entirely.

What this speech showed, as obvious as the call for a two-state solution was, is that Obama’s call to action for Netanyahu to begin implementing such a notion could not possibly be carried out by the leader of Israel. After all, he has a Promised Land to fulfil for his people.

His immediate response by meeting with Obama to settle his "differences" proved that he really wants one thing that can no longer be denied through his PR campaigns and his "contempt" for the status quo: Arab land completely annexed from the Sea to the Jordan River, and nothing left for the Palestinians. What he fails to hide is that he has no intention to consider a viable "defensible" state for the Palestinians because frankly he doesn’t really care. His subsequent speeches to provide "clarification" of what Obama "really" meant never once mentioned the best interests for the Palestinians, which naturally would be a topic of conversation if a leader of a democracy wanted a sustainable region for all people to thrive in.

Although there will be no obvious progress following the back and forth of the Obama/Netanyahu speeches, the exposure of the lies that seeps through the very pores of the Israeli Prime Minister was there for all to see.

Lo and behold, once the penny dropped there was no looking back, and the result of this was the exposure of the Likud Platform, which looks strikingly similar in intent to the Hamas Charter:

Likud Platform
http://www.knesset.gov.il/elections/knesset15/elikud_m.htm

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Why doesn't Egypt annex Gaza to provide Palestinians a reasonable life?

This question was actually asked on Quora.

Simply put, Egypt, like all the other surrounding Arab countries, do not want to remove Palestinian Identity. It is a concept that even the Palestinians accept. They must not be a forgotten people. Their self-determination is just as great as Israeli self-determination. One could ask the same question as to why Israel wouldn't agree to a multi-cultural, purely democratic, non-racial single state that is enjoyed by both people in the region - after all, Arabs and Jews shared the land amongst themselves for many centuries prior to European colonisation. The answer that would most likely be found would be no different than that of the Palestinians.

This identity is in contradiction to the statement that Golda Meir made when she believed that Palestinians didn't exist. This rhetoric is untrue, because they have always existed and were described as Philistinieen (arabic phonetic). The English translation of that is Palestinians, so naturally the Brits named their colonial region Palestine after the indigenous people that lived there for centuries.

Egyptians know this history well.

The very implication of annexation is an immoral act of delegitimizing a people of their identity and of their rightful home wherein you will find a critical distinction between that and the notion of colonisation as was the status of the region when it was Mandate Palestine. While the British occupiers had control of Palestine between WWI and WWII - much to the dislike of the Arabs - they did not create settlements over existing homes, nor did they displace or deport the inhabitants of the land. Their presence was purely a military presence, and while there were checkpoints, Palestinians were able to travel and trade freely between each city without restrictions.

Based on the above information, a more resonable question would be why Egypt wouldn't colonize the Gaza Strip and provide Palestinians living there with a resonable life? The answer to that is simpler still: That was in fact the status during 1948-67 where Egypt provided military protection for the people of Gaza while promising those who where displaced from their homes the Right of Return. Never at any time did Egypt feel the need to remove the Palestinian's identity in addition to those who were made refugees. Unfortunately with their blind hatered and zeal, there was no vision in restoring that identity and they subsequently lost legitimacy as protectors of these people.

Having said that, hypothetically if either annexation or colonisation were in fact a possibility today, it would definately be a contentious topic regarding the Rafa border crossing that Israel would no doubt want a cruical role in playing a part of. Currently Israel's intention is to demilitarize a newly formed State of Palestine which is ironic in its own right because this is in fact the current status quo, and it leaves a large blur in the definition of sovereignty.

No doubt Israel would want to ensure its "safety" by trying to prevent the border from being continuously open for free trade and movement at the Rafa crossing. Israelis would most likely feel that it is in their own interest to be the state responsible for "colonising" Gaza with their demilitarization edict to complete their blockade around the entire strip.

That is of course if they don't have another friendly dictator by the time Egypt have their civil elections.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dissecting Netanyahu's speech before US Congress

The following extracts have been taken from Netanyahu's speech addressed to the U.S. Congress. It has left a lot to be desired in the Arab world.
"You don't need to send American troops to Israel. We defend ourselves."
$3 billion US foreign aid is sent annually to help the Israeli war machine: U.S. Military Aid
"I take it as a badge of honor, and so should you, that in our free societies you can now protest"
People are definitely allowed to protest in his free society... and look what happens when they do:
Israeli Snipers shoot peaceful civilian protesters on Nakba day
"I pray that the peoples of the region choose the path less traveled, the path of liberty."
The Arabs also pray that this path he talks about is also taken with regards the Israeli occupation: Israeli Apartheid - CBS: Is Peace Out of Reach?
"This path of liberty... [paved] when human rights cannot be crushed by tribal loyalties or mob rule"
Amongst many human rights activists victims crushed: Rachel Corrie - An American Hero
"We’re proud in Israel that over 1 million Arab citizens of Israel have been enjoying these rights for decades."
That's not what those Arabs have to say: Is Israel truly an apartheid state?
"It would give terrorists a nuclear umbrella. It would make the nightmare of nuclear terrorism a clear and present danger throughout the world."
Arabs couldn't agree more: UN General Assembly Resolution 38/69 and UN General Assembly Resolution 38/9 (1983)
"They could put a bomb anywhere. They could put it in a missile; they’re working on missiles that could reach this city. They could put it on a — on a ship inside a container; could reach every port. They could eventually put it in a suitcase or in a subway."
This fear-mongering is a typical fascist technique we have seen in one other man, dare we mention his name: Speech given November 6 1933
"When we say never again, we mean never again"
Does he mean never again to anyone? Or never again to the Jews? Operation Cast Lead 2008/09
"Israel will be ever-vigilant in its defense"
Israel definitely needs to defend itself. After all, it is one of the top 10 military powers of the world with state of the art Tanks, Apache choppers, F16 jets, nuclear weapons, chemical weapons and has managed to invade four countries in six days.
"We’ll be required to give up parts of the ancestral Jewish homeland"
"Giving up" ancestral Jewish homeland means he has he forgotten that it is also the ancestral Arab homeland. There were four generations in the history of Jerusalem where the Hebrews called it their own. That's it; a moment in history before Nebuchadnezzar conquered following a Jewish civil war. They weren't the original inhabitants because there was an indigenous population before David conquered, and a population after the Babylonians took over.
Arabs understand that his great, great, great, great, great, great, great (^n) grandparents lived there before their exile to Babylon, but Netanhayu doesn't remember that trauma. Why should Arabs suffer that?
"We’ve helped the Palestinian economic growth by removing hundreds of barriers and roadblocks to the free flow of goods and people"
He also establishes blockades and freezes when he sees fit: Palestinians to ask UN to stop Israeli tax freeze
"...so far, the Palestinians have been unwilling to accept a Palestinian state if it meant accepting a Jewish state alongside it"
This is a complete fabrication. The Nobel Peace Laureate Yaser Arafat was the Arab ambassador for recognising the State of Israel in the name of peace. During his life he was confined and incarcerated in his own home and headquarters: Arafat Confined
"In 1947, the U.N. voted to partition the land into a Jewish state and an Arab state. The Jews said yes; the Palestinians said no."
There is a reason why Palestinians said no: Did the Jews have the right to declare Israel as an independent state in 1948?
"I will be prepared to make a far-reaching compromise... This compromise must reflect the dramatic demographic changes that have occurred since 1967."
In other words, the illegal settlements will not be compromised. Arabs would most definitely see this as "far-reaching". Israel profiteering from stolen Palestinian land
"It means that the Palestinian refugee problem will be resolved outside the borders of Israel."
In other words, Israel will not recognise the Palestinian Right to Return: UN Resolution 194
"Jerusalem must never again be divided... Jerusalem must remain the united capital of Israel."
No Arab will ever agree to this. This unilateral move to make a decision without discussing it with the PA is either a declaration of war, or a denunciation of a capital for the sovereign state of Palestine in East Jerusalem. Neither are a plan for a willing peace.
"Israel withdrew from south Lebanon"
Hezbollah threw Israel out of illegal occupation of the South of Lebanon. It was a retreat, not a withdrawal. George Galloway on Sky News - Aug 2006
"Imagine there’s a siren going on now and we have less than 60 seconds to find shelter from an incoming rocket. Would you live that way? Do you think anybody can live that way?"
The people of Gaza have had to live that way: Operation Cast Lead 2008/09
"It’s one of the smallest countries in the world... It’s bigger than Delaware... It’s even bigger than Rhode Island. But that’s about it."
Jews were initially offered a significantly larger blotch land in Uganda by Britain, but the Zionist decided to take "a land with a people for a people without a land".
That is exactly the current situation of the illegal occupation that Palestinians do not want. This is why there is no peace. Complete sovereignty means the recognition of Palestinians to defend their own right to self-determination: The Solution to the Middle East Crisis
"Palestinian attempt to impose a settlement through the United Nations will not bring peace."
Israel doesn't accept a unilateral establishment of the State of Palestine yet it was formed in that exact same way: 130 UN members will support Palestinian state
"Hamas remains committed to Israel’s destruction and to terrorism. They have a charter.... it says: Kill the Jews everywhere you find them"
That is not correct: Hamas will accept the 1967 Borders and a Truce with Israel
"Hamas’ leader condemned the killing of Osama bin Laden and praised him as a holy warrior."
Lets have a look at what Zionist leaders have said over the last 100 years, even when Arabs are told to open dialogues for negotiations with them regardless of this rhetoric: Quotes from the founders of Zionism
"So I say to President Abbas: Tear up your pact with Hamas!"
Shimon Peres, a more decorated Israeli leader, says: Talks with Hamas not impossible

Netanhayu really needs to start improving on his Public Relation's strategies. The only certainty here is that he definitely hasn't won any support in the Arab world after this speech...

Hamas will accept the 1967 Borders and a Truce with Israel

This post is based on the on the following article: http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=386651

There is a significant quote Zahhar mentions here:
Hamas was ready to recognize a Palestinian state "on any part of Palestine," for the first time publicly steering away from prior Hamas demands that the modern Palestinian state must be established "from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea."
This is definitely a positive step. It is not the best possible scenario for Israel, but just as many party officials in the right-winged Likud party don't recognize Palestinian statehood, Hamas will also have to deal with pressures from their own people to end the current stalemate and find a lasting solution.

Mutual recognition is most likely going to be the highest priority that will need to be sorted out when negotiations resume. The whole concept of making peace is to deal with an organisation that is not a friend or ally, and making strong compromises which both parties have to work on.

Shimon Peres himself, owner of a Nobel Peace Prize, had the following to say:
"Even when I began negotiation with Arafat, they said: 'There's no chance'... I think the same thing about Hamas. The name does not interest me, what matters is the content. Anything can happen, because Hamas has problems too, and it's not so strong... If they [Hamas and Fatah] want to unite, let them unite... The two camps are trying to unite. It is not our business, we don't want to intervene in their decision to unite. What is our business is that the West Bank will not become a Gaza, we would like Gaza to become a West Bank"
The president said it would be better for Israel to focus its energy on building upwards, rather than expanding into Palestinian neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians want for the capital of their future state. "You can sometimes house 10,000 people in one tower," he said. "Today the whole world is building vertically."
[http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=386772]

He makes a very critical point here to the Israeli government, and that ultimately settlements should be halted. That is why the Palestinians stopped negotiating in the first place; that is why Hamas refuse to accept Israel's current legitimacy which can't even uphold its own Balfour Declaration that states that “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine”. Defying this Declaration is defying their legitimacy.

Current settlement construction implies that Likud are not willing to recognise Palestine. They have just made an announcement on 19th May to build up to 1,500 settlement units in the East Jerusalem settlements of Har Homa and Pisgat Ze'ev.

Therefore, they, like Hamas, need to start reconsidering the complete perspective of land sharing and ultimate peace in the region.