Archive pour la catégorie 'Politics'

Rami G. Khouri: Two opposing trends, the same failure

Mercredi 12 août 2009

Very good piece by Rami G. Khouri:

The clash between the colonialism of Israel and the incompetence of Fatah is one of the great tragedies of the modern Middle East, but like all such dynamics it does not pass unnoticed. The rise of Hamas and other militant Palestinian movements has been a direct response to both of these trajectories, an organic Palestinian determination to resist both the pain of perpetual occupation and the added pain of Palestinian complicity in perpetuating this condition.
The three strategies on show – Israeli colonialism, Fatah’s acquiescence, and Hamas’ resistance – all reflect short-term approaches that are unlikely to generate lasting, just solutions to this conflict, while inflicting more moral pain and physical suffering on all concerned. There are no easy exits from this corner, though the starting point for any movement toward more effective and mutually beneficial policies is to accept that current approaches have been universally catastrophic for all concerned. This lesson is especially relevant for external mediators who try their hand at peace-making.

Rami G. Khouri, Two opposing trends, the same failure, The Daily Star

Amira Hass on Gaza

Vendredi 16 janvier 2009

Amira Hass: The earth shaking under your feet, clouds of choking smoke, explosions like a fireworks display, bombs bursting into all-consuming flames that cannot be extinguished with water, mushroom clouds of pinkish-red smoke, suffocating gas, harsh burns on the skin, extraordinary maimed live and dead bodies.

All of this is being caused by the bombs Israel is dropping on the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip, according to reports and testimonies from there. Since the first day of the Israeli aerial attack, people have been giving exact descriptions of the side effects of the bombing, and claiming that Israel is using weapons and ammunition that they have not seen during the past eight years.

Furthermore, the kinds of grave injuries doctors at hospitals in the Strip have reported are providing yet another explanation for the overwhelming dread inhabitants are experiencing in any case. It is precisely for this reason that Marc Garlasco, a senior military analyst at Human Rights Watch (HRW), has come to Israel. His mission: to examine whether the weapons that both sides are using are themselves legal and whether the use of them is legal.

Is Israel using illegal weapons in its offensive on Gaza?,

Khaled Diab on Gaza

Dimanche 11 janvier 2009

Khaled Diab: At one time, war for Israel meant economic paralysis and crisis, but was sustained by a mesmerising ideology, the fresh memory of persecution and a large array of potentially frightening enemies. But even with Israel as the undisputed regional military superpower and its former enemies falling one by one by the wayside, Israeli violence has risen significantly in recent years, especially towards the Palestinians.

This is partly because a durable peace with the Palestinians requires more fundamental compromises than with the Egyptians and Jordanians as a fair settlement raises issues that strike at the heart of Zionism. Another reason is that, after so many generations, conflict has not only become intrinsically interwoven into Israel’s social fabric, it has also become hardwired into its economy.

During the Oslo years, Shimon Peres – who favoured a « peace of markets » before a « peace of flags » – and the Labour party were backed by influential members of the business community who were lured by the peace dividend Israel could earn from a resolution to the conflict. But under rightwing stewardship in recent years, the Israeli economy has been profiting from its own and global conflict and insecurity.

In fact, for the past few years, Israel has enjoyed one of the highest economic growth rates in the world, and is still registering healthy growth even as western economies falter. Much of this growth has been fuelled by the high-tech « Silicon Wadi » sector, much of it security-related technologies, and arms.

Profits of war, Timeline: The Gaza Strip, From Disengagement to Operation Cast Lead

Vendredi 9 janvier 2009 This timeline of events leading up to the war describes the tit for tat that took place in Gaza in recent years.

Timeline: The Gaza Strip, From Disengagement to Operation Cast Lead

Guardian: Obama camp ‘prepared to talk to Hamas’

Vendredi 9 janvier 2009

Suzanne Goldenberg: Richard Haass, a diplomat under both Bush presidents who was named by a number of news organisations this week as Obama’s choice for Middle East envoy, supports low-level contacts with Hamas provided there is a ceasefire in place and a Hamas-Fatah reconciliation emerges.

Another potential contender for a foreign policy role in the Obama administration suggested that the president-elect would not be bound by the Bush doctrine of isolating Hamas.

Obama camp ‘prepared to talk to Hamas’,

Amira Hass: Hamas executes collaborators and restricts Fatah movement

Jeudi 8 janvier 2009

Amira Hass: Executions are carried out secretly. In Rafah, for example, at least some of the victims were killed in a caravan erected in the area formerly occupied by the Rafiah Yam settlement, and the victims’ relatives were invited to take away the bodies.

Hamas executes collaborators and restricts Fatah movement,

Roger Cohen on Gaza

Jeudi 8 janvier 2009

Roger Cohen: The heroic Israeli narrative has run its course.

The Dominion of the Dead, Red Cross Accuses Israel of Neglecting Gaza Wounded

Jeudi 8 janvier 2009

Alan Cowell: The International Committee of the Red Cross said Thursday it had discovered “shocking” scenes — including small children next to their mothers’ corpses — when its representatives gained access for the first time to parts of Gaza battered by Israeli shelling. It accused Israel of failing to meet obligations to care for the wounded in areas of combat.

Red Cross Accuses Israel of Neglecting Gaza Wounded,

Haaretz: UN rejects IDF claim Gaza militants operated from bombed-out school

Mercredi 7 janvier 2009

The United Nations on Wednesday denied Israel Defense Forces claims that there were Palestinian militants in the Gaza school bombed by Israel on Tuesday.

Christopher Gunness of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said the organization is 99.9 percent certain there were no militants or military activity in its school.

UN rejects IDF claim Gaza militants operated from bombed-out school,

Robert Fisk: I’ve reported the excuses the Israeli army has served up in the past for these outrages. Since they may well be reheated in the coming hours, here are some of them: that the Palestinians killed their own refugees, that the Palestinians dug up bodies from cemeteries and planted them in the ruins, that ultimately the Palestinians are to blame because they supported an armed faction, or because armed Palestinians deliberately used the innocent refugees as cover.

Why do they hate the West so much, we will ask, The Independent

Ghassan Khatib on Gaza

Mercredi 7 janvier 2009

Ghassan Khatib: The main losers will be the civilians of Gaza, in addition to the Palestinian Authority and Egypt. Apparently, the civilian casualties almost exclusively on the Palestinian side, are a price both Hamas and Israel are willing to pay to achieve their respective victories. Tragically, this is possible only because influential governments, particularly the United States’ and those of the European Union, are by condoning Israel’s aggression as « defensive » closing their eyes to the unfolding war crimes that are being committed. This makes them indirectly responsible.

Gaza: Outlines of an endgame, International Relations And Security Network (ISN)