June 25, 2007
|Made In The USA||Palestine/Middle East|
It seems clear that the US and Israel, with help from the EU, are doing everything they can to split the Palestinian people, pitting Hamas and Fatah against one another. Here's Jimmy Carter's take (Jerusalem Post):
The United States, Israel and the European Union must end their policy of favoring Fatah over Hamas, or they will doom the Palestinian people to deepening conflict between the rival movements, former US President Jimmy Carter said Tuesday.
Carter, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who was addressing a conference of Irish human rights officials, said the Bush administration's refusal to accept the 2006 election victory of Hamas was "criminal."
Carter said Hamas, besides winning a fair and democratic mandate that should have entitled it to lead the Palestinian government, had proven itself to be far more organized in its political and military showdowns with the Fatah movement of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. [...]
Carter said the American-Israeli-European consensus to reopen direct aid to the new government in the West Bank, but to deny the same to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, represented an "effort to divide Palestinians into two peoples." [...]
During his speech to Ireland's eighth annual Forum on Human Rights, the 83-year-old former president said monitors from his Carter Center observed the 2006 election in which Hamas won 42 percent of the popular vote and a majority of parliamentary seats.
Carter said that election was "orderly and fair" and Hamas triumphed, in part, because it was "shrewd in selecting candidates," whereas a divided, corrupt Fatah ran multiple candidates for single seats.
Far from encouraging Hamas's move into parliamentary politics, Carter said the US and Israel, with European Union acquiescence, has sought to subvert the outcome by shunning Hamas and helping Abbas to keep the reins of political and military power.
"That action was criminal," he said in a news conference after his speech.
"The United States and Israel decided to punish all the people in Palestine and did everything they could to deter a compromise between Hamas and Fatah," he said.
Carter said the United States and others supplied the Fatah-controlled security forces in Gaza with vastly superior weaponry in hopes they would "conquer Hamas in Gaza" - but Hamas this month routed Fatah because of its "superior skills and discipline." [Emphasis added]
Journalist Nir Rosen, speaking on CNN, was more blunt (via The Angry Arab):
NIR ROSEN, JOURNALIST: ...We created a civil war. This is actually outrageous. Outgoing U.N. envoy to the Middle East peace process, Alvaro De Soto, himself accused the U.S. of fomenting a civil war by training, funding and arming Fatah thugs and inserting them into Gaza to destabilize the Hamas government. We never gave them a chance. They were democratically elected in an election that was widely recognized as free and fair, even by former President Jimmy Carter. And then the U.S., along with Israel, Jordan and Egypt trained these gangs and actually put them in Gaza to overthrow the Hamas government. And, of course, it's actually backfired and Fatah was overthrown. But all you're going to do is isolate and further radicalize Hamas. And so when you say that the U.S. is seeking to ease tensions in the Middle East, I disagree with you. These are tensions that the U.S. actually created in the Middle East.
JOHN ROBERTS: Nir, I mean what are you talking about, we have Fatah thugs being sent into the country to wage war with Hamas?
ROSEN: Well, they were trained by the U.S. General [Keith] Dayton, our envoy to the peace process, was responsible for a program, along with Elliot Abrams, the deputy national security adviser for the Middle East, and they actually trained Fatah in the West Bank. The Jordanian special forces created the Fatah Badr brigade. The Egyptians, as well, trained Fatah in Egypt. The United Arab Emirates actually sent money and arms. And then they were allowed to enter Gaza and then began to attack Hamas. I mean this was an existential threat to a democratically elected government. What we've done is overthrow a government that was elected. The U.S. ..." [Emphasis added]
Not the sort of thing we're used to hearing in US media.
The whole project is as cynical and ultimately self-defeating as everything else the US has been doing in the Middle East, sowing conflict and chaos and suffering beyond calculation. In the long run, it cannot help but fail. We give people so many reasons to hate us, and then we act surprised when they do. But people have long memories. And the underlying idea — that entire peoples can be controlled by force of arms — is pure lunacy. It cannot work, and it's evil.
Why the hostility toward Israel when the Arab world has been so hell bent on it's destruction since the day it was recreated? Even to this day the PA's founding charter calls for the destruction of Israel!
The Israeli's have continually compromised only to be attacked! They unilaterally withdrew from Gaza as a jesture of peace. What was the Palestinian response? A barrage of rockets from Gaza into Israel.
The lunacy goes even further. From earliest childhood Palestinian childred are indoctrinated with hatred toward the people of Israel with calls for the death of all Israelis.
It is time for the Palesinians to step forward and to cease their hatred. Only then will there be peace.
Posted by: Jim at June 26, 2007 09:26 AM
Posted by: Jonathan at June 26, 2007 12:20 PM
This piece yesterday on Counterpunch (http://www.counterpunch.org/cook06262007.html) really turns around the notion of "hell bent" Arab desire for Israel's "destruction since the day it was recreated", with the truth about US/Israel policy. The managers of US/Israel policy have been naysayers to peace at every turn, in Palestine and Iraq.
It's a long piece with a well-developed angle about how US/Israel policy desires sanctions, bombing, stealing land, breaking civil society, etc. Highly recommended.
"Just as in Iraq, Israel and the US have made sure that no Palestinian strongman arises to replace Yasser Arafat. Just as in Iraq, they are encouraging civil war as an alternative to resistance to occupation, as Palestine's resources -- land, not oil -- are stolen. Just as in Iraq, they are causing a permanent and irreversible partition, in this case between the West Bank and Gaza, to create more easily managed territorial ghettoes. And just as in Iraq, the likely reaction is an even greater extremism from the Palestinians that will undermine their cause in the eyes of the international community." --Jonathan Cook
Posted by: eric at June 27, 2007 12:56 PM
First, your map fails to recognize is that prior to WWI there was no "Palestine." The maps presented were the result of British declarations when they carved up the Middle East after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire. See http://lexicorient.com/e.o/atlas/h-ottomans.htm
So, as late as 1922 there was no "Palestine" and residents of the area comprised both Jews and Arabs
What you link does not acknowledge is the fact that immediately upon Israel being granted recognition as a state on May 14, 1948 "Palestinian" Arabs and the surrounding Arab states of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan launched a military assault in an effort to destroy the newly formed nation of Israel. Though out manned and out gunned Israel defeated the invaders. It was due to this agression that Israels initial borders expanded to the Green Line.
And since that time there have been multiple assaults by Arab countries with the intent of "wiping Israel of the face of the earth" and every time Israel has defeated the Arab agressors and expanded its borders to protect itself.
Posted by: Jim at June 28, 2007 10:57 AM
I find it interesting that you linked to Cooks article in that it is full of mis-statements and lacking in facts to support his charges concerning Israel's behavior such as "a long-term ceasefire in return for Israel ending its campaign of constant violence."
Either he is ignorant of the constant incursion of Palestinian homicide bombers or the barrage of katusha rockets raining down on Israel from Palestinian strongholds.
The Israelis' have limited their responses to these events. Were these attacks to happen in other countries I assure you the responses would not be as restricted.
Posted by: Jim at June 28, 2007 11:27 AM
Jim, Cook lives there. He's not "ignorant" of anything. I have friends in the West Bank right now. No one denies that radical extremists are a significant factor. Thing is, the radical extremists are not just Palestinian. And the ones who aren't have a hell of a lot more power and control--and backing from US.
Posted by: eric at June 30, 2007 12:46 AM
I know that Cook lives there. He lives in an Arab community. And from what I have read of his writings he is a Palestinian sympathizer whose views are not objective. Professional journalism demands objectivity.
Now, I challange you to identify a Palestinian identity prior to 1922. You won't find it. They never existed as a nation. Those who are labled as Palestinian now are displaced Egyptian and Syrian Arab peoples.
On the other hand, we have an abundance of ancient writings pointing to the existance of a nation of Jews known as Israel. Even during the time of the Ottoman Empire we have a record of the Jews living what is now Israel and Palestine.
Israel was renamed Palestine by the Romans to humiliate the Jewish residents. However, when the Romans referred to Palestine they were referring to a region and never a nation.
From the time that Rome conquered Israel till just prior to present day Israel no other nation has ever been established there.
What is really at issue here is an Islamic Tenet that once territory is controlled by Islam it shall never be controlled by another religion. Forming the state of Palestine is just a "straw man" to achieve the goal of pushing Jews out of the region. From a religious perspective the mere existance of the State of Israel being controlled by Jews demands an Islamic Jihad with the goal of Islam once again controlling the territory.
Posted by: Jim at July 2, 2007 11:38 AM