Palestinian unity deal pits Netanyahu & Congress against White House

Israel/Palestine

No big surprise. Congress is supporting the Israeli inflexibility about the Palestinian unity deal even as the White House is being cautious, and Israeli P.M. Netanyahu is flipping out.

Steny Hoyer, the Democratic whip:

Liberal Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand made much the same statement when the deal was first announced.

The Israel lobby group AIPAC is telling the Congress to cut off funding to the Palestinian Authority:

The embrace of the notorious Islamist terrorist organization is a disturbing setback to peace…

U.S. law is clear – no funds can be provided to a Palestinian government in which Hamas participates or has undue influence.  We now urge Congress to conduct a thorough review of continued U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority to ensure that the law is completely followed and implemented.

Senator Mark Kirk and Marco Rubio echoed the AIPAC demand. New York Democratic Rep Nita Lowey said that US funding is now “in jeopardy.”

But the White House is taking a wait-and-see approach and saying approving things about the nature of the new government. From the State Department briefing yesterday, here’s the US government position, stated by Jen Psaki (at 32:00 or so above):

At this point, it appears that President Abbas has formed an interim technocratic government that does not include ministers affiliated with Hamas. Moving forward, we will be judging this government by its actions. Based on what we know now, we intend to work with this government, but we’ll be watching closely to ensure that it upholds the principles that President Abbas reiterated today.

Does that mean that you intend to continue disbursing U.S. foreign assistance?

It does, but we will continue to evaluate the composition and policies of the new government and calibrate our approach accordingly.

John Kerry advised Netanyahu of the U.S. position with a phone call. AP’s Matt Lee quipped:

“I’m surprised we didn’t hear the yelling from Jerusalem here in Washington.”

Now here is some of Netanyahu’s bloodcurdling tweeting on the subject:

“Can you believe these people denouncing the unity government and saying the US should defund the PA when the Israeli government contains major officials who want to annex the West Bank?” writes a friend. J St is also walking on egg shells on this issue.

Here is the J Street statement, focused principally on Israel’s security, as usual. Excerpt:

J Street condemns the recent statement by Hamas’s Prime Minister in Gaza Ismael Haniyeh that, “Palestinian reconciliation aims to unite the Palestinian people against the prime enemy, the Zionist enemy. It aims to pursue the choice of resistance and steadfastness.”

Neither Israel nor the United States can do business with Hamas until it accepts Israel’s right to exist and renounces violence.

[But J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami said,] “It would be a mistake for either the United States or Israel to take rash punitive actions against the Palestinians that will only hurt their own interests and set back hopes of resuming peace negotiations.”

Ben–Ami added: “Israelis have benefited enormously from the day-to-day cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian security forces and other official contacts and this should not be sacrificed. The last thing anyone needs to do is rush to cut off aid which could defund Palestinian security forces, destabilize the fragile Palestinian economy and lead to an increase in instability in the West Bank.”

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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  1. just
    June 3, 2014, 10:54 am

    Time for Obama to exercise his position as Chief Executive.

    “Foreign Policy Powers

    The president or his designated representative, such as the Secretary of State, has the exclusive authority to communicate with other nations, recognize foreign governments, receive ambassadors, and make executive agreements. Throughout U.S. history, Congress and the courts have granted the president great deference in conducting foreign policy. This deference is based, in part, on the need for one person, rather than 535 members of Congress, to represent and speak for a national constituency.

    In addition to the authority to recognize foreign governments, the president is empowered by Article II to make treaties with foreign nations, subject to the consent of the Senate. A treaty is an agreement between two or more nations containing promises to behave in specified ways.

    Executive agreements are international compacts that the president makes with foreign nations without the approval of the Senate. They do not have the same legal status as treaties unless they are subsequently ratified by the Senate. The Constitution does not expressly give the president the power to make executive agreements. However, this power has been inferred from the president’s general constitutional authority over foreign affairs. At one time, executive agreements involved minor matters, such as postal relations and the use of radio frequencies. Since the 1930s, however, presidents have negotiated important foreign policy issues through these agreements rather than through treaties. The Supreme Court has recognized that an executive agreement is legally equivalent to a treaty and therefore the supreme law of the land. Executive agreements enable the president to achieve results while avoiding the uncertainty of treaty ratification.”

    link to legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com

    • Krauss
      June 3, 2014, 2:03 pm

      When the Palestinians were divided, Israel told the world there couldn’t be peace, because how can you enforce a deal with only one half?

      When the Palestinians are united, Israel tells the world that there can’t be peace, because how can you accept both sides?

      Conclusion: no matter what happens, Israel will say that there can’t be peace.

  2. Giles
    June 3, 2014, 10:58 am

    “U.S. law is clear – no funds can be provided to a Palestinian government in which Hamas participates or has undue influence..”

    What disingenuous logic. US law drafted and pushed by AIPAC being used as a reason by AIPAC s to why the US cannot deal with the new Palestinian government.

    I got an idea. Why not cut off aid to Israel? In fact, why not demand repayment of the hundreds of billions the unwitting US taxpayer has sent off to Israel?

    • Kay24
      June 3, 2014, 12:12 pm

      From a well written paper by Mearsheimer/Walt :

      “To begin with, “terrorism” is a tactic employed by a wide array of political groups; it is not a single unified adversary. The terrorist organizations that threaten Israel (e.g., Hamas or Hezbollah) do not threaten the United States, except when it intervenes against them (as in Lebanon in 1982). Moreover, Palestinian terrorism is not random violence directed against Israel or “the West”; it is largely a response to Israel’s prolonged campaign to colonize the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
      More importantly, saying that Israel and the United States are united by a shared terrorist threat has the causal relationship backwards: rather, the United States has a terrorism problem in good part because it is so closely allied with Israel, not the other way around. U.S. support for Israel is not the only source of anti‐ American terrorism, but it is an important one, and it makes winning the war on terror more difficult.15 There is no question, for example, that many al Qaeda leaders, including bin Laden, are motivated by Israel’s presence in Jerusalem and the plight of the Palestinians. According to the U.S. 9/11 Commission, bin Laden explicitly sought to punish the United States for its policies in the Middle East, including its support for Israel, and he even tried to time the attacks to highlight this issue.16
      Equally important, unconditional U.S. support for Israel makes it easier for extremists like bin Laden to rally popular support and to attract recruits. Public opinion polls confirm that Arab populations are deeply hostile to American support for Israel, and the U.S. State Department’s Advisory Group on Public Diplomacy for the Arab and Muslim world found that “citizens in these countries are genuinely distressed at the plight of the Palestinians and at the role they perceive the United States to be playing.”17

      link to mearsheimer.uchicago.edu

      Excellent points. Hamas has never been a threat to the US, and we have gone so far as to call them “terrorists” because of Israeli interference in our policies.
      Hamas is “dangerous” only to those who brutally occupy the Palestinian territories.

      • eljay
        June 3, 2014, 12:18 pm

        >> Hamas has never been a threat to the US …

        Because the U.S. spends so much time fellating the Zionist donkey, indirectly it kind of is. ;-)

      • Citizen
        June 4, 2014, 3:33 pm

        @ eljay
        The US history shows it excels in going to war with countries that have not been a direct threat to it, often, not even a reasonable indirect threat to it. Walled off by two oceans and bordered by two weak states, it’s indulged in exploitive American “exceptionalism” for the usual 1% for a very long time. The last direct threat to the USA was when the Confederate states left the Union. The resulting war also cost the most American lives.

      • mondonut
        June 3, 2014, 12:31 pm

        @Kay24

        Hamas is “dangerous” only to those who brutally occupy the Palestinian territories.

        Palestinian territories = Every square inch of Israel.

      • Woody Tanaka
        June 4, 2014, 5:04 pm

        “Palestinian territories = Every square inch of Israel.”

        remove all Israeli citizens and military behind the green line and you’ll find out how full of it you are.

  3. peterfeld
    June 3, 2014, 11:03 am

    Let them pull the PA funding. Let the PA and security cooperation collapse.

  4. Ellen
    June 3, 2014, 11:09 am

    Not only the WH, but the US Congress dogs loyal only to Netanyahoo have come against China, India, the EU and Switzerland. All who just came out in support of the Palestinian Unity Government and what it is now.

    These cretins in the US Congress are like Pavlov’s dogs and cannot change their reactions. They will do whatever their masters in Israel tell them.

    And like beaten dogs, they are afraid to go against their master.

    • Hostage
      June 3, 2014, 11:48 am

      They will do whatever their masters in Israel tell them.

      But they will have to pass a new statute to accomplish that task.

      U.S. law is clear – no funds can be provided to a Palestinian government in which Hamas participates or has undue influence.

      No, the statute clearly leaves the determination up to the President. See 22 U.S. Code § 2378b – Limitation on assistance to the Palestinian authority link to law.cornell.edu

    • mondonut
      June 3, 2014, 12:37 pm

      …US Congress dogs loyal only to Netanyahoo…
      …cretins in the US Congress are like Pavlov’s dogs…
      They will do whatever their masters in Israel tell them.

      Namely? Who in Congress is loyal to Netanyahu only? Who is owned by Israel? Who in Congress are you declaring to be traitors?

      • Annie Robbins
        June 4, 2014, 2:32 pm

        you can start with mark kirk, the guy who sponsors lobby’s legislation while in coma, massive stroke recovery.

      • mondonut
        June 4, 2014, 4:16 pm

        @Annie

        Great, I will let his organization know that Mondoweiss has declared him a traitor to his country and that he is both loyal to and is owned by a foreign power.

        Anyone else? Surely there must be?

      • Citizen
        June 4, 2014, 8:50 pm

        @ mondonut

        Don’t get ahead of yourself, just start with Mark Kirk who let’s AIPAC volunteers run his office.

  5. Woody Tanaka
    June 3, 2014, 11:21 am

    Let’s see: the Israelis have used Palestinians as human shields, the I”D”F is the world’s most powerful terrorist organization, the ruling regime in the Zionist entity has said it would never recognize a Palestinian state and the I”D”F terrorists are responsible for murdering thousands of innocent Palestinans and oppressing millions more.

    It’s time to condemn and reject the rule of Zionists over Palestine.

  6. Kay24
    June 3, 2014, 11:40 am

    Who elected Bibi Netanyahu, the President of the US? It seems he is taking the lead, and directing our spineless congress, to oppose the unity (he once wanted) government formed by the Palestinians. This must be the most shameless moves by officials elected by people, in a democratic nation, where they openly, and in large numbers, support an alien nation, AGAINST their own President. No other country will have had such a spineless, disloyal, bunch of politicians, who have sold their souls to the devil. It seems all those millions poured in to campaigns, and those junket trips, are making them forget whatever morals and principals they may have.
    The question is, would Bibi and his band of bandits, allow ANY official or leader of another nation, to interfere SO much, and decide HOW they run their foreign policies?
    It is disgusting the zionist media, cannot see the disloyalty by Congress, and the dangers of allowing a parasitic alien nation, to immerse itself, and make vital decisions,
    and make the American people aware of this situation.
    Israel occupies the Palestinian territories, and occupies the US in the most devious and dangerous ways.

    • Kay24
      June 3, 2014, 11:54 am

      According to the Guardian UK, we are “Condemned” by the warmonger Bibi, for backing Palestinian unity government:

      “Israel condemns US for backing Palestinian unity government
      Decision to continue working with the Palestinian Authority is the latest in a series of diplomatic setbacks for Netanyahu”

      link to theguardian.com

      What chutzpah!

      • seafoid
        June 3, 2014, 1:36 pm

        Bibi hasn’t had any diplomatic wins recently. Those Iran talks went ahead even after he threw his toys out of the pram.

      • Kay24
        June 3, 2014, 1:41 pm

        I agree. He is also a sore loser, and can be quite vindictive.

      • just
        June 3, 2014, 1:42 pm

        That’s ’cause he does not do diplomacy:

        Full Definition of DIPLOMACY
        1
        : the art and practice of conducting negotiations between nations
        2
        : skill in handling affairs without arousing hostility : tact

        link to merriam-webster.com

        Not in his lexicon.

      • seafoid
        June 3, 2014, 4:43 pm

        He is a complete bunny boiler when it comes to international diplomacy

        link to youtube.com

        The list of US vetoes at the UN for Israel is shameful
        link to jewishvirtuallibrary.org

        I wonder how long more the series will last.

      • just
        June 3, 2014, 5:41 pm

        “He is a complete bunny boiler when it comes to international diplomacy ”

        argh! You are so right! LOLOL

      • Kay24
        June 3, 2014, 1:58 pm

        To your point:
        “If you recognize new Palestinian government you support terrorism, Benjamin Netanyahu tells world leaders” Independent UK

        “All those who genuinely seek peace must reject President Abbas’ embrace of Hamas, and most especially, I think the United States must make it absolutely clear to the Palestinian president that his pact with Hamas, a terrorist organization that seeks Israel’s liquidation, is simply unacceptable,” he said.

        At the same time, the Prime Minister’s office issued a statement detailing a conversation Netanyahu held with French President Francoise Hollande, in which he called on the leader to reject the new Palestinian government. “No European nation would allow a terrorist organization to form part of its government,” he said.

        Several hours later, the French foreign ministry issued a statement supporting the unity government. – Haaretz

        Seems France, like the UN, and the EU, are supporting terrorists.
        Bibi is yet again is making Israel isolated, and looking like sore losers, the last time being the Iranian matter.

      • Kay24
        June 3, 2014, 2:28 pm

        Haaretz article shows many nations are ready to back this united government:
        China, UK, India, US, EU, and the UN. This will be a situation similar to the Palestinian bid for statehood, when the majority of nations ignored Israel and voted for it. Mean Bibi is already retaliating against the Palestinians. Heh.
        link to haaretz.com

      • seafoid
        June 3, 2014, 3:19 pm

        That terrorist meme is way past its sell by date. Especially post mavi marmara.

      • seafoid
        June 3, 2014, 4:48 pm

        AIPAC lay it on thick

        link to aipac.org

        “The embrace of the notorious Islamist terrorist organization is a disturbing setback to peace.”

        WTF . Peace was buried a number of years ago

        “President Abbas could have continued to pursue the peace process with his willing WTF partner, Israel. Instead, he chose to align with Hamas – a group that is dedicated to Israel’s destruction (Says the crowd running the siege of Gaza) and represents the antithesis of peaceful reconciliation WTF and coexistence WTF . Hamas is an unreformed terrorist organization (as is the IDF) that continues to perpetrate terror attacks against Israel and has consistently rebuffed the international community (as has Israel) by refusing to accept the Quartet principles of recognizing Israel, rejecting violence and accepting previous Israel-Palestinian agreements (as has Israel)

        U.S. law is clear – no funds can be provided to a Palestinian government in which Hamas participates or has undue influence.”

        What a dumb law. Let’s see the law worked around.
        And AIPAC’s BS about the peace process is pathetic.

        Prolly why the rest of the world is ignoring AIPAC on this issue.

      • Hostage
        June 3, 2014, 4:59 pm

        U.S. law is clear – no funds can be provided to a Palestinian government in which Hamas participates or has undue influence.”

        What a dumb law. Let’s see the law worked around.

        There is no such law. The Congress has to initiate any appropriation, but the law says the determination regarding eligibility of a Hamas-controlled Palestinian Authority for funding is up to the President. See 22 U.S. Code § 2378b – Limitation on assistance to the Palestinian authority link to law.cornell.edu

      • RoHa
        June 3, 2014, 7:53 pm

        China, US, India, UK, France, EU in general. Big hitters there. If Russia adds its support (and I expect it to) then it’s pretty much “game over”. Most other countries will follow that lead even if they usually support Israel. (And not many do.)

  7. piotr
    June 3, 2014, 11:43 am

    Someone asked how “top 1%” opinion differs from “99%” on the foreign policy matters.

    However, on Israel/Palestine, the biggest difference is in framing. You can ask “Whom would you support more”, and that gives a lopsided majority for Israel, or “Do you approve recognition of terrorists” etc.

    But if you ask “do you support evacuation of settlements”, “partition of Jerusalem to allow for the creation of shared capital”, “equal rights for Jews and Arabs” and so on, it swings in a lopsided way. Zionists do not even try to sell the expansion of settlements to the general public, while it is their line when they communicate with their core constituency”, instead the mantra is “settlements are not a problem because …” with lengthy obfuscatory paragraphs.

    Concerning Pavlov’s dogs, all organisms with central nerve system can be trained by a combination of shocks and treats, the higher intelligence of some species is best documented by how well they avoid shocks and get the treats. So I would refer to Congress critters as craven opportunists rather then cretins.

  8. just
    June 3, 2014, 11:52 am

    I get loads of email from the various critters in Congress wrt to many issues. Never on I/P, but I expect that to change now in favor of Israel and against Palestine, and it won’t matter which ‘party’ sends it… it will be the same mantra.

  9. eljay
    June 3, 2014, 12:08 pm

    >> Congress is supporting the Israeli inflexibility about the Palestinian unity deal …

    “Come crawling faster / obey your master”

  10. just
    June 3, 2014, 12:10 pm

    “UN, EU back Palestinian unity government

    RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The European Union and United Nations on Tuesday offered public backing for the Palestinian unity government sworn in a day earlier in Ramallah.

    Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, said during a meeting with PM Rami Hamdallah that the UN backs the unity government and hopes it will meet the needs of Palestinians in the West Bank Gaza and East Jerusalem.

    Hamdallah assured Serry that the government would commit to all previous agreements signed by the PLO.

    The office of the EU High Representative said in a statement that the government was an “important step in the process of Palestinian reconciliation.”

    “We welcome the appointment of a government of independent personalities and the declaration by President Abbas that this new government is committed to the principle of the two state solution based on the 1967 borders, to the recognition of Israel’s legitimate right to exist, to non-violence and to the respect of previous agreements.”

    The EU’s engagement with the new government will be dependent on whether it adheres to these principles, the statement added.

    British Foreign Minister William Hague also welcomed the unity government, saying that “reuniting Gaza and the West Bank under a government committed to peace is a necessary condition for resolving the Israel-Palestinian conflict.”

    The United States publicly offered its backing for the government several hours after it was sworn in.”

    more: link to maannews.net

    Looks like Netanyahu and Congress are out on a very unpopular and shaky limb……

    • Kay24
      June 3, 2014, 12:18 pm

      The question is why cannot the US speak as a united front, like the EU, UK and even the UN? We should be ashamed of our congress, for the consistent manner it keeps supporting an alien nation, disliked, and call an apartheid nation, by the rest of the world.

      • amigo
        June 3, 2014, 12:21 pm

        “The question is why cannot the US speak as a united front, like the EU, UK and even the UN? We should be ashamed of our congress, for the consistent manner it keeps supporting an alien nation, disliked, and call an apartheid nation, by the rest of the world.” Kay24

        That,s because they are bought and paid for.Political whores , all of them.

  11. amigo
    June 3, 2014, 12:14 pm

    Let the US pull the funding then Abbas can turn the keys over to nuttyahoo.

    Maybe the USA, (Congress) will pick up the bill for the Occupation.

    American Joe soap will never know his/her hard earned money is going to prop up an Apartheid colonialist rogue regime.

  12. Sycamores
    June 3, 2014, 1:25 pm

    Josef Federman on HuffPo points out http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20140603/ml–israel-palestinians/?utm_hp_ref=arts&ir=arts

    The Palestinian rift is considered a major obstacle to statehood. Many in Israel itself have long used it to argue that a deal with Abbas is not credible because he doesn’t govern all the Palestinians.

    so the Palestinians are not credible partners of peace if they are united or not. damn if you do damn if you don’t.

    however Netanyahu considers himself the leader of Jewish people, protecting them from the world

    Yoaz Hendel, a former Netanyahu spokesman, said the Israeli prime minister does not fear being isolated internationally.

    “He sees himself as the leader of the Jewish state, the Jewish people, against the world,” Hendel said. “If you check Jewish history, it’s part of our narrative, to be on the outside.”

  13. Justpassingby
    June 3, 2014, 1:32 pm

    Abbas hasnt hasn been elected for how many years now?

    • Hostage
      June 4, 2014, 3:09 pm

      Abbas hasnt hasn been elected for how many years now?

      Ever since November of 1988, the PLO Executive has served as the provisional government of the State of Palestine. Abbas was reelected as the President of the provisional government of the State of Palestine in August of 2009 by the PLO Central Committee. At the same time the PLO noted that Hamas would not allow the Central Election Committee to conduct elections in the Gaza Strip. So they renewed the Executive Committee’s authority to form provisional governments until elections could be held. FYI, Hamas supposedly intends to join the PLO if it ever gets around to endorsing Chairman Arafat’s recognition of Israel.

  14. Sumud
    June 3, 2014, 1:57 pm

    Netanyahu is lying of course in those tweets with their tacky and ridiculous blood-splatter frames – I’ll bet they were designed by the same genius who sent him to the UN with that stupid acme bomb drawing, haha.

    Australia and as far as I know the UK have NOT designated Hamas a terrorist organisation, just the militant branch of Hamas, the Al Qassam Brigade. Big difference.

  15. JohnWV
    June 3, 2014, 2:12 pm

    Israel instigated all our Mideast wars and benefited from all. None were in American interests, yet we did the financing and dying. AIPAC’s control of Congress and The Jewish State’s false flag 9-11 New York massacre made it happen. Enabling racist Israel’s brutalization of the Palestinians and illegal confiscation of their homeland for generations was despicable. No more. Justice will prevail. Israel will be made to recognize an armed Palestine with externally enforced autonomy, eviction of all settlers, true contiguity encompassing Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem together, neither pinched nor parceled, and pay punitive reparations.

  16. Felixio
    June 3, 2014, 3:24 pm

    Bibi, doesn’t understand that if he pisses upwards he gets wet.

  17. just
    June 3, 2014, 3:29 pm

    Lookee here:

    “GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Fatah leader Arafat Abu Shabab was detained by Gaza security forces at Rafah crossing as he returned to Gaza strip.

    Fatah spokesman Fayiz Abu Aita said that Abu Shabab was detained after entering the Gaza Strip for the first time since the division in 2007.

    Abu Aita called for the release of Abu Shabab, adding that such actions against Fatah leaders in Gaza are “unjustifiable,” and “unacceptable, especially in light of the positive environment after the formation of the unity government.” ”

    link to maannews.net

    WHY and who?

    • Eva Smagacz
      June 3, 2014, 7:21 pm

      Well, in Northern Ireland, IRA split into ” IRA ” which cooperated with Unionists to end bloodbath in Northern Ireland, and ” real IRA ” which considered the former to be traitors to the cause.

  18. anthonybellchambers
    June 3, 2014, 3:43 pm

    ‘My parents gave me an African name, Barack, or blessed, believing that in a tolerant America your name is no barrier to success … That we can participate in the political process without fear of retribution, and that our votes will be counted.’ BARACK OBAMA

    How idealistic and uplifting was the message from the dynamic, young, black, American senator from Chicago. And how mistaken was he in the years to come as his presidency, upon which so many millions had placed their hopes, crumbled into dust as the votes of ordinary Americans were rendered worthless by the powerful unelected lobbyists who have such influence upon the peoples’ representatives in Congress.

    Tragically, the electorate was effectively disenfranchised and as for the new President, within his first week he was left in doubt who called the shots – it was an unelected lobby. By the end of his first term in office, Barack Obama had become an isolated figure, bound, gagged and rendered virtually impotent by a Congress that danced not to the tune of the electorate, nor the White House nor the President – but to the tune of non-American interests clothed in the transparent disguise of a (PAC) Public Affairs Committee – a misleadingly high-sounding, pseudo official lobbying group often acting for a foreign government.

    The now not so young president had no chance! He had learned the hard way that democracy, ‘US Congressional style’ is not as simple as ‘one man one vote’. It is more about how many millions of dollars does it take to ‘manage’ US legislation, foreign aid and foreign policy? None of which is apparently within the direct remit of the President. He does what he is told by Congress, and the House of Representatives and the Senate do exactly as they are instructed by their unelected paymasters. Be it a veto in the UN Security Council or $3 billion in so-called ‘aid’ to a foreign state for unspecified use – with no accountability.

    This we are told is democracy, ‘US Congressional style’ and the President has had to learn and accept who operates the actual levers of power in the not so United States of America, for he is well aware it is not himself.
    __________________________________________________________

  19. German Lefty
    June 3, 2014, 5:06 pm

    J Street condemns the recent statement by Hamas’s Prime Minister in Gaza Ismael Haniyeh that, “Palestinian reconciliation aims to unite the Palestinian people against the prime enemy, the Zionist enemy. It aims to pursue the choice of resistance and steadfastness.”

    I can’t find anything wrong with Hamas’s statement.

    Why did Netanyahu make so many tweets about the unity government? Is he actually afraid that Western countries start siding with the Palestinians? Or does he just need another pretext for rejecting negotiations?

    • Hostage
      June 4, 2014, 3:25 pm

      I can’t find anything wrong with Hamas’s statement.

      Me either. The government of Israel and Zionists claim that there is an international armed conflict that justifies the suspension of Palestinian human rights and acts of war, like the designation of Gaza as an enemy entity and the blockade. Yet, they run around shreying as if a state of war doesn’t exist and complaining about laws that prohibit them residency, the right to purchase land, & etc. as if this is all part of a Nazi conspiracy to make Palestine “Judenrein”. In fact, many civilized countries still have laws on the books prohibiting unauthorized communications and commerce with the enemy in war time or giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

  20. a blah chick
    June 3, 2014, 7:05 pm

    I have to say that with those tweets Mr. Sara has outdone himself. The only thing missing was the raping of white women.

    I shudder to think what he’ll have to do to top himself again.

  21. yonah fredman
    June 3, 2014, 9:08 pm

    Hamas is not my favorite political party on the planet. But they represent the other political party (other than Fatah) that has wide support in Gaza and the West Bank. If I were prime minister I would not be opposed to negotiating with the PLO empowered by a unified PA that included the second (used to be first) political party of the Palestinians. I do not believe that Bibi is serious about negotiating peace and it is all a bunch of P.R. and it is a P.R. gift that he can spend his time talking about how horrible Hamas is. I would wave a wand and turn all Palestinians into Sari Nusseibeh, if I could, but I can’t and Israel needs to deal with the Palestinians, as is, not with some ideal pacifists concocted in theory. But Bibi is interested in maintaining the status quo and that is his priority.

    Hamas was first elected more than 8 years ago, but after the civil war in Gaza, Israel was allowed to treat Hamas as some kind of an extra legal entity. The inclusion of Hamas is an attempt by Abbas to use the nonexistence of a peace process to accomplish something else, a path forward for the Palestinians. How this next phase of no peace process will proceed is not very clear yet. Europe may have a role, this reunification might have consequences. It is not clear. But I accept Abbas’s move to reunify the Palestinians and to streamline Palestinian politics: (the PLO negotiates, Hamas and Fatah share governance by use of a technocratic government) so that it can function into the future. Bibi is playing a P.R. game right now.

    What did Obama tell Bibi in the past about Hamas, I don’t know. I think Obama is giving us a preview of the weak link of support for Israel that the future may contain. The Democratic party because of its constituency is the weak link in support for Israel. Because congressmen are more dependent on the flow of campaign funds, the congressmen will be slow to react to their constituent preferences. But the presidency, because of the Democratic majority (that has received more votes than republicans in 5 of the last 6 elections) is less dependent on campaign funds of an elite, or will be in the future, certainly less dependent than congressional democrats. I don’t think the next two years tension between bibi and obama which is inevitable will amount to any consequences in policy.

    • ritzl
      June 4, 2014, 3:57 am

      @yf- Good analysis. I think you have the dynamics about right, but if not two years, how long? Put a timeframe to it. Sincere request.

      The process you describe may be hastened by the realization you describe and the resulting flow of Zionist money to Republicans. Dems may see the handwriting in that event and go with their grassroots.

      The process may be retarded in that Dems may see the proverbial handwriting and try harder (to get the funding back), at least for a while, or maybe forever. Who knows. Interesting.

      In any event, the dissonance you note is not going to go away. That dissonance is anathema to the Israel Lobby as it presents an opportunity for the expression of bottom-up popular will. Any such opportunity must be pretty scary stuff (re: 2008 Dem convention) as it represents the uncertainty of a/any choice.

      • yonah fredman
        June 4, 2014, 7:04 am

        Ritzl- Thanks for the positive feedback. Since I think that the first one to move away from Israel and towards the grass roots of the democratic party would be a president rather than congressmen, then it would depend on the personality of the Democratic president. Hillary is not going to defy the lobby, although I think she is a more talented politician than Obama and therefore she might be able to accomplish more than him, to defy the lobby and tell the lobby that she is doing what is in Israel’s best interest. But the idea that I was proposing was a more flat out “rebellion” and that I would not expect from Hillary. I don’t know which candidate will walk in Jimmy Carter and Obama’s shoes. (Jimmy Carter pursued an agenda for peace that was not uppermost on people’s minds and accomplished the Egypt Israel treaty. Obama’s heart was in that place too, but he did not succeed and his rebellion was short lived.) But I consider Obama and Carter the ones who will set an example for some Democratic candidate in the future.

        I have been predicting that America would pull away from Israel since the first intifada in 87 and now it is 27 years later (almost) and there has been no perceptible shift by the Democratic party away from Israel, so I would not hazard to guess a time frame. If the economy gets worse and the Democrats start nominating presidents with a more socialist bent, those candidates might reflect those values on foreign policy as well, so the health of the American economy would play into who that Democratic president that I am imagining would be and how soon he/she would come to power.

      • ritzl
        June 4, 2014, 8:57 am

        @yf- Appreciate your response. Agree.

        On timeframe, in the ’80s I thought the $100B Reagan deficits would lead to a correction in short order, but here we are 30 years later operating without a major care at about 10x+ that deficit level. You approach this issue differently than I do, so I was just interested in your perceptions.

        I think it may be sooner rather than later. Our FP is getting more and more reckless externally and cavalier with the lives and treasure of US citizens internally. Coupled instabilities. There are precipitating events that are wafting around just out of view that could speed up any awakening on Israel. Syria was one, but any “little war” will do (for human and economic reasons). But you’re right, the less pain involved, the longer this could mush on as is. But OTOH, US citizen pain is involved in Israel getting what it wants (zero-sum), so that cycle eventually has to either break or consume itself through ineffectiveness.

        And in the everything’s connected sense, if this minimum wage battle generates any victories for we “little people” it could, and probably would, be empowering enough to amplify the power and influence of the grass roots and change the priorities on a lot of justice issues inside the Beltway. Time-frame shortener. I may be overreaching, but because of the uncertainty involved in that I’m gonna say that AIPAC is probably against (very privately) anything that empowers the grass roots, or worse shifts our current left-right antagonism toward top-bottom antagonism. Too uncontrollable due to a different kind of self-interest involved than that in Congress.

        We are transitioning. Peace.

  22. dbroncos
    June 3, 2014, 10:22 pm

    AIPAC has made sure that American hostilities towards Israel’s enemies are baked into US law. No doubt they also pushed hard for their American lackeys to convince Japan that Hamas represents a mortal danger to the Japanese people. Zionists get it in writing as the law of the land in foreign countries then claim that the world is on their side. Enjoy it while it lasts, Zionists. Tick tock…

  23. Jethro
    June 4, 2014, 12:42 am

    U.S law is clear.

    It is illegal for the US to give military aid to a proliferating undeclared nuclear state (See the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and the Symington Amendment). But it keeps happening. Hmmm.

  24. ritzl
    June 4, 2014, 3:17 am

    How does Israel repeatedly get away with withholding Palestinian tax money? It’s Palestinian money, ffs. Why don’t Palestinian businesses withhold paying it?

    OK, rhetorical question, but still. This “integrated” banking setup is just one more example (there are so many examples of “integration”) of the irreversible One State Reality that is Israel.

    It’s also an example of how muddled Israeli claims are, if not the general conversation about the 1S-2S outcome. If Palestine were to make moves to “de-integrate” toward some semblance/facet of sovereignty there would be howls about “unilateralism” and/or breaking the Paris Protocols, or some such. If they stay “integrated” they are demonstrably annexed to Israel in the banking area, about which Israel is and would be silent – accepting it, and urging the world to accept it, as the natural (1S) order of the universe.

    No sane or otherwise clear-thinking person/leader/government/Zionist can on one hand “push” for two states, and on the other hand accept this level of ongoing integration as “natural” or as anything other than a confirmation of the inevitability of one state. It seems these otherwise sane entities would be pushing hard for de-integrating Palestine from Israel in all ways, large and small, if anyone really believed that two states was going to happen. But they don’t, and it isn’t.

    #rant

  25. talknic
    June 4, 2014, 7:11 am

    More collective punishment

    Israel has warned it will withhold at least some of the $US1.2 billion it collects annually for the Palestinians in customs tariffs and other payments link to smh.com.au

    • just
      June 4, 2014, 7:28 am

      Totally insane that Israel collects Palestinian money and has control over its disbursement…….it quite literally is the fox guarding the hen house. No, it’s worse.

      The international community needs to hold the thieves/Occupiers accountable– it’s past time for sanctions!

      (as for Cantor, et al– throw them out!)

      • mondonut
        June 4, 2014, 10:49 am

        just says: Totally insane that Israel collects Palestinian money …
        =======================
        Indeed. Israel should collect enough to pay off the past due utility bills and then simply refuse to assist the Palestinians any further. Make them do their own tariff collections.

      • Hostage
        June 4, 2014, 3:36 pm

        Indeed. Israel should collect enough to pay off the past due utility bills and then simply refuse to assist the Palestinians any further.

        Israel has postponed the compensation owed to the Palestinian refugees and their estates, because it would bankrupt your shitty little republic. The UN, representing the international community of states, has repeatedly affirmed the permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people and their right to compensation from Israel for hundreds of billions worth of plundered natural resources. If you are ready to settle that bill, then I’m sure the Palestinians will have plenty of cash to pay your electric company what it’s owed.

      • mondonut
        June 4, 2014, 4:12 pm

        @Hostage

        My “shitty little Republic” is the United State of America.

        And I am sure, as is your way, that you will respond with an absolute flood of obscure and tangentially connected links but nonetheless, Israel does not owe the Palestinians compensation unless the two parties agree to it. The UN, apart from meaningless GA resolutions, has not determined otherwise and the Palestinians have for years agreed to the concept of an International fund.

      • Hostage
        June 5, 2014, 1:41 am

        My “shitty little Republic” is the United State of America.

        Oh, so you’re only a loudmouthed armchair Zionist with no real commitment to the cause.

        And I am sure, as is your way, that you will respond with an absolute flood of obscure and tangentially connected links but nonetheless, Israel does not owe the Palestinians compensation unless the two parties agree to it.

        No I won’t bother you, since ignorance is bliss. I’ve already pointed out in the comment archives that the international courts have adopted landmark rulings recently which indicate that states, like Turkey, owe compensation for invasions and occupations of other states, like Cyprus, whether they agree or not.

        FYI, even within the limited scope of the legal consequences of the construction of the illegal wall under applicable law, the International Court of Justice said Israel owed compensation to displaced Palestinians.

      • ritzl
        June 5, 2014, 2:19 am

        @mondonut- Yep. Let’s start with the water bill. And what’s the bit about “refuse to assist?” Does that mean no more Palestinian water for Israel? Now there is an existential issue for Israel.

        You all have no clue. There are ZERO snappy comebacks on the facts of this issue. The conversation is simply over. We’re into resolution phase.

        Per Hostage above, prepare to see your/the Israeli lifestyle evaporate. The JNF-style boxes will become reparations boxes.

      • talknic
        June 5, 2014, 2:37 am

        @ mondonut “Israel does not owe the Palestinians compensation unless the two parties agree to it”

        Sez who?

    • Kay24
      June 4, 2014, 7:41 am

      No surprise, they did the same mean thing, when the Palestinians went to the UN to legally bid for statehood. Vindictive zionists.

    • ritzl
      June 4, 2014, 7:58 am

      Thanks for the link, talknic.

    • just
      June 4, 2014, 8:06 am

      Didn’t anybody ever teach the Israelis about the Laws of Occupation, International Humanitarian Law, the Geneva Conventions?

      How is it possible that they have managed to escape any and all accountability for their multitudinous and ongoing crimes??? I know about the US and the damnable veto, but neither we nor they are the ruler/king/dictator of the world. This gross Israeli/US exceptionalism has got to end!

      I don’t mean to sound naive. Honestly, this is a very basic question to be asked of this self- proclaimed “democracy”.

  26. Citizen
    June 4, 2014, 7:42 am

    Israel’s not going to give up on Abbas, and I don’t hear Israel saying the US should cut off aid to the PA now that it has set up an interim unity government with HAMAS. If the US did that, who would pay for the PA security cops who basically work for Israel’s security? Israel would have to start paying for its occupation in a myriad of ways it does not now. The US congress folks demanding we cut off aid to Palestinian government because HAMAS is now part of it are just saying so to ensure continued Israel First donations. AIPAC itself’s reaction is more nuanced than the pavlovian reaction of critters like Kirk of Illinois and Rubio of Florida.

    • ritzl
      June 5, 2014, 2:26 am

      Good point, Citizen. The trap is being sprung. Congress, other than the purely bought on this issue, will see the conundrum that obeisance to the Israel Lobby brings. It’s duplicitous and/or isn’t explainable to constituents. Perhaps some will be more compelled to seek a way out of that conundrum.

      Who knows…

  27. just
    June 4, 2014, 9:54 am

    “BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – Israel officially notified the Palestinian Authority Monday that it put into effect sanctions against the Palestinians in response to the swearing in of a unity government including Hamas, a PLO official said.

    Hanna Amirah, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, told Ma’an on Tuesday that sanctions included the invalidation of VIP cards of PA officials, reduction of tax revenues which Israel collects and delivers to the PA and prevention of visits between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

    Israel, he highlighted, denied three officials from the Gaza Strip entry to the West Bank Monday where they were supposed to be sworn in as ministers in the Palestinian unity government. ”

    link to maannews.net

  28. Citizen
    June 4, 2014, 11:46 am

    The Obama administration sought Tuesday to bridge a rift with Israel over the willingness of the United States to recognize and fund a new Palestinian government affiliated with the militant group Hamas, arguing that the new government deserves a chance to succeed. – Washington Post
    Hasbara on the excited march:
    “Lee Smith writes: The bill for this moral rot will be paid by Israelis—and by American taxpayers who will now be directly covering the salaries of thousands of card-carrying members of a terrorist organization. It’s not just Obama who will be crossing a red line by funding Hamas—he’s dragging the rest of us along with him into a political and moral swamp, in which America will combat terrorism with one hand, while paying for terror with the other.” – Tablet Magazine

    Funny, eh? We Americans should keep paying for Israel’s terrorism, racism, brutal occupation of innocent natives, not help the innocent Palestinian natives?

  29. mondonut
    June 4, 2014, 10:47 pm

    …US Congress dogs loyal only to Netanyahoo…

    @Annie

    I see you have dumped our entire thread down the memory hole. You could spare yourself the trouble if you put an end to the anti-semetic nonsense that all or parts of the US Government is owned or controlled.

    • Annie Robbins
      June 4, 2014, 11:13 pm

      um, i see the thread mondonut. if you put that sentence you’ve placed in italics into a search (cntrl f) you can find it upthread more than once. but for future reference i don’t know how to ‘dump’ threads. i can trash individual comments tho, but generally do not do that after they have been published. if someone trashed published comments that used to be on this thread it was not me and you will have to adjust to them being gone, or write phil and adam. please limit comments about comment policy to the comment policy thread, thanks.

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