Understanding Hamas

Israel/Palestine
on 160 Comments
The Palestinian unity government (photo: Said Khatib/AFP)

The Palestinian unity government,  Ismail Haniyeh center. (photo: Said Khatib/AFP)

In 2006 following Hamas’s success in the Palestinian legislative elections, Ismail Haniyeh, the newly elected Prime Minister wrote a letter to President Bush.  In this letter Haniyeh asked for his new government to be recognised, he offered establishing a border on 1967 boundaries and agreed to a long-term truce.

Haniyeh wrote, 

“We are an elected government which came through a democratic process.”

“We are so concerned about stability and security in the area that we don’t mind having a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders and offering a truce for many years.” 

“We are not warmongers, we are peace makers and we call on the American government to have direct negotiations with the elected government,” he wrote. Haniyeh also urged the American government to act to end the international boycott “because the continuation of this situation will encourage violence and chaos in the whole region.”

President Bush never responded to the letter and the United States continued its boycott of Hamas and of Gaza.  

Since their election in 2006 Hamas made repeated efforts to establish diplomatic contacts with EU and American representatives.  All of which were denied.  Hamas were elected through a democratic process which the EU welcomed, paid for, monitored and declared to be free and fair.  While secret or unofficial meetings continued to take place between Hamas and Western diplomats, the content of these meetings was always same.  “Accept the Quartet’s principles or we will continue to treat you as an illegitimate actor and boycott you.”  

In a leaked 2007 correspondence with Washington, Israeli Director of Intelligence, Amos Yadlin stated that “Israel would be happy if Hamas took over Gaza, as then the IDF could treat Gaza as a hostile country.”  And this is exactly what has happened.  Hamas took over Gaza through democratic elections and Israel treats it as a hostile zone, which we can observe occurring at this very moment. Israel stated that Hamas were terrorists and Western leaders did not challenge this line.  On the contrary, they refused to meet diplomatically with Hamas leaders, they cut off all possible financing to the newly elected government and they supported Israel’s complete sanction and seize of Gazan territory. Israel stated that Hamas were terrorists, so European and American governments responded accordingly.

This line has become so powerful in Western government’s state policies and mainstream media outlets the entire discourse around Gaza has been reduced to Israel’s ‘right to defend itself’ against Hamas; Israel’s defense against terrorism.  Hamas has become synonymous with terrorism and Gaza has become synonymous with ‘terrorist harbouring territory’.  As such, Israel has endowed itself with the heinous luxury of unmediated, indiscriminate and radically disproportionate action, because it says that it is defending itself from terrorism.  And western governments and western mainstream media outlets continue to buy, support and spread this violent misconstruction of Hamas’s identity. 

As someone who has met with many Hamas members and leaders I am deeply disappointed and disheartened, by mainstream western discourse’s reductionist and racist understanding of Hamas, its actions and of its position in Palestinian society. During a three month research trip in Gaza, September-December 2012, I had the opportunity to talk with Hamas members and leaders regarding the western response to their success in the 2006 elections. In my conversations they conveyed their own frustration and sadness at being so profoundly misunderstood and misrepresented.

Ahmad Majdi, an area manager for Hamas in Gaza, told me they are very aware that many external powers view them as terrorists, which they explain are based on mistaken reports from Israel. Ahmed Yousef, an advisor to Prime Minister Haniyeh, said they know they have been dehumanised and demonised in the West, and so they encourage western officials to come and meet with them so they can get a better understanding of Hamas and its policies, rather than simply stereotyping it.  Yousef said Hamas had an open door policy to Western diplomats; Hamas desired to be recognised and engaged with diplomatically.  However, US and EU state representatives refused to recognise the newly elected government and they continue with their financial and diplomatic sanctioning of Hamas.

Hamas leader, Ghazi Hamad told me, “when the EU opposed Hamas and squeezed them in a corner they wanted to make it fail.  To show the world that we don’t want the Islamists in power. We don’t want democracy to come through the Islamists.”  

The obsessive focus on the Hamas charter

Most often discussions regarding Hamas in the Western media begin with its notorious 1988 Charter. But have media outlets who spew obsessively narrow readings of Hamas’s military position even bothered to do any research into its political work?    

Have they bothered reading further analysis of this material by other experts, such as Menachem Klein, who wrote, 

 “The differences between the party’s platform and the Islamic Charter do not represent an attempt at deception or the empty and unconsidered use of words.  They are a product of a change and modification of lines of thought as a part of the process by which Hamas has become a political movement.” 

Klein explains that Hamas will not revoke their Charter because it represents an important historical document for the group, which was written at the time of their inception during the first Intifada.  The Charter, however, is not representative of Hamas in its current form.  There are more contemporary Hamas documents, such as their 2006 election manifesto, which describes Hamas’s broader vision for Palestinian society and which author Khaled Hroub states, “could be said that the document was designed to carry out exactly the kinds of reform that had been demanded by Western governments and financial institutions.” Still, US and EU officials continue to be obtusely obsessed with Hamas’s Charter.  Through this reductionist and reified reading of Hamas, Western officials continue to be blind to Hamas’s politics.  Hamas founder and current member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Khalil al-Aya expressed in an interview,  

“Hamas gave lots of flexibility in lots of places.  We had things that were strategic and things that were fixed.  For example, we had that program with all the fractions of Gaza/ Palestine- we agreed for it. And until now the EU did not catch this initiative, and see that Hamas was already very flexible.  And we have the agreements with Israel with the other parties and we accept 1967 borders- with the right to return. And this is big.  But this did not affect them; it did not move them.”

Hamas is a pragmatic and flexible political actor and focusing on its 1988 Charter completely misses Hamas’s contemporary identity.  However, disgracefully the US and European states maintain their uneducated or purposefully misleading understanding of Hamas.      

It appears as though when discussing Hamas or reporting on its activities it seems sufficient to regurgitate Israel’s purposely scare mongering and racist discourse.

Perhaps what is more troubling is how the general public is also swallowing this horrendous misrepresentation of Hamas.  Tweets, blogs, comments left on news reports are also engaged in this continual equating of Hamas with terrorists and Gazans with terrorist supporters. People who know absolutely nothing about Hamas or about Gaza feel comfortable supporting the bombing of Gaza because Israel has stated that it has the right to defend itself.  The public eye remains viciously blind to the destruction of Gaza and of Gazan lives because they appear to believe that they are all just a bunch of terrorists.

Israel has been so tragically successful in pushing, publicizing and controlling this particular line that it has installed a state of delusion among Western leaders and Western publics.   

Palestinian unity

In 2007 Hamas and Fatah agreed to form a national unity government after the signing of the Mecca Agreement.  Hamas leaders had been encouraged to form this government in order to receive international recognition and ease the boycott on Gaza and their government.  After signing the agreement Prime Minister Haniyeh dissolved the 10th government, which was composed primarily of Hamas representatives and formed a national unity government, which comprised of an equal number of Fatah and Hamas members, as well as a significant number of independent representatives.  Despite these changes Western leaders continued their boycott of Hamas and the siege on Gaza. In an interview, Hamas leader Ahmed Yousef shared his frustration at the continued policy of boycott,

“We are disappointed with the policies, because they are not fulfilling what they promised.  They said to us, ‘when Hamas has the national unity government then the Europeans will open the door for Hamas. But unfortunately we had the unity government, and they didn’t open the door- they kept the door shut.”

Now seven years later, after a violent policy of collective punishment on the people of Gaza for voting in Hamas, Fatah and Hamas have tried to give it another attempt.  Unfortunately, today we are not talking about this unity government.  Unfortunately, today Western leaders are not following up on their desire to engage with this unity government.  Unfortunately, today Fatah and Hamas are not talking about how this united front will assist in strengthening Palestinian society in their attempt to salvage what may be left of their political sovereignty. Instead, we are talking about the bombing of Gaza which continues to be regarded as Israel’s right to defend itself.  Israel’s narrative of terrorism has again destroyed Hamas’s opportunity to govern as a political actor and western leaders have been stupidly or maliciously complicit in this.  The people of Gaza continue to be reduced to an Israeli discourse that depicts them as terrorists, which has allowed for endless bombing and incessant attacks that continue at this very moment.

About Cata Charrett

Cata Charrett is a PhD candidate at Aberystwyth University, Wales, researching on EU-Hamas relations after the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections. This work is based on interviews with Hamas members, EU officials and document material.

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160 Responses

  1. tokyobk
    July 14, 2014, 3:51 pm

    You are saying that Hamas should be taken seriously by world governments as the elected representatives of Gaza and perhaps all Palestinians.

    You are also saying that the Hamas charter does not really matter even though they won’t fully renounce it.

    But the second part actually does matter for the first. Undoubtedly, other reasons would be found to bar Hamas but that does not mean that a genocidal document can be simply waved away. There is no such thing as too much obsessing about such formal statements and you would not accept it from any other quarter.

    If Hamas is to be treated as legitimate government than it can expect to be scrutinised for how it would treat all of its citizens in a multi-ethnic Palestine.

    Moreover, Hamas like any other government can be fairly judged on how it treats the people it currently governs and the outcomes of its social and military policy.

    I happen to agree as with other revolutionary and resistance movements further engagement can mean better results on the issues above, but the charter (and other like statements) matter, and they matter precisely in the terms of legitimacy that you are arguing for.

    • Justpassingby
      July 14, 2014, 4:43 pm

      Netanyahu’s party platform ‘flatly rejects’ establishment of Palestinian state
      link to mondoweiss.net

      Hamas has in comparsion with Israel no document that leads them.

      • Naftush
        July 15, 2014, 2:46 am

        Except that Israel has a spectrum of parties and platforms and an electorate that chooses among them — with no need for international observers — as circumstances warrant.

    • eljay
      July 14, 2014, 4:52 pm

      >> tokyobk @ July 14, 2014 at 3:51 pm

      Good post. I agree.

    • Walid
      July 14, 2014, 5:04 pm

      “… though they won’t fully renounce it.”

      Makes you sound so medieval. You probably missed the part about Hamas’ 2006 elections manifesto and Haniyeh’s 2006 letter to Bush about the 67 borders, but then again, Israelis were never really interested in the term “67 borders” and the long term hudna proposed. What is it that Arafat had to “renounce” before his signature would be acceptable to make Oslo fly?

      • tokyobk
        July 14, 2014, 6:36 pm

        Renouncing bad doctrines like those behind like slavery and Jim Crow, Indian Removal or White Only Australia or State Shinto is actually the opposite of medieval.

        The Hamas Charter has to go in word and spirit if Hamas wants the legitimacy the author argues for. They are one and the same effort though she wants to separate them, and no I do not take Hamas in 2D. I understand they are varied and they are also an elected body that will have to be negotiated with as long as the Palestinians want that.

      • Walid
        July 14, 2014, 7:18 pm

        tokyobk, I was referring to the use of the term, such as renounce the so and so or you will be burned at the stake. I’m not a fan of Hamas, BTW, but these guys did offer to enter into a long term hudna, which of course could have flowered into a permanent peace with Israel. Turning down their offer because of something in their charter was a poor excuse to walk away from a possible peace deal. Israel accepted the PLO even with its charter warts, so why the fuss with those of Hamas? Keep in mind that the people elected Hamas mostly to get rid of the Fatah corrupt group.

      • Citizen
        July 14, 2014, 7:26 pm

        @ tokyobk
        HAMAS should reword its charter, and so should Likud revise its platform, agree? USA should encourage both, right? Now, about US military aid to Israel, you think that should continue? How about US aid to Palestine? Shouldn’t the US discontinue both? If not, why not? And should the US keep vetoing every attempt in UN to make Israel accountable? Why so, or if not, why not?

      • amigo
        July 14, 2014, 7:53 pm

        “The Hamas Charter has to go in word and spirit if Hamas wants the legitimacy the author argues for.”tokybk

        You might want to pass along some of your concerns to nietanyahu.

        “Although Netanyahu plays the part, the details of his party platform need to be taken into account as a “peace partner” to show the reality behind the circus. Likud Party Charter states:

        a. “The Jordan river will be the permanent eastern border of the State of Israel.”

        b. “Jerusalem is the eternal, united capital of the State of Israel and only of Israel. The government will flatly reject Palestinian proposals to divide Jerusalem”

        c. “The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river.”

        d. “The Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are the realization of Zionist values. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel. The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting.”

        So while Netanyahu wants no pre-conditions from the Palestinians going into “negotiations” his party charter and ideology says otherwise.

        link to mondoweiss.net

      • Djinn
        July 14, 2014, 8:08 pm

        Any comments about the Likud charter tokyobk? You know the one that expressly denies ANY sovereignty for Palestine? The one that makes a lie of every claim they’ve ever made re the “peace talks”.

        The one that makes it clear that the occupation will last forever. With all it’s attendant crimes.

      • can of worms
        July 14, 2014, 11:22 pm

        tokyobk says: “Renouncing bad doctrines like those behind like slavery and Jim Crow, Indian Removal or White Only Australia ”

        lol. Now I understand you. You mean before allowed legitimacy there has to be a renouncing of bad doctrines like ethnic cleansing, unending military occupation, moving a population to occupied and cleansed area, apartheid, two systems of law, detention, torture, warehousing, massacring an enclosed area under occupation, appropriating land and water for ethnic use, segregation of schools, segregation between cities, separate rights, … etc. etc. etc. Right?

      • Mooser
        July 16, 2014, 11:04 am

        You got it, ‘can of worms’! ‘Tokyobk’ is all sophistry and hypocrisy.

      • Sumud
        July 15, 2014, 4:24 am

        The White Australia policy was never “denounced” by the Oz Government, the policy was dismantled piece by piece over a number of years.

      • Djinn
        July 15, 2014, 4:49 am

        The only thing that’s ever even come close to that was an apology for the Stolen Generation, and that came 30 years after the last vestiges of that obscenity had ceased. Maybe tokyobk would be placated if Hamas renounces it 30 years after Israel ends the siege, occupation & apartheid practices?

      • Basilio
        July 15, 2014, 7:40 am

        In my opinion, I don’t see why Hamas cannot change the charter and revise it even if it is historical. I understand that it has an election manifesto. However, it can put forward a new, more progressive charter instead of having people using the charter against it and then saying it’s not important. A big problem for Hamas is not only the charter, but the fact that it has the history of suicide bombs that I was always against. Israel used the cover of the suicide bombs to build more settlements, and it made it easier to harm all kinds of Palestinians. I know the world is not fair to Hamas, but its history in the 1990’s and it’s charter are two negative points. It cannot change the past, of course. However, it can change the charter. If people are obsessing over it and view it as genocidal in some circles, then do something to get rid of the label.
        If you put a nice election manifesto, some open minded people will see that, but many will say that the charter still exists and many people think that charters are important to organizations. I do understand that Hamas has made many changes.

      • eljay
        July 15, 2014, 8:49 am

        >> Basilio: … I don’t see why Hamas cannot change the charter and revise it even if it is historical. … It cannot change the past, of course. However, it can change the charter. If people are obsessing over it and view it as genocidal in some circles, then do something to get rid of the label.

        I agree. IMO, Hamas should revise its charter because that’s the right thing to do. It should not avoid revising the charter simply because Israel and Australia haven’t revised theirs. (Isn’t that what’s often referred to as “whataboutery”?)

      • Taxi
        July 15, 2014, 9:05 am

        Basilio,

        Why should Hamas change their charter to please the west? Gazans are the children and grandchildren of the 1948 massacred and dispossessed. They want their ancestral land back and reparations for 65 years of suffering. I don’t see anything wrong with that. If the west and israel don’t like it, f*ck ’em.

        Hamas aren’t going to lie through their teeth or pretend where they’re coming from – they’re not gonna practice politics using lies and deception like our politicians and israel are infamous for, just so they can curry favor with western audiences.

        Why should they lie about their legitimate agenda: they want ALL of their land back. They asking for their full rights, no more and no less.

        And regarding suicide bombings: it’s the poor-man’s missile, no different to the F-35 on a mission to destroy – and as you know, Hamas has halted its use when it became clear to them that this method was detrimental to their cause. Has israel stopped using their DIME and cluster bombs, ever?

        Point is: to ask hamas to drop stuff from their charter, such as the important and legitimate claim to their land as a WHOLE, in my opinion is unjust and unreasonable.

      • Shingo
        July 15, 2014, 9:24 pm

        Point is: to ask hamas to drop stuff from their charter, such as the important and legitimate claim to their land as a WHOLE, in my opinion is unjust and unreasonable. </blockquote

        It's dumb Taxi.

        I have no disagreement with Hamas' complaints but if the Charter is no longer relevant and only serves to keep Hamas politically isolated, then holding on to it is just stupidity and self defeating.

        Hamas still have a long way to go in terns of learning to be politically savy.

    • justicewillprevail
      July 14, 2014, 5:15 pm

      Whatever bar you announce that Hamas must pass in order to satisfy your high-mindedness – whilst strangely never imagining that perhaps Israel would have to clear some barriers itself to qualify as a serious candidate for peace talks (which it has never been) – we can absolutely guarantee that if Hamas did agree (as they have to the 67 borders), then you simply change the game and raise the bar. It has happened many times in the past to Palestinian negotiators and is a tried and tested tactic which means never having to commit to real peace talks. So you won’t be surprised that sanctimonious demands of what the other side must do are simply not credible when the track record reveals the use of a tactic to continually stall and prevaricate, whilst not even imagining that Israel has far more tests to pass than the Palestinians to be taken as a serious partner for peace. Meanwhile the Palestinian state shrinks and the resources are seized – carry on the ethnic cleansing and impoverishment until there is nothing left.

    • pjdude
      July 14, 2014, 7:33 pm

      the world accepted Israel and they were founded by terrorists

      • amigo
        July 14, 2014, 7:56 pm

        “the world accepted Israel and they were founded by terrorists” pjdude

        And now it is run by Terrorists.

      • pjdude
        July 14, 2014, 11:27 pm

        I know. it was founded by terrorists always run by terrorists. terrorism is a national value of israel. it is who the Israeli jewish people are at the core.

    • Shingo
      July 15, 2014, 8:11 am

      You are also saying that the Hamas charter does not really matter even though they won’t fully renounce it.

      Likud won’t renounce theirs either, yet we are expected to believe Bibbi when he says he supports a 2ss?

      Having said that, I do agree that this refusal to drop the charter is stupid and self defeating. It hands the Israeli corner a huge talking point victory.

    • Talkback
      July 16, 2014, 9:37 am

      tokyobk says: Undoubtedly, other reasons would be found to bar Hamas but that does not mean that a genocidal document can be simply waved away.

      If the document is genocidal how come it includes two articles that declare the following:

      Article 6: “Only under the shadow of Islam could the members of all regions coexist in safety and security for their lives, properties and rights.”

      Article 31: “[Hamas] is only hostile to those who are hostile towards it, or stand in its way in order to disturb its moves or to frustrate its efforts. Under the shadow of Islam it is possible for the members of the three religions: Islam, Christianity and Judaism to coexist in safety and security. Safety and security can only prevail under the shadow of Islam, and recent and ancient history is the best witness to that effect.”
      link to thejerusalemfund.org

      • eljay
        July 16, 2014, 10:44 am

        Article 6: “Only under the shadow of Islam could the members of all regions coexist in safety and security for their lives, properties and rights.”

        Article 31: “ … Under the shadow of Islam it is possible for the members of the three religions: Islam, Christianity and Judaism to coexist in safety and security. Safety and security can only prevail under the shadow of Islam …

        Why should safety and security only exist “under the shadow of Islam”? And what happens to people who prefer not to live under its shadow?

        The charter is – or, at the very least, reads far too much like – a primitive, religiously-driven, conspiracy-filled diatriabe against “the Jews” and a call for Islamic supremacism.

        No wonder it makes people uncomfortable!

  2. Kay24
    July 14, 2014, 4:31 pm

    A very informative article about Hamas. Americans do not know that Hamas wrote to Bush asking to talk and make peace deal with them, and accepting them as part of the international community. I had no idea either. Perhaps Israel made sure that would never happen, because to accept Hamas, and the US recognizing them, would make it difficult for Israel to keep stealing lands and building illegal settlements, with no bogey man out there as an excuse. Israel must have an enemy next door to perpetrate it’s crime against the Palestinians. Israel’s crimes will be baseless if there is no enemy.
    At this moment, it is hard to really gauge who Hamas is. For the most part they could have been demonized by the Israelis, so that the impression that they are terrorists will go on in American minds. Many say Israel is the bigger terrorist, and I agree.

    After a democratic election Hamas came in to power, but that was not good enough for Israel. Therefore, it threw a tantrum, made the Western world reject them, and every rocket that comes their way, can be blamed on Hamas, the perpetual enemy.

    Many Americans also have no clue that Israel’s Mossad shot poison into the ear of a Hamas leader, Khaled Meshal, made him violently ill, and that Jordan had to ask Bill Clinton to intervene, and demand the antidote from Israel, while the Mossad criminals were unable to get out of the Israeli embassy in Jordan. The story reads like a spy novel.
    Then last year we had the assassination of Ahmed Al Jabari, by Israel, which the New York Times called the shortsighted assassination bels-shortsighted-assassination.html?_r=0

    Then last year we had the assassination of Ahmed Al Jabari, by Israel, which the New York Times called the shortsighted assassination by Israel.
    link to nytimes.com

    Right now Israel is trying to decimate the one thorn in the flesh, that has stood up to them, and despite many tries, are still standing, defiantly. Israel may destroy their rocket launchers, but they will return.
    For Israel to keep the brutal military occupation going, the stealing of land and water, and to systematically keep getting rid of the territories of Palestinians, it MUST have an enemy, the excuse to keep the violence against these indigenous people going.
    I am sure the US, UK and Western leaders are not that stupid to not know the master plan, but if labeling Hamas and the Palestinians as terrorists is convenient, then they will pretend it is so.
    The Palestinian people perhaps see Hamas as the ONLY source on this earth, that will stand up for them, when the Israelis play war games with their lives, sending deadly missiles, precision bombs, white phosphorous, and even banned weapons, into their homes. The rest of the world does not care (Israel has seen to that part).

    • Walid
      July 14, 2014, 5:25 pm

      Kay, Israel’s poison-in-the-ear caper also forced it to release the imprisoned Hamas’ guru and founder, Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, the wheelchair bound semi-blind and deaf octogenarian, which Israel killed along with 5 innocent bystanders a couple of years later with an Apache missile as he came back from Friday prayers. Israel is still with the nasty habit of either re-arresting released prisoners or simply assassinating them.

      • Kay24
        July 14, 2014, 5:43 pm

        Isn’t it strange they seem to have that bad habit of releasing prisoners when they are anxious to some deal, and then when the opportunity arises, unmercifully kill them or re-arrest them. You can never trust a zionist or take them at their word.
        No wonder the Hamas spokesperson just now on CNN said they need further clarification to the agreement for ceasefire with Israel. He sounded as if he does not trust them, no surprise.

      • Walid
        July 14, 2014, 5:58 pm

        Kay, the Arab League, Abbas and the rest of the gang are trying to pull a fast one on Hamas just to get it to stop to allow Israel to breathe a bit easier. If my hunch is right that Hamas is being coached by another resistance group that has mastered the art of negotiating with Israel, Hamas will be standing its ground to get the siege lifted. I think those redundant rockets being fired from Lebanon since a couple of days are only meant to show moral support for Gaza and nothing else.

      • Kay24
        July 14, 2014, 6:49 pm

        A very interesting perspective Walid, it gives me much to think about.

  3. Jenin Younes
    July 14, 2014, 5:10 pm

    because in this Orwellian nightmare in which we live, Hamas and Palestinians are always the bad guys, no matter what they actually do and say, and Israeli Jews and Netanyahu are always the good guys, no matter what they say and do.

    • Kay24
      July 15, 2014, 8:13 am

      Simply look at their actions, and not their hollow words. Whether it is the liar at the top, Bibi (world known liar) or their mouthpieces from the embassies, armed forces, to their zionist media servants in the US, they simply spew the talking points, but their actions belie their narrative. Sometimes the truth is completely the opposite to what they have been spewing. I have never seen such a nation of prevaricators.

      • Jenin Younes
        July 15, 2014, 12:39 pm

        yes, what’s just unbelievable to me is that I keep hearing people (and relatively intelligent, educated people) continuing to repeat the garbage. I just don’t get it. It’s so obvious what they are doing–I don’t understand how they continue to get away with it

  4. Blownaway
    July 14, 2014, 5:17 pm

    Americans only get filtered news from the mainstream media. So here’s the big picture:

    •All 6 Former Israeli Security Chiefs Slam Occupation of Palestine
    •Holocaust Survivors Criticize Israeli Policy Towards Palestinians
    •War in Gaza = War Over Natural Gas?
    •Israel and the U.S. CREATED Hamas, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda
    •Mainstream Reports: The U.S. and Israel Support Terrorists
    •The U.S. Is Supporting the Most Violent Muslim Terrorists In Order to Wage War for Oil
    •Israeli Interior Minister: “The Goal of the Operation Is to Send Gaza Back to the Middle Ages”, “Destroying All the Infrastructure Including Roads and Water”
    •Israel Is Bombing Gaza Back to the Stone Age to Get Hamas … But ISIS – NOT HAMAS – Claims Credit for Attacks Against Israel
    •Hamas Shouldn’t Fire Rockets … But Israel Has Violated HUNDREDS of UN Resolutions
    •Did Anyone Live In Palestine Prior to the Formation of Israel?
    •Israeli, Saudi and American Leaders Say Arabs Are Not Ready for Democracy
    •Gaza War Isn’t On the Other Side of the World: The U.S. is Right in the Middle
    •War In Gaza: Why Now?
    •Facts All US Citizens Need to Know About Israel and Palestine
    •CNN: Palestinians Want to Die

    • Kay24
      July 14, 2014, 5:41 pm

      Very interesting list Blownaway. You have with one liners explained the situation quite well. I guess that is a condensed version of how things are, I wonder if Americans are able to fathom it all out. I doubt they will want to google to find out in depth. But I get your point, most Americans are ignorant of these facts, and will believe CNN and other zionist networks. It is much easier.
      It does seem that the whole situation is very complicated. One thing is clear – Israel and the US are partners in crime and deception. No wonder Bibi called us brothers and sisters of Israel.

      • Blownaway
        July 14, 2014, 8:45 pm

        Actually they are links…but they didn’t transfer enter any line into google to learn more about it

    • Sumud
      July 14, 2014, 5:48 pm

      That is brilliant Blownaway. I might add:

      • Rogue Middle East state has 400 undeclared nukes, starts with an I
      • Holocaust-Light: 500,000 Iraqi children, and counting
      • “Battlefield Tested” – The inside scoop on Israeli arms manufacturers and Gaza

      • Naftush
        July 15, 2014, 2:50 am

        They’re up to 400 now? What, their arsenal is indexed to the Zimbabwean CPI?

      • Shingo
        July 15, 2014, 8:14 am

        How many bombs has ISrael dropped Naftush?

      • Sumud
        July 15, 2014, 8:49 am

        200, 400 – whatever.

        More than zero is one too many for the fevered jewish supremacist state.

        On the other hand I have little objection to Iran ever deciding to build the bomb. They’re playing the long game and there’s zero chance they’d use it for anything other than deterrence.

    • can of worms
      July 14, 2014, 11:54 pm

      Blownaway says: “U.S. CREATED Al Qaeda”. + Kaye says “US are partners in crime and deception”. Add: petrodollar system on the brink + apartheid legitimacy on the brink = reopen 9/11 can of worms

  5. Tex Tradd
    July 14, 2014, 5:37 pm

    One can hope the more pragmatic elements of Hamas eventually triumph. I got the impression Jimmy Carter felt like there were substantive exchanges with some Hamas officials. But let’s keep the big picture in mind: they act in utterly anti-liberal and anti-humane ways.

    Their clear bias towards violence and intolerance is what moral giants like Gandhi and Mandela and MLK tried to liberate us from.

    • Taxi
      July 15, 2014, 12:17 am

      Tex,

      Palestine is under a brutal Apartheid occupation. Hamas is a legitimate Palestinian resistance group. Historically, violence has been a necessary tool for liberation. It’s utopian to think that the nazis coulda been subdued by peaceful means, just as it is naive to think that the racist israelis can be subdued by peaceful means.

      I repeat: HAMAS IS A PALESTINIAN RESISTANCE GROUP and anyone criticizing them while they’re defending their people and their land is just mouthing nasty propaganda in the name of the gestapo israelis.

      The French resistance’s violence against the nazis is STILL to this day celebrated – cuz they’re white europeans, of course. God forbid that a brown-skinned Arab resistance should get equal empathy or support.

      As an American caucasian, this deadly hypocrisy disgusts me! On behalf all brown-skinned resistors out there, I flip my middle finger at everyone who whines about Hamas and the other 17 other resistance groups in Gaza who are today fighting for their liberation and for the safety of their UNARMED people.

      Bravo to ALL of Palestine’s resistance groups! Keep fighting racist israelis wherever you can and as hard as you can.

      • Taxi
        July 15, 2014, 12:45 am

        Some Gandhi quotes on the use of violence:
        link to mkgandhi.org
        link to freerepublic.com

        “Where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence I advise violence.”

        “I would risk violence a thousand times rather than risk the emasculation of a whole race.”

        “The world is not entirely governed by logic. Life itself involves some kind of violence and we have to choose the path of least violence”. (my bold)

        “I have been repeating over and over again that he who cannot protect himself or his nearest and dearest or their honour by non-violently facing death may and ought to do so by violently dealing with the oppressor. He who can do neither of the two is a burden. He has no business to be the head of a family. He must either hide himself, or must rest content to live for ever in helplessness and be prepared to crawl like a worm at the bidding of a bully.”

        Methinks Gandhi was a realist.

      • Tex Tradd
        July 15, 2014, 4:35 pm

        Taxi: Hamas is a legitimate Palestinian resistance group.

        The idea that lobbing rockets indiscriminately into populated areas full of civilians is a legitimate form of resistance makes me shudder. How can you believe such an awful, inhumane thing? It is one thing to attack military personnel and installations, but civilians are supposed to be off limits. Nor do I accept the argument of apologists for the US military or Zionists or others that collateral damage of civilians is acceptable. I’m not quite a Quaker, but I refuse to accept rationalizations for attacking civilians. Now, when civilians are involved in working in war industries and similar activities, they are complicit in violence, and therefore violence against them becomes more morally complex, but there is a difference between attacking a factory involved in war, and attacking random individuals).

        Taxi: Historically, violence has been a necessary tool for liberation.

        I can’t really disagree with this idea at the abstract level, as I am not a pacifist, and believe in self-defense and just wars. It’s true that sometimes violence is the only way to preserve life. But I agree with Pope Francis that war is always a defeat for humanity.

        I don’t think justice for the Palestinians will be accomplished through Hamas lobbing rockets indiscriminately into areas where families live. Were they only to attack military personnel, they would of course be defeated, but their current tactics must be regarded by those who love peace and justice with horror.

        I note that Jewish Voice for Peace recently issued a statement including these statements:

        “In just the last few days, scores of Palestinians–with no place to hide–have been killed, while the entire population of Gaza experiences the terror of widespread bombing. Israelis have had to endure the fear of never knowing when or where the next rocket will fall.”

        “None of this should be happening. As we mourn all who have died, we also reaffirm that all Israelis and Palestinians deserve security, justice, and equality.”

        “End the bombing. End the occupation”

      • Shingo
        July 15, 2014, 11:00 pm

        The idea that lobbing rockets indiscriminately into populated areas full of civilians is a legitimate form of resistance makes me shudder. How can you believe such an awful, inhumane thing?

        You clearly gave no problem believing such a thing, provided it’s Israel doing it. If Israel were attacking military personnel and installations, the victims would not comprise 80% of those killed.

        Hamas have no factories to bomb.

        believe in self-defense and just wars.

        There’s no such thing as just war. Just war is another tool of the powerful to wield against the weak, because it is usually a war of choice. The only legitimate firm of violence is self defense.

        Were they only to attack military personnel, they would of course be defeated, but their current tactics must be regarded by those who love peace and justice with horror.

        Cut the crap Wes. Hamas would gladly attack military targets if they had the capacity to do so. The fact is that while Israel claim Hamas hide, they do exactly the same. They expect Hamas to stand out in the open with big red targets painted on their chest, while Israeli bases are hidden and IDF hide in their tanks and F18 cockpits.

      • Taxi
        July 16, 2014, 12:01 am

        Yeah Tex thanks for telling us what an ooh-la-la civilized sensibility you have – all them resisting occupied people are just dangerous savages, right? I’m sure you’re going around zionists sites telling them to quit it already too.

        An occupied people have the inalienable right to defend themselves by all means necessary. Hamas is hitting tel aviv where military operations against them are headquartered and hatched, and they’re striking at illegal settlements where violent settlers are armed to the teeth with intent to kill. This shocks you? Too bad.

        Instead of of your fury and indignation being directed at the mass-murders in israel, you know, the ones who for the past 13 years have been killing a Palestinian child every 3 days, you diss on their parents resisting this level of brutality against their CIVILIAN families. Nice one mister Buddha.

        Man your post REEKS of covert zio defense! But thanks for sharing anywayz.

    • Djinn
      July 15, 2014, 5:01 am

      Sigh. The where is the Palestinian Gandhi routine. Short answer is THEYRE IN ISRAELI PRISONS with lots of other Palestinians arrested for non violent resistance.

      Longer answer, name one, just ONE instance of power ceding to purely non violent tactics? India was liberated for reasons far more complex than Gandhi’s non violent protest movement. There were economic reasons which absolutely do not apply here. Israel benefits economically from the occupation, they have every reason not to cede on that score. There was also VIOLENT resistance in India, quite a lot of it but the ruling class are hardly going to tell you that story are school are they? MLK and Rosa Parks had their way but the Black Panthers and Malcolm X had theirs too. No struggle for liberation has ever been won on kumbayas alone.

      Plus, what taxi said.

      • Tex Tradd
        July 15, 2014, 4:45 pm

        Djinn: No struggle for liberation has ever been won on kumbayas alone.

        Fortunately, our gay brothers and sisters have taken the kumbaya route. As have countless others. As we speak, left-wing Israelis and Palestinians are planning demonstrations against anti-Arab racism and the occupation and for equality. There’s nothing weak about challenging injustice with non-violent means; it is rather, a subtle form of strength that works it’s way through history.

        While in prison, Mandela read deeply into history and analyzed the tragedies that inevitably ensue after violence is used to achieve justice. To the dismay of some of his impatient and maximalist comrades, when released, as a leader of his country he chose the path of messy compromises, politics, meetings, reconciliation, and so forth. Much of the world thought South Africa was a tinderbox in 1990 that could only end badly, but the power of non-violence as the means to resist racism and injustice was too strong.

      • Shingo
        July 15, 2014, 11:46 pm

        Fortunately, our gay brothers and sisters have taken the kumbaya route.

        Fortunately, our gay brothers and sisters haven’t been showered with white phosphorous, bombed with lazer guided bombs, emoji under in an open air prison, had their homes demolished, been expelled from their homes, and used as rats to test new weapons.

  6. Boomer
    July 14, 2014, 5:44 pm

    “The people of Gaza continue to be reduced to an Israeli discourse that depicts them as terrorists, which has allowed for endless bombing and incessant attacks that continue at this very moment.”

    Yes, it is tragic. Sadly, I see little hope for change. On NPR’s “On the Media,” Phil recently suggested that the “narrative” in U.S. media is beginning to change, with a growing recognition of the occupation. If he is correct about that, perhaps there is some basis for hope.

    At best, however, change will come too late to avoid more death, dispossession and oppression of the Palestinians by Israel, with help from America.

  7. light2014
    July 14, 2014, 6:24 pm

    Pierre van Paassen is a journalist who lived and reported from Syria and Palestine in the 1920’s he describes in vivid detail the situation there . His accounts can be read in his book “Days of Our Years” ( in Chapter 8 titled “After Seven Centuries”).

  8. biorabbi
    July 14, 2014, 6:35 pm

    It will be interesting to see if/how/why Egypt will facilitate the case fire. Judging from their state owned television, the Egyptians in power do not like Hamas. Perhaps that’s an understatement. link to youtube.com

    • Citizen
      July 14, 2014, 7:31 pm

      Well yes, Biorabbi, the MB and HAMAS are buddies. What else are you trying to say?

      • Taxi
        July 15, 2014, 12:32 am

        Citizen,

        If I may make a small correction to your statement. Hamas has several branches: social, diplomatic, political and military; and within the military branch, only a segment is pro MB and currently this segment has NO effective political or military power within Hamas cuz they got it so wrong with Morsi and have been asked by the Hamas body to step aside from the Resistance’s decision-making table while the damage they caused to the Palestinian cause is repaired. But of course the zio propaganda machine will lump ALL of hamas and ALL of Palestinians in the same ‘terrorist’ bag.

      • Citizen
        July 15, 2014, 5:55 am

        @ Taxi
        Thanks for the additional information.

      • Shingo
        July 15, 2014, 8:20 am

        only a segment is pro MB and currently this segment has NO effective political or military power within Hamas cuz they got it so wrong with Morsi and have been asked by the Hamas body to step aside from the Resistance’s decision-making table while the damage they caused to the Palestinian cause is repaired.

        What do you mean they got it so wrong with Morsi Taxi? Morsi was removed illegally by a Saudi backed Egyptian military coup in concert with the dregs of the Mubarak era deep state that undermined the government from the inside.

        Was it their fault that they didn’t predict the coup that marked the reversal of the Arab Spring?

        Hamas’s fete was sealed once El Sisi took over, because his handlers in Tel Aviv, Washington and Riyadh ordained it.

      • Taxi
        July 15, 2014, 8:39 am

        Shingo,

        I should have clarified: Mursi publicly turned against Syria, and Hamas, instead of remaining neutral on Syria and focusing solely on the Palestinian cause, aligned themselves with Mursi’s position on Syria, closed their offices in Damascus at the behest of Qatar and Mursi – became therefore, for about a year, politically isolated within the regional Axis of Resistance: Syria/Iran/Hizbollah. But a rapprochement brokered by hizbollah eventually occurred and Hamas returned to the Axis of Resistance fold about a year ago.

      • Shingo
        July 15, 2014, 8:52 am

        Mursi publicly turned against Syria, and Hamas, instead of remaining neutral on Syria and focusing solely on the Palestinian cause, aligned themselves with Mursi’s position on Syria, closed their offices in Damascus at the behest of Qatar and Mursi

        Yes I agree Taxi, that was a seriously dumb move by Mursi.

        But a rapprochement brokered by hizbollah eventually occurred and Hamas returned to the Axis of Resistance fold about a year ago.

        Who else belongs to this axis? Iran and Syra?

      • Taxi
        July 15, 2014, 10:28 am

        The current Axis of Resistance is: Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Iran. The only mid eastern countries actively resisting zionism.

    • Blownaway
      July 14, 2014, 8:58 pm

      The Egyptians are conspiring with Israel and the US to impose humiliating conditions to Hamas. If Hamas accepts it will be a worse blow than the bombings if they say no they will be painted as rejectionists and isolated in the Arab world. Also giving Israel the excuse to launch a ground invasion. Hamas needs deftness and skill to extricate themselves from this mess.

      • oldgeezer
        July 14, 2014, 9:30 pm

        Most likely correct. Egypt isn’t a honest broker any more than the US is. It would be nice if they behave as one this time around.

      • oldgeezer
        July 14, 2014, 9:53 pm

        Hmmm no… I don’t think they will be an honest broker.

        The Palestinians/Hamas are required to “shall cease all hostilities from the Gaza Strip against Israel via land, sea, air, and underground, ”

        Israel is to “shall commit to refrain from conducting any ground incursions against Gaza or targeting civilians.”

        The deck is stacked in the terms. There is nothing in those terms to preclude Israel’s aerial bombardment while proclaiming they are merely attacking Hamas and it’s infrastructure.

        A fair ceasefire would call for a complete ceasefire from both sides.

      • Sumud
        July 15, 2014, 4:30 am

        Tony Blair swooped into Egypt a few days ago to involve himself, so there probably much more plotting going on that we see at this point.

    • Walid
      July 15, 2014, 1:13 am

      It’s obvious that none of those talk show hosts have any admiration for the Brothers whether Egyptian or Gazan ones and the short reign of the Brothers in Egypt is being taken out on the Gazan Hamas Brothers.

      Egyptians have forgotten that it was the US, with which the Brothers had colluded to overthrow Mubarak, that got Tantawi and the rest of the military ruling council to legitimize the Muslim Brotherhood’s political party after it had been blacklisted for over 50 years to let it officially run as a party in the coming elections. It was only when Morsi fell out of grace with the US that it turned on him and had the Egyptian army overthrow him too. Now the Egyptians are joining the other Arabs in wanting Israel to eliminate Hamas once and for all. It’s a repeat performance of the failed war on Hizbullah in 2006 in which Arabs leaders had rooted for Israel to win.

      There is only one valid issue raised in the video, that of disparaging the Hamas leader for staying at a 5-star hotel in Doha, Qatar while Gaza is being bombed. I’m comparing this with Nasrallah, who in 2006 exchanged his abaya cloak and black turban for military fatigues and a kepi to tour the fighting men on the battlefields in the south at the height of the fighting. The Hamas leader living first in Amman, then in Damascus and now in Doha hasn’t done anything to help the Gazans.

  9. wes
    July 14, 2014, 7:31 pm

    exit stratergy will include demilitarization of gaza strip

    • Shingo
      July 15, 2014, 8:25 am

      exit stratergy will include demilitarization of gaza strip

      Wake up Wes and get cleaned up. You had another wet dream.

  10. G. Seauton
    July 14, 2014, 8:29 pm

    Did Anyone Live In Palestine Prior to the Formation of Israel?

    What ever happened to Simone Daoud? He’d be able to fill you in on the people who lived in Palestine prior to the formation of Israel.

    • Blownaway
      July 14, 2014, 10:31 pm

      That was rhetorical they always say before Israel there were no peoples there the Fertile Crescent didn’t exist and the Jews made the desert bloom

      • G. Seauton
        July 14, 2014, 11:35 pm

        That was rhetorical….

        Thanks. I knew that.

        But why haven’t we heard from Simone Daoud for a long time? When I think about people who lived in Palestine before the proclamation of an Israeli state, Simone Daoud and his beautiful stories about life before 1947-1948 come to mind.

        What happened to him?

  11. Jon66
    July 14, 2014, 8:31 pm

    Hamas was labeled a “terrorist” organization not because it is opposed to Israel, but because it engaged in terrorism. Throughout the last two decades they have committed dozens of terrorist attacks including a bombings of restaurants aimed at civilians. They have not been classified as terrorist for their politics, but rather for their actions.
    Secondly, a long-term truce is not a peace accord. If they wanted peace rather than a respite from violence they should have proposed peace.
    Thirdly, the purpose of a charter is to declare your core principals. A charter is a living document, much like a party platform. The UN charter has been amended 5 times.

    • Blownaway
      July 14, 2014, 10:32 pm

      I’ve yet to see a Israeli terrorists home demolished

      • wes
        July 15, 2014, 12:59 am

        Blow n away

        israeli terrorist………whats that.

      • Shingo
        July 15, 2014, 8:26 am

        israeli terrorist………whats that.

        The IDF and pretty much every ISraeli prime minister since Ben Gurion.

    • G. Seauton
      July 14, 2014, 11:55 pm

      Hamas was labeled a “terrorist” organization not because it is opposed to Israel, but because it engaged in terrorism.

      Irgun, the Stern Gang, Palmakh, and Haganah also committed many acts of terror. These were all Jewish terrorist groups. They killed civilians, blew up buildings, terrorized Palestinians to the point of driving them out of their villages, and gave Israel some of its most famous leaders, such as Menachem Begin (Irgun or Stern Gang — I forget which).

      Israelis say that the Palestinians name streets after terrorists. Well, Israel elects terrorists as members of its government.

      Self-righteousness becomes a joke when those who affect it have even dirtier hands than those they condemn.

      • Jon66
        July 15, 2014, 9:32 am

        The point of the article was the misunderstanding of Hamas and it’s mislabeling as terrorist. The label is accurate even if others share it.

      • Shingo
        July 15, 2014, 9:27 pm

        The label is accurate even if others

        The label is meaningless when it’s so selectively and inconsistent applied. The label is nothing more than a political tool if the powerful against the weak.

    • Shingo
      July 15, 2014, 8:29 am

      They have not been classified as terrorist for their politics, but rather for their actions.

      Correction Jon66. They have indeed been classified as terrorist for their politics. Had they been US assets, we’d be calling them freedom fighters, just like we did with the Mujahadeen.

      Secondly, a long-term truce is not a peace accord.

      You usually need one before there is a peace accord. Peace accords cannot be made unilaterally, they have to be negotiated.

      If they wanted peace rather than a respite from violence they should have proposed peace.

      They did, but Israel rejected it. Israel chose land over peace.

      Thirdly, the purpose of a charter is to declare your core principals.

      I agree. The Likud Charter proves that Netanyahu never intended to agree to a 2ss.

  12. Nevada Ned
    July 14, 2014, 11:23 pm

    That’s right. Even when Yigal Amir, a Jewish right-wing extremist, assassinated Yitzhak Rabin, the terrorist’s house was not demolished. Because the terrorist Amir was Jewish.

    • yonah fredman
      July 15, 2014, 4:48 am

      Yigal Amir lived in Israel and not in the occupied territories. Has Israel ever (since 1949) destroyed the home of terrorists if that home was located in Israel?

      • Djinn
        July 15, 2014, 5:23 am

        You’re not honestly suggesting that if he lived in the OPT his home and that of his relatives would have been bulldozed are you? What of those terrorists that did live in some rank racist settlement. How many homes were bulldozed in Kiryat Arba?

      • tree
        July 15, 2014, 1:28 pm

        How many homes were bulldozed in Kiryat Arba?

        Zero of course. Not only do homes NOT get destroyed, but the Jewish murderers in the OPT get released early and given copious funds from the government for living on someone else’s land.

        Menachem Livni is an example. He killed 3 and wounded many more in a machine gun attack on the Islamic College of Hebron in 1983. He got a life sentence, which, in Israel, really means 30 years, and was pardoned after 5 years. He made the news last year:

        An Israeli settler who was released early from a life sentence for killing 3 Palestinians in 1983 has received compensation of 1.3 million NIS (around $250,000) from the Israeli Tax Authority for alleged damage to land that he has cultivated in the Hebron area – land that he illegally confiscated from its Palestinian owners.

        Menachem Livni is a settler in the ultra-right wing settlement of Kiryat Arba, in the Palestinian city of Hebron, and says that he is entitled to the payments, and will continue to sue the Israeli government for more money.

        Livni was convicted of the murder of three Palestinian students, and the wounding of 33 others, when he and two other right-wing settlers with the so-called ‘Israeli Underground’ threw hand grenades and fired automatic weapons at the Islamic College of Hebron in 1983.

        He was sentenced to life in prison along with the other perpetrators of the attack, Shaul Nir and Uzi Sharbav, but he received an early release when he was pardoned by Israeli President Chaim Herzog in 1990.

        He immediately moved to the Israeli settlement Kiryat Arba, which soon became known for violent attacks against Palestinians and illegal seizure of Palestinian land.

        Livni himself took over a large swath of Palestinian farmland and began growing fruit. He was provided with his own contingent of Israeli military troops to protect his stolen swath of land from the Palestinian owners, who repeatedly attempted to reclaim it.

        link to imemc.org

        If you can get passed the paywall you can also read about it here:

        link to haaretz.com

        This is typical. No Jew has ever had his house demolished for punitive reasons, regardless of whether he lives in the OPT or in Israel.

        And then of course there is the example of the destruction of 15 houses in the Palestinian village of Beita in 1988. A group of young Jewish hikers from Elon Moreh escorted by two armed guards trespassed on Beita village land, shot and killed a 19 year old Palestinian in his fields and then entered the town, shot another Palestinian and got into a confrontation with other villagers. A 15 year old Jewish girl was killed in the conflict. Israel went ballistic, destroyed several houses in the village and deported six Palestinians. It would have been worse, but it came out after a few days that the girl had actually been killed by an errant shot from the Jewish guard’s rifle, and the IDF knew that before they destroyed the village houses. Settler groups were extremely agitated against the IDF for releasing the fact that she had been killed by the guard and not by any villager, and for releasing the fact that the young hikers had been initially coached to lie about what happened.

        A semi-accurate account of it is here, enough to get the flavor of what happened:

        link to en.wikipedia.org

        Of course, none of the Jews were prosecuted, and no house in Elon Moreh was demolished.

    • Kay24
      July 15, 2014, 8:16 am

      Most probably his family was not bombed by precision bombs either.

  13. michelle
    July 14, 2014, 11:51 pm

    .
    i’m nobody but i do care
    i myself have no power
    except prayer
    i pray for Blessings
    to everyone and everything everywhere
    .
    to the liar the truth is the terror
    show the world your truth
    .
    arm the people with video recorders
    let the world experience the injustice
    let the world relate directly to ‘you’
    .
    photo bomb the unjust
    .
    G-d Bless
    .

  14. Daniel Rich
    July 15, 2014, 3:23 am

    Time for the Apartheid State to act like ‘Mother Russia.’ Geopolitics has no place for emotions .

  15. German Lefty
    July 15, 2014, 3:35 am

    All In 07/14/14
    Egypt proposes Israel-Hamas ceasefire
    link to msnbc.com

  16. German Lefty
    July 15, 2014, 5:12 am

    German foreign minister travels to Jordan, Israel, and Palestinian territories
    link to bild.de

  17. jon s
    July 15, 2014, 5:38 am

    This morning the Israeli government accepted the ceasefire.
    The Hamas response has been to release a barrage of rockets. In their view, not enough people have been killed, not enough damage done.

    • Annie Robbins
      July 15, 2014, 7:09 am

      In their view, not enough people have been killed, not enough damage done.

      is that what they said? i didn’t think so, you’re such a tool jon. in their view, there goals have not been met. those people didn’t die in vain. end the occupation. end the blockade. return their people israel stole in their latest pogrom. return the people exchanged for gilad in the prisoner swap.

      besides, the last time israel signed a ceasefire agreement in 2012 they were shooting at people on gaza’s borders in less than a week, as i recall.

      Haniyeh said: “Our people were avoiding the war but the Zionist enemy began it, he announced it, he prepared for it, he started to kill the women, children and families, destroy homes. Entire families were eliminated.”

      Every drop of blood is dear to us. My heart and all the people are standing beside these families, but this bloodshed pushes us towards being more committed to our rights and to stopping this aggression, to end this situation in Gaza and the West Bank.”

      link to aljazeera.com

    • Kay24
      July 15, 2014, 8:24 am

      So true. The Palestinians should really keep being the helpless target for Israeli brutality. They should take the F16’s, precision bombs, and even some of that banned DIME, whenever Israel pretends it is the victim. Palestinians simply love to have their people killed, especially their children. They enjoy the military occupation where they are not allowed to keep their lands, have their homes bulldozed, water controlled, have polluted water, unable to farm, fish, and they must always be agreeable to their occupiers demands and take their losses without a murmur. When the opportunity for a ceasefire is thrust on them, they should take it without a protest, and not demand for their rights.
      These occupied people simply do not get it. Such an inconvenience for the poor Israelis.

    • Shingo
      July 15, 2014, 8:32 am

      This morning the Israeli government accepted the ceasefire.

      Of course. The terms say Hamas must renounce all violating against Israel, but Israel should but doesn’t have to if it doesn’t.

      That’s not a ceasefire, that’s a joke.

      The Hamas response has been to release a barrage of rockets.

      No, the Hamas response has been to repeat it’s demands.

      • jon s
        July 15, 2014, 10:10 am

        No? Hamas didn’t fire rockets?

      • jon s
        July 15, 2014, 12:45 pm

        We’ve just experienced the worst rocket attack so far.

        And we have our first dead Israeli, killed by mortar fire at Erez.

      • Shingo
        July 15, 2014, 9:32 pm

        We’ve just experienced the worst rocket attack so far.

        Awe shucks, and I bet you even spilled your glass of burgundy. You’ll never get that back.

      • Shingo
        July 15, 2014, 9:35 pm

        Hamas didn’t fire rockets?

        Didn’t Israel bomb more civilians? And that was after they accepted the ceasefire.

        That’s what a ceasefire Israeli style looks like. You stock firing rockets and stand still while we carry out routine operations ie. bombing, cross border raids, shooting fisherman. If you respond in any way other than gratitude, it proves you are terrorists.

      • jon s
        July 16, 2014, 1:12 am

        Israel accepted the ceasefire and observed it for five hours. The Hamas terrorists responded by firing more rockets. We have the right to defend ourselves.

      • Annie Robbins
        July 16, 2014, 1:46 am

        aren’t ceasefire agreements supposed to be negotiated between both parties? was there anything in it requiring israeli terrorists to return prisoners or lift the siege?

      • Walid
        July 15, 2014, 5:11 pm

        Shingo, time for a beer and a laugh; in its latest demands concerning the ceasefire, Israel wants to maintain control over Gaza’s airspace and coastal waters and it has added a new demand, it wants control over its under-the-ground territory.

        I’m surprised it still hasn’t asked to have total control over its human procreation. Maybe next time.

      • MHughes976
        July 15, 2014, 6:00 pm

        As to underground things, I’ve read somewhere recently that Bill Clinton is claiming that he nearly had everything sewn up between Barak and Arafat but that while there were numerous unsolved points the one that really mattered was Arafat’s refusal to agree to Israeli sovereignty underneath the Temple Mount. Barak would have let Arafat have the surface, but Arafat wanted the first 16m. down below. Clinton thinks that Barak was right: from somewhere 16m. down the Palestinians could have disrupted ‘the Temples’.

      • jon s
        July 16, 2014, 1:19 am

        Any agreement should also provide for elimination of the Hamas’ rocket arsenal. Perhaps an international mechanism could be set up, to which the Hamas and other terrorists will surrender their rockets, after which the rockets will be destroyed. Something like the process by which the Assad regime had to get rid of its chemical weapons.

      • Annie Robbins
        July 16, 2014, 1:42 am

        only when israel is demilitarized.

      • Shingo
        July 16, 2014, 6:55 am

        Any agreement should also provide for elimination of the Hamas’ rocket arsenal.

        In that case, it should also provide for elimination of the Israel’s bombs, missiles, airforce, navy and nuclear weapons. It’s about time the ISrael were made to abide by the same conditions as their opponents in a ceasefire.

        Perhaps an international mechanism could be set up, to which the ISraeli and Hamas will surrender their munitions, after which the munitions will be destroyed.

        And I agree that the process by which the Assad regime had to get rid of its chemical weapons is a good model.

  18. yonah fredman
    July 15, 2014, 8:03 am

    Hamas sucks. Truly, truly, sucks. They combine idiocy and stupidity and stubbornness and apathy. They are a desperate organization, unable to provide anything for anybody. The development of a party that bases allegiance on Islam, is something natural in the Middle East. But do they have to be as stupid as Morsi as idiotic as Hamas? They are another symptom of the political backwardness of the Arab peoples.

    This does not justify attacks on civilians by Israel, but those who are trying to give Hamas the benefit of the doubt- they don’t deserve it. Hamas might be better than Fatah, maybe, maybe not, maybe, maybe not, but these are the two parties that represent the Palestinians? Hamas sucks. (I am prepared for the whataboutery in reverse that will tell me that Likud sucks and Labor sucks. Because in truth the only way to defend Hamas is whataboutery. Hamas sucks.)

    • Kay24
      July 15, 2014, 8:30 am

      Unfortunately Hamas is not going anywhere. Hamas is the only excuse Israel has to keep their crimes going, whether it is illegal settlements, or collective punishment.
      Many experts have said that Israel MUST work with Hamas if they want peace, may not be ideal, but that is the only solution. They have tried to get rid of Hamas, even assassinations, but they will always come back. Hamas is bad, but Israel has managed to demonize them even more. There were many opportunities for the US and Israel to work with them, if Israel truly wanted peace, but it is obvious, Hamas is the bogeyman that Israel needs, so that it can keep grabbing that land, and keep the occupation going.

      • jon s
        July 16, 2014, 3:33 am

        This should be the deal offered to Hamas and Islamic Jihad and other terrorists:
        1.They surrender their rocket arsenal , to be disposed of under international supervision.
        2. For the leadership: fair trials and appropriate jail terms.
        3. For the rank-and-file: amnesty and rehabilitation. If they refuse: exile.

    • Shingo
      July 15, 2014, 8:33 am

      Israel sucks. Truly, truly, sucks.

      • eljay
        July 15, 2014, 8:52 am

        >> Shingo: Israel sucks. Truly, truly, sucks.

        But at least it’s not Saudi Arabia, Mali or African “hell-holes”! ;-)

    • Walid
      July 15, 2014, 8:36 am

      ” They are another symptom of the political backwardness of the Arab peoples.”

      Is it because you are losing your cool or is that your true nature?

      • Shingo
        July 15, 2014, 8:50 am

        Is it because you are losing your cool or is that your true nature?

        I hate to say it Walid, but when you look at Egypt, you would have to agree that there is ample evidence of the political backwardness of the Arab peoples.

      • Taxi
        July 15, 2014, 9:50 am

        Shingo,

        “I hate to say it Walid, but when you look at Egypt, you would have to agree that there is ample evidence of the political backwardness of the Arab peoples.”

        Understanding the big picture within a historic context here is important:
        The Arabs had 400+ years of Otoman colonialism, followed by 100+ years of european colonialism, American imperialism, local dictatorships and crackpot zionism combined – one stinking boot on their neck after the other and with not a moment of reprieve for hundreds of years. This means that they’ve had close to 600 years of political disenfranchisement – continuing till present day. And you’re expecting them to what? Be as progressive as Norwegians overnight? Maybe you need to stop using western-style democracies as a comparison.

        Yonah’s comment is racist and offensive – I’m surprised you agree with it because it simply is not true. There are Arabs who are politically smarter than you and I put together and multiplied by a hundred. Heck there are a lot of politically dumb people in America, I agree with this, but I would be offended if someone called ALL Americans politically stupid, cuz that’s simply not true either. Same with Arabs.

        The Arabs are suffering from dis-unity, due to outside interference and internal power-struggles. Perhaps you’re confusing this with ‘backwardness’.

      • Walid
        July 15, 2014, 1:43 pm

        Taxi, if the arrogant racist would take Arabs in the US where they’ve had equal opportunity to life, education and employment and rate them against the rest of the population, he would be very unpleasantly surprised of how they have fared-off.

        From National Review 2 years back on a debate on whether or not Arabs are disadvantaged:

        “… In 2005, four years after the 9/11 attacks, the Michigan Daily published an article with the headline “Arab Americans Better Educated Than Most in U.S.” It is a classic American success story: Arabs had come from countries all over the Middle East and North Africa, flourished, and integrated. They tended to be “better educated and wealthier than most Americans” — nearly twice as likely as the typical U.S. resident to possess a college degree, according to Census data, with above-average household incomes. Fully 42 percent could be found working in management jobs, compared to 34 percent of Americans at large. The executive director of the Arab American Institute even praised the Census report for showing “how integrated Arabs are in American life.”

        … Since 9/11, contrary to the ADC’s hysterical allegation that Arab Americans are now “unable to compete” in the marketplace because of prejudice and legislation such as the Patriot Act, they have actually increased their economic advantage relative to other groups: Their mean individual income is 27 percent higher than that of Americans at large, and their median household income is $59,000, more than 10 percent above the national average. Nearly half of Arabs have a college degree, and Arabs are twice as likely as the typical U.S. resident to possess a Ph.D. The American Arab Chamber of Commerce’s own website states that “large business ownership” and “active political participation” are both “testimony to the power and development of Arab Americans today.” The AACC goes on to say that the Arab American business community has become “one of the most economically and culturally affluent communities in Michigan and the nation.” A Muslim Lebanese-American, Rima Fakih, even won the Miss U.S.A. pageant in 2010. The only arena in which Arab Americans have trouble competing, it seems, is the minority-victim sweepstakes….”

        link to nationalreview.com

      • yonah fredman
        July 15, 2014, 2:34 pm

        I’m sorry I used the word peoples instead of nations or countries. in brooklyn the street uses the word peoples to mean human beings, but i meant it as polities. I think arabs make great americans, they are great democrats having been starved for it for generations. i think arab humans have incredible potential and capacity and fully 1 to 3% of all Arabs are smarter than me which makes tens of milions. I think the backwardness of the polities of the countries whose populations speak Arabic is self evident to anyone who has proposed any standard of measurement. The Arab world has never recovered since the invasion of the Mongols in 1290. The most famous Arab politician of my lifetime was Nasser and he was no democrat. Name me someone who is number two after Nasser. I can’t think of anyone. As Sadat said about his contemporaries: they are all dwarfs. the political leadership of the arab nations has been backwards. I don’t know enough about causes and effects to tell you what would be reasonable only a century after sikes picot, i don’t know what is a reasonable expectation, but this is a fact: currently the arab world is a political mess. you can blame america and israel all you want, but it’s a mess.

      • Taxi
        July 15, 2014, 3:24 pm

        Yonah,
        “The most famous Arab politician of my lifetime was Nasser and he was no democrat.”

        Sound like you don’t know your Nasser from your Yasser.
        Nasserism:
        “Spanning the domestic and international spheres, it combines elements of Arab socialism, republicanism (my bold), nationalism, anti-imperialism, Developing World solidarity, and international non-alignment. In the 1950s and 1960s, Nasserism was amongst the most potent political ideologies in the Arab World.”
        link to en.wikipedia.org

        Maybe you should go look up the definition of “republicanism”.

        You really gotta stop talking out of your underpants, Yonah.

      • yonah fredman
        July 15, 2014, 4:26 pm

        Taxi- If you believe that Nasserism was republicanism then i have some choice swampland in florida to sell you too. Your propaganda is full of it, taxi.

      • Shingo
        July 16, 2014, 6:27 am

        And you’re expecting them to what? Be as progressive as Norwegians overnight? Maybe you need to stop using western-style democracies as a comparison.

        Neither. I was just hoping for them to show some modocum of intelligence and awareness, and realize they were being played my interests that were determined to undo all they had achieved during the Arab Spring. But like a bunch of mindless lemmings, they took the bait. And I am not just taking about the illiterate masses, I am also talking about the progressive useful idiots, who fell for the same tricks and now find they have been cast aside and silenced.

        Like I said, you get the government you deserve, and Egyptians deserve to live in misery under the boot of a military dictator who is stuffing his bank account if the are stupid enough to fall for it.

        Yonah’s comment was indeed offensive, given that it was directed at Palestinians, who IMO are far more educated and sophisticated than the morons in Egypt. Bibbi has already fired his deputy DM because the ceasefire appears to be hurting him. so Hamas were right to tell the Egyptians and Israelis and Blair to shove their ceasefire where the son don’t shine. They weren’t even consulted on the terms.

        Had Yonah been talking about Egypt, I would agree 100%.

        There are Arabs who are politically smarter than you and I put together and multiplied by a hundred.

        Yeah right, the imaginary geniuses you keep talking about that are moving all the chess pieces to nowhere.

        I would be offended if someone called ALL Americans politically stupid, cuz that’s simply not true either

        I wouldn’t, I think they have demonstrated too many times that they are. American’s political prowess has been successful because of their financial and military muscle, which means they usually get their way, but that doesn’t mean they are politically savvy.

        The Arabs are suffering from dis-unity, due to outside interference and internal power-struggles. Perhaps you’re confusing this with ‘backwardness’.

        No I am not confusing it at all. This outside interference has been taking place for more than a century and they should have wised up to it a long time ago. Divide and conquer is not a new tactic, and those who have been on the receiving end and played for so long have no excuse for continuing to fall for it.

        If they had any intelligence or sophistication, they would have put an end to the internal power-struggles and started cooperating and working together. Look at how powerful and successful Jews, a tiny group, have been because of their unity.

        Imagine how much more powerful the Arab world would be if they pulled their head out of their collective digestive tracts and started behaving like adults? How about showing some backbone and now scurrying away like cowards , or selling out their brothers for a bribe? I remember George Galloway describing how he was treated when he spoke out against the first Iraq war. Until then, he was celebrated in the Arab world and always invited to be a guest. He said that after he opposed the war, the invitations stopped coming. In his own words, the Arabs turn their backs on you when the going gets tough.

        There could be no better revenge against Israel than for the Arab world to set aside their differences, unite, and give a a collective fuck you to the West and their tyrant puppet rulers.

      • Walid
        July 15, 2014, 12:35 pm

        Shingo, he watered it down by adding “political” but he means Arabs in general and it’s not his first. A few more missiles over TA and he’ll go into overdrive with the insults.

      • Taxi
        July 15, 2014, 4:46 pm

        yonah,

        It’s not a question of my belief, you silly Billy, it’s the ACTUAL definition of Nasserism that I linked you to, and it clearly states that Nasserism adheres to Republicanism.

        Give it up. Seriously, just give it up. Walk away quietly and tell yourself that today you learned something new: Nasserism is an Arab social-democratic political system, just like Norway and Sweden and England are european social-democratic political systems.

      • Taxi
        July 16, 2014, 8:21 am

        Shingo,

        Though you deny it, your expectations of the Arab world are clearly based on east-west comparisons. This shows a lack of understanding of both the longer history of the region and the complexities of the human condition. And your passionate hostility towards the Egyptians especially, in my view is your blind spot. No, I’m not going to debate Egypt with you on this thread, or ever, anywhere, until the field is evened out some and you’ve been to Egypt yourself, observed with your own eyes and heard with your own ears, like I have. I don’t say this to antagonize you, Shingo, I say it because I held similar views to you before I had the opportunity to visit the place several times in the past three years – and these visits have indeed added width and depth to my understanding. But I thank you anyway for your Egypt points, some of which I generally agree with.

        Democracy is not quick to brew like instant coffee. I know you know this yet you keep complaining that the Arabs are “morons” and “backwards” and “stupid” and too slow in advancing for your liking. If you re-read my post, you will note that I never said Arab “geniuses” are “moving the chess pieces”, I said “there are Arabs who are politically smarter than you and I put together and multiplied by a hundred”. If you weren’t feeling so defensive, you wouldn’t have misunderstood my clear statement that refers to “Arabs” and not Arab “genius” political “chess players”. If you’re interested in meeting these smart “Arabs” I occasionally reference, I’d be more than happy to introduce you to them when you eventually visit Egypt, or even Lebanon.

        Also, you’re horribly stereotyping when you declare that all Americans are stupid. I do find this puerile and offensive. Are all Australians criminals? Or is that just a stereotype that I’ve heard a million times over when I lived in England? I’d really like your answer to this one.

        What can I say, Shingo, you’ve declared that Arabs are “morons”, “backward”, “stupid” and “deserve” what they get. Do you really mean this, or are you just feeling a little contrarian today? I’d really like an answer to this question too.

      • Mooser
        July 16, 2014, 11:10 am

        “that there is ample evidence of the political backwardness of the Arab peoples.”

        And how would you compare the “political backwardness of the Arab peoples to the American War on Iraq (and all its attendant political machinations) and the American War on Afghanistan? Are those examples of our forward-thinking political culture. Seen what the Supreme Court’s been doing lately? Is that the advanced, modern democratic thinking we expect from the “western Peoples”?

    • Sumud
      July 15, 2014, 8:37 am

      They are a desperate organization, unable to provide anything for anybody.

      They are another symptom of the political backwardness of the Arab peoples.

      Occasional thoughtful words, and then the mask slips and the ugly racist spews out shit like this.

      I wonder if there is any connection between “unable to provide anything for anybody” and them being locked in a concentration camp of Israel’s design.

      • eljay
        July 15, 2014, 8:57 am

        >> Sumud: I wonder if there is any connection between “unable to provide anything for anybody” and them being locked in a concentration camp of Israel’s design.

        Good point. I’m curious to see how y.f. address it…assuming he bothers to at all.

      • yonah fredman
        July 15, 2014, 9:21 am

        The desperation and the worthlessness of Hamas and Fatah can be blamed on Israel. But what about Syria and Egypt and Saudia Arabia and Iraq? Do you blame them on the cold war? on the US? on Sikes-Picot? What are the exemplars of progress in the Arab world? Lebanon? No thank you. Blame Syria and the unnatural partition of Syria , if you wish. But Syria is prime example number one of a messed up place. Tunisia? Maybe, I guess. Yemen? Poverty is Yemen’s excuse. Libya? Who can you blame for Libya?

        Cite me any single chart of the political progress of the countries of the Arab world and please find one that places the Arab countries in the upper half of the countries of the world in terms of political progress. There is some cause and effect involved and I do not know what that cause and effect is, and I do not blame genetics, but the Arab world which was the ruler of the world until the Mongol invasion of the late 13th century is lagging way behind today. Find me a chart that defies what I say and then I will attribute my assessment to racism. Until then, it’s a fact that you better face up to. Easy to blame Israel and the conspiracy theory of the moment. But the Arab countries are backward politically. A fact. The cause? I dunno. Do you deny it?

      • eljay
        July 15, 2014, 9:36 am

        >> y.f.: The desperation and the worthlessness of Hamas and Fatah can be blamed on Israel.

        Well, whaddaya know…

      • Sumud
        July 15, 2014, 5:15 pm

        You are as perceptive as ever eljay!

      • Sumud
        July 15, 2014, 10:37 am

        Shorter yonah: “it’s not racist if it’s true!”

        Can you define “political progress” please? Is Israel an example of positive “political progress”?

      • yonah fredman
        July 15, 2014, 11:05 am

        Freedom House.org defines political progress. Here is the link to their info for 2014.
        link to freedomhouse.org

      • Sumud
        July 15, 2014, 3:13 pm

        Well no, your Freedom House link defined Freedom – you’re the one that is equating that with political progress. Which I don’t object to, I just wanted to know you meant by it.

        Walid says it better than me above.

        I’m not denying there are huge problems in the ME but you’d have to have rocks in your head to look at countries like Syria, Egypt, Saudia Arabia and Iraq (and Afghanistan & Libya) and make an assessment of how messed up they are without referring to all the outside interference in those countries.

        Think about what a horrible mess South America was up until the 2000s because of America’s incessant interfering, then while the US turned to the ME instead of South America, things suddenly got a whole lot better.

        I would hold up as a model of rapid orderly progress the UAE (and to a lesser degree some of the other GCC states except KSA) where I have lived and am familiar with in detail, specifically Dubai.

        First Dubai is a self-made entity, unlike Abu Dhabi they have very little in the way of oil or gas, and the national government is weak so very little of AD’s money filters to the other emirates. But in only 50-60 years the city-state has been transformed from one where people lived in grass huts without running water or electricity to a modern cosmopolitan city, all on the strength of it’s entrepreneurship and trading skill. Incredibly DXB airport is in the top 5 in the world in terms of volume.

        Emiratis are obsessed with education and 60% of university graduates are women. I’m sure there is pronounced gender discrimination but there are also plenty of women (expat and local) in high positions in business and government.

        Politically there is not a lot of freedom but emiratis present as remarkably unfussed by this. Society is conservative compared to the west, but in the face of such extremely rapid development and a large number of expats I think emiratis are conservative as a way of holding on to their heritage and their religion. There’s also plenty of letting go, but in private. I lived there as an openly gay man without a problem using just a tiny bit of common sense.

        The Sheikh is benevolent and admired. Emiratis are well taken care of in terms of free education and health care and plenty of other perks. Sheikh is the absolute ruler but runs a majlis (council of advisers) and would not hold power for long if he steered the place too far in the wrong direction (think the bloodless coup that put the current Qatari ruler in place in the 1990s).

        So this is an example of an arab country that is doing well, very well, given how recently development has come. Because the UAE had little in the way of resources to plunder the UK when it ran the place (as a Protectorate) was a reasonably positive influence developmentally. An awfully long way from the machiavellian influence the US continuously exerts in the region.

        Maybe countries like the UAE will never transition to a western style democracy. There’s little pressure to do so when the locals are doing so well and even more so in places like for Qatar for example. I’m not going to be so western-arrogant to say they need to transition to a western democracy or they’re “backward”, because what they need to do is be left alone to develop their own systems of governance that suits their specific circumstances.

        It irritates me to hear ignorant people talk about the west vs other places as if we suddenly woke up one day and emerged perfectly formed from the middle ages to 2014. No, it took 500 years to get there. Who will look at the 20th century, in particular WW2 in Europe and then just about everything America has done since then (in terms of FP) as say “look at our political progress” as bodies of 100 million killed in wars decay under our feet. Is it “political progress” that we now lived in a surveillane society as dystopian as anything Orwell ever imagined, and that all it took was a few hijacked planes and one demolished icon for yanks to give up ALL their freedoms?

        I wouldn’t underestimate something like Sykes-Picot or the chopping up of the region into countries with strange mixes of tribes and sects. The idea was divide and conquer. It surprised me to hear ISIS talk about Sykes-Picot, now 98 years old. They’re also revolting animals but it’d be foolish to not listen to their grievances to understand what drives them.

        Big picture counts.

        Have you ever visited any arab country?

        – – – – –

        Aside, on Israel it is utterly absurd that Freedom House have listed Israel as FREE. Defacto Israel (that is mandate Palestine) is as bad or worse than any other ME nation. None has anything as bad as Israel’s exercise in human misery in Gaza.

      • Sumud
        July 15, 2014, 3:25 pm

        Interesting article on the spread of extremism in the ME and it’s relationship with the US:

        The Hindu: Wars without winners

      • yonah fredman
        July 15, 2014, 3:27 pm

        Sumud- No, I have never been to an Arab country. Do you live in an Arab country or in the West?

        How would you define political progress if not freedom?

        You choose an artificial country of 3 million people as your exemplar? One of the smallest most artificial of the Arab countries? Okay. The Arab world has an example.

      • Taxi
        July 15, 2014, 3:52 pm

        Great post Sumud – fair-handed and keen observations on Dubai.

        “Think about what a horrible mess South America was up until the 2000s because of America’s incessant interfering, then while the US turned to the ME instead of South America, things suddenly got a whole lot better.”

        Regarding the merciless Western interference in Arab internal political affairs, I would add that the discovery of the vast measure of petrol reserves in the Arabian peninsular in the mid last century also insured the region’s captivity to external powers would be going on for many generations to come. Yeah. ‘It’s The Resources Stupid’. Oil as the ultimate curse upon the Arab people. Well, second to the curse of poxy israel, that is.

      • Sumud
        July 15, 2014, 4:25 pm

        yonah yes I lived in UAE. It was in the late 2000s for a few years. Now I’m back home in Australia.

        I think freedom is reasonable way of assessing political progress. But at least be aware of your own subjective viewpoint and that your idea of freedom might not match someone else’s.

        You go and ask an emirati if they’re free and they’ll tell you yes. That they are well off and well educated and have a good job and can travel the world and do. You can say that their freedom of speech is less than in western countries and you’d be right but if that doesn’t bother them fine, and for the most part AFAIK it doesn’t. Taking the long view the Arab Spring or extremist uprisings will come to the arab countries last (if at all) last where the leaders actually give a fuck about the welfare of their citizens (OK subjects) such as UAE, Qatar and even Oman, which has hardly any money but has a decent leader.

        You can dismiss Dubai if that pleases you; you don’t have a clue about the kind of pressures such rapid development puts on a society. They are rightly proud of their achievements and it is model and a success story for other arabs – there’s lots of arab expats there.

        You mentioned Tunisia yourself, I don’t know much about it but hopefully because it is small it will be left alone and they can incubate some good things there also. Necessarily it starts somewhere and it starts small. Most of all the MENA countries need to be left alone before they stand a chance of really developing.

        – – – – –

        It’s really saddens me sometimes that Israel refuses to integrate in the region, life would be so much richer for all if you lot would just give up this jewish state bullshit. Israel could play a hugely positive role in the region instead of the dark star that it is now.

      • yonah fredman
        July 15, 2014, 4:33 pm

        Sumud- Why do you live in the West? Fighting for the political progress of the Arab world by living in Australia? Fighting for the political progress of the Arab world by commenting on Mondoweiss? Attesting to the advanced state of the political progress of the Arab world by living in Australia? Gimme a break.

        The West (the United States in particular) benefits from its immigrants from all over and particularly from the Arab world. But the net flow of brains out of the Arab world and into the west is testimony of the shall we put it in your terms: the South American nature of the Arab world. We shall see if the advances that South America made recently can be duplicated in the Arab world. When would you predict that this will happen?

      • Sumud
        July 15, 2014, 4:45 pm

        Where I wrote “Walid says it better than me” I meant Walid and Taxi (your post about big picture and context), I missed your name Taxi and thought Walid had written both… Sorry!

      • Walid
        July 15, 2014, 4:51 pm

        “Have you ever visited any arab country?”

        He most probably hasn’t, Sumud. He knows Brooklyn and I’m guessing only his immediate neighbourhood, lived in Israel, probably on a settlement and now he’s back in Brooklyn, probably to the same area he grew up in. His Freedom House that gives top rating to Israel does not take into account the occupied territories under Israel’s control, its apartheid wall and roads, its siege and starvation of Gaza or the plight of the 50,000 or so Africans and its dominance over 3 million people whose water and land it steals. If Freedom House would have included all these elements in its survey, Israel would have been at the top of the world’s shittiest countries on matters of freedom and democracy. Lebanon, BTW, is halfway there from being among the best and it’s at par with Russia, Turkey and Eastern European countries.

        You mentioned Dubai, Sumud, I liken it to a squirrel cage.

      • Sumud
        July 15, 2014, 5:11 pm

        Lebanon, BTW, is halfway there from being among the best and it’s at par with Russia, Turkey and Eastern European countries.

        You mentioned Dubai, Sumud, I liken it to a squirrel cage.

        For sure there’s lot of problems with Dubai but it is a big achievement given the time frame. I could also clobber the odd Emirati as they are given to arrogance, more so than most, but there is plenty of regular people too. At the moment it’s all a bit brittle and shiny-new, nothing but the passage of time will change that.

        I wondered why yonah was so hostile about Lebanon, I didn’t mention it as you and Taxi are there and both with opinions aplenty. I haven’t been before, it really is at the top of my list. I would have thought on par with Turkey what do you think gives Turkey an advantage?

      • Walid
        July 15, 2014, 5:31 pm

        Sumud, on that bogus Freedom House scale, Lebanon had the same marks as Turkey, Russia and so on. But there too, Freedom House did not appear to have taken into account the squalid living conditions of the 12 Palestinian refugee camps that should have earned Lebanon some demerit points, so I think that whole report is built around showcasing Israel as some kind of a role model in the region with only Lebanon getting a passing mark while all others flunk. The US, Canada, Western Europe, Australia, NZ and South America all have high marks but none of those countries needed Freedom House to tell them that.

      • Chu
        July 15, 2014, 10:49 am

        “They are another symptom of the political backwardness of the Arab peoples.”

        Seems that fredman has a tendency when he’s feeling desperate to lash out and put down others. I’ve seen it before and even Donald called him on out the other day [“I was born Jewish, so I root Jewish. It is my side against your side. I value my side; you value your side. That’s how war works.” It’s not really come to that, Yonah].

        His LZ veneer is pretty effective most of the time though.

      • yonah fredman
        July 15, 2014, 4:35 pm

        Chu- Nothing to add, but personal insults. And tree, too. Great.

      • Sumud
        July 15, 2014, 5:01 pm

        Why do you live in the West? Fighting for the political progress of the Arab world by living in Australia? Fighting for the political progress of the Arab world by commenting on Mondoweiss? Attesting to the advanced state of the political progress of the Arab world by living in Australia? Gimme a break.

        You’re deep in snark territory now yonah. Why I live where I live, and my life in general is none of your business.

        There is quite some distance between “arabs are backwards” and “advanced state of the political progress of the Arab”. Don’t be afraid of nuance.

      • tree
        July 15, 2014, 5:10 pm

        And tree, too. Great.

        So you’re saying that Sumud’s rational comments didn’t make you testy? Pretty easy to tell that you are upset from you nasty responses to him.

        I only added the point of you being testy on edit in my comment to Sumud after noticing your nasty reply to his comment about Dubai. You obviously have a blind spot for your own nastiness.

      • Taxi
        July 15, 2014, 5:06 pm

        “You mentioned Dubai, Sumud, I liken it to a squirrel cage.”

        Don’t be so unkind: you left out the word ‘gilded’, Walid.

        But seriously, if the locals have collectively chosen a non-democracy ticket, isn’t that democracy too? Especially if the locals seem to be a relatively happy lot whose government/ruler doesn’t charge them any taxes and also provides them with free education, free housing, free medicine and other generous, lush perks – I mean, aren’t peace, happiness and prosperity the promise of democracy?

      • Walid
        July 15, 2014, 5:47 pm

        It is golden, Taxi, but I said it in the sense that the faster one runs in it the faster the wheel spins.

      • Sumud
        July 15, 2014, 6:12 pm

        But seriously, if the locals have collectively chosen a non-democracy ticket, isn’t that democracy too?

        Interesting idea. I’m not sure you’d say they chose it so much as simply scaling up the existing power structure. Rewind 75 years and the population of emiratis was in the tens of thousands living mostly in tribal groups that moved seasonally between the desert and the ocean. That’s what I mean about fast change. Elderly emiratis have gone from wretchedly poor nomadic to million-person city dwellers in their lifetimes. Amazing.

      • tree
        July 15, 2014, 3:32 pm

        Sumud at 3:13pm

        Great and reasoned comment but now you’ve made yonah testy again.

        And I think your comparison to Latin America a few decades ago is quite apt.

      • Sumud
        July 15, 2014, 4:29 pm

        Thanks tree, meandering too :-)

        Taxi mentioned above arab unity and I watched this clip of George Galloway the other day on this very topic so will pop it in here:

      • kalithea
        July 15, 2014, 9:15 pm

        I agree with George Galloway on unity; but alas, it’s a fact of life that the rich rule the poor, and especially, that the corrupt few rule the ignorant many (and he alluded to this fact by mentioning all the parliamentarians who work on ensuring division). Ignorance is rampant in this world, and these corrupt few spend billions (mostly our billions) to keep it that way. Thus the corrupt will be masters of the chess board moving millions of ignorant masses against their own best interests. This is why I believe that the greatest enemy of mankind is ignorance and I’m glad George Galloway is doing his part to lessen this ignorance as we all should with pen, voice, art and protest. It is our duty to wake the masses.

        Nuclear weapons are a lesser threat to mankind than absolute power and wealth in the hands of the corrupt.

        Zionists make up a large part of the corrupt few, and although this division should mostly be blamed on ignorance within; it helps to know who benefits most from this hapless status quo since therein lies the evil motive to keep the mass ignorant.

      • Shingo
        July 16, 2014, 6:52 am

        I agree with George Galloway on unity; but alas, it’s a fact of life that the rich rule the poor, and especially, that the corrupt few rule the ignorant many

        That still should not stand in the way of unity. Unity does now require income equality or perfect society free of corruption, it requires enlightenment.

      • Shingo
        July 16, 2014, 6:50 am

        Taxi mentioned above arab unity and I watched this clip of George Galloway the other day on this very topic so will pop it in here:

        Galloways sums up my sentiments superbly. And while I love Taxi dearly, I feel that she has fallen victim to the very problem Galloway is describing. When I asked her what the axis of resistance was, it comprised only 4 states. 4 states out of 22. Isn’t that pathetic? 18 Arab states are not resisting US empire and Western rule. 18 Arab states are fighting among each other, their tyrannical leaders all squabbling over a piece of wealth or power or ideology. It’s pathetic.

    • Chu
      July 15, 2014, 10:56 am

      ‘This does not justify attacks on civilians by Israel’

      Only one tiny note about Israel’s wrongdoing coupled with 10 ‘Hamas sucks’? Are you worried that your online allies will think you going soft on the Israel so you mask it with chants that Hamas sucks?

      Overall what you write is confusing. Let me help you. Israel is killing Gazans with staggering death tolls, while one rocket hasn’t killed any Israeli. You can blame them for being in a prison camp but you know the truth is against your beliefs this time (as it was during 2008 Cast Lead).

  19. Shingo
    July 15, 2014, 8:37 am

    Snr Hamas leader Abu Marzuq:

    “We are still consulting and did not issue a formal position on the Egyptian initiative “

    • seafoid
      July 15, 2014, 9:52 am

      Yonah
      No point moaning abou arab backwardness when the only reason you got your judenstaat was that it was so easy to dispossess them in 1948. If you wanted sophisticated neighbours your people should have colonised the parisian left bank. Voila.

      • yonah fredman
        July 15, 2014, 2:39 pm

        seafoid- I would talk to hamas tomorrow. I agree. Israel’s location was not a wise choice and given that it was not a choice but a necessity, Israel should deal with the cards it was given and deal.

      • eljay
        July 15, 2014, 2:45 pm

        >> Israel’s location was not a wise choice and given that it was not a choice but a necessity …

        The creation of a supremacist “Jewish State” was not a necessity – it was a choice.

        The necessary response to injustice toward Jews – toward anyone – was and is justice and accountability.

      • seafoid
        July 15, 2014, 4:04 pm

        I agree. Best to cut a deal now while there is still time. Israel can’t afford to procrastinate. The palestinian issue is existential.

      • kalithea
        July 15, 2014, 7:53 pm

        Asking for Israel to deal with reality is like trying to kick the sky. Zionism is not reality-based, so it’s kind of disingenuous for a Zionist to bring up the coulda, shoulda, woulda, when we all know that none of these were in the Zionist scheme that is bereft of good intentions.

  20. Shingo
    July 15, 2014, 8:59 am

    While no Israelis have been killed, one has to wonder how long Israel can sustain these rocket attacks before the economy starts to suffer. Tourism is likely to take a hit and productivity in the economy will surely suffer.

    If this goes in die much longer, the purse strings will start to feel it.

  21. michelle
    July 15, 2014, 3:58 pm

    .
    seems if Israel were as wise and well intended as ‘they’ claim
    there would have been a fair and balanced peace with all others long ago
    .
    the wise have true understanding
    andinsuch know no enemy
    .
    G-d Bless
    .

  22. kalithea
    July 15, 2014, 7:18 pm

    Can we have an article entitled: Understanding Israel’s Bitch: the PA? Because we all know who Israel contracts to keep the Palestinian prisoner population in line in Israeli concentration camps in Gaza and the WB. By addressing this strangely way-overlooked, depraved complicity, you don’t open the door for a flock of hasbara vultures to sully and try to shred the argument with their smug bullshet.

    Hamas are merely acting on the primal resistance instinct to be free of the scourge on their back; but the PA is actually enjoying the perks of having Israel on its back-side, especially the cash, exactly like any high-priced whore.

    Sure I believe unity is necessary to defeat Israel; but if Hamas really want to enlighten Palestinians and rally all Palestinians, they’ll draw a picture of the kind of unity the PA prefers and has really been engaging in with Israel and drop this eye-opener by the thousands on every Palestinian household.

    While their children, relatives and friends are dying, Palestinians should know who’s been betraying them, collaborating with the collective punishment they’re enduring, and who’s surrendering their land and delaying justice for a price.

  23. wes
    July 15, 2014, 10:24 pm

    Sumud

    can you imagine for one minute if it was jews who were trapped in gaza instead of arabs
    lets say the middle east was all jews and the israelis were arabs

    Turn it around………think about that before you call yonah a racist

    In any event hamas is where they are because thats the best they can do.they have no alternative.
    i mean that picture of the guy with his donkey cart says it all.

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