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The Palestinian message to Israel: Deal with us justly. Or disappear

Israel/Palestine
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Until Operation Protective Edge, most of the “messaging” regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, certainly that which broke through the mainstream media, came from the Israeli side. Since Zionism’s official beginnings in Palestine some 110 years ago, the Jewish community, whether the pre-state Yishuv or constituted as the state of Israel, never took the Palestinians seriously. They were dark-skinned “natives” wrapped sinisterly in kafiyas, fedayeen or terrorists without names, history or humanity, an existential threat subsumed under the rubric “Arabs.” In 1967, when Israel finally came face to face with an organized, visible, politically aware Palestinian society, the idea of talking to them did not even occur to Israel’s leaders. They preferred to take what land and resources they wanted from the West Bank and “return” its Palestinian population to Jordan. (No one until this day in Israel has the faintest idea what to do with Gaza, except isolate it.) One Prime Minister, Golda Meir, even denied vociferously and derisively that a “Palestinian” people even existed. No Israeli government ever acknowledged the national rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination in their own country, even in a tiny, truncated state on parts of the Occupied Territory. In the brightest days of the Oslo “peace process,” all a Labor/Meretz government agreed to do was recognize the PLO as a negotiating partner. It never accepted the idea of a truly sovereign, viable Palestinian state, even if demilitarized and arising on but a fifth of historic Palestine.

To be sure, the Palestinian people resisted and, when possible, tried to negotiate. Their leadership was often weak, but we must remember that since 1948, when the nascent IDF went from village to village with ledgers containing the names of those who should be assassinated, until the attempted assassination of Muhammed Deif a few days ago, Israel has conducted a systematic campaign of eliminating by murder or imprisonment any Palestinian showing real or potential leadership. Fearful of giving any credit to Palestinian peace-making lest it undermine their own absolute claims by legitimizing a Palestinian “side,” Israelis forget and deride any Palestinian hand reaching out to them. Who remembers, for example, the moving words of Yasser Arafat at the (unsuccessful) conclusion of the Wye Plantation negotiations in 1998?  That’s when Netanyahu decided to stop agreed-upon Israeli withdrawals in the West Bank and his Foreign Minister Sharon publically called on the settlers to “grab every hilltop.” Nonetheless, in the concluding press conference, with nothing to gain and no prompting, Arafat said:

I am quite confident that I’m talking in the name of all Palestinians when I assure you that we are all committed to the security of every child, woman and man in Israel. I will do everything I can so that no Israeli mother will be worried if her son or daughter is late coming home, or any Israeli would be afraid when they heard an explosion.

The Palestinians’ messaging of peace, security and, yes, justice, was always buried under Israeli spin. At that very same Wye Plantation meeting, Sharon demonstrably refused to shake Arafat’s hand before the cameras. “Shake the hand of that dog?” he told reporters: “Never.” Mahmoud Abbas has gotten little better from Sharon or Netanyahu, despite repeated televised meetings with Israeli students, Knesset members or anyone else willing to listen to his pleas for peace, even at the price of giving up parts of East Jerusalem and some major settlement blocs. Abbas and his Palestinian Authority bear their share of the responsibility for this as well. For his own reasons Abbas has silenced his most articulate spokespeople, filled his Authority’s diplomatic posts for the most part with ineffective political hacks and makes it almost impossible for reporters to get information or responses – all in contrast to Israel’s vaunted hasbara and legions of professional spin-doctors. As a result, there has been little official Palestinian messaging at all. What has saved the day until now has been the efforts of civil society supporters of the Palestinian cause: the contributors to the Electronic Intifada, articulate Palestinian activists and academics on al Shabaka, events and actions initiated on campuses by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and the myriad analysts, activists and organizations of the international civil society, including critical Israeli ones, not to forget the growing BDS movement.

That seemed to change suddenly when, on August 26th, Israel announced that it had accepted a permanent cease-fire with no pre-conditions, to be followed by a month of negotiations over issues of concern to Gazans – opening borders, reconstruction under international supervision, the rebuilding of the airport and seaport, ending restrictions on Palestinian fishing and on farming in the “buffer zone,” the reopening of the “safe passage” to the West Bank, release of prisoners and more. Hamas, who led the confrontation with Israel, was careful not to disconnect Gaza from the wider struggle for Palestinian national rights. It was Abbas who announced the cease-fire, not Khaled Mashal or Ismail Haniya, stressing that the struggle was a Palestinian one, not merely Gazan. In fact, although Netanyahu initiated Operation Protective Edge with an eye to destroying a Palestinian Unity Government of Fatah/Hamas, he ended up strengthening it. Hamas emerged the darling of the Palestinian people, as least as far as resistance goes. It was announced that Hamas and Islamic Jihad would be joining the PLO. And, in order to allow a kind of civil relationship with Egypt, Hamas lowered its pan-Islam Muslim Brotherhood profile in favor of its Palestinian one.

Still, the messaging belonged to Hamas, the ones who not only confront the Israeli Occupation but who have seized the political initiative from it. In stark contrast to Abbas, who has declared security cooperation with Israel to be “sacred” and who passively allows Israel to take effective control of Area C, the 62% of the West Bank where the settlements, the massive matrix of Israeli highways and the Separation Barrier spell the end of the two-state solution, Hamas has sent a clear and forceful message to Israel: We won’t submit even if you kill us. Deal with us justly – or disappear.

Yes, even in its moment of triumph – an Israeli commentator wryly noted on TV this week that “a Six Day War this will not be,” and polls show that 59% of Israelis do not believe Israel won – Hamas has left the door open to a two-state solution. Their position, as I understand it and as set out in the Prisoners’ National Conciliation Document of 2006, is nuanced but principled and coherent. Hamas and Jihad reject utterly the legitimacy of Israel, viewing it as a settler colonial state, and thus reject any negotiations with it or any subsequent recognition. That said, if other Palestinian parties (i.e. Fatah) enter into negotiations with Israel and the outcome is a total withdrawal from the Occupied Territory based on conditions that would allow a truly sovereign and viable Palestinian state to arise, and if such a outcome would be approved by a referendum of all Palestinians around the world, Hamas and Jihad would respect that as the voice of the Palestinian people. Thus, while still rejecting the legitimacy of Israel in principle, Hamas has agreed to join a Unity Government that accepts the two-state solution – enough for the Netanyahu government to try and break it apart. Hence Hamas’s post-Operation Protective Edge message to Israel: deal with us justly – or disappear. This is your last chance. The alternative to the two-state solution, which few Palestinians believe is still possible, and rightly so, is a single state. That’s a democratic state in the eyes of the Palestinian left, an Algeria-like situation in which the colonialists leave in the eyes of Hamas and Jihad.

This should give Israel pause, although ironically it is Israel that has eliminated the two-state solution and has left a single state – an apartheid one in the eyes of all Israeli governments, including Labor – as the only other option. Indeed, just last month Netanyahu said publicly: “There cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan.” For 110 years “practical Zionism” has believed it can beat the natives, that it can judaize Palestine and, with its metaphorical and physical Iron Walls, cause “the Arabs” to despair of the Land of Israel ever becoming Palestine.

Well, Israel has given it its best shot. After grabbing almost all the land, driving most of the Palestinians out, imprisoning and impoverishing them in tiny enclaves in both Israel and the Occupied Territory, after burying the Palestinian presence and patrimony under Israeli-only cities, towns, kibbutzim and national parks, after assassinating its leaders and leaving its youth with no hope of a future, it now brings the full force of one of the best-equipped militaries in the world against two million poor people living in an area the size of Mobile, Alabama. More than 2000 killed in Gaza, another 12,000 injured. Some 20,000 homes destroyed, 475,000 people displaced. Six billion dollars in damage to buildings and infrastructure. And for what? Israel may have finally discovered the limits of force and violence. After taking its best shots for more than a century – and, it is true, dealing the Palestinians devastating blows, as Netanyahu and the IDF proudly claim – Israel has gained one thing: an opportunity before it is too late to learn that the Palestinians cannot be beaten militarily, that Israel itself will never know security and normal life for all the “blows” it administers the Palestinians, as long as it maintains its Occupation. Indeed, for all its strength, it is liable to disappear if it doesn’t deal justly with the natives.

At least Abbas seems to have gotten the message. He now discards further pointless negotiations with Israel as brokered by the US, preferring to have the UN set a target date for Israeli withdrawal, and perhaps going to the International Criminal Court. Hamas is likely to prevent any backsliding on his part. Maybe Israel will never get the message, its hubris blinding it to tectonic shifts in the geopolitical landscape, especially among the people of the world. But the collapse is happening. Perhaps slower than in apartheid South Africa, the Soviet Union, the Shah’s Iran or Mubarak’s Egypt, but happening none the less. Having lost the power of deterrence, Israel will either have to deal justly with the Palestinians or, indeed, disappear.

Jeff Halper
About Jeff Halper

Jeff Halper is the Director of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD). He can be reached at [email protected]

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96 Responses

  1. eljay
    eljay
    August 28, 2014, 1:27 pm

    … [The Palestinian] leadership was often weak, but we must remember that since 1948, when the nascent IDF went from village to village with ledgers containing the names of those who should be assassinated, until the attempted assassination of Muhammed Deif a few days ago, Israel has conducted a systematic campaign of eliminating by murder or imprisonment any Palestinian showing real or potential leadership.

    Zio-supremacists enjoy asking “Where is the Palestinian Gandhi?”, knowing full well that their Zio-supremacist co-collectivists have never stop killing him.

    • Walid
      Walid
      August 28, 2014, 2:22 pm

      Where is the Palestinian Mahatma?

      If you go by Shimon Peres, that man of peace would be Mahmoud Abbas, especially as far as Israel’s peace is concerned. He’s been guaranteeing it for them for a very long time. Sooner or later he will have to go and Israel will surely miss him. Their loss would be the Palestinians’ gain. Jeff Halper above is reading him and his actual vocation right.

    • Marnie
      Marnie
      August 29, 2014, 6:39 am

      “Hamas has sent a clear and forceful message to Israel: We won’t submit even if you kill us. Deal with us justly – or disappear.” Excellent.

  2. annie
    annie
    August 28, 2014, 1:30 pm

    this is brilliant. thank you so much jeff. i began to write an article this morning, why the latest round was a victory of Hamas/Palestine, but you’ve covered every base and more.

    • just
      just
      August 28, 2014, 1:43 pm

      I’ll second that, Annie.

      A truly wonderful article– thank you Jeff.

      • just
        just
        August 28, 2014, 1:45 pm

        Ah, that wonderful picture of Yasser Arafat just appeared.

        Thank you.

      • Walid
        Walid
        August 29, 2014, 1:47 am

        The man wasn’t a saint, just, he was as manipulative as his replacement but with charisma; he pledged the store for Oslo, which proved to be a total loss. Edward Said didn’t like the smell of it at the time and he wasn’t at all wrong. Arafat got back at him by banning his work.

      • just
        just
        August 29, 2014, 8:27 am

        Dear Walid,

        I was talking about his picture (one that has changed from the original now to another). Arafat was a human with all that it entails. It’s enough for me that Palestinians still respect the man and paint his visage on their buildings and on the odious wall. For many of them, he was ‘resistance’ writ large. He advocated for a Palestinian state and an end to Occupation his entire life.

        http://afp-photo.tumblr.com/post/66264519537/jerusalem-a-picture-shows-a-mural-of-late#.VABwv2NZivk

      • Taxi
        Taxi
        August 29, 2014, 4:53 pm

        Walid,

        For signing Oslo, Arafat was promised a ‘safe’ return to Ramallah to rule Palestine from. How attractive is that for an exiled freedom fighter dreaming of recognized statesmanship? Plenty, I’d say. Oslo was personal for Arafat, very personal. At that time too, nineteen years ago, the Oslo signing appeared to provide huge positive symbolism and hope for the millions of Palestinian refugees scattered in the diaspora and yearning to return to their homeland. You could say for all it’s poison apples, the Oslo basket ironically had these two arsenic-free crabapples for Palestine to relish .

        Unfortunately, it was the Palestinian resistance, the Mokawamah, that ultimately paid the price for this romanticism – being sidelined by the Ramallah decision-makers and practically the whole world too till….. well, till some fifty six days ago when the Mokawamah, for the first time ever, started launching unstoppable streams of rockets not just at illegal settlments, but at tel aviv, at Ben Gurion airport and even at the Dimona Nuclear Plant. This has changed everything. Everything. Things will never be the same again. Not for israelis – and especially not for the Mokawamah.

        Now the Mokawamah is the apple of Palestine’s eye.

        Now Palestinians know for sure that the price of true freedom is paid in blood. They have learned that, unfortunately, with a genocidal, hateful and hated enemy like israel, only armed resistance and the gamble of death will bring about any notable changes. This is what the Mukawamah in Gaza taught the Palestinian collective – and the Palestinian people have understood this clearly – and undertood it like never before.

        There will never again be an Oslo-esque accord signed by a Palestinian hand – ever again.

      • Walid
        Walid
        August 30, 2014, 9:48 am

        Taxi, I agree fully with your assessment about the Palestinian Mokawama. It accomplished more in a month than BDS in 8 years. This is not to belittle BDS, as every little bit helps, but nothing gets the attention of the Zionists like the Mokawama. I don’t care for the politics of Hamas just like I don’t care for those of Hizbullah, but when it comes to resistance to the evil Zionist empire, both groups have my full respect.

      • Walid
        Walid
        August 30, 2014, 10:19 am

        Hello, just, you see the man as a romantic character but I look at him from another perspective, one of having almost totally destroyed Lebanon during his stay there between Black September when the Arab League rammed him and his fighters down Lebanon’s throat until Israel put him and his band on the boats to Tunis in 1982. One of his famous quotes describes his Lebanon stay that had effectively become a state within a state: “The road to Jerusalem runs through (Christian) Jounieh.”

        He was invited to address the UNGA in 1974 but kept insisting to wear his gun inside the UN. He finally accepted to leave his gun outside but the UN had to accept to let him wear the holster.

      • Walid
        Walid
        August 30, 2014, 10:22 am

        Just, I forgot to post the following at the end of my last post to you:

    • ivri
      ivri
      August 28, 2014, 2:52 pm

      @Annie
      I have a feeling that you have reached this conclusion already when it all began – so deep is your desire to see it this way. And given that in these types of “warring episodes”, unlike old-times real wars, there is really never a victor, indeed it is even impossible to define what a “victory” here means, it is in the end in the eyes of the beholder. If my memory does not betray me, all previous “rounds” with the Palestinians, or also Hezbollah, have been declared a triumph by the other side – often it was enough to justify tat by saying that they managed to carry on for a while against “the strongest army” in the region.
      In the end it is not “victories” that count in this type of warring episodes but rather the long term macro picture, namely what has developed over decades. Now compare Israel`s position in its birth and now – I think that tells the whole story.

      • just
        just
        August 28, 2014, 4:22 pm

        “…what has developed over decades. Now compare Israel`s position in its birth and now – I think that tells the whole story. ”

        Therein lies the shame.

      • Mary T
        Mary T
        August 28, 2014, 6:21 pm

        It does indeed tell the whole story. It tells the story of a people who will stop at nothing – literally nothing – to gain their ends.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        August 28, 2014, 6:58 pm

        “Now compare Israel`s position in its birth and now”

        Well, see, irvri, that’s hard to do when Israel itself doesn’t know where it’s freakin borders are. So there you are, Israel’s position ROTFLMSJAO!!

        Oh but Israel’s position in one place certainly has changed- more and more Jews know that Zionism (apart from its horrific toll on its victims, the Palestinians) is a criminal fraud against the Jewish people. And fewer and fewer of them will want to support, in any way, Zionism’s murderous and criminal business.

      • Walid
        Walid
        August 29, 2014, 2:36 am

        Ivri, Israel is still around after all these wars and stronger than ever, but it’s still as insecure as it has ever been and this will never change. Which of the two do you think feels more secure in his home, the Zionist squatter in Hebron that has about 15,000 soldiers looking out for him or the honest one living in Crown Heights?

        Things have changed in Crown Heights since back then and in other Orthodox neighbourhoods too:

      • ivri
        ivri
        August 29, 2014, 8:49 am

        Walid, Israel is endemically insecure – that`s clear as the sunshine and is true from day one of its establishment and will not change. Just look at the map and follow the events in the region that it is in and you can tell that it is intrinsically in a constant precarious state. All what it can do is improve positions and that`s basically what did happen over the years.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        August 29, 2014, 12:28 pm

        Ivri,

        The reason people voted for Hamas in Gaza was because they wanted a party that would go against their decades-old suppression. Was Hamas’ electoral win in Gaza an “improvement” of the Israeli position?

        Is the Israeli State better off now after almost a decade of blockading and bombing Gaza?

      • annie
        annie
        August 29, 2014, 1:57 pm

        Was Hamas’ electoral win in Gaza an “improvement” of the Israeli position?

        that would depend on your definition of “the Israeli position”. if the goal is to divide palestine and break off/isolate gaza from palestine- and from the WB, both effectively and in the international arena then i would say they’ve accomplished that to a degree. but it’s unwise, unproductive and will fail.

      • Walker
        Walker
        August 29, 2014, 2:15 pm

        Walid, Israel is endemically insecure – that`s clear as the sunshine and is true from day one of its establishment and will not change.

        Israel is endemically insecure because it was founded by driving out under threat of death Palestine’s native inhabitants. Those former inhabitants still live in the immediate neighborhood. The facts of Israel’s founding can’t be undone. Long term, it will take great effort and great changes among Israelis for the country to continue.

      • globalconsciousness
        globalconsciousness
        August 29, 2014, 11:26 pm

        the threat of annihilation is now an internal battle and cannot be won on the battlefield but self examination, which requires reflexivity and that I’m afraid is largely amiss from the Israeli psyche and that of its Zionist diaspora…

      • Vikram
        Vikram
        August 30, 2014, 5:25 am

        I am an example of what has happened to Israel since 1967 for many, many people throughout the world.

        When I was 16 yrs I was fascinated by Israel and was thrilled to hear on the radio news that Israel had defeated the Arabs. I was a fervent supporter of Israel, having read Leon Uris’s Exodus and other propaganda and I had enormous sympathy for the Jews and all they had suffered in the Holocaust. However, over the years I was horrified at the treatment that they meted out to the Palestinians and obvious contempt in which they held them. I have been very interested in the subject since then and have read many of the historians who wrote about what really happened in 1947/48 and earlier.

        This changed my attitude entirely and now I have come to believe that Israel has no legitimacy whatsoever. I have also witnessed the increasing racism of Israel over the years and “McCarthyism” of the Jewish lobby in the US, without which Israel would have been forced to compromise in a just settlement with the Palestinians. I know some people will say that to refer to the Lobby as the “Jewish Lobby” is anti-Semitic but I feel that the Jewish Diaspora have a lot to answer for in relation to Israeli crimes in Palestine and elsewhere.

        Israel has succeeded in going from a position where it was well regarded in many parts of the world to being widely despised today.

      • just
        just
        August 30, 2014, 10:17 am

        Vikram– I think that there are many people like you all around the world.

        There’s been a huge awakening– I only hope that it continues to grow.

      • Walid
        Walid
        August 30, 2014, 12:31 pm

        Walker, Israel’s future big problem will be from within its own Jewish communities rather than from its Palestinian neighbours. The folklore that all Jews from the 4 corners of the earth are all one and the same people is already unraveling.

  3. Justpassingby
    Justpassingby
    August 28, 2014, 1:50 pm

    Not seeing any change, contrary, and I wouldnt believe a word what the puppet abbas say until he have actually done something.

  4. Kay24
    Kay24
    August 28, 2014, 2:17 pm

    Many experts have said that Netanyahu wanted to break up the Unity Government. He was infuriated that the factions had decide to put their differences aside, and that the rest of the world including the US, were showing signs of being ready to negotiate with them. Apart from the usual mowing the lawn, that the Israelis seem to enjoy doing, and showing the world the damage their weapons can do, Netanyahu could not accept the fact that a unity government may spoil his claims of having no partner to negotiate peace with, the fact that Hamas does not want peace, and that Hamas was showing signs of becoming more cooperative with the Palestinian Authority. This would have made Israel’s grand plans of more illegal settlements and keeping the brutal occupation going, harder to sell to the rest of the world.
    I think in many ways Hamas did win this round. They were able to bring more attention to the plight of the occupied, and world sympathy this time was for the Palestinians Apparently their popularity was waning, and this war made them heroes among the people. Only the US, it’s leaders, and some leaders of the Western world, pretended to buy the Israeli narrative.
    Bibi’s war has made Israel look bad, and even more disliked. Bibi has to blame himself and his
    blood thirsty right wingers, for this change in the game.

    Holocaust survivors condemn Israel slaughter, and called for BDS.

    That is impressive.

      • Walid
        Walid
        August 28, 2014, 3:12 pm

        Kay, Meshaal in permanent residence in Qatar is not exactly Mr. Creativity. Nobody heard from him during the full duration of the onslaught on Gaza and now that Israel has been sort of put in its place, for now at least, Meshaal is all over the TV screens making eloquent speeches about the grand victory. Jazeera and Mayadeen and a few other pro-Palestinian TV stations gave him and his press conference a 1-hour platform to relate and re-relate how the Gazans bravely withstood the war but in a nutshell, really said nothing and sounded more like he was talking just for the sake of talking. Palestinians deserve new young, and real leaders. The whole lot of Palestinian leaders have worked hard all these years, achieved nothing, and deserve to retire, take it easy and give others the opportunity to drive the bus.

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        August 28, 2014, 4:08 pm

        I guess that assassination attempt by Mossad in Jordan, and that unbelievable shooting of poison into Meshal’s ear, must have made him shun any appearances, but retain his leadership from afar, which I agree is not very productive for the Palestinian people.

        I agree that there should be newer and younger leadership, who may be better at PR and mostly able to succeed in getting the Palestinians their rights and freedom.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius
        August 28, 2014, 5:44 pm

        I’m reading this book at the moment. A great read.

        Meshal is quite an interesting character. Seems most observers considered him quite a mediocrity and would never have placed him as a leader of Hamas, but that, of course, is what he ended up being.

        http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kill-Khalid-Failed-Mossad-Assasination/dp/070437157X/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1409262188&sr=8-1

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius
        August 28, 2014, 5:42 pm

        I have heard that there has been quite a rift between the Qassam Brigades fighting the real war in Gaza itself, and the emigre political leaders living in comfort in Doha. One wonders if the latter have done what all Palestinian leaders since Arafat have done, and fallen for the lure of oil and gas lucre?

        BTW last week Richard Silverstein claimed that a usually trustworthy ‘source’ told him that Mohammed Dief had almost certainly been killed in the attack which killed his wife and child. I wonder if there’s anything to it? We haven’t seen Dief since then, but he’s famously elusive, so that means nothing. And while I could see a case for why Hamas might keep his killing secret to preserve morale, I don’t think they have ever denied the killing of any of their leaders before, have they? Also hard to see how Silverstein’s source could ‘know’ something like this, given how poor Israel’s intel has been on Gaza.

        I also wonder if the informers killed around the same time – the only Gazans mourned by Israel over the past 5O days – had betrayed the locations of the other Hamas leaders killed in air strikes.

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        August 28, 2014, 10:33 pm

        The assassination attempt by Mossad agents in Jordan reads like a fiction novel. The Israelis are unbelievably evil and devious, but this time they had gone too far, and it seemed to have backfired on them. The King of Jordan was brilliant when he cornered them, got Bill Clinton to intervene and get the antidote, to save Meshal’s life. The Israelis still have their evil habit of going into other sovereign nations, to assassinate nationals., whether they are Iranian scientists or the Hamas leader in Dubai. They are the scum of the earth, and wherever you find death and destruction in the ME, expect Israel to be involved in some filthy way.

      • Walid
        Walid
        August 28, 2014, 11:52 pm

        Maximus. in Silverstein’s article, blame is somewhat pinned on Meshaal for Israel having pinpointed Dief’s whereabouts after he phoned him from Qatar to discuss something in the ongoing ceasefire negotiations at the time. Seems that Israel was able to trace the call and knew exactly where to aim its bunker busters. Silverstein’s snitches in the Israeli government are usually reliable.

        Kay, Meshaal wasn’t saved by the antidote through any Clinton initiative, Jordan had threatened to put on trial the 2 Mossad hit-men it had nabbed and to execute them which would have been a disastrous PR move for Israel. Israel was so spooked by that prospect that it also agreed to free the jailed octogenarian, Cheikh Ahmad Yassin, the half-blind and paraplegic founder of Hamas. Israel subsequently killed him and 5 innocent bystanders with an Apache missile one Friday after he was being wheeled back from Friday prayers.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius
        August 29, 2014, 8:34 am

        Walid,

        I was shocked when I read that Meshal may have inadvertently fingered Dief by making a cell phone call to him. I would have thought that not using the phone network was fairly elementary stuff for resistance leaders, especially Meshal who has survived numerous assassination attempts. Especially as one of the reasons for Hamas’ recent success is their adoptation of a Hizballah style private communications network – see article below.

        Maybe Khaled is losing his touch in his cushy Doha exile?

        BTW yesterday he said Deif was ‘fine’. Now, I don’t expect to see Deif strolling around Gaza smiling for the cameras, but then there’s the old ‘never believe anything until it’s been officially denied’ line. So who really knows? I doubt the Israelis do, despite their bluster.

        http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/21162

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        August 29, 2014, 7:43 am

        Walid, regarding Bill Clinton’s role in the Meshal case, I have read some articles about it. I just got this from Wikipedia:

        “Immediately after the incident, Jordan’s King Hussein demanded that Benjamin Netanyahu turn over the antidote for the poison, threatening to sever diplomatic relations and to try the detained Israeli agents.[6] Netanyahu at first refused, and the incident quickly grew in political significance.

        With Israeli-Jordanian relations rapidly deteriorating, King Hussein threatened to void the historic 1994 peace between the two countries should Mashal die.[7] U.S President Bill Clinton intervened and compelled Netanyahu to turn over the antidote.[8]

        The head of Mossad, Danny Yatom, flew to Jordan, with the prime minister’s consent, bringing with him an antidote to treat Mashal.[9]”

        This from a Vanity Fair article:
        “The poison did its job—within hours Mishal was at death’s door. Warning that if Mishal died, the Mossad duo would be hanged, the king called in the big guns—then U.S. president Bill Clinton and his Middle East team. Hussein’s two demands were extraordinary: he required the Israelis to cough up a vial of the antidote to the poison, the only means of saving Mishal’s life; he insisted that Netanyahu order the immediate release, from Israeli prisons, of a number of Palestinian prisoners, including the ailing Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the wheelchair-confined founder and spiritual leader of Hamas who was one of Israel’s most notable Palestinians in their custody.

        The big names in the Clinton White House were involved—Sandy Berger, Dennis Ross, and Bruce Riedel. But in researching a book on the crisis and its impact on the Hamas leadership, I was told that this was one of those rare occasions when none of the president’s men would support Netanyahu—he was told there could be no face-saving, he would have to deliver on both of King Hussein’s demands.”

        http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2014/07/netanyahu-mishal-gaza-israel

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius
        August 29, 2014, 8:35 am

        Kay,

        Have you seen this Al Jazeera film ”Kill him Silently” on the failed assassination of Mishal?

      • globalconsciousness
        globalconsciousness
        August 29, 2014, 11:42 pm

        “Not a war of choice: What’s next for Gaza?”
        Al-jazeera interview -a week ago
        This interview with Khalid Meshaal is much better than the one Charlie Rose did.

  5. amigo
    amigo
    August 28, 2014, 2:18 pm

    ” Israel has conducted a systematic campaign of eliminating by murder or imprisonment any Palestinian showing real or potential leadership. -” JH

    And the Zionist propaganda machine is now crying crocodile tears for the Collabators (many of whom they blackmailed and forced into traitorous acts) who were shot by Hamas.

    I do not condone these acts by Hamas but will be damned if I will listen to Israel,s hypocracy on this issue.

    This a brilliant article by Jeff Halper and a definite keeper.

    Thanks MW for bringing it to us.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      Maximus Decimus Meridius
      August 28, 2014, 5:49 pm

      This article is two years old but is an excellent account of the horrible situation many Palestinian collaborators find themselves in, and how shoddily they are treated by Israel, despite their crocodile tears.

      Many, maybe most, informers don’t actively intend to betray their country. They just get sucked into out of fear and/or desperation. When you depend on Israel for just about everything, maybe including medical care for desperately ill relatives, it might be tempting to offer just a few tidbits of information, and then of course it’s impossible to get out. Not that I’m excusing collaboration, but then, I’ve never been in such a horrible situation.

      http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/14004

    • Walid
      Walid
      August 29, 2014, 12:27 am

      amigo, it became evident during the war’s progress and Israel’s inability to break the will of the people and the resistance of Gaza that the unified resistance forces had been thoroughly coached by the Israel-savvy Hizbullah. I read somewhere that one of its most important lessons was to ensure that collaborators and spies were either stopped in their tracks or fed disinformation to be relayed to Israel. Israel’s failure to take out the tunnels, the launching sites and the missiles is attributed in good part to the resistance having controlled the flow of that vital collaborator information. Had Israel been courageous to enter Gaza with its land force, there would have been disastrous results for it. Instead, it chose to stay within 300 meters of the border and to cowardly carpet-bomb the rest. It had been just as cowardly during Cast Lead.

  6. amigo
    amigo
    August 28, 2014, 2:29 pm

    “Deal with us justly.”

    That,s the stumbling block for Israel.That word Justly.

    Can Israel do Just or will they just disappear in the smoke of self immolation.

    • Walid
      Walid
      August 28, 2014, 2:42 pm

      Doesn’t have to be so drastic, amigo, they can simply act on the late Helen Thomas suggestion to move back to where they came from. Brooklyn would be enriched by the influx of settler-returnees.

      • amigo
        amigo
        August 28, 2014, 2:57 pm

        “Brooklyn would be enriched by the influx of settler-returnees. – Walid.

        I for one wont oppose their ROR.

        I dont think they will take the option of going back home as failures.They would rather die.

      • SQ Debris
        SQ Debris
        August 28, 2014, 6:35 pm

        “They would rather die” ?? I think not. Faced with living as equals with Palestinians, they’d be packing their bags for the States. It’s one thing to live in an egalitarian society like Brooklyn. It’s another to live as equals with the people you have celebrated crapping on for 62 years.

      • Jethro
        Jethro
        August 28, 2014, 4:18 pm

        I’m sorry, but Brooklyn would not be enhanced in the least. No thank you.
        We might have to find them another state.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        August 28, 2014, 7:57 pm

        Lots of open free space in Antartica; always has been. Divert some of the daily $8.5 billion in direct aid, plus interest, to buy them snow suits.

      • Walid
        Walid
        August 29, 2014, 1:27 am

        What do you have against penguins, Citizen?

      • Stephen Shenfield
        Stephen Shenfield
        August 29, 2014, 5:10 pm

        A post-Zionist government could take the initiative and enter into negotiations with various countries to take joint measures that would encourage Israelis originally from those countries to return. It will depend on conditions in specific countries at the time. Who would voluntarily return to Iraq at present, for instance?

        However, many Israelis were born in Palestine. Many have parents and even grandparents who were born in Palestine and no longer have significant ties with any other country. That is a reality that might as well be faced.

        While the majority will probably adapt or leave, there might be a hard core who prefer to fight to the death or commit suicide en masse. Remember that Israeli soldiers take their oath at Massada.

  7. Walid
    Walid
    August 28, 2014, 2:36 pm

    Israel’s joy 60-year joy ride is rapidly coming to an end, but reading the Western press today, you’d never know it. Even at this minute while the UNSC is in session and being covered by CNN about the ongoing turmoil between Russia and the Ukraine, not a word is being mentioned about the 42 UN peacekeepers that have been taken prisoner by Nusra/IS on the Golan Heights at the Quneitra crossing between the Syrian held area and the occupied by Israel Golan. An Israeli soldier was injured in the crossfire and taken to a Haifa hospital by helicopter and the terrorists are now in full control of the border area. So you could say that IS is now at Israel’s doorstep.

    • amigo
      amigo
      August 28, 2014, 2:50 pm

      “Even at this minute while the UNSC is in session” Walid.

      Samantha give me Power is just hilarious.

      Three remarks from sammy.

      1, Let,s be clear.

      2, The Mask is coming off.

      And the piece de resistance,

      “Russia is illegally taking territory”.

      I just about fell off my chair hearing that display of chutzpah.

      • Walid
        Walid
        August 28, 2014, 3:20 pm

        She must have used the term “Russia lied” 6 times within a 2 minute-span. Real pressure-selling ongoing trying to paint Russia as the aggressor. Makes you wonder if it’s the US that learned the art from the Israelis or if it’s the other way around. I guess the purpose is to keep repeating it over and over and over until the people sort of absorb the lie by osmosis.

      • SQ Debris
        SQ Debris
        August 28, 2014, 6:40 pm

        Putin’s move in Ukraine synchronized closely with the collapse of 23 years of “peace process.” That collapse signaled that acquisition of territory by force was, how to put it, okay? This whole Ukraine exercise looks like a bird thrown at U.S. hypocrisy and double standards in the UNSC. If Israel can get away with it, why shouldn’t Putin? For good or evil, he’s putting that question to the test.

    • Sycamores
      Sycamores
      August 28, 2014, 3:27 pm

      Walid

      IS at Israel doorstep.

      i’ve loads of questions but no answers.

      how much did this effect the ceasefire between Hamas and Israel?

      will the US sent in the drones?

      will the US and Syria government become frenemies and protect Israel northern flank on Syrian occupied land?

      or can Israel stand by itself?

      • Sycamores
        Sycamores
        August 28, 2014, 3:30 pm

        probably the most important question how much of a threat is IS to Israel?

      • Walid
        Walid
        August 28, 2014, 3:54 pm

        Sycamores, most probably not a threat at all if you go by the area’s news reports since several months that describe the close cooperation between Israel and the Syrian rebels and how Israel has been treating their wounds in Israeli hospitals, re-training them and re-equipping them and dispatching them back into Syria.

        Al-Nusra terrorists are offshoots of al-Qaeda, which essentially are the IS people in Syria and Iraq today. So Nusra and IS are the same now since most Nusra fighters have sworn allegiance to the IS cause. Furthermore, about a month or so back, IS declared that Israel is not in its plans as it has no intentions of going anywhere near it. So Nusra and IS are basically pals of Israel. Unless of course, IS decides to suddenly decide to change course and turn on Israel in the same way it double-crossed the US by going after Irbil. These people are unpredictable and their friends today could find themselves declared as the enemy on a whim.

      • Sycamores
        Sycamores
        August 28, 2014, 4:09 pm

        thanks Walid,

        Israel is rearming people that beheaded an American journalist. insane, does anyone else think this?

      • Walid
        Walid
        August 28, 2014, 4:37 pm

        Yesterday after their victorious assault on the Syrian air base at Raqa, IS executed 200 Syrian soldiers it had captured. It can’t be bothered with prisoners unless they have a ransom value.

        A few days, the publisher of the paper for which Foley had worked declared that IS had asked the US for a huge ransom for Foley, which the US in addition to have refused to pay, went on to drone-attack IS positions near Irbil and this is what provoked the beheading.

        On the other hand, Syrian Minister Bouthaina Chaaban said that the staged killing was bogus as the Syrian regime had information that Foley had been killed by his captors over a year ago.

        When surrounded by liars, which one do you believe?

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        August 28, 2014, 4:10 pm

        I am tired of my tax money going for wars and fighting battles for others. Let the war hungry Israelis fend for themselves, fight their own battles, and face the consequences of their violence.

      • Walid
        Walid
        August 28, 2014, 4:17 pm

        Sycamores, I don’t think the cease-fire had anything to do with the terrorists taking over the border area. The US has decided to join the fight on IS in Syria and final details are being worked out with the Syrians that are adamant that the US must not pull any hanky-panky on the regime under the guise of hitting the terrorists. Syria demanded that every operation over Syria by the Americans has to be cooridinated in advance with the regime as otherwise, American planes will be fired on.

        This wouldn’t be the first time that the long term enemies that are the US and Syria decided to unite temporarily to resolve a common problem. In joined the Coalition of the Willing in Iraq I and got several hundred millions in debts to the US written off for it in addition to getting US permission to occupy Lebanon for 10 years. Syria’s participation in the Iraq war on the American side was limited to some of the logistics, just like Egypt’s role as the US wanted them on board only to show that Arabs approved of American intentions.

        After Syria and the US get rid of IS, if they succeed of course, they’d go back to being bitter enemies.

  8. Pixel
    Pixel
    August 28, 2014, 2:38 pm

    Gaza “War” Map : Virtual Tour

    Amazing and horrifying.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      August 28, 2014, 3:01 pm

      Thanks for the link, Pixel. Even more shocking is that it didn’t work.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      August 28, 2014, 4:15 pm

      http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-gaza-conflict-2014/.premium-1.612970

      “At the same time, though, a policy involving wasteful use of firepower was revealed, which reduced stocks to worrying levels following limited hostilities that took place on just one front. The result must prompt a reexamination over the way in which the IDF builds its land-based forces and trains them for their new tasks, taking strategic changes in the region into account.”

      That Gaza as Amalek policy is really self defeating , not just morally

    • Walid
      Walid
      August 28, 2014, 4:20 pm

      Good descriptive photos, Pixel, thanks.

    • just
      just
      August 28, 2014, 4:27 pm

      Thanks Pixel.

      ;(((

  9. seafoid
    seafoid
    August 28, 2014, 2:55 pm

    I think the Palestinian message from Gaza to Israel was that the fraud is over. Put up or STFU. No more bullshit. Give us our rights. We are not afraid to die for them. We do not accept facts on the ground. We are the facts.
    You are the terrorists. You have destroyed your society instead of destroying us.

  10. seafoid
    seafoid
    August 28, 2014, 3:06 pm

    Sumud 1 Hasbara and Systematic nihilism 0

  11. joemowrey
    joemowrey
    August 28, 2014, 3:10 pm

    I hope the moderator will check out the link Pixel supplied and post it to the main Mondowiess page. Here it is again, just in case, and for those who couldn’t get the other one to work. This should be viewed as widely as possible.

    http://www.kolor.com/virtual-tours/20140818-kolor-lewis-whyld/#s=pano119

    How can any rational human being pretend that there was a “terrorist” with a rocket launcher hiding under every one of these destroyed homes and buildings? What a perversion of reason and logic. More proof that Zionism has demented the intellect of its supporters. It is a form of mental illness.

    I was somewhat surprised that whoever put this amazing slide presentation together (I didn’t see any credits) repeatedly used the word “conflict” to describe this devastation. Clearly this was a maniacal killing spree by a people bent on revenge.

    • annie
      annie
      August 28, 2014, 3:19 pm

      joe, i sent this to adam and phil. i am not sure how one could post this but i agree, it’s incredible.

  12. Walid
    Walid
    August 28, 2014, 3:24 pm

    Hoooray!!!. CNN just discovered that IS this morning had captured 42 peacekeepers (from Fiji) on the Golan. CNN is lucky to have Ben Wedeman on staff; he just reached the Golan.

  13. Kay24
    Kay24
    August 28, 2014, 4:13 pm

    Obama going on about Russia and breaking international laws. Strange I did not hear the same refrain about Israel, when it broke so many international laws, including theft of lands.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      August 28, 2014, 4:16 pm

      It’s weird, isn’t it ? Surely Russia can say “what about Assad” ? Othersie it’s double standards and anti semitic to pick on Russia.

      • just
        just
        August 28, 2014, 4:29 pm

        It’s extreme caca– we are SO good at hypocrisy.

  14. gracie fr
    gracie fr
    August 28, 2014, 4:35 pm

    Mahmoud Abbas’s still does not extend much beyond Ramallah, hence the push for a “Unity Government”. Hamas has been, not only the effective ruler of Gaza, but the only political party that received a democratic mandate for its rule from the Palestinian electorate in the 2006 election that rejected Fatah.
    The Oslo accords declared Gaza to be an inseparable part of Palestine, and obliged Israel to provide an unobstructed territorial connection linking Gaza to the West Bank. That provision was reinforced by a formal Israeli-Palestinian agreement (the Agreement on Movement and Access) in 2005 for the free movement of people and goods between these two areas, brokered by James Wolfensohn, then secretary of state Condoleezza Rice’s special envoy for Gaza disengagement, an obligation Israel violated even before the ink on the document dried. Hamas was denied its electoral mandate and excluded from the West Bank because Fatah had conspired with Israel’s government and the Bush administration to carry out a putsch by Mohammed Dahlan’s militia forces in Gaza , a putsch pre-empted by Hamas
    Until now, Hamas could never be engaged by Israel, or by the US, as long as it adhered to a charter that is racist and anti-Semitic, and explicitly commits the organization to the violent expulsion of Jews within Israel’s internationally recognized pre-1967 borders. While the government of Israel does not have a charter promising the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes and the confiscation of their land, it has been doing exactly that – regularly and systematically. These confiscations and expulsions began even before Hamas existed, yet no one in the West demanded Israel be quarantined, or even that it be denied continued massive American financial and military assistance.
    At the heart of Hamas’ grievances is the double standard that Israel, the US and Europe apply to the entire range of issues the peace talks are intended to resolve. Hamas’ leadership maintains that what distinguishes its movement from Fatah is its refusal to swallow this hypocrisy. It insists on absolute reciprocity, especially with respect to the Quartet’s three conditions for removing the political quarantine against it. These conditions require Hamas to recognize the State of Israel, accept all previous agreements with Israel, and renounce violence. Yet these three obligations – every one of them – have been regularly ignored and violated by Netanyahu and preceding Israeli governments.

    Henry Siegman: http://www.peacebuilding.no/Regions/Middle-East-and-North-Africa/Israel-Palestine/Publications/US-Hamas-policy-blocks-Middle-East-peace

    We shall see if things will change in the( near) future…..

    • Walid
      Walid
      August 29, 2014, 1:25 am

      Gracie, Siegman isn’t quite clear about Hamas’ election victory in January 2006. It wasn’t only in Gaza, it won a total of 74 seats to Fatah’s 45, about 30 of them from the West Bank.

      • gracie fr
        gracie fr
        August 30, 2014, 9:41 am

        Thank you Walid for the clarification and correct numbers!! My point was of course, Israeli refusal to undertake any steps in negotiations with Hamas at a time when it might have given the Hamas victory….
        The leaders of Israel’s current government claim that no peace process is possible with a Hamas-led Palestinian government. But some of the best-informed observers of the Israeli– Palestinian conflict believe that no lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians is possible without Hamas’s participation.http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2006/apr/27/hamas-the-last-chance-for-peace/

  15. Les
    Les
    August 28, 2014, 8:41 pm

    With the media paying attention to Americans fighting (and getting killed) for IS, some of our legislators will call for legislation to put an end to Americans joining foreign armies. What about Americans (i.e.,Jeffrey Goldberg) who join the IDF?

  16. W.Jones
    W.Jones
    August 29, 2014, 12:19 pm

    . Abbas and his Palestinian Authority bear their share of the responsibility for this as well. For his own reasons Abbas has silenced his most articulate spokespeople, filled his Authority’s diplomatic posts for the most part with ineffective political hacks and makes it almost impossible for reporters to get information or responses – all in contrast to Israel’s vaunted hasbara and legions of professional spin-doctors. As a result, there has been little official Palestinian messaging at all.

    There are articulate and effective PA officials and spokespeople, and I doubt that reporters find it “impossible” to get information on some topics. There has been official Palestinian messaging about the desire for peace and security for the Israelis and Palestinians.

    I think that Halper would like the PA to take some steps like applying to join the ICC that the PA hasn’t done. On those kinds of topics that are in direct resistance to US and Israeli policies and desires, the PA is sometimes silent. The PA is careful n what it says officially to disturb the US and Israelis too much. But don’t mistake that for willful longterm ineffectiveness. There are two sides to that issue. Take for example joining the ICC. Do you think the ICC would actually prosecute if it did that, and that the ICC can only prosecute abuses that occurred on member states’ territory? If not, can the PA be called ineffective for failing to take that unnecessary step?

  17. W.Jones
    W.Jones
    August 29, 2014, 12:35 pm

    I think that the title is misleading and perhaps counterproductive. The article actually says “Hamas has sent a clear and forceful message to Israel: We won’t submit even if you kill us. Deal with us justly – or disappear”. This message is from Hamas, rather than from the Palestinian people. Although I am sure that many Palestinians would agree with the statement, the main statement I think Palestinians would make would focus on peace and human rights, rather than the abuser disappearing.

    • annie
      annie
      August 29, 2014, 1:47 pm

      the main statement I think Palestinians would make would focus on peace and human rights

      it’s my understanding the primary palestinian focus is liberation, equality and (of course) justice.

      This message is from Hamas, rather than from the Palestinian people.

      i recommend Everything You Know About Hamas Is Wrong http://www.srilankaguardian.org/2014/08/everything-you-know-about-hamas-is-wrong.html#.VABDQEuHz1w.twitter

      In fact, Hamas derives popularity not only from concerted resistance to occupation but also the widespread social assistance that forms the bulk of its work, helping sustain Palestinians through increasingly dire poverty. As Roy puts it:

      “During the Oslo period especially, the strength of Hamas increasingly lay in the work of Islamic social institutions whose services, directly and indirectly, reached tens if not hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, helping them to survive. They provided services that the Palestinian Authority was unable to provide adequately, if at all. This base supported Islamic institutions largely because they met basic needs for economic sustenance and community well-being with a focus on health and education, community support, and service delivery. Islamic institutions were increasingly viewed as community actors in a context where few such actors existed. … Islamic institutions did not emphasize political violence or substate terrorism but rather community well-being and civic restoration, a role that was (and remains) vital in a context of steady deterioration.”

      In power, Hamas’s smashed and vilified tunnels actually provided a lifeline for Gaza’s crippled economy. Hamas’s conspicuous material modesty has also increased its popularity in contrast to the corrupt Fatah leadership. Equally, journalists and human rights monitors find no evidence that Hamas uses “human shields”, but uncover extensive evidence of the practice by Israel – which also, of course, sites military facilities near major populated areas, subsidises the housing of civilians in a war zone, and deliberately risks the lives of captured IDF soldiers.

      As Roy concludes:

      “While there can be no doubt that since its inception in 1987, Hamas has engaged in violence, armed struggle, and terrorism as the primary force behind the horrific suicide bombings inside Israel, it is also a broadbased movement that has evolved into an increasingly complex, varied, and sophisticated organization engaged in a variety of societal activities vital to Palestinian life.”

      messaging, as you did, “Hamas, rather than … Palestinian people” perpetuates a false underlying stereotype that hamas doesn’t have a broad base of support within palestine society.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        August 29, 2014, 2:38 pm

        it’s my understanding the primary palestinian focus is liberation, equality and (of course) justice ~Annie.

        Sure. I also, I understand that Hamas does economic activity to help Palestinians, and that they have a broad base and their views are representative of a large section of Palestinians. Not only that, but in Gaza they won an election over their main rival, Fatah.

        Nonetheless, I would distinguish Palestinians from Fatah and Hamas, the two main parties. While Hamas might say “Act Justly or Disappear”, perhaps many other Palestinians would say “Act Justly or Undergo BDS – especially sanctions, and international intervention.”

        This issue reflects the question of how much support a people must give to an organization before we equate the people’s views with the organization. Most American Jews in surveys have said that they support the Israeli system and also disagree with the idea of having a second, Palestinian, state. But because I am reluctant to make generalizations about populations, I would avoid generalizing about Jewish Americans with regards to either statement.

        Even when we make statements that apply to 90% of a population (like massive Israeli support for their attack on Gaza), I still have some doubt about whether it is fully correct to make generalizations about populations.

      • annie
        annie
        August 29, 2014, 5:11 pm

        Not only that, but in Gaza they won an election over their main rival, Fatah.

        actually they won in the WB too. political organizations and parties where ever they are rarely reflect all the people on every issue. but the messaging i’m hearing coming out of palestinian society right now, including the leadership, is one of unity.

        http://www.aawsat.net/2014/08/article55335972 Senior Fatah official Faisal Abu Shahla:

        Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the head of Hamas’s politburo Khaled Mishal, are understood to have drawn up a two-stage plan: first, lifting the Israeli blockade of Gaza and securing guarantees for the reconstruction of Gaza’s infrastructure; and second, pushing towards the establishment of a Palestinian state.

        Abu Shahla said the Palestinians were more unified now than before and have agreed that “decisions of war, peace and the establishment of a Palestinian state will be taken unanimously, rather than by one faction.”

        In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Palestinian leadership expressed its hopes that the “lessons and outcomes of the Israeli aggression would represent an incentive to consolidate the unity of the stance and decision-making of the Palestinians and to adhere to working under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the legal and only representative of our people.”

  18. shalom
    shalom
    August 29, 2014, 2:58 pm

    “Hamas has sent a clear and forceful message to Israel: We won’t submit even if you kill us. Deal with us justly – or disappear.” “Having lost the power of deterrence, Israel will either have to deal justly with the Palestinians or, indeed, disappear.” Jeff, do you really believe that Jews who found a way back to their Promised Land after some two thousand years of praying and dreaming, who went on to carve out the State of Israel as the result of the 1947 UN Partition Plan, in the aftermath of the Holocaust, are ever going to be moved through the threat of delegitimization or removed by the threat of violence? Peace will come when two peoples each see the other not only as their enemy but first as human beings and begin to walk together toward a positive relationship…

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      August 29, 2014, 4:31 pm

      “that Jews who found a way back to their Promised Land after some two thousand years of”

      Don’t you mean the Zionists who slithered into Palestine on the backs of British conquest in the failing Ottoman empire? Killing and expelling the population as they colonized? What the hell is this “found their way” bullshit? It was an organized colonization predicated on victimization of the people in the area, and a whole lot of fraud and taking advantage of Jews. “Found their way” Forsooth.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      August 29, 2014, 4:36 pm

      “Peace will come when two peoples each see the other not only as their enemy but first as human beings and begin to walk together toward a positive relationship”

      Isn’t that a lovely way to see “We will keep what we have stolen, and we will not be accountable for our crimes”

      I’m sure the Palestinians have a pretty good idea of what the Israelis are like, as people. You seem to think Israelis should be promoted to Gods, beyond any human accounting.

    • Kris
      Kris
      August 29, 2014, 5:59 pm

      @shalom, the problem isn’t the “two thousand years of praying and dreaming,” it’s the ongoing decades of land theft and ethnic cleansing.

      What “positive relationship” do Zionists think can be established via Israel’s slow-motion genocide of the Palestinians? Israel is now actively hated by much of the world’s population, despite the stances of their bought-off governments, and that hatred will only grow as Israel’s ongoing crimes against the Palestinians continue to be documented immediately, uploaded, and delivered to the world’s in-boxes.

      Romantic appeals to “two thousand years of praying and dreaming,” as well as appeals to guilt–“Holocaust,” and threats–“antisemetic,” –have just about lost their power to shut down discussion. We are no longer moved by Jewish suffering of the past, when every few hours we are horrified by new reports of present-day Palestinian suffering at the hands of Jewish Israelis and their Jewish American supporters.

      Israel’s genocide against the Palestinians is happening right now. Who feels anything but disgust and revulsion as we watch Israel, a nation devoted to Holocaust remembrance, retribution, and self pity, eagerly carrying out this new genocide?

      I have to say that your reference to “two thousand years of praying and dreaming” is rather creepy–what kind of people, after “two thousand years of praying,” end up believing that God approves of the sickening crimes that Zionist Jews defend and support against the Palestinians?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        August 30, 2014, 6:07 pm

        “I have to say that your reference to “two thousand years of praying and dreaming” is rather creepy–what kind of people, after “two thousand years of praying,” end up believing that God approves of the sickening crimes that Zionist Jews defend and support against the Palestinians?”

        Kris, I’ve spent a lot of time wondering if they actually believe this stuff themselves, or just expect other people to swallow it. I’ve never been able to figure it out.

    • straightline
      straightline
      August 29, 2014, 8:08 pm

      “Jews who found a way back to their Promised Land after some two thousand years”

      Really? I thought that myth had been pretty well dispelled. Even the serious critics of Sand admit that.

      http://azvsas.blogspot.com.au/2009/07/myth-of-jewish-nation.html

    • Walid
      Walid
      August 30, 2014, 1:22 pm

      “… after some 2000 years…”

      I’d have expected “next year in Jerusalem” to be mentioned, as before.

    • eljay
      eljay
      August 30, 2014, 2:04 pm

      >> shalom: … do you really believe that Jews who found a way back to their Promised Land after some two thousand years of praying and dreaming, who went on to carve out the State of Israel as the result of the 1947 UN Partition Plan, in the aftermath of the Holocaust, are ever going to be moved through the threat of delegitimization or removed by the threat of violence?

      The rapist – who found his way back to his Promised Victim after many years of praying and dreaming, who went to carve out his self-determination in her, in the aftermath of an abusive childhood – may never be moved through the threat of trial and incarceration. But that’s no reason for the police to walk away and leave the victim chained in the rapist’s basement, subject to the rapist’s desires.

      >> Peace will come when two peoples each see the other not only as their enemy but first as human beings and begin to walk together toward a positive relationship…

      Zio-supremacists love to talk about peace, but they always avoid talking about justice and accountability. When will justice and accountability come?

  19. globalconsciousness
    globalconsciousness
    August 29, 2014, 11:19 pm

    Let’s hope that the Palestinians sign on to the ICC and go ahead with it before this becomes a bargaining chip as part of the ceasefire, if it hasn’t already….

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/aug/29/icc-gaza-hague-court-investigate-war-crimes-palestine

  20. Nevada Ned
    Nevada Ned
    August 31, 2014, 2:43 pm

    Excellent article by Jeff Halper, except for the last two words: “or disappear”.
    Israel is not going to disappear. Israel is too strong.

    The just-concluded Gaza Massacre was a military draw for Israel (really a defeat considering how weak the Palestinians are militarily), but a bog political and moral disaster for Israel.

    Now that the Palestinians and their supporters are starting to get out their side of the story, Israel has helped them immensely.

  21. Nevada Ned
    Nevada Ned
    August 31, 2014, 2:44 pm

    Sorry for the typo: a BIG (not bog) political and moral disaster for Israel.

  22. American
    American
    August 31, 2014, 7:47 pm

    Breaking News
    International Criminal Court Prosecutor: ‘Palestine’ Can Join Rome Statute
    Membership Enables Filing War Crimes Charges Against Israel

    “Palestine” is now eligible to join the Rome Statute and file war crimes charges against Israel, the International Criminal Court prosecutor said.

    ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on Aug. 29 wrote an op-ed in the British newspaper The Guardian to answer charges that the ICC has avoided opening an investigation into alleged war crimes in Gaza due to political pressure.

    The Palesitnian Authority sought to join the court in May 2009. After three years of research and analysis, the ICC Prosecutor’s Office determined in April 2012 that since “Palestine” was an “observer entity,” it could not sign on to the Rome Statute.

    Several months later, in November 2012, “Palestine’s status was upgraded in the United Nations to non-member observer state,” which gives it legitimacy to join the Rome Statute, Bensouda told the Guardian.

    Membership in the ICC would grant “Palestine” the right to file war crimes against Israel and Israeli figures with the court.

    “I have made it clear in no uncertain terms that the office of the prosecutor will execute its mandate, without fear or favor, where jurisdiction is established and will vigorously pursue those – irrespective of status or affiliation – who commit mass crimes that shock the conscience of humanity. My office’s approach to Palestine will be no different if the court’s jurisdiction is ever triggered over the situation,” Bensouda wrote.

    ……………. http://forward.com/articles/204914/international-criminal-court-prosecutor-palestine/#ixzz3C120PAo6

  23. tod77
    tod77
    September 1, 2014, 11:39 am

    Am I the only one reading this and thinking that it stretches a bit too far…
    Jeff Halper gives a nice historical recount of a few of the milestones of the conflict, but then somehow reaches conclusions that seem wishful thinking more than anything else.

    “More than 2000 killed in Gaza, another 12,000 injured. Some 20,000 homes destroyed, 475,000 people displaced. Six billion dollars in damage to buildings and infrastructure. And for what? Israel may have finally discovered the limits of force and violence.”

    Israel have discovered the limits of force? Israel??? – right… I can see Netanyahu calling up a press conference to convey that message to the masses… oops, sorry- he announced the expansion of settlements instead…

    “Israel itself will never know security and normal life for all the “blows” it administers the Palestinians, as long as it maintains its Occupation”

    This sentence hides a nice little Hasbara motto. That the Palestinians are depriving Israel of its security and normal life. I hate to break the news, but pretty much most of Israel lived through the war with barely a dent to their lifestyle. Most of Israel lives in a bubble, in calm suburbia, watching the war on high tech TV’s while ordering in pizza or sushi. The war in Gaza is as distant as the war in Iraq. The war was an inconvenience to them (excluding those that live near Gaza), nothing more. And now that the war in Gaza is over, people in Israel can continue to worry about IS, or Iran, or the rising price of housing.

    “At least Abbas seems to have gotten the message”

    Again, nice idea, but does not fit in with the real world. If Netanyahu and Obama beckon, Abbas will come.

    “Israel will either have to deal justly with the Palestinians or, indeed, disappear”

    “disappear” sounds cool, but in the end doesn’t really add up to anything tangible.
    It would take tens of years for the Israeli lobby in the US and Europe to lose its power, BDS will take even longer to be effective and even then Israel would have the option of taking the Iran strategy (Buying time and giving little concessions to shut up world wide criticism). At worst, Israel can always pull off another disengagement…

    Bottom line, I don’t see how there will be “justice” and “accountability” the way things are going.
    A realistic and effective Palestinian (+ rest of world) strategy is needed. And now.

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