Thursday, 1 November 2007

Sensible & Perceptive Views on the Hell that is Gaza

I came across this interview just this morning. It is so perceptive and sensible that I am quoting it verbatim (though edited by me to be more concise).
Gaza is being slowly and (in all likelihood) fatally suffocated to death.


  • doesn’t want the Gaza Strip (or at least its people)
  • is constrained by international public opinion such that it cannot just brazenly carry out genocide or ethnic cleansing; and therefore
  • has to find ways to do what it wants - get rid of the Gazan people - by piecemeal sadism that doesn’t focus the world media’s attention.
  • The gratuitous savagery of the siege on Gaza would have taken place whether or not Hamas had come to power.
  • That it has, however, is a gift to the Israelis seeking pretexts - in combination with a well-oiled propaganda machine - for the continued strangulation and starvation of an entire people.

I don’t know when it will stop - or if it will stop.
What I fear is an international event of such magnitude that attention will be focused elsewhere allowing Israeli brutality much freer reign than it already has.

In that case, God help the people living there.
Realize, however, that under the present circumstances - and in line with Zionist/Israeli history since 1947-48- Israel has no intention of allowing a viable, territorially contiguous Palestinian state.
Had this ever been a real goal, it could have been brought about 60 years ago.

On the forthcoming Annapolis 'Peace Conference':

  • It’s a pitiful and belated attempt by the United States to “get serious” about this issue as Iran rises in regional strength - and at precisely the time when Iraq is draining the US of its financial, human, military and political resources.
  • Iran knows this and is supremely self-confident just now because it understands that the costs to the US of a strike on Iranian nuclear facilities would be so high as to change the course of Middle East history on the spot.
  • The same would be true of an Israeli (proxy) strike on Iran - it would boomerang back onto Israel and, by association, onto the US.
  • We just have to hope that the Madmen in the Bush administration aren’t planning to go out of power in some inglorious inferno.

Q: As we now know, the United States has been pressuring Palestinian President Abbas to include Mohammed Dahlan in the regime. What is your opinion on this?

  • Dahlan has made it clear that he is willing to be a strongman for the US and to do its bidding.
  • His coming to power would almost guarantee that any attempts by Fatah and Hamas to begin working toward conciliation would be ruined.
  • This is one of Israel’s and the US’ goals - and probably also of other regional players, including Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia - all of whom fear the rise of Hamas or of the “Islamic” element in Palestinian politics.
  • Such an element only strengthens the Iran-Syrian-Hizbullah-Hamas fault line and would empower Islamist groups within these countries to begin seriously to contend for power.
  • There are some complex issues at hand here, however:
    first, Hamas is doing a terrible job in Gaza and is losing popular support.
    It could thereby indirectly aid Fatah in its attempt to rid Gaza of the Hamas leadership.
  • This would make negotiating with Fatah the only viable solution for Israel and the US (just what they’d like but without the problem of Hamas in the background) and right now
  • Fatah’s leaders look ready to sell Palestine to the Israeli buyers for nothing and without much remorse. They’d remain the nominal leaders of “Palestine” with all the external trappings of power, and we’d simply have to hope for yet another popular uprising.
  • It’s just such a horrible thing to contemplate when you understand the physical, emotional, economic and social exhaustion of this people.
  • On the other hand, Abbas probably understands that if he gives Israel what it wants at the upcoming summit (or whatever it’s been called recently) that he, too, will lose all popular support.
  • The Palestine National Movement has been transformed over the past seven years or more.
  • In the past six months it has been severely weakened because of the open split between Hamas and Fatah.
  • In the next six months to two years it will either die altogether - to the quiet applause of the Israelis - or it will be reborn in another form or forms and we won’t know what the long-term outcome will be for some time.

I don’t know what it will take for people on this side of the Mediterranean/Atlantic to understand that Israel is systematically destroying an entire people and its quest for national self-determination.

It’s happening before our eyes each day - and in the most unspeakable ways - but barely gets any notice at all.

Until there is a political shift here in the US my own mood will remain one of profound cynicism.

That said, there are some signs of a “sea change” at the popular level here [in the US], however, and this keeps me going.
This is my edited version of an interview, published by Steve Amsel at DesertPeace and originally, by Kris Petersen, who asked the questions, of:
Jennifer Loewenstein:

  • Associate Director of the Middle East Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
  • She recently completed a year as Visiting Research Fellow at Oxford University's Refugee Studies Program where she began work on a book dealing with resistance and the rise of Islam in Palestine and Lebanon.
  • Jennifer is a freelance journalist, human rights activist and founder of the Madison-Rafah Sister City Project.
  • She has lived in Beirut, Jerusalem and Gaza City and has traveled extensively throughout the region.
  • Her articles have appeared in books and journals such as The New Intifada by Roane Carey, ed; Searching Jenin, by Ramzy Baroud; the Journal of Palestine Studies, the Forced Migration Review and the CounterPunch newsletter.
  • Jennifer lives with her husband and daughter in Madison, Wisconsin.

But Jennifer's very name - Loewenstein- gives the game away.

She is, very obviously, a:

  • Zionist world-dominating conspirator
  • Islamo-Fascist world-dominating conspirator
  • or a thoughtful good American (as opposed to 'good American'), demonstrating, and upholding the very values we EuroTrash thought the US had lost about two decades ago.


Me said...

I became interested in the Palestinian/Israeli issue in the early 80's. I joined the Arab-American Anti-Defamation League and attended a conference in Washington. At a question and answer session with a Russian gov. official a Jewish peace activist who was writing for the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs at the time asked only one question which was "Why wasn't Russia letting more Refuniks immigrate to Israel?" This story sums up my attitude toward enlightened Jewish peacemakers.

Richard Parker said...

You´ve left me hanging. I can imagine the story, but details would help to fill out my knowledge of this whole episode.

Why don't you write a story about that conference, and your experience and feelings?

I will publish it here(perhaps edited a bit, but not to take away the essence).

My weblog is based on small personal stories of my own experience; I hope that others can contribute their stories, on the same basis.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful blog you have here, Richard. I happened to catch your comment on DesertPeace and followed the link.

Me said...

I'm flattered that you would like me to write about my experience but honestly it's been over twenty years ago and I can't even remember the woman's name. The long and short of it is that the vast majority of Jewish peace activists are interested in a peace that is tailored to Israeli interest only when they are interested in peace at all. This is a bit cynical but I think the lack of progress supports this view.