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Palestinians Rarely Heard

20 June, 2007

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One day after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas formed an emergency government without rival Hamas, the US and EU have decided to normalize ties with the new cabinet and resume the frozen direct aid.

Bypassing parliament, where Hamas enjoys a comfortable majority, Abbas swore in a new emergency cabinet on June 17 under West-educated economist Salam Fayyad.

The move followed a decision by Abbas to sack the three-month Hamas-led national unity government and declare emergency across the Palestinian territories poised to end its 15-month aid embargo.

The new emergency cabinet does not include any Hamas members.

In Gaza, Hamas, the leading partner in the sacked national unity government, has dismissed the new West Bank-based cabinet an "illegitimate" lackey of Israel and the United States and vowed to continue to hold on to power.

The brutal fighting between Fatah and Hamas drove the Palestinians to the brink of a civil war.

Fatah gunmen ransacked dozens of offices linked to Hamas including charities, an Islamic school and local television in the West Bank in retaliation of Hamas control of Gaza.

Here are some questions
1) How do you see Abbas’s move to sack Hams-led unity government?
2) Why America and EUare supporting Abbas?
3) Is Abbas playing in the hands of America and Israel?
4) Is this a message for Hamas and other resistance movements to end politics of ballots?

Reader Comments:

Carter Blasts US Policy on Palestinians

Former President Jimmy Carter accused the U.S.,
Israel and the European Union on Tuesday of seeking to divide the
Palestinian people by reopening aid to President Mahmoud Abbas' new
government in the West Bank while denying the same to the
Hamas-controlled
Gaza Strip.

Carter, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who was addressing a human rights
conference in Ireland, also said the Bush administration's refusal to
accept
Hamas' 2006 election victory was "criminal."

Carter said Hamas, besides winning a fair and democratic mandate that
should
have entitled it to lead the Palestinian government, had proven itself
to be
far more organized in its political and military showdowns with Abbas'
moderate Fatah movement.

Hamas fighters routed Fatah in their violent takeover of the Gaza Strip
last
week. The split prompted Abbas to dissolve the power- sharing
government
with his rivals in Hamas and set up a Fatah-led administration to
govern the
West Bank.

Carter said the consensus of the U.S., Israel and the EU to start
funneling
aid to Abbas' new government in the West Bank but continue blocking
Hamas in
the Gaza Strip represented an "effort to divide Palestinians into two
peoples."

"All efforts of the international community should be to reconcile the
two,
but there's no effort from the outside to bring the two together," he
said.

The U.S. and European countries cut off the Hamas-led government last
year
because of the Islamic militant group's refusal to renounce violence
and
recognize Israel. They have continued to send humanitarian aid to Gaza
through the United Nations and other organizations.

In the latest crisis, the U.S., Israel and much of the West have been
trying
to shore up Abbas in hopes that the West Bank can be made into a
democratic
example that would bring along Gaza.

During his speech to Ireland's annual Forum on Human Rights, the 83-
year-old former president said monitors from his Carter Center observed
the
2006 election that Hamas won. He said the vote was "orderly and fair"
and
Hamas triumphed, in part, because it was "shrewd in selecting
candidates,"
whereas a divided, corrupt Fatah ran multiple candidates for single
seats.

Far from encouraging Hamas' move into parliamentary politics, Carter
said
the U.S. and Israel, with European Union acquiescence, sought to
subvert the
outcome by shunning Hamas and helping Abbas to keep the reins of
political
and military power.

"That action was criminal," he said in a news conference after his
speech.

"The United States and Israel decided to punish all the people in
Palestine
and did everything they could to deter a compromise between Hamas and
Fatah," he said.

Carter said the U.S. and others supplied the Fatah-controlled security
forces in Gaza with vastly superior weaponry in hopes they would
"conquer
Hamas in Gaza"‹but Hamas routed Fatah in the fighting last week
because of
its "superior skills and discipline."


SHAWN POGATCHNIK, United Kingdom - 20 June, 2007

1. Hamas was not leading a unity government; it is a terriost organization. Abbas had no choice but to protect the west bank.
2. America and Europe and any other sane country will support even a weak and corrupt government against an insane group such as Hamas.
3. Yes
4. No. Hamas would never call for an election now. They are not a resistance movement; they use terror to further their goals. Any nation that votes in terrorists can not complain when the rest of the civilized world does not accept their insane goals and they cannot expect support from the civilized world when they do so.

John Davis, Pakistan - 20 June, 2007

www_sonja-pawlowski_deDog

Re:"Abbas"(French:Abou)"swore in a new emergency cabinet on June 17 under West-educated economist Salam Fayyad"[paktribune.com].
Democratic Hamas teached their children well and is in enhanced and larger Palestine
city[Baghdad] right on track.
In England: The physical corporal punishment and the flogging punishment were again introduced as educational and didactical guideline(as cardinal and main-method of ideal-instruction). See please
my response to "end of edu"; “Marketing-Professor sues myProf.de”[pupils rank Profs].



www.mathematics.mil, Pakistan - 20 June, 2007

Palestinian state hood.

The job will be accomplished if the Palestinians can achieve their decent state hood even through divisive acts or deeds.

It does'nt matter which Palestinian faction, Hamas or Fatah, achieves the goal. Ultimately it will be state for all Palestinians, Hamas included and all Palestinians in nationally reconciled embrace and state hood.

it will be great accomplishment no matter who gets favoured in drive for Palestinian state hood, which is other wise being made so difficult, if not impossible,to achieve.

Anwar Mahmood, Canada - 21 June, 2007

Re: Hamas

Hamas is the new scapegoat of
West's failure in the Middle East.They fought for the rights of all Palestinians,as
compared to Fatah who are an
abject failure.Hamas will not follow the footsteps of Al Qaida nor Taliban.They will have Islamic law that is
acceptable to all Muslims.If the WEST really wants peace in this region.Then she must
remove the blind from her eyes and open the door to Hamas.

Khalid Rahim, Canada - 21 June, 2007

Not for sale

Not for sale

Palestinians won’t accept a Vichy government Occupied Jerusalem, 17 June 2007 -- -The vast bulk of Palestinians, at home and in the Diaspora, will not accept a quisling government in Ramallah that might be at Israel’s beck and call. This is precisely what the Bush administration and Israel expect the new government, headed by Salam Fayyad, to be.
Of course, it is entirely up to Fayyad and his cabinet to prove the falseness of Israeli bedding and American expectations.

Unfortunately, the new government seems to offer a little promise for a better tomorrow for the thoroughly starved, exhausted and tormented Palestinians.
Predictably, the US and Israel have been heaping wholesome praise on the Fayyad government. Moreover, the US and Israel have already signaled their enthusiastic willingness to lift all financial sanctions against the occupied West Bank, apparently to strengthen the Dahlan-Abbas camp against other Palestinians who refuse to be bribed or intimidated into giving in to Israeli insolence and arrogance of power.

The Fayyad Government may be temporarily pleased by the American and Israeli support. However, it should understand that American and Israeli backing is like a poisoned chalice.
Experience proved that in the Middle East any government or faction or organization backed by the US will be reviled by the masses. This is especially true in the occupied Palestinian territories where collaboration with Israel, which controls America’s politics and policies, is seen as ultimate treason.The Palestinian masses know very well what the US symbolize for them, their children and their enduring cause. It symbolizes oppression in its ugliest forms. It symbolizes mass murder, land theft, dispossession, deprivation and ultimate mendacity and hypocrisy. America is the enabler, sustainer and justifier of 40 years of Israeli Nazism whose ultimate goal is the obliteration of Palestinians as a nation, by arrogating their homeland for them and making their future as precarious as possible.
In short, America to the Palestinians is very much like what Nazi Germany was to the Jews. Hence, any government agreeing to throw itself into the American lap will lose its legitimacy if not its very existence. This is probably the reason why Palestinians in the Gaza Strip didn’t fight for Muhammed Dahlan and his men.
During the past 18 months, the US, through people like Keith Dayton, gave us a lot of money and weapons to kill each other in the service of Israel, which doesn’t really distinguish between this or that Palestinian group, as long as they reject the occupation and insist on freedom.

That happened while the US and Israel (and also the hypocritical EU governments) made sure to starve and impoverish ordinary Palestinians in the hope that they would revolt against Hamas and abandon Palestinian aspirations, in return for bread and American money..Yes, America gave us weapons to kill each other, while making sure to starve and torment us, as if the Nazis of our time wanted us to kill and be killed hungry.

These are not allegations or unsubstantiated claims but well-known facts. US officials and media have been openly speaking about igniting civil war in Gaza and the West Bank. Elliot Abrams, who is answerable to AIPAC, even boasted about his success in setting Palestinians against each other.
Unfortunately, President Abbas never bothered to tell the Palestinian people why and for what purpose he was amassing all these American-supplied weapons? Was it because he wanted to fight the Israeli occupation? Or was it to decapitate Hamas in one full swoop when the opportunity arose? And if the latter was the reason, then can we say that Hamas was justified in its preemptive action in Gaza?

Honest Palestinians knew from the very inception what was going on. The writing was on the wall for a long time, and the national apostasy on the part of certain Palestinian leaders was getting starker and starker.

There is no doubt that any close identification of the new government with the Israeli occupier will invite its demise, and that could happen sooner rather than later.

More to the point, it is wrong and misleading to assume that the Fatah movement in its entirety would back a government that says “yes” to Israel and the US.

A government as such would be a treacherous government, a quisling entity.
Therefore, the new government should watch its steps very carefully and refrain from reaching any agreement with the Zionist regime that could compromise our national rights..This is not a matter of Fatah vs. Hamas. This is a matter of Palestine and Palestine is not for sale.




saladeen rumi, Pakistan - 21 June, 2007

Israel Mustn't Be Recognized in the World Community

For all of the smoke screens the Bush administration has failed at for all the exlcusion of the existence of Palestine we all must take a stand at de-ligitimizing israel. israel was founded on bloodshed and illegal landgrabs. It is a racist movement much like Hitler's incussions into Europe. There is no israel! We all must think this way. It must be dismantled. Refuse any trade from israel, refuse anyone with an israeli passport entry into your country, stores or business. We must turn our backs on israel forever or until it gives back what it has illegally stolen. Even in the Torah forbids the Hebrews from having a jewish state. israel is a falsehood. It claims to be a democracy but we all know the truth. US politicians will never take a stand against israel as long as they are in office or running for office because the of the israeli lobbyist's power to destroy and discredit anyone's livelihood if they speak against israel. We all witnessed the democratic process take place and the Bush administration has refused to acknowledge this process which it so praises it seeks to spread. BUSH IS A LIAR AND CRIMINAL.

Charlie Worthington, Turks And Caicos Islands - 22 June, 2007

Male Violence with racist Scapegoats

The West Bank and Gaza are in disarray, constitutional chaos, contradicting authorities and cross accusations. Yet, as the tensions in the streets simmer down, the most surprising thing is that anybody out there in the world can be surprised at all. The foundations of what has happened in Gaza and the West Bank in the last weeks were laid long ago – and it was the Israeli occupation and the US and Europe who were the chief architects.

The question where the responsibility lies, with Hamas or Fatah, is thus utterly out of place. The real plotters of the current situation are Israel, the US and Europe.


The latest round started almost one and a half years ago when the Palestinian people voted in the elections for the legislative council against the party the Occupation and the international community expected them to vote for. The aims of the West and the occupation were immediately clear: Palestinian democracy (which miraculously worked even under conditions of brutal occupation) had to be destroyed and Hamas was not to be governing the PA, whatever the movement might state or compromise on. The plans to get there might have developed only over the following months.

Almost instantly, sanctions have been imposed on the Palestinian people. They should have been starved until they revolt against the forces they had just elected. The scheme – evidently – didn’t work out as Palestinians never fought for bread but for their rights and have never been willing to exchange the UN sacks of wheat with the right to return to their homes and statehood. To instigate the revolt, strikes of the public services have been organized by the Fatah movement asking for salaries. Yet, it was evident that the strikes were not coming from the people, who had just voted Fatah out of power because of the political and financial corruption many leaders of the movement are considered to have succumbed to. The strikes had thus no relevant impact on the political set up. They had one affect: after months of all PNA offices being completely paralyzed and life going on as usual, dictated by the Occupation’s random rules, it became clear that the PNA is not governing anything and in practical terms is a completely redundant body.

But behind the scenes more hideous and sophisticated plans have been developed that furthermore aim to use the current Palestinian political set up to achieve the overall aims of Israel: the substitution of the two-state solution with a Bantustan rule for Palestinians divided into 4 major ghettos on not more than 12 % of historic Palestine, each of them separated from the other.

The first steps towards this reality had already been undertaken during the Oslo period. Gaza has been completely isolated from the West Bank and increasingly from the rest of the world. The redeployment from Gaza in August 2005 has further evidenced the Zionist scheme of a complete division between the West Bank (or what will remain from it) and the open air prison to which Gaza has been transformed.

Gaza has become a veritable laboratory for the West Bank. Slowly even the 50 % of the West Bank – not much more than the Palestinian built up areas – that are to become the three ghettos surrounded by the Apartheid Wall are isolated from each other and from the rest of the world. Recent announcements that soon access to the southern ghetto including Bethlehem and Hebron will be regulated by a separated visa are further underlining the institutional process that is going hand in hand with the facts created on the ground.

The results of the Palestinian elections had little or no effect on this “unilateral disengagement” or Bantustanization of Palestine. They evidently put in doubt the possibility for the occupation to have a malleable Palestinian leadership willing to reign peacefully over the ghettos. Yet, they opened the way for a vicious plan to disband a unified Palestinian National Authority that in the case of the Bantustanization of Palestine would have been more of hindrance than of use.

SALAAM!

Shokat Saleem, Georgia - 24 June, 2007

Brothers-in-Arms

Contrary to the many claims that the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip represents the failure of US and Israeli policies in Palestine, the violent civil infighting that has dominated the Gaza Strip over much of the last year and a half and that led directly to the Hamas coup of June 2007, marks yet another major foreign policy victory for the occupiers. Hamas will never be allowed to remain in power in Gaza so we must fear for the future of that tiny, desperately overcrowded strip of land and its 1.4 million inhabitants; additionally, Abbas--in order to maintain his role as "Good Guy"- will have to accede to the dictates of Israel and the United States or suffer the same fate as his predecessor, Yassir Arafat.

Western nations are standing by in silence as the deadly siege of Gaza and the dismemberment of the West Bank continue unabated. What we are witnessing in full view each day are unprecedented steps taken by the world's only superpower and its favorite client state, Israel, to ensure the death of a nation. While friction between the two key political factions in the occupied Palestinian territories has long undermined the smooth functioning of internal affairs, it was the direct, cynical involvement of US and Israeli policy-makers in these affairs that guaranteed the breakdown of internal stability and paved the way for the Hamas "coup" in Gaza.

Watching the barbarous killing between brothers in Gaza, a power struggle between rival factions seething in frenzy like the great prison in which they thrive, Israeli and American political analysts can rest their cases with confidence. Across the spectrum of debate, these experts can expect vindication by the media juries who, in sanctimonious indignation at the brutality meted out by partisans of Fatah or Hamas, have assembled all the "evidence" they need to justify our righteous war against Muslim-Arab terrorists and their internecine blood feuds.

RUMI KHAN, Pakistan - 25 June, 2007

We have come full circle

We have come full circle. The PLO tried to kill King Jordan their host, his reward for giving them refuge. The king kicked them out and thus they ended up in Southern Lebanon. Once there, their atrocities against the peaceful Shia Muslims of Southern Lebanon and the atrocities of the Israeli army that invaded and occupied Southern Lebanon gave rise to Hezbollah. Lead by sincere and courageous leaders and followed by sincere and courageous followers, Hezbollah became powerful. They defeated Shia Amal, the Druz, Mennonite Christians phelangists, and kicked Israel out of Lebanon and although they paid a heavy price last year they taught the Israeli army a lesson that they will not forget. Now the Hezbollah is knocking on the door of the Lebanese government.

The corrupt PLO was thrown out of Lebanon, and eventually returned to Palestine via Tunisia. One of their first acts upon returning was to establish nightclubs. They proceeded to exploit their very own people for financial gain. This gave rise to Hamas. Many of their leaders had spent many long years on top of a hill in Southern Lebanon in a refugee camp and learned from the people there the power of sincerity and courage. The PLO was a major reactionary cause behind the formation of Hezbollah and ironically later the same for Hamas. We have come full circle.

Even starving in Gaza the Hamas leaders are not the ones quivering in their boots. The well funded corrupt PLO’s Fatah leaders are the ones quivering in their boots. If Hamas keeps following the example of Hezbollah the West Bank will be next. We can debate if they are both terrorist organizations or not but it can not be denied that both are a grass root movement of people fed up with atrocities and persecution and are very sincere to their cause. We also know that the terrorists, if that is what you call them, of yesterday become the political leaders of tomorrow. Case in point the Irish Republican Army’s Shin Fein.

What will be the next chapter in the book of Hamas?


Yaqub Ehsan, Pakistan - 26 June, 2007

Was there ever a Palestinian Nation?

Was there ever a Palestinian 'nation'?

Palestinians lack true national identity as theirs mostly characterized by
hatred towards Israel

Ofir Haivry

The growing political and cultural rift between the Arabs of the Gaza Strip
and those residing in Judea and Samaria has stirred debate about the
possibility of establishing two separate political entities and the future
of Palestinian nationalism in general. Yet perhaps we should be asking
whether there ever really was a Palestinian "nation"?

In many places in the world, arbitrary borders set by colonialist powers
define a "nation" that do not exist in practice. Is there such thing as a
Sudanese "nation" or Iraqi "nation"? Or are we talking about a collection of
tribes, groups, and even nations possessing vastly different ways of life,
religions, and values that has been gathered together by chance and who are
paying a bloody price for this to this very day?

The borders of British Mandatory Palestine too were set, just like the case
with its neighbors, on the basis of colonial interests. In many areas, the
border was drawn in a rather random manner. Had it been performed a little
differently, would the Arabs of Marjayoun in southern Lebanon become
Palestinian? Would the Arabs of Tarshiha in the Galilee be Lebanese? Are
residents of Trans-Jordan, which was initially part of Mandatory Palestine
and a few years later became the Kingdom of Jordan, Palestinian or
Jordanian?

During the less than 30 years of the existence of this Mandate, from which
the Palestinians draw their name, no significant indications were to be
found of a united national identity of their own. The leader of Mandate
Arabs was the Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini, who viewed himself as a pan-Arabic
leader, imposed his rule through the persecution and assassination of his
rivals, and headed a loose alliance of clans, tribes, and local interests
that were mostly united by hatred towards the Jews, and to a lesser extent
towards the British.

Illusion of national identity

Hence, in the bloody clashes of 1936-1939, where the Arabs seemingly fought
the British (and of course massacred the Jews,) more people were killed in
intra-Arab violence than at the hands of the British. Similarly, in
1947-1949, the Arabs fought against the establishment of the Jewish state in
a disorganized and separate manner, in various locations, such as the
Jerusalem mountains, the Galilee, Jaffa, and so forth.

Following the Mandate's end, it is even more difficult to find a united
national activity or perception, aside from the hatred of Israel. Under
Egyptian rule in Gaza and Jordanian rule in Judea and Samaria, there were
neither substantial cultural development attempts nor national activity or a
demand for the establishment of a state in those areas. The only objective
that aroused support and stirred activity - and saw the establishment of
Fatah and PLO to that end - was the establishment of an Arab country in
place of Israel.

After 1967, the unification under Israeli rule created an illusion of
national identity. Yet the characteristics of Arafat's leadership replicated
those of the Mufti - one-man rule focused on hostility to Israel, and based
on regional and clan calculations alongside the persecution and
assassination of rivals.

Arafat's death and Israel's withdrawal from Arab population centers revealed
that forced unification and hostility towards Israel are apparently the only
characteristics of the Palestinian "nation." Perhaps when a state existing
within superficial borders has been in place for a long period of time,
there is a point in maintaining it without genuine national identity. Yet
Mandatory Palestine ceased to exist about 60 years ago and hatred towards
Israel is no substitute for national identity.

This conclusion should prompt us to ask new questions regarding the
conflict's essence, ways of addressing it, and possible objectives.

Shokat Saleem, Georgia - 02 July, 2007

I worked with Israelis and Jews - nothing personnel!

Working with common Law Govt and Arab sheiks emirs and UN is itself illicit.Bible Torah and Quran cannot be undersold.

be Zee, Canada - 09 July, 2007

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