The Palestinian authorities in the West Bank and Gaza are arresting, abusing, and criminally charging journalists and activists who express peaceful criticism of the authorities. The crackdown directly violates obligations that Palestine recently assumed in ratifying international treaties protecting free speech.
The question – who will succeed Mahmoud Abbas as Palestinian President- has long been high on the agenda with no clearer resolution as time passes. As no arrangement seems to have been made, chaos may follow, unless Marwan Barghouti is released.
The purpose of this article by Jonathan Schanzer for the right-wing Foundation for Defense of Democracies is to show that the failure to reach an agreement on a Palestinian state is entirely due to Hamas. The reason for posting it here is to ensure we know the range of views on why the conflict seems to have no end.
From a platform at the national security conference far-right minister Naftali Bennett attacked the Netanyahu-Ya’alon couple who dominate the cabinet and security policy – which in his view is lodged in the past and cannot deal with new threats.
IN its now familiar flamboyant style Isil has declared it will ‘uproot’ the unIslamic tyrants of Gaza, i.e. Hamas, and has bombed several of their cars. The result is likely to be increased political intolerance in the Strip
Netanyahu’s messages about ISIL are confused. One day he says Hamas, fighting for national independence, and ISIL, fighting for national independence to be submerged in an international caliphate, are indistinguishable. On another he hopes that a focus on ISIL will bring a new alliance between Israel and Sunni states (against Iran) – overlooking the fact that this is dependent on his making an acceptable deal with Palestinians. Analysis by Gershom Gorenberg.
Again, a senior officer in the IDF, Major-General Sami Turgeman of Southern Command, ignores the political rhetoric about the evil of Hamas to assert that Hamas, like Israel, wants calm, growth, prosperity – and that it’s better for Hamas to govern Gaza than either the IDF or ISIL.
Enough is enough. There were significant protests by young people against the rule of Hamas in Gaza this week. The police responded with violence – which, by historical criteria, is unlikely to silence the anger. There is too little information to say more but the fact of popular anger against conditions in Gaza, and that the young blame Hamas, is worthy of note.
The unforeseen consequence of attacks on Gaza, last summer’s in particular, is that they enabled Hamas’ military wing , and its priorities (building new tunnels) , to become dominant. If the first casualty is the Hamas political leadership the second is the homeless of Gaza.
This summer round-robin sent to a hastily-assembled Hollywood tribe – subject, ‘Is the Gaza war really over’- would be comical were it not for the serious intent of the sender, the pro-Israeli Hollywood media mogul Ryan Kavanaugh. His argument rests wholly on how horrible Hamas is. His point is?
David Shulman looks at five accounts of Gaza based on factual testimony and history. In contrast, Israelis live in a largely mythic world, a simplified version of the Iliad in which Israelis are innocent victims of dark, irrational forces, heroic death in war always makes sense, and violent coercion is the option of necessity and of choice.
This is a more sceptical view on whether or not the Palestinian Unity Government, led by President Abbas, will actually be able to exercise control over Gaza and the Rafah crossing. But the writers in this WSJ article point to the pressure Palestinians are putting on Hamas for evidence, including reconstruction, of achievement in the resistance to Israel.
We return to the subject of the Hannibal directive because, after days on insisting Lieut. Golding had been captured and/or killed by Hamas, several officers have talked openly to Ynet about their ‘Hannibal operation’. Golding’s death was better than the fear Hamas exercised over the Israeli public by holding Gilad Shalit a prisoner for many years. Richard Silverstein continues the revelation.
Radical Islamism has been boosted by the turn against Hamas by Arab states. Linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas is now cast as the disruptive force in most Arab countries, thus accepting the Israeli version of its attack on Gaza. Where Palestine once united Arab states it now adds to the divisions writes Maged Mandour.
Still in 1999 there was a vigorous peace camp in Israel. Since the 2nd intifada it has diminished to a dedicated, and unpopular, core abandoned by the centre ground for various reasons including the belief that Hamas does not want peace. Despite David Grossman’s pleas, says Mazal Mualem, the middle ground is set against Hamas, and peace.
Serious proposals from Jimmy Carter, former US President, and Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and UN Commissioner for Human Rights. As they say, ending this war in Gaza begins with recognizing Hamas as a legitimate political actor; the international community’s initial goal should be the full restoration of the free movement of people and goods to and from Gaza through Israel, Egypt, and the sea – and more…
In first of three articles, Meredith Tax looks at the symbiotic relationship of the Israeli fundamentalists to their counterparts in Hamas. “Israel’s destruction of Gaza helps keep the Muslim Right in power in Gaza; Hamas’s rockets strengthen the hold of the Right in Israel.” New voices and analyses are urgently needed and thoughts on these will appear in Tax’s follow-ups.
The IDF claim last month that it had intercepted a ship carrying weapons for Hamas, or another terrorist group in Gaza, received wide publicity – and some scepticism. Now military analysts suspect the destination was more likely to have been a jihadist group in Sinai, which the IDF knew at the time. Hamas has been a force for stability in the region – but it is losing income, allies and power.
It seems that anything other than treating Gaza, the place, its people, its government, as an irredeemable pariah is regarded by Israel’s defence elite as the soft face of terrorism. Thus the Council for European Palestinian Relations, a non-secretive NGO with the aim of organizing visits to the oPt by European policy-makers, has been ‘outlawed’ by Israel’s defence minister making its funds liable to seizure and officers liable to arrest in Israel.
As B’Tselem points out when issuing new statistics, the death penalty is not banned under international law. However it is regarded as such an egregiously cruel punishment that it is an absolute requirement on any court which issues this punishment that it is punctilious about due process. Neither the Fatah nor Hamas governments observe this due process. Because Hamas sees itself as in a state of war it condemns ‘collaborators’ to a traitor’s death.