Posts Tagged ‘hamas’

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Holy Wars and International Lawlessness

January 26, 2009

alex wAlex W • Operation Itch Contributing Writer header

see all posts from Alex W
From Alex: A video containing my opinions on the relationship between current developments in the Israel-Palestine conflict and the international political climate and the long-lasting negative effects of the rhetoric and false logic used to justify American aggression and war crimes. Visual material is from a variety of different sources; these are current events portrayed in a manner I believe to be consistent with fair use. Update: Barack Obama, immediately following his inauguration, has started to reverse some of the illegal policies of the previous administration, but has not taken a stand against the use of white phosphorus or uranium “bunker busters” in civilian areas.

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Cease Fire, Cease Siege

January 14, 2009

By Kathy Kelly    see more in NEWS & ANALYSIS   header.jpg

Arish, Egypt— Yesterday, en route to the Rafah border crossing that
leads into Gaza, our driver pointed to a long line of trucks laden with
goods that are desperately needed in every area of Gaza. “You see,” he
said, “all of this is to help people.” Generous people, around the
world, want Gazans to have food, shelter, fuel, medicine and water while
the Israeli military ruthlessly attacks their homes and neighborhoods.
The aid shipments will surely save lives and ease affliction.
Nevertheless, this relief will meet only a fraction of the need. What’s
more, the Egyptian government’s recent decision to allow humanitarian
goods into Gaza through the Rafah border crossing, a border over which
they have sovereign control, is a departure from the normal state of
siege that Gazans have endured for most of the past sixteen months.

A friend, Caoihme Butterly, who had lived in Gaza during the period when
the borders were sealed, told me that the limited access to food drove
up the prices for basic foods. “A kilo of lentils cost $4.00, but the
average person lived on less that $2.00 per day. “Gazans don’t want to
live on charity,” said Caoihme, “but the humanitarian provisions become
political. We were campaigning just to have the border open once a week,
but we didn’t succeed.”
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Who and what is Hamas?

January 13, 2009
from The Real News Network       header
see more in NEWS & ANALYSIS   
Eric Margolis: Hamas is more of a threat to corrupt Arab regimes than to Israel


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Norman Finkelstein vs Martin Indyk over Gaza and the “Peace Process” 1/8/09 Democracy NOW!

January 11, 2009

Democracy Now  headersee more in NEWS & ANALYSIS 
The Israeli assault on Gaza is entering its thirteenth day. Some 700 Palestinians have been killed, with many thousands more wounded, and a humanitarian crisis is mounting. Ten Israelis have died, four by friendly fire. A ceasefire has not been reached, and the offensive continues. We host a debate between Martin Indyk, the former US ambassador to Israel and Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs during the Clinton administration, director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution and author of, Innocent Abroad: An Intimate Account of American Peace Diplomacy in the Middle East, and Norman Finkelstein, author of several books, including The Holocaust Industry, Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict and Beyond Chutzpah.
PART 1 of 4

see the rest below the break
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America’s Hidden Role in Hamas’s Rise to Power

January 5, 2009

Stephen Zunes, Alternet.org     more in NEWS & ANALYSIS 

gaza_hamas_demonstrationEditor’s note: In the U.S., the claim that the actions of Hamas forcedIsrael to launch a massive assault on the impoverished population of Gaza is almost universally accepted. But, as scholar Stephen Zunes explains below, the picture of Hamas as an organization of wide-eyed radicalism without electoral legitimacy or the support of a significant portion of the Palestinian population is simplistic. In this important piece, Zunes examines the ways in which Israeli and American policy-makers encouraged the rise of the conservative religious group Hamas in an effort to marginalize secular and leftist elements within the Occupied Territories.

The United States bears much of the blame for the ongoing bloodshed in the Gaza Strip and nearby parts of Israel. Indeed, were it not for misguided Israeli and American policies, Hamas would not be in control of the territory in the first place.

Israel initially encouraged the rise of the Palestinian Islamist movement as a counter to the Palestine Liberation Organization, the secular coalition composed of Fatah and various leftist and other nationalist movements. Beginning in the early 1980s, with generous funding from the U.S.-backed family dictatorship in Saudi Arabia, the antecedents of Hamas began to emerge through the establishment of schools, health care clinics, social service organizations and other entities that stressed an ultraconservative interpretation of Islam, which up to that point had not been very common among the Palestinian population. The hope was that if people spent more time praying in mosques, they would be less prone to enlist in left-wing nationalist movements challenging the Israeli occupation.

While supporters of the secular PLO were denied their own media or right to hold political gatherings, the Israeli occupation authorities allowed radical Islamic groups to hold rallies, publish uncensored newspapers and even have their own radio station. For example, in the occupied Palestinian city of Gaza in 1981, Israeli soldiers — who had shown no hesitation in brutally suppressing peaceful pro-PLO demonstrations — stood by when a group of Islamic extremists attacked and burned a PLO-affiliated health clinic in Gaza for offering family-planning services for women.

Hamas, an acronym for Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya (Islamic Resistance Movement), was founded in 1987 by Sheik Ahmed Yassin, who had been freed from prison when Israel conquered the Gaza Strip 20 years earlier. Israel’s priorities in suppressing Palestinian dissent during this period were revealing: In 1988, Israel forcibly exiled Palestinian activist Mubarak Awad, a Christian pacifist who advocated the use of Gandhian-style resistance to the Israeli occupation and Israeli-Palestinian peace, while allowing Yassin to circulate anti-Jewish hate literature and publicly call for the destruction of Israel by force of arms.

American policy was not much different: Up until 1993, U.S. officials in the consular office in Jerusalem met periodically with Hamas leaders, while they were barred from meeting with anyone from the PLO, including leading moderates within the coalition. This policy continued despite the fact that the PLO had renounced terrorism and unilaterally recognized Israel as far back as 1988.
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Palestine’s Guernica and the Myths of Israeli Victimhood

December 31, 2008

from The Huffington Post     header

 by Mustafa Barghouthi, Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative.  Barghouti is a former secular candidate for President of Palestine and has been a strong advocate of non-violent responses to Israeli occupation. Barghouti is thought by many to be a leading contender in the next Palestinian presidential election. Perspectives have also been solicited from various national leaders and incumbent Knesset leaders in Israel.

Palestine’s Guernica and the Myths of Israeli Victimhood

The Israeli campaign of ‘death from above’ began around 11 am, on Saturday morning, the 27th of December, and stretched straight through the night into this morning. The massacre continues Sunday as I write these words.

The bloodiest single day in Palestine since the War of 1967 is far from over following on Israel’s promised that this is ‘only the beginning’ of their campaign of state terror. At least 290 people have been murdered thus far, but the body count continues to rise at a dramatic pace as more mutilated bodies are pulled from the rubble, previous victims succumb to their wounds and new casualties are created by the minute.

What has and is occurring is nothing short of a war crime, yet the Israeli public relations machine is in full-swing, churning out lies by the minute.

Once and for all it is time to expose the myths that they have created.

1. Israelis have claimed to have ended the occupation of the Gaza Strip in 2005.

While Israel has indeed removed the settlements from the tiny coastal Strip, they have in no way ended the occupation. They remained in control of the borders, the airspace and the waterways of Gaza, and have carried out frequent raids and targeted assassinations since the disengagement.

Furthermore, since 2006 Israel has imposed a comprehensive siege on the Strip. For over two years, Gazans have lived on the edge of starvation and without the most basic necessities of human life, such as cooking or heating oil and basic medications. This siege has already caused a humanitarian catastrophe which has only been exacerbated by the dramatic increase in Israeli military aggression.
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Isreael and Hamas both guilty

December 31, 2008

 

s-gaza-largeHUMAN RIGHTS WATCH • Huffington Post

New York, December 30, 2008 – Israel and Hamas both must respect the prohibition under the laws of war against deliberate and indiscriminate attacks on civilians, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch expressed grave concern about Israeli bombings in Gaza that caused civilian deaths and Palestinian rocket attacks on Israeli civilian areas in violation of international law.

Rocket attacks on Israeli towns by Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups that do not discriminate between civilians and military targets violate the laws of war, while a rising number of the hundreds of Israeli bombings in Gaza since December 27, 2008, appear to be unlawful attacks causing civilian casualties. Additionally, Israel’s severe limitations on the movement of non-military goods and people into and out of Gaza, including fuel and medical supplies, constitutes collective punishment, also in violation of the laws of war.

“Firing rockets into civilian areas with the intent to harm and terrorize Israelis has no justification whatsoever, regardless of Israel’s actions in Gaza,” said Joe Stork, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa division. “At the same time, Israel should not target individuals and institutions in Gaza solely because they are part of the Hamas-run political authority, including ordinary police. Only attacks on military targets are permissible, and only in a manner that minimizes civilian casualties.” Read the rest of this entry ?