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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Why didn't he telephone Hamas?

We're told that new President Barack Obama telephoned Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas yesterday to tell them how committed he was to Middle East peace. Well, one thing yesterday tells us is that Obama is not too committed to democracy. Whether you like the fact or not, Hamas - and not Fateh- won the 2006 Palestinian elections- and as such, can be said to represent the democratic wishes of the Palestinian people.

The Zionist slogan 'Yes to Hummus, No to Hamas' might have a certain ring to it, but there can be no effective Middle East peace-deal which doesn't involve Hamas- the idea that a lasting deal can be stitched up between Tel Aviv and Fateh is naive to say the least. What Obama's actions show is that he, like his predecessors is a Henry Ford democrat. Countries have the right to elect in any colour governments they like, so long as Washington (and in the case of Hamas, Tel Aviv), approves.

If people have the temerity to vote the wrong way- as they did in Palestine in 2006, or in Federal Yugoslavia throughout the 1990s, then their elected representatives will be shunned- and if they still don't toe the line and adopt a suitably servile position, then it's time to build the air-raid shelters.


jock mctrousers said...

"Why didn't he telephone Hamas?"

Maybe the lines are down, or maybe he wasn't sure who was still alive to call, or maybe he got an answerphone message...

Just wait until he starts calling Jeffrey Sachs instead of Gordon Brown. Maybe Jeffrey Sachs will be our next monarch - at least that would mean only one speech a year from him, instead of his being on Thought for the Day' twice a week.

Dan, portsmouth said...

Excellent as usual Neil;
What really make it ridiculous of Obama to call Abbas is the fact that Abbas presidency term has passed on the 9th of January, 11 days before Bush.

Yes, Abbas is no longer a president but a former one .. Just as Bush is a former president.

Hamas announced before they will consider Aziz Dweik, the speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, the interim president until the elections be organized in accordance with law,... where he is now ? IN PRISON.

Yes, Zionist entity state has kidnapped him along with 40 other members of parliament... probably to train them on democracy in prison..

Of course on the day Abbas presidency expired, Palestinians were busy getting burned by phosphorus shells and die with Dime & cluster bombs... they concentrated on saving their children.

Anonymous said...

Hedge funders are rocking the British economy, meanwhile the Chancellor of the British Exchequer is impotent. Is this what happens when your government tentatively pulls away from the "war on terror."
Speaking of terrorists, what about financial terrorists ?


Anonymous said...

'Why didn't he phone Hamas?'

It's a good thing it was Ariel Sharon who said ' We the Jewish people control America and the Americans know it' - can you imagine the state Harry's place would've got in if a 'conspiracy fruit and nut case gentile' had said it.
Good point, Simon, as one time Wally of the Week, Seth Freedman put it, first they come for the short sellers. I wish some fucker would. They're bleeding us dry, destrabilisng our country, of course they're financial terrorists - That's exactly what they are. Soros and currency speculation, remember Black Wednesday.


Chas Newkey-Burden said...

Hitler was elected too.

Paul D said...

I think Jock Mcbreeches is referring to Jonathan Sachs, the Chief Rabbi of the UK. Perhaps someone should check how often he does appear on 'Thought for the Day'. It is not likely to be twice a week.

Perhaps Jock would like to clarify what he means as the rather unpleasant whiff of that irrational mania called 'anti- semitism' seems to be in the air.

I'm sure Jock doesn't really believe that Britain is controlled by the Jews. I sincerely hope not.

Neal said...


Three points:

ONE. While Hamas won a parliamentary election, the government in power in Gaza is not that democratically elected government.

TWO. A political party that advocates genocide, as the Hamas does - and see the group's covenant which is pretty explicit on that point - does not become legitimate by winning an election.

THREE. The Hamas party has walked away from the terms negotiated between Israelis and Arabs for attempting to solve the Arab Israeli dispute. Its position amounts to a major step backwards. So, why should the West support a group that seized power and then turned its back on the terms supposedly agreed upon by Palestinian Arabs - the very points which are, if there is to be an end to the dispute, must be included.

So that this is clear, the Hamas published its proposal to settle the dispute in The Washington Post. The Israelis were to return all land won in the 1967 war and to take in refugees. For that, the Hamas group was wiling to agree to a truce.

A truce does not settle the dispute. And, one Israeli condition for settlement was and is rather clear: the ceding of land will occur only if it means the end of the dispute.

Hence, the world has no imaginable reason to help Hamas. That would be a disaster, which would lead to worse bloodshed because the Israelis are not going to give land only to have the fight continue. No one would do such a thing, other than a fool.

Anonymous said...

Paul D says - 'I'm sure Jock doesn't really believe that Britain is controlled by the Jews. I sincerely hope not.'

Ariel Sharon 'thought' America was, Olmert 'thinks' America still is and Condi Rice is saying nothing. antisemitic or wot!


Anonymous said...

Newkey-Burden "Hitler was elected"

So was Menachim Begin, a terrorist who attacked the King David Hotel which killed 91 people. So was Yitzhak Shamir , leader of the terrorist Stern Gang, remember Lord Moyne or Count Folke Bernadotte. Do you want a full list of democratically elected Israeli terrorists plus explain whic of them tried to get a deal with Nazi Germany against Britain.

Anonymous said...

Henry Siegman - London Review of Books. 29 January 2009.
Israel’s Lies

'Western governments and most of the Western media have accepted a number of Israeli claims justifying the military assault on Gaza: that Hamas consistently violated the six-month truce that Israel observed and then refused to extend it; that Israel therefore had no choice but to destroy Hamas’s capacity to launch missiles into Israeli towns; that Hamas is a terrorist organisation, part of a global jihadi network; and that Israel has acted not only in its own defence but on behalf of an international struggle by Western democracies against this network.

I am not aware of a single major American newspaper, radio station or TV channel whose coverage of the assault on Gaza questions this version of events. Criticism of Israel’s actions, if any (and there has been none from the Bush administration), has focused instead on whether the IDF’s carnage is proportional to the threat it sought to counter, and whether it is taking adequate measures to prevent civilian casualties.

Middle East peacemaking has been smothered in deceptive euphemisms, so let me state bluntly that each of these claims is a lie. Israel, not Hamas, violated the truce: Hamas undertook to stop firing rockets into Israel; in return, Israel was to ease its throttlehold on Gaza. In fact, during the truce, it tightened it further. This was confirmed not only by every neutral international observer and NGO on the scene but by Brigadier General (Res.) Shmuel Zakai, a former commander of the IDF’s Gaza Division. In an interview in Ha’aretz on 22 December, he accused Israel’s government of having made a ‘central error’ during the tahdiyeh, the six-month period of relative truce, by failing ‘to take advantage of the calm to improve, rather than markedly worsen, the economic plight of the Palestinians of the Strip . . . When you create a tahdiyeh, and the economic pressure on the Strip continues,’ General Zakai said, ‘it is obvious that Hamas will try to reach an improved tahdiyeh, and that their way to achieve this is resumed Qassam fire . . . You cannot just land blows, leave the Palestinians in Gaza in the economic distress they’re in, and expect that Hamas will just sit around and do nothing.’

The truce, which began in June last year and was due for renewal in December, required both parties to refrain from violent action against the other. Hamas had to cease its rocket assaults and prevent the firing of rockets by other groups such as Islamic Jihad (even Israel’s intelligence agencies acknowledged this had been implemented with surprising effectiveness), and Israel had to put a stop to its targeted assassinations and military incursions. This understanding was seriously violated on 4 November, when the IDF entered Gaza and killed six members of Hamas. Hamas responded by launching Qassam rockets and Grad missiles. Even so, it offered to extend the truce, but only on condition that Israel ended its blockade. Israel refused. It could have met its obligation to protect its citizens by agreeing to ease the blockade, but it didn’t even try. It cannot be said that Israel launched its assault to protect its citizens from rockets. It did so to protect its right to continue the strangulation of Gaza’s population.

Everyone seems to have forgotten that Hamas declared an end to suicide bombings and rocket fire when it decided to join the Palestinian political process, and largely stuck to it for more than a year. Bush publicly welcomed that decision, citing it as an example of the success of his campaign for democracy in the Middle East. (He had no other success to point to.) When Hamas unexpectedly won the election, Israel and the US immediately sought to delegitimise the result and embraced Mahmoud Abbas, the head of Fatah, who until then had been dismissed by Israel’s leaders as a ‘plucked chicken’. They armed and trained his security forces to overthrow Hamas; and when Hamas – brutally, to be sure – pre-empted this violent attempt to reverse the result of the first honest democratic election in the modern Middle East, Israel and the Bush administration imposed the blockade.

Israel seeks to counter these indisputable facts by maintaining that in withdrawing Israeli settlements from Gaza in 2005, Ariel Sharon gave Hamas the chance to set out on the path to statehood, a chance it refused to take; instead, it transformed Gaza into a launching-pad for firing missiles at Israel’s civilian population. The charge is a lie twice over. First, for all its failings, Hamas brought to Gaza a level of law and order unknown in recent years, and did so without the large sums of money that donors showered on the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority. It eliminated the violent gangs and warlords who terrorised Gaza under Fatah’s rule. Non-observant Muslims, Christians and other minorities have more religious freedom under Hamas rule than they would have in Saudi Arabia, for example, or under many other Arab regimes.

The greater lie is that Sharon’s withdrawal from Gaza was intended as a prelude to further withdrawals and a peace agreement. This is how Sharon’s senior adviser Dov Weisglass, who was also his chief negotiator with the Americans, described the withdrawal from Gaza, in an interview with Ha’aretz in August 2004:

What I effectively agreed to with the Americans was that part of the settlements [i.e. the major settlement blocks on the West Bank] would not be dealt with at all, and the rest will not be dealt with until the Palestinians turn into Finns . . . The significance [of the agreement with the US] is the freezing of the political process. And when you freeze that process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state and you prevent a discussion about the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package that is called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed from our agenda indefinitely. And all this with [President Bush’s] authority and permission . . . and the ratification of both houses of Congress.

Do the Israelis and Americans think that Palestinians don’t read the Israeli papers, or that when they saw what was happening on the West Bank they couldn’t figure out for themselves what Sharon was up to?

Israel’s government would like the world to believe that Hamas launched its Qassam rockets because that is what terrorists do and Hamas is a generic terrorist group. In fact, Hamas is no more a ‘terror organisation’ (Israel’s preferred term) than the Zionist movement was during its struggle for a Jewish homeland. In the late 1930s and 1940s, parties within the Zionist movement resorted to terrorist activities for strategic reasons. According to Benny Morris, it was the Irgun that first targeted civilians. He writes in Righteous Victims that an upsurge of Arab terrorism in 1937 ‘triggered a wave of Irgun bombings against Arab crowds and buses, introducing a new dimension to the conflict’. He also documents atrocities committed during the 1948-49 war by the IDF, admitting in a 2004 interview, published in Ha’aretz, that material released by Israel’s Ministry of Defence showed that ‘there were far more Israeli acts of massacre than I had previously thought . . . In the months of April-May 1948, units of the Haganah were given operational orders that stated explicitly that they were to uproot the villagers, expel them, and destroy the villages themselves.’ In a number of Palestinian villages and towns the IDF carried out organised executions of civilians. Asked by Ha’aretz whether he condemned the ethnic cleansing, Morris replied that he did not:

A Jewish state would not have come into being without the uprooting of 700,000 Palestinians. Therefore it was necessary to uproot them. There was no choice but to expel that population. It was necessary to cleanse the hinterland and cleanse the border areas and cleanse the main roads. It was necessary to cleanse the villages from which our convoys and our settlements were fired on.

In other words, when Jews target and kill innocent civilians to advance their national struggle, they are patriots. When their adversaries do so, they are terrorists.

It is too easy to describe Hamas simply as a ‘terror organisation’. It is a religious nationalist movement that resorts to terrorism, as the Zionist movement did during its struggle for statehood, in the mistaken belief that it is the only way to end an oppressive occupation and bring about a Palestinian state. While Hamas’s ideology formally calls for that state to be established on the ruins of the state of Israel, this doesn’t determine Hamas’s actual policies today any more than the same declaration in the PLO charter determined Fatah’s actions.

These are not the conclusions of an apologist for Hamas but the opinions of the former head of Mossad and Sharon’s national security adviser, Ephraim Halevy. The Hamas leadership has undergone a change ‘right under our very noses’, Halevy wrote recently in Yedioth Ahronoth, by recognising that ‘its ideological goal is not attainable and will not be in the foreseeable future.’ It is now ready and willing to see the establishment of a Palestinian state within the temporary borders of 1967. Halevy noted that while Hamas has not said how ‘temporary’ those borders would be, ‘they know that the moment a Palestinian state is established with their co-operation, they will be obligated to change the rules of the game: they will have to adopt a path that could lead them far from their original ideological goals.’ In an earlier article, Halevy also pointed out the absurdity of linking Hamas to al-Qaida.

In the eyes of al-Qaida, the members of Hamas are perceived as heretics due to their stated desire to participate, even indirectly, in processes of any understandings or agreements with Israel. [The Hamas political bureau chief, Khaled] Mashal’s declaration diametrically contradicts al-Qaida’s approach, and provides Israel with an opportunity, perhaps a historic one, to leverage it for the better.

Why then are Israel’s leaders so determined to destroy Hamas? Because they believe that its leadership, unlike that of Fatah, cannot be intimidated into accepting a peace accord that establishes a Palestinian ‘state’ made up of territorially disconnected entities over which Israel would be able to retain permanent control. Control of the West Bank has been the unwavering objective of Israel’s military, intelligence and political elites since the end of the Six-Day War.[*] They believe that Hamas would not permit such a cantonisation of Palestinian territory, no matter how long the occupation continues. They may be wrong about Abbas and his superannuated cohorts, but they are entirely right about Hamas.

Middle East observers wonder whether Israel’s assault on Hamas will succeed in destroying the organisation or expelling it from Gaza. This is an irrelevant question. If Israel plans to keep control over any future Palestinian entity, it will never find a Palestinian partner, and even if it succeeds in dismantling Hamas, the movement will in time be replaced by a far more radical Palestinian opposition.

If Barack Obama picks a seasoned Middle East envoy who clings to the idea that outsiders should not present their own proposals for a just and sustainable peace agreement, much less press the parties to accept it, but instead leave them to work out their differences, he will assure a future Palestinian resistance far more extreme than Hamas – one likely to be allied with al-Qaida. For the US, Europe and most of the rest of the world, this would be the worst possible outcome. Perhaps some Israelis, including the settler leadership, believe it would serve their purposes, since it would provide the government with a compelling pretext to hold on to all of Palestine. But this is a delusion that would bring about the end of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.

Anthony Cordesman, one of the most reliable military analysts of the Middle East, and a friend of Israel, argued in a 9 January report for the Center for Strategic and International Studies that the tactical advantages of continuing the operation in Gaza were outweighed by the strategic cost – and were probably no greater than any gains Israel may have made early in the war in selective strikes on key Hamas facilities. ‘Has Israel somehow blundered into a steadily escalating war without a clear strategic goal, or at least one it can credibly achieve?’ he asks. ‘Will Israel end in empowering an enemy in political terms that it defeated in tactical terms? Will Israel’s actions seriously damage the US position in the region, any hope of peace, as well as moderate Arab regimes and voices in the process? To be blunt, the answer so far seems to be yes.’ Cordesman concludes that ‘any leader can take a tough stand and claim that tactical gains are a meaningful victory. If this is all that Olmert, Livni and Barak have for an answer, then they have disgraced themselves and damaged their country and their friends.’


jock mctrousers said...

Yes, I meant Jonathan Sachs, the Chief Rabbi. Jeffrey Sachs is someone else, who is roughly ok as I remember.

That Siegelman piece is very thorough but he still seems too concerned about the welfare of Israel and its friends; if you don't want to see the end of a racist state, you're a racist - end of!

Anonymous said...

'Newkey-Burden "Hitler was elected"

So was Menachim Begin, a terrorist who attacked the King David Hotel which killed 91 people. So was Yitzhak Shamir , leader of the terrorist Stern Gang, remember Lord Moyne or Count Folke Bernadotte. '

WHILE George (Dubya) Bush wasnt!


Paul D said...

your last comment is nonsense and indicates a mind not able or willing to argue reasonably and fairly. We all get caught up in emotion but there is such ill considered and dumbass comments that are made on this site and your last comment is a good example. '..end of' indeed is the product of a closed mind which I am afraid is symptomatic these days of the unthinking unreconstructed left.

Tell me what you thought about all those Soviet invasions into the other communist countries of eastern europe. Would you have supported the Hungarians in 56 and the Czechs in 68. Would you have demonstrated against the Soviets in 68 as well as demonstrating against the Americans over Vietnam in 68?

It seems to me people are largely wasting their time in copying and pasting articles and selective information trying to put over their point of view; as people are so stuck in their own particular mindset they are not willing to listen to a contrary argument no matter how reasonably argued.

By the way I am not suggesting mr mcpantaloons that argue reasonably. Your spleen seems very vented with Jew hatred. Why is this? Have you had a bad experience with a Jew?

Siegman is not a mainsteam objective commentator and is another example of someone using someone Jewish who is critical of Israel (and there is nothing wrong with being Jewish and critical of Israel.) Siegman's views are often controversial and can be challenged.

jock mctrousers said...

" mr mcpantaloons ...Your spleen seems very vented with Jew hatred. Why is this? Have you had a bad experience with a Jew? "

Yes, you got it, mate - a jew ate my granny! Grow up!

Anonymous said...

Henry Seigman is director of the US Middle East Project in New York, is a visiting research professor at SOAS, University of London.## He is a former national director of the American Jewish Congress and of the Synagogue Council of America.##

Sounds mainstream to me.


Paul D said...

Jock Mc - "Grow up" ?!!

My goodness! You post outrageous and provocative stuff and don't reply to proper, considered reasoned points made by fair minded,sensible folk like myself.

You won't deny you are motivated by Jew hatred and therefore one will be forced into the conclusion that sadly you are.

In fact, some contributors on here like you, Anonymous Brian and Dan Portsmouth really are quite open about the irrational mania from which they are afflicted and don't seem to care. So you really all are extreme right wing racists when it comes down to it.

You have between you stated that in the event Israel was no longer a state that you couldn't give a toss what happened to the Jewish population in the Middle East - meaning you were in favour of murders and massacres - and this is supposed to be an anti war blog ?!!!

So Mr McJock, I have no idea whether you are Scottish (given your nickname on here.) So in order to bring about a more peaceful world that included removing the Jews from Israel, would you agree that they could all move to Scotland where there is plenty of space to inhabit to set up a new Jewish homeland there?

Paul D said...


The point is that there are any number of people who have written articles who can be cited and cut and pasted onto blogs like this - and what you are getting is not necessarily fair or balanced or objective or even part of the story - and yet people jump onto such articles or excerts from them as if they are quoting established and unquestioned fact.

[Obviously, it is slightly different if the article is a rant or polemic from someone with a specific view point and that is made clear; but mostly it is not].

Now, particularly in the case of the middle east dispute, there is so much ongoing dispute over the facts. You can read different history stories depending on who you are reading. People are often drawn to believe accounts that are more suited to their already pre concived prejudices and that, as it were, fit the bill.

And to that extent quoting long excerpts from articles on the web does not then assist greatly.

Going back to your earlier post on here, it is not fair or reasonable to quote Aerial Sharon as representing the mainstream of Israeli and Jewish opinion. And whilst you may point out he was the prime minister at one point, then so was Margaret Thatcher over here and I suppose you wouldn't claim she necessarily represented overall mainstream opinion during her tenure in office.

Jock McTrousers made an unpleasant comment suggesting the Jewish community in the UK via the Chief Rabbi had a hold on government decisions. He also made an untrue comment that the Chief Rabbi appears on 'Thought for the Day' at least twice a week. This smacks of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and I invite you to distance yourself from such comments of Jock.

Anonymous said...

Paul D afflicted with an irrational attachment to Israel needs to go see a psychiatrist!


Anonymous said...

Paul D says

"Jock McTrousers made an unpleasant comment suggesting the Jewish community in the UK via the Chief Rabbi had a hold on government decisions."

No he didn't but if he had, he'd be on the right of truth. The Zionist Lobby represents a small community actually in the UK, yet is weilding authority and power beyond it's size.

"He also made an untrue comment that the Chief Rabbi appears on 'Thought for the Day' at least twice a week."

Obviously first sign of a progrom, run for the hills!

"This smacks of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and I invite you to distance yourself from such comments of Jock."

You could describe Russian oligarchs as smacking of Elders of Zion, Or American Zionists plotting away for years to attack Iraq, it took them three presidents - instead, you have a go at Jock for cracking jokes at the expense of a vicious zionist lobby.


Anonymous said...

paul D:

'You have between you stated that in the event Israel was no longer a state that you couldn't give a toss what happened to the Jewish population in the Middle East - meaning you were in favour of murders and massacres - and this is supposed to be an anti war blog ?!!!'

The jewish population in the middle mean Israel,BUT as for jews elsewhere in the middle east, the zionist entity showed its concern by bombing them:

'Cruel Zionism'--or The 'Ingathering' of Iraqi Jewry
By David Hirst, Excerpts from his book: The Gun and the Olive Branch, 1977, Futura Publications

It was the last day of Passover, April 1950. In Baghdad, the Jews had spent it strolling along the banks of the Tigris in celebration of the Sea Song. This was an old custom of the oldest Jewish community in the world; the 130,000 Jews of Iraq attributed their origins to Nebuchadnezzar, the destruction of the First Temple and the Babylonian exile. A good 50,000 of them thronged the esplanade. By nine o'clock in the evening the crowds were thinning out. But on Abu Nawwas street young Jewish intellectuals were still gathered in the Dar al-Beida coffee-shop.

Suddenly, the convivial atmosphere was shattered by an explosion. A small bomb, hurled from a passing car, had gone off on the pavement just outside. By chance no one was hurt. But the incident shook the Jewish community, They were convinced that Iraqi extremists wanted to kill them. The fainter-hearted began to murmur 'it is better to go to Israel'. The next day there was a rush to the offices where Jews wishing to renounce their Iraqi citizenship had to present themselves for registration. Their right to emigrate had been officially acknowledged by the government on the foot of Purim a month before. Its object was to prevent emigration by illegal means. As the newspapers had explained, 'the encounters between the police and the emigrant groups showed that some Iraqi Jews do not want to live in this country. Through their fleeing they give a bad name to Iraq. Those who do not wish to live among us have no place here. Let them go.'30 There had been little response. Police officers had appeared at synagogues and explained that all Jews had to do in order to leave Iraq peacefully was to sign the necessary form. But the Jews were afraid that this was a trap to unmask the Zionists among them; and Zionism, under Iraqi law, "was a grievous offence'

'It was not long before a bombshell of a different kind hit the pathetic remnants of Iraqi Jewry. They learned that the three explosions were the work not of Arab extremists, but of the very people who sought to rescue them; of a clandestine organization called 'The Movement', whose leader, 'commander of the Jewish ghettoes in Iraq', had received this letter from Yigal Allon, chief of the Palmach commandos, and subsequently Foreign Minister of Israel:'

So Paul, WHO is concerned about jews in the middle east?

Meanwhile you have zero concern for palestian arabs in Palestine.