Gaza, The case for Middle East Peace – WEF

 

It is rare that you can see history happening. The above webcast meeting does more to explain the cuurent situation than reading 10 000 articles. It is a first class primer on body language. It is over an hour long but  if you have not seen it watch it all the way through.

It begins with Secretary General Ban Ki Moon describing the situation now in Gaza. Then it goes on to Prime Minister Reecip Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, then there is Secretary General Amre Moussa of the League of Arab States and last but not least was President Shimon Peres of Israel.

I got the impression that PM Erdogan spoke from the heart. He discusses various things, interestingly he slips in a little detail about being kept waiting with his wife coming into Israel from having been in Ramallah. A lot of the details he describes how he has proposed and try to deliver aid to Gaza. The other hot button issue for Erdogan is the treatment of Hamas as a political party. Erdogan has been attacked for his Islamist views and threatened with life bans from Turkish politics because of it.  Erdogan’s bona fides are out there, he has helped Israel in the past and he is helping negotiations with Syria. 

Amri Moussa spoke in English like a true diplomat, this was the first time I have heard him speak and put his point of view across. He sort of warns Israel that they have to make peace this year or else. He made the telling quip that he knew that Peres would speak last and the longest.

Then comes President Shimon Peres. He sounded like he was at Jewish fund raiser, it was almost a rote speech. He pulled out the Hamas charter etc. He did not even try to apologise for keeping the Prime Minister waiting at the border. Peres does reveal the double standard, for Palestine, only Abbas is allowed to speak, but for Israel, Olmert needs the permission of  Knesset.

Erdogan trys for a rebuttal of Peres but is cut short. I do feel that Erdogan should have five minutes but the fix was in, the takeaway message was supposed to be that of Israel. With Erdogan’s walkout, everybody remembers him and then they want to know what he said. (All of this is immaterial in the age of the internet since the meeting can be intensely scrutinised. )

Israel, if you want repair relations with Erdogan then

  • Apologise for the wait
  • Do not keep any Turkish aid to Gaza waiting, expedite if necessary.
  • Release the women and children you hold as a gesture of good faith.

For any Pro-Israelis out there, at the end of the day Israel can do what it likes but time is against it. Don’t  blinded by the rhetoric, watch what your government actuallydoes and decide what you want for your children.

Spot the cheese-eating Surrender Monkeys

 

From the Brisbane Times

 

Israeli troops halted a diplomatic convoy carrying France’s consul general Alain Remy at the Erez crossing on Tuesday and held it for six hours as it left the Gaza Strip and returned to Jerusalem, the foreign ministry said.

“The convoy, which included other European diplomats, was subject to two warning shots from Israeli soldiers,” ministry spokesman Eric Chevallier told reporters.

Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner summoned Israeli Ambassador Daniel Shek “to protest this unacceptable incident and demand an explanation,” he said.

 

Cheese-eating Surrender Monkey?

Cheese-eating Surrender Monkey?

 

If Europe would like to hint to Israel about who has the power all they have to do announce an audit of money transfers to Israel over suspicion of money laundering in regard drug trafficking and hold them up for 3 months, after all this is what the Israelis have done to the Palestinians. According the CIA World book in regard to illicit drugs -” increasingly concerned about ecstasy, cocaine, and heroin abuse; drugs arrive in country from Lebanon and, increasingly, from Jordan; money-laundering center.”

Will this happen?

Prince Karel Schwartzenberg Zionist Prince

Prince Karel Schwartzenberg "Zionist Prince"

The current President of the EU Karel Schwarzenberg has been described as a “Friend of Israel, a Zionist Prince.” From Haaretz

Does Hamas only attack civilian sites?

From Debka.com, an Israeli website with disputed provenance.

Hamas wartime rockets missed US anti-Iranian missile radar near Beersheba

DEBKA-Net-Weekly Exclusive Report

January 26, 2009, 10:59 AM (GMT+02:00)

Advanced US X-band radar station installed in Negev  

Advanced US X-band radar station installed in Negev

Following orders from Tehran, the Palestinian Hamas used the cover of the 22-day Gaza conflict to aim rockets at the American Forward-Based X-band Transportable (FBX-T) anti-missile radar system lodged at Israel’s big Nevatim air base east of the Negev capital Beersheba, DEBKA-Net-Weekly disclosed last week. Destruction of the FBX-T, which was installed last November to intercept incoming Iranian Shehab-3 ballistic missiles, would have crowned Hamas’ offensive with success.

Jan. 18, two days before joining Israel’s unilateral ceasefire, Hamas tried to hit the American facility with a salvo of 3 Grad rockets. They missed their aim, landing on empty ground west of Beersheba, without triggering the city’s siren. The windy conditions that day may have spoiled their aim.

Our military sources reveal that the American X-band radar, which can track the path of any missile fired in the Middle East, worked hard during Operation Cast Lead, feeding the Israeli command with accurate advance information on the missiles and rockets aimed from Gaza at southern Israel and their trajectories.

It also tracked the rockets fired at Nahariya and Kiryat Shemona from Lebanon and kept watch for possible missile action from Syria and Iran.

But the American radar facility at Nevatim also kept Washington abreast of Israel’s aerial, naval and missile activity in the course of the conflict. It was the first time the US knew what was going on in an Israel-Arab battle arena without recourse to outside electronic tracking devices.

Hamas vs Likud

A hat-tip to “b” at Moon of Alabama.
It is not -Can Hamas be trusted?

It is can –

    Can Israel be trusted?

From the Likud party platform. hosted at the Israeli Knesset web site.

The Palestinians

Declaration of a State
A unilateral Palestinian declaration of the establishment of a Palestinian state will constitute a fundamental and substantive violation of the agreements with the State of Israel and the scuttling of the Oslo and Wye accords. The government will adopt immediate stringent measures in the event of such a declaration.

Settlements

The Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are the realization of Zionist values. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel. The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting.

Wait there is more

Self-Rule

The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river.

The Palestinians can run their lives freely in the framework of self-rule, but not as an independent and sovereign state. Thus, for example, in matters of foreign affairs, security, immigration and ecology, their activity shall be limited in accordance with imperatives of Israel’s existence, security and national needs.

Kadima seems to look like Likud Lite. Is there any political party in Israel that has said it will give up  the (illegal) settlements in the West Bank?

 

Senator George Mitchell

Senator George Mitchell

 

 

 

So when President Obama sends Senator George Mitchell to negotiate, Senator MItchell is off to deal with one side that will not make any concessions. So unless Senator Mitchell can stop the check for Israel, he is going to fail. Of course George may simply be the polite negotiator. The next one that President Obama sends that is going to be the bad news.

On the Wrong Side of History -Uri Avnery

As somebody who was on the wrong side of history (Rhodesia) I have to recommend this article by Uri Avnery published by Counterpunch

Of all the beautiful phrases in Barack Obama’s inauguration speech, these are the words that stuck in my mind: “You are on the wrong side of history.”

He was talking about the tyrannical regimes of the world. But we, too, should ponder these words

In the last few days I have heard a lot of declarations from Ehud Barak, Tzipi Livni, Binyamin Netanyahu and Ehud Olmert. And every time, these eight words came back to haunt me: “You are on the wrong side of history!”

Uri goes on to point out how President Obama is different to his predecessors and how his words are different –

The first signs are small. In his inaugural speech, Obama proclaimed that “We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and nonbelievers.” Since when? Since when do the Muslims precede the Jews? What has happened to the “Judeo-Christian Heritage”?

Uri then points out how war is changing the politics of Israel, moving it to the right and identified the true political winner of the Gaza disaster.

Avigdor Lieberman

Avigdor Lieberman

The real victor of the war is a man who had no part in it at all: Avigdor Liberman. His party, which in any normal country would be called fascist, is steadily rising in the polls. Why? Liberman looks and sounds like an Israeli Mussolini, he is an unbridled Arab-hater, a man of the most brutal force. Compared to him, even Netanyahu looks like a softie. A large part of the young generation, nurtured on years of occupation, killing and destruction, after two atrocious wars, considers him a worthy leader.

Uri procedes to warn that the Israeli political leadership is getting out of synch with the people (including American jewry) of America and the rest of the world and reminds Israel that it cannot stand without the USA.

Then he ends

YES, WE ARE NOW on the wrong side of history.

Fortunately, there is also another Israel. It is not in the limelight, and its voice is heard only by those who listen out for it. This is a sane, rational Israel, with its face to the future, to progress and peace. In these coming elections, its voice will barely be heard, because all the old parties are standing with their two feet squarely in the world of yesterday.

But what has happened in the United States will have a profound influence on what happens in Israel. The huge majority of Israelis know that we cannot exist without close ties with the US. Obama is now the leader of the world, and we live in this world. When he promises to work “aggressively” for peace between us and the Palestinians, that is a marching order for us.

We want to be on the right side of history. That will take months or years, but I am sure that we shall get there. The time to start is now.

Please read the original article.

PS, Don’t shoot me. I am just quoting Uri Avnery in regard to Mr Lieberman. Google Mr Lieberman if you think Uri is being harsh and make your own judgement.

Uri Avnery on ABC National Breakfast Radio

Uri Avnery

Uri Avnery

Uri Avnery 16 Jan 2009

 

Moshe Halbertal

Moshe Halbertal

 

On the following Monday 19 Jan 2009 – Moshe Halbertal, Professor of Philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

On Tuesday 20 Jan 2009, an interview with Gaza resident journalist Yousef Al Helou. Thirteen Israeli deaths with over 1300 Palestinian deaths (over 400 children).

Now go back and listen to Uri Avnery said again.

Four what?

Four What? (A poem)

Forty years of occupation
Four years of qassams
6400 rockets
1400 dead Palestinians
400 dead children, many under Four years
40 dead Israelis
48 dead Hamas fighters

四 – si

All at a cost of Four billion dollars
to buy Israel four more years.

 

 

Gaza graveyard

Gaza graveyard

It seemed possibly by a quirk of my memory that all the statistics related to the tragedy of Gaza to have some conection to the number Four. Four in Chinese popular culture is related to death.