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Apparently, America really hates democracy.

~atp~

TRIBE Member
U.S. and Israelis Are Said to Talk of Hamas Ouster

By STEVEN ERLANGER


JERUSALEM, Feb. 13 — The United States and Israel are discussing ways to destabilize the Palestinian government so that newly elected Hamas officials will fail and elections will be called again, according to Israeli officials and Western diplomats.

The intention is to starve the Palestinian Authority of money and international connections to the point where, some months from now, its president, Mahmoud Abbas, is compelled to call a new election. The hope is that Palestinians will be so unhappy with life under Hamas that they will return to office a reformed and chastened Fatah movement.

The officials also argue that a close look at the election results shows that Hamas won a smaller mandate than previously understood.

The officials and diplomats, who said this approach was being discussed at the highest levels of the State Department and the Israeli government, spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly on the issue.

They say Hamas will be given a choice: recognize Israel's right to exist, forswear violence and accept previous Palestinian-Israeli agreements — as called for by the United Nations and the West — or face isolation and collapse.

Opinion polls show that Hamas's promise to better the lives of the Palestinian people was the main reason it won. But the United States and Israel say Palestinian life will only get harder if Hamas does not meet those three demands. They say Hamas plans to build up its militias and increase violence and must be starved out of power.

The officials drafting the plan know that Hamas leaders have repeatedly rejected demands to change and do not expect Hamas to meet them. "The point is to put this choice on Hamas's shoulders," a senior Western diplomat said. "If they make the wrong choice, all the options lead in a bad direction."

The strategy has many risks, especially given that Hamas will try to secure needed support from the larger Islamic world, including its allies Syria and Iran, as well as from private donors.

It will blame Israel and the United States for its troubles, appeal to the world not to punish the Palestinian people for their free democratic choice, point to the real hardship that a lack of cash will produce and may very well resort to an open military confrontation with Israel, in a sense beginning a third intifada.

The officials said the destabilization plan centers largely on money. The Palestinian Authority has a monthly cash deficit of some $60 million to $70 million after it receives between $50 million and $55 million a month from Israel in taxes and customs duties collected by Israeli officials at the borders but owed to the Palestinians.

Israel says it will cut off those payments once Hamas takes power, and put the money in escrow. On top of that, some of the aid that the Palestinians currently receive will be stopped or reduced by the United States and European Union governments, which will be constrained by law or politics from providing money to an authority run by Hamas. The group is listed by Washington and the European Union as a terrorist organization.

Israel has other levers on the Palestinian Authority: controlling entrance and exit from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip for people and goods, the number of workers who are allowed into Israel every day, and even the currency used in the Palestinian territories, which is the Israeli shekel.

Israeli military officials have discussed cutting Gaza off completely from the West Bank and making the Israeli-Gaza border an international one. They also say they will not allow Hamas members of the Palestinian parliament, some of whom are wanted by Israeli security forces, to travel freely between Gaza and the West Bank.


(ummmmmmmmm...cantonization?)

On Sunday, Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced after a cabinet meeting that Israel would consider Hamas to be in power on the day the new parliament is sworn in: this Saturday.

So beginning next month, the Palestinian Authority will face a cash deficit of at least $110 million a month, or more than $1 billion a year, which it needs to pay full salaries to its 140,000 employees, who are the breadwinners for at least one-third of the Palestinian population.

The employment figure includes some 58,000 members of the security forces, most of which are affiliated with the defeated Fatah movement.

If a Hamas government is unable to pay workers, import goods, transfer money and receive significant amounts of outside aid, Mr. Abbas, the president, would have the authority to dissolve parliament and call new elections, the officials say, even though that power is not explicit in the Palestinian basic law.

The potential for an economic crisis is real. The Palestinian stock market has already fallen about 20 percent since the election on Jan. 25, and the Authority has exhausted its borrowing capacity with local banks.

Hamas gets up to $100,000 a month in cash from abroad, Israel and Western officials say. "But it's hard to move millions of dollars in suitcases," a Western official said.

The United States and the European Union in particular want any failure of Hamas in leadership to be judged as Hamas's failure, not one caused by Israel and the West.

The officials say much now depends on Mr. Abbas, the Fatah-affiliated president who called for the January elections, has four more years in office and is insistent that Hamas has a democratic right to govern.

But Mr. Abbas has also threatened to quit if he does not have a government that can carry out his fundamental policies — which include, he has said, negotiations with Israel toward a final peace treaty based on a permanent two-state solution. The United States and the European Union have strongly urged him to stay on the job and shoulder his responsibilities, the officials say. (Abbas must behave, or else!)

Western diplomats say they expect Mr. Abbas to repeat those positions in his speech on Saturday when the new parliament is sworn in, laying the groundwork for a future confrontation with Hamas.

In preparation for a Hamas-led government, Mr. Abbas is also said to be insisting on reinforcing his position as commander in chief (isn't that an American term? ;) ) of all Palestinian forces, even though the prime minister and the interior minister also have control over them through a security council that the prime minister chairs.

On Monday the departing parliament made an effort to boost Mr. Abbas's powers by passing legislation giving him the authority to appoint a new constitutional court that can veto legislation deemed in violation of the Palestinians' basic law.

Mr. Abbas would appoint the nine judges to the new court without seeking parliamentary approval. Hamas immediately objected. "The parliament has no mandate and no authority to issue any new legislation," said a Hamas spokesman, Said Siyam, adding that Hamas would try to overturn the decisions once the new legislature convened on Saturday.

Hamas will control at least 74 seats of the 132-member parliament, and it is likely to have the support of six more members on key votes. But more than 10 percent of the new legislators are already in Israeli jails: 10 from Hamas, 3 from Fatah and one from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

The United States and Fatah believe that the Hamas victory was far less sweeping than the seat total makes it appear, said Khalil Shikaki, a pollster and the director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research.

In an interview in Ramallah, Mr. Shikaki said that if Fatah had forced members to withdraw their independent candidacies in constituencies where they split the votes with official Fatah candidates, it might have won the election. Half of the 132 seats were decided by a vote for a party list, and the other half by a separate vote for a local candidate.

Hamas won 44 percent of the popular vote but 56 percent of the seats, while Fatah won 42 percent of the popular vote but only 34 percent of the seats. The reason? "Fatah ran a lousy campaign," Mr. Shikaki said, and Mr. Abbas "did not force enough Fatah independents to pull out."

If only 76 "independent" Fatah candidates had not run, Mr. Shikaki said, Fatah would have won 33 seats and Hamas 33. In the districts, Hamas won an average of only 39 percent of the vote while winning 68 percent of the seats, Mr. Shikaki said.

"Fatah now is obsessed with undoing this election as soon as possible," he said. "Israel and Washington want to do it over too. The Palestinian Authority could collapse in six months."

New Hamas legislators were unimpressed. Farhat Asaad, a Hamas spokesman, and Nasser Abdaljawad, who won a seat in Salfit where two Fatah candidates split the vote, gave the United States "a year or two" to come around to the idea of dealing openly with Hamas.

Mr. Asaad, a former Israeli prisoner, said: "We hope it isn't U.S. policy. Because those who try to isolate us will be isolated in the region."

Hamas will move on two parallel fronts, he said: the first, to reform Palestinian political life, and the second, "to break the isolation of our government." If Hamas succeeds on both fronts, he said, "we will achieve a great thing for our people, a normal life with security and a state of law, where no one can abuse power."

Hamas will find the money it needs from the Muslim world, said Mr. Abdaljawad, who spent 12 years in jail and got a Ph.D. while there. Hamas will save money by ending corruption and providing efficiency. Hamas will break the Palestinian dependency on Israel, he said.

Mr. Asaad laughed and added: "First, I thank the United States that they have given us this weapon of democracy. But there is no way to retreat now. It's not possible for the U.S. and the world to turn its back on an elected democracy."
 

Genesius

TRIBE Member
Good article.

Of course the US and Israel should have these kinds of talks. You have to discuss the strategy of how to deal with Hamas as the new elected Gov in Palestine.

Personally I would prefer the strategy of maintaining, or even increasing the aid packages until the Hamas shows that they are not actually using it to 'help' the Palestinians, but trying to destroy Israel. Then I would turn around and say exactly the same thing to Israel.

That's what I would discuss. Et vous?
 

Vincent Vega

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Genesius
but trying to destroy Israel.....
Dude, seriously - can we get off this "destroy Israel" stuff? Hamas has as much chance of destroying Israel as I do of becoming the next heavyweight champion of the world.

Let's keep our discourse grounded in reality okay?

So to the article in point: Does it not trouble you at all that after hearing 2 or 3 years of platitudes about "bringing democracy to the region," the U.S. instantly moves into suppression mode of the new (democratically elected) government?
 
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deafplayer

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Boss Hog
Hay what's going on in Haiti?
Nothing to worry about. Move along.
(Okay Canada's playing a central role in fucking them over and suppressing democracy)
Just keep talking. Dont worry about it, its nothing to be concerned about.
Stay on topic please.


edit: BOTH OF YOU!!!
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Vincent Vega

So to the article in point: Does it not trouble you at all that after hearing 2 or 3 years of platitudes about "bringing democracy to the region," the U.S. instantly moves into suppression mode of the new (democratically elected) government?

Hamas can raise money and stay in power and do whatever it wants. But if its going to support attacking Israel then its not going to recieve the international money promised under a peace accord.

Lets be realistic here! If Hamas were to state that it is asking all groups to suspend all attacks on Israel and state that Israel has a right to exsist this wouldn't be an issue.

Christ nobody is even asking for them to disarm like we did with the IRA.
 

deafplayer

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Ditto Much
Hamas can raise money and stay in power and do whatever it wants. But if its going to support attacking Israel then its not going to recieve the international money promised under a peace accord.

Lets be realistic here! If Hamas were to state that it is asking all groups to suspend all attacks on Israel and state that Israel has a right to exsist this wouldn't be an issue.

Christ nobody is even asking for them to disarm like we did with the IRA.
But Israel recieves funds regardless of their already committed and currently sustained aggression against the Palestinians, with MASSIVE aid from the US
 

deafplayer

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by ~atp~
:) I was going to post this: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4711846.stm
"Mr Aristide's supporters claim that the United States and France kidnapped the president at the end of February 2004 and forced him into exile. Both countries have denied the allegations."

wtf else can you call it when American soldiers take him to a waiting jet, telling him 'come with us because there are people approaching the city who will kill you', then fly him to another continent and make him sign a letter of resignation
(While JTF-2 secures the airport)

No, they.... they were having a tea party
not kidnapping

great reporting BBC!
 
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Vincent Vega

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Ditto Much
Lets be realistic here! If Hamas were to state that it is asking all groups to suspend all attacks on Israel and state that Israel has a right to exsist this wouldn't be an issue.
What you (and some others) fail (or refuse) to recall or acknowledge is that Hamas is essentially in a state of war with Israel, as Israel is with it .

Why is the impetus on Hamas (who is not even allowed to maintain a conventional armed force in its war) to suddenly and unequivocally renouce all aggression towards its enemy? Why would it be expected to do that while, for instance, its enemy builds a wall with further incursions into its land which are simply dismissed (by you, for instance) as the "new reality?"

Where are the threats of suppressing billions in U.S. aid to Israel if it continues to violate its part of the so-called peace process?

If the balance of power were equal here, then yours would be a fair argument. But it's so, incredibly, laughably NOT equal that it makes your point a somewhat hollow one.
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Vincent Vega
What you (and some others) fail (or refuse) to recall or acknowledge is that Hamas is essentially in a state of war with Israel, as Israel is with it .

Why is the impetus on Hamas (who is not even allowed to maintain a conventional armed force in its war) to suddenly and unequivocally renouce all aggression towards its enemy?
It has been a requirement for the better part of 14 years. This isn't new hell Arafat was basically forced to do the same. Recognize Israels right to exsist speak against any attacks.


Why would it be expected to do that while, for instance, its enemy builds a wall with further incursions into its land which are simply dismissed (by you, for instance) as the "new reality?"

Where are the threats of suppressing billions in U.S. aid to Israel if it continues to violate its part of the so-called peace process?

If the balance of power were equal here, then yours would be a fair argument. But it's so, incredibly, laughably NOT equal that it makes your point a somewhat hollow one.
Yes but why would we send money for them to fund terrorist attacks. We did this with Arafat and while he talked peace he shipped in arms from Iran (and was caught doing so). Basically he took money that was supposed to go to his people and bought weapons with it. If we're going to send aid packages to Palestine we need assurances that its not going to be used to attack Israel and make a bad situation even worse.

We gave Arafat plenty of rope and he took advantage of it and stole the money (again at his death his accounts became widely known) there is no reason to repeat or same mistakes. They have elected who they wanted to elect and nobody is questioning it, just like Austria when they elected a government of racist pricks not 3 years ago. But just like the example of Austria we pulled funding and our embassy and basically walked away.

As an international community I don't want money being diverted through Hamas to attack Israel. Its simply isn't responsible and with there track record we are asking for some very specific conditions. We are asking them to state that they are not going to attack before we start sending them cash. This is being responsible and sensible.
 

deafplayer

TRIBE Member
As an international community I don't want money being diverted through Hamas to attack Israel. Its simply isn't responsible and with there track record we are asking for some very specific conditions. We are asking them to state that they are not going to attack before we start sending them cash. This is being responsible and sensible.
I think the point is, Israel gets (miliary) aid that is used against Palestinians

Are you willing to apply this rule universally?
 

acheron

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Ditto Much

Christ nobody is even asking for them to disarm like we did with the IRA.
Actually the Isreaelis are.

If I was a Hamas negociator, I'd be asking Israel to make a deal: tear down the wall around the ghett... Palestinian settlement and we'll talk about recognizing Israel.
 
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Genesius

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Vincent Vega
Dude, seriously - can we get off this "destroy Israel" stuff? Hamas has as much chance of destroying Israel as I do of becoming the next heavyweight champion of the world.
I would agree. Tell that to Hamas. My point is pretty clear regardless.


So to the article in point: Does it not trouble you at all that after hearing 2 or 3 years of platitudes about "bringing democracy to the region," the U.S. instantly moves into suppression mode of the new (democratically elected) government?
Yes, it does. But it bothers me more that Hamas may use it's new position as one in which to try[/] to perpetuate the destruction of Israel (moreso the death of innocent people).
 

Genesius

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by acheron

If I was a Hamas negociator, I'd be asking Israel to make a deal: tear down the wall around the ghett... Palestinian settlement and we'll talk about recognizing Israel.
But the thing is, it seems that for Hamas, that would never be enough. Israel must be removed.
 

~atp~

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Genesius
But the thing is, it seems that for Hamas, that would never be enough. Israel must be removed.
Yah, and we know this cuz the Hamas charter says so, right?
 

Genesius

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Vincent Vega
You're making me laugh now.....
Sorry, I wasn't trying to overstate it.

If this not something that Hamas has repeatedly declared, I'm way out of line. Let me know.

I'm not familiar with the charter. I was gonna be more specific, like "some factions of Hamas" but I thought you would get the point. I will try to be more specific next time.
 
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Big Harv

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Vincent Vega
Dude, seriously - can we get off this "destroy Israel" stuff? Hamas has as much chance of destroying Israel as I do of becoming the next heavyweight champion of the world.

Let's keep our discourse grounded in reality okay?

So to the article in point: Does it not trouble you at all that after hearing 2 or 3 years of platitudes about "bringing democracy to the region," the U.S. instantly moves into suppression mode of the new (democratically elected) government?
It doesn';t matter if they are able to or not - the intent is there and it's a central feature of the party's philosophy as evidenced by the charter, the inflammatory speeches and interviews of Hamas leaders.
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by acheron
Actually the Isreaelis are.

If I was a Hamas negociator, I'd be asking Israel to make a deal: tear down the wall around the ghett... Palestinian settlement and we'll talk about recognizing Israel.


And as Israel's negotiator I would respond...


"Fine, never going to happen, we're already a pariah state according to the UN and we aren't even able to take a seat within our own regional setting. Shove it up your ass, if you attack us we will respond each time with 100 times the force."

The line can be redrawn after ten years of peace but it will never be changed during a time of war. Israel has made clear that this is its policy the fence is the new line and after peace has been established negotiations can occur. It has also made clear that 67 is a pipe dream that will never ever occur again. We can start to face this and begin working from where we are or continue to be locked into a questionably worded and interpreted paragraph from a time when none of us were alive.



What I have always loved is that we pretend to give a damn about the Palestinians, but we don't give a flying fuck about Chechnya and Russia's brutal occupation of it.
 

deafplayer

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Ditto Much
What I have always loved is that we pretend to give a damn about the Palestinians, but we don't give a flying fuck about Chechnya and Russia's brutal occupation of it.
What I hate is how people so easily forget the very simple and good reason for the phenomenon you mock
 

~atp~

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Big Harv
It doesn';t matter if they are able to or not - the intent is there and it's a central feature of the party's philosophy as evidenced by the charter, the inflammatory speeches and interviews of Hamas leaders.
And Israel, on the other hand, has explicit policies of aggression that are executed with exuberance, and in full sight of the international community. Not only does Israel have the ability to oppress, they do oppress, and respond with violence that is generally far beyond that of the terrorism which is usually, but not always, in direct response to Israel's aggressive tactics.

Hamas seems to employ violence well beyond what I would (personally and ignorantly) consider "necessary" or even "morally acceptable", but I couch that in the complete understanding of Palestinian's plight and the extraordinary difficulties they face while growing up in such a hostile environment.
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by deafplayer
What I hate is how people so easily forget the very simple and good reason for the phenomenon you mock

What that this really is anti-semtic and has nothing to do with imperialism or occupation by a massive force.

How would we view Israel if they really did what Russia has done?


youth centre



Library before



Library after



Apartment Buildings






We're stuck with this middle east conflict while the same evil occurs at the hands of Russia post Soviet union. If anything Russia has been many times more brutal and heartless in there efforts to permenatly annex land that was never part of there country to begin with.

I think that maybe this is because we have an Arab voting block that puts plenty of effort forth to inspire hate, where as in the case of Chechnya there is nobody who gives a damn.
 
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