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What the USA, Israel and Media (Western) DO NOT want you to know about Hamas

man_slut

TRIBE Member
Wow... geat article, well balanced too!

It's sad that most people won't be aware of the efforts by Palestinians (while getting raped by the Israeli's) to recognize Israel and the 1967 boarders.

A Duplicitous Referendum
Setting the Record Straight on Hamas
By JENNIFER LOEWENSTEIN

Oxford, England.

A June 3rd poll conducted by Near East Consulting based in Ramallah, Palestine shows that the overwhelming majority of Palestinians support the Prisoner's Agreement, an inter-factional agreement signed by one member each of Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the PFLP, and the DFLP inside Israel's Hadarim prison this past May. (1) The document implicitly recognizes Israel by accepting, among other things, a Palestinian state in the lands occupied by Israel in the June 1967 war.

News reports have paid a lot of attention to the Prisoner's Agreement in part because it accepts the Arab League initiative (Saudi Plan) unanimously adopted by the Arab states in Beirut in 2002 at the height of the Second Intifada. By calling for an independent Palestinian state on the ë67 lines in return for peace with Israel, both the Saudi Plan and the Prisoner's Agreement echo the international consensus on Palestine since the mid 1970s. Israel has completely ignored the Arab initiative despite overwhelming support among the Palestinians.

But the Prisoner's Agreement has also become the focal point of the most recent crisis in internal Palestinian politics: Palestinian Authority president and Fatah deputy leader Mahmoud Abbas has called for a national referendum on the document should Hamas fail to adopt it as part of their official program. So far, Hamas has refused and has labeled Abbas' actions "illegal."

Not surprisingly, there is more to the referendum story than ever makes it into the press. In this case, the information omitted from the public record makes it possible for the United States, Israel and their allies to continue to justify the economic siege imposed on the Palestinian territories, a siege that is causing Palestinian society to teeter on the brink of ruin. In their rush to push forward a regional, pro-US and anti-democratic agenda, those states allied against the Palestine national movement (including Egypt and Jordan) have created the kind of humanitarian crisis one would expect to find as the result of a natural disaster.

No attention has been paid to what the Hamas leadership is actually saying, or to critical factors such as US efforts to build a 3,500 man militia around the office of Abbas in an effort to encourage civil infighting or Israel's recent approval of a large shipment of arms and ammunition from Egypt and Jordan for the equipping of the Presidential Guard. Abbas, who is supported by the US, aims to increase the number of armed soldiers around him to 10,000. He is also aiming, with US support, to create a shadow government that will undermine the legitimate one now controlled by Hamas.(2) It should come as a surprise to no one that, in the words of Mohammed Nazzal, a member of the Hamas government in exile, "Hamas will not submit to blackmail" (3) This is essentially the goal of Abbas' call for a referendum. There is no need to bring to a popular vote support for the Prisoner's Agreement. Overwhelming popular support for this and other initiatives, including support for the two-state solution, has long been documented.

Most of the rhetoric damns Hamas for refusing to follow Abbas' instructions. Hamas remains the reason why states should support the economic and political blockade on Palestine although this does little more than fuel the "War on Terror" by adding another organization to the blacklist of regional enemies. Labeling Hamas a "terrorist organization" obscures the reality, however. Its political leadership and its electoral/government program (i.e. not its Charter) have put forth both reasonable and moderate demands. Acceptance of an independent Palestinian state has long been part of its strategic agenda. Its reputation as a "rejectionist" movement stems in part from its unwillingness to act alone, without reciprocal moves by Israel, a state whose extremist policies over the past 5 decades have transformed the physical landscape of Palestine so dramatically that the prospects for a genuine peace settlement today are bleaker than ever.

In his latest comments on Abbas' decision to call the referendum, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert summed up his government's view of this effort insofar as it could create a bridge toward peace talks with Israel. He said, "The referendum is an internal game between one faction and the other.... It is meaningless in terms of the broad picture of chances towards some kind of dialogue between us and the Palestinians. It's meaningless." (4) Whether the referendum ësucceeds' or ëfails' therefore, will be of no consequence whatsoever in efforts to resume negotiations or as form of leverage to end the deadly siege on the territories.

II. Hamas accepts a two-state solution. When asked by Newsweek-Washington Post correspondent Lally Weymouth on 26 February 2006 what agreements Hamas was prepared to honor, the new Hamas Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh answered, "the ones that will guarantee the establishment of a Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capital with 1967 borders." Weymouth went on, "Will you recognize Israel?" to which Haniyeh responded, "If Israel declares that it will give the Palestinian people a state and give them back all their rights then we are ready to recognize them." (5) This view encapsulates the Hamas demand for reciprocity.

In an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer four days after the PLC elections, the new Hamas Foreign Minister, Mahmoud Zahar (considered the party's hard-liner) remarked, "We can accept to establish our independent state on the area occupied [in] 1967." Like Haniyeh and other Hamas members, Zahar insists that once such a state is established a long-term truce "lasting as long as 10, 20 or 100 years" will ensue ending the state of armed conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. (6)

Hamas government spokesman Ghazi Hamad commented to reporters on 10 May 2006, "Yes, we accept an independent state in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel in the 1967 Middle East War. This attitude is not new and it is declared in the government's platform." (7)

In an effort to clarify the Hamas position on Abbas' call for a referendum, Hamas parliamentary speaker Aziz Duweik explained that it had nothing to do with a lack of support for the two-state settlement. "Everybody in Hamas says ëYes' to the two-state solution," he said. "The problem comes from the fact that the Israelis so far [have not said they] accept the 1967 bordersÖbetween the two states."(8)

Other leaders are just as explicit. "Hamas is clear in terms of the historical solution and an interim solution. We are ready for both: the borders of 1967, a state, elections, and agreement after 10-15 years of building trust," commented Usama Hamdan, the Hamas Chief Representative in Lebanon. (9) Notable here is that his remarks were made in 2003 well before the Hamas victory of January 2006. Indeed, it should be pointed out that most of the on-the-record comments to this effect were made prior to these elections.

Additional Hamas spokespersons who have made explicit reference to acceptance of an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 lands include Sheikh Ahmad Haj Ali, a Muslim Brotherhood leader and Hamas legislative candidate currently imprisoned in Israel (interviewed in July 2005); Muhammad Ghazal, Hamas spokesperson also currently in an Israeli jail (Sept. 2005); Hasan Yousef, West Bank political leader (August 2005); and the Hamas Electoral Manifesto Article 5:1 which calls for "adherence to the goal of defeating the [1967] occupation and establishing an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital." (10)

In 1989, Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmad Yassin (assassinated by Israel in March 2004) stated, "I do not want to destroy IsraelÖ. We want to negotiate with Israel so the Palestinian people inside and outside Palestine can live in Palestine. Then the problem will cease to exist." (11)

The hard-line Hamas leader, Abdel Aziz Rantisi, assassinated by Israel in April 2004 commented in 2002 that, "[T]he Intifada is about forcing Israel's withdrawal to the 1967 borders." This "doesn't mean the Arab-Israeli conflict will be over," but rather that the armed resistance to Israel would end." (12)

In a 2004 report published by the highly regarded International Crisis Group, "During the 1987-1993 uprising, Hamas leaders proposed various formulas for Israeli withdrawal to the June 4th 1967 borders, to be reciprocated with a decades'-long truce (hudna)." That same report notes that, "In a March 1988 meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, and then with Defense Minister Rabin in June 1989, Hamas leader (now FM) Mahmud Zahar explicitly proposed an Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 boundaries, to be followed by a negotiated permanent settlement." The offer was refused. (13)



III. In a CounterPunch article posted on 24 February 2006, I wrote that the Hamas leadership had "clearly and repeatedly" called for an independent Palestinian state on the lands occupied by Israel in 1967. (14) I received numerous emails demanding "proof" of this assertion and calling me a traitor, a liar, a Nazi, a terrorist sympathizer and an anti-Semite. The statements included in this piece should help put to rest those accusations. Indeed, the statements made to this effect by Hamas members here are but a small sampling of similar statements made over the years that are part of the public (though unreported) record.

Surely, one can find many remarks by Hamas leaders over the years that are much less conciliatory, indeed even inflammatory and often disturbing. It would be misleading to suggest otherwise. Nonetheless the trend especially in the past few years up to the present has been toward a more conciliatory, indeed more realistic policy. As Crisis Group analyst Mouin Rabbani has written, "On Hamas I would not hesitate to say that the organization as a whole has essentially reconciled itself to a two-state settlement as a strategic option but has not formally adopted this as an organisational position. Yasin, Rantisi, Abu Shanab, Mashal, etc. have all made such statements. Have they made others that contradict them? Of course. But I think it can safely be concluded the strategic decisions have been made, the tactics remain unresolved and the formalities will come last." The question for us is whether or not we will give Hamas the chance to translate their words into actions. Rabbani writes, "it would be as naÔve to take the above statements on faith as it would be foolish not to put them to the test."(15)

As Menachem Klein points out in a recent Haaretz article, "The political texts of Hamas indicate that at present the organization is not fundamentalist." (16) It has moved away from the ideological demands of its Charter into a pragmatism that seeks to respond to the demands of the day without falling into the same traps that Fatah and the Fatah-led PA fell into over the years. It has respected a one-sided truce for the past 16 months ñthough with the June 9th Israeli artillery attack on a north Gaza beach in which 7 civilians died, six of them from the same family, this truce may have come to an end. Hamas has also agreed to support negotiations between Abbas and Israel.

Hamas' rejection of Abbas' call for a referendum on the Prisoner's Agreement has nothing to do with its willingness to accept an independent Palestinian state on ë67 lands and everything to do with its opposition to those in Fatah and in Israel, the US and EU who are doing everything in their power to bring down the Hamas governmentó and in the most depraved manner: by starving the population into submission and forcing on it the illegal diktats of anti-democratic warlords within the occupied Palestinian territories such as the US-backed Fatah militia leader and former head of the Preventive Security Services, Mohammad Dahlan.

In a June 8th 2006 article in the Financial Times, Henry Siegman commented on remarks made on Israeli television by Israeli security expert Ephraim Halevy. He writes, "Why should Israel care whether Hamas grants it the right to exist, Mr. Halevy asked. Israel exists and Hamas's recognition or non-recognition neither adds to nor detracts from that irrefutable fact. But 40 years after the 1967 war, a Palestinian state does not exist. The politically consequential question, therefore, is whether Israel recognizes a Palestinian right to statehood, not the reverse." (17)

Indeed, until Israel actively agrees to withdraw to the June 4th 1967 borders, Hamas should not fall into the trap that Fatah under Yassir Arafat fell intoó of conceding more and more for less and less until there is nothing left. Right now the US-backed annexation/cantonization program seems likely to bring the whole Palestinian tragedy to a hideous end. All the maneuverings are a cover for that, the whole discussion about the referendum included. Fatah should by now know better than to fall into the hands of US and Israeli overlords in its quest for local dominance. The fact that it does not should be reason enough for why it was voted out of power last January. Hamas has good reasons to demand that Israel, with US urging, show its good faith first. In the meantime Hamas' continued opposition to Abbas' dubious call for a referendum on the Prisoner's Agreement is justified.

Jennifer Loewenstein is a Visiting Research Fellow at Oxford University's Refugee Studies Centre. She has lived and worked in Gaza City, Beirut and Jerusalem and has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East, where she has worked as a free-lance journalist and a human rights activist. She can be reached at: amadea311@earthlink.net



ENDNOTES:

1 Press Release: The Palestinian National Dialogue and call for a Referendum Survey #2, 3 June 2006.

2. See "PA Chief Abbas aims to expand presidential guard," by Ze'ev Schiff, Haaretz, 28 May 2006. See also "Talking to Hamas," by Alastair Crooke in Prospect, issue 123, June 2006.

3. Ibid, Ze'ev Schiff, Haaretz, 28 May 2006.

4. "Abbas sets Referendum for July 26; Hamas rejects Poll," Mijal Grinberg and Assaf Uni, Haaretz, 10 June 2006.

5. "We do not wish to throw them into the sea," Interview between Lally Weymouth and Ismail Haniyeh in the Washington Post, Sunday 26 February 2006.

6. "Hamas leader sets condition for truce," on CNN World website, 29 January 2006.

7. "Abbas delays referendum decision," BBC News, Tuesday 6 June 2006.

8.. "Hamas says ready to accept Palestinian statehood in 1967 border," in China View, 10 May 2006;

9. "Enter Hamas: the challenges of political integration," International Crisis Group Report no. 49, Amman/Brussels; 18 January 2006. First edition (preliminary) report.

10. Ibid; The Hamas Electoral Manifesto also states, "Yes to a free, independent and sovereign state on every portion of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem without conceding any part of historic Palestine." This, of course, will raise red flags for some, which is why I include it here. I do not want to be accused of leaving out important statements or phrases. As with other statements, however, it must be measured against current realities both military and political.

11. "Dealing with Hamas," International Crisis Group Report no. 21, Amman/Brussels; 26 January 2004. From an interview in An-Nahar (Jerusalem), 30 April 1989. Quoted in Ziad Abu Amr, Islamic Fundamentalism. Op. cit. p.76

12. "Enter Hamas: the challenges of political integration," International Crisis Group report no. 49, 18 January 2006.

13. "Dealing with Hamas," International Crisis Group report no. 21, 26 January 2004. Amman/Brussels.

14. "For Those Who Haven't Noticed: Watching the Dissolution of Palestine," 24 February 2006; CounterPunch, edited by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair.

15. Mouin Rabbani; personal correspondence. Also in "Enter Hamas" the ICG preliminary report on Hamas from 18 January 2006.

16. "Hamas' Contradictory Voices," by Menachem Klein, Haaretz, 2 June 2006.

17. "The Issue is not Whether Hamas Recognizes Israel," by Henry Siegman, Financial Times, 8 June 2006.

SOURCE
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
(i.e. not its Charter)

HMMMMMMM!!!!!!!


(i.e. Nothing that they are willing to say in writing or support for any official length of time)


There is so much speculation in this article its really hard to start on it.


Hamas Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh answered, "the ones that will guarantee the establishment of a Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capital with 1967 borders." Weymouth went on, "Will you recognize Israel?" to which Haniyeh responded, "If Israel declares that it will give the Palestinian people a state and give them back all their rights then we are ready to recognize them."
put it in your charter and say it in both english and arabic and we can call it a start. If however you stand in front of an organization saying something completely contrary to your parties charter we have no reason to believe a word you say.

"During the 1987-1993 uprising, Hamas leaders proposed various formulas for Israeli withdrawal to the June 4th 1967 borders, to be reciprocated with a decades'-long truce (hudna)."
So if Israel gives them everything they might honor a peace accord for an undisclosed amount of time while arming themselves to begin the next uprising.

Part of the issue that Arafat had was that he was caught in endless lies. He was caught during a time of peace importing weapons. There is no reason to believe that given a chance Hamas would not use a period of peace to do the same. They are clear in there message and its not related to a 2 state solution.

Hamas wrote its charter in 1988, its not 20 years old and they are clear in teaching it. To claim that this isn't there policy is denying reality.
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
"Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it."

"The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. "

"There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors."

"After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion", and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying."

Ami Isseroff



Hamas gets to officially change its charter first, recognize Israel and then the west will deal with them same as the PLO. Negotiations start at formal recognition they don't end there.
 

SellyCat

TRIBE Member
Wow, Hamas is so great that they embrace democracy to obtain power and then UNDERMINE IT by preventing a referendum ON THE PRISONERS' DOCUMENT!

When the PA announced the referrendum, the Prisoners RETRACTED their support for the document they created.

Why don't these organisation want to consult the PEOPLE they claim to represent? Good question!
 

SellyCat

TRIBE Member
Another thing people don't know about Hamas (on the positive side of things) is that they offered the Mossad a 30 year truce under Netanyahu. The response was an assasination attempt of Khaled Mashaal, it's general secretary.

The reason they were elected is because they were able to provide social services that the corrupt PA stopped being able to offer. The Hamas is an offspring of the Islamic Brotherhood and uses its quite outstanding methods for creating civil society.

They also mince their words about what the plan regarding a settlement with Israel. When they say "full Palestinian rights", they mean the right for all Palestinians to move back INTO Israel. This would be suicidal for the Jewish state as it would FORCE Israel to become an apartheidist nation, where a Jewish minority rules over a large and ever-expanding muslim majority. Palestinians have the highest birth-rate on the entire planet. In Israel this is called the demographic threat.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
Ditto Much said:
Part of the issue that Arafat had was that he was caught in endless lies. He was caught during a time of peace importing weapons.
So I bet Israel didnt import ANY weapons in the same period right? Why is it ok for one party and not the other? Don't you see how hypocritical it is to point out Arafat was looking for weapons while ignoring Israel's massive military spending?

In fact, Israel is so awash with weapons that Palestinian groups don't even have to rely exclusively on importing from abroad, they can just get it from IDF soldiers looking to make a buck. I've seen video and documentary evidence of IDF soldiers selling weapons illicitly and hebrew lettering on weapons stocks of terrorist groups.

I cant believe that one attempt to import foreign weapons is that big a deal in a country so replete with weapons and ammunition. It's like a drop in the bucket...
 

Big Harv

TRIBE Member
Hamas must recognize the existence of the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state and formally renounce terrorist tacticts against innocent civilians as basic preconditions to negotiating the final borders of the two statea. It doesn't work to say that "well, if you dismantle all west bank settlements, give up Jerusalem and allow anyone the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza to have the right immigrate to Israel, then we can talk about whether we recongize Israel's right to exist." If Hamas amended its charter to get rid of the vile reference to the destruction of Israel and announced that Israel has the right to exist as a Jewish state, then the US and Canada would resume its direct aid to the Palestinian government and Israel would reward this move by sitting down and negotiating.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
Right Big Harv - but WHAT Israel do they recognize? If they "recognize" Israel's "right to exist" - does that mean that they recognize Israel's right to settlement construction and military installations in the West Bank and Gaza?

This issue is not as black and white as we read in the papers, its not as simple as recognizing Israel's "right to exist" -> Hamas would never do that if it meant legitimizing illegal settlements and the infrastructure of occupation. The real question is "what" Israel do they recognize? As the article posted informs us, Hamas would be a lot more amenable to recognizing the Israel of 1967 instead of the Israel of today...

What's sad about this is that the demand to recognize Israel puts BOTH parties into a hard line stance that perpetuates this conflict. Hamas will never recognize the Israel of today (since that means accepting settlements and occupation) - so we can't have peace. Israel will never fully renounce and remove all of its settlements and its control over Jerusalem (to say nothing of its military presence in Gaza and the West Bank) - so we can't have peace.

It's just like Sharon's "7 days of quiet" to start peace talks during the 2nd intifada. He didnt really mean it, it was just a political ploy he used to allow him to continue employing the IDF as he saw fit - even to the extent of continuing operations (such as assassinations) he knew would provoke responses that would kill the "7 days of quiet". If he really meant it, then peace talks would have started earlier as there are documented periods without Palestinian attacks that went longer than his demand of "7 days of quiet". This insistance on Hamas "recognizing Israel" is a similar ploy - allowing Israel and the US to buttress support for Fatah (while aid to the Palestinians has been cut drastically, Fatah has received weapons and extra monies to expand their security forces over the past few months) and engineer Hamas' defeat.
 

deafplayer

TRIBE Member
praktik said:
... - but WHAT Israel do they recognize? If they "recognize" Israel's "right to exist" - does that mean that they recognize Israel's right to settlement construction and military installations in the West Bank and Gaza?
right on praktik

besides distracting from more real and 'practical' problems (ahem, brutal generations-old military occupation), the emphasis on Israel's 'right to exist' makes it seem like the most powerful country in the region, backed up with very dedicated support by the global superpower, is only 'existing' at the mercy of people whose 'right to exist' as a self-determined nation already is being and has been denied in the real world (real as compared to whatever official proclomations demanded regarding Israel's 'right' might mean)
I mean Israel's mere existence is not seriously threatened by those who are demanded to recognise its right to exist, compared to their right to the same existence (a kind of existence which they do not presently enjoy)
Ironically hawks tend to be very admiring of Israel's might, while making demands implying it is in the opposite role
Its really weird

It seems the only real threat to Israel's 'existence' is, first of all, only to a particular possible existence, one that is so offensive in its unjustice that it is not recognised by the international community - whose recognition matters, but anyway the point is the right of any state to exist as a colonial entity is pretty hard to justify to most people, I think

SellyCat said:
They also mince their words about what the plan regarding a settlement with Israel. When they say "full Palestinian rights", they mean the right for all Palestinians to move back INTO Israel. This would be suicidal for the Jewish state as it would FORCE Israel to become an apartheidist nation, where a Jewish minority rules over a large and ever-expanding muslim majority. Palestinians have the highest birth-rate on the entire planet. In Israel this is called the demographic threat.
Unless it wasnt dedicated to one ethnicity/religion and the exclusion (and already and still incurred expense) of others
 
Last edited:

Big Harv

TRIBE Member
praktik said:
Right Big Harv - but WHAT Israel do they recognize? If they "recognize" Israel's "right to exist" - does that mean that they recognize Israel's right to settlement construction and military installations in the West Bank and Gaza?

This issue is not as black and white as we read in the papers, its not as simple as recognizing Israel's "right to exist" -> Hamas would never do that if it meant legitimizing illegal settlements and the infrastructure of occupation. The real question is "what" Israel do they recognize? As the article posted informs us, Hamas would be a lot more amenable to recognizing the Israel of 1967 instead of the Israel of today...

What's sad about this is that the demand to recognize Israel puts BOTH parties into a hard line stance that perpetuates this conflict. Hamas will never recognize the Israel of today (since that means accepting settlements and occupation) - so we can't have peace. Israel will never fully renounce and remove all of its settlements and its control over Jerusalem (to say nothing of its military presence in Gaza and the West Bank) - so we can't have peace.

It's just like Sharon's "7 days of quiet" to start peace talks during the 2nd intifada. He didnt really mean it, it was just a political ploy he used to allow him to continue employing the IDF as he saw fit - even to the extent of continuing operations (such as assassinations) he knew would provoke responses that would kill the "7 days of quiet". If he really meant it, then peace talks would have started earlier as there are documented periods without Palestinian attacks that went longer than his demand of "7 days of quiet". This insistance on Hamas "recognizing Israel" is a similar ploy - allowing Israel and the US to buttress support for Fatah (while aid to the Palestinians has been cut drastically, Fatah has received weapons and extra monies to expand their security forces over the past few months) and engineer Hamas' defeat.
I disagree - you can claim Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish state, but qualify that by opposing the Jewish settlements in the West Bank. If Hamas only did that, Israel would sit down and talk. Even if Israel dismantled the west bank settlements, removed the security barrier and granted east jersualem to the Palestinians, Hamas will not sit down at the table until Israel granted the right of Palestinians to immigrate into Israel, turning Israel into a de facto Islamic state.
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
praktik said:
So I bet Israel didnt import ANY weapons in the same period right? Why is it ok for one party and not the other? Don't you see how hypocritical it is to point out Arafat was looking for weapons while ignoring Israel's massive military spending?

Actually Arafat was allowed to import many weapons providing that they went to his police forces and not to terrorist organizations. The issue was that he was involved in negotiations to disarm militants while importing banned weapons from Iran.

See you can't talk peace out of one side of your mouth while simply re-arming the groups your claiming to disarm.


praktik said:
In fact, Israel is so awash with weapons that Palestinian groups don't even have to rely exclusively on importing from abroad, they can just get it from IDF soldiers looking to make a buck. I've seen video and documentary evidence of IDF soldiers selling weapons illicitly and hebrew lettering on weapons stocks of terrorist groups.
Very possible and I'm not questioning your sources. However this is a key negotiation issue in all peace talks. The IRA had to disarm while the brits didn't in northern ireland as part of a developing peace process. Its basically a standard system.

praktik said:
I cant believe that one attempt to import foreign weapons is that big a deal in a country so replete with weapons and ammunition. It's like a drop in the bucket...
If you ignore the provisions of a peace agreement you negotiated and get caught we don't believe a word you are saying anymore. When you take money donated by the international community to build schools and develop industries and instead use it to arm groups outside of your governments control we question your intent.

End of the day Arafat lied and used international aid money to arm militant groups unrelated to his police force or legally defined military. Now Hamas offering a long term truce means nothing related to peace, it simply means they want some time to organize and re-equip their fighters.
 

SellyCat

TRIBE Member
Ditto Much said:
Actually Arafat was allowed to import many weapons providing that they went to his police forces and not to terrorist organizations. The issue was that he was involved in negotiations to disarm militants while importing banned weapons from Iran.

See you can't talk peace out of one side of your mouth while simply re-arming the groups your claiming to disarm.




Very possible and I'm not questioning your sources. However this is a key negotiation issue in all peace talks. The IRA had to disarm while the brits didn't in northern ireland as part of a developing peace process. Its basically a standard system.



If you ignore the provisions of a peace agreement you negotiated and get caught we don't believe a word you are saying anymore. When you take money donated by the international community to build schools and develop industries and instead use it to arm groups outside of your governments control we question your intent.

End of the day Arafat lied and used international aid money to arm militant groups unrelated to his police force or legally defined military. Now Hamas offering a long term truce means nothing related to peace, it simply means they want some time to organize and re-equip their fighters.

I'm with you on all this.

The European Parliament was extremely embarassed when it had to launch an investigation into how its money was used to fund suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks. They never even released the report because it was that bad. And now in Europe, support for the Palestinians is at an all-time low because of the constant rain of Qassam missiles onto Sderot.

The Europeans were all about trashing Israel to project their guilt about colonialism on a fully Western country that still occupies and brutalises someone, but when they saw Ariel Sharon (the war criminal and monolithic brain behind settlements) change his spots and depart from Gaza, they were expecting the Palestinians to--oh I dunno--develop themselves instead of continuing to provoke Israel.

The reason that launch those rockets is to provoke escalations through the inevitable collatoral damage caused by Israeli airstraikes. over 1,000 missiles have been fired at the all civillian population of Sderot. They fired deliberately targeting civillians: there is no other ostensible reason for this action.

Furthermore, it seems to be turning out that the explosion on the Gaza beach was not caused by the IDF afterall, but apparantly a string of explosives set to trap Israeli commandos should they attempt to infiltrate Gaza to cap the missile launching crews in a more...intimate fashion.
 

Vincent Vega

TRIBE Member
Ditto Much said:
1. Actually Arafat was allowed to import many weapons providing that they went to his police forces and not to terrorist organizations....

2. End of the day Arafat lied and used international aid money to arm militant groups unrelated to his police force or legally defined military.
1. "Terrorist organizations" as defined by who? How can you make this point with a straight face when you know damn well one side is not able or allowed to maintain conventional armed forces?

2. See point 1. To which "legally defined military" do you refer? And who "defined" it?
 

~atp~

TRIBE Member
SellyCat said:
The Europeans were all about trashing Israel to project their guilt about colonialism on a fully Western country that still occupies and brutalises someone, but when they saw Ariel Sharon (the war criminal and monolithic brain behind settlements) change his spots and depart from Gaza, they were expecting the Palestinians to--oh I dunno--develop themselves instead of continuing to provoke Israel.
Which was a totally unreasonable expectation.
 

~atp~

TRIBE Member
Ditto Much said:
If you ignore the provisions of a peace agreement you negotiated and get caught we don't believe a word you are saying anymore. When you take money donated by the international community to build schools and develop industries and instead use it to arm groups outside of your governments control we question your intent.
Right, which is why I question Israel's motives...they are constantly deceiving the international community.

Ditto Much said:
End of the day Arafat lied and used international aid money to arm militant groups unrelated to his police force or legally defined military. Now Hamas offering a long term truce means nothing related to peace, it simply means they want some time to organize and re-equip their fighters.
Right, from a strategic perspective, I probably would have done something similar in his position. That doesn't make Palestine, Arafat or its cause any more "evil" or "dishonourable" than Israel. In fact, I think it's pretty irrelevant.
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Vincent Vega said:
1. "Terrorist organizations" as defined by who? How can you make this point with a straight face when you know damn well one side is not able or allowed to maintain conventional armed forces?

2. See point 1. To which "legally defined military" do you refer? And who "defined" it?


Okay I'll call them 'NON GOVERNMENT MILITIA' if you would prefer. The term is realted to a group of armed people that are completely outside of the control of government. I will drop terrorist because of its negative conotations in this regard.

The PA has a police force that is a para-military and includes prisons that they self administer. These aren't police like the OPP these are members of a government para-military that is completely legal and can be dpolyed and trained openly.

They are expected to be armed they are able to be treated as a military force. Reagrdless they are directly under the command of the PA and are directly accountable to the PA. The other non-government militias however are required to disarm for there to be any peace process. Sending them arms is not disarming or bring government control over arms, its exactly the opposite.

But again we're making a symantic argument, there is a clear government police force, and there are non government armed factions. Giving arms to the armed factions is not in any way abiding by a peace agreement.



Karine-A - Cargo

62 122mm Katyusha rockets (20 kilometer range)
700 120mm mortar shells (6 kilometer range)
686 81 mm mortar shells,
a ton and a half of highly potent C-4 explosives,

Sagger, RPG, and LAW anti-tank weapons, and over 400,000 rounds of ammunition for automatic weapons


Look its clear that the PA took international donations and purchased weapons to attack Israel during the peace process. Arafat himself was involved and the weapons they were importing were clearly not for police purposes they were to attack Israel.
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
~atp~ said:
Right, which is why I question Israel's motives...they are constantly deceiving the international community.



Right, from a strategic perspective, I probably would have done something similar in his position. That doesn't make Palestine, Arafat or its cause any more "evil" or "dishonourable" than Israel. In fact, I think it's pretty irrelevant.

You can't negotiate peace while shipping rockets to militias your government has no control over. Ultimately we can hold Israel (government of) responsible for each and every action of the IDF, we can't hold the PA accountable for what its non government militias do other than to say they should be arresting them. If during a truce and time of peace you instead ship them arms all you are doing is re-arming with no intentions of peace. By giving these weapons to groups you have no control over you are assuming that you are going to see attacks and then claim you couldn't prevent it.

But that’s neither here nor there, if Hamas isn't willing to re-write there charter we cannot support them. We simply cannot support a government that has genocide as a hey aspect of their political doctrine.
 

SellyCat

TRIBE Member
~atp~ said:
Which was a totally unreasonable expectation.
Oh yeah, and why is that? Why is it unreasonable to expect them to stop raining missiles down on civillians after they got what they wanted? I don't follow your logic.

In fact, why is it unreasonable to expect them to stop raining missiles down on civillians AT ALL, considering you have the exact same expectation of Israel?
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
Ditto Much said:
You can't negotiate peace while shipping rockets to militias your government has no control over. Ultimately we can hold Israel (government of) responsible for each and every action of the IDF, we can't hold the PA accountable for what its non government militias do other than to say they should be arresting them. If during a truce and time of peace you instead ship them arms all you are doing is re-arming with no intentions of peace. By giving these weapons to groups you have no control over you are assuming that you are going to see attacks and then claim you couldn't prevent it.

But that’s neither here nor there, if Hamas isn't willing to re-write there charter we cannot support them. We simply cannot support a government that has genocide as a hey aspect of their political doctrine.
So you would prefer conflict then? All moral posturing aside, we have to start considering the effect on human lives this prolonged conflict has had and continues to have. Reverberations of it are felt the world over. This is past the point of political ploys - or at least should be. A very simple calculation needs to be made: do we communicate? start a process of give and take (which will eventually include disarmament)? Or do we create demands we know will be rejected by the other side ("recognize Israel", "right of return of all palestinians to all of israel") in order to continue the conflict and keep the moral high ground?

Remember that just as "recognizing israel" is the moral high ground for Pro-Israel supporters, pro palestinian supporters see never giving up on the right of turn as a moral high ground that shouldnt be retreated from. At least, for the extremists. Pragmatic elements of both sides realize that the ultimate demands of everyone will never be met. And that includes the other bones of contention such as jerusalem, settlement construction.

Reasonable people will also see this, and thus also see the creation of demands that no one expects to be met - by both sides - as simply political tools used to maintain the status quo, and thus very immoral. It is in this fashion that the moral high ground (again, on both sides) is actually the immoral high ground in that misery is perpetuated with no ground given on either side. See through the smokescreen!! The rhetorical game gets kicked up a notch here in North America - it is illuminating to see what Israelis and Palestinians themselves say on this matter in their media. Their scope of debate is much wider on this issue than ours is. The article above illustrates how we can be blinded to real opportunities to peace by these rhetorical games and political ploys...
 
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~atp~

TRIBE Member
SellyCat said:
Oh yeah, and why is that? Why is it unreasonable to expect them to stop raining missiles down on civillians after they got what they wanted? I don't follow your logic.

In fact, why is it unreasonable to expect them to stop raining missiles down on civillians AT ALL, considering you have the exact same expectation of Israel?
I have the same expectation of Israel as I do with Palestine, the difference being that Israel a) has more control over their projected military behaviour and b) I hold Israel to a much much higher standard of accountability because of their position of power and their international pseudo-moral support base...
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
~atp~ said:
I have the same expectation of Israel as I do with Palestine, the difference being that Israel a) has more control over their projected military behaviour and b) I hold Israel to a much much higher standard of accountability because of their position of power and their international pseudo-moral support base...

How do you negotiate a 2 state solution when one sided believes only in a single state solution. Until we can get Hamas to recognize Israel they cannot be considered to be in recognition of a 2 state solution.

Look this isn't splitting hairs this is very pragmatic at its deepest level. We have nothing to work with if Hamas won't agree to the very basic principle of a two state solution and update the charter accordingly. The best we can hope for without this is disengagement and Israel containing the threat until the government switches to one that can negotiate.

Hamas has left all negotiations as being meaningless.
 

~atp~

TRIBE Member
Ditto Much said:
How do you negotiate a 2 state solution when one sided believes only in a single state solution. Until we can get Hamas to recognize Israel they cannot be considered to be in recognition of a 2 state solution.
Sorry, but that's just a load of hypothetical (in Ditto's famous word) "BULLSHIT!!!!!"


;)
 
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