- Palestine is sovereign territory. In 1987, Law Professor
Francis Boyle drafted its Declaration of Independence. On November 15,
1988, the Palestine National Council (PNC) adopted it, affirming Palestinian
- Nonetheless, Israel's illegal occupation continues. Gaza's
under siege. Israeli forces attack repeatedly. Deaths and injuries result.
Dozens of weekly West Bank incursions harass Palestinians ruthlessly. Numerous
arrests follow. Innocent civilians are imprisoned, including children young
- Peaceful protesters are assaulted violently. Settlement
expansions continue on stolen land. Dispossessed Palestinians have no redress.
Police state repression terrorizes millions of people. World leaders yawn
and do nothing.
- Last April in Cairo, Hamas and Fatah leaders proclaimed
unity. Palestinians hoped it signaled rapprochement between the two sides.
- Both agreed to form a transitional government soon. The
two delegations, headed by Fatah President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader
Khaled Mashaal, discussed security issues and ways to coordinate forces
cooperatively. They also agreed to hold presidential and legislative elections
within a year.
- Despite reservations on both sides, signing ceremony
comments signaled hope. Abbas suggested turning a page, saying:
- "Four black years have affected the interests of
Palestinians. Now we meet to assert a unified will. Israel is using the
Palestinian reconciliation as an excuse to evade (peace. It) must choose
between peace and settlement."
- Based on his long collaborationist history with Israel,
his commitments need to be tested. Saying and doing often differ. The jury
so far is out.
- For his part, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said:
- "Hamas was ready to pay any price for internal Palestinian
reconciliation. The only battle of the Palestinians is against Israel.
Our aim is to establish a free and completely sovereign Palestinian state
on the West Bank and Gaza strip, whose capital is Jerusalem, without any
settlers and without giving up a single inch of land and without giving
up on the right of return."
- At the time, Netanyahu denounced unity, saying:
- "What happened....in Cairo is a tremendous blow
to peace and a great victory for terrorism."
- In fact, Israel is the region's leading purveyor of state
terrorism by far. Moreover, Netanyahu, other Israeli officials, and previous
ones spurn peace. Why else would decades of negotiations go nowhere.
- Hopefully, Hamas and Fatah agreements will hold. On November
24, the International Middle East Media Center headlined, "Abbas,
Mashal, Meet in Cairo, Affirm National Unity," saying:
- Both sides affirmed "Palestinian national unity
and partnership. An understanding was reached to hold legislative and presidential
elections in May 2012." Abbas said:
- "I am pleased to inform the Arab and Islamic Nations
that we started a new phase of partnership to best serve the Palestinian
people. We deal with each other as partners."
- "We have unified responsibility towards our people
and our cause. We discussed the reconciliation agreement in detail, and
we are pleased to say that were no disagreements on any issue."
- It remains to be seen if he means it.
- Mashal also signaled hope, saying:
- "I want to assure everybody, these are not just
words. I want everybody to wait and see the real outcome on the ground.
We hope that our people, all factions, will help us in serving our cause."
- Another meeting is planned for December 22 to affirm
- In response, Israeli officials condemned the agreement,
calling Hamas (Palestine's legitimately elected government) a terrorist
- Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said:
- "The foreign ministry is examining the possibility
of Israel pulling out of the Gaza Strip in terms of infrastructure."
- In other words, Israel may cut off electricity, water,
and other essentials in retaliation. Already, besieged Gazans lack enough
food, medicines, and other basic supplies. Everything is rationed. Shortages
- Rolling blackouts happen daily for hours. Normality's
denied. So are Palestinian tax revenues PA leaders need to function. A
senior Israeli official said if Hamas and Fatah conclude unity, "it
would make a transfer of funds impossible."
- In recent weeks, Israel escalated Gaza attacks. Potentially
they signal more war. In mid-November, Israel's military commander Benny
Gantz warned about another large-scale operation. Palestinians take the
- On November 27, Haaretz writer Amir Oren headlined, "Egypt
turmoil may prompt Israel to strike Gaza," saying:
- The possibility of a post-election Islamist Egypt raised
concerns. Why isn't clear as Israel and Western nations have close ties
to others. In fact, Israel's using it as a pretext perhaps to unleash what's
- Timing may depend on an "intelligence assessment
of likely targets, the weather, the readiness levels of regular and reserve
troops and, last but not least, the situation in Egypt" if new leaders
- These and other factors affect new conflict strategies.
"During Gantz's nine months as chief of staff, plans for new operations
have been drawn, old plans have been revised and numerous battle-oriented
discussions have been staged."
- Events on the ground will dictate decisions. Preemption's
a strong possibility. Israel favors it, claiming it's responding defensively
when, in fact, it's committing lawless aggression - especially against
soft targets like Gaza.
- Meanwhile, various UK media reports suggest Israel (with
US logistical support) may attack Iranian nuclear sites by yearend or in
early 2012. Britain's Foreign Office believes it could come "sooner
rather than later," possibly by Christmas.
- In mid-November, Washington held discussions with Israel
to discuss sanctions. Whether or not possible belligerence was considered
isn't known. Both countries bogusly call Iran a threat. Israel wants a
regional rival eliminated. America wants client states throughout the Middle
East to solidify its unchallenged dominance.
- Attacking Iran and/or Syria involves huge risks. The
potential for general war is real. Its dangers are frightening. In her
1962 book titled, "The Guns of August," Barbara Tuchman discussed
events leading to WW I and its early weeks.
- Once started, things spun out of control with cataclysmic
consequences, including over 20 million dead, many millions wounded, and
a generation of young men lost before it ended.
- The lesson is be careful what you wish for. You may get
more than you bargained for. A century ago, no mass destruction weapons
existed. Today's can cause nuclear winter, including by accident.
- As a result, igniting another global conflict should
give officials pause about the consequences for potential gains. It should
also make them consider what's next if their calculations are wrong. Nonetheless,
those in charge often go for broke, and let the devil take the hindmost.
- Iran's military chief of staff, General Hassan Firouzabadi,
addressed possible aggression on the country, vowing strong retaliation.
General Yadollah Javani specifically warned Tel Aviv, saying:
- "If Israel fires a missile towards our nuclear or
critical facilities, it should know that every inch of Israel, including
its nuclear centers, are a target for our missiles (to strike), and we
have this capacity today."
- Turkey was also warned. General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh said
if Iran is attacked, NATO's (offensive) missile shield there will be struck
- Subduing Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya didn't go as planned,
despite rhetoric claiming so. Imagine the greater challenge Syria and Iran
pose, given their strength and allies.
- Whether it's enough to give militarists pause is uncertain.
So far, it doesn't seem so. Millions tremble at what may be coming. Everyone
- Some Good News
- With so little, savor it!
- Since its founding in July 2005, the global Boycott,
Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign convinced dozens of businesses
to leave Israel.
- Germany's Deutsche Bank divested from Elbit earlier,
a company involved in building Israel's Separation Wall. Norway's government
ended operations with an Israeli security firm, and Harvard divested from
- In late November, French banking giant BNP Paribas announced
it was pulling out entirely. Claiming financial reasons masked the truth.
- Pressure forced them out. PNB Paribas has many global
operations, including in neighboring countries. Moreover, its Israeli one
financed large French companies doing business in Israel.
- Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer and Finance Minister
Yuval Steinitz tried, but failed, to retain them. Word is both sides exchanged
- Maybe other large companies will follow PNB Paribas.
Some day perhaps they'll all stop doing business with an apartheid state
worse than South Africa's, much worse.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
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