| FREE Marwan Barghouti: Palestine’s Mandela!

Where is Palestine’s Mandela? ~ Alan Hart, www.alanhart.net.

The answer to my headline question is that he, Marwan Barghouti, is in an Israeli jail where he has been since his arrest in Ramallah by an IDF unit in 2002, after which, in 2004, he was sentenced to five life terms in prison. Some months before his arrest one of Israel’s security agencies tried and failed to assassinate him. A missile was fired at his bodyguard’s car and killed the bodyguard. (If the attempt on Barghouti’s life had succeeded, his killers would not have been brought to justice because as well as bulldozing Palestinian homes and stealing Palestinian land and water, Israel kills, murders, with impunity).

 

Regular readers of my occasional thoughts and analysis will know that I am in favour of the dissolution of the impotent, corrupt and discredited Palestine National Authority (PNA) and handing back to Israel complete and full responsibility for the occupation. As I have previously said, this could make calling and holding the Zionist monster to account for its crimes something less than a mission impossible. But…

If putting the PNA out of its misery is not an option, what the Palestinians of the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip need, urgently, are elections to give them the opportunity to bring on a new and credible leadership. If there were elections, and if Barghouti was pardoned, released and allowed to run for the office of “President of Palestine”, he would almost certainly win.

I’m also happy to speculate that in office he would do what collaborator Abbas, more or less under orders from the U.S., has failed to do – unite Fatah and Hamasto enable the occupied and oppressed Palestinians to speak with one voice.

As I have written and said in the past, it bears repeating, there is no secret about Hamas’s real position. While it is not prepared to recognise Israel’s “right” to exist, nor should it do so, it isprepared, with Arafat-like pragmatism, to recognise and live with the actual existence of an Israel inside the pre-1967 war borders with, probably, mutually agreed minor border changes, and Jerusalem an open, undivided city and the capital of two states. Assertions about Hamas’s real position to the contrary by Greater Israel’s hardliners and the neo-fascists to the extreme right of them are Zionist propaganda “bs” (President Carters code for bullshit), out of the same stable as Netanyahu’s nonsense about Iran representing a threat to Israel’s existence.

Now 54, and fully fluent in Hebrew, Barghouti joined Fatah at the age of 15. He co-founded the Fatah Youth Movement on the West Bank and became Secretary General of Fatah in that territory. He is widely believed to have been the leader on the ground of the first and second intifadas. (Once it was underway the oversight director of the first intifada was actually Arafat’s number two, Abu Jihad, from the bedroom of his home in Tunis; and that’s why Israel assassinated him, in his bedroom, on 16 April 1988. If he had not been assassinated, Abu Jihad would have succeeded Arafat and the Palestinian cause would have been in the best possible hands at leadership level).

At about the time of his arrest Barghouti’s position on ending the conflict was in this statement:

I, and the Fatah movement to which I belong, strongly oppose attacks and the targeting of civilians inside Israel, our future neighbour. I reserve the right to protect myself, to resist the Israeli occupation of my country and to fight for my freedom. I still seek peaceful coexistence between the equal and independent countries of Israel and Palestine based on full withdrawal from Palestinian territories occupied in 1967.

In jail Barghouti has continued to condemn attacks on civilians in Israel but also stressed that he supported armed resistance to Israeli occupation. (In international law all occupied peoples have the right to resist occupation by all means including armed struggle).

Even in Israeli political and media circles there has been some debate about pardoning and releasing Barghouti. Following his January 2006 re-election to the Palestinian Legislative Council (he was first elected to it in 1996), Yossi Beilin, a foreign policy specialist and former Israeli government minister, and a voice of some sanity, called for Barghouti to be pardoned. And it was probably on advice from Beilin that in January 2007 Shimon Peres, then deputy prime minister, declared that if elected to the presidency he would sign a pardon for Barghouti. He has not yet done so and I think it’s reasonable to assume that Netanyahu said to him something like, “Don’t even think about it!”

The last thing Netanyahu wants is a Palestinian leader who commands the respect of his people and will not accept crumbs from Zionism’s table.

In his tribute to Nelson Mandela at the memorial service in Soweto’s FNB stadium, President Obama said that he, Mandela, “understood that ideas cannot be contained by prison walls, or extinguished by a sniper’s bullet.” Barghouti understands that, too.

What a real peace process needs is an Israeli leader who understands that an acceptable amount of justice for the Palestinians is an idea that can’t be destroyed by military might and oppression of all kinds. Such a leader would pardon and free Marwan Barghouti.

To the Zionist argument that he can’t be freed because he is a terrorist, there can be only one response.

Whether Barghouti was or was not a terrorist is an irrelevance. Mandela was described as a “terrorist”, and so were many of those who became prime ministers and presidents of Britain’s former colonies when they gained their independence. And what about Zionism’s own, Menachem Begin for example, arguably the most successful terrorist of modern times if not all of human history? (Begin had a leading role in driving out of Palestine by terrorism first the occupying British and then three-quarters of its indigenous Arab inhabitants).

To that response could be added the fact that Israel sometimes resorts to state terrorism.

There is good reason to believe that if Barghouti was pardoned and freed and became the president of Palestine, he would pursue a Mandela-like path of reconciliation to the extent that he would be committed to the wellbeing and security of Jews in a state of Israel inside more or less its borders as they were on the eve of the 1967 war. So there is a case for saying that Israel needs Barghouti as much as the Palestinians do.

There is now one thing (apart from Netanyahu!) that neither Israel nor the occupied and oppressed Palestinians need. It was drawn to my attention in an article by Abdel Bari Atwan, the former editor-in-chief of Al Quds, the only Arab newspaper while Abdel Bari was in charge of it that was required reading in the foreign offices of the Western world. Abdel Bari is no longer with the paper because its principal Gulf Arab funders were not prepared to tolerate his truth-telling any longer and demanded his departure. That didn’t come as a surprise to me because when three years ago I interviewed him for my Heart of the Matter series for Press TV (which can be found on my web site www.alanhart.net), he told me that the chair in which I was sitting opposite him at his desk had been occupied some weeks previously by a Saudi royal who offered him a vast amount of money to take his leave of the paper.

Abdel Bari’s article which commanded my full attention was headlined Al-Qaeda Arrives In The West Bank. It included this:

When I met Sheikh Osama bin-Laden in Tora Bora caves in the 1996, I conveyed to him people’s criticism that the organization focuses on fighting in Afghanistan, Southeast Asia (Thailand and southern Philippines), Bosnia-Herzegovina, Chechnya, Daghistan, and elsewhere and that it did not carry out any operations against Israeli targets in and outside Palestinian territories. He told me the reason was the difficulty in crossing the border and the vicious security measures that the Arab security agencies adopted against his organization… It appears (mainly because of the mayhem in Iraq and Syria) things have now changed, at least partially.

About how things are changing Abdel Bari wrote this:

The Mujahedeen Shura Council, which is affiliated with al-Qaeda, yesterday announced in a statement that the three young men killed by the Israeli army in Hebron on Tuesday were members of one of its cells. The statement, posted on the internet, said: “As we announce the martyrdom of this group, we bring to the Muslim nation the glad tidings that, praise be to God, global jihad now has a foothold in the proud West Bank after everyone tried to foil every seed planted there.”Shin Bet (Israeli internal security) officials said the extremist network had established a safe haven in the West Bank, stored weapons, and planned attacks against Israeli targets and against the PNA.

If this information is true – and it appears to be true – it will shock both the PNA and Israel because al-Qaeda’s arrival in the occupied West Bank is a very serious security breach that will have repercussions because, judging from al-Qaeda’s activities in other regions, it means martyrdom-seeking operations and booby-trapped cars.

 

I personally do not rule out such a breach. Hamas has not carried out any military attacks against Israeli targets and settlements in the West Bank because it has a sort of “truce” with both the Israelis and the PNA in the West Bank and Gaza, and with it refraining from launching any systematic operations in order to evade an Israeli incursion into Gaza, which it rules, I believe it is inevitable that al-Qaeda and its supporters will try to find a foothold; and that they will likely succeed in recruiting enthusiastic young men dismayed at the state of deadlock and influenced by the Arab revolutions.

 

If al-Qaeda (and/or affiliates) did succeed in establishing enough of a foothold on the occupied West Bank from which to launch attacks to kill Israeli Jews, that could trigger a final Zionist ethnic cleansing.

It also could be that a credible Palestinian leadership headed by Marwan Barghouti after elections would represent the very last chance for stopping the countdown to catastrophe for all.

My plea to all who campaign for justice for the Palestinians is – give a priority to calling and lobbying for the release of Marwan Barghouti, the man who could become the Palestinian Mandela in terms of the reconciliation needed if the two-state solution is to be resurrected from its grave.

If it was, my guess is that that Barghouti would entertain the same hope as Arafat – that one or two generations of a two-state peace would lead by mutual consent to a one state with equal rights for all.

Footnote

James Robbins, the BBC’s diplomatic correspondent, made what I thought was a most perceptive comment a few days ago. He said words to the effect that maybe it was not Mandela who had been in jail for 27 years but most of South Africa’s whites – in the jail of apartheid ideology. In the case of Marwan Barghouti, maybe it’s not him who is in jail but most Israeli Jews – in the jail of Zionism’s ideology.

 

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| Unabated land theft: The cost of talking to Israel!

The cost of talking to Israel ~ Redress Information & Analysis.

The Palestinians and Israel have been talking for over 20 years. The talks were meant to conclude within five years, “yet two decades on Israel’s occupation continues, and the situation on the ground has only moved backwards for Palestinians”.

As the website Jadaliyya points out,

An ever-increasing Israeli settler population, continuing dispossession of Palestinians, and a comprehensive system of segregation define the landscape. In spite of the Palestinian Authority’s “statehood” project, the feasibility of a “two-state solution” is now widely questioned, while Palestinian self-determination and the return of refugees are barely discussed.

The infographic below, produced in collaboration with the Association of International Development Agencies (AIDA), reminds us of the high price paid by the Palestinian people for talking to the Israelis – land thieves, misfits, squatters and habitual liars. (To download the full size infographic, click here, and then click on the infographic after it downloads.)

Twenty years of talking

Twenty years of keeping Palestinians preoccupied with futile talks

Talking to the Israelis from a position of weakness has never worked, and will never worked. Israel understands only one language: the language of force.

So, it’s time for the Palestinians to go back to the drawing board.

But first they must understand that only ethnic cleansing and the annihilation of their national cause awaits them if they remain divided.

It’s past time to set aside the debilitating divisions, for Fatah to clean its house and for Hamas to forget about its ridiculous “Islamic project”, and for all Palestinians to confront the Israeli monster united.

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| Murder, mystery, mayhem: Arafat’s Death – There’s really no mystery!

Arafat’s Death – There’s really no mystery ~ Alan Hart.

Yasser Arafat

 

For once Israel is telling a part of the truth. It was impossible for any of its own (Israeli-Jewish) agents to get into the rubble of Arafat’s compound to administer the poison that killed him. But they didn’t need direct access. Israel’s role was to provide the radioactive polonium for one of its collaborators in Fatah’s leadership.

 

I was convinced that Arafat was as good as dead before he died. What I mean is this.

I was watching live on television as Israel prepared to announce that it was going allow Arafat to leave by helicopter for Jordan and then on to a military hospital in Paris. Up to this moment Israel’s position was that if ever Arafat left Israel-Palestine, he would not be allowed to return.

The announcement that Israel was facilitating his departure was made by government spokesman Ranaan Gissin. One member of the assembled press corps asked him a question. “Will you allow Arafat to return?

Gissin, who normally had to struggle to control the anger in his anti-Palestinian rhetoric and was often close to foaming at the mouth, responded with a big, warm and obviously false smile. Then he said: “Of course we’ll allow him to return. He’s the president of Palestine.”

I turned to my wife and said: “Gissin is only saying that because he and his masters know that Arafat will be coming back in a coffin.”

As to who the actual assassin was, there’s no mystery about that either as far as many Palestinians are concerned.

Here is a clue.

He is the man who, with American endorsement and Israeli military back-up as necessary, was going to lead Fatah’s security forces in what he thought would be a short, sharp war to destroy Hamas in the Gaza Strip. It didn’t happen because Hamas got wind of the impending attack and launched an Israeli-like pre-emptive strike against Fatah’s forces and drove them out of the strip.

He is also the man who, today, is plotting and scheming to replace Abbas as Fatah’s leader and “President” of Palestine.

My own view is that Abbas should not be replaced by anybody and that the discredited, corrupt and collaborator PA should be dissolved in order to hand back to Israel complete responsibility for its occupation. That might make it less than a mission impossible for Israel to be called and held to account for its crimes.

FOOTNOTE

On other and current matters…  I have reached the stage where I have to turn the sound down to off when Netanyahu and his spokesman Mark Regev are talking about Iran. I can’t take any more of their propaganda nonsense. In Regev’s case his body language suggests to me that he is inwardly uncomfortable with having to speak such rubbish.

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| Irrepressible Legitimate Resistance: Hamas Commemorates 25th Anniversary!

On Friday, Hamas Political Bureau Chairman Khaled Meshal arrived in Gaza. It was his first time in Palestine in decades. 
 
At age 11, his family fled after Israel’s Six Day War. In 1975, he returned briefly. 
 
On arrival, he was joyously welcomed. Tight security accompanied him. He entered through Egypt’s Rafah crossing. Symbolically, he kissed the soil and prayed. His stay is short. He’ll remain 48 hours. 
 
After leaving Damascus, he’s spent most of his time in Qatar. On arrival he said:
 
“Gaza, with its martyrs, cannot be described in words.” He spoke with tears in his eyes. “There are no words to describe Gaza, to describe the heroes, the martyrs, the blood, the mothers who lost sons.”
 
“I consider this moment my third birth, and I pray to God that my fourth birth will be the moment when all of Palestine is liberated.”
 
His second birth was when he survived Israel’s 1997 assassination attempt. He was in Jordan at the time. Mossad agents sprayed poison in his ear. Amman got Israel to provide the antidote in time. It saved his life.
 
He came to commemorate Hamas’ 25th anniversary. On Saturday, hundreds of thousands massed in Gaza City‘s Kateba Square. They came to celebrate. Meshal, Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, and other Hamas officials joined them. 
 
A Fatah delegation came. Hundreds of Arab and other country representatives also attended. Saturday was a day to celebrate. Liberating struggles resume Sunday. Reconciliation with Fatah is prioritized. Israel will go all-out to prevent it.
 
Meshal addressed Gazans, saying:
 
“Resistance is the means not the end. For 64 years we have tried all other options but to no avail. There is no victory without resistance.”
 
“Palestine is ours from the river to the sea and from the south to the north. There will be no concession on an inch of the land.”
 
“We will never recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli occupation and therefore there is no legitimacy for Israel, no matter how long it will take.”
 
“We’ve tried negotiations and politics for more than 20 years. Let’s review the political program.” 
 
“We do not fight Jews because they are Jews, but we fight Zionists because they are occupiers and abusers.”
 
“Reconciliation means the unity of the political program. One president and one parliament and one representative, which is the PLO.” 
 
On January 25, 2006, Palestinians overwhelmingly elected Hamas PLC representatives as their legitimate government. Institutionalized Fatah corruption defeated them.
 
Hamas promised change. Israel intervened. Isolating the new government began straightaway. Israel orchestrated the Fatah/Hamas conflict. In June 2007, siege was imposed. Israel subverts reconciliation efforts.
 
In March 2004, Israel assassinated Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. He wanted peace, not conflict. 
 
He said Hamas’ liberating struggle would end “if the Zionists ended their occupation of Palestinian territories and stopped killing Palestinian women, children and innocent children.”
 
Current Hamas leaders express willingness to recognize Israel in return for self-determination in peace inside pre-1967 borders. It represents 22% of historic Palestine
 
Numerous times it agreed to unilateral ceasefires in spite of repeated Israeli violations. It responds defensively only after repeated IDF provocations. They never end. They ebb and flow in greater or lesser numbers and intensity.
 
Hamas is more than Palestine’s legitimate government. It provides vital social services. They include medical clinics, education, free meals for children, help for orphans, financial and technical assistance for homeless families, aid to refugees, special youth and sports clubs, and more as their resources allow.
 
The Qassam Brigades are maintained for self-defense. Police help enforce security. Israel and Western societies grossly mischaracterize Hamas.
 
On October 8, 1997, the State Department designated Hamas and Hezbollah Foreign Terrorist Organizations. Doing so followed Israeli pressure.
 
Both groups legitimately represent their governments. Hezbollah does in Lebanon.
 
Neither organization endorses or practices terrorism. America and Israel are its leading exponents. No other countries match their lawlessness. Hamas and Hezbollah respect rule of law principles. Washington and Tel Aviv spurn them.
 
On April 18, 2008, Hamas co-founder Mahmoud al-Zahar headlined “No Peace without Hamas,” saying:
 
“The US-Israeli alliance has sought to negate the results of the January 2006 elections, when the Palestinian people handed our party a mandate to rule.” 
 
“Hundreds of independent monitors, (Jimmy) Carter among them, declared this the fairest election ever held in the Arab Middle East.”
 
Washington and Israel conspired to initiate “coup d’etat (ferment) that created the new sectarian paradigm with Fatah and the continuing warfare against and enforced isolation of Gazans.”
 
At the time, Zahar said he buried his son, Hussam, three months ago. Israel murdered him. In 2003, he buried his first-born, Khaled. An Israeli F-16 targeted him, wounded his daughter and wife, and leveled the house where he lived.
 
Many neighbors and friends were killed. In 2007, Israel murdered his son-in-law. “(A)fter decades of imprisonment, killing, statelessness and impoverishment,” he asked: 
 
“What peace can there be if there is no dignity first? And where does dignity come from if not from justice?”
 
Hamas continues its liberating struggle, he said, because “we cannot allow the foundational crime at the core of the Jewish state – the violent expulsion from our lands and villages that made us refugees – to slip out of world consciousness, forgotten or negotiated away.”
 
Judaism gave so much to so many for so long, he added. Zionism practiced violence, racism, and apartheid. Palestinians can’t make peace without a willing partner. Israel spurns it.
 
It maintains occupation harshness. It steals Palestinian land. It persecutes its people. It rules by the barrel of the gun. Redressing decades of crimes takes time.
 
“(A)dversity taught us patience,” said Zahar. “In the end, it is always a question of our children and those who come after us.”
 
Hamas in Arabic means courage and bravery. It’s also an abbreviation of the Arabic words meaning Islamic Resistance Movement.
 
In 1987, it was founded during the first Intifada. Israel initially supported it to counter Arafat’s PLO.
 
Throughout its history, it’s been a legitimate resistance group. It wants liberation, self-determination, peace and justice. Its aims are no difference from other oppressed people.
 
Israel, Washington, and European nations call its legitimate self-defense “terrorism.” It’s a heterogenous democratic Islamic Resistance Movement.
 
It’s allied with other resistance fighters to end Israel’s lawless occupation and repression. Under international law, it’s their legitimate right.
 
It prefers negotiation and international consensus. It spurns violence, confrontation and war. Its charter says it’ll fight for its rights if they can’t be gotten peacefully.
 
It blames Israel for decades of conflict. Its founding charter says it “draws its guidelines from Islam; derives from it its thinking, interpretations and views about existence, life and humanity; refers back to it for its conduct….adopts Islam as its way of life….Its ultimate goal is Islam, the Prophet its model, the Qur’an its Constitution.”
 
“In the absence of Islam, conflict arises, oppression reigns, corruption is rampant and struggles and wars prevail….(The Movement) will do its utmost to….support….the weak, (and defend) all the oppressed.”
 
(It) regards Nationalism (Wataniyya) as part….of the religious faith.” 
 
Peace initiatives and international conferences are rejected if their intention is renunciation of Palestinian land. 
 
It rejects Zionist intentions to destroy Palestinian society, its values and “wipe out Islam.” 
 
It calls itself “a humane movement, which cares for human rights and is committed to the tolerance inherent in Islam as regards attitudes towards other religions.” 
 
“It is only hostile to those who are hostile towards it. (Under Islam) it is possible for the members of the three religions: Islam, Christianity and Judaism to coexist in safety and security” as long as other religions “desist from struggling against Islam over sovereignty in this region.”
 
It believes “World Zionism and Imperial forces have been attempting….to push the Arab countries” to end conflict with Zionism “to isolate the Palestinian people.” 
 
It says its members don’t seek “fame….nor material gains, or social status….It will never set out against any Muslims….or non-Muslims who make peace with it.”
 
Compared to Washington and Israel, Hamas represents moderation, peace, equity and justice. It wants Palestinians to be treated like all other people. It wants no distinction to be made between Arabs and Jews.
 
It wants conflict and occupation ended. It wants fundamental international laws respected. It calls Universal Declaration of Human Rights inviolable.
 
It believes everyone should be treated equitably, regardless of race, religion, gender, political opinion, national or social origin, or other factors differentiating one group from another.
 
It always called for peace. It’s willing to negotiate with Israel on the basis of “hudnah” or temporary truce.
 
As Palestine’s elected government, it declared a unilateral ceasefire. It expressed willingness to recognize Israel in return for equivalent Israeli recognition.
 
It governs in good faith. Peace overtures are rejected. Israel and Washington continue violence. Conditions today no different than earlier.
 
Palestinians are on their own. Their liberation struggle continues. One day hopefully they’ll achieve what so far proved elusive. No one anywhere deserves it more.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.
His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
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| Quisling Abbas: Collaborating with the Enemy!

Abbas: Collaborating with the Enemy ~ Stephen Lendman.

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Previous articles explained Abbas’ longtime collaboration with Israel. He sold out long ago for whatever benefits he derives.

He’s Israel’s enforcer. He ill serves and insults Palestinians. His presidency is illegitimate. Israel rigged his 2005 election. In January 2009, his term expired.

He’s still in office. At least for now, Washington and Israel want him there. He’s more stooge than statesman. He’s a duplicitous puppet.

He replicates fascist Quisling Norway, Vichy France, and other Nazi-controlled collaborationist regimes. Instead of serving his people, he betrayed them.

He subverts Palestine’s liberating struggle. Collaborating with the enemy is treason. Abbas and likeminded Fatah officials are guilty on multiple counts.

What did he know and when about Pillar of Cloud?

He knew about Cast Lead in advance. On November 30, 2010, Reuters headlined “Israel says Abbas, Egypt warned on Gaza war – leaks,” saying:

Ahead of Cast Lead, Israel “conferred with the Western-backed Palestinian leadership and with Egypt….”

Leaked US diplomatic cables quoted a senior Israeli official confirming it. Haaretz reported the same thing. Mubarak and Abbas were briefed in advance.

Haaretz said “Israel tried to coordinate the Gaza war with the Palestinian authority.” WikiLeaks released US diplomatic cables confirming it.

In June 2009, months before Cast Lead, Israeli Defense Minister Barak met with US congressional members.

He also “consulted with Egypt and Fatah prior to Operation Cast Lead, asking if they were willing to assume control of Gaza once Israel defeated Hamas.”

He “received negative answers from both.” Previous leaked information reported the same thing. WikiLeaks provided “the first documented proof.”

Abbas denied getting advance word. He lied. Mubarak said nothing either way.

Reuters said Abbas “urged Israel to crush Hamas during the war.”

Avigdor Lieberman held ministerial positions under Sharon and Ehud Olmert. In April 2009, he became Netanyahu’s Foreign Minister.

He explained Abbas’ involvement, saying:

“Over the past year, I witnessed (Abbas) at his best. In Operation Cast Lead, (he) called us personally, applied pressure, and demanded that we topple Hamas and remove it from power.”

Though out of government during Cast Lead, a senior Olmert official called his comments “essentially accurate.”

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said this information “reaffirms the fact that Mahmoud Abbas is no longer fit to represent our people, who conspired against his people during a war.”

Abbas was never fit to serve. That’s why Israel and Washington chose him.

WikiLeaks also disclosed that Hamas spokesman Salah Al-Bardaweel said:

“We have not ruled out that Fatah and the Palestinian Authority could have contributed in one way or another in the war against Gaza for political reasons such as bringing down the Hamas movement and regaining control.”

More from WikiLeaks suggested it. Washington’s Tel Aviv embassy said Fatah officials asked Israel to attack Hamas.

According to a June 2007 dispatch, Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin said “demoralized” Fatah officials wanted help to destroy Hamas.

“They are approaching a zero-sum situation,” said Diskin, “and yet they ask us to attack Hamas. They are desperate. This is a new development. We have never seen this before.”

He added that “Fatah is in a very bad shape in Gaza. We have received requests to train their forces in Egypt and Yemen. We would like them to get the training they need, and to be more powerful, but they do not have anyone to lead them.”

He also praised Shin Bet’s “very good working relationship” with Abbas at the time. His internal security service collaborates with Israel. He understands that “Israel’s security is central to (his) survival in the struggle with Hamas….”

At the time, Fatah collaborated with Washington to oust Hamas. An abortive coup failed. More information surfaced.

WikiLeaks published a June 12, 2007 cable. It said Israeli military intelligence head Amos Yadlin told US embassy officials that Hamas retaining power in Gaza was advantageous.

“Although not necessarily representing a GOI (government of Israel) consensus view,” said Yadlin, “Israel would be ‘happy’ if Hamas took over Gaza because the IDF could then deal with Hamas as a hostile state.”

Israel’s imperial agenda needs manufactured enemies. Having them facilitates violence and instability. They also help justify small and larger-scale wars.

Like Pillar of Cloud, Cast Lead was planned months in advance. Its aim was to advance Israel’s imperium.

It involves controlling all valued parts of Judea and Samaria, depopulating much of Palestine, and confining remaining population elements to canonized worthless scrubland.

Both conflicts are more about weakening Hamas than destroying it. They also involve waging war on civilian men, women, children, infants and the elderly.

Doing so is official Israeli policy in all conflicts. Israel considers all Palestinians combatants or potential future ones.

Perhaps Abbas and other Fatah officials knew about Pillar of Cloud in advance. Maybe they approved or urged it.

During eight terror bombing days, Abbas’ comments were delayed, weak, meaningless and insulting.

He did nothing to help beleaguered Gazans. Nor during Cast Lead. Both times he went along with Israeli slaughter and mass destruction.

Issam Younis serves as Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights general director. On November 20, Maan News published his “Letter to Abbas: Visit us in Gaza.” In part it said:

“This is a historic moment, that must be taken up. We’ve waited for you in Gaza for six days. We’re still waiting; your people who are being attacked and slaughtered in Gaza.”

“It is not acceptable anymore – no matter what those surrounding you make it look like to you – that you do not come. I do not invite you to show solidarity with Gaza, but to be in Gaza and with Gaza.”

“The advocates of divide can stay back in Ramallah. This scandalous schism must end now and here; the schism that made your people bleed.”

“We are waiting to know that you have ordered PLO diplomats in Geneva, New York, Vienna, and Paris, and in all UN offices, to immediately act to convene the UN General Assembly, Human Rights Council, UNESCO and others to condemn the crimes perpetrated against our people in Gaza, and do all they can to secure that these crimes be investigated and punished.”

“It is regrettable we have not so far seen any meaningful diplomatic effort that matches the size of blood and suffering in Gaza.”

“We are waiting for the orders to our veteran diplomats to be set on fire and approach the European Union and other powers to mobilize the much-needed pressure on the occupying state.”

On November 4, Younis also challenged Hamas. Maan News published his open letter, saying:

He remains “an advocate of the right of Hamas to govern, and I absolutely reject the double standards employed by the international community towards the movement.”

“The financial and political sanctions on Gaza are simply unjust and scandalous. Hamas won a free and fair election in 2006. The world was well aware that Hamas would win in the elections.”

“At the same time, he challenged Hamas to act more like a government than a ‘movement.’ ”

“The issue here is not about calling into question the intentions or desires of the people in power. It is more about the actual process of governance in such a unique situation like Gaza.”

“What is needed is for the government to interact openly with society, with all of its social and political structures. Society also has a duty to reciprocate and to be open to interacting with the government.”

On November 23, Haaretz contributor Amira Hass headlined “War highlights Abbas’ mutual alienation with Gaza.”

She discussed both Younis letters. Abbas was abroad when Israeli terror bombing began. He returned. He had to. Yet he waited two days before speaking publicly.

His comments were weak, unacceptable and duplicitous. He showed which side he’s on.

He also convened Palestinian PLO leaders. “(H)e didn’t even invite the Hamas representative in the West Bank.” He failed to show solidarity with Gaza.

“It is not clear whether the Hamas government would (let him come) as part of an overall conciliation agreement” or for any purpose.

During Cast Lead, his security forces prevented Palestinian protests. This time he didn’t “dare (stop) people from marching toward Israeli Defense Forces checkpoints in the West Bank (to) demonstrate against the attacks on Gaza.”

Doing so fell far short of what’s needed. Palestinians need leaders serving them, not Israel. Abbas is a collaborative traitor. He’s also a pathetic spent force.

 

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net

His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”

http://www.claritypress.com/Lendman.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

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