Posts Tagged ‘Palestinian refugees’

Hamas: don’t renounce capital

September 22, 2009
Morning Star Online, September 21,  2009
by Tom Mellen
WARNING: Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh

WARNING: Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh

Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh has warned Palestinian National Authority (PNA) officials not to “renounce Jerusalem or the refugees” during Tuesday’s three-way meeting with the presidents of Israel and the US.

Speaking on Sunday at a ceremony in a Gaza City stadium marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Mr Haniyeh said: “No-one has the right to give up on Jerusalem or the Palestinian refugees. From Gaza, from a place of strength, we say we will not relinquish our rights.”

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Israeli settlements block peace talks

September 19, 2009
Morning Star Online, 18 September 2009
by Tom Mellen

Washington’s special Middle East envoy has failed to bridge the gulf between the right-wing Israeli administration and Palestinian negotiators on the terms of renewing peace talks.

US officials said that mediation efforts would continue, but the persistent differences raise doubts about Mr Obama’s plans to revive long-stalled peace efforts, including holding a trilateral meeting with the Israeli and Palestinian leaders next week in New York on the sidelines of the UN general assembly.

The key differences are over Israel’s refusal to stop the expansion of illegal settlements in the occupied territories and whether peace talks should begin where they left off under the previous administration of Ehud Olmert.

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Neve Gordon: Boycott Israel

August 21, 2009

An Israeli comes to the painful conclusion that it’s the only way to save his country.

By Neve Gordon, LA Times, August 20, 2009

Israeli newspapers this summer are filled with angry articles about the push for an international boycott of Israel. Films have been withdrawn from Israeli film festivals, Leonard Cohen is under fire around the world for his decision to perform in Tel Aviv, and Oxfam has severed ties with a celebrity spokesperson, a British actress who also endorses cosmetics produced in the occupied territories. Clearly, the campaign to use the kind of tactics that helped put an end to the practice of apartheid in South Africa is gaining many followers around the world.

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The continuing Nakba

August 4, 2009

Timothy Crawley, San Francisco Chronicle, Aug 4, 2009

Walk down what was formerly Al-Borj Street in Haifa, Israel, and you might catch sight of an old Jerusalem-stone building with arched doorways and windows cemented-over and a large Re/Max (an international real estate franchise) banner draped across the front. The house belongs to the Kanafani family, most of whom are living in exile in Lebanon but some of whom are now living as far away from home as San Francisco.

Defined as “absentee property” under Israeli law, the house is one of thousands of properties owned by Palestinian refugees who were forced from their lands by Jewish militias or fled during the war of 1948, in what would be remembered as the Palestinian “Nakba” – the Catastrophe. The Israeli Absentee Property Law of 1950 established the Custodian of Absentee Property to safeguard these homes until a resolution would be reached regarding the right of Palestinian refugees to return.

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Israel: Netanyahu rejects compromise with Palestinians

June 16, 2009
By Jean Shaoul | wsws.og, 16 June 2009

Israel’s premier, Benyamin Netanyahu, has made clear that his government is not interested in reaching any agreement with the Palestinians.

Netanyahu’s speech was billed as his response to US President Barack Obama’s call in Cairo on June 4 for the creation of a Palestinian state and the end of new settlements on the West Bank. It was delivered before an invited audience at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar Ilan University, near Tel Aviv, an academic stronghold of the religious right.

Netanyahu stated unequivocally that the establishment of a Palestinian “state” was dependent upon the Palestinians’ acquiescence to a series of Israeli demands, which together strip the putative entity of any of the normal attributes of a state.

These demands were dressed up as Israeli “principles.” The first principle and “fundamental condition” was that the Palestinians recognise not just the state of Israel, but its character as “the state of the Jewish people.” This meant that Palestinian refugees who were either forced out their homes in 1948, or who fled in 1967, would not be allowed to return to Israel.

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America’s Violent Extremism

June 6, 2009


By Paul Craig Roberts | Information Clearing House, Jume 6, 2009

What are are we to make of Obama’s speech at Cairo University in Egypt?

“I’ve come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect.”

Cairo is the capital of Egypt, an American puppet state whose ruler suppresses the aspirations of Egyptian Muslims and cooperates with Israel in the blockade of Gaza.

In contrast to the Islamic University of Al-Azhar, Cairo University was founded as a civil university. Obama’s Cairo University audience was secular.

Nevertheless, Obama said startling words that many Muslims found hopeful. He said that colonialism and the Cold War had denied rights and opportunities to Muslims and resulted in Muslim countries being treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations. The resulting blowback from “violent extremists” bred fear and mistrust between the Western and Muslim worlds.

Obama spoke of the Koran, his middle name, and his family connections to Islam.

Obama praised Islam’s contributions to civilization.

Obama declared his “responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.”

Obama acknowledged “the responsibility we have to one another as human beings.”

Obama acknowledged Iran’s “right to access peaceful nuclear power.”

Obama declared that “no system of government can or should be imposed by one nation on any other.”

Obama’s most explosive words pertained to Israel and Palestine: “Israelis must acknowledge that just as Israel’s right to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestine’s. The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements.”

Obama declared that “the only resolution [to the conflict] is for the aspirations of both sides to be met through two states, where Israelis and Palestinians each live in peace and security. That is in Israel’s interest, Palestine’s interest, America’s interest, and the world’s interest. That is why I intend to personally pursue this outcome with all the patience that the task requires.” For Obama’s commitment to be fulfilled, Israel would have to give back the stolen West Bank lands, dismantle the wall, accept the right to return, and release 1.5 million Palestinians from the Gaza Ghetto. As this seems an unlikely collection of events, the nature of the “two-state solution” endorsed by Obama remains to be seen.

After the euphoric attention to idealistic rhetoric dies down, Obama will be criticized for extravagant words that create unrealizable expectations. But were the extravagant words other than a premier act of schmoozing Muslims designed to quiet the Muslim Brotherhood in our Egyptian puppet state and to get Muslims to accept US aggression in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan?

Obama decries regime change, but continues to practice it, invoking women’s rights to gain support from secularized Arabs. He admits that Iraq was a war of choice but claims that al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and 9/11 make Afghanistan a war of necessity.

Obama said that “the events of 9/11” and al-Qaeda’s responsibility, not America’s desire for military bases and hegemony, are the reasons America’s commitment to combating violent extremism in Afghanistan will not weaken. Will Muslims notice that Obama’s case for America’s violent extremism in Afghanistan and now Pakistan is hypocritical?

Al-Qaeda, Obama says, “chose to ruthlessly murder” nearly 3,000 people on 9/11 “and even now states their determination to kill on a massive scale.” These deaths are a mere drop in the buckets of blood that America’s invasions have brought to the Muslim world. Moreover, the overwhelming majority of the Muslims America has slaughtered are civilians, just as are the unarmed Palestinians slaughtered by the American-equipped Israeli military.

Against al-Qaeda, whose “actions are irreconcilable with the rights of human beings,” Obama invokes the Koran’s prohibition against killing an innocent. Does Obama not realize that the stricture applies to the US and its “coalition of forty-six countries” in spades?

America’s wars are all wars of choice. The more than one million dead Iraqis are not al-Qaeda. Neither are Iraq’s four million refugees. Yet, Obama says Iraqis are better off now, with their country in ruins and a fifth of their population lost, because they are rid of Saddam Hussein, a secular ruler.

No one has a good tally of the dead and refugees America has produced in Afghanistan. Nevertheless, declared Obama, “The situation in Afghanistan demonstrates America’s goals and our need to work together.”

In his first 100 days, Obama managed to create two million Pakistani refugees. It took Israel 60 years to create 3.5 million Palestinian refugees.

What Obama has really done is his speech is to accept responsibility for the neoconservative agenda of extending Western hegemony by eliminating “Muslim extremists,” that is, Muslims who want to rule themselves in keeping with Islam, not in keeping with some secularized, Westernized faux Islam.

Muslim extremists are the creation of decades of Western colonization and secularization that has created an elite, which is Muslim in name only, to rule over religious people and to suppress Islamic mores. All experts know this, and most of them hail it as bringing progress and development to the Muslim world.

Obama said that “human progress cannot be denied,” but “there need not be contradiction between development and tradition.” However, the West defines development and education. These terms mean what they mean in the West. Muslim extremists understand that these terms mean the extermination of Islam.

In typical American fashion, Obama offered Muslims money, “technological development,” and “centers of scientific excellence.”

All the Muslims have to do is to cooperate with America and be peaceful, and America will “respect the dignity of all human beings.”


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