Posts Tagged ‘Hamas’

Three hard questions for Hamas

By Richard Falk

Richard Falk

There is no doubt that Hamas has exhibited extraordinary resilience under the most difficult of conditions that have bedeviled its period of political leadership in the Gaza Strip that started in 2007.

It also seems clear as persuasively argued by Sandy Tolan in a valuable Common Dreams article - “Blown Chances in Gaza: Israel & U.S. Miss Many Chances to Avoid War”, Aug. 13, 2014 that Hamas pursued multiple initiatives starting in 2006 designed to achieve calm and quiet in its relations with Israel, and that these initiatives, including back channel reassurance about peaceful intentions, were rebuffed without even being acknowledged by either Israel or the United States.

It also seems the case that Israel acted to provoke the three most sustained military onslaughts directed at Gaza since 2008, and in each has relied on disproportionate force, inflicted numerous civilian casualties, and acted in a manner defiant of international humanitarian law.

For these reasons Israel deserves to be treated as an ‘outlaw state’ for reasons set forth by Akbar Ganji and I argued in a two-part article appearing in the online pages of AlJazeera English [“The Outlaw State of Israel,” Aug. 20,21, 2014].

And yet Hamas also has some explaining to do if it wishes to be more widely accepted throughout the world as entitled to full respect as a legitimate political actor. Read the rest of this entry »

Strange regional alignments in the Gaza Massacre

By Richard Falk

Richard Falk

Prefatory Note

My post below, an earlier version of which was published in AlJazeera English as an opinion piece. It was written before I had the opportunity to read an illuminating assessment of the regional and global turmoil that culminated for now in the massacre carried out by Israeli armed forces in Gaza. I highly recommend “The Tragedy of Great Power: The Massacre of Gaza and the Inevitable Failure of the Arab Spring” written by the learned Islamic jurist and scholar, Khaled Abou El Fadl, a distinguished professor at UCLA School of Law, with the link to the article below:

What makes Professor El Fadl profound essay particularly valuable is his ability to fit the regional pieces together in a convincing manner, showing how and why governments that rule in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, encouraged the overthrow of Egypt’s elected government headed by Mohamed Morsi in mid-2013 and more recently encouraged Israel to destroy Hamas.

He also shows that Hamas is not accurately perceived as a byproduct of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, but has its own “very distinct pedagogies, objectives and methodologies.” In depicting the forces of resistance and transformation as opposed to the geopolitics of counterrevolution as constituting the core struggle taking place throughout the region it becomes clear why the alignments in the Middle East are assuming their current configurations.

It is telling and provocative for Professor El Fadl to situate the Palestinian Liberation Organization (and by implication, the Palestinian Authority) as de facto allies of Sisi’s Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE as well as being existential partners of the United States and Israel in subjugating the region to Western goals.

What has developed further since the end of the Cold War rivalry that long dominated the region should be considered a geopolitical protection racket that gained political salience in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. The upheavals of 2011 shook the foundations of the old order, and led to renewals throughout the region of Faustian Bargains by which various authoritarian regimes receive protection, including help with the destruction of any political actor, whether Islamic or not, that dares to challenge this established order composed of ultra-rich native elites claiming dynastic privileges conferred by colonial powers then seeking native collaborators to manage exploited and oppressed populations.

While these elites appease Israel, the masses in the same political space remain passionately and symbolically dedicated to the Palestinian struggle as became evident in the September 9, 2011 attack by several thousand Egyptians on the Israeli Embassy shortly while the heroic memories of the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak were still fresh.

Of all the complexities surrounding the reaction of the world to the horrifying spectacle of Israel’s severe criminality in Gaza none is more perplexing than the complicity of most governments throughout the Arab world.

What makes their political posture particularly bewildering is the degree of ethnic, religious, cultural, and historical commonality that creates such close ties of identity among the peoples of the region. And no single issue has been as unifying over the decades for these people than has their long intensely felt opposition to the injustice, suffering, and exploitation that the Palestinian people have endured for the past century as a result of the encroachments of the Zionist movement on their lands. Read the rest of this entry »

TFF PressInfo: It’s doable: Peace Israel-Palestine (1)

By Jan Oberg, TFF director

Jan Oberg

Lund, Sweden July 25, 2014

Violence is a dead end

Look at the violence in Gaza today, DR Congo (6 million dead), Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Somalia etc: Isn’t it obvious that the world needs a completely new approach to conflicts?

We’ll never rid the world of conflicts, conflicts is part of human and social life. Conflict-prevention is a meaningless term.

But we can rid the world of most of its violence. If we want, if we educate each other and if economic and other interests stopped supporting killing as a tool in conflict-management.

Unrealistic? Hopelessly idealistic? Well, look at the places above and try to find the realism and hope there.

Look at the conflict not at the parties and the violence

It requires almost no intellectual effort to take sides in a conflict between A and B. If both parties use violence, that means endorsement of the violence – the justification both need: “They threaten and kill us, therefore we threaten and kill them.”

Those who support a conflict party who use violence also support violence. As long as violence continues, there will be no process towards peace – only more hate, traumas, suffering, wish for revenge and destruction.

Violence – not the conflict – becomes the main thing and tit-for-tat the rule of the game, with an increase in the violence for each round. Scorpions in a bottle, feeding each other.

Both those who are outside a conflict and debate it – for instance, 99% of the media debates – and the conflicting parties on the ground feed on violence. If A did not use violence against B, how would B justify its own killings?

Gaza today – both parties lose

This is where we are in Gaza today when reports tell that around 800 civilians have been killed without any positive effect, both losing.

It’s not about evil, it’s about desperation coupled with traumas coupled with a lack of insight and education.

This wrong-headed attitude is indicative of conflict and peace illiteracy: among the parties, our media and our decision-makers. Innocent people on both or all sides normally pay the price for it.

The world needs a completely different approach. It’s embedded in the UN Charter and called peace by peaceful means. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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