• Re: GAZA
Posted by Cyberman at 2007-11-11 12:37 AM
I was just wondering if you (LS) are still sticking to your prediction which you've been making, for getting on for the last 2 years or more, that something significant is going to happen in Israel/Palestine. I guess the separation of Gaza is significant and it may have looked for a very short time that a deal could have been done with Abbas with Hamas sidelined in Gaza but its not the significance you were meaning.
It all looks depressingly like more of the same for the foreseable future in Palestine. The proposed conference for next month in Annapolis is now being referred to as a meeting, and expectations are well and truly being played down:
Meanwhile, illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank continue to be built in ever increasing numbers.
So, it looks very much that nothing will much will happen this year. Next year , of course , is US election year and so it is unrealistic to expect 2008 to be any different. What happens in 2009 will be anyone's guess at least until we know the nature of the next US administration.
• Re: GAZA
Posted by GuruJane at 2007-11-11 01:40 PM
I agree re Palestine. After the Hamas coup there was a possibility of the state emerging provided Abbas and Olmert kept up momentum. But it has long stalled. Abbas should have held elections by now. This would have given him a popular endorsement of the PA's recognition of Israel and enabled him to enter substantive bi lateral negotiations with Israel, eventually putting the "deal" back to the people in a referendum. Instead Rice has imposed one of the tried, tested and abysmally failed State Dept "regional conference" solutions. As was to be expected this has had the result of reviving the Palestine maximilist pre second Intifada position which in turns enables the the Israeli Right to crank up again. The conference will therefore fail Palestinian expectations again. Outcome: the old stalemate, or maybe another intifada.
Hamas has entrenched itself militarily in Gaza and won't be dislodged short of a nasty, bloody IDF action. It will not give up power to a PA it doesn't control; if it did it would be denying political logic. By not having the guts to call an election Abbas has effectively made the Palestinian split the new status quo.
• Re: GAZA
Posted by Cyberman at 2007-11-11 03:56 PM
"Abbas should have held elections by now. This would have given him a popular endorsement of the PA's recognition......"
A forcible or voluntary removal of the Israeli settlements on the West Bank looks increasingly unlikely, not to say impossible. And yet , without this, a two state 'solution' isn't viable. The Israelis and Palestinians are increasingly enmeshed both economically and politically. The sooner that is recognised, both locally and internationally, the sooner a genuine one-state solution can be implemented.
• Re: GAZA
Posted by GuruJane at 2007-11-11 05:46 PM
Could you read my post more attentively please? I said that Abbas should have called an election because this would have given him popular endorsement of the PA's recognition of Israel, ie before substantive negotiations took place.
The issue of recognition is the whole basis of Hamas rejectionism of the PA position. Holding an election at the time when Hamas was on the nose with the people for having split the country would have put Hamas under severe political pressure. Hamas would have refused to allow the Gaza Palestinians to vote which would have enhanced Abbas position and increased discontent with Hamas even more once the West Bankers endorsed the PA's policy and authorised Abbas to negotiate, as almost certainly would have been the case.
On your second point: You are right that forcible or even voluntary removal of the settlements is now a non starter and that makes a two state solution highly unlikely. The one state solution will never come to being short of Israel's military defeat.
That leaves the continuation and consolidation of the new status quo: two palestinian entities, one of which lives entirely on UN welfare, neither strong enough to impose its will on the other and Israel powering ahead economically, militarily and continuing to defend its settlements in the west bank without having to worry about settlements in Gaza.
The US has made many foolish mistakes in its handling of Israel/Palestine but this Annapolis Conference is almost criminal in its idiocy.
• Re: GAZA
Posted by Cyberman at 2007-11-11 08:28 PM
Well I did read your posting attentively and I did understand what you meant about the elections.My point was that it was unrealistic to ask the Palestinians to vote on less than the complete package.
I do agree with what you are saying about continuation consolidation. In fact its been like that for the past 30 years or more. The US do try to from time to time with greater or lesser degrees of enthusiasm to broker a peace deal. They know that the chances of success are slim, to say the least, but its politically necessary for them to be seem to be trying.
I also agree with what Arthur, was saying earlier in the year that public opinion in Israel did need to be 'prepared'. The Israeli government needs domestic disillusionment, to prepare public opinon for withdrawing from the West Bank. It isn't going to happen as a result of Israelis shifting towards the "peace camp" or Hamas changing its charter but as a result of Israelis losing their illusions about being able to hold on to the occupied territories.
And what about this comment from Patrick? "The
Whatever made LS think along these lines? When I questioned this line earlier in the year Arthur replied with: "Nothing much will change in the future" - cyberman's credo for a genuine leftist."
Things can change, in Palestine, of course. But, let's not expect that the US will provide any help. Rather, we should expect their direct opposition.
• Re: GAZA
Posted by GuruJane at 2007-11-11 10:32 PM
Cannot see why it would be "unrealistic" to give the Palestinians the opportunity to vote in a new Govt after the Hamas coup dissolved the last one? Or why it would be "unrealistic" to give them the opportunity to vote on the PLO'/PA's 1993 recognition of Israel since this was the major issue contention between Hamas and the PLO ? But perhaps you are suggesting that the Palestinians should never be given a vote again unless the "complete package" is in front of them?
Re the "need" for Israeli public opinion to be "prepared". It is rare for Arthur to talk balderdash but on this occasion he did. The Kadima/Labor coalition was elected precisely on the policy of withdrawal from west bank settlements only 19 months ago, and this after the total withdrawal of settlements from Gaza - so the vote was a post facto endorsement of the withdrawal and Netanyahu was trounced. A large majority of Israelis have no interest whatsoever in the settlements and have had none for years. Their only issue is security.
"Whatever made LS think along these lines"? Well, as a left wing zionist I have an entirely different position on Israel than most of LS. However I very much agree with their contention that Bush and the US policy since 9/11 has been to force Sharon into changing his lifetime-held position and surrendering Greater Israel to enable the creation of the Palestinian state. They succeeded in this brilliantly but now Rice and the State Dept have chucked it all away.
• Re: GAZA
Posted by patrickm at 2008-01-23 06:02 PM
Obviously there have been very dramatic events unfolding in
Hamas are quite right to have blown up the wall and systematically, and deliberately released the masses upon Mubarak. One day Mubarak is bashing Palestinian women back from the crossing, the next day he is bashing and arresting 500 of the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo, (amidst coordinated region wide demonstrations against Egyptian cooperation with Israel in punishing the occupied Palestinians) and the next day he has 350,000 (ex Egyptian) Palestinians crossing the border and he is forced to deal with Abbas and Hamas in re-establishing a functioning border and not with Israel!
At this rate the collapse of the Egyptian tyranny may slip onto the agenda
sooner than people have expected and as Arthur has said, if
But why should Abbas help anyone out of their problems from his position in
the still occupied
We now know that delay is not in U.S. interests, and Bush wants the deal done and has publicly said that he thinks it will be before the end of his term.
We have seen Olmert delaying, and being dragged along kicking all the way and almost publicly humiliating the U.S. by holding meetings and saying nice things in the presence of Bush as he reminds them that settlement activity must cease, followed a couple of days later with Israeli announcements of more settlement activities in East Jerusalem!
But with this dramatic end to Egyptian cooperation it would seem clear that delaying
the end to the failed forty year old war for greater
Cop a read of this from Time.
moved quickly to capitalize on the mass celebration of the border's breach. The
movement's parliamentary leader, Prime Minister Ismael Haniyeh, called on
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and
But note the fantasy still evident with this Time article.
that Gazans have exploded out of their besieged enclave, it may be up to
Olmert has placed the Israeli government in a dead end and Abbas ought not
give him any way out without an end to the occupation of the
The Egyptian masses will not tolerate Egyptian complicity in more ill treatment of the Palestinian masses.
The revolution rolls on!
• Re: GAZA
Posted by dalek at 2008-01-24 03:28 PM
According to Gurujane , Hamas is an (presumably) "Islamofascist" entity installed by a "coup". The fact that it was democratically elected seems to be glossed over entirely. After all how could a Middle East government be elected without the presence of US troops and mercenaries ? The Israelis are doing a good job of the killing part so that seems to fulfil part of the LS prescription for the introduction of democracy.
Patricm ends his excellent summary of the situation in Gaza with "The revolution rolls on!" Is this the one being led by the "Islamofascist" Hamas; Patrickm ? Tsk Tsk.
• Re: GAZA
Posted by patrickm at 2008-01-24 05:29 PM
This speech from Olmert is interesting for those who have eyes and ears.
Address by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to the 8th Herzliya Conference
I have come here to discuss the future.
I would like to say something personal: for all my adult life in this country, I have been exposed to convincing arguments as to why not. During my ongoing experience in public life, since the beginning of the 1970’s - I was often occupied with presenting arguments as to why we must not make concessions. At all the decisive crossroads during the last 40 years, at points during which we had to compromise - we found backing and support from outside and within as to why it would be preferable not to compromise.
Like many and better than I, I also invested mental energy and sifted through the range of facts that would help me convince myself why it was forbidden and impossible, inadvisable and dangerous.
Now - 40 years later - seeing the unadulterated reality can no longer be avoided. I do not say this in order to invite a collective ceremony of self-flagellation. Our enemies greatly mistook us and engaged in horrendous terror, which has become a way of life. Their obstinacy was unforgivable, and we must wait and see if it has softened, and if they are ready for the historic compromise which is unavoidable. I am not certain it is so, but I am ready and want to try.
Now we must understand that we do not have time. Once
we were afraid of the possibility that the reality in
I do not have the moral right to serve as prime minister of the Jewish people and the State of Israel if I do not take the risks, face all the obstacles and be exposed to the challenges involved in this exciting attempt.
Therefore, I have no intention of letting go, no matter the political and personal cost. Believe me, I am experienced enough and keen-sighted enough to see all the ties and collaborations of those swooping in with insatiable political lust on the blood of our sons, of those who assist from within and those who support from outside - and all for the purpose of taking away from our people its chance for a new horizon.
Our people - a people longing for an opportunity of light at the end of the dark tunnels which cloud our joie de vivre - is a wise people. It knows who speaks the truth and who does not. It knows who speaks from the heart and who speaks out of insatiable lust for authority and power.
And it knows that there is no substitute for what I am offering, cautiously and responsibly, but with boundless faith: to return to a reality in which there is no full realization of all our dreams of a large and broad country, but in which there is the chance - perhaps the best ever - of a Jewish, democratic state which lives in security, peace and with international support and in hope which does not fade.
It is clear that it's only Israeli disunity that is holding back the inevitable withdrawal from the West Bank, but the odds are going up that Bush will get his way and the war for greater Israel will be brought to an end this year because ‘the unadulterated reality can no longer be avoided.’
This revolution is region wide so the looming victory (very big but not complete) of the Palestinian people (and I don’t care if it takes another five years because it is coming), will also help to sweep away Mubarak’s nasty dictatorship as well.
It’s almost five years since the liberation of the Iraqi peoples set the region's swamp draining, unseen by the pseudo-left. Now that the emerging dry spots are exposing the anti-war leaders as blind when it counts, I wonder what the explanatory cover stories will be.
While I wonder where the Middle East drainage project will be up to in another five years, I know that despite the work and any evident progress, we in the west will still be putting up with reactionary dolts like Cyberman and Dalek passing themselves off as leftists and busying themselves protecting the masses from the nasty revolutionary left.
Hamas did win an election and I do not recall them being referred to as Islamo-fascist
though they are clearly Islamic and very right-wing. Hamas is playing a roll but to think that Fatah
is not is to be profoundly mistaken. A
reformed Fatah will also win elections and the unity of the Palestinian people
will be restored. Hamas did launch a
coup for control of
Islamist parties must often lead in the revolutionary transformation of the
region though they need not in
I have shown 'support' for the Dawa party in
As a communist I well understand the concept of a broad united front with right- wingers to defeat fascists. I would not be the one to break any principled united front and can only recommend that you read Mao on the issues involved.
• Re: GAZA
Posted by dalek at 2008-01-24 07:10 PM
Patrickm I am very pleased that we agree; the people of the ME are capable of overthrowing tyrants and fascist regimes with a revolutionary war by their own efforts.
That leaves only the somewhat awkard question (for you) of why it was neccessary for the US army and its mercenaries to invade and pillage Iraq so that revolutionary change could occur there.
Is Iraq an exception to the teaching of Mao ? He called for peoples war and resolutely fought against the Japanese Imperial Invaders. He did not cosy up to them and call them liberators.
Suggest that you re-read this. I sure you have read and understood it well - maybe you have forgotten?.
• Re: GAZA
Posted by patrickm at 2008-01-25 01:08 AM
Western leftists are confused and starting to fall silent as their former positions become untenable to hold onto whilst still claiming the political position of progressive.
utterly bankrupted as the world has been turned upside down, continue to rant
like Dalek demanding that unarmed masses take on powerful Baathist armies
(because that’s the way it must be done).
He may as well be shouting ‘exterminate yourselves’. Why pseudo's think that the
Not for Dalek any WW2 contribution to human progress by the
imperialist armies of the
Everywhere in the ME armed struggle has been part of the mix
as reactionaries have fought back and opposed the transformation. Everywhere there are messy united front's
forming up, and both unity and struggle within these messy political arrangements. Nothing is pure or simple. Consider the position of the Pakistani masses
as that revolution unfolds. Whole
A bourgeois democratic revolution is now unfolding in the Middle East and though exciting days like this are both inspiring and instructive and well worth working for (revolutions are both messy and dramatic ruptures with the status quo) at the same time the protracted nature of this revolutionary transformation ought to be apparent to all western supporters of it. Dramatic days are followed by periods of consolidation.
This long after 9/11, all illusions of any easy progress for the locals against their local opponents be they Zionists, Baathists, Jihadists, Shia or Sunni sectarian theocrats, autocrats, feudalists, militarists or outright criminal thugs, ought to have been completely ‘cast away’ by their supporters in the west.
I’m sure the locals never doubted what a hard task they were
up against. That's why when they formed
a government in
• Re: GAZA
Posted by Cyberman at 2008-01-25 02:11 AM
Which channel news was this then? Have I missed something? I've just watched the ABC news and there was a story of how the hole that Hamas blew in the Gaza wall was still open and people were taking the opportunity to restock with food etc. Is that what you mean?
The US seemed to be somewhat taken aback by the situation. I don't know for sure , of course, but I do have my doubts that there was any CIA involvement or that anyone in the Bush administration would have said "I think our draining the swamps policy needs a bit of a shove. Let's encourage Hamas to blow a hole in the wall".
I may be wrong but I'd imagine that right now the Americans are applying as much diplomatic pressure as they can on Egyptians to get the hole plugged up again. Take this comment from our friend Condoleeza: "I understand it is a difficult situation for them (I think she means the Egyptians ) But it is an international border, it needs to be protected and I believe that the Egyptians understand the importance of doing that."
So its an interesting story that will run for a few days yet , but nothing more.
• Re: GAZA
Posted by Cyberman at 2008-01-25 04:23 PM
All fair minded people must must celebrate the demolition of the Gazan wall on the Egyptian border, this week, and the, perhaps temporary, exodus of thousands of Palestinians deprived of basic supplies by Israel's illegal act of collective punishment. There was a further breach today, when a bulldozer pulled down a new section of the barrier.
A real human triumph for the human spirit. An imprisoned population has taken matters into its own hands and smashed a choking blockade, enforced jointly by Israel and US with the shameful support of the Egyptian Government. Not to mention the connivance of the US backed 'moderate' rump Palestinian authority in the West Bank.
The failure yesterday of Egyptian attempts to reseal the border, no doubt after much US and Israeli pressure, does take the situation to a new level. No doubt the Egyptians will be given a fresh ultimatum that either they reseal the border or resume full responsibility for the Gazan territory, a sort of return to its pre -1967 status. Neither is an attractive option for the Egyptians. The real solution of course, is to allow the relatively free movement of people across all borders in the region, as happens nearly everywhere else in the world. Although the breach of the wall is a local victory, it should not be forgotten that the real problem for the Palestinian people is not their border with Egypt.
To present the events of the last week as somehow a victory, or justification, for the US Near and Middle Eastern policies of the last seven years is really quite bizarre. But, of course if you stick to the nonsensical idea that the US are acting progressively in the region, then this sort of analysis is the result. As is often said about computer programs: If crap goes in then crap comes out.
• Re: GAZA
Posted by patrickm at 2008-01-25 06:59 PM
With Hamas blowing up the prison wall of a border, and releasing the Palestinian masses onto the Mubarak dictatorship a new dramatic complication has presented itself for everyone involved in the end game of the failed war for greater
Cyberman is once more demonstrating that he is a dolt in thinking So its an interesting story that will run for a few days yet, but nothing more. then presumably everything will be back to the ‘normal’ humiliation of the Arab masses; it won’t. and Cyberman is starting to re-think as events unfold, so now he writes;
The failure yesterday of Egyptian attempts to reseal the border, no doubt after much US and Israeli pressure, does take the situation to a new level.
This was a region changing event, because Palestinian refugees are numerous and spread region wide, and more broadly the Arab peoples have been humiliated in having to sit in their great many millions and watch as the Palestinans of Gaza were kept in the world's largest jail! The entire post WW2 period has been one humiliation after another for the Arab peoples' under their rotten autocrats.
This is not the death of Zionism we are living through; it is just the Zionist defeat in their 40 year war for Greater Israel that we are seeing!
Remember the war for greater
The Zionists (and even the
Hamas in cooperation with the Muslim Brotherhood and others coordinated demonstrations to condemn the Israeli blockade and targeted the Egyptian government for cooperating with the Zionists. These were organized, and in
Then events spun way past Mubarak, and with the media free to broadcast the Egyptian masses were very pleased to see the happy Palestinians freely moving in and out of the world's largest prison and into
If Mubarak tries to cooperate with Israeli demands to re impose border controls in anything like the old manner, the masses would take to the streets and the soldiers and police may well break trying to deal with what would become an intifada from the ex Egyptian Palestinians of Gaza. It would spread via the Palestinian Diaspora and could be too much for any rotten regime to stop as the masses would be furious.
The risks are too high for Mubarak to fully abide by his previous agreements.
Hamas has seized the initiative and the organization's prestige has risen with this victory. There is no going back to an Israeli blockade. The blockade has been beaten. This is yet another Israeli defeat and I would predict that Hamas will stop the rocket attacks immediately. It would be a blunder not to claim victory and cease the now pointless rocketing (until the next tit for tat Israeli provocation at least).
Mubarak has to deal with Abbas and Abbas has to deal with Hamas
All is change except for the pseudo-left. Yet even Cyberman is starting to be able to see what GWB has known for some years. Standing in the way of the masses as they strive for full bourgeois democracy is a loosing place to stand. The
• Re: GAZA
Posted by Cyberman at 2008-01-26 05:53 PM
Well there are quite a few brave predictions in the last posting. I hope you leave it up until at least the end of the year. My prediction is that you're way off the mark! "The Zionists have lost and are now coming to understand that they are about to sign an agreement to withdraw from the West Bank." I would like you to be right, of course, but instead I'm just wondering what medication you are on or if you are taking any illegal substances ! I doubt that there will be a Palestinian State established this year , but if there is, I'd be absolutely certain that there would be no Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank that was anything other than the tiniest of token gestures.
"Bush is the only, repeat only, serving US president to call the West Bank occupied territory" That's probably right but I don't think it will be quite enough to give GW Bush an honourary citizenship of the new Palestinian state when it does finally happen!
I've read this sentence a couple of times but it still doesn't make any sense. "The
A child of four can see that they aren't supporting it. Why else would, as reported by Al Jazeera, US congress have suspended $100 million of aid to Cairo because of its failure to close the border?
• Re: GAZA
Posted by GuruJane at 2008-01-27 11:37 AM
Hamas is "Islamo-fascist" ? Where have I ever said this? "Islamo fascists" don't participate in bourgois democratic political processes.
• Re: GAZA
Posted by Cyberman at 2008-01-28 06:27 PM
After I'd made the prediction, last week, that the Gaza story had a 'few more days to run' I'd thoughts perhaps I was being unduly pessimistic. However, and I'm sad to say, that has turned out to be absolutely correct. The story has dropped out of the headlines and you have to look quite hard to find out what is going on and it isn't good.
Of course, if you'd been correct in your analysis I would have been proved wrong, and you would have been able to say " I told you so!".
So, now that it must be apparent , even to the most die-hard LS activists that the US is not acting in a progressive way in Palestine, when are you going to accept that they aren't acting in a progressive manner anywhere else in the region either?
• Re: GAZA
Posted by patrickm at 2008-02-01 10:00 PM
Cyberman, your level of understanding is very poor. The issue is important no matter the level of coverage that it gets in the
Mubarak has been thrown onto the back-foot. The Middle Eastern masses are very interested in seeing that the Palestinians in
The border has changed as I said it would. Hamas is now involved more centrally in the issues of reform of the Palestinian Authority and Abbas will have to assert authority over the border and that will begin the process of politically reincorporating all of
Hamas did overplay their hand when they took full control of
Congress suspending aid to Egypt until this border has proper controls established is not the same as demanding that things return to the way they were. They cannot return. Events have moved on! But it is not just you that has not seen this. Hardly any who see themselves as on the left have been predicting a settlement and the establishment of the Palestinian state. There is a massive blind spot and total confusion as the end to the war for greater Israel looms.
• Re: GAZA
Posted by Cyberman at 2008-02-02 08:47 PM
Its odd that you should say that my level of undertsanding is poor when I think I'd already grasped the points that you've raised in your last post , and , indeed I do agree with nearly all of it.
There's just the little matter of where the US stand on all this that we really disagree on. So, I'd like to say that you're level of understanding is really very good! Even on the point of disagreement I don't think that your understanding is poor. Its just that you seem to have temporarily forgotten some things which you had previously understood very well and maybe you just need to brush up on a few basics.
For instance in 2007 you wrote: "There has to be a prisoner deal or nothing is going to be done at all, so as far as I can see, his (Marwan Barghouti) power and influence is about to flower." You correctly identified Marwan Barghouti as a possible unification figure for the Palestinian people. As far as I know there was no attempt or pressure from the US to secure his release and you were quite right in saying that nothing is going to be done at all.
Earlier in 2004 you wrote " Bush, will, at any rate, deal with whomever is chosen by the Palestinians even if he were to have a harder line than Arafat. If he were not to, then the line (that Bush is pushing democracy) would be wrong. " Correct me if I'm wrong, but even though Hamas was democratically elected the Bush administration refused to have any thing to do with them. So, yes, you were quite right. The democratic line that Bush was pushing was quite clearly wrong and just a cover for other policies.
Also in 2004 you had correctly identified that there was much to be done, and no time to be lost, when you wrote " If he (Bush) does not set a cracking pace then I would have to do some re-thinking which I have not been prepared to do over the last eighteen months." Over three years later, it is hard to make the case that the pace was anything like "cracking". So I think that once again you got it right.
Welcome to the pseudo-left
• Re: GAZA
Posted by dalek at 2008-02-04 03:50 PM
The breakout from Gaza has exposed the Palestinian Authority - and Abbas - for what it is; the prison guard for the Israelis and the US. Please stop all this fantasy stuff about Bush liberating Palestine or this:
" No imaginary one state solution but a real democratic
No Patrick, he is not only a sort of sell out puppet he is the Prison Master for the fascist internment of the Palestinian people. He deserves your support.