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Articles Archives - March 2010
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Sunday, March 14, 2010
Re-reading Al-Mabhouh’s murder
Ramzy Baroud, Al-Ahram Weekly 3/11/2010
      How can the weak response of the West to Israel’s latest illegal assassination be justified? And how can those justifications be written by Israel, the accused?
     The killing of Palestinian activist Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh on 19 January 2010 was clearly a well-planned, violent and sadistic act, committed by Israeli assassins in the supposed safety of a foreign and sovereign country.
     Yes, Al-Mabhouh was a Palestinian activist. We have no reason to believe otherwise. He spent years of his life in Israeli prison (and one year in an Egyptian jail) for his political activism. This, however, gives no credibility to Israel’s accusation that Al-Mabhouh was a killer of Israelis. This assertion becomes even more problematic when considering that Al-Mabhouh’s assassination was, according to the British media, ordered by accused Israeli war criminals and rightwing politicians.
     According to The Sunday Times, Meir Dagan, the current director of Mossad, briefed Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on the assassination plan during a meeting in early January. “The people of Israel trust you. Good luck,” Netanyahu reportedly said at the end of this meeting.
     It is disgraceful enough that the assassins used fraudulent European passports as well as credit cards linked to an American bank to carry out their plans. But more upsetting is the fact that this cruel and calculated action has inspired little more than expressions of “outrage”. Have we become this resigned to Israeli impunity? What about the sanctity of life, the sovereignty of nations, and respect for international law? Are these immediately disposable when the victim is Palestinian and the location of the crime an Arab country?
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U.S. Placates Israel and Opens New War Front While Ignoring Palestinians
Rachelle Marshall, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs 3/1/2010
      THE ISRAELIS were not happy last June when President Obama in his Cairo speech referred to “the tensions fueled by colonialism” and promised a new beginning to relations between the U.S. and the Muslim world. The president’s popularity in Israel plummeted further when, a few months later, he called for a complete halt to Israeli settlement construction.
     The heretofore close relationship between the U.S. and Israel seemed destined to chill permanently when Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu adamantly rejected Obama’s demand and the Israelis began construction of 3,000 new apartments in the West Bank and 1,500 apartments for Jews only in Arab East Jerusalem. More than 800 Palestinian homes were scheduled to be destroyed.
     Although he criticized Israel’s expansion into territory the Palestinians regard as a future capital, Obama assured the Israelis that “The U.S. will maintain your QME” (qualitative military edge), and the flow of American military technology and financial aid to Israel has continued uninterrupted. Relations warmed considerably last November when Netanyahu made a show of luring the Palestinians back to the negotiating table by imposing a partial 10-month freeze on settlement construction and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hailed his move as “unprecedented.”
     Clinton moved further to accommodate Israel when she said on Nov. 25 that a peace agreement should be based on the borders that existed on June 4, 1967 but include agreed-upon changes that “reflect subsequent developments and meet Israel’s security needs.” “Subsequent developments” include the large settlement blocs located on the West Bank’s major water aquifers and most valuable agricultural land, which presumably would be annexed to Israel.
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Hamas: 4 years since electoral victory
Ahmad Yousef, Ma’an News Agency 3/13/2010
      The following is a speech delivered by Ahmad Yousef on Saturday in Gaza.
     It is with great pleasure that I deliver this speech before you in this year and month in particular. January 2010 marks the 4th anniversary of Hamas in the government following its democratic victory in the 2006 Parliamentary election and the formation of its government in March of the same year. This year is also special because it also marks the fourth year of Hamas’ successful transition to a political party, despite the trials and tribulations faced and imposed by certain members of the international community that attempted to see Hamas toppled and to thwart Palestinian democracy.
     .....Despite the pressures imposed externally, Hamas, for the sake of Palestinian national interest, opened the door to forming the National Unity Government based on the Mecca Agreement. The purpose of the Mecca Agreement was to halt external interference and give the Palestinians the chance to build their own democratic political system based on participation, transparency and freedoms enshrined in the UN Declaration on Human Rights.
     In the National Unity Government, a common Political Program was presented that was accepted by both Hamas and Fatah. In that program, President Abbas was given the mandate to negotiate with Israel; the conclusion of those negotiations were to be discussed and approved by the Palestinian people; and, final, the right of the people to resist the occupation, enshrined in international law, so long as Israel continues to occupy our lands in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, was upheld.
     Unfortunately, the national unity government didn’t last more than three months and, during that time, the amount of targeting of Hamas members increased. The chaos on the ground led to what is referred to as the Military Take Over of June 2007. Many mistakes by Palestinian political parties were committed during that time; mistakes that should not and will not prevent Palestinian reunification and reconciliation.
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PA's betrayal of human rights defenders the unkindest cut
Electronic Intifada: 14 Mar 2010 - They hail from opposite parts of the globe, but they have much in common: Jewish; experts on and passionate defenders of international law; and pummeling bags for Israel and the Palestinian Authority. And the future of the law of war lies at the heart of the campaigns against them. Nadia Hijab comments how the undermining of Richard Goldstone and Richard Falk.

A Matter of Timing
Palestine Chronicle: 14 Mar 2010 - By Uri Avnery - Israel Some weeks the news is dominated by a single word. This week's word was 'timing'. It’s all a matter of timing. The Government of Israel has insulted the Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, one of the greatest “friends” of Israel (meaning: somebody totally subservient to AIPAC) and spat in the face of President Barack Obama. So what? It’s all a matter of timing. If the government had announced the building of 1600 new housing units in East Jerusalem a day earlier, it would have been OK. If it had announced it three days later, it would have been wonderful. But doing it exactly when Joe Biden was about to have dinner with Bibi and Sarah’le – that was really bad timing. The matter itself is not important. Another thousand housing units in East Jerusalem, or 10 thousand, or 100 thousand – what...more

On Hamas's Achievements, Trials and Tribulations
Palestine Chronicle: 14 Mar 2010 - By Dr. Ahmed Yousef – Gaza January 2010 marks the 4th anniversary of Hamas in the government following its democratic victory in the 2006 Parliamentary election and the formation of its government in March of the same year. This year is also special because it also marks the fourth year of Hamas’ successful transition to a political party, despite the trials and tribulations faced and imposed by certain members of the international community that attempted to see Hamas toppled and to thwart Palestinian democracy. Hamas was ambitious in achieving its Platform of Change and Reform; a platform that called for an end to government corruption and transparency and participation of all political parties in governance. As may be recalled, many of the candidates that ran and won on the Change and Reform platform, at both the local and national level, were Palestinians of all walks of life that held diverse...more

Articles Archives - March 2010

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