Uri Avnery, CounterPunch 12/6/2013
So here comes John Kerry again, for the umpteenth time (but who is counting?) to make peace between us and the Palestinians.
It is a highly laudable effort. Unfortunately, it is based on a false premise. To wit: that the Israeli government wants peace based on the two-state solution.
Unwilling – or unable – to recognize this simple truth, Kerry looks for a way around. He tries approaches from different directions, in the hope of convincing Binyamin Netanyahu. In his imagination he hears Netanyahu exclaim: “Now, why didn’t I think of that?!”
So here he comes with a new idea: to start by solving Israel’s security problems and doing away with its worries.
Let’s not talk for now about the other “core problems”, he says. Let’s look at your concerns and see how to meet them. I have brought with me an honest-to-goodness combat general with an honest-to-goodness security plan. Have a look at it!
This approach is based on the false premise – the offspring of the overall premise – that the “security concerns” cited by our government are genuine. Kerry is expressing the basic American belief that if reasonable people sit around a table and analyze a problem, they will find a solution.
So there is a plan. General John Allen, a former commander of the war in Afghanistan, puts it on the table and explains its merits. It addresses many worries. The main subject is the insistence of the Israeli army that whatever the borders of the future State of Palestine, Israel must continue for a long, long time to control the Jordan valley. more.. e-mail Prawer Plan: How the natives became invaders in their own homes
Noam Sheizaf, +972 Magazine 12/5/2013
The attempt to forcibly resettle a native minority population justifies international interest. If it continues, international intervention will be justified as well.
Members of the foreign press in Israel received an invitation this week for a tour in the south to “explore the topic” of the Bedouin population. The visit is intended to present the plan for the arrangement of Bedouin settlement in the Negev, which, according to the invitation, aims to promote “the economic development for the Negev’s Bedouin population [and] to resolve the conflict over land ownership.”
The tour, which will take place on December 10, is hosted by General (res.) Doron Almog, who heads the unit which will implement the (re)arrangement plan, commonly referred to as the Prawer Plan (named after another general, Udi Prawer, who drafted the initial document).
This military-like operation is meant to relocate tens of thousands of Bedouin – the native population of the Negev – from their homes in the unrecognized villages and into designated areas whose exact borders and locations have yet to be revealed.
There is something telling in the fact that Almog is talking to the foreign press while details of the plan are being kept secret from the Bedouin themselves. Almost 100,000 Bedouin live in the Negev’s unrecognized villages, but while Prawer Plan is set to become state law in a matter of weeks, not one of them knows whether his/her house will be destroyed or village displaced. Even the contractors that are hired to implement the plan must sign a special clause that ensures they maintain absolute secrecy on Prawer’s details; violating this clause is defined in the contract as a “national security offense.” more.. e-mail Media lies harm only the media, not Hamas
Izzat Al Rishq, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 12/4/2013
Some Arab writers, journalists and media professionals are facing a real crisis. They have distanced themselves from the ethics of their profession in search of news reports made up of fabricated accusations against the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, and its leaders to such an extent that they have run out of ways to demonise the movement.
While such fabrications have been exposed as such in the media, the credibility of Hamas has risen as a result of its sincerity of intent and adherence to its principles and values. The attempts to harm the movement have backfired and these shameless scribes have brought harm only to themselves.
Hamas will not be affected by such plots as it continues on its chosen path to liberate the land of Palestine and its holy sites. The target of the resistance is the Zionist enemy and it will not be distracted by side issues. The movement has made it very clear over the years that its struggle is against Israel and nobody else.
The media lies in Egypt against Hamas are obvious to any impartial observer. Instead of responding to them I intend to demonstrate how ridiculous the claims are. If we believe what is written and said, the Palestinians have become the enemies of Egypt and its people overnight. Not only that, but Hamas and the Palestinian resistance are behind every ill that befalls the Egyptians. Where is Egyptian journalism heading to with these lies? What is in it for the media to promote discord between Egypt and the Palestinians?
One media fabrication is that Hamas was involved in the assassination of National Security officer Colonel Mohammed Mabrouk, because he was behind the dossier which accused President Mohamed Morsi of "collaborating" with the Islamic movement. Hamas has insisted that it had nothing to do with this or any other such event and that it does not and will not interfere in the internal affairs of Arab and Islamic countries. Propaganda to the contrary serves only the interests of the enemies of Egypt and its people, who have always supported the Palestinians. more.. e-mail Mandela: a Dissenting Opinion
Jonathan Cook, Nazareth, CounterPunch 12/6/2013
Victorious Over Apartheid, Defeated by Neoliberalism
Offering a dissenting opinion at this moment of a general outpouring of grief at Nelson Mandela’s death is not likely to court popularity. It is also likely to be misunderstood.
So let me start by recognising Mandela’s huge achievement in helping to bring down South African apartheid, and make clear my enormous respect for the great personal sacrifices he made, including spending so many years caged up for his part in the struggle to liberate his people. These are things impossible to forget or ignore when assessing someone’s life.
Nonetheless, it is important to pause during the widespread acclamation of his legacy, mostly by people who have never demonstrated a fraction of his integrity, to consider a lesson that most observers want to overlook.
Perhaps the best way to make my point is to highlight a mock memo written in 2001 by Arjan el-Fassed, from Nelson Mandela to the NYT’s columnist Thomas Friedman. It is a wonderful, humane denunciation of Friedman’s hypocrisy and a demand for justice for the Palestinians that Mandela should have written.
Soon afterwards, the memo spread online, stripped of el-Fassed’s closing byline. Many people, including a few senior journalists, assumed it was written by Mandela and published it as such. It seemed they wanted to believe that Mandela had written something as morally clear-sighted as this about another apartheid system, an Israeli one that is at least the equal of that imposed for decades on black South Africans.
However, the reality is that it was not written by Mandela, and his staff even went so far as to threaten legal action against the author. more.. e-mail
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