Thursday, July 24, 2014

Pathetic resistance, bloody suppression – if not worse. Part I

By Gulamhuein Abba

"Ethnic cleansing and “reclaiming” biblical lands go hand in hand for the Zionists and has been going on from a little before the creation of Israel to date. What is going on now in Gaza is a continuation of this project, a work in progress."

In the Orwellian world that we live in today, everything is upside down.

Take the case of what is happening in Israel and Palestine

The narrative, repeated ad nauseam in the Western media and by US political leaders is that militant Palestinian terrorists are firing thousands of rockets into Israel, frightening innocent Israeli men, women and children and disrupting their lives by forcing them to run time and again into air raid shelters when the sirens sound to warn them of incoming rockets. This leaves the peace loving Israeli government with no alternative but to take military action to wipe out the rocket manufacturing, launching and storage sites and the tunnels Hamas uses to infiltrate into Israel.

US President and various Congressmen  have spoken forcefully about this.

Digging deeper reveals a different story. It becomes clear that the present slaughter being carried out by Israel in Gaza has very little, if anything, to do with Hamas raining down rockets on Israel, but has more, much more to do with an innocent sounding, eye catching, heart tugging, emotion lade little phrase coined a very long time back: “A land without people for a people without land.” It was common among Zionists at the end of the nineteenth, and the beginning of the twentieth century and was associated with the movement to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine

Jewish leaders have openly stated that their goal is to reclaim the biblical lands and establish Eretz Yisraeel in the whole of Palestine complete with Judea and Samaria. Originally the goal was to extend the boundaries of Greater Israel to include Jordan but for some years this is not mentioned.
It was also understood by the Zionists that to establish a Jewish state they would have to expel those already residing there. And this they started doing as soon as the boundaries of the Israeli state the UN proposed became known.

As recorded by Jewish historians themselves, aided by the opening of many historical and military documents archived by the Israel, and British governments, have provided a disturbing and troubling picture.

About a month before the creation of Israel, on April 19, 1948, the Stern Gang and Irgun and other Jewish para military forces started their ethnic cleansing in Dir Yasein. 240 men, women and children of this peaceful village were slaughtered. It included rapes and mutilations.

By the end of the 1948 War, hundreds of Arab villages had been completely depopulated. Their house and buildings were bulldozed or blown up primarily for the purpose of preventing the return of their owners. Benny Morris lists 369 Palestinian villages and towns destroyed, while Professor Walid Khalidi, leading a team of field researchers, in an exhaustive study, describes the destruction of each of 418 villages or hamlets which are listed on an index of Palestinian cities of 1945.

There were other massacres and perhaps two to three thousands, essentially defenseless, Palestinians, were massacred, according to Haifa University historian Ilan Pappe.

Israel came into existence on May 15, 1948

Ethnic cleansing and “reclaiming” biblical lands go hand in hand for the Zionists and has been going on from a little before the creation of Israel to date. What is going on now in Gaza is a continuation of this project, a work in progress.

Just a little bit of information about Gaza and Hamas.

Gaza was not included within the boundaries drawn up for an Israeli state by the UN.

After the war that followed Israel's declaration of independence in 1948, the Israel-Egypt Armistice Agreement of 24 February 1949 established the separation line between Egyptian and Israeli forces, and established what became the present boundary between the Gaza Strip and Israel. Parts of Gaza now fell within the jurisdiction and control of Israel. The truncated Gaza strip came under the control of Egypt.

Gaza, as it exists today, is a small strip pf land situated at the southernmost corner of Israel on the eastern coast. It is about 41 km in length, 8-12 km in width, with a land mass of 363 square km. (140 square miles).On this small strip live about 2 million people, making it one of the most densely populated area in the world.

In 1967 Gaza was OCCUPIED by Israel in a war initiated by Israel. It remains OCCUPIED by Israel.

After the Oslo accords, officially signed at a public ceremony in Washington, D.C., on 13 September 1993, the civil administration of Gaza came under the newly created Palestinian National Authority (PNA) but remained under the tight control of Israel.

It was founded in 1987

An offshoot of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas is a socio economic, religious and political entity.

It was formed essentially to oppose Fatah and offer Palestinians an alternative.

It differed fundamentally from Fatah. The latter chose to adopt peace negotiations crafted by the Quartet (the United States, Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations) with the US as an “honest broker”. Hamas on the other believed that to Israel the peace process was just a cover which Israel was using to stall ending the occupation, grab more Palestinian land, build more Israeli settlements on Palestinian land and transfer Israelis from Israel to the occupied territories.

According to its charter, it was founded to liberate Palestine from Israeli occupation and to establish an Islamic state in the area that is now Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. (This has changed. See Hamas Changes its Charter Stance further into the article)

Hamas became popular among Palestinians because of its social services to Palestinians in the occupied territories. Such services are not generally provided by the Palestinian Authority. Israeli scholar Reuven Paz estimates that 90% of Hamas activities revolve around "social, welfare, cultural, and educational activities". Social services include running relief programs and funding schools, orphanages, mosques, healthcare clinics, soup kitchens, and sports leagues.

Paradoxically, Israel and US initially helped Hamas to grow. They wanted to use it as a counter to the secular Fatah, weaken it. The old tried and tested strategy of divide and rule. But Hamas succeeded far beyond what they had imagined.

In 2005 Israel deployed its armed forces from within Gaza to other areas. Israel also evacuated all Israeli citizens, some forcibly, from within Gaza and resettled them elsewhere. This ended Israel’s physical presence in Gaza but Israel retained full control over the territory, turning it into a tightly controlled open air prison for Gazans. Nothing and no person came into Gaza nor anything or any person left Gaza without Israel’s permission.

In the Palestinian parliamentary elections held on January 25, 2006, Hamas won a plurality of 42.9% of the total vote and 74 out of 132 total seats (56%).When Hamas assumed power the next month, the Israeli government, the United States and the EU, refused to recognize its right to govern the Palestinian Authority. Even though the elections were held under inernational observers wo pronounced it to be a fair election.

After the Gaza election, Hamas leader sent a letter addressed to George W. Bush where he among other things declared that Hamas would accept a state on the 1967 borders including a truce. However, the Bush administration did not reply.

Instead, the Quartet on the Middle East (the United States, Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations) stated that assistance to the Palestinian Authority would only continue if Hamas renounced violence, recognized Israel, and accepted previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements, which Hamas refused to do. The Quartet then imposed a freeze on all international aid to the Palestinian territories.

Buckling under this pressure, PA declared a state of emergency, dissolved the unity government and formed a new government without Hamas participation. PNA security forces in the West Bank arrested a number of Hamas members.

The relationship between Hamas and the PA unraveled.

 Hamas shifted its attention to Gaza and, by   the middle of June, Hamas fully controlled the Gaza Strip.

Since then Israel has progressively squeezed Gaza tighter and tighter.

Notwithstanding what is stated in its Charter, Hamas no longer has as its goal the ending of Israel as a State and is prepared to accept its existence (even though it continues to deny that Israel has any inherent right to exist, much a right to exist as a Jewish state.)

In its election manifesto for the 2006 Palestinian legislative election, Hamas omitted a call for an end to Israel, though it did still call for armed struggle against the occupation.

After the elections in 2006, Hamas co-founder Mahmoud Al-Zahar did not rule out the possibility of accepting a "temporary two-state solution"

Xinhua has reported that Al-Zahar "did not rule out the possibility of having Jews, Muslims and Christians living under the sovereignty of an Islamic state"

In late 2006, Ismail Haniyeh, the political leader of Hamas, said that if a Palestinian state was formed within the 1967 lines, Hamas was willing to declare a truce that could last as long as 20 years, and stated that Hamas will never recognize the "usurper Zionist government" and will continue "jihad-like movement until the liberation of Jerusalem".

In early February 2006, Hamas offered Israel a 10-year truce "in return for a complete Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian territories: the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem,"  and recognition of Palestinian rights including the "right of return"

In March 2006, Hamas released its official legislative program. The document clearly signaled that Hamas could refer the issue of recognizing Israel to a national referendum. Under the heading "Recognition of Israel," it stated simply: "The question of recognizing Israel is not the jurisdiction of one faction, nor the government, but a decision for the Palestinian people."

This was a major shift away from their 1988 charter.

A few months later, via Maryland's Jerome Segal, the group sent a letter to U.S. President George Bush stating they "don't mind having a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders", and asked for direct negotiations. Segal emphasized that a state within the 1967 borders and a truce for many years could be considered Hamas' de facto recognition of Israel.

In an April 2008 meeting between Hamas leader Khaled Meshal and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, an understanding was reached in which Hamas agreed it would respect the creation of a Palestinian state in the territory seized by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War, provided this is ratified by the Palestinian people in a referendum. Hamas later publicly offered a long-term truce with Israel if Israel agreed to return to its 1967 borders and grant the "right of return" to all Palestinian refugees.

In November 2008, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh re-stated that Hamas was willing to accept a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, and offered Israel a long-term truce "if Israel recognized the Palestinians' national rights"

In 2009, in a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Haniyeh repeated his group's support for a two-state settlement based on 1967 borders: "We would never thwart efforts to create an independent Palestinian state with borders [from] June 4, 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital."

In July 2009, Khaled Meshal, Hamas's political bureau chief, said the organization was willing to cooperate with "a resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict which included a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders", provided that Palestinian refugees hold the right to return to Israel and that East Jerusalem be the new nation's capital.

British diplomat and former British ambassador to the United Nations Sir Jeremy Greenstock stated in early 2009 that the Hamas charter was "drawn up by a Hamas-linked imam some [twenty] years ago and has never been adopted since Hamas was elected as the Palestinian government in 2006".

On December 1, 2010, Ismail Haniyeh again repeated, "We accept a Palestinian state on the borders of 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital, the release of Palestinian prisoners, and the resolution of the issue of refugees," and "Hamas will respect the results [of a referendum] regardless of whether it differs with its ideology and principles."

In February 2012, according to the Palestinian authority, Hamas forswore the use of violence. Evidence for this was provided by an eruption of violence from Islamic Jihad in March 2012 after an Israeli assassination of a Jihad leader, during which Hamas refrained from attacking Israel. "Israel—despite its mantra that because Hamas is sovereign in Gaza it is responsible for what goes on there—almost seems to understand," wrote Israeli journalists Avi Issacharoff and Amos Harel, "and has not bombed Hamas offices or installations"

Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal indicated to Robert Pastor, senior adviser to the Carter Center, that the Charter is "a piece of history and no longer relevant, but cannot be changed for internal reasons". Hamas do not use the Charter on their website and prefer to use their election manifesto to put forth their agenda.

Pastor states that those who quote the charter rather than more recent Hamas statements may be using the Charter as an excuse to ignore Hamas.

Ahmed Yousef, an adviser to Ismail Haniyeh, has questioned the use of the charter by Israel and its supporters to brand Hamas as a fundamentalist, terrorist, racist, anti-Semitic organization and claims that they have taken parts of the charter out of context for propaganda purposes. He claims that they dwell on the charter and ignore that Hamas has changed its views with time.

All this is ignored by Israel. It continues to claim that the firing of rockets by Hamas, coupled to what is stated in Hamas charter, poses an existential threat to its existence and it is imperative for Israel to protect its citizens by destroying in Gaza the rocket manufacturing units, the cache of weapons, the storage sites, and command centers. Under the latter it includes homes of prominent activists.

Using this unfounded argument Israel has been playing havoc with the lives of the Gazans.

(What Israel has done in and to Gaza and its  citizens, why any cease fire without conditions is worse than useless and how lasting and genuine peace can be brought to that once blessed and now cursed land – all this in part II of the article)


  1. Pathetic resistance, bloody suppression – if not worse. Part I - brilliant piece. Everything on this blog is wonderfully written and thanks for all the great "source" quotes/information.

    I haven't seen Part II yet, is it still forthcoming? Or did I miss it?

  2. No you have not missed it. Will revert to it in time.