Israele e Gaza non si stanno affrontando in un’altra guerra né si stanno dirigendo verso un’altra “operazione” o un altro “round”. Questa terminologia è ingannevole e vuole addormentare quel che resta delle coscienze.Oggi si rischia un nuovo massacro nella Striscia di Gaza. Controllato, misurato, non di massa, ma comunque un massacro. Quando politici, funzionari e opinionisti israeliani parlano del “prossimo round”, stanno parlando del prossimo massacro.Nella Striscia non ci sarà una guerra, perché non c’è nessuno a Gaza che possa opporsi a uno degli eserciti meglio armati del mondo, anche se l’opinionista Alon Ben David, esperto di questioni militari, sostiene che Hamas può schierare quattro divisioni. E non ci sarà alcun atto di coraggio (israeliano) a Gaza, perché non c’è nulla di coraggioso nell’attaccare una popolazione indifesa. E, naturalmente, non ci sarà niente di morale né di giusto nell’attaccare una gabbia chiusa piena di prigionieri che non saprebbero neanche dove scappare, qualora potessero.
Tag Archives: Palestine and Israel
My last visit to Gaza had been in May 2014, just before Israel launched Operation Protective Edge, an assault that resulted in the deaths of more than two thousand Gazans – combatants and civilians – and the destruction of eighteen thousand homes. When I went back less than three years later the changes were evident everywhere. But two things struck me particularly: the now devastating impact of Gaza’s decade-long isolation from the rest of the world, and the sense that an increasing number of people are reaching the limit of what they can endure.
Gaza is in a state of humanitarian shock, due primarily to Israel’s blockade, supported by the US, the EU and Egypt and now entering its 11th year. Historically a place of trade and commerce, Gaza has relatively little production left, and the economy is now largely dependent on consumption. Although a recent easing of Israeli restrictions has led to a slight increase in agricultural exports to the West Bank and Israel – long Gaza’s principal markets – they are not nearly enough to boost its weakened productive sectors. Gaza’s debility, carefully planned and successfully executed, has left almost half the labour force without any means to earn a living. Unemployment – especially youth unemployment – is the defining feature of life. It now hovers around 42 per cent (it has been higher), but for young people (between the ages of 15 and 29) it stands at 60 per cent. Everyone is consumed by the need to find a job or some way of earning money. ‘Salaries control people’s minds,’ one resident said.
Lebanon’s efficient security services are stepping up their watch over Islamist supporters in Beirut and beyond
Until this Wednesday, the sound of mortar and rifle fire has echoed across the streets of the southern Lebanese city of Sidon. As usual, the world has ignored it on the grounds that Palestinians have been fighting Palestinians yet again in the largest refugee camp in Lebanon. And so they have.
Palestinian secular factions have been fighting Islamist groups. The camp lies just to the east of the centre of Sidon and is the usual warren of poverty and concrete huts and filthy apartment blocks, ironically called Ein el-Helweh – which means the “sweet well” or “sweet spring”.
Few noticed that this latest series of battles was set off shortly after an official visit to Lebanon by Mahmoud Abbas, the doddering old Palestinian president who long ago lost his legal electoral mandate in the occupied West Bank but who remarked before he left Beirut that Palestinians were dedicated to crushing “terrorism”.
Theresa May wants British people to feel ‘pride’ in the Balfour Declaration. What exactly is there to be proud of?
Theresa May told us that Britain will celebrate the centenary of the Balfour Declaration this summer with “pride”. This was predictable. A British prime minister who would fawn to the head-chopping Arab autocrats of the Gulf in the hope of selling them more missiles – and then hold the hand of the insane new anti-Muslim president of the United States – was bound, I suppose, to feel “pride” in the most mendacious, deceitful and hypocritical document in modern British history.
As a woman who has set her heart against immigrants, it was also inevitable that May would display her most venal characteristics to foreigners – to wealthy Arab potentates, and to an American president whose momentary love of Britain might produce a life-saving post-Brexit trade agreement. It was to an audience of British lobbyists for Israel a couple of months ago that she expressed her “pride” in a century-old declaration which created millions of refugees. But to burnish the 1917 document which promised Britain’s support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine but which would ultimately create that very refugee population – refugees being the target of her own anti-immigration policies – is little short of iniquitous.
On March 2012, Yaakov Kats, one of the extremists of the already extreme-right “National Unity” party, had a simple idea.
In order to solve the problem of settlements and outposts that had been built on private Palestinian land in the West Bank without official Israeli authorisation, a law should be enacted that would allow Israel to confiscate these lands from their owners.
It was almost as funny to listen to the “experts” on US channels trying to summarise Donald Trump’s ravings on the Middle East as it was to listen to his original gobbledegook at his press conference with Bibi Netanyahu.
Unable to understand what the President’s inanities actually meant, the lads and lasses of the satellite channels were telling us that he was not as committed as his predecessor to the “two-state” solution but might favour a “one-state” solution – yet wasn’t ruling out a “two-state” solution. Oh yes, and he’d like Bibi to “hold back” on settlements. Most of the “experts” chose to leave out the pathetic Trump addendum – “for a little bit” – because they had no more idea than Trump what this actually meant.
So that’s it. The guy is crackers. There’s no stopping him. And Steve Bannon appears to have his hands on the levers. Poor old Jared Kushner, the son-in-law with the much-trumpeted power to “tame” the American president, couldn’t prevent that disgraceful White House Holocaust statement which somehow just failed to mention the Jews of Europe. Don’t tell me it was left out to appease the Armenians – whose own 1915 genocide was always left out by cowardly US presidents to avoid upsetting the Turks.
Netanyahu’s hysterical rhetoric on Iran seeks to divert attention from West Bank settlement building
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave Theresa May a frightening account during their meeting of the threat posed by Iranian aggression to Israel and everybody else. In Mr Netanyahu’s eyes, Iran is a much more dangerous enemy than Isis or al-Qaeda, seeking “to annihilate Israel, it seeks to conquer the Middle East, it threatens Europe, it threatens the West, it threatens the world.”
The Paris peace conference was beyond useless – everyone knows a two-state solution in Israel and Palestine is impossible now
As peace conferences go, this was the most miserable of all. Pathetic, hopeless, hapless, woebegone, dead before its time. Trump sent nobody, Netanyahu called it “the last twitches of the world of yesterday”, the autocratic Mahmoud Abbas didn’t bother to turn up and Theresa May’s secretary of state for buffoonery only sent a clutch of underlings. John Kerry, who said two years ago that peace between Israelis and Palestinians had at the most 18 months to succeed “or it’s over”, announced lamely that the gathering of 70 nations in Paris had “moved the ball forward” – whatever that means.
A senior political officer at the Israeli Embassy in London has been secretly filmed talking about how he would like to “take down” UK foreign office minister Alan Duncan, a vocal opponent of illegal Israeli settlement building in the West Bank.He said Duncan, who is one of the few Conservative ministers to speak out over settlements, was causing “a lot of problems”. He also called Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, “an idiot”.In a separate conversation with the embassy staffer, Crispin Blunt, the chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, was described as being “on the hit list” for his views which were “strongly pro-Arab rather than pro-Israel”.The revelations provoked an immediate political reaction, with Desmond Swayne, a former Conservative minister and parliamentary aide to former prime minister David Cameron, calling for the incident to be “investigated thoroughly”.”What we cannot have is Israel acting in the UK with the same impunity it enjoys in Palestine,” he told Middle East Eye. “This is clearly interference in another country’s politics of the murkiest and most discreditable kind.”In a statement on Saturday night, the Israeli embassy said that Mark Regev, Israel’s ambassador to the UK, had spoken to Duncan to apologise and that Regev had made clear that the embassy considered the remarks to be “completely unacceptable”.