Both within the ranks of Hamas and Fatah, there are hot headed trigger happy adventurists who refused to understand that the tensions between the two camps cannot be resolved by violent means. In this context, it should be understood that the US is among those unhappy about the spirit of compromise and the victory of common sense that led to the establishment of the united Palestinian government, a step wholly in Palestinian interests and in the interest of a just peace.
Archive for the ‘The Region’ Category
Many of us were pleased to see Mustafa Bargouti among the ministers in the new Palestinian government. Mustafa Bargouti is well known to the peace camp in Israel and to the friends of peace in the international community. He appears regularly in the international media as an effective and articulate spokesperson for the Palestinian cause. As a rule, Bargouti supports serious dialog between Palestinians and Israeli groups fighting for a just peace. His frequent appearances in important meetings of the protest movement bear witness to his humanist principles. He was absolutely right when he declared on television this week that if Israel really wants peace, all the issues can be solved peacefully within the framework of the two-state solution. If the people of Israel will find a way to overcome the obstacles raised by the Olmert government, peace can be achieved ushering in a period of prosperity and security.
NOT ONLY the Palestinians must be breathing a deep sigh of relief after the swearing in of the Palestinian National Unity Government. We Israelis have good reason to do the same.
The Israeli painter Nissan Rilov died in Paris on Saturday, 10.3.2007. He was one of the few children in the first Zionist Moshav in Palestine – Nahalal (founded 1921). Moshav members owned their houses and plots (leased by the Zionist authorities who acquired the lands as “Property of the Jewish People”) but cooperated in working the land. The “Jewish Agency” rules forbade them to employ Arabs as hired labor.
“How could I feel free and safe if the Palestinian refugees returned to Israel?” Jasmine posed this question in response to an article I wrote for Hagada Hasmalit in Hebrew. She also asked how I envisaged the continuation of Israel as an independent Jewish State after the implementation of the right of return. And she wanted an answer straight to the point. Here it is.
In 1953 I travelled abroad with my parents, who were sent to Argentina by the Israeli Foreign Ministry. I felt as if I’d emerged from a cage into the wide world. There could be no greater contrast to tiny Israel than spacious Argentina. Not only the vast open spaces, the tremendous abundance that existed there in those days stunned us. We stared in amazement as construction workers near where we lived ate their lunch al fresco – each one broiled a huge steak on a makeshift charcoal grill, and ate it with crusty bread and wine. There was some poverty in Argentina, but nothing like the wretchedness you saw elsewhere in Latin America.
It seems almost as if Ariel Sharon, Israel’s former Prime Minister, decided to exact revenge from the nation when he appointed Ehud Olmert to be his deputy. As if Sharon, just before lapsing into his deep coma, said to us: “So you think I am a reckless war criminal? Just wait and see my replacement. You think I am the corruption king? I shall be considered a saint, compared with Olmert’s scams.”
Two articles in the recent issue of the US periodical, Dissent, set out to ridicule the utter folly and opportunism of the left in relating to its traditional enemy, Islamic fundamentalism. Since both articles are characteristic of complaints against the left by people who consider themselves parts of it, they deserve special attention. In the first article, “Jihadism of Fools“, Fred Halliday documents the ugly and brutal role of various Islamist forces over the last 60 years in the vicious suppression of the left, including cases of mass murder against Communists and their allies. This record is adduced in order to warn against “those who seek to form any alliance however ‘tactical’, with Islamist movements and states.” After reminding his readers of the enormous differences between the Islamist program and that of the left, he concludes that the left is simply deluding itself on this important question.
A person that dies, dies only once. But they make us die every month: live again, and die again over and over. Again, it happened to Aqil Talalqa today, when the Israeli government demolished his entire village for the third time in three months.
The news website of “Occupation Magazine” (kibush.co.il) was hacked today, apparently by members of the extreme right.