Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Does Palestine Have the Right to Defend Themselves? Origin of the Middle-East Conflict

It's Palestinians who have the right to defend themselves

    • The Guardian,
    • Jump to comments (491)
      Egypt Foreign Minister Amr hospital iGaza City
      Egypt's foreign minister and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (second and third from left) in a hospital in Gaza City on 20 November, visiting a Palestinian woman wounded in an Israeli air strike. Photograph: Ahmed Zakot/REUTERS
  • The US and Britain stand behind Israel's onslaught on Gaza. Justice requires a change in the balance of forces on the ground
    The way western politicians and media have pontificated about Israel's onslaught on Gaza, you'd think it was facing an unprovoked attack from a well-armed foreign power. Israel had every "right to defend itself", Barack Obama declared. "No country on earth would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders."
    He was echoed by Britain's foreign secretary, William Hague, who declared that the Palestinian Islamists of Hamas bore "principal responsibility" for Israel's bombardment of the open-air prison that is the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, most western media have echoed Israel's claim that its assault is in retaliation for Hamas rocket attacks; the BBC speaks wearisomely of a conflict of "ancient hatreds".
    In fact, an examination of the sequence of events over the last month shows that Israel played the decisive role in the military escalation: from its attack on a Khartoum arms factory reportedly supplying arms to Hamas and the killing of 15 Palestinian fighters in late October, to the shooting of a mentally disabled Palestinian in early November, the killing of a 13 year-old in an Israeli incursion and, crucially, the assassination of the Hamas commander Ahmed Jabari last Wednesday during negotiations over a temporary truce.
    Israel's prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, had plenty of motivation to unleash a new round of bloodletting. There was the imminence of Israeli elections (military attacks on the Palestinians are par for the course before Israeli polls); the need to test Egypt's new Muslim Brotherhood president, Mohamed Morsi, and pressure Hamas to bring other Palestinian guerrilla groups to heel; and the chance to destroy missile caches before any confrontation with Iran, and test Israel's new Iron Dome anti-missile system.
    So after six days of sustained assault by the world's fourth largest military power on one of its most wretched and overcrowded territories, at least 130 Palestinians had been killed, an estimated half of them civilians, along with five Israelis. The goal, Israel's interior minister, Eli Yeshai, insisted, had been to "send Gaza back to the middle ages".
    True, the bloodshed hasn't so far been on the scale of Operation Cast Lead in 2008-9, which left 1,400 Palestinians dead in three weeks. But the issue isn't just who started and escalated it, or even the grinding "disproportionality" of yet another Israeli military battering (even before last month's flareups, 314 Palestinians had been killed since 2009, as against 20 Israelis).
    It's that to portray Israel as some kind of victim with every right to "defend itself" from attack from "outside its borders" is a grotesque inversion of reality. Israel has after all been in illegal occupation of both the West Bank and Gaza, where most of the population are the families of refugees who were driven out of what is now Israel in 1948, for the past 45 years.
    Despite Israel's withdrawal of settlements and bases in 2005, the Gaza Strip remains occupied, both effectively and legally – and is recognised as such by the UN. Israel is in control of Gaza's land and sea borders, territorial waters and natural resources, airspace, power supply and telecommunications. It has blockaded the strip since Hamas took over in 2006-7, preventing the movement of people, materials, and food supplies in and out of the territory – even calculating the 2,279 calories per person that would keep Gazans on an exemplary "diet". And it continues to invade the strip at will.
    So Gazans are an occupied people and have the right to resist, including by armed force (though not to target civilians), while Israel is an occupying power that has an obligation to withdraw – not a right to defend territories it controls or is colonising by dint of military power.
    Even if Israel had genuinely ended its occupation in 2005, Gaza's people are Palestinians, and their territory part of the 22% of historic Palestine earmarked for a Palestinian state that depends on Israeli withdrawal from the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem. Across their land, Palestinians have the right to defend and arm themselves, whether they choose to exercise it or not.
    But instead the US, Britain and other European powers finance, arm and back to the hilt Israel's occupation, including the siege of Gaza – precisely to prevent Palestinians obtaining the arms that would allow them to protect themselves against Israeli military might.
    It's hardly surprising of course that powers which have themselves invaded, occupied and intervened across the Arab and Muslim world over the last decade should throw their weight behind Israel doing the same thing on its own doorstep. But it isn't Palestinian rockets that stop Israel lifting the blockade, dismantling its illegal settlements or withdrawing from the West Bank and Gaza – it's unconditional US and western support that gives Israel impunity.
    Whatever the Israeli government's mix of motivations for winding up the past week's conflict, it seems to have backfired. For the first time since the start of the Arab uprisings, the cause of Palestine is again centre stage.
    Emboldened by the wave of change and growing support across the region, Hamas has also regained credibility as a resistance force, which had faded since 2009, and strengthened its hand against an increasingly discredited Palestinian Authority leadership in Ramallah. The deployment of longer-range rockets that have now been shown to reach Tel Aviv and Jerusalem is also beginning to shift what has been an overwhelmingly one-sided balance of deterrence.
    The truce being negotiated on Tuesday would reportedly enforce Hamas responsibility for policing the strip and crucially break the blockade, opening the Rafah crossing with Egypt for goods as well as people. It doesn't, however, look like the long-term security deal with Hamas Israel was looking for, which would risk deepening the disastrous Palestinian split between Gaza and the West Bank.
    Any relief from the bombardment, death and suffering of the past week has got to be welcome. But no ceasefire is going to prevent another eruption of violence. Whatever is finally agreed won't end Israel's occupation and colonisation of Palestinian land or halt its war of dispossession against the Palestinian people. That demands unrelenting pressure on the western powers that underwrite it to change course. But most of all, it needs a change in the balance of forces on the ground.

    21 November 2012 9:06AM
    Israel controls (and often halts) the movement of food, medicines, building materials and all kinds of necessities and luxuries into Gaza.
    Israel controls Gaza's water and electricity.
    Israel controls its airspace.
    Israel controls its coastal waters, reducing Gaza's legal offshore limit from 20 to 3 miles, and firing on Palestinian fishing boats even within the 3 mile limit.
    Israel drip-feeds Gaza food so that its population can avoid starvation, but not malnutrition.
    Israel occupy Gaza, and have abandoned the truth, morality, legality and intellectual integrity in the dust
    They do have a responsibility for the situation in Gaza:
    The Palestinians have a right to defend themselves from an aggressive occupation

    • undefined JosephHolbrooke
      21 November 2012 9:11AM
      Let's not be coy; give it a name.
      Palestinians do not have the right to "own" their land. They do not have the right to "own" houses.
      And they have no right to their lives, or the lives of their children. The Israelis make decisions; the Palestinians suffer them.
      The only Arabs that the UK and US governments respect are those run by oil-rich despots....paragons of humanity as we know. As for Israel.....who on God's earth does Likud respect?

    • undefined peterthompson49
      21 November 2012 9:08AM
      So not only do Palestinians not have a right to defend themselves but they also only have a limited right to elect whoever they want to represent them? Is this not a very limited concept of the democracy which Israel constantly claims to represent? Have you not thought you might have this upside down?

      • undefined iansims
        21 November 2012 9:11AM
        Israel wishes the natives of Palestine would just quietly emulate the natives of the american continent in the 19th century and just do as they're told.
        However, that particular lesson of history shows that even a democratic and supposedly benign 'victor' will not cease the abuse no matter how far the 'conquered' bend over backwards to accomodate the whims of the victor.
        Better to keep one's dignity and then at least the victor will show a grudging respect for the conquered.
      • undefined edwardrice
        21 November 2012 9:29AM
        Of course the Palestinians have a right of self-defence, if attacked.
        But, it’s not so clear that they have a right to wage a hostile and aggressive war against all Jews. By their electoral support for Hamas, an organisation which is explicitly formed to fight and kill the Jews,
        Palestinians have been attacked by Israelis since the day Israel was created when 750,000 were expelled from their homes. They have still not had the right to return. They have that right under international law.
        The occupation of Palestinians has been going on since '67. The Israel journalist Amira Hass wrote about the Gaza siege in 1996, she said then it had been an on off affair since '90.
        Most of that happened before Hamas was created, encouraged by the way by the US and Israel, to help counter the secular PLO.
        their electoral support for Hamas
        Are you saying even children who were not conceived in 2006 when Hamas were elected are responsible for bring them to power? Or perhaps anyone under the age of 24, who could not possibly have voted in those elections? That's over 50% of the population of Gaza.
        And taking in mind there have not been elections - since the US /Isreali backed coup attempted to oust Hamas
        soon after they were elected, how does anyone know what support Hamas has today?
        Clearly the Gaza siege is collective punishment. Under the 1949 Geneva Conventions collective punishments are a war crime.

        undefined TooWrongFoo
        21 November 2012 9:30AM
        If people want to understand the truth about the zionist leaders and their actual beliefs, look no further than Gilad Sharon, son of Ariel Sharon.
        Although this wasn't reported in the western media (as far as I have seen) this week in the Jerusalem Post he was quoted as follows:
        "Israel should flatten all of Gaza. There should be no electricity in Gaza, no gasoline or moving vehicles, nothing. Then they’d really call for a ceasefire. We need to flatten entire neighbourhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too.”
        This is the sort of evil that is being defended by certain individuals on this blog, as well as the cowardly governments in Washington, London, Paris and Berlin.
        This entire atrocity could be stopped with a single phone call as follows:
        "Hi Bibi, it's Obama. Listen, as of today I am stopping the $3 BILLION dollar annual aid to Israel unless you do as follows:
        1. Call an immediate ceasefire.
        2. Cease all settlement construction in occupied territory.
        3. Withdraw to the 1967 borders.
        4. Get back to the negotiation table."

      undefined zdenekv
      21 November 2012 9:30AM
      Gazans are an occupied people and have the right to resist, including by armed force (though not to target civilians), while Israel is an occupying power that has an obligation to withdraw – not a right to defend territories it controls or is colonising by dint of military power.
      This of course is the key to Milne's stance and involves, if put simply, the claim that Israel has no right to defend itself . When and if it is attacked by Hamas but it is not permitted to defend its citizens from Hamas attack.
      Why ? Because , roughly , Israel is a criminal state and until it stops being a criminal state it is not allowed to defend itself. This is the logic of Milne's position . But this cannot be right because all states have a right to self defense as a mater of international law so Milne's view is incompatible with this fact.
      Secondly it also and crucially involves setting up a straw man because the issue is defending oneself against terrorism ( ie attacks on non combatants ) .
      That is, no one is doubting that Hamas has a right to armed resistance . What is being challenged is its right to using terror tactics. Milne recognizes this with his hint that Hamas does not have such a right but in this concession he concedes the whole point or most of the point at issue to the Israeli position
    • undefined Briar
      21 November 2012 9:40AM
      How ridiculous to use the word "war" and constantly talk about "fighting" as if the combatants were evenly matched. Israel is pounding an immeasurably weaker opponent and justifying it by the opponent's stubborn refusal to give up and stop trying to defend itself. If this were happening in England, if we were being pounded by an immeasurably more powerful opponent on the grounds that our resistance fighters were refusing to give up, who would we support? The ruthless aggressors or the Davids standing up to oppose them?


    1. Introduction

    2. Early History of the Region

    3. The British Mandate Period 1920-1948

    4. The UN Partition of Palestine

    5. Statehood and Expulsion 1948

    What was the Arab reaction to the announcement of the creation of the state of Israel?
    Was the part of Palestine assigned to a Jewish state in mortal danger from the Arab armies?
    Ethnic cleansing of the Arab population of Palestine
    Didn't the Palestinians leave their homes voluntarily during the 1948 war?
    Arab orders to evacuate non-existent
    The deliberate destruction of Arab villages to prevent return of Palestinians
    After the fighting was over, why didn't the Palestinians return to their homes?
    Is there any justification for this expropriation of land?
    How about the negotiations after the 1948-1949 wars?
    Israel admitted to UN but then reneged on the conditions under which it was admitted
    What was the fate of the Palestinians who had now become refugees?

    The Real Truth about the Modern-day Jewish Heritage

    What is their true Origin?

    Are They of Abraham Seed?

    Are They Semitic?

    The large majority of modern Jews in the world is of Eastern European - and thus perhaps mainly of Khazar - origin. If so, this would mean that their ancestors came not from the Jordan but from the Volga, not from Canaan but from the Caucasus, once believed to be the cradle of the Aryan race; and that genetically they are more closely related to the Hun, Uigur and Magyar tribes than to the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Should this turn out to be the case, then the term "anti-Semitism" would become void of meaning, based on a misapprehension shared by both the killers and their victims.The story of the Khazar Empire, as it slowly emerges from the past, begins to look like the most cruel hoax which history has ever perpetrated. (Arthur Koestler,

    The Thirteenth Tribe, p. 17).

    Old Khazaria existed from about 500 A.D. to about 1000 A.D.
    Old Khazaria adopted the religion of Talmudic Judaism about 740 A.D.
    Khazaria was reborn on May 14, 1948.
    The most cruel hoax which history has ever perpetrated.
    New Khazaria.
    New Kharzaria (Israel)
    Hoax of the millenium
    When he (Satan) speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (John 8:44)
    As long as Apostate Israel (New Khazaria) exist...there will never be any peace in the Middle East. Modern-day Jewry is of Eastern European/Aryan descent and thus they are not Semitic. Let the truth be told everywhere.