Palestinians: What The UN Brought
There has been no mention of peace process or coexistence with Israel. The belligerent and defiant tone of Fatah officials sent the message that the Palestinians are now headed toward confrontation with Israel -- not peace.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders say they are already preparing for the next war with Israel. They say that their groups still have many rockets that will be used against Israel in the future.
As one Hamas official put it, "In the next war with Israel, Israelis will be forced to flee not only their homes, but the whole country."
Fatah is also preparing for a possible confrontation with Israel, both on the ground and in the international arena. Some Fatah leaders are now talking about a new intifada against Israel, especially in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
Every step that Israel takes, such as building new housing units in the Jerusalem suburbs, is being viewed by the Fatah leadership as a "war crime" and "act of aggression" on the UN-recognized State of Palestine.
Mahmoud Abbas's top aides in Ramallah are now talking about filing charges against Israel with the International Criminal Court over plans to withhold tax revenues belonging to the Palestinian government and the construction of the new housing units.
The Palestinians feel that for the first time in decades they have succeeded in rallying most of the world against Israel.
The celebrations that took place in the Gaza Strip and West Bank over the past two weeks are the result of the Palestinians' belief that they have defeated Israel twice - first during Operation Pillar of Defense, and second at the UN General Assembly, where a majority of countries voted in favor of upgrading their status to Non-Member Observer State.
The Palestinians are convinced that they have managed to defeat the Israelis, both militarily and diplomatically.
Hamas's continuing control over the Gaza Strip, despite the recent Israeli military offensive, is seen as a victory for the Islamist movement as well as for many Palestinians.
Palestinians who took to the streets to celebrate the victory chanted slogans in support of Hamas's rockets and missiles, especially those fired toward Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Referring to Hamas's armed wing, Izaddin al-Kassam, jubilant Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip chanted, "Oh, Kassam, bomb, bomb Tel Aviv!" and "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!"
They were not celebrating the end of the eight-day military offensive, which led to the death of more than 160 Palestinians.
They were celebrating the fact that Hamas and Islamic Jihad had succeeded in launching rockets at Jerusalem and Tel Aviv; that thousands of Israeli families had to sit in bomb shelters or flee their homes because of the rockets, and that for the first time millions of Israelis were living within the range of Iranian-supplied and locally made rockets and missiles.
Even Fatah officials and supporters took to the streets to join the Hamas and Islamic Jihad celebrations. Some Fatah leaders traveled to Gaza to congratulate Hamas and Islamic Jihad -- who a few years ago had thrown Fatah members to their deaths off the the tops of buildings and forced them out of Gaza — and to hail their "resistance and steadfastness."
A week later, in the aftermath of the UN General Assembly vote, it was Fatah's turn to claim victory over Israel.
The Fatah celebrations also turned into anti-Israel demonstrations and rallies.
Many Palestinians, after the UN vote, celebrated in Ramallah and other West Bank cities, where they chanted slogans in support of Hamas and the armed struggle. At the rallies Palestinians, in a unique show of unity, raised the flags of both Hamas and Fatah.
The Fatah celebrations -- which also took place in the Gaza Strip for the first time since 2007 -- were not about the upgrading of the Palestinians' status so much as the feeling that Israel has been humiliated and isolated in the international community.
There has been no mention of the peace process or coexistence with Israel. The belligerent and defiant tone of Fatah officials sent the message that the Palestinians are now headed toward confrontation with Israel -- not peace.
Reader comments on this item
|Gaza Strip and West Bank [79 words]||Robin Rosenblatt||Dec 9, 2012 10:37|
|No mention of the peace process? [210 words]||Phillip Slepian||Dec 6, 2012 10:09|
|Thank you [6 words]||Ziv||Dec 6, 2012 06:14|
|Let's bury two-state and implement 3-state solution [92 words]||Ari Rusila||Dec 5, 2012 15:25|
|Psalm 83 [24 words]||D. Digger||Dec 5, 2012 11:56|
Comment on this item
by Khaled Abu Toameh
The "Arab Spring" did not erupt as a result of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Rather, it was the outcome of decades of tyranny and corruption in the Arab world. The Tunisians, Egyptians, Libyans and Yemenis who removed their dictators from power did not do so because of the lack of a "two-state solution." This is the last thing they had in mind.
The thousands of Muslims who are volunteering to join the Islamic State [IS] are not doing so because they are frustrated with the lack of progress in the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
The only solution the Islamic State believes in is a Sunni Islamic Caliphate where the surviving non-Muslims who are not massacred would be subject to sharia law.
What Kerry perhaps does not know is that the Islamic State is not interested in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at all. Unlike Kerry, Sunni scholars fully understand that the Islamic State has more to do with Islam and terrorism than with any other conflict.
by Steven J. Rosen
Palestinian officials have generally been silent about security cooperation with Israel. They are loath to acknowledge how important it is for the survival of the Palestinian Authority [PA], and fear that critics, especially Hamas, will consider it "collaboration with the enemy."
"You smuggle weapons, explosives and cash to the West Bank, not for the fight with Israel, but for a coup against the Palestinian Authority. The Israeli intelligence chief visited me two weeks ago and told me about the [Hamas] group they arrested that was planning for a coup... We have a national unity government and you are thinking about a coup against me." — Mahmoud Abbas, PA President, to Khaled Mashaal, Hamas leader.
According to Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, if the IDF leaves the West Bank, Hamas will take over, and other terrorists groups such as the Islamic Jihad, Al-Qaeda and Islamic State would operate there.
In recent months, Abbas has been making a series of threats against Israel. If Abbas becomes another Arafat, it could be the Israeli side that loses interest in security cooperation.
by Burak Bekdil
It was the Islamists who, since they came to power in the 2000s, have reaped the biggest political gains from the "Palestine-fetish."
But the Turkish rhetoric on "solidarity" with our Palestinian brothers often seems askew to how solidarity should be.
by Raheel Raza
One blogger writes that Malala hates Pakistan's military. I believe it is the other way around.
I would so like to see the day when Malala is welcomed back in Pakistan, with the whole country cheering.
by Francesco Sisci
Democratic evolution in China was being seriously considered. The failures of U.S. support for democracy in Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt and Libya gave new food for thought to those opposed to democracy. Lastly, the United States did not strongly oppose the anti-democratic coup d'état that overthrew a democratically elected government in Thailand.
On the other hand, Russia -- dominated by Vladimir Putin, a new autocrat determined to stifle democracy in Russia -- provided a new model.
The whole of Eastern Europe and most of Latin America, formerly in the clutches of dictatorships, are now efficient democracies. This seems to indicate that while democracy cannot be parachuted into a country, there is a broader, longer-term global trend toward democracy and that its growth depends on local conditions.
As economic development needed careful planning, political reforms need even greater planning. The question remains: is China preparing for these political reforms?