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 Alan M. Dershowitz
by Pierre Rehov
For terrorists, the death of innocent children is irrelevant. In a society that promotes martyrdom as the ultimate sign of success, the death of innocent children can sometimes even be seen as a public relations blessing.
In every action, intent is paramount. There should never be a moral equivalence painted between the deliberate killing of civilians, and a retaliation that tragically leads to casualties among civilians.
There is, however, one small difference: in the Middle East, reporters are threatened, except in Israel. Their choice becomes a simple one: promote the Palestinian point of view or stop working in the West Bank. Keep the eye of the camera dirty or lose your job. This show should not go on.
by Khaled Abu Toameh
Since 1948, the Arab countries and government have been paying mostly lip service to the Palestinians.
"They have money and oil, but don't care about the Palestinians, even though we are Arabs and Muslims like them. What a Saudi or Qatari sheikh spends in one night in London, Paris or Las Vegas could solve the problem of tens of thousands of Palestinians." — Palestinian human rights activist.
"Some Arabs were hoping that Israel would rid them of Hamas." — Ashraf Salameh, Gaza City.
"Some of the Arab regimes are interested in getting rid of the resistance in order to remove the burden of the Palestinian cause, which threatens the stability of their regimes." — Mustafa al-Sawwaf, Palestinian political analyst.
"Most Arabs are busy these days with bloody battles waged by their leaders, who are struggling to survive. These battles are raging in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Libya and the Palestinian Authority." — Mohammed al-Musafer, columnist.
"The Arab leaders don't know what they want from the Gaza Strip. They don't even know what they want from Israel." — Yusef Rizka, Hamas official.
by Soeren Kern
European elites, who take pride in viewing the EU as a "postmodern" superpower, have long argued that military hard-power is illegitimate in the 21st century. Unfortunately for Europe, Russia (along with China and Iran) has not embraced the EU's fantastical soft-power worldview, in which "climate change" is now said to pose the greatest threat to European security.
For its part, the European Commission, the EU's administrative branch, which never misses an opportunity to boycott institutions in Israel, has issued only a standard statement on the shooting down of MH17 in Ukraine, which reads: "The European Union will continue to follow this issue very closely."
The EU has made only half-hearted attempts to develop alternatives to its dependency on Russian oil and gas.
by Shoshana Bryen
Proportionality in international law is not about equality of death or civilian suffering, or even about [equality of] firepower. Proportionality weighs the necessity of a military action against suffering that the action might cause to enemy civilians in the vicinity.
"Under international humanitarian law and the Rome Statute, the death of civilians during an armed conflict, no matter how grave and regrettable does not constitute a war crime.... even when it is known that some civilian deaths or injuries will occur. A crime occurs if there is an intentional attack directed against civilians (principle of distinction) or an attack is launched on a military objective in the knowledge that the incidental civilian injuries would be clearly excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage (principle of proportionality)." — Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Chief Prosecutor, International Criminal Court.
"The greater the military advantage anticipated, the larger the amount of collateral damage -- often civilian casualties -- which will be "justified" and "necessary." — Dr. Françoise Hampton, University of Essex, UK.