Hamas, UN and Palestinian Statehood

The United States and Israel continue to oppose the UN granting the Palestinians recognition as a “non-member state.” But the objections seem increasingly farfetched, as even Hamas has shown a more moderate side in endorsing this modest proposal, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

By Paul R. Pillar

What is one of the first things Hamas does when it is fresh off standing up against an Israeli assault and widely perceived to have gained ground politically at the expense of its intramural rival, Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority? It voices support for Abbas’s effort to get his organization’s status at the United Nations upgraded from observer to “non-member state.”

Given the way Hamas is routinely suspected and reviled in some quarters, this move is sure to give rise to explanations that are convoluted and conspiratorial — that what Hamas is saying is a ruse, or is just a tactic for harassing Israel, or is a step toward shoving the Palestinian Authority aside while Abbas is down.

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, speaking with journalists in 2009. (Photo credit: Trango)

The explanation that is simple and straightforward, and ought to be obvious, is much more likely to be accurate: that Hamas supports the creation of a Palestinian state alongside the state of Israel, and that diplomacy is the preferred way to achieve that goal. That’s all that anyone who endorses Abbas’s initiative at the U.N. is signing up to.

And it is what everyone with a hand in this long-running conflict — including Israel, the Palestinians, the Quartet and the Arab League — claims to support. The Hamas spokesman said that his organization supports any political gains that Abbas can make at the U.N. “without causing harm to the national Palestinian rights.”

Although some saw this position by Hamas as surprising, there is no reason for any surprise. Hamas has repeatedly made clear that it will support the establishment of a Palestinian state limited to the 22 percent of the mandate of Palestine that would be represented by the 1967 borders, provided that such a settlement is approved by a majority of Palestinians in a referendum.

The land swaps that are generally recognized as being necessary to accommodate some of the facts that Israel has established on the ground since 1967 represent a small step from that formula, as long as the 1967 borders are taken as the starting point for any such trades.

And yet the government of Israel, and Americans who sing that government’s tune, and much of the American media habitually describe Hamas and the objectives of Hamas as something much different. The usual formula is something like “Hamas is dedicated to the destruction of Israel.”

Attempts to substantiate such a description often point to Hamas not having formally recognized Israel and its right to exist. Well, it hasn’t, but neither has Israel recognized any right of Hamas to exist (even after Hamas won a free all-Palestinian election).

Not only that, but Israel has done everything it can to try to squeeze Hamas out of existence, going to the extreme of collectively punishing the population of the Gaza Strip in an unsuccessful effort to do so. It is Israel that appears to be dedicated to the destruction of Hamas. Why should Hamas be expected to bestow the first recognition, gratis, under such circumstances?

One also often hears that all Hamas is offering is a hudna or truce, rather than a commitment to a final settlement. That will be a distinction without a practical difference. The agreement that ended the Korean War 59 years ago is only a hudna, but that peace has held even though the regime north of the armistice line is far more erratic, illegitimate, and downright scary than Hamas.

Besides, anyone can see — and Hamas’s leaders are not dummies — that Israel, the strongest state in its region, is here to stay no matter what its borders. Even if the most extreme, negative assumptions about Hamas’s intentions and objectives were true (and they very likely are not), being part of (or even being the ruling party in) a Palestinian state in that 22 percent would not bring it any closer to being able to destroy or even undermine Israel.

Instead, it would have that much more to lose from the certain retaliation if it were to renege on an agreement that finally established the long-sought Palestinian state.

An upgraded status for Palestinians at the United Nations merely levels somewhat the diplomatic playing field for the bilateral negotiations that will still be needed to bring a real Palestinian state into existence, as well as reconfirming the objective that everybody involved says they share. It would thus be a positive step.

Don’t just listen to what Abbas or Hamas say on the subject. See what former Israeli diplomat Yossi Beilin, who helped to craft the Oslo accords, says about it. See also the statement on the subject by Gro Harlem Brundtland, who was the Norwegian prime minister at the time the accords were negotiated, and Jimmy Carter, who based on his past experience also knows a thing or two about Arab-Israeli negotiations.

Probably some in Israel and the United States will see Hamas’s endorsement of Abbas’s U.N. initiative as another reason to oppose the initiative. If the governments of Israel and the United States continue foolishly to oppose this move and to invest political capital in trying to defeat it, we will have come in a sense full circle.

The organization that is continually accused of not wanting a peaceful diplomatic settlement will have signed on to a process aimed at moving toward such a settlement and giving it additional multilateral approval. It will be its chief accusers who fail to do so.

Paul R. Pillar, in his 28 years at the Central Intelligence Agency, rose to be one of the agency’s top analysts. He is now a visiting professor at Georgetown University for security studies. (This article first appeared as a blog post  at The National Interest’s Web site. Reprinted with author’s permission.)


  20 comments for “Hamas, UN and Palestinian Statehood

  1. Hillary
    November 29, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    U.S Administrations repeatedly stressed how there were no free elections in the Middle East and how Israel was the only Democracy there.

    So !
    Palestinians had a free and fair election and elected Hamas.

    Immediately Israel claimed that Hamas was a terrorist organization and of course the US under permanent Israeli control immediately followed suit.

    Palestinians are the indigenous people and Jews (80%)Ashkenazi are Eastern European interlopers as Hellen Thomas so rightly pointed out.


  2. Rehmat
    November 29, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Hamas has turned more as a political party than the old Islamic resistance. The tiny resistance which surprised world’s fourth most powerful military (Jewish) during the recent 8-day war – is not Hamas but Islamic Jihad which used Iranian-made long-range Fajr 5 rockets and anti-tank Kornet missiles against Jewish military targets.

    Islamic Jihad supports Hamas’ political decisions but refuses to recognize the Zionist entity. It still remains a partner to the ‘Axis of Resistance’ (Hizballah-Syria-Iran).

    The so-called “enhanced” PA status at the UN, which has support of over 165 members among the 193 member UN Assembly is not going to help Palestinians recover their stolen land in the long run. The bid, which is now supported by former Zionist prime minister Ehud Olmert – is meant to boost US-Israeli puppet Mahmoud Abbas’ political status against Hamas.

    As Jewish bloggers Gilad atzmon, Roger Tucker and veteran British journalist and author Alan Hart say – The solution to Jewish-Palestinian conflict is ONE STATE PALESTINE for all.


  3. Rehmat
    November 29, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    LA, la, la, la …..

    Remember the ‘self-hating’ Jewish historian and author, Professor Shlomo Sand (Tel Aviv University), who pulled the rug underneath Zionist Jews in his 2009 book, ‘The Invention of the Jewish People’. Well, the good-old professor has just published a new anti-Semitic book, entitled ‘When and How Was the Land of Israel Invented?‘.

    Dr. Sand proves once again that only a Jew can say such things and get away with the murder. His 2009 book had united the Israel-Firsters like Anita Shapira, Hillel Halkin, Jeffrey Goldberg, etc. They all condemned Shlomo Sand for challenging the Zionist myth about Jewish people. Last year, the Zionist propagandists chased Gilad Atzmon for his book, ‘The Wandering Who?. In the past, Arthur Koestler’s book, ‘The Thirteen Tribe’, French philosopher Roger Garaudy’s book, ‘The Founding Myths of Israeli Politics, and professor Gilbert Achcar’s (University of London) book, The Arabs and the Holocaust: The Arab-Israeli War of Narratives, have similar message – that’s the Jews have no religious or historical right to occupy Palestine.

    “Zionism plundered the religious term ‘Land of Israel’ (Eretz Yisrael) and turned it into a geopolitical term. The Land of Israel is not the homeland of the Jews. It becomes a homeland at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th – only upon the emergence of the Zionist movement,” claims Dr. Sand.

    Dr. Sand in his book, The Invention of the Jewish People, claimed that the vast majority of Western Jews are not from the Israelite (Hebrew) tribes – but people of different nationalities who converted to Judaism during 8th-10th century AC. This made Zionists claim over Palestine being promised to them by biblical God – void and null.

    Zionists’ anti-Arab campaign usually ignors the fact that while 150,000 German Jews were actively took part in Nazi Army – 233,000 of the 550,000 Free French troops landing on the Mediterranean coast in Nazi-occupied France in November 1944 were North African Muslims.

    Annette Herskovits, PhD, a Holocaust survivor and author, in her recent article, entitled, ‘Nazism, Zionism, and the Arab World‘ (Dissident Voice, May 21, 2012) has debunked several of Israel Hasbara (propaganda) myths about Holocaust, Zionism, Israel and the Arab Muslims.

    “As someone whose mother and father were murdered in Auschwitz, and who herself survived the Nazis’ barbarous nationalism thanks to the courage of a group of Catholics, Protestants, Communists, and Jews, I find the idea that defending the “Jewish state” supersedes all other human obligations both immoral and senseless. Nothing, not even the Holocaust, justifies Israel’s treatment of Palestinians or the continuing efforts of pro-Israel zealots to show Arabs and Muslims as less than human. Israel and its unconditional supporters are on a path leading to catastrophe not only for Palestinians, but in the not very long run, for Israel itself,” wrote Annette.


  4. Frances in California
    November 29, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Seriously, borat, if you want anyone to read your posts, don’t quote Friedman.

    • rosemerry
      November 29, 2012 at 5:36 pm

      Thanks for that. I could hardy believe the boring rat would bring in so many lies all at once, in the Friedmanesque manner.

  5. rosemerry
    November 29, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    A very interesting article, with the NYT link to Oslo accord requirements being very pertinent. The Palestinian State issue was not on the Oslo table, so the US/Israel refusal to support it is counterproductive and based on lies.
    I often wonder how the USA/ Israel can continue to parade proudly as moral, true, correct etc when often they are the ONLY two nations voting in the UNGA against motions nearly every other country supports. This does not only apply to Israel’s crimes, but to the right for food, against terrorism . William Blum has a long list in “Rogue State”.

  6. John
    November 29, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    At one time Palestinians had one of the highest percentages for the level of education of its children. Now they have to go abroard to get educated. And nobody is talking of a Palastinian people Borat, it was a mix, and the Jews that never left the ‘Palastinian region’, were I guess anti-Semtic, they didn’t want the trouble making Zionist foreigners coming and making trouble.
    I was going to say this in a previous article but spam cut me off:
    Chuck Gorman, I appreciate your views, what happened before and during WWII was wicked, and very traumatic, but life moves on.
    In the MEast, Jews (a minority) had political power in the Ottoman empire before it fell. Then came Balfour and Zionism. Kibbutz appeared, remote landlords sold their Palestinian estates upon which Palestinians worked (only 7% of Israel was actually purchased at the time of partition – usually paid for by big outside Jewish funds). Jews passed a law that on these properties, only Jews could be hired. Some broke the law as Arab labour was cheaper. But Palestinians lost their livelihoods upon estates on which they had lived and worked. At the time of Balfour, Palestinian nationalism was developing, they wanted more local control over their affairs. So there were several competing forces at work. Even those Jews whose family lines had always been in Palestine, didn’t want the Zionist coming in and upsetting life there.
    With partition on the way, Jews in other Arab countries were either persuaded to move by Jewish organizations, or Arab resentment at what was seen coming sadly made them push Jews out further compounding the Palestinian problem. When the majority population got the least land and not the best land how do you think Arabs would feel if you were in their shoes. If Jews are badly treated somewhere in the world, doesn’t the whole Jewish community come together to see what can be done? Arabs are no different.
    To me it is obvious that Israel doesn’t want to hand over the West Bank and Gaza. I say that because the Arabs have put several peace plans before Israel and each has been refused. The tell tale was Oslo where Arafat secretly negotiated a plan but he didn’t have his best negotiators there, they were in New York trying to iron out a peace plan with the Americans and Israel. Hanan Ashrawi (a Palestinian Christian) was there and talks about it in her book, saying their talks were going nowhere as Israel didn’t want to talk details and time lines. They were shocked when they saw what Arafat had signed, the occupied territories become the disputed land, the big items to discuss were left for years figure out later. And you would think that a peace deal would have had words in it to stop illegal settlement. If Israel had been sincere they would have stopped that activity. They didn’t, but increased it. Arafat had been jubilant and called Carter to say we have a country (Carter’s book). It didn’t take long for ordinary Palestinians to see they had been duped.
    Jews Christians and Muslims have lived in peace there before, they could do it again if everybody would play fair. If you are constantly confronted with stalling tactics, a brutal occupation how do you think people will react? With time and methods of atonement as were used in South Africa the problem could be solved. That isn’t going to happen if European Jews and the Russian Jews believe God gave them the land, or people of one religion should leave because there are numerous countries with the same religion they can go to. The world doesn’t work like that. Palestinians, Christian and Muslim ( and Jews) had their society structured there, why should they move. It’s like what happened to NA natives populations at a much earlier time when communication was slow and elitism very prevalent. Times are different today. Communication is swift, and what is going on in Palestine is intolerable to many, not because it is anti-Semitic but because Israel is supposed to be a democracy with Western ideals. All I can say is you reap what you sow.

  7. John
    November 29, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    Borat: Jews don’t call those people who follow the Jewish faith but believe Jesus was the second coming or whatever Jews but a Christian sect. Christianity is diverse itself. It looks at Jesus as the son of God but the stories are uncannily simmilar to Egyptian tales 2000 years before. So Christianity looks like a combination of Egyptian and Jewish stories.
    Why should the Palestinians and other Arabs have accepted the partition when it gave the minority the most and best land. They saw it as grossly unfair.
    Zionist funding agencies only bought 7% of Israel, from large estate owners often living in Turkey, but there were many Palestinians living and working the estates. Palestinian nationalism was just budding.
    As for Friedman most ME pros wouldn’t look twice.

  8. Rehmat
    November 29, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    HOT NEWS: Mahmoud Abbas won the bid by 138 in favor with 9 against and 46 ‘excuse me USrael’ votes. Both the US and Israel has threatened to impose ‘crippling sanctions’ against Abbas’ Fatah rule in the West Bank.


  9. F. G. Sanford
    November 30, 2012 at 5:07 am

    The whole thing is just…marvelous! World opinion finally triumphs over cynicism, and look who’s side we’re on. The United Kingdom considered voting in favor, but apparently failed to get the prerequisite assurances that the Palestinians wouldn’t pursue any grievances at the International Criminal Court. Of course, that could only be a legitimate concern if the ‘hypothetical’ grievances had merit. Susan Rice, whose hypocritical response hardly surpassed Claude Rains’ Captain Louis Renault, was shocked, SHOCKED to discover that gambling with Mideast Peace could be occurring in that august establishment. Feckless sycophants no less repulsive than Peter Lorre’s Ugarte, of course, towed the line. Yes, the ‘usual suspects’, at it again. But, we mustn’t forget that The Marshall Islands has essentially no economy without the rent we provide them for military bases. Was it Sweden that abstained last year, but voted in favor this year? Yes, Ilsa had a tough time deciding…Rick…or Victor? And where were those Czechs? As Reinhard Heydrich proudly proclaimed to Heinrich Himmler, “You can count on my Czechs!” Victor Laszlo was no freedom fighter this time around. He threw in his towel for the same perks as Nauru and Panama. Those “letters of transit” are worth their weight in petrodollars. “Heinifuehrer” would have been proud of that kind of loyalty. But France did the right thing. Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite! La Marseillaise inspires anew! Of 188 member states, only nine voted no. Common sense isn’t just catching up, it’s the overwhelming majority. This could be the beginning of a beautiful century…if only America would stop acting like Conrad Veidt.


  10. borat
    November 30, 2012 at 9:08 am

    Herr john, Herr rosemerry and the consortinazis doing their usual blather…

    for Israel, worth reading.

    Brigitte Gabriel’s speech she made at Duke University.

    “I’m proud and honored to stand here today as a Lebanese speaking for Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East. As someone who was raised in an Arabic country, I want to give you a glimpse into the heart of the Arabic world.

    I was raised in Lebanon where I was taught that the Jews are evil, Israel is the devil, and the only time we will have peace in the Middle East is when we kill all the Jews and drive them into the sea.

    When the Muslims and Palestinians declared jihad on the Christians in 1975, they started massacring the Christians city after city. I ended up living in a bomb shelter underground from age 10 to 17, without electricity, eating grass to live, and crawling under sniper bullets to a spring to get water.

    It was Israel who came to help the Christians in Lebanon. My mother was wounded by a Muslim shell and was taken into an Israeli hospital for treatment. When we entered the emergency room, I was shocked at what I saw. There were hundreds of people wounded, Muslims, Palestinians, Lebanese Christians, and Israeli soldiers lying on the floor. The doctors treated everyone according to their injury. They treated my mother before they treated the Israeli soldier lying next to her. They didn’t see religion, they didn’t see political affiliation; they saw people in need and they helped.

    For the first time in my life, I experienced a human quality that I know my culture would not have shown to their enemy. I experienced the values of the Israelis, who were able to love their enemy in their most trying moments. I spent 22 days at that hospital; those days changed my life and the way I believe information, the way I listen to the radio or to television. I realized that I was sold a fabricated lie by my government about the Jews and Israel, which was so far from reality. I knew for a fact that if I were a Jew standing in an Arab hospital, I would be lynched and thrown to the ground as shouts of joy of “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) echoed through the hospital and the surrounding streets.

    I became friends with the families of the wounded Israeli soldiers, one in particular, Rina, whose only child was wounded in his eyes. One day, I was visiting with her and the Israeli army band came to play national songs to lift the spirits of the wounded soldiers. As they surrounded his bed playing a song about Jerusalem, Rina and I started crying. I felt out of place and started walking out of the room, and this mother held my hand and pulled me back in without even looking at me. She held me, crying, and said, “It is not your fault.” We just stood there, crying, holding each other’s hands.

    What a contrast between her—a mother looking at her deformed, 19-year-old only child and still able to love me, the enemy—and a Muslim mother who sends her son to blow himself up to smithereens just to kill a few Jews or Christians.

    The difference between the Arabic world and Israel is a difference in values and character. It’s barbarism versus civilization. It’s democracy versus dictatorship. It’s goodness versus evil.

    Once upon a time, there was a special place in the lowest depths of hell for anyone who would intentionally murder a child. Now, the intentional murder of Israeli children is legitimized as Palestinian “armed struggle.” However, once such behavior is legitimized against Israel, it is legitimized everywhere in the world, constrained by nothing more than the subjective belief of people who would wrap themselves in dynamite and nails for the purpose of killing children in the name of god.

    Because the Palestinians have been encouraged to believe that murdering innocent Israeli civilians is a legitimate tactic for advancing their cause, the whole world now suffers from a plague of terrorism, from Nairobi to New York, from Moscow to Madrid, from Bali to Beslan.

    They blame suicide bombings on the “desperation of occupation.” Let me tell you the truth. The first major terror bombing committed by Arabs against the Jewish state occurred 10 weeks before Israel even became independent. On Sunday morning, February 22, 1948, in anticipation of Israel ‘s independence, a triple truck bomb was detonated by Arab terrorists on Ben Yehuda Street in what was then the Jewish section of Jerusalem. Fifty-four people were killed and hundreds were wounded.

    Thus, it is obvious that Arab terrorism is caused not by “desperation” or “occupation”, but by the VERY THOUGHT of a Jewish state.

    So many times in history in the last 100 years, citizens have stood by and done nothing, allowing evil to prevail. As America stood up against and defeated communism, now it is time to stand up against the terror of religious bigotry and intolerance. It’s time for everyone to stand up and support and defend the State of Israel, which is the front line of the war against terrorism.

    Thank you.

  11. Rehmat
    November 30, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Zbigniew Brzezinski speaks the truth and makes the Jewish lobby mad again!

    In a speech at the event organized by the National American Iranian Council (NAIC) and the Arms Control Association in Washington on November 26, claimed that US administration is lead by the nose by pro-Israel Jewish groups like a stupid mule.


  12. borat
    November 30, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    The corsortinazis are having multiple orgasms! Sorry you miserable bastards, Israel is here to stay. The so called government of the palestinians -hamas calls for Israel’s destruction. A state who adopts this nazi terrorist stance
    cannot be allowed as your neighbor.

  13. borat
    November 30, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Is Palestine now a state?

    UNITED NATIONS The United Nations General Assembly voted Thursday, by an impressive margin, to upgrade Palestine from its status as an “Observer Entity” to an “Observer State,” a change greeted by celebration in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and with an unusual display of emotion at U.N. Headquarters — a Palestinian flag unfurled on the Assembly floor.
    But what exactly did the Palestinians really gain at the world body? The resolution referred to the “right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to independence in their State of Palestine.”

    So, is Palestine now a State?

    Here’s what the U.N.’s own charter, and international law have to say on the matter:
    “The recognition of a new State or Government is an act that only other States and Governments may grant or withhold. It generally implies readiness to assume diplomatic relations. The United Nations is neither a State nor a Government, and therefore does not possess any authority to recognize either a State or a Government,” according to the United Nations.

    A state may be considered a state by other countries, but not be a member of the U.N. — as is the case with the Holy See and Kosovo, for example. The United States recognizes 195 states, whereas there are only 193 members of the U.N.

    U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice made the U.S. government’s stance on the Palestinians abundantly clear after Friday’s vote, telling the assembly: “This resolution does not establish that Palestine is a state.”
    It’s also worth mentioning that U.N. membership does not necessarily mean independent statehood. India was a member of the U.N. in 1945, two years before it became independent from Britain.

    International law bases recognition of a state on the 1933 Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, which declares that “a State as a person of international law should possess a permanent population, a defined territory, a government and the capacity to enter into relations with other States.”

    A subsequent opinion by the World Court in 1948 spelled out five additional criteria for states seeking full United Nations membership:
    A candidate must be: (1) a State; (2) peace-loving; (3) must accept the obligations of the Charter; (4) must be able to carry out these obligations; (5) must be willing to do so.

    When the Security Council — which must recommend a country for membership to the wider U.N. — considered the Palestinians application for full membership last year, objections were raised over the “peace loving” provision, and the lack of effective governmental control over the Gaza Strip by the Palestinian Authority. In the end, the Council did not recommend full membership.
    So the Security Council held the Palestinians up to statehood criteria and decided the threshold had not been reached. But even that did not determine whether or not Palestine is recognized as a country. The United Nations cannot do that.
    With its new status as an official “observer state,” Palestine will be able to apply to join specialized U.N. agencies and international organizations.
    There are also new untested waters, such as whether or not the “statehood” status at the U.N. will give the Palestinians the right of self defense under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter.

    In the end, the Resolution does not change the Palestinians lives on the ground, and it does not “recognize” Palestine as a state. Most important, the Resolution states the urgent need for the resumption and acceleration of negotiations within the Middle East peace process. That remains the key, according to both Israel and the Palestinian authority, to a real two-state solution.

  14. borat
    November 30, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    The Great Myth of Palestinian Statehood
    Arabs’ revolutionary awakening belies Western conventional wisdom in the Middle East.


    Since Sept. 11, 2001, American neoconservatives have forcefully argued that the combination of economic stagnation, rapid demographic growth, lack of upward social mobility, and political repression in most Arab countries was a breeding ground for Islamic radicalism. Their “freedom agenda”—which George W. Bush embraced during his first term but largely relinquished after 2006—rejected the conventional wisdom that the Arab rage that brought down the Twin Towers was a child of Israel’s occupation; that the Islamist wave sweeping the Muslim world fed on the humiliation of the Palestinians; and that the growing radicalism infecting Muslim immigrant communities in the West was made in Israel.

    This narrative informed the heretofore accepted view that the only alternatives to repression in the Middle East were civil war and failed states, or the rise of Islamic theocracies. That the status quo was unjust, that the regimes were corrupt, and that their rulers were cruel, were unpleasant but necessary facts of life.

    The Arab world’s unpalatable regimes would nonetheless help the West midwife the solution to the region’s ills: a Palestinian state that, by restoring Palestinian justice and dignity, would miraculously neutralize extremism.
    So when the European Union’s foreign-relations chief, Catherine Ashton, spoke in Cairo last year, she only mentioned freedom once—Palestinian freedom from Israel. This, even as the regimes hosting her at the Arab League’s headquarters were busy silencing and torturing their own citizenry.

    Europe has always had a vast array of political tools and economic leverage to push its Arab allies to introduce reforms, liberalize their media, unblock civil society, improve governance, and tame corruption. But the Middle East’s tyrants warned every European visitor that doing so would open the floodgates to radical Islam. Algeria, with the bloodbath that followed the Islamists’ electoral victory in 1992 and the subsequent military takeover, gave credence to their arguments. Foreign ministry mandarins advised their bosses to believe the tyrants: Solve Palestine, they whispered, and everything else will follow.
    And so they did, doggedly pursuing Palestinian-Israeli peace, and furiously blaming Israel at every twist and turn not just for the lack of peace but also for every other regional problem.

    Now, the Arabs’ revolutionary awakening should force the standard bearers of Western conventional wisdom to finally abandon this mindset. Unfortunately, the lesson is still not sinking in. Speaking in Israel this month, former U.S. National U.S. Security Adviser General James L. Jones identified progress on Israeli-Palestinian peace as “the one thing that could have the local, regional and global impact that is now a matter of urgent necessity.” He added that “continued Arab-Israeli dispute strengthens and amplifies the appeal of [Iran’s] message to the oppressed and those who feel that they have no future.”
    British Foreign Secretary William Hague also chimed in by dismissing Israel’s concerns about the stability of its peace treaty with Egypt in the wake of Hosni Mubarak’s ousting.

    Reminding the world of the old Camel Corps wisdom, he said “This should not be a time for belligerent language. It’s a time to inject greater urgency into the Middle East peace process.”

    Lost in all this is the simple fact that the ordinary Arabs who rose against their regimes didn’t do so because they wanted to free Palestine, but because they wanted to free themselves. Western mandarins always assumed that Palestinian freedom was all that the Arab world needed, and in the process they resigned themselves to the region’s rampant corruption, repression, and persecution of women and minorities. Yet Mohammad Bouazizi didn’t set himself on fire in December, thereby triggering Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution, to express solidarity with Palestinians. Instead, his suicide was a direct response to the economic and social strictures in his own country. Meanwhile, his countrymen’s spontaneous reaction to that desperate act stood in sharp contrast to the customary Arab displays of solidarity with Palestinians—usually staged, regime-backed affairs.

    So suddenly, Arab freedom has taken precedence over Israel and Palestine—or so says the much-maligned Arab Street, as it topples one tyrant and challenges the next. The conventional wisdom that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is the mother of all problems in the region has now been exposed as nothing but a myth. Will Western leaders finally learn?

    Mr. Ottolenghi is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and author of “Iran: The Looming Crisis,” (Profile Books, 2010)

  15. borat
    November 30, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Talk with Hamas? Education first
    11/20/2012 21:03

    There is no moral or political justification for the investment of resources in Gaza, only to raise the next generation of terrorism.

    “Everybody knows we have to eventually go to a political settlement” summarizes most columnists’ and commentators’ opinion about the end of the current round of fighting with Hamas in Gaza. Most writers can also predict that another round is only a matter of time. No one knows to offer a refreshing formula, except to comply with an abstract cease-fire.

    Unfortunately, most of the Israeli and international media is refusing to discuss the internal factors that drive this bloodshed, especially the Palestinian educational system in Gaza.

    In recent months, the Hamas government’s Ministry of Education declared the implementation of a special education program for boys, called “Futwah,” which means “heroism” or “nobility.” The plan seeks to instill the values and ideology of Hamas in the future generation of the people of Gaza, as soon as they reach high school.

    Muhammad Ziam, the supervisor of the program, explained that every school is to have an officer, appointed by the Ministry of National Security, in charge of implementing the program. The program is to include military skills such as marching, order and discipline, obedience to authority, sacrifice, courage and masculinity. Special emphasis will be placed on the dangers of “spying for the enemy.” According to Ziam, the program will be expanded later to include schoolgirls.

    An official poster issued by the Director of Education in eastern Khan Yunis lists some of the goals of the program: “Prepare young believers, who can enter life characterized by trust, honesty, faith, courage, sacrifice and love of jihad […] to develop the awareness of resistance, which ensures nurturing of young generations [that] will be able to join resistance […] Preparing students for faith and [the ability] to be physically fit for resistance.”

    Simply put, Hamas seeks to raise a new generation of jihadist terrorists. The supervisor for the Interior Ministry, Muhammad al-Nakhaleh, added that youngsters will learn their role in a “Resistance perpetrating society,” which “holds Islamic values.”

    To understand what “resistance” means, we should turn to the main canon, the Hamas Charter. This document presents the Jews as the responsible party for most of the disasters occurring in the past 400 years; it is so mordant and anti-Semitic that prominent Israeli journalist Yaron London dubbed it “Hitlerist” during an interview with Knesset Member Ahmed Tibi.

    The Jews are depicted, in Article 22 of the Hamas Charter, as follows: “They have taken over the media with their money […] their money sparked revolutions […] they were [behind] the French Revolution […] The Communist […] They stood behind World War I, which were able to eliminate the Islamic Caliphate […] established the League of Nations through which they could rule the world […] they were behind World War II […] they ordered the establishment of the United Nations and the Security Council […] not a single war is underway anywhere in the world without having them involved in it.”

    And how, you ask, must be those evil creatures be dealt with? Well, Article 7 of the Hamas Charter makes it clear that Jewish existence will come to an end – by the Armageddon of the Muslims against the Jews. That day, “The stones and trees will say: ‘Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew hiding [behind me], come and kill him.’” True, it is unlikely that political arrangements which failed to prevent the smuggling of weapons into Gaza will instill consciousness that encourages co-existence and weed out anti-Semitic hatred. But anti-Semitism is not emerging out of Gaza’s tunnels; instead it is cultivated above ground, in schools and mosques.

    It is appropriate, therefore, for countries and other international organizations to stipulate future financial aid to Gaza in deletion of content that educates for hatred and murder of Jews. There is no moral or political justification for the investment of resources, only to raise the next generation of terrorism.

    The writer is a jurist and conducts research in business law at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya.

  16. Rehmat
    November 30, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    On Friday, Israeli daily The Jerusalem Post published former Zionist foreign minister and daughter of a European Jewish terrorist, Tzipi Livni, in which she called PA victory at the UN General Assembly Thursday, a “strategic terrorist attack”.

    She predicted that PA’s upgraded non-member observer state at the world body would weaken Zionist regime in future negotiations with the Palestinians. PA’s bid was supported by 138 with 9 against it at the world body. Four of the nine anti-bid countries, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru ( the world’s smallest republic covering just 8.1 square miles with a population of 9, 378)), and Palau, with its approximately 20,000 inhabitants – are all former US Trust Territories. Czech Republic was the only European nation which voted with US-Israel. The remaining two Israeli poodles were Canada and Panama.


    • paschn
      December 1, 2012 at 1:07 pm

      Slowly, oh so slowly the West is learning what the Eastern European Goy learned long ago. The treachery of the Khazar/Ashkenazis. Inspite of all the governments/religeons they’ve corrupted to their own agenda, the rank and file cursed with watching their loved ones suffer are waking up. Unfortunately for decent Jews who have joined the human race, When the frustration/rage level of the goy pops, they’ll suffer for the treachery committed against the Goy as well. Damn shame.

      Who let the Dogs out?

  17. borat
    November 30, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    The consortinazis shiver in their burquas when Thomas Friedman is mentioned!

  18. borat
    December 2, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    Here’s some grist for you consortinazi swine:

    During the Gaza crisis last week, British Foreign Secretary,

    William Hague, warned Israel that if it sent troops into Gaza to confront Hamas, it risked loosing the sympathy of the international community. On November 19th, a Jewish woman in Britain, Mindy Wiesenberg, sent the following letter to Mr. Hague, in response. The letter has been published in many newspapers, including the Times of Israel.

    Dear Mr. Hague

    You have stated that if Israel tries to defend its population through a

    ground offensive in Gaza ‘it risks losing the sympathy of the

    international community.’

    Let me tell you something about the sympathy of the international

    community Mr. Hague. My father was liberated from Buchenwald

    concentration camp in 1945, having lost his entire family but gaining

    the sympathy of the international community at the time. After 6

    million Jews had been annihilated at the hands of the Nazi regime, the

    international community had plenty of sympathy for the Jewish people.

    There is always plenty of sympathy for victims.

    Israel doesn’t need the sympathy of the international community.

    What it needs is to defend its citizens.

    When as a tiny country it gained its independence in 1948 it had to

    absorb 800,000 Jews who were thrown out of Arab lands in the Middle

    East, and it did so without fuss and with dignity giving them shelter

    and a place of security in which their children could grow up to become

    productive citizens. When Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria tried to

    destroy Israel in 1948 and again in 1967 they took in hundreds of

    thousands of Palestinian Arabs, but did they give them dignity or

    shelter? No they left them to rot in refugee camps in order to maintain

    a symbol of grievance against Israel and use them as a political tool

    against the Jewish state. What has arisen in those camps is a

    complicated situation, but it is what has led to Gaza today.

    So don’t lecture Israel on international sympathy Mr Hague.

    Not when Israel has just sent in 120 truck loads of food into Gaza to

    feed the Palestinian people there, because their own leadership is more

    interested in using its population as human shields, launching rockets

    against Israel from within major civilian centres.

    Don’t lecture Israel on international sympathy Mr Hague.

    Not when Israel targets with as much military precision as it can, only

    terrorists and their bases, trying its utmost to prevent civilian


    Don’t lecture Israel on international sympathy Mr Hague.

    Not when the Palestinian media deliberately uses images of victims of

    the Syrian civil war and presents them as casualties in Gaza to gain

    international sympathy.

    Go read your history books Mr Hague, go see that since the beginning of

    the twentieth century all the Arabs wanted to do was destroy Israel. Go

    look at the country of Israel now since the Jews have established a

    state there. Go read what advances in science, medicine, biotechnology,

    agriculture and high tech Israel has developed, and dedicated that

    knowledge to making the world a better place for humanity. Can you

    imagine any other country that after 60 years of continuously being

    under attack could have achieved so much.

    So Mr. Hague don’t lecture Israel on international sympathy.

    Israel will do whatever it takes to defend itself from outright attack

    on its citizens, whether it be from Hamas, Hizbollah, Iran or any other

    country or terrorist group that attacks it.

    And if it loses the sympathy of the international community so be it.

    We don’t need the international community’s sympathy. We don’t need


    6 million victims.

    Yours sincerely


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