Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh offers an olive branch and a retort to Israel's claims and America's conceits

Hanniyeh's argument challenges us to step back from the skewed coverage that distinguishes mainstream media coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict and simply recognize that there are two sides to the story.
Aggression Under False Pretenses: "I hope that Americans will give careful and well-informed thought to root causes and historical realities, in which case I think they will question why a supposedly 'legitimate' state such as Israel has had to conduct decades of war against a subject refugee population without ever achieving its goals.

Israel's unilateral movements of the past year will not lead to peace. These acts -- the temporary withdrawal of forces from Gaza, the walling off of the West Bank -- are not strides toward resolution but empty, symbolic acts that fail to address the underlying conflict. Israel's nearly complete control over the lives of Palestinians is never in doubt, as confirmed by the humanitarian and economic suffering of the Palestinians since the January elections. Israel's ongoing policies of expansion, military control and assassination mock any notion of sovereignty or bilateralism. Its 'separation barrier,' running across our land, is hardly a good-faith gesture toward future coexistence."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm curious, what remarks exactly did you perceive as an "olive branch" in PM Haniyeh's remarks? I read none. The editorial was a straightforward argument advancing the perspective that Israel is entirely in the wrong in this round of the conflict's escalation and that the only parties with the ability to end this present are Israel and the US.

I don't blame the PM for the attempt, but it's wrong-headed and counterfactual to look at this as an olive branch or as a good summary of the dynamics and causes of the crisis.

I think the PM's remarks are fair, but not without being put in the full context of:
* A Palestinian regime taking power which holds a platform calling for Israel's destruction, completely contrary to earlier international frameworks and agreements for a two-state peace.

* Acknowledging that Israel doing a unilateral withdrawl from it's prior occupation was a significant act and step toward peace, which was not matched with reciprocation by Palestine (quite the contrary actually). Palestine's behavior is systematically sending the message that "steps you make toward peace will be seen as weakness and a window for claiming victory and taking one step forward toward the annihilation of your state."

* Recognizing that kidnapping of a soldier and then threatening their immediate execution if convicted prisoners aren't released is an entirely unethical and unacceptable act.

* Acknowledging that the kidnapping wasn't prefaced by good faith efforts at peace. Instead, what preceded this was barrages of Palestinian Kassam missile attacks against civilian targets. (And note: there is a difference between attacking purely civilian targets in Israel and the orchestrated civilian casualties in Palestine caused by the a tactic of Palestinian militant groups using civilian centers, hospitals, etc. as "human shields" for their attacks.