Ramzy Baroud: Abbas and the Goldstone Report: Our Shame is Complete

16 October, 2009 — www.ramzybaroud.net

As Israeli bombs fell on the Gaza Strip during its one-sided war between December 27, 2008 and January 18, 2009, millions around the world took to the streets in complete and uncompromising outrage. The level of barbarity in that war, especially as it was conducted against a poor, defenseless and physically trapped nation, united people of every color, race and religion. But among those who seemed utterly unmoved, unreservedly cold were some Palestinian officials in the West Bank.

Mahmoud Habbash, the PA Minister of Social Affairs is but one of those individuals. His appearances on Aljazeera, during those fateful days were many. On one half of the screen would be screaming, disfigured children, mutilated women, and search parties digging in the dark for dead bodies, at times entire families. On the other, was Habbash, spewing political insults at his Hamas rivals in Gaza, repeating the same message so tirelessly parroted by his Israeli colleagues. Every time his face appeared on the screen, I cringed. Every unruly shriek of his, reinforced my sense of shame. Shame, perhaps, but never confusion. Those who understand how the Oslo agreement of September 1993 morphed into a culture that destroyed the very fabric of Palestinian society can fully appreciate the behavior of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank during the Gaza war, before it and today.

But especially today.

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Ramzy Baroud – Fatah: A New Beginning or an Imminent End?

13 August, 2009 — Palestine Think Tank

ArafatThis is hardly the rational order of things. An overpowering military occupation was meant to be resisted by an equally determined, focused and unyielding national movement, hell-bent on liberation at any cost and by any means. This is the unwritten law that has governed and shielded successful national liberation projects throughout history. The Fatah movement, under Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, however, wants to alter that order, meeting Israeli colonialism with ill-defined ‘pragmatism’, extreme violence with press statements laden with endless clichés that mostly go unreported, and a determined Israeli attempt at squashing Palestinian aspirations with political tribalism, factional decay and internal divisions.

Indeed, the long delayed Fatah Congress, held in Bethlehem on August 4 has underscored the obvious: the all-encompassing movement which was meant to exact and safeguard Palestinian national rights has grown into a liability that, if anything, will continue to derail the Palestinian national project. This comes at a time when the Palestinian people are in urgent need of a collective response that is strong enough to withstand Israeli military pressure and coercion at home, eloquent enough to communicate the Palestinian message to a global audience, and astute enough to galvanize international support and sympathy to the benefit of Palestinian freedom and independence.

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Nassar Ibrahim: “Resistance Should be our Strategic Choice” An Analysis of the Palestinian Political Situation in the Wake of the Gaza Attack

19 January, 2009


Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas meets with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak at the Presidential palace in Cairo. Egypt actively supported Israel’s attack on the Gaza Strip.

The following is an interview with Nassar Ibrahim, Policy Director of the Alternative Information Center. The interview was conducted on 16 January 2009 by Enrico Bartolomei

What is going on in the West Bank in relation to the Israeli attack on Gaza? Why is the reaction not so strong?

The reaction in the West Bank is strongly affected by the internal Palestinian split: the power in the West Bank is presently held by Fatah and the Palestinian Authority. Soon after the 2006 election in which Hamas won, the antagonism between the former Fatah-led PA and the new Hamas government became manifest. This opposition can be read as the difference between two strategic choices: the one represented by the Fatah leadership and supported by many Arab regimes loyal to the USA power, which sees the peace negotiations and the involvement of international institutions as the only way to solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

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The Real News Network – Who killed the peace process?


In this second part to The Real News’ interview with Jesse Rissin Rosenfeld, freelance journalist in Israel and the West Bank, the process of peace-talks is discussed. Rosenfeld says that a “simmering intolerance” for the Palestinian Authority has contributed to anger at the Israeli attack on Gaza and may pave the road for a new intifadah. The PA has been engaged in the “peace process” with Israel and its security forces have been aiding the Israeli attempt at stopping Palestinian resistance to the occupation and the attack on Gaza. A resurgence in protests and riots in the West Bank is therefore seen as a revolt against both Israel and the PA. Rosenfeld says this will mean either a defeat for Mahmoud Abbas in the upcoming elections, or a popular revolt, akin to a third Intifadah.


Jesse Rosenfeld is a Canadian freelance journalist who has been based in Ramallah since 2007. A former news editor at the McGill Daily and a founding editor of the Montreal Magazine Siafu, Rosenfeld has written for NOW Magazine, The Montreal Mirror, THIS Magazine and the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

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Khalid Amayreh: Second Fiddle to Israel

15 November, 2008

Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have been trading harsh accusations as to who bears responsibility for the open-ended postponement of Egyptian-sponsored national reconciliation talks that were due to take place in Cairo earlier this week.

Citing Hamas’s decision to boycott the much-heralded talks, PA and Fatah leaders and spokespersons denounced the Islamic movement for being “unserious and insincere” about the restoration of Palestinian national unity.

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Occupation by another name By Ran HaCohen

August 27, 2008
Source: http://jewishpeacenews.blogspot.com

Meron Benvenisti in an excellent article mentions the ‘success of the propaganda campaign known as ‘negotiations with the Palestinians,’ which convinces many that the status quo is temporary.’ There’s indeed no better way to describe the ongoing talks between the two politicians living on borrowed time – Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas – than as a pastime orchestrated by the Bush administration. In the past, peace talks were supposed to lead to a peace agreement, which would in turn lead to peace; now, not even that little is assumed. What the negotiations are expected to yield is at best a ‘shelf agreement’ to be implemented at some vague point in the future, or not. No one believes such an agreement can be reached, as agreed, by the end of this year, but even the shelf doesn’t really care.

But the show must go on. Last week the papers announced a great leap forward: Olmert’s Israel has submitted a detailed proposal for the final status. In true negotiations, one could have said: Now we know what Israel wants. This is not the case, since everybody knows Prime Minister Olmert is no longer relevant. So what’s the value of the proposal? We don’t really know what Israel wants, but at least we can see what Israel is willing to say.

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