Gideon Levy, Hamas idiots, Jewish News October 9

I want to pick on Koutsoukis a bit more. At his article, you can read him saying

Barely able to contain his delight has been Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip Ismail Haniyeh, who has used Abbas’ willingness to do whatever the US tells him to rally his own flagging support among Palestinian voters. No wonder Hamas has suddenly agreed to sign a reconciliation agreement with Abbas’ Fatah party in Cairo later this month.

Does he know anything about the region at all? Hamas is “suddenly” willing to sign a reconciliation agreement with Fatah? Has he heard of, say, the Prisoner’s Document (and much else)?

More comical: this is a sign of Hamas’s strength. Really: Hamas has practically jumped at every possibility for reconciliation at every chance, however ridiculous it looks, however openly contemptuous of them Fatah has been, however criminal its behaviour… and that’s not even talking about the regimes Hamas refuses to denounce (Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia etc). Make no mistake about it: right now, Hamas is considered the principled resistance, as opposed to Fatah. In 10 years, if the occupation continues, Hamas will be the new Fatah, and there will be some extremist Salafist fanatics  with an even more ugly and ridiculous ideology, wholly dependent on Saudi Arabian funding, and they’ll commit grisly atrocities, and Israel will swear it has no choice but to continue the occupation, it can’t negotiate with such evil fanatics. Really, Israel is destroying its own path to conciliation: the crimes of the settlements and occupation are not just against Palestinians, but against Jews in Israel too, who deserve peace and security.

Anyway, read Haaretz on Hamas. ” The Islamist Hamas movement said Wednesday that no reconciliation deal could be cemented with the rival Fatah faction until Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas apologizes for agreeing to delay a debate on the Goldstone Commission’s Gaza report.”

How is an apology adequate? Abbas (and Dahlan and Fayyad etc) have shown time and again exactly who they are serving. The compromise will be some sort of apology for technical error or something (Abbas calling for an investigation into the matter is hilarious really: notice how the puppet learns from his master about how to deflect blame). If anything, this is the ultimate nail in the coffin of Abbas. Hamas is throwing him a lifeline. I mean, perhaps its best from their perspective: they’re completely incompetent, they don’t know how to administer Gaza, getting into politics for them was a mistake in the first place, the whole PA should be dissolved (in my opinion), they represent steps backwards in the struggle for international public opinion. They would do best to resign if they could too, but who can they concede to?  The whole process of Oslo was always a farce to institutionalise Palestinian subordination to Israel, and the process of the boycott of Hamas has just shown how criminal the international community is in its support of Israeli oppression. No Palestinian party should agree to administer a fake government under Israeli rule.

Gideon Levy

He seems to be working overtime. He writes columns every few days. I have no idea how he has it in him. His latest offering includes:

A recent report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs draws a shocking picture of what is happening in Gaza. For example, 75 percent of its inhabitants, more than 1 million people, are suffering from nutritional deficiencies, 90 percent must live through power blackouts for four to eight hours every day, 40 percent of those who apply to leave for medical treatment are refused by Israel and 140,000 inhabitants are unemployed.

Jewish News October 9

Okay so Michael Danby gets a column on page 4, distraught by the US NIE report that ruined attempts to warn the world about non-existent Iranian plans to develop nuclear weapons. Danby makes the extraordinary claim that “In fact, the nuclear program only ceased for about six months” according to the NIE report. Yes Danby, okay. He goes on to call for the West to use “serious sanctions” on Iran. Okay, but spare us concern about the “oppressive” Ahmadinejad, you fake humanitarian. Danby talking about an oppressive regime which he wants to liberate is about as inspiring as Bush wanting to liberate Afghanistan and Iraq.

Page 6: an articleon the meeting between JCCV and Ramadge. There’s a picture of him with Zionist Council (wasn’t it ZFA?)’s Danny Lamm. Why does he get to meet with Ramadge? But anyway, Ramadge says that Katsoukis (wasn’t it Koutsoukis? Yes, Naomi Levin, the AJN correspondent consistently and repeatedly mis-spells his name as “Katsoukis”. That’s not very impressive in an article about him, but evidently research isn’t important at AJN. To be fair, in an early New Matilda column, I mis-spelled Rubenstein as Rubinstein). Anyway, Ramadge says Katsoukis (I’m sure he pronounced the name correctly when asked) has “gone beyond politics, which I thought was one of the things you [the Jewish community] asked for.” That’s a joke. What kind of farce is this? Koutsoukis isn’t supposed to report on politics because of the Zionist lobbyists? Isn’t this supposed to be a serious paper?

Page 7: NSW JBD and Bnai Brith has noticed the Sydney Forum fascists. That’s nice: perhaps next they’ll notice that Rihab Charida – supposed Palestinian activist – spoke at one of their forums. But then, investigating actual anti-Semitism would detract from their major concern: monitoring the media for mention of settlements.

The editorial is almost comical. They talk about Rabin with pride: refusing to negotiate a deal with Palestinians who kidnapped an Israeli soldier. Sure, the soldier was killed, but “the terrorists were killed, and the message Rabin delivered to Palestinian terrorists was successful: kidnapping does not pay. It was a lesson that endured until June 25, 2006, when Shalit was taken.”

AJN takes pride in the operation, which killed the soldier. How can you mock this position? Note also that Israel supposedly refuses to negotiate with kidnappers, when of course it negotiated exchanges before and after Rabin, and before the Shalit capture too.

The letters, as always, are unbelievable. Steve Brook is taken to task for his “blind spot” – ignoring the Qassam rockets. Another writer claims that B’Tselem doesn’t accept that Israel committed war crimes in Gaza (and is “arguably Israel’s harshest critic”. Is he serious? What planet do these people live on?) B’Tselem supposedly condemned the “rabid bias” of the UNHRC. For its response to Goldstone (with other NGOs, see here. Another respondent plainly hasn’t read the report, claiming that it “only marginally comments on” why the attack was launched. And complains of listening to Palestinian “eye witnesses” (this is put in quotation marks: you never can trust Arabs). Another letter writer says perhaps Israel committed war crimes: accidents happen. Obviously, even a cursory acquaintance with the charges of the report would not make this kind of thing possible.

OH! exciting. Malcolm Fraser is going to debate Zionist Danny Lamm and Mark Dreyfus at Monash university on boycotting Hamas. That’s incredible. Wish he’d come to Sydney. Actually, there’s lots I don’t like about Fraser. But he’d be worth seeing, and it’s nice seeing figures of the establishment taking these sorts of stands.

Anyway, there was a good letter. Alexis Lander said that Richard Goldstone was wonderful, and said all her South African friends agred. There’s an article: should we boycott Germany? It’s hard to even parody the lack of self-consciousness of the AJN running something like this.

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