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the cobwebs of history « Previous | |Next »
January 31, 2009

A view not often heard in Australia, where the media generally follow the lead of the US media. Are things changing?

The dominant view is that of the Israel Lobby, which aims to marginalize and isolate Hamas, blocks the formation of a Palestinian state and fights Iran for regional hegemony.

garlardmiddleeast.jpg Garland

A more realistic view that tries to find a way forward from the conflict by bringing Hamas in from the cold and beginning to negotiate with them.

An Ha'aretz editorial states that:

Israeli voters must know that the Obama government will be intolerant of construction in the settlements, as well as measures that hurt the Palestinians, such as closures and checkpoints. It will make every effort to bring about a two-state solution. Anyone for whom Israel's relations with the United States is important must vote for parties that support a peace agreement with the Palestinians, out of the recognition that the right-wing parties that support settlement expansion jeopardize Israel's international standing as well as its security, both of which are dependent on American support.

If the time is for some new thinking- (ie breaking from the outdated American strategy of dealing only with Fateh and its leader, Mahmoud Abbas), then it is going to have to deal with the way that the larger settlements now form an well established Jewish presence on Palestinian land. The settlements are there to stay. That is Israel's strategy. It points to a one-state solution.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 3:08 PM | | Comments (6)
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This report, Will the cycle be unbroken by John Lyons in The Australian is different, as it adopts a humanitarian perspective on Gaza.

Israel's strategy appears to be that since economic punishment (blockade) did not stop many Gazans from supporting Hamas, then military punishment is necessary to complete the job. The dead children, the fearful populations, the overflowing hospitals: all are part of Israel's strategy to subdue the Palestinians of Gaza and compel them to withdraw their consent from Hamas.

There is a fantasy behind Israel's stategy; a fantasy which says that the Arabs understand only force. It says Israel can end terrorism by killing all the terrorists. The neighbors of the terrorists will be overawed. No new terrorists will be created.

Similar to Bush in Iraq.

In Mitchell's Challenge After Gaza, Five Questions about Palestinian and Israeli Realities Sandy Tolan says:

The two-state solution, the central focus of efforts to end the tragedy of Israel and Palestine since 1967, has been undermined by the thickening reality of red-roofed Israeli settlements, military outposts, surveillance towers, and the web of settlers-only roads that whisk Israelis from their West Bank dwellings to prayer in Jerusalem's Old City, or to shopping and the beach in Tel Aviv. So dense had the Israeli West Bank presence become by 2009, so fragmented is Palestinian life -- both physically and politically -- that it now requires death-defying mental gymnastics to imagine how a two-state solution could ever be implemented.

Glenn Greenward, who blogs at Salon. com, connects US foreign policy in the Middle East with domestic surveillance policy in the US. He says:

It's precisely our endless and direct involvement in all of the various Middle East conflicts that plays a vital role in enabling the prevailing climate of militarization and the ever-expanding Surveillance State in the United States. It's clich├ęd at this point, but nonetheless true, to point out that it is our involvement in foreign conflicts and the maintenance of external threats that uniquely justifies infringements on core liberties and the expansion of state power. A nation involved in foreign wars will inevitably act like a War Nation at home. That's just a universal truth

The issues aren't merely related but are completely intertwined.

Haaretz reports that preventing Palestinians in Gaza from re-arming itself is now an ongoing military operation of the United States. The US is using its military to patrol the Red Sea in order to ensure that Gazans remain defenseless.