Mid-East Realitieswww.middleeast.org

AFIF SAFIEH in WASHINGTON and other FATEH Representatives should be SACKED

MER - Washington - MiddleEast.Org - 30 January: The danger of fractricidal conflict and civil war in Palestine -- an under-the-table goal pursued by the Israelis for some time no matter how much they deny it -- is now greater than ever. The major figures representing the exposed and corrupt remnants of Fateh are attempting to manipulate their way one way or another to retain money, guns, and power. Rather than resigning as he should Fateh's top man, Mahmoud Abbas, is using his considerable backing from the U.S., Israel, Europe, and the Arab 'client regimes' to attempt to keep himself and his cronies in power one way or another. It is an unprecedented dangerous political poker game of bluff, counter-bluff, and chicken being played out not just in occupied Palestine but on the regional and world stages as well and with quite unpredictable results at this point. Meanwhile the Iranians are racing ahead to prepare themselves for attack, the comatose 'peace process' is all but finally declared dead, international energy supply concerns and escalating prices could trigger more conflict and economic hard-times, and the Neocon/Evangelical regime in Washington (under unprecedented assault as the second article below suggests) is desperately seeking new ways for possible salvation and resurrection before the November 2006 mid-term election even as the still hesitant impeachment movement might yet gain traction.

Hamas: PA destroying its files on us, giving guns to Fatah

The Palestinian Authority has ordered its security forces to destroy or hide all files containing information on Hamas and its members, the movement claimed on Sunday.

Hamas also accused the PA security forces of transferring weapons from their storehouses to Fatah militiamen.
Hamas officials in Gaza City claimed that Interior Minister Nasser Youssef, who held an emergency meeting with commanders of the PA security forces on Sunday, instructed them to take a series of measures in the wake of Hamas's victory in last week's parliamentary election.

The measures include destroying and hiding files containing information that had been gathered by the interrogation of hundreds of Hamas detainees over the past 12 years, the officials said, adding that the PA security forces were emptying their storehouses of automatic rifles and handing them over to Fatah groups.

PA security forces strongly denied the Hamas allegations, saying no such instructions had been issued.

"These claims are completely untrue and are in the context of attempts to defame the security establishment and its personnel," said Interior Ministry spokesman Tawkif Abu Khoussa. He described those behind the charges as "a small group of thugs who have been blinded by hatred."

The latest allegations are an indication of the growing tensions between Hamas and Fatah in the aftermath of the parliamentary vote.

The PA security forces consist solely of Fatah members who have made it clear in the past few days that they would not take orders from a Hamas-run cabinet.

Youssef, who is formally in charge of security, announced on Sunday that he would report only to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, whom he described as the commander-in-chief of the security forces. The announcement is seen as a warning to Hamas against trying to take control of the PA security forces.

Some of the security commanders in the West Bank and Gaza Strip told Abbas over the weekend that they would not leave their posts even if the new Hamas cabinet ordered them to do so.

"The Palestinian security forces are the property of all the people," Youssef said. "We welcome any faction that wants to join the security forces according to our conditions and laws. We won't allow anyone to harm the security forces and we will report only to President Abbas, who is the commander-in-chief."

Meanwhile, Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Masri said his movement was waiting to hear from Abbas about the formation of a new cabinet. Abbas was scheduled to arrive in the Gaza Strip on Saturday, but the visit was delayed because of violent protests by disgruntled Fatah supporters.

"We are in touch with Abbas and he's expected to arrive in the Gaza Strip soon," Masri said. "We don't know why he called off his planned visit. Hamas wants to form a new cabinet as soon as possible."

Another Hamas spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri, called on the European Union and the US to respect the choice of the Palestinians, "who elected their representatives through a democratic process that was observed by international monitors."

Abu Zuhri condemned as "blackmail" threats by the international community to cut off financial aid to the Palestinians following Hamas's landslide victory.

"They want to punish the Palestinians because they chose their representatives in democratic elections," he pointed out. "Do foreign governments want to continue spending their taxpayers' money on corrupt and dictatorial regimes?"

He said that despite the threats, Hamas wanted to embark on a policy of openness toward the West. He also said that Hamas was not worried by Israeli threats to restrict the movement of Hamas leaders and representatives.


Bush-bashing takes center stage in NY theaters
By Claudia Parsons

NEW YORK (Reuters) Mon Jan 30, 2006 11:45 AM ET - It's not hard to spot the common theme in three New York theater offerings this season that go by the titles "Bush is Bad," "Bush Wars: Musical Revenge" and "Laughing Liberally."

The Web site for "Bush is Bad" features a grand piano falling on the head of President George W. Bush.

"Bush Wars" promises what it calls a counterattack on "the disgraceful agenda of the Bush administration." It features a dance number with Bush and Osama bin Laden taking their mothers to lunch at the same restaurant, and another with New Orleans residents singing as they await help after Hurricane Katrina, in a dig at the Bush administration's slow response.

There is also a spoof romantic duet between Bush and his chief adviser Karl Rove, and a naughty bedroom scene which has Vice President Dick Cheney literally in bed with a pair of scantily-clad women named after oil companies.

Both have been attracting enthusiastic audiences to small venues in Manhattan but in a city renowned for its liberal ways the shows may be preaching to the choir.

The organizers of "Laughing Liberally," a one-off evening of stand-up comedy at the 1,500-seat Town Hall on February 4, say their show has broader ambitions.

"It's not going to be an evening of Bush-bashing because that's very easy to do. Hopefully there will be some actual ideas in it," said Jim David, one of the more established comics on the bill with 19 years in the business.

The comedy night is an extension of a drinking club founded by political campaigner Justin Krebs who now boasts 130 chapters of "Drinking Liberally" in 41 states and Washington, D.C., under the slogan "Promoting democracy one pint at a time."

Krebs' father, Eric, a theater producer who is planning an off-Broadway run and a national tour for "Laughing Liberally," said his motto was "Saving democracy one laugh at a time."

He said the initiative was aimed at countering the likes of Rush Limbaugh, whose brand of conservative humor and anti-liberal commentary is hugely successful.

He was also inspired by "The Blue Collar Comedy Tour," a group of comedians who poke fun at Middle America from the inside, in an act that became a movie and a popular television show, and who are most famous for a series of jokes called "10 Ways to Tell You're a Redneck."

"It's enormous all over America, particularly in the south, but not exclusively so," Eric Krebs said of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. "My sense of 'Laughing Liberally' was to create the equivalent from a smart, liberal political point of view."

David, who described himself as a moderate rather than a liberal, said he was looking forward to playing to an audience likely to have read the newspaper, unlike some who come to his regular gigs at comedy clubs from New York to Las Vegas.

He said Bush had polarized the country since his election in 2000, but it was time for moderates to make a comeback.

"I used to get booed (in Las Vegas) two or three years ago when I made a George Bush joke. Now they laugh and nobody boos because things have changed," David said.

But he lamented the complexity of current political scandals, noting that it was much easier for comedians to take a shot at Bill Clinton for his Oval Office dalliances.

"A true thing in comedy is you can have the greatest political joke in the world and people are going to laugh if they get it, but if you have a good sex joke the laugh is going to be twice as big," he said.

Mid-East Realitieswww.middleeast.org

Source: http://www.middleeast.org/articles/2006/1/1333.htm