Latest | Recent Articles | Multimedia Page | TV | Search | Blog

Email this article | Print this article | Link to this Article


MER - MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 24 January: Hamas is not taking power tomorrow in occupied Palestine; it is instead asserting power in what can be seen as a kind of historic political blowback for so many awful years of miserable corruption, gross ineptitude and dastardly co-optation by those whom the U.S., Israel, and the Arab 'client regimes' pushed so hard to date to lord over the millions of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Call it as well a kind of democratic payback for the Israeli/U.S. assassinations of the senior generation of Palestinian leaders including in recent years the founder of Hamas, Sheik Ahmed Yassin, and the long-time Chairman of the PLO, Yasser Arafat.
Those being put in their place are known as the "Palestinian Authority", and on the whole they are a miserable lot.
Thus even with so much help from the U.S. and Israeli governments -- including the CIA, AID, and Mossad, as well as the Europeans and the Arab 'client regimes' -- the PA tomorrow is about to be essentially castrated even though Mahmoud Abbas (buttressed by Nabil Shaath) will likely remain for some further time the figurehead 'in power'.
Meanwhile the bigger picture is what is really important. The once widely supported and once possible 'two state solution' has been all but killed off by the very powers who today claim to be supporting it, primarily Israel and the U.S.; the fictitious 'Road Map' is as much on life support as is Ariel Sharon himself; and the region is being swept up in an escalating arms race and 'clash of civilizations' which could soon have even more catastrophic consequences than what has happened to the region since the infamous 'Peace to end all Peace' the Western powers imposed on the region at the Paris 'Peace Conference' nearly a century ago.

On the campaign trail with Hamas
By James Reynolds

Mona Mansour drives round Nablus in an old white car, without any bodyguards.

A young Palestinian boy looks at a picture of former Hamas spiritual leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin.
Hamas hope to turn their popular support into electoral success

BBC News, Jerusalem:
She's well-known in the city as the widow of a famous Hamas gunman, killed by Israel.

Now she has found a way to carry on his fight - by running for parliament for Hamas.

"Nablus has been forgotten. The Palestinian people need us," she tells a small crowd of supporters. "Conditions are terrible. There's corruption and nepotism. There's no security."

The Hamas election platform is clear: pro-religion, anti-corruption, anti-Israel.

The movement has been gathering support on these issues for many years.

Every country has its army and our resistance movement is our army fighting for the cause of our people
Hamas candidate Aziz Dwaik
But for a long time it decided to boycott all Palestinian elections - wanting nothing to do with democratic institutions set up in agreement with Israel.

Now, though, Hamas has decided that it's time to convert its long-standing popular support into seats in the Palestinian parliament. How will the movement fare?

Current opinion polls suggest that it will pick up more than 30% of the vote.

Pressing the flesh

In the old city of Nablus, after mid-day prayers, Hamas candidates go looking for support.

They walk slowly through the market, shaking as many hands as they can.

The candidates are courtly, neat, and determined. Each wears a Hamas banner round his jacket.

None carries a gun. Hamas has taken a clear decision - its young gunmen will do the fighting. Its older, educated class will run for office.

One voter approaches a Hamas candidate.

"You should negotiate with Israel," the man says.

"Why?" the Hamas candidate replies. "We need to win our rights by force."

Bullets and ballots

In the city of Hebron, the movement has just opened a museum of Hamas history.

It is made up of several rooms, putting together the most memorable moments of the organisation's 18-year campaign.

There is a model showing rockets being fired towards Jewish settlements.

There are dozens of pictures celebrating Hamas gunmen and suicide bombers.

One picture even mocks up a Hamas version of Mount Rushmore - with the faces of Hamas leaders replacing the faces of US presidents.

The museum also displays posters of the Hamas candidates running for election.

Poster on display at the Hamas museum
The museum glorifies Hamas leaders killed by Israel
"How can you be a democratic party on the one hand and an armed militia on the other hand. Surely it doesn't mix ?" I ask Dr Aziz Salem Dwaik, who is one of the Hamas candidates in Hebron.

"It mixes all over the world because each and every country has its army and our resistance movement is our army fighting for the cause of our people."

"Will you negotiate with Israel if Hamas gets power in the election?"

"This is a choice that we will take into consideration whenever we feel that the Israelis are accepting our rights and admitting that we have rights in Jerusalem, we have rights all over the area where the Israelis built settlements and built the Israeli annexation and confiscation wall."

Democratic mandate

Dr Dwaik's words leave some room for manoeuvre. He doesn't take the opportunity to repeat the call for Israel's destruction, enshrined in the movement's 1988 charter.

Instead, Hamas leaders suggest and hint that they may be prepared for some kind of accommodation with Israel - leaving a final struggle to future generations.

In return, Israel appears to be making a bit of room for itself as well.

For years government officials have condemned Hamas at all times - refusing to accept any kind of separation between the movement's political and armed wings.

But now, it is faced with the prospect of Hamas with a democratic mandate. So it has to choose its words carefully.

"Can Israel ever deal with Hamas?" I ask Israeli cabinet minister Meir Sheetrit.

"If they change their agenda formally, making action, to say we are cancelling those items on the agenda that are talking about exterminating the state of Israel and joining the route of the road map to make peace with Israel, I cannot avoid the possibility of talking to them - especially if they have been elected," he answers.

There is a wider point as well. For several years now, US President George W Bush, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and others have called for more democracy in the Middle East, and among Palestinians in particular.

The hope being that democracy leads to freedom, stability, and prosperity. But here's a key point for them to consider.

If they want democracy from Palestinian streets, they may just end up with a party like Hamas.


Israelis fear Hamas 'terror state'

By Leonard Doyle in Tel Aviv

The Independent, UK, 24 January: There is almost no contact between the two peoples, separated as they are by a long and impenetrable fence, but the outcome of tomorrow's Palestinian elections will have a profound impact on the future course of Israeli politics.

Watching on the sidelines as the green flags of the Islamic movement fill Israeli television screens, the hard-line Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu predicted yesterday that a Hamas breakthrough would change the course of Israeli politics. "The danger is that Hamas will establish a terror state on the West Bank with the avowed aim of destroying Israel," he said, articulating a fear held across the political divide in Israel.

Israeli politicians are looking on, many in disbelief, as Palestinian voters on the other side of the fence prepare to reward Hamas for embracing the political process. Repeated public offers by Hamas to maintain its ceasefire - now in its second year - and signs that suicide bombings by militants are becoming a thing of the past are met with scarcely disguised scorn.

Mr Netanyahu outlined how his policy as premier, should he be elected, would be an even more vigorous assault on Palestinian hopes for a viable state. He would move the security fence even further inside the West Bank and Gaza to protect Israel's main airport, build further defences in the occupied Golan Heights, hold on to most of the illegally built settlements, and keep Jerusalem undivided.

Hamas, he said, was stockpiling weapons: "Sooner or later they will be in the hills over Tel Aviv airport and terrorism could again be a monumental threat to Israel."


Former IDF chief: Gaza now Hamastan, Hizbullahstan

Moshe Yaalon says during Herzliya Conference Israel failed to create effective, reliable deterrence against rocket attacks; ‘Arabs’ refusal to recognize Israel is source of all violence directed against it from dawn of Zionism to this day,’ he adds
By Ronny Sofer

23 January: Former IDF chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon said Monday that Gaza has turned into “Hamastan, Hizbullahstan and al-Qaedastan” following Israel’s withdrawal from the area last summer.

Speaking at the Herzliya Conference on the Balance of Israel’s National Security, Yaalon said Israel easily gave up on principles such as border supervision and demilitarization.

The former IDF head said Israel failed to create effective and reliable deterrence against rocket attacks saying, "Israel's unilateral withdrawals were perceived as escape from the rocket threat. Israel failed to create reliable deterrence for the future."

“The Arabs’ refusal to recognize Israel is the source of all the violence directed against it from the dawn of Zionism to this day,” he added.

<><><><><>“As long as this does not change, Israel will be prone to violence. The 1967 borders do not provide an answer to the threat of rocket and suicide bombing attacks, nor do they provide an answer to the threat of conventional attacks.

“In order to withstand terror we must remain firm in the belief in the justice of our ways; post and anti-Zionist trends have infiltrated public debate and the decision-making process,” he said.

Yaalon went on to slam the Palestinian Authority, saying it has breached every agreement with Israel.

“The Palestinians do not recognize our right to live within the 1967 borders. Their decision to wage war in September 2000 was aimed at dodging the need to recognize Israel as a sovereign state,” he said.

“All of these are warning signs ahead of determining the country’s permanent borders – either by way of agreement or unilaterally. As long as there is no acceptance of our right to exist, the Israeli leadership should assume any determined border will be challenged by violent acts, unless there is deterrence. The more vulnerable we appear, the bigger the temptation is to attack us.”

January 2006


Talking To The Enemy Indeed
(January 31, 2006)
In Iraq the U.S. is secretly talking with the 'insurgent' enemy... There will have to be actual significant policy changes by the American Empire or else -- especially when it comes to reversing Israeli apartheid and realigning American policies and interests in truly new ways, not just more rhetorical trickery and obfuscation.

Abbas, Shaath, Safieh, Fateh Officials Should Resign or Be Sacked
(January 30, 2006)
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.

LAWLESS WORLD Erupting Thursday in London
(January 30, 2006)
"...likely to cause a fierce new controversy on both sides of the Atlantic" the new edition of this damning book LAWLESS WORLD will not be published until Thursday in London, just hours after President Bush's State of the Union 2006 address to Congress at 9pm tomorrow. Major pressures are now building in both Washington and London to actually attempt to remove from power those who brought about the Iraq war through such chicanery and duplicity. But if the pressures really get too strong expect the tension with Iran to escalate further and maybe explode into military exchanges and/or another major 'terrorist attack' either from the pertrators most expect or from the underground manipulators connected to those in power whom many now suspect with considerable damning circumstantial evidence

Assassination Backlash - Hamas Landslide
(January 26, 2006)
When the Israelis released the founder of Hamas from prison some years ago they did so because they had attempted to assassinate in Amman the man who today heads Hamas from Damascus and they needed to provide King Hussein an excuse to give them back their caught and endangered Mossad henchmen. Then, a few years later, they assassinated Sheik Ahmed Yassin, a blind paraplegic who founded Hamas in the late 1980s, as he emerged from a Gaza Mosque one morning -- this on top of an ongoing anti-Hamas assassination campaign designed to dismember and weaken 'The Islamic Resistance Movement'. The actual result however is what happened yesterday in a sea of Hamas green.

Hamas Wins Big
(January 26, 2006)
There's a long history to why Hamas has been so victorious in occupied Palestine. And whatever the Israeli p.r. spin about what has happened they and the U.S. are really the midwives.

Iran Crisis
(January 25, 2006)
This day was destined to come sooner or later. With the Israelis having a considerable arsenal of nuclear weapons and the ability to delivery them tactically to the battlefield as well as strategically by submarine and airplane a gross imbalance has been there in the region for some time already. Furthermore there should be no doubt that Israel's apartheid and bloodletting policies toward the Palestinians have been a major force enflaming Arab and Muslim sentiments throughout the region; while militant neo-imperialist U.S. policies on top of the American-Israeli alliance and the rise of Christian Fundamentalism have fueled the raging passions and led to today's imbroglio.

Hamastan Indeed
(January 24, 2006)
Hamas is not taking power tomorrow in occupied Palestine; it is instead asserting power in what can be seen as a kind of historic political blowback for so many awful years of miserable corruption, gross ineptitude and dastardly co-optation by those whom the U.S., Israel, and the Arab 'client regimes' pushed so hard to date to lord over the millions of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Call it as well a kind of democratic payback for the Israeli/U.S. assassinations of the senior generation of Palestinian leaders including in recent years the founder of Hamas, Sheik Ahmed Yassin, and the long-time Chairman of the PLO, Yasser Arafat.

Questions About 9/11 That Don't Go Away
(January 23, 2006)
So much of what is happening now in our world can be traced back to the year 2001 when Bush/Cheney and the Neocons came to power in Washington, Ariel Sharon came to power in Israel, and what we all now simply call 9/11 happened. But just what did really happen? Nagging questions not only are not going away, they are surfacing from credible people and need to be very seriously and independently investigated.

U.S. Caught In The Act In Occupied Palestine
(January 22, 2006)
American credibility has rarely been lower; American duplicity has rarely been higher; and the exposure of American lies and hypocrisy has rarely been more evident than in the lead story in today's Washington Post.

Torturing Palestinians
(January 21, 2006)
From MER in January 1997: Torture of Palestinians is not only routine and systematic, in it actually sanctioned by the Israeli legal system that has been twisted to serve Israeli policies. Going back to the Shinbet scandal of the early 1980's, even more sadistic forms of torture have given way to the kinds of 'legalized' torture methods outlined in this important article from one of the few independent and courageous media sources in Israel, The Alternative Information Center (AIC). Among the reasons the Israelis get away with such systematic torture of Palestinians is that hardly anyone is willing to protest. The so-called "Palestinian Authority" practices similar and even worse torture techniques, as do nearly all of the Arab governments in the region -- so they are hardly in a position to protest. And the "liberal" American Jewish community has been morally bankrupt about such issues for so long now that to speak up at this point would be to condemn themselves for permitting, and even encouraging in many cases, such Nazi-like behavior by the Israelis for decades.

"WAR on TERRORISM" - Noam Chomsky Lecture on 18 Jan
(January 20, 2006)
This important lengthy lecture was delivered a few days ago in Dublin. Plus information about how to get a unique and now rare video documentary about the start of the "New World Order" -- available now exclusively from MER. At the start of Gulf War I in 1991 -- the beginnings of the Bush-era "New World Order", Noam Chomsky came to Washington and spoke to a huge overflow audience at George Washington University. This video documentary captures the entirety of his speech as well as the extensive question and answer period that followed. This documentary is essential to a serious understanding of U.S. foreign policy worldwide today. Chomsky uniquely provides the background and understanding needed to appreciate what the War in Iraq is really all about as well as the many misrepresentations and lies Washington propogates so often about the Israeli-Palestinian "Peace Process". From the back of the video by Mark Bruzonsky: "There's no one like Chomsky if you want to truly understand the realities of both U.S. policies and the overall situation in the Middle East...

Any Questions or Comments - CHAT at 12pm today
(January 20, 2006)
If you hvae any Questions or Comments about this program or MER use CHAT at 12pm today (Washington, DC time)

Palestinian 'Election' Approaches...Still Maybe
(January 19, 2006)
In the end it may be that the failing remnants of the disgraced 'Palestinian Authority' -- after so many years of miserable corruption and co-optation -- are now too weak and fractured to even manage to 'postpone' the long-promised Legislative election... Now the past is coming back to haunt the PA -- and their godfathers as well.

(January 18, 2006)
Though they run a far more effective propaganda network the Jewish and Zionist establishments don't always get their way and have in fact lost quite a bit of credibility and following. This article from earlier this week in The Christian Science Monitor. And we certainly hope that those in Iraq who are legitimately and so courageously standing up against the US/UK/Israeli invasion/occupation will decide to release the CSM correspondent they are holding hostage, showing that they are sophisticated enough to distinguish between hostile and friendly Christians and thereby giving hope amidst so much despair and bloodletting.

(January 17, 2006)
The cultural and emotional differences between Islam and Christianity and Judaism are considerable -- never more so than in the areas relating to women and sexuality. This interesting but not really adequate article is from today's Guardian in the UK: SEMINAL QUESTIONS - As scholars question the place of nudity in marriage, Islamic clerics are hotly debating exactly what sexual practices are acceptable, writes Brian Whitaker

The Faster March To International War
(January 16, 2006)
Joining the rising chorus is a growing group of sometimes neo-con, sometimes evangelical, sometimes hustling and/or sponsored academics. They are now contributing to the growing 'New World Order' hysteria that now dominates American political life through the pages of associated magazines and newspapers. While Harvard Professor Niall Ferguson for instance is right indeed to be warning about the great dangers now immediately ahead, his analogies and heroes are so misguided and off the mark one has to wonder just who is really orchestrating and behind this kind of thing. This Ferguson article appeared over the weekend in The Telegraph published in the U.K.

Historic Anti-U.S./Israel Crucible of Hatred and Revenge
(January 15, 2006)
One day Pakistan will no longer be lead by a military General empowered by the U.S and manipulated by the CIA. Remember now that today's feared Zawahiri left his Cairo medical practice to oppose the U.S. when he felt Egypt was deceived and co-opted by the U.S. Bin Laden himself, after working with the Americans to oust the Soviets from Afghanistan and working intimately with the American-sponsored Royal Family of Saudi Arabia, turned against the U.S. when American troops on top of the CIA directly occupied his country. And of course Iraq is today a country erupting as a result of U.S. occupation and destruction while Iran is a country today still rebelling after so many years of tortuous rule by the Shah and so much CIA-plotting to control that country.

INFORMATION For Persons Using This Program MiddleEast.Org
(January 12, 2006)
Useful INFORMATION For Persons Using This Program always available at MiddleEast.Org/MER

What Sharon Has Wrought; and What He Has Left
(January 12, 2006)
Understanding what has happened between Israel and Palestinians over the years requires not only expert analysis but considerable memory, ideological as well as political understanding, and an ability to put the historical pieces all together. Meron Benviniste's article today in Ha'aretz is of considerable help in summarizing the situation past, present, and maybe future.

Ariel Sharon - by Robert Fisk
(January 6, 2006)
There are few journalists who have the knowledge and perspective of Robert Fisk. This from his recent book, footnoted at the end and highly recommended.

Chaos and Geostrategic Changes of Historic Consequences Looming
(January 6, 2006)
The Year 2006 is now more ominous than ever.

Sharon's Huge Legacy
(January 5, 2006)
Sharon's legacy is overwhelming, and not for the positive

MER Mark Bruzonsky on Channel 5 Evening News Tonight in Washington, DC area
(January 4, 2006)
MER Mark Bruzonsky on Channel 5 Evening News Tonight in Washington, DC area

Sharon - 'significant stroke' reported tonight in Israel
(January 4, 2006)
Sharon - 'significant stroke' reported tonight in Israel

© 2004 Mid-East Realities, All rights reserved