01 January 2009

What's Happening in Gaza

Stop Bombing—Start TalkingThere is a lot of information going around on the Internet about the situation Gaza. No doubt some of this information is better than others. It is critical to seek alternate sources of information, given that the Main Stream Media (MSM) has been moving toward authoritarianism and a perspective that is big business friendly and very cozy with the biggest and most powerful businesses. We exist in a time where, in the MSM, reality is treated as a radical notion (ref: Kapur on Michael Parenti and Media Manipulation).

So, where can someone who is concerned about the situation find trustworthy alternate sources of information. Fortunately, where Gaza, and the broader Israel/Palestine conflict, is concerned—there is an abundance of information. However, the problem is so severe, the suffering so great, and the wounds —on all sides— so deep, that it can be overwhelming to find a place to begin to try to understand what's actually happening, and what are the possible solutions for a cessation of hostilities and violence, and a genuine pursuit of nonviolent conflict resolution.

I will point to a couple of sources of information, though there are many, many more good sources of information to be found. One is a video report from the IWW Real News Network: Rafah - Report from the Ground. Another source I have been using is Jewish Voice for Peace and its off-shoot, Jewish Peace News.

So what's going on? Israel labels Hamas as a terrorist organization. But Hamas is a political party that has been elected to government. Therefore, as a legitimate governmental organization, how can it be terroristic?

Secondly, the popular myth is that Hamas wants to destroy Israel. I am not convinced that this is true. More realistic and sensible, would be a Hamas position to stop conditions of apartheid, stop economic and social injustice, stop the occupation—the oppression... But I don't know what the official Hamas policy is. However, I have heard that members of the Bush Administration have been accused of fomenting Hamas militarism and violence.

Another myth that I have seen rebutted is that militant extremists are launching unprovoked rocket attacks. This is ridiculous. For one, the provocation is the injustice. I am not saying that launching rockets is a good thing, or that it is likely to help the situation. But I do think that Palestinians, including militants among them, have legitimate reason to be angry. They have been so gravely and grievously mistreated—abused. Secondly, I have read that the rocket firings have only occured after specific incidents, that can reasonably be considered as acts of provocation, committed by Israel. Examples of these incidents might include abuse and discrimination and Israeli controlled check-points... Also see The Gaza Bombshell [Vanity Fair].

What would cause Hamas, or members of any militant extremist group—if not systematized oppression, to act out violently? The onus is on Israel, as the power broker in this situation, to administer true justice and begin to treat the Palestinian people with respect, to accord them equal treatment. All humans deserve to be treated equally.

26 Ways to Help Gaza

7 comments:

  1. Berd, Hamas' own charter http://www.mideastweb.org/hamas.htm
    speaks to the goal of the destruction of Israel
    "Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it."

    Also the Hamas charter cites the "Protocols of The Elders of Zion" which is a hate mongering and fictitious work which seeks to instill hatred against the Jews.

    Hamas does not seek peace, only Jihad. Again from their own charter "There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors."

    Read the charter Berd, and then tell me if this is an organization of peace.

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  2. Well, if Hamas' mission is to destroy Israel, then that is certainly mis-guided, and unfortunate (I am purposefully holding back from some more choice and denigrating adjectives.)

    It just doesn't make sense to have that position. That's what bothers me. I will go look for the Hamas charter. Thanks for encouraging me to do so.

    However, for now, I will assume you're correct and say that even if Hamas' stated goal is to "destroy Israel," then Israel truly only plays into the hand of Hamas by treating the Palestinians of Gaza so horribly.

    Why not make efforts to treat the Palestinians with respect. Enable them to live with dignity. Dis-empower the militant agenda of Hamas by providing a basic level of economic equity and stability!

    Seriously. Even if Hamas is the most horribly violent organization in the world, it doesn't mean that Israel is infallible, or incapable of committing grievous wrongs, or errors in policy judgement.

    Also, be sure to read (at least the intro) to that Vanity Fair piece about the scandalous Bush Administration tampering in Hamas.

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  3. Berd, I gave you a link to the Hamas charter.
    Read my views on this too if you like at
    http://olyforums.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1340 and feel free to comment please.

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  4. This situation is really frustrating and overwhelming to me right now. I looked for the Hamas Charter, but I couldn't find a trustworthy version. The website you listed doesn't seem trustworthy, and it has a state position that it is not pro-Hamas. In fact, it has the appearance of a website that might be a supporter of Gun Zionism.

    Anyway, I did find a lot of information about Hamas stated unwillingness to approach diplomatic solutions. So, I won't argue that point.

    I won't accept that Hamas desires the destruction of Israel, unless I get a better source than a NYT article. We know that the NYT has gotten it very very very wrong before on matters of war and peace related hostilities.

    However, it remains to be seen why Israel would pursue antagonistic policy of blockades.

    That only fuels the fire of Hamas violence and destruction.

    Steve. Thank you for commenting. I appreciate you stopping by. I feel that I understand this problem a little better (whether or not I actually do.)

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  5. Oh jeez, Hamas' position is well known to anyone who cares to actually look for it.
    http://middleeast.about.com/od/palestinepalestinians/a/me080106b.htm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamas

    Will you accept The Yale law school's version of the Charter?
    http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/hamas.asp

    Please note Hamas' cite of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Protocols_of_the_Elders_of_Zion

    More translations of the Hamas Charter
    The London Times
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article721211.ece

    Seriously Berd, I don't think there is a conspiracy to create a fake Hamas charter with stated goals for the destruction of the Jewish state and cites to a discredited racist pamphlet either.

    You are gonna have to swallow this one and realize Hamas is not a happy smiley organization that feeds people. They kill people. They bring destruction and death. Their existence is one reason the entire nation of Palestine suffers. As long as terrorist groups exist in Palestine, there will not be peace. One cannot stop resisting these groups, and expect them to go away. They do not seek peace, justice, or the well being of their people. They seek destruction, death and terror.

    Anyway check out my thread about this on Olyforums, I'm sure the conversation will be much more informative and interesting than just the two of us eh?

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  6. Strictly for the sake of argument, I will grudgingly accept your claim that Hamas has violent and destructive aims.

    But that doesn't explain Israel's policy of escalation and exacerbation, oppression, and economic inequity that can only serve to bolster the position of an extremist, violent and destructive ideological position, such as the one held by Hamas.

    In other words, it is the policies of Israel that have fanned the flames of militant extremism.

    That doesn't absolve Hamas. But it is important that Israel be understood, not as the good-fairy, but as a principle part of the problem regarding ongoing violence and hostility.

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  7. Israel has it's hawks causing problems as well, I'll give you that. The problem is this crap has gone on so long in the middle east, that every side is culpable to one degree or another. Israel was hated from the outright because they were a Jewish state, and they had to wage war from the beginning to ensure their survival. When there are peace agreements and cease fires reached, sooner or later the terrorists start breaking them, and Israel must respond in self defense. They attempt to blockade and punish the regions repsonsible, which fans the fires, but at the same time, those regions have always been unstable and launched attacks.

    There is a greater social cause here than the issues since 1946. This is a problem of two alien cultures, one of which preaches the extermination of the others. Until radical militant Islam is put down there will be problems throughout the middle east.

    There are a whole host of problems, and no one side is clean, and no one side is perfect.

    To single out Israel as a source of violence is to ignore the violence waged by radical militant Islam both on Israel, and their own people (try being a woman under strict Islamic law)

    There will be no peace until all sides tire of war. Or destroy each other.

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