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Crisis in Gaza

June 19, 2007

The Zionists love it. Palestinians are ‘fighting amongst themselves’, proving that they are not fit for democracy and need the iron hand of Israel to sort them out. But let’s not forget the cause of the problem:

Gaza is a prison run by rival gangs, at least one of which does deals with the jailer.

Virginia Tilley at Electronic Intifada:

“Having sacked Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas and dissolved his democratically-elected government, Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas has now installed Salam Fayyad as the new Prime Minister, to the clear delight of the West. Mutual accusations are hurled by Abbas and Haniyeh that the other side launched a coup against the legitimate authority. Nevertheless, now a fresh line of grave Palestinian faces has lined up before the cameras as Fayyad’s new “emergency government” is sworn in. That the new PA has virtually no power in the West Bank, and none at all in Gaza, is the first glaring problem with this pageantry.”

Here’s Juan Cole at Informed Comment, one of my favourite sources of news about the Middle East:

“The Haniyah Hamas government had come to power in free and fair elections, but was immediately boycotted, starved of resources, and actually often simply kidnapped by the Israelis; and is now being put out of office in a kind of coup. The people of the Arab world are not blind or stupid. If this is what the “Greater Middle East” looks like, it will too closely resemble, for their taste, the colonial 19th century, When Europeans dictated government to Middle Easterners.”

It looks like Hamas will be overthrown by a coup lead by Fatah, Israel and the US. So much for democracy, eh? But that’s what happens when Palestinians vote for people the Israelis don’t like.

Here’s Electronic Intifada again:

“It is not clear how long this flimsy diplomatic pretense can hold up to scrutiny by a skeptical world. Nor is it clear what political costs foreign governments will have to absorb if they try to play along with it — especially when the now-traumatized Palestinian people, in the territories and in Diaspora, begin protesting their government’s being hijacked by anti-democratic figureheads for Israeli and US agendas”.

For a more human perspective, here’s an excerpt from an email sent by Hisham Jamjoum of the ISM:

“Some think it is a conflict of who wants the control and power in the Gaza Strip, others think that it happened because some people want to fight the corruption in the Palestinian Authority in Gaza, others still think it is a result of pressure from other countries.

The result of this conflict is that Gaza is under the control of Hamas and the West Bank is under the control of Fatah.

As Palestinians, we believe that Hamas and Fatah are not representing the will of all the Palestinian people and because of this, we come to the big question. Why is Gaza under control of Hamas and the West Bank under Fatah if we do not feel they represent all the Palestinians?

The answer to this question is that nobody can deny that we are still currently under occupation. Because Hamas and Fatah are the only strong military groups in Palestine, it is easier for them to enforce their will upon the entire population. All of this happened while we are under occupation. The history of the Palestinian people shows, and we teach this in ISM training, that the majority of the population wants to live honorably and in a non-violent way. Even if part of the population supports military resistance to the conflict, it is only because we see the violence and injustice of a military occupation on a daily basis.”

So, a tragedy, but one engineered by the Israelis and the US. If anyone is interested in forsaking cheap soundbites about Palestinians being unable to rule themselves, a good place to start is this excellent analysis from Ilan Pappé of the University of Haifa.

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