Category Archives: Gaza

Daesh, Hamas, Fatah… if not Hezbollah… What do they have in common? They are all fascists

Cometh the hour, cometh the man, and it was the UK parliamentarian Hilary Benn who in December 2015 at last spelt out the moral responsibility to combat fascism in the Middle East. Benn referred to homosexuals being thrown from buildings, the destruction of cultural heritage, mass graves, sex slavery, and murder. He described how our values, tolerance, decency and democracy were held in contempt. Daesh*, he said, are fascists, and fascists must be fought.

While his words gave us focus on Daesh they can equally help us focus on the fascism of the Palestinian leaderships, militant groups, and among large swathes of the general population of the various Palestines (i.e. Hamas-Gaza-Palestine; Fatah-West-Bank-Palestine; and, King-Abdullah-Jordan-Palestine). Indeed, in throwing homosexuals from buildings, Daesh was copying the actions of Hamas in Gaza when they dispatched large numbers of opponents from tall buildings in the entity in the first few days after its election victory there.

The modern State of Israel has been fighting the fascism of Palestinian leaderships for decade after decade.

Fascism lives among elites and among the general population. Their fascism is destructive, and lives in the media, in mosques and in religious study-centres (madrassas). It creates a narrative that refers to the Shoah (the Holocaust) and to how 6,000,000 dead is an exaggeration if not a hoax (the gist of the doctoral thesis written by Mahmoud Abbas in Russia during the Soviet era).

The figure of Adolf Hitler figures large in the modern Palestinian narrative. They boast that they are sorry that Hitler didn’t finish his task, and how they will. All of this is woven into a distorted Palestinian world view and pseudo-historical narrative. In this revised narrative, Jewish presence never existed in the region.

Admiring references to Hitler’s Third Reich can be found in Muslim media, book-shops, and the internet right across the Arab world. Indeed, that Hitler found a key ally in the Holy Land is a historical truth. This ally was the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Muhammad Amin al-Husseini – the man spotlighted by Benjamin Netanyahu earlier this year.

The Grand Mufti had been glorified by the German press as ‘the fuhrer of the Middle East’ when he visited Berlin in 1941. Al-Husseini organised a Muslim SS Battalion that slaughtered 90% of Bosnia’s Jews and made broadcasts to the Middle East urging Muslims to honour Allah by implementing their own Final Solution. Yasser Arafat, the founder of the PLO (you know… the great Palestinian… born in Egypt), was the Grand Mufti’s nephew and admirer.

The leaderships of the various ‘Palestines’ of Gaza and the West Bank are locked into a struggle for control over their peoples, and while they agree on very little they each fly the fascist flag, so to speak. As described above, the President in the Fatah-West-Bank-Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas, completed his doctoral dissertation in Russia (at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences) and published it in 1984 under the title, ‘The Other Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism’. He claimed that 6,000,000 Jewish deaths at the hands of the Nazis is ‘a gross exaggeration’.

Then there is Hamas…  Hamas is an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, founded in 1928 by schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna, who modelled his organisation on Mussolini’s bully-boys and Hitler’s brown-shirts. The Hamas founder, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, an admirer of Hitler, was also inspired by Izz al-Din al-Kassam whose followers killed Jews during the 1936-1939 Uprising – during the British period – and then joined the Grand Mufti in providing the Nazi-Germans with Middle Eastern operatives during World War II. Some of today’s militants in Gaza name their rocketry after al-Kassam – the Kassam or Qassam missiles.

Indeed, the Hamas founding charter (1988) relies heavily on the distortions and untruths of the proven hoax called the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’. It is a charter that could have been written by Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels, and any number of Austrian, Polish or Russian anti-Semites.

Unfortunately, there is never any real analysis of Palestinian society or its fascist ideologies, or any profiles of armed fascist Palestinian groups, or investigations into the Palestinian government (Mahmoud Abbas is still President in West-Bank-Palestine 6-years after the end of his term, 2005-2009… and since the Hamas election victory in Gaza in 2006 there has been no other election victory celebration there).

One person who has offered analysis of the Hamas leadership in Gaza is Suha Arafat. Last November (2014), on the tenth anniversary of her husband’s death, she expressed dismay at Hamas, and how the terror group had attacked Fatah leaders and buildings after its takeover of the Gaza Strip. Further, she said that Hamas was ruining the futures of Gaza youth, and committing ‘genocide’ upon its own people. The Hamas-generation has grown up with violence, without education, and with emigration as their only hope.

Other analysis has come from Bassem Eid, the founder and former director of the Jerusalem-based Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group (PHRMG). Eid is an advocate for peace with Israel, and a critic of terrorism and is part of the ‘Stop the Boycott’ movement.

Eid also reminds us of the statistics of the suffering brought upon Gaza-Palestine by Hamas and other terror groups and their affiliated Rocket Brigades: how some 5 million tons of rubble remains in Gaza; how 200,000 workers have lost their means of employment; how 80% of the Gazan people are surviving on welfare; how 40% of Gazans are living below poverty lines; and, how 22,000 Gazans are homeless.

He reminds us too how none of this is Israel’s fault and how the responsibility for the fate of Gaza-Palestine lies with its government – Hamas… not Israel.

We should all be reminded that Daesh, Hamas, Fatah, if not Hezbollah too, all have something in common. They are all fascists. Israel knows this, we should too.

*Daesh…: An acronym for the Arabic phrase al-Dawla al-Islamiya al-Iraq al-Sham (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) or ISIS or ISIL. The word ‘Daesh’ is preferred by many because it is similar to the Arabic words ‘Daes’, ‘one who crushes something underfoot’ and ‘Dahes’, translated as ‘one who sows discord’.

 

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Recent anniversary: Rachel Corrie (1979-2003), useful tool… useful idiot…

A few days ago the anniversary of the accidental killing in 2003 of Rachel Corrie by IDF ‘sappers’ in Gaza was marked by the usual peak in posts on social media networks by folks who actually seem to care about Corrie – useful tool of the pro-Palestinian propaganda machinery. It is an anniversary that encourages sentiment and excitement. Indeed, in Scotland two years ago (early weeks of 2013) a nation-wide theatre tour of the play My name is Rachel Corrie saw visits from Tobermory to Glasgow, to Ullapool to Skye, to Greenock to Musselburgh and Edinburgh, and to Dundee and Dunfermline, and many places between all of these.

It was a one-woman play composed from Rachel Corrie’s own journals, letters and emails. It created a portrait of the 23-year old American  woman from  Olympia, Washington – often described as a ‘girl’ –  who was supporting what has also often been described as ‘non-violent resistance to Israel’s military occupation’. Corrie was killed during operations carried out by an Israeli military bulldozer in the Gaza Strip on 16 March 2003. Today, in 2015, her parents (Craig and Cindy Corrie) continue to travel around the world giving talks maligning Israel, quite blind to the malign intent of their daughter.

It is important to remember what Rachel Corrie was actually all about – she was certainly no saint, and as a 23-year old adult she herself knew indeed what she was all about.

Corrie was an activist (her Wikipedia article describes her as activist and diarist) associated with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), a body which has harboured known terrorists and which has openly advocated violence against Israel and the destruction of that country. On the day of her death she was not demonstrating for peace or trying to shield innocent civilians – as one might expect of a peace activist – instead she had entered an area where Israeli forces were carrying out a military operation. Her death occurred while Israeli forces using a bulldozer were removing shrubbery along the security road near the border between Israel and Egypt at Rafah to uncover explosive devices, and destroying tunnels used by Palestinian terrorists to illegally smuggle weapons from Egypt to Gaza. Corrie died while interfering with a military operation to legally demolish an empty house used to conceal one of these tunnels… a demolition not unlike these undertaken recently by Egyptian troops around the Gazan border with Sinai.

Much of the ‘sainthood’ and myth surrounding Corrie – a useful tool of the Palestinian propaganda machinery in Gaza – centres round a photograph wired by the Associated Press (AP) giving the impression that Corrie was standing in front of the bulldozer and shouting at the driver with a megaphone, trying to prevent the driver from tearing down the building concealing the tunnels. This photograph, which was taken by a member of ISM (Corrie’s organisation), was not shot at the time of her death however, but hours earlier. Indeed the bulldozer involved in her accidental death was a different one from the one she had been photographed in front of earlier.  The photographer admitted that at the time of her death, Corrie was actually seated.

An investigation into her death concluded that Corrie (whether standing or seated) could not have been seen by the driver of the bulldozer because she was behind debris which concealed the driver’s view.

The accidental death received worldwide publicity in large part because it was the first such incident where a foreign protester was killed, and because the protester was female, and often described as innocent. Corrie and her family would have been aware that the US State Department had warned Americans not to travel to Gaza, and Israel made clear that civilians who entered areas where troops were engaged in counter-terror operations were putting themselves at risk unnecessarily. The Israeli  army had told Corrie and other demonstrators from the ISM to move out of the way.

The organisation which Corrie supported – the ISM – claimed to be a humanitarian organisation dedicated to the principles of non-violent resistance, but it had demonstrated no interest in peace for Israelis. The ISM has acted as an apologist for terrorism, and has, at times, actively abetted militants. ISM is an organisation wholly opposed to the two-state solution envisioned by parties truly interested in peace.

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Scottish Parliament motion on ceasefire in Gaza – same old same old

It appears that Scottish Labour members of the Scottish Parliament – Claudia Beamish and Drew Smith – have put their names to a motion (S4M-04968) that welcomes the news that Egyptian-led negotiations have led to a ceasefire between Israel and the Hamas administration in Gaza; condemns both the firing of rockets into Israel from the Gaza Strip and the response of Israel, which it considers to be disproportionate; expresses its hope that, to prevent further loss of life on both sides, the ceasefire will hold; supports negotiations over a viable two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, and believes that there is an extreme humanitarian crisis in Gaza and that further work is needed to highlight the plight of the Palestinian people living under the Israeli blockade of Gaza.

Yes… yet another motion critical of Israel.

So much for the content. But… the wording referred to a two-state solution (Israel and Palestine) based on 1967 borders. Hmmmm… I am curious to know what these ‘borders’ are since my analysis of history informs me that between Syria and ‘Palestine’ there are simply armistice demarcation lines – not borders. Further, these lines mark disputed territory in the Israel/Palestine clash. The motion also refers to an extreme humanitarian crisis in Gaza where no such humanitarian crisis exists. For humanitarian crises, now, today, think Democratic Republic of Congo, or think Syria – not Gaza. The entity has been battered and dented through the actions of groups operating within it, but humanitarian crisis, no. The motion talks of a blockade put in place by Israel but ignores local geography and the border between Egypt and Gaza. Isn’t Egypt complicit in this imagined humanitarian crisis? Further, the motion refers to a disproportionality in the recent Israeli response to the indiscriminate launching of explosives onto Israeli towns and villages. However it looks like the ratio of civilian deaths to combat deaths as a result of NATO activity in Afghanistan is 3:1, and in Iraq it had been 4:1, whereas in the last round of fighting between Israel and Gaza-based terror groups it was 1:2 (1 civilian death to 2 combat deaths). In comparison to other conflicts elsewhere in the world therefore, the inference that I would draw is that Israel had been very careful in its response to terror attacks from Gaza on its civilian population. When terror groups operate from within the very fabric of civilian infrastructure (schools, hospitals, housing blocks), and operate from behind a human shield, then yes civilians will be injured and killed. 

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Palestine and Palestinianism: the West Bank and Gaza merely the after-dinner coffee and mints

The next ‘Palestinian’ general election is supposed to happen in 2013. It should have occurred in 2010. The reason for the delay is said to be the intra-Palestinian disputes between Fatah and Hamas, but more likely it is because it is difficult to know what ‘Palestine’ actually is. Is it the West Bank plus Gaza, or just the West Bank? Do we now have the quite separate entities of Hamas-Gaza, and Fatah-West Bank, each with their own agendas? Quite apart from intra-Palestinian disagreement that has delayed the election for three years, any dispute will do little for the ‘Palestinian’ cause when Mahmoud Abbas stages his bit of theatre at the UN at the end of November when he starts pleading (again) for a formal Palestinian seat there. So, these days, we don’t really know over which territory the state concept of ‘Palestine’ is going to apply, and we are witnessing the evolution of two quite separate Arab micro-states alongside Israel west of the River Jordan – a three state solution rather than a two-state solution.

While ‘Palestine’ has suddenly become a rather vague concept, ‘Palestinianism’ as a political-military concept is still pretty clear. It is a counter-proposition to Zionism. Today, the latter promotes the rightful existence of a Jewish State between the Mediterranean and the River Jordan, and it is a term coined by Nathan Birnbaum (1864-1937) and later expanded upon by Theodor Herzl (1860-1904). Modern Zionism is the self-determination of the Jewish people. Palestinianism is the vehement opposition to any such Jewish state – to modern Zionism – and is the expression of the wish to supplant the modern State of Israel with an Arab Islamic country.  The origins of Palestinianism lie not in a positive self-definition of a state of Palestine, but rather to a negative opposition to Zionism.

Palestinianism was defined in 1964 in the original racist and fascist Covenant of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), three years before the Six Day War of 1967, and three years before Israel found itself administering the West Bank and Gaza. In 1964, Jordan was in possession of the west bank of the Jordan (it had annexed the area), and Egypt held the Gaza Strip. In its original Covenant, the PLO declared the goal of liberating ‘Palestine’ – or rather, the goal of destroying Israel. As part of ‘Palestine’, no mention had been made of the Arabs living on the west bank of the Jordan or of Arabs living in the Gaza Strip as that would have threatened and upset Egyptian and Jordanian leaderships of the time (Gamal Abdul Nasser, President of Egypt, and King Hussein of Jordan). The ‘Palestine’ of the Covenant was, to all intents and purposes, Israel. Palestinianism was a call to arms against the existence of Israel, and it remains so regardless of covenant or constitution rewrites. Israel was always the real meal, and after 1967 the West Bank and Gaza became merely the complementary coffee and mints.

Led today by Hamas and Fatah, Palestinianism has less to do with the establishment of a Palestine state and rather more to do with the destruction of Israel (the posturing of Abbas at the UN is a side-show meant to lull us all into believing that ‘Palestine’, in seeking recognition, will be a benign state living in harmony with its Jewish neighbour and intending to live up to UN ideals). Having been unable to defeat Israel militarily, the strategy has instead been one of seeking to demonise and delegitimise Israel and to concoct a narrative, an identity and an ethos to compete with Zionism and with Jewish history. In addition to the promotion of the destruction of Israel and the denial of Hebrew biblical history, Palestinianism carries within it Islamic replacement theology and the arabisation and islamisation of biblical archaeology.

The cause of Palestinianism (eradication of Israel) is backed by countries of the Arab League, and other Moslem and non-aligned countries and has been ably assisted by some groups on the European liberal-left and on numerous campuses across Europe and North America. Attraction towards ‘Palestinianism’ sees many on the Scottish liberal-left reaching so far to the left that they touch the grubby fascist fingertips of those in Gaza and the West Bank who oppress gay youth, condone the honour-killing of girls and women, torture and kill political opponents, and of those terrorist groups that have failed to erase anti-semism and racism from their founding constitutions.

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Gaza-Israel: ceasefire

OK… let’s not get carried away. It is a ceasefire, not peace in our time. Let’s start counting the days until the next missile into Israel.

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Syria – Reporting Gaza and Israel – Tel Aviv bus bomb – Scottish Parliament motion – and Syria again

One thing is for sure, the story of Syria and the slaughter of Syrian citizens by their own government has fallen from newspapers and tv news channels, so I guess the Hamas provocation of Israel over recent weeks has succeeded (doubtless encouraged by Syria and Iran all along). They got their nose bloodied thus earning points over other terrorist groups, they got their iconic photo of the aftermath of a terrorist attack in Israel (todays’ attack on a public transport bus in Tel Aviv, 21 November 2012), and they got all the principal journalists from the world’s media flocking to their region. Of course BBC and ITN journalists love it when Israel and Gaza are ‘at it’ hammer-and-tongs… they flock in from the less comfy assignments in Iraq, Somalia, Sudan or Rwanda and get to overnight in Tel Aviv or West Jerusalem for a while. Thankfully though we see nothing of Orla Guerin these days, and her deep seated bias against Israel, and see less of Jeremy Bowen too.

I am sure the world will rest easy in the knowledge that the Scottish Parliament here in Edinburgh (motion S4M-04890) ‘notes with sadness the growing tension in Israel and Palestine in recent days’ and how it ‘regrets both the recent and previous loss of life’. It believes that ‘conflicts would be better settled by negotiation rather than bloodshed; urges all sides in these conflicts to sit round the table with their opponents’. Isn’t that a laugh? Have they heard about the Hamas educational programme? Among the goals of the programme is the ambition to: ‘Prepare young believers, who can enter life characterized by trust, honesty, faith, courage, sacrifice and love of jihad […] to develop the awareness of resistance, which ensures nurturing of young generations [that] will be able to join resistance […] Preparing students for faith and [the ability] to be physically fit for resistance.’

Simply put, Hamas seeks to raise a new generation of jihadist terrorists. So, Scottish Parliament?… does that sound like a people who want to sit round a table? Have our Members of the Scottish Parliament actually read the Hamas constitution?

Our Parliament goes on to say that it ‘hopes that Scotland can play some part of the role as a peacemaker in the Middle East and other conflict areas’ in the future. Hmmmm… I wonder how that is going to work?

In spite of my obvious notes of sarcasm in this post, the Scottish Parliament motion DID actually refer too to ‘the deaths of at least 2,000 per annum in Afghanistan over the last 11 years and perhaps as many as 2,000 per month in Syria.

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Disproportionality: Gaza and Israel

If I have to listen to yet more anguish from a church person on tv about Gaza (never about the ordeal of Israelis) I am going to scream. Also, if I have to hear another tv pundit talk about Gazan missiles being merely ‘fireworks’, I am going to scream louder still. I know I wouldn’t want a Qassam missile hitting my house – it would demolish it. Israel! Gilad Sharon writing for the ‘Jerusalem Post’ (18 Nov 2012)  is correct. Stay with your project. Finish properly and decisively what you have been drawn into. Close your ears to calls for restraint and for a cease-fire. You’ll only have to come back again in a couple of years time to do this all over… a third round.

In fact, be disproportionate. The principal duty of a state is to protect its civilians and a disproportionate response is completely consistent with international law. You have to do to Gaza what it cannot bear at all. After all, the Hamas government was an elected one, by Gazans, and Hamas placed an anti-semitic election manifesto (their constitution) in front of the electorate. Gazans chose their future and so now they have to live with it. To all intents and purposes Gaza is a country – it has foreign relations and heads-of-state visit it, it has schools teaching a Hamas agenda, it runs hospitals and clinics, and it has weaponry.  If the elected Gazan leadership chooses to launch ordinance towards Israel, and condones similar actions by other groups in its territory, then there is no reason why the Gazan electorate should be immune to the consequences.

Another thought: Why does Israel continue to supply Gaza with electricity? Cutting that off would be a salutary message as well.

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