Nix to a State of Palestine… Think about a confederation of Palestinian city and town states instead… But not today, or tomorrow… In the meantime expect more violence…

Widely publicised across Europe and North America during the recent Israeli General Election was the remark by Benjamin Netanyahu that there would be no Palestinian state if he prevailed in the closely-fought 2015 Election. Pundits latched onto how this had been the first time that the country’s prime minister had explicitly rejected such an outcome.

So… what was it that Benjamin Netanyahu actually said to create all the media excitement, and the upset, particularly among those who regard the establishment of a second Moslem Palestinian state (the first Palestinian state for Moslems having been created in 1922 and is today known as Jordan) as the one ‘moment’ most likely to return the world to peace and equilibrium and restored order, and to complete the world family of nations? Well… he said: ‘I think that anyone who goes about establishing a Palestinian state today and vacating territory is giving attack territory to extremist Islam to be used against the state of Israel. That is the real reality that has been created here in recent years. Whoever ignores this is putting his head in the sand’.

If you really examine the words, all that Netanyahu is doing is simply stating the obvious. He doesn’t state that he is against a (second Moslem) Palestinian state, indeed his statement is framed from the point of view of ‘anyone who goes about establishing’ such a state. That doesn’t sound negative, but rather positive. But… of course there cannot be a Palestinian state under the circumstances he then outlines… i.e. the creation of attack territory in that state which can be used by extreme Islamists to attack Israel.

Netanyahu is simply stating reality.

The conditions are not ripe. The Arabs of Gaza and Judaea and Samaria have lost the momentum. They have long missed their chance. Having refused the offers and concessions made by Israeli Prime Ministers Ehud Barak in 2000 and Ehud Olmert in 2007, and in light of the new and catastrophic strategic environment in the Middle East and the danger it poses to Israel, a second Moslem Palestinian state is off the table. Should it be on the table? How can it be? What IS this state? This Palestine. Certainly nothing conceived of by those plenipotentiaries drawing up and concluding the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States which was signed in 1933 and came into force in 1934. Almost immediately this ‘Palestine’ fails to measure up to the Montevideo Convention.

Article I of the Convention defines a state as possessing: a permanent population; a defined territory; a government; and capacity to enter into relations with the other states. What is the ‘defined territory’ of ‘Palestine’? It hasn’t yet agreed the border of the disputed territory with its neighbour, or indeed what its actual territory is. What is its government? The one in Gaza, or in Ramallah, or the imagined ‘unity’ one. Then there is Article X of the Convention which defines the primary interest of a state as being ‘the conservation of peace’. How does this equate with the Constitutions of both Fatah and Hamas which write of eliminating Israel, and with the aggression against Israel from Hamas and other militant groups?

So indeed… Off the table for now… No state for now… Nix… Not for some time to come… Not a state like any other known to us today, that is. Is this something to lament? No. Probably not. The world and UN agencies seem to operate quite comfortably without Biafra and Tibet and Tamil Eelam… and they’ll work fine without a second Moslem Palestinian state.

That is not to say never of course. There ARE models of independent micro-statehood like that of Andorra, or Monaco, or San Marino, or Vatican City that could be emulated in Judaea and Samaria and Gaza. With Israel and its IDF defending a secure border down the Jordan River Valley, small independent demilitarised City-states might perhaps be established, or an independent confederation of demilitarised town and city states, or clusters of the same, each with its own agri-hinterlands – some contiguous, some not – all coming together in a parliament in Ramallah, or Hebron, or Nablus, or Jenin. A demilitarised Confederation of Palestinian City-States? Something to consider?

For now though, gather yourself for the next round of hostility from Gaza against Israel and further setback for the Palestinian people as a result. Use the same script as last time…: Missiles and rocket-propelled-grenades lobbed indiscriminately at Israeli civilians… retaliation from Israel… deaths… international puffing and frothing… tears from celebrities… wailing about proportionality of response… representatives of the many totalitarian states in the UN speak with one voice etc etc…


New Middle East balance: Israel with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan

The Saudi Arabian king joins a growing number of prominent Arab politicians and diplomats who have lined up to condemn the Hamas – the fascist terror group that governs Gaza-Palestine. Last Friday, read out on state television, a statement by the sickly 90-year old King Abdullah said that in their war against Israel the Hamas had ‘distorted the image of Islam with its purity and humanity and smeared it with all sorts of bad qualities by their actions, injustice and crimes’.

In the decades long conflict between Arabs and ha-yishuv (the Jews of pre-state Israel) and later on the State of Israel itself, no country has been more consistently opposed to the a sovereign Jewish presence in the region than the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which had been founded only in 1923 by King Abdullah’s grandfather Ibn Saud. This recent condemnation of the Hamas therefore – a group sworn to destroy that sovereign Jewish state – ought to be regarded as a shift in Middle East politics of seismic proportion. Even more remarkable was the fact that, while condemning the consequences of the war which had been ‘devastating’ to Palestinians, he issued no demands on Israel.

As guardian of Islam’s holy places and the assumed leader of the entire Moslem world (though ISIS/ISIL would probably question that), King Abdullah did not call upon Israel to meet any Hamas demands. He made no calls for opening up the border between Gaza-Palestine and Israel/Egypt which is thought by many to be the primary strategic objective of this new war started by the Hamas.

King Abdullah’s statement is widely regarded across the Middle East and Arab states as a complete repudiation of the Hamas; an open disavowal of any common cause with the terror group. A day after the Saudi statement, Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, said that a unique link had been forged with the states of the region which would be ‘a very important asset for the State of Israel. With the cessation of the fighting and the conclusion of the campaign, this will open new possibilities for us’.

Manipulated by the Hamas propaganda machinery, and slavering over the body count in Gaza-Palestine however, the Western media has largely overlooked the King’s condemnation and seems to be still committed to telling the decades-old narrative about Israel being the enemy of a united Arab world.

The BBC and others like to tell us how hugely Israel benefits from US arms sales. But then, these sales pale into insignificance when compared to US sales to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt. Together, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt will create a significant challenge to Iranian-inspired instability in the region.

Middle East 2014: 9000 child deaths… in Syria, not Gaza. Some thoughts about the Israel-Gaza war

Something for the SPSC (Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign) to chew over in their earnest discussion and debate about ‘important issues that inform the nature of solidarity with Palestinians’ is this remarkable contribution from the Palestinian diplomat Dr. Ibrahim Khraishi.

Almost mirroring the statement made by Benjamin Netanyahu a few days ago, this Palestinian representative to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva said it again: Every rocket and mortar fired from Gaza toward Israel is a ‘crime against humanity’. Khraishi had been speaking on Palestinian Authority television about the possible risks involved if Palestinians leaders ask to join the International Criminal Court. Membership of the body had been seen as a means of pushing for measures against Israel. Khraishi said however that the ‘Palestinian weakness’ in terms of international law is the indiscriminate firing of rockets at Israel’. He went on to say that the ‘each and every missile constitutes a crime against humanity, whether it hits or misses, because it is directed at civilian targets’.

That wasn’t all – and read and listen well members of the SPSC – he went on to say that, by contrast, Israel’s actions follow legal procedures, because the IDF warns Gazan civilians to leave before they are bombed. He said, ‘Many of our people in Gaza appeared on television and said that the Israelis warned them to evacuate their homes before the bombardment’. He went on, ‘In such a case, if someone is killed, the law considers it a mistake rather than an intentional killing because [the Israelis] followed the legal procedures’. He continued, ‘As for the missiles launched from our side, we never warn anyone about where these missiles are about to fall or about the operations we carry out’.

Khraishi’s remarks are bound to remain unheard or under-reported in the western tv and press however as public anguish is orchestrated to hysterical levels over civilian deaths in Gaza-Palestine. Western hysteria, which is almost certain to include outraged and weeping celebrities such as pop-stars and Hollywood actors, is just what Hamas and the wider Middle East group of anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish militant nut-jobs want (and who can forget the embarrassing input from Annie Lennox and Alexei Sayle on the streets of London a few years ago).

They are offering a diversionary sideshow to the wider theatre of death in the Middle East. They know it is a show that Europeans just love. We are all slavering in anticipation of the first dead-baby-photograph, and Hamas – a wholly malevolent organisation which would be recognised as neo-Nazis if they happened to be white and Christian – is a master in its propaganda craft.

Since March 2014 and the first spike in rocket attacks on Israel, and egged on by its Iranian patron, Hamas has been attempting to divert western attention away from the Syrian civil war where real massacres are taking place on a daily basis. In June there was second spike in activity, and now, as night follows day, there is a renewed bout of fighting between Israel and Hamas. The BBC and other media outlets meanwhile have been trying to couple the current Israeli air-assault with the recent and unsolved murder of the three Israeli teenagers in West Bank Palestine and the ensuing revenge attack on a Palestinian teenager.

Did we mention Syria? Yes. Syria. Never mind the sideshow which is Gaza-Palestine. Since the outbreak of the civil war in Syria some 170,000 people have died, one third of them civilians and including over 9000 child deaths.  Compare this to statistics gathered by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) in relation to deaths of Israelis and Palestinians between 1948 and 2009…: 14,500 !!! Yes… 14,500 for both sides!!! It just doesn’t compare to moslem-on-moslem violence. We know that it is the summer vacation and that UK, European and North American university campuses are devoid of students for the next few weeks but where is the international campaign against the Syrian slaughter? When will there be a ‘Syrian Genocide Week’. Maybe it happened but we had our eyes closed???

On a lighter note, it was reported in the last day or two that a Gazan rocket had knocked out power for 70,000 Gaza-Palestinians. A rocket fired from Gaza knocked out a power line in Israel that supplied electricity to the entity. Shrapnel from the rocket hit the high voltage line that feeds electricity into Gaza. The Israel Electric Corporation said that the danger posed to IEC workers would delay any repairs.

So world!!!… Look out for shock and outrage about the delay to these repairs, and how Gazan mothers are unable to heat their baby-food!!! But remember, war is war, civilians die, but not nearly as many Gaza-Palestinians as Syrians. And, yes… Israel does indeed supply electricity to a government which is trying to destroy it !


Israel’s new war

As Israel enters yet another round of action against militants in Gaza, here in Scotland the Minister for External Affairs and International Development, Hamza Yousaf MSP, has entered the fray by opening Scottish hospitals to the injured and wounded of Gaza. He wasn’t able to say though if Scottish hospitals would also be open to those seeking proper medical care from Democratic Congo, Syria or Iraq. His intervention was clearly designed to give voice to his own prejudiced opinion – Gaza good, Israel bad.

Meanwhile, from Canada, there was a rather more balanced intervention which condemned the brazen and indiscriminate attacks that Hamas continues to wage on Israel. It highlighted the fact that rocket attacks have been aimed Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, thus proving for all to see that the Gaza-Palestine government (which is supposed to be part of an all-Palestine unity government seeking peace with Israel) targets innocent civilians.

The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, has also focussed on the Hamas policy of indiscriminately targeting Israeli civilians with weaponry, and its use of its own Gazan population as human shields. Both of these, Netanyahu has rightly stated, are clear breaches of international law. His remarks were aimed at the West-Bank-Palestine leader, Mahmoud Abbas, who threatened to accuse Israel of ‘genocide’ in the International Court of Justice – always assuming he can acquire Palestinian membership of the body of course. The rest of us could rightly ask though: Where is the genocide? Isn’t this a cruel use of the term ‘genocide’, wholly diminishing the concept and making a mockery of those peoples who have undergone actual genocide – in Rwanda, in Cambodia, in Armenia? Shouldn’t the Palestinian leaderships be taken to the international courts for breaches in international law?

Meanwhile, as the new conflict with Gaza-Palestine got underway, a conference in the David Intercontinental Hotel in Tel Aviv organised by the Israeli daily newspaper, Haaretz, was addressed by Philip Gordon who is the White House Co-ordinator for the Middle East. He went into some detail about US efforts to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal and to draw up the security arrangements that would leave Israel feeling safe enough to carry out significant territorial withdrawals. However, he also asked how Israel was likely to achieve peace if it was unwilling to delineate a border, end the occupation and allow for Palestinian sovereignty, security, and dignity. The question was raised – and the overall contribution was made – just as missiles were raining from the skies over Israel from Gaza. The hotel had been forced to shut down temporarily and the conference participants were evacuated to a safer floor. Irony or what?

Gordon ought to have gotten the message that in the terror-riven Middle East, and with the abject failure of US-Western policies in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and the rest of the area, America can never really have Israel’s back. It is up to Israel to defend its own people.

Gordon had delivered his speech after the Iron Dome missile defence system kept him safe from the Hamas weapons – rockets launched by an organisation which the US administration has implicitly legitimised, and on whose support the so-called Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas rests.

Israel – an apology – small price to pay for bigger stuff

Many in Israel must be wondering why Benjamin Netanyahu – the Israeli PM –  recently apologised to the Turkish state for the deaths of nine Turkish activists on board the ‘Mavi Marmara’ in 2010… you know… the vessel that sailed towards Gaza with the intention of breaking a naval blockade designed to stop explosives and armaments reaching terrorist groups in the coastal entity which is currently controlled by a fascist government (that of Hamas) voted in the by the people of Gaza.

This blog is curious why the Israeli government apologised for something it had no real need to apologise for: the so-called charity organisation (IHH) which bought the ship has affiliations with fascist Hamas and fascist Hezbollah; the activists were not out for a picnic; the vessel refused to sail to Ashdod in Israel so that its cargo could be checked (and then trucked to Gaza); and, many of the activists were armed, hence the violence from the IDF which led to the deaths.

Let’s look at this Turkish state for a moment. This is the same state that refuses to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide (what Armenians call the ‘Great Crime’) of 1915. Between 1,000,000 and 1,500,000 people were killed in this genocide which the Turkish government refuses to acknowledge. This is the same state that occupied the northern coasts and the northern hinterland of Cyprus in 1974 and proceeded to evict forever the Greek population of the northern part of the island, which in turn led to evictions of ethnic Turks from southern areas.  Turkey also bolstered the Turkish population with some of its own people, and some 35,000 Turkish troops – an occupying force some might argue.

One wonders if there are bigger things afoot in the region…  after all this ‘apology’ has come hot on the heels of a ‘peace’ offered by the Kurdish PKK… there are reports now of the shooting of Bashar al-Assad in Syria… there is need for a new balance to off-set Iran/Hezbollah…

Will we see a new Kurdistan emerge in northern Syria? Will we see a Turkey-Israel-Azerbaijan triangle emerge to contain Iran?

All very exciting stuff… An apology is a small price really… especially if deep down you know it’s just words and that you don’t mean it at all.