Saturday, 15 August 2009



August 15, 2009 at 6:51 am (Associate Post, Corrupt Politics, Fatah, Palestine, Palestinian Authority)

Some attending Fatah’s long-awaited Sixth Congress in Bethlehem hold fast to their principles, but pragmatism remains the order of the day, Khalid Amayreh reports

A Fatah supporter holds a portrait of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat during a celebration in the streets of Balata refugee camp in the West Bank city of Nablus

Fatah has been in a jubilant mood having succeeded in holding the movement’s Sixth Congress in Bethlehem in the West Bank despite a host of serious obstacles, including charges by the group’s second-highest ranking leader, Farouk Kaddumi, that Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas had connived with Israel to poison late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

Hamas, too, made good on its threats to prevent Fatah delegates in the Gaza Strip from travelling to the West Bank to take part in the Bethlehem conference.

However, Hamas’s desperate feat seems to have had little impact on the deliberations of the conference and may actually have had a boomerang effect, namely provoking many Fatah delegates to give their votes to Muhammed Dahlan, an arch foe of the Islamic group who in the mid- and late- 1990s carried out a harsh crackdown on Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

To the chagrin of Hamas, Dahlan has won a seat on Fatah’s Executive Committee, as so did a number of anti- Hamas Fatah figures, such as Tawfik Tirawi, former head of the Palestinian Authority (PA) General Intelligence, Hussein Al-Sheikh, another former security chief, and Azzam Al-Ahmed, head of the Fatah parliamentary caucus.

Rafiq Natshe, a veteran Fatah leader who apparently failed to win a seat on the faction’s executive body, spoke to Al-Ahram Weekly shortly before the election results were announced. He described the outcome of the conference as amounting to a “renewal” and “re-birth” of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) mainstream faction.

“Fatah after Bethlehem is going to be different. We can say that the conference constitutes a renewal, a sort of rebirth for the movement. Fatah will once again be the revolutionary vanguard that will lead the Palestinian national struggle for freedom and liberation. And in shouldering this task, we will use all means under our disposal, including armed struggle.”

Natshe said the main goal behind the conference was to revitalise Fatah and restore its internal unity. “I think we have achieved this goal. Yes, there still will be non-conformist voices here and there, but this happens all over the world.”

He described the “bad chemistry” between Abbas and Kaddumi as having to do more with a form than with substance, saying that talk about disunity within Fatah was highly exaggerated.

In his speech before the conference, Abbas struck a conciliatory note toward Kaddumi, saying, “We are all human beings, we make mistakes, but you will always remain our brother.”

Natshe argued that the Fatah Sixth Congress was “certainly bad news for Israel and for those betting on the capitulation of the Palestinian people. “True, the conference was held under the Israeli occupation, but I challenge critics to cite a word, or phrase or statement made during the conference that can be interpreted as suggesting that Fatah is being co- opted or pressured to change its constants. On the contrary, from watching the Israeli media, we see that Israeli leaders are attacking the conference.”

Natshe added: “Besides, we had organised two general elections under the Israeli occupation and the Palestinian National Council (PNC) held a session under the Israeli occupation. So why was it okay then whereas it’s a crime now?”

The Weekly asked Natshe if he thought the rift between Fatah and Hamas was becoming more insurmountable than before the conference. “Without prevarications, the answer is yes,” he said. “Hamas made a big mistake by barring Fatah delegates from travelling to the West Bank to participate in the conference. This generated a lot of bitterness among Fatah delegates.”

Hamas resorted to this measure in the hope that Fatah would press the PA to free hundreds of Hamas supporters languishing in PA jails and interrogation centres. On Monday, 9 August, Fadi Hamdan, a 27-year-old Hamas detainee, died in PA custody. This latest death — the third this year — is likely to exacerbate the already poisoned atmosphere between the two largest political camps in the occupied territories.

Natshe is generally viewed as a “moderate Islamist” within Fatah. He says that Fatah and he personally will continue to press for a speedy reconciliation with Hamas.

With regard to the peace process with Israel, Natshe seemed more radical than the bulk of his fellow Fatah delegates. He said Fatah didn’t and wouldn’t recognise Israel and certainly would never ask other Palestinian factions, including Hamas, to recognise Israel.

However, the PLO did recognise Israel as part of the Declaration of Principles, or Oslo Accords, and it did so without receiving reciprocal Israeli recognition of a Palestinian state. This generated a lot of indignation within the Palestinian community and gave Fatah’s critics — especially Hamas — a lot of propaganda ammunition to criticise Fatah and the PLO for “surrendering” to Israel and compromising Palestinian rights.

In its 30-page political platform, issued on the second day of the conference, Fatah vowed to refuse to recognise Israel as a Jewish state. However, the movement apparently refused to annul its erstwhile recognition of Israel even though Israel continues to refuse to recognise Palestine.

In interview with the Weekly, Natshe expressed what observers describe as “maximalist attitudes” vis- à-vis a prospective peace deal with Israel. He said Fatah would never accept the concept of land swap with Israel whereby the Jewish state would retain dozens of large colonies in the West Bank, especially in East Jerusalem, in return for compensating the Palestinians with a swathe of land in Israel itself equal to the annexed settlements both in quality and quantity.

“Fatah doesn’t believe in a land swap, and Israel must return to the borders of 4 June 1967. The refugees must also be repatriated to their homes and villages. This is Fatah’s position, and it will remain unchanged. The Palestinian Authority and government are free to think as they see fit, but Fatah is also free to think as it sees fit,” said Natshe, overlooking the nearly umbilical relationship between the PA and Fatah.

It is highly likely that Natshe’s views enjoy overwhelming support among Palestinians at home and in the Diaspora. However, it is also unlikely that the current Palestinian leadership will take a strong stance on issues such as East Jerusalem and the refugees, mostly in deference to the United States and also in order to retain hope of working out a peace deal that would allow the Palestinians to have their own state.

Natshe’s tone is viewed as more rhetorical than real, even by Fatah’s standards. One Fatah delegate to the conference, who asked to remain anonymous, remarked that Fatah’s pronouncements shouldn’t be taken literally and certainly not too seriously. “When it comes to rhetoric, it can be limitless. But in when it comes to the real test, I am afraid that arm wrestling can produce results.”

F. Lamb: Israel Threatens Lebanon and Obama


Israel Threatens Lebanon and Obama

By: Franklin Lamb
Anti-Obama protest in Israel

Along the ‘Blue Line’ with Palestine

Part I: Zeroing in on Israel’s existential threats

Well, the two cases that you give, Hamas and Hezbollah, are interesting case studies. Hezbollah has evolved significantly over time. And now it has members of parliament, in the cabinet; there are lawyers, doctors, others who are part of the Hezbollah organization… I’m pleased to see that a lot of Hezbollah individuals are in fact renouncing terrorism and violence and are trying to participate in the political process in a very legitimate fashion…. I think what we’ve done is to demonstrate both in Lebanon and to the Palestinians that we, the United States, are willing to engage and have a dialogue with any organizations or groups that are, in fact, dedicated to realizing peaceful solutions to existing problems. And I think those elements within Lebanon, be they Hezbollah or others, know that the United States has tried to be a very honest broker there, providing support to Lebanese institutions.

John Brennan, White House Adviser on terrorism 8/3/09

Brennan had told me (before taking a job in the Obama administration, but while serving as Obama’s top adviser on intelligence issues) that: “talking to Hamas and Hezbollah is the right thing to do. Obama believes that.”

Robert Dreyfuss, Contributing Editor, the Nation Magazine 8/9/09

It’s becoming tense again down along the ‘Blue Line, three years after Israel’s 5th war against Lebanon. Israeli Brig. General. “Alon Friedman” told the Times of London in an interview this week that: “border tensions between Israel and Lebanon could explode at any minute.”

If one were to credit the myriad recent threats these past few weeks against Lebanon and President Obama from Israeli officials and all of AIPAC operatives in Congress, recently swarming around Palestine, it could be disconcerting as one recalls how quiet summers in this region sometimes heat up fast.

Israel has been moving troops back and forth along Lebanon’s southern border and in and out of Ghajar village and Shabaa Farms, which has caused the Lebanese army to move some of its forces towards the borders with Israel while nearby Hezbollah forces remain on full alert.

According to Hilal Khashan, Chairman of the department of political studies and public administration at the American University of Beirut: “It is clear that the Israelis are setting the stage for the resumption of hostilities. For the past year their statements about Hezbollah have been accelerating. They are telling the international community about their intentions. They want to fight another war against Hezbollah.”

Intensifying threats

On 8/13/09 Israel’s President Shimon Peres, increased the name calling and threats, telling colonists at Kiryat Shmona, within shouting distance of Lebanese villages, that Hezbollah is a “curse!”
Peres accused the Party of “destroying” Lebanon and “bringing calamity on the country and its people through its subservience to Iran.” Surrounded by heavy security, Peres bravely advised the community, marking its 60th anniversary, while continuing to lose its residents due to fear of an uncertain future, not to flee Shmona because “Israeli deterrence has been restored!” According to Hezbollah intelligence sources attending Peres ‘feel well’ event, not many of the Israelis attending appeared reassured.

Further west, UNIFIL, which has suffered 272 fatalities since first setting foot in Lebanon on March 18, 1978 wants no part of what its leadership privately view as an impending explosion. UNIFIL has just completed a week long practice ‘pack up and depart Lebanon’ exercise according to the Kuwait’ daily, Al-Rai al-Aam.

When the shooting starts the ‘Peace keeping force’ plans to be gone in 96 hours maximum, if Israel refrains that long from bombing Beirut’s Hariri airport. Otherwise the roughly 13,000 troops from more than a dozen countries will leave by French and German ships with American guarantees of safe passage. Neither Israel nor Hezbollah will decry UNIFIL’s sailing, each believing it does the bidding of the other, while ignoring its enemy’s violations of UNSCR 1701.

The attitude of some southern villagers is summed up in a comment from Muktar, Issam Majed of Khirbet Silm village as reported last week by Robert Fisk:

“When the Israelis fire at us with artillery or from the sea, the UN soldiers count the violations and that’s it … Then an explosion happens (of unexploded ordnance or hidden weapons) and it goes all the way to close meetings of the UN Security Council in New York.”

The anger of Lebanon’s southern villagers intensifies when, as happened this week in Toulin village, (on the 60th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions designed to protect civilians from the consequences of war) 13 year old Abbas Aawali and his 10 year old brother Hussein, were wounded while gathering fire wood by an American cluster bomb left from the July 2006 war. The youngsters became the latest victims of cluster bombs in Lebanon that to date have killed or wounded a total of 273 civilians and 57 deminers . In defense of UNIFIL, Andrea Teneti, UNIFIL Deputy Spokesman explained that: “We have daily air violation of Lebanese territory (by Israeli planes), we have repeatedly asked the Israeli government to refrain from breaching the UN resolution. How can we force them to stop?”

Why the hysterics from Israel and why now?

Most of Israel threats to destroy Lebanon are directly related to it realization that it has had its five invasions of Lebanon (1978, 1982, 1993, 1996, July 2006) and if it attempts another, that one may be its last.

Some Hezbollah contacts predict that the next Israeli war on Lebanon will not take place for several months but concede that no one can be sure. Some Hezbollah military strategists expect that Israeli troops will try to reach as far north as Saida and occupy the area and try to destroy Hezbollah in the south. “They will be annihilated!”, my motorcycle mechanic and friend Hussein told me. “How can they be so stupid? The Zionists must have learned from the 2006 July War, that no matter how fierce they attack us, it will not affect Hezbollah’s and Lebanon’s military ability. I and my friends dream of fighting them again. This time with weapons that will shock them.”
Israel PM Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, IAF commander Maj. Gen. Ido Nehushtan, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon and other Israeli officials continue to launch a barrage of threats against Lebanon’s government. With language such as: “If one hair of any Israeli diplomat or tourist is harmed anywhere in the world, then the Lebanese government will be responsible for the severe consequences”. While, perhaps trying to influence the formation of Lebanon’s new cabinet, Israeli spokespersons are claiming that Israel did not strike at Lebanon’s infrastructure hard enough during the summer of 2006. Israeli officials are claiming that:

Tel Aviv would use all its force in its next war on Lebanon.
Dan Meridor, Israel’s minister of intelligence, told Israel Radio this week that Hezbollah “is purchasing and installing — with Iranian influence and assistance — ballistic systems and other systems of all kinds and we must destroy their stockpiles before they destroy us.”
The mass circulation Israeli newspaper Maariv, on 8/12/09 ran a front-page story quoting an unidentified “senior defense official” as saying Israel believed a military strike could disrupt what it says is an Iranian nuclear arms program with ramifications for Lebanon. While not being talked about publicly, rumors circulate that Hezbollah may already possess as many as three ‘catastrophic warheads’.
Under a photograph of Prime Minister Netanyahu sitting in the cockpit of an F-15I long-range fighter-bomber, Maariv quoted the officer (later identified as Maj. Gen. Ido Nehushtan), as saying Israel could carry out such a strike without U.S. approval but time was running out for Israel’s air force to be effective
Meanwhile, on August 11, Interior Minister Eli Yishai advised the White House that Israel will go ahead with plans to expand a settlement enclave near Jerusalem despite American objections while his colleague, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, agreed, and added: “If we don’t build here, the Palestinians will. So what choice do we have?”

Threats for domestic consumption?

Recent reports in the Israeli media are keeping its population on edge. Some recent reports reveal to the already skittish public the following ‘intelligence”:
Hezbollah has been plotting attacks on Israeli targets, Hezbollah’s political role is just a ‘cover’, Hezbollah can now strike Tel Aviv at will, Hezbollah cells are trying to cause chaos in Egypt, Hezbollah has a ‘True partnership’ with Lebanon’s government, Hezbollah will dominate the new Lebanese cabinet, Hezbollah has set up command posts in Venezuela-It now sends operatives on intelligence missions to neighboring countries, Hezbollah has invested much time and effort in planning attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and Peru(Yedioth Aharonoth 8/12/09),Hezbollah operatives are running ‘fronts’ in Israel’s industrial zones linked to the oil industry, and that Hezbollah has established scores of sleeper cells worldwide, many disguised as charity centers etc.
Meanwhile, Israel’s National Security Council Counter Terrorism bureau issued travel warnings to Israeli businessmen, alerting them of plans by Hezbollah to nab Israeli businessmen visiting Latin American countries and take them to Lebanon.

Barrack Obama: Israel’s main target

Israel’s political and psychological targeting of Lebanon and Hezbollah is less, according to Washington sources, than what it has in store for US President Barrack Obama. Weeks away from Obama going public with his middle east peace plan, some in Tel Aviv and the US Israel lobby are panicked and have just initiated a barrage of threats and political initiatives being aimed at the White House.
“Make no mistake. Israel’s ever widening paranoid array of ‘existential threats’ puts Obama ahead of Iran, Hezbollah or Hamas. The American President is now public enemy number one”, according to Lebanese Human Rights Ambassador Ali Khalil.
Ambassador Khalil added, “They look at Obama and see Jackson, Sharpton, Farrakhan, Rev. Williams, and Professors Khalidi, Finkelstein and Chomski”. They see Obama as a major enemy of Israeli plans to continue its occupation and expansion”.
Its not as though candidate Obama did not regularly grovel and genuflect to the Israel lobby during his yearlong presidential campaign. He did what nearly all of the more than 40,000 candidates in America regularly do at election time while seeking public office, from the White House to dogcatcher in Jennings Lodge, Oregon, he praised Israel as the all time indispensable American ally.

Candidate Obama on Israel

“The United States’ special relationship with Israel obligates us to be helpful to them in the search for credible partners with whom they can make peace, while also supporting Israel in defending itself against enemies sworn to its destruction,” stressing that Israel has “very real – and very dangerous – enemies.”
President Obama reiterated this in April 2009 when he said that he “looks forward to working with Israel to advance our common interests, including the realization of a comprehensive peace in the Middle East, ensuring Israel’s security, and strengthening the bilateral relationship, over the months and years to come.”
A month later in May of 2009, Obama “reaffirmed that Israel “is a stalwart ally of the United States. We have historical ties, emotional ties. As the only true democracy of the Middle East it is a source of admiration and inspiration for the American people…It is in U.S. national securityinterests to assure that Israel’s security as an independent Jewish state is maintained.”
Some in Israel and its US Lobby don’t believe a word of it.
Almost from the day he took office on March 31, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been on a collision course with the Obama administration. Washington’s first goal was to wring acceptance of creation of a Palestinian state from the Israeli leader, who has supported Israeli control over the West Bank and expansion of Jewish settlements there for many years. Netanyahu eventually agreed, while posing tough conditions that meant that he did not agree at all.

Part II:
How Israel intends to cut Obama down to size and scuttle his peace initiatives while Hezbollah reacts to Israel’s campaign.

Franklin Lamb
Franklin Lamb

Franklin Lamb is a former Assistant Counsel of the House Judiciary, US Congress, Washington DC. His book: The Price We Pay: A Quarter Century of Israel’s use of American Weapons against Lebanon (1978-2006) is available at or Lebanese Bookstores (soon also in Arabic). In the USA, the title is available at His latest book, Hezbollah: A Brief Guide for Beginners is expected soon in Arabic and English.
Lamb is doing research in Lebanon and is also director of the Sabra Shatila Foundation which is dedicated to the memory of those killed in that massacre. He can be reached at

Abbas increases power & Dahlan "reborn"...?


WINEP, here

"... Although it is too early to evaluate all the organizational implications of the congress -- largely since the reaction of those defeated in the elections is still unknown and because Gazans received only three of the six representatives they initially requested -- indications suggest that Abbas has increased his power, Barghouthi's camp has lost influence, Dahlan is reborn, and the party's leadership has witnessed a generational shift.

Dahlan's resurrection. ........ allegations drew a storm of responses from FCC members: Ahmed Qurei (Abu Ala) replied, "Dahlan and his group destroyed Fatah in Gaza and should be prevented from committing the same crime in the West Bank." Abbas reportedly pushed congressmembers not to elect Dahlan, saying, "He will take Fatah to where he wants, not to where Fatah wants." Dahlan survived the attacks and ranked tenth in the election. His role in Fatah's affairs undoubtedly will increase as a result of this strong electoral showing........"

Posted by G, Z, & or B at 1:32 PM

Friday, 14 August 2009

August 14: Third anniversary of Lebanon’s victory over the Israelis

The martyr Amad mughniyehPosted by realistic bird under Politics

The martyr Amad mughniyeh

Today marks the third anniversary of the divine and strategic victory over the Israeli army, politicians, and people in 2006. Many would comment on the words divine and strategic based on their different points of view but one thing is for sure a victory happened as admitted by the Israelis themselves. I’m still hyped up from Sayed Nasra’Allah’s speech that finished a while ago. He said many things but the focus was on Israeli recent threats and how to avoid war with the most important power against Israeli aggression on Lebanon which is the strength of Lebanon with its resistance and its unity.

He said that the Israeli threats are not applicable for the time being and one of its aims is psychological warfare that turned on them because of the settlers’ annoyance at the effect it has on tourism so Netanyahu changed his rhetoric and said it is just a “media storm”. Sayed Nasra’Allah also said be careful when the Israelis are quiet like a snake and not when they are ranting and raving on TV. As usual as-Sayed (as he is known in Lebanon-even though that is just a title but it is associated with him) set the standard for any future war with the Israelis: he confirmed that if Beirut or the south suburbs are hit then Tel Aviv will be hit, that every part of the occupation in Palestine is under the fire of the resistance, and their army will be destroyed if it dares invade Lebanon. Have no doubt the man means every word he says and the Israelis know it. Now they will be up and about trying to figure out what to do about the new standard. Yes it is a divine and strategic victory when a small group like Hizbollah can make the Israelis fumble around not knowing what to do, we set the conditions now not them! Read the third article I put, it is a story from a resistance fighter who fought in 2006.

News update: Sayyed Nasrallah: Bomb Beirut or Dahye, We Can Bomb Tel Aviv and Any Other Spot
“Israel” Between What’s Bitter and What’s More Biting
The growing power of Hezbollah in the wake of the July 2006 war has been one of the main concerns in Israel as the so called ‘Second Lebanon War’ that was launched to crush the Islamic Resistance backlashed and had devastating repercussions in Tel Aviv. Israeli political and military echelons as well as intelligence bodies conceded defeat even before the Winograd Committee Report formally established it. Israel also admitted that Hezbollah has succeeded in the past three years in building a massive, advanced and powerful missile system that accurately covers every inch of occupied Palestine with a significant destructive ability.
“Since the Second Lebanon War, Hezbollah has tripled the number of its missiles that can now reach cities as Beersheva and Dimona,” Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said.
“Among Hezbollah’s missiles are heavy ones equipped with a guiding system such as the Fateh – 110 missile that can cover a range of 250 kilometers with a 500 kilogram warhead. Such missile is capable of very accurately hitting and destroying whole building blocs. Therefore, the Israeli army’s ability to deploy reserve soldiers and to direct IAF operations will be extremely complicated. This is why, in any future confrontation, we will see the IAF pulling back to the south to avoid such missiles,” Alon Bin David, an Israeli military expert, told Israeli television.
“We have to ask ourselves: Are we ready to cope with the expanding power of Hezbollah or are we going to take the initiative to counter it? This is problematic knowing that when Hezbollah decides something, no one can stand in its way,” Ami Dror, the former head of the research department in the Israeli military intelligence, said during a television interview.
Hezbollah’s missile system has been Israel’s main concern but not its worst nightmare. There have been speculations in Israel that Hezbollah now possesses effective air defense systems that, if true, could strip Israel of its main element of superiority: Its air force.
“Israel has conveyed a strong warning to Syria not to transfer air defense batteries to Hezbollah. There is serious concern in Israel that such systems could reach Hezbollah’s hands and could restrain the IAF’s reconnaissance operations over Lebanon,” Ehud Yaari, an Israeli expert in Arab affairs told Israeli television.
Confusion in Israel has been evident, especially when the Israeli security institution is sparing no effort to study every possible option to counter “Hezbollah’s growing force.” This indicates that recent threats by Israeli leaders only reflect Tel Aviv’s state of staggering between what’s bitter and what’s more biting.
Hezbollah warned Israeli that Hezbollah has been preparing itself on every level to face any future aggression, with more trained fighters and more surprises.
1948 -2006; Years of Defeats Over; Age of Victories Has Begun
During the Nakba (Catastrophe) era in 1948, and while the Zionists were busy committing massacres in the Palestinian village of Deir Kassem and other towns, more Israeli soldiers were storming into the Lebanese town of Houla near the border with occupied Palestine, where they killed-massacre 90 inhabitants.
At that time, Lebanon decided to go for truce as its strength, back then, “was in its weakness.”
However the armistice never stopped Israel from attacking Lebanese towns, whenever it desired.
The result was the massacre of Hanine where residents were executed with axes; Yarine where all the homes were leveled on the heads of their occupants and Aytaroun where seven children were massacred, not to forget the massacres of Bint Jbeil, Rashaya, Kounine, Adloun, Abbasiyeh, Khiam and other villages.
Israeli gangs which constituted the kernel of the so called “Israel Defense Army” war closer to aggression than defense. Their massacres continued unabated for the next 20 years.
Most Lebanese still remember Israel’s bombing of Beirut’s International Airport in 1967, when the whole fleet of commercial planes was turned into twisted and riddled metal.
There was no reaction from Beirut, as the whole defeated Arab world plunged in a new era called the “Naksa” or the “Setback.”.
In the second half of the 1970’s, two years after the civil war broke out, Israel entered the phase of organized wars against Lebanon; 6 wars so far.
In 1978, Israel exploited the presence of the Palestinian resistance in Lebanon to execute its scheme: Establish a defensive line along the Litani River. The invasion was dubbed “Operation Litani”. 30,000 Israeli soldiers invaded south Lebanon and formed a 13km – deep “security zone,” with the help of then chief collaborator Saad Haddad.
The UN Security Council issued the renowned resolution 425 that stipulates the full Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon. Israel never implemented the resolution. In its years of occupation, Israel committed dozens of massacres in southern villages and towns under the eyes of the international community.
Israel launched its second war in 1981. Back then its allies, namely the Phalanges Party, were trapped in the Bekaa city of Zahle by National Forces as well as the Syrian army. The air, land and sea aggression on the western sector of the capital Beirut in particular, left behind 700 people killed and injured. Washington pressed Tel Aviv to accept a ceasefire. However, it violated the truce 2777 times.
Less than a year later, Israel launched “Operation Peace of the Galilee.”
It was nothing more than a barbaric invasion of Lebanon in which 100,000 Israeli soldiers, 1100 tanks and 100 fighter jets took part. 25,000 was the count of victims in this third war, not to forget the 1300 Palestinian refugees who were massacred in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.
Eventually, Israel deemed itself successful after it forced out the Palestinian resistance from Lebanon and imposed a pro-Israel regime in Beirut with which it signed a peace deal that was thwarted by national forces. Israel woke up to the reality that a new resistance force was on the rise and it was not long before it found itself in a fierce confrontation with it.
A year later, the Israeli occupation command had to order a withdrawal under the strikes of the young and inexperienced fighters redeploy, a process that extended until 1985, after at least 1200 Israeli soldiers were killed. The new area of occupation was now known as the southern security belt.
In 1985, Hezbollah announced its adaptation of previous resistance operations against the occupation and declared in an “open letter” its decision to resist Israel until liberation.
Israel and the resistance engaged in a war of attrition with its peak reached in 1993, when Hezbollah retaliated to bombing Lebanese villages resulting in massacres, with bombing the settlement of Kiryat Shmona. Israel’s response was launching “Operation Accountability.”
For seven consecutive days, the Zionist army bombed south Lebanon with no less than 27 thousand shells and another 1000 rocket. 120 Lebanese civilians fell martyrs and a quarter of a million others were displaced. It was Israel’s fourth war.
Three years later, Israel’s fifth war was dubbed “Operation Grapes of Wrath,” with its main objective: Crush Hezbollah. During 16 days, Israel carried out 1100 air raids and fired 25 thousand artillery shells on southern villages as well as Beirut’s southern suburb. The toll was 96 civilian martyrs and 165 others injured. In this war, Israel separately committed the first Qana massacre and killed another 118 men, women and children taking refuge in a UNIFIL post in the town. 400 houses and stores were completely destroyed and half a million Lebanese were displaced.
The war ended with an understanding known as the “April Understanding” which binds Israel not to target civilians.
With the humiliating withdrawal of Israeli occupation forces from most Lebanese territory, the Lebanese deemed Israeli wars against their country over. But the 2000 pullout dragged a sixth war six years later; a war that far exceeded in violence and barbarism the five preceding wars because Israel, blessed by the US and some Arab states, wanted it to be the last and decisive engagement with Hezbollah.
Israel’s war backlashed and Lebanon became a hard number in the Israeli – Arab conflict.
“Israel is today under the pressure of accumulated downfalls. Sometimes we must observe our enemy and expect more conspiracies. We should be cautious from some of those around us because the conspiracy is not over yet,” Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Nasrallah warned.
The last but not least victory of Hezbollah and the resistance happened in July 2008, two years after the July 2006 war. It was another pledge by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah coming true.
Operation Al-Redwan, named after martyr Imad Moghniyeh (Hajj Redwan) who was assassinated in Syria four months earlier by the Israeli Mossad, closed the file of Lebanese captives in Israeli jails as well as the so called “cemetery of numbers” which embraced the remains of some 200 Arab martyrs. Hezbollah exchanged two dead Israeli soldiers with five Lebanese detainees and the remains of the Arab martyrs. Samir Kintar, who has multiple life-time sentences, was among the released, although Israel stated on many occasions that all captives are one case and Kintar was another nonnegotiable one.
Today, three years after the defeat of Israel in the July war of 2006, Israel is still violating UN resolution 1701 that ended hostilities, as confirmed by the United Nations. Israel is still threatening Lebanon with war, full force invasion and occupation of land and resources. The Winograd report that tackled the failures of the Israeli military and political failures in the 2006 war clearly states that Hezbollah defeated Israel and assessments in Tel Aviv, as well as Hezbollah statements, clearly state that the Islamic Resistance has become even stronger today with more capabilities and…surprises.
In its early decades, Israel’s ’strategic prowess’ was legendary, transforming a weak country into a regional power.
The past decade has seen an opposite process, whereby that powerhouse is starting to collapse. Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah stressed in a speech mourning martyr Moghniyeh that the countdown to Israel’s disappearance had begun since their first defeat. “It is them – the Israelis – who believe that the countdown to Israel’s collapse starts with the moment they are defeated,” Sayyed Nasrallah stressed; and Sayyed Nasrallah’s pledges have been proven to be always true.
Hizbullah Site Staff, 14-08-2009, source
“When fighting for a right, Allah’s fighting with you”. This is the conviction of tremendous numbers of people of dignity whether are honorable martyrs or still alive. It is the conviction of not only Hizbullah fighters but also thousands of Lebanese who believe the 33 days “Israeli” merciless attack on Lebanon is a Divine Victory to them and a total defeat to their brutal enemy.
Three years have passed since the “Israeli” warplanes launched waves of air strikes on Lebanon after Hizbullah successfully detained “Israeli” soldiers. Three years have passed since the “Operation Truthful Pledge” that led to the fruitful Radwan Operation- the release of all Lebanese detainees in “Israeli” prisons including dean of detainees Kintar…
Three years have passed since “Israeli” warplanes bombed inhabited cities and villages, civil infrastructure, different civil facilities and other targets under pretext of cutting off roads on any coming supply for Hizbullah.
Three years ago, “Israel” tried all means possible to destroy the Islamic Resistance even through targeting innocent civilians and tried pressuring Hizbullah through massacres and genocides, but was ignorant that its people’s souls feed and nourish on resistance. In return, the Islamic Resistance taught the Zionist state a hard and unforgettable lesson targeting mainly its army and weaponry. But this brutal “Israeli” attack and war ended with a Divine Victory for Lebanon, all Lebanon, against the Zionist enemy that still is in denial of its unprecedented defeat…
Today, in commemoration of three years since the Divine Victory, here is Hizbullah’s Site Staff special… some stories about resistance fighters, and others about civilians who fought their own way…
The 33 day bloody war on Lebanon holds within its folds stories of Hizbullah fighters who lived moments of resistance, strength, love and sacrifice for the land and in defense for rights and righteousness…
From villages and areas that were surrounded with gunfire, these same villages whose people achieved victory, are the source of stories in defense of the precious and pure land…
Here are some stories of resistance fighters who remain unknown, the mysterious men of God, who live among us like any other ordinary entity in society, until martyrdom reveals names and identities to surprise many of those who knew them and lived with them.
Rshaf fighter:
He was ordered to approach three houses in Rshaf village where “Israeli” army was located in, on the thirtieth day of war. Mirkava tanks and a military bulldozer were centered near the village’s pond. “Israeli” planes raiding civilians’ homes… Rshaf’s people evacuated their houses except for a few who preferred to stay and support the fighters and serve them… One of those is “Hajjeh Rshaf” as the fighter named her. She insisted to stay in order to bake and cook for the resistance fighters and take care of them, as she sees her soul is no more precious than theirs… (Hajje Rshaf is only a sample of tens and hundreds of Lebanese civilians who were ready to sacrifice their lives for the sake of resistance fighters as they see themselves fighters in their own way and believe fighters, and the resistance deserve sacrifice)
Back to Rshaf fighter, who was now very close to the location where the Zionists stayed, but after five minutes of time, a few minutes of waiting outside the houses, his blood rushed boiling through his veins as he could no longer tolerate the presence of these land rapists, the Zionist soldiers. He instantly took out his gun and shot the first two soldiers that came to sight.. Then killed another two who stood out at the window to see what that noise was about. In a few seconds, Hizbullah fighters targeted the houses in which “Israelis” stayed, causing direct and severe damage. It was a hit target. Rshaf fighter ran out of ammunition and retreated to another point, Abu Thar compound.
There, Rshaf fighter met his brother and other resistance fighters who were also firing towards “Israelis” and fearlessly fighting them. He looked at his brother and told him to watch out and take care of himself to see his brother smile him and continue his mission.
Soon “Israeli” warplanes fired the spot, a few seconds it was when a missile from a drone plane separated between the two brothers throwing them each on a side and thick smoke came into sight.
Rshaf fighter’s face hit the ground as he fell down, then stood up and started calling his brother to find he is stained with his own blood and has martyred.
Five minutes of that battle froze as Rshaf fighter said his good byes and farewells to his dear brother caressing him, wiping blood out of his face and body and promising to follow his lead. Rshaf fighter came back to battle and joined his fellow brothers, the resistance fighters to continue their battle of Divine Victory…
Rshaf fighter’s will was stronger than ever. He loaded his gun and followed up with the other team as his leader requested him to. “Israelis” were about seven meters away now. Leader “Jaffal” asked the men to stay still for a few seconds as he moved forward to check the area with a rosary in his hand. Slowly approaching the target point, leader Jaffal was also targeted by a drone plane missile and achieved martyrdom. Confrontations and fights continued until there was cease fire. Rshaf fighter went out looking for his leader to find he has indeed tasted the sweetness of martyrdom.
Now, Rshaf fighter can burry his brother and his leader who were martyred a few seconds and less than a few meters away from him… and Rshaf fighter is still… a resister.

Sayyed Nasrallah: Bomb Beirut or Dahye, We Can Bomb Tel Aviv and Any Other Spot

Sayyed Nasrallah: Bomb Beirut or Dahye, We Can Bomb Tel Aviv and Any Other Spot

14/08/2009 Hezbollah marked three years of Divine Victory over Israel on Friday in Beirut’s southern suburb.

Political figures including representatives of President Michel Sleiman, Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri, MP Michel Aoun and MP Walid Jumblatt, along with party chiefs, ministers, MPs and Ambassadors.

Tens of thousands of people attended the ceremony and welcomed with cheers and tears Hezbollah’s Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, who delivered a speech through a giant screen.

Sayyed Nasrallah welcomed the crowd and paid tribute to the martyrs, injured and those whose homes and properties were destroyed during the Israeli war on Lebanon in 2006.

“Much has been said about this war, its causes, motives, background as well as its course and lessons. There will always be much to say more because what we went through was an epic and a miracle made in Lebanon and by the Lebanese people. One of the main lessons that should be taught is: what if the resistance was defeated in Lebanon?

I would like to give priority (in my speech) to the current Israeli threats and the next stage. I would like to begin with reading a small text by (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu pertaining to the July war. He said shortly after the war, and before he became Prime Minister:

‘The Six Day War enabled Israel to survive and make peace agreements. The 1967 war signaled the transformation of a state with many question marks surrounding it into an unbeatable state that expanded its width from 12kms to 70kms. We were able to control two mountains and the Jews will no longer be thrown into the sea. Arabs felt they had to acknowledge Israel and then we signed peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan and we had indications that we can go for reconciliation with the Palestinians. However, since the unilateral pullout from Lebanon in 2000 and the unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, and today, after the Second Lebanon War, the bearings changed dramatically. It is evident that Israel today is no longer an unbeatable state and question marks – from friends and foes alike - on the survival of the state of Israel have returned.’

In the past few weeks, there had been media and political uproar in Israel supported by some US and Western stances, particularly British stances. We do not believe that these threats and all this uproar indicate an imminent Israeli war on Lebanon. These threats have other goals, including psychological war. This uproar is also aimed, according to Israeli reports, at the efforts to form the Lebanese government through warning against the participation of Hezbollah in the Cabinet. It is clear that the Israelis will be vexed if a national unity government were formed in Lebanon. Another goal behind this uproar is the attempt to bring back discord to Lebanon. This is what the Israelis frankly said but the general atmosphere in Lebanon is positive regardless of some voices. A third goal is the endeavor to amend the mandate of the UNIFIL. The incident in the town of Khirbet Selem happened shortly before the release of the UN Secretary General report over the implementation of UN resolution 1701. The Americans and the Israeli raised the issue of amending the UNIFIL’s mandate. The UNIFIL has one mission in south Lebanon which is to back the Lebanese army and other legitimate forces and therefore, the UNIFIL cannot have checkpoints or raid houses. They wanted to amend its mandate to transform this force into a multi-national force as suggested back in 2006. This goal also failed due to the official stance in Lebanon that firmly rejected any amendment.

Another goal is to reopen the file of the arms of the resistance and its power. They incited the international community and pressured Lebanon, Syria and Iran and they threatened the region with war. We do not make comments on the armament of the resistance, but I would like to tell our dear Lebanese people that this precious land lies next to an aggressive and avarice entity. In a world ruled by the law of the jungle, not the international law, one make take advantage of all past experiences so as not to be sold in the international market of politics when the right price is paid. Any people are protected by their unity, will and determination to live with dignity.”

Sayyed Nasrallah said that those assessing and studying the July war should “search for what we are made of” before researching on arms, combat formations, strategies and tactics.
“In one of Imam Moussa Sadr’s words to the people of south Lebanon, when he war urging them to resist Israeli aggressions, he said: we will fight you with stones and with our teeth…

Ultimately, those who have the determination can fight and win…I hereby repeat my words with much more confidence than before: As I used to promise you victory, I promise you victory again, God willing.”

The Hezbollah Secretary General pointed out that the Israeli psychological war bares a negative indication. “Shaul Mofaz said that Hezbollah has become three times stronger today than in 2006. He is seeking help from the world, but what message is he conveying to the people living in his entity? Ehud Barak says that Hezbollah’s missile arsenal has grown and today it has the ability to strike Tel Aviv and any spot in Israel. On the one hand he is instigating the international community against us, but on the other hand, he is telling the whole Israeli population that in the next war, you will all flee, not only Keryat Shmona and Haifa residents. In past few weeks, Netanyahu retracted the threats and said that this was a media storm, why? Because settlers expressed resentment and tourists started to flee out of northern Israel.”

Sayyed Nasrallah ruled out an imminent war but said that in case Israel waged war, there are two options. “To surrender, disarm ourselves and become weak; this is out of the question. The second option is to be ready and to consolidate our power factors to prevent war; and in this case if war were waged on us we will win it. Can we prevent an Israeli war on Lebanon? Yes we can. Can we stop Israel from thinking about waging war on Lebanon? Yes we can by having a deterrent force. In Israel, it is not easy any more to take a decision to go to war with Lebanon. The objective of any coming war will be to eradicate the resistance, but can this current Israeli army and this Israeli government wage a war to eradicate the resistance in Lebanon? They cannot. We have been hearing about the Dahye (Beirut’s southern suburb) doctrine or the Dahye strategy based on certain ideas, but we have not yet heard any response on this, therefore it our right to tell the Israelis that if you bomb Dahye or Beirut, we will bomb Tel Aviv. We have the ability to hit any city or town in your entity. Carry out as much drills as you want, develop your tanks’ armors and train your brigades, they will be crushed in our towns, villages, valleys and hills. There will be new surprises, so they have to think a million times before waging war on us.”

Sayyed Nasrallah touched on the issue of Mossad agents in Lebanon. He said Israel cannot do without spies to gather information. “On behalf of the martyrs, I demand that security forces complete what they started. What was accomplished recently is not enough. There is no spy-free town, village and city in Lebanon. We have heard something about tolerance and leniency with regards to collaborators. This is unacceptable and the state institutions are responsible to deal with this file.”

His eminence stressed the 2006 war foiled the most dangerous US-Israeli plot in the region. “Since August 14, 2006, we haven’t heard anything about the new Mideast. Our domestic and regional state is better than our state back in 2006.”

Sayyed Nasrallah paid tribute to the martyrs and the suffering of their families and stressed “unity in Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq is our power factor. Our strength lies in our resistance and the future is our; we make it with our own hands, with the blood of our martyrs, with our faith and belief. This is the lesson of this historic victory.”

What Actually Happened in Fatah's Elections?

CIA-Trained Security Chiefs Elected to the Palestinian Leadership


“He is our guy.”

George W. Bush speaking of Palestinian security chief Muhammad Dahlan, June 4, 2003

The U.S. government has been meddling in the Palestinian internal affairs since at least 2003. Its effort is to transform the Palestinian national movement for liberation and independence into a more compliant or quisling government, willing to accede to Israel’s political and security demands.

The tactics employed by the U.S. include military, security, diplomatic, and political components. With the ascension of Hamas after the 2006 legislative election, U.S. strategy has been fixed on unraveling the election results. Its aim for a political comeback of the pro-American camp within the Palestinian body politic has been initiated with the convening of Fatah’s national conference this last week.

During the week of August 4, 2009, the Palestinian National Liberation Movement Fatah, convened its sixth national conference in its 44-year history. Fatahhas historically been considered the largest Palestinian faction, but that perception changed when it lost the legislative elections to Hamas in January 2006. As the group wrapped up its conference after eight days, it announced the results of its elections. The international media, particularly western outlets, framed the election as “fresh” and “new” faces ascending to power in the movement. But what actually happened in the vote?

Fatah’s internal structure is unlike most political parties or resistance movements. It is not hierarchical and its members’ loyalty largely follows a system of patronage and factionalism embodied in a 23-member Central Committee.

The Central Committee is technically supposed to reflect a system of collective leadership and the political program of a national liberation movement. Even its founder, the late Yasser Arafat, who led the organization from its inception in 1965 until his death in 2004, did not have an official title beyond that of a member of the committee and commander-in-chief of its military wing. But over time, in the eyes of many Palestinians, Fatah’s leadership has symbolized, a system of cronyism, corruption, collaboration with Israel, and political failures, especially since the Oslo process.

Although its internal charter calls for a national conference every four years to elect its leadership, the major questions at the eve of this conference were: Why did it take Fatah two decades to convene this one? Did the election of Fatah’s new leadership reflect the aspirations of the Palestinian people and a new and fresh approach to the political process? And finally, who are the backers of the main individuals who were recently elected to lead it?

Fatah’s Central Committee led by Arafat made the strategic decision in 1988 to negotiate a political settlement with Israel, and accept the United States government as the main broker. For two decades, especially in the aftermath of the 1993 Oslo accords, the Palestinian issue gradually receded from the international agenda, becoming an almost exclusive affair between the U.S, Israel, and the Palestinian leadership whether it was the PLO or after 1994, the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Most neutral Middle East analysts such as Robert Malley, the Middle East Program Director at the International Crisis Group, and a former National Security Council (NSC) staff member during the Clinton administration, observe that American negotiators throughout several administrations (both Democratic and Republican) have mostly adopted the Israeli point of view and placed most of the pressure on the Palestinian leadership (whether Bill Clinton with Yitzhak Rabin and Ehud Barak, or George W. Bush with Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert.)

During the first term of the Bush administration, Arafat, as the head of the PA, was isolated, while Washington promoted those within the Palestinian leadership such as Mahmoud Abbas (imposed on Arafat as prime minister in 2003), and former security chief Muhammad Dahlan, both of whom embraced the American strategy in the region. In 2005, Bush declared his freedom and democracy agenda, demanding elections in the Palestinian territories, and hoping for a Fatah victory to implement his vision.

However, the administration soon abandoned its agenda of promoting democracy in the Arab world when Hamas won a landslide victory in the January 2006 legislative elections. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice expressed shock about the results saying, “No one saw it coming.” A Department of Defense official told David Rose of Vanity Fair in 2008, “Everyone blamed everyone else,” “We sat there in the Pentagon and said, ‘Who the f*@# recommended this?’?”

Ever since that election, the American administration employed three different but overlapping strategies in order to undo the results. These efforts by the State Department, the White House and the Defense Department, were scantily planned and poorly coordinated.

Throughout 2006 and the first half of 2007, the State Department used its diplomatic resources and political muscle to topple the democratically-elected Palestinian government led by Hamas. In an April 2008 report, Vanity Fair disclosed that an American talking point memo emerged after a U.S. diplomat accidentally left it behind in a Palestinian Authority building in Ramallah. The document echoed Rice’s demand that Abbas dissolve the national unity government and take on Hamas.

Meanwhile, as detailed by Vanity Fair, neo-con and NSC deputy director Elliot Abrams was plotting a coup in Gaza against Hamas with former Gaza security chief Muhammad Dahlan in the spring of 2007. It included coordination with Israel, several Arab countries such as UAE and Jordan, payments to Dahlan of over $30 million, the training of five hundred security personnel, a campaign to destabilize Gaza, and a torture program against Hamas members and other Islamists.

Dahlan admitted as much to the magazine’s writer, David Rose, saying that he told his American counterpart who was pushing for a confrontation with Hamas, “If I am going to confront them, I need substantial resources. As things stand, we do not have the capability.”

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on June 7, 2007, that the American administration had asked Israel to authorize a large Egyptian arms shipment, including dozens of armored cars, hundreds of armor-piercing rockets, thousands of hand grenades, and millions of rounds of ammunition. Rose explains that Abrams’s plan stressed the need to bolster Fatah’s forces in order to “deter” Hamas. According to a senior administration official the “desired outcome” was to give Abbas “the capability to take the required strategic political decisions (i.e. fulfilling the Israeli conditions for a political settlement) and dismissing the (Hamas led) cabinet, establishing an emergency cabinet.”

But Dick Cheney’s Middle East advisor, David Wurmser, admitted the failed effort when he told the magazine, “It look(ed) to me that what happened wasn’t so much a coup by Hamas but an attempted coup by Fatah that was pre-empted (by Hamas) before it could happen.”

The third effort, was mainly overseen by the Pentagon, and led by Lt. General Keith Dayton. In a speech before the pro-Israel think tank, the Washington Institute on Near East Policy (WINEP) in May 2009, he said that the Office of the U.S. Security Coordinator, which he has been leading since December 2005, is “an effort to assist the Palestinians in reforming their security services.” But according to the notes of a meeting between Dayton and a Palestinian security chief in Ramallah in early 2007, the real purpose of the mission was revealed when Dayton said, “[W]e also need to build up your forces in order to take on Hamas.”

Since 2007, Congress has given Dayton $161 million dollars to implement his plan. In addition, this year Congress appropriated an additional $209 million dollars to Dayton for the 2009 and 2010 fiscal years, to accelerate his program after receiving high marks from Israeli security chiefs. In the past year alone, more than 1,000 Hamas and Islamic Jihad members have been arrested and detained without trials, with many tortured and killed under interrogation, by U.S.-trained Palestinian security personnel in the West Bank. Amnesty International and many other human rights organizations have condemned these actions and called for an immediate halt to the human rights abuses of Palestinian detainees in PA prisons.

In his WINEP speech Dayton acknowledged this crackdown when he said, “I don't know how many of you are aware, but over the last year-and-a-half, the Palestinians have engaged upon a series of what they call security offensives throughout the West Bank, surprisingly well coordinated with the Israeli army.” He further admitted that during the 22-day Gaza war last winter, U.S.-trained Palestinian security forces prevented Palestinians in the West Bank from organizing mass protests against the Israeli army, which ironically allowed for the reduction of the Israeli military presence in the West Bank in order to redeploy those troops to Gaza. Dayton added, “As a matter of fact, a good portion of the Israeli army went off to Gaza from the West Bank— think about that for a minute, and the (Israeli military) commander (of the West Bank) was absent for eight straight days.”

After a failed coup and brutal military offensive failed to dislodge Hamas from Gaza, the Israeli and U.S. strategy sought to intensify its pressure against Hamas through a suffocating economic siege in Gaza, massive security detentions in the West Bank, financial squeeze in the region and political isolation internationally. Meanwhile, according to several Hamas spokesmen, including the deposed prime minister Ismael Haniyya in Gaza and political chief Khaled Meshal in Damascus, the main obstacle to any national reconciliation with Fatah has been the detention of hundreds of Hamas members and the PA’s security collaboration with the military occupation overseen by Dayton.

The next phase in this effort is to reinvent Fatah and present it as a viable political alternative to Hamas and other resistance movements by improving the living conditions in the West Bank in contrast to Gaza’s devastating siege. But more important, the plan envisions a new Fatah that is considered a reliable partner willing to accomodate Israel’s conditions for a political settlement. The sixth Fatah conference and accompanying elections was thus convened to dispose of its corrupt and dysfunctional image.

For over a year, the Central Committee, the highest body in its structure, could not agree on many major issues, including where to hold the conference (the final decision was to hold it in the occupied Palestinian territories, which means that Israel has a veto on which delegates from abroad would be allowed to participate). They also squabbled about which delegates would be appointed to the conference, which would determine the composition of the new leadership, as well as the political program and the role of armed resistance against the occupation. Abbas and his inner circle vetoed the decision of the committee, and decided to hold the conference in Bethlehem, virtually hand-picking all the participants to guarantee the election outcome.

Historically, the delegates to Fatah’s national conference were elected or appointed by the Central Committee, but at least fifty-one percent came from the military apparatus. Since most of the military wing has either been disbanded or wanted by the Israelis, a large number of the delegates to this conference were security personnel substituting for the military ones. This fact guaranteed that the election results would be skewed towards the security chiefs and their supporters.

The original number of delegates was supposed to be around 700. Then it increased to 1,250 but eventually mushroomed to 2,355. Less than ten percent were actually indirectly elected by the virtue of their positions, while the overwhelming majority was appointed by a small group in Ramallah led mainly by Abbas and other power brokers such as Dahlan and former West Bank security chief Jibreel Rujoub, who used to hang the picture of former CIA director George Tenet above his desk alongside that of Arafat.

The number of Central Committee members was also increased from 21 to 23, with 19 directly elected by the delegates. Abbas was to appoint four members later, but he himself was chosen by acclamation, to avoid embarrassment if he does not garner first place in a direct election. The 18 individuals who were elected at the end of the week-long conference comprised four from the “old guard” who are considered close to Abbas, and 14 new members, three of whom are former security chiefs who’ve been close to the CIA. These include Dahlan, Rujoub, and Tawfiq Tirawi, a former intelligence chief, who is currently heading a security training academy in Jericho under the supervision of Gen. Dayton.

From the outset, this conference was heavily tilted towards delegates from the West Bank. Unlike previous conferences, Palestinians in the Diaspora were hardly represented since Israel allowed only a few people to enter from abroad. While Gaza’s population is equal to that of the West Bank, less than 400 people were selected as delegates from Gaza, while there were over three times as many delegates from the West Bank.

But most of the Gaza delegates did not even attend because Hamas prevented them from leaving the strip, demanding in return that hundreds of its detained members in the West Bank be freed by the PA, which it summarily refused. In short, aside from Dahlan, who no longer lives in Gaza, not a single elected person is from or lives in Gaza. This prompted the entire Fatah leadership in Gaza, including former Central Committee member Zakariya al-Agha, to resign en mass one day after the conference, protesting not only the results, but also the whole election process.

Similarly, Fatah members abroad did not fare well. Only two people were elected to the Central Committee, though more than two-thirds of Palestinians (eight million) live outside of the Palestinian territories, many in squalid refugee camps, with the “right of return”, considered a hot- button issue in future negotiations, up in the air. On the other hand, the overwhelming majority of the new members were either from the West Bank or already living in Ramallah as part of Abbas’ closest aides, affirming the American-led ‘West Bank first’ strategy.

Some of the historic old guard who oppose Abbas’s political program such as Central Committee secretary Farouk Kaddoumi or Hani Al-Hassan did not even attend or run as candidates. Kaddoumi condemned the conference, questioned its legitimacy, and went as far as accusing Abbas and Dahlan of plotting with the Israelis to poison Arafat, eventually causing his death.

Other former members who ran as candidates were defeated and cried foul. Former prime minister and negotiator Ahmad Qurai (Abu Alaa) questioned the credentials of the delegates and the integrity of the election procedure. When Abbas chief of staff, Tayeb Abdel-Rahim lost, he demanded a recount and was eventually declared a winner, after the election committee claimed he was actually tied for last. Many delegates, especially female candidates, all of whom lost, criticized this blatant cronyism. Nevertheless, several popular and “clean” candidates were able to win a seat such as Marwan Bargouthi, who is serving five life sentences in Israel, and Mahmoud Al-Aloul, a former mayor of Nablus.

As Palestinians watched this conference unfold, many were hoping that it would be the beginning of a national reconciliation and the establishment of a unity government. However, it seems that as a result of this conference Fatah itself may further disintegrate, as its Gaza leaders and Abu Alaa are threatening to launch a new faction called “Fatah Awakening,” further increasing division and tension within the Palestinian ranks.

The next step in the strategy of the pro-American camp is to hold presidential and legislative elections in the Palestinian territories next January, hoping to present a rejuvenated Fatah as an alternative to Hamas and other resistance movements. Jonathan Steele of the Guardian further exposed on June 22, 2007 the U.S. "hard coup" of June ’07, as well as its political strategy. He detailed US officials' conversations with several Arab regimes. These were, among others, “ ‘to maintain President Abbas and Fatah as the center of gravity on the Palestinian scene’, ‘avoid wasting time in accommodating Hamas,’ ‘undermining Hamas’s political status,’ and ‘calling for early elections.’”

In the words of Gen. Dayton, the Palestinian personnel trained by the U.S pledge after their graduation that they “were not sent here to learn how to fight Israel, but were rather sent here to learn how to keep law and order.” The main purpose of these security battalions is to halt any resistance to or rejection of the occupation including non-violent means. He then added that senior Israeli military commanders frequently ask him, "How many more of these new Palestinians can you generate, and how quickly?”

Many of the questions, posed by ordinary Palestinians before the conference, remain unanswered. What is Fatah’s political program in light of the current Israeli intransigence and pre-conditions? What of national reconciliation with other Palestinian factions and the establishment of a national unity government? What is the role of resistance against the occupation, the suffocating siege against Gaza, and most importantly, the continuous collaboration with the Israeli security agencies and military against their own citizens?

These questions persist while Israel’s occupation and its brutal policies, the expansion of settlements, the separation wall, the detention of over 11,000 Palestinians, the expropriation of land, the depopulation of East Jerusalem’s Palestinian residents, and the denial of Palestinian refugees’ right of return, continue unabated.

Simply put, the U.S. wants a Palestinian leadership that will answer these questions in a way that is satisfactory to Israel. As one State Department official said to Vanity Fair regarding American objectives in the Israeli-Palestinian struggle, “[W]e care about results, and [we support] whatever son of a bitch [w]e have to support. Dahlan was the son of a bitch we happened to know best.”

Esam Al-Amin can be reached at:

Livni: Israelis Desperate to Leave the Zionist Ghetto

"If you look at Israel and Zionism from that very perspective, you would realise that the 'Wall' is actually the biggest Pls victory. They dismantled the Zionist project and made the Israeli into a 'diaspora ghetto Jew'. The Pls have managed to push the Jew back to the ghetto, and this ghetto will shrink as Pls ballistic capability grows. The Jewish state is a matter for Historians, its future is doomed "
Gilad Atzmon on July 27th, 2009 at 10:21 Comment No. 27

From that very Zionist Perspective Livini Said: Israelis Desperate to Leave the country

13/08/2009 The Israeli public has lost all hope in light of the political situation in the country, Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni said Wednesday evening. "I see the despair of many Israelis. Hundreds of thousands see what is happening and arrange for a foreign passport, send their children to study abroad and even buy a house overseas," Livni told hundreds of Kadima MKs and activists at a gathering in Tirat Hacarmel.

"I know many of you have come here tonight because they care, not only about Kadima as a party, but also about the State of Israel. I know you too share what a great part of the Israeli public feels – desperation," she said.

"Only four months have passed since the establishment of the government. In other places this is usually a period of hope, prosperity, and vision. Instead, since the day this government took office, with its dozens of ministers and deputy ministers, the public has realized that its sole objective was political survival."

Kadima's chairwoman strongly criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his "lack of vision and lack of clear path."

Livni lauded the faction members for the hard work they have been putting in at the Knesset. "Gentlemen, every one of Kadima's members and activists should be proud of the party. There is no other faction like it in the Knesset, and hasn't been one in many years," she stated."

Ahhh.....The Only Place Where Jews Can Feel Safe? Livni: Hundreds of thousands of Israelis want to leave the country


Two weeks ago the same asshole wrote:

Habila's Son Memorizes the Qur'an in Just 35 Days!

Who Needs Liberation and Siege Breaking? Keep Those Guinness Records Coming!

As They Used to Say, "Revolution" Until Victory!

# posted by Tony : 9:29 AM

On that I commented:

For me Kenafah is symbol for wealth and corruption (WESTERN AID). A call for more Kenafah to spoil Palestinians and forget their rights.

Flying Kites is a desperate call for lifting the siege, for freedom.

For seculars, anti Islam, hamas bashers,

  • The alarming part is that thousands of youngsters are enrolled in special camps for the purpose of MEMORIZING the Qur'an; Instead of lively debates, critique and analysis, revolutionary theory and practice, etc, this is what Hamas has produced.
  • Comming into contact with a religious man they always feel they must wash their hands.
  • The problem with political Islam is the fact that it is political!!
  • As Arab minorities (to their own right) prefer a pseudo secular dictatorships than a democratically elected Muslim party.
  • The masses are so brain washed and religion is thought of as the spinal chord of their identity.
  • To them the reformation will not be possible until political Islam fails completely against Israel same way Arab nationalism failed in 1967. Only then will the masses lose faith in it , same way the lost faith with Nasser and Baathism.
  • For things to get better , they must get a whole lot worse (to them it means the liquidation of the Palestinian struggle and the full hegemony of the west over historic Palestine with the Arab regimes blessing Zion. ).
  • In their life time they will not see the changes , because we are in the midst of the Islamic Dark ages.

Now I would add:

In their (seculars, anti Islam, hamas bashers) shamful life time, and in the "midst of the Islamic Dark ages" Those Palestinians are Breaking all the Guinness Book World Records! Hundreds of thousands of Israelis want to leave the Place Where Jews thought they Can Feel Safe.

Hezbollah Marks Three Years of Divine Victory over Israel

Hezbollah Marks Three Years of Divine Victory over Israel

14/08/2009 Hezbollah marks Friday three years since the Divine Victory over Israeli in the July 2006 war on Lebanon with a ceremony in the Raya field in Beirut’s southern suburb.

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah will deliver a speech through a giant screen. He’s expected to raise a new equation that would establish the force of deterrence in Lebanon against any new Israeli assaults.

Also Friday, a Lebanese news agency reported that local security forces had uncovered another network spying for Israel.
According to the report, several of the cell's members had been arrested and a manhunt was underway for six others.
The agency, A-Sharq Al-Jadid, said that the suspects belonged to a Lebanese political party.

Prominent Fatah leaders plan to form new faction

Ahmed Qurei: Massive Fraud in Fatah Central Committee Elections

14/08/2009 Fatah appeared to be in turmoil on Thursday as a large number of its top representatives questioned the credibility of the elections that were held earlier this week for the faction's Central Committee.

Former Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei (Abu Ala) dropped a bombshell when he announced massive forgery in Fatah elections. Qurei, who failed to be reelected to the Central Committee, said that there was growing discontent in Fatah over the alleged fraud. "There are many big question marks about the election, the way it was conducted and the way the votes were counted," Qurei told the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper. "There were behind-the-scenes arrangements that removed some names and added others to the [winning] list."

Pointing out that three of the candidates who were elected were former security commanders who used to work closely with Israel, Qurei asked: "Was it by coincidence that these men won?" He said that the election of these candidates - Jibril Rajoub, Muhammad Dahlan and Tawfik Tirawi - showed that "someone wants to see rubber stamps" among the Fatah leadership. "This is a harsh and difficult phase and there are offers for a temporary state without Jerusalem and the refugees," Qurei said. "Apparently there are some people who have taken this into consideration."
He hinted that PA President Mahmoud Abbas and some of his loyalists had intervened to secure spots for their supporters in the Central Committee.

Earlier, every member of Fatah's Higher Committee in the Gaza Strip submitted their resignations, in protest against what one of them described as "massive fraud" in the election for the Central Committee. The resignations are seen as a serious embarrassment for Abbas and Fatah.

"The Fatah leaders in the Gaza Strip reject the results of the vote," said Ahmed Abu Nasr, a senior Fatah official. "These elections have damaged Fatah's reputation."
He added that dozens of Fatah delegates from the Strip who were denied the right to cast their ballots were demanding the establishment of a commission of inquiry to look into their allegations.

Many Fatah members were shocked late Wednesday when they discovered that one of Abbas's old-time colleagues, Tayeb Abdel Rahim, was added to the list of winners at the last minute.
Preliminary results had shown that Abdel Rahim, a prominent representative of the Fatah old guard, did not get enough votes.

Qurei and other Fatah operatives cited the case of Abdel Rahim as an example of the "dishonest" manner in which the voting process was conducted. They condemned his inclusion in the winners' list as "extremely disgraceful."

Hatem Abdel Qader, a Fatah operative belonging to the younger generation, said that a growing number of his colleagues were beginning to express doubts about the integrity of the vote. He said that he had no doubt that some leaders had intervened with the voting process to influence the results.
Abdel Qader expressed fear that the same thing would happen with the election for the Revolutionary Council, the second most important Fatah institution after the Central Committee. Final results for the 120-seat council were scheduled to be announced later on Thursday.

Also on Thursday, dozens of Fatah members signed a petition rejecting the outcome of the Central Committee election and calling for an independent probe into allegations of fraud and deception.

Abbas held a press conference in Ramallah during which he denied that Fatah was on the verge of a split.

He hailed the elections for the two Fatah bodies as democratic and successful.
He also salid he understood “the motives of angry Fatah operatives like Qurei who had lost out in the vote.”

Prominent Fatah leaders plan to form new faction

[ 13/08/2009 - 02:54 PM ]

LONDON, (PIC)-- The London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper has revealed Thursday that a big group of prominent Fatah leaders and former members of the faction’s central committee were holding serious talks to bolt their mother faction and form a new faction.
The paper mentioned names of a number of the movement famous leaders like Abu Shaker Al-Natshe, Nasr Yousef, and Mohammed Jihad among others, adding that the group was contacting many Fatah leaders in the Gaza Strip and abroad to form the new faction, which they agreed to initially name as “Fatah - The Awakening”.

Many veteran Fatah leaders, including Ahmed Qurei, Farouq Qaddoumi, and Ahmad Nasr asserted that the election process in the sixth conference was dubious, adding that votes of the electorate were forged to serve the agenda of certain groups within the Movement known for their coordination with the Israeli occupation.

“There was a snowballing state of anger within the Movement over the cheating that occurred during the voting and canvassing process, and for sure, there was something arranged in the dark that brought certain names to the central committee”, asserted Qurei.

For his part, Qaddoumi underlined that a number of those who succeeded in ascending to the central committee were behind national catastrophes that rocked the Palestinian social fabric and put the Palestinian issue at risk. “Those people should be prosecuted for those heinous crimes not elected to the central committee”.

In Gaza Strip, Nasr stressed that the votes of Gaza members weren’t taken into consideration deeming the whole process illegal, and doesn’t reflect the real opinion of the members.

He warned that what had happened was indeed a catastrophe that would pave the road for horrible political degradation, which the entire Palestinian people would pay the price for.