Saturday 25 July 2009

Gilad Atzmon - Bruno: A Glimpse into Zionism?


By Gilad Atzmon • Jul 25th, 2009 at 13:24 • Category: Analysis, Gilad Atzmon, Gilad's Choice, Israel, Newswire, Opinions and Letters, Our Authors, Religion, Zionism

Bruno, Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest invention is a grotesque Austrian gay celebrity who comes to America to try to boost the ratings of his fashion television program. Bruno is one of the most repugnant characters ever to appear on the big screen, something Baron Cohen probably takes pride in. Bruno is Cohen’s third gross character in succession. At times it seems as if Cohen is seeking pleasure in being repelling. After mimicking an ignoramus stereotype of a non-black suburban male who revels in Black and Jamaican culture (Ali G) and a Kazakh misogynist, racist buffoon and anti-Semite (Borat), Bruno can be grasped as another creative attempt to challenge the Western liberal discourse.

Those who insist on approving Cohen’s intellectual aspirations argue in his favor that he manages to bring to light some of our inherent Western diseases: racism (Ali G), xenophobia (Borat) and homophobia (Bruno). I am slightly doubtful of such an interpretation of Cohen’s intellectual endeavor. None of Cohen’s protagonists can evoke empathic feelings amongst the people they harass. Instead they seem to compete amongst themselves for the ultimate Vulgar Award. Whether it is Borat, who approaches his host’s dinner table and his guests with his excrement in a plastic bag, or Bruno, who shares with us his anally intimate love games, Cohen’s protagonists are rejected for being truly and genuinely disgusting.

Yes, Cohen’s characters can be entreating, they can make us laugh; yet, the fact that they are rejected contemptibly is far from telling about our society. However, these scenes may throw some light about their creator, Mr Baron Borat Bruno Ali G Cohen and the social conditions he himself is imbued in.

Two years ago while in the process of gathering information about Cohen previous film Borat, I found out that Cohen had put back his wedding to former Home and Away star Isla Fisher due to some deep ‘religious’ reasons. "The couple," so I learned, "have postponed the big day so Isla could study the Bible in Israel before converting to Sacha's religion of Judaism." This was enough to convince me at the time that Cohen wasn’t that different from his chauvinistic, tribally-orientated protagonist Borat. For those who fail to understand the meaning of the above, Cohen is not just Jewish, he didn’t just ask his fiancée to join his extended family, he didn’t send her to a London Rabbi either. He really went for the ‘full Monty,’ that is: the Israeli experience. Cohen is in fact a devout Zionist and it would be interesting to elaborate and analyze his work from a Jewish Identity-politics perspective.

Though Ali G, Borat and Bruno have nothing to do with Judaism or Zionism, their identity struggle is, interestingly enough, a complete repetition of the Zionist identity complex. As in the case of Zionism, Ali G, Borat and Bruno are in a state of a complete dismissal of others. As if this is not enough, they are also celebrating their symptoms in public and at the expense of their victims.

Zionism, similarly, is a celebration of a newly-invented Jewish Identity. The Zionists set themselves to do it all on the expense of the Palestinian people. Until recently, some Zionist leaders refused to acknowledge the existence of Palestinian people. Zionism is a political setting that inherently dismisses others. One can look at the IDF’s brutality towards Palestinians, another can reflect on David Ben Gurion’s famous quote: “It doesn’t matter what the Goyim say, all that matters is what Jews do”. Interestingly enough Ali G, Borat and Bruno are celebrating a very similar form of dismissal. They are self-centered protagonists who care mostly about themselves and their own unique actions and symptoms.

However, as much as Bruno is by far Cohen’s most repulsive character to date, he is also, emotionally at least, the most developed character out of the three. Unlike Ali G and Borat, Bruno is self-conscious. He has clear desires and he struggles to fill his inner void. In fact the audience is mobilized as a witness to Bruno’s evolving self-awareness. As great as Bruno’s desires are, his repeated failures are no less than a total devastation. He is desperate to be accepted as a celebrity. He would do whatever it takes to get there. He would swap his iPod for an African cute little toddler just to ‘appear’ like Madonna; he would try to drag Ron Paul into a porn scene just to hit the news with an ‘item’. He interprets success in symbolic terms rather than anything that is related to merit.

Jewish nationalism is very similar. It is a project run by Israelis who crave to be a people like other people. But for some bizarre reason they fail to understand what the notion of ‘other people’ stands for. They can only understand it symbolically in terms of a set of material identifiers.
When you ask an Israeli ‘how can you be so cruel to the Palestinians?’ The answer will be thrown back at you, “Haven’t the Americans been cruel with their Indians? Didn’t the Brits do the same in India?”

The Israeli may even interpret state terrorism and barbarism as a natural symbol of sovereignty.

Bruno yearns to be a celeb amongst celebrities. The Zionist is craving to join the family of nations. Like Bruno, Zionists understand their nationhood in symbolic terms, they have a flag, an air force, nuclear bombs and wars. For some reason, it is just a genuine compassion which they lack–probably because genuine feeling and authenticity cannot be reduced into mere symbolism. It is the real love to their alleged ‘historic land’ which the Zionist fail to exhibit when shredding it with walls of separation. Like the Zionist, Bruno is pretty much stuck; he cannot transcend himself beyond the symbolic order. As much as the Zionists find it difficult to become an ordinary nation considering their symptoms (non-ethical existence together with racial supremacy), Bruno finds it very hard to integrate into society considering who he is (lacking ethical awareness and imbued in his gay solipsistic (1) universe).

While in his early work Baron Cohen managed to fail to distinguish between Identity and being, in his latest work he may have become aware of this crucial dichotomy. Gay and homosexuality, for instance, are very different categories. While ‘Gay’ refers to an Identity largely associated with a set of symbolic identifiers, homosexuality refers to a sexual preference.

Interestingly enough, throughout the film Bruno operates as a Gay icon. He is totally imbued within the Gay symbolic realm, he swings his buttocks without leaving any room for doubt about who he is and what he stands for: he wears the right clothes and uses the right manner of speech. But then, towards the very last scene, it all changes, Bruno for the first time surrenders to his true authentic sexual desire.

At a certain stage Bruno realises that in order to become a celebrity he would have to be ‘straight’. In the final scene we meet Bruno in a wrestling arena surrounded by rednecks. Bruno, the natural chameleon (2), is now an anti-Gay macho figure. He manages to evoke cheers from his new crowd by spitting some rabid homophobic statements. For a second it works. For the first time in the film Bruno is accepted by his surrounding social reality. Very much like the Assimilated Jew who follows Moses Mendelssohn’s (3) line of thought ‘be a Goy in the street and a Jew in your dwelling’, Bruno is mimicking the ‘straight’ on stage while keeping his true identity hidden, but the truth is chasing him and cannot be concealed.

All of a sudden, his ex-assistant, an authentic homosexual who has been loving Bruno all the way through appears from the crowd. “You are Gay” he shouts to Bruno as he makes his way through the throng. The assistant's role in the film is similar to Herzl’s and Weizmann’s task within the Zionist epic narrative. Herzl and Weizmann are there to tell their fellow assimilated Jews, ‘stop pretending at being American, French, British, Bolsheviks, Cosmopolitans and Atheists, you are primarily Jews and you better behave accordingly.’

In the film it doesn’t take more than a few seconds before Bruno and his assistant depart into a same-sex act of genuine love making. Seemingly, for the first time Bruno follows his heart rather than banal symbolism. This is obviously a repetition of the Zionist message. As opposed to Mendelssohn deceitful dualism, the Zionists would tell their followers: do not pretend to be a Goy, do not pretend to be a cosmopolitan, do not pretend to be a Marxist, just surrender to your real and true Jewish reality.

But here we do encounter a slight problem. While Bruno has a homosexual reality to safely land upon, it is not clear at all whether there is any Jewish coherent genuine reality except Judaism. The Jewish socialist identity (bund) collapsed half a century ago. The Zionists had been trying to claim a valid and coherent Jewish national secular identity, but all they really present us with is merciless conduct and a barbarian state terrorism that have very little in common with humanity. If there is a Jewish humanist school, the nature of its (uniquely Jewish) value system remains unclear. The lack of a coherent and consistent Jewish secular Identity may explain why all forms of Jewish secularity are highly engaged in symbolism. Whether it is Zionism, Jewish anti-Zionism, Jewish secularism or even Jewish humanism, it is almost always engaged in conveying a symbolic image rather than aiming at the real thing (4).

As much as I find it hard to cope with Cohen’s latest repugnant character, I may as well have to admit that in light of the above realizations of Bruno as an insightful metaphor, the film may not be that bad after all.

1. Solipstic: the belief that the only thing somebody can be sure of is that he or she exists, and that true knowledge of anything else is impossible.

2. Not only is Bruno is a chameleon he is also invented and performed by Britain's NO 1 chameleon namely Cohen.

3. Moses Mendelssohn (September 6, 1729 – January 4, 1786) was a Jewish thinker largely associated with Haskalah (Jewish Enlightenment) and with ideas to do with Jewish assimilation.

4. Judaism is also saturated with symbolism, yet, one would expect that Jewish secularization would lead towards an authenticity that goes beyond mere symbolism.

Tagged as: , , ,

Gilad Atzmon is a jazz musician, composer, producer and writer.
Email this author All posts by Gilad Atzmon

Miliband: "Syria in a unique position to influence Iranian policy choices..."


Haaretz, here

"For that, we believe we can play a role but we cannot take decisions on behalf of Iran. They have to take their decisions according to their interest," Moualem said. ...
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has shown signs of taking a tougher approach toward the West after he won a disputed election in June, ...

Miliband said Syria was in a "unique position to influence Iranian policy choices." ...

Posted by G, Z, & or B at 6:53 AM

Israeli Settler’s Spin!


By Jamal Dajani

The Israeli Haaretz newspaper reported that the Obama Administration has issued a stiff warning to Israel not to build in the area known as E-1, which lies between Jerusalem and the West Bank settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim. Any change in the status quo in E-1 would be “extremely damaging”, even “corrosive”, the message said. Four years ago, after resigning from Sharon’s government, Netanyahu criticized him for giving in to American pressure on E-1. “A sovereign government must build in its eternal capital,” he said. “Sharon set a precedent that will lead to the division of Jerusalem.”

Controversy over illegal Israeli settlement activities is not something new. It has been in and out of the limelight ever since Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967. In the past it was an ongoing subject of dispute between the Israeli government and the U.S. Administration, most notably under presidents Jimmy Carter, and George Bush Senior. Now it is Barack Obama’s turn.

Meanwhile the number of settlers living in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, where Palestinians regard the area as the heart of their future state, is swiftly approaching half a million. Israel has, in the former Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Shamir’s words, been successfully “creating new facts on the ground.” However, the past U.S. policy toward Israel’s illegal settlements construction in the Occupied Territories has been largely noninterventionist so that demand for a moratorium on settlement building in East Jerusalem by the Obama Administration is seen today as “hard line.”

Meanwhile, the recent confrontations between Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama over the settlements issue has been posing a PR nightmare to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and The Israel Project, the organization spearheading Israel’s public relations efforts in the United States, which has recently released its 2009 Global Language Dictionary, authored by Republican pollster Frank Luntz.

-When discussing Israeli settlements, the author suggests avoiding religious arguments or quoting from the Bible, warning that “even your Jewish audiences will recoil.”-Claiming that the land really “belongs” to Israel is “unconvincing because, officially, Israel itself defines the territories as ‘disputed.’

In 2005, I co-produced the documentary Occupied Minds with my Israeli colleague David Michaelis. During our visits and interviews conducted in settlements across the West Bank, we faced the very arguments that the Israel Project is trying to avoid being made by fanatical settlers whose strategy is to make life so miserable for Palestinians living in nearby villages that they will eventually flee, enabling them to occupy their abandoned land. These settlers justify their right to this land as being “granted to them by God.”
Victims of these unchecked settler incursions, the poor villagers live in cramped neighborhoods either menaced by settlers, surrounded by either Israel’s “Separation Wall” or barbed wires or all of these. They are not beneficiaries of Israel’s ludicrous “natural growth” argument although Palestinians childbirth rate is three times greater than that of Israelis. One settlement leader suggested Palestinians move to Jordan… “It is a generous offer,” he added.

Will Obama succeed where other U.S. presidents have failed? – Only time will tell…with more settlements and more “facts on the ground,” the road to a two-state solution has hit a dead end.

July 24, 2009 Posted by Elias

Afghanistan: “Big Beasts,” Big Bloodbath


Media Lens

July 24, 2009

Closing The Loop

The "big beasts" of the pre-digital media age are in big trouble, the Guardian tells us. In the last year, they have faced, not only structural challenges but the worst recession for a generation:

"As advertising revenues dried up, newspaper, television and radio owners – especially those in local media – faced a stark challenge: adapt or die.

"The result was tens of thousands of job losses and unprecedented uncertainty over how the media landscape will look in just a few years’ time. How many national newspapers will survive? Can commercial radio avoid complete meltdown? How much are people prepared to pay for content online – if at all?" 9

At the heart of the uncertainty lies the internet and how to make it pay. For 100 years the corporate mass media has flourished thanks to its monopoly of the means of mass communication. Reviewing the history of the British media, James Curran and Jean Seaton write that the industrialisation of the press in the early twentieth century triggered "a progressive transfer of power from the working class to wealthy businessmen, while dependence on advertising encouraged the absorption or elimination of the early radical press and stunted its subsequent development before the First World War."1

The effect of advertising was dramatic: "one of four things happened to national radical papers that failed to meet the requirements of advertisers. They either closed down; accommodated to advertising pressure by moving up-market; stayed in a small audience ghetto with manageable losses; or accepted an alternative source of institutional patronage."2

Unable to compete on price and outreach, the radical press was pushed to the margins. Hard to believe now, but there were once 325 newspapers and magazines published by supporters of the US Socialist Party, reaching 2 million subscribers.

A torrent of propaganda has poured out of the corporate media monopoly. Former BBC Controller, Stuart Hood, argued that both the BBC and commercial TV have always "interpreted impartiality as the acceptance of that segment of opinion which constitutes parliamentary consensus. Opinion that falls outside that consensus has difficulty in finding expression."3

But if media "impartiality" is based on the "parliamentary consensus" then, by definition, even highly rational challenges to that consensus will be rejected as "biased" and will "find difficulty in finding expression". An example was provided in 2006 by the BBC’s Diplomatic Correspondent Bridget Kendall:

"There’s still bitter disagreement over invading Iraq. Was it justified or a disastrous miscalculation?"4

The "parliamentary consensus" does indeed limit thinkable thought between the two poles arguing that the invasion was either "justified" or, at worst, a "miscalculation". The far more reasonable argument — that the invasion was a war crime — is usually ignored because it falls beyond "that segment of opinion which constitutes parliamentary consensus".

Amazingly, then, parliament is, in effect, granted the right to define reality, with the media acting in support to affirm the definition. If this sounds fantastical, consider comments made in 2004 by Nick Robinson, then political editor at ITV news, in the Times:

In the run-up to the conflict, I and many of my colleagues, were bombarded with complaints that we were acting as mouthpieces for Mr Blair. Why, the complainants demanded to know, did we report without question his warning that Saddam was a threat? Hadn’t we read what Scott Ritter had said or Hans Blix? I always replied in the same way. It was my job to report what those in power were doing or thinking… That is all someone in my sort of job can do. We are not investigative reporters.5

Thus, the media act as intellectual filters, reinforcing the consensus view and ignoring or attacking challenges to it. If it turns out that parliament is in thrall to elite interests offering a Tweedledum/Twiddledee no-choice, then the media will promote, rather than expose, this empty shell of a democracy. And this, of course, is exactly the situation we are in: politics and media work together to insulate power from rational thought and public interference.

The corporate media got away with its role in this closed-loop oppression for so long by simple virtue of its monopoly power to suppress dissent. But the world has changed. The internet allows non-corporate journalists and commentators to bypass the corporate gatekeepers and communicate to a global audience, instantly, at almost zero cost. These analysts generally do not charge for their work — almost all radical material is freely available on the internet.

And here is the rub for the mainstream: this non-corporate journalism is unconstrained by the distorting influence of wealthy owners and parent companies with busy fingers in any number of economic and political pies. It is unconstrained by the reliance of corporate journalists on corporate advertising, with all that that implies. It is uncompromised by the insidious dependence on government and other official sources for cheap news; by thoughts of career progression in the revolving door between journalism, public relations and government.

The result is really beyond argument: dissident reporting and commentary is rational, honest and, therefore, interesting, in a way that corporate journalism can never be. This has struck us with very great force, many times. In researching specialist issues relating, for example, to Haiti, Iran, Korea and the financial crisis, we constantly find ourselves unable to make sense of the mainstream version of events, which is compromised and distorted to the point of incomprehensibility. By contrast, when we turn to independent, non-corporate expert opinion, we are quickly able to understand what is happening and why. (The specialists cited in our recent media alert, 'Cartoon Korea’, provide an excellent example of this.) The mainstream is just not able to compete on honesty and rationality. And, crucially, it needs to charge for its extremely poor product.

The deceptiveness of the corporate media version of the world is all around us, rendered invisible (like the nose on our face) only by its omnipresence. In announcing MediaGuardian’s latest annual list of the 100 "most powerful people" in the media, the Guardian boldly declares of itself:

"The paper is the voice of the left in the British press."

Evidence for the claim is proffered: "a Guardian leader last month said Labour should replace Gordon Brown as its party leader and prime minister. 'The truth is there is no vision from him, no plan, no argument for the future and no support,’ it said."

This is the Guardian’s idea of speaking up for the left!

At 51 on the Guardian list, the BBC’s political editor Nick Robinson is a fiercely challenging interviewer, we are to believe. He "can have earned no higher accolade than that afforded him before Barack Obama’s first appearance before the British press. He has 'generally considered the most important job in British political journalism’, said a briefing prepared for the president by US intelligence officials. It added that he has 'carved out a niche as a persistent irritant to world leaders’."

Again, an example is given. Robinson proved his mettle by "stumping the normally word-perfect Obama with a question about who was to blame for the financial crisis. Robinson, with his trademark glasses and bald pate, presumably won’t have to be pointed out to the president next time."

This is the anaemic version of dissent sold by an industry whose priority is "the smooth operation of the machinery of everyday life and the perpetuation of the present arrangement of wealth and power," as Howard Zinn has noted.6

In January 2003, Robinson told ITV news anchor Nicholas Owen:

"However, Nick, they look at these things in a slightly different way in Downing Street. Yes, almost two-thirds of the public say they're not convinced of the case for war, that it hasn't yet been made, but Tony Blair would probably say the same - he would say we're not yet making the case for war, we're making the case that you have to be ready for war otherwise Saddam Hussein won't back down. The difficulty, as one Downing Street insider put it to me, is we're more in a parallel with 1930 than with 1939. In other words, this isn't a dictator who's already attacked another country; it's a dictator who +might+ do something, who's got potential. His [Blair's] message, very simply, Nick, is we have to confront this man - we can't back down." 7

Robinson later described how hundreds of British troops were "risking their lives to bring peace and security to the streets of Iraq."8

The MediaGuardian 100 list at least provides some insight into the world of the "big beasts" who control what we know and think. Consider number 8 on the list, Rebekah Brooks (nee Wade), editor of the Sun and chief executive elect of News International:

Married last month to her second husband, horse trainer Charlie Brooks, the guest list at the wedding was like a who’s who of Westminster, Fleet Street and the City including Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Jeremy Clarkson, Carphone Warehouse boss Charles Dunstone, and the extended Murdoch family, including Rupert, James, Elisabeth and her husband, Matthew Freud. The Daily Telegraph editor, Will Lewis, was the best man.

A feature in Tatler magazine last month described how the pair liked to rise early 'at their two-bedroom taupe-painted barn outside Chipping Norton’ to fly to Venice by private jet for lunch at Harry’s Bar before returning to central London for dinner at Wilton’s restaurant in Jermyn Street.

Afghanistan — "The Verbiage About 'Democracy's War’"

The latest manifestation of the media monopoly reinforcing a "parliamentary consensus" involves the US-UK war on Afghanistan. In an article entitled, 'Back our boys — they fight for your lives,’ Sue Carroll asks in the Mirror:

Enjoy your barbecue at the weekend? Sleep easy in your bed last night? Get to work without any problems? I trust you did because this is what liberty is all about. The right to live safely in a civilised community free from the oppression of thugs and fanatics who wouldn’t think twice about crushing our democracy and slaughtering us as we sleep.

It’s hard-earned, this easy living. Millions of men have died for our freedom and more are losing their lives in Afghanistan to protect us. So less of the hand-wringing please about whether we should or should not be fighting a war against the Taliban. It’s a no-brainer.

This is the approved propaganda view, not just of the current conflict, but of every war throughout history. The Telegraph comments:

"The conflict in Afghanistan is complex and difficult but it is, on balance, a war worth fighting to crush the camps which train terrorists for assaults on Western cities."9

There are problems, in fact absurdities, but conveniently, the Telegraph reminds us, "The Obama surge is addressing all that."9 Indeed, the Telegraph did a good job of explaining Obama’s utility and popularity right across the political spectrum:

"If this anti-Iraq war disciple of 'soft power’ feels the need to put 20,000 more American troops in harm’s way, there surely must be good reason for concern."10

We can be sure Obama knows best. Curiously, the disciple of "soft power" has ("temporarily") increased the size of the US Army by 22,000 soldiers, raising the total number of active US soldiers from 547,000 to 569,000.

In 2004, an Egyptian academic described how hatred of the US is rooted in its support for "every possible anti-democratic government in the Arab-Islamic world… When we hear American officials speaking of freedom, democracy and such values, they make terms like these sound obscene."11

The Financial Times reported: "while only might can destroy al-Qaeda, its expanding support base can be eroded only by policies Arabs and Muslims see as just". Destroying al-Qaeda will therefore have little effect if "the underlying conditions that facilitated the group’s emergence and popularity – political oppression and economic marginalisation – will persist."12

Two political scientists commented:

"Delicate social and political problems cannot be bombed or 'missiled’ out of existence… Violence can be likened to a virus; the more you bombard it, the more it spreads."13

Ami Ayalon, the head of Israel’s General Security Service (Shabak) from 1996 to 2000, has suggested that "those who want victory" against terror without addressing underlying grievances "want an unending war."14

This appeared to be obvious to the editors of the Guardian in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks. On September 15, 2001, a Guardian editorial observed:

"But America’s dilemma, once the verbiage about 'democracy’s war’ and 'freedom’s brightest beacon’ is cut away, is that its military options, to the extent that they are currently understood, are largely unsuited to the task in hand.

"Indeed, much of what appears to be under contemplation will just make matters worse. For consider: any major air and/or ground attack mounted against Afghanistan in pursuit of prime suspect Osama bin Laden will certainly produce civilian casualties. It may not produce Bin Laden (who may not even be there). Such an attack would inflame Muslim opinion and hand the terrorists a second triumph: following Manhattan, here would be the 'holy war’ they have long sought to provoke."15

Consider how the ideological blinkers had fallen over the Guardian’s eyes by 2006 in relation to "democracy’s war", when it referred to "the foreigners helping steer this long-suffering country towards stability and democracy."16

More recently, the Guardian noted that the reality in Afghanistan "is a country where security is getting worse and advances – such as democracy, the return of refugees and universal education – are under threat."17

Not only had "the verbiage about 'democracy’s war’" been more than verbiage, it had resulted in actual democracy, which was now under threat.

By striking contrast, the war correspondent Reginald Thompson commented on attempts to bring "democracy" to the Korean peninsula by force of arms in the 1950s. In his superb book, Cry Korea, published in 1951, Thompson wrote:

"What a mockery it was to name this kind of thing democracy! What a Quixotic business – at best – to try to establish it, to imagine it possible to establish an evolutionary result without evolution."18

Thompson was even able to comprehend Chinese suspicions:

"But would the USA or the UN leave Korea? China might think not – it was already apparent to all observers that democracy is not a saleable commodity but an evolutionary growth in certain circumstances. It might take a long time to take root, even given the circumstances, in a peasant country like Korea, accustomed only to tyranny of one kind of another. So that the US and UN role might be reasonably that of conquerors and colonisers."19

By contrast, an Independent leader comments:

"We need to be mentally prepared for the duration of this vital mission to secure Afghanistan’s democratic future, as well as the likely human cost."20

Roger Alton, the pro-Iraq war editor of the Independent, remains onside:

The Western mission in Afghanistan, though overshadowed by the foolish invasion of Iraq and often poorly carried out these past eight years, remains a worthy one… Nato troops, including Britain’s contingent, are in Afghanistan at the invitation of the democratically elected government of President Hamid Karzai. And their purpose is to protect civilians from the depredations of the Taliban while the Afghan army builds up the capacity to take over the job.

They are also fighting for the protection of British citizens. Some three-quarters of UK terror plots under surveillance by the authorities have links to militants based on the Afghan/ Pakistan border. The Taliban granted al-Qa’ida a base before 2001. There is no reason to suppose they would not do the same again if they returned to power. Our own security is bound up with the safety of the Afghan people.20

In a rare departure from the propaganda norm, the Guardian published comments by former diplomat and deputy governor in occupied Iraq, Rory Stewart, now Ryan Family professor of the practice of human rights, Harvard University:

Afghanistan’s political and strategic significance has been grossly exaggerated. The idea that we are there so we don’t have to fight terrorists in Britain is absurd. The terrorist cells and training camps are not in Afghanistan. The people the Americans and British are fighting in Afghanistan are mostly local tribesmen resisting foreign forces. Does al-Qaida still require large terrorist training camps to organise attacks?

Could they not plan in Hamburg and train at flight schools in Florida; or meet in Bradford and build morale on an adventure training course in Wales? Those who argue that we have the right strategy provided we have enough troops and equipment were saying not long ago that if we had only had 7,000 troops in Helmand instead of 5,000, we could defeat the Taliban.

Impressively honest, but Stewart’s views on Afghanistan have been mentioned in a total of four articles in the entire UK national press. As ever, opinion that falls outside the parliamentary consensus "has difficulty in finding expression".



July 25, 2009 at 7:38 am (Activism, Assassinations, Culture, DesertPeace Exclusive, Gaza, Humanitarian Aid, Israel, Palestine, Rachel Corrie, zionist harassment)

Never Forget - Rachel Corrie (Ben Heine)

Israel and its watchdogs have been on special alert regarding criticisms coming from Jews and Jewish organisations. It’s almost as if they want the world at large to believe that all Jews stand behind them and support their policies of genocide, ethnic cleansing and apartheid. Anyone who is a regular reader of this Blog knows that nothing is further from the truth.

The latest uproar is about a film called Rachel…. a film by Simone Bitton about the death of Rachel Corrie. Ms. Bitton is not only Jewish, she is also an Israeli! That’s way too much for the zionists to swallow… so the campaign to boycott the film has started….


Below you will find some interesting information about the film and the efforts to keep it from the public eye….

The following is from an entry on Daily Kos

The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, the largest Jewish Film festival in the world, will screen many films this year, many with discussion with filmmakers and others featured in the film. Some of these films will be controversial, there will be all sorts of issues explored.

None has generated more controversy than the film “Rachel”, a film by Jewish-Israeli filmmaker Simone Bitton about the death of Rachel Corrie, the young woman killed by an Israeli-military bulldozer as she was protecting homes in the Rafah, Gaza. At the request of the filmmaker, they have invited Cindy Corrie, Rachel’s mother to speak. Big time controversy and condemnation by a weekly Jewish magazine and even from the local Israel Consul General.

Cindy Corrie has publicly advocated for ensuring “justice, freedom, security and economic viability for both Israelis and Palestinians.”

Israel Consul General protests the presence of Cindy Corrie:

“The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival made a serious error in judgment in inviting Mrs. Corrie to the festival,” Israel Consul General Akiva Tor said via e-mail. “She is a propagandist who is immune from responsibility for the causes she supports because it was her daughter, Rachel, who was accidentally killed.

“So her staged presence becomes a kind of emotional grandstanding, rather than pursuit of a deeper insight.”

Propagandist? The Consul General has been busy supporting policies of expanding settlements in the West Bank, supporting the war on Gaza, supporting a brutal blockade, and now will be supporting a policy of muzzling Palestinians, and Jewish Israelis, who dare to commemorate the Nakba of 1948. The Foreign Minister, his boss, is seen by many (even Israeli diplomats) as extreme as fascist Haider of Austria… and this man is calling Cindy Corrie a “propagandist”? Cindy Corrie who wants justice, freedom, security and economic viability for both Israelis and Palestinians?

I think its a way of saying there is a point of view that the Consul General finds might disturb the status quo. Change might happen. Scary. Also a way to challenge the official narrative. “accidental” he says? That’s the official line. Not so fast. Maybe not an accident. as perhaps the deaths of hundreds of civilians in the war on Gaza of December/January is perhaps not an accident, or the continuing blockade that brings hunger to the people of Gaza is not an accident. Perhaps the latter atrocity is nothing more than a joke among its designers.

Jewish Voice for Peace, a national group based in the Bay Area, is one of the groups co-sponsoring this film, and they are to be commended for their courage, as well as the festival organizers. Compare this to the sometimes successful effort to not allow the staging of the play: “My Name is Rachel Corrie” at several theaters around the country (which helped tremendously, no doubt, with publicity and its success where it was produced).

Here is how Cecilie Surasky of Jewish Voice for Peace responds to J Weekly’s editorial opposing the presence of Cindy Corrie.

There’s something so deeply, deeply depressing about the attack against Cindy Corrie by J Weekly, the Bay Area’s Jewish newspaper. True, it’s just one of countless examples of the moral malaise that plagues the institutional Jewish world when it comes to Palestinians, but on this day, this day when I am fresh back from Gaza, from Hebron, from Silwan, it has gotten to me.

I’m not sure which is worse- the possibility that the J’s editorial writer actually believes the morally groundless drivel he or she is writing? Or the possibility that they know full well that the moral outrage that is the Israeli treatment of Gazans is an affront to all Jews and feeling people, but that they care more about keeping advertisers happy.

Change is happening, both in the Jewish Community and the wider community, and the keepers of the status quo cannot shut it down. that’s not to say they are not trying. This should be seen in the wider context. In Israel, beyond the attempt to erase “Nakba” from the history books, (see assaf’s diary)there is also the arrest and detention of Jewish groups who desire a different future for Israel, not based on militarism and oppression. The government must resort to repression not just of Palestinians, which is widely-accepted Israeli tradition, but now even Jewish dissidents. It is the criminalization of dissent, by any means necessary.

It won’t work. Arrests will not work. Personal attacks will not work. Like the ones that will accumulate below, more likely than not, some based purely on the idea that most of my diaries deal with oppression of Palestinian rights… what if i were focusing on the Health Care debate… would there be this wild accusations without basis if i was consistently unfriendly to insurance company policies? Is there some mathematical formula to determine one’s “acceptable” criticism of Israel? It really is nothing less than a lame attempt to avoid dealing with substance, and diverting people’s attention.

This movement to demand justice in the Middle East is already too large, too diverse for that to work. They will call Rachel and her mother “terrorist sympathizers” who have no business going to Gaza. Like they say that Ezra Nawi has no business protect homes in the West Bank. Like others said that Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner had no business going to Mississippi to support the movement for justice there. Or like others said that Ita Ford, Maura Clarke, Dorothy Kazel and Jean Donovan had no business in El Salvador.

It is our business to share in the struggle for human rights and peace.

Rachel will be shown on Saturday, July 25th, 1:30 pm at the beautiful Castro Theater in San Francisco. Cindy Corrie Will be there.

Here is the Statement from the organisors of the San Francisco Film Festival….on why they are screening Rachel

Why San Francisco Jewish Film Festival is showing Rachel, a film by Simone Bitton about

Rachel Corrie, and inviting Cindy Corrie, Rachel Corrie’s mother, to the Festival:

1. The film Rachel is directed by veteran filmmaker Simone Bitton, a dual citizen of Israel and France. The documentary takes an unflinching look at the controversy surrounding the death of an American activist who was protesting Israeli military actions in Gaza. In the film, Bitton, through interviews with eyewitnesses, Israeli soldiers and spokespeople, and others close to the tragedy, exposes new information about the incident which we believe makes for very worthwhile viewing, from both a journalistic and an aesthetic perspective. The film has already played in such prestigious festivals as the Berlin International Film Festival and Tribeca Film Festival (New York).

2. The film Rachel includes the viewpoints of people with a variety of opinions on the events which led to Ms. Corrie’s death. It includes interviews with Israeli army spokeswoman Avital Leibovitch, as well as doctors, activists, soldiers, Israeli and Palestinian civilians, and Rachel Corrie’s parents. The film also includes military video from the Israeli army.

3. As with all the films we show at SFJFF, we are presenting the views of the filmmakers and their subjects in what we hope is an atmosphere that encourages free expression and public debate. We regret that the filmmaker of Rachel could not be present to discuss the film personally, although we invited her to be here. Cindy Corrie, Rachel Corrie’s mother, is a subject of the documentary, and it is customary (and even expected by audiences) for documentary subjects to participate in Festival screenings. This kind of exchange has occurred throughout our Festival’s long history, and Cindy Corrie herself has addressed audiences at the Tribeca Film Festival, presentations in New York theaters, and other cultural forums. We wish to provide our audiences with the same opportunity. Her appearance at SFJFF is not intended to provide a political platform but rather to deepen the dialogue around the film. Cindy Corrie has publicly advocated for ensuring “justice, freedom, security and economic viability for both Israelis and Palestinians.” We think it will be an illuminating conversation.

4. We are presenting the film as part of a wider series on social justice and activism, and want our audience to have the benefit of a direct encounter with those who can help them understand Rachel Corrie’s motivations ‐ even if they don’ agree with them ‐ from a very personal standpoint. The filmmaker considers herself a film essayist rather than a reporter and desires the film to be viewed as an artistic statement as well as an investigation.

5. SFJFF’ commitment to Israeli filmmakers and cinema is steadfast. We are proud that this year we are showcasing 37 individual films from or connected to Israel –comedies, dramas, documentaries, animation and shorts –which together form a very vibrant portrait of the country and its complexity. Other political affairs documentaries besides Rachel include Gilad Shalit: 2 Years in Captivity, a portrait of Gilad Shalit, the soldier captured by Hamas; and Chronicle of a Kidnap, a portrait of Karnit Goldwasser, the widow of Ehud Goldwasser, an Israeli soldier who was one of many victims of the Lebanon war.

6. The SFJFF supports the democratic exchange of ideas that great filmmaking provides. We believe that the best artists, including documentary filmmakers, create work that makes us think and sparks a dialogue both within the Jewish community and the greater community of the Bay Area. We do not expect that the views of every film or speaker will be embraced by all of our audiences, nor can every film represent the diverse views of SFJFF staff, board, members or sponsors. We unanimously embrace the tradition of spirited debate that is a core element of Jewish inquiry, and strive to provide a welcoming forum for the discussion of different perspectives.

Internet users paid to spread Israeli propaganda


The Israeli foreign ministry have set up an 'undercover' team of Internet-savvy personnel to post on twitter, facebook, comments and talkbacks to convey a pro-Israel slant:
In an interview this month with the Calcalist, an Israeli business newspaper, Shturman, the deputy director of the ministry's hasbara department, admitted his team would be working undercover.
"Our people will not say: 'Hello, I am from the hasbara department of the Israeli foreign ministry and I want to tell you the following.' Nor will they necessarily identify themselves as Israelis," he said. "They will speak as net-surfers and as citizens, and will write responses that will look personal but will be based on a prepared list of messages that the foreign ministry developed."
Hasbara is hebrew for 'public explanation' which means propaganda. This explains why within minutes of someone posting an article on the Guardian, for example, that is pro-Palestinian, comments are posted to support Israel. They don't actually support Israel, they're just paid to do so.

Salah: Home demolition will not force Palestinians to recognize a Jewish state

Salah: Home demolition will not force Palestinians to recognize a Jewish state

[ 25/07/2009 - 09:53 AM ]

UMM AL-FAHM, (PIC)-- Sheikh Ra’ed Salah, the head of the Islamic Movement, stated Friday that the Israeli attempts to pressure Palestinians through demolishing their homes in occupied Jerusalem would never force them to recognize the Israeli occupation as a Jewish state.

During the Friday Khutba (sermon) in Umm Al-Fahm, sheikh Salah highlighted that the Palestinian people would not compromise their Arab and Islamic historical presence in the occupied Palestinian lands.

“This land has been and will continue to speak Arabic, and whatever your are trying to Judaize the names [of Palestinian streets, neighborhoods and areas], your attempts will be doomed to failure,” he said addressing the Israeli occupation authority (IOA).

The Islamic Movement head also deplored the Israeli decision to remove the word “Nakba” (catastrophe) from school textbooks, stressing the Palestinian people would stop commemorating this occasion only when the occupation ends and five million refugees in diaspora return to their homeland.

In a related context, Hamas lawmaker Ali Al-Romanin played down on Saturday the Israeli decision to change the Arab names of streets and areas in Jerusalem and the occupied lands into Jewish ones.

“The fate of this land is to revert to its rightful owners, who are the Palestinians and their steadfastness is the only thing which determines this fate, not names written on the signs,” Romanin said.

MIDEAST: Fatah's Leadership Crisis Deepens

Analysis by Helena Cobban*

This picture is of the Fatah party logo

WASHINGTON, Jul 24 (IPS) - Fifty years ago, a small group of Palestinian teachers and engineers living in Kuwait founded a secretive movement aimed at liberating those portions of previously British-ruled Palestine that became the State of Israel in 1948.

The group they founded, Fatah, went on to dominate the entire Palestinian political scene. In 1969 it took over the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO), which had been founded by the Arab states - as a counter to Fatah - a few years earlier.

In 1993, it was Fatah/PLO head Yasser Arafat who signed the 'Oslo Accord' with Israel; and the following year Arafat became president of the Palestinian Authority (PA) established in occupied Ramallah.

But for several years, Fatah has been in crisis, and now that crisis is coming to a sharp head. Arafat's successor, Mahmoud Abbas, is planning to convene a meeting of Fatah's policymaking General Conference Aug. 4. By insisting on holding it in occupied Bethlehem - which will enable Israel's security forces to completely control who attends and who does not - he has helped split the group's historic leadership down the middle.

In mid-July, Farouq al-Qaddumi, a longtime Fatah leader who is senior to Abbas within the movement, lashed out at Abbas, accusing him of having conspired with Israel and the U.S. to poison Arafat, who died of unknown causes in late 2004.

Qaddumi is one of the numerous Fatah activists and leaders who refused to "return" to the still-occupied West Bank and Gaza after Oslo, arguing that to do so would place Fatah too tightly under the thumb of Israel's occupation regime. He made his recent accusation against Abbas in nearby Amman, Jordan.

The split between these men highlights the much deeper division within Fatah between those who sought, after Oslo, to work with the occupation regime and to get what concessions they could from it, and those who either refused to "return" under the circumstances of occupation or who were barred by Israel from returning.

At present, more than five million Palestinians are forced by Israel to live outside their historic homeland. Many of these exiles are stateless refugees, and many - especially in Lebanon - have lived for decades in very tough conditions. Some 4.3 million Palestinians live in the West Bank and Gaza, which came under Israeli military occupation in 1967.

(An additional 1.3 million Palestinians live inside Israel, where they have citizenship.)

The split within Fatah between the "insiders" - those who live in the occupied territories - and the "outsiders" has been deeply damaging to the movement. The founding idea of Fatah, back in the 1950s, was to demand the "return" to their original homes and farms of all those Palestinians who had been expelled from them by the infant Jewish/Israeli forces in 1948, or who left them during the intensity of that fighting, and have never been allowed to return home since.

When Israel allowed Arafat, Abbas, and a few thousand PLO administrators and fighters to "return" to the occupied territories in 1994, for the vast majority of the returnees this was still only a very incomplete form of the return they had long sought, since they were still barred from going back to the homes and farms they or their parents had left in 1948.

The split between Qaddumi and Abbas goes back to before Oslo. Abbas had been the main architect within Fatah and the PLO of the whole Oslo approach. His idea, as he said in interviews in the late 1980s, was to show the Israelis so much friendship, and give them so many assurances of concern for their safety, that they "could not avoid" meeting the Palestinians' demand for an independent mini-state alongside Israel.

At that time Qaddumi was the person on the PLO's ruling Executive Committee charged with running the PLO's foreign policy. When Abbas pursued the discussions in Norway that led to the Oslo Accord, he was going behind Qaddumi's back. But he had the backing of the powerful, but always very manipulative, PLO/Fatah head, Yasser Arafat.

When the PLO concluded the Oslo Accord with Israel in 1993, Qaddumi and his followers inside Fatah were left out in the cold. Now, 16 years later, they are trying to make a comeback. But one very likely outcome of the current stand-off between Qaddumi and Abbas is that Fatah may break into two or quite possibly many more irreconcilable factions.

There are numerous deep political problems among Fatah leaders and activists within the occupied territories, too. Many longtime activists who were indigenous to the West Bank and Gaza and who led the First Intifada (1987-93) quickly came to resent the arrogance and manipulations that they saw the PLO leaders dishing out to them after they took over the territories in 1994.

These internal tensions inside Fatah are by no means new. But they are coming to a head at a very sensitive time for the Palestinians. Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank are living under conditions of great stress. They, their compatriots in exile, and their sympathisers around the world are all eager that this stress be relieved in the only way that matters - by seeing an end to Israel's unprecedentedly lengthy military occupation of these lands, and the establishment of a fully independent Palestinian state there.

Here in Washington, Pres. Obama has pledged his support for the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel since his first days in office. But thus far, he has taken no concrete actions to bring this about beyond sending his special envoy, Sen. George Mitchell, to the region on no fewer than five "listening tours".

If Mitchell is to succeed, he will need to rapidly construct an inclusive and authoritative negotiating forum in which Palestinians will be represented by a team that is responsive to both Fatah and its main political challenger in Palestinian politics, the Islamist movement Hamas.

In late June, Hamas's head, Khaled Meshaal, affirmed more definitively than ever that Hamas will allow Mahmoud Abbas to conduct the actual negotiations with Israel, so long as any peace treaty that results is submitted to a nationwide referendum of all Palestinians. He has also affirmed Hamas's support for the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 that calls for a complete Israeli withdrawal from the lands occupied in 1967 and a fair resolution of the claims of Palestinian refugees.

In Ramallah, prominent Fatah parliamentarian Azzam al-Ahmed said Thursday that he believes Fatah has finally found a formula to resolve one of its longstanding points of contention with Hamas. There now seems a reasonable hope that the next Fatah-Hamas reconciliation meeting, scheduled for late August in Cairo, might be successful.

But a big question still hangs over whether Fatah itself can preserve its internal unity until then. Many Palestinian analysts have noted that Hamas, which was born originally in Gaza, shifted its national headquarters to outside the occupied territories back in the mid-1990s. And despite many waves of devastating Israeli assassinations against Hamas leaders and activists, the movement has retained its internal organisational integrity and unity.

This was similar to the path followed by South Africa's African National Congress (ANC), which in the 1960s moved its national headquarters to Lusaka, Zambia, rather than keep it under the thumb of the apartheid regime.

The Fatah general conference scheduled for Aug. 4 will be the sixth such gathering. These conferences are supposed to be held every five years - but the movement's internal differences have prevented it from holding one since 1989.

Since then, there have been many big political developments, including Oslo and all the disappointments that flowed from it. The number of Israeli settlers in the West Bank has more than doubled. And Arafat and many other long-time Fatah leaders have died -meaning that the participants' list that Abbas has compiled for the Aug. 4 conference has been challenged by many Fatah factions.

For Fatah's rapidly ageing leaders, it may be very hard now for them to regenerate the movement's leadership bodies. Indeed, at a time when the Palestinian people desperately need leaders who can make big and wise decisions, it may be hard for Fatah's leaders to make any decisions at all.

*Helena Cobban is a veteran Middle East analyst and author. She blogs at


Dahlan: Hamas responsible for wedding blast

Cobtributed by unadulteratedtruth

unadulteratedtruth said...
I've written a piece about the bomb attack on my blog:

12:57 PM, July 24, 2009


Ma’an News Agency reported on Wednesday that Muhammed Dahlan believes that Hamas was responsible for a bomb blast at his nephew’s wedding in Khan Younis, in the Gaza Strip, on Tuesday evening.

Witnesses at the event said an explosion occurred under a stage in a street in the city, injuring the groom and many others, many seriously. The blast is understood to have injured 61 in total.

Dahlan has leveled direct accusations at his long-standing bitter rival Hamas

Dahlan has leveled direct accusations at his long-standing bitter rival Hamas

In an exclusive interview with Gaza “strongman” Dahlan, the Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported Dahlan as claiming that, “Hamas was behind Wednesday’s blast in Khan Younis and Farouq Qaddoumi’s claims of assassination plots against Yasser Arafat are baseless.”

Dahlan was allegedly explicit in his claims that Hamas masterminded the attack, claiming it was yet another attempt to undermine the upcoming Fatah Congress in Bethlehem next month, the first in over twenty years. Dahlan is said to have claimed that after the initial explosion Hamas members threw further explosives into the crowd before firing shots.

Moreover, a Fatah-affiliated website has reported that Hamas operatives contacted the groom’s house shortly before the wedding and demanded it be canceled, before showing up and confiscating cameras. Hamas, however, denied any involvement in the attacks. Spokesman Ihab al-Ghussein said Gaza security forces arrested three suspects. It is believed that they are members of the salafist, al-Qaeda-linked Jundallah (Jund Ansar Allah/Jaljalat).

A map showing the location of Khan Younis towards the south-west of the Gaza Strip

A map showing the location of Khan Younis towards the south-west of the Gaza Strip

Rather than blaming al-Qaeda operatives and noting that the movement is a “rising force” in the Gaza Strip, the presently Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority decided to blame its bitter rival Hamas.

This picture is of the Fatah party logo

This picture shows the Fatah party logo

Dahlan and his Fatah party are derided by al-Qaeda for their collaboration in the American-backed Israeli occupation. According to Dahlan, the Congress, “will rebuild Fatah and put an end to the whole trauma.” The “trauma” presumably refers to Fatah’s internecine feuds, which many believe allowed Hamas to take the 2006 PLC election. Regarding the Congress, Dahlan claimed, “Fatah will change for the better. If we were going to stay the same do you think Hamas would be putting obstacles in its way?”

Many PLO and Fatah officials have criticized Abbas’ decision to hold the Congress in Bethlehem under Israeli occupation, rather than in an Arab state, such as Jordan or Syria.

Abbas has been criticized from within his own faction for planning to hold the Fatah Congress in Bethlehem next month

Abbas has been criticized from within his own faction for planning to hold the Fatah Congress in Bethlehem next month

Dahlan also noted that the 2007 coup in Gaza by Hamas would be on the agenda at the Congress, sending out a warning to those who collaborated with Hamas in taking a passive stance. However, no mention of Dahlan’s alleged role in instigating the coup was reported.

Dahlan’s response to the attacks represents another step in the escalating war of words between Fatah and Hamas in the lead up to Fatah’s sixth Congress. Fatah members are becoming increasingly prepared to use Hamas as a scapegoat for every ill in the Gaza Strip, often without evidence to back up their claims.

Some observers have even gone as far, and most-likely too far, to suggest that Dahlan orchestrated the attack on his nephew’s wedding himself in order to delegitimize Hamas yet further. Dahlan may be a duplicitous character, but not to that extreme, surely.

If, as Dahlan hypocritically claims, Kaddoumi can be prosecuted for his claims against Abbas and others relating to Arafat’s “assassination,” then ought not Dahlan be subject to charges of slander against Hamas in this instance where he seemingly lacks any evidence?

Filed under Dahlan, Fatah, Gaza, Hamas, PLO, Palestine

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Palestinian MPs: Netanyahu's conditions prove futility of PA-Israeli negotiation

Palestinian MPs: Netanyahu's conditions prove futility of PA-Israeli negotiation

[ 24/07/2009 - 10:12 PM ]

WEST BANK, (PIC)-- Palestinian lawmaker Ibrahim Abu Salem of Hamas's parliamentary bloc in the Palestinian legislature has derided the conditions put forward by Israeli premier Binyamin Netanyahu to make "peace" with the Palestinians.

Before a special session held by the Israeli parliament on Wednesday, Netanyahu reiterated his conditions to resume the "peace process" with the Palestinians, including recognizing Palestine as Jewish homeland, withdrawing all litigations filed against Israel for its crimes against the Palestinian people, dropping of the RoR, and accepting a demilitarized Palestinian state.

"How the Zionist entity could put such conditions while it doesn’t even recognize the simplest rights of the Palestinian people, confiscating their lands, and practices terrorism and oppression against them?", Abu Salem said.

He also rejected the notion of a demilitarized state that Netanyahu is talking about especially that the Israeli occupation would not agree to disarm Jewish settlers let alone their occupation army, "so how could they deny us our legal right to defend ourselves".

Moreover, Abu Salem warned that Netanyahu's call to end the Arab-Israeli struggle meant to open the way for gratis normalization of ties between the Arabs and the Hebrew state, describing such call as "contempt" for the Arab national decision.

For his part, legislator Mohammed Shehab, who also belongs to Hamas's bloc, belittled Netanyahu's conditions, stressing that not even a single Palestinian child would accept them.

"Netanyahu could dream as he wishes… he also could put the conditions he dreams of, but the question is: would the Palestinian people accept his conditions? Or would a single Palestinian child listen to it? Definitely the answer would be No", Shehab pointed out.

He stressed that the Palestinian people don’t pay any attention to those conditions simply because they strongly believe that the Zionist occupation would finally be removed from the Palestinian land, and the Palestinian refugees would return to their homes to build the Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

He also scorned Palestinian officials who hurry up and accept to pursue the futile negotiations with the IOA at the expense of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian refugees, describing their action as "treason to the people and betrayal to the Palestinian issue".

"Those [Palestinian] officials who betrayed the Palestinian national constants are actually Zionists in a Palestinian dress, and definitely they will end in the trash of history because they linked their existence to the existence of the Zionist enemy", Shehab underscored.