Reality here has never been so confusing, complicated, unjust, and catastrophic. Gaza was just the latest layer of occupation and war crimes, but new layers are built by the day and week. Israeli occupation is attempting to overwhelm us and batter us into submission. They will fail.
Some of the brave Israeli voices are more sharper than ever. See below Gideon Levy's latest article, Let Netanyahu win. Also, Akiva Eldar, the chief political columnist and writer for the Haaretz newspaper, and someone has been covering the region for last 20 years, was interviewed by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. You can read or hear (recommended) his take on the upcoming Israeli elections at: http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2008/s2483734.htm
Next I pass the most ironic story of the century. An arms cache found in a synagogue in Israel--placed there decades ago. Turns out that Hamas and the Zionist movement have more in common when it comes to tactics than either would like to admit. Both are wrong!
By now I'm assuming you all saw the superb 60 Minutes segment on Israel and Palestine and the 2-state solution. It is brief and to the point. A must watch. I should note that there is an inaccuracy stated -- that the number of settlers illegally living in the occupied territory is 200,000. When you add the Jerusalem settlements, the total is more like 400,000. Nevertheless, this is a work well done and CBS's 60 Minutes should thanked.
Lastly, I want to pass my deep gratitude to all who generously replied (or are planning to) to the Dalia Association's appeal for assistance and for those of you who went out of your way to assist the 14-yr old boy, Mohammad Mehanna, in Gaza to get the medical treatment needed to complete his Bone Marrow Transplant. Mohammad's family has relayed their absolute thanks to all the strangers that have and continue to lend a hand. At the end, it's all about people!
Gaza is still blockaded!!!
w w w . h a a r e t z . c o m
Last update - 01:52 05/02/2009
Let Netanyahu win
By Gideon Levy
Benjamin Netanyahu will apparently be Israel's next prime minister. There is, however, something encouraging about that fact. Netanyahu's election will free Israel from the burden of deception: If he can establish a right-wing government, the veil will be lifted and the nation's true face revealed to its citizens and the rest of the world, including Arab countries. Together with the world, we will see which direction we are facing and who we really are. The masquerade that has gone on for several years will finally come to an end.
Netanyahu's election is likely to bring the curtain down on the great fraud - the best show in town - the lie of "negotiations" and the injustice of the "peace process." Israel consistently claimed these acts proved the nation was focused on peace and the end of the occupation. All the while, it did everything it could to further entrench the occupation and distance any chance of a potential agreement.
For 16 years, we have been enamored with the peace process. We talk and talk, babble and prattle, and generally feel great about ourselves; meanwhile the settlements expand endlessly and Israel turns to the use of force at every possible opportunity, aside from a unilateral disengagement which did nothing to advance the cause of peace.
With the election of a prime ministerial candidate who speaks of "economic peace," the naked truth will finally emerge. If, however, Tzipi Livni or Ehud Barak are elected, the self- delusion will simply continue. Livni herself is enamored with futile, useless and cowardly negotiations, and Barak has long abandoned the brave efforts he made in the past. The election of either will only perpetuate the vacuum. The world, including Washington, will breathe a sigh of relief that for once, Israel has elected a leadership that will pursue peace. But there is no chance of that happening.
The record of each of these candidates, and the positions they have championed until now, proves that what has been will continue to be. Livni and Barak will rush to every photo opportunity with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and King Abdullah of Jordan. The Americans and Europeans will be pleased, but nothing will come out of it other than the sowing of a few more illusions. We will move from war to war, uprising to uprising, settlement to settlement, and the world will continue to delude itself into thinking an agreement is within reach. Hamas will grow stronger, Abbas weaker and the last chance for peace will be irretrievably lost.
Netanyahu would offer something else. First, he is a faithful representative of an authentic "Israeli" view - an almost complete distrust of Arabs and the chance of reaching peace with them, mixed with condescension and dehumanization. Second, he will finally arouse the world's rage towards us, including that of the new U.S. administration. Sadly, this may be the only chance for the kind of dramatic change that is needed.
The Palestinian Authority, another mendacious facade, will finally collapse, and Israel will face the non-partner it has wanted and sought all these years. The world may not rush to embrace Netanyahu as it would the "moderates" - Livni or Barak, who have led Israel to more unnecessary wars than Netanyahu, the "extremist" - while the real difference between them is almost non-existent.
Lifting the veil will lead to a crisis situation, which unfortunately is the only one that can bring about change. We must hope that both Kadima and Labor do not join a Netanyahu government (regrettably, another futile hope), as Israel's exposure will then be that much starker. A government composed of Netanyahu, Shas and Avigdor Lieberman will not, of course, have to deal with an opposition of Netanyahu, Shas and Avigdor Lieberman, and may therefore behave differently once in power than one might expect. Have we mentioned Menachem Begin?
But even if Netanyahu is the same old Netanyahu, this will be an opportunity to place the right's policies under the microscope. Let's see him stand before Barack Obama and speak of the grotesque idea of "economic peace," or wage foreign or security policies according to his stated positions. Let's see him answer just what exactly his vision is for 20 to 30 years down the road.
In due course, his anticipated failure may just hasten an alternative route, on condition that Kadima and Labor do not join the government and bring us another year of fraud. The lemons may yet yield lemonade - maybe the establishment of a right-wing government will remove all of the masks for good. The alternative, known and expected by all, is far more ambiguous, dangerous and threatening.
So let Netanyahu win. There is no alternative at this point anyway.
w w w . h a a r e t z . c o m
Last update - 20:06 05/02/2009
WATCH: British Mandate-era arms cache found in Hod Hasharon synagogue
By Noa Kocharek and Yuval Goren, Haaretz Correspondents
Two Israeli curators on Thursday stumled upon an arms cache dating back to the British Mandate at a Synagogue in Hod Hasharon.
The weapons, which included grenades and bullet casings, were apparently stored in the building by the Hagannah Jewish militia.
Simcha Klein and Aviva Even-Hen, curators of the museum dedicated to the history of Hod Hasharon, found the arms while they were tidying rooms in the synagogue, which was crammed full of documents, pictures and old maps dating back to the beginning of the Zionist enterprise.
"While searching the rooms, we came across one small tin box that contained grenades, and another that contained dozens of bullet casings," Klein said. "We then called the police, and sappers came and removed the weapons from the building."
The curator added that she hoped that the museum would be able to display the munitions as an historic exhibit
Klein said that during the British Mandate, the synagogue used to serve as a shelter from Arab rioters, and therefore has long and narrow windows, and slits for firing. These slits apparently made the synagogue an ideal location for stashing the weapons.
A MUST WATCH
CBS - 60 minutes
Is Peace Out Of Reach?
Has peace in the Middle East become nothing more than a pipe dream? As Bob Simon reports, a growing number of Israelis and Palestinians feel that a two-state solution is no longer possible.
January 26, 2009
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