Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh writes an editorial today in the Washington Post. It is an effort that is self-contradicting and mendacious in the extreme.
As Americans commemorated their annual celebration of independence from colonial occupation, rejoicing in their democratic institutions, we Palestinians were yet again besieged by our occupiers, who destroy our roads and buildings, our power stations and water plants, and who attack our very means of civil administration. Our homes and government offices are shelled, our parliamentarians taken prisoner and threatened with prosecution.
Mr. Haniyeh, I'm an American, and I know who the men who led our revolution really were. In other words: I know George Washington, George Washington is a friend of mine, and you sir, are no George Washington.
Further, the parliamentarians cannot be both "taken prisoner" and "threatened with prosecution." The former suggests they have been siezed in war, but the latter suggests that there is a basis in law for their arrest. It is one or the other, not both.
The current Gaza invasion is only the latest effort to destroy the results of fair and free elections held early this year.
Israel withdrew from Gaza despite much clamor against doing so from their own population. Upon what planet does that qualify as an attempt to destroy the results of the Plaestinian election.
You had a state of your own, yet you're government cannot control the gangsters and terrorists that predominate in Gaza. A free and fair election it may have been, but it only really counts when the people have character enough to honor the results. Or do the people honor government, and act on your behalf when they launch rockets indiscriminately into Israeli villages? If the latter is the case, then it is no wonder that half the cabinet was arrested.
The "kidnapped" Israeli Cpl. Gilad Shalit is only a pretext for a job scheduled months ago.
So why kidnap him? If the Israeli's needed a pretext, why terrorize Israelis? Wouldn't it have been wise not to, you know, commit acts of war, if you thought Israel might respond with overwhelming military force? And nice of you to ignore the two soliders you killed, whose lives your "militants" snuffed out.
In addition to removing our democratically elected government, Israel wants to sow dissent among Palestinians by claiming that there is a serious leadership rivalry among us. I am compelled to dispel this notion definitively. The Palestinian leadership is firmly embedded in the concept of Islamic shura, or mutual consultation; suffice it to say that while we may have differing opinions, we are united in mutual respect and focused on the goal of serving our people.
Fatah and Hamas were recently involved in a shooting war with each other over control over the Palestinian pseudo-state. Americans can read, and Americans have memory. Sell bullshit somewhere else.
Actually, I take that back. It actually may convince some people: they read the Washington Post at the State Department.
Furthermore, the invasion of Gaza and the kidnapping of our leaders and government officials are meant to undermine the recent accords reached between the government party and our brothers and sisters in Fatah and other factions, on achieving consensus for resolving the conflict. Yet Israeli collective punishment only strengthens our collective resolve to work together.
The only reason you can call the Israeli action collective punishment is because your "militants" use the civilian population as shields.
And now the cabinet was "kidnapped"? You just said they were "prisoners" who were "facing prosecution"? Are you trying to confuse us into surrender?
As I inspect the ruins of our infrastructure -- the largess of donor nations and international efforts all turned to rubble once more by F-16s and American-made missiles -- my thoughts again turn to the minds of Americans. What do they think of this?
The ones who have eyes in their heads think you brought this on your people yourself, you and Abbas and the rest of your merry bands. The Palestinian babies dressed up as suicide bombers really don't help your case much.
They think, doubtless, of the hostage soldier, taken in battle -- yet thousands of Palestinians, including hundreds of women and children, remain in Israeli jails for resisting the illegal, ongoing occupation that is condemned by international law. They think of the pluck and "toughness" of Israel, "standing up" to "terrorists." Yet a nuclear Israel possesses the 13th-largest military force on the planet, one that is used to rule an area about the size of New Jersey and whose adversaries there have no conventional armed forces. Who is the underdog, supposedly America's traditional favorite, in this case?
We root for underdogs who deserve it, who have virtue and integrity. Underdogs who blow up teenagers in pizza joints don't really impress us much. Underdogs who realize that a billion muslims would like to wipe them off the face of the earth, who develop their nation to the point they can defend themselves, do impress us.
And as an aside, there's nothing I that pisses me off more than being told what my values are supposed to make me do. They're my values -- I'll decide how to apply them.
I hope that Americans will give careful and well-informed thought...
Listen to me, and ignore your lying eyes!
...to root causes and historical realities, in which case I think they will question why a supposedly "legitimate" state such as Israel has had to conduct decades of war against a subject refugee population without ever achieving its goals.
Ah, yes. Root causes. The root cause of Palestinian violence is the blood lust of a critical mass of Palestinians. Again, you had a state, and yet it only seemed to enrage your "militants" more. And historical realities? Like the constant warfare Israel has faced from its neighbors since 1948?
Israel's unilateral movements of the past year will not lead to peace. These acts -- the temporary withdrawal of forces from Gaza, the walling off of the West Bank -- are not strides toward resolution but empty, symbolic acts that fail to address the underlying conflict.
So you admit that having your own state won't end the conflict? How rude of them to so enrage you by withdrawing from your sovereign territory.
Israel's nearly complete control over the lives of Palestinians is never in doubt, as confirmed by the humanitarian and economic suffering of the Palestinians since the January elections.
If the Israeli's were so horrible, why was there even a power plant for them to bomb after your "militants" killed two of their soldiers and kidnapped a third?
Israel's ongoing policies of expansion, military control and assassination mock any notion of sovereignty or bilateralism. Its "separation barrier," running across our land, is hardly a good-faith gesture toward future coexistence.
Egypt also has a separation barrier between itself and Gaza. Remember how your people, much to the chagrin of the Egyptians, blew it up? Twice?
But there is a remedy, and while it is not easy it is consistent with our long-held beliefs. Palestinian priorities include recognition of the core dispute over the land of historical Palestine and the rights of all its people; resolution of the refugee issue from 1948; reclaiming all lands occupied in 1967; and stopping Israeli attacks, assassinations and military expansion. Contrary to popular depictions of the crisis in the American media, the dispute is not only about Gaza and the West Bank; it is a wider national conflict that can be resolved only by addressing the full dimensions of Palestinian national rights in an integrated manner. This means statehood for the West Bank and Gaza, a capital in Arab East Jerusalem, and resolving the 1948 Palestinian refugee issue fairly, on the basis of international legitimacy and established law. Meaningful negotiations with a non-expansionist, law-abiding Israel can proceed only after this tremendous labor has begun.
The crux of the matter -- accede to the most expansive and untenable Palestinian demands, and all the violence would go away. He's actually telling the truth here: the violence would end because there'd eventually be no Jews left in Israel.
Surely the American people grow weary of this folly, after 50 years and $160 billion in taxpayer support for Israel's war-making capacity -- its "defense." Some Americans, I believe, must be asking themselves if all this blood and treasure could not have bought more tangible results for Palestine if only U.S. policies had been predicated from the start on historical truth, equity and justice.
Translation: "Deep down, don't you all hate those greedy Jews as much as we do?"
However, we do not want to live on international welfare and American handouts. We want what Americans enjoy -- democratic rights, economic sovereignty and justice. We thought our pride in conducting the fairest elections in the Arab world might resonate with the United States and its citizens. Instead, our new government was met from the very beginning by acts of explicit, declared sabotage by the White House. Now this aggression continues against 3.9 million civilians living in the world's largest prison camps. America's complacency in the face of these war crimes is, as usual, embedded in the coded rhetorical green light: "Israel has a right to defend itself." Was Israel defending itself when it killed eight family members on a Gaza beach last month or three members of the Hajjaj family on Saturday, among them 6-year-old Rawan? I refuse to believe that such inhumanity sits well with the American public.
Israel only killed them in the minds of the more bloodthirsty outlets of the Arab media. Try a new lie, chief, 'cause that one's not gonna fly.
We present this clear message: If Israel will not allow Palestinians to live in peace, dignity and national integrity, Israelis themselves will not be able to enjoy those same rights. Meanwhile, our right to defend ourselves from occupying soldiers and aggression is a matter of law, as settled in the Fourth Geneva Convention. If Israel is prepared to negotiate seriously and fairly, and resolve the core 1948 issues, rather than the secondary ones from 1967, a fair and permanent peace is possible. Based on a hudna (comprehensive cessation of hostilities for an agreed time), the Holy Land still has an opportunity to be a peaceful and stable economic powerhouse for all the Semitic people of the region. If Americans only knew the truth, possibility might become reality.
Cute to include yourself in that Semitic line. It's sophistry though, and Americans who forego the drinking of lead-based paint see through it. You can't wiggle your way into inclusion as a victim of anti-Semitism because in English, an imperfect language, that phrase is only ever understood to refer to a virulent hatred of the Jewish people, hatred like the Nazis had for Jews, or more recently, hatred like yours.
The middle east will have peace once Israel is formally recognized. There has been no warfare between Jordan and Israel nor between Egypt and Israel. It's a remarkably small step to take, but the Hamas government is too small even for that.