July 19, 2014

FORCING THE CONTRADICTIONS:

Euphoric Hamas needs to hear that Israel will oust it from Gaza if necessary (AVI ISSACHAROFF, July 19, 2014, Times of Israel)

In a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Cairo on Wednesday, Moussa Abu Marzouk, the deputy head of Hamas's political bureau, dismissed Abbas's pleas regarding a ceasefire, explaining that "what are 200 martyrs compared with lifting the siege [on the Gaza Strip?]" Abu Marzouk later tweeted that there will be no truce that does not acknowledge the demands of the "resistance," and that it is "better that Israel occupy the Gaza Strip than for the siege to continue." Abu Marzouk, needless to say, resides in Cairo, far from the threat of Israeli air strikes.

All this requires Israel to reconsider its preconceived notions and its plans of action with regard to Hamas. The basic concept that has guided Israel in recent years is that Hamas's control of the Strip is manageable, even "good for the Jews," and poses, at the end of the day, less of a security risk than any alternative scenario. But Israel can no longer afford to convey the message that "quiet will be met with quiet."

Hamas has been operating under the basic assumption that Israel will ultimately work to preserve its hold on the Strip. Hence Hamas's current confidence, even euphoria. Hamas believes Israel does not want to bring it down or to assassinate its leaders.

In order to force Hamas's leaders to reconsider their stance, therefore, Israel had better change its tone, and fast. Hamas needs to understand that the rules of the game have now changed, and that Israel is willing to destroy it and its regime, including by seizing the entire Gaza Strip, if necessary. Tzipi Livni took a first step in that direction, to the surprise of her interviewers, when telling Channel 2 on Friday night that she did not rule out bringing down Hamas if that's what it takes to restore sustained quiet.


'One blood, one enemy': Solidarity for Gaza boils in West Bank (Ben Lynfield, Correspondent  JULY 19, 2014, CS Monitor)

The Israeli operation in Gaza has aroused intense feelings of solidarity among West Bank Palestinians for their Gaza counterparts, fueling anger that could easily be sparked into widespread unrest.

''People can't sit idly and watch their brothers dying in Gaza,'' says Mahdi Abdul Hadi, director of the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs. ''What happens in the West Bank now will depend on how far the Israeli army will go ahead with reoccupying and dividing Gaza. It's too early to say but there is anger and frustration among the youth.'' [...]

Although Gaza and the West Bank have been politically divided, with little in-person interaction between residents of the two since 2007, fellowship is strong when conflicts like this flare.

"I'm a son of the Palestinian people, the Gazans are also Palestinians,'" Dia Ali says, explaining why he was protesting. "Our message to the occupation is that we are one people, one blood and we have one enemy, the occupation that is destroying Gaza and we have the right to resist through all means, from rocks to rockets."

Protesters chanted, "Gaza you are sacrificing your blood for our dignity." Many carried Palestinian flags, and one held up a sign reading, ''Stand by Gaza. Stop the Genocide." A car among the demonstrators played a Hamas song. One of the lyrics is ''Take the land and security of Israel and make a volcano.'' 

Ziad Hamdan, an older merchant, said he came to the demonstration "because it is the least anyone can do to protest the killing in Gaza." Referring to the killing of four Palestinian boys by Israeli fire on the Gaza beach Wednesday, Mr. Hamdan added bitterly, "They must have been dangerous to the Israelis, that's why they killed them."

As events in Egypt demonstrated, the only way for Israel to prevent Islamist governance of the nation of Palestine is to prevent self-determination and democracy, making itself an international pariah.  

Posted by at July 19, 2014 10:35 AM
  
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