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Weekly Post:

November 7, 2009

 

Well…things here are getting interesting. President Abbas just said that he won’t run for a new term as president. And he set the next national elections for January…Although I don’t particularly like Abbas, unfortunately there’s no one better at this point for Fateh—and that means that Hamas will most likely win (even though they probably would have anyways…).

Some people think that Abbas is just playing hard to get, to see what the reaction is in the West Bank—like before when he threatened to resign but never did. But I was talking with Wajdi (who’s in the PA) and he was saying that Abbas is really trying to get out of the office because he’s afraid to be in control when the new Intifada starts. He doesn’t want to be the next Yasser Arafat and be blockaded in Al Muqata (the main military base in Ramallah) and finally be killed.

But without Abbas in the next elections there’s going to be a major power vacuum at a time when the conditions are really ripe for a new Intifada. So its going to be interesting to see what happens. The West Bank has been demonstrating for Abbas since he announced that—I don’t know why though—most people don’t seem to like him that much. We’ll see what happens in the next few months.

Well, I’ve never been so disappointed in my country before…first—Hilary Clinton coming to the Middle East and giving up on the settlement freeze as a precondition to negotiations. And then going so far as to PRAISE Israel for “showing restraint” with settlement construction. I don’t know what information she’s getting but every settlement I pass has new construction going on…so I don’t think I would compliment Israel on anything at this point.

After the fall-out from the PA and Palestinians and the Arab countries over that statement, Clinton came back and said it was a miscommunication and the US’s position is still that Israel “should” freeze construction, but that since they have “slowed down construction to just natural growth” they should be praised for that—because no other Israeli government has agreed to even do that much. Israel is a spoiled child.

Anyways…the settlement construction won’t stop anytime soon, the US won’t push it because they (for some unknown reason….have you figured it out yet??) don’t want to piss off Israel. And Israel gets offended very easily—anything can be anti-Semitic to them because everything they do is to prevent “existential threats” from “destroying Israel”. Most of these threats are not real…just side-effects of collective paranoia.

Another thing that the US recently disappointed me on was the vote to dismiss the Goldstone Report as “biased” by the House of Representatives a couple days ago. I cannot believe they passed that resolution to dismiss it 344 to 36 or something close to that!!

And I watched some of the speeches that the representatives gave before the vote, and one woman in particular just made me want to puke—Ileana Ros-Lehiten, from Florida. She gave this ridiculous speech calling the report a “hack job” and saying that it’s completely biased against Israel and doesn’t agree with Israel’s right to self-defense—all completely untrue. She just blatantly lied…and no one knew because I’m sure 90% of those people that voted against it didn’t even open the Report, let alone read all 575 pages. (I wrote an article responding to a lot of the things she said in her speech…its on my blog: reneefrompalestine.wordpress.com )

If they HAD actually opened the report and just looked at the table of contents they would have noticed an entire section of the report that addresses Hamas’s crimes against Israeli civilians. However, as Goldstone says in his report—every time he tried to coordinate with the Israeli government to get information for the report, they wouldn’t agree to even talk to him, let alone let him in Israel, the West Bank, or Gaza.

So he wasn’t allowed BY ISRAEL to go to Sderot and those other towns in southern Israel to even talk to the people targeted by the Qassams to get more information for the report. He had to go into Gaza through Egypt because Israel wouldn’t let him in.

If Israel has a problem with the amount of the report dedicated to THEIR RIGHTS, then they only have themselves to blame.

Besides, if you compare the amount of deaths on each side (1400 Gazans killed during Cast Lead vs. 9 Israeli soldiers –half by friendly fire, and 10 Israelis killed by rockets over the LAST 10 YEARS) and war crimes committed by each side (1 –Qassams- by Hamas and at least 6 by Israel –white phosphorous, use of human shields, collective punishment, targeting civilian infrastructure, DIME weapons, targeting medical teams, etc…) its obvious that more of the report would be dedicated to exposing Israel’s war crimes than Hamas’.

Bah. Such blatant corruption in the US government, it is ridiculous. So, since the US has the veto for UN resolutions—I don’t think the Goldstone Report will ever be seriously investigated and I don’t think that any of Israel’s MANY war criminals will be brought to justice for what they have done.

I went to Bil’in yesterday. It was the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall so that was the theme. There was a Norwegian choir there, singing Christian hymns while teargas was exploding around them—this place is so crazy.

The soldiers used a LOT of teargas, but not the teargas cannon (that shoots over 40 canisters simultaneously) thank God!  They also used some sound bombs when the demonstrators attempted to cross the fence to get to the land that was stolen.

In Ni’lin—another village that does weekly demonstrations against the wall, they actually got to the wall and tore a piece of it down in honor of the fall of the Berlin wall.  It was awesome…Inshallah one day Israel’s wall will be torn down by the Palestinians.

 

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