MideastWeb Middle East Web Log
Friday, April 28, 2006
Israel, the Palestinians and terror - reinventing history
"The past isn't dead; it isn't even past," said William Faulkner. History is in fact being reinvented and remodelled all the time. "History" can mean the actual events that occurred in history, or it can be understood as referring to people's memory of what happened. For understanding and analysis, the actual events that occurred are important. For cheap political advocacy however, it is possible to modify history. This allows one to eliminate incovenient facts that do not suit your theories, or even to invent brand new events that never happened, but which ought to have happened in the best of all possible worlds. After all, what is remembered about history often becomes the "facts" for all intents and purposes, and people often remember things that didn't happen. If it is convenient for the beliefs of those remembering it, that is all that is necessary. Facts, history, what really happened etc. are all BORING after all. The main thing is to win the argument, whether or not you happen to be right.
Monday, April 24, 2006
Solving the Hamas Problem
The Hamas problem will not go away. Therefore we must bore ourselves with yet another discussion of this discouraging topic. In Jordan Times, well meaning Walid M. Sadi offers the Hamas a way out: to accept the Arab peace initiative as demanded by Arab League Secretary, Amr Mousa. This, says Sadi, offers the same content as international initiatives, but as it doesn't come from the West or Israel, Hamas would not appear to be succumbing to Western and Israeli pressure. [more]
Monday, April 17, 2006
The Euston Manifesto - Taking Back the Dream
Remember the song?
Last night I had the strangest dream,
All progressive people around the world, all decent people, were united by the dream, which was much more than putting an end to war. It was putting an end to famine and hunger and want, putting an end to fear and hate, providing decent lives and clean environments and democratic governments and much more. [more]
Is the Hamas government about to fall?
Danny Rubinstein, is normally an astute commentator. He tells us in two different articles that owing to international isolation, it is only a matter of time before the Hamas government falls. Is it really so? [more]
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Passover Message: FREE PEOPLES - Yesh Tguva*
This is the eve of Pesah 5766 - Passover 2006. We have witnessed two sets of elections. Their outcomes have set the scene for the future of two peoples for possibly a decade. Neither of them are free. [more]
Monday, April 3, 2006
Israeli Elections - What the Hell!
Uri Avnery titled his article about the Israeli elections "What the Hell happened?" He tried to tell us what happened, but he didn't quite succeed. The truth is that it may be too early to know exactly what the hell happened. The long term Israeli political situation is in flux, and in the short term, there are surprises every day. For example, Amir Peretz's supposedly "Leftist" Labor party has since lost a mandate in the final (?) count, and Peretz is now trying to block the formation of a government by the centrist Kadima party and form a right-wing coalition. [more]
Sunday, April 2, 2006
What will happen after the Israeli elections?
As the final results of the Israeli elections point out, there is a -small- majority for a center-left coalition, and thus for more withdrawals from the West Bank. Although Olmert (29 seats) said he is also open to negotiations with the right, it seems unlikely that he will form a coalition with the very parties that did everything to prevent the disengagement from the Gaza strip. The very formation of Kadima was caused by the stiff resistance to the Gaza pullout, let alone more disengagements from the West Bank. Maybe I am too optimistic, however: Peretz (20 seats) has to show some flexibility for sure, and at least two other parties are needed for a majority: the Pensioners Party (7 seats) and Meretz (5 seats) would make 61 seats, or one or two ultra orthodox parties (Shas (12) and United Torah Judaism(6)), possibly with the Pensioners Party. However the orthodox parties are not likely to agree to further withdrawals from the West Bank without a major change on the Palestinian side.
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