--- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, Larry Potter 
> (  with regard to nablus108 ).
>   I'm sorry to say that since the intafadah began I have uterly 
lost any respect for Palestinians as a nation. They choose terrible 
leaders and support terrible policies. They glorify terrible 
murderers who celebrate in killing Israeli women and children. 
> I am sad to say to you Palistinians, I have no sympathy for you.



Aggression Under False Pretenses

By Ismail Haniyeh
Tuesday, July 11, 2006; Page A17 Washington Post

GAZA, Palestine -- 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.

The current Gaza invasion is only the latest effort to destroy the 
results of fair and free elections held early this year. It is the 
explosive follow-up to a five-month campaign of economic and 
diplomatic warfare directed by the United States and Israel. The 
stated intention of that strategy was to force the average 
Palestinian to "reconsider" her vote when faced with deepening 
hardship; its failure was predictable, and the new overt military 
aggression and collective punishment are its logical fulfillment. 
The "kidnapped" Israeli Cpl. Gilad Shalit is only a pretext for a 
job scheduled months ago.
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. 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.

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?

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?

I hope that Americans will give careful and well-informed thought 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.

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. 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. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The writer is prime minister of the Palestinian National Authority.

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