Be like the flower that gives its fragrance to even the hand that crushes it. — Imam Ali
During the night preceding the day on which my father was martyred, he was reciting some couplets. He repeated these poetic verses twice or thrice and I understood what he was saying and what he meant by it. By reciting these verses he referred to the inconstancy and unkindness of the world, which at times smiles like a kind friend, and enchants the people with its pleasing countenance and one feels that the circumstances will always be favourable. However, it suddenly changes its attitude and becomes unkind and unfaithful. It makes bitter with its poison the life which had once been sweet like honey. It drives away the friends, about whom one thinks that they would remain friendly forever and boasts of their friendship and devotion when the circumstances are favourable; rather it makes most of those friends stand before one in the shape of blood-thirsty and war-like enemies. — Imam Hussain
The talent of being racist and sexist in 140 characters.
Seeing a region swept by popular protests against leaders who couldn’t provide for their citizens’ basic needs, Hamas opted to give up official control of Gaza rather than risk being overthrown. Despite having won the last elections, in 2006, Hamas decided to transfer formal authority to the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah. That decision led to a reconciliation agreement between Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organization, on terms set almost entirely by the P.L.O. chairman and Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas.
Israel immediately sought to undermine the reconciliation agreement by preventing Hamas leaders and Gaza residents from obtaining the two most essential benefits of the deal: the payment of salaries to 43,000 civil servants who worked for the Hamas government and continue to administer Gaza under the new one, and the easing of the suffocating border closures imposed by Israel and Egypt that bar most Gazans’ passage to the outside world.
Yet, in many ways, the reconciliation government could have served Israel’s interests. It offered Hamas’s political adversaries a foothold in Gaza; it was formed without a single Hamas member; it retained the same Ramallah-based prime minister, deputy prime ministers, finance minister and foreign minister; and, most important, it pledged to comply with the three conditions for Western aid long demanded by America and its European allies: nonviolence, adherence to past agreements and recognition of Israel.
Israel strongly opposed American recognition of the new government, however, and sought to isolate it internationally, seeing any small step toward Palestinian unity as a threat. Israel’s security establishment objects to the strengthening of West Bank-Gaza ties, lest Hamas raise its head in the West Bank. And Israelis who oppose a two-state solution understand that a unified Palestinian leadership is a prerequisite for any lasting peace.
Still, despite its opposition to the reconciliation agreement, Israel continued to transfer the tax revenues it collects on the Palestinian Authority’s behalf, and to work closely with the new government, especially on security cooperation.
But the key issues of paying Gaza’s civil servants and opening the border with Egypt were left to fester. The new government’s ostensible supporters, especially the United States and Europe, could have pushed Egypt to ease border restrictions, thereby demonstrating to Gazans that Hamas rule had been the cause of their isolation and impoverishment. But they did not.
Instead, after Hamas transferred authority to a government of pro-Western technocrats, life in Gaza became worse.
Qatar had offered to pay Gaza’s 43,000 civil servants, and America and Europe could have helped facilitate that. But Washington warned that American law prohibited any entity delivering payment to even one of those employees — many thousands of whom are not members of Hamas but all of whom are considered by American law to have received material support from a terrorist organization.
When a United Nations envoy offered to resolve this crisis by delivering the salaries through the United Nations, so as to exclude all parties from legal liability, the Obama administration did not assist. Instead, it stood by as Israel’s foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, called for the envoy’s expulsion on the grounds that he was “trying to funnel money” to Hamas.
For many Gazans, and not just Hamas supporters, it’s worth risking more bombardment and now the ground incursion, for a chance to change that unacceptable status quo. A cease-fire that fails to resolve the salary crisis and open Gaza’s border with Egypt will not last. It is unsustainable for Gaza to remain cut off from the world and administered by employees working without pay. A more generous cease-fire, though politically difficult for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, would be more durable.
The current escalation in Gaza is a direct result of the choice by Israel and the West to obstruct the implementation of the April 2014 Palestinian reconciliation agreement. The road out of the crisis is a reversal of that policy.
(Source : The New York Times)
The headline for the story in the NY Times about the killings yesterday was changed from “4 Young Boys Killed Playing on Gaza Beach” to “Boys Drawn to Gaza Beach & Into Center of Mideast Strife”. Some people on Twitter have decided to help the Times adjust headlines for historical events. A few of my favorites:
- “Blacks drawn to public streets and into center of stop and frisk.”
- “Africans drawn to sugar and cotton plantations, and into decades of bondage and slavery”
- “New Yorkers Drawn to Towers, and Into Center of Mideast Conflict”
- “Jews Drawn to Camps, and Into Center of European Conflict”
- “Africans Drawn to Shore, and Into Center of Atlantic Travel”
La complicité de Washington et l’indulgence de l’opinion publique américaine face à cette situation insensée trouvent une partie de leur explication dans le mépris et la méfiance qui, depuis deux siècles, et malgré toutes les protestations de bonne volonté, imprègnent l’attitude de l’Occident envers l’Islam en général et les Arabes en particulier. Si ces derniers n’ont toujours pas compris le sens de l’histoire, c’est en vertu d’un atavisme aussi ancien que l’Islam lui-même. Loin de reconnaître tout ce que l’Occident doit à cette civilisation, nous avons tendance à croire que l’Islam s’est érigé et étendu contre le christianisme et en rupture avec l’héritage gréco-romain. Il n’est que trop naturel, à nos yeux, que ceux qui appartiennent à la religion hérétique et fanatique qui a brisé l’unité du monde méditerranéen et qui se maintient contre toute raison subissent aujourd’hui une nécessaire correction de l’histoire. Et ce n’est pas non plus par hasard que cette tâche de redressement s’accomplit en partie sous la poigne du peuple récalcitrant que nous n’avons jamais été capables de réduire à nos idéaux. Ces idéaux sont pourtant ceux qu’il est censé servir en Palestine sous notre regard contrit. Le Juif que l’Occident n’a pu naguère intégrer à son projet est allé réaliser ce projet en terre arabe. Si bien que l’Israélien d’aujourd’hui, à travers sa lutte contre l’autre, accomplit envers lui-même ce que notre civilisation n’a pas pu imposer au Juif : il devient chaque jour un peu plus occidental. Et c’est maintenant l’Arabe, le musulman qui font figure de récalcitrants.
(Source : cjf.qc.ca)
If you really want to know how much Pakistanis care about human rights, don’t ask them about Gaza; ask them about Balochistan, the Shias, Ahmadis, Christians, and Hindus in Pakistan.
Needs money for rent, food, and visa renewal. If I don’t get my application in with the next week, I’m getting deported.
At a wonderful lecture on social housing in 20th century socialist Vienna. But unfortunately, European intellectuals talk and write in such obscure manner. It requires too much attention which I don’t have.
As the Gaza attack is happening, there’s so much hate spewed by Hindu nationalists from India. I can’t stand it. Fuck Hindutva.
Anonyme a dit: its easy to side with the dead
In 10 days, 223 people have been killed in Gaza. More than 1670 Gazans have been injured. Meanwhile, the last I checked, the grand total of Israeli casualties was 1. Can someone please confirm? I am afraid the total might have shot up to the genocidal figure of 2 Israeli deaths while I wrote this. Just trying to see how much ‘both sides are involved’ – nothing more.