by Diane V. McLoughlin
August 9, 2010: Israel's September, 2005 withdrawal of troops and colonizers from Gaza did not cause the Hamas 'problem'. Israel turning Gaza into the world's largest prison camp, did.
Israel, the United States and the European Union refusing to respect the results of the January, 2006 Palestinian election - an election that was internationally monitored and deemed free and fair - in which Hamas won 74 of 132 seats (56%) - is the problem.
The U.S. colluding to arm the electoral losers, encouraging an attempted coup (1; 1a) against Hamas in Gaza, forcing Hamas to defend the voters' democratic choice while hardening political and philosophical differences between Palestinians - these are all problems squelching prospects for peace.
Israel utilizing terrorism on the 1.5 million men, women and children of Gaza in the effort to so demoralize them that they will accept crumbs in place of life's banquet to which they are entitled, as all free peoples are - again, this is the root of the Israel-Palestine problem.*
In the most recent humanitarian crisis in Gaza, it has come about that Gaza's hospitals have had to declare a state of emergency. (2) Gaza's main power plant has had to curtail electricity generation for twelve hours of each day due to a severance of fuel supply over a payment dispute. Without power to run medical equipment, such as dialysis machines and new-born incubators, dozens of lives are at risk of being lost.
Gaza, into its fourth year of a vicious military siege by Israel, is dependent upon a tenuous supply chain that runs through both the West Bank and Israel, for its fuel. As relayed in the press, who should have paid the bill, but didn't, is unclear to me. But if the problem emanates from Gaza, the fault lies with Israel's programme of Gaza's economic destruction.
The darkest of ironies is that Gaza is rich in off-shore energy resources. (3) There are natural gas fields valued in the billions situated within Gaza's territorial waters. Gaza's natural gas field is being exploited by Israel with the collusion of Egypt - while Gaza starves, shivering in rags, in the dark:
It is factually untrue that Hamas cannot be tested on peace. They have made numerous gestures and sacrifices that were, have been, and are opportunities that Israel could and should have seized upon - but Israel chooses otherwise. In a 2006 interview with the Washington Post, Ismail Haniyah, Hamas's prime minister stated: "If Israel withdraws to the '67 borders, then we will establish a peace in stages." (4) Which, of course, hasn't happened.
In fact, as recently as May, 2010, Hamas has explicitly restated this position: Withdrawal by Israel from Palestinian land occupied by Israel in 1967, and the armed struggle would end. (5)
There isn't a group of people on this Earth that is entirely comprised of saints - that includes Hamas. But the main problem is Israel. The problem will remain Israel until the U.S. - which donates over 3 billion in U.S. tax dollars every year to Israel - actually means peace when it talks peace.
Israel does not want peace as much as Israel wants the land - and of course, the debate is, really, with or without the Palestinians in it.
And the two-state solution? Israel chose to destroy that option by occupying and populating Palestinian land. Israel today is an Apartheid regime - rights, status and privilege for Jews - oppression for the Palestinians. And when the Palestinians try to defend themselves, Israel and allies throw up their hands in faux-despair, 'See?!'
In their collective self-delusion, they fail to realize that yes, more and more do see.
*The West Bank is currently occupied and terrorized as well; Palestinian population of West Bank approx. 2,000,000 (CIA World Fact Book); efforts at ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from East Jerusalem continue.
(1) 'The Coup Against Hamas'; Eric Margolis; LewRockwell.com; June 26, 2007 ;
(1a) Noam Chomsky on the Israel-U.S. 'project'; 2007, as published in New Internationalist.
(2) 'Gaza hospitals declare emergency'; Press TV; August 8, 2010 ;
(3) YouTube link for above; Press TV: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWNb5Oho-Wg ;
(4) 'We Do Not Wish to Throw Them Into the Sea'; Lally Weymouth interview with Ismail Haniyah; February 26, 2006 ;
(5) 'Hamas renews offer to end fight if Israel withdraws'; with editing by Kevin Liffey; Reuters; May 30, 2010