Cracks in the Anti-Hamas Front

It’s all very well getting Egypt, Jordan and Israel together with Mahmoud Abbas to scold Hamas and talk about “strengthening Abbas,” but the problem is that the U.S. and Israel, on the one hand, and the Arabs and Abbas, on the other, want very different outcomes in the Palestinian territories. Olmert and Bush stress that help to Abbas is conditional on him staying out of a unity government with Hamas, yet reviving such a government is the stated intention on the Arab side. And the problem runs deeper: Israel and the U.S. essentially want Abbas to police the status quo, they have no imminent plan for ending the occupation. But policing the status quo is what got Fatah into trouble in the first place…
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Yo, Blair II

Sending Tony Blair on a “peace mission” to tutor the Palestinians in governance is a cruel joke. The previous occupant of the job, Jim Wolfensohn, quite precisely because he recognized that Palestinians could not build effective institutions under conditions of occupation and financial siege. Besides, it isn’t the state of Palestinian institutions that is the main obstacle to peace. In fact, if he was going to do any serious mentoring to restore a peace process, his office wouldn’t be in Ramallah, but in Washington, D.C. Click here for the full story

The 8 Fallacies of Bush’s Abbastan

Bush and Condi would now have us believe that in fact some kind of opportunity has arisen to promote “peace” between Israel and the Palestinians by starving the Gazans and ignoring the political party in which Palestinian voters placed their confidence 18 months ago, while pumping cash into a new authoritarian regime under U.S. tutelage headed by Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank. The Administration has “no good options”, the New York Times tells us, although the truth is that’s only if you accept the limits set by the Administration’s extremists who have ruled out the obvious option — talking to Hamas. (Gasp!) Instead, they are pursuing a policy that is dysfunctional and ultimately self defeating because it is based on eight connected fallacies… (Click on the link below to read the whole thing) Click here to read the full story

Sean Jacobs: Is Bono Showcasing Africa, or its Glamorous Patrons?

Guest columnist Sean Jacobs flips through the new Vanity Fair Africa edition, guest-edited by Bono, and wonders why there are so few African voices in this “rebranding” of their continent. Why Madonna is sniffing Maya Angelou, and why Queen Rania of Jordan is on the cover along with the guest editor? And also why George W. Bush and Condi Rice are deemed important friends of Africa. Click here to read the full story

Antony Loewenstein: Equality, Not Zionism, Will Save Israel

Guest contributor Antony Loewenstein, an Australian Jewish anti-Zionist, is a generation younger than me, but he’s further evidence of the fact that the efforts of the nationalists to police Jewish identity in a way that enforces a narrow Zionism are failing. The sweet smell of Jewish dissent is suddenly everywhere in the air, most recently last week when Avram Burg released his new book, renouncing Zionism and warning of its dangerous consequences for his Judaism and his humanity — it’s not exactly every day that a former Speaker of the Knesset turns around and rejects the very principle of a “Jewish State.” So Loewenstein’s view certainly reverberates in Israel! Click here to read the full story

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