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Why Israel Won't Make Peace With Israel

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Message Thomas Riggins

More Disinformation from the NYT

In a New York Times op ed  ["Why Israel Can't Make Peace With Hamas," 1-14-09] Jeffery Goldberg (ex-Israeli Army prison offcial now a reporter for the Atlantic) tries to explain why it is Fatah that must bring stability to Gaza. His article is just another piece of pro Zionist propaganda which I intend to demonstrate both from the facts and the INTERNAL inconsistencies of the article itself.

In the article Goldberg interviews some of the most extreme fundamentalist military leaders of Hamas leaving us with the impression their opinions are basically those of the whole of Hamas. During the interviews a Hamas leader resents being compared, negatively it seems, to Hezbollah. [Note: Hamas is Sunni and an outgrowth of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. Hezbollah is Shia and friendly to Iran]. The leader responds that  "They have excellent weapons. Hezbollah moves freely in Lebanon. We are trapped in the Israeli cage."

Another leader says that Hamas supports Hezbollah and one of the reasons Hezbollah is more successful is that  "They get all the rockets they will ever need from Iran." The implication here is that  Israel's blockade of Gaza not only restricts the freedom of movement of Hamas but also prevents it from getting the weapons it needs. Most of its rockets are homemade.

It is important to note that Goldberg says, "Hamas is not a monolith, and opinions inside the group differ about many things, including engagement with the Shiites of Hezbollah and Iran." Interesting especially in the light of the widespread Zionist claim that Hamas is just a puppet of Iran. Goldberg will soon ignore this caveat.

A ceasefire has come, and Goldberg says we must ask if Israel [and the U.S. since it is the Great Enabler of Zionism] should interact with Hamas "in a substantive and sustained manner?"  Goldberg thinks not and for reasons his own article shows are not valid. First  he tells about Hamas' relation with Hezbollah. [I guess it is a given Israel doesn't want to talk to Hezbollah.] "For Hamas," he writes, "Hezbollah is not only a source of weapons and instruction, it is a mentor and role model." But he has just said that Hamas is NOT a monolith. As a matter of fact there are moderate elements in the leadership that don't consider Hezbollah their "mentor." He has also reported that Hamas leaders complain that they DON'T have the modern weapons that Hezbollah has.

Goldberg says this attitude towards Hezbollah is one reason "Hamas felt compelled to break its cease fire with Israel last month." Goldberg must think his readers are totally reliant on the American press and don't know it was Israel and NOT Hamas that broke the cease fire. That in November Israel made a military raid into Gaza and attacked Hamas forces BEFORE the resumption of widespread rocket fire, mostly ineffectual but nevertheless unjustified. Israel, in fact broke the cease fire from day one as one of its provisions was the lifting of the blockade, a provision Israel never intended to implement, and didn't. So all this talk about Hamas starting this "war" is so much baloney to misinform American public opinion.

Goldberg also says Hezbollah is "an outright Iranian proxy." This is nonsense. Hezbollah has deep roots in Lebanon and reflects a legitimate Lebanese politico-religious tendency. Having Iranian support because they have a common enemy doesn't make them a "proxy."  It makes as much sense to say Iran is "an outright Hezbollah proxy." People making such claims appear not to be interested in a lasting peaceful settlement of the issues.

Goldberg also tries to show that Hamas would never agree to a meaningful ceasefire with Israel. He does so by quoting an extremist, now deceased because Israel killed him, his wives, and many of his children in a targeted assassination, who thought Israel wouldn't be around all that long. He ignores the many reports in the foreign press, and on some American TV shows (today's Democracy Now for example), that the political leadership of Hamas is pragmatic and has offered the possibility of a long term cease fire-- up to 50 (!) years with Israel [surely long enough to work out differences if you really want to.]

Basing himself only on the intemperate views of a few former Hamas leaders  in the armed, not the political wing of the movement, Goldberg writes, "Hamas cannot be cajoled into moderation." This is just false. It is propagated to justify the vicious inhumane attack on the people of Gaza. 

Greenberg concludes that the only way forward entails that the "moderate Arab states [the American allies he means], Europe, the United States and , mainly Israel, must help Hamas's enemy, Fatah [a classic divide and rule formula for Israel], prepare the West Bank for real freedom [i.e., freedom supervised by Israel and full of settlers], and the hope that the people of Gaza, vast numbers of whom are unsympathetic to Hamas [or were until they and their children were massacred by the Zionists] see the West Bank as an alternative vision" to the leaders of Hezbollah and Hamas. In other words, real freedom the way we dish it out or, you ain't seen nothing yet.

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Thomas Riggins, PhD CUNY, is a retired university lecturer in philosophy and ancient history and the former book review editor for Political Affairs magazine.

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