organization:fatah

  • The U.S. is wrong about the Muslim Brotherhood — and the Arab world is suffering for it
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2018/08/28/the-u-s-is-wrong-about-the-muslim-brotherhood-and-the-arab-world-is-suffering-for-it/?noredirect=on

    Texte intégral de l’article:
    By Jamal Khashoggi

    August 28, 2018
    During the Obama presidency, the U.S. administration was wary of the Muslim Brotherhood, which had come to power in Egypt after the country’s first-ever free elections. Despite his declared support for democracy and change in the Arab world in the wake of the Arab Spring, then-President Barack Obama did not take a strong position and reject the coup against President-elect Mohamed Morsi. The coup, as we know, led to the military’s return to power in the largest Arab country — along with tyranny, repression, corruption and mismanagement.
    That is the conclusion that David D. Kirkpatrick arrives at in his excellent book “Into the Hands of the Soldiers,” which was released this month. A former Cairo bureau chief for the New York Times, Kirkpatrick gives a sad account of Egypt’s 2013 coup that led to the loss of a great opportunity to reform the entire Arab world and allow a historic change that might have freed the region from a thousand years of tyranny.
    The United States’s aversion to the Muslim Brotherhood, which is more apparent in the current Trump administration, is the root of a predicament across the entire Arab world. The eradication of the Muslim Brotherhood is nothing less than an abolition of democracy and a guarantee that Arabs will continue living under authoritarian and corrupt regimes. In turn, this will mean the continuation of the causes behind revolution, extremism and refugees — all of which have affected the security of Europe and the rest of the world. Terrorism and the refugee crisis have changed the political mood in the West and brought the extreme right to prominence there.
    There can be no political reform and democracy in any Arab country without accepting that political Islam is a part of it. A significant number of citizens in any given Arab country will give their vote to Islamic political parties if some form of democracy is allowed. It seems clear then that the only way to prevent political Islam from playing a role in Arab politics is to abolish democracy, which essentially deprives citizens of their basic right to choose their political representatives.
    Shafeeq Ghabra, a professor of political science at Kuwait University, explains the problem in this way: “The Arab regimes’ war on the Brotherhood does not target the movement alone, but rather targets those who practice politics, who demand freedom and accountability, and all who have a popular base in society.” A quick look at the political degradation that has taken place in Egypt since the military’s return to power confirms what Ghabra says. President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi’s regime has cracked down on the Islamists and arrested some 60,000 of them. Now it has extended its heavy hand against both secular and military figures, even those who supported him in the coup. In today’s Egypt, political life is totally dead.
    It is wrong to dwell on political Islam, conservatism and identity issues when the choice is between having a free society tolerant of all viewpoints and having an oppressive regime. Five years of Sissi’s rule in Egypt makes this point clear.
    There are efforts here in Washington, encouraged by some Arab states that do not support freedom and democracy, to persuade Congress to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. If they succeed, the designation will weaken the fragile steps toward democracy and political reform that have already been curbed in the Arab world. It will also push backward the Arab countries that have made progress in creating a tolerant environment and allowing political participation by various components of society, including the Islamists.
    Islamists today participate in the parliaments of various Arab countries such as Kuwait, Jordan, Bahrain, Tunisia and Morocco. This has led to the emergence of Islamic democracy, such as the Ennahda movement in Tunisia, and the maturing of democratic transformation in the other countries.
    The coup in Egypt led to the loss of a precious opportunity for Egypt and the entire Arab world. If the democratic process had continued there, the Muslim Brotherhood’s political practices could have matured and become more inclusive, and the unimaginable peaceful rotation of power could have become a reality and a precedent to be followed.
    The Trump administration always says it wants to correct Obama’s mistakes. It should add his mishandling of Arab democracy to its list. Obama erred when he wasted the precious opportunity that could have changed the history of the Arab world, and when he caved to pressure from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as from members of his own administration. They all missed the big picture and were governed by their intolerant hatred for any form of political Islam, a hatred that has destroyed Arabs’ choice for democracy and good governance.

    #démocratie #Islam #pays-arabes #Egypte #Sissi #Morsi #Révolutions-arabes #Trump #Etats-Unis #coup-d'état

  • A new generation is ready to stand with Palestinians
    Noura Erakat, The Washington Post, le 16 avril 2019
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/04/16/new-generation-is-ready-stand-with-palestinians

    Young Palestinians, born and raised in the era of the Oslo Accords and Israel’s repeated wars in Gaza, are increasingly disillusioned with the two-state solution. They are cynical about all Palestinian national leadership from Fatah to Hamas and are seeking alternative futures. It was young people who launched the Great March of Return, the largest popular convergence in Gaza to demand freedom and the right to return of Palestinian refugees.

    Young Palestinians have been the driving force of new political efforts such as the Palestinian Youth Movement, which connects Palestinians ages 18 to 35 across a global diaspora with the aim of reconstituting a national politics of resistance. Young Palestinians are also the primary advocates of the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement that sidesteps political negotiations and makes rights-based claims for equality, the return of refugees and the end of occupation of Arab lands. Far from destitution, the grim status quo is fueling a politics of hope among Palestinian youths in particular.

    This hope echoes a similar trend in the United States, where young people are driving an unprecedented shift in U.S. politics on the Middle East, and Palestinian freedom has been steadily incorporated into a progressive agenda. Trump’s embrace of Netanyahu is making ever clearer to a U.S. public that the reactionary right embodied by Trump is the normalized state of affairs in Israel. The Trump-Netanyahu alliance is on full display in the concerted and hypocritical attacks against Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), who, in her advocacy on behalf of all marginalized communities, has illuminated the negative impact that U.S. unconditional support for Israel has on Palestinians.

    Social movements such as Black Lives Matter and events like the Women’s March, driven by a similar base, have affirmed Palestinian freedom as part of their platforms. Polls indicate that since Trump took office two years ago, more Americans are less inclined to sympathize with Israel over Palestinians, while a majority of Democrats say they would support sanctions or stronger action against Israel due to settlement construction.

    A mettre avec l’évolution de la situation aux États-Unis vis à vis de la Palestine :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/752002

    #Palestine #USA #BDS #Noura_Erakat #Washington_Post #Jeunesse

  • couloir sans fin n°7 au pays de l’azerty et des oeufs - cathédrales
    http://www.radiopanik.org/emissions/le-couloir-sans-fin/couloir-sans-fin-n7-au-pays-de-lazerty-et-des-oeufs-cathedrales

    Shorty skills - books of stone

    roots radics – miserable dub-root

    augustus pablo – dub4

    Session reggae

    luciano – crying for love

    Sizzla - Judgement

    mikey general – follow jah

    Jah Mason – Request

    Burro Banton – Sekkle yourself

    dan I locks – wall street dub

    el fatah – move it

    morgan heritage - help the needy

    capleton – no time

    jah cure - this one for you

    admiral tibbet – peace and love

    busy signal - government gone luuu

    michael rose baby cham bounty killer – stronger

    gringo – times hard

    tenor saw § buju banton - ring the alarm quick

    support => https://www.patate-records.com

    the specials-gangsters

    the selecter-too much pressure

    météo kosmique

    Work that body – diana Ross

    gestion internet de la semaine

    freak side riddim

    last week-lady saw

    roots manuva- witness (one hope)

    big dada sound (...)

    http://www.radiopanik.org/media/sounds/le-couloir-sans-fin/couloir-sans-fin-n7-au-pays-de-lazerty-et-des-oeufs-cathedrales_06578__1

  • Le mouvement Hamas doit prendre garde !
    Abdel Bari Atwan - 9 mars 2019 – Raï al-Yaoum – Traduction : Chronique de Palestine – Lotfallah
    http://www.chroniquepalestine.com/le-mouvement-hamas-doit-prendre-garde

    Il existe effectivement un projet visant à déstabiliser Gaza, mais ce n’est pas une excuse pour frapper les manifestants.

    Il ne fait aucun doute que le mouvement Hamas a commis des erreurs à Gaza. Il a dirigé la bande de Gaza de manière partisane et sectaire, en faisant appel à ses loyalistes et en s’aliénant ses opposants, voire même ceux qui étaient neutres. Il s’est ainsi donné une longue ligne d’adversaires : cela commence à l’intérieur de Gaza avec les opposants locaux qui appartiennent au mouvement Fatah et certains groupes islamistes radicaux opposés au maintien du calme ; puis cela passe par Ramallah où l’Autorité palestinienne (AP) veut reprendre la mains sur la bande de Gaza à ses propres conditions, la principale étant de désarmer la résistance ; et cela se termine à Tel-Aviv, où l’État israélien d’occupation est de plus en plus inquiet de la résistance armée de Gaza, des missiles et des manifestations de masse.

    Malgré tous ces défis, rien ne peut justifier la façon très laide, insultante et brutale avec laquelle la police du Hamas a traité les manifestants alors que ceux-ci cherchaient à exprimer leur colère face à la dégradation des conditions de vie dans le territoire sous blocus. Ces manifestants utilisaient des moyens purement pacifiques pour protester contre les impôts et les taxes qui pèsent sur eux, l’inflation qui rendre la vie impossible et, plus important encore, le taux de chômage des jeunes de 60% ou plus qui les incite à prendre la mer et à risquer leur vie pour tenter de migrer.

    Le Hamas a raison de dire qu’il est confronté à un complot aux multiples facettes visant à remettre en cause son pouvoir à Gaza en déstabilisant le territoire et en le faisant exploser de l’intérieur. Le chef de l’Autorité palestinienne, Mahmoud Abbas, et ses assistants ne cachent pas leur intention d’atteindre cet objectif en multipliant les pressions sur les habitants de la bande de Gaza. C’est la raison pour laquelle ils ont largement rogné sur les salaires des fonctionnaires – y compris les partisans du Fatah -, forcé des milliers de personnes à prendre une retraite anticipée et cessé de payer la facture de carburant de la seule centrale électrique de la bande côtière. Israël – confronté à des missiles de plus en plus efficaces, des ballons et des cerfs-volants incendiaires, des Marches du retour et des dommages croissants à sa réputation internationale – est naturellement le principal comploteur.

    Chaque fois que j’appelais des parents ou des amis dans la bande de Gaza, quelle que soit leur conviction politique, ils se plaignaient de moments difficiles et de la difficulté à joindre les deux bouts. Mais tous, même les partisans du Fatah, étaient d’accord sur un point : le Hamas avait instauré la sécurité et mis fin à l’anarchie qui régnait avant sa prise du pouvoir par son célèbre coup de force de 2007. (...)

    • Hamas Crushes Protests at Cost to Its Popularity

      Even if demonstrators don’t dare protest again, the Hamas government has inflicted upon itself a powerful blow

      Amira Hass | Mar 19, 2019 12:08 PM
      https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/palestinians/.premium-hamas-crushes-protests-at-cost-to-its-popularity-1.7039204

      For now it seems that the intimidation has done its job. The Hamas regime in Gaza succeeded in putting down the protests. But the immediate and cruel repression has managed to shock even those people who tend to take Hamas’ side in the conflict between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, or who see the Ramallah leadership as primarily responsible – after Israel, of course – for the Gaza residents’ enormous distress.

      Hamas proved last week the extent to which it fears popular criticism, which at first wasn’t necessarily ideological or political. There is a tendency to believe that the Hamas leadership is more attentive to the public than the Fatah leadership. The former was given a chance to confirm this belief and score some points even among those who are not their ideological supporters. That opportunity was squandered.

      In response to the suppression of the demonstrations and the detention of journalists (23 of whom were arrested, with three still detained as of Monday), journalists received a message this week to boycott the March of Return demonstrations this Friday and not to report on them. “This will be a test of the youth movement,” a Gazan woman told Haaretz. “If they don’t attend the demonstrations and leave them just to the Hamas people, it will be another way to show their strength and the strength of the protest.”

      Despite the high price they’ve exacted in lives and in the health of Gazan residents and the functioning of the Strip’s health system, the March of Return demonstrations were seen as an act that gave meaning to the residents cooped up in the Strip, and as a political achievement for Hamas, which had organized a protest that reached the ears of the entire world. Therefore the readiness – even if it’s only talk – to boycott them as an act of protest indicates that Hamas cannot count forever on its monopoly as the leading force of resistance against the occupation.

      Hamas has proven that it clings to its status as the ruling party in Gaza, just as Fatah is clinging to its status as the ruling party in the West Bank enclaves. Just as the PA organized artificial demonstrations of support for Mahmoud Abbas, so did Hamas fashion rallies for itself over the past few days in Gaza, while blocking the authentic demonstrations. On Sunday it exploited the shooting and knifing attack at the Ariel junction to bring its supporters out into the streets. What it denies its opponents, it permits its supporters.

      The youth movement that initiated the demonstrations promised on Sunday to revive them, but it didn’t happen. Nevertheless, those I spoke with gave the impression that there’s no fear of speaking openly about what’s happening and to share the reports with others. The way Hamas security personnel beat demonstrators could be seen from the few video clips that were distributed, despite the confiscation of journalists’ and others’ cell phones. They are reminiscent of the videos taken at demonstrations in Iran – with telephones that were half hidden under clothing or handbags, or from behind screens.

      The total number of people arrested and those freed is not known and it’s doubtful if anyone will manage to calculate it. Nor is it known how many people are still being detained in police stations now. The talk of torture in detention was very scary. There were reports that some regular participants in the Friday demonstrations were among those detained and tortured. These reports are yet to be verified.

      When journalists are not free and don’t dare investigate events properly, the Palestinian human rights organizations operating in Gaza become even more important, particularly the Independent Palestinian Human Rights Commission, (which acts as the ombudsman of the PA and of the de facto government in Gaza), the Palestinian Center for Human Rights and the Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights. These are organizations that criticize the PA regime when necessary, and continuously document the Israeli violations of international law and human rights.

      During the wars and Israeli military attacks, their field investigators took risks to gather testimony and document the harshest of incidents. Shortly after the violent dispersal of the demonstrations in Gaza on Thursday, these organizations issued reports and condemnations – in Arabic and English – provided their counterpart organizations in Ramallah with regular information, and repeatedly sent out their people to take testimony.

      Here too the Hamas security apparatuses revealed their fear of the facts coming out; policemen attacked two senior officials of the Independent Palestinian Commission – Jamil Sarhan, director of the Gaza branch, and attorney Baker Turkmani. On Friday, in the context of their work, both of them were in the home of a journalist in the Dir al-Balah refugee camp, where the boldest demonstrations took place. Hamas policemen confiscated their cell phones and removed them from the house. When they were outside, in police custody, although their identities were known, other policemen beat them until they bled. Sarhan still suffers from a head wound.

      It didn’t stop there. Four researchers from three human rights organizations (the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Al-Mezan and Al-Dameer) were arrested Saturday while collecting testimony and were taken for questioning. When the lawyer of the Palestinian Center went to the police to find out the reason for the arrests, he was also arrested. But the five were released a few hours later. These organizations and their people have proven in the past that they cannot be intimidated. So from Hamas’ perspective, the attempt to frighten them was foolish.

      It seems that the suppression of the demonstrations restored, if only for a short while, the emotional and ideological barrier that in the 1980s had separated the nationalist PLO groups and the Islamic organizations in the pre-Hamas era. The National and Islamic Forces, an umbrella body, convened Friday and called on Hamas to apologize to the public and release all the detainees.

      Hamas and Fatah have long refused to sit together at these meetings, at least at most of them, so this is an organization without teeth. But its importance as an umbrella body is that during times of crisis it brings together senior officials of various parties and movements, albeit not all of them, and provides some sort of platform for exchanging views and calming the situation when necessary.

      At this meeting, all the national organizations were present except for Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The absence of the latter is interesting; during past periods of tension between Hamas and Fatah, this small organization remained neutral and was a partner to the external efforts to reconcile between them. This time one could interpret their absence from the meeting as expressing support for Hamas’ repression – or as dependence on the large religious organization.

      Those who signed the meeting’s call for Hamas to apologize included the Popular Front, which is very close to Hamas when it comes to their criticism of the Oslo Accords and the PA. Although it has shrunk and no longer has prominent leaders or activists as in the past, it still benefits from its past glory, and its clear stance has symbolic value. Even if the demonstrators fear to return to protest for a lengthy period, the Hamas government has inflicted upon itself a powerful blow.

  • Sciences Po censure une #conférence sur l’apartheid israélien

    Le 20 mars 2019 devait se tenir à Sciences Po un événement sur l’apartheid israélien dans le cadre de l’Israeli Apartheid Week. Deux jours avant l’événement, Sciences Po a décidé d’annuler la conférence. Voilà la réponse des organisateurs-rices à cette censure politique. Tou-te-s au 96 boulevard Raspail le 20 mars à 19h, en soutien au peuple palestinien et contre la répression !

    https://blogs.mediapart.fr/collectif-lintersection/blog/190319/sciences-po-censure-une-conference-sur-l-apartheid-israelien
    #apartheid #Israël #Sciences_po #palestine #France

    • Une université suisse doit annuler la « fête de la haine » anti-juive

      Demande d’annulation de la « fête de la haine » d’Israël à la Haute Ecole pédagogique Vaudoise

      Monsieur le recteur Guillaume Vanhulst,

      J’ai appris par un article publié par le centre Simon Wiesenthal, qu’HEP Lausanne a reprogrammé (sous un autre titre (1), mais sans changer le contenu), une formation antisioniste que les autorités vaudoises avaient fait annuler en octobre pour cause de « déséquilibre pédagogique ».

      C’est une formation politique clairement partisane, qui entre en conflit frontal avec les Valeurs et la Charte éthique "favorisant le développement d’une réflexion critique", et le souci d’une "approche critique parmi la diversité des courants de pensée dans le cadre de ses activités de formation et de recherche" énoncées par HEP (2).

      La formation, en effet, est composée de virulents activistes anti-israéliens engagés dans des campagnes antisémites, « qui nient le droit à l’autodétermination du peuple juif, et sont déterminés à détruire l’Etat juif » précise le Centre Simon Wiesenthal, et la lecture du nom des intervenants le confirme au-delà du moindre doute (3).

      Je ne pense pas qu’une "fête de la haine" qui vise à répandre l’idéologie anti-israélienne aux lycéens au travers de la formation que vous assurez aux professeurs, ait sa place dans une école dont la mission est de transmettre la tolérance et l’ouverture par la connaissance.

      La délégitimation d’Israël porte en elle un fruit unique : celui de la haine. Aucun autre.

      Et cette formation à la haine d’Israël est en contradiction profonde avec la charte éthique d’HEP.

      Je vous demande en conséquence et très respectueusement, monsieur le recteur, d’annuler définitivement cette formation des enseignants à la délégitimation d’Israël, ainsi que toute autre formation future qui ne serait pas honnêtement et fondamentalement équilibrée dans son esprit et ses objectifs, et qui ne prévoirait pas la présence d’académiciens pro-Israéliens et anti-Israéliens réputés en nombre égal.

      Veuillez accepter, monsieur le recteur, l’expression de mes sentiments les meilleurs.

      (1) Le titre initial était « 1948 : connaître et enseigner la Nakba palestinienne » et cela s’appelle maintenant : « 1948 : les origines du problème des réfugiés palestiniens »

      (2) https://www.hepl.ch/cms/accueil/mission-et-organisation/valeurs-et-vision/valeurs.html

      (3)
      Elias Khoury, écrivain libanais qui a rejoint l’organisation du Fatah en 1967,
      Ilan Pappe, activiste anti-israélien d’extrême gauche, qui a soutenu la thèse inventée d’un étudiant, Teddy Katz, du massacre par des juifs d’un village palestinien, et continue à la soutenir bien qu’elle ait été rétractée par son auteur et démentie par un comité universitaire.
      Elias Sanbar, actuel ambassadeur palestinien auprès de l’UNESCO,
      Et Shlomo Sand, auteur de plusieurs livres violemment anti-israéliens.


      https://actionnetwork.org/letters/une-universite-suisse-doit-annuler-la-fete-de-la-haine-anti-juive-swi

    • 1948 dans le respect de l’#objectivité scientifique

      Face à une série de #pressions et d’informations erronées liées à la tenue du cours "1948 : Aux origines du problème des #réfugiés_palestiniens", le Comité de direction de la HEP Vaud réaffirme son attachement au respect des principes scientifiques et éthiques fondamentaux, moteurs de sa #liberté_académique.

      Le cours de #formation_continue destiné aux enseignants secondaires d’histoire, intitulé "#1948 : Aux origines du problème des réfugiés palestiniens" fait l’objet, depuis l’automne 2018, d’une série de pressions et d’informations erronées quant à son contenu, ses intervenants pressentis ou de prétendues intentions politiques malveillantes.

      La direction de la #HEP_Vaud, en accord avec les organisateurs du cours, a pris les dispositions nécessaires pour garantir à ce cours une approche respectueuse de la #neutralité_politique et de l’#objectivité_scientifique légitimement attendues de l’institution qui entend en assumer l’entière responsabilité.

      Elle rappelle que ce cours, non public et destiné exclusivement à des spécialistes de la didactique de l’histoire, devra se dérouler dans un climat de réflexion, de respect, d’ouverture et d’échanges académiques. La HEP Vaud proscrira toute approche polémique, tendancieuse, partisane ou arbitraire du sujet.

      « Je sais à quel point le fait d’aborder dans les curriculums de la HEP Vaud des thématiques vives peut susciter des réactions », souligne le recteur Guillaume Vanhulst. « La seule réponse que la HEP Vaud puisse apporter à des interprétations subjectives, voire à des tentatives de manipulation et d’#intimidation, repose sur un strict respect des #principes_scientifiques et éthiques fondamentaux que la Loi sur la HEP lui confère. »

      La compétence à respecter ces principes est à la racine d’un droit fondamental que le Comité de direction de la HEP Vaud entend promouvoir : la liberté académique.

      https://www.hepl.ch/cms/accueil/actualites-et-agenda/actu-hep/1948-respect-objectivite.html
      #éthique

  • Israeli Arab slate, far-left candidate banned from election hours after Kahanist leader allowed to run
    Jonathan Lis and Jack Khoury Mar 07, 2019 7:07 AM
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/elections/.premium-far-left-lawmaker-banned-from-israeli-election-for-supporting-terr

    Arab political sources say the move is evidence of racism and the delegitimization of Arab society in Israel, accusing Netanyahu’s Likud party of anti-Arab incitement

    The Central Election Committee disqualified the Arab joint slate Balad-United Arab List and Ofer Cassif, a member of politicial alliance Hadash-Ta’al, from running in the election on Wednesday, opposing the opinion of Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit.

    Michael Ben Ari and Itamar Ben-Gvir from the Kahanist, far-right Otzma Yehudit party had petitioned against both lists. The committee approved Ben Air to run in the election earlier Wednesday.

    The decisions will be referred to the Supreme Court on Sunday for approval. A ban against a party slate may be appealed in the Supreme Court, which holds a special “election appeals” process, while a ban on an individual candidate automatically requires approval by the Supreme Court if it is to take effect.

    Arab political sources described the disqualification of the Balad-United Arab List slate as evidence of racism and the delegitimization of Arab society in Israel and accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party of anti-Arab incitement.

    MK David Bitan petitioned on behalf of Likud against Balad-United Arab List, and Yisrael Beitenu chairman Avigdor Lieberman petitioned against Cassif. Petitioners claimed both lists and Cassif supported terror and ruled out Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish and Democratic state. Mendelblit said he opposed all the petitions.

    Ben-Gvir presented the committee with findings he claimed should disqualify the Hadash-Ta’al slate. He mentioned a call from Ta’al chairman Ahmed Tibi to annul the Declaration of Independence, and quoted a Facebook post by Ayman Odeh, the head of Hadash.

    In the post, written following a meeting with Fatah member Marwan Barghouti at an Israeli prison, Odeh compared Barghouti to Nelson Mandela. “The meeting was moving, as well as speaking to a leader who shares my political stances.” Ben-Gvir noted Odeh defined Ahed Tamimi as an “excellent girl,” and said she showed “legitimate resistance.” Tamimi, a Palestinian teenage girl, served time in prison for slapping an Israeli soldier in 2018.

    Cassif was accused of equating Israel and the Israel Defense Forces with the Nazi regime, and it was noted that he called to fight “Judeo-Nazism,” expressed support for changing the anthem, and called Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked “Neo-Nazi scum.” He did not attend the session, but was called after committee chairman Justice Hanan Melcer insisted on his presence.

    “I come from an academic background, and my area of expertise is among other things the subject of Fascism, Nazis and nationalism in general,” said Cassif, explaining his comments. “When I speak to a friend or write a post as a private person, I use metaphors. When I used the aforementioned terms – they were metaphors.”

    In an interview last month, Cassif said Israel conducts a “creeping genocide” against the Palestinian people.

    The top candidate on the slate, Mansour Abbas, said he had expected that most of the representatives of the Zionist parties on the election committee would support the move to disqualify the slate, but added: “We are a democratic Arab list that is seeking to represent Arab society with dignity and responsibility.”

    Commenting on Benny Gantz, the leader of Kahol Lavan, which is ahead of Likud in recent polls, Abbas said: “There’s no difference between Benjamin Netanyahu and Benjamin Gantz.”

    Mtanes Shehadeh, who is No. 2 on the Balad-United Arab list slate said the decision to disqualify his slate was expected because he said the Central Election Committee has a right-wing majority and “is also controlled by a fascist, right-wing ideology.”

    His Balad faction, Shehadeh said, “presents a challenge to democracy in Israel” and challenges what he called “the right-wing regime that is controlling the country.”

    Sources from the Balad-United Arab list slate said there is in an urgent need to strip the Central Election Committee of the authority to disqualify candidates and parties from running in elections. The considerations that go into the decision are purely political, the sources said.

    Balad chairman Jamal Zahalka said the decision to disqualify the slate sends a “hostile message to the Arab public” in the country. “We will petition the High Court of Justice against the decision and in any event, we will not change our position, even if we are disqualified.”

    Earlier Wednesday, the Central Elections Committee approved Ben Ari, the chairman of the far-right Otzma Yehudit party, to run for the Knesset.

    Meretz, Stav Shaffir (Labor) and the Reform Movement, who filed the petition to the Central Elections Committee to ban Ben Ari from running for Knesset, all said they would file a petition with the High Court of Justice against the committee’s decision.

    Prior to deliberations, Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit submitted his opinion to the comittee, stating he was in favor of disqualifying Ben Ari from running for Knesset on the grounds of incitement to racism.

    In November 2017, for instance, at an annual memorial for Rabbi Meir Kahane, Ben Ari gave a speech in which he said of Israeli Arabs, “Let’s give them another 100,000 dunams [of land] and affirmative action, maybe they’ll love us. In the end, yes, they’ll love us when we’re slaughtered.”

    In May 2018, Ben Ari gave another speech in which he said, “The Arabs of Haifa aren’t different in any way from the Arabs of Gaza. How are they different? In that they’re here, enemies from within. They’re waging war against us here, within the state. And this is called – it has a name – it’s called a fifth column. We need to call the dog by its name. They’re our enemies. They want to destroy us. Of course there are loyal Arabs, but you can count them – one percent or less than one percent.”

    #Hadash

    • Outlaw Israel’s Arabs
      They are already regarded as illegitimate citizens. Why not just say so and anchor it in law?
      Gideon Levy | Mar 10, 2019 3:15 AM
      https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-outlaw-israel-s-arabs-1.7003010

      The time has come to put an end to the stammering and going around in circles: Outlaw the Arabs, all of them. Make them all illegal dwellers in their land and have the Border Police hunt them down like animals, as they know how to do. They are already regarded as illegitimate citizens. It’s time to say so and to anchor it in law.

      Discerning the differences among them is artificial: What’s the difference between the United Arab List–Balad ticket and between the Hadash–Ta’al ticket (acronyms for the Arab political parties)? Why is only the first one on this list being disqualified? And what is the difference between the Palestinians who are Israeli citizens and those living under occupation?

      Why does one group have rights while the others don’t? The time has come to rectify the situation: Ta’al should be treated like Balad; citizens of the state should be treated like those under occupation. Anything less is like paying lip service to the guardians of political correctness, to a supposed semblance of fairness, to a deceptive image of democracy. Outlawing all the Arabs is the way to ensure you have a Jewish state. Who’s against that?

      Whoever thinks what I’ve written is wrong or an exaggeration isn’t reading reality. Disqualifying the Arabs is the issue that has the broadest consensus of the current election campaign. “I’ll put it simply,” Yair Lapid, the democrat, said. “We won’t form a blocking majority with the Arabs. Period.”

      Now I, will humbly put it simply, too: This is a revolting display of racism. Period. More than the torture of the residents of Gaza and the West Bank under the guise of security concerns, in this we see a broader Israeli racism in all its glory: Pure, unadulterated and acceptable racism. It’s not Balad, but the Arabs who are being disqualified. It’s not Ofer Kassif but the left that’s being disqualified. It’s a step-by-step slide down the slope and we can no longer shut our eyes to it.

      If this discourse delegitimizing our Arab citizens isn’t driving Israeli democrats mad – then there is no democracy. We don’t need any studies or institutes: A regime that disqualifies voters and elected officials because of their blood and nationality is not a democracy.

      You don’t need to cite the occupation to expose the lie of democracy – now it’s also apparent at home, within. From Benny Gantz to Bezalel Smotrich – all of them are Ben-Zion Gopsteins. The laws against racism and all the rest are only lip service. The Israeli Knesset has 107 lawmakers; thirteen of them, most of them among the best there are, are outside the game, they have less say than the ushers.

      Now we must try to imagine what they’re going through. They hear everyone trying to distance themselves from them, as though they’re a contagious disease, and they’re silent. They hear nobody seeking to get near them as though their bodies stink, and they avoid comment. The Knesset is like a bus that has segregated its Jewish and Arab passengers, an arena of political apartheid, not yet officially so, which declares from the outset that the Arabs are disqualified.

      Why even bother participating in this game that’s already been decided? The response should have been to boycott the elections. If you don’t want us, we don’t want you. The fig leaf is torn and has long been full of holes. But this is exactly what Israel wants: A country only for Jews. Therefore Arab citizens must not play this game and must head in their masses to the polling stations, just like the prime minister said, to poke Israeli racism painfully in the eye.

      For avowed racists, it’s all very clear. They say what they think: The Jews are a supreme race, the recipients of a divine promise, they have rights to this land, the Arabs are, at best, fleeting guests.

      The problem is with the racists in masquerade like Gantz and Lapid. I have a question for them: Why are Hadash and Ta’al not eligible to be part of a bloc? Why can’t you rely on their votes and why shouldn’t their representatives belong to the government? Would Ayman Odeh be any worse a culture minister than Miri Regev? Would Ahmad Tibi be any less skillful a health minister than Yaakov Litzman? The truth is this: The center-left is as racist as the right.

      Let’s hope no Gantz-Lapid government can be formed, just because of the Arab votes that it fails to have. That would be the sweetest revenge for racism.

    • La Cour suprême israélienne invalide la candidature d’un leader d’extrême droite
      La justice a interdit la candidature du chef d’Otzma Yehudit. Elle a approuvé la liste arabe, les présences d’un candidat juif d’extrême gauche et de Ben Gvir d’Otzma Yehudit
      Par Times of Israel Staff 18 mars 2019,
      https://fr.timesofisrael.com/la-cour-supreme-israelienne-invalide-la-candidature-dun-leader-dex

      (...) Les juges ont en revanche fait savoir que Itamar Ben Gvir, qui appartient également à la formation d’extrême-droite, est autorisé à se présenter.

      Ils ont aussi donné le feu vert à une participation au scrutin du 9 avril à Ofer Kassif ainsi qu’aux factions de Balad-Raam. Kassif est le seul candidat juif à figurer que la liste Hadash-Taal et il avait été disqualifié par la commission centrale électorale en raison de déclarations controversées faites dans le passé, notamment une dans laquelle il avait qualifié la ministre de la Justice Ayelet Shaked de « racaille néo-nazie ». (...)

      #Ofer_Kassif

  • Guerre du renseignement à Gaza
    Ahmad Abu Amer - 22 février 2019 – Al-Monitor – Traduction : Chronique de Palestine
    http://www.chroniquepalestine.com/guerre-du-renseignement-a-gaza

    GAZA City – Bande de Gaza –
    Les répercussions de l’opération bâclée du renseignement israélien à l’est de Khan Yunis dans le sud de Gaza le 13 novembre 2018 continuent de se manifester.

    Les forces de sécurité affiliées au Hamas dans la bande de Gaza ont saisi le 16 février des puces de pistage électroniques dissimulées dans des bottes militaires qui entraient à Gaza par le point de passage commercial de Kerem Abu Salem.

    Les forces de sécurité palestiniennes à Gaza esont persuadées qu’Israël est derrière la tentative de contrebande de « puces électroniques de suivi » dans la bande de Gaza, sur la base des aveux d’un suspect impliqué dans la fourniture d’un soutien logistique à Israël.

    Le suspect, identifié uniquement par ses initiales, M. Sh. a été arrêté par les forces de sécurité du Hamas à la suite de l’opération ratée de Khan Yunis. Dans ses aveux rendus publics le 11 février, M. Sh. a déclaré que le 2 octobre 2018, un officier des services de renseignements israéliens lui avait demandé de se rendre au poste-frontière de Kerem Abu Salem et de recevoir deux systèmes GPS qui se trouvaient à l’intérieur de conteneurs de marchandises entrant par Israël dans la bande de Gaza.

    Il a affirmé qu’un employé de l’Autorité palestinienne au passage facilitait l’entrée et la sortie sans effectuer d’inspections.

    Abu Mohammad, porte-parole des médias pour les Brigades des martyrs d’Al-Aqsa, branche armée du Fatah à Gaza, a déclaré à Al-Monitor qu’un de ses combattants avait acheté des bottes militaires bon marché à un magasin à Gaza début février pour 50 shekels israéliens (14 dollars) au lieu du prix initial de 160 à 180 shekels (environ 44 à 50 $). Rendu méfiant, le combattant a inspecté les bottes et a trouvé dans une semelle une puce de suivi électronique. (...)

  • « Mafieuse » : les Palestiniens en ont assez de la corruption de l’Autorité palestinienne
    Middle East Eye édition française - By Megan Giovannetti
    in RAMALLAH, Territoires palestiniens occupés (Cisjordanie)
    Date de publication : Lundi 18 février 2019
    https://www.middleeasteye.net/fr/news/mafieuse-les-palestiniens-en-ont-assez-de-la-corruption-de-lautorite-

    Les forces de sécurité palestiniennes forment un bouclier humain alors que les manifestants protestent contre le projet de loi sur la sécurité sociale de l’AP (AFP)

    Ali est incrédule. « Vous appelez ça un gouvernement ?! Moi, j’appelle ça la mafia. »

    Pour ce Palestinien de 22 ans habitant à Hébron, dans le sud de la Cisjordanie occupée, l’Autorité palestinienne (AP), dirigée par le président Mahmoud Abbas, est une institution corrompue qui ne profite qu’à une élite restreinte.

    « Les enfants d’Abou Mazen [le surnom d’Abbas] fréquentent les meilleures écoles, les meilleurs hôpitaux, ils voyagent dans le monde entier. Ils ne se soucient pas des gens en Palestine. »

    Ali est loin d’être le seul à penser ainsi. Selon un récent sondage d’opinion publié par l’ONG palestinienne Aman, 91 % des Palestiniens interrogés déclarent ne pas faire confiance à l’AP.

    Ghassan, un membre du Conseil législatif palestinien (CLP) aujourd’hui dissout et du parti au pouvoir, le Fatah, qui a demandé à rester anonyme, travaille au sein de l’AP depuis plus de vingt ans.

    Pour lui, les malversations politiques et financières du gouvernement, telles que le transfert de fonds pour la construction de nouvelles ambassades à l’étranger plutôt que la construction de projets en Palestine, ont sérieusement érodé la confiance de la population dans l’instance dirigeante.

    « Nous négligeons le peuple palestinien », estime-t-il. « Voilà pourquoi le peuple palestinien a perdu confiance, parce qu’au cours des dix dernières années, nous n’avons constaté aucun développement sur le terrain. »

    La démission du Premier ministre Rami Hamdallah il y a deux semaines à la suite de la dissolution du CLP en décembre n’a fait que confirmer ce point de vue chez de nombreux Palestiniens. Ces dernières décisions sont largement considérées comme un moyen de consolider davantage le pouvoir entre les mains du Fatah et du président. (...)

  • The sadists who destroyed a decades-old Palestinian olive grove can rest easy
    Another Palestinian village joins the popular protest, its inhabitants no longer able to bear attacks by settlers. Vandals have butchered a grove of 35-year-old olive trees in the village. The tracks led to a nearby settler outpost
    Gideon Levy and Alex Levac Jan 24, 2019
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/the-sadists-who-destroyed-a-decades-old-palestinian-olive-grove-can-rest-ea

    Vandalism in an olive grove in the West Bank village of Al-Mughayyir. Credit Alex Levac

    Who are the human scum who last Friday drove all-terrain vehicles down to the magnificent olive grove owned by Abed al Hai Na’asan, in the West Bank village of Al-Mughayyir, chose the oldest and biggest row, and with electric saws felled 25 trees, one after another? Who are the human scum who are capable of fomenting such an outrage on the soil, the earth, the trees and of course on the farmer, who’s been working his land for decades? Who are the human scum who fled like cowards, knowing that no one would bring them to justice for the evil they had wrought?

    We’re unlikely ever to get the answers. The police are investigating, but at the wild outposts of the Shiloh Valley, and Mevo Shiloh in particular, where the perpetrators’ tracks led, they can go on sleeping in peace. No one will be arrested, no one will be interrogated, no one will be punished. That’s the lesson of past experience in this violent, lawless, settlers’ country.

    The story itself makes one’s blood boil, but only the sight of the violated grove brings home the scale of the atrocity, the pathological sadism of the perpetrators, the depth of the farmer’s pain upon seeing that his own God’s little acre was assaulted by the Jewish, Israeli, settlers, believers, destroyers – just three days before Tu B’Shvat, the Jewish Arbor Day, the holiday of the trees celebrated by the same people who destroyed his grove. This is how they express their love for the land, this is a reflection of the encroacher’s fondness for the earth and for nature.

    And on a boulder at the far end of the grove they left their calling card, smeared on a rock: a Star of David smeared in red, shamefaced, shameful, a Mark of Cain that stigmatizes everything it stands for, and next to it, the word “Revenge.” Revenge for what?

    The 25 felled trees lie like corpses after a massacre on the fertile brown, plowed earth. Twenty-five thick trunks stand bare and decapitated, their roots still deep in the earth, their tops gone, the work of a malicious hand – now mere dead lumber after years of having been tended, cultivated and irrigated. It was the most impressive row of trees in the grove; the destroyers moved along it with satanic deliberateness, sawing mercilessly. When, walking amid the stumps in the grove, the distraught owner Na’asan said that for him the act was tantamount to murder, his words made perfect sense. When we were just arriving there, his wife had phoned and begged him not to visit the grove, for fear he would not be able to abide the sight. Na’asan has cancer.

    In the briefcase of documents he always carries with him is a copy of the official complaint he submitted to the Binyamin district station of the Israel Police, despite the fact that he knows nothing will ever come of it, that it will be buried like every such complaint. Anyone who wanted to apprehend the rampagers could have done it that same day: Mevo Shiloh, where the tracks of the all-terrain vehicles led, is a small settler outpost – violent and brazen.

    The way to Al-Mughayyir, located south of Jenin, passes through the affluent town of Turmus Ayya, many of whose residents live most of the year in the United States, only visiting their splendid homes in the summer. The village, with a population of 3,500, is separated from the town by pasture land where sheep are now grazing. Everything is lushly green.

    Abed al Hai Na’asan, with a butchered olive tree. The people of Al-Mughayyir say their problems have never been with the army, only with the settlers. Credit : Alex Levac

    In the center of Al-Mughayyir, a few men are standing next to an official vehicle of the Palestinian Authority. Personnel from the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture have arrived to assess the damage suffered by the farmers; at best the ministry gives them a symbolic amount of compensation. Such is the deceptive semblance of a government that supposedly protects helpless farmers.

    Everyone in the village knows that the PA can do nothing. So, about two months ago, the residents launched a popular protest, just as citizens of other villages before them have done – from Kaddoum, Nabi Saleh, Bil’in, Na’alin and others. Every Friday, they gather on their land, which lies on the eastern side of the Allon Road, and are confronted by a large number of army and Border Police forces, who disperse them with great quantities of tear gas that hangs like a pall over Al-Mughayyir, and with rubber bullets, rounds of “tutu” bullets (live 0.22-caliber bullets). Then come the nighttime arrests. Overnight this past Sunday, the troops arrested another seven villagers who took part in the demonstrations; 35 locals are currently in detention. This is the method Israel uses to suppress every popular protest in the territories.

    According to the villagers, their sole demand is removal of the Mevo Shiloh outpost, which was established without a permit on a half-abandoned Israel Defense Forces base that overlooks their fields. The settlers burn the Palestininans’ fields, allow their sheep to graze on their land without permission, chase away the villagers’ flocks and perpetrate various “price tag” operations – hate crimes – against them.

    In the previous such assault, on November 25, eight cars were damaged. The graffiti, documented by Iyad Hadad, a field researcher for the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, leave little to the imagination: “Death to the Arabs,” “Enough administrative orders,” “Revenge,” “Price Tag” – and also the unfathomable “Regards to Nachman Rodan.”

    The people of Al-Mughayyir say their problems have never been with the army, only with the settlers. Here the war is for control of the land. It is a primeval, despairing war in which law, property rights and ownership play no part – what counts is the violence that can be perpetrated, under the aegis of the occupation authorities. When, one day, these people are forced to give up their land in the wake of the violence, the settlers will chalk up yet another impressive achievement in their effort to chop up the West Bank into separate and disconnected slices of territory. This week, when we drove across village land toward Mevo Shiloh, the villagers who rode with us begged us to turn around at once. So great is their fear of the settlers, that even when they crossed their fields in a car with Israeli plates, accompanied by Israelis, they were seized by dread.

    The home of Amin Abu Aaliya, head of the village council, is perched atop a high hill, overlooking all the houses in his village and the fertile valley where his lands lie. In the winter sun that shines on the holiday of the trees, he serves a local pastry stuffed with leaves of green za’atar (wild hyssop), baked by his wife, who doesn’t join us. When we ask him to “Tell her it was delicious,” he replies, “She mustn’t get a swelled head.”

    The view from the roof of his elegant home is indeed stunning. Scratchy music that blares from an old Citroen Berlingo down below heralds the arrival in the village of a vendor selling the sweet cotton candy known here as “girls’ hair.” In the middle of the village, young people are decorating one of the houses with flags of Fatah and Palestine: A resident of the village is due to return home today after serving two years in an Israeli prison, and a festive welcome is being prepared for him.

    The Allon Road, which was paved in the 1970s and runs north to south in the eastern part of the West Bank, with the aim of severing its territories from the Kingdom of Jordan, also separated Al-Mughayyir from most of its land, about 30,000 dunams (7,500 acres), located east of the road. The villagers grew used to that over the years. They also forgave the expropriation of land for the road and afterward for its widening. There is no safe place for them to cross the Allon Road with their herds, to access their land but they grew used to that, too. Sometimes the army blocks the dirt road that leads from the village to their land and they are cut off from it, unless they decide to take a long bypass route there. A matter of routine.

    The people of Al-Mughayyir also learned how to live with the former existence of the military base of Mevo Shiloh, which dominated their land. They even came to terms with the Adei Ad outpost, whose members also assaulted them. But then the IDF evacuated the base and the settlers seized it. An internet search reveals that the settlers were ostensibly removed from this outpost a few years ago. But mobile homes sprout from the high hill that overlooks the village’s fields, and alongside them, large structures used for farming. Mevo Shiloh is alive and kicking.

    The villagers say that the Civil Administration, a branch of the military government, promised them in the past that the outpost would be evacuated, but that didn’t happen. Lacking the funds to wage a legal battle, and not believing it would produce results anyway, they embarked on their Friday demonstrations.

    I asked whether they had first consulted with other locales that have waged similar struggles. “There was no need to,” the council head said. “You don’t need consultation when you are in the right. We feel unsafe on our own land. How are we to protect ourselves and our lands? It’s a natural reaction: Either to turn to violence or to popular protest. We chose the path of popular protest.”

    The dirt path that leads east from the village toward the Allon Road reflects the events here in the past two months. Empty canisters of the tear gas fired at the demonstrators hang from electrical cables, the ground is strewn with the remnants of scorched tires and with stone barriers. During the Friday protest two weeks ago, 30 villagers were wounded by rubber-coated metal bullets. The troops film the demonstrators and raid the village at night to arrest them – standard procedure in the villages of the struggle. Close to 100 residents have been detained during the past two months.

    A dense cloud of tear gas hangs over Al-Mughayyir during the demonstrations and, according to council head Aaliya, even wafts upward to his house high on the hill. In some cases the settlers join the security forces to disperse the demonstrations, throwing stones at the protesters.

    Na’asan, whose trees were ravaged, arrives at Aaliya’s house and shows him a copy of the complaint he filed with the Binyamin police: “Confirmation of submission of complaint.” The space for the details of the incident is empty. The space for the place of the event contains the following, word for word: “Magir RM in the forest, nursery, grove, field.” The charge: “Damage to property maliciously.” Hebrew only, of course. “File No. 31237.”

    The police arrived at the grove last Friday, two hours after Na’asan discovered what had happened and reported it to the Palestinian Coordination and Liaison office. They said the ATV tracks seemed to lead to Mevo Shiloh. According to Na’asan, while the police were in the grove, a few settlers stood on the hill opposite and watched. The police are now investigating.

    About 20 members of Na’asan’s extended family subsist thanks to this grove, which before the attack boasted a total of 80 trees of different ages, all meticulously cultivated. Standing here now, he says he’ll have to clear away those that were felled and bandage the stumps against the cold. That’s the only way they will perhaps sprout new branches, which he will have to tend. It will take another 35 years for the grove to return to its former state. Na’asan is 62. This grove grew together with his children, he says. He knows there’s little chance he’ll be around to see it recover.

  • Israel uses online blackmail to recruit collaborators | The Electronic Intifada
    https://electronicintifada.net/content/israel-uses-online-blackmail-recruit-collaborators/23461

    It was through social media that Ashraf Abu Leila, possibly the most notorious of recently convicted collaborators, is said to have first been recruited by Israeli intelligence. Accused with two other men of the assassination of Mazen al-Fuqaha, a senior Qassam Brigades leader who was killed in March last year, Abu Leila was executed on 25 May 2017 after being found guilty by a revolutionary court.

    Under questioning, Abu Leila is said to have confessed to being recruited through an online messenger app at the beginning of 2004 by a man who claimed to be a member of al-Qaida. And over time, authorities say, Abu Leila proved a deadly assassin.

    A member of Hamas since 2001, Abu Leila reportedly early became close to a Qassam commander, who would unwittingly shield him in the future. During the 2007 fighting in Gaza that led to the ouster of Fatah, Hamas authorities now say he was responsible for the murder of several members of the preventive security forces. He was also accused of another murder, but escaped punishment due to his involvement with Hamas’ military wing.

    He subsequently worked in different ministries until 2013, when he became increasingly radicalized and reportedly got close to Gaza’s Doghmush clan and its Salafi Army of Islam group. Indeed, the assassination of al-Fuqaha was initially thought to have been carried out by Salafis, with whom Hamas has been engaged in conflict on and off for more than a decade.

    Les #réseaux_sociaux comme instrument de recrutement pour des informateurs locaux par les Israéliens. #israël #palestine #tic_arabes

  • Chronique du cinéma palestinien : la renaissance d’un cinéma sans État
    Lou Mamalet, Middle East Eye, le 3 novembre 2018
    https://www.middleeasteye.net/fr/reportages/chronique-du-cin-ma-palestinien-la-renaissance-d-un-cin-ma-sans-tat-5

    Quand il s’agit de définir les contours du cinéma palestinien, la réponse n’est jamais évidente. Il est en effet complexe de délimiter les frontières d’un art sans État. Le cinéma palestinien est un territoire fragmenté qui s’ancre dans différents espaces temporels et géographiques, conséquence d’un passé intrinsèquement lié à l’exil et à la dispersion.

    Malgré les difficultés économiques de cette industrie en quête permanente de financement, elle continue de porter à l’écran ceux que l’on a essayé de rendre invisibles, notamment à travers une nouvelle vague de jeunes réalisateurs, tels Rakan Mayasi ou Muayad Alayan , qui se sont fait remarquer lors de festivals de films internationaux.

    Début du XIX e siècle : premiers pas du cinéma palestinien

    Les prémices du cinéma palestinien remontent au début du XX e siècle, à l’occasion d’une visite du roi d’Arabie saoudite Ibn Saoud en Palestine en 1935. Accompagné par le mufti de Jérusalem Amin al-Husseini, son périple est immortalisé par Ibrahim Hassan Sirhan, réalisateur palestinien autodidacte, qui filme l’événement avec un appareil de fortune acheté à Tel Aviv.

    Sirhan s’associe plus tard à Jamal al-Asphar, un autre réalisateur palestinien, avec qui il filme The Realized Dreams (« les rêves réalisés »), un documentaire de 45 minutes sur les orphelins palestiniens.

    Considérés comme les pères fondateurs du cinéma palestinien, Sirhan et Asphar sont les premiers autochtones à faire des films en Palestine ; les premières images du pays avaient jusqu’alors été tournées par les frères Lumières ou d’autres sociétés européennes empreintes d’une forte dimension orientaliste, se contentant de dépeindre des sujets folkloriques et traditionnels.

    Dix ans plus tard, Ibrahim Hassan Sirhan ouvre le premier studio de production cinématographique en Palestine avec Ahmad al-Kalini, un compatriote ayant étudié le cinéma au Caire. Le duo produira plusieurs longs métrages, dont aucune trace ne demeure de nos jours, comme la majeure partie des réalisations de cette époque.

    La déclaration Balfour en 1917 et la création de l’État d’Israël trente ans plus tard dessinent cependant un autre destin pour le cinéma palestinien. En 1948, plus de 700 000 Palestiniens sont forcés à l’exil lors de la Nakba (« catastrophe »), assénant un coup dur à la production cinématographique palestinienne. Le peuple est traumatisé et doit faire face à une nouvelle situation, ne laissant derrière lui presqu’aucun document. C’est le commencement d’une longue période de silence cinématographique de plus de deux décennies.

    Fin des années 1960, début des années 1970 : le cinéma de la révolution

    Ce mutisme prend fin en 1968, après la défaite arabe de la guerre des Six Jours (la Naksa) et ses conséquences politiques : l’occupation israélienne de la Cisjordanie, de Jérusalem-Est et de Gaza.

    Cette tragédie renforce le statut de l’Organisation de libération de la Palestine (OLP) et d’autres institutions palestiniennes, qui sont alors perçues comme les derniers symboles d’espoir et de résistance arabe. Sous leurs auspices, un nouveau cinéma militant apparaît afin de documenter la lutte palestinienne et la vie des réfugiés dans les camps.

    Certains réalisateurs palestiniens ayant étudié à l’étranger rejoignent ainsi les rangs de l’OLP à Amman, puis à Beyrouth. Parmi eux, Sulafa Jadallah Mirsal, une jeune photographe palestinienne qui a étudié au Caire. Dans sa cuisine, elle monte une unité photographique avec des équipements basiques et se focalise sur les photographies des martyrs de guerre.

    En 1968, son travail est transféré à Amman où se situe le siège du Fatah, principal parti de l’OLP dirigé par Yasser Arafat, et pour la première fois, un département de photographie est créé.

    Elle est très rapidement rejointe par deux réalisateurs palestiniens : Mustafa Abu Ali , qui a par ailleurs travaillé avec Jean-Luc Godard sur son film Ici et ailleurs (1974), et Hani Jawharieh, avec qui elle mettra en place la première Unité du film palestinien (PFU).

    Ils sortent en 1969 No to a Peace Solution (« Non à une solution de paix »), un film de vingt minutes qui documente les manifestations de civils contre la solution de paix proposée par le secrétaire d’État américain de l’époque William Rogers.

    Suite au conflit entre l’OLP et le roi Hussein de Jordanie qui débouche, en 1970, sur les événements de Septembre noir , l’organisation de Yasser Arafat doit quitter la Jordanie et se relocalise au Liban. Durant cette période, plus de 60 documentaires sont tournés malgré les difficultés économiques et le début de la guerre civile libanaise, comme With our Souls and our Blood (« avec nos âmes et notre sang »), qui narre les massacres de septembre 1970.

    On assiste alors à l’accélération d’une prise de conscience de l’importance du cinéma et des images comme outil politique dans la promotion des idéaux révolutionnaires de la cause palestinienne.

    En 1974, est ainsi produit par Mustafa Abu Ali They Do Not Exist (« ils n’existent pas »), un documentaire dépeignant la vie des Palestiniens dans un camp de réfugiés du Sud-Liban et dont le titre est inspiré des déclarations négationnistes de Golda Meir (Première ministre israélienne de l’époque) au sujet des Palestiniens.

    Comme l’explique à Middle East Eye Hanna Atallah, réalisateur palestinien et directeur de FilmLab Palestine , une association qui supporte l’industrie cinématographique palestinienne, « Il s’agissait de construire un récit-réponse à celui des Israéliens, de trouver une alternative au discours selon lequel la Palestine était une terre sans habitants uniquement peuplée de bédouins. Les Israéliens ont vite compris qu’écrire l’histoire était un instrument politique, chose que les Palestiniens n’avaient pas réalisée jusqu’alors ».

    Un outil politique qui nécessite de centraliser les œuvres réalisées, ce à quoi s’attèle Mustafa Abu Ali en créant l’Archive du film palestinien en vue de réunir les efforts des réalisateurs palestiniens du monde entier et de préserver l’identité palestinienne en donnant une certaine reconnaissance à son cinéma.

    Cette archive contient une vaste quantité de documents sur le siège de Beyrouth, les batailles des fédayins, mais aussi des interviews de politiciens et d’intellectuels. Malheureusement, elle disparaîtra lors de l’invasion du Liban par Israël en 1982.

    Des efforts seront toutefois déployés par plusieurs réalisateurs – comme Monica Maurer, cinéaste allemande ayant autrefois opéré au sein de l’Unité du film palestinien de l’OLP, et l’artiste palestinienne Emily Jacir – afin de restaurer et digitaliser les rushes de cette période, à l’instar de ceux de Tel al-Zaatar , un film sur le siège du camp de réfugiés palestiniens du même nom à Beyrouth par les milices chrétiennes, initialement filmé par le cinéaste libanais Jean Khalil Chamoun et le Palestinien Mustafa Abu Ali.

    Une période également documentée dans Off Frame a.k.a. Revolution Until Victory (2016) de Mohanad Yaqubi, cinéaste palestinien et fondateur de Idiom , une société de production basée à Ramallah. Après un long travail de recherche dans le monde entier, Yaqubi est parvenu à exhumer des images d’archives inédites montrant le travail de cinéastes militants durant les années 60-70, un résultat qui réfléchit aussi sur la lutte palestinienne dans sa représentation d’elle-même et la réappropriation de son récit à travers l’établissement de l’Unité du film palestinien.

    1980-1990 : cinéma indépendant et réalisme social

    Les années 1980-1990 sont particulièrement difficiles pour les Palestiniens. Face à la persistance de l’occupation israélienne et à l’échec des tentatives de paix, les nouvelles générations commencent à perdre espoir en l’avenir. La crise économique, le chômage et l’augmentation des colonies dans les territoires occupés sont autant de facteurs qui précipitent l’éclatement de la première Intifada , le 9 décembre 1987.

    Un tournant politique qui marque aussi l’avènement d’une nouvelle génération de réalisateurs palestiniens ayant étudié à l’étranger. D’un cinéma de la révolution, principalement militant et documentaire, on passe alors au récit de la vie sous occupation et de la résistance.

    Parmi eux, Michel Khleifi , qui revient dans sa ville natale de Nazareth, en Galilée, après avoir passé dix ans en Belgique. Il produit son premier long métrage, Fertile Memory (mémoire fertile), en 1980, une fiction empruntant au documentaire qui raconte l’histoire de deux femmes palestiniennes dont l’une est forcée de travailler dans une entreprise de textile israélienne après avoir vu sa terre expropriée par Israël.

    Cette nouvelle vague est également représentée par les œuvres de Mai Masri , une réalisatrice palestinienne qui a grandi à Beyrouth et étudié à San Francisco. Dans Wild Flowers : Women of South Lebanon (1987), réalisé avec Jean Khalil Chamoun, elle filme la vie de femmes libanaises résistant durant l’occupation militaire israélienne du Sud Liban.

    Après les accords d’Oslo en 1993, on assiste à une certaine désillusion de la société palestinienne, qui se ressent à l’écran. Le cinéma s’éloigne de l’esprit révolutionnaire des années 1970 et de la nostalgie des années 1980 pour migrer vers un réalisme social traitant des problèmes que rencontrent les Palestiniens dans leur vie quotidienne.

    Comme le souligne Hanna Atallah, « Il n’est plus question de la vision romanesque et fantasmée de la Palestine perdue, avec ses champs d’orangers et d’oliviers. On parle du quotidien, des check-points et du mur ».

    Une situation tragique souvent tournée au ridicule par les réalisateurs, à l’instar d’Elia Suleiman, qui se met toujours en scène dans ses films comme observateur passif du délitement de l’identité palestinienne.

    Avec Chronique d’une disparition (1996), il dresse un portrait caustique de la réalité palestinienne sous occupation, entre anecdotes personnelles et discours politique sur Israël. Dans Intervention divine (2002), il raconte les déboires d’un couple de Palestiniens qui, pour se voir, l’un vivant à Jérusalem-Est et l’autre à Ramallah, doit se donner rendez-vous dans un terrain vague proche du check-point.

    Des difficultés de l’occupation aussi décrites par Rashid Masharawi. Qu’il s’agisse de Couvre-feu , description de celui imposé à son village de la bande de Gaza pendant 40 jours en 1993 (film qui lui fait gagner le prix UNESCO au festival de Cannes 1993), de L’Attente , qui suit Ahmad, un réalisateur faisant passer des auditions dans différents camps de réfugiés du Proche-Orient afin de constituer la troupe du futur théâtre palestinien (2006), ou de L’Anniversaire de Leïla (2008), qui raconte les obstacles d’un juge forcé de devenir chauffeur de taxi, le réalisateur évoque la douleur d’un peuple qui doit subir un état d’apartheid.

    Des années 2000 à nos jours : nouvelle vague et changement de récit

    Depuis les années 2000, si la politique reste en toile de fond des films palestiniens, elle n’est plus nécessairement au cœur du sujet, faisant place à des fictions au ton décalé et aux intrigues inattendues.

    De nouveaux thèmes sont abordés par de jeunes réalisateurs qui explorent la complexité de la réalité palestinienne, tels les écarts de perception entre les Palestiniens restés sur place et ceux revenus après avoir commencé une nouvelle vie à l’étranger ou encore les différences intergénérationnelles.

    C’est le cas de Wajib – L’invitation au mariage d’Annemarie Jacir (2017) , un long métrage qui illustre avec humour et tendresse la situation palestinienne à travers le regard de deux générations. Alors que le fils reproche au père d’inviter un ami juif, qu’il suspecte de travailler pour les services de renseignement israéliens, au mariage de sa sœur, le père en veut à son fils d’être en couple avec la fille d’un membre de l’OLP à qui il reproche de ne pas se soucier du sort des Palestiniens.

    Autre exemple, Love, Theft and Other Entanglements (« Amours, larcins et autres complications », 2015) des frères Muayad et Rami Musa Alayan, une fable absurde aux allures de western qui met en scène les aventures au milieu des milices palestiniennes et des services d’intelligence israéliens d’un petit magouilleur palestinien qui espère pouvoir se payer un visa de sortie du pays en volant une voiture appartenant à un Israélien et qui se retrouve enfermé dans le coffre de la voiture volée avec le soldat israélien qu’il a kidnappé.

    Des œuvres qui n’hésitent donc pas à utiliser l’humour et le symbolisme pour dénoncer le quotidien tragique des Palestiniens sous occupation, à l’instar de The Wanted 18 (« les dix-huit fugitives »), film d’animation intégrant des images d’archives qui raconte l’histoire vraie de Palestiniens du village de Beit Sahour, en Cisjordanie, tentant de maintenir clandestinement une industrie de vaches laitières pendant la première Intifada. Réalisé par Amer Shomali et Paul Cowan, le film a reçu le prix du meilleur documentaire au Festival du film d’Abou Dabi.

    Les courts-métrages ne font pas exception à la règle. En témoigne Farawaleh (« fraises »), la dernière création de la jeune réalisatrice palestinienne Aida Kaadan, lauréate du festival Palest’In & Out 2018, qui décrit l’épopée de Samir, responsable d’un magasin de chaussures à Ramallah qui n’a jamais vu la mer et qui décide, pour accomplir son rêve, de traverser la frontière israélienne parmi des ouvriers du bâtiment palestiniens.

    Un autre court-métrage, réalisé par le cinéaste Rakan Mayasi, raconte pour sa part l’histoire d’un couple palestinien qui, pour faire un enfant, décide de sortir clandestinement du sperme de la prison israélienne où l’époux purge sa peine. Bonboné (« bonbon ») a cumulé les prix de festivals (notamment meilleur scénario au Festival du court-métrage méditerranéen de Tanger , meilleur film au Twin Cities Arab Film Festival ).

    Bien que jamais très loin, la politique est devenue le personnage secondaire de ces nouvelles fictions qui font la part belle aux Palestiniens et à leur histoire, laquelle n’est plus cantonnée à une simple quête identitaire. The Reports on Sarah and Saleem , de Muayad Alayan, présenté au Festival des cinémas arabes de l’Institut du monde arabe en juillet dernier, retrace ainsi une histoire d’adultère banale entre une juive israélienne et un livreur palestinien, qui se transforme en affaire politique.

    Un changement de paradigme dans les intrigues regretté par certains, qui y voient une perte des valeurs propres à la cause palestinienne, comme l’explique à MEE Mohanad Yaqubi.

    « Le cinéma palestinien doit rester militant et engagé dans son essence. Avant, les réalisateurs parlaient un langage commun : celui du droit au retour. Aujourd’hui, l’identité palestinienne est dissoute et perd en force, alors que faire partie du peuple palestinien, c’est appartenir à une lutte pour l’auto-indépendance, que le cinéma doit soutenir », estime-t-il.

    Une mission pour l’avenir de cette industrie qui a su se renouveler sur la forme et sur le fond, malgré une situation politique stagnante....

    #Palestine #Cinéma

  • Leïla Shahid : « En reconnaissant l’État de Palestine, la France serait à la hauteur de ce qu’elle veut être »
    Le Journal des Activités Sociales de l’énergie - Pierre Barbancey - 5octobre 2018
    http://communication-ccas.fr/journal/leila-shahid-en-reconnaissant-letat-de-palestine-la-france-serait

    (...) Parallèlement, la situation mondiale relève du chaos. Vous avez des États arabes qui soudain deviennent les alliés d’Israël contre les Iraniens. Et l’Irak et la Syrie, qui étaient des piliers du monde arabe et sont maintenant décomposés. L’Union européenne se noie dans un verre d’eau – si je peux me permettre l’expression – pour quelques milliers de migrants, la guerre commerciale fait rage… Et la situation palestinienne intérieure est très grave avec une population qui ne se retrouve pas dans sa direction politique, qu’elle soit Hamas ou qu’elle soit Fatah. Tout cela fait que personne ne se préoccupe de notre problème et qu’il s’agit d’un feu vert pour Benjamin Nétanyahou. Cela ne signifie pas que les Palestiniens n’ont pas d’avenir. Mais ils se trouvent à un moment charnière où ils doivent redéfinir tous les critères de leur combat. (...)

  • Public Opinion Poll No (69) Press-Release | PCPSR
    12 September 2018
    http://www.pcpsr.org/en/node/733

    As Fatah and Hamas lose popular support and more than 60% demand the resignation of president Abbas, and as half of the public views the PA as a burden on the Palestinian people, two-thirds reject a Palestinian-Jordanian confederation, three-quarters view conditions today as worse than those prevailing before the Oslo agreement, and 90% view the Trump Administration as biased in favor of Israel; and despite the ending of US aid to UNRWA and the PA, 60% oppose resumption of contacts with the Administration and a majority expects US efforts to fail in shutting down UNRWA

    #Abbas

  • Islamic Jihad’s challenge to Hamas in Gaza

    https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/indepth/2018/8/31/islamic-jihad-vs-hamas-in-gaza

    While Hamas has become synonymous with the Gaza Strip in the years since its 2006 election victory and subsequent routing of rival Fatah from the coastal enclave in internecine fighting a year later, one of Hamas’ lesser-known peers has largely escaped notice amid clashes between Hamas and Israel.

    Palestinian Islamic Jihad, or PIJ, shares with Hamas the fundamental objective of fighting Israel. PIJ, however, has felt freer to launch attacks responding to Israel’s ongoing blockade because, unlike Hamas, PIJ has no role in governing Gaza or rebuilding it in the event of the all-but-guaranteed Israeli counterattacks.

    As tensions between Hamas and Israel increase, PIJ may prove the wildcard that triggers yet another war in Gaza.

    At first glance, PIJ would appear a sideshow to Hamas. PIJ has only a few thousand fighters, compared with the tens of thousands in the Hamas ranks, and much of PIJ’s arsenal comprises cheap, simple rockets. Even so, these limitations have rarely prevented PIJ from striking Israel over the past two decades. In 2002, a PIJ car bomb in the Israeli city of Afula killed seventeen and injured thirty-eight. In 2012, PIJ rockets reached as far as Tel Aviv, Israel’s second-largest city and the heart of its economy.

    In fact, PIJ’s smaller size may allow it to act without attracting the public scrutiny that greets Hamas attacks on Israel.

    “Since Hamas is the primary ’culprit’ - in the eyes of Israel - there is less attention, media and otherwise, on PIJ and PIJ might feel more free to initiate a conflict,” Mia Swart, a nonresident fellow at the Brookings Doha Center, told The New Arab.

  • The U.S. is wrong about the Muslim Brotherhood — and the Arab world is suffering for it - The Washington Post

    By Jamal Khashoggi
    August 28 at 3:26 PM

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2018/08/28/the-u-s-is-wrong-about-the-muslim-brotherhood-and-the-arab-world-is-

    During the Obama presidency, the U.S. administration was wary of the Muslim Brotherhood, which had come to power in Egypt after the country’s first-ever free elections. Despite his declared support for democracy and change in the Arab world in the wake of the Arab Spring, then-President Barack Obama did not take a strong position and reject the coup against President-elect Mohamed Morsi. The coup, as we know, led to the military’s return to power in the largest Arab country — along with tyranny, repression, corruption and mismanagement.

    That is the conclusion that David D. Kirkpatrick arrives at in his excellent book “Into the Hands of the Soldiers,” which was released this month. A former Cairo bureau chief for the New York Times, Kirkpatrick gives a sad account of Egypt’s 2013 coup that led to the loss of a great opportunity to reform the entire Arab world and allow a historic change that might have freed the region from a thousand years of tyranny.

    • During the Obama presidency, the U.S. administration was wary of the Muslim Brotherhood, which had come to power in Egypt after the country’s first-ever free elections. Despite his declared support for democracy and change in the Arab world in the wake of the Arab Spring, then-President Barack Obama did not take a strong position and reject the coup against President-elect Mohamed Morsi. The coup, as we know, led to the military’s return to power in the largest Arab country — along with tyranny, repression, corruption and mismanagement.

      That is the conclusion that David D. Kirkpatrick arrives at in his excellent book “Into the Hands of the Soldiers,” which was released this month. A former Cairo bureau chief for the New York Times, Kirkpatrick gives a sad account of Egypt’s 2013 coup that led to the loss of a great opportunity to reform the entire Arab world and allow a historic change that might have freed the region from a thousand years of tyranny.

      The United States’s aversion to the Muslim Brotherhood, which is more apparent in the current Trump administration, is the root of a predicament across the entire Arab world. The eradication of the Muslim Brotherhood is nothing less than an abolition of democracy and a guarantee that Arabs will continue living under authoritarian and corrupt regimes. In turn, this will mean the continuation of the causes behind revolution, extremism and refugees — all of which have affected the security of Europe and the rest of the world. Terrorism and the refugee crisis have changed the political mood in the West and brought the extreme right to prominence there.

      There can be no political reform and democracy in any Arab country without accepting that political Islam is a part of it. A significant number of citizens in any given Arab country will give their vote to Islamic political parties if some form of democracy is allowed. It seems clear then that the only way to prevent political Islam from playing a role in Arab politics is to abolish democracy, which essentially deprives citizens of their basic right to choose their political representatives.

      Shafeeq Ghabra, a professor of political science at Kuwait University, explains the problem in this way: “The Arab regimes’ war on the Brotherhood does not target the movement alone, but rather targets those who practice politics, who demand freedom and accountability, and all who have a popular base in society.” A quick look at the political degradation that has taken place in Egypt since the military’s return to power confirms what Ghabra says. President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi’s regime has cracked down on the Islamists and arrested some 60,000 of them. Now it has extended its heavy hand against both secular and military figures, even those who supported him in the coup. In today’s Egypt, political life is totally dead.

      It is wrong to dwell on political Islam, conservatism and identity issues when the choice is between having a free society tolerant of all viewpoints and having an oppressive regime. Five years of Sissi’s rule in Egypt makes this point clear.

      There are efforts here in Washington, encouraged by some Arab states that do not support freedom and democracy, to persuade Congress to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. If they succeed, the designation will weaken the fragile steps toward democracy and political reform that have already been curbed in the Arab world. It will also push backward the Arab countries that have made progress in creating a tolerant environment and allowing political participation by various components of society, including the Islamists.

      Islamists today participate in the parliaments of various Arab countries such as Kuwait, Jordan, Bahrain, Tunisia and Morocco. This has led to the emergence of Islamic democracy, such as the Ennahda movement in Tunisia, and the maturing of democratic transformation in the other countries.

      The coup in Egypt led to the loss of a precious opportunity for Egypt and the entire Arab world. If the democratic process had continued there, the Muslim Brotherhood’s political practices could have matured and become more inclusive, and the unimaginable peaceful rotation of power could have become a reality and a precedent to be followed.

      The Trump administration always says it wants to correct Obama’s mistakes. It should add his mishandling of Arab democracy to its list. Obama erred when he wasted the precious opportunity that could have changed the history of the Arab world, and when he caved to pressure from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as from members of his own administration. They all missed the big picture and were governed by their intolerant hatred for any form of political Islam, a hatred that has destroyed Arabs’ choice for democracy and good governance.

      #Frères_musulmans #USA #Egypte

  • EXCLUSIF : Israël propose d’accorder un passage maritime au Hamas si les attaques cessent
    Correspondant de MEE - 17 août 2018
    https://www.middleeasteye.net/fr/reportages/exclusif-isra-l-propose-d-accorder-un-passage-maritime-au-hamas-si-le

    Israël a proposé d’ouvrir tous les postes frontaliers vers la bande de Gaza et d’accorder au Hamas l’accès à un passage maritime vers Chypre en échange de l’arrêt de toutes formes d’attaques depuis l’enclave, indique un haut responsable du Hamas à Middle East Eye.

    Dans le même temps, depuis Ramallah, dont le chef des services de renseignement égyptiens Abbas Kamel est parti ce jeudi sans avoir rencontré le président palestinien Mahmoud Abbas, qui aurait eu d’autres obligations, le responsable du Fatah chargé de la réconciliation intrapalestinienne a indiqué que le Hamas se livrait à un « stratagème hostile » qui briserait l’unité palestinienne.

    « En négociant avec Israël un cessez-le-feu et une trêve à Gaza ainsi que des arrangements séparés pour Gaza, le Hamas s’engage dans le stratagème hostile qui vise à séparer Gaza de l’État de Palestine internationalement reconnu selon la ligne de 1967 », a déclaré Azzam al-Ahmad, responsable du Fatah chargé de la réconciliation, ce jeudi à MEE.

    « Nous avons accepté que ce passage soit sous le contrôle [de l’Autorité palestinienne], comme le poste frontalier de Rafah, et sous surveillance internationale »

    - Source du Hamas

    La découverte des détails de l’accord intervient alors que la source a précisé que le Hamas et Israël avaient réalisé « des progrès significatifs » vers une trêve à long terme autour de la situation à Gaza, tandis que les négociations engagées avec la médiation de l’Égypte, largement considérées comme faisant partie de l’« accord du siècle » américain, se poursuivent.

    « Nous avons accepté que ce passage soit sous le contrôle [de l’Autorité palestinienne], comme le poste frontalier de Rafah, et sous surveillance internationale », a indiqué la source.

    Selon la source, Israël a abandonné ses revendications historiques, notamment le désarmement du Hamas, l’arrêt du creusement de tunnels et la libération d’Israéliens captifs ou disparus à Gaza. Dans le même temps, le Hamas a fait pression en faveur du déploiement de projets humanitaires à Gaza, portant notamment sur l’eau, l’électricité et les eaux usées.

    Toutefois, jusqu’à présent, le plus grand obstacle rencontré au cours des négociations s’est avéré être le choix du moment où le Hamas aurait accès au passage qui relierait Gaza au port chypriote de Spyros. (...)

  • In nearing deal with Israel on Gaza, Hamas wins achievements through military resistance

    Netanyahu, who has no clear goal on Gaza, prefers to be weak on terror and not find himself in an endless war in the Strip

    Amos Harel
    Aug 15, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-netanyahu-government-warming-to-prospective-cease-fire-with-hamas-

    The two sides clashing in the Gaza Strip, Israel and Hamas, seemed to be closer on Tuesday evening than anytime during the past few months to “the small arrangement” – a full cease-fire that includes a halt to all acts of violence, alongside the first easing of the blockade on Gaza.
    To really understand Israel and the Palestinians - subscribe to Haaretz
    If the efforts to broker the deal by the United Nations and Egyptian intelligence work out, and optimism in Israeli defense circles could be heard for the first time on the matter Tuesday evening, then it is possible that quiet could return to the border between Israel and Gaza for at least a few months.
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has examined the possibility of calling early elections over the past few days, because of the coalition crisis over the law on drafting the ultra-Orthodox, along with other considerations. A stable cease-fire in Gaza would allow Netanyahu to conduct the election campaign from a position of relative stability, without having to continually fight back against the accusations that he has abandoned the residents of the south to rockets and incendiary kites.
    >> Hamas is exploiting Netanyahu’s unwillingness to go to war | Analysis

    Minister of Defense Lieberman, Prime Minister Netanyahu and Chief of Staff Eisenkot at the graduation ceremony for officers’ course at Training Base 1.Ariel Hermoni / Ministry of Defense
    Keep updated: Sign up to our newsletter
    Email* Sign up

    The negative side of the understandings with Hamas for Netanyahu is that he is in practice negotiating with Hamas. His denials haven’t convinced anyone. Netanyahu knows exactly to whom the mediators are delivering his answers. It has happened in the past too, under Ehud Olmert’s government after Operation Cast Lead, and on Netanyahu’s watch too, after both Pillar of Defense and Protective Edge. But it seems that this time it is even clearer and more unforgiving.
    It will also be a victory from Hamas’ point of view. The organization began escalating the tensions along the border with mass protests on March 30, from a position of deep distress. The understandings are expected to ease the Israeli pressure on the Gaza Strip and give Hamas breathing room. At the same time, the understandings promise Hamas another achievement: being identified as an important and legitimate partner for regional agreements. And Hamas achieved all this through military resistance, in complete opposition to the line taken by its rival Palestinian camp, Fatah and the Palestinian Authority.

    The step that is now coming together was woven by the United Nations special envoy for the Middle East peace process, Nickolay Mladenov, with the active help of Egyptian intelligence. The latest round of violence, which came last week, sped up the renewal of contacts and may have even advanced the willingness of the two sides to reach an agreement.
    It seems that Netanyahu has chosen the least bad option. It is very possible he will spare the lives of dozens of Israeli soldiers and civilians, who could very well have died in a wide-scale military conflict in Gaza in the next few months. Because Netanyahu never set a clear and attainable goal for himself for an attack on Gaza, he is willing to endure criticism from both the left and right on his demonstration of weakness in the face of terrorism, and not find himself in the middle of a war whose end, the how and why of it, would be a riddle to him.

  • L’ombre du Mossad plane sur Paris

    https://www.lemonde.fr/series-d-ete-2018-long-format/article/2018/07/24/l-ombre-du-mossad-sur-paris_5335390_5325928.html

    De la fenêtre de l’hôtel, on voit le métro aérien parisien franchir la Seine sur le pont de Bercy. Grâce aux wagons illuminés, on distingue même les passagers. Sur l’autre rive se dessinent les formes imposantes du Palais omnisports. Il est bientôt 17 h 30, ce 19 janvier 2010, et la nuit est déjà là. Mais les personnes présentes dans cette chambre transformée en « QG » opérationnel, avec écrans d’ordinateur et téléphones cryptés, ne sont pas d’humeur à contempler la ville : leur attention est tout entière concentrée sur un autre hôtel, à 7 000 kilomètres de là, l’Al Bustan Rotana de Dubaï, où se joue un scénario digne d’un film d’espionnage.

    Les tueurs attendent le feu vert pour franchir le couloir, pénétrer dans sa chambre et lui injecter un produit mortel
    Là-bas, dans la chambre 237, leurs collègues du Mossad, le service secret israélien, se tiennent prêts à passer à l’action. Deux équipes de deux tueurs sont mobilisées, soutenues par trois autres agents, dont une femme, chargés de la sécurisation des lieux et de la logistique. Dans la chambre 230, située juste en face, leur cible vient de rentrer de son shopping. Enregistré à son arrivée à Dubaï sous le nom de Mahmoud Abdul Raouf, il s’agit en réalité de Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh, responsable de l’achat des armes pour le Hamas, mouvement islamiste palestinien. Les tueurs attendent le feu vert pour franchir le couloir, pénétrer dans sa chambre et lui injecter un produit mortel.

    Leur tâche accomplie, ils quittent l’Hôtel Al Bustan Rotana à 17 h 46, heure de Paris. Le cadavre de la chambre 230 ne sera découvert que dix-sept heures plus tard. Même si les premières conclusions évoquent une mort naturelle, le doute s’installe. Grâce à l’intense réseau de surveillance du pays, les autorités émiraties parviennent à repérer les membres du commando, au total une trentaine de personnes. Juste après l’assassinat, on voit ainsi, sur les images de vidéosurveillance de l’hôtel, deux des tueurs patienter devant l’ascenseur. Par rapport aux images de leur arrivée, le premier a remonté les manches de sa chemise, désormais froissée. Le second a le poignet et la moitié de la main gauche entourés d’un bandage ; sans doute le signe du recours à la force.

    Agents identifiés à Dubaï

    Aucun agent israélien n’est arrêté – ils ont tous eu le temps de quitter Dubaï –, mais les enquêteurs établissent qu’ils ont appelé à plusieurs reprises un même standard en Autriche. En réalité, selon une information inédite révélée ici par Le Monde, l’essentiel des appels avait pour destination finale Paris, et la fameuse chambre d’hôtel du quartier du pont de Bercy. C’est de ce centre opérationnel qu’a été coordonnée l’exécution. D’après le contre-espionnage français, des agents identifiés à Dubaï étaient venus dans la capitale préparer l’opération.

    « Même si nous savons tout, nous ne ferons pas comme les Irlandais ou les Britanniques. Nous resterons amis, mais ce ne sera pas gratuit »
    En découvrant le dispositif mis en place à leur insu par le Mossad, les autorités françaises mesurent les risques encourus : aux yeux du Hamas et d’autres groupes radicaux, elles peuvent apparaître comme complices de l’Etat hébreu. Pour ne rien arranger, il apparaît que le Mossad a subtilisé des identités de citoyens français afin de fabriquer quatre passeports pour ses agents. La justice française se saisit de cette fraude aux documents d’identité, comme d’ailleurs ses homologues britannique, autrichienne et irlandaise, concernées par vingt-deux autres passeports falsifiés, mais sans grand espoir de remonter aux auteurs. « Au moins, c’était un moyen de faire passer un message, se souvient un chef de la police judiciaire parisienne de l’époque. En judiciarisant l’affaire, nous disions qu’il s’agissait d’une atteinte inacceptable à notre souveraineté. »

    Contrairement aux autres pays, la France ne fait aucun commentaire public condamnant la manœuvre des autorités israéliennes. Paris préfère dépêcher sur place deux cadres du renseignement, des hommes solides et peu causants : Patrick Calvar, alors directeur du renseignement à la direction générale de la sécurité extérieure (DGSE), et Frédéric Veaux, numéro deux de la direction centrale du renseignement intérieur (DCRI, devenue depuis la DGSI). A charge pour eux de se plaindre au patron du Mossad, Meir Dagan, en lui disant en substance, selon une personne familière du dossier : « Même si nous savons tout, nous ne ferons pas comme les Irlandais ou les Britanniques. Nous resterons amis, mais ce ne sera pas gratuit. » Il est impossible de savoir ce que le Mossad a offert, ce jour-là, en échange du silence de la France, mais la seule monnaie qui compte, dans le monde de l’espionnage, est celle du « renseignement », autrement dit des informations.

    Ville ouverte aux espions

    Cette affaire rappelle à quel point Paris est une ville ouverte aux espions. Elle s’y prête avec ses congrès internationaux, le fréquent passage de personnalités arabes et africaines. C’est aussi le carrefour idéal pour rencontrer des sources œuvrant dans la région. Ainsi, le Mossad fait venir à Paris ses contacts en Suisse. Bien d’autres services étrangers y ont établi des postes régionaux permettant de rayonner dans toute l’Europe, mais aussi en Afrique ou au Maghreb. A elle seule, la CIA compterait une cinquantaine d’espions déclarés à Paris, ainsi qu’une centaine de clandestins.

    Il faut dire que, côté français, l’essentiel des moyens en matière de renseignement est consacré à la lutte contre le terrorisme. Le contre-espionnage, qui nécessite du temps, passe quelque peu au second plan
    Au ministère de l’intérieur, les anciens ont une explication à l’attrait qu’exerce la capitale : les agents étrangers s’y sentent plutôt à leur aise, sans trop de risques d’être dérangés. Il faut dire que, côté français, l’essentiel des moyens en matière de renseignement est consacré à la lutte contre le terrorisme. Le contre-espionnage, qui nécessite du temps, passe quelque peu au second plan. « C’est un choix politique, il faut savoir ce que l’on privilégie entre sécurité et souveraineté, malheureusement, on a négligé le travail à long terme », regrette un ancien poids lourd du renseignement intérieur. Résultat : en 2014, par exemple, le service chargé, à la DGSI, de surveiller les espions américains sur le sol national dépassait à peine quatre personnes et limitait son activité à la mise sur écoute du téléphone du chef de poste de la CIA.

    Le Mossad, on l’a vu, occupe une place particulière dans ce théâtre d’ombres. Avec, parfois, un rôle de partenaire. Ainsi, en 2010, alors que la France envoie deux émissaires à Tel-Aviv pour dire sa colère, la DGSE et la DCRI s’associent, dans le même temps, au service israélien dans une délicate opération de lutte contre la prolifération des armes chimiques, baptisée « Ratafia ». L’objectif ? Piéger un responsable syrien du programme secret du régime de Bachar Al-Assad. En réalité, tout a débuté deux ans plus tôt, à Damas, par une longue approche de l’homme en question. Ses interlocuteurs ont fini par le convaincre qu’il devait suivre en France une formation pour lancer sa propre société d’import-export.

    Manœuvre d’infiltration

    Une fois à Paris, en 2010, le piège consiste à le mettre en confiance et à le faire parler sur ses activités. Lors de ses séjours dans la capitale, il est « traité » par un faux homme d’affaires qui devient peu à peu son mentor et lui présente divers contacts qui sont, en réalité, des agents israéliens. La DCRI agit en protection et assure une partie de la logistique. Lorsque le Syrien commence à émettre des doutes sur son protecteur, en 2011, il est trop tard : l’argent et les cadeaux reçus lui interdisent toute reculade ; le piège s’est refermé sur lui. Entre-temps, le Mossad a acquis des informations de premier choix.

    Les amis n’existent pas dans le monde de l’espionnage. Les agents français en ont eu justement confirmation au cours de cette opération conjointe. En 2011, la sécurité interne de la DCRI soupçonne les Israéliens de profiter de ce travail en commun sur l’opération « Ratafia » pour tenter une manœuvre d’infiltration, en nouant des liens jugés suspects avec des agents français. L’un d’eux a fait shabbat avec le chef de poste du Mossad à Paris, David Keidar. Le même est également parti faire du tir à Dubaï avant de rejoindre en famille ses nouveaux amis à Jérusalem.

    Les accusations visent en outre des proches du Mossad qui auraient tenté de vendre du matériel de surveillance aux services français de police judiciaire, de renseignement ainsi qu’aux gendarmes du GIGN. Préalablement équipé de dispositifs espions, ce matériel aurait pu leur offrir un accès direct aux enquêtes menées par la France.

    Une balle dans la tête

    De nouveau, la DCRI fait part de ses griefs aux autorités israéliennes. En 2012, deux membres de l’ambassade d’Israël à Paris, dont le chef de poste du Mossad, sont priés de quitter le territoire. On les retrouvera, de passage à Paris, en 2016, reconvertis dans le privé… « Cette ville, c’est la cour de récréation du Mossad, se plaint un ancien du service « H » de la DGSI, chargé de surveiller ses agissements en France. Si les Chinois et les Russes sont nos ennemis, il ne faut pas oublier que les Israéliens et les Américains demeurent offensifs. » Selon lui, d’autres éléments compliquent la relation avec le Mossad : « Notre capacité de réaction est limitée, car ils jouent vite la carte politique en se plaignant à l’Elysée ou à Matignon. De plus, on dépend d’eux sur des sujets sensibles. Enfin, notre marge est restreinte pour empêcher certains membres de la communauté juive de leur apporter une aide logistique. »

    « Si les Chinois et les Russes sont nos ennemis, il ne faut pas oublier que les Israéliens et les Américains demeurent offensifs »
    Au ministère des affaires étrangères, on préfère nuancer : « Les Israéliens font quand même un peu plus attention qu’avant. » « Avant », c’est surtout le 8 juin 1992. Ce jour-là, un haut responsable du Fatah (mouvement palestinien), Atef Bseiso, est assassiné devant son hôtel du quartier de Montparnasse, à Paris. Les deux tueurs, en tenue de sport, l’ont achevé, à terre, d’une balle dans la tête. Il venait tout juste de rencontrer, pour le compte de Yasser Arafat, des responsables de la DST (l’ancêtre de la DGSI). Les services français ont peu apprécié cette mauvaise manière.

    Selon le contre-espionnage français, le Mossad évite désormais les opérations létales en France et ferait moins appel à certains membres de la communauté juive de Paris. Par ailleurs, il déléguerait davantage de tâches à des sociétés privées de sécurité. L’une d’elles, baptisée « Nice », a été soupçonnée, en 2010, par le Parlement belge, d’avoir sonorisé, en 2003, les locaux du Conseil européen, à Bruxelles. Des faits jamais démontrés judiciairement. Cette entreprise, dont le capital est détenu, en partie, par des entités publiques israéliennes, a décroché plusieurs contrats en France et nie toute ambiguïté dans ses activités. Une autre société, l’agence Black Cube, attire les regards à Paris. Fondée à Tel-Aviv, en 2010, et disposant de bureaux place Vendôme, elle fait du recrutement de vétérans des services de renseignement israéliens un argument commercial, mais dément avec vigueur toute déloyauté vis-à-vis de ses clients. Signe particulier : elle a eu comme président d’honneur Meir Dagan, l’ex-directeur du Mossad (2002-2011), jusqu’à son décès, en 2016. L’homme qui, en 2010, avait autorisé l’installation du « QG » parisien de l’opération de Dubaï.

  • Sissi détient la clé du programme envisagé par Trump dans le Sinaï pour tuer l’État palestinien | Middle East Eye
    http://www.middleeasteye.net/fr/opinions/sissi-d-tient-la-cl-du-programme-envisag-par-trump-dans-le-sina-pour-

    Il est important de comprendre que le programme pour le Sinaï n’est pas simplement la preuve du caractère chimérique des idées d’une administration Trump inexpérimentée ou induite en erreur. Tout indique qu’il bénéficie d’un soutien prolongé et vigoureux de la part de l’establishment politique américain depuis plus d’une décennie.

    En réalité, il y a quatre ans, alors que Barack Obama était solidement installé à la Maison-Blanche, Middle East Eye avait dressé la liste des tentatives de coercition d’Israël et des États-Unis, qui souhaitent pousser toute une série de dirigeants égyptiens à ouvrir le Sinaï aux Palestiniens de Gaza. 

    Il s’agit là d’une des principales ambitions d’Israël depuis qu’il a évacué plusieurs milliers de colons de Gaza lors du dénommé « désengagement » de 2005 et déclaré – trompeusement – que l’occupation de l’enclave était terminée.

    Washington aurait adhéré à cette initiative depuis 2007, date à laquelle la faction islamiste du Hamas a pris le contrôle de Gaza, évinçant le Fatah du président palestinien Mahmoud Abbas. C’est à ce moment qu’Israël, soutenu par les États-Unis, a intensifié son blocus strict qui a détruit l’économie de Gaza et empêché l’entrée de marchandises essentielles.

  • Hamas-Fatah feud heats up as talk of Abbas successor intensifies
    https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/06/palestine-plo-plc-hamas-fatah-abbas-successor.html

    A new legal controversy and political feud has erupted between the Palestinian Hamas and Fatah movements. On June 25, Ahmad Bahar, the first deputy speaker of the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), accused the PLO of setting up a scheme to strip the PLC of its powers and confer them to the PLO’s Palestinian Central Council (PCC).

    Bahar said in a statement distributed by the PLC media office, “Turning the PCC into a substitute for the PLC is tantamount to passing the ’deal of the century,’" in reference to the forthcoming Mideast peace plan from US President Donald Trump. He pointed out that the PLC will hold a meeting next week to discuss this “dangerous plan” and to set the controls and mechanisms to stop it.

    Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/06/palestine-plo-plc-hamas-fatah-abbas-successor.html#ixzz5KHHLyN25

  • 70 ans de photographie pour la Palestine :

    Depuis l’invention de la photographie, l’impérialisme a fait des films pour empêcher ceux qu’il opprimait d’en faire
    Jean-Luc Godard, El Fatah, juillet 1970
    https://seenthis.net/messages/700867

    Robert Capa au service des mythes fondateurs de l’état d’Israël
    Lunettes Rouges, Le Monde, le 13 octobre 2015
    https://seenthis.net/messages/699822

    Looted and Hidden – Palestinian Archives in Israel (46 minutes)
    Rona Sela, 2017
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tBP-63unME

    Que font de vieilles photos et de vieux films de Palestiniens dans les archives de l’armée israélienne ?
    Ofer Aderet, Haaretz, le 1er juillet 2017
    https://seenthis.net/messages/612498

    « Saison France Israël »
    Lunettes Rouges, Le Monde, le 4 juin 2018
    https://seenthis.net/messages/699822

    Retrait de Bernard Plossu de la « Saison France Israël »
    Lunettes Rouges, Le Monde, le 9 juin 2018
    https://seenthis.net/messages/699822

    #Palestine #Nakba #Photographie #Vol #Invisibilisation #Histoire #Falsification #Mythologie #Boycott_Culturel #BDS

  • ’We die anyway, so let it be in front of the cameras’: Conversations with Gazans - Israel News - Haaretz.com

    My friends in Gaza are outraged by Israel’s claim that Hamas rules everything. ’You people always looked down at us, so it’s hard for you to understand that no one demonstrates in anyone else’s name’

    Amira Hass May 20, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-we-die-anyway-so-let-it-be-in-front-of-the-camera-talking-to-gazan

    “Our ability, the Palestinians, to be killed is greater than your ability, the Israelis, to kill,” a resident of the Deheisheh refugee camp near Bethlehem told me at the beginning of the second intifada. Ever an optimist, he meant that because of this difference, in the end the two sides would reach a fair agreement.
    On Tuesday this week, alongside the border fence and across from Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip, his mistake once again became clear. There’s a limit to the Palestinians’ ability to be killed. In the morning after the Monday of bloodshed, the protesters took a break. Sixty fresh mourning tents and hundreds of newly wounded justified the lull they asked for. The next day, Nakba Day, which was supposed to be the peak, was actually the day they gave up on the symbolic mass March of Return to the border fence.
    >> Israel’s Gaza Killings: War Crimes or Self-defense? Experts Weigh In ■ The bloodstained first act of the Trump Intifada || Opinion ■ If you call the Gaza death toll ’disproportionate,’ how many Israelis have to die for the sake of symmetry? || Opinion

    Between the sunflower and potato fields of the kibbutzim, I was jealous of my colleagues who were forwarding the statements by the army and Israeli politicians with such great self-persuasion. According to Israeli spokespeople, both military and civilian, the respite along the border fence is unequivocal proof that Hamas’ leaders control everything, and everyone is under their authority; they’re the ones who sent the people to their deaths a day earlier, they’re the ones who prevented that scenario the next day. So simple.

    According to those reports, Egypt handed down instructions to stop the process – after receiving an Israeli request – and Hamas obeyed. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh was humiliated, and it worked. All this is received in Israel as established facts, investigative journalism and another Israeli victory. There’s no need to be in Gaza to know, and it doesn’t matter that the army forbids Israeli journalists to enter the Strip.

    All our bionic powers do the work: balloons for taking photographs, drones, eavesdropping, collaborators, an off-the-record statement by a senior Fatah official in Ramallah. All this appears to provide what we interpret as the gospel truth. In comparison, an abundance of details, explanations, assumptions, denials, hesitations and contradictions that we receive from the Palestinian side are considered failed journalism that doesn’t provide a bottom line. 

    Near the sprinklers blithely spraying water in the Israeli fields, I wondered: If you knew that Hamas planned to cynically send people to their deaths so as to once again gain attention and portray Israel as evil, why do you do what they wanted? Why do you, who didn’t use nonlethal means, obey Hamas too? 

    There’s an interior fence, a security fence, and a berm that was built with earth removed from the digging of Israel’s new underground barrier. And there’s a security road and then another one. And then the fields. Around it all are lookout posts and above are surveillance balloons and drones. And all you could do was prove Israel’s ability to kill and maim?

  • ’We die anyway, so let it be in front of the cameras’: Conversations with Gazans
    Haaretz.com | Amira Hass May 19, 2018 11:45 AM
    My friends in Gaza are outraged by Israel’s claim that Hamas rules everything. ’You people always looked down at us, so it’s hard for you to understand that no one demonstrates in anyone else’s name’
    Amira Hass May 19, 2018 11:45 AM
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/we-die-anyway-so-let-it-be-in-front-of-the-camera-talking-to-gazans-1.60980

    “Our ability, the Palestinians, to be killed is greater than your ability, the Israelis, to kill,” a resident of the Deheisheh refugee camp near Bethlehem told me at the beginning of the second intifada. Ever an optimist, he meant that because of this difference, in the end the two sides would reach a fair agreement.

    On Tuesday this week, alongside the border fence and across from Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip, his mistake once again became clear. There’s a limit to the Palestinians’ ability to be killed. In the morning after the Monday of bloodshed, the protesters took a break. Sixty fresh mourning tents and hundreds of newly wounded justified the lull they asked for. The next day, Nakba Day, which was supposed to be the peak, was actually the day they gave up on the symbolic mass March of Return to the border fence.

    Between the sunflower and potato fields of the kibbutzim, I was jealous of my colleagues who were forwarding the statements by the army and Israeli politicians with such great self-persuasion. According to Israeli spokespeople, both military and civilian, the respite along the border fence is unequivocal proof that Hamas’ leaders control everything, and everyone is under their authority; they’re the ones who sent the people to their deaths a day earlier, they’re the ones who prevented that scenario the next day. So simple.

    According to those reports, Egypt handed down instructions to stop the process – after receiving an Israeli request – and Hamas obeyed. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh was humiliated, and it worked. All this is received in Israel as established facts, investigative journalism and another Israeli victory. There’s no need to be in Gaza to know, and it doesn’t matter that the army forbids Israeli journalists to enter the Strip.

    All our bionic powers do the work: balloons for taking photographs, drones, eavesdropping, collaborators, an off-the-record statement by a senior Fatah official in Ramallah. All this appears to provide what we interpret as the gospel truth. In comparison, an abundance of details, explanations, assumptions, denials, hesitations and contradictions that we receive from the Palestinian side are considered failed journalism that doesn’t provide a bottom line.

    Near the sprinklers blithely spraying water in the Israeli fields, I wondered: If you knew that Hamas planned to cynically send people to their deaths so as to once again gain attention and portray Israel as evil, why do you do what they wanted? Why do you, who didn’t use nonlethal means, obey Hamas too?

    There’s an interior fence, a security fence, and a berm that was built with earth removed from the digging of Israel’s new underground barrier. And there’s a security road and then another one. And then the fields. Around it all are lookout posts and above are surveillance balloons and drones. And all you could do was prove Israel’s ability to kill and maim?

    Silent proximity

    From a hill in the fields of Kibbutz Nir Am, you could clearly see Beit Hanun, Izbet Abed Rabo and the edges of Shujaiyeh in northern Gaza. The tall apartment blocks too, rising high. The continuous built-up area from Beit Lahia to the southern end of Gaza City seems very close. A single white pickup truck drove along the seam line between the farmed Palestinian fields and the wide strip of land where Israel forbids farming, and to the north a horse-drawn cart set off.

    This silent proximity, without any contact, demonstrated the state of imprisonment – from the opposite side. After all, I once lived there, I went to all those places that I now see through binoculars and remember the events I covered and the people I wrote about, between the wars, during the wars, during the uprisings and so-to-speak lulls.

    Now these places are a film, to see and not touch. A kilometer or two away are my friends, dear to me, and we’re not allowed to see each other anymore. One of them joked that he’d come to the March of Return camp and wave a large Palestinian flag to say hello to me. But WhatsApp is more convenient.

    On the phone my friends are outraged and everyone says it in their own way: To say Hamas controls all this is to take from every Palestinian in Gaza not only their right to freedom of movement and a respectable livelihood but also the right to deep frustration and despair – and their right to express it.

    “The Israelis look look down on us and have always looked down on us. In your eyes, a good Arab is a collaborator or dead,” one said. “Therefore it’s hard for you to understand that no one demonstrates in the name of someone else’s. Everyone goes there for themselves. We’re a people without resources and now without a vision and without a plan, and at the lowest point in terms of international support and internal organization. But we went out to demonstrate in order to disrupt something in the celebrations of the transfer of the embassy. Jerusalem is dear to us. We go so as not to die in silence. Because we’re sick and tired of dying quietly, in our homes,” he added.

    “If you die, be in front of the cameras. Loudly. I’m going to the mosque. There hasn’t been any order from above to go to the demonstration. I hear young people saying that tomorrow they’ll go die at the fence, like someone who’s talking about a picnic or candy. I went to the [March of] Return camp two or three times, and I didn’t like it. Too much confusion. If Hamas was controlling the entire event there wouldn’t be a mess there. After all, you know how Hamas events are always orderly, organized, disciplined.”

    True, there were Hamas security people in civilian clothes; they weren’t there as Hamas but as law and order for the acting government, as at every mass event – to prevent armed people from approaching the fence, provocations by collaborators, to intervene if there was a dispute or sexual harassment.

    Hamas has lost its popularity in Gaza because of the failures and disasters of the past 10 years, a friend promised me after he reminded me that he “doesn’t like them at all.” At the beginning, they weren’t enthused by the idea of the March of Return, after young activists brought the idea to all political factions’ leaders, he says.

    After that Hamas adopted the idea too. As an organization, Hamas is capable of offering what other groups can’t: rides to the March of Return camps, maybe a sandwich and a bottle of cola and tents. “But they can’t force us to come and endanger ourselves. After all, it’s dangerous to be even 300 or 400 meters away, because the soldiers shoot at us.”

    A foreigner in Gaza had the impression: “Hamas can’t order people to go to demonstrations and endanger their lives, but they can stop them from nearing the fence.” One of the ways is statements in the media.

    The many non-Hamas dead

    On Wednesday, a uniform report landed at a number of Israeli media outlets, that a Hamas leader, Salah al-Bardawil, “admitted in an interview with Palestinian television that 50 of the 60 killed in the past two days were Hamas members.” A great sigh of relief was heard in Israel. Hamas? In other words, terrorists by definition, in other words, you’re allowed to kill them. There’s even a commandment to do so.

    The source of the report was an Arabic-language tweet by Avichay Adraee of the IDF Spokesman’s Office. He attached to the tweet, a short fragment from the hour-long-plus interview with Bardawil on the Facebook-transmitted news channel Baladna.

    The interviewer, Ahmed Sa’id, asked difficult questions he was hearing on the street, mostly from Fatah supporters: What about the humiliation you suffered in Egypt, and why is Hamas sending people to the fence to die – and you are reaping the (political) fruit?

    Bardawil had to defend his organization and say this wasn’t true, there was no humiliation and Hamas members were demonstrating like anybody else, with everybody else.

    “Unfortunately, this is the organization today that nurtures the motivation and awareness among young people the most,” one of my friends explained to me earlier.

    Let’s return to Bardawil. So he said that 50 of the 60 killed were Hamas members. I checked and was told that the official figure Hamas has is that from the beginning of the March of Return on March 30, 42 people linked to Hamas were among the 120 people killed: members of the movement, well-known activists, members of Hamas families.

    It seems that about 20 members of Hamas’ military wing were killed, and they were killed not near the protests but under circumstances that still must be clarified. But the rest were unarmed rank-and-file protesters. And they demonstrated because they were Gazans. But once Bardawil said what he said it’s hard to deny his words in public. “This (figure of 50) is another typical exaggeration of ours,” said my friend who didn’t come to wave his flag to me to say hello.

    As for exaggerations, “the idea of the March of Return to break the standstill and stop Gaza’s slow descent – we all liked that, me too,” said someone else. “But the details I don’t like. What’s this foolishness of the March of Return and lifting the blockade?’ They haven’t even thought through the slogans properly. Because if the goal is to return to the villages, the blockade is an irrelevant issue.”

    Between the sunflowers and the few fires that broke out Tuesday, soldiers were at their posts on alert. They moved on the continuum between hyperactive self-importance and the idleness of a picnic. They were posted within the perimeters of the kibbutzim, a very short distance from the houses. The armored personnel carriers were also within the distance of a morning walk.

    This is what’s called a military presence in the heart of a civilian population. I remembered the reverse circumstance, of Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip, which served as justification for Israel to besmirch the group as hiding behind civilians, and for the IDF to bomb anyone near them.

  • Egypt and Qatar working on long-term ceasefire, Hamas disarmament plans for Gaza - Israel News - Haaretz.com

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-egypt-qatar-working-on-long-term-ceasefire-hamas-disarmament-in-ga

    According to diplomatic sources in Israel, Egypt seeks to promote reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah, expand the Palestinian Authority’s role in the Gaza Strip, initiate economic relief and arrange for the gradual dismantling of the Hamas military wing. Qatar is proposing that an unaffiliated council of experts manage the Gaza Strip, a halt to Hamas arming itself with offensive weapons and getting international organizations involved to monitor the process. Nickolay Mladenov, the United Nations’ special coordinator for the Mideast Peace Process, is trying to organize a new regional forum that will include Israel, Egypt, the PA and the UN to create and operate a long-term aid mechanism for the Strip.

    From Israel’s perspective, the gaps with Hamas are too great to bridge at the moment. Israel is concerned that a “Hezbollah model” could emerge in the Gaza Strip, in which Hamas keeps its weapons while the PA takes responsibility for managing civilian issues. It is also skeptical about international monitoring mechanisms to prevent arms smuggling, which failed in an agreement brokered by the Bush administration after the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza in 2005.
    Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip and the organization’s current strongman, gave a rare interview Wednesday to the Al Jazeera network. Sinwar, who spent more than 20 years in Israeli prisons for murdering Palestinians who cooperated with Israel, was singing a new tune. He announced that Hamas had reached an understanding with Egypt that the demonstrations along the border with Israel would continue but would not deteriorate into a military confrontation. He then praised the “popular nonviolent struggle,” a new position coming from a man who for years headed Hamas’ military wing, which fired rockets at and dug tunnels into Israeli territory.

  • It’s not a ’Hamas march’ in Gaza. It’s tens of thousands willing to die - Palestinians - Haaretz.com
    Amira Hass May 15, 2018 9:53 AM
    https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/palestinians/.premium-to-call-gaza-protests-hamas-march-understates-their-significance-1

    “ The Israeli army’s characterization of the demonstrations diminishes their gravity, but also unwittingly cast Hamas as a responsible, sophisticated political organization

    We’re pleased our Hamas brethren understood that the proper way was through a popular, unarmed struggle,” Fatah representatives have said on several occasions recently regarding the Gaza March of Return. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said something similar during his address to the Palestinian National Council last week.

    This expressed both cynicism and envy. Cynicism because Fatah’s official stance is that the armed struggle led by Hamas has harmed the Palestinian cause in general and the Gaza Strip in particular. And envy because the implication, which the Israeli army’s statements have reinforced, is that a call from Hamas is enough to get tens of thousands of unarmed demonstrators to face Israeli snipers along the border.

    In contrast, calls by Fatah and the PLO in the West Bank, including Jerusalem, don’t bring more than a few thousand people to the streets and flash points with the police and the army. It happened again Monday, when the U.S. Embassy moved to Jerusalem. The number of Palestinian protesters in Gaza was far greater than the number in the West Bank.

    The decisions on the March of Return events was made jointly by all the groups in Gaza, including Fatah. But the most organized group — the one that can work out the required logistics, equip the “return camps” (points of assembly and activity that were set up a few hundred meters from the Gaza border), control the information, maintain contact with the demonstrators and declare a general strike to protest the embassy move — is Hamas. Even a Fatah member sadly admitted this to Haaretz.

    This doesn’t mean that all the demonstrators are Hamas supporters or fans of the movement who are obeying its orders. Not at all. The demonstrators come from all sectors of the population, people who identify politically and those who don’t.

    “Whoever is afraid stays home, because the army shoots at everyone. The crazy ones are those who go close to the border, and they are from all the organizations or from none of them,” said a participant in the demonstration.

    The army’s claims to journalists that this is a “Hamas march” are diminishing the weight of these events and the significance of tens of thousands of Gazans who are willing to get hurt, while ironically strengthening Hamas’ status as a responsible political organization that knows how to change the tactics of its struggle, while also knowing how to play down its role.

    On Monday, with the killing of no fewer than 53 Gaza residents as of 7 P.M., there was no place for cynicism or envy. Abbas declared a period of mourning and ordered flags lowered for three days, along with a general strike Tuesday. This is the same Abbas who was planning a series of economic sanctions against the Strip in another attempt to quash Hamas.

    The residents of the Gaza Strip, with their dead and wounded, are influencing internal Palestinian politics, whether they know it or not, whether intentionally or not. No one would dare impose such sanctions now. Time will tell whether anyone will come to the conclusion that if Israel is killing so many during unarmed demonstrations, they might as well return to individual armed attacks — as revenge or as a tactic that will lead to fewer Palestinian victims.

    In the early hours of Monday morning, army bulldozers entered the Gaza Strip and leveled the sand banks built by Palestinians to protect them from snipers, according to fieldworkers from the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights.

    At around 6:30 A.M., the army also fired at tents in the return camps, and several of the tents went up in flames. Some of the burned tents were used by first-aid teams, Al Mezan reported.

    The Samaa news website reported that police dogs were sent into the return camps and that the army sprayed “skunk” water in the border area. The frantic summons of senior Hamas figures in the Gaza Strip to meet with Egyptian intelligence in Cairo was understood even before it was reported that the Egyptians passed on threatening Israeli messages to Ismail Haniyeh and Khalil al-Hayya, deputy to the Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip, Yahya Sinwar.

    Everyone in the Gaza Strip knows the hospitals are way over capacity and that the medical teams are unable to treat all the wounded. Al Mezan reported on a medical delegation that was supposed to arrive from the West Bank but was prevented from entering by Israel.

    Everyone knows that wounded people who were operated on are being discharged too soon and that there’s a shortage of essential drugs for the wounded, including antibiotics. Even when there are drugs, many of the wounded cannot pay even the minimum required to obtain them, and so they return a few days later to the doctor with an infection. This is all based on reports from international medical sources.

    All the signals, warnings, the many fatalities in the past few weeks and the disturbing reports from the hospitals did not deter the tens of thousands of demonstrators Monday. The right of return and opposition to the relocation of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem are worthy goals or reasons, acceptable to all.

    But not to the extent that masses of West Bank and East Jerusalem residents would join their brothers in the Gaza Strip. There, the most desirable goal for which to demonstrate is the obvious demand and the easiest to implement immediately — to give Gazans back their freedom of movement and their right to connect with the outside world, especially with members of their own people beyond the barbed wire surrounding them. This is a demand of the “ordinary” public and not a private Hamas matter, since both its leaders and rank-and-file members know very well that once they enter the Erez crossing between Israel and the Strip, they will be arrested.
    #marcheduretour