9:21 PM; As per acumen direction.

Gaza is a symbol of occupation, thanks to Israel

Israel's Pavlovian response to Palestinian reconciliation, which included the usual threats of boycott, is the result of the ingrained anxiety of people who no longer control the process

By Zvi Bar'el

Israel's Pavlovian response to Palestinian reconciliation, which included the usual threats of boycott, is the result of the ingrained anxiety of people who no longer control the process. For five years, Israel has done everything to change the outcome of Hamas' watershed victory in the elections in the territories. It did not recognize the Hamas government or the unity government, and of course, it did not recognize the Hamas government that arose after that organization's brutal takeover of the Gaza Strip.

Gaza became a synonym for Hamas; that is, for terror, and the West Bank stood for the land of unlimited possibilities. Israel made an enormous contribution toward building up Hamas into an institution, not only an organization. The cruel closure of Gaza, Operation Cast Lead, turning Gaza into a battle zone and the saga of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, with Israel continuing to negotiate with Hamas while striking out against it - all this has transformed Gaza into a symbol of the occupation and a focus of international empathy.

Israel, in its diplomatic blindness, saw the product it helped manufacture as a huge diplomatic achievement. Its working assumption was that the split between Gaza and the West Bank would allow Israel to pursue the appearance of negotiations with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, while fighting another part of the Palestinian people in Gaza. Israel interpreted the political conflict between Abbas and Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza and Khaled Meshal in Damascus as an unsolvable ideological conflict and a reality in which, in Israel's thinking, Palestine is divided not only into two regions, but into two mutually hostile peoples. Israel tortures one side while celebrating with the other at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the opening of a shopping center.



This self-delusion, and not Palestinian reconciliation, is the clear and present danger to the State of Israel. It draws its power from bygone chapters in history that document Israel's powerful position internationally, its moral voice and its good name as a peace-seeking nation. This self-delusion refuses to recognize the changing reality in the Middle East, the changing of the guard among leaders and peoples and the self-interested moves of Western powers that are longing for new partnerships in the Middle East to replace the ones that have disappeared. Israel is not included in that new address list. Its good name is being torn to shreds.

But Israel has a rare opportunity to rewind the film back five years - not only to understand that the two parts of the Palestinian people are one entity, but to correct the mistakes it made in 2006. It must deal with the entire Palestinian government, even if that government includes Hamas representatives. Israel can, of course, repeat its mistakes, but then Israel, and not the Palestinian state, will become a country that threatens its own citizens.

Hamas should be given a chance

Palestinian reconciliation is not good for Israel according to the distorted zero sum game that we have been playing forever: What is good for them is bad for us.

By Gideon Levy

Why should we bother with elections, changing prime ministers and parties? For what do we need all this unnecessary trouble if Israel's response will always be the same, government after government on autopilot? Why is it that every time there appears to be a chance for positive change,Israel is quick to make a sour face, to scaremonger and hunker down behind its rejectionism. Why? Because that is how we are.

The reporters have not even managed to deliver their stories from the press conference of Azam al-Ahmed and Musa Abu Marzuk, and Benjamin Netanyahu was already in his media room to send out a public sour face. Even before he was done, the national chorus embarked on its song of rejectionism, which has become the national anthem, while in the background the orchestra of threats is playing. Like the wreckage of the school bus that was hit by a missile from Gaza, which is being sent abroad on a "public relations campaign," the propagandists are now trying to score another fabricated point: Danger - Palestinian reconciliation. There is still no reconciliation, but the cries of the Israeli rejectionists are already being heard.

The texts are the same texts, word for word, like in the '70s and the '80s: a terrorist organization with which we will never negotiate. Then it was Fatah and now it is Hamas. The defense minister placed so many conditions on Hamas for it to be regarded as an interlocutor, that he simply means no. And Shimon Peres, who is now in favor of peace without removing settlements, made a presidential declaration: "The reconciliation will prevent a Palestinian state," - as if this is the Fatah position, as if Israel is about to leave the territories, and only this terrible, last minute development is preventing the establishment of a Palestinian state.

news. It is still too early to assess how serious it is and the burden of proof is on Hamas to show that it has turned moderate. But it should be given a chance. For two years we presented impossible conditions to Mahmoud Abbas, and now we miss him. "It's either us or Hamas," Netanyahu declares like some betrayed lover, as if the option of "us" was ever on the table.

The agreement that was initialed includes a promise for democratization and elections. Is that not what we always wanted? That is what the right demanded, is it not? All those who now say that it is a good thing that we did not make peace with the Arab tyrants should now be interested in peace with the entire Palestinian nation and not only with its rulers. This is their chance. All those who complain that Abbas is about to include a radical partner in his government should probably first look at the composition of our government. And all those who said that the Palestinians are divided and Abbas is weak, not a partner, should be pleased with the chance for a representative, powerful government.

But no. Palestinian reconciliation is not good for Israel according to the distorted zero sum game that we have been playing forever: What is good for them is bad for us. Listen to the reverberating words of Noam Chomsky in an interview with Gadi Algazi on Israel Social TV: The basic hypothesis of a democratic Israel must be a chance for a democratic Palestine. Is this not true?

http://www.haaretz.com/print-e...en-a-chance-1.359064 For documentation.

Then: Ending;

The path to Palestinian reconciliation is still long, and the path to statehood even longer. In the alleys of Jenin and the tunnels of Rafah there is still nothing to celebrate. In Jerusalem and Tel Aviv there is still nothing to worry about, to feel threatened by or even to rejoice about - as if we have been given a public relations "asset." If a unity government is set up, and if free elections are held, there will be a new possibility. Israel needs to welcome this, with the appropriate reservations.

How depressing was the South African Freedom Day party in Tel Aviv over the weekend. While South African ambassador Ismail Coovadia, a person who knows a thing or two about "terrorist organizations" with which it is "forbidden" to negotiate, and whose representatives have been governing for the past 20 years a free and relatively impressive country, spoke about the chances of Palestinian reconciliation, minister Benny Begin sought to frighten those present about the prospect of democratization in the Arab world, painting as black a picture as possible. That is because we are unchanged. The days go by, a year passes, but the song remains the same.

The Historical  Reckoning  for Richard Goldstone;Appearing as PAGE 2 in the IHT of 2 Thursdays ago;

Past Holds Clue to Goldstone’s Shift on the Gaza War

<h6 class="byline">By ETHAN BRONNER and JENNIFER MEDINA</h6>

A version of this article appeared in print on April 20, 2011, on page A4 of the New York edition with the headline: Investigator On Gaza Was Guided By His Past

JERUSALEM — Two decades ago, Richard Goldstone, a Jewish South African judge, played a vital role in reconciling his country’s white minority government and rising black majority movement by leading a fact-finding mission into black violence that offered a Solomonic conclusion.


The New York Times
April 20, 2011    
Abu Mustafa/Reuters

Richard Goldstone, holding bag at top left, led a United Nations inquiry into the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.


The violence, he found, was endemic, but a covert government campaign was sponsoring black killings to undermine the opposition. Heads rolled, hands were shaken and Mr. Goldstone was hailed as the most trusted man in the country, going on to a distinguished international career.

In 2009, he tried to do the same thing in the other country close to his heart: Israel. Mr. Goldstone, a Zionist who believes that political reconciliation will result when both sides face the unbiased rigors of international law, agreed to lead a United Nations inquiry into the war between Israel and Hamas, telling friends that the mission could make a real contribution to Middle East peace.


The New York Times
April 20, 2011    
Hatem Moussa/Associated Press

During the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, Israel inflicted heavy damage in Gaza City.



The New York Times
April 20, 2011    
Tara Todras-Whitehill/Associated Press

A missile fired by militants during the war in Gaza damaged a classroom at an Israeli school in Beersheba on Dec. 31, 2008



Ending;(And Note: I still have to read it.);

Mr. Goldstone has not repudiated the report, with its allegation of systematic Israeli destruction of civilian infrastructure, or called for it to be nullified, although he said he remains open to new facts.

In the essay, he noted that Israel has, as a result of his report, adopted combat procedures to protect civilians better, including limiting the use of white phosphorus, which causes severe burns, in populated areas.

The Anti-Defamation League noted that after Mr. Goldstone’s essay, anti-Semitic cartoons appeared in the Arab press depicting the Jewish lobby silencing him.

All of which has left Mr. Goldstone, at age 72, with something of a mixed scorecard on advancing Middle East peace. He seems aware of that. At his Sacramento speech, he was asked whether he had come to regret agreeing to lead the investigation.

“Yes and no,” he replied. He did not elaborate.

Ethan Bronner reported from Jerusalem, and Jennifer Medina from Los Angeles.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: April 19, 2011



An earlier version of this article incorrectly described the crime for which Alfred Dreyfus, a French military officer, was falsely convicted in 1894. It was passing secrets to Germany, not murder.  The article also misstated his military affiliation. He was an artillery officer, not at a naval officer.

Now@9:49 PM;This evening's 'Jour Gems' for Humanity;must conclude.

To Life!=לחיים   Good Night= לילה טוב  Michael  PRIORITY  1  LIFE


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