The Hell with Israel; End the Siege of Gaza.

23 12 2012

President Obama should muster the courage and shows his good will toward Israel and the Palestinians and put an end to the cycle of violence, end the siege of Gaza by allowing America and NATO to manage and operate the port making sure people in and out of Gaza, constructions materials, food suppliers and consumers goods comes through the port, with a staging area in Cyprus under a joint US/NATO and with a secure sea corridor between Gaza and Cyprus. Rafah crossing should also open for people and goods. Israel can close all of its crossing to Gaza. Mr. Obama and world leaders should know as long as the people of Gaza are held hostage, imprisoned and under siege, Israeli will not have the peace and security they want and demand.

Israel’s criminal and ongoing war on the people of Gaza is met with muted response in Western capitals with ministers and heads of states justifying the killings in Gaza while denying the right of the people of Gaza to defend themselves. It seems even the least intelligent persons in power in the West forget the cycle of violence is rooted in the illegal and criminal siege of Gaza by Israel.

It has been 4 years since Israel ended its Operation Cast Lead on Gaza, cheered on by Israelis and American Jews in major US cities and cheered on by George Bush and Condi Rice. It has been 3 years since the Gaza Donor Conference concluded in the City of Sharm El-Sheik. The conference attended by more than 70 countries, pledging more than $5 Billions exceeding any and all expectation. Of course this sum of money and the US pledge of $300 millions is dwarfed by the $30 Billions George Bush pledge to Israel in arms and weapons. Since that time, Israel made sure nothing happens and that Gaza and the more than 1.5 million Palestinians remain hostage and prisoner of Israel arrogance and defiance. Not even the US is able to do any thing about it.

Then and now, and as expected very few head of states or government officials dare to criticize Israel as it continues to wage war on the people of Gaza. Every one cares about Israeli lives bit no one gives a damn about Palestinian lives.

The Gaza Reconstruction Conference in its closing statement called on Israel to open with immediate effect all crossing for all humanitarian aids and for construction materials needed for the massive work ahead. Somehow every one forgot the geography of Gaza and that Gaza has some 50 km of shoreline and has a seaport, and no Gazans want to purchase materials from Israel.

However Israel, given the angry, unhappy nation it is, full of hate and contempt for the world and human value, (I presumed Judeo-Zionist values) is a country that will not even consider world opinion because it does not give a damn about the world public opinion to begin with. It has refused to open the border crossings and has refused to allow the opening of the seaport of Gaza for normal operation, allowing the tunnels to continue with business as usual with no proper control.

Israeli and international newspapers carried accounts of the secret list of forbidden or restricted items Israel concluded as threats to its own security including “pasta, pasta sauce, lentil and hearing aids”. Senator John Kerry, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relation Committee had to inquire with Ehud Barak, Israel’s Defense Minister why “pasta” is a restricted item?

This should tell us and the world how pity this nation is, “the only killing democracy in the Middle East” and I will not be surprised if Israel added Humus, Favabeans, falafel and kinafeh (pastry) to the list of forbidden items. One has to imagine if the Palestinians wants to import heavy construction material or cement. Perhaps Israel has new building technology made up of bagels, motzaball or corn beef as construction material. Israel needs serious mental help.

What I am most surprised about is the call by almost every one attending the conference, from Mahmoud Abbas, to Hillary Clinton, to Nicolas Sarkozy, to Hosni Mubarak, almost begging calls for Israel to open the border crossing. I say hell with Israel and its border crossing with Gaza, Let Israel builds its own 1000 meter high Apartheid Wall between it and Gaza. Who needs Israel and who needs its product and services?

Israel is giving the impression to the world it is doing the Palestinians a big favor when it allows fuels and food supplies to come into Gaza, For God sake Israel and Jewish suppliers get paid for every thing that comes through to Gaza, at much higher prices, nothing is for free, so why bother with Israel when Gaza has access to the sea and has a port much older than any Israeli ports?

Let Israel go to hell, and let Israel keep its borders crossing closed and let the people of Gaza open their port and import every thing they need and wants through the Port of Gaza. No need to reward Israeli suppliers with billions of supply contracts.

I know the world is concerned about Hamas smuggling weapons, and all I can say is that Hamas is simply too stupid to smuggle any thing of significant threat to Israel such at RPJs and other serious weapons of significant risk to Israel.

In more than 6 years under siege Hamas has managed to smuggle enough material to produce useless, and militarily insignificant Qassam rockets that are at best useless and are of no significant threat to Israel’s security. The so-called rockets have more psychological impact on Israeli citizens than any thing else. I will even go further and suggest that many of those within Hamas militias are also on the payroll of Israel’s Shin Bet. The answer lies in the deadly accuracy in which Israel is able to target and kill key Hamas military officers.

Though I believe the issue of weapon smuggling is more political and a powerful propaganda tool than strategic issue for Israel, nevertheless I concede that something has to be done to make sure that Hamas or any one else does not use the opening of the Port of Gaza for weapon smuggling. Beside, I am not convinced Hamas way of resistance is the answer to liberation. Hamas political leadership should take complete and absolute charge of all military operation and not leave the safety and security of the people of Gaza in the hands of the militias.

I am sure the Americans and the Europeans will be very pleased if Hamas political leadership, the president of Egypt and the Arab League announced to the world their willingness to entrust the management and operation including security operation of the Port of Gaza to the Americans and perhaps some European partners, with a staging point in Cyprus under total control of the US and NATO.

Let American and the Europeans break the siege of Gaza and end once and for all the Israeli Occupation of Gaza that has lasted some 42 years. Let America and Europe operate all of the security measures, not to Israel’s satisfaction but to the American and European satisfaction.

With Hosni Mubarak in military jail, and with Mahmoud Abbas chasing rainbows at the UN, let us close all of the smuggling tunnels and put the mafia that operates the tunnels out of business and let Egypt new government open the Rafah Crossing presently.

Let the US and Europe open and operate both the Sea Port and Airport of Gaza. Let the world this time end the siege of Gaza. Israel must not hold the people of Gaza hostage to criminal policies and its funding raising activities (when the blood flow, the money flows). Hamas too must not hold the people hostage to its own agenda. And yes, let the US Navy, NATO and US Coast Guard patrol the coastlines off Gaza for good measure.


One State in Palestine, a State of All of its citizens.

19 02 2012

A State of ALL its Citizens
The One-State Vision and Foundational Principles of a Republic in Historic Palestine

Preamble

I. We, the undersigned, Palestinians and Israelis, believe that the historic land of Palestine should be shared by all those who now live in it and its natives who have been expelled or exiled from it since 1948, and their descendants, regardless of religion, ethnicity, national origin or current citizenship status. Cognizant of the great changes in the Middle East including the recent Arab uprisings, we conceive of our movement as part of the drive towards democracy, accountability, transparency, equality and economic and social justice in the region. We intend to build a model state in the region, rooted in equal citizenship, popular democracy and institutional justice.

II. We, Palestinians and Israelis, united and enriched in our diversity, fully recognize the historic injustices inflicted on the indigenous Palestinian population, including the ethnic cleansing of the 1948 Nakba; support all those who are working to build a democratic, pluralistic, secular state (based on the separation of religion and state), that encompasses all of historic Palestine (currently the political entities of the State of Israel and the post-1967 Israeli-occupied Palestinian Territories); and honor all those who suffered for justice, equality and freedom in our land.

III. We reject the tragic 1947 UN Partition Plan, dividing the country into two entities, and the terrible damage it has wrought on the country; this Resolution was used by the Zionist leadership as an excuse for the forced expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians from their homes in the Nakba of 1948. Since then Israel has prevented the refugees from returning to their homes, and the international community has failed to enable their return.

IV. We recognize that for decades efforts to bring about a two-state solution based on a partition of the land of Palestine into a Palestinian entity in 22 percent of historic Palestine, and an Israeli one in 78 percent, have failed because they fell short of providing elementary justice. Based on a policy of separation, fragmentation and inequality, the two-state solution ignores the physical and political realities on the ground, and presumes a false symmetry of power and moral claims between an indigenous, colonized and occupied people on the one hand, and a colonizing state and military occupier on the other. Indeed, ever since 1967, Israel has acted to make a two-state solution impossible by a range of illegal activities, chiefly the building of illegal settlements, confiscation of land, brutal repression of the Palestinian population, and the building of the Apartheid Wall. Moreover, Israel’s ongoing systematic discrimination against Palestinians, which includes practices such as forced transfer, settler-colonialism of the areas occupied in 1967, as well as in areas of Palestine after 1948, segregation, ghettoisation, and the separation wall (declared illegal by the International Court of Justice in 2004), denial of citizenship and basic human rights and freedoms, is consistent with the crime of Apartheid as defined by the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid; http://untreaty.un.org/cod/avl/ha/cspca/cspca.html) and the 2002 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

V. Seeking and working for a better future of security, equality and justice and equal opportunity for all, we believe in popular, non-violent resistance and support the creation of a movement committed to the establishment of the future Republic of Palestine that can serve and meet the aspirations and hopes of all of its citizens. This will be achieved in conjunction with the international campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against the apartheid Israeli state, and has the potential to bring substantial pressure to bear on Israel and its supporters.

VI. Our new one-state movement brings together Palestinians and Israelis in partnership, supported by a global solidarity movement based on the principles and programme outlined below. We call on all those who cherish freedom, liberty, justice, equality, and democracy and reject racism and segregation to join us in building our movement. We believe this movement will change the face and future of the Middle East, and finally bring peace and security for the people in the Middle East, and for people around the world.

Founding Principles and Political Programme

We call for a Constitution for the Republic of Palestine based on the following principles:

1. Constitution and a Bill of Rights: The people of Palestine, Palestinians and Israelis, through their freely elected representatives, will adopt a Constitution and a Bill of Rights as the supreme law of the Republic of Palestine.

2. Supremacy of Constitution: The Constitution will be the supreme law of the Republic, guaranteeing separation of powers (executive, legislative and judicial), and guaranteeing the rights of citizens vis-a-vis the state. The Constitution will be voted on by the citizens of the Republic of Palestine and adopted by a two-thirds majority, with constitutional amendments meeting the same requirements.

3. Bill of Rights and Citizens’ Charter: The Bill of Rights with its Citizens’ Charter will guarantee the rights and freedoms of all individuals in the state. Basic citizens’ rights include, among others, housing, health, education, employment, social and legal protection, freedom of movement, a ban on racial, religious and gender discrimination, and equal opportunity for all.

4. Truth and Reconciliation Commission: The Constitution will seek to redress the devastating effects of settler-colonial Zionism on the indigenous Palestinians, and other oppressed groups, such as Mizrahi Jews (“Arab Jews”), and to address the structural injustices, inequalities and divisions of the past. Inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of post-apartheid South Africa, it will promote truth and reconciliation between all the diverse peoples of Palestine.

5. Jerusalem/Al-Quds: The City of Jerusalem will be the Capital of the Republic of Palestine and will be one city, open to and equally shared by all.

6. The Right of Return: The implementation of the Right of Return and reparations for Palestinian refugees in accordance with UN Resolution 194 is a fundamental pillar of peace based on justice and the benchmark of human dignity, liberty and equality. Palestinian self-determination will be addressed through full democratic rights and equality in a unitary state. The Constitution will establish the legal and institutional frameworks for justice, reconciliation and integration of the Palestinian returnees.

7. Fundamental Universal Rights: The Republic of Palestine will be founded on the principles of human dignity, human rights, equality and equal rights, freedoms and equal opportunities; supremacy of the Constitution and the rule of law, universal adult suffrage, parliamentary democracy, freedoms of expression, religion, language, movement, residence and assembly, regular elections, democratically structured institutions, a multi-party system of democratic, non-racist, non-sexist government and the fundamental rights and freedoms as articulated and enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and United Nations Covenants.

8. Equality and Citizenship: The Constitution will be founded on the principle that all people who live in historic Palestine as well as Palestinian refugees who realise their right of return will have equality of citizenship and equality of stake. Equal citizenship will have the result that the existing apartheid-based and discriminatory laws and demographic racism will be abrogated, together with the whole institutional system of Zionism. Our Constitution will ensure a state founded on the principles of equality of citizenship, equality between women and men and non-domination and equality in civil, political, social and cultural rights for all citizens and a fully integrated society based on democratic values, economic and social justice and fundamental human rights; lay the foundations for a democratic and open society in which government is based on the will of the people and every citizen is equally protected by law. All citizens will be equally entitled to the rights and benefits of citizenship; and equally subject to the duties and responsibilities of citizenship. All organs of the state, including the courts, police and administration of justice shall represent all the people of the land and shall defend, protect, and preserve the principles of equality and democracy. The laws of the state shall provide all citizens with equal access to security, housing, work, welfare, public lands, education, health care, leisure, cultural expression and all the basic requirements for living in dignity and freedom.

9. Cultural Diversity and Multiculturalism: The Constitution will recognise and celebrate the diversity of religion and culture of the new society, and the distinct linguistic and historical traditions of the country, consistent with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

10. Public Land: The public land of the state shall belong to all its citizens, who shall have equal access to it and benefits from its use. The owners of private property expropriated from Palestinian refugees, and Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza shall be given the choice of the restoration of their property or reparations for themselves or their descendants. Consistent with the principles of the Constitution and international law, the Jewish National Fund shall be disbanded and assets held by this entity or the Israel Land Authority returned to its rightful owners, and what is left will be held in common, or distributed thorough fair and agreed mechanisms.

11. Economic Justice and Affirmative Action: In the new state, economic and social justice requires addressing unfair distribution of resources that resulted from a long history of inequality and racism. Subject to universal equality under the law, remedial economic measures (including affirmative action) shall be undertaken to redress past injustices, remove segregation and allow equal opportunity. Such programmes would ensure social harmony and remove the possibility of maintaining unfair privileges by one group acquired through historical segregation and monopolies on use of land, water and others resources

12. Separation of Religion and State: The Constitution will establish a non-sectarian democratic state based on the principle of separation of religion and state, its governing institutions based on the principle of “one-person, one-vote”. There will be no specific privileges or privileged rights accorded to any ethnic or religious group or individual. Ethnic, religious, cultural or national minorities shall be protected by law, but not assigned any specific rights.

13. Religious Freedom and Religious Sites: The right to religious practice shall be guaranteed by the state. Religious institutions shall be voluntary, totally separate and independent from the state, and shall receive no financial support from it. All residents of the state shall be free to practice their religion and to worship at sacred sites without impediment or discrimination. The state shall ensure that all religions enjoy equal standing before the law, and that no religion impedes or has supremacy over the other.

14. Civil Marriage and Family Law: The civil law of the state shall reign supreme and shall be the ultimate reference in any disputes arising between citizens and between citizens and religious institutions. The state shall require the registration of all religious and civil marriages and civil unions under principles of law that are non-discriminatory as between marriage and civil partners, irrespective of gender, religion, ethnicity, or any other aspect of identity. The state will permit adjudication by religious authorities (including courts) of disputes between partners who agree to such adjudication. The state itself will be guided in matters of family law by the fundamental principles of equality under the Constitution. The state constitutional court shall be the final arbiter for all legal issues arising out of family law, marriages, divorces and inheritance.

15. United Nations Charter: The Constitution will promote the quality of life and welfare of all citizens and free the potential of each person; build a united and democratic Palestine able to take its rightful place as a sovereign state in the family of nations and as a member of the United Nations. The state shall uphold international law, and at all times seek the peaceful resolution of conflicts through negotiation and with regard to collective security in accordance with the United Nations Charter.

16. Official Languages: The Constitution shall recognise the distinct historical, linguistic and cultural traditions of Palestine. The official languages of the Republic will be Arabic, Hebrew and English. Recognising the status of the official languages of our people, the Republic must take practical and positive measures to advance the use of these languages and support a mutli-lingual educational system.

17. State Education: The state shall guarantee free primary and secondary education for all children. Schools and curricula shall teach pupils the historical heritage of their country and region, so that they may grasp, respect and appreciate the origins and historical experience of their fellow citizens, strongly reject racism and doctrines of segregation, honour human rights, protect human freedoms, and guard the peace, rights and security of all the people in the country and the world. Education and vocational training shall not be segregated in any way that impedes equal access of all citizens to employment and other opportunities to fulfill their talents and hopes.

18. Abolition of Capital Punishment and Outlaw of Torture: Within one year of the creation of the new state laws will be passed outlawing capital punishment and prohibiting torture in any form.

19. Immigration Policy: The state shall operate a transparent and non-discriminatory immigration policy, and provide a refuge for those seeking asylum from persecution, especially racial or ethnic persecution.

20. Nuclear-free Zone in the Middle East: The state shall seek and actively contribute to the establishment of a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East that shall also be free of all weapons of mass destruction. Israel’s weapons of mass destruction, including but not limited to its arsenal of nuclear weapons, inherited by the Republic of Palestine shall be dismantled or destroyed under the auspices of the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) within one year of the creation of the new state. The state through its Constitution shall include and incorporate limitations on the state to engage in wars and conflicts outside its borders.

Drafting Committee (in individual capacity)

1.Dr Oren Ben-Dor, University of Southampton, Southampton
2.Prof. George Bisharat, UC Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco
3.Prof. Haim Bresheeth, University of East London, London
4.Dr Ghada Karmi, European Centre for Palestine Studies, Exeter University, Exeter
5.Mr Sami Jamil Jadallah, International business consultant, Fairfax, VA
6.Prof. Nur Masalha, SOAS, University of London, London
7.Prof. Mazin Qumsiyeh, University Bethlehem, Bethlehem


One State; a republic for all of its citizens, an introduction.

19 02 2012

Note: Dear readers: The Arab – Israeli conflict has defied so many generations of Israelis and Palestinians, so many Noble Prize winners, so many US presidents, so many wars, and so many proposed solutions.  There is only one solution, the One State solution. For months I had the honor to work with a groups of Israelis and Palestinians negotiating and drafting both the introductions and the Preamble for the One State. I hope all of you will support and promote the “One State: A Republic for all of its citizens” as the only thing on the table to solve the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Read the rest of this entry »


Palestine, time for regime change.

16 09 2011

More than any other time in the history of Palestine, there is an urgent and critical need for regime change. Let us not allow the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Palestinian Authority (PA) and Fatah efforts to secure “full recognition” at the UN from the urgent need of a regime change.

 

This PLO/Fatah regime, perhaps the longest running political and criminal regime and enterprise in the Middle East, much longer than Saddam Hussein Ba’athist regime, much longer than Bashar/Hafez Assad Ba’athist regime, much longer than Hosni Mubarak regime, much longer than Muamar Gaddafi regime. Read the rest of this entry »


“Jewish facts on the ground”. NO way.

3 06 2011

Question, why should any one, let alone the Palestinians accept “Israel’s facts on the ground” when Israel not only never accepted “Palestinian’s facts on the ground” but through brute force changed these facts? The fact that Israeli Jews and beyond them American Jews claims special rights to the land, does not mean, these claims must be accepted by every one and it does not mean Israeli Jews are exempted from the rule of international law. Read the rest of this entry »


President Obama at AIPAC; Unconditional Surrender.

23 05 2011

As was expected President Barack Obama’s speech this weekend at AIPAC was an unconditional surrender to AIPAC, to Bibi Netanyahu and Israel. He gave up the US presidency in favor of his candidacy for re-election.

 

Barak Obama did not come to AIPAC to convince the American Jewish leaders and community and argue the case of the US resolve and leadership in settling the Middle East conflict based on international laws and international conventions, a conflict that has cost the US and its tax payers so dearly. Read the rest of this entry »


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