Friday, June 04, 2010

From the flotilla incident, moving to the wider regional situation scope

in the midst of everyone talking on the flotilla, I also find it more constructive to discuss the overall situation then the incident only. here is my view: there is a fundamental difference between Gaza\Hamas and the occupied-territores\Fatah. I have a lot of respect to Fatah and alot of sympathy to the population in the occupied-territories. on the other hand, I see the Hamas as a manifestation of religious fundamentalism which is the root cause for the suffering of the Gaza population. the Fatah are a nationalist organization who has moved to diplomatic engagements. as such, they are working for the benefit of their people and there is a chance to progress. on the other hand, the Hamas is an organization that was elected but nevertheless is self-destructive towards its own people. the outcome of their violent and fundamentalist view has caused not only israel to put a blockade (rightly or wrongly) but also created a huge rift between them and their brothers in the occupied-territories. additionally, you can see the negative way that Jordan and Egypt view the Hamas. this is in short about differences between Gaza\Hamas and the occupied-territores\Fatah. now for Israel... Israel is doing a lot of wrong. no doubt. much of the criticism is justified. I can point to several justified issues but I think that there is enough mentioned already. so with the risk of being called in unpleasant nicknames, I would like to point on what I see wrong with the public opinion. - there is an automatic tendency to blame israel on everything. I strongly disagree with that. - there is a tendency to see israel as the sole aggressor. I strongly disagree with that. please do not interpret my words as "israel is not aggressive". Israel is definitely aggressive. my meaning is that it is not the only one. the situation is pretty much such that both sides can not stop this on their own. I think that we need "two adults" in this game; one for each. One adult to take care of Israel (e.g., US) and another adult to take care of Hamas (e.g., Egypt and Jordan). Unfortunately, Israel doesn't listen enough to the adult (US); and the other adult (Egypt\Jordan) already gave up on the fundamentalist Hamas opening his mind. How about that US with local countries e.g., Egypt and Jordan, should get involved clear and loud? did I widen the scope too much? should I point to Gaza only? ok.. no, I don't think the situation in Gaza is acceptable towards the population. I have no doubt that if MR Mahmud Abbas was the leader in Gaza, things would have looked completely different. but blaming the situation in Gaza on Israel only? no no no.... that is making israel a scape goat for the follies of the self-internal-rifts-creating Hamas regime. make israel responsible for its share. do not make it accountable for everything. please let me know your thoughts. abubalboola

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Back to blog \ the flotilla

it's been few years since I blogged here. didn't blog anywhere else during that time, in which there were few additions to the family and some other big changes. all for the best.

The Flotilla... where can I even start.... ?!
A flawed operation? a failed operation?
Israel-Turkey relations deteriorating?
Yet another escalation coming (because in our region, changes hardly ever come as calming down the area)
The questionable siege on Gaza?
Gilad Shalit?

What is the point in which the counting starts, when you tell your story of the middle east?
Can you really make any logical assumptions in order to get to a logical and realistic view of the region? Such view which will be clean of pre-judgmental opinions (and feelings!)?

I would like to relate to the mainstream media in how it covers this tragedy.
It is reasonable to assume that however flawed was the israeli planning, however questionable is the gaza siege, how wrong is the whole chain of decisions made by the israelis... ... it is still possible to assume that not all passengers were peaceful activists. Within the 600 activists, there was a handful of violent activists who's intentions were not peaceful. These handful of deadly violent activists were willing to kill an israeli soldier. An israeli soldier that went to full fill a questionable mission, yet he had no idea that among the peaceful activists, there are those who do not share the same peaceful intentions...

Yes, be critical of Israel.
And yes, be critical of what you read and see.
The videos show an angry mob hitting with long clubs, metal chains etc.
Is this what peace activists do?! No! And indeed the majority of the 600 passengers did not participate in that.
Where is their statement that says "these handful of violent passengers, do not represent us in anyway."? All we see is a lame denial in the style of "I did not see this.. so it did not happen..".
Sad. All looses. Time for a change. Need to search for the way. So all could go on forward. abubaboola,

Saturday, December 09, 2006

and mostly bad news, this time..

well, now I am going to quote my own words (sadly, not in a good way :-)
Last post I said "Is the lack .. is a good sign ("no news is good news") or is it bad news ("what's there to tell")?"
And now I can add the following: and when it's mostly bad news, you still need to hope for the better.

I have been so busy in my new job, I had to dump my hobbies for a while and stopped reading the news. unfotunatly, what I do get to hear is bad. very bad.
Not talking about Gaza where we clash continuosly without any sign of us restraining ourselves, or the Palestinian Hamas come to its senses and see its own self-destructive nature.
I am referring to Lebanon, whom I see as a natural ally of Israel. And it's not the katyoosha rockets that are pointed to Israel that worry me, but the vicious words of Nasralla against his own governement (if he actually sees himself as one of the Lebanese citizens - has not been decided yet).
It's those words he is uttering that worry me. Not the mass demonstration which is a democratic right. His words are poison that no honest, reliable and peaceful leader would ever dare to use. Not against an elected leadership in which his own allies used to sit in the parliament not so long ago.
And this "not so long ago" is a factor. Looks to me like his allies left the government knowing that he is about to go against the governement. Not because of disagreements which should be negtiated by words. And now it is his time of anti-ideopolitics political rhetorics.

I still hope for the best. That Lebanon will go over this internal crisis with all of its national groups intact and in an understanding that internal unity, democratic regime and regional peace deal are in their country interest; and who are the true leaders to lead them to achieve those goals.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Good, bad, worrying and missing - news.

Still no much rest in the new job, but lots of fun.

I checked the news tonight after quite a while I didnt get to it.
Good things.. bad things.. worrying things.. and some things are plain missing (should add a '!' to emphasize it).

Good things seem to happen in Lebanon as the Israeli army has done another major step in pulling out from the land that was entered in the last war; And the Lebanese army has raised its flag near the border.

Bad things are happening in Gaza as the social and political chaos grows and no unity is seen in the horizon between all political layers of Gaza society (from supporters to enforcers and up to the leaders of Fatah and the Hamas).

Worrying things as Iran keeps playing the negotiation game they master. Worrying as chaos is growing also in Iraq and no solution is to be seen there as well.

But so so missing is any strong statements of Israel or Lebanon or a third party (perhaps Egypt? perhaps Jordan? perhaps Saudi?.. somebody?!) to indicate that there is any communication at all. To hint that stagnation has not creeped already.
Is the lack of such statement is a good sign ("no news is good news") or is it bad news ("what's there to tell")?
Or is it I missed the news on that day when a strong statement was said?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Samir Gaega criticized Hizballa's celebrations

I just started a new role in my company so I'm abit focused on those matters now and I hope it wont take too much time before I can spend alot of time again on politics.

During the war I was reading on the internal politics of Lebanon's during the last 30 years; going through events, finding about movements and leaders.. after a few hours of reading and skipping through so many pages.. I paused and said "pffff... what a mess..". It was like so many involved with so many conflicting views and so many turns and twists in the plot!
One note about "internal politics in Lebanon" - No such thing when you count Syria and Israel's role in those 30 years.

Today I read interesting statement by one of the names I remembered - Samir Gaega.
It came as a respond to the victory celebrations of Hizballa. Once it was said that all it takes to such an organization to claim victory is an empty box to stand on, in a corner of some remote village and raise arms.
Hizballa's celebrations shows clearly how Lebanon's interests are not served by those who call themselves a resistance movement and who ridiculed PM Fouads Siniora tears in public.

I recommend reading certain blogs which discuss Lebanon's affairs with Syria (I assume that Israel-Lebanon blogs are much easier to find) - and . Thanks for those 2 web sites I learnt alot about Lebanon's other faces.; I find it interesting to learn about Lebanon throught lenses which focus on other subjects and other directions. After all, to make peace with a country requires understanding all its positions on the multi dimensional political game.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Answer to "nobody"

In one of the blogs I got into a conversation, with a blogger called "nobody", that crossed several subjects.
At times those diversions from subject to subject were distructing but in the last one, "nobody" raised an interesting opinion.

"Nobody" said
"It appears that there is a disconnection between the government and the people in Israel. Most people i talk to dont want peace with Syria, dont trust Hamas and are sceptical about UN or joined arab peace intiatives. By the polls if elections would be held now Olmert would be swept away. Peretz would disappear. Right wing parties would take the votes.
If Lebanon are serious about a deal they should accept it now. I think it may become impossible later. Though of course if Lebanon proceeds on its own ignoring Syria and the palestinian problem it may be seen as a sort of Lebanon breaking ranks with other arab countries. But still. This window of opportunity may happen to be very short."

I would like to break your opinion apart and relate to each section.

"Most people i talk to dont want peace with Syria"
I assume you mean Israelis that you spoke with.
I disagree but I think I know what gave you that perception.
Most Israelis DO want peace with Syria (and other countries) but dont see it as realistic option. The syrian regime and Assad's action and involvement is damaging the region (i.e. Hariri murder) and is plain self-destructive for Syria itself.
The reactions which I believe you heard are from a point of view that it is plain imaginary to think that such a regime will become a sensible one.

"dont trust Hamas"
True. Being banned by the European Union, Hamas is an organisation who does not recognize Israel's right of existance. So the lack of trust can be understood from what ever side you are.
However! A more interesting question is if Israelis trust Fatah as there is a world apart between those two organizations. Needless to explain, but never the less important, Fatah has a different political agende which recognized Israel and therefor has the potential to progress towards more agreements.

"are sceptical about UN"
There is definition yet of their role but even so, there is clearly no expectation from a foreign force to disarm the Hizballa. And what else is required of them if not that?

"or joined arab peace intiatives."
This has a grain of truth. But to fill a missing part - there is scepticism AND optimism towards any peace initiative.
The problem is seen as the internal political immaturity of the Palestinians.

"It appears that there is a disconnection between the government and the people in Israel."
It only appears so.
First we need to look on where did Kadima came from - This government was elected mainly to pullout out of the West bank which is a step forward ending the occupation. The Israeli voters want to end the occupation and have elected a governement to do so (but now, things changed).
Second, where is the political balance? Kadima is a shift of the right power toward the center-left. They may differ in ideology but resemble in actions. (Mr Peres joined Kadima from that pragmatic reason).
Actually this government is the first in years to have less and less ex-generals with a militaristic orientation and more people seen as diplomats (i.e. The foreign and security ministers have both a primarily diplomatic orientation) which was seen as a postitive trend by the Israelis.

The current mood towards the government is not directly regarding any peace process but reflects a self disappointment from the management level (i.e. prepared processes were not used. Emergency plans not carried out orderly etc)

(However "nobody" - if you claim that most dont want peace, and there is a disconnection; does that mean you see the Israeli government as one that wants peace? ... I'm not sure where exactly your opinion is in this case)

"By the polls if elections would be held now Olmert would be swept away."
I dont think so. Those polls might show strong disatisfaction which is not to be confused with a will to change.
I think the reason here is simpistic. First, the Israelis see fighting the Hizballa as a justified cause. Secondly, if they were to look around they would see the vacuum of strong leadership. Olmert was promoted to be the head of Kadim as a consequence of PM Sharon's illness.

"Peretz would disappear."
No disrespect toward Peretz, but even he probably didnt expect to be there. He is filling that role mainly because of the coalition deal between Kadima and the left Avoda party.
My personal hope is that in some rotation movement, he will remain in the government and Mr Barak will be the new security minister. Barak was a PM and the Chief of IDF and has the military exerience to handle large scale conflicts. He is also seen as a strong diplomatic oriented which tried closing a deal with Arafat meaning it's the right message towards Arab countries and the Palestinians.

"Right wing parties would take the votes"
From the same reason above, I dont see that happening. No seen candidates there. If you are even thinking about Netanyahu, see his performance in the prior elections.
What used to be the right wing is now Kadima which is acting similar to a left party (although from different ideology).

These are my answers to "nobody".
When I look at it I see that the situation is not great but certainly can improve greatly by two possibilities that are seen now:
1. Fatah joining the Palestinian government and bringing some sense back.
2. Mr Barak joining the Israeli governement.
3. All-Around-the-Table meeting of Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Palestinians and Lebanon.
4. All parties identifying that this window of opportunity is very short lived.

Peace, Inshaalla.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Back to the Palestinians

Some opinions have been saying "The war in Lebanon is a smoke screen for what is happening in Gaza and the West-Bank".
I say.. no, this is the nature of the media to focus on what is giving the biggest headlines.

Untill the last war, I was reading only about Israeli-Palestinian matters.
I'm not fully updated on what is going on but one thing I am waiting to hear about, is the forming of a joint government of the Hamas and Fatah.
Abu Mazen is the leader that can bring an agreement from the palestinian side.
He is moderate, logical, respected by both sides.
The Hamas were democratically elected by their people but something didnt go as it should have..
(btw , do I have a right to criticize Palestinian processes? yes, I do)
Their manifest was mainly about social plans and fighting against corruption. Somehow, they gave people the ambigious feeling that their approach in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will not be what it is today; Not recognizing Israel and claiming they are not accountable for any agreement.
Forget for a moment about Israel in relation to that.. think about the Palestinian cause.. does this approach benefit them or damage them?
So Israel and the US reaction could have been predicted. What about the European Union? shouldnt that ring some alarm bells?

Still, Hamas being elected means they have sufficient support and must be represnted.
So either they change their approach to a more pragmatic one or they form a coallition with the Fatah.

I'm just hoping to see Abu Mazen back in a powerful position.
(and there are other Fatah members who are also respected by both sides)