In Gaza City, a leading Hamas lawmaker, Mushir Masri, stands in the chamber of the Palestinian Legislative Council, destroyed during Israel’s recent offensive in the Gaza Strip. President Obama said he hoped special envoy George J. Mitchell could identify ways to “solidify the cease-fire.”
By Dr. Abdul Ruff
Former US president Bush spoke about establishing a new Mideast, but ended by creating secret torture cells across the world, while squandering and looting the resources in Afghanistan and Mideast and killing and torturing Muslims every where, not only in Mideast, but beyond that right up to Pakistan. USA is still threatening to invade some more Arab nations and Iran. Threat is real both from USA and from its allies. President Obama is still weighing the pros and cons of any action his administration might undertake to reverse the Bushdom courses. Will Obama be different from Bush and can the world trust him?
A self proclaimed “lefty” and the US president carrying the banner of “change” obviously from Bushdom both at home and abroad, Barack Hussein Obama is yet to make up mind about his course of his administration, though some of his actions so far indicate an anti-Bush agenda is offing. However, Obama is yet to come out with strong criticism of Israeli fascism in general and Israeli holocaust in Palestine in particular, killing innocent defenseless people there, including old folk, women and little children and the very fact he maintains a criminal silence o n the subject would make his regime worse for the world, not just the USA. One fails to understand if Obama would keep silence if his own people were killed by Israel.
With a shaky ceasefire in place after the war in Gaza, efforts are under way to restart negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. The West supports the Fatah administration in the West Bank and says it will not talk to Hamas unless it renounces violence and recognizes Israel’s right to exist. The United Nations launched an appeal for $613m to help people affected by Israel’s three-week military offensive in the Gaza Strip. The offensive, which ended on 18 January, killed Palestinians in thousands, of whom 412 were children; 21,000 homes were destroyed or badly damaged. But the US-led West and its “strategic partners” are still blaming the Palestinians.
US President Barack Obama chose former Senator George Mitchell as an envoy who will try to jump-start the faltering Arab-Israeli peace talks. During his busy first week in office, Obama also chose former ambassador to the United Nations Richard Holbrooke to be the first-ever special US envoy for Afghanistan, Pakistan and related issues. Both the envoys have records of success in helping settle long-running violent conflicts – Mitchell in Northern Ireland and Holbrooke in the Balkans. “We have no time to lose,” said Obama, who introduced the envoys at an event with newly confirmed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Mitchell is assigned the task of Middle East to help ensure the durability of the ceasefire in Gaza . “It will be the policy of my administration to actively and aggressively seek a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians, as well as Israel and its Arab neighbors,” Obama said.
President Obama outlined his plans for peace in the Middle East in his first formal Arab TV interview. With view to clubbing Afghanistan and Mideast region, Barack Obama has chosen his special envoys for the troubled Middle East and Afghanistan-Pakistan regions. Without giving a time frame Obama has said a Palestinian State is possible. “I think it is possible for us to see a Palestinian State — I’m not going to put a time frame on it — that is contiguous, that allows freedom of movement for its people, that allows for trade with other countries, that allows the creation of businesses and commerce so that people have a better life,” Obama said.
The US President said that the condition of the ordinary Palestinian in many cases has not improved. The President suggested that Israel and the Palestinians should continue their peace talks, and praised Saudi King Abdullah for putting forward an Arab plan to bring peace to the region. He said: “It is impossible for us to think only in terms of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and not think in terms of what’s happening with Syria or Iran or Lebanon or Afghanistan and Pakistan. These things are interrelated.” He also promised US help in ensuring a lasting truce in Gaza , which has been rocked by a 22-day Israeli offensive against Hamas that left the territory devastated. Obama says the Israelis and Palestinians need to come back to the negotiating table and the bottom line in all these talks is that “Do the children in Palestine have a future for themselves? And is the child in Israel going to feel confident about his or her safety and security while Israel kills any Palestinian it comes across? But this is not going to be easy.” Obama said this in an interview to the Al Arabiya television news channel.
Last week, the US envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, visiting the Mideast, aimed at consolidating ceasefires declared by Israel and Palestinian groups in Gaza , has said Washington is committed to “actively and aggressively” seeking lasting peace. By following the Bush legacy of futile shuttle diplomacy through Rice, Mitchell also met Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas on Janu 29. The same manner, the Western diplomats said, Mitchell would not meet Hamas, a group shunned by the U.S. and Europe for it refusal to recognize Israel. George Mitchell is somebody with extraordinary patience as well as extraordinary skill, and that’s what’s going to be necessary,” Obama said. Referring to the visit, Obama said he has asked him to listen to the Muslim world first.
Obama has ordered a full review of the US strategy in Afghanistan, where he has pledged to boost troop strength, and told generals to take the first steps towards a pledge to withdraw troops from Iraq. Afghanistan will be Barack Obama’s top overseas military priority, the US Defence Secretary has said. Speaking to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Robert Gates described the fight to defeat the Taliban as “our greatest military challenge right now”. Gates said: “President Obama has made it clear that the Afghanistan theatre should be our top overseas military priority. “While this will undoubtedly be a long and difficult fight, we can attain what I believe should be among our strategic objectives – an Afghan people who do not provide a safe haven for al-Qaeda, reject the rule of the Taliban and support the legitimate government that they elected.” Turning to Iraq, Mr Gates said: “Though violence has remained low, there is still the potential for setbacks – and there may be hard days ahead for our troops. As our military presence decreases over time, we should still expect to be involved in Iraq on some level for many years to come.”
While stating that Muslims are not US enemies, the US President reiterated the US’s commitment to Israel as an ally, but he suggested that Israel had hard choices to make which his administration would further encourage. He also stressed his willingness to “talk to Iran” and said his team would soon begin work on laying out a framework for contact between the two nations – a move that could see diplomatic links reopened for the first time in 1979. He has pledged to shift the focus of the struggle against terrorism back onto Afghanistan and away from Iraq.
Obama seemed to allude to Iran when he said his administration wanted to signal to all countries in the region “that external support for terrorist organizations must stop”. The Bush administration had accused Iran of supporting the Palestinian militant group Hamas and the Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah, and in the past had linked Tehran to weapons and explosives smuggled to insurgents in Iraq. Russia supplies nuclear equipment Iran. The White House said Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev had agreed on the need to stop the “drift” in US-Russia relations in a phone call last week.
Obama had said during the campaign he favored high-level engagement with Iran but since the election he has given no details on when that effort might start. Pressed on Iran during a briefing, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs reiterated that Obama believes: “We’re going to have to engage our friends and our enemies in order to make our country safe and secure.” Obama has not confirmed if the US, a terror prone terrorist state, nukes are safe enough and ensure safety for Islamic world.
Palestine has been under Israeli siege after Israel annexed the Palestinian lands with Western help and established Israel in 1948. Fundamentalist Israeli fascists maintain blockades around the tiny Palestinian lands causing enormous economic difficulties for the locals and collect taxes in Palestine using it as a terror chip.. Israel keeps expanding the Jewish territories in Palestine and kills and chases away the Palestinians. USA, UN and UNSC just keep their eyes fully closed on fascist invasions of a terrorist Israel. .
Both USA and Israel say Palestinians have right to defend themselves from Israeli fascist attacks but that right is reserved only for Israel even while the Jews invade and kill the defenseless Palestinians. Accordingly, the Hamas should have get any military and economic support form Arabs or other Muslim nations. The mastermind of the recent holocaust in Palestine, Israeli premier Olmert told Mitchell Israel would object to reopening any crossings with Gaza save to permit the flow of vital aid to the territory, until an Israeli soldier captured in 2006 was freed, an Israeli official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “We don’t intend to open the crossings before Gilad Shalit returns home,” Ben-Eliezer, the Israeli cabinet minister said, referring to the soldier seized by Gaza militants in a cross-border raid.
Like USA, Israel has wide networks around the world enacting murders and terrorisms. Undoubtedly, the Palestinian groups both Hamas and Fatah seem to have been infiltrated by CIA-Mossad agents and thus control the actins and statements being made by the leaders. But innocent Palestinians are the victims of such secret holocaust designs. Not only it wants to escape crudest possible punishment for holocaust in Palestine, but Israel has said it will hold Gaza’s Hamas rulers responsible for all attacks launched from the coastal territory, and had warned of a stronger response to the killing of a soldier on Tuesday in an explosion by a Gaza border fence.
US-Israel combine split the Palestinian liberation movement into Fatah and Hamas and when Hamas won the poll in 2008, they used Fatah against Hamas. Israeli officials who almost directly control the Fatah party and its leader Abbas, the PLO chief, claim that moment earlier, a militant group with links to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement claimed responsibility for firing a rocket at southern Israel late on 28 Jan Wednesday. The rocket was the first fired from Gaza since Israel and Hamas called separate ceasefires ending a 22-day Israeli offensive on January 18.
The Israel Defense Force is the fourth strongest military establishment in the world and is the strongest in the Middle East . This mighty defense establishment of Israel has an extensive global network that supports its killing machine targeted towards the Palestinians and the Arabs. Yet, it cries loud about threats from defenseless Palestinians.
It has been the US policy to stand by Israeli terrorism and condemn the Palestinians, now the Hamas. An arrogant Israel generally obtains concurrence of the US administration for its fascist actions in Arab world and even if the USA does not agree with some of its aggressions, Israel still takes US nod for granted and goes ahead with invasions. And USA approves the Israeli terrorism as its key policy in Mideast . This US stand has made Israel to be a rogue like its US master.
Pursuing the same old line, Mitchell said any durable truce between Israel and Hamas must end smuggling into Gaza and reopen border crossings controlled by Israel to relieve its economic blockade of the enclave where half the 1.5 million people depend on food aid. There is a U.S.-brokered 2005 agreement calling for forces loyal to Abbas to be deployed in Gaza . Hamas seized Gaza from Abbas’s forces in 2007, a year after the Islamists won a parliamentary election.. “President Obama has said the United States is committed to Israel ‘s security and to its right to defend itself against legitimate threats,” Mitchell said. “The president has also said the United States will sustain an active commitment toward reaching the goal of two states living side by side in peace and security,” he added.
Mitchell announced that Obama had earmarked the $20.3m for aid to Gaza on top of $40m allocated to humanitarian programs there since hostilities broke out in late December. He met the leader of the opposition Likud party, Binyamin Netanyahu, the leading candidate to be Israel ‘s next prime minister. Mitchell has held previous talks with Egyptian, Israeli and Palestinian leaders. Later on Friday he is due to travel to the Jordanian capital, Amman.
Even after Israel’s latest “truce” after the latest genocide in Palestine, Israeli forces have killed some more Palestinians. The violence clouded a visit by U.S. President Barack Obama’s Middle East envoy, former U.S. Senator George Mitchell, who said in Jerusalem it was “of critical importance that the ceasefire be extended and consolidated” with respect to Israel and Gaza. After the latest holocaust, Israel tries to threaten the UN and UNSC as well as its protector USA by firing another missile attack on Gaza, even as the Obama‘s emissary Mitchell is trying to meet the Arab leaders to find lasting solution. Again, Israeli warplanes bombed a weapons production facility in Gaza on Jan 29 that defied the efforts of a visiting U.S. peace envoy to reinforce a ceasefire, as Israel stroke in the town of Rafah , along Gaza ‘s border with Egypt . Witnesses and Hamas said a metal foundry was damaged.
Meanwhile, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, envoy to the region of the international “quartet” of powers, said Hamas should be part of the Middle East peace process, “I do think it is important that we find a way of bringing Hamas into this process, but it can only be done if Hamas are prepared to do it on the right terms,” Blair said in an interview with the Times. “If you do this in the wrong way it can destabilize the very people in Palestine who have been working all through for the moderate cause.” Blair is the Middle East envoy for the quartet of Middle East peace negotiators — the United States , the United Nations, Russia and the European Union.
No to Bush domestic policy is the motto of the new Obama administration so far.
Barack Obama pledged on 30 Jan to reverse labor policies from his Republican predecessor, George W. Bush, that unions have long contended favored employers over workers. Obama, who won significant backing from trade unions in his Democratic presidential campaign, said there could not be a strong middle class, the focus of his economic recovery plan, without a strong labor movement. He signed three executive orders to bolster unions in the workplace and strengthen workers’ rights “with which I have sharply disagreed”, Obama told a gathering at the White House. “Labor is not part of the problem, it is part of the solution,” he said to loud applause from an audience that included representatives of labor unions and business groups.
Obama denounced as “shameless” lavish Wall Street bonuses for senior financial executives at a time when taxpayers’ money was shoring up a financial system in crisis. His spokesman, Robert Gibbs, told a news conference the president planned to address the issue of executive compensation, with meetings scheduled at the White House next week to discuss tighter regulation of the financial industry.
The president spoke as new data showed the U.S. economy shrinking at its fastest rate in nearly 27 years and a day after the number of Americans seeking jobless benefits hit a record high. “The recession is deepening and the urgency of our economic crisis is growing,” Obama said. “This is a continuing disaster for America ‘s families.” He announced the creation of a task force under Vice President Joe Biden to look at ways of raising middle-class living standards, a signature campaign promise.
Obama, who was sworn in on January 20, has said that fixing the economy is his top priority. He is pushing Congress to approve a $900 billion stimulus package to jolt the economy out of its worst crisis in decades. Christina Romer, a top Obama economic adviser, said Friday’s figures showing a 3.8 percent drop in gross domestic product in the fourth quarter made clear the financial crisis had spread to the whole economy.
Israeli leaders facing a February 10 election in a campaign focused on security concerns, have vowed to respond to rocket salvoes its offensive in Gaza had aimed to curtail. The ruling party is losing grounds and Likud party is rated high in opinion polls necessitating the Israeli invasion of Palestine. Israeli leaders make false statements about tunnels, when the entire Israel is a tunnel that the Hamas fear, but Palestinians could rebuild tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border to replenish an arsenal of rockets. Some thousands of Palestinians, including at least 700 civilians and over 430 children, were killed in the offensive.
Yes to Bush foreign policy?
Obama has spent much of his first 12 days in office rolling back some of his predecessor’s policies. He has ordered the closure of Guantanamo Bay prison, begun reversing Bush’s climate policies and lifted restrictions on U.S. government funding for groups that provide abortion services abroad.
India wants to avoid the freedom movement leaders in resolution of Jammu Kashmir issue and surrender sovereignty back to Kashmiris, the other “democracies” like the USA and Israel are keeping the ruling Hamas out of any peace process and that is intentional because they don’t want peace there at any point of time. Blair’s advice to involve Hamas in peace process of Mideast merits international attention. The Israelis and Palestinians- both Hamas and Fatah need to come back to the negotiating table energized by the Arabs, Egypt, USA, UK, Quartet and the bottom line in all these talks is lasing peace in Mideast and a Palestine state on Palestinian lands without interference from Israel.
Of course, many, as before, see even Mitchell’s presence as a sign that the US is re-engaging – but few expect to see much progress soon, as Israel is in an election campaign with the right-wing Likud ahead in the polls. Following the meeting he called for Israel to open the crossing points into Gaza and for the Palestinian Authority to participate in a border regime in Gaza that prevents, Hamas that controls the territory, from rearming. Will he also end up by just meeting the Mideast leaders as often as possible and having dinners with them?
Can’t the UN, UNSC and US-led Western powers withdraw the Israeli right to invade Palestine and other weak nations killing people in its neighborhood? Alternatively, can’t they disarm an arrogant fascist Israel for thre4 sake of world peace and Mideast resolution, at least until the Palestine is created?
If President Obama, in deviation of Bush policy, rather the entire US policy so far, takes the first step in restraining Israel and crippling its military power that would positively lead to heralding of a new US Mideast diplomacy which would have far reaching positive ramifications for the entire world. Will he, or not?