Monday, January 7, 2019

The Palestinians' Uncivil War

In this mailing:
  • Khaled Abu Toameh: The Palestinians' Uncivil War
  • Malcolm Lowe: The European Union's Massive Brexit Self-Harming Exercise

The Palestinians' Uncivil War

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  January 7, 2019 at 5:00 am
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  • The biggest losers from this internal bloodletting are the Palestinians living under these leaders in the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas-ruled Gaza.
  • The dispute between Hamas and Fatah is not over who will bring democracy and a better economy to the Palestinians. They are not fighting over who will improve the living conditions of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip by building new schools and hospitals. They are not fighting over who will introduce major reforms to the Palestinian government and end financial and administrative corruption. They are not fighting over the need for freedom of expression and a free media.
  • Mahmoud Abbas, the Hamas leaders correctly argue, is not a rightful or legitimate president. If Abbas were to sign a deal with Israel, people could come along later and say that he lacked the legal authority to do so; they would be right.
  • In order for any peace process to move forward, the Palestinians first need to stop attacking each other. Then, they need to come up with new leaders who actually give a damn about their people.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his senior aides and advisers have yet to overcome the deep humiliation they suffered in 2007 when Hamas militiamen overthrew their regime in the Gaza Strip and killed several PA and Fatah men. Pictured: Fatah gunmen guard the home of a senior Fatah official in the Gaza Strip on January 30, 2007, during the violent Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip. (Photo by Abid Katib/Getty Images)
The Palestinians' major ruling groups, Fatah and Hamas, are now saying they are done with each other: that the divorce is final.
Recent days and weeks have witnessed the two groups maligning each other beyond anything previously seen. Fatah and Hamas have reached a new level of mutual loathing. At times, it even seems as if Fatah and Hamas hate each other more than they hate Israel.
Many in the West say they would like to see Israel and the Palestinians return to the negotiating table. They want Israelis and Palestinians to resume the so-called peace process. They are hoping that Israel and the Palestinians will manage to reach a historic agreement that would end the Israeli-Arab conflict and bring real peace to the Middle East.

The European Union's Massive Brexit Self-Harming Exercise

by Malcolm Lowe  •  January 7, 2019 at 4:00 am
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  • Irish PM Varadkar has made an Irish joke out of Ireland by his own opposition to changing the "backstop." To claim that an easily removable obstacle that will gravely harm Ireland provides essential protection to Ireland may not be the funniest joke in Irish history, but it is a good candidate for becoming the most expensive one.
Given the harm that Ireland is about to suffer from the EU's insistence on the Brexit "backstop," one would imagine that Irish PM Leo Varadkar's would be the first friendly ear that UK PM Theresa May would find among European leaders. Instead, he has vetoed any reformulation of the "backstop," insisting that "the deal could not be unpicked." Pictured: May hosts Varadkar in London on June 19, 2017. (Photo by Philip Toscano - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
As the resumption of the Brexit debate looms in the House of Commons, it is reported that the European Commission is haughtily retaining its refusal to consider any revision to the Withdrawal Agreement (WA); this attitude is also backed by the numerous leaders of European Union countries whom UK PM Theresa May has contacted. Those leaders assume that, like most of them themselves, the UK will eventually grovel before the Commission and accept its dictate.
The European leaders are too young, perhaps, to remember that most of their countries would have become German dominions and satellites if the UK had not refused to grovel to Hitler in July 1940 after the Fall of France, fighting on alone in Europe and North Africa. As Germany discovered later that its misjudgment of the UK would end with the devastation of Germany, today the UK is preparing resolutely for a no-deal Brexit that will cost it dearly, but the EU more dearly.


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