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A Few Critical Points on Israel and Hamas
* US positioned Israel to attack * Hamas statement blackout * Tutu argued violence may be needed without sanctions * Iran could invoke Genocide Convention * Israel backed Hamas
There are obvious points, like the US political system, now on all pro-Israel mode, is deranged — making ridiculous claims like the Hamas attack was “unprovoked”.
But beyond such obvious points, rebutted by many:
In a recent interview which I understand will be released on Wednesday, I got into how the chessboard was basically set for Israel to pummel the Palestinians. This was especially driven by the US government drive for "normalization" between Arab states with Israel — see recent news release I did for my day job. This and other things -- Turkish president Erdoğan meeting Netanyahu for the first time recently -- made it apparent that Israel was positioned to inflict massive violence against the Palestinians. I don't know but suspect that Hamas came to the same conclusion and decided to strike first. I made additional observations on X/twitter.
Hamas is being discussed by so many, but until I posted it late Saturday evening, apparently no one had posted Hamas’s statement for why they did the attack on X/twitter. Words don’t do justice to how perverse it is to not simply look at the stated justification by Hamas.
In 2014, Archbishop Desmond Tutu backed divestment moves targeting companies that work with Israel and spoke up against attempts to limit free speech around Boycott Divestment and Sanctions, which are now being backed by the Biden administration. In a 2013 interview, David Frost asked Tutu if he was ever tempted to back violence, as Nelson Mandela had done, in the South African anti-apartheid struggle. Tutu stated that it was only the application of sanctions which prevented him from embracing the use of violence. Tutu replied that “we urged the world to apply sanctions and said to them this is really the last nonviolent way of seeking to change the system” crediting “students at universities and colleges who helped to change the moral climate.” All the while, Tutu said he “recognized that there might come a time when you would have to say that nonviolent means were no longer viable.” While Congress placed sanctions on South Africa in 1986 over then-President Ronald Reagan’s veto, now many in the US concur with Biden’s stance to hinder the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. For background see here. Video:
Re Iran and the alleged rhetorical support being offered by Tehran to the Palestinians, I noted after the Israeli assault of 2014 in “A Global Legal Intifada: If It's a Genocide in Gaza, then Invoke the Convention to Stop it” that Iran had concrete legal steps it could take to help the Palestinians and was not — and is continuing not — to do so: “On Monday, Iran is hosting a meeting of the Non Aligned Movement urging global action to end what top Iranian officials have called the ‘genocide’ in Gaza. Certainly meaningful action is desperately needed. And if Iran and other governments are serious about taking action and the charge of genocide, they have an avenue open to them: Go beyond denunciations and invoke the Genocide Convention against Israel. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has accused Israel of ‘genocide’ as has Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif: ‘We have repeatedly warned of this genocide conditions in Gaza.’ Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has called Israel's attack genocide’ … But none of these governments seem to be moving to actually invoking the relevant legal remedy for the charge they make: The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide…”
Just as with the US gov backing the Mujahideen who would become the Taliban in Afghanistan in the 1980s, Israel helped the rise of what would become Hamas. It was even advocated in the pages of the New York Times. The reason was clearly stated -- a desire to divide the Palestinians and undermine the secular PLO. Classic colonial divide and rule. See from Sept 9, 1989 by Clinton Bailey: "An Alternative to the PLO -- Fundamentalists" (Thanks to Abba Solomon for digging up the piece and documenting that my memory was pretty good.)