Tag Archives: Palestine Papers

Britain to spend £5m on “Arab human development programme”.

William Hague - "We say again that the blockade of Gaza is unsustainable and unacceptable." (Conservatives.com)

William Hague - "We say again that the blockade of Gaza is unsustainable and unacceptable." (Conservatives.com)

Foreign Secretary William Hague answered Parliamentary questions on the Middle East peace process yesterday.

Ben Gummer MP asked:

“I hope he (Hague) shares the excitement of many people in this country at seeing people stand up to one-party rule in Tunisia and Egypt. Will he explain what steps the Government are taking to encourage the spread of democracy—not just in the middle east, but in north Africa?”

Hague replied: “The spending I have announced in a written statement today includes £5 million for an Arab human development programme, which is intended to assist civil society and democratic development in the Arab world, so this will become part of the important issue my hon. Friend raises.”

With cuts across the public sector in this country, petrol prices up to 130p a litre and rising, university students being asked to pay up to £9000 a year and food prices rising is it really necessary to provide such money, especially when considering Arab oil wealth and multi billion pound Western subsidies.

Who is the money going to, how will it be used and what effect, if any, will it have? I thought this government was committed to cutting waste not adding to it.

Hague also seems to be under the misconception that there is a connection between democracy in the Middle East and a peaceful settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

I would respectfully submit to Mr Hague that Middle East authoritarianism is down to countries like ours propping certain regimes up for our own interests. Don’t blame this one solely on Israel, please.

Hague also thinks that “the blockade of Gaza is unsustainable and unacceptable”. That’s very easy for him to say when thousands of kassam rockets aren’t pointing at his family.

He also stated that “we regard settlements as illegal”. Although, as ever, he didn’t explain how they are illegal.

Gerald Kaufman was on the war path again saying that the “situation of destitution, dereliction and malnutrition in Gaza is still appalling because of the blockade.” Has anyone seen evidence of said “malnutrition”?

And Richard Burden MP was convinced that “the Palestine papers have proved pretty conclusively that it is not the Palestinians who have not been prepared to compromise.”

Just another normal day in Parliament then.

Palileaks, The Guardian and incitement to murder.

One can never accuse The Guardian of missing an opportunity to bash Israel and the Palestine Papers is no exception.

I don’t think that for a quick buck the paper should have published the secret Annapolis negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

In yesterday’s paper Jonathan Freedland argues that the leaks will “prepare Palestinian public opinion for the painful concessions that peace will, one distant day, require” and are “already having a useful impact in Israel – prompting a clutch of influential figures to realise there is a partner on the Palestinian side.”

We will see but my imminent fear is for the Palestinian chief negotiators Mahmoud Abbas, Saeb Erekat and Abu Ala.

Although they were negotiating with the Israelis virtually the same terms that Yasser Arafat rejected back in 2000 The Guardian thinks it has got a real scoop.

But nothing was concluded. Just like in 2000, after seven years of negotiations, no deal was signed. Arafat was offered virtually the same deal on refugees, Jerusalem and the settlements as Abbas, Erekat and Ala seem to have agreed with Livni and co.

Although possible, it is doubtful they would have dared to sign the deal after the assassinations of President Sadat and Prime Minister Rabin at the hands of their own countrymen. Arafat couldn’t bring himself to do it.

So Freedland might be right that Palestinian public opinion is now prepared but at what personal cost to the Palestinians negotiators? Surely Abbas, Erekat and Ala had the right to decide the strategy of how to prepare the Palestinians for such huge concessions without The Guardian taking the decision out of these men’s hands and putting them at such great risk.

What risk was spelled out loud and clear also in yesterday’s paper by Osama Hamdan of Hamas.

Hamdan says:

“As an immediate response to these revelations, we in Hamas have begun a series of communications and meetings with Palestinian factions and prominent personalities to discuss practical measures. It is our responsibility to regain the initiative in order to protect our cause and isolate those who have betrayed it.”

We all know what Hamas means by “isolate”.

No Palestinian negotiator would dare step forward now.

And Palestinian academics like Ghada Karmi and Karma Nabulsi continue to pollute the cause of peace by perverting the words of UN resolution 194. So although it will never happen the Palestinians have bought the notion that they are refugees with a right to go to Israel and destroy it by force of numbers.

Naturally, on Monday The Guardian published an article by Karma Nabulsi, who talks of the right of return for “millions of Palestinian refugees”, and on Tuesday one by Karmi, The Right of return matters.

Yet, despite giving platforms to Hamdam, Karmi and Nabulsi Tuesday’s Guardian editorial has the cheek to submit that “A two state solution remains the only show in town.”

What a confused newspaper it is; it talks of a two-state solution while giving platforms to people committed to Israel’s destruction.

Or maybe not so confused. I’ve read some anti-Israel letters before but nothing like this one published yesterday:

“The revelations in detail (Report, 25 January) of the intransigent greed, the escape from decency, of Israeli governments in negotiation with our selected leaders of the Palestinians, serve one purpose among others. They provide a further part of what is now an overwhelming argument for a certain proposition. It is that the Palestinians have a moral right to their terrorism within historic Palestine against neo-Zionism. The latter, neither Zionism nor of course Jewishness, is the taking from the Palestinians of at least their autonomy in the last one-fifth of their historic homeland. Terrorism, as in this case, can as exactly be self-defence, a freedom struggle, martyrdom, the conclusion of an argument based on true humanity, etc.”

If “the Palestinians have a moral right to their terrorism” isn’t incitement to murder then I don’t know what is.

I doubt The Guardian would publish a letter from someone condoning the 7/7 London tube bombings because British troops were in Iraq and Afghanistan at the time. Innocent Israeli men, women and children are fair game though.

Surely this must go to the Press Complaints Commission. It surpasses the boundaries of freedom of speech and is deeply racist.