Archive for USA

Obama Making Sure the USA is Completely Irrelevant in the MENA Region

Posted in Culture, Palestine, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 19/05/2011 by arabrhizome

So today Obama gave his “much anticipated” speech on the situation in the Middle East and North Africa region. I put scare quotes around the words much anticipated because it was only so in the world of pundits. In the real world, especially in the MENA region, no one was expecting much. In fact, as most correspondents were reporting on Al Jazeera English many people in the region didn’t even know he was going to speak. That’s not to say that the people of the region are uninformed, just that the USA and its president have lost all credibility and are seen as counter-revolutionary and their opinions irrelevant.

The speech came and it was even worse than the most pessimistic observers expected. Obama talked about human rights, and freedom, and the respect of peaceful protests. He talked about the revolutions in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Syria, and mentioned very awkwardly Bahrain and Yemen, but completely ignored the violence against Palestinians, more on that later in the post. His speech was filled with hypocrisy and condescension. Clearly the events in the MENA region have completely been misunderstood by this president and his administration. He doesn’t seem to understand that the time of empty speeches is finished. The people who are not afraid of the bullets of their tyrants aren’t going to be hoodwinked by rhetoric.

The hypocrisy was apparent in the way he was speaking about the Egyptian revolution. We all remember that the US has propped the Egyptian regime and continued to protect it and back it until the eleventh hour. Now he’s trying to buy the revolutionaries with some debt reduction. He doesn’t understand that the people remember the made in USA weapons that were used against them. They remember the statements by Clinton, Gates, and Biden that supported Mubarak. But more importantly they clearly see themselves as part of the MENA region as a whole, and will not let double standards pass.

Clearly, Obama’s policy on dealing with the revolutions is confused at best. Depending on the friendliness of the dictators the US would react differently. Gaddafi gets bombs but the Khalifas in Bahrain get barely a mention for some of the worst oppression we’ve seen. Obama did mention bahrain and Yemen, but clearly he put caveats and showed much less vehemence in his critique than he did about Syria and Libya for example. Then came the inevitable Iran bashing. Which was interesting as Iran has absolutely nothing to do with these protests and is one of the countries that is seen as irrelevant to the revolutions. Obama unironically accused the Iranians of hypocrisy in their support for some of the revolutions, seemingly completely unaware of the hypocrisy of his own administration.

I didn’t mention this but within 5 minutes of the start of the speech Obama of course mentioned the death of Osamma Bin Laden. It was almost comical to see him wedge this irrelevant event to the revolutions in. But it allowed him to keep banging on about terrorism and the need to move away from it for the arabs. This again showed how completely out of touch with the realities of the region he and his administration are. He kept mentioning that peaceful non-violent protests achieved in a few months what terrorism didn’t in years. What is interesting is that the non-violent peaceful protests of the Palestinians for decades were not included in that.

This brings us to the last, and probably the most disingenuous and damaging, part of his speech. He finally got to the Palestinian issue, or the peace process as he still likes to portray it. Obama showed the true colours of the administration in this part of the speech, so that if anyone still had doubts they were completely answered. He expressed his vision for what a Palestinian and an israeli state would look like. And that vision is incredibly disturbing. Basically he reiterated Netanyahu’s vision of a demilitarised Palestinian state, in other words a bentustan. This state would be based on the 1967 borders but with land swaps.

He then went on to explain that the Palestinians need to understand that delegitimisation of israel, the zionist code word for the BDS movement and the attempt to hold israel responsible for its actions by the standards of international law and human rights, isn’t going to work. He also explained that the unilateral move to declare an independent Palestinian state along the 1967 borders at the UN in September isn’t going to work, thus flipping a giant v sign at the PA. He also talked about his fears of the reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas. In a hint at the events of the Nakba day protests, he said that violating the borders of israel was unacceptable. O f course forgetting that no border was breached by the peaceful Palestinian protesters and that even if it was, these are people who have been denied the right to return to their homes for 63 years, even though that right is enshrined in international law. He then gave a very mild caution to israel, after what felt like a ten minute (although it probably was only one or two minutes) love declaration for israel. He explained that the US and israel are the greatest of friends and that the US is commited to israel, blah blah blah, we’ve all heard it before.

There was also this moment in the speech that probably made every arab enraged. He explained that israelis suffered the fear of being blown up in busses, and having rockets fall on them, and most terribly (he said) knowing that the Palestinians were teaching their children to hate them. He then said the Palestinians suffered humiliation and statelessness. This is one of the most disgustingly inaccurate portrayals of the situation I have ever heard. What about the Palestinians living in fear of having white phosphorous dropped on them? Their homes, schools and hospitals destroyed? Their families dying on their way to hospital because a sadistic IDF soldier decided that he wouldn’t let them through a check point? Being taken in the middle of the night to be held incommunicado by israeli intelligence?

All in all Obama showed that the US’s position hasn’t changed at all. It’s foreign policy is still the same. Saudi Arabia and it’s disgusting role in repressing the Bahraini protests as well as supporting all the dictators that are being forced out, didn’t get a single mention. Israel, which regularly shoots at peaceful protesters and on Sunday acted exactly like all the arab regimes got 28 mentions, all of them supportive. Basically the US’s policy is still israel and oil. Obama’s speech, which was supposed to clarify his administration’s position did just that. The problem is that he thought he could hoodwink us and make us think that this was a change for the better. Unfortunately for him, Arabs aren’t stupid, no matter what people around him tell him. What this speech has done is that it has made sure that no one will take the US seriously in the region anymore. When the dust of revolution settles and the new MENA emerges the US will be completely and utterly irrelevant. There is much more to say but it would just make me angry and I need to sleep.

He’s Dead

Posted in Culture, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on 02/05/2011 by arabrhizome

Right so I went to sleep very late last night. In fact, I went to sleep after I heard that Ossama Bin Laden was killed near Islamabad in Pakistan. There was a raid on a mansion where apparently he was living for a while. Details are still sketchy, all we know is that a CIA force attacked the mansion with helicopters and a number of operatives. We don’t really know what role Pakistan and its army and intelligence played in this attack. There are also reports that one of the helicopters was shot down during the attack. The point is that the number one most wanted individual by the USA has been killed.

Before I talk about his death and what it might mean let me make something clear. OBL was a monster. There is no doubt in my mind that he was a horrible human being. He prayed on destitute and angry young Muslims and fed them an ideology of hate. His vision of Islam is one of hate and extremism. He has caused a lot of pain and suffering both in the west but even more in arab and Muslim countries. He propagated an ideology that reinforced ideas of the clash of civilisations and that reinforced the idea that arab and Muslim cultures are inferior. I think his greatest crime is that he tainted resistance with a monstrous Islamic ideology that caused the death of hundreds of thousands all over the world, if not millions, both directly and indirectly.

Having said that. I have to admit that the scenes of celebration coming out the US are making me feel sick to my stomach. I never liked celebrating death. Whenever the media showed arabs and Muslims celebrating the death of Westerners it was accompanied by comments on how bad and ugly this was. I have to admit that I shared this feeling. Death is not something to be celebrated, even if it is the death of a monster. However, we saw images of young and old americans taking to the streets in joy at the news of the death of that man. I do not understand how this is different. How is it that celebrating the death of a human being is okay?

I read a few comments on social media and other blogs about how disgusting it is that this has happened. Some were pointing out that if celebrations like this happened around the Arab and Muslim worlds when George W Bush dies they would be greeted with disgust and comments about the inferiority of Arab and Muslim cultures. Remember that Bush is hated in Arab and Muslim countries more than OBL was in the West. He caused the death of hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of Arabs and Muslims, most of them civilians. He caused these deaths through his wars and his support for disgusting regimes including Saudi, Egypt, Jordan, israel, to name a few.

But all of this talk of celebrating death is not the only thing that bothers me about the whole thing. OBL has been irrelevant for a number of years now. He was powerless for a while now. His irrelevance was made bare by the Arab revolutions where people rose up, and are continuing to rebel, against regimes brutalised and oppressed them. These revolutionaries weren’t and aren’t connected with OBL and AlQuaida in any way. OB’s name didn’t come up at any point because he was completely irrelevant. All the people who rose up weren’t motivated by an islamist ideology, whether extreme or moderate. Some of them are Islamists but they aren’t rising up under that ideology. They are all rising up for a secular state that protects their individual rights, including their right of belief.

What the Arab Spring has shown is that Islamists have lost the argument. The islamic solution was clearly rejected by the arab population. The revolutionaries didn’t want to replace their old dictators with bearded versions. They want democratic states that defend them and their interests, not those of the US or Saudi, or israel, or iran, or anyone. The Arab awakening which we are living through right now has not only put the uS and its allies on the back foot, but also iran and its allies, and more importantly Alquaida and its offshoots. Not only was OBL not mentioned or evoked during the revolutions but he never crossed the minds of the revolutionaries. He was a relic of an ideology that is on the wane. An ideology that was rejected by the absolute majority of Muslims.

But now he was killed and this can be bad. T, a friend of mine, put it very well. She said the with this action the “US inserted islamism within the paradigm”. Now there is a fear of retaliation and the possibility of infecting the arab spring with an ideology that had no place in it. I am confident that the revolutionaries all over the Arab countries will not be infected so easily but there is a new danger to worry about now. I won’t be surprised if endangered regimes use this to their advantage. Anyway, those are my quite confused and I think not very eloquent thoughts on the death of OBL. I would have preferred to see him tried in the international court along with other monsters like Bush, Blair, Cheney, and others, but you can’t always get what you wish for. There’s still hope though the others are still loose.

Martyrs and Violent, Thuggish, Idiotic Dictators

Posted in Culture, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 17/02/2011 by arabrhizome

I am angry. I am sad. I am full of righteous rage. I am far away from my comrades in Bahrain, Yemen, and Libya who are fighting and dying for freedom, but I am fully behind them. I wish I was there standing shoulder to shoulder with my brothers and sisters all over the arab world who are changing the face of North Africa and the Middle East. Today, many people died for no reason at all. In Bahrain, Libya, and Yemen, people asking for nothing more than to be treated like responsible adults and to be govern themselves were attacked and brutalised by violent, thuggish, and idiotic dictators, and their regimes. I know I’m sounding a little melodramatic but I’m writing what I feel right now.

I was going to sleep yesterday around 1:00 but thought I’d just check twitter before I do. As you know I haven’t been following the news much, nor have I been online that often. The Egyptian revolution meant that my work was very much delayed and I’ve been trying to catch up. Anyway, so I get on Twitter and very quickly realise that something horrible was taking place in Bahrain’s capital city of Manama. As some of you might know people have been camping out in pearl roundabout, which is a huge central place in the capital. They were demanding reform, they wanted to move towards a parliamentary monarchy.

Let me give you a little history of Bahrain. It is a tiny kingdom in the Persian/Arabian gulf. The population is a majority of Shias but the monarchy is Sunni. The ruling family is the Al-Khalifa family. They conquered the small archipelago about 200 years ago. Iran has laid claim to Bahrain for a long time and still sometimes does, although not as much lately. It is a tiny country of about 1 million people. There have been a constant sectarian tension there. Also, there have been a few reforms introduced, including a parliament where half the seats are voted for by the people and half are appointed by the king. What is interesting about the latest protests is that they had absolutely no sectarian tinge to them. It was basically people asking for real reform and to turn Bahrain into a full parliamentary monarchy.

The first two days of protests saw 2 deaths. However, the king went on television and apologised for the killings and promised to open up dialogue. However, today at 3:00 local time, as protesters were sleeping riot police moved in and cracked down on them. These protesters included young, old, men women, children, even toddlers. The police came to the bridge overlooking the roundabout and without any warning started shooting at protesters with tear gas, rubber bullets, maybe even live ammunition, and shotgun bird pellets. As  protesters scrambled to run away from the carnage, police flanked them and attacked them from the other side with more of the same weapons, as well as truncheons and batons.

The result is hundreds of injuries, 5 confirmed deaths, and around 70 missing persons, many of whom are children. There were reports of refrigerator trucks used by the police, we don’t know what for. Many have speculated that bodies were hidden there to be disposed of, although I cannot confirm this. The point is it was a massacre. An unnecessary and bloody massacre. I don’t know how the monarchy will survive this. If there was anyway to radicalise the pro-democracy movement, that was it. I think the people will now want, quite rightly if you ask me, the whole monarchy to go.

The reports from the hospitals were horrifying. Many of the dead and injured had their bodies riddled with shotgun pellets. One of the dead had part of his skull missing from being beaten. Many of the injured were handcuffed and then beaten. The police didn’t allow medical staff to get to the square until sometime in the afternoon. They weren’t allowed near the refrigerated trucks, which led to the rumours I mentioned before. I just can’t describe the outrage I feel right now. This is completely and utterly mad.

The US were muted in their response, unlike their response to the Iranian protests and the government reaction. This might be due to the fact that their MENA military fleet is stationed there. I’m just sick of their complete and utter hypocrisy. This is unacceptable. Anyway, there has also been a number of casualties in Libya, around 17 people have been killed. I will write more extensively about that tomorrow as I need to get back to work now. I am however going to keep an eye out for what is going to happen in Bahrain and Yemen as well. I just can’t believe how stupid the arab dictators are. Instead of responding to the early demands of  their people, which would keep them in power, they go on killing sprees that radicalise the movements and lead to their demise.

Still Here

Posted in Culture, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on 05/02/2011 by arabrhizome

Well I just discovered that my post went out without the text. I’m really sorry about that. I just fixed it. I was lucky to have kept a back up, I don’t usually. So anyway, here’s yesterday’s post, now accessible.

Right, quick note today, because I really need to get some work done. My sleeping pattern has been completely destroyed by the events in Egypt. But that’s not the point. Anyway, after yesterday’s fantastic show of force and courage by the free people of Egypt, today started with the regime seeming to want to crack down, or at least cause some kind of chaos, while showing that they still are in control. The US has also started sending mixed signals seeming to backtrack from asking for a transition now, and going back to an ‘orderly transition’.

So today began with an explosion in Arish in the Sinai along a pipeline that supplies both israel and Jordan with natural gas. This pipeline has been the site of much controversy. The interesting thing though is that the government came out straight away through its mouth piece, Egyptian state tv, to say that it was a terrorist action perpetrated by foreign elements. Now, I’m not much for conspiracy theories, but that sounds too good to be true for the regime. Isn’t strange that right after Mubarak says there will be chaos and terrorism, a terrorist attack happens? I don’t know, it might well have been the Beduins of Sinai, it could also have been israel wanting to stir some shit. It’s all possible. The point is, it was a bit of an ominous development.

This sense of tension was compounded by the info coming out of Tahrir Square that the army is trying to take down some of the barricades that have been protecting the protesters from thugs. It felt like the regime is trying to force the people out of Tahrir, one way or another. And there was a fear that people are in danger. It was also reported that many people were prevented, or greatly hampered, from making their way to Tahrir by the army and the presidential guard. It all sounded fishy.

There were also reports of back room meetings behind closed doors between the regime and people trying to co-opt the movement. America seems to be softer on the regime, after being slightly almost imperceptibly critical. However, the protesters again proved that they are free and courageous women and men who will not be deterred by this criminal regime and its allies. More people made their way to Tahrir and it was full of thousands. Protests happened all over the country and the pressure on Mubarak and his goons is still on.

Egypt One More Time

Posted in about the blog, Culture, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 30/01/2011 by arabrhizome

This will be a short post. I’m really ill and I need to get some work done. It started last when I felt my sinuses acting up again, I have always had problems with them. I woke up with a pounding headache and I’m now clearly ill with a bad cold. I must have caught something when I went out a couple of days ago to the supermarket. So my post won’t be as long as the other ones I’ve written in the past few days. Also, not much, in terms of new developments, have happened today. Therefore, I will simply try to summarise today’s events in Egypt and then go back to my hitherto failed attempts at getting any work done.

So today saw a continuation of the demonstrations and protests all over Egypt. In fact, the protests seem to have grown in size, if that’s even possible. The Egyptian people are clearly unimpressed by Mubarak’s desperate attempt to stay in power. Official sources extended the curfew and added an extra hour of curfew, yet the people simply ignore such orders and continue to march and gather well into the night.

Some of the most important developments were the closure of the Al Jazeera bureau in Cairo by security forces this afternoon. They clearly don’t like the fact that Al Jazeera has been doing a great job covering the rebellion. This means that they moved their reports to a more or less clandestine operation. Now rather than naming their reporters and their exact locations they just refer to them with the generic ‘our correspondent in …’. Again we see Mubarak desperately trying to keep his hold on power by limiting his people’s access to information. He turned off the internet, and that only amplified the protests, this does not seem to have a different result.

Another important development is that at some point in the afternoon a few army jets flew over Tahrir square, where tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people were gathered. They seemed to operate some mock raids trying to intimidate the people there. Again it didn’t work at all. In fact, people were raising victory signs at them and cheering for the downfall of the regime. The problem is that it seems that Mubarak isn’t realising that his people aren’t afraid anymore. They want him to go and nothing his regime throws at them will change that. The fear of course is that he operates a complete blood bath and kills thousands, however that seems unlikely. The army is made up of conscripts who are closer to the people then to the regime. They would probably refuse to shoot their own friends and families.

The other thing is that the reports of looting seem to have been highly overblown. While there clearly was some looting, it wasn’t as widespread as previously thought. More importantly, the people of Egypt have organised themselves in small groups to defend their neighbourhoods, and these groups have turned out to be very effective. Today, people were taking over vital services, like traffic control or food deliveries. We are seeing Egyptian civil society at its best. Many official and important buildings are being protected by the people themselves.

Finally, the American position continues to be timid. Hilary Clinton made the rounds on Sunday news programs in the US spewing empty words. The US still hasn’t understood that by ‘sitting on the fence’ they are actually betraying the people of Egypt. The regime that has killed, tortured, and oppressed its people has done so with American money and weaponry, as well as political support. They had the chance to be on the right side of history, and restore a little bit of moral standing, by clearly standing on the side of the people. However, their continued idiotic stance has made sure that post-Mubarak Egypt will not be the best friend of the US, to say it mildly. Anyway, this was longer than I expected. I’m going now, my head is about to explode.

Egypt

Posted in Culture, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on 28/01/2011 by arabrhizome

I’m going to try to write a coherent blog post about what is happening in Egypt. I am very excited and constantly switching to other websites to keep abreast of what is happening, so my thoughts might be all over the place. Things are accelerating and the news coming from Egypt is extraordinary. As you might know today was going to be another day of wrath in Egypt. People were asking for a one million strong demonstration to demand the removal of Housni Mubarak from power. He is a US/Israel backed dictator that has been in power for over 30 years. The protests have been going on for 4 days now and are clearly inspired by the Tunisian revolution. The events of today have been incredible, I will try to summarise them and explain a little bit why this is extraordinarily important.

So today was supposed to be a day of wrath and demonstrations after the Friday prayer. Extraordinarily the christian population of Egypt had issued statements that the Egyptian christians were going to protect their Muslim compatriots during Friday prayers. The Egyptian government had blocked all Egyptian communications, including cellphones, internet, and electricity in many regions, since late last night. They had hoped that this will be enough to disrupt the plans of the people of Egypt. They also arrested many known activists during the night, including many from the Muslim Brotherhood. Interestingly, this shows how out of touch they are. This movement isn’t a movement organised by the Muslim Brotherhood, or any political party or movement. It is a truly grassroots rebellion that is organised organically by the people of Egypt.

So during, and right after the Friday prayer, the state police started attacking the demonstrations with tear gas, rubber coated bullets, and batons. However, all over the country, hundreds of thousand of Egyptians were not deterred and kept the protests going all day long. As the day progressed the police started clearly losing its grip. They were completely overwhelmed by the sheer number and determination of the Egyptian people. Soon they started using live fire to no avail. Very quickly many police cars, stations, and NDP (the ruling party) headquarters were set on fire. As I’m typing this the central NDP headquarters in Cairo is on fire and the National Museum of antiquities is in danger. However, it seems the people of Egypt are trying to protect it.

The regime kept trying to regain control to no avail. They first issued a curfew order for three cities and later extended it to the rest of the country. However, no one paid any attention to that order. Clearly the people of Egypt have lost their fear, all they have left to lose are their chains. Throughout the day, we heard the American position change ever so slightly. Earlier Hilary Clinton tried to blame the victims by saying both sides need to show restraint and not use violence. Of course forgetting that the bullets, weapons, and tear gas canisters being shot at the people of Egypt are all made in the USA and provided through the 1.5 billion dollars in aid. However, she also said that the government needs to start political and economic reforms. This shows again the disconnect with the people of Egypt who don’t want the government to reform but are asking for the regime to be toppled.

The police being overrun, the army was sent into the streets of Egypt. Their role isn’t clear. They were sent in by, what seems to be, presidential order to protect the police, the regime, restore order, and enforce the curfew. However, the people seemed to welcome them and ask them to join them. There were unconfirmed reports that the army and the police clashed in some places. There are also some newer reports that the army and the protesters clashed in some places. The situation is fluid and unpredictable at the moment. I hope that the army plays a positive role, in the same way that the Tunisian army played in Tunisia.

What is happening right now is very significant. The regime has clearly completely lost control. Also, the fact that there is complete silence from the president is very interesting. Today seems to have seen the collapse of the regime. We don’t know what will happen next. The point is that Egypt is the most populous Arab country, with 80 million people. If this regime fails then the rest of the autocratic regimes of the Arab world will follow very quickly. This means that the US and israeli interests in the Arab world are under attack. They have been propping up these regimes and the people will not forget that. This can very well be the dawn of a new age for the Arab world. Just as I had said that Tunisia was the first truly post colonial revolution, this could very well be the second and in many ways the more significant one. If the people succeed in overthrowing the regime of Mubarak, then we are going to see a change in the way in which Arabs deal with israel and its oppression of the Palestinian people. Long live the revolution.

The Palestine Papers 2, and Lebanon

Posted in Lebanon, Palestine, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 24/01/2011 by arabrhizome

Right two major news stories that I need to cover today. First, I’ll focus on the new revelations found in the new batch of the Palestine Papers released today by Al Jazeera and the Guardian. Second, I’ll talk about what’s happening in Lebanon tonight. I am not as angry today, so I’m probably going to be able to write a more focused and less emotional post. Although, I say that, but I’m still outraged. The only difference is that I expected most of the revelations of today. Yesterday, I was really shocked at the extent of the PA’s collusion and treachery. Again, I knew they were treasonous collaborators, but I didn’t know the extent of that collusion. Today, the PA has nothing to do with the revelation, except for one. The main protagonists are the israelis and the Americans.

So let’s begin with the first revelation. Tzipi Livni, the supposed moderate israeli leader, was bartering with her own people. She was negotiating the population transfer of arab israelis. Israel was founded on the principle that all the people living on its territory, regardless of their race sex and faith. This means that Israel has a large arab minority, about 20% of the population. That population has been, and continues to be, a disenfranchised and oppressed minority. Their place in israeli society and their loyalty has always been questioned. This is the main political food-stuff of the far right in israel. The strange thing is that the so called centrist leader is ready to barter her own people in this way. The good thing that might comes out of these revelations is that the charade that Tzipi Livni, the war criminal, is a proper peace partner. It also shows the contempt of all the israeli political parties are undemocratic and are jewish supremacist in search of an ethnically pure israel. She even said that israel would be the land of its people, then adding let me be clear when I say its people I mean jews. This is absolutely disgusting. If anyone still thought that any of the political leadership of israel is not racist.

The second revelation has to do with the PA. It’s about the refugee question. Now as I’ve said before,  The Palestinian refugees that have been ethnically cleansed from greater Palestine between 1947 and 1967 are the real crux of the Palestinian struggle. The right of return has always been at the centre of the struggle and seen as a non-negotiable and inalienable right. The UN resolution 194 states as much. However, the israelis were never willing to accept their responsibility. The Palestine Papers have shown that the PA was ready to give up this right in ways that are unthinkable for the majority of Palestinians. The PA’s starting position was that 15000 refugees a year would return for a period of 10 years. Condoleezza Rice even said that the refugee problem is not the responsibility of israel but that of the international community. She offered that refugees be relocated to  places like South America. The israeli’s starting position was 1000 refugees over 5 years. Saeb Erekat even offered to exclude the refugees, which are the majority of Palestinians, from the potential referendum on the future agreement. This is absolutely disgusting.

The third and final revelation is about the Obama administration. The Obama administration (OA) decided to start over. That means that all the previous agreements were scraped by the OA and the Palestinians were forced to start new negotiations as if nothing had happened over the past two decades. More importantly, the OA was shown to play the role not only of israel’s attorney, but like a prosecutor for israel against the Palestinians. Now we all know that the US has never been an honest broker, but they kept trying to present themselves as such. What we have seen is that the OA is clearly incapable of playing that role. They are simply there to push for all the israeli demands, including the highly controversial description of israel as a jewish state. This would mean that the arab and non-jewish population instantly loses it’s current nominal status of equal citizens.

All of these revelations are highly damaging to the peace process, but given where that process is going that’s not a bad thing. We have all known for a while that the two state solution is well and truly dead. The Palestine Papers are clearly showing that this is the case. The good thing is that they now make it clear for the majority of people. Israel never wanted a just peace, the US played the role of israel’s advocate, and the PA was a collaboration administration. It is time for the Palestinian people to dissolve the PA and seek a new route to liberation. I know where I stand and I think by now you know too. We now know that the Palestinian state that was going to come out of these negotiations was going to be at best a bentustan and that’s simply unacceptable. The one-state solution is the only viable solution.

Right, that’s it about the Palestine Papers. Now, I want to write a few quick words on what’s happening in Lebanon tonight. As you remember a couple of weeks ago the opposition resigned from the Lebanese government. The Lebanese government resigned de facto, once another minister resigned. This meant that a new government had to be formed. This happens through parliamentary consultations, those were today. Basically, a political faction that was with the majority switched allegiance and the opposition’s candidate got the majority of nominations. This lead to the pro-western political side, March 14, to go down and riot all over the country. The burned tyres, closed roads, shot in the air, and took part in armed motorcades in some places. The irony is that the opposition had done that a while ago. When they did, they were called animals and were portrayed as operating a coup. However, now that the tables are turned, it seems that March 14 is willing to do the exact same thing. This just highlights the immaturity of both sides. They are all warlords and corrupt ideologues who prey on sectarian sensibilities. I hate them all.