Hasan Abu Nimah

Steel walls cannot contain the struggle for freedom

As if the siege of Gaza were not already bad enough, Israel and Egypt are working even harder to tighten the prison which holds Gaza’s 1.5 million people. Egypt is building a steel wall along its 10-kilometer-long border with the Gaza Strip, according to recent media reports. This wall apparently extends not only above ground, but deep into the ground in an attempt to prevent Palestinians digging the tunnels that have become a lifeline for the territory. Hasan Abu Nimah comments. 

Another EU policy statement will not stop Israel's colonization

Israel started a preemptive campaign against a EU statement on the Middle East session even before it was formally presented for discussion by EU ministers this week on whether to adopt it. Israeli spokesmen expressed outrage at what they saw as an EU effort to “divide” Jerusalem, and claimed that the European position would “harm the peace process,” as if it is only Israel that has been carefully protecting it from the harmful moves of others. Hasan Abu Nimah comments. 

Olive oil and yoghurt, yoghurt and olive oil

An old expression goes that a man once asked his wife to prepare lunch. When the wife asked what he wanted, the husband answered “laban ou zeit,” which means yoghurt with olive oil. You mean “zeit ou laban” — olive oil with yoghurt? — the wife replied, reversing the order. No, the husband insisted, “laban ou zeit” not “zeit ou laban.” The story goes that the disagreement between the two escalated into a furious quarrel with dire consequences. For the villagers, this story came to stand for any disagreement where the positions being put forward were essentially indistinguishable — like the new “peace” plan being offered by Israel today. Hasan Abu Nimah comments. 

Al-Walajah, a symbol of Israeli ethnic cleansing

While American officials continue to claim that the mission of US Middle East Envoy George Mitchell is by no means over, and that he will still pursue his efforts to convince the Israeli government to agree to some sort of settlement freeze, Israeli plans for further colonization of Palestinian land continue undisturbed. The latest Israeli plans call for the destruction of the West Bank village of al-Walajah for the second time in six decades. Hasan Abu Nimah comments. 

Liberation, not a fictitious Palestinian "state"

From 1994 to 2006, more than eight billion US dollars were pumped into the Palestinian economy, making Palestinians the most aid-dependent people on earth. The PA received this aid ostensibly to build Palestinian institutions, improve socioeconomic development and support the creation of an independent state. The result however is that Palestinians are more destitute and aid-dependent than ever before, their institutions are totally dysfunctional, and their state remains a distant fantasy. 

An impossible reconciliation

It may not be unknown that Abbas and his Ramallah Authority can only function within specified parameters tailored for the convenience, indeed the security needs, of the occupying power and the pro-Israel policies of its foreign supporters. Hamas has no place within that tightly built scheme. Despite Hamas’ willingness to enter the political system and play by the rules, the idea has been to eliminate the resistance movement from the equation completely, permitting it no political role whatsoever. Hasan Abu Nimah comments. 

Using the UN to undermine Palestinian rights

Having himself been such a key part of the failed peace process, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana recently made a seemingly bold proposal that the UN Security Council “mandate” a resolution of central issues in the Palestine/Israel conflict — borders, refugees, Jerusalem, settlements and security arrangements. What lies behind this surprise move? Hasan Abu Nimah comments. 

Offering Israel new opportunities for obstruction

Israel has never been short of pretexts for obstructing progress towards a Middle East peace settlement. But recent moves to push Arab and Muslim states to normalize ties with Israel as a reward for agreeing to freeze settlement construction will likely provide Israel with more opportunities for obstruction rather than incentives for cooperation. Hasan Abu Nimah comments. 

Netanyahu's "brilliant" peace plan

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proposed a peace plan so ingenious it is a wonder that for six decades of bloodshed no one thought of it. Some people might have missed the true brilliance of his ideas presented in a speech at Bar Ilan University on 14 June, so we are pleased to offer this analysis. Hasan Abu Nimah and Ali Abunimah comment.