Hasan Abu Nimah

Another fig leaf for deception

The closer we are to the end of the Bush administration the clearer it becomes that there will be no fulfillment of the repeated promises of a Palestinian state. This stark reality is becoming the uncontested conclusion of many of those who confidently wagered on the American “commitment.” Yet many are still unwilling to come to terms with reality and change their approach. They still look for a fig leaf to cover their exposure. Hasan Abu Nimah comments for EI

Olmert's departure: The perfect alibi

The conventional wisdom quickly developed among peace process industry analysts that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s departure would be a “setback” for ongoing negotiations with the Ramallah Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas, endangering the much-touted goal announced at last November’s Annapolis summit of reaching a final agreement by the end of this year. However, Hasan Abu Nimah comments, there is not a peace process to mourn. 

No Mediterranean Union shortcut around Arab-Israeli conflict

Escaping into ambitious political fantasy like that behind the Mediterranean Union is not the right approach to urgent political questions. It is no more than a waste of time. If Europe is truly concerned, there is a due need for a principled, bold, decisive and compatible with international law policy towards the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict. EI contributor Hasan Abu Nimah comments. 

Sixty years ago in Battir (Part 2)

For a long time any discussion of the “Arab-Israeli conflict” has skipped one basic fact: Israel, whether one loves or hates it, was created at the expense of the Palestinians. An entire people and hundreds of communities that had lived for centuries in tranquility had to be ruthlessly and unjustly shattered to make room for the Zionist state. The story of my village, Battir, southwest of Jerusalem, is only one of hundreds. EI contributor Hasan Abu Nimah recalls his village’s story. 

Sixty years ago in Battir

One afternoon in May 1948, my village Battir fell under heavy fire from the opposite slopes, across the railway line to the west, which had fallen to the Jewish fighters. We carried whatever belongings we could and headed east a few miles where there were vineyards and a small spring. We thought it would be a short escape, but we camped in that vineyard with many other people from the village all summer, our hopes dimming as the heat rose. EI contributor Hasan Abu Nimah recalls his village in the first part of a two-part series. 

Carter's visit with Hamas' Meshal

“Carter seems more comfortable with terrorists than with friends like Israel.” So said a newsflash on the Israeli daily Haaretz’s website last Sunday. The statement was attributed to the American pro-Israel group, the Anti-Defamation League, and was obviously a reaction to news that former US president Jimmy Carter was planning to meet with Hamas leader Khaled Meshal during an upcoming visit to Damascus. EI contributor Hasan Abu Nimah comments. 

Looking for a new Palestinian partner

At Annapolis, just like on so many occasions before, it was proclaimed that a “window of opportunity” had opened. Since the meeting, Israel’s military attacks have killed nearly 150 Palestinians in the occupied territories and Israel has escalated the construction of new settlements, increased the number of roadblocks and tightened its siege of Gaza. But for Israeli leaders it is always the Palestinians who are to blame for missing any “opportunities.” EI contributor Hasan Abu Nimah comments. 

A state of war and peace

The car bomb assassination in Damascus of Imad Mughniyeh has created a heightened state of tension in the region. Almost every commentator, no matter what perspective he/she comes from, expects the killing to spark a fresh round of deadly violence; as if the region had room for more. It is hard to speculate on the outcome of this serious development, but it is very unlikely that it will pass without dire consequences, for Lebanon and the region. Hasan Abu Nimah comments. 

'Rockets of futility'?

The Palestinian rockets may indeed be futile when compared to the superior Israeli military capabilities, but they still cause harm and panic, as stones did before. They are also likely to become more advanced and lethal, otherwise why should the Israeli retaliation be that intense and violent. The life of even one victim of 200 rocket attacks, on the other hand, should be valuable too, although continuing violence and wholesale murder in as many war theatres in the region has got us accustomed to undermining the meaning and the value of human life. EI regular contributor Hasan Abu Nimah comments. 

The result of bad politics

Bad politics create bad consequences, but because linking the effect with the cause implicates the initiators, the tendency is often to attribute man-made disasters to unrelated circumstances. It is easier, therefore, to blame the tragic fighting amongst the Palestinians in Gaza on a foolish and selfish struggle for positions, rather than the rotten politics of Oslo, cooked a decade and a half earlier. Indeed, and in many ways, it is a fierce struggle for power, but the roots of even that should be traced further back than the election results that swept Hamas into power.