Sind Terrassenüberdachungen bei Sturm stabil? - Vor allem aus den USA kennt man Bilder der Zerstörung: Wenn hier ein Sturm über das Land zieht, ist der Schaden groß, ganz gleich, wie die Häuser erbaut wu...
4 years ago
Do you know that our Congress gave 29 standing ovations to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he spoke in the Capital on Tuesday, May 24? I couldn't watch this hero's welcome for a man who supports the continued building of illegal settlements, won't lift the siege of Gaza, and refuses to negotiate with the new Palestinian unity government. During the talk, when Netanyahu was praising young people rising up for democracy in the Middle East, and I took my cue to stand up from my seat in the Capitol Gallery, unfurl a banner, and shout, "No More Occupation! Stop Israeli War Crimes! Equal Rights for Palestinians!"
Immediately, I was tackled, gagged and violently shoved to the floor by other members of the audience, many of whom were still wearing their badges from the AIPAC conference this past weekend. Police dragged me out of the Capitol gallery, and an ambulance whisked me to the hospital, where I was treated for neck and shoulder injuries and put under arrest for disrupting Congress. After I disrupted, Netanyahu said to his Congressional audience, "You can't have these protests in Tehran; this is real democracy." more
Egypt Pulls the Plug on a Failed U.S.-Israeli Gaza Strategy
Obama, in his Sunday speech at AIPAC, had warned Israel that the wave of democracy reshaping the Arab world meant that that "a just and lasting peace can no longer be forged with one or two Arab leaders... millions of Arab citizens have to see that peace is possible for that peace to be sustained." While the U.S. would stand by Israel unconditionally, Obama warned that "the march to isolate Israel internationally -- and the impulse of the Palestinians to abandon negotiations –- will continue to gain momentum in the absence of a credible peace process and alternative. And for us to have leverage with the Palestinians, to have leverage with the Arab States and with the international community, the basis for negotiations has to hold out the prospect of success."
The "basis for negotiations" offered by Netanyahu on Tuesday won't reverse the growing Arab and European skepticism of the prospects for success in U.S.-led negotiations. Wednesday's Egyptian announcement on Gaza seemed to underscore Obama's point. Gone is President Hosni Mubarak, whose own animus towards Hamas (the offspring of his domestic nemesis, the Muslim Brotherhood) made him an enthusiastic backer of the U.S.-Israel strategy on Gaza. Mubarak, as Obama implied, never represented the will of his people, and even before they elect a government certain to be tougher on Israel, an interim military leadership more heedful of public sentiment made clear it could no longer sustain the blockade.
But the siege strategy had failed long before this week. Its purpose had been not simply to prevent arms from entering the territory, but to topple Hamas. And it effectively achieved neither. From the moment the Islamist movement won the Palestinian legislative elections in January 2006, Israel — with the support of the U.S. — began to restrict Gaza's economic lifeline to the outside world. And after Hamas expelled security forces loyal to Fatah in a violent power struggle in 2007, Israel tightened the noose. The plan was to deprive Gazans of many basic commodities — not starving them, but "putting them on a diet" in the memorably callous explanation offered by a senior Israeli official -- in hopes that imposing a twilight existence on the territory would turn the civilian population against Hamas. Banned items ranged from basic construction materials to coriander, sage, ginger, A4 paper, notebooks, toys, pens and pencils, seeds and nuts, livestock, fishing nets and a host of other commodities with no plausible military use. more