Palestine coverage through 16 Feb 08

This selection (longer than usual, but covering more days) brings together the interesting and/or noteworthy (for better or worse) news and commentary of the last 3 or 4 days. I include a few articles that provide an overview of the current tension in Lebanon where the anniversary of the Hariri assassination coincided with the assasination –being attributed throughout the region to Israel — of senior Hezbollah official Imad Mughniyeh. The ongoing destabilization of Lebanon serves the interests of many of the same players that are only too happy to extend the status quo in Israel-Palestine at the expense of the Palestinians.

Imad Mughneyah

In terms of news, it is a case of plus ca change — Israel looks for international support for a massive operation in Gaza while simultaneously proceeding with a tender for expanding its illegal settlements in East Jerusalem with over 1000 new units. A Palestinian woman is deprived of medical care by the IDF and dies while 8 are killed in a blast in Gaza (part of the “relative quiet” enjoyed by Israel, no doubt). The UN notes that the situation in Gaza is grim, while Gazan produce rots under Israeli sanctions. The last piece in the selection is Olmert’s claim that borders are not an important stumbling block in the “peace process.” Not entirely plausible, but few such claims ever end up mattering in any case.

In terms of commentary the NY Times reporter covers with great sympathy Israel’s “quandary” in Gaza — Israeli suffering at the hands of the rudimentary “rockets” lobbed over from Gaza is the focus, with military strategy being the “solution” considered at greatest length by the interviews undertaken by Erlanger, published first in the Herald Tribune and then picked up for the domestic audience in the NYT. Erlanger is in his element as he describes as “elegant” one Israeli proposal to offer some negotiations with Hamas but failing that to punish the territory with:

“…the bombing of Gaza’s ministries, police stations and infrastructure; a halt in the supply of goods, fuel and electricity; and the economic separation of Gaza from the West Bank.”

The smugness of the author’s tone is matched only by the inhumanity of his reasoning. Contrast with Tom Segev’s piece in Haaretz reporting on some historical documents explaining more fully than Erlanger’s perspective would allow how Gaza came to be *Israel’s* quandary. I also include Darryl Li’s excellent analysis of the real situation on the ground in Gaza.

Next the commentary turns to the assassination of Hezbollah official Imad Mughniyeh in Syria, most likely by Israel. Zvi Bar’el of Haaretz has two articles in this selection on the subject — one which assesses whether the assassination should be the cause of celebration it became this week in Israel (and the article suggests that even Israelis believe that Israeli intelligence services were behind the assassination). Of course, the concern is not about the legality or morality of assassination but rather pragmatic concerns about the likelihood of tit-for-tat reprisal by Hezbollah. The second Bar’el piece actually profiles Hassan Nasrallah’s speech following the assassination in which Nasrallah noted that if Israel considers Lebanese (and more specifically Hezbollah) interests to be fair targets anywhere in the world, Hezbollah will assume the same position on Israeli interests anywhere in the world. I also include a piece by Princeton’s Sami Hermez on the view from inside Lebanon on this week’s developments. Finally, Rami Khouri offers his reflections on how best to understand recent developments in Lebanon.

____________________________________________________________

1. ISRAELIS SEEK SUPPORT FOR GAZA ATTACK, ABDUCT 70 IN THE WEST BANK
The Daily Star (Lebanon)
February 15, 2008

2. ISRAELIS PLAN MORE HOMES IN EAST JERUSALEM
By Josef Federman
Associated Press
February 12, 2008

3. AILING WOMAN DIES AFTER IDF DENIES HER AMBULANCE
Reuters
February 15, 2008

4. EIGHT KILLED IN GAZA BLAST
By Karin Laub
Associated Press
February 16, 2008

5. DISENGAGEMENT AND THE FRONTIERS OF ZIONISM
By Darryl Li
Middle East Report Online
February 16, 2008

6. ISRAEL SEEKS INTERNATIONAL BACKING FOR GAZA CAMPAIGN
By Adam Entous
Reuters
February 13, 2008

7. TOP UN OFFICIAL: GAZA SITUATION ‘GRIM’
By Karin Laub
Associated Press
February 15, 2008

8. VALENTINE FLOWERS WILT BEHIND GAZA’S WALLS
Agence France Presse (AFP) (France)
February 15, 2008

9. ISRAEL’S QUANDARY IN GAZA
By Steven Erlanger
International Herald Tribune
February 15, 2008

10. WHAT SHOULD BE DONE WITH GAZA
By Tom Segev
Haaretz (Israel)
February 14, 2008

11. CAR BOMBING AS COMMUNICATION
Financial Times
February 14, 2008

12. NO CAUSE FOR CELEBRATION
By Zvi Bar’el
Haaretz (Israel)
February 17, 2008

13. LIVING BUT IN DENIAL
By Sami Hermez
Electronic Lebanon
February 14, 2008

14. ROILED HEZBOLLAH CHIEF THROWS DOWN THE GAUNTLET
By Zvi Bar’el
Haaretz (Israel)
February 15, 2008

15. LEBANON IS SLOWLY TURNING INTO A SIDESHOW
By Rami Khouri
The Daily Star (Lebanon)
February 16, 2008

16. PALESTINIAN PRIME MINISTER VOICES DOUBTS
By Nathan Guttman
The Jewish Daily Forward
February 13, 2008

17. OLMERT: SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS POSSIBLE ON BORDERS OF PALESTINIAN STATE
By Barak Ravid and Shmuel Rosner
Haaretz (Israel)
February 13, 2008

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One Response to Palestine coverage through 16 Feb 08

  1. […] first intifada. For those of you who read Darryl Li’s excellent piece in MERIP on Gaza (in a previous news summary on Khaldoun), you will remember his analysis that we are witnessing an evolution of tactics in Gaza […]

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