Palestinians brace for rightwing Israel

2013-01-18 11:00

Ramallah - The Palestinians are bracing for a new right-wing government that Israel's election is expected to produce, hoping that international and domestic moves will strengthen their position.

"There is complete ignorance and denial of the peace process and the two-state solution," warned Palestinian analyst Mahdi Abdul Hadi, director of the Passia think tank.

"Nobody is talking about the Palestinians."

Hanan Ashrawi, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), said: "The absence of peace and the Palestinian question in the Israeli electoral discourse points to an inability to confront reality."

Israelis go to the polls on Tuesday, when they are expected to vote in a government which polls indicate could be even more right-wing than the outgoing administration.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing Likud, which is running on a joint list with the hardline nationalist Yisrael Beitenu of Avigdor Lieberman, a settler and former foreign minister, is projected to win most seats.

Gloomy view

And polls show the third biggest party - and probably Netanyahu's biggest coalition partner - will be the hardline religious nationalist Jewish Home, whose leader has pledged to prevent the creation of a Palestinian state.

"We're expecting a change for the worse and an increase in Israeli extremism, especially as Netanyahu is now allied with the extremists, and that doesn't bode well," Ashrawi said.

The view from the Gaza Strip was equally gloomy.

"This Israeli election is a race to shed Palestinian blood, increase settlement activity and expel Palestinians," said Fawzi Barhum, a spokesperson for Gaza's ruling Islamist Hamas movement.

Israel and Hamas engaged in eight days of bloody fighting in November over rocket fire on the Jewish state, which ended with the deaths of 177 Gazans and six Israelis.

Although an Egypt-brokered truce deal has largely been respected, it is only a matter of time before Israel's new government is drawn into a new confrontation with Hamas, experts say.

Encouraging sign

With the general election just days away, many believe the only answer is to strengthen the Palestinians' standing internationally and work towards overcoming the bitter rivalry between Hamas and Fatah, which dominates the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority.

"There must be a new, strong and unified Palestinian position in the framework of a national unity programme to confront this Israeli challenge and to protect our people, our land and our holy places," Barhum said.

Implementation of a stalled reconciliation deal between Fatah and Hamas showed encouraging signs last month.

Passia's Abdul Hadi warned said that any progress would be in "slow motion" although integrating Hamas into the Palestinian political system "would be a clear message to Israelis: 'You cannot have your cake and eat it'."

The Palestinians hope the international community will pressure Israel to resume peace talks which have been on hold for more than two years over the issue of settlement construction.

"Palestinians... are hoping that something might come from Brussels or Washington," Abdul Hadi said.

Financial crisis

In the meantime, with their new upgraded UN ranking as a non-member state, the Palestinians have a menu of more than 60 international organisations they could seek to join.

Speculation has centred on the possibility of them looking to join the International Criminal Court where they could challenge Israel on settlement building.

So far, the Palestinians have said they would only exercise that option as a last resort, in extreme cases such as settlement construction in the E1 area near Jerusalem which could potentially cut the West Bank in half.

A more immediate concern is a financial crisis faced by the Palestinian Authority, which has been unable to pay its employees after Israel withheld tax and tariff revenues as a punishment for the UN move.

"Maintenance - survival of the PA, financially and politically - both in house and in the region" will be high on the Palestinian agenda whoever comes to power in Israel on January 22, Abdul Hadi said.

  • hilton.serman.5 - 2013-01-18 11:43

    Wow...that's sensationalist reporting at its best. Do you check your sources. The PA is bankrupt because the Arab league has not made good with its promises payments of US100m dollars a month. Israel had withheld tax monies but that was to offset monies owed to Israel's Electricity company. For those of you that don't know...Israel provides Palestinians with all it's basic services including water, electricity and also medical care (in times of need,such as during conflicts).

      fidel.uncensored - 2013-01-18 13:44

      Occupying countries have tended to be administrators of the occupied territory throughout history. Nothing special about Israeli actions!

      hilton.serman.5 - 2013-01-18 18:07

      What's occupied in Gaza Fidel. Why hasn't Hamas established a power source there???

      hilton.serman.5 - 2013-01-18 21:14

      Patrick. Our 18m have held off your 1.5 billion for the last 5774 years...this was done with the help of the man upstairs and has nothing to do with the US. That's Israel's real protection and he will never desert the Jews.

      larry.lachman.54 - 2013-01-18 22:09

      Dont engage with Patrick, Hilton. he will single-handidly reduce an adult debate to the level of chidhood inanities.

      hilton.serman.5 - 2013-01-19 10:19

      Patrick if that's your view...then you only getting about 20% of the dispute. This conflict is 80% ideological and 20% political. You can't dismiss 80% of the issue and then make arguments that are credible.

      hilton.serman.5 - 2013-01-19 10:44

      Patrick...if you think his is a fight over a piece of barren land the size of the Kruger National Park in the middle of a dessert. Then you'll never get it. Actually that probably explains about 100% of your comments on this site.

  • hilton.serman.5 - 2013-01-18 11:55

    Almost every paragraph of that article is factually incorrect. The stance on the peace process is front and centre of every political party including Kadima who are proposing withdrawing from the West Bank and then to borders agreed through negotiation. This really is poor by News24. I don't have time to respond to the rest but if in doubt google.

      jeremy.bard.31 - 2013-01-18 15:04

      ell I’ve been through “every paragraph” in the article.  I don’t know if you are a blind romantic zio-nut, or horrible at exaggerating, but I certainly don’t see what you see.  And I encourage other readers to do the same.  It seems that there is only one paragraph that you are disputing, and that is about the withholding of tax revenues.  And that too is debatable.  It is true that the PA owe monies to Israeli parastatals (and that’s  another debate on its own), but is it a coincidence that this statement from Looney Lieberman came immediately after Palestine’s convincing victory (and Israel’s humiliating defeat) at the UN?      The Palestinians can forget about getting even one cent in the coming four months, and in four months' time we will decide how to proceed.  - reported widely internationally.    Insofar as peace being on the agenda of all Israeli parties …. well that is not a debate, but a mockery, and I certainly don’t have the time to argue with someone who is decidedly ignorant and patently fails to read, comprehend and analyze simple news articles. The international community is acutely aware of Israel’s record of dismal peace proposal’s (let alone implementing), and do not need further convincing.  Ask your closest ally the US as well, they too will concur.

      hilton.serman.5 - 2013-01-18 18:05

      Thanks for agreeing with me Jeremy. You've written a whole essay to correct the original article. Great strategy as well. When somebody is here to debate rather insult them and claim superiority and refuse to debate. It's a strategy that's worked well for the Palestinians...I'm sure it will work well for you.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2013-01-18 20:48

      Patrick, For you to refer to anyone, as a "filthy neo zionist" and than to refer to "nazi bastard child" shows you don't have one grain of decency in you !! This is no longer a matter of having a different opinion,but the showing of a HATRED, unimaginable. Quite frankly, for News24 to allow comments like this, makes a mockery of its own "comments policy"

      hilton.serman.5 - 2013-01-18 21:05

      Thanks Anthony but I'm one of the proudest zionists you will ever find. My goal is not to win over people like Fidel and Patrick...They lost causes. My tactic is to present the truth. The accusations and personal insults they hurl at me on a daily basis only goes to show how much the truth hurts them. Try have nothing left to defend themselves with. To them I say...bring it on!!!

      hilton.serman.5 - 2013-01-18 22:05

      Jeremy...tell me one more many months will it take the Palestinians to pay back their debt to the Israel Electricity company...would it surprise you if I said 4 months. After how many payments in arrears does Eskom disconnect your electricity??? The answer is 7 days. Why should the Palestinians get service for things they aren't paying for. Check your facts mate!!! The truths a bitch...ain't it!!!!

  • hilton.serman.5 - 2013-01-18 12:05

    This type of reporting is unacceptable and I call on news24 to issue an apology

      hilton.serman.5 - 2013-01-18 22:15

      It's just the type of reporting you like Patrick...baseless, factless and completely without due investigation. A true Paleywood special!!!

  • larry.lachman.54 - 2013-01-18 12:13

    Israel would be less hard-line and right wing if it were not for the policies of Hamas. Hamas must not now cry that the window to peace is closing.

      fidel.uncensored - 2013-01-18 13:48

      A decades old policy of assassinations and destruction of all secular Palestinian leaders and organisations and a desire only to find malleable leaders, has led to Hamas. It's not really any surprise that a lot of Palestinians see them as their last defense.

      larry.lachman.54 - 2013-01-18 14:04

      Are you referring to pre-occupation assasination of Palistinian Jihadists leaders, who were hell-bent on promoting terror attacks on Israeli bars and restaurants. Or perhaps those secular Palestinian leaders of Fatah who were killed by Hamas in their brief civil war over control of the Gaza territory after Israels withdrawal.

      fidel.uncensored - 2013-01-18 14:10

      Larry, Hamas was formed in 1987. Who were the Zionist talking to prior to that?

      dunkie56 - 2013-01-18 15:14

      So last,concur that peace is now not on the table as far as Israel is concerned!Well those that advocate war will surely get what they wish for!

      hilton.serman.5 - 2013-01-18 18:08

      Fidel. Hamas can never bring peace. When Palestinians learn to build instead of destroying...they will have all they seek

      hilton.serman.5 - 2013-01-18 18:38

      Fidel. In Dec 2011...Hamas celebrated its 24th birthday by boating it had killed 1365 Zionist Soldiers. It calls them soldiers because it doesn't differentiate between soldiers and civilians. It's a terrorist organization that has caused death and destruction wherever it's a legitimate target in the defense of Israel

      larry.lachman.54 - 2013-01-18 18:41

      Fidel, you mentioned the killing of Palestinian leaders and i pointed out the killers. Prior to Hamas it was the Jihadist PLO, and while Israel was talking to Arafat, arafat was directing suicide attacks against Israel. Prior to Arafat, Israel was talking to Egypt and Jordan and returning conquered territory for PEACE. Prior to that, (and occupation), and since Israels inception, Israel was talking to massed full scale military invasion attempts.

      larry.lachman.54 - 2013-01-18 22:13

      Your opinion Patrick/Lesego, is the purile ramblings of a child discussing Santa Claus with his mommy.

      larry.lachman.54 - 2013-01-19 10:29

      In the absence of any adult debate from you, there is nothing else but to insult you in the hope that you will get the message and go play with someone your own age. I have suggested before that you find another political blog, like tellitubbies or something equivalent.

      larry.lachman.54 - 2013-01-20 19:58

      My child watches Tellitubbies, and I have had better debates with her than with you.

  • fidel.uncensored - 2013-01-18 13:46

    Actually the Right is preferable because it removes the fig leaf from Zionist apologists like Tony Blair. At least the Zionist right are honest about their intentions and governments in the West will be revealed for the hypocrites that they truly are.

  • - 2013-01-18 15:21

    "Nobody is talking about the Palestinians" All we ever hear about is the Palestinians, every second story on news24 is a bout the self-abusive Palestinians who refuse to make peace because the holy Koran tells them that non believers are rats and pigs... While tens of thousands die is Syria in silence, while millions suffer from disease and agony in africa, while natural catastrophe leaves millions in asia homeless or worse ... year in year out all we hear is how the palestinian authority or Hamas makes the lives of their own people unbearable in order to gain some religous medal. The emptiest people on this planet are usually the ones full of themselves.

      fidel.uncensored - 2013-01-18 15:36

      If you think Syria and the other topics you've ranted about, are equally important, write about them. I agree that they too are important issues, but your "move along - nothing to see here" routine isn't going to fool anyone.

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