Friday, January 09, 2009

MINYAK DAN GAS DI ASIA BARAT ADALAH SENJATA STRATEGIK PENGARUHI AS HENTIKAN KEZALIMAN ISRAEL

Ruhanie Ahmad

Dasar luar sesuatu negara atau sesuatu wilayah wajar disesuaikan dengan tuntutan dan perkembangan semasa di negara atau wilayah terbabit. Lantaran itu, kerajaan serta NGO Malaysia wajar menggesa negara-negara pengeluar minyak dan gas terbesar di Asia Barat untuk menjadikan kedua-dua komoditi ini sebagai komponen utamanya dalam pembentukan dasar luar mereka terhadap Amerika Syarikat (AS) dan Britain yang menjadi pelindung utama Israel yang mengganas dan menzalimi umat Palestin.

Dengan itu, negara-negara terbabit pasti mampu menjadikan minyak dan gas sebagai senjata utama dan strategik mereka dalam mempengaruhi AS dan Britian mengarahkan Israel memberhentikan kezaliman serta keganasannya di Palestin atau lain-lain wilayah sasarannya.

Negara-negara di Teluk Parsi, termasuk Arab Saudi, Iran dan Iraq, mempunyai rizab minyak sebanyak 679 billion tong atau 66 peratus dari keseluruhan rizab minyak dunia. Mereka juga mempunyai rizab gas cecair asli sebanyak 1918 trillion kaki padu atau pun 35 peratus dari keseluruhan rizab gas cecair asli di dunia ini.

Keseluruhan negara di Asia Barat, kecuali Israel, mempunyai rizab minyak sebanyak 685.6 billion tong dan rizab gas cecair asli sebanyak 2367.9 trillion kadi padu. Pecahannya, adalah seperti berikut:

Arab Saudi: 261.8 billion tong rizab minyak dan 228.2 trillion kaki padu rizab gas cecair asli; Iraq, 112.5 ribu billion tong rizab minyak dan 112.6 trillion kaki padu rizab gas cecair asli; Iran, 89.7 billion tong rizab minyak dan 939.4 trillion kaki padu gas cecair asli; Emiriyah Arab Bersatu: 97.8 ribu juta tong rizab minyak dan 204.1 trillion kaki padu rizab gas cecair asli.

Perangkaan (2004) ini jadi bertambah besar jika diambilkira rizab minyak dan gas cecair asli di negara-negara Islam lain, termasuk Malaysia, Brunei dan Indonesia di Asia Tenggara; Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan dan Afghanistan di Asia Tengah; Pakistan di Asia Selatan, serta Algeria, Mesir, Libya, Morocco dan Sudan, di Afrika.

Hakikat ini dicemburui oleh AS yang kini dalam keadaan terdesak kerana sumber minyak dan gas cecair aslinya dipercayai hampir kering kontang. Sebab itulah Henry Kissinger, Bekas Setiausaha Negara AS, pernah menyatakan bahawa “minyak adalah satu komoditi penting yang tidak boleh dibiarkan dikuasai oleh negara-negara Arab.”

Kedudukan telaga minyak dan gas cecair asli di negara-negara bukan Islam (berdasarkan perangkaan 2004) adalah seperti berikut:

Wilayah-wilayah Amerika Utara: 54.2 billion tong rizab minyak dan 282.1 trillion kaki padu rizab gas cecair asli; Amerika Tengah dan Amerika Selatan, 96 billion tong rizab minyak dan 250.2 trillion kaki padu rizab gas cecair asli; Eropah Barat, 17.7 billion tong rizab minyak dan 182.4 trillion kaki padu rizab gas cecair asli; Eropah Timur dan Russia: 50.7 billion rizab minyak dan 150.5 trillion kaki padu rizab gas cecair asli; China, 24 billion tong rizab minyak dan 42.8 trillion kaki padu rizab gas cecair asli.

Perangkaan di atas membimbangkan AS kerana pengeluaran minyak dan gas cecair asli di dunia ini - melainkan di Asia Barat, Asia Tengah dan Lembah Caspian - dijangka merosot dan kering dalam tempoh terdekat ini.

Oleh itu, inilah masa yang terbaik bagi negara-negara pengeluar minyak dan gas di Asia Barat bertindak secara berani dan strategik untuk menjadikan komoditi berkenaan sebagai senjata utama mendesak AS, Britain dan sekutu lainnya mengarahkan Israel memberhentikan segera keganasan serta kezalimannya di Asia Barat.

Insafilah bahawa 10 daripada pengguna petroleum yang terbesar pada 2002, enam adalah kalangan negara-negara maju, termasuk AS dan Britain - dua negara utama yang amat memihak kepada Israel.

Pandangan di atas wajar dihalusi oleh semua pihak, baik pemimpin atau intelektuil dunia yang prihatin terhadap keganasan serta kezaliman Israel di Asia Barat.

Janganlah setiap kali zionis Israel mengganas di Palestin atau Lebanon sehingga mengorbankan ratusan ribu umat manusia - Islam dan bukan Islam - yang tidak berdosa, termasuklah kanak-kanak, dan menghancurkan khazanah pusaka negara-negara terbabit, reaksi paling lazim di kalangan warga massa dunia Islam dan bukan Islam hanyalah dalam bentuk ledakan emosi semata-mata.

Ledakan emosi ini memang relevan dan baik. Ia membuktikan keprihatinan warga dunia terhadap kesejahteraan umat manusia sejagat. Tetapi, ledakan ini lazimnya hanya dimanifestasikan menerusi tunjuk perasaan, penyerahan nota bantahan ke kedutaan Israel atau kedutaan AS, seruan sekatan ekonomi atau seruan untuk memboikot prudok negara terbabit.

Di kalangan para pemimpin dunia, tindakan yang paling lumrah terhadap Israel hanyalah menggesa Pertubuhan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu (PBB) mengadakah sidang tergempar untuk meluluskan resolusi mengutuk keganasan serta kezaliman berkenaan.

Reaksi dan tindakan seperti ini adalah stereotype. Impaknya tidak ke mana - ibarat kesan tindakan anjing menyalak bukit atau mencurah air ke daun keladi.

Oleh itu, rakyat dan kepimpinan Malaysia khususnya, perlulah mencari suatu bentuk reaksi dan tindakan yang lebih strategik, serius dan berkesan. Contohnya, kumpulan prihatin di Malaysia wajar menghantar nota ke kedutaan Arab Saudi untuk menggesa negara Islam yang menjadi pelindung kepada Mekah dan Madinah ini bersuara lantang dan berperanan lebih tegas terhadap keganasan serta kezaliman Israel di Asia Barat.

Arab Saudi serta lain-lain negara pengeluar minyak dan gas yang besar di Asia Barat wajar digesa bersatupadu untuk merangka sesuatu tindakan strategik bagi menggesa AS dan Britain mengarahkan Israel memberhentikan keganasan serta kezalimannya di Palestin dan Lebanon dengan serta-merta.

Majoriti negara di Asia Barat mempunyai sumber petroleum dan gas yang amat penting kepada seluruh dunia Barat dan Timur. Tetapi, kerana industri petroleum dan gas di wilayah itu sebilangan besarnya dikuasai oleh kapitalis Barat (terutamanya kapitalis zionis), negara-negara di Asia Barat perlulah menggunakan sumber strategik itu untuk dijadikan senjata utama mendesak AS dan Britain menyelesaikan isu Palestin dan lain-lainnya dengan segera, tegas dan berkesan.

Pandangan di atas mungkin terlalu ideal. Ia mungkin hanya akan jadi cita-cita yang tidak terdaya dicapai. Tetapi, pihak yang berfikiran strategik seharusnya insaf bahawa jika AS atau Britain berani menggunakan terorisme sebagai komponen utama kepada dasar luar dan sikap hegemoniknya di abad ke-21, mengapakah tidak negara-negara pengeluar minyak dan gas terbesar di dunia mutakhir ini menjadikan komoditi ini sebagai komponen utama kepada pembentukan dasar luar masing-masing pada saat dan ketika ini? Fikir-fikirkanlah!

24 comments:

Mas Manja said...

Dato'
Komen Dato' adalah cerita lama. Setiap kali Palestin diserang, kita selalu kata guna senjata minyak. Saya dah baca cerita ini sejak saya pandai membaca lagi. Tapi adakah ini menjadi kenyataan? Mustahil! Kalau dunia Arab betul-betul prihatin dengan kesejahteraan ummah, mengapa ketika terjadinya economic meltdown sejak tahun lepas, yang menyebabkan runtuhnya empayar perniagaan AS dan hutang AS mendadak naik $3.4 billion SEHARI kini menjadi $49 trillion (dari $7.9 trillion sejak Bush jadi Presiden), dunia Arab tidak menggunakan senjata ini sewajarnya? Seharusnya, dunia Arab yang kaya (GCC) menggunakan kesempatan ini untuk mengalihkan KUASA EKONOMI dari barat ke timur. Kuasa Ekonomi adalah kuasa paling berkesan untuk menjadi kuasa dunia. Inilah satu peluang yang Allah bagi supaya dunia Islam menjadi kuat. TETAPI INI TIDAK BERLAKU! ! Bukankan lebih baik ketika Brown bagi pihak Bush datang meminta sedekah supaya GCC menyumbang kepada IMF (kepada AS sebenarnya) , dunia Arab boleh cakap – ‘we can help you but free Palestine, stop helping Israel!’. Tetapi ini tidak berlaku! Daripada bagi IMF, lebih baik sumbang kepada Bank Pembangunan Islam (IDB) supaya IDB boleh menyaingi IMF dan boleh guna wang ini membantu saudara Islam. Tetapi ini tidak berlaku!

Selepas meraih kemewahan yang melimpah selama beberapa tahun, harga minyak jatuh lebih 50% dari harga tertinggi $147 tahun lepas. Keuntungan bank GCC menguncup 40%. Pasaran Arab Saudi dan Dubai menjunam hingga 50%. Keuntungan dan wang semakin berkurangan. Pembangunan hartanah Dubai terbantut. Ini di Arab, di AS pula pasaran hartanah rugi berbilion-bilion. Dengan hutang yang besar dan AS menjadi hampir bangkrap, apakah jalan terbaik bagi Bush/AS? Pinjam? Dari siapa? Semua member kamcing pun hancus! Brown disuruh minta sedekah dari dunia Arab, kene tempelak! Minta dari China yang kaya raya, dapat sikit kredit untuk pengimport. Jepun pun bagi sikit. Kemudian gadai Citibank Group, tipu kerajaan UAE supaya beli share Citibank Group melalui Sovereign Fund mereka yang berkepuk-kepuk. Bila UAE dah beli, baru keluar berita Citibank pun hampir bankrap. Semalam, AS gadai share mereka di Bank of China $2.8 billion nak dapatkan tambahan kredit. Ini lah cara AS dapat duit sekarang. Terpaksa bergadai. Ada lagi satu cara cepat AS tambah kredit- cetak dolar Amerika banyak-banyak. Tapi ia akan jadi macam duit Zimbabwe yang tak ada nilai. Kalau dah bergolok bergadai macam ini, sebenarnya ekonomi AS lebih teruk dari yang kita sangka.

Dalam strategi peperangan, AS selalu menggunakan ‘forward defence’ untuk memastikan negaranya sentiasa terselamat. Tetapi dalam serangan Israel di Gaza yang tentunya mendapat restu dan perancangan bersama AS, ini bukan ‘forward defence’ tetapi ‘strategic intervention’ iaitu menggunakan scapegoat untuk mengalih perhatian dan menjadikan nya sebagai pakej ransangan mudah dan cepat untuk memperbaiki ekonomi AS dan ekonomi dunia. Perang adalah pakej rangsangan paling cepat bagi AS untuk memperbaiki ekonomi mereka. Mereka cuba di Syria untuk menjadikan Syria seperti Iraq, tapi tak berjaya. Jadi Gaza paling mudah dan paling berkesan! Lihat sahaja, harga minyak naik mendadak sebaik Gaza diserang. Harga pasaran kembali cergas.

Jadi Dato’ nak harapkan dunia Arab membantu dan gunakan minyak dan gas sebagai senjata strategi? Ini tidak MUNGKIN akan berlaku!
Jangan harap GCC akan membantu Palestin. Lepas sidang GCC bulan lepas, langsung tak bersuara pun. Sepatutnya masa itulah menggunakan suara dunia Arab yang bersatu padu untuk menggertak Israel. Tapi ini tidak berlaku!

Jadi penduduk Gaza adalah mangsa kerakusan dunia terhadap WANG. Termasuklah kerakusan dunia Arab dang mungkin dunia Islam. Mereka menjadi mangsa dan mungkin dihapuskan dari muka bumi ini semata-mata untuk mengembalikan kekuatan ekonomi AS dan kegemilangan zionis di muka bumi ini. AS tidak akan membiarkan kuasa ekonomi terlepas dari genggaman mereka. Dunia Arab sebenarnya dikuasai CIA dan talibarut Obama kini telah mula merekrut agen memasuki dan mengembang sehingga dalam pentadbiran semua Negara Arab yang kaya. Dan.... dunia Islam akan tetap begini kerana tidak adanya pemimpin Islam yang berani menentang AS.

Ketika inilah terkenang keberanian Tun Mahathir yang saya anggap Pemimpin Agung Islam Abad 21!

kudakepang said...

Saudari Mas Manja,

Terima kasih. Memang posting saya ibarat suratkhabar lama. Tapi ini saja senjata yang ada. GCC wajar jadikan kuasa minyak mereka sebagai dasar luar, seperti AS jadikan terrorism dan subversion sebagai komponen dasar luar mereka di Asia masa ini.

Soal lama ni tak boleh diketepikan begitu sahaja. We have to re-visit the issue form time to time. Mungkin juga TDM boleh jadi negarawan Islam tolong jeritkan isu ni pada GCC.

Majoriti GCC ni sangat memihak kepada AS pasal dasar luar mereka tak ada matlamat strategik. GCC lebih rela menyerah kepada AS daripada memikirkan kuasa strategik mereka. Ini kelemahan mereka atau inilah sikap mereka bila sudah dilimpahkan rahmat kekayaan oleh Allah SWT.

Sebab itu kita kena ulang-ulang filem lama ni. You, on your part, (I hope you are still in West Asia) should do your part too!

Salam takzim - Ruhanie Ahmad

Apocryphalist said...

Dato',

Strategi menghentikan minyak ke Amerika Syarikat oleh negara-negara Arab adalah satu strategi yang tak elok dan sampai bila-bila tak akan terlaksana. Kalau ianya elok, sudah lama dilaksanakan oleh negara-negara Timur Tengah. Bukannya negara negara arab tidak pernah terpikir pasal hal demikian. Dan bukannya Amerika tak pernah terpikir akan kemungkinan berlakunya senario demikian. Kenapa saya kata strategi yang tak baik? Kerana ini:-

Di perairan Florida bawah tanah, bawah laut, terdapat satu gudang simpanan minyak yang luasnya beribu hektar dan disimpan berjuta liter minyak yang telah diproses. Bahan pembakar ini memang telah di simpan sejak zaman Presiden Carter lagi, dan idea serta pembikinannya mungkin telah dicetus sebelum zaman beliau lagi. Gudang ini di isi dengan minyak yang cukup untuk kegunaan penduduk Amerika selama 3 bulan sebelum ianya kering.

Tujuan diadakan tong minyak raksaksa tersebut adalah untuk menghadapi kemungkinan peperangan dan untuk menghadapi kemungkinan Amerika diserang dengan senjata minyak.

Amerika berpendapat bahawa jika mereka diserang dengan senjata minyak maka ianya dianggap serangan nyata dan bukan hanya serangan maya, dan akan merasa bahawa mereka berhak bertindak balas.

Tindakan mereka selanjutnya adalah untuk menawan negara-negara yang "menyerang" mereka dan meng-empunyakan Negara tersebut berserta dengan hasil2 minyaknya sekali. Tidak kah kita nampak bagaimana ketika peperangan Iraq, Amerika mengebom hampir kesemua bangunan-bangunan kerajaan di Baghdad tetapi membiarkan bangunan kementerian Minyak cantik tak terusik? 'Am diketahui bahawa sekarang ini minyak dalam Negara Iraq di regulasikan oleh Amerika: Minyak Iraq kepunyaan Ameika!

Dalam masa 3 bulan "waktu darurat" yang saya sebutkan tadi, pelannya ialah untuk tidak menggunakan minyak yang disimpan tersebut untuk kegunaan awam atau domestik, tetapi untuk disalurkan kepada jet-jet pejuang F/A-18 atau F/A-16, peluru-peluru berpandu, kereta-kereta kebal dan perisai serta kapal-kapal perang, cukup untuk menawan sesebuah negara timur tengah. Setelah ditawan, masaalah had penyimpanan 3 bulan sudah tiada lagi. Melalui strategi demikian, Amerika boleh mempunyai mana-mana negara minyak yang sejak sekian lama menyebabkan pengliuran kepada mereka.

Seperti juga kempen boikot barang Amerika yang digembar-gemburkan sekarang, ianya sebenarnya tidak mencapai apa-apa hasil yang produktif kecuali memberi perasaan sedap dan puas yang palsu kepada kita orang Malaysia. Jika ada apa-apa pun, boikot seperti itu akan menghasilkan keruduman ekonomi.

Tentu ada cara lain yang boleh digunakan untuk mengajar apa yang penulis British Vernon Coleman gelar sebagai 'Buli Global' ini selain dari langkah-langkah yang akan menghasilkan detrimen. Saya tak tahu apa dia setakat ini lagi, tetapi marilah kita sama-sama pikirkan.

Apocryphalist

Mr.KETAM said...

Kenapa ANWAR IBRAHIM yg berkokok semasa berceramah di KT beritahu rakyat yg lena itu bahawa dia dah pergi ke negara-negara arab itu ini nak tunjuk yg dia berpengaruh di sana tetapi tak dengar pun Anwar ni KUTUK kekejaman ISRAEl dan HENATAM AMERIKA ? Dan tak dengar juga dia minta semua NEGARA ISLAM HENTIKAN PENGELUARAN MINYAK ke BARAT tanda protes??

Munafik betul la mamat ni

Alias Mohd Yusof said...

Negara Arab sendiri pun hanya boleh hidup hasil jualan minyaknya. Kalau tak jual minyak mereka sendiri akan jadi susah.
Serupa macam Malaysia juga, kalau tak jual minyak, tak tahulah apa akan jadi pada ekonomi kita.
Berbeza dengan zaman Al Malik Faisal dulu, masa tu rakyat Arab hidup sederhana, ramai tinggal dalam khemah, makan kurma pun dah cukup. Mereka jual minyak atau tidak masa tu tak jadi hal.

Mas Manja said...

Salam Dato'
Maaf tulisan sebelum ini agak keras kerana terlalu emosi setiap hati melihat kematian dan pembunuhan kanak-kanak Gaza di kaca televisyen.

Pendapat saya yang cetek ini, hanya satu cara untuk menyelamatkan Palestine and Gaza- semua negara-negara Arab termasuk Iran dan Syria, negara Islam lain seperti Indonesia dan Malaysia serta kuasa asing yang tidak sekutu dengan AS seperti China dan Rusia bersatu, dalam SATU SUARA dan memberi kata dua kepada Israel untuk menghentikan serangan dalam tempuh 24 jam. Sekiranya tidak, gabungan ini akan membantu Hamas melancarkan serangan balas terhadap Israel. Bunyinya keras, tetapi ini paling berkesan. Saya jamin mereka akan berundur dan tidak akan sanggup menghadapi serangan balas negara-negara bersekutu ini walaupun mendapat bantuan AS!. Ini juga mungkin memulakan perang Dunia Ketiga tetapi adakah jalan keluar yang ada setelah orang Islam dicabul hak mereka setiap hari sepanjang 8 tahun yang lepas? Mahukah kita melihat darah orang Islam bertaburan di bumi sendiri akibat kelemahan saudara seagama? Ini akan terus-terusan berlaku.... nauzubillah! Apa yang berjaya dilakukan di Bosnia, kini dilakukan di Gaza. Dalam hal ini pun negara-negara besar lain telah terlibat secara tidak langsung dengan penjualan dan penyeludupan senjata kepada Hamas. Alang-alang menyeluk pekasam...

askar melayu said...

Dato
Negara Arab pun macam Malaysia jugak, mereka juga bergantung kepada Amerika dalam banyak perkara.

Kenapa bercakap atas kesanggupan negara Arab sahaja? Sanggupkah Malaysia tidak menjual minyak kepada Amerika dan sekutunya atas dasar keganasan Israel terhadap Palestin. A bit naive coming from a seasoned politician like you. Kenapa kita tidak menahan air ke Singapura yang merupakan sekutu utama Amerika dan Israel?

Mungkin juga kita boleh menyukarkan syarikat sekutu Amerika dari berdagang di Malaysia seperti Dell, McDonalds, KFC, Wendy's, Intel, ExxonMobil, IBM,Citibank, America Express dan banyak lagi. Sayugia dingatkan peratus yang besar jika tidak majoriti sumber manusia disyarikat tersebut juga orang Islam.

Tiada kedengaran pula komen senjata minyak bilamana Haliburton yang berkait rapat dengan Dick Cheney yang bertanggung jawab sebagai akitek perang Iraq yang membunuh ribuan rakyat Iraq dialu-alukan dengan permaidani merah di Johor.

So, what say you, Dato'?

kudakepang said...

Sahabat-sahabat sekalian.

Jutaan terima kasih atas penyuaraan pendapat yang amat baik.

Saya tulis hal diplomasi minyak ni bukan untuk rentikan pengeluaran atau penjualan minyak tu. Bukan gitu. Yang saya maksudkan, ikut fikiran saya yang cetek ni, gunakan minyak sebagai senjata untuk membuka keinsafan pihak terbabit. Lepas tu para pemikir dunia tanpa kira agama dan bangsa fikirkanlah strategi dasar luar Asia Barat berdasarkan minyak sebagai komponen strategiknya.

Saya boleh suarakan hal ini secara detail, tapi siapalah saya. Tapi, saya pasti, berdasarkan aset strategik itu, akan tercetus dasar luar yang pragmatik, berkesan dan dapat kawal sokongan AS ke atas Israel.

Saya amat insaf dasar pertahanan AS dan dasar hegemoninya pun dilakarkan berasaskan keperluan menguasai telaga minyak. Jadi, fikirkanlah apa yang boleh pengeluar minyak buat secara subtle dan halus untuk gunakan minyak sebagai asas dasar luar mereka.

Haliburton? Inilah satu short-sightedness dalam dasar pelaburan kita. Soal-soal dominasi asing perlu juga dijadikan asas penentu sesuatu pelaburan luar di negara kita supaya mana-mana negara besar tidak dapat dominasi kita menerusi pelaburan...

Apa pun, arguement anda semua releven dan memprovokasi minda kita semua secara akademik atau sebaliknya. Mudah-mudahan suara kita ni tak lah terkurung dalam comment box ini saja ya!

Salam takzim - Ruhanie Ahmad

slyderrose said...

Jangan tanya Anwar Ibrahim. Siapa Anwar Ibrahim?. Beliau ada kuasa di Malaysia ini?. Tanya orang yg memerintah adakah mereka mengutuk US. Cakap saja lebih tapi barangan dan produk US masih bebas kat Malaysia. Berkempenlah kita boikot barangan US tapi kerajaan buat tak aje. Mr Ketam hanya baca media perdana dan sudah pastinya dia tak dengar komen Anwar tentang US, Israel dan Hamas.

Mika Angel-0 said...

UN rights chief wants investigation of Gaza abuses
48 mins ago

GENEVA – The U.N.'s top human rights official has called for an independent investigation of possible war crimes in Gaza and Israel.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay says the harm to civilians in Israel caused by Hamas rockets is unacceptable. But she says Israel must abide by international humanitarian law regardless of Hamas' actions.

Pillay says both parties must care for the wounded and avoid targeting health workers, hospitals and ambulances.

She says that violations of international humanitarian law may amount to war crimes for which individuals should be held accountable.

Pillay spoke Friday at the start of an emergency meeting of the Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Council on the situation in Gaza.

PUREHADHARIST said...

Salam,

Negara2 timur tengah termasuk Arab Saudi adalah sebenarnya tidak boleh diharapkan lagi untuk memberi tekanan ke atas kuasa besar dunia. Pergolakan dunia Islam dahulu dan kini melihatkan kepada kita bahwa hampir kesemua negara timur tengah adalah "barua" Amerika. Semasa Perang Iran-Iraq atas sokongan Amerika Iran dilihat berhadapan dwngan dunia. Semasa Hizbullah berhadapan dengan Israel, fatwa-fatwa sesat keluar dengan mengkafirkan syiah agar kita tidak mendokong Hizbullah.begitu juga Iran ketika berhadapan dengan Iraq "tali barut" AS ketika itu digambarkan sebuah negara Syiah berhadapan dengan negara sunnah. Maka, sebenarnya hampir seluruh negara Timur Tengah telahpun jatuh ke tangan AS melainkan Iran dan Syria. Lebanon pula hanya boleh diharapkan Hizbullah sahaja yang berani menongkah arus berhadapan dengan Israel.

Maka apa penyelesaiannya? Saya setuju dengan Datuk Ron agar memberi tekanan kepada negara Timur Tengah pengeluar minyak. Maka negara-negara pengeluar minyak khususnya jiran-jiran Palestin harus diperlakukan sama dengan AS,Britain dan Israel jika masih terhegeh-hegeh untuk melakukan sesuatu untuk membantu Palestin apatah lagi dilihat tidak mendukung sama sekali Palestin. Maka, siri demonstrasi haruslah juga dilakukan ke atas kedutaan mereka di seluruh dunia.

Mereka pengkhianat Islam !!

kyerule said...

Assalamualaikum Datuk Ron,

Jangan haraplah pak-pak Arab ni nak ugut Amerika dengan minyak diorang..

kalau satu negara boikot, negara lain ambil peluang nak jual lagi banyak minyak kat Amerika..

sebenarnya, pak-pak arab yang kaya raya inilah yang sedang membunuh rakyat Palestin..

PUREHADHARIST said...

RAJA2 ARAB JUGA HARUS DIKEJUTKAN SEKERAS-KERASNYA....SUDILAH LAYARI http://pure-hadharist.blogspot.com

asalbayu said...

GAZA TERUS DIGEMPUR: APA SUMBANGAN KITA?

Sejak 1967 zionis Yahudi @ Israel memperkasakan pembunuhan dan kemudian merobohkan premis dengan melaksanakan peperangan yang tidak pernah diharamkan oleh PBB. Sekutu rapatnya yang menaja dana ialah Amerika. Cuba bayangkan, masyarakat zionis tu bukannya ada kerja selain berperang. Kita warga Malaysia juga turut hulurkan dana dengan melanggan produk keluaran sekutu zionis antaranya Nestle, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft, Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola, Colgate dan banyak lagi terutamanya pewangi serta kosmetik. Produk yang paling banyak ialah rokok/tembakau. Andainya sebatang rokok menyumbang 10 sen ke dalam tabung perang zionis, hitunglah berapa jumlah yang disumbangkan?

Pada 3 Januari 2009 lalu semasa menghadiri kenduri di rumah seorang kawan di Alor Setar saya sempat berbual singkat dengan Ed Lazim dan membayangkan dengan hal tersebut.

Ed Lazim adalah warga istimewa yang hanya sebelah mata sahaja berfungsi sekitar 50% sahaja. Manakala sebelah mata lagi menurut katanya, langsung tidak berfungsi.

Saya mengkagumi anak muda ini kerana keupayaannya bermain muzik (gitar) sambil menyampaikan lagu terutamanya lagu puisi dengan baik. Beliau berupaya menggubah lagu dengan pantas; jika diberikan puisi pada waktu pagi, pada sebelah petang beliau sudah boleh menyampaikannya dengan begitu baik.

Berbalik kepada butir-butir perbualan di rumah kenduri berkenaan. Saya meluahkan pandangan begini:

Jika diperhatikan bukan sedikit puisi/sajak dicipta lalu disiarkan oleh pelbagai media melahirkan luahan kemarahan terhadap zionis Yahudi yang membantai warga Palestin yang kini telah menjangkau lebih 500 jiwa.

Warga dunia begitu geram dengan keangkuhan Amerika mengeluarkan kenyataan yang menuding jari menyalahkan Hammas lalu mengatakan bertanggungjawab atas apa yang berlaku!

Saya menyampaikan pendapat mengatakan puisi-puisi yang ditulis akan hanya tinggal kaku dalam buku atau berlonggok di esastera. Persoalannya ialah mengapa tiada mana-mana pihak yang mahu merakamkan lagu-lagu atau deklamasi dalam bentuk CD atau kaset kemudian dipasarkan. Sebahgian kutipan jualannya bolehlah disumbangkan kepada tabung bantuan rakyat Palestin.

Barangkali ia boleh dilaksanakan oleh NGO.

Setakat ini dilihat seperti tiada mana-mana pihak tertarik dengan isu yang saya kemukakan sejak 5.1.2009 kepada banyak pihak. Saya juga mengajak ia dibincangkan di komuniti penyair esastera.com tetapi nampaknya ia tidak menarik untuk dibincangkan.

Perkara yang mendapat perhatian di esastera.com setakat ini ialah berkaitan peluang untuk merebut hadiah! Setakat ini fahamlah saya bahawa golongan seniman yang juga peka (seperti saranan Azizi Hj Abdullah semasa berlangsung Bengkel Penulisan Kreatif Inspen Alor Setar pada 28.11.2008) itu lebih mementingkan perjuangan untuk 'mengisi tembolok atau kantung' semata-mata. Apa kena mengena dengan penderitaan warga Palestin. Biarlah mereka bertelagah, kita peduli apa. Mereka berperang sejak dahulu jika diambilkira fakta sejarah adalah kerana zionis bermusuh dengan orang Arab disebabkan nasab keturunan. Zionis dari Sarah dan Arab dari Hajar, kedua-duanya adalah isteri Nabi Allah Ibrahim a.s.

Jika mereka hendak berbunuhan, biarlah. Posisinya jauh dari rumah kita. Kita masih boleh tidur nyenyak.

Andai begitulah sikap kita, jelaslah bahawa stigma kasihkan dunia atau hubbudunia masih tebal meskipun kita sudah hampir sedekad berada di alaf baru yang kejam dan tidak cakna!

Salam.

ABDUL HALIM YAACOB

http://asalbayu-kutipan.blogspot.com
http://www.esastera.com

Mika Angel-0 said...

Sdr Ruhanie Ahmad,

Two Thought Provoking News!
(bailouts fraud - beware the headlines)

India hears calls for Satyam bailout
By Heather Timmons
Friday, January 9, 2009

NEW DELHI: Is India Inc. about to get a bailout?

The giant outsourcing company Satyam Computer Services is struggling for survival after its founder, B. Ramalinga Raju, admitted to an enormous fraud, a battle that could put its 53,000 employees out of work. The company's demise may also disrupt operations like billing and computer systems at some of the largest companies in the world.

The scope and seriousness of the situation, coming as the red-hot Indian outsourcing industry starts to cool with the global economy, has prompted analysts and investors to suggest that the government should intervene.

"The question becomes: Will the Indian government step in or will the company be sold either as a whole or in pieces?," analysts from Forrester Research said in a note Friday.

"This is an election year, and there are a lot of considerations" for the government to think about at Satyam, including employees, investors and especially small investors, Sudin Apte, one author of the research report, said in an interview. Satyam might be able to continue until it finds a buyer with another $1 billion in cash, noted another analyst who did not want to be identified because his bank stopped covering Satyam when the fraud was revealed.

Indian officials acted quickly on Friday to try to shore up investor confidence in the company, removing its board members and pledging to appoint ten new directors shortly. The new board will hold a meeting within seven days, said Prem Chand Gupta, Minister for Corporate Affairs.

Satyam faces a liquidity crisis and may not have enough cash on hand to meet basic operating expenses like payroll as soon as this month.

A takeover is unlikely while questions still hang over the company's accounts, many bankers say, and it may be months before those questions are answered.

Regulators in India are delving into how and why Raju was able to fool auditors and investors for several years. India's market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India, began an investigation Thursday into trading of the company's stock and on Friday met with Satyam's chief financial officer Srinivas Vadlamani. The Criminal Investigation Department of the police in the state of Andhra Pradesh, where Satyam is based, joined the investigation on Friday.

The market regulator said Friday that it planned to hold "peer reviews" of auditors' working papers of companies in the main stock indices, a move designed to increase overall confidence in publicly traded Indian companies. Chairman Chandrasekhar Bhaskar Bhave said the regulator needed to reassure investors that Satyam was a "one off phenomena."

Local politicians put pressure on top government officials to step in to save Satyam. YS Rajasekhar Reddy, the chief minister of Satyam's home state of Andhra Pradesh, asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a letter Wednesday to put together a new management team to run the company.

Investors showed little faith in Satyam's chances; its shares fell 41 percent Friday on the Bombay Stock Exchange. Raju said Wednesday that he had fabricated $1 billion worth of cash and bank balances, nearly all of the company's cash assets. Shares fell 78 percent that day. The market was closed Thursday.

So far, the government is balking at the idea of bailing out Satyam.

"This is a corporate governance issue," said Rajeev Jain, a spokesman for the commerce ministry. The government is in "no position" to put cash into the company.

The Congress party government of India, which must hold general elections before a May deadline, has a tenuous hold over the country, and any decisions it makes on Satyam are expected to be challenged by its opposition.

The mood at the company's headquarters was grim. Pankaj Kumar, a software developer who has worked for the company for the past year and a half, said that employees were worried about layoffs. The worst thing was the lack of concrete information about the Satyam's financial position and its future. "There is too much rumor and speculation," he said.

If Satyam goes under, job losses will not be limited to India. As many as 30 percent of Satyam's employees, about 15,900 people, are located outside India, analysts estimate. Some of these employees are Indians on temporary assignments, while others are local citizens. A third group work for a string of companies that Satyam purchased during a buying spree.

Outsourcers like Satyam may once have operated from backrooms in Bangalore, but they have expanded in recent years into continent-spanning giants with offices near their clients and an appetite for international deals. One of Satyam's biggest overseas offices is in Princeton, New Jersey, analysts noted.

Satyam, the fourth-largest outsourcing company in India, went on a European and American buying spree in recent years that stretched from Boston to Belgium. In the first half of 2008 alone, the company struck deals for all or part of four small to mid-sized consultants and back-office firms, including Bridge Strategy Group of Chicago last January for $35 million.

On April 21, Satyam said it had agreed to buy all of the construction equipment company Caterpillar's market research and customer analytics business for $60 million in cash. That same day, Satyam said it would buy S&V Management Consultants, a Belgian supply chain management company with 60 consultants, for $35.5 million.

All of Satyam's businesses may be in peril. "If nothing happens in the next two to three weeks, clients as well as employees will desert the company," Apte of Forrester said.


In West Bank, there's anger at Hamas as well as at Israel
By Shashank Bengali, McClatchy Newspapers Shashank Bengali, Mcclatchy Newspapers
Fri Jan 9, 5:03 pm ET

RAMALLAH , West Bank — Since the war in Gaza began two weeks ago, Rami Hamdan has oscillated between two emotions: sadness at the deaths of Palestinian civilians and anger, not only at Israel but also at its Palestinian foe, the militant Islamist group Hamas .

"Of course I am unhappy about the killings," said Hamdan, a 30-year-old building inspector in Ramallah , the de facto capital of the West Bank . "But Hamas is also responsible. They breached the truce. Israel is an aggressive entity at the end of the day, and Hamas knew this could happen."

Not many Palestinians will say that out loud in the West Bank these days. Most people voice outrage about Israel's offensive in the Hamas -controlled Gaza Strip , which by Friday had killed nearly 800 people, two-fifths of them women and children.

Below the surface, however, many in the West Bank are conflicted. A violent rift between Hamas and the secular Fatah party, which controls the West Bank , has left many unsure of their political future and fearful that their own territory could be engulfed in yet another round of battles with Israel .

Since Hamas seized control of Gaza in June 2007 , the two Palestinian mini-states have been on very different tracks. While Israel and the United States have tried to isolate Gaza and bring Hamas to its knees, the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority , with U.S. backing, has consolidated its hold on the West Bank , building up its security forces and trying to make its administration more efficient.

Despite the bitter political rivalry, most Palestinians appear to view the onslaught in Gaza as an attack on them all. Any real hope of peace negotiations with Israel has been forestalled by the division between Fatah and Hamas , however, leaving many feeling helpless.

"This is the first face-off with the Israelis where we have not had a united front," said Sam Bahour , an Ohio -born Palestinian who returned to Ramallah 15 years ago and runs a leading consulting firm. "This is a bitter reality that we're facing, and it's affecting how people are mobilizing."

Hamas leaders have called for a third Intifada, or uprising, against Israel , but there's little sign of that in Ramallah .

This city saw fierce clashes with Israeli forces during the second Intifada, starting in 2000, including a grisly mob lynching of two Israeli soldiers whose bodies then were dragged through the town square. Up to Friday, however, when a well-organized rally drew thousands into the streets, anti-Israeli protests had been relatively small.

Many said that was because Fatah leaders had deployed security forces to intimidate protesters and had banned displays of the Hamas flag. Several Hamas leaders continue to be held behind bars.

Fatah leaders say they're trying to prevent the West Bank from slipping into chaos. Many people chafe at the security presence, however, and criticize Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for remaining silent through much of the conflict.

"Everybody feels a problem with the authority's response," said Ashraf Shahin , a 20-year-old working at a car wash. He said he was stunned when Palestinian riot police broke up a pro- Gaza demonstration at Birzeit University earlier this week, beating students with clubs and hauling away several protesters in police vans.

"Instead of using weapons to fight Israeli occupation, they are using them to fight our own people. That never happened under Abu Ammar ," Shahin said, referring to Yasser Arafat , the longtime Palestinian president and Fatah founder, who died in 2004.

There's no question that Palestinians are deeply disillusioned with Abbas, whose term as president officially expired Friday, although he shows no sign of stepping down. His critics say that Abbas has become little more than a client of Israel and the United States , undermining Hamas while pursuing peace negotiations that few think have any real chance of success.

Instead, with little to show for years of often violent political struggle, many Palestinians have opted for a quieter response. In homes, offices and restaurants across Ramallah , people are glued to television coverage of Gaza and are organizing charity drives via social organizations and Web sites such as Facebook .

"People are more analytical now," 24-year-old Nura Treish said. "If there was a viable peace process to cling to, it might be different. There is no such peace process. So this idea of a third intifada, people are thinking, well, really, what would we be fighting for?"

Many in Ramallah remain hopeful that the onslaught in Gaza could help unite the Palestinian factions. At Friday's rally, however, Jamil El Abed , a 27-year-old carpenter, said he was disheartened to hear so many people voicing support for one faction or the other.

For now, he said, the thought of Palestinian unity is farfetched.

"I've lost hope in everybody: Fatah , Hamas and the authority," El Abed said. "Their division makes it easy for Israel to swallow us."

( McClatchy special correspondent Khader Musleh contributed to this report from Ramallah .)

MORE FROM MCCLATCHY

Next step in Gaza campaign divides Israeli leaders

Israel's Gaza invasion provokes protests throughout Latin America

Crisis takes toll on Gaza's seasoned doctors, medics

Israelis, sipping Pepsi, watch bombardment of Gaza town


Israel sedang menunggu bailout dari US&Co: sebenarnya IDF berani sekadar hanya boleh kehilangan kurang dari 32 nyawa anggotanya - kerana sifat pengecut orang yahudi-israel dan musim pilihan raya.

Orang Palestin lebih handal dan baik dari mana-mana anggota-anggota Al-Qaeedah!

mata putih said...

Salam Dato'

Saya rasa selain ambil tindakan balas sama ada secara langsung atau tidak langsung ke artas rejim yahudi israel, USA dan UK serta sekutu-sekutunya. Negara-negara OIC juga patut mengambil tindakan ke atas salah sebuah negara ahlinya iaitu Mesir. Sehingga kini Presiden Hosni Mubarak boneka kpd USA itu masih membisu seribu bahasa mengenai serangan zionis ke atas rakyat Palestin. Presiden barua USA ini bukan sahaja tidak memberi sokongan moral dan material kpd Palestin tetapi bersubahat dgn rejim utk mengesan dan memusnahkan laluan rahsia yang digunakan pejuang Palestin untuk membawa masuk senjata bagi mempertahankan diri malah masih menutup sempadan Mesir-Gaza yang menyukarkan pejuang2 menyelamatkan diri bila diserang. Saya doakan semoga beliau juga akan menerima nasib yang sama seperti Anwar Saddat. Insaya Allah.

tajudin said...

sangat sedih melihat negara-negara Arab terutama yang berjiran dengan Palestin semuanya "tak berani keluar kepala" hatta keluar suara sekalipun.

sedih yang amat.

Kamarulzaman Kamdias said...

Dato Ron,
Hanya Petronas saja yg boleh menjadikan minyak sbg senjata melawan Amerika Israel dan sekutunya. Lain2 pengeluar minyak terutama negara2 Arab tidak boleh buat sebab mereka dikuasai oleh 7 sisters spt shell,exxon dll. Petronas satu2nya hasil minyak dunia yg dimilik negarakan 100%. Jd siapalah petronas pd pandangan Israel dan Amerika

bulan said...

Dato’tulisan dato’ banyak menggambarkan cita rasa dato’ yang murni untok menyelesaikan masaalah penderitaan Arab Palestin, dalam kedegilan bangsanya untok mendapatkan kembali hak milek tanahairnya.

Pendapat saya adalah kerja yang paling sia2 saja dan ta mungkin akan menjadi kenyataan salagi bangsa Arab Palestin itu sendiri tidak sedar diri, tidak mahu bersatu dalam perjuangannya. Masaalah ini, sama akan menimpa bangsa Melayu. Andai kata berterusan mendapat pemimpin melayu macam Pak Lah Badawi.

Sudah berpuluh2 tahun berlalu, sudah banyak kematian sileh berganti. Cara dan tindakkan yang diambil oleh pehak yang bertelagah tetap sama. Pandangan dan pendapat dunia pun tiada juga berubah. Tidak terdaya, tidak termampu dapat di lakukan manusia dunia untok menyelesaikan masaalah mereka. Memandangkan satu pehak mempunyai kekuatan yang luar biasa dan satu pehak lagi pula tidak.

Orang Islam terutama bangsa Melayu cukup tertekan. Cukup marah terhadap Israel yang melakukan kekejam terhadap bangsa Arab Palestin sahingga hari ini. Orang Islam hanya mampu menjadi perayu, pemohon kapada Subhanauallahtaallah. Dengan beramai2 berdoa, sembayang hajat agar Tuhan memberi kemenangan kepada Arab Palestin dan tidak sekali2 kapada Yahudi. Tetapi kenapa Tuhan tetap juga memberi kemenangan kapada bangsa Yahudi ini juga ?.

Dapatkah kita memberi alasan untok rasa bersalah dengan mengatakan bahawa penganut2 Islam itu sendiri telah melakukan terlalu banyak dosa sasama mereka. Bagaimana pula pelakuan bangsa yahudi ini?.
Adakah Tuhan bersikap racist kapada umatnya yang berlainan bangsa dan ugama?.
Untok menjawab dan mententeramkan hati umat yang berugama Islam, Mereka maseh menganggap dunia ini bukan tempat umat Islam tetapi akhirat nanti. Penutup segala kehampaan.

Seladang said...

Dato Ron yang dihormati.

Apabila mendapat tahu 21 orang ditahan di Dataran Merdeka oleh polis Malaysia kerana membantah tindakan zalim Israel terhadap Gaza, maka terfikir dibenak saya; Apakah Israel sudah ada di Malaysia ini?

kudakepang said...

Sahabat-sahabat sekalian,

Jutaan terima kasih.

Soal Palestin dan negara-negara Arab ni memang cukup rumit. Apa yang saya suarakan hanya pandangan cetek saya. Orang kata, cuma cakap kedai kopi saja. Tapi, jika seluruh pemimpin dan raja-raja Arab bersatupadu, goncang juga Amerika.

Salam takzim - Ruhanie Ahmad

Mika Angel-0 said...

Sdr Ruhanie Ahmad,

Kekejaman Yang Menyayat Hati Ku
(tiada dapat ku cerita hanya air mata)

How Israel is Multiplying Hamas by a Thousand
Molten Lead in Gaza

By URI AVNERY

EJUST AFTER MIDNIGHT, Aljazeera’s Arabic channel was reporting on events in Gaza. Suddenly the camera was pointing upwards towards the dark sky. The screen was pitch black. Nothing could be seen, but there was a sound to be heard: the noise of airplanes, a frightening, a terrifying droning.

It was impossible not to think about the tens of thousands of Gazan children who were hearing that sound at that moment, cringing with fright, paralyzed by fear, waiting for the bombs to fall.

* * *

“ISRAEL MUST defend itself against the rockets that are terrorizing our Southern towns,” the Israeli spokesmen explained. “Palestinians must respond to the killing of their fighters inside the Gaza Strip,” the Hamas spokesmen declared.

As a matter of fact, the cease-fire did not collapse, because there was no real cease-fire to start with. The main requirement for any cease-fire in the Gaza Strip must be the opening of the border crossings. There can be no life in Gaza without a steady flow of supplies. But the crossings were not opened, except for a few hours now and again. The blockade on land, on sea and in the air against a million and a half human beings is an act of war, as much as any dropping of bombs or launching of rockets. It paralyzes life in the Gaza Strip: eliminating most sources of employment, pushing hundreds of thousands to the brink of starvation, stopping most hospitals from functioning, disrupting the supply of electricity and water.

Those who decided to close the crossings – under whatever pretext – knew that there is no real cease-fire under these conditions.

That is the main thing. Then there came the small provocations which were designed to get Hamas to react. After several months, in which hardly any Qassam rockets were launched, an army unit was sent into the Strip “in order to destroy a tunnel that came close to the border fence”. From a purely military point of view, it would have made more sense to lay an ambush on our side of the fence. But the aim was to find a pretext for the termination of the cease-fire, in a way that made it plausible to put the blame on the Palestinians. And indeed, after several such small actions, in which Hamas fighters were killed, Hamas retaliated with a massive launch of rockets, and – lo and behold – the cease-fire was at an end. Everybody blamed Hamas.

* * *

WHAT WAS THE AIM? Tzipi Livni announced it openly: to liquidate Hamas rule in Gaza. The Qassams served only as a pretext.

Liquidate Hamas rule? That sounds like a chapter out of “The March of Folly”. After all, it is no secret that it was the Israeli government which set up Hamas to start with. When I once asked a former Shin-Bet chief, Yaakov Peri, about it, he answered enigmatically: “We did not create it, but we did not hinder its creation.”

For years, the occupation authorities favored the Islamic movement in the occupied territories. All other political activities were rigorously suppressed, but their activities in the mosques were permitted. The calculation was simple and naive: at the time, the PLO was considered the main enemy, Yasser Arafat was the current Satan. The Islamic movement was preaching against the PLO and Arafat, and was therefore viewed as an ally.

With the outbreak of the first intifada in 1987, the Islamic movement officially renamed itself Hamas (Arabic initials of “Islamic Resistance Movement”) and joined the fight. Even then, the Shin-Bet took no action against them for almost a year, while Fatah members were executed or imprisoned in large numbers. Only after a year, were Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and his colleagues also arrested.

Since then the wheel has turned. Hamas has now become the current Satan, and the PLO is considered by many in Israel almost as a branch of the Zionist organization. The logical conclusion for an Israeli government seeking peace would have been to make wide-ranging concessions to the Fatah leadership: ending of the occupation, signing of a peace treaty, foundation of the State of Palestine, withdrawal to the 1967 borders, a reasonable solution of the refugee problem, release of all Palestinian prisoners. That would have arrested the rise of Hamas for sure.

But logic has little influence on politics. Nothing of this sort happened. On the contrary, after the murder of Arafat, Ariel Sharon declared that Mahmoud Abbas, who took his place, was a “plucked chicken”. Abbas was not allowed the slightest political achievement. The negotiations, under American auspices, became a joke. The most authentic Fatah leader, Marwan Barghouti, was sent to prison for life. Instead of a massive prisoner release, there were petty and insulting “gestures”.

Abbas was systematically humiliated, Fatah looked like an empty shell and Hamas won a resounding victory in the Palestinian election – the most democratic election ever held in the Arab world. Israel boycotted the elected government. In the ensuing internal struggle, Hamas assumed direct control over the Gaza Strip.

And now, after all this, the government of Israel decided to “liquidate Hamas rule in Gaza” – with blood, fire and columns of smoke.

* * *

THE OFFICIAL NAME of the war is “Cast Lead”, two words from a children’s song about a Hanukkah toy.

It would be more accurate to call it “the the Election War”.

In the past, too, military action has been taken during election campaigns. Menachem Begin bombed the Iraqi nuclear reactor during the 1981 campaign. When Shimon Peres claimed that this was an election gimmick, Begin cried out at his next rally: “Jews, do you believe that I would send our brave boys to their death or, worse, to be taken prisoner by human animals, in order to win an election?” Begin won.

Peres is no Begin. When, during the 1996 election campaign, he ordered the invasion of Lebanon (operation “Grapes of Wrath”), everybody was convinced that he had done it for electoral gain. The war was a failure and Peres lost the elections and Binyamin Netanyahu came to power.

Barak and Tzipi Livni are now resorting to the same old trick. According to the polls, Barak’s predicted election result rose within 48 hours by five Knesset seats. About 80 dead Palestinians for each seat. But it is difficult to walk on a pile of dead bodies. The success may evaporate in a minute if the war comes to be considered by the Israeli public as a failure. For example, if the rockets continue to hit Beersheba, or if the ground attack leads to heavy Israeli casualties.

The timing was chosen meticulously from another angle too. The attack started two days after Christmas, when American and European leaders are on holiday until after New Year. The calculation: even if somebody wanted to try and stop the war, no one would give up his holiday. That ensured several days free from outside pressures.

Another reason for the timing: these are George Bush’s last days in the White House. This blood-soaked moron could be expected to support the war enthusiastically, as indeed he did. Barack Obama has not yet entered office and had a ready made pretext for keeping silent: “there is only one President”. The silence does not bode well for the term of president Obama.

* * *

THE MAIN LINE was: not to repeat the mistakes of Lebanon War II. This was endlessly repeated on all the news programs and talk shows.

This does not change the fact: the Gaza War is an almost exact replica of the second Lebanon war.

The strategic concept is the same: to terrorize the civilian population by unremitting attacks from the air, sowing death and destruction. This poses no danger to the pilots, since the Palestinians have no anti-aircraft weapons at all. The calculation: if the entire life-supporting infrastructure in the Strip is utterly destroyed and total anarchy ensues, the population will rise up and overthrow the Hamas regime. Mahmoud Abbas will then ride back into Gaza on the back of Israeli tanks.

In Lebanon, this calculation did not work out. The bombed population, including the Christians, rallied behind Hizbullah, and Hassan Nasrallah became the hero of the Arab world. Something similar will probably happen this time, too. Generals are experts on using weapons and moving troops, not on mass psychology.

Some time ago I wrote that the Gaza blockade was a scientific experiment designed to find out how much one can starve a population and turn its life into hell before they break. This experiment was conducted with the generous help of Europe and the US. Up to now, it did not succeed. Hamas became stronger and the range of the Qassams became longer. The present war is a continuation of the experiment by other means.

It may be that the army will “have no alternative” but to re-conquer the Gaza Strip because there is no other way to stop the Qassams – except coming to an agreement with Hamas, which is contrary to government policy. When the ground invasion starts, everything will depend on the motivation and capabilities of the Hamas fighters vis-à-vis the Israeli soldiers. Nobody can know what will happen.

* * *

DAY AFTER DAY, night after night, Aljazeera’s Arabic channel broadcasts the atrocious pictures: heaps of mutilated bodies, tearful relatives looking for their dear ones among the dozens of corpses spread out on the ground, a woman pulling her young daughter from under the rubble, doctors without medicines trying to save the lives of the wounded. (The English-language Aljazeera, unlike its Arab-language sister-station, has undergone an amazing about face, broadcasting only a sanitized picture and freely distributing Israeli government propaganda. It would be interesting to know what happened there.)

Millions are seeing these terrible images, picture after picture, day after day. These images are imprinted on their minds forever: horrible Israel, abominable Israel, inhuman Israel. A whole generation of haters. That is a terrible price, which we will be compelled to pay long after the other results of the war itself have been forgotten in Israel.

But there is another thing that is being imprinted on the minds of these millions: the picture of the miserable, corrupt, passive Arab regimes.

As seen by Arabs, one fact stands out above all others: the wall of shame.

For the million and a half Arabs in Gaza, who are suffering so terribly, the only opening to the world that is not dominated by Israel is the border with Egypt. Only from there can food arrive to sustain life and medicaments to save the injured. This border remains closed at the height of the horror. The Egyptian army has blocked the only way for food and medicines to enter, while surgeons operate on the wounded without anesthetics.

Throughout the Arab world, from end to end, there echoed the words of Hassan Nasrallah: The leaders of Egypt are accomplices to the crime, they are collaborating with the “Zionist enemy” in trying to break the Palestinian people. It can be assumed that he did not mean only Mubarak, but also all the other leaders, from the king of Saudi Arabia to the Palestinian President. Seeing the demonstrations throughout the Arab world and listening to the slogans, one gets the impression that their leaders seem to many Arabs pathetic at best, and miserable collaborators at worst.

This will have historic consequences. A whole generation of Arab leaders, a generation imbued with the ideology of secular Arab nationalism, the successors of Gamal Abd-al-Nasser, Hafez al-Assad and Yasser Arafat, may be swept from the stage. In the Arab space, the only viable alternative is the ideology of Islamic fundamentalism.

This war is a writing on the wall: Israel is missing the historic chance of making peace with secular Arab nationalism. Tomorrow, It may be faced with a uniformly fundamentalist Arab world, Hamas multiplied by a thousand.

MY TAXI DRIVER in Tel-Aviv the other day was thinking aloud: Why not call up the sons of the ministers and members of the Knesset, form them into a combat unit and send them off to head the coming ground attack on Gaza?

Uri Avnery is an Israeli writer and peace activist with Gush Shalom. He is a contributor to CounterPunch's book The Politics of Anti-Semitism.

January 8, 2009
Three Simple Proposals
Gaza Seen From Paris
By JEAN BRICMONT and DIANA JOHNSTONE

There are surely millions of us, invisible to each other, enraged and powerless as we watch the massacre of Gaza and listen to our media describe it as a "retaliation against terrorism", "Israel’s right to defend itself". We have reached a point where answering the Zionist arguments is both useless and unworthy of humanity. So long as it is recognized that the shells landing on Ashkelon are likely to have been fired by descendants of the inhabitants of that region who were driven out by the Zionists in 1948, talk of peace is a smoke screen for continued Israeli assault on the survivors of that great injustice.

What then is to be done? Yet another dialogue between "moderate" Arabs and "progressive" Israelis? An umpteenth "peace plan" to be ignored? A solemn declaration from the European Union?

All such mainstream gestures are mere distractions from the ongoing strangling of the Palestinian people. But more radical demands are just as futile. The call to create an international tribunal to judge Israeli war criminals, or for an effective intervention by the United Nations or the European Union will accomplish nothing. The real existing international tribunals reflect the relationship of forces in the world, and will never be used against the cherished allies of the United States. It is the relationship of forces itself that must be changed, and this can be done only gradually. It is true that Gaza is a dire emergency, but it is also true that nothing really effective can be done today to stop it, precisely because the patient political work that should have been done before still remains to be undertaken.

On the three modest proposals that follow, two are ideological and one is practical.

1. Get rid of the illusion that Israel is "useful" to the West.

Many people, especially on the left, persist in thinking that Israel is only a pawn in an American capitalist or imperialist strategy to control the Middle East. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Israel is of no use to anybody or anything but its own fantasies of domination. There is no petroleum in Israel, or Lebanon, or Golan, or Gaza. The so-called wars for oil, in 1991 and 2003, were waged by the United States, with no help from Israel, and in 1991 with the explicit demand from the United States that Israel stay out (because Israel’s participation would have undermined Washington’s Arab coalition). For the pro-Western petro-monarchies and the "moderate" Arab regimes, Israel’s ongoing occupation of Palestinian lands is a nightmare, which radicalizes much of their populations and threatens their rule. It is Israel, by its absurd policies, that provoked the creation of both Hezbollah and Hamas and that is indirectly responsible for much of the recent growth of "radical Islam".

Moreover, the plain fact is that capitalists as a whole make more money in peace than in war. It is enough to compare the profits made by Western capitalists in China or Vietnam since making peace with those countries, compared to the past, when "Red China" was isolated and the US waged war against Vietnam. The majority of capitalists could not care less which "people" must have Jerusalem as its "eternal capital", and if peace were achieved, they would hasten into the West Bank and Gaza to exploit a qualified work force with few other opportunities.

Finally, any American citizen concerned with the influence of his or her country in the world can see quite clearly that making enemies of a billion Muslims in order to satisfy every murderous whim of Israel is scarcely a rational investment in the future.

Those who consider themselves Marxists are among the first to see in Israel a simple emanation of such general phenomena as capitalism or imperialism (Marx himself was much more cautious on the matter of economic reductionism). But it does no service to the Palestinian people to maintain such fictions – in reality, like it or not, the capitalist system is far too robust to stake its survival on the Jewish occupation of the West Bank, and capitalism has been doing just fine in South Africa since the end of Apartheid.

2. Allow non-Jews to speak their mind about Israel

If support for Israel is not based on economic or strategic interests, why do the political class and the media passively accept whatever Israel does? Many ordinary people may feel unconcerned by what happens in a faraway country. But this does not apply to the West’s leading opinion makers, who never cease criticizing what is wrong with the policies of Venezuela, Cuba, Sudan, Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria, Islam, Serbia, Russia or China. Even unproved rumors and gross exaggerations are repeated with insistence. Only Israel must be treated with kid gloves.

One explanation offered for this special treatment is Western "guilt" for past anti-Semitic persecutions, in particular the horrors inflicted on Jews during the Second World War. It is sometimes pointed out that the Palestinians are in no way responsible for those horrors and should not have to pay the price for crimes committed by others. That is true, but what is almost never said and which is obvious nevertheless, is that the overwhelming majority of French people, Germans or Catholic priests today are just as innocent of what happened during the war as the Palestinians, for the simple reason that they were either born after the war or were children at the time. The notion of collective guilt was already very questionable in 1945, but the idea of transmitting that collective guilt to subsequent generations is quite simply a religious notion. Even if it is said that the Holocaust should not justify Israeli policy, it is striking that the populations who are supposed to feel guilty for what happened (the Germans, the French and the Catholics) are most reticent to speak out.

It is strange that at the very time the Catholic Church renounced the notion of Jews as the people who killed Christ, the notion of the almost universal guilt for killing the Jews began to take over. The discourse on universal guilt for the Holocaust is like religious discourse in general in the way it legitimizes hypocrisy, by shifting responsibility from the real to the imaginary (on the model of "original sin" itself). We are all supposed to feel guilty for crimes committed in the past about which, by definition, we can do nothing. But we need not feel guilty or responsible for crimes being committed right before our eyes by our Israeli or American allies, whom we can hope to influence.

The fact that we are not all guilty of the crimes of the Third Reich is simple and obvious, but needs to be driven home to allow non-Jews to speak up freely about Palestine. As it is, non-Jews who often feel they must leave it to Jews, as the only people who have the "right" to criticize Israel, to defend the Palestinians. But given the relationship of forces between the Jewish critics of Israel, and the influential Zionist organizations claiming to speak for the Jewish people, there is no realistic hope that Jewish voices alone can save the Palestinians.

However, the main reason for the silence is surely not guilt precisely because it is so artificial, but rather fear. Fear of "what will they think", fear of slander and even of being taken to court for "anti-Semitism". If you are not convinced, take a journalist, a politician or a publisher to some spot where nobody is listening and there is no hidden camera or microphone, and ask whether he or she says in public all he or she thinks of Israel in private. And if not, why? Fear of hurting the interests of capitalism? Fear of weakening American imperialism? Fear of interrupting oil deliveries? Or, on the contrary, fear of Zionist organizations and their relentless campaigns?

We have little doubt, after dozens of discussions with such people that the last answer given above is the correct one. People do not say what they think of what calls itself the "Jewish State" for fear of being called anti-Jewish and being identified with the anti-Semites of the past. This sentiment is all the stronger inasmuch as most people who are shocked by Israeli policy are genuinely horrified by what was done to the Jews during the Second World War and are sincerely outraged by anti-Semitism. If one stops to think about it, it is clear that if there existed today, as was the case before 1940, openly anti-Semitic political movements, they would not be so intimidated. But today, not even the French National Front says it is anti-Semitic and whoever criticizes Israel usually starts by denying being anti-Semitic. The fear of being accused of anti-Semitism is deeper than fear of the Zionist lobby, it is fear of losing the respectability that goes with condemnation of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust as the highest contemporary moral value.

It is imperative to free criticism of Israel from the fear of being falsely accused of "anti-Semitism". The threat of this accusation is an insidious form of moral blackmail that perhaps constitutes the only real potential source of a widespread revival of anti-Jewish resentment.

3. The practical initiatives are summed up in three letters : BDS- Boycott, disinvestment, sanctions

The demand for sanctions is taken up by most pro-Palestinian organizations, but since such measures are the prerogative of states, it is clear that this will not happen soon. Disinvestment measures can be taken by trade unions and churches, on the decision of their members. Other enterprises that collaborate closely with Israel will not change their policy unless they are under public pressure, that is, boycotts. This brings us to the controversial issue of boycotts, not only of Israeli products but also of Israel’s cultural and academic institutions.

This tactic was used against apartheid in South Africa in a very similar situation. Both apartheid and the dispossession of the Palestinians are a late heritage of European colonialism, whose practitioners have a hard time realizing that such forms of domination are no longer acceptable to the world in general and even to public opinion in the West. The racist ideologies underlying both projects are an outrage to the majority of humanity and gives rise to endless hatreds and conflicts. One might even say that Israel is another South Africa, plus exploitation of "the Holocaust" as an excuse.

Any boycott is apt to have innocent victims. In particular, it is said that boycotting Israeli academic institutions would unjustly punish intellectuals who are for peace. Perhaps, but Israel itself readily admits that there are innocent victims in Gaza, whose innocence in no way prevents them from being killed. We do not propose killing anyone. A boycott is a perfectly non-violent act by citizens. It is comparable to conscientious objection or civil disobedience in the face of unjust power. Israel flouts all UN resolutions and our own governments, far from taking measures to oblige Israel to comply, merely reinforce their ties with Israel. We have the right, as citizens, to demand that our own governments respect international law.

What is important about sanctions, especially on the cultural level, is their symbolic value. It is a way of telling our governments that we do not accept their policy of collaboration with a state that has chosen to become an international outlaw.

Some object to a boycott on the grounds that it is opposed by both some progressive Israelis and a certain number of "moderate" Palestinians (but not Palestinian civil society as a whole). But the main question for us is not what they say, but what foreign policy we want for our own countries. The Israeli-Arab conflict is far from being a mere local quarrel and has attained a worldwide significance. It involves the basic issue of respect for international law. A boycott should be defended as a means to protest to our governments in order to force them to change their policy. We have the right to want to be able to travel without shame in the rest of the world. That is reason enough to encourage a boycott.

(A french version of this text is in preparation).

Jean Bricmont teaches physics in Belgium and is a member of the Brussels Tribunal. His book, Humanitarian Imperialism, is published by Monthly Review Press. He can be reached at Jean.Bricmont@uclouvain.be.

Diana Johnstone is the author of Fools' Crusade: Yugoslavia, Nato, and Western Delusions published by Monthly Review Press. She can be reached at: diana.josto@yahoo.fr


Nota:

...but there was a sound to be heard: the noise of airplanes, a frightening, a terrifying droning.

It was impossible not to think about the tens of thousands of Gazan children who were hearing that sound at that moment, cringing with fright, paralyzed by fear, waiting for the bombs to fall.

What more can I say, lord.

Syahir said...

Selagi kepimpinan negara Arab yang ada sekarang masih menjadi talibarut Yahudi Zionis Freemason, selagi itu sukar untuk negara Islam di sana bangkit bersatu padu untuk melawan kuasa Zionis.

Hanya kuasa rakyat dapat merevolusikan kebangkitan Islam di mata dunia.

Dunia Islam kaya dengan khazanah dunia, namun yang mengusahakan pembangunannya ialah orang lain.

http://gunungraya.blogspot.com

Mika Angel-0 said...

First Published 2009-01-17

The Boss Has Gone Mad

Israel has imprinted on world consciousness a terrible image of itself. Billions of people have seen us as a blood-dripping monster. Hundreds of millions of Arabs around us will not only see the Hamas fighters as the heroes of the Arab nation, but they will also see their own regimes in their nakedness: cringing, ignominious, corrupt and treacherous, notes Uri Avnery.

169 years before the Gaza War, Heinrich Heine wrote a premonitory poem of 12 lines, under the title “To Edom”. The German-Jewish poet was talking about Germany, or perhaps all the nations of Christian Europe. This is what he wrote (in my rough translation):

“For a thousand years and more / We have had an understanding / You allow me to breathe / I accept your crazy raging // Sometimes, when the days get darker / Strange moods come upon you / Till you decorate your claws / With the lifeblood from my veins // Now our friendship is firmer / Getting stronger by the day / Since the raging started in me / Daily more and more like you.”

Zionism, which arose some 50 years after this was written, is fully realizing this prophesy. We Israelis have become a nation like all nations, and the memory of the Holocaust causes us, from time to time, to behave like the worst of them. Only a few of us know this poem, but Israel as a whole lives it out.

In this war, politicians and generals have repeatedly quoted the words: “The boss has gone mad!” originally shouted by vegetable vendors in the market, in the sense of “The boss has gone crazy and is selling the tomatoes at a loss!” But in the course of time the jest has turned into a deadly doctrine that often appears in Israeli public discourse: in order to deter our enemies, we must behave like madmen, go on the rampage, kill and destroy mercilessly.

In this war, this has become political and military dogma: only if we kill “them” disproportionately, killing a thousand of “them” for ten of “ours”, will they understand that it’s not worth it to mess with us. It will be “seared into their consciousness” (a favorite Israeli phrase these days). After this, they will think twice before launching another Qassam rocket against us, even in response to what we do, whatever that may be.

It is impossible to understand the viciousness of this war without taking into account the historical background: the feeling of victimhood after all that has been done to the Jews throughout the ages, and the conviction that after the Holocaust, we have the right to do anything, absolutely anything, to defend ourselves, without any inhibitions due to law or morality.

When the killing and destruction in Gaza were at their height, something happened in faraway America that was not connected with the war, but was very much connected with it. The Israeli film “Waltz with Bashir” was awarded a prestigious prize. The media reported it with much joy and pride, but somehow carefully managed not to mention the subject of the film. That by itself was an interesting phenomenon: saluting the success of a film while ignoring its contents.

The subject of this outstanding film is one of the darkest chapters in our history: the Sabra and Shatila massacre. In the course of Lebanon War I, a Christian Lebanese militia carried out, under the auspices of the Israeli army, a heinous massacre of hundreds of helpless Palestinian refugees who were trapped in their camp, men, women, children and old people. The film describes this atrocity with meticulous accuracy, including our part in it.

All this was not even mentioned in the news about the award. At the festive ceremony, the director of the film did not avail himself of the opportunity to protest against the events in Gaza. It is hard to say how many women and children were killed while this ceremony was going on – but it is clear that the massacre in Gaza is much worse than that 1982 event, which moved 400 thousand Israelis to leave their homes and hold a spontaneous mass protest in Tel-Aviv. This time, only 10 thousand stood up to be counted.

The official Israeli Board of Inquiry that investigated the Sabra massacre found that the Israeli government bore “indirect responsibility” for the atrocity. Several senior officials and officers were suspended. One of them was the division commander, Amos Yaron. Not one of the other accused, from the Minister of Defense, Ariel Sharon, to the Chief of Staff, Rafael Eitan, spoke a word of regret, but Yaron did express remorse in a speech to his officers, and admitted: “Our sensitivities have been blunted”.

Blunted sensitivities are very evident in the Gaza War.

Lebanon War I lasted for 18 years and more than 500 of our soldiers died. The planners of Lebanon War II decided to avoid such a long war and such heavy Israeli casualties. They invented the “mad boss” principle: demolishing whole neighborhoods, devastating areas, destroying infrastructures. In 33 days of war, some 1000 Lebanese, almost all of them civilians, were killed – a record already broken in this war by the 17th day. Yet in that war our army suffered casualties on the ground, and public opinion, which in the beginning supported the war with the same enthusiasm as this time, changed rapidly.

The smoke from Lebanon War II is hanging over the Gaza war. Everybody in Israel swore to learn its lessons. And the main lesson was: not to risk the life of even one single soldier. A war without casualties (on our side). The method: to use the overwhelming firepower of our army to pulverize everything standing in its way and to kill everybody moving in the area. To kill not only the fighters on the other side, but every human being who might possibly turn out to harbor hostile intentions, even if they are obviously an ambulance attendant, a driver in a food convoy or a doctor saving lives. To destroy every building from which our troops could conceivably be shot at – even a school full of refugees, the sick and the wounded. To bomb and shell whole neighborhoods, buildings, mosques, schools, UN food convoys, even ruins under which the injured are buried.

The media devoted several hours to the fall of a Qassam missile on a home in Ashkelon, in which three residents suffered from shock, and did not waste many words on the forty women and children killed in a UN school, from which “we were shot at” – an assertion that was quickly exposed as a blatant lie.

The firepower was also used to sow terror – shelling everything from a hospital to a vast UN food depot, from a press vantage point to the mosques. The standard pretext: “we were shot at from there”.

This would have been impossible, had not the whole country been infected with blunted sensitivities. People are no longer shocked by the sight of a mutilated baby, nor by children left for days with the corpse of their mother, because the army did not let them leave their ruined home. It seems that almost nobody cares anymore: not the soldiers, not the pilots, not the media people, not the politicians, not the generals. A moral insanity, whose primary exponent is Ehud Barak. Though even he may be upstaged by Tzipi Livni, who smiled while talking about the ghastly events.

Even Heinrich Heine could not have imagined that.

The last days were dominated by the “Obama effect”.

We are on board an airplane, and suddenly a huge black mountain appears out of the clouds. In the cockpit, panic breaks out: How to avoid a collision?

The planners of the war chose the timing with care: during the holidays, when everybody was on vacation, and while President Bush was still around. But they somehow forgot to take into consideration a fateful date: next Tuesday Barack Obama will enter the White House.

This date is now casting a huge shadow on events. The Israeli Barak understands that if the American Barack gets angry, that would mean disaster. Conclusion: the horrors of Gaza must stop before the inauguration. This week that determined all political and military decisions. Not “the number of rockets”, not “victory”, not “breaking Hamas”.

When there is a ceasefire, the first question will be: Who won?

In Israel, all the talk is about the “picture of victory” – not victory itself, but the “picture”. That is essential, in order to convince the Israeli public that the whole business has been worthwhile. At this moment, all the thousands of media people, to the very last one, have been mobilized to paint such a “picture”. The other side, of course, will paint a different one.

The Israeli leaders will boast of two “achievements”: the end of the rockets and the sealing of the Gaza-Egypt border (the co-called “Philadelphi route”. Dubious achievements: the launching of the Qassams could have been prevented without a murderous war, if our government had been ready to negotiate with Hamas after they won the Palestinian elections. The tunnels under the Egyptian border would not have been dug in the first place, if our government had not imposed the deadly blockade on the Strip.

But the main achievement of the war planners lies in the very barbarity of their plan: the atrocities will have, in their view, a deterrent effect that will hold for a long time.

Hamas, on the other side, will assert that their survival in the face of the mighty Israeli war machine, a tiny David against a giant Goliath, is by itself a huge victory. According to the classic military definition, the winner in a battle is the army that remains on the battlefield when it’s over. Hamas remains. The Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip still stands, in spite of all the efforts to eliminate it. That is a significant achievement.

Hamas will also point out that the Israeli army was not eager to enter the Palestinian towns, in which their fighters were entrenched. And indeed: the army told the government that the conquest of Gaza city could cost the lives of about 200 soldiers, and no politician was ready for that on the eve of elections.

The very fact that a guerrilla force of a few thousand lightly armed fighters held out for long weeks against one of the world’s mightiest armies with enormous firepower, will look to millions of Palestinians and other Arabs and Muslims, and not only to them, like an unqualified victory.

In the end, an agreement will be concluded that will include the obvious terms. No country can tolerate its inhabitants being exposed to rocket fire from beyond the border, and no population can tolerate a choking blockade. Therefore (1) Hamas will have to give up the launching of missiles, (2) Israel will have to open wide the crossings between the Gaza Strip and the outside world, and (3) the entry of arms into the Strip will be stopped (as far as possible), as demanded by Israel. All this could have happened without war, if our government had not boycotted Hamas.

However, the worst results of this war are still invisible and will make themselves felt only in years to come: Israel has imprinted on world consciousness a terrible image of itself. Billions of people have seen us as a blood-dripping monster. They will never again see Israel as a state that seeks justice, progress and peace. The American Declaration of Independence speaks with approval of “a decent respect to the opinions of mankind”. That is a wise principle.

Even worse is the impact on hundreds of millions of Arabs around us: not only will they see the Hamas fighters as the heroes of the Arab nation, but they will also see their own regimes in their nakedness: cringing, ignominious, corrupt and treacherous.

The Arab defeat in the 1948 war brought in its wake the fall of almost all the existing Arab regimes and the ascent of a new generation of nationalist leaders, exemplified by Gamal Abd-al-Nasser. The 2009 war may bring about the fall of the current crop of Arab regimes and the ascent of a new generation of leaders – Islamic fundamentalists who hate Israel and all the West..

In coming years it will become apparent that this war was sheer madness. The boss has indeed gone mad – in the original sense of the word.

Uri Avnery, an Israeli writer and peace activist, founded the Gush Shalom movement. He had served three terms as an MP at the Knesset. This article was published by Gush Shalom.