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Will the Opening of Rafah Signal the Start of Cast Lead II?M. Dennis Paul, Ph.D. Salem-News.com
The very real intention of Hamas and Fatah to forge a workable government and present themselves to the UN with a plea for Palestinian recognition.
(WINDSOR, N.H.) - Last minute spin is in on the opening of the gates of Rafah (announced by the “new” Egyptian government to begin in a few hours) as a humanitarian effort to allow a greater flow of goods into Gaza for rebuilding and improving the daily lot of Palestinians who have suffered decades of assault, destruction, deprivation and harassment by a hostile and ruthless Israel.
The promise of such an opening in this long closed border also implies less restrictive passage of humans in and out of Gaza and hopefully increased trade resulting in some measure of economic stimulus in a nation that daily witnesses destruction of its crops, sea chases and strafing of its family fishing vessels and bombardment of most any attempt at building or rebuilding factories and shops.
Media reports suggest that this gesture from Egypt is a carrot to Hamas to support a new Unity government and is part of a larger, though not readily defined, package of incentives the new regime has promised since the fall of Hosni Mubarak last February. Apparently, as perhaps some concession to concerns from the US or surrounding governments, Egypt imposed an age restriction for Palestinians wishing to cross the border. These individuals (Including members from Hamas) who are between 18 and 40 will need to obtain visas issued by Egyptian officials.
The border crossing will, it has been stated, be open six days per week with very reasonable hours. This writer has heard a few variations on actual days and times, however, the operating hours of the crossing will afford a greatly enhanced opportunity for Palestinians to tend to family, medical, school, and other needs long withheld or disrupted by Egypt during the period it worked in concert with Israel to blockade the occupied lands.
Israel and several of its dwindling supporters have, over the past week, decried this border opening as a further effort to undermine the safety and security of Israel, claiming the passage of “terrorists” and armaments will increase dramatically. Passage, of those described as smugglers and terrorists, has largely occurred uninterrupted through the network of tunnels running between the borders. Egyptian authorities have attempted to assure Israel that it is not breaking its treaties with Israel, as some have claimed, and will be diligent in disrupting any attempted flow of weapons and “dangerous” people.
Israel officials and writers for various news outlets have postured that there is no good reason for Egypt to enhance the border crossings as they contend Israel, after much criticism in the past and more in the past year since the deadly assault of the Mavi Marmara, has worked tirelessly to increase the flow of goods through its crossings. Facts, however, do not bear out this worn assertion.
Comments and commentary emanating from Israel supporters of the blockade claim that Egypt has now become a part of the world seeking to “de-legitimize” Israel and foment rebellion by the Palestinians. While some within the Israeli government (Home Front Defence Minister Matan Vilnai, for one) have agreed that Egypt is not violating treaties, others infer the principles of security supported by Mubarak have been consciously abandoned by the new Egyptian regime that is clearly aligning itself with Hamas.
One VP, Silvaen Shalom most recently claimed, on air, that the border opening is both a dangerous development that would likely lead to enhanced weapon smuggling and an invitation through an open door to Al-Qaida. The use of “Al Qaida” has become the easiest buzz word to toss in any speech or commentary on the Middle East with those tossing fully expecting it to bring shudders to listeners.
On the opposite end, statements are offered suggesting the border opening will decrease international criticism of Israel and perhaps entice Israel to end its naval blockade. That blockade is facing a monumental challenge in a few weeks time as Freedom Flotilla II-Stay Human heads toward Gaza.
Examining the recent “stardom” of Bibi, who received greater salutation and courtesy from the US Congress and, obviously, AIPAC, than he receives from his own party, the perception that Netanyahu once again stood up to President Obama and trampled his veiled demands for Israel in forging ahead with “Peace” talks and the procurement of more support from the US in purchasing additional “Dome” defense weaponry one would think he would be riding high and feeling exceptionally mighty.
The initial buzz he felt rapidly began to wear off, however. A persistent aid ship continues efforts to unload its supplies in Gaza despite having been both chased and strafed. A considerably larger flotilla of ships who will attempt this same humanitarian effort is rapidly approaching.
Endless criticisms from within his own government are gaining greater press. The BDS (Movement for Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions against Israel) has grown significantly and is causing headache for Bibi through increased trade group pressure. Dramatically increased internet coverage of Israel's atrocities and illegal activities.. and even the disturbingly sick exploits of recent officials are contributing to increased distrust of, and resistance to, Israel.
Even with regard to the shameful displays by Congress and the blatantly hypocritical and often bizarre speeches by both Bibi and Obama, media backlash and criticisms have taken a lead over the front page splash of the dinosaur media. The loss of Mubarak and the other changing platforms throughout the Middle East/Africa all have a staggering effect on any strategies Israel has employed or had in the works.
The very real intention of Hamas and Fatah to forge a workable government and present themselves to the UN with a plea for Palestinian recognition has both he and Obama in a tailspin forcing them to stumble all over themselves in attempting to halt the process. The very recent snub Netanyahu received from Europe in attempting to stop the blockade. The damaging and very telling trial against IDF over the death of Rachel Corrie and the various other suits and actions being undertaken on behalf of those murdered on the Mavi Marmara and elsewhere coupled with the seeking of International Arrest Warrants for a number of Israeli officials charging them with war crimes.
Moves to force Israel into signing international nuclear treaties. The increasing numbers of service resisters in Israel damning the IDF and increasing numbers of pro-Palestine Jews around the world. And despite ridiculous attempts to spin the Goldstone report after Goldstone's media burp, the report is left to damn Israel for war crimes.
And BIG buzz kill... Egyptian military authorities warn Bibi to back away from any attempt to influence reversing the border opening at Rafah, telling him it is an internal decision and not one he carries any weight in exploiting... and Fatah and Hamas scoffing at his threats over refusing to negotiate, showing him by action (stepping over him to the doors of the UN) that they aren't interested in the farce he continues to offer as “negotiation”. Bibi, riding so high from his sociopathic power speeches, gets slapped hard by an interim regime and a newly forming one, and his stranglehold over 1.6 million Gazans begins to crumble.
Just looking at the issues facing Bibi and his buddies printed on this page, and knowing it is incomplete, impresses as to the depth and expanse of webs the typical sociopath weaves in the course of his/her life.
One has to, in some measure, admire the strength it must take to deny responsibility for any portion of ones' construct while carrying it all on one's shoulders... to portray oneself as a hero while the world begins to see one as the morally bankrupt megalomaniac one truly is... and, finally, to continue punching the air long after the final bell has rung and your opponent has left the ring. It is an aesthetically intriguing manifestation of insanity and I suspect the persona of Benyamin Netanyahu will garner considerable research and colorful exposure in the coming years.
There is a breaking point for every performer attempting to portray an emotionally secure character day after day, and year after year. Right at this moment, the stage truly belongs to Bibi. It is so very difficult to believe he will softly and gracefully bow as the lights begin to dim... and they are beginning to dim.
Raise your hands, after looking at the list of ego challenging conflicts requiring genuine humanitarian introspection on his part, if you believe... truly believe that he will allow the border opening to exist and will not strike those he can only, through his persona, perceive as his dragons to be slayed. Within hours, the curtain will rise.....ACTION!!!
M. Dennis Paul, Ph.D. is a Counselor and Conflict Resolution Specialist/Consultant (Mediation/Arbitration/Facilitation) (20+ yrs).
He is the Creator of Thought Addiction programs (Lectures Seminars & Workshops) (Intensive 21 day Addiction Recovery Programs designed for Artists, Actors, Musicians & Industry Leaders) residing in New Hampshire (US). (The Website for M. Dennis Paul, Ph.D. is currently under reconstruction) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 1-603-478-1544
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