April 2nd, 2006

Chris Keeley

Ismail Haniyeh: "A Just Peace or No Peace" (GUARDIAN)

TO: Distinguished Recipients
FM: John Whitbeck

Transmitted below is an eminently sensible article by Ismail Haniyeh,
the new Palestinian prime minister, published yesterday in the GUARDIAN.

*A just peace or no peace  *

/Israeli unilateralism is a recipe for conflict - as is the west's
racist refusal to treat Palestinians as equals  /

Ismail Haniyeh
Friday March 31, 2006
The Guardian

Do policymakers in Washington and Europe ever feel ashamed of their
scandalous double standards? Before and since the Palestinian elections
in January, they have continually insisted that Hamas comply with
certain demands. They want us to recognise Israel, call off our
resistance, and commit ourselves to whatever deals Israel and the
Palestinian leadership reached in the past.

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Chris Keeley

election results - final version


I am sending this article again, after adding some more

I was asked why Likud is in fourth place, in spite of
having gained the same number of seats as Shass.

According to our law and usage, if two factions gain the
same number of seats, priority is given to the one that got
more votes. Shass got 17,117  more votes than the Likud.

Curiously enough, Lieberman's fascist party, which got only
175 votes less than the Likud, received one seat less.

Salamaat, Shalom,


Uri Avnery

            What the Hell has happened?

THE MOST dramatic and the most boring election campaign in our history has mercifully come to an end. Israel looks in the mirror and asks itself: What the hell has happened?

On the way to the ballot box, in the center of Tel-Aviv, I could not detect the slightest sign that this was election day. Generally, elections in Israel are a passionate affair. Posters everywhere, thousands of slogan-covered cars rushing around ferrying voters to the ballot stations, a lot of noise.

This time - nothing. An eerie silence. Less than two thirds of the registered citizens did actually take the trouble to vote. Politicians of all stripes are detested, democracy despised among the young, whole sectors estranged. Those who decided not to vote, but at the last moment relented, voted for the Pensioners' List, which jumped from nothing to an astonishing seven seats.

This was a real protest vote. Even young people told themselves: Instead of throwing our vote away, let's do them a favor. Old people, sick people (including the terminally ill), handicapped people and the entire health and education systems were the victims of the Thatcherite economic policies of Netanyahu, backed by Sharon, which Shimon Peres (of all people) called "swinish".
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Chris Keeley

Paul Findley's latest

A friend called my attention to this latest statement by Paul Findley,
who speaks with some authority about the clout of the Israel lobby.
Since none of you has already sent it to me, perhaps some of you haven't
noticed it yet. It would not be surprising, since this voice of reason
is being all but drowned out by the hubbub of all the Israel lobby
flacks protesting the Mearsheimer-Walt paper.


/Published on Sunday, March 26, 2006 by CommonDreams.org/
*United States Must Address Control of its Middle East Policies by
Israeli Lobby*
*by Paul Findley*

Because of the gross, longstanding bias in U.S. policy in the Middle
East, the world teeters on the precipice of widening conflict focused on
religion-- sadly, unnecessarily, dangerously. Christendom versus Islam.

Despite the efforts of many brave people to bring about just reform, the
bias continues—more flagrant and costly each year. America ignores this
injustice because misdirected, religion-based passions at home override
even vital national interests.

Our bias is created and sustained by extreme elements of both
Christianity and Judaism. Both have a deep-seated, passionate attachment
to the State of Israel, no matter how outrageous its behavior becomes.
Both are represented powerfully in Washington. Together, they burden our
country year after year with an Israel-centric foreign policy that has
led America into a deep abyss.
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Chris Keeley

Kevin Phillips on Today's Republican Party--WashPost 4-2-06

*How the GOP Became God's Own Party*

By Kevin Phillips
Sunday, April 2, 2006; B03

Now that the GOP has been transformed by the rise of the South, the
trauma of terrorism and George W. Bush's conviction that God wanted him
to be president, a deeper conclusion can be drawn: The Republican Party
has become the first religious party in U.S. history.

We have had small-scale theocracies in North America before -- in
Puritan New England and later in Mormon Utah. Today, a leading power
such as the United States approaches theocracy when it meets the
conditions currently on display: an elected leader who believes himself
to speak for the Almighty, a ruling political party that represents
religious true believers, the certainty of many Republican voters that
government should be guided by religion and, on top of it all, a White
House that adopts agendas seemingly animated by biblical worldviews.

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