Thursday, January 15, 2009


Hillary=Albright: the price is worth it

by Larry Geller

Israel’s ongoing massacre of Palestinians, including children of all ages, is supported by the US. Incoming Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seems to think that more children should die because Hamas won’t “recognize the state of Israel. From a Democracy Now interview with Rabbi Michael Lerner today::

So we’re demanding an immediate ceasefire, but we’re also asking for President Obama to take an immediate leadership in convening an international conference, because the direction that was laid out by Senator Clinton yesterday, that she said Obama and she agreed on, which would call for—would say that there are no negotiations with Hamas until Hamas recognizes the state of Israel, which, of course, is not going to happen.

Here’s Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s remark during Hillary Clinton’s husband’s presidency:

Lesley Stahl on U.S. sanctions against Iraq: We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: I think this is a very hard choice, but the price--we think the price is worth it.

—60 Minutes (5/12/96)

If Obama truly supports the massacre of innocent civilians, it will be the final deflating of the hope balloon that his campaign represented to the American people. So far, through Hillary and through his lack of condemnation of the massacre, he also appears to think that “the price is worth it.”

In fact, Hamas cannot recognize Israel.

What matters is official recognition, which can only be done by a sovereign state.  Hamas can no more "recognize" Israel than Likud can recognize Spain.  And, in the case of Israel, what is to be recognized?  Israel refuses to declare its official borders.

This is from an article in the Monthly Review Zine, Hamas: What It Is, What It Wants, and What Israel Makes of It, (1/12/09).

Israel contends that the need to defeat Hamas is the core issue motivating its current air attacks.  This claim is especially difficult for Americans to evaluate.  The US media routinely echo official Israeli demonization of the objectives and actions of Hamas.

Understanding Hamas's history and current position on the key issues is essential to appreciating what is really at stake in the escalating crisis in Israel and Palestine.

I recommend the article to you. Certainly, with US newspapers downplaying the conflict and Israel’s role in the genocide (what else can one call the targeted killing of children?), you’ll have to look outside your daily paper for information you need to evaluate this crisis.

(Hint: the Advertiser hid a wimpy story on Gaza on p. A8, if you’ve been hunting for it).

(Bill) Clinton’s policy with regard to Hamas backfired badly. From the same article:

In 1992 Israel expelled hundreds of Hamas members.  Very few were accused of violent crimes.  The UN Security Council unanimously declared the expulsions a violation of international law and called for the return of the exiles.  But the incoming Clinton administration blocked the enforcement of the resolution.  The result was that the exiles became heroes, and Hamas's reputation and political strength among Palestinians grew significantly.

It should be self-evident that Hamas’ strength is largely due to misguided and criminal Israeli and US policy with regard to Palestine. The current action in Gaza could strengthen, rather than weaken, Hamas. That’s in no one’s best interest.

Hillary’s policy is backfiring even before she assumes her position. The world is angry at Israel and the US together. Supporting the killing of innocent civilians including children will not endear her to the world leaders she will have to deal with.

Europeans can read about the conflict in their newspapers of course, and they are taking action. A US shipment of arms to Gaza was blocked in Greece due to popular opposition. There is nothing Hillary would be able to do, were she already Secretary of State, to make the US support of Israel “kosher” to the rest of the world:

The U.S. military said on Monday it cancelled the shipment of 325 containers of ammunition from the western Greek port of Astakos to a U.S. stockpile in Israel, citing safety concerns at the Israeli port of destination due to the conflict in Gaza.

However, a Pentagon spokesman said on Tuesday the transport had been cancelled at the request of the Greek government. Reports of the shipment had provoked a media outcry in Greece, where Israel's 18-day-old offensive in Gaza is deeply unpopular. [Reuters, Greek govt under fire over U.S. arms to Israel,1/13/2009]

Of course, the US will find another way to supply Israel.

Please read the MR Zine article on Hamas. If you are ready for more news from inside Gaza, Democracy Now has an interview with a doctor still living inside Gaza (Israel Pounds Gaza: Shells Crowded Hospital, UN Compound and Building Housing Media Organizations).

You can also go to the website Electronic Intifada, a popular blog with inside news, but I recommend sitting down, there are a few pictures that you have not, of course, seen in your local newspaper.

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