Archive for the 'Interview' Category

The Enigma that was Shimon Peres

Richard Falk
Global Justice in the 21st Century

Qana massacre, Lebanon, April 18, 1996

Qana massacre, Lebanon, April 18, 1996

Responses to Interview Questions from Rodrigo Craveiro of Correio Braziliense, Brasilia re Shimon Peres

Prefatory Note
The text that follows is derived from an interview yesterday with an important Brazilian newspaper. I have retained the questions posed by the journalist, but expanded and reframed my responses. The death of Shimon Peres is the last surviving member of Israel’s founding figures, and in many ways a fascinating political personality, generating wildly contradictory appraisals. My own experience of the man was direct, although rather superficial, but it did give me greater confidence to trust my reservations about his impact and influence, which collides with the adulation that he has inspired among American liberals, in particular

1) What is the main legacy of president Shimon Peres, in your point of view?

Shimon Peres leaves behind a legacy of a long public life of commitment to making Israel a success story, economically, politically, diplomatically, and even psychologically. He is being celebrated around the world for his intelligence, perseverance, and in recent decades for his public advocacy of a realistic peace with the Palestinians. I believe he lived an impressive and significant life, but one that was also flawed in many ways. He does not deserve, in my opinion, the unconditional admiration he is receiving, especially from the high and mighty in Europe and North America. Underneath his idealistic rhetoric was a tough-minded and mainstream commitment to Zionist goals coupled with an expectation that the Palestinians, if sensible, would submit graciously to this reality, and if not, deservedly suffer the consequences of abuse and harm. He was never, contrary to his image, a supporter of an idealistic peace based on recognizing the equality of the Palestinian people, acknowledging the wrongs of the nakba and the Palestinian ordeal that followed, and in creating a sustainable peace that included realizing Palestinian rights as defined by international law.

2) Do you believe Peres was ever close to obtaining a definitive peace deal with Palestinians? What did it get wrong?

In my view, Peres never even wanted to reach a sustainable peace agreement with the Palestinians, but he fooled many people, including the committee in Oslo that selects the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. He was unyielding in his refusal to grant Palestinians dispossessed in 1948 any right of return. Read more »

Israel-Turkey’s “diplomatic victory” leads to incremental genocide: Pepe Escobar

Khamenei.ir
Interview

Whatever deal has been struck still leaves Palestine under a horrendous, medieval siege. Israeli historian Ilan Pappe was not far off the mark when he qualified it as “incremental genocide.” It’s like this was a post-modern normalization of relations with apartheid South Africa.”

Pepe Escobar

Pepe Escobar

In an exclusive interview with the English section of Khamenei.ir, independent geopolitical analyst Pepe Escobar sheds light on Turkey-Israel relations and the issue of Palestine.

The following is the full text of the interview:

What’s behind the new deal between Turkey and Israel?

P.E. – It’s all about gas, gas, gas. Netanyahu himself said on the record that the deal with Turkey is essential to unblock further, immensely profitable eastern Mediterranean gas deals. And here we get to the heart of the matter – the “secret” of the Israeli maritime blockade on Gaza. Palestinians are not allowed to access their own territorial waters because Israeli drilling platforms and export pipelines must be “protected” – even by Iron Dome missile interceptors (protected from what? Palestinian fishermen with “dangerous” fishing nets?)

Palestinians cannot even develop their own gas fields in Gaza’s territorial waters. Land grab meets water grab. Read more »

Barakat: Heinous crime in Paris is the responsibility of imperialism, colonialism and reactionary forces

Article
PFLP

paris-350x175 (400 x 200)

Responsibility for the heinous massacre that took place in Paris last night, claiming the lives of at least 120 innocent people, lies primarily with colonialism, imperialism, and the murderous criminal takfiri forces, and particularly with the United States, the French state and their reactionary tools in the region, said Comrade Khaled Barakat, coordinator of the international Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat.

In an interview with the PFLP information department, Barakat said that “the fascist right wing and the Zionist enemy are the sole beneficiaries of this heinous crime, which is a net profit for them. Arabs, and in particular Palestinians, are and will pay the price of both the attacks that took place in Bourj al-Barajneh in south Beirut against innocent people, and those in Paris, also against civilians.” Barakat pointed to “a wave of racism that some are trying to incite in Lebanon against our Palestinian people, which is even more severe in colonial France, where we are witnessing rising waves of racism and hatred against migrants, refugees and poor citizens, particularly Arabs and Africans in Europe.”

Barakat pointed out that “France’s bloody colonial history in Algeria, Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere in the Arab world is still fresh in the Arab popular memory, while France continues to this day to support the racist Zionist state and the reactionary Arab regimes with arms supplies and deals. The French state is hostile to the right of the Palestinian and Arab peoples to self-determination and liberation, while inside France, multiple forms of racism and oppression are practiced against poor and working-class Arabs and Muslims. All of these factors weaken Arab solidarity and can distort the image of the reality of this crime.” Read more »

Khaled: Emergency session of the Palestinian National Council is act of sabotage against Palestinian movement

Interview
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

Leila Khaled, member of the Political Bureau of the PFLP

Leila Khaled, member of the Political Bureau of the PFLP

The attempt of the monopolistic Palestinian leadership to convene an emergency session of the Palestinian National Council is an act of sabotage to the Palestinian house and utter disregard for Palestinian institutions and politics, said Comrade Leila Khaled, member of the Political Bureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, saying that such a decision must have a national consensus.

In an interview, Khaled denounced the tactics used to convene the emergency session of the PNC, noting that they were transparent: “How can Mahmoud Abbas submit his resignation in the Executive Committee meeting and ask others to resign, solely in order to create a justification to hold an emergency session of the Palestine National Council?”

“The Palestinian National Council should be convened on a regular basis. But why at this time after so many years? There have been significant events, including three wars on Gaza. The Judaization of Jerusalem is in full swing, the occupier is constructing more colonies every day on Palestinian land, the occupation is burning children and their parents as they sleep, as in the case of the child Dawabsheh and his family and the martyr Mohammed Abu Khudair, and the arrests of our people continue. And yet, we have heard nothing, and now, the Executive Committee is calling for the National Council” without reference to any of this, said Khaled. Read more »

Interview with Khaled Barakat: Palestinian struggle, unity and liberation

The following interview was translated from the original Arabic by the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat:

Khaled Barakat, international coordinator of the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat

Khaled Barakat, international coordinator of the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat

The Central Information Department of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine conducted this comprehensive political interview with the writer, Comrade Khaled Barakat, coordinator of the international Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat. The interview addressed a number of issues, including the current situation of the Palestinian political struggle and developments in Palestine and in the Palestinian diaspora. Today, we publish the first part of the interview with Comrade Khaled Barakat:

Q1. There is a heightened state of tension in the occupied West Bank and throughout the homeland after the burning and martyrdom of the Palestinian baby Ali Dawabsheh (18 months). We see continuous Israeli crimes, but also continuing political and security meetings between the Palestinian Authority and the enemy, the most recent being that between Saeb Erekat and Silvan Shalom in Amman. How should we assess the enemy’s behavior both politically and on the ground, and the performance of the PA leadership? What is required of the Palestinian national forces?

A: What is needed today Is what was needed yesterday: to leave aside the fragmentation and tampering with the Palestinian cause and work immediately to achieve operational and political unity on the ground to confront the enemy and thwart its plans and policies. The crime of the burning of the child martyr Ali Dawabsheh at dawn on 31 July was preceded by the assassination of the martyr Mohammed Abu Latifa in Qalandia refugee camp and the near-daily bombing of the Gaza Strip targeting fishers and farmers, the imposition of collective punishment on prisoners, the storming of Muslim and Christian holy sites, particularly the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and other crimes, reaching Lebanon and Syria. This reflects the nature of these crimes, inherent in the nature of the Zionist enemy as a settler colonial invader. This entity, this state can only be and always has been, a criminal and a murderer. And it requires a united political response to live up to the level of the sacrifices of our people.

And I say that knowing that the PLO and Palestinian Authority leadership has sought to exploit such events not to fight for our people but to improve their negotiating position and maintain their privileges. Particularly, the Fateh movement must bear its national responsibility and not trade on the national struggle and its historic role. Popular armed resistance alone has the potential to defeat the occupation and the settlers, not anything else.

The protection of Palestinian land and holy sites and the advancement of Palestinian rights advocated by Palestinian factions in separate statements requires first the unity of all patriotic forces to uphold their responsibility and duty. Confronting the occupation and the crimes of the settler colonists and responding to them must be part of a plan of action and a unified strategy. Read more »