domingo, 4 de enero de 2009

Lecturas sobre Gaza

No soy en absoluto un entendido en estos asuntos; precisamente por ello es que he procurado informarme para hacerme una mejor opinión. Comparto con ustedes algunas lecturas, que espero también les resulten útiles.

¿Cómo leer los últimos acontecimientos? Es natural que una primera reacción sea la del horror frente a las muertes, y un pedido de alto al fuego. "Tiene que haber otro camino".

Pero ¿cuál? Responder esta pregunta implica responder una previa: ¿cómo llegamos a esto?

"There are a number of original sins that led to this moment. One was the fact that the Sharon government insisted on carrying out a unilateral disengagement from Gaza in 2005, instead of negotiating and handing over the keys to Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority. This enabled Hamas to claim that its policy of "resistance" forced Israel to leave the Strip, while Abbas's policy of negotiations had not produced results. The second was the fact that the Israeli government gave in to the Bush administration's insistence that Palestinian elections be held in January 2006, despite Israeli and Palestinian Authority reservations about the timing and possible outcome. The result was the Hamas victory. The third original sin is that after the elections, Israel and the international community did not try to engage the democratically elected Hamas government, even if there was no guarantee of success. And the final sin was the fact that Hamas carried out a coup against the PA in Gaza and played a game of chicken with Israel with the Qassam missiles".

The View From Tel Aviv By Hillel Schenker January 2, 2009

Otra parte de la explicación tenemos que encontrarla en el fracaso de las salidas negociadas propuestas por la comunidad internacional. Culpar a Israel es fácil, pero, ¿cuál es la alternativa?

"Israel's failure in Lebanon was maddeningly visible, but the failure of the international community to provide better solutions is no less problematic. Security Council resolutions were implemented poorly, and the international forces sent to execute them have failed to achieve their goals. ("[T]here will be no weapons without the consent of the government of Lebanon and no authority other than that of the government of Lebanon.") Similar international community failures led to Israel's decision to go to war against Hamas in Gaza. The Egyptians and other mediators have failed to persuade Hamas to end the shelling of Israel. Those assisting the Palestinian Authority failed to prevent Hamas from taking over Gaza; they also failed to provide a strategy to tame Hamas after the group took control and to help the authority resume power in the territory. Complaining about Israel's failures is easy; providing alternatives is more difficult (except for those who think that Israel should just get used to living under rocket fire)".

Can Israel Win the Gaza War?
It depends how you define success.
By Shmuel Rosner
Posted Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2008, at 4:02 PM ET

¿Cómo analizar y entender lo que sucede? En términos analíticos, el mejor punto de partida es dejar las consideraciones morales para el final, no partir de ellas, y estudiar la conducta de los actores desde el punto de vista de sus consecuencias (perspectiva realista que le dicen), teniendo en mente que el objetivo final es una paz duradera.

"But why speak about such things when we can hold up placards equating Jews with Nazis, emote over dead babies or talk tough about defending Israeli citizens? It was Shimon Peres, the Israeli President, who said that, far from there being no light at the end of the Middle East tunnel, there was indeed light. The trouble was that there was no tunnel. Bit by bit, inducement by bribe and ceasefire by restraint, we have to construct one.

If we are to do this then the friends of the Palestinians would be best advised to put pressure on Hamas never to launch another of its bloody rockets and to stop its death-laden rhetoric, and the friends of Israel well placed to cajole it into making a settlement seem worthwhile. All else is verbiage".

The TimesDecember 30, 2008 David Aaronovitch

Ver también:

"All those involved, and most of those following the bloodshed in Gaza from afar, are sure who is in the right and who is in the wrong. They know who the innocent victims are and who are the wicked perpetrators. These certainties are held equally firmly by those who will be demonstrating in solidarity with the Palestinians in London today and those who plan to stage similar shows of support for Israel later this month.

Both sides see the conflict in moral terms. For supporters of the Palestinians, it could not be clearer. Israel is committing a war crime, killing people in their hundreds, hammering a besieged population from the sky (and soon perhaps on the ground too), claiming to aim only at Hamas but inevitably striking those civilians who get in the way. Israel's cheerleaders are just as clear. Israel is the victim, hitting out now only belatedly and in self-defence. Its southern citizens have sat terrorised in bomb shelters, fearing the random rockets of Hamas, since 2005, longer than any society could tolerate without fighting back.

Both sides say they would have maintained the six-month ceasefire that had held - albeit imperfectly - until December 19 had the other side not broken it first. And who did break the deal first, Hamas with its rockets or Israel with its blockade? Both sides point at the other with equal vehemence, a Newtonian chain of claimed action and reaction that can stretch back to infinity. So perhaps a more useful exercise - especially for those who long for an eventual peace with both sides living side by side - is not to ask whether the current action is legitimate, but whether it is wise".

Jonathan Freedland The Guardian, Saturday 3 January 2009

La ofensiva israelí parece contraproducente aún para sus propios objetivos. Parece estarse ajustando a lo que Hamas quería que hiciera:

"But as bloody as the Israeli offensive has been, it comes largely as the result of a deeply cynical calculation on the part of Hamas. The Islamist group must have known that Israel would not tolerate the incessant cross-border rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip indefinitely. Since the six-month cease-fire between Hamas and Israel ended on Dec. 19, dozens of rockets once again began landing well inside Israel, killing one civilian last week and another, an Arab-Israeli, on Monday.

For weeks, the threats voiced by Israel had been clear and unmistakeable. Only last Wednesday, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert issued a stark warning to the Palestinians in an interview with an Arab TV channel: "Stop it" -- or Israel would respond with violence to the rocket launchers and their backers, was his message.

That, though, is exactly what Hamas seems to have been banking on. For Hamas, the gruesome television pictures that were beamed around the world following the Israeli air raids appear to have been part of the plan. They appear to have deliberately factored in the suffering of innocent victims when they refused to prolong their cease-fire with Israel. Ultimately, Hamas hopes the current escalation of violence will make the West take it seriously as a negotiating partner. Otherwise it wouldn't have provoked Israel and its mighty army. The Hamas leadership accepted the possibility that Palestinian civilians would be hurt in the Israeli counter-attack. The Hamas infrastructure is deliberately located in city districts where civilians live.

THE GAZA CONFLICT Hamas' Strategy of Escalation Pierre Heumann is the Middle East correspondent for the Swiss paper Weltwoche. Ulrike Putz is SPIEGEL ONLINE's Middle East correspondent.,1518,598656,00.html

"For different reasons, Hamas and Israel both gave up on the cease-fire, preferring instead to climb over corpses to reach their political goals. One side wants to resuscitate its public support by appearing to be a heroic resister, while the other, on the eve of elections, wants to show toughness to a public unhappy with the nuisance of the Qassam rockets.

The disproportionate and heavy-handed Israeli attacks on Gaza have been a bonanza for Hamas. The movement has renewed its standing in the Arab world, secured international favor further afield and succeeded in scuttling indirect Israeli-Syrian talks and direct Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. It has also greatly embarrassed Israel's strongest Arab neighbors, Egypt and Jordan. While it is not apparent how this violent confrontation will end, it is abundantly clear that the Islamic Hamas movement has been brought back from near political defeat while moderate Arab leaders have been forced to back away from their support for any reconciliation with Israel".

Has Israel Revived Hamas? By Daoud Kuttab Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"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 (...)

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 (...)

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".

Israel's Gigantic Blunder
Uri Avnery, who fought for Israel in its war of independence, is the leader of the Israeli peace group Gush Shalom.

Ver también:
Hamas is hoping for an IDF ground operation in Gaza
By Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz Correspondents

Olmert's Final Failure
By Jackson Diehl
Monday, December 29, 2008; Page A15

Es decir, los "duros" de ambos lados han impuesto sus lógicas, desplazando a los moderados. La guerra les conviene a ambos. La población en general es la que sufre.

¿Qué se viene? ¿Cuáles son las alternativas? Según The Times, Israel no tiene muchas opciones; para Grossman, Israel debe combinar una lógica de alto el fuego para negociar y reanudación de los ataques si las agresiones continúan:

From The Times
December 31, 2008
Analysis: the options now for Israel in Gaza

Fight Fire With a Cease-Fire
Published: December 30, 2008

En el mismo sentido:

On Tuesday evening, the Israeli PeaceNGO Forum, a coalition of over seventy groups that work for peace and coexistence, met in Tel Aviv to formulate its position--most appropriately, in the Society for a Beautiful Israel building next to the Yarkon River. It resolved to issue a three-point declaration:

1) to call for an immediate Israeli unilateral ceasefire, without regard to how Hamas reacts, in the spirit of an op-ed that was published in both Ha'aretz and the New York Times by leading Israeli author David Grossman (whose voice carries special moral authority because his youngest son was killed on the last, unnecessary day of the 2006 Lebanon War);

2) to declare that the killing of innocent civilians, on both sides, is a moral crime, and to identify with the suffering of the populations in Gaza and in the Israeli south;

3) to simultaneously call for a renewal of the peace process, based upon the Arab Peace Initiative, as the only alternative.

The View From Tel Aviv By Hillel Schenker
January 2, 2009

¿Negociar qué? ¿Cuál es la solución de fondo?

"But the fact that Olmert wants to negotiate, and that Abbas wants to negotiate, underscores the stubborn, maddening fact about the Israeli-Palestinian relationship: there is only one path to peace, and both sides know what it is—and yet neither side has been willing to take it. The violence, the bombings, the threats and counterthreats are all the more exhausting and senseless because they are, essentially, an elaborate delaying tactic. The broad contours of a peace were laid out eight years ago when President Bill Clinton brought the two sides together at Camp David and tried to broker a historic deal" (...) Any lasting agreement for peace will probably look something like this:

Article I: Territory
Ever since Israel blitzed the Arabs in 1967's Six Day War—taking the Sinai and Gaza from Egypt, the Golan Heights from Syria and the West Bank from Jordan—"land for peace" has been the guiding principle of any comprehensive deal. It remains the only option. Israel has already withdrawn from Gaza; it must now pull out of the vast majority of the West Bank. Palestinians will establish their homeland in these two swatches of land. In return, the Palestinians and other Arabs will formally renounce their claims on the Jewish state and recognize its right to exist. But there will have to be some adjustments to the pre-1967 borders. Israel and the Palestinians should swap equal amounts of land, allowing a majority of the roughly 270,000 Israeli settlers now residing in the largest of the West Bank settlement blocks to stay where they are while remaining under Israeli sovereignty. Israel in turn would give up a land corridor connecting Gaza to the West Bank and allowing for the free flow of people and commerce between the two. There is one additional challenge that did not exist when Clinton laid out his original proposal in 2000: the Israelis have erected a security barrier that puts a full 8 percent of the West Bank on their side of the fence. It has already changed the way Israelis think about the borders of their nation. "The security barrier is creating new conceptual and spatial contours in the Israeli imagination," says Daniel Levy, a former Israeli negotiator and now a senior fellow at both the Century and New America foundations. But for any deal to succeed, the barrier would have to be torn down or, at the very least, moved.

Article II: Security
Back in 2000, this was the most straightforward of the issues to be worked out. Both sides generally agreed that the new Palestinian state would have to be largely de-militarized. Palestinian forces would be allowed to maintain light arms to enforce domestic law and order but would not have an offensive capability that could in any way threaten Israel. The Palestinians would have sovereignty over their airspace, but it would be limited to civilian aviation. Yet the violence of the last eight years—not only between Palestinians and Israelis but also between Fatah and Hamas forces—complicates the security equation. The Israelis are now more skeptical that Fatah is strong enough to assume responsibility for security. A more feasible approach would be to put a NATO-based international force in the West Bank that would later transfer control to the Palestinians. Obama might well go for this; his designated national-security adviser, retired Gen. James Jones, developed the idea while serving as Condoleezza Rice's envoy for Palestinian-Israeli security issues. As far as Israeli forces are concerned, they would be able to withdraw from the strategically important Jordan Valley over a longer period of time, perhaps three years. Israel would be allowed to maintain a number of warning stations on Palestinian territory. Finally, Israel would allow the Palestinians to have sovereignty over their borders and international crossing points. But these borders and crossing points should be monitored by an international presence.

Article III: Jerusalem
The sacred "City of Peace" is at the very heart of the 100-year conflict: how to divvy up rights to a holy place with too much history and not enough geography. In 2000, Clinton's deft diplomatic skills helped demystify Jerusalem. He asked Israeli and Palestinian mediators to come up with a list of 60 basic municipal responsibilities they could share, from garbage collection to mail delivery. There was remarkable consensus. By moving the conversation from the sacred to the mundane, the exercise isolated the practical issues of running a city from the abstract and emotionally fraught issue of sovereignty. Clinton's seductively simple notion was this: in occupied East Jerusalem, he said, "What is Arab should be Palestinian and what is Jewish should be Israeli." This is just as relevant today. So is the principle from Camp David that Jerusalem must be divided—but shared, and it must serve as a capital to both states.

One of Clinton's solutions will likely have to be dialed back. His concept of split-level sovereignty for the holiest parts of Jerusalem are too incendiary. Jews know the area as the Temple Mount, the site where the ancient temple once stood. It is revered by Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif, the place where Muhammad ascended to heaven on a white steed. Clinton proposed Palestinian sovereignty over the Haram and Israeli sovereignty over the entire Western Wall, part of which runs beneath the Muslim quarter of the Old City. Today, it is very unlikely that either side would accept such a division. But there are other creative solutions. One is a proposal in a new book by Martin Indyk, Clinton's ambassador to Israel at the time of the 2000 summit. Indyk recommends that the Old City be placed under a so-called "special regime," with Israeli and Palestinian governments sharing sovereignty over the territory. But the religious sites inside the Old City walls would remain under the control of the respective Muslim, Jewish and Christian religious authorities without any actual designation of sovereignty. Alternatively, Indyk suggests, the entire Holy Basin—the Old City and religious sites—could be placed under international supervision, with religious authorities controlling their holy places.

Article IV: Refugees
This may be the most difficult problem to solve. What will become of the Palestinians who fled or were forced from their territory in 1948, and their descendants? There are as many as 4 million refugees living in camps on the West Bank and Gaza and in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. They are poor, stateless and angry. For half a century they have waited, believing that one day they will return to their homes. Throughout the years of negotiations, Palestinians have demanded a "right of return." But to Israelis, the notion implies an admission that they are responsible for the refugee crisis and the historical injustices leveled against the Palestinians. Israelis, offended at the suggestion that their country was born in sin, have drawn a clear line.

Israeli leaders have been willing to accept a partial solution: some refugees living in the camps would make homes in the newly established state of Palestine. A small, symbolic number would be permitted to move to Israel. For this to work, refugees living in camps in Syria and other foreign states would have to be allowed to stay if they chose, and be granted citizenship in their adopted countries—the Arab host countries could not demand that all of the refugees return to Palestine, where they would overwhelm the budding state. And the refugees must be granted a window of time—perhaps three to five years—to petition international courts for compensation for what they have lost, perhaps as part of a massive regional redevelopment plan.

But how to salve the wounds of Palestinian grievance? One intriguing solution is offered by writer Walter Russell Mead in an essay in the current issue of Foreign Affairs. Mead argues that though Israel must take some responsibility for the Palestinian tragedy, the entire nakba, or catastrophe, "cannot simply be laid at Israel's door." Israel must acknowledge its part in the events of 1948, but the international community must take "ultimate responsibility" for the 60-year-old crisis. In this way, the world would acknowledge that the Palestinians have indeed suffered a historic injustice, but obviate the need for Israel to bear full responsibility. "This is a way to confer dignity on the Palestinian people," says Levy—a crucial step toward securing an elusive peace.

A Plan of Attack For Peace
With Gaza in flames, the prospects for a Middle East deal seem minuscule. But there is a way out, and both sides know what they must do.
By Daniel Klaidman NEWSWEEK
Published Jan 3, 2009

Ver también:

The New Republic
Why Gaza Matters, by Yossi Klein Halevi
How the fighting in Gaza will affect Israeli politics, Iranian nuks, moderate Arabs, and the future of the two-state solution.
Post Date Monday, December 29, 2008

Arab leaders face Gaza test
By Anita Rice

Israel's fait accompli in Gaza
By Eric S. Margolis

Israel's failure to learn
By Nir Rosen

El conflicto de Oriente Próximo Gaza y el Año Nuevo Carta abierta del director de orquesta hispanoargentino Daniel Barenboim ante los bombardeos de Israel en Gaza DANIEL BARENBOIM 31/12/2008