For Immediate Release


Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Context for Gaza

Hedges just wrote the piece "Lost in the Rubble," which, among other things, recounts his meeting with Nizar Rayan, who Israel killed in a targeted assassination on Thursday. Author of several books, Hedges covered the Mideast for the New York Times for seven years.

AbuKhalil is author of several books on the Mideast including The Battle for Saudi Arabia: Royalty, Fundamentalism, and Global Power. He said today: "This is probably the first open war on the Palestinian people launched with the direct participation and cooperation between Israel and Arab regimes. The turmoil in Arab countries from North Africa to the Gulf may destabilize those same regimes that the U.S. has been trying to shore up against the wishes of their people."

AbuKhalil is a professor in the department of politics at California State University, Stanislaus. He edits the "Angry Arab News Service" blog.


Avnery is founder of Gush-Shalom, the Israeli "Peace Bloc." He recently wrote the piece "How Israel is Multiplying Hamas by a Thousand: Molten Lead in Gaza," which states: "The ceasefire did not collapse, because there was no real cease-fire to start with. The main requirement for any cease-fire in the Gaza Strip must be the opening of the border crossings. There can be no life in Gaza without a steady flow of supplies. But the crossings were not opened, except for a few hours now and again. The blockade on land, on sea and in the air against a million and a half human beings is an act of war, as much as any dropping of bombs or launching of rockets. It paralyzes life in the Gaza Strip: eliminating most sources of employment, pushing hundreds of thousands to the brink of starvation, stopping most hospitals from functioning, disrupting the supply of electricity and water. ...

"It was the Israeli government which set up Hamas to start with. When I once asked a former Shin-Bet chief, Yaakov Peri, about it, he answered enigmatically: 'We did not create it, but we did not hinder its creation.' ...

"Abbas was not allowed the slightest political achievement. The negotiations, under American auspices, became a joke. The most authentic Fatah leader, Marwan Barghouti, was sent to prison for life."


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