Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search


Remi Kanazi: Ready, Aim, Cease-fire

Ready, Aim, Cease-fire

By Remi Kanazi

The people of Gaza are living under occupation. The prison quarters diminished as Israel implemented “no-go” areas in the northern Gaza Strip and took military control. Israel remains firmly in control of the airspace as well as the sea and all borders except the European Union monitored Rafah border, which according to Israel can be shut down at any time. All the while, human rights reports come and go, asserting that the harsh conditions of “post disengagement” are worsening rather than improving. Poverty, malnutrition, and unemployment are on the rise, while new “peaceniks” like Ehud Olmert are ushered into the Kadima party on feathered pillows to bring Israel to new heights.

Unlike unruly prisoners that are thrown into isolation, the 1.4 million jail birds living in Gaza are collectively punished. The “promised” bombardment of Gaza began the last week of December, striking a Fatah office and ten roads. But it’s ok because Israeli forces dropped leaflets, in Arabic and English, to warn Gazans that “Israel is on the attack.” I’m sure Gazans needn’t a leaflet explaining the capabilities of Israel—most could just stand chest deep in the craters made by the Israeli air strikes. Israel paid no mind to the fact that militants could fire rockets from any road in the Gaza Strip, while the roads that Israeli forces hit were used by Palestinians to reach schools, hospitals and work.

Given these “new realities,” I am patiently waiting for words of condemnation from the European Union’s Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana. It seems those in the EU “struggling for peace,” have put issues concerning Palestinian human rights on the back burner. The US administration has been more forthright, recognizing Israel’s “right” to strike the Occupied Territories, but conveniently leaves out the Palestinian right to live free from occupation.

The cycle of violence continues. On December 28, a suicide bomber blew himself up at a checkpoint in the West Bank. Islamic Jihad took responsibilities for attack. While this event was tragic, it was all too predictable. As the siege on Palestinian cities continue the will for attacks on Israel rise. Violence begets violence—but I’m sure the occupying “democracy” has enough analysts and military professionals telling them how the cycle works.

So where do we go from here? Israel should immediately implement a plan to de-escalate the violence. The Israeli government must come out against the plans of a buffer zone and stop the massive aerial and artillery campaign against Gaza. Through intermediaries, Israel must call for the principles of the Sharm Al Sheik cease-fire to be adhered to by Islamic Jihad as well as a resigning of the cease-fire by all other militant groups, to stop potential suicide bombings and rocket attacks. In return Israeli forces must stop extrajudicially assassinating Islamic Jihad members and leaders in the Occupied Territories, as well as attacks against other militant groups. Furthermore, the bus convoys scheduled for January 15 should continue as planned, while Gazans move closer toward autonomy via uninterrupted trade, open borders and a cessation of Israeli attacks. It is crucial that the January parliamentary elections run smoothly and include occupied East Jerusalem.

If Israel truly wants peace there will be no problem to implement these first steps. The success in militarily containing Hamas since the signing of Sharm Al Sheik should be reason enough. Israel’s Shin Bet found Hamas directly responsible for only one Israeli death in 2005 and credited the cease-fire for the large overall drop in violence.

This is the right direction for Palestinian people living under occupation and daily Israeli aggression, and the right direction for Israelis who fear suicide bombings and rocket fire. The will of the Palestinian people has been documented in numerous polls—the vast majority want attacks on Israel to stop, democracy to start and the road to peace to begin. Outside pressure from the US, the EU, the UN and Russia must be swift and immediate. The cycle of violence is ineffective politically and an injustice to its victims. A new cease-fire is feasible and it is paramount that negotiations start without delay.


**Remi Kanazi is the primary writer for the political website He lives in New York City as a Palestinian American freelance writer and can reached via email at

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news