12 June, 2024

Blog

It Is Not War But Ceasefire That Is Freeing Hostages & Prisoners

By Rajan Philips

Rajan Philips

After nearly fifty days of scorching there is a ceasefire in Gaza. After it finally began at 7:00 AM on Friday following some initial hiccups, 24 hostages have been released by Hamas. In return, Israel has freed 39 Palestinian prisoners comprising 24 women and 15 teenagers, many of whom have been in jail for several years on charges of stone throwing, stabbing and rioting. The released hostages are mostly women and children along with farmworkers from Thailand, underscoring the international pressure behind the urgency for freeing hostages. 

Israel has indicated that it would agree to more pauses and more freeing of Palestinian  prisoners in return for additional releases of hostages by Hamas. The first stage human barter involves a total of 240 hostages and 300 prisoners. The hope in Washington appears to be that the current pause rather than relentless war will become the new medium for navigating through the post October 7 crisis. Informed observers are also suggesting that the Biden Administration seems committed for the long haul in pursuing whatever avenues that may open up for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 

Agreeing to a ceasefire with Hamas and exchange of hostages and prisoners is a comedown for the Netanyahu government after its arrogant insistence that Hamas must be destroyed before any ceasefire could be considered. And contrary to Mr. Netanyahu’s claim on Friday that the freeing of the hostages is a fulfillment of one of the objectives of the war, it is the ceasefire and not the fighting that is enabling the release of both the hostages and the Palestinian prisoners. For humanitarian agencies and the truly heroic doctors within borders in Gaza, the respite means more supplies of medical and livelihood essentials.  

While the horror of the Hamas attack justified some retaliation by Israel, there was no justification whatsoever for the Netanyahu government to use it as carte blanche to devastate Gaza. It was the scale of devastation and the humanitarian crisis, as well as the international mix of the hostages, that finally pushed the Biden Administration to pressurize the Israeli government. There has been worldwide condemnation of the government’s relentless onslaughts in Gaza. At the UN, Israel and the US became isolated, except for a dozen or so minion countries who have been voting with them in opposition to UN resolutions critical of Israel. Modi’s Hindutva India too isolated itself from its traditional and natural allies in the Global South by siding with Israel and the US at some of the UN votes. 

There have been protests everywhere, but mostly in the Arab world and in the western countries – ironically, all of them targeting Israeli and western governments. The US is not spared. Biden has heard an earful from within his own Democratic Party and even internally within the State Department – where officials, post-Vietnam-war, are allowed to voice their dissent internally in writing to official policy positions. Gaza is a no-brainer for expressing disagreement with the Administration. And dissent may have done its part in pushing the Administration to push for a ceasefire deal after vehemently rejecting it for weeks on end. 

Even for Netanyahu, the pressure became overwhelming. “We need this deal,” Netanyahu told  Brett McGurk, Biden’s Middle East coordinator, according to CNN. This was on November 14, in Tel Aviv, after the Israeli Prime Minister had indicated to President Biden that the Israeli government was ready to “accept the broad contours of a deal” with Hamas. The deal is the result of diplomatic efforts by Qatar, the oil rich state of 300,000 people that is turning itself into being a global mediator. 

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is in Qatar’s own backyard, and it has intimate access to all the principal players in the conflict. President Biden calls Qatar America’s most important non-NATO ally, which provides accommodation to a significant US military base. Hamas too has its political offices in Qatar and benefits from Qatari largesse. The country is close enough to Israel for Netanyahu to detail his Mossad chief David Barnea to negotiate with Qatar to work out a deal for freeing the hostages. Mr. Barnea and CIA chief William Burns have had joint meetings with Qatar’s Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, in parallel with meetings between Qatari mediators and Hamas officials based in Qatar. 

Turning Points

The fact of the matter is that despite their vehement disavowals of Hamas, both the US and Israel have been dealing with Hamas through Qatar. The habitat that Hamas has in Qatar is not without American consent. Netanyahu’s stratagem has been to use Hamas to frustrate the emergence of a democratic administration among Palestinians. He would rather have Hamas around to frustrate the universal call for a two-state solution. October 7 has shattered that scheme. It has also shattered President Biden’s now well-reported strategic decision not to touch the Palestinian question during his term (or terms) in office. He wanted to avoid a problem that carried plenty of political risks and no prospect for a solution.

In his voluminous memoir, White House Years, Henry Kissinger speaks of a different turning point that occurred more than fifty ago. That was the turning point for America’s effectiveness in the Middle East, and it apparently came with the realization among Arab leaders that the path to settlement with Israel would not be via Moscow, but Washington. At the height of the Cold War, the Americans were not expecting this, and according to Kissinger, they were also slow to respond because their priority then was the Soviet Union. Perhaps the Arab leaders saw the dead-ending of Moscow sooner than the Americans. 

Over the years and after the end of the Cold War, American Presidents have made varying efforts to find a path for peace in the Middle East through Washington. Nothing worked, and everything crashed during the Trump presidency and Netanyahu’s premiership. After October 7, Arab and Palestinian leaders cannot be hopeful about Washington as their predecessors were fifty years ago. Their dilemma is also that there is no one else who can step in. 

China is making plenty of peace waves, but it has a long way to go before it can become an influential player for conflict resolution either in the Middle East or anywhere else. And the Palestinians do not deserve to have to wait for China to come of age as a full superpower to solve a problem that is as old as China itself. But China can add its significant weight to initiate a process for peace in the Middle East. Its call for an international peace conference is not bad in theory, but is unlikely to find traction either with Israel or the US. But pressurizing Washington from the outside is most welcome, and that will add to the pressure that is already building within the US and western countries in general.             

The pressures within western polities and schisms over Gaza are quite unprecedented. The far right that has been stridently antisemitic is now staunchly pro-Israel. The far left that has always been opposed to antisemitism is now being accused of antisemitism because of its opposition to the Israeli government and the refusal to describe Hamas as a terrorist organization. The political terrain in the middle is now the site of new fissures and fractures. 

In the US, the youth, progressives and Muslims  who voted for Biden in 2020 are threatening that they will not vote for him in 2024. This could be crucial in critical swing states where the margin of victory is small and defeat would mean disaster in the Electoral College tally. In Britain, Labour leader Keir Starmer has come under fire for refusing to call for a ceasefire in Gaza. This is quite the reversal for the Labour Party leadership that accused Jeremy Corbin, Starmer’s predecessor, of antisemitism. In Canada, Prime Minister Trudeau is doing a fine balancing act between pro-Palestinian Muslims and the influential Jewish community. The backdrop to these fissures is old school racism spewing both antisemitism and Islamophobia.

One of the more positive political fallouts of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the firing of Suella Braverman (nee Fernandes), Britain’s pseudo-racist Tory politician of colour, from cabinet by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. This was after she criticized London Police for allowing pro-Palestinian marches in the City, and called them “hate marches.” Mr. Sunak used the occasion of Braverman’s eviction to execute a mini cabinet shuffle and bring in former Prime Minister David Cameron as the new Foreign Minister, to consolidate his (Sunak’s) position in the Party. On the other hand, there have been right wing populist victories, although not outright, in Argentina and in Netherlands. Islamophobia and anti-immigration rhetoric were patent factors in the Dutch election.  

Ceasefire Dynamic

After the usual hiccups including sporadic fighting to the last minute, the ceasefire started at 7:00 AM local time on Friday, a day later than originally scheduled. Lorries of essential supplies began entering Gaza from Egypt before the exchange of hostages and prisoners. Altogether 50 hostages are expected to be released over four days along with the freeing of 150 Palestinian prisoners. David Cameron, the new British Foreign Secretary, is in Israel is in Israel meeting with Palestinian leaders and facilitating the inflow of supplies into Gaza. What will happen after the current ceasefire agreement is over?  

Will fighting resume with a vengeance, or will there be more pauses to facilitate further releases of hostages in exchange for prisoners? Israel’s offer to release 300 Palestinian prisoners is seen as an incentive to Hamas to release more hostages. Hamas may respond positively, but a deadlock will arise if and when Hamas stops releasing hostages to maintain the only leverage it has in the current situation. It could become a numbers game, with Hamas insisting on the release of larger numbers of Palestinians from the reportedly 7,200 currently in jail. 88 of them are women and 250 are children under 17, most of whom are expected to be released in the current phase.

The US is now back on to the two-state formula, but it will have a hard time nudging Mr. Netanyahu to embark on any long-term settlement process. The Israeli Prime Minister has his own short-term problems. After seven weeks of devastating Gaza, there is admission that the operation has hurt Hamas’s fighting resources, but it is no where near the goal of eradicating Hamas. And there is still no hard evidence of what Israel has been able to achieve militarily. And there is no evidence either to substantiate Israel’s biggest propaganda claim that the al-Shifa hospital was being used by Hamas as its operation centre with a network of tunnels. 

The al-Shifa hospital is located where Britain had its Army barracks, which later turned into a civilian hospital. In its current form and structure, al-Shifa was designed by Israeli architects to include multiple basements, and was built by the Israeli government in the 1980s, as part of improving the living conditions in Gaza. That was when the idea of co-existence in a two-state set up was actively pursued. After Netanyahu’s long spells as Prime Minister, the two-state solution has been shelved away, and al-Shifa has become a war zone. The US has its work cut out in bringing it back to the table. More immediately, however, it will have to find a way to stop Prime Minister Netanyahu from resuming the war after its current pause. 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 5
    6

    “The habitat that Hamas has in Qatar is not without American consent. Netanyahu’s stratagem has been to use Hamas to frustrate the emergence of a democratic administration among Palestinians. He would rather have Hamas around to frustrate the universal call for a two-state solution.”
    .
    The kind of strategies that both the U.S. and their allies pursue to achieve their objectives often are at the root of most problems world wide.
    .
    Whether the kind of violence that was displayed by both sides is necessary before start releasing hostages in Israel custody is the question?
    .
    What does it take to achieve peace? Or does anyone really want peace? Or is it winning whatever they want at any cost is the name of the game?.
    .
    All in all a better quality write up than most I have seen here on CT. Logical flow of thoughts and analysis that is easy to follow.
    .
    One aspect that is missing is what role the natural gas off the coast of Gaza play in all this, if there’s any?

    • 3
      9

      I saw this placard displayed at the Free-Palestine protest march in London on Saturday.
      “You pause a video game
      You pause a song
      You pose a netflix show
      YOU DON’T PAUSE A GENOCIDE
      You END it!” (author unknown)

    • 1
      7

      Champa,
      .
      Probably for some, those who benefit from war, genocide is like a video game?

    • 3
      6

      The media has worked overtime to project a particular image of Hamas, and many political commentators readily swallow it.
      For a truer angle to it one needs search elsewhere. For example in
      https://www.globalresearch.ca/hamas-winning-battle-gaza-scott-ritter/5841232
      Scott Ritter offers a perspective that many in the mainstream media are incapable of even thinking of.
      *
      https://www.globalresearch.ca/israel-admits-killed-own-nova-music-festival/5841227
      reports:
      “A police investigation shows Israeli Apache helicopters opened fire on attendees of the Nova music festival during the 7 October Hamas attack”
      That was something blamed on Hamas all along to justify Israeli brutality.
      *
      Will the NYT tell us any such truth? Or WSJ? Or Washington Post?

      • 1
        6

        SJ
        Exactly. Hamas’ incursion into Israel and subsequent attack to take Israeli hostages on Saturday October 7 cannot be considered a terrorist attack as the Israeli military also took part in the massacre.
        As the Israeli Police investigation revealed, Hamas militants were initially not aware of the Supernova music festival. The festival was extended to Saturday at the last moment obviously upon receiving intelligence about the Hamas attack and with an aim to lure Hamas militants to kill festival-attendees.
        The US has warned Israel of an impending Hamas attack a week before October 7. Instead of strengthening security at the Gaza-Israel border and cancelling the festival for the safety of civilians, Israel deliberately turned off surveillance sensors on the iron wall. Now, we hear sirens in Southern Israel. What happened to Israel sirens on October 7? Before investigating war crimes in the Gaza Strip, the ICC should investigate war crimes committed by the Israeli Prime Minister on October 7 against his own civilians.

        • 3
          5

          I am pretty sure the CIA has also played a hidden role in the October 7 massacre in Israel. I am still trying to figure out their involvement.

          • 3
            1

            I am curious to know how do you intend to fund CIA involvement?

          • 2
            1

            C
            The CIA can use people without their knowing.
            Take care of yourself.

          • 5
            0

            Champa

            “I am still trying to figure out their involvement.”


            Why?
            Don’t you have anything better to do?

            Hindians and Chinamen are too busy land grabbing, saffron glad thugs too are busy land grabbing, local thugs and politicians are heavily involved in land grabbing, ….

            You should focus your efforts on these local Mafiosi’s instead of CIA.

    • 2
      3

      ““The habitat that Hamas has in Qatar etc…”
      Such oversimplified theories can divert attention from reality.
      Israel has been at loggerheads with Hamas from the day it won power in Gaza. Among 10 major Israeli attacks the most notable are the Israel-Gaza wars of 2008-9, 2014 and now.
      Israel’s earlier tactical preference for Hamas against the (by then utterly corrupt) PLO was not an alliance for life.

    • 1
      5

      “The kind of strategies that both the U.S. and their allies pursue to achieve their objectives often are at the root of most problems world wide.”
      I would not risk explaining the whole world using such theory. There is a systematic effort by vested interests using the media to discredit Hamas.

      • 0
        1

        “I would not risk explaining the whole world using such theory. There is a systematic effort by vested interests using the media to discredit Hamas.”
        .
        Any examples you can provide – a conflict in which great power politics are not part of?
        .
        Not sure how the second sentence above is related to the para you have quoted from my original comment.

  • 11
    1

    BEST THING FOR UNITED NATION TO APPOINT AN INTERNATIONAL PANEL TO SUPERVISE THE CEASEFIRE AND SHOULD INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING EXPERTS ON THIS MATTER IN THE PANEL.
    GENERAL -SHAVENDRA SILVA
    GENERAL KAMAL GUNARATNE
    ADMIRAL SARATH WEERASEKERA.
    THE ABOVE GUYS WILL DO A WONDERFUL JOB.

    • 2
      7

      Don’t be surprised if they truly fare better than an American team.

    • 6
      0

      Paragon, after they come out with a white flag as told, those prisoners / hostages, will be taken to an unknown location and murdered , (point blank). Remember the victims including women and Balachandran “, who surrendered to Lankan war heroes.

  • 8
    1

    Has morality – right/wrong, good/bad – ever mattered in human conflicts? ……… Isn’t force/violence what prevails? ……… Why have nations armed themselves with nuclear-weapons? To fight elephants?

    People have an unnatural view of the human-condition ……… especially the intellectuals/academics/literati …… they descend like vultures after the fact ………. and give unnatural interpretations …….

    They would do better if they impart a true view of humans/human-condition

    Discard schools/churches/temples/mosques/kovils/synagogues …….. start from the cradle without any connotations of the said crap …….without diversions …….then people will have nothing to hide behind ……. and perhaps will be forced to come face to face with their true vile/evil selves …… and possibly change their ways.

    I’m not expecting miracles from Native …… just a try ……… :))

    • 6
      2

      nimal fernando

      “Has morality – right/wrong, good/bad – ever mattered in human conflicts?”

      Not really, however your leader VP’s birthday today. It matters more than those killed in war, conflict, before and after.

      Only a few days ago Policemen attached to Battukotta police station tortured a young man eventually killing him. When people protested the policemen were transferred to another nearby police station, (moving the problem to another area where they are free to commit the same crime). Some lawyers went to court got order to arrest the killers.

      I can see that you are tempted to say this would not have happened under VP’s rule. Well I am bit bored to give you evidence.

      Have you wished VP a happy birthday?

      • 3
        1

        Native,

        Without stuttering to piss on dead people’s graves, listen to a true patriot who has filled the void left by your dereliction of patriotic duty :)) ……….. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbvbBznQ4LY ……. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbvbBznQ4LY

        • 5
          0

          nimal fernando

          How about this?

          {SIS officer’s bike stolen at Cambridge Place
          November 27, 2023 1:00 am 0 comment
          A motorcycle belonging to an officer of the State Intelligence Service (SIS) was stolen Saturday (25) from a parking lot at Cambridge Place in Colombo 7.

          According to the Kuruduwatta Police, this motorcycle was stolen from where State Intelligence Service personnel’ vehicles were parked.

          Police personnel have been deployed for the security of this location as well.
          Daily News
          November 27, 2023 }

          Crooks are p*****g on the heads of official intelligence officer.
          Now tell us who is more intelligent, the crook or the official intelligence officer.

  • 3
    6

    How many people in the world are awaiting to see hostage releases by Hamas and Israel live on media? This must be the most watched event today. Yesterday, I was kind of scared to watch it live. But, today, I am eagerly waiting to watch it.
    Earlier, there had been a delay in releasing hostages. But, later, the Qatari Foreign Ministry has announced that obstacles to the release of hostages by Hamas have been overcome with the help of Egypt and the US (Mr. Biden, of course, who is on a “working-vacation”).
    It is reported that 13 Israelis and 7 foreigners are expected to be released at the Rafah Egypt border crossing. I think a few American hostages were expected to be released today and that may have helped Hamas to get the dispute resolved quickly and resume hostage release which is supposed to be completed before midnight. Just a thought.

    • 10
      2

      Champa

      I wonder why you are so interested in Palestinian affairs while you are permanently on denial mode when it comes to Sri Lankan affairs, the national question?

      Are you stupid or your defective brain randomly selects problems associated with foreign countries?

      • 0
        8

        Native Sudda
        What is your “national question”? I know nothing about it.

        • 9
          0

          Champa

          The national question is when will Champa and her/his fellow noisy Sinhala/Buddhists minority pull their heads from wherever they are now?

          In other words are they ready to let Sinhalese and Buddhists think for themselves?

          • 0
            8

            Native Vedda
            You admitted that there is no national question in Sri Lanka.

  • 8
    1

    In the good ol’ human-condition ……… deviousness works for some and not for others ……… Israel is as devious as Ranil …… but one has succeeded …….. while the other is a monumental lifelong failure ……. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cllF6tlc_gA

    What are Ranil’s chances of success this time: any bets?

    Who needs a weatherman ………. to tell which way the wind is blowing?

    • 5
      0

      nimal fernando

      “Who needs a weatherman ………. to tell which way the wind is blowing?”

      You are right.
      Is that why every Sri Lankan so often spit above their head, in some cases after chewing betel leaf and areca nut?

  • 6
    3

    US rocks the hammock after pinching the baby!

    • 0
      7

      Nathan, I thought such views are considered superficial by you.

      • 1
        1

        Ruchira, Everything is in context.

        • 4
          7

          “US rocks the hammock after pinching the baby!”
          Is in contextual?
          I would have thought it is normal conduct!

        • 1
          5

          Beginning to see your depth.

  • 5
    3

    It surprises me that most people who read in English support the Anglo-Saxon view that Hamas is a terrorist organisation.
    Here’s how a scholarly Jew, Noam Chomsky, describes terrorism: ‘It’s very simple: if “they” do it, it’s terrorism; if “we” do it, it’s counterterrorism. That’s a historical universal.’
    Harks back to the planned demonising of Vietnam’s Ho Chi Min, Libya’s Gaddafi, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, Afghanistan’s Taliban. All done so when you bombed and massacred millions of civilians in those countries, it was okay.
    People argue that the current brutal killing of Palestinian civilian in Gaza is justified. Israeli killing of thousands of Palestinian, most of them teenagers, before the recent Hamas retaliatory attack is disregarded.
    Goes to show how successful Colonial powers have been in deeply embedding in our minds the notion the white man is always right – the Israeli nation also a member of the White World.

    • 1
      7

      Sonali,
      .
      War in itself is an act of terror regardless whether the actors are state or non-state.

    • 6
      1

      Sonali,
      “All done so when you bombed and massacred millions of civilians in those countries, it was okay.”
      But the Free World was saved , even if no WMD’s were found.
      As you say, the White Man is always right, even though some think Zionists are brown.

  • 9
    9

    Author: “It Is Not War But Ceasefire That Is Freeing Hostages & Prisoners.”

    The author seems to imply that Israel’s war against Hamas was unnecessary to secure the release of the hostages. That would be true if that were Israel’s sole concern. Israel’s objective of the war from the beginning has been both the elimination of Hamas and then the rescue of the hostages.

    Israel from the beginning have said that a ceasefire would be considered only on condition of the hostages being released. And Hamas needed this breather to recover regroup from the Israeli onslaught.

    It is a temporary ceasefire and Israel will be back to war thereafter until Hamas is destroyed militarily.

    BTW, it is heartening to note that the “rate of exchange” for Palestinian prisoners has considerably appreciated from what it was in the past. The deal is 50 hostages for 150 Palestinian prisoners. The last time it was one Israeli soldier for 500 Palestinian prisoners. But, if in Palestinians’ own estimation a Palestinian is still worth one third of an Israeli–disregard the hostages of other nationalities–then why are they still complaining about their unequal treatment by the Israeli government? 🤣

    • 4
      5

      If the war was to secure the release of hostages, I think that Israeli forces habitually use a sledgehammer to crush an ant.
      BTW, many of the Palestinian prisoners were long time detainees.
      *

      It is an absolute waste of time trying to persuade defenders of an Apartheid regime with a mighty streak of fascism.
      I am sorry.
      I give up.
      You win!

    • 3
      6

      Leonard Jayawardena
      IDF couldn’t find a single hostage or a single Hamas member in its 50-day genocide in the Gaza Strip. The only Hamas members they found were on a calendar whose names were Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. IDF couldn’t even find inhabited tunnels under al-Shifa hospital. What they showed the world were abandoned tunnels. Their only “achievement” was 15,000 dead bodies including 5,800 child corpses and rubble.

  • 9
    5

    Author: “Agreeing to a ceasefire with Hamas and exchange of hostages and prisoners is a comedown for the Netanyahu government after its arrogant insistence that Hamas must be destroyed before any ceasefire could be considered.”

    This statement is both untrue and non-sensical.

    Israel has always said that a ceasefire would be possible only on condition of the hostages being released, so there has been no comedown for them in the deal with Hamas.

    I say “non-sensical” because after destroying Hamas the question of “consider[ing]” a ceasefire does not arise as the war automatically comes to a stop immediately when Hamas is destroyed!

    • 5
      1

      Hello Leonard,
      Have you ever considered why Israel is arresting hundreds of Palestinians in the West Bank during brutal raids on Jenin etc.? Why are they ignoring all International Laws on the treatment of civilians? Why are they bombing Gaza back to the “Stone Age”?
      You know that the Israelis supported Hamas as a way to deflect the Palestinians from uniting and achieving a 2 state solution. Israel wants the complete destruction of Gaza and Hamas and the population to be either killed or forced out in a second Nakba. In parallel they are harassing the West Bank to push them into declaring another Intafada – which will give Israel the excuse to start another war against the Palestinians and clear the West Bank for the Israeli Settlers to take over completely.
      If Israel takes over Gaza then all of the Oil and Gas fields will become theirs – that will probably include Area C reserves in the West Bank. Until recently Israel has prevented the development of Gaza’s fields, however since the war started Israel has awarded licenses to six different oil companies, including BP https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/israel-awards-gas-exploration-licences-eni-bp-four-others-2023-10-29/
      Best Regards

      • 2
        5

        LS
        Try knocking your head on a granite boulder. It may yield.

        • 1
          0

          SJ,
          It seems, as with many religions, Zionist converts are more devout than the originals.

      • 6
        1

        Do you have a PhD in Malle Pol?

        What is the relevance of any of what you have written to this or my other comment?

        • 3
          0

          Hello Leonard,
          I am not sure if you are addressing me or SJ. Being from Aberdeen I understand knocking my head on a granite boulder.
          There is a tree in my garden (Polgahanga) full of coconuts not just in my bag.
          Just in case the reply was for my benefit – at least “Malle Pol” is an answer – you haven’t addressed any of the points I raised. You cannot take what the Israelis say on face value, you must look at what actions they are taking and put it into a historical perspective. I know many Sri Lankans have difficulty questioning those whom they consider as their betters, but you don’t seem to suffer any cognitive dissonance in touching the forelock to the Israelis. Coming from a country that was colonised not just by the British, but also the Dutch and the Portuguese you must have some empathy for the Palestinians – or maybe not. If you agree with the indiscriminate killing of civilians – just say so.
          Best Regards

          • 3
            0

            LankaScot,
            Are you alluding to the usage of the term “coconut” to refer to people who are brown on the outside but white inside?

            • 1
              0

              Hello OC,
              Sometimes allusions come to you unconsciously, which you don’t notice until they are pointed out by someone else. Thank you. However after living in a number of countries including Sri Lanka, I have found people all over the world to be pretty much the same depending on their circumstances. I however am white on the outside (slightly tanned) and brown on the inside. In the words of the famous Scottish poet Robert Burns “That man to man, the warld o’er,
              Shall brothers be for a’ that.”
              Best Regards

              • 0
                0

                OC
                Another couple of Burns’ poems worth reading are “To a Louse – O wad some Power the giftie gie us To see oursels as ithers see us!” and Holy Willies Prayer – on Hypocrisy “Holy Willie piously asks God’s forgiveness for his own transgressions and moments later demanding that God condemn his enemies who commit the same sins to eternal hellfire. ” I am sure that you are not guilty of hypocrisy or hubris !
                Best Regards

  • 2
    3

    The battle is over, folks! I mean, the Israel-Gaza war IS OVER!!!!.
    From the very beginning I didn’t see the Gaza ceasefire as a temporary one. I hoped it would be a permanent ceasefire.
    Finally, humanity won. Who demanded a ceasefire? The whole world and the universe. The universe was at the side of the oppressed. There are other oppressed nations in the world. I believe my next “stop” is Africa. But before that I wish to see a ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine, too.
    Back to the subject.
    The Israel-Gaza war is over! Israel will never resume its carnage in the Gaza Strip. The ceasefire gave an opportunity for the IDF an honourable exit from the Gaza Strip. And, in the future, from the West Bank, too.
    On the part of Hamas, they also proved that they are trustworthy. When there is a peace conference to resolve the Palestine Question, Hamas Political Wing should also be given an opportunity to present their proposals.
    The ceasefire is to stay. If not, and if Israel resumes genocide in the besieged Gaza Strip, it would be “a personal failure for Mr. Joe Biden”. For that reason, I am confident that Israel will not resume the Gaza war.
    1/4

    • 2
      0

      The US President Mr. Joe Biden played an admirably crucial leadership role in securing a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas with the mediatory support of Egypt and Qatar. (I am harsh in criticizing and generous in complimenting.)
      The Gaza ceasefire SAVED HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF LIVES. The entire world heaved a sigh of relief after the Gaza ceasefire
      On behalf of the civilized world, I sincerely thank Mr. Joe Biden for saving Palestinian lives and the lives of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza and Israel in its prisons. The United States should seriously consider stopping pumping weapons to other countries for mass killings.
      At the same time, we must not forget that, for 50 days, Israeli children under Hamas hostage and Palestinian children under Israeli bombardment BOTH “endured unthinkable” and went through “terrible trauma”. Also, families in the Gaza Strip and West Bank who are displaced, whose family members are killed and detained by the IDF and the families in Israel who were subjected to Hamas attack equally “went through hell” for 50 days. ;
      2/4

      • 0
        0

        Through peace negotiations, the world must make sure that Israeli atrocities in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, and also October 7 style Hamas attacks should never be allowed to repeat.
        Israel should evacuate from Palestine lands in the West Bank and half of the original Gaza Strip that had been stolen previously, and let Palestinians live in peace. Please read OHCHR Reports on Israel. It is what made a faction of Palestinians take up arms. When Israel illegally occupied Palestine lands, they should expect stones, rockets and missiles.
        In support of Mr. Joe Biden’s peace efforts in the Gaza Strip, I suggest that it is time for Palestine protest marches in western and all other capitals around the world be stopped.
        The Gaza Strip is QUIET NOW. We must spread that calmness to other parts of the world where the voices of the supporters of Palestine were raised. Having said that, there is a lot more to do for Palestine.
        3/4

        • 0
          0

          I saved this paragraph from a history book on Palestine.
          “Palestinian art remained impervious to the influences of Western art until 1948. During the nineteenth century, the traditional arts of embroidery, pottery, weaving, calligraphy, icon painting, wood engraving, stone carving, and mosaic represent the chief arts of Palestine. Meanwhile, throughout the region, the traditional arts persist alongside Western-inspired art during much of the nineteenth century.”
          Palestinian culture, traditions, economy, agriculture and vibrant wetlands should thrive. This is the Palestine we would like to see ON THE WORLD MAP.
          4/4

    • 2
      0

      Hello Champa,
      I hope you are right, but I don’t have your optimism regarding the ceasefire being permanent. I am afraid that after the end of the Hostage Releases, even if there are extensions for another few days or a week, the Israelis will continue the carpet bombing in the North of Gaza and then start to clear the South. I lived in Qatar for 11 years where I met many Palestinians, old and young. This gave me an insight into the historical wrongs perpetrated by the Israelis and the protection that the US gave to them- not to mention the Billions of dollars and weapons. While I was in Qatar, Saudi, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt blockaded Qatar. The first countries to help were Turkey and Iran. I am not a fan of either of those countries, however with their help a serious shortage of food and medicines was quickly alleviated.
      Did the USA do anything to stop the Blockade? In fact US President Trump welcomed the blockade https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/06/qatar-panic-buying-as-shoppers-stockpile-food-due-to-saudi-blockade. As part of my work in Qatar I was a regular visitor to the Al Udeid Airbase home to around 10,000 US personnel.
      Best Regards

  • 0
    0

    It Is Not War But Ceasefire That Is Freeing Hostages & Prisoners

    How can you have a war on terrorism when war itself is terrorism
    Hostage are alive under the tunnel and innocent are killed over the tunnel.

    A timely act china has fostered deepening ties with gulf States through increased trade.

  • 2
    0

    Some people say, when releasing Palestine hostages from Israeli prisons, Israel hasn’t followed the seniority requirement. Has this been resolved? Some of those who were released were said to be on the Israeli release list long before the Gaza ceasefire was implemented, which means Israel has cheated. I hope the mediators of the Gaza ceasefire have resolved it.
    Palestinian minors being held under administrative detention is a violation of international law. I am surprised why this issue hasn’t been investigated before. No wonder those who were released carry the Hamas flag. There were two other flags I couldn’t recognize. One was a large black flag with a gold colour design and the other one was a white one with a green patch which looks like a currency note.

    • 5
      2

      Champa

      “Palestinian minors being held under administrative detention is a violation of international law. I am surprised why this issue hasn’t been investigated before. “

      I am surprised why Sri Lankan state hasn’t published the names of forcibly made to disappear youth and innocent people by armed forces and death squads during the period between 1987 and 1991?

      I am also surprised why Sri Lankan state hasn’t published names of those who surrendered to armed forces at the end of the war and of those who were forcibly made to disappear during the period between 1983 and 2009?

      Therefore you have many things to be surprised in Sri Lanka and start worrying about them.

      • 2
        4

        Native Vedda, the imposter
        You seem to have difficulty in understanding a simple fact. The West Bank is Palestinian territory. It is not under Israeli jurisdiction. Palestinian children have been arrested in the West Bank under Israel law and detained them without charge.
        .
        If you want to check about police records, go to Sri Lanka Police. If someone is disappeared, what would you do first? You go to the nearest police station and lodge a complaint.

  • 2
    0

    There is a serious lapse on the part of Israel in implementing the Gaza ceasefire.
    Israel has released about 140 Palestine child hostages as per ceasefire terms, but at the same time arrested over 100 other Palestine children in the West Bank to fill the Israeli prison cells vacated by the released Palestine child hostages. What kind of a deal is this? Hamas should take up this matter with Qatari and Egyptian mediators before entering into new terms to extend the ceasefire.

  • 2
    0

    Israel says they would resume war in the entirety of Gaza after the ceasefire is over.
    For 50 days, the IDF carpet bombed unarmed Palestinian civilians killing over 15,000 of them including 5,800 babies and 3,400 women. I don’t think they will get a “second chance” to do that. If they try, they will be crushed. Crushed. They can try and lose. I have no objection.
    Are there bomb-shelters in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank? Just ask.
    .
    Why do Palestinians support Hamas? Because, Hamas protects remaining Palestine lands from Israeli invasion with life. If Hamas didn’t exist, Israel would have killed or expelled all 2.3 million Palestinians from their native land by now. Since 2007, Hamas government in the Gaza Strip has introduced and maintained various social welfare programmes for its citizens. It is practically impossible to separate Palestinian civilians from Hamas as long as these binding factors remain in place.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 5 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.