The Middle East Thread

It’s telling that someone who’s been in jail for more than 20 years is more credible as a leader than Abbas or Hamas.

Not going into whether he deserves to be in jail but it’s more of a comment on how Hamas and Fatah were so dire.

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There’s no link. As I have mentioned in an earlier post, the Deputy PM of Jordan hinted (rather cryptic) that Marwan is among the list of prisoners Hamas is demanding to be released. If they/Hamas indeed included his name, it’s possibly because they were absolutely sure that he won’t be released and they can score some points.

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This is likely. He has been used as a political football like this for pretty much the entire time of his imprisonment, both in terms of electoral politics (trying to figure out how him running would impact the other candidates) and over prisoner release negotiations

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Marwan Barghouti, perhaps aside Hanan Ashrawi, is the only Palestine leader with any sort of credibility. As a result, none of Israel, Hamas, Abbas want him free.


Hamas doesn’t want him free because as you I think quite rightly point out, as long as he is jailed they can use their claims to want him free to buy support from Palestinians and they lose that the second he is released. He can also still hold office in the PA from prison, so he can still be positioned as a spoiler that splits the Fatah vote, indirectly helping Hamas and so they dont need him released to help them electorally.

Abbas doesn’t want him released for obvious reasons.

Israel doesn’t want him released because they have moved past the point of being interested in any sort of negotiations and so having someone with genuine credibility as a partner in those peace negotiations is not helpful for them. Whatever anyone thinks of the Mandela comparison, the second he is released those parallels will be drawn and there will be expectations of negotiations resuming and Israel in its current position cannot accept that.


A bit of a deep dive here into the man whose vanity , self-interest and bloody mindedness more than anyone’s brought us the horrors of Oct 7 and its resulting carnage in Gaza. A long read but well worth the effort.

’ For years, Netanyahu has imagined himself as the Middle East’s Winston Churchill. The Israeli journalist Ari Shavit has observed that Netanyahu sees himself not simply as battling threats to Israel’s existence, but as a frontline defender of the west against its mortal enemies. Since the start of the current war, Netanyahu’s grandiose illusions have been on display. “We are sons of light, they are sons of darkness,” he recently declared. Yet it is, at least in part, this very pessimism – the worldview in which it is always 1933 – that has doomed Israel under Netanyahu to endless wars – seven since he assumed power in 2009 – and condemned the Palestinians in Gaza to repeated bombardment.’

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“My sense is that the Israelis are always trying to get another day, and another day, and another day of operations before agreeing to a deal,” Levy said. “Each day, they hope that they’ve won the lottery and killed [Hamas leaders] Mohammed Deif or Yahya Sinwar and that they will be able to point to a major military success.”

We’re still only talking about a truce though. I don’t see how Israel can be convinced to back away from their stated aim of destroying Hamas , and destroying the rest of Gaza in the process.

And like the piece says , once it’s over then it’s also over for Netanyahu.

From the previous article ; 76% of respondents said Netanyahu needs to resign – either at the end of the war (47%) or immediately (29%). Another poll found that less than 4% of Israelis believe Netanyahu is a reliable source of information about the current war.

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I Hope Please GIF

The pause in fighting could last for more than four days - Israel says that for every 10 hostages released on top of the initial 50, the pause will be extended by a day


The ceasefire and the hostage/prisoner release has been delayed by 24 hours. :man_facepalming: :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

Although the narrative is that the logistics are not ready yet, the pumped-up assault on Gaza, West Bank, and Lebanon since yesterday makes me think that Israel wants to gain as much advantage before a break in the fighting.

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They’ve only destroyed 50% of infrastructure and killed 12000 people (68% women and children). Need to punish innocent people some more before getting their hostages back


“The majority of the 12,000 dead Palestinians were Terrorists.” - Yair Lapid

And they wonder why people refuse to take anything they say at face value.


They need to destroy the balance 20% of the infrastructure in Gaza as well.


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