We just got DirecTV Latino (hbb loves soccer), which includes CNN en Español. I’ve never watched it much before, but my friend Alvaro and I turned it there in time for the evening news show, “Panorama Mundial,” which he promised was actually pretty good. The first story, of course, was Gaza.
And Alvaro was right. Five minutes in, and I couldn’t believe I was actually hearing analysis tonight. Tonight’s show featured a lengthy, in-depth story about the Free Gaza movement’s boat attack, without skirting around the “accosting” vs. “ramming” issue. Ugh. Fuck you, Israel.
It also featured an interview with Argentinian professor and sociologist, Pedro Breiger, where they discussed Brazil’s plans to intervene in the current massacre, as the UN is useless due to US veto power. I’ve translated it below:
PATRICIA JANOIT (Anchor): To talk about this new chapter of Israel-Hamas relations, the attacks which have been condemned by many world capitals, and of what might be Brazil’s role in mediating through convening an emergency UN meeting, joining us from Buenos Aires is Pedro Brieger, an international politics analyst. Thanks for being with us Mr. Brieger.
PEDRO BRIEGER: Good evening.
PJ: What would be the conditions that would bring about a truce – a cease fire – between Israel and Hamas?
PB: I think that it depends, first of all, on what Israel does because it is the most powerful party. It is clear we are not talking about two forces of similar strength. The Israeli government has said that, for now, it will not accept a truce although there seems to be differences between what the Prime Minister has put forth – that Israel will continue forward until it accomplishes all of its objectives – and what it looks like the Israeli defense establishment is currently planning which is a truce within the next 48 hours. However, there exist many ministers within the Israeli cabinet who suggest continuing forward, to enter Gaza, and to abolish Hamas. Hamas, for its part, holds that there will be no truce as long as the blockade continues on the Gaza Strip and as long as Israeli bombardment continues.
PJ: In case of a ground attack, is it possible that Israel could decide to continue forward with that before there could be a truce?
PB: It’s difficult to know. It appears to me that Israel’s intention right now is to enter the Gaza Strip in order to destroy the government of Hamas – but this is just a hypothesis. One must try to read between the lines of what Israeli military leaders say: the possibility of cutting the Gaza Strip into two; of cutting it into various portions in order to control each of the portions within that tiny territory that is barely 60 kilometers long and 15 kilometers wide. But it is not yet known what Israel is going to do because it hasn’t become clear what Israel’s objectives are militarily, and what it’s objectives are politically. That’s why it’s not known if it will accept a truce, if it’s objective is to abolish Hamas – because the objective it first stated was that it was trying to prevent more rockets into Israeli territory, launched by Hamas. Not only have they not succeeded, the rocket fire has intensified. From this point of view, Israel’s first objective has failed to this day. But we must also take into account that Israel’s occupation of the West Bank is part of the problem. This problem is not one isolated to the Gaza Strip despite that Palestinians are divided between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. There exists a central problem which continues to be the Israeli occupation of the West Bank in spite that those governing the West Bank – these are the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas – reject terrorism and condemn Hamas.
PJ: We are seeing many countries coming together – Arab and non-Arab – uniting to support Hamas. Do you think the group is becoming stronger in spite of Israel’s intention to debilitate it through this bombardment?
PB: I don’t think it’s a support directed to Hamas. What it is, is a great condemnation of Israeli politics. As the president of Brazil, Lula da Silva, has said, if we compare the two forces, on one side we have a bomb, and on the other side a match. In other words, the forces are highly unequal. What the world is seeing is one of the largest armies on the planet bombing a very small area and killing tens of civilians. This is what provokes a world reaction. The problem is that the UN is not intervening, which is why Brazil’s president is proposing an urgent necessity to assemble a mediation that will include Brazil, France, and other countries. The UN is not intervening. The US’s president-elect, Barack Obama, is not intervening either.
PJ: Well, and other countries, like Brazil’s Lula da Silva, think that the UN doesn’t possess sufficient anger to take a firm stance over the area. Is this opinion increasing?
PB: It’s what President da Silva put forth today, in a discussion as he said that the UN is controlled by the United States, therefore, a mediation cannot be achieved; a solution cannot be achieved. You can also read between the lines there that the US obstructs the condemnation of Israel not only in regards to the bombings of Gaza – one must read between the lines a little further than that and must see the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza since 1967 and recall the infamous UN resolution 242 of 1967 which demands that Israel withdraw to its pre- 1967 War boundaries, which Israel has not realized. This is why I believe we must not see the Gaza Strip as isolated even if today, concretely, the strongest military confrontation is seen in the Gaza Strip, but in the West Bank there have been protests against the Israeli occupation and there have been dead Palestinians. This is why we must take the Gaza Strip and the West Bank as part of the same problem.
PJ: We would like to thank you very much, Mr. Pedro Brieger, for your collaboration in Panorama Mundial, directly from Buenos Aires.
[Translator's note: This Pedro Brieger guy sounds pretty cool.]Filed Under Gaza, Latin America, QuiQui