An August 1 essay at ‘Comment is Free’, titled ‘The Middle East peace talks are back to disappoint‘, by Gaza based blogger (and Electronic Intifada contributor) Rana Baker didn’t include anything particularly surprising – at least by ‘CiF’ standards.
In her column, Baker, an activist from Gaza, demonizes Israelis as ‘colonisers’ who administer an “apartheid-like system in impoverished Bantustans”, dismisses the newly relaunched peace talks as an act of surrender and exercise in futility, and mocks as “irrelevant”, weak and spineless Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Baker’s views on the peace process are evidently considered especially worthy by the Guardian brass, as, in addition to her CiF commentary, Harriet Sherwood also featured the “Gaza blogger” – in a Aug. 3 story in The Observer (sister publication of the Guardian) – as one of the five “Voices from Palestine”, ‘Do Israelis and Palestinians think time is right for peace?’. In the space allotted to Baker – in a column which includes the views of five Israelis and five Palestinians – she again blasts the negotiations as useless, and actually praises Hamas’ refusal to engage in talks with the Jewish state.
So, other than face to face negotiations, what strategy does Rana Baker prefer?
Well, there are at least two indications that the Guardian’s ‘voice from Gaza’ clearly prefers violence to diplomacy – the first of which is the following post published at Electronic Intifada on Jan. 19, 2012:
Here are some excerpts from Baker’s post:
Negotiations have more than once proved to be useless. In fact, they proved to be damaging to the very essence of the Palestinian popular struggle i.e. the Right of Return.
People everywhere are born to be free. Enslavement is not only illegal because it causes human miseries, but because it essentially opposes the sound human nature that views fellow human beings as brothers and sisters not as slaves or second-class citizens. Unfortunately, Israel is singling itself out of this category.
Since the 1993 Oslo Accords, more Palestinian land has been expropriated and the Nakba never ceased. The Palestinian leadership, whether in Gaza or the West Bank, proved to be politically disabled; a broken record at best. Israel’s Apartheid is breaking new grounds passing new racist laws every day. World leaders are becoming more biased than they have ever been turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to the atrocities committed against the Palestinian people on a daily basis. Isn’t it the time for a popular Palestinian revolution in the form of a third intifada?
Finally, in case there’s any doubt as to what kind of “Palestinian revolution” she’s proposing, there’s an update on her Facebook account which seems to reveal the orientation of her political sympathies. The following graphic and text, and her accompanying English translation, was posted to her 1,474 friends on Nov. 8, 2012:
The image (possibly depicting Leila Khaled, the former PFLP terror operative noted for being the first woman to hijack an airplane) of course suggests that the reason why Baker isn’t ‘hopeful’ about the peace process is pretty clear: violent resistance is the only legitimate path to the ‘liberation’ of Palestine.
Perhaps Guardian editors may wish to inform readers of Baker’s ideological proclivity towards violence the next time they legitimize her views on the pages of The Observer and ‘Comment is Free’.