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Now that there is a cease-fire in Gaza, questions are emerging about what Israel has achieved. Of course, the lopsided casualty figures and Israel's military dominance certainly make it the battlefield winner. But such a "mission accomplished" assessment is as misleading in occupied Palestine as it was in Iraq. Although Hamas could not come close to matching Israel's armed might, it may have won a major battle for Palestinian hearts and minds. Reports from the West Bank, Gaza and the Palestinian diaspora suggest widespread anger at the Palestinian Authority for its passivity and a rise in support for Hamas, even among secular Palestinians, in appreciation of its determined resistance to the brutality of the Israeli occupation and military operations. If Hamas becomes the dominant political force in all of occupied Palestine when the next elections are held, Israel will be the loser. ››read more
Editor's note: Richard Falk, professor emeritus of international law and practice at Princeton University, is the United Nations Human Rights Rapporteur in the Occupied Territories and a member of the Nation editorial board. He is the author of many books, including The Costs of War: International Law, the UN, and World Order After Iraq.
The international dimensions of Iran's nuclear standoff represent a ripe topic for inquiry not only about Iran but also about the non-proliferation regime and even the United Nations, in light of the UN Security Council's impositions of sanctions on Iran that carry significant ramifications for the future of Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the twin subjects of disarmament and non-proliferation. ››read more