Home Daily Brief CBC's Avi Lewis on "Coup D'etat"

CBC's Avi Lewis on "Coup D'etat"

by Mike Fegelman

Avi_lewis Check out Avi Lewis’s rant on the media’s use of the term "coup d’etat" in describing the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip in his new CBC program "On the Map".  To watch the clip please click here.

Choice quotes include: "Once in a while, a phrase gets launched into the news cycle, and all of a sudden it is bobbing up everywhere. And whenever that happens, it’s worth yanking it out and holding it up to some closer scrutiny. So last week, when Hamas took over the Gaza Strip, and I started hearing it described as a "coup d’etat", I immediately thought: can we get some translation please?"

"After Hamas ended weeks of fighting by seizing control of Gaza, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas dismissed Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, AND the whole Hamas-led cabinet. He then appointed a so-called "emergency government" with a new western-friendly PM – former IMF rep Salam Fayad.  Here’s the problem. Whatever you think of Hamas, its insistence on armed resistance, its refusal to formally recognize Israel?it just happens to have won a huge electoral victory a year and a half ago, making it the legitimate choice of the Palestinian majority."

"Since day one, the U.S., Canada, and Israel have refused to recognize the existence of the Hamas government, imposing a financial embargo, and funding, arming and training the presidential guard, a FATAH security force. Democratic process has not exactly been the priority. Now, according to the Palestinian Basic Law – the effective constitution – Abbas CAN legally fire the Prime Minister. But if he does, the serving cabinet – in this case the HAMAS-led cabinet – is supposed to govern until a new one is confirmed by the legislature. There’s no provision for a brand-new appointed ’emergency government’ in Palestinian law. At best, Abbas is in a great big grey area. The facts on the ground are that Abbas dismissed an elected government and appointed a new one without a clear legal basis. And western powers, who’d been STARVING the elected government for months, leapt to embrace the APPOINTED one. Well, that looks an awful lot like … what’s the word I’m looking for? Oh yeah. A coup.?

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