zaterdag 9 februari 2008

Bevolking Palestijnse gebieden in 10 jaar tijd met 30% gegroeid

Volgens deze gegevens is de Palestijnse bevolking in tien jaar tijd met 870.000 mensen gegroeid, oftewel 30%. Dat is absurd en maakt alle besprekingen en voorbereidingen op een Palestijnse staat tot een zinloze onderneming zolang niet eerst wat aan het geboortecijfer wordt gedaan.
Het heeft er dus alle schijn van dat ofwel deze census of de vorige of beide erg onnauwkeurig en daarom niet erg betrouwbaar zijn, wat wordt versterkt door het feit dat men van deur tot deur is gegaan om de bevolking letterlijk te tellen. Dit lijkt een onmogelijke opgave, en vraagt om onnauwkeurigheden. Het is misschien naief, maar het verbaast me dat de gemeentes geen fatsoenlijke cijfers hebben van de ingezetenen van hun woonplaats. Worden geboortes en overlijdens niet gemeld? Hoe gaat dat dan bij verkiezingen? En houdt Israël niet bij hoeveel identiteitskaarten het heeft verstrekt?

Palestinians grow by a million in decade
Associated Press , THE JERUSALEM POST

The Palestinian population in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem has reached 3.76 million, up from 2.89 million a decade ago, according to census results released Saturday.

Only 208,000 Palestinians were counted in east Jerusalem, which is sought by the Palestinians as a future capital, said Luay Shabaneh, head of the Palestinian Central Statistics Bureau.

The unexpectedly low figure for east Jerusalem - it fell even below an estimate of 210,000 in the 1997 census - was immediately challenged by Palestinian politicians. In 1997, census-takers were barred by Israel from going door-to-door and based their result on projections. This time, census volunteers conducted an actual count, working discretely to avoid confrontations with Israeli authorities, Shabaneh said.

However, Hatem Abdel Kader, an adviser on Jerusalem affairs to Palestinian Prime Minister Salaam Fayad, said he didn't believe the Jerusalem figures were reliable. "We doubt these numbers," he said, adding that he believes many Jerusalem homes were not visited by census-takers.

In early December, some 6,200 census-takers fanned out across the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem, going house to house to collect information.

Palestinians have one of the highest birth rates in the world. In September 2007, Israel's population included 5.45 million Jews, 1.4 million Arabs and 310,000 others, according to Israeli government figures.

Presenting the census results at a news conference, Shabaneh said that Palestinian population growth remains high, but has leveled off somewhat. Pre-census projections had predicted a population of 3.9 million.

According to actual results, 3.76 Palestinians live in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, the territories the Palestinians want for a future state. That includes 2.345 million in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, and 1.416 million in Gaza, Shabaneh said.

9.000 Gazanen verdwenen in Egypte

De gevolgen van de Rafah grensopening tussen Gaza en Egypte werken nog door. Mensen hebben de open grens niet alleen gebruikt om familie te bezoeken maar ook om verwanten op een ander vlak op te zoeken....

9,000 Gazans still at large in Egyptian cities
Date: 08 / 02 / 2008  Time:  17:30

Bethlehem - Ma'an - More than 9,000 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, including Hamas members, have disappeared into Egyptian cities, following the toppling of the Egyptian border near Rafah crossing on January 23, Major General Ahmed Abdel Hamid, Governor of North Sinai, revealed on Friday.

He said that the Egyptian security services are intensifying their efforts to arrest the 9,000, who have melted away into Egyptian cities and villages, before they carry out any 'criminal operations.'

Some Muslim Brotherhood leaders are involved in hiding some of the Hamas members who got through the border, he added, confirming that some members of the Muslim Brotherhood have been arrested in the Sinai.

He claimed members of the Muslim Brotherhood were involved in the demolition of the Egypt-Gaza border fence, helping Hamas members to cross into Egypt.

Abdel Hamid said a campaign has been implemented to deport all Palestinian infiltrators caught in Egyptian cities back to Gaza. 2,116 Palestinians have been sent back since Thursday, he said.

He stressed that the situation on the Egyptian border was now under full control.

A German news agency quoted a security source in Rafah as saying that the Egyptian authorities are still holding about 60 Palestinians inside an abandoned building in the town of Rafah in Egypt, as well as 65 Egyptians, including 50 women and children after they entered Egypt from Gaza.

They were detained on Wednesday following an incident when crowds threw stones at Egyptian border guards, injuring 20 soldiers.  

Twee gewonden door Qassams op Sderot

Israëls operaties in de Gazastrook lijken niet te helpen tegen de Qassam regen op Sderot. Een staakt-het-vuren zoals Hamas voorstelt zal ook niet helpen, want in de eerste plaats blijven de andere gewapende milities gewoon raketten afvuren (zoals in het verleden meermaals is gebleken) en in de tweede plaats zal Hamas die tijd gebruiken voor de voorbereiding op toekomstige gevechten, en ervoor zorgen dan betere raketten en andere wapens te hebben.
Yasser Abed Rabbo, adviseur van president Abbas veroordeelde de raket aanvallen alleen om strategische redenen, niet omdat het moreel wellicht verkeerd is om Israëlische kinderen te doden.

8-year-old, youth seriously wounded in Sderot rocket attack Staff , THE JERUSALEM POST

Two people, including an eight-year-old boy, were seriously wounded as a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip struck Sderot on Saturday night, police and medical officials said.

The boy was wounded in both his legs before being evacuated to Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon with the second victim, aged 19.

Five rockets were fired in the barrage - three of which landed inside of the city. One of the rockets landed in a neighborhood at a time when a group of people were crossing the street. The other two rockets landed in open areas outside close to Sderot.

Meanwhile, Public Security Minister Avi Dichter paid a visit to the beleaguered town.

"I found a battered town where some 20 percent of residents have simply upped and left," Army Radio quoted Dichter as saying.

The public security minister said that Sderot residents described to him how they were living from one miracle to the next and that on Saturday morning, there was a higher attendance in synagogues than usual.

"When I traveled in the direction of Sderot," continued Dichter, "I saw crowds arriving for the 'Red South' festival, but when I got to Sderot, I saw desolate streets, emptied of people - people closed up inside their homes."

On Sunday, the public security minister is due to brief the cabinet on his visit to the town.

After a turbulent Friday on which some 40 Kassams and mortar shells slammed into the western Negev, the attacks continued Saturday morning as two rockets fired from Gaza hit the Sha'ar Hanegev region.

One of the rockets landed next to a kibbutz, while the other fell near a junction. No one was wounded and no damage was reported.

The IAF hit back, striking a Popular Resistance Committees' rocket launching cell in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanun. The army said that the terrorists were standing next to rocket launchers. Two of the terrorists were wounded in the air strike, including one seriously, Palestinian medics reported.

The air force also destroyed four other rocket launchers in the area.

Late Friday, two Sderot homes suffered direct hits from Kassams, sending six people into shock - four of whom were eating their Shabbat dinner when the rockets struck.

One man was evacuated to a hospital, suffering from chest pains, and two other residents of the town were lightly wounded after falling down while scampering for shelter from the rockets.

Following Friday's rocket barrage, Israel's UN Ambassador Dan Gillerman issued a complaint to the UN secretary-general and the UNSC president. Gillerman cited the severe and worrying terror activities which have been perpetrated against Israel over the last few days.

In his formal letter of complaint, the UN envoy highlighted the two young girls wounded in a Kassam rocket attack on Kibbutz Be'eri on Wednesday.

He wrote that the rocket attacks were part of a campaign by the Hamas leadership, the principal aim of which is to kill Israelis.

Due to the incessant rocket attacks, some 30 people blocked traffic in both directions at the southern entrance to Sderot on Friday night, protesting the government's "neglect" of the town's residents.

Meanwhile, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said that the rocket attacks were a justified response to Israel's attacks on Gaza.

Haniyeh also said that there was no progress in negotiations to secure the release of captured IDF soldier Gilad Schalit.

Nevertheless, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhari proposed a truce saying that rocket attacks would be stopped if the IDF halts all its operations against Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.

In an interview with a Saudi newspaper, Zuhari said that "the ball is in Israel's court."

Hamas said Friday that it would not be deterred by Israel's cutback of the power supply.

"The Zionist enemy must understand that the policy of assassinations, of attacks, of embargo, of cutting electricity and fuel will not halt the resistance and will not break the back of the Palestinians," said senior Hamas official Ismail Radwan. "We warn them of a large volcano that will erupt if their aggression increases."

Meanwhile, Yasser Abed Rabbo, a member of the PLO executive committee and a senior adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, condemned the rocket attacks, calling them a "worthless" tactic which was being used by Israel as an excuse to "continue its acts of aggression," Army Radio reported.

GB wilde Palestina aan Syrië geven (Britain's treachery, France's revenge)

Uit recentelijk vrijgegeven documenten blijkt dat Groot-Brittannië in 1945 een geheime overeenkomst sloot met Syrië, waarin Syrië Libanon en Palestina zou krijgen en Groot-Brittannië voor de verdediging van dit Groot-Syrië zou instaan, en in ruil een speciale status en behandeling zou krijgen, waaronder concessies voor oliewinning.
Een Syrische agent in dienst van de Franse geheime dienst onderschepte geheime documenten en correspondentie tussen Syrische leiders en die van buurlanden, en waarschijnlijk speelden de Fransen dit op hun beurt door aan de Zionistische beweging. Deze feiten verklaren de openlijke Britse vijandigheid tegenover de Joden in Palestina, zoals het binnenlaten van het Arabische bevrijdingslager vanuit Libanon, waarvoor men zelfs de eigen troepen uit Galilea had teruggetrokken.

Britain's treachery, France's revenge
By Meir Zamir Haaeretz  Magazine section 1 February 2008

In the summer of 1944, when soldiers of Free France were still fighting alongside the British against the Nazis in Europe, the two colonial powers were engaged in a clandestine struggle in the Middle East. That summer, French intelligence scored a major coup over its British counterpart in the region. The French recruited a Syrian agent who had access to top-secret correspondence between Syrian leaders - among them President Shukri al-Quwatli and Foreign Minister Jamil Mardam (who later became prime minister) - and leaders of neighboring states. French intelligence also obtained reports sent by Syrian diplomats in London, Washington, Moscow, Paris and a number of Arab countries.

The identity of the Syrian agent is unknown, but cables transmitted between Beirut and Paris suggest that his recruitment involved large payments. The information he obtained was sent every week or two, in packages of 40 or 50 documents, from Damascus to French intelligence headquarters in Beirut, where they were translated from Arabic into French. An intelligence officer or a translator sometimes added notes. The French attached great importance to the speedy transfer of the translated documents, so much so that they allotted a special plane for this purpose. Extreme precautionary measures were taken to preserve the secrecy of the operation, and only a few officials were permitted to see the documents. There was also a ban on their transferal to the French Foreign Ministry. One copy was sent directly to the office of General Charles de Gaulle, who sometimes added his comments and issued appropriate instructions.

After the war the French sought to regain control of Syria and Lebanon, but Syria constituted a distinctive problem, in that its independence had been declared already in 1941, after joint forces of Britain and Free France liberated the country from the rule of the Vichy regime. From then until 1945, de Gaulle tried to force a treaty on Syria that would ensure France privileged status. After he understood that a Syrian-French agreement was not possible due to Syrian and British opposition, de Gaulle decided in April 1945 to send military reinforcements to Syria and Lebanon. This move, coupled with the harsh response of the French on May 8 in the city of Setif, Algeria, where French forces massacred thousands of Algerians who were demonstrating for their country's independence, badly rattled the Syrian president. Quwatli feared that he would suffer the same fate as Emir Faisal, who was expelled from Damascus by the French in July 1920.

At the end of May 1945, French forces attacked governmental institutions in Syria. On May 30, General Bernard Paget, the commander in chief of the British forces in the Middle East, issued an ultimatum to the French to hold their fire immediately and return to their barracks, or face a confrontation with far superior British forces. De Gaulle and the provisional French government had no choice but to comply. In the weeks that followed, with the tacit consent of the British, Syrian nationalists massacred scores of French citizens, and looted and destroyed the offices of French companies and French cultural, educational and religious institutions. Thus did French rule in Syria reach its violent and abrupt end.

In one of the most dramatic moments of the Syrian crisis, General de Gaulle told Duff Cooper, the British ambassador to Paris: "We are not, I admit, in a position to open hostilities against you at the present time. But you have insulted France and betrayed the West. This cannot be forgotten." On that same day, June 4, 1945, Cooper wrote in his diary: "He is genuinely convinced that the whole incident has been arranged by the British so as to carry out their long-planned policy of driving the French out of the Levant in order to take their place."

It now emerges that de Gaulle had concrete proof that "perfidious Albion" had struck again. That proof is contained in Syrian documents from 1944-1945, and some from 1947, which are preserved in the French archives and have now been made available to researchers. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden and the rest of the British diplomatic corps persisted in their denials. Britain, they asserted, had no surreptitious motives in Syria and Lebanon, and in fact had mediated between Syria and France in an effort to reach an agreement. Britain's decision to intervene was the direct result of de Gaulle's aggressive policy, and his suspicions concerning Britain's role in the Levant bordered on paranoia and Anglophobia.

De Gaulle, for his part, was as good as his word: He never forgot and never forgave the British for one of the most galling and humiliating episodes he endured in his long career. In his memoirs he repeats obsessively his accusations against the British, for having betrayed France and exploited its passing weakness in order to dislodge it from a region in which it had religious, cultural and economic ties for hundreds of years. Britain, de Gaulle maintained, had generated the Syrian crisis deliberately in order to remove France from the Middle East, because France constituted an obstacle in its path toward creating an Arab federation under British hegemony. De Gaulle also accused Churchill of attempting to take advantage of the Syrian affair in order to oust him as head of the provisional French government.

Arab historians have described the crisis of May-June 1945 as a heroic uprising by the Syrian nationalists, who expelled the French from their country and thereby ensured its full independence. To this day, the Syrians mark the French departure in the form of a national holiday. But a perusal of hundreds of Syrian documents now available in French archives will oblige scholars to reexamine the history of the region, taking into consideration the secret alliance between Britain and Syria, which allowed Britain to exercise considerable control in Syria until 1948. Such a study may well have far-reaching implications for the history of the struggle to establish the State of Israel.

Vanquishing Syria

De Gaulle's feeling of betrayal was heightened by the fact that the officer who represented Britain in Syria and Lebanon during the war years was General Edward Spears, who had extricated de Gaulle from France at the last minute before the Nazi conquest. On August 5, 1944, Spears sent Riyad al-Sulh, the Lebanese prime minister, on a secret mission to Damascus. So strict was British security that Sulh learned the exact purpose of his mission only when he met with the British consul in the Syrian capital. The consul dictated to Sulh a proposal from His Majesty's Government to the Syrian government; Sulh was to convey the proposal to Saadallah al-Jabiri, the Syrian prime minister, who was also Sulh's father-in-law.

The British proposal included, among other points, Syria's unification with Transjordan and Palestine to create "Greater Syria." Syria would also have to accord Britain preferential status in military, economic and cultural matters and not sign any agreement with other countries without prior consultation with London. To persuade the Syrian leaders to agree to these terms, Britain was ready to commit itself to defend Syrian independence in the face of external aggression, continue the White Paper policy in Palestine and put a complete halt to "Jewish ambitions."

This clandestine British proposal to the Syrian government shows that, contrary to what has been believed until now, in August 1944 the British government gave its representatives in the Middle East the go-ahead to implement Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Said's "Fertile Crescent Plan." This entailed forming Greater Syria by integrating Syria with Transjordan, Palestine and Lebanon. At a later stage, Greater Syria would be united in a federation with Iraq. The Christian minorities in Lebanon and the Jews in Palestine would enjoy autonomy.

The document elaborating the British proposal shows that after three years of objecting, Churchill and Eden finally accepted the approach of their representatives in the Middle East and adopted a strategy congruent with the surging force of pan-Arabism. The obstacles were formidable: Britain had to oust France from the Levant, violate its commitments to the Zionist movement just when the scale of the Holocaust in Europe was becoming apparent, and depose Jordan's Emir Abdullah. In addition, Britain could be certain that its moves would anger the United States and the Soviet Union alike. Nevertheless, Churchill and Eden, and afterward Clement Attlee and Ernest Bevin, allowed a group of overconfident diplomats and army officers to drag them into a costly adventure, which was to put an end to British hegemony in the Middle East six years later.

Between August 1944 and May 1945, the major obstacle to the implementation of Britain's plans was the obdurate opposition of president Quwatli, who in the preparatory meetings for the establishment of the Arab League, supported the Egyptian-Saudi camp against Iraq. The British and Syrian documents present a clear picture of the pressure the British and the Iraqis applied on Quwatli. They led de Gaulle, who closely followed the British and Iraqi intriguing, to remark that the Syrian president was "the sole sincere politician in those countries." To Georges Bidault, his foreign minister, he noted the "duplicity" of the British government, which in London was still promising to persuade Syria and Lebanon to conclude treaties with France, while in Damascus its representatives were secretly trying to get the Syrian government to sign a treaty with Britain.

The final stage in this British campaign of intrigue, provocation and pressure was played out in May 1945, with the aim of coercing Quwatli to sign an agreement with Britain. The secret British efforts to expel France from Syria were coordinated by Colonel Walter Stirling (who sometimes operated in the guise of a correspondent for The London Times). In a report dated May 22, Stirling described a scene which could have come straight out of a Shakespearean tragedy: Even as Mardam was plotting to replace him, Quwatli was lying sick in bed, clutching a piece of paper on which the American consul general, George Wadsworth, had written - in the name of his government - an undertaking to back Syria's struggle to free itself from colonial rule. Quwatli declared to Stirling that the United States was the Arabs' best friend, whereas the British were egoistic and could not be relied upon for very long as they changed their position according to their interests.

On May 29, at the height of the French assault on his government's institutions, Quwatli finally gave in to the British and agreed to subject his country to British hegemony, in return for Britain's defense of Syria against the French. The following day General Paget issued the ultimatum to the French forces to observe an immediate cease-fire. The documents in the French archives show that the secret agreement was concluded hastily and consisted of seven letters: five from President Quwatli to Terence Shone, the British minister in Syria and Lebanon (to which Mardam was a cosignatory) and two from Shone to the Syrian president. Additional correspondence relating to the agreement was exchanged between Quwatli, Mardam and Shone between June 2 and July 2.

All five letters Quwatli sent open with the same sentence, in which the Syrian president swears on his honor, in his name and on behalf of the Syrian nation to establish Greater Syria; to grant Britain concessions for oil exploration in Syria and a preferential political, economic and financial status in the country; to adopt a foreign policy compatible with Britain's; and to allow Britain a role in establishing the Syrian army. Apparently Quwatli's immediate concern was that his commitment to the British remain absolutely secret, and Shone's two letters to him undertook, on behalf of his government, not to divulge the existence of his letters.

In the years that followed, Quwatli and Mardam enjoyed the admiration of the Syrian public in particular and of the Arab world as a whole for having led Syria to full independence without any foreign presence. But the Syrian documents reveal the extent of British control in Syria and the various methods the British employed to ensure that Quwatli would toe the line. The British continued to exploit Damascus' fear of the return of the French and further heightened it by emphasizing the Zionist and Soviet threats, as well as the ambitions of Emir Abdullah to crown himself king of Greater Syria.

At the end of 1945, the new Labour government took advantage of Syria's fears of a possible change in British policy to ensure that Damascus would uphold its May 1945 undertakings to Britain. In pro-British Iraq, Nuri al-Said took steps to coordinate Syria's foreign policy with that of Iraq in regional and inter-Arab relations. British officers were employed in the Syrian army, although officially it was claimed that they had been hired privately by the Syrian government. British intelligence also used Syrian agents for subversion against France in North Africa. However, the major obstacle to the Anglo-Iraqi-Syrian plan was not France, but the thrust of the Zionist movement to establish a Jewish state in Palestine.

In the service of Britain

In June 1945, in a debate in the French Consultative Assembly on the Syrian crisis, Bidault warned the British: "Hodei mihi, cras tibi" (in Latin: It is my lot today, yours tomorrow). Indeed, in the following years French intelligence did its utmost to exact a high price from Britain in the Middle East. The French were not motivated purely by revenge, but also by the ambition to restore their influence in the Levant, particularly in Lebanon, and counter British subversion in North Africa. The Syrian Foreign Ministry's documents, which the French received from their agent in Damascus, afforded them ample opportunity to act against the British in the Middle East, as well as against the governments of Quwatli-Mardam in Syria and of Sulh in Lebanon. In the period 1945-1948, the most effective French weapon against Britain in the Middle East was its support for the struggle of the Zionist movement. In a meeting held on October 6, 1945, with Marc Jarblum, head of the Zionist organization in France, de Gaulle stated that "the Jews in Palestine are the only ones who can chase the British out of the Middle East." On November 10, in a visit to Paris, David Ben-Gurion, head of the Jewish Agency, was told by foreign minister Bidault that France supported the Zionist cause.

Syrian documents recently uncovered shed new light on events that led to the establishment of the State of Israel and call for a reexamination of certain basic beliefs concerning British policy in Palestine from 1945-1948. The British proposal to Syrian leaders in August 1944 and the secret Anglo-Syrian agreement of May 29, 1945, reveal that Britain had assured Syria - a country not previously known to have been under British hegemony - that it would limit Jewish immigration and thwart the emergence of an independent Jewish state in Palestine. The agreement also reveals that by the summer of 1945, Britain had already formulated a Middle East policy based on an Iraqi-Syrian alliance, which included a plan for the formation of Greater Syria, which was to include Palestine. That policy patently could not accommodate the creation of an independent Jewish state in any part of Palestine.

Hundreds of Syrian diplomatic documents covering the period June-December 1945 provide details of negotiations between Syria and other Arab states and Britain's new Labour government on the Palestine question. It becomes apparent how the future of Palestine played a key role in inter-Arab rivalry and how the British government invoked the Zionist threat to ensure that the Syrian leaders abided by their secret undertaking to Britain.

Neither American warnings, Soviet threats, pressure by the kings of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, nor criticism by Syrian representatives in Washington and Paris were able to detach Quwatli and Mardam from their commitments to support British policy. Whenever Quwatli, under Saudi and Egyptian pressure, sought to free himself from the grip of the British, they played the French and Zionist cards, while the Iraqi government drew on pro-Iraqi Syrian politicians, particularly in the Aleppo region, to withstand the pressure. And always hovering in the background was the dreaded Emir Abdullah and his ambitions for the Syrian crown. Each time it seemed that Quwatli was no longer heeding "British advice," British agents in Syria or Transjordan, including Colonel Stirling, gave large sums of money to tribal sheikhs in the Syrian desert in return for their declared allegiance to Emir Abdullah.

The British exploited the Zionist aspirations for a Jewish state in Palestine not only to threaten the Syrians, but also to induce them to cooperate. Indeed, following the secret Anglo-Syrian agreement, Quwatli and Mardam began to assume direct responsibility for ensuring that Palestine would become an integral part of Greater Syria, controlled by them from Damascus. Subsequently, in addition to rejecting the Zionist thrust for a Jewish state, the Syrian leaders also rebuffed the demands of the mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, for an independent Palestinian state under his control. Thus, for example, Mardam warned the British that France was using the mufti, who received political asylum in France in 1945-1946, to subvert the Syrian and British interests. In 1947-1948, Quwatli and Mardam clashed repeatedly with the mufti, particularly over the appointment of Fawzi al-Qawuqji as head of the Arab Army of Salvation.

De Gaulle and Truman

The Syrian documents enhance understanding of two significant events on the road to Israel's establishment: President Harry S Truman's letter of August 31, 1945, to British prime minister Attlee, demanding that Britain allow the immigration of 100,000 Jewish refugees from camps in Europe to Palestine; and the well-known speech by Soviet foreign minister Andrei Gromyko in the United Nations on May 14, 1947 endorsing the establishment of a Jewish state.

Ten days before Truman sent his letter, de Gaulle visited the United States for a first meeting with the president. De Gaulle attached considerable importance to the visit, as France desperately needed the United States' support for the restoration of its Great Power status in Europe and in its overseas colonies, particularly in Indo-China, and for solving its pressing economic problems. The Syrian crisis had greatly damaged France's standing in the United States, so it was vital for de Gaulle to prove to the Americans that Britain, which had conspired with the Syrians to expel France from its mandated territories, was the real culprit.

It can be assumed that to ensure secrecy, de Gaulle would have revealed details of the Anglo-Syrian agreement only to president Truman. In any event, from August 22-24 the two leaders held three meetings. On the 24th, the Syrian ambassador to Washington, Nazim al-Qudsi, reported to Damascus that he had been urgently summoned to the State Department and asked to present his government's response to the question of whether Syria had agreed to unite with Iraq and whether the Syrian government was colluding with the British government to this end.

Puzzled, the Syrian diplomat, who knew nothing about any such agreement, immediately transmitted the American request to Damascus. The denial by Syrian Prime Minister Faris al-Khuri did not allay American suspicions. On August 25, al-Qudsi reported that he had learnt that the United States would support the Jewish cause in order to prevent total British control in the Middle East. Six days later, President Truman sent his famous letter to the British prime minister.

In the following months, al-Qudsi reported on extremely hostile statements by American officials against the British and Syrian governments. Secretary of state James Byrnes stated that the British wanted to expel the French from Syria and Lebanon only to take over the oil resources. An American official wondered whether the United States had recognized Syria's independence only to see it come under British control, adding that "Britain, at this stage, is the true master of your country." Another diplomat declared that "Britain's intervention was intended to subjugate you and your economy, which is to say, it only seeks to colonize you." A further report reveals the Americans' opinion of what they viewed as ruinous British policy in Palestine. According to one diplomat, the British were responsible for the chaotic situation there, and he cautioned his Syrian interlocutor that Britain was exploiting the Jewish-Arab conflict in order "to achieve control in all the Arab states."

The Syrian diplomatic correspondence reveals also the intense Anglo-American rivalry over the exploitation of the Syrian economy. The British used their influence there to further the interests of British companies, at the expense of American firms. Terence Shone, now the British ambassador to Damascus, went so far as to warn Mardam against allowing American banks to operate in Syria, as "that would constitute capitalist colonial exploitation of the Syrian economy."

The Syrian government's refusal in 1947-1948 to grant a permit to the Trans-Arabian Pipeline company - Tapline - to lay an oil pipeline from Saudi Arabia through Jordan and Syria to the Mediterranean coast in Lebanon only increased American anger. Externally, it appeared that the Syrian government was acting in line with secret decisions made by the Arab League to boycott the Americans and the British because of their Palestine policy. In fact, the Syrians' refusal was tacitly encouraged by the British. In any event, Truman held the British government responsible and constantly pressured Bevin to compel Syria to grant Tapline the necessary permits.

What did Ben-Gurion know?

The French were more than happy to supply president Truman with new proof of British scheming, particularly in Palestine. But did France inform the Soviet Union of the secret Anglo-Syrian agreement or of the British intention to forge an anti-Soviet regional alliance with the participation of Iraq, Syria and Turkey - a plan they also learned about from the British-Syrian correspondence? If the Soviets had known of this, they would certainly have done their utmost to foil the British designs in the region overall and in Palestine in particular. A comparison of the British-Syrian and Soviet-Syrian correspondence indeed reveals a recurrent pattern: Issues secretly raised by the British with the Syrians were referred to by the Soviets within days. For example, when the British demanded that their armed forces remain in Syria even after the French evacuation, the Soviet representative in Damascus, Daniel Solod, immediately protested. When the British invited the Syrian government to send delegates to a secret conference in London to discuss the defense of the Middle East against external threats, a Soviet official in Moscow protested to the Syrian representative, Faiz al-Khuri. These and other examples suggest that France kept the Soviets abreast of British activity in the Middle East and North Africa.

A more intriguing question is whether the French passed on information from their Syrian source to the heads of the Jewish Agency, David Ben-Gurion and Moshe Sharett. Was Ben-Gurion's almost prophetic ability during 1945-1948 to foresee regional and international developments and prepare the Yishuv (the Jewish community in Palestine) for a military confrontation with the Arab states based on prior knowledge of British and Arab secret intentions? Did his distrust of Britain's role in Palestine, portrayed by historians as "obsessive" and "paranoid," derive, like de Gaulle's suspiciousness, from accurate intelligence? Was Ben-Gurion's belief that the British were involved in a secret conspiracy with Arab leaders to prevent the establishment of a Jewish state based on information provided by the French? And did his fateful decision to declare the establishment of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948 - and later to impose major operational decisions on his generals - stem from secret information he received from the French about the Arabs' military plans?

Initial research was carried out in the last two months in three archives (the Ben-Gurion archives in Sde Boker, the Haganah archives in Tel Aviv and the Central Zionist Archives in Jerusalem), and Ben-Gurion's diaries, particularly his war diaries for December 1947-July 1949, were also consulted, with the aim of discovering whether information from the Syrian documents was made available to Ben-Gurion and whether he knew its exact origin. Also examined were the modes by which intelligence information was transmitted and those who were possibly involved on the Israeli side.

Within the framework of this article only a few of the findings can be cited. For example, on October 15, 1944, Ben-Gurion met in Beirut with General Paul Beynet, the French delegate general in Syria and Lebanon. Their meeting was probably arranged by Eliyahu Eilat (Epstein), who had met Beynet on September 6, a month after French intelligence learned of the secret British plan to expel France from Syria and Lebanon and foil the establishment of a Jewish state. Ben-Gurion recounts his meeting with General Beynet at length, particularly the emphasis he laid on the importance of a Jewish state for the existence of a Christian Lebanon.

On November 23, 1944, Ben-Gurion wrote in his diary that he had sent a letter with Captain Blanchard to Marc Jarblum, the representative of the Zionist Organization in France. Blanchard was an intelligence officer who had served with the forces of Free France in Syria and Lebanon during the war. In 1945, together with Tuvia Arazi, an intelligence officer and a liaison between the Jewish Agency and Free France, he accompanied Ben-Gurion to some of his meetings with French officials in Paris. Blanchard continued to be involved in the secret contacts between France and the Zionist movement or Israel in the following years. Ben-Gurion was in Paris in May and June 1945, when the Syrian crisis erupted. His diary entries show clearly that he endorsed wholeheartedly the French charges against the British. If Britain was ready to go to such extremes against France in Syria and Lebanon to ensure its regional status, it was obvious to him that it would be ready to impose its own solution on the Yishuv as well. In a diary entry on June 8, he noted that the French were seeking the cooperation of Jewish groups in order to undermine security in Palestine and that emissaries of the underground breakaway militias Etzel and Lehi had visited Beirut.

By September, it had become apparent that the Labour government did not intend to modify British policy in the Middle East. The French learned this from the Anglo-Syrian correspondence. On October 1, Ben-Gurion sent his well-known directive from Paris to Moshe Sneh, the head of the Haganah, instructing the defense forces to cooperate with Etzel and Lehi in armed resistance against British rule. The establishment of the united resistance movement was seen at the time as an extreme measure and was strongly criticized by some of Ben-Gurion's colleagues, as this ended a quarter-century of close cooperation between the Zionist movement and Britain. Ben-Gurion remained in Paris throughout nearly the whole of 1946 and early 1947, directing the struggle against the British from his temporary headquarters in the Royal Monceau Hotel on Avenue Hoche.

Other important discoveries relate to the three agreements the Jewish Agency entered into in 1946 with Egyptian Prime Minister Ismail Sidqi; with Emir Abdullah; and with the Maronite Church on a compromise solution for Palestine based on partition. These agreements can be better understood if one takes into account that all four parties involved were adversely affected by the Anglo-Iraqi-Syrian deal of 1945. The French provided details of the Anglo-Iraqi intrigues to the Egyptians and the Maronite church. As for Emir Abdullah, he may have heard about them from officials of the Jewish Agency, with which he had maintained close ties since the 1930s.

The British withdrawal

The Syrian documents reveal the close ties that were formed between Lebanese Prime Minister Riyad al-Sulh and Brigadier Iltyd Clayton, whose official position was liaison officer to the Arab League in the British Middle East Office in Cairo. From 1946-1948, Sulh played an important part in the meetings of Arab leaders concerning Palestine, while Clayton had a key role in the British intelligence service in the Middle East after World War II.

The Syrian documents also show that in the summer of 1947, the Syrian leaders were concerned about some of Sulh's improved relations with France and his collaboration with the mufti, who then resided in Beirut. The Syrian ambassador in London, Najib Armanazi, who spoke with General Spears, informed Mardam that Sulh's policy was being coordinated with the British.
In another report, Armanazi informed Mardam that Clayton had received a "carte blanche" to promote the Greater Syria plan, which was "still on the table." After meeting Sulh in Beirut, Mardam reported to president Quwatli that Sulh's activities were indeed being coordinated with the British. At the end of September 1947, a Haganah intelligence agent reported that Riyad al-Sulh and the mufti, with tacit British support, were planning to foment protests and strikes by Arab Palestinians in early October against the emerging partition plan. The report added that armed bands would be allowed to cross the border from Lebanon and attack Jewish settlements in the Galilee. It is noteworthy that in September and October, Brigadier Clayton was in Lebanon, where Arab League meetings took place to formulate joint Arab diplomatic and military policy in Palestine. Arab affairs experts who were advising Ben-Gurion doubted the agent's reports, but another expert on the subject, Jewish Agency representative Eliahu Sasson, who arrived in New York from Paris on the eve of UN discussions on partition, warned that these activities were being coordinated with the British.

In the next two weeks, Ben-Gurion placed the Yishuv on alert; forces were mobilized and sent to the Galilee, and Jewish settlements were fortified. Some historians have viewed this as an overreaction and a sign of panic, while others see it as merely a military exercise intended as a warning to the British. But if we take into account the information obtained by the French from their Syrian source on the close collaboration between Sulh and Clayton, which they had surely conveyed to Ben-Gurion or to the Haganah, Ben-Gurion's reaction is more readily understandable.

At the end of 1947 and in the early months of 1948, the French continued to send reports of Sulh's collaboration with Clayton, in some cases via Morris Fischer, a Yishuv intelligence officer who served with the forces of Free France in Syria and Lebanon until 1945, and was afterward appointed Jewish Agency representative in Paris. (He became nascent Israel's first ambassador to France.) For example, on January 13, Fischer reported that Clayton had reached a secret agreement with Sulh on the withdrawal of the British forces from the Galilee to Haifa, to give the Arab Army of Salvation freedom of maneuver.

These examples, and others not cited here, do not by themselves necessarily constitute unequivocal proof that the French shared information they gleaned from the Syrian documents with the Israelis. However, if we take into account the secret Anglo-Syrian agreement, the intense French hostility toward the British in the aftermath of their expulsion from Syria and Lebanon, and the close collaboration between France and the Zionist movement during 1945-1948, this possibility appears quite reasonable. In any case, the Syrian documents uncovered so far in French archives will oblige historians to reassess British policy in the postwar Middle East in general, and in Palestine in particular.

It might be appropriate to conclude with the remark of the French consul general in Jerusalem, Rene Neuville, who declared in June 1948, at the height of the Jordanian Arab Legion's siege of Jerusalem: "There are those who pull the trigger and those who pull the strings.'
Meir Zamir is a professor of Middle East history in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
All rights reserved by the author.

[Ook geplaatst op Israël-Palestina Info]

1 Miljoen aan vervalste Dollars uit Gazastrook in Egypte aangetroffen

Egyptische winkeliers in de buurt van de Gazastrook hebben voorlopig even genoeg van de Palestijnen.....
1 million forged US dollars from Gaza reportedly seized in Egypt
Date: 07 / 02 / 2008  Time:  15:53

Bethlehem - Ma'an - Egyptian authorities have seized more than a million dollars in forged US currency allegedly produced in the Gaza Strip since the Gaza-Egypt border was toppled by Palestinian fighters two weeks ago, Egyptian sources told Ma'an on Thursday.

The sources expect more counterfeit banknotes to be discovered, as hundreds of dollars are being found every day. Egyptian merchants in towns bordering Gaza, such as Al-Arish, Rafah and Sheikh Zwaid have helped investigators by saving counterfeit bills.

Most of the forged bills are not being reused, as merchants have been warned by the Egyptian government to double-check currency before accepting it.

The Egyptian security services refused to lay blame for the flood of forged money until investigations have completed.

However, Egyptian reiterated on Thursday that the border with the Gaza Strip will not again be violated again.

IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis

Palestijnse verzetscomité's roepen Israël op het zuiden te evacueren

Alle Palestijnse 'verzetsgroepen' vinden dat heel Israël geëvacueerd moet worden, zodat de Palestijnen er kunnen gaan wonen en er eindelijk vrede is.


PRC: Residents of southern Israel should evacuate
Published: 02.08.08, 11:29

A senior Popular Resistance Committees official, Abu Abir, claimed responsibility for the rocket barrages against southern Israel earlier in the day on behalf of his organization. Abu Abir told Ynet he urges the residents of Sderot and other southern communities to evacuate from their homes.

"What was up until now is nothing compared to what will be. We call on them to evacuate for their safety and the safety of their children," he said.
(Ali Waked)

vrijdag 8 februari 2008

Verenigde Staten boycot VN 'Anti-Racisme Conferentie' in Durban 2009

Als Europese landen het voorbeeld van de VS en Canada volgen, zal dat de overige staten dwingen hun kritiek en zorgen serieus te nemen, en de opzet en organisatie te veranderen. Nog beter is het wellicht concrete eisen te stellen: Israël in het organiserende comité, en bij de voorbereiding van het NGO gedeelte zijn alleen echte antiracisme organisaties welkom, niet organisaties die het voor de Palestijnen opnemen en/of Israël demoniseren.
Important preparatory meetings are being called for Passover and Yom Kippur of this year, preventing Israeli officials from participating
United States Says No to Anti-Racism Conference

By Marc Perelman
Tue. Feb 05, 2008

UNITED NATIONS ­ In a major blow to an upcoming United Nations anti-racism conference, the United States has decided to not participate, out of concern it would stir up the anti-Israel sentiments that marked the first such conference, the Forward has learned.

"We are concerned about the structure and the development of the follow-up conference," Richard Grenell, the chief spokesman for the U.S. mission to the U.N., told the Forward on Tuesday.

Until Tuesday, the United States had not publicly discussed their plans for the upcoming conference, for which details are still vague.

During the 2001 World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa, Israel came under fire from Arab and Muslim countries, as well as a number of non-governmental organizations, prompting Israel and the United States to walk out in protest.

In recent months, Jewish groups have been urging Western countries not to participate in the new conference out of concern that the same problems would arise, pointing to the fact that Libya had been elected to chair the gathering with Cuba as vice-chair, while Iran was appointed to the organizing committee. Moreover, the U.N. gave planning oversight for the conference to its Human Rights Council, a body that has come under criticism for its excessive focus on Israel.

Canada was the first country to publicly back out of the conference. On January 23, Jason Kenney, Canada's secretary of state for multiculturalism and Canadian identity announced that the so-called Durban II conference "has gone completely off the rails."

"Our considered judgment, having participated in the preparatory meetings, was that we were set for a replay of Durban I. And Canada has no intention of lending its good name and resources to such a systematic promotion of hatred and bigotry," he told the Canadian media.

The U.N. declined to comment directly on Canada pulling out of the conference, but U.N. spokeswoman Marie Okabe said "racism is too important an issue for member states not to work out their differences."

The U.N. could not be reached by the Forward to comment on the decision by the United States. This decision is likely to have an oversized impact on the conference due to Washington's weight on the international scene. For Israel, the move by its main ally is a major public relations victory.

After the earlier decision, B'nai Brith Canada applauded the Canadian government, as did the World Jewish Congress, whose board voted a resolution last week commending the Canadian government for "its bold action in calling the world's attention to the corrupted Durban Review Conference process."

Kenney noted important preparatory meetings are being called for Passover and Yom Kippur of this year, preventing Israeli officials from participating. More importantly, all of the non-governmental organizations invited to the first conference have been invited back to the second. The forum for non-governmental organizations, which took place in parallel to the governmental one at Durban, was the one where the most forceful denunciations of Israel were aired.

Tue. Feb 05, 2008

Egyptische jihadisten naar Gazastrook om Palestijnse strijd te steunen

In december verklaarde de Egyptische Moslim Broederschap al 10.000 strijders te kunnen mobiliseren om Palestina (dat is inclusief Israël) te helpen bevrijden. Er schijnen nu daadwerkelijk 2.000 de Gazastrook te zijn binnengegaan.
Report: Egyptian radicals enter Gaza to aid Palestinian militants

Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm reports that 2,000 Egyptian Islamic fundamentalists have infiltrated into Gaza in order to help fight against Israel since perforation of fence

Roee Nahmias YNET

Approximately 2,000 Egyptian activists in radical Islamic organizations have infiltrated into the Gaza Strip in order to assist militant Palestinian groups since the fence between Gaza and Egypt was pierced, according to a report in the Egyptian Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper on Wednesday.

The report is based on sources from the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military wing, who said that the 2,000 Islamic fundamentalists poured into the Palestinian enclave in order to join the struggle against Israel.

The sources claim the motivated jihadists met with Islamic Jihad and Hamas leaders and requested to join the al-Qassam Brigades and engage in "martyrdom operations". The leaders declined to accept, asking the men to return to Egypt, in order to avoid a confrontation between Egypt and Israel.

The sources added that the potential recruits visited Hamas gunmen stationed along the border with Israel and watched the military wings of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah carry out training maneuvers.

According to the report, Hamas officials simply asked the Egyptians to pray for them.

An Egyptian security source said on Wednesday that national forces have taken total control of the border, this despite clashes took place alongside the frontier Monday when an armed Palestinian group attempted to storm the border again.

The German News Agency reported that an Egyptian soldier died and another was injured in a mine explosion on the Gaza-Egypt border. However, a security source told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the soldier was injured during training and is currently being treated for his injuries. 

Stereotype negatieve studie over Israël door Verenigde Methodistische Kerk (2)

Een tweede kritische reaktie van Christians for Fair Witness on the Middle East op de studie van de Verenigde Methodistische Kerk over het Israëlisch-Palestijnse conflict.
Dergelijke voorbeelden zoals hieronder zijn ook te vinden in allerlei opiniestukken en in reportages over het conflict, waarin Israël steevast de wrede agressor is en de Palestijnen de redelijke slachtoffers.

Fair Witness Is Deeply Concerned About UMC's "Israel-Palestine: Mission Study"


The GBGM's "Israel-Palestine:A Mission Study" Uses Group Stereotyping and Classic Anti-Semitic Themes To Cast Jews, Judaism and Israelis in a Hostile and Negative Light 

The Women's Division of the General Board of Global Ministries, United Methodist Church, has embarked on a yearlong study program focusing on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Part of this program is a 223 page volume entitled "Israel-Palestine: A Mission Study," co-authored by Revs. Stephen Goldstein and  Sandra Olewine.  The volume is replete with factual errors, misrepresentations, material omissions and distortions and does not present the facts of the Arab/Israeli conflict in a balanced or even handed manner.  Nor does it promote peace and justice.   Rather, it  is a somewhat blatant attempt  to portray Jews and Israelis in as damning a light as possible.  One telltale sign of the Mission Study's lack of evenhandedness is  its overt stereotyping of Jews as belligerent, inherently racist and vengeful. 

    1.  According to Rev. Goldstein, "I also recall hearing news the previous year of the Six-Day War in the Middle East . . . . I remember feeling some vengeful pride in hearing that the Jews had won a war. 'We' had beat somebody else, the 'Arabs.' Such chauvinism is a telling part of the story." (p.16) 

    Rev. Goldstein may well, as an individual, have felt "vengeful pride" after the Six-Day War.  But this projection of his  own negative emotions onto all Jews and suggestion that his own personal feelings are somehow "a telling part" of Israel's story has no validity and reveals an unsavory anti-Jewish and anti-Israel agenda that runs throughout this volume.  

    2. According to the Mission Study, "some scholars insist" that "religious racism . . . is inherent in some of the traditional writings and interpretations of Rabbinic Judaism regarding the non-Jew." (p. 96)


    3. According to the Mission Study, Israelis are guilty of harboring a "racism that considers Arabs less than human."  (p.30) 

    4. The Mission Study portrays the early Jewish immigrants to Israel/Palestine as people who "harbored  . . . contempt" for the Palestinian Arabs and who were "basically racist." (pp. 32 & 38) 

    5. The Mission Study accuses Israelis of "not see[ing] Palestinians as human beings like themselves." (p. 32) 

    6. The Mission Study contrasts Palestinian culture which it characterizes as "conservative and modest" with an impression of Jews as "arrogant and aggressive."  (p. 46) 

    7. According to the Mission Study, the Israelis "have seldom taken responsibility, at least publicly, for their belligerence, and their intentional undermining of attempts at resolutions to the conflict."  (p. 71) 

    8. After accusing Israelis of being "belligeren[t]," the Mission Study goes on to employ the classic anti-Semitic canard of Jewish conspiracy by stating  that "Israel's internal political dialogue has also created intentional ambiguity in its professed policies so as to confound potential agreements with Arab states and to manipulate its internal supporters."  (p. 71) 

    The Mission Study thus portrays  Israeli democracy as some cunning Jewish conspiracy designed not to encourage free thought and free expression but merely to "confound" and "manipulate" outsiders. 

    This is perhaps one of the most alarming aspects of the Mission Study.  It resurrects the libel of the world Jewish conspiracy, which was a defining anti-Semitic motif that most people of good-will thought had been put to rest after the Holocaust.   

    Sr. Ruth Lautt, OP, Esq.
    National Director
    Christians for Fair Witness on the Middle East
    475 Riverside Drive, Ste 1960
    New York, NY 10115

Stereotype negatieve studie over Joodse geschiedenis, Holocaust en Israël door Amerikaanse UMC kerk

Een bekende manier om de Joden en Israël zwart te maken: 'ze lijden aan een Holocaust complex, zien achter iedere Arabier een SS'er staan en doen daarom de Palestijnen aan wat hun is aangedaan....'

UMC Mission Study exploits the history of the Jewish Holocaust to cast Jews and Israelis in a stereotypically negative light.

Treatment of the Nazi Holocaust in the GBGM's "Israel-Palestine: A Mission Study"  

The  United Methodist Church, General Board of Global Ministries, Women's Division's "Israel-Palestine: A Mission Study" exploits the history of the Jewish Holocaust to cast Jews and Israelis  in a stereotypically negative light. 

     The Mission Study first assumes an attitude of sympathy towards the Jewish victims of the Holocaust 

"More than sixty years have passed since the events of World War II and the nearly successful elimination of European Jewry." (p. 100)  "The depth of these scars and their impact on the Israeli or any Jewish psyche cannot be underestimated." (p. 101) 

     But then the Mission Study's sympathetic attitude turns into an attitude of contempt, as it portrays Jews and Israelis as psychically damaged and paranoid people 

"The early Zionists had intended Israel to be a safe haven for persecuted Jews, yet ironically Israel had come into existence without being able to save the dead millions. To this day there is a latent hysteria in Israeli life that springs directly from this source.  It explains the paranoiac sense of isolation that has been a main characteristic of the Israeli temper since 1948." (p. 101) 

     The Mission Study portrays Israelis as corrupt, unhealthy and distrustful of other people as a result of their experience in Nazi Germany 

"The attendant rage has infected Israeli society in terribly corrupting and unhealthy ways. . . . it has been the single most significant factor in Israel's unwillingness to trust their Arab neighbors" (p. 101)  "Standing behind each Arab or Palestinian, Israelis tend to see SS men determined to push them once again into gas chambers and crematoria." (p. 102)


    • The Mission Study casts Jews as disdainful even of other Jews 

"I was aware of a mild disdain my father felt for other Jews who had fled Hitler's Europe . . ." 

(p. 100)  " I heard his lack of charity for some of his Jewish colleagues . . . Hasidic Jews were viewed with disdain." (p. 102) 

     And accuses Israelis of being indifferent to human suffering and of seeking to victimize non-Jews as a result of their experience of the Holocaust 

"this conflict has turned history's most celebrated victims, the Jews (and in this case Israelis) into victimizers of the Palestinians." (p.102) 

    • The Mission Study then blames the violence in the Middle East on what it characterizes as a Holocaust scarred Israeli psyche 

"This Holocaust consciousness has detracted from and undermined the on-going search for peace in the Middle East . . . this dynamic  . . . is perpetuating suffering for the Palestinians."  (p. 101) 

This attempt to employ pseudo-psychology to subtly or not so subtly suggest that as a result of the Holocaust, Israelis have now turned into oppressors who victimize the Palestinians just like the Nazis once victimized Jews, has no place in any civil discourse --

much less a Christian Study Guide.   

Given the depth of the pain Israelis and Jews feel with regard to the Holocaust, this raises significant questions about the Mission Study's intentions in bringing  references to Nazis into play in a discussion of the Arab Israeli conflict. 

It is clearly designed not to stimulate an informed, reasoned or problem solving discussion regarding the Arab/Israel conflict -- but rather to create hostility and inflame passions against one side -- the Jews. 

Since time immemorial, Jews have been characterized as inherently perverted souls and morally deficient people. To witness this ideology being used by the

United Methodist Church to describe the Jewish state is alarming at a time when worldwide anti-Semitism is on the rise

Sr. Ruth Lautt, OP, Esq.
National Director
Christians for Fair Witness on the Middle East
475 Riverside Drive, Ste 1960
New York, NY 10115

Israël beperkt energielevering Gazastrook met halve procenten

Voor de duidelijkheid: vanaf vandaag wordt de electriciteit van Israël naar de Gazastrook in één van de tien lijnen met 5% verminderd, dus dat is een reductie van 0,5%. Volgende week komt daar mogelijk nog een procent bij.

Gaza power reductions to begin Thursday

Israel will begin reducing on Thursday the amount of electricity it supplies to the Gaza Strip, as part of punitive measures against the Hamas government there.

The power cutback was made possible last week, when the High Court of Justice turned down appeals by several human rights groups against the planned sanctions.

According to a plan submitted to the High Court in response to the appeals, the IDF will reduce the flow of power in three of the 10 power lines used to supply Gaza with electricity.

"The defense minister is of the opinion that the continued reduction of fuel supplies,... cuts to the electricity flow, and the range of combat operations that are being carried out may assist Israel in the war it is waging against the terror organization that rules the Strip," the State Attorney's Office had said in its response to the appeals.

"We emphasize that the Gaza Strip is controlled by a murderous terror group that operates incessantly to strike the state of Israel and its citizens, and violates every precept of international law with its violent actions," the three-judge panel wrote in its decision.

The court said Israel was "required to act against terror organizations in accordance with the norms of international law and abstain from deliberately harming the civilian population located in the Gaza Strip."

The initial electricity cut is planned reduce the flow in one of the power lines by 5 percent, and in the next two weeks, 5% of the power in two additional lines is expected be cut.

The groups behind the court petition, Gisha and Adalah, condemned the court decision.

"This is a dangerous legal precedent that allows Israel to continue to violate the rights of Gaza residents and deprive them of basic humanitarian needs in violation of international law," the groups said in a statement.

AP contributed to this report.

Egyptische Minister van BuZa: 'Bij grensschendingen gebroken benen!'

Zou de grens nu echt dicht zijn?
Egypte's commentaar is natuurlijk nogal hypocriet, want Hamas heeft de opening van de grens maandenlang onder hun ogen voorbereid. De aanslag in Dimona en de arrestatie van Hamas leden die een aanslag in de Sinai wilden plegen hebben Egypte ervan overtuigd dat een open grens niet zo'n goed idee is.  
'Anyone who violates our border will get his legs broken'
Associated Press , THE JERUSALEM POST Feb. 7, 2008

Egypt's foreign minister said that no further violations of its borders would be tolerated in the wake of a 12-day breach on its frontier with Gaza and said anyone daring to cross would have their legs broken, the state news agency reported.

The uncharacteristically assertive remarks by Ahmed Aboul Gheit came during a late night interview on state television, in which he criticized both Israel and Hamas for creating the unstable situation on Egypt's border.

"Anyone who violates Egypt's borders will get his legs broken," Aboul Gheit was quoted as saying. He added that Egypt only allowed the Palestinians to cross the border after Hamas blew up the wall because of fears over the humanitarian situation resulting from Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip.
He blamed Israel for the humanitarian crisis and hardship that Gaza is experiencing, and for "responding to the Palestinian (Hamas) missiles with collective punishment."

He also criticized Hamas for launching those missile attacks, describing the confrontation as "laughable caricature" resulting in self-inflicted wounds.

"After Hamas's takeover of Gaza, it has decided to clash with Israel, though this clash seems to be a laughable caricature, because clashing with an opponent in battle is supposed to mean damaging them," he said. "You do not go into battle just to damage yourself."

He said Hamas's missiles either fall back in Gaza and injure Palestinians or give the Israelis a pretext to attack them.

The Egyptian's remarks drew a quick response from a Hamas leader in Gaza, Sami Abu Zuhri, who called them "inappropriate" and said he did not believe they reflected the official Egyptian stance.

"All we want is an open border crossing," Abu Zuhri said. "Instead of making these threats against the Palestinian people, [Aboul Gheit] should voice his anger against the Israeli occupation, which is what is closing the border crossings between Gaza and Egypt."

After 12 days during which Palestinians stocked up on food fuel and consumer products, Egypt reclosed the border pending a return to the 2005 international monitoring agreement involving Israeli and EU monitors.

Hamas rejects the agreement and has called for a role in controlling the border. Since the closure, Palestinians have clashed with Egyptian border guards.

Hamas pikt hulpgoederen in van Rode Halve Maan

Waarom zou Hamas voedsel en medicijnen stelen, als ze het beste voorhebben met de bevolking in Gaza? Blijkbaar zijn hun eigen leden toch wat belangrijker, en moeten zij weldoorvoed zijn om de volgende serie Qassam raketten af te kunnen schieten. Als Hamas weer eens klaagt over de Israëlische blokkade, bedenk dan dat zijzelf letterlijk van de armen stelen.

Hamas seizes aid meant for Red Crescent
Trucks filled with food, medicine meant for Red Crescent halted at Hamas checkpoint
Associated Press

Hamas policemen seized a convoy of humanitarian aid bound for the Palestinian Red Crescent on Thursday evening, the second convoy it has taken from the aid agency, aid employees said.

Policemen from Hamas halted 14 trucks filled with food and medicine at a checkpoint after it crossed an Israeli checkpoint into Gaza on Thursday, said employees of the Palestinian Red Crescent, who declined to be named, fearing reprisals from ruling group Hamas. A Hamas official said the aid was seized because the organization was distributing aid to former Fatah fighters and not to impoverished Palestinians.

Employees from the Red Crescent said they were meant to distribute the aid to some 8,000 needy Gaza residents from lists of people the organization keeps. The aid came from the organization's regional headquarters in Jordan, an employee said.

Aid unloaded in Hamas ministry warehouses

An employee said policemen halted the aid convoy and checked the trucks' contents. "They then insisted to drive one car in front us and another behind us, and led us to police compound in Gaza City," he said by telephone from the police station where he was held. Later, the food aid was unloaded in the warehouses of the Hamas Ministry of Social Affairs, and two trucks of medicine were taken to a nearby Hamas-run hospital, he said.

The employee said that it was the second time Hamas policemen seized aid meant for the Red Crescent. Last month the group seized the aid from warehouses. Ziad Zaza, Hamas' Social Affairs Minister said his staff had tried to discuss the issue of aid recipients with the Palestinian Red Crescent, but had received no response. He did not deny that police took the aid.

Ondergrondse Qassam silo's gevonden in Gazastrook

Een slecht teken. Hamas kijkt de kunst duidelijk af van Hezbollah (waar het ook door wordt gesteund).

Underground Kassam silos found in Gaza
Yaakov Katz , THE JERUSALEM POST Feb. 7, 2008

In a clear sign that Hamas is adopting Hizbullah tactics, IDF troops uncovered underground Kassam launch silos inside the Gaza Strip during an early-morning foray there on Thursday. During the operation, the troops killed seven Palestinian gunmen affiliated with Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Pictures released by the IDF Spokesperson's Office showed two underground Kassam rocket silos, a meter in diameter and two meters deep. The launchers,the army said, were big enough to hold a Kassam or Grad-model Katyusha rocket that could be launched by remote control.

The IDF estimates that there are additional underground rocket silos throughout the Gaza Strip. The silos were discovered by the Golani Brigade's elite Egoz Unit and defense officials said that their discovery proved the need for continued ground operations inside the Gaza Strip.

Some 20 Kassam rockets hit the western Negev on Thursday. One of the rockets hit a garage adjacent to a house in Sderot, causing a fire and sending three people into shock.

Two Kassams landed near a college in the Eshkol region. No one was wounded and no damage was reported. The other rockets all hit open areas. staff contributed to this report.

donderdag 7 februari 2008

Palestijnen verheerlijken daders zelfmoordaanslag Dimona

Verschillende kranten onder controle van de Palestijnse Autoriteit van Machmoud Abbas hebben de aanslag van afgelopen dinsdag verheerlijkt, en noemden de plegers 'martelaren'. Het is gebruikelijk iedere Palestijn die omkomt in het conflict, of het nou een terrorist is die zichzelf temidden van Israëli's opblaast of een kind dat op het verkeerde moment op de verkeerde plaats was, een martelaar te noemen. Abbas veroordeelde de aanslag wel maar stelde deze gelijk aan een Israëlische legeroperatie waarin twee militanten van de Islamitische Jihad werden gedood.
PA glorifies Dimona terrorists

The terrorists who perpetrated Monday's suicide bombing in Dimona were glorified in three newspapers controlled by the Palestinian Authority, including the official Al-Hayat al-Jadida which is controlled by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Media Watch reported Wednesday.

"The perpetrators of the operation died as shahids ... an Israeli was killed and eleven were wounded in the Dimona operation," Al-Hayat al-Jadida reported on February 5.

The Palestinian dailies Al-Iyam and Al-Quds also defined the bombers as glorious martyrs, or shahids.

The Palestinian media's description of the terrorists as shahids, granting them Islam's highest honor, clearly contradicts Abbas's condemnation of the terror attack.

According to Islam, a shahid is a person who dies a "holy death" for allah and is conceived as a hero and role model in Palestinian society, specifically for Palestinian youths.

Also described as shahids in the Palestinian media were two Palestinians who attempted to murder Israelis in Kfar Etzyon's Makor Haim High School several weeks ago.

Although terrorists have always been defined as shahids in Palestinian society, the latest report is particularly disturbing since it demonstrates that while Israel and the PA are attempting to renew peace negotiations, the PA is continuing to honor terrorists.

woensdag 6 februari 2008

Twee activisten van Islamitische Jihad gedood in vuurgevecht bij Jenin

Straathoekwerkers van de Islamitische Jihad die een weg blokkeren en daarbij in een vuurgevecht met een Israëlische patrouille raken, zijn volgens de PA even 'onschuldige burgers' als een winkelende vrouw die door een terrorist wordt opgeblazen?

PNA Condemns Qabatiya and Dimona Operations

RAMALLAH, February 4, 2008 (WAFA - PLO news agency) - The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) voiced its condemnation against the Israeli military operation in Qabatia town which claimed the death of two citizens and wounding the other.

In a statemnt, the PNA also condemned the operation inside an Israeli trade center in Dimona which targeted Israeli civilians.

The PNA reitarated its firm stance and condemnation against all operations targeting civilians either Palestinians or Israelis.

Israeli forces kill two Islamic Jihad activists near Jenin
Date: 04 / 02 / 2008  Time:  10:20

Jenin - Ma'an - Two Palestinian activists affiliated to the military wing of Islamic Jihad, the Al-Quds Brigades, were killed in an Israeli ambush on Monday morning in the northern West Bank town of Qabatia, south of Jenin.

Palestinian medical sources said that 32-year-old Ahmad Abu Zeid and 20-year-old Ammar Zakarna were killed, while 21-year-old Neji Nazzal was seriously injured and was sent to the government hospital in Jenin.

Sources in the Al-Quds Brigades said the activists were sitting under the trees in the western neighborhood of the town after blocking the access road to the area with rocks to impede potential Israeli patrols. When they rose to move, they were surprised by an Israeli infantry unit, who ordered them to surrender.

According to the Al-Quds Brigades sources, after they refusing to surrender, they exchanged fire with the Israeli troops and Nazzal was injured in the thigh. The two other fighters tried to rescue him, even though they were also injured by this time, however, they managed to run away.

"Ammar was found bleeding after the Israeli soldiers prevented ambulances from evacuating him. He continued bleeding until he died," the source said. Ahamad and Neji were also trapped in the western neighborhood, bleeding while ambulances were barred from the area. "Finally, medics in an ambulance were able to evacuate Neji Nazzal, while Ahmad Abu Zeid died of his wound," the source added

Ahmad Abu Zeid left behind a wife, an eight-year-old daughter, and a five-year-old son. He joined Islamic Jihad three years ago. The Israeli military has pursued him for two years, raiding his home several times.

Ammar Zakarna, the Al-Quds Brigades said, had managed to conceal his affiliation with the group, and had not been pursued by the Israeli military.

IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis

Egypte heropent Gaza grens na gevechten met Palestijnen

De grens tussen Gaza en Egypte schijnt sinds maandag weer open te zijn, na gevechten tussen Palestijnen uit Gaza en Egyptische grenswachten.

Eerder verklaarde Egypte:
Speaking after a meeting between Mubarak and European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, presidential spokesman Suleiman Awad said that Egypt would not allow the border to reopen. "Egypt is a respectable country," he said. "You can't break open its borders and throw stones at its soldiers."
Dat kan dus blijkbaar wel?

Report: Egypt reopens border after clashes with Gazans
By Yoav Stern, Avi Issacharoff and Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondents
Last update - 21:33  04/02/2008

The border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip was reopened Monday evening and Egyptian troops are allowing free passage, Palestinian sources told Haaretz.

A Palestinian man was killed and at least 44 Gazans and Egyptians were wounded Monday in an exchange of fire that erupted between masked Palestinian gunmen and Egyptian forces at Gaza's border with Egypt, Palestinian medical officials said.

It was the most serious outbreak of violence on the border since Hamas militants blew down the border wall on January 23. Egyptian forces resealed the border on Sunday.

On Monday, a Palestinian militant blew himself up in the southern Israeli town of Dimona, killing one woman and wounding 11 people. He was said to have entered along with another militant from Egypt.

On the Palestinian side, a 42-year-old man was killed and six people were wounded by gunfire, said a Gaza health official, Dr. Moaiya Hassanain.
Egyptian authorities said 38 members of the Egyptian security forces, including a colonel, were wounded.

Egyptian forces fired live bullets at the crowd, wounding several, witnesses said.

Later, members of the Hamas security force fired back.

After the clash, four vehicles carrying Hamas security force members drove in to break up the crowd, using sticks to push people away from the border.

The tensions began when the Egyptian guards sealed the border hermetically Monday, not even allowing Egyptians and Gazans who had found themselves on the wrong side of the border to return home.

Witnesses said anger boiled over in the late afternoon as people on both sides waited for permission to cross over. Gazans started throwing stones at the Egyptians, and Hamas did not interfere.

Youths began pelting an Egyptian command post in the area, and forces there first threw stones back, and then fired tear gas. Medics said 26 people were treated for tear gas inhalation.

Egyptian security officials in nearby El-Arish said Egyptian officers fired in the air. In Cairo, an official said there was a heavy exchange of fire. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose details to the media.

Egypt closed the border on Sunday, using metal spikes and barbed wire, ending a 12-day breach that had allowed hundreds of thousands of Gazans to visit Egyptian border towns.

Egyptian forces detain Palestinian carrying explosives in Rafah

Egyptian police have detained a Palestinian man carrying explosives in the border town of Rafah, security sources said on Monday.

The arrest came as Palestinian militants infiltrated the southern Israeli city of Dimona, carrying out a suicide bombing, which killed one person and wounded 11 others.

In a separate incident, five Palestinians were detained in Sinai on their way to Cairo, security sources said. The men were not carrying weapons or explosives.

On Sunday, a spokesman for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said that Cairo wants Hamas and Fatah to jointly operate the border crossing between Gaza and Egypt.

Speaking after a meeting between Mubarak and European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, presidential spokesman Suleiman Awad said that Egypt would not allow the border to reopen. "Egypt is a respectable country," he said. "You can't break open its borders and throw stones at its soldiers."

What Egypt would prefer, he said, is for the Rafah crossing to reopen under the same arrangements that were in place before Hamas took over Gaza last June - namely, under Palestinian control alongside EU monitors. The monitors left after the Hamas takeover, causing the crossing to be shut. Now, said Awad, "the ball is in the Europeans' court."

Solana said that the EU monitors would return if all parties concerned agreed, and added that the EU was working to achieve such an agreement.

Awad also stressed that Hamas needed to reach an agreement on this issue with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah movement.
Egypt's proposal, he said, is that Fatah and Hamas operate the crossing jointly.

Egyptian policemen and Hamas officials jointly erected a wire fence and iron barriers along the Gaza border Sunday, and Egyptian policemen then deployed along the makeshift wall with clubs. Despite the closure, some Palestinians were allowed into Egypt, but fewer than in previous days.

Hamas said that Egypt must now reach an agreement with it on reopening the border officially.

After the Dimona bombing on Monday, the town's mayor said Defense Minister Ehud Barak promised him that a security fence would be constructed along Israel's border with Egypt by 2010.

Brits Lagerhuis debat over antisemitisme en Holocaust Memorial Day

In het Britse Lagerhuis werd onlangs gediscussieerd over de Holocaust en hedendaags antisemitisme, een debat dat grotendeels werd genegeerd door de Britse media.
Denis MacShane van Labour, die voorzitter is van de parlementaire onderzoekscommissie over antisemitisme, gaf de interessantste bijdrage, hieronder ingeleid door Ami Isseroff.

The British press made a point of ignoring the wonderful British parliamentary debate on the Holocaust, in honor of Holocaust Memorial Day, January 31. We have to ask where all those anti-racists from the Guardian and the Independent were hiding, as they are always in evidence when there is an opportunity for Israel bashing. One members' point of order made this point.

Lembit Opik (Montgomeryshire) (LD): On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I hope that it is in order for me to express my disappointment that, despite the quality of this debate, the Press Gallery has remained empty throughout, with the exception of the Press Association staff...
The BBC reporters presumably did not have to be there, as they themselves were responsible for disseminating some of the worst examples of anti-Semitism that were cited in the debate.
The highlight perhaps were remarks by Denis MacShane, who has been in the forefront of the fight against British anti-Semitism, and whose remarks are given in full below. Most pointedly, he said:
 It has been said that anti-Semitism is a light sleeper. As chairman of the all-party commission of inquiry into anti-Semitism in this country, let me report to the House the fact that this is a light sleeper that is reawakening. Anti-Semitism is one of the ideological driving forces for violence, hate and terror around the world. It is international and coherent; it involves theoreticians and practitioners; its involves men of huge violence while at its soft end it involves a joke around the dinner table, or perhaps a brick hurled through a synagogue window.

We have to place on record some apostles of contemporary anti-Semitism as the best way of giving witness to our concern about and horror at what happened in the holocaust.
Ami Isseroff
Remarks by Labor Member Denis MacShane on the occassion of Holocaust Memorial Day, January 31, 2008, in Parliamenary Debate
Mr. Denis MacShane (Rotherham) (Lab): We have only one hour for debate. Those on the Front Benches have been very generous in taking interventions. I will not take interventions, simply so that I can sit down as soon as I can. Please wave a yellow or a red card at me, Mr. Deputy Speaker, if I go over more than four or five minutes.

This is an important debate and I am glad that the Government have found time for it. Like other Members, I have visited Auschwitz. I was there on the 60th anniversary of the liberation, but I have taken my children on private visits to Poland - to Madjenek - to try to explain to them exactly what the holocaust was. It was unique; it was not another genocide, another extermination. History is littered with those. As the hon. Member for Wycombe (Mr. Goodman) said, we face them today, perhaps in Darfur. What is being unleashed in Kenya might also be going in that horrible direction. We hope not.
The holocaust was four years of calmly organised, purposeful integration of transport, science, engineering and construction work to put millions of Jews, Sinti and Gypsies to death. We are now finding that the death toll may be higher. I want to report to the House the remarkable work of Father Desbois, a Paris-based priest who has spent the past two or three years touring sites in Ukraine that are not recorded, discovering graves the remains of Jews put to death by SS and Wehrmacht Einsatzgruppen after the invasion of Ukraine.
The holocaust figures may have to be increased a little, which is why we have to say to ourselves that there is no comparison between the holocaust and other horrible moments of European, or indeed world, history - expulsions, ethnic cleansing, population transfers, massacres at the end of the Ottoman empire and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians leaving their homes in the wars of 1947 and 1948.

Nor can we class the holocaust as just a matter of history. As hon. Members have said, the holocaust was rooted in an ideology - not in hate, race or religious hate, much as those were part of it, but in an ideology called anti-Semitism. It has been said that anti-Semitism is a light sleeper. As chairman of the all-party commission of inquiry into anti-Semitism in this country, let me report to the House the fact that this is a light sleeper that is reawakening. Anti-Semitism is one of the ideological driving forces for violence, hate and terror around the world. It is international and coherent; it involves theoreticians and practitioners; its involves men of huge violence while at its soft end it involves a joke around the dinner table, or perhaps a brick hurled through a synagogue window.

We have to place on record some apostles of contemporary anti-Semitism as the best way of giving witness to our concern about and horror at what happened in the holocaust. Take, for example, Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who says:

"An Israeli woman is not like women in our societies, because she is a soldier."
He goes on:

"I consider this type of martyrdom operation"

blowing up Jews in Israel

"as an evidence of God's justice."

All this was said on the BBC, not hidden away on obscure websites. He also said:

"Allah Almighty is just; through his infinite wisdom he has given the weak a weapon the strong do not have and that is their ability to turn their bodies into bombs as Palestinians do".

This man is an open advocate of Jew killing and of holocaust activities as they have been modernised in contemporary world history.

A few years back, Mr. Abd al-Rahman al-Sudayyis, imam at the al-Haram mosque in Mecca, said:

"Read history and you will understand that the Jews of yesterday are the evil fathers of the Jews of today...the scum of the human race 'whom Allah turned into apes and pigs'".

In March 2003, a more senior state figure, President Bashar al-Assad, said:

"Even if the peace process succeeds, it is impossible that Israel should be a legitimate state".

Returning home, Mr. David Irving, alking late last year to The Guardian, said that th Jews were responsible for what happened to them in the second world war and that the "Jewish problem" was responsible for nearly all the wars of the past 100 years:

"The Jews are the architects of their own misfortune",

he declared.

At about the same time, Muhammad Cherif Abbas, Algeria's Minister of War Veterans, said of President Nicolas Sarkozy:

"You know the origins of the French president and those who put him into power. Do you know that the Israelis printed a stamp with Nicolas Sarkozy on it during the election campaign?...Why has Bernard Kouchner..."
- the French Foreign Minister, who is a non-believing Jew -

"decided to cross the floor? It's the result of a movement that reflects the views of the real architects of Sarkozy's arrival in power - the Jewish lobby."

There we have it again - references to the "Jewish lobby", the cabal. The Saudi Government are publishing translations of the protocols of the elders of Zion and circulating them as contemporary historical material.
My final remarks - I shall sit down soon, Mr. Deputy Speaker, and thank you for that glance - relate to material published by Policy Exchange in a report produced by Professor Denis MacEoin of Newcastle university at the end of last year. The information in question is in circulation in the King Fahad school in west London. It says that the Jews are responsible for trying to

"immerse nations in vice and the spread of fornication."

It also says that the Jews are

"spreading immoral pornographic literature...Cheating, bribing, stealing and conning."

It goes on to say:

"The Jews are a people who were moulded with treachery and backstabbing throughout the centuries and they do not keep their word nor honour their promise."

Finally, let me quote Nick Griffin of the British National party, who is currently obsessed with Polish workers. A few years ago it was Asian workers, but the man has always been obsessed with Jews. He wrote a book called "Who Are The Mindbenders?", which lists Jews who work in the media and do not use their real names. Mr. Griffin denounced the former Labour Member of Parliament for York, Alex Lyon, as

"this bloody Jew... whose only claim to fame is that two of his parents died in the Holocaust."

In a book published in 1988, Mr. Griffin wrote:
"the Jews... shifted the alleged sites of the mass gassings from the no-longer believable German camps such as Dachau and Belsen to the sites in Communist Poland such as Auschwitz and Treblinka."

I put those quotes on the record so that people who read the debate can understand that what we are dealing with is not history. What we are dealing with is not what happened in the past; it is alive, awake and organising. It involves British citizens. It involves many people from different countries and different faiths. We must combat anti-Semitism today with the dedication with which we so singularly failed to combat anti-Semitism and Nazism before 1939.