zaterdag 16 augustus 2008

Mensenrechten verder onder druk door machtsstrijd tussen Hamas en Fatah

Sinds de laatste gevechten tussen Hamas en Fatah in Gaza, onderdrukken beide bewegingen elkaar nog agressiever en worden systematisch leden van de andere beweging opgepakt en gemarteld. Deze jarenlange strijd escaleerde vanaf de Hamas machtsovername in de Gazastrook in juni 2007.
Paradox: om overname door Hamas van de Westoever te voorkomen, moet Fatah wel hard optreden tegen Hamas daar, maar dat gaat ook ten koste van de vrijheid en mensenrechten van de inwoners, en leidt tot excessen zoals het oppakken en martelen van een universiteitsprofessor.


Associated Press
Widening campaign by Hamas, Fatah to quiet Palestinian dissent
Associated Press Writer
7:13 AM EDT, August 12, 2008,0,2487358.story

NABLUS, West Bank (AP) -  A West Bank professor is thrown into a police jeep and beaten with pipes. Detainees in Gaza are prevented from seeing lawyers. Club-wielding troops in the West Bank break up a peaceful march, and their counterparts in Gaza keep journalists from covering a police raid.

It's all part of a widening crackdown on political opponents, both by the Western-backed Fatah movement in the West Bank and by the Islamic militant Hamas in Gaza.

The crackdown began after a July 25 beach-side bomb killed five Hamas militants in Gaza. Hamas blamed Western-backed Fatah and rounded up scores of Fatah activists in Gaza. Fatah-allied security forces in the West Bank responded by seizing dozens of Hamas supporters.

The U.S. and Europe have said little about violations in the West Bank, even as they're spending millions of dollars on police training to help lay the foundations of a democratic Palestine. The foreign trainers say the abuse isn't carried out by security forces under their supervision.

Both Hamas and Fatah portray the sweeps as security measures, and play down rights violations as isolated.

However, leading intellectuals in the West Bank told Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad last week that they're worried about diminishing liberties.

Since Hamas violently wrested control of Gaza from Fatah in June 2007, each side has been trying to assert control over its territory. Two human rights groups reported last month that as part of that effort, security forces in both territories systematically tortured detainees.

Analysts say a desire to prevent the West Bank from falling to Islamists appears to override other Western concerns.

"The West is supporting one Palestinian faction over the other. It's all about politics, not human rights," said George Giacaman, a political scientist from the West Bank's Bir Zeit University.

Despite the internal rifts, most Palestinians reject the idea of civil war, but the crackdowns raise the specter of armed conflict between the two sides. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah's role in the escalating tension is cutting into his support.

Israel for its part has said that no peace agreement can be implemented until Gaza and the West Bank are reunited under Abbas' rule, but the reciprocal animosity is pushing that goal away.

In the meeting with Fayyad, Mamdouh al-Aker, head of The Independent Commission for Citizens' Rights, a Palestinian group, said "We have warned of (the West Bank government) turning into a security regime, and there are indications that we are heading in that direction."

Fayyad reminded participants of what he said was the danger posed by Hamas.

"As we all know, Hamas is not only working in Gaza," Fayyad said. "It works in the West Bank, too. Therefore, I cannot act as if nothing has happened."

The center of the West Bank crackdown is the city of Nablus, a former Hamas stronghold. Among those rounded up there included the acting mayor, several lawyers and prominent merchants suspected of helping Hamas.

Earlier this month, security forces seized four professors from the city's An-Najah university.

One of the professors, political scientist Raed Naerat, described himself as an independent but is portrayed by others as a sympathizer with Hamas' pragmatic wing. He said troops grabbed him two weeks ago, cuffed him, put a smelly sack over his head and bundled him into a jeep.

Naerat said he was driven around for almost four hours and beaten, including with metal pipes and rifles. He was held for two days, and doctors said he suffered bruises and a concussion from beatings.

Interior Minister Abdel Razak Yehiye, who oversees the West Bank security forces, said the detention of the professors was a mistake, and that he ordered them released. However, it is unlikely troops would act on their own in seizing respected members of the community.

The Palestinian security forces are also under pressure from Israel to assert control in once chaotic West Bank cities, as a condition for an eventual Israeli troop pullback. However, Israel says the Palestinian performance remains spotty, and that it's too soon to hand over security.

In recent weeks, Abbas' forces have become increasingly jittery.

They have targeted supporters of the Liberation Party, a pan-Islamic group whose supporters want to restore Islamic rule and criticize the West Bank's moderate leaders as "infidels."

In the past, Liberation Party activists were able to demonstrate freely, but recent marches were broken up. In the city of Hebron, Abbas troops beat photographers covering the march, and in the city of Ramallah, they prevented camera crews from filming as Liberation Party demonstrators were beaten with clubs.

Liberation Party activists say they espouse nonviolent change, but Palestinian security officials say they fear Hamas and other militants are using the fast-growing movement as a vehicle for dissent.

Political repression is also on the rise in Gaza.

Dozens of Fatah activists remain in detention, including district governors and intellectuals. Iyad Alami, a Gaza human rights activist, said lawyers have not been able to see detainees since the crackdown began.

A radio station linked to a small faction, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, was closed for three days. Hamas also banned the distribution of three daily newspapers produced in the West Bank.

Last week, Hamas imposed a closed military zone in the Gaza City neighborhood where Hamas forces had raided a Fatah-allied stronghold after hours of heavy fighting. The ban prevented photographers and camera crews from documenting often violent house-to-house searches. Several residents alleged that money, gold and computers were stolen by Hamas troops.

Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman, said the complaints would be investigated, and claimed that the neighborhood was declared off limits to protect journalists from unexploded ammunition.


Associated Press writers Karin Laub and Diaa Hadid in Gaza City and Ali Daraghmeh in Nablus contributed to this report.

Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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Na Samir Kuntar moeten ook Libanese gevangenen in Syrië vrijkomen

Al eens gehoord van de circa 200 Libanese gevangenen in Syrië? Nee? Je bent niet de enige. De media en het Libanese 'verzet' spraken altijd alleen over de gevangenen in Israël die men terugwilde. Zelfs de kidnapping van de Israëlische soldaten dik twee jaar geleden werd op deze manier gerechtvaardigd. Onrecht dat Arabieren elkaar aandoen is nou eenmaal een stuk minder interessant dan (vermeend) onrecht dat Israël Arabieren aandoet.
Hoeveel Syrische soldaten mag Hezbollah ontvoeren om aan dit onrecht een einde te maken? Vreemd, dat men het daar nooit over heeft.
Gelukkig zijn er in de Arabische media ook andere stemmen te horen.    

MEMRI - Special Dispatch | No. 2023 | August 13, 2008

After Israel's Release of Kuntar, Demand for Release of Lebanese Prisoners in Syria

The Hizbullah-Israel prisoner swap was applauded in much of the Arab press as a victory for Hizbullah, with Al-Jazeera even throwing a birthday party for Samir Kuntar.(1)

Nonetheless, not everyone in the Arab press was uniformly favorable to Hizbullah. The liberal columnist 'Adnan Hussein, in a July 24, 2008 article in the Kuwaiti Awan daily, compared Hizbullah's celebrations to a fascist rally, and sardonically proposed that the group now turn its attention to liberating the Lebanese prisoners held in Syria.

The background to this article was a July 21, 2008 protest demanding the release of the Lebanese prisoners in Syrian jails, held outside a meeting in Beirut between Lebanese President Michel Suleiman and Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Al-Mu'allem. According to a list released by the National Organization for Human Rights in Syria, there are approximately 200 such prisoners.(2)When asked by the press about the protest, Al-Mu'allem answered: "It's a shame I didn't bring with me some of the families of Syrians who have disappeared in Lebanon to protest as well... Those who have waited patiently more than 30 years [i.e. since the Lebanese civil war] can wait another few weeks." He said further that the issue of prisoners in Syrian prisons would be treated by an impartial judicial commission, which had already begun its work.(3)

Others criticized the Hizbullah-Israel prisoner exchange itself. In a July 25, 2008 article in the Kuwaiti Al-Jarida daily, liberal columnist Hamed Nayyef Al-'Anzi wrote that Samir Kuntar and Dalal Al-Mughrabi were terrorists and that there was no reason to rejoice at their return.

The following are excerpts from the two articles:

"There Are Hundreds of Lebanese Who Are Either Imprisoned or Are Martyrs Buried in Secret Graveyards... [in] Syria"

On July 24, 2008, columnist 'Adnan Hussein wrote in the Kuwaiti daily Awan: "The intoxication has passed and the time for reflection has arrived. Intoxication is what some of us felt at the new 'Divine Victory' achieved by Hizbullah over Israel. It was a great 'victory' in the opinion of the party and its followers, as is evident from the pompously enthusiastic celebration, with its gaudy colors, on the occasion of the return of the prisoners and the remains of the martyrs, in a deal that was not without cost.

"The prisoners were clothed in militia uniforms in a gesture of kindness and graciousness towards them and their families. The coffins were arranged in orderly rows, the brightest of colors were chosen, and the fighters responsible for the welcoming ceremony and transporting the coffins were trained to move exactly in step in order to add awe to the spectacle. And the organizers did not forget to complete the spectacle with herds of human masses so that the spectacle would have the traditional Nazi-fascist-Ba'thist character.

"This hullaballoo passed quickly and gave way to the shocking thought, expressed spontaneously and simply and without any fake coloring or verbal embellishment, by some Lebanese citizens who are Lebanese to the core: aged mothers and fathers, wives who have waited long, sons and daughters who grew up without ever having had the pleasure of seeing their fathers - fathers who had long ago been made to disappear into the Syrian prisons and graveyards, for a quarter century or more.

"This spontaneous gathering organized by the families of the Lebanese prisoners and those who have disappeared into Syria, on the day of the Syrian Foreign Minister's visit to Beirut, was what gave the lie to the myth of this new 'Divine Victory'.

"At a distance from Beirut that is perhaps much shorter than the distance from the Lebanese capital to where the prisoners and martyrs who returned in Hizbullah's deal were imprisoned or buried, there are hundreds of Lebanese who are either imprisoned or are martyrs buried in secret graveyards on the territory of the 'sister country' Syria.

"Their sole 'crime' was that they opposed, while in their own country, Syria's occupation of Lebanon and demanded it be put to an end. Naturally, and as Hizbullah and its followers know, every occupation is loathsome; it is patriotic to work to end the occupation, and every opponent of occupation is patriotic.

"The Lebanese who remain imprisoned, or whose remains are in graveyards in Syria, are patriots, and are worthy of having Hizbullah fight for the sake of their return to their homeland and their families.

"It can be supposed that, given the close relations between the party and Syria, it will not encounter difficulties of the sort that it faced with Israel in attaining its goal, and it will not be in need of intermediaries, witnesses, and secret negotiations..."(4)

"That, Gentleman, Is the 'Heroic' Story of Samir Kuntar"

Another liberal Kuwaiti columnist, Hamad Nayyef Al-'Anzi, addressed the Hizbullah-Israel exchange itself, revisited the actions of Samir Kuntar, and asked why bringing home a terrorist should be considered a 'divine victory':

"...It is truly saddening, and awakens pity, that an ancient nation like our own can reach such a state of gullibility and infatuation with victory, that we can consider a prisoner exchange between two parties a victory of one party over the other, just because one party is Arab Muslim and wears the clothing of struggle and resistance. This despite the fact that if we consider them in terms of gains and losses – and not in the lingo of glory, honor, and steadfastness that we never tire of repeating on all occasions and without occasion – [we see that] they have not achieved much in terms of real gains in the real world.

"By Allah, tell me, what is all this tempestuous and irrational joy, and all this talk of 'victory' at the return of the Lebanese prisoners, Samir Kuntar and his companions, such that there is no epithet denoting heroism that has not been showered on them?

"I can say with certainty, gentlemen, that 90% of those rejoicing and praising the return of the prisoners do not know who Samir Kuntar is and do not know the details of his inimitable, 'heroic' fedayeen operation. They don't know anything about him, and don't want to. The only thing that matters to them is that Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah has something to do with it, and he is always a 'victor'. His name is associated with glory, honor, and steadfastness. As long as he got them released, then they must be 'heroes' and 'victors', and their return a great 'victory', denied only by foreign agents, traitors, and kowtowers.

"So here is a short account of the stories of some of these returning 'heroes':

"Samir Kuntar, a Druze Lebanese citizen born in 1961, was, until he was captured, a member of the Palestine Liberation Front. He was a member in a cell that conducted a violent operation in the city of Nahariya on April 21, 1979. That night, Kuntar's cell snuck onto the Nahariya beach in a dinghy, and in the middle of the night attacked the home of the Haran family.

"They took hostage Danny Haran, the Israeli nuclear scientist, and his little 4-year-old daughter. In the meantime, the mother, her 2-year-old child, and a neighbor hid out in the bedroom. One of the hostage-takers took the father and the girl towards the beach, but they were surprised by police and army forces that had arrived. Samir Kuntar opened fire on Danny Haran from close range in front of his young daughter, then killed the young girl, Einat (though he denies this) by crushing her skull with his rifle butt. The other, 2-year-old girl, died of suffocation due to her frightened mother's attempts to keep her quiet so that the hostage-takers wouldn't find them.

"That, gentlemen, is the 'heroic' story of Samir Kuntar.

"As for the 'martyr' Dalal Al-Mughrabi, whose body was returned [to Lebanon], she was born in 1958. She commanded an operation that has come to be known as 'the Coastal Road Massacre' that took place in 1978.

"In this violent operation, 37 Israeli civilians of various ages were killed, young and old, when the bus they were on was hijacked. Dalal Al-Mughrabi and her group opened fire on 37 riders on that ill-fated bus, one after the other."

"Under No Circumstances Can Someone Who Targeted Innocent Civilians Be Considered a 'Hero'"

"No rational person can categorize these two operations as heroic acts. They are more like terrorist acts, or are themselves terrorist acts, whatever the justifications and the reasons. Terrorist acts have no nationality, and anyone of sound heart and mind condemns them and despises those who perpetrate them, whether they be Arab, Israeli, or of any other nationality.

"Under no circumstances can someone who targeted innocent civilians be considered a 'hero', nor can his 'triumphant' return be considered a national victory – except in the imaginations of some desperate souls whose hearts are hard as rock, and for whom human life is not worth a mosquito's wing.

"How plentiful they are in our Arab nation, these people who search for any wretched victory – even if it's just a prisoner exchange. And what prisoners, at that!"(5)
(1) ; and article by Sultan Al-Qassemi, MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 2013, "Al-Jazeera and the Released Terrorist's Birthday Party," August 4, 2008,
(2) , July 27, 2008.
(3) Al-Mustaqbal (Lebanon), July 22, 2008.
(4) Awan (Kuwait), July 24, 2008.
(5) Al-Jarida (Kuwait), July 25, 2008.


The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) is an independent, non-profit organization that translates and analyzes the media of the Middle East. Copies of articles and documents cited, as well as background information, are available on request.

MEMRI holds copyrights on all translations. Materials may only be used with proper attribution.

P.O. Box 27837, Washington, DC 20038-7837
Phone: (202) 955-9070
Fax: (202) 955-9077

Palestijnse Volksverzetscomité's dreigen met raketten die Ashdod kunnen bereiken

The prime minister's spokeman, Mark Regev, told reporters that if the Nasser-4 was in fact an upgraded rocket, it would stand in "clear violation of the fragile 2-month old truce with Gaza militants.
"The cease-fire that was negotiated through Egypt was very specific that the Hamas movement and the other terrorist groups can't use it as a period to import more weapons, more explosives, more rockets into the Gaza Strip," Regev said, adding that Israel has "the right to act, if need be, to protect ourselves. We don't want this current quiet just to be the quiet before the storm."

Zo duidelijk was het staakt-het-vuren daar niet over, en net als wat betreft de onderhandelingen over de vrijlating van Shalit waren er geen eenduidige afspraken over gemaakt. Zoals zo vaak bij overeenkomsten tussen Israël en de Palestijnen, interpreteren beide kanten deze op hun eigen manier, en in dit geval is er helemaal geen schriftelijke verklaring.
Hoe dan ook is het een slecht teken als dit waar is, en kan Israël niet toestaan dat de Hamas en andere terroristische groeperingen zich verder bewapenen en meer steden binnen bereik van Palestijnse raketten komen. De vraag is waarom PRC dit nieuws nu naar buiten bracht. Wil men Israël tot een aanval verleiden en zo het staakt-het-vuren om zeep helpen? Is het psychologische oorlogsvoering, erop gericht Israëli's bang te maken? Is het juist bedoeld om af te schrikken en een aanval te voorkomen?


Last update - 10:24 15/08/2008

PRC: Our new rocket can reach as far as Ashdod 

By Haaretz Service and News Agencies
The Gaza-based Popular Resistance Committees has unveiled what it calls a new missile capable of reaching the nothern Negev cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon, according to media reports released this week.

The Nasser-4 missile, which the PRC displayed last week to journalists in a public relations move, is apparently an upgraded version of the existing Nasser-3.

The group said the improved rocket can travel up to 26 kilometers, double the range of the previous version.

The group showed the rocket to journalists from CNN and other agencies, whom they blindfolded before the display to keep their location mum.

Militants also showed off a training ground where they said preparations were in the works ahead of what they termed Israel's imminent incursion into Gaza.

"We have been under siege for the last two years," militant Ibrahim Dahman told CNN. "The only thing left is for them to invade and kill us."

According to CNN, the group gave journalists a tour of its rocket factory and training grounds in a PR maneuver to give Israel a peek at is apparent strengthening.

The prime minister's spokeman, Mark Regev, told reporters that if the Nasser-4 was in fact an upgraded rocket, it would stand in "clear violation of the fragile 2-month old truce with Gaza militants.

"The cease-fire that was negotiated through Egypt was very specific that the Hamas movement and the other terrorist groups can't use it as a period to import more weapons, more explosives, more rockets into the Gaza Strip," Regev said, adding that Israel has "the right to act, if need be, to protect ourselves. We don't want this current quiet just to be the quiet before the storm."

The PRC is one of three Gaza-based factions that claimed responsibility for the abduction of Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit in 2006.

Last week, the group warned Israel that the truce between Hamas and Israel in Gaza could end this month if no progress was made on reopening border crossings and releasing prisoners.

The truce - in effect since June 19 - calls on militants to halt rocket attacks in return for Israel gradually easing an embargo on the territory. The truce has largely held and rocket attacks from Gaza have declined.

'Koosjer antisemitisme' in Duitsland


'Kosher anti-Semitism' in Germany

The bell has rung for the first round of a legal fight between renowned German-Jewish columnist Henryk M. Broder and Evelyn Hecht-Galinski, a hardcore anti-Zionist critic of Israel who happens to be a German Jew herself.

Henryk M. Broder.

Henryk M. Broder.
Photo: Courtesy- Alex Gorski

At issue is whether Broder may write that statements made by Hecht-Galinski are anti-Semitic.

In an open letter to Monika Piel, director of Westdeutsche Rundfunk (Western German Broadcasting), Broder referred to Hecht-Galinski and wrote that "anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist statements are her specialty."

The Westdeutsche Rundfunk radio program Hallo Ü-Wagen had invited Hecht-Galinski to talk about Israel's 60th anniversary, and Broder questioned the soundness of Hecht-Galinski's credentials as an Israel expert who in the past has equated the Israeli government with Nazi Germany.

While Hecht-Galinski did not legally object to his characterization of her as anti-Zionist, she wants Broder to withdraw the anti-Semitic label.

The dispute has a number of subplots, the first of which will proceed within the German judiciary. A temporary injunction prohibits Broder from posting his open letter on his Web site "Die Achse des Guten" (The Axis of the Good).

As reported in the Aachener Zeitung newspaper on Thursday, Hecht-Galinski's attorney, Gernot Lehr, favors a settlement to resolve the dispute.

However, Broder told The Jerusalem Post that he opposes a deal "allowing anti-Semites to decide what anti-Semitism is. It is as if pedophiles can decide what real love toward children is."

A settlement would "muzzle" his free-speech rights and set an unacceptable legal precedent for future criticism of Jews who voiced anti-Semitic remarks and demonized Israel, he said.

After Wednesday's hearing in Cologne, Broder's attorney, Nathan Gelbart, told the Post that the regional court would decide on September 3 whether the interim injunction would be overruled or restricted.

He said the court recognized that the restraining order was too broad, and that the court had been unaware of the nature of Hecht-Galinski's anti-Israeli tirades.

Hecht-Galinski has applauded parallels drawn between Israeli policies and Nazism, and raged against a world-wide Israel lobby that seeks to prevent criticism of the Jewish state.

Her attorney Lehr told the Post he was not prepared to comment on the case until the court issued a ruling.

After his legal victory last year in which a court of appeals in Frankfurt affirmed Der Spiegel magazine journalist Broder's claim that Jews are just as capable of voicing anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic statements as non-Jews, Broder said, "There are nurses who kill their patients, attorneys who commit insurance fraud. Why can't there not therefore be Jews who are anti-Semites?"

The second subplot will play out within German society. Hecht-Galinski's father, Heinz Galinski, survived Auschwitz and became the first chairman of the Berlin German Jewish community following the Holocaust. He also served as the president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany.

Some of Hecht-Galinski's critics say she is misusing her deceased father's stature as an esteemed public figure to mount an anti-Israel campaign. She has invoked the phrase "as the daughter of Heinz Galinski" to defend her criticisms of Israel.

In a Deutschlandradio interview last year, she defended the remarks of German Catholic Bishops Gregor Maria Hanke and Walter Mixa, who, while visiting Israel in March 2007, equated Israel with Nazi Germany.

"This morning we saw pictures of the Warsaw Ghetto at Yad Vashem and this evening we are going to the Ramallah ghetto," Hanke said. For Mixa, Ramallah was "ghetto-like" and "almost racism."

Hecht-Galinski told the radio interviewer she found the Nazi analogy to be "very moderate" and that she "regretted" the decision by then-German Cardinal Karl Lehmann to issue an apology on behalf of his colleagues.

But an apology for such remarks is in order, suggested Prof. Alvin Rosenfeld, director of the Jewish Studies program at Indiana University and a leading expert on Jewish anti-Zionism.

"Anyone who tars Israel with the Nazi brush by drawing obscene analogies between Israeli policies on the West Bank and the Warsaw Ghetto is wandering into very questionable territory and is legitimately open to strong criticism," Rosenfeld told the Post.

His essay, "'Progressive' Jewish Thought and the New Anti-Semitism," which has been translated into German, asserts that vicious anti-Israeli statements and books from a number of British and American Jews are contributing to modern anti-Semitism.

Further commenting on Hecht-Galinski, Rosenfeld cited the US State Department report "Contemporary Global anti-Semitism," which defines "drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis" as anti-Semitic.

On this side of the Atlantic, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, formerly known as the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia, issued a "working definition of Anti-Semitism" that defines "drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis" as a manifestation of anti-Semitism.

Reached at her home in Malsburg-Marzell, Baden-Württemberg, on Wednesday evening, Hecht-Galinski declined to comment and referred questions to her attorney.

In her frequent media appearances, Hecht-Galinski argues that a "tacit gag order" exists in Germany preventing criticism of Israel.

"The Jewish-Israel lobby with its active network is extended over the world" to clamp down on criticism of Israel, she said in a Deutschlandradio interview last year.

"For the practitioner to cry 'foul' by claiming that the 'Israel lobby' is out to silence all legitimate criticism of Israel is itself nothing more than another rhetorical trick in the standard lexicon of anti-Zionism," Rosenfeld said. "If Henryk Broder exposed one more example of this mendacious behavior, then good for him."

Media critics in Germany have observed the ubiquitous presence of a few anti-Israel Jews who are provided platforms in major press outlets to stoke criticism of the Jewish state.

In an e-mail to the Post, the general-secretary of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Stephan J. Kramer, wrote, "I share Henryk M. Broder's view. It is a rare phenomenon to find even Jews in Germany expressing themselves in an anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist manner, and Ms. Hecht-Galinski is a leading representative; she obviously tries to cope with her self-hatred through anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist statements. The Central Council will support Henryk Broder in this trial, if Ms. Hecht-Galinski thinks she has to solve the problem in the courts."

In an interview with Deutschlandradio in 2006, Hecht-Galinski described the Central Council of Jews in Germany as the "mouthpiece of the Israeli government in Germany."

Broder, who is considered a leading expert on anti-Semitism in Germany, testified before the Bundestag's Domestic Affairs Committee in June. The "modern anti-Semite does not believe in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. But instead he fantasizes about an 'Israel lobby' that is supposed to control American foreign policy," he told the legislators.

And in reference to the "memory culture" in Germany, which is consumed with the Holocaust and the period between 1933 and 1945, yet fails to see Iran's genocidal policy as a real threat to Jews, Broder said, "For the modern anti-Semite, it goes without saying that every year on January 27 he will commemorate the liberation of Auschwitz. But at the same time he militates for the right of Iran to have atomic weapons. Or he inverts the causal relationship and claims that it is Israel that is threatening Iran and not vice versa."

Broder cited lawmaker Norman Paech, the foreign policy spokesman of Germany's third largest party, The Left, as an example of contemporary anti-Semitism in Germany. Paech favors nuclear weapons for Iran and employs Nazi terminology when discussing Israel in the media.

"Devote your attention to the modern anti-Semitism that wears the disguise of anti-Zionism, and to its representatives. You will find some of the latter among your own ranks," Broder told the politicians from across the spectrum present at the Domestic Affairs Committee hearing.

vrijdag 15 augustus 2008

Antisemitische T-shirts in winkel Parijs

Dit roept terecht veel verontwaardiging op, maar is minder bizar dan het lijkt. Op internet zijn dergelijke uitlatingen over Joden dagelijks te vinden, niet alleen op Stormfront, JewWatch of Jihadistische websites, maar gewoon in de commentaarsectie van bijvoorbeeld de gerespecteerde Volkskrant. Hieronder een paar walgelijke voorbeelden, aan te vullen met oneindig veel meer voorbeelden. Onder het mom van kritiek op Israël is antisemitisme weer helemaal terug. Maar waag het niet dat te zeggen, want dan probeer je anderen het zwijgen op te leggen.
Etnisch exclusivisme, cultureel particularisme en de daarop gebaseerde discriminatie op etnische grondslag zit van oudsher ingebakken in de Joodse religie, cultuur, tradtitie, wetgeving
"Ik zou vervolgens de meeste Israëliërs terugzenden naar hun landen van herkomst en het aantal Joden in Palestina strict limiteren. Een paar duizend Joden in Jerusalem; dat is mooi zat."
"Door het stoken van AIPAC en het stimuleren van een oorlog tegen Irak door de Neo-cons is in de USA al een aanzienlijke wrevel t.o.v. joodse lobbies ontstaan....In Rusland, eens een walhalla voor de joodse oligarchen..."
Niet minder relevant is in deze context van de vermeende rechtse pers, de opkomst van Joodse mediamagnaten zoals Rupert Murdoch, Conrad Black en wijlen Robert Maxwell. Zij zijn [en waren] er mede debet aan dat 'de pers' in rap tempo aan het verrechtsen is.

De motivatie van voornoemde Joodse mediamagnaten is niet zo zeer commerciëel gedreven, maar veel meer politiek gedreven. Zij misbruiken hun machtspositie evident -- Fox News bijv. -- om het grote publiek te desinformeren en te manipuleren. Deze lieden zorgen, absoluut en aantoonbaar, zeker voor een verrechtsing van de pers
En in reactie op de antisemitisme beschuldiging:
Geef maar aan waar ik de plank eventueel mis heb geslagen; dat is tenminste constructief.
Goedkope transparante insinuaties in de richting van anti-semitisme zijn zooooooo achterhaald.

Het J-woord gebruiken is echt niet meer zo fout hoor. De dingen mogen tegenwoordig best benoemd worden. Dat u als een Pavlov hondje op het J-woord moest reageren, zegt meer over u dan u denkt.

Israël is een gejat land. Een munitieopslagplaats van atoomwapens van het Westen. Oliebewaker van de decadente VS. Gegijzelde van de Rijke Landen. Gefeliciteerd, Israël. U heeft veel meegemaakt? Ja, maar waarom zet u deze lijdensweg vrijwillig voort? Zo bang voor vermenging van uw ras? Of wilt u gewoon niet delen, maar blijven stelen?


In het artikel staat dat 'Van Agt een die respect heeft voor joden', of iets dergelijks.
Ik begrijp dat niet.
Zestig jaar joodse terreur in Palestine, daarenboven de vernietigingen van Irak en Afghanistan die op het conto van de VS joodse neocons staan, heeft bij mij elke achting voor joden doen omslaan in diepe verachting.
Zoals Van Agt zelf ooit eens in Buitenhof zei, 'we kunnen niet alle joden over één kam scheren', en dat is natuurlijk zo.
Mensen als Finkelstein, Pappe, Gilad Atzmon en Elias Davidsson bestaan.
Met de laatste ben ik het volledig eens: 'elke jood die niet z'n stem verheft tegen Israel is medeplichtig'.

France probes selling of anti-Semitic T-shirts in Paris store

BBC News says shirts reading 'Jews forbidden from entering the park' in German, Polish sold for $27 each,7340,L-3581898,00.html

Published: 08.13.08, 11:22
French prosecutors have launched an investigation after T-shirts carrying anti-Semitic slogans were seen on sale in a shop in Paris, BBC News reported Wednesday.

According to the report, the shirts carried slogans in German and Polish that translate as "Jews forbidden from entering the park" and were reproduced from Nazi signs from 1940 that targeted the Jewish community in the Polish town of Lodz.

Nearly 200,000 Jewish residents of Lodz died in concentration camps during World War II.

BBC News quoted the sales assistant at the Parisian store, in the Belleville district, as saying that one person had bought five of the grey, sleeveless garments for about 18 euros ($27) each, but added that said she did not understand what the inscription meant.
The neighborhood of Belleville in eastern Paris has witnessed ongoing scuffles between groups of Jewish youths and youngsters of North African origin, the report said. 

donderdag 14 augustus 2008

Jordanië weert Joden met religieuze items

Wat zou er gebeuren als Israël moslims of christenen met religieuze attributen weigert binnen te laten? Juist ja, iedereen spreekt er schande van, en in de commentaarsecties van de kranten op internet regent het klachten over de Joodse superioriteitsgevoelens, intolerantie en arrogantie, men acht zich immers het enige door God uitverkoren volk....
Jordanië's imago van een oase van gematigdheid tussen het fanatieke Israël en de ruziënde Palestijnen en een zich bewapenend Hezbollah zal door dit incident uiteraard niet beschadigd raken, zoals talloze antisemitische uitlatingen en uitspraken in de Jordaanse media dat ook niet hebben gedaan.
Jordan bars Jews with religious items
Jordanian border officials refused to allow a group of Israeli tourists carrying religious objects such as talitot and tefillin to enter their country on Tuesday, saying it was "a safety measure" to avoid potential terror threats.

Thirty-six Israeli tourists on their way to Amman for a three-day tour were detained at the Sheikh Ali Hussein Crossing near Beit She'an at 6:30 a.m. and notified of a new regulation that prohibits entry into Jordan with tefillin, talitot, prayer books, Bibles or the Talmud.

"Our group was presented with two options," said Alan Novetsky, a recent immigrant from New York who was accompanied on the tour by his wife. "Either enter Jordan without religious objects or go back to Israel."

Novetsky said the group's suitcases were thoroughly searched for religious items. "They seemed to know exactly what they were looking for.

"It was very demeaning to have such a negative experience in what is billed as a friendly country. People in the group, including the tour guides, were quite shocked. No one had ever heard that Jordan imposed religious restrictions," he said.

"What made it worse was that the whole thing seemed to be directed solely at Jews. I saw Christians walking through into Jordan openly wearing crosses. Apparently, Christian religious symbols did not seem to be a problem for the Jordanians. I can well imagine the international outcry if Islamic tourists were to encounter such restrictions on their entry into Israel."

A Jordanian security official said the decision was taken only for "security reasons."

The official said that the decision had been in effect for a long time and Israeli authorities were aware of it.

"The Jordanian security authorities are responsible for the safety of all visitors to the kingdom and it is our duty to take all measures required in this regard," the official explained. He expressed regret that the tourists had been offended by the measure.

Novetsky said that at first the the guides tried to bargain with the Jordanian officials, promising to keep the religious items hidden and to pray inside the hotel. But the suggestions were rejected.

"The vast majority of the group decided that as proud Israelis, we were either going to be allowed to walk into Jordan holding our religious objects or we would not go in at all."

PA kwaad over lekken vredesvoorstel Israël

Een hele hoop geblabla om niet op Israëls vredesvoorstel in te hoeven gaan.

Erekat added angrily that, "In the end, we are not in an auction, a market, or a bazaar. We will not barter our right for another of our rights. We will not barter Jerusalem for the refugees, or the refugees for the security issue, or the security for the borders issue. All these are our rights. It is for their sake that we entered the peace process on the basis of international law, of Israel's withdrawal to the 1967 borders, of establishing a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital and solving the final issues, including that of the refugees, in accordance with the resolutions of international legitimacy. These are the bases on which we entered into the peace process."

Het is geen bazaar maar wel een onderhandeling, waarin alleen resultaten kunnen worden geboekt als beide partijen toegeven en als er een basis van vertrouwen ontstaat. Het is begrijpelijk en logisch dat de Palestijnen niet zonder slag of stoot Israëls voorstel accepteren, maar vanuit Israël gezien is dit een vergaand en alleszins redelijk voorstel. Daar zoveel kwaadaardigheid achter zoeken (zie in het artikel hieronder) en zo boos en beledigd op reageren is niet bevorderlijk voor de onderhandelingen. De vraag dringt zich op of de Palestijnen wel vrede willen. Men weet dondersgoed dat het 'recht op terugkeer' en de claim op geheel Oost-Jeruzalem voor Israël onacceptabel zijn, omdat zij respectievelijk tegen een twee statenoplossing indruisen en Israël de meest centrale plaats van het Jodendom af willen nemen.

Dat Israël pas gebied grenzend aan de Gazastrook afgeeft of een corridor toestaat wanneer Hamas daar niet meer aan de macht is, is natuurlijk geen truc om de Palestijnse verdeeldheid uit te buiten maar een logische en minimale voorwaarde om te voorkomen dat Hamas nog machtiger wordt en ook vanaf de Westoever raketten zullen worden afgeschoten.


PA Official Calls Israel's Leak 'Half Truths'
By Ali El-Saleh

London, Asharq Al-Awsat -  The Palestinian Authority [PA] has rejected the proposal for a final settlement that was leaked by Israel and which excludes the Jerusalem and refugees issues saying it is inconsistent with the Palestinian, Arab, and international legitimacy.
Saeb Erekat, head of the PLO's negotiations department, said part of what Israel leaked yesterday was baseless and the second half was half truths. He added in statements to Asharq Al-Awsat that the aim behind these leaks from high levels in Israel "is to plant the seed of blame, like they did with us at the Camp David in 2000."
Erekat sees great danger in such a leak because of the agreement during the negotiations that no details would be made public. He added that the aim from leaking this information about offering 98 percent plus a safe corridor in return for 7 percent is to blame the Palestinian side since the Israeli Government realizes that it is incapable of reaching an agreement because of its internal problems. In other words, the Israelis are saying through this leak that they did what they should do and it is the Palestinian side which rejected. This cost us a very heavy price in the 2000 negotiations and we should not allow it in 2008.

Erekat added angrily that, "In the end, we are not in an auction, a market, or a bazaar. We will not barter our right for another of our rights. We will not barter Jerusalem for the refugees, or the refugees for the security issue, or the security for the borders issue. All these are our rights. It is for their sake that we entered the peace process on the basis of international law, of Israel's withdrawal to the 1967 borders, of establishing a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital and solving the final issues, including that of the refugees, in accordance with the resolutions of international legitimacy. These are the bases on which we entered into the peace process."
The Palestinian negotiator went on to say that many people are talking about 15 years of negotiations wasted without achieving anything "and to them I say that it was possible to reach an agreement during the first months of 1994 but on Israel's conditions. I mean by this that I do not want time to be a sword hanging over our necks pushing us into accepting all the Israeli conditions."

On linking what they want to hand back from the West Bank to the PA after retrieving the Gaza Strip from the Hamas movement, Erekat told Asharq Al-Awsat, "This is an Israeli attempt to exploit the internal Palestinian situations. We have a wound called the Hamas coup in the Gaza Strip and he (Olmert) is holding this wound and using it as a sword against us. Yes, we know there is a Palestinian wound but will not let it be exploited to blackmail us and fight our constants. If Hamas acted stupidly then I will not let Israel get the price for this stupidity."
Regarding the issue of exchanging territories, Erekat, stated that, "There is a misunderstanding. We have no objection to exchanging territories that are equal in value and fungibles but the exchange on this basis is done after Israel's recognition of the 1967 borders and then there can be talk about exchanging territories in accordance with the two concerned countries' interests. This is possible between neighboring countries and it happened between Iraq and Jordan, Ecuador and Peru, and so on. In other words, it does not have the right to talk about appropriating 7 percent before withdrawal. This is unacceptable."
He added, "This is our position and we explained it in our official response and conveyed it to the Americans and Europeans. We told the Israelis your leak today is absolutely impermissible and inappropriate because it is half truths. They rely in their leaks on the idea that the Arabs derive their information from the Israeli media."

He stressed that the PA and its President Mahmud Abbas (Abu-Mazin) did not receive the Israeli proposal in writing as "Ha'aretz" newspaper claimed and asserted there are discussions in depth and on several levels in the negotiations and said, "We heard some of what was reported and they were raised in the negotiations. But the issue of postponing the Jerusalem issue was not raised at all and was not discussed."

Voormalige Egyptische ambassadeur was spion in Israël

Je zou soms twijfelen aan het feit dat Egypte toch echt vrede met Israël heeft gesloten in 1979, in ruil voor de Sinai.
Het zal allemaal wel weer voor interne consumptie zijn, en Mohammed Bassiouni zal zeker een paar leuke contacten hebben gehad in Israël en hebben genoten van de vrijheid aldaar, maar het is wel heel erg triest dat hij blijkbaar dit soort dingen moet zeggen om zijn eer als oud-ambassadeur te redden.

I was sent to Israel as intelligence officer, says former Egyptian ambassador

Mohammed Bassiouni gives lecture about tenure in Israel, says ambassadorship was cover, goes on to note both Livni, Mofaz 'unfit' for politics; calls Ariel Sharon 'sleeping corpse',7340,L-3582013,00.html
Roee Nahmias
Published:  08.13.08, 14:47

"I was sent to Israel as an intelligence officer. I wasn't there to really be an ambassador," said former Egyptian Ambassador to Israel, Mohammed Bassiouni, in a lecture held in Egypt's National Library in Alexandria over the weekend.
Bassiouni went on to describe his memories of Israel as "bitter" and denied striking any friendships during his tenure term as envoy to the Jewish state. He did, however, mention Shas' Rabbi Ovadia Yosef as an acquaintance.

The former ambassador criticized Israel for its maltreatment of Israeli Arabs, saying "there is no such thing as 'Israeli society' – they're immigrants from all over the world."

The mass immigration from the former Soviet Union to Israel, he continued, has resulted in Israel having some 40 new – "very dangerous" – nuclear scientists at its disposal; but Israel, he noted, has failed to make the transition easy for them.

Bassiouni's comments, which have also been published by several Arab newspapers, also addressed local politics, as he said a person of Middle Eastern descent cannot be elected as prime minister – disregarding the high office held by former President Moshe Katsav and the current office held by Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz.
Reviewing the current political situation in Israel, Bassiouni said that both Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Mofaz – who are both campaigning for the Kadima chairmanship – are "unfit", adding "I don't care who gets elected, I just want to know who can revive the peace process."
As for the comatose former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Bassiouni said he was "a sleeping corpse…alive only thanks to machines."

Bassiouni chose to end his lecture with a juicy tidbit, confirming the rumors suggesting former Egyptian President Gamal Abd al-Nasser's brother-in-law – Ashraf Marwan – was indeed on the Israeli intelligence's payroll.

VS wijst verzoek Israël af voor wapens om Irans atoomprogramma aan te vallen

De VS toont zich niet altijd Israëls grootste bondgenoot en laat zijn buitenlandse politiek niet door Israëls belangen leiden.
De vraag is wat het alternatief is voor een aanval op het Iraanse atoomprogramma: als de VS die niet zelf willen uitvoeren, noch Israël dit willen toestaan, noch Rusland iets bieden in ruil voor medewerking aan hardere sancties tegen Iran, dan zegt men in feite zich bij een nucleair Iran neer te leggen. Dat is niet alleen problematisch voor Israël, maar ook voor de VS, Europa en vooral ook de Golf regio zelf.
Aangezien een Israëlische aanval op het Iraanse atoomprogramma dit hooguit een paar jaar kan vertragen, heeft dit alleen zin als er draagvlak is om tegelijkertijd via sancties te verhinderen dat Iran een atoomwapen kan maken. Tot nu toe lijkt het Westen niet alles op alles te willen zetten om dit te voorkomen, en dat heeft Iran heel goed in de gaten.
U.S. rebuffs Israeli request for arms geared toward Iran strike
By Aluf Benn, Haaretz Correspondent
Last update - 06:13 13/08/2008

The American administration has rejected an Israeli request for military equipment and support that would improve Israel's ability to attack Iran's nuclear facilities.

The Americans viewed the request, which was transmitted (and rejected) at the highest level, as a sign that Israel is in the advanced stages of preparations to attack Iran. They therefore warned Israel against attacking, saying such a strike would undermine American interests. They also demanded that Israel give them prior notice if it nevertheless decided to strike Iran.

As compensation for the requests it rejected, Washington offered to improve Israel's defenses against surface-to-surface missiles.

Israel responded by saying it reserves the right to take whatever action it deems necessary if diplomatic efforts to halt Iran's nuclearization fail.

Senior Israeli officials had originally hoped that U.S. President George Bush would order an American strike on Iran's nuclear facilities before leaving office, as America's military is far better equipped to conduct such a strike successfully than is Israel's.

Jerusalem also fears that an Israeli strike, even if it succeeded well enough to delay Iran's nuclear development for a few years, would give Iran international legitimacy for its program, which it currently lacks. Israel, in contrast, would be portrayed as an aggressor, and would be forced to contend alone with Iran's retaliation, which would probably include thousands of missile strikes by Iranian allies Hezbollah, Hamas and perhaps even Syria.

Recently, however, Israel has concluded that Bush is unlikely to attack, and will focus instead on ratcheting up diplomatic pressure on Tehran. It prefers to wait until this process has been exhausted, though without conceding the military option. Israel's assumption is that Iran will continue to use delaying tactics, and may even agree to briefly suspend its uranium enrichment program in an effort to see out the rest of Bush's term in peace.

The American-Israeli dispute over a military strike against Iran erupted during Bush's visit to Jerusalem in May. At the time, Bush held a private meeting on the Iranian threat with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and the Israelis presented their request for certain specific items of military equipment, along with diplomatic and security backing.

Following Bush's return to Washington, the administration studied Israel's request, and this led it to suspect that Israel was planning to attack Iran within the next few months. The Americans therefore decided to send a strong message warning it not to do so.

U.S. National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen both visited here in June and, according to the Washington Post, told senior Israeli defense officials that Iran is still far from obtaining nuclear weapons, and that an attack on Iran would undermine American interests. Therefore, they said, the U.S. would not allow Israeli planes to overfly Iraq en route to Iran.

The Americans sent a similar message to Iraq, which had objected vociferously to the idea of its air space being used for an Israeli attack on Iran.

These private messages were accompanied by a series of leaks from the Pentagon that Israel interpreted as attempts to thwart any possibility of an attack on Iran. For instance, the Americans revealed details of a major Israel Air Force exercise in the Mediterranean; they also said they doubted Israel had adequate intelligence about Iran's nuclear facilities. In addition, Mullen spoke out publicly against an attack on Iran.

Two weeks ago, Barak visited Washington for talks with his American counterpart, Robert Gates, and Vice President Richard Cheney. Both conversations focused on Iran, but the two Americans presented conflicting views: Gates vehemently opposes an attack on Iran, while Cheney is the administration's leading hawk.

Barak presented Israel's assessments of the Iranian situation and warned that Iran was liable to advance its nuclear program under cover of the endless deliberations about sanctions - which have thus far produced little in the way of action. He also acknowledged that effective sanctions would require cooperation from Russia, China and India, all of which currently oppose sanctions with real teeth.

Russia, however, is considered key to efforts to isolate Iran, and Israeli officials have therefore urged their American counterparts in recent months to tone down Washington's other disputes with Moscow to focus all its efforts on obtaining Russia's backing against Iran. For instance, they suggested that Washington offer to drop its plan to station a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic - a proposal Russia views as a threat, though Washington insists the system is aimed solely at Iran - in exchange for Russia agreeing to stiffer sanctions against Iran. However, the administration rejected this idea.

In an attempt to compensate Israel for having rejected all its proposals, Washington then offered to bolster Israel's defenses against ballistic missiles. For instance, Gates proposed stationing an advanced radar system in Israel and linking Israel directly into America's early warning satellite network; he also offered increased American funding for the development of two Israeli missile defense systems - the Arrow-3, an upgrade of Israel's existing Arrow system for intercepting ballistic missiles, and Iron Dome, a system designed to intercept short-range rockets. In addition, Washington agreed to sell Israel nine Super Hercules long-range transport aircraft for $2 billion. However, it would not agree to supply Israel with any offensive systems.

Now, Israel is awaiting the outcome of the latest talks between the West and Iran, as well as a formal announcement of the opening of an American interests section in Tehran. Israel views the latter as sure proof that Washington is not planning a military strike.

woensdag 13 augustus 2008

Van der Hoeven ondergraaft geloofwaardigheid Nederlands Iranbeleid

Het vreemde is, dat waar het sancties tegen Iran betreft het juist de linkse partijen zijn die daar tegen zijn en de VVD een groot pleitbezorger is. In dit geval gaat het - helaas - niet over sancties tegen Iran, maar om niet juist nu de handelsbetrekkingen te intensiveren.

Ik zou willen dat ministers, in plaats van een dergelijke intensivering te bepleiten, juist sancties tegen Iran bepleiten omdat een nucleair Iran een gevaar is niet alleen voor Israël maar ook voor Europa en de Arabische buren, en omdat dit de enige vreedzame manier is om te proberen Iran op andere gedachten te brengen.

Persbericht CIDI
Van der Hoeven ondergraaft geloofwaardigheid Nederlands Iranbeleid

Het CIDI heeft gisteren per brief haar bezorgdheid geuit bij minister van Economische Zaken Van der Hoeven over haar voornemen de handelsbetrekkingen met Iran te intensiveren. Op haar weblog schrijft zij hierover dat het haar "interessant" leek om met haar collega's uit Angola en Iran "van gedachten te wisselen". Duidelijk wordt dat deze gedachten ondermeer gaan over het met tankschepen leveren van vloeibaar aardgas uit Iran.
CIDI begrijpt dat voornemen niet. Het Iraanse mullahregime maakt zich schuldig aan ernstige mensenrechtenschendingen, steunt terrorisme (onder andere via Hezbollah), ondermijnt de stabiliteit van de regio, bedreigt de staat Israel met vernietiging en het negeert de eisen van de internationale gemeenschap om het illegale programma voor nucleaire wapens af te breken.
Van der Hoevens voornemen staat haaks op het Nederlandse kabinetsbeleid. Eerder liet minister van Buitenlandse Zaken Verhagen over het Iran beleid van Nederland aan de Kamer weten het niet passend te achten de handelscontacten met Iran proactief te bevorderen. Op 14 mei 2007 hield de Tweede Kamer een spoeddebat over een voorgenomen missie van het Nederlands Centrum voor Handelsbevordering naar Iran. Elke overheidsbemoeienis met die missie werd vervolgens gestaakt. En op de site van Van der Hoevens eigen ministerie staat te lezen: "Voor overige goederen en diensten is in principe de handel (met Iran) vrij. De Nederlandse regering onderneemt daartoe geen actieve promotionele activiteiten".
Ook in Europees en internationaal perspectief is het voornemen van minister Van der Hoeven niet te begrijpen. Afgelopen vrijdag nog (8 augustus 2008) , besloot de EU niet alleen tot zwaardere sancties tegen Iran maar ook tot terughoudendheid bij het aangaan van nieuwe verplichtingen met het land op handelsgebied.
Gezien de aard van het Iraanse regime is het onwenselijk als Nederland daarvan in economisch opzicht afhankelijk zou worden. Bovendien zou de Nederlandse regering  op dit moment op geen enkele wijze moeten bijdragen aan economisch profijt voor Iran, omdat zulks de positie van het mullahregime versterkt.
Het voornemen van de minister van Economische Zaken ondergraaft de geloofwaardigheid van het Nederlandse Iranbeleid. CIDI roept de minister ertoe op haar voornemens af te stemmen op het regeringsbeleid.
Den Haag, 12 augustus 2008

PA onderhandelaar Qureia: Israël maakt tweestatenoplossing onmogelijk

Dit is een oud dreigement, en de idee van een binationale staat is een oud idee.

Als de Palestijnen graag een tweestatenoplossing willen, zouden ze dat duidelijk moeten maken door het bestaansrecht van Israël als Joodse staat te erkennen en te stoppen met de opruiing tegen Israël en het ontkennen van Joodse nationale rechten. Geen filmpjes meer op PA TV waarin Al Quds en Haifa en Beersheva worden geclaimd en heel 'Palestina' 'bevrijd' moet worden, geen straatnamen meer vernoemen naar zelfmoordterroristen, en vervanging van het narratief dat Israël op gestolen Palestijns land is gesticht door een narratief van twee legitieme nationale bewegingen die om het land streden, etc. etc. Tot die tijd moet Qurei (en de andere Palestijnse leiders) wat minder hoog van de toren blazen. Zonder al voornoemde zaken, zonder de raketaanvallen en de vele aanslagen die door Abbas en Qurei c.s. altijd slechts om taktische redenen worden afgekeurd, zou er in Israël veel meer draagvlak zijn voor vergaande concessies en ontruiming van nederzettingen.

Last update - 09:07 11/08/2008

PA negotiator: Israel may make two-state solution impossible

By Reuters

Senior Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Qureia said Sunday that the Palestinians may demand to become part of a binational state if Israel continued to reject the borders they propose for a separate country.

Qureia, who heads Palestinian negotiators in U.S.-brokered talks with Israel, told Fatah party loyalists behind closed doors that a two-state solution could be achieved only if Israel met their demands to withdraw from all Palestinian territory in accordance with 1967 borders, a reference to land in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip that Israel captured in the 1967 Six Day War.

"The Palestinian leadership has been working on establishing a Palestinian state within the '67 borders," Qureia said.

"If Israel continues to oppose making this a reality, then the Palestinian demand for the Palestinian people and its leadership [would be] one state, a binational state," he added at the meeting held in the West Bank town of Ramallah.

Qureia's comments were carried in a statement issued after the meeting.

The chances of achieving a peace deal before the expiration of Washington's deadline, when U.S. President George W. Bush leaves office next year, have dimmed since Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced last month he planned to resign in the coming weeks due to multiple corruption investigations underway against him.

Despite the Israeli political crisis, Olmert, who has vowed to pursue peace efforts until he leaves office, met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas last week. The two are said to be planning additional talks later this month.

But months of discussions have produced little visible progress on key issues of the conflict such as who would control Jerusalem, a city both Israel and the Palestinians want for a capital, and the future for millions of Palestinian refugees.

A Palestinian official said Qureia told Sunday's gathering he thought the peace talks had hit an impasse.

The unsuccessful efforts to realize the goal of a separate state has touched off debate among Palestinians for months, including as to whether they should seek instead to merge into a joint state with Israel.

Na Olmert: 4 mogelijke opvolgers als premier van Israël en hun beleid

Een analyse van de ideeën van vier mogelijke opvolgers van Olmert als premier. Wat echt interessant zou zijn, is om de ideeën van deze kandidaten (Livni, Mofaz, Barak en Netanjahoe) te vergelijken met wat ze allemaal deden toen ze premier of minister of chefstaf van het leger waren: of er toen meer of minder terrorisme was, hoe men op specifieke dreigingen of andere problemen reageerde etc.
Overigens is het lang niet zeker dat er nieuwe verkiezingen komen, en in eerste instantie gaat de strijd dus alleen tussen Livni en Mofaz.

Israeli policy may look drastically different once Olmert leaves office
BPH Images/JTA
Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, seated next to Ehud Olmert at a Cabinet meeting, is a leading contender to succeed the prime minister.

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's decision to resign after a new Kadima Party leader is elected in September has opened up the possibility of radical new directions in Israeli policy.

As of now Olmert has four potential successors, since Kadima's new leader may not be able to stave off new general elections.

Benjamin Netanyahu of the Likud Party and Shaul Mofaz of Kadima are inveterate hawks who see peace, if it is at all possible, being achieved only in drawn-out, painstaking stages. Tzipi Livni of Kadima and Ehud Barak of the Labor Party are pragmatic doves ready to cut to the chase but wary of illusory quick fixes.

Important differences exist within the two camps.

Netanyahu views the current attempt by the Olmert government to reach final peace deals with the Palestinians and the Syrians as foolhardy. He is against what he calls "endism" -- trying to end the complex Israeli-Arab conflict with a single stroke -- and instead advocates a measured, step-by-step approach.

For example, on the Syrian track, Damascus would have to break with Tehran and demonstrate over time that the breach is final before Israel returns any part of the Golan Heights. Other powers interested in moving Syria away from Iran, including the United States and the European Union, would be called on to provide much of the quid pro quo to Syria, making it possible for Israel to retain at least part of the strategic Golan.

On the Palestinian track, Netanyahu regards the "shelf agreement" Olmert is negotiating with the relatively moderate Palestinian leadership in the West Bank as meaningless. Under present conditions, with Hamas controlling Gaza, Netanyahu sees no way to implement an agreement now or in the foreseeable future.

Instead, he again advocates a step-by-step framework in which each side progresses only after the other has fulfilled a commitment. Under Ariel Sharon, this performance-based, reciprocal approach led to a stalemate.

Netanyahu hopes that the creation of new economic realities in the West Bank will provide the infrastructure for political progress. The former prime minister strongly backs efforts to that effect by Tony Blair, the special envoy of the Quartet grouping of the United States, United Nations, European Union and Russia.

Like Blair, Netanyahu sees economic progress driving a peace process, not the other way round.

Netanyahu's top priority, however, would be stopping Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program. He has been urging world leaders to impose stronger economic sanctions on Tehran to alleviate the need for force. But if Netanyahu becomes prime minister, a pre-emptive Israeli military strike cannot be ruled out.

Mofaz, although he abandoned the Likud for Kadima, is as hawkish as Netanyahu. In fact, were the current transportation minister to win the Kadima leadership, the split between Likud and Kadima could become a thing of the past. Mofaz left Likud reluctantly when pressed by Sharon, Kadima's founder, and after Sharon promised to make him defense minister.

The Iranian-born Mofaz takes a long view of historic processes in the Middle East who sees change evolving slowly over decades. Peace, in his view, will come only when conditions are ripe and cannot be accelerated artificially.

On the Syrian track, Mofaz says he is ready to offer "peace for peace" -- an old Likud counter to the Arab land-for-peace formula. He also would be unlikely to make territorial concessions on the Palestinian front.

Indeed Mofaz, a former army chief of staff and defense minister, would likely be less industrious than Netanyahu in creating conditions for peace, but more proactive in trying to stop Iran from going nuclear.

Mofaz, who heads the Israeli team in strategic dialogue with the United States, has warned that Iran will cross the nuclear weapons threshold in 2009 or 2010 and said that if the international community fails to interdict the process, Israel will.

Like his colleagues on the right, Barak sees the Middle East as a tough, unforgiving neighborhood in which the weak are devoured -- he once famously described Israel as a "villa in the jungle."

The difference between Barak and the hard-line Netanyahu and Mofaz is his conviction that Israel to survive must be strong and divest itself of the West Bank to ensure a Jewish majority in a democratic state.

After the failure of the Camp David negotiations with Yasser Arafat in 2000, the then-prime minister Barak was quick to claim there was no genuine Palestinian peace partner. That led him to back the notion of unilateral withdrawal as the only way to establish a border between Israel and the Palestinians.

Barak modified his thinking, however, when Sharon's unilateral withdrawal from Gaza was followed by ceaseless Kassam rocket attacks. He still seems to envisage an eventual unilateral pullout from the West Bank, but only after Israel has an effective anti-missile defense system.

As defense minister, Barak has made the development of a multilayered anti-missile system -- one that provides protection against long-, medium- and short-range missiles -- a top priority.

Livni, whose parents both fought for the prestate Irgun underground, entered politics in 1996 holding fiercely hawkish positions. But as minister for regional cooperation in the first Sharon government in 2001, she underwent a profound ideological metamorphosis, turning from hawk to relative dove.

A lawyer by training, Livni places supreme importance on Israel retaining international legitimacy by withdrawing to a line close to the 1967 borders and allowing the Palestinians to establish a state of their own.

Livni, now the foreign minister, sees one of the main tasks of government as securing the best post-withdrawal conditions for Israel. For example, she insists that no Palestinian refugees be allowed to return to Israel proper, arguing that the Palestinians cannot simultaneously demand a state and insist that their refugees be settled somewhere else.

Livni was one of the chief backers of Sharon's unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, but also after the Kassams from Gaza, she says Israel cannot simply leave the West Bank and "throw the keys over the fence."

Thus, unlike her three main rivals, Livni advocates intensive negotiations with the Palestinians on a final peace deal and bringing in an international force to help implement it. But Livni is in no hurry and would be less likely than Olmert to make concessions on key principles -- like the refugee issue -- for a deal.

The first stage in the battle to succeed Olmert is scheduled for Sept. 17, when Kadima holds its primary. Livni and Mofaz are the runaway front-runners: A recent poll in Israel's daily Ma'ariv gave Livni 51 percent of the party vote to Mofaz's 43 percent.

The second stage in the leadership stakes could come as soon as early 2009. If Kadima's winner fails to assemble a coalition government, the Knesset will be dissolved and early general elections would be held, bringing Netanyahu and Barak into the picture.

Whoever finally emerges as the new prime minister, a break with Olmert's policies seems certain.

Hamas niet geinteresseerd in hervatten onderhandelingen Shalit

Het is waarschijnlijk onmogelijk, maar het zou mooi zijn als Israël kon inzien dat haar toekomst en veiligheid niet van Shalits vrijlating afhangen, en dat zijn dood of jarenlange ontvoering niet het einde van de wereld betekenen. Pas wanneer Hamas merkt dat Israël niet te chanteren is en zijn gedrag niet aanpast aan wat mag helpen om Shalit vrij te krijgen, zal juist Hamas mogelijk toenadering zoeken omdat men zeer veel te winnen heeft bij een gevangenendeal. Het is goed dat Israël waarschijnlijk binnenkort een aantal gevangenen voor Abbas vrij laat.
Het feit dat ook Egypte zijn geduld verliest met Hamas is een goed teken.


Last update - 11:16 12/08/2008

Hamas says not interested in renewing Shalit negotiations 
By Avi Issacharoff and Amos Harel

Hamas is not interested in renewing talks to free abducted soldier Gilad Shalit, a senior Hamas official said Monday. The official said that as long as Israel fails to completely lift the siege on the Gaza Strip and to remove obstacles to the free transfer of goods between Israel and Gaza, Hamas would not enter into new talks.

Israeli defense sources Monday confirmed that Hamas was toughening its stance and had suspended talks on Shalit's release, infuriating Egypt and causing it tension with Hamas.

Chief Israeli negotiator Ofer Dekel has visited Cairo over the past two weeks. A Hamas delegation also visited the Egyptian capital recently and said it would not renew the talks. Hamas criticized the Egyptians, saying Cairo was unable to bring about the renewal of the negotiations at this stage. Egypt is linking the opening of the Rafah border crossing with Shalit's release, while Hamas refuses to agree to any such condition, said the Hamas official. 

There are deep differences in opinion between Egypt and Hamas on Shalit's release, the London newspaper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reported. It said paper, senior Hamas officials blame the Egyptians for dragging out everything connected to the negotiations over Shalit, and some Hamas officials are even demanding that Germany replace Egypt as mediator in the talks.

Hamas is accusing the Egyptians of taking Fatah's side in the crisis between Hamas and Fatah, blaming only Hamas for the recent fighting between the two organizations' militant factions in Gaza.

Tensions between Egypt and Hamas escalated recently after the Egyptians prevented a Hamas parliamentary delegation from entering Egypt through the Rafah crossing on its way to Yemen. On Sunday Hamas organized a demonstration in which hundreds of Palestinians participated. They called on President Hosni Mubarak to open the crossing.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak Monday closed down the border crossings to the Gaza Strip in response to Qassam rocket fire from the strip. One rocket landed Monday afternoon in a residential neighborhood of Sderot, causing no injuries.

Barak did say, despite the border closure, that he would permit the transfer to Gaza of NIS 72 million that Israel owes the Palestinian Authority today, in response to a personal request from PA prime minister Salam Fayyad.

The Palestinians said they needed the money to pay PA employees' wages in the strip. Defense sources criticized the decision. They said it was doubtful whether the PA could control the money once it reached Gaza and raised fears that some of it would fall into Hamas hands.

Barak's people dismissed the criticism, saying that Israel had consented to requests from the international community and Quartet envoy Tony Blair to transfer the money and that the move was in the PA's interest.

Senior IDF officers yesterday visited the Muqata compound in Jenin, meeting the heads of the Palestinian defense branches in the West Bank. They discussed the introduction of Palestinian policing troops into Jenin in May and the PA's expanded security authorities in the region.

A defense establishment official commended the improvement in the PA's law and order enforcement, but said it is still not fighting the terror groups resolutely enough. He also said the PA is continuing to release Hamas prisoners shortly after their arrest.

Cabinet to okay prisoner criteria

The ministerial panel handling the release of Palestinian prisoners decided Monday to recommend releasing a number of prisoners with "blood on their hands."

The committee's recommendations will include the release of between three and five Palestinians who committed murder. The committee consists of Vice Premier Haim Ramon (Kadima), Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann (Kadima), Public Security Minister Avi Dichter (Kadima) and minister without portfolio Ami Ayalon (Labor).

The murderers to be released have all served over 25 years in Israeli prisons, and were jailed well before the Oslo Agreements.

In addition, the ministers asked the Shin Bet security service to prepare a list of 150 to 220 additional prisoners who are not considered to have blood on their hands, as well as a list of sick prisoners who were supposed to be released after Prime Minister Ehud Olmert decided to make a goodwill gesture toward Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The criteria for releasing the Palestinian prisoners is to be submitted to the cabinet for its approval on Sunday

Olmert overhandigt plan aan Abbas voor Israëlische terugtrekking uit 93% Westoever

Een serieus vredesvoorstel op het moment dat weinigen Olmert nog serieus nemen als premier van Israël.
Voordat de tweede fase in kan gaan (waarin Israël 93% van de Westoever daadwerkelijk ontruimt en aan de Palestijnen overdraagt) moeten de Palestijnen 'een serie interne hervormingen doorvoeren' en moet Fatah de macht in Gaza hebben teruggekregen. Dit zijn zaken die nog wel even kunnen duren, maar het biedt de Palestijnen wel een vooruitzicht. Overigens krijgen de Palestijnen er 5% land voor terug in Gaza, en een corridor met de Westoever. Dit is minder vruchtbaar land, maar Israël kan wellicht wat technologie mee overdragen om het te bevloeien.

Voor Israël blijft het een bittere pil dat in het merendeel van de Westoever geen Joden zullen mogen wonen, en de vraag is hoe makkelijk zij erheen kunnen en er heilige plaatsen kunnen bezoeken, terwijl het voor de Palestijnen waarschijnlijk onbespreekbaar is dat niet één op één land wordt geruild en dat juist rond Jeruzalem de nederzettingenblokken blijven bestaan, wat hun toegang tot de stad waarschijnlijk zal blijven bemoeilijken. Over Jeruzalem wordt in dit voorstel bewust niet gesproken, omdat coalitiepartner Shas er dan uitstapt.

Last update - 09:47 12/08/2008      
Olmert gives Abbas plan for Israeli pullout from 93% of West Bank
By Aluf Benn, Haaretz Correspondent

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has presented Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas with a detailed proposal for an agreement in principle on borders, refugees and security arrangements between Israel and a future Palestinian state.

Olmert, who met with Abbas this week, feels there is time to reach an agreement during his remaining time in office. He is now awaiting a decision from the Palestinians.

The centerpiece of Olmert's proposal is the suggested permanent border, which would be based on an Israeli withdrawal from most of the West Bank. In return for the land retained by Israel in the West Bank, the Palestinians would receive alternative land in the Negev, adjacent to the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians would also enjoy free passage between Gaza and the West Bank without any security checks, the proposal says.

A senior Israeli official said the Palestinians were given preliminary maps of the proposed borders.

Under Olmert's offer, Israel would keep 7 percent of the West Bank, while the Palestinians would receive territory equivalent to 5.5 percent of West Bank. Israel views the passage between Gaza and the West Bank as compensating for this difference: Though it would officially remain in Israeli hands, it would connect the two halves of the Palestinian state - a connection the Palestinians did not enjoy before 1967, when the Gaza Strip was under Egyptian control and the West Bank was part of Jordan.

The land to be annexed to Israel would include the large settlement blocs, and the border would be similar to the present route of the separation fence. Israel would keep Ma'aleh Adumim, Gush Etzion, the settlements surrounding Jerusalem and some land in the northern West Bank adjacent to Israel.

Since Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak recently approved more construction in both Efrat and Ariel, two settlements relatively far from the 1949 armistice lines, it is reasonable to assume that Olmert wants to include these settlements in the territory annexed to Israel as well.

Olmert's proposal states that once a border is agreed upon, Israel would be able to build freely in the settlement blocs to be annexed.

The settlements outside the new border would be evacuated in two stages. First, after the agreement in principle is signed, the cabinet would initiate legislation to compensate settlers who voluntarily relocate within Israel or to settlement blocs slated to be annexed. Over the past few months, Olmert has approved construction of thousands of housing units in these settlement blocs, mostly around Jerusalem, and some are intended for the voluntary evacuees.

In the second stage, once the Palestinians complete a series of internal reforms and are capable of carrying out the entire agreement, Israel would remove any settlers remaining east of the new border.

Olmert will to try to sell the deal to the Israeli public based on a staged program of implementation. The present negotiations, which started with the Annapolis Summit in November 2007, are intended to reach a "shelf agreement" that would lay the foundations of a Palestinian state. However, implementation of the shelf agreement would be postponed until the Palestinian Authority is capable of carrying out its part of the deal.

Olmert's proposal for a land swap introduces a new stage in the arrangement: Israel would immediately receive the settlement blocs, but the land to be transferred to the Palestinians and the free passage between Gaza and the West Bank would only be delivered after the PA retakes control of the Gaza Strip. In this way, Olmert could tell the Israeli public that Israel is receiving 7 percent of the West Bank and an agreed-upon border, while the Israeli concessions will be postponed until Hamas rule in Gaza has ended.

Abbas, for his part, could tell his people that he has succeeded in obtaining 98 percent of the West Bank from Israel, along with a promise to remove all settlers over the border.

The Palestinians' proposal had talked about a much smaller land swap, of about 2 percent of the West Bank.

Compared to previous Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, the Olmert proposal falls between the one then prime minister Barak presented to Yasser Arafat at Camp David in July 2000 and the one he offered at Taba in January 2001. The Palestinian proposal is similar to the ones offered during the Arafat years, which would have allowed Israel to annex only a few settlements, along with their access roads - a proposal nicknamed "balloons and strings." All these Palestinian proposals ruled out allowing Israel to retain the settlement blocs.

Since then, however, the separation fence has been built in the West Bank, and a new physical reality has been created in the areas where the fence has been completed.

Israel also presented the Palestinians with a detailed model of new security arrangements under the proposed agreement. The security proposal was drawn up by a team headed by Maj. Gen. Ido Nehoshtan, now commander of the Israel Air Force, but previously head of the army's Plans and Policy Directorate. The proposal has also been passed on to the Americans, in an effort to obtain their support for Israel's position during the negotiations.

The security proposal includes a demand that the Palestinian state be demilitarized and without an army. The Palestinians, in contrast, are demanding that their security forces be capable of defending against "outside threats," an Israeli official said.

On the refugee issue, Olmert's proposal rejects a Palestinian "right of return" and states that the refugees may only return to the Palestinian state, other than exceptional cases in which refugees would be allowed into Israel for family reunification. Nevertheless, the proposal includes a detailed and complex formula for solving the refugee problem.

Olmert has agreed with Abbas that the negotiations over Jerusalem will be postponed. In doing so, he gave in to the Shas Party's threats that it would leave the coalition if Jerusalem were put on the negotiating table.

Olmert views reaching an agreement with the Palestinians as extremely important. Such an agreement would entrench the two-state solution in the international community's consciousness, along with a detailed framework for achieving this solution. In Olmert's opinion, this is the only way Israel can rebuff challenges to its legitimacy and avoid calls for a "one-state solution." Such an agreement would show that Israel is not interested in controlling the territories, or the Palestinians, over the long run, but only until conditions arise that enable the establishment of a Palestinian state. This position has received strong support from the present U.S. administration.

Next week, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will visit the region to continue her efforts to advance the negotiations. However, Olmert opposes her proposal to publish a joint U.S.-Palestinian-Israeli announcement detailing progress in the negotiations since Annapolis. Olmert objects to publishing partial positions; he only wants to announce a complete agreement - if one can be reached.