zaterdag 13 september 2008

Joods Antisemitisme

Joods antisemitisme - volgens velen een contradictio in terminis - bestaat wel degelijk. Niet alleen volgens sommige zionisten, maar ook volgens een Duitse rechtbank. Het gaat er niet zozeer om wie het zegt, maar wat men zegt. Een mooi en anti-discriminerend uitgangspunt, maar een nuance is wel op zijn plaats: dezelfde uitspraak of bijvoorbeeld mop kan wel degelijk anders klinken uit de mond van iemand met een andere achtergrond of visie op zaken. Dat geldt ook voor moppen over domme blondjes, opmerkingen over moslims en buitenlanders, homo's of andere kwetsbare groepen of minderheden. Jezelf vergrappen is nou eenmaal niet hetzelfde als een ander te kakken zetten. Wanneer dat eerste overgaat in zelfhaat, of beter gezegd, haat of discriminatie jegens een groep waartoe men zelf ook behoort, blijft een lastige vraag. Dat sommige Joden deze grens overschrijden, moge duidelijk zijn.  

Jewish Anti-Semitism

posted by DrMike at
This past week, a German court officially recognized that being Jewish, or of Jewish origin, does not provide immunity against charges of anti-Semitism. The case involved Evelyn Hecht-Galinski, whose late father Heinz Galinski was the president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany after the Holocaust, and journalist Henryk Broder. Broder had publicly charged that Hecht-Galinski's statements, such as a "Jewish-Israel lobby with its active network is extended over the world and thanks to America its power has become so great...", were anti-Semitic. Initially an injunction was obtained by Hect-Galinski against Broder; the court in Cologne waived the injunction as long as Broder could provide reasons for that charge. The Jerusalem Post article about the court decision can be found here.

Of course, as readers of this blog and other astute observers know, this phenomenon is by no means limited to Germany, or even Europe. We have commented here on groups such as Jewish Voice for Peace and Bay Area Women in Black that try to deflect criticism of some of their positions with the "how can we be anti-Semitic, we're Jewish?" response. But it shouldn't make a difference whether the same defamatory comments come from them, or from someone who associates with the neo-Nazi fringe like Alison Weir (teaser alert--this will be subject of an upcoming post in about a week). Natan Sharansky has pointed out that if statements are made that demonize Israel (the world's only Jewish state), if they delegitimize the existence of Israel and only Israel, if they invoke double standards of acceptable behavior against Israel and only Israel, that's anti-Semitic. The EU Working Definition of Anti-Semitism includes those points as well as the phrase "drawing comparisons between contemporary Israeli policy and that of the Nazis" in determining whether statements are anti-Semitic.

The German court got it right. It doesn't matter who said it, wrote it, or blogged it. It doesn't matter whether someone's father was a well-respected leader whose memory is being exploited by someone without any other credentials. It doesn't matter if a group has "Jewish" in its name. The same statements are anti-Semitic whether they come from sources like that or from David Duke. And we'll continue to call it that way.
Original content copyright by DrMike 2008.  Posted at, where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Disributed by ZNN list. Subscribe by sending a message to Please forward by e-mail with this notice, cite this article and link to it. Other uses by permission only.

Achmadinejad: Iran zal Hamas steunen tot Israël instort

Iran zou niet alleen graag zien dat Israël er niet meer is, maar draagt daar actief aan bij met haar steun voor Hamas. Hoeveel duidelijker moet Achmadinejad het nog zeggen voordat hij door EAJG, GroenLinks en de SP wordt geloofd?


Last update - 03:58 13/09/2008

Ahmadinejad: Iran will support Hamas until collapse of Israel

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed Friday to keep supporting the Palestinian militant group Hamas until the "collapse of Israel."

The Iranian news agency Khabar quoted Ahmadinejad as telling Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh that Iran views the support of the Palestinian people as part of its religious and national duty and that Iran will stand behind the Palestinian nation "until the big victory feast which is the collapse of the Zionist regime."

In a phone conversation between the two leaders, the Iranian president said that the continued Hamas resistance against Israel and the group's achievements would always be "a source of pride for all Muslims."

Iran does not acknowledge the sovereignty of Israel and vowed to support Hamas until what Ahmadinejad calls "deliverance from Zionists (Israel)."

Haniyeh, the leader of the Islamist Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip, was elected Palestinian prime minister in 2006, but was dismissed in June 2007 by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, after Hamas violently seized control over the Gaza Strip from Abbas' Palestinian Authority.

Kolonisten hebben rode lijn overschreden

Dit soort zaken lijkt geregeld voor te komen. Rechts-extremistische kolonisten vallen niet alleen Palestijnen aan, maar ook legerposten. Dit is des te absurder, omdat de kolonisten zonder het leger niet in de bezette gebieden konden wonen. De bereidheid voor deze mensen zijn leven te riskeren neemt in Israel steeds verder af.
Overigens zijn ook veel kolonisten verbolgen over dit soort zaken en dat zal hopelijk bijdragen aan een harde aanpak van de daders.

Army: Settlers have crossed red line
Senior IDF officers on Thursday lambasted the legal system's inability to effectively crack down on radical West Bank settlers after a group of young far-right activists went on a rampage that culminated in an attack on an IDF position near Ramallah.
A masked settler seen waving...

A masked settler seen waving an Israeli flag on a rooftop in Hebron (illustrative).
Photo: AP [file]

Late Wednesday night, some 40 activists arrived at an IDF position - manned by reservists - near the settlement of Talmon, just west of Ramallah. The activists attacked the reservists, tried to enter the post and damaged the pipe system that carries water to the base. The reservists tried to fend off the attackers, who called the soldiers "Nazis."

Earlier in the day, soldiers clashed with settlers near the settlement of Yitzhar, south of Nablus, after they began throwing rocks at passing Palestinian cars.

In the Binyamin Region, settlers attacked officials from the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria who had arrived at the illegal Yad Yair outpost to confiscate equipment that was allegedly being used for illegal construction.

Two soldiers were wounded in the clashes - one with a fracture in his hand. The other soldier was treated at the scene after a settler's dog bit him after being ordered to attack by his owner. The IDF also said that settlers had punctured tires on a car belonging to the civil administration.

Sources in the IDF Central Command said the incidents were severe and that together with the Judea and Samaria Police the army planned to apprehend and press charges against all of the "provocateurs."

The IDF, one officer said, recently held a one-day conference together with the police to try to come up with ways to stop settler violence. According to the officer, in most cases the settlers involved in such clashes were either not apprehended or were released from police custody without being indicted.

"They have crossed a red line," one officer said. "The legal system needs to come up with ways to curb this unfortunate, growing phenomenon."

Binymain Regional Council head Avi Roeh said that the violence damaged the good relations the settler community was trying to forge with the IDF.

"What happened near Talmon should not have happened and is the type of incident that damages our excellent relations with the military," Roeh said.


Enquete Kadima leden: bijna helft kiest voor Livni, ruim een kwart voor Mofaz

Als het aan de Kadima-leden ligt, wordt Tzipi Livni de volgende premier van Israël. Ze zou daarmee de tweede vrouwelijke premier van het land worden.
Teleseker poll of Kadima: Livni 46.4% Mofaz 27.6% Dichter 7.5% Shetreet 4.5%
- 56% if Olmert exonerated should still stay out of politics
Dr. Aaron Lerner
12 September 2008

If primaries were held today who would you vote for for chairman of the party
Livni 46.4%
Mofaz 27.6%
Dichter 7.5%
Shetreet 4.5%
Undecided 11.2%
Refuse reply 2.8%
of those who say certain voting:
Livni 47.2%
Mofaz 31.6%
Dichter 5.1%
Shetreet 5.4%

If there is a second round:
Livni 55.2%
Mofaz 33.8%
Don't know 7.2%
Refuse reply 2.2%
of those who say certain voting:
Livni 57.1%
Mofaz 35.8%

Which candidate will get the most votes in the Knesset elections?
Livni 49.2%
Mofaz 29.7%
Dichter 6.8%
Shetreet 3.8%
Undecided 9.2%
Refuse reply 0.9%

What would you prefer the new chairman of the party to do?
62.7% Form new coalition or continue current coalition - without new elections
29.7% Immediately act for new elections
07.7% Don' know/refuse reply

If Olmert is put on trial and is exonerated, what would you want him to do?
56% Completely leave political life
37.2% Return to politics and become part of Kadima leadership
06.8% No position, refuse reply

If Livni wins the primaries what should Mofaz do?
Remain in Kadima 70.2%
Go to Likud 15.2%
Don't know 7.7%
Form  new party 4%
Form new party that joins Likud 2.8%

If Mofaz wins the primaries what should Livni do?
Remain in Kadima 69.3%
Don't know 13.8%
Form  new party 10.7%
Form new party that joins Labor 6.2%

Published in Maariv on 12 September 2008

IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis

IDF soldaat veroordeeld voor niet doorlaten zwangere vrouw

Het is goed dat mensen die zoiets doen daarvoor gestraft worden, ook als er geen camera in de buurt was en het betreffende incident niet in onze journaals en actualiteitenrubrieken belandde. Israel is, ondanks al haar fouten, een rechtsstaat.
Soldier who delayed Palestinian woman in labor jailed
Efrat Weiss - YNET
An IDF company commander was sentenced to 14 days in jail following an incident in which a pregnant Palestinian woman in labor was delayed at a military crossing.

The woman was on her way to a hospital in Nablus. Her husband said the troops would not let them pass even when the baby was crowning. The Palestinian paramedics who arrived at the scene pronounced the baby stillborn.

vrijdag 12 september 2008

Hamas en Islamitische Jihad bevestigen strategische relatie

Hamas en het als nog radikaler beschouwde Islamitische Jihad hebben een gemeenschappelijke verklaring uitgegeven waarin zij hun gemeenschappelijke strategie en doelen hebben benadrukt. Dit is opvallend, want Hamas en Fatah zochten de afgelopen maanden ook meermaals toenadering. Hamas en Islamitische Jihad verklaren onder meer:
The statement also confirmed both Movements' adherence to the resistance option as a strategic choice to liberate the Palestinian land, and to retrieve the usurped Palestinian legal rights, vowing to reject any deal that could harm historical and national rights of the Palestinian people, including their right in the occupied city of Jerusalem, and the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes among other legal rights.
Dat sluit ieder compromis, laat staan vrede, met Israel geheel uit. Hamas is zich dus niet aan het matigen zoals velen zo graag geloven.  

Hamas, Islamic Jihad confirm strategic rapport
10 September 2008
Website of Ezzedeen Al-Qassam Brigades - the armed branch of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas).

The Hamas and the Islamic Jihad Movements have confirmed on Tuesday that their relationship was strategic and couldn't be affected by trivial matters, stressing that they were united against any agreement that could abandon the Palestinian people's rights.

In a joint statement issued by both of them, the two Movements stressed that their bilateral relationship was at its best level, and described it as "strategic relationship that neither secondary differences nor incidents in the field could affect".

The statement also confirmed both Movements' adherence to the resistance option as a strategic choice to liberate the Palestinian land, and to retrieve the usurped Palestinian legal rights, vowing to reject any deal that could harm historical and national rights of the Palestinian people, including their right in the occupied city of Jerusalem, and the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes among other legal rights.

Furthermore, both Movements agreed that the national dialogue was and still is the only way for the Palestinian factions to solve their political disputes, and to bail the Palestinian people out of the current political crises.

As far as the Zionist siege on Gaza is concerned, the two Palestinian Movements confirmed the necessity to continue anti-siege popular activities on the Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim levels till all Gaza crossing points, particularly the vital Rafah crossing point, are opened.

The two Movements also agreed to form joint committees to tackle and to solve any problem or misunderstanding that may occur between the two Movements on the ground.

Leaders from both Movements, including Khaled Mishaal, the supreme political leader of Hamas, and Ramadan Abduallah Shallah, the secretary-general of the Islamic Jihad among other leaders met in the Syrian capital Damascus, and discussed a number of basic issues and developments in the Palestinian arena.

Irakese parlementarieër opent anti-terreur conferentie in Israël

Er is nog een lange weg te gaan voordat de betrekkingen tussen Israel en de Arabische staten zijn genormaliseerd. Niet alleen in Irak, maar ook in Egypte en Jordanië, landen die vrede met Israel hebben gesloten, wordt een bezoek aan Israel je niet in dank afgenomen.

Iraqi parliamentarian opens Herzliya anti-terror conference in Israel

Iraqi parliamentarian Mithal al-Alousi, Secretary General of the Nation Party, delivered the opening statements at the Herzliyah Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) Conference Wednesday. 
Al-Alousi called for stronger relations between Iraq and Israel and stronger cooperation between Iraq and Israel in fighting terror. He harshly condemned Iran, which he accused of meddling in Iraqi affairs.
Al Alousi is the sole representative of the Nation (Ummah) party, which got 0.3% of the vote. He is an outspoken proponent of democracy and supporter of the United States and Israel. He spoke at the ICT conference on two previous occasions. His visit in 2004 elicited harsh criticism in Iraq and several attacks were launched against them, including one that left his two sons dead.
Al Alousi has dual Iraqi-German citizenship, having lived in exile in Germany during the rule of Saddam Hussein. This makes it possible for him to travel to Israel.

Jordanië vervolgt islam critici

In veel Arabische en islamitische landen is kritiek op de islam bij wet verboden. Jordanië, de lieveling van het Westen, gaat nog een stap verder en vervolgt ook criticasters van de islam in het Westen. Hiertegen moet krachtig stelling worden genomen, om te voorkomen dat Westerse politici en anderen niet meer vrij kunnen reizen uit angst om voor rechtbanken in landen met een dubieuze reputatie op het gebied van democratie en mensenrechten te moeten verschijnen.
Helaas heeft de VN Algemene Vergadering onlangs een resolutie aangenomen die dergelijke praktijken ondersteunen, en de Mensenrechtenraad heeft gezegd dat het af zal zien van het veroordelen van mensenrechtenschendingen die met een bepaalde religie te maken hebben, dit op verzoek van een aantal islamitische landen. 

Criminalizing Criticism of Islam

September 10, 2008


There are strange happenings in the world of international jurisprudence that do not bode well for the future of free speech. In an unprecedented case, a Jordanian court is prosecuting 12 Europeans in an extraterritorial attempt to silence the debate on radical Islam.

The prosecutor general in Amman charged the 12 with blasphemy, demeaning Islam and Muslim feelings, and slandering and insulting the prophet Muhammad in violation of the Jordanian Penal Code. The charges are especially unusual because the alleged violations were not committed on Jordanian soil.

Among the defendants is the Danish cartoonist whose alleged crime was to draw in 2005 one of the Muhammad illustrations that instigators then used to spark Muslim riots around the world. His co-defendants include 10 editors of Danish newspapers that published the images. The 12th accused man is Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders, who supposedly broke Jordanian law by releasing on the Web his recent film, "Fitna," which tries to examine how the Quran inspires Islamic terrorism.

Jordan's attempt at criminalizing free speech beyond its own borders wouldn't be so serious if it were an isolated case. Unfortunately, it is part of a larger campaign to use the law and international forums to intimidate critics of militant Islam. For instance, in December the United Nations General Assembly passed the Resolution on Combating Defamation of Religions; the only religion mentioned by name was Islam. While such resolutions aren't legally binding, national governments sometimes cite them as justification for legislation or other actions.

More worrying, the U.N. Human Rights Council in June said it would refrain from condemning human-rights abuses related to "a particular religion." The ban applies to all religions, but it was prompted by Muslim countries that complained about linking Islamic law, Shariah, to such outrages as female genital mutilation and death by stoning for adulterers. This kind of self-censorship could prove dangerous for people suffering abuse, and it follows the council's March decision to have its expert on free speech investigate individuals and the media for negative comments about Islam.

Given this trend, it's worth taking a closer look at the Jordanian case.

The prosecutor is relying on a 2006 amendment to the Jordanian Justice Act that casts a worryingly wide net for such prosecution. Passed in response to the Danish cartoons incident, the law allows the prosecution of individuals whose actions affect the Jordanian people by "electronic means," such as the Internet. The 2006 amendment, in theory, means anyone who publishes on the Internet could be subject to prosecution in Jordan. If the case against the 12 defendants is allowed to go forward, they will be the first but probably not the last Westerners to be hit by Jordan's law.

Amman has already requested that Interpol apprehend Mr. Wilders and the Danes and bring them to stand before its court for an act that is not a crime in their home countries. To the contrary. Dutch prosecutors said in July that although some of Mr. Wilders's statements may be offensive, they are protected under Dutch free-speech legislation. Likewise, Danish law protects the rights of the Danish cartoonists and newspapers to express their views.

Neither Denmark nor the Netherlands will turn over its citizens to Interpol, as the premise of Jordan's extradition request is an affront to the very principles that define democracies. It is thus unlikely that any Western country would do so, either. But there is no guarantee for the defendants' protection if they travel to countries that are more sympathetic to the Jordanian court.

Unless democratic countries stand up to this challenge to free speech, other nations may be emboldened to follow the Jordanian example. Kangaroo courts across the globe will be ready to charge free people with obscure violations of other societies' norms and customs, and send Interpol to bring them to stand trial in frivolous litigation.

A new form of forum shopping would soon take root. Activists would be able to choose countries whose laws and policies are informed by their religious values to prosecute critical voices in other countries. The case before the Jordanian court is not just about Mr. Wilders and the Danes. It is about the subjugation of Western standards of free speech to fear and coercion by foreign courts.


donderdag 11 september 2008

Hamas wint aan legitimiteit in Arabische wereld

Hamas wint aan legitimiteit in de Arabische wereld, ondanks de problemen die bijvoorbeeld Jordanië en Egypte hebben met hun eigen islamisten. Helaas reageren zij niet slechts op een bepaalde realiteit, zij versterken die ook. Zoals Israels staakt-het-vuren met Hamas mogelijk heeft bijgedragen aan de toenadering tussen Jordanië en Hamas, zo zal deze op haar beurt andere landen over de streep trekken. Het resultaat is dat Abbas en zijn Fatah partij verder worden verzwakt en de kansen op vrede voorlopig lijken verkeken.

Increasingly, Hamas is Gaining Acceptance in the Arab World
Jonathan Spyer
Jerusalem Post - 04/09/2008


A series of recent developments point to Hamas's increasingly solid position in the Palestinian and broader Arab political constellations. This process is of significance both for Arab politics itself, and for the likely direction of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the coming period.

In the past week, it was announced that Jordan's Intelligence Department, led by Gen. Muhammad Dahabi, has opened a dialogue with Hamas. The renewal of contacts between Amman and Hamas reverses a decade of Jordanian policy since the Hamas leadership were expelled from Jordan in 1999.

The fraught nature of Jordan's relations with Hamas was compounded in April 2006 with the arrest of 20 men suspected of being Hamas operatives. Three of the detainees were charged with maintaining a Hamas cell that surveilled Israeli targets in the kingdom in order to carry out terror attacks. The three were convicted two months ago.

Analysts are assuming that Amman is hoping to secure guarantees from Hamas against the movement's planning further operations against Israel from Jordanian soil. Jordan is also understood to fear the possible ramifications for its internal affairs of Hamas's election victory in January 2006 and its subsequent consolidation of power. In this regard, it should be noted that the main Jordanian opposition movement - the Islamic Action Front - is Hamas's sister Muslim Brotherhood front organization east of the Jordan River. The Front is regarded as the most popular political movement in Jordan, and it is currently led by an individual with close ties to Hamas - Sheikh Zaki Bani Irsheid.

For Hamas, of course, the Jordanian move is welcome toward dialogue, since it seems to represent the gradual acceptance by the Arab political mainstream of its growing power among the Palestinians. This acceptance derives not from ideological factors or sentiment: pragmatic, pro-Western, monarchical Jordan and Islamist Hamas with its links to Iran could not be more natural adversaries. Rather, the move points to a de facto acceptance of the fact that Hamas's rivals in the Palestinian camp are too weak to dislodge it, and that no one else seems keen to take on this task.

In Gaza, Hamas has created a functioning Sunni Islamist enclave. Recent moves to ban Ramallah-produced Fatah literature and to round up remaining mid-level Fatah activists were further confirmation of this. The movement is also quietly maintaining its strength in the West Bank. This is despite attempts by Mahmoud Abbas's forces to hit at Hamas's extensive social welfare structure - the basis of its long-term support. Should a large number of Hamas political prisoners be freed in a deal for the release of St.-Sgt. Gilad Schalit, this is expected to further contribute to Hamas attempts to maintain and build its position in the West Bank.

Gaza, though armed to the teeth, is poverty stricken, and Hamas functionaries are proving by no means immune to corruption and nepotism. The situation in the Strip is hardly a shining advertisement for Palestinian Islamism. But in the simple, zero sum terms of Middle East power-brokering, there is no force currently both willing and able to deprive the movement of power. Jordan is therefore adjusting to accommodate to the facts on the ground.

The Jordanian move is reflected elsewhere. Egypt's decision to open the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Sinai over the weekend - ostensibly as a goodwill gesture in the approach to Ramadan - may also be seen as an acknowledgement by Cairo that Hamas's de facto power is not about to disappear.

The reverse side of Jordanian and Egyptian adjustment to new realities on the ground is the sense of the continued decline into irrelevance of Fatah and the West Bank Palestinian Authority. The Jordanians, from up close, observe the failure of the PA leadership to carry through on its promises to isolate Hamas in the West Bank. They observe with dismay the continued disarray, disunity and lack of direction within Fatah. From this point of view, the desire of the US administration and the Olmert government in their final months to attempt to reach an agreement of some kind with the Abbas administration seems detached from reality.

The cautious engagement of Jordan and Egypt with Hamas is of a piece with broader current developments in the neighborhood. The arrival of President Nicolas Sarkozy of France in Syria this week to formalize renewed ties between Paris and Damascus after three years of tension may be seen as part of the same process. There are even rumors going around that Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit met with Hizbullah representatives during a recent visit to Beirut.

From Israel's point of view, these events signal the growing power of elements hostile to it to the north, south and east. However, they also signal an acknowledgment by regional powers of the stark realities on the ground - in contrast to the dance of the "peace process" still being performed by fading administrations in Washington, Jerusalem and Ramallah.

The old view of a closed Israeli-Palestinian system west of the Jordan is fading. Rather, Israel, Jordan and Egypt, each in their own way, are grappling with the shared reality of well-entrenched, hostile Islamist forces in their midst. Developing a coherent policy response to this reality will be a pressing task awaiting the new US and Israeli administrations expected to assume power in the first part of next year.


Jonathan Spyer is a senior research fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs Center, IDC, Herzliya.


Twee aanslagen tegen Israeli's in het buitenland voorkomen

Hezbollah heeft in het verleden meermaals Israelische en Joodse doelen buiten Israel aangevallen, net als Palestijnse groeperingen in vooral de jaren '70 en '80 deden. Het is daarom des te vreemder dat Europa Hezbollah niet als terroristische organisatie beschouwt, en dat de VN en de UNIFIL vredesmacht in Zuid-Libanon zich zo mild over deze organisatie uitlaten.

Barak: We've foiled 2 attacks against Israelis abroad
By Haaretz Service

Last update - 01:05 11/09/2008

Defense Minister Ehud Barak confirmed on Wednesday that the security establishment has managed to foil two attacks against Israelis abroad.
"We've prevented, with the help of international agencies, at least two attacks against Israelis in different corners of the world," Barak said. "Clearly there is a risk, especially to former high-ranking officers who go to Muslim countries without prior security arrangements."
Barak urged these officers to be more alert. "Being Israeli means great pride but also great responsibility? IDF officers and Israeli official as well as unofficial envoys should be alert and abide by the warnings."

Israel's secret services recently stepped up warnings that the Lebanese guerilla organization Hezbollah will try to kidnap reserve Israel Defense Forces officers in order to avenge the death of the organization's top commander Imad Mughniyeh, who was allegedly killed by Israel a few months ago.
He also commented on the Shi'ite organization's continued rearming, and said that "we are all concerned about Hezbollah's increased capabilities, which have reached an unprecedented peak. They now have 40,000 missiles capable of hitting [the southern cities of] Yeruham, Dimona and Arad."

Israël, Nederland, Europa en Iran

Afgelopen maandag werd het nieuwe boek "Israel en ik" van Bert de Bruin in samenwerking met het CIDI gepresenteerd. Dit boek, waarin 15 min of meer bekende Nederlanders werden geinterviewd over hun band met Israel, kreeg opvallend weinig aandacht van de media. Je kunt wat dat betreft beter schrijven dat Israel een historische vergissing is, over de 'schandelijke mensenrechtenschendingen', of als Palestijn schrijven over de onderdrukking van je volk, dan Nederlanders vragen naar hun betrokkenheid met het land.
De bijeenkomst was interessant en leverde boeiende discussies op. Overigens heeft Dirk-Jan Baar niet gezegd dat Iran ook een kernwapen mag hebben zoals de kop van onderstaand artikel suggereert, hij dacht vooral dat dit misschien niet te vermijden is omdat Israel niet in staat is dit tegen te houden en andere landen dit niet als hoogste prioriteit hebben. Laten we hopen dat hij geen gelijk krijgt....

„Waarom mag Iran geen kernbom hebben?"

09-09-2008 11:13 | Nico van den Berge

DEN HAAG - De Europese Unie is sinds de aanslagen van al-Qaida in de Verenigde Staten op 11 september 2001 kritischer geworden in haar houding naar Israël. Daardoor is de kloof tussen de EU aan de ene kant en de VS en Israël aan de andere kant toegenomen, meent Dirk-Jan van Baar, commentator van het opinieblad HP/De Tijd.

Het CIDI organiseerde maandagavond in een zaaltje van de Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam een paneldiscussie over veranderingen in de verhouding tussen de Europese Unie (en Nederland) met Israël. De aanleiding daarvoor was de uitgave door het CIDI van het boek "Israël en ik" ter gelegenheid van het zestigjarig bestaan van de staat Israël. De in Israël woonachtige Nederlandse publicist Bert de Bruin interviewde daarvoor vijftien min of meer bekende Nederlanders, sommigen Jood, anderen niet, over hun relatie met en gedachten over Israël.

De discussie spitste zich toe op de groeiende nadruk van veel EU-landen, waaronder Nederland, op de Palestijnen als slachtoffer van het veel machtigere Israël. Panellid Wiersma, lid voor de PvdA van de Commissie Buitenlandse Zaken van het Europees Parlement, verdedigde de steun van de socialistische fractie van het Europees Parlement voor de Palestijnse zaak door te benadrukken dat hij en de PvdA ook het standpunt hebben dat Israël recht heeft op een bestaan binnen veilige grenzen.

Wiersma: „Israël moet er maar mee leren leven dat het ook kritiek krijgt. Daar komt bij dat Israël de kritiek vanuit de EU serieus moet nemen, want de EU is verreweg de belangrijkste handelspartner van Israël. De EU staat voluit achter het bestaansrecht van Israël. Israël beseft onvoldoende dat dat een belangrijke steun is in zijn conflict met de Palestijnen. Bovendien levert de steun van de VS minder op dan het lijkt, want president Bush heeft de afgelopen jaren veel geroepen, maar hij heeft niets voor elkaar gekregen."

Volgens commentator Van Baar van HP/De Tijd zijn de kaarten na de aanslagen van al-Qaida op de VS opnieuw geschud. Israël en de VS kropen daarna „nog dichter naar elkaar toe, dan ze voorheen al deden", omdat beide landen zich in hetzelfde schuitje zouden bevinden. De EU daarentegen zag nieuwe, andere kansen voor de oplossing van het Midden-Oostenconflict. De Arabische staten voelden zich door die 11de september vernederd. De EU verhoogde daarom de druk op Israël om juist nu tot een oplossing te komen.

Van Baar: „De EU steunt sindsdien Israël wel in naam, maar neemt verder zoveel mogelijk een neutrale positie in. Ik vind dat de EU de Palestijnen een te grote plaats geeft, want de Palestijnen slagen er niet eens in zichzelf te besturen."

Bij de matig verlopende discussie ontstond enige commotie over de eventuele dreiging die uitgaat van Iran, indien Iran de beschikking krijgt over kernbommen. Van Baar ziet geen heil in een eenzijdige actie van Israël tegen mogelijke lanceerinstallaties of kerncentrales van Iran. „Ik twijfel aan het vermogen van Israël om een voldoende harde klap uit te delen aan Iran, zoals zij in het verleden heeft gedaan toen Irak kernwapens ontwikkelde", zei hij. „Het regime van Irak was destijds een dictatuur met weinig steun onder het volk. Het huidige Iran is een revolutionair regime dat zo'n aanval van Israël onmiddellijk zal gebruiken om via bestaande banden met andere islamitische groeperingen het leven in Israël verschrikkelijk te maken. Bovendien komt Israël alleen te staan als zij een dergelijke aanval eenzijdig uitvoert."

Wiersma wierp tegen dat andere landen ook wel een kernbom willen hebben, als Iran niet wordt gestopt bij de ontwikkeling ervan. „Ik kan niet leven met Iran als een kernwapenstaat."

Van Baar wel. „Ik denk dat we het toch als realiteit zullen moeten accepteren. En hoe erg zou het zijn als Iran ook kernbommen heeft? Pakistan en Rusland hebben ook kernwapens, dus waarom Iran niet? Israël bezit toch ook kernbommen? Bovendien geloof ik niet dat kernwapens echt ingezet kunnen worden. Ik verwacht dat Israël het uiteindelijk ook zal accepteren."

Panellid Nausicaa Marbe is een in Roemenië geboren Jodin die sinds 1982 in Nederland woont en columniste is voor de Volkskrant. Zij maakt zich zorgen over het volgens haar ook in Nederland toenemende antizionisme en antisemitisme. Vooral de hang naar simplificaties in Nederland zou daaraan bijdragen.

Marbe: „Zonder kennis van zaken wijzen allerlei groepen in Nederland erop dat Israël de hoofdschuldige zou zijn in het conflict en het onheil dat de Palestijnen wordt aangedaan. Op Israël is best veel aan te merken en dat mag ook, maar er zijn ook andere feiten. Ook de Palestijnen maken fouten die we niet zonder meer mogen rechtvaardigen door te zeggen dat het zelfverdediging is."


'Barghouti kan Palestijnen niet verenigen' volgens IDF

Moet Israël Marwan Barghouti vrijlaten in ruil voor Shalit, of in een deal met de Palestijnen? Een meerderheid van de Israëli's is voor in het eerste geval, maar tegen in het tweede, hoewel zijn vrijlating juist in het eerste geval op het conto van Hamas zou komen.
Sommige politici zijn voor omdat hij Fatah zou kunnen versterken en de eenheid onder de Palestijnen herstellen, maar volgens een document van het Israëlische leger is hij daar niet toe in staat, en is zijn invloed geringer dan veelal wordt aangenomen.
'Barghouti cannot unite Palestinians'
yaakov katz and talia dekel , THE JERUSALEM POST
Jailed Fatah-Tanzim leader Marwan Barghouti is unlikely to succeed in uniting the split Palestinian factions if he is released in a prisoner swap for kidnapped St.-Sgt. Gilad Schalit, according to a recent Defense Ministry report.

The document was prepared by a team of IDF officers who are experts on the Palestinian Authority and was submitted recently to Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

Barghouti, who was sentenced to five life sentences for the murders of four Israelis and a Greek monk and 40 years imprisonment for an attempted murder, in 2004, would not have a dramatic impact on the PA if released, according to the officers. Hamas has put his name on a list of 450 security prisoners the group demands be released in exchange for Schalit.

Several Israeli politicians, such as National Infrastructures Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, favor his release, saying Barghouti has the political power needed to strengthen and unite Fatah in its fight against Hamas. In contrast, Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) chief Yuval Diskin is opposed to Barghouti's release.

The Defense Ministry report analyzed his political strength in the PA and concluded that his influence fell mainly on field commanders in Ramallah but not in other parts of the West Bank, such as Nablus and Jenin - Hamas and Islamic Jihad strongholds. In addition, the report concluded that Barghouti would encounter fierce opposition from the "old guard" in the PA, such as former prime minister Ahmed Qurei, currently the chief Palestinian negotiator in the talks with Israel.

"He can be an important player, but his influence will be limited by the old guard," an official familiar with the document told The Jerusalem Post.

The researchers also studied the PA media and found that Barghouti was rarely mentioned, and if he was it was when the media quoted from an Israeli news report.

"He is not an issue that is in the Palestinians' daily discourse," the official said.

Meanwhile Tuesday, a poll conducted by the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah reported that most Israelis back the release of Barghouti in exchange for Schalit.

Only 16 percent of Israelis surveyed opposed Barghouti's release, while 78% support swapping him. The numbers changed when Schalit was removed from the equation, with 50% opposing his release in an agreement with the Palestinians. Support for his release under such circumstances dropped to 45%.
While 39% of the Palestinians questioned agreed that the best way to secure the release of one of their own was to kidnap IDF soldiers, the figure rose to 74% when the question was asked in the context of Schalit's kidnapping.

Only 21% opposed abducting soldiers.

When not referring to Schalit, 59% of Palestinians said reaching a peace agreement was the best way to free the Palestinian prisoners.

The third significant conclusion of the poll was a consensus between both populations on the Gaza cease-fire with Hamas. Support for the truce among Palestinians and Israelis has risen since it went into effect in June.

The survey was carried out between August 25 and September 1. Nearly 1,300 Palestinians were randomly interviewed in person in east Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, with a margin of error of 3%. Just over 600 Israelis were surveyed over the phone with a margin of error of 4.5%.

Palestijnse vrouw gooit zuur op soldaat bij Hawara checkpoint

Het zal ons journaal en ook de kranten wel weer niet halen, maar dit incident staat niet op zich zelf. Israel heeft het regime bij de checkpoints sterk versoepeld, en dringende gevallen worden nu nauwelijks nog gecheckt. Helaas maken sommige mensen daar cynisch misbruik van. Bij deze checkpoint worden geregeld Palestijnen tegengehouden die met wapens en explosieven Israel proberen binnen te komen.

Palestinian woman throws acid on soldier at Hawara checkpoint
Nablus woman trying to cross into Israel hurls acidic substance at soldier's face, escapes. Soldier taken to hospital in mild condition
Efrat Weiss - YNET
An Israel Defense Forces soldier stationed at the Hawara checkpoint, south of the West Bank city of Nablus, sustained mild facial injuries on Wednesday, after a Palestinian woman poured an acidic substance in his face.

The soldier was taken to the Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva for treatment.

The woman arrived at the Hawara checkpoint and attempted to cross into Israel using the humanitarian aid lane, which is meant for emergencies and therefore has no security checks. Upon approaching the soldier manning the lane, she threw the acid at his face and then ran back towards Nablus.

IDF forces are exercise lenience in all checkpoints, as part of the military's efforts to ease the Palestinian population's suffering during the month of Ramadan. Military sources said Wednesday that is was unfortunate that the Palestinians were making cynical use of the IDF's attempts to relieve the situation.

Hawara checkpoint has been the scene of many arrests in which Palestinians were apprehended trying to smuggle weapons and explosives into Israel.

The past two months have seen a 16-year-old boy arrested with two pipe bombs and a knife, and an 18-year old Palestinian arrested after a search of his person yielded six pipe bombs, a rifle magazine and gun powder.

woensdag 10 september 2008

Iran breidt controle over Hezbollah uit

Iran heeft haar controle over Hezbollah sinds de Tweede Libanon Oorlog verder vergroot, en Hezbollah heeft voor alle belangrijke beslissingen de toestemming van Teheran nodig. Aangezien Hezbollah met haar gealliëerden vetorecht hebben in de Libanese regering, betekent dit dat Libanons onafhankelijkheid niet alleen door Syrië, maar vooral ook door Iran wordt ingeperkt.
Sep. 8, 2008
Iran is consolidating its grip on Hizbullah and has instituted a number of structural changes to the Lebanese group, under which Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah no longer enjoys exclusive command over its military wing, top Israeli defense officials have revealed.
According to the officials, following the Second Lebanon War, Iran decided to step up its involvement in the Hizbullah decision-making process and has instituted a number of changes to the terror group's hierarchy, under which Nasrallah has to receive Iranian permission prior to certain operations.
"There is real Iranian command now over Hizbullah," a top IDF officer said. "This doesn't mean that Nasrallah is a puppet, but it does mean that whenever he pops his head out of his bunker he sees an Iranian official standing over him."
Reports of Iranian discontent with Nasrallah had begun to surface following the 2006 war, which Teheran reportedly was not interested in at the time. Several reports in the Arab press claimed that Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had ousted Nasrallah from his post as Hizbullah secretary-general and replaced him with Naim Qassem, Hizbullah's second in command. Iran has denied the reports.
"Iranian supervision grew tremendously following the war," the top officer explained. "Nasrallah is still in a decision-making position but Iran's influence has dramatically increased."
A report in a Syrian opposition paper claimed Sunday that a high-level delegation of Iranian Revolutionary Guards visited Beirut last week to coordinate the integration of some Hizbullah branches into the Guards' Al-Quds Force, which is in charge of Iran's terror activities in Iraq, Lebanon and elsewhere.
According to the Reform Party of Syria, parts of the Hizbullah operation structure will now be under the command of Brig.-Gen. Faramaz Ghasem Suleimani, commander of the Al-Quds Force. Suleimani is listed by the US as a terrorist and the Guards was declared a terror group in 2007.
The paper claimed that Iran's ultimate plan was to dilute Syrian influence over Hizbullah in case Damascus strikes a peace deal with Israel.
Iran's solidification of its control over Hizbullah is seen as an attempt to direct its military forces in the event of a conflict in the Middle East. If Iran is attacked by the US or Israel, it may now be able to order Hizbullah to retaliate on its behalf.
In the past, IDF Military Intelligence has speculated about what Nasrallah would do in such a situation, raising the possibility that Hizbullah would not immediately attack Israel if Iran was attacked.
In another development, Hizbullah's Al-Manar satellite television station has begun using an Indonesian satellite to broadcast across Asia and Australia. Hizbullah asked Indonesia for permission to use the satellite after Thailand kicked Al-Manar TV broadcasts off its satellite in January.
Israel expressed its disappointment with Indonesia's decision, since Al-Manar is full of anti-Israel and anti-US propaganda.
Indonesia's decision to allow the Al-Manar hookup undermines US and European efforts to limit the reach of Hizbullah's broadcasts, the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center said.

Arabische vertaling van Amos Oz "Een verhaal van liefde en duisternis"

Een culturele boycot van Israël, zoals veel Palestijnse, Arabische en 'progressieve' Westerse organisaties bepleiten dient niet de vrede maar het voortduren van het conflict. Cultuur is een belangrijk middel om nader tot elkaar te komen en de dialoog te voeren. Veel Joods-Arabische samenwerking en dialoog loopt dan ook via gezamelijke theater- en muziek projekten, van Peace Child Israel tot en met een opvoering van een toneelstuk over Anne Frank in het Arabisch. Boekvertalingen horen daar ook bij.

Last update - 08:18 08/09/2008    
Arab terror victim's family funds Arabic translation of Oz novel
Amos Oz's autobiographical novel, "A Tale of Love and Darkness," has been translated into Arabic thanks to a contribution by the family of an Arab man killed in a terror attack in 2004.
George Khoury, an Israeli Arab student, was doing his evening run in Jerusalem's French Hill neighborhood when a terrorist, who took him for a Jew, shot and killed him. The Khoury family, also from Jerusalem, decided to contribute funding to translate Oz's book, in an effort to help the cause of coexistence.
Two other books of Oz's have been translated into Arabic. "My Michael," translated in the 1990s, received favorable reviews in Egypt. The other book, "Soumchi" was distributed in Jordan.
Oz's "Tale of Love and Darkness," published in Hebrew by Keter, was translated by Jamal Gnaim and is being published by Yedioth Books, which also published the book's Russian translation.
The translation was assisted by the Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature. It is to be sold in the Israeli Arab sector and later in Egypt and other Arab countries as well.
A difficult translation
"As could be expected, it was difficult to translate the book into Arabic," said Gnaim, who was born in 1943 and is a native of the central Israeli Arab city of Baka al-Garbiyeh. "Its language is not easy and the world the author lives in is not so familiar to me. But somehow I tried to get into his head and I hope I did a good job," he added.
The novel presents the full Jewish-Zionist narrative.
"The subject is not foreign to me. I live in Israel and I know the Hebrew, Israeli and Zionist culture, and therefore I was not surprised. I read the book and loved it. I realized my task wasn't easy, but I tried to be true to the source - that is sacred to me."
Gnaim, who has a bachelor's degree in Hebrew language and Arabic language and literature from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, was an educator for many years. He retired 12 years ago and studied and taught translation at Beit Berl College.
Gnaim said "A Tale of Love and Darkness" represents "Oz from the point of view of his language and associations, and Hebrew literature and Zionist thought, and it's important that others get to know this milieu."

Reagan en Begin in 1981

Reagan en Begin: twee van de door links meest verguisde regeringsleiders van de 20ste eeuw.

US-Israel: The Empty Alliance

Bygone Days: The strategic agreement that never was

Sep. 6, 2008


US president Ronald Reagan had a craving for jelly beans. He started chewing them in the early 1960s when he gave up smoking. On entering the White House in 1981, he had crystal jars of jelly beans placed on his desk in the Oval Office, on the table in the cabinet room, in the suites of his guest house and on Air Force One, where a receptacle was fashioned to prevent spillage during turbulence. Guests at Ronald Reagan's inaugural balls consumed 40 million jelly beans, almost equaling the number of votes he received in the election, or so the tabloids blazed.

"I can hardly start a meeting or make a decision without first passing around a jar of jelly beans," Reagan quipped to prime minister Menachem Begin when they met for the first time in early September 1981. "You can tell a lot about a fella's character by whether he picks out all of one color, or just grabs a fistful. Here, take a few."

Begin grinned and obliged, scooping up a small handful. Having once been an ardent movie-goer, he could not resist a passing reference to the president's past acting career, to which Reagan laughed in a deep, jovial way, and joked, "You know, someone asked me how can an actor become a president, and I answered, how can a president not be an actor?" The jest had them both in a fit of laughter.

Without a doubt, the president's genial tone and infectious bonhomie were giving Begin a sense of uncommon ease, and when the Californian beseeched, "Please, call me Ron. And may I call you Menachem?" (He pronounced it Menakem.) Begin responded with the widest of smiles and with the falsest of modesty: "Oh, no, Mr. President; I'm a mere prime minister and you are the president of the mightiest power on earth. So by all means call me by my first name, but I cannot call you by yours."

"You sure can, Menakem. I insist," said the president.

"In that case, Ron, I shall," said the prime minister, elated.

THEY WERE sitting across from one another on cheery, floral-patterned settees in the Oval Office, with a view of the sunny rose garden through the tall windows, the presidential colors draped next to a prominent portrait of Thomas Jefferson and, elsewhere, mementos, plaques, signed photographs - all the bric-a-brac of a public man who had once been a middling film star and then a popular state governor. Begin could not be totally certain how much of his affability was Hollywood and how much was sincere, but having learned that the man had a genuine admiration for Israel, he allowed himself the euphoria of being cuddled in this big man's bighearted welcome.

It seemed to Begin that Reagan was deliberately seeking to break the ice in a demonstrative display of camaraderie, giving him a rare opportunity to open up his heart and to say what was on his mind in a free-wheeling tête-à-tête. Imagine, then, his astonishment, nay bewilderment, when hardly had he opened his mouth to talk about the burning issues of the day when Reagan interrupted him to say: "You must forgive me, Menakem, but we have only a quarter of an hour before we have to join the others in the cabinet room. So I would just like to make" - he slipped his hand into his pocket and extracted a pack of 3x5 cards - "a few points. The first is..."

Begin stared in disbelief as the American president began reciting in mechanical tones a series of typed "talking points" consisting largely of a standard reaffirmation of America's known positions on Israel and the Middle East. And when he paused, which he did twice, the premier assumed it was to allow him to engage. But it wasn't. It was simply Reagan making sure of his lines.

Was the president of the United States so uninformed that he needed to read by rote elementary issues from cue cards, like a third-rate actor? So Begin sat and listened. Never before had he deliberated with a world leader - the world leader - who was such an abysmal interlocutor.

Reagan was destined to enter history as a brilliant public communicator, the man who reinvigorated the American people after the lackluster years of Jimmy Carter, who restored his country's prosperity and who initiated what pundits described as a pie-in-the-sky "Star Wars" enterprise but which, ultimately, brought the communist empire to its knees. Little of this, however, was evident at that first encounter, which ended with the president repocketing his talking points and saying, "And that, Menakem, is how America sees things," to which Begin responded with a gracious, "I thank you, Ron, for that comprehensive review."

"Now let's join the people in the cabinet room," said the president, and he led the way into the adjacent chamber, with its Colonial-style cream-paneled walls, immense brass chandelier, golden drapes and a grand oak conference table with high-backed leather chairs behind which senior advisers stood in respectful attendance.

Seating himself at the table's center, facing the prime minister, Reagan extracted another pack of cards, and in the practiced style of a late-night talk show host, suavely welcomed Begin and his entourage (which included defense minister Ariel Sharon), describing Israel as "a strategic asset," and inviting the premier to make any comments he wished.

Begin obliged, delving into a tour d'horizon, and ending with the cautiously chosen words: "You, Mr. President [he did not think it proper to call him by his first name in this setting], kindly referred to my country just now as a strategic asset to yours. While that, certainly, has a positive ring to it I find it, nevertheless, a little patronizing. Given the bipolar world in which we live - democracy versus communism - the cherished values we share and our confluence of interests on so many fundamental issues, might I suggest the time has come to publicly acknowledge that Israel is not just a strategic asset, but a strategic ally."

SOME AROUND the table looked at the premier in a faintly disconcerted manner. Caspar Weinberger, the secretary of defense, a rather diminutive man with sleek black hair and of vague Jewish origin, was actually frowning. But the president continued to give the premier his fullest attention, and he chuckled when Begin jocularly remarked: "You know, Mr. President, I sometimes get the impression that our relationship is a little like Heinrich Heine's famous couplet about the Berlin bourgeoisie gentleman who implores his mistress not to acknowledge him in public in that city's most fashionable boulevard, begging her: 'Greet me not Unter den Linden,' I fear there are some who would say much the same to us."

On all sides American faces seemed either bemused or irritated, but not the president's. He looked at the prime minister with respect, and chortled, "I'd be proud to acknowledge you in public anywhere, any time."

"Certainly, in this alliance," continued Begin, "Israel is very much the junior partner, but a partner we are. And I dare say" - a faint smile curled his lips and his voice sank into understatement - "over the decades Israel has done a thing or two which might have contributed to the American strategic interest in our region. And much as we deeply appreciate the military and economic aid we receive, I venture to suggest it is not an entirely one-way street - not a charity, so to speak."

There, he had said it; he had spelled it out. No other Israeli premier had quite put it that way before - that Israel was not merely a receiver but also a giver. And as he spoke he noted that Reagan was nodding in agreement. The president looked to his right and to his left, invited discussion, but since most everyone seemed taciturn Begin seized the moment and said: "Might I suggest, Mr. President, that consideration be given to an agreed document on this matter - on the strategic relationship between our two countries."

Weinberger's cold gray eyes glared back at him, and he grunted some sort of reservation, but secretary of state Alexander Haig seemed eminently amenable.

"What the prime minister proposes sounds like a good idea to me," said the president. "Let's look into it."

Menachem Begin sat up abruptly; energy coursed through him. He had been waiting for this moment for a long time, the moment when the United States of America would grant the State of Israel the status of a full-fledged strategic ally. So, with alacrity he said, "With your permission, Mr. President, may I call on defense minister Sharon to share with you and your colleagues a number of ideas which might give expression to this concept?"

"By all means," said Reagan. "Go ahead."

Sharon, known as "the Bulldozer" because of his girth, his autocratic style, his military daring and his craggy features, stood up, and with a set of maps proceeded to give an elaborate presentation of the ways Israel and America might cooperate strategically. Weinberger reddened at Sharon's swashbuckling audaciousness. Others on the American side exchanged uneasy glances. But Sharon plowed on imperviously, proposing what was tantamount to a wide-ranging mutual defense treaty. Begin, sensing the growing uneasiness, suggested the president authorize the two defense ministers to confer with the intent of finding a mutually acceptable formula.

"Good idea," said Haig.

"Why don't you two fellas get together and see if you can work something out in this area?" said Reagan.

Weinberger seemed dumbfounded. One could see he was seething - stuck with a presidential request to deliberate with a man he could not abide about an agreement to which he was totally opposed.

On the morrow, Weinberger summoned his chief aides to his Pentagon conference room and told them, "I want no publicity about this. The Israelis are going to do just the opposite. They'll want lots of publicity, and they'll want a binding document with lots of detail. We're not going to subscribe to that at all. Whatever we'll sign will be so general and so empty of content that we'll be able to defend it in the Arab world. And I want the negotiations to be held right here in Washington. I intend to control them myself." And control them he did.

THE TALKS began with the Israeli Defense Ministry presenting the Pentagon negotiators with a 29-page booklet containing a sweeping list of military cooperation proposals. This spawned a plethora of acrimonious negotiations which, in the words of one American participant, "was like being in a washing machine where sometimes things went very smoothly and the water was warm. Then suddenly cold water would come out of nowhere and you'd be turned the other way and get hit across the head with some unexpected action. It was a funny time: On one hand, things were done at the president's behest, but then undone by his secretary of defense."

At one point Sharon so lost his temper that he began shouting and banging on the table, at which Weinberger coolly remarked to an aide," Do you suppose minister Sharon has taken a dislike to that table?" Soon enough, Sharon became so disenchanted he decided to wash his hands of the whole thing, but Begin insisted he persist. He wanted a symbol of the alliance, if not a formal treaty. What he got was a brief 700-word memorandum of understanding that contained little that was new or substantive.

It was signed in November 1981 without fanfare by Sharon and Weinberger at an informal dinner at the National Geographic Society in Washington. No press was invited, and the Pentagon did not even issue its customary briefing. In what was an extraordinarily calculated intent to play down the whole exercise, nowhere is there a photograph of the two defense ministers signing the agreement.

And that is how Caspar Weinberger got his way and Menachem Begin his document.


The writer was on the personal staff of five prime ministers, including Menachem Begin.

De blokkade van Palestina

De clandestiene Joodse emigratie naar Palestina tijdens en na de Tweede Wereldoorlog - tegen het Britse verbod in - is een van de zaken die zelden de aandacht krijgt die ze verdient wanneer de geschiedenis van Israel/Palestina wordt beschreven. Na de oorlog werd vanuit de VS een grootscheepse immigratie georganiseerd door vrijwilligers om de Joden uit Europa aan een nieuwe toekomst te helpen en het heft in eigen hand te nemen. Dit laatste was een van de basale kenmerken van het zionisme.
In de woorden van iemand die op deze manier naar Israel is gekomen:
"We were proud to have Jewish sailors," said Shapira, 81. "We did not know such a thing even existed."

Breaking the Palestine Siege

JTA tells the story of the real rescue boats that broke a real Palestine siege in a really progressive cause, over 60 years ago. These were the sailors of  MACHAL who brought Jewish Holocaust survivors to "Palestine" in rickety boats like the Exodus.

TEL AVIV (JTA) -- One by one, until they numbered more than a thousand, they clambered up the bobbing rope and twine that God-fearing sailors centuries ago dubbed Jacob's Ladder.
It was Italy, May 1947. A bottomless sea lay below, a dark night sky above. The Jewish refugees finally were leaving Europe and the ashes of the Holocaust. They only had the bags on their backs and the will to climb, rung by rung.

"Don't lose your footing! Don't get blown off!"
They climbed higher and higher.

Out of the darkness came pairs of hands and shouts of "Kumarof!" -- "Come on!" in Yiddish. Jewish sailors from America – "Imagine, Jewish sailors from America!" the refugees marveled -- were reaching down and pulling them up over the sides of a ship called Hope, "Hatikvah."

"It was like a miracle," said Irit Avriel, one of those refugees, her face lighting up with the memory six decades later. "For us they were not just sailors; they were angels."

More than 32,000 Jewish refugees from Europe, just over half of the total 60,000 who came to prestate Palestine, were brought over by North American sailors -- most of them young Jewish men who served at sea during World War II.

They were part of a clandestine operation known as Aliyah Bet, which included the famed Exodus ship.

At a gathering last year for passengers of Hatikvah hosted by one of those Jewish sailors, the young people who had climbed the rope ladder to freedom so many years ago were full of questions for the two former sailors who came to share their stories.

"How were you recruited? Why did you leave America to do this? When did you know about the camps?" they asked.

The Jewish ex-sailors spoke about their own European relatives and the obligation they felt to help after the Holocaust.

A new documentary film about North American Jewish sailors from the Aliyah Bet operation, "Waves of Freedom," which was shown at the Jerusalem Film Festival this summer, is scheduled to come soon to Jewish film festivals in the United States.

In late 1946, word had gone out in the streets of U.S. cities such as New York and Chicago that young Jewish men with sailing experience were needed to help smuggle Holocaust survivors across the Mediterranean to Palestine. The mission was to be top secret because the British had declared such immigration illegal and created a blockade to stop the effort.

Murray Greenfield -- "Greeny," as the survivors would quickly nickname him -- had just been discharged from three years in the U.S. Merchant Marines. Others had finished tours of duty in the Navy fighting in Europe or against the Japanese in the Pacific.
"What an idea," Greenfield, 82, a native of Long Island, N.Y., said he remembered thinking. "I was just discharged and here they were looking for guys who knew how to sail."
Greenfield, who hosted the reunion in Israel last year, went on to co-author a book on the subject titled "The Jews' Secret Fleet." He told his mother that he would not be going to college as planned that fall, but was going to do something for the Jewish people.
It was a secret; he could not say where he was going or for how long. The news of the Nazi genocide was still fresh -- horrible reports of death camps and gassings. Greenfield's mother stroked the arm of her son and gave her blessing.

Harold Katz, a former U.S. Navy officer who spent three years in the Pacific, also decided to join the effort. A first-year student at Harvard Law School at the time, he was so enthusiastic about the journey that he managed to convince a classmate who was Irish Catholic to join him.
Katz went on to become an established trial lawyer in Boston, but the memories of the Hatikvah and his part in history eventually brought him back to Israel as an immigrant in the early 1970s.
"You don't always know what will be a turning point in your life. You realize it only later on," said Katz, 86. "When you do, you see how it fits in with the rest of your life. This was a watershed, a transformative experience."

Katz and Greenfield would sail on a hulking and aging Canadian ice-breaker, one of 10 ships a group of American Jews bought for the operation to bring Jewish refugees to Palestine from Europe.
The details of the operation were worked out through a thick cloud of cigarette smoke on the top floor of a building on East 60th Street in Manhattan, high above the din of music at the famous club below, the Copacabana.

A mix of businesspeople, Zionist activists and representatives of the Jewish community in Palestine hunkered down to figure out how to buy and fix up old ships and recruit sailing crews.
There was the wealthy industrialist to sign the checks, the New Orleans Jew with connections in the Central American shipping industry who managed to bribe the right people in Honduras and Panama to get permission to fly ships with their country's flags, and the Jewish volunteers who agreed to work only for pocket money to buy cigarettes.

Most of these young men had some experience at sea, but others had been infantrymen, paratroopers and pilots. Veterans of the Pacific theater and the Battle of the Bulge, again they were heading into uncertain waters.

Greenfield pulled out a map and traced the route from which the Hatikvah came - all 13 stops. It set sail in Miami, went to places such as Charleston and Baltimore for repairs, and eventually refueled in the Azores Islands off the coast of Portugal. From there the ship sailed to Italy, where the passengers secretly boarded.

The ship never did reach the shores of Palestine. A British destroyer pulled up alongside about a week into its journey and issued the standard warning: "Your voyage is illegal, your ship is un-seaworthy. In the name of humanity, surrender."

Passengers in the next 14 months would live in Cyprus at a hot and crowded displaced persons camp. Those who had been locked away in concentration camps again found themselves behind barbed wire.
But in Cyprus, at least there were moments of joy -- and many marriages. Among the newlyweds were Reuven and Hedva Gil, survivors from Poland who had met in Italy awaiting the Hatikvah. They shared their first kiss on its deck.

"We could not resist," said Reuven, 81, a sheepish smile creeping across his face. "Maybe it was the moonlight, the sea or maybe our youth."

By the time Hatikvah's passengers finally landed in Haifa, the Jewish state had been declared and Israel's War of Independence was raging.

Greenfield never went back to live in New York. He settled in Israel, where he worked in business and publishing. He also established the Association for Americans and Canadians in Israel.
Greenfield smiled as he listened to Fela Shapira, one of the survivors he helped bring to Israel, recount her memories.

"We were proud to have Jewish sailors," said Shapira, 81. "We did not know such a thing even existed."

Mickey & Minnie Mouse en Winnie de Poeh en het opblazen van Israelische bussen

In navolging van Hamas heeft nu ook Fatah TV, gecontroleerd door de gematigde president Abbas, een kindershow waarin terrorisme en het vermoorden van Israelische kinderen worden verheerlijkt. Ook wordt de kinderen geleerd dat Israel geen bestaansrecht heeft en 'bezet Palestina' is.
Bulletin September 9, 2008
Palestinian Media Watch

Mickey Mouse Again
Disney images adorn studio
while mass murderer glorified
By Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook

Palestinian Authority (Fatah) TV is using the universally beloved characters of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Winnie the Pooh and Piglet in an attempt to create a Disney-like studio --  while teaching children to glorify a mass murderer whose victims included 12 children. In a new official PA TV studio built for a Ramadan children's program, the smiling images of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Pooh and Piglet are the backdrop for a TV quiz that this week venerated a notorious terrorist.

The female terrorist, Dalal Mughrabi, participated in the murders of 12 children and 25 adults in a 1978 bus attack in Israel. In this quiz, Mughrabi is idolized as the "beloved bride, daughter of Jaffa, jasmine flower," while figures of Mickey and Minnie Mouse are prominent in the background -- as if it were a Disney program.

Click here to view

 [PA TV (Fatah), Sept. 4-6, 2008]

In May 2007, PMW reported that the Hamas TV network was using a Mickey Mouse character to teach children to seek world Islamic domination. The widespread international outrage prompted Al Aqsa TV to get rid of the character (they showed him being beaten to death by an Israeli officer) and replace him with another animal host.

Now Fatah TV, controlled by the office of PA head Mahmoud Abbas, is airing a children's show that glorifies a mass murderer of children while trying to create a Mickey Mouse Club atmosphere.
Last week the program taught children to deny the existence of Israel.

The world did not put up with Hamas's use of the iconic Mickey Mouse to brainwash children. Will the same international pressure be brought upon Mahmud Abbas and the official Palestinian Authority to stop using these beloved characters to sell terror?

Click here to view video:

Palestinian Media Watch:
p:+972 2 625 4140 e:
f: +972 2 624 2803 w:

Slachtoffer tellingen door Betselem kloppen niet

De Israelische mensenrechtenorganisatie Betselem wordt alom als betrouwbare bron beschouwd wat betreft Israelische mensenrechtenschendingen in de bezette gebieden en aantallen dode burgers en strijders aan beide kanten. Onterecht, zo blijkt uit onderstaande gedetailleerde analyse van de door Israel gedode Palestijnen in november en december van 2007. Van veel Palestijnse doden beweert Betselem onterecht dat zij 'niet in gevechtshandelingen verwikkeld waren' toen zij werden gedood, suggererend dat zij dus onschuldige slachtoffers waren. In een geval werd de dood van een Palestijns jongetje van 11 aan Israel toegeschreven terwijl hij in gevechten tussen Fatah en Hamas omkwam, zoals gedocumenteerd door het Palestijnse Centrum voor Mensenrechten (PCHR). Ook laat Betselem het veelvuldig na te vermelden wanneer slachtoffers tot een gewapende factie behoren, en wordt informatie van Israelische veiligheidsdiensten, zoals dat de slachtoffers op weg waren om een aanslag in Israel te plegen of zojuist raketten hadden afgevuurd, consequent genegeerd.
De reputatie van Betselem als betrouwbare organisatie blijkt dus onterecht, en de media zouden er goed aan doen haar als een van de partijen in het conflict te beschouwen, die zich vooral op Palestijnse bronnen en getuigen baseert.

In 2007, B'Tselem Casualty Count Doesn't Add Up
September 4, 2008by Tamar Sternthal - CAMERA

B'Tselem has pulled it off again, duping the mainstream media into believing it has tallied civilian Palestinian casualties when it has done no such thing. The oft-cited organization bills itself as a human rights group devoted to rigorous documentation of Israeli conduct in the West Bank and Gaza aimed at educating the public and encouraging political action. Yet the so-called documentation continues to be marred by serious flaws that journalists routinely ignore while reporting the group's charges at face value.

B'Tselem, it should be noted, is heavily funded by European entities, including German, British, Irish, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian and Swiss groups, as well as the Ford Foundation and the New Israel Fund.

Among the most deceptive claims by the group are those embedded in its yearly statistical summary of Palestinian fatalities. B'Tselem reported in a Dec. 31, 2007 press release that in 2007 Israeli security forced killed 373 Palestinians and that "about 35 percent of those killed were civilians who were not taking part in the hostilities when killed." These claims were reported without caveat in the New York Times, Voice of America, the Guardian, and the New York Jewish Week, among others.

Despite the press release's statement about the percentage of those killed who were civilians, B'Tselem's data do not actually break down Palestinian casualties according to civilians or combatants. In most but not all cases, the organization's detailed list of Palestinian casualties classifies each person as "Killed when participating in hostilities" or "Did not participate in hostilities when killed." Clearly, those in the latter category are not necessarily civilians, as a terrorist could be killed while, for instance, not directly in the process of planting a bomb or shooting a soldier. Moreover, B'Tselem almost never includes any reference to terrorist affiliations of Palestinian casualties, making it impossible for readers to know who was genuinely a civilian and who was not.

As CAMERA had done for 2006, a detailed review was conducted of B'Tselem's data for the months of November and December 2007. Multiple inconsistencies and irregularities were found, some of which were continuations of last year's questionable methodology, including the organization's discounting of contradictory information from Israeli and Arab sources pointing to individuals' involvement in hostilities at the time of their death as well as the failure to identify terrorist affiliations.

There were also new problems. For example, the death of an 11-year-old boy killed in Fatah-Hamas clashes is blamed on Israel, while B'Tselem leaves out the killing of two Palestinians, who according to even Palestinian sources, were Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades members attempting to infiltrate into Israel.

For the November-December 2007 period, B'Tselem identifies 92 Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, of which 57 (62 percent) are identified as "Killed when participating in hostilities," and 23 (25 percent) are identified as "did not participate in hostilities when killed." The rest - 12 (13 percent) - were not labelled as either participating in hostilities or not when killed.

2007 Findings: Executive Summary

CAMERA's in-depth review of November and December casualties reveals how unreliable B'Tselem's characterizations of Palestinian deaths are.
* In total, there are six casualties that B'Tselem claimed were not involved in hostilities when killed but that other sources - Israeli and/or Arab - said were (Hamas member al-Najar, killed Nov. 20; Muhammad Fawzi Muhammad Abu Hasanin, killed Dec. 27; the two a-Nabahin brothers, killed Nov. 9; Muhammad Salah, killed Dec. 5; Majed Matar, killed Dec. 6).
* In addition, three other Palestinian casualties not involved in hostilities when killed but whose terrorist affiliation B'Tselem ignored are Hashem 'Ein 'Abd al-'Aziz Abu Khadurah, killed Nov. 4, and the two Hamas Executive Force (aka "police officers") killed Dec. 18 .
* Then there are the two Hamas naval officers whose affiliation B'Tselem did note but who were nevertheless classified as not participating in hostilities.
* To these 11 casualties, the death of an 11-year-old boy, which B'Tselem falsely blamed on Israel, must be added. Subtracting these 12 from the 23 counted as not participating in hostilities, leaves at most 11 (12 percent) Palestinian civilian deaths for the months of November - December - less than half the number of Palestinians that B'Tselem claims.

Detailed analyses of each of the above cases appear below.

Israeli Forces Falsely Blamed in Boy's Death
B'Tselem blames Israel for the death of a Palestinian boy who was in reality killed in Fatah-Hamas clashes. According to B'Tselem, 11-year-old Muhammad Ayman 'Ali Abu al-Wafa was killed Dec. 31, 2007 in Khan Younis by Israeli security forces while he was not participating in hostilities. Yet, according to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Israeli forces had nothing at all to do with al-Wafa's death. PCHR reports:

Regarding armed clashes, the most serious incidents occurred at approximately 18:30 on Monday, 31 December 2007, when clashes broke out between dozens of Fatah supporters in the El-Amal Quarter in Khan Yunis and Hamas supporters near El-Rahma Mosque. Both sides threw rocks, and shots were fired.
Two people died during the clash. Mahmoud Shaker Abu Taha, age 58, was shot in the abdomen and killed. Twelve year old Mohammad Ayman Abu El-Wafa was killed after he was shot in the head. (Jan. 3, 2008 press release)

Hamas Fighter 'Did Not Participate in Hostilities'
In another case, B'Tselem writes that Muhammad Zaki Jum'ah al-Najar, killed Nov. 20, 2007 in Khan Yunis, "Did not participate in hostilities when killed. Additional information: Killed when he was near his house while soldiers were in the area."
Yet, Hamas claims al-Najar as one of its own, killed in battle. Its English Web site mourns him:
As Al Aqsa intifada against the occupation assault on the Gaza Strip continues, Ezzedeen Al-Qassam Brigades has its best men to be in the playground of death to defend their people from any attack by the enemy.. Today , Al-Qassam Brigades mourns the death of the mujahid: Mohammed Zaki Al Najjar
The mujahid was martyred during a clash with the Zionist occupation forces in Khuza'a area east of Khanyounis city.

Terrorist Affiliations Ignored
As in 2006, B'Tselem almost always fails to include the fatalities' affiliations with terror groups. Thus, in some cases, leading terrorists are misleadingly labelled as "did not participate in hostilities when killed." Omitting the terrorist affiliation of a casualty who "did not participate in hostilities when killed" can obviously lead journalists and other researchers to falsely conclude the slain individual was a civilian.
For example, according to B'Tselem, Muhammad Ahmad Suliman Abu Hasanin, 42, and Muhammad Fawzi Muhammad Abu Hasanin, 30, were both killed Dec. 27, 2007 "in al-Bureij Refugee Camp, Dir al-Balah district, by gunfire, from a helicopter." The latter reportedly "Did not participate in hostilities when killed," while the former's involvement in hostilities is not indicated one way or another. Additional information is provided for both men: "Killed while traveling in a car with a relative."
Yet, Palestinian Ma'an News Agency reported Dec. 27:
Yet another Israeli strike targeted a car in the Al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip in which three Al-Quds Brigades activists were traveling. Two were killed and the third was wounded.
Al Quds Brigades spokesperson Abu Ahmad named the deceased as Muhammad Ahmad Abu Hassanain and Muhammad Fawzi Abu Hassanain, both from An-Nuseirat refugee camp.
Thus, for some reason, while B'Tselem researchers finds it noteworthy that the men were relatives, they do not consider their status in Islamic Jihad's Al Quds Brigades terror organization relevant.

This reticence to identify terrorist affiliation occurs in other fatality categories; B'Tselem notes the Dec. 17, 2007 deaths of six different men in Gaza City but does not specify for any of them whether or not they were killed while participating in hostilities. B'Tselem does note for each of them, however, that: "He was the object of a targeted killing." Yet, B'Tselem again fails to identify them as members of Islamic Jihad's Al Quds Brigades. In contrast, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights notes their affiliations and identifies one of them, Majed Yousef al-Harazin, 35, as "commander of the al-Quds Brigades."

Similarly, B'Tselem does not note the terrorist affiliations of Naser Khalil Khalil al-Masar'i, Sami Fadel Hussein Tafesh, and Salman Muhammad Salman Yasin, killed together on Dec. 13 in Gaza City "while travelling in Taxi." (B'Tselem also does not specify whether or not they were participating in hostilities when killed.) Yet, both Israeli and Palestinian sources state that the three were members of a terror group. As Ibrahim Barzak of the Associated Press reported Dec. 13:
Israeli aircraft targeted a car in Gaza City after nightfall Thursday, killing three militants, a Palestinian hospital official and the Israeli military said. . .
Islamic Jihad said they were members of that militant group, but Palestinians identifying the bodies at the hospital said they belonged to the Fatah offshoot that fired rockets at the Israeli town of Sderot hours earlier, seriously wounding a woman.

Another slain Islamic Jihad member whose affiliation B'Tselem ignored was Hashem 'Ein 'Abd al-'Aziz Abu Khadurah, killed Nov. 4 in Beit Lahiya. B'Tselem notes that he "did not participate in hostilities when killed" and was "Killed when he approached the area in which three factory guards were killed." According to AFP and AP (but not B'Tselem), Khadurah is an Islamic Jihad member. For example, AFP's Sakher Abu El Oun wrote:
An Israeli air strike killed Baseem Khadura, 25, from the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, and critically wounded another militant from the radical faction in the same area, medical officials and witnesses said.

Two exceptions to B'Tselem's decision not to report terrorist affiliations are 'Issam Sa'di Sbiyh Hamdan and Rami Hussein Sa'id Abu a-Rus, both killed Nov. 28 in Khan Yunis. About the two, B'Tselem writes: "Did not participate in hostilities when killed. Additional information: Hamas naval police officer, killed when the police were bombed in response to mortar fire at Israel."
In contrast, when Hamas Executive Force members Hani Najeh Muhammad Barhum and Muhammad Khaled Hassan a-Sharif were killed at police headquarters in the Rafah Refugee Camp on Dec. 18, B'Tselem noted only that they were "Police officer[s]."

Israeli Information Ignored
Continuing the trend documented last year, B'Tselem still ignores Israeli sources pointing to Palestinians' involvement in hostilities at the time of their deaths.
Thus, while Israeli sources said that the aforementioned Abu Hasanin relatives were on their way to a terror attack when killed Dec. 27, B'Tselem insisted that one "did not participate in hostilities" when killed and gave no indication of the other's involvement. Yet, according to Ha'aretz, on Dec. 27:
an IAF aircraft fired at a car containing a large quantity of munitions in the Al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza, killing two Islamic Jihad operatives. A security source said they were on their way to a terror attack.
Similarly, Israeli security forces said that Sami Tafesh, and his two friends, killed Dec. 13 while in the taxi as described above, had just launched rockets that hit a woman's house in Sderot. As Ha'aretz reported Dec. 14 ("IAF strike kills three Palestinians detected launching Qassam"):
An Israel Air Force strike killed three Palestinian militants in Gaza City on Thursday evening, after they were detected firing a Qassam rocket at Israel.
The IAF targeted a car in the Zaytoun section of Gaza City, a Palestinian hospital official and the Israel Defense Forces said. The three militants belonged to the Islamic Jihad militant group.
The Islamic Jihad said one of the dead was Sami Tafesh, a commander of its rocket crews.
B'Tselem also alleged brothers Bilal Ahmad 'Alian a-Nabahin (14) and Jihad 'Alian Muhammad a-Nabahin (17), killed Nov. 9 in the al-Bureij Refugee Camp "did not participate in hostilities when killed." Yet, AFP reports:
The Israeli army said one of its units along the border wtih central Gaza on Friday shot two Palestinians "who were crawling in the directions of the security fence with the apparent intention of placing an explosive charge." (Nov. 10, "Gunfire kills two Gazans")
Likewise, about 22-year-old Mu'atasem Rafiq Saleh a-Sharif, killed Dec. 27 in Ramallah, B'Tselem writes that he was "Killed while driving his car a few minutes after leaving his house." B'Tselem does not note whether or not he was participating in hostilities at the time he was killed, although the aforementioned detail that he was driving from his house suggests he wasn't. Yet, Israeli sources painted an entirely different picture of the death of a-Sharif, a body guard for negotiator Ahmed Qureia:
But late Thursday, the Israeli military sent a team into a suburb of Ramallah, the seat of Abbas' government, to arrest one of Qureia's bodyguards, a member of the Palestinian security forces who the military said was implicated in armed activity against Israel and had provided weapons to other militants.
"He opened fire at troops and they fired back, killing him," the IDF said.
Palestinian security officials denied that the bodyguard, 23-year-old Mu'tasem Sharif fired at troops. Qureia, a former Palestinian prime minister, had no immediate comment. (Ha'aretz, Dec. 28, 2007)
Also in the West Bank, according to B'Tselem, Muhammad Zaki Muhammad Quzah, "Wanted by Israel" and "Killed by undercover until while [sic] standing and drinking coffee with friends," died Nov. 25 in Tulkarem. According to a Nov. 25 IDF press release, the IDF shot Quzah when he fled an arrest attempt:

During an IDF arrest operation in the Tulkarem R.C. an IDF force identified two wanted Palestinians. When the force called on them to stop the men began to run away from the scene. The force fired at them and identified killing one of them, Muhamad Zaki Muhamad Kuzah, and injuring the other.
The IDF reported that he was involved in planning terror attacks on the Israeli homefront and was responsible for shooting and bombing attack on IDF troops in the Tulkarem area. He also built ties with Hezbollah and other terror groups.
The story repeats itself in the case of Muhammad Khalil Muhammad Salah, killed Dec. 5 in Bethelehem. B'Tselem reported that he "Did not participate in hostilities when killed," and added: "A policeman, he was shot and killed by Israeli undercover forces riding in a commercial vehicle when he ordered them to stop for inspection." Yet, according to an IDF press release that day, the policeman was involved in an exchange of fire with the Israeli soldiers: "This afternoon, armed gunmen opened fire at an IDF force, during an arrest operation in Bethlehem. The force returned fire at the gunmen and identified hitting them. After the incident, it was discovered that Palestinian security personnel were involved."
Again, B'Tselem reported that Majed 'Awad Matar Matar killed the next day (Dec. 6) "Did not participate in hostilities when killed. Additional information: Killed while hunting birds with his brother and others about one kilometer from the Israeli border." Yet, the Jerusalem Post reported Dec. 7: "The army said it opened fire at two men next to the border fence after they were spotted planting an explosive device." One was killed, the other wounded, reported the Post.
Regarding two brothers, Ra'fat Salamah 'Abdallah Abu Shagheibah and Talal Salamah 'Abdallah Abu Shagheibah of Beit Hanun, killed Nov. 23, 2007, B'Tselem reports for each of them that he "did not participate in hostilities when killed" and that he was "Killed while on his way home during an army incursion into the area." Yet, various press accounts about the brothers are conflicting. Palestinian hospital workers told Agence France Presse a different story. AFP reported Nov. 24:
Two Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces overnight in the north of the Gaza Strip, Palestinian hospital sources said Saturday.
They said the two brothers in their forties, Talal and Rafat Abu Shrena, were trying to cross into Israel in search of work.
The Palestinian medical staff likewise told AP that the men were approaching the border fence, and did not mention that they were on their way home, as B'Tselem claims. AP's Ibrahim Barzak reported Nov. 24:
Israeli troops shot dead two Palestinian men who approached the border fence separating Gaza from Israel overnight, Palestinian medical staff said.
The two brothers, in their forties, had walked close to an Israel-Gaza border terminal late on Friday night. Local residents said the men often scoured the area for cement and other building materials to sell. . . .
An army statement said the two men were suspicious and were shot as they moved in darkness toward troops at the border fence, which is an area off limits to Palestinians.
Finally, an AFP photo of the two men's bodies on display show them clearly draped in Hamas flags, signifying that they are members of the terrorist organization - a detail which B'Tselem habitually considers irrelevant, but which is key to any count of "civilian" versus "non-civilian" casualties.
In some of the cases described above, it may be difficult for CAMERA or B'Tselem to determine whether the events happened as the Israeli forces described them or as Palestinians did. Nevertheless, it is indefensible that B'Tselem routinely ignores the Israeli position. At the very least, if the circumstances of death are disputed, B'Tselem has an obligation to say so.

Two Terrorists Not Listed
B'Tselem fails to report the death of two Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terrorists, killed Nov. 20. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights reports their death, which occurred as they attempted to infiltrate into Israel, as follows:
At approximately 01:30, IOF [Israeli Occupation Forces] troops positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, north of Beit Lahia, opened fire at a number of members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (an armed wing of Fatah movement), who were attempting to infiltrate through the border. Two members of the group were killed. At approximately 11:30, IOF informed the Palestinian liaison that there were two bodies to the north of Beit Lahia. An ambulance went to the area and found the bodies only at approximately 16:00, a few meters away from the border. IOF troops asked the medical crew to gather the weapons, which were near the body, put them in a plastic sac and hand them to the troops. The two bodies were taken to Kamal 'Edwan Hospital in Beit Lahia, and the two victims were identifies as: Ahmed 'Ali Abu Sitta, 22, from Khan Yunis; and Guevara Ahmed Saleh, 21, from al-Zaytoun neighborhood in Gaza City.
B'Tselem entirely omits Sitta and Saleh, who were unquestionably involved in hostilities at the time of their death

The Al Dura Litmus Test
But if this detailed analysis is too long or tedious for the time-strapped journalist or other skeptic to absorb, here's one quick fact which should raise serious question marks about B'Tselem's credibility on Palestinian casualties: the organization still lists Mohammad Al-Dura as killed by Israeli security forces.