zaterdag 11 oktober 2008

Aantal Israëlische Arabieren in IDF in 2008 sterk gestegen

Hoewel het nog steeds om kleine aantallen gaat, is dit goed nieuws. Het leger is een van de beste manieren in Israel om te integreren. De motivatie is vaak economisch, maar in sommige gevallen speelt patriotisme een belangrijke rol. In de woorden van een Bedoeien:

"I feel like an Israeli citizen and it's my duty to serve and contribute to the state. This is also the Bedouin's state," he said a few weeks ago.
Asked about how he feels fighting with his people on the other side of the border, he said: "a terrorist is a terrorist. Islam doesn't say you have to kill. He comes to kill here and can kill a Jew or an Arab. It's my duty to prevent that."


Number of Israeli Arab IDF recruits dramatically increases in 2008
By Yoav Stern - Haaretz
The number of Israeli Arab recruits to the IDF has increased dramatically in the first nine months of 2008, official figures obtained by Haaretz indicate.

The rise in the Bedouin recruitment rate is attributed to Bedouin's difficulty in finding well-paid jobs outside the military and problems with the local authorities. The IDF has also improved its treatment of Bedouin army veterans and is helping them find employment.

The army refused to provide accurate figures, but the number of recruits is estimated to have increased by 50 to 100 from the beginning of the year, bringing the total number of recruits in 2008 to some 300.

The rate of non-Bedouin Arabs' recruitment has also increased in recent years, and an officer in the IDF's Human Resources Branch said he hoped that by next year their recruitment figure will reach 350, equaling the 2003 rate. Another significant increase in recruitment is expected next month.

Colonel Ramiz Ahmed, head of the population directorate in the IDF's Human Resources Branch, told Haaretz in an interview that the drop in recruitment in recent years cannot be attributed to events or the political atmosphere. While recruitment rates dropped after the October 2000 events - several days of protests in northern Israel during which 12 Israeli Arabs and one Palestinian from Gaza were shot dead - it rose again afterward. Toward the end of the Al-Aqsa intifada in 2004, the rate plummeted again and continued doing so until the end of 2007, Ahmed added.

The law exempts non-Druze Arab citizens from compulsory military service. However, many of them have been recruited over the years to the professional army, especially as trackers.

From the mid-80s, Bedouin were drafted into a six-month compulsory service, after which they joined professional army. Since 1991 they have been volunteering for a three-year compulsory service before joining the professional army. This was encouraged in the 1980s and 1990s by former defense minister Moshe Arens, who believed it would strengthen Arab youngsters' affiliation to Israel.

In the past year the IDF has prepared a plan to encourage Bedouin to join the army, and assist them after their discharge. This includes lectures in schools and help in directing discharged soldiers to studies and employment. "The intention is to improve the initial impression they get. They must leave the army with a direction in life," said Ahmed.

Most of the Arab recruits are placed with the desert reconnaissance brigade posted in the Gaza Strip. Most of the combatants are Bedouin, but some of the officers are Jews and Druze. Other recruits are trained as trackers.

The IDF has decided to open additional units to Bedouin soldiers, and today a Bedouin major is serving in the Air Force. The army is also acting to increase discharged soldiers' options to buy land. The government recently decided to reduce the development costs of plots in Druze and Arab villages by 25 percent.

Public Arab activists, political leaders and the Islamic Movement object to recruiting Arabs. However, in many cases the decision whether to serve is made by the person involved and his father. "I've had cases in which youngsters joined despite their father's objection. I had a soldier who used to change out of his uniform in the Be'er Sheva mall before returning home, and put them on again on his way to the base," a tracker officer told Haaretz.

However, the soldiers' reasons for joining the army are economic or rooted in the local authorities' restrictions on Arab citizens, rather than political. "We're not even allowed to put two rods together and attach a piece of cloth to them," said Master Sergeant Hamad Talalka, a tracker with the Sagi regiment on the Egyptian border.

Like the rest of the trackers, Talalka spends a week with his family then a week in the army, during which he hopes that his house in the northern Negev's Goral hills - for which a demolition order has been issued - remains intact. The authorities did not issue a demolition order for his brother's house, although the latter did not serve in the army.

The Bedouin tribes' ongoing struggle with the state over their lands does not deter the youngsters from joining the IDF. They believe that military service will give them a better standing vis-a-vis the authorities. Many of them see military service as a way of improving their social and economic situation.

Master Sergeant Camal Atrash served three years, left the army and has now returned for professional service. "After your release you find that your friends who did not serve have worked, bought new cars and live well, while you have to find a way to make a living," he said.

Atrash was refused a weapons license so could not work as a security guard, while his friend, who did not serve in the army, was issued a license to carry arms.

Bedouin officers, however, emphasize their commitment to the state. Second Lieutenant Amir Juamis, 27, of Beit Zarzir, joined the army at the age of 26 after his brother was discharged. His father was wounded in the first war in Lebanon, and another was wounded in Gaza in 2002. He joined as a combatant, trained as an officer and now commands a military team.

"I feel like an Israeli citizen and it's my duty to serve and contribute to the state. This is also the Bedouin's state," he said a few weeks ago.

Asked about how he feels fighting with his people on the other side of the border, he said: "a terrorist is a terrorist. Islam doesn't say you have to kill. He comes to kill here and can kill a Jew or an Arab. It's my duty to prevent that."

Rellen in Acco vlammen op vrijdagmiddag weer op

Het valt zeer te hopen dat deze rellen niet overslaan naar andere gemengde steden. Over het algemeen leven Joden en Arabieren redelijk vreedzaam naast elkaar, maar er is aan beide kanten onvrede, frustratie en soms regelrechte haat. Arabieren voelen zich terecht vaak tweederangsburgers, terwijl Joden het gevoel hebben dat Arabieren zelfs in hun eigen Israel geen respect voor ze op kunnen brengen en vinden dat de Joden op moeten rotten. Met name het disrespect voor heilige plaatsen en heilige feestdagen kan gemakkelijk de vlam in de pan doen slaan.


The Jerusalem Post
Oct 10, 2008 8:10 | Updated Oct 10, 2008 16:57
Acre clashes briefly renewed as Jews enter eastern quarter
Clashes between Jewish and Arab residents of Acre over Yom Kippur were renewed on Friday afternoon after dozens of Jewish residents hurled rocks at Arabs living in the northern city's eastern neighborhood. Police forces arriving at the scene managed to disperse the crowds and several arrests were made.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister and Kadima leader Tzipi Livni said that Israel would not allow citizens to take the law into their own hands.

"It doesn't matter how angry they were, every citizen must respect Yom Kippur, the holy day, outside of the home," she said on a visit to the city.

The new Kadima chairman added that the incident was a watershed line which would determine "if we remain with yesterday's anger, or whether we can move on from this and improve Jewish-Arab relations."

Livni met with Acre Mayor Shimon Lancry to discuss Wednesday night and Thursday's riots.

Earlier Friday, Public Security Minister Avi Dichter vowed to put the "perpetrators and inciters" of the Acre violence "behind lock and key."

Following a meeting with Lancry, Dichter said police had no prior intelligence of the violence and that the riots did not appear to have been planned.

He stressed that restoring calm to the city was not only the job of police, but also of community leaders.

"We are planning ahead for the scenario of, God forbid, violence spreading to other places. I call on leaders, both in the Jewish community and Arab community, to act sensibly," he said.

Prior to the meeting, Dichter was greeted with shouts of "No one is protecting us," from an angry crowd.

Meanwhile, some 700 police officers were deployed in Acre Friday morning to help restore calm to the city following the clashes.

Israel Police Commissioner Ch.-Insp. Dudi Cohen held a special situation assessment with other senior police officials and it was decided that police reinforcements would remain in the city until full calm was restored.

Nevertheless, Dichter ordered police to refrain from using live ammunition and stun grenades should clashes resume.

In addition, the local municipality provided Acre's schools with increased security.

Police were also on high alert in other cities with mixed Jewish and Arab populations including Jerusalem, Haifa, Jaffa, Ramle and Lod, as well as the Wadi Ara region.

Jerusalem Police chief Cmdr. Aharon Franco decided to increase police presence in the Old City and east Jerusalem.

During the violence, which broke out on Wednesday night, hundreds of the city's Arab residents vandalized Jewish-owned shops and vehicles and clashed with police.

On Thursday evening, tensions boiled over again during a demonstration held by Jews against the previous evening's occurrences. Both Jews and Arabs clashed with police in various parts of the racially divided city, leading to 10 arrests. In total, at least eight people were lightly wounded in the successive nights of violence.

For part of Thursday evening, the city was in lockdown, its entrances temporarily closed off, as hundreds of riot and border police armed with water cannons and tear gas worked to restore calm to Acre's streets.

At the end of a meeting Thursday night with senior representatives from both sides, Cohen called on Jews and Arabs to ensure that tensions subside and to prevent the violence from spreading to other nearby neighborhoods.

"What happened on Yom Kippur was very severe, and both the city's Jewish and Arab leaders, as well as the police, will learn lessons from it," he said, stressing, "This was a local incident only."

"I call on both sides, Jews and Arabs, to continue coexisting as they have done for years and to respect one another," added Cohen, calling on public figures and local leaders not to fan the flames of violence.

Lancry told Army Radio that only in two or three days time would it be possible to determine whether tensions had subsided. Lancry blamed Acre's Arab residents for the outbreak of violence.

"The incidents over Yom Kippur were very severe, all red lines were crossed," he added. "The Israel Police must use the investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice."

MK Uri Ariel (NU-NRP) accused MK Abbas Zakour (United Arab List) of inciting the Arab rioters during the clashes.

Ariel claimed that the Arab-Israel MK didn't turn to police, but "conducted events" from a nearby house.

Meanwhile, Zakour urged Public Security Minister Avi Dichter to prevent Ariel and Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman from touring Acre's Old City, saying such a visit would hinder efforts to restore calm, Army Radio reported.

Speaking to Israel Radio, Lieberman termed the incidents a pogrom carried out by Arabs and compared it to Kristallnacht.

MK Arieh Eldad (NRP-NU) also called the Acre riots a pogrom and said police "shouldn't be surprised when Jews take up arms to protect themselves."
AP contributed to this report

NGO's misbruiken internationaal recht om Israël zwart te maken

In Nederland heeft een advocaat namens de Palestijnse mensenrechtenorganisatie PCHR onlangs een aanklacht ingediend tegen Ami Ayalon, omdat hij als hoofd van de Shin Beth destijds medeverantwoordelijk zou zijn voor de marteling van de Gazaan Khalid al-Shami in 1999 en 2000. Die zegt twintig dagen te zijn verhoord in sessies van twintig tot veertig uur, met twee tot drie uur rust tussendoor; ook is hij met handen en voeten vastgebonden aan een stoel en blootgesteld aan lage temperaturen. Deze aanklacht past in een strategie waarbij de PCHR Israelische ministers en mensen uit de legertop probeert te laten vervolgen in het buitenland (met name in Europa). Dit is misbruik maken van de internationale wetten op dit gebied, die bedoeld zijn voor oorlogsmisdadigers die in eigen land vanwege corruptie en rechteloosheid vrijuit gaan. Israel is een rechtsstaat met een onafhankelijke rechtsspraak waar Arabieren vaker in het gelijk worden gesteld tegenover de staat dan in de omliggende landen. Op deze manier zou de top van bijna ieder land aangeklaagd kunnen worden, aangezien in ieder land dat met een conflictsituatie of oorlog te maken heeft weleens misstanden voorkomen. Om bovenbeschreven marteling - die overigens niet bewezen is - gelijk te stellen met oorlogsmisdaden is absurd. Het is echter een slimme manier om Israel letterlijk in de beklaagdenbank te zetten, iets waar de Palestijnen verdomd goed in zijn.

The Jerusalem Post
Oct 7, 2008 22:19 | Updated Oct 8, 2008 13:29
'NGOs exploit international law to bash Israel'
Non-governmental organizations exploit the international justice system to further their campaign against Israel and officials who operate on the state's behalf, a new study claims.

NGO Monitor, an Israeli organization established to promote accountability and to advance discussion on NGOs' human rights reports and activities in the framework of the Arab-Israeli conflict, held a press conference in Jerusalem on Tuesday to present their third study, "Lawfare."

The Lawfare research examines at least 10 cases of lawsuits against Israeli officials filed at international courts between 2001 and 2008 - nine of which, the research reveals, were dismissed by the international court judges.

The 10th case, filed at the International Court of Law in Spain by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) against National Infrastructures Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, is still pending.

The lawsuit against Ben-Eliezer deals with Israel's "selective assassination" of Salah Shehade, the leader of Hamas's military wing, Izzadin Kassam, in 2002. In the operation, the IAF bombed Shehade's apartment, killing Shehade, his assistant and 11 children. From 2004 until 2008, PCHR filed different lawsuits against six different Israeli officials who were allegedly involved in the assassination, in different international courts. The cases against Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, former IDF chiefs of General Staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Moshe Ya'alon and Lt.-Gen. (res.) Dan Halutz , Public Security Minister Avi Dichter, and former OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. (Res) Doron Almog were dismissed.

In 2005, Almog - against whom three lawsuits have been filed to the UK and the Spanish international courts - learned upon arriving in London for a fundraising trip that a warrant had been issued for his arrest. He was accused of violating the Geneva Conventions in connection with the destruction of homes in Gaza. Almog did not leave the plane and flew back to Israel. The arrest warrant was canceled a few days later.

"In the years 2002 to 2003, as the OC Southern Command, I was responsible for thwarting more than 12,000 terror attacks that tried to get out of the Gaza Strip. This period was busy and stormy, and every day we had intelligence on 30 plans for different terror attacks. During this time, not a single attack managed to make it into Israel's territory, while at the same time, about 100 terror attacks made their way from Judea and Samaria to Israel and hundreds of innocent civilians were killed," Almog said at a press conference on Tuesday.

"This fight - which has not been defined as a war, but was one - was very violent. We had two tools to handle the situation. [The first was] defensive operations such as the electronic fence and exposing a strip between Israel and the Gaza Strip that included tearing down what was claimed to be 59 houses but really was 59 roofless warehouses that were not inhabited by anyone. The second tool was 'selective assassination,' a term representing the moral perspective of the Israeli government as having no intentions to kill innocent people. All operations were legal and were conducted following a scrutinized consultation with the attorney-general and the unit's legal adviser," Almog recalled.

Almog added that in some cases mistakes were made and innocent people paid with their lives.

"We apologized in these cases, and the IDF in many cases compensated the innocent victims' families, but all we did was protect human beings' lives while considering the principle of proportionality. It was all defense, defense, defense," Almog said.

Gerald Steinberg, a professor of political studies at Bar Ilan University and the executive director of NGO Monitor, said that these NGOs' strategy was an exploitation of the international law system, which was founded to bring real war criminals to trial.

"This publication exposes the NGOs bombardment of the world's courts with bogus claims against Israel. Given that not one court has upheld their complaints, it is clear that NGOs continue to manipulate judicial systems, not out of concern for human rights, but as part of the campaign to demonize Israel," Steinberg said.

Advocate Irit Kohn - the former director of the International Affairs Department at the Justice Ministry as well as one of the three litigators who represented former prime minister Ariel Sharon in the Belgium International Court of law for the Sabra and Shatila incidents - said that democratic states have agreed that war criminals be put on trial.

"The international law determines that a human being will be put on trial [in an international court] if the country where he or she committed the crime cannot or does not want to try him or her. Bringing a man to trial in an international court demands the question of whether the system was being exploited," she said.

Kohn added that after the Sabra and Shatila affair, Israel had formed the Kahan committee to investigate the massacre of civilian Palestinian refugees by Lebanese Christian Phalangist militiamen, who received IDF permission to enter the two refugee camps. The committee, headed by Supreme Court Judge Yitzhak Kahan, argued that the Israelis should have known that a massacre could occur considering the assassination of Phalangist leader and prospective president Bachir Gemayel the day before, and given the long history of bad blood between the Palestinians and the Phalangists.

"Clearly Israel is not a country that cannot or does not want to bring its officials to trial, and therefore the trial in Belgium International Court was not necessary - not to mention the fact that the petitioning NGOs waited for Sharon to become prime minister before they filed their lawsuit," Kohn said.

Kohn added that the problems of universal jurisdiction become more pronounced when unsubstantiated evidence is submitted by various parties, including NGOs, with the goal of influencing public opinion for the sake of their own agenda.

Mossad agente Yehudit Nessyahu - een vrouw met vele gezichten

Een lang maar mooi verhaal over een vrouw van Nederlands-Joodse afkomst die verschillende belangrijke posities in de Mossad had en betrokken was bij de ontvoering van Eichmann.
Een aangepaste, iets kortere versie hiervan staat op Israel News.
Woman of many faces
By Uri Blau
Haaretz, October 3, 2008
"When I left Israel, I didn't know what I was headed into. I was told that Isser Harel, the Mossad chief at the time, had asked that I be sent to South America for an operation that he himself was responsible for there. You didn't ask questions, and when I was told that Isser wanted me to come, I just asked when I had to leave."

Yehudit Nessyahu, the former Mossad agent who wrote those words, died five years ago at age 78. The plane she boarded in 1960 took her not just to Argentina, but into the history books, as the only woman to take part in one of the Mossad's most famous and most important operations: finding and kidnapping Adolf Eichmann to bring him to Israel to stand trial.

Nessyahu, whose final years were shrouded by personal tragedy, maintained a silence about her intelligence work until her dying day. She turned down numerous requests for interviews, never spoke publicly about the operations in which she participated and would not allow her picture to be published as long as she was alive. This is the first publication of the account she wrote 14 years ago. It is the only direct testimony left by the Mossad agent who cooked kosher food for Eichmann and, in another operation, blended into the Satmar community in Antwerp to help locate the kidnapped child Yossele Schumacher.
She was a woman of many faces who lived in a shadowy male world. Religious and Zionist, she believed in the concept of Greater Israel and was a founder of the Tehiya Party. But she married a thoroughly secular man who was one of the authors of the Labor-Mapam platform. She was also the mother of an only son who died young.

A rich Dutchwoman in Casablanca

Last month, three of Nessyahu's nieces and her one nephew gathered at Kibbutz Givat Haim Meuhad. At the home of their father, 92-year-old Ephraim Ben-Haim, Yehudit Nessyahu's brother, her last remaining kin sat down to talk. Now, years after her death, they are ready to do what she would not allow in her lifetime. To tell what they know about her activities.

Nessyahu (nee Friedman) was born in Holland in 1925, to a religious Zionist family; she was the daughter of Haim and Chana and the younger sister of Ephraim and Rachel. When she was 3 years old, the family moved to Belgium, where her father was in charge of the distribution of "certificates" (immigration permits for Palestine), fund-raising and the purchase of arms for the Haganah, says Ruthie Ben-Haim, 55: "They arrived in Palestine in 1940, with the very last certificates."

Yehudit attended the Balfour School in Tel Aviv, joined the Bnei Akiva youth movement and went on to study philosophy and history at the Hebrew University. During her time there, she was active in Yavneh, a religious student group . During the War of Independence, she enlisted in the IDF, and when the war was over she returned to her studies. In 1956, at the urging of Baruch Duvdevani, the Jewish Agency's director of aliyah, she joined Misgeret, a clandestine organization that handled the immigration of Jews from Morocco.

"It all started because of my father, who was the first Jewish Agency emissary in North Africa for illegal aliyah in 1942," says Tirza Ben-Haim, 50. "He disguised himself as a French officer and began organizing the aliyah. When he came to the Atlas Mountains in Morocco for the first time, the people were living in cave-like dwellings. He asked to see the representatives of the village, went into a house with them and told them, 'I came here from Palestine to organize you. It won't happen now, but just know that I'm here to organize you.' They said, 'Fine,' and kept on with the conversation and when he walked out of there, the whole village was already waiting with their possessions on their backs, ready to go to Palestine. Of course, it took some more years until the people from that village came to Israel," she smiles.

"Yehudit basically traveled there to help him on behalf of the Jewish Aency." What was her motivation? Was she attracted to clandestine activity? "No," says Ruthie Ben-Haim emphatically. "Her drive was Zionism, pure and simple. The Land of Israel, the Jewish People and the need to bring here as many Jews as possible."

In Morocco, Nessyahu worked for about two and a half years to bring Jews to Israel. In conversations with her nephew, Ben Davis, when he was preparing a "roots" project for school, she said that she had been in contact with members of the Moroccan police, from whom she sometimes received documents that she had to copy and then return. She would place the documents in a large shopping basket, hidden under various grocery items.

In Casablanca, she adopted the guise of a wealthy Dutchwoman from Indonesia, who left there after the colony won independence and came to Morocco because she didn't want to go back to the cold Dutch climate. She created the appearance of wealth when she joined a travel agency as a silent partner. "She was a redhead and when she traveled she dyed her hair brown,' says Tirza Ben-Haim. "Often, she would appear as this very rich woman, with the air of someone a bit flighty and irresponsible, a little crazy or extreme, who was curious about everything. She always used to say, 'The best spy is someone who's seen all the time.' She said there were times when her cover wasn't good enough or secure enough, and then she would act even more extroverted, so people would think that someone this nervy and crazy couldn't possibly be a spy.

"In Morocco, she had a difficult problem because she wasn't supposed to be a Jew," continues Haim. "Her whole circle was non-Jews who ate pork and all kinds of treif. She was always religious and she said that sometimes, for days, since she couldn't eat anything else, she existed just on oranges, and that whenever one of the non-Jews took her out for a meal, she would say she was on a diet and could only eat salad. She was very strict about that."

But it wasn't always possible. "Sometimes you have to do things," says Ben-Haim. "When she needed to maintain her cover she would break a commandment. She didn't say exactly what she did, but when she had to, she ate pork. Everything was for the sake of the cause, for the Land of Israel and the Jewish People."

Eliezer Palmor of the Foreign Ministry, who met Nessyahu years later, remembered that she told him that "on one of her missions to Morocco she almost gave herself away. In Europe they peel an orange the way you peel an apple, and she started peeling an orange in the special Israeli way: She cut off the top of the peel and sliced down the sides. As she was doing it, she caught herself and said, 'Oops, that's not right.'"

"That's a famous story," laugh the Ben-Haim sisters, recalling another anecdote that their aunt told them. "Sometime in the late 1950s she was at the airport in Alexandria. Someone suddenly appeared who knew her, from the university apparently, and shouted, 'Yehudit! What are you doing here? How are you?' and she, a little in shock, said, 'Um - you must be mistaken.' She said it was one of the most dangerous moments she ever had."


vrijdag 10 oktober 2008

Voor de journalist, op Jom Kippoer

Het was gisteren Yom Kippoer, ofwel Grote Verzoendag, en dan vragen religieuze Joden vergiffenis voor hun zonden. Voor een journalist is dat een flinke lijst, zoals Bradley Burston laat zien.
For the journalist, on Yom Kippur
For the journalist, on Yom Kippur 2008:

For the sin we journalists have sinned before thee,
Under duress and willingly

For the truth we have warped before thee
Through hardness of the heart
Through venality of the spirit

For the sin we have sinned before thee in passing judgment
And for the sin we have sinned before thee in the exercise of power

For the prejudices we have nurtured
For the hatreds we have milked
For the reputations we have sullied
For the names we have desecrated
For the guilt we have presumed
For the sides we have taken,
For the sides we have shunned

For the truth we have warped before thee
Hyped before thee, tailored before thee
Pimped before thee
Doctored before thee
For the sake of nothing more than a deadline or a headline
Or simply for our name's sake

For all these
Forgive us, pardon us, atone for us

For the sin we have sinned before thee
In throwing off the yoke of ethics
For the sin we have sinned before thee
Knowingly and through carelessness
For the sin we have sinned before thee
through cunning speech
through scorning with cleverness
through the bias of the narrowed eye, the haughty eye,
through entrapment, through gossip mongering

For the sin of currying favor, by keeping secrets that protect the powerful,
And for the sin of causing death, by revealing secrets that can identify targets

For the sin we have sinned before thee
In choosing the single picture over the 1,000 words
And for the sin we have sinned before thee
In feasting on the failings of those we choose to vilify
And in denial of the evils of those with whom we identify

For the sin we have sinned before thee
In the mining and selling of grief

For the sin we have sinned before this
In bearing false witness for ratings sake
And for the sin we have sinned before thee
In the manufacture and sale of fear
For the sin we have sinned before thee
In trading on the threats of our enemies
And, in doing do, creating new dangers

For the sin we have sinned against thee
In turning people against one another in baseless hatred
And for the sin we have sinned against thee
In using the Holocaust for bait.

For the sin we have sinned against thee
In losing the ability to feel
And for the sin we have sinned against thee
In celebrating this as professionalism.

For the privacy we trample
For the mourners we exploit
For the good names we ruin
And the good works we ignore

For all these,
Forgive us, pardon us, atone for us

Rellen in Acco op Yom Kippoer

Het is diep triest dat dit soort dingen gebeuren, en men niet een minimum aan respect voor elkaars feestdagen op kan brengen. Joden, zeker in Israel, zouden niet bang moeten zijn om hun huizen uit te gaan en op de meest heilige dag van het jaar naar de synagoge te gaan. Anderzijds houdt de tolerantie van sommige ultraorthodoxe Joden ook niet over, en dan zeg ik het heel netjes. Mensen die op sabbath door hun straten lopen en niet helemaal volgens de orthodoxe regels gekleed zijn, moeten het soms ontgelden, net als winkels die op sabbath open zijn.

The Jerusalem Post
Oct 9, 2008 19:10 | Updated Oct 9, 2008 19:52
Acre's Arabs wreak destruction on Jewish cars on Yom Kippur
Serious clashes between the Jews and Arabs of Acre left dozens of wrecked cars, smashed windows, flat tires and uprooted trees on the eve of Yom Kippur, Wednesday.

At the end of the riots, three people were lightly wounded, eight people were arrested, the windows of 40 stores had been smashed, and 120 vehicles were damaged.

The clashes reportedly erupted after an Arab resident of Acre's Old City entered the Ben Gurion neighborhood on Yom Kippur - when traffic comes to a halt across the nation - arousing the fury of Jewish residents there who pelted his car with stones.

Police said the clashes broke after three young Arabs drove into the neighborhood and infuriated Jewish residents there by deliberately smoking cigarettes in the open and playing music from their car radio in a high volume. Yom Kippur is one of a few Jewish holidays whose prohibitions are observed in public by virtually all Jews and even secular Israelis refrain from desecrating the holiness of the day in public.

But United Arab List MK Abbas Zakhur, who lives in the city, said it was not three youths but a father and his family who drove through the neighborhood.

"He didn't drive to a place where he had nothing to do, he was on his way home. One must respect the holiday and the fast but it is illegal to prevent a man from using the road during the holiday. When he reached near his home he was attacked by hundreds of Jews and when I arrived there I was also attacked, as well as my vehicle."

Meanwhile, word spread in the Old City that the driver had been killed. Hundreds of Arab youth stormed the streets heading for the Jewish neighborhoods.

Violent clashes ensued and police managed to calm the situation only after they asked Arab dignitaries to pull their weight and influence the youngsters to stop.

But en route home, the Arab residents destroyed property, reportedly shouting "Death to the Jews," "Allah hu Akbar [God is Great in Arabic]" and threatening to kill Jews "if you dare leave your houses."

A bystander said the driver who sparked the clashes was driving threateningly near several girls sitting in a park. After the girls started screaming, he reportedly incited the Jewish youths who came to see what had happened when he said, "you don't know what's coming for you".

Some time later his car was attacked and shortly after the Arab youths of the Old City enacted their vengeance.

The bystander said that Jewish residents were afraid to leave their houses even to go to synagogue. He told of "400-meter rows of cars, each and every one with smashed windows." He said the devastation seen in the streets was worse than after a Katyusha rocket fell in the city in the Second Lebanon War.

Police were not quick to respond, according to eyewitnesses. The team manning the Acre station on Yom Kippur is Arab and residents claimed that this was why they were afraid to intervene. Only after Acre's Jews called the Kiryat Shmona and Motzkin stations did police arrive.

Overeenkomsten militaire problemen Israel in 1973 en 2006

Israel maakte sommige van dezelfde fouten in 2006 tegen Hezbollah als in 1973, zo blijkt uit nieuw vrijgegeven materiaal van de Agranat commissie die de Yom Kippoer oorlog onderzocht.

Agranat files hint at consistent military problems

Senior officials' testimony to commission investigating Yom Kippur War highlights issues much like those seen in Israel's most recent war,7340,L-3606399,00.html

Amnon Meranda

Latest Update: 10.07.08, 12:26



Previously secret files from Agranat Commission were opened to the public Tuesday, almost 35 years after the commission was established to investigate the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War and examine the conduct of the military and political echelons.


The Israel Defense Force archives released 20 witness testimonies, among them that of former prime minister Ariel Sharon and former defense minister Moshe Dayan, both highlighting issues that came up in Israel's most recent war.


When asked about his division's movements on October 7 and 8, 1973, Sharon - who was then the commander of Reserves Armored Division 143 - criticized the IDF's general staff, with whom he had been fighting at the time.


"I wanted to emphasize that… something that was evident throughout the war and that caused grave damage in managing the war was the absence of senior officers from the field," Sharon said in his testimony.


"For example, look at the 8th, when there were two divisions in the field… The regional commander should have been there or, if not, then his deputy… someone to coordinate between the forces… Many mistakes were made because this didn't happen," he said.


Furthermore, Sharon claimed that senior officials were not interested in hearing feedback from their subordinates in the field. Tactically, he said, this lack of communication impacted the war effort.


"There were several occasions when not only were other people giving orders to your subordinates, but they were often doing so without your knowledge," Sharon elaborated.


Describing the widespread confusion, Sharon said he'd gotten the impression that "there was no clear picture of what was going on in the field."


Dayan relies on deterrence power

Then defense minister Moshe Dayan's testimony is similarly evocative of the criticism of Israel's latest conflict with Hizbullah: In his testimony, Dayan explained that his decision not to call up reserves soldiers on the eve of the war was based on an intelligence report from 5 months prior to its outbreak.


"We were fairly certain of our capabilities to hold off a first strike… We understood that the only difference would be a slight discrepancy in artillery power on the (southern) front. We felt that our capabilities, along with the airforce, would be enough to hold them off," he said.


On the eve of the war, Dayan explained in his testimony, the IDF Chief of General Staff sent up airplanes in order to try and deter the Syrians and the Egyptians. "We could not be sure that full scale war would erupt based on what we saw," he said, explaining his reluctance to call up reserve ground forces.


Elazar highlights Dayan's hesitation

Meanwhile, David Elazar, who was the IDF Chief of Staff at the time, recalled with censure how Dayan had refused his requests for a massive reserves call-up, agreeing only to draft airforce reservists and two armored divisions (one to the north and one to the south). Specifically, he said that Dayan refused to call up reservists to the Jordanian front.


Elazar also said that Dayan immediately took the idea of a preemptive strike off the table: "He said we couldn't allow such a thing this time," Elazar recounted in his testimony.


But he noted that the problems went beyond Dayan's hesitation. For example, referencing Dayan's idea of heading off an enemy strike, he stated that the two standing divisions in the north and south had been instructed to deploy in order to prevent enemy infiltration to Israel but, operatively, did not deploy as planned.


Yaron Druckman and Roei Mandel contributed to this report 


IDF draagt taken over aan Palestijnse troepen in Hebron

Het is een goede zaak dat Israel de PA toestemming geeft om zelf actief tegen Hamas op te treden, maar ik kan me ook wel iets bij de bezwaren voorstellen - een deel van de leden van de veiligheidsdiensten hebben zelf in het verleden bij de Al Aqsa Martelaren Brigades en dergelijke groepen gezeten en aanslagen tegen Israel beraamd. De PA had een amnesty regeling voor deze leden van gewapende groepen. Sowieso staan veel Palestijnen achter het 'verzet', en zijn zij niet erg gemotiveerd om aanvallen tegen kolonisten of ook binnen Israel te verijdelen. Bovendien heeft in 2000 juist de PA en de Palestijnse politie zich ook tegen Israel gekeerd.

IDF finalizes new PA troop deployment in Hebron
The Jerusalem Post
Oct 7, 2008 23:47 | Updated Oct 8, 2008 13:34

Brig.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the head of the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria, will meet next week with his Palestinian counterpart to discuss a request to move up the planned deployment of a company of PA soldiers in Hebron.

The move, first reported in The Jerusalem Post three weeks ago, has drawn the ire of settlers from Gush Etzion and the South Hebron Hills, who held an emergency meeting Tuesday morning to discuss the "irresponsible and dangerous" move.

South Hebron Hills Regional Council head Tzvika Bar-Hai told the Post that Palestinians from Hebron had long been involved in terrorist attacks throughout Israel and that this new plan would only further endanger Israeli lives. "The writing is on the wall," he said.

On Tuesday morning, Bar-Hai hastily called a meeting of local leaders, activists and rabbis in his office so that they could organize to combat the plan. In the next few days they plan to lobby politicians against the initiative and they have asked for a meeting with Defense Minister Barak.

The settlers also issued a press statement signed by a wide range of settler leaders from Efrat Chief Rabbi Shlomo Riskin to far-right activist Baruch Marzel of Hebron.

The decision to permit the deployment - there are already more than 2,000 Palestinian Authority soldiers and policemen in Hebron - was made last month by OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Gadi Shamni as part of an Israeli effort to bolster PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

Abbas is scheduled to finish his term as president on January 9, and in the absence of new elections - due to the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip - Abbas, according to the PA constitution, will be replaced by the speaker of the PA parliament, Abdel Aziz Dweik, a senior Hamas official currently in an Israeli prison.

Abbas, however, is looking for ways to extend his term. The IDF and the PA are concerned that Abbas's refusal to hand over the reins could set off clashes in the West Bank between Fatah and Hamas.

As a result, the IDF has agreed to allow a platoon of close to 200 Palestinian soldiers to deploy in Hebron, to be used by the PA to crack down on Hamas operatives and infrastructure in the city.

In a letter sent to Barak on Tuesday, the settler leadership in Hebron slammed the initiative, warning of a rise in terrorism if more PA soldiers are allowed into the city.

"Transferring security over Hebron to the Fatah terrorists will endanger the lives of the thousands who live here and the hundreds of thousands of Jews who regularly come to the city's holy sites," the leaders wrote to Barak.

Initially, the soldiers were planned to deploy in Hebron after completing their US-backed training in Jordan in late December.

A defense official said on Tuesday, however, that the Palestinians had now asked to transfer troops from other parts of the West Bank to Hebron as soon as possible, i.e. later this month. A final decision is expected following the meeting next week between Mordechai and PA Civil Affairs Minister Hussein a-Sheikh.

Defense Ministry officials initially opposed the deployment in Hebron, out of fear that the presence of armed PA soldiers would escalate tensions with the Jewish community in the city. Palestinian assurances that the soldiers would not patrol near the Jewish neighborhoods paved the way for Shamni's approval.

The request to deploy soldiers in Hebron was made by PA Prime Minister Salaam Fayad and is based on the "Jenin model," under which Palestinian troops deployed in large numbers there earlier this year and the IDF scaled back its operations in the vicinity.

In addition, Israel eased travel restrictions in northern Samaria and has started allowing Israeli Arabs to visit Jenin in an effort to rehabilitate its weakened economy.

Nevertheless, IDF troops operated in Jenin early Wednesday morning and discovered six pipe bombs and a 13-cm. knife. Shots were fired at the troops during the raid but no one was wounded.

Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.

donderdag 9 oktober 2008

Nederzettingen zuid-Hebron afgesloten met Yom Kippoer

Er is nog een lange weg te gaan naar vrede in het Midden-Oosten, maar niet op Jom Kippoer...
De neiging is groot om cynisch op te merken dat kolonisten nou ook eens meemaken wat de Palestijnen zo vaak gebeurt. Die neiging is eigenlijk onweerstaanbaar.
Het is opvallend dat nota bene een Knessetlid van Meretz het voor de kolonisten opneemt. Om de spreken van discriminatie t.o.v. de inwoners van Tel Aviv is nogal potsierlijk. Deze kolonisten kozen er bewust voor om buiten het grondgebied van hun staat te gaan wonen, met alle lasten en problemen van dien.

Settlements in South Hebron Hills to be blocked during Yom Kippur
By Akiva Eldar - Haaretz
Last update - 03:53 08/10/2008

The authorities are implementing a closure on settlements in the South Hebron Hills east of the separation fence for Yom Kippur, citing a lack of manpower to keep the road open. At the beginning of the week, the residents of the settlements of Teneh Omarim and Shama'a found out that road 60, the main artery connecting Hebron-area settlements with central Israel, will be completely blocked except for emergency vehicles.

So far, limitations on traffic have been in effect during Jewish holidays only for the Palestinian population.

The Meitar crossing in the South Hebron Hills will be minimally staffed and will therefore be closed except for emergencies, meaning that the settlers there will be cut off from the rest of the West Bank and Israel during the holiday.

According to Shlomo Dror, a spokesman for the Defense Ministry and the crossings administration: "The crossings administration views Yom Kippur as a special date in the State of Israel. Due to the security problems in the South Hebron Hills, this decision is very important. The significance of the request is that dozens of people will have to violate Yom Kippur and work on the holiday. The crossing will be open for humanitarian and security needs of the residents, and any exceptional case will be dealt with as required."

Dror added that in previous years, when the crossings were run by the Israel Defense Forces, they were also closed on Yom Kippur to "respect the people's rest."

A group of settlers asked MK Avshalom Vilan (Meretz) to intervene in the matter, and Vilan asked Defense Minister Ehud Barak to explain why the freedom of movement of the Israelis affected was different from that of other Israelis.

Vilan, a founder of "One Home," an organization promoting voluntary evacuation of settlers living east of the separation fence, said he sees the order to lock the settlers in their settlements as a serious infraction of their basic civil rights and outright discrimination between them and residents of Tel Aviv, for example.

Itai Noah, a non-Orthodox settler who has lived in Teneh Omarim for 18 years, said that if the Israeli government is unable to assure equal rights to its citizens living over the Green Line, it should immediately offer them appropriate compensation to allow them to move to within that line.

He added that this was the first year a closure was imposed on his settlement and that it was linked to the changeover of responsibility for the roadblocks from the IDF to the border crossings administration, which is run by private companies.

woensdag 8 oktober 2008

Arabische kandidaat Jeruzalem trekt zich terug en steunt Gaydamak bij verkiezingen

Vorige maand berichtten we over een Palestijn uit Oost-Jeruzalem die zich -als eerste- kandidaat had gesteld voor de gemeenteraad. In onderstaand bericht is echter sprake van burgemeestersverkiezingen. In elk geval heeft Hamdan zich teruggetrokken als kandidaat in ruil voor een adviseursrol bij een andere burgemeesterskandidaat, een rijke Joodse zakenman (ja, die bestaan). Nu maar hopen dat dit een slimme zet was.

Jerusalem: Arab candidate joins Gaydamak
Arab candidate withdraws from mayoral race, signs agreement with billionaire businessman to be his advisor on east Jerusalem in move devised to secure Arab vote
Ronen Medzini - YNET
Zohir Hamdan, the mukhtar (head) of the village of Sur Baher in Jerusalem, has decided to withdraw from the capital's mayoral race, and on Tuesday signed an agreement with billionaire businessman Arcadi Gaydamak, according to which he will serve as the latter's advisor in east Jerusalem matters if Gaydamak is elected mayor.

Gaydamak signed the deal in the hope that it will help him secure the Arab vote in the upcoming elections, as he currently lags in the polls behind lead candidates Nir Barkat and Meir Porush. He has also recently made an effort to appeal to ultra-Orthodox voters.

Hamdan's decision to join the billionaire's roster was startling as he has denigrated Gaydamak in the past. In a previous interview with Ynet the mukhtar said he was unimpressed by the businessman despite his promise to appoint an Arab deputy.

He explained the move to Ynet on Tuesday: "As an Arab and a leader in the eastern part of the city I have my power. I can bring in many votes for my people and for my approach, and I believe Gaydamak will win. Once I signed an agreement with him to be his advisor, I achieved my goal."

Earlier Tuesday Jerusalem's election committee recommended to Gaydamak that he change his name. The reasoning behind this was that the name on his identification card is Aryeh Bar-Lev, and if the billionaire neglects to alter it, this publicly unrecognized name will be the one to appear on the election ballots.

In order to change his ID Gaydamak will have to apply to the Ministry of the Interior, as the law requires the name on the ballot to match the name on the candidate's certificate of identification.

IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis

Israelische toelating van bewoners Gazastrook voor medische zorg

Israel wordt er veelvuldig van beschuildigd doodzieke Gazanen geen toestemming te geven voor behandeling in Israel of elders buiten de Gazastrook, waardoor honderden of zelfs duizenden patiënten zouden sterven. Onderstaand artikel gaat in op deze beschuldigingen, zoals onlangs nog gedaan in een rapport van Physicians for Human Rights - Israel. Hierbij zijn naast gegevens van PHP-I, de WHO, de VN ook gegevens van de Israelische veiligheidsdienst en instanties opgenomen. Zo blijkt dat in zeker 20 gevallen een medische verklaring vals was en/of werd gebruikt om een aanslag te plegen in Israel. Ook blijken sommige gegevens van PHP-I domweg niet te kloppen. De plicht haar eigen burgers te beschermen wordt al te gemakkelijk vergeten door mensenrechtenorganisaties, die alleen over mensenrechten van Palestijnen spreken. Onterecht worden deze organisaties door de media en veel politici beschouwd als objectief en onpartijdig, en worden hun gegevens zonder meer geloofd en overgenomen, zonder navraag te doen bij de Israelische autoriteiten.
by  Dr. Elihu D. Richter
Published October 2008

No. 567   1 October 2008

Israeli Approvals for Medical Entry
in the Shadow of Terror Attacks at the Erez Crossing

Elihu D. Richter MD, MPH

  • For several years, the Rapporteur to the UN Commission on Human Rights (now the UN Human Rights Council) and human rights groups have criticized the Israeli government and health care system for denying access to Gazans seeking to receive permits for care in hospitals in Israel, the PA and Jordan. Yet the data shows that the number of patients receiving permits for referrals to hospitals in Israel - or the PA or Jordan - increased by 45 percent from 4,932 in 2006 to 7,176 in 2007, and continued to increase in the first six months of 2008. These trends occurred despite a decline in entry approval rates, mostly because of security reasons.
  • The facts are that Israel has provided ever increasing numbers of approvals of permits since the Hamas takeover of Gaza, despite increasing rocket attacks on Israel's civilian population, including mortar and terror attacks directed at the Erez crossing used by patients.
  • At the same time, there have been at least 20 incidents where Palestinians used medical missions to attempt terror attacks.
  • The premise that guides medical ethics is that there should not be even one death from delay, but sometimes the delays were related to problems of availability of beds, and at other times to security concerns. There were cases in which patients' deaths or complications were attributable to delays. But in other cases, deaths and complications were attributable to efforts to transfer to Israel critically ill or near terminal patients from Gaza whose care was deemed as bothersome or too costly.
  • The longer term solution to the problem of delays associated with referrals is to promote medical capacity-building in Gaza's hospital and health care systems so that patients should not have to travel elsewhere for critical care.
  • The mandate of the Rapporteur to the UN Commission on Human Rights has so far been restricted to reporting only on violations of human rights to life, safety, and access to health care of members of one national group, Palestinians, but not members of another group, Israelis. The result is a selective concern with the human rights of one that ignores assaults on the human rights of the other.


Since the Six-Day War in 1967, Gazans have been coming to Israel for medical treatment and for training in many Israeli hospitals, including Hadassah in Jerusalem, Ashkelon, Tel Hashomer, Beersheva, and others. With implementation of the Oslo accords in 1994, the Palestinian Authority reduced access for training and referrals for care as it sought to increase reliance on its own health care system, but in recent years, there has been a tendency towards increased patient referrals to Israeli hospitals. Even so, for several years, human rights groups - notably Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I), the UN Commission on Human Rights (now the UN Human Rights Council), and World Health Organization (WHO) agencies - have criticized the Israeli government and health care system for denying access to Gazans seeking to receive permits for care in hospitals in Israel.

To examine the validity of these criticisms and their context, we tracked trends (January 2006 to June 2008) for approved permits and reported deaths in individual patients. In parallel, we tracked trends during the same period for rocket, missile, and terror attacks targeting the Erez crossing, through which Gazans enter Israel.


Trends in Approvals for Patient Referrals

The data showed that patients receiving permits for referrals to hospitals in Israel - or the PA or Jordan - increased by 45 percent from 4,932 in 2006 to 7,176 in 2007, and continued to increase in the first six months of 2008.

For the rest of the article see here: Israeli Approvals for Medical Entry from the Gaza Strip (JCPA)


dinsdag 7 oktober 2008

NAVO geen rol in stoppen nucleaire ambities Iran, volgens De Hoop Scheffer

"Scheffer said that NATO did not have a direct role to play in the issue, but said he was worried that the United Nations had failed to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions."

Waarom heeft de NAVO hier geen directe rol in? Het krijgt straks wellicht wel met de gevolgen te maken. Er lijkt een soort sfeer te zijn waarin iedereen de hete aardappel doorschuift, en niemand zelf wil handelen. En met handelen bedoel ik niet alleen of vooral militair, want er zijn (nog) alternatieven zoals echt stevige sancties, waarvoor bepaalde landen zwaarder onder druk moeten worden gezet en van de ernst van de zaak doordrongen.

NATO chief: Given Iran nukes, we can't ask Israel to disarm

By Reuters

NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said on Monday he was not certain the world can stop Iran from building a nuclear bomb.

Scheffer told a conference in southeast France that given Iran's nuclear activities, he would never expect Israel to abandon its own, "supposed nuclear arsenal". Israel is widely believed to have the Middle East's only nuclear weapons, but has never formally said so.

"As we all know, Israel never admits to what it has, but I do not see very many arguments for the Jewish state to abandon its potential," he said.
Scheffer said that NATO did not have a direct role to play in the issue, but said he was worried that the United Nations had failed to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions.

"It is a major challenge to prevent Iran from continuing to strive to get the bomb," Scheffer told a World Policy Conference organized by France's IFRI foreign affairs think tank.

"I am not positive about the world being able to stop Iran from fulfilling its ambitions," he added.

"My concern is that the Security Council, as we speak, is rather incapable of coming to further conclusions on further sanctions," Scheffer said.

Scheffer added that he was equally concerned about Iran's drive to develop its missile capabilities.

"What is as dangerous [as the nuclear program] is the missile technology which [Iran] is also developing at a fast pace," he said. "This becomes an element for the security of the United States and of course Europe.

Iran has a series of medium-range missiles, which experts say could target Israel. Tehran has also said it is working on long-range missiles.
Iran delivered a letter to EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana later Monday which Tehran said stressed that pressure would not resolve the dispute over the Iranian nuclear program.

The letter was handed to Solana, who has represented six major powers in talks with Iran over its controversial nuclear program, by Iran's ambassador to the European Union, Solana's spokeswoman Cristina Gallach said.

"I do not know what is in the letter ... but the letter is now in the hands of Mr. Solana," she said.

Iranian media reported that the letter, from Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili to the foreign ministers of the six powers, said pressure would not resolve the nuclear issue.

Iran says its uranium-enrichment program is only for electricity generation, but is under United Nations' sanctions over past undeclared activity and its failure to prove its intentions are wholly peaceful.

The UN Security Council last month again ordered Iran to "comply fully and without delay" to demands it stop enrichment, but failed to introduce any new sanctions as sought by the United States and its Western European allies.

Met dank aan:

Egyptische politie stopt hulpconvooi Moslimbroederschap voor Gazastrook

Niet alleen Israel blokkeert Gaza, Egypte doet dat ook, maar om de een of andere reden vinden mensen dat veel minder erg. De oppositie probeert geregeld om de blokkade te breken. Hamas is voortgekomen uit de grootste Egyptische oppositiepartij, de Moslimbroederschap, en beiden zijn ideologisch aan elkaar verwant. Opvallend is dat ook de seculiere Kifaya beweging aan deze protestactie meedeed.
Onderstaande artikel uit de Jerusalem Post is door Ami Isseroff van Israel News van enkele aanvullingen voorzien (in vet).

Egyptian police stop Muslim Brotherhood aid convoy to gaza.

Dozens of activists from Egypt's radical opposition Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, were arrested Monday after attempting to send a supply convoy to the blockaded Gaza Strip, the organization and Egyptian security officials said. In a novel twist, the secular Kifaya (enough!) movement had joined forces with the Muslim Brotherhood, perhaps signalling that "liberal democratic" forces in Egypt are no longer so interested in peace with Israel.

Abdel-Fatah Rizq, who was coordinating the convoy for the extremist group, claimed police arrested at least 50 activists when they tried to gather at the Journalists' Syndicate in downtown Cairo before making the 200 mile (300 kilometer) journey across the Sinai desert to the border.

"Activists from all over the provinces were planning on joining the convoy on its way through the Sinai to Rafah crossing," said Rizq. The Muslim Brotherhood Website claimed that some activists, including parliament members, slipped through security to reach Rafah on the border.

Police stated that  three members of the Brotherhood were arrested at the Suez Canal Sunday night while trying to reach the border. Other opposition movements had joined the Muslim Brotherhood for their protest and convoy.  In Rafah, another 14 activists from the secular Kifaya movement were arrested while staging a protest.

Organizers decided to halt the convoy in hopes of negotiating the release of the detainees, said Mahmoud el-Khodairy, a convoy coordinator and retired judge.

Sympathy for the Palestinians blockaded in Gaza by Egypt and Israel runs high among Egyptians, and especially the opposition, which periodically attempts to send food and medicine convoys to the border, partly to embarrass the government for its role in the blockade. The Egyptian government prohibits protest against the government, but encourages extremist attacks on Israel and on Jews in government and semi-governmental media. The Muslim Brotherhood was responsible for the murder of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, and are natural allies of the Hamas, which is essentially an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.

President Hosni Mubarak stated that Egypt would not reopen the crossing as long as Hamas controls Gaza.

"We are still committed to the 2005 agreement," Mubarak was quoted as saying on Monday. He was referring to the agreement under which the Palestinian authority, Israel and EU monitors were supposed to supervise the Rafah crossing.

On Monday, authorities opened the crossing to let 67 Palestinians returning from the pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia back into Gaza.

Hamas wrested control of Gaza in June 2007, prompting the blockade by Israel and Egypt and the withdrawal of European monitors. Hamas and sympathizers have spread horror stories about "Gaza under siege," but photos show shops full of merchandize in Gaza.

Public demonstrations, other than those organized by the government,  are not tolerated in Egypt. Thousands of riot police and plainclothes officers surrounded the streets around the syndicate and chased activists into nearby buildings. Several journalists were detained and their cameras were confiscated.

Bedoeinen in Negevstad Rahat waarschuwen voor illegale Palestijnen

De geschatte 4.000 illegale Palestijnen die in Rahat leven vormen bijna 10% van de bevolking. Het is opmerkelijk dat ze schijnbaar zonder al te veel problemen Israël binnen zijn gekomen. Het verhaal van de schoenenverkoper die elke week vanuit 'openluchtgevangenis' Gaza naar Rahat zou reizen lijkt haast ongeloofwaardig.
De illegale migranten vormen onwelkome concurrentie op de arbeidsmarkt, die nogal belabberd is in de meest Bedoeinensteden, maar ze zijn voor Israël vooral een veiligheidsrisico. De Bedoeinen waarschuwen dat er ook terroristen tussen zitten.

Last update - 04:23 07/10/2008
Bedouins in Negev town decry Palestinian influx
The Bedouin living in the Negev town of Rahat are worried by the influx of 4,000 Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip who are living there illegally, Rahat's mayor said this week.
"The residents are worried," Talal al-Karnawi said. "One of the illegal residents could plan a terror attack, and from here he could reach any place in the country."
Over the last few years, the Bedouin town has become home to thousands of illegal residents from Gaza, Hebron, Bethlehem and Nablus. Many have taken the jobs of Bedouin residents and taken over commerce in the city.
But the greatest concern of the residents and mayor is that an illegal resident will turn out to be a terrorist whose actions tarnish Rahat and Bedouin in Israel.
"There are quite a few resident complaints about illegal residents involved in crime and theft," said al-Karnawi. "Some of the illegal residents come to provide for their families in a dignified way, but there are some youths who wander around the city and are involved in crime."
The mayor said he thinks the illegal Palestinians feel more secure not just in Rahat, but in any Israeli town where Arabs live. "They're simply looking for a city of refuge," he said.
Rahat resident Salam al-Hoziel has been speaking out about the illegal-resident phenomenon for a long time, and recently even sent letters on the matter to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Public Security Minister Avi Dichter. The day is not far when that terror attack somewhere in Israel comes, he warns.
"They wander around the city, no one knows how many there are, where they come from or what they do at night," he said. "I am warning the State of Israel about their presence in Rahat."
According to Abu Sharib Diab, another resident: "I think the state needs to build them houses or tents and place a guard at the entrance. There are terrorists among the illegal residents, and we're scared they'll sully the name of Rahat."
But Rahat residents aren't concerned solely by the possibility of terrorism. Businessmen in the town say they have suffered heavy losses recently because the illegal residents smuggle goods into Rahat, damaging the economy.
"Some of the illegal residents deal with trade, and they are bothering us," said Sami Gafar, who owns a shoe stall in Rahat. "The police know, but aren't cleaning out the city. They sell things on the cheap and destroy my livelihood."
Next to Rahat's market stalls sits Abed, an illegal resident who travels to the Bedouin town from Gaza every week to sell shoes. He said he makes NIS 150 a day and sends the money to his family to help ease their financial woes. Then there is Issa, an illegal resident from Hebron who has been selling toys in the Rahat market for more than six years.
Authorities blame Rahat residents who take advantage of the illegal residents, pay them slave wages and form business connections with them, which leads them to stay.

Joodse lobby in VS verantwoordelijk voor financiële crisis (volgens Hamas)

Bij elke financiële crisis, of andere crisis in Europa, kregen de Joden de schuld. De nazi's weten de depressie in Duitsland in de jaren '30 aan de Joden, aangezien zij de macht in de financiële wereld in handen zouden hebben. Nu beschuldigt Hamas het 'Internationale Finanzjudentum', sorry, de Joodse lobby, ervan de financiële crisis in de VS te hebben veroorzaakt.
Hoezo is Hamas slechts tegen Israël of zelfs slechts tegen de bezetting en de blokkade van Gaza? Hoezo hebben antisemitisme en antizionisme niks met elkaar te maken? Dit is niet de eerste keer dat Hamas zijn ware gezicht toont, en laat zien dat het nog volledig achter haar handvest staat.

Last update - 13:24 07/10/2008
Hamas: Jewish Lobby in U.S. to blame for global financial crisis
By News Agencies and Haaretz Service
The Hamas militant group on Tuesday accused the United States Jewish Lobby for fomenting the global financial crisis.
The crisis was the result of "bad administrative and financial management and a bad banking system put into place and controlled by the Jewish lobby," Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum said in a statement.
Barhum said that despite approving a bailout plan of $700 billion dollars, the U.S. government was ignoring the role of "the Jewish lobby that put the U.S. banking and financial sector into place."
This lobby, said Barhum, "controls the U.S. elections and defines the foreign policy of any new administration in a manner that allows it to retain control of the American government and economy."
The Anti-Defamation League reported last week a major upsurge in the number of anti-Semitic postings on the Internet relating to the financial crisis engulfing the United States.
The Jewish-American organization cited hundreds of posts regarding the bankrupt investment bank Lehman Brothers and other institutions affected by the subprime mortgage crisis.
The messages railed against Jews in general, with some charging that Jews control the U.S. government and finance as part of a "Jew world order" and therefore are to blame for the economic turmoil.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, said: "We know from modern history that whenever there is a downturn in the global economy, there will be an upturn in the level of anti-Semitism and bigotry, and that is what we are seeing now."

Voortzetting rechtzaak Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury in Bangladesh

De nachtmerrie voor de Bengaalse journalist Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is nog steeds niet ten einde. Zijn misdrijven: hij waarschuwde tegen de radikale islam en predikte verzoening met Israël, waar hij in 2003 heen wou reizen om op een schrijverssymposium in Tel Aviv te spreken. Dat was verboden, want Bangladesh beschouwt Israël als een 'vijandige staat'. Waarom eigenlijk? De regering van Bangladesh erkent Israëls bestaansrecht niet, maar ze hebben nooit oorlog gevoerd of elkaar (bij mijn weten) de oorlog verklaard. De aanklacht tegen Choudhury heeft een hoog Kafka gehalte.
Voor het laatste nieuws omtrend zijn rechtzaak zie de speciale website Free Choudhury.
Eerdere berichten over Choudhury en oproepen om brieven te schrijven:

Trial of moderate Muslim in Bangladesh goes on

Bangladesh journalist Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is  on trial for his life, essentially because he spoke out against radical Islam. He was caught trying to travel to Israel, an "enemy" state. This "offence" carries a maximum jail sentence of six months. But Bangladesh radicals cooked up a stew of charges against him including treason and a court system sympathetic to the radicals has dragged the trial on for almost 5 years. The nature of the "trial" and the justice he is likely to get in Bangladesh is illustrated by the latest episode in Kafkaesque Bangladesh justice.
Ami Isseroff
Dhaka: October 5, 2008

Officer in Charge in Bangladesh Police and plaintiff and investigation officer in the Sedition, Treason and Blasphemy charges brought against Bangladeshi journalist Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, Mohammed Abdul Hanif told the court of Metropolitan Session Judge, Mohammed Azizul Huq that Israel is an enemy state of Bangladesh.

Abdul Hanif was cross examined on Sunday by the counsel of Mr. Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, senior advocate of Bangladesh Supreme Court, Advocate Samarendra Nath Goswami, who is also the Secretary General of Bangladesh Minority Lawyer's Association [BMLA].

Counsel for Mr. Choudhury informed the court that, after arresting him on November 29 2003, he took him on remand and tortured him mercilessly and conspired to kill him in extra judicial killing. Once failed in this attempt he [Hanif] sent Shoaib Choudhury in the Cell 14 in Dhaka Central Jail [which is for mentally insane people and conspired to get him killed by the mentally insane people. Then he [Shoaib] was sent to Cell # 15, which is for hardened criminals where Hanif once again tried to get him killed through hired hooligans.

Mohammed Abdul Hanif has been assigned by the Bangladeshi government to be the plaintiff as well the investigation officer in the case, which is very irregular.

Syrië viert 35ste verjaardag van Yom Kippoer Oorlog

In deze 'bevrijdingsoorlog' werd niet veel bevrijd: aan het einde ervan was Israel op beide fronten dieper Arabisch land binnengedrongen en stond op 20 mijl van Damascus. Syrië heeft na 35 jaar nog steeds de Golan hoogvlakte niet terug, een gebied dat tot 1923 bij het Britse Mandaatgebied voor Palestina hoorde.
Dergelijke vieringen van de Arabische 'overwinning' van 1973 vinden jaarlijks plaats in zowel Syrië als Egypte, en doen sterk denken aan de geschiedvervalsing in de vroegere Sovjet-Unie, om niet te zeggen aan George Orwell.

Syria celebrates the 35th anniversary of October Liberation War
Monday, October 06, 2008 - 03:35 PM

DAMASCUS, (SANA -Syrian news agency)-Syria on Monday celebrated the 35th anniversary of October Liberation War which broke out on the 6th of October, 1973 by the Syrian and Egyptian armies against the Israeli occupation forces in Golan and Sina'a to  liberate the occupied Arab lands.

On this occasion, the Syrian army with its different land, air and maritime units participated in the celebrations of  the glorious anniversary by holding mass ceremonies and delivering speeches that commemorate the heroic struggle of our soldiers.

The Army top officers talked about the just and comprehensive peace that Syria aspires in the region according to the UN relevant resolutions, the peace that restores the land and rights to their real owners.

This war was in fact a turning-point in the Arab-Israeli conflict which consolidated the principle of linking peace and stability in the region to the end of Israeli occupation of the Arab lands. The liberation war proved the Arab's capability of taking the initiative and defending themselves.

Today, after 35 years of the war, Syria is still a basic and main factor in outlining the region's future and finding solutions to the Middle East problems. This was proved by the latest developments and events in the region where Syria has been able to break the US attempts to isolate Syria and cancel its pivotal role.

Syria is still committed to achieve the just and comprehensive peace that guarantees restoration of the occupied Syrian Golan and the occupied Palestinian territories including Jerusalem into the line of June 4th, 1967.

The Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Golan to that line and realization of peace are two strategic options and national priorities for Syria. and in order to consolidate security and stability in the region, Syria has entered into indirect peace talks with Israel under Turkish mediation in a bid to reach the aspired peace.


IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis

maandag 6 oktober 2008

IDF en Israëlische politie coördineren Palestijnse olijfoogst met PA

In het verleden hebben extremistische Joodse kolonisten herhaaldelijk geprobeerd om de olijfoogst van de Palestijnen te saboteren. Het IDF doet er gelukkig alles aan om dit te voorkomen.
October 5th, 2008 IDF Spokesperson

Security Forces Prepare for the Olive Harvest Season

The IDF in coordination with the Civil Administration and the Israeli Police are preparing for the forthcoming olive harvesting season in the Judea and Samaria area, which will take place during the months of October through December.

As a part of these preparations, meetings have been held between Civil Administration personnel and their Palestinian colleagues. The meetings included representatives of the various villages in the region, as well as important figures from the Palestinian Authority (PA) including the PA Olive Oil Department, and were held in order to coordinate a schedule for the harvest. In addition, Israeli security forces authorized the plan for the harvest, during which they will provide security, after conducting security assessments.

Permits to harvest olives in the seam zone have been granted to approximately 3,000 Palestinian workers for the duration of the harvest. Accordingly, the agricultural gates, which allow Palestinian workers to enter the olive groves in the zone, will remain open for longer hours than usual.

In general, access to most of olive growing regions in Judea and Samaria will not require coordination with the IDF and Civil Administration. However, as a result of experience from recent years and due to the prevailing security conditions, entry into certain limited areas during the harvest must be coordinated with the IDF and Civil Administration.

In addition, Israeli civilians will not be permitted to enter particular olive growing areas, in order to prevent friction. Representatives of the Civil Administration, Israel Police and IDF will be present in these areas.

This year, as in the past, various Israeli non-profit aid organizations are expected to be extensively involved in the Palestinian olive harvest. Representatives of the Civil Administration have met with representatives of these organizations and agreed on guidelines for their activity during the olive harvest.

The IDF, the Civil Administration and the Israeli Police will continue to strive in order to create conditions for the Palestinian population to lead normal daily lives, while continuing to fight terrorism and ensuring the security of the citizens of Israel.

IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis