zaterdag 6 december 2008

Israel bezorgd over rapport Amerikaanse denk-tank over Iran

Israel houdt ook rekening met de mogelijkheid dat zij zonder Amerikaanse goedkeuring tegen Iran zal moeten optreden.

Restoring the Balance A Middle East Strategy for the Next President
Richard N. Haass and Martin S. Indyk, Brookings Institution Press 2008 c. 288pp.
Chapter - A Time for Diplomatic Renewal Toward a New U.S. Strategy in the Middle East
Think-tank comments on Iran worry Israel
Israeli officials expressed concern Wednesday about some of the recommendations in a report top American experts have prepared on Middle East policy for the Obama administration, including expanding engagement with Iran and possible responses should Teheran acquire nuclear capabilities.

The report, drafted by the Council on Foreign Relations and the Brookings Institution, will be a major focus of the latter's Saban Center for Middle East Policy forum this weekend for top US and Israeli officials, as Washington heavy hitters try to play a role in shaping the policies of the next administration.

Foreign Ministry officials weren't thrilled about the report's recommendations, but downplayed its significance.

"We have nothing to be afraid of," one official said, refuting those who expressed fear that this report would become Obama's diplomatic road map. "Obama is surrounding himself with people who we know - from Hillary Clinton, to Rahm Emanuel, to James Jones. There is no reason to panic.

"It could be that the new administration's policy will be different from the Bush administration's; in fact, it will be a little different. But that doesn't mean it will be against Israel."

The official remarked that the report would likely be passed around by Obama subordinates, along with many other similar documents being prepared over the transition period. It was unrealistic, he said, to think Obama is going to internalize this report's findings and make them his own policies.

Still, the Saban gathering draws together international figures of the highest order and leading thinkers and experts on Middle East issues. US President George W. Bush is set to give his valedictory speech on the region at the weekend event, being held in Washington.

Despite Bush's presence, the report is blunt in assessing that current US policies toward Iran have "failed." Instead, the report calls for direct engagement with Iran, to begin at a low level as soon as possible.

Though it acknowledges that diplomacy is not a cure-all, it considers diplomacy more likely than other options - including a military attack and regime change - to productively manage Iran's nuclear ambitions.

A separate chapter on Iran estimates that the country won't be capable of producing a credible nuclear weapons option for another two to three years, during which increased sanctions alongside engaged diplomacy are advocated.

But, it adds, "If diplomacy or force fails to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, a declared US nuclear umbrella for the region or parts of it should be a key mechanism for deterring Iran, reassuring Israel, and incorporating our other allies into an effective regional balance."

Martin Indyk, who heads the Saban Center and co-wrote the report's introductory section - though he didn't author the chapters dealing with specific countries - explained the latter recommendation as potentially helping to synchronize the American and Israeli time frames on Iran.

Speaking to the press after the report was unveiled on Tuesday, Indyk said that the US and Israel have different deadlines for dealing with the threat of a nuclear Iran, because Israel sees the issue as an existential one while the US sees room to maneuver, even if Tehran did acquire some nuclear capabilities.

By the US providing security guarantees, such as a nuclear umbrella, he argued, it could reassure Jerusalem and "buy more time" for diplomacy to work.

Indyk also backed US support for Israeli-Syrian negotiations that are already under way through a third party, Turkey.

He suggested that they could strengthen the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian peace process, since a price for an agreement would be Syria cutting its ties to radical Islamic parties and Iran, whose influence the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority also wants to see diminish as part of its effort to tame Hamas.

In its chapter on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the report contends that Hamas needs to be brought back into a Palestinian national unity government to try to reshape its current role as a spoiler.

The report doesn't push the US to recognize Hamas, but suggests mediation by the Arab countries between the rival Palestinian parties.

Indyk also said the current Annapolis process could continue to provide a good framework for moving forward on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

Richard Haass, president of CFR and the co-author of the introduction, agreed that there were positive aspects of Bush's policies that shouldn't be thrown out in the new administration's haste to turn the page.

"It's important that the administration not start with an ABB approach - anything but Bush," he said.

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IDF onderzoekt opties voor aanval op nucleaire doelen Iran

Een Israëlische functionaris meent dat het regime in Iran geen 10 jaar meer zal standhouden. Laten we het met hem hopen. Toen de Shah van (toen nog) Perzië in 1979 ten val werd gebracht, waren velen blij, want hij gold als een wrede dictator. Toen de Ayatollahs de macht kregen was het snel gedaan met het enthousiasme.

The Jerusalem Post
Dec 4, 2008 0:40 | Updated Dec 4, 2008 16:30
The IDF is drawing up options for a strike on Iranian nuclear facilities that do not include coordination with the United States, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

While its preference is to coordinate with the US, defense officials have said Israel is preparing a wide range of options for such an operation.

"It is always better to coordinate," one top Defense Ministry official explained last week. "But we are also preparing options that do not include coordination."

Israeli officials have said it would be difficult, but not impossible, to launch a strike against Iran without receiving codes from the US Air Force, which controls Iraqi airspace. Israel also asked for the codes in 1991 during the First Gulf War, but the US refused.

"There are a wide range of risks one takes when embarking on such an operation," a top Israeli official said.

Several news reports have claimed recently that US President George W. Bush has refused to give Israel a green light for an attack on Iranian facilities. One such report, published in September in Britain's Guardian newspaper, claimed that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert requested a green light to attack Iran in May but was refused by Bush.

In September, a Defense News article on an early warning radar system the US recently sent to Israel quoted a US government source who said the X-band deployment and other bilateral alliance-bolstering activities send parallel messages: "First, we want to put Iran on notice that we're bolstering our capabilities throughout the region, and especially in Israel. But just as important, we're telling the Israelis, 'Calm down, behave. We're doing all we can to stand by your side and strengthen defenses, because at this time, we don't want you rushing into the military option.'"

The "US European Command (EUCOM) has deployed to Israel a high-powered X-band radar and the supporting people and equipment needed for coordinated defense against Iranian missile attack, marking the first permanent US military presence on Israeli soil," Defense News wrote. The radar will shave several precious minutes off Israel's reaction time to an Iranian missile launch.

In a related article at about the same time, TIME magazine raised the possibility that through the deployment of the radar, America wants to keep an eye on Israeli airspace, so that the US is not surprised if and when the IAF is sent to bomb Iran, a scenario Washington wants to avoid.

The US army sent 120 EUCOM personnel to Israel's Nevatim Air Base southeast of Beersheba to man the new radar.

Last week, Iran's nuclear chief Gholam Reza Aghazadeh revealed that the country was operating more than 5,000 centrifuges at its uranium enrichment plant in Natanz and would continue to install centrifuges and enrich uranium to produce nuclear fuel for the country's future nuclear power plants.

"At this point, more than 5,000 centrifuges are operating in Natanz," said Aghazadeh, who is also the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran. This represents a significant increase from the 4,000 Iran had said were up and running in August at the plant.

The Islamic republic has said it plans to move toward large-scale uranium enrichment that will ultimately involve 54,000 centrifuges.

Israeli officials said last week that the drop in oil prices and the continued sanctions on Iran were having an effect, although they had yet to stop Teheran's nuclear program. The officials said that while Iran was making technological advancements, it would not have the necessary amount of highly-enriched uranium for a nuclear bomb until late 2009.

"There is still time and there is no need to rush into an operation right now," another Israeli official said. "The regime there is already falling apart and will likely no longer be in power 10 years from now."

The IAF was preparing for a wide range of options, OC Air Force Maj.-Gen. Ido Nehushtan recently said, adding that all it would take to launch an operation was a decision by the political echelon.

"The air force is a very robust and flexible force," he told Der Spiegel. "We are ready to do whatever is demanded of us."

On Monday, Teheran dismissed the possibility of an Israeli strike, saying it didn't take Israel seriously.

"We think that regional and international developments and the complicated situation faced by Israel itself will not allow it to launch military strikes against other countries," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi told reporters in Teheran, according to the Press TV Web site. "Israel makes threats to promote its psychological and media warfare," he said.

Palestijnen protesteren tegen vernielingen door kolonisten Hebron

Laten we hopen dat dit geen trend wordt, want er zijn nog heel wat nederzettingen te ontruimen op de Westoever...

Last update - 23:58 05/12/2008       
Palestinians protest rampage by Hebron settlers
Palestinians protested on Friday against a rampage by settlers in response to Israel's eviction of squatters from a disputed building in Hebron, and Israel deployed extra forces to contain the unrest.
Palestinian youths burned tyres in Hebron and threw stones at Israel Defense Forces soldiers at a checkpoint, who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets, witnesses said.
Violence spread to another West Bank town where Palestinians said settlers torched olive orchards, a day after settlers shot and wounded three Palestinians in anger at the removal of Israeli families from a building occupied in defiance of a court order.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki accused the settlers of "waging war" on Palestinians and urged the United Nations Security Council to take up the issue. Malki told reporters in the West Bank town of Ramallah that settlers were taking advantage of a power vacuum since Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's recent resignation in a corruption probe.
Olmert is staying on as caretaker premier with limited power until a Feb. 10 Knesset election. Until then, Israel seems "too weak to take any action against settlers", Malki said.
Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann called the settlers' assaults a "shocking pogrom" and told Channel One television "I regret very much the security forces weren't prepared to prevent" them.
Robert Serry, the UN envoy for the Middle East, issued a statement saying he was "concerned about the potential escalation". He demanded "an immediate end to the settler attacks and restraint and calm from all parties".
Serry also urged "vigilance from the Israeli authorities to ensure that the events of yesterday are not repeated".
Tensions have flared in Hebron since settlers defied a Nov. 16 court order to vacate a house they said they had bought from a Palestinian man who denied ever selling it.
Israel sent in club-wielding troops to remove a dozen settler families from the building on Thursday, after days of stone-throwing protests there between Palestinians and settlers.
Israel reinforced security in Hebron by deploying 500 riot police on Friday, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
Some restrictions were also imposed on Palestinians. Rosenfeld said Palestinians under 45 were barred from attending Friday prayers at al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem to prevent any violence from spreading there.
Some violence was reported on Friday but there were no reports of injuries.
Palestinian witnesses said settlers set fire to hundreds of olive trees near the town of Qalqilya on Friday, near the scene of similar torchings on Thursday.
Palestinians said settlers had erected makeshift roadblocks on several roads in the territory on Thursday, blocking their travel.
Border Police stood guard outside the padlocked disputed house in Hebron on Friday, allowing settlers in only to remove their belongings from the building.
Faiz Rajabi, the building's owner, said he had not yet regained access. "I am waiting to get my house back," he told television stations.

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Egyptische mensenrechtengroep bekritiseert Arabische landen

Waarom lezen we hier zo zelden over in de krant? En waarom vinden hier geen verwoede discussies over plaats op de Volkskrant?


Last update - 19:52 05/12/2008      
Egyptian group slams Arab world's poor human rights record
A leading Egyptian human rights group said Friday that human rights in the Arab world have deteriorated over the past year and the future looks bleak for reform.

The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, one of the oldest such groups in the Arab world, accused Arab governments in its annual report of attempting to silence rights organizations at home and abroad.

The report, which was released Friday, chronicled the human rights records of 12 Arab countries in the Middle East, where the group says sectarian tensions are on the rise, judicial systems lack independence and power-sharing mechanisms are largely absent.

The group singled out Egypt, accusing the country of using its influence in various international organizations, such as the United Nations, to thwart human rights reform. It also criticized the Arab League, an umbrella group of 22 Arab states, for supporting repressive regimes like the ones in Sudan and Yemen.

"The Arab League has become more expressive of authoritarian tendencies than any time in the past," the report said.

Officials from Egypt and the Arab League could not be reached for comment because Friday is the weekend in the Mideast.

The rights group said Islamic extremists are no longer the principal targets of Arab government repression. Instead the report said there is an increase in repression of reformists, human rights defenders and independent press.

De obsessie van de VN met het demoniseren van Israël

Er is zeker een en ander aan te merken op Israëls behandeling van de Arabische minderheid, en terwijl Israël vredesvoorstellen deed ging de bouw in de nederzettingen gewoon door, behalve een relatief korte periode onder Rabin. Dat laat onverlet dat de discriminatie en rechteloosheid van minderheden in de Arabische staten velen malen erger is.
Het standaard antwoord op dergelijke verwijzingen naar de Arabische staten is altijd dat dat een excuus is om van Israëls wandaden af te leiden. In dit geval gaat het echter om de vraag welke landen in de VN het hardst worden veroordeeld, en dan zou je enige evenwichtigheid mogen verwachten. De VN heeft immers maar beperkte tijd en middelen, en alles wat in Israël/Palestina wordt gestoken gaat ten koste van Soedan, of Congo, of Oezbekistan, of Zimbabwe...
Bovendien is deze totaal eenzijdige aandacht niet bevorderlijk voor een oplossing van het conflict, zeker niet als het bestaansrecht van een VN lidstaat (impliciet) wordt ontkend.

The UN's obsession with demonizing Israel

By Jeff Jacoby
Globe Columnist / November 30, 2008


THE PRESIDENT of the UN General Assembly, Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann of Nicaragua, last week denounced the policies of a certain Middle Eastern nation. They are "so similar to the apartheid of an earlier era," he said, "that the world must unite against them, demanding an "end to this massive abuse of human rights" and isolating the offending nation as it once isolated South Africa: with a punishing "campaign of boycott, divestment, and sanctions."

Of which country was he speaking?

Was it Saudi Arabia, where public facilities are segregated by sex, and where a pervasive system of gender apartheid denies women the right to drive, to dress as they choose, to freely marry or divorce, to vote, to appear in public without a male "guardian," or to give testimony on an equal basis with men?

Was it Jordan, where the law explicitly bars Jews from citizenship and where the sale of land to a Jew was for decades not only illegal, but punishable by death?

Was it Iran, where homosexuality is a capital crime - at least 200 Iranian gays were executed last year - and whose president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, asserted at Columbia University that there are no homosexuals in Iran?

Was it Sudan, where tens of thousands of black Africans in the country's southern region, most of them Christians or animists, have been abducted and sold into slavery by Arab militias backed by the Islamist regime in Khartoum?

It was none of these. The General Assembly president, a radical Maryknoll priest who served as Nicaragua's foreign minister during the Sandinista regime in the 1980s, was not referring to any of the Middle East's Muslim autocracies and dictatorships, virtually all of which discriminate against ethnic and religious minorities. He was speaking of the Jewish state of Israel, the region's lone democracy, and the only one that guarantees the legal equality of all its citizens - one-fifth of whom are Muslim and Christian Arabs.

D'Escoto's call for Israel to be shunned as a pariah and strangled economically came on the UN's Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, an annual occasion devoted to lamenting the rebirth of Jewish sovereignty in the 20th century, denouncing the national liberation movement - Zionism - that made that rebirth possible, and championing the cause of the Palestinian Arabs. The event occurs on or about Nov. 29, the anniversary of the UN vote in 1947 to partition Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab. There are impassioned speeches, in which Israel's sins are enumerated and condemned, and the statelessness of the Palestinians is bewailed. Unmentioned is the fact that Palestine's Arabs would have had their state 60 years ago had they and the Arab League not rejected the UN's decision and chosen instead to declare war on the new Jewish state.

Like so much of what takes place at the UN, the obsession with demonizing Israel and extolling the Palestinians is grotesque and Orwellian. More than 1 million Israeli Arabs enjoy civil and political rights unmatched in the Arab world - yet Israel is accused of repression and human-rights abuse. Successive Israeli governments have endorsed a "two-state solution" - yet Israel is blasted as the obstacle to peace. The Palestinian Authority oversees the vilest culture of Jew-hatred since the Third Reich, and wants all Jews expelled from the land it claims for itself - yet Israel is labeled an "apartheid state" and singled out for condemnation and ostracism.

Make no mistake: In likening Israel to apartheid-era South Africa, the UN is engaged not in anti-racism but in anti-Semitism. In the 1930s, the world's foremost anti-Semites demanded a boycott of Jewish businesses. Today they demand a boycott of the Jewish state.

"No good German is still buying from a Jew," announced Hitler's Nazi Party in March 1933. "The boycott must be a universal one . . . and must hit Jewry where it is most vulnerable." Seventy-five years later, the president of the General Assembly urges the world to throttle Israel's 6 million Jews with "boycott, divestment, and sanctions." There is no significant difference between the two cases -- or the animus underlying them.

When the UN adopted its odious "Zionism is racism resolution" in 1975, US Ambassador Daniel Patrick Moynihan minced no words. "The United States," he declared, "does not acknowledge, it will not abide by, it will never acquiesce in this infamous act." Where is such a voice of moral outrage today?

Jeff Jacoby can be reached at

vrijdag 5 december 2008

Jodenhaat van Jihadisten en Nazi's (Bradley Burston)

The other doctor, who had also conducted the post-mortem of the victims, said: "Of all the bodies, the Israeli victims bore the maximum torture marks. It was clear that they were killed on the 26th itself. It was obvious that they were tied up and tortured before they were killed. It was so bad that I do not want to go over the details even in my head again," he said.
Schokkend. Bijna net zo erg is het wellicht dat dit totaal genegeerd werd door de media.

The Jihadi as Nazi, from 9/11 to Mumbai
By Bradley Burston
Asked what was different about the victims of the incident, another doctor said: "It was very strange. I have seen so many dead bodies in my life, and was yet traumatised. A bomb blast victim's body might have been torn apart and could be a very disturbing sight. But the bodies of the victims in this attack bore such signs about the kind of violence of urban warfare that I am still unable to put my thoughts to words," he said.
Asked specifically if he was talking of torture marks, he said: "It was apparent that most of the dead were tortured. What shocked me were the telltale signs showing clearly how the hostages were executed in cold blood," one doctor said.
The other doctor, who had also conducted the post-mortem of the victims, said: "Of all the bodies, the Israeli victims bore the maximum torture marks. It was clear that they were killed on the 26th itself. It was obvious that they were tied up and tortured before they were killed. It was so bad that I do not want to go over the details even in my head again," he said.
Krishnakumar P. and Vicky Nanjappa, reporting from Mumbai, cited by Andrew Sullivan and Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic Online

For the whole of my adult life, it irked me when my fellow Jews would routinely and without compunction, accuse anti-Zionists of being anti-Semitic, and conflate anti-Israeli sentiment with the Nazis.
I felt that the latter eroded the memory and the magnitude of the Holocaust, and that the former was a slightly more elegant way of telling people with whom one took issue, to shut the hell up.
Only this week did I realize my error.
It turns out, that when Jews suspected that the Jihadi hated the Jew the way the Nazi hated the Jew, they were right.
After all this time, I am embarrassed to admit that only when the monsters entered Chabad House in Mumbai, did I understand.
Monsters, not solely for what they did there, but, if the reports are to be believed, for the fact that they were able to do what they did after having actually gotten to know the young couple who founded the center, after asking them for shelter in Chabad House, after telling them that they were Malaysian students eager to learn about Judaism.
Monsters, for having befriended these sweet people in order to better learn how to execute them. Monsters, for having targeted a young couple who had devoted their lives to helping others better live theirs, despite having had a baby who died of a genetic disease and a second child ill and under treatment far away in Israel.
The monsters in Chabad House were not Nazis because they were Muslims. It was specifically because they so faithfully emulated the Nazis, that they, in fact, betrayed Islam.
The hatred of the Jihadi for the Jew is such that - as in the case of the Nazis - the killing of Jews - anywhere they may be found - is an obligation on par with whatever other enemy, target, cause, mission, goal or creed they may be pursuing at the moment.
Their hatred of the Jew is such that - as in the case of the Nazis - all tragedy that befalls the Jews was brought on by the Jews themselves.
Their hatred of the Jew is such that even if a Jew rejects the concept of a state of Israel and is wholeheartedly opposed to Zionism, if he wears the clothing of a believing Jew - as in the case of victim Aryeh Leibish Teitelboim - he will be bound and tortured and put to death.
It is no longer a question of geography or personal experiemce. On September 11. the jihadis told us that the attacks came, in part, in response to the atrocities of the Jews. In the next breath, they told the Muslim world that the Jews were also behind the attacks.
"The Jews are a virus resembling AIDS, from which the entire world suffers," Sheikh Ibrahim Mudeiris said in a sermon broadcast on Palestinian Authority television shortly before Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005. "You will find that the Jews were behind all the civil strife in this world."
"It was the Jews who provoked Nazism to wage war against the entire world, when the Jews, using the Zionist movement, got other countries to wage an economic war on Germany and to boycott German merchandise. The Jews are behind the suffering of the nations."
"They are committing worse deeds than those done to them in the Nazi war. Yes, perhaps some of them were killed and some burned, but they are inflating this in order to win over the of the media and gain the world's sympathy. The worst crimes in history were committed against the Jews, yet these crimes are no worse than what the Jews are doing in Palestine."
" We have ruled the world before, and by Allah, the day will come when we will rule the entire world again. The day will come when we will rule America. The day will come when we will rule Britain and the entire world - except for the Jews. The Jews will not enjoy a life of tranquility under our rule, because they are treacherous by nature, as they have been throughout history. The day will come when everything will be relieved of the Jews - even the stones and trees which were harmed by them. Listen to the Prophet Muhammad, who tells you about the evil end that awaits Jews. The stones and trees will want the Muslims to finish off every Jew."
While waiting, hours and then days, for word of the fate of Gabi and
Rivki Holtzberg, I happened onto the memoirs of the handful of survivors of a now-extinct Jewish community near Bialystok, Poland, where my father's uncle, Herschel Cinowitz, had been born.
In 1941, when he was a young man, he escaped the Nazis by making his way to refuge in Bombay, later Mumbai.
This is the first thing that I learned: You don't have to be German to be a Nazi. The SS ruled Yedwabne, Herschel Cinowitz' little town, but the locals were only too pleased to do their work for them.
"In the middle of the market place was a statue of Lenin," one survivor recalled. "The goyim forced the old Rabbi to carry the statue and recite, "We Jews are responsible for the war and want the war to continue". Then they ordered a burial for the statue in the Jewish cemetery."
Forty of the Jews of Yedwabne were forced to dig graves, then were buried alive. The remainder, 1,440 in all, were taken to a large barn, where they were burned alive.
It occurs to me not a coincidence that the officers of the SS wore silver skulls on their caps and skulls on their lapels, as a token of their love of death.
The jihadi shows his love in other ways. He delights in quoting Khalid ibn al-Walid, the 7th Century Muslim general who warned the emperor of Persia that if he failed to submit to Muslim authority, "you will be conquered against your will by men who love death as you love life." He delights in dismissing the Jews as weak for their love of life, which is equated with cowardice.
A Jew who, as memory serves, was neither Zionist nor observant, once quoted a verse of Hindu scripture which could serve us in comprehending the work of the jihadi:
"Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."
Muslims the world over have recognized that the jihadi is a terrible threat to Islam. The world has seen that the jihadi, in hating the Jew, the Christian, the Hindu, the Muslim of another denomination, has become - like the Nazi - the enemy of all peoples everywhere.
The jihadi shows his love of death in brutality, sadistic executions, the self-righteous calm of the premeditated mass murderer, the blaming of the victim for the crime.
One lesson of the Holocaust is that one can't afford to miss the signs and the intentions.
My father's uncle saw them in time. At the time, Mumbai was his salvation.
I'm only seeing it now.

Geweld in Hebron beschamend voor Joden en Zionisten

Zoals Ami Isseroff hieronder schrijft: wat de extremisten in Hebron doen, heeft niks met zionisme te maken.
Onderstaand bericht is van voor de ontruiming van het 'huis van de vrede' in Hebron op donderdag.

Not Zionists: Hebron violence shames us as Jews and Zionists.

What a pity that some are taken in by the antics of Hebron hooligans, and think that defending them is part of 'Zionist advocacy.' Breaking the law, insulting the Jews state, harming innocent people, fighting the Israeli army - none of these can be part of Zionism in any way. It is up to rabbis to decide if it is "Judaism," but we can decide it is not Zionism.  (A.I.)
Senior military officer launches harshly-worded assault on behavior of right-wing extremists in case of disputed West Bank house slated for eviction. Meanwhile army decides to deploy special Border Guard force to isolate, secure area
Efrat Weiss - Ynet News
Published:  12.02.08, 19:54
"The events in Hebron are riots, plain and simple. The damage caused to the Muslim graveyard, and the graffiti on the walls of mosques throughout Judea and Samaria – they shame and disgrace us as Jews," a senior IDF officer belonging to the army's Central Command told Ynet on Tuesday evening following a particularly violent day in Hebron.
Dozens of right-wing activists and Palestinians were wounded in the clashes, and it was decided that a special Border Guard force will be deployed to secure area of the disputed house in the city slated for eviction.
"I don't understand how the preparatory schools and yeshivas are willing to allow these boys to run about and riot without restraint," the officer said.
"Just today a 15-year-old youth was seriously wounded in Hebron; it's unclear why he there and not in school like the rest of the boys his age.
The Hadassah Ein-Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem said that the boy is undergoing surgery, and is in serious but stable condition.
Another military official told Ynet the Civil Administration has been working to calm the tensions in Hebron.
"We've sent calming messages to the Palestinians, without our taking this action the Hebron region might have erupted from both sides," said the official. He added that the situation is spiraling out of control, and the feeling in the field is that there is no leadership capable of dealing with the feral youths.
Following the escalation in violence a special meeting was held Tuesday morning by Central Command chief, Maj. Gen. Gadi Shamni, to assess the security situation. It was decided to deploy a special Border Guard task force to the volatile area in order to deal with the riots.
Border Guard officials told Ynet that "despite the public disturbances these past few days, we believe that the relationship between the Border Guard troops and the Jewish community will help calm the tensions in Hebron. The idea behind the decision to send in a special force is to isolate the Hebron region and that of the disputed house, and by doing so decrease the rioting and prevent the arrival of more people.
The officials noted that placing a Border Guard task force in Hebron, similar to the deployment of a task force in Naalin due to the rioting of left-wing activists, will allow the IDF to focus on terror threats and protecting residents of the region.
Extreme-rightist Baruch Marzel called the deployment "a miserable decision. Putting the force there will only fan the flames. We have seen before that the judgment of Border Guard troops is flawed and impaired. Putting them there will only lead to more violence."

'Huis van Vrede' in Hebron ontruimd door IDF

Eindelijk heeft Israel laten zien dat het in staat is de wet te handhaven - ook tegenover extreem gewelddadige kolonisten die met een burgeroorlog dreigen. Men heeft geprobeerd het anders op te lossen, maar de vele gewelddadige incidenten van de afgelopen dagen lieten zien dat dat er niet in zat. Nu is gedaan wat nodig was, maar daarmee is de rust allerminst weergekeerd. Het leger moet er op toe zien dat de kolonisten hun frustraties niet - zoals gisteren al gebeurde - bot gaan vieren op de Palestijnen.
Hieronder 4 berichten uit de Jerusalem Post (met dank aan MidEast Web ).
The Jerusalem Post
Dec 3, 2008 12:29 | Updated Dec 4, 2008 19:04
Hebron house evacuation completed

A large police force evacuated the disputed Beit Hashalom building in Hebron on Thursday afternoon which took approximately an hour and a half. Clashes between right-wing activists and security forces were reportedly continuing in the vicinity of the disputed house following the evacuation.

The decision to evacuate the house was made after a meeting between Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Yesha Council leaders earlier in the day failed to reach a compromise.

Dozens of police entered the building Thursday afternoon, while other police formed a line in front with shields to prevent demonstrators from disrupting the activity.

Police made a statement saying seven people were hurt in the evacuation, two policemen and five civilians.

Minutes after police entered the building, protesters began to come out. Some walked out, while others were dragged or carried by security forces. Demonstrators at the scene had a much higher count, claiming that at least 20 people had been wounded just ten minutes into the operation. A young girl, was carried away on a stretcher, at which point teenage onlookers yelled at the soldiers "you are partners to a crime!"

One police officer suffered moderate to serious wounds by flour thrown at his eyes. He was quickly evacuated to a hospital in Jerusalem. Initially security forces thought he was hit by powdered acid, but in the hospital the powder turned out to be flour.

At one point during the evacuation, soldiers entered the portion of the building which had been used as a sanctuary by the Jewish occupants, and where 20 to 30 people were praying. Police began to pull out the protesters as they yelled, "God is one."

As police cleared away the last of the teens from the synagogue, other officers in a nearby hallway began to kick in a wall that leads to an apartment where a family has lived for the past year and a half. Once the wall was destroyed, police led out a number of women who were holding small children in their arms.

On a road in between the disputed house and the West Bank village of Kiryat Arba, a number of Jewish teenagers attempted to link up with the demonstrators at Beit Hashalom. Border police tried to disperse the youth with stun grenades and tear gas. The teenagers also exchanged rocks with Palestinian children standing on the roofs of the houses in the valley between the Hebron house and the West Bank village.

Dozens of youths from a nearby Kiryat Arba yeshiva started throwing stones at a Palestinian house causing the inhabitants to come out of the structure. Another man from Kiryat Arba carrying an M-16 started shooting at a gathering Palestinian crowd nearby, wounding two men, one in the arm and one in the chest. They were being treated at the scene by army medics awaiting evacuation to hospital.

The alleged assailant ran off. No arrests had yet been made.

At another point during the clashes, security forces began to push protesters down a small hill into the main road using large sticks.

IDF officers from the Central Command said an order was given to evacuate the protesters "with the utmost sensitivity, but we will use force if we are met with violence."

Meanwhile, a very large convoy of IDF vehicles was making its way to the scene by way of Road 60, in the West Bank.

The office of the defense minister issued a statement shortly after the operation began in which he said that the evacuation was ordered "after all the dialogue failed and after meetings with Yesha leaders did not bring resolution."

Further, Barak called on the leaders in the settler community to ensure that there was no violence during the evacuation.

Earlier on Thursday, Barak and leaders from the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip met to discuss the evacuation of the Hebron house.

At the end of the meeting, Barak told Yesha leaders that "settler leaders and the inhabitants of Beit Hashalom must abide by the law and evacuate the house as instructed by an existing court ruling while simultaneously going to a hastened court proceeding over the future of the house."

The defense minister also said that the IDF would assume control of the house until the ownership claims are settled in court.

Yesha leaders reiterated that a peaceful solution could be found, one that avoided further violence and expressed hope that Barak would not miss the opportunity to do everything possible to reach a compromise.

On Thursday morning, the meeting between the two sides was held in hopes of reaching a compromise that would avert the evacuation of the house.

Defense officials said Thursday's meeting was the "last chance" Barak planned to give the settlers before ordering the IDF and the Israel Police to use force to evacuate the building.

Barak insisted Wednesday night that he planned to evacuate the house even as settler leaders tried to negotiate a compromise and politicians, including those on the Right, sharply criticized the violent tactics of the activists who have streamed into the city to defend the structure.

"We will not allow a small group of extremists to undermine the state's authority," Barak told Channel 2. "The [High Court of Justice's eviction] order will be implemented within the time frame set by the court."

He spoke as right-wing activists clashed with security personnel in Hebron for the fourth day in a row, causing border policemen to don riot gear and throw stun grenades at those who had lobbed stones at them.

Israeli media outlets reported on Thursday that Defense Ministry officials secretly met late Wednesday night with settlers inside the Hebron house in effort to come to a last-minute arrangement which would both avert a bloody evacuation, and keep with the ruling of the High Court of Justice.

Barak, officials said, had already been presented with the operational plans for an evacuation that would include more than 2,000 policemen and soldiers operating in several circles around Beit Hashalom. Police would be tasked with the actual evacuation from the home, and the IDF would prevent additional activists from reaching the area.

On November 16 the High Court ruled that the state could evacuate the building even though its ownership had yet to be resolved by the Jerusalem District Court.

The Jewish Community of Hebron, which in March 2007 moved nine families into the structure on Worshipers' Way, at the edge of the city near Kiryat Arba, says it bought the building for close to $1 million. The Palestinian seller has said that no such transaction took place.

The Jerusalem Post
Dec 4, 2008 16:49 | Updated Dec 4, 2008 19:38
Some six hundred troops participated in the evacuation of a disputed building in Hebron on Thursday afternoon, in an operation that police commanders said was smoother and quicker than the evacuation of the Amona outpost in February 2006, due mainly to security forces surprising the settlers inside.

"Had we not acted by surprise there would have been different results and more violence," Dep. -Com. Avshalom Peled, commander of Hebron Police said.

Peled said that security forces found rocks, different chemicals, acids and tires, as well as paint-filled glass light bulbs in the house, all of which the settlers prepared in advance to fight the evacuating forces. On the second floor of the house potatoes with nails in them were found.

Peled added that he was expecting people to try to return to the building, and said that in such a case Border Police would prepare and act accordingly.

Some rooms were heavily damaged during the evacuation, but police encountered only sporadic resistance.

The IDF said that it would issue a warning saying that anyone trying to return to the disputed house would be countered with full force.

Commander of the Judea and Samaria Brigade, Brig. -Gen. Noam Tibon, declared Judea a closed military zone for an indefinite amount of time to prevent people from returning.

Shlomo Katabi, commander of the Judea and Samaria Police, told The Jerusalem Post that the police feared settlers would try to attack Palestinians as a form of revenge for the evacuation.

"We expect public disturbances throughout the Hebron area as well as throughout the West Bank," Katabi said, "and for those we are prepared."

The Jerusalem Post
Dec 4, 2008 19:30 | Updated Dec 4, 2008 20:42
Barak praises Hebron house evacuation

Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Thursday evening commended security forces for the evacuation of Beit Hashalom in Hebron and called for restraint.

"I call upon every leader with clout to exert his influence so that things do not deteriorate further," Barak said at a press conference.

"We had no choice" but to go forward with the evacuation, the defense minister continued; "any other attitude would have been a betrayal of my job.

"A defense minister in Israel has no choice but to ensure that the law is upheld; without that we won't have a state," he continued. "We are only a hair's breadth from utter anarchy."

President Shimon Peres on Thursday evening also commended security forces on the evacuation of Beit Hashalom in Hebron, saying that they had acted with "sense and responsibility."

"In order to safeguard its constitution and security, the state must sometimes take difficult measures," Peres said. "In this instance there was no escaping the difficult steps that were taken by defense forces. I commend the government and security forces for making a difficult decision and carrying it out with sense and responsibility."

"There is no joy in what we say today, the events are saddening, but it must be said that the process that took place today was correct," Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said at the opening of Kadima's security forum in Tel Aviv. "The time that passed since the start of the events at the disputed house only made things worse."

"There is no place and will be no place in which citizens may feel they can do as they please," she continued. "Nobody can harm a soldier or policeman."

But on the right wing, reactions criticized Barak's decision to evacuate the Hebron house as politically motivated.

"It's a shame that someone has an interest in setting Hebron alight," MK Reuven Rivlin (Likud) asserted Thursday evening, several hours after hundreds of police stormed the disputed building and cleared it of its inhabitants.

"Barak chose a political evacuation when he could have employed wisdom and justice and waited for the legal situation to clear up."

The Jerusalem Post
Dec 4, 2008 16:46 | Updated Dec 4, 2008 20:46
Fearing spread of riots, IDF declares Hebron a military zone

As the evacuation of the disputed Beit Hashalom house in Hebron began Thursday afternoon, Jewish youths from Kiryat Arba made their way across the valley and through the fence and started lighting fires, throwing stones at Palestinian homes, knocking down satellite dishes and torching olive trees.

A Palestinian man who lives near Beit Hashalom and identified himself as Majd told The Jerusalem Post that a few days ago he saw Jewish youths cut the fence for easier access to Palestinian olive groves in preparation for the revenge planned in the wake of the evacuation. He also claimed that these youths set the laundry hanging outside his house on fire.

Earlier Thursday, a Kiryat Arba man opened fire on a Palestinian crowd, wounding 2 people. The man allegedly used rubber bullets and the wounded, a man in his late sixties with an arm injury and a man in his fifties with a chest injury, were evacuated to a hospital in Hebron. Palestinian sources said that the shooter fired live rounds.

Meanwhile, mobs of Jewish youths were still making their way across the valley lighting fires and causing damage to Palestinian property in an effort to extort a 'price tag' for the forced evacuation of Beit Hashalom and create a diversion for the soldiers and police forces.

Channel 2 reported that there was an exchange of fire heard in Hebron, potentially involving settlers and Palestinians. The station also reported that Palestinians were setting alight Jewish houses in Tel Rumeida, near Hebron.

The IDF declared the Hebron and the surrounding are a military zone.

At the entrance to Jerusalem on Highway 1, young teenagers were blocking the road, throwing stones and shouting slogans in condemnation of the state's evacuation of the Hebron building, causing serious congestion on the capital's main entrance at the height of rush hour.

donderdag 4 december 2008

IDF tegen plan voor NAVO troepen op Westoever

"NATO is a very bad idea," the officer said. "No other country in the world has successfully dealt with terror like Israel has. There is a need for continuous combat; NATO will not want to endanger its soldiers on behalf of Israeli citizens."
Het is meer dan begrijpelijk dat Israel de verdediging van haar eigen veiligheid niet uit handen wil geven. Bovendien is het al heel moeilijk om genoeg soldaten te vinden voor de missies in Afghanistan, Congo en Soedan. De Westelijke Jordaanoever zal niet gemakkelijker worden.

IDF opposes plan for NATO in W. Bank
A day after President-elect Barack Obama chose retired general James Jones as his national security adviser, Israeli defense officials said Tuesday that they were opposed to the deployment of a NATO force in the West Bank following an Israeli withdrawal, a plan Jones supports.

A former commander of NATO, Jones has for the past year served as a security envoy to Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

During his meetings with Israelis, Jones has proposed that a NATO-based international force deploy in the West Bank in the interim period between an Israeli withdrawal and the Palestinian forces becoming able to curb terror activity.

"This plan was proposed in order to ease our concerns," explained one official who had met with Jones on one of the latter's many visits to the region. "In reality though, it isn't likely to work."

The IDF is particularly wary of such a plan, a top IDF officer said, who added that the military's operational freedom in the territories was responsible for the drop in terrorist attacks.

"NATO is a very bad idea," the officer said. "No other country in the world has successfully dealt with terror like Israel has. There is a need for continuous combat; NATO will not want to endanger its soldiers on behalf of Israeli citizens."

On Tuesday, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni flew to Brussels for a gathering of foreign ministers at NATO headquarters. The visit comes amid growing ties between Israel and NATO, marked by a visit to Brussels two weeks ago by IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi.

In the past year, Israel has hosted a number of NATO workshops in Tel Aviv, the latest of which focused on unmanned aerial vehicles. In the next few months another workshop will be held in Israel for all NATO members, dealing with logistic supply.

But despite the warming of ties, Israeli defense officials said it was unlikely that NATO would be willing to deploy forces in the West Bank before a final peace agreement was signed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. In addition, NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer has said that NATO would only begin to consider such a deployment after an official invitation from both sides as well as approval by the United Nations Security Council.

3 Qassams en mortiergranaten uit Gazastrook treffen westen Negev

De strijd tussen Israel en Hamas gaat door ondanks dat beide zijden hebben aangegeven voor hervatting van het staakt-het-vuren te zijn. Daarbij probeert Hamas de 'regels van het spel' in zijn voordeel te veranderen.

Three Qassams hit west Negev, further unraveling Gaza truce
By Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz Correspondents and Haaretz Service
Last update - 15:39 03/12/2008

Palestinian militants fired three Qassam rockets into the western Negev on Wednesday, further unraveling an Israel-Hamas truce in the Gaza Strip.

The rockets struck open areas near a Kibbutz in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council.

Gaza militants earlier in the day fired a volley of mortar shells into Israel, one of which damaged a power cable transferring electricity to the energy-strapped Gaza Strip, according to Army Radio.

The militants launched a total of eight shells at the Eshkol regional council in the attack. Neither the Qassam rockets nor the mortar shells caused any casualties.

On Tuesday, the Israel Air Force killed two Gazans in the Rafah area, in an air strike the army said targeted a Palestinian cell launching mortar shells at Kibbutz Kerem Shalom, which borders southern Gaza.

Palestinians fired at least two Qassam rockets and five mortar shells at the western Negev Tuesday, causing no injuries.

Palestinian sources said the fatalities were brothers, and that four others were hurt in the air strike, adding that the brothers and three of the other casualties were "youths." It appears they may have been sent by the organization that fired the rockets in order to dismantle the launcher.

This latest incident is part of a largely low-profile struggle between Hamas and the Israel Defense Forces along the border fence surrounding the Gaza Strip.

Since a November 4 IDF operation to locate a tunnel in Gaza, calm has yet to prevail. The small Palestinian groups are responsible for most of the rocket and mortar fire, although Hamas is also occasionally involved.

The IDF believes Hamas is trying to force new rules on Israel in the so-called "security perimeter" within the Gaza Strip, the section about half a kilometer into the Palestinian side of the border fence.

Between July and October, Hamas militants rarely approached the fence, but over the past few weeks, Palestinian cells have been sent there to place explosives in the area, in anticipation of renewed fighting with the IDF.

The cells are also gathering intelligence and reestablishing military outposts. In some cases, most recently on Thursday, the IDF has fired at the militants.

Hamas is trying to force Israel to accept its activity in the security zone, and when the IDF hits the militants, the Palestinians respond with heavy mortar and rocket fire on the Negev.

At this point, the Palestinian reaction does not appear to be keeping the army from targeting the militants, but it has so far refrained from more extensive action. The IDF held back from responding to mortar fire on the Nahal Oz army base on Friday, which wounded eight IDF soldiers, one of them seriously.

It appears that the future of the semi-enforced lull will be determined December 19, six months after the unwritten cease-fire went into effect.

Hamas has so far failed to ease the financial blockade of Gaza and bring in more goods, since the crossing points have been closed for most of the past month in the wake of the rocket fire.

Meanwhile, a rift is deepening between the Hamas leadership in Gaza and the Egyptian and Saudi governments because Saudi Arabia is not granting entry permits to Palestinians who registered with religious affairs officials in Gaza, rather than Ramallah, to go on the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.

Israeli security sources believe Hamas may breach the Rafah crossing, as it did in January, if the situation is not resolved.

Both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, which is trying to retain control of Hamas-run Gaza in addition to the West Bank, have submitted lists of Gaza Palestinians who want to go on hajj to Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Hamas is refusing to let the Gazans registered with Ramallah to leave for the hajj.

woensdag 3 december 2008

Rellen in Hebron tussen kolonisten, het leger en Palestijnen

De spanningen tussen Palestijnen en Joden in Hebron, maar ook tussen de kolonisten en het leger, nemen verder toe. Het is vaak niet duidelijk wie begon: Palestijnen of kolonisten. Wat wel duidelijk is, is dat de radikale elementen binnen de laatsten zich ook tegen de staat en het leger keren en niet terugschrikken voor aanvallen op de soldaten die hun daar juist beschermen. Ook richten zij zich, al of niet uit wraak voor Palestijnse aanvallen, vaak op onschuldige burgers of religieuze plaatsen.
Hoewel de Joden zeker een gerechtvaardigde claim op Hebron hebben (tot zij in 1929 werden aangevallen door door de moefti opgehitste Arabieren was er een aanzienlijke Joodse gemeenschap in Hebron), en hun aartsvaderen er begraven liggen, lijkt de radikale gemeenschap van ca. 500 kolonisten tussen meer dan 50.000 hun vijandig gezinde Palestijnen niet te handhaven. Tot nu toe durft Israel het echter zelfs nog niet aan om een gebouw, Beith Hashalom, te ontruimen, en de kolonisten hebben al met een burgeroorlog gedreigd als dit toch gaat gebeuren.
The Jerusalem Post
Dec 1, 2008 22:30 | Updated Dec 2, 2008 18:47
Israeli youth seriously wounded by stone-throwers in Hebron
A fragile calm appeared to have returned to Hebron on Tuesday afternooon, after Palestinians and settlers clashed earlier in the day. An Israeli youth, who was hit in the head by a rock, was seriously injured in the scuffles. Some 1,500 right-wing activists had poured into the city Monday night on the heels of rumors that the police was preparing to evacuate Beit Hashalom.

Security forces arrested at least five youths on the city's streets.

All in all, some 18 settlers were wounded by Palestinian rioters. Two were evacuated to the hospital in light condition and 15 others were taken to a clinic in nearby Kiryat Arba for treatment.

Palestinian sources said that some 20 Arab residents of Hebron had been injured by rocks thrown by settlers since Monday night.

IDF troops located the house that served the Palestinian stone-throwers and broke into it. Earlier, soldiers were trying to disperse the rioters, most of whom were teenagers, with tear gas and stun grenades and two settlers were arrested for allegedly hurling rocks at Palestinians. The wounded youth, 16, was administered initial care by an MDA team and later evacuated to the Hadassa Ein-Karem Hospital.

Sources within the Jewish community of Hebron squarely placed responsibility for the incident on the army and police, who, they said, "are exhibiting powerlessness in dealing with Arab rioters who are throwing cinder blocks from the rooftops."

Earlier, in two villages in Samaria in the northern West Bank, Palestinians said groups of settlers burned animal feed and slashed tires in what has become a broader tactic on the part of the settlers meant to deter Israeli authorities from dismantling unauthorized outposts.

Word of mouth spread Monday night that security forces were poised to carry out a state order to evict nine families and their supporters from the building, where Jews have lived since March 2007.

Their claim that they purchased the building has been disputed by the Palestinian said to have been the seller. Until the dispute is resolved, the High Court of Justice has said that the state can evict the settlers.

On Monday night, even as they were preparing for a funeral, relatives of Mumbai victims Rivka and Gavriel Holtzberg took time to protest the possible eviction.

As he spoke with The Jerusalem Post, Rivka Holtzberg's brother Yossi Rosenberg received a message that the IDF might move against the settlers late Monday night or early Tuesday morning. He asked the Post to mention his family's ideological opposition to the eviction.

Nachman Holtzberg, Gavriel's father, wrote a letter to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in which he asked that the state refrain from taking such action during a time of national mourning for the Mumbai victims. It should be a moment of unity for the Jewish people, which should not be disrupted by divisions or fighting, he told the Post.

"My son was an emissary for the united Jewish people," he added.

The violent incidents started Monday night as rumors of the impending evacuation in Hebron were circulated.

"Emergency - the destruction and eviction forces have reached 'Beit Hashalom'," stated an urgent message sent out by by Hebron settlers. "Everyone is requested to arrive immediately. This is the moment of truth for the settlement movement."

The settlers claimed that police and border policemen were streaming toward the center of Hebron and called upon supporters to come and "prevent the disgrace." They predicted that the evacuation would take place Monday night.

As the rumors started to circulate, youths began blocking various transportation routes in order to prevent the forces from reaching Hebron. Several incidents of rock throwing between the settlers and Palestinians were reported.

Protesters broke windows of cars and homes and defaced a Muslim cemetery in the area near the house. Settlers in several other locations in the West Bank also blocked roads and threw stones at Palestinian cars. Protesters also blocked the Jerusalem-Dead Sea road next to Mitzpe Yericho Monday evening but dispersed peacefully when police arrived.

Since the Supreme Court decided that the state may evacuate Beit Hashalom even before a final ruling regarding its legal ownership, many right-wing activists made a stronghold in the building, bracing for the arrival of the IDF and police.

Last week, Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced that security forces were striving for dialogue to try and convince the settlers to willfully evacuate the compound. However, he warned that they would be forcefully evicted if they failed to do so.

"Any harm inflicted upon an official Israeli representative; soldier, policeman... is a severe incident, which widens the crack that his tearing at the gentle fabric of Israeli democracy."

Abe Selig and Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.

Arabische en moslim reacties op terreuraanvallen in Mumbai

Hoewel het politieke leiderschap in de Arabische en islamitische landen de aanslagen in Mumbay scherp veroordeeld heeft, is in de media naast veroordelingen ook veel steun geuit voor de aanslagen, of werden ze in de schoenen geschoven van de 'zionisten', die de oorzaak van alle terrorisme zouden vormen en zelf ook wel zo'n aanslag verdienen. Op de website van Al Jazeera werd met vreugde gereageerd op het bericht dat een rabbijn en zijn vrouw onder de doden waren. Ook op de website van Hamas was er veel waardering voor de aanslagen en de 'martelaren' die ze uitvoerden.
Moslims zouden niet alleen de aanslagen die in naam van hun geloof zijn gepleegd hard moeten veroordelen, maar ook al dit soort van rechtvaardigingen, goedkeuring en de neiging OVERAL Israel de schuld van te geven. Men krijgt de indruk dat een belangrijke reden dat er nog geen vrede is, ligt in het feit dat de Arabieren dan een belangrijke zondebok zouden verliezen....
Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center
Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center
at the Israel Intelligence Heritage & Commemoration Center (IICC)
December 2, 2008
Reactions in the Arab and Muslim world to the terrorist attacks in Mumbai
(Preliminary report)


1. At the level of political leadership, the Arab and Muslim world condemned the terrorist attacks in Mumbai and expressed solidarity with the Indian government, including terrorism-sponsoring countries like Iran and Syria . Iranian president Ahmadinejad sent a message of condolence to the Indian president and prime minister in which he deplored the terrorist attacks which cost innocent lives; Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi also condemned the attacks; and the Iranian media used expressions like "terrorism" and "terrorist attack." The Syrian newspaper Tishrin gave a short summary of the events and also called the attackers "terrorists." Even Muhammad Mahdi 'Akef, leader of the radical Islamic Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt , issued a denunciation of the attacks.

Op-ed Commentary in the Iranian and Syrian Media

2. However, in commenting on the reasons for the terrorist attack, the Iranian and Syrian propaganda was quick to exploit the event to assail the United States, Israel and the Zionist movement, and to represent them as responsible for terrorism in India and the world in general:

i) Iranian president Ahmadinejad , in a vague statement hinting at the United States , said that "the ugly phenomenon of terrorism…has its roots in [an] international unfair order and …occupationist and disuniting policies" (ISNA News Agency, November 28). On November 29 the Iranian newspaper Al-Wifaq was much more explicit in its reaction. It criticized the Western media for describing the attackers as "Islamists." It also said that Israel ("that hypocritical entity") had sown terrorism in the Middle East and the entire world. It added that the attacks in India had a Zionist background with goals of interfering in regional matters, and fingerprints of American crimes could also be seen on the Indian sub-continent. According to the article, ten years ago the United States and the Zionists started spreading to the Indian arena to encourage a civil war within India and strife between India and its neighbors. Their intention was to impose their hegemony in the region. "Thus it is not enough to put an end to the military attack [in Mumbai], the true American string-pulling behind the terrorist [attack] must also be exposed…"

ii) On November 30 a columnist named Hassan Hassan wrote an anti-Semitic column about the events in Mumbai for the Syrian paper Al-Thawra. It attacked the United States and Zionism which, he claimed, were responsible for global terrorism. Islam, according to the article, is a religion of peace, not violence, and religious extremism is common to all nations and not just Islam. The article also claimed that accusing Islam of responsibility for global violence and terrorism was "anti-Islamic aggression" and bore the fingerprints of Zionism. That proved that the international community, led by the United States , was not serious about dealing with the problem of terrorism, despite the claim that it was waging a war against it. The article ended by saying that "the problem of terrorism will remain as long as Zionism stirs things up behind the scenes, everywhere, with complete liberty, especially in view of the lack of international law and order, and the lack of balanced political standards, which have led to anarchy and the collapse of countries…"

Support for Terrorism in Talkbacks on Hamas and Al-Jazeera Internet Sites

3. Opinions opposing the official stance could be found on the Internet sites of Hamas and the Qatari Al-Jazeera TV, whose editors gave a forum to surfers wishing to identify with the terrorists in Mumbai. Talkbacks on those sites expressed support for the attacks and identification with the attackers and their goals, expressing hope that such acts of violence would be carried out against Israel and the United States .

4. Surfers on Hamas's PALDF Forum , which appears on the Palestine-info website (Hamas's main website), expressed support, their remarks shown next to pictures of those in killed in the attacks. The forum did not post any talkbacks criticizing the terrorist attacks . The following is a representative sampling (November 29):

i) "Abu Majed" wrote: "Our guys in India are great."

ii) "Abu al-Muhannad:" "If Allah so desires, we will see a similar attack in the [Zionist] entity very soon. "

Palestine-info website
Lower right, in small letters: "If Allah so desires, we will see
a similar attack in the [Zionist] entity very soon."

iii) "Ayash," [for Yehieh Ayash, the Hamas terrorist called "the engineer," who was responsible for many suicide bombing attacks and died in a targeted killing] who "greatly desires the maidens of paradise" [i.e., who desires to carry out a suicide bombing attack] wrote: "Oh, Allah, bestow a victory on jihad fighters [ mujahideen ] everywhere."

"Ayash – who greatly desires the maidens of paradise" (upper inscription, second row):
"Oh, Allah, bestow a victory on jihad fighters everywhere."

iv) "Spideman [sic]" attached a computer-generated picture of " Washington after an attack," with the caption "By Allah, this picture is nice to look at… With Allah's help, it will happen soon…"

Washington DC
Computer-generated "picture of the ruins of Washington DC " attached to a talkback,
with the caption "By Allah, this picture is nice to look at… With Allah's help,
it will happen soon…" (Hamas's PALDF Forum, November 29).

v) "Awamir bil-Intilaq" ("marching orders") wrote: "Allah, pave the way for the jihad fighters on your way everywhere."

vi) "Al-Hamsawi 11" wrote: "Allah, bestow a victory on our brothers in India ."

vii) "Funoun al-Shahadah" ("the art of dying a martyr's death for the sake of Allah") wrote: "Allah, sow terror and destruction in all the infidel countries. Best wishes to the heroic jihad fighters everywhere."

A talkback from
A talkback from "Funoun al-Shahadah" (second and third rows): "Allah, sow terror and
destruction in all the infidel countries. Best wishes to the heroic jihad fighters everywhere."

viii) "Aqsana" ("our Aqsa [mosque]") wrote: "Allah, bestow victory on the jihad fighters fighting for your sake, oh lord of the world; Allah, grant them a victory which will freeze our hearts, oh most merciful; Allah, do not leave a place for the infidels on your land, for they will divert from your work everywhere they are thrown and will give birth only to wantonness and heresy Allah, you promised victory to your servants fighting the jihad and breathing down the necks of your enemies, Allah you aim the weapons in their hands."

Aqsana (fourth row): "Allah, bestow victory on the jihad fighters
fighting for your sake, oh lord of the world…"

5. An op-ed article in Hamas's organ Felesteen ( December 2, 2008 ) accused Israel of responsibility for the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. Dr. Issam Shahwar, in his column "Free Zone," claimed that the captive in Indian custody 1 had said that the objective of the attack was to kill as many Israelis as possible in retaliation for the "barbaric crimes" Israel has committed against the Palestinians. Thus, he claimed, Israel bears responsibility for international terrorism and for the dangers faced by many countries around the world.

6. Qatar 's Al-Jazeera TV , the most popular channel in the Arab-Muslim world, gave extensive coverage to the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. However, in general, the attackers were not referred to as terrorists, but rather in neutral terms such as "armed men ( musallahim )," although the channel did not support the attacks.

7. On the other hand, Al-Jazeera's website did provide a forum for support of the attacks alongside its criticism of them. For example, in response to a posting titled "Seven Israelis killed and tension between India and Pakistan ," a talkbacker calling himself "Majdi" wrote that "Allah will give success to the resistance [i.e., terrorism] everywhere." There were also talkbacks condemning the terrorist attacks. Particularly conspicuous were the outpourings of joy in response to the Al-Jazeera notice that "a rabbi and his wife were among those killed in the Jewish center in Mumbai" (November 28). Some of the talkbacks were the following:

i) "Palestinian eagle" wrote: " The killing of a Jewish rabbi and his wife in the Jewish center in Mumbai is heartwarming news ."

ii) "Abdallah" wrote: "Allah, grant victory to Muslims. Allah, grant victory to jihad fighters everywhere."

iii) "Al-Sana'ni" wrote: "Allah is the greatest, thank you Allah. Victory to jihad fighters everywhere: aim their fire, break [their enemies] into little pieces, and accept them as shaheeds , amen."

iv) "Nabil Riyadh" wrote: " The Jews are the reason for all the world's problems , they created it [terrorism] and encourage it and support it with weapons and money. They [are the ones who] train terrorists everywhere."

v) "Doctor of Terrorism" wrote: "Terrorism is the Muslims' answer, while it is the modus operandi of the Jews, the West and their vassals among the non-Arab governments. India is a country which wages terrorism in a certain place in the world [apparently a reference to Kashmir], and according to Newton 's basic laws of physics, this was a natural reaction…"

8. The providing of a forum for talkbacks supporting and identifying with the attacks in Mumbai was not a random act by Hamas and Al-Jazeera TV. The propaganda spread by Hamas's media in the Palestinian Authority-administered territories often expresses identification with global jihad networks on various fronts ( Chechnya , for example), as part of its basic identification with radical Islam and jihad. As for Al-Jazeera, in the past it has often provided a forum for Al-Qaeda publications, including the propaganda campaign Osama bin Laden has been waging since September 2007. 2 Al-Jazeera TV thus supports Al-Qaeda and the global jihad in the battle for hearts and minds, and at the same time global jihad exposure increases the number of its viewers in the Arab and Muslim world.

1 He uses the word "survivor" and avoids calling him a "terrorist."

2 For further information see our September 21, 2008 Bulletin entitled " During the past year Osama Bin Laden, Al-Qaeda leader, waged an intensive media campaign after a long silence. "


Speech president Shimon Peres bij begrafenis Israelische slachtoffers Mumbai terreuraanval

Het zal zeker geen toeval zijn dat een Joods religieus centrum in Mumbai tot de doelwitten van de terroristen behoorde.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

President Peres at the Burial Ceremony for Victims of the Terror Attack at the Chabad House in Mumbai:
"The Whole World Must Answer Moishe, Who is Asking, 'Where is My Mother?'"

President Shimon Peres took part today in a burial ceremony that was held at Kfar Chabad alongside the Chief Rabbis of Israel and other prominent rabbis. President Peres gave a special eulogy in memory of the six victims of the murderous terror attack at the Chabad House in Mumbai.

The President's Remarks are Below:

For several days now, the whole world has had to answer the question of a small child, Moishe, who is asking, "Where is my mother?" We all need to be able to answer clearly why little Moishe's mother was murdered. The world will not know calm, and will not be able to be a world of quiet and peace, a world of believers, a world of decent people, until we can give a clear answer to Moishe's question.

I saw Rivky's face, I saw Rabbi Gavriel's face; modest people, glowing faces, who had nothing but nevertheless gave everything out of an uncommon generosity. They did not seek wealth or prestige, only the light of the Torah, which they brought forth to the ends of the earth as emissaries of the Jewish people to bring salvation and hope. They did not want to force anything on their fellow man and they did not ask for anything. This was the greatest mission for a believing person, a Jew.

I was privileged to see the Lubavitcher Rebbe and to meet with him and I know that the Rebbe would not let anybody despair, nor would he let anybody cast doubt; in this way, faith will triumph. But Moishe's question is still awaiting an answer. Throughout the world are scattered hotels, kindergartens, schools, and houses of prayer, and no state is immune to terror. The world is divided into two: places in which people are as cruel as animals, and places in which people know that they were created in the image of God. We need to tear out terror at the root without hesitation and without equivocation. I don't understand how it is possible to accept a state like Iran, which constitutes a nest and a hotbed for terror and which calls for the destruction of Israel, as a member of the international community and of the United Nations. If the whole world cannot stand up to one man with a strong, meaningful stance, and if the world will not fight with a war of boycotts against all places in which there is money that is financing terror, then the peace and quiet of the world will be in danger. Terror represents an epidemic that we must stop and we must eradicate.

We, the Jewish people, have known sadness and martyrdom. We never lost our humanity and we never supported murder. Terror is not just a problem for the Jewish people or for the State of Israel; it is a problem and a danger for the entire world. From this point must emanate a clear cry to stop the insanity, to stop the terror and to provide a clear answer to Moishe. The answer to Moishe needs to be given by the whole world, because if not, we will not be able to live in a world of peace and security. The world must answer why a wonderful woman like Rivky was killed, why a holy man like Gavriel was killed, and why Moishe is left an orphan.

We will not rest and we will not relax until an answer is found. With us today are the Ambassador of India and the Deputy Ambassador Of the United States to Israel. It is incumbent on us to remember today that together with those of the Jewish people who were killed, Indian citizens, American citizens, and citizens of many states throughout the world were also murdered. In the name of the Jewish people, we offer our condolences to all of the victims of the terror attack in Mumbai. Our hearts grieve over the murder of those innocent of any crime. We also seek to comfort the Indian families whose loved ones, in their attempts to save our loved ones, were killed during the terror acts. We are one people, we are one world. Nonetheless to the family - to the grandfather and grandmother, Moishe does not just bring a question; he also brings consolation, that he will grow up and will continue the important mission of Chabad, which travels to all corners of the world to save souls through the compassion of their emissaries. The whole nation weeps today, and together with Moishe all of our people ask his question: "where is my mother?"

President Peres also transmitted a special letter to the President of India, Mrs. Pratibha Patil, in which he expressed his sadness over the murderous terrorist attacks that took place in Mumbai and offered his condolences to the victims. He also thanked the Indian government for their rescue efforts during the attack and promised that Israel will stand beside India in the fight against terrorism.



Jerusalem, 1 December 2008

Dear Madam President,

I was deeply shocked and saddened by the murderous terrorist attack in Mumbai, which claimed the lives of so many innocent people, among them citizens of India, Israel, and many western countries.

Global terrorism is a major threat that must be combated without let-up. The terrorists are the fanatical enemies of peace and stability to which we aspire and the values that we hold dear. Therefore, it is essential that all of us unite in this vital battle for freedom and human dignity. You can be sure, Madam President, that Israel stands together with India in this crucially important fight to eradicate terrorism. Israel very much appreciates the heroic efforts of India's security forces, despite the adverse conditions and the casualties, to rescue the hostages and defeat the terrorists who carried out the atrocity in Mumbai.

Please allow me to extend to Your Excellency, on behalf of the people of Israel and myself, our heartfelt sympathy and, through you, our sincere condolences to the bereaved families and our wishes for a speedy recovery for the injured.

Please accept, Your Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.


Shimon Peres
Her Excellency
Mrs. Pratibha Patil
President of the Republic of India

IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis