zaterdag 13 december 2008

Bewijzen van Iraans kernwapen programma

Iran is wel degelijk een kernwapen aan het bouwen, en niet slechts uit op kernenergie voor vreedzame doeleinden. Het is jammer dat dit soort degelijke analyses zo zelden de Nederlandse kranten halen.

Evidence Iran is making a nuclear weapon

The statement below that Iran has no known space program is untrue. Iran announced a space program a while ago, perhaps as a cover. Here is a description for example. However the evidence regarding the implosion device, if it is as described, may be much more worrisome. Prima facie, it is most unlikely that Iran is NOT making a bomb, as there is no other rationale for investing such a large portion of the national income in acquisition of nuclear technology. The NIE report of 2007 did not discuss this aspect of the problem, but rather focused narrowly on evidence that Iran had stopped a particular project.
This doesn't sound very peaceful:
Then, in late 2007, IAEA investigators uncovered a detailed Iranian narrative, written in Farsi, that described how a Russian scientist helped the Iranians conduct experiments to help Iranian scientists solve a complex design problem: Configuring high-tension electric bridge wire to detonate at different points less than a fraction of a nanosecond apart. In an implosion-type bomb, this is crucial for properly compressing the nuclear core. As Olli Heinonen, the IAEA's chief inspector explained at a closed-door briefing in February 2008, these Russian-led experiments were "not consistent with any application other than the development of a nuclear weapon."
Ami Isseroff
Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A year has passed since the release of the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate on Iran. In a stunning departure from all the previous estimates dating back to 1997 under Presidents Clinton and Bush, it declared: "We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program."

It also judged, with modest confidence, that Iran had not resumed its quest for nuclear weapons. If correct, this new assessment meant that previous ones, such as the 2004 NIE that also judged with "high confidence" that Iran was expanding its nuclear weapons capabilities under the cover of a civilian energy program, were based on flawed intelligence.

But was this astonishing reversal correct?

The 2007 intelligence estimate proceeded from both a reorganization of the so-called intelligence community and a re-evaluation of information the CIA had gotten on a clandestine nuclear weapon design program code-named by Iran "Project 1-11." Even though Project 1-11 had been in operation since 1997, the CIA did not get wind of it until 2004, when it obtained a stolen Iranian laptop that had been smuggled into Turkey. The computer's hard drive contained thousands of pages of documents describing efforts to design a warhead that would fit in the nose cone of the Iranian Shahab 3 missile and detonate at an altitude of 600 meters (which is too high for any explosion but a nuclear one to be effective).

From the warhead's specifications, which included the kind of high-tension electric bridge wire used in implosion-type nuclear weapons, the CIA deduced that the payload was a nuclear bomb similar to Pakistan's early bomb. Its conclusion that Iran was going nuclear was repeated in all the NIEs through 2006.

By 2007, however, the CIA and reorganized intelligence community re-examined the issue and doubts began to emerge. It turned out that shortly after the stolen laptop compromised Project 1-11, satellite photographs showed that buildings involved in it had been bulldozed, and conversations intercepted by the U.S. indicated that the project was being dismantled. Then a high-level defector from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, General Ali-Reza Asgari, confirmed in his CIA debriefings that Project 1-11 had been terminated in 2003.

After a long review, and "scrubbing" the evidence for signs of deception, the CIA reached its new conclusion that Iran's 1-11 project really had ended by 2004. In the world of clandestine activities, it is hardly unexpected that a super-secret operation such as Project 1-11, once it was compromised, would be officially closed down, and the evidence seems convincing that it was shuttered.

The issue is why. One explanation is that Iran had abandoned its efforts to acquire nuclear weapons. Another is that Iran no longer needed Project 1-11 because Iran had solved the tricky problem of triggering a nuclear warhead through other means.

Three pieces of the puzzle uncovered by the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency cast a surprising light on how Iran has advanced its capabilities independently of Project 11-1. First, there is the digital blueprint circulated by the network of A.Q. Khan, the father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb. IAEA investigators decoding and analyzing the massive computer files of this network found that it had clandestinely provided clients with a detailed design of a nuclear warhead of the version used by first China then Pakistan.

Since the IAEA knew that Iran had been dealing with the Khan network since at least 2003, and features of that digital blueprint matched those described in the Project 11-1 documents, it was suspected that Iran acquired the digital blueprint, along with other components, from the Khan network. If so, it shortened the task of Project 1-11.

Then, in late 2007, IAEA investigators uncovered a detailed Iranian narrative, written in Farsi, that described how a Russian scientist helped the Iranians conduct experiments to help Iranian scientists solve a complex design problem: Configuring high-tension electric bridge wire to detonate at different points less than a fraction of a nanosecond apart. In an implosion-type bomb, this is crucial for properly compressing the nuclear core. As Olli Heinonen, the IAEA's chief inspector explained at a closed-door briefing in February 2008, these Russian-led experiments were "not consistent with any application other than the development of a nuclear weapon."

Finally, there is the Polonium 210 experiments that Iran conducted prior to 2004. Since Polonium 210 is used to initiate the chain reaction in early-generation nuclear bombs (and used in the Pakistan design), IAEA inspectors attempted up until 2008 to get access to the facility, or "box," in which the Polonium 210 was extracted from radioactive Bismuth.

Iran insisted that the Polonium 210 was only to be used for a civilian purpose - powering batteries on an Iranian spacecraft - and turned down these requests.

Iran had no known space program, but even if the extraction process was for civilian purposes, Iran's success with it meant that it could also produce Polonium 210 to trigger a nuclear bomb of the design furnished by the Khan network. So, even without further work by Project 1-11, it may have acquired all essential design elements for a nuclear weapon.

Design of course is only part of the equation. The other crucial part is obtaining a fissile fuel for the nuclear explosion, such as highly-enriched uranium.

In 1974, Pakistan, with the assistance of A.Q. Khan, had pioneered the path to nuclear proliferation by using centrifuges to enrich gasified uranium into weapon-grade uranium. In this process, the uranium cascades from one rapidly-spinning centrifuge to the next, each gradually increasing the proportion of the fissile isotope Uranium 235, until it becomes first low-enriched uranium for power plants, then, if continued, high-enriched uranium, for weapons. Iran built a similar facility in the massive underground caves at Natanz, able to house up to 50,000 centrifuges, which became operational in 2002.

Iran claimed this facility was intended for the production of low-enriched uranium for the Russian-built nuclear reactor at Bushehr to generate electric power (a facility Russia had agreed to fully supply as long as it operated). But the plant also could be used to produce weapons-grade uranium.

According to the IAEA, which monitors Natanz, by 2008 Iran had 3,800 centrifuges in operation and is adding another 3,000. It has also upgraded many of the older centrifuges, giving it about quadruple the capacity it had in 2003. To date, it has produced and stockpiled 1,380 pounds of low-enriched uranium, which is enough, if further enriched to weapons grade, to build a nuclear bomb.

The 2007 NIE deftly ducked this escalation with a footnote stating it was excluding from its assessment "Iran's declared civil work related to uranium conversion and enrichment," which meant Natanz. However, in light of all the developments in the past year, America's new president will have to confront the reality that Iran now has the capability to change the balance of power in the Gulf, if it so elects to do so, by building a nuclear weapon.


Edward Jay Epstein is an investigative writer and the author of 13 books, including "Deception: The Invisible War Between the KGB and CIA." He is currently writing a book on the 9/11 Commission.


Onder de nucleaire paraplu?

De VS bieden Israel een 'nucleaire paraplu' aan tegen een mogelijk kernwapen van Iran. Het is echter niet duidelijk welke prijs Israel daarvoor moet betalen, naast het niet zelf Iran aanvallen, en of dat betekent dat de VS zich erbij neerleggen dat Iran een kernwapen zal ontwikkelen. Ami Isseroff vreest het ergste. Bovendien, zo merkt hij op, is de term, afkomstig uit de koude oorlog, niet zozeer op Israel van toepassing als op Israels vijanden:
A nuclear umbrella can work two ways. Evidently, Ms Clinton also forgot the original meaning and use of the umbrella. The nuclear umbrella was first provided by the Americans for Western Europe. It was not a commitment to respond to nuclear war with nuclear war. Following World War II, the USSR had a huge military encampment in Eastern Europe. Thousands of tanks and dozens of soviet infantry divisions could roll over Europe with nothing to oppose them other than symbolic US forces. To discourage such ambitions, the United States adopted a policy whereby a Soviet attack would be met by an American nuclear strike. Iran can offer a similar nuclear umbrella. What if Hezbollah were to stage an armed takeover of a country, and Iran were to threaten nuclear retaliation against any country that tried to interfere? 
Een nucleair Iran is niet alleen een probleem voor Israel, maar minstens evenzeer voor de Arabische wereld, de EU en de VS zelf.

Vaker artikelen van Ami Isseroff (en anderen) ontvangen? Abonneer je op ZNN door een leeg mailtje te sturen naar: 

According to reports, the United States is about to offer Israel a nice nuclear umbrella. It is very pretty and colorful. It comes with a vinyl carrying case. The offer was first broached by Hillary Clinton in April 2008 in the Democratic primary campaign.

Well, thanks but no thanks, dear Uncle Sam. We are in an embarrassing position here. It is a bit like a Jew who gets a greeting card from a well meaning neighbor: "Happy Tisha B'av." (Fast day commemorating the destruction of the temples). Well meant perhaps, but not appropriate.

What can be bad about a nice pretty colored nuclear umbrella, you say? After all, NIE report to the contrary notwithstanding, it becomes more and more obvious each month that Iran is constructing nuclear weapons - lock stock and implosion mechanisms.

How could a nuclear umbrella be bad?

This umbrella is not exactly going to be a gift. Umbrellas are a bit expensive these days, especially nice new nuclear ones, and Uncle Sam is short of cash, so if America is giving one way, there must be a price tag. The down payment is an Israeli guarantee not to attack Iran in order to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons. Additional payments will include Israeli amenability to American requests not to annoy Iran too much by, for example, attacking Hamas in Gaza or Hezbollah in Lebanon. It is legitimate after all, if America is providing a nuclear umbrella, that it should also have a say in Israeli policy. For example, if Iran demands that Israel must hold democratic elections to determine the future of the state, with the participation of 6 or 8 million Palestinians, the EU and the United States might be especially predisposed to get Israel to accept such generous conditions, as an alternative to nuclear war.

Then there is the matter of getting Iran to believe that the US will really make good on its nuclear umbrella promise. The Mullahs of Iran can read history. They know that in 1956, the United States gave Israel a guarantee that they would enforce Israel's right to free navigation in international waters. At least, that is what Israel understood, and that is what everyone else understood. In 1967, this was put to the test, and the United States found every which way possible to wriggle out of its commitment, resulting in the Six Day War. That was when there was a real live Israel asking for help. The "help" was low risk - a superpower convoying some ships through the straits of Tiran. Who is going to believe that the United States will start a nuclear war in order to keep a promise that was made to a state of Israel that has been destroyed by Iranian nuclear weapons? It is conceivable that the US would ignore Arab and Muslim pressure and "teach Iran a lesson" if Iran starts a nuclear war against Israel. But even that possibility would diminish greatly when Iran has intercontinental ballistic missiles that can target Europe or satellite launched devices that could hit anywhere in the world.

It is not, in any case, likely that Iran would directly target Israel, because Israel is the home of over a million Muslims, as well as the site of the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. Too much odium would attach itself to Iran. However, Iranian nuclear technology can and would be used in other ways. For example,what if, by coincidence, the Hezbollah group were to somehow (we cannot imagine how, can we?) get hold of a bomb put it in a ship in New York harbor and insist that Israel must do X, Y and Z?

A nuclear umbrella can work two ways. Evidently, Ms Clinton also forgot the original meaning and use of the umbrella. The nuclear umbrella was first provided by the Americans for Western Europe. It was not a commitment to respond to nuclear war with nuclear war. Following World War II, the USSR had a huge military encampment in Eastern Europe. Thousands of tanks and dozens of soviet infantry divisions could roll over Europe with nothing to oppose them other than symbolic US forces. To discourage such ambitions, the United States adopted a policy whereby a Soviet attack would be met by an American nuclear strike. Iran can offer a similar nuclear umbrella. What if Hezbollah were to stage an armed takeover of a country, and Iran were to threaten nuclear retaliation against any country that tried to interfere?

A nuclear Iran will pose threats far more complex than those in fact, because it will displace the United States as the first power in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East. That is the real threat that American policy must meet. A nuclear umbrella for the entire Middle East might be a part of that policy, but it would not be sufficient in itself. A nuclear Iran would create a mini-cold war, or worse in the Middle East. It is best for everyone if this nightmare can be avoided entirely.

The nuclear umbrella is something between a useful gesture and a gimmick. If it is offered as a partial solution to the problem of Iran, it is premature, because Iran does not have nuclear weapons yet. If it is offered in place of a serious effort to prevent the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran, it is an ominous sign that the Obama administration doesn't understand the geopolitical implications of Iranian nuclear weapons.

Ami Isseroff


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vrijdag 12 december 2008

Uitbreiden betrekkingen Israël en EU, maar steun aan NGO's blijft wringen

Tot het uitbreiden van de betrekkingen tussen de Europese Unie en Israel was eigenlijk al een half jaar geleden besloten, zoals uit onderstaand artikel blijkt.
Een objectieve beschouwing biedt deze editorial overigens niet:
"On the bright side, the EU has not provided any financial support to Peace Now for several years."
Het kan een principe-standpunt zijn dat het ongewenst is dat buitenlandse regeringen en instellingen geld geven aan organisaties die het politieke beleid van een land proberen te beinvloeden. Daar valt natuurlijk wel iets voor te zeggen. Feit is dat de EU en Westerse regeringen en NGO's veel groepen subsidiëren die een onomwonden anti-Israël campagne voeren. Ik zag graag al dat geld naar Peace Now gaan, dat tenminste de legitimiteit van de Joodse staat erkent (al zouden ze dat meer kunnen uitdragen). Zou dat juist de reden zijn dat ze geen Europees geld meer krijgen?
Wat enigszins onduidelijk is voor de leek zoals ik, is de relatie tussen het besluit van de EU ministers van buitenlandse zaken om de relaties met Israel uit te breiden, en het besluit van het Europees Parlement een paar dagen eerder om een besluit daarover uit te stellen. Moet het Europarlement het besluit van de ministers nog ratificeren, of zijn ze gewoon 'overruled'? Op de EU website vind ik niets over dit toch belangrijke besluit, wel dat op 9 december een luchtvaartovereenkomst tussen Israel en de EU is getekend. Onder juni vind ik ook niets over onderstaande aankondiging. In juli werd wel weer een overeenkomst getekend over samenwerking op onderwijsgebied.


Israel's EU upgrade
Jun. 18, 2008
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and EU foreign ministers ushered in a new era in Israeli-European relations this week at a meeting in Luxembourg. After a year of intensive negotiations, led on the Israeli side by Yossi Gal, Rafi Barak and Ran Curiel, the EU-Israel Association Council announced an upgrade in the relations between Israel and the EU.
This entails increased diplomatic cooperation; Israel's participation in European agencies and environmental, educational, agricultural, banking and space programs; and an examination of possible Israeli integration into the European single market.
The move encountered stiff resistance from the usual quarters. The Arab League tried to torpedo it. Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayad sent a letter to the leaders of the EU countries urging them not to upgrade ties unless Israel halts settlement expansion and construction of the security barrier. Hamas rebuked the 27-nation bloc for its decision, which it said showed that Europe was "still in the clutches of the US."
A coalition of humanitarian organizations, meanwhile, expressed their intense disappointment that the EU failed to make the upgrade contingent on ending Israel's "abuses" of Palestinian human rights. Adam Leach, regional manager for Oxfam International, said: "As Israel's pre-eminent trade partner, the EU must use the upcoming upgrade negotiations process to ensure Israel ends the ever-worsening Gaza blockade, lifts movement restrictions and halts settlement expansion... including East Jerusalem."
The International Solidarity Movement said, "In light of Israel's systematic breach of European Union, international, and human rights obligations, agreements and laws, the EU's possible upgrade of its relationship with Israel can only be viewed as a reward to unlawful behavior."
THE EU'S move - and the deepening ties it heralds - is a welcome one for several reasons.
First, at an auspicious time, it braces and reinforces a growing friendship. Israel has started to enjoy stronger ties with France under Nicolas Sarkozy, Britain under Gordon Brown, Germany under Angela Merkel, and Italy under Silvio Berlusconi. And speaking in Berlin on Tuesday, Czech Republic Deputy Premier Alexander Vondra said that his country intends to use its term as president of the Council of the European Union to improve relations with Israel.
The announcement is welcome, too, in light of the fact that the EU remains the financial backer of the PA and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.
The EU's engagement with the region, after all, has not always been judicious. It has a history of allocating millions of Euros to NGOs based in the PA and Israel, some of which pursue partisan activities that have a less than benign influence on the conflict.
As documented in a report recently published by NGO Monitor, the Israel Committee Against House Demolitions, for instance, received in 2005 a two-year grant of 473,000 euros though one of its senior staffers is reported to have called for divestment from Israel. Adalah received 513,684 euros from the EU coffers that year, though it cannot bring itself to embrace the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state. On the bright side, the EU has not provided any financial support to Peace Now for several years.
THE UPGRADE is also welcome for the economic fruits it promises to bring to an already robust partnership. In 1995 the EU and Israel signed the Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreement (it took force in 2000), which provides for reciprocal tariff-free exports in industrial goods, and reciprocal tariff concessions in agricultural goods (with the exception of products originating in "the Israeli settlements in the West-Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights"). In terms of total trade, which in 2006 amounted to more than 23.5 billion euros, the EU is Israel's major partner. The potential for further trade, beneficial to both sides, is only beginning to be tapped.
But the upgrade of relations perhaps takes on its deepest significance in light of the EU's role as a Quartet member, and the increased leverage with which Israel can now encourage the Europeans to take a firm stand against Hamas and Iran, while coaxing Palestinian relative moderates to temper their demands so as to increase chances of a bargaining breakthrough. For all these reasons, the EU announcement, and the far-reaching effects it betokens, represent a step in the right direction.

Voorzitter Algemene Vergadering VN probeerde Israel spreekrecht te ontnemen

Dit is precies het kinderachtige gedrag dat al decennia de sfeer bij de VN verziekt, volkomen tegengesteld is aan de doelstellingen van de VN en de vrede in het Midden-Oosten geen stap dichterbij brengt. Israel heeft al minder rechten dan andere landen om in VN lichamen deel te nemen of voor te zitten, omdat de islamitische en niet geaffilieerde staten dat blokkeren, maar wanneer Israel dan wel iets mag voorzitten of namens het regionale blok waar het deel van uitmaakt mag spreken wordt dat op alle mogelijke manieren gedwarsboomd. Bah. Geen wonder dat Israel de VN niet als objectief orgaan of neutrale bemiddelaar beschouwt.

UN General Assembly chief tries to block Israeli envoy's address
By Shlomo Shamir, Haaretz Correspondent
Last update - 19:16 10/12/2008

The President of the United Nations General Assembly tried to prevent Israel's ambassador, Professor Gabriela Shalev, from speaking at a special commemorative plenary session marking 60 years since the UN adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, scheduled for Wednesday.

The General Assembly President, Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, tried to cancel speeches that were to be given by representatives of the unofficial regional group known as "Western European and others," after he learned that Israel's ambassador was to represent the group as its rotating chairman.

However, European representatives rejected the motion to cancel the meeting, and voiced outrage at his attempt to prevent the address.

In response, Brockmann announced that he would add a representative of the Arab bloc and a representative of unaffiliated nations, two blocs known to be hostile toward Israel, to the list of speakers at the session.

The event is expected to turn into a political debate in light of these changes.

Antisemitisme in Britse kerstviering

Het is niet de eerste keer dat de kerk in Engeland haar boekje te buiten gaat....
Joden respecteren en hun land niet constant demoniseren blijkt lastig voor sommige mensen.

Last update - 00:36 11/12/2008       
Report: Israeli envoy to U.K. accuses church service of being anti-Semitic
By Haaretz Service
Ron Prosor, Israel's Ambassador in Britain lashed out against the Church of England on Wednesday for having approved an anti-Israel carol that was sung as part of a service, according to the Times of London.
The carol was part of an "alternative" event called 'Bethlehem Now: Nine Alternative Lessons and Carols' that took place at the end of November in the Wren church of St James's in Central London, and was organized by anti-Israel campaigners, including one liberal Jewish group.
The carol Twelve Days of Christmas was sung as: "Twelve assassinations/Eleven homes demolished/Ten wells obstructed/Nine sniper towers/Eight gunships firing/Seven checkpoints blocking/Six tanks a-rolling/Five settlement rings. Four falling bombs/Three trench guns/Two trampled doves/And an uprooted olive tree."
"It was appalling to see a church allow one of its most endearing seasonal traditions to be hijacked by hatred," Prosor told the Times, accusing the Church of having failed to condemn such a carol which provokes anti-Semitism and disregards years of efforts to bridge gaps between the two religions.
"Unfortunately, the criticism from within the Church of England, that should have echoed with bold moral clarity, has instead sounded like a silent night, but far from holy," he said.
Referring to the carol service, Prosor said: "Such actions strengthen an anti-Israeli agenda, trivialize the political issues and nourish an anti-Semitic culture. This is not because it is wrong to criticize Israeli policy but because such campaigns single out Israel alone for particular opprobrium and censure it above regimes elsewhere in the world which are genocidal in intent and oppressive to the extreme."
The repercussions of the event are already affecting interfaith relations and is threatening to spur disputes within the diplomatic row.
One of the few Christian leaders to denounce the event was former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey of Clifton, who said that anti-Semitism and hostility to Jews still lurks beneath the surface in Christian circles in Britain.
"For 2000 years, the Jewish people suffered persecution because of the accusation of responsibility for the death of Jesus Christ. The carol service deliberately attempted to make a linkage between this notion of deicide and Israel's relations with the Palestinians. It thus perpetuated an anti-Semitic canard that has no place in modern Britain," Prosor added

Mensenrechtenschenders in VN Mensenrechtenraad leiden aandacht af naar Israël

Als het niet zo triest was, was dit weer een mooie hilarische sketch opgevoerd door de 47 leden van de VN Mensenrechtenraad. In George Orwells 1984 heette het ministerie van Oorlog het ministerie van Liefde, en het ministerie dat de mensen zorgvuldig brainwashte het ministerie van Waarheid. Taal kan de werkelijkheid niet alleen verdoezelen, maar ook vervormen, het bepaalt hoe we naar iets kijken en daarmee ook onze gedachten. 'Mensenrechtenraad' klinkt naar een raad die zich inzet voor de mensenrechten, terwijl zij schendingen daarvan juist als geen ander witwast en in stand houdt. Een betere naam zou allicht zijn 'mensenrechtenschendersraad', of 'raad van dictators'. Met het verdedigen van de mensenrechten heeft deze raad helemaal niets te maken.

Last update - 09:35 11/12/2008       
60 years on, Israel-bashing diminishes message of UN human rights council
Even the chairman of the session could not keep silent. The Nigerian Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva called on participants to treat each other respectfully. His request was a direct response to the speech by the Iranian ambassador who, as is the custom of his government, called Israel "the Zionist entity," and not by its official name. The chairman's words were also meant to protest the fiery, if expected, speeches of the envoys from the Arab and Muslim countries who attacked Israel one after the other. The most prominent was the Yemeni ambassador, who called Israel's actions against the Palestinians the greatest atrocities in human history. No less.
He had not heard about the Armenian genocide at the hands of the Turks, the Holocaust of the Jews, and the genocide in Rwanda, the horrors of the Balkan wars. He did not remember that 40 years ago, his own country had been attacked with chemical weapons by the Egyptian army.
The occasion, last Thursday, was a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council. The discussion was being held close to the date the world will mark the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Out of the declaration grew a number of bureaucratic bodies to deal with this important issue, among them the Human Rights Commission and the Human Rights Council, established at the beginning of 2006. One of its most important instruments is the Universal Periodic Review: an accounting by each UN member of the status of human rights in its country: the attitude to ethnic minorities, religions, women, the gay community, freedom of the press, etc. Other countries respond and make suggestions for improvement.
Some in Israel thought that the issue of the territories should not be part of the review, since the matter comes up so often in other UN bodies, and that the focus should be on Israel within the Green Line.
However, it was eventually decided that it would be improper not to mention the situation in the territories. Israel's representatives, headed by the ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Aharon Leshno-Ya'ar, told the council that Israel was living with terror and therefore some human rights are not absolute. Israel's representatives also said that the separation wall had proven itself efficient in preventing suicide bombers.
They noted the large number of human rights groups operating in Israel; governmental, judicial, and non-governmental. Israel's representatives acknowledged there was room for improvement and pledged to seriously discuss the council's recommendations The democratic countries praised Israel's report, although they expressed reservations about certain issues, such as the situation of the Negev Bedouin. However, the blood of the Arabs and the Muslims was boiling. Their central recommendation was that Israel put an end to the "racist" occupation, as the Syrian representative expressed it.
"The Human Rights Council is a political body," Leshno-Ya'ar told Haaretz. "We would like to learn from the experience of others in this issue, but we do not need the review process to remind us of the history in the territories. The recommendations of the Arab countries are political, and not only do they not advance the cause of human rights, they even do it harm."
The Human Rights Council consists of 47 members, with an automatic majority of third-world countries, led by Pakistan, Algeria, Egypt and Cuba. The council appears to be making almost obsessive efforts to denounce homosexuality and stop texts that are critical of religions. The Western countries see these steps as attempts to deflect criticism from the serious human-rights situation in the other countries. The United States has decided not to continue its membership in the council.

Vrede met Egypte sluit hand geven uit

Advertenties in Israelische kranten voor het Arabische vredesplan beloven de Israeli's net zulke goede contacten met alle Arabische staten als Israel nu heeft met Egypte. Wel, dat is misschien niet zo'n goeie reclame.
Sinds een Egyptische sheik twee weken geleden de hand schudde van Shimon Peres, is het land in rep en roer. Hoe kon hij de hand schudden van een oorlogsmisdadiger, zo vragen columnisten, politici, intellectuelen en anderen zich af. Sommigen eisen een officiëel excuus:
It is amazing and disappointing to discover that no top officials in Cairo are willing to back the sheikh. Nobody at the President's Office, at the Foreign Ministry, or at the Ministry of Religion has spoken out against the venomous backlash, which may force the "criminal" to avoid appearances at crowded locations for fear that some hot-headed characters will attempt to hurt him.


The late author and Nobel Prize laureate Naguib Mahfouz was gravely wounded in a stabbing attack because of his open support for peace. Actor Amr Waked faced a disciplinary hearing at the Actors' Association because of a joint appearance with Israeli colleagues. Playwright Ali Salem was ousted from the Writers' Association and became unemployed immediately after returning from a visit to Israel. Journalists in Cairo do not dare interview Israeli politicians, for fear of losing desirable posts.
Er is geen echte vrede tussen Israel en Egypte, maar eerder een langdurig en internationaal verankerd staakt-het-vuren.
Een en ander zal het enthousiasme bij de Israeli's voor het Arabische vredesplan niet doen toenemen.

One innocent handshake

Harsh Arab reaction to handshake between Egyptian cleric, President Peres says it all,7340,L-3636100,00.html

Smadar Peri

Published:  12.10.08, 02:21 / Israel Opinion


There are two ways to shake hands in the Arab world. In the regular way, you quickly rub palms while shaking hands, yet in the warmer way, you place both your palms on the hand you are shaking and hold them there for a long moment. The warm way is meant to symbolize intimate friendship and positive intentions, as well as close familiarity.


This is the mistake (his enemies refer to it as "crime") made by Sheikh Al-Azhar from Egypt, Dr. Mohammed Tantawi, who was photographed at the United Nations building in New York smiling at President Shimon Peres and covering his outstretched hand warmly.


When he was hit with the first barrage of responses, the head of the most important religious law institution and Egypt's largest religious university attempted to defend himself by claiming he "didn't know."


"A person came towards me with an outstretched hand, what could I do?" Tantawi tried to justify himself. Yet it is difficult to believe that the senior religious cleric from Cairo failed to recognize Israel's president, who was surrounded by an entourage of bodyguards and aides. It is easier to assume that Tantawi never imaged what would happen to him a moment after the photo was published.


Two parliament members are now calling for the sheikh's dismissal, intellectuals are calling to put him on trial for treason, while others demand that he clarify his "despicable" behavior and issue a letter of apology for his "crime." How could it be that the supreme religious authority in the eyes of tens of millions of people shook the hand of "Peres the murderer?"


Television channels in the Arab world, and mostly in Egypt, are not giving him a moment's rest. Columnists are slamming him for his "ugly blow" and for undermining al-Azhar's authority. Some are shamelessly threatening that he will no longer be able to issue religious edicts or advise followers how to conduct themselves in the spirit of Islam, in the wake of the disgrace.


Stay away from 'Zionist enemy'

Tantawi, who was already facing a "conditional sentence" after his previous controversial handshake with former Chief Rabbi Yisrael Lau, did not remain silent. How could it be, he hit back at his attackers, that you are all over me for two weeks now, when my country signed a peace deal and normalized relations with Israel 30 years ago?


It is amazing and disappointing to discover that no top officials in Cairo are willing to back the sheikh. Nobody at the President's Office, at the Foreign Ministry, or at the Ministry of Religion has spoken out against the venomous backlash, which may force the "criminal" to avoid appearances at crowded locations for fear that some hot-headed characters will attempt to hurt him.


The late author and Nobel Prize laureate Naguib Mahfouz was gravely wounded in a stabbing attack because of his open support for peace. Actor Amr Waked faced a disciplinary hearing at the Actors' Association because of a joint appearance with Israeli colleagues. Playwright Ali Salem was ousted from the Writers' Association and became unemployed immediately after returning from a visit to Israel. Journalists in Cairo do not dare interview Israeli politicians, for fear of losing desirable posts.


And now we see the raging onslaught against Sheikh Al-Azhar that is meant to deter anyone who wishes to display even a trace of normalcy vis-à-vis the "Zionist enemy."


Attractive advertisements published in Israeli newspapers recently informed us that adopting the Saudi initiate would bring full peace and normal relations with 57 Muslim countries. Those who funded the ads promise comprehensive peace in line with the spirit of the Egyptian model. They say that once we withdraw from the occupied territories, splendid peace will envelope us.


Yet look at what happens after one innocent handshake.



PA beweert dat de VN in 1947 de Arabieren geen staat aanbood

Een goed voorbeeld van geschiedvervalsing door de Palestijnen. De Palestijnse onderminister van buitenlandse zaken verkondigt op PA TV dat de VN in 1947 slechts één staat creëerde, namelijk Israël, terwijl men niet toestond dat ook een Palestijnse staat werd gecreëerd.

Dec. 11, 2008 Palestinian Media Watch

PA historical distortion: UN did not offer Arabs a state in 1947
By Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook
Palestinian Media Watch:
p:+972 2 625 4140 e:
f: +972 2 624 2803 w:

Since its establishment, the Palestinian Authority has been rewriting history in an attempt to create historical legitimacy for its demand for statehood, as well as justification for the terror and wars against Israel since before Israel's establishment in 1948.

The latest example of historical revisionism is the rewriting of the UN Partition Plan of 1947, which recommended the division of the Land of Israel/Palestine into two states: one Jewish and one Arab.

The false Palestinian version of the Partition Plan was expressed on PA TV by Dr. Ahmad Subh, Deputy Minister in the PA Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who accused the UN of permitting in 1947 the establishment of only one state, Israel, and not of an Arab state.

The following are the words of Dr. Subh:

"The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on Nov. 29 was not picked coincidentally, that's the anniversary of the [1947 UN] Partition Plan...
In 1977, the UN General Assembly decided to restore the Palestinian people's esteem, following the historic injustice which happened in 1947, when 'a birth certificate' was offered to one state instead of to two states.

One state [Israel] was permitted to be established, while the Palestinian state was not permitted to be established."

PATV (Fatah), Nov. 29, 2008

Click here to view PA rewriting of 1947 UN decision

Moeten Israëlische Arabieren volgens Livni straks naar Palestina verhuizen?

Haaretz creëert met een tendentieuze kop de impressie dat Livni meent dat er voor de Arabieren eigenlijk geen plaats is in Israel. Volgens de Jerusalem Post had ze gezegd:
"My solution for maintaining a Jewish and democratic state of Israel is to have two nation-states with certain concessions and with clear red lines," Livni said. "And among other things, I will also be able to approach the Palestinian residents of Israel, those whom we call Israeli Arabs, and tell them, 'your national solution lies elsewhere.'"
"You are citizens with equal rights, but you are citizens with equal rights in a state that is the national home of the Jewish people," Livni emphasized.
Die laatste zin wordt hieronder ook weergegeven.
Wat ze waarschijnlijk bedoelt is, dat wanneer de Arabieren in Israel autonomie eisen of zelfs een soort binationale staat, zaken die door het Arabisch-Israelische leiderschap al naar voren zijn gebracht, ze maar naar een Palestijnse staat moeten gaan. Ze hebben in Israel gelijke politieke en burgerrechten, en dat moet zo blijven, maar krijgen niet als nationale etnische groep een gelijkwaardige positie als de Joden. Israel is een Joodse staat in de betekenis dat de Joden als volk hier zelfbeschikking hebben. Daar zullen Arabieren in Israel zich bij neer moeten leggen.
De volgende zin bevestigt deze lezing:
"At the time, Livni added that the national demands of Israeli Arabs should end the moment a Palestinian state is established.
Je kunt er vergif op innemen dat Livni's citaat en vooral de kop van Haaretz gretig door antizionisten zal worden gebruikt om aan te tonen hoe racistisch Israel wel niet is.
Ook Nederlandse en andere kranten zullen de kop van Haaretz wwaarschijnlijk overnemen.
Last update - 15:46 11/12/2008       
Livni: Israeli Arabs should move to Palestine once state created
By Haaretz Service and News Agencies
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said Thursday that the creation of a Palestinian state would serve as a solution to Israeli Arabs' national problem.
"When the Palestinian state is created, I will be able to go to Palestinians citizens - who we call Israeli Arabs - and say to them: You are residents with equal rights, but your national solution is in another place," Livni was quoted by Army Radio as saying to students at a Tel Aviv high school.
"The principle is the creation of two states for two peoples," she added. "This is my path to a democratic state."
When asked by a students why Israel continues to endanger itself in the face of Hamas when the Islamist group refuses to release captured soldier Gilad Shalit, Livni said: "If people think I can just go and release Gilad Shalit or that the government can, but just doesn't want to, it's not true."
"The government must be responsible for the soldiers it sends out. We all want to avoid fatalities but part of what it means to fight is that we have no other choice. We can't also bring everyone home," she said.
Last month, Livni infuriated Israeli Arab lawmakers when she said: It must be clear to everyone that the State of Israel is a national homeland for the Jewish people."
At the time, Livni added that the national demands of Israeli Arabs should end the moment a Palestinian state is established.
In response to Livni's comments, Culture, Sports and Science Minister Ghaleb Majadele said, "The roots of the Israeli Arab citizens of Israel were planted before the state was established. They are residents of this country with rights; their residency and citizenship are not open for negotiation."
"Anyone who raises the idea of transferring the Arab population in Israel to the territories of the state of Palestine is anti-democractic," the Israeli Arab minister added.

donderdag 11 december 2008

Christelijke Palestijnen onder druk in Gaza strook

Een van de zaken die veel te weinig aandacht krijgt, is de kwetsbare positie van christelijke Arabieren in Gaza en op de Westoever. Palestijnse christenen bevestigen vaak officieel het standpunt van de Palestijnse leiders, namelijk dat ze worden gerespecteerd door de moslim meerderheid en dat hun problemen allemaal door de bezetting worden veroorzaakt. Ondertussen hebben ze wel degelijk met discriminatie, onteigening en soms ook geweld te maken.

The Jerusalem Post
Dec 11, 2008 19:57 | Updated Dec 11, 2008 20:40
Analysis: Cruelty and silence in Gaza

Unremarked upon by the Western media, a systematic campaign of persecution is taking place in the Gaza Strip, and to a lesser extent in the West Bank. The general silence surrounding this campaign aids its perpetrators. The victims are Palestinian Christians, in particular the small Christian community of Gaza.

The perpetrators are a variety of Islamist groups, all of which are manifestations of a process of growing Islamic militancy and piety taking place across the region.

The Christian population of the Gaza Strip is small - 2,000-3,000 people. Gazan politics has long been characterized by a conservative, Islamic bent. Gaza's Christians as a result have tended toward political invisibility.

Since the Hamas coup of July 2007, this position has become increasingly untenable. Islamist organizations, empowered by the indifference of the authorities, have begun to target Christian institutions and individuals in Gaza with increasing impunity. Intimidation, assault and the threat of kidnapping are now part of daily reality for Christians.

The trend became noticeable with a series of attacks on the Palestinian Bible Society's "Teacher's Bookshop" in Gaza City last year. The shop was the subject of a bomb attack in April 2007. Its owner, Rami Khader Ayyad, was abducted in broad daylight, and found dead on October 7, 2007.

Over the following year, a series of bomb attacks on Christian institutions in Gaza took place. Particular attention was paid to places of education. The Rahabat al-Wardia school run by nuns in the Tel al-Hawa neighborhood of Gaza City, and the American International School in Beit Lahiya were both bombed, most recently in May 2008. The Zahwa Rosary Sisters School and the El-Manara school, both in Gaza City, were also attacked this summer. The YMCA Library was bombed, as was the Commonwealth War Cemetery.

Most of these attacks took place at night, and hence casualties were avoided. In a number of cases guards were the victims of violence.

Who is carrying out these attacks? The perpetrators are thought to be Salafi Islamist groups like Jaish al-Islam, Jaish al-Uma and similar organizations. The larger Popular Resistance Committees terror group has also stated that the Christian presence in Gaza should be eradicated, since it exposes Gazans to a pro-Western, anti-Islamic influence.

Where are the Hamas authorities in all this?

Hamas is officially committed to tolerance toward the Christian community, and spokesmen for the authorities have criticized the attacks. In practice, however, only superficial investigations have taken place, and arrests are rare. In the few cases where arrests have been made, the suspects were not charged and were quickly released. This was the case, for example, with two members of the Jaish al-Islam who were suspected of involvement in the YMCA bombing.

The persecution of Christians is not emerging from a small Islamist fringe. Rather, it is part of a larger process of Islamization taking place in Palestinian society. The rise of Hamas is part of this.

But the cadres of the divided Fatah movement are not immune. The Popular Resistance Committees group, for example, noted above for its anti-Christian stance, was founded by ex-Fatah officers who sought an organization reflecting their religious zeal.

The situation in the West Bank is different, reflecting the larger Christian population and the greater strength of secular forces. Yet here, too, anti-Christian trends are serving to embitter lives.

A recent article in the Palestinian Al-Ayyam newspaper drew attention to the long-simmering issue of "compulsory purchase" of land owned by Christians. This trend has been particularly noticeable in the Bethlehem, Ramallah and al-Bireh areas. Individuals with close links to the Palestinian Authority security forces, or to powerful clans, have adopted a variety of means to lay their hands on Christian-owned land. These have included false registration documents, squatters, and the involvement of senior PA security officers.

The Al-Ayyam columnist who raised this issue, Abd al-Nasser al-Najjar, lamented that no "constructive action" by the authorities to protect the Christians has taken place. Najjar listed the PA authorities, the Palestinian political factions, and the myriad of NGOs present in the West Bank among the bodies who might have been expected to take an interest in this situation, and who have not done so.

The official bodies of Palestinian nationalism continue to claim that the Palestinians are a single nation, with harmony between Christians and Muslims. The official leadership of Palestinian Arab Christianity repeats this claim.

Meanwhile, on the ground, Palestinian Christians are fearful, and are voting with their feet. Bethlehem, for example, has seen its Christian population decline from a 60 percent majority in 1990 to under 20% of the population today. The small and harassed Christian community of Gaza may simply cease to exist in the near future.

These events reflect broader regional processes. Their failure to become known is also part of a larger trend. The foreign media, NGOs on the ground and some Western political leaderships prefer to foster a version of events in the West Bank and Gaza based on illusion and willful ignorance of the evidence. The slow death of an ancient community is one of the fruits of this.

The writer is a senior researcher at the Global Research in International Affairs Center, IDC, Herzliya.

Drie godsdiensten werken samen in Israel

He he, eindelijk weer eens goed nieuws!
"Before I went I had a completely different idea of what I was going to see," he tells ISRAEL21c. "I saw a hospital where the doctors, nurses and staff were Jews or Palestinians yet all worked together and there was no discrimination against any patients."


Pious Christians and Jews make regular pilgrimages to Israel, despite the safety concerns, which often fade away soon after arrival. They visit the churches and synagogues, the Western Wall and famous sites like Masada at the Dead Sea and Copernicus on the Sea of Galilee. But what's been stopping America's Muslim population from visiting Israel's holy sites, which they share with the other two monotheistic religions?

When the UK-based Three Faiths Forum put out a call that they would be arranging a six-day tour for Christians, Muslims and Jews to Israel, the response from the Muslim community was overwhelming. Of the 26 participants, 23 were Muslims, two were Christian and one was a Jew. It was the first trip to Israel and the Palestinian Authority organized by a predominantly Muslim group from the UK.

Rabbi David Hulbert of Bet Tikvah Synagogue in East London, and an organizer of the trip, said in retrospect the answer as to why Muslims don't visit Israel was obvious. British Jews are a little different from American ones, he says, in that if they have an interest in Israel, they've already made the trip. That's due to the proximity of Israel to England -- close enough that a good deal of Christian pilgrims makes the voyage on a regular basis as well.

For the Muslims however, despite Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque being a holy site in their religion, most don't feel they are welcome. "Al-Aqsa mosque is the third holy place after Mecca and Medina. They wanted to go with their own eyes and never had the 'permission'," says Hulbert, explaining that not having permission, although not official, is something that the Muslims feel. "There are no Muslim tours," he tells ISRAEL21c, and the press coverage out of Israel might make them think they would face "racism and discrimination."

A pledge to support Israel

In Israel, the group's actual experience counteracted any propaganda they had read about Israel. Imam Dr. Mohammed Fahim of the South Woodford Community Center in South Woodford, said he felt proud to be the first British Imam to visit Israel, and that he pledged to raise funds for a multi-faith hospital he visited during the short trip: Poria Hospital outside of Tiberius.

"Before I went I had a completely different idea of what I was going to see," he tells ISRAEL21c. "I saw a hospital where the doctors, nurses and staff were Jews or Palestinians yet all worked together and there was no discrimination against any patients."

The visit to the hospital in particular, was inspiring he says. "We saw how people are living together. There might be problems among a minority of people, but it is largely peaceful... We were treated with dignity and respect wherever we went. It's a beautiful country and I would like to go again, hopefully with many more people from our center."

Free and secure

Rabbi Hulbert agrees that one of the highlights of the trip was the hospital, which is "blind to ethnic priority." Dr. Fahim wandered around the maternity ward, and having been born in Egypt was able to chat with the local people in Arabic. "They were fascinated by seeing Muslims from London," says Hulbert who is looking into ways of expanding the trip.

"I was impressed by the lack of any obvious security in the Old City," he says. "People could go where they want to." One example was the 4am morning prayers where the British Muslims got to join their brethren in Jerusalem, among a sea of people. They got to see that "Israel was a free country and people's religious rights are preserved," says Hulbert, explaining that the trip came about because members of the Forum expressed an interest in visiting Israel.

"It was wonderful to see the country through their eyes. The trip went smoothly," concludes Hulbert.


De Palestijnen - En Darfur dan?

Israel bashers worden altijd erg boos als je ze wijst op al die andere conflicten waar, in tegenstelling tot Israel/Palestina, wel etnische zuiveringen plaatsvinden en mensen volkomen rechteloos zijn en meedogenloze alleenheersers of corrupte regeringen het internationale recht aan hun laars lappen. Kortom, conflicten of regio's waar er wel sprake is van een goede en een slechte partij, van dader en slachtoffer.
Natuurlijk, niet iedereen kan zich met alles bezig houden, maar die mensen die zozeer uit lijken op het veroordelen van een slechterik kunnen hun hart ophalen bij Darfur, Zimbabwe, Congo, Tibet etc. etc. Ook daar ligt de situatie soms ingewikkelder dan de leek op het eerste gezicht denkt, maar slachtoffer en dader zijn er duidelijker te onderscheiden, het onrecht is grover en de daders meedogenlozer.

Overigens wordt Afrika door zowel links als rechts minder interessant gevonden dan onderwerpen of conflicten waar ook het Westen of Israel bij is betrokken. Je kunt je dus net zo hard afvragen wat de andere politieke partijen voor Darfur hebben gedaan (de schrijver vraagt zich dit alleen af bij de linkse partijen).
En Darfur dan?


Het wemelt in ons land van steunbetuigingen aan tal van verdrukte volken, en dat is een goed ding. Doorgaan daarmee. Maar toch valt op, als je tenminste niet doof, blind of gehersenspoeld bent, dat er altijd een paar volken ontbreken als de verontruste medemens zijn klaagzang laat weerklinken.

Al jaren steek ik mijn neus tussen de schuifdeuren als het over zo'n verdrukt volk gaat, en zeg ik: "En Darfur dan?"

Wat me namelijk zo steekt is dat je op linkse weblogs, binnen linkse politieke stromingen, en onder linkse opiniemakers en politici, zo weinig over Darfur hoort. Deze selectiviteit in de verontwaardiging over het schenden van mensenrechten is zeer opvallend.

Ik zou natuurlijk ook de Koerden kunnen noemen, die net als de Palestijnen, ook graag onder elkaar willen zijn, en gezien de eigen taal, de eigen cultuur en de historie, daar zeker niet minder recht op hebben dan de Palestijnen. Maar je kunt er vergif op innemen dat meteen de meute van Israël-hatende landen de muil opentrekt.

Maar dan zitten we nog steeds met Darfur. Het gebied waar het slachtofferaantal jarenlang op 200 000 bleef staan, hoewel de aanwijzingen dat het daar erger en erger werd op de gesloten deuren van de VN en het Westen bleven beuken.

Herhaaldelijk schreef ik op weblogs over het mankement van de rekenmachine van de VN. Werd er niet meer geteld, of was er een team dat uitblinkt in reanimeren richting Darfur afgereisd? Immers, jaren bleef de teller bij het magische getal 200 000 hangen. Maar dan toch ging het plotseling met een ruk omhoog, van 200 000 naar 300 000. Kennelijk was het niet langer te verdedigen dat de lege batterij van de rekenmachine van de VN niet vervangen werd.

Een tijdje terug kondigden RTL en Netwerk vol goede moed aan dat ze meer werk gingen maken van Darfur. Moest ook wel want jarenlang dezelfde beelden van Janjaweed op voorbijsnellende kamelen werden slaapverwekkend. En in de splinter Israël had RTL maar liefst twee journalisten met bezwete oksels klaarstaan om de hel en verdoemenis aldaar aan ons te verslaan.

Vaak dacht ik dan ook, kunnen er niet wat fotografen en journalisten rondom Israël richting Darfur. Ik bedoel maar, als ze toch over elkaar struikelen heb je weinig aan ze. Maar nee hoor. Te warm? Te droog? Te gevaarlijk?

Zelfs Jan Pronk smeekte:

We hebben meer beelden en verhalen nodig, want de wereld komt pas in beweging als het verhaal verteld wordt. Alsjeblieft, kom naar Soedan. We hebben buitenlandse journalisten nodig, want journalisten uit Soedan zelf hangt arrestatie boven het hoofd als ze naar waarheid berichten. Bovendien zijn ze door de gebrekkige middelen niet in staat om naar de plekken te reizen waar het om gaat. Alsjeblieft, kom naar Darfur om de beelden van de gruwelen op het netvlies van de wereldbevolking en haar leiders te branden. Kom, bericht en blijf berichten. (bron: Vrij Nederland)

Maar desondanks meed het journaille Darfur. Men bleef liever clusteren rondom de splinter Israël.

En Aart Zeeman van Netwerk, toch ook zo vaak met de Palestijnen in de weer:

Dat is een moeilijke vraag, waarop ik veel antwoorden kan geven. Een item over Darfur scoort niet. En kijkcijfers zijn in Hilversum tegenwoordig allesbepalend. Als je meer dan een miljoen kijkers hebt, komt er gebak op de redactie. Iedereen kijkt de ochtend na een uitzending op Internet hoe de cijfers waren.

Maar scoren items over de Palestijnen dan wel? En als morgen de door Dyab Abou JahJah verwachte holocaust op de moslims plaatsgrijpt, gaat Aart dan eerst even de kin krabben?

Dan maar even bij de buren gluren, zoals bij Stop de oorlog van Bart Griffioen, de Hamas- en Hezbollah-bezoeker. Gezocht maar niks gevonden. Wel over Joden en Amerikanen, maar negers vinden ze daar kennelijk geen mensen.

Hoopvol dan even bij Anja Meulenbelt, de koningin van het menselijke leed, aangewipt maar niks gevonden. Misschien ergens onder het karpet, maar 300 000 doden in een paar jaar horen toch niet onder het handgeknoopte vloerkleed. Dat moet ook een enorme bult zijn waar de mollige Anja menigmaal over struikelt.

Bij de verwante Internationale Socialisten dan maar gekeken. Heel veel Afghanistan, en iets over 100 burgerslachtoffers aldaar. Toch heel wat minder dan de 300 000 van Darfur, zou je denken.

Bij Groenlinks, met banddikte voorsprong de partij voor de mensenrechten, even gezocht. Ook niks, tenzij onder het bed van Wijnand Duyvendak, maar ja, daar kom ik liever niet.

Bij de Groenlinks-jugend Dwars ook maar even geneusd en met "niks gevonden" in hun zoekmachine afgedropen.

Toch ook maar even bij Stop de bezetting van de rode weduwe Gretta Duisenberg gekeken. Immers, van iemand die zo door compassie met de medemens gedreven is, mag je toch op een ietsepietsie Darfur hopen. Niets, zelfs onder de link "mensenrechten" niets. Geen Darfur, geen Tibet, geen Koerden.

De hoop nooit opgevend, de Andere Joden van EAJG nog eens bezocht. Wel wat superlatieven over Israël, zoals: 'Erger dan apartheid" en "Gaza een groot concentratiekamp" maar geen Darfur.

Bij de grote vriend van EAJG, de prins van Palestina, Dries van Agt wel een jammerende Hans Hamburger aangetroffen maar geen Darfur.

Tot slot de SP dan. Ik bedoel, iemand anders dan Anja Meulenbelt. Ja, eindelijk. Eerlijk is eerlijk, op het weblog van de SP aandacht voor Darfur. Een dagboekverslag van Ewout Irrgang, over het bezoek van een Kamerdelegatie aan Soedan.

En zelfs bij de meisjes en jongens van die partij, onder de bezielende titel Rood komt men er eindelijk achter dat Darfur bestaat, en waar deelnemers aan een discussie zich na vijf jaar van onbelemmerd moorden afvragen of er ook niet eens over Darfur gepraat moet worden. Misschien partijgenoten Anja Meulenbelt, Gretta Duisenberg en Harry de Winter er even over aanspreken?

Een aarzelende slotconclusie? De linkse compassie met de medemens is niet aan één oog maar aan beide ogen blind. Daarom de vraag of het geen tijd wordt een inzameling te houden voor de aanschaf van een blindengeleidehond. Ik stel een zeer agressieve, bijtgrage rottweiler voor.

Ondanks sancties neemt Duitse export naar Iran toe

Met sancties en internationale isolering is Iran misschien op de knieën te krijgen en een Iraans atoomwapen te verhinderen zonder dat daar enig geweld tegen de nucleaire installaties voor nodig is. Ondanks de sancties die nu van kracht zijn, is Duitsland Irans grootste handelspartner en is de handel met 63% toegenomen. Die sancties zijn blijkbaar nog erg soft.
Last update - 05:51 09/12/2008       
Israeli envoy: Germany increasing exports to Iran, despite sanctions
By Assaf Uni, Haaretz Correspondent
BERLIN - German exports to Iran are up 10 percent this year, prompting Israel's ambassador to Berlin to say the German authorities are "not doing enough" to keep Tehran isolated until it abandons its alleged efforts to develop nuclear arms.
"Germany is doing something [to isolate Iran], but apparently it is not doing enough," Ambassador Yoram Ben Ze'ev told Haaretz last week.
Germany's Federal Statistical Office released data showing the increase occured over the first three quarters of 2008. Germany's exports to Iran are expected to total 4 million euros this year, close to the record it set in 2004 and 2005.
During the first seven months of 2008, the German government approved 1,926 transactions with Iran, a 63 percent increase over last year. This has further cemented Germany's position as Iran's largest trade partner.
"The Germans are providing less insurance for Iran-bound merchandise, and they claim they are making life very difficult for those who want to do business with Iran," Ben Ze'ev said. "This approach may work on businesses that have export targets other than Iran, or on small businesses that cannot afford to invest the effort and resources to overcome the difficulties. But it's doubtful whether these measures will work on large businesses that view trade with Iran as strategically significant."
When asked about the increase in exports, the German treasury replied that it is due to increased metal prices, and noted that steel is up 17 percent in Europe.
However, export data show that metals make up only a small part of the increase. Another explanation offered by the German government is that the sanctions on Iran prohibit it from launching large new projects, which means the Iranians are more dependent on spare parts to maintain existing infrastructure.
"As a result of the tightening sanctions on Iran, our office expects the volume of our exports to Iran to decrease in the future," a spokesman for the treasury said.

woensdag 10 december 2008

Islamistische leiders: 'slacht de Joden van Hebron af zoals in 1929'

Van je islamitische vrienden moet je het hebben.....
Ook Hamas maakt nog even duidelijk waar het voor staat, voor het geval we dat waren vergeten:
Osama Hamdan, Hamas representative in Lebanon: "Our goal is to liberate all of Palestine, from the river to the sea, from Rosh Hanikra to Umm Al-Rashrash [Eilat]. From Gaza, gentlemen... We do not want a state 364 square kilometers in size, nor do we want a state for which we had to beg at the negotiating table. Such a state will never come to be. What we want is a free state, which maintains its dignity, 27,000 square kilometers in size - the size of Palestine in its entirety."

Arab Islamist Clerics to Palestinians: Slaughter the Jews Like You Did in 1929

Following are excerpts from speeches by Arab Islamic leaders expressing solidarity with Gaza, which aired on Al-Manar and Al-Aqsa TV, December 3 and 5, 2008.

Sheik Himam Sa'id, Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan: "Oh noble Gaza, raise your head high. You have made the Muslims raise their heads high. And you, people of Hebron - you are now waging a war against the Jews. You are well-versed in this. We saw how, on a day in 1929, you slaughtered the Jews in Hebron. Today, slaughter them on the land of Hebron. Kill them in Palestine. Arise, oh people of Palestine, all the people of Palestine - arise in defense of your Al-Aqsa Mosque, arise in defense of Nablus and Hebron. Arise and face the [PA] Preventive Security forces. Fear them not, for they are rabbits. They are wolves, so fear them not, oh lions.


"Oh young men, what will you say to the Jordanian government? Expel the Jewish ambassador from Amman. Amman is pure, and the Jewish ambassador must not defile its soil. Recall the Jordanian ambassador from Palestine. Only mujahideen should be in Palestine - not ambassadors, not ministers, or any representative of this nation. Do not recognize the ambassador of this nation in Palestine. Palestine is the land of Jihad, of sacrifice, and of preparation. We say to this government: Stop normalization with the Jews. Stop all imports and exports with the Jews. Our markets are full of Jewish vegetables and Jewish fruits. Traders who bring these fruits and vegetables are traitors, collaborators. Tell them this. Make them hear our voice. The position of the religious scholars is that anyone who trades with the Jews is a traitor and collaborator."


Husan Abdallah, Lebanese Association of Islamic Scholars: "I say on behalf of the Association of Islamic Scholars: The truce with the Zionist entity is meaningless. The solution is to renew the resistance in a stronger and more effective way. Let pure bodies blow up again in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and in all the cities of occupied Palestine, because this enemy understands nothing but the language of force.


"To the courageous Egyptian people we say: Arise and bring down the artificial border, and bring food and medicine to your besieged brothers in Gaza. The Egyptian people is required to show an act of violence, even if they go to jail, even if they die - they will be martyrs for the sake of Allah."


Osama Hamdan, Hamas representative in Lebanon: "Our goal is to liberate all of Palestine, from the river to the sea, from Rosh Hanikra to Umm Al-Rashrash [Eilat]. From Gaza, gentlemen... We do not want a state 364 square kilometers in size, nor do we want a state for which we had to beg at the negotiating table. Such a state will never come to be. What we want is a free state, which maintains its dignity, 27,000 square kilometers in size - the size of Palestine in its entirety."
To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit  .

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

Kolonist Hebron aangeklaagd voor schieten op Palestijnen

Het staat buiten kijf dat de kolonisten in Hebron zich vorige week ernstig hebben misdragen, maar uitvinden hoe iets precies is gelopen is minder makkelijk dan snel een hard oordeel vellen. Om die reden worden daders van geweld in Nederland vaak vrij gesproken of komen er met zeer lichte straffen vanaf, wat ik overigens niet altijd een goede zaak vind. In dit geval is duidelijk dat de man heeft geschoten, maar wat zich daarvoor en daarna heeft afgespeeld is minder duidelijk. Wat ik raar vind is dat blijkbaar niet bekend is hoe erg het letsel van de betreffende Palestijnen is?


Last update - 01:11 11/12/2008

Court indicts settler caught shooting Palestinians in Hebron

By Jonathan Lis, Haaretz Correspondent

The Jerusalem Magistrates Court on Wednesday indicted Ze'ev Braude, the settler who was caught on film shooting at Palestinians last week, following the evacuation of a disputed house in the West Bank city of Hebron.

Braude was released from police custody just hours before the indictment was submitted to the court. The indictment came after the release, because the presiding judge refused to extend his remand until an appeal was served.

In her decision to release Braude, Judge Malka Aviv criticized police forces for not having arrested the Palestinians documented on the same video hurling stones at him.

"The police are bound by the conception that is portrayed in the media," said Aviv.

Braude, a Kiryat Arba resident, turned himself in to the police last week, after an activist with the B'Tselem human rights group caught him on film shooting at Palestinians at short range, and hitting one.

During deliberation on the extension of his remand earlier this week the judge condemned Braude, indicating that he was caught on film shooting with intent to confront the Palestinians who were crowded in the area.

Braude's lawyer, attorney Ariel Atari responded that the Palestinian claiming to have been injured can be viewed in the video getting up after allegedly being shot, and continuing to hurl stones and bash Braude.

The Judge added that there are certain questions that remain unresolved regarding the behavior of the Palestinians allegedly shot by Braude, as they got up afterwards and continued fighting.

De linkse beweging in Duitsland over Israel

Binnen links in Duitsland woedt een discussie over Israel en de relatie tussen antisemtisme en antizionisme. In reactie op het sterke anti-Israel sentiment binnen links, en de veelvuldige nazi vergelijkingen, is er nu een groep opgestaan die laat zien dat je progressief kunt zijn zonder Israel te demoniseren. Het argument dat kritiek op Israel de kop in wordt gedrukt met het antisemitisme argument is onjuist en juist dat argument lijkt erop gericht de critici van het antizionisme de mond te snoeren. Het wordt ook in Nederland tijd voor een open debat over het doorgeslagen antizionisme van met name links, waarbij sommigen vreemd genoeg meer met Hamas en Hezbollah sympathiseren dan met Israel. Helaas ziet het er niet naar uit dat er binnen de SP of GroenLinks snel zo'n groep zal opstaan. Daar is geen of nauwelijks oppositie tegen de soms extreme anti-Israel standpunten en samenwerking met sympathisanten van voornoemde terreurbewegingen.

Let the Left go forward

Dec. 9, 2008

Although relations between Israel and Germany seem fine on a governmental level, there is very widespread criticism and sometimes hatred of the Jewish state in Germany as well as in all of Europe. This sad fact is often affirmed in polls in which Israel is seen as the greatest threat to world peace, worse than the dictatorial Islamic regime in Iran or the Stalinist succesor monarchy in North Korea.
Criticism of Israel is clearly not a minority opinion which can only be articulated secretly. Nonetheless, opponents of Israel constantly claim to be courageously breaking a taboo. While nearly no one denounces any critique of Israel's policy as anti-Semitic, that is often just what Israel's opponents suggest - thereby avoiding a serious discussion on the relation between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, which, though not identical, often overlap.
DEBATES ON the Middle East in Europe suffer from a distressing ignorance of the subject. Specific to Germany is the additional problem of the history of National Socialism, which constantly and often unconsciously lurks behind discussions on Israel.
One example is a journey by German bishops to Israel and the Palestinian territories not long ago in which they harshly criticized Israeli policy. That is in itself of course not a problem. The problem is how they did it - by evoking the Holocaust and comparing the situation of the Palestinians with that of the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto. Comparing Israel to Nazi Germany is crossing the border of a justified critique of Israel's policy. The list of such examples could be widely extended, and the political Left is no exception in this respect - in fact it often takes the lead in Israel bashing.
THE LEFTIST movement in West Germany completely changed its view of Israel after the war of 1967. Prior to then, its majority was philo-Semitic (in a problematic way); afterward it became staunchly pro-Arab and anti-Israel - if not openly anti-Semitic. Israel was accused of committing the same crimes as Nazi Germany, and the Palestinians were seen as "the Jews of the Jews." This was an easy way for German leftist to get rid of the burden of Auschwitz and make up for the anti-fascist struggle their parents never fought. Due to the constellation of the Cold War, as well as for ideological reasons, the German Democratic Republic was consistently anti-Israel as well. It had a strong relationship with Arab dictatorships, and was one of the leading weapons suppliers of the PLO. Zionism was seen as a racist ideology, and the Jewish state as the spearhead of imperialism and colonialism subjugating the Middle East.
The element connecting the Left in East Germany with that of West Germany was an anti-imperialistic worldview which can still be found among segments of the Left today. Strict Manichaeanism and a simplification of complex geopolitical and societal situations characterize this obsolete ideology whose roots lie in the Cold War.
THAT THIS antiquated ideology is still alive is demonstrated by the mainstream leftist reaction to the Iranian nuclear threat. Either it denies that Iran aspires to get the nuclear bomb, or it views the Iranian bomb as a legitimate means of defense against the US and Israel. This is a view blinded by anti-Americanism and anti-Zionism, ignoring not only the anti-Semitic ideology of the Iranian regime but also the straightforward threats by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and others to destroy Israel. One consequence of the Holocaust is that threats of annihilation must be taken seriously and not deemed irrelevant or a diversion from something else. Anti-Semitic ideologues mean what they say.
Furthermore it should be obvious that the only progressive stance on Iran is to support the democratic, secular opposition in exile and, if possible, within the country itself. Why does the German and the European Left often fail to stand with the women's movement and the labor unions, or the homosexual, lesbian and transgender people killed by the regime? Why do they willingly or unwillingly play into the hands of the repressive mullahs and not call for a fundamental change in Iranian society, meaning liberalization and the pushing back of radical Islam?
The leftist movement in general and the Left Party in particular have to decide whether they want to be a modern Left, as they already are in part, or if they would rather stick to old ideological dogmas, peering at the world through the prism of the Cold War.
This debate has just begun within the party, and will certainly continue for some time. BAK Shalom, a group within the party youth, aims to fight anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism, anti-Americanism and regressive anti-capitalism. We try to influence the discussion on these topics and have achieved some progress. Nevertheless there is still a long way to go.
Benjamin-Christopher Krüger is federal spokesperson of BAK Shalom. Sebastian Voigt is a doctoral student and former scholarship holder of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation of the Left Party.