zaterdag 18 april 2009

George Mitchell: 'Tweestatenoplossing is de enige oplossing'

Earlier, Abbas aides argued that Israel must be held to the same standards as the Palestinians. The previous Israeli government accepted the idea of a two-state solution, though it disagreed sharply with Abbas over the terms of Palestinian statehood.
Er zijn verschillende aanwijzingen dat de huidige Israelische regering ook een tweestatenoplossing accepteert, en minister Lieberman zei vorige week dat Israel 'committed' is aan de routekaart die ook in een Palestijnse staat voorziet. Daarentegen heeft Abbas tot nu toe geweigerd Israel als Joodse staat te erkennen, en heeft hij eveneens gezegd dat Fatah Israel niet erkent en de Palestijnse Autoriteit dit slechts uit opportunisme doet, niet uit overtuiging. De PA houdt bovendien vast aan het zogenaamde 'recht op terugkeer' van de Palestijnse vluchtelingen, en dat druist in tegen een tweestatenoplossing. Hopelijk heeft Mitchell Abbas duidelijk gemaakt dat ondubbelzinnige erkenning van Israel als Joodse staat een voorwaarde is voor serieuze onderhandelingen over de stichting van een Palestijnse staat.

The Jerusalem Post
Apr 17, 2009 13:54 | Updated Apr 17, 2009 17:05
Mitchell: 'Two-state solution the only solution' to ME conflict

US President Barack Obama's Mideast envoy George Mitchell said Friday that a "two-state solution is the only solution" to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, highlighting stark policy differences between the US and Israel over the idea of Palestinian statehood.

The envoy spoke after meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at his West Bank headquarters. Mitchell is here on his third trip since being named by Obama, and on Thursday met for the first time with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

An official in Netanyahu's office said that in a meeting with Mitchell on Thursday, the prime minister expressed concern that if a Palestinian state is set up, Hamas could take over the West Bank, as it overran Gaza in 2007. The experience of Israel withdrawing from territory, only to have it controlled by Palestinian extremists "is not going to be repeated," said the official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks were not public.

However, Mitchell struck a firm tone on Friday, after his meeting with Abbas. He said establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel is a national interest of the US, not only of the people in the Middle East.

He said the Arab peace initiative, which offers Israel full recognition by the Arab world in exchange for full withdrawal from occupied territories, should be part of future peace efforts.

"This conflict has gone on for far too long, and the people of this region should no longer have to wait for the just peace that guarantees security for all," Mitchell said.

"The US is committed to the establishment of a sovereign, independent Palestinian state, where the aspirations of the Palestinian people to control their own destiny are realized," he said.

"We want the Arab peace initiative to be a part of the effort to reach this goal. A comprehensive peace in this region is in the national interest of the United States. It is in the interest of the Palestinian people, it is in the interest of the people of Israel and of the entire region. A two-state solution is the only solution," he said.

Earlier, Abbas aides argued that Israel must be held to the same standards as the Palestinians. The previous Israeli government accepted the idea of a two-state solution, though it disagreed sharply with Abbas over the terms of Palestinian statehood.

"The international Quartet ... demanded from us to accept a two-state solution and agreements signed, and we did, and I think the same standards should be applied to Israel," Abbas aide Saeb Erekat said ahead of the Mitchell-Obama talks.

He said that "it is time for President Obama to make sure that Israel" meets its commitments, he said, adding that failure to do so would weaken moderates and push the region further into the hands of extremists.

Internationaal recht nog niet berekend op dreiging terrorisme

Volgens sommigen in Israel wordt het Israelische hooggerechtshof gedomineerd door linkse rechters, die het belang van de Palestijnen boven dat van hun eigen bevolking stellen. Dat lijkt me erg overdreven, maar feit is wel dat het de Palestijnen vaker in het gelijk heeft gesteld, en zeker niet altijd in het belang van de regering of het leger oordeelt - zoals dat in een democratie met een onafhankelijke rechtsspraak overigens ook hoort. Niet voor niets wordt vaker gezegd dat in Israel Arabieren vaker in het gelijk worden gesteld dan in de meeste Arabische staten.


The Jerusalem Post
Apr 17, 2009 13:41 | Updated Apr 17, 2009 16:08
'Int'l law must adapt to terror threats'

The Supreme Court's goal is to respect human rights while maintaining security during "a permanent state of emergency," the court's president, Dorit Beinisch, said Thursday in a speech at Princeton University.

Beinisch added that one of the main challenges the court faced was that international law had yet to fully adapt to modern terrorist threats.

"International law has not yet developed a means to respond to the fight against these terrorist organizations," she said. "Most of the conventions are against conventional threats, and therefore we must adapt the existing humanitarian laws to this current environment."

Beinisch said current legal guidelines often classify suspected members of terrorist organizations or those the IDF may consider unlawful combatants as having civilian status under international law. As such, Beinisch said her job is to ensure that basic human rights - from the length of a detention to a detainee's access to clean water or health care - are respected.

She said that sometimes conflicts with the IDF's desire to hold those it suspects of plotting terrorist activities, even if it falls short of the evidence burden the court requires.

Beinisch, who has served on the court since 1995 and became its first female president in September 2006, told the university audience her court often decides cases in a way with which the the government disagrees. She stressed that a 1999 ban on torture methods was strictly upheld by the courts and that the Supreme Court had pushed the IDF and the government to reconsider the parameters of their the West Bank security fence.

Beinisch cited cases in which the Supreme Court ruled to decrease limits on administrative detention or ordered the government to restore electricity and water service to parts of Gaza that had been shut off during an offensive.

"The right to the property and dignity of everybody must be protected by the military commanders, unless it's a security issue," Beinisch said. "These things often conflict with each other."

Beinisch said that during her time as Supreme Court president, its 14 justices had dealt with almost every issue in Israeli life.

"These are very unusual examples of what comes to our court in a very difficult, complex situation of war activities and terror activities that happen every day," she said. "In these difficult times that we are experiencing, we have to prevail, so we'll all be able to advance the laws of justice in times of peace."

Tweede Qassam raket op Negev binnen 24 uur

Het is de afgelopen tijd rustig geweest rond Gaza. Wilden de Palestijnen de nieuwe regering niet meteen tezeer uitdagen of het bezoek van VS gazant Mitchell niet verstoren, of is het stilte voor de storm?

The Jerusalem Post
Apr 16, 2009 19:20 | Updated Apr 17, 2009 8:50
Second Kassam hits Negev in 24 hours

Hours after the IAF struck a booby-trapped building in the central Gaza Strip, Palestinian terrorists launched a rocket into Israel from the coastal territory overnight Thursday.

The rocket hit an open area in the Eshkol region, causing no casualties or damage to property.

The air strike on Thursday evening - the first in over a month - caused no casualties as the structure was unoccupied at the time.

It came a day after a Kassam landed in an open area in the same region. No one was wounded and no damage was reported in what was the first such attack since the end of last month, when two rockets slammed into the western Negev, causing neither casualties nor damage.

Also Thursday, Egyptian security forces arrested nine Sinai Beduin near the Gaza border on suspicion of smuggling weapons, merchandise and money to Hamas. Two of the suspects were caught at the Rafah border crossing in possession of more than $90,000.

On Wednesday, Egyptian police discovered 900 kilograms of TNT hidden in 18 sacks near the border with Gaza. In addition, Egyptian authorities arrested three young Palestinians on suspicion of infiltrating into the country.

Durban 2 conferentie blamage voor mensenrechten en VN

Een felle verklaring over Durban II van Anne Bayefsky, een mensenrechtendeskundige met veel ervaring binnen - en kritiek op - de Verenigde Naties.

April 17, 2009
United Nations, Palais des Nations, GENEVA, Switzerland

The eyes of millions of victims of racism, xenophobia and intolerance are upon YOU, the representatives of states and the United Nations. And instead of hope you have given them despair. Instead of truth you have handed them diplomatic double-talk. Instead of combating antisemitism you have handed them a reason for Jews to fear UN-driven hatemongering on a global scale.

The Durban conference – allegedly dedicated to combating racism, antisemitism and other forms of intolerance – will open April 20th on the anniversary of the birth of Adolf Hitler without agreement on even so much as remembering the Holocaust and the war against the Jews. Your draft words on the Holocaust – the very foundation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – have been narrowed to the barest mention from previous versions. And if the minor reference survives at all – it will be a testament to your interest in Jews that died 60 years ago, while tolerating and encouraging the murder of Jews in the here and now.

Furthermore, the draft before you demonizes the Jewish state of Israel and then has the audacity to pretend to care about antisemitism in a single word buried among 17 pages. Antisemitism means discrimination against the Jewish people. Since it is evident that almost none of you have the courage to say it, the face of modern antisemitism IS the UN – your – discrimination against Israel, the embodiment of the Jewish people's right to self-determination.

Over and over again we have heard a massive misinformation campaign about the content of these proceedings and the draft before you. We have heard the tale that this draft does not single out Israel, that the hate has been removed, that the fault of the antisemitism at Durban I was that of NGOs while states and the UN were blameless.

Perhaps you think that journalists and victims will not bother to read for themselves the Durban Declaration adopted by some governments. There is only one state mentioned in it – Israel. There is only one state associated with racist practices in it – Israel. And yet the very first thing that this draft before you does is to reaffirm that abomination, abomination for Jews and Arabs living in Israel's free and democratic society, and for all the victims of racism ignored therein. Lawyers call it incorporation by reference when they hope nobody reads the small print. The propaganda stops here. We have read it. We understand the game. And we decry the ugly effort to repeat the Durban agenda to isolate and defeat Israel politically, as every effort to do so militarily for decades has failed.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Chair of this Preparatory Committee also told us this week that the Durban Declaration in all its aspects is a consensus text. Perhaps they are unfamiliar with the Canadian reservations made in Durban in 2001 which state categorically that the Middle East language was outside the conference's jurisdiction and not agreed. Perhaps they failed to notice that one of the world's greatest democracies, the United States, voted with its feet and walked out of the Durban I hatefest? The Durban Declaration has never represented a global consensus among free and democratic nations. When the head of the Islamic conference treats Durban as a bible, in their words, it is more accurately a defamation of religions.

This week you decided which states ought to serve in a leadership role at next week's conference. Among them are some of the world's leading practitioners of racism, not those interested in ending it. You have also decided to hand a global megaphone to the President of a state which advocates genocide and denies the Holocaust.

So in a state of shock and dismay we address ourselves not to the human rights abusers that glorify the Durban Declaration or its next incarnation, but to democracies -- and we ask: Will Germany sit on Hitler's birthday and listen to the speech of an advocate of genocide against the Jewish people and grant legitimacy to the forum which tolerates his presence? What about the United Kingdom, the birthplace of the Magna Carta? Or France that helped to ship last generation's Jews to crematoriums?

You could have fought racism. You chose instead to fight Jews. You could have promoted the universal standards against racism already in existence. You chose instead to diminish their importance in the name of alleged cultural preferences. You could have protected freedom of expression. You chose instead to undermine it by twisted concepts of incitement. You could have brought victims of racism together in a common cause. You chose instead to pit victims against each other in an ugly struggle for meagre recognition. For those democracies that remain under these circumstances you are ultimately responsible for what can only be called an appalling disservice to real victims of racism, xenophobia and related intolerance around the world.

CONTACT: Anne Bayefsky, +1-917-488-1558 or +41 77 470 5689,; Vivian Hakkak, +41 78 740 2422,

Netanyahu zal tweestatenoplossing erkennen

Met alle aantijgingen dat Israels nieuwe regering tegen vrede en een tweestatenoplossing zou zijn, wordt compleet genegeerd dat Mohammed Dahlan onlangs zei dat Fatah Israel niet erkent, en dus ook niet van Hamas verlangt dat te doen, en de Palestijnse Autoriteit Israel alleen om practische redenen erkent: anders kan men geen zaken doen en krijgt men geen geld van de internationale gemeenschap. Eerder hebben Abbas en Erekat zich in soortgelijke termen uitgelaten. Tijdens de Annapolis vresdesconferentie en de besprekingen die eruit voortvloeiden weigerde de PA om Israel als Joodse staat te erkennen, want dit zou racistisch zijn, en weigerde men het principe van twee staten voor twee volken te erkennen.

Source: Israel to accept "two state" principle.

According to an article by Ben Caspit in Ma'ariv, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will tell President Obama during his vist to the United States that Israel accepts the principle of a two state solution (literally, "the two states" prinicple). He will try to wrap it up in caveats, conditions, economic envelopes and "goodies."  He will accept two states just as Ariel Sharon accepted the Road Map, with a raised brow, a wrinkled nose, but with no alternative, it will be inscribed and enter the political jargon of the region and the world.  The process of reevaluating the contacts has not been completed. Reports of a break are exaggerated. George Mitchell was happy to give Israel more time to complete its reevaluation. Agivdor Lieberman will shortly change his policies and will attend the meeting in Sharm el Shaikh, according to the report.

Definitief concept verklaring Durban II antiracisme conferentie

Achmadinejad die - nota bene op de geboortedag van Hitler - een toespraak houdt bij de opening van de Durban II conferentie, en bovendien in het organiserend comité zit, Libië dat de conferentie voorzit, en de herbevestiging van de eerdere antiracisme conferentie in Durban: het zou reden genoeg moeten zijn voor democratische landen die daadwerkelijk racisme willen bestrijden om deze conferentie te boycotten.
Final Durban II text - Same old, Same old
Earlier reports about this "sanitized" text omitted the key information - the endorsement of the previous Durban conference (anti-Israel) resolutions is still in the document.
Apr. 17, 2009
Hilary Leila Kreiger, staff and ap , THE JERUSALEM POST
The United Nations released its final revisions to the outcome document for its conference against racism late Friday, but kept intact sections that the US said would cause it to boycott the meetings.
The document retained its reaffirmation of the text endorsed during the first World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa in 2001, which singled out Israel for criticism.
That 2001 meeting, which ended four days before 9/11, was dominated by quarrels over the Middle East and the legacy of slavery. Several delegates condemned Israel and anti-Israel demonstrations broke out at a parallel conference of non-governmental organizations.
The United States and Israel walked out midway through the Durban conference over a draft resolution that singled out Israel for criticism and likened Zionism to racism.
The US has joined Israel in objecting to the reference, as well as language declaring that "incitement to racial discrimination" is illegal, which America fears would limit free speech.
The changes made Friday followed a similar draft that came out Wednesday which also failed to omit the problematic text.
"We still need to see more progress and we haven't seen it yet," US State Department spokesman Robert Wood told The Jerusalem Post before Friday's version was released.
The US has indicated it wouldn't attend the conference, dubbed "Durban II," unless the necessary changes to the text were made, though Wood announced no final decision on Friday.
After the new version came out, US State Department press officer Andy Laine said that the administration had nothing further to say on the new document for the time being.
The conference opens in Geneva on Monday. Israel, Canada and Italy have announced they will boycott the gathering, and the EU is weighing its participation.
However, Reuters reported earlier Friday that the revised UN document does not mention Israel, Zionism, the Middle East conflict, or any of the other matters which have contributed to Israel and Canada saying they will boycott the conference and the US and the European Union threatening not to attend.
Among the high-ranking officials who will address the conference's opening session on Monday - which coincidentally falls on the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day - is Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Nobel Peace laureate Elie Wiesel is among the many prominent defenders of Israel who will be present.
Only around a half dozen non-governmental organizations are allowed to speak at the conference itself, said UN spokesman Damodaran.
Some NGOs will take part in panel discussions and other events on the sidelines of the meeting, he added. The rest of them have set up a number of demonstrations and meetings outside the United Nations.
Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report

Ophef over interview rijke zoon Abbas

Het schijnt dat de nederzettingen voor een groot deel door Palestijnen zijn gebouwd, en dat een bedrijf van Saeb Erekat betonblokken voor de muur heeft geleverd. Het lijkt mij - voor beide kanten - niet iets om trots op te zijn. In welk opzicht de zoon van president Abbas met Israel collaboreert wordt niet echt duidelijk. Met samenwerken is natuurlijk niks mis, integendeel, mits beide er beter van worden en het liefst ook op een gelijkwaardige basis gebeurt. Het zou mooi zijn als Yasser Abbas een voorbeeld kan zijn voor de Palestijnen en hen laat zien dat je met ondernemersschap en hard werken veel kunt bereiken, ondanks de bezetting. Of hij een dergelijk voorbeeld is, of daarentegen een voorbeeld van hoe je met vriendjespolitiek en shabby deals rijk kunt worden wordt uit onderstaand artikel niet duidelijk.  

PA officials scandalized at disclosure by Abbas's son of vast personal fortune
Khaled Abu Toameh , THE JERUSALEM POST
Yasser Abbas, the son of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, revealed this week that he's a self-made millionaire who started his own business shortly after the signing of the Oslo Accords.

In an interview with the Dubai-based economic magazine, Abbas's son, who was named after former PA leader Yasser Arafat, also declared that "a majority of Palestinians," including himself, "collaborate with Israel."

Yasser Abbas's remarks raised many eyebrows in Ramallah, where one PA official described the interview as "scandalous and harmful."

"It would have been better if Yasser did not speak out, especially about his wealth," the official told The Jerusalem Post. "His comments have embarrassed the Palestinian leadership."

In the interview, the first of its kind, the 46-year-old Yasser, who is a Canadian national, claimed that 25 percent of his income went to the PA budget. In return, he said, the PA government had never offered him so much as a free airline ticket or one pill of Aspirin for his daughter.

He revealed that the PA owed him a lot of money, but that he was unable to use his influence and status to collect the debt as he wished to avoid being accused of exploiting his father's position.

"I worked very hard to collect my fortune," he said. "I became wealthy before my father was elected president and I will continue to do business after his term in office expires."

The son also revealed that he owns a number of companies (Falcon Trading Group) with an annual income of $35 million. He complained, however, that he had never received any privileges due to the fact that he's the son of the PA president.

He said that he first arrived in the PA territories in 1996, obtained a PA-issued ID card and established his first construction company - First Option - with a relatively modest capital.

He said that his business was so successful that within a short period of four years he established a major real estate firm. One of his smaller companies, Falcon Tobacco, has a monopoly over the marketing of US-made cigarettes such as Kent and Lucky in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, he added.

Yasser also launched a scathing attack on the Hamas government, holding it responsible for the current economic crisis in the Gaza Strip. He said that he didn't expect the international aid to be sent to the Palestinians as long as the power struggle between Hamas and Fatah continued.

"I have noticed that the so-called Hamas government has spent 50 million euros," he said. "I don't know where they got the money from and how they spent it."

Asked if he was doing business with Israelis, Yasser replied: "How can you get merchandise into the Gaza Strip if the Israeli and Palestinian ministers of economy don't talk to each other? Dozens of Hamas supporters are receiving medical treatment in Israeli hospitals. Most Palestinians collaborate with Israel, while the rest live on the rain."

vrijdag 17 april 2009

Verantwoorde journalistiek over het Midden-Oosten

De waarschuwingen in dit goed doordachte artikel zouden alle journalisten die zich met het Midden-Oosten bezighouden zich ter harte moeten nemen: vertrouw niemand, inclusief ooggetuigen, op hun woord, bedenk dat iedereen waarmee je praat je een verhaal wil verkopen, bedenk dat als een onwaarheid eenmaal via een artikel naar buiten is gekomen, die een eigen leven gaat leiden, ook als naderhand blijkt dat het niet klopt. "Volgens X deed Israel Y" zal worden gelezen als "Israel deed Y", vooral wanneer Y iets slechts is.
Ook moeten journalisten zich continu van hun eigen sympathieen en vooroordelen bewust zijn - bijna niemand is neutraal, en ook al beweren journalisten hun beroep van hun privé mening te kunnen onderscheiden, dat is vaak niet het geval. Mijn stellige indruk is, dat juist journalisten die meer met Israel sympathiseren, zoals de schrijver van onderstaand artikel, zich dit veel meer bewust zijn en het probleem hiervan meer inzien, dan journalisten die meer met de Palestijnen sympathiseren. Het gevolg is dat de eersten soms overcompenseren en juist kritisch over Israel gaan schrijven, terwijl de laatsten het als hun taak zien Israels wandaden onder de aandacht te brengen. De gevolgen zijn bekend: volkomen eenzijdige berichtgeving.

Barbara Sofer

JERUSALEM – The warmth, openness and seeming naiveté of sources in the Middle East often confound reporters in our region. So many people seem ready and eager to talk that it's easy to believe you've happened upon a fresh and authentic source of information. Let us never forget that there is no such thing as a disinterested party in the Middle East. Whether you're being guided through a dazzling bazaar fragrant with cinnamon and coriander, or through a malodorous open sewer, someone is trying to sell you a story. Let the buyer beware.

For example, I'm having coffee in Jerusalem with a Palestinian who has been involved in the launching of the first film festival in a West Bank city. The idea of the festival is very appealing to me. It's a sign of burgeoning normality and sophistication. If Thomas Friedman has taught us that having a McDonald's in your country is a sign that you're moving towards a peaceful lifestyle, then certainly holding a film festival demonstrates a more nuanced view of the world.

Sadly, it turns out that the film festival opening was a disaster. The audience was assembled, the films were ready to go, but the computerised projector didn't work.

I'm already bracing myself. How is the lynchpin of this story going to be that the failure was Israel's fault? I don't have to wait long. My Palestinian interlocutor shakes his head in despair. The projector's malfunction was an intentional Zionist sabotage of the evening. He relates a travelogue of the projector's winding journey through foreign ports and its ultimate delay by customs so that it would arrive "too late to be checked". He's clearly trying to sell me a story about the evils of Israel.

But I'm wondering how late that projector actually arrived. Certainly faulty machinery – discovered even a few hours before – could have been replaced with one from a sympathetic Israeli cinema.

"Hadn't anyone tried it ahead of time?" I ask.

"I guess not," he shrugs.

To him, the failure will always be caused by Israeli malevolence. From my Israeli point of view, it seems like Palestinian incompetence.

How does a journalist report this story?

She could describe the excitement of the crowd, the disappointment, the suspicion among those present that this is another Israeli plot, and then get a token denial from an Israeli official. Or, determined to justify Israel, she could launch into an investigation to debunk the charges. Perhaps the projector was indeed held up in customs, for either security reasons, because a tax was owed, or just plain inefficiency. Probably, facts will be eclipsed by opinions. Personally, I'm sceptical that a country which produces so many self-critical films would make an effort to kybosh a West Bank cultural event. But then, I tend to think well of Israel.

In the final analysis, the story told will wind up being more a reflection of attitude than fact. In this, we reporters can be equally culpable.

Many reporters pick up local attitudes or are influenced by the prevalent buzz of the press corps. Someone like me, with a strong pride in her country and unembarrassed Zionist ideology has to be careful not to accept at face value stories of my own people's heroism or victimisation.

Interviewees with an agenda are always guessing what a reporter wants to hear. I once received a tearful phone call from a young woman who complained about a Palestinian handyman in her dormitory. She said that the school was more concerned with political correctness than with protecting students from danger. The student's distress was genuine and indeed the school was liberal in its hiring policy. But the truth ended there. She was counting on both my political and feminist sympathies to convince me of the worthiness of her complaint. The man she was accusing of inappropriate behaviour turned out to be a highly respected and responsible employee. Coming from abroad, either she had mistaken the cultural clues and his avuncular nature as intrusive and threatening or she was trying to remove Arab workers from her dorm.

We reporters need to be conscious of our own prejudices and sympathies as well as the desires of those we interview to energetically promote their personal causes. A good knowledge of the region, common sense and a fair measure of scepticism are valuable antidotes to falling for a slanted story. It's far worse than buying a street corner wristwatch that fails immediately after purchase. A damaging story can tick on forever.

* Barbara Sofer writes magazine and newspaper articles, fiction and scripts for the short films she directs and produces. She is an Orthodox Jew, a feminist, a passionate speaker about Judaism, women's lives and Israel, and one of three recipients of the 2008 Eliav-Sartawi Award for Middle East Journalism. Barbara Sofer may be reached at: bsofer(at) and This article is part of a special series on responsible journalism in the Arab-Israeli conflict written for the Common Ground News Service (CGNews). at

Distributed by MidEastWeb for Coexistence Newsletter. Subscribe by email to This article may be reposted at your web site with a working link to the original article at Mideastweb and links to Commongroundnews and as above.  

Gezinszorg centrum in Gazastrook overvallen en in brand gestoken

Waarom dit centrum doelwit zou zijn van aanvallen wordt niet uitgelegd. Op internet is buiten onderstaand bericht niets te vinden over het centrum.
Na alle vernielingen tijdens de Gaza Oorlog is het van de gekke dat juist een hulpinstantie voor kinderen en gezinnen wordt aangevallen.

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights LTD (non profit)

Security Chaos and Misuse of Weapons
Misuse of Weapons by Armed Groups and Security Personnel

Field Updates
12 April 2009

Child and Family Care Center in Khan Younis Set Alight by Unknown Persons

Early this morning, unknown gunmen set alight the Child and Family Care Center in al-Fukhari Village east of Khan Younis. The Center was established by the Canaan Institute of New Pedagogy in cooperation with the al-Fukhari Association for Rural Development. This is the second time in two days that the Center has been attacked. This incident is part of the security chaos currently plaguing the occupied Palestinian territory.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights' (PCHR) investigations indicate that, at approximately 03:00am on 12 April 2009, a number of masked gunmen set fire to tents belonging to the Child and Family Care Center. During the attack the gunmen detained the Center's security guard in a nearby field. Mr. Al-Bahdari, director of the Center, stated that fire destroyed the six plastic tents which formed the Center, along with their contents and equipment. The Child and Family Care Center had been subject to a similar attack in the early morning of Saturday, 11 April 2009.

The Child and Family Care Center is one of five established by the Canaan Institute of New Pedagogy in cooperation with different benevolent associations across the Gaza Strip. These centers aim to help and support children who live in areas affected by the recent Israeli offensive.

PCHR strongly condemns the attack on the Child and Family Care Center, noting that this attack constitutes part of the continuing security chaos plaguing the occupied Palestinian territory.

PCHR demands that the Prosecutor General of the Palestinian National Authority open an investigation into this - and all such attacks - so that the perpetrators may be brought to justice.

Public Document
For more information please call PCHR office in Gaza, Gaza Strip, on +972 8 2824776 - 2825893
PCHR, 29 Omer El Mukhtar St., El Remal, PO Box 1328 Gaza, Gaza Strip.
E-mail:, Webpage
If you got this forwarded and you want to subscribe, send mail to
and write "subscribe" in the subject line.

Netanyahu eist dat Palestijnen 'Joodse staat' erkennen

Beide partijen eisen dus dat de ander hun recht op zelfbeschikking accepteert. Dat lijkt mij een goed uitgangspunt. Daarna kan naar de practische uitvoering worden gekeken. De 'hete hangijzers' kunnen het beste tot later worden bewaard, wanneer het vertrouwen is gegroeid dat pijnlijke compromissen mogelijk maakt. De Palestijnse eis dat direct over deze zaken wordt gesproken bemoeilijkt het opnieuw opstarten van de onderhandelingen.


Netanyahu demands Palestinians recognize 'Jewish state'
By Akiva Eldar, Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff, and News Agencies Haaretz
Last update - 22:55 16/04/2009

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told visiting U.S. envoy George Mitchell on Thursday that his government would condition talks over Palestinian statehood on the Palestinians first recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.

"Israel expects the Palestinians to first recognize Israel as a Jewish state before talking about two states for two peoples," a senior official in Netanyahu's office quoted the new prime minister as telling Mitchell, U.S. President Barack Obama's special envoy to the Middle East.

Another Israeli official said Netanyahu saw Palestinian acceptance of Israel as a Jewish state as "a crucial element in moving forward with the political dialogue".

The Associated Press quoted an official in Netanyahu's office as saying the prime minister expressed misgivings about creating a Palestinian state in the West Bank because of concern that the militant Hamas group could take it over, as it overran Gaza in 2007.

The official said the experience of Israel's withdrawing from territory only to have it controlled by Palestinian extremists is not going to be repeated.

Netanyahu has yet to unveil his policy on peace efforts but has spoken of shifting the emphasis to stimulating the Palestinian economy instead of supporting the process accepted by the U.S. and Israel up to now - direct negotiations toward a full peace treaty between two states.

Mitchell had been expected to ask the prime minister during their meeting to clarify Israel's position regarding the resumption of negotiations with the Palestinians and Syria.

In back-to-back meetings with Israeli leaders, Mitchell stressed Obama's commitment to the goal of a two-state solution, "in which a Palestinian state is living in peace alongside the Jewish state of Israel", to end the decades-old conflict.

"That is our objective. That is what we will pursue vigorously in the coming months," Mitchell said.

Meanwhile, a decision has been made in Washington to follow a regional peace plan that will be based on the Arab peace initiative, bolstered by international security guarantees for Israel.

Under this plan, Arab states will proceed with normalization of their ties to Israel in parallel with progress in the negotiations to be held on the Palestinian and Syrian tracks.

A senior administration official told Haaretz several days ago that the U.S. is committed to the rules of the Quartet, which sets the acceptance of a two-state solution as a precondition for talks with a Palestinian unity government that includes Hamas.

The official added that the U.S. expects the Israeli government to adopt the same principle, in line with the commitments made by the previous Israeli government at the Annapolis conference in November 2007.

Palestinian sources said Wednesday that they intend to present clear demands to Israel through the U.S. envoy as preconditions for resuming final status talks with Israel.

In an interview with the daily Al-Ayyam published by the Palestinian Authority, the sources were quoted as saying that PA President Mahmoud Abbas will ask Mitchell to press Israel to recognize the principle of two states for two nations.

Moreover, the Palestinians would like Israel to agree to talk about all aspects of a final settlement that will ultimately result in the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

According to the report, the Palestinians will also insist on an end to the razing of homes in East Jerusalem and to settlement activity. The Palestinians are also hoping to discuss with Mitchell plans for a visit to the White House by Abbas, which will most likely take place at the end of the month or early next month.

Mensenrechtenschenders proberen Durban II Antiracisme Conferentie te manipuleren

Waarom Nederland Durban II moet boycotten:
On Monday, April 20th, the anniversary of Hitler's birth, an Iranian will be elected as a Vice-chair of a global "anti-racism" conference. In the afternoon of opening day, a genocidal Holocaust denier – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – will address a UN conference "against" racism. The European Union will sit and listen to an antisemite give a lecture about combating intolerance. And in the end most UN states will adopt a document incompatible with the UN's foundational principle of the equality of all men and women and nations large and small.

The Durban II Snow Job: One giant leap backwards for humankind
A version of this article appears in The New York Daily News, Thursday, April 16, 2009.

The UN's idea of an anti-racism conference entered the final stretch today with the planning committee deciding Iran ought to preside as a Vice-Chair, Libya will serve as the Chair of the "Main Committee" running the conference and Cuba will be the Rapporteur. All three human rights paragons will assume their new duties on the first day of "Durban II" set for Monday, April 20th.

Although the flowers are blooming by Lake Geneva, these Durban II preparations are best described as a massive snow job. The UN had set aside three days this week to hammer out a final document to be adopted formally at the conference itself. But Libyan Chair Najat Al-Hajjaji adjourned the meeting half an hour after it began – despite the fact that half of the 142-paragraph draft manifesto has not yet been agreed.

Al-Hajjaji is serving as the front for the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) . Her not-so-hidden agenda is shared by the Secretary-General of Durban II, UN High Commissioner Navi Pillay. For Pillay, a native of Durban, South Africa, the Durban Declaration's stature is of biblical proportion. Sitting at the podium side-by-side, Al-Hajjaji and Pillay's strategy became painfully obvious to the hundreds of assembled diplomats and NGO representatives who thought they had came to talk about combating racism.

Their maneuver had two main elements. First, run out the clock. By adjourning rapidly, and probably for most of the next two days, the conference will be bound to start on Monday with the European Union at the table and the threat of a democratic pull-out gone. All UN diplomats are well aware of the fact that the EU will agree to just about anything when faced with the spectacle of a "failed" UN conference. EU members don't have the numbers to prevail at the UN if a vote is called and therefore feign consensus instead of appearing to be "losers" to the folks back home. They are also fond of the UN as a means to outweigh the United States 27-1. And EU states wilt at the prospect of being labeled former colonial racists (by racists from the developing world.)

The second Al-Hajjaji-Pillay/OIC-UN move is to keep all disagreements behind closed doors as long as possible. This way, the damage done to combating racism in the backroom negotiations will be in the form of indecipherable ambiguous UN-eze by the time it is a done deal.

When Al-Hajjaji clocked out 30 minutes after showing up for work, she asked delegates to pick up a new draft of the "Durban II Outcome Document" on their way out the door. Little wonder she wanted no opportunity for public discussion. Here is what can be found in the latest draft of the UN's new "anti-racism" bible:
  • Condemnation of "foreign occupation" – aka Israel-bashing. Foreign occupation is said to be "closely associated with racism, racial discrimination…and contribute to the persistence of racist attitudes and practices…" In other words, labeling the Jewish nation as the world's racist state is back.
  • "Defamation of religions" returns under a new guise. The document professes "deep concern" about "the negative stereotyping of religions."
  • More of the Islamic assault on free speech. The draft "reaffirms that all dissemination of ideas based on…incitement to racial discrimination…shall be declared offences punishable by law…"
  • More Iranian-driven references to "cultural diversity" – the diplomatic cover for the murder of homosexuals, judicially-sanctioned amputation of hands and feet, and the stoning of woman for alleged adultery.
  • Renewed emphasis on the "transatlantic slave trade" and total rejection of a proposed mention of the trans-Saharan slave trade perpetrated by Arabs and other Africans.
  • Additional emphasis on the adoption of "complementary standards" on racism and xenophobia – an Islamic idea designed to subvert the universal principles in existing treaties.
And lest anyone be under the impression that Durban II will go away come April 25th, the draft demands that the Durban Declaration be implemented or "mainstreamed" "in the whole UN system" forevermore.

Silencing public commentary on the abomination was not the only thing the OIC-UN nexus accomplished in the space of thirty minutes. Also quickly gaveled without comment was approval of 81 NGOs to participate in Durban II. Included among these illustrious "human rights" partners:

  • The Independent Jewish Voices – a network composed largely of anti-Zionists preoccupied with driving a wedge between Jews and Israel.
  • The Palestine Return Center which objects to the creation of a Jewish state with the tale of "ethnic cleansing of Palestine that began more than sixty years ago".
  • The Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation, headed by the son of Muammar al-Gaddafi. This fellow still insists that the Libyans convicted of the bombing of PanAm flight 103 were innocent.
The Obama administration has delayed a decision whether to come or go to this fiasco UNTIL the final hour. The opening sentence of this new draft still "reaffirms" the 2001 Durban Declaration which the US rejected the first time around for its overt discrimination and demonization of Israel. The administration has said it wouldn't go to Durban II if this Declaration was "reaffirmed in toto." Combined with the new allegations of racism against Israel, the President and UN Ambassador Rice have nowhere left to hide.

Other countries that might stay out, together with Canada and Israel, include Australia, Italy and the Netherlands. Australia has had a wet-finger in the wind for months. Italy is not participating at the moment and doesn't have any reason to go back with this latest travesty. And Dutch efforts to improve the outcome document have been treated with disdain. Still the Germans and French are pressing hard for a show of EU solidarity – the merits of Durban II and all those faux-"red-lines" they once espoused be damned.

On Monday, April 20th, the anniversary of Hitler's birth, an Iranian will be elected as a Vice-chair of a global "anti-racism" conference. In the afternoon of opening day, a genocidal Holocaust denier – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – will address a UN conference "against" racism. The European Union will sit and listen to an antisemite give a lecture about combating intolerance. And in the end most UN states will adopt a document incompatible with the UN's foundational principle of the equality of all men and women and nations large and small.

A good day for UN-based antisemites. A bad day for those who care about human rights.

For a complete source of information on Durban II

donderdag 16 april 2009

BBC Midden-Oosten redacteur Jeremy Bowen partijdig bevonden

Dit is goed nieuws. Verschillende Nederlands kranten en omroepen maken zich eveneens schuldig aan gekleurde en soms ronduit misleidende berichtgeving over het Midden-Oosten conflict.



In a significant ruling, the BBC's highest body has substantially upheld CAMERA's complaint that BBC News's Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen violated BBC News guidelines that require impartiality and accuracy. Below is CAMERA's press release on the breaking development.

CAMERA will soon be posting on its Web site a summary describing the details of the complaint, and the BBC's often-disturbingly misleading early attempts to defend its biased report. Check soon for that eye-opening piece.

The press release follows:

BBC Trust Rules Against Mideast Editor Jeremy Bowen
Boston, MA - The BBC has determined that its Middle East editor, Jeremy Bowen, had violated the broadcaster's ethical guidelines calling for impartiality and accuracy. The finding is likely to amplify concerns that BBC news coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict is largely biased against Israel.
The March 31, 2009 decision by the Editorial Standards Committee (ESC), a unit of the BBC's top decision-making body, the BBC Trust, comes in response to a formal complaint filed by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), and a similar complaint filed independently by a member of the U.K.-based Zionist Federation.
CAMERA's complaint charged that Bowen's June 4, 2007 article about the Six-Day War and its aftermath was marred by "serious omissions, exaggerations and outright anti-Israel bias." The detailed complaint came before the ESC after the BBC News Web site and Editorial Complaints Unit defended Bowen's article.
In response to the ruling, CAMERA Senior Research Analyst Gilead Ini said that while ESC's willingness to openly fault unethical reporting by Bowen is important and encouraging, it is unclear that the BBC will draw appropriate conclusions from its findings and take concrete steps to combat the broadcaster's chronically biased reporting. "Acknowledging the glaring problems in this article is a good first step, but it's only a first step," he said. "The BBC also needs to consider the wider implications here. Not only did the senior BBC reporter in the Middle East show bias in his reporting, but he also made it clear, while defending his piece before the ESC, that he thinks it's reasonable to report from the Palestinian perspective and ignore other mainstream narratives."
Ini feels that the ESC findings and, especially, Bowen's "outrageously deceptive" attempts to defend his report, explain the journalist's past biased coverage and cast doubt on his suitability as a BBC reporter and editor. "There's good reason to be skeptical of Mr. Bowen's reporting," he said, "and by extension, the reporting of BBC reporters who are subordinate to him."
CAMERA is concerned that the ESC, despite having ruled that Bowen's reporting was not impartial, is apparently not calling on the reporter to be objective in future articles. Its ruling states that it is not necessary for Bowen to have given equal space to different views. "All that was required was a clear statement signposting that there were alternative theses subscribed to by respectable historians."
This assertion is inconsistent with the BBC's Editorial Guidelines, Ini argues. "If Jeremy Bowen consistently promotes only one point of view linked to a controversial subject and fails to relay in any real depth other prominent and reasonable views, the result is biased reporting," he said. "This is true regardless of whether or not Bowen throws in a sentence 'signposting' that other views exist."
The ESC finding that "the article had breached the guideline on impartiality" came after an independent advisor commissioned by the BBC described Bowen's assessment of the Six-Day War as being "firmly of the 'New Historian' kind," and "unqualified by an acknowledgment that the opposite or 'mainstream' opinion might have some weight too."
The advisor had also consulted with mainstream historian Martin Gilbert and revisionist historian Avi Shlaim, who both agreed that aspects of Bowen's piece were not accurate.
CAMERA will soon be posting on its website key excerpts from the complaint and the BBC rulings.
CAMERA (the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America), a national non-profit media-monitoring organization headquartered in Boston, works to promote accurate, balanced and complete coverage of Israel and the Middle East. A non-partisan 501(c)3 organization, CAMERA takes no position with regard to American or Israeli political issues or with regard to ultimate solutions to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Gilead Ini
Senior Research Analyst
To subscribe to CAMERA's E-Mail Team alerts, send a note with your name, address, email, telephone number and how you heard about these alerts to

Erekat: Palestijnen eisen elke steen van Oost-Jeruzalem, inclusief Tempelberg

Onlangs heeft Israel bijna de gehele Westoever aangeboden aan de Palestijnen inclusief Oost-Jeruzalem buiten de Joodse delen, maar Abbas zei nee. Onderhandelaar namens de Palestijnen Saeb Erekat legt uit waarom:
"In November 2008. Let me finish. [Israeli prime minister Ehud] Olmert, who talked today about his proposal to Abu Mazen, offered the 1967 borders, but said: 'We will take 6.5% of the West Bank, and give in return 5.8% from the 1948 lands, and the 0.7% will constitute the safe passage, and East Jerusalem will be the capital, but there is a problem with the Haram and with what they called the Holy Basin.' Abu Mazen too answered with defiance, saying: 'I am not in a marketplace or a bazaar. I came to demarcate the borders of Palestine - the June 4, 1967 borders - without detracting a single inch, and without detracting a single stone from Jerusalem, or from the holy Christian and Muslim places.' This is why the Palestinian negotiators did not sign."
Met de 'safe passage' wordt bedoeld een verbinding tussen Gaza en de Westoever, die permanent open is en onder Palestijnse soevereiniteit valt.
Met een houding van 'iedere steen' en 'iedere inch' komt er natuurlijk nooit vrede en is het onmogelijk ooit een compromis te bereiken. Het is in elke geval duidelijk dat Israel wederom een zeer vergaand vredesvoorstel heeft gedaan, maar om een of andere reden wordt dit genegeerd door de media en praat iedereen alleen maar over het Arabische vredesvoorstel.

MEMRI: Special Dispatch | No. 2313 | April 14, 2009
Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erekat: 'Abbas Rejected Israel's Proposal at Annapolis Like Arafat Rejected the Camp David 2000 Proposal

Following are excerpts from a television debate with chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat. The debate aired on Al-Jazeera TV on March 27, 2009.

To view this MEMRI TV clip, visit

"Arafat Was Besieged at Camp David and Was Killed Unjustly, Only Because He Adhered to Jerusalem"
Saeb Erekat: "I am sitting in Jericho, in the house where I was born, four kilometers from the Jordan River, and there are Israeli flags from the Jordan River all the way to the Mediterranean Sea. Therefore, we are living under Israeli occupation. But let me say that Jerusalem has not been - and will not be - lost. Three hundred thousand Palestinian citizens live in Jerusalem.


"Jerusalem has not gone anywhere. Jerusalem is here to stay - in the same place throughout the ages. The important thing is for us to return and to liberate Jerusalem.


"It is true that the negotiations continued for many years, but don't you know that President Yasser Arafat was besieged at Camp David and was killed unjustly, only because he adhered to Jerusalem, and because he refused to let the Israeli measures on the ground give rise to any [Israeli] right or any [Palestinian] obligation? The Palestinian negotiators could have given in in 1994, 1998, or 2000, and two months ago, brother Abu Mazen [i.e. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud 'Abbas] could have accepted a proposal that talked about Jerusalem and almost 100% of the West Bank, but it is not our goal to score points against one another here.

"Our strategic goal, when we strive for peace, is not to do so at any price. We strive for peace on the basis of an Israeli withdrawal to the June 4, 1967 borders, the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and with the West Bank and the Gaza Strip geographically connected." [.]

"An Independent Palestinian State Within the 1967 Borders, With East Jerusalem As Its Capital - This Is What We Can Achieve in Our Generation"
"There will be no peace whatsoever unless East Jerusalem - with every single stone in it - becomes the capital of Palestine.


"In my family, we are seven siblings. My six brothers and sisters are in the diaspora. But this does not deny them the right to inherit this land. Ten million Palestinians own Palestine, just like I do. Our survival and steadfastness on this land, our wresting of an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital - this is what we can achieve in our generation."[.]

Arafat Told Clinton: "I Will Not Be a Traitor"; 'Abbas Told Olmert: "I Am Not At a Marketplace or a Bazaar - I Came to Demarcate the Borders of Palestine - The June 4, 1967 Borders"

"Let me recount two historical events, even if I am revealing a secret. On July 23, 2000, at his meeting with President Arafat in Camp David, President Clinton said: 'You will be the first president of a Palestinian state, within the 1967 borders - give or take, considering the land swap - and East Jerusalem will be the capital of the Palestinian state, but we want you, as a religious man, to acknowledge that the Temple of Solomon is located underneath the Haram Al-Sharif.'

"Yasser Arafat said to Clinton defiantly: 'I will not be a traitor. Someone will come to liberate it after 10, 50, or 100 years. Jerusalem will be nothing but the capital of the Palestinian state, and there is nothing underneath or above the Haram Al-Sharif except for Allah.' That is why Yasser Arafat was besieged, and that is why he was killed unjustly.

"In November 2008. Let me finish. [Israeli prime minister Ehud] Olmert, who talked today about his proposal to Abu Mazen, offered the 1967 borders, but said: 'We will take 6.5% of the West Bank, and give in return 5.8% from the 1948 lands, and the 0.7% will constitute the safe passage, and East Jerusalem will be the capital, but there is a problem with the Haram and with what they called the Holy Basin.' Abu Mazen too answered with defiance, saying: 'I am not in a marketplace or a bazaar. I came to demarcate the borders of Palestine - the June 4, 1967 borders - without detracting a single inch, and without detracting a single stone from Jerusalem, or from the holy Christian and Muslim places.' This is why the Palestinian negotiators did not sign."

TV host: "Okay."

"Any Arrangements Regarding East Jerusalem Are Categorically Unacceptable"
Saeb Erekat: "This is the Palestinian position."

TV host: "But let's return to Camp David. When you were at the meetings with Shlomo Ben-Ami. After two weeks of meetings between Barak, Arafat, and Clinton, which led to nothing, there was a meeting at which you proposed that there be [Palestinian] sovereignty, with arrangements in the Old City, including the Haram Al-Sharif. In other words, you proposed Palestinian sovereignty, with Israel playing a role in the administrative aspects. In other words, Israel would participate in the administration of the Haram area - unlike the 'reduced sovereignty' demanded by Shlomo Ben-Ami at that meeting. In other words, you wanted to let [Israel] play a role, one way or another, with regard to the so-called Holy Basin."

Saeb Erekat: "They will never have this. Like President Abu Mazen said in front of President Bush and Prime Minister Olmert: I am not in a marketplace or a bazaar. East Jerusalem is an occupied area, just like Khan Yunis, Jericho, and Nablus were. Its status in international law will never be anything else. Therefore, any arrangements regarding East Jerusalem are categorically unacceptable."

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.

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

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

woensdag 15 april 2009

Amos Oz beziet Israel vanuit vogelvluchtperspectief

Amos Oz in the desert town of Arad, near the Dead Sea.
"That's what I do for a living," he noted in his soft-spoken and precise English as he took a walk late one recent afternoon, the pink-tinged Arava desert and Dead Sea glistening on the horizon. "I get up in the morning, I drink a cup of coffee, I sit down at my desk and I start to ask myself: 'What if I were him? What if I were her? How would I feel? What would I say? How would I react?' "
Dat is precies wat er voor vrede en verzoening nodig is, maar het kan alleen resultaat hebben wanneer aan beide kanten mensen dit doen en er naar hen geluisterd wordt. Terwijl schrijvers als Amos Oz, David Grosmann en A.B. Jehoshua - alledrie tegen de bezetting en met veel begrip voor de Palestijnen - in Israel zeer gewaardeerd zijn, worden de weinige Palestijnen die openlijk begrip tonen voor Israels positie of dialoog en verzoening promoten bedreigd, zoals onlangs de leidster van een Palestijns jeugdorkest dat voor Israelische overlevenden van de Holocaust optrad.
Het volgende is een beetje misleidend:
His idea then was radical: Israel should get out of the areas it won, and the Palestinians should build their own state there. As he recalled the other day, "When my friends and I started advocating a two-state solution in 1967, there were so very few of us that we could conduct our national assembly inside a public telephone box."
Israel bood de meeste gebieden direct aan in ruil voor vrede, maar er was toen nog geen sprake van een aparte Palestijnse staat. Toen de Westoever in handen van Jordanië was en Gaza in handen van Egypte, streden de Palestijnen niet voor een eigen staat in deze gebieden met Oost-Jeruzalem als hoofdstad; dat begon pas nadat deze gebieden door Israel waren veroverd. Er waren veel Israeli's die vonden dat men de Westoever niet moest houden en de bezette gebieden slechts gebruikt moesten worden als wisselgeld om vrede af te dwingen, waar de Arabische staten niets van wilden weten.

Amos Oz, Approaching 70, Sees Israel With a Bird's-Eye View
Rina Castelnuovo for The New York Times
Published: April 12, 2009
ARAD, Israel — For four decades Amos Oz has been known in Israel and abroad for two things, his fervently liberal politics and his intimately observed fiction. He has always insisted that they are distinct, and so they seem. His novels and stories are not allegories on the Palestinian conflict but deeply human tales of ambiguity and sadness. His political essays, meanwhile, make their point with complete transparency.
One way he marks the separation between the two forms of writing is by using two kinds of pen, one blue, the other black, that sit on his desk in the book-lined study of his home in this quiet desert town.
"I never mix them up," he says of the pens. "One is to tell the government to go to hell. The other is to tell stories."
Now, as Israel prepares to mark his 70th birthday with a three-day festival in Arad and an academic conference at Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba, both in May, and with his latest novella coming out in English translation along with a new selection of translated fiction and nonfiction called "The Amos Oz Reader," he offers a way of viewing his two kinds of writing through a single lens. Both usher from the same source, he says — empathy. Both are about imagining the other.
"That's what I do for a living," he noted in his soft-spoken and precise English as he took a walk late one recent afternoon, the pink-tinged Arava desert and Dead Sea glistening on the horizon. "I get up in the morning, I drink a cup of coffee, I sit down at my desk and I start to ask myself: 'What if I were him? What if I were her? How would I feel? What would I say? How would I react?' "
Mr. Oz, whose humor is as dry as the climate, is one of Israel's most esteemed authors — along with A. B. Yehoshua, Aharon Appelfeld and David Grossman — and his new novella, "Rhyming Life and Death," is a somewhat brutal look at the life and sensibility of a literary celebrity.
The main character, known simply as the Author, is full of forced camaraderie for minor cultural figures, insincere flattery for vulnerable women and false modesty to those who admire him. But he has an exceptional eye for narrative detail and an almost uncontrolled penchant for invention. No sooner does a waitress bring him coffee than he creates her history, filled with love and loss. In the end the Author evokes a surprising sympathy; his journey is compulsive and joyless yet somehow vital.
Mr. Oz denies that the character is in any way autobiographical, although in a 1990 newspaper interview in Haaretz, he made this point about himself: "There's always a part of me that's uninvolved, that sits on the sidelines and observes. Sometimes it looks on from the distance, almost hostile. Very chilly."
The new book raises, both explicitly and implicitly, the point of writing fiction, suggesting that it is less a noble endeavor than a drive, like sex and dreaming.
"The need to tell a story is something elemental, primeval," Mr. Oz added when the question was raised.
But that doesn't make it simple, especially in a place like Israel. As he noted, "It is not easy to write novels and stories in the heart of a political drama."
It is also not easy to know what to do about the tangled drama itself, although Mr. Oz has had a very firm conviction about it for a very long time. It came, he said, from asking those questions that he does every morning.
In June of 1967, days after what Israelis call the Six-Day War ended, he walked the freshly captured streets of East Jerusalem, still in uniform. Most of his countrymen viewed the moment as a historic culmination of Jewish longing and destiny.
He saw it quite differently. Although he was a native of West Jerusalem, and his parents, who had fled Europe, were right-wing nationalists, he could not rejoice because he kept asking himself how he would feel in the place of the Palestinians living there.
"I tried my hardest to feel in East Jerusalem like a man who has driven out his enemies and recovered his ancestral inheritance," he wrote in a 1968 essay included in the new collection. "But I couldn't."
His idea then was radical: Israel should get out of the areas it won, and the Palestinians should build their own state there. As he recalled the other day, "When my friends and I started advocating a two-state solution in 1967, there were so very few of us that we could conduct our national assembly inside a public telephone box."
The approach today is mainstream; the Obama administration says it is firmly pursuing it, although it is losing favor among Israelis and Palestinians as both have come to view the other as insincere and warlike. Israel's military campaign in Gaza a few months ago, undertaken to stop Hamas rockets from being fired at Israeli towns not far from this one, only added to that mutual mistrust.
Mr. Oz favored the attack as an appropriate response to the rockets but wanted it called off within a few days rather than the three weeks it lasted. Meanwhile, he says, he has been saddened by some of the behavior of Israeli soldiers in Gaza.
"I heard from soldiers who were in Gaza who said that Israel pushed its red lines way away from where they were," he said, noting that this was hardly the first time the army faced guerrilla warfare. "In 1967 Israelis fought in heavily populated urban areas and there were Jordanian snipers hiding behind civilian populations. Nonetheless no streets were bulldozed to the ground."
The new government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is well to the right of Mr. Oz. It has not committed itself to two states and says it will never share Jerusalem with the Palestinians. Mr. Oz holds out only modest hope that the government might surprise him.
Being an Israeli at 70, he noted, is like being an American who is 250 years old. He was there for his country's birth 61 years ago.
"I saw the Boston Tea Party with my own eyes," he said with a twinkle. "I personally knew George Washington and Abraham Lincoln."

Hoe Iran echt denkt over gesprekken met de VS

Gesprekken en onderhandelingen met Iran zonder voorwaarden vooraf en zonder een tijdslimiet met de dreiging van sancties als voor die tijd geen overeenstemming is bereikt, zullen niks opleveren en door Iran gebruikt worden om ondertussen aan haar atoomprogramma (en dus ook de bom) te werken.
De toenadering van Obama wordt in Iran - helaas - als zwakte gezien:
When Mr. Obama declared on April 5 that "All countries can access peaceful nuclear energy," the state-run daily newspaper Resalat responded with a front page headline, "The United States capitulates to the nuclear goals of Iran." With Washington embracing dialogue without accountability and Tehran embracing diplomacy without sincerity, it appears the Iranian government is right. 
It's a game of diplomacy without sincerity.


On Apr. 9, Gholam Reza Aghazadeh, the head of Iran's atomic energy agency, announced that the Islamic Republic had installed 7,000 centrifuges in its Natanz uranium enrichment facility. The announcement came one day after the U.S. State Department announced it would engage Iran directly in multilateral nuclear talks.

Proponents of engagement with Tehran say dialogue provides the only way forward. Iran's progress over the past eight years, they say, is a testament to the failure of Bush administration strategy. President Barack Obama, for example, in his Mar. 21 address to the Iranian government and people, declared that diplomacy "will not be advanced by threats. We seek engagement that is honest and grounded in mutual respect."

Thus our president fulfills a pattern in which new administrations place blame for the failure of diplomacy on predecessors rather than on adversaries. The Islamic Republic is not a passive actor, however. Quite the opposite: While President Obama plays checkers, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei plays chess. The enrichment milestone is a testament both to Tehran's pro-active strategy and to Washington's refusal to recognize it.

Iran's nuclear program dates back to 1989, when the Russian government agreed to complete the reactor at Bushehr. It was a year of optimism in the West: The Iran-Iraq War ended the summer before and, with the death of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini, leadership passed to Ayatollah Khamenei and President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, both considered moderates.

At the beginning of the year, George H.W. Bush offered an olive branch to Tehran, declaring in his inaugural address, "Good will begets good will. Good faith can be a spiral that endlessly moves on." The mood grew more euphoric in Europe. In 1992, the German government, ever eager for new business opportunities and arguing that trade could moderate the Islamic Republic, launched its own engagement initiative.

It didn't work. While U.S. and European policy makers draw distinctions between reformers and hard-liners in the Islamic Republic, the difference between the two is style, not substance. Both remain committed to Iran's nuclear program. Former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, for example, called for a Dialogue of Civilizations. The European Union (EU) took the bait and, between 2000 and 2005, nearly tripled trade with Iran.

It was a ruse. Iranian officials were as insincere as European diplomats were greedy, gullible or both. Iranian officials now acknowledge that Tehran invested the benefits reaped into its nuclear program.

On June 14, 2008, for example, Abdollah Ramezanzadeh, Mr. Khatami's spokesman, debated advisers to current Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the University of Gila in northern Iran. Mr. Ramezanzadeh criticized Mr. Ahmadinejad for his defiant rhetoric, and counseled him to accept the Khatami approach: "We should prove to the entire world that we want power plants for electricity. Afterwards, we can proceed with other activities," Mr. Ramezanzadeh said. The purpose of dialogue, he argued further, was not to compromise, but to build confidence and avoid sanctions. "We had an overt policy, which was one of negotiation and confidence building, and a covert policy, which was continuation of the activities," he said.

The strategy was successful. While today U.S. and European officials laud Mr. Khatami as a peacemaker, it was on his watch that Iran built and operated covertly its Natanz nuclear enrichment plant and, at least until 2003, a nuclear weapons program as well.

Iran's responsiveness to diplomacy is a mirage. After two years of talks following exposure of its Natanz facility, Tehran finally acquiesced to a temporary enrichment suspension, a move which Secretary of State Colin Powell called "a little bit of progress," and the EU hailed.

But, just last Sunday, Hassan Rowhani, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator at the time, acknowledged his government's insincerity. The Iranian leadership agreed to suspension, he explained in an interview with the government-run news Web site, Aftab News, "to counter global consensus against Iran," adding, "We did not accept suspension in construction of centrifuges and continued the effort. . . . We needed a greater number." What diplomats considered progress, Iranian engineers understood to be an opportunity to expand their program.

In his March 24 press conference, Mr. Obama said, "I'm a big believer in persistence." Making the same mistake repeatedly, however, is neither wise nor realism; it is arrogant, naïve and dangerous.

When Mr. Obama declared on April 5 that "All countries can access peaceful nuclear energy," the state-run daily newspaper Resalat responded with a front page headline, "The United States capitulates to the nuclear goals of Iran." With Washington embracing dialogue without accountability and Tehran embracing diplomacy without sincerity, it appears the Iranian government is right.

Mr. Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.


Dubieuze NGO's willen haatfestijn 2001 herhalen op Durban II conferentie

Hoewel de officiële teksten inmiddels behoorlijk zijn afgezwakt, proberen radicale NGO's nog steeds om het 'succes' van Durban I te herhalen en van de anti-racisme conferentie een anti-Israël en zelfs anti-Joodse conferentie te maken:

This event is scheduled to take place in Geneva from April 17-19, before Durban II opens there on April 20. It is to include what is advertised as a "large public demonstration with activists" on the afternoon of April 18. The main force behind this revival appears to be North South 21, a group closely linked to the Libyan regime and represented in Geneva by Curtis Doebbler.

According to UN Watch, North South 21 manages the "Human Rights Prize" - with past recipients including French Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy, Fidel Castro, and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. The official announcement for the Civil Society Forum event appeared two weeks ago on a Web site registered under the name of Jan Lonn, the Swedish-based head of the World Against Racism Network who is active in many radical NGO activities.

Het is ongelofelijk dat een NGO die prijzen aan ontkenners van de Holocaust uitdeelt in Geneve haar gang zou mogen gaan en manifestaties organiseren rond de VN-conferentie.

De Palestijnse organisatie Badil, die ook deelneemt aan deze bijeenkomst, is tegen vrede en een tweestatenoplossing en werkt vredesinitiatieven actief tegen. Ook zij zou niet aan zo'n bijeenkomst moeten mogen deelnemen.

Analysis: Will 'Civil Society Forum' repeat 2001's anti-Semitism?
April 13, 2009
Gerald Steinberg , THE JERUSALEM POST

In the 2001 UN-sponsored Durban conference, the main assault against Israel and the West took place in the NGO Forum. The combination of physical violence against Jewish delegates, distribution of crude anti-Semitic propaganda, and the attacks against Israel led then UN Human Right Commissioner Mary Robinson to denounce and disregard the NGO declaration.

Funders, including the Ford Foundation and the Canadian government, were embarrassed by their role, and withdrew support for similar events.

In the planning for the 2009 Durban Review Conference, scheduled to open in Geneva on April 20, UN officials, including current High Commissioner Navi Pillay, declared that they would not support a similar NGO Forum. However, the recent emergence of a "civil society forum", endorsed by Rev. Liberato Bautista, the president of CONGO - the Conference of NGOs - may presage the repeat of anti-Semitic and anti-Western attacks, based on the 2001 precedent.

This event is scheduled to take place in Geneva from April 17-19, before Durban II opens there on April 20. It is to include what is advertised as a "large public demonstration with activists" on the afternoon of April 18. The main force behind this revival appears to be North South 21, a group closely linked to the Libyan regime and represented in Geneva by Curtis Doebbler.

According to UN Watch, North South 21 manages the "Human Rights Prize" - with past recipients including French Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy, Fidel Castro, and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. The official announcement for the Civil Society Forum event appeared two weeks ago on a Web site registered under the name of Jan Lonn, the Swedish-based head of the World Against Racism Network who is active in many radical NGO activities.

The UN funded Lonn to go to the African meeting in Nigeria, apparently in response to requests from unidentified African states. Since both North South 21 and Lonn are fringe actors, whose campaigns for an NGO Forum were opposed by many mainstream NGOs, these efforts were of little importance until they were endorsed by CONGO's Bautista.

Although the members of CONGO's anti-racism committee explicitly rejected calls for participation, the preparatory meetings for these events are held in the CONGO offices in Geneva. CONGO briefings have given extensive visibility to the Civil Society Forum, falsely portraying it as a serious human rights event. This participation provides significant additional visibility and the façade of legitimacy.

On this basis, Adrien Zoller, who heads Geneva For Human Rights, and who formerly headed the International Service for Human Rights, announced that his group is "at the disposal of the organizers of the Civil Society Forum." This further added to the visibility.

Among the Palestinian NGOs scheduled to participate are Badil and the Ittijah coalition. Badil's funders include Trocaire (an Irish Catholic "aid organization" funded by the government), the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norwegian Peoples Aid, Oxfam, DanChurchAid (DCA), the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), and the NGO Development Center (with funding from Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark and Holland).

Both Badil and Ittijah are leading supporters of the Durban Strategy, promoting the anti-Israel BDS (boycotts, divestment, and sanctions) campaign, and accusing Israel of "apartheid, colonization, occupation, institutionalized racism, ethnic cleansing, etc."

While the degree to which this Civil Society Forum will emulate the 2001 NGO Forum is uncertain, the involvement of many of the same organizations and plans for similar events provide the basis for concern.


Prof. Gerald Steinberg is chair of the Political Science department at Bar Ilan University and Executive Director, NGO Monitor