zaterdag 29 augustus 2009

Edward Kennedy hielp Joden uit Sovjetunie wegkomen

De deze week overleden Amerikaanse senator Edward Kennedy heeft niet alleen veel voor de VS betekend, maar ook voor de Joden uit de Sovjet-Unie. Vooral het verhaal van CNN hieronder laat zien hoever zijn inzet ging.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Ted Kennedy: Friend of the Jews and Israel

The late Edward Kennedy is remembered as a friend of the Jews and Zionism. According to JTA:
Kennedy "was one of the earliest, strongest champions on behalf of Soviet Jewry," said Mark Levin, executive director of NCSJ: Advocates on Behalf of Jews in Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States & Eurasia. "He was always proactive and didn't wait for NCSJ and other organizations to come to him -- he was always looking to see where he could make a difference."
In his 2006 book, "The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror," Natan Sharansky specifically mentions Kennedy as the first Western politician to meet with refuseniks "in a midnight meeting that was kept secret from the KGB until the very last moment."
And Levin noted that whenever Kennedy met with Soviet officials, in Washington or in the Soviet Union, he would bring lists of those he wanted to see released.
"He never forgot we were talking about individuals and families," Levin said.
Kennedy also will be remembered as a strong champion of Israel. Jewish organizational officials noted that he was a stalwart supporter of foreign aid, opposed arms sales to Jordan and Saudi Arabia in the early 1980s, and was a strong backer of recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. He also publicly rebuked President George H.W. Bush when he linked settlements to U.S. loan guarantees for the emigration of Soviet Jews, and was a leading voice in speaking out against the Arab boycott of Israel.
Israeli official rushed to praise Kennedy, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling the senator "an American patriot" and "a great friend of Israel," according to media reports.
And Israeli President Shimon Peres said Kennedy's death was "a very big loss to every sensitive and thinking person the world over."
"Kennedy was a clear friend of Israel the whole way, and in every place that he could help us he did help," he added.
The late senator drew praise from a broad range of Jewish organizations, including both the Orthodox Union and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. They noted that he had worked on a vast array of domestic issues over his 47 years on Capitol Hill, from religious liberty bills such as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, to his efforts on children's health insurance.
YNET tells us that AIPAC published this encomium:
"During his more than four decades in the US Senate, Sen. Kennedy consistently supported American assistance to Israel, particularly during the Jewish state's most trying times, in the wake of the Six-Day War and the Yom Kippur War,"
And YNET continues:
ADL National Chair Abe Foxman also issued a statement of mourning that praised Kennedy for his "leadership on issues of voting reform, religious freedom, civil rights, hate crime protections and immigration reform."
"He fought against anti-Semitism, racism, prejudice and bigotry of all kinds. He was a staunch supporter of Israel and an outspoken advocate for Soviet Jews," wrote Foxman on behalf of the ADL.
American Jewish Committee Executive Director David Harris commented that the late senator was a true friend of the Jewish people who could always be relied upon. "His support for the well-being of the State of Israel was always firm, as was his solidarity with vulnerable Jewish communities, particularly those persecuted in the former Soviet Union," said Harris.
Andrea Weinstein and Rabbi Steve Gutow, respectively chair and president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs said of the senator, "Within the Jewish community, Senator Kennedy will always be remembered as a friend of Israel and a supporter of Middle East peace. As an advocate for keeping our nation's borders open and fighting injustices around the world, he was a leading voice of support for Soviet Jewry. We join Senator Kennedy's family and a grateful nation in celebrating his life and mourning the loss of one of our greatest leaders."
And from CNN we have this poignant story of Kennedy's courage and attention to the needs of individuals:
 BOSTON, Massachusetts (CNN) -- She was called "the littlest refusenik," one of the many Soviet Jews denied permission to leave the Soviet Union because her father had been exposed to government secrets.
But the case of Jessica Katz was special because she was a baby born with a nutritional deficiency that stopped her from growing. She was a tiny baby dying in a Moscow hospital, getting weaker by the day.
It was U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy who, her parents say, eventually saved her life.
Jessica was born in Moscow in 1977 with malabsorption syndrome, which prevented her from digesting food or milk properly. All she needed was baby formula, but it wasn't available in the Soviet Union.
The Soviet doctors couldn't save her. Jessica's parents, Boris and Natalya, were desperate.
Jessica's grandmother had immigrated to Boston, Massachusetts, with two of her sons and was campaigning to get her baby granddaughter out of the Soviet Union.
At first she helped urge American tourists to take baby formula to Moscow for the Katz family, and for a little while, it worked. It seemed to bring Jessica back from the brink.
But it wasn't enough. The Katz family knew they needed a permanent solution -- access to doctors in the West.
Eventually, the grandmother's campaign reached Kennedy's office, and the senator decided to step in. In September 1978, Kennedy traveled to Moscow for a meeting with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev to urge him to let the Katz family -- or at the very least, Jessica -- leave the country immediately.
"If not for his intervention, I would have been arrested very soon [afterward] and it would have been too late for him to intervene," said Katz, recalling the fate of many of his Jewish friends. "So he saved Jessica, he saved me, he saved the rest our family."
The first the Katzes knew of it was late one night when they got a mysterious phone call. The caller invited Boris Katz to a midnight meeting with an unnamed guest -- and in Soviet Russia, Katz didn't dare ask who it was.
"You know in the Soviet Union not to ask too many questions over the phone," he said.
Katz arrived at the meeting and, much to his shock, in walked Kennedy.
"A bunch of KGB men came with him into the room and he just turned around and told the KGB men, 'Go away,'" Katz recalled. "This was clearly the first [time] ever I witnessed something like this. Here the all-powerful KGB men wanted to be at the meeting and the senator just told them to go away, and they looked at each other and just left. And that was, again, a powerful scene."
Kennedy spoke to other refuseniks already gathered in the room before pulling Katz aside.
"He said that earlier he had a meeting in the Kremlin with the Soviet leaders and that he specifically asked to allow us to leave the country for medical reasons," Katz said. "He said that they said yes."
At first, Katz said, he didn't believe him, sure that the Soviet authorities would find a way to scupper the plans. Katz went home and told his wife, who also didn't believe it, he said.
The next morning, a friend called Katz to say he heard Kennedy on the Voice of America radio network listing the names of people leaving the Soviet Union. The Katz family was on the list, the friend said.
Despite the report, however, the Soviet authorities denied it, Katz recalls.
"'We are telling you that this is not the case,'" he remembers them saying. "But this was just part of the game that they played."
About three weeks later, with no fanfare, a card arrived in the mail telling the Katz family to pick up their visa. They now had their ticket out of the country.
The exit wasn't straightforward -- the Katzes' second daughter, Gabriella, was born two days before they were due to leave, so they postponed their exit by five days. And they had to stop over in Vienna, Austria, where they were met by a Kennedy aide for the final leg of their trip.
On landing in Boston, Kennedy was the first person they met. They gave each other a big hug, Katz said.
"Jessica certainly would not have made it if not for his contribution, if not for him taking on the case, getting interested in the case, patiently talking to the Soviet authorities," Katz told CNN. "It was lucky for us. It saved the baby's life and created new life for Natalya and me and our children."
Kennedy's help for the family didn't end there. He helped Boris Katz, who had worked with computers, find a job at a computer software company. Today, Katz works at the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he is the principal research scientist at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.
"He did it because he wanted to help," Katz told CNN. "I think that is what he does -- did -- for many other people. I went to a number of events where other people whom he helped gave various speeches and I learned many more cases [where] he helped people because he likes to help people. It is his job to help people."
Today, little Jessica Katz is 31 years old. She got engaged last year, on the same weekend Kennedy's cancer diagnosis was announced to the public.
Inspired by Kennedy's life of public service, Jessica Katz works at finding housing for the homeless in New York City. She says she has no choice but to look after those less fortunate than she is, because Kennedy proved to her how much it means, and that it can work.
Jessica Katz lacks the cynicism about the government that many others in her generation may have. Kennedy, she said, proved that some politicians have a desire to accomplish good things and fight injustice.
"He saved my life. He could have spent his time doing anything," Jessica Katz said. "He's from the fanciest, most powerful family in Massachusetts, and probably in the country, and he decided to spend his time helping out me and my family."
That has instilled in her a deep sense of public service, she said. And that may be the best thing Kennedy has left behind.
"That that would be his largest, biggest part of his legacy -- as someone who cared deeply about people, who felt, I think, very deeply people's suffering and wanted to alleviate it and wanted to help," Jessica Katz said. "And I am pretty confident that this is how he will be remembered. He was an extraordinary individual and this is how he will stay, certainly in our memories and the memories of millions of others."
Ted Kennedy was one of ours.
Ami Isseroff

Nieuwe ophef in Israël over moord homo's

Ik heb het blijkbaar gemist, misschien omdat we nog met vakantie waren of omdat ik geen zin had om toen we terugkwamen meteen weer alle kranten door te pluizen op zoek naar (negatief) nieuws over Israel. Begin augustus zijn twee homo's in een homo ontmoetingscentrum in Tel Aviv doodgeschoten, en nu roept een anonieme briefschrijver op een ultraorthodoxe website op tot een gerechtelijk onderzoek naar de zogenaamd criminele activiteiten van de betreffende homoclub, die hij beschuldigt van kindermisbruik en verkrachting. Een medewerker van de website zegt volledig achter het artikel te staan en voegt daaraan toe dat
homosexuals "are worse than beasts, at least a beast knows it's [homosexuality] wrong, or not natural".
Artzi finished his statements to Haaretz by saying the managers of the gay center "should be forced to face a firing squad".  
Het doet denken aan een islamitisch boek dat in Nederland een paar jaar geleden in opspraak kwam omdat erin stond dat homosexuelen van de daken moeten worden gegooid, maar dat is gelukkig nooit uitgevoerd voor zover ik weet. Wel zijn diverse homo's uit wijken waar veel Marokkanen wonen weggepest. Ook fundamentalistische christenen hebben het niet zo op homosexualiteit, en laten dat vooral in de VS op niet zo prettige wijze merken. De drie monotheistische religies hebben inderdaad een en ander gemeen.
Nieuwe ophef in Israël over moord homo's
24-08-2009 12:11 | Buitenlandredactie

JERUZALEM – In Israël is nieuwe ophef ontstaan over de moord op twee homo's eerder deze maand. Op een ultra­orthodoxe website werd eind vorige week een oproep gedaan om de leiders van een homo-organisatie voor het vuurpeloton te brengen.

Begin augustus schoot een onbekende schutter twee homo's dood in een ontmoetingscentrum voor homoseksuelen in Tel Aviv. Bij de schietpartij vielen ook vijftien gewonden.

Volgens woordvoerders van de homoseksuele gemeenschap in Tel Aviv ging het om een homofobe aanslag. De politie sloot daarop alle ontmoetingsplekken voor homo's in de stad. Enkele uren na het incident verzamelden homo's en lesbiennes zich in Tel Aviv om te demonstreren. Homoseksualiteit is sinds 1988 legaal in Israël, ondanks fel verzet vanuit religieuze kringen.

Dat verzet uitte zich afgelopen weekeinde opnieuw in een ingezonden brief op een website van de ultraorthodoxe Haredi-gemeenschap. Onder de naam "Ysrael Artzi" publiceerde een anonieme auteur een artikel waarin hij de Israëlische politie ertoe oproept de managers van de homogelegenheid in Tel Aviv te arresteren. Volgens hem runnen zij een club waar kinderen worden gemolesteerd en waar „perverse seksuele handelingen" plaatshebben.

„Veel burgers zijn ziek van dit verdorven gedrag, dat elke morele grens mist. Zij verwachten dat de autoriteiten de managers van de club veroordelen voor de misdaden die zij hebben begaan", aldus de brief. De auteur haalt fel uit naar homoseksuelen. „Ze zijn erger dan dieren; een beest weet tenminste nog dat homoseksualiteit verkeerd en tegennatuurlijk is." Het stuk eindigt met de oproep dat de managers „moeten worden gedwongen voor een vuurpeloton te verschijnen."

De brief heeft de spanningen tussen seculiere en religieuze Israëliërs verder opgevoerd. Advocaat Oren Lev, die namens de Israëlische homobeweging optreedt, heeft van de beheerders van de orthodoxe website geëist dat zij het gewraakte artikel verwijderen en een schadevergoeding van omgerekend bijna 100.000 euro betalen. Volgens Lev zet dit soort artikelen tot nieuwe „haatmisdaden" aan.

Orthodox-joodse groeperingen verzetten zich al jaren tegen legalisering en acceptatie van homoseksualiteit in Israël. In het verleden leidde dat regelmatig tot geweld, vooral bij de jaarlijkse homoparade in Jeruzalem.
Haredi writer: Gays should be forced to face firing squad
By Uri Blau, Haaretz Correspondent
A Haredi Web site this week published an article calling for police to arrest the managers of the Tel Aviv gay center that was the scene of a shooting that left two dead earlier this month, claiming that the managers ran a club where child molestation and acts of sexual perversion took place.

The article on the "Tzofer" Web site, which had the headline "Prosecute the managers of the club where the murders happened", said the gay center's management should stand trial for "the acts they carried out on minors behind the walls of that club of perversion".

The article, which appears under the byline "Yisrael Artzi", presents an anonymous letter sent to the Web site and to the Israel National Council for the Child, requesting that authorities investigate the activities carried out inside the club.
The article ends with the statement "many citizens are sick of this depraved behavior that lacks any moral boundaries, and expect the authorities to prosecute the managers of the club for the crimes they have carried out".

In response to the article, a lawyer for the Israeli LGBT organization contacted Tzofer and requested that they retract the article and pay the organization NIS 500,000 in damages. Attorney Oren Lev said articles of its sort "will lead to further hate crimes".

Tzofer writer Yisrael Artzi said he did not know who wrote the article, but did not shy away from issuing his own condemnation of the LGBT community.

"These perverts take everything out into the street, into the public domain. A child, religious or secular, doesn't need to know they exist".

Artzi added that homosexuals "are worse than beasts, at least a beast knows it's [homosexuality] wrong, or not natural".

Artzi finished his statements to Haaretz by saying the managers of the gay center "should be forced to face a firing squad".

Twee leugens over Israel en vrede en de VS

Sultan Knish is misschien wat kort door de bocht hier en daar, maar het is verfrissend eens een betoog te lezen over hoe gering Israels invloed op het Midden-Oosten in feite is, en hoe weinig succesvol de Israellobby in de VS is.
Je zou kunnen argumenteren dat Israel voor veel Arabieren een grote symbolische waarde heeft, en een einde aan de bezetting wel degelijk hun houding tegenover het westen zou beinvloeden. Zelf denk ik dat het probleem daarmee niet is opgelost: Israel is voor veel Arabieren een vernedering. Niet zozeer de bezetting, maar Israel zelf, het feit dat zij succesvol is en de Arabische staten op alle gebieden voorbij is gestreefd, en dat zonder olie en met veel vijanden. De bezetting symboliseert de Arabische vernedering. Dat men door Joden, die in de islam als dhimmi's worden gezien, tweederangsburgers die minderwaardig zijn, is verslagen maakt de vernedering des te pijnlijker.
De bezetting is niet zozeer het kernprobleem maar een symptoom. De Arabische weigering Israel te erkennen en er vrede mee te sluiten leidde tot de bezetting, die de wens zaken recht te zetten en de vernedering ongedaan te maken alleen nog maar heeft versterkt. Pas wanneer de Arabieren de wens om 'historisch onrecht' (lees: de vernederingen van 1948 en 1967) ongedaan te maken los kunnen laten en bereid zijn mee te werken aan een oplossing die ook goed is voor Israel én de Palestijnen, is vrede mogelijk.

Sultan Knish, August 2009
There are two interconnected lies that reside at the heart of any American discussion about Israel. The first lie is that the road to peace in the Middle East lies through Israel. The second lie is that Israel controls American policy toward itself. Those lies are not the product of ignorance or misunderstanding, they are the product of an effective propaganda campaign by the unofficial suit and tie spokesmen of the Saudi lobby who dominate American policy in the Middle East. The goal of that campaign has been to make Israel seem like the axis on which the Middle East and America turn, in order to put Israel on the firing line. And it is a campaign that has been wickedly successful up until now. 
Let's take a moment to examine those lies now.
Within the Middle East, Israel is physically insignificant. At 8500 square miles, Israel could not just fit comfortably into Pennsylvania, it is 1/5th the size of Jordan, 1/8th the size of Syria and 1/12th the size of Egypt. Simply put, Israel is smaller in land and population than every country that borders it. If you looked at the Middle East from space, you could easily put a fingernail across all of Israel.
Israel has beaten all of these countries in wars and has the best military in the region, but that is because if it didn't, it wouldn't exist. Israel's military is not the product of a will to conquer, but of an attempt to maintain its own territorial integrity and protect its citizens from attack. Israel's neighbors have never needed to work as hard or spend as much to maintain their own armed forces, because they don't truly need them. For them a strong army is not a survival strategy, it is optional.
All those who rant endlessly about Israel's settlements in the West Bank and Gaza as proof of Israel's desire to seize land, forget that Jordan annexed the West Bank only two years after its forces captured it in the 1948 War of Independence. Israel has not annexed the West Bank even after more than 40 years, and has continued to offer it in peace negotiations year after year. That is not the policy of an aggressive land hungry regime. It is not the behavior of a country that keeps its neighbors up late at night. While Israel's leaders have spent over half a century staying up late at night worrying about a war, Israel's neighbors know that war is their choice.
But what this means in practice is that Israel has very little influence beyond its own borders. With a small size, no expansionist program beyond its own territory, and as one of only two non-Arab states and the only non-Muslim state in the region... Israel's impact on the rest of the Middle East is surprisingly limited. To get a proper picture of Israel's role in the Middle East, imagine plopping Singapore in the middle of a wartorn part of Africa. It can be attacked, it can fight back, but it cannot have any real local influence.
That is why Israel remains an outsider in the political trends and turmoil of the region. The shift between Arab Nationalism and Islamism, the coups and the bloodletting between Shiite and Sunni, are all events that Israel watches from a distance. Israel is not a political participant in the ideological conflicts of the Middle East, because it does not share a common religion or ethnicity or much of anything with its neighbors. Its diplomatic relations are primarily formal, not intimate. As a result Israel has very little political influence on the Middle East, and what little influence it has, is on its immediate neighbors, such as Lebanon and Jordan, who are fairly small on the scale of the Middle East as well.
Furthermore Israel and its neighbors are in part of the Middle East that has become largely irrelevant because of its lack of oil. While Egypt and Jordan were once considered major regional players, both have long ago been sidelined by the oil rich Saudi Arabia, Iran and the UAE. None of these countries share a common border with Israel. While diplomats and pundits obsess over the West Bank and Gaza, what happens there has virtually no impact on what happens where the oil and power lie.
Not only does the road to peace in the Middle East not run through Israel, it doesn't even run anywhere near Israel.  A quick look at a map shows you just how off the beaten path Israel is when it comes to the true token of global power, oil. And it is not some Elders of Zion fantasy of the Israel lobby that defines global power to the Middle East, it is who has the oil. And  while Israel has plenty of olive oil, it has none of the kind of oil that the world is interested in.
Since the 70's, the Middle East's real power struggle has shifted to the oil rich states, to Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states. Iran and Iraq chose to build up their armies, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states instead built up their political influence in Washington D.C. and let the United States fight for them. This strategy paid off in the Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom when Kuwait was liberated and Saudi Arabia got Saddam's boot off its throat. Israel was never at risk of anything more than bomb blasts and rocket shelling from Saddam. By contrast Saudi Arabia and Kuwait had their survival at stake.
With Saddam gone, Iran and Saudi Arabia are funding Sunni and Shiite insurgencies within Iraq in order to seize Saddam's oil. As a fallback position in case Iran manages to swallow Iraq and then moves on to them, the Sheiks and Princes continue buying huge stakes in American and European companies and property, in case they suddenly find themselves having to take a quick plane trip away from the region.
Remove Israel from the region, as so many diplomats and pundits would like to, and this picture remains exactly the same. How influential is Israel in the region then, and why does the path to Middle Eastern peace run through it? The answer is that it doesn't. Some diplomats choose to blame America's alliance with Israel for its image problems, but alliances are dictated by interests. American's alliance with Israel, much like Saudi Arabia's alliance with America, are the products of interests, not emotions. Iran's hostility to America is the product of religious hostility, historical animosity and its own desire to grab as much of the Middle East for itself as it can.
Let's turn to Washington then. The myth of the All-Powerful Israel lobby has been extensively marketed for decades. But let's actually take a look at how powerful this lobby is.
If the so-called Israel Lobby is so powerful, why after all these decades, has the United States failed to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital? Presidential candidates routinely visit AIPAC to promise that Jerusalem will be recognized as Israel's capitol. Bill Clinton did it, Bush promised that it would be one of his first acts in office, Obama implied it. And once in office, not only did they not keep the promise, but they routinely signed waivers to prevent Jerusalem from being treated as Israel's capital.
There is only one nation whose capital is not recognized by the United States. That nation is also the one who the wisdom of the mainstream media and many of the suit and tie unofficial members of the Saudi lobby, would have you believe controls America. The narrative of the powerful Israel lobby before whom everyone in D.C. trembles cannot be reconciled with this simple fact, or with many others.
For example, in every peace agreement completely under US mediation, Israel has given up land and never gained any permanent territory. If Israel were as expansionist and as in control of the United States government, should it not have been the other way around? Yet at Camp David, Carter pressured Begin into turning over land that was several times the size of Israel. Carter did not pressure Sadat to turn over land to Israel. The last four US administrations have pressured Israel into a peace process with the PLO that required Israel to transfer a sizable portion of land to their control. At no point in time were Egypt and Jordan expected to do the same. Does this sound like the product of an all-powerful Israel lobby.
Defenders of the "Israel Runs Washington" meme will argue that the US should have pressured Israel to do much more. As if Israel could do anymore without committing suicide. But then why hasn't the United States pressured Turkey to stop its occupation of Cyprus or demanded that Spain create a state for the Basque? Either the Turkish Lobby or the Spanish Lobby is far more powerful than the Israel Lobby, or Israel is singled out because of pressure from a much stronger lobby, the Saudi Lobby.
What the "Israel Lobby" mainly deals with is the back and forth arms trade between the United States and Israel, partially packaged as foreign aid, and non-binding congressional resolutions that have as much force as a municipal resolution naming Tuesday, Global Twig Day. Most congressmen identify as Pro-Israel, mainly because it's easy, costs them nothing and lets them pick up a few votes here and there. It is easy enough to vote on or co-sponsor the occasional pro-Israel resolution that does nothing but gather dust in the record cabinets, because it has no actual application. It is so ridiculously easy that even Barack Obama has done it. And it's so meaningless that no President takes them seriously. Any measure that actually has legislative force is routinely crafted so that the President can waive it or set it aside if it interferes with administration policy. Which is exactly what happens much of the time.
As a result most congressmen can mention a pro-Israel bill that they voted on or co-sponsored around election time to gullible Jewish audiences who fail to understand that the 2012 Israel Friendship Act or the 2043 No Money Given to Terrorists, We Really Mean It This Time Act, has as much practical utility as a cell phone in the Sahara. And few of these same congressmen are actually pro-Israel when it matters. They're pro-Israel when it's an exercise in public relations. That is not what a powerful lobby's grip on a government looks like. If you want to see that, take a look at the lobbyists for the pharmaceutical industry or the cable industry. Or the Saudi lobby, which doesn't waste time holding rubber chicken dinners for politicians, but instead has built a massive contact base of unofficial suit and tie lobbyists, former politicians, diplomats and journalists who are expert at peddling the Saudi agenda.

To determine the power of a lobby, you look at what it can do when it matters, and when the odds are against it. The one direct collision between the Pro-Israel lobby and the Saudi lobby over the AWACS sale to Saudi Arabia, ended with a Saudi victory, despite overall public and congressional opposition to the sale. The Pro-Israel lobby was vocal and public. The Saudi lobby was in control behind the scenes. And just as it had when Saudi Arabia took over ARAMCO, and forced the United States to pay for it too... the Saudi Lobby won.
That is what a lobby that controls Washington D.C. does. It doesn't put out a nameplate. It doesn't waste time on rubber chicken dinners. It instead funds a host of organizations officially headed up by Americans with influence and power in Washington D.C. It gives them the funds to cultivate ties, to build think tanks and to build relationships behind the scenes. It doesn't care whether it's dealing with Republicans or Democrats. Come one, come all. We can put you to use too. And it makes sure that nobody pays very much attention to what is going on. Instead it dips into well worn propaganda to spread the idea that the Jews control Washington D.C., knowing that there will be plenty of eager takers to polish and pass on the meme.
If you look at what some of the most powerful people in the last few administrations had in common, the simple answer is oil. Saudi oil. The woman in control of foreign policy in the second half of the Bush Administration, Condoleeza Rice, did not have her name on an Israeli oil tanker, but a Chevron oil tanker, the former parent company of ARAMCO. The man quietly dominating US foreign policy under Obama, James L. Jones did not serve on the board of directors of Manischewitz, he served on the same Chevron board of directors that Rice had formerly served on. And Rice did everything but outright appoint him as her replacement.
But of course no one could possibly believe a wild conspiracy theory like that, not when the obvious answer is that the Israel Lobby controls Washington D.C. and keeps demanding that administration after administration force it to hand over land to its worst enemies. And for some reason forces successive administrations to not recognize its own capital city, encourages them to constantly threaten it and prevent it from defending itself.
The Pro-Israel Lobby is a charade, a showpiece for people with too much time on their hands and too little subtlety. If half the claims about the Israel Lobby were true, Israel would be four times the size it is today, with secure borders and no terrorist problem. Instead Israel has been pressured like no other country has, to appease and accommodate terrorists at the expense of the lives of its citizens, its national security and even its survival... by a foreign policy crafted to fulfill Saudi interests.
The Big Israel Lie is that Israel is powerful in Washington and mighty in the Middle East. The real truth is that Israel is a tiny country that commands emotional affinity from a limited percentage of Jews and Christians, whose diplomacy abroad is clumsy, and whose regional influence is small, whose military is handicapped by liberal handwringing and whose leaders would rather negotiate than fight... until there is no other choice.
This lie is meant to make Israel seem strong, in order to place it at the center of every problem and turn it into the nail that needs to be hammered down for everything to stand straight. But the easiest way to clear up the lie is to simply look at the reality of the Middle East and see that Israel vanishes beneath a single fingernail.

Boycot campagne heeft einde Israel tot doel

Ook als je fel tegen de bezetting bent, zoals Larry Derfner, betekent dat nog niet dat je voor een boycot van Israel moet pleiten, integendeel. De boycot Israel campagne, die Zuid-Afrika als het grote voorbeeld ziet, is tegen Israels bestaansrecht als Joodse staat, voor de terugkeer van alle Palestijnse vluchtelingen en hun nakomelingen, en pleit soms openlijk voor een eenstatenoplossing (lees: de opheffing van Israel). In Nederland pleiten mensen als Van Agt en diverse linkse politici (Martijn van Dam, Harry van Bommel) voor een of andere vorm van boycot, en ook organisaties als United Civilians for Peace, Een Ander Joods Geluid en natuurlijk het Palestina Komitee promoten dit idee.
Rattling the Cage: The Zionist Left's red lines
Aug. 26, 2009
There's a lot I agree with, a lot I identify with, in Neve Gordon's recent Los Angeles Times op-ed "Boycott Israel." Like the Ben-Gurion University professor, I realize that Israel has become so right-wing that it's not going to end the occupation on its own. While I haven't lost all hope, as he has, that the Obama administration will force Israel's hand, I can't help seeing that Barack Obama and his team are wilting by the day.
Like Gordon, I look at my two sons and dread the future that's waiting for them in this country unless there's a radical change, which is seeming more and more unlikely.
But while I pretty much go along with his reading of where things stand, I want nothing to do with the solution he's chosen - throwing in with the Palestinian/international campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. By doing so, he's joining a movement that is not out to "save Israel from itself," as he writes, but one that simply hates Israel's guts, that sees it as 100 percent guilty and the Palestinians as 100% innocent.
He's standing up for a cause that's rotten and destructive.
SUPPORTING THE BDS campaign is a very, very far cry from what the Zionist Left, myself included, have been doing: urging the Obama administration to pressure Israel into trading land for peace. The difference is that the Obama administration, like all of its predecessors and like the Zionist Left, is anti-occupation but pro-Israel. There may never have been a country that was as good a friend to another country as the US has been to this one. When we call on Washington to pressure Israel into ending the occupation, we do so knowing that Washington is not going to take any step that would damage this country's security.
We do it knowing that Obama and his team, even if they wouldn't put it in these terms, really do want to save Israel from itself.
But the BDS campaign? The 2008 "Bilbao initiative" that Gordon endorses, has as its stated goal the pressuring of Israel in a "gradual, sustainable manner that is sensitive to context and capacity," whatever the hell that means.
Reading the Bilbao initiative, I don't see anything "gradual" or "sensitive" about the punishments its authors would visit on Israel, though I think I understand what they mean by "sustainable."
I think they mean "permanent."
The folks at Bilbao didn't just denounce the Israeli occupation. No, their initiative "exposes Israel as a state which is built on the massive ethnic cleansing of 1948." Since then, the indictment goes on, Israel has been "promoting exclusively Jewish immigration while barring the Palestinians' right to return."
The offense goes way, way beyond the West Bank settlements and the siege of Gaza - it's Israel's "regime," it's Israel's whole "system." On both sides of the Green Line. "Israel's regime is a system that uniquely combines apartheid, settler-colonialism and belligerent occupation."
The folks at Bilbao, by the way, included not only "Spanish solidarity groups" and "Palestinian civil society networks." "Also," the authors point out, "the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) was strongly present and endorsed this document."
Thank you so much. Somehow I have a feeling that if these people heard that they were out to "save Israel from itself," they'd be awfully insulted.
No, unlike the Obama team's approach, the BDS campaign isn't about tough love for Israel. It's about abuse.
Neve Gordon, like others in the movement, cites the campaign against apartheid South Africa as a model, a precedent for using strong, unpleasant medicine to heal a very sick, obstinate patient. Without going into all the differences - as well as the similarities - between apartheid and the occupation, I want to show briefly why the BDS campaign against apartheid South Africa was just, and why the one against Israel is just wrong.
The anti-apartheid movement's goal was absolutely fair to all South Africans: one person, one vote. When that goal was achieved, the country was cured.
But what is the goal of the BDS movement, aside from the "right of return" to Israel for 4.5 million Palestinian refugees? It's definitely not the two-state solution, not if one of those states is Zionist. So is the goal a binational state on the basis of one person, one vote? Under which government - a coalition of Likud, Kadima, Hamas and Fatah? Somehow I can't see it.
IT WAS one thing to expect South African whites to live in a country led by Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress. It's another thing to expect Israeli Jews to live in a country led, or even jointly led, by Hamas and Fatah.
The logic of the BDS movement leads to this end. From his op-ed, I don't think this is what Neve Gordon wants, but this is what he's ended up supporting.
Like him, I think "Israel has reached a historic crossroads, and times of crisis call for dramatic measures." There are possibilities. For instance, I like the one just proposed by Salam Fayad, prime minister of the Palestinian Authority - to unilaterally begin building a state in the West Bank right now, with an eye to declaring independence in two years.
I can support that. I can support anything that furthers the goal of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and Arab east Jerusalem, alongside a Jewish, democratic Israel.
I won't support anything else because there is no other just goal.
I don't have much hope left that it will be achieved, but if I ever become completely hopeless, utterly despairing, then the right thing for me to do, politically, would be to leave this country. That would be the honorable decision.
Joining a movement that advertises its thoroughgoing malice for Israel, and that means to wreck it, not save it, is dishonorable.

donderdag 27 augustus 2009

150 Woningen voor Joden in Arabische wijk Oost-Jeruzalem

Duizenden Palestijnen trekken naar Joodse wijken in Oost-Jeruzalem, en sommige zijn daardoor nu eerder gemengde dan Joodse wijken. Daar heb ik Ir Amim noch enige andere organisatie die altijd moord en brand schreeuwen over Joodse vestiging in Oost-Jeruzalem, ooit over gehoord. Arabieren kunnen zich ook in West-Jeruzalem vestigen, al zullen zij niet in alle wijken even welkom zijn. In Israel worden buurten en wijken, meer dan bij ons, bepaald door religie (ook de mate van religieus zijn) en etniciteit. Het is vreemd dat linkse en progressieve organisaties, die diversiteit en coëxistentie voorstaan, zo vallen over Joodse vestiging in Arabische wijken. In sommige van die wijken woonden oorspronkelijk ook Joden, die er indertijd door Jordanië uit zijn gegooid. Niet alleen Israel stimuleert vestiging van Joden in Oost-Jeruzalem, de Palestijnse Autoriteit stimuleert evenzeer vestiging en (illegale) bouw in Oost-Jeruzalem door Palestijnen, en beide doen dit om politieke redenen. De aantallen Joden die nu in Arabische wijken over de Groene Lijn wonen zijn overigens miniem vergeleken met de aantallen Arabieren die daar wonen, en lijken de identiteit van die wijken nou niet direct in gevaar te brengen.

Report: 150 housing units for Jews progressed in east J'lem in past year,7340,L-3767866,00.html
Coexistence group, Ir Amim, issues report criticizing City of Jerusalem for encouraging building for Jews in Arab neighborhoods. '750 residents will join some 2,000 already living there'
Ronen Medzini
Published:  08.27.09, 08:36
A plan to build about 150 housing units for Jews in Jerusalem's Palestinian neighborhoods moved forward in the first half of 2009, according to a report published Thursday by coexistence non-profit group, Ir Amim. According to the group, this would mean that 750 Jewish residents would join some 2,000 already living in Arab neighborhoods in the east of the city.
"These settlements create a continuity of Jewish population in the neighborhoods surrounding the Old City and settles settlers in the area that is at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," the report said.
According to the document, building plans are progressing in the neighborhood Ras al-Amud, where the erection of 104 housing units is planned, and in the Wadi Hilwe compound in the Silwan neighborhood, where another 20 units will be built. The Shepherd Hotel compound in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood is the planned site for another 30 such units.
Authors of the report noted that a bulk of the building activity is being spearheaded by the groups Elad and Ateret Cohanim.
According to the report, "This activity is part of an organized strategic move, coordinated with and advanced by various government authorities and Jerusalem Municipality."
Ir Amim's Executive Director Yudith Oppenheimer said, "The objective of these plans has been recently exposed along with the accompanying evictions. The goal is to notably expand the settlements, and they are particularly worrisome."

Oppenheimer explained, "In a number of cases, these settlements dissect Palestinian neighborhoods, damage the existing population, and are likely to ignite this area, which is very sensitive." According to her, "Adding 150 housing units to the settlers in the area that is the cornerstone of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is likely to thwart any future possibility for a consensual political solution to the conflict."
According to the report, about half of the Jewish residents in the Arab neighborhoods live in the Christian and Muslim quarters of the Old City. The report noted that 170 Jews live in A-Tur, 250 in Ras al-Amud, 280 in Silwan, 50 in Sheikh Jarrah, and hundreds reside in the new neighborhood Nof Tzion in the heart of Jabel Mukaber.

Islamitische opperrechter PA ontkent Joodse geschiedenis Jeruzalem (aflevering 587)

Het zijn dit soort waanideeën, gefrabiceerd en gepropageerd door het 'gematigde' Palestijnse leiderschap op de Westoever, die vrede onmogelijk maken. In een Palestijns leiderschap met dergelijke ideeën kan Israël immers geen enkel vertrouwen stellen, een noodzakelijke voorwaarde voor concessies.

PA judge: Jews have no history in J'lem
Khaled Abu Toameh , THE JERUSALEM POST
The Palestinian Authority's chief Islamic judge, Sheikh Tayseer Rajab Tamimi, said on Wednesday that there was no evidence to back up claims that Jews had ever lived in Jerusalem or that the Temple ever existed.
Tamimi claimed that Israeli archeologists had "admitted" that Jerusalem was never inhabited by Jews.

Tamimi's announcement came in response to statements made earlier this week by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who said that Jerusalem "is not a settlement," and that "the Jews built it 3,000 years ago."

"Netanyahu's claims are baseless and untrue," said Tamimi, the highest religious authority in the PA. "Jerusalem is an Arab and Islamic city and it always has been so."

Tamimi claimed that all excavation work conducted by Israel after 1967 have "failed to prove that Jews had a history or presence in Jerusalem or that their ostensible temple had ever existed."

He condemned Netanyahu and "all Jewish rabbis and extremist organizations" as liars because of their assertion that Jerusalem was a Jewish city.

Tamimi accused Israel of distorting the facts and forging history "with the aim of erasing the Arab and Islamic character of Jerusalem." He also accused Israel of launching an "ethnic cleansing" campaign to squeeze Arabs out of the city.

"By desecrating its holy sites, expelling its Arab residents and demolishing their homes and confiscating their lands and building settlements in Jerusalem, Israel is seeking, through the use of weapons, to turn it into a Jewish city," he said. "This is a flagrant violation of all religious, legal, moral and human values."

In another development, Hamas and Islamic Jihad on Wednesday rejected the political platform of PA Prime Minister Salaam Fayad.

The platform, which was published on Tuesday, pledges that the Fayad government would work toward establishing a de facto Palestinian state within two years even if no agreement was reached with Israel. The platform talks about peaceful resistance against Israeli "occupation." The two Islamic groups said in response that the only way to establish a state was through "armed struggle." They said that Fayad's plan was unrealistic and unclear, adding that it would be impossible to establish a state "under occupation."

VS laat eis varen voor bevriezing nederzettingenbouw in Oost-Jeruzalem

Het lijkt erop dat Israel en de VS tot een compromis komen wat betreft de bouw in de nederzettingen, dat Abbas weer met Israel wil gaan praten, en er zijn ook geruchten van een op handen zijnde deal wat betreft een gevangenenruil met Hamas. Het lijkt dus zowaar alsof er enige beweging in de zaak zit, al is het niet persé allemaal beweging de goede kant op.
Zo lijkt mij iedere gevangenenruil die voor Hamas aanvaardbaar is (de grote lijnen van de deal zijn waarschijnlijk onveranderd ten opzichte van eerdere voorstellen; het verschil van mening zat hem in enkele tientallen zeer zware gevallen) voor Israel een grote vernedering en voor Hamas een aanmoediging tot meer ontvoeringen en een boost voor haar populariteit. Maar een deal met de VS en praten met de Palestijnen juich ik toe, al verwacht ik van dat laatste, gezien de resoluties die onlangs op het congres van Fatah zijn aangenomen, niet veel.
Wat me verbaast is dat Netanjahoe naast erkenning van Israel als Joodse staat niet méér nadruk legt op de haatpropaganda in Palestijnse - ook aan de Palestijnse Autoriteit geliëerde - media. Zolang (zelfmoord)terroristen als helden worden afgeschilderd en Joden van werkelijk alle problemen in het Midden-Oosten de schuld krijgen, lijken de kansen op vrede me klein.
Last update - 17:18 27/08/2009       
U.S. drops demand for Israel building freeze in East Jerusalem
By Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent, and News Agencies
BERLIN - The Obama administration has agreed to Israel's request to remove East Jerusalem from negotiations on the impending settlement freeze.
According to both Israeli officials and Western diplomats, U.S. envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell has recognized the fact that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cannot announce a settlement freeze in East Jerusalem. The officials said the U.S. will not endorse new construction there, but would not demand Jerusalem publicly announce a freeze.
Netanyahu presented a proposal on Wednesday for resolving the ongoing Israeli-American dispute over construction in the settlements. In a meeting with Mitchell, Netanyahu suggested a temporary freeze, reportedly for nine months, on construction in the West Bank, a government source said.
Netanyahu also said that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' reported willingness to meet with him was "a positive first step."
The Americans are slated to respond to Netanyahu's proposal at a meeting in Washington next week between Mitchell and two Israeli officials: Netanyahu's envoy, attorney Yitzhak Molcho, and Defense Minister Ehud Barak's chief of staff, Brig. Gen. Mike Herzog.
Mitchell himself will return to Jerusalem in the second week of September with the goal of finalizing an agreement.
The new Israeli proposal will exclude some 2,500 housing units on which construction has already started.
Additionally, in special cases where it is necessary to keep "normal life," Netanyahu wants to be able to erect public buildings in the settlements - mainly kindergartens and schools.
Finally, Israel wants the freeze to have a clear "exit plan." In Israel's view, the freeze is a confidence-building measure that must be matched by reciprocal steps from the PA and Arab states. If these fail to materialize, Israel wants an American guarantee that it will not oppose renewed building.
Following their meeting, Mitchell and Netanyahu issued a brief joint statement saying that "good progress" had been made, and the talks would continue.
However, the statement also included that the two "agreed on the importance of restarting meaningful negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians and working toward a comprehensive peace, and that all sides need to take concrete steps toward peace."
At his press conference, Netanyahu reiterated that good progress had been made at the meeting, but said some issues remained unresolved. The goal, he said, is "to strike a balance" that would meet the settlers' basic needs while also enabling peace talks to resume.
Responding to Palestinian reports that Abbas had expressed willingness to meet with him at next month's UN General Assembly session in New York, Netanyahu said that if Abbas "is behind this declaration, that would be progress. This is a positive thing, a positive first step."
Until now, Abbas has refused to meet with him unless he first imposes a total freeze on settlement construction.
Netanyahu said he is willing to discuss all the well-known final-status issues, such as Jerusalem, borders and the refugees, but also intends to raise issues of his own - primarily the demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state and that any agreement explicitly declare the conflict over and bar any further claims.
"We also have core issues, and the issue of recognition is core, in my view," he said. "If we insist on the recognition, there will be a peace agreement."
Netanyahu is scheduled to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday for talks on efforts to reach a peace agreement in the Middle East.
The premier met with German head of state Horst Koehler on Wednesday, after talks with Mitchell in London.
On Netanyahu's agenda are garnering European support for a tougher stance against Iran and reaching a deal on settlement construction in the West Bank, the cessation of which is a key Palestinian precondition for going back to the negotiating table.
Netanyahu is due to meet German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in the morning before being greeted by Merkel in the chancellery in the afternoon.
Merkel preceded the visit by calling for a greater readiness for compromise on Netanyahu's part, in an interview with German television.
Merkel told the N24 broadcaster on Wednesday that "we shouldn't let the window of opportunity pass," and renewed calls for the so-called two-state solution to be implemented.
"The time is absolutely right. Let us do everything to use it," Merkel said.

Kibboets vrijwilligersprogramma moet herleven

Nogmaar weinig kibboetsen bieden vrijwilligers uit het buitenland de mogelijkheid om een jaar ofzo op de kibboets te werken, ervaring op te doen, zich in te zetten voor een goede zaak en Israel te leren kennen. De kibboetsen doen niet meer hoofdzakelijk aan landbouw, maar steeds meer mensen werken gewoon in de stad, en dragen een deel van hun inkomen af aan de kibboets. Ook hebben sommige kibboetsen gemeenschappelijke voorzieningen zoals de eetzaal afgeschaft, en eet iedereen gewoon met zijn eigen gezin. Dergelijke veranderingen passen in de mentaliteit van individualisering en waren nodig om te voorkomen dat de jongeren massaal wegtrokken, maar er is ook veel verloren gegaan. Sommige mensen proberen het internationaal vrijwilligerswerk nu nieuw leven in te blazen.

Every kibbutz volunteer has fond memories of drinking ersatz coffee at 4 AM and similar. A bonding experience you won't ever forget. It is not surprising that the volunteer program is reviving, but kibbutzim, like everything else, are not always what they used to be. [A.I.]
Limited space for overseas kibbutz volunteers
Aug. 24, 2009
The Kibbutz Movement is trying to convince kibbutzim to reopen their gates to overseas volunteers.
Since the Six Day War, some 350,000 young foreigners have come to work in the fields, dairies and dining rooms of Israel's kibbutzim. At the height of the program's popularity, nearly every kibbutz hosted volunteers.
Changes in the kibbutz movement have also brought changes to the volunteer program. Most kibbutzim have long since deviated from the socialist ideology of "from everyone according to their abilities, to everyone according to their needs."
There are some 270 kibbutzim, 180 of which are referred to as "renewed kibbutzim." These usually have differential salaries for members, and they may lack shared facilities, like the once-ubiquitous dining room.
Many kibbutzim have been undergoing economic difficulties. Nowadays, as most can't afford to provide living quarters and jobs for temporary volunteers, and see foreign workers as a cheaper and simpler way to fill their needs for labor, only 25 host overseas volunteers.
But after hitting a low of only about 100 volunteers during the terror war in 2001, some 1,500 foreigners were hosted on kibbitzum in 2008.
The number of volunteer spots can't keep up with the demand from people who continue to seek the much-storied kibbutz experience.
This is why the new head of the Kibbutz Movement's Overseas Volunteer Program, Aya Sagi, has made it her goal to convince at least five kibbutzim to return to hosting volunteers.
However, the question remains - with all of the changes on kibbutzim throughout the country, how much traditional communal life is left for volunteers to experience?
Sagi still sees the program as important both for volunteers and kibbutzim, but realizes that the changing face of kibbutz life also means dealing with new challenges.
"[The program] is important from a Zionist perspective," she told the Jerusalem Post on Monday. "The volunteers come out of a desire to live the kibbutz experience at the same time as they are traveling and exploring Israel... When they go home, they become ambassadors for Israel."
"There are many advantages for the kibbutz [to hosting] young people with a different culture, different language... It brings life into the kibbutz, and [forces] those living on kibbutz to open their minds."
According to Sagi, one of the changes since the volunteer program's heyday in the 1970s is that the kibbutz isn't the "bubble" it used to be. "But [volunteers] still bring the kibbutz to life," she said.
Kibbutz Movement representative Aviv Leshem wrote, "Volunteers bring with them joie de vivre, a spirit of youth, and cultural variety, as well as assistance in different work areas, some of them temporary, which allows kibbutz members to do more permanent work. In this program, we see true Zionism. It gives a beautiful perspective of Israel for the youth of the world, who return to their home countries as supporters of Israel."
Many volunteers seek to live on "conventional" kibbutzim, said Sagi. "When there is a dining room, you can meet the population [of the kibbutz] in the dining room. When there is a pool, you can meet the population in the pool."
Kibbutzim without these shared features necessarily offer fewer opportunities for community life, and for volunteers to build personal connections with kibbutznikim. However, with "renewed kibbutzim" becoming the new reality, Sagi said she planned to try to bring volunteers there also.
An open mind and creative thinking are the keys to convincing kibbutzim to come back to the program, she said. Workplaces and accommodations for volunteers are the main obstacles, but Sagi said she plans to search the country for host communities and then help them to find ways to make it feasible to bring in volunteers - whether this meant bringing in trailers for volunteers to sleep in, or finding ways for them to work with the elderly kibbutz members.

Is Nederland anti Israel geworden? (VK blog)

In krom Nederlands geschreven, geeft David zelf toe, maar wel erg herkenbaar voor wie weleens de 'discussies' op de Volkskrant site heeft gevolgd of eraan heeft deelgenomen (tegen beter weten in), zoals ik.

Is Nederland anti Israel geworden?

maandag 24 augustus 2009 09:10 door dataeng

Door David Verveer

Het eerste deel : VOORSPEL

Een paar jaar geleden brak de oorlog uit tussen de Hezbollah in Libanon en Israël, nadat twee Israëli soldaten gekaapt werden en vier andere soldaten vermoord door een Hezbollah onderdeel, die de Internationale grens doorbraken, en zo de wapen stilstand verbroken, na voortdurende beschieting van uit Libanon.

Israël verloor haar zelf controle en viel Libanon binnen met een zwaar lucht offensief, dat gevolgd werd een paar dagen later met een land offensief. Zo als gewoonlijk, de Internationale pers zag alleen maar de kant van Libanon, met het gebruikelijke commentaar na dat Israël uit zelf verdediging, straf acties neemt tegen Arabische buur landen, die Israël omringen.

In antwoord op deze een eenzijdige aanvallen op Israël, schreef ik een sarcastisch parallel dat ging over St. Joris en de draak, waarbij de draak Hezbollah was, en de IDF St. Joris. Deze aangepaste Fabel zond ik naar de Engelse Internet Editie van het grootste krant in Israël (Ynet / Jediot Aharonot) en tot mijn grote verbazing publiceerde ze het artikel, en verzochten mij om regelmatig opinie stukjes te schrijven, en zo, van lezer werd ik schrijver. Wat ik het leukste vond van het schrijven waren de reacties, die erg negatief tot erg positief waren, maar na de eerste 20 reacties niets meer te maken hadden over het artikel in kwestie en discuteerde en argumenteerde en beledigd men elkander over onderwerpen die ik en andere schrijvers nooit over hadden geschreven, net of men een prikker nodig had om hun ideeën kwijt te raken. Het merendeel van de talk-backers kwamen uit het buitenland (buiten Israël).

Dit ging zo door voor een jaartje of zo, met artikelen zoals: Was Shakespeare joods, waarin ik redeneerde dat iemand die zo veel wist over het Jodendom, terwijl in deze dagen de Joden waren verbannen in Engeland, waarschijnlijk zelf een geheime Jood was, vooral omdat zijn moeder Maria Arden heten, dat waarschijnlijk een verbastering was van Mirjam Ardon. Natuurlijk was alles gebaseerd op nonsens, wat ik in begin van mijn betoog al toegaf, maar het vreemde was dat honderden mijn nonsense voor waarheid aan namen, tot zelfs een professor uit Engeland mij technische vragen begon te stellen over toneel stukken van Shakespeare, of dit en dat uit het Hebreeuws kwam, Natuurlijk moest ik hem teleur stellen, daar ik geen expert ben in Shakespeare en ook niet in Hebreeuws.

De reden dat ik niet meer voor deze krant schrijf is dat ik het vervelend vond dat correcties en veranderingen werden gemaakt in mijn tekst, zonder met mij er over te spreken. En daar ik er niets op verdiende, besloot ik mijn eigen blog post te openen, waarin ik nu regelmatig nieuwe artikels plaats.

Meeste in Engels en soms in Nederlands (O.K.. Mijn gebroken Nederlands dat al vreselijk slecht was op lagere en middelbare school in Nederland), verder als ik denk dat het toepasselijk is plaats ik het ook in The Daily Telegraph en de Volkskrant Opinie Forum, een tijdje schreef ik ook aan de Standaard in België, maar toen schreef een dame dat ik geen deftig Nederlands schreef, wat natuurlijk waar is, dus daarmee ben ik dus gestopt). De Belgen hadden een redacteur in Libanon geplaatst, die Israël als een rode vlag zag en elke aflevering was een tirade tegen de IDF, hoe nobel de Hezbollah was, en hoe zielig de plaatselijke bevolking (het laatste was natuurlijk waar), dus begon ik met Israël te verdedigen in de reacties op zijn rapporten, tot ik niet deftig meer was en de redacteur terug naar België ging, om niet in herhaling te vallen.

Een paar maanden geleden zaten we met een paar vrienden, en discuteerde wij, of de houding van West Europa t.o.v. Israël en speciaal Nederland, is aan het veranderen en het langzaam van onze beste vriend 30 tot 40 jaar geleden, nu in een anti Israël land is aan het worden, beide in het politieke en in het sociale aspecten. Daar ik de enigste van de vrienden kring was die Nederlands spreekt, leest en met moeite schrijft, besloot ik het te onderzoeken door middel van het deelnemen in een discussie forum (van de Volkskrant, die een forum heeft in waar men opinie artikelen bespreekt. In het begin was mijn bijdrage minimaal, daar ik voorzichtig probeerde de tamelijk gesloten kring van deelnemers mij als gelijke te accepteren, des al niet te min, mijn slechte Nederlands. In het begin maakte ik serieuze fouten, zoals provocatie, om de tongen los te maken, pijnlijke vragen, enz., maar vlug begreep ik dat provocatie niet nodig is, en de deelnemers heftig zoeken op laag water, elke zin van de andere kant uit luizen of er ergens een opening is voor een nieuwe aanval.

Nergens, of bijna nergens heb ik iemand gezien die schreef aan de andere kant van de discussie, jongen je heb volkomen gelijk, ik was fout. Veel erger vind ik dat iedereen zich zelf herhaald en herhaald, en de de tegenspeler (want het is een spel) probeert te vangen in een val kuil die hij met zorg had gegraven voor de niets vermoedend correspondent.

Er zijn verschillende typen van deelnemers, en laten we ze eerst in grote vakken verdelen,

1 – tegen Israël dus voor Palestijnen.

2 – mensen die denken dat ze onpartijdig zijn

3 – Pro Israël lobby, die Israël verdedigen en niet bereid zijn te bekennen dat Israël ook fouten maakt.

4 – Anti Semieten van het oude soort, waarbij ook een grote groep van anti-Islamieten bij zit, die gewoon weg tegen mensen die anders zijn.

Dan is er de tweede verdeling in groepen:

1 – Mensen die het Midden Oosten en de problemen daar kennen

2 – Mensen die nooit in het Midden Oosten zijn geweest, maar denken dat ze voor de Underdog moeten opkomen (alleen maar in het Midden Oosten, wat ergens anders gebeurt is niet hun zaak).

Een verdere verdeling is natuurlijk de intelligentie van de deelnemers:

1 – het typische mee loper type, proberen knappe zinnen te schrijven, aanhalen van uit hun verband gehaalde opinies van mensen die iets hebben gezegd dat in hun opinie doelt op hun argument, maar uiteindelijk stomme dingen schrijft en leuzen proclameert die nergens op slaan.

2 – Academici, propagandisten, en deskundigen die vergeefs proberen te bewijzen met help van aangehaalde Latijnse teksten, Franse Amerikaanse en Israëlische filosofen hun standpunten, zonder enig succes om te overtuigen.

3 – En een klein groepje (erg klein van deelnemers, geen specialisten ) die eerlijk proberen om het goede tussen het vuil te selecteren, en een opinie te vormen.

Natuurlijk zijn alle deelnemers een beetje van dit en een beetje van dat, maar in grosso mode dit zijn in mijn opinie de stromingen van de deelnemers.

Zonder meer moet ik ook nog zeggen dat de minder intelligente deelnemers, met de nonsens die ze schreven, de discussie in het leven hielden, meer als verdedigers en aanvallers op de kwats die hun reacties opwekten, dan de oorspronkelijke tekst van het opinie stuk in discussie, maar daar over verder op. Onder deze groep van lager niveau waren een paar PC ridders die zich zelf hadden benoemd tot Kruisridders en beschermers van de Palestijnse volk, zonder moeite te nemen en enige notie te hebben, wie en wat en waarom er Palestijnen zijn in het Midden Oosten conflict.

Het bijzondere is dat juist deze laatste groep geregeld de Holocaust aan haalt, zich als slachtoffer ziet, maar ook anti-Semitische en pseudo antisemitische spreuken schrijven.

Dan waren er twee of drie personen die ik niet begreep, niet wat ze schreven en beweerden, en niet aan welke kant ze waren, ze probeerde om erg intelligent over te komen, maar dat was kunstmatig over dreven, misschien "on purpose" om indruk te maken, ik weet het niet.

Het onderwerp van de discussie was het reis verhaal van Abdulkader Benali, een van Marokko afkomstige Nederlander, die roman schrijver is van beroep, en door de Volks krant naar het Midden Oosten was gestuurd om een reis verslag te schrijven over wat hij zag en begreep van de situatie.

Ik denk dat de bedoeling was dat een Islamiet, de kant van de Palestijnen zou verhelderen en Israël zou afkammen voor alles wat er daar gebeurd, maar net als de Bijbelse Biliam, schreef hij wat hij werkelijk zag, terroristen armoe aan de Palestijnse kant, en democratie en modern Israël aan de andere kant. Hij schreef open over alles, maar gaf Israël daar niet de schuld van en dit beviel een groot deel van de opinie lezers en forum leden helemaal niet, dus hadden we een klassieke discussie om te zien of Nederland tegen, onverschillig of anti Israël is geworden.


maandag 24 augustus 2009 10:59 door dataeng

Tweede deel: De Discussie

Zoals ik al eerder zei, de discussie van het forum was over het reis verslag van Benali, die Gaza en Israël bezocht en zijn reis impressies had gepubliceerd in de Volkskrant Opinie Forum. Inderdaad de eerste paar reacties waren werkelijk over wat hij had geschreven, wat hij zag, wat hij had gegeten, wie waren de mensen die hij had gesproken, naar ook wat er in Gaza gebombardeerd is, hoe de mensen zich voelen, t.o.v. De wereld, Israël, de Hamas en de PLO, moeilijke onderwerpen, met mensen die niet vrij zijn om eerlijk te vertellen wat ze op hun hart hebben, maar in mijn opinie, erg objectief.

Grappig was het om te zien dat onze Benali erg vernederlandst was toen hij over een tip aan de taxi bestuurder gaf, die hem naar Sderot had genomen, en hem daar hem de schroot hoop van projectielen, die op Sderot waren geschoten, hij had namelijk hem 50 dollar gegeven, wat hier in Israël heel weinig is, en werkelijk een habbekrats, en waarschijnlijk in Gaza nog minder, want daar kan je bijna alleen maar gesmokkelde artikelen kopen die door de tunnels heen zijn gesmokkeld.

Maar nogmaals de discussie ging niet over de ervaringen van Benali, na de eerste reeks van teleurstellingen, ging men zinspelen op de stomme opmerking van een van de Israëliërs die met Benali sprak, die een vergelijking maakte over Gaza is net een Getto. Daar deze commentator geen idee had wat een Getto was, en inderdaad in Israël vaak uit het context word gebruikt als indicatie voor een drukke dicht op elkander, buurt met mensen van een ras, en niet de Getto uit Oost Europa van voor de oorlog, waar Joden bij elkaar woonden, als verdedigers maatregel tegen de niet Joodse omgeving, en in de oorlog door de Duitsers als gevangenis voor dat de Joden naar de Gaskamers werden getransfereerd. Maar goed, die vergelijking gaf het forum de opening om dus de Holocaust er bij te halen, waar bij vele direct schreven dat zij niet tegen de Joden waren, alleen maar op kwamen voor de arme Palestijn die zijn land was geroofd, die werd uit gemoord en gepest door de Israëliërs, maar niet omdat de Israëliërs Joden zijn, nee hoor, dat had er niets mee te maken.

De pro Israël deelnemers probeerde de stroom van aanvallen te stoppen met uit te leggen en te discuteren van het moeilijke predikt van Israël, zonder enige kans van begrip van de andere kant. De Israël backers werden gediskwalificeerd als Israël propagandisten, vooral degene die voorheen correspondenten waren geweest of onderzoek deden voor een Israëlische organisatie.

Hier maakte ik mijn eerste grote fout, ik vertelde in een van mijn reacties, toen de antisemitisme te ver ging, dat ik een van de weinige overlevende van de Joden vervolging in Nederland.

Dat deed ik niet om medelijden op te wekken, maar om te laten zien hoe stom de aanvallers waren, en waarom ik naar Israël ben geïmmigreerd.

Hoe dan ook, de grootste schreeuwer bracht Kristalnacht op, met hem als toekomstig slachtoffer, hoe en waarom heb ik nooit begrepen, maar hij is niet een van de intelligentste personen op het forum.

Hinderlijk en kinderachtig waren de bedreigingen op en neer, van dat de moderator (ik ben niet zeker of er werkelijk een moderator is, maar dat doet er niet toe) ze deze persoon moesten stoppen met meedoen in de forum, of dat dit en dat schelden is, en niet mag volgens de reglementen. Natuurlijk de echte beledigingen, en er waren vele, waren ingepakt en met dubbele mening, dus moeilijk om te verbieden.

Ook verwonderlijk is dat bijna alle Nederlandse schrijvers gebruikten een pen naam, terwijl de Israëli hun eigen naam schreven, ik weet niet waarom dat is, mag je niet vrij uit spreken in Nederland?

Bijna niemand van de anti-Israël groep had ooit een Palestijn gezien, laat staan met hun gesproken, bijna niemand realiseerde dat de Gaza Palestijnen nu door Hamas Palestijnen worden onderdrukt, en zo als men herhaaldelijk herhaalden, men moet niet feiten met de waarheid vermengen, of de Palestijnen zijn zielenpoten en dat komt allemaal door de agressie van Israël.

Wat kan ik zeggen, zo een argument kan men nooit winnen, als beide zijden niet bereid zijn om naar de andere te luisteren, maar dat was niet het doel van mijn onderzoek, ik wou weten of Nederland anti Israël is geworden?

Uit de discussie van het forum kan ik geen absolute conclusie maken, wel is het zeker dat de vroegere vriendschap tussen de twee landen een ernstige deuk heeft gekregen, en dat met de huidige regeringen van beide zijden het alleen maar erger kan worden. Ik denk dat de grootste schuld in dit ligt bij de Pers die geen objectieve verslagen over de situatie schrijft, en ons beschuldigd van misdaden die wij niet hebben gedaan en een resultaat zijn van Arabische propaganda. Verder kijkt de Nederlander niet verder dan zijn neus lang is, Israël en de Arabieren zijn ver weg, wat kan ons dat nu verdommen.

Ook is de influx van Islamieten in Nederland een van de redenen voor anti Israël gevoelens, zonder te realiseren dat er weinig Palestijnen in Nederland wonen, en Marokkanen en Turken niets met de Israël – Palestijnse zaak te maken hebben (beide landen hebben officiële connecties en handelen met Israël.

Na al dit beweerd te hebben, twee eind conclusies,

1 – Er is een groeiende Stormtroepen gevoelens van de Nederlander die door haat zaaien alle buitenlanders (allochtonen / Joden / Zigeuners / het land uit willen pesten / zetten.

2 – Het succes van Israël op vele gebieden inclusief op militair gebied word Israël kwalijk genomen, als het word gezien als unfair (niet eerlijk), en als we nu een oorlog hadden verloren, dan hadden we Nederlandse sympathie wel gekregen, nu ik moet deze mensen teleurstellen, wij moeten beter blijven anders worden we letterlijk en figuurlijk in de zee gedreven.


Nederzettingenbouw daalt met 15% danwel 39% sinds vorig jaar

Allemaal niet bijster fraai voor wie de Joodse nederzettingen als obstakel voor vrede ziet (het grootste deel van de wereld dus), maar er is wel een stevige teruggang in het aantal gebouwde huizen, geeft ook Peace Now toe. Zeker vanuit Israels standpunt relevant, is hoeveel procent van de nieuwbouw in het geannexeerde Oost-Jeruzalem plaatsvond, maar dat wordt vreemd genoeg niet apart vermeld.
In hoeverre (soms heel) oude bouwvergunningen nog geldig en bruikbaar zijn blijft onduidelijk in onderstaand bericht. In Nederland hebben bouwvergunningen dacht ik maar een zeer beperkte geldigheidsduur.

'Settlement construction drops 15%'
Construction in the Jewish areas of the West Bank dropped 15 percent in the first half of 2009, compared to the second half of 2008, according to a report by Peace Now issued Saturday night.

Peace Now's use of the term "structures" in its report differs from that of the government, which counts only legal housing units in permanent structures, not modular homes or construction in outposts.

Thus, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics, there was a 39% percent drop in the number of new housing starts in Judea and Samaria in the first quarter of 2009, the latest government statistic available, compared to the first quarter of 2008.

In the first quarter of 2009, work was begun on 342 new apartment units, compared to 560 in the same period last year, the CBS reported.

Overall, the media has estimated that work is now under way on 2,500 legal new apartment units.

According to the Peace Now report, which defines "construction" more broadly, settlers erected 596 new structures in the West Bank in the first half of 2009, compared with 705 in the second half of 2008.

Out of those, there were 372 new permanent structures and 204 modular homes in the first half of 2009, compared with 344 permanent homes and 361 modular homes in the second half of 2008.

Overall 35%, or 208 of the structures, were outside of the route of the security barrier, where as 65%, or 388 of the structures, were inside the security barrier.

Out of the 596 new structures, 500 were in settlements and industrial areas and 96 were in outposts.

In the settlements, work was begun on 351 permanent structures, and 131 modular homes were completed. Work was also begun on 10 industrial buildings.

In the outposts, 73 of the new structures were modular homes, 19 were permanent structures and four were industrial and or agricultural structures.

The number includes new structures placed in 10 of the 26 outposts built after March 2001, which Israel has promised the United States it would remove. Included in that are new homes in the Migron outpost, which the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip has made a deal with the government to remove.

Outside of construction work that is under way in the settlements of Ma'aleh Adumim, Betar Illit, Modi'in Illit and Givat Ze'ev, which are all close to the Green Line, there are also additional projects in Kochav Hashahar, Matityahu, Ma'aleh Michmash, Tekoa, Elkana, Na'aleh, Kfar Etzion, Barkan, Yitzhar, Beit Aryeh, Kfar Adumim, Revava and Nokdim.

Peace Now took issue in its report with complaints by settlers and right-wing politicians against a de-facto freeze on new permits for construction projects.

It argued that settlers can still build based on old permits, some of which go back to the 1980s.

It charged that according to a 2004 Defense Ministry report done by Baruch Spiegel, some 40,000 apartment units in West Bank settlements could still be built from old permits.

The Council of Jewish Communities dismissed this claim, saying that new Jewish construction has effectively been frozen in the West Bank.

It added that Vice Premier Moshe Ya'alon was correct last week when he characterized Peace Now as a virus.

The settlement of Yitzhar added in a statement that Peace Now was worse than a virus, because while a virus is indiscriminate, Peace Now attacks Israel and supports its enemies.

Analyse uit Iran van het Israelisch-Palestijns conflict...

Ik wens president Obama veel succes met zijn toenaderingspogingen tot Iran, maar laten we rekening houden met een onbevredigende uitkomst, en ons daar ook op voorbereiden.
"It seems that the Palestinian people's warfare [against the Zionists] has found its mark, and [therefore] the Palestinians must not be satisfied with anything less than the annihilation of the Zionist regime - a goal that [today] is within reach."
This should certainly be encouraging to J-Street and other advocates of dialogue with Iran: We can now clear up the controversy over what Ahmadinejad meant or didn't mean when he said that the "stain" of Israel must be eradicated. Remember that Juan Cole for example, insisted that he didn't say that, notwithstanding the fact that he was standing under a banner that read "A world without Zionism." It seems the conservative dailiy newpapers of Iran have settled the controversy for us. Conservative is now "in" in Iran and anything else is unhealthy, so this must be the government line. This is the position that is the basis for dialog: "The Palestinians must not accept anything less than Israel's annihilation."  Annihilation. Vernichtung. Jews understand that word well. [A.I.]
Three recent editorials in Iran's major conservative dailies Kayhan and Jomhouri-e Eslami gave a detailed account of Iran's position vis-à-vis the U.S. peace plan. It was claimed that the U.S. and Israel are trying to force on the Palestinians a plan that safeguards their own interests and perpetuates Palestinian inferiority, by activating the U.S.'s and Israel's proxies in the region - that is, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and other Arabs from the "conciliation camp." Jomhouri-e Eslami called on the Palestinians to reinforce their resistance front and to reject anything less than Israel's annihilation, calling it "a goal within reach." Kayhan purported that "the Arabs who are in favor of conciliation," whom it dubbed "hypocrites within the [Islamic] nation," "are collaborating in the implementation of the Zionist-American version of peace by giving a green light to the Americans." It added that "peace - whether according to the Arab or the American formula - is tantamount to recognizing the brutal and artificial Zionist regime," and said that "unless this regime is completely eradicated from the region's political map, no Middle East peace is possible." [1]
In another editorial, Kayhan called on the Muslim countries not to participate in the talks with the U.S. and the Zionists, which the U.S. has set for September 2009, concomitantly with the U.N. General Assembly, in order to discuss the U.S. comprehensive peace initiative in the Middle East. The paper reiterated that "a solution [in the Middle East] can be achieved only by completely annihilating the Zionist regime, which is the source of all insecurity in the region," and that "the establishment of two states, Palestinian and Zionist, would be the same as totally crushing the rights of the Palestinian people, rather than securing these rights for them." It was also stated that "the conflict [between the U.S. and Israel] is not genuine, but merely a fraud aimed at deceiving the Arabs from the conciliation [camp]." [2]
Following are excerpts from the Jomhouri-e Eslami editorial:
"Peace - Whether According to the Arab or the American Formula - Is Tantamount to Recognizing the Brutal and Artificial Zionist Regime"
"Official Palestinian recognition of the Zionist regime by the Palestinians is Israel's most cherished dream. It would deal a death blow to aspirations for a Palestinian state, grant everlasting legitimacy to the Zionist regime, and lay the ground for the attainment of its expansionist goals in the Middle East.
"The Zionists came close to fulfilling these aspirations when Yasser Arafat consented, by means of a disgraceful agreement [i.e. the Oslo accords], to eliminate [the article on] combating the Zionists from the Palestinian charter. But the Palestinian nation was not prepared to acquiesce in this disgrace; following the example of the Islamic Revolution, which has never stopped fighting the Zionist regime, it turned to Islam [for a solution].
"Yasser Arafat fell captive to the dirty games of the Zionists, the Americans, and the Europeans. He died having lost his hold over the Palestinian people and stripped of all his past triumphs as a fighter.
"As a mediator for the Zionists, [Egyptian President] Hosni Mubarak has found himself in the same predicament [as Arafat] - but there already is a file [with incriminating evidence against] him which grows heavier by the day. The obvious difference between the two is that, unlike Arafat, Mubarak has no past as an anti-Zionist fighter; moreover, he was trained by a U.S. intelligence apparatus.
"When, in a revolutionary [act], Khaled Al-Islambouli executed [Egyptian president Anwar] Sadat, America hoisted Mubarak onto the throne as one of its capable agents, to rule over Egypt. For 28 years, they have been using him to promote their anti-Islamic and anti-Arabs goals. [3]
"The latest example of [Mubarak's] serving America and the Zionists was his [position] during the 2009 Gaza war: He supported the Zionist regime, especially regarding the Rafah crossing and the Rafah tunnels.
"U.S. President [Barack] Obama's and Egyptian regime head Hosni Mubarak's joint effort to [persuade] the Palestinians to agree to the establishment of a Palestinian state… comes at a time when the Zionist regime is at its weakest, and when its leaders' morale needs boosting. The Palestinian jihad organizations, which have realized that [the Zionist regime] is in deplorable condition and that the American-Zionist plan is [essentially] imperialistic, have rejected the latter.
"The Palestinians Must Not Be Satisfied With Anything Less Than The Annihilation of the Zionist Regime - A Goal That [Today] Is Within Reach"
"This Palestinian position makes perfect sense, and will undoubtedly bear fruit. Judging by its two successive defeats in the 2006 Lebanon war and the 2009 Gaza war, the Zionist regime cannot withstand a war against it by the Palestinian people.
"It seems that the Palestinian people's warfare [against the Zionists] has found its mark, and [therefore] the Palestinians must not be satisfied with anything less than the annihilation of the Zionist regime - a goal that [today] is within reach." [4]
[1] Kayhan (Iran), August 1, 2009.
[2] Kayhan (Iran), August 22, 2009. Majlis speaker Ali Larijani said, in a similar vein, that the peace plan being formulated by Obama did not address even one of the Palestinians' basic rights, and called on the Muslim nations to be mindful of this deception. ISNA (Iran), August 25, 2009.
[3] In the original, the term is misspelled "anti-West."
[4] Jomhouri-e Eslami (Iran), June 23, 2009.