zaterdag 28 november 2009

Honger en schaarste in de Gaza Strook

Recente foto's uit de Gazastrook van Palestine Today

Hierboven enkele voorbeelden van hoe de bevolking van Gaza van de honger dreigt om te komen volgens vele actiegroepen en gesubsidieerde NGO's.
Dit zijn geen luxe winkelcentra voor de happy few maar normale markten en winkels. Uiteraard is daarmee niet gegarandeerd dat iedereen alles kan kopen, zoals dat ook in veel Westerse landen niet het geval is (laat staan Arabische staten waar veel armoede heerst, niet vanwege de boze zionisten maar vanwege corruptie, wanbestuur, een hoge bevolkingsgroei en een droog klimaat), maar blijkbaar is het probleem niet dat er nauwelijks voedsel de Gazastrook in komt zoals zovelen beweren en zoals de media continu suggereren en het in rapporten van mensenrechtenorganisaties staat.
(Met dank aan Elder of Ziyon.)

Hamas wil dat Palestijnen die Gaza verlaten vooraf toestemming vragen

Hamas, en niet Israel is de baas in Gaza en houdt dit gebied dus 'bezet'. Toch blijven de VN, mensenrechtenorganisaties en anderen spreken van de Israelische bezetting van de Gazastrook. Onderstaand bericht laat zien hoe absurd dat is. Dat Israel haar eigen grenzen met Gaza gesloten houdt, is haar goed recht, en Egypte heeft ook zo haar eigen redenen de grens met Gaza niet te openen. Overigens is de hoeveelheid goederen die Israel doorlaat de afgelopen tijd flink gestegen.

Hamas to Issue Permits for Palestinians Leaving Gaza

GAZA CITY (AFP) - The Hamas-run government in Gaza said on Wednesday it would begin requiring all Palestinians wishing to enter Israel from the besieged territory to obtain permits three days in advance.

"Those wishing to travel through the Beit Hanun (Erez) crossing must obtain permission three days before the date of travel," the Hamas-run interior ministry said, referring to the sole pedestrian crossing into Israel.

The new measure would only apply to Palestinians and not to foreigners, the ministry said. Erez is the main crossing used by diplomats, aid workers, and journalists traveling between Gaza and Israel.

The ministry said it would also require members of security forces and civil servants employed by the West Bank-confined Palestinian Authority to obtain permits before travelling to Egypt via the Rafah crossing.

In recent months Hamas has ramped up security measures at Erez, setting up checkpoints to search bags and register the names and passport numbers of foreigners and Palestinians entering the territory.

The Islamist movement seized control of Gaza in June 2007 after a week of bloody clashes in which it drove out forces loyal to the Western-backed Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, confining his rule to the West Bank.

Since then Israel has imposed strict sanctions on Gaza, limiting imports to vital humanitarian aid and severely limiting travel into or out of the territory. Egypt has largely cooperated with the closures.

Antisemitisme in Europa: nieuwe vooroordelen wakkeren de oudste haat aan

Een zeer goed artikel over antisemitisme in Europa, ook in relatie met de islam, zonder in gemakkelijke clichés te vervallen. Hieronder een deel eruit.
Comment / Anti-Semitism in Europe: New prejudice fans flames of the oldest hatred
By Morten Berthelsen
That anti-Semitism is running rampant through Europe should come as no surprise. More than 50 percent of Germans equate Israel?s policies toward the Palestinians with Nazi treatment of the Jews. Sixty-eight percent of Germans say that Israel is waging a "war of extermination" against the Palestinian people. A European poll shows that the nearly 60 percent regard Israel as the greatest threat to world peace, more than Iran, North Korea and Afghanistan. And in a more recent survey, stereotypes prosper as one in five Europeans continue to blame Jews for the death of Jesus.
Only there is no room for realising it, admitting it, and standing up to it. It is as if the monster of Holocaust may not be reawoken, and every reminder of the continued existence of anti-Semitism consequently hides in the shadows, chained there by denial. It is as if everything would shatter if the bogeyman was brought to life, named and allowed to breathe. Its comatose state is guaranteed by the cultural crisis and the war of values fought between Europe's Christian-traditional majority ("us") and its Muslim minority ("them"). Everything else is toned down. As if population size decides significance. At the same time Jews are a long-time exiled people that blends in and functions in all aspects of society. But they are present and have a long, tough history of managing in an eternal environment of spite. But in Israel they dominate the culture. Israelis demonstrate strength and exude power. Transformed from Shylock to Rambo, they break the unwritten European code of the underdog. And the Palestinians belong religiously to the majority-minority battle Europe keeps in focus.
Crosshairs on Israel
Anti-Semitism is to a great extent subhumed by Islamophobia as a consequence of being struck by a double-edged sword: The fear of reprisals from extreme Muslim factions ? and the fearful realisation that the fundamental European values are collapsing.
Aiming the resultant anger at Israel is the easy choice between two evils. The fear of "Muslim invasion and hostile takeover" on one hand is obvious in both political rhetoric and popular opinion, especially on national level all over Europe. But when the image of "Evil Israel" is simultaneously presented on the other hand, the impact of Islamophobia is mitigated and cushioned.
In turn, the significance of both hatreds is lost. By equating the two, you underestimate both. Amid this smelly fog floats the main differences in the European approach to the two religions. The swollen hate-language against Islam is the voice of fear. It is based on religious clashes and troublesome assimilation. The forked tongue of anti-Semitism speaks in politically correct riddles, with its foundations laid in 1948 just beneath the State of Israel. The former is the blunt weapon of the extreme right and is easily parried. The latter is a cascade of razor blades from both sides of the political sphere and thus harder to repel.
Also, the collective left of European media and public are hypersensitive towards Islam. They cave in to fear and shout foul at any hostile opinion delivered, such as with the Danish cartoons and the Swedish condemnation of the anti-Muslim op-ed in Aftonbladet. Editor-in-Chief Jan Helin justified in advance publication of the opinion piece, dissociating himself from the views presented. When the story on transplant organ theft by the IDF blew up, Helin hit back hard at Israel saying: "It's deeply unpleasant and sad to see such a strong propaganda machine using centuries-old anti-Semitic images in an apparent attempt to get an obviously topical issue off the table."
Call out the culprit
Biased reporting and fixation on Israeli crimes ? proven or not ? is paving the way for neo-Nazis, radical Islamists, right-wing and left-wing extremists to coalesce and form so-called anti-Zionist parties in Sweden and France. Boycott campaigns and anti-Semitic NGOs openly funded by EU member-states feed Islam's battle of rhetoric against the Jews, and it is high time the media realised the link between its inflammatory reporting on Israel and physical attacks on Jews and Jewish institutions in the countries where the reports are published or broadcast.
And the violence has re-emerged ? this decade has seen a rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes throughout Europe and exploded following the Gaza war of a year ago. The "typical" violent offender has apparently ceased to be the "extreme right skinhead' and is now the "disaffected young Muslim," evidenced by the fact that most cases occur in countries with a large Muslim population, such as Sweden and France, where Jews are often forced to hide their religious identity in public.
To whit, A Danish study published Friday exposes the magnitude of distrust and prejudice against Jews in Denmark. Up to 75 percent of Muslim immigrants from five different countries and approximately twenty percent of ethnic Danes possess anti-Jewish attitudes, the study shows. A figure immediately causing political uproar, with some politicians quoted as saying it is "highly disturbing" and "embarassing", calling for a plan of action to restore freedom of religion and other fundamental freedom rights. The UN commission is now being asked to recommend similar
investigations in other member states, to give the public an insight into the extent of anti-Semitism in Europe. Of Muslim immigrants questioned in the study, 31.9 percent say "there are too many Jews in Denmark." In fact, not even 6,000 Jews reside in Denmark, compared to some 200,000 Muslims.
In order to salvage free speech, taken hostage by nationalist preachers who call it theirs and make themselves its squires, the media of all Europe needs to develop some chutzpa and tear it from the hands of those who believe freedom of speech and of the Fourth Estate is the same as printing anything, anywhere. More worrisome is the immunity displayed throughout the European media towards the kind of callous stigmatisation seen in Aftonbladet ? no broadside, no foundations shaken. The ghost of 1930s Nazi rhetoric is one we can all see standing behind the curtain, but no one dares point a finger at it.

Anja Meulenbelt in een burka?

Op "Joop" (bedoeld als links alternatief voor GeenStijl) discussieren Anja Meulenbelt en Harry Verbon over Gaza, Hamas en vrouwenrechten. Het is genant om te zien hoe onze grote feministe zich in bochten wringt om het probleem te bagatelliseren, en voor zover het bestaat aan Israel te wijten. Haar reactie zat - zoals te verwachten - vol met insinuaties tegen haar opponent.
Even voor de duidelijkheid: natuurlijk zijn interne mensenrechtenschendingen door Hamas geen rechtvaardiging voor Israel om buitensporig geweld te gebruiken. Dat beweert Verbon niet en dat beweer ik ook niet. Waar het om gaat is dat Meulenbelt, zoals veel apologeten van de Palestijnen, zo blind is voor de misdaden van Hamas, zelfs als die niet tegen Israelische burgers maar tegen de eigen bevolking gericht zijn, tegen de mensen die Meulenbelt zo'n warm hart toedraagt.
De discussie of Israel oorlogsmisdaden pleegde in Gaza is een andere. Het gaat hier om het pijnlijke feit dat veel mensen ter linkerzijde bijna alles wat Hamas, een reactionaire racistische fundamentalistisch-islamitische beweging doet, goedpraten of wegmoffelen.
De Awid is toch echt geen 'zionistische' organisatie, maar het lijkt me dat daar eerder 'Sisters in Arms' van Meulenbelt zitten. Deze zelfde Awid maakte deze zomer al melding van een campagne van Hamas om meer Islamitische gedragswijzen aan de bevolking op te leggen. Dat zal niet lukken, zegt Meulenbelt, de vrouwen van Gaza zijn te veel aan hun vrijheid gehecht. Alsof tot de tanden bewapende Islamitische mannen zich veel gelegen laten liggen aan de vrijheid of het welzijn van vrouwen. Als de trend van de afgelopen maanden zich doorzet, zal er nog eens een dag komen dat Anja Meulenbelt haar zegenrijke werk in de Gaza-strook alleen nog kan doen met een burka aan.

Anja 'de schaamte voorbij' Meulenbelt in een  burka. Dat moet dan wel de schuld van de Zionisten zijn. 

Anja Meulenbelt in een burka

Ruim een jaar geleden debatteerde ik op mijn eigen Tilburgse universiteit met Dries Van Agt over het conflict in het Midden Oosten.

Van Agt had mij tot dit debat uitgedaagd omdat ik in een lokale krant had opgemerkt dat hij naïef was door te denken dat het conflict zou zijn opgelost als Israël zich van de Westoever zou terugtrekken. Tijdens dit debat liet ik zien dat in de 90 jaar die de Joodse-Arabische clash tot nu toe duurt beide partijen kansen hebben laten liggen om tot een vergelijk te komen. Dat geldt ook voor de Arabieren.

Zij hebben diverse malen voorstellen verworpen waar ze later blij mee zouden zijn geweest. Door ieder compromis af te wijzen kwamen de Arabieren na iedere nieuwe fase in het conflict uit op een positie die slechter was dan de vorige. Van Agt moest echter niets hebben van deze nuances. Dat de Arabieren schuld konden hebben in dit conflict was absoluut onmogelijk. Het waren de Joden/Israëliërs die geheel verantwoordelijk waren voor alle ellende in het gebied. Bovendien wat dacht ik wel dat ik daar iets vanaf zou kunnen weten.

Zoals hij al eerder over mij had geschreven in diezelfde lokale krant: "Hoewel van cruciale feiten onkundig, schrijft de heer Verbon er onbekommerd op los. In een onsamenhangende stapeling van zinnen heeft hij het over zelfmoordaanslagen, de Gazastrook en raketten, over de Palestijnse vluchtelingen en het handvest van Hamas." Zo schrijven mensen die denken de waarheid in pacht te hebben.

Wat schrijft nu Anja Meulenbelt in een reactie op mijn Joopstuk dat gesprekken met Hamas niet zonder voorwaarden vooraf moeten plaatsvinden? Het volgende: "Meneer Verbon bedient zich van twee argumenten, die alle twee geen hout snijden. Helaas begeeft ook hij zich op een terrein waar hij volstrekt geen kaas van heeft gegeten, en dat is de positie van vrouwen in Gaza." En even verderop: " Kortom, meneer Verbon, uw krakkemikkige verhaal …." Ook Meulenbelt probeert het Van-Agt middel uit: eerst proberen de tegenstander belachelijk te maken om vervolgens aan te tonen hoe veel gelijk ze zelf hebben.

Voor diegenen die mijn stuk niet en dat van Meulenbelt wel hebben gelezen: mijn stuk in Joop ging niet over Israël en ik heb ook niet beweerd dat aan Israël geen voorwaarden mogen worden gesteld. Mijn stuk ging over het 'binnenlandse' beleid van Hamas, onder andere richting vrouwen. Er is een sluipende Islamisering gaande in de Gaza-strook waar vrouwen het slachtoffer van worden. Ik noemde bijvoorbeeld het verbod voor vrouwen om op een motor te rijden. Onzin, zegt Meulenbelt: "Ik heb in de vijftien jaar dat ik er werk nog nooit een vrouw op een motor gezien (…) en dat dat nu verboden zou zijn lijkt mij een broodje aap." Kom op, mevrouw Meulenbelt, typ eens in op Google: "Hamas women motorbike" en u krijgt bladzijde na bladzijde sites te zien die allemaal dit bericht over het verbod melden. De Guardian bericht erover, persbureau Reuters, ja, en hier moet Meulenbelt's hart toch pijn doen, zelfs de 'Association for Women Rights in Development' (Awid) maakt er melding van.

De Awid is toch echt geen 'zionistische' organisatie, maar het lijkt me dat daar eerder 'Sisters in Arms' van Meulenbelt zitten. Deze zelfde Awid maakte deze zomer al melding van een campagne van Hamas om meer Islamitische gedragswijzen aan de bevolking op te leggen. Dat zal niet lukken, zegt Meulenbelt, de vrouwen van Gaza zijn te veel aan hun vrijheid gehecht. Alsof tot de tanden bewapende Islamitische mannen zich veel gelegen laten liggen aan de vrijheid of het welzijn van vrouwen. Als de trend van de afgelopen maanden zich doorzet, zal er nog eens een dag komen dat Anja Meulenbelt haar zegenrijke werk in de Gaza-strook alleen nog kan doen met een burka aan.

Anja 'de schaamte voorbij' Meulenbelt in een  burka. Dat moet dan wel de schuld van de Zionisten zijn.


Bekijk hier het stuk van Anja Meulenbelt

En lees hier het eerste stuk van Harrie Verbon over Hamas

Vredesplan Ray Hanania valt mee te leven in Israel en Palestina

Ray Hanania is een van de weinige Palestijnen die oprecht naar een oplossing streeft die zoveel mogelijk recht doet aan beide partijen. In onderstaand vredesplan heb ik met name een probleem met punt 4 (niet realistisch) en punt 6 omdat hij dit alleen van Israel vraagt. Gaat het gepaard met een Palestijnse (en Arabische) erkenning van het eigen aandeel, en zaken als de steun indertijd voor de nazi's en het nog steeds virulente antisemitisme en ontkenning van de Holocaust, dan lijkt me dit een belangrijk punt. Een wederzijdse erkenning dat men de ander leed heeft aangedaan en niet altijd genoeg oog had voor de rechten en gevoelens van de ander, zou een heel mooi gebaar zijn. Ik vind het echter vreemd dat Hanania, die verder zeer evenwichtig is, nu alleen van Israel verontschuldigingen vraagt.

A Palestinian peace plan Israelis can live with 
By Bradley Burston

Ray Hanania is a compassionate and, in fact, delightful person, with rare insight into the aspirations and failings of Palestinians and Israelis. In the eyes of many, that alone ought to disqualify him from consideration as a leader in the Holy Land.

Add to that, the fact that the acclaimed journalist also happens to be a first-generation Palestinian-American married to a Jewish woman, as well as a stand-up comedian who has appeared alongside Jewish comics, and the self-destructively polarized electorate of the Holy Land will need to expend not a whiff of thought in dismissing him out of hand.

Which all makes his candidacy for the president of Palestine, and the Mideast peace proposal that is his platform, all the more compelling. He is realistic about his chances ("No, I don't expect to win"). But the Hanania plan embodies the radicalism of the truly moderate, and deserves much more than cursory consideration.

Consider his proposal for one of the thorniest municipal quandaries in the West Bank. Jews who wish to live in Hebron in a future state of Palestine, should be allowed to do so, he writes, "and should be protected, just as non-Jews. In fact, for every Jewish individual seeking to live in Palestine, a Palestinian should be permitted to live in Israel."

What Hanania is proposing is a two state solution that addresses not only quantifiable issues, but underlying emotional grievances, and the anguish in the histories of both sides. Cynics, and, in particular, the extremists among them, will reject it out of hand as simplistic and artificially balanced. But if peace is ever to be made in the Holy Land, it will be made despite extremists and not by them.

The following is the text of Hanania's outline. I have taken the liberty of numbering the clauses, with an eye toward facilitating discussion:

1. I support two-states, one Israel and one Palestine. As far as I am concerned, I can recognize Israel's "Jewish" character and Israelis should recognize Palestine's "non-Jewish" character.

2. I oppose violence of any kind from and by anyone. I reject Hamas' participation in any Palestinian government without first agreeing to surrender all arms and to accept two-states as a "final" peace agreement. But I also reject allowing Israeli settlers to carry any weapons and believe Israelis must impose the same restrictions on them.

3. I can support some settlements remaining - given the reality of 42 years of time passing - in a dunam-for-dunam land exchange. If Ariel is 500 dunams with a lifeline from Israel, then Israel gives Palestine 500 dunams in exchange.

4. Jerusalem should be a shared city and Palestinians should have an official presence in East Jerusalem. The Old City should be shared by both permitting open access to the city to all with a joint Palestinian-Israeli police presence.

5. Palestinian refugees would give up their demand to return to pre-1948 homes and lands lost during the conflict with Israel. Instead, some could apply for family reunification through Israel and the remainder would be compensated through a fund created and maintained by the United States, Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia and the United Nations.

6. I also think Israelis should find it in their hearts to show compassion and offer their apologies to Palestinians for the conflict.

7. I support creation of a similar fund to compensate those Jews from Arab lands who lost their homes and lands, too, when they fled.

8. I think the Wall should be torn down, or relocated to the new borders. I have no problem separating the two nations for a short duration to help rebuild confidence between our two people.

9. All political parties, Palestinian and Israelis, should eliminate languages denying each other's existence, and all maps should be reprinted so that Israeli maps finally show Palestine and Palestinian maps finally show Israel.

10. A subway system should be built linking the West Bank portion of the Palestine state to the Gaza Strip portion of the Palestine State. Palestine should be permitted to build a seaport access to strengthen its industry, and an airport to permit flights and too and from the Arab and Israeli world.

11. I would urge the Arab World to renew their offer to normalize relations with Israel if Israel agrees to support the creation of a Palestinian State.

12. And I would ask both countries to establish embassies in each other's country to address other problems.

13. While non-Jewish Palestinians would continue to live in Israel as citizens, Jews who wish to live in settlements surrendered by Israel could become Palestinian citizens and they should be recognized and treated equally.

14. If Jews want to live in Hebron, they should be allowed to live in Hebron and should be protected, just as non-Jews. In fact, for every Jewish individual seeking to live in Palestine, a Palestinian should be permitted to live in Israel. In fact, major Palestinian populations in Israel could be annexed into Palestine (like settlements).

15. Another concept is to have non-Jews living in Israel continue to live there but only vote in Palestinian elections, while Jews living in Palestine would only vote in Israeli elections. A special citizenship protection committee could be created to explore how to protect the rights of minorities in each state.

16. Israel and Palestine should create joint-governing and security agencies working with the United States to monitor the peace, and establish an agency to pursue criminal acts of violence.

As in every potentially workable peace proposal, Hanania's plan has something in it to upset and disappoint everyone. But its underlying principle of compromise based on mutual respect and compassion, its openness to the needs and wounds of two victimized peoples, and its suggestion that grassroots sentiment for peace can succeed where leaders have so consistently failed, are surely as worthy of serious consideration, as anything currently on the table.

NOS Journaal en Nederlandse NGO's: anti-Israel met publieke gelden

Het NOS Journaal bericht stelselmatig eenzijdig over Israel, en doet het voorkomen alsof vooral Israel verantwoordelijk is voor het conflict. In de hieronder besproken uitzending van eind oktober werd bijvoorbeeld niet duidelijk, dat op een als multicultureel gepresenteerd cultureel festival in Jeruzalem, onder leiding van een Nederlandse componist, Joden niet welkom waren. Onterecht werd gesuggereerd dat ze alleen op die avond niet welkom waren vanwege de rellen in de stad op dat moment (die alleen aan Israel werden geweten), en een incident waarbij nota bene antizionistische vredesactivisten die een uitnodiging hadden werden weggestuurd, werd verzwegen. Ook werd onterecht beweerd dat Jeruzalem door de UNESCO is uitgeroepen tot hoofdstad van de Arabische cultuur, en werd de hoofdrol van de Arabische Liga daarin verzwegen.
Het is typerend voor de NOS. Gisteren beweerde Sander van Hoorn dat Gilo in de heuvels van Bethlehem lag, en Jeruzalem een heuvel verderop ligt. Gilo ligt echter maar een paar kilometer van de groene lijn en niet verder van het stadscentrum van Jeruzalem dan van Bethlehem. Overigens is Jeruzalem op meerdere heuvels gebouwd, dus de opmerking dat Jeruzalem 'een heuvel verder' ligt slaat nergens op.
Het is jammer dat deze fundamentele kritiek op het NOS Journaal alleen de rechtse pers in Israel haalt.

Dutch anti-Semitism in Jerusalem
by Yochanan Visser
The incident described below will be discussed in the Dutch Parliament Nov. 30th after being hushed up by the state funded news show. The Dutch-Israeli monitor group Israel Facts reported the truth.
The Dutch-Israeli monitor group Israel Facts (IF) which I represent published a report about the way the Dutch government funded news show NOS Journaal hushed up a Dutch anti-Semitic incident in the old city of Jerusalem on October 31. This report, sent to the Dutch government, caused the Christian Union party to decide to discuss the issue at the upcoming debate about the media budget in the Dutch parliament on November 30.

In another related development, the Daily Standard, a Dutch operated news site, exposed the funding of anti-Israel groups by EU tax money via charities like Cordaid and Oxfam.
The anti-Semitic incident took place at a festival organized by a Dutch group for the Moslem holidays, which are taking place now. It was sponsored by the European Union via the Dutch charity Cordaid.  NOS Journaal featured this festival in its prime time news show.

On the show, reporter Sander Van Hoorn blasted Israel for curtailing Arab culture in Jerusalem and interviewed Dutch artistic director Merlijn Twaalfhoven, who accused Israel of turning Jerusalem into a purely Jewish town.  He said that the festival's aim was  "to show the beauty of all those cultures which have been living together in Jerusalem for hundreds of years". Twaalfhoven reported that there is tension in Jerusalem and that an arrest the day before the festival prevented him from "drinking tea with Israelis". Van Hoorn added  "No Jewish visitors are allowed at the festival of Twaalfhoven".
Journalist Gil Zohar was one of those unwanted Jewish visitors.  He recounted how festival director Jamal Goseh asked him where he lives and when he replied that he was a Jerusalem resident, Twaalfhoven told him and other Israeli peace activists that they were not welcome. Zohar told Twaalfhoven that he was a journalist and had an invitation, but to no avail.  This occurred in the presence of the foreign press.
The next day Zohar met with Twaalfhoven to give him a chance to explain the incident. In an apparent attempt to excuse himself, he told Zohar that months before the festival, the Dutch team had to promise the local Arab people that Jews could not attend.
Officially acceding  to this demand would have meant losing the subsidies from the EU via Cordaid and the Anna Lindh Foundation, so it was decided to tell Israelis that the "multicultural" festival was fully booked.
Zohar published an article in the Jerusalem Post about his experience with Dutch anti-Semitism in Jerusalem. IF wrote the NOS editorial news staff pointing out that they  did not mention it in their coverage.
NOS Journaal was asked to comment on the incident and to explain how it could be that Jews were banned from the festival, but has not responded to date.
An earlier Israel Facts report this year exposed the NOS Journaal as a news show which is extremely biased against Israel.  It proved that NOS violated its own journalistic code by not giving Israeli spokesmen the right of reply. The report stated that NOS was omitting facts and manipulating video footage to portray Israel in the most negative light. This  has lead to questions in Dutch parliament and to a proposal for an overhaul in the state funded media by Remkes, a member of parliament for Dutch Liberal party VVD.
NOS Journaal was caught red handed when it tried to hush up one of the most serious anti-Semitic incidents recorded in Israel in recent years, an incident instigated by Dutch foreigners in the presence of the foreign press. By hushing up the incident, NOS crossed a red line, and recommends that the Dutch government implement the budget overhaul advocated by the VVD.  Measures should be taken which will assure that the Dutch public will be informed about Israel in a responsible and professional way once again.
In the Netherlands the number of anti-Semitic incidents connected to events in Israel rose sharply this year.  Israel Facts feels the reason may be the biased way events in Israel are reported by main stream media in the Netherlands. The visit of Israeli foreign minister Lieberman lead to a sharp increase in biased anti-Israeli articles in the main Dutch newspapers. One article denied the existence of the Jewish people. Even worse, most newspapers refuse to publish op-ed articles in which claims like these are countered.

92 Fatah terroristen vrijgelaten als gebaar naar Abbas

Barak ziet het probleem wel maar is niet bereid de noodzakelijke prijs te betalen om er iets aan te doen:
"Israel is on a slippery slope. This descent must be stopped, but not at the expense of a person who is already in Hamas captivity," he told the radio station. "A year ago I appointed a commission… to recommend principles and processes regarding captives and prisoners of war… Incidentally, they are not the same," he said of the two categories.
"With prisoners of war, the rule is: all of our prisoners in return for all of the enemy's, even if we have 3,000 and they have three. With captives, since kidnapping is quite easy, it can turn into a method to extort the State of Israel, and we are being led down this slippery slope… Other [Western] countries don't negotiate with abductors, and the number of kidnappings is dropping," Barak pointed out.
"But as for Schalit, my position is that you don't change a 20-year process while you have a soldier in captivity."
Wanneer er geen soldaat gevangen zit, wordt er ook niet over het onderwerp gepraat. Het zou inderdaad verstandig zijn om dan juist wel in alle rust regels op te stellen zoals een maximum aantal gevangenen dat per Israeli wordt vrijgelaten, en geen moordenaars of mensen die van groot belang zijn voor de gewapende groep waar ze inzaten vanwege specifieke kundigheden of een centrale positie. Ook zou er iets gedaan moeten worden aan de enorme druk die de familie van de ontvoerde soldaat uitoefent op de regering.
De vraag is waarom dergelijke regels niet allang bestaan. Israel heeft immers al verschillende zeer vernederende deals gesloten, de laatste met Hezbollah in 2008. Daarbij werd een topterrorist vrijgelaten (hij had onder andere een meisje van drie de schedel ingeslagen en haar vader waar ze bij stond vermoord) in ruil voor de lichamen van twee Israelische soldaten. Hezbollah had niet verteld of de soldaten nog leefden en dit lang gesuggereerd, toen ze waarschijnlijk allang dood waren. Voor dit makabere spel werd het beloond met onder andere voornoemde 'volksheld' Kuntar - die direct verklaarde zijn oude hobby weer op te nemen - en de lichamen van honderden Hezbollah strijders. Binnenkort zal Hamas beloond worden met de vrijlating van waarschijnlijk meer dan duizend gevangenen, waarvan honderden direct bertrokken waren bij de vreselijkse zelfmoordaanslagen in Israel. Hoe is dat voor de nabestaanden van al die mensen die daarbij zijn omgekomen en voor de vele gewonden? Waarom is daar zo weinig aandacht voor? Bovendien zullen zij Hamas een enorme boost geven. Ik begrijp wat dit betreft niet wat Israel bezielt.


Ninety Fatah terrorists 'pardoned'
Nov. 27, 2009
YAAKOV KATZ and Jerusalem Post staff , THE JERUSALEM POST
In an effort to bolster Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the face of a potential mass prisoner swap with Hamas, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) "pardoned" over 90 wanted Fatah militiamen on Thursday on condition they refrain from engaging in terrorist activity.
Under the deal, the 92 fugitives - all members of Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades, Fatah's military wing - will be allowed to move freely throughout Palestinian cities within Area A of the West Bank. One of the fugitives included in the deal is Ala Sankara, who was the Al-Aksa commander in the Balata refugee camp near Nablus.
In 2007, the Shin Bet signed an amnesty deal with over 150 wanted Palestinian terror suspects, offering them a chance to avoid arrest by handing in their weapons and refraining from terrorist activity. The Shin Bet has continued to offer the deal to dozens of other Palestinian terror suspects - all affiliated with Fatah - and eventually will consider allowing them to join the official Palestinian security forces.
Defense officials said that the amnesty deal was part of Israeli efforts to bolster Abbas ahead of a potential swap with Hamas in which over 1,000 prisoners would be released in exchange for Gilad Schalit.
Israel is concerned that a massive prisoner deal with Hamas would undermine Abbas and boost Hamas's popularity on the Palestinian street ahead of general elections.
Israel is planning several wide-ranging gestures to Abbas. On Wednesday, the IDF announced that it was removing 50 dirt roadblocks in the West Bank, including one on the Jenin-Tulkarm road, one of the main arteries for Palestinians.
Meanwhile, Channel 2 reported Thursday night that there had been a number of adjustments to the pending Schalit deal. According to accounts of Israel's offer as detailed Hamas officials, Israel wants to switch some of the prisoners Hamas has demanded be released for other prisoners. Israel would also release prisoners serving multiple life sentences only 3-10 years after the main exchange takes place, and deport them out of the area altogether. Other terrorists who had lived in the West Bank would be deported to the Gaza Strip, Channel 2 reported.
Hamas has reportedly responded to the offer by demanding that prisoners only be deported in extraordinary cases and with their consent. Hamas has also reiterated its demand to include in the releases former Fatah Tanzim leader Marwan Barghouti and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) secretary-general Ahmed Sa'adat, as well as several prisoners of Jordanian and Syrian descent. It has not responded to Israel's condition that the release of some prisoners be delayed.
Earlier Thursday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Schalit should be freed in a "feasible and appropriate way, but not at any price."
"Hamas is discussing the proposal and we're holding talks," he told Israel Radio. "We hope a deal will ensue, but I can't say whether it will really happen or not, and if so, when."
The defense minister explained how he might back a deal in which Schalit would be exchanged for hundreds of Hamas terrorists, while at the same time objecting to negotiating with kidnappers. Regulated principles for conduct in such instances have only recently begun to be consolidated, he said, based on recommendations by an expert committee.
"Israel is on a slippery slope. This descent must be stopped, but not at the expense of a person who is already in Hamas captivity," he told the radio station. "A year ago I appointed a commission… to recommend principles and processes regarding captives and prisoners of war… Incidentally, they are not the same," he said of the two categories.
"With prisoners of war, the rule is: all of our prisoners in return for all of the enemy's, even if we have 3,000 and they have three. With captives, since kidnapping is quite easy, it can turn into a method to extort the State of Israel, and we are being led down this slippery slope… Other [Western] countries don't negotiate with abductors, and the number of kidnappings is dropping," Barak pointed out.
"But as for Schalit, my position is that you don't change a 20-year process while you have a soldier in captivity."


Volgens Arabische media eindelijk voortgang in onderhandelingen over Shalit

The deal with Hamas is also expected to include a full cease-fire in the Gaza Strip (Hamas already declared such a truce last Saturday) in exchange for Israel alleviating the economic siege and partially opening the border passes for merchandise.
Military sources said Thursday that if the Shalit deal goes through, it could spur smaller Palestinian organizations to attempt to take more Israeli soldiers prisoner.
Israeli intelligence sources said there have been attempts to dig tunnels from the Gaza Strip into Israel and launch terror attacks on Israelis, including attempts to abduct soldiers. "These are plans for terror attacks that are ready to go ahead. Their implementation is only a matter of time," a senior officer said.
Het graven van tunnels en plannen van nieuwe ontvoeringen valt natuurlijk niet onder het staakt het vuren, dus daar kan Israel niks tegen ondernemen. Zo hebben Hamas c.s. dubbel hun zin: Israel laat honderden 'zware gevallen' vrij waardoor ze zowel moreel als ook in practische zin enorm worden versterkt, en door het staakt het vuren en de gedeeltelijke opening van de grenzen wordt het makkelijker om toekomstige ontvoeringen voor te bereiden. Daarvoor zal de animo hoog zijn, gezien het succes van de ontvoering van Shalit.
Je zou hopen dat Israel om dergelijke redenen, en omdat het eenvoudigweg onverteerbaar is mensen die verantwoordelijk zijn voor de gruwelijkste aanslagen in Israel, te horen verklaren dat zij hun 'werk' zullen voortzetten, van een deal afziet, maar dat lijkt ijdele hoop. Nu maar hopen dat er toch nog iets tussen komt - een nieuwe extreme eis van Hamas bijvoorbeeld. Ik verheug me niet bepaald op de beelden volgende week van overwinning kraaiende Hamas activisten die het brein waren achter menige zelfmoordaanslag en Israel graag zien bloeden.


Last update - 03:38 27/11/2009    
Despite delays, Arab media report progress in Shalit talks
By Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz Correspondent
Hamas' decision to put its response to the Shalit deal on hold has temporarily suspended negotiations and dashed Israeli hopes for an agreement by the end of this week.
Hamas is now expected to resume talks after the Muslim holiday of Id al-Adha, which ends on Monday.
Israeli officials also admit that differences remain that could stall a deal.
However, Arab media outlets Thursday reported significant progress in the talks to free the soldier. Senior Hamas officials, namely the heads of Hamas' Damascus-based political bureau, did not say the talks have failed but that a number of clauses in the German mediator's proposal are problematic.
Senior Hamas officials said the talks between Hamas and Israel hit a snag over some of the Palestinian prisoners the Islamic group wants freed in return for captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, including Marwan Barghouti and Ahmad Sa'adat.
Israel also objects to freeing Israeli Arab prisoners as well as several Hamas military wing leaders. Another issue yet to be settled is Israel's demand to deport almost 100 of the 450 "heavy" prisoners set to be released in the deal.
The Arab media does not describe these issues as categorical demands, but as points to be sorted out with the help of the German mediator.
Hamas is demanding, among other the prisoners, the release of Ibrahim Hamad, head of the group's military wing in the Ramallah area, Abdallah Barghouti, a bomb engineer, and Abbas a-Sayad, the Hamas head in Tul Karm who planned the 2002 massacre during Passover in Netanya's Park Hotel. These three prisoners are considered responsible for the murder of hundreds of Israelis.
Other names mentioned in the Arab media are Hassan Salame, who was involved in planning the suicide bus bombings in the mid '90s, and Jamal Abu al-Hijla, head of Hamas in Jenin, who was convicted of taking part in planning and funding several suicide attacks during the second intifada.
Another key figure is senior Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti. Vice Premier Silvan Shalom said earlier this week that Barghouti and Sa'adat, secretary of the Popular Front, would not be freed as part of the Shalit exchange. In the last two days, Hamas officials have said explicitly that Israel is refusing to release Barghouti.
The Obama administration has in recent weeks pressed Netanyahu to extend good-faith gestures to Abbas, intended to compensate for the predicted blow to Fatah's popularity in the wake of the prisoner exchange deal.
Netanyahu's declaration on Wednesday of a 10-month hiatus in settlement construction is not simply a tardy response to Washington's requests. The U.S. administration will try to present it as an achievement for Abbas as well, despite the Palestinian Authority's disappointment with East Jerusalem's exclusion from the building freeze.
Additional ideas were also raised in talks with the Americans - from handing over security responsibility to the PA in more West Bank areas, to a massive release of Fatah prisoners as a gesture to Abbas. Another possible scenario involves delaying by a few months the release of Marwan Barghouti, the emerging successor to Abbas, in order to separate it from the Shalit deal and thus also from a sense of obligation to Hamas.
The deal with Hamas is also expected to include a full cease-fire in the Gaza Strip (Hamas already declared such a truce last Saturday) in exchange for Israel alleviating the economic siege and partially opening the border passes for merchandise.
Military sources said Thursday that if the Shalit deal goes through, it could spur smaller Palestinian organizations to attempt to take more Israeli soldiers prisoner.
Israeli intelligence sources said there have been attempts to dig tunnels from the Gaza Strip into Israel and launch terror attacks on Israelis, including attempts to abduct soldiers. "These are plans for terror attacks that are ready to go ahead. Their implementation is only a matter of time," a senior officer said.

vrijdag 27 november 2009

Marwan Barghouti hoopt op vrijlating en deelname Palestijnse verkiezingen

Barghouti, door sommigen ter linkerzijde de Palestijnse Nelson Mandela genoemd, pleit voor 'verzet' naast onderhandelingen. 'Verzet' houdt bij de Palestijnen bijna altijd ook gewapend verzet in, van stenengooien tot aanslagen en raketten. Barghouti heeft overigens ook nooit spijt betuigd over de diverse bloedige aanslagen waarbij hij nauw betrokken was gedurende de tweede intifada.
Barghouti, who maintains exceptionally close relations with the Hamas leadership, has been trying to promote Palestinian unity for quite some time. In an interview from his prison cell last week, Barghouti voiced support for the idea of Palestinian "resistance" alongside peace negotiations with Israel.
Among Palestinians, the term "resistance" is an umbrella name for anything from terror attacks, which Barghouti has supported in the past, to non-violent demonstrations. In any event, it is clear that Barghouti has adopted a more hawkish line than Abbas.
Abbas wijst gewapend verzet af, maar alleen omdat het volgens hem de Palestijnse zaak schaadt en niet uit moreel oogpunt. In door de PA gecontroleerde media worden 'verzetshelden' zoals plegers van zelfmoordaanslagen of buskapingen geëerd en tientallen scholen zijn naar hen vernoemd. Er is nog steeds geen begin gemaakt met 'vredeseducatie' op scholen en de noodzaak elkaar te erkennen en vreedzaam samen te leven. De kinderen wordt daarentegen geleerd dat ook Jaffa, Haifa en de Negev woestijn onderdeel zijn van Palestina. Als Barghouti straks aan de macht zou komen zou een en ander alleen nog maar erger worden. Je vraagt je af waarom Israel hem interviews laat geven, en waarom hij juist in het Westen zo populair lijkt te zijn.

Marwan Barghouti begins his election campaign - as a champion of Hamas

Last update - 17:01 25/11/2009       
Barghouti: Shalit abduction achieved what no dialogue could
By Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz Correspondents and Haaretz Service
Fatah strongman, expected to win Palestinian election if freed in Shalit deal, declares intention to run.
Fatah strongman Marwan Barghouti said in an interview on Wednesday that he intends to run in the next Palestinian presidential election, and remarked that the abduction of Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit by Gaza militants achieved what no negotiations could ever achieve.
Shalit was kidnapped in a cross border raid in 2006, and has been held prisoner by Hamas for over three years. Recent reports suggest that Israel and Hamas are closer than ever to reaching an agreement on a deal that would see hundreds of Palestinian prisoners released in exchange for Shalit's freedom. It is unclear whether Barghouti will be among those prisoners, as he is currently serving five consecutive life sentences in an Israeli prison for his role in murderous terror attacks.
"Maybe Israel will finally understand that Hamas' demands cannot be ignored," Barghouti told the Milan-based Corriere Della Sera, adding that the main issue topping his agenda currently is achieving unity between rival Palestinian factions.
"Following a [unity] deal, I will be ready to submit my candidacy" for Palestinian president, he said.
Remarking on the Shalit prisoner exchange, Barghouti said "this time it is really happening, and some of the prisoners will finally be free." He added that the capture of an Israeli soldier was directly responsible for progress that no dialogue has been able to achieve - the release of prisoners. "It appears that Israel had no choice but to yield to Hamas' list of prisoners, of which I am one," Barghouti told the newspaper, via his attorney.
If Barghouti is released in a prisoner exchange, it could have far-reaching strategic implications on internal Palestinian balance of power, and attempts to strike a peace deal with Israel.
Fatah officials say that Barghouti's release could expedite the resignation of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, paving the way for Barghouti to assume the post.
Palestinian opinion polls show that Barghouti is extremely popular among the Palestinian public. Though Hamas is likely to gain popularity if it is able to secure the release of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Shalit, no single Hamas figure seems likely to defeat Barghouti in Palestinian elections.
It is safe to assume that many within Barghouti's Fatah faction would be happy to see Barghouti stay under lock and key; many of them took part in the efforts to block his allies from gaining seats in the last party primary. But Barghouti opponents understand that it is important for Fatah to present a candidate capable of defeating Hamas, especially if the Shalit deal goes through.
Barghouti, who maintains exceptionally close relations with the Hamas leadership, has been trying to promote Palestinian unity for quite some time. In an interview from his prison cell last week, Barghouti voiced support for the idea of Palestinian "resistance" alongside peace negotiations with Israel.
Among Palestinians, the term "resistance" is an umbrella name for anything from terror attacks, which Barghouti has supported in the past, to non-violent demonstrations. In any event, it is clear that Barghouti has adopted a more hawkish line than Abbas.
Officials from the Palestinian Ministry for Prisoner Affairs convened in Jericho on Tuesday against the backdrop of a framed photograph of Barghouti hugging fellow prisoners from a range of Palestinian factions, among them Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine Secretary General Sadat and two senior Hamas officials. That is Barghouti's way - putting Palestinian unity above peace talks considerations. This stance has proven popular with the Palestinian public and has bolstered Barghouti's position as the prominent leadership candidate.
Barghouti's wife, who attended the meeting, was even welcomed as "the next president's wife."
"I hope to see him soon," she said, somewhat evasively. Those who have met with him recently say that Barghouti has accepted the challenge and is preparing himself for the political activity that will inevitably follow his release, should it come to pass.

Fatah leiders zitten niet te wachten op vrijlating Marwan Barghouti

Een nuchtere analyse wat betreft Barghouti's populariteit en positie binnen Fatah. Weinig Palestijnen lijken in hem een 'Nelson Mandela' of 'Salah Edin' te zien.

Analysis: Marwan Barghouti - A Nelson Mandela or a PR gimmick?
Khaled Abu Toameh , THE JERUSALEM POST
It's not clear at this stage whether top Fatah operative Marwan Barghouti, who is serving five life sentences in prison for masterminding a series of terror attacks on Israel, would be part of a prisoner exchange agreement between Hamas and Israel.

But what is clear is that Barghouti, 50, is already planning, from his prison cell, how to succeed Mahmoud Abbas as president of the Palestinian Authority.

Barghouti himself made it clear in a newspaper interview published on Wednesday that he intends to run in a new presidential election. Earlier this week, his wife, Fadwa, also stated that her husband has his eyes set on the PA presidency.

Barghouti has been in prison since 2002 and there's a feeling that the PA leadership and many Fatah officials would prefer to see him remain behind bars.

Recent public opinion polls suggesting that Barghouti was the Palestinians' favorite choice for the job of PA president may be inaccurate or baseless.

Nonetheless, these polls have left many PA and Fatah representatives worried. Old guard officials like Abbas are worried because Barghouti represents a young generation of disgruntled Palestinians eager for regime change.

This is a generation that has long been struggling for a larger role in the decision-making process, but to no avail.

Yasser Arafat and his old-time colleagues who returned with him to the West Bank and Gaza Strip after the signing of the Oslo Accords prevented the young guard representatives from rising to power.

Abbas, who succeeded Arafat in January 2005, endorsed his predecessor's policy, keeping the young leaders away from bases of power in Fatah, the PLO and the PA.

Barghouti was one of the few Fatah operatives who dared to speak out against the policy of "marginalizing" him and the young guard, grassroots figures in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. He was also one of the few Palestinians who openly criticized rampant financial corruption in the Palestinian Authority.

Some of Barghouti's supporters in Fatah are convinced that senior officials in Arafat's office had tipped-off the Israelis about his hiding place.

Yet Barghouti is also seen as a threat by some leading young guard representatives in Fatah like Mohammed Dahlan and Jibril Rajoub, the two former security commanders who served under Arafat. Both Dahlan and Rajoub also see themselves as suitable candidates to succeed Abbas.

The release of Barghouti or, alternately, a decision by him to run in a new election is therefore likely to aggravate tensions in the ruling Fatah faction.

Barghouti is said to have close ties with the Hamas leadership, both in the Gaza Strip and Syria. Over the past two years, Barghouti has come out in support of unity between Fatah and Hamas. His release would not only undermine the status of the current Fatah and PA leaders, but it could also expedite the process of reconciliation between his faction and Hamas.

Some Palestinians, however, remain skeptical regarding Barghouti's chances of winning in a presidential election. They point out that Barghouti was at the head of the Fatah list that lost to Hamas in the January 2005 legislative election.

Unlike many in the Western media, Palestinian journalists and writers have rarely - if ever - referred to Barghouti as a "charismatic" leader or as the "Palestinian Nelson Mandela." Cynics and conspiracy theorists in the Palestinian territories go further by arguing that Barghouti is actually part of a US-Israeli scheme aimed at turning him into the next leader of the Palestinians. To back up their argument, they ask simple questions such as: Since when does Israel allow a security prisoner to give media interviews or hold meetings with Israeli, Palestinian, European and American officials in his prison cell?

Undoubtedly, Barghouti is respected by many Palestinians. Yet, this is not because he's the Palestinian Nelson Mandela or Salah Eddin - the Muslim warrior who drove the Crusaders out of Jerusalem - but because he's sitting in Israeli jail.

Barghouti is respected by many in Fatah, but his popularity among the faction's cadres is surely not as enormous as it's being portrayed by many Western journalists. Dahlan and Rajoub are believed to enjoy much more support among Fatah members and supporters in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Some Fatah operatives have even complained that the public opinion polls that have been predicting a sweeping victory for Barghouti were part of an EU-funded campaign designed to bolster his image among Palestinians as their only hope for the future.

Hamas houdt vast aan 'verzet'

Met 'verzet' bedoelt hij geen vreedzame demonstraties, zoals duidelijk moge zijn uit het feit dat hij dit zei op de begrafenis van twee 'verzetsstrijders' die bij een 'Jihad missie' zijn omgekomen. Zolang het doel van Hamas is om 'heel Palestina' te 'bevrijden' door midden van de Jihad, is praten met Hamas zinloos. Bovendien wil Hamas zelf niet praten met Israel, want dat zou een impliciete erkenning van dat land inhouden. Waarover valt er dan met Hamas te praten?
Even voor de duidelijkheid: onderstaand artikel komt van de website van de Al Qassam Brigades, de gewapende vleugel van Hamas.
Hamas can never give up the resistance option
www.qassam. ps/news-2092-Hamas_can_never_give_up_the_resistance_option.html

Al Qassam Website/Agencies - Dr. Khalil Al-Hayya, a member of Hamas political bureau, stated Monday that his Movement can never renounce the option of resistance which is considered one of its fundamental principles, stressing that Hamas always support this option by all means available.

This came in a speech during the funeral of martyrs Mohamed Al-Nawati and Ahmed Abu Guneima, resistance fighters of Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, who were killed during a Jihad mission east of Gaza city.

Hayya stressed the need for adopting the option of resistance as the only way that the can be used to restore the usurped Palestinian rights.

He highlighted that the martyrdom of these two resistance fighters in the eastern borders of Gaza during a Jihad mission was a clear sign that Al-Qassam Brigades is still on the battlefield.

In another context, Hamas lawmaker Ahmed Atwan, who was released few days ago from Zionist jails, said that the occupied city of Jerusalem is exposed to fierce Zionist attack to separate it from its past, present and future.

In a press statement, Atwan added that the Zionist occupation devoted its efforts to erase the historical identity of the holy city through unprecedented Judaization schemes.

The lawmaker called for pooling the efforts to protect the holy city and consolidate the Arab historical presence in the city, noting that the activities and efforts taking place are very limited and not commensurate with the sanctity of the city and its status.

For their part, Hamas lawmakers in the West Bank strongly denounced the ministry of prisoners in Ramallah for not inviting them to attend the international conference on the Palestinian prisoners in Zionist jails and participate in its events.

In a press release, the lawmakers said that the issue of Palestinian prisoners is a national issue and should not be monopolized by anyone.

They said that the ministry of prisoners in Ramallah deliberately prevented them from attending the conference despite the fact that all of them experienced detention life in Zionist jails and shared the concerns of Palestinian prisoners.

IDF verhindert bij Egyptische grens bomaanslag

Dat zogenaamde staakt het vuren dat Hamas met de 'gewapende groeperingen' in de Gazastrook zou hebben afgesproken stelt dus niet zoveel voor. Eerder al waren er Qassamraketten afgevuurd, vlak nadat Hamas de zogenaamde overeenkomst bekend maakte. Een overeenkomst die overigens door diverse gewapende groepen direct werd ontkend. Toch meldde onder andere NRC Handelsblad dit bestand, met zelfs een kort berichtje op de voorpagina. Men lijkt alles in het werk te stellen om de Palestijnen en vooral Hamas als gematigd en redelijk voor te stellen.

JPost  - The Jerusalem Post
Nov 26, 2009 20:10 | Updated Nov 26, 2009 21:32
Terror attack foiled as troops chase away man carrying bomb

An IDF bomb squad detonated a 15-kilogram explosive seized during a search conducted along the Egyptian border on Thursday.

Late Wednesday night, IDF troops on a routine patrol of the border area spotted a suspicious figure carrying a bag containing what was later discovered to be a 15-kilogram bomb.

The soldiers ordered him to stop and fired several shots in the air. However, the man fled the scene back into Egypt, dropping the bag in his haste.

IDF sources said it was possible that the suspected terrorist was from the Gaza Strip and had crossed into the Sinai Peninsula with the intention of then crossing into Israel to carry out an attack.

The military has been following attempts to carry out attacks through the 'U-route', where Gazan terrorists travel to Egypt, then turn back upon reaching Sinai and infiltrate Israel via the more penetrable Israel-Egypt border.

Channel 10 quoted security officials as assessing the device was either meant to be used in Eilat, Israel's southernmost city, or in another major Israeli city to which the suspect would have been driven, in order to perpetrate a multiple-casualty attack.

OC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant praised the soldiers' alertness and quick response.

Mitchell en Clinton positief over bevriezing nederzettingen door Israel

Het wachten is nu op een tegenconcessie van Palestijnse zijde. In plaats van alleen maar afwijzend te reageren, had men ook kunnen zeggen: "goede eerste stap, en we nemen jullie uitnodiging om te onderhandelen graag aan." Het probleem is dat de Palestijnen helemaal niet echt willen onderhandelen, en in tegenstelling tot Israel niet noemenswaardig onder druk worden gezet om concessies te doen. Ze kunnen nee blijven zeggen en dan zullen van Israel meer concessies gevraagd worden. Of de Palestijnen verkijken zich dit keer op de zaak...

Mitchell, Clinton welcome Israel settlement moratorium
By Natasha Mozgovaya, Haaretz Correspondent, and Agencies
The Obama administration welcomed Israel's decision Wednesday to freeze new construction in settlements in the West Bank temporarily as a step toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton issued an approving statement moments after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced in Jerusalem the launching of a 10-month moratorium on settlements in the West Bank.
"Today's announcement by the government of Israel helps move forward toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," Clinton said.
She said the United States believes that through good-faith negotiations the parties can mutually agree on an outcome that ends the conflict.
This would reconcile "the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state based on the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps, and the Israeli goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments and meet Israeli security requirements."
Clinton added: "Let me say to all the people of the region and world: our commitment to achieving a solution with two states living side by side in peace and security is unwavering."
At the State Department, the administration's special envoy for Middle East peace, former Sen. George Mitchell, told a news conference that the Israeli decision could mark a step toward restarting peace talks.
"It falls short of a full settlement freeze, but it is more than any Israeli government has done before and can help movement toward agreement between the parties," Mitchell said.
"Nothing like this occurred during the Bush administration," he added later.
Mitchell said he would return to the region in the near future to resume his efforts to win agreement from the Israelis and Palestinians to return to the negotiating table.

Een jaar na de terreuraanslagen in Mumbai

Onder de 173 slachtoffers van de terroristische aanslagen in Mumbai een jaar geleden, waren de ouders van een toen tweejarig jongetje. Het weeskind is opgenomen door zijn grootouders in Israel, en zijn Indiase nanny is met hem meegegaan.
The little Mumbai survivor - a year later
A Year After Parents' Murder by Gunmen, 3-Year-Old Mumbai Orphan Is Doing Well
JERUSALEM, Nov. 26, 2009 - Little Moshe's mother and father, Rabbi Rivka and Gabriel Holtzberg, were killed moments after the gunmen entered Chabad House, the Mumbai Jewish community center they ran.
His Indian nanny, Sandra Samuel, found Moshe sitting on the floor beside their blood-stained bodies and, with great presence of mind, whisked him to safety.
Images of the traumatized little boy emerging from the besieged building were soon beamed around the world. His cries for his dead parents days later at a memorial ceremony later broke hearts.
Now, a year after the four-day attacks that began Nov. 26, Moshe and nanny Samuel are still living together in the Israeli town of Afula, in the home of his maternal grandparents, Shimon and Yehudit Rosenberg.
Moshe, 3, is doing well, his uncle, Shmulik Rosenberg, told ABC News this week.
"He started kindergarten in September and is doing well," he said. "He's a very happy child but he still asks about his parents a lot. We tell him they are in heaven."
Samuel, an Indian Catholic, is slowly adapting to life in Israel but plans a vacation to her beloved Mumbai in December. She misses the Indian city's energy and scale, she said. The bond between her and Moshe, who recently celebrated his birthday, is strong and she is committed to staying by the child's side for as long as she is needed, Samuel said.
Meanwhile, Moshe has settled into a touching daily routine.
"Every day, when Moshe wakes up, he looks at a picture of his parents and says good morning," uncle Rosenberg said. "And before he leaves the house, he says goodbye to them in the same way."
Although Moshe is beginning to lead a normal life, his uncle said, memories of that fateful day still haunt him.
"He remembers some of what happened even though he doesn't understand," Rosenberg said of the shooting and bombing attacks that killed at least 173 people. "For example, he'll say, 'Why did they [his parents] fall on the ground? Why did they look so sad? And why didn't they answer me when I called out to them."

donderdag 26 november 2009

Haat radio uit Nazi-Duitsland voor de Arabieren werkt nog steeds door

Een stukje oorlogsgeschiedenis dat zeer onderbelicht is, en hier ten lande vrijwel onbekend.
Ik las wel steeds dat de Moefti van Jeruzalem vanuit Berlijn radio uitzendingen verzorgde in het Arabisch, maar kon me niet voorstellen wie zijn doelgroep dan waren, daar in Duitsland toch weinig Arabieren vertoefden in die jaren...
De Nazi-propaganda werd vermengd met de islam, en de gevolgen zie je hedentendage nog bij clubs als Hamas en Hezbollah.
The Chronicle of Higher Education
Between 1939 and 1945, shortwave radio transmitters near Berlin broadcast Nazi propaganda in many languages around the world, including Arabic throughout the Middle East and North Africa, and Persian programs in Iran. English-language transcripts of the Arabic broadcasts shed light on a particularly dark chapter in the globalization of pernicious ideas. The transcripts' significance, however, is not purely historical. Since September 11, 2001, scholars have debated the lineages, similarities, and differences between Nazi anti-Semitism and the anti-Semitism of Islamic extremists. These radio broadcasts suggest that Nazi Arabic-language propaganda helped introduce radical anti-Semitism into the Middle East, where it found common ground with anti-Jewish currents in Islam.

In a 2007 book, Jihad and Jew-Hatred: Islamism, Nazism and the Roots of 9/11 (Telos Press), the German political scientist Matthias Kuentzel details how Nazi ideology influenced Islamist ideologues like Hassan al-Banna and Sayyid Qutb of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, as well as the Palestinian leader Haj Amin al-Husseini. More recent examples abound. The founding charter of Hamas, the militant Palestinian group, recapitulates conspiracy theories about Jews that were popular in Europe in the 20th century. Al Qaeda's war against "the Zionist-Crusader Alliance" and the anti-Zionist rants of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran also display a blend of anti-Semitic themes rooted in Nazi and fascist, as well as Islamist, traditions. To be sure, each of these movements and ideologies have non-European, local, and regional causes and inspirations. But the formulation of Nazi propaganda during World War II and its dissemination stand as a decisive episode in the development of radical Islamism.

After Hitler invaded Poland in September 1939, German embassies and consulates were closed throughout North Africa and the Middle East, hampering Nazi propaganda efforts. Between 1941 and 1943, as German forces were engaged in heavy fighting in North Africa, millions of leaflets were dropped from airplanes and distributed on the ground by propaganda units operating with Rommel's Afrika Korps. But in a region where fewer than 20 percent of adults were literate, radio was considered a much more effective medium of communication. Radio stations like Radio Berlin and the Voice of Free Arabism adapted Nazi propaganda to the circumstances of the Middle East.

Only a fraction of the Nazi regime's broadcasts in Arabic survived the war in the German archives. But in the fall of 1941, the American Embassy in Egypt began to produce verbatim English-language translations of Nazi broadcasts. Every week for the remainder of the war, the embassy sent a digest, "Axis Broadcasts in Arabic," to the secretary of state in Washington. In the parlance of contemporary intelligence operations, "Axis Broadcasts in Arabic" would be described as "open source" intelligence gathering, that is, an examination of what adversaries say in public. As far as I have been able to determine, "Axis Broadcasts in Arabic" comprise the most complete record of Nazi Germany's efforts to win the hearts and minds of the Arab and Islamic world.

That task was made more difficult because of ideas about Aryan racial superiority and purity that were central to Nazi ideology. Nazi diplomats had long been sensitive to the fact that such views made it difficult to garner Arab allies. Before the war, German officials went to great lengths to reassure Arabs that Nazi policies, like the Nuremberg Race Laws of 1935, were aimed strictly at Jews, not non-Jewish Semites. In addition, Arab leaders were given private assurances that the Third Reich opposed British and French colonialism, as well as Zionist aspirations in Palestine. But Mussolini's imperial ambitions around the Mediterranean remained at odds with an open declaration of support by the Axis powers for Arab independence. By the summer of 1942, however, when Hitler and Mussolini believed that they were on the verge of victory over the Allies in North Africa, the two leaders publicly called for an end to colonialism in the region. And for the remainder of the war, Nazi radio broadcast an unrelenting flood of anti-British, anti-American, anti-Soviet, and especially anti-Jewish propaganda into the Middle East. It was hate radio with a vengeance.
The Nazi Arabic-language broadcasts were the result of a collaboration between officials in the German foreign ministry and pro-Nazi Arab exiles who found refuge from the British in Berlin, most notably Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the most important Palestinian religious and political figure of the era, and Rashid Ali al-Kilani, leader of a pro-Axis coup in Iraq in 1941, which was quickly reversed by the British military. Husseini's and Kilani's arrival in Berlin in 1941 provided the Axis with a rare asset: Arabs who could communicate Nazi ideas in colloquial, fluent, and passionate Arabic. Previously, the Arabic broadcasts drew on the expertise of German Orientalists and the local knowledge of German diplomats who had served in the Middle East.

Those early broadcasts tended to present the Third Reich as an ally of both Arab nationalists and Muslim fundamentalists. Speeches by Hitler or Joseph Goebbels, his propaganda minister, were generally omitted. Instead, the programs combined commentary on political events in the Middle East with a selective appropriation and interpretation of the Koran. The broadcasts began with an incantation-"Oh Muslims"-and a call for listeners to return to the words of the Koran. During the winter of 1940-41, several broadcasts described Muslims as "backward" because they had "not shown God the proper piety and do not fear him." A return to traditional Islam, the broadcasts suggested, would lead to victory over Islam's enemies.

This appeal is indicative of the reactionary modernist character of Nazi propaganda, which combined modern technology with calls to reject modern liberal democratic values and institutions. The early Arabic-language broadcasts created the perception of affinity between Nazi ideology and the Koran.

Following the arrival of Husseini and Kilani in Berlin, the broadcasts more skillfully integrated the Nazi perspective on World War II with themes of Arab nationalism, as well as rhetoric that we would now call fundamentalist or radical Islamic. On July 3, 1942, as Rommel's Afrika Korps advanced toward El 'Alamein, about 60 miles west of Alexandria, Egypt, a station called Berlin in Arabic announced that German and Italian forces were coming to "guarantee Egypt's independence and sovereignty," and "to liberate the whole of the Near East from the British yoke." Husseini, who came on the air to celebrate Rommel's "glorious victory," declared that "the Axis powers are fighting against the common enemy, namely the British and the Jews."

In Germany, Nazi propaganda routinely blamed the Jews for starting World War II. Hitler, for instance, famously boasted that the war would result not in "the extermination of the Aryan race but rather the extermination of the Jewish race in Europe." In broadcasts to the Middle East, the Nazis repeated that claim, arguing that Britain and the United States were stooges of the Jews. An Allied victory, the Nazis warned, would mean Jewish domination of the Arab world and the success of Zionism. Germans were reassured by the regime that the process of "fulfilling Hitler's prophecy"-to exterminate and annihilate the Jews-was under way. In broadcasts to the Middle East, listeners were called upon to participate in the massacre.

At 8:15 p.m. on July 7, 1942, the Voice of Free Arabism played a remarkable program titled, "Kill the Jews Before They Kill You." The broadcast began with a lie: "A large number of Jews residing in Egypt and a number of Poles, Greeks, Armenians, and Free French have been issued with revolvers and ammunition" to fight "against the Egyptians at the last moment, when Britain is forced to evacuate Egypt." The broadcast continued:

"In the face of this barbaric procedure by the British we think it best, if the life of the Egyptian nation is to be saved, that the Egyptians rise as one man to kill the Jews before they have a chance of betraying the Egyptian people. It is the duty of the Egyptians to annihilate the Jews and to destroy their property. . You must kill the Jews, before they open fire on you. Kill the Jews, who have appropriated your wealth and who are plotting against your security. Arabs of Syria, Iraq, and Palestine, what are you waiting for? The Jews are planning to violate your women, to kill your children and to destroy you. According to the Muslim religion, the defense of your life is a duty which can only be fulfilled by annihilating the Jews. This is your best opportunity to get rid of this dirty race, which has usurped your rights and brought misfortune and destruction on your countries. Kill the Jews, burn their property, destroy their stores, annihilate these base supporters of British imperialism. Your sole hope of salvation lies in annihilating the Jews before they annihilate you."

This broadcast, which combined secular political accusations with an appeal to the religious demands of Islam, was unusual only insofar as it explicitly voiced genocidal intentions that were merely implicit in other declarations about the venality and power of the Jews. Two German historians, Klaus-Michael Mallmann and Martin Cüppers, recently uncovered evidence that German intelligence agents were reporting back to Berlin that if Rommel succeeded in reaching Cairo and Palestine, the Axis powers could count on support from some elements in the Egyptian officer corps as well as the Muslim Brotherhood. Mallmann and Cüppers also show that an SS division was preparing to fly to Egypt to extend the Final Solution to the Middle East. The British and Australian defeat of Rommel at the Battle of El 'Alamein prevented that from happening.

How was Nazi propaganda received by Arabs and Muslims in the Middle East? Research into this question has begun, but much more remains to be done by scholars who read Arabic and Persian. It is clear, as Meir Litvak and Esther Webman point out in their important new book, From Empathy to Denial: Arab Responses to the Holocaust (Columbia University Press), that the revulsion for fascism and Nazism that greatly influenced postwar politics in Europe was not nearly as prevalent in the Middle East. In a June 1945 report, the Office of Strategic Services, the precursor to the Central Intelligence Agency, determined that "in the Near East the popular attitude toward the trial of war criminals is one of apathy. As a result of the general Near Eastern feeling of hostility to the imperialism of certain of the Allied powers, there is a tendency to sympathize with rather than condemn those who have aided the Axis." The OSS concluded that there was no support in the region for bringing pro-Axis Arab leaders like Husseini and Kilani to trial.

In the first months after the war, as the scope of the Jewish catastrophe in Europe was being revealed, Arab and Islamic radicals showed no sign of reconsidering their hostility to Zionism. On June 1, 1946, the OSS office in Cairo sent a report to Washington about a statement made by Hassan Al-Banna to the Arab League on the occasion of Husseini's return to Egypt. Banna, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, celebrated Husseini as a "hero who challenged an empire and fought Zionism, with the help of Hitler and Germany. Germany and Hitler are gone, but Amin Al-Husseini will continue the struggle. ... There must be a divine purpose behind the preservation of the life of this man, namely the defeat of Zionism. Amin! March on! God is with you! We are behind you! We are willing to sacrifice our necks for the cause. To death! Forward March."

Banna's hope that Husseini would "continue the struggle" indicates that Banna perceived the battle against Zionism as a continuation of Nazism's assault on the Jews. Sayyid Qutb, another extremely influential member of the Brotherhood, incorporated anti-Jewish ideas from Europe to forge a new jihadist ideology. In his essay from the early 1950s, "Our Struggle With the Jews," which became central in the canon of radical Islamist texts - the essay was republished in 1970 and distributed throughout the world by the monarchy in Saudi Arabia - Qutb argued that Jews are implacable enemies of Islam. As such, Qutb wrote, Jews merited "the worst kind of punishment." Qutb claimed that Allah had sent Hitler to earth to "punish" the Jews for their evil deeds. In so doing, Qutb justified, rather than denied, the Holocaust. This paranoid analysis, in turn, influenced the authors of the charter of Hamas, which blends Islamist fundamentalism with the Nazi ideology of mid-20th century Europe. The Hamas Charter holds Jews responsible for the French and the Russian Revolutions, World War I and World War II, as well as the founding of the United Nations - all of which were, Hamas argues, orchestrated for the purpose of furthering Jewish world domination.

Many decades and events stand between World War II and contemporary expressions of radical Islam. Yet the transcripts of Arabic-language propaganda broadcasts offer compelling evidence of a political and ideological meeting of minds between Nazism and radical Islam. The toxic mixture of religious and secular themes forged in Nazi-era Berlin, and disseminated to the Middle East, continues to shape the extreme politics of that region.
Jeffrey Herf is a professor of modern European and German history at the University of Maryland at College Park and author of The Jewish Enemy: Nazi Propaganda During World War II and the Holocaust (Harvard University Press, 2006). His latest book is Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World, published this month by Yale University Press.