zaterdag 2 januari 2010

Ultra-orthodoxe Joden van Neturei Karta vieren Sabbat in Gaza

Ze steunen Hamas en het Iraanse regime, maar worden door westerse antizionisten desondanks gezien als moedige vrijheidsstrijders. Naturei Karteh zijn echter religieuze fanaten die menen dat alleen God staten kan stichten en wetten kan maken. Waarom de Palestijnen voor hun staat niet ook op een messias moeten wachten, is me overigens niet helemaal duidelijk.

Last update - 15:04 01/01/2010
Anti-Zionist ultra-Orthodox Jews celebrate Sabbath in Gaza
By The Associated Press and Haaretz Service

A small group of ultra-Orthodox Jews were preparing Friday to celebrate the Jewish Sabbath in Gaza, in an unlikely show of support for Palestinians in the Hamas-run coastal territory.

Bearded and wearing black hats and coats, the four members of a tiny Jewish group vehemently opposed to Israel's existence were a rare sight in the poverty-stricken Palestinian territory.

Members of the Neturei Karta group have expressed support for the Iranian regime and for others who oppose the Jewish state, which they believe was established in violation of Jewish law.

"It's crucial that the people of Gaza understand the terrible tragedy here is not in the name of Judaism," said one of the men, Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss of New York City, as the four prepared to observe the Sabbath at a Gaza City hotel.

Israel's offensive in Gaza destroyed some 5,000 homes and, according to figures from a Palestinian rights group, killed over 1,400 people. Israel has challenged this figure, stating that a total of 1,166 Palestinians were killed in the operation, the majority of whom were Hamas militants.

The four men are American and Canadian citizens. Israel bans its citizens from visiting the blockaded territory. Weiss and his comrades entered Gaza through a border crossing with Egypt.

This was not the first time Neturei Karta members visited the besieged strip, after a brief visit to Gaza in July of last year, when they met with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh after crossing into the territory through Egypt.

Israel, which maintains a strict blockade of Gaza, would not let them cross through its passages with the territory.

"We feel your suffering, we cry your cry," Rabbi Weiss said at the time.

"It is your land, it is occupied, illegitimately and unjustly by people who stole it, kidnapped the name of Judaism and our identity," Weiss continued.

During their Thursday meeting, Haniyeh told them he held no grudge against Jews, but against the state of Israel, according to a Hamas Web site.

Neturei Karta, Aramaic for Guardians of the City, was founded some 70 years ago in Jerusalem by Jews who opposed the drive to establish the state of Israel, believing only the Messiah could do that. Estimates of the group's size range from a few hundred to a few thousand.

Representatives of the sect had previously visited Gaza when it was ruled by Fatah, Hamas' more secular rival.

One acted as Yasser Arafat's adviser on Jewish affairs, and a delegation traveled to Paris in 2004 to pray for the Palestinian leader's health as he lay dying in a hospital. Months later, a group participated in a conference in Lebanon with Hamas and Hezbollah militants.

Familielid rabbi Meir Kahane verdacht van aanslag op moskee

Israel is in ieder geval bezig om de verantwoordelijken voor de vernielingen in een moskee op de Westoever vorige maand te vinden. Het lijkt erop dat de appel niet ver van de boom valt. Misschien is de dader wel veiliger in een Israelische gevangenis, gezien het lot van zijn vader en grootvader. Het zou mooi zijn als Israel daarnaast ook preventief te werk gaat en rechtsradicalisme en racisme hard aanpakt.

The Jerusalem Post
Dec 31, 2009 22:25 | Updated Jan 1, 2010 7:05
Kahane relative released on bail

A teenage relative of the late Kach founder Rabbi Meir Kahane was released on bail Thursday evening, having been arrested on suspicion of involvement in the arson attack on a mosque in the Palestinian village of Yasuf last month.

A Judea and Samaria Police spokesman said the youth remains a suspect and that police would continue to investigate his alleged role in the attack. His name was not released because he is a minor.

The suspect was released because police did not see a reason to hold him in custody, the spokesman said.

The teenager gave an alibi for the time of the attack, which was found to be mostly accurate, but some of his answers are being examined, police said.

They said the investigation was in an early phase, and that it was too soon to know if the suspect operated alone, or was part of a group.

"All of that is being checked now," a police source said.

Earlier in the day, undercover officers arrested the youth while he was traveling in a car with a family member in a northern Samaria settlement.

Police suspect he was involved in the December 11 mosque attack, in which prayer carpets and holy books were burned.

The vandals left behind Hebrew graffiti indicating the rampage was the work of settlers angry over the government's 10-month moratorium on settlement construction.

Authorities suspected extreme-right elements attacked the mosque to exact a "price tag" for the moratorium, and raised concern that it would trigger violent responses.

The arson attack was immediately condemned by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

Far-right activist Itamar Ben-Gvir accused the police of targeting the teen because he was a member of the Kahane family.

"The time has come for the police to stop persecuting the Kahane family," Ben-Gvir said.

Meir Kahane was a member of Knesset from 1984 and until his party was declared racist and outlawed in 1988. He was assassinated in New York on November 5, 1990.

Exactly nine years ago, on December 31, 2000, Kahane's son Binyamin and his daughter-in-law Talia were killed by Palestinian snipers near Ofra, as they drove from Jerusalem to their home in Kfar Tapuah, northeast of Yasuf.

The couple was survived by six children, five of whom were in the car when their parents were killed.

Prior to the suspect's release on bail, his attorney, Yehuda Shoshan, told The Jerusalem Post that his client had denied all charges, adding, "I can say he gave police an alibi. He was in Tapuah for 24 hours during the period of the incident, and the alibi is now being checked."

Shoshan said police had "no evidence" against the teenager. "They jumped the gun on this case, instead of doing a thorough investigation," he said.

"What's most interesting is the famous family to which my client belongs. But beyond that, the police have nothing," Shoshan said.

The arrest may have been made as part of an attempt to get names of additional suspects, he said.

Mogelijk hervatting vredesoverleg Israel-PA met Egyptische bemiddeling

Een hoopgevend bericht in het nieuwe jaar, al is het natuurlijk nog afwachten wat ervan terecht zal komen.
Palestinians: Dramatic development in peace process possible
West Bank sources tell Ynet Abbas expected to meet Mubarak next week to discuss stalled Israel-PA negotiations. Barak urges Palestinian president to 'show responsibility, return to negotiations'
Ali Waked
Published:  12.31.09, 17:34
A dramatic development in the peace process is expected in the coming weeks, Palestinian sources told Ynet Thursday.
The sources said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is set to visit Egypt early next week to discuss jumpstarting the regional peace talks with his counterpart Hosni Mubarak.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Mubarak in Cairo earlier this week. According to the Prime Minister's Office, "The two leaders discussed ways to jumpstart the peace process with the Palestinians, as well as the efforts to release kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit."
The Palestinian sources said senior Egyptian and American officials are scheduled to hold discussions over the course of the next two weeks in hopes that they will give US special Mideast envoy George Mitchell the opportunity to present an agreement on the resumption of peace talks as early as the second half of January.
The sources said the negotiations will be based on the "Clinton outline", according to which Arab neighborhoods in east Jerusalem will be under the sovereignty of the Palestinian Authority, while the Jewish quarters will remain under Israeli rule.
According to the sources, a team led by chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat had met with Israeli negotiators headed by Netanyahu advisor Attorney Yitzhak Molcho to determine the general guidelines for the peace talks.
One of these guidelines states that the process will result in the establishment of an independent Palestinian state and that all of the core issues, including Jerusalem and the status of the Palestinian refugees, would be put on the table.
The parties, said the sources, agreed that the 1967 borders would be the basis for any negotiation. The Palestinians said Israel refuses to put a time limit on the negotiations, which they said would be conducted during the temporary settlement construction freeze recently declared by Israel.
Earlier Thursday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak called on Abbas to "show responsibility to his people and return to negotiations in order to give a chance to sought-after peace."
Speaking at a pilots' course graduation ceremony in Hatzerim, Barak said that any possible way to advance regional peace, at the heart of which is peace with the Palestinians, must sought out.
During his talks with Mubarak, Netanyahu stated that Israel's conditions include Palestinian recognition of Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state and the demilitarization of a future Palestinian state.
The PM stressed that while he does not oppose discussions on the core issues, the refugee issue would not be resolved by Israel and Jerusalem's status as Israel's united capital was indisputable.
According to his past statements, Netanyahu would agree to the establishment of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders without ceding territories that include large settlement blocs or settlements that are deemed vital to Israel's security.
Ilana Curiel and Roni Sofer contributed to the report

Hamas prijst steun van activisten tegen Gaza blokkade

"Because of international solidarity and your support, we have become stronger," Haniyeh declared. "The Palestinian nation will never give up its national aspirations or its right to Jerusalem, the capital of Palestine and the Islamic people."
Ook de vele oproepen met Hamas te gaan praten en de vele protesten tegen de blokkade zijn een steun in de rug voor Hamas' illegale bewind in Gaza en vergroten de legitimiteit van Hamas, dat nog steeds als doel heeft om Israel te vernietigen, en in haar handvest de hadith aanhaalt die oproept tot het doden van alle Joden zodat het Einde der Tijden kan aanbreken.

Israeli Hamas groupies get a pat on the back - from Hamas

Ismail Haniyeh declared to Israeli and other activists that they strengthen Hamas in its struggle to implement its program. The Hamas program as stated in their charter is the "liberation" of all of "Palestine" (Israel) and the annihilation of the Jewish people.
Hamas leader in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh on Thursday told activists gathered on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides of the Gaza Strip border that residents of the besieged territory had not given up hope and would never stop fighting for a state, with Jerusalem as its capital.
"Because of international solidarity and your support, we have become stronger," Haniyeh declared. "The Palestinian nation will never give up its national aspirations or its right to Jerusalem, the capital of Palestine and the Islamic people."
Some 1,000 people, among them all of Israel's Arab MKs and community leaders, gathered at the Israeli side of the Erez border crossing to express solidarity with the residents of Gaza, one year after Israel's offensive there. MK Taleb A-Sana relayed Haniyeh's message to the Israeli side via a mobile phone.
On the Gaza side of the border, nearly 100 international activists joined about 500 Palestinians, chanting and carrying signs denouncing the blockade.
During the rally, Israeli Arab MK Jamal Zahalka directed harsh criticism at Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who he said enjoys "classical music and killing children in Gaza."
The terror emerging from the Gaza Strip was a result of Israel's actions against Palestinians, Zahalka told the protesters, who had convened to mark one year since Operation Cast Lead.
The Israeli Arab protesters waved the flag of the Palestine Liberation Organization as they rallied against Israel's continued blockade of Gaza, accusing Israel of starving the Palestinian people.
The 86 international activists began touring the Gaza Strip on Thursday, in an expression of solidarity with Palestinians living there under the Israeli blockade.
Their visit, which coincides with one year since Israel's offensive against militants in the Strip, will see them meet with officials from the Islamist Hamas movement, which administers the salien.
They will also tour areas hit in the Israeli bombardments, visit Shifa hospital, and meet with community leaders, said Hamdi Shaath, the head of the pro-Hamas Committee to Defeat the Blockade.
The 86, part of a much larger group of 1,300 activists, arrived in the Strip on Wednesday night, after spending several days in Cairo waiting for Egyptian authorities to allow them to cross into the enclave via the Rafah crossing point.
Tighe Berry, the spokesman of the group, said Hedy Epstein, an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor, had remained behind in Cairo.

Voetbalbond Iran wenst Israel Gelukkig Nieuwjaar

Zulke dingen gebeuren uiteraard alleen per vergissing. Het Israelische antwoord was echter geen vergissing, zoals ook Israels hulpaanbod na die aardbeving in Iran een paar jaar geleden geen vergissing was.
Last update - 14:42 31/12/2009       
Iran soccer body sends Israeli team New Year`s greeting
By Haaretz Service
The Iranian football federation sent its Israeli counterpart a new year's greeting on Thursday, Army Radio reported, in what a Tehran official described as a mistake.
Mohammad Ali Ardebili, director of foreign relations for the Football Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran, told Army Radio that he had not intended to send the missive to the Israel Football Association.
"It is a greeting sent to every country in the world," Ardebili said. He quickly then inquired: "Are you talking from Israel? I can't speak with you. It's a mistake, it's a mistake."
The greeting was received in Israel by the head of the Israel Football Association's legal department, Amir Navon.
"He came into my office asking me if I thought it was a mistake," said body spokesman Gil Levanoni. "So I told him that I didn't know, but that we should send in a reply."
Levanoni and Navon said they replied to the greeting with a "happy new year to all the good people of Iran," and said: "We also added a wink."
"We wrote them that we hoped that they would have a happy soccer year," Levanoni added."

Wanneer zal de VS haar eigen wetten toepassen en stoppen met de financiering van Abbas?

"Het antwoord luidt: 'Wanneer zij ophouden met hun straten, stadiums, zomerkampen, en schoolprijzen te vernoemen naar terroristische moordenaars als eerbetoon.'"

"Wat was de vraag?"

"Hoe zullen we weten wanneer de Palestijnen vrede willen?"

"Juist !"

Weer een sterk artikel van het Belgische Brabosh over de Palestijnse verering van de meest wrede terroristen, zoals Dalal Mughrabi, die in 1978 een aanval leidde waarbij 37 burgers werden gedood, waarvan 12 kinderen. Onder andere een computercentrum, een voetbalcompetitie en een zomerkamp werden naar haar vernoemd, allen (mede) gefinancierd door de Palestijnse Autoriteit. Ook op de TV werd zij geëerd:
Twee maanden geleden, op de 31ste verjaardag van de massamoord door Mughrabi, zond PA TV een speciaal programma uit om de terreur aanval te vieren, waarin het doden van 37 burgers "een van de belangrijkste en meest prominente speciale activiteiten … uitgevoerd werden door een team van helden en geleid door de heldhaftige strijdster Dalal Mughrabi" (PA TV uitzending van 11 maart 2009). En niet alleen Mughrabi wordt gevierd als een Palestijnse heldin. Ondanks toespraken in het Engels door Abbas en andere PA-leiders dat zij terreur verwerpen, heeft de PA in het Arabisch een lange en afschuwelijke geschiedenis te vertellen over de viering van terroristen als rolmodellen en helden, vaak gefinancierd met gelden afkomstig uit de VS en de EU.
Terwijl we hier nooit wat over horen, en niemand (behalve Geert Wilders) een probleem lijkt te hebben met het feit dat de EU miljarden pompt in de PA, terwijl zij op deze manier haat en geweld promoot, wordt wel ieder huis dat Israel over de groene lijn bouwt als een misdaad tegen de menselijkheid behandeld. Kijk, dat vind ik nou een beetje buiten proportie. Wat meer evenwicht in 2010 zou de kans op een oplossing van het conflict vergroten.
28/12/2009 brabosh
In zijn cartoon van heden (zie boven) haalt Dry Bones, alias van de Israëli Yaakov Kirschen, terecht uit naar Verenigde Staten, die tot vandaag de Palestijnse terroristische groepen en meer in het bijzonder rond Mahmoud Abbas, nog altijd financieren met een overvloed aan Amerikaanse dollars. Wellicht zal u zich Dalal Mughrabi niet meer herinneren maar de Palestijnse kinderen doen dat zeker weten van wel.

Terug in 1978: Dalal Mughrabi was een Palestijnse terrorist. In maart van 1978 leidde ze een van de meest wrede en dodelijke terreuraanslagen in de geschiedenis van Israël. Zij en haar collega-terroristen landen in rubber boten op een strand in de buurt van Tel Aviv. Op dat strand was de Amerikaanse fotografe Gail Rubin doende met het fotograferen van zeldzame vogels. Nadat ze haar eerst ondervraagden, hebben de terroristen haar in koelen bloede vermoord en gingen daarop een bus kapen op de nabijgelegen kustweg, balans: doden 37 burgers, 12 van hen kinderen.

De bloedige aanslag, gekend als de Coastal Road massacre van 1978 was gepland door Abu Jihad en uitgevoerd door Yasser Arafats terreurorganisatie Al-Fatah, een factie van de PLO (Palestijnse Bevrijdingsorganisatie). De aanslag gebeurde tijdens de vredesonderhandelingen in Camp David tussen Menachem Begin en Anwar Sadat, die uiteindelijk zullen leiden tot de ondertekening van een vredesverdrag tussen Egypte en Israël en de de facto erkenning van het bestaansrecht van Israël door Egypte op 26 maart 1979. Het doel van Al-Fatah van deze aanslag was duidelijk: te verhinderen dat een vredesovereenkomst zou gesloten worden tussen gelijk welk Arabisch land met Israël, dit door zoveel mogelijk Joodse slachtoffers te maken en aldus te bereiken dat Israël zou afhaken, zodat de onderhandelingen met Egypte alsnog zouden mislukken.

Nu in 2009: De Palestijnse Autoriteit, onder de controle van de regering van Abbas, heeft een modern nieuw computer centrum opgericht. Het zal de naam "naar de martelares Dalal Mughrabi" dragen, de vrouwelijke terrorist die in 1978 de dodelijke aanval heeft geleid. Het nieuwe centrum wordt gefinancierd door het kantoor van Abbas, die hiervoor westerse hulpgelden ontvangt.


En nu is het weer tijd voor Mickey Mouse!

Videoclip: In een nieuwe TV-studio van de PA die tijdens de Ramadan speciaal gebouwd werd voor het programmeren van kinderprogramma's, zijn de glimlachende beelden van Mickey en Minnie Mouse, Pooh en Knorretje het decor voor een TV-quiz, die tijdens in het teken stond van een beruchte terrorist eerde. De vrouwelijke terrorist, Dalal Mughrabi, had deelgenomen aan de moorden op 12 kinderen en 25 volwassenen tijden een aanslag op een bus in 1978 in Israël. In deze quiz wordt Mughrabi verafgood als de "geliefde bruid, de dochter van Jaffa, de jasmijnbloem ', terwijl de figuren van Mickey en Minnie Mouse prominent aanwezig zijn in de achtergrond – als ware het een Disney-programma. [bron]

Wanneer zal de VS haar eigen wetten toepassen en stoppen met de financiering van Abbas?

door Itamar Marcus en Barbara Crook

De verering van terroristen bekostigd door de Palestijnse Autoriteit, is rechtstreeks in strijd met de Amerikaanse voorwaarden om financiële hulp te ontvangen, maar de VS negeert haar eigen wetten en blijft de PA financieel bedruipen. In dit opiniestuk uit de Jerusalem Post toont PMW aan de hand van documenten, hoe de Amerikaanse hulp aan de PA door haar onachtzaamheid de moord op vrouwen en kinderen bevorderd. Onderaan bijgevoegd een brief gericht aan de redactie in antwoord op de Amerikaanse financiering van de PA die de moordenaar van haar zoon vereren, geschreven door Sharona Tel-Oren, de moeder van de 15-jarige Imri, die vermoord werd door Palestijnse terroristen.

Toen de Amerikaanse president Barack Obama zich een half jaar geleden voorbereidde op een hartelijk welkom van het bezoek aan Washington van president Mahmoud Abbas van de Palestijnse Autoriteit (afbeelding hierboven, Washington, 28 mei 2009), en de Amerikaanse wetgevers over het voorgestelde 900 miljoen dollar hulppakket aan de PA debatteerden, is het geld wederom bedoeld om te verkondigen dat het doden van Israëlische vrouwen en kinderen een heldhaftige daad is.

De PA koos als naam voor haar nieuwste computer centrum "naar de martelaar Dalal Mughrabi," die een van de meest dodelijke terreuraanslag pleegde in de geschiedenis van het land. In 1978 werden tijdens het kapen van een bus 37 burgers gedood waarvan 12 kinderen en eveneens de Amerikaanse fotografe Gail Rubin. Het nieuwe centrum wordt gefinancierd door het kantoor van Abbas, dat wordt geschraagd met westerse financiële hulpfondsen. (Al-Ayyam, 5 mei)

De Amerikaanse wet verbiedt nochtans de financiering van Palestijnse structuren die een deel van hun budget uitgeven aan terreuracties of het vereren van terroristen bevorderen. Maar 200 miljoen dollar van het door de VS voorgestelde pakket steunmaatregelen van 900 miljoen dollar gaat rechtstreeks naar de regering van Abbas, die regelmatig gebruik maakt van haar begroting om terroristen te vereren. In feite is deze laatste verering van Mughrabi geen geïsoleerd geval, maar onderdeel van een continu patroon van het vereren van terroristen dat zich in het bijzonder richt op kinderen.

Afgelopen zomer sponsorde de PA het "Dalal Mughrabi voetbalkampioenschap" voor kinderen, en een werd een "zomerkamp genoemd naar de martelares Dalal Mughrabi … ter ere en glorie voor de martelares." Ook werd een party georganiseerd om voorbeeldige studenten te eren die eveneens de naam droeg "voor de martelares Dalal Mughrabi," onder de auspiciën van Abbas en alwaar een vertegenwoordiger van Abbas het heldhaftige leven van de martelares [Mughrabi] evalueerde (Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, 23 juli, 24 en 8 augustus 2008). Al deze door de PA gefinancierde activiteiten dienden het doel om kinderen te leren dat een moordenares van vrouwen en kinderen een rolmodel is.

Twee maanden geleden, op de 31ste verjaardag van de massamoord door Mughrabi, zond PA TV een speciaal programma uit om de terreur aanval te vieren, waarin het doden van 37 burgers "een van de belangrijkste en meest prominente speciale activiteiten … uitgevoerd werden door een team van helden en geleid door de heldhaftige strijdster Dalal Mughrabi" (PA TV uitzending van 11 maart 2009). En niet alleen Mughrabi wordt gevierd als een Palestijnse heldin. Ondanks toespraken in het Engels door Abbas en andere PA-leiders dat zij terreur verwerpen, heeft de PA in het Arabisch een lange en afschuwelijke geschiedenis te vertellen over de viering van terroristen als rolmodellen en helden, vaak gefinancierd met gelden afkomstig uit de VS en de EU.

Onlangs, tijdens de openingsceremonie van de Zesde Generale Fatahconferentie op 4 augustus 2009, werd door de voormalige Eerste Minister van de Palestijnse Autoriteit Abu Alaa, een van de terroristen van de aanslag van 1978, Khaled Abu-Usbah, als een held binnengehaald. Abu Alaa: "Wij hebben in ons midden de held Khaled Abu-Usbah, de held van de operatie [terroristische aanslag] geleid door de shahida [=martelares] Dalal Al-Mughrabi [het publiek begint luid te applaudiseren]. Wij begroeten hem en heten hem welkom. En [wij eren] de heldin, de shahida (martelares] Dalal. [Een roepende Abu Alaa] Alle eer en alle glorie! Alle glorie! Alle glorie! Al de zusters hier [aanwezig] zijn de zusters van Dalal." [bron]. Khaled Abu-Usbah, vertelde op de conferentie dat hij geen spijt had over zijn daden. Abu-Usbah, die zeven jaar opgesloten zat in de gevangenis in Ashkelon, werd in 1985 vrijgelaten als onderdeel van een gevangenenruil. Hij zei dat hij geen haat koestert jegens Israël's: "Integendeel, ik bewonder velen van hen, en zeker de [Joodse] advocaat die mij toen verdedigde, Leah Tsemel." En wie heeft aan de financiering van dit circus mee betaald? U en ik.

Lees verder: Wanneer zal de VS haar eigen wetten toepassen en stoppen met de financiering van Abbas?


Wie heeft er gelijk, het leger of de Palestijnen?

Wie heeft er gelijk?, vraag ik  me bij dit soort tegenstrijdige berichten en getuigenissen vaak af. De Palestijnen hebben er alle belang bij om het leger zo wreed mogelijk neer te zetten en zichzelf zo onschuldig mogelijk, en de soldaten hebben er natuurlijk alle belang bij hun gedrag als overeenkomstig de procedures te beschrijven. Hoe kom je erachter wat de waarheid is? Wie kun je geloven?

Last update - 08:18 01/01/2010
Orders were to capture militants alive - so why were they killed?
By Avi Issacharoff and Amos Harel

The orders prepared by the Judea and Samaria Division for the IDF operation in Nablus last week by a Duvdevan commando unit stated clearly that the unit "was to carry out a raid and capture the wanted men." This wording of the order was passed on to the unit with the approval of GOC Central Command. It was received on Friday December 25, several hours before the raid on the homes of the three suspects in the murder of Rabbi Meir Hai the previous day near Shavei Shomron.

The orders did not include instructions to kill any of the three wanted men. The senior officers who spoke with Haaretz stressed that the soldiers were not given any verbal instructions that were different from those in writing.

An evaluation of the testimonies of family members and the IDF officers suggests that this was not an operation to assassinate. However, the three, Adnan Subuh, Raad Sarkaji and Ghassan Abu Shreikh, were killed by the soldiers, even though two of them were not armed, and it does not even appear that they were trying to escape - a fact that the IDF does not dispute.

Family members of the dead are alleging that the three were executed, and say that the Israeli claims that the three were involved in the killing of Rabbi Hai, 32 hours prior to the incident, are lies. The weapon that the security establishment in Israel says were used to kill the rabbi was found in the home of the third wanted man, Subuh. A ballistic examination proved it was the weapon.

But it is difficult not to wonder how two unarmed men, nearly 40 years old, sleeping in bed near their children and not behaving as wanted men, were killed without even having attempted to escape. It appears that, like in many other operations of this sort, the reality on the ground, and especially early intelligence on the three suspects, predetermined the result of the operation.

The Duvdevan commandos were told that the suspects might be armed and that they murdered Rabbi Hai.

Sources in the IDF argue that the information on the role of the three in the murder was "certain." In such case, any unnecessary movement by one of the "targets" may be life-threatening because it might mean they are going for a weapon. Indeed, an examination of the testimonies of the families and the IDF officers involved in the details of the operation suggests that the two wanted men hesitated in surrendering to the soldiers who came to arrest them, and did move suspiciously, which in turn led to the opening of lethal fire against them.

"We did not murder or assassinate," one of the IDF officers said. "In such instances the security of our forces precedes the security of the enemy."

The Abu Shreikh home

A huge poster of the elder brother, Nayef, was at the top of the stairs in the Abu Shreikh home. He was one of the leaders of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades at the start of the second intifada and was killed by the IDF. Another brother, Nihad, has been in an Israeli prison for the past three years.

The mother of Ghassan, Umm Nayef, says that during the night she heard sounds in the street, and at 2 A.M. she heard a blast. "They blew up the entrance to the inner yard and there was a lot of shouting and smoke. I shouted at them that I was old and told my family 'the Jews, the Jews.' Jihad, my son, went down first, and then his wife and their children. The soldiers beat them and asked them where Ghassan was."

"We all came down and Ghassan was last. But when he was coming downstairs, when he reached the last step, they shot and killed him. They did not say anything, they did not warn - they just shot him. They claimed that there is another person in the house, but we explained that there is no one. They searched the house, turned it over and found no weapons," she continued.

"Ghassan was never a wanted man and had never been arrested," his mother insisted. "He had no connection with the [Palestinian] factions. All his life he was a car electrician. Now his child has nightmares, wakes up shouting 'father, father.' What do you think he will do when he grows up?"

The IDF officers' version is that "the brother came down first. He came slowly, as he had been told to do, and turned before the soldier in order to show that he had nothing under his shirt. The rest of the family did the same except for the wanted man. After a few minutes delay, two stun grenades were thrown in, and the wanted man came out running down the stairs. The soldiers called out in Arabic for him to stop but he continued running. When he came within 2.5 meters away from one of the soldiers, there was no choice but to shoot him."

The run down the staircase may suggest that he was trying to escape through the yard, without realizing that the soldiers had surrounded it. "You must understand that once we surprised the wanted man, each minute that passes he could be surprising us," one of the officers explained.

The Sarkaji home

Raad Sarkaji opened a business selling refrigerators recently. He had been released less than a year ago from an Israeli prison after a seven-year sentence. His wife, Thani, is pregnant in her fifth month. She still wears the blood-soaked nightgown she wore that night. "These are his brains," she says, pointing to the bloodstained wall.

"A little before 3 A.M., I heard a huge blast. We were in bed and said that it must be the army. I heard them speaking Hebrew, and the shooting began before they said a thing. We got to the first door and Raad shouted in Hebrew 'wait, wait.' We went outside, he in front, and the minute he passed the door they shot and killed him. I was injured in the leg and fell backward, and he fell into my arms. I shouted 'Raad, Raad,' and then all his brain fell onto my hands," she recounts.

"Seven soldiers jumped in, and one of them walked up to him and shot him a few times. I shouted that I am pregnant, and to leave me. They began searching the house and told me to call the children, who were in their grandmother's house on the other side."

Walid, a 10-year-old, says that the officer "asked me in Arabic where is my father's weapon and I told him that he had none."

In this case too, the IDF version is different. "The wanted man came out of the room and realized that it was the army, and rushed back inside," an officer who was on the scene says. "The force commander called to his soldiers to make sure he did not have a weapon. Several minutes later he came out again, behind his wife. His hands were hidden. The soldiers called out to him repeatedly, in Arabic, to lift his hands, and he did not do so. There was little choice. The threat to the soldiers was just too great."

donderdag 31 december 2009

Israel en de (on)balans van 2009 - IMO

Op IMO blog vandaag een terugblik op 2009 en mijn wensen voor 2010 betreffende het Midden-Oosten.
Ratna Pelle

Thursday, December 31st

Israel en de (on)balans van 2009

De zo gehoopte kentering in de berichtgeving over Israël en het conflict is er niet gekomen in 2009, om van een oplossing van dat conflict zelf nog maar te zwijgen. Dat laatste bleek overigens dichterbij dan gedacht, toen Olmert Abbas een serieus vredesaanbod deed, maar dat valt officieel onder 2008.
2009 Werd ruw ingeluid door de bombardementen en Israëlische acties in de Gazastrook tegen Hamas, die 1200-1400 doden tot gevolg had, en een ongekend negatieve en gekleurde berichtgeving, woedende demonstraties wereldwijd, een uitbarsting van antisemitische incidenten en veroordelingen door vele regeringsleiders en gremia. Nederland hoorde bij de minderheid die weigerde Israël te veroordelen voor 'disproportioneel geweld', en hield het bij een oproep tot een staakt het vuren. Hierom werd de regering overigens hard aangevallen door de oppositie.
Lees verder...

Wensen voor 2010

Wat zal 2010 brengen? Meer gemiste kansen, meer oorlogen, meer antizionistische leugens en meer ad hominem aanvallen op mensen die het voor Israël opnemen? Het zit er dik in. Waarschijnlijk zullen Abbas en Netanjahoe uiteindelijk wel gaan onderhandelen, maar ik verwacht er geen enkel resultaat van. Netanjahoe zal niet meer bieden dan Olmerts voorstel dat Abbas afwees. De hardliners in Fatah en Hamas zullen ervoor zorgen dat, mocht Abbas al van mening veranderen (of door de VS onder druk worden gezet) en met een dergelijk voorstel akkoord gaan, dat niet uitgevoerd kan worden door een serie nieuwe aanslagen of raketten, mogelijk door Hezbollah (en dus Iran) gefinancierd.
Lees verder...

Schorriemorrie: wat deden de os en de ezel in de kerststal?

Schilderij van een anonieme schilder uit de achttiende eeuw. Links in beeld de os en de ezel.
Op de website van Christenen voor Israel een interessant artikel over de achtergrond van de os en de ezel die bij de geboorte van Jezus aanwezig zouden zijn geweest, en de anti-Joodse achtergrond daarvan. En zo leer je ook nog eens wat over de herkomst van bepaalde woorden.....
Geschreven door cvisuper
vrijdag 25 december 2009

Door ds. G. Hette Abma

Wist u dat er in de legendarische verhalen rond het verhaal van de geboorte van Jezus vaak een anti-Joods draadje geweven zit?

Dat begin je te zien als je je afvraagt hoe kunstenaars op het idee gekomen zijn om vlak boven het kind Jezus de koppen van een os en een ezel te schilderen.

De evangelisten vertellen geen van allen dat deze dieren de eerste getuigen zijn geweest van de geboorte van de Redder van de wereld. Ze zeggen niet eens dat Jezus in een stal ter wereld is gekomen. Wel meldt Lucas dat Maria haar eerstgeboren Zoon in doeken wond en neerlegde in de kribbe, of zoals de Nieuwe Bijbelvertaling weergeeft: in een voederbak.

Os en ezel
Al heel snel is er in de kerk een verbinding gezocht via die kribbe of voederbak met de profetie van Jesaja 1:3: "Een os kent zijn eigenaar en een ezel de krib van zijn meester, maar Israël heeft geen kennis, Mijn volk verstaat niet."

In het pseudo-Matteüsevangelie (uit de vijfde eeuw) kunnen we lezen: Nadat Maria haar Zoon in de kribbe legde, hebben een os en een ezel het Kind aanbeden. Dan volgt het citaat uit Jesaja. Die scherpe woorden zijn op dat moment bewaarheid: mijn volk heeft er geen besef van.

Voor zover ik heb kunnen nagaan was Origenes (185-254) de eerste die bij de kribbe van Jezus dacht aan de profetie van Jesaja. Bij hem is er al sprake van een duidelijk anti-Joodse polemiek. Een os en een ezel kennen hun meester, maar Israël begrijpt niet waar het omgaat.

Wie heeft het ooit zo kras meegemaakt? Die domme beesten beseffen nog aan wie ze toebehoren. Hoe verblind zijn dan de Joden! Ze hebben geen oog voor het karakteristieke werk van God. Ze zien niet dat Jezus de beloofde Messias is.

Verwacht van mij nu geen aansporing om onverhoeds de os en ezel in een romantische kerststal een kopje kleiner te maken, of een oud schilderij te beschadigen. Voordat we het weten begint er een nieuwe Beeldenstorm.

Het lijkt me beter zoveel mogelijk mensen erop te attenderen hoe diep het anti-Joodse sentiment er eigenlijk in zit. Laten we geïnteresseerde kinderen vertellen waarom ze vroeger die beesten erbij gehaald hebben: zij aanbidden het Kind in tegenstelling tot de Joden!

Als ze dan met grote ogen kijken naar die os en ezel, kunnen we een uitgebreide catechese geven: kijk maar eens goed, dat zijn wij dus: schorriemorrie. Met dit woord zijn we gewend het uitschot van de maatschappij te benoemen. Het is een verbastering van 'de os en de ezel' in het Hebreeuws: schoor-we-chamoor. Zo'n ontdekking kan prima helpen als therapie tegen kerkelijke hoogmoed!

George Galloway verdedigt Hamas in Gaza

De controversiële Britse parlementariër George Galloway is organisator van de zogenaamde 'Freedom voor Gaza' mars die vindt dat Israel (en Egypte) de blokkade van de Gazastrook moet opheffen zodat Hamas ongelimiteerd wapens kan importeren en dat niet meer via die onhandige tunnels hoeft. Hieronder verheldert hij zijn visie op de zaak. Een citaat:
 "Two of the Arab world's beautiful daughters, Baghdad and Jerusalem, are in the hands of foreigners, to do with as they will. By Allah, the Arabs are in a very bad shape. They have everything: Oil, gas, water, all this land, 300 million people, one language, one religion, one God, one culture. The Arabs should be a superpower in the world. Nobody should be able to ignore the Arabs. Everyone should be saluting the Arabs in respect. But look what we have instead."[...]

MEMRI Special Dispatch | No. 2720 |December 29, 2009
Palestinians/U.S. & the Arab & Muslim World
Al-Jazeera, Hamas TV Interview Former British MP George Galloway; Viva Palestina's 'Lifeline 3' Convoy Meets with Hamas Rep and Rally Calling for Jihad - As U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee Chairman Calls For Investigating Viva Palestina's Finances

Viva Palestina was founded in January 2009 by a group that included British MP George Galloway, and it has branches in both the U.S. and the U.K.  From late March through early July, Galloway toured multiple U.S. cities and college campuses in order to raise money and promote Viva Palestina's July Gaza convoy.  Galloway also attempted to take the tour into Canada, but was denied entrance.[1]
On December 1, 2009, Chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee's Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade, Rep. Brad Sherman, sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking the Department of Justice to investigate whether Viva Palestina funds were being funneled to Hamas.
Following are excerpts from various television reports on Viva Palestina's "Lifeline 3" convoy to Gaza, as well as from interviews with George Galloway from the Middle East. The reports and interviews aired on Al-Aqsa TV and Al-Jazeera TV over the past week.
To view this clip, visit
To view the MEMRI TV page for George Galloway, visit

Al-Jazeera TV, 12/22/2009

Former British MP George Galloway: "I believe that Hizbullah is a resistance movement, and that Nasrallah and all the resistance forces in the Palestinian revolution are a source of pride to all the Arabs, from Marrakesh to Bahrain. Indeed, people have pride in them, even when they do not have pride in their own governments. The children of the Intifada, the young men of the Iraqi resistance, the young men of the Lebanese resistance - and the women, for that matter - are a source of pride for all the freedom-loving people in the world.
"For 25 years, I used to pass the parliament room in which Sykes and Picot sat down to draw these maps to keep the Arabs divided and weak, the better to steal their wealth. Even Sykes and Picot could not have dreamt that almost 100 years later, the scheme, which they made over a cup of tea, would still be in existence, that these borders would have become sacred, that people would fight over these borders, and that the Arabs would remain divided and weak, the better for the others to steal their resources.
"Two of the Arab world's beautiful daughters, Baghdad and Jerusalem, are in the hands of foreigners, to do with as they will. By Allah, the Arabs are in a very bad shape. They have everything: Oil, gas, water, all this land, 300 million people, one language, one religion, one God, one culture. The Arabs should be a superpower in the world. Nobody should be able to ignore the Arabs. Everyone should be saluting the Arabs in respect. But look what we have instead."[...]

Al-Aqsa TV, 12/22/2009

Former British MP George Galloway: "Allah willing, one day, we will be together. To victory, to victory, to Jerusalem. Viva Palestina."
Hamas Deputy Leader Musa Abu Marzouk: "In this convoy, there are people of more than 17 nationalities, who have joined it on its way to Gaza. We salute Dr. Manayas, the deputy of Mahathir Mohamad from Malaysia, and we salute the Viva Palestine organization in the U.S., the Viva Palestine organization in Malaysia, and another Viva Palestine organization that will be established, Allah willing, in South Africa."[...]

Al-Jazeera TV, 12/21/2009

Hamas Representative in Lebanon Osama Hamdan: "At other stops on your way, you might face pressure and attempts to prevent the convoy from moving on. You should draw strength to continue from here, where you are welcome."

Al-Aqsa TV, 12/27/2009
A welcoming rally for the convoy in Aqaba, Jordan
Speaker: "Allah is our goal."
Crowds: "Allah is our goal."
Speaker: "The Prophet Muhammad is our leader."
Crowds: "The Prophet Muhammad is our leader."
Speaker: "The Koran is our constitution."
Crowds: "The Koran is our constitution."
Speaker: "Jihad is our path."
Crowds: "Jihad is our path."
Speaker: "Death for the sake of Allah is our most exalted desire."
Crowds: "Death for the sake of Allah is our most exalted desire."
Speaker: "Oh Gaza of Haniyah and Al-Zahhar, oh Gaza of Mash'al, turn the land under their feet to fire, and make the oceans burn around them."
"Oh Gaza of Hamas, all the people bear witness on your behalf, and have elevated you above their heads. If those close to you have denied your rights, foreigners from afar have borne witness on your behalf. They have become a part of us, and we consider them to be of our own. We have a debt of gratitude to them.
"Our brothers in Gaza, oh the apple of our eyes, you are a light that has spread to all corners of the universe, and has shown the path of resistance to all the mujahideen. Oh disciples of Abdallah Azzam..."
Announcer: "Say 'Allah Akbar.'"
Crowds: "Allah Akbar."
Announcer: "Say 'Allah Akbar.'"
Crowds: "Allah Akbar."
Announcer: "Say 'Allah Akbar.'"
Crowds: "Allah Akbar."
Announcer: "Say 'Allah Akbar.'"
Crowds: "Allah Akbar."
Speaker: "Oh disciples of Abdallah Azzam, oh soldiers of the Al-Qassam [Brigades], oh brothers of Al-Rantisi and Yassin, oh brothers of Sallah Shehada and Yahya 'Ayyash, today we are all with you, on the first anniversary of your victory, and your steadfastness in the Furqan War. We ask Allah to let us gather in the years to come to mark new events, new battles, which will fill us with the spirit of the Yarmouk, Hittin, and 'Ein Jalout [battles].
"Our beloved in the Lifeline 3 convoy - we are grateful to you."

[1] According to a March 20, 2009 report in The Guardian, Galloway was "deemed inadmissible on national security grounds and would not be allowed into the country."


In 2009 tientallen terreur-infiltraties via Egypte voorkomen

In general, the Shin Bet noted a sharp drop in terror attacks against Israelis in the West Bank and from the Gaza Strip. In 2009, 566 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel in comparison to 2,048 in 2008. Out of the 566, 406 were fired into Israel during Operation Cast Lead in January, meaning that 160 have been fired in the past 11 months.
Deze ongekende rust is volledig voorbij gegaan aan de Nederlandse media, die slechts oog hebben voor Israels vermeende oorlogsmisdaden in Gaza. Ook de vele tientallen verijdelde aanslagen en gevonden explosieven bij chekpoints werden genegeerd.
Zorgwekkend zijn het feit dat Hamas langere afstandsraketten Gaza binnen heeft gesmokkeld en de toenemende aanwezigheid van aan Al Qaida verwante en gelieerde groeperingen in de Gazastrook.
'Dozens of terror infiltrations foiled'
Dec. 30, 2009

Dozens of attempts by terror groups to infiltrate Israel and carry out attacks via the porous Egyptian border were thwarted throughout 2009, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) revealed on Wednesday in its annual report.

The attempts were made by Palestinians from the Gaza Strip. The terrorists crossed into Sinai and then tried to enter Israel usually armed with explosives or weaponry. Last month, IDF troops thwarted an infiltration by a suspected terrorist across the Egyptian border. Searches along the border later uncovered a bag containing a sophisticated 15-kilogram bomb.

In general, the Shin Bet noted a sharp drop in terror attacks against Israelis in the West Bank and from the Gaza Strip. In 2009, 566 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel in comparison to 2,048 in 2008. Out of the 566, 406 were fired into Israel during Operation Cast Lead in January, meaning that 160 have been fired in the past 11 months.

The most common type of attack in the West Bank, the report noted, was the throwing of Molotov cocktails, which made up 90 percent of attacks in the territories in 2009.

While there were no suicide attacks in 2009, 15 Israelis were killed throughout the year, most of them during Operation Cast Lead. This is in comparison to 36 casualties in 2008. Last Thursday, Meir Chai was gunned down in a drive by shooting on Road 57 near the settlement of Shavei Shomron.

Hamas, the security agency said, was currently focused on rebuilding its military infrastructure that was damaged during Cast Lead and was working to obtain long-range rockets. The group recently tested an Iranian missile with a range of 60 kilometers.

The Shin Bet said that a majority of the infiltration attempts across the Egyptian border were made by Palestinian terrorists affiliated with groups in Gaza that are aligned with Al Qaida and Global Jihad. One case was in June when Talalka Rahman was caught crossing the border. He said that his plan was to carry out an attack deep inside Israel to undermine the quiet that was achieved following Cast Lead.

In general, the agency warned of Global Jihad's growing presence in the Gaza Strip demonstrated by the recent recruitment of dozens of operatives to the Al Qaida-linked groups.

woensdag 30 december 2009

Abbas verklaart 3 Palestijnse terroristen tot helden

Ik heb het altijd een vreemde constructie gevonden: een politieke tak die met 'de vijand' praat (het leiderschap van de PA en Fatah) en een militaire tak die doorgaat met de strijd (de Al Aqsa Martelaren Brigades), in dit geval in strijd met de afspraken. Je zou verwachten dat Abbas laaiend is op de Brigades, die immers de wapens zouden neerleggen en nota bene banen bij de Palestijnse Autoriteit hadden aangeboden gekregen en door Israel niet meer bestreden werden volgens de amnestie deal. Maar het is blijkbaar makkelijker (en veiliger) zijn woede op Israel te richten, en de gedode strijders als helden te eren.
Zowel op de officiële PA TV, als in de officiële reactie van Fatah worden zij eveneens geëerd en Israel van 'bloedige moord' beschuldigd. De Al Aqsa Martelaren Brigades zwoeren uiteraard wraak en ook daarover geen kritisch woord bij Abbas, die zelf eerder heeft gezegd tegen geweld te zijn en die door het westen als de koning der gematigdheid wordt gezien.
Palestinian Media Watch

Abbas and PA turn latest terrorist murderers

 into Palestinian national heroes


by Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook


Rabbi Meir Avshalom Hai -- a 45-year old Israeli and father of seven children - was killed in a drive-by shooting last Thursday. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, part of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement, took responsibility for the killing. On Friday night, Israeli forces located and killed three of the terrorists involved in the attack. The fourth surrendered to the PA police.


The response of the PA has been unequivocal support and backing for the terrorists. Since Friday, the leadership of the PA, the heads of Fatah, the heads of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades and the PA-controlled media have continuously portrayed the killers as Palestinian heroes and Shahids -- holy Martyrs -- while describing Israel's killing of the three terrorists as "murder in cold blood" and "assassination."


PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas declared the killers "Shahids" (holy Martyrs) and sent his personal emissary to visit the families:

"Secretary General of the Presidents Bureau, Tayeb Abd Al-Rahim, conveyed condolences on behalf of President Mahmoud Abbas to the residents of Nablus and to the families of the three Shahids [Martyrs] for the Martyrdom of their sons, who were assassinated by Israeli occupation forces yesterday morning. He conveyed to the fighting families letters of condolences from the President [Abbas] and updated them as to [Abbas's] decision to declare them as Shahids [Martyrs] of the Palestinian revolution..."

Tayeb Abd Al-Rahim: "Without doubt, what the [Israeli] occupation authorities have carried out is a wild and barbaric act and a deliberate, malicious assassination in cold blood."

[PA TV (Fatah) News, Dec. 27, 2009]


PA Prime Minster Salam Fayyad went even further, personally visiting the families of the terrorists along with other senior PA officials.

"Prime Minister visits Nablus and conveys condolences to the families of the Shahids (Martyrs). Prime Minister Dr. Salam Fayyad today visited the city of Nablus in the wake of the Israeli military operation, and presented condolences to the families of the three Martyrs who were murdered by the occupation forces.
Dr. Fayyad was accompanied by Internal Affairs Minister Dr. Said Abu Ali, leaders of the security agencies, and Police Director-General Major General Hazem Atallah, and they visited the house of mourning, which was held in the Trade Unions compound in the city... The Prime Minister condemned the Israeli military operation in the city."

[WAFA news agency, Dec. 26, 2009]


The Fatah movement is glorifying the terrorists:

"Mahmoud Al-Aloul, member of the Fatah Central Committee, said that the occupation murdered these three young men as well as another three in Gaza, in cold blood. He described them as '[military] commanders, brave heroes, and fighters.'"

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 27, 2009]

PA TV focused on the Fatah poster (above), signed with condolences of PA Chairman Abbas, honoring the three terrorists. The following is the text on the poster with pictures of the terrorists:

"With honor and admiration to those who are more honored than all of us."  [Reference to supreme honor of Shahids - Martyrs in Islam]

"The Palestine Liberation Organization, Fatah, accompanies to their wedding:"
[Reference to Islamic belief that Martyrs marry virgins in Paradise]

The Martyr, Commander, Hero: Rassan Abu Serah
The Martyr, Commander, Hero: Ra'ed Al Aschregi
The Martyr, Commander, Hero: Anan Sobh

The Director General of the Presidency expresses condolences to the Nablus Martyrs - in the name of the President [Abbas]

It's important to note that in condemning Israel's killing of the terrorists, the PA is not denying that those killed were responsible for the murder of Rabbi Hai:

"The Shahid Imad Mughniyeh group [named after Hezbollah terrorist] of the [Fatah's] Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades has denounced the [Israeli] crime of the assassination in Nablus, killing three Fatah activists, including Anan Sobh, who, according to the [Fatah's Al-Aqsa] Brigades, planned the Tulkarem operation which led to the death of the settler in a shooting operation."

[Ma'an News Agency, Dec. 26, 2009]


In the official announcement right after the terror attack, Fatah took responsibility, while calling the killers "Jihad Fighters" and warning of more "quality operations:"

"A group announcing that it belonged to the Fatah's Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades claimed responsibility for the shooting... 'The Jihad Fighters confirmed that the person who was in the car had taken a direct hit, and praise to Allah - the Jihad Fighters escaped unharmed...' The announcement said that 'this action is part of a series of operations; you can expect more quality operations [terror attacks] from us.'"

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 25, 2009]


After the terrorists were killed the Fatah changed from threatening more "quality operations" to warning that it would avenge the killing of the "Jihad Fighters:"

Headline: "The occupation murders three residents of Nablus in cold blood... the President's [Abbas's] Bureau denounces the Israeli crime..."

"The [Fatah's] Al-Aqsa Brigades announced:  'By the act of murdering an elite group of our Jihad Fighters in Nablus and in Gaza, the occupation is opening for itself the gates of Hell.' They threatened that 'our activists will not stand idly by while the blood of Jihad Fighters is spilled... The enemy will hear nothing from us but the language of blood and fire, and our Shahada [Martyrdom] Seekers will go out to [the enemy] from every place in order to turn his days into nights, and he will come to regret his crime. We shall not sleep over the blood of our Jihad Fighters, and our response will be swift... We affirm the continuation of our choice of blood and Martyrdom. The only choice, in the face of the repeated attacks against our people in the towns and villages and refugee camps of the occupied homeland. We shall turn the spilled blood of the Martyrs and the commanders into a torch of fury that will burn the forces of evil and aggression.''

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 27, 2009]

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PMW | King George 59 | Jerusalem | Israel

Lage opkomst bij herdenking Gaza Oorlog door Hamas

Both sides have claimed victory. Israel's southern communities have prospered with the halt of regular rocket fire.
For the first time in years, the children of southern Israel can grow up without the constant fear of an incoming rocket and running to the nearest bomb shelter, said Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev.
Gaza's Hamas rulers have gained strength in the past year, eliminating local rivals, bullying human rights and aid groups that appear to act independently, squeezing taxes out of businesses and banning residents from leaving the territory without Hamas permission.
Terwijl het eerste duidelijk een gevolg is van de Israelische operatie is dat bij Hamas positie in Gaza minder duidelijk. Zou Hamas minder hard hebben opgetreden tegen dissidenten en rivaliserende bendes wanneer zij niet zo hard was geslagen tijdens de Gaza oorlog? Het was Israel inderdaad niet gelukt om Hamas uit te schakelen, maar zij kwam er zeker niet ongeschonden uit. Of de oorlog haar populariteit heeft vergroot is ook de vraag: enerzijds kon Hamas de rol van martelaar voor het Palestijnse volk met verve spelen, anderzijds hadden de bewoners van Gaza mede door Hamas al deze ellende over zich heen gekregen. Hamas is er in ieder geval volgens de polls niet echt populairder door geworden.
Low turnout as Hamas marks Cast Lead anniversary
By The Associated Press
JABALYA, Gaza - A meager turnout at a well-publicized Hamas rally yesterday to mark a year since Israel's devastating Gaza offensive appeared to reflect public despair over grinding poverty, stalled reconstruction and discontent over the militant Islamic group's attempt to turn the occasion into a victory march.

Only about 3,000 people milled around a square in the northern Gaza town of Jabalya, well below expectations, and other events during the day were also poorly attended.

Israel launched its three-week campaign of air strikes and ground incursions on Dec. 27, 2008 to stop years of rocket attacks from Gaza.

The war left about 1,400 Palestinians dead, including many civilians, and brought heavy international criticism on Israel, including accusations of war crimes and crimes against humanity by a U.N. investigation.

Thirteen Israelis were also killed in the conflict, and Hamas also faces war crimes allegations.

"Gaza was victorious. Yes, Gaza was victorious with its steadfastness, its firmness and strength of faith," said Gazan Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh in a televised speech.

But the Hamas call to rally was met with indifference. Ignoring a siren meant to call for a minute's silence, cars whizzed by and pedestrians kept walking.

"I wish they had commemorated the war by opening a factory. That would have been better than this," said Gaza resident Rami Mohammed, 30.

It was hard to say whether the indifference reflected general despair over the difficult conditions in Gaza or outright discontent with the Hamas government.

Two weeks ago, tens of thousands of people turned out for a mass Hamas demonstration in Gaza City to celebrate the anniversary of the group's founding. The huge turnout signaled that the group still remains popular with its core followers and maintains a firm grip on power.

In a statement yesterday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Israel to lift the blockade, calling it unacceptable and counterproductive, and appealed to both sides to stop violence. He said the aftermath of the war showed that there is and can be no military solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Both sides have claimed victory. Israel's southern communities have prospered with the halt of regular rocket fire.

For the first time in years, the children of southern Israel can grow up without the constant fear of an incoming rocket and running to the nearest bomb shelter, said Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev.

Gaza's Hamas rulers have gained strength in the past year, eliminating local rivals, bullying human rights and aid groups that appear to act independently, squeezing taxes out of businesses and banning residents from leaving the territory without Hamas permission.

In Israel, there were no official observances of the war. Atara Orenbuch, a 37-year-old resident of Sderot, said life has definitely improved since the war, but the impact of eight years of rocket fire still resonates.

The mother of seven said her two youngest children still sleep inside a bomb shelter because of their lingering fears of attack.

Even so, she said the war has raised morale in Sderot. We feel that we are not alone, which is very important, she said.

dinsdag 29 december 2009

Twee miljoen christenen op Arabisch schiereiland

Over godsdienstvrijheid gesproken.....
In Saoedi-Arabië is het christendom - evenals het jodendom - verboden. In mijn naiviteit dacht ik dat er DUS geen christenen of joden daar zouden wonen, maar ze zijn er toch wel, stiekeme christenen althans.
The Jerusalem Post
Dec 27, 2009 11:04 | Updated Dec 27, 2009 11:06
Vatican's top cleric in Arabia walks a thin line
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates

The Vatican's top cleric in the heart of Muslim Arabia tends to a flock of 2 million Christians spread around six desert nations. But he has to do it quietly: Most of them must still pray in secret and are forbidden to display crosses and other symbols of their faith.

From his base in the emirate of Abu Dhabi on the Persian Gulf, Archbishop Paul Hinder travels the Arabian Peninsula, even slipping in and out of Saudi Arabia - the birthplace of Islam, where restrictions on Christians are the toughest.

"We are tolerated, but not popular here," Hinder said in an interview in the archbishop's living quarters inside a Christian compound in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

He spoke wearing the traditional hooded robe of his Capuchin order. The white garb blends in just fine with the Arab robes worn by men in the region, so he wears it in public - but without a cross around his neck or the belt of three knots that also mark the order.

"People here know who I am, although I never wear a cross when I go outside out of respect for local conditions," said Hinter, a Swiss citizen.

Still, he says, there are signs of slow change, even in Saudi Arabia, where small groups who in the past would have been punished or deported if caught practicing the Christian services are now left in peace to pray privately.

The UAE and the neighboring Gulf nations of Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman have taken greater steps. They have allowed churches to be built on land donated by the countries' rulers, though there are no outward signs that the buildings are houses of worship.

On Thursday night, Hinder led a midnight Christmas Eve Mass for several thousand the faithful at St. Joseph's Cathedral in Abu Dhabi. Reflecting the diversity of the community, more than a dozen Christmas Day services will be held for 10,000 worshippers in at least eight different languages.

The cathedral is in a downtown compound that's also home to Anglican, Greek Orthodox and Egyptian Coptic churches. Crucifixes, icons, rosaries and other religious symbols are allowed within the walled compound. But the buildings' exteriors are spare and flat-roofed, avoiding any church-like architecture.

Besides Saudi Arabia, Hinder also oversees the needs of Catholics in Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Yemen, and Qatar. The vast majority of the region's Christians are migrants from the Philippines, India and other Asian nations, many of whom work as maids, civil servants or in lower management positions at banks and businesses.

Yemen is the only country under his purview that had indigenous Christians. Except for two priests, however, all of Yemen's 10,000 Christians, most of whom lived around the southern port city of Aden, were driven out during communist rule in South Yemen in the 1960s.

Four old churches are slowly being restored there, though it is not clear how many indigenous Christians have returned, if any.

The first Catholic church in the Gulf was opened in Bahrain's capital, Manama, in 1939. Now there are seven in the UAE, four in Oman, three in Kuwait and one in Qatar, where five churches of other Christian denominations are under construction.

With no indigenous Christians, Gulf nations have long been the toughest in the Middle East in restricting Christian and other non-Muslim religious practices, though they rarely cross the line into outright persecution. In other Arab nations, Christians practice openly - though in Egypt, with the largest Christian minority, they often complain of discrimination at the hands of the Muslim majority.

Hinter said he is careful not to do anything that could be construed as proselytizing or seeking conversions - a major taboo in Islam.

Hinter, who has been in his post for seven years, says members of his flock are tested in areas beyond religion, particularly exploitation by their employers and fear of losing their jobs in the recession. Some are not allowed to attend a church service at all by their employers, who often strictly control the lives of their maids, gardeners, cooks, drivers and nannies.

"Their struggles are enormous," Hinder said. "They are often exploited and sometimes treated as human beings of second class."

The biggest congregation - about 1.4 million Christians - live and work in Saudi Arabia, which is home of Islam's holiest cities, Mecca and Medina, and is ruled under the strict version of Sunni Islam known as Wahhabism. Hard-core Wahhabis vehemently resist any practice of Christianity or other religions in what they see as the heartland of Islam.

Hinder travels there several times a year, but only as a private citizen, not as an archbishop.

Bibles and crucifixes - and all non-Muslim religious symbols - are illegal and are confiscated at the border. The low-key Christian services that do take place cannot be led by ordained priests, so Catholics cannot attend a Mass or confess their sins.

Still, Hinter said conditions improved somewhat after Saudi King Abdullah visited the Vatican in 2007 and met with Pope Benedict XVI.

Christians now can gather in private houses in small groups for prayer, led by an unordained "community leader," he said.

"The climate is changing, but that does not mean there will be churches in Saudi Arabia tomorrow," he said.

Religieuze Zionisten moeten hun huis op orde brengen

Isi Leibner roept religieuze zionisten op, met veel oog voor nuance en al het goede dat de religieuze gemeenschap doet, om duidelijker stelling te nemen tegen de religieuze extremisten. Ami Isseroff is wat minder voorzichtig en is het feit dat zij het zionisme een slechte naam bezorgen en Israel in de beleving van velen qua religieuze achterlijkheid op een lijn weten te zetten met Iran, meer dan zat. Dat het zionisme van oorsprong bepaald geen religieuze beweging was en juist de meeste weerstand van de religieuzen kwam, lijkt lang vergeten.
Een probleem is dat de ultra-orthodoxen, die vaak antizionistisch zijn, een aantal privileges genieten, zoals eigen scholen en vrijstelling van de dienstplicht. Zij zijn bovengemiddeld werkeloos en daardoor ook armer dan gemiddeld, wonen in aparte wijken en gemeenschappen en staan in veel opzichten buiten de 'normale' maatschappij. Dit bevordert de vooroordelen over en weer. Als sommigen dan steeds vaker de staat in verlegenheid brengen en tegenwerken met oproepen om dienst te weigeren, en uitspraken die de ergste vooroordelen over Israel en het zionisme lijken te bevestigen, is voor veel seculieren de maat vol. De strijd tussen seculieren en religieuzen en hun soms radikaal tegengestelde opvattingen over hoe de staat ingericht zou moeten zijn, en hoe zij het conflict met haar buren moet oplossen, is een van de grootste uitdagingen waar het land zich voor geplaatst ziet. Uiteraard zijn er veel verschillende opvattingen binnen beide groepen, en zijn lang niet alle religieuzen (ultra) orthodox.
It really is time for religious Zionists to do something about the crazies who blacken Zionism. Isi Leibler is right. But more than that, it is long past time for the rest of the Zionst movement and the Israeli government to take effective and vigorous action to stamp out fanaticism, violence and lawlessness in the West Bank ("Judea and Samaria").
Refusal to evacuate settlements is the mildest transgression of the zealots. Some deny the legitimacy of the Jewish state and plan a "State of Judea." Some have thrown rocks at IDF soldiers. Many others regularly throw rocks at Palestinian schoolchildren. Rabbis, whose salaries are paid by the state, tell the world that Judaism considers that it is OK to kill "goyim." Violence against Palestinians goes unpunished. Surely it is the job of the state and of all of us to maintain law and decency, to ensure that Zionism is not demonized by "Zionists"  and to protect innocent people. Why put the entire burden on religious Zionists?
Ami Isseroff
Dec. 23, 2009
Religious Zionists are confronted by an unenviable challenge which could permanently undermine their status in Israel. From being regarded by the mainstream as the voice of religious moderation and a force of societal unification - whose youth have earned the reputation as role models of devotion and dedication to the state and its defense - they are now teetering on marginalization at best, and stigmatized as zealots at worst.
The current impasse was an inevitable consequence of edicts issued by a number of rabbis proclaiming that forfeiture of territory in the Land of Israel constitutes a breach of Halacha. These rabbis refused to consider any exceptions to this decree - not even for pikuah nefesh, the requirement to safeguard human life, which overrides most halachic injunctions.
Nor were they willing to respect the authority of the majority of their rabbinical colleagues, who disagreed with their interpretation of Jewish law and also recognized the potential societal polarization it would create.
Indeed, such polarization came strongly to the fore in 2005, when former prime minister Ariel Sharon used IDF combat troops to implement the disengagement from Gaza. Among these were religious soldiers, many from settler families. That they were obliged to forcibly evacuate settlements naturally evoked bitterness and resentment. These emotions were subsequently compounded when it turned out that the whole endeavor only served to embolden the jihadists, who transformed the evacuated areas into missile-launching sites from which to attack Israeli civilians.
Now, a mere four years later, the settlement freeze has caused settlers to become apprehensive that another displacement is pending. It was in this context that small groups of hesder soldiers from the Shimshon and Nahshon battalions unfurled banners during military ceremonies proclaiming that they would never again take part in IDF evacuations of settlements.
They were jailed for insubordination.
Whereas most hesder rabbis and religious-Zionist spokesmen condemned or distanced themselves from these actions, a number of rabbis, headed by a rather unworldly Rabbi Eliezer Melamed of the Har Bracha Yeshiva, not only endorsed their actions but told students they would be breaching Halacha if they were to obey orders to evacuate settlements.
This led to hysterical media accusations against the entire hesder movement, and accusations that rabbis were taking over the IDF. Rabbis were even blamed for creating the climate for the recent desecration of the mosque in Yasuf, despite the fact that they were at the forefront of the nation's condemnation of that despicable vandalism.
In an attempt to stave off confrontation, Defense Minister Ehud Barak gave Rabbi Melamed every opportunity to backtrack with dignity. But Melamed rebuffed Barak's request for a meeting with undue arrogance, retorting: "I don't work for the defense minister." Fearing negative repercussions on army morale if he failed to act, Barak took the unprecedented step of severing the IDF relationship with Melamed's yeshiva. His response was to accuse Barak of "blood libeling." Regrettably, initially most hesder rabbis - including moderates - were reluctantly dragged into supporting Melamed. And more than 100 hesder yeshiva graduates announced that unless the army rescinded its decision to cut off the Har Bracha Yeshiva, they would refuse orders when called up for reserve duty. Now, belatedly, the rabbis have succeeded in pressuring Rabbi Melamed to withdraw his call on soldiers to disobey orders, but the damage has been done.
IN THE past, religious Zionists accepted the rulings of their rabbis on halachic questions, but refused to take instructions from them on social and political matters. This approach is now being challenged by an increasing number of rabbis, particularly in the hesder yeshivot.
However, the current debate is not as black and white as protagonists from both sides claim. Even IDF Chief of General Staff Gabi Ashkenazi has repeatedly affirmed that a conscripted army like the IDF, which is continuously engaged in wars and other violent confrontations with deadly terrorists, should not be used by the state as a vehicle for evacuating civilians from their homes.
In most countries such activities are clear-cut civil issues and it is the police or other state-controlled entity that are tasked with implementing such policies. That may be difficult or even impossible in Israel. But there is surely a lack of compassion in forcing soldiers who hail from settlements to forcibly evacuate neighbors, friends and even their own family members from homes which the state not only sanctioned but promoted until the moment that a political decision was made to unilaterally withdraw from them and hand them over to the Palestinians.
Furthermore, religious soldiers are not the first group of inappropriately named "refuseniks" to emerge from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Nor are their rabbis the first figures of moral and intellectual authority to call upon their "flocks" to disobey orders. Take, for example, the hundred or so university professors who exhorted their students to refuse to serve in the "army of the occupation." Even though rabbis undoubtedly carry greater weight with their students than professors, the double standard here is unmistakable. While no action was taken against universities for failing to take disciplinary action against such academics, Rabbi Melamed - who consistently remained adamant that his students serve in the IDF - was penalized for telling them to refuse to evacuate settlements.
This is not to suggest that there is room for sectarian militias in an army, certainly not in the IDF. In the absence of utter discipline, the military would be dysfunctional, to say the least, and the country endangered. As Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said, "If you want to close down the IDF, then promote refusal to obey orders, which could lead to the collapse of the state."
Religious Zionists - whose children, including those in hesder institutions, have volunteered for combat units in numbers greatly disproportionate to their population - understand this all too well. This was evident by their reluctance, in spite of great anguish, to defy orders during disengagement. It is still evident today. The fact is that the vast majority of religious Zionists are pained and infuriated by the recent behavior of Melamed and other rabbis - behavior which has jeopardized their highly sensitive relationship with the state carefully nurtured over the years.
The onus to correct this rests on the religious-Zionist community as a whole. It is urgent for them to put their house in order.
This does not deny them their democratic right to oppose such actions. But they should do so by fighting the battle in the civil-political arena where it belongs. With this right, however, comes responsibility - that of publicly denouncing anyone, rabbis included, who encourages soldiers to espouse insubordination which could lead to chaos within the IDF.
This will require courage and determination, particularly by moderate religious-Zionist laymen. These represent the vast majority of religious Zionists whose commitment to the state is unconditional, but have hitherto lacked the backbone to resist, condemn and ostracize the extremists. They must do so now, before this hesder-IDF imbroglio spins out of control, endangering the entire religious-Zionist enterprise. This would represent a great loss not only for the IDF, but for the entire nation.