zaterdag 24 juli 2010

J Street liegt over standpunten Israel sympatisanten

J Street, een Amerikaanse lobby organisatie van Israel-kritische Joden, knoeit met video's om Alan Derschowitz, een bekende pro-Israel activist, als extreem en anti-vrede neer te kunnen zetten. Het neerzetten van Israel sympathisanten als extremisten en groot-Israel aanhangers is ook in Nederland een bekende methode van de anti-Israellobby. Ikzelf ben herhaaldelijk voor groot-Israel aanhanger en zelfs racist uitgemaakt, en ik ben bepaald niet de enige. In feite zijn juist anti-Israel activisten tegen vrede; zij steunen vaak openlijk de Palestijnse strijd tegen Israel, vinden dat Israel als staat van het Joodse volk geen bestaansrecht heeft en stellen een antisemitische en gewelddadige organisatie als Hamas voor als een redelijke, legitieme beweging die erkenning verdient. Het vreemde is dat zoveel mensen dit soort zaken geloven.

J Street's McCarthyism

by Alan M. Dershowitz
July 20, 2010 at 2:00 pm

J Street, the leftist lobbying organization that claims to be pro-Israel, is currently running a television ad that divides the world into two groups: The good guys who support the two-state solution, the end of the occupation and peace; and the bad guys who oppose these results and instead favor a continuation of violence. Pictured as representing the pro-peace position are President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton and General Petraeus. Pictured as representing the anti-peace, anti two-state, pro expansion of settlements and pro violence position are Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Senator Lieberman, Malcolm Hoenlein (Director of the Conference of Major Jewish organizations), and -- you guessed it -- me!

Now Jeremy Ben-Ami, who runs J Street and who is responsible for the ad, knows full well that I support the two-state solution and peace, and have opposed Israeli settlements since he was in diapers. (I began publicly supporting the two-state solution in 1970 and began opposing settlements in 1973). Ben-Ami knows this because we debated each other at the 92nd Street Y and he publicly acknowledged that I support these positions. He knows that I wrote a book called The Case For Peace, advocating precisely these positions, which was praised by President Clinton ("the blueprint for stability presented in this book is among the best in recent years"), Amos Oz (Dershowitz's The Case For Peace is an "enthusiastic voice for peace") and other advocates of a peaceful resolution.

Why then would he falsely lump me with Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin when he knows that I fundamentally disagree with their positions? Why would Ben-Ami knowingly put out an ad containing such defamatory McCarthyism? (Joe McCarthy infamously lumped together liberals with communists, and progressives with Stalinists.) There are several possible reasons.

First, Ben Ami cannot tolerate the idea that there are liberals, like me and Professor Irwin Cotler of Canada, who support the two-state solution, the end of the occupation and peace, while fundamentally disagreeing with J Street's general negativity toward Israel. As I argued during the debate and other occasions, J Street and I tend to agree on many substantive issues, but I publicly focus on the 80% of issues on which there is broad consensus within the pro-Israel community; whereas J Street focuses on the 20% of issues on which there is disagreement, such as the policy toward Iran, the Goldstone report and nuclear policy. It would have been fair for J Street to have an ad putting me on the other side of those issues. But for Ben-Ami to try to persuade the public that I oppose the two-state solution (as Rush Limbaugh does), favor expansion of the settlements (as Palin does) and oppose peace is simply a lie, and a deliberate one at that. No softer word will suffice.

The second reason why J Street decided to include me in their insidious ad is to appeal to hard left elements such as Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein and others who pay lip service to supporting Israel while condemning everything the Jewish state stands for. Ben-Ami is trying to build a large organization and in order to attract the hard left, he finds it useful to demonize me, because the hard left hates my liberal support for Israel. That also explains why J Street rarely if ever praises Israel, even when the Jewish state takes risks for peace. To praise Israel is to risk losing the support and membership of the hard anti-Israel left--and Ben Ami is not prepared to lower his numbers, even if he is required to distort the truth, in order to increase contributions and pad his membership list.

The J Street ad is fraudulent in yet another way. It suggests that I am saying certain words but the voice is not mine. Thousands of my words, in my actual voice are available on YouTube, but none of them have me opposing the two-state solution or favoring expansion of the settlements or opposing peace. So they just make it up by including a video of me with my lips moving and a dubbed voiceover, suggesting that they have me (along with the others) on videotape opposing the two-state solution. (All the videos have moving lips, but some include words actually spoken by the person in the video while others could be attributable to any of the people in the video whose lips are moving--watch it and judge for yourself!) If this were a political campaign ad, J Street would be in deep trouble. But this is even worse, because it is an attempt to deceive the public into thinking that mainstream supporters of Israel all favor the expansion of settlements and oppose the two-state solution and peace.

J Street continues to destroy its credibility by posting deceptive and divisive ads of this kind. If they are willing to mislead the public in this manner, they should not be trusted to tell the truth about anything relating to Israel. They are more interested in increasing their own power and contributions than they are in supporting Israel or promoting truthful dialogue. If they want to have any chance at restoring their credibility, they must begin to tell the truth. A good first step would be to remove this ad and admit that it was fraudulent. Otherwise, everyone will begin to understand what the J in J Street stands for: Joe McCarthy.

donderdag 22 juli 2010

Nieuw luxe winkelcentrum geopend in Gaza Stad

Ik weet het, veel Gazanen kunnen al die spullen in dit nieuwe luxe winkelcentrum niet kopen, maar blijkbaar is er genoeg cement en ander bouwmateriaal in Gaza om zo'n winkelcentrum te bouwen, nadat onlangs ook een Olympisch zwembad haar deuren heeft geopend. Op onderstaande link veel foto's en videomateriaal dat de andere kant toont van Gaza, het Gaza waar de leiders van Hamas en de mensen die rijk zijn geworden in de tunnelindustrie het ervan nemen, maar ook winkels en markten blijken vol verse groenten en fruit en andere levensmiddelen.
Overigens klagen de tunnelbouwers en werkers dat de opbrengsten enorm zijn afgenomen sinds Israel de blokkade onlangs versoepelde.
A nice new shopping mall opened today in Gaza: Will the media report on it?

For annotated version with photos and videos:

Will the Western media show these images?
All notes below by Tom Gross
Please scroll down below for photos of the new shopping mall that opened today in Gaza. I have also attached new photos and film of Gaza's hotels, beauty spas, swimming pools, beaches and street markets -- images the BBC, New York Times and others refuse to show you.
Meanwhile, Hamas are deliberately leaving some Gazans in plastic tents, in order to fool gullible Western journalists and politicians who are brought to Gaza to witness a staged "humanitarian crisis."

Two days ago the EU pledged tens of millions of EU taxpayers' euros to add to the hundreds of millions already donated to Gaza this year, much of which has been misused to procure arms.

UPDATE, Sunday July 18, 2010:

Some journalists who subscribe to this list have asked me for a quote. You are welcome to use the following.

Political and media commentator Tom Gross said:
"On a day when (because EU Foreign Policy Chief Baroness Ashton is in Gaza) the BBC and other media have featured extensive reports all day long on what they term the dire economic situation in Gaza, why are they not mentioning the new shopping mall that opened there yesterday?

"When leading news outlets mention the so-called humanitarian flotillas from Turkey, why do they omit the fact that life expectancy and literacy rates are higher, and infant mortality rates are lower in Gaza than corresponding rates in Turkey?
Have they considered that perhaps the humanitarian flotillas ought to be going in the other direction, towards Turkey?"


Last year, this website was the first to reveal to a Western audience pictures of the bustling, crowded food markets of Gaza that the Western media refuse to show you. Earlier this year, I first reported the new Olympic-size swimming pool of Gaza (no shortage of building materials or water here) and the luxury restaurants, where you can "dine on steak au poivre and chicken cordon bleu". (Over 300,000 people have viewed photos on that webpage since May, according to my website monitor.)

Now I want to draw attention to the fact that this morning, on the day that the EU again criticized Israel (but not Egypt) for supposedly oppressing Gazans, on a day when the BBC TV world news headlines again lead with a report about how "devastated the economy in Gaza is," an impressive new shopping mall opened in Gaza (photos below, followed by a selection of other photos from Gaza).

Will those Western journalists who write stories about "starvation" in Gaza and compare it to a "concentration camp" report this?

Instead of reporting on the mall opening, the British-based international satellite broadcaster Sky News reported today "The humanitarian situation in Gaza remains dire."


Before I draw attention to other photos below, please let me restate again my overall position since several other commentators have misrepresented it recently:
I have consistently supported the creation of an independent Palestinian Arab state alongside Israel since I first became interested in politics. But there is no point in creating a new Palestinian state if it will primarily be used as a launching ground for armed attacks on Israel, which would only in turn likely lead to a much bloodier war between Israelis and Palestinians than anything we have witnessed in the past.

In order to make sure any Palestinian state is peaceful, and respects human rights for both its own citizens and its neighbors, it is crucial for Western policy-makers not be mislead into making bad policy (as they have so often done in the past) in part, at least, as a result of believing the utter distortions of Western journalists, who greatly exaggerate the suffering of Palestinians and consistently cover up for the misdeeds of Hamas and Fatah.

Of course, one should not forget that the media is full of stereotypes and mistakes about other issues. Yet when every allowance has been made, the sustained bias against Israel is in a league of its own.

I am not for one moment suggesting that Israeli misdeeds should not be fully and unsparingly reported on (and indeed Israel being a vigorous democracy, such misdeeds are widely reported on in the Israeli media itself, and debated in the Israeli Knesset). But propagating the falsehoods of Fatah and Hamas propagandists has done nothing to further the legitimate aspirations of ordinary Palestinians, any more than parroting the lies of Stalin helped ordinary Russians.

Such bias, I believed, is not only wrong in itself but seriously detrimental to international efforts to bring about peace between Palestinians and Israelis.


Tom Gross adds: As I have written before, of course there is poverty in parts of Gaza. There is poverty in parts of Israel too. But when was the last time a foreign journalist based in Israel left the pampered lounge bars and restaurants of the King David and American Colony hotels in Jerusalem and went to check out the slum-like areas of southern Tel Aviv? Or the hard-hit Negev towns of Netivot or Rahat?

Playing the manipulative game of the BBC is easy. If we had their vast taxpayer-funded resources, we too could produce reports about parts of London, Manchester and Glasgow and make it look as though there is a humanitarian catastrophe throughout the U.K. We could produce the same effect by selectively filming seedy parts of Paris and Rome and New York and Los Angeles too.


In Turkey, life expectancy is 72.23 and infant mortality is 24.84 per 1,000 births.
In Gaza, life expectancy is 73.68 and infant mortality is 17.71 per 1,000 births.

Turkey has a literacy rate of 88.7% while in Gaza it is 91.9%. (It is much lower in Egypt and other Arab countries where Israel did not establish colleges and universities in the 1970s and 1980s.)

Gaza's GDP is almost as high as Turkey's and much, much higher than most of Africa that gets 1,000th of the aid per capita that Gaza gets from the West.(Source for above info: CIA World Factbook)

World hunger organizations report that 10-15 million children below the age of 5 die each year, and 50,000 people die daily. One-third of all deaths in the world are due to poverty.

While famine kills millions of children in Africa, India, and elsewhere, life expectancy for Gaza Arabs, at 72 years, is nearly five years higher than the world average. In Swaziland, for example, life expectancy is less than 40 years, and it is 42 years in Zambia.

Meanwhile Western governments, misled by Western media, continue to pour more and more money into Gaza for people that don't need it, while allowing black Africans to starve to death.

As the correspondent for one of Japan's biggest newspapers said to me last week, "Gaza and the West Bank are the only places in the world where I have seen refugees drive Mercedes."

Read further here:

Big Brother mengt zich in vredesproces Midden-Oosten

Leuk idee, maar of het een realistisch vredesplan gaat opleveren is nogal twijfelachtig.
Big Brother mengt zich in vredesproces Midden-Oosten
Auteur: OneWorld
Bron: Le Figaro, The Guardian

Een Franse realityshow sluit twaalf Palestijnse en Israëlische jongeren drie weken lang in een huis op om te brainstormen over een routekaart naar vrede in het Midden-Oosten.

Binnenkort gaat het project 'Les Accords de Marseille' van start. Voor het oog van de camera van de Franse regisseur Mohamed Ulad worden deze zomer zes 18-jarigen uit Israël en zes 18-jarigen uit de Palestijnse gebieden drie weken lang opgesloten in een villa op een eiland in de buurt van Marseille.

Dit keer kunnen de kijkers van de realityshow a la Big Brother zich niet verkneukelen om de eventuele onderlinge romances die ontstaan of een knetterende ruzie over toiletpapier dat bijna op is. Er staan serieuzere zaken op het spel: vrede in het Midden-Oosten. Het is de bedoeling dat de jongeren met elkaar gaan brainstormen en onderhandelen over een routekaart voor vrede in het Midden-Oosten.

In tegenstelling tot andere realityshows worden de jongeren niet 24 uur per dag gevolgd en zijn hun slaapkamers verboden terrein voor de camera's. En mocht er een romance tussen hen opbloeien dan wordt dat niet uitgezonden. "Wel een beetje spijtig, want dat zou een mooi vredessymbool zijn", zegt regisseur Ulad in een interview met Le Figaro. "Maar ik wil de privacy van de jongeren niet schaden. Daar is dit een te serieus onderwerp voor."

Hete hangijzers
De enige overeenkomst met programma's als Big Brother en the Real World is dat de jongeren even weg zijn uit hun eigen omgeving. De regisseur hoopt zo dat de jongeren bij elkaar misschien op overeenkomsten stuiten en dat ze met iets meer afstand kunnen nadenken over hete hangijzers als de status van Jeruzalem, en het recht op terugkeer van de Palestijnse vluchtelingen. Of de jongeren er uiteindelijk ook in slagen om een oplossing voor het probleem te vinden is geen must. "Het gaat ons vooral om het proces", aldus Ulad.

Van het programma worden een tiental afleveringen van 26 minuten gemaakt die vanaf september worden uitgezonden op France 5.


Syrische bruid van Joodse man voelt zich thuis in Tel Aviv

Was er een ANP nieuwsbericht over onderstaand verhaal? Ik heb het niet gezien, maar wel een bericht gisteren - tot in Dagblad de Limburger toe - over een Arabier in Israel die wegens verkrachting was veroordeeld nadat hij zich als Jood had voorgedaan om een Joodse vrouw het bed in te krijgen. Gideon Levy van Haaretz werd daar zelfs bijgesleept om te verklaren hoezeer Arabieren in Israel gediscrimineerd worden. De Syrische bruid hieronder heeft andere ervaringen.
Syrian bride celebrates honeymoon in Tel Aviv

Ynet - 14 July 2010

Dutch Jew Matthew Lusia and his bride Zalga Kass Hanna, who immigrated to Holland from Syria, forced to cut ties with their families in order to be together. Now they enjoy time in Holy Land, plan to visit Sderot

Boaz Fyler

Despite having spent their honeymoon in Israel since last week, no one has noticed Zalga Kass Hanna and her new husband Matthew Lusia roaming the streets of Tel Aviv. Indeed, there doesn't seem to be any apparent reason distinguishing them from the crowd. "Everyone here really looks like us. They think we're Israeli, which is funny and very nice," Zalga said. "The people here are all so nice to me, even when they realize that I'm Syrian," she told Ynet and related her unusual life story.

For most of her childhood, Israel was for Zalga, 23, no more than a distant enemy state. She was born in the town of Kamishli in northern Syria, near the Iraqi-Turkish tri-border area. "Every morning we would have to sing and salute to Assad's picture. Israel wasn't even mentioned on the maps in our schools and was constantly referred to as 'the enemy'," Zalga noted,

"If one would have asked me about Israel, I wouldn't have been even able to tell you where it was located. I never heard of the Nazis or World War II when I was there (in Syria)."

Things changed for Zalga when her family left Syria and immigrated to Holland when she was 11-years-old. "When I got there, I told the Dutch girls they should be happy in their school, since during my studies in Syria I felt locked inside a prison. It was hard for them to understand what I was talking about."

After a brief adjustment period and well into her teenage years Zalga began to notice the differences between local Dutch girls and immigrants from Islamic states. "I had many Turkish and Syrian girlfriends and I suddenly noticed all the efforts they were making in order to conceal their sexuality as a moral disguise. It all happened because they had no positive example from home and were not given the proper tools to openly and healthily channel it out. That is why they would 'run wild' in a destructive way behind their parents' backs, much more so than any Dutch friends I had, but they always wound up marrying whomever their parents liked and chose for them."

Zalga criticized her friends but got a painful reminder of life in Syria. "Those friends told my father what I had told them. He said I must stop thinking 'freely' and threatened to 'spill blood' if I didn't listen to him and break my legs so I wouldn't go to university.

"My father was the person who provided me with the final confirmation that the culture I came from was based on false honor. It hurt me because it served as proof that honor, particularly opposite one's neighbors, was more important to them than their love for me. That is the point I lost respect for my parents. I think that whoever comes to a Western country should abide by its rules and not by the old rules, otherwise one can immigrate to another Arab state.

"That's why I always say: Don't cry when Muhammad is being insulted in caricatures and don't belittle your wives. Fortunately, that's when Matthew came and saved me. That is when I started realizing how little I knew of the world."

Secret relationship

Zalga met Matthew at the age of 15 in high school. After realizing the rules of the game at home she decided to keep the relationship a secret, but not for long. "Everything was a secret since my parents would not under any circumstance allow me to have a boyfriend. After a year, various people who saw us together told them and I was ordered to break it off with him immediately."

In order to avoid a conflict Zalga said she would end the relationship but continued to meet Matthew in secret. "After a year I told them how much I loved him and what a good friend he was to me."

Naturally, the confession didn't go over well with her parents and Zalga realized she would at some point have to choose between her family and the relationship with Matthew and her new lifestyle.

"They tried to separate us and banned me from seeing him, claiming I was too young to understand. The fact that he was from a different culture was a major problem. At the age of 18 I rented out a room alone and became independent. They still, however refused to accept him. At the end, that was what caused me to cut ties with my family," she said.

Zalga nevertheless tried to prove her parents wrong and for a year after moving out of their home had a hard time coming to terms with losing contact with her family. "Only after that did I realize that my parents never really wanted me to be happy with my chosen man, because family honor was at the top of their priorities. Still, I kept trying to prove them wrong and get them to accept me. I was a top law student and they didn't budge. It was clear to me that the real reason for their objection, though they never admitted it, was Matthew's Jewish and Western culture."

Zalga didn't receive a warm welcome in Matthew's parents' house either. "Matthew's parents were very nice to me in the beginning, but after they realized that my family didn't accept him, they began to oppose the relationship themselves and think that it was a bad idea due to the nature of the society I came from.

"Eventually Matthew was faced with the same dilemma I had faced. He, too, cut contacts with his family and although it isn't easy for us both we want to start a new, better family together. In the meantime, we're raising a dog and a goldfish," she said with a smile.

'I fit in here'

Earlier in the month, the two tied to knot and became husband and wife. Immediately after their wedding, they came to Israel, their second visit in the country within a year. "What's particularly great for me here is that I look like Israelis and fit right in.

"It's a free country with human rights, equality for women - a Western culture within the Middle East. To me it's like a dream. I wish the women in Syria could walk down the street uninterrupted the way they do here, but sadly I'm afraid this will never happen. This is all topped by the great food you have here, tons of falafels, hummus and pizzas."

The couple is scheduled to visit Haifa and Jerusalem during their visit in Israel, as well as a less obvious site – Sderot. "We plan on visiting Sderot to see how the people live there in the shadow of terror attacks and rockets," Zalga said. She nevertheless noted that there are areas she would not like to visit, which remind her of painful childhood memories. "I do not want to visit Jaffa because it bothers me to see women wearing head scarves or men walking with their wife as if they were cattle."


Monitor rassendiscriminatie 2009 hanteert oude cijfers

De gebruikelijke antisemieten en andere Israel-haters gebruikten eind juni het rapport van de Monitor Rassendiscriminatie -dat het wel meeviel met het antisemitisme in Nederland- gretig om het CIDI mee om de oren te slaan.

Monitor rassendiscriminatie 2009 hanteert oude cijfers

do 01-07-2010

De Monitor rassendiscriminatie 2009 hanteert cijfers en gegevens uit 2008. Dit blijkt na bestudering van het vandaag gepubliceerde rapport. Eén van de conclusies, dat het antisemitisme afneemt, is gebaseerd op een vergelijking van cijfers uit het piekjaar 2006 met die van 2008, een jaar waarin de incidenten weer op een regulier niveau waren. De monitor gaat grotendeels over de ervaring van discriminatie door allochtonen. Verontrustende conclusies waren een gesignaleerde stijging van geweld tegen moslims, en het feit dat 70% van de incidenten niet wordt gemeld.

Het jaar 2009 en de eerste helft 2010 zijn niet in deze monitor opgenomen. CIDI concludeerde enkele dagen geleden dat het aantal gemelde antisemitische incidenten in 2009 met 55% was toegenomen vergeleken met het jaar daarvoor. Een groot deel van de incidenten, ook tegen andere minderheden, wordt overigens nooit gemeld.
De CIDI-gegevens over de toename van antisemitisme vorig jaar worden ondersteund door soortgelijke cijfers in het buitenland, het Meldpunt Discriminatie Amsterdam en het Meldpunt Discriminatie Internet voor 2009, die eveneens een stijging signaleren van het aantal antisemitische incidenten. 
Vast staat dat er geen geleidelijke ontwikkeling is, maar dat het stijgen of dalen van het aantal antisemitische incidenten een sterke samenhang vertoont met de situatie in het Midden-Oosten. Het door de Monitor rassendiscriminatie gekozen eikjaar 2006 was het piekjaar van de Libanonoorlog, en daarom totaal ongeschikt om conclusies over algemene trends op te baseren. Dit geldt nog sterker voor het absolute piekjaar 2002, toen in het kielzog van de intifada het aantal incidenten tot recordhoogte steeg.
Uit het in deze Monitor gerapporteerde onderzoek naar hoe allochtonen discriminatie ervaren - de hoofdmoot van de monitor -, blijkt dat een schokkend aantal incidenten nergens wordt gemeld omdat de slachtoffers ervan overtuigd zijn dat melden niet helpt. Het rapport spreekt zelfs van 70%. Hoewel dit onderzoek geen betrekking heeft op antisemitisme en homofobe incidenten, is bekend dat ook veel van deze incidenten om die reden niet worden gemeld.
CIDI is bezorgd door de in de Monitor Racisme gesignaleerde stijging van geweld tegen moslims in 2008, hoewel ook hier cijfers ontbreken over de 1,5 jaar daarna. Na de recente golf van homofoob geweld en de stijging van antisemitische incidenten in 2009, tonen deze cijfers over racistisch geweld tegen moslims eens te meer aan dat de regering en lagere overheden meer moeten doen om minderheidsgroepen in ons land te beschermen. 
Joden, moslims en homo's moeten net als elke andere burger ongestoord over straat kunnen lopen, zonder hun identiteit te hoeven verbergen of doelwit te worden van schelden of geweld, en alle jongeren moeten veilig naar school kunnen zonder angst voor uitsluiting. Racistisch  geweld, schelden en pesten horen niet thuis in Nederland.
Een betere aanpak moet leden van minderheidsgroepen het vertrouwen geven dat melden van discriminatie resultaat zal hebben.
CIDI is blij met de moties die onlangs in de Tweede Kamer zijn aangenomen tegen antisemitisme en doet een beroep op de steden om nu ook geweld, schelden en pesten op straat en elders aan te pakken. Daartoe is de inzet van undercover agenten een goed middel. Tegelijkertijd dienen in het onderwijs lessen prioriteit te krijgen die respect tussen mensen bevorderen. 

Hamas verbiedt waterpijpen in Gazastrook

Op zo ongeveer ieder multicultureel festival heb je een Arabische tent waar je een waterpijp kunt roken en Arabische thee drinken, maar van Hamas mag dat eerste niet meer in Gaza. Zelfs mannen wordt dit oude gebruik verboden.

July 17, 2010
Hamas Moves to Enforce Water Pipe Ban in Gaza

GAZA — In its latest attempt to try to impose a conservative Islamic way of life on Gaza, Hamas started this weekend to enforce a ban on smoking water pipes in public.

A spokesman for the Hamas police, Ayman al-Batniji, said that the ban applied only to women and that it was in line with "the Palestinian people's customs and traditions."

But many cafe owners said they had been ordered to ban water pipes for both men and women.

Smoking large water pipes called shisha, usually with bowls of flavored tobacco, is a longstanding pastime here.

Plainclothes members of the Hamas security services have been inspecting cafes along the Gaza City beachfront, including men-only establishments like Al Shera Café, where men go to drink coffee, tea and soft drinks while playing cards.

Ahmed Yazji, manager of the Orient House Hotel in Gaza city, said the conflicting orders were confusing. Plainclothes policemen "come to check and still order us not to serve shisha to anybody," he said, "though we hear the order has been amended to include only women."

Cafe owners said the ban had been issued orally to dozens of cafes along the seafront on Thursday night.

Hamas has a vague and bewildering record when it comes to such campaigns.

Last year, for example, the authorities issued similar verbal orders against women smoking water pipes, but the ban was not enforced.

There have also been orders for female lawyers to wear Islamic head scarves in courthouses, men not to work in hairdressing salons catering to women, and girls to wear long Islamic robes at schools, but these orders either have not been enforced or were quickly reversed.

Some have ascribed the confusion to disagreements within Hamas, as guardians of religious morality, some self-appointed, others within the government, have sought to impose their own views.

On Friday night, a bearded man in plainclothes with a pistol entered the Al Shera Café, and nodded his head in satisfaction that no shisha was being smoked.

The receptionist asked him how long the ban would stay in place.

"Until a different, new order is issued," the man with the pistol replied.

Even at fancy restaurants like Roots and the Deira hotel, which cater to foreigners, shisha stalls and corners were shut down. Fewer than a quarter of the tables were occupied in both places on Friday night, an unusually low turnout for a summer weekend evening.

Alaa al-Kurd, who runs a makeshift cafeteria for three months every summer, said shisha smokers made up 70 percent of his customers.

He used to make 200 to 250 bowls of tobacco a day and sell them for seven shekels, or just under $2 each.

Now most of the people who come to the men's section leave when they hear they cannot get a water pipe, he said.

He said he had paid thousands of dollars to rent the land for the cafeteria from the municipality, which is run by Hamas.

He said the municipality should have clarified that shisha would be banned before he had paid the rent.

Khalil Abu Shamala, director of Al Dameer Association for Human Rights, said that banning smoking for health reasons would be welcome, but the recent decision "seems to be serving Hamas's own program."

He noted that people sitting at the cafes on Friday night were still smoking cigarettes.

Officiele Palestijnse media blijven Israel ontkennen en Joden demoniseren

De ontkenning van Israels bestaan, de verheerlijking van geweld, valse beschuldigingen en antisemitische stereotypen zoals dat de Joden Jezus hebben vermoord en de Palestijnen met AIDS infecteren en de Al Aqsa Moskee willen vernietigen, en ontkenning van de Joodse geschiedenis en band met het land: het is dagelijkse kost in Palestijnse media en een van de belangrijkste obstakels voor vrede. Toch horen we er politici en onze media zelden over, in tegenstelling tot de nederzettingen, de blokkade van Gaza en ander (vermeend) Israelisch wangedrag. Dat is niet bepaald een evenwichtige benadering van het conflict.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Report: PA still inciting hatred

Palestinian Media Watch: Abbas not fulfilling pledg

When proximity talks started in May, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas declared that the PA would fulfill its commitments, with a special focus on stopping incitement. But the ensuing two months have brought no change in the messages being transmitted from the Palestinian Authority and Fatah to Palestinians, according to a new report by Palestinian Media Watch.

An examination of the Palestinian leaders' statements, official media, children's programs and PA- and Fatah-controlled events shows that the conditions, principles and expectations set by the US and the UN Quartet for accepting the PA as a peace partner continue to be violated, the watchdog group said in the report.

Contrary to the PA's moderate statements to the West, its statements to its people in Arabic continue to delegitimize Israel's existence, deny Israel's right to exist, define the conflict with Israel as a religious war for Allah, promote hatred through demonization, slander and libel, and glorify terror and violence, according to PMW's Itamar Marcus, Nan Jacques Zilberdik and Barbara Crook.

The report, which Marcus said he would be presenting to American officials in Washington on Wednesday, said that the PA continues to teach on PA educational TV that Israeli cities across the entire country, including Jaffa and Haifa, are Palestinian cities; that official PA media deny Israel's right to exist by using terminology to refer to Israel as "the homeland occupied in '48"; and that the conflict with Israel is defined by PA-appointed political and religious leaders not as territorial but as ribat – a religious war for Allah.

It cited instances in which the PA's senior religious leader demonized Jews as the "enemies of God," and a PA TV host remarked: "The Jews are our enemies, right?" It added that the PA continues to honor terrorists, and quoted Abbas as defending "the right to return to the armed conflict," and describing negotiations as "a tactical decision, i.e., a temporary, defensive decision."

Elaborating on PA educational programs that deny Israel's existence, the PMW report quoted from a documentary film that portrays Israeli cities and sites as "Palestinian" and that was rebroadcast on PA TV on June 21: "The Palestinian coast … spreads along the [Mediterranean] sea, from... Ashkelon in the south, until Haifa, in the Carmel Mountains. Haifa is a well-known Palestinian port.

[Haifa] enjoyed a high status among Arabs and Palestinians especially before it fell to the occupation [Israel] in 1948. To its north, we find Acre. East of Acre, we reach a city with history and importance, the city of Tiberias, near a famous lake, the Sea of Galilee. Jaffa, an ancient coastal city, is the bride of the sea, and Palestine's gateway to the world."

It also quoted from an educational PA TV quiz show on June 25, with students competing from different Palestinian universities, which included questions and answers identifying Israel as "Palestine."

News reports repeatedly deny Israel's existence

In terms of PA news reporting, the report quoted from a June 18 item in the official PA daily Al-Hayat al-Jadida, which described the Israeli Arab village Um el-Fahm as being located "in the homeland occupied in '48."

It cited several other examples of the same newspaper referring to Israel with numerous euphemisms that deny Israel's legitimacy and existence, such as: "Interior Palestine," "occupied in 1948," and "'48 territories."

Noting that US President Barack Obama has called the use of maps that present a world without Israel a security threat to Israel, the PMW report stated that "all the official PA maps in offices, Web sites, in schoolbooks, and those appearing on official PA TV since the start of the proximity talks, continue the PA policy of defining all of Israel as 'Palestine'."

Turning to the issue of the PA denying Israel's history, it quoted the PA Mufti, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, and several other senior PA figures, denying the Jews' connection to the Western Wall and to Jerusalem in a series of statements.

In instances of what it called "demonization, hate promotion, anti-Semitism and libels," meanwhile, the PMW report charged that, in June, "the PA has continued to falsely accuse Israel of intentionally spreading drugs and AIDS among Palestinians, having killed Yasser Arafat, and planning to destroy the Aksa Mosque. The PA added another accusation this month: that the Jews killed Jesus."

PA exaggerated flotilla confrontation to promote hatred

It added that the PA exaggerated the Gaza flotilla confrontation to promote hatred of Israel.

Stressing that "the right to criticize Israeli actions is legitimate," the report said, however, that the PA "slandered Israel" about it, noting that Abbas himself charged that "it was a decision made in advance, premeditated and with determination to kill."

And it quoted from the PA daily, saying that murder and massacres are typical or innate Israeli behavior: "The Israeli attack on the ships...
more serious than a massacre in its ugliness and its inhumanity...
This is the true nature of Israel."

The PMW report further noted that a PA TV music video, demonizing Israel as "my enemy" and "a snake coiled around the land" reappeared in June. It was first broadcast in 2004, and from October 2007 to the end of 2009 it ran continuously on PA TV.

It quoted the following exchange by PA TV host interviewing the young sister of a Palestinian prisoner on June 21: PA TV host: "[When you visit the prison] do they bother you, the Israeli army, the soldiers there?" Girl: "Yes."

Host: "They're wild animals, right? Aren't they wild animals?" Turning to the subject of the glorification of terror and violence, PMW's report noted that the US has strongly condemned the Palestinian practice of honoring terrorists: State Department spokesman Phillip Crowley, it recalled, in April declared that "Honoring terrorists who have murdered innocent civilians, either by official statements or by the dedication of public places, hurts peace efforts and must end."

Violence against Israel still being glorified

Nonetheless, the report noted that the Palestinian Third Culture and Education Festival held in June in Ramallah "included dancers holding rifles while dancing to a song with lyrics glorifying violence against Israel and praising death as an ideal. The annual festival is sponsored by the PLO National Committee for Education, Science and Culture. This dance performance with rifles was broadcast twice on official Palestinian Authority TV, and was held in the presence of the PA minister of culture and minister of women's affairs.

"'There is no force in the world that can remove the weapon from my hand…' ran some of the lyrics. 'He who offers his blood doesn't care if his blood flows on the ground.'" It noted that the PA in late June opened in Nablus a security course named after Abdallah Daoud that was held in the Abu Iyad [Salah Khalaf] hall.

Daoud was one of the terrorists who stormed the Church of the Nativity in 2002, and continued to fight against Israel for several weeks while using the monks and the religious site as shields, said the report, while Khalaf was head of the Black September terror group.

"Attacks he planned included the murder of two American diplomats, as well as the murders of 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972," said the report.

The report also noted that a soccer tournament for youth was named after Khalil Al- Wazir (Abu Jihad), the former deputy to Arafat who planned "many deadly Fatah terror attacks, including the worst in Israeli history, the hijacking of a bus and killing of 37 civilians, 12 of them children."

In its conclusion, the PMW report quoted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton telling the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs in April that: "We will only work with a Palestinian Authority government that unambiguously and explicitly accepts the Quartet's principles: A commitment to nonviolence, recognition of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations, including the Road Map" – whose Phase I, PMW recalled, requires that "All official Palestinian institutions end incitement against Israel.

"Examining the Palestinian Authority leaders' statements, its education of youth, and its controlled media during the first months since the proximity talks," said the report, "it is apparent that the Palestinian Authority has not complied with the conditions set by the secretary of state, nor has it fulfilled its commitment to 'work against incitement of any sort.' "In the first two months since the start of the proximity talks, not only has the PA failed to 'unambiguously and explicitly' accept these conditions, but it has done the opposite. The Palestinian Authority continues to 'unambiguously and explicitly' deny Israel's existence, incite to hatred, and glorify terror and violence," the report claimed.

Spanning aan Israels noordgrens loopt op, VN doet niets

Nog een voorbeeld van de partijdigheid van de VN. Een partijdigheid die de kans op een nieuw gewapend conflict doet toenemen, met alle gevolgen vandien.

Spanning aan Israels noordgrens loopt op, VN doet niets

za 17-07-2010

De spanning aan Israels noordgrens is al enige tijd aan het oplopen. In februari van dit jaar maakte de Israelische luchtmacht bekend dat Shi'itische Hezbollah strijders er in geslaagd waren Katyusha's het zuiden van Libanon binnen te smokkelen. Een nog alarmerender bericht volgde half mei, toen president Peres Syrie ervan beschuldigde aan Hezbollah scud raketten te hebben geleverd.

In de Libanese krant, El Rai bevestigde Hezbollah die leverantie, maar voegde eraan toe dat om 'oude niet te gebruiken raketten' ging. Tegelijkertijd waarschuwde de Sji'itsche organisatie echter dat zij in het hele land anti-raket raketten had opgesteld, die gebruikt zouden worden als Israel doelen van Hezbollah zou aanvallen.

Israelische militaire bronnen brengen de versnelde bewapening van Hezbollah in verband met een mogelijk conflict met Iran over de ontwikkeling van kernwapens door dat land.

Het binnenbrengen van de wapens door Hezbollah, onder toeziend oog van UNIFIL, is een flagrante schending van Veiligheidsraadresolutie 1701, die werd aangenomen na de Israelische inval in Zuid-Libanon in 2006. De resolutie voorzag niet alleen in een stopzetting van de vijandelijkheden, maar beoogde ook de uitbreiding van het gezag van de regering van Libanon over het hele grondgebied van het land, 'zodat er geen wapens zijn zonder de instemming van de regering van Libanon en geen gezag anders dan dat van de regering van Libanon'.

Tegen die achtergrond heeft Israel de spanning aan de noordgrens aangekaart bij de Verenigde Naties. Tot grote teleurstelling van Jeruzalem wees begin juli Secretaris-generaal, Ban Ki Moon, in een rapport de Israelische klacht af. Hij beschuldigde juist Israel ervan de spanningen te hebben veroorzaakt. Ban zei dat Syrië en Libanon de Israelische beschuldiging over de scud raketten ontkennen, hoewel hij ook toegaf dat de Verenigde Naties niet de mogelijkheid hebben dit te onderzoeken. "Rethoriek escaleerde snel, waardoor er bij het publiek de perceptie ontstond, dat een hervatting van het conflict [tussen Israel en Hezbollah] nabij was" schreef Ban Ki Moon. Omdat VN, VS, Europese Unie en Arabische regeringen bemiddelden werd, aldus Ban Ki Moon, de kou tussen Israel, Syrie en Libanon uit de lucht gehaald.

Van Israelische kant wordt er echter op gewezen dat de Secretaris-generaal van de VN in zijn rapport verzuimd heeft in te gaan op recente pogingen van Hezbollah UNIFIL het werken onmogelijk te maken. In drie gevallen zouden burgers in het zuiden van Libanon de confrontatie met UNIFIL zijn aangegaan en er zouden wapens van UNIFIL gestolen zijn. De incidenten zijn, volgens Israel, door Hezbollah veroorzaakt.

In zijn rapport zegt Ban Ki Moon dat UNIFIL in het Zuiden van Libanon absolute bewegingsvrijheid geniet. Hij maakt gewag van vijf andere incidenten met UNIFIL, waarbij VN militairen gewond raakten en een voertuig werd gestolen, maar hij weigert Hezbollah hiervan de schuld te geven. Intussen vreest de Israelische regering dat de geschiedenis zich zal herhalen. Tot 2006 keek UNIFIL machteloos toe hoe Hezbollah zich bewapende, totdat in juli van dat jaar de bom barste toen een tweetal Israelische militairen door Hezbollah gekidnapt werden. De daarop volgende Israelische invasie in het Zuiden van Libanon, die erop gericht was het wapenarsenaal van Hezbollah uit te schakelen, bracht veel ellende teweeg. Niemand in Israel en in het zuiden van Libanon zit op een herhaling van deze bloedige strijd te wachten, maar dat vereist in de eerste plaats wel dat de Verenigde Naties hun eigen resoluties serieus nemen en doen waarvoor ze zijn opgericht: het bewaren van de vrede.

VN seminarie buigt zich over media en Midden-Oosten conflict

De kans dat de Palestijnse opruiing tegen Israel en het verheerlijken van geweld aan de orde zal komen lijkt minimaal, gezien het feit dat:
"The Lisbon seminar aims at enhancing dialogue and understanding between Israelis and Palestinians as well as sensitizing public opinion to the Palestinian cause and the peace process."
De VN kent een lange geschiedenis van vijandigheid tegenover Israel, zoals onder andere hier valt te lezen.

UN seminar on the role of media in addressing Middle east Peace process
[21/07/2010 11:40]

New York, July 21(Petra - Jordan news agency)-The role of media in advancing the Middle East peace process is the theme of a United Nations organized seminar which will take place in Lisbon, Portugal from 22 to 23 July.

The Lisbon seminar aims at enhancing dialogue and understanding between Israelis and Palestinians as well as sensitizing public opinion to the Palestinian cause and the peace process.

Around 120 participants, from the Middle East, including Israelis and Palestinians will attend the seminar.

Participants will include also current and former policy-makers, government officials, diplomats, civil society organizations, members of parliament, academics, and journalists.

The seminar will include five panel sessions, focusing on the role of the Israeli and Palestinian media in reducing tensions and creating a conductive environment for peace, new media versus traditional media and allies or adversaries in furthering the peace process.

Sessions will also tackle the role of Israeli and Palestinian women in achieving peace and security, harnessing new media for positive change, the role of Israeli and Palestinian mayors in contributing to peace and security in the Middle East.

Representing the host country, Secretary of State for European Affairs of Portugal Pedro Manuel Lourtie will address the seminar at the opening session.

Other Portuguese participants will act as keynote speakers, moderators or panelists, including Jorge Sampaio, High Representative of the Alliance of Civilizations and former President of Portugal Robert H. Serry.

//Petra//S K//R Q// .

IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis