zaterdag 20 november 2010

Regering Iran runt pro-Nazi website met Holocaust ontkenning

Het zou eigenlijk niet meer mogen verbazen, maar ik blijf ervan versteld staan wat Iran allemaal doet en steunt en zegt en hoe weinig we daarover lezen, en hoe weinig kritiek daarop is. Je mag gewoon voor de VN algemene vergadering verklaren dat een medelid van de VN niet lang meer zal bestaan of zou moeten verdwijnen en dat het doden van onschuldige burgers een vorm van 'legitiem verzet' is, en je mag een internationale conferentie organiseren waarin de grootste volkerenmoord aller tijden wordt ontkend, en de rest van de wereld blijft gewoon met je praten en handel drijven alsof je een heel gewoon land bent.

Exclusive: Is Iran's Regime Officially Running--Or Merely Helping--a Pro-Nazi Site?
By Barry Rubin

Is Iran's government sponsoring an Internet site that extols the German Nazis, their history and achievements, including the antisemitism that the current Iranian regime also supports? Or is it merely permitting one to operate in its highly censored communications' system?

Here are the facts. There is a discussion group site entitled IranNazi that has an Iranian internet URL. It is written in Persian and seems to have begun on August 24. All the material on the site is pro-Nazi and features pictures of Adolph Hitler, the swastika, and goose-stepping German soldiers. There is an English-language part as well.

This site pretends to be an association for the research of Nazism and to be "completely historical and scientific."

کاملا پژوهشی و علمی تاریخی است

It includes such topics as claims that The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the well-known antisemitic forgery is true; insistence that the mass murder of Jews by the Nazis never happened and is in fact a lie; makes the prediction that Israel will collapse in five years; and highlights cartoons and satire ridiculing the Holocaust. All four of these positions are also taken by the Iranian government and official media.

The main page includes the following message:

این تارنما طبق قوانین جمهوری اسلامی ایران و تحت نظارت کارگروه رسانه های دیجیتال وزارت فرهنگ و ارشاد جمهوری اسلامی فعالیت می کند .

In English it means: "This website is under Islamic Republic of Iran laws and it is under the supervision of the working committee on Digital Media of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance."

The site is registered to this place under the IRNIC, Iran's domain manager and an arm of the government. It is owned by a company in Isfahan. There is also evidence, however, that the site goes through a server in Arizona. The Phoenix hosting company is called  This doesn't prove, however, that the site is not sponsored by the Iranian government. It does go out on the state-controlled server and is allowed to claim government sponsorship.

Iran does not have freedom of speech and certainly not freedom of the Internet. Given the tight censorship in Iran and the fact that all sites are closely monitored, permission to publish--especially to claim government sponsorship--is evidence of state backing.

So is this, then, a state-backed site, showing just how far the regime has gone in boosting Nazism historically and antisemitism or a private initiative by some Iranian immigrants in the United States who are supporters of the Iranian regime? Is the statement on the site, which has not been suppressed by the government, accurate? It isn't completely clear.

A very well-informed and highly credible Iranian notes that the fact that it isn't blocked "is a significant indication that the government at least does not have problem with it." The deputy minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance is Muhammad Ali Ramin, who was President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's advisor on Holocaust issue and founder of Holocaust Institute in Tehran and the president of the conference of Holocaust; A Global Perspective, which denied that the mass murder of Jews never took place.

A reader asked me whether anyone would be surprised to see something like this happen.

Obviously, one more Internet site doesn't prove anything huge. Yet the fact that it is in line with the Iranian government's public positions is a reminder of just what these stances are and what they signify.

Well, except for the explicit boosting of the German Nazi regime itself--rather than just denying its crimes and basically endorsing its policies--this is not really different from the regime's positions. It is shocking, but more on a symbolic than a substantive level. If this is a private group lying about its sponsorship that point should be made clear, but it still reminds us of what the current Iranian regime is saying...and doing.

My broader answer is that while many observers won't be surprised, given the regime's hatred of Jews as well as of Israel, the national home of the Jewish people, there are others who will be genuinely shocked.

The conventional wisdom in many quarters that Iran's regime is a rational government that looks only to its national self-interest. There is something to be said for this view. We have seen times when Iran's rulers--some if not all--exercised caution and showed that the regime's survival was their highest priority. The decision to end the war with Iraq in 1988 and avoiding direct aggression or armed conflict with other neighbors provide examples.

On the other hand, Iran has been able to be more provocative without incurring armed conflict because the other side, including the United States, is so reluctant to counter its actions, including state sponsorship of terrorism and covert, indirect attacks on American soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Certainly, the answer is not to launch an armed attack on Iran. But the proper answer has been to exert sufficient threats, pressure, and support for Iran's foes to deter, contain, and frighten Iran into being more cautious.

The Iranian regime is a radical Islamist government, not a Nazi or fascist one, though there are points in common. But also as I've written elsewhere, Iran's government is the closest thing we've seen to an irrational, ideologically motivated ruler since the fall of Germany in 1945. There have been other such rulers--Idi Amin in Uganda, the Cambodian Communists, the Afghan Taliban come to mind. But we have seen how these regimes have behaved and how many people they've murdered.

And none of those others, including Nazi Germany itself, had nuclear weapons.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). The website of the GLORIA Center is at and of his blog, Rubin Reports,

Vanuit Gazastrook raketten met fosfor afgevuurd op Israel

Het is weer hommeles in Israel en de Gazastrook. De afgelopen dagen werden er al enkele raketten afgevuurd, en nu zijn er zelfs vier raketten afgevuurd met witte fosfor en een Grad raket. Israel heeft enkele doelen in de Gazastrook gebombardeerd. De kans dat de boel echt gaat escaleren is echter niet groot, want Hamas wil vooralsnog geen nieuw conflict met Israel, een paar weken nadat men heeft toegegeven dat 600 a 700 strijders zijn gedood door Israel in de Gaza oorlog.

Lieberman tells UN envoy to file complaint on Gaza rockets

IAF strikes targets in Gaza in response to 11 rockets fired at western Negev, Ashkelon area; 4 shells contained white phosphorous; Salah-al-Din Brigades claim mortar fire response to IDF assassination of terrorists.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman instructed UN envoy Meron Reuben to file a complaint with the international body over the barrage of rockets and mortar shells fired into southern Israel from the Gaza Strip on Friday, Israel Radio reported.

Lieberman told Reuben to turn the UN's attention specifically to the fact that mortar shells containing white phosphorous were fired from Gaza on Friday. The UN-commissioned Goldstone Report condemned Israel for using white phosphorous during Operation Cast Lead.

Earlier on Friday , in response to the rocket and mortar fire, IAF jets successfully struck three terror-related targets in Gaza.

Palestinian sources reported that an Islamic Jihad training base was among the targets attacked by the IAF. Eight total injuries were reported in the airstrikes.

The IDF also reported that the four mortar shells that landed in the Ashkelon Regional Council area earlier on Friday contained white phosphorous.
The Salah al-Din Brigade claimed responsibility for the four mortar shells, which they said came in response to the IDF assassination of two members of the Army of Islam, an al-Qaida affiliated group, earlier this week.

In addition to the four mortar shells containing white phosphorous fired into Israel on Friday, three additional mortar shells were fired towards the western Negev.

All the the shells exploded in open land.

No injuries were reported and no damage was caused.

Earlier on Friday a Grad rocket was shot from Gaza towards Israel.

The Grad rocket was the first since July, and the first to land near Ofakim since Operation Cast Lead. The rocket exploded in an open area, injuring three cows and damaging a building.

In addition, two Kassam rockets landed in the Merhavim Regional Council of the western Negev. No injuries and damage were reported.

Another rocket was shot on Friday morning. It landed in Palestinian territory.

Kassam rockets have been shot from Gaza towards the western Negev almost daily since 2001. The IDF Spokesperson's unit reported that over 180 rockets have landed in Israel since the beginning of the year.

Het gevaar van het delegitimeren van Israel


Pas op! Zionistische propaganda!

Doordat de mensen die Israels bestaansrecht niet erkennen dit vaak niet openlijk zeggen en zich vaak op de bezetting richten als makkelijk doelwit, is het soms niet duidelijk of organisaties en activisten die tegen de bezetting strijden ook tegen Israel zijn of echt alleen tegen de bezetting. Volgens sommigen is heel Israel immers bezet, en door allerlei vage en ambigue bewoordingen verdoezelt men vaak waar men staat en wat voor oplossing men voorstaat. Ook als je zegt Israel te erkennen, maar er intussen zoveel eenzijdige eisen aan stelt dat het zichzelf in gevaar zou brengen als het daaraan zou voldoen, is het de vraag of je wel echt Israel en dus Joodse rechten in het land erkent.

How is delegitimization dangerous?

Israel is confronted by several tangible threats, including the nuclear threat posed by Iran and the missile threat posed by Hamas and Hizbullah. A no less worrying threat posed to Israel is that of delegitimization, which attempts to negate the legitimacy of the Israeli state, its policies and its right to self-defense.
Delegitimization is a political, economic and philosophic campaign aimed at reversing the right of the State of Israel to exist and denying the right of the Jewish people to self-determination in their homeland.
The ultimate goal of delegitimization is the liquidation of Israel as a Jewish state. According to the delegitimizers, Israel not only has no right to defend itself, it has no right to survive. They seek to cause Israel's collapse by undermining the moral legitimacy of Israel, constraining its military activities, destroying Israel's image and isolating it as a pariah state.

There is a difference between conventional criticism of the policies of Israel and delegitimizing criticism of the existence and legitimacy of the state. Delegitimization exceeds valid discourse on specific Israeli policies and instead presents a fundamental challenge to its right to exist. Israel remains willing to engage with honest critics of Israel, as long as they don't engage in the 3-Ds of the new antisemitism: delegitimization, demonization and double-standards.

Although the ultimate goal is eliminating the Jewish state, delegitimizers usually does not clearly state that Israel must be abolished. Rather, they use euphemisms like the "one-state solution" or compare Israel to an apartheid state or Nazism, leaving the obvious conclusion
to their audience. The use of comparisons to apartheid and the Nazis is not accidental; rather they were carefully chosen to represent the two greatest evils of the twentieth century, both of which are considered crimes against humanity and legitimate targets for elimination.

Delegitimization deploys a wide variety of anti-Israeli themes in addition to the apartheid comparison and Holocaust inversion. It disallows Israel's inherent right to self-defense and security, represents Israel as an international criminal, portrays Zionism as a racist ideology and denies the historic connection between the Jewish people and their ancient homeland, particularly Jerusalem. Delegitimization supports the one-state solution and the invented "right of return" for Palestinian refugees, both of which would mean the end of Israel's identity as a Jewish state.

Delegitimization focused its activities on NGOs, grassroots movements, academia and the general public. This campaign abuses international institutions to attack Israel, attempts to invent new legal principles that can be used against Israel and has tried to have Israeli governmental and military officials falsely charged with war crimes in Western states. Delegitimization masks its activities as legitimate criticism, inverting morality, human rights and the law to achieve its aims.

Delegitimization is a political, economic, cultural and ideological war against Israel. It is characterized by a disproportionate and obsessive focus on Israel. It is against freedom of speech and open discourse, trying to end academic exchanges and commercial ties.

Israel is the only state whose very legitimacy is questioned and attacked, who faces a debate not about its borders, but about its very existence. Other states, even those in Africa and Asia who were established along arbitrary borders delineated by colonial powers, do not have their legitimacy as nation-states brought into doubt. This despite the fact that Israel is the only state whose right to exist was recognized by both the United Nations and its predecessor, the League of Nations. It is pure hypocrisy that those who question the Jewish people's right to self-determination in the state of Israel often support the self-determination of the Palestinians in the form of a Palestinian state.

The delegitimizers claim to be advancing the Palestinian cause, but in reality they are working against peace. Some accept Hamas, which rejects peaceful negotiations and aims to destroy Israel. They usually dispense with concepts such as co-existence and oppose the only realistic resolution to the conflict, the two-state solution, as this would mean accepting Israel's existence. They also pay no attention to the situation of Palestinians outside Israel, ignoring their second-class status and plight in most of the Arab world.
Delegitimization directly harms peace efforts because it fools the Palestinians into believing that there will be enough international pressure on Israel to force it to capitulate to any Palestinian demand without the need for true negotiations. It also severely undermines the confidence of Israelis in the international community's support for self-defensive actions should Israel be attacked after it withdraws from territory in the framework of a peace agreement.

Delegitimization contributes nothing to a peaceful settlement to the conflict. Its nefarious goals and distorted exploitation of principles such as human rights and international law should be denounced. It is time to delegitimize the delegitimization of Israel.

vrijdag 19 november 2010

Femke Halsema in NRC: 'Uiteindelijk kan niemand meer worden vertrouwd'

Ietwat jijbakkerig, maar ze heeft natuurlijk gelijk: de PVV is begonnen met een cultuur van verdachtmakingen tegen iedereen met een andere mening, en dat slaat nu op haar zelf terug. De PVV beloofde de kiezers om af te rekenen met de Haagse kliek en zet er half criminele sportschool types voor in de plaats. Nee, niet iedereen, maar bij liefst zeven kamerleden van de PVV is inmiddels het nodige geconstateerd. Ja, GroenLinks had Duyvendak en Pormes, maar die zijn opgestapt en daardoor kwam de partij ook in opspraak.
Het is hier wat off-topic, maar ik wordt zelf nogal moe van de manier waarop sommige Israel sympathisanten de PVV blijven steunen en tegen de PvdA en GroenLinks en de 'linkse media' trappen die hier kritisch over berichten. Natuurlijk komt dit de oppositie goed uit, maar laten we de hijgerige verhalen in bijvoorbeeld HP de Tijd over GroenLinks 'criminele verleden' niet vergeten. En de PVV is als geen ander voor zero tolerance, voor hard aanpakken van 'straatcriminelen' en ander 'tuig' en dan komt het wel erg inconsequent over als je dan zo boos wordt vanwege de aandacht voor het verleden van eigen kamerleden. Zoals een allochtone twitteraar treffend zei: "Als Wilders altijd zó lang doet over het uitzetten van mensen, hebben wij allochtonen niet veel te vrezen."
Oh, en voordat mensen weer boos worden dat Femke Halsema haar mening in de NRC mag geven, ook Martin Bosma schijnt er een column te hebben gekregen.

Femke Halsema's eerste column in NRC Handelsblad: 'Uiteindelijk kan niemand meer worden vertrouwd'


GroenLinks-leider Femke Halsema's eerste politieke column staat vandaag in het NRC Handelsblad:

"In SpitsNieuws van 16 november jammert Kamerlid Hero Brinkman (PVV) dat het hoofd van politici op het hakblok wordt gelegd zonder dat een rechter schuld heeft vastgesteld of er hard bewijs is. Hij veroordeelt vooral de media, die zonder enig bewijs hem en zijn naaste collega PVV'er Lucassen aan de schandpaal zouden nagelen."

Ik zou met hem kunnen meevoelen, als het uit zijn mond niet zo larmoyant zou klinken.

Als één partij de afgelopen jaren een atmosfeer van verdachtmakingen heeft geschapen, dan is het de PVV. Kamerlid Khadija Arib (PvdA) is, door haar werk voor een mensenrechtenraad, afgeschilderd als een agent van het Marokkaanse regime. Albayrak en Aboutaleb (beiden PvdA) moesten naar huis omdat zij met hun dubbele paspoorten deloyaal zouden zijn. Voormalig minister Cramer (ook PvdA) zou in de jaren tachtig aan Bluf sympathie hebben betuigd en daarvan zouden, volgens PVV'er De Roon, „gezinnen slachtoffer zijn geworden".

Clairy Polak en met haar de gehele 'linkse staatsomroep', de door de Talibaan ontvoerde en verkrachte journaliste, de D66-stemmende rechterlijke macht, ambtenaren, politiecommissarissen die de PVV bekritiseren en verder iedereen die tot de elite behoort: de lijst van verdachtmakingen is oneindig. Dan zwijg ik nog maar over al die moslims die de PVV ervan verdenkt te liegen en takiyya te plegen. Het patroon is telkens hetzelfde: andersdenkenden hebben kwalijke, geheime motieven die alleen door de PVV worden onthuld, zij zijn niet integer of te vertrouwen en mogen daarom naar hartelust worden neergesabeld. Zelden of nooit wordt daar enig bewijs bijgeleverd.

Tijdens het debat gisteravond, somde ik feitelijk de zeven PVV-Kamerleden op die de afgelopen tijd in opspraak zijn geraakt. In de bankjes leidde dat vooral bij PVV-ideoloog Martin Bosma tot grote en luidkeelse verontwaardiging. Dat is opvallend omdat zijn boek niets meer is dan een lange reeks verdachtmakingen waarbij willekeurig verzamelde citaten worden voorzien van gepeperde conclusies: suggestief en veroordelend, zonder enig werkelijk bewijs.

Het gedonder in de PVV is voorlopig niet ten einde. Hero Brinkman heeft gelijk dat mensen niet zomaar in het verdachtenbankje mogen worden geplaatst. Maar laten hij en zijn collega's zich ook realiseren dat zij in hun eigen zwaard zijn gevallen. De PVV is de drager van een cultuur van verdachtmakingen en complotdenken, die alleen wordt veroordeeld nu zij er zelf slachtoffer van wordt.

De afgelopen dagen heb ik mij wel eens betrapt op Schadenfreude om de personele ellende in de PVV, maar wat overheerst is een gevoel van claustrofobische beklemming. Bijvoorbeeld op internet razen de complottheorieën, politiek engagement wordt met groot gemak gelijk gesteld aan 'terrorisme', 'stalinisme' of 'nazisme' en politici zijn synoniem aan criminelen.

Als de mediastorm rond de PVV-fractie is geluwd en het kaf is gescheiden van het koren, moet de vraag worden beantwoord of er een weg terug is. Verdachtmakingen en complottheorieën horen niet thuis in een open democratisch debat. Het zijn de machtsinstrumenten in bijvoorbeeld communistische regimes waarmee welbewust het redelijke en vrije meningsverschil wordt gemangeld. PVV-politici mogen niet ten prooi vallen aan onredelijke en tendentieuze verdenkingen, net zoals rechters, 'linkschmensen', journalisten én moslims zich daartegen beschermd mogen weten. Als politici voortgaan op de weg waarbij zij anderen zonder scrupules wegzetten als bijvoorbeeld 'valsemunters', dan brengen zij het open, democratische debat in een vrije val. Uiteindelijk kan niemand meer worden vertrouwd.

Voordat PVV-Kamerlid Bosma in zijn eerste column op deze zelfde plek in zijn vertrouwde groef schiet van ongefundeerde aanvallen op anderen (of bijvoorbeeld in weerwoord op mij), zou hij dit eens in overweging willen nemen: de bal kaatst terug.


donderdag 18 november 2010

Wil Netanjahoe echt een vredesakkoord met Abbas?

Gaan de vredesbesprekingen binnenkort hervat worden?
Regeringspartij Shas stelt klip en klaar dat ze niet met een hernieuwde bevriezing zal instemmen als die ook Oost-Jeruzalem betreft, en een Amerikaanse woordvoerder stelt expliciet dat de bouwstop ook Oost-Jeruzalem moet omvatten. Dat klinkt naar een patstelling. Ikzelf hoop al een tijdje dat Bibi de weigeraars uit zijn regering zet en vervangt door Kadima, maar Knessetlid Mofaz van de rechtervleugel van Kadima vindt een hernieuwde bouwstop ook geen goed idee, dus het is de vraag of zo'n maneuvre veel zou helpen.
De tweede vraag is of Netanjahoe en Abbas überhaupt uit zijn op een vredesakkoord op dit moment. Paradoxaal genoeg wil bijna de hele wereld dat er vrede komt, maar vinden de beide leiders de status quo eigenlijk redelijk goed te pruimen: het is vrij rustig aan beide kanten van de Groene Lijn, de economie draait relatief lekker, en een compromis met bijbehorende zware concessies is niet echt te verkopen aan de verdeelde achterban. Als nou toch die Amerikanen en Europeanen eens zouden stoppen met pushen.... :-(

Washington Watch: What does Bibi really want?

Many believe Netanyahu is capable of making historic compromises, but he sees no reason to do so right now.What does Bibi really want? That's the question many in Israel are asking on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's return from his latest American trip. I've been hearing it from diplomats, think tankers, pundits and ordinary people, and they all seem puzzled.

Does he really want peace with the Palestinians, as he says, or is that just for public consumption?

Bibi appears to have worked out an agreement with the Obama administration for a nonrenewable 90-day settlement freeze in exchange for hefty political and financial benefits, but no one here expects it can lead to an early agreement on borders, the first goal, in the next round of talks.

Already the Palestinians are grousing that the freeze excludes Jerusalem and must be permanent. There is no indication Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will go along or, as in the previous freeze, drag his feet until the last moment before entering talks and then walk out because it wasn't renewed.

Bibi has made peace with Washington, which is a higher priority than any agreement with the Palestinians. But how badly does he want peace with them?

He drove a hard bargain with the Obama administration – we don't yet know many details – but are he and Abbas ready to make the tough decisions that peace will require? Or are we in for more drawn out talks and diversions over issues like settlements rather than substantive questions like borders, security, Jerusalem, refugees and water?

Some here feel Bibi sees Abbas as his insurance policy, an indecisive leader of a deeply divided movement who can be more adept at finding excuses than opportunities, a trait Bibi shares.

To the extent – and it seems diminishing – that Israelis are talking about the peace process, many tell me that they believe he is capable of making the historic breakthrough, but he sees no reason to do so right now.

After watching his performance in New Orleans at the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly, there's a growing feeling that Bibi's just biding his time until there is a new American president who doesn't put Israeli-Palestinian peace high on his agenda.

George W. Bush is remembered fondly because although he was the first American president to declare Palestinian statehood an American goal, he was all talk and no action. A lot like Bibi, who talks a good game but isn't that anxious to play.

THAT'S ANOTHER reason Barack Obama remains unpopular in what one Israeli called "fly-over territory." Obama may have increased security assistance, provided weapons systems that Bush wouldn't and keeps upping his offers of diplomatic and security backing, but he has been unable to convince many in Israel that he really cares about them.

"He may be strongly supportive intellectually, but he hasn't got it in his kishkes," a friend complained.

Part of Obama's unpopularity is the result of an intense campaign waged by Republicans to brand him the Muslim Manchurian candidate and an anti-Semite as well as some guerrilla warfare by Netanyahu's allies to poison the well, but most of it is the president's own fault.

He has flown over Israel many times and made several trips, as recently as last week, to bolster ties with the Muslim world, but he hasn't found time to stop in Israel even once.

One reason his supporters give is that he doesn't want to bolster Netanyahu's standing. That doesn't wash. Netanyahu remains popular and has no real challenger from any direction, but more importantly the American president can easily go over the head of any prime minister and talk directly to the Israeli people. He can use the Knesset podium, media interviews and public appearances to explain his views and convince the public that he cares about them and deserves their trust.

The trip is long overdue and the more Obama delays, the more damage he does to his efforts to broker peace.

Obama has other problems as well. Neither Abbas nor Netanyahu shares his enthusiasm for the peace process. What's more, the status quo for both isn't all that bad.

"We already have peace," several friends told me. "There are no buses exploding in Tel Aviv and the shops are busy and the cafes are full on Rehov Dizengoff."

It's a familiar theme, even among those who say they're in the peace camp. The PA security forces, with US training, are doing a good job of maintaining order in the West Bank, the Gaza blockade by Israel and Egypt is keeping out the suicide bombers and the economies of Israel and the West Bank are doing well. The Palestinians don't have to recognize Israel or deal with Hamas, so why stir it all up by arguing over issues neither side is ready to do anything serious about?

There are many questions as to what Bibi really wants, but the consensus seems to be that he is playing a waiting game – waiting for Obama to go or just give up.

Bibi may be capable of making historic compromises but not any time soon because, with the Palestinians so deeply divided, there is no ready partner, he doesn't trust Obama, he sees no urgency and right now he couldn't sell it to the Israeli people.

Meanwhile, Bibi will go through the motions of declaring his undying desire for peace if only the other side is as flexible and willing as he is.

But what Bibi really wants, said a friend and former colleague of his, is doing whatever it takes to get reelected.

Israel hergebruikt meer dan 80% van huishoudelijk afvalwater voor irrigatie landbouw

Israel is al decennialang pionier in het hergebruiken van afvalwater voor irrigatie in de landbouw, en dat is maar goed ook, want de prognoses zijn dat het Midden-Oosten nog warmer en droger wordt dan het nu al is. Ik vraag me af in hoeverre deze technologie ook wordt aangekocht door buurlanden Egypte en Jordanië, die vrede met Israel hebben gesloten, met name in het geval van Egypte echter een zeer kille vrede.
Arid Israel recycles waste water on grand scale
Sun Nov 14, 2010 12:57pm GMT
* Israel is world leader in water recycling
* Water technologies a large export market
By Ari Rabinovitch
JERUSALEM, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Thirty years ago, Israeli farmers faced a daunting choice -- find a new water source or go under. Their solution was waste water recycling. Now climate change is presenting other nations with a similar choice.

With increased interest worldwide, Israel is marketing its waste water reuse technologies and has developed a billion-dollar industry by sharing systems and expertise.

Israel began confronting water scarcity when its main sources, the Sea of Galilee and two aquifers, became overtaxed and the population was growing. There was simply not enough water for agriculture.

"We had to adapt, and found what at the time was an unlikely solution," said farmer Yaron Rot, who manages irrigation at Kibbutz Magen, an agricultural community in southern Israel.

They began irrigating their fields with recycled waste water from the drains of Tel Aviv.

At the time it was not discussed openly. Water treatment technology was not well-known and authorities feared the public would reject the idea of toilet water being used to grow food.

"Today, nearly half our irrigation comes from recycled waste water," Rot said, making clear it was no easy achievement.

By the turn of the century, Israel was still the only country to recycle waste water extensively. Global warming means its neighbours will increasingly need to do the same.

Competition over shared water resources is a sensitive issue in Israel's relations with the Palestinians and other Arab neighbours, tending to fuel more conflict than cooperation.

The United Nations, in its Human Development Report, classified the Middle East as the world's most water-stressed region. Its climate modelling projects hotter temperatures and less rainfall in the future.

A separate U.N. report said the regulated use of treated water could reduce pressures.

"Israel demonstrates the potential," it said, adding other nations were following the lead of a country that has also pioneered water-saving techniques such as drip irrigation.


Israel has made water recycling an integral part of daily life -- even if many residents are not aware of it.

More than 80 percent of household waste water is recycled, amounting to 400 million cubic metres a year, the Environment Ministry says. That ratio is four times higher than in any other country, according to Israel's water authority.

Treatment facilities remove contaminants to a level set by the Health Ministry and the water is then sent to farmers.

Businesses have thrived by developing the most efficient solutions, including an ultra-violet light purifier and a recycling system that uses millions of small plastic rings to breed bacteria and break down organic waste.

Exports of water-saving technologies total $1.5 billion a year, said Oded Distell, head of the government's water technology programme.

"There are two reasons for the growth. Countries certainly expect the lack of water will increase. And water has taken on an economic value," he said.

This year, Israel assembled a committee at the Swiss-based International Organisation for Standardisation to formulate universal guidelines to reusing waste water in irrigation.

"There is great interest in the world because they understand the global shortages. It turns out there are many other countries suffering," committee secretary Yaron Ben-Avi said.

He said the goal was to create a global standard in less than three years, with guidelines on how to build and maintain water recycling systems, how to avoid harming the environment and how to select which fruits and vegetables to grow.

Israeli legislators are drafting a bill that would require all new buildings to be able to recycle "grey water", all household water waste except that from toilets.

A government study also recommended the creation of wetlands to help treat waste water naturally. Such systems have been described as the "earth's kidneys" as they filter pollutants.

Israel has built a few dozen manmade wetlands that treat sewage from cowsheds, vineyards and army bases, but this remains an area where it lags behind Western countries, said Michal Green, an engineer at the Technion Institute of Technology.

Companies are showing more interest in constructed wetlands as an alternative to treatment plants, she said.

"They are non-energy intensive, they have lower maintenance costs and they are a more aesthetic option. I have no doubt they will catch on."

(Editing by Alistair Lyon and Janet Lawrence)


Het bestaan van UNRWA is een mislukking (interview met John Ging)

Shatila refugee camp in Lebanon (photo: Zingaro) & Girls school of UNRWA in Gaza (photo: Begemot)

Een zeer interessant artikel met interview met John Ging, hoofd van UNRWA in Gaza.

"In a lengthy report, Lindsay wrote that "UNRWA's failure to match UNHCR's success (in resettling refugees, AS) obviously represents a political decision on the part of the agency", and that "UNRWA has gradually adopted a distinctive political viewpoint that favors the Palestinian and Arab narrative of events in the Middle East. In particular, it seems to favor the strain of Palestinian political thought espoused by those who are intent on a 'return' to the land that is now Israel". By that, concluded Lindsay, "UNRWA encouraged Palestinians who favor refighting long-lost wars, (and) discouraged those who favor moving toward peace".
Lindsay referred also to UNRWA's education system, quoting a few American researches, the most moderate of which concluded that the curriculum "is not a peace curriculum", that the textbooks "fail to identify Israel on maps", and that they "avoid discussing Jews or Israelis as individuals"."


"UNRWA's existence is a failure"


Nov 15 2010 

The Israeli negative view of UNRWA is perfectly understandable. Palestinians will not achieve their rights through illegal activities, such as firing rockets into Israel. UNRWA shouldn't exist after so many years – and due to history, people in Gaza have to prove to their neighbors that they are truly committed to peace.


These are some of the most interesting remarks that John Ging, head of UNRWA operations in Gaza, made in a special interview. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees' (UNRWA) mission is to provide welfare and education services to 4.8 million people defined by it (as of today) as refugees – in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.

I had two long face-to-face meetings with Ging in the last month. After them, and in between, we continued emailing each other with additional questions and answers. 44 years old, Ging is an Irish lawyer and an ex-military officer. He came to Gaza in February 2006 after doing humanitarian work in Rwanda and the Balkans. He had two objectives in the interview: one was to open a dialogue with the Israeli public, and the second was to convince the Israelis that the political conflict should be seperated from the humanitarian situation in Gaza. The two, according to Ging, should not be related.

"I want to open a new chapter in the relationship of UNRWA with the Israeli public", says Ging. "I have come to realize that there are key misunderstandings of UNRWA's role. We haven't communicated effectively and we haven't been providing answers to questions that arise. I perfectly understand the Israeli negative view towards my organization and I understand that there is a basis for people to be skeptical. There are tough questions to be answered, and they should be addressed. There hasn't been the depth of discussion that would enable people to make a better informed opinion".

UNRWA did not create the Arab-Israeli conflict, says Ging, and it should be judged by its actions in the relevant fields – especially education and welfare. "UNRWA has no political role, and you don't go to the Ministry of Education to criticize the foreign policy. We have a specific mandate for civil services".

Ging takes special pride in UNRWA's schools, where he says children "are taught to take responsibility for their actions and to realize the contribution that Palestinians have made to their current situation. We have to convince the children of Gaza that the way forward is through adoption of universal values. We teach them from grade one that in order to attain your rights you must first act according to the standards of responsible behavior. We teach them about Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King and Gandhi, to show them how other people have succeeded to achieve their human rights, and it's not by firing rockets into Sderot".


Are people in Gaza aware to the fact that they are responsible for their situation?

"Not enough aware. We teach the children of Gaza the consequences of suicide bombing and of throwing rockets in Israel. They cannot turn around and be self indulgent of irresponsible behavior. We also teach them that on the other side there are good human beings who want nothing more than a peaceful solution to the conflict but their legitimate concern is that of security because of their experience. Due to history, people in Gaza have to prove to their neighbors that they are truly committed to peace".

Ging's relationship with Hamas, the Islamic movement that controls the Gaza Strip, are far from being good, and he was even the victim of an unsuccessful assassination attempt in 2007. "We have a component of the population in Gaza which is very violent, destructive and extremist", he says. "There is violence against Israel and also inside Gaza, for example against UNRWA's schools. The extremists accuse us of the feminization of the society, which is the equal opportunity that we are teaching and of which we are proud. The violence is directed towards anyone who seeks to promote universal values".


What role is Hamas playing in the Gaza Strip? Is it helping the human development of the population?

"The economy of Gaza has collapsed during the period of Hamas governance creating unprecedented levels of impoverishment. The public services are overstretched and overburdened as there is no investment or development. The impact that Hamas has made on the economic status of the general population is negligible, as it is the donations of the international community that sustain the population".


But Ging is optimistic. The good news, he says, is that only a minority of Gazans are extremists, whereas the majority is committed to a peaceful two-states solution. "I hope that also on this side people will reignite talks and know that on the other side there are people who in their core share our universal values".

Not everyone is so optimistic. Reporters for The New York Times spent some two weeks in Gaza last July, and published this large reportage. In it they say,

"Ask Gazans how to solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict – two states? One state? – and the answer is mostly a reflexive call to drive Israel out… 'All the land is ours', says Ramzi, a public school teacher from Rafah, 'we should turn the Jews into refugees and then let the international community take care of them'… Abdel Qader Ismail, 24, says 'we believe in Israel's right to exist, but not on the land of Palestine. In France or in Russia, but not in Palestine. This is our home'."


Why do you think Israelis should care about the humanitarian situation of someone who wants to turn them into refugees?

"There are tens of thousands of extremists in Gaza, but I can bring more than tens of thousands who would say that there is need for a just solution for this conflict. The State of Israel is here to stay and anyone who is professing an alternative agenda is not acceptable by our standards and we categorize these people as extremists".


So Hamas would be defeated in case of an elections?

"The moment you try to simplify the politics of the region, you fall into many traps. I am saying that an overwhelming part of the population is good and descent, and demonstrated its capacity to peacefully coexist".


What are the signs for that? Where are the articles they write, the demonstrations, the NGO's that are actively pro-peace?

"Why do the parents of Gaza send their children to our schools? and in the business community, with the smallest opening in the last months, the tunnel industry has collapsed. That's standing up for what is right and what is lawful. It shows that they have intent to do commercial business with their neighbor".


The fact that people gave up a dangerous route of commerce shows they are committed to peace?

"Yes, otherwise they would continue work with the tunnel".


People in Iran and North Korea also pay for their governments' actions. The people of Gaza made a choice to elect Hamas, who made a choice to ignore all agreements and to not recognize Israel. So the international community isolates them.

"The question is what choice they had. There is no blame on Israel but the international community has questions to answer about the ballot in Gaza (that took place in 2006 and in which Hamas won, AS)".

Ging said some tough questions should be answered, so I decided to ask him some of them. The first one regards the agency's mere existence. UNRWA was established by the United Nations General Assembly under resolution 302 of December 1949. For some reason, the UN decided that the Palestinians would be the only ethnic group to have a special agency – and all the rest, tens of millions of refugees around the world (mainly in Africa and Asia, but also in the Balkans and in Latin America) are taken care of by another UN agency, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

UNRWA was criticized harshly during the years: while one of the UNHCR's main tasks is to resettle refugees – and its success is measured accordingly – UNRWA is only dealing with welfare and education. While in all other ethnic groups the number of refugees diminishes with time, the number of Palestinian refugees is just growing: from 700,000 in UNRWA's inception to 4.8 million currently.

One reason for that is the unique and differnet way UNRWA defines a Palestinian refugee. Throughout the world, a refugee who recieves new citizenship in another country is no longer considered a refugee (thus, hundreds of thousands of Jews who fled Arab countries as refugees in the 40′s and 50′s stopped being refugees when resettled in Israel). But Palestinian refugees continue to enjoy UNRWA's services even after receiveng new citizenship (there are about 2 million Palestinian refugees in Jordan, most of them Jordanian citizens). In addition, UNRWA unprecedently widened the definition of refugee to include also the descendants of refugees, so that every newborn baby is automatically considered to be a refugee.

"We shouldn't exist after so many years", says Ging, "and I perfectly understand the Israeli negative view towards my organization, because it is the manifestation of the political failure of the international community to resolve the conflict. Our 60th anniversary was not a moment of celebration but a commemoration of failure because we should not have had to exist after 60 years".


Why don't you resettle the refugees?

"This is not our mandate. I am by mandate given for action, not to resolve the conflict. The question of the refugees is an issue that should be decided upon in the negotiations between the parties themselves".


Gaza is under Palestinian control. Have you tried to initiate a resettlement project there together with Hamas?

"Why would I do that? You are asking me to solve one of the protracted issues of the conflict. This is not our mandate".


Every reasonable person understands that Israel will never let into its territory 4.8 million Palestinians, because it will stop being the State of the Jewish People. Not settling the refugees is not a neutral act: You thus perpetuate the conflict, and even make it worse, since every day the number of refugees increases.

"UNRWA gets its mandate from the General Assembly. Our mandate is to act, not to solve the conflict".

Ging refused to comment on the fairness or the reasonableness of the Goldstone report, on the true nature of the Turkish Marmara ship that tried to reach Gaza, or on the feeling shared by many Israelis that their country is prejudiced against in many UN bodies. He said he is a UN official who cannot pass judgment on these issues. I asked him if it is reasonable in his view that a democratic country – of the sort the UN was supposed to promote – would be subject to endless attacks from totalitarian countries such as Libya and Cuba (as happens in the Human Rights Council), Ging answered: "I cannot answer such a straightforward question".

But he could not ignore the criticism coming from within. In January 2009 UNRWA suffered a devastating blow when one of its most senior officials published a damning report on its activities. James Lindsay, legal advisor and general counsel for UNRWA from 2000 until 2007, criticized the agency for issues that were raised previously by Israel and by other players in the international community. Only this time it came from within.

In a lengthy report (read it here), Lindsay wrote that "UNRWA's failure to match UNHCR's success (in resettling refugees, AS) obviously represents a political decision on the part of the agency", and that "UNRWA has gradually adopted a distinctive political viewpoint that favors the Palestinian and Arab narrative of events in the Middle East. In particular, it seems to favor the strain of Palestinian political thought espoused by those who are intent on a 'return' to the land that is now Israel". By that, concluded Lindsay, "UNRWA encouraged Palestinians who favor refighting long-lost wars, (and) discouraged those who favor moving toward peace".

Lindsay referred also to UNRWA's education system, quoting a few American researches, the most moderate of which concluded that the curriculum "is not a peace curriculum", that the textbooks "fail to identify Israel on maps", and that they "avoid discussing Jews or Israelis as individuals".


These are very harsh words. Why don't you replace these books so they befit universal values?

"It was disappointing to find these paragraphs in Lindsay's report. I don't agree, and I think he has no basis to say that it is UNRWA's decision because our mandate is given to us. I agree that it is a political failure, but we don't set up the mandate, we are only the implementers. As for our schools, we use textbooks of the Palestinian Authority. Are they perfect? No, they're not. I can't defend the indefensible. We acknowledge the weaknesses and that is why we enrich the curriculum with our human rights program, for all ages. We teach the children about the history of the human rights movement. We grounded our program in the universal declaration of human rights, which is borne out of the horrors of the Second World War. So we teach the children the horrors of the war, including the Holocaust. We are also teaching the kids about the unanimously adopted resolution on Holocaust remembrance, which is a 2005 UN resolution proposed by the state of Israel adopted in the General Assembly".

Holocaust classes in Gaza gained publicity a year ago, following press reports that UNRWA was starting such classes in its schools. A huge uproar succeeded those reports: UNRWA spokesman Adnan Abu Hasna told Reuters that "there is no mention of the Holocaust in the current syllabus". Ging himself was quoted in the Palestinian news agency Maan as saying: "it was inconceivable that the Palestinian students should learn about the Holocaust while Israel had eliminated everything related to Palestine from the curricula… UNRWA had no intention whatsoever of incorporating (in its curriculum any) materials or subjects against the wishes of the Palestinian society".

Ging denies vehemently the quote and says he never gave an interview to Maan on this subject. He insists that children in Gaza are taught about the Nazi concentration camps, about the Ghettos and about Auschwitz.

Such classes are tremendously important in understanding the history of the Jewish people. Moreover – in the prevalent discourse of the Middle East, where Holocaust denial is legitimate and sometimes even openly encouraged, this is indeed an achievement. I tried therefore to learn more about the students' reactions and the classes themselves. I asked Ging if someone ever visited such a class. His answer was that "anyone who comes to visit us is welcomed to go to our human rights classes".

I asked Ging again if any western journalist ever visited such a class and published his impressions. He said that Donald Macintyre from The Independent visited and published this story. But from reading the story, it is obvious that Macintyre did not visit such a class. It remains a mystery to me why Ging said that Macintyre visited such a class, and how come no journalists visited such an obvious success story of UNRWA.

Ging had very harsh words towards Israel during operation Cast Lead. He gave numerous interviews to newspapers and TV stations around the world, calling upon the international community to do all it can "to stop immediately" the violence and the killings. Here is one example for an interview to the BBC.



Since Ging said time and again during our meetings that his main concern is humanitarian and not political, and that he is not taking sides in the conflict, I asked him if he ever gave an interview to the BBC, calling upon the international community to "stop immediately" the rockets fired to Sderot or the suicide attacks in Israeli cities. He sent me two examples of such interventions: one is a speech he gave in Cleveland US in March 2009, where he said that an Israeli mother, who does not know if her child will be picked off by a rocket fired aimlessly from Gaza is a victim of terrorism. The second was an event in Kibbutz Zikim in the south of Israel, where in front of about 50 people Ging condemned the rockets being fired into Israel.

So – on the one hand we have a live interview, given to an internationally respected broadcaster, viewed by tens if not hundreds of millions of people all around the world. And on the other hand, we have two small events attended by a few dozen Israelis and Americans. That's ridiculous! There is no comparison in the content either, since I asked Ging whether he called upon the international community to "stop immediately" the violence, and there is no such call in the examples he sent me. If I were supposed to be convinced that UNRWA is a neutral a-political agency, these examples are not doing a very good job.

Another issue I discussed with Ging was repeated claims that UNRWA's beneficiaries list includes many terrorists. The US State Department is monitoring this issue, since The US is one of UNRWA's largest donors, and since taxpayers' money is not supposed to fund terror. In a State Department report sent to the US Congress in May 2009, one can read the following paragraph (page 9):

"UNRWA told us it has screened all staff, contractor, and beneficiary names against a UN Security Council list of potential terrorists and found no matches. However, the list is restricted to individuals and entities affiliated with Al-Qaida and the Taliban and thus does not specifically include major regional groups, such as Hamas and Hezbollah".

Is it possible that behind this entangled wording lays the incredible assertion that UNRWA is checking if there are Taliban members on its payroll, but not Hamas members? Ging answered the following: "UNRWA is in compliance with funding conditions of the US Foreign Assistance Act, which prohibits any direct or indirect assistance to terror groups as defined by the US. UNRWA prohibits the employment of members of Hamas or any regional group, in fact UNRWA prohibits its employees to engage through membership or otherwise in any outside activities. As part of UNRWA's efforts to ensure full transparency and accountability, UNRWA submits its entire list of staff to the Government of Israel". I asked Ging if this means the American report is wrong, but I did not get an answer. It is again a mystery to me how these two assertions can be reconciled.


During operation Cast Lead Palestinians fired at Israeli soldiers from the vicinity of UNRWA schools. When the Israeli army returned fire and civilians were hurt, Israel was harshly criticized. Why do they shoot from there in the first place?

"I condemn people who fire rockets from next to UNRWA compounds, and in fact I condemn that from everywhere else. I have huge respect for Israeli staff in the land borders who are on the front lines every day. I tell Palestinians to look at the risks that Israeli people are taking to enable passage of supply into Gaza. And who's firing rockets at them? Palestinians. And what are you doing about that is my question to the Palestinians".



De mythe van de matiging van Hamas (IMO blog)


IMO Blog, 2010

Een kennis wees me onlangs op een artikel waarin - zogenaamd heel gedocumenteerd en goed onderbouwd - wordt 'aangetoond' dat Hamas vrede wil en er prima mee te praten is. De auteur, actief in het CDA, wees op het voorstel van Hamas voor een langdurig bestand, en niet Hamas, maar Fatah zou het geweld zijn begonnen dat tot de gewelddadige coup in de Gazastrook leidde in 2007. Dat was ook helemaal geen coup want Hamas verdedigde zich terecht tegen de door het Westen opgeleide strijders van Fatah, terwijl het nobele Hamas nota bene bereid was met hen de macht te delen. Enzovoorts. Het komt overeen met wat Anja Meulenbelt op haar blog beweert over Hamas, en wat in verdunde vorm ook in de mainstream media te vinden is. De milde en kritiekloze houding tegenover Hamas was een van mijn conclusies uit het NRC onderzoek, waarin ik de berichtgeving van NRC Handelsblad over twee periodes onder de loep heb genomen. Ook de NOS is mild wat betreft Hamas: net als bij de NRC worden de ergste uitspraken nooit getoond, terwijl Hamas woordvoerders regelmatig hun kant van de zaak mogen komen uitleggen.

Een paar weken geleden liet Hamas leider Machmoud Zahar zich weer eens helemaal gaan.
Al Aqsa TV zond een toespraak uit van Hamas leider Machmoud Al Zahar waarin hij de vernietiging van de Joden voorspelt (en toejuicht) en uitlegt waarom zij van overal vandaan verdreven zijn, en ook spoedig uit Palestina zullen worden verdreven. Het is een knap staaltje antisemitische opruiing, dat zo van Joseph Goebbels afkomstig kon zijn.
Op de Dagelijkse Standaard staat een samenvatting:

Al-Zahhar lardeert zijn 'betoog' met historische voorbeelden uit Europa. Zo refereert hij aan de Jodenverdrijving uit Frankrijk in 1253, uit Groot-Brittannië in 1280 en uit Spanje in 1492. Hij vraag de huidige Fransen en de Britten waarom zij die Joden er in de Middeleeuwen ook alweer hebben uitgegooid. Hij geeft ook het antwoord: omdat zij het bloed uit de Fransen hebben gezogen, zodat er uiteindelijk geen andere weg overbleef dan de Joden eruit te gooien. Hij heeft het ook over de Jodenverdrijving uit Holland, uit 1444, waar ik eerlijk gezegd nog nooit van had gehoord en waarover ik op internet ook zo snel niet iets kon vinden.
En natuurlijk heeft hij het over Hitler (in een retorische vraag aan het 'pre-Hitler-Duitsland') en – nogal eufemistisch – de 'Jodenverdrijving' uit Duitsland in 1945. Bij dat laatste vraag je je af of dit Holocaustontkenning is, of dat de Holocaust als aanmoediging wordt beschouwd om het nog een keer te gaan doen. Al-Zahhar vertelt zijn aanhang dat het verdrijven en vernietigen van Joden historisch gezien heel normaal is (de Europeanen deden het ook al) en wat betreft Palestina slechts een kwestie van tijd is. Kortom, hij houdt de moed erin. Na zulke beelden kan niemand meer zeggen dat hij het niet geweten heeft..."

Hij eindigt zijn tirade met:
"You have no place among the nations of the world and are headed for annihilation."
(klik hier voor de clip)

Dat weten de Joden dan ook weer. En nu maar lekker slapen, de Kozakken komen vannacht heus niet, en anders zal God ons wel beschermen, of niet. Ik bedoel, als ik zulke dingen lees dan denk ik meteen: 'gelukkig dat jullie dit niet meer zo makkelijk kunnen uitvoeren, want de Joden hebben nu een staat en militaire macht.' Maar beiden worden algemeen ter discussie gesteld door het denkende deel der natie en vooral het links denkende deel der natie. Israël mag geen geweld gebruiken tegen Hamas maar moet ermee praten, en moet er begrip voor hebben dat mensen 'uit wanhoop' raketten afschieten en aanslagen voorbereiden. Aanslagen die dankzij de 'illegale apartheidsmuur' en de 'dagelijkse razzia's van het Israëlische leger' (formulering van Stop de Bezetting) van honderden per jaar tot bijna nul zijn teruggebracht.

In een paginagrote advertentie riepen honderden prominenten vorig jaar op om te praten met Hamas.

Om via onderhandelingen een eind aan het conflict mogelijk te maken, moet de Europese Unie zonder voorwaarden het gesprek aangaan met alle partijen in het conflict, inclusief Hamas. Een toekomstig vredesakkoord is alleen mogelijk als het tot een verzoening komt tussen de Palestijnse organisaties en als alle Palestijnse partijen bij het vredesproces betrokken worden.
Het huidige Europese beleid om Hamas – ondanks het mandaat dat de organisatie kreeg van de Palestijnse kiezers - uit te sluiten van het politieke proces heeft er mede toe geleid dat er een gewelddadig conflict uitbrak tussen Hamas en Fatah en dat de bevolking van Gaza collectief door een blokkade werd gestraft. Het is tijd dat de Nederlandse regering en de Europese Unie hun steun uitspreken voor een dialoog met alle partijen in het conflict, inclusief Hamas, zodat een alomvattend vredesproces mogelijk wordt.

Aldus de advertentie. Het initiatief kwam van onder andere EAJG, bekend van haar nazi vergelijkingen, waarbij de Israëli's de nazi's zijn en de Palestijnen de verzetsstrijders. De idee dat de gewelddadige coup van Hamas werd veroorzaakt door haar uitsluiting, en dat niet Hamas, maar de Westerse boycot, verantwoordelijk is voor het geweld en voor de Israëlische blokkade, is absurd. Het is bijna gênant om te zien hoeveel intelligente mensen hun handtekening onder deze nonsens hebben gezet. De rivaliteit en strijd tussen Fatah en Hamas is oud en ingegeven door onder andere clan rivaliteiten en een totaal andere benadering van met name de religie. Al in de jaren 30 vielen de leden van de radikale Husseini clan rivaliserende clans aan en doodden duizenden leden van de Nashashibi en Nusseibeh clans. Arafat fungeerde later een beetje als een bindende figuur, maar na zijn dood is de strijd tussen Fatah en Hamas opgelaaid.

Het moge duidelijk zijn dat het Westerse beleid tegenover Hamas niet erg succesvol is, maar of dat door de boycot komt is een andere vraag. Het argument van de voorstanders van een dialoog met Hamas is, dat als je Hamas erbij betrekt en serieus neemt, ze zich vanzelf (nog verder) zullen matigen. Je kunt nou eenmaal zo'n groot deel van de Palestijnse bevolking niet uitsluiten, ze hebben immers in democratische verkiezingen voor Hamas gestemd. Echter, peiling na peiling laat sinds enkele jaren zien dat Hamas' populariteit tanende is, en zij ver achterblijft bij Fatah. Dit geldt zowel voor de Westoever als de Gazastrook. Bovendien is er geen enkele aanwijzing dat ze zich hebben gematigd sinds ze in de regering zitten, zoals veelvuldig wordt beweerd. De voorstellen voor een langdurig bestand dateren al uit de jaren '90, maar telkens werden daaraan totaal irreële voorwaarden gesteld, zoals een volledige Israëlische terugtrekking uit de Westoever en Oost Jeruzalem en de terugkeer van alle vluchtelingen en hun nakomelingen. Gedurende de tien of twintig jaar van het bestand kan Hamas zich voorbereiden op de toekomstige strijd, die men vanuit de heuvels van de Westoever en Oost Jeruzalem op veel gunstigere voorwaarden kan voeren dan vanuit het piepkleine Gaza.

Bovendien is de boycot vanaf het begin niet serieus en consequent uitgevoerd. Allerlei landen, ook buiten de Arabische wereld, zoals Rusland, Noorwegen en Zwitserland, en allerlei politici en organisaties hebben zich er niet veel van aangetrokken en voerden op verschillende niveaus gesprekken met Hamas. Die gesprekken hebben haar legitimiteit en haar machtspositie in Gaza aanzienlijk versterkt. De felle en veelgehoorde kritiek op de boycot, veelal ook door 'deskundigen' en allerhande organisaties die zich met het conflict en internationale diplomatie bezighouden, heeft dit eveneens versterkt. Hamas is in feite nooit echt geïsoleerd geweest, en wist daardoor dat zij de aan haar gestelde eisen (erkenning, stoppen met geweld etc.) kon negeren zonder dat dit serieuze consequenties had. De felle en eenzijdige kritiek op de blokkade van Gaza en het negeren van de grootschalige wapensmokkel hebben Hamas ook in de kaart gespeeld. Hamas weet dat wanneer Israël bij een legeroperatie ook burgers dood, zij internationaal onder zwaar vuur komt te liggen, en maakt daar handig gebruik van. Tijdens de Gaza Oorlog werd het feit dat Hamas continu vanuit burgergebied opereerde, en raketten afschoot vanuit tuinen en ze opsloeg in moskeeën nauwelijks bekritiseerd en door de VN zelfs glashard ontkend. Alle aandacht ging naar het 'disproportionele geweld' van Israël.

Eveneens verbluffend is hoe de media en weldenkend Nederland alle uitspraken als bovenstaande van Hamas leiders weten te negeren en zo een mythe in stand houden van een organisatie die pragmatisch is geworden en slechts tegen de bezetting strijdt. Dat is het beeld dat Hamas van zichzelf naar het Westen toe probeert te portretteren, zoals uit dit artikel blijkt:

Hamas, of course, has been carefully nurturing an image of moderation and pragmatism - an image that is happily believed by the likes of Jimmy Carter and Stephen Walt and MJ Rosenberg. Hamas works assiduously to place moderate-sounding op-eds in major newspapers, all to feed the wishful thinking of leftist wishful thinking and latent anti-Zionism.

Explicit anti-semitism is not on Hamas' current agenda.

So, Palestine Press Agency reports, Zahar received an urgent memo from Hamas' Damascus leadership rebuking him for his impolitic statements.

The memo stated "that the efforts of the Hamas leadership in Damascus with the West and Europe have been opening up new political avenues, and we must preserve them." The memo said that he has to stay away from words like "Jews" and instead use words like "the occupation" - which is exactly what Hamas normally does, even when referring to Israel within the 1949 armistice lines.

The Damascus leaders emphasized that Gaza leaders should not talk about extermination and annihilation of Jews, or uprooting of Jews from the land of Palestine. Instead, those terms should be replaced by saying that they are seeking to liberate the occupied Palestinian territories, and the removal of the Zionist occupation of our land, and to emphasize to Americans that "our hostility is not for the Jews or Judaism, but those who have occupied our land."

Meestal houdt Hamas zich aan deze regels, vooral wanneer men met Westerse media of leiders praat, maar er glipt weleens wat tussendoor. Onderling heeft men het waarschijnlijk vaak over Joden en hoe erg zij zijn, en daar ziet men ook helemaal geen probleem in. Dat het niet de eerste keer is dat Zahar of andere leiders zich op een dergelijke manier uitlaten, moge duidelijk zijn, maar hier nog even een paar voorbeelden:

Op een conferentie samen met Sjeik Yousef Al -Qaradhawi zei Hamas leider Khaled Meshaal het volgende (uitgezonden op Al Jazeera TV op 16 juli 2007):

"I want to make it clear to the West and to the German people, which is still being blackmailed because of what Nazism did to the Zionists, or to the Jews. I say that what Israel did to the Palestinian people is many times worse than what Nazism did to the Jews, and there is exaggeration, which has become obsolete, regarding the issue of the Holocaust. We do not deny the facts, but we will not give in to extortion by exaggeration. As for the Zionist holocaust against the Palestinian people, and against the peoples of the Arab and Islamic nation - this is a holocaust that is being perpetrated in broad daylight, with the coverage of the media of globalization. Nobody can deny it or claim that it is being exaggerated."

Hamas vertegenwoordiger Osama Hamdan zei in augustus 2007 in een interview:

"We are making the preparations for a confrontation. This is not because we need to be prepared for an Israeli act of aggression – after all, aggression is intrinsic to this entity – but because the final goal of the resistance is to wipe this entity off the face of the Earth. This goal necessitates the development of the capabilities of the resistance, until this entity is wiped out."

Op het Hamas TV station Al Aqsa TV worden de meest walgelijke dingen over Joden gezegd, opgeroepen hen te doden en de Holocaust ontkend dan wel geminimaliseerd. In het handvest van Hamas zijn ook diverse klassieke antisemitische thema's terug te vinden zoals de Joodse almacht en hun overheersing van Westerse regeringen, banken etc. waarbij expliciet naar de Protocollen van de Wijzen van Zion wordt verwezen. Bovendien wordt de Hadith aangehaald die zegt dat alle Joden moeten worden gedood voordat het einde der tijden kan aanbreken.

Kortom: er is geen spoor van wat voor matiging dan ook, en Israël heeft alle reden Hamas als een zeer gevaarlijke organisatie te beschouwen, die verslagen moet worden voordat een rechtvaardige vrede een kans kan krijgen.

Ratna Pelle

woensdag 17 november 2010

Hamas in Damascus tegen Al-Zahar: zeg 'bezetting' als je 'Joden' bedoelt

Radikale uitspraken zoals onlangs van Hamas leider Machmoud Zahar die tegenover een menigte verkondigde dat de Joden al hun vervolgingen aan zichzelf te wijten hadden, en ze ook weldra uit Palestina verdreven zouden worden, worden steevast genegeerd door de media, journalisten, politici (behalve islamofoben die dit voor hun eigen politieke doel gebruiken) en zogenaamde en zelfbenoemde vredes- en mensenrechtenactivisten.
Men beweert vaak en graag dat Hamas zich heeft gematigd en er wel vrede mee valt te sluiten, mits Israel de bezetting maar zou beëindigen. Daarbij verwijst men naar uitspraken van Hamas leiders gedaan in interviews met Westerse journalisten, waarin die leiders zeggen tegen de 'illegale bezetting' te strijden en niks tegen Joden te hebben, men is slechts tegen de zionisten. Zo horen wij Westerlingen het graag en dat past in ons plaatje van de Palestijnen als de onderdrukten en vrijheidsstrijders en Israel als de koloniale supermacht.
Nadat Zahar zijn gehoor had verteld dat de Joden hun ondergang tegemoet gingen, werd hij dan ook door het Hamas leiderschap in Damascus op de vingers getikt:
The memo stated "that the efforts of the Hamas leadership in Damascus with the West and Europe have been opening up new political avenues, and we must preserve them." The memo said that he has to stay away from words like "Jews" and instead use words like "the occupation" - which is exactly what Hamas normally does, even when referring to Israel within the 1949 armistice lines.


Hamas/Damascus rebukes Zahar for using the word "Jews"

A couple of weeks ago, Mahmoud Zahar - the supposedly moderate and pragmatic Hamas leader in Gaza - let his mask slip as he spouted anti-semitic rhetoric, saying that Jews have been expelled from all the countries they've been in because of their "crimes" and they will be expelled from Palestine as well.

Hamas, of course, has been carefully nurturing an image of moderation and pragmatism - an image that is happily believed by the likes of Jimmy Carter and Stephen Walt and MJ Rosenberg. Hamas works assiduously to place moderate-sounding op-eds in major newspapers, all to feed the wishful thinking of leftist wishful thinking and latent anti-Zionism.

Explicit anti-semitism is not on Hamas' current agenda.

So, Palestine Press Agency reports, Zahar received an urgent memo from Hamas' Damascus leadership rebuking him for his impolitic statements.

The memo stated "that the efforts of the Hamas leadership in Damascus with the West and Europe have been opening up new political avenues, and we must preserve them." The memo said that he has to stay away from words like "Jews" and instead use words like "the occupation" - which is exactly what Hamas normally does, even when referring to Israel within the 1949 armistice lines.

The Damascus leaders emphasized that Gaza leaders should not talk about extermination and annihilation of Jews, or uprooting of Jews from the land of Palestine. Instead, those terms should be replaced by saying that they are seeking to liberate the occupied Palestinian territories, and the removal of the Zionist occupation of our land, and to emphasize to Americans that "our hostility is not for the Jews or Judaism, but those who have occupied our land."

Of course, Zahar's statements were exactly in line with what is written in Hamas' charter which is rather explicit concerning Jews.

For our struggle against the Jews is extremely wide-ranging and grave, so much so that it will need all the loyal efforts we can wield, to be followed by further steps and reinforced by successive battalions from the multifarious Arab and Islamic world, until the enemies are defeated and Allah's victory prevails.

Hamas has been looking forward to implement Allah's promise whatever time it might take. The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him! This will not apply to the Gharqad, which is a Jewish tree

When our enemies usurp some Islamic lands, Jihad becomes a duty binding on all Muslims. In order to face the usurpation of Palestine by the Jews, we have no escape from raising the banner of Jihad. This would require the propagation of Islamic consciousness among the masses on all local, Arab and Islamic levels. We must spread the spirit of Jihad among the [Islamic] Umma, clash with the enemies and join the ranks of the Jihad fighters.

The Nazism of the Jews does not skip women and children, it scares everyone. They make war against people's livelihood, plunder their moneys and threaten their honor. In their horrible actions they mistreat people like the most horrendous war criminals.

We cannot fail to remind every Muslim that when the Jews occupied Holy Jerusalem in 1967 and stood at the doorstep of the Blessed Aqsa Mosque, they shouted with joy: "Muhammad is dead, he left daughters behind." Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population, defies Islam and the Muslims. "Let the eyes of the cowards not fall asleep."