zaterdag 4 december 2010

Nederland schiet brandend Israel te hulp met blushelikopters

Nieuws ontwikkelt snel in tijden van crisis. Naar ik vernam uit welingelichte kringen waren vrienden van Israel vrijdagmiddag nog druk bezig om een oproep aan de Nederlandse regering te formuleren, toen bleek dat al was besloten om 4 blushelikopters te sturen. Nou ja, al? Vrijdagmorgen was al hulp uit zeker 5 andere landen in Israel aangekomen, en meer toegezegd. De Nederlandse bijdrage zal pas maandag aankomen; pessimisten vrezen dat ze dan nog hard nodig is...

Nederland schiet brandend Israel te hulp

vr 03-12-2010

Het Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken komt Israel te hulp met blusapparatuur en manschappen. Dit gebeurt in samenwerking met het Ministerie van Defensie. Sinds gisteren zijn er contacten tussen de Nederlandse en Israelische regering over steun bij het bestrijden van de ernstige bosbrand die de omgeving van Haifa momenteel treft. Daarbij zijn al meer dan 40 personen omgekomen. Meer dan 20.000 personen werden geëvacueerd.

De Universiteit van Haifa is ontruimd en kan als de brand niet wordt gestopt in vlammen opgaan. Vele landen in de buurt zijn Israel al te hulp geschoten. Ook Turkije, waarmee Israel een gespannen relatie onderhoudt. Palestijnse brandweermannen helpen mee het vuur te bestrijden.

Nederland stuurt vier blushelikopters van de luchtmacht naar Israël. De ministers Uri Rosenthal (Buitenlandse Zaken) en Hans Hillen (Defensie) hebben dat vrijdag besloten.

De transporthelikopters van het type Cougar en Chinook vertrekken zaterdag naar Israël, waar ze naar verwachting maandag aankomen. Onder de helikopters worden flexibele watercontainers gehangen. De 'fire bucket' van de Cougar bevat 2.500 liter water, die van de Chinook bijna 10.000 liter. Er gaan drie Cougars en een Chinook naar Israël, aldus Defensie.


Brief van een Israelische oorlogsmisdadiger in Gaza

De meeste Israelische soldaten in de Gaza Oorlog deden niet meer en niet minder dan hun plicht, met als doel de Qassam-terreur uit de Gazastrook een halt toe te roepen. Daarin zijn ze grotendeels geslaagd, want nadien werd het een heel stuk rustiger in Sderot en andere Israelische plaatsen aan de Gaza grens. Mijn indruk is dat de IDF zich behoorlijk inspande om Palestijnse burgerslachtoffers te vermijden, maar dit is vrijwel niet te voorkomen in een ongelijke strijd tegen een onzichtbare vijand in een dichtbevolkt gebied. En er zijn altijd soldaten bij die minder scrupules hebben; de vraag is of daartegen afdoende maatregelen worden genomen..
Site exposes IDF 'war criminals'  / Shanni Gurkevitch
Website reveals details of hundreds of Israeli soldiers it claims took part in Gaza war. 'I stand by everything I did in Operation Cast Lead, and I have nothing to be ashamed of,' says First Sergeant (res.) Ziv Danieli, one of toops included on list
Full story
Letter from a war criminal,7340,L-3987565,00.html

Op-ed: IDF reservist who served in Gaza war writes to person behind 'list of war criminals'

Yoav Keren

Published: 11.21.10, 19:12

To be honest, I was a little insulted. I looked for myself on the list of 200 Operation Cast Lead war criminals published online last week but didn't find what I was looking for. I performed almost a month of reserve duty during the operation, yet nothing; no mention. Not even a small one.

Even a low-ranking female soldier got to enter the list of war criminals, and was even graced with a Facebook photo in civilian clothing, engaged in yoga. Not to mention those pilots; finally we could see their faces (and also their addresses and military ID numbers)

As it turns out, the Israeli who produced the list – and there is almost no doubt it's an Israeli, who is intimately familiar with the IDF – did not do a particularly thorough job. In any case, he missed me.

I served in the Gaza Division war room for 26 days and saw everything in real time. I saw how every time we had to curb Qassam fire from populated areas, officials considered it seven times and meticulously calculated the firing range and angle, as not to hurt civilians by mistake.

I also saw how, to be on the safe side, the army consulted with its legal advisor and with a representative of the Coordination and Liaison Administration who were regularly deployed in the war room.

I saw the great seriousness in addressing a water pipe that burst in Rafah, and the kind of effort invested in order to bring food into the Strip and allow ambulances to evacuate wounded Palestinians from the war zone.

I also participated in assessment sessions with the division commander; a major part of them pertained to humanitarian issues.

I walked around Sderot, which looked like a ghost town after sustaining dozens of Qassam rockets, and I also saw the Grad missiles making their way to Ashkelon without anybody being able to stop them. Believe me, it's not a heart-warming sight.

I'm no longer afraid

In short, I was there, and according to the twisted standards of the various list producers this apparently turns me into a war criminal as well.

Here's a small confession: In the wake of Operation Cast Lead, I was thinking of posting photographs from my reserve service on my Facebook page. I'm not talking about photos alongside Palestinian detainees, heaven forbid; just regular images of me sitting with the guys at the division's canteen. I didn't do it because I was afraid that one day, when I travel abroad, these photos may incriminate me.

Yet I'm no longer afraid, because I realized that I'm in good company. Not only the army chief and Southern Command chief and Air Force chief, but also anyone who serves in the IDF is by definition a war criminal apparently. And as any soldier who walks the streets in uniform may find himself in one blacklist or another, even if he serves as a cook in an Air Force munitions base, I have no reason to hide.

So for the benefit of the producer of the abovementioned list: My name is Yoav Keren, I'm a reserve major, and my personal ID number is 5030397. You can find out my address on your own. So the next time you update the list of war criminals, you can add me too. But if you use a photo from Facebook, at least make sure it's a good one.


Gaza expositie in moderne kunst museum Parijs om Israel zwart te maken

Soms heeft actievoeren wel degelijk effect, en dringt een ander geluid door bij de organisatoren van anti-Israel evenementen. Hieronder een mooi voorbeeld van een protest tegen een fototentoonstelling over Gaza waarin Israel met de nazi's werd vergeleken.
Dit bericht is al een paar weken oud, en het zou interessant zijn te weten of en hoe de expositie nadien is hervat?

Paris museum suspends Israel-bashing exhibit

I mentioned on November 10th that the Museum of Modern Art in Paris was showing an "award winning" collection of photos from the Gaza Strip meant to bash Israel. Not only were the photos biased, but the very rules of the award were created for a single purpose - to compare Israel to Nazis.

Last Sunday, a group of Zionists mobilized on Facebook to create a unique counter-protest.

In the words of the leader of the group, Jean-Patrick Grumberg:

With the active support of members of the Europe-Israel group, volunteers recruited on Facebook, and members of the JDL, leaflets was distributed on Sunday 21 November, before the exhibition opened.

The flyer was a perfectly neutral, and could not be construed as an attack. Photos, taken from Palestinian sites, with this title: "Disturbing Gaza photos." Thus, we followed the logic of the show: the audience was invited to see for themselves that there is another truth, in Gaza.

My goal was to restore some balance. To inform the public, and show this side of Gaza hidden by the media. The result was well above our expectations.

The administration of the museum became trapped by its ignorance - or complicity, we will probably never know - revealed by this leaflet. The photos revealed that they became the purveyors of propaganda disguised as art exhibition, as was revealed by our photos.

Consequence: the museum's management has decided, on Sunday 21 November, to close the exhibition for a period of one week.

The team of volunteers distributing the flyers suffered - how strange - Judeophobic and Israélophobic insults: the truth revealed in the leaflets, I must admit, is a rare attack, because nothing and nobody can challenge the images - the pro-Palestinians know only too well.

The expo is not definitively closed, and we already expect the usual reactions of propaganda specialists.
This is a brilliant example of how pro-Israel activism should work.

(h/t EoL)

vrijdag 3 december 2010

Geef aan de slachtoffers van de bosbrand in Israel


41 doden - meer dan 5.000 hectare verwoest
meer dan 14.000 geëvacueerden

De Collectieve Israel Actie en Keren Hayesod
roepen u op om bij te dragen
aan de hulp aan de slachtoffers van de
grootste natuurramp in de geschiedenis van Israël.

Terwijl de Staat Israël de grootste natuurramp in haar geschiedenis meemaakt, heeft The Jewish Agency (partner van Keren Hayesod en de Collectieve Israel Actie) In nauw overleg met de betrokken autoriteiten besloten om onmiddellijke hulp te bieden in de vorm van:
a.. Ondersteuning van de duizenden families die zijn geëvacueerd
b.. Het organiseren van activiteiten voor duizenden geëvacueerde kinderen, die tijdens hun Chanoeka-vakantie hun huis moesten ontvluchten
c.. Onmiddellijke hulp en ondersteuning aan brandweerlieden
d.. Het opzetten van een steunfonds voor familieleden van slachtoffers

Uw bijdrage is nu hard nodig.
Geef met uw hart.

Giro 77 77 77
t.n.v. Collectieve Israel Actie
o.v.v. 'Brand in de Carmel'

Stuur aub dit bericht door aan zoveel mogelijk mensen in uw netwerk

Buitenlandse hulp van (bijna) alle kanten tegen bosbrand Israel

Twee berichten van de roemruchte Elder of Ziyon over de bosbrand bij Haifa, die al tientallen mensenlevens heeft gekost en niet alleen rampzalig is voor de natuurgebieden daar, maar ook Haifa zelf bedreigd en omliggende dorpen. Behalve het bos spuwt ook de Islamitische Jihad vuur, even negerend hoeveel Arabieren en Druzen in de directe omgeving van de brand wonen. Maar die worden natuurlijk graag tot onvrijwillige 'martelaars' in de strijd tegen het 'zionistische monster' verklaard.
From YNet:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, along with other world leaders for sending planes and firefighting equipment to Israel in order to assist the battle against the blaze consuming its northern region.

Netanyahu spoke at a special Cabinet meeting called in the wake of flailing efforts to extinguish the flames. Netanyahu also thanked other world leaders, including Bulgaria's prime minister and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who sent "a very large Russian plane, perhaps the largest of its kind in the world"

"The plane is on its way here, and will arrive in the afternoon," Netanyahu said, also thanking Egypt, Azerbaijan, Spain, Croatia, France, and Jordan for their offers. "I think this constitutes an unprecedented response to our appeal for international aid," he added.
Hurriyet Daily News (Turkey) adds:
Putting aside recent tensions to lend a hand, 10 Turkish rescue personnel and two airplanes carrying firefighting equipment arrived at the Ramat David airbase in Haifa at 10.30 a.m. Friday, Anatolia news agency reported. The planes are aiding firefighting efforts in coordination with Israeli authorities.

Israeli officials said some 100 firefighters from Bulgaria have arrived as well as forces from Jordan and Greece. Fire extinguishing planes were on their way from Britain and Cyprus as well as aid from the United States, Russia, Egypt, Spain, Azerbaijan and Romania.
Commenter Yerushalimey muses:
I wonder, if Israel was not known for sending aid to crises all over the world, if less foreign assistance would be forthcoming. Honestly, I am surprised and grateful we are receiving ANY assistance.
It is indeed one of the small slivers of good news from this disaster.

And while Palestine Press Agency says that Palestinian Authority civil defense personnel are also being sent to help, and there are reports that Jordan as sent aid as well, other Palestinian Arabs are not so thrilled at the idea of Arabs helping Israel.

Palestine Today, which is aligned with Islamic Jihad, has an op-ed slamming any Arab governments who offer to help Israel deal with this crisis.
Our advice to the kind-hearted Arab countries is to think carefully before venturing to help [the Zionist] entity, which flows into lava for day and night on our unarmed people, whether in the occupied West Bank or Gaza Strip. Here we have to tell you how happy our Palestinian people are at the killing 40 Zionist wardens burned to death.

The assistance to the entity is not a crime but treason to the blood of all the martyrs, and therefore assure them, that many lessons will be learned from this "divine fire", and the lesson that the most prominent in the demise of this entity is no more a matter of time.
From JPost:
Coastal District Police Commander Roni Attia said Friday that two arson suspects were apprehended in the North, near Kiryat Bialik.

The suspects were allegedly attempting to rekindle a fire in the forest with the use of Molotov cocktails. Police are not connecting the arsonists at this stage to the massive fires in the Carmel and Atlit but rather to the fire which broke out earlier at the Tzur Shalom area of Kiryat Bialik.

Attia added that arson is suspected in a number of separate fires, including Kiryat Bialik and Kiryat Tivon.

Earlier on Friday, police found a bike, a bag, and a wig inside near a fire center in Tzur Shalom, leading them to believe that the fire was caused by an arsonist or arsonists.

Police Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told the Post that there are 3 fire centers - Tzur Shalom, the Atlit - Tirat Hacarmel area, and the Carmel hillsides. In one, Tzur Shalom, north of Haifa, "we located suspicious items pointing to arson. As for the other two major fires, it is too early and the incidents are to large in scale to know their causes at this stage." The death toll in the fires rose to 42 on Friday, according to Army Radio.
Now, who would want to do something like that?

Could it be the types of people who celebrate it?

(h/t Israel Matzav)

UPDATE: Commenter Jed says
Update from Israeli TV:
Fire investigator says fire source was from burning garbage.
Suspicion that more fires set up by gang, 2 suspects from Daliat el Carmel arrested by police.

Grote bosbrand op Karmelberg toont aan dat Israel slecht voorbereid is op grote rampen

Terwijl het vuur nog in volle hevigheid woedt, is de discussie over hoe dit kon gebeuren en waarom men niet beter voorbereid was, al losgebarsten. Naast Haaretz wijst ook de Jerusalem Post erop dat de brandweer de afgelopen jaren was verwaarloosd en daar zelf al meermaals voor had gewaarschuwd.
Onderstaande analyse gaat verder, en wijst al concrete verantwoordelijken aan zoals de minister van binnenlandse zaken Eli Yishai. Ik vraag mij of het gepast is zo snel al schuldigen aan te wijzen of conclusies te trekken over toekomstige oorlogen, maar Israeli's zijn een ongeduldig volk met het hart op de tong.
Het is hartverwarmend te zien dat verschillende landen, waaronder ook Turkije, Egypte en Jordanië, hun hulp hebben aangeboden.
Zoals wel vaker wens ik Israel wat van ons natte weer toe en ons wat van dat van Israel, waar men de heetste novembermaand in 60 jaar had. Daar zouden we immers beide beter van worden.

Massive fire proves Israel can't afford war with Iran

Just like Israel's army in the 1973 Yom Kippur war, the emergency services were wholly unprepared to handle a shock on this scale.
By Aluf Benn

The enormous blaze that broke out on the Carmel will be remembered as the Yom Kippur War of the Fire and Rescue Service, who were not prepared to counter a disaster of such magnitude.

Yesterday it turned out that Israel is not prepared for war or a mass terrorist strike that would cause many casualties in the home front. The warning of the outgoing Military Intelligence Chief, Amos Yadlin, that the next war will be a lot more difficult than past experiences, and that Tel Aviv will be a front line, was not translated into the necessary preparation by the authorities assigned the protection of the civilians.

Under such circumstances, it is best for Israel not to embark on war against Iran, which will involve thousands of missiles being fired on the home front.

After the Second Lebanon War, which exposed how pathetic the civil defense system was, reports were written, exercises were held, but everything broke down under the stress of a real emergency on the Carmel range − an area that already experienced the trauma of Hezbollah missiles.

Yesterday Israel asked for help from Cyprus and Greece, and the air force traveled to France to bring fire retardants to make up for the material that had run out. In war time, it is doubtful whether Israel will be able to rely on the generosity and largess of its neighbors.

Responsibility for the home front is currently divided among three ministries: the Home Front Command and the National Emergency Authority, who are answerable to the Defense Ministry; the police, which is part of the Ministry of Public Security; and the Fire and Rescue Command, which belongs to the Interior Ministry.

Interior Minister Eli Yishai, who is responsible for the firemen and the head of the Fire and Rescue Services, Shimon Romah, were nowhere to be found yesterday. They are obvious candidates for losing their jobs as a result of the disaster.

Each ministry has its own bureaucratic dynamic, and ability to raise funds for equipment and human resources. The firemen are at the bottom of the pile, and have for years struggled to get more resources.

A year ago the firemen went on strike and warned that the system is far from being able to provide for defending the population. According to the firemen's association, the international standards require one fireman for every 1,000 citizens, and in Israel the ratio is nearly one in 10,000. Over and over the firemen warned that they can't shoulder the responsibility they are given.

Funding authorized several weeks ago was meant to head-off criticism in a State Comptroller report on the state of the fire departments.

In similar circumstance in the past, organizations that were found lacking were later bolstered with enormous resources. This is what happened to Military Intelligence and the air force following their failures during the Yom Kippur War. This will probably also happen to the Fire and Rescue Services.

Jacht geopend op Arjan El Fassed van Electronic Intifada - GroenLinks?

Arjan El Fassed heeft vele petten gedragen. Hij was o.a. mede-oprichter van de Palestijnse "hasbara" website Electronic Intifada, en vervulde functies bij diverse andere Palestijnse organisaties zoals Al-Awda, dat zich inzet voor de 'terugkeer' van Palestijnse vluchtelingen naar Israel, en LAW, dat juridisch advies gaf aan de PLO; daarnaast had hij posities bij OXFAM-Novib en ICCO, en sinds de verkiezingen van juni jl. zit hij in de Tweede Kamer voor GroenLinks.
Opvallend is dat ICCO subsidie geeft aan Electronic Intifada (liefst eenderde van EI's budget), overigens al een aantal jaren -maar na El Fasseds tijd bij ICCO-, wat recentelijk voor enige ophef zorgt nadat de pro-Israel 'waakhond' NGO Monitor dit bij minister Uri Rosenthal heeft aangekaart, en deze zich daar 'not amused' over heeft betoond. (Of was het eigenlijk de Jerusalem Post die Rosenthal wakker schudde, dat is niet helemaal duidelijk uit de berichten?)
Het heeft allemaal de schijn van één grote pot onwelriekend nat, want OXFAM-Novib subsidiëert weer de propaganda van Een Ander Joods Geluid, dat ongeveer op dezelfde lijn zit als Electronic Intifada, en ICCO en OXFAM-Novib zijn samen ook 2 van de moederorganisaties van United Civilians for Peace, dat ondanks haar naam al even eenzijdig aktievoert tegen Israel. In hun aktiviteiten trekken deze clubs ook regelmatig samen op en met GroenLinks en het Palestina Komitee en Stop de Bezetting, naar wie af en toe ook wat subsidiecenten worden doorgesluist.
ICCO en OXFAM-Novib doen veel goed werk in ontwikkelingslanden en hebben een officiële status bij de Nederlandse overheid als medefinancieringsorganisaties, wat inhoudt dat ze flinke potten (belasting)geld krijgen van de overheid om de derde wereld mee te steunen, en ze mogen ook in Nederland wat voorlichtingswerk doen daarmee. Buiten deze geldpotten hebben ze nog wat andere inkomsten, met name van donateurs die dit goede werk willen steunen en ook van de Postcodeloterij.
Als de regering (lees: Rosenthal) nu gaat zeggen dat ze het subsidiegeld niet mogen gebruiken voor de politieke propaganda van Electronic Intifada, levert dat waarschijnlijk geen grote problemen op, want ICCO kan op papier wat met potjes schuiven (zoals inmiddels op hun website aangekondigd) en voila: Electronic Intifada wordt dan gewoon uit de donaties gefinancierd.
Ik vraag me alleen af of alle donateurs daar blij mee zijn, die bij ontwikkelingshulp toch eerder zullen denken aan hongerige negerkindertjes en aan Max Havelaar koffie, en niet aan opruiing tegen de enige Joodse staat.
De rechtse en libertaire blogosfeer richt nu haar pijlen op Arjan El Fassed, zoals De Dagelijkse Standaard, Het Vrije Volk en Keesjemaduraatje, en zit alle mogelijke oude details over zijn doen en laten op te diepen, vooral via internet. Dit wordt in één moeite door door sommigen aangegrepen om tegen de linkse kerk en de subsidiecultuur voor linkse hobbies aan te trappen, en ik kan me moeilijk aan de indruk onttrekken dat sommigen tevens uit zijn op revanche voor de recentelijk in opspraak geraakte PVV kamerleden.
Hoeveel van de aantijgingen en verdachtmakingen tegen El Fasseds persoon beklijven of bewezen kunnen worden, moet ik nog zien. Sommige lijken overtuigender dan andere.
Ik ontbeer de tijd voor een grondig onderzoek en dito artikel, maar ik zou liever zien dat meer op de zaak werd ingegaan, nl. wat EI, ICCO, UCP en trawanten allemaal beweren op hun websites. Ik heb wat pdf-jes bekeken over het Midden-Oosten conflict op de sites van ICCO en UCP en enkele artikelen op IE, en ik was vrij verbluft over de ontstellende en schaamteloze eenzijdigheid, vooral bij wat zich "vredes"- en "ontwikkelings"organisaties noemen....

donderdag 2 december 2010

Netanjahoe positief over WikiLeaks, dan moet het wel een zionistisch complot zijn

Het feit dat Netanjahoe zei blij te zijn met de Wikileaks is volgens sommigen wel erg verdacht. Men had uiteraard verwacht dat de Wikileaks ook over Israel de nodige pikante zaken zouden onthullen, maar dat viel tegen. Over verschillende Arabische staten, Hezbollah en ook Fatah kwamen daarentegen wel interessante zaken aan het licht. En dat zint antizionisten natuurlijk helemaal niet. Vandaar dat een hooggeplaatste Turkse politieke leider alweer met de ouderwetse complot theorieën op de proppen komt: 'het is vast allemaal de schuld van Netanjahoe, de machtigste man op aarde, die alles en iedereen naar zijn hand kan zetten.'

WikiLeaks founder: Netanyahu believes exposé will aid Mideast peace

Julian Assange tells Time: Netanyahu says leaders must speak in public like they do in private; Turkey: Israel engineered WikiLeaks release.
By Haaretz Service / Published 09:58 02.12.10


WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Wednesday defended his disclosure of classified U.S. documents by singling out Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as an example of a world leader who believes the publications will aid global diplomacy.

"We can see the Israeli Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu coming out with a very interesting statement that leaders should speak in public like they do in private whenever they can," Assange told Time Magazine in an interview on Wednesday, days after his online whistleblower published thousands of secret diplomatic cables.

"He believes that the result of this publication, which makes the sentiments of many privately held beliefs public, are promising a pretty good [indecipherable] will lead to some kind of increase in the peace process in the Middle East and particularly in relation to Iran," Assange said.

"I just noticed today Iran has agreed to nuclear talks. Maybe that's coincidence or maybe it's coming out of this process, but it's certainly not being canceled by this process," he added.

Also Wednesday, a senior Turkish official blamed Israel for the WikiLeaks release. Addressing reporters, Huseyin Celik, deputy leader of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's AKP party, hinted that Israel engineered the leak of hundreds of thousands of United States diplomatic cables as a plot to pressure the Turkish government.

"One has to look at which countries are pleased with these," Celik was quoted as saying. "Israel is very pleased. Israel has been making statements for days, even before the release of these documents."

"Documents were released and they immediately said, 'Israel will not suffer from this.' How did they know that?" Celik asked.

Kristinn Hrafnsson, WikiLeaks spokesman, earlier Wednesday called the publications "perfectly legal", adding that people had a right to know what officials working on their behalf were doing. He also dismissed concern that the publication of classified U.S. communications would damage cooperation between countries.

If global stability is based on deception and lies, maybe it needs a bit of a shaking up," he told Reuters Television.

WikiLeaks has shaken the diplomatic world by publishing excerpts of more than 250,000 confidential cables in partnership with five Western newspapers, including The New York Times and The Guardian in Britain.

The disclosures have angered the United States by exposing the inner workings of U.S. diplomacy, including candid assessments of world leaders.

Grote bosbrand bij Haifa leidt tot minstens 40 doden

Het is je met de winterse kou hier moeilijk voor te stellen, maar bij Haifa woedt een hevige bosbrand waarbij al 40 mensen zijn omgekomen. Laten we hopen dat er over deze ramp niet weer allerlei indianenverhalen de ronde gaan doen in de blogosfeer en laten we hopen dat er snel regen zal vallen in het kurkdroge Israel.

40 dead as huge brushfire rages through Carmel Mountains
Netanyahu sends IDF forces to the scene as thousands of dunams in northern Israel burn down; bus evacuating some 50 prison guards flips over, gets caught in the flames.


A huge brushfire was raging across the Carmel Mountains near Haifa on Thursday afternoon, resulting in the death of some 40 people and hurting dozens of others, among them prison guards and firemen.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday instructed Defense Minister Ehud Barak to send IDF forces to the Carmel region to aid in putting out the huge brushfire.

Netanyahu also instructed Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch to send any available fire truck in Israel to the scene.

Hundreds of people were evacuated from areas around the Carmel Forest with the help of a large force of rescue workers who were called to the scene to evacuate dozens of homes and close off traffic on neighboring roads.

Thousands of dunams of natural forest were burned down and the power supply was cut off in the areas of Isfiyeh and Daliyat al-Karmel.

Prisons Service was also forced to evacuate some 500 security inmates from the Damon Prison and house them temporarily in nearby jails.

While trying to evacuate individuals from the Damon Prison, a bus with some 50 prison guards flipped over and got caught in the flames.

The villages of Isfiyeh and Beit Oron were evacuated in the early afternoon, as was the neighboring Carmel Forest Hotel and Carmel Farm, as easterly wind blew the flames across the mountain rage.

"This large fire has spread due to strong winds," Haifa District Police Deputy Superintendent Ahuva Mishne told Israel Radio. "The winds are blowing in the direction of the sea, so there is no real concern for the [nearby] villages."

WikiLeaks onthulling: Palestijnse Fatah sluit elk compromis met Israel uit

Een topgeheim dat nog niet tot de reguliere media in Nederland en tot het grote publiek is doorgedrongen....

Commentaar: WikiLeaks is soms niet nodig
30-11-2010 11:40

Dat er achter de schijnbaar logisch werkende internationale diplomatie een wereld van realisme –met alle daarbij behorende politiek incorrecte bejegeningen– schuilgaat, hoeft na de onthullingen van klokkenluidersclub WikiLeaks niemand meer te verbazen.

Soms heb je WikiLeaks echter helemaal niet nodig om tot die ontdekking te komen. Neem het congres van de Palestijnse Fatahpartij van afgelopen weekend. Daar werd eens te meer en onomwonden duidelijk wat nu werkelijk de standpunten van de Palestijnen zijn ten aanzien van het vredesproces met Israël.

Centraal stond de stelling dat elk compromis wordt uitgesloten. Dat is natuurlijk een bij voorbaat zeer helder –en tegelijkertijd onmogelijk– uitgangspunt in de onderhandelingen over een oplossing voor het Israëlisch-Palestijns conflict. Het maakt ook duidelijk dat de Palestijnen klaarblijkelijk niet echt in een oplossing geïnteresseerd zijn.

Het bleef dit weekeinde overigens niet bij het uiten van onverzettelijkheid. Statements waren er ook. Een greep: Erkenning van de „zogenaamde Joodse staat" is uitgesloten. By the way, aldus de verklaring van het Fatahcongres: Erkenning van welke „racistische staat dan ook die zich op religie baseert" wordt niet geaccepteerd. Het recht op terugkeer van 4 miljoen Palestijnse vluchtelingen is onaantastbaar. En de Klaagmuur is toch echt islamitisch eigendom, klonk het in Ramallah.

Eisen waren er ook. Met inachtneming van de Palestijnse onwil om een compromis te sluiten, moet Israël wél de grote nederzettingblokken op de Westelijke Jordaanover opgeven. Steden als Ma'aleh Adumim –met zo'n 50.000 inwoners– dienen te verdwijnen en de inwoners moeten worden verdreven.

Klare taal, dat moet worden gezegd. Maar ook taal die niemand –wederom ook zonder WikiLeaks– hoeft te verbazen. Eerder deze maand publiceerde de organisatie Israel Project de resultaten van een onderzoek onder Palestijnen in Gaza en op de Westelijke Jordaanoever naar de wenselijkheid van een Palestijnse staat. Twee derde van hen gaf aan dat hen uiteindelijk voor ogen staat dat geheel Palestina deel van een Palestijnse staat moet uitmaken.

Dat kan natuurlijk niet van de ene op de andere dag. En dus bleek uit de enquête dat 60 procent van de Palestijnen vindt dat „het échte doel moet zijn om met twee staten te beginnen om er vervolgens één Palestijnse staat van te maken."

En als dat niet lukt? Dan is 56 procent van de Palestijnen van mening dat „we opnieuw onze toevlucht tot gewapende strijd moeten nemen." Niet voor niets begon het Fatahcongres met een eerbetoon aan Amin al-Hindi, het brein achter de aanslag op Israëlische atleten tijdens de Olympische Spelen van 1972.

Duidelijkheid te over, zo lijkt het. En toch blijven de media zich richten op wat in het Witte Huis en in de kantoren van Benjamin Netanyahu en Mahmud Abbas wordt geroepen. Zonder zich te realiseren dat daarachter een geheel andere wereld schuilgaat. Voor dat besef zijn geen klokkenluiderssites nodig. Maar je moet het wel wíllen zien.


woensdag 1 december 2010

Boycot Israel campagne is moderne variant van 'Kauft nicht bei Juden'

De anti-Israellobby roept consequent op tot het boycotten van Israel, met het argument dat dit is om het ertoe aan te zetten de bezetting op te geven. In werkelijkheid erkennen de meeste boycotters Israels bestaansrecht niet, en is het hen om de delegitimatie van de staat te doen. De Apartheid analogie, die door vele voormalige anti-apartheidsactivisten reeds is bekritiseerd en onderuit gehaald, dient maar één doel: Israel als net zo fout en illegitiem neerzetten als het apartheidsbewind van Zuid-Afrika.

'Kauft nicht bei Juden' will worsen the conflict
The call to boycott Jewish commerce is Europe's oldest political appeal.
Kauft nicht bei Juden – "Don't buy from Jews" – is back. The call to boycott Jewish commerce is Europe's oldest political appeal. Once again, as the tsunami of hate against Israel rolls out from the Right and the Left, from Islamist ideologues to Europe's cultural elites, the demand is to punish the Jews. That the actions of the Israeli government are open to criticism is a fact. But what are the real arguments?

Firstly, that Israel is wrong to defy international law as an occupying force on the West Bank. But what about Turkey? It has 35,000 soldiers occupying the territory of a sovereign republic – Cyprus. Ankara has sent hundreds of thousands of settlers to colonize the ancient Greekowned lands of northern Cyprus. Turkey has been told again and again by the UN to withdraw its troops. Instead, it now also stands accused of destroying the ancient Christian churches of northern Cyprus.

Does anyone call for a boycott of Turkey, or urge companies to divest from it? No. Only the Jews are targeted.

Or take India; 500,000 Indian soldiers occupy Kashmir. According to Amnesty International, 70,000 Muslims have been killed over the past 20 years by these soldiers and security forces – a number that far exceeds the Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in the same period. But the Islamic ideologues focus on Jews, not Indians.

May we talk of the western Sahara and Morocco, or Algeria's closure of the border there, making life far worse than that of Palestinians in Ramallah or Hebron? No, better not.

Voltaire – anti-Semite that he was – should be alive today to mock the hypocrisy of the new high priests calling anathema on the heads of Jews in Israel.

Second, the desire for peace in the Middle East is a global priority. But peace requires recognition of the Jewish state of Israel. There are 40 member states of the UN which have the words "Muslim" or "Islamic" in their names. No one challenges their right to exist or defend themselves.

Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza. Its reward was to have the territory turned into a new launch pad for rockets intended to kill Jews.

More rockets have been fired at Israel from Gaza than V1 or V2 rockets at London in 1944. No one blamed Winston Churchill for responding with all the force he could, as cities like Hamburg or Dresden faced the wrath of the RAF. But if Israel takes the slightest action against the Jew-killers of Hamas, all the hate of the world falls on its head.

Third, it is hard to see how peace can be made with an Israel that so many seek to brand an "apartheid state."

I worked in the 1980s with the black trade union movement inside South Africa. We lay in ditches as the apartheid police patrolled townships hunting for political activists. I could not swim at the same beach as my wife, a French-Vietnamese, because of the racist laws. Muslims and Jews swim off the same Tel Aviv beaches. They can stay in the same hotels, be elected to the same parliament, and appeal to an independent judiciary for justice.

BY DEFINITION, an apartheid state has no right to exist. It cannot be a member of the UN. The campaign to call Israel an apartheid state is a campaign to make it a non-state. How can peace be made with a state whose opponents say should not exist?

In Britain, there are calls by journalists and professors to boycott the Israeli media or universities. But Israeli writers, journalists and professors are the main opponents of the counterproductive policies of their government. To boycott them is to hand even more power to the haredi and Russian nationalists who now control Right-wing politics in Israel.

By any standard, the attacks on media freedom, on women, on gays or on lawyers is 1,000 times worse in Iran or Saudi Arabia. There is no democracy in Syria or Libya, limited democracy in Jordan, and open anti-Semitism displayed by the Muslim Brotherhood movements in the Arab world. Is there any call to boycott these states, their journalists or professors? No. The call – rightly – is for engagement, contacts, debate and discussion. Many even argue for talks with Hamas, although its charter, with its strident anti- Semitic language, could have been written by a Nazi.

But talks with Jewish politicians, lawyers or intellectuals must be boycotted. This policy of making the Jewish citizens of Israel into objects of global hatred will only make the Middle East crisis worse. If it was directed evenly at all states which occupy and oppress territories, it might have some basis in morality. If the boycott, disinvestment and sanctions movement also called for sanctions against the new anti-Semitism of the extreme Right in Europe, it might make sense. The openly anti- Semitic Jobbik Party in Hungary parades in its fascist uniforms. Anti-Semitic politicians are elected to the European Parliament. The German politician Thilo Sarrazin can describe Jews as having "different genes" from other people. And now Europeans, of all people, once again cry Kauft nicht bei Juden.

Those who dislike Israeli rightwing policies must find other language than that of classical anti- Semitism. I am not Jewish. As a British MP, I work with thousands of Muslims in my constituency. I am more often in mosques than in churches. I am proud of my Muslim friends who are MPs, peers, municipal councillors or prominent as journaIists, lawyers, doctors and intellectuals. The 20 million European Muslims face new hates which must be combated. But there is no profit for them in joining the hate campaigns against Jews in Israel.

As Europeans we must reject the old language of boycott and economic campaigns against Jews. Israel, Palestine and Europe must all have a 21st century future, and not return to the hates of the past.

The writer, a former British Labor MP, also served as minister of state for Europe. He is the author of Globalizing Hatred: The New Anti-Semitism! (Weidenfeld and Nicolson).

Hamas premier zegt zich bij referendum over vredesakkoord Israel te zullen neerleggen

Dit staat morgen in alle kranten, wedden? Dit is natuurlijk veel belangrijker dan de uitspraken van Hamas leider Machmoud Zahar een paar weken geleden, waarin hij zei dat de Joden uit geheel 'Palestina' verdreven zouden worden, en hen ook waarschuwde dat ze hun langste tijd hadden gehad. Ook beweerde Zahar dat de Joden in Europa overal waren verdreven omdat zij zich zozeer misdroegen in de landen waar zij leefden, hun landgenoten bedrogen en belogen en alleen uit waren op eigen gewin. De media vonden deze uitspraken niet belangrijk, want zij passen niet in het beeld dat Hamas pragmatisch is geworden en er mee te praten valt. De uitspraken van Haniyeh passen wel in dat beeld, dus zullen gretig worden opgenomen in de kolommen en misschien vanavond al op het journaal. Als morgen andere Hamas leiders de woorden van Haniyeh tegenspreken zul je dat waarschijnlijk weer alleen op zionistische blogs aantreffen.
Maar is het dan geen positief nieuws? Dat valt helaas wel mee. Ten eerste heeft hij het over een referendum, en uit een onlangs gehouden enquete blijkt dat de meeste Palestijnen het hele land willen en een staat op de pre-1967 wapenstilstandslijnen slechts als een opstap daartoe zien (en daarbij is de diaspora nog niet gevraagd). Het zou goed kunnen dat dat ook de positie van Hamas is, dat zich immers altijd duidelijk tegen erkenning van Israel en vrede met Israel uitspreekt, en het hele gebied claimt. En ten derde moet het vluchtelingenprobleem wel worden opgelost, en Haniyeh heeft niet gezegd wat dat betreft tot een compromis bereid te zijn. Hamas spreekt zich consequent uit voor de 'terugkeer' van alle vijf miljoen vluchtelingen en hun nakomelingen naar Israel, en dat betekent dat er een einde komt aan de Joodse zelfbeschikking. Het is dan een kwestie van tijd voordat de naam Israel wordt aangepast, evenals vlag en volkslied.

'Hamas will honor Palestinian referendum on peace deal'

In rare Gaza press conference, Hamas PM says "We accept a Palestinian state on the borders of 1967, with J'lem as its capital, the release of Palestinian prisoners, and the resolution of the issue of refugees."
Hamas would accept the agreement of a Palestinian referendum on peace with Israel, Hamas Prime Minister Isamil Haniyeh was quoted as saying by Reuters on Wednesday.

"We accept a Palestinian state on the borders of 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital, the release of Palestinian prisoners, and the resolution of the issue of refugees," Haniyeh said.

Speaking at a rare press conference in Gaza, the Hamas leader said that his Islamist group would "respect the results (of a referendum) regardless of whether it differs with its ideology and principles." He specified that the referendum must include all Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank and the diaspora, according to the Reuters report.

Haniyeh also denied allegations that al-Qaida operates in the coastal strip and that Palestinian terrorists had planned to carry out attacks in neighboring Egypt.

He told reporters that such allegations are lies meant to prepare the ground for future IDF attacks on Gaza, and said that he had sent a reassuring letter to Egypt's intelligence chief.

VS veroordeelt Palestijnse leugens over 'niet-Joodse' Klaagmuur


"To deny the Jewish connection to the Western Wall is to be deliberately provocative and inciteful, no less so than were one to deny the Palestinian connection to the Haram al-Sharif," Berman said.

Beter laat dan nooit. Wanneer Israel militaire doelen in Gaza bombardeert nadat wekenlang tientallen raketten per dag vanuit Gaza werden afgeschoten, zijn veel landen een stuk sneller met hun veroordelingen. Waarom de VS, Israels belangrijkste bondgenoot, nu meer dan een week nodig had om dit volkomen geschifte en provocerende onderzoek te veroordelen, is me niet geheel duidelijk.
"This episode is yet another tragic reminder that the core of the conflict is what it's always been -- namely, the refusal to recognize the Jewish people's rightful presence in the region," AJC Executive Director David Harris said in a statement on Tuesday.
En daarom is het van belang dat ook de EU dit onderzoek en al die andere Palestijnse ontkenningen van Joodse rechten in de regio scherp veroordelen.

U.S. condemns Palestinian claim that Western Wall 'isn't Jewish'

'Factually incorrect, insensitive and highly provocative,' says the U.S. government in response to PA official's claim that Jerusalem site has no significance for Jews.
By Natasha Mozgovaya
Published 22:11  30.11.10

The United States on Tuesday condemned claims by a senior Palestinian official that the Western Wall of Jerusalem's Temple Mount holds no significance for Jews.

Al-Mutawakil Taha, the Palestinian Authority' deputy minister of information, had said Wednesday that the wall, regarded as Judaism's holiest site, was part of an Islamic waqf, or religious endowment, and that only "Islamic tolerance" allowed Jews to pray there.

His claims drew immediate anger in Israel, which on Tuesday was echoed by the U.S.

"We strongly condemn these comments and fully reject them as factually incorrect, insensitive and highly provocative," a U.S. State Department spokesman said.

"We have repeatedly raised with the Palestinian Authority leadership the need to consistently combat all forms of de-legitimization of Israel including denying historic Jewish connections to the land."

The chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA), also decried Taha's claim, calling it "provocative and inciteful".

"I strongly condemn the [claim] that the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem has no religious significance to Jews," Berman said.

"President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad know the spiritual importance of the Western Wall to the global Jewish community," he said, calling on Abbas to denounce Taha's report and clarify that the remarks were not the official position of the Palestinian Authority.

The Western Wall – known also as the Wailing Wall – forms one side of an earth mound on which the Jewish temple stood before its destruction by the Romans in 70CE. The mound, known to Muslims as the Haram as-Sharif or Noble Sanctuary, houses the al-Aqsa Mosque, the third-holiest site in Islam.

Currently, Muslim waqf authorities supervise the mosque compound atop the mount, while Israeli authorities administer the Wall precinct below, with Israeli security forces overseeing the entire area.

"To deny the Jewish connection to the Western Wall is to be deliberately provocative and inciteful, no less so than were one to deny the Palestinian connection to the Haram al-Sharif," Berman said.

The American Jewish Committee praised the Obama administration's response to the claim and condemned the Palestinian Authority's "denigrating the Jewish connection to the land."

"This episode is yet another tragic reminder that the core of the conflict is what it's always been -- namely, the refusal to recognize the Jewish people's rightful presence in the region," AJC Executive Director David Harris said in a statement on Tuesday.

dinsdag 30 november 2010

Minister Rosenthal boos over geldsteun ICCO aan Electronic Intifada

Afgezien van de Telegraaf hebben alle dagbladen dit nieuws genegeerd (althans volgens Google). De NOS heeft een audio-fragment erover.
Ondanks de vele dwarsverbanden en personele banden tussen milieu- en derde wereldorganisaties en linkse politici, hebben ook achtereenvolgende rechtse kabinetten steeds subsidiegelden toegekend voor milieubeleid en ontwikkelingshulp aan organisaties die politiek en ideologisch gezien mijlenver afstaan van de rechtse politiek en soms haaks staan op het regeringsbeleid.
Het partijprogramma van de PVV zegt expliciet dan subsidies aan groepen als ICCO en OXFAM-Novib (die met name genoemd worden) gestaakt dienen te worden, dus het verbaast wel dat we Geert Wilders nog niet over deze kwestie hebben gehoord. Dat is misschien een strategische keus, want Rosenthals VVD is ook al decennia gekant tegen het toekennen van overheidsgeld aan linkse politieke actiegroepen, en zal dit wellicht makkelijker kunnen veranderen zonder druk van de PVV.
Ironisch genoeg klaagt Electronic Intifada op haar website over de goede banden van groepen als Christenen voor Israel (die de Israelische nederzettingen steunt) met bijv. Maxime Verhagen, terwijl zij zelf de tweestatenoplossing als racistisch afwijst, met geld van diezelfde Nederlandse regering.
Rosenthal boos over geldsteun ICCO aan anti-Israëlclub
dinsdag 30 november 2010 17:17
Minister Uri Rosenthal (VVD, Buitenlandse Zaken) wil opheldering van de interkerkelijke ontwikkelingshulpclub ICCO, omdat de gesubsidieerde organisatie geld geeft aan anti-Israëlische actiegroepen.
Uri Rosenthal wil daarover een 'pittig gesprek' voeren met ICCO, waar Doekle Terpstra de voorzitter van de Raad van Toezicht is. 

De VVD-minister wil weten of ICCO overheidsgeld gebruikt voor de anti-Israëlische actiegroep Electronic Intifada (EI), die op haar website gekleurd nieuws levert over de Palestijnse zaak. 
ICCO zelf maakt geen geheim van haar steun aan EI. De kerkorganisatie schonk de website in de periode 2006-2009 in totaal 150.000 euro.

Groot probleem
Volgens Rosenthal staan de standpunten van Electronic Intifada 'diametraal' op die van het kabinet. Als blijkt dat ICCO inderdaad EI subsidieert, dan heeft de ontwikkelings-hulpclub 'een groot probleem met mij', stelt Rosenthal in 
The Jerusalem Post.
In het Regeerakkoord staat dat de nieuwe regering 'verder wil investeren in de band met de staat Israël'.

ICCO-topman Doekle Terpstra, tevens prominent CDA-lid, is fel tegen het regeringsbeleid van de Joodse staat, die volgens hem 'de mensenrechten en het internationaal recht grotendeels 
aan haar laars lapt'.
'Onderdrukking zit in het systeem,' zei hij na afloop van een bezoek aan de betwiste gebieden. 'Als wij Israël serieus nemen, dan moeten we de moed hebben dit land moreel hierop aan te spreken.'
GroenLinks-Kamerlid achter website
Het GroenLinks-Kamerlid Arjan El Fassed is volgens de weblog De Dagelijkse Standaard de oprichter van de anti-Israëlische website Electronic Intifada. Op de site wordt Israël onder meer vergeleken met nazi's.

Joden en Arabieren in Israel verder van elkaar verwijderd

Far from bringing the two sides closer to a genuine peace (and not just a signed document), the current peace process has served to entrench the sides in ethnic conflict for the foreseeable future, further driving a wedge between local Jews and Arabs. And the gap is only getting wider with each passing year, even as world leaders declare that they are getting ever closer to concluding a peace agreement.
Joden en Arabieren in Israel zien geen toekomst in één land, maar een strijd om dat land. Voor de Joden zijn de Arabieren Palestijnen die toevallig in Israel wonen en het liefst van Israel ook een deel van 'Palestina' maken, en Israels vijanden steunen tegen dit land, en voor de Arabieren in Israel zijn de Joden geen landgenoten maar indringers die hun land hebben afgepakt en hun broeders verjaagd.
Israel today Magazine
Jews, Arabs being driven further apart
The land-for-peace process that the international community, in cooperation with Yasser Arafat's PLO, so self-righteously and with exaggerated attention foisted upon the region was not only supposed to bring stability, but also to draw Jews and Arabs closer together in peaceful coexistence.

It has failed to accomplish either goal, and has actually had the opposite effect. The region is far more volatile today than it was 15 years ago, and according to a new poll, Jews and Arabs west of the Jordan River now can't stand to be close to one another.

Carried out by the Israel Democracy Institute, the poll asked Israeli Jews various questions regarding their Arab countrymen. The results were that 46 percent of Jews don't want to live near Arabs and 53 percent of Jews think their government should encourage local Arabs to emigrate to one of the surrounding Arab nations.

Most media coverage of the poll stopped there in order to paint Israel's Jews as racist. But the Arab respondents were equally intolerant.

Seventy percent of Israeli Arabs said they don't want to live near homosexuals (only 25 percent of Jews were opposed to living near gays), 67 percent of Arabs don't want to live near religious Jews, 65 percent of Arabs will not live near Jews who at any time lived in Judea and Samaria, and nearly half (46 percent) won't be neighbors with foreign laborers.

Just 10 years ago, the situation was not this way. While there were certain taboos on moving into ethnically-dominated neighborhoods or towns, Jews and Arabs freely entered one another's communities on a daily basis with little or no fear of prejudice or harm. In fact, it was equally as common for Jews to enter Palestinian Arab areas for a day out, and vice versa.

The results of the Israel Democracy Institute poll are representative of a broader phenomenon that is seeing Jews and Arabs retreat into their own communities have far less trust for one another. This phenomenon can only be blamed on the circumstances created by the so-called "Oslo" peace process.

With the introduction of Arafat's PLO into the region, and Arafat's belief that past terrorist activities had won him that diplomatic victory, violence against Israel's Jews increased exponentially. That naturally led to far less trust from Jews for Palestinian and even Israeli Arabs, many of whom were being taken in by Arafat's message. The resulting Israeli security measures in turn irreparably damaged the trust local Arabs had for Israeli Jews.

Far from bringing the two sides closer to a genuine peace (and not just a signed document), the current peace process has served to entrench the sides in ethnic conflict for the foreseeable future, further driving a wedge between local Jews and Arabs. And the gap is only getting wider with each passing year, even as world leaders declare that they are getting ever closer to concluding a peace agreement.

So much for the wisdom of men.


Nieuwe Turkse wet verbiedt Israeli's en Grieken grond te kopen

Hoezo racisme? Turkije glijdt steeds verder af naar een islamitische staat, waar niet-moslims tweede of derderangs burgers zijn en geen rechten hebben, en waar Jodenhaat steeds openlijker wordt geuit. Jammer. En gevaarlijk.
Turkish bill bans Israelis from buying land,7340,L-3991055,00.html

Milliyet report says bill in works eases restrictions on land purchase to attract foreign investment, but prohibits sale to Greek, Israeli citizens. Bill also favors Iranians, Syrians, and Saudis by exempting them from limitations

Aviel Magnezi

Published: 11.28.10, 19:01

A bill being formulated in Turkey stipulates that Israelis will no longer be able to buy land in the country, though they will be able to continue renting apartments, the Turkish Milliyet reported Sunday.

But if the bill passes, citizens of Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Syria will be allowed to continue to purchase land whenever they so choose.

The report says that the office of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan ordered his housing and infrastructure ministry to ease conditions on land purchase in order to make it more accessible to foreigners, thus attracting foreign investments.

But while all of the world's citizens will be able to purchase land by presenting a passport, only those with an Israeli or Greek passport will be barred from having the pleasure.

And, in another step towards Iran and its allies, the bill limits the amount of land available for purchase to all citizens except those with Iranian, Syrian, or Saudi passports, who will be able to buy as much as they can afford.

The Milliyet report says the bill has been in the works for quite some time, and that it is expected to pass through parliament in a quickened process.

An Israeli woman of Turkish background, who is affiliated with official sources in the country, told Ynet that many Israelis have purchased land there in the past, before relations between the two states had begun to deteriorate.

"Many Israelis appealed to the Turkish embassy in Israel in order to buy land in the country, to establish Israeli tourism sites," she said.

"Before relations between the countries cooled, Israelis were told they could purchase land on the condition that they were not close to military bases or intended for agricultural use."


Broederlijke haat in Israel

Een scherpe column van Yair Lapid in Ynet. Israeli's hebben blijkbaar niet genoeg aan de haat van de Arabieren en beschuldigen ook elkaar er regelmatig van hun te haten. De spanningen tussen de ultra orthodoxen en seculieren, en radikale kolonisten en gematigde Israeli's lijken toe te nemen, en wederzijds begrip is het slachtoffer.
Brotherly hate in Israel

Op-ed: Hatred among various sectors of Israeli society prevents us from engaging in dialogue,7340,L-3990306,00.htm

Yair Lapid


Conversation 1

"You hate haredim."

It was a statement, not a question.

"Who said so?"

"Everyone knows."

The young haredi man had a brown-reddish beard and he was quivering with anticipation for a confrontation. I've been familiar with this phenomenon for a while now. Haredim – and mostly the younger ones – feel an uncontrollable need to engage in such conversations with me. For them, it's like talking to a porn starlet or to Hanin Zoabi. Later they return to their yeshiva and say that they really let Lapid have it.

I was just filling up gas at the large station at the entrance to Bnei Brak, so I had a few minutes.

"I don't hate any Jew in the world."

That confused him.

"Everyone knows," he said again.

"I think you need to join the army," I said. "I think you need to get help in order to integrate into the job market, and I think your children should study math and English. I also think that if, instead of doing this, you wish to study at the yeshiva, there is no reason for me to pay your salary. What does that have to do with hatred?

"The Torah protects the people of Israel."

"You didn't answer me."

"Didn't answer what?"

"What does that have to do with hatred?"

"The great rabbis ruled that we need to study at the yeshiva."

"So the great rabbis are wrong."

"You see?"

"See what? I think that my wife is wrong all the time, yet nonetheless I love her."

He chuckled contemptuously. "So now you love me?"

"I don't think our relationship has progressed that much." My joke went over his head, by a mile. But by that time I finished filling up my car. "Have a good day," I said.

"Stop hating haredim, Lapid. If you don't stop hating haredim, it will come back to haunt you."

In other words, we made no progress whatsoever.

Conversation 2

"Why do you hate settlers?"

"I don't hate settlers, it's personal against you."

I have to stop with the jokes in such conversations. Nobody gets them.

We were sitting on the balcony of a settlement located near the Green Line. The speaker was the 19-year-old son of one of the guests.

"You wrote that the whole idea of disengagement was about teaching the settlers a lesson," he said in an accusatory tone.

I sighed. I'm a little tired of clarifying that column.

"That's not what I wrote," I said. "I tried to explain why the public supported the disengagement to such extent, and the article analyzed the prevailing attitudes among Israel's secular public at the time. Someone pasted three sentences from the article and distributed them through synagogue leaflets as if those were my statements."

"So you don't admit that the disengagement was a mistake?"

I started to lose my cool. I have no patience for educational lessons from people younger than my son.

"Why do you stop there," I said. "Let's just get to the Oslo criminals and that's it."

"They really were criminals."

"What does that have to do with hatred? I asked him. He apparently forgot his opening sentence, because he seemed confused.

"I'm allowed to think that we need to reach a two-state solution," I told him. "I'm allowed to think that we should evacuate settlements. I wrote more than once that I have deep, fundamental disagreements with you, but never once did I write one word of hatred against the settlers. Yet nonetheless, you informed me that I hate you. Why do you think that anyone who doesn't agree with you automatically hates you?"

It wasn't fair. I'm older than him, I was a guest, and he didn't want to be the one who ruins the evening. He just muttered "that's not what I meant," and we let it go.

In other words, this time too we made no progress whatsoever


Much has been said about the Israeli discourse of hatred, yet one thing has never been said about it – the fact that it's so easy.

When you engage in genuine dialogue with someone who thinks differently than you, regrettably you are also forced to listen. Instead of the common Israeli conversation style (talking, waiting for the other person to stop moving their mouth, and then talking again,) you sometimes have to hear things you don't like. Some of them may even be true.

Unless you believe the other person hates you.

In such case, if he speaks politely and respectfully, it must be a trick meant to fool everyone. If he makes note of facts, they must be bogus. If he says that it's a principled rather than personal dispute, it only proves that soon he'll personally screw you up.

Because he hates you. All problems are thus resolved. You're allowed not to listen, you're allowed to fight him with all means at your disposal, and you're mostly allowed to hate him back.

The fate of the territories, just like the fate of hundreds of thousands of haredi children, is a charged and painful issue as it is, even without bringing hatred into the equation. The discussion on hatred is in fact a veiled threat (or perhaps a not-so-veiled one): "We know your real motive," the tell us. "And we'll fight as is customary to fight haters. With all our might."

I tried on more than one occasion to understand what prompts people to argue that they are hated. Paranoia? Anxiety? Misunderstanding? A cold cost-benefit analysis? I have no clear answer, mostly because I was never able to talk to them. Every time someone express views that are different than theirs, they immediately charge him with hatred, and at that point the discussion draws to an end.

Our sages said that hatred is blind. They were wrong. It's deaf.

Wikileaks geeft meer inzicht in verhoudingen Midden-Oosten

Een interessant artikel van Barry Rubin over het belang van de Wikileaks: ze laten een aantal feiten zien die velen tot nu toe ontkenden, zoals dat het in het Midden-Oosten niet alleen gaat om het Israelisch-Arabische conflict, maar ook of zelfs vooral om de strijd tussen islamisten en nationalisten. Ook enkele andere mythes worden erdoor ontzenuwd.

Two Cheers For Wikileaks!
By Barry Rubin

The Wikileaks could be a beneficial revelation, a turning point, changing Western perceptions of the Middle East.

After all, only the leak of U.S. secret documents is forcing--finally!--the mass media to recognize that its entire model of the Middle East has been wrong. For years, we have been told that the region revolves around the Arab-Israeli conflict.

And that was to some extent true up through the end of the 1980s. But now the Middle East revolves around the battle between Islamists and nationalists, and especially between the Iran-led bloc (Iran, Syria, Hizballah, Hamas, Iraqi insurgents, the government that rules Turkey) and most of the other countries.

Here's how the New York Times put it in an article:

"The cables reveal how Iran's ascent has unified Israel and many longtime Arab adversaries — notably the Saudis — in a common cause. Publicly, these Arab states held their tongues, for fear of a domestic uproar and the retributions of a powerful neighbor. Privately, they clamored for strong action — by someone else.

"If they seemed obsessed with Iran, though, they also seemed deeply conflicted about how to deal with it — with diplomacy, covert action or force. In one typical cable, a senior Omani military officer is described as unable to decide what is worse: `A strike against Iran's nuclear capability and the resulting turmoil it would cause in the Gulf, or inaction and having to live with a nuclear-capable Iran.'"

Here's what Raymond Bonner, a former New York Times foreign correspondent, wrote on this subject:

"Sure, we knew that Middle East governments were concerned about Iran. But we didn't know to what degree. The cumulative impact of these cables is profound.... ...This the same chilling language, which the American public is accustomed to hearing from hardline [on Iran] Israeli officials. Hearing it expressed by Muslim leaders in the Middle East might now have a profound effect on American public opinion."

And that's not all. Up to now, the Western media has overwhelmingly whitewashed the Turkish regime as just a bunch of democratic-minded moderates. The leaks show that they are better understood to be Islamists, though that should have already been apparent.

Up until now, the Obama Administration has continued to engage with Syria, supposedly trying to moderate it and pull it away from Iran--both futile, indeed counterproductive, enterprises.  The leaks show Syria's radicalism, close links with Tehran, and how it has lied to the U.S. government making the Obama Administration look foolish. Even Egyptian President Husni Mubarak warned the United States that the Syrian regime could not be trusted.

And here's my summary of some of the most important revelations--with links.

Could this possibly be a turning point in persuading Western governments, the media, and academia to deal with reality?

Now, if you want to understand this Middle East-- and the tasks for the U.S. government in dealing with this kind of Middle East--I plead with you to read my article  "U.S. Middle East Policy: Too Many Challenges and yet a Single Theme."

Note 1: Please keep in mind that the leaks consist of two totally different parts.

--Intelligence materials are direct from sources and may be totally inaccurate. A report saying that an Iranian leader has cancer, for example, doesn't mean it is true but merely what some sources are saying.

--Reports on meetings and discussions are accurate, reflecting policy positions of officials.

Note 2: The concept of two cheers--instead of three--means that something has done some good even though one doesn't approve of it completely.

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,

maandag 29 november 2010

WikiLeaks onthult dat Israel Egypte en Fatah vroeg Gaza over te nemen

Noch Egypte, noch Fatah had er tijdens de Gaza Oorlog trek in om na een nederlaag van Hamas in Gaza de orde te herstellen en te handhaven, en Israel wilde zeker niet opnieuw de Gazastrook gaan bezetten. Misschien speelde dat wel een even grote rol als de internationale druk om Israel ervan te beletten door te zetten en Hamas te verslaan?
Verdere onthullingen betreffende het Midden-Oosten waren ondermeer dat Netanjahoe charmant is maar zich niet aan afspraken houdt, en dat de Arabische staten wilden dat de VS de nucleaire installaties van Iran zou bombarderen.

WikiLeaks exposé: Israel tried to coordinate Gaza war with Abbas

In diplomatic cable documenting 2009 meeting, Defense Minister Barak says Egypt, PA refuse to take over Gaza in case of Hamas defeat.

By Barak Ravid
Published 22:55 28.11.10

Israel tried to coordinate the Gaza war with the Palestinian Authority, classified diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks said on Sunday, adding that both the PA and Egypt refused to take control of the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave.

The whistle-blowing website obtained some 250,000 diplomatic cables between the U.S. and its allies, which Washington had urged the site not to publish.

In a June 2009 meeting between Defense Minister Ehud Barak and a U.S. congressional delegation, Barak claimed that the Israeli government "had consulted with Egypt and Fatah prior to Operation Cast Lead, asking if they were willing to assume control of Gaza once Israel defeated Hamas."

"Not surprisingly," Barak said in the meeting, Israel "received negative answers from both."

While similar reports of such attempts to link the PA and Egypt to Israel's war with Hamas had already surfaced in the past, the cable released by WikiLeaks on Sunday represents the first documented proof of such a move.

In the document, Barak also expressed his feeling that "the Palestinian Authority is weak and lacks self-confidence, and that Gen. Dayton's training helps bolster confidence."

The meeting which the cable documents took place just days before U.S. President Barack Obama's Cairo speech, and a few weeks after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's first visit to the United States, a visit which revealed the deep differences between Obama and himself.

The cable also refers to what Barak describes as the debate within the Israeli cabinet in regards to a "development of a response to President Obama's upcoming speech in Cairo."


All you need is Jihad? - Haatband tot nationale Palestijnse institutie verheven door PA

The band's logo includes the Palestinian flag next to the map of Israel presented as "Palestine" covered by a Kafiya, the Arab scarf.

Puike strijdliederen moeten bij de Palestijnen de stemming erin houden.
Mijn suggestie zou zijn: "We gaan nog niet naar huis, nog lange niet, nog lange niet...."

PMW Bulletin
Nov. 28, 2010
Group that sings about
of Israel
named national band
by Abbas

by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

A song and dance group that has recently performed hate and violence promotion songs in the PA has been honored and turned into an official Palestinian national band by decree of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Among the performances that have been broadcast by the Alashekeen band on PA TV was a dance and song about conquering Israel through war. Israeli cities Lod and Ramle as well as Jerusalem are presented as Palestinian cities to be liberated through "Jihad" by Palestinians who have "replaced bracelets with weapons." The song says: "Pull the trigger" to "redeem Jerusalem, Nablus and the country." It also describes Israelis as "despicable" and says that "the Palestinian revolution awaits [them]."

Palestinian Media Watch reported when this song was first broadcast on PA TV on Sept. 12, 2010:
"Fight, brother, the flag will never be lowered,
the torches will never die out."
On [Mt.] Carmel (in Israel) and in the [Jordan] Valley,
we are rocks and streams.
In Lod (Israeli city) we are poems, and in Ramle (Israeli city) - grenades.
We, my brother, shall remain the revolution of the fighting nation."
"The Zionists went out from [their] homelands,
compounding damage and enmity.
But the Palestinian revolution awaits [them].
The orchard called us to the [armed] struggle.
We replaced bracelets with weapons.
We attacked the despicable [Zionists].
This invading enemy is on the battlefield.
This is the day of consolation of Jihad.
Pull the trigger.
We shall redeem Jerusalem, Nablus and the country."
[PA TV (Fatah), Sept. 12, 2010]
This was the announcement in the PA daily:
"The Palestinian Alashekeen band discovered yesterday that President Mahmoud Abbas recently published a presidential decision to turn the band, established in 1978 in Damascus, into a [Palestinian] national institution. Director of the Alashekeen band, Maisa Harb, said that the President had approved the decision as part of the presidential directives which he had announced during a banquet which he held in honor of the members of the band...
The director of the band introduced her speech with gratitude to President Mahmoud Abbas for his interest in and admiration for the band."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 22, 2010]
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