zaterdag 11 februari 2012

Farsi vertaling van boek over Protocollen van de Wijzen van Zion


Arabieren vertalen nauwelijks boeken uit andere landen. Mein Kampf en De Protocollen van de Wijzen van Zion natuurlijk wel, maar de vertaling van een boek dat de ‘Protocollen’ ontmaskert, moest uit Israel komen. Na een vertaling in het Arabisch is er nu ook een vertaling in het Farzi gemaakt voor het Iraanse publiek en op internet beschikbaar gesteld.





Book that debunks "Protocols" translated to Farsi


From ITIC:


On February 8, 2012 the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center posted a 400-page Farsi translation of Hadassa Ben-Itto's book The Lie That Wouldn't Die: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It can be accessed at The Introduction includes a section written by the author specifically for Iranians.

Judge Ben-Itto's book has already been translated into ten languages: Hebrew, English, German, Russian, Spanish, Dutch, Romanian, Hungarian, Bulgarian and Arabic. The Arabic translation was issued by Kul Shi Publishers, Haifa, in July 2010 and posted on the ITIC website, and was widely reviewed by the Arab media.

...In Iran, the Protocols were issued several times either by the regime or by institutions affiliated with it. The first was in the summer of 1978 during the events which led to the Islamic Revolution, and they were used as a weapon against the Shah, Israel and the Jews. In 1985 a new edition was printed and widely distributed by the Islamic Propagation Organization of Tehran's department for international relations. A foundation called "The Shrine of the Imam Reza" in Mashhad funded an edition which was published in 1994, and excerpts appeared in the Iranian media. The Islamic Propagation Organization's edition was also displayed at the book fair in Frankfurt in 2005.

One of the versions of The Protocols was translated from Arabic into Farsi by Hamid Reza Sheikhi and published in Iran by the Islamic Research Foundation with the title The Protocols of the Elders of Zion: World Zionism's Work Plan. The third edition of that version was issued in Iran in 2005-6 and catalogued in the Iranian national library (No. 1062209). It was a Farsi translation of a version edited and translated by Ajaj Nuwayhid, a Lebanese Druze (his translation was published in several versions in Beirut and Damascus and circulated throughout the Arab-Muslim world, including the Palestinian Authority).2

Disseminating The Protocols and its themes are part of the Iranian regime's policy of anti-Semitism, which includes Holocaust denial, the call for the destruction of the State of Israel, and hate propaganda directed at Israel and the Jewish people. Iran also exports its anti-Semitism to the West, and example of which was the international book fair held in Frankfurt in 2005, where Iran sold a selection of its anti-Israeli books, some of them in English.

Judge Ben-Itto's book traces the roots of The Protocols and their circulation from Russia to Europe and throughout the world. The book proves that The Protocols were plagiarized. 

The translation of Hadassa Ben-Itto's book into Farsi is particularly important. For the first time since the Second World War, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion have been used as a strategic weapon in the hands of a state regime, in this case the Iranian regime as part of its deliberate plan to destroy the State of Israel. Moreover, the existence of "the Jewish conspiracy: to take over the world has been made part of Iranian perception to the point where it is considered absolute, irrefutable truth.

The Farsi translation of The Lie That Wouldn't Die sets a precedent in exposing the Iranian reader to a new perspective on The Protocols, completely different from what he has become accustomed to. The book was written by a judge and involved vast amounts of careful research. It is easy to read and presents every Iranian reader from whom the truth is important with the genuine facts behind The Protocols.

Any Iranians who want to read the book can find the whole thing here.


Dertig illegale Palestijnse woningen gesloopt in Gaza


Wanneer Israel huizen van Arabieren verwoest – om welke reden dan ook – komt het in de landelijke en regionale kranten, en als er geen Elfstedenkoorts is ook op het acht uur journaal. Ik vraag me bij die berichten vaker af hoe vaak het voorkomt dat in pak hem beet Athene of Cairo huizen door de gemeente worden afgebroken omdat ze illegaal gebouwd zijn, niet aan voorschriften voldoen of om welke reden dan ook. Daarmee wil ik niet zeggen dat ik het per definitie goedkeur, en ik denk dat er altijd alles aan gedaan moet worden om te voorkomen dat mensen op straat komen te staan, maar de aandacht hiervoor is wel wat disproportioneel. Nu blijkt dat ook Hamas geregeld huizen vernielt (dit is niet de eerste keer dat ik zoiets lees) en nee, ik ben het in geen enkele krant tegen gekomen.





Sometimes, no one cares when Palestinian Arab homes are demolished


30 homes were destroyed in the territories yesterday - and there is no outcry.

The reason, of course, is that the homes were in Gaza City and it is Hamas doing the destruction.

Palestine Press Agency (seemingly now only on Facebook as a result of hackers) reports that Hamas bulldozers destroyed 30 homes and displaced dozens of families last night, because they built them on government land, sending the families into the cold without notice. 

It will be interesting to see if Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch issue any reports about this. 

Even more so, I look forward to seeing the condemnations from all those supposedly "pro-Palestinian" organizations who issue mountains of press releases on behalf of their beloved oppressed pets when they perceive any injustice against them.

Any injustice, that is, as long as they can blame Jews.


Vredesboodschappen uit Israel naar Iran


Terwijl Iran Israel een kankergezwel noemt en Israelische leiders dreigen met een preventieve aanval op Irans kernwapenprogramma, zenden president Peres maar ook gewone burgers boodschappen van verzoening naar Iran, en benadrukken dat er geen conflict is met de bevolking.





Peres: Iraniërs geen vijanden


JERUZALEM - De Israëlische president Shimon Peres heeft woensdag een boodschap van vrede uitgesproken aan het adres van de Iraanse bevolking. Hij riep de Iraniërs op verder te kijken dan de huidige crisis.


”We zijn niet geboren als elkaars vijanden en er is geen noodzaak om als vijanden door het leven te gaan. Sta niet toe dat de vaandels van vijandelijkheid een donkere schaduw over jullie historische erfenis werpen”, zei Peres. “Jullie volk is een gevoelig volk dat streeft naar vriendschap en vrede en niet naar conflicten en oorlogen.”


Peres sprak minder vredelievend over de Iraanse regering. “Iran is niet alleen een bedreiging voor Israël, maar het vormt een reëel gevaar voor de mensheid als geheel”, zei hij. “Het huidige Iraanse regime hunkert naar imperialisme en wil de hoogste leider in de regio zijn.”


Israël en Iran onderhielden voor de Islamitische Revolutie in Iran in 1979 nauwe betrekkingen. De 88-jarige Peres bracht voor de revolutie een aantal keer een bezoek aan Iran en bewaart daar volgens zijn woordvoerster warme herinneringen aan.


geplaatst: 08-02-2012 - 22.15




Israelis broadcasting messages of peace to Iranians


From Israel HaYom/AP:


While Israeli leaders are increasingly sounding belligerent warnings of a potential military strike against Iran’s nuclear installations, a group of Iranian-Israelis are transmitting a different message.

Radio RADISIN, a private Persian-language station based in Tel Aviv, airs Iranian music, poetry and current affairs shows aiming to spread peace between the Israeli and Iranian people - regardless of who is in power in Tehran.

“We, the people in Israel, are a peaceful nation and not an enemy, or the ‘little Satan’ as we are described by the Iranian regime,” said Shay Amir, the station’s 42-year-old CEO, who left Iran for Israel after the 1979 Islamic revolution. “For 32 years, the regime has poisoned its people against Israel. We are here to tell the truth.”

RADISIN broadcasts 24 hours a day via the Internet, satellite and cable TV. It says 100,000 listeners tune in daily, including an undisclosed number from Iran, where Internet speeds are slow and many sites, including those of political opposition groups, are blocked.

It is not the only Israeli media directed toward Iran. Israel’s state-run radio station has been broadcasting in Persian for 50 years from a spartan studio off a narrow Jerusalem alleyway.

It also chats with Iranians via a switchboard in Germany to get around a ban on calls from Iran to the Jewish state. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has even named the “Zionist broadcast” as among those behind civilian unrest in his country.

RADISIN relies mainly on anonymous sponsors and donations and it airs some commercials. It takes calls from Iranian listeners who often criticize the regime in Tehran and express affection for Israel.

For fear of exposing these callers - and having them branded as collaborators by the Iranian regime - the station asked The Associated Press not to record the conversations.

Others in Iran have been less enamored by the Israeli broadcast. “Twice from Iran, they hacked our website and caused damage, and because of this we decided to switch and air via satellite,” Amir said.


donderdag 9 februari 2012

Bill Clinton over de Camp David onderhandelingen in 2000

Hoewel bij de onderhandelingen was afgesproken dat in geval van een mislukking niemand de Zwarte Piet toegeschoven zou krijgen door de Amerikanen, achtte Bill Clinton zich daar blijkbaar niet meer aan gebonden nadat Arafat in 2004 was overleden, en verhaalde hij in zijn autobiografie in 2005 over hoe de moeizame besprekingen in Camp David en nadien waren verlopen.
Op onderstaande video leest Clinton een stuk hieruit voor. De video eindigt helaas met een iets te eenzijdige boodschap, dat de Israelische leiders klaar zijn voor vrede, maar de Palestijnen nog niet.

Bill Clinton Reflects on 2000 Camp David Summit


The following are excerpts from President Bill Clinton’s autobiography, “My Life,” published in 2005 by Vintage, a division of Random House, Inc.


December 23, was a fateful day for the Middle East peace process. After the two sides had been negotiating again for several days at Bolling Air Force Base, my team and I became convinced that unless we narrowed the range of debate, in effect forcing the big compromises up front, there would never be an agreement. Arafat was afraid of being criticized by other Arab leaders; Barak was losing ground to Sharon at home. So I brought the Palestinian and Israeli teams into the Cabinet Room and read them my “parameters” for proceeding. These were developed after extensive private talks with the parties separately since Camp David. If they accepted the parameters within four days, we would go forward. If not, we were through.

I read them slowly so that both sides could take careful notes. On territory, I recommended 94 to 96 percent of the West Bank for the Palestinians with a land swap from Israel of 1 to 3 percent, and an understanding that the land kept by Israel would include 80 percent of the settlers in blocs. On security, I said Israeli forces should withdraw over a three-year period while an international force would be gradually introduced, with the understanding that a small Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley could remain for another three years under the authority of the international forces. The Israelis would also be able to maintain their early-warning station in the West Bank with a Palestinian liaison presence. In the event of an “imminent and demonstrable threat to Israel’s security,” there would be provision for emergency deployments in the West Bank.

The new state of Palestine would be “nonmilitarized,” but would have a strong security force; sovereignty over its airspace, with special arrangement to meet Israeli training and operational needs; and an international force for border security and deterrence.

On Jerusalem, I recommended that the Arab neighborhoods be in Palestine and the Jewish neighborhoods in Israel, and that the Palestinians should have sovereignty over the Temple Mount/Haram and the Israelis sovereignty over the Western Wall and the “holy space” of which it is a part with no excavation around the wall or under the Mount at least without mutual consent.

On refugees, I said that the new state of Palestine should be the homeland for refugees displaced in the 1948 war and afterward, without ruling out the possibility that Israel would accept some to the refugees according to its own laws and sovereign decisions, giving priority to the refugee population sin Lebanon. I recommended an international effort to compensate refugees and assist them in finding houses in the new state of Palestine, in the land-swap areas to be transferred to Palestine, in their current host countries, in other willing nations, or in Israel. Both parties should agree that this solution would satisfy United Nations Resolution 194.

Finally, the agreement had to clearly mark the end of the conflict and put an end to all violence. I suggested a new UN resolution saying that this agreement, along with the final release of Palestinian prisoners, would fulfill the requirements of resolutions 242 and 338.

I said these parameters were nonnegotiable and were the best I could do, and I wanted the parties to negotiate a final status agreement within them. After I left, Dennis Ross and other members of our team stayed behind to clarify any misunderstanding, but they refused to hear complaints. I knew the plan was tough for both parties, but it was time – past time – to put up or shut up. The Palestinians would give up the absolute right of return; they had always known they would have to, but they never wanted to admit it. The Israelis would give up East Jerusalem and parts of the Old City, but their religious and cultural sites would be preserved; it had been evident for some time that for peace to come, they would have to do that. The Israelis would also give up a little more of the West Bank and probably a larger land swap than Barak’s last best offer, but they would keep enough to hold at least 80 percent of the settlers. And they would get a formal end to the conflict. It was a hard deal, but if they wanted peace, I thought it was fair to both sides

Arafat immediately began to equivocate, asking for “clarifications.” But the parameters were clear; either he would negotiate within them or not. As always, he was playing for more time. I called Mubarak and read him the points. He said they were historic and he could encourage Arafat to accept them.

On the twenty-seventh, Barak’s cabinet endorsed the parameters with reservations, but all their reservations were within the parameters, and therefore subject to negotiations anyway. It was historic: an Israeli government had said that to get peace, there would be a Palestinian state in roughly 97% of the West Bank, counting the swap, and all of Gaza where Israel also had settlements. The ball was in Arafat’s court.

I was calling other Arab leaders daily to urge them to pressure Arafat to say yes. They were all impressed with Israel’s acceptance and told me they believed Arafat should take the deal. I have no way of knowing what they told him, though the Saudi ambassador, Prince Bandar, later told me he and Crown Price Abdullah had the distinct impression Arafat was going to accept the parameters.

On the twenty-ninth, Dennis Ross met with Abu Ala, whom we all respected, to make sure Arafat understood the consequences of rejection. I would be gone. Ross would be gone. Barak would lose the upcoming election to Sharon. Bush wouldn’t want to jump in after I had invested so much and failed.

I still didn’t believe Arafat would make such a colossal mistake.


We passed up the Renaissance Weekend again that year so that our family could spend the last New Year’s at Camp David. I still hadn’t heard from Arafat. On New Year’s Day, I invited him to the White House the next day. Before he came, he received Prince Bandar and the Egyptian ambassador at his hotel. One of Arafat’s younger aides told us that they had pushed him hard to say yes. When Arafat came to see me, he asked a lot of questions about my proposal. He wanted Israel to have the Wailing Wall, because of its religious significance, but asserted that the remaining fifty feet of the Western Wall should go to the Palestinians. I told him he was wrong, that Israel should have the entire wall to protect itself from someone using one entrance of the tunnel that ran beneath the wall from damaging the remains of the temples beneath the Haram. The Old City has four quarters: Jewish, Muslim Christian, and Armenian. It was assumed that Palestine would get the Muslim and Christian quarters, with Israel getting the other two. Arafat argued that he should have a few blocks of the Armenian quarter because of the Christian churches there. I couldn’t believe he was talking to me about this.

Arafat was also trying to wiggle out of giving up the right of return. He knew he had to but was afraid of the criticism he would get. I reminded him that Israel had promised to take some of the refugees from Lebanon whose families had lived in what was now northern Israel for hundreds of years, but that no Israeli leader would ever let in so many Palestinians that the Jewish character of the state could be threatened in a few decades by the higher Palestinian birthrate. There were not going to be two majority-Arab states in the Holy Land; Arafat had acknowledged that by signing the 1993 peace agreement with its implicit two-state solution. Besides, the agreement had to be approved by Israeli citizens in a referendum. The right of return was a deal breaker. I wouldn’t think of asking h Israelis to vote for it. On the other hand, I thought the Israelis would vote for a final settlement within the parameters I had laid out. If there was an agreement, I even thought Barak might be able to come back and win the election, thought he was running well behind Sharon in the polls, in an electorate frightened by the intifada and angered by Arafat’s refusal to make peace.

At times Arafat seemed confused, not wholly in command of the facts. I had felt for some time that he might not be at the top of his game any longer, after all the years of spending the night in different places to dodge assassins’ bullets, all the countless hours on airplanes, all the endless hours of tension-filled talks. Perhaps he simply couldn’t make the final jump from revolutionary to statesman. He had grown used to flying from place to place, giving mother-of-pearl gifts made by Palestinian craftsmen to world leaders and appearing on television with them. It would be different if the end of violence took Palestine out of the headlines and instead he had to worry about providing jobs, schools, and basic services. Most of the young people on Arafat’s team wanted him to take the deal. I believe Abu Ala and Abu Mazen also would have agreed but didn’t want to be at odds with Arafat.


When he left, I still had no idea what Arafat was going to do. His body language said no, but the deal was so good I couldn’t believe anyone would be foolish enough to let it go. Barak wanted me to come to the region, but I wanted Arafat to say yes to the Israelis on the big issues embodied in my parameters first. In December the parties had met at Bolling Air Force Base for talks that didn’t succeed because Arafat wouldn’t accept the parameters that were hard for him.

Finally, Arafat agreed to see Shimon Peres on the thirteenth after Peres had first met with Saeb Erekat. Nothing came of it. As a backstop, the Israelis tried to produce a letter with as much agreement on the parameter as possible, on the assumption that Barak would lose the election and at least both sides would be bound to a course that could lead to an agreement. Arafat wouldn’t even do that, because he didn’t want to be seen conceding anything. The parties continued their talks in Taba, Egypt. They got close, but did not succeed. Arafat never said no; he just couldn’t bring himself to say yes. Pride goeth before the fall.

Right before I left office, Arafat, in one of our last conversations, thanked me for all my efforts and told me what a great man I was. “Mr. Chairman,” I replied, “I am not a great man. I am a failure, and you have made me one.” I warned Arafat that he was single-handedly electing Sharon and that he would reap the whirlwind.

In February 2001, Ariel Sharon would be elected prime minister in a landslide. The Israelis had decided that if Arafat wouldn’t take my offer he wouldn’t take anything, and that if they had no partner for peace, it was better to be led by the most aggressive, intransigent leader available. Sharon would take a hard line toward Arafat and would be supported in doing so by Ehud Barak and the United States. Nearly a year after I left office, Arafat said he was ready to negotiate on the basis of the parameters I had presented. Apparently, Arafat had thought the time to decide, five minutes to midnight, had finally come. His watch had been broken a long time.

Arafat’s rejection of my proposal after Barak accepted it was an error of historic proportions. However, many Palestinians and Israelis are still committed to peace. Someday peace will come, and when it does, the final agreement will look a lot like the proposals that came out of Camp David and the six long months that followed.


Later that night in New York City, I spoke to the pro-peace Israel Policy Forum. At the time we still had some hope of making peace. Arafat had said he accepted the parameters with reservations. The problem was that his reservations, unlike Israel’s, were outside the parameters, at least on refugees and the Western Wall, but I treated the acceptance as if it were real, based on his pledge to make peace before I left office.

Source: Clinton, Bill. “My Life.” Vintage (2005). pp. 936-946. / via Jewish Virtual Library

Palestijnse kritiek op president Abbas als premier van eenheidsregering

Een satire van Elder of Ziyon: president Abbas zweert premier Abbas in.

Het nieuwe akkoord dat Hamas en Fatah onlangs bereikten schendt de Palestijnse Basic Law, die verbiedt dat de president van de Palestijnse Autoriteit ook premier van de regering is. Hijzelf was bij die wet betrokken, die als doel had de macht van Arafat te beperken. Abbas houdt nu diverse functies waardoor de macht sterk geconcentreerd is. Een blogger soms ze op: 

In a sarcastic comment, Palestinian activist Ruba al-Najjar wrote: “Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas congratulates the new prime minister, Mahmoud Abbas, and invites him to meet with the chairman of the Fatah Central Committee, Mahmoud Abbas, under the auspices of the head of the PLO Executive Committee, Mahmoud Abbas, at the home of the overall commander of the Palestinian Armed Forces, Mahmoud Abbas.”

Het is overigens niet voor het eerst dat deze wet wordt overtreden (dit nog afgezien van het feit dat Abbas al lang geen president meer zou mogen zijn en er allang verkiezingen hadden moeten worden gehouden).

This is not the first time that Abbas has acted in violation of the Palestinian Basic Law.
In June 2007, following the collapse of the Fatah-Hamas unity government and the Islamist movement’s violent takeover of the Gaza Strip, Abbas appointed Salam Fayyad as prime minister, citing “national emergency.”
Fayyad’s government was never approved by the Palestinian legislature in accordance with the Basic law.
Anis al-Qassem, a constitutional lawyer who drafted the Basic law, was among many Palestinians who criticized the appointment of Fayyad as “illegal.” 

Palestinians slam selection of Abbas as unity PM

By KHALED ABU TOAMEH - 02/07/2012 20:56 


"This is a turns Abbas into an autocrat with absolute powers," senior Fatah official says.




By Reuters

Palestinians across the political spectrum on Tuesday criticized the Qatar-sponsored Hamas-Fatah reconciliation agreement according to which Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas would also serve as prime minister of an interim unity government.

They pointed out that it was Abbas who in March 2003 called for amending the Palestinian Basic Law so that the PA president would not be in charge of the government.

Backed by the Americans and Europeans, Abbas then sought to limit the powers of his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, who also served as the de facto prime minister.

On March 10, 2003, the Palestinian Legislative Council approved the proposed amendment to the Basic Law, creating the position of a PA prime minister.

The hope back then was that the changes in the Basic Law would lead to the separation of the powers of the president and the prime minister.

By agreeing to be prime minister of a unity government, Abbas is acting in violation of the same amendment to the Basic law that he fought to pass 12 years ago.

Abbas supporters, however, defended the move, arguing that ending the power struggle with Hamas was “more important than respecting any law.”

This is not the first time that Abbas has acted in violation of the Palestinian Basic Law.

In June 2007, following the collapse of the Fatah-Hamas unity government and the Islamist movement’s violent takeover of the Gaza Strip, Abbas appointed Salam Fayyad as prime minister, citing “national emergency.”

Fayyad’s government was never approved by the Palestinian legislature in accordance with the Basic law.

Anis al-Qassem, a constitutional lawyer who drafted the Basic law, was among many Palestinians who criticized the appointment of Fayyad as “illegal.”

Palestinian political analyst Hani al-Masri pointed out that the Doha Declaration that was signed on Monday between Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal was in violation of the Egyptian-sponsored reconciliation agreement that was reached in Cairo in May 2011.

The Egyptian deal envisages the establishment of a government that is dominated by independent figures, Masri noted. “That’s why the announcement that President Abbas would head the unity government came as a surprise to many,” the analyst said.

Another political analyst, Khalil Shaheen, said the appointment of Abbas as prime minister meant that the Palestinians were “marching backward.” He added that the move was illegal and in violation of the [Egyptian-brokered] reconciliation pact between Hamas and Fatah.

A top Fatah official in Ramallah said there was “strong opposition” in his faction and the PLO to the Doha Declaration, mainly because of the intention to appoint the 76-year-old Abbas as prime minister.

“This is a scandal not only because it violates the [Palestinian] Basic Law, but also because it turns Abbas into an autocrat with absolute powers. This is unacceptable at a time when the Arab world is witnessing popular uprisings against dictators,” the official said.

Abbas already holds at least four titles: PA president, head of the PLO Executive Committee, chairman of the Fatah Central Committee and Overall Commander of the Palestinian Armed Forces.

Some Palestinians resorted to Facebook to voice their opposition to the appointment of Abbas as prime minister.

In a sarcastic comment, Palestinian activist Ruba al-Najjar wrote: “Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas congratulates the new prime minister, Mahmoud Abbas, and invites him to meet with the chairman of the Fatah Central Committee, Mahmoud Abbas, under the auspices of the head of the PLO Executive Committee, Mahmoud Abbas, at the home of the overall commander of the Palestinian Armed Forces, Mahmoud Abbas.”


woensdag 8 februari 2012

Meretz USA en de eigenzinnige kijk van Ami Isseroff op Israel en vrede

Na het overlijden van onze vriend Ami Isseroff in juni vorig jaar, hebben we natuurlijk op zijn "virtuele werkplek", het internet gekeken naar de reacties van vrienden en bekenden. Onderstaande reactie van Ralph Seliger op de weblog van Meretz USA ('Partners for Progressive Israel' Blog) verscheen pas iets later en is ons daardoor destijds ontgaan.
Hij is mede de moeite waard omdat hij een overzicht geeft van enkele discussiepunten binnen de progressief-zionistische vredesbeweging, waarbinnen Ami vaak eigenzinnige, maar goed beargumenteerde posities innam.
Dat Ami niet de makkelijkste was en in toenemende mate sceptisch over de mogelijkheden voor vrede, is zonder meer juist; "embittered and distrustful" vind ik wel wat sterk uitgedrukt.
Zie ook:
Thursday, July 21, 2011
The passionate views of Ami Isseroff, Z''L
Ami Isseroff (2nd from right) with wife and children to his left

The tireless blogger and commentator, Ami Isseroff, passed away on June 29, 2011, at the age of 65. He made aliyah from the US as a member of the Hashomer Hatzair youth movement and remained in Israel for most of his life, working as a science and technical writer, computer programmer and news analyst from his home in Rehovot.

He was a passionate voice for socialist Zionism and for peace, but he also became increasingly embittered and distrustful in his final years. And he was often too caustic in discussing political events to win him many friends.

Still, he raised a loving family, including three children, and drew the respect of his chaverim in the "ShomerNet" online discussion group. And he focused attention on Muslims who advocated peace with Israel. He also championed the West Bank Hope Flowers School, which pioneered the teaching of peaceful co-existence with Israel and Jews.

At a certain point, his views went beyond our usual range of opinions included in this blog and in our recently discontinued print publication, Israel Horizons. To me, Ami's alienation from the pro-Israel left reflects the vexing nature of the seemingly endless challenges and complications in the struggle for Israel's peace and security, especially in the wake of the second Intifada and the Hamas takeover in Gaza. The following are posts in this blog that link to his writings up until that point, over two years ago--often including my dissenting notes on his sour tone:

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

April fools

My understanding is that Prime Minister Netanyahu (ooh, that is painful to write) has something like 30 ministers in his new coalition cabinet (out of 120 Members of Knesset), a record. Ami Isseroff has written a delicious April Fools Day spoof, entitled "Israelis without posts to sue Netanyahu government." Isseroff includes a lengthy riff on Avigdor Lieberman as the new foreign minister, but, unfortunately, that's no joke.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Renewed carnage, ongoing quagmire?

We of the pro-peace/pro-Israel camp again face anguished days with news of the current wave of IDF attacks on Gaza. We have to wait for the smoke to clear to see if the vast majority of casualties are armed Hamas elements (which seems to be the case). I hope that I’m wrong, but my instincts, plus the history of the conflict, tell me that the severity of these blows will only create more hatred and more violence in the long run.

The tireless Israeli blogger, Ami Isseroff, has grown so embittered over the years that it’s hard to classify him politically. In this recent post, while totally supporting the justice of Israel's offensive, he then questions its wisdom:
... After every other solution failed, one would like to hope that the military solution would succeed. But we should not confuse our wishes with reality. Didn't Israel pound Gaza continuously in 2006 after the abduction of Gilad Shalit? And what good did that do? Didn't Israel pound Lebanese targets in the Second Lebanon War? Did it oust the Hezbollah?
Short of Israel retaking Gaza in what would no doubt be a blood bath, what can be the outcome of this attack beyond Hamas remaining somehow intact and declaring "victory"? Israeli officials are a bit more cautious with their pronouncements than they were in the disastrous Second Lebanon War. Still, before the attack, Israel GOC Southern Command Yoav Galant said that an IDF attack would try to "send Gaza decades into the past" in terms of weapons capabilities. Since Israel held the Gaza strip until 2005, it is impossible to understand what Galant thought he was talking about.
Can there be much doubt about the outcome of the Israeli attack? The scripting of a tragedy cannot allow for a happy end. ...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Gaza Breakout

One would have the heart of a stone not to feel for the thousands of Gaza Palestinians who broke through the border barriers with Egypt at Rafah to buy goods and breathe the air outside their imprisoned enclave. ...

.... Nevertheless, as we are reminded by Ami Isseroff in his posting of Jan. 23, "Gaza Gimmix," the severity of Israel’s siege of Gaza is a response to the almost constant attacks against southern Israel and other manifestations of the Hamas regime’s violent intent toward the people of Israel and its internationally-recognized borders. As Isseroff points out:
Hamas originally came to power in "democratic" but basically illegal Palestinian elections. The elections were illegal because under the Oslo accords that were the enabling document[s] for the elections, Hamas, which does not recognize the right of Israel to exist and insists on violence, should not have been allowed to participate in elections to a government that is supposed to negotiate peace with Israel.
I recall Meretz party leader Yossi Beilin making the same observation, even though he very much wants a cease-fire arranged with Hamas. Still, I think that Isseroff is unnecessarily caustic and hard-hearted in referring to the Gaza "crisis" and "siege" in quotes, as if there is no humanitarian crisis there and no siege. This is all problematic, but unlike how the peace demonstrators see things, Isseroff and I are in agreement that Hamas is a large part of the problem.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Isseroff on alternatives to two states

Ami Isseroff, an alumnus of Hashomer Hatzair in the US, who blogs from his home in Rehovot, Israel, is a partisan of a negotiated two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians. Toward this end, he is acerbic, even off-putting, in his passionate expression of inconvenient truths and of opinions that fearlessly defy the conventions of political correctness. I see him as often more provocative in his pronouncements than he needs to be. Still, I feel a certain kinship because I too am not PC in my views and do not conform to popular stereotypes.

It is possible that the following article is in part inspired by our recent private email exchange, in which I suggested that Ami write specifically about Jewish neighborhoods and communities that were lost to Arab attacks in the 1948 war. Characteristically, in the emails, he was finding things to argue with me about, even though we disagree on little. This pugnaciousness may come from the frustrations of decades of trying to get Jews, Arabs and others to embrace more reasonable and humane positions.

Is there an alternative to the two state solution?
Historically, several solutions have been proposed for resolving the Arab-Jewish conflict in the land of Israel (AKA Palestine). Each one has taken into account demographic considerations and no doubt each has been politically motivated: Zionist policy was to obtain a state that is primarily Jewish and democratic. A Jewish majority would be ensured by immigration of Jews from abroad. This entailed a partition of the land into Jewish and Arab states, or a Jewish state and areas controlled by Jordan and Egypt.

Following World War II, this became a necessity even without taking into account Arab nationalist claims, because the loss of six million Jews in the Holocaust meant that there could not be enough Jewish immigrants to maintain a decisive majority in all of the land West of the Jordan river. It soon became apparent as well, that explosive Arab population growth and perhaps significant immigration would eventually create an Arab majority between the (Jordan) river and the sea.

The Grand Mufti and the Arab states wanted to obtain a state in all of the land. That state would be Arab because all the Jews would be expelled or exterminated, or at least, Jewish immigration would be ended. To this end, the Mufti had apparently planned to build a death camp near Nablus.

The fact is, that not one Jew remained in the areas taken over by Arab armies in 1948. In Gush Etzion over 100 were massacred and the rest "permitted" to leave. In Hebron, no Jews remained. In the Jewish quarter of the old city of Jerusalem, Jews were ethnically cleansed by the Transjordan [Arab] Legion – conducted out of the Jewish Quarter by force.

Likewise, small Jewish communities around Jerusalem such as Atarot, Neve Yaakov and the Ophel (Silwan) had to be abandoned, as well as others like Kfar Darom in the south. Those who talk about "Arab" Jerusalem should remember that before 1948 substantial numbers of Jews lived in East Jerusalem. "Arab" Jerusalem existed for only 19 years and it was enforced by racist ethnic cleansing and racist immigration and land purchase policies.

The one state solution has never been abandoned by the Arab side. With the addition of millions of refugees who claim "right of return," they reckon that they would have a majority in this state very soon. Faced with the prospect of losing the West Bank, some extremist Jews (not all Zionist, perhaps) have also taken up the cause of the "one state solution". This would involve annexing the West Bank to Israel. ... Click here to read his entire piece online.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Scurrilous attacks on Sari Nusseibeh

My thanks to David Hirsh of the British Engage Online Website (which battles academic boycotts of Israel) and Ami Isseroff of Mideast Web for dissecting the right-wing attacks on Dr. Sari Nusseibeh, the Palestinian peace activist who heads Al-Quds University in East Jerusalem.

Keep in mind that Nusseibeh has campaigned vigorously and courageously for a two-state solution, even in refugee camps, insisting that the Palestinians must give up on the "right of return" to what is now Israel. He's also been outspoken in opposing academic boycotts of Israel. If you just read the beginning of Isseroff’s piece (below), you might believe the attacks against him, so please go on to read both Isseroff and Hirsh in their entirety (including Nusseibeh's response):

.... Link to Mideast Web ....

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Of Arms and Iran

Today’s posting is more about questions than answers. I’m linking to Ami Isseroff’s post about the Iranian nuclear issue. While asserting little one way or the other, Ami raises questions about the reliability of the US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) released the other day, which concluded with "high confidence" that Iran halted its effort to develop a nuclear weapon in 2003— likely in response to aggressive US actions against the Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein in Iraq. ...


Present for Peace at Annapolis, Part 1

Meretz USA’s president Lawrence I. Lerner, executive director Charney Bromberg, past president Lilly Rivlin, board member Shirley Rausher, and Ralph Seliger joined with staff and activists of the Union of Progressive Zionists, Americans for Peace Now, Brit Tzedek V’Shalom, Ameinu, Hashomer Hatzair and Habonim-Dror to rally for peace in Annapolis, Maryland. Charney Bromberg was among those who addressed the rally jointly sponsored by this coalition of pro-Israel peace groups at St. Anne’s Church in downtown Annapolis, across from the Maryland governor’s official residence.

Other speakers included two friends from Israel, Mossi Raz, a former Meretz Member of Knesset and director of Israel’s Peace Now, and Gavri Bargil, co-director of Israel’s Kibbutz Movement and a former Shaliach (Zionist emissary) headquartered in New York. In attendance, cheering us on, was Nidal Fuqaha, a Ramallah-based Palestinian who is executive director of the Geneva Initiative.

.... Click here for a thumbs-down view of the conference from the ever-skeptical Ami Isseroff
but he usefully includes the joint statement signed onto by Israel and the PLO, pledging "vigorous, ongoing and continuous negotiations and ... every effort to conclude an agreement before the end of 2008." ...


Friday, November 16, 2007

J. Zel Lurie: Israel — Jewish people’s national home

Israel is the national home of the Jewish people. The underlying basis of Zionism, from Theodor Herzl to Ariel Sharon, is self-determination for the Jewish people.

The Jewish people in Tel Aviv today includes atheists, agnostics, scientologists, Buddhists, Samaritans, Karaites, Christians who have a Jewish grandparent and just plain secular Jews who happen to be a majority.

To call Israel a “Jewish state” is misleading. A Jewish state would be a state based on the Jewish religion.*

*Note disagreement between Zel Lurie and Ami Isseroff on Erekat’s rejection of “Jewish state” concept. I see the “Jewish state” term as ambiguous and would refer to a Jewish religious state as “Judaic” or a Torah state. Isseroff believes that Erekat is denying the concept of Jewish peoplehood by defining Jews as only a religious group. What do you think?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Arab peace initiative: Hopes & concerns

.... I invite readers to go online to read two articles at the Mideast Web site for an important discussion on the Arab League peace initiative by Walid Salem and Ami Isseroff. ...

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Isseroff on 'Israel Lobby'

.... Our prolific friend, Ami Isseroff, has notified us of this piece with word that it's "timely both for Six Day War anniversary coming up and for the Israel Lobby issue."

There is good material on Senator Fulbright’s anti-Israel and anti-Jewish animus, but it goes on a bit long and is weakened in my view by Ami’s caustic style. Still, it's worth a look.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Peace initiative(s) vs. confrontation

Passover ends tonight, but perhaps I seemed holier than thou by pledging a break until the yom tov was officially over. Although less hopeful than we tend to be at Meretz USA, Ami Isseroff still makes good sense in his argument for Israel to respond constructively to the Saudi/Arab League peace initiative. An abridged version follows; it can be read in its entirety, along with its embedded Web links, online at his Mideast site:

The Arab peace initiative, renewed at the recent Arab summit, has created the expected confusion in Israel. The doves, predictably, insist that Israel must seize the opportunity. The Arab side has come a long way since the "three nos" of the Khartoum conference, and offers peace, as hardnosed Zeev Schiff notes. The offer cannot be dismissed easily. Even if it is a bad offer, the admission that Israel has the right to exist and that there could be peace in principle establishes a precedent, a change in the culture of the conflict, and it must not be ignored. From Israel's point of view, it is a giant step forward that should be amplified and bolstered in any way possible.

The Israeli government, for its part, sniffs and pokes at the peace initiative like a dog who is not too hungry and has been offered some strange food. Dennis Ross is probably right that neither Olmert nor Abbas are strong enough to make peace, and that in itself tells us something about the current mentality of Israelis and Palestinians....

The antipathy to peace is due to cultural and geopolitical realities that cannot be dismissed. No peace plan can succeed as long people do not really want peace, because the demands and requirements that they make are designed to prevent peace, and if those are met, they will find new ones: [for example] It is “absolutely necessary” to have a settlement in Ariel, because having the settlement in Ariel will prevent the possibility of a viable Palestinian state. [Or] It is “essential” to get return of the Palestinian refugees to Israel, because return of the refugees to Israel will destroy the Jewish state....

The novelty of the Saudi peace plan is that a major Middle East player has made a bid for leadership based on peace, and not on the politics of confrontation....

There are indications indeed that the plan is just a device, a gimmick, that is not intended to be pursued seriously....

In a news conference following the Arab League Summit, Prince Saud declared that there was nothing in effect, for Israel to negotiate with most Arab countries. Israel should first meet all the terms of the Syrians, Palestinians and Lebanese, and then the Arab countries would make peace, at an unspecified date. Perhaps they would, and perhaps they would not. However, it is clear that Prince Saud is not stupid, and that he understands that Israel would not make sweeping concessions of the type demanded in the initiative unless there was absolute certainty that Israel will get peace from the Arabs in return. Moreover, the Arabs rejected PM Olmert's offer to meet and did not make a counter offer, so apparently they are not as anxious to make peace as to talk about making peace.

The terms of the initiative in their worst interpretation are certainly unacceptable to Israel, but Israel cannot afford to stand by and do nothing. Gimmick or not, the initiative is a very effective weapon in the diplomatic war that Arab countries have been waging against Israel. Whining that the initiative is not serious and ignoring it will not suffice.

.... Israel must craft a public peace plan of its own and put it on the table to compete with the Arab Peace Initiative. This plan should reflect national consensus, and must be generous enough to get the backing of the European Union and the United States. For the Palestinians, it can be modeled on the Clinton Bridging Proposals or the Geneva Initiative or the Ayalon-Nusseibeh plan. These are the plans that all the experts point to as the only possible shape of a peace solution: "two states for two peoples" and territorial compromise. None of these plans contemplate full withdrawal or massive return of Palestinian Arab refugees. All of them would give both sides peace with security, if they are carried out as agreed. All of them would safeguard Israeli rights in Jerusalem and other holy places to a greater or lesser extent, as well as allowing for Arab rights. Therefore, these plans can have a greater appeal to the international community than the Arab peace plan.

.... Even if no peace agreement is reached immediately, it helps to legitimize two very important ideas that must be the basis of any future peace. On the Arab side, there must be an understanding that Israel is here to stay and that recognizing Israel and the rights of Jews is no longer a cultural taboo. On the Israeli side, there must be a realization that it is, after all, possible to make peace and desirable to do so. Once both sides agree on both points, most of the solution is in hand.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Isseroff’s ‘gentle’ artistry as reviewer

Ami Isseroff is usually too feisty and negative for his own good, but he’s also well-intended and often on the mark. Both of these qualities seem on display in the following review published on his Mideast Web site (Jan. 21):

Bridging the Divide: Peacebuilding in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Edy Kaufman, Walid Salem and Juliette Verhoeven, editors, Lynne Reinner, publisher, 2006.

If you are interested in peace or dialogue in the Middle East, Bridging the Divide is a must read. The title alone redeems this work. The authors' hearts are in the right place. The title makes it a much better book than Jimmy Carter's best-selling scribblings about Israeli "Apartheid"....
You won't buy a book because of its title, but the first chapter, by Edy Kaufman and Walid Salem, which chronicles the long history of Israeli-Palestinian dialogue efforts, is an essential resource. The only problem with it is that there is not enough of it. One would like to see a more detailed discussion of dialogue efforts that have been going on abroad as well, and a systematic discussion of various "Track II diplomacy" meetings that are mentioned in passing in various places in the book -- and others that were not mentioned. There are also important chapters by Tamar Hermann, a frank and perceptive joint chapter on Palestinian-Israeli activities by Mohammed Dajani and Gershon Baskin, and informative chapter by Menachem Klein and Riad Malki on Track II diplomacy that you won't want to miss, as well as other treats. ... Click here for Isseroff’s complete review article.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

‘Resistance’: Moral or Murder?

The following is from Ami Isseroff’s posted article of March 13, 2007:

One of the key issues on the table between Israel and the Palestinians is the so-called "right of resistance." Quartet and Israeli conditions for recognition of the Palestinian government include an end to violence, while Palestinians continually uphold the "right of resistance," which is a major principle of the Palestinian Prisoners' Letter. In practice, resistance always seems to include suicide attacks, shootouts and rocket attacks on civilians. Intentional attacks against civilians are crimes against humanity and cannot and should not be tolerated by the international community, nor should they be justified by "peace" groups....

March 9, 2007 - I was discussing with a friend the possibility of Israeli-Palestinian (or more generally, Jewish-Arab) dialogue. She sent me an article, entitled "Palestinians Debate 'Polite' Resistance to Occupation." It reports widespread distrust within the Palestinian community in any notion of a non-violent intifada. A member of Hamas put it like this: "Nothing can be achieved through resisting the occupation in a polite way."

....Non-violent resistance – Of course, nobody can deny the right of people to protest an injustice. If there were hundreds of thousands of Palestinians peacefully demonstrating for their own state and for peace it would be an effective and moral act. That doesn't mean that all non-violent actions are good and moral. What would you think of a non-violent demonstration in support of apartheid or the "rights" of child-molesters?

.... Resistance against an occupation army is permitted by international law. Nobody would claim that the acts of the French Maquis or Russian or Polish or Jewish partisans against the Nazis were wrong, or that resistance to German occupation in World War I was not a moral act. However, if the representatives of the occupied people have an agreement with the occupier, it is questionable whether they can subvert that agreement by claiming the right to "resistance."

Murder of civilians – Suicide bombings, rocket attacks and other violence directed against civilians is just plain wrong, whether they occur in Iraq or in Israel. They cannot be justified as "resistance."

Click here for the entire article online at MidEastWeb for Coexistence.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Post-Mecca Blues

Sunday's meeting between US Secretary of State Rice and Palestinian Abbas was covered in a surprisingly upbeat vein by the NY Times:
Ms. Rice made clear that she was willing to begin work on a peace deal with him even if the United States boycotted a unity government. That might allow Mr. Abbas, as the leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization, to hold talks with Israel even if a new Palestinian unity government did not recognize Israel or renounce violence, two conditions that Israel and the United States have both demanded.Mr. Abbas’s aides were buoyant after the meeting. “We’re encouraged,” one Palestinian official said.
But the Mecca unity government agreement between Hamas and Fatah, which does not explicitly renounce violence and endorse the two-state solution, casts a pall on ongoing efforts toward peace. Israeli Prime Minister Olmert pledged at today's summit with Abbas and Rice to maintain contact with Abbas even while continuing to boycott the Hamas-led Palestinian government; there is some but scant hope in this. The only way forward at this moment is for Israel and the US to negotiate with Abbas while largely ignoring Hamas, but sadly, real progress seems unlikely under these circumstances. I would, nevertheless, hope against hope for this course of working with Abbas and ignoring Hamas.
I often find Ami Isseroff overly harsh, but his analysis, "Palestinian unity: Ominous signs," at the Mideast Peace Web site seems to be basically on target.

Israel valt Sinaï binnen met giftige spijkerbroeken


Je zou zeggen dat ze in Egypte meer aan hun hoofd hebben, maar op de Egyptische televisie vond een heuse discussie plaats over het gif dat Israel in spijkerbroeken stopt die men naar de Sinai exporteert.


Israeli products contain lethal poison. You might not feel this poison now, but you will in the future. Israel will remain an enemy lying in wait for Egypt, no matter what happens and regardless of the agreements, because Israel has its eye set on Egypt. 


Oftewel: als Israel er niet meer is zijn al onze problemen opgelost en komt het helemaal goed. 





Sinai Bedouin claim Israel sent them jeans that caused infertility


From MEMRI: 

Following are excerpts from a debate on the "invasion" of Israeli products into Sinai, which aired on Egyptian Dream2 TV on February 1, 2012:


Muhammad Al-Mane'i, Sinai Bedouin: There was a time when they would bring us jeans. These pants used to have belts. If you looked at these belts from the front, you'd find a secret compartment, and when you opened it, you would find a magnet inside. When we asked what these magnets were, we were told that they cause sterility. 

Interviewer: In other words, it causes infertility.

Muhammad Al-Mane'i: Exactly.

Interviewer: There was a time when these jeans with belts would invade us from Israel, and we used to take the magnets out and chuck them away


Interviewer: Israeli products contain lethal poison. You might not feel this poison now, but you will in the future. Israel will remain an enemy lying in wait for Egypt, no matter what happens and regardless of the agreements, because Israel has its eye set on Egypt. 


With all these great Israeli inventions that painlessly cause sterility in men, why do people still get vasectomies?


De Palestijnse vluchtelingen uit 1936


Kijk eens naar de volgende beelden van vluchtelingen uit Palestina, hoe hun huizen werden vernield, ze op straat kwamen te staan met hun spullen en er tentenkampen voor ze werden ingericht. En dat alles omdat een wrede vijand ze uit hun land wilde verjagen, zomaar. Een en ander gebeurde tijdens de grote Arabische opstand van 1936-1939, toen met name bendes loyaal aan mufti Haj Amin Al Husseini het land teisterden en zowel gematigdere Palestijnen als Joden doodden. Deze vluchtelingen waren Joden, en misschien is dat een reden dat je waarschijnlijk nooit eerder over ze hebt gelezen. 





The Palestinian refugees of 1936 were...Jews

Here are photos of Jewish houses in Tel Aviv  destroyed by Arabs of Jaffa at the outbreak of the "non-violent" riots in 1936:



Thousands of Jews were forced to flee their homes:

Some Jews were forced to move their belongings to a public park in Tel Aviv:

Here is a refugee camp near Rishon LeZion for the Jews who lost their homes during the riots.

All these photos were done by Zoltan Kluger.

I found them at this Israeli photo archive website that just became public - although the website was created in 1998, and it shows.