zaterdag 25 oktober 2008

Hamas: steekpartij Jeruzalem natuurlijke reaktie op Israelische aggressie

Gilo is een Joodse wijk aan de rand van Jeruzalem, buiten de Groene Lijn en daarom door sommigen aangeduid als 'illegale Joodse nederzetting op bezet Palestijns gebied'. Hamas zal dat worst wezen, want die maakt geen onderscheid tussen de 'bezetting van 1948' en die van 1967.

Hamas: Jerusalem stabbing is natural response to Israeli aggression
By Jonathan Lis and Nadav Shragai, Haaretz Correspondents and Agencies
Last update - 00:40 24/10/2008

Following the stabbing of an elderly Israeli and a policeman by a Palestinian in Jerusalem on Thursday, Hamas said such attacks were a "natural response" to Israel's continued aggression.

Abraham Ozeri, an 86-year-old Jerusalem resident, died of his wounds shortly after the terror attack. The policeman, 30, was taken for treatment at the Hadassah Hospital in Ein Kerem, where his condition was classified as serious.

The attacker, 20-year-old Mohammed al-Badan, was shot and disarmed during the attack.

The Palestinian militant group Hamas added that the terror attack came as a direct response to Israeli moves to make Jerusalem more Jewish.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said two police officers on patrol in Gilo had stopped an Arab for questioning on the street when he pulled out a knife and stabbed one of them.

"The [wounded] policeman fired at the terrorist, but he continued to attack and stabbed a 86-year-old passerby, before he was apprehended," Rosenfeld said.

A civilian, Yoav Mizrahi, and a municipal inspector, Yehoshua Ben Nun, who were in the area gave chase, seizing the Palestinian some two hundred meters away from the site of the stabbing.

Mizrahi said: "I succeeded in grabbing hold of his back, and with the municipal inspector who was in the area, we held him and called on civilians to phone the police and Magen David Adom [emergency services]. I put my leg on him and pointed a gun at him until the police arrived."

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the stabbing.

Magen David Adom, revising its information that the Palestinian was killed, said he sustained moderate wounds.

IDF raids assailant's village

The Israel Defense Forces later searched the West Bank home of the attacker in the village of Tekoa, near Bethlehem. Witnesses said two of al-Badan's friends were taken away in military jeeps.

Witnesses said about 100 local teenagers hurled rocks at the soldiers, who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets. Palestinian medics said three Palestinians were lightly injured. The army said a soldier was also lightly wounded in the clash, but it gave no further details of the operation.

Security establishment sources said the police officers' alertness had likely foiled an attack on one of the educational institutions in the area.

On September 22, a Palestinian plowed his car into a group of soldiers at a busy intersection, injuring 13 before he was shot dead.

In two incidents in July, Palestinians carried out attacks on city streets using heavy construction machinery, killing three people and wounding several others.

About two months ago, an Israel Defense Forces soldier was lightly to moderately wounded when he was stabbed by a Palestinian near the Almog Junction north of the Dead Sea.

Hamas open voor verzoening met Fatah (niet met Israel, natuurlijk)

Wat betekent een overeenkomst tussen Hamas en Fatah voor de vredesbesprekingen met Israel? Er is geen enkele aanwijzing dat Hamas zijn standpunten aan het matigen is, integendeel.
Meanwhile, the follow-up committee discussed a number of issues in the Palestinian arena, including the Zionist escalation against Palestinian citizens in the 1948-occupied Palestinian city of Akka, in addition to the harsh conditions in the besieged Gaza Strip
Als Hamas en Fatah weer samen een regering gaan vormen, wat valt er dan nog te onderhandelen voor Israel?

Hamas will not be an obstacle in the reconciliation efforts
23 October 2008
Website of  Ezzedeen Al-Qassam Brigades - the armed branch of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas)

Head of the Hamas Political Bureau, Khalid Mishaal, said on Wednesday that his Movement is keen to help make Egypt's efforts in achieving inter-Palestinian reconciliation succeed despite the reservations raised by the Palestinian factions, including Hamas, on the draft paper presented by Egypt.

"We in Hamas, and the rest of Palestinian factions are with reconciliation because we want reconciliation, and we shall work to make the inter-Palestinian national reconciliation talks in Cairo succeed", asserted Mishaal in a press conference held by the follow up committee of the Palestinian national conference in the Syrian capital Damascus.

He also underlined that his Movement's reservations on the draft paper and the modifications Hamas suggested on it will be submitted to the Egyptians to study those suggestions, adding that the paper will be fertile ground for the reconciliation after modifying it. "We want to provide a positive atmosphere to make the talks succeed", he pointed out.

Moreover, the Hamas senior official underscored that Hamas was keen on holding bilateral talks with Fatah but, he added, Fatah refused although we believe that such meeting, if it had been held, would have greatly contributed to make the Cairo dialogue succeed.

But Mishaal refused to reveal his Movement's reservations on the Egyptian paper, stressing the importance of that paper and the need to accept it from all Palestinian factions.

"The (Egyptian) draft paper that has been submitted (to the Palestinian factions) formed good grounds for the Palestinian reconciliation, but, for the reconciliation to be achieved all the reservations raised by the concerned Palestinian factions should be taken into consideration", underlined Mishaal.

Meanwhile, the follow-up committee discussed a number of issues in the Palestinian arena, including the Zionist escalation against Palestinian citizens in the 1948-occupied Palestinian city of Akka, in addition to the harsh conditions in the besieged Gaza Strip.

In a final statement it issued, and read by Palestinian leader Talal Naji of the PFLP-GC, the committee condemned the Zionist aggressions on the occupied city of Jerusalem, and the escalated settlement activities in the West Bank, particularly in Jerusalem.

The committee also urged the PA security apparatuses in the West Bank to desist from coordinating with the Zionist security departments, and to stop chasing and arresting Palestinian resistance fighters and closing of charitable societies there.

vrijdag 24 oktober 2008

Livni beslist zondag of er verkiezingen komen in Israel

Komen er nieuwe verkiezingen of lukt het Livni om binnen twee weken een coalitie te vormen? Livni heeft aangekondigd aanstaande zondag te besluiten of ze doorgaat met de onderhandelingen of het op nieuwe verkiezingen laat aankomen. Veel vertrouwen tussen de mogelijke coalitiepartners lijkt er niet te zijn, dus het is de vraag of een stabiele coalitie nu mogelijk is. Het is echter allerminst zeker dat de verkiezingen daar verandering in brengen. Geen enkele partij is zo groot dat men met een coalitie van twee partijen kan regeren; er zijn er altijd minimaal drie nodig en waarschijnlijk vier of zelfs vijf, en iedere partij wil vooral zijn eigen 'stokpaardjes' binnen halen. Verwacht wordt dat Likoed de verkiezingen zal winnen, en de zittende partijen zullen verliezen.

The Jerusalem Post
Oct 23, 2008 13:23 | Updated Oct 23, 2008 19:42
Livni: Decision on calling elections will be made Sunday

As the clock ticked on Tzipi Livni's chances of forming a coalition, the Kadima leader said that all would become clear on Sunday, when she would inform President Shimon Peres of her decision.

"The moment of reckoning has arrived," Livni said at a Kadima faction meeting, Thursday. "Decisions need to be made by Sunday and then we will know whether there will be a coalition or elections."

"Negotiations have not been exhausted to their fullest, but time is not on our side," she added.

The Kadima leader insisted that she would not agree to break the budget and that she would not restore child welfare payments to their former levels.

Livni said she was aware of the "price of elections," but stressed she would not act irresponsibly.

In the closed session, the Kadima leader said she preferred a government that was as broad as possible, but admitted that it was not yet clear if she would even get a 61-MK majority, Israel Radio reported.

She stressed that the way to succeed in building a coalition was through unity within Kadima.

"If our partners know that Kadima will not crumble, we will be able to make greater achievements," she said.

During the meeting, Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik called for a broad coalition. She also said Shas was "important" for the government and that "it is hard to believe that it wants elections."

However Itzik said that remarks within Kadima expressing opposition to a narrow government were "damaging."

Shas hinted earlier that it would not enter a left-leaning coalition with Kadima, Labor and Meretz, even for a NIS 1 billion increase in child welfare and other budget bonuses.

Livni held a series of talks Thursday with senior officials in Kadima and the few coalition members she has so far managed to persuade to joining her would-be government.

Likud Faction Chairman Gideon Sa'ar rejected Livni's announcement, saying that she was denying the people's right to choose.

"So far," Sa'ar said," five weeks after her election to head Kadima, Livni has done everything in her power to prevent the nation from having its say in an election.

"Who is worthy and capable of leadership, and in which way; one can hope that come Sunday Livni will understand what every child in Israel already knows - that it's too late for a strong, stable and functional government to be established in the current Knesset," Sa'ar added.

On Monday, Livni was granted another two weeks by Peres to negotiate the establishment of a new coalition in the wake of the Kadima primary and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's announcement that he would resign.

But on Thursday, Israel Radio reported that Livni would not use the two-week extension granted to her and would instead make her mind up by early next week whether to call for general elections.

According to Israeli law, if Livni fails to establish a new government, the country will vote for a new leadership within 90 days.

Livni has signaled in the past that she would not cave in to Shas's demands and would even prefer to head a narrow coalition so as to avoid a coalition stifled by the religious, Sephardi-orientated party.

But Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, who lost the Kadima primary to Livni by a narrow margin, said he would not agree to a narrow coalition.

"The time to decide has come," Livni was quoted as telling her partners. She said that she believed a coalition could be finalized, but that Shas must decide what it really wants.

She added that the generous offer she made to lure Shas was her final offer.

Three options now existed, Livni opined: a wide coalition with Shas, a narrow coalition without Shas or general elections.

Last week, a source close to Shas chairman Eli Yishai said that "Labor's coalition deal allows Barak to force his viewpoint on the government and to paralyze the cabinet if he does not get his way. This is unacceptable to Shas and takes us one step further away from joining the government."

Shas officials then stressed that their demand for a hefty increase in child allowances had not changed, and that it did not matter to the party whether the prime minister who granted their request was Livni, or Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu after a general election.

Netanyahu met with Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef at the rabbi's home in Jerusalem's Har Nof neighborhood on Monday morning in an effort to dissuade Shas from joining a coalition under Livni. The meeting was the second between the two since Livni was chosen to lead Kadima on September 17.

"At this time we need a government that will bolster Israel's economy and protect Jerusalem," Netanyahu told the rabbi. "Obviously, this government cannot do that, and therefore there must be an election."

Livni's associates blasted Netanyahu for trying to torpedo a deal between Kadima and Shas.

"On the one hand, Netanyahu says we need stability due to the economic crisis, but his other hand is engaging in petty politics and pushing the country toward an unnecessary election," said Kadima MK Yohanan Plesner, who is close to Livni.

Gil Hoffman contributed to this report

Dode en gewonde bij aanval in Jeruzalem

Terwijl (grote) aanslagen gelukkig niet veel meer voorkomen, vinden dit soort kleinere aanvallen wel geregeld plaats, vooral in Jeruzalem.

The Jerusalem Post
Oct 23, 2008 11:22 | Updated Oct 23, 2008 21:42
Arab kills man, wounds cop in J'lem

86-year-old Avraham Ozeri was killed and a police officer was moderately wounded Thursday morning when they were stabbed near a school on Vardinon Street in Jerusalem's Gilo neighborhood by a young Palestinian terrorist.

Police said that the assailant, 21-year-old Mohammad Elmadan, from a village near Bethlehem, was stopped for inspection by a pair of officers, a man and a woman, when he pulled out a large knife and attacked the man.

He then tried to escaped and while fleeing the scene stabbed the elderly man in the chest.

The officer, despite suffering stab wounds, managed to shoot the assailant several times and hit him in the abdomen.

Yoav Mizrahi, a passerby who caught the assailant, told Army Radio: "He was shot, but he kept running. After a while he got tired and I caught up with him. I ran after him and caught him, wrestled him to the ground and twisted his arm behind his back."

The civilian was evacuated in critical condition to the Shaare Tzedek Hospital, where he died of his wounds. The policeman and the attacker were evacuated to Hadassah University Medical Center, Ein Kerem.

The policeman was in moderate-to-serious condition after he underwent a two-hour operation. But hospital director Dr. Yuval Weiss predicted that the policeman, Ethiopian immigrant Daniel Motza, would be able to function normally and perhaps be discharged in a week or so if there are no complications.

The heroic policeman, who was stabbed in his chest and stomach but still managed to shoot the terrorist, was operated on by a medical team headed by Prof. Avi Rivkind, head of the surgical branch and trauma unit. He was taken to intensive care and is being ventilated. "He will recover," said Weiss. "We believe he will be in much better condition tomorrow."

Public Security Minister Avi Ditcher visited the policeman in hospital and hailed his courage which, he said, certainly contributed to the terrorist's arrest and reduced the further harm he could have caused.

"He is a really strong young man, and this really helps with his medical treatment," Ditcher told reporters outside the hospital. "When you see Daniel, you really see how in spite of the severe wounds he sustained, he managed to fire at the terrorist and wound him. There is no doubt that the attacker's wounds significantly lessened the harm he could have caused, but unfortunately, after he was injured, and despite his wounds, the terrorist still managed to murder and elderly man, an 86-year-old man, just because he was Jewish. He was then subdued by a civilian before police arrived, but Daniel's fire was a very significant contribution to the eventual arrest of the terrorist."

Jerusalem Police chief Cmdr. Aharon Franco praised the officers' conduct in the attack: "The officers at the scene acted professionally. The event could have ended much worse. We are investigating the details of how the attacker made his way into a Jerusalem neighborhood".

The attack was the second in a month in Jerusalem and the fourth since July.

On September 22, a Palestinian plowed his car into a group of soldiers at a busy intersection, injuring 13 before he was shot dead.

In two incidents in July, Palestinians carried out attacks on city streets using heavy construction machinery, killing three people and wounding several others.

AP contributed to this report

The Jerusalem Post
Oct 23, 2008 20:53 | Updated Oct 23, 2008 21:13

An IDF soldier was lightly wounded and eight Palestinians were hurt Thursday afternoon during clashes in Arab Tekoa, near the home of Mohammad Elmadan, who killed 86-year-old Avraham Ozeri in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem's Gilo neighborhood earlier that day.
The soldiers entered the village to arrest suspects in connection with the attack and were confronted by some 125 rioting Palestinians.
Among the detainees were the terrorist's sister and her husband.
In the past, 21-year-old Elmadan was twice expelled from Jerusalem after entering the city illegally and he was involved in several disturbances outside the capital, security officials said.
In Thursday's attack, he also stabbed policeman Daniel Motza. The police officer then shot Elmadan before the assailant was subdued by a passerby and subsequently arrested.

Hezbollah bewapent zich voor de volgende Libanon oorlog

Waarom UNIFIL zo ineffectief is in Zuid-Libanon, en niet eens op de hoogte is van hoe Hezbollah zich aan het voorbereiden is op de volgende oorlog.

The Jerusalem Post
Oct 23, 2008 21:46 | Updated Oct 23, 2008 22:31
Analysis: Hizbullah plants seeds of next war south of Litani
An anecdote recently told me by a senior source in the Arab media indicates the process by which Hizbullah is rebuilding its strength south of the Litani River.

The source, who is well connected in Lebanon, related the story of a family who left their home in one of the villages of the south during the 2006 war. They now return from Beirut to the south for weekends.

Recently, on returning to their southern residence, they noticed that their garden had been dug up, and that an unfamiliar tree had mysteriously appeared in the area.

The family made inquiries as to who or what had been responsible for this item of uninvited landscape gardening on their property. They were quietly advised not to further pursue the issue, and the matter was dropped. This example was cited as a typical instance of what is currently taking place in southern Lebanon.

This story, from a trustworthy source, suggests the extent to which Hizbullah is able to expect - or impose - silence and consent among the population of the south.

It appears to offer supporting evidence to the suspicion that Hizbullah is using populated areas of southern Lebanon as the framework within which it is rebuilding its independent military infrastructure in southern Lebanon.

But it also hints at the problematic "peaceful coexistence" which appears to be maintained between Hizbullah and the bodies tasked with implementing UN Resolution 1701 south of the Litani River - namely, UNIFIL and the Lebanese Armed Forces.

On June 27 of this year, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued his latest report on the implementation of Resolution 1701. The report noted Israeli claims that Hizbullah was in the process of rebuilding its military capacity in the south. It confirmed that UNIFIL, in collaboration with the LAF, would "immediately investigate" any claims of violations of Resolution 1701. However, the UN secretary-general found "no evidence of new military infrastructure in the area of operations."

A possible explanation for UNIFIL's failure to become aware of incidents such as the one described above is to be found by observing this force's own patterns of deployment in the area, and its relations with the Lebanese army (LAF).

A visitor to southern Lebanon will be immediately struck by the absence of international and LAF forces in populated areas. UNIFIL does not conduct patrols, establish checkpoints or maintain a presence of any kind within the towns and villages south of the Litani. Indeed, the UN forces have little unmediated security-related contact of any kind with the population of the area.

Thus, while UNIFIL, according to its own figures, carries out around 400 foot, vehicle and air patrols in each 24-hour period, these take place exclusively along recognized patrol paths and in rural areas.

UN forces maintain no independent checkpoints and are involved in a minimum of joint checkpoints with the LAF (fewer than 10 such positions in the entirety of southern Lebanon, according to available figures.)

The result of this pattern of activity is that UNIFIL has made some significant discoveries of ordnance in rural areas. However, given the physical absence of UN forces from any of the areas where evidence of Hizbullah infrastructure-building has emerged, it is not surprising that UNIFIL reports "no evidence" that such activity is taking place.

In general, the two sides appear to do their best to stay out of each other's way.

The reason for the emergence of this pattern was succinctly expressed recently in private by an Italian official, who noted that the Italian government possessed no mandate from the public for the arrival of Italian soldiers in body bags from southern Lebanon.

Accidents have happened, however, most famously in an incident near the village of Jibal al-Butm in the western sector on the night of March 30-31. On that occasion, a UNIFIL patrol noted a suspicious truck towing a trailer and began to follow it. Two cars containing armed men then blocked the further progress of the UNIFIL patrol. The troops, in the words of a UN report, "challenged" the armed men. Unfortunately, while the challenge was going on, the suspicious truck disappeared. The armed men then also left the area. The UN's report on the incident dryly notes that despite a Lebanese army investigation into the incident, efforts to "locate or identify the perpetrators have proved unsuccessful."

The role of the Lebanese army in events in the south must also be considered. The LAF, it may be assumed, has a far better idea than does UNIFIL of what is happening on the ground. It maintains a far more visible presence, though it also avoids open patrolling in populated areas. But the LAF is the same army that existed throughout a decade and a half of effective Syrian control in Lebanon. In that time, Syria spread its control throughout the organs of the Lebanese state. No purge of the LAF took place after the Syrian departure, and it may be assumed that significant elements of the army continue to act according to a pro-Syrian agenda. This, among other things, would include turning a blind eye to Hizbullah activity in the south.

So Resolution 1701 notwithstanding, no force currently exists to effectively challenge or limit the activities of the Hizbullah "para-state" in southern Lebanon. As a result, the infrastructure for the next war is currently being built, woven into the fabric of civilian life, a few miles north of the border.

Jonathan Spyer is a senior research fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs Center, IDC, Herzliya.

Met zo'n VS heeft Israël geen vijanden nodig

Het komt niet zo vaak voor: in NRC stond woensdag een artikel van een Israeli die uitlegde dat al die aandacht voor Israel, en al die vriendschapsbetuigingen van de Amerikaanse presidentskandidaten, Israel geen goed doen, maar juist schaden. De schuld van deze aandacht, en daarmee voor het wekken van de indruk dat de VS vanwege Israel Irak binnen is gevallen, en vanwege Israel mogelijk Iran gaat aanvallen, ligt volgens Shmuel Rosner bij de kandidaten, hun adviseurs en een paar om aandacht verlegen zittende Israeli's.
Dat is niet helemaal waar. De presidentskandidaten zeggen wat ze denken dat de kiezer wil horen, en veel Amerikanen zien Israel als een baken van Westerse democratie en waarden in een vijandige Arabische wereld. Dat veel mensen ook zijn gaan denken dat Israel de agressor is, een wrede bezetter, en de VS haar problemen moet opknappen, komt niet zozeer en zeker niet alleen door de eenzijdige steunbetuigingen van de presidentskandidaten aan Israel, maar door een antizionistische campagne van mensen als Mearsheimer en Walt, Jimmy Carter, Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein en anti-Israel activiteiten op campussen door pro-Palestijnse organisaties. Deze mensen zetten Israel bewust neer als de agressor en als apartheidsstaat, overdrijven haar macht en die van de Israellobby, en beweren dat de relatie tussen de VS en Israel de belangen van de VS schaadt. De media geven deze mensen volop de ruimte, evenals de besturen van universiteiten en de makers van populaire talkshows.

Met zo'n VS heeft Israël geen vijand nodig

De onaflatende steunbetuigingen van de VS aan Israël zijn voor beide landen vooral schadelijk

Gepubliceerd: 22 oktober 2008 14:03 | Gewijzigd: 22 oktober 2008 14:15


De openbare steun die beide presidentskandidaten aan Israël geven, werkt eerder in het nadeel van de VS en Israël. Minder aandacht zou beter zijn, meent Shmuel Rosner.

Toen hij onderdirecteur Media en Publieke opinie was op het Israëlische ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken, kwam Gideon Meir naar Amerika met een ambitieuze missie, één die sommigen voor onmogelijk hielden. Hij wilde Israël een ander imago geven door het land minder zichtbaar in het nieuws te maken.

Meir, tegenwoordig ambassadeur in Italië, vertelt een verhaal over de ontvangst in een Europese ambassade: „De gastvrouw zei tegen me: 'Kijk naar ons. Onze premier was hier vorige week voor een staatsbezoek, en al wat hij kreeg was een stukje van drie regels in een van de kranten. Maar jullie krijgen steevast een kop op de voorpagina, wat er ook aan de hand is.' Weet u wat ik haar antwoordde? Neemt u die voorpaginakop en geef mij die drie regels."

Drie jaar later lijkt zijn doel nog steeds even ver weg. Het betuigen van liefde voor Israël is nog steeds de lakmoesproef voor iedere Amerikaanse politicus. Er kan in de VS geen verkiezingsdebat voorbijgaan zonder dat dit kleine land wordt genoemd. Een paar weken geleden werd Israël in het debat tussen Palin en Biden zeventien maal genoemd, tegen China twee keer, Europa slechts éénmaal en Rusland helemaal niet. De enige landen die meer aandacht kregen waren Irak en Afghanistan.

Een week eerder, in het eerste televisiedebat tussen McCain en Obama, werd Israël zeven maal genoemd, minder vaak dan Rusland, maar nog altijd vaker dan China of Japan, of welk land in Europa, Latijns-Amerika of Afrika dan ook. En uiteraard houden ze allemaal van Israël, steunen ze het en beloven ze het te beschermen. Het kleine Israël is een van de weinige landen waar zowel Obama als McCain heenging in de maanden voorafgaand aan de verkiezingsdag.

Toen de Israëlische premier Ehud Olmert voor het eerst een bezoek aan de VS bracht, pochte hij tegen joodse Congresleden dat president Bush slechts één uur had uitgetrokken voor de president van China, maar dat deze met hem wel zes uur aan tafel had gezeten.

„De veiligheid van Israel is heilig", heeft Obama herhaaldelijk verklaard. McCain en Palin hebben beloofd „een nieuwe Holocaust" te zullen voorkomen – een vermeende mogelijkheid in het geval dat Iran zijn doel bereikt van het verwerven van kernwapens. De kandidaten zeggen dit alles om politieke redenen: het binnenhalen van de joodse stem en de stemmen van andere pro-Israëlgroeperingen.

De kandidaten zeggen het omdat ze er voortdurend naar worden gevraagd. Maar als ze werkelijk om Israël geven, zouden ze op z'n minst moeten proberen deze verleiding te weerstaan. De hoge zichtbaarheidsgraad tijdens iedere verkiezingscyclus, de overweldigende aandacht – het is allemaal niet echt in Israëls belang. De indruk wordt gewekt dat Israëls problemen voor iedere Amerikaanse regering de hoogste prioriteit zouden moeten hebben. De Amerikanen gaan erdoor denken dat belangrijke en kostbare overheidsoperaties, zoals de oorlog in Irak, ondernomen zijn ten bate van Israël, waardoor het land eerder een blok aan het been wordt dan een pluspunt. De kiezers worden erdoor misleid, zodat die gaan denken dat de dilemma's waar de volgende president voor staat – Iran is het beruchtste voorbeeld – zouden verdwijnen als Israël er niet zou zijn geweest.

Maar de werkelijkheid is anders. De oplossing van het Israëlisch-Palestijnse conflict, hoe belangrijk misschien voor de Israëliërs en Palestijnen, zal voor de VS geen gebeurtenis van levensbelang zijn. Adviseurs van zowel Obama als McCain hebben dat nog niet zo lang geleden op een conferentie toegegeven. In tegenstelling tot wat veel Amerikanen denken, wees Max Boot, de adviseur van McCain, erop dat „als het Israëlisch-Palestijnse conflict wordt opgelost, dat niet de oplossing van alle problemen in het Midden-Oosten zou inhouden".

Het feit dat voorstanders van de oorlog in Irak ook bekend stonden als sympathisanten van Israël betekent nog niet dat Israël ook maar iets van doen had met het ontketenen van deze oorlog. Deze vertekening werd naar voren gebracht in The Israel Lobby, een boek van Stephen Walt en John Mearsheimer – en ik vermoed dat veel linkse Amerikaanse kiezers er nog steeds in geloven. In werkelijkheid speelde Israël nauwelijks een rol in de beslissing die tot de oorlog in Irak leidde. Zoals Yossi Alpher anderhalf jaar geleden schreef, waarschuwde de toenmalige Israëlische premier Ariel Sharon president Bush zelfs voor de oorlog: „Naar buiten toe speelde Sharon de stilzwijgende bondgenoot. [...] Niettemin adviseerde Sharon Bush om Irak niet te bezetten."

Maar Iran is het punt waar de ernstigste schade is aangericht door het herhaaldelijk noemen van Israël als het land dat wordt bedreigd door Irans nucleaire programma. Iran vormt een uitdaging voor de VS, het is een bedreiging voor de Arabische wereld, het brengt cruciale energiebronnen in gevaar en steunt terreur – en niet alleen tegen Israël.

Weliswaar erkennen de kandidaten al deze feiten, maar toch blijven ze zich richten op Israël. „Wat is uw indruk van de bedreiging die Iran vormt voor de veiligheid van de Verenigde Staten", werd in het eerste televisiedebat aan McCain gevraagd. Zijn antwoord begon zo: „Als Iran kernwapens krijgt, vormt het land een existentiële bedreiging voor Israël." Het antwoord van Obama was niet veel anders: een nucleair Iran „zou de regels van het spel veranderen. Niet alleen zou het Israël bedreigen, een land dat een trouwe bondgenoot van ons is."

Zeker, Obama en McCain noemden ook andere redenen waarom een nucleair Iran méér zou zijn dan louter iets vervelends, maar ze begonnen allebei met Israël. Kan iemand het de Amerikanen verwijten dat ze de indruk hebben dat Israël de reden is voor het verzet tegen het Iraanse expansionisme?

Nee, eigenlijk niet. De schuld voor het wekken van die indruk ligt bij de kandidaten, hun adviseurs, en een paar om aandacht verlegen zittende Israëliërs, die zich allemaal gedragen als de man uit dat in vergetelheid geraakte liedje van Queen: Never read the signs/ Too much love will kill you (Negeer de waarschuwingen/ Te veel liefde zal je fataal worden).


Shmuel Rosner is schrijver. Hij was correspondent voor de Israëlische krant Haaretz. Dit artikel verscheen eerder in internetmagazine Slate.


Hezbollah gefinancierd door Colombiaanse drugsbende

Hoe islamitisch is het om je wapens en sociale voorzieningen te financieren met drugsgeld?
"Iran, Hezbollah's longtime sponsor, and donations from the Lebanese diaspora are two sources for a multimillion-dollar budget that pays for the militia's armed and political wings and for social projects such as hospitals in Beirut. But investigations around the world have shown that Hezbollah also funds itself through drug dealing, arms trafficking, contraband smuggling and other rackets in the Americas, Africa and elsewhere.

Western anti-terrorism agents have expressed concern about an increasing Hezbollah presence in South America. The militia is accused of two major anti-Jewish bombings in Argentina in the 1990s. In June, the U.S. Treasury Department designated two Venezuelans of Lebanese descent, one a diplomat, as Hezbollah financiers and supporters."
Dit is waarschijnlijk nog maar een topje van de ijsberg.
Het ligt voor de hand dat Hezbollah ook actief is in Venezuela, gezien Chavez's banden met Iran.

Colombian cocaine ring linked to Hezbollah

U.S. and Colombian officials say they have dismantled a South American-based drug ring that helped finance the Lebanon-based Shiite militant group.
By Chris Kraul and Sebastian Rotella

11:19 PM PDT, October 21, 2008

Reported from Bogota, Colombia and Madrid — U.S. and Colombian investigators have dismantled an international cocaine smuggling and money laundering ring that allegedly used part of its profits to finance Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based Shiite militia, officials said Tuesday.

Culminating a two-year investigation, authorities arrested at least 36 suspects in recent days, including an accused Lebanese kingpin in Bogota, the Colombian capital. Chekry Harb, who used the alias "Taliban," acted as the hub of an unusual and alarming alliance between South American cocaine traffickers and Middle Eastern militants, Colombian investigators allege.

Authorities accuse Harb of being a "world-class money launderer" whose ring washed hundreds of millions of dollars a year, from Panama to Hong Kong, while paying a percentage to Hezbollah, which is designated as a terrorist group by the United States and Israel. Harb was charged with drug-related crimes in a sealed indictment filed in Miami in July, but terrorism-related charges have not been filed.

The suspects allegedly worked with a Colombian cartel and a paramilitary group to smuggle cocaine to the United States, Europe and the Middle East. Harb traveled extensively to Lebanon, Syria and Egypt and was in phone contact with Hezbollah figures, according to Colombian officials.

"The profits from the sales of drugs went to finance Hezbollah," said Gladys Sanchez, lead investigator for the special prosecutor's office in Bogota, in an interview. "This is an example of how narco-trafficking is a theme of interest to all criminal organizations, the FARC, the paramilitaries and terrorists."

The FARC is the Spanish acronym for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia guerrilla group.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration led the far-flung investigation, playing a central role in nailing down the Hezbollah connection, Sanchez said. U.S. officials in Bogota and Washington declined to discuss details of their evidence.

Iran, Hezbollah's longtime sponsor, and donations from the Lebanese diaspora are two sources for a multimillion-dollar budget that pays for the militia's armed and political wings and for social projects such as hospitals in Beirut. But investigations around the world have shown that Hezbollah also funds itself through drug dealing, arms trafficking, contraband smuggling and other rackets in the Americas, Africa and elsewhere.

Western anti-terrorism agents have expressed concern about an increasing Hezbollah presence in South America. The militia is accused of two major anti-Jewish bombings in Argentina in the 1990s. In June, the U.S. Treasury Department designated two Venezuelans of Lebanese descent, one a diplomat, as Hezbollah financiers and supporters.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's alliance with Iran raises fears that his country could become a base for Hezbollah activity, said U.S. and Israeli anti-terrorist officials who spoke anonymously because of the issue's sensitivity. Venezuela has strongly denied any links to terrorist activity.

Venezuela also serves as the corridor for a third of Colombian cocaine bound for the U.S. and Europe, including some loads moved by Harb's group, Colombian investigators said.

The case unveiled Tuesday began as a money laundering probe, but as agents followed the money they discovered the links between Harb and Hezbollah operatives, investigators said. Harb's group paid Hezbollah 12% of its profits, much of it in cash, the investigators said, without giving a dollar figure.

The inquiry grew into Operation Titan, a two-year case worked by Colombian and U.S. agents that has led to more than 130 arrests and the seizure of $23 million, Sanchez said. Investigators deployed 370 wiretaps and monitored 700,000 conversations.

"This case was brought about by putting undercover agents into the money laundering cycle," said a U.S. government official who was not authorized to comment publicly. "This has given us a window into the worldwide financial enterprise that by dotted lines links traffickers from South America and the United States to West Africa, Europe and Hong Kong."

The drugs were allegedly sent via Panama, Venezuela and Guatemala to the U.S., the Middle East and Europe.

Chinese police this year captured Oscar Cano Alazate, a Colombian accused of setting up dozens of front companies in Hong Kong to launder money for the group. Hong Kong and the Panama free-trade zone served as centers for a scheme whereby drug cash from the U.S. was funneled to firms that use it to buy goods, which are shipped to Colombia and sold to be turned back into cash, investigators said.

The group also used human couriers, fake businesses, international transfers and real estate transactions to launder the money in other locations, including Africa and Canada, Colombian officials said.

On Oct. 13, Colombian police arrested Harb, who lived on a resident's visa in Bogota with his family, after learning that he had an Air France ticket to Syria for the next day and becoming concerned that he might flee. They also arrested the other accused boss, Ali Mohamad Rahim, and Harb's brother, Zacaria, both Lebanese immigrants who had been living in Bogota. Chekry Harb is in his late 50s and Rahim in his early 40s, officials said.

Colombian officials said the three are among 15 of the suspects who will be extradited to the United States.

Harb's key suppliers in Bogota included leaders of the so-called Office of Envigado, according to Colombian authorities. The paramilitary drug trafficking organization headed by Diego Fernando Murillo, known as Don Berna, and other former foot soldiers of the late Medellin cartel boss Pablo Escobar has an international reach.

Kraul and Rotella are Times staff writers.

donderdag 23 oktober 2008

Joden achter financiële crisis volgens Arabieren

Joden, sorry, zionisten, achter financiële crisis
Nee, dit is geen antisemitisme, maar antizionsime, een volledig legitieme positie, toch...?
Verschillende Arabische columnisten, politici en intellectuelen gaven hun visie op de oorzaken van de financiële crisis.
RP ( met dank aan MEMRI )

"While financial crises are natural, especially in capitalist regimes such as the U.S., the gravity of the [current] crisis, its co-occurrence with the impending end of [Bush's] term in office, and the statements made by [Bush] himself and by his senior aides... who promised that Bush would fulfill his promise before the end of his term as president, and that two coexisting states would emerge [in Palestine] – [all] this compels us to raise the possibility that global Zionism is behind the financial crisis. [Its object is] to prevent President Bush from continuing his efforts to fulfill his promise, especially after he stated – nay, almost swore – before Arab and international leaders that he would not step down before a Palestinian state was established.
"Some might [disagree with me,] saying that Jewish money and the Jewish mind constitute the main nerve of the financial world and of the real estate investment [sector] in the U.S., and that it is therefore hardly likely that Zionism would destroy financial, real estate and investment institutions in which [Zionists] play an active role, whether as shareholders or executives, [merely in order] to embarrass the U.S. president and prevent him from fulfilling his promise to establish a Palestinian state, which... would jeopardize the continued existence of Israel.
"[However,] if the [Palestinian] state is established, it will be entitled to some of the money that has [heretofore] gone directly into Israel's pocket. [Indeed,] a large part of this money would go to Palestine, [both] for the purpose of rebuilding it, and in order to stamp out revolutionary ideas, and any notions the Palestinians might harbor regarding their religious and historical right to Palestine and regarding the right of return.
"[So] why is it illogical to assume that this is indeed what happened – especially considering [the fact that] the mind that used other people's money to plan and build the institutions that are [now] collapsing is capable of building others to replace them? [Moreover,] it owns media outlets of every description – [e.g.] newspapers and television stations, both land and satellite – which will cause people to [work with] these institutions and invest in them again, as if nothing ever happened.
"It must be mentioned that those who lost [money as a result of the economic crisis in the U.S.] are not those masterminds and capital owners [i.e. the Zionists], but rather the Arabs – [specifically] the moderately wealthy and the ordinary people – and also those who, [tempted by] the American dream, came to the U.S. from China, Europe, the Arab world, Russia, and from some of the Asian countries, and saved money in order to invest it and make a profit. 
"[Moreover], one can suppose that the Zionists made a significant change in their plans, [and decided that] the time has come to transfer the Zionist strategic base from the U.S. to Europe, when the possibility arose that a black man, Barak Obama, would head the U.S. They have focused [their efforts] on East European countries, such as the Czech Republic, Romania and Hungary.
"Among the signs [that support] this supposition is [the fact that] they brought to power French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is of Jewish origin and is sympathetic to the Jews. [They may also produce] another Sarkozy to replace the current prime minister of Britain, Gordon Brown, who is in the midst of a serious leadership crisis that may end his [political career], as happened to Margaret Thatcher. After Britain, they will attempt to press other governments into their service..."(Lebanese columnist Fuad Matar in Al-Liwa (Lebanon), October 3, 2008; Al-Yawm (Saudi Arabia), October 5, 2008.)
... "One of these [forces] is the Rothschild family, owner of a global financial empire... I will describe here [several] fiscal plans that this financial octopus [has put into effect and] has exploited their outcomes - [plans] which were based on the destruction of countries and peoples.
"In 1815 the Battle of Waterloo between Britain and France took place, and in it Napoleon was defeated by the commander of the British army, [the Duke of] Wellington. It must be mentioned that the Rothschild family financed both sides, since it gave Napoleon 5,000,000 liras, while other sons of that family smuggled huge amounts of gold through France for Wellington's [use]. And why not? [In their eyes,] the end justifies the means, and their goal was to control the capital and thereby to control the world.
"Many historians have pointed out that immediately after the British victory, agents secretly sent word of this victory to the Rothschilds in Britain. The head of the family, Nathan Rothschild, concealed the news, spreading rumors of a French victory. [Then] he sold all his shares in the London stock exchange, and urged other shareholders associated with him to do the same. Within a few hours stock prices plummeted, and when the price reached five cents [a share], Nathan hurried to buy all the shares in the market at this low price. On the morrow, London awoke to the news of a British victory and of a financial crisis that brought all the shareholders to ruin. The price of the shares bought by Rothschild and his associates rose twentyfold within a few hours. A few years later, Nathan said of this deal: 'It was the best move I ever made.'
"The [Rothschilds] did not stop there, for they also wanted to take over the French financial markets. France, for its part, meant to borrow funds from French banks to cover the astronomical cost of its defeat... but the Rothschilds manipulated the prices of the French government bonds, which had been high the year before. [At that point, their price] began to fall for no apparent reason, and the Rothschilds came and bought them up by means of their agents in France.
"This family is still alive and making money; in fact, its influence is still growing, and now spans Europe, America, Japan and other [countries]. Whether it sits [openly] at the discussion table or hides behind the scenes, it has influence. Moreover, the active part it played in the advent of Zionism and in the occupation of Arab Palestine is clear to all..." (Dr. Umayma Ahmad Al-Jalahma, lecturer at King Faysal University in Saudi Arabia in Al-Watan (Saudi Arabia), October 5, 2008. )
"In my opinion, the current economic crisis, which is expected to get worse, is a new kind of conspiracy. It started in September, only seven years after the first [conspiracy, i.e. the September 11 attacks]. This time, the aim is to take over the property and capital of the Arabs, and to create a new climate of economic plundering in the wake of the political plundering. Such is the Western mentality – it excels at reaping what others have sown and at seizing anything that they have no right [to take]...
"The Bush administration was trained and impelled, by the American conservative right and by Jewish circles, to carry out this mission [in two stages] – at the beginning of [Bush's] first term in office, and at the end of his second term in office. The aim is to achieve two major goals – a global political [goal] in 2001, and a global economic [goal] in 2008. There is no doubt that small nations, poor countries, and areas rich in natural resources – especially oil – are bearing the brunt [of the economic crisis]. I assert that the developments sanctioned by this American administration – which, in my opinion, is the worst in history – is the result of a hidden conspiracy, whose results are now evident and clear to every sensible person...
"There is a close connection between [the events of] September 2001 and [those of] September 2008, which are mutually complementary, in that political influence cannot be achieved without economic control. Accordingly, the current U.S. administration has placed both together in one bag, producing [a single] new phenomenon that has encompassed the entire world and has demonstrated that the end of the political cold war does not [necessarily] mean an end to the economic cold war... 
"Let me only say that, in my opinion, it would be wrong to assume that the Jewish mind is not involved and implicated in these developments. I reiterate that the global economic crisis is part of the global political conspiracy..."
(Egyptian Parliamentary Foreign Liaison Committee head Dr. Mustafa Al-Fiqqi in the London daily Al-Hayat October 7, 2008)

Leger beschermt Palestijnen tegen kolonisten tijdens olijvenoogst

Vredesactivisten en ook de Haaretz beweren dat Israel niets onderneemt tegen kolonisten die Palestijnen aanvallen en/of hun olijfbomen vernielen. Het leger heeft zich wel degelijk voorbereid op de olijfoogst van dit jaar en op verschillende plaatsen troepen gestationeerd om beide partijen uit elkaar te houden en om de Palestijnen te beschermen. Of het genoeg is, is een andere vraag. Ik begrijp niet goed waarom niet veel meer van deze, met name jongeren, worden gearresteerd. In de weken voor de oogst zou het leger in de nederzettingen kunnen vertellen dat men hard op zal treden tegen geweld van beide kanten, en men zou met lokale leiders van beide kanten afspraken kunnen maken.

The Jerusalem Post
Oct 22, 2008 14:12 | Updated Oct 22, 2008 19:42
Soldier wounded by settlers in W. Bank
An IDF soldier was wounded Wednesday after he was attacked by a group of masked far-right Israeli activists while his unit was protecting Palestinian farmers harvesting their olive trees near the settlement of Otniel in the southern Hebron Hills.

The IDF said that 10 right-wing activists wearing masks and carrying clubs appeared in the olive grove and attacked the group of soldiers stationed there to protect the Palestinian farmers. One of the soldiers was lightly wounded and evacuated to a hospital in Jerusalem.

One of the right-wing activists was also wounded after he tried to grab one of the soldiers' rifles and was hurt in the ensuing clash.

The IDF and the Israel Police scoured the area for the perpetrators but no arrests had been made by early Wednesday afternoon.

In related news, police arrested two settlers suspected of attacking Palestinians and several reporters while the Palestinians harvested olives in the Hebron neighborhood of Tel Rumeida on Saturday, Israel Radio reported.

The suspects are residents of Braha, a settlement in Samaria, and of Hebron.

The two, including a minor, turned themselves into police. Police are expected to ask the court to extend their remands.

Also on Wednesday, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayad visited the West Bank village of Mazra'a al-Qubliya, near Ramallah, to help Palestinian farmers with the annual olive harvest.

Earlier this week, a top IDF officer told The Jerusalem Post that there had been close to 20 violent clashes between Jewish settlers and Palestinian farmers since the olive harvest in the West Bank began earlier this month making the 2008 harvest one of the most violent in recent years.

"There is more violence this year than in 2007 and there is on average about one incident a year," the officer said, adding that the IDF and Civil Administration were doing their utmost to ensure smooth harvesting for Palestinian farmers.

On Saturday, settlers from the Jewish community in Hebron clashed with Palestinian farmers. Three left-wing activists were arrested following the incident for allegedly violating an order that had turned the Tel Rumeida area into a closed military zone.

According to the officer, before the season began, the IDF mapped out the different "hot spots" in the West Bank where violence between settlers and farmers was likely to erupt.

"We cannot station soldiers and policemen next to every olive tree," the officer said. "The IDF identified the traditional hot spots as well as those that it assessed could flare up and decided to put the focus there. But even in those places, it is impossible to be there 24 hours a day."

The officer said that the IDF was not surprised by the rise in violence this year and had felt - in its assessments prior to the harvest - that both sides were more radical and likely to clash in comparison to last year.

"We were prepared that there would be more incidents this year," he said. "There was a feeling in the air that this would happen on both sides - the settlers and the Palestinians." staff contributed to this report.

woensdag 22 oktober 2008

Paus met hakenkruis op pro-Kadima website

Heiligverklaringen zouden tenminste beperkt moeten worden tot mensen die niet omstreden zijn, maar in het verleden heeft het Vaticaan heel wat mensen heilig verklaard die verwerpelijke dingen hebben gezegd en gedaan. Er is ook ophef over een reeks Spaanse priesters die tijdens de burgeroorlog daar aan de verkeerde kant zouden hebben gestaan.
Om de twijfels en kritiek over Pius XII weg te kunnen nemen, zouden tenminste de archieven van het Vaticaan over de oorlogsjaren voor onderzoekers open moeten gaan.

Israel website in 'Nazi pope' row

Exhibit mentioning Pope Pius XII at Yad Vashem
An exhibit at the Yad Vashem memorial is seen as critical of Pius XII

A photo montage which superimposed a Nazi swastika over Pope Benedict has appeared on a website run by supporters of Israel's leading political party.

The image was later removed from the Yalla Kadima website, apparently on the orders of party leader Tzipi Livni.

The incident comes amid a row with the Vatican over Israeli claims that the late Pope Pius XII could have done more to prevent the Holocaust.

Ms Livni is currently trying to form a government and become prime minister.

"Tzipi Livni strongly condemns this and we are working to remove this shameful picture. We strongly oppose this. It doesn't represent Kadima," spokesman Amir Goldstein said shortly before the photo was changed.

Speaking anonymously, one of the website's editors told the BBC the site is a platform for Kadima activists to voice their opinions in a manner they cannot do on the official website.

The letter and graphics were sent in by a group of pensioners, he said.

"Some of these people are first generation or second generation Holocaust survivors, and this is their legitimate protest," he said.

He said Ms Livni rang personally and asked for the picture to be taken down, saying it could cause diplomatic strife.

There are objections among many in Israel to the long process, begun in 1967, to make Pope Pius, who was pontiff from 1939 to 1958, a saint.

'Incorrect interpretation'

The row blew up afresh last week after the Vatican official in charge of the process said the current pontiff, Benedict, should not accept Israel's invitation to visit until the wording on an exhibit in the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem is changed.

Pope Benedict XVI
Israel has issued an invitation to Pope Benedict to visit

The display says that, despite warnings from clergy throughout Europe about the deportation of Jews to death camps, Pope Pius XII did nothing to condemn it or to intervene.

The Vatican has repeatedly objected to the content of the display, saying it is an "incorrect interpretation of the late Pope's role".

The Holy See maintains that Pius actively helped some Jews by sheltering them in churches and monasteries.

But the Vatican has also said the exhibit should not be a "determining factor" in a papal visit.

Pope Benedict spoke last month in favour of the beatification process, a stage on the way to sainthood, for the former Pope.

And Israel has long regarded the Vatican, which did not recognise the country until 1993, as pro-Palestinian.

For its part, the Vatican wants to resolve a stand-off over the taxation of Church property in Israel, as well as problems with visas.

Our correspondent says there is plenty of work ahead, but this meeting is a significant step towards a warmer relationship. __._,_.___

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Jongens slaan Joodse man in elkaar in Amsterdam

Hopelijk is dit een geisoleerd incident, maar gezien het toegenomen antisemitisme ook op internet en onderzoeken die een toename in antisemitische ideeën in Europa waarnemen, is dit waarschijnlijk een voorbode van erger. Overigens zeggen orthodoxe Joden al jaren dat zij een pet over hun keppel dragen als zij de staat op gaan of de auto nemen, en zeker dat zij bepaalde plaatsen mijden.

Joodse man krijgt klappen in Amsterdam

gepubliceerd op 21 oktober 2008 13:48, bijgewerkt op 13:51

AMSTERDAM - Een 20-jarige joodse man is zaterdag in Amsterdam mishandeld. Hij heeft daarvan melding gemaakt bij het Centrum Informatie en Documentatie Israël (Cidi).

Directeur Ronny Naftaniel bevestigde dinsdag een bericht in Het Parool dat het volgens hem om een antisemitisch incident gaat.

De man is herkenbaar als jood omdat hij een keppel draagt. Hij liep 's middags op het Olympiaplein toen 'twee ongeveer negentienjarige, Marokkaans uitziende jongens' hem uitscholden voor 'kankerjood'. Het slachtoffer vroeg wat hun probleem was en liep daarna door.

De twee kwamen hem echter achterna. Een andere jongen sloot zich bij hen aan, waarna ze de joodse man te lijf gingen. Ook nadat hij op de grond was gevallen, bleven ze op hem intrappen.


Jongens slaan Joodse man in elkaar

gepubliceerd op 22 oktober 2008 02:45, bijgewerkt op 23:47

Amsterdam - Een 20-jarige man van Joodse komaf die een keppeltje droeg, is zaterdagmiddag mishandeld in Amsterdam. Bij de ingang van een voetbalclub werd de man door twee jongens uitgescholden voor kankerjood. Het Centrum Informatie en Documentatie Israël (Cidi) spreekt van een antisemitisch incident.

De man liep na de scheldpartij door, maar werd door de jongens op hun fietsen ingesloten en in elkaar getrapt. Het slachtoffer kreeg harde klappen tegen zijn schouder en werd geschopt in zijn buik. Daarna verdwenen de daders.

Het slachtoffer wilde aangifte doen, maar de politie verzocht hem vanwege drukte die dag later in de week terug te komen.

Volgens de korpsleiding had de man doorgestuurd moeten worden naar een ander politiebureau om direct aangifte te kunnen doen, maar dit is niet gebeurd. Het korps heeft het slachtoffer excuses aangeboden.


Tweederde Joden VS heeft voorkeur voor Obama

Ondanks onfrisse campagnes van sommige rechtse tegenstanders waarin Obama als moslim en antizionist is neergezet (Barack Hussein Obama), die het slecht voor zou hebben met zowel Amerika als Israel, steunt een grote meerderheid van de Joden in de VS Obama. Dat er wel enige correlatie is tussen het belang dat men aan Israel toekent en op wie men zegt te gaan stemmen, mag niet verbazen. Het probleem is niet zozeer dat Obama anti-Israel zou zijn, maar wel dat hij erg weinig van het Midden-Oosten weet en wat dat betreft dus sterk afhankelijk is van adviseurs. Bovendien heeft hij wel een paar mensen om zich heen (gehad?), zoals Jesse Jackson en Jeremia Wright, die je niet bepaald vrienden van Israel kunt noemen.

Last update - 22:04 20/10/2008       
NYU poll: Two-thirds of U.S. Jews back Obama over McCain
A new poll commissioned by researchers at New York University reveals that American Jews favor Democratic presidential frontrunner Barack Obama over his Republic rival, John McCain, by a 67 - 33 margin.
The survey, which sampled the opinions of over 3,000 respondents - half of them being Jewish - also found that Jews as an ethnic group will support Obama by almost 30 percent more than other white, non-Hispanic voters.
The poll sought to gauge the importance Jewish voters' attach to Israel as a consideration in whom they would vote for, with some surprising results. Of all the Jews surveyed who said that Israel is of "high" importance, 63 percent said they would vote for Obama. In constrast, just 42 percent of Jews who said Israel has "very high" importance intend on voting for Obama.
Not surprisingly, the Jewish vote swings heavily in McCain's favor among the Orthodox. According to the survey, the Arizona senator can count on support from 75 percent of Orthodox Jewish voters.
The poll was conducted this past September, when the gaps in poll numbers between Obama and McCain were smaller. Given the recent numbers heavily favoring Obama, the survey's authors project that the ratio of Jewish voters backing the Illinois Democrat would swell from 2-to-1 to 3-to-1.

Grenzen Gazastrook 1 dag dicht na afvuren Qassam raket

In het NOS journaal van gisteren (21 oktober) werd beweerd dat Israel zijn afspraken niet nakomt door de grensovergangen met Gaza dicht te houden, en daarom de smokkel van goederen via tunnels een bloeiende business is geworden. De beschuldiging werd twee keer gedaan, eerst door de nieuwslezer en daarna door Sander van Hoorn, die een reportage had over hoe de Gazanen zich nu al op het Offerfeest voorbereiden door vee uit Egypte via tunnels te smokkelen.
Als de grensovergangen al dicht zijn, kan Israel ze niet nog eens sluiten, zo leert de logica. Het NOS journaal of de Jerusalem Post liegt dus. In de eerste dagen en weken nadat het staakt-het-vuren was ingegaan, waren er geregeld berichten over opening en sluiting van de grenzen en over grotere en kleinere hoeveelheden goederen die werden toegelaten. De teneur was steeds dat Israel de grenzen dicht hield (dat wil zeggen alleen essentiele humanitaire goederen doorlaat) na schendingen van het staakt-het-vuren, en dit na een of twee dagen weer versoepelde. Er waren ook berichten dat Israel meer goederen toeliet dan voor het staakt-het-vuren, maar nog steeds te weinig naar de zin van de Palestijnen. De grenzen zijn inderdaad niet geheel open met onbeperkt goederenverkeer, maar dat had Israel ook niet beloofd, in ieder geval niet zolang Gilad Shalit nog wordt vast gehouden in Gaza.
Het NOS journaal kan blijkbaar niet onderscheiden in verschillende maten waarin goederenverkeer vrij wordt gegeven; het is open of dicht, wit of zwart, alles of niets. Anders snappen de kindertjes het niet meer.


The Jerusalem Post
Oct 21, 2008 21:31
Kassam launched from the Gaza Strip
A Kassam rocket was launched into Israel from the Gaza Strip Tuesday evening, in violation of the four-month-old cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

The rocket fell in an open area north of the Strip. There were no casualties and no damage.

Following the attack, Defense Minister Ehud Barak instructed security forces to keep the crossings with the Gaza Strip closed on Wednesday, as has been routinely done in the past.

Kassam attacks have been sporadic since the cease-fire's inception in June.

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Syrië erkent soevereiniteit Libanon na 60 jaar

Dat werd tijd.....
Misschien maakt dat ook de weg vrij voor de erkenning van een ander buurland?

De vraag kan gesteld worden hoe oprecht deze erkenning is, aangezien Syrië via Hezbollah een grote invloed op Libanon behoudt.

17 octobre 2008. RIA Novosti Agence russe
Syria recognises Lebanon's sovereignty after 60 years

MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti commentator Andrei Murtazin) - Syria and Lebanon established diplomatic relations on October 15, 2008, sixty years after gaining independence from France in the mid-1940s.

Why have they waited so long?

Lebanese Foreign Minister Fawzi Salloukh, who signed the declaration jointly with the Syrian Foreign Minister, Waleed al-Moallem, said Lebanese-Syrian relations were friendlier than ever.

Syrian politicians, along with a majority of their Lebanese counterparts, say the exchange of embassies is only a formality between the two brotherly states. This may be so, but the fact remains that Syria has never considered Lebanon a sovereign state. On the other hand, it saw Lebanon as an inalienable part of "greater Syria," which once included the territory of modern Lebanon.

It is true that Syria has played a positive role in Lebanon's recent history, in particular during the 1975-1990 civil war. It deployed  35,000 soldiers to Lebanon to disengage the warring sides and prevent the country's disintegration. However, the Syrians did not leave after the civil war ended, but remained in Lebanon "to keep the peace" until 2005.

This is why some Lebanese see their "Syrian brothers" as liberators, while others curse them as occupiers. Moreover, the ruling Lebanese clans have changed their attitude toward Syria more than once, at times seeing them as friends, and other times as enemies.

Bilateral relations were most recently shattered after the murder of former foreign minister Rafik Hariri in February 2005. The West immediately blamed the murder on Syria's military intelligence chief, Assef Shawkat, and declared a boycott of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Syria's isolation lasted until French President Nicolas Sarkozy declared, at the Mediterranean Union Summit held in Paris last July and attended by the Syrian president, that Syria and Lebanon should establish diplomatic relations.

However, the two countries reconciled only when Lebanon elected a new president, Michel Suleiman, a figure of compromise between the pro-Western majority in parliament - the Mustaqbal movement led by Saad Hariri, the son of the assassinated Rafik Hariri - and the opposition Hezbollah movement, backed by Syrian and Iranian Shiites.

This compromise has cost the pro-Western forces in Lebanon dearly, given that, at a meeting in Doha last May, they gave the opposition the right to veto bills. At the same time, a national unity government of 30 ministers was formed, in which 16 represent the ruling coalition, 11 the opposition, and three are appointed by the president.

In addition, election legislation was amended to extend the rights of Shiite Muslims, who support Hezbollah.

In reality, this was not an internal reconciliation, but rather a camouflaged victory of the pro-Syrian and pro-Iranian forces in parliament, and hence signified the continued Syrian and Iranian influence on Lebanon's policy.

The alliance of Syria and Iran bothers not only the US and Israel, but also the French president, the new architect of Syrian-Lebanese relations, who has more than once expressed his dislike of Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

France wants to and can become a new regional mediator in the Middle East, alongside the US, Russia, the UN and the EU, whose peacekeeping efforts in the past few years have not been effective. The goal of Sarkozy is to ease Syria and Lebanon out of Iran's grasp, an undertaking that is both openly and secretly supported by all Arab countries governed by Sunni Muslims.

Due to the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and the war in Iraq, Iran has become the strongest regional power in the Middle East.

The Shiite-led Iran is a theocratic state that sees itself as a messiah to the entire Muslim world. It is trying to spread its influence to all Arab countries, much to the indignation of the Sunni states, primarily Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Assad and his clan are Alavites, a small Shiite sect, whereas the majority of the Syrian population is Sunni. Hezbollah in Lebanon are also Shiites.

Before the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon, Syria and Iran considered themselves key political players on the Lebanese political scene. After the assassination of Rafik Hariri and the Syrian troop pullout, Syria's power over Lebanon was shattered - though not lost.

Although Syria has formally recognised Lebanon's sovereignty, it has retained control over its parliament and government with pro-Iranian Hezbollah, whose role was sealed by the Doha agreements.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.

Livni krijgt 2 extra weken om coalitie te vormen

Het Israelische systeem lijkt wezenlijk anders dan het Nederlandse, waarin onderling vertrouwen tussen de coalitiepartners een grote rol speelt. In Israel lijken partijen in coalities te komen en te gaan, en daar wordt al op geanticipeerd door een zo brede coalitie te (proberen te) vormen zodat een van de partijen eruit kan stappen zondat dat de coalitie zijn meerderheid verliest.
Dit levert helaas vaak niet al te stabiele coalities op, waarin bovendien korte termijn belangen van de coalitiepartners vaak boven het landsbelang op de lange termijn uitkomt. Er wordt dan ook al jaren gediscussiëerd over aanpassing van het politieke systeem, vooralsnog zonder tastbaar resultaat.
Last update - 15:09 20/10/2008       
Peres grants Livni extra two weeks to form coalition
By Mazal Mualem and Yair Ettinger, Haaretz Correspondents, and Haaretz Staff
President Shimon Peres on Monday granted prime minister-designate, Kadima chair Tzipi Livni an extra two weeks to form a government coalition.
By law, the prime minister-designate may ask the president for an extension of two weeks, in addition to the four weeks initially given to form a coalition.
So far, Livni has initiated a coalition agreement with Labor; however, talks with the ultra-Orthodox Shas and United Torah Judaism (UTJ) parties remain stalled.
On Sunday, Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef instructed party chairman Eli Yishai not to compromise on child allowance payments, as Kadima and Shas party negotiators ended their latest coalition talks without reaching an agreement. The sides will meet again after Tuesday's holiday of Simhat Torah.
Shas is insisting on allowances for "family payments" in 2009, at a cost of more than a billion shekels. Livni's negotiating team, including attorneys Israel Maimon and Yoram Rabad, presented the Shas negotiating team with a compromise during a lengthy meeting on Friday, but Shas appears unwilling to bend. Kadima has offered Shas an overall welfare package of around NIS 600 million, to be drawn from various budgetary sources.
Livni's associates said on Saturday that she intends to present her government on October 27, the day the Knesset's winter session begins. One scenario is that she will present a "narrow" coalition of 59 to 60 MKs, including Meretz and supported from the outside by UTJ, and work to bring Shas and UTJ into the coalition at a later date.
Sources close to Livni said the Kadima leader believes it is important to present the new government on the first day of the Knesset's winter session, but would continue her efforts to bring Shas and UTJ into the coalition in the remaining days.
A meeting may take place today between Shas and UTJ. Sunday night, the Shas team came to the home of Rabbi Yosef to discuss the talks with him. In attendance at the meeting were Yishai and Communications Minister Ariel Atias.
Senior Kadima officials said Saturday that Livni was willing to compromise on the allowances, but Shas did not seem to want to do so, and the question was whether they had decided not to enter a Livni coalition. "Shas is important for a wide and stable government, but we can't wait too long or compromise on the entire sum they want," a senior Kadima official said.
Meanwhile, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, chairman of the Labor Pary, warned that the agreement between Labor and Kadima initialed last week might not be signed if Labor's demand for an additional representative on the Judicial Appointments Committee were not met.
Speaking in an interview on Channel 2 television, Barak hinted that he would not oppose Shas' budgetary demands, although he was against child allowances according to the old system.
Senior Labor Party members have been in talks with senior Shas representatives over the past few days to persuade them to join Livni's cabinet.

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Politie arresteert 9 Joden voor recente aanvallen op Arabieren in Jeruzalem en Tel Aviv

Het lijkt erop dat de politie geweld tegen Arabieren serieus wil aanpakken.
Last update - 15:52 20/10/2008       
Police arrest 9 Jews over recent assaults on Arabs in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv
By Jonathan Lis and Yuval Goren, Haaretz Correspondent and Reuters
Police have arrested nine Jews suspected of recent assaults against Arabs in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, including several firebombings that set some homes ablaze.
Police Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said six Jews were arrested on Monday on suspicion of involvement in firebombings of Arab homes in the Hatikva neighborhood in southern Tel Aviv. The attacks, which took place roughly five days ago, caused damage but no injuries.
The remands of two of the suspects, both minors, were extended by four days by a juvenile court in Tel Aviv. The remands of three other suspects were extended by three days. All six suspects deny involvement in the acts.
Police sources said that additional suspects have not yet been arrested, and that one of the minors had been briefly detained roughly one month ago on suspicion of attempting to carry out a similar offense. The same sources expressed fears that such incidents are on the rise in Tel Aviv.
Police arrested three other Jews on Sunday after scuffles with Arabs in Jerusalem, where a garbage truck driven by an Arab was stoned on Bar Ilan Street. The driver was treated at Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Kerem for minor injuries.
A total of seven Arabs were injured in clashes with Jews in Jerusalem on Sunday. In a pre-dawn incident, six Arabs were injured in a brawl with a group of Jewish youth.
Jerusalem mayor Uri Lupolianski Sunday criticized the stone-throwing.
"This is the behavior of hooligans, and these loose canons must be judged severely," he said. He added that the incident would not damage the fabric of life in the city.
The violence coincided with rioting last week in the northern city of Acre, where tensions between Jews and Arabs flared after an Arab resident of the city drove into a Jewish neighbourhood on Yom Kippur, when traffic largely comes to a halt.

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dinsdag 21 oktober 2008

Israelisch alternatief voor Saoedisch vredesplan?

Nuchtere woorden van 'senior Jerusalem officials' wat betreft de plotselinge interesse in het Arabische vredesplan:
In de eerste plaats is er in Israel alleen een demissionair kabinet, en is het bovendien tot eind van de week Soekot. De toekomst van president Abbas is na januari ook onzeker en in de VS zijn binnenkort verkiezingen.
In de tweede plaats heeft de Arabische Liga, nadat de Jordaanse en Egyptische ministers van buitenlandse zaken het plan namens de Arabische Liga vorig jaar aan Israel presenteerden, er sindsdien over gezwegen:
"They presented the plan as take it or leave it," one official remembered, and when Israel asked for clarifications, which were to be dealt with by the Arab League, the whole issue disappeared.
Het lijkt mij overigens een prima idee als Israel inderdaad met een eigen plan komt voor regionale vrede, dat de basis voor verdere discussies en onderhandelingen kan worden, zoals Barak voorstelt.

The Jerusalem Post
Oct 19, 2008 12:24 | Updated Oct 20, 2008 8:47

Israeli officials reject Saudi peace plan revival

Senior Jerusalem officials dismissed on Sunday a sudden surge of interest both here and abroad in the Arab Peace Initiative, saying it was a function of both a diplomatic process that has stalled and the transition periods in Israel, the US and the Palestinian Authority.

"Whenever the process stalls, there will be those who will pull out the Saudi plan," one senior official said Sunday. "And the Saudis have an interest in pushing this out there now, to put on a 'constructive face' with which to greet the new US president."

The Arab Peace Initiative, based on the Saudi peace plan of February 2002, calls for a full Israeli withdrawal from all territories taken in the Six Day War, including east Jerusalem, in exchange for normalizing ties with the Arab world.

It also calls for the return to Israel of Palestinian refugees and their descendents.

The plan seems to be all the rage in recent days. President Shimon Peres reportedly talked with Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef about the need to go for a regional agreement, not just a bilateral one with Syria or the Palestinians, while King Abdullah II of Jordan told Spain's El Pais daily that the plan provided a genuine opportunity for a peace settlement.

In Britain, The Guardian newspaper ran a story entitled "Time to resurrect the Arab peace plan."

Labor Party head Ehud Barak also got into the fray, telling Army Radio on Sunday he discussed the plan recently with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni during their coalition negotiations.

Barak, like Peres, said that with little movement on the separate bilateral tracks with the Palestinian Authority and Syria, it could be beneficial to go after a wider regional settlement.
"There is definitely room to introduce a comprehensive Israeli plan to counter the Saudi plan, that would be the basis for a discussion on overall regional peace," he said.

The problem with all this talk, another senior diplomatic official in Jerusalem said, is that it ignores what happened just last year.

The Saudi plan was "relaunched" in March 2007 in Riyadh, and shortly afterward the Arab League tasked Egypt and Jordan, because of their diplomatic ties with Israel, with bringing the plan to Jerusalem.

Amid no small amount of fanfare, Egypt's Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit and Jordan's Foreign Minister Abdelelah al-Khatib came, but after a press conference with Livni in which their arrival as an Arab League delegation was hailed as a historic development, nothing was heard of the working group again.

"They presented the plan as take it or leave it," one official remembered, and when Israel asked for clarifications, which were to be dealt with by the Arab League, the whole issue disappeared.

Now, the official said, "the negotiations with the Palestinians are stalled, coalition talks are under way and various ideas are thrown out there.

"It's also Succot; there is not much going on, so half-formed ideas that are discussed in the framework of coalition talks get a lot more traction than they normally would."

Finally, the official said, "There is no government to talk to about this. Not here, not in the PA and not in the US."

The official warned against expecting to see any new diplomatic initiatives launched or picked up at this time - Arab League initiatives or otherwise - because it isn't clear what the next Israeli government will look like, or when it will be sworn in; no one knows who will be in control of the Palestinian Authority on January 10, the day Hamas has said it will no longer recognize Mahmoud Abbas as PA president. In addition, the makeup of the next US administration is unclear.