donderdag 28 mei 2009

Hamas organisator zelfmoordaanslagen gedood tijdens arrestatiepoging

Als ik zo grof mag zijn: opgeruimd staat netjes. Hoe meer van dergelijke figuren Israel opruimt, hoe beter dat is voor de vrede en ook voor de Palestijnen die een einde aan dit letterlijk eeuwigdurende conflict willen.

IDF Spokesperson
May 28th, 2009

Senior Hamas Operative, Responsible for the Murder of 10 Israelis and Wounding of Hundreds was Killed during Arrest Operation

Abed el-Majed Duddin, was the head of the military wing of the Hamas terror organization in the village of Durah and in the Mount Hebron area. He was directly involved in the planning and execution of terror attacks since 1995 and specifically the murder of 10 Israeli civilians in suicide bombings in 1995. Duddin was killed last night during a joint IDF and Israeli Police arrest operation in the village of Dir El Assal A-Tahta, south east of Hebron. Duddin was 45 years old.

During the operation, the forces surrounded a residence Duddin was using as a hideout, and called on him to exit it. When he failed to do so, the forces attempted to force him out of the house, at which point Duddin opened fire at them. The forces responded by firing back and killed him. In addition, the forces arrested Duddin's assistant, Ahmad A'a Fatah Khasin, 45 years old.

Duddin was first added to the wanted list in 1995, when he recruited and directed the suicide bomber Suffiane Sabih. Sabiah murdered four Israeli civilians and wounded over a hundred when he detonated himself on a bus operating near a school in the Ramat Eshkol neighborhood of Jerusalem on August 21, 1995. Earlier in the year, on July 24th, Duddin was responsible for the execution of a suicide bombing on a bus in the Israeli city of Ramat-Gan in which six Israeli civilians were killed and 31 and wounded.

A few days after the suicide bombing in Ramat Eshkol, Jerusalem, Palestinian Security forces arrested Duddin, and he was imprisoned in Jericho. He was released in September 2000 with the outbreak of the second Intifadah and immediately returned to work for Hamas' military arm, becoming a senior commander in the terror organization.

Since his release from prison, Duddin continued to make enormous efforts to launch terror attacks and kill Israeli civilians. He, along with a number of other terror operatives, formed the core of Hamas' terrorist activity in Judea and Samaria and specifically in the Mount Hebron area. He directed a heavily armed terrorist cell, which was uncovered by Israeli Security Forces in 2004, that was planning to launch a terror attack on a train traveling between Tel-Aviv and Beer-Sheva. Duddin was also responsible for recruiting, training and arming Hamas terror operatives, launching gunfire attacks against Israeli vehicles and planning terror attacks in the Lachish and Hebron Mount regions. Among the senior terrorists who worked with Duddin, were Yakhih Ayash, Mohi A-Din Sharif, Ibrahim Hamed and Saleh Talakhme. Many of those working with Duddin were arrested and imprisoned over the years, while he was able to hide in various locations and evade arrest until this morning.

Commander of the Judea and Samaria Division, Brig. Gen Noam Tibon praised the operation and said: "We will reach all terrorists who killed Israeli civilians. We will continue to fight and defend the citizens of Israel". OC Central Command, Maj. Gen. Gadi Shamni also praised the operation as a successful component in the continuing battle against terrorism.

Hillary Clinton vastberaden over vredesplan Midden-Oosten

De VS laat er duidelijk geen gras over groeien.
"The president was very clear when Prime Minister Netanyahu was here. He wants to see a stop to settlements - not some settlements, not outposts, not natural growth exceptions," she said. "That is our position, that is what we have communicated very clearly, not only to the Israelis, but to the Palestinians and others. And we intend to press that point."
Kan Netanjahoe dan niet op zijn minst in ruil krijgen dat de VS de PA ook aan zijn verplichtingen onder de Routekaart houdt?
Daar hoor je vreemdgenoeg niks over.

'We're drafting proposal for ME peace'
May 27, 2009 15:24 | Updated May 28, 2009 8:05

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that the United States would present detailed plans on the peace process to the parties as part of its efforts to jumpstart negotiations.

"We are going to be putting forward very specific proposals to the Israelis and the Palestinians. That's what Senator Mitchell has been doing over the last couple of days," Clinton said at a press conference following her lunch meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit.

Mitchell has been in London this week meeting with top Israeli officials Dan Meridor, minister of intelligence services, and National Security Council head Uzi Arad over issues including settlement activity and Iran, in discussions the State Department characterized as a follow-up to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's visit to Washington last week.

Though the Obama administration has pledged intensified Middle East diplomacy since the beginning of its term, Clinton's comments went the furthest to date in suggesting that the US would make its own proposals for resolving the conflict that multiple American administration plans have failed to resolve.

Such US initiative has been urged by Arab countries, beginning with Jordan's King Abdullah during his own White House visit in April. At that time he also said the Arab countries would themselves have to contribute to the process, a theme Gheit echoed during Wednesday afternoon's press conference.

"We have been discussing the need for an American major action to expedite the process," he said. "We - all of us, the Quartet, the international community, the Arab countries - [need] to show support and understanding and to push them together, allow them to negotiate in direct negotiations."

Greater participation has been a central piece of the US administration's approach thus far, with Clinton stressing that "we've also been reaching out to governments of Arab nations, asking what they could be expected to do as we move forward to build confidence and to create a good atmosphere for decisions to be made."

US officials see the Arab League peace plan as providing a possible basis for negotiations. That plan calls for an Israeli withdrawal from all land captured in the Six Day War, as well as a resolution on the Palestinian refugee issue, in exchange for normalization with the entire Arab world.

After meeting with Gheit, Clinton was set to host Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that evening, as part of a three-day trip to Washington that will culminate with an Oval Office visit Thursday afternoon.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was originally supposed to be received at the White House as well this week, but canceled due to the sudden death of his grandchild. He will meet with US President Barack Obama next Thursday when the president makes a long-awaited speech to the Muslim world.

The US administration is using these visits with Middle East leaders to shore up support for its program and seek regional participation. On Tuesday, Obama also added a stop in Saudi Arabia - the original authors of the Arab peace plan - to the beginning of his overseas trip.

Nabil Abu Znaid, the head of the Palestinian Authority's mission to the US, praised Obama's efforts and his "global" approach.

"I think that's why he wants to visit Saudi Arabia. He's visiting Egypt and he wants to have lots of contacts with countries that can influence the region," Abu Znaid said. "Peace would start between the Palestinians and the Israelis... but we need help towards peace, not the other way. So think the international community will help."

Obama is expected to discuss Iran, terrorism and oil with Saudi leaders, as well as include them in the conversation over his emerging Middle East peace plan. Though Saudi Arabia is a major regional force, it has had a low profile during the Obama administration's first few months, despite the flurry of activity regarding the region.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs spoke on Wednesday about the importance of addressing the peace effort with the Saudis but said that it was not an effort to iron out details of a major plan to be announced at Obama's Cairo speech.

"I think he's going to discuss elements of how to bring about peace in the Middle East. But the Cairo speech is not intended to lay out some detailed map for how one gets to that," he said.

Gibbs also said the administration was "heartened" by Netanyahu's comments about resuming talks, adding, "We're hopeful that the same goes for Mr. Abbas when we see him on Thursday."

Abu Znaid said that, in addition to pressing for a negotiating process that has a defined timeframe leading to the creation of a Palestinian state, Abbas would also tell Obama that "we'd like to see something on the ground, especially with settlements."

During Wednesday's press conference, Clinton stressed the US position that settlement construction must stop, even though Netanyahu has indicated "natural growth" in major blocs was set continue.

"The president was very clear when Prime Minister Netanyahu was here. He wants to see a stop to settlements - not some settlements, not outposts, not natural growth exceptions," she said. "That is our position, that is what we have communicated very clearly, not only to the Israelis, but to the Palestinians and others. And we intend to press that point."

She did not elaborate on what the administration had in mind when she referenced "very specific proposals," saying only, "We are making a very concerted effort. We have a well thought-out approach that we are pursuing. We have a lot of support from countries such as Egypt, but ultimately this is up to the two parties."

Israel vervangt pesticiden voor uilen en valken

Met vrede tussen Israeli's en Arabieren wil het maar niet vlotten. Gelukkig is er af en toe tenminste positief nieuws op andere terreinen...

A Little Help From Up Above: Israel is Replacing Pesticides with Owls and Falcons
by Michael Graham Richard, Ottawa, Canada on 05.27.09

Next Step: Bat Houses?
Farmers in Israel are doing some eco-judo, turning a problem into a solution. BirdLife International reported that many birds of prey in the region were dying because they were eating rodents that had been poisoned by pesticides. But now, there is a will to reduce the use of these poisons and instead use the birds of prey (owls, kestrels) as natural pest controllers. Good for the birds, good for the farmers. Probably not so good for the rodents, but you can't please everybody...

BBC News writes:
Many farmers are installing nest boxes to encourage the birds, which hunt the crop-damaging rodents.
In Israel, where there is a drive to reduce the use of toxic chemical pesticides, this has been turned into a government-funded national programme.
Jordanian and Palestinian scientists and conservation charities have joined the scheme.

And since kestrels hunt during the day and owls hunt at night, there is a continuous 'surveillance' of the fields. Much better than spraying poison around...

Volgens Amerikaanse wet zou hulp aan PA gestaakt moeten worden vanwege ophitsing

Zo'n artikel zou eens in de Nederlandse pers moeten staan, in de NRC bijvoorbeeld.

Will the US follow its laws and suspend funding to Abbas?

As US President Barack Obama prepares to welcome Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to Washington this week, and US lawmakers debate the proposed $900 million aid package to the PA, it is once again using its money to proclaim that killing Israeli woman and children is heroic.

The PA chose to name its latest computer center "after the martyr Dalal Mughrabi," who led the most deadly terror attack in the country's history. Her 1978 bus hijacking killed 37 civilians, 12 of them children, including American photographer Gail Rubin. The new center is funded by Abbas's office, which is bolstered by Western aid money. (Al-Ayyam, May 5).

US law prohibits the funding of Palestinian structures that use any portion of their budget to promote terror or honor terrorists. But $200 million of the US's proposed $900m. aid package is earmarked to go directly to the Abbas government, which regularly uses its budget to honor terrorists. In fact, this latest veneration of Mughrabi is not an isolated case, but part of a continuing pattern of honoring terrorists that targets children in particular.

Last summer the PA sponsored "the Dalal Mughrabi football championship" for kids, and a "summer camp named for martyr Dalal Mughrabi... out of honor and admiration for the martyr." It also held a party to honor exemplary students, also named "for the martyr Dalal Mughrabi," under the auspices of Abbas and at which Abbas's representative "reviewed the heroic life of the martyr [Mughrabi] (Al-Hayat al-Jadida, July 23, 24 and August 8, 2008). All these PA-funded activities were to teach kids that a killer of women and children is a role model.

TWO MONTHS AGO, 31 years to the day after the Mughrabi murders, PA TV broadcast a special program celebrating the terror attack, calling the killing of 37 civilians "one of the most important and most prominent special operations... carried out by a team of heroes and led by the heroic fighter Dalal Mughrabi" (PA TV March 11). And its not just Mughrabi who is a Palestinian hero. Despite professions in English by Abbas and other PA leaders that they reject terror, the PA has a long and odious history in Arabic of celebrating terrorists as role models and heroes, often involving US money.

USAID spent $400,000 in 2004 to build the Salakh Khalaf soccer field. After Palestinian Media Watch reported that Khalaf was the head of the Palestinian terror group that murdered 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics and two American diplomats in Sudan, USAID publicly apologized and said it would demand that the PA change the name. The name was never changed.

In 2002, US money funded renovations of the "Dalal Mughrabi school for girls." After PMW alerted the US State Department to Mughrabi's terrorist past, the funding was cancelled. Within 24 hours, the PA said the name would be changed, and the American money was reinstated. Once the work was completed, however, the school was renamed for the terrorist. It bears Mughrabi's name to this day.

AT A RECENT hearing of the House Appropriations Committee, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged: "We will work only with a Palestinian Authority government that unambiguously and explicitly accepts the Quartet's principles, [including] a commitment to nonviolence." And it's not just Clinton's pledge. US law interprets nonviolence to include not honoring terrorists: "None of the [US]... assistance under the West Bank and Gaza program may be made available for the purpose of recognizing or otherwise honoring individuals who commit, or have committed acts of terrorism" (2008 Foreign Operations Bill Sec. 657.B - C.1). This latest glorification of the terrorist Mughrabi, coming as Congress considers the administration's latest request to fund Abbas, imposes a profound responsibility on Congress. But it also creates a unique opportunity.

Will the US follow its own laws, and insist that the PA stop turning killers of women and children into heroes and role models before it receives another cent of US money? Congress and Obama can send a message to the PA that the US will not fund the PA, or any part of its budget, until it proves that it has ceased promoting terrorist murderers as heroes and role models. It can demand a statement from Abbas - in public, in Arabic and in the PA media - that murdering Israelis is terror, that terrorists are neither heroes nor holy martyrs and that they will no longer be honored.

Or they can send a different message to Abbas: that raising another generation of Palestinian children to the values of hate, murder and martyrdom is acceptable to the US - so acceptable that the US is even willing to fund it.

Itamar Marcus is founder and director of Palestinian Media Watch. Barbara Crook is PMW's associate director.

woensdag 27 mei 2009

Volgens opiniepeiling in Gaza meer steun voor Fatah dan voor Hamas

It showed that contrary to past polls, more than 37 percent of Palestinians in Hamas-ruled Gaza would vote for Abbas's Fatah movement if a new parliamentary election were held, and just 23 percent would choose Hamas.
The overall result in such an election would be 31 percent for Fatah and 17 percent for Hamas, the poll showed. Hamas won the last Palestinian parliamentary election held in 2006.
Zo uniek is dat niet. Bijna alle enquetes die ik heb gezien lieten een voorsprong voor Fatah zien, zowel voor als na de oorlog in Gaza. Ondertussen blijven de media en critici van Israel roepen dat Hamas steeds populairder wordt vanwege Israels blokkade van de Gazastrook en het offensief in januari.

Last update - 21:22 27/05/2009       
Poll: Most Palestinians think Hamas-Fatah unity would help peace efforts
By Reuters
Most Palestinians support efforts to forge a unity government as the way to heal an internal rift that has hurt the chances of achieving a peace deal with Israel, an opinion poll published on Wednesday showed.
A survey by Birzeit University, based near the West Bank city of Ramallah, found 58 percent of Palestinians thought a joint coalition of the Western-backed Fatah movement and Hamas Islamists could best resolve their crisis.
Egyptian-sponsored talks between the factions, whose rift broke into open conflict in 2007 when Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip, were scheduled to resume in July after months of unsuccessful sessions, the latest of which was held on May 18.
A unity government could help overcome the crippling effect of a Western economic boycott of Hamas for its refusal to recognize Israel. The West backs Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas who supports dialogue with Israel.
The poll, for which 6,398 people were questioned in early April, gave a breakdown of opinion for those in the West Bank and those living in Gaza -- unusual in polls of Palestinians.
It showed that contrary to past polls, more than 37 percent of Palestinians in Hamas-ruled Gaza would vote for Abbas's Fatah movement if a new parliamentary election were held, and just 23 percent would choose Hamas.
The overall result in such an election would be 31 percent for Fatah and 17 percent for Hamas, the poll showed. Hamas won the last Palestinian parliamentary election held in 2006.
Other poll figures predicted Abbas could defeat Hamas Islamist leader Ismail Haniyeh in a presidential election scheduled to be held next year. A separate survey conducted in March had given Hamas the electoral edge.
The survey also found two in three Palestinians living in Gaza, were optimistic about their future, despite an Israeli offensive in January that devastated parts of the territory.
About 1,400 Palestinians were killed and some 5,000 homes were destroyed in the 22 days of fighting Israel launched in response to rocket fire by Gaza militants at its cities. Fourteen Israelis also died in the conflict.
"Despite the tragic situation in Gaza, despite the last war, people look to the [Mediterranean] sea and they have hope. Without hope, it's difficult to carry on," researcher Ayman Abdulmajeed said of the poll

Barry Rubin: Hoe kan Israel vertrouwen op Westerse steun bij concessies aan de Palestijnen?

Het klinkt wat havikachtig soms, maar dit is wel precies het perspectief dat altijd zo ontbreekt in onze media.
Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. See the GLORIA/MERIA site at .

How Can Israel depend on those who have Proven Undependable?
By Barry Rubin

Back in 1993, when the "peace process" began, President Bill Clinton told a press conference that Israel was ready to take risks for peace and he told Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, "If you do that, my role is to minimize those risks."

One of the most important elements in contemporary Israeli thinking is the irony of those words. Clinton, of course, meant them and his intentions were good. But looking back from 2009, the risks taken by Israel and the concessions it has made have repeatedly plagued the country and cost the lives of thousands of its citizens.

Not only has the United States - and the Europeans who made similar pledges - failed to minimize the costs of this process but in most cases they have not even acknowledged it. Israeli concessions have not, as was expected, led to increasing support and public respect, quite the opposite.

Anyone who wants to deal with the conflict today must acknowledge and deal with this experience but we find that it is not happening. In the statements of Western leaders and in the media, what we usually discover is that such matters are either not mentioned at all or only passed over in ritualistic fashion. There is much talk about Israeli concessions and responsibilities, virtually none about Palestinian ones.

Thus, the two-state solution (TSS) or stopping settlement construction or removing roadblocks are spoken about as if these things alone will bring peace. There is little about a Palestinian Authority (PA) end to incitement to murder Israelis and denial of Israel's right to exist (which goes on daily) or better security efforts, or agreement to end the conflict or to resettle refugees within a Palestinian state. There is little acknowledgement that Hamas's control of the Gaza Strip is not just an inconvenience but an almost total roadblock for any hope of peace.

Note well, these are not "hawkish" or "anti-peace" arguments. Anyone who wants to make progress must deal with them very seriously. If these issues are ignored, failure is inevitable.

Israelis remember, though others may not, that ... [read further at: How Can Israel depend on those who have Proven Undependable? ]

Faroek Hosny - de Egyptische boekverbrander van de Unesco


Faroek Hosny - de Egyptische boekverbrander van de Unesco


De Egyptische boekverbrander van de Unesco


Het is bizar dat de voorzitter in spe van de Unesco, de belangrijke culturele tak van de Verenigde Naties, een opruier en een cultuurbarbaar is. Maar in de Nederlandse krant heb ik er niets over gelezen.

Faroek Hosny, de Egyptische minister van Cultuur van de afgelopen 15 jaar, lijkt de gedoodverfde volgende Directeur Generaal van de UNESCO als niemand er iets tegen doet. Maar Meneer Hosny is niet voor het verenigen van naties.

Hij heeft een onverbloemde haat en minachting voor de Israëlische cultuur. Hij verklaart in 2001 "dat die cultuur niets heeft bijgedragen aan de Beschaving, want het heeft zich slechts de bijdragen van anderen toegeëigend" , en ook:. "Het is een inhumane cultuur; het is een agressieve, racistische, pretentieuze cultuur, gebaseerd op één simpel principe: stelen wat niet van jou is, en daarna beweren dat het van jezelf is". Hosny verklaarde ook dat hijzelf de 'aartsvijand' was van alle pogingen om de betrekkingen van zijn land met Israël te normaliseren. Toen in 2008 een afgevaardigde van het Egyptische parlement zijn vrees uitte dat de bibliotheek van Alexandrië Israëlische boeken zou aanschaffen antwoordde onze aanstaande directeur van de UNESCO: "Verbrand deze boeken. Als je ze aantreft, zal ik ze zelf persoonlijk voor uw ogen verbranden".
Als u nog even dacht dat het alleen anti-israelisme betrof en geen antisemitisme dan helpt onze Faroek Hosny u uit de droom. In 2001 in het dagblad Ruz-al-Yusuf verklaart hij: 'dat Israël werd geholpen bij zijn duistere intriges door de infiltratie van Joden in de internationale media, en door het joodse diabolische talent om leugens te verspreiden'. Deze uitspraken zijn slechts een kleine greep - en niet eens de meest stuitende – uit de ontelbare opruiende verklaringen die deze minister de afgelopen jaren heeft gedaan.

In Frankrijk werden de filosoof Bernard-Henri Lévy, de regisseur Claude Lanzmann, en de Nobelprijswinnaar Elie Wiesel, hier zo door verontrust dat zij in een open brief o.a. schreven: Farouk Hosny is een gevaarlijk man, een opruier van harten en geesten. Er is nog maar heel weinig tijd om de grote fout te voorkomen dat Mr.Farouk Hosny wordt bevorderd tot deze hoge post.
Ze vragen alle landen die toegewijd zijn aan de vrijheid en de cultuur om een tegenkandidaat te stellen voor 30 mei, om in ieder geval de nodige initiatieven te nemen om de ramp af te wenden die deze benoeming zou betekenen.
Zij doen een beroep op een ieders geweten om te voorkomen dat de UNESCO in handen valt van een man, die bij het horen van het woord 'literatuur', antwoordt met "boekverbranding".

Of is het geen antisemitisme en heeft hij in eigen land de boeken ook laten verbranden? Dat zou tenminste wel verklaren waarom na 15 jaar onder zijn ministeriële verantwoordelijkheid nog steeds meer dan 40% van de Egyptische bevolking niet kan lezen of schrijven. Of maakt hem dat juist zo geschikt voor de post?

Rosa van der Wieken- de Leeuw


Haaretz: Mark Rutte wil af van verbod op Holocaust ontkenning

Nederland heeft de Haaretz weer eens gehaald. De zaken worden naar goed journalistiek gebruik wel een beetje omgedraaid: Rutte wil alle restricties op de vrijheid van meningsuiting opheffen, behalve wanneer direct tot geweld wordt opgeroepen, en daarmee wordt ook het ontkennen van de Holocaust legitiem.
Overigens is Rutte niet 'liberal' maar 'conservative'.

Je ziet, hoe gemakkelijk dingen in het buitenland verkeerd worden weergegeven, en daar erger ik me aan. Gebeurt dat voor Nederland maar af en toe, Israel heeft daar dagelijks mee te maken. Bovendien zijn het daar geen toevalligheden meer, maar is er een consequente bias ten voordele van de Palestijnen.


Dutch liberal leader: Holocaust denial should not be a crime
Holocaust denial should not be a crime in the Netherlands, the leader of the Dutch liberal party said on Wednesday.

Mark Rutte, head of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), said Dutch law should instead only prosecute people who incite others to commit violence, not when they incite people to hatred.

Claiming the Holocaust did not occur "should be possible" in the Netherlands, Rutte added.

Reacting to Rutte's remarks, public prosecutor spokesman Evert Boerstra said: "Offensive remarks, such as Holocaust denial, are only punishable by Dutch law if it equals discrimination of a particular group, in this case the Jews.

"Then such remarks fall under the prohibition against discrimination," he added.

The liberal VVD party also revealed it will present a bill to parliament proposing to abolish all restrictions to the freedom of expression in the Netherlands.

"Indirect offences - for example if I make a remark about your jacket which you perceive as a personal offence - should not fall under the prohibition against incitement," Rutte said.

"This is also why I vehemently opposed the Amsterdam District Court's decision ordering the prosecution of my colleague Geert Wilders," he added.

On January 21, the Amsterdam District Court ordered the public prosecutor to prosecute controversial Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders for remarks he made about Islam.

Wilders, who until 2005 was a member of the VVD party, has repeatedly referred to Islam as a "backward" religion, among others.

At the trial due to start in the summer, an Amsterdam court will determine whether Wilders merely criticized Islam as a religion, or whether he offended and discriminated Muslims as a group.

If the court decides Wilders has discriminated against Muslims, he could be sentenced under the Dutch anti-discrimination law. The last time the Dutch Supreme Court convicted a Dutch citizen under the same law - for Holocaust denial - was in 1995.

The Labour and Christian Democrat parties, the two largest coalition parties, said they would not support the Liberal bill proposing to lift all restrictions to the freedom of expression.

Sybrand van Haersma Buma, lawmaker for the Christian Democrats, said he was perplexed about the proposal.

"Freedom of expression is necessarily limited by the prohibition to incite others to hatred or violence," Van Haersma Buma said.

Twee buitenposten geëevacueerd op de Westoever

Israel ontmantelt twee buitenposten = Israel verwijdert een paar verlaten caravans en tenten, en wellicht wat huisraad. De volgende dag/week/maand komen de kolonisten terug met een paar nieuwe tenten en caravans, totdat een jaar later Israel ze weer verwijdert.
Dit spelletje gaat nu al jaren zo, en ik kan mij niet voorstellen dat de toch behoorlijk intelligente Obama erin trapt. De grotere buitenposten laat Israel doorgaans met rust, en veranderen langzaam in geaccepteerde nederzettingen. Ondertussen worden op heuveltoppen nieuwe buitenposten opgericht, die Israel met veel fanfare kan verwijderen om te laten zien dat het toch echt wat aan de buitenposten doet en de wet handhaaft.

The Jerusalem Post
May 27, 2009 9:23 | Updated May 27, 2009 14:09
Two outposts evacuated near Kiryat Arba

Security forces on Tuesday night evacuated two unauthorized outposts in Kiryat Arba, near the West Bank City of Hebron, the Federman Farm and Givat Avichai, also known as Hill 18.

The Federman farm was demolished a year ago and recently the family of right-wing activist Noam Federman has been slowly returning to the site. Last night police were surprised to find only a tent full of equipment.

The five youths who were at Givat Avichai when the security forces arrived, did not resist the evacuation and confiscation of two makeshift huts and electricity equipment.

MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) slammed the move, saying, "Today it is becoming apparent that the Netanyahu government is more dangerous to the settlement movement than Tzipi Livni. [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu and [Defense Minister Ehud] Barak continue to sow destruction in the settlement movement while showing blatant scorn for the Likud members who voted for Bibi and Lieberman and were rewarded with the uprooting of outposts."

On Tuesday, six days after his return from Washington, Netanyahu dispatched a team of confidants to London on Tuesday for talks with US Middle East envoy George Mitchell. Discussions are expected to focus on Iran and a looming clash over settlement construction.

One senior government official said Jerusalem felt that if it made clear to the Americans that it would remove outposts, not build new settlements, not expropriate any Palestinian land, and not give incentives to people to live in the settlements, then the Obama administration would not pressure Israel to stop any building beyond the Green Line, even for purposes of natural growth.

Herb Keinon contributed to this report

Nasrallah beschuldigt Israel van Hariri rapport in Der Spiegel

Natuurlijk geeft Hezbollah Israel de schuld van het bericht in Der Spiegel onlangs, waaruit blijkt dat de onderzoekers naar de dood van de Libanese ex-premier Hariri over overtuigend bewijsmateriaal beschikken dat naar Hezbollah wijst.

"The report in Der Spiegel is very, very, very dangerous," he said.

Dat heeft Nasrallah goed gezien, en daarom is hij ook zo boos. Dit zou zijn geloofwaardgiheid, populariteit en machtspositie in Libanon, kort voor de verkiezingen, ernstig kunnen aantasten, om nog maar te zwijgen van juridische acties als een en ander inderdaad blijkt te kloppen.


Israel accused over Hariri report

Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, has accused Israel of being behind a report in Germany's Der Spiegel implicating the movement in the assassination of Rafiq al-Hariri, the former Lebanese prime minister.

"I consider the report in Der Spiegel an Israeli accusation that Hezbollah killed the martyr Rafiq Hariri and we will deal with this claim as such," Nasrallah said on Monday.
Speaking by videolink to thousands of supporters gathered in south Beirut, Nasrallah said that the report in the weekly news magazine was aimed at fomenting strife between Lebanon's Sunni and Shia Muslims.
"The report in Der Spiegel is very, very, very dangerous," he said.
The Der Spiegel report quoted an unnamed source as saying that the UN-backed tribunal into the assassination had found evidence which suggested Hezbollah had a role in attack.
Al-Hariri, a Sunni Muslim construction magnate who had been Lebanon's prime minister on two occasions, was killed with 22 other people in a bomb attack in Beirut in February 2005.

'Hezbollah link'
The Der Spiegel report quoted an unnamed source close to the UN tribunal as saying that Lebanese investigators found a link between eight mobile phones used at the time of the bombing and a network of 20 other phones belonging to Hezbollah agents.
The report named the suspected mastermind of the attack as Hajj Salim, believed to be the commander of the Islamic Resistance, Hezbollah's military wing.

Responding to the report, Israel's foreign minister said that an international arrest warrant should be issued for Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah's secretary-general.
"The report in Der Spiegel on Nasrallah's direct involvement in the assassination of Hariri should raise concern in the entire international community," Avigdor Lieberman said.
"He should have an international arrest warrant issued against  him, and if not, he should be arrested by force," he said.

Syria implicated
Prior to the formation of the special tribunal, interim reports from investigators leading the UN Independent Investigation Commission suggested that Lebanese and Syrian security officials may have planned the killing of al-Hariri.
At the time of al-Hariri's death, Damascus had thousands of troops and intelligence officers deployed in Lebanon.
Widespread public anger in Lebanon after the assassination led Syria to pull its forces out of Lebanon in April 2005, ending a 29-year presence in the country.

Damascus dismissed the Der Spiegel report as "insignificant".

"I invite the prosecutor to use his prerogatives concerning these lies which undermine the international investigation," Walid Muallem, Syria's foreign minister, said.
The Der Spiegel report comes before a June 7 parliamentary election in Lebanon, in which a Western-backed parliamentary majority faces a bloc led by Hezbollah, which is supported by Iran and Syria.
"This is a pure fabrication aimed at influencing the [forthcoming Lebanese] election campaign and to deflect attention from the news about the dismantling of spy networks working for Israel," a Hezbollah statement released on al-Manar television said on Sunday.

Jeruzalem volgens de Palestijnse Autoriteit

De Palestijnse Autoriteit ontkent de Joodse geschiedenis van Jeruzalem, het bestaan van de tempels en de centrale plaats die de stad in het Joodse geloof, de cultuur en identiteit inneemt. Dit komt ook in de officiële positie van de PA tot uiting, waarin men de gehele oude stad opeist, inclusief de Klaagmuur (die volgens hen dus eigenlijk niet bestaat en 'Al Burak' wordt genoemd omdat Mohammed er zijn paard zou hebben vastgemaakt voordat hij vanuit de Al Aqsa moskee opsteeg naar de hemel). Sommigen, zoals de hoge geestelijke Dr. Tayseer Al-Tamimi, PA hoofd van de islamitische rechtbank en voorzitter van de Hoge Raad van de Islamitische Wet, gaan nog verder en menen dat er nooit Joden in Jeruzalem waren voor 1967.


De beschuldigingen dat Israel de Al Aqsa Moskee wil vernietigen zijn vaak en met succes gebruikt door Palestijnse leiders om de Palestijnen tegen de Joden op te zetten.

Uit onderstaand onderzoek blijkt hoe wijdverbreid dergelijke mythes en leugens zijn in de PA, en hoezeer zij worden verspreid in media, moskeeën en op scholen. Helaas geloven ook steeds meer mensen in het Westen die met de Palestijnen begaan zijn, dergelijke kwaadaardige leugens, en wordt de Arabische claim op Jeruzalem en de oude stad steeds meer geaccepteerd...





Special Report
May 26, 2009
Palestinian Media Watch
Jerusalem under Palestinian Assault
by Itamar Marcus and Noaz Cohen
Palestinian Authority's unprecedented campaign 
of historical revision and libels about Jerusalem 

"Jerusalem is the religious, political and spiritual capital of Palestine -
the Jews have no right to it."
[Dr. Tayseer Al-Tamimi, PA Chief Justice of religious court]
The erasure and denial of 3,000 years of Jewish history in Jerusalem is integral to Palestinian ideology. Accordingly, Israel and Jews are said to have "no rights" to Jerusalem, and any contemporary manifestation of Jewish life and development there is labeled by the Palestinian Authority as "Judaization." Jerusalem is presented as an exclusively Muslim and Christian city, with no regard for historical reality. Beyond this historical revisionism, the PA disseminates the libel that Israel is acting to expel Arabs from Jerusalem in order to further "Judaize" the city. Fabrications include PA accusations of Israeli destruction of Islamic and Christian sites, and repeated use of PA hate language, including references to a "criminal cultural massacre"  to chase Arab inhabitants away. The Jerusalem libel is designed to evoke religious hatred by portraying Israel and the Jews as the enemy of, and threat to, Arabs and Islam.

This study by Palestinian Media Watch documents the recent intensification of the Palestinian Authority's campaign of distortion, historical revision and hate incitement about Jerusalem, and denial of its integral attachment to the Jewish nation and history.
The Study:
  1. Denial of the Jewish connection to Jerusalem and even of the existence of Solomon's Temple;
  2. Hate libels: Israel plans destruction of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Judaization of Jerusalem; PA alarmist campaign to promote fear and hate; 
  3. Jerusalem and all of Israel are defined as "Ribat" - holy Islamic land - whose "liberation" and defense are mandatory by Islam.

1. Denial of the Jewish Connection to the City of Jerusalem

"The archaeological treasures in Jerusalem emphasize the depth of the city's heritage and history; they emphasize its Arabness and refute the Israeli claims that it is a Jewish city... It is known that perhaps under every stone and in every corner, on every street and at every turn in Jerusalem there are relics. These relics say, 'We are Arab, we are Muslim, we are Christian."

[Dr. Marwan Abu-Khalaf, director of the Archaeological Institute at Al-Quds University - PA TV, Feb. 27, 2009]


"They [the Jews] base themselves on myths and invoke the Jewish religion and Jewish faith, despite the fact that the truly religious Jews truly believe - and they have stated this on more than one occasion - that the Temple was never in the Holy City [Jerusalem], and was absolutely never on the site of the Al-Aqsa Mosque." [Mahmoud Al-Habbash, PA Minister of Agriculture and Welfare - PA TV, April 16, 2009]


"They have wept tears and cried over the western wall of the Al-Aqsa Mosque out of an illusion and forgery that it is a relic of the wall of the alleged Temple... They place notes between the stones and dream of the day when they will approach closer, into the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, and plan to build the alleged Temple."

[PA TV: "Synagogues Encircling Al-Aqsa" -  May 1, 2009] 


[Dr. Hasan Sun'-Allah, a scholar at the Center of Modern Research] "criticized the use of the term 'Wailing Wall' instead of 'Western Wall' [of Al-Aqsa], and stated that the occupation falsifies the facts, and has no rights over the walls of Al-Aqsa mosque, to use them as a site for mourning." [Al-Ayyam, April 28, 2009]

Dr. Tayseer Al-Tamimi, PA Chief Justice of religious court, and Chairman of Supreme Council of Islamic Law:

"Jerusalem is the religious, political and spiritual capital of Palestine - the Jews have no rights to it."

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 2, 2009]


"We do not agree with the biblical version, according to which [Jerusalem] was a mighty kingdom, or the capital of a mighty kingdom. No palace has been discovered, nor have any remnants of the First Temple - built in Solomon's time - been found, testifying to this greatness... The Hebrews arrived in Jerusalem during the first millennium B.C.E., but their rule in Jerusalem lasted only for a short time... To date one cannot point to any element in Jerusalem that is related, historically speaking, to that period, or any element that is historically related to the Hebrew culture."

[Nazmi Al-Ju'ba, lecturer in history at Bir Zeit University - PATV, Feb. 27, 2009]


"It [Jerusalem] is the meeting point of a number of archaeological sites, by means of which the Israeli establishment is trying to raise an imaginary Hebrew history."

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 4, 2009]


"[Dr. Yunes Amr, President of the Al-Quds Open University,] who authored a book entitled, 'Jerusalem - City of Allah', has reviewed the Israeli claims concerning the history of the Jewish presence in Palestine and in Jerusalem, and has disproved them historically and linguistically, [exposing] their falsification of the facts. He pointed out the inaccuracy of the widespread view that the Palestinians originated with a group of people who emigrated from the Greek [Isles] and settled in Palestine, affirming instead that the Palestinians are Arab Canaanites indigenous to this land."       [Al-Ayyam, April 7, 2009]


"They dug the Western Wall tunnel... and at the heart of the tunnel they inaugurated a new synagogue, the closest - according to their illusion - to the Holy of Holies of the alleged Temple."

[PA TV: "Synagogues Encircle Al-Aqsa" - May 1, 2009] 


"Israel seeks to create religious and historical legitimacy for itself in Jerusalem and to justify its acts of judaization, with a clear distortion of history."

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 14, 2009]

2. Hate libels: Israel plans destruction of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Judaization of Jerusalem; PA alarmist campaign to promote fear and hate


Since Jews are said to have no connection to Jerusalem, nor any right to live in the city, any Israeli action in Jerusalem is defined as "Judaization" and an attempt to erase the city's supposedly authentic Islamic Arab character. The PA has launched an incendiary libel campaign which presents as fact the lie that Israel is working to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque and to expel Arabs from the city.
The claim that Israel is pursuing a policy of ridding Jerusalem of its Arab inhabitants is blatantly untrue. In fact, according to May 2009 statistics released by the Jerusalem Center for Israel Studies, since the liberation of east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War, Jerusalem's population has increased by 186%, with the Arab population of east Jerusalem growing by 291%, almost twice the growth rate of the Jewish population. 

Palestinian Authority Mufti, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein:

"There are [Israeli] plans to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque both directly and indirectly. For instance, use of explosives, aerial or long-distance bombing, digging at the foundations and the walls of the mosque. By means of the tunnels they are trying to cause a natural earthquake."

[PA TV, March 2, 2009]


"Nation of Islam: Awaken! The Al-Aqsa mosque is being threatened, a tunnel is being dug underneath, the so-called 'Temple' is being renewed." 

[PA TV clip broadcast repeatedly in 2009, recently on April 24, 2009]

Dr. Tayseer Al-Tamimi, PA Chief Justice of religious court, and Chairman of Supreme Council of Islamic Law:

"The occupation government is determined to erase the Arab and Islamic characteristics of the Holy City and to carry out a criminal cultural massacre against the city's human and cultural heritage."

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 17, 2009]


"This occupation [Israel], which is robbing us of our geography, robbing us of our history, and robbing us of our heritage, is trying to Judaize our city [Jerusalem]."

[Friday sermon, PA TV, April 10, 2009]

Dr. Tayseer Al-Tamimi, PA Chief Justice of religious court, and Chairman of Supreme Council of Islamic Law:

"The number of Israeli tunnels and their scope is growing daily under the Al-Aqsa mosque and in its environs and... the constant breakdowns of the roads and the walls emphasize that [Al-Aqsa] is subject to a plot that threatens its structure and its identity, with the aim of destroying it and establishing on its ruins the alleged Jewish Temple."

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 3, 2009] 


"The Israeli leadership is hastening its steps to Judaize Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Palestinian state, with the aim of abolishing the city's Arab identity and changing its characteristic landmarks."

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 24, 2009]


"The Popular Fighting Front in the Jerusalem region emphasized that the plans of the occupation government, which aspires to double the number of settlers in Jerusalem and in the West Bank... This is one of the fruits of the new fanaticism, racism and Nazism."

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 4, 2009]


"When we look at the Palestinian map these days, we cannot avoid turning our gaze directly towards Jerusalem and the suffering that this city is experiencing: the attempts at Judaization, with the aim of blurring its characteristics, changing its identity."

[Friday sermon, PATV Feb. 20, 2009]


[In his lecture, Dr. Yunes Amr, president of Al-Quds University] "addressed the subject of 'Jerusalem, capital of Arab culture', the characteristics of the Jews - their lies and their sadism."

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 25, 2009]


"It is possible that there will be an artificial earthquake. Some time ago the Israelis had the idea of carrying out a nuclear test in the Dead Sea. That would be an artificial earthquake [that would bring about the collapse of the Al-Aqsa mosque]."

[PATV, Feb. 27, 2009]

 3. Jerusalem and all of Israel are defined as land of "Ribat"


A Palestinian Authority schoolbook defines Ribat:

"The Ribat for Allah is one of the actions related to Jihad ...The persistence of Palestine's people on their land in these days [i.e., Israel], and their persistence against the damage and the aggression they endure - is one of the greatest of the Ribat [fighting for Islamic land], and they are worthy of a great reward from Allah.... they are found in Ribat until Resurrection. "

 [Islamic Education, grade 12, p. 86-87]

In recent months, Palestinian leaders have frequently defined all of Israel, and particularly Jerusalem, as land of "Ribat" - i.e., areas which Muslims have a religious obligation to defend and liberate for Islam. In the past, it was specifically Hamas that defined the conflict with Israel as a religious war. Now, the PA - Fatah leadership likewise openly presents its war against Israel as a religious battle for Islam.

 "Ribat unites us as Muslims and as Palestinian Arabs with Jerusalem, and with its holy [places] and with the Al-Aqsa Mosque. It is ongoing Ribat which cannot be halted even for a second."
[Sheikh Raed Salah, head of branch of The Islamic Movement - Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 25, 2009]

Sheikh Ali Abu-Shaykha, member of the Jerusalem People's Council for "Jerusalem, Capital of Arab Culture 2009" events:

"The purpose of the festival is for our children to depict the suffering of the Al-Aqsa mosque... In addition, this activity is an activity of Ribat and protection of the Al-Aqsa mosque, in the shadow of the campaign of Judaization and the invasion of the Al-Aqsa mosque that are being undertaken by Jewish associations and organizations."

["First Drawing Competition of Lovers of Al-Aqsa" - Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 21, 2009]


"Our fundamental task - and this must be clear to all - is the continuation of Ribat upon the land of Jerusalem, upon the land of Palestine; a continuation of Ribat, striking roots in this land."

[Mahmoud Al-Habbash, former PA Minister of Agriculture and Welfare - PA TV, April 16, 2009]


"This nation is a nation of Murabitun [Ribat people], whose fundamental obligation is to protect the [land of] Ribat [i.e., land of Israel]."

[Friday sermon, PATV, March 3, 2009]

Naseen Arabi speaks in the name of the Al-Aqsa Youth:

"The Al-Aqsa mosque has been placed at the center of the Israeli target, with all its plazas and domes and walls. The names and the sites have been falsified, such that the 'Al-Burak [western] Wall' has forcibly and falsely become the 'Wall of Tears' [Wailing Wall], and the Al-Aqsa plazas have become a pilgrimage site for tourists. Under it there is an empty space, and above it an empty space, and a voice is heard there - the voice of the Murabitin [Ribat people] who hold onto it day and night, to protect it."

["First Drawing Competition of Lovers of Al-Aqsa" - Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 21, 2009]


Contact Palestinian Media Watch:


p:+972 2 625 4140


f: +972 2 624 2803


PMW | King George 59 | Jerusalem | Israel

dinsdag 26 mei 2009

Iran weigert Westers voorstel bevriezen atoomprogramma

De komende Iraanse verkiezingen hebben al tot de nodige dreigementen aan het adres van Israel geleid, hoewel Achmadinejad daar geen verkiezingen voor nodig heeft. Hij heeft ook - nogmaals - een overeenkomst over Irans nucleaire programma uitgesloten. Iran heeft ook zes oorlogsschepen naar internationale wateren gestuurd.
Achmadinejad wil wel graag met Obama debateren, maar niet met het Westen onderhandelen over het Iraanse atoomprogramma. Bush werd bekritiseerd om zijn weigering met Iran te onderhandelen, maar de open benadering van Obama levert vooralsnog niet meer resultaat op dan eerdere vruchteloze pogingen van onder meer Rusland en Europa, die enkel aan het lijntje werden gehouden door Teheran.


Last update - 18:17 25/05/2009       
Iran rejects Western proposal for freezing Nuclear program
By Agencies
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday rejected a Western proposal for Tehran to "freeze" its nuclear work in return for no new sanctions and ruled out any talks with major powers on the issue.
The comments by the conservative president, who is seeking re-election in a June 12 presidential vote, are likely to further disappoint the United States administration of President Barack Obama, which is seeking to engage Iran diplomatically.
The United States, Russia, China, France, Germany and Britain said in April they would invite Iran to a meeting to try and find a diplomatic solution to the nuclear row.
The West accuses Iran of secretly developing atomic weapons. Iran, the world's fifth-largest oil exporter, denies the charge and says it only wants nuclear power to generate electricity.
Breaking with past U.S. policy of shunning direct talks with Iran, Obama's administration said it would join such discussions with Tehran from now on.
"Our talks [with major powers] will only be in the framework of cooperation for managing global issues and nothing else. We have clearly announced this," Ahmadinejad said.
"The nuclear issue is a finished issue for us," he told a news conference.
Ahmadinejad was asked about a so-called "freeze-for-freeze" proposal first put forward last year under which Iran would freeze expansion of its nuclear program in return for the UN Security Council halting further sanctions against Tehran.
Western diplomats say the proposal remains on the table. Ahmadinejad last month said Iran had prepared its own package of proposals to end the stalemate.
"We will not allow anyone to negotiate with us outside the agency's regulations and issues," he said on Monday, referring to the UN International Atomic Energy Agency. "From now on we will continue our path in the framework of the agency."
Obama has offered a new beginning of diplomatic engagement with Iran if it "unclenches its fist", but Washington has not ruled out military action if diplomacy fails.
Ahmadinejad, facing a challenge in the election from moderates advocating detente with the West, has made angry rhetoric against the United States and it allies his trademark since he came to power in 2005.
Challenge to Obama
Ahmadinejad called Monday for a face-to-face debate with his American counterpart Barack Obama at the United Nations.
The challenge was made at a news conference as he stepped up his campaign for re-election in Iran's June 12 presidential vote.
Iran says it is ready for "constructive" talks but has repeatedly rejected demands to halt sensitive uranium enrichment which can have both civilian and military purposes.
No cooperation with North Korea
Asked about North Korea's nuclear test on Monday, Ahmadinejad said: "In principle we oppose the production, expansion and the use of weapons of mass destruction."
He said Iran had no missile or nuclear cooperation with North Korea.
May 25, 2009 16:57 | Updated May 25, 2009 19:13
'Iran sends 6 warships to int'l waters'
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is calling for a face-to-face debate with American counterpart Barack Obama at the United Nations.

The offer came at news conference Monday as Ahmadinejad stepped up his campaign for reelection in the June 12 presidential vote.

If returned to office, Ahmadinejad says he wants to meet Obama during the UN General Assembly in September to debate "world issues and the way toward peace."

Ahmadinejad is in a four-way race against a fellow hard-liner and two pro-reform candidates. The campaign has grown more bitter in recent days with reformists accusing authorities of trying to undercut their strength by blocking the social networking site Facebook.

Meanwhile, Iran has sent six warships to international waters, including the Gulf of Aden, to display its ability to confront any foreign threats, its naval commander was quoted by a local news agency as saying on Monday.

Admiral Habibollah Sayyari was quoted by the Iranian Student News Agency (ISNA) as announcing the dispatch of the vessels only five days after Iran test-fired a surface-to-surface missile with a range of 2,000 km.

The Islamic republic said that on May 14 it had sent two warships to the Gulf of Aden to protect oil tankers from the world's fifth-largest crude exporter against pirate attacks. It was not clear whether those two were of the six mentioned by the admiral on Monday.

"Iran has dispatched six ... warships to international waters and the Gulf of Aden region in an historically unprecedented move by the Iranian Navy," Sayyari told a gathering of armed forces officials. He added that preserving Iran's territorial integrity in its southern waters called for the "perseverance and firmness" of the navy.

The move to dispatch the warships was "indicative of the country's high military capability in confronting any foreign threat on the country's shores," Sayyari said.

The ISNA report did not mention the threat of pirate attacks, which, fueled by large ransoms, have continued almost unabated despite the presence of an armada of foreign warships patrolling the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden.

Also Monday, Ahmadinejad rejected the latest proposal by the West in its bid to bring Iran to halt its nuclear program.

"The nuclear issue is a finished issue for us," Ahmadinejad told a news conference. "Our talks [with major powers] will only be in the framework of cooperation for managing global issues and nothing else. We have clearly announced this," Reuters reported.

According to the proposal, made last year, Iran would freeze expansion of its nuclear program and in return the UN would freeze all economic sanctions against the country. Western diplomats say the offer still stands.

"We will not allow anyone to negotiate with us outside the agency's regulations and issues," Ahmadinejad said, referring to the UN International Atomic Energy Agency. "Our activities will only be in the framework of the agency's regulations."

The United States and its allies suspect Iran is seeking to build nuclear bombs, a charge Teheran denies. Obama offered a new beginning of diplomatic engagement with Iran if it "unclenches its fist."

Asked about North Korea's nuclear test on Monday, Ahmadinejad said, "In principle, we oppose the production, expansion and the use of weapons of mass destruction."

Libanese humor

Even iets anders tussendoor....

From Lebanon with Laughs: "You Are in Beirut, Lebanon"
Barry Rubin
This satire is making the rounds in Lebanon as elections approach. The main character, Michel Aoun is a Christian politician allied with Hizballah. He would sell his mother--or, more immediately, Lebanon--in order to be president some day. He may well give an Iran-Syria backed government the seats it needs to take over the country.

"You are in Beirut, Lebanon"

This test only has one question, but it's a very important one. By giving an honest answer, you will discover where you stand morally.

The test features an unlikely, fictional situation in which you will have to make a decision. Remember that your answer needs to be honest, and spontaneous.

Please scroll down slowly and give due consideration to each line.

You are in Beirut, Lebanon. There is chaos all around you caused by an explosion followed by a severe blaze. You are a photo journalist working for a major newspaper and you're caught in the middle of this epic disaster. You're trying to shoot career-making photos. There are cars and people swirling around you, and disappearing under the flames.

Suddenly you see a man in a burning car. He is fighting for his life, trying not to be burnt alive. You move closer. Somehow the man looks familiar. You suddenly realize who it is. It's General Michel Aoun. At the same time you notice that the raging flames are about to take him under forever. You have two options - you can save the life of General Aoun, or you can shoot a dramatic Pulitzer Prize winning photo, documenting the death of one of the country's famous men.
What is the question? - Click here: From Lebanon with Laughs: "You Are in Beirut, Lebanon"

Presidentskandidaat Iran ziet Israël van de kaart vegen wel zitten

In Iran dienen alle kandidaten een keurstempel te hebben van de islamitische Raad van Hoeders. Deze kwam vast met vlag en wimpel door de keuring.
Een slordigheidje van Elsevier: "Teheran ziet Israël als bezetter van Palestijns gebied."
'Palestijns' heeft in deze zin geen betekenis, zeker niet voor de Ayatollahs. Het gaat hen om de 'bezetting' van heilige islamitische grond, en wellicht ook een beetje om het lot van de islamitische Palestijnse Arabieren, hoewel tussen Arabieren en Perzen en tussen soennieten en sjiieten doorgaans niet veel liefde verloren is.
Presidentskandidaat Iran:
Ik kan Israël voor altijd stoppen
Elsevier - zondag 24 mei 2009 13:09

Een Iraanse presidentskandidaat heeft zondag gezegd dat hij Israël in één klap van de kaart kan vegen als hij tot president wordt gekozen.

'Ik zou hen met een slag voor altijd kunnen stoppen,' aldus Mohsen Rezai. Hij is een van de drie uitdagers van de huidige president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Directe aanval
'Mijn overheid begrijpt raketten en tanks net zo goed als buitenlands beleid en weet precies waar de gevoelige punten van Israël liggen,' aldus Rezai.

Hij deed zijn uitspraken na een peiling in Israël waaruit bleek dat de helft van de Israëliërs voorstander is van een directe aanval op de nucleaire faciliteiten in Iran.

Van de kaart vegen
Israël maakt zich grote zorgen over de nucleaire capaciteiten van Iran. Teheran ziet Israël als bezetter van Palestijns gebied. Ahmadinejad zei eerder al dat Israël van de kaart geveegd zou moeten worden.

Iran gaat op 12 juni naar de stembus. De politici zijn dan ook druk aan het campagne voeren. Rezai is een behoudende politicus en oud-militair, die veel kritiek op het beleid van Ahmadinejad heeft.

Ook oud-premier Mirhossein Mousavi en voormalig parlementsvoorzitter Mehdi Karoubi doen een gooi naar het presidentschap.


Israel staakt verzet tegen omstreden Egyptische cultuurminister als hoofd van UNESCO

Er zijn heel wat bezwaren in te brengen tegen de Egyptische kandidaat voor de UNESCO. Wat te denken van een cultuurminister die heeft verklaard dat hij "Israelische boeken zou verbranden als hij ze in een Egyptische bibliotheek aantrof"? Hosni beweerde dat dit citaat uit zijn verband was gerukt, maar in welk verband zou zo'n citaat dan wel kunnen deugen? En is het is niet het enige citaat. Hosni heeft zich vaker denigrerend uitgelaten over de Israelische cultuur als zijnde barbaars, racistisch en afwezig (ze jatten alleen van andere culturen..).
Egypte heeft hoegenaamd een vredesverdrag met Israel en diplomatieke betrekkingen, maar Hosni weerde Israelische boeken en films van internationale festivals in Cairo. Hij voert al meer dan 20 jaar het Egyptische cultuurbeleid uit van een 'koude vrede' met Israel zonder genormaliseerde betrekkingen. De door de Egyptische staat gecontroleerde media krijgen intussen ruim baan om de ergste antisemitische propaganda te spuien, zoals dramaseries over de 'Protocollen van de Wijzen van Zion'.
In september is de stemming over het nieuwe hoofd van UNESCO.

Netanyahu lifts objection to anti-Israel Egyptian minister as head of UNESCO
By Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent
Last update - 00:41 01/01/2009

Israel agreed to lift its objection to the appointment of Egypt's vehemently anti-Israeli culture minister as head of UNESCO, following a recent meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Farouk Hosni, who has served as Egypt's culture minister since 1987, has declared that if he could, he "would burn Israeli books in Egyptian libraries." Despite such rhetoric, Hosni is a leading candidate for the top spot in the UN's education and cultural organization, having been recommended by Mubarak.

As part of a secret agreement, reached during their May 11 meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh, Netanyahu promised Mubarak that Israel would cease the international campaign it has waged against Hosni's appointment during the past year. It is still unclear whether Netanyahu, who is known for his insistence on the principle of quid pro quo in Israel's relations with the Arab world, received something from the Egyptian leader in return.

Exact details of the "arrangement" between Netanyahu and Mubarak were kept secret and were not reported to the media, even though such practice would constitute a radical change of Israeli policy.

However, a senior source in the Prime Minister's Office confirmed the development, but insisted the decision was made following a personal request by Egypt's president and several European leaders. Moreover, the source said Israel's gesture was part of a broader set of understandings, in which Egypt will respond in similar fashion at a future gesture. "We received a substantive and worthwhile return. We would not have done this unless Israel's interests benefited," the source said.

Netanyahu's promise to lift Israel's objections contradicts the position of the Foreign Ministry. The instructions from the Prime Minister's Bureau caught Foreign Ministry officials by surprise; the ministry subsequently circulated a telegram on the new directive to several Israeli delegations abroad who had until then been waging a public and diplomatic campaign against Hosni's appointment to UNESCO.

"Following Prime Minister Netanyahu's visit to Egypt, and at the request of President Mubarak and in line with understandings with Egypt, Israel has decided to lift its objections to the appointment of Farouk Hosni to the post of UNESCO secretary-general, changing our position to not-opposed," the classified telegram dated 14 May reads.

Netanyahu has said on several occasions recently that he is interested in normalizing ties with the Arab world. However, Hosni has stood at the forefront of Egyptian opposition to a normalization of ties with Israel. The Egyptian culture minister is strongly opposed to normalizing relations with Israel and made public anti-Israel statements, which drew attention because of their implied anti-Semitism.

As culture minister, Hosni banned Israeli films from international film festivals in Cairo and forbid an Israeli book stand at the international book fair there.

Hosni has also been quoted in the media as saying that Israel and the Jews are not cultured and steal from the cultural heritage of other nations.

Following criticism, Hosni gave a conciliatory interview to Yedioth Ahronoth