zaterdag 22 augustus 2009

Amerikaans consulaat voor PA in Jeruzalem, maar ambassade voor Israel niet

Israels grootste en trouwste bondgenoot houdt er merkwaardige ideeën wat betreft Jeruzalem op na. Men erkent niet alleen Oost-Jeruzalem niet als deel van Israel, maar ook West-Jeruzalem niet. Mensen die in Jeruzalem zijn geboren, kunnen niet in hun paspoort 'Jeruzalem, Israel' geschreven krijgen, en de VS heeft haar ambassade (zoals bijna alle landen) niet in Jeruzalem staan, maar in Tel Aviv. Je zou zeggen: wat is er mis met een ambassade in West-Jeruzalem? Dat is toch niet omstreden, en gewoon Israelisch? Blijkbaar niet. Ondertussen heeft de VS wel een consulaat in Oost-Jeruzalem. Een consulaat voor de Palestijnse Autoriteit, zo blijkt.
Dr. Adam Splaver, a Florida cardiologist, wrote to the American Consul-General in Jerusalem on August 14 expressing outrage that the Consulate's website "did not mention Israel, projects in Israel, the people of Israel or the modern state of Israel. What it does mention is the numerous projects you have with the Palestinians and in their cities and towns."
Hij kreeg daarop het volgende antwoord:
"Thank you for your feedback on the U.S. Consulate General Jerusalem's Website. Just to clarify, the Consulate General in Jerusalem is the principal representation to the Palestinian Authority. We also provide services to American citizens in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza.
"The U.S. embassy to Israel is in Tel Aviv and is focused on the bilateral relationship with Israel. Their website is The American Center in Jerusalem also provides information about the United States to the Israeli public. Their website is .
"Jerusalem is a final status issue. Israel and the Palestinians have agreed to resolve its status during negotiations. We will support their efforts to reach agreements on all final status issues."
Waarom erkent de VS Oost-Jeruzalem wel als Palestijnse stad en West-Jeruzalem niet als Israelisch? Waarom staat dat consulaat niet in Ramallah, waar de Palestijnse Autoriteit is gevestigd? Het VS beleid wat betreft Jeruzalem heb ik nooit goed begrepen.
Is this US Policy? Recognize East Jerusalem as Palestinian capital

Evidently, it is US policy to recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine, while denying any recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. As you may remember, we noted that the US consulate in Jerusalem has no information at all about Israel on its Web site. Some people took action on this issue, and got the appalling response that is described below. You can clarify the issues and register your protest by contacting the US consulate in Jerusalem, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:, U.S. Department of State 2201 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20520, 202-647-4000 and President Barack Obama  The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500, 202-456-1111

Ami Isseroff


The Jerusalem US Consulate is De Facto Embassy to PA

by Hana Levi Julian

( The U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem is America's embassy to the Palestinian Authority, according to the U.S. Consul-General's response to a letter penned by an irate Jewish American.

Dr. Adam Splaver, a Florida cardiologist, wrote to the American Consul-General in Jerusalem on August 14 expressing outrage that the Consulate's website "did not mention Israel, projects in Israel, the people of Israel or the modern state of Israel. What it does mention is the numerous projects you have with the Palestinians and in their cities and towns."

The consulate building is located in the eastern section of Jerusalem, in an area restored to Israel's capital during the1967 Six Day War. The Palestinian Authority has repeatedly demanded that Jerusalem be recognized as the capital of any future Arab state established alongside Israel. For now, the PA has refused to come to the negotiating table unless Israel first agrees to freeze all construction, including building to accommodate natural growth, in all post-1967 areas of Jerusalem, as well as in all of Judea and Samaria.

Splaver, a former president of the Young Israel synagogue in Hollywood, Florida, wrote that he was "appalled," adding that he believed the omission was not the result of an error, but rather a deliberate statement.

"As an American and as a Jew, I must voice my objections to your political message and clearly, proudly, and defiantly state that a united Jerusalem was, is and will be the capital of the Jewish homeland called Israel," he added.

The reply, received Monday, August 17, speaks for itself:

"Thank you for your feedback on the U.S. Consulate General Jerusalem's Website. Just to clarify, the Consulate General in Jerusalem is the principal representation to the Palestinian Authority. We also provide services to American citizens in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza.

"The U.S. embassy to Israel is in Tel Aviv and is focused on the bilateral relationship with Israel. Their website is The American Center in Jerusalem also provides information about the United States to the Israeli public. Their website is .

"Jerusalem is a final status issue. Israel and the Palestinians have agreed to resolve its status during negotiations. We will support their efforts to reach agreements on all final status issues."

While the current seat of the PA government is in Ramallah, the United States government appears to already recognize the Palestinian Authority's claim to Jerusalem. At the same time, successive American governments have failed to officially recognize Israel's declaration of the city as its capital since 1948.

"I am surprised that more aren't aware of the de facto embassy [to the PA in Jerusalem] that the U.S. government has set up," Plaver said in an exclusive telephone interview Tuesday afternoon with Israel National News. "I am in shock!"

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Obama beloofde Joodse leiders VS einde aan Arabische opruiing

Volgens Stephen J. Savitsky heeft Obama leiders van Amerikaanse Joodse organisaties achter gesloten deuren verzekerd dat er binnenkort een einde komt aan de opruiing in de Arabische wereld tegen Israel en dat gematigde Arabische leiders Israels bestaansrecht als thuisland voor het Joodse volk zouden erkennen. Juist door een 'evenwichtigere' houding van de VS, zouden Arabische leiders hiertoe eerder geneigd zijn. Van deze beloftes is echter tot nu niet veel terechtgekomen. 'Gematigde' Arabische staten hebben zich tegen iedere vorm van normalisering uitgesproken zolang de bezetting voortduurt, Fatah heeft zich voor de 'gewapende strijd' uitgesproken, en in de Arabische pers krijgt Israel als vanouds van alle ellende de schuld. Meer geduld alleen zal waarschijnlijk niet helpen; meer druk is ook nodig.
By Stephen J. Savitsky · August 16, 2009
NEW YORK (JTA) -- I was most privileged on July 13 to be invited along with 16 other Jewish leaders to meet with President Obama at the White House. Much has been written about this historic meeting; it's hard to believe there have been so many commentaries on a one-hour session.
Everyone who was present has their own version of what happened, and I'm no different. For me, the meeting was a chance to dialogue with a new administration and to make certain that the views of the Orthodox Union and our constituent body are well represented.
After the meeting, I surmised that the administration was asking a great deal of Israel while requesting little from the Arab world.
President Obama apparently likes the word "recalibrate." I've heard him use it on many occasions. He said, "We have to recalibrate the perception that little is being asked of the Arab world, and specifically the Palestinians."
The president assured us that in private discussions, Arabs have agreed to stop the incitement and to recognize Israel's legitimate right to be a homeland for the Jewish people, but they have yet to express this publicly. We were assured that in the near future there would be significant changes in the news releases and speeches given by moderate Arab leaders. The president felt that with a more evenhanded diplomatic posture, the Arab world would rise to the occasion.
It is time to look at what has happened since we've had our meeting. I have not heard one Arab leader publicly recognize Israel's legitimate right to be a Jewish homeland and a free democratic society in the Middle East. I have not heard one Arab leader publicly recognize that Israel is a nation among the nations of the world. I have not heard one Arab leader call for the elimination of incitement and hatred against the State of Israel. I have not heard one Arab leader recommend that the educational tools used to indoctrinate hatred against Israel be eliminated and new textbooks published in which the State of Israel is displayed on the geographic map of the Middle East.
Also, I did not hear any words of conciliation and moderation at the recent Fatah convention. What I did hear were statements praising suicide bombers and threatening violence, as well as the ridiculous claim accusing Israel of assassinating Arafat -- although the Fatah delegates acknowledged there was no proof.
What I did hear at the convention is that Palestinians who supposedly were expelled in 1948 should be able to return to their homes. What I did hear is that Israel had no justification to defend itself after waiting seven years and absorbing tens of thousands of missiles fired at its people. What I did hear is a Palestinian leader warning the Arab states not to normalize their ties with Israel. ("Normalization of Israel's ties with the Arab countries before the occupation ends in the Palestinian areas is the last thing that the Palestinians should have to experience," said Abu El-Izz Dajani, a former PLO ambassador.) What I did hear is Jordan calling on Saudi Arabia to publicly reject appeals to improve relations with Israel.
After meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Jordan's Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh told her that confidence-building measures that the United States wants the Arab states to take will not produce a resolution to the conflict. So it seems that the Arab world has totally rejected President Obama's requests. I therefore eagerly await the change in approach that the president promised us on July 13.
In the interim, the Obama administration has continued to press the settlements issue with Israel, making its displeasure over the eviction of Arab residents from an East Jerusalem building clear in conversations with the Israeli ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren.
Our meeting with President Obama was the beginning of a dialogue and so I, as president of the Orthodox Union, representing the fastest growing segment of Jewish life, respectfully ask the president to reconsider his position in relationship to Israel. At that meeting the president was urged that there be no daylight between Israel and United States -- the stronger the relationship, the greater the opportunity for peace.
The Arab world has sent a clear message to President Obama: "We will not change our rhetoric and we will not change our positions. Continue to press Israel, force them to give back land and compromise their security in exchange for words of hatred from moderate Arab leaders."
So I now ask you, Mr. President, if you are truly sincere about finding peace in the Middle East, is it not the time to recalibrate your position again? May I suggest that you make it abundantly clear that the opportunity for peace rests clearly on the shoulders of the Arab world. Once they accept Israel completely and reject terrorism and incitement, and once the relationship between the United States and Israel is solidified to assure the world that there is no daylight, then and only then will the seeds of true peace be planted in the Middle East.
(Stephen J. Savitsky is the president of the Orthodox Union.)

Zweden ongevoelig voor kritiek Israel op antisemitisch krantenartikel

How can the public be protected from random inventions of racists and sensationalists if every such claim can hide behind the defense of "opinion piece" and get the protection of "freedom of the press?"
Vraagt Ami Isseroff zich af, naar aanleiding van een walgelijk antisemitisch artikel in Zwedens grootste krant, en de slappe verdediging daarvan door de hoofdredacteur. Wel, het antwoord luidt wellicht 'niet'. De mogelijkheid mensen die nonsens uitkramen of kwaadaardige racistische verzinsels de wereld in sturen, daarop aan te spreken, te bekritiseren, felle tegenstukken te schrijven, en desnoods naar de rechter te stappen, daar zullen we het mee moeten doen. De rechter kan pas achteraf bepalen dat een stuk het antidiscriminatiebeginsel of een ander grondrecht schendt, en biedt in die zin dus geen bescherming. Je hoopt natuurlijk dat in een beschaafd land de goede smaak van hoofdredacteuren, webmasters, directeuren van musea, uitgevers van boeken etc. etc. voorkomt dat te erge rotzooi op de markt komt, maar dat valt helaas nog weleens tegen, en zeker niet alleen in Zweden, en zeker niet alleen waar het antisemitisme betreft. Een van de nadelen van democratie is dat er geen controle is op wat mensen allemaal naar buiten brengen. Dit is tegelijkertijd een voordeel, waar ik en ook Ami van harte van profiteren. Stel je voor dat iedere blog of commentaar dat ik schreef eerst ergens gekeurd moest worden! En wie doen dat dan allemaal, en op grond van wat voor criteria, en hoe voorkom je willekeur?
De beste bescherming tegen dit soort kwaadaardige nonsens is informatie en protest. Als mensen massaal dreigen hun abonnement op te zeggen van Aftonbladet dan zal men een volgende keer wellicht wat voorzichtiger zijn. En als iedereen weet dat dit onzin is en meer zegt over de auteur dan over Israel, dan is er niks aan de hand en plaatst hij slechts zichzelf in een kwaad daglicht.
Eerdere berichten:
The Swedish government retracted its ambassadors condemnation of an an anti-Semitic canard published in AftonBladet, Sweden's largest newspaper, that claimed that the IDF kills Palestinians in order to harvest their organs for transplants. After Sweden's ambassador to Israel, Borsiin Bonnier, apologized for the article, opposition Green Party spokesman Per Gahrton said Bonnier should be recalled and taught the basics of Swedish freedom of speech. YNET reported:
Sweden's Foreign Ministry on Thursday said a response by the Swedish Embassy in Israel to a report by the Aftonbladet news saying IDF soldiers killed Palestinians in order to harvest their organs does not represent the government's stance.

The embassy had stated that the report was "appalling". But the Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman said, "The embassy in Tel Aviv responded in accordance to Israeli public opinion, however the Swedish government is committed to freedom of the press."

She added that Israel had not issued an official complaint on the report.

Another Swedish government spokesperson, Anders Jorle said, "The Foreign Ministry would not have acted in the same way" as the ambassador.

The editor of Aftonbladet, Jan Helin, said, "It's deeply unpleasant and sad to see such a strong propaganda machine using centuries-old anti-Semitic images in an apparent attempt to get an obviously topical issue off the table." Helin called it an opinion piece raising questions of Israel in the context of a suspected link to Israel in that U.S. case. He denied any suggestion of anti-Semitism from his paper.
There was nothing in the presentation of the article to indicate that it was supposed to be an opinion piece rather than a factual article. The dodge of disseminating lies as facts and then claiming it is "opinion" is a common one, though some journalistic standards officially forbid such behavior. Helin now has the best of both worlds, since he can defend the libel as just "opinion" while at the same time insisting that it is a "topical issue" that should be discussed, implying that it is true or has some basis in fact. It seems the blood libel is always "topical."

If a person publishes an opinion piece stating that a Martian is impersonating the President of the United States, is it just nonsense or a topical issue that should be discussed? If I write that Holocaust survivors remember Jan Helin's father as a volunteer SS Einsatzgruppenfuhrer who participated in the
Babi Yar massacre, I am after all just quoting a source, right? It doesn't have to be true. Is it an opinion piece or a topical issue? How about if I quote witnesses who insist they saw a homosexual orgy with the participation of Donald Bostrom, author of the article, and editor Helin, both dressed as Gestapo officers? How can the public be protected from random inventions of racists and sensationalists if every such claim can hide behind the defense of "opinion piece" and get the protection of "freedom of the press?"

Antisemitisch artikel in Zweedse krant en Zweedse steun aan anti-Israel organisaties

NGO Monitor's President, Prof Gerald Steinberg said, "The article in Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet accusing Israeli soldiers of stealing and selling the organs of Palestinians is not a surprise or isolated aberration, but rather the result of a long campaign of anti-Israeli demonization, based on manufactured 'evidence' repeated by Palestinian 'eyewitnesses'.
The well-financed network of radical NGOs plays a major role in this demonization, and the Swedish government is a major source of funding. Expressions of modern anti-Semitism and blood libels are the logical results of this activity.
Er is zeker een relatie tussen het een en het ander, maar niet per se (alleen) in deze volgorde. Is de schrijver van het betreffende artikel beinvloed door wat het Alternatieve Informatie Centrum en Al Haq zeggen? Misschien indirect, omdat claims van deze organisaties door antizionisten wereldwijd worden gebruikt, en door veel media als betrouwbare bronnen worden beschouwd. Of heeft het feit dat iemand zo'n stuk kan schrijven zonder dat dat tot een publieke discussie en woedeuitbarsting leidt (en Zwedens grootste avondkrant geen probleem ziet in publikatie van zo'n stuk) misschien dezelfde oorzaak als het feit dat de regering het blijkbaar heel normaal vindt om dergelijke antizionistische en anti-vrede groepen te financieren, mogelijk met de beste bedoelingen?
De vraag is: wat is de oorzaak van de doorgeschoten kritiek op Israel, wanneer en waarom is legitieme kritiek omgeslagen in vijandigheid? NGO Monitor hoort de klokken wel luiden maar trekt te makkelijk conclusies, en daarom worden haar analyses waarschijnlijk buiten een beperkte kring van overtuigden weinig serieus genomen. Dat doet echter niks af aan het feit dat het antisemitische artikel van afgelopen week een 'wake up call', een waarschuwing zou moeten zijn voor die Zweden die eerlijk zijn wanneer zij zeggen: 'ik heb slechts legitieme kritiek op Israel, maar ontken haar bestaansrecht niet en heb echt niks tegen Joden'.

Release Date: 19 August 2009

Anti-Semitism in Swedish Media Fuelled by Government Funds for Radical NGOs

(Jerusalem) - In light of the article published by the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet quoting Palestinians and accusing Israeli soldiers of stealing and selling Palestinian organs, NGO Monitor highlighted the demonizing role of NGOs funded by the Swedish government.

NGO Monitor's June 2009 report detailing funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) examined over 20 recipient NGOs including:

The Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS, run by Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi), received SEK 97,461 via the Swedish Mission Council in 2008. Barghouthi referred to the Gaza conflict as a "horrendous massacre," and used terms like "ghetto," and "apartheid" on a radio program. PMRS refers to the security barrier as the "apartheid wall," and claimed that Israel employs a "racist ideology" and inflicts "collective punishment" on the Palestinians.

·        The Swedish government dispersed (through Diakonia, Sweden's largest humanitarian NGO) almost SEK 300,000 ($42,000) to Alternative Information Center (AIC) in 2008.  AIC has compared Israeli military and political figures to Nazis and claims working with Peres Center for Peace is "morally disgusting" and that Shimon Peres is an "enemy" of "human rights and of peace".

·        Sabeel received SEK 540,000 (distributed via Diakonia) in 2008. Sabeel is a leader in the anti-Israel church divestment campaign. Its Director, Naim Ateek promotes the one-state solution and regularly employs anti-Semitic theological themes, referring to the "Israeli government crucifixion system" which places "Jesus.on the cross again, with thousands of crucified Palestinians around him."

·        In 2008, Sweden, with three other European governments, designated $6m for the NGO Development Center (NDC) in Ramallah.  This money was distributed to 25 NGOs, including $400,000 to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) which often refers to terrorist attacks as "resistance".

·        Through 2008 NDC funds, $500,000 was directed to Al-Haq.  In July 2008, Israel's Supreme Court upheld a visa denial for Al-Haq's General Director Shawan Jabarin, due to evidence that he is "among the senior activists of the Popular Front terrorist organization."

NGO Monitor's President, Prof Gerald Steinberg said, "The article in Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet accusing Israeli soldiers of stealing and selling the organs of Palestinians is not a surprise or isolated aberration, but rather the result of a long campaign of anti-Israeli demonization, based on manufactured 'evidence' repeated by Palestinian 'eyewitnesses'.

The well-financed network of radical NGOs plays a major role in this demonization, and the Swedish government is a major source of funding. Expressions of modern anti-Semitism and blood libels are the logical results of this activity.

When NGO Monitor sent its draft report to the Swedish embassy in Tel Aviv and government officials in Stockholm, they refused to comment or to engage in a discussion of the implications of these reprehensible activities. Perhaps now, after the Aftonbladet report has highlighted the results of this demonization, they will reconsider and stop this destructive misuse of public funds".

-------- ENDS ------------
Editors Notes:
Please click the link below to view the full NGO Monitor report on Swedish government funding

NGO Monitor was founded to promote transparency, critical analysis and debate on the political role of human rights organizations.  For more information, see our website at
Members of NGO Monitor's International Advisory Board include Elie Wiesel, Prof Alan Dershowitz, Sir Martin Gilbert, R. James Woolsey and Elliot Abrams
For further information, comment or interviews contact Dan Kosky
+972 (0) 546-305-504
NGO Monitor - 1, Ben Maimon Blvd. - Jerusalem 92262 -   Israel - T: +972-2-566-1020
F: +972-77-511-7030

Palestijnse intellectueel over dubbele standaarden in de Arabische wereld

De dubbele standaarden in de Arabische wereld die de Palestijn Ahmad Abu Matar hekelt is net zozeer aanwezig onder Europese, vaak zich links noemende, intellectuelen en voorvechters van de mensenrechten. Interne Palestijnse strijd, de behandeling van Palestijnse vluchtelingen in de Arabische staten, de honderden Palestijnen die door het Libanese leger werden gedood bij gevechten in een vluchtelingenkamp in 2007, etc. etc.: of het wordt genegeerd, of het is op een of andere manier toch weer Israels schuld.

MEMRI Special Dispatch | No. 2493 | August 18, 2009
Palestinian Intellectual on the Arab World's Double Standard

In a recent article titled "Why Do We Condemn Only the [Israeli] Occupation?" Palestinian intellectual Ahmad Abu Matar, who resides in Sweden, criticized the hypocrisy and double standard which, in his opinion, prevail in the Arab and Islamic world. Abu Matar argued that the reaction to crimes in the Arab and Muslim world often depends on the identity of the criminal: Misdeeds perpetrated by a foreign force, such as Israel, tend to be harshly condemned, while those perpetrated by Arabs and Muslims against their fellow Arabs and Muslims are generally greeted with indifference, and in some cases even condoned.

Following are excerpts from the article:(1)

"The Arab Mentality is Flawed and Inconsistent When It Comes to Judging Actions and Deeds"
"The Arab mentality is flawed and inconsistent when it comes to judging actions and deeds. Logical and objective [judgment] requires that identical deeds be judged identically, regardless of who is responsible for them. A good deed merits praise, whatever the identity, religion or nationality of the one responsible, whereas a bad deed deserves condemnation, whatever the identity, religion or nationality of the one responsible.

"But the Arabs and Muslims, in their mentality and practices, ignore or violate this maxim, despite the Islamic teaching that 'he who remains silent in the face of [a distortion of] the truth is a dumb devil'...

"Following are some of the main issues in which [this problem is evident]:
Defining "Occupation"
"There is a general agreement among cultures about the definition of the term 'occupation.' It is [generally] assumed that there is no such thing as 'nice occupation' that should be praised, versus 'nasty occupation' that should be opposed. There is only one [kind of] occupation, and there is no disagreement about its definition.

"[The only exception to this is provided by] the Arab mentality, which harps only on the Israeli occupation of Palestine in 1948. The occupation of the cities Ceuta and Melilla [in North Africa], conquered by Spain nearly 500 years ago, is not mentioned in any Arab school curriculum.

"The same is true for Iskenderun [Alexandretta] province, seized by Turkey [from Syria in the 1930s], which has [likewise] been completely forgotten by the Arabs - so much so that the Syrian regime under former president Hafez Al-Assad approved the present borders with Turkey, thereby confirming the province to be Turkish, and removed any mention of it as a Syrian province from the [Syrian school] curricula.

"This is also the case with the Arab Ahvaz province, occupied [by Iran] in 1925, and with the three islands of the Arab UAE that were occupied by the Iranian regime in 1971. Nobody ever mentions them.

"More than that - there are Arab writers who explicitly endorse term 'Persian Gulf' [instead of 'Arabian Gulf'], and argue that Iran, as a cultured country, has a greater claim to the three islands than the Bedouins of the Arab UAE and the Arabian Gulf.

"Using the same skewed logic, someone could make the unpatriotic claim that Israel - advanced, cultured and democratic - has a greater claim to Palestine than the struggling Palestinian people, who cause themselves more casualties than the [Israeli] occupation causes them. This, despite the fact that, according to common sense and international law, occupation is occupation, regardless of the identity and [cultural] level of the people whose land has been occupied.

"Based on this distorted Arab memory, the Arabs applauded Saddam Hussein when he occupied Kuwait in 1991, [and Saddam] played on the emotions of the ignorant masses when he said he would withdraw from Kuwait when [Israel] withdrew from Palestine. Can any [sort of] reasoning be more primitive and demagogical than that?

"Judging Murder According to the Identity of the Murderer"
"...When a Muslim murders a Muslim, an Arab murders an Arab, or a Palestinian murders a Palestinian, it evokes no radical or belligerent [reactions] on the part of the Muslims, Arabs or Palestinians. But when a Muslim, Arab or Palestinian is murdered by an Israeli or European, they raise hell - even though murder is murder, regardless of the perpetrator's identity or religion.

"For example, thousands of pages have been written about the murder of the Egyptian woman Marwa Al-Sherbini(2) by a German man, and she has been termed a shahida. This murder - whose German perpetrator deserves the maximal punishment - raises a few questions regarding the double standards of the Arabs:

"What about the hundreds of murders perpetrated every month in the Arab countries under the false pretext of 'preserving [family] honor?' In most of these cases, a young woman is murdered by her brother or some other [male] relative. He declares it openly, and the women of the neighborhood, as well as the victim's family, greet him with sweets and cries of joy. Who writes or demonstrates against this [phenomenon]? Autopsies have revealed that over 95% of the girls murdered this way are virgins, which means that there was no 'violated honor' to cry over [in the first place].

"What about murder for expressing an opinion, which has become commonplace since the mid-20th century, and has become a source of fear for all Arab writers and philosophers - especially since the murder of Egyptian writer Farag Foda [by an Islamist extremist] on July 8, 1992? Farag resigned from the Al-Wafd party in protest over its alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1984 elections. He then tried to form a new party called Al-Mustaqbal, and was waiting for a permit from the parliamentary committee for party affairs. The Al-Azhar Scholars Front(3) launched a vicious attack on him, demanding a ban on the establishment of the party. [The Front also] published an announcement in the paper Al-Nour proclaiming him an infidel who must be killed, and some ignorant [Islamist] carried out this execution warrant. I say 'ignorant' because, when asked during his trial why he had assassinated Farag Foda, [the murderer] answered, 'because he is an infidel.' Asked which of Foda's books had caused him to consider [Foda] an infidel, he replied, 'I haven't read any of his books... I cannot read or write.'

"There are other examples - such as the assassination attempt against the [Egyptian] writer Naguib Mahfouz in October 1995...  [Egyptian theologist] Dr. Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd likewise received death threats [that caused him to] flee Egypt for Holland over a decade ago. Now the Al-Azhar Scholars Front and [some] other organizations are waging a fierce campaign against the Egyptian Culture Ministry's awarding of a prize to [Egyptian intellectual] Sayyed Al-Qimni and [Egyptian philosopher] Dr. Hassan Hanafi...

"These physical and intellectual murders do not concern the Arabs and Muslims at all, and do not prick their conscience or arouse their fervor. This is because they are murders of Arabs by Arabs, or of Palestinians by Palestinians. But the murder of Marwa Al-Sherbini by a German, or of the Palestinian boy Muhammad Al-Dura by the Israeli army, evoked a torrent of tears, mourning and breast-beating, with the victims called shahids and calls for revenge heard [from every direction]."

Indifference to Hamas's Actions in Gaza
"[Now let us turn] to the shameful Palestinian situation... Consider the following report:

'Al-Zahhar: Hamas Will Prevent Fatah Activists from Attending [Fatah Conference in Bethlehem]
'On July 24, 2009, top Hamas official Mahmoud Al-Zahhar said that [his movement] would not allow Fatah members in Gaza to leave for the West Bank in order to attend the sixth Fatah conference... Despite mediation [attempts] by the Egyptians, Al-Zahhar told journalists after the Friday sermons: "[We will] reward good deeds with good and bad deeds with bad."'
"We should ask the Al-Azhar scholars to interpret this [statement for us]! How many tears would we have shed had the Israeli occupation prohibited [these Fatah members from attending the conference]? Another report stated:

'Al-Zahhar: 'Abbas Not Wanted in Gaza 'Referring to the possibility of a visit by PA President Mahmoud Abbas in Gaza, Al-Zahhar said: "This is completely out of the question for security reasons. How can Abu Mazen return [to Gaza] in the present security situation? How can we arrange a reception for him?"'
"Imagine that the Israeli occupation authorities had [prevented 'Abbas from visiting Gaza]. How many curses would the Arabs and Palestinians have hurled against the occupation? Al-Zahhar explained [the decision] by citing security reasons, as though he does not know who protects the Hamas leaders as they move around the Gaza Strip.

"[The third report refers to] the number of Palestinians killed in clashes between Hamas and Fatah. Since the Hamas 2007 military coup in Gaza... [the two movements] have been waging a war there. According to Palestinian sources, this internal struggle (which has nothing to do with the Israeli occupation) has resulted in 700 dead and 3,500 wounded or maimed, in addition to hundreds who have been imprisoned on both [sides].'

"Who among the Arabs and Palestinians has shed a tear over these fatalities? Who remembers them today, except their families? But the boy Muhammad Al-Dura - they are still writing ballads and laments about him, just because he was killed by the occupation.

"Palestinians killed by other Palestinians do not count. Sometimes [the slogan is] 'blood is not [as cheap as] water,' and sometimes blood is cheaper than sewage...(4)

"Finally, [consider] the following statement by Isma'il Haniya, prime minister of the deposed Palestinian government - that is, a government that is illegitimate in the eyes of the PA in Ramallah but perfectly legitimate in the eyes of Hamas in Gaza. On July 24, 2009, he told the Palestinian people that 'the road to Palestinian reconciliation is still long,' putting the blame for this on the Fatah leadership. The Fatah movement, for its part, put the blame on Hamas. The result on the ground is a long-term split between the West Bank and Gaza - which is manifested, [for example], by Hamas' threat to prevent Fatah representatives from leaving Gaza in order to attend their movement's convention.

"Not a single Palestinian, Arab or Muslim will protest these acts perpetrated by Palestinians against their own brothers; [nor will any protest] the closing of the Gaza or West Bank to members of the rival organization. But the closing of the Rafah crossing by the Israeli occupation - that was cause for much shouting and condemnation, as well as for calls to kill and annihilate [the enemy].

"This is the Arab double standard, which treats Arab misdeeds against Arab as a routine matter requiring no great scrutiny - whereas an identical act perpetrated by a foreigner against an Arab is treated as a heinous crime worthy of condemnation and punishment.

"Remember the common Arab proverb, which is realized in our daily lives: 'My brothers and I against my cousins; my cousins and I against the strangers.'"

(1), July 28, 2009.
(2) Al-Sherbini was an Egyptian pharmacist living in Germany. On July 1, 2009, she was murdered at the Dresden court by a German man whom she had sued for making racist remarks against her.
(3) A body of Al-Azhar alumni that does not officially belong to Al-Azhar. (4) Abu Al-Matar also mentioned the genocide in Darfur, pointing out that the Arab and Muslim world largely ignores it and even rejects International Criminal Court decisions regarding it.

For assistance, please contact MEMRI at
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) is an independent, non-profit organization that translates and analyzes the media of the Middle East. Copies of articles and documents cited, as well as background information, are available on request.

MEMRI holds copyrights on all translations. Materials may only be used with proper attribution.

P.O. Box 27837, Washington, DC 20038-7837
Phone: (202) 955-9070
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donderdag 20 augustus 2009

Leraar op Al-Quds Universiteit ontkent Joodse band met Klaagmuur en Jeruzalem

Shamekh Alawneh: "The [Jews'] goal in giving the name 'Wailing Wall' to this [Western] Wall is political. . . The Jewish Zionists had no choice but to invent an excuse [about Jerusalem] to spread among the Zionists or the Jews in Europe, to connect to something concrete from the past about Jerusalem. They made false claims and called the 'Al-Burak Wall' the 'Wailing Wall.'"

Aldus een 'gematigde' docent van de gematigde Palestijnse Autoriteit aan de Al Quds Open University. Dit is geen geïsoleerd geval, maar onderdeel van een campagne om de Joodse verbondenheid met en historische wortels in Jeruzalem te ontkennen en uit te wissen. Volgens de gematigde PA van de gematigde president Abbas, is Jeruzalem een puur Arabische stad waar Joden niks te zoeken hebben en slechts als indringers zijn gekomen. Drieduizend jaar geschiedenis wordt zo ontkend en herschreven. In het verleden waren het de Romeinen en later de christenen die de Joden meermaals uit Jeruzalem verbanden en hun verleden probeerden uit te wissen, nu hebben moslims die rol overgenomen.

Bulletin - Aug. 19, 2009
Palestinian Media Watch
Click here to view on PMW's new web site

No Jewish connection to Western Wall:
PA university lecturer
by Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook

A Palestinian Authority university lecturer is the latest PA academic to rewrite history and deny Jewish history in Jerusalem - in particular, the Jewish people's connection to the Western Wall (Wailing Wall) of the Jewish Temple.
Shamekh Alawneh, a lecturer in modern history at Al-Quds Open University, says the Jews invented the connection to the Wall for political purposes, to convince European Jews and Zionists to come to "Palestine."

"It has no historical roots," he said on a television program called Jerusalem - History and Culture. "This is political terminology to win the hearts and the support of the Zionists in Europe, so they would emigrate and come to Palestine. Nothing more!"

The show's interviewer also refers to the "Judaization" of Jerusalem, and to Jewish plots to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Denying Jewish history in Jerusalem and the existence of the Jewish Temple is a central component of PA political ideology. This denial started with Yasser Arafat and continues to be reiterated by academics, politicians and religious leaders.

PA leaders systematically distort the ancient history of Jerusalem, ignoring the vast historical documentation and thousands of archeological finds related to Jewish history that have been found in Jerusalem.
To view the interview with Alawneh, click here 
To view other examples from the PMW archives of PA denials of Jewish history in Jerusalem and the existence of the Temple, click here 
Following is the transcript of the interview:
Interviewer: "There are plots against this [Western] Wall that seek to harm the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and there is an attack on history, theft of culture, falsification of facts, erasure of the truth, and Judaization of the place . . .."
Shamekh Alawneh: "The [Jews'] goal in giving the name 'Wailing Wall' to this [Western] Wall is political. . . The Jewish Zionists had no choice but to invent an excuse [about Jerusalem] to spread among the Zionists or the Jews in Europe, to connect to something concrete from the past about Jerusalem. They made false claims and called the 'Al-Burak Wall' the 'Wailing Wall.'"
Interviewer: "Can we understand that this term [the 'Wailing Wall'] and this strange [Jewish] interest concerning this place are new, with no historical roots?"
Alawneh: "Absolutely. It has no historical roots. This is political terminology to win the hearts and the support of the Zionists in Europe, so they would emigrate and come to Palestine. Nothing more!"
[PA TV (Fatah), Aug. 11, 2009]

Palestinian Media Watch:
p:+972 2 625 4140e:
f: +972 2 624 2803w: 
PMW | King George 59 | Jerusalem | Israel


Human Rights Watch medewerker Midden-Oosten Joe Stork is ultra-linkse extremist

Human Rights Watch brengt geregeld bijzonder kritische rapporten over Israel uit, zoals onlangs over in totaal 11 Palestijnse burgers die met een witte vlag zwaaiden en toch door het Israelische leger zouden zijn gedood tijdens de Gaza Oorlog afgelopen januari. Maar wat blijkt? Een van de leiders van HRW's Midden-Oosten afdeling en mede-opsteller van voornoemd rapport, Joe Stork, is niet bepaald een onbeschreven blad wat betreft Israel. Dit zei hij over de moord op 11 Israelische atleten in München in 1972:
"Munich and similar actions cannot create or substitute for a mass revolutionary movement," the statement said, "But we should comprehend the achievement of the Munich action…It has provided an important boost in morale among Palestinians in the camps." 
Net als de 'historicus' Ilan Pappe, vindt hij dat feiten er niet toe doen:
Where does Stork stand regarding matters of objectivity and neutrality? He criticized Professor Ibrahim Abu-Lughod, himself a PLO figure, because he edited an anthology which tried, at least seemingly, to produce a balanced presentation. "Academic neutrality is deceitful," wrote Stork. And what about factual accuracy? Stork claimed that Menachem Begin said that, 'The Palestinians are two-legged animals." In fact, Begin said that those who come to kill children are "two-legged animals." The difference is, of course, huge. Stork, time after time, justifies his high standing in the industry of hate and lies against Israel.
Het is ongelofelijk dat HRW met dit soort medewerkers wegkomt.

Who Is Human Rights Watch's Joe Stork?

Noah Pollak - 08.16.2009 - 11:34 AM


He is, of course, the author of last week's Human Rights Watch report, which claimed that IDF soldiers murdered white-flag-waving Palestinian civilians in cold blood. He is also the deputy director of HRW's Middle East and North Africa programs. We already knew from NGO Monitor that he has - to put it politely - a rather extremist history on all matters Israel.

But now there is a better accounting. Ben-Dror Yemini of the Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv has a blockbuster article laying out the ugly truth of Stork's history. The Hebrew is available here; below is a complete English translation. That HRW would place in a senior position someone who has written in explicit support of terrorism against Israel, lauded the murder of Israeli athletes at Munich in 1972 as providing "an important boost in morale among Palestinians," and stated that "Zionism may be defeated only by fighting imperialism" - this should be the final verdict on a cretinous organization's already tattered credibility.


By Ben-Dror Yemini, Ma'ariv, 16.8.09, p. 13

Joe Stork, a senior official in Human Rights Watch, which accuses the IDF of killing Palestinians who waved white flags, is a fanatical supporter of the elimination of Israel. He was a friend of Saddam, ruled out negotiations and supported the Munich Massacre, which "provided an important boost in morale among Palestinians."

Last Thursday, many world media outlets covered the press conference in which a senior Human Rights Watch official, Joe Stork, presented the report accusing Israel of killing twelve Palestinians in the Gaza Strip who waved white flags during Operation Cast Lead. Stork, the person identified with the report, has a unique history of Israel-hating: He supported the murder of Israeli athletes in Munich, was an avid supporter of Saddam Hussein and more.

Several times in the past, Stork has called for the destruction of Israel and is a veteran supporter of Palestinian terrorism. Already as a student, Stork was amongst the founders of a new radical leftist group, which was formed based on the claim that other leftist groups were not sufficiently critical of Israel and of the United States' support of it. Already in 1976, Stork participated in a conference organized by Saddam Hussein which celebrated the first anniversary of the UN decision that equated Zionism with racism. Stork, needless to say, arrived at the conference as a prominent supporter of Palestinian terrorism and as an opponent to the existence of the State of Israel.

He also labeled Palestinian violence against Israel as "revolutionary potential of the Palestinian masses" - language that was typical of fanatical Marxists.

In articles which he authored during the 1970's, Stork stated that he was against the very existence of Israel as an "imperialistic entity" and, to this end, provided counsel to Arab regimes on how to eliminate the Zionist regime. He also was opposed to any negotiations since this meant recognizing its existence: "Zionism may be defeated only by fighting imperialism," wrote Stork, "and not through deals with Kissingers."

On other occasions, Stork expressed his position that the global Left must subordinate itself to the PLO in order to strengthen elements that opposed any accord with Israel. It would seem that he has not changed his ways since then. He is still conceptually subordinate to those who have maintained their opposition to the existence of the State of Israel. Once the world's radical left supported the PLO. Today, part of the global Left supports Hamas.

Stork, of course, is not alone. The hate ships that arrive from time to time, or attempt to arrive, to the shores of Gaza, are full of radicals of his ilk. They do not identify with efforts towards compromise or peace. On the contrary, they identify with those who are continuing the old line that supports the elimination of Israel. And what would happen if the PLO should decide to enter the negotiations track? Stork already recommended years ago that the Palestinian left splinter in order to continue the resistance. Hamas obeyed. It is possible to guess where Stork's heart lays.

Where does Stork stand regarding matters of objectivity and neutrality? He criticized Professor Ibrahim Abu-Lughod, himself a PLO figure, because he edited an anthology which tried, at least seemingly, to produce a balanced presentation. "Academic neutrality is deceitful," wrote Stork. And what about factual accuracy? Stork claimed that Menachem Begin said that, 'The Palestinians are two-legged animals." In fact, Begin said that those who come to kill children are "two-legged animals." The difference is, of course, huge. Stork, time after time, justifies his high standing in the industry of hate and lies against Israel.

Stork reached his peak in a statement published by the Middle East Research and Information Project, which dealt with gathering information on the Middle East conflict, and in which Stork was a leading figure. This was a statement that included explicit support for the murder of the eleven Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics:

"Munich and similar actions cannot create or substitute for a mass revolutionary movement," the statement said, "But we should comprehend the achievement of the Munich action…It has provided an important boost in morale among Palestinians in the camps."

Murder and terrorism, if so, are a matter of morale.

This is the man. A radical Marxist whose positions have not changed over the years. On the contrary. Objectivity, neutrality or sticking to the facts are not Stork's strong suit. He even proudly exclaims that there is no need for neutrality.

Is it possible to relate seriously to a report against Israel which this man stands behind? Both Camera and Professor Gerald Steinberg have revealed worrying data on the leaders of Human Rights Watch and on the two people who head its Middle East Department - Sarah Leah Whitson and Joe Stork - even before its latest report and unconnected to it. The organization, as part of its false presentation, issued polite condemnations of Hamas rocket fire. But it seems that such blatant anti-Israel bias leaves room for doubt. A Stork-produced report on Israel is about as objective as a report by Baruch Marzel on Hebron.

Israel is called upon to provide explanations in the wake of Human Rights Watch reports. It is about time that Israel publicly exposed the ideological roots of several of this organization's leaders and demands the dismissal of these supporters of terrorism and haters of Israel. Until then, Israel, justifiably, cannot seriously comment on criticism from such a body.


woensdag 19 augustus 2009

Zweeds dagblad publiceert antisemitische bloedlaster tegen IDF

Dit moet je zien voordat je het kunt geloven.
In Nederland blijven dit soort walgelijke beschuldigingen voorlopig nog beperkt tot de vele internetdiscussies naar aanleiding van zo ongeveer ieder artikel over Israel, hoewel er voor sommige columnisten niet echt veel grenzen meer zijn. Vergelijkingen van Israel met de nazi's en Palestijns geweld met ons verzet tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog zijn al heel gewoon. Kritiek op dergelijke vuilspuierij wordt doorgaans gepareerd met de dooddoener dat het slechts kritiek op Israel betreft. Waar gaat dit heen met Europa??

Israel aghast at Swedish report on IDF
Aug. 19, 2009

The Foreign Ministry responded furiously on Tuesday to a story in Sweden's largest circulation daily, Aftonbladet, that accused IDF soldiers of abducting Palestinians to steal their organs, saying this was a grotesque throwback to the blood libels of the Middle Ages.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor characterized the story as "racist hysteria at its worst."

"No one should tolerate such a demonizing piece of medieval blood libel that surely encourages hate crimes against Jews," Palmor said. "This is a shame to freedom of expression, and all Swedes should reject it unconditionally."

Israel's embassy in Stockholm was expected to issue a sharp denunciation.

In the story, headlined "They plunder the organs of our sons," and accompanied by a gruesome photograph, Palestinians are quoted as saying IDF soldiers kidnapped their sons and stole organs.

Haaretz quoted Donald Bostrom as writing the following:
"'Our sons are used as involuntary organ donors,' relatives of Khaled from Nablus said to me, as did the mother of Raed from Jenin, as well as the uncles of Machmod and Nafes from Gaza, who all had disappeared for a few days and returned by night, dead and autopsied."

The article makes reference to the recent arrests in New Jersey of several US Jews, including rabbis, for a number of alleged crimes, including brokering the sale of organs for transplant.

The story also cites allegations of similar instances of organ-snatching in 1992, during the first intifada.

The Foreign Ministry was not the only party aghast at the story, and smelling the stench of anti-Semitism. A competing newspaper, Sydsvenskan, ran an op-ed on the story under the headline "Antisemitbladet," in an obvious reference to Aftonbladet's name.

"Whispers in the dark. Anonymous sources. Rumors," wrote Swedish columnist Mats Skogkar. "That is all it takes. After all, we all know what they [the Jews] are like, don't we: inhuman, hardened. Capable of anything. Now all that remains is the defense, equally predictable: 'Anti-Semitism? No, no, just criticism of Israel.'"


Israel zegt toe tot begin 2010 bouw in nederzettingen te bevriezen

Het lijkt erop dat Israel nu voor een half jaar de bouw in de nederzettingen bevriest, zonder dat daar iets tegenover staat van de VS of de Arabische wereld of de Palestijnen. Een eenzijdige concessie dus, om het  vredesproces een kans te geven en de Amerikanen tijd te geven te proberen concessies van de Arabieren te krijgen. Het is een nobel gebaar, maar zal zo niet worden uitgelegd. De VS gaan waarschijnlijk gewoon door met het bekritiseren van Israel, en Abbas en de Arabische wereld hebben nog een serie eisen klaar liggen. Overigens is er al een feitelijke beviezing van de bouw in de nederzettingen sinds het einde van Olmerts regering, dus de VS heeft haar zin met een bevriezing van een jaar. Zouden nu eindelijk, eindelijk, ook de Palestijnen en de Arabische landen wat meer onder druk worden gezet om concessies te doen en zich flexibel op te stellen? Ik heb er mijn twijfels over.
Israel agrees to freeze settlement construction as gesture to US,7340,L-3763386,00.html
PM's Office confirms moratorium will be in effect until beginning of 2010 to give peace process chance to gain steam, entice international community to recognize Israel's sovereignty in Jerusalem, large settlement blocs. Right, haredim express disappointment over policy; 'We don't intervene in construction in Arizona,' MK Hershkowitz says
Roni Sofer
Published:  08.18.09, 00:52
In a subtle overture to the US, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Housing Minister Ariel Atias agreed upon a de facto moratorium on new building in the settlements.
According to the estimates of officials involved, the freeze will be in effect until the beginning of 2010. The objective is to provide an opportunity for a Mideast peace process to gain momentum in hopes that the new "waiting" tactic will allow international recognition of Israel's sovereignty in Jerusalem and the large settlement blocs.
Despite pressure from right-wing ministers, the housing minister has yet to issue one building tender in the settlements, including in the large settlement blocs, since Netanyahu has taken office. This has been confirmed by Prime Minister Netanyahu's office. The ministry also did not issue new tenders in the final days of Olmert's administration. The right-wing and the haredi sector have expressed their disappointment over this quiet policy.
Right-wing ministers claim that this policy has been forced upon Israel and undermines the country's sovereignty in areas over which there should not be any dispute.
Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Daniel Hershkowitz attacked the settlement freeze policy: "The State of Israel is not a satellite of the US. We have a strategic alliance and close friendly relations with the Americans, but it is a two-way alliance. They need us, too, and we must stand our ground, even more so since the Palestinians show their true face anew each and every time proving that theirs is not a face of peace. As long as this remains the situation in the Middle East, the Americans must halt their pressure on the settlement and not prevent natural growth just as we do not get involved in building in Arizona. The natural growth in Judea and Samaria and the building in the settlement blocs and Jerusalem are a red line that must not be crossed."
The ultra-Orthodox sector, which also suffers from a severe housing shortage, also raised claims against the Shas housing minister. According to them, the sector is currently in need of 20,000 housing units, and building in towns such as Beitar Illit could solve the problem, even if only partially.
Atias suggested that Netanyahu and Barak present the "waiting" tactic to special US Mideast envoy George Mitchell and President Barack Obama as proof of Israel's willingness to advance the peace process.

Barak: We'll continue with current policy
The housing minister, who believes Israel should work towards easing tensions with the US, has withstood pressure from his rightist colleagues in the cabinet, who are protesting the fact that no new tenders have been issued for building projects outside Jerusalem and in the settlement blocs.
Atias told the ministers that this gesture would pave the way for the US and the international community to recognize Israel's sovereignty over Jerusalem and the large settlement blocs. He said the Obama administration should be given ample time to urge the Arab states to make gestures of their own regarding the normalization of ties with Jerusalem as part of the efforts to reignite the peace process.
According to the Shas minister, continued construction in Jerusalem and the settlement blocs that will remain in Israel's possession in a peace deal will be made possible only in the framework of a US-backed permanent agreement.
On Monday, Netanyahu is scheduled to begin his short European tour, during which he is expected to meet with Mitchell.
Barak has called for a 3 to 6 month settlement freeze, while Mitchell is demanding Israel halt settlement construction for a period of a year and upwards.
"We must make it clear to the Americans that this situation, in which we are being criticized by the US despite the fact that we are freezing settlement construction, will not go on forever," one Israeli minister told Ynet.
"We'll tell the Americans that we are not freezing construction, but rather putting it on hold in order to give the process a chance," he said.
Barak's office, which is in charge of all construction in the West Bank, said, "As long as there is no consistent, agreed upon new policy, we will continue to enforce the current one, meaning the removal of illegal outposts."

dinsdag 18 augustus 2009

Dries van Agt: 'Het gaat mij om rechtvaardigheid

Een voor de Volkskrant kritisch interview met Dries van Agt:
Hier is niet een ervaren politicus bezig met het streven naar een haalbare oplossing. Hier legt een man getuigenis af, ongeacht de consequenties, ook voor de Palestijnen. Niet voor niets kwam hij in het verleden uit bij Hamas, eerder dan bij de Palestijn die eenvoudigweg een beter leven wil.

Dit zijn niet de woorden van een rechtse zionist die Van Agt als antisemiet wil afserveren, maar van een Volkskrantredacteur met sympathie voor een deel van zijn ideeën.

Met zijn radicale analyse maakt Van Agt zich kwetsbaar voor kritiek: eenzijdig, gegoochel met cijfers en historische feiten, Israël-bashing. Dat leidde steeds de aandacht af van zijn sterkere argumenten; de schande van Sabra en Shatila, de uitspraak van het Internationaal Gerechtshof over de illegaliteit van de afscheidingsmuur in Israël, de disproportionaliteit van het dodental van de 'strijd' in Gaza (honderd maal meer aan Palestijnse dan aan Israëlische zijde).

Het leidde de aandacht niet af, het is een essentieel onderdeel van de zaak: als mensen de geschiedenis zo verkeerd weergeven, zoveel feiten en cijfers niet kloppen, zoveel essentiële dingen worden genegeerd of zelfs ontkend, wat kun je dan nog geloven van wat ze zeggen? In plaats van dat jammer te vinden, zou de interviewer om die reden beter ook wat sceptischer kunnen zijn naar wat Van Agt over Sabra en Shatilla, de uitspraak van het ICJ over de 'muur' (95% is hek) en de disproportionaliteit in Gaza te zeggen heeft. Zo was Israel voor het eerste slechts indirect verantwoordelijk: zij had meer kunnen doen om het te voorkomen, is op de uitspraak over de 'muur' heel wat aan te merken (zie bijvoorbeeld: Israel en het internationale recht) en hangt disproportionaliteit niet af van het aantal doden aan beide kanten, maar of de beoogde militaire doelen in verhouding staan tot de te verwachten schade en het risico dat onschuldige burgers worden getroffen.

Het afgrijzen daarover groeit onder Nederlanders; tot in de huidige Kamerfractie van het CDA jeukt het ongemak. Van Agt doet geen moeite meer de Haagse twijfelaars te verleiden, hij zoekt direct aansluiting bij het afgrijzen.

Eén van de redenen daarvoor is dat mensen via de media een steeds eenzijdiger beeld krijgen voorgeschoteld van het conflict. Bovenstaande voorbeelden zijn daarvan een goede illustratie. Het afgrijzen is bovendien erg selectief: het geweld van Palestijnen onderling, of de slechte behandeling van Palestijnse vluchtelingen in bijvoorbeeld Libanon (waar er in 2007 honderden werden gedood door het Libanese leger) roept dit afgrijzen niet op. Hoe komt dat? En waarom weten we allemaal van Sabra en Shatilla maar weet niemand van de slachting door christelijke phalangisten, onder bescherming en waarschijnlijk actieve participatie van het Syrische leger, in het Palestijnse vluchtelingenkamp Tel al-Za'atar in 1976, waarbij 3.000 burgers omkwamen? Het is jammer dat de interviewer dat soort vragen niet stelt.

Dries van Agt: 'Het gaat mij om rechtvaardigheid'

INTERVIEW, Van onze verslaggever Ron Meerhof
Gepubliceerd op 07 augustus 2009 20:56, bijgewerkt op 7 augustus 2009 21:03

Den Haag -  Een groot deel van zijn tijd besteedt de oud-premier aan het lot van de Palestijnen. Binnenkort verschijnt zijn boek.

Andreas Antonius Maria van Agt was eind jaren negentig vooral de fietsende, archaïsch pratende ex-premier, toen hij onverwacht een nieuw hoofdstuk aan zijn leven toevoegde: activist voor de Palestijnen. Of is het: activist tegen Israël?

Van Agt zelf spreekt van 'een bekering'. In zijn versie van de gebeurtenissen was hij als minister en later als premier steeds onversaagd medestander van Israël geweest, net als de overgrote meerderheid van de Nederlanders in de jaren zeventig. In 1999 kwam de ommekeer, 'tijdens een brave pelgrimage naar het heilige land'. Van Agt zegt zodanig geschokt te zijn geweest door verhalen over vernederingen van Palestijnen dat hij zich in de kwestie ging verdiepen.

In 2002 zocht hij de publiciteit. Hij ondertekende een vlammend protest van de stichting Stop de Bezetting, de actiegroep van Gretta Duisenberg. In juli 2005 schreef hij een opiniestuk in de Volkskrant: 'Een schreeuw om recht voor de Palestijnen.'

Teneur: Israël mag niet langer wegkomen met herhaalde schendingen van het internationale recht. Het land is mede gesticht uit schuldgevoel over de Holocaust. Datzelfde schuldgevoel heeft de wereld doen wegkijken van wangedrag van de Joodse staat. Maar het is allemaal ten koste gegaan van een volk dat aan die Holocaust part noch deel had: de Palestijnen. Juist Europa draagt daarom een bijzondere verantwoordelijkheid voor hun lot. En Dries van Agt voelt die verantwoordelijkheid zwaar.

Daarom bombardeert hij sindsdien de opiniepagina's, regelmatig mede-ondertekend door mensen van naam; onlangs nog Frans Andriessen, Hans van den Broek en Laurens-Jan Brinkhorst. Zijn eigen partij spaart hij niet: ook CDA-minister Verhagen van Buitenlandse Zaken is doelwit.

Zijn website met artikelen over het Midden-Oostenconflict, een chronologie en achtergronden, wordt goed bezocht. Niet door hemzelf, trouwens, Van Agt heeft geen computer. Hij geeft regelmatig lezingen, vooral voor studenten en heeft inmiddels een boek geschreven over de kwestie dat begin september uitkomt (Een schreeuw om recht, De Bezige Bij).

Grofweg tweederde van zijn tijd gaat op aan aan zijn strijd voor de Palestijnen, zegt hij tijdens een gesprek op een zonnige julidag op het terras van hotel De Wolfsberg, op een steenworp afstand van zijn woning in Heilig Landstichting bij Nijmegen.

De meneer van de Volkskrant moet even wachten tot een mevrouw van de IKON is bediend. Van Agt is inmiddels 78, maar hij heeft het onverminderd druk. Dat komt vooral door het boek, dat kost meer tijd dan hij ooit had kunnen bevroeden.

Onlangs nog kwam hij in het nieuws met een losse opmerking. Of Van Agt nog eens zou willen deelnemen aan het project Free Gaza, waarbij schepen aanleggen bij de Gaza-strook, in weerwil van een Israëlisch verbod. 'Ja hoor', luidde zijn antwoord, 'ofschoon het gevaarlijk is' zou hij dat nog best eens willen doen. En dan is hij opeens weer nieuws. Terwijl het toch nieuwswaardiger was geweest als hij níet had gewild.

Zijn inspanningen leverden Dries van Agt, de man die in de jaren zeventig in linkse kringen nog te boek stond als onverbeterlijk rechts en onuitstaanbaar conservatief, een uitnodiging op – in dank aanvaard – om te komen spreken op het congres van GroenLinks. Zelfs PSP'ers van weleer meenden dat hij waarlijk het licht moest hebben gezien. Ook in SP-kringen – Anja Meulenbelt is nu een sister in arms – is Van Agt dezer dagen graag gezien.

Maar met de nieuwe vrienden kwamen nieuwe vijanden. Van Agt zou altijd al tegen Israël zijn geweest. Hij zou een antisemiet zijn. Dáárom legt hij in zijn voorstelling van het conflict en het ontstaan ervan, alle schuld bewust bij Israël, zeggen zijn critici.

Over de eerste beschuldiging zijn Van Agts biografen in het vorig jaar verschenen en veelgeprezen Tour de Force, kort: 'Tegenstanders beweerden dat Van Agt altijd al anti-Israël was. Dat is onjuist.'

Co-auteur Johan van Merriënboer wijst er bijvoorbeeld op dat Van Agt zich in de ministerraad verzette tegen initiatieven van Max van der Stoel en Jan Pronk, die hij te zeer op de hand van de Palestijnen vond. In toespraken in 1976 en 1977 stelde Van Agt 'dat wij in het bijzonder staan voor de staat Israël'. Hij noemde die staat meermalen 'een broeder in benauwenis'.

Dat beeld is overtuigend, zegt Van Merriënboer: 'Van Agt was in de jaren zeventig, precies zoals hijzelf zegt, duidelijk op de hand van Israël.'

In de periode direct daarna wordt het beeld onduidelijker. Van Agt zelf zegt nog in 1982, na de moordpartijen op Palestijnen in de vluchtelingenkampen Sabra en Shatila, het te hebben opgenomen voor de toenmalige Israëlische minister van Defensie Sharon. Diezelfde Sharon bleek later een zware verantwoordelijkheid te dragen voor het gebeurde. Van Agt zegt achteraf zich 'de ogen uit de kop' te schamen voor zijn toenmalige verdediging van Sharon.

Maar bijvoorbeeld Ronny Naftaniël van het Centrum voor Informatie en Documentatie Israël (CIDI) heeft sindsdien met kracht geargumenteerd dat Van Agt het destijds helemaal niet voor Sharon heeft opgenomen. Van Agt maakt zichzelf in die periode zwarter dan nodig, vindt ook biograaf Van Merriënboer.

Waarom zou hij zoiets doen? Om nu des te meer te kunnen stralen, luidt een uitleg. Het is klassiek gedrag van de religieuze bekeerling; de ommekeer moet zo sterk mogelijk geaccentueerd, het nieuwe licht mag niet minder dan oogverblindend zijn.


Economisch succesverhaal op de Westelijke Jordaanoever

Israel, too, has contributed to the West Bank's financial boom. Tony Blair recently stated that Israel had not been given sufficient credit for efforts such as removing dozens of checkpoints and road blocks, withdrawing Israeli troops from population centers, and facilitating transportation into both Israel and Jordan. Long prohibited by terrorist threats from entering the West Bank, Israeli Arabs are now allowed to shop in most Palestinian cities.
Ondanks dit succesverhaal gaat alle aandacht in de media nog steeds uit naar de nederzettingen, (vermeende) Israelische oorlogsmisdaden en dergelijke.

West Bank Success Story

The Palestinians are flourishing economically. Unless they live in Gaza.

Imagine an annual economic growth rate of 7%, declining unemployment, a thriving tourism industry, and a 24% hike in the average daily wage. Where in today's gloomy global market could one find such gleaming forecasts? Singapore? Brazil? Guess again. The West Bank.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the West Bank economy is flourishing. Devastated by the violence and corruption fomented by its former leadership, the West Bank has rebounded and today represents a most promising success story. Among the improvements of the last year cited by the IMF and other financial observers are an 18% increase in the local stock exchange, a 94% growth of tourism to Bethlehem—generating 6,000 new jobs—and an 82% rise in trade with Israel.

Since 2008, more than 2,000 new companies have been registered with the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. Where heavy fighting once raged, there are now state-of-the-art shopping malls.

Much of this revival is due to Palestinian initiative and to the responsible fiscal policies of West Bank leaders—such as Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad—many of whom are American-educated. But few of these improvements could have happened without a vastly improved security environment.

More than 2,100 members of the Palestinian security forces, graduates of an innovative program led by U.S. Gen. Keith Dayton, are patrolling seven major West Bank cities. Another 500-man battalion will soon be deployed. Encouraged by the restoration of law and order, the local population is streaming to the new malls and movie theaters. Shipments of designer furniture are arriving from China and Indonesia, and car imports are up more than 40% since 2008.

Israel, too, has contributed to the West Bank's financial boom. Tony Blair recently stated that Israel had not been given sufficient credit for efforts such as removing dozens of checkpoints and road blocks, withdrawing Israeli troops from population centers, and facilitating transportation into both Israel and Jordan. Long prohibited by terrorist threats from entering the West Bank, Israeli Arabs are now allowed to shop in most Palestinian cities.

Further, several Israeli-Palestinian committees have achieved fruitful cooperation in the areas of construction and agriculture. Such measures have stimulated the Palestinian economy since 2008 resulting, for example, in a 200% increase in agricultural exports and a nearly 1,000% increase in the number of trucks importing produce into the West Bank from Israel.

The West Bank's economic improvements contrast with the lack of diplomatic progress on the creation of a Palestinian state. Negotiators focus on the "top down" issues, grappling with legal and territorial problems. But the West Bank's population is building sovereignty from the bottom-up, forging the law-enforcement, civil, and financial institutions that form the underpinnings of any modern polity. The seeds of what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called "economic peace" are, in fact, already blossoming in the commercial skyline of Ramallah.

The vitality of the West Bank also accentuates the backwardness and despair prevailing in Gaza. In place of economic initiatives that might relieve the nearly 40% unemployment in the Gaza Strip, the radical Hamas government has imposed draconian controls subject to Shariah law. Instead of investing in new shopping centers and restaurants, Hamas has spent millions of dollars restocking its supply of rockets and mortar shells. Rather than forge a framework for peace, Hamas has wrought war and brought economic hardship to civilians on both sides of the borders.

The people of Gaza will have to take notice of their West Bank counterparts and wonder why they, too, cannot enjoy the same economic benefits and opportunities. At the same time, Arab states that have pledged to assist the Palestinian economy in the past, but which have yet to fulfill those promises, may be persuaded of the prudence of investing in the West Bank. Israel, for its part, will continue to remove obstacles to Palestinian development. If the West Bank can serve as a model of prosperity, it may also become a prototype of peace.

Mr. Oren is Israel's ambassador to the United States.


Palestijnse leugencampagnes en complottheorieën gaan verder met beschuldiging moord op Arafat

Hieronder links naar diverse citaten en filmpjes met idiote en antisemitische Palestijnse beschuldigingen tegen Israel en Joden. Ondertussen vertelt Abbas in Haaretz, de meest gelezen Israelische krant buiten Israel en in het Westen, dat hij een 'peace seeker' is en 'de weg van vrede en onderhandelingen de enige optie is'. Misschien kan iemand hem eens vragen hoe dat is te rijmen met de opruiiing in de door de PA gecontroleerde media en door aan de PA gelieerde geestelijken?
Bulletin - Palestinian Media Watch
Aug. 17, 2009

Accusation that Israel killed Arafat continues PA campaign of conspiracy libels

One of the few unanimous decisions emerging from Fatah's Sixth General Conference was the resolution that Israel murdered Yasser Arafat. The congress decided to set up a Palestinian commission of inquiry to investigate the circumstances of Arafat's death, and called for an international inquiry to do the same.

This is just the latest of many accusations by the Palestinian Authority that Israel murdered Arafat - in fact, it's the fourth such accusation in the last month.

But more important than the specific accusation is the fact that it continues the systematic campaign of conspiracy libels about Israel, Israelis and Jews that is an integral part of the PA's continuing hate promotion.

PA libels claim that Israel conspires to infect Palestinians with AIDS, spread drug addiction, corrupt youth with aphrodisiac chewing gum and destroy the Al Aqsa Mosque, among other nefarious deeds. The goal is to inculcate hatred to the degree that fighting and murdering Jews and Israelis will be glorified as heroic self-defense.

Following are some of the recurring PA libels that are being tracked by PMW:
1 - Libel: Israel spreads AIDS and drugs
2 - Libel: Israel to destroy Al-Aqsa Mosque
3 - Libel: Israel to rid Jerusalem of non-Jews
4 - Libel: Israel murdered Arafat
5 - Libel: Israel seeks to rule from Euphrates to Nile
6 - Libel: Protocols of the Elders of Zion

maandag 17 augustus 2009

Free Marwan Barghouti?

Al enige tijd gaan er in Israel stemmen op om Barghouti vrij te laten. Hij zou populair zijn onder de Palestijnen en relatief gematigd en daarom concessies en een vredesverdrag beter aan het volk kunnen verkopen dan bijv. Abbas. Ondertussen is hij wel veroordeeld voor het vermoorden van vijf mensen, en was hij het brein achter veel aanslagen tijdens de Tweede Intifada, en ook een van de leiders van deze opstand. Dus hoe gematigd is hij?
Als zijn vrijlating echt de vrede dichterbij zou brengen, zou Israel er goed aan doen over de morele bezwaren daarvan heen te stappen, maar of dat zo is is bepaald niet zeker, en het kan ook juist een averechts effect hebben - dat het de 'standvastigheid' van de Palestijnen bevestigt en het succes van de 'heroische strijd voor het vaderland'. Israelische concessies hebben helaas wel vaker averechts uitgepakt.

Barghouti mania
The election last week of convicted murderer Marwan Barghouti to the Fatah Central Committee has reinvigorated long-extant advocacy for his release among those Israeli politicians apparently convinced that he alone can revive the moribund peace process.

The view that Barghouti could do what no one else would - and that he wants to - is rife in some Labor, Kadima and Meretz quarters, though it is by no means the unanimous attitude in at least the first two of these parties.

On May 20, 2004, Barghouti, commander of Fatah's Tanzim militia, was convicted by an Israeli civilian court on five counts of murder, including commissioning and organizing the attack on Tel Aviv's Seafood Market restaurant where three guests partaking in a bachelorette party were shot to death in 2002. He was sentenced to five life sentences, and another 40 years for attempted murder.

Nevertheless, there are people both abroad and inside Israel who persist in depicting Barghouti's imprisonment as somehow illicit. Many more consider it counterproductive. Relying on Barghouti's perceived relative moderation prior to the second intifada, they argue that only he can foster the adoption by the Palestinian leadership, and the acceptance by the Palestinian public, of viable terms for the two-state solution sought by mainstream Israel, including by our current prime minister. This faith in Barghouti as peacemaker persists despite his self-acknowledged orchestration of the second intifada terror war and even recent inflammatory statements to the Fatah convention.

Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor) argues that "Barghouti is the only one who can deliver the goods to Israel."

His party colleague, Minorities Affairs Avishai Braverman, believes that "we must consider freeing Barghouti in order to create a viable, strong Palestinian leadership."

Kadima MK Gideon Ezra, a former deputy head of the Shin Bet security agency, declares that "Barghouti is the best anti-Hamas bulwark. Israel needs a strong man to negotiate with."

Common to such statements is the assertion of ostensible pragmatism - at the expense of considerations of justice, even for Barghouti's murdered victims.

But those considerations are anything but marginal.

Bringing terrorists to trial is no negligible matter. Members of Israel's security forces put their lives on the line to track down and capture such homicidal kingpins. What message do we send to them if we then set those terrorists free?

What of the inherent contempt for our own judicial system - one of the most autonomous, fair-minded and progressive in the entire democratic world? By overruling multiple murder convictions, we invalidate verdicts, delegitimize our courts and damage Israel's legal reputation beyond repair.

In truth, furthermore, there is no pragmatic certainty here - no remotely credible reason to believe that Israel, if it followed this route, would be doing anything more than liberating a dangerous antagonist, and potentially facilitating new terror onslaughts of the sort Barghouti masterminded in the past.

Setting Barghouti free, not incidentally, would also reward the hard line adopted by Fatah at its assembly in Bethlehem these past few days - including the refusal to recognize the legitimacy of the Jewish state, the adherence to a "right of return" that would turn Israel into Palestine by weight of numbers, and the demand for full Palestinian control of Jerusalem as a precondition to renewing negotiations.

NONE OF the advocates of Barghouti's release has ever detailed precisely how or when he was transformed from a killer into a peace-lover. None can credibly explain why Barghouti's own rhetoric, which so contradicts their assertions, should be dismissed.

In this context it is instructive to listen to Kadima's Avi Dichter, a former Shin Bet head and ex-minister of public security. Barghouti "earned his status in PA society with the blood of murdered and wounded Israelis," Dichter, a proven advocate of compromise with the Palestinians, said this week. "This man has amply proved his unreliability."

This admonition should also be kept in mind vis-a-vis Hamas, which is now demanding Barghouti's release as part of the ransom for Gilad Schalit. Much as we all want the kidnapped soldier back home, we need to remember why Barghouti is popular in Gaza, and that securing Schalit's release in an outrageously asymmetrical "exchange" would merely boost the incentive for more abductions, and the capacity for more terrorism. In ignoring this unhappy truth, the architects of such an exchange would be risking another of the "crazy deals" so bitterly censured by the Winograd Committee.