zaterdag 19 september 2009

Film 'Defiance' gebruikt in lessen over de Holocaust

Veel beter dan de nogal dubieuze plot van "Inglorious Basterds", en het is op zich goed dat Joden niet alleen als slachtoffers worden afgebeeld.


'Defiance' schooling classes on Holocaust
Sunday, January 11th 2009, 8:29 PM

Some city teachers are using the film "Defiance," about Jewish resistance in World War II, in their curriculum to teach an unusual focus on the Holocaust.
The film, which stars Daniel Craig - who also is the latest James Bond - tells of two Jewish brothers who helped save more than 1,200 Jews by organizing a hidden, mobile village in the Polish forest.
"Very often students, when studying this history, think of Jews as being very passive," veteran teacher Alice Braziller said.
"I don't think you should teach the Holocaust unless you're also talking about resistance," added Braziller, who teaches at Manhattan's Satellite Academy High School/HS570.
The history of these resistance fighters is not usually taught in high school.
"This has been an unknown story in classrooms," said Mitch Braff, founder of the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation.
"Many of the partisans were teenagers. The story is that young people can stand up against tyranny and make a difference."
The group developed an online curriculum to go with the film (www.
In the film, the brothers not only hide fellow Jews, they attack from the forest and kill German soldiers and their collaborators.
"It really struck me that they were very fierce and very strong," said Satellite senior Arriann Henry. "They didn't only protect themselves, they saved other people."
Bronx High School of Science has long taught a course on the Holocaust.
"Last year, we watched "Schindler's List," and we talked a lot about non-Jewish rescuers," said Sophia Sapozhnikov, who plans to use the "Defiance" curriculum in her Holocaust course.
"It's good to have examples of Jews who rescued themselves."
Sapozhnikov's grandfather survived the Holocaust by fleeing Romania during the war. Five of his siblings died in Auschwitz.
Her maternal grandmother, who was Ukrainian, saved a family of Jews by hiding them in her church.
She said the curriculum was a way of raising ethical questions about if and when killing and revenge is justified.
"At one point a character says, 'Even though hunted like animals, we will not become like animals,'" said Sapozhnikov, 30.
"Their goals change. These are people who can serve as a role model to students."

Enquete: Israëli's positief over Duitsland

Binnen de EU is Duitsland een van de landen die redelijk evenwichtig zijn tegenover Israel, helaas zal dat wel vooral om historische redenen zijn. Toch eist ook Duitsland onomwonden dat Israel stopt met het bouwen in de nederzettingen. Op zichzelf is dat geen onredelijke eis, maar ik hoor Duitsland niet zeggen (niemand overigens) dat de Palestijnen hun 'recht op terugkeer' moeten opgeven en moeten stoppen met het verheerlijken van geweld. Ik hoor niet zeggen dat Abbas het recht van de Joden op zelfbeschikking moet erkennen en dat de Palestijnse Autoriteit moet stoppen met het ontkennen van de Joodse band met het land en met Jeruzalem.
Het is opvallend dat veel Israeli's zo positief over Duitsland denken, iets dat mij in Israel ook opviel, want als Nederlander wordt je nou eenmaal in een groot deel van de wereld voor een Duitser aangezien. Toen ik dat iemand vertelde zei hij dat men eigenlijk veel bozer is op de Britten die tijdens het mandaat steeds openlijker de kant van de Arabieren kozen dan op de Duitsers.

Poll: Israelis view Germany positively
Ze'ev Ben-Yechiel , THE JERUSALEM POST
Seventy years after the outbreak of World War II, an unprecedented public opinion poll reveals a surprising picture of Germany as perceived by Israelis: Roughly two-thirds of Jews in Israel expressed a high degree of satisfaction with the level of accountability accepted by Germany for its role in the Holocaust, and Germany's relationship to Israelis today.

The results of the comprehensive study, the first of its kind, were presented as part of Thursday's "Eye of the Beholder" Conference on German-Israeli relations, held at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

The poll, which showed 61% of Israeli Jews as being satisfied with the level of responsibility taken today by Germany for the Nazi annihilation of European Jewry, was the first comparative survey taken of Arab and Jewish attitudes toward Germany.

The poll results indicated that Israel's Jewish population was twice as satisfied as its Arab sector with Germany's political involvement in the region.

The survey, in which 1,200 people participated, examined among other issues the question of whether Israel exploits the memory of the Holocaust to influence Germany's involvement in the Israeli-Arab conflict. The poll also appraised the relative degree of Israelis' trust in Germany, Britain and France.

The study also investigated whether the population of Israel was boycotting German products, and the extent to which Israelis consume German books and movies.
The survey showed that the respondents' attitude towards Germany was influenced by political affiliation and religion observance. The Right expressed more reluctance than the Left to view Germany favorably - only 3% of the respondents who identified themselves as lef-wing said they had no trust in Germany's political activities in the Middle East today, compared to 30% among supporters of right-wing parties.

As for the impact of religious observance, 83% of secular respondents defined Israel's relations with Germany as normal, compared to only 48% of the ultra-Orthodox.

"The findings revealed that contrary to the official position and the attitude of the media, the Israeli public, especially the Jewish public, relate to Germany not only in a neutral but in a sympathetic way," explained conference organizer Prof. Moshe Zimmermann, head of the Hebrew University's Koebner Minerva Center for German History.

"The past is casting a shadow on the present attitude towards Germany, and the Israeli public believes that Germany has faced its past properly," Zimmerman said.
"Contrary to all expectations, the survey revealed that the attitude of Israeli Jews toward Germany is more positive than that of Israeli Arabs," he noted.

Al Quds Dag: Hezbollah leider zweert Israel nooit te zullen erkennen

Even voor de duidelijkheid: Nasrallah, de leider van Hezbollah, is niet alleen tegen de bezetting van de Westoever, maar tegen de 'bezetting' van heel 'Palestina' en zegt dit ook geregeld. Beste Midden-Oosten deskundologen, linkse politici en 'vredeactivisten', wat is er onduidelijk aan de volgende woorden?

The Hezbollah leader called Israel an illegitimate cancerous entity that should be eliminated.

Wat heeft dat nog met 'legitiem verzet' te maken? Met het opkomen voor de underdog? Met rechtvaardigheid?
Kunnen we dan misschien eindelijk stoppen met het verdedigen en legitimieren van Hezbollah?


Last update - 21:33 18/09/2009
Hezbollah chief vows never to recognize Israel 
By The Associated Press

The leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, vowed on Friday that his Shi'ite militant organization would never recognize Israel and that no Arab state had the right to do so either.

"No one has the right to recognize this entity [Israel] or approve its legitimacy," the black-turbaned Nasrallah said in a televised address to ceremonies marking Quds (Jerusalem) Day, an annual occasion created by Hezbollah's patron Iran to show support for the Palestinians.

Nasrallah's comments came hours after President Barack Obama's special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, was unable to bridge wide gaps between Israelis and Palestinians on the terms of renewing peace talks.

Mitchell had urged the Arab world to take steps toward normalizing relations with Israel as he pressed Israel to halt construction of settlements in the West Bank.

The Hezbollah leader called Israel an illegitimate cancerous entity that should be eliminated.

"We will not recognize, deal or normalize with Israel even if the whole world recognize it," he added in the speech, which was broadcast through a giant screen from a secret location to thousands of supporters who gathered in the group's stronghold south of Beirut,

Nasrallah repeated his warning to Israel not to launch a war against his group, saying the Israel Defense Forces would be crushed by his guerrillas. Israel and Hezbollah fought the Second Lebanon War in the summer of 2006, a conflict that devastated much of south Lebanon. Since then, Hezbollah has largely refrained from firing rockets into northern Israel.

In neighboring Syria, some 5,000 people marked Jerusalem Day at the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk in the capital Damascus.

The head of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command Ahmed Jibril told the gathering that the participation in the rally is "a call for liberating Jerusalem."

Achmadinejad blijft Holocaust ontkennen op 'Al Quds Dag'

Misschien kunnen al die regeringsleiders die Achmadinejads nieuwste Holocaust ontkenning zo fel veroordelen daar ook even duidelijke acties op laten volgen?


Last update - 22:27 18/09/2009
German FM calls Ahmadinejad 'a disgrace' for denying Holocaust 
By Haaretz Service and Agencies

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier condemned Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's latest denial of the Holocaust on Friday, calling him a disgrace to his country.

"Today's statements by the Iranian President are unacceptable. With his intolerable tirades he is a disgrace to his country," Steinmeier said in a statement. "This sheer anti-Semitism demands our collective condemnation. We will continue to confront it decisively in the future."

Ahmadinejad said at a Quds (Jerusalem) Day rally in Tehran earlier Friday that, "The pretext [Holocaust] for the creation of the Zionist regime [Israel] is false ... It is a lie based on an unprovable and mythical claim."

Steinmeier's condemnation was unprecedented in its tone.

Denying the Holocaust - carried out by Nazi Germany in World War Two - is a crime in Germany, punishable by up to five years in prison.

The United States and Britain also denounced the Iranian leader in the harshest terms for his remarks.

Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, called his comments "hateful." White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters: "Obviously we condemn what he said."

Gibbs added that Ahmadinejad's Holocaust denial, "only serves to isolate Iran further from the world."

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, meanwhile, said: "President Ahmadinejad's repeated denials of the Holocaust are abhorrent as well as ignorant. It is very important that the world community stands up against this tide of abuse. This outburst is not worthy of the leader of Iran."

Miliband went on to praise the great history and culture of the Iranian people.

"I cannot believe that the vast majority of them want to rewrite this chapter of history rather than focus on the future," he added. "The coincidence of today's comments with the start of Jewish New Year only adds to the insult."

60 Jaar United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA)

"This week is also an opportunity for UNRWA to tell the world about its achievements. The war in Gaza and our continued presence side by side with the people there may have raised some headlines. During this coming week we want to remind the world of the less-publicised work we do day in and day out for a refugee population larger than the populations of over a third of the UN's member states," said AbuZayd. "That is UNRWA's lasting contribution to peace".
UNRWA is juist een obstakel tot vrede, omdat het een oplossing van het vluchtelingenprobleem in de weg staat. UNRWA heeft verhinderd dat Israel permanente huisvesting voor de vluchtelingen heeft gebouwd op de Westoever, en UNRWA houdt het verlangen terug te keren naar het Palestina van voor 1948 in leven. De vluchtelingen kunnen niet en masse terug, want dat druist in tegen de algemeen aanvaarde tweestatenoplossing, en omdat zij niet met Israel in vrede willen leven. Het overgrote merendeel is overigens zelf niet gevlucht, maar tweede, derde of inmiddels vierde generatie. Normaal gesproken zouden deze mensen allang zijn geintegreerd in de landen waar zij leven, maar zowel die landen, de vluchtelingenorganisaties als UNRWA gaan dat tegen.
Er valt dus niet veel te vieren deze week. Wat mij betreft is dit een dag van rouw en van bezinning op de politieke mechanismen die een oplossing tegengaan over de hoofden van de vluchtelingen.
Voor een provocerende visie, zie: Abolish UNRWA
[Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA:  The international community typically aids in solving refugee problems on a humanitarian basis by assisting in absorbing the refugees in host countries.  But the welfare of Palestinian refugees and their progeny of several generations has taken second place to their role as pawns in the ongoing struggle against the Zionist entity (aka Jewish state, aka Israel).

And that's where UNRWA comes in, helping to feed, cloth, educate, etc. these political pawns (with a payment system designed to encourage one of the highest birth rates in the world to help increase the number of Palestinian pawns) .

From an institutional standpoint its a win-win situation. After all,  if the refugees, their children, grandchildren and now great grandchildren were formally absorbed then the folks making a career working for UNRWA would be unemployed.. ]


Press Release
UNRWA, New York
18 Sept 2009

World leaders pay tribute
To the United Nations Relief and Works Agency
On its sixtieth anniversary

United Nations, 18 September 2009: The United Nations Relief and Works Agency, UNRWA, has announced a week-long series of events beginning in New York next week to mark the 60th anniversary of its creation. These include the unveiling of a commemorative banner that will adorn the façade of the iconic UN General Assembly building by the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, and the Deputy Secretary General, Asha-Rose Migiro.

The centrepiece of the week is a Ministerial Level Event on September 24 at which governments will pledge support for UNRWA and pay tribute to six decades of achievement and service to the world's largest and longest standing refugee population and to the Palestine refugees themselves.

In addition, there will be academic conferences at Columbia University and the Princeton Club on UNRWA's humanitarian role in current peace efforts and an assessment of the Agency's contribution to human capital in the Middle East.

The Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, commended UNRWA as a "symbol of the international community's determination to end the state of limbo the Palestine refugees endure", and praised the Agency's staff for its "dedication and courage". He is expected to warn of "painful" cuts in UNRWA services and call on the General Assembly to "look again" at its responsibilities and put the Agency on a firm financial foundation.

Looking forward to the High Level Event, UNRWA Commissioner-General, Karen AbuZayd said, "This is an occasion for reflection on why after sixty years of exile and dispossession, millions of Palestine refugees remains stateless. With increasing talk about an emerging peace deal, let us all recommit ourselves to finding a peaceful solution in which the tragic situation of the refugees will be resolved". "This week is also an opportunity for UNRWA to tell the world about its achievements. The war in Gaza and our continued presence side by side with the people there may have raised some headlines. During this coming week we want to remind the world of the less-publicised work we do day in and day out for a refugee population larger than the populations of over a third of the UN's member states," said AbuZayd. "That is UNRWA's lasting contribution to peace".

UNRWA has published a commemorative book in which nearly one hundred statesmen and women pay tribute to its work. President Mahmoud Abbas praises the Agency for its role as a "stabilizing force" and commends UNRWA for "ameliorating the plight of the Palestine refugees by giving them "protection, hope and a sense of human dignity".  The US Secretary of State, Hilary Rodham Clinton, gives her support to the Agency, which has been confronting "difficult and challenging circumstances", working "tirelessly . to ensure the dignity and human development of those they serve". Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan says, "We owe so much to UNRWA. Their selflessness and perseverance in the face of indescribable adversity have kept Palestine refugees alive for sixty years: healing their wounds, sustaining their bodies, nourishing their minds and giving them hope in their darkest hours".

UNRWA provides education to half a million children in approximately 650 schools across the Middle East and maintains 138 health centres in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. In addition, it runs extensive relief, social services and microfinance programmes in the region.

For more information, please also visit:

Jane Fonda trekt zich terug uit protest tegen Tel Aviv film festival in Toronto

Een mens kan zich vergissen, en fimsterren zijn niet per definitie de meeste intelligente en doordachte mensen.....

Jane Fonda sorry she joined McCarthyite protest against Tel Aviv

What part of "McCarthy" did Jane Fonda NOT understand?
Tel Aviv, for the information of Cassanda Szklarski (who wrote the article below) was founded in 1909 on land that was purchased from its Arab owners. It didn't displace anyone, unlike the European settlement of Canada. In 1948, the Arabs of Yaffo attacked the Jews living there, and when they lost a counterattack, they fled the city. Tel Aviv has no more troubled history than Toronto. Less in fact. (A.I.)
By Cassandra Szklarski (CP) – 1 day ago
TORONTO — Jane Fonda is expressing regret over endorsing a protest letter that targets an Israeli film spotlight at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The celebrity activist appears to back away from the controversy in a column posted Monday on the Huffington Post website just as big-name performers including Jerry Seinfeld, Natalie Portman and Sacha Baron Cohen added their names to a growing list of the protest's critics.
"I signed the letter without reading it carefully enough, without asking myself if some of the wording wouldn't exacerbate the situation rather than bring about constructive dialogue," Fonda writes in the article.
"In the hyper-sensitized reality of the region in which any criticism of Israel is swiftly and often unfairly branded as anti-Semitic, it can become counterproductive to inflame rather than explain and this means to hear the narratives of both sides, to articulate the suffering on both sides, not just the Palestinians. By neglecting to do this the letter allowed good people to close their ears and their hearts."
The letter was written by a group of Toronto-based filmmakers angered by the festival's decision to put Tel Aviv at the centre of its inaugural City to City program. The group held a press conference Monday to explain their concerns and to refute claims they advocate a boycott.
It is not the films or the filmmakers we protest but rather the frame," said filmmaker Elle Flanders, who spoke alongside Toronto filmmaker John Greyson and Palestinian-Israeli director Elia Sulieman, among others.
Our campaign was meant to begin the dialogue that TIFF missed out on - one that refuses the Israeli government's attempt to shift attention away from the conflict that it maintains and worsens daily."
Flanders complained that the spotlight excludes Palestinian voices, comes on the heels of a devastating bombardment in Gaza and amid a global publicity campaign by the Israeli government known as "Brand Israel."
The flap has drawn heated opposition from celebrity critics, which on Monday grew to include Portman, Cohen, and Seinfeld among dozens of people that endorsed a statement applauding the City to City" program and denounced notions of a blacklist.
Anyone who has actually seen recent Israeli cinema, movies that are political and personal, comic and tragic, often critical, knows they are in no way a propaganda arm for any government policy," said the statement, also endorsed by Lenny Kravitz, Patricia Heaton, Jacob and Noah Richler, George F. Walker and Moses Znaimer.
Blacklisting them only stifles the exchange of cultural knowledge that artists should be the first to defend and protect."
Greyson withdrew his film from the festival in protest but said he in no way encouraged others to do the same, nor did he wish anyone blacklist participants.
From the start we encouraged others to speak out in whatever way they chose, which they have, by the many hundreds," said Greyson, reading from a statement structured as a letter to producer Robert Lantos, one of the group's biggest critics.
The last time I checked, this was called free speech."
Protest organizers said they had collected more than 1,500 signatures for their letter, including from historian Howard Zinn, filmmaker Guy Maddin and actor Viggo Mortensen, in addition to early signers author Naomi Klein and musician David Byrne.
Tel Aviv is the first city selected for the festival's City to City" program, meant to spotlight the films from a particular urban centre.
While acknowledging Tel Aviv's troubled history, festival co-director Cameron Bailey has defended the choice, saying the program was meant to foster debate and share in the exchange of cultures.
The film festival runs through Saturday.

Rapport Goldstone over Gaza Oorlog bemoeilijkt Arabische concessies

Waarom het rapport van Goldstone niet bijdraagt aan vrede, maar dit juist bemoeilijkt. Zowel de Arabische staten, de Palestijnen en Israel zullen (nog) minder geneigd zijn tot het doen van concessies.
Hier kun je tegenover stellen dat de VS nu wel een extra drukmiddel heeft tegen Israel. Israel heeft de VS immers nodig om de gevolgen van dit rapport internationaal enigszins te verzachten. Maar terwijl de VS Israel al behoorlijk onder druk heeft gezet, met als gevolg dat het ook al de nodige concessies heeft gedaan, houden juist de Arabieren hun poot stijf, en zij zullen door dit rapport verder in hun gelijk en onbuigzame houding worden bevestigd. Waarom immers concessies doen aan een land dat zojuist van oorlogsmisdaden is beschuldigd?
Analysis: Goldstone has made things more difficult for Mitchell
Sep. 18, 2009

Poor George Mitchell. There he is, running around the Middle East - now haggling with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, then with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas; now with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, then with Jordanian King Abdullah II.

And in the meantime, his emissaries are talking with officials in Bahrain, Morocco, Qatar, Oman and, yes, even with Saudi Arabia.

The indefatigable 76-year-old former US Senator is trying to put together a package - yes, a package - that would make everyone happy enough to agree to sit down and talk. He needs a settlement freeze from Israel, security action from the Palestinians, and gestures from the Arab world.

It's important to stress the package aspect here, because - despite how things may be portrayed in the media - it is not only about settlements. Notwithstanding what they may say on CNN, it is not Netanyahu's intransigence that is holding up a meeting between the prime minister, Abbas and US President Barack Obama. Netanyahu has said he will declare a settlement construction moratorium if the Arabs ante up some substantial normalization gestures, but so far the gestures haven't been pouring in.

True, Netanyahu has not acceded to Obama's original demand for a total settlement freeze, but neither has Saudi Arabia heeded the president's call to help pull the stalled peace process out of the mud. Mitchell wants a settlement moratorium, but he also wants to see steps from the PA and the Arab world.

And then along comes South African Judge Richard Goldstone and his UN Human Rights Council-commissioned report and throws a tremendous wrench into the already difficult works.

If Mitchell thought it was rough getting the Arab world to make normalization gestures before Goldstone issued his report alleging Israeli war crimes in Gaza, then one can only imagine how difficult it will be now.

Imagine you're an Arab leader - say, even, the Saudi King - and normalization gestures toward Israel are anathema to you in the best of circumstances. Now, after the report damning Israel, a report that talks of the possibility of sending Israel to the International Criminal Court in the Hague, a report widely covered in the Arab media, are you going to be more giving or less giving? How is the emir of Qatar going to explain to his people the timing of declaring he will open up an economic interest section now in Tel Aviv?

But forget the rest of the Arab world. Imagine you're Abbas, and have climbed up a tall tree saying you will not talk with the Israelis until there is a complete and absolute settlement freeze. Now, after a report accusing Israel of possible crimes against humanity for the way it waged a war against brother Palestinians in Gaza, are you now going to climb down that tree, face massive internal criticism and begin talks with the Israelis? Probably not.

So if the Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world were not exactly chomping at the bit to do their part to get the negotiations under way before Goldstone, now they will be even more reluctant.

Indeed, why should they rush? Who knows exactly how this will play itself out, what international pressure and censure will be brought to bear on Jerusalem. Israel all of a sudden finds itself squirming, very much on the defensive. Why relieve its discomfort by announcing negotiations?

And it is not only the Arabs who will be influenced by the report. As Netanyahu made clear in his television interviews Thursday night, the report does not exactly give Israel confidence that if it withdraws from further territory, the world will recognize its right to self defense.

As Netanyahu pointed out, when Israel withdrew from Gaza to the last Jew, there were those both here and abroad who said that if one missile fell on Israel, the country would have all the legitimacy in the world to take military action to defend its citizens. But as Goldstone made painfully clear, that hasn't exactly turned out to be the case - something that will undoubtedly give the country's leaders pause before making further concessions.

Mitchell's job, as everyone realized from the outset, would be an extremely difficult one. Goldstone just made it even more so.


Inwoners Gazastrook smokkelen nieuwe auto's door tunnels

Zie voor meer over de Palestijnse humanitaire crisis:
Bekijk vooral ook de video.

For rich Gazans only: 2009-model vehicles brought from Egypt in pieces and assembled in Strip
Ali Waked - YNET
A Hamas operative revealed to Ynet Wednesday that smuggling tunnels spread throughout the border between Egypt and Gaza were now being used to smuggle new cars into the Strip, in pieces.

For the first time in three years new automobile models, produced in 2009, are being spotted on the streets of Gaza after car dealers have succeed in smuggling them through underground tunnels regularly bombed by Israel.

The Hamas operative said around 10 vehicles had been dismantled in Egypt into four parts each and then welded back together in the Strip.

He said the cars had been brought in by experienced smugglers in possession of wide tunnels, as a service to members of Gaza's upper classes. However he added that the practice was still not widespread and intended for only a small percentage of the population.

Abu Bilel, a Gazan resident who has taken it upon himself to reassemble the cars, told Lebanese a-Safir newspaper about his new trade.

"The cars are separated into four parts, not including the engine, on the Egyptian side and are then transferred through the tunnels to Rafah. After we receive all the parts we put them together and paint the car in the color requested by the buyer," he was quoted as saying.

Roee Nahmias contributed to this report

Hamas regering Gaza wil Ministerie van Martelaren opzetten

He said the government is proud of the martyrs, and their families adding that, "We are with you on the path of Jihad and resistance, so as to complete what the martyrs have begun."

Dit ministerie zou toepasselijker het ministerie van haat of van terrorisme kunnen heten, want het zal de bevolking aanmoedigen het pad van deze 'helden' te volgen, een pad dat zal leiden tot meer geweld en Israelische tegenacties en dus meer ellende voor de Palestijnen.


Haniyeh: Gaza government preparing to launch Ministry of Martyrs
Published yesterday (updated) 16/09/2009 12:25

Gaza - Ma'an - The de facto government in Gaza may go ahead and create a new ministry office, which would deal with issues around Palestinians killed by Israel, or as a result of their siege on the area, de facto Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said Tuesday.

The newly proposed Ministry of Martyrs is modeled after the Ministry of Prisoners Affairs, which provides aid and support to the families of those seized and imprisoned by Israeli forces. The Ministry of Martyrs would provide similar support for the families of those killed in confrontations with Israel.

"Thus are the Palestinian people who pay their lives and blood for the service of their country and their religion; they do not serve the enemy," said Haniyeh during a visit to martyrs' families in the eastern part of the Gaza Strip.

Haniyeh praised all the martyrs from the recent Israeli war on the Gaza Strip, in particular Mahmoud Ar-Rify who seized an Israeli soldier before being killed by Israeli rockets.

He said the government is proud of the martyrs, and their families adding that, "We are with you on the path of Jihad and resistance, so as to complete what the martyrs have begun." Al-Barazili, and Salah Ad-Din.

IDF verwijdert 100 wegblokkades op Westelijke Jordaanoever

Goed nieuws, jawel. Mogelijk ingegeven door de feestdagen van zowel Joden als moslims, de verbeterde veiligheidssituatie op de Westoever, Amerikaanse druk, of zowaar de wens een beter leven voor beide volken te creëren. Natuurlijk zijn er hierna nog een hoop roadblocks over maar het is weer een stapje de goede kant op, nadat Israel eerder dit jaar ook al meer dan honderd checkpoints en roadblocks heeft verwijderd.

JPost  - The Jerusalem Post
Sep 16, 2009 17:14 | Updated Sep 16, 2009 17:33
IDF to remove 100 W. Bank roadblocks

In the single largest removal of roadblocks in the West Bank, the IDF announced on Wednesday that by end of week it will conclude the removal of 100 dirt roadblocks throughout the territories.

The decision was made by Defense Minister Ehud Barak following the recommendation of OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Gadi Shamni, who proposed making the humanitarian gesture to the Palestinians ahead of the upcoming Muslim holiday Eid-Al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Ramadan month.

IDF sources said it would be the largest single removal of roadblocks in the West Bank since Israel began easing up restrictions on the Palestinian population.

The dirt roadblocks had blocked off main highways from smaller roads that led to dozens of Palestinian villages scattered throughout the territories, military sources said.

"This will have a significant impact on the lives of the Palestinians," one officer said. "It will enable them to travel on highways that had been blocked off to Palestinian access for a number of years."

Many of the roadblocks are located on roads that connect to Highway 60, one of the main roads in the West Bank, which leads from Jenin in the north to Hebron in the south.

Over the past 2 years, the IDF has been gradually reducing its presence in the West Bank in parallel to the continued successful deployment throughout the territory of Palestinian battalions trained by US security coordinator Lt.-Gen. Keith Dayton in Jordan.

The improving security situation in the West Bank in recent months has also led to a major rise in real estate prices in both Palestinian and Jewish communities, Army Radio reported on Wednesday morning.

According to the report, housing prices in Palestinian villages and towns in the West Bank have risen by hundreds of percent primarily because of reduced security check points and the opening of more roads to Palestinian vehicles. staff contributed to this report.

Hamas wil niet dat vrouwen openlijk lachen, praten of alleen naar buiten gaan

Dries van Agt neemt het in zijn boek en ook op TV hartstochtelijk op voor Hamas, dat democratisch gekozen is en meer vertrouwen van de bevolking zou hebben dan dat slappe Fatah dat zich door Israel en de VS in laat pakken. Zou de conservatief Van Agt stiekum wel blij zijn met onderstaand beleid?

Most dangerous, it has established Morality Units, run jointly by the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Religious Affairs, which ask couples who walk on the beach to present a marriage contract, and ask any woman walking alone on the beach to have an escort [male relative], and prohibit laughing and talking for women [in public], and have issued a religious ruling (fatwa) prohibiting men from swimming in shorts, with the rest of their bodies naked."

Bulletin - Sept. 10, 2009
Palestinian Media Watch
Click here to view on PMW's new web site
Hamas to women:
Don't laugh and talk in public
Hamas seeks to establish Islamic laws in Gaza

By Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
With its establishment of Morality Units to supervise proper public behavior, Hamas appears to be going ahead with its goal of enacting Islamic law in Gaza.
According to a member of the Political Bureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Kayed Al-Ghoul, Hamas wants to limit women's freedom, prevent contact between men and women, and impose morality restrictions on men. Hamas's Morality Units prohibit women from laughing and talking in public, and want women to go outdoors only when accompanied by a male relative.
The following is from the article in the Palestinian daily, Al-Ayyam:

Member of the Political Bureau of the Popular Front, Kayed Al-Ghoul:

"Hamas in Gaza today maintains a type of tyranny... and seeks, through undemocratic means of coercion and despotism, to enact laws that enforce their ideology and their party's world-view on the entire Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip...
Hamas enforces [wearing of] the headscarf and long gown (hijab and jalabiya) on female lawyers and students; it acts to separate the sexes in government departments by imposing a separation between the sexes in offices and waiting rooms, and it has prohibited mixed folk dancing. Most dangerous, it has established Morality Units, run jointly by the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Religious Affairs, which ask couples who walk on the beach to present a marriage contract, and ask any woman walking alone on the beach to have an escort [male relative], and prohibit laughing and talking for women [in public], and have issued a religious ruling (fatwa) prohibiting men from swimming in shorts, with the rest of their bodies naked."
[Al-Ayyam, Sept. 3, 2009]

To see PMW bulletins on Hamas's goal to establish Islamic laws, see:
Hamas enacts Islamic Sharia law
Hamas lies about preparing strict Islamic law for all of Palestinian Authority

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


vrijdag 18 september 2009

Fouten in het Goldstone rapport over de Gaza Oorlog: de Gaza politie

Op de blog met de ironische naam "Elder of Ziyon" staan veel scherpe berichten en analyses, en een serie met onjuistheden in het rapport van de commissie Goldstone. In het rapport staan vreemde dingen, zoals dat er geen bewijs was dat de Palestijnse gewapende groeperingen in burgerkleren raketten afschoten (met een video op de blog die laat zien dat dat wel degelijk het geval was), en vervolgens beweert men dat dit geen schending van het internationale recht is (met op de blog de passage uit de Geneefse Conventie waarin duidelijk staat dat dit verboden is), dat er geen bewijs is dat moskeeën werden gebruikt voor de opslag van wapens (met een video waarin dit duidelijk te zien is) etc. etc. Lees de hele serie.
Goldstone report inaccuracies part 9: Gaza Police
The Goldstone report spends a lot of space (paragraphs 414-421) trying to justify its contention that the Hamas police force was a civilian force, and that Israel was not justified in attacking it. I believe that this analysis is flawed and that the conflicting evidence is weighted with a clear bias towards declaring the policemen to be civilian.

410. In order to shed some light on where the truth might lie between these two conflicting descriptions of the police, the Mission finds it necessary to examine the development of the security forces linked to Hamas after its election victory in January 2006. When Mr. Said Seyam, a senior Hamas representative,269 took office as the Palestinian Authority's Minister of Interior in April 2006, he found that he had little or no control over the Palestinian Authority's security forces, which were put under the control of the President of the Palestinian Authority and of officials loyal to him.270 On 20 April 2006, he announced the formation of a new security force
reporting directly to him. This was the Security Forces Support Unit, also known as the Executive Force (al-Quwwa al-Tanfiziyya). The new security force appears to have had a double function as both a law-enforcement agency and, at least potentially, a military force. It was officially charged with enforcing public security and protecting property. At the same time, he appointed Mr. Jamal Abu Samhadana, commander of the Popular Resistance Committees, as the head of the Executive Force271 and announced that it would be composed of 3,000 new recruits from various Palestinian armed groups, including al-Qassam Brigades.272 The newly appointed commander reportedly declared: "[The Executive Force] will be the nucleus of the future Palestinian army. The resistance must continue. We have only one enemy.I will continue to carry the rifle and pull the trigger whenever required to defend my people. We are also a force against corruption. We are against thieves, corrupt officials and law breakers." 273
411. In August 2007, following the June 2007 Hamas seizure of full control over Gaza, the current Director of the Gaza authorities' civil police, then head of the Executive Force, Gen. Abu Obeidah, described the planned reorganization of the security services in Gaza. Executive Force members were to be integrated into the civil police. He reportedly stated that Hamas was "working hard to retrain Executive Force members to perform police duties" and that the "Force will be in charge of chasing drug dealers and lawless residents". At the same time, he stated that
"members of the Force are religious, and are resistance fighters."274
412. In October 2007, the security services operating in Gaza were reorganized. The previous Palestinian Authority's police agencies in Gaza were merged with the Executive Force.275 The security forces under the control of the Ministry of Interior emerging from this reorganization comprise the Civil Police, the Civil Defence, the Internal Security (an intelligence agency) and the National Security. Their mandates, according to the Gaza authorities' Ministry of Interior's website,276 are differentiated.

413. The National Security force is given specific military tasks, such as "the protection of the State from any foreign aggression" and "responsibility for the defence of the Palestinian homeland in the face of external and internal threats". It is thus plainly a military force whose members are, under international humanitarian law, combatants.277 The functions of the police have been outlined above.
414. On 1 January 2009, during the Israeli military operations in Gaza, the police
spokesperson, Mr. Islam Shahwan, informed the media that the police commanders had managed to hold three meetings at secret locations since the beginning of the armed operations. He added that "an action plan has been put forward, and we have conducted an assessment of the situation and a general alert has been declared by the police and among the security forces in case of any emergency or a ground invasion. Police officers received clear orders from the leadership to face the enemy, if the Gaza Strip were to be invaded."278 Confirming to the Mission that he had been correctly quoted, Mr. Shahwan stated that the instructions given at that meeting were to the effect that in the event of a ground invasion, and particularly if the Israeli armed forces were to enter urban settlements in Gaza, the police was to continue its work of ensuring that basic food stuffs reached the population, of directing the population to safe places, and of upholding public order in the face of the invasion. Mr. Shahwan further stated that not a single policeman had been killed in combat during the armed operations, proving that the instructions had been strictly obeyed by the policemen.
415. The Mission notes that there are no allegations that the police as an organized force took
part in combat during the armed operations. On the basis of the information provided by the
Gaza authorities and of the above-mentioned study of the Orient Research Group Ltd., it would
appear that 75 per cent of its members killed in the course of the military operations died as a
result of the air strikes carried out during the first minutes of the Israeli attack. These men had
not engaged in combat with the Israeli armed forces.279
416. The Mission also notes that while the then commander of the Executive Forces and now
Director of Police did reportedly say in August 2007 that members of the Executive Force were
"resistance fighters", he stressed in the same interview the authorities' intention to develop it into
a law enforcement force. The Mission notes that a situation in which a recently constituted
civilian police force integrates former members of armed groups would not be unique to Gaza.
That prior membership in itself would not be sufficient to establish that the police in Gaza is a
part of al-Qassam Brigades or other armed groups.
417. Except for the statements of the police spokesperson, the Israel Government has
presented no other basis on which a presumption can be made against the overall civilian nature
of the police in Gaza. It is true that the police and the security forces created by Hamas in Gaza
may have their origins in the Executive Force. However, while the Mission would not rule out
the possibility that there might be individuals in the police force who retain their links to the
armed groups, it believes that the assertion on the part of the Government of Israel that "an
overwhelming majority of the police forces were also members of the Hamas military wing or
activists of Hamas or other terrorist organizations",280 appears to be an overstatement that has
led to prejudicial presumptions against the nature of the police force that may not be justified.
420. The Mission further notes that the study conducted by the Orient Research Group Ltd.
names policemen killed during the attack, whom it identifies as members of Hamas, al-Qassam
Brigades, other armed Palestinian groups or "terror operatives" whose affiliation is not known.
In 78 out of 178 cases the policemen are alleged to be members of al-Qassam Brigades on the
sole basis that they were allegedly Hamas members.
421. Furthermore, it appears from the response to the Mission from the Orient Research Group
Ltd. describing its methodology that its information on police members' alleged affiliation with
armed groups was based to a large extent on the websites of the armed groups. In this respect,
the Mission is mindful of a recent report by a Palestinian human rights NGO drawing attention to
the "issue of the 'adoption' of killed persons by resistance groups; i.e. declaration by a political
or armed group that the person killed was one of their members. Often, when persons, including
children, are killed by actions of the Israeli armed forces , political and/or armed groups 'adopt'
them as 'martyrs' placing their photographs on their websites and commending their contribution
to resisting occupation. This does not mean that those persons killed were involved in resistance
activities in any way. The families accept this 'adoption' of deceased family members for
various reasons including the willingness of resistance groups to provide financial support to the
families and pay for funeral costs of the persons killed." As the NGO concludes, "these cases
require in-depth investigation on a case-by-case basis in order to determine every person's status
according to his actual affiliation".283

Sderot een Qassams onderbelicht in Goldstone rapport Gaza Oorlog

De rechtse invalshoek van Arutz Sheva is goed af te lezen van onderstaand bericht, maar er staan toch een paar sterke opmerkingen in:
However, Goldstone's lengthy report devoted only nine pages to the rockets, Bedein said. "Its comparison of Gaza with Sderot is ridiculous," he added. "We teach children to run to bomb shelters in 15 seconds, and they teach their children to run to rooftops and be human shields" during Israeli retaliation.

Behind the UN Curtain: Goldstone Napped During Film of Rockets
United Nations Human Rights Council Judge Richard Goldstone, whose 575-page report on Wednesday condemned Israel for war crimes, fell asleep while he was supposed to be watching a film showing Sderot children fleeing from rocket fire. Noam Bedein, head of the Sderot Media Center, told Israel National News Wednesday morning, "I screened a film showing the rocket explosions, and Goldstone fell asleep before my eyes."

Bedein and five others, including the mayor of Ashkelon and kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit's father Noam, were the only Israelis to testify on the country's behalf during the U.N. hearings. Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon explained that the government refused to cooperate with the Council because it was prejudiced against Israel from the outset. He said that an official Israeli appearance at the hearings would have given more justification to the report but would not have changed damning and foregone conclusions.

Bedein said he appeared as a private citizen and was not discouraged by the Foreign Ministry. "The U.N. asked me to appear because the Sderot Media Center is the only operation on the ground that has been presenting the rocket reality to the country."

However, he added that he was given "30 minutes to present eight years of being attacked from rocket fire and mortar shelling." While Goldstone was napping, the other three judges, Christine Chinkin, an Irishman and a Pakistani, sat silently."

Bedein wrapped up his presentation by asking the panel. "What other democracy in the world would tolerate rockets in its territory?" He added, "That is how I finished, but all they said was 'Thank you.' I was expecting tough questions, but there were none."

Hamas has attacked the western Negev with approximately 12,000 rockets and mortars since 2000, including nearly 8,000 missiles since the expulsion of Jews and the IDF withdrawal from Gaza in 2005.

Since the end of the Operation Cast Lead counterterrorist campaign, southern Israel has sustained 250 attacks, not including dozens of sniper shootings at soldiers and roadside bombs aimed at IDF vehicles at the Gaza separation barrier.

However, Goldstone's lengthy report devoted only nine pages to the rockets, Bedein said. "Its comparison of Gaza with Sderot is ridiculous," he added. "We teach children to run to bomb shelters in 15 seconds, and they teach their children to run to rooftops and be human shields" during Israeli retaliation.

The Goldstone Report blamed Israel for allegedly killing hundreds of "non-combatants," including approximately 250 Hamas policemen.

IDF officieren wijzen op fouten in Goldstone rapport Gaza Oorlog

Volgens onderstaand artikel zijn een aantal aantijgingen in het Goldstone rapport pertinent onjuist. Het is jammer - ik blijf het herhalen - dat we dergelijke informatie niet uit Nederlandse kranten of de TV kunnen vernemen. Dit is toch een vrij land? Waarom wordt dan geen informatie van alle kanten gegeven?  
Israel has argued the opposite, citing numerous examples when IDF soldiers risked their own lives to assist Palestinians in need of medical care. One case came on January 9, when the commander of the Golani Reconnaissance Battalion ceased operations and ordered his men to help load handicapped Palestinians into ambulances sent to evacuate them from Jabalya to Gaza City.
The Goldstone report also accuses the IDF of intentionally targeting the Quds Hospital, which it says was a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The army investigated the incident, which included an attack on a warehouse that belonged to the hospital.
The findings revealed that the warehouse was not known to belong to the hospital and was therefore not marked on IDF maps as were the more than 1,800 known UN and humanitarian structures. In addition, Hamas gunmen fired at troops from inside the warehouse.
Zie ook:

JPost  - The Jerusalem Post
Sep 16, 2009 0:46
IDF officers point to mistakes in accusations

While the IDF referred official comment on the Goldstone Report to the Foreign Ministry, senior officers said on Tuesday night that they were not surprised by its severity.

Many of the allegations raised by the authors have already appeared in NGO reports on Operation Cast Lead.

Here are a few examples: One claim made by Goldstone is that Israelis forces "did not use their best efforts to permit humanitarian organizations access to the wounded and medical relief, as required by customary international law."

Israel has argued the opposite, citing numerous examples when IDF soldiers risked their own lives to assist Palestinians in need of medical care. One case came on January 9, when the commander of the Golani Reconnaissance Battalion ceased operations and ordered his men to help load handicapped Palestinians into ambulances sent to evacuate them from Jabalya to Gaza City.

In another incident, a soldier from the 401st Armored Brigade was seriously wounded when his tank was hit by an anti-tank missile. While the commanders were coordinating his evacuation, a request was received to allow an ambulance into the area to evacuate a Palestinian woman who had gone into labor. The commander in the field complied.

While the fighting was going on, the IDF allowed hundreds of trucks loaded with food staples and medicine into Gaza. Israel ceased military operations for several hours each day to allow humanitarian corridors to be opened, even though Hamas took advantage of the lulls to regroup, transfer weapons and disseminate orders.

The Goldstone report also accuses the IDF of intentionally targeting the Quds Hospital, which it says was a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The army investigated the incident, which included an attack on a warehouse that belonged to the hospital.

The findings revealed that the warehouse was not known to belong to the hospital and was therefore not marked on IDF maps as were the more than 1,800 known UN and humanitarian structures. In addition, Hamas gunmen fired at troops from inside the warehouse.

Another example is the report's conclusion that "by deliberately attacking police stations and killing large numbers of policemen (99 in the incidents investigated by the Mission) during the first minutes of the military operations, [Israel] failed to respect the principle of proportionality between the military advantage anticipated by killing some policemen who might have been members of Palestinian armed groups and the loss of civilian life." These attacks, the report states were a violation of international law.

Reports compiled recently by The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center say that most of the policemen killed were actually members of Hamas's military wing, Izzadin Kassam, and other terrorist groups. According to the JCPA report, among the 343 members of the Palestinian security forces who were killed, 286 have been identified as terrorist organization members, more than 80 percent.

Goldstone also slammed the IDF's use of white phosphorus during the offensive.

"While accepting that white phosphorous is not at this stage proscribed under international law, the Mission considers that the repeated misuse of the substance by the Israeli armed forces during this operation calls into question the wisdom of allowing its continued use without some further degree of control," he wrote.

An IDF internal probe into the use of the weaponry discovered that in all cases it was employed in accordance with international law. The weapon was used as a shell fired by mortar squads as well as by the navy, which fired a 76 mm. cannon that every few rounds fires a white-phosphorus shell so the navy can track where it hits.

In addition, the IDF fired some 3,000 155 mm. artillery shells - which look like exploding octopuses in the air - that are not white-phosphorus weapons and are used solely to create smokescreens for troop movements on the ground.

The Israeli probe revealed that white phosphorus weapons were used only in open areas, and not in urban centers. The weapon was not used against terrorists in the open areas but for marking and ranging when the forces tried to target Kassam rocket cells operating there.

The IDF said it knew of only one case where white phosphorus was used in its burn capacity. That incident also took place in an open area, but to burn away shrubbery and uncover tunnel openings. The IDF said that the use of the weapon in that incident was also in line with international regulations.

Goldstone rapport over Gaza Oorlog: 575 pagina's "knip- en plakwerk" van NGO's

Ook deze gefundeerde kritiek zal niet in de 'gewone' media verschijnen. Het rapport van de commissie Goldstone is - zoals was te verwachten - vooral gebaseerd op informatie van Palestijnse bronnen en mensenrechtenorganisaties, die zelf voor een deel ook al eigen eenzijdige rapporten over de Gaza Oorlog hebben uitgebracht.

Goldstone Report: 575 pages of NGO "cut and paste"
NGO Monitor - September 16, 2009
For annotated version:

  1.. The 575-page Goldstone report is primarily based on NGO statements, publications, and submissions (70 references each for B'Tselem and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, and more than 30 for Al-Haq  and Human Rights Watch).  In its analysis of NGO submissions and testimony, NGO Monitor found numerous false and unsubstantiated allegations. Nevertheless, the Goldstone committee simply copied the NGO biases, flawed methodology, and false claims, rendering the entire report invalid.
  2.. Goldstone's press conference in New York and the report's recommendations constitute another step in the Durban Strategy, crystallized at the 2001 NGO Forum, using the language of human rights and international law as weapons in the political war to isolate and demonize Israel, and restrict legitimate responses to terror.
  3.. Still no "human shields" in Gaza.  Following HRW and Amnesty, paragraph 495 ignores evidence that contradicts Goldstone's predetermined conclusions: "Although the situations investigated by the Mission did not establish the use of mosques for military purposes or to shield military activities, the Mission cannot exclude that this might have occurred in other cases."
  4.. The report copies NGO distortions of international law, including:
    a.. Promotion of the false legal claim invented by the PLO Negotiation Affairs Department (and promoted by NGOs such as B'tselem, HRW, Amnesty) that Gaza remains "occupied" after the 2005 disengagement (p. 9).  The political objective of this distortion is to manufacture humanitarian obligations that do not exist under international law. (The ICRC, in contrast, had acknowledged that Gaza is an "autonomous territory." However, after the release of the Goldstone report, the ICRC changed its website to promote the biased conclusion of the Mission.)
    b.. The classification of the Gaza police force as "civilian" (paras. 33-34) even though independent studies have shown that more than ninety percent were members of Hamas' military wing and active combatants.
    c.. The claim that under the Geneva Convention (para 28) Israel has a duty to supply food to Gazans.  No such duty exists and the Commission does not cite to any specific provision of the Convention to support its claim. For more on NGO distortions of international law regarding Gaza, see NGO Monitor's report on the topic.
    d.. Paragraph 493 claims that the failure of armed Palestinian groups "to distinguish themselves from the civilian population by distinctive signs is not a violation of international law in itself."  This is patently false. The adoption of civilian dress is a violation of the IHL obligation against perfidy.
  5.. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, Goldstone's report asserts that the "data provided by non-governmental sources with regard to the percentage of civilians among those killed are generally consistent ." (para. 30).  There is no such "consistency" -- the numbers claimed by these organizations differ by the hundreds. Goldstone also fails to note the major lack of credibility in PCHR's data, such as characterizing two leading Hamas military figures, Nizar Rayan and Siad Siam, as civilians. And as researchers have shown, the B'Tselem data, while different from PCHR's, is also unreliable.
  6.. Prior to the report's release, Goldstone made several public statements that the Commission's work was "not judicial. This is not a court." (This claim was used to defend Prof. Christine Chinkin's membership on the committee, who should have recused herself because of prejudicial comments made during the war.)  In contrast, the report draws legal conclusions, asserting (without basis) that "the normative framework for the Mission has been general international law, the Charter of the United Nations, international humanitarian law, international human rights law and international criminal law" (para 15).  But these legal judgments are issued without any evidentiary procedures in place, including the right to cross-examination or guarantees of due process.

donderdag 17 september 2009

Nederlandse Vertaling - Israels reactie op het Goldstone Gaza rapport


Het Nederlands laat soms wat te wensen over, maar het zeker de moeite van het lezen waard, vooral omdat deze punten in de media volledig ontbreken. Zo blijkt dat het rapport eigenlijk helemaal geen juridische status heeft, en Goldstone dit zelf letterlijk zo heeft gezegd, en er bijna continu Hamas leden aanwezig waren tijdens de gesprekken met Palestijnse getuigen, waardoor je bij de objectiviteit daarvan ernstige twijfels kunt hebben. Het rapport negeert het feit dat Hamas vanuit burgergebied opereert en wapens in civiele gebouwen werden opgeslagen. Het rapport noemt de raketaanvallen van Hamas bovendien 'represailles' voor Israelisch geweld en zet Israel zo als de enige echt verantwoordelijke voor het geweld neer.





Jeruzalem, 15 september 2009

Israel's eerste reactie op het rapport

van de Goldstone Fact Finding Mission

(zoals gecommuniceerd door de woordvoerder van het Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken)

Israël voelde dat het niet mogelijk was om samen te werken met de Fact Finding Mission omdat het mandaat van de missie duidelijk eenzijdig was en de duizenden raketaanvallen van Hamas op burgers in het zuiden van Israel, die de operatie in Gaza nodig maakten, werden genegeerd. Zowel het mandaat van de missie, als de resolutie die de missie opzette, bepaalden al vantevoren de uitkomst van het onderzoek, schonk legitimiteit aan de terroristische Hamas-organisatie en hield geen rekening met de bewust toegepaste Hamas-strategie Palestijnse burgers als dekmantel te gebruiken voor het plegen van terroristische aanslagen.

Het ongebalanceerde karakter van de resolutie die de missie opzette was de reden dat zoveel staten in de Raad, inclusief alle lidstaten van de Europese Unie, Zwitserland, Canada, Korea en Japan het niet steunden, en de reden dat veel prominente individuen, zoals de vroegere Hoog Commissaris voor de Mensenrechten Mary Robinson, uitnodigingen om de missie te leiden weigerden.

Ongeacht haar reserveringen zal Israël het rapport met zorg lezen – zoals het dat doet met alle rapporten die worden voorbereid door internationale en nationale organisaties. Israël is eraan toegewijd zich volledig in overeenstemming met het internationaal recht te gedragen en alle aantijgingen van overtredingen door haar eigen troepenmachten te onderzoeken. Tot nu toe heeft de IDF onderzoeken geopend naar meer dan 100 aantijgingen aangaande het optreden van haar troepen tijdens de operatie in Gaza. Hoewel de meeste van deze onderzoeken werden gesloten, omdat de aantijgingen ongefundeerd bleken, lopen er nog 23 strafrechtelijke onderzoeken.


Israël's analyse en commentaar op het


Algemeen :

  • Israël is geschokt en teleurgesteld over het rapport dat op 15 september 2009 werd gepubliceerd door de 'Gaza Fact Finding Mission'. Het rapport negeert Israël's recht op zelfverdediging, maakt ongegronde claims over achterliggende bedoelingen en daagt Israël's democratische waarden en rechtsspraak aan.
  • Tegelijkertijd negeert het rapport Hamas' opzettelijke strategie om vanbinnen en vanachter de burgerbevolking te opereren en om dichtbevolkte gebieden in een gevechtsgebied te veranderen. Het door de vingers zien van zulke tactieken moedigt Hamas alleen maar aan.
  • Het rapport verhult nauwelijks zijn doel, namelijk, om een politieke campagne tegen Israël te beginnen, en in zijn aanbevelingen roept het rapport de VN Veiligheidsraad, de Algemene Vergadering, het Internationaal Strafhof, de VN Mensenrechtenraad en de gehele internationale gemeenschap op om aan deze campagne deel te nemen.

Het mandaat van de missie:

  • Het eenzijdige mandaat van de Gaza Fact Finding Mission, en de resolutie die de missie opzette, gaf serieuze redenen tot bezorgdheid zowel bij Israël als bij de vele staten in de Raad die weigerden de missie te steunen – inclusief de lidstaten van de Europese Unie, Zwitserland, Canada, Korea en Japan.

      ·  Het verontrustte ook vele prominente individuen, zoals de vroegere Hoog Commissaris voor de Mensenrechten Mary Robinson, die uitnodigingen om de missie te leiden weigerden en toegaven dat het « niet door mensenrechten, maar door politiek werd geleid ».

De manier van optreden van de missie :

  • Deze bezorgdheid werd verergerd door de manier van optreden van de missie zelf, inclusief berichten in de Palestijnse media dat, tijdens hun bezoeken aan Gaza, de missie voortdurend werd vergezeld door Hamas-functionarissen. Eén van de missieleden stuurde een brief naar de Sunday Times waarin stond dat de acties van Israël tegen Hamas acties uit "aggressie, niet uit zelfverdediging" waren gepleegd, waardoor de uitkomsten al duidelijk waren nog voordat het onderzoek zelfs maar was begonnen.
  • Ook de ongekende telecast-verhoren gaven reden tot bezorgdheid. Het feit dat alle getuigen vantevoren werden gescreend en geselecteerd, en het feit dat geen van hen vragen werd gesteld over enige Palestijnse terroristische activiteiten of de locatie van wapens en terroristen in burgerwijken, vergroot nog de verontrusting dat zij onderdeel waren van een georchestreerde politieke campagne.

Een "niet-juridisch" document

  • Rechter Goldstone, het hoofd van de missie, stond er herhaaldelijk op dat de missie geen gerechtelijk onderzoek was en dus "geen gerechtelijke conclusies kon trekken". Op deze basis verantwoordde hij de betrokkenheid van partijdige missieleden, waarvan werd toegegeven dat hun contributie "niet gepast zou zijn voor een gerechtelijk onderzoek". Het rapport is echter in hoge mate gerechtelijk van aard, met pertinent gerechtelijke bepalingen over schuld en met 'gedetailleerde wettelijke bevindingen' zelfs in absentie van gevoelige inlichtingen die Israël voor haar gevoel niet kon leveren. Deze conclusies zijn getrokken ongeacht de bekentenis van het rapport dat het "niet pretendeert de bewijsstandaard van gerechtelijke processen te hebben".  

Elementen die genegeerd werden in het rapport

  • Het rapport negeert bijna compleet de terroristische strategie te opereren in het hart van dichtbevolkte gebieden, wat de locatie van het gevecht afdwong. Zelfs ondanks dat de Hamas-terroristen zich mengden onder burgers, weigert het rapport aan te nemen dat de intentie er was om de burgerbevolking in gevaar te brengen.
  • Gezien het frequent internationaal gerapporteerde misbruik van burgerfaciliteiten door terroristische groepen en Hamas-leiders' huldigingen van vrouwen en kinderen die dienden als menselijk schild, is het wonderbaarlijk dat het rapport herhaaldelijk stelt dat het geen bewijs kon vinden van zulke activiteiten. Dit zelfs ondanks de bekentenis dat de geinterviewden die 'niet wilden spreken over de aanwezigheid of het gedrag van de Palestijnse gewapende groepen'.
  • Het rapport negeert ook Israël's uitvoerige inspanningen, zelfs ten midden van gevechten, om vast te houden aan humanitaire maatstaven. Terwijl het  Israël's 'significante inspanningen' om aanvallen vantevoren aan te kondigen wel schoorvoetend erkent, vindt het geen van deze inspanningen effectief.
  • Terwijl het rapport een ordeel velt over Israël aangaande haast elke beschuldiging, pleit het Hamas vrij van haast elke misdaad. Het woord 'terrorist' is haast compleet afwezig. Soldaat Gilad Shalit, nu incommunicado gevangen gehouden voor meer dan drie jaar, werd 'gevangen genomen tijdens een vijandige penetratie' en de Hamas-leden met wie de missie sprak in Gaza worden bedankt als zijnde de 'Gaza autoriteiten' voor het verlenen van hun volledige medewerking en steun aan de missie.
  • De duizenden raketaanvallen, gericht tegen Israëliers, die de Gaza Operatie nodig maakten worden vluchtig aangehaald en het rapport beschuldigt Israël indirect zelfs hiervan door de aanvallen 'represailles' te noemen.

Afwijzing van democratische waarden

  • In een rapport dat zo zwaar leunt op Israëlische mensenrechtenorganisaties en dat ook Israël's Hooggerechtshof dagvaardigt aangaande gevoelige veiligheidskwesties, wordt aanzienlijke aandacht gewijd aan 'repressie van protest in Israël'. Het baseert deze bewering voornamelijk op de wijdverspreide steun voor de militaire operatie onder de Israëlische bevolking, aannemende dat Israël een 'politiek klimaat heeft gecreëerd waarin protest niet is toegestaan.' Het idee dat de meerderheid van de Israeliërs echt actie ondersteunde als reactie op jaren van continue raketaanvallen jegens Israëlische burgers lijkt niet te zijn opgekomen bij de leden van de missie.
  • Het rapport is ook kritisch jegens Israëlische interne onderzoeken, zelfs als deze goed afsteken tegen onderzoeken naar beschuldigingen in de meeste westerse landen, en deze regelmatig hebben geleid tot gerechtelijke onderzoeken en vonnissen.


  • De aanbevelingen in het rapport zijn net zo eenzijdig als de bevindingen. Het probeert de Mensenrechtenraad, de Veiligheidsraad, het kantoor van de Hoog Commissaris voor de Mensenrechten en het International Criminal Court te winnen voor een vijandige politieke campagne.
  • Ondanks symbolische aanbevelingen gericht aan de Palestijnse zijde is alle internationale druk exclusief gericht op Israël.
  • De ware test voor een dergelijk rapport kan alleen zijn dat het in een toekomstig conflict zorgt voor meer of minder naleving van de wet. Het is jammer dat een eenzijdig rapport als dit, dat de pretentie heeft internationaal recht te representeren, alleen de reputatie van internationaal recht kan verzwakken in toekomstige conflicten. Tegelijkertijd zal het een diep zorgwekkende boodschap overbrengen aan terroristische groepen waar ook ter wereld: dat cynische tactieken om het lijden van burgers te exploiteren voor politieke doeleinden eigenlijk gunstig is.