zaterdag 14 november 2009

Opiniepeiling: Israëli's steunen mogelijke onderhandelingen met Hamas....

.... als Hamas Israël erkent.
Dat detail maakt de kop wat lang, dus heeft men dat weggelaten, met als gevolg dat de voorstanders van onvoorwaardelijk praten met Hamas nu zeggen: 'onze oproep met Hamas te praten wordt gesteund door meer dan de helft van de Israëli's'. Zo gemakkelijk gaat het verdraaien van informatie.

Israelis seen backing possible talks with Hamas

Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:33am EST

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - More than half of Israelis would support peace talks with the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas if it recognized Israel, a poll published on Friday said.

The results of the survey conducted by the Israeli Dialog Institute seemed to suggest Israelis were blaming Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a Hamas rival, for a deadlock in peace talks, more than Israel's rightist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Haaretz newspaper wrote.

A peace plan floated on Sunday by a former defense chief, Shaul Mofaz, suggesting possible talks with Hamas if the Islamists were to drop their refusal to recognize Israel, was backed by 57 percent of Israelis, the poll showed.

It also showed an increasing majority backing Netanyahu.

Mofaz, number two lawmaker in Israel's largest opposition party, Kadima, also proposed giving Palestinians 60 percent of West Bank land for a state and compensating Jewish settlers to leave these areas.

Western countries have said they would engage Hamas only if it renounced violence, accepted interim peace deals with Israel and recognized its right to exist.

Abbas had threatened to avoid standing for reelection, blaming Netanyahu for a delay in peace talks stalled since December. He has since agreed to delay a scheduled Palestinian poll after objections voiced by Hamas.

Despite the support for Mofaz's ideas, Netanyahu had also gained greater backing in recent months, the newspaper said. The poll was taken after Netanyahu's talks with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington on Monday.

Netanyahu's right-wing allies were predicted as capable of winning more seats in parliament than in the February election, whereas center and left-wing parties have lost some support, the survey showed.

Israeli rightist parties would win 72 of parliament's 120 seats, up from 65 at the moment, while centrist and left-wing parties would drop from 55 to 48, the poll found.


(Writing by Allyn Fisher-Ilan; Editing by Charles Dick)


Syrië wijst rechtstreekse onderhandelingen met Israel af

En ondertussen wel dreigen de Golan met geweld terug te pakken als Israel niet wil praten. Wie is hier inconsequent? Uiteraard moet Israel, als er ooit gepraat zal worden, al Syrië's eisen inwilligen, anders dan - ja dan wat? Dan blijft Syrië Hezbollah steunen en dreigende taal spreken en de Joden beschuldigen van het bakken van matzes met het bloed van christelijke kinderen en Israel op allerlei andere manieren tegenwerken, zoals het al 60 jaar doet. Als Israel al Syrië's eisen inwilligt dan is er binnenkort geen Israel meer. Er valt op dit front dus voorlopig geen vooruitgang te verwachten.


Syria rejects Israel talks
Al Jazeera - 13 Nov. 2009

Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, has said he is not willing to hold face-to-face talks with the Israeli leader, after a meeting in France aimed at restarting the Middle East peace process.
His comments come after meeting Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, who conveyed a willingness by Israel's prime minister to begin peace talks with the Syrians.
Al-Assad said: "If Mr [Binyamin] Netanyahu is serious, he can send a team of experts, and we'll send a team of experts to Turkey. Then we can really talk, if they're interested."
The meeting between al-Assad and Sarkozy in Paris on Friday comes a week after Netanyahu met the French leader.
Sarkozy was expected to hand al-Assad a letter from Netanyahu, in which he says the Israelis are ready to begin talks with the Syrians, with no pre-conditions.
Syria has long had one main pre-condition for talks with Israel - the return of the strategic Golan Heights, which Israel captured in the 1967 war and annexed in 1981.
Al-Assad, speaking outside the Eylsee Palace, said: "Today, Syria wants peace. There is a mediator, Turkey, which is ready to resume its mediation.
"What we lack is an Israeli partner who is ready to go forward and ready to come to a result," he said.
Conditions for peace
Hostility between Israel and Syria is one of the problems underlying efforts to seek a broader Middle East peace settlement.

While Syria has repeatedly demanded the return of the Golan Heights, Israel accuses Syria of backing armed groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas.
This week al-Assad told a meeting of Arab politicians that Syria would not "put forward conditions on making peace" but warned it had "rights that we will not renounce," the SANA news agency reported.
Earlier on Friday, al-Assad hailed a "climate of trust" with France, welcoming a "resumption of good relations" between the two countries.
Our correspondent said it comes after Sarkozy reached out to the Syrians a year ago.
"Remember they had a dreadful relationship when Jacques Chirac was president. Sarkozy said he was going to sort that out," Fisher reported.

EU 'partnership'
But the Syrian leader said his country had not "yet reached a revival of trust between Syria and the United States," and called on Barack Obama, the US president, to do more for the stalled Middle East peace process.
"What president Obama said about peace was a good thing. We agree with him on the principles, but... what is the plan of action? The [peace process] sponsor must come up with a plan of action," al-Assad told Le Figaro.
"The weak point - it's the American sponsor."
The Syrian president also repeated his position that Damascus must review a partnership agreement with the European Union, which had been due to be signed in October, calling on the bloc to have "more political independence".
"The Europeans have turned completely towards the United States, to Syria's detriment. A partner must be a friend and we haven't noticed that from Europe these last years," he said.
Damascus and the EU first drew up the draft partnership pact in 2004, but it was never signed by European countries, amid concerns by some nations of human rights abuses in Syria.
Source: Al Jazeera and agencies

Ook Israel twijfelt over F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

Israel heeft ook zo zijn problemen met de Joint Strike Fighter, die officieel F-35 Lightning II is genoemd. Het volgende is delicaat:
In the coming weeks, officials said, the Defense Ministry will receive an official letter from the Pentagon detailing the price of the aircraft and also finalizing some of the outstanding issues between the sides regarding the integration of Israeli defense suites into the plane, as well as allowing Israel to independently maintain the aircraft without needing to send it to Europe for repairs.
Als onderhoud en reparaties in Europa zouden moeten plaatsvinden, kunnen EU landen dit als chantage middel tegen Israel gebruiken en allerlei voorwaarden gaan stellen aan die reparaties, zoals acceptatie van een staakt het vuren met Hamas onder ongunstige voorwaarden en allerlei andere concessies. De roep om druk op Israel als het niet aan Europese voorwaarden voldoet wordt steeds luider, en verschillende landen hebben al eerder militaire sancties tegen Israel ingesteld. Vreemd genoeg worden aan de Palestijnen geen harde eisen gesteld, ondanks de miljarden aan EU steun voor de Palestijnse Autoriteit.
The F-35 problem again
Israel is not enthusiastic about buying the F-35 as the next generation workhorse aircraft of the IAF. It is too expensive and too slow. Its stealth capabilities are very important in evading sophisticated enemies or for surprise bombing missions such as attacks on nuclear reactor sites in certain countries, as well as for destroying the Russian Surface to Air Missile air defense systems typically in use in enemy air forces,  but it is too slow and heavy to be a match for the Mig 31 in a dogfight and has an inferior ceiling. Because it is underpowered, its rate of climb statistics (classified) cannot be good. Add to that the prohibition on Israeli maintenance and other problems that were supposedly solved in the past, but seem to keep repeating themselves, and the aircraft becomes truly problematic. It is not a replacement for the F-16 or F-15, which are nimbler aircraft.

Ami Isseroff


Israel wants production role in F-35

Nov. 13, 2009

While Israel is interested in purchasing the fifth-generation stealth Joint Strike Fighter from Lockheed Martin, it will likely hinge its order on US acceptance of its demand that Israeli defense industries be allowed to participate in the aircraft's production, senior defense officials said Thursday.

On Monday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak met with US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and discussed potential Israeli involvement in the production of the JSF, also known as the F-35. In the past, Israeli aerospace companies have been integrated into the production of aircraft purchased by the IAF.

During their meeting, as well as a meeting last week between Defense Ministry director-general Pinhas Buchris and officials from Lockheed Martin, the Israeli officials stressed that they would be reluctant to purchase the aircraft immediately if Israeli companies were kept out of the deal.

Officials said, though, that if the price of the aircraft were reduced from the expected $130 million, Israel would be more willing to compromise in following through with its initial plan to purchase the aircraft in the coming months. If that happens, the JSF will begin arriving in Israel in 2014.

In the coming weeks, officials said, the Defense Ministry will receive an official letter from the Pentagon detailing the price of the aircraft and also finalizing some of the outstanding issues between the sides regarding the integration of Israeli defense suites into the plane, as well as allowing Israel to independently maintain the aircraft without needing to send it to Europe for repairs.

In July, the Defense Ministry submitted an official letter of request to the Pentagon to purchase its first squadron of 25 F-35 stealth fighter jets, but officials have said that the target date for a contract at the beginning of 2010 would likely not be met. As a result, the arrival of the aircraft - initially predicted to begin in 2014 - would likely be postponed by at least one or two years.


vrijdag 13 november 2009

Uitroepen Palestijnse staat door PA is overtreding van Oslo Akkoorden

Een eenzijdige uitroeping van een onafhankelijke staat, waarmee de Palestijnse Autoriteit heeft gedreigd, zou een grove schending van de Oslo Akkoorden inhouden. Dat stelt immers dat beide partijen de juridische status quo in de bezette gebieden niet mogen veranderen. Als Europa een dergelijke onafhankelijkheidsverklaring zou steunen, zou zij een schending steunen van het akkoord dat zijzelf als getuige mede heeft ondertekend. Toch heeft de EU tegen premier Fayyad gezegd dit plan te steunen. Het lijkt soms alsof de EU gemaakte afspraken en internationaal recht alleen van belang vindt, wanneer het tegen Israel gebruikt kan worden.
Analysis: PA would breach Oslo if it declared a state unilaterally
Nov. 9, 2009

From a practical point of view, the question of whether or not the Palestinian Authority can declare "Palestine" an independent state is more political than legal.

It is clear from the provisions of the 1995 Oslo Interim Agreement that the Palestinian Authority would be perpetrating a material breach of the treaty by declaring an independent state.

According to Article 23 of the internationally recognized accord, "neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations."

Therefore, a unilateral declaration of independence by the PA would constitute a clear and serious violation of the agreement.

According to attorney Allen Baker, a former legal adviser to the Foreign Ministry, on the basis of that breach, Israel could declare the entire agreement void.

Baker added that the 1995 accord not only determined the administrative and security arrangements in all of the West Bank according to areas A, B and C, but is also the source of authority for the PA itself.

Palestinian Prime Minister Salaam Fayad's program not only declares that a Palestinian state will be established in 2011, but also says its borders will be those of June 4, 1967, in other words, it will include all of the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

In the plan, entitled "Palestine: Ending the Occupation, Establishing the State," Fayyad wrote, "This [proposal] is the path to the creation of the independent state of Palestine on the Palestinian territory occupied in 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital."

Hebrew University Professor Emeritus Ruth Lapidot told The Jerusalem Post that according to the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, no state can abrogate a bilateral treaty unless it declares that the other partner is guilty of a "material breach" of the agreement.

Although the PA is not a state, the same principle should apply to it.

So far, the PA has not accused Israel of any material breach. Nevertheless, when he introduced his proposal to building up the Palestinian institutions for the establishment of an independent state, Fayad reportedly added that Oslo had been signed 16 years earlier, yet there was still no end to the Israeli "occupation."

And pointing to the more than 100 settlements in the West Bank, which he said were built in violation of international law, Fayad added, "Look who's talking about unilateralism."

Lapidot explained that there was no international body or institution that recognized states. Individual countries did so according to their own national considerations.

There are, indeed, four conditions that an entity should fulfill in order to be regarded as a state. It must have a population, a territory, an effective government and it must be able to conduct relations with other countries.

But each country determines for itself whether the criteria have been met. Lapidot estimated that the PA would have no trouble finding countries to recognize Palestine as a state, despite the constraints of the Oslo Accord.

The experts with whom the Post spoke on Sunday agreed, however, that the most important question for Israel is whether the US would do so.

Dan Diker, a foreign policy analyst at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, said he was worried that the American administration is heading in that direction and is ready to abandon the peace negotiations which have been stalled since Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu came to power.

But Baker said he was not overly concerned that this would happen because the US, along with Russia, Norway, Egypt and the European Union, co-signed the Oslo Accord. Baker said he found it difficult to believe that any of them would be prepared to support a material breach of the treaty by the PA and recognize a Palestinian state.

Hezbollah beweert dat raketten heel Israel kunnen treffen

"The enemy knows that defeat under the current circumstances would be a critical defeat that would change the balance of power in favor of Hizbullah, leading to the destruction of the Zionist entity," Kamati said.
Hezbollah is overduidelijk niet alleen maar uit op het verdedigen van Libanees grondgebied, maar op de vernietiging van Israel, iets dat ook in haar beginselprogramma staat. Wanneer eisen al die mensenrechtenactivisten en vredesactivisten eens dat Hezbollah zich aan het internationale recht houdt en wordt ontwapend zoals verschillende VN resoluties eisen?

JPost  - The Jerusalem Post
Nov 11, 2009 18:29 | Updated Nov 11, 2009 21:26
'All of Israel is within our fire range'

Senior Hizbullah official Mahmoud Kamati on Wednesday mocked IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, and said all of Israel was within his group's fire range.

"Ashkenazi's threats are baseless and are an attempt to draw attention away from the enemy's defeat in Gaza and in Lebanon," Kamati said in an interview with Al-Jazeera. He went on to boast that "all the cities and all Israeli military and industrial centers are within Hizbullah's fire range."

Kamati was responding to remarks by Ashkenazi on Tuesday, who told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that "Hizbullah operatives in Lebanon are in possession of tens of thousands of rockets, with a range of up to 325km."

The Hizbullah official went on to warn that if the IAF bombed Beirut, Hizbullah would retaliate by bombing Tel Aviv.

"The enemy knows that defeat under the current circumstances would be a critical defeat that would change the balance of power in favor of Hizbullah, leading to the destruction of the Zionist entity," Kamati said.

In Tuesday's briefing, the IDF chief told committee MKs that Israel was working to prevent weapons smuggling from a plethora of locations in the region, noting last week's raid of the Francop, on which hundreds of tons of weaponry bound for Hizbullah were discovered.

Kamati, however, denied that the weapons were bound for Hizbullah, calling such claims a "ridiculous lie."

Also on Wednesday, a military court in Lebanon sentenced a Lebanese soldier and his wife to death after the couple were found guilty of spying for Israel, Israel Radio reported.

The court also sentenced the defendant's sister and her husband, who are reportedly living in Israel, to death.

According to the report, the four were found guilty of contacting Israeli agents in order to assist in case of an Israeli attack on Lebanon.

Waarom Abbas weigert weer presidentskandidaat te zijn

Dat Abbas zich niet beschikbaar stelt als kandidaat voor de presidentsverkiezingen, wordt algemeen geweten aan frustratie over het uitblijven van concessies van Israel, terwijl dit waarschijnlijk net zozeer veroorzaakt is door de starre houding van Hamas en het uitblijven van een akkoord. Zonder akkoord kunnen er alleen verkiezingen op de Westoever worden gehouden waar Abbas waarschijnlijk de enige serieuze kandidaat zal zijn.
Abbas' refusal to run: the real reason is...
Mahmoud Abbas created concern in the United States when he announced he would not run for a second term because Israel was not agreeing to his conditions. Suddenly, Israel was under pressure to make concessions and "save" Abbas. But that was evidently just a side benefit of Abbas's announcement. The real reason was that Abbas had gotten himself into a jam. Hamas would not agree to participate in the elections. That meant that elections would be held only in the West Bank, and that Abbas would be running against Abbas, perhaps with a nominal opponent as Yasser Arafat did. Now we have the (inevitable) announcement of a "postponement" in the Palestinian elections scheduled for January 24.
Palestinian democracy - one man, one vote, one time, as in much of the Middle East - has the luxury of being able to blame the lack of democracy on Israel.
Ami Isseroff 
Haaretz    Last update - 15:14 12/11/2009       
Fatah official: Abbas to accept delay of Palestinian elections
By Reuters and Haaretz Service
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to accept a recommendation that he postpone elections scheduled for January, a senior official said on Thursday.
The independent Central Election Commission, responsible for organizing elections, had recommended postponement to Abbas on the grounds that conditions would not favor a fair vote on Jan. 24, the official said.
Postponement will avoid an election destined to cause a permanent split in the deeply divided Palestinian movement, and put off the moment at which Abbas has said he could choose to withdraw from the presidency.
Abbas had set the election date after his rivals in the Hamas group, which controls the Gaza Strip, refused to sign a reconciliation proposal that scheduled the elections in June.
"The committee will recommend postponing elections because Hamas has rejected elections in Gaza," the official, who declined to give his name, told Reuters.
The official said the recommendation had already been communicated to the president, who has said on several occasions that he would be ready to postpone the vote if Hamas changed its mind and agreed to the reconciliation pact.
So far there is no sign that the Islamist group intends to accept what Abbas on Wednesday repeated was the offer of his hand in friendship. A Hamas spokesman responded immediately to the gesture, dismissing it as a "maneuver."
Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri expressed no surprise at the proposed postponement.
"This is a natural result because of the lack of appropriate conditions and it is evidence of the credibility of Hamas' position, which rejected the call for elections before a national consensus was reached," he said.
Abbas declared last week that he does not wish to run for a second term as president of the Western-backed Palestinian Authority, because he feels frustrated by an inability to move forward on peace negotiations with Israel.
He cited Israel's failure to stop all settlement building in the West Bank and disappointment with the United States over its failure to back the Palestinians demand for a freeze.
Addressing a rally in Ramallah on Wednesday to mark the fifth anniversary of the death of his predecessor Yasser Arafat, Abbas said that for peace talks to resume, Israel must recognize the terms of reference.
"We cannot go to negotiations without a framework. And we say the framework is UN resolutions, meaning a return to the 1967 borders," Abbas said, referring to Israel's borders on the eve of the conflict that changed the map of the Middle East.
Israeli, Arab and European leaders appealed to Abbas to reconsider, since he is viewed as their main partner for peace in any future negotiations.
An open-ended postponement of the elections would require the endorsement of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which Abbas heads. The PLO has the power to extend his term indefinitely.

Hamas verbiedt Arafat herdenking in Gaza en doet inval op persconferentie

De aanvallen op de persvrijheid en andere basisrechten in Gaza gaan door. Ondertussen pleiten steeds meer Nederlanders voor een dialoog zonder voorwaarden met Hamas, dat het niet alleen op Israelische burgers heeft gemunt maar ook de eigen bevolking terroriseert. Als zij hun zin krijgen zal dat Hamas' positie tegenover Abbas en Fatah verder versterken, en zal dat het vredesproces verder bemoeilijken (waarmee de hardliners in Israel, die helemaal niet willen praten laat staan compromissen sluiten, een dienst wordt bewezen).

PCHR - Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Press Release
Ref: 116/2009
Date: 12 November 2009
Time: 10:00 GMT

PCHR Condemns Raid on Ramattan News Agency in Gaza, and Expresses Deep
Concerns over Measures Taken by the Gaza Government to Prevent Commemoration of Late President Yasser Arafat's Death

On Tuesday, 10 November 2009, Palestinian security services stormed the offices of Ramattan News Agency in Gaza and banned a press conference organized by the National Action Commission. The press conference had been organized to publicize the cancellation of an event commemorating President Arafat's anniversary. The Gaza government claimed that the event was unlicensed.  This measure was taken in the context of a series of measures taken by the Gaza Government to prevent the commemoration of the fifth anniversary of the death of late President Yasser Arafat on 11 November. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) expresses deep concerns over such measures, and stresses that the right to freedom of opinion and expression and the right to peaceful assembly are basic human rights that are ensured by the Palestinian Basic Law and international human rights instruments.

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 19:00 on Tuesday, 10 November 2009, members of the police investigation bureau and the Internal Security Service, who were armed and wearing civilian clothes, broke into the offices of Ramattan News Agency in Shawa and Hussari Building in the center of Gaza City.  They prevented a press conference organized by the National Action Commission in Gaza City to publicize the Gaza government's cancellation of a ceremony that was supposed to be held in Rashad al-Shawa Center on Wednesday, 11 November 2009, in commemoration of the death of the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat.  The security officers claimed that the conference was unlicensed. They also confiscated recording tapes belonging to Ramattan News Agency and al-Quds Television and ordered members of the National Action Commission to leave the offices.

Head of the National Action Commission in Gaza City, Khaled Ahmed Abu Sharekh, stated to PCHR that:
"A press conference for the National Action Commission was supposed to be held in offices of Ramattan News Agency to declare the cancellation of a ceremony that was expected to be held in Rashad al-Shawa Center in Gaza City on the fifth anniversary of the death of Abu Ammar. The ceremony was cancelled because of the arrest campaign waged by the government against national activists. While we were in offices of Ramattan and before the beginning of the press conference we were surprised by a number of persons wearing civilian clothes entering the offices.  They introduced themselves as members of the police investigation bureau and the Internal Security Services.  They requested us to show a license to hold the press conference. I told them that we did not know that holding the conference needed a license.  They ordered us to leave.  They took our names and confiscated recording tapes from journalists."

In a press release issued on Wednesday, 12 November 2009, Ramattan News Agency announced the closure of all of its offices throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory pending a further notice.  The news agency stated that "this step came following accumulative factors relevant to violations of the law, freedom of expression and press, and harassments against Ramattan, which peaked with the illegal storming of its offices on Tuesday evening, 10 November 2009, by a unit of the Internal Security Services of the dismissed government in Gaza, and preventing the National Action Commission in Gaza from holding a press conference. Ramattan points out that what happened yesterday had been the first time for offices of Ramattan to be stormed (by force) by a security force since its establishment 10 years ago."

Since Monday, 09 November 2009, security services in the Gaza Strip have sent summoning notices to scores of activists and leaders of Fatah movement in the Gaza Strip.  The summoned persons were questioned about their preparations for the commemoration of the death of President Yasser Arafat, and were then released.

In a statement holding number 133, issued on 10 November 2009, the government stated that it did not receive any official application from the Fatah movement to organize activities for this occasion in the Gaza Strip.

In light of the above:
1.      PCHR condemns the raid on the offices of Ramattan News Agency, which constitutes an assault against the right to freedom of expression and press freedoms, and calls for providing protection for journalists and media institutions and taking necessary measures to allow them to work freely to enforce the right to freedom of expression and press freedoms.
2.      PCHR expresses concerns over measures taken by security services in the Gaza Strip to prevent the commemoration of the death of President Yasser Arafat.
3.      PCHR emphasizes that the holding of press conferences does not require any license from any governmental body, and that organizing public meetings requires only informing relevant authorities and not applying for licenses from them, in accordance with the Public Meetings Law of 1998, and stresses that the rights to freedom of opinion and expression and the right to peaceful assembly are ensured by the constitution.
4.      PCHR asserts that the Executive Bill of the Public Meetings Law issued by the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, in his capacity as Minister of Interior, contradicts with the word and spirit of the Public Meetings Law and the Amended Basic Law, and PCHR reiterates its call for abolishing or amending it to be in conformity with the law.
Public Document
For more information please call PCHR office in Gaza, Gaza Strip, on +972 8 2824776 - 2825893
PCHR, 29 Omer El Mukhtar St., El Remal, PO Box 1328 Gaza, Gaza Strip.
E-mail:, Webpage

Palestijnse arbeiders en vakbonden steunen geen boycot van Israel

Dit is goed nieuws. Het komt wel vaker voor dat sympathisanten van de Palestijnen (of van Israel) buiten het gebied fanatieker zijn dan de mensen die daar leven en die dagelijks met het conflict te maken hebben. Vanuit deze werkelijkheid zijn zij soms (helaas gaat dit lang niet altijd op) meer tot compromis en samenwerking geneigd dan de kemphanen in het Westen. Met name in Groot-Brittannië is er een militante groep antizionisten, die iedere samenwerking en compromis met de zionistische vijand afwijzen. Sommige Nederlanders, waaronder een zekere oud-premier, dreigen diezelfde kant op te gaan.
Palestinian workers and unions don't support Israel Boycott
In an extraordinary series of blog postings, British trade unionists visiting Israel and Palestine have learned that Palestinian workers and their unions are not enthusiastic supporters of the campaign for boycotts, divestments and sanctions (BDS) targetting Israel.

In fact, they were told bluntly that the BDS campaign is bad news for Palestinians.

USDAW National Executive member Mike Dixon wrote:

"There was a discussion about the boycott and it is clear that Palestinians don't want it – all they want is equal pay and a living."

The communications director for the Advance union added:

"Listening to people from both communities on the subject of the proposed international trade union boycott, it is evident that all parties oppose this action.  In a meeting with the Jerusalem Municipality workers, one view from the Palestinian contingent was that a boycott would be more detrimental to the Arab workforce than any other. The reason for this was that in the event of economic sanctions, it would cause a detrimental impact on the employment levels of their community."

The entire blog should be required reading for trade unionists in Britain and elsewhere.


Praten met Avigdor Lieberman of met Hamas?

Naar aanleiding van het bezoek van de Israelische minister van buitenlandse zaken Avigdor Lieberman aan Nederland en de protesten daaromheen, heb ik twee stukjes op mijn IMO Blog geschreven.

Lieberman in Nederland

Vandaag is minister van buitenlandse zaken Lieberman van Israël op bezoek in Nederland, en dat is natuurlijk de perfecte aanleiding voor onze antizionistische vrienden om weer eens van zich te doen horen. Na eerst via een paginagrote advertentie in de NRC te hebben opgeroepen met Hamas te gaan praten wordt nu Lieberman onder andere op een 'lawaaidemonstratie' getrakteerd, die hopelijk net zo 'succesvol' wordt als de actie tegen legerwoordvoerder Ron Eidelheit een half jaar geleden (zie: ). Lieberman zou in het Amsterdamse Apollo hotel komen spreken, maar dat ging, onder druk van de actievoerders, niet door. Tot zover hun respect en tolerantie voor andere meningen.
Lees verder...


Avigdor Lieberman en Hamas in citaten

In artikelen in kranten en op websites en blogs wordt Avigdor Lieberman als ultrarechts en racist neergezet, uit op de etnische zuivering van Israël van haar Arabische inwoners. Veel citaten van Lieberman die daarbij worden aangehaald, zijn uit hun verband gerukt om hem extra extreem en bloeddorstig te laten lijken. Een artikel in de Volkskrant van onder andere Jaap Hamburger van Een Ander Joods Geluid haalt bijvoorbeeld het volgende citaat van Lieberman aan:
Lees verder...


donderdag 12 november 2009

Opiniepeiling Palestijnen over leiderschap Hamas en Abbas

Niet alleen is Fatah een stuk populairder dan Hamas, bijna 70% van de Palestijnen vindt dat Hamas haar beleid en daden eens kritisch moet heroverwegen. Ook veroordelen Palestijnen de Hamas overname van de Gazastrook:
7.   During the last five years, the main danger that occurred internally is the Hamas-takeover in Gaza strip.
Agree 59.7
Disagree 29.3
Not sure11.0
Al die zogenaamde Palestijnse vrienden die pleiten voor praten met Hamas zonder enige voorwaarden, moeten zich afvragen of wat zij voorstaan wel in het voordeel van de Palestijnen is. Praten met Hamas versterkt haar positie en legitimiteit, ten koste van Fatah. Een sterker Hamas zal nog hogere eisen stellen aan Fatah wat betreft een nieuwe eenheidsregering, en de kans op een compromis daardoor verkleinen.

AWAD poll of Palestinians: 69.5%:19.6% time for Hamas leaders to review their policies and practices
Publication Date: 09 November 2009
Field work: November 7-8, 2009

Sample Size: 1000 Palestinians in the West Bank & Gaza
Margin of error: + 3%

Section One: President Mahmoud Abbas's Speech

1.   Did you hear or read the speech delivered by President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday (5/11/2009)?
Yes 46.8
No 53.2

2.   If yes, how do you evaluate the general content of his speech?
Positive 36.3
Medium 34.0
Negative 24.4 
Don't know 5.3

3.   If yes, do you see that the principles/ proposals presented by the President in his speech are appropriate to be a political program for the Palestinians?
Yes, appropriate 39.0
To some extent appropriate 38.5
Not appropriate 22.5

4.   Do you believe that the fact that he will not nominate himself for the next presidency is due to.
American Pressures 8.3
Israeli pressures 5.3 
Internal Palestinian conflict 26.4
All of the above 45.4
Other 14.5

Section Two: Do you agree or disagree with the following statements made by the President in his speech

5.     I ask my people to objectively evaluate the current period that we go through, we are on a cross road, preset terms, small increments nor simplification of issues would work.
Agree 75.8  
Disagree 15.1 
Not sure 9.1

6.   Continuation in the building of Israeli settlements undermines the credibility of the negotiations.
Agree 76.0 
Disagree  16.0 
Not sure 8.0

7.   During the last five years, the main danger that occurred internally is the Hamas- takeover in Gaza strip.
Agree 59.7
Disagree 29.3 
Not sure11.0

8.   Under false pretenses, Hamas disrupts any effort of reconciliation
Agree 48.3
Disagree 38.3   
Not sure 13.4

9.   The fact that Hamas did not sign the Egyptian treaty, which they previously agreed on its contents, reinforces the Israeli assertion about the say "the non existence of a Palestinian partner"
Agree 54.7 
Disagree  29.8 
Not sure 15.5

10. It's time for Hamas leaders to review their policies and practices.
Agree 69.5 
Disagree 19.6  
Not sure 10.8

Section Three: Related Issues

11. The  United  States  of  America  is  inviting  the  Israelis  and Palestinians  to  go  back  to  the negotiations without any pre-conditions, including the Palestinian request to freeze settlements' expansion. Do you support or oppose this invitation?
Support 22.0 
Oppose 73.9
Don't know 4.1

12. In your opinion, which one of the Palestinian factions (Hamas or Fateh) is more interested in achieving national reconciliation?
Hamas 12.9
Fateh 35.3 
Both equally 17.8
Neither 28.6 
Don't know 5.3

13. In your opinion, which one of the Palestinian factions (Hamas or Fateh) is capable of leading the Palestinian people?
Hamas 15.6
Fateh 38.2 
Both equally 14.4
Neither 25.9 
Don't know 5.9

14. How do you evaluate the role of the Egyptian government in reaching to a the Palestinian reconciliation?
Good 31.1
Medium 26.7 
Weak 35.6 
Don't know 6.5

15. Do you see that the Hamas criticism of President Abbas is appropriate or exaggerated?
Appropriate 24.8 
Exaggerated 60.0 
Don't Know 15.1

16. How do you evaluate the following?
The Palestinian presidency institution
Good 34.5 
Medium 28.1 
Weak 37.4
The Cabinet headed by Salam Fayyad
Good 38.0 
Medium 25.6 
Weak 36.4
The Cabinet headed by Ismail Haniyah
Good 20.8 
Medium 23.1 
Weak 56.1

17. President Abbas called for a presidential election in January 2010, do you support or oppose this call?
Support 73.6 
Oppose 20.9
Don't know 5.5

18. If presidential elections took place today, and only Ismail Haniyah and Mahmoud Abbas ran, who will you vote for?
Ismael Haniye 17.7
Mahmoud Abbas 38.4
Not sure 10.7
Don't know 33.2

19. If presidential elections took place today, and only Khaled Masha'l and Mahmoud Abbas ran, who will you vote for?
Khaled Mesha'l 15.7
Mahmoud Abbas 38.7
Not sure10.3
Don't know 35.3

20. If PLC election took place today, which one of the following would you vote for?
Fateh 37.7
Hamas 15.0
Hizb Tahreer 2.3
PFLP 2.9
Islamic Jihad 1.9
List led by Fayyad 1.3
Mubadara 1.1 
PPP 0.7
DFLP 0.5
Others 1.3
Undecided 13.6 
Will not vote 21.7
Arab World for Research & Development
Ramallah - Gaza, Palestine
Tele-fax: 00970-2-2950957/8

IDF onderzoekt aantijgingen uit Goldstone rapport

Israel doet uitgebreid onderzoek naar de Gaza Oorlog en onderzoekt nog eens 28 specifieke incidenten. Een echt onafhankelijk onderzoek blijft echter uit, waardoor de uitkomsten in de rest van de wereld weinig indruk zullen maken. Hoe harder de internationale gemeenschap Israel veroordeelt, hoe minder de animo voor een onafhankelijk onderzoek: men hoeft van de internationale gemeenschap immers toch geen recht te verwachten, en ieder onderzoek dat niet de conclusies van Goldstone weerspiegelt zal als witwasserij en niet echt onafhankelijk worden afgedaan, zo zal men denken.

Het feit dat voor de onderzoeken die nu worden uitgevoerd 70 Palestijnen aan de grens met Gaza zijn ondervraagd, wijst erop dat ze grondig worden aangepakt.

JPost  - The Jerusalem Post
Nov 9, 2009 1:29 | Updated Nov 9, 2009 6:37
IDF hurries on counter-Goldstone report

The IDF Judge Advocate-General is working to expedite ongoing investigations into war crimes allegations against the IDF to be able to compose a report in the coming weeks that will counter Judge Richard Goldstone's damning indictment of Israel that was endorsed last week by the UN General Assembly.

IDF sources told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that Maj.-Gen. Avichai Mandelblit's office was reviewing 140 different cases that have been submitted since the operation ended in January, including most of the allegations raised in Goldstone's report.

The cases were reported to the IDF by different human rights organizations, NGOs, the media and individual Palestinians.

Out of the 140 cases, Mandelblit has instructed the Military Police to investigate 28 incidents in which IDF soldiers are suspected of looting, using Palestinian civilians as human shields, abusing Palestinian detainees and damaging property during the operation.

The Post has learned that the Military Police succeeded in questioning over 70 Gaza Palestinians at the Erez Crossing. The meetings were coordinated with the help of international organizations.

IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi has appointed Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yuval Halamish, a former chief intelligence officer, as the "project manager" for coordinating IDF work on the report with other government offices.

Halamish, who retired from the IDF earlier this year, will be subordinate to the head of the IDF's Planning Branch, Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel.

Defense officials said that one of Halamish's first tasks will be to oversee the investigations and ensure that they advance swiftly. He will also coordinate with other government ministries regarding the information required to write the counter-Goldstone report.

"The idea is to provide a response to the criticism in Goldstone's report and show the world that we did not need Goldstone to investigate ourselves," a senior defense official said.

"We have already conducted three layers of investigations - on a brigade level, a judge advocate-general level and a Military Police level," he said. "If we wanted to run away from the criticism we wouldn't have made the effort to question Palestinians at Erez."

PCHR veroordeelt Hamas besluit om Internationale Journalistenconferentie uit Gaza te weren

De Internationale Federatie van Journalisten staat zeker niet onsympathiek tegenover de Palestijnse zaak. De beslissing van de Hamas regering is dan ook zowel onjuist als dom.

PCHR - Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Press Release
Ref: 115/2009
Date: 10 November 2009
Time: 09:00 GMT

PCHR Condemns Gaza Government's Decision to Ban International Federation of Journalists Conference in Gaza

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns the Gaza Government's decision to ban a conference of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in Gaza. The conference was due to be held on 9 and 10 November 2009, and linked to the West Bank meeting via video conference. PCHR stresses that this measure constitutes an assault against the right to freedom of opinion and expression and the right to peaceful assembly ensured by the constitution.

The conference was titled "Declaration of Ethical Journalism Initiative and Standards of Media in Palestine", and Roots Tourist Restaurant was booked on 9 and 10 November 2009 to host the Gaza event.  However, on Sunday evening, 8 November 2009, the administration of the Roots Tourist Restaurant received a phone call from the Governmental Media Office, which banned the holding of the conference as the organizers did not obtain permission from official bodies.  Journalist Sakher Abu al-Oun, Board Member of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, was requested via a phone call to report to the Governmental Media Office on the following day, 9 November.

On Monday morning, 9 November 2009, the participants went to the Roots Tourist Restaurant, but its administration apologized for not being able to receive them.  In response, at least 30 journalists organized a sit-in in front of the restaurant.  Journalist Skaher Abu al-Oun told PCHR that he went to the Governmental Media Office as requested, and there, he was informed that the holding of the IFJ's conference was banned on the pretext of a lack of necessary permission and coordination.

The IFJ had declared an ethical journalism initiative in Palestine during a conference held in February 2009 in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.  The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, member of the IFJ, was a member of the consultative committee of the initiative.  However, as a result of problems arising from the ongoing political division between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate did not participate in the planned conference in its official capacity. Instead, the conference was to be attended by individual journalists.

PCHR denounces banning the holding of the IFJ's conference in Gaza and stresses the following:

1)      The measure taken by the Governmental Media Office violates Article 26(5) of the Amended Basic Law of 2003, which states that "Palestinians shall have the right to participate in political life, both individually and in groups.  They shall have the following rights in particular: .To conduct private meetings without the presence of police members, and to conduct public meetings, gatherings and processions, within the limits of the law."

2)      This conference and similar assemblies, workshops and symposia are private assemblies that do not fall under the scope of the Public Meetings Law #12 of 1998, which ensures the right of Palestinians to hold public meetings freely after submitting written notices to the governor or the police chief at least 48 hours before holding meetings.

3)      The Executive Bill of the Public Meetings Law issued by the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, in his capacity as Minister of Interior, contradicts with the word and spirit of the Public Meetings Law and the Amended Basic Law, and PCHR reiterates its call for abolishing or amending it to be in conformity with the law.

Public Document
For more information please call PCHR office in Gaza, Gaza Strip, on +972 8 2824776 - 2825893
PCHR, 29 Omer El Mukhtar St., El Remal, PO Box 1328 Gaza, Gaza Strip.
E-mail:, Webpage
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Abbas stapt mogelijk ook uit leiderschap Fatah en PLO

In an interview with The New York Times published on Monday, chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said Abbas had lost faith in the Palestinian Authority as an institution.
"He really doesn't think there is a need to be president or to have [the Palestinian] Authority," the PLO chief was quoted as saying.
Framing the crisis as larger than mere politics, Erekat warned of far-reaching implications: "This is not about who is going to replace him. This is about our leaving our posts. You think anybody will stay after he leaves?"
En dan? Dan moeten anderen het maar oplossen? "Sorry, ik heb mijn best gedaan, zoek het verder maar uit." Een echt onafhankelijke en volwassen houding zou zijn te onderzoeken wat er beter kan aan het functioneren van de Palestijnse Autoriteit en de noodzakelijke veranderingen door te voeren. Niet te wijzen naar de ander, maar kijken wat je zelf kunt doen.
Het is overigens zeker niet zo dat de PA niks heeft bereikt wat betreft het creëren van een Palesitjnse staat. De wereldopinie staat hier zeer positief tegenover (veel meer dan toen zij werd gecreeërd in 1995) en zij krijgt miljarden steun van o.a. de EU om te kunnen functioneren. Ook wordt zij actief gesteund in het creëren van Palestijnse instituties.

Abbas may quit Fatah, PLO posts
Published yesterday (updated) 10/11/2009 14:05

Nablus - Ma'an - President Mahmoud Abbas is considering resigning from his roles on the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee and the Fatah Central Committee, Palestinian officials said on Tuesday.

The sources, who spoke on the condition that their names be withheld, also said that Abbas' announcement last week that he will not seek reelection as president was a serious decision and not a political maneuver as analysts have said.

Abbas is also waiting for the appropriate moment to announce his resignation from the PLO and Fatah governing bodies, the sources added.

The sources said that this is what the president was alluding to in his speech last Thursday when he referred to making "the right decisions at the right moments."

In a speech last Thursday Abbas said he had "no desire" to stand for another term in an election that he scheduled for 24 January, citing frustrations with a year of stalemate in the peace process with Israel.

Analysts said the announcement was likely a tactic to get the US to apply more pressure on Israel to comply with its obligations to halt the expansion of West Bank settlements.

In an interview with The New York Times published on Monday, chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said Abbas had lost faith in the Palestinian Authority as an institution.

"He really doesn't think there is a need to be president or to have [the Palestinian] Authority," the PLO chief was quoted as saying.

Framing the crisis as larger than mere politics, Erekat warned of far-reaching implications: "This is not about who is going to replace him. This is about our leaving our posts. You think anybody will stay after he leaves?"

"I think he is realizing that he came all this way with the peace process in order to create a Palestinian state but he sees no state coming." Without that prospect, Abbas no longer feels relevant, Erekat added.

woensdag 11 november 2009

Facebook telt vriendschappen tussen inwoners van Israel en Palestina

Ik wil geen spelbreker zijn, maar ik heb een paar Facebook vrienden waarvan ik geen idee heb wie ze überhaupt zijn...
Wo, Okt 28, 2009

De sociale netwerksite Facebook telt sinds dinsdag het aantal vriendschappen die afgesloten worden tussen mensen van verschillende landen, verschillende geloofsovertuigingen en verschillende politieke strekkingen. Daarmee wil Facebook vrede promoten.

De cijfertjes die toont geven het aantal connecties weer tussen mensen van bijvoorbeeld verschillende landen die de afgelopen 24 uur vrienden zijn geworden op de netwerksite.

Tussen inwoners van Griekenland en Turkije werden er 13.790 nieuwe vriendschappen gesmeed, tussen India en Pakistan 7.339 en tussen Israël en Palestina 5158. Facebook telde ook 71.555 nieuwe vriendschappen tussen moslims en christenen de afgelopen dag en 667 vriendschappen tussen soennieten en sjiieten.

Peace Dot
Het initiatief van Facebook past in de 'Peace Dot'-campagne van de Stanford University. Bedoeling is organisaties te stimuleren een aparte peace-subdomeinnaam te creëren waarop ze hun initiatieven rond vrede verzamelen.

Stanford houdt alle organisaties bij die deelnemen. In de lijst staan ondermeer Sourceforge, een site waarop je opensource software kan downloaden, en CouchSurfing, een site waarop je een slaapplek ter beschikking kan stellen voor andere mensen. (IPS)


Turkse parlementsvoorzitter stuurt dankbrief aan Knessetvoorzitter in Tel Aviv

Dit kan bijna niet per ongeluk zijn. Misschien moet Israel een brief terugsturen, geadresseerd aan het Turkse parlement in Istanbul?
A lesson in geography: Turkey official addresses letter to Knesset Speaker in Tel Aviv
Last update - 21:51 10/11/2009       
Turkey official addresses letter to Knesset Speaker in Tel Aviv
By Jonathan Lis, Haaretz Correspondent
The Turkish head of parliament sent Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin a missive on Monday stating that the Israeli legislature was located in Tel Aviv, as opposed to the capital Jerusalem.
The letter, addressed to "Reuven Rivlin, Chairman of the Israeli Parliament, Tel Aviv," embarrassed more than a few Knesset officials, with the Knesset Speaker's Office opting not to turn the possible mistake into a diplomatic spat.
"Jerusalem's status as the capital of Israel and as the home of the Knesset is well established, and there is no doubt that that is a fact well understood in Ankara," a note of clarification released by the Knesset Speaker's Office said on Tuesday.
Despite recent tension between Israel and Turkey, the Knesset Speaker's Office expressed satisfaction over the letter, sent in reply to Rivlin's note of congratulations over the recent election of Mehmet Ali Sahin as the new Turkish Parliament Speaker.
"I would like to thank you for the gracious congratulatory letter you sent me on behalf of yourself and the Israeli Knesset for my election into office," Sahin wrote.
"I would like to stress that during my term as parliament speaker the bonds of friendship and cooperation will continue between the Grand National Assembly of Turkey and the Israeli parliament," Sahin added, wishing Rivlin "luck in his duties and passing my genuine regards to the honorable members of Israel's parliament."
The mishap follows the more recent diplomatic crisis between Israel and Turkey, generated over Turkey's disapproval of Israel's actions in its war against Hamas in Gaza, earlier in the year.
Last month Turkey canceled a NATO air force drill in which Israeli pilots were set to participate in protest of Israel's invasion of Gaza, with tensions further deepening after Turkey's state-run TV aired a drama series that portrayed Israeli soldiers killing a Palestinian girl.

Extremistische rabbi in Yitzhar nederzetting praat moord op niet-joden en kinderen goed

Hopelijk wordt dit boek snel verboden in Israel. Babies en kinderen vormen natuurlijk nooit "een bedreiging voor de natie", hooguit hun indoctrinatie waardoor ze later bij 'het gewapende verzet' gaan, en daartegen kan Israel in onderhandelingen maatregelen eisen en militair optreden. Oproepen als van deze rabbi zullen het internationale begrip voor Israels optreden bepaald niet vergroten, en zijn gefundenes fressen voor Israels vijanden en antisemieten. Gelukkig deelt maar een kleine minderheid in Israel de ideeën van deze rabbi, maar dat is al erg genoeg. Israel moet hard optreden tegen dergelijk extremisme, dat niet alleen een bedreiging is voor de Arabieren maar vooral ook voor zichzelf.
Last update - 10:18 09/11/2009       
West Bank rabbi: Jews can kill Gentiles who threaten Israel
By Haaretz Service
Just weeks after the arrest of alleged Jewish terrorist, Yaakov Teitel, a West Bank rabbi on Monday released a book giving Jews permission to kill Gentiles who threaten Israel.
Rabbi Yitzhak Shapiro, who heads the Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva in the Yitzhar settlement, wrote in his book "The King's Torah" that even babies and children can be killed if they pose a threat to the nation.
Shapiro based the majority of his teachings on passages quoted from the Bible, to which he adds his opinions and beliefs.
"It is permissable to kill the Righteous among Nations even if they are not responsible for the threatening situation," he wrote, adding: "If we kill a Gentile who has sinned or has violated one of the seven commandments - because we care about the commandments - there is nothing wrong with the murder."
Several prominent rabbis, including Rabbi Yithak Ginzburg and Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, have recommended the book to their students and followers.

Actiegroep van Israeli's in Nederland protesteert tegen bezoek Lieberman

Het is vreemd dat de mensen die het hardst roepen om erkenning van en praten met Hamas, zo'n moeite hebben met Liebermans bezoek aan Nederland. Als reden om met Hamas te praten voert men aan dat hij gekozen is, wat voor Lieberman toch ook geldt zou je denken. Voor praten met Hamas voert men aan dat je niet met je vrienden maar met je vijanden vrede sluit, en dat Hamas nou eenmaal een belangrijk onderdeel is van de Palestijnse maatschappij. Allemaal zaken die voor Lieberman ook gelden, met dit verschil, dat Liebermans partij bij lange na geen meerderheid haalde bij de laatste verkiezingen, en Lieberman zich sinds hij in de regering zit, heeft uitgesproken voor onderhandelingen met de Palestijnen op basis van de Routekaart voor de Vrede. Lieberman komt naar Nederland op grond van zijn functie als minister van buitenlandse zaken, niet als leider van de Yisrael Beiteinu partij. De regering heeft zich voor een tweestatenoplossing en het vredesproces uitgesproken.


Israeli expats protest Lieberman visit to Holland
By Cnaan Liphshiz

The scheduled arrival of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in the Netherlands Wednesday has touched off a rare display of discord between the local Jewish community and some Israelis living there. Holland has one of the largest Israeli communities in Europe.

A few dozen Dutch ex-Israelis from a group that says it is "critical of Israel" plan to confront Lieberman and his hosts from Holland's largest Zionist group, the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel.

They intend to picket outside Amsterdam's Golden Tulip Apollo Hotel, where Lieberman is slated to address dozens of CIDI members, citing his "racist motives" and "hate-mongering." Lieberman says his controversial policies on Israeli Arabs, which include support for a mandatory pledge of allegiance, are not racist.

The protest by gate48 is directed against CIDI's hospitality and the "uncritical" manner in which he will be received by the Dutch government, board member Erella Grassiani says.

In response CIDI founder Ronny Naftaniel noted that Lieberman was democratically elected, adding that instead of protesting, "we would wish that gate48 members would exercise their democratic rights in Israel itself." Naftaniel also said that hosting Lieberman does not constitute agreement with his policies or viewpoints.

dinsdag 10 november 2009

Franse minister BuZa Kouchner vraagt zich af of Israeli's nog vrede willen

Als Frankrijk de relaties met Israel wil verbeteren:
believing Paris would never be a credible partner in Middle East peace talks if it was seen as biased in favour of the Arab world.
...dan moet Sarkozy eens een hartig woordje met Kouchner gaan spreken. Hij had natuurlijk zijn twijfel kunnen uiten over de vredeswil aan beide kanten, want de Palestijnse vredesbeweging is ook niet echt om naar huis te schrijven.
Blijkbaar wordt van Israel verwacht dat het zich actief blijft inzetten voor vrede, zowel op straat als op diplomatiek en politiek niveau, terwijl de Palestijnen niks hoeven te doen. Een evenwichtige houding houdt in dat je naar beide partijen kritisch bent en eisen stelt, dus de eis voor een bevriezing van de nederzettingenbouw gaat gepaard met de eis aan de Palestijnen de opruiing in de media en de verering van 'martelaren' (plegers van aanslagen) te stoppen, Joodse nationale rechten in het land en in Jeruzalem te erkennen of het recht op terugkeer op te geven. Het is duidelijk dat er van een dergelijke benadering van Frankrijk geen sprake is.
Last update - 16:06 10/11/2009
French FM: It seems Israel no longer wants peace
By Reuters
France fears that Israel no longer desires a Middle East peace deal, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said on Tuesday, adding that Paris remained deeply opposed to settlement building in the West Bank.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held unusually low-profile talks with U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday and is due to meet French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday.
Speaking on France Inter radio, Kouchner made clear he was not expecting any swift break through in Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.
"What really hurts me, and this shocks us, is that before there used to be a great peace movement in Israel. There was a left that made itself heard and a real desire for peace," Kouchner said.
"It seems to me, and I hope that I am completely wrong, that this desire has completely vanished, as though people no longer believe in it," he added.
When Sarkozy took office in 2007 he worked hard to improve sometimes frosty French relations with Israel, believing Paris would never be a credible partner in Middle East peace talks if it was seen as biased in favour of the Arab world.
However, relations with the Netanyahu government have not been easy and France has been especially vocal in demanding that Israel halt Jewish settlement construction in the West Bank.
Obama recently eased U.S. pressure on Israel over the settlements, calling for restraint in construction where he had earlier pushed for a freeze. But Kouchner signalled no such softening of French opposition.
"There is a real difference of opinion on this [between Sarkozy and Netanyahu]," he added.
Underlining their sometimes problematic ties, Kouchner belatedly cancelled a trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories last month. No official reason was given, but one French diplomat said Israel was making access to Gaza difficult.
Kouchner confirmed on Tuesday that he would now visit the region "in the coming days" and said he would use the trip to try to persuade Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to run for re-election in a ballot slated for January.
Abbas announced last week he would not seek a new mandate. France fears the younger generation of Palestinian politicians will be less committed to seeking a peace accord.
"We must revisit this with Mahmoud Abbas," Kouchner said.
Two days after Netanyahu's visit, Syrian President Bashar Assad will also be in Paris for talks with Sarkozy.
French officials have said the two meetings are not linked, seeking to kill off any speculation that France might try to act as middleman between the two nations.

Thomas Friedman over de eindeloze herhalingen van de vredesproces film

Misschien wat kort door de bocht, maar zéér herkenbaar:
  The Palestinian leadership "wants a deal with Israel without any negotiations" and Israel's leadership "wants negotiations with the Palestinians without any deal."
Thomas Friedman stelt voor dat de regering Obama zich concentreert op de eigen Amerikaanse problemen, en als Israël en de Palestijnen het zwaar genoeg krijgen om weer serieus over vrede te gaan onderhandelen, dan bellen ze maar...
De moedeloosheid van deze scherpe commentator is begrijpelijk, maar de VS zijn zelf ook medeverantwoordelijk voor de patstelling; ze zijn geen passieve toeschouwer van deze slechte B-film, maar eerder één van de hoofdrolspelers. Beide partijen krijgen een grote zak met geld uit Amerika, waarmee de VS veel invloed kan uitoefenen als het wil. Zelfs voor de machtovername van Hamas in Gaza draagt Amerika medeverantwoordelijkheid, omdat het erop aandrong dat Hamas aan de vorige verkiezingen mee kon doen, een desastreuze misrekening.
Lees ook Ami Isseroff's commentaar op MidEast Web: The end of the peace process movie?
Wouter, met dank aan Ratna

November 8, 2009
Op-Ed Columnist
Call White House, Ask for Barack
The Israeli-Palestinian peace process has become a bad play. It is obvious that all the parties are just acting out the same old scenes, with the same old tired clichés — and that no one believes any of it anymore. There is no romance, no sex, no excitement, no urgency — not even a sense of importance anymore. The only thing driving the peace process today is inertia and diplomatic habit. Yes, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process has left the realm of diplomacy. It is now more of a calisthenic, like weight-lifting or sit-ups, something diplomats do to stay in shape, but not because they believe anything is going to happen. And yet, as much as we, the audience, know this to be true, we can never quite abandon hope for peace in the Holy Land. It is our habit. Indeed, as I ranted about this to a Jordanian friend the other day, he said it all reminded him of an old story.
"These two guys are watching a cowboy and Indian movie. And in the opening scene, an Indian is hiding behind a rock about to ambush the handsome cowboy," he explained. " 'I bet that Indian is going to kill that cowboy,' one guy says to the other. 'Never happen,' his friend answers. 'The cowboy is not going to be killed in the opening scene.' 'I'll bet you $10 he gets killed,' the guy says. 'I'll take that bet,' says his friend.
"Sure enough, a few minutes later, the cowboy is killed and the friend pays the $10. After the movie is over the guy says to his friend, 'Look, I have to give you back your $10. I'd actually seen this movie before. I knew what was going to happen.' His friend answers: 'No, you can keep the $10. I'd seen the movie, too. I just thought it would end differently this time.' "
This peace process movie is not going to end differently just because we keep playing the same reel. It is time for a radically new approach. And I mean radical. I mean something no U.S. administration has ever dared to do: Take down our "Peace-Processing-Is-Us" sign and just go home.
Right now we want it more than the parties. They all have other priorities today. And by constantly injecting ourselves we've become their Novocain. We relieve all the political pain from the Arab and Israeli decision-makers by creating the impression in the minds of their publics that something serious is happening. "Look, the U.S. secretary of state is here. Look, she's standing by my side. Look, I'm doing something important! Take our picture. Put it on the news. We're on the verge of something really big and I am indispensable to it." This enables the respective leaders to continue with their real priorities — which are all about holding power or pursuing ideological obsessions — while pretending to advance peace, without paying any political price.
Let's just get out of the picture. Let all these leaders stand in front of their own people and tell them the truth: "My fellow citizens: Nothing is happening; nothing is going to happen. It's just you and me and the problem we own."
Indeed, it's time for us to dust off James Baker's line: "When you're serious, give us a call: 202-456-1414. Ask for Barack. Otherwise, stay out of our lives. We have our own country to fix."
The fact is, the only time America has been able to advance peace — post-Yom Kippur War, Camp David, post-Lebanon war, Madrid and Oslo — has been when the parties felt enough pain for different reasons that they invited our diplomacy, and we had statesmen — Henry Kissinger, Jimmy Carter, George Shultz, James Baker and Bill Clinton — savvy enough to seize those moments.
Today, the Arabs, Israel and the Palestinians are clearly not feeling enough pain to do anything hard for peace with each other — a mood best summed up by a phrase making the rounds at the State Department: The Palestinian leadership "wants a deal with Israel without any negotiations" and Israel's leadership "wants negotiations with the Palestinians without any deal."
It is obvious that this Israeli government believes it can have peace with the Palestinians and keep the West Bank, this Palestinian Authority still can't decide whether to reconcile with the Jewish state or criminalize it and this Hamas leadership would rather let Palestinians live forever in the hellish squalor that is Gaza than give up its crazy fantasy of an Islamic Republic in Palestine.
If we are still begging Israel to stop building settlements, which is so manifestly idiotic, and the Palestinians to come to negotiations, which is so manifestly in their interest, and the Saudis to just give Israel a wink, which is so manifestly pathetic, we are in the wrong place. It's time to call a halt to this dysfunctional "peace process," which is only damaging the Obama team's credibility.
If the status quo is this tolerable for the parties, then I say, let them enjoy it. I just don't want to subsidize it or anesthetize it anymore. We need to fix America. If and when they get serious, they'll find us. And when they do, we should put a detailed U.S. plan for a two-state solution, with borders, on the table. Let's fight about something big.

President Assad van Syrië wil 'zionistische bezetting' elimineren

President Assad vergeet voor het gemak dat een deel van de Golan bij het mandaatgebied Palestina hoorde tot 1923, en dat Syrië een smalle strook zelf illegaal veroverde in 1948. Hij verzwijgt ook dat Syrië vanuit de Golan voortdurend de lager gelegen Kibboetsen en andere Israëlische plaatsen beschoot. Hij moet eerst maar eens laten zien dat Syrië nu te vertrouwen is, en Israël ook daadwerkelijk vrede zal krijgen in ruil voor de Golan.
The Syrian president went on to say that the real cause of the problem in the region was "the Zionist occupation" which "we must begin to work to eliminate."
Het blijft lekker vaag wat hij precies bedoelt met de 'zionistische bezetting'. Als hij de in 1967 bezette gebieden bedoelt, dan is zijn opmerking absurd, want er was daarvoor zeker ook al een probleem in de regio. Als hij Israël zelf bedoelt, is dat veelzeggend en laat het zien dat er nog weinig veranderd is sinds 1967.
Assad cited the world's "negative" response to the Goldstone Commission's report, as well as its "indifferent reaction" to what he termed "one of the worst war crimes ever known in modern times" - apparently referring to Israel's three-week offensive in Gaza - as reasons for the Arab and Islamic world to be more self-sufficient.
Laten we voor het gemak even vergeten dat Syrië hele dorpen heeft uitgemoord omdat de bevolking opstandig tegen het regime was, en ook in Libanon de nodige bloedbaden heeft aangericht, mede onder Palestijnen. Laten we de dagelijkse vernederingen van dissidenten en (religieuze) minderheden ook even vergeten, net als de totale angst waarin mensen die openlijk het regime bekritiseren verkeren. Misschien is Syrië niet helemaal het aangewezen land om Israël de les te lezen wat betreft vermeende oorlogsmisdaden.

JPost  - The Jerusalem Post
Nov 9, 2009 15:20 | Updated Nov 9, 2009 17:47
Assad: Resistance to the occupation is a national duty

Syrian President Bashar Assad continued to sway from peace overtures to threats of war on Monday, stressing that resistance might be used to "return" the Golan Heights.

"Resisting occupation is a patriotic duty and to support it is a moral and legal imperative…and an honor of which we are proud," said Assad in a speech to the 25th Economic Summit of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (COMCEC) in Istanbul.

"This does not contradict our unceasing desire to achieve a just and comprehensive peace on the basis of the return of the occupied territories, especially the occupied Syrian Golan, but the failure of negotiations to restore all our rights would make resistance an alternative solution," he said, in an apparent allusion to acts of violence and terror against Israel committed by "resistance" movements such as Hizbullah.

Concerning the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Assad said that stopping settlement construction was not an end in itself, but a means to an end.

"What about dismantling settlements instead of stopping construction, and most importantly, what about ending the occupation?" he said.

The Syrian president went on to say that the real cause of the problem in the region was "the Zionist occupation" which "we must begin to work to eliminate."

Assad cited the world's "negative" response to the Goldstone Commission's report, as well as its "indifferent reaction" to what he termed "one of the worst war crimes ever known in modern times" - apparently referring to Israel's three-week offensive in Gaza - as reasons for the Arab and Islamic world to be more self-sufficient.

"Internationally banned weapons are being used against [Gazan] civilians, showing Israel's barbarianism," said the Syrian president. "[The world's reaction] proves that none of our goals will be achieved by relying on others."

At the end of October, Assad said that Damascus was ready to resume peace talks with Jerusalem, stressing that the people of his country would support negotiations.

"As far as it concerns us in Syria, we have national support to continue talks with Israel," Assad said in Zagreb after meeting Croatian President Stipe Mesic. "However, there is a condition that on the Israeli side we also have those who want to continue the negotiations."