zaterdag 13 februari 2010

De strategie om Israel internationaal te delegitimeren en te isoleren

Het probleem is niet kritiek op Israel, maar een systematische campagne om haar bestaansrecht ter discussie te stellen en haar als illegale koloniale bezettingsmacht neer te zetten. Onderstaand artikel legt uit hoe dit gebeurt. Kleine en marginale groepen hebben met hun ideeën over Israel weten door te dringen in de main stream media en in gematigde organisaties als vakbonden, vrouwengroepen, vredesgroepen, kerken en politieke partijen.
Minstens zo belangrijk als het probleem herkennen is hoe het aan te pakken. We kunnen daarbij wellicht ons licht opsteken bij de zo succesvolle anti-Israellobby. Buiten de spotlights opereren en niet opgeven over je (vermeende) successen en je macht, niet onderling ruzie maken, van onderop werken (grassroots organisatie), en niet over je imago praten maar over rechtvaardigheid, vrede en mensenrechten. Onterecht associëren mensen deze begrippen met de Palestijnse zaak terwijl zij juist met het zionisme verbonden zijn (het doel van het zionisme is een eigen staat verankerd in het internationale recht en in vrede met haar buurlanden).

Eroding Israel's Legitimacy in the International Arena

Israel is facing a dramatic assault on the very legitimacy of its existence as a Jewish and democratic state. The groups promoting this delegitimacy aim to isolate Israel and ultimately turn it into a pariah state. This issue of ReViews tracks this strategy and its components.
In recent years, Israel has faced a dramatic assault on the very legitimacy of its existence as a Jewish and democratic state. While the ideological framework for this delegitimacy was solidified after the first Durban Conference in 2001, the trend has been given a boost by the perceived lack of progress in the political process, coupled with Operation Cast Lead in Gaza.1

The groups making the fundamental delegitimacy of Israel among their main rallying cries represent a marginal phenomenon in Western politics. Although some of their activities are portrayed as protesting against Israeli policies, in fact they are frequently manipulated in order to blur the difference between valid criticism of Israeli policies and attempts to undermine Israel's right to exist. Thus, they are able to disproportionately impact Israel's international legitimacy.

The aim of these groups is to internationally isolate Israel and ultimately turn it into a pariah state through demonizing the country;2 promoting a policy of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS); and waging a legal struggle against the state and its citizens.

This issue of ReViews tracks this strategy and its components.

The Strategy: Turning Israel into a Pariah

  • Addressing an International Conference on Palestine in London, Betty Hunter of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, UK said that, "Our task is to isolate Israel and to make it a pariah state." (International Conference on Palestine-London 12/5/04).
  • Speaking at Hampshire College, Ali Abuminah explained that, "The loss of legitimacy in the practices of the [South African] apartheid regime is what changed, and when a system loses its legitimacy, all the weapons in the world cannot protect it... we're beginning to see a similar loss of legitimacy for Zionism." (Conference in Hampshire College 11/21/09).
  • During Operation Cast Lead, the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network advised that "unless this ideology [of Zionism] is delegitimized and defeated, the violence in the Middle East will continue to escalate." (Call to Action on Gaza 01/09/09).


Demonizing Israel creates an ideological justification for taking concrete steps aimed at negating the state's legitimacy. Demonization is rooted in the narrative of Israel as an illegitimate colonial entity born in sin that practices Nazism, apartheid and racism. This narrative plays out in several key arenas, such as public protests and demonstrations, the media, and campus activities.

  • Protestors in Brazil, Madrid and Buenos Aires held signs equating Israeli leaders and actions with Nazism and genocide (YNET 11/12/09, ADL 01/09).
  • A series of events, titled "Gaza: Our Guernica," organized by the Palestinian societies at five University of London campuses, is due to take place throughout January and February. The reference to Guernica evokes a fascist attack that targeted Basque civilians (Jerusalem Post 01/21/10).
  • First launched in 2005, Israel Apartheid Week is an annual event organized by anti-Zionist groups, which aims to create a link between Israel and the former apartheid regime in South Africa in order to lead a boycott against it. In 2009, Apartheid Week grew to include 27 cities, including England, the U.S., South Africa, the West Bank, Mexico, Scotland, and Norway3 (Jerusalem Post 1/29/09).
  • A series of articles aimed to establish Israel as an apartheid state engaging in racist and discriminatory behavior (Guardian feature on Israel and Apartheid 2/6/07 part 1 and part 2).
  • The University of Pittsburgh held a conference entitled 'Divest from Israeli Apartheid' (Pittsburgh Palestine Solidarity Committee 10/23/09).
  • One of Sweden's largest dailies published a double-page focusing on claims that Israeli soldiers seized young men from the West Bank and Gaza and later returned the bodies with missing organs (Aftonbladet 08/26/09).
  • Nobel peace laureate Mairead Maguire accused Israel of "ethnic cleansing" policies in east Jerusalem (Agence France-Presse 04/21/09).

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)

Attempts to demonize Israel provide the ideological and rhetorical platform for pursuing a policy of BDS in the fields of academia, economy, culture, sport, and security.

Despite the BDS movement including several academics, trade unions, and church groups, it has enjoyed limited practical success so far. However, efforts have been highly successful in generating publicity and in mobilizing anti-Israel activism, effectively uniting anti-Zionists with critics of specific Israeli policies.4

The risk posed is that such campaigns will create an equivalency between Israel and apartheid-era South Africa that penetrates the mainstream of public and political consciousness. Given Israel's dependence on vigorous trade, as well as scientific, academic, and technological engagement with other countries, this movement towards isolating the country may pose a strategic threat.

The BDS movement is largely spearheaded by non-governmental organizations. In a revealing example, the World Social Forum - an umbrella group for hundreds of social, anti-globalization, and rights groups worldwide - announced it would be launching a campaign calling on all of its affiliates to excommunicate Israel (YNET 3/30/09). Similar initiatives have also been taken up in academic, cultural and scientific, security, sporting, and economic arenas.


  • One of Norway's largest academic institutions, the University of Bergen intends to impose an official academic boycott against Israel over what it claims is its apartheid-like conduct (YNET 01/24/10).
  • The board of the University of Trondheim in Norway held a vote on adopting an academic boycott of Israel. Three days prior, the institution hosted a lecture on Israel's alleged use of anti-Semitism as a political tool (Haaretz 10/20/09).
  • A group of American university professors recently launched the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (Weekly Standard 3/20/09).
  • University workers in the Canadian Union of Public Employees passed a motion calling for an academic boycott of Israel, and union members from at least one Toronto university planned to pressure their school to cut any financial ties with the country (The Star 02/22/09).
  • A letter by 400 UK academics urging boycott, divestment, sanctions against Israel was published in the Guardian (Guardian 01/26/09).
  • Since 2003, there have been a multitude of attempts to impose an academic boycott on Israel in the UK. A prominent example is the successful passage - later overturned - of a motion by Britain's largest lecturers' union (Natfhe) supporting a boycott of Israeli lecturers and academic institutions not publicly disassociating from Israel's "apartheid policies" (Guardian 05/30/06; UCU Website 5/30/06).

Culture and Science:

  • The Toronto International Film Festival was the object of controversy for selecting Tel Aviv as its thematic subject, with high-profile artists signing a statement in support of a filmmaker who withdrew his entry (Guardian 09/07/09).
  • An exhibition celebrating Tel Aviv's White City due to take place in Brussels was postponed after local organizers faced demands to boycott Israeli culture (YNET 2/9/09).
  • The 2009 Edinburgh International film festival returned a £300 gift from the Israeli embassy following protests (Guardian 09/07/09).
  • More than 400 academics called on Britain's prestigious Science Museum to cancel workshops promoting Israeli scientific achievements to schoolchildren (The Independent 03/03/09).


  • A Norwegian government pension fund sold its shares in Elbit Systems due to its role in building Israel's security fence ( 09/03/09).
  • Belgium's government banned the export to Israel of weapons that "strengthen it militarily" (Haaretz 02/01/09).
  • British labor unions voted to support a ban on importing goods produced in 'illegal settlements' and ending arms trading with Israel (Associated Press 09/17/09).


  • The Irish Municipal, Public and Civil Trade Union passed two resolutions endorsing a boycott of Israeli goods and services and supporting divestment from corporations engaged in, or profiting from, the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza (Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign 05/29/08).
  • The Congress of South African Trade Unions joined the boycott of Israel, calling Israel 'an apartheid nation' (YNET 08/06/06).
  • At its annual meeting, the British National Union of Journalists called for "a boycott of Israeli goods similar to those boycotts in the struggles against apartheid South Africa led by trade unions, and [for] the [Trade Union Congress] to demand sanctions be imposed on Israel by the British government " (The Guardian 04/13/07).
  • Canadian Union of Postal Workers called for a Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign against Israel (Canadian Union of Postal Workers 04/09/09).

International 'Lawfare'

In parallel to demonization and promotion of the BDS Strategy, groups and individuals have increasingly sought to combat Israel in the legal arena. These efforts comprise attempts to: utilize laws of universal jurisdiction in European countries in order to charge Israeli generals and politicians with war crimes; levy proceedings against Israel in the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice; and file charges against corporations conducting business with Israel.

While certain initiators of these lawsuits claim to exclusively act according to a humanitarian agenda, Hamas involvement in some of these cases may indicate that the intention of prosecuting Israeli military and political leaders is not always pure.5

  • A British court issued an arrest warrant for Tzipi Livni for war crimes that Livni allegedly conducted as Israel's foreign minister during Operation Cast Lead (Guardian 12/14/09).
  • Two law firmsrepresenting a group of Palestinians applied for an international arrest warrant against Ehud Barak, claiming that he committed war crimes and breaches of the Geneva Convention during Operation Cast Lead (Jerusalem Post 09/29/09).
  • French pro-Palestinian organizations filed a law suit with the International Criminal Court against the Israeli president, foreign minister and defense minister (JCPA March April 2009).
  • A class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon (NGO Monitor 09/08). The following year, New Zealand's Auckland District Court issued an arrest warrant for Yaalon on charges of war crimes (Jerusalem Post 11/30/06).
  • A class action lawsuit was filed in a New York U.S. District Court against former Director of Israel's General Security Service Avi Dichter for "war crimes and other gross human rights violations" concerning his alleged involvement in a 2002 military strike in Gaza (NGO Monitor 09/08).
  • Major General Doron Almog avoided arrest in the UK by remaining on an El Al airplane and flying back to Israel, after a UK court issued a warrant for his arrest on charges of breaching international laws during Israel's control of Gaza (BBC 09/12/05).
  • A law suit alleging war crimes was filed in a Spanish Court and with Switzerland's Military Attorney General against former Israeli Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, former IDF Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz, former Israel Security Agency Director Avi Dichter, and Doron Almog (American Jewish Committee 10/04; CNN 1/29/09).
  • Belgium's highest court was set to try Ariel Sharon for his role as defense minister in the 1982 massacres at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Beirut (New York Times 02/13/2003).
  • International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo considered whether to investigate Lt. Col. David Benjamin, a reserve officer in the Israeli military involved in authorizing Israeli military actions during Operation Cast Lead on the grounds of Benjamin's status as a dual citizen of Israel and South Africa, which has signed the ICC's charter (Newsweek 09/21/09). The ICC also considered whether the Palestinian Authority was "enough like a state" for it to initiate a case alleging that Israeli troops committed war crimes in Gaza (Guardian 3/2/09).
  • The UN fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict headed by Richard Goldstone "found strong evidence to establish" that Israel committed serious war crimes and breaches of humanitarian law that may amount to crimes against humanity (UN 09/15/09).
  • In July 2008, law suits were filed suit in Quebec against three Canadian corporations accused of "aiding, abetting, assisting and conspiring with Israel, the Occupying Power in the West Bank, in carrying out an illegal act" through their involvement in construction projects in the town of Kiryat Sefer (Modi'in Ilit) (NGO Monitor 06/11/09).
  • A 2005 law suit filed against Caterpillar, Inc. in a U.S. District Court charged the corporation with "providing specially designed bulldozers to the IDF that it knew would be used to demolish homes and endanger civilians" (NGO Monitor 09/08).
  • A law suit was filed against the British Government in Birmingham charging that the sale of military equipment to Israel breached guidelines on arms exports and contributed to the oppression of Palestinians in the occupied territories (The London Times 05/30/07).

1 See Ari Shavit, Haaretz 10/15/09; Ethan Bronner, New York Times 10/19/09.

2 Jewish agency Chairman and human rights activist Natan Sharansky describes demonization as occurring when "Israel's actions are blown out of all sensible proportion" and when "comparisons are made between Israelis and Nazis." (Natan Sharansky. 3D Test of Anti-Semitism: Demonization, Double Standards, Delegitimization. Jewish Political Studies Review 16:3-4 Fall 2004).

Canadian Member of Parliament and international human rights lawyer Irwin Cotler meanwhile sees demonization as "the portrayal of Israel as the metaphor for a human rights violator," giving calls for "the dismantling of the apartheid state of Israel... the appearance of international sanction." These demonizing labels are "tantamount to transforming ideological anti-Semitism into a duty - the obligation to remove this Nazi state, Israel." (Irwin Cotler, Identifying the New Anti-Semitism Jewish People Policy Planning Institute. Nov. 2002.)

3 For more see Reut Concept Israel Apartheid Week.

4 See Gal Beckerman The Forward 9/16/09

5 See Reut post: Legal Aid: Role in Livni Arrest Warrant and Beyond


De 'logica van implosie' als strategie tegen Israel

De taktiek van Israels vijanden is de 'logica van implosie', waarbij Israel niet militair wordt verslagen, maar zo onder druk gezet, gedelegitimeerd en van alternatieven beroofd dat het uiteindelijk in elkaar zal storten. Hieronder wordt dit ander toegelicht en van voorbeelden voorzien.

Logic of Implosion: The Resistance Network's Political Rationale

This issue of ReViews cites a variety of quotes that demonstrate the Resistance Network's political rationale based on the theory of "Implosion", whereby Israel will not be overthrown militarily, but rather will be pressured on a number of fronts that will ultimately lead to its internal implosion

The recent war in Lebanon has revealed the consolidation of a Resistance Network, in which various political state and non-state actors promote a radical agenda through strategic, cross-boundary collaboration against Israel.

The Resistance Network conducts itself against Israel according to a political logic that is based on a theory of "Implosion", whereby Israel will not be overthrown militarily, but rather will be pressured on a number of fronts that will ultimately lead to its internal implosion as a state. This logic promotes the establishment of one Palestinian / Arab / Islamist state in place of Israel.

This issue of ReViews cites a variety of quotes from leaders of the Resistance Network (including Iranian President Ahmadinejad, Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah, and leaders of Hamas) whose statements demonstrate, the Resistance Movement's political rationale based on the theory of "Implosion" that are carried out through the following means: 1) the basic de-legitimization of Israel, and 2) preventing Israel from promoting a two-state solution.

The Resistance Network's Theory of Implosion

The theory of Implosion asserts that Israel's strength in relation to its neighbors will not withstand over time and it will implode as a result of internal pressure, demographic trends, and the erosion of its legitimacy in the eyes of the international community.

The following quotes demonstrate the Resistance Network's theory of implosion:

  • Ahmadinejad, in a speech given at the recent Holocaust denial conference held in Teheran, stated that "Israel is about to crash;" he added: "when I said the Zionist regime must be wiped off, the Zionist media of course harshly blasted me, but everyone must know that just as the USSR disappeared, this will also be the fate of the Zionist regime, and humanity will be free." (Ynet, 12/12/06).
  • Referring to a statement made by Shimon Peres in which he said that the war in Lebanon is a battle of life or death for Israel, Nasrallah stated: "[Peres] certainly does not mean that the resistance in Lebanon will enter Palestine, liberate Palestine, and eliminate and destroy the [Israeli] entity. However, he knows full well that this wonderful Lebanese steadfastness ... will destroy the haughtiness, mighty arrogance, and the spirit on which his entity was established, and consequently, this entity will have no future. This is the story of life and death in the battle Israel is waging now" (BBC Monitoring Middle East, 7/29/06).
  • Speaking to a conference in Tehran supporting the "Palestinian cause" against the Jewish state, Ahmedinijad said, "Like it or not, the Zionist regime is heading toward annihilation. The Zionist regime is a rotten, dried tree that will be eliminated by one storm" (Ha'aretz, 4/16/06).
  • In a speech given to cheering supporters on the heels of Israel's unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon in May 2000, Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah declared that "in order to liberate your land, you don't need tanks and planes. With the example of martyrs, you can impose your demands on the Zionist aggressors. It (Israel) has a nuclear weapon and the strongest air force in the region, but in truth, it is weaker than a spider web" (YnetNews, 7/31/06).

1) Basic de-legitimization of Israel

One facet of the resistance network's political rationale is the attempt to de-legitimize the basic tenets upon which Israel was created. This includes political, legal, and diplomatic declarations and actions aimed at terminating the existence of the State of Israel by fundamentally rejecting the Jewish right to self-determination and promoting the establishment of one Palestinian / Arab / Islamic state instead of Israel. Recent examples include:

  • The Holocaust Denial Conference held in Teheran was used as an instrument to undermine the Jewish entity by denying the legitimacy of the creation and continued existence of the State of Israel. At the conference, Ahmadinejad said: "The life-curve of the Zionist regime has begun its descent, and it is now on a downward slope towards its fall... I tell you now... the Zionist regime will be wiped out, and humanity will be liberated." (Memri, 12/15/06).
  • At the Holocaust Denial Conference, Iran announced a plan to establish a world foundation for Holocaust studies which is to be eventually based in Berlin and headed by Iranian Presidential Advisor Mohammad Ali Ramin who said: "The resolution of the Holocaust issue will end in the destruction of Israel" (Memri, 12/15/06).
  • In his letter to the American people, Ahmadinejad wrote: "I recommend that in a demonstration of respect for the American people and for humanity, the right of Palestinians to live in their own homeland should be recognized so that millions of Palestinian refugees can return to their homes and the future of all of Palestine and its form of government be determined in a referendum" (CNN, 11/29/06).
  • In an address delivered by Iranian president Ahmadinejad on 10/20/06, he stated: "Today, this community, which was gathered by force, and under false pretexts, and whose members were joined to one another by a paper-clip, in order to create a false illusion of a nation...Today, they have fallen apart. I declare here, loud and clear: With God's grace, this regime has lost the philosophy of its existence" (Memri, 10/27/06).

2) Preventing Israel from promoting a two-state solution

An additional method for causing Israel's implosion is to prevent it from achieving a sustainable separation between itself and the Palestinians, including the end of occupation through the two-state solution (see: One-State Threat). In order to promote this goal, the Resistance Network works through the following paths: 1) erosion of the unilateral option; 2) undermining the negotiation option; 3) preventing Israel from a decisive military victory; 4) preparing the ground for the dissolution of the PA.

Erosion of Unilateral Option

The Resistance Network uses terror and rocket-fire as a strategy to prevent Israel from achieving political gains from its unilateral withdrawals from Gaza (8/05) and Lebanon (5/00), and in order to prevent additional unilateral withdrawals from the West Bank. Thus, the continuous firing of Qassam rockets erodes Israel's unilateral option and undermines Israel's ability to end its control over the Palestinians.

  • When asked about her plan for further withdrawals from Judea and Samaria, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni remarked: "The plan that I'm talking about must provide an answer to the problem of steep-trajectory firing. That is one of the reasons why I prefer a consensual diplomatic process to a unilateral one. I think that after the disengagement, it's absolutely clear that we cannot simply throw down the keys and leave" (Ha'aretz, 12/29/06).
  • As a result of the War in Lebanon and the firing of Qassam rockets, Prime Minister Olmert said that the Convergence Plan "is no longer on the agenda." (Ha'aretz, 8/18/06).
  • Uzi Dayan, a former deputy chief of staff, referring to the implications of the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit on Olmert's convergence plan stated: "Anyone who cannot provide a military solution to the Qassam rockets or resurrect deterrence cannot carry out the Convergence plan in the West Bank, and that is the broader context in which these events must be considered." (San Francisco Chronicle, 6/30/06).

Undermining Negotiation Option

In order to undermine the negotiation option and in order to prevent political progress towards an agreement, the Resistance Network utilizes a number of tactics including: strategically timing violence to coincide with negotiations or other important political events, refusing to recognize and negotiate with Israel, and posing unreasonable conditions for negotiations (including 1967 borders, Jerusalem as capital, right of return, etc.).

  • Khaled Mashal said: "if Israel and the U.S. want to end the bloodshed in the region, they must accede to the Palestinians' demands." Specifically, he said, Israel must withdraw to the pre-1967 armistice lines, release all Palestinian prisoners, accept a "right of return" for Palestinian refugees and dismantle all settlements (Ha'aretz, 12/10/06).
  • Speaking to thousands of students at the University of Tehran, Haniyeh stated that Hamas would never recognize Israel or accept past Israeli-Palestinian agreements (Ha'aretz,12/10/06).
  • After meeting with Arab League chief, Amr Moussa in Cairo, Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh demanded the "establishment of a Palestinian state, with June 4, 1967 borders, with east Jerusalem as its capital, and right of return of Palestinian refugees. He added, "The right of return of Palestinian refugees is holy, no Palestinian can make concessions about it" (Jerusalem Post, 11/29/06).
  • In an interview on Al-Jazeera, Khaled Mashal stated that Hamas would not negotiate with Israel. (Memri, 1/27/06).

Preventing Israel from decisive military victory

The goal of the Resistance Network is not to destroy Israel on the battle field, but rather to prevent Israel from achieving a decisive military victory through the use of guerilla and limited warfare. The ability of the Resistance Network to "survive" against Israeli retaliation erodes Israel's deterrence capability and military image. The following statements illustrate Israel's weakened image:

  • Jordan's King Abdullah said during an interview with the Tokyo-based newspaper The Daily Yomiuri that "The Lebanon war last summer showed that Israel is not as strong as we had previously thought, and, justifiably or not, the perception in the Middle East is that Israel lost." (Ynet, 12/26/06).
  • In President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Qods (Jerusalem) Day speech, he said: "The existence of this regime [Israel] has been based on military threat, on military strength, and on its myth of invincibility. Today, by the grace of God, this myth has been shattered, with the help of the believers in Palestine, and thanks to the self-sacrifice and the belief of the Hizbullah commanders. Today, the Zionists do not feel safe, not even in their homes, [or] anywhere in the world" (Memri, 11/15/06).
  • In a speech given after the war in Lebanon, Nassrallah said: "There is no army in the world that can [force us] to drop our weapons from our hands, from our grip. Today we celebrate a great divine, historic and strategic victory." (The Independent, 9/23/06).

Dissolution of PA

During the Oslo process, the Palestinian Authority was established as the cornerstone for the future Palestinian state. However, the Resistance Network continues to struggle against any temporary solution that may allow Israel to create a sustainable separation between itself and the Palestinians, such as the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

The dissolution of the PA undermines the establishment of a Palestinian state, and promotes - in light of demographic trends - the establishment of one Palestinian/Arab/Islamic state in place of Israel.

The continuous threats made by Hamas leaders to dissolve the PA, may be interpreted as signs that the Resistance Network is preparing the ground for such a move (see: Dismantling the PA - an Emerging Trend).

  • Khaled Mashal, head of Hamas political bureau, declared that Hamas would not hesitate to dismantle the PA if it sees that it "cannot protect the Palestinian people." He added that Hamas won't hesitate to announce the dismantling of the PA and return to the starting point: people under occupation. (Ha'aretz, 3/19/06).
  • Members of high and mid ranks in the Hamas movement called the leadership of the movement to resign from the government, return to the armed struggle and dismantle the PA (Al-Hayat, 6/27/06).
  • Representatives of Hamas and the Popular Front in the PLC have decided to convene to discuss the future of the PA and the possibility of dissolving it (Al-Ayyam, 8/7/06 and Al-Jazeera, 8/7/06).
  • Speaking to the PLC, Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh called Palestinian factions to sincerely discuss the future of the PA and the possibility of its dissolution. Chairman of the "Third Way" party and former finance minister, Sallam Faid as well as other representatives in the PLC supported Haniyeh's position. (Al-Hayat, 8/10/06).

Diverse Palestijnse aanslagen verijdeld door Israel

De afgelopen dagen zijn diverse Palestijnse aanslagen door Israel verijdeld, en eentje ook niet, want woensdag werd een Israelische soldaat doodgestoken door een politieman van de Palestijnse Autoriteit. Ook werd van de week bekend dat Israel in december een poging tot kidnapping van een soldaat heeft verijdeld, en 2 bommen in beslag heeft genomen. Palestijnse groeperingen blijven het proberen en het is aan Israelische alertheid en veligheidsmaatregelen te danken dat het niet vaker misgaat. Israned heeft de (pogingen tot) aanslagen van de afgelopen week op een rijtje gezet.
Diverse aanslagen verijdeld
Even de aanslagen niet bijgehouden; gelijk achterop geraakt.
Woensdag stak de Palestijnse politieman Mahmoud al-Khatib op de Westbank de Druzische IDF-soldaat Ihab Khatib (28) dood.
Donderdag viel de IAF een terreurcel aan die een aanval voorbereidde bij de Karmi grensovergang (voor humanitaire hulp). Bij de aanval werd Fares Ahmed Jaber, een "Global Jihad operative" gedood.
Diezelfde dag maakte de Shin Bet bekend dat het in december een 43-jarige Gazaan  had gearresteerd, een vooraanstaand Hamaslid die via een tunnel Egypte was binnen gegaan en van daaruit Israel probeerde binnen te dringen met $15.000 plus een wapen met geluiddemper op zak. Zijn plan was om een Israelische soldaat te kidnappen, te vermoorden en dan te onderhandelen over zijn lijk. Op 31 december werd een medeplichtige van hem gearresteerd met twee bommen van 31 kilo elk. Hij zou die in dichtbevolkte gebieden in Israel willen plaatsen en was ook betrokken bij het plan om een soldaat te kidnappen.
Vrijdag openden IDF-soldaten met mortieren en geweren het vuur op vier Palestijnen die explosieven aan het leggen waren bij de grens met Gaza. Twee werden gedood, twee anderen ontvluchtten volgens Palestijnse bronnen.
Later die dag verhinderde de IDF een nieuwe poging een soldaat neer te steken in Hebron, tijdens een stenengooi-incident. Collega's schoten op de Palestijn toen hij een soldaat probeerde neer te steken; de aanvaller overleed later aan een buikwond.
Vrijdagavond landde er een qassamraket uit Gaza in de Negev, die niemand verwondde.

NOVA over Sheikh Jarrah en de 'Joodse kolonisten'

NOVA zond vrijdag een erg suggestieve en vooral oninformatieve reportage uit over de inwoners van Sheikh Jarrah, een wijk in Jeruzalem, en de (dreigende) huisuitzettingen van enkele Palestijnse families daar. Er werd nagenoeg niks over de achtergronden van dit conflict vermeld, het ging er volgens NOVA alleen maar om dat boze kolonisten de arme Palestijnen zonder enige reden uit hun huizen zetten. Allerlei Palestijnen vertelden hoe ze van de ene op de andere dag op straat moesten leven, zonder reden, zonder waarschuwing, zonder enige wettelijke bescherming. In werkelijkheid stopten de uitgezette Palestijnen met het betalen van huur, en werden zij daarom uitgezet, een doorgaans legitieme reden mensen uit hun huis te zetten.

Zij waren er na de Jordaanse annexatie van Oost Jeruzalem komen wonen, een annexatie die slechts door Groot-Brittannië en Pakistan werd erkend. Voor 1948 woonden er vooral Joden in het 'Arabische' Sheikh Jarrah, die in 1948 door het Jordaanse leger werden verdreven. Na 1967 presenteerden zij de Israëlische overheid hun eigendomspapieren, waarna werd besloten dat de Arabieren er mochten blijven wonen en een 'beschermde status' kregen, zolang zij huur aan de eigenaren zouden betalen. Dit hebben zij jarenlang gedaan maar enige tijd geleden weigerden ze nog langer huur te betalen.


Waarom zijn de Arabieren die er wonen de 'echte' inwoners en de Joden de kolonisten? Dat is gebaseerd op de onjuiste idee dat heel Oost Jeruzalem vroeger 'Palestijns' was en Israel dit in 1967 onrechtmatig heeft veroverd. In werkelijkheid had Jeruzalem vanaf het einde van de 19e eeuw een Joodse meerderheid en woonden ook in delen van wat nu Oost Jeruzalem is, Joden. Ook in de oude stad woonden al eeuwenlang Joden. Het is daarom onjuist om te spreken van 'Palestijns Oost Jeruzalem' en te suggereren dat de hele stad vanaf de groene lijn eigenlijk Arabisch/Palestijns is en Israel dit illegaal heeft geannexeerd.


In de reportage werd tot slot geen enkele wederhoor toegepast, of je moet de vraag van Ankie Rechess aan een kolonist of dit zijn huis is en zijn korte antwoord dat hij de papieren heeft als wederhoor beschouwen. Een reactie van de burgemeester van Jeruzalem of een officiële woordvoerder was uiteraard op zijn plaats geweest. Ook had men naast Yossi Sarid een ander parlementslid om zijn mening kunnen vragen.

Nu kreeg men de zaak enkel vanuit het perspectief van de bewoners en de critici te zien, waardoor een complex probleem tot een simpel goed-fout verhaal werd gereduceerd: het boze Israel tegenover de weerloze Palestijnen. Dit is een beeld dat ook NOVA maar al te vaak laat zien. Met goede journalistiek heeft dat weinig te maken, en ook niet met de hieronder vermelde 'NOVA code'.


Zie ook: De (propaganda) strijd om Sheikh Jarrah en Jeruzalem




De NOVA code

24 november 2005

NOVA & Journalistiek

NOVA streeft ernaar het nieuws en de achtergronden van het nieuws te brengen met een zo groot mogelijke nauwkeurigheid en precisie. Daarbij staan onafhankelijkheid en onpartijdigheid voorop. Beide zijn cruciaal voor de geloofwaardigheid van en het vertrouwen in het programma. Voor de reputatie van NOVA is de overtuiging van het publiek dat het programma zich niet door druk van buitenaf heeft laten beïnvloeden, en zijn oren niet heeft laten hangen naar één kant van de zaak of één enkele visie op een onderwerp, essentieel.

Het hoort bij NOVA om gemaakte fouten en onzorgvuldigheden ruiterlijk te erkennen en ze op eigen initiatief naar buiten te brengen. Toetssteen daarbij zijn professionele journalistieke normen, zoals in deze code geformuleerd zijn.

De NOVA-code is de verzameling richtlijnen en afspraken waar de journalisten van NOVA zich aan moeten houden. De code is bedoeld om die, vaak onuitgesproken, regels en normen ook voor de buitenwereld zichtbaar te maken. Het biedt kijkers ook de mogelijkheid te beoordelen of de redactie van NOVA zich aan zijn eigen maatstaven houdt.

De volledige NOVA code:


Schandalen plagen Palestijnse president Abbas

Op 11 februari stond het eindelijk ook in Nederlandse kranten, nadat het in Israel al weken nieuws is en erover wordt geblogd, en er afgelopen maandag al een opiniestuk van Yochanan Visser over verscheen bij de Volkskrant.
(Zie ook YouTube.)

Schandalen plagen Palestijnse president Abbas

Van onze correspondent Alex Burghoorn op 11 februari '10, 22:56, bijgewerkt 11 februari '10, 23:05
JERUZALEM - De Palestijnse president Mahmoud Abbas is in ernstige verlegenheid gebracht door een groeiend seks- en corruptieschandaal rond zijn stafchef Rafik Husseini. Oude wonden over het gebrek aan goed bestuur bij de Palestijnse Autoriteit zijn opengereten. Bestaande twijfels over de vernieuwingsdrift van Abbas' Fatah-partij zijn kracht bijgezet.

De onthullingen komen van een vroegere chef van de Palestijnse corruptiebestrijding, Fahmi Shabaneh. Hij was door Abbas aangesteld om misbruik van macht en gelden binnen de Palestijnse Autoriteit bloot te leggen. Maar Abbas ondernam volgens hem weinig of geen actie naar aanleiding van de naspeuringen. Shabaneh heeft daarom in januari voor het eerst de publiciteit gezocht met een interview in de Israëlische krant The Jerusalem Post.

'Sommigen hadden nog geen drieduizend dollar toen ze hier na de Oslo-akkoorden uit ballingschap terugkeerden', zei Shabaneh, die is opgeleid tot jurist. 'Maar wij ontdekten dat ze nu tientallen zo niet honderden miljoenen op hun bankrekening hebben staan.' Uit zijn onderzoek was onder meer gebleken dat Fatah-leiders het leeuwendeel hadden verdonkeremaand van de 3,2 miljoen dollar die de Verenigde Staten in 2006 in de verkiezingskas van Abbas hadden gestort (zonder hiermee overigens diens nederlaag te kunnen verijdelen).

De eerste uitlatingen van de vroegere corruptiebestrijder waren misschien nog af te doen als verhalen van een gefrustreerde ambtenaar. Maar deze week heeft hij op de Israëlische televisie een sensationeel en vernederend bewijsstuk getoond waar de leiding in Ramallah moeilijk omheen kan.

Op een met verborgen camera's gemaakte video is te zien hoe de hoogste medewerker van Abbas, Rafik Husseini, zich uitkleedt en onder de dekens kruipt in afwachting van een Palestijnse vrouw die hij een baan heeft beloofd in ruil voor seks. Dan komen Shabaneh en zijn agenten de slaapkamer binnen. De woensdag uitgezonden scènes, die veel weg hebben van een B-film, zijn op YouTube te zien en leidden donderdag in de Palestijnse gebieden tot hilariteit en afschuw.

De Palestijnse Autoriteit heeft de zaak afgedaan als een 'Israëlische smeercampagne'. Tegen Shabaneh is een arrestatiebevel uitgevaardigd. Maar aangezien hij in het door Israël geannexeerde Oost-Jeruzalem woont, bevindt hij zich buiten het mandaatgebied van de Palestijnse justitie.

De 49-jarige Shabaneh heeft verklaard naar de Israëlische media te zijn gestapt omdat de Arabische media zijn verhaal niet durfden te publiceren. 'Ik heb mijn graf al gereed gemaakt.' Dinsdag heeft hij bezworen door te gaan met onthullingen als Abbas niet binnen twee weken schoon schip maakt.

Beschuldigingen van corruptie aan het adres van de Palestijnse Autoriteit zijn niet nieuw. Hamas won de parlementsverkiezingen van 2006 omdat de islamitische beweging de kiezers overtuigend een schoon bestuur beloofde. Abbas en zijn Fatah-partij hebben op de Westoever een tweede kans gekregen, nadat Hamas gewapenderhand in 2007 de macht in de Gazastrook had overgenomen. Het Westoever-bestuur geniet de politieke en financiële steun van de internationale gemeenschap.


vrijdag 12 februari 2010

Westerse media zwijgen over corruptie schandaal Palestijnse Autoriteit

Corruptie is helaas in het Midden-Oosten een normale zaak. Premier Olmert moest aftreden vanwege een corruptieschandaal en ook Sharon werd er op het laatst van zijn premierschap van verdacht, in een zaak waarbij met name diens zoon was betrokken. De corruptie binnen Fatah en de Palestijnse Autoriteit is al bekend sinds deze laatste in de jaren '90 werd opgericht. Wat bij de PA nog steeds ontbreekt zijn maatregelen om corruptie te bestrijden, ondanks beloften van Abbas. Liever probeert men klokkenluiders als Shabaneh monddood te maken.
Onze media zwijgen onderstaande kwestie en andere Palestijnse corruptieschandalen meestal dood, terwijl NOVA vanavond wel weer komt met een item over de protesten in Sheikh Jarrah, waar enkele Arabieren uit hun woning worden uitgezet omdat ze geen huur meer willen betalen.
Corruptie schandaal rond Palestijnse Autoriteit escaleert, Westerse media zwijgen.

Israel 11 februari 2010


Woensdagavond zond Arutz 10 actualiteitenrubriek Makor in Israel materiaal uit over de corruptie bij de Palestijnse Autoriteit dat eerder in verkorte vorm bij Arutz 10 Nieuws was vertoond. Het schandaal escaleert met de dag maar wordt doodgezwegen in de massa media buiten Israel. 

In Nederland verschenen echter artikelen in de Volkskrant en bij diverse websites die berichtten over het Midden Oosten.


In Makor en later de Jerusalem Post werd gemeld dat de PA allerlei middelen heeft aangewend om Shabaneh te intimideren opdat hij zou afzien van medewerking aan het programma.

Een uur voor de uitzending zou Aboe Mazen met onmiddellijk aftreden hebben gedreigd in geval van voortzetting van de smeercampagne, waarmee hij uitzending van het programma bedoelde. De Jerusalem Post berichtte vandaag dat Mazen zelfs de Israëlische regering onder druk zette om uitzending te voorkomen.

Eerder had de PA al een arrestatie bevel tegen Shabaneh uitgevaardigd en een prijs op zijn hoofd gezet. De PA beweert dat juist Shabaneh degene is die corrupt is en documenten vervalst heeft. Het arrestatiebevel bevat verder de beschuldiging van collaboratie met Israel.


Het mocht echter niet baten, de uitzending ging gewoon door (zie link hieronder). Shabaneh nam de Arutz 10 ploeg mee naar de Islamitische begraafplaats bij de oude stad in Jeruzalem en liet een nog ongebruikt graf zien waarvan hij zei dat hij het uit "voorzorg" had gekocht recentelijk.

Tzvi Yezechkieli de Arutz 10 expert Arabische zaken meldde dat Shabaneh tijdens het interview diverse telefoontjes kreeg van Palestijnse gevangen in Israëlische gevangenissen, met het verzoek door te gaan met het publiceren van het bewijsmateriaal tegen de PA corruptie. Volgens Yezechkeli heeft het Palestijnse volk gewacht op iemand met de moed van Shabaneh, iedereen wist van de corruptie maar ook iedereen hield zijn mond.

Shabaneh onthulde in de Jerusalem Post vandaag dat hij eerst gevraagd had aan Al Jazeerah en andere Arabische kanalen om een interview en publicatie van het materiaal over de corruptie. Ook bood hij hetzelfde aan aan Westerse journalisten in Israel, deze waren echter bang dat hun relatie met de PA verstoord zou worden.

Dit is waarschijnlijk een van de redenen dat de Westerse media tot nu toe nauwelijks aandacht aan de zaak hebben besteed.


Enige hoofdzaken uit het interview dat inmiddels gepubliceerd is bij Nana 10:  (Hebreeuws) en waarover ook de Jerusalem Post uitgebreid rapporteerde.


-Shabaneh kondigde aan dat wanneer Aboe Mazen de corrupte leiders niet binnen twee weken arresteert, dat hij materiaal zal publiceren dat nog veel ernstiger van inhoud is.

-In de documentaire was te zien hoe Rafiq Hoeseini de bureauchef van Mazen gefilmd werd terwijl hij een doekje open deed over de PA tegen een sollicitante waarmee hij later in bed wilde stappen.

Hij noemde Aboe Mazen iemand zonder charisma en noemde Arafat een dief. Later werd Hoeseini door een eenheid van de anticorruptie eenheid van Shabaneh uit dat bed gelicht.

Deze zaak moest van de PA top in de doofpot gestopt worden, Shabaneh kreeg smeergeld aangeboden om te zwijgen, toen dat niet hielp werd hij ontslagen.

-Shabaneh vertelde dat de corruptie bij de PA terug ging tot de tijd van Aboe Ammar(Arafat) die hij een dief noemde. Ook zei hij dat bij een soortgelijk seksschandaal 8 jaar geleden, Arafat het hoofd van een TV station in Gaza, liet vermoorden.

- De verduistering van overheid- en donorgelden door de PA top rond Aboe Mazen zou in de honderden miljoenen dollars lopen.

-Shabaneh liet diverse documenten zien die afkomstig waren uit de Moeqata en waaruit duidelijk werd hoe bij transacties een opdracht werd gegeven om x miljoen te betalen terwijl in werkelijkheid door de betreffende PA functionaris Y miljoen werd overgemaakt. Het verschil was altijd in het voordeel van de betaler en kon oplopen tot miljoenen dollars. Ook de zonen van Aboe Mazen kregen grote bedragen van de PA. Shabaneh liet documenten zien waaruit bleek dat de firma van Aboe Mazen's zoons miljoenen dollars betaald kreeg, zogenaamd voor een verkiezingscampagne van Fatah.


Shabaneh werd door Israel tijdelijk gearresteerd nadat hij Hoeseini had betrapt, de Israëlische politie zou getipt zijn door de PA. De beschuldiging was dat hij spioneerde in Israel.

Officieel werd hij echter vastgehouden vanwege het bedrijven van PA politiek in Oost Jeruzalem.

De familie van Shabaneh zal als gevolg van de uitzending onderduiken. Er bestaat gerede vrees voor het leven van Shabaneh.


Als er ooit een moment is geweest om het Palestijnse volk te helpen bij een andere toekomst dan is het waarschijnlijk nu. In bijna alle gesprekken die ik de laatste jaren voerde met Palestijnen over de interne situatie in de Palestijnse Autoriteit kwam een diepe moedeloosheid naar voren over de corruptie in de PA.

Ook het gebrek aan een alternatief speelde een rol bij die moedeloosheid.

Shabaneh is de eerste hoge PA functionaris die de moed heeft om naar buiten te treden en eist dat er een eind komt aan deze rampzalige toestand.

Het is daarom onbegrijpelijk dat hij moest leuren met zijn verhaal en in de armen gedreven werd van de Israëlische media.

Zowel Shabaneh als het Palestijnse volk zouden gebaat zijn bij brede internationale aandacht voor dit probleem op dit cruciale moment.

Het opbouwen van een toekomstige Palestijnse staat eist een gezond fundament.

De corrupte clan van Aboe Mazen is te vergelijken met betonrot in het fundament van die staat.


Yochanan Visser


New Israel Fund vergroot tegenstellingen tussen Joden en Arabieren in Israel

Veel van deze organisaties worden ook gefinancierd door de EU en diverse lidstaten. Voor een deel doen zij ook goede dingen en stellen misstanden aan de kaak, maar onder het mom van mensenrechten en vrede voert men ook actie tegen Israels legitimiteit, en zet men Joden en Arabieren in Israel tegen elkaar op. Op deze manier schieten de geldschieters, voorzover zij vrede in het Midden-Oosten dichterbij willen brengen, hun doel dus voorbij. Een kritischer houding tegenover al die organisaties die zeggen voor vrede en Palestijnse rechten op te willen komen is absoluut noodzakelijk. Er kan wel vrede op de verpakking staan, dat wil nog niet zeggen dat het er ook in zit.
The New Israel Fund for Deepening the Jewish-Arab Rift
By Israel Harel, Haaretz Correspondent / Op-ed
Last update - 09:37 11/02/2010

The Im Tirtzu organization accuses the New Israel Fund of financing Israeli organizations which Judge Richard Goldstone used for information to accuse the Israel Defense Forces of "war crimes."

The fund's response, as is the wont of radical leftist organizations under fire, was to smear its critics as "fascists".Granted, the NIF's president, Naomi Chazan, signed a petition that defined the IDF's operations in Gaza as "terror against civilians" and demanded that Israel abide by "all UN resolutions relating to the conflict" (including 194, which Palestinians interpret as granting them a "right of return"). Nevertheless, the personal campaign against her is a mistake.

The NIF's many supporters in the media and among political organizations (which benefit from the fund, both directly and indirectly) have used this personal campaign to divert the debate from the fund's subversive goal (a "new Israel," not Jewish or Zionist), which it has furthered by donating more than $200 million thus far to hundreds of anti-Zionist organizations (I have a list, if anyone is interested).

Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel - has used its NIF funding to submit dozens of petitions to the High Court of Justice that seek to reduce and even abolish Israel's identity as a Jewish state.

"Israel must recognize the [Palestinian] refugees' right of return, on the basis of UN Resolution 194," declares the introduction to a proposed constitution that Adalah authored. And this proposal would also abolish the Law of Return for Jews.

The NIF also finances Jewish-led groups that seek to undermine Israel's Jewish identity, such as the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.

"The proposal to define Israel as a Jewish state," ACRI declared (in response to a draft constitution prepared by the Israel Democracy Institute, not, heaven forbid, the one presented by the Institute for Zionist Strategies), "is problematic both in principle and in practice."

Mada al Carmel, another group funded by the NIF, authored the "Haifa Declaration." Here are a few gems from that document: "Towards the end of the 19th century, the Zionist movement initiated its colonial-settler project in Palestine. Subsequently, in concert with world imperialism ... it succeeded in carrying out its project, which aimed at occupying our homeland ... The Zionist movement committed massacres against our people ... the State of Israel enacted racist land, immigration, and citizenship laws [a reference to the Law of Return] ... Israel carried out policies of subjugation and oppression in excess of those of the apartheid regime in South Africa."

The document subsequently demands the repeal of the Law of Return and of Israel's definition as a Jewish state.

The Haifa Declaration, and other similar "vision documents," were signed by prominent members of Israel's Arab community, including the leaders of dozens of other organizations that are also funded by the NIF.

Similar statements, for instance, appear in the "Future Vision" produced by the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee, another NIF grantee.

Thus in funding organizations that work to deepen the rift between Jews and Arabs in Israel, the NIF has racked up noteworthy successes. Astonishingly, however, these successes are not proudly displayed to the fund's philanthropists.

These donors, most of them Jews who support Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, are asked to contribute to the fund's praiseworthy - but as it turns out, not primary - activities: improving welfare, education and human rights in Israel.

Many NIF donors do not know that their money is being used to fund dozens of organizations committed to inflaming the Arab street, intensifying its nationalist tendencies and deepening the rift between Jews and Arabs.

These philanthropists would almost certainly object to their money being used to undermine Israel's Jewish identity and to lay a theoretical, legal and political framework for establishing another Arab state, on top of the proposed Palestinian state, in place of the State of Israel.

Mogelijk nieuwe sancties tegen Iran vanwege atoomprogramma

Om eerlijk te zijn heb ik geen idee of Iran werkelijk uit is op het maken van kernwapens, maar rustig gaan slapen zou me behoorlijk naief overkomen, zeker voor een Joods buurlandje waar Achmadinejad en zijn consorten behoorlijk de pik op hebben, maar ook de andere buren voelen zich wel degelijk bedreigd door een nucleair Iran. Effectieve sancties zullen er waarschijnlijk niet komen, daarvoor hebben Rusland, China en andere -ook Westerse- landen teveel economische belangen in Iran, en bovendien zal een fanatiek land als Iran hier niet snel voor zwichten. Regime change zou een goede zaak zijn, maar kan alleen van de Iraanse bevolking zelf komen. Het regime lijkt hiervoor nog veel te stevig in het zadel te zitten.
Ik verwacht dus vroeg of laat toch een gerichte militaire aanval op nucleaire installaties. En dan maar hopen dat het niet escaleert...

Last update - 21:06 11/02/2010       
'Iran to initiate 2 new nuclear sites this year'
By Shlomo Shamir, Haaretz Correspondent, and News Agencies
Tehran atomic chief: We have the enrichment abilities, but we won't produce weapons grade uranium.
Iran will start building two new nuclear enrichment sites in the upcoming years, the Islamic Republic's Atomic Energy Organization chief told Reuters in an interview on Thursday.
"Hopefully, in the upcoming Iranian year [starting in March], we will be starting construction of one or two sites," Ali Akbar Salehi said.
Iran has one enrichment plant in operation.
The Tehran nuclear chief also said that Iran's newly launched 20 percent nuclear fuel production was going "very well."
Salehi also said Iran had the capacity to enrich uranium up to a level of 100 percent -- above the level experts say is needed for a bomb -- but he said the country had no intention of refining the material to that level.
"There is no limit on enrichment. We can enrich up to 100 percent ... We have this capacity and capability. But we never had the intention and we do not have the intention to do so, unless we need [to]," Salehi said.
Salehi said Iran's production of 20 percent nuclear fuel, which it says started on Tuesday, would be limited to the needs of a Tehran medical reactor of around 1.5 kg per month.
He also said Iran will have "good news" on improved nuclear enrichment centrifuges in coming months, adding the construction of new enrichment sites would start from March.
Ahmadinejad told hundreds of thousands of cheering Iranians on the anniversary of the 1979 foundation of the Islamic republic on Thursday that the country was now a nuclear state, but insisted that Iran had no intention to build nuclear weapons.
The United States and some of its allies accuse Tehran of using its civilian nuclear program as a cover to build nuclear weapons but Tehran denies the charge, saying its nuclear program is just geared towards generating electricity.
"I want to announce with a loud voice here that the first package of 20 percent fuel was produced and provided to the scientists," Ahmadinejad said, referring to the recently begun process of enriching Iran's uranium stockpile to higher levels.
Enriching uranium produces fuel for a nuclear power plants but can also be used to create material for atomic weapons if enriched further to 90 percent or more.
"We have the capability to enrich uranium more than 20 percent or 80 percent but we don't enrich (to this level) because we don't need it," the Iranian president said in a speech broadcast live on state television.
Iran angers World powers over uranium enrichment
Iran announced Tuesday it was beginning the process of enriching its uranium stockpile to a higher level. The international community reacted by starting the process to impose new sanctions on Iran.
Tehran has said it wants to further enrich the uranium - which is still substantially below the 90 percent plus level used in the fissile core of nuclear warheads - as a part of a plan to fuel its research reactor that provides medical isotopes to hundreds of thousands of Iranians undergoing cancer treatment.
But the West says Tehran is not capable of turning the material into the fuel rods needed by the reactor. Instead it fears that Iran wants to enrich the uranium to make nuclear weapons.
Ahmadinejad reiterated Iran's position that it was not seeking to build nuclear weapons.
"When we say we do not manufacture the bomb, we mean it, and we do not believe in manufacturing a bomb," he told the crowd. If we wanted to manufacture a bomb, we would announce it ... our nation has the courage to explicitly say it and build it and not fear you."
MK Tzachi Hangebi, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, told U.S. officials in Washington that imposing sanctions on Iran isn't Israel's only option, Israel Radio reported on Thursday.
Hangebi also emphasized that the leaders in both the Israeli coalition and opposition have no difference of opinions regarding the Iranian issue.
Hangebi made the comments during the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee's meetings with White House officials in Washington.
In a telepone conversation on Wednesday, Ahmadinejad told Syria's Bashar al-Assad that Israel should be resisted and finished off if it launched military action in the region, state broadcaster IRIB reported on Thursday.
"If the Zionist regime should repeat its mistakes and initiate a military operation, then it must be resisted with full force to put an end to it once and for all," he told Syria's Bashar al-Assad.
Last update - 21:49 11/02/2010       
U.S.: Iran's nuclear efforts are anything but peaceful
By Natasha Mozgovaya, Haaretz Correspondent and Haaretz Service
White House: Ahmadinejad has said many things, and many of them turn out to be untrue."
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's announcement that the country has succeeded at creating higher levels of uranium enrichment shows its nuclear intentions are "anything but peaceful," the U.S. State Department said Thursday.
Ahmadinejad said scientists had succeeded at producing a batch of uranium enrichment at a much higher level that it had previously accomplished. The amount was sufficient for running in nuclear power reactors, but still well below the levels needed for weapons grade uranium.
But Iran's nuclear ambitions continue to draw concerns from the United States and European allies who fear Iran is seeking the capability to build nuclear weapons. Iran has rebuffed diplomatic overtures to resolve the issue and is in defiance of UN Security Council demands that it suspend uranium enrichment.
"Should Iran continue down the wrongful course that it's on there will be consequences," State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley said.
Crowley also said he was skeptical as to the accuracy of Iran's claims of nuclear enrichment capabilities.
"I'm not a scientists but I think there are questions about what Iran's true capability is," Crowley said, adding that Iran has "been boasting number of things for a couple of years, but we are taking their words seriously. It seems as a violation of the UN Security Council resolution."

"It appears that they've attempted a nearly total information blockade - it's an unprecedented attempt to intimidate their own people and it's clear they fear their own people," Crowley said.
"I think we have strong indications that Iran has tried to restrict access to the Internet, and it's not about what the outsiders are doing, but about the fundamental relationship between Iranian government and their people. Iranian people are continuing to protest for their rights.
This continuing intimidation by the Iranian government is a great concern to us, and it shows the increasing bankruptcy of the Iranian regime."

White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs also referred to Iran's claims of its nuclear capabilities, saying the Iranian president Ahmadinejad had said "many things, and many of them turn out to be untrue."
"We do not believe they have the capability to enrich which they claim they have," Gibbs added, saying the actions of Iran have led to the world to be more unified" by defying international obligations.
The comments by U.S. officials came after earlier Thursday British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the international community was moving closer to imposing sanctions on Iran because of its nuclear program.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced on Thursday that Iran was capable of enriching uranium to more than 80 percent purity, coming close to levels experts say would be needed for a nuclear bomb, although he said that was not the country's intention.
"I believe the mood around the world is now increasingly one where, patience not being inexhaustible, people are turning to look at the specific sanctions we can plan on Iran," Brown told BBC.
Officials: UN set to pass tighter Iran sanctions
Senior United Nations officials told Haaretz that a Security Council resolution tightening the sanctions on Iran has become more likely, and that the resolution is probably going to be approved.
Observers in both New York and Washington estimate that China will think twice about using its veto on a resolution after Russia recently threw its support behind a move against Iran. A veto could expose Beijing as isolated and out of touch with its fellow Security Council members.
China could also abstain from voting and allow the decision to be made by a simple majority. However, the sources told Haaretz, the United States is still trying to obtain Chinese support for the sanctions.
Ahead of its push for international sanctions at the UN, the U.S. sought on Wednesday to ratchet up pressure on Iran by imposing its own sanctions on elements of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, which Western intelligence officials believe is spearheading Iran's nuclear program.
The Treasury Department said it was freezing the assets in U.S. jurisdictions of Revolutionary Guard Gen. Rostam Qasemi and four subsidiaries of a previously penalized construction firm he runs because of their alleged involvement in producing and spreading weapons of mass destruction.
U.S. officials said the measures were intended as a model for wider action at the UN.
"The United States is seeking to reach a consensus between the five permanent members of the UN Security Council on the sanctions issue," one of the sources said. "This would allow it to present the five superpowers as a united coalition, which would increase the impact of the sanctions."
According to estimates in Washington and New York, a first American draft for the new resolution will be circulated among Security Council members in early March at the latest, and the vote will take place at the end of the month.
"To be honest, nobody knows for certain at the moment what China is going to do," a senior official in New York told Haaretz. "But at the end of the day, China is sensitive about its position as a superpower, and will not be able to ignore the position of other superpowers, including Russia, who support tightening the sanctions. It's not going to go against them by undermining the resolution."
The New York Times on Wednesday quoted officials in the Obama administration who said the U.S. president has been applying the same persuasion tack with China he earlier successfully used with Russian president Medvedev. According to the daily, Obama has placed sanctions on Iran at the top of his priorities in recent contacts with Beijing.
Experts, however, warned that the same tactics that brought success with Russia may not work with China. A scheduled White House visit by the Dalai Lama has infuriated the Chinese, as did a recent arms deal between the United States and Taiwan.
The Americans had earlier planned to begin promoting the resolution in February. France, which supports a tough line on Iran, is this month's president of the Security Council.
""This is a critical time for Iran's relationship with the rest of the world."
Brown said the international community did not want to impose sanctions but would do so if Iran did not cooperate more fully over its nuclear plans