zaterdag 29 januari 2011

Klagen over de Palestine Papers

Ik ben het niet helemaal met Benny Morris eens, nl. dat de Palestijnen niet de intentie hebben om vrede te sluiten met Israel. Beide partijen willen denk ik wel vrede, maar beiden op hun eigen voorwaarden. Wel is het moeilijk voorstelbaar dat Abbas en co echt tot zulke vergaande compromissen bereid zouden zijn als op basis van de Palestine Papers wordt gesuggereerd, omdat ze publiekelijk zo luid en consequent het tegengestelde verkondigen.
Benny Morris | January 25, 2011

Whatever happened to the image of the hardboiled, cynical journalist, who believes no one and questions everything?

He may still exist, but not when it comes to the Palestinians. Take Jonathan Freedland, the usually sharp Guardian columnist. He did grudgingly concede that the trove of 1600-odd documents on the past decade's Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations just published by the Arab Al Jazeera network and his own newspaper "may have been leaked selectively." But he then dove in, recklessly and breathlessly, as one who has just found solid gold bricks. The scoop of the century! Here was, he wrote, "proof" of "how far the Palestinians were willing to go" to make peace with Israel—and, once again, how "intransigent" the Israelis were, in private and publicly. Here was the key to understanding the absence of Israeli-Palestinian peace.

In addition to casting aside all skepticism, Freedland also displayed a very short memory (this, let it be quickly admitted, is not uniquely Freedland: It is a common journalistic shortcoming). Had he exercised memory, or looked, indeed, at his newspaper's own archive, he might have discovered that the astonishing Palestinian "concessions"—mainly, that the bulk of the new Israeli neighborhoods in north, east, and south Jerusalem, built on or across the 1967 lines, were already "conceded" to the Israelis in the Clinton "parameters"—President Bill Clinton's peace proposals—of December 2000, which the Palestinians to this day maintain were substantially accepted by the previous Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat. Clinton had laid down the principle, in dividing Jerusalem, of Jewish neighborhoods to go to Israel and Arab areas to come under Arab sovereignty.

Similarly, Arafat had already agreed that the Jewish Quarter and the Western ("Wailing") Wall (and perhaps also the Armenian Quarter) in Jerusalem's Old City should be under Israerli sovereignty, with the Palestinians getting the Muslim and Christian quarters. Nothing new here either.

But Arafat in 2000-2001 had balked at two things—and neither, as far as I know, have been conceded by the current heads of the Palestinian Authority-PLO: sole Palestinian sovereignty over the southeastern corner of the Old City, the Temple Mount\Haram ash Sharif; and the Palestinian refugees' "Right of Return," meaning that the Palestinians still alive from the 1948 War's exodus and their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren must be allowed to return to the areas of pre-1967 Israel.

Both subjects are crucial, one symbolically, the other concretely. Arafat, with his aides in tow, always denied that there had been Jewish temples on the Temple Mount—hence, there was no historic connection between the Jews and Jerusalem, and, by extension, between the Jews and the Land of Israel/Palestine. Only the Palestinian Arabs had an historic right to the country, all of it.

And more concretely speaking, he insisted on the refugees' "right of return" and the implementation of a return, meaning that anywhere between 4.7 million (the UN figure) and 6 million (the PLO figure) "refugees" would flood back to their former family homes and lands inside Israel. Given that Israel today has a population of 5.7 million Jews and 1.5 million Israeli-Arab citizens (who by and large call themselves "Palestinians"), a mass "refugee" return would mean the transformation of Israel, instantly, from a Jewish to an Arab state. Ergo, no Israel.

In the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations of 2008 the Palestinian leaders, one and all, were unconciliatory on the refugee issue. Only a mass return would satisfy them. (Israel until now has been tactful and diplomatic in not publishing the exact details of the 2006-2008 negotiations: Perhaps it is time that Netanyahu or his predecessor, Ehud Olmert, who conducted the negotiations, publish Israel's offer to the Palestinian Authority—which reportedly was 97 per cent of the West Bank, 100 per cent of the Gaza Strip, and half of Jerusalem (including joint control over the Temple Mount), the city to serve as the Palestinians' capital. And publish also Abbas's response—which was not to respond and not to make any counter-proposal, which amounted to a flat "no.")

The fact that Abbas and company (not to mention their Islamist rivals, Hamas) steadfastly refuse to give up the "right of return" in the negotiation with Israel (and it does not matter what one or another of them may have said at some point in internal Palestinian discussions) is the surest indication that they have no intention of making peace with Israel. (Another indication is Abbas's consistent refusal to recognize Israel as a "Jewish state.")

Let Wikileaks or Al Jazeera (or Freedland) find and publish the document showing that the Palestinian leadership has accepted the Clinton formula for solving the refugeee problem—i.e., settlement in place, in the Arab countries, in the future West Bank-Gaza Palestinian state, across the oceans in Canada, or wherever—and conveyed that acceptance to Israel, formally, officially and definitively, as well as the agreement for recognizing Israel as the Jewish state, and peace between Israel and the Palestinians would be achievable in short order.


Etnische zuivering in Palestina

Zoals veel nationale en etnische conflicten overal ter wereld, leidde het Arabisch-Israelische conflict tot 'etnische zuiveringen' in verschillende gradaties, waarvan merkwaardigerwijs slechts een deel nog steeds belangstelling krijgt, nl. het deel van de gevluchte annex verdreven Arabieren uit het gebied dat Israel werd. Een kleiner aantal Joden werd gelijktijdig volledig verdreven uit de gebieden die onder Jordaanse en Egyptische controle kwamen, en nadien ontvluchten vele honderduizenden Joden uit de Arabische landen, hoogstwaarschijnlijk meer dan er Arabieren gevlucht waren. Het voornaamste verschil is dat de Joodse vluchtelingen een nieuw thuis kregen en daar een nieuw leven konden opbouwen, terwijl de Arabische vluchtelingen tot schande van de internationale gemeenschap in kampen werden gehouden als speelbal en politiek wapen tegen Israel.

ElderToons: Ethnic Cleansing

Hamas verbiedt 'on-islamitische' boeken in Gaza

Vanwege de 'bijna totale blokkade' van de Gazastrook door Israel, zou er nauwelijks iets te krijgen zijn in het belegerde gebied dat Hamas claimde bevrijd te hebben toen Israel zich in 2005 terugtrok. Nochtans zijn twee op de drie 'verboden pleziertjes' (=boeken die niet aan de sharia voldoen) in de boekwinkels van Gaza te koop. Althans dat waren ze tot de 'Kulturkammer' (excuses voor de nazi-vergelijking) van Hamas ze in beslag nam. Nu maar hopen dat ze die opwindende romans niet ook nog gaan verbranden, want dan wordt het wel erg akelig in het 'getto'....
PCHR  reports that Hamas has been engaging in a little book censorship in Gaza.
At approximately 13:30 on Sunday, 23 January 2011, 4 persons, one of whom was wearing military uniform, who introduced themselves as members of the GIB, confiscated copies of two novels – Alaa al-Aswany's "Chicago" and Haidar Haidar's "Banquet for Seaweed" – from Ibn Khaldoun bookstore opposite to al-Azhar University in the west of Gaza City. The GIB members presented a decision issued by the Ministry of Interior in the Gaza Strip ordering confiscation of a number of novels, including the aforementioned ones. They also informed the owner of the bookstore to refer to al-Abbas police station to obtain a document proving the confiscation of the two novels. They further claimed that the two novels violate the Islamic Shari'a (Islamic Law).

At the same time, 3 persons wearing civilian clothes, went to al-Shorouq bookstore. They introduced themselves as members of the GIB and presented an order issued by the Ministry of Interior ordering confiscation of 3 novels: "Chicago;" "Banquet for Seaweed;" and "Forbidden Pleasure." They confiscated copies of the first two novels as the third one was not available in the bookshop. They also informed the owner of the bookstore to refer to al-Abbas police station to obtain a document proving the confiscation of the two novels.

Earlier, two persons wearing civilian clothes, who introduced themselves as members of the Internal Security Service, went to Sameer Mansour bookstore opposite to the Islamic University in Jamal Abdul Nasser Street in the west of Gaza City. They requested an employee to show them the two novels - "Chicago" and "Banquet for Seaweed." When the employee showed them copies of the two novels, they ordered him not to sell them until necessary measures are taken with regard to them.

Major Ayman al-Batniji, spokesman of the Palestinian police, told a PCHR field worker in a phone call on Monday, 24 January 2011, that he had no information about such measures, but he digressed claiming that these novels violate the Islamic Shari'a.

Freedom Riders, circa 2011: Israelische Hoge Raad beslist tegen sexe-scheiding in bussen

Naomi Ragen is een orthodox-joodse schrijfster in Jeruzalem, die al jaren strijd tegen de druk van ultra-orthodoxen om vrouwen achterin de bussen te laten plaatsnemen die naar en door hun wijken rijden.
Subject: Sex-Segregated Buses: Freedom Riders 2011

Dear Friends,

The Supreme Court has finally had its say about the sex-segregated buses. While I think the battle will be won on the buses and not in the courts, I am still pleased to say that the case we brought to the Court has resulted in a victory for women's rights at least on paper.  I hope to gather the support of women's groups to make sure that these Court rulings find their way to the buses as well, which have become the latest arena in which women's rights are being eroded by extremist religious groups that are inventing new religious rulings faster than we can keep up with them. If we don't put a stop to it right now, they will change the face of Judaism until it will be unrecognizable and interchangeable with certain other Semitic religious practices towards women which will go unnamed.


Freedom Riders, circa 2011
Jerusalem Post - 22/01/2011

In 21st century, why do we need a court to state the obvious - that women in this country are entitled to sit wherever they choose on a public bus?

A major victory for women's rights was won on January 6 when the High Court declared that segregation on public transportation is illegal. Relying on court decisions and legislation, Justice Elyakim Rubinstein expressed surprise that in the year 2011 the court even needed to state the obvious: Women are entitled to sit wherever they choose on public buses.

Reviewing the history of bus transportation, he reminded us that there had never been segregation on public buses, and that the issue of segregated seating was raised only in the past decade by a group of religious extremists. They demanded that women sit in the back of public buses on certain routes which traveled through haredi neighborhoods. They also demanded that women be dressed in a modest fashion, as determined by their "modesty patrols."

The Egged bus company complied with these demands and women were directed to the rear of certain buses, while the front was reserved for men. When some women refused to sit in the back, they were subjected to verbal abuse and occasional physical abuse by some male extremists.

A few women were not permitted to board these buses because of their choice of clothing. When best-selling Orthodox writer Naomi Ragen was subjected to severe harassment while riding a bus to her Jerusalem home, she decided to take action. In 2007, she filed a petition to the High Court of justice, claiming that she was being denied the right to sit in the front section of a public bus.

Joined by other female victims of harassment on buses, as well as by the Center for Religious Pluralism, they were hopeful when the court ordered the minister of transportation to set up a commission to study the issue, conduct hearings and publish its findings. The commission presented its report in late 2009, declaring that segregated buses were illegal.

Recognizing that some religiously observant men (and women) might wish to sit separately on public buses because of concerns for modesty, the court stated that in a pluralistic, multicultural society, everyone should have the right to sit wherever he or she chooses. However, the court made it very clear that women have the right to sit at the front of the bus (or anywhere else on it) without harassment of any sort, whether verbal or physical. Those who interfere with that right would be subject to criminal prosecution. Justice Rubinstein, an Orthodox Jew, quoted liberally from Jewish law sources in his opinion, noting that respecting human dignity and love of all creatures were basic to Judaism.

SINCE ALL of the parties accepted the commission's conclusions, the court ordered the Transportation Ministry and Egged to implement the report as follows:

1. All previously segregated bus lines are to carry signs stating that every passenger is entitled to sit wherever he or she chooses, except for seats designated for the disabled, and that anyone who interferes with that right by harassing a passenger may be subject to criminal prosecution.
These signs are to be of a reasonable size and are to be posted at both the front and rear doors.

2. Bus companies must publicize in haredi daily newspapers that segregated bus routes have been cancelled, and every passenger has the right to sit wherever she or he chooses.

3. Bus drivers are to be trained to implement the court's decision that segregation is illegal.

4. The minister of transportation is responsible for the overseeing the implementation of the court's decision, and must monitor the previously segregated bus routes to ensure that women are not being harassed or threatened.

The court declared a trial period of one year to determine if the decision to eliminate segregated buses was being enforced. Rubinstein stated that if the Transportation Ministry finds that it is unable to protect women who choose to sit in the front of public buses, it should use its authority to close down those routes which continue to force segregation. He concluded that the influence of court decisions on human behavior may be limited. He expressed his hope that all parties would behave with tolerance and good will, for the benefit of society.

Women are cautiously optimistic, but unwilling to rely solely on government agencies and commercial bus companies to enforce the court's decision.
A nationwide campaign entitled "Freedom Riders" is planned, which will encourage women to ride buses on previously segregated routes, and to report on their experiences.

In the spirit of Rosa Parks, this grandmother (and big-mouth lawyer) intends to take a front seat on one of those buses on a weekly basis
I'll be carrying my cellphone so that I can call the police if necessary.
How about joining me?

The writer is a women's rights lawyer based in Jerusalem. She is the director of the International Jewish Women's Rights Project and was the only woman to serve on the Commission to Appoint Dayanim from 2003-2009.

For more articles, please visit my Web page at:
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vrijdag 28 januari 2011

Eva Ludemann geeft Palestijnen mediatips in De Pers


Eva Ludemann geeft Palestijnen mediatips in De Pers

IMO Blog, 2011

Naar een eigen staat kunnen de Palestijnen wel fluiten, Israël heeft hen een worst voorgehouden. Dat staat in documenten die zondag naar buiten zijn gebracht door Al-Jazeera en de Britse krant The Guardian. De Palestijnse reactie is knullig, de Israëlische gewiekst.
'De hele wereld ziet nu dat wij ons uiterste best hebben gedaan het conflict met Israël op te lossen. We hebben Israël álles aangeboden, maar het wil geen vredesverdrag tekenen.'
Dat had het Palestijnse Gezag maandag kunnen zeggen. In plaats daarvan riepen de Palestijnse president Abbas en zijn onderhandelaars: 'Leugens, verzinsels, grote onzin.'

Aldus "Palestijnen, ga toch 's op mediatraining" door Eva Ludemann, altijd goed voor een pittig anti-Israel artikel in De Pers. In werkelijkheid hoeft het Palestijnse gezag bovenstaande helemaal niet te zeggen, want de Westerse media zeggen het wel voor hun. En Israel kan dan 'gewiekst' reageren, daar heeft men weinig aan als Westerse journalisten elkaar blijven napapegaaien dat de Palestijnen het zielige slachtoffer zijn en de slinkse Joodse lobby ervoor zal zorgen dat dat zo blijft. Overigens is mij geen gewiekste Israelische reactie opgevallen op de Palestine Papers, net zo min als op andere kwesties en problemen. Voor zover ik weet heeft men op de Palestine Papers nauwelijks gereageerd, en ziet men dit vooral als een interne Palestijnse aangelegenheid. Dus Eva Ludemann speldt ons wat op de mouw.

Ze gaat door met:

Public relations en de Palestijnen, ze gaan niet goed samen. Denk aan het moment dat de vredesbesprekingen mislukten tussen de Israëlische oud-premier en wijlen Yasser Arafat, toen de leider van de Palestijnen. Het was het jaar 2000, oud-president Clinton had beide mannen uitgenodigd in Camp David om hen te helpen een overeenkomst te bereiken. Het mislukte en Israël beschuldigde Arafat er snel van dat hij geen concessies had willen doen. Vrijwel alle media namen de Israëlische verklaring over, want de Palestijnen stonden met hun mond vol tanden of ratelden over onnavolgbare percentages land waarvan ze afstand hadden willen doen. Achteraf bleek dat Barak had geweigerd echte compromissen te sluiten, maar de damage was done.

Hoeveel mensen menen tegenwoordig nog dat de onderhandelingen in Camp David stukliepen op Palestijnse onwil? Hoeveel mensen weten dat de Tweede Intifada was voorbereid, en deze maanden vantevoren door Palestijnse leiders werd aangekondigd? Ik ben dat nog nooit in de krant tegengekomen, ondanks het feit dat het waar is. Men houdt het er doorgaans op dat Sharons bezoek aan de Tempelberg de aanleiding was, en frustratie over de bezetting en voortgaande bouw in de nederzettingen de oorzaak. De kranten melden dus liever de Palestijnse versie, zoals Ludemann hierboven. De concessies van Barak zijn bekend en makkelijk te vinden voor wie wil, inclusief Eva Ludemann, en dan kun je zien dat Barak de Palestijnen een aaneengesloten staat aanbood met delen van Oost Jeruzalem. Later stemde Barak in met Clintons voorstellen die nog verder gingen. Ik ben overigens wel benieuwd naar de 'onnavolgbare percentages' waarvan de Palestijnen volgens Ludemann repten. heeft ze een paar voorbeelden? Of is dit uit haar grote duim gezogen?

Door hun onhandige optreden gooien de Palestijnen vaak hun eigen glazen in. Het begint al op microniveau, heeft deze journalist regelmatig ervaren. Wil je een interview met de minister van Binnenlandse Zaken? Good luck. Op je zoveelste aanvraag wordt wéér niet gereageerd: de onderminister geeft je verzoeken niet door uit jaloezie dat hij zelf niet wordt geïnterviewd. Of je hebt het interview eindelijk geregeld en dan vraagt de minister: 'Zeg, welke kleur onderbroek heb jij eigenlijk aan?' Het resultaat: je hebt voor je verhaal alleen citaten van Israëlische woordvoerders en je hebt geen zin die seksistische minister ooit nog te spreken.

Ook op Palestijnse persconferenties is het geregeld een chaos. Persverklaringen zijn eindeloze monologen in hoogdravend, klassiek Arabisch. Als de Palestijnse woordvoerder Engels spreekt, sputtert hij zinnen vol al dan niet terechte beschuldigingen aan Israëls adres die totaal niet aankomen bij de lezer, luisteraar of kijker. Van de 'sound bite' hebben de Palestijnen nog nooit gehoord.

Die klacht hoor ik over Israel ook vaak. De burocratie is er vreselijk, het veiligheidspersoneel onbeschoft, en het Engels van mensen als Barak houdt ook niet over. Waar het om gaat is hoe de journalisten hiermee omgaan: Israelische onwil en onbeschoftheid wordt tegen Israel gebruikt, niet als bewijs dat het met de 'gelikte hasbara' wel meevalt, maar als bewijs van arrogantie en minachting van de rest van de wereld. En Palestijnse onwil en onbeschoftheid? Juist ja, die ligt eraan dat ze zo zielig en amateuristisch zijn, en nou eenmaal geen dure mediatrainingen en pr experts kunnen inhuren. Het machtige Israel daarentegen....

Ludemann besluit:

Politieke munt
Het is hoog tijd voor een intensieve mediatraining voor de Palestijnen. En ze moeten minder aandacht besteden aan interne politieke intriges. Die ondermijnen de onderhandelingspositie tegenover Israël.
Op zich is het logisch. Het impopulaire Palestijnse Gezag noemt de Papers leugens, omdat aartsvijand Hamas politieke munt uit de situatie kan slaan: het Palestijnse volk is op zijn zachtst gezegd niet blij dat het op geen enkele wijze is geconsulteerd over de vergaande concessies die Abbas aan Israël zou hebben gedaan. 'Abbas heult met de bezetter', surfte Hamas in de Gazastrook direct mee op de woede onder het volk.
Maar waarom komt Abbas niet met een geloofwaardiger verklaring, eentje die de aandacht van de media én het volk meer vestigt op de inhoud van de Papers? Als Israël én de VS de Palestijnen inderdaad jarenlang voor de gek hebben gehouden, wekt dat internationale verontwaardiging waarmee het Palestijnse Gezag zijn voordeel zou kunnen doen.

Nou wordt-ie helemaal mooi: 'als Israel en de VS de Palestijnen voor de gek hebben gehouden'? Het zijn toch echt de Palestijnse leiders die hun volk voor de gek hebben gehouden, door in het openbaar steeds te verklaren geen enkele concessie te zullen doen, geen 'Palestijnse rechten' te zullen verkwanselen en niet toe te geven. Bovendien worden in door de PA gecontroleerde media terroristen verheerlijkt als Dalal Mughrabi, die tientallen onschuldige burgers en kinderen op hun geweten hebben. Ook dragen de media en het schoolmateriaal uit dat heel het land eigenlijk van de Palestijnen is, en wordt Israel 'bezet Palestina' genoemd. Zo liggen Jaffa, Akko en Haifa volgens kwissen en kinderprogramma's in bezet Palestina, en ligt Palestina aan zowel de Middellandse, de Dode als de Rode Zee, en is de grootste woestijn van Palestina de Negev (Naqab). Al Quds is uiteraard heilig en er mag geen millimeter van worden opgeofferd.

En dan blijkt na jaren opeens dat de Palestijnse leiders dat wel wilden doen, compromissen wilden sluiten en van alles aan de Joden geven? Het is logisch dat mensen dat niet begrijpen, en natuurlijk slaat Hamas daar munt uit.

Maar volgens Ludemann ligt dat allemaal weer op de een of andere manier aan Israel, alsof Israel verantwoordelijk is voor de concessies van de Palestijnen. Stel dat er wel een akkoord was gekomen? Dan hadden Abbas, Erekat en Qurei jaren geleden aan het volk moeten verklaren dat er een akkoord is, en dan was dezelfde woede over ze heen gekomen als nu, en had Hamas er even hard munt uit geslagen. Sommigen zouden misschien wat minder boos zijn omdat ze ook opgelucht waren dat er een akkoord is en er een Palestijnse staat kon komen, maar anderen zouden des te bozer zijn omdat men nu daadwerkelijk een aantal claims moet opgeven. Hamas en vele Palestijnse organisaties die tegen een tweestatenoplossing zijn, zouden een nieuwe grote campagne beginnen. Het vertrouwen dat de deal ook zou gaan werken en geen truuk is van Israel om de Palestijnen zand in de ogen te strooien, zou klein zijn en het wantrouwen, ook in de eigen leiders, groot. Israel had de PA vast allerlei voordeeltjes beloofd als men hieraan mee zou doen, etc. Een Palestijns leiderschap dat zo weinig vertrouwen geniet onder haar eigen volk kan moeilijk dit soort belangrijke en moeilijke beslissingen nemen.

Waarom de Palestijnse leiders niet met een inhoudelijker verklaring over die papers komen, vraagt Ludemann zich af. Omdat het volk nou juist zo boos is over de inhoud van die papers. Naar buiten toe zou het natuurlijk verstandiger zijn als men zou zeggen dat uit de papers blijkt dat men zo compromisbereid was en Israel daar niet op inging, al is met name dat laatste niet waar. Maar dat gaat een beetje moeilijk, nadat men intern altijd het tegenovergestelde heeft gezegd en bovendien nauwelijks nog gezag heeft en vertrouwen geniet onder de bevolking. En uiteindelijk zijn zij wel de leiders van hun volk, ook al worden ze door het westen gesteund en in het zadel gehouden.

Ratna Pelle

The Guardian Papers over Joodse vraagstuk (satire)

Ter afsluiting van deze CIF-Watch/Guardian reeks nog een stukje satire.......

These exclusive Guardian Papers, which CiF Watch has obtained, are the minutes from editorial meetings held at Guardian headquarters.  Today's installment: "The Jewish Question."

Next to be released in our Guardian Papers series:

"On the question of whether Hamas' recent charm offensive is a sign that the Muslim Brotherhood is going wobbly on Zionism."

Here's a sneak preview of a photo which Seumas Milne presented at the meeting to make his case:


donderdag 27 januari 2011

Hoe The Guardian hielp het vredesproces om zeep te helpen

Zoals ik in mijn vorige commentaartje al schreef, kun je je afvragen welke motieven The Guardian had voor het openbaar maken van de Palestine Papers. Hieronder doet Ottolenghi een paar suggesties. Belangrijk is dat hoe dan ook de kansen op vrede nu kleiner lijken dan ooit, met een woedende bevolking die zich door het toch al impopulaire leiderschap verraden voelt, waar Hamas natuurlijk garen bij spint.
Het volgende is een belangrijke waarneming die geheel afwezig was in onze media: waarom hebben de Palestijnen in 2010 zo moeilijk gedaan over nederzettingen in Oost Jeruzalem als zij in 2008 bereid waren die te accepteren als deel van Israel?

As Noah pointed out, if the main cause for lack of progress in the past 24 months was Palestinian insistence on an Israeli settlement freeze, one that included Jerusalem, as a precondition for talks — and this, thanks to U.S. backing — the papers reveal that it was merely a cynical pretext for the Palestinians' not resuming talks once Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu took power. Otherwise, why make a sacred cow of something they had already conceded before? The answer may be that the Palestinians neither accepted nor rejected the Olmert offer but, rather, regarded it as still on the table, allowing them time to see if Olmert was going to survive politically. With Olmert (and Livni) out and Obama in, then, the Palestinians may have concluded that a better deal could be had with a more sympathetic U.S. administration in place. This is consistent with Palestinian behavior historically and a tried-and-tested recipe for disaster for their aspirations.


This is cross posted by Emanuele Ottolenghi at Contentions, the blog of Commentary Magazine.

As Alana noted yesterday, the extent of Palestinian concessions during peace talks, once made public, has seriously damaged PA leaders — and the State Department has weighed, noting that things are now going to be even harder than they were already.

The immediate fallout from the leaks should raise a number of important questions for the Guardian, but judging by the way it is spinning the story, it is hard to believe introspection is coming.

First, the Guardian appears shocked and angered by the extent of Palestinian concessions on settlements and yet blames Israel for the subsequent impasse on account of … settlements!

As Noah pointed out, if the main cause for lack of progress in the past 24 months was Palestinian insistence on an Israeli settlement freeze, one that included Jerusalem, as a precondition for talks — and this, thanks to U.S. backing — the papers reveal that it was merely a cynical pretext for the Palestinians' not resuming talks once Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu took power. Otherwise, why make a sacred cow of something they had already conceded before? The answer may be that the Palestinians neither accepted nor rejected the Olmert offer but, rather, regarded it as still on the table, allowing them time to see if Olmert was going to survive politically. With Olmert (and Livni) out and Obama in, then, the Palestinians may have concluded that a better deal could be had with a more sympathetic U.S. administration in place. This is consistent with Palestinian behavior historically and a tried-and-tested recipe for disaster for their aspirations.

In his Guardian op-ed on the leaks, Jonathan Freedland wrote that:

Surely international opinion will see concrete proof of how far the Palestinians have been willing to go, ready to move up to and beyond their "red lines," conceding ground that would once have been unthinkable — none more so than on Jerusalem. In the blame game that has long attended Middle East diplomacy, this could see a shift in the Palestinians' favour. The effect of these papers on Israel will be the reverse.

What Freedland is telling us is not what might happen but rather what he ardently wishes would happen. He may be right, of course — but it is not like Israel was basking in the light of international favor before the leaks!

So in effect, the Guardian is saying, Thank heaven Israel will be forced to give back what the Palestinians conceded — that will surely lead to a more equitable result! (Though the Guardian also concedes that the chances for a deal are now dead in the water, thanks to their leak!)

Second, the fallout caused by the Guardian leak is that, in the short term, Palestinian negotiators will have to heed the calls of the street and be much less amenable to compromise than was demonstrated in the leaked papers. Why is it that private virtue and public vice deserve praise?

Again: in the established tradition of Arab leadership, privately held views can never be aired in public, because the public cannot take the truth. This is what the leaks show: Palestinian leaders — much like their Arab counterparts and their Palestinian predecessors — are prisoners of their own past lies and public rhetoric. What they might have agreed to in private has exploded in their faces once made public.

How then can one expect these talks to have ever come to fruition? Surely had the Palestinians and the Israelis signed such a deal, the reaction would have been the same — a rejection of the deal and the questioning the PA leadership's legitimacy, as the Guardian has indeed done on Sunday.

The Guardian has then chosen to leak the papers with a goal – to discredit Israel and the Palestinian leadership at the same time, to peddle its own rejectionist agenda. And what exactly is this agenda? Today's commentary on the leaks, titled, tellingly, "Papers reveal how Palestinian leaders gave up fight over refugees" by Seumus Milne and Ian Black, is worth quoting:

The documents have already become the focus of controversy among Israelis and Palestinians, revealing the scale of official Palestinian concessions rejected by Israel, but also throwing light on the huge imbalance of power in a peace process widely seen to have run into the sand.

Milne is an anti-imperialist firebrand, who has applauded "the resistance" against the war on terror in Afghanistan and Iraq, trivialized the scale of Stalinist atrocities, repeatedly shilled for Hamas, and staunchly defended unrealistic Palestinian claims on refugees. In short, he'd be probably kicked out of the Nation for being too left-wing; but at the Guardian, he is the mainstream.

To him, the leaks are a wonderful opportunity to berate what appear to be much-needed Palestinian concessions for a viable agreement as a surrender to Israel and a betrayal of Palestinian rights.

The Guardian hates the revelations in these papers not because they supposedly show that Palestinian leaders were ready to make the necessary concessions for peace and that Israel was intransigent, but because it hates the fact that Palestinians must make any concessions if peace is ever to be achieved. That is why the real story behind the leaks is not the papers themselves but the Guardian's agenda for leaking them.

The sanctimony of its articles since last weekend shows a contempt for the kinds of concessions that everyone knows are the necessary preconditions for a deal. Milne is flummoxed by the fact that the Palestinians would renounce the refugees' claim to a right of return; his colleagues are fuming because Israeli settlements would be allowed to survive under Israeli sovereignty; the lead editorial on Sunday decried Hamas's exclusion from negotiations; and they lament "the huge imbalance of power" between Israel and the Palestinians — something they wish would change in favor of the Palestinians so that it would be Israel, not the PA, that would have to concede.

The peace process may have been moribund, but surely, after this weekend's leak, it is dead. The Guardian has just given it the coup de grace and is now busy taking credit for it.

The Guardian plaatst cartoon van notoire antisemiet Carlos Latuff

Sorry Wiesje (en anderen die onpasselijk worden van de antisemitische cartoons die we hier wel eens hebben getoond), maar je moet dit zien voordat je het gelooft, in ieder geval vergaat het mij vaak zo. De 3 walgelijkste cartoons, met kinderen en concentratiekampen, hebben we wel vervangen door een linkje.
Het komt erop neer dat de Guardian, een zogenaamde kwaliteitskrant, een cartoon heeft afgedrukt van een notoire antisemiet die niet had misstaan in Der Sturmer. Je kunt je afvragen wat dat zegt over de motieven van deze krant om de Palestine Papers uit te brengen. De commentaren die men erbij plaatst laten in ieder geval zien dat een van de motieven is om Israel zo zwart mogelijk af te kunnen schilderen, maar mogelijk wil men ook een Palestijns leiderschap in discrediet brengen dat bekend staat als relatief gematigd en dat blijkt daadwerkelijk bereid te zijn geweest tot het sluiten van een compromis?

Today's Guardian "Palestine Papers" update included the following illustration by one of the most prolific anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic cartoonists, Carlos Latuff – depicting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as a sinister looking (gun wielding) Orthodox Jew.  (The Guardian casually referred to Latuff as "a Brazilian based cartoonist.")

As I noted previously (in a piece for the JCPA, as well as a guest post for Elder of Ziyon), Latuff is a Brazilian political "activist" and cartoonist with an impressively large portfolio of work – much of which openly express anti-Semitic themes. Some of his caricatures seem to suggest that Israel is a unique and immutable evil in the world.  His work includes imagery frequently suggesting a moral equivalence between Israel and Nazi Germany – and he has explicitly acknowledged that this indeed his political view.

Latuff's work has been posted on various radical left websites and blogs, as well as several terrorist affiliated websites such as 'The Islamic Front for the Iraqi Resistance' (JAMI) magazine. Norman Finkelstein's official website has also featured Latuff cartoons. As I noted in my Elder of Ziyon post, a blogger at the site, Mondoweiss, made use of one of Latuff's cartoons during the flotilla incident. (Scroll down to bottom to see link to Latuff's cartoon)

Latuff's notoriety includes his participation in the 2006 Iranian International Holocaust Cartoon Competition – for his cartoon comparing the Israeli West Bank security barrier with the Nazi concentration camps. Latuff placed second in the contest.

In their 2003 Annual Report, the Stephen Roth Institute compared Latuff's cartoons of Ariel Sharon to the antisemitic caricatures of Philipp Rupprecht in Julius Streicher's Der Stürmer.

Even the Guardian's Ian Black noted that Latuff was among those cartoonists "drawing, without inhibition, on judeophobic stereotypes in the service of the anti-globalisation movement."

Latuff also has employed racist themes in service of his critiques of President Barack Obama.

Here is some of Latuff's work:

The Latuff cartoon above, showing Sharon kissing Hitler, appeared on the (Washington) DC Indymedia site.

[see CIF Watch article for cartoon]

The above Latuff cartoon was published by Indymedia on Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The above is yet another Latuff cartoon on Indymedia.  It makes sure there is no doubt that the Jewish state has morphed into the new Nazi Germany by showing the tracks of the Israeli tank shaped like swastikas.

[see CIF Watch article for cartoon]

The cartoon above by Latuff, depicting former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert cradling a dead Palestinian baby, was published on Indymedia. It suggests that not only do Israeli leaders intentionally kill Palestinian children, but also that such child murder is popular among the Israeli public and helps Israeli politicians get elected.

This cartoon, comparing Zionism to the Ku Klux Klan, made reference to an anti-Semitic cartoon by James Heine, which was posted at the blog, Daily Kos, but subsequently removed by editors of the site.

[see CIF Watch article for cartoon]

And, finally, an Israel so evil as to douse gas on a burning Lebanese child.

Their decision to employ the services of an extremist such as Latuff is a reminder that the most important story pertaining to the "Palestine Papers" is not the contents of the documents as much as it is the lengths the Guardian is willing to go in service of their viscous anti-Zionist agenda.


Auschwitz herdenking 27 januari: help mee haat en antisemitisme online te bestrijden

Het aantal antisemitische en haatuitingen op internet is gigantisch, en groeit iedere dag sneller aan dan dat tegenstanders het eraf kunnen krijgen. Toch is het goed om er achterheen te gaan, en er op zijn minst naar te streven dat zulke uitingen van gerenommeerde websites, kranten en fora snel zijn verdwenen. Dit geldt wat mij betreft overigens niet alleen voor antisemitisme maar alle haatzaaierij.

Joining together to combat hate and anti Semitism online

January 27th marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the largest Nazi death camp. Since 2005 it is also the International Holocaust Remembrance Day (IHRD), an annual day of commemoration to honor the victims of the Nazi era.

The Nazis didn't have Internet access. There was no Facebook, no Twitter, no YouTube to help the Nazis deliver their hate message to the masses.

The Nazis may be gone but their hate message remains alive and well. Anti Semitisim today hides behind anti Zionism. Those that spread this message of hate do a remarkable job spreading their wrath online. Social media sites such Facebook, Youtube and Twitter become vehicles in delivering messages of hate and incitement.

This Holocaust remembrance day would like to launch a community initiative to combat hate online. Social media sites have pledged to remove online hate and terrorist groups but with anti Israel rhetoric and anti Semitism on the rise, their moderators have been unable to monitor the sheer number of messages.

As individuals and a community we need to stand together and report hate spreading rhetoric. We need your help to do that.  Please send us links of users, videos, groups, or events spreading anti Semitism and anti Zionism online. We would verify the information and create a periodical list of hateful profiles and content. We would then ask the help of our community members to report those as spreading hate online.

Links and information can be emailed to Thanks for your support.


Advokaat voor Israël: de ongekende kracht van oneliners

Brabosh heeft een aantal oneliners verzameld en vertaald, waarvan ik er hier enkele overneem. In de inleiding wijst hij erop dat velen nou eenmaal niet zitten te wachten op ingewikkelde achtergrondverhalen en analyses, maar een snel hapklaar antwoord willen op vragen. Mensen als Dries van Agt zijn ook daarom zo populair, omdat zij zo goed zijn in het geven van oneliners. Hier een paar tegenvoorbeelden.

Advokaat voor Israël: de ongekende kracht van oneliners

Heeft u ook altijd problemen met die oneliners van tegenstanders van het bestaansrecht van de Joodse staat binnen veilige grenzen, die u in het debat met één wel gemikte slogan u van uw sokken slaan? U kan voortaan net hetzelfde met hen doen. Het gros van uw tegenstanders heeft toch geen trek in diepzinnige en langdradige uiteenzettingen. Ze houden van die korte paragrafen van 3 tot tien woorden, maximaal 30 of 40, licht verteerbaar en straight to the point.

Geen achtergrondinfo of context, nee hoor, geen kennis nodig, da's allemaal zo vreselijk saai saaier saaist! Ze gooien ook nooit een historische encyclopedie van 26 delen open op tafel om hun stellingen te staven, maar mikken een virtuele vlijmscherpe stiletto precies tussen je ogen. Knockout! Einde argumentatie dus. U bent eraan voor al die moeite die u heeft gedaan.

Echter, met de volgende reeks van een 30-tal vlotte oneliners geeft u ze eindelijk een koekje van eigen deeg. Druk de lijst hieronder af en kleef die op de deur van uw ijskast of op de toiletdeur. Het gebruik ervan wordt veelvuldig en zonder limiet aangeraden. Succes gegarandeerd! De vijanden van Israël en van de Joden zullen u voortaan haten als de pest, maar volkomen uit het lood geslagen sprakeloos afdruipen.

Usefull Soundbites

door Beyond Images

Vertaald en licht bewerkt door op 3 januari 2011

  • Over het oprichten van een Palestijnse staat:

    U kunt geen Palestijnse staat oprichten door het demoniseren van de  Joodse [staat]

  • Waarom de Palestijnen nog steeds geen eigen staat hebben:

    De Palestijnen hebben nog steeds geen onafhankelijk land. Maar dat komt niet door de Israëlische houding ten opzichte van een Palestijnse staat. Dat komt door de Palestijnse houding tegenover de Joodse staat.

  • Over hoe de Palestijnse eis van 'recht op terugkeer' een obstakel vormt voor de vrede:

    Gematigde Palestijnen zeggen dat ze de vrede steunen en voor een twee-statenoplossing zijn. Maar in een en dezelfde adem eisen ze een 'recht op terugkeer' voor de Palestijnen naar Israël. Dat is net hetzelfde alsof een persoon die aankondigt dat hij gelooft in rookvrije zones, vervolgens het recht om te roken opeist voor zichzelf èn al zijn vrienden.

  • Wie is verantwoordelijk voor het veiligheidshek?

    Het veiligheidshek is niet het onvermijdelijk uitvloeisel van de Israëlische politiek. Het is het onvermijdelijk uitvloeisel van de Palestijnse politiek.

  • Over hoe de Palestijnse Arabieren vluchtelingen werden:

    Het vluchtelingenprobleem werd niet veroorzaakt als gevolg van de stichting van Israël. Het werd voornamelijk veroorzaakt door de verwerping door de Arabische wereld van de stichting van Israël.

  • Over de schade die wordt veroorzaakt door Palestijnse schoolboeken die Israël ontkennen:

    Palestijnse schoolboeken zetten vaak aan tot haat jegens Israël en verspreiden de overtuiging dat de Israëli's buitenlandse kolonisten zijn. Er zijn maar weinig betere indicaties te vinden die de houding van een samenleving beter typeren dan de onderwerpen die worden aangeleerd aan de schoolkinderen van die maatschappij.

  • Over Yasser Arafat als een "strijder voor de vrijheid":

    Yasser Arafat was niet "de verpersoonlijking van Palestijnen die vechten voor de vrijheid". Integendeel, hij verpersoonlijkt de mislukking van hun strijd voor de vrijheid.

  • Yasser Arafat en de hoopvolle verwachtingen van het Palestijnse volk:

    Yasser Arafat heeft de "Palestijnse hoop niet ingelost": verre van dat. Telkens weer heeft hij de fundamenten voor de hoop de grond in geboord.

  • Over Palestijnse nationale rechten:

    De Palestijnen genieten tot op vandaag geen nationale rechten, niet omdat het Joodse volk Israël heeft gecreëerd, maar omdat de Palestijnen zelf Israël hebben afgewezen.

  • Over Palestijnse mensenrechten:

    De strijd tussen Israël en de Palestijnen gaat niet over Israëlische veiligheid versus Palestijnse mensenrechten. Het gaat over Palestijnse mensenrechten jegens Israëlische mensenrechten – het fundamentele menselijke recht van de Israëli's om te leven.

  • Over het beëindigen van de bezetting:

    Het zijn niet de Israëli's die weigerden om de bezetting van de Westelijke Jordaanoever op te heffen in 2000-2001, maar de Palestijnse leiders.

  • Over Palestijns geweld en de bezetting:

    Het is niet de bezetting die geleid heeft tot het Palestijnse geweld, maar het Palestijnse geweld dat de bezetting van de Westelijke Jordaanoever heeft verlengd.

  • Over zelfmoordbommenleggers:

    De Palestijnse zelfmoordbommenleggers strijden niet voor de bevrijding van Palestina, maar voor de vernietiging van Israël.

    Zij kanten zich niet tegen de bezetting maar tegen het idee van een Palestijnse staat die zij aan zij bestaat naast een beveiligd Israël.

    Israëlische Arabieren hebben veel meer gevaar te duchten vanwege de Palestijnse zelfmoordbommenleggers dan voor de Israëlische gewapende strijdkrachten.

  • Over de wanhoop van zelfmoordterroristen:

    De campagne van zelfmoordaanslagen is niet gebaseerd op wanhoop, maar gebaseerd op de manipulatie van de wanhoop door groepen die met veel cynisme massamoord plannen.

  • Over de militaire maatregelen van Israël:

    Het Palestijnse geweld is de oorzaak van militaire maatregelen van Israël en niet het resultaat van deze maatregelen.

  • Over de Verenigde Staten en Israël:

    De Verenigde Staten zijn niet "bevooroordeeld ten opzichte van Israël" bij de Verenigde Naties. Zij verzetten zich tegen de vooroordelen jegens Israël bij de Verenigde Naties.

    Bronnen: Beyond Images: Useful Soundbites…. Brief sentences which sum up key issues 5th edition – 1 January 2011


  • "Palestine Papers laten zien dat Palestijnen niet aan compromissen toe zijn"

    Volgens veel commentatoren, ik meen zelfs volgens Ad Bloemendaal, die ik vaak redelijk uitgewogen vind, logenstraffen de Palestine Papers de Israelische mantra "dat er aan Palestijnse kant geen vredespartner is". Dat is echter een 'mantra' die je alleen bij Likoed en rechts daarvan hoort, al waren velen wel na 2000 van oordeel dat Arafat geen vredespartner (meer) was.
    Onder andere Labor en Kadima menen wel dat met Abbas vredeszaken kunnen worden gedaan, zoals een woordvoerder van Livni hieronder nog eens herinnert.
    Terecht is wel de vraag van de Israelische diplomaat hieronder, hoe de PA denkt vrede te kunnen sluiten als ze hun eigen achterban niet durven te zeggen dat ze daarvoor flinke concessies zullen moeten doen aan hun standpunten...

    The Jerusalem Post
    'Leaks show Palestinians are not prepared for compromise'
    01/26/2011 01:57

    Israeli official says "Palestine Papers" raise questions about Palestinian leadership's "readiness to solve the conflict."

    Al-Jazeera's release of the "Palestine Papers" highlights the "unfortunate reality" that, since the peace process began over 15 years ago, the Palestinian leadership "has not prepared its people for peace, reconciliation, and the compromise required," one Israeli diplomatic official said Tuesday.

    The official said this was apparent in the Palestinian leadership's "shock" about what was published, and its "rush to deny that they had expressed 'flexible' negotiating positions."

    "The fact that the former prime minister [Ehud Olmert] was willing to split Jerusalem, place the 'Holy Basin' under an international consortium, and engage in far-reaching land swaps, but that the Palestinians were still not ready to close a deal, raises questions about their readiness to solve the conflict," the official said.

    The official said that while the documents revealed a willingness toward "negotiation and flexibility, we don't see a real willingness to follow through."

    The best example, the official said, was the unrelenting Palestinian position on Ma'aleh Adumim, which the PA demanded be ceded to a future Palestinian state.

    "Ma'aleh Adumim is one of the largest settlements, and in all the different peace plans put on the table over the last 20 years, both government and nongovernmental plans, Ma'aleh Adumim remains a part of Israel in the final status," the official said. "Yet these documents indicate that the Palestinians appear to show no flexibility whatsoever on this issue, leading one to ask whether they are really willing to follow through and take the decisions required for peace."

    Meanwhile, the office of Kadima leader Tzipi Livni on Tuesday rejected a tongue-in-cheek invitation by Israel Beiteinu to attend the party's faction meeting in order to present proposals to swap Arab border towns in pre-1967 Israel that Al-Jazeera reported she had raised during negotiations with the Palestinians.

    "Israel Beiteinu's invitation is ridiculous," a Kadima statement said.

    "We do not address publications by Al-Jazeera, and as time passes, more and more doubts are raised about their reliability. Israel Beiteinu, not for the first time, deals with headlines and not the essence.

    Had they read the details, they would see that there is no link between what was written in the Al-Jazeera documents themselves and the very problematic proposals by [Foreign Minister Avigdor] Lieberman."

    Livni's office added that "if Israel Beiteinu wants to hang on Livni's words, then hang on the unequivocal assertion that there is a partner with whom we can reach a permanent agreement that will end the conflict while still preserving the national and security interests of Israel."

    Uitspraken Livni, Abbas, Erekat en Qurei volgens de Palestine Papers

    Ik heb ze zelf niet bestudeerd, maar de 'Palestine Papers' geven verslagen die medewerkers van de Palestijnse onderhandelaars hebben geschreven, en bevatten - zoals de notulen van elke vergadering - lang niet altijd een correcte weergave van wat iedereen heeft gezegd en in welke context. Die korrel zout lijkt te ontbreken bij de meeste commentaren en berichten in de media.
    Zo werd al gewezen op de uitspraken van Livni over internationaal recht die verdraaid zouden zijn. De Palestijnen daarentegen ontkennen tot nu toe zowat alles wat hen wordt toegeschreven in de Papers, terwijl het een goede aanleiding zou kunnen zijn om de achterban eindelijk duidelijk te maken dat er veel concessies nodig zijn om tot een akkoord te komen.

    Abbas: We can't expect Israel to take in a million refugees

    In leaked documents, PA prime minister acknowledges that insisting on the "right of return" would be "illogical" and "would mean the end of Israel."

    A second cache of Palestinian documents released by Al- Jazeera on Monday night showed Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat and his team, in Ramallah in June 2009, discussing the notion of 10,000 refugees and their families returning to Israel as part of a final peace agreement, as ostensibly offered by former prime minister Ehud Olmert.

    In a dramatic comment on the refugee issue, furthermore, at an internal meeting that PA President Mahmoud Abbas had with the Palestinian Negotiations Support Unit on March 29, 2008, Abbas said, "On numbers of refugees, it is illogical to ask Israel to take 5 million, or even 1 million – that would mean the end of Israel.

    They said 5,000 over five years.

    That is even less than family reunification and it is unacceptable.
    There also has to be compensation, which has to come from the Absentee Property fund."

    Both Al-Jazeera and Britain's Guardian newspaper put a decisively negative spin on the story, with the Guardian's website headline reading "Papers reveal how Palestinian leaders gave up fight over refugees."

    The refugee issue has emerged as one of the major obstacles to any agreement.

    In a meeting on January 27, 2008, soon after the Annapolis conference, Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Qurei implied a readiness to solve the issue and said that if the Arab countries would "be part of the solution, there will be no problem in this issue."

    He added that the Palestinians could coordinate the matter with Jordan and even Syria.

    "Even the Syrians want to be part of the process," Qurei said, "and they don't want to sit with you to discuss the matter, but with us."

    Erekat quipped at the meeting, "Whoever will be able to reach an agreement to solve this conflict will be the most important figure in the region after Jesus Christ!"
    Also, according to the Guardian piece based on the documents, then-foreign minister Tzipi Livni – essentially adopting an idea put forth by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman – proposed a land swap that would place some Arab towns now in Israel into a future Palestinian state in exchange for placing some settlements within Israel.

    Then-US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, according to the paper, suggested that some Palestinian refugees could be resettled in South America – for example, in Chile and Argentina.

    Ma'aleh Adumim bone of contention with Palestinians

    In documents released Sunday night, it became clear that while much of the Israeli public believed that Ma'aleh Adumim was part of the Israeli consensus and would be part of Israel in any agreement, this was a major bone of contention with the Palestinians.

    The first batch of documents showed Palestinian insistence that the large settlements of Ma'aleh Adumim and Ariel become part of a Palestinian state, even if it meant the
    settlers remained there under Palestinian sovereignty. While at first Livni said this was an interesting idea she would have to think about, a few weeks later she said it was completely unrealistic because the settlers would be killed.

    In a meeting at the King David Hotel on May 4, 2008, between Livni and Qurei, the latter said Ma'aleh Adumim, Givat Ze'ev, Har Homa and Ariel "cannot be included in a swap under any condition."

    This was Qurei's position even as the Palestinians indicated they were ready for Israel to annex the Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem beyond the Green Line, with the exception of Har Homa.

    The documents show that the Palestinians see the 1967 lines as a baseline, and view an agreement to a land swap for land that will be annexed to Israel as a concession. The Palestinian position, as laid out in the meeting, was that any land swap needed to be in the same area, meaning that if Israel annexed a Jerusalem neighborhood beyond the Green Line, it would have to give up land in the Jerusalem area in return.

    When it became clear during the discussion that the PA position was that the settlers in Ma'aleh Adumim did not have to be evacuated, PLO chief negotiator Erekat said to Livni, "Can you imagine that you accept for the sake of peace to have Jews as citizens with full rights in Palestine like Arab Israelis?" Livni replied, "But how can I provide Israelis living in Palestine with security?" To which Erekat responded, "Can you imagine that I have changed my DNA and accepted a situation in which Jews become citizens having the rights that I and my wife have. Can you imagine that this will happen one day?" One of the Israeli negotiators in the room, Udi Dekel, then interjected, "I do not have such fancy."

    Livni, however, was more diplomatic. "I have to think about this. I do not know.

    You have proposed something, but I believe we have to be creative. My problem is that of security. Some said to me that there would be violence among my people if I evacuated them [from the settlements], but the pressure will be less if I give the right to choose. I cannot bear the responsibility of their life in case they are exposed to danger and then the army will have to interfere.

    It is a legitimate question but we need to think about it."

    The issue came up again some three weeks later, in which Qurei said that the Jews in Ma'aleh Adumim "can live under Palestinian rule," to which Livni replied, "You know this is not realistic."

    Qurei then said, "So take them [out], like you did in Gaza." To which Livni responded, "We are going to [take out many settlers]."

    Later in the discussion Qurei said he didn't mind if the Israelis became Palestinian citizens, to which Livni replied, "You know this is not realistic. They will kill them the next day."

    At a meeting in mid-June 2008 between Livni, Qurei and Rice, Livni asked Qurei whether his problem with Ma'aleh Adumim was because of its size or location.

    His reply was that it blocked Jerusalem from the east, and that Jerusalem was already blocked from the south.

    "Perhaps Ma'aleh Adumim will remain under Palestinian sovereignty and it could be a model for cooperation and coexistence," he said.

    "We may also have international forces and make security arrangements for some time. It is the location of Ma'aleh Adumim [that is the problem], not its size."

    Qurei: Ariel set up to control water basin

    The problem with Ariel, he said, was that it "was set up on the largest water basin. It was not set up simply to provide Israelis with housing units, but rather to control the water basin." Livni replied, "The idea behind our desire to annex Ariel settlement was not to get more water but because thousands of people live there. We want to have an answer for those who have lived there for 40 years."

    Rice, at a meeting held a month later, said that no Israeli leader would cede Ma'aleh Adumim, and that if the Palestinians insisted on the matter, "then you won't have a state!"

    Though the publication of the documents created a storm in the Palestinian Authority Monday, the official response in Jerusalem was muted, with both the Foreign Ministry and the Prime Minister's Office declining comment on the matter.

    Only Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman related to the documents at all, saying in an Israel Radio interview that the documents showed that even "the most left wing" Israeli government of Livni and Ehud Olmert could not reach an agreement with the PA.

    "I think they show that if the government of Olmert and Tzipi Livni did not succeed in coming to an agreement with the Palestinians, then that is a sign that everyone will in the end reach the conclusion that the only way is a long term interim agreement."

    Lieberman's position is that a final agreement at this time is impossible, and that the goal at this time should be a long-term interim agreement.

    He also said it was "interesting" that Livni proposed his land swap idea of Arab towns for settlements.

    Livni's associates responded to the new report by stating that during the talks, only four Israeli Arab border towns were raised as possibilities to be included in a Palestinian state, even though they are on the Israeli side.

    They said that when the Palestinians rejected the idea, the talks moved on.

    Sources close to Livni also said that during the talks she made a statement rejecting the application of international law, but said she was inaccurately quoted in the document.

    Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.

    woensdag 26 januari 2011

    Palestine Papers kunnen fataal worden voor Abbas en PA

    Misschien volg ik het nieuws te slecht, maar ik heb nog niet meegekregen dat de Palestijnen massaal de straat opgaan om a la Tunesië het aftreden van Abbas en co te eisen.
    Dat kan nog komen als de PA haar achterban niet kan overtuigen dat de Palestine Papers de onderhandelingen onjuist weergeven, en Al Jazeera lijkt ook nog niet klaar te zijn met haar onthullingen. Gezien de timing (de opstand in Tunesië en demonstraties elders in de Arabische wereld) lijkt Al Jazeera wel degelijk tot doel te hebben de PA te ondermijnen en eventueel omver te (laten) werpen...

    Al-Jazeera's show trial could bring down PA leadership

    Analysis: It's hard to see how, in light of damning verdict, the W. Bank leadership will be able to salvage what's left of its credibility.

    After assuming the role of prosecutor and judge, Al- Jazeera, the Arab world's most influential TV network, has ruled that the leaders of the Palestinian Authority have betrayed their people and must therefore step down from the stage.

    The "defendants" have been found guilty of ceding control over most of east Jerusalem to Israel, relinquishing the right of return for millions of Palestinian refugees and conducting security coordination with Israeli security authorities.

    In other words, PA President Mahmoud Abbas and his men have been convicted of high treason – which, in the Arab and Islamic world, is a crime punishable by death.

    Al-Jazeera is now waiting for the executioner (the Palestinians, in this case) to carry out the death sentence.

    Al-Jazeera's dramatic show trial, which began on Sunday night, has undoubtedly caused massive damage to the PA leadership in the West Bank. The blow is so severe that it's hard to see how the PA leadership can ever recover.

    The beleaguered Abbas and his top aides have since been scrambling to control damage caused by the revelations, but with limited success.

    Their major line of defense claims that the revelations are part of a "conspiracy" designed to discredit the PA leadership because of its refusal to return to the negotiating table unless Israel halts construction in the settlements.

    Some PA officials have claimed that Qatar, which owns Al-Jazeera, has set out to "politically liquidate" Abbas and his team to help Hamas extend its control to the West Bank. Others have claimed that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman were behind the scandal, which is being dubbed the "Palestinian Watergate."

    But many ordinary Palestinians did not seem to buy these claims. Some went as far as saying that the allegations against the PA leaders did not surprise them.

    Most Palestinians who were interviewed in east Jerusalem and Ramallah said they had never had much confidence anyway in Abbas and negotiators Saeb Erekat, Ahmed Qurei and Yasser Abed Rabbo.

    Al-Jazeera's show trial has only come to reconfirm many Palestinians' suspicions about their leaders in the West Bank.

    In the past, Palestinians used to hear these allegations from Hamas and other enemies of the PA. Now, however, Palestinians are hearing the charges against their representatives from what most consider a widely respected and reliable media outlet.

    On the first day of the show trial, Palestinians were told that Abbas, Erekat and Qurei had given up Arab and Muslim rights to Jerusalem and the Haram a-Sharif, or Temple Mount.

    On the second day, Al- Jazeera's jury found Abbas and his team guilty of selling out on the issue of Palestinian refugees.

    On day three, Tuesday, Al- Jazeera has promised to display evidence of the PA's collusion with Israel in the elimination of Palestinian gunmen.

    The TV station has already decided that the defendants are guilty of the three charges against them. The station's unequivocal message to Palestinians is that Abbas and his men are traitors who need to be removed from the scene, and the sooner the better.

    It's hard to see how, in light of this damning verdict, the PA will be able to salvage what's left of its credibility. Al- Jazeera has succeeded in instilling in the minds of many Palestinians and Arabs the belief that the leaders of the PA are a bunch of corrupt traitors who serve Israeli and American interests.

    The damage to the PA's image and reputation is colossal and irreparable.

    VN mensenrechtenrapporteur Richard Falk claimt dat VS achter 9/11 zat

    Ban Ki-moon described the comments as 'an affront to the memory of the more than 3,000 people who died in the attack' Photo: AP
    Richard Falk, die Israel met de nazi's vergelijkt en door antizionisten graag wordt aangehaald als objectieve bron wat betreft Israels 'misdaden' gelooft niet dat Al Qaida achter de aanslagen op de Twin Towers zit. Hij gelooft dat de media de waarheid bewust achterhouden en heeft veel respect voor een van de complotdenkers, zo schrijft hij op zijn blog. Ban Ki-Moon heeft de uitspraken fel veroordeeld. Zou het misschien eindelijk eens beginnen door te dringen dat deze man niet objectief naar de zaken kijkt en er behoorlijk extreme ideeën en een verwrongen wereldbeeld op na houdt? Het is natuurlijk geen toeval dat juist zo iemand door de VN 'mensenrechtenraad' is gekozen tot speciaal rapporteur voor de Palestijnse gebieden.
    Zie over Richard Falk ook: Elder of Ziyon

    UN human rights official claims 9/11 was US plot

    A UN human rights official has been roundly condemned for suggesting that the US government may have orchestrated the September 11 terrorist attacks.

    5:11PM GMT 25 Jan 2011

    Richard Falk, a retired professor from Princeton University, wrote on his blog that there had been an "apparent cover up" by American authorities.

    He added that most media were "unwilling to acknowledge the well-evidenced doubts about the official version of the events" on 9/11, despite it containing "gaps and contradictions".

    And he described David Ray Griffin, a conspiracy theorist highly regarded in the so-called "9/11 truth" movement, as a "scholar of high integrity" whose book on the subject was "authoritative".

    Ban Ki-Moon, the UN Secretary-General, described the comments as "preposterous" and "an affront to the memory of the more than 3,000 people who died in the attack." But Mr Ban said that it was not for him to decide whether Prof Falk, who serves the organisation as a special investigator into human rights abuses in the Palestinian territories, should be fired by the UN.

    Vijay Nambiar, Mr Ban's chief of staff, said this was up to the human rights council, a 47-nation body based in Geneva, Switzerland, that was created by the UN in 2006.


    Saeb Erekat ontkent Palestijnse concessies en beschuldigt Al Jazeera van laster

    Erekat staat niet bekend als iemand die nooit liegt, maar het volgende klinkt wel plausibel:

    "We don't have something called 'official Israeli-Palestinian minutes'. We don't," he said. "When you sit with people and take notes with people, that's not positions. I can't stand guard on anybody's lips."

    "In every single negotiating session I attended, the slogan (was) 'nothing is agreed until everything is agreed', and so far nothing has been agreed," he said.
    Eén van de eerste lessen van een onderzoeker moet zijn om kritisch naar zijn bronnen te kijken: waar komt dit vandaan en wie schreef dit op met welk doel?
    Het lijkt daarom absurd hoe veel media de zogenaamde "Palestine Papers" aannemen als de enige en absolute waarheid over de vredesbesprekingen.
    Globaal zijn er twee mogelijkheden:
    1. De 'Papers' zijn nep of worden verdraaid en uit hun context weergegeven, zoals de als gematigd en betrouwbaar bekend staande Abbas beweert.
    2. In grote lijnen kloppen de Papers, maar ze hebben om welke reden ook niet tot een overeenstemming geleid. Dan is de vraag waarop de onderhandelingen stuk liepen en of ze er met wat meer tijd wel waren uitgekomen. (Sommigen zeggen dat grote nederzettingen zoals Ma'aleh Adumim een struikelblok vormden.)
    De grootste vraag indien de strekking van de Papers klopt, zou echter moeten zijn: hoe kon Abbas jarenlang tegen zijn achterban beweren dat hij geen duimbreed zou toegeven op de belangrijkste punten, en in de geheime onderhandelingen het tegenovergestelde doen? Hoe had hij ooit een eventueel onderhandelingsresultaat naar buiten kunnen brengen dat lijnrecht tegen zijn publieke stellingname inging, en dan kunnen hopen of verwachten dat zijn achterban een draai van pakweg 120 graden zou kunnen maken en in een referendum hiermee instemmen?
    Interessante vraag toch? Maar de media schijnen hem niet te stellen!

    Erekat: Al Jazeera's 'vicious smear campaign' puts my life in danger
    Chief Palestinian negotiator says in interview that Palestine papers contain misrepresented and made-up quotes, says Al Jazeera is 'asking Palestinians to shoot me.'
    By Reuters
    Haaretz 25 January 2011
    Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat accused Al Jazeera television on Tuesday of putting his life in danger with "a vicious smear campaign" alleging major concessions in peace talks with Israel.

    Erekat said the Qatar-based network had misrepresented quotes and made up others in covering "The Palestine Papers" - its name for what it says are leaked documents showing the Palestinians giving way on major issues to Israel.

    "What Al Jazeera people are doing is asking Palestinians to shoot me, physically. That's what they are doing. They are saying: 'You are guilty and thus you should be executed'," said Erekat, for years a central figure in the peace talks.

    "Speaking for me and my family, they are inciting against our lives," he told Reuters in an interview at his office in the West Bank city of Jericho.

    A spokesman for Al Jazeera in Qatar could not be reached for comment.

    Erekat has featured prominently in Al Jazeera's coverage of what it says are 1,600 documents related to the Middle East peace process. The Doha-based channel started publishing the documents this week, along with the UK's Guardian newspaper.

    Erekat challenged Al Jazeera to seek out and broadcast the Palestinians' official negotiating positions on the core issue of the six-decade old conflict. Asked for details, he said he needed approval before talking on the issue.

    He said Al Jazeera should be able to get the negotiating positions from the government of Qatar, the Gulf state which Palestinian officials say has launched a "campaign" against President Mahmoud Abbas. Posters of the Qatari emir were burned by Abbas loyalists in Ramallah on Tuesday.

    Qatar has close ties to Hamas, the group which seized control of the Gaza Strip from Abbas in 2007. Hamas opposes Abbas' strategy of seeking a negotiated peace deal with Israel.

    Erekat also questioned Al Jazeera's timing: "Somebody wants to push this region towards chaos," he said.

    Many of the documents released this week date to negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel in 2008. The peace process is currently at a standstill due to a dispute over Israeli settlement building.

    On Monday, Al Jazeera released a document quoting Erekat as saying last year that the Palestinians had offered Israel the return of "a symbolic number" of Palestinian refugees.

    There are around six million Palestinians scattered around the Middle East and beyond who are refugees or the descendants of refugees who fled or were driven out during the war that led to Israel's founding in 1948.

    The documents have also shown the Palestinians giving major ground on control of East Jerusalem. Their official position is the city must become the capital of a Palestinian state they aim to found in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

    Erekat declined to say whether the documents were authentic or not. He said some information broadcast this week reflected the truth, some was partially true, and some totally false.

    "These documents are being taken out of context," he said, accusing Al Jazeera of hyping them up in a campaign aimed at undermining the Palestinian leadership.

    Erekat said Al Jazeera had failed to consult him on the authenticity of the papers before their publication.

    "We don't have something called 'official Israeli-Palestinian minutes'. We don't," he said. "When you sit with people and take notes with people, that's not positions. I can't stand guard on anybody's lips."

    "In every single negotiating session I attended, the slogan (was) 'nothing is agreed until everything is agreed', and so far nothing has been agreed," he said.