zaterdag 9 juli 2011

VN mensenrechtenvertegenwoordiger Richard Falk biedt 'excuses' aan voor cartoon op zijn blog

Dit is de zoveelste ‘uitglijder’ van antiziosemiet Richard Falk. Hij zou allang ontslagen moeten zijn, maar misschien is dit een goede aanleiding voor Ban ki Moon om van een rapporteur af te komen die (wat er nog over is van) de goede naam van de VN bezoedelt en haat verspreid?  


UN Official Admits to “Unintentionally” Posting Anti-Semitic Cartoon

Alana Goodman@alanagoodman   07.07.2011 - 5:10 PM



Not only did he come clean, he issued a bizarre quasi-apology as well – but more on that in a second.


The controversy began when Richard Falk, the UN envoy for human rights in the Palestinian territories, posted a cartoon of a yarmulke-wearing dog chewing on a bloody skeleton and urinating on Lady Justice on his personal blog last month.


After he was confronted about the cartoon’s anti-Semitic connotations, he initially denied posting it. “It is a complete lie,” he reportedly wrote on his blog. “I know nothing about such a cartoon, and would never publish such a thing, ever.” A few minutes later, Falk backtracked, removing the post from his blog and explaining he “didn’t realize that it could be viewed as anti-Semitic, and still do not realize.”

And now Falk has finally issued an “apology,” clarifying that he opposes any denigration of individuals “based on ethnicity, race, religion, stage of development.”

“My intention has never been to demean in any way Jews as a people despite my strong criticisms of Israeli policies, and some versions of Zionist support,” said Falk.

His statement then incongruously launches into a lecture on respecting animals, saying, “If we are to have a sustainable human future we must also make peace with nature, and treat animals with as much respect as possible. This is both a sacred imperative of my idea of a spiritual life, but also an integral aspect of species survival on an increasingly crowded, overheated, and endangered planet.”

Is Falk also apologizing to animal rights activists who might have been offended by the cartoon’s portrayal of a dog as a Jew?

The group UN Watch also found this message inappropriate, writing, “Falk here appears not only to be equating animals with human beings, but to be apologizing for his cartoon’s insult to Jews as well as dogs.”


But honestly, even the most heartfelt apology from Falk wouldn’t change the fact the guy has to go. He’s been a problem for the UN for too long. Earlier this year, US Ambassador Susan Rice called for Falk’s resignation after he was accused of supporting the 9/11 “Truther” movement. This latest cartoon controversy seems to fit a pattern of extremely poor judgment and embarrassing mishaps.


For what it’s worth, the Anti-Defamation League is asking the UN to publicly condemn Falk, but the group doesn’t seem to be going as far as UN Watch, which is now calling for Falk’s dismissal.



Ami Isseroff in beeld

Hieronder nog twee reacties op het overlijden van Ami Isseroff vorige week. Steeds zie ik dezelfde foto erbij van zijn Facebook pagina. Op internet vond ik maar één andere foto van hem, bij een artikel uit 1999 over het belang van internet voor activisme. Daarom hierboven enkele foto's die we van hem maakten tijdens onze verschillende bezoeken aan Rehovot:
* In 2006 in zijn werkkamertje annex actiecentrum, dat vol lag met een chaos aan boeken en papieren, conform het gezegde "Kleine Geister müssen Ordnung halten, Genies überblicken das Chaos".
* In 2007 was hij nog fit genoeg om ons met de auto ergens heen te brengen, waarschijnlijk richting het regelmatig door Qassams geteisterde stadje Sderot, waar idealisten in een Urban Kibbutz zijn belangrijkste websites MidEast Web en hosten (het host-contract is recentelijk voor 3 jaar verlengd).
* In 2009 tijdens een bespreking met ons en enkele gelijkgezinden in zijn woonkamer.
* In 2011, afgelopen maart, was zijn gezondheidstoestand na een recente hersenbloeding sterk verslechterd.
Ami heeft geen vrede voor zijn land meer mogen meemaken, laten we hopen dat wij dat wel nog zullen doen en daarvoor werken. Rust in vrede.
Wouter Brassé



Ami Isseroff


 Last week I received the devastating news that Ami Isseroff had passed away.


 Two years ago, when I first decided to become involved in blogging and trying to learn more about Zionism, the Middle-East and Israel, I joined an online Zionist group set up by Ami.

I had just written an article in praise of one of his articles in the Jerusalem Post and this led me to find his group and to apply for membership.


 His first response was to warn me that he didn't want any 'lurkers' only committed activists. I bristled, sent him an angry response, he apologised, I apologised and it was only later that I began to realise what a great man he was. I was soon to discover the huge corpus of information on his websites and


 Ami turned out to be a truly inspirational contact. He wrote brilliantly and his depth of knowledge and his many links to politicians and influential people made him a priceless source of wisdom. I didn't always agree with him but my respect was boundless. He taught me a great deal over the coming months. In many ways he helped me form my own stance on the issues and he showed me that there is rarely anything black and white about the Israel-Palestine conflict.


 Ami always, always told it like it was. He disagreed with many of Israel's policies and bemoaned its inability to make its case properly in the international arena. He was never an apologist for what he knew was wrong, and he was always a champion for what he knew was right: peace and reconciliation.


 I never met him. In April this year I spoke to him on the phone when I was in Israel. His first words were: "Where are you?" Not "How are you". He was an American-born Israeli – not for him the niceties of polite conversation that I, a Brit, am used to. He really did want to know where I was because he wanted to meet me. Finding I was in Jerusalem, he replied that it was the best place to be.

Instead of discussing Israel and politics he gave me advice on how my son could get a job when he came to Israel – and it was good advice. 


Read further... 



Ami Isseroff z"l



I just found out that Ami Isseroff had died last week.

While he was an anti-religious and very liberal Zionist, he was, above all, a Zionist. He literally wrote an on-line encyclopedia about every major event and concept in Israel's modern history. He practically single-handedly ran two major websites: MideastWeb, on the Middle East altogether,and Zionism-Israel, which has a plethora of information as well. The latter site, besides having lots of information, also housed his blog.

I always hoped that he would organize the sites better, because they should be read by everyone who wants to learn about Israel.

I'm going back to a couple of his pieces I've linked to over the years, and I am again amazed at his knowledge and erudition. The best on-line resource on Arab land ownership in Palestine before 1948 is on his site. Not too many people can take on Benny Morris on specific facts in his books. But he was similarly impressive as a blogger - and as a satirist.

Here is a eulogy written by his brother.

May his family be comforted and may his memory be a blessing. And I suggest helping keep his memory alive by browsing the thousands of articles he has written on his sites.

 Elder of Ziyon




vrijdag 8 juli 2011

Ami Isseroff: de socialistische zionist


Onderstaand artikel van Fresno Zionism is wel herkenbaar voor ons, ook wij werkten met Ami samen en hadden soms lange discussies met hem. Ami wist alles. Nou ja, bijna alles, en gelukkig schreef hij veel van wat hij wist op en is dit op zijn websites en blogs, maar ook in diverse mailingroepen nog te vinden. Hij had uitgesproken ideeën over wat de essentie is van het zionisme (geen nederzettingen, geen 'God gaf ons het land', geen ontkenning van Palestijnse claims op hetzelfde land, maar juist de zoektocht naar vrede en verzoening, zonder bij dit alles Israels belangen en veiligheid uit het oog te verliezen zoals veel vredesactivisten doen:


A remarkable intellect, Ami was uncompromising both in his Zionism and, believe it or not, his socialism.  "I'm opposed to occupation, a member of the 'peace camp' and always will be," he told me. But despite this, he well understood the nature of the Arab leadership and had no illusions about what would result from precipitous concessions. He kept his Zionist compass intact when many of his left-wing friends were losing theirs. Ami proved that it's possible to be a left-wing Zionist today.


Ik hoop dat meer mensen dit bewijs zullen leveren. Te vaak wordt zionisme gelijk gesteld met de Groot Israel gedachte, met rigide religieuze claims en met het onderdrukken van Palestijnen. Voor Ami bleef zionisme wat het oorspronkelijk was: de nationale bevrijdingsbeweging van het Joodse volk, de idee dat de Joden als volk recht hebben op een eigen staat, op zelfbeschikking, en ook op het begaan van stommiteiten. Joden zijn niet beter of slechter dan andere volken, hebben geen speciale opdracht of missie, geen privileges, en dienen naar dezelfde maatstaven beoordeeld te worden als andere volken. Het zionisme was van oorsprong een progressieve beweging, welhaast een revolutionaire beweging, en is dat in de kern nog steeds. Ami schreef veel over de geschiedenis van het zionisme en de verschillende vormen van antizionisme.


We often argued. Insofar as I can remember, he never gave in on anything. Usually I just let the argument peter out. He believed that I should write "West Bank" instead of "Judea and Samaria" because "nobody to the left of Meir Kahane will read you." I responded that I refused to let the Jordanian occupation define the Jewish homeland. We never settled this, of course.


Ami richtte zich niet op de vaak conservatief ingestelde mede zionisten, maar het 'normale' gewone publiek, en dat denkt bij Judea en Samaria aan kolonisten in Hebron die 'dood aan de Arabieren' schreeuwen en hun huizen inpikken.


He hated religion. I thought Judaism was a positive force. Once I wrote something that included the word 'hashem'. Almost immediately, I received an email: "'Hashem?' Did you lose your mind?" We didn't settle this, either.


Hij haatte vooral de religieuze claims van Joden en Arabieren op het land, en de religieuze intolerantie en rigiditeit. Als ik teksten tegen kom waarin het woord 'hashem' staat zijn het bijna altijd extreme teksten die ieder compromis als landverraad wegzetten, de eigen kant als 100% goed en de Arabieren als 100% fout bestempelen. Dit soort ideeën zijn nou juist de oorzaak van het conflict en de onoplosbaarheid ervan. Ami spaarde de eigen extremisten niet, en dat kon niet iedereen waarderen. In fellere bewoordingen dan andere zionisten nam hij afstand van mensen die in zijn ogen het zionisme slechts bezoedelden en de antizionisten in de kaart speelden.

Het maakte zijn teksten betrouwbaarder in de ogen van seculiere niet-zionisten en niet-Joden.

Ik heb ontzettend veel van Ami geleerd en zal zijn grote nalatenschap aan informatie nog vaak raadplegen. Ook zal ik hier enkele goede artikelen van hem posten. 


Ratna Pelle



Ami Isseroff

Ami Isseroff died this week. A remarkable intellect, Ami was uncompromising both in his Zionism and, believe it or not, his socialism.  "I'm opposed to occupation, a member of the 'peace camp' and always will be," he told me. But despite this, he well understood the nature of the Arab leadership and had no illusions about what would result from precipitous concessions. He kept his Zionist compass intact when many of his left-wing friends were losing theirs. Ami proved that it's possible to be a left-wing Zionist today.

Naturally he took vicious hits from both the Left and the Right. That didn't stop him. An amateur historian (though he had a doctorate in Psychology and worked in computer software), he always knew the facts far better than his opponents.

I first made his acquaintance shortly after I started blogging in 2006. Ami was always helpful to a fault, despite the fact that he and I disagreed about almost everything except the importance of the Jewish state.

We often argued. Insofar as I can remember, he never gave in on anything. Usually I just let the argument peter out. He believed that I should write "West Bank" instead of "Judea and Samaria" because "nobody to the left of Meir Kahane will read you." I responded that I refused to let the Jordanian occupation define the Jewish homeland. We never settled this, of course.

He hated religion. I thought Judaism was a positive force. Once I wrote something that included the word 'hashem'. Almost immediately, I received an email: "'Hashem?' Did you lose your mind?" We didn't settle this, either.

Ami was, above all, practical. "What you are doing is supposed to be hasbara, not making yourself feel good. Always ask yourself what the effect of your writing will be. And never lie." He often made the point that only a tiny percentage of the world's population is Jews, so why do we aim so much of our efforts at them?

He was fond of sending emails entitled "Hasbara this" describing things done by the Israeli government, the IDF or in Israel's name that he felt were public-relations disasters.

His greatest scorn was reserved for Israeli politicians who made empty threats and right-wing bloggers who made Israel appear to be belligerent. One well-known blog had a banner that read "There is only a military solution." This annoyed Ami no end — he tried to get the blogger to remove it (finally it was changed to "There is no diplomatic solution." He wasn't mollified). He would say "Israel must always be for peace first and foremost," although he understood the need to be prepared for the worst.

Here's an example of his writing, from an important 2008 article called "The future of Jewish anti-Zionism – a Zionist analysis":

In large part, the Arab Palestinian anti-Israel movement is led not by Palestinian Arabs or anti-Semites, but by Jews. Halper, Beinin, Rose, Pappe, Chomsky, Finkelstein and Brian Klug, rather than Alloush, Abunimah, Fayyad Husseini, Qaukji, Tamimi and abu Youssef, are the intellectual mainstays of the movement to wipe out the Jewish state. Their English is much better, and they can cast their ideas in slogans acceptable to western culture. "Secular Democratic State" sounds so much better than "Drive the Jews into the Sea" to a good progressive, doesn't it? It is hard to label them as "anti-Semites." It is hard to discredit their lies. If a Jew and an Israeli says that Zionists commit war crimes, it must be true.Their appearances and their books and articles are lauded in the Arab world, and reprinted in Al-Ahram and Roz el Youssef alongside the latest "proofs" of the authenticity of the blood libel and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Not since al-Andalus (Moorish Spain) have Jews enjoyed such a Golden Age.

But he also wrote this (2007):

ZOA speaks for the extreme end of the revisionist movement, generating a message that alienates all but the most committed Zionists. The Zionist right in the US has struggled mightily to convince everyone that Zionism is synonymous with settlers and settlements and with the Greater Israel movement. That is exactly the point that the anti-Zionists are trying to make of course. The opposition score a goal every time Mort Klein and the ZOA come out against another peace initiative.

Ami believed that the Internet was the theater in which the information war between Israel and her enemies would be fought, and did what he could to create effective grass-roots support for Israel in cyberspace.

He was responsible for numerous blogs and informational websites, including MideastWeb, a resource for historical information, documents, timelines, etc. and ZioNation, an opinion blog. Unlike many writers — including academics and professional journalists — he understood the difference.

I last saw Ami in his home in Rehovot this January. He had already suffered a stroke which made typing difficult; but he continued his blogging and correspondence with help from his family and many friends. I learned many things from Ami, but one of the most important was that the labels of 'left' and 'right' often obscure reality more than elucidating it.

May his memory be a blessing and an inspiration.

You can read the eulogy written by his brother Hadar here.

De ondergang van de Free Gaza Flotilla

De Gazavloot is niet meer. Dat wil zeggen, één bootje is door de blokkade heen geglipt en vaart met ik meen zeven activisten richting Gaza. De Nederlanders geven morgen een persconferentie, en ook de Amerikanen, Zweden en Noren hebben aangekondignaar huis te gaan. Natuurlijk speelt men de morele kaart en claimt als underdog de morele overwinning, zoals in dit bericht van de Nederlandse organisatie Nederland-Gaza:

Als vreedzame activisten staan wij met weinig middelen tegenover de sterkste grootmachten van deze wereld. We hebben ons niet laten afschrikken door de koelbloedige moord op negen activisten tijdens de vorige Flotilla, noch door de zorgwekkende bedreigingen van Israel. Bij bedreigingen alleen is het niet gebleven, opnieuw zijn er bewust mensenlevens in gevaar gebracht door de sabotage van twee schepen, wat tot zinken op open zee had kunnen leiden als dit niet ontdekt was.

Daar valt wel wat op af te dingen. Carel Brendel en Keesje Maduraatje hebben de banden van de organisatie met gewelddadige groeperingen aangetoond, en die zijn door de organisatie niet ontkend. Zelfs de zeer pro-Palestijnse Hasna El Maroudi zei dat men haar niet kon garanderen dat er geen terroristen op de boot zouden zitten.

Ondanks alle tegenwerking mogen we niet vergeten dat een van onze schepen onderweg is naar Gaza. Wij hopen dat zij doen wat wij als Flotilla als geheel hadden willen doen en Gaza veilig zullen bereiken. Daarbij eisen we ook dat ieder individu en elke organisatie in wiens macht het ligt, alles in het werk stelt om dit schip een veilige vaart te garanderen. De opvarenden zijn vreedzame activisten die op legale wijze de illegale blokkade proberen te doorbreken. Elke interventie of actie tegen hen is derhalve in strijd met het internationaal recht en dient veroordeeld te worden door een ieder die aan rechtvaardigheid enige waarde hecht.

Wat zij van plan zijn te doen, namelijk een legale zeeblokkade te doorbreken, is illegaal volgens het internationale recht. Als zij zich met geweld verzetten tegen de Israelische autoriteiten hebben die bovendien het recht geweld te gebruiken.

De Gaza Freedom Flotilla II Stay Human heeft de illegale blokkade van Gaza opnieuw op de kaart gezet en nieuwe activisten geïnspireerd om zich bij ons aan te sluiten. De verwerpelijke methodes van Israel zullen niet langer in staat zijn om geweldloze protesten tegen de illegale blokkade te stoppen.

De methodes van Israel bleken anders prima te werken, en er is geen activist ook maar met een haar gekrenkt. Wat wil je nog meer? Nogmaals: of de protesten geweldloos zouden verlopen valt zeer te betwijfelen, en dat is een van de redenen dat de Grieken de vloot verboden uit te varen. Men wilde niet meewerken aan een confrontatie zoals vorig jaar, toen jihadisten op de Mavi Marmara zich met geweld verzetten tegen Israels handhaving van de blokkade, en soldaten werden aangevallen en bijna gelyncht. 




Flotilla activists about to give up?,7340,L-4092459,00.html

Norwegian, Swedish Gaza-bound flotilla activists to announce their return home after Greek interception of ships, while most US, Canadian activists head home. US passenger: We will be back

Aviel Magnezi


07.07.11, 15:58


Norwegian Gaza-bound flotilla activists are expected to hold a press conference Friday morning in Norway to announce their decision to retract and make their way back home.


Another press conference will be held Thursday in Sweden with some 20 Swedish representatives from the Gaza-bound flotilla.


Only four Swedes remained in Greece to try are pressure the local government to call off the blockade and permit them to head towards the Gaza Strip, according to Jewish-Swedish flotilla spokesman Dan Israel.


Despite the circumstances causing the activists to return home, the spokesman said they are not at all disappointed and happy with their contribution. He added that the important thing was that Israel allowed supplies to be passed along to Gaza.


However he criticized the Greek government for taking part in the blockage, but promised the activists will soon return and sail to Gaza.


Similarly, most of the 36 American passengers of the SS Audacity of Hope, which was prevented by Greek officials from sailing to the Gaza Strip on Friday, have already return home or are on their way back.


Meanwhile, many of the passengers onboard the Canadian Tahrir vessel, which left Crete Monday afternoon towards Gaza but was taken over by Greek Coast Guard forces, claimed Israel sabotaged their ship or planned to do so on their way back home.


Both Gaza-bound ships had attempted to leave its Greek port without authorization en route to the Strip, prompting Greek forces to stop it at sea.


Promised to return

Greta Berlin, spokeswoman for the Free Gaza Movement (FGM) and a passenger on the US ship, admitted that many activists have returned home but assured that they will be back immediately once called.


Berlin told Ynet that out of 36 US activists only 15 remained in Greece, but added that she has learned that some of the Canadian passengers made their way back to the ship despite rumors that they were planning to leave.


She remarked that they are currently working on getting exit permits so they could sail onwards as planned.


Some activities have declared their plan to stay in Greece until given permission to sail to Gaza, and are satisfied with the fact that they have been able to raise awareness if not anything else.


Meanwhile, the Greek coastguard intercepted the small French boat "Dignitiy" with Pro-Palestinian activists aboard on Thursday, the third flotilla ship to be prevented from sailing to Gaza to challenge an Israeli blockade.


The boat with about 10 activists aboard, including French politicians, an MEP and a journalist, sailed from Corsica. Activists had said it was in international waters waiting to join the rest of the flotilla, now confined in Greek ports.


"We are still checking their papers. We haven't spotted any problem so far. They have not disclosed their destination, maybe because they have not decided yet," said a coastguard official in Crete, on condition of anonymity.

There were no arrests, activists and the coastguard said.



Leider Egyptische Wafd partij noemt Holocaust en 9/11 verzinsels

Dit komt helaas vaker voor, maar dat haalt de Nederlandse media doorgaans niet. Overigens gaat het hier om de leider van een seculiere partij, wat illustreert hoezeer dergelijke ideeën gemeengoed zijn in Egypte. De kranten zeggen het, zogenaamde experts en historici zeggen het, imams en andere geestelijken zeggen het, en politici zeggen het. Niet zo gek dus dat ook de meeste mensen dit soort gevaarlijke onzin geloven.


Top Egyptian politician calls Holocaust, 9/11 fabrications

Ahmed Ezz El-Arab, leader of the secular Wafd Party, tells the Washington Times the Holocaust is a lie, adding Anne Frank's memoirs 'fake.'

By Haaretz / Published 22:04 06.07.11

The vice chairman of Egypt's top secular party told the Washington Times in an interview last week that the September 11 terror attacks, the Holocaust and Anne Frank's diary are all historical fabrications.

"The Holocaust is a lie," Ahmed Ezz El-Arab, Wafd Party leader told the Washington Times in Budapest where he was attending the Conference on Democracy and Human Rights.

He went on to explain that it was factually impossible to claim that the Nazis killed 6 million Jews, saying "the Jews under German occupation were
2.4 million. So if they were all exterminated, where does the remaining 3.6 million come from?"

The Egyptian politician acknowledged that the Nazis may have killed "hundreds of thousands" of Jews, but discounted the plausibility of gas chambers and skinning Jews alive, calling them "fanciful stories".

El-Arab's Holocaust denial did not stop there, and the Egyptian politician went on to attack the authenticity of Anne Frank's diary, the memoirs of a teenage girl who hid from the Nazis in Amsterdam, only to be discovered and die in a concentration camp.

The Wafd leader recalled studying the novel that is one of the most widely distributed publications to date as a doctoral student in Stockholm. "I could swear to God it's a fake," he said. "The girl was there, but the memoirs are a fake."

El-Arab concurred with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's denial of the Holocaust – but discredited his motives.

"He's a hateful character, so whatever he says can be criticized," he told the Washington Times, adding "what he says about the Holocaust is true, but he doesn't say it because it's true. He says it out of hatred to the Israeli state."

When asked about future peace with Israel, El-Arab attempted to assuage fears that a new Egyptian government would cancel the 1979 treaty.

The Egyptian politician told the Washington Times that there is "no chance at all" that would happen," adding "Egypt will not go to war unless it's attacked," he said.

El-Arab's historical revision was not reserved for the Holocaust alone, and he also shared his theories on the September 11 attacks and their perpetrators with the Washington Times.

The Wafd leader denied that Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaida leader who was recently killed in an American raid on his compound in Pakistan, was behind the attacks.

"He could not have the know-how or the ability to do it," El-Arab said, calling the dead al-Qaida leader "an American agent."

The Egyptian politician added "if he had the ability, one plane only landing on the Knesset would give more effect."

El-Arab blamed the CIA, Israel's Mossad and the "military-industrial complex".

Despite his Holocaust-denying views, it seems as though El-Arab's overall opinion on the Jewish people is favorable, telling the Washington Time that he believes that there was once a Jewish temple in Jerusalem, entitling the Jews to a historical claim on Israel's capital.

"The Jews are there," he said. "Good or bad, they are there." However, he made sure to follow up with the clarification: "You cannot as a human being think of exterminating 6 million or 5 million or whatever. That's crazy."

Hamas begint mannelijke kappers in Gaza te arresteren


Natuurlijk zouden de flotillista's ook tegen dit soort onrecht actie hebben gevoerd in Gaza, niet? Ze zijn immers voor gelijkheid tussen man en vrouw en tegen religieuze dwang, of is dat alleen wanneer het Israel betreft? Uiteraard is dit maar een van de vele voorbeelden van dwang en discriminatie in Gaza, en zijn er schrijnender zaken zoals de problemen die mensen en organisaties die enige kritiek durven uiten op het Hamas regime ondervinden, religieuze minderheden en homo's. Tot nu toe stonden de flottilista's (en apologeten van de Palestijnen uberhaupt) kritiekloos tegenover het Hamas bewind, dat immers door de bevolking is gekozen (dus is het geen probleem dat ze diezelfde bevolking onderdrukken en raketten afschieten op Israel en de Holocaust ontkennen en kinderen indoctineren etc.), dat zozeer de voet wordt dwars gezet door Israel en de internationale gemeenschap dat het geen kans krijgt te laten zien hoe humaan het eigenlijk wel niet is en dat eerlijk, heus waar, veel gematigder is dan we in het Westen denken (ondanks het feit dat het in de media constant als pragmatisch wordt afgeschilderd en men geregeld bezoek krijgt van allerlei zogenaamd verlichte westerlingen die menen dat Hamas ten onrechte wordt geïsoleerd). 





Hamas starts arresting male hairdressers


From the BBC:


The Hamas government in Gaza has begun enforcing a law introduced last year banning men from cutting women's hair.

Until now, the law had not been enforced, but this week at least one male hairdresser in Gaza was arrested.

Male hairdressers for women are regarded by many Muslims as against Islamic tradition.

The move is seen as an attempt to bolster Hamas's Islamic credentials against critics who say it has become too moderate.

The reality is in Gaza - with its huge Muslim majority - most women do not want to have their hair cut by men.

Nevertheless a few salons have clung on, where male hairdressers work.

This week they are sitting idle outside their shops, fearful of arrest if they step inside.

Adnan Barakat, a hairdresser with 27 years experience, said:"Without work, I am like a dead man, because I am without work. The salon cannot work without me. This is my work since 1984. I haven't another work. What can I do?"

Others, like Mr Barakat, complain they are being watched by undercover police.

Hamas argues it is only enforcing a law that the majority of people here want.


I guess it is hard to get your hair styled when you are wearing a burqa.

It's a real shame that the flotilla imploded. Because you just know that those champions of human rights would have spent a day protesting and singing songs of solidarity with the hairdressers.

(h/t Folderol)

 Elder of Ziyon   


Elder of Ziyon over VN onderzoek naar Gaza blokkade


Hieronder het commentaar dat Elder of Ziyon toevoegde aan het Haaretz artikel over het VN onderzoek naar de Gaza blokkade dat ik gisteren postte.






The International Committee of the Red Cross has been quoted - even by the BBC - as saying that the blockade is illegal. However, that is not true - they said that the closure of Gaza was illegal where Israel limited the types of goods allowed in before last summer. The word "blockade" in a legal sense refers specifically to the naval blockade by Israel of an enemy territory. The Red Cross was very careful not to use the word "blockade."

Amnesty and a host of other NGOs were not as careful, as they - without citing any evidence or legal reasoning - referred to the blockade as "illegal" in a report issued last year. 

The UNHRC, in its laughable flotilla report, actually tried to find legal reasonings why the blockade is illegal:

In evaluating the evidence submitted to the Mission, including by OCHA oPt, confirming the severe humanitarian situation in Gaza, the destruction of the economy and the prevention of reconstruction (as detailed above), the Mission is satisfied that the blockade was inflicting disproportionate damage upon the civilian population in the Gaza strip and that as such the interception could not be justified and therefore has to be considered illegal.

Given that Gaza has no ports to import goods, it is absurd to say that the naval blockade is disproportionately punishing Gazans!

Wikipedia summarizes the governing laws of a blockade:

According to the San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, 12 June 1994,[10] a blockade is a legal method of warfare at sea, but is governed by rules. The blockading nation must publish a list of contraband. The manual describes what can never be contraband. Outside this list, the blockading nation is free to select anything as contraband. The blockading nation typically establish a blockaded area of water, but any ship can be inspected as soon as it is established that it is attempting to break the blockade. This inspection can occur inside the blockaded area or in international waters, but never inside the territorial waters of a neutral nation. A neutral ship must obey a request to stop for inspection from the blockading nation. If the situation so demands, the blockading nation can request that the ship divert to a known place or harbour for inspection. If the ship does not stop, then the ship is subject to capture. If people aboard the ship are resisting capture, they can be attacked. It is still not allowed to sink the ship, unless provision is made for rescueing the crew. Leaving the crew in liferafts / lifeboats does not constitute rescue. If a neutral ship is captured, any member of the crew, resisting capture can be treated as prisoners-of-war, while the remainder of the crew should be released. A neutral nation may choose to send a convoy accompanied by warships. The warship can provide guarantees that the convoy does not contain contraband. in which case, the blockading nation does not have any right of inspection.

Israel has fastidiously adhered to all of these requirements. 

It is nice to see that the UN has the ability to tell the truth once in a while. It remains to be seen if this report will ever see the light of day. 



donderdag 7 juli 2011

Volgens VN commissie is Gaza blokkade legaal maar was geweld tegen flotilla buitensporig

VN onderzoekscommissies zijn bepaald niet de maat der dingen, maar voor Israel is dit toch een gunstige conclusie. Dat het IDF optreden als buitenproportioneel wordt gekwalificeerd is spijtig, maar intussen is men hier wel aan gewend lijkt me...
Jammer dat dit rapport niet vorige week al naar buiten kwam; dat had de Free Gaza vloot nog extra de wind uit de zeilen gehaald, met hun geblaat over de illegale blokkade van de Gazastrook. Het laatste nieuws dat ik zag, berichtte dat een klein Frans bootje nog op weg is naar Gaza, en de opvarenden van de Amerikaanse boot huiswaarts keren. Daarnaast berichten over een 'fly-inn' van honderden activisten naar Ben Gurion Airport, maar dat lijkt me bij voorbaat een fiasco!
Published 22:13 06.07.11
Latest update 22:13 06.07.11

Gaza flotilla probe: IDF used excessive force but naval blockade legal

The final findings of the UN commission that investigated the events last May do not call for Israel to apologize; Israeli official: Turkish-Israeli reconciliation talks deadlocked.

By Barak Ravid

The UN committee investigating the events of last May's Gaza flotilla, headed by former Prime Minister of New Zealand Geoffrey Palmer, convened Wednesday in New York to conclude the report.

According to a political source in Jerusalem, the final findings of the Palmer Report show that the Israeli naval blockade on Gaza is legal and is in accordance with international law.
The report also sharply criticizes the Turkish government's behavior in its dealings with the committee. Palmer, an expert on international maritime law, added in the report that Israel’s Turkel commission that investigated the events was professional, independent and unbiased.

His findings on the Turkish committee were less favorable, with Palmer concluding that the Turkish investigation was politically influenced and its work was not professional or independent.

On Thursday, the Palmer Committee will present its findings to UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon, yet it remains unclear if it will be made public. Turkey is pressuring the UN to delay that release of the investigation's findings, but the report is likely to be made public in the coming days.

The Palmer Committee also criticizes the IHH organization that organized the Gaza flotilla as well as its ties to the Turkish government, suggesting Turkey did not do enough to stop the flotilla.

Israel does not come out of the report unscathed, with the committee concluding that based on testimony given by passengers, the Israeli naval commandos used excessive force. Israel claimed the soldiers acted out of self defense, thereby justifying the use of force.

According to the final draft of the probe, Israel is not asked to apologize to Turkey, but the report does recommend it expresses regret over the casualties. The Palmer Report also doesn't ask Israel to pay compensation, but proposes Israel transfer money to a specially-created humanitarian fund.

Palmer says that although international law permits the interception of ships outside territorial waters, Israel should have taken control of the flotilla when the ships were closer to the limit of the naval blockade – 20 miles off the coast. Israel responded by saying that its interception of the flotilla so far from the coast was due to military and tactical considerations, following the organizers' refusal to stop.

Meanwhile, the efforts to mend relations between Israel and Turkey have reached a deadlock yet again, said a senior political source in Jerusalem on Wednesday. According to the source, talks between Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Turkish senior officials Wednesday in New York ended without conclusive results, and each side remains unrelenting in its stance.

"There is no agreement and no breakthrough on the horizon," said the source. "Everything still depends on the (Turkish demand for an Israeli) apology. The report will be released soon and a compromise seems very unlikely."

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has ordered the Turkish negotiation team not to back down from the demand for an official aplogy. Ya'alon told Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu that Israel will not apologize, but is willing to express sorrow for the flotilla's tragic results.

Over the past two weeks there have been three rounds of negotiations between Ya'alon and Sinirlioglu - two of them took place in Europe and one in New York. They all ended in deadlock.