donderdag 1 augustus 2013

Netanyahu on 'Final Resolution': Not 'A Single Arab On Our Lands'


Netanyahu on 'Final Resolution': Not 'A Single Arab On Our Lands'

  Jul 30, 2013 3:00 PM EDT



Of course, Benjamin Netanyahu did not say that—or any such thing. Netanyahu, as the leader of the Jabotinskyite Likud movement understands that Israel must remain a Jewish and democratic state that respects all its citizens, including Arabs, many of whom serve honorably in the courts, the Knesset, and elsewhere. But imagine the outrage if Netanyahu had said such a thing—we have seen how when third-string Knesset backbenchers make even less offensive remarks it generates New York Times headlines and much Jewish handwringing about supposed Israeli “racism,” when, of course, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is a national one not a racial one at all


Palestinian Authority president and head of the Fatah movement Mahmud Abbas attends a Fatah 'Revolutionary Council' meeting in the Palestinian West Bank city of Ramallah along with top officials, on December 26, 2012. (Abbas Momami / AFP / Getty Images)

By contrast, when Mahmoud Abbas, briefing “mostly Egyptian journalists,” according to the report reprinted in the Jerusalem Post, imagined an Israeli-free (but let's face it, basically Jew-free) Palestinian state, few mainstream media outlets decided this was news. This Outrage Gap, this magical ray that renders Palestinian bigotry and hate-mongering invisible, has perverted the so-called “peace process” for decades, and has already caused imbalance in this latest round of negotiations—which, despite my frustrations and fears, I desperately hope will succeed.

To be fair, this is Abbas’s full sentence: "In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli—civilian or soldier—on our lands." This is, of course, one of the fundamental assumptions guiding peace talks for decades, that the Jews will leave what the Palestinians have convinced the world is their territory exclusively, while Arabs will stay in Israel. That assumption follows the guidelines of the original British Mandate after World War I, which created a Jew-free Transjordan, east of the Jordan River, and envisioned carving out some territory west of the Jordan for a Jewish state.

Let me be clear. My vision of Israel’s future includes all of Israel’s current citizens and their future descendants, Jewish, Christian and Muslim. Moreover, I understand that a future Palestinian state will require displacing more Israelis from some territory, as was done with Yamit after the Egyptian Peace Treaty and was done in Gaza—and we forget—part of the West Bank, with the Disengagement. I also believe that the most viable arrangement with the Palestinians will respect current demographic realities as much as possible, trying to draw viable boundaries that minimize the amount of inconvenience to people living on both sides of the Green Line—that improvised boundary from 1949.

But the free pass given Abbas on these remarks, like the free pass given to his odious dissertation trying to Nazify Zionism and minimize the Holocaust, tells a deeper, darker tale. There are vast armies of Palestinian enablers in the West who exaggerate every Israeli imperfection and soft-pedal serious Palestinian evils. This asymmetry results in always blaming Israel—even when the Palestinians turn from negotiating back to terror in 2000—and always putting the onus on Israel to make the first move—as evidenced by Israel’s major concession this week in freeing murderers with blood on their hands. This outrage gap holds democratic Israel, with all its imperfections, to an impossibly high standard, while rarely holding Palestinians up to even the most minimum standards when it comes to judging their undemocratic procedures, their appalling human rights record, their hostile attitudes toward gays, women, Jews, or any non-Palestinian, non-males.

Clearly, this imbalance hurts Israel, undermining Israel’s standing, alienating bystanders, putting extra-pressure on Israel even from natural allies in the United States and Europe. But this imbalance hurts Palestinians too, in at least two central ways.

First, I think reflects what I call liberal condescension. I hold Palestinian politics and society up to high standards out of respect; giving Palestinians a free pass, be it when they terrorize or demonize, shows contempt for them, assuming that somehow they cannot live up to basic standards of decency.

Second, all this enabling feeds Palestinian extremism and Israeli extremism as well. Indulging Palestinian bigotry, oppression, fanaticism, and violence helps make the Middle East more incendiary, undermines Israeli moderates, and fuels the fanatics.

Just as many critics of Israel insist they are true friends trying to save Israel’s soul, true friends of the Palestinians in the West would start by publicizing Abbas’s remarks—and then repudiating them as contrary to the kind of country he should be trying to build and the kind of tone he should be trying to set in negotiations.

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Gil Troy is Professor of History at McGill University and a Shalom HartmanIntstitute Engaging Israel Research Fellow in Jerusalem. His next book, “Moynihan’s Moment: America's Fight against Zionism as Racism,” will be published by Oxford University Press this fall.

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Palestijnse en andere bezette gebieden (zoals Cyprus, Kashmir en Tibet)


"Occupied Territories": What About Cyprus, Kashmir, Tibet?

by Douglas Murray
July 23, 2013 at 4:30 am

This latest decision tells us nothing about Israel or the West Bank. But it tells us what we need to know about the EU.

What about Cyprus? That is just one of the questions that Israelis and Europeans should be pondering now that the European Union has again decided that it should dictate Israeli border and security policy.

Last week the European Union issued a ban on funding of, or cooperation with, any Israeli institutions that are shown to operate in what it calls the "occupied territories" – meaning the West Bank, or Judea and Samaria. Never mind that -- as Palestinian groups have already admitted -- the ban will affect Palestinians as much as Israelis. In its perpetual rush to find new double-standards to enforce, the EU has rushed straight in, regardless.

As one senior Palestinian Authority official said on the announcement of the news, many Palestinians in Ramallah and elsewhere will be just as affected by the EU's decision as their Israeli neighbors. The senior PA official was quoted saying:

"For our part, we approached a number of [European] Union officials, in the [Palestinian] Authority and also in Israel, to try and prevent the decision or at least to keep it unofficial," said the official, who declined to give his name. "It's not just Israeli companies that are going to be hit economically, it's also going to be disastrous economically and socially for the Palestinian community."

Well what are a few Palestinians to the EU's persistent drive to isolate the Jewish state? Tolerable collateral damage, surely?

But what about Cyprus? After all, there are many countries in the world with border disputes. There is at least one major one on China's borders [Tibet]. And there is the rather famous one which borders Pakistan [Kashmir]. Border disputes are hardly unusual. Similar stories abound all over the world, such as the unresolved dispute involving Morocco over the status of the Western Sahara. Yet all these countries are ones with which the EU has full, if not fawning, diplomatic and trade relations.

Of course, what makes the EU's latest double-standard even more delicious is that the occupied island of Cyprus is actually a member of the EU. As such, shouldn't it surely command the most detailed and persistent attention from the international body?

Yet this is not so. The northern part of Cyprus has been illegally annexed for the last four decades by Turkey. It is not as though Turkey shares a border with the island. Nor does it have -- as Israel has with the West Bank -- any legitimate historical, political or other territorial claims on the northern part of the island. There is no security reason for Turkey to sustain its occupation, as there is an obvious need for Israel to have defensible borders that do not permit terrorists from the West Bank to fire rockets into Israel, as do its friends in post-disengagement Gaza or southern Lebanon.

But unlike Israel and the West Bank, the Turkish invasion of Cyprus is not even a disputed matter. It was certainly not some understandable territorial gain made after aggressive war waged by Greece. It was outright theft -- an annexation: state terrorism. The entire international community recognizes it as such. Yet in 2013 not only is Turkey not an enemy of the EU, and not only is it a country which enjoys complete diplomatic and trade relations with the EU, it is a country which many leading members and officials of the EU actually want to promote into a full member-state of the EU.

Into the fifth decade of Turkish occupation of Cyprus, there is still no serious dictating by the EU to Turkey over what it must do about northern Cyprus. Turkey does not find itself under even the most remote international pressure finally to disengage from its illegal occupation of the northern part of Cyprus. And that is because for some inexplicable reason the EU does not consider it imperative that Turkey should disengage from the illegal occupation of an EU member state. It does not consider that the future of any region depends on this action. Yet it does persist, even now, with its view that it can dictate to Israel about its borders. And that it can have a constructive role in doing so. Of all the fallacies of the EU, that is surely the topmost.

The EU does not only have a wrong-headed view of Israel's past, it has a wholly misguided view of its future.

Today Israel is at the very bottom of the list of countries of concern, even in its own neighborhood, let alone the wider world, with nearly 100,000 dead in Syria and Egypt going through a counter-counter revolution, and with the Sunni-Shiite conflict looking likely to reach one of its intermittent boiling points as the Shiite armies of Hezbollah clash with the Sunni-armed opposition in Syria. Amid all this, the issue of where Jews should or should not live inside their historical homeland is a matter of the lowest international import.

Yet the EU -- which always likes to think of itself as such a forward-looking organization -- is once again showing itself to be stuck in a wrong-headed and bigoted past. It is not Israel which is the problem in the Middle East. Today Israel is, in fact, about the only non-problem in the region.

Yet it is this country's sovereignty upon which the EU decides time and time again that it can intrude. This latest decision tells us nothing about Israel or the West Bank. But it tells us what we need to know about the EU.


Vrede kan niet alleen via Israël tot stand komen (VK Opinie & Debat)  

Dit artikel verscheen vandaag in de Volkskrant in Opinie & Debat. Onderstaand de versie zoals ingestuurd, met andere titel.

Vrede kansloos als alleen Israël onder druk wordt gezet

Ratna Pelle

De vredesbesprekingen, of eigenlijk de voorbereidende gesprekken, zijn eindelijk begonnen. Na meer dan drie jaar verkeren vertegenwoordigers van Israël en de Palestijnen weer in één ruimte. Dat is een hele prestatie voor John Kerry. De vraag is wat hij aan beide partijen heeft toegezegd om ze zover te krijgen. De Palestijnen hadden een lijst met voorwaarden, waarvan alleen het vrijlaten van alle gevangenen die sinds 1993 vastzitten, geheel schijnt te worden ingewilligd. Het lijkt er echter op dat Kerry een aantal Palestijnse eisen wel informeel heeft toegezegd. Zo zei een belangrijke Palestijnse functionaris dat Kerry de Palestijnen heeft beloofd dat hij geen interim akkoord zou accepteren in plaats van een ‘final-status-deal’. Ook is de Palestijnen beloofd dat Israël geen ‘provocatieve acties wat betreft de nederzettingen’ zal ondernemen zolang er wordt gepraat. Dat komt erop neer dat grotere bouwplannen voorlopig niet worden uitgevoerd. Daarbij zouden de besprekingen, aldus een Palestijnse krant, op basis van de pre-1967 wapenstilstandslijnen worden gevoerd. Dat was een van de andere voorwaarden die de Palestijnen stelden om te gaan praten. Als deze berichten kloppen hebben de Palestijnen hun belangrijkst eisen alsnog binnen gehaald, zij het dat Israël ze niet officieel heeft ingewilligd. Dit is een slimme zet van Kerry, maar roept wel de vraag op wat de Palestijnen bereid zijn aan te bieden. Israël zal deze concessies niet zomaar hebben gedaan, maar daar op haar beurt toezeggingen van Kerry voor terug hebben gehad. Op Kerry rust dus de moeilijke taak naar beide kanten woord te houden en de verwachtingen waar te maken. Daarbij ligt er al een conflict op de loer over welke onderwerpen het eerst aan bod zullen komen, aldus de Jerusalem Post.

De kans dat de besprekingen succesvol zullen verlopen en over negen maanden worden afgesloten met een vredesverdrag, of op zijn minst globale overeenstemming over de belangrijkste zaken, lijkt minimaal. Sinds Obama in 2009 Israël opriep tot een bouwstop in de nederzettingen, heeft Abbas dit steeds als voorwaarde gesteld om te gaan onderhandelen, en daar steeds nieuwe eisen aan toegevoegd. De afgelopen weken benadrukten Palestijnse woordvoerders wederom dat men deze voorwaarden niet op zou geven.

Deze tactiek van het continu voorwaarden vooraf stellen is een van de grootste obstakels voor het vredesproces; daar kan geen nederzetting of etterende kolonist tegenop. Daarbij boeken de Palestijnen het ene diplomatieke succes na het andere: zo werd hun status in de VN afgelopen november verhoogd, waarna verschillende landen de betrekkingen met de Palestijnen hebben geïntensiveerd en de diplomatieke status verhoogd. Het lidmaatschap van diverse VN lichamen staat daarmee open. Een lidmaatschap dat Israël overigens niet altijd kon en kan bemachtigen. Israël is tot voor kort uitgesloten geweest van allerlei VN lichamen omdat het Aziatische regionale blok Israël boycot. Nog steeds gelden er voor Israël beperkingen, en zijn er speciaal voor de Palestijnen VN-organisaties en regelingen die tegen Israël werken. Vanwege de macht van het islamitische en derde wereld blok worden talloze eenzijdige rapporten en resoluties vervaardigd en aangenomen. De EU kiest steeds duidelijker partij voor de Palestijnen, en lijkt alleen nog maar eisen aan en kritiek op Israël te hebben. Ook Amerika stelt zich behoorlijk kritisch op tegenover Israël.

De Palestijnen hebben dit alles niet te danken aan hun vredeswil. Fatah en PA functionarissen spreken zich soms openlijk tegen Israëls bestaansrecht uit en media en schoolboeken dragen geen boodschap van vrede en verzoening uit maar van verzet en strijd voor het vaderland als hoogste goed. In Israël gedetineerde terroristen krijgen zelfs een salaris uitbetaald. Men houdt vast aan het zogenaamde ‘recht op terugkeer’ van miljoenen vluchtelingen en hun nakomelingen, die volgens de gangbare definitie geen vluchteling zijn. De Palestijnse onderhandelaar Mohammed Shtayyeh heeft op zijn facebookpagina een afbeelding van het hele gebied tussen zee en Jordaan staan met daarin in Arabische letters ‘Palestina’ geschreven. Dit komt overeen met de Palestijnse positie die men buiten de onderhandelingen vaak ventileert, en ook de logo’s van diverse ‘gematigde’ organisaties bevatten deze afbeelding waarin voor Israël geen plaats is.

Hoe meer de Palestijnen dwars liggen, hoe meer erkenning ze krijgen, zo lijkt het wel. En met wat succes heeft, ga je door. Men weet heel goed dat Israël de schuld krijgt als de vredesbesprekingen wederom vastlopen, dus in feite is sprake van een win-win situatie: ofwel Israël geeft aan steeds meer eisen toe zonder dat daar iets tegenover staat, ofwel de onderhandelingen mislukken en Israël krijgt de zwarte piet toegespeeld. Dat laatste levert extra goodwill en sympathie voor de Palestijnen op van de internationale gemeenschap. Je hoeft geen goede diplomaat of sluw politicus te zijn om dit spel met succes te spelen. Israël geldt immers al in steeds bredere kringen als schurkenstaat, en de Palestijnen als de underdog die moedig standhoudt.

Zolang de internationale gemeenschap deze Palestijnse houding en mentaliteit blijft ondersteunen en eenzijdig Israël onder druk zet, zal er geen vrede komen. Zelfs de meest linkse Israëlische regering kan niet alle Palestijnse eisen inwilligen en de ogen sluiten voor zoveel internationale hypocrisie. Om serieuze concessies te doen zijn enige aanwijzingen nodig dat men ook gesteund zal worden als het vervolgens gigantisch misloopt, en enig vertrouwen dat de Palestijnen van goede wil zijn en een concessie met een tegengebaar wordt beantwoord. De sleutel voor vrede ligt dus voor een flink deel bij de internationale gemeenschap, en als belangrijk onderdeel daarvan de EU.

Met het huidige beleid wakkert de internationale gemeenschap nationalisme in Israël aan en rejectionisme bij de Palestijnen. Men zet de partijen tegen elkaar op door de één te vertroetelen en de ander continu te kapittelen. Men kweekt aan beide kanten een slachtoffergevoel en -cultus. In Israël omdat men het in de ogen van de rest van de wereld toch nooit goed kan doen, men voelt zich de eeuwige gebeten hond, de ‘Jood onder de naties’. En bij de Palestijnen omdat ze zo totaal onkritisch worden bejegend en nooit ergens voor verantwoordelijk worden gehouden; alles ligt immers altijd aan de bezetting. Zolang dat niet verandert, hebben vredesbesprekingen geen enkele kans van slagen.


Hoogste PA-onderscheiding voor Palestijnse terroristenleider


De vrijlating van 104 gevangenen, waaronder velen die dodelijke aanslagen hebben gepleegd of daarbij betrokken waren, is niet in de laatste plaats zo pijnlijk voor de Israelische overlevenden en nabestaanden omdat zij weten dat deze mensen door de Palestijnen als helden worden onthaald en victory zullen kraaien. Velen zeiden bij eerdere vrijlatingen trots te zijn op hun daden en dit weer te zullen doen en sommigen hebben ook woord gehouden.


Het enige dat Israel ervoor terugkrijgt is dat de Palestijnen bereid zijn te gaan praten, maar de Palestijnen zouden Israel net zo hard kunnen belonen voor het feit dat Israel bereid is te praten.


Terroristen worden algemeen als helden gezien en als voorbeeld voor de jeugd gepresenteerd. Gevangenschap in Israel versterkt die status verder. Dit is een minstens zo groot obstakel als de nederzettingen en kolonistengeweld, maar in tegenstelling daartoe wordt het zelden gehekeld.





Hoogste PA-onderscheiding voor terroristenleider



PA-president Mahmoud Abbas heeft de hoogste orde van de “Ster van Eer” toegekend aan Nayef Hawatmeh, die als directeur-generaal van de terroristische DFLP verantwoordelijk is voor de dood van tientallen Israelische burgers, onder wie veel kinderen. Het was de zoveelste keer dat de PA een terrorist verheerlijkte; in Nederland zijn hierover al verschillende malen Kamervragen gesteld.

Abbas hing Hawatmeh de medaille persoonlijk om in een ceremonie die werd uitgezonden op de PA-televisie en die deze week op Youtube verscheen met Engelse ondertiteling (zie de video). Hawatmeh kreeg de onderscheiding voor zijn ‘belangrijke nationale rol in dienst van de Palestijnse zaak en het Palestijnse volk, als erkenning voor zijn inspanningen om de Palestijnse vlag te hijsen sinds het begin van de Palestijnse revolutie en in alle stadia van de voortdurende strijd.’
Tot de wapenfeiten van de DFLP behoorde de beruchte gijzeling van een school in Ma’alot in 1974, waarbij 22 kinderen en 4 volwassenen werden vermoord. Israel verklaarde hem hierom tot ongewenste vreemdeling; Hawatmeh houdt kantoor in de Syrische hoofdstad Damascus en kan pas sinds kort reizen door de Palestijnse gebieden.

Als hoofd van de DFLP was Hawatmeh bovendien verantwoordelijk voor de aanslag op een schoolbus in 1970 (9 kinderen en 3 volwassenen vermoord) en aanslagen in Beit Shean (4 doden), Jeruzalem (7 doden), en Tel Aviv (4 doden).


Hamas vraagt extra dieselolie aan Israel om "humanitaire ramp" af te wenden


Hamas vraagt Israel om meer benzine, omdat men geen Egyptische benzine meer via de smokkeltunnels kan krijgen sinds Egypte die heeft aangepakt. Natuurlijk hoor je de anti-Israel adepten daar niet over, Palestijns leed is immers alleen interessant wanneer Israel de schuld kan krijgen. Elder of Ziyon wijst er op dat Hamas in het verleden Israelische diesel heeft geweigerd.





Hamas, complaining about "humanitarian disaster," asks Israel for more fuel


Here's an unusual article on Hamas' Qassam Brigades (English) website.

Instead of its usual Israel-bashing, Hamas is trying to arouse world opinion against Egypt's crackdown on smuggling tunnels, specifically fuel smuggling. (This article is not on their Arabic site, so this is only meant for English-speaking readers.)


The Gaza Strip is living a nightmare about a life-sapping blockade looming, with Egypt’s army having or destroyed or shut hundreds of underground border tunnels with Gaza, the lifeline for the Gazans after Hamas won 2006 elections, and the following Israeli border blockade.

The unraveling question haunting Gazans’ minds is whether Egypt’s political unrest would continue to affect their access to life basics, particularly fuel, which no longer could reach the Gaza tunnels. 

Fuel shortages have seen Gaza environment, health, and transport sectors remarkably crippled, worsening the humanitarian situation in the coastal enclave.

The vast majority of Gaza’s 1.7 million used to opt for the cheaper Egyptian fuel. However, head of the government’s petroleum directorate Abdul Nasser Muahnna said last week “Gaza’s gas station syndicate which had reduced its dependency on Israeli supplies of fuel in the past, has now asked Israel for fuel provisions to head off the shortage,”


Remember, Egypt's fuel that was smuggled to Gaza was subsidized by Egypt for her own citizens, which then sold them to Gaza at a discount. Hamas is pretending that they have a right to subsidized fuel from Egypt that Egyptians themselves cannot spare.

For years, Israel has had capacity to pump more fuel into Gaza. Hamas had refused.

Now comes the sob story:


Gaza municipal councils announced a few days ago that the continued fuel crisis would affect vital sectors and subsequently cause an imminent humanitarian disaster.

Spokesman of the councils said that “since the power generators running the Gaza’s 57sewage pumps highly depend on diesel fuel, it would not be working as far as the fuel crisis didn’t defuse,”

Moreover, water wells which amount to 190 and constitute Gazans’ main source of water for drinking, agricultural and domestic use basically depend on diesel-powered generators.

While solid waste collection services have also disrupted due to the flaring fuel problem. Head of Gaza Municipality’s Health and Environment Department Abdel Rahim Abu Qumbuz said that “50% of solid waste collection vehicles that transport more than 1,500 tons of waste daily from the neighborhoods and streets of the Gaza Strip to landfills have suspended work.

“The accumulated thousands of tons of harmful waste shall ensure spread of many infectious diseases provoked by rodents and flies,” he followed.

Minister of Local Government Mohammed al-Farra warned Thursday that an environmental disaster may surface in the near future as United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has recently stopped to sponsor Gaza municipal councils with diesel for waste collection vehicles.

Alongside the diesel fuel crisis that faced by the ministry, what is aggravating the problem, Al-Farra added, is that the International donors reneged on its commitment to supporting the hygiene sector, and halted its support for the drivers and street cleaners,.

“As an alternative to the diesel-powered vehicles, we’re seeking to recruit 1,000 cleaners provided that 50% of them have four-wheeled carts, in order that municipalities continue to work in raising the level of cleanliness in the Gaza Strip.

The health sector has been squarely affected by the fuel crisis. Ministry of Health warned against the acute shortage in the quantities of fuel to run the power generators supplying hospitals, blood banks, medical centers, public health laboratories in the Gaza Strip.

Spokesman of the ministry Ashraf al-Qidra said that “the overall health services are directly harmed by the current crisis; the public hospitals, medical clinics, laboratories and blood banks need a monthly amount of nearly 10,000 liters of diesel to run, a monthly of 150,000 liters of gasoline to run transport vehicles, ambulances,”

“We have rescheduled the movement of ambulances and transport services in general to be at the minimum and work only during emergencies; we are afraid of the consequences on the Palestinian patients if the crisis continued to exist, as there is 579 patients, including 15 children, with renal failure who undergo 1,800 dialysis sessions per week, 110 infants lying in incubators,” the official said.


Ministry of Transport and Communications said Tuesday “in light of the inaccessibility of petroleum products to the Gaza Strip through the border tunnels, more than 70,000 taxi drivers have been jobless,”

Spokesman of the ministry Khalil Zayan said at a press conference held Thursday in Gaza that “about 20,000 public service vehicles, and 30,000 private vehicles have been disrupted,”


The only fuel that Hamas has been getting regularly from Israel is cooking gas

But as I have shown, Israel had provided diesel for their fuel plants in the past. Hamas regularly manipulates the amount of fuel arriving from Israel to create these regular "humanitarian crises". 

Hamas can find the money for importing rockets, anti-aircraft missiles and anti-tank weapons they can aim at schoolbuses. But to pay market rates for fuel is simply not acceptable for this terrorist organization that is holding 1.5 million people hostage. 


Max Pam over supermarktboycot Israelische nederzettingen


Een sterke column van Max Pam in de Volkskrant:


Jumbo, (...) is een echt rooms familiebedrijf, dat snel heel Nederland verovert.

Nu voelt het om de een of andere manier toch ongemakkelijk als roomsen een boycot beginnen tegen Israël. Ik heb dat ook met Dries van Agt. Die hoeft zijn zachte g maar tegen het oude volk in te zetten of ik ben ineens verschrikkelijk vóór die halvegare kolonisten. Daar komt bij dat onze Jumbo vol staat met producten uit landen met ongure regimes: honing uit Cuba, woksaus uit China, kruidenmix uit Marokko, en dan ben ik vast nog veel lekkernijen vergeten.

Bovendien rijdt die enorme Jumbovrachtauto, die dagelijks de straat blokkeert, misschien wel op brandstof uit Saoedi-Arabië, ook geen land waar vrijheden hoog in aanzien staan. Andere gebedshuizen dan die van de islam zijn er verboden en vrouwen mogen er niet autorijden. Kortom, boycot een supermarkt alleen producten uit Israël, dan zou zij terecht het verwijt van antisemitisme krijgen.

Wanneer over een boycot wordt nagedacht, vind ik het bijzonder onaangenaam dat een supermarkt de beslissing voor mij neemt. Wat de Jumbo betreft zou het erop neerkomen dat de keten wel de plofkip verkoopt, maar niet de sinaasappelen van Joodse kolonisten, zelfs niet als die biologisch geteeld zouden zijn.

Als consument neem ik liever dat soort beslissingen zelf. Ik koop geen plofkip, want ik ben bereid het dubbele voor een vrij rondspringende kip te betalen, maar de minder draagkrachtigen zullen blij zijn dat er nog zoiets als een plofkip bestaat. De plofkip schijnt, als het rekensommetje is gemaakt, ook nog minder belastend te zijn voor het milieu, dus waar hebben we het eigenlijk over?

Wie met zijn geweten boodschappen wil doen heeft het moeilijk: in talloze landen worden de mensenrechten grof geschonden, is het zeer de vraag of de boeren, arbeiders en andere betrokkenen een eerlijke prijs krijgen voor hun product en een fatsoenlijk loon met bijbehorende arbeidsvoorwaarden voor hun werk. Producten van ver belasten het milieu, veevoeder verdringt de zo noodzakelijke voedselproductie voor eigen consumptie, regenwoud moet wijken voor palmolie dat tegenwoordig voor van alles wordt gebruikt, en dan heb je nog dierproeven, de bio-industrie, genetisch gemanipuleerde gewassen, pesticiden etc. etc. etc.


Maar er is nu een oplossing: laat al dat soort lastige dilemma's voor wat ze zijn, maar koop daarvoor in de plaats niks uit Israel. Wat uit Israel komt kan immers, zo leert de anti-Israellobby ons, zomaar uit een illegale nederzetting komen, en die zijn de grootste bedreiging voor de wereldvrede. Vergeet dus al de lijstjes van de dierenbescherming, Vegetariërsbond, Schone Klerencampagne, Fair Trade, etc. etc. en let nog maar op een ding. Kun je lekker bijna alles blijven eten en tegelijkertijd je geweten zuiver houden!




Palestijnse onderhandelaar toont op Facebook heel Israel te claimen


Het mag misschien niet verbazen, maar dit is wel heel openlijk: de tweede onderhandelaar van de Palestijnen, Mohammad Shtayyeh, heeft op zijn facebookpagina een grote afbeelding van het hele gebied tussen de Jordaan en de zee met de letters ‘Palestina’ erin. Op zijn pagina staan meer fraaie afbeeldingen die niet echt op verzoening duiden. Toch zul je de media niet snel horen zeggen dat de Palestijnen met twee monden praten of havikachtig zijn, want dat laatste etiket is uiteraard alleen voor Netanyahu en co weggelegd. Het is een hypocrisie waar ik soms echt onpasselijk van wordt: Abbas geldt altijd als de gematigde, welwillende vredespartner en Netanyahu als de havik die voor een groot-Israel is.





Palestinian negotiator’s Facebook page betrays true anti-Israel aspirations



At this very moment, it is being reported that chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat and Dr. Mohammad Shtayyeh are in Washington D.C. representing the Palestinians in renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks instigated by Secretary of State John Kerry.

But a quick glance at the official Facebook page of Dr. Shtayyeh betrays the true motives of the second most senior Palestinian negotiator, advocating the destruction of the entirety of the State of Israel.

While Dr. Shtayyeh has been paying lip service to Kerry’s peace talks initiative publicly, his Facebook background image reveals his aspirations for a Palestinian state that incorporates the entirety of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. The word ‘Filastin’ (Palestine) can be seen emblazoned across the entirety of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, above.

Such backhanded tactics are well known within Palestinian circles, and the recognition of the State of Israel is a rarity in the region. It is also a well known tactic within anti-Israel pressure groups around the world including the Palestine Solidarity Campaign which operates in Britain. Its logo displays a ‘one-state solution’, leaving the region devoid of a Jewish State, instead replacing it with yet another Muslim-majority country: ‘Palestine’.

In his invitation,  Secretary of State John Kerry said, “Both leaders [Netanyahu and Abbas] have demonstrated a willingness to make difficult decisions that have been instrumental in getting to this point. We are grateful for their leadership.”

It seems for one of Abbas’s negotiators however, the recognition of the State of Israel is one step too far, and reveals how these peace talks are more than likely to be completely in vain.

Hat-tip Oren Kessler


woensdag 31 juli 2013

Eric Burdon van The Animals treedt toch op in Israel

Ondanks een eerdere aankondiging waarin hij zou zijn gezwicht voor druk en dreigementen van de BDS (boycot Israel) campagne, is Eric Burdon toch in Israel gearriveerd voor zijn geplande optreden daar.
Animals’ Eric Burdon flies in for on again Israel show
British rock veteran had canceled his August 1 appearance in Binyamina due to threatening emails
July 29, 2013, 3:55 pm Updated: July 30, 2013, 12:06 pm
After caving to threats and canceling a gig in Israel, aging rocker Eric Burdon will play here after all.

Burdon flew into Israel on Monday night for the Thursday concert. “If it hasn’t got to do with music,” he declared on arrival, “it’s bullsh*t.”

Burdon, the former lead singer of ’60s British band The Animals, was last week reported to have canceled the August 1 concert in Binyamina because, his manager said, he had been receiving daily threatening emails.

However, on Monday the concert was back up on Burdon’s website and was again listed among the concerts at the Zappa Shuni Amphitheater in Binyamina. No reason was given for the cancellation of the cancellation.

Burdon, whose band’s decades-spanning career including hits such as “The House of the Rising Sun,” “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place,” “It’s My Life,” and “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood,” is once again scheduled to perform alongside Israeli legendary band T-Slam, as per the original plan.

Earlier this month, Burdon met up with members of T-Slam in Vienna and told them he was under pressure from anti-Israel activists to cancel the show. At that time, though, he seemed set on going ahead with the concert, telling the Israeli musicians, “Everyone needs music and there’s no connection to current politics. Everyone has the right to be entertained.”

But his manager later wrote to T-Slam to state that the show was off. “We are under increasing pressure, including many threatening emails that we are receiving on a daily basis. I wouldn’t want to put Eric in any danger,” his manager wrote, in comments released by T-Slam last week.

In a statement at the time, T-Slam said, “To appear with Eric Burdon, one of the founding fathers of rock & roll, was an almost dream come true. We’re sorry that despite his personal assurance to us, that he bowed to pressure and cancelled his concert.”

However, it seems Burdon’s reluctance to go through with the concert was short-lived and the show is back on track.

Earlier this month, Alicia Keys resisted heavy pressure and played a sold-out show in Tel Aviv as scheduled at the Nokia Stadium in Tel Aviv.


maandag 29 juli 2013

Palestijnen willen geen provisorische grenzen voor hun staat accepteren


Het lijkt er zowaar op dat beide partijen vanavond dan eindelijk samen in een ruimte verkeren, en de voorbereidende gesprekken (de echte onderhandelingen volgen daarna – of niet) zijn begonnen. Dat is een hele prestatie, niet in de laatste plaats voor minister Kerry. Daarbij is de vraag wat hij aan beide partijen heeft toegezegd om ze zover te krijgen. Met name de Palestijnen hadden een lijstje met voorwaarden, waarvan alleen het vrijlaten van alle gevangenen die sinds 1993 vastzitten geheel lijkt te worden ingewilligd. Het lijkt er echter op dat Kerry een aantal Palestijnse eisen informeel heeft toegezegd, zonder dat Israel die nu formeel hoeft in te willigen. Het is een slimme zet, maar roept wel de vraag op wat de Palestijnen bereid zijn aan te bieden en of Israel toch niet te snel een aantal zaken heeft toegegeven, al is het niet officieel. Hopelijk heeft Kerry ook de Palestijnen onder druk gezet om bepaalde zaken op te geven, want alleen dan maken de vredesbesprekingen enige kans van slagen.

According to Al-Hayat, Kerry promised PA President Mahmoud Abbas that Washington would oppose any Israeli attempt to avoid a final-status deal in favor of an interim arrangement. The senior Palestinian official was also quoted as saying that Ramallah would initially aim to come to agreement with Israel on the contours of a Palestinian state.


The US has promised the Palestinians that Israel would not carry out any “provocative” actions regarding settlements during the peace talks which are expected to resume in Washington this week.


The PA’s official daily newspaper Al-Ayyam also quoted Palestinian sources on Sunday as saying that the renewed talks would be based on the 1967 “borders” with agreed land swaps. The paper said that the Palestinian negotiating team would be headed by chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat and top Fatah official Mohammed Shtayyeh.


The PA will not engage Israel in peace negotiations if Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government does not release 104 Palestinian Arab prisoners who have been jailed for terrorist offenses, a senior Palestine Liberation Organization official told Israel Radio on Sunday.

Qadura Fares, a veteran Fatah leader who also serves as president of the Palestinian Prisoners Society, also said that the PA will not agree to banish any of the freed prisoners to either Gaza or a foreign country. 





Report: Palestinians claim Kerry vowed to reject Israeli bid for interim deal


LAST UPDATED: 07/28/2013 10:34 


Palestinians double down on borders, prisoners; official warns no talks without prisoner release.


The US has given the Palestinian Authority assurances that it will reject any Israeli proposals to establish a Palestinian state with provisional borders as part of an interim agreement, a senior Palestinian official was quoted on Sunday as telling the pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat.

After US secretary of State John Kerry’s whirlwind round of shuttle diplomacy which lasted months, Israeli and Palestinian officials are due in Washington this week to kick off the latest round of peace negotiations.

According to Al-Hayat, Kerry promised PA President Mahmoud Abbas that Washington would oppose any Israeli attempt to avoid a final-status deal in favor of an interim arrangement. The senior Palestinian official was also quoted as saying that Ramallah would initially aim to come to agreement with Israel on the contours of a Palestinian state.

The US has promised the Palestinians that Israel would not carry out any “provocative” actions regarding settlements during the peace talks which are expected to resume in Washington this week.

The PA’s official daily newspaper Al-Ayyam also quoted Palestinian sources on Sunday as saying that the renewed talks would be based on the 1967 “borders” with agreed land swaps. The paper said that the Palestinian negotiating team would be headed by chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat and top Fatah official Mohammed Shtayyeh.

The PA will not engage Israel in peace negotiations if Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government does not release 104 Palestinian Arab prisoners who have been jailed for terrorist offenses, a senior Palestine Liberation Organization official told Israel Radio on Sunday.

Qadura Fares, a veteran Fatah leader who also serves as president of the Palestinian Prisoners Society, also said that the PA will not agree to banish any of the freed prisoners to either Gaza or a foreign country.

Fares told Israel Radio that PA President Mahmoud Abbas agreed to a release of the prisoners in four stages beginning in the second month into peace negotiations with Israel that are due to resume this week in Washington. None of the prisoners are likely to be released before Eid al-Fitr, the ceremonial feast that marks the end of the holy Islamic month of Ramadan, Fares said.

Among the 104 prisoners that are likely to be released are 14 Palestinian citizens of Israel as well as six Palestinians residing in east Jerusalem. Twenty six prisoners are from Gaza and the rest originate from Judea and Samaria.

Kerry phoned Abbas on Friday and informed him of the Israeli government’s decision to release Palestinian prisoners.

Abbas’s spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudaineh, said that Kerry told the PA president that US President Barack Obama’s administration fully supports the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

During a meeting with Palestinian journalists in Ramallah, Abbas was quoted as saying that Palestinians should expect “good news” on Sunday regarding the release of Palestinian prisoners.

Abbas refused to elaborate, but told the journalists: “Follow the Israeli media on Sunday and you will hear good news on the prisoners.”

Abbas reiterated his commitment to a two-state solution and said the Palestinians were keen on the success of the peace process.


Netanyahu verandert van havik in duif?


Toen de partij van Netanyahu de grootste bleef na de verkiezingen, buitelden de media over elkaar heen om te benadrukken hoe rechts en havikachtig hij wel niet is, dat hij nooit bereid zal zijn de Palestijnen een staat te bieden of reele concessies te doen, en hoe close hij wel niet is met religieus-rechts en de kolonistenbeweging. In werkelijkheid is hij veeleer een pragmaticus, en lijkt hij zoals velen voor hem bereid om serieuze concessies te doen nu hij daarvan de voordelen voor Israel ziet.

Netanyahu indeed shares with the messianic Right a lot less than many realize. A secular rationalist, he does not mystify soil and does not see borders as articles of faith. Moreover, Netanyahu played no role in the settlements’ emergence. When he first joined the government, in 1988 as deputy foreign minister, most had already been in place. The places beyond the Green Line where he did build are mostly in consensus Jerusalem.

Politically, while Netanyahu saw the settlers as part of the national camp that has been the backbone of his public career, his relationship with the religious Right has been increasingly rocky.




Middle Israel: Netanyahu may be latest hawk to turn dove


LAST UPDATED: 07/28/2013 02:57


If PM is joining long list of Israeli hawks who have become peace crusaders, it is not due to Western pressure but because of Mideast turmoil.


It’s a familiar theme. A succession of Israeli hawks turned into doves over the past 40 years, each with his and her own circumstances and reasons.

Moshe Dayan, the first such convert, emerged a peace crusader from the Yom Kippur War. Menachem Begin shed Sinai because it was not part of the biblical Land of Israel. Ezer Weizman – Dayan’s brother-in-law and Begin’s defense minister – came to abhor war after his son Shaul’s severe injury as a paratrooper on the Suez Canal in 1970. Shimon Peres, impressed by Begin’s peace with Egypt, believed it could be stretched to the entire Middle East. Yitzhak Rabin concluded from the first intifada that the Palestinians deserved hope, Ariel Sharon emerged from the second intifada a two-state fan, and Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni emerged from Sharon’s shedding of Gaza eager to part with the West Bank as well.


·        PM: Resumption of peace process a vital strategic interest for Israel

·        Netanyahu on prisoner release: Sometimes PMs have to make unpopular choices for good of the country

All these had been sworn hawks. With the exception of Rabin, who was merely skeptical about Arab flexibility, all had actively promoted Greater Israel. Sharon built the settlements and inspired the settlers he later evacuated; Olmert abstained in the Knesset vote that ratified peace with Egypt; Peres built the first settlement in Samaria, Ofra, after saying it was absurd a Jew could live in Brooklyn but not in Samaria; Weizman said before ’67 he was longing for Hebron, Bethlehem and Jericho; Begin left Golda Meir’s government because she entered talks with the US about a potential retreat from Sinai; and Livni, while a 16-year-old councilor in the nationalist Betar youth movement, demonstrated against Henry Kissinger while he brokered minimalistic retreats from Sinai and the Golan.

Now, as Israel and the Palestinians return to the negotiating table for the first time in half-a-decade, politicians understandably suspect Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is about to join this list. While that remains to be seen, such a transfiguration would be in line with his ideological, political and strategic DNA, and signs of its approach are slowly piling.

PROF. SHLOMO AVINERI, Israel’s foremost political scientist, once said Israeli hawks split into two categories: the ideologues and the strategists.

The ideologues, whether secular nationalists like Yitzhak Shamir, or messianics like Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook, saw territorial maximalism as a supreme value and dismissed retreats regardless of circumstances and potential repercussions.

The strategic hawks, by contrast, opposed retreats only circumstantially. Once circumstances changed, and they had reason to believe a prospective retreat would grant advantages, they backed it. Netanyahu belongs with the latter.

Ideologically, in backing last decade’s construction of the anti-terror fence, he ignored critics who said it would compromise Israel’s claim for what sprawled beyond it. Similarly, during the disengagement from Gaza, he opposed the plan’s details, but not the principle of retreat. That is why he backed it in the Knesset’s initial vote on the plan.

Now, Netanyahu’s explanation that he is going to peace talks because Israel might otherwise become a binational state – and his statement that a binational state would be against Israel’s interests – come in this context.

To ideological Greater Israelites, that rhetoric is heresy. Tzipi Hotovely, for instance, a national-religious woman and deputy transportation minister in Netanyahu’s cabinet, thinks the West Bank should be annexed and the Palestinians be made full citizens of such a greater Israel.

Netanyahu indeed shares with the messianic Right a lot less than many realize. A secular rationalist, he does not mystify soil and does not see borders as articles of faith. Moreover, Netanyahu played no role in the settlements’ emergence. When he first joined the government, in 1988 as deputy foreign minister, most had already been in place. The places beyond the Green Line where he did build are mostly in consensus Jerusalem.

Politically, while Netanyahu saw the settlers as part of the national camp that has been the backbone of his public career, his relationship with the religious Right has been increasingly rocky.

Netanyahu never publicly took the side of the national religious in its historic struggle with ultra-Orthodoxy.

Unlike Sharon, who was almost foaming at the mouth when he left the ultra-Orthodox parties out of his coalition, Netanyahu did all he could to include them before surrendering to the demands of an alliance between Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid that they be left out.

The election this week of the new chief rabbis reflected this disposition.

Netanyahu is believed to have promoted behind the scenes Rabbi David Lau’s election, through Haim Bibas, Netanyahu’s campaign manager in the recent election and the mayor of Modi’in, where David Lau was the municipal rabbi.

In backing Lau, Netanyahu not only chose the ultra-Orthodox ticket, he effectively sabotaged Bennett’s titanic effort to install the modernist Rabbi David Stav. Netanyahu thus further deepened the chasm between him and religious Zionism along with the settler movement, which is deeply opposed to ultra- Orthodoxy’s ambivalent Zionism.

Stav, by the way, attended the Talmudic academy in the settlement of Psagot, near Ramallah, and that is where he was ordained as a dayan, or rabbinical judge. For diehard nationalists like Shamir, that would have been reason enough to prefer such a chief rabbi over anyone else.

Netanyahu, however, is yearning for his ultra-Orthodox allies, while keeping the national religious movement and its ideological hawks at arm’s length. That is also why Netanyahu wants to bring a prospective agreement to a referendum, through which he will approach the public directly, bypassing the ideological Right.

This, then, is the ideological and political backdrop against which Netanyahu the strategist opens his window every morning before surveying the quaking Middle East that he and his country inhabit.

ISRAEL’S UNDERSTANDING of its place in the Middle East has changed over the decades several times.

In 1958, David Ben-Gurion conceived the Periphery Strategy that took Arab-Muslim enmity as a given and sought allies among the region’s assorted non-Arabs and non-Muslims.

That is how Israel ended up in bed with Iran, Ethiopia and Turkey as well as Kurdish rebels and Lebanese Christians.

The peace with Egypt undid the axiom of Arab hostility, and inspired an illusion that more enemies can be coaxed to change their spots, and jointly create a New Middle East where people, credit, and goods cross borders as freely as they do in Europe and America.

This thinking died in the aftermath of last decade’s violence, which made a disillusioned Israel conclude it will never be in a position to change the Middle East, a thinking monumentalized by the fences that sprouted from the West Bank through Gaza to the Egyptian border.

Now, however, the Middle East is changing by itself.

An Israeli analysis of the tumult raging from Syria and Iraq to Egypt and Yemen has so far produced determination to take no sides in internal Arab conflicts. Such interference is what Israel once did in Lebanon, with catastrophic results.

That is why no Israeli official has said anything about the desirable shape of Syria, or about the civil war in Iraq, or about the unrest in Egypt, or the ongoing turmoil in Libya.

Moreover, each arena in the region’s countless flashpoints is different, mixing assorted religious, ethnic, tribal, and social dynamics, all of which are none of the Jewish state’s business.

However, one general pattern in the unfolding drama affects Israel, regardless of its actions or inactions.

The political Middle East is being rearranged around the religious fault-line that has run historically between Sunnis and Shi’ites. This is what is happening in Iraq, where the Sunnis feel they are being taken over, this is what is happening in Bahrain, where the Shi’ites are on the defensive, and this is what is happening in Syria, where the Alawites are allied with Lebanon’s and Iran’s Arab and Persian Shi’ites.

This is the context in which the Arab League suddenly entered the Israeli-Palestinian fray last week when it offered Mahmoud Abbas the ladder with which he climbed down from the preconditions he had set for entering the talks.

Having suspended Syria, the Arab League is now concerned with Shi’ite belligerency more urgently than with anything else. The prospect of Iranian troops stationed in Damascus, an anathema to Sunni Arabs, never seemed more likely.

As seen from the League’s offices in Cairo and the royal palace in Riyadh, the Sunni Middle East needs to contain the Shi’ite thrust, and this requires quiet on other fronts. That is how King Abdullah of Jordan views the situation, and also the Egyptian military, whose disagreements with the Islamists it has just deposed reportedly included the appeasement with Iran that Mohamed Morsi initially tried to promote.

No one in Israel has illusions about a grand alliance with the Sunni world. However, the Shi’ites are more lethal and at the same time more distant from Israel. With the exception of a million Shi’ites in Lebanon, the Arabs who surround Israel are Sunni, while the Shi’ite center of gravity is beyond Syria, between Iran and Iraq. A deal with Abbas backed by Saudi Arabia, the rest of the Gulf States and the Arab League as well as Turkey is therefore as tempting to Israel as containing Shi’ites is now urgent for Sunnis.

The prospect of formal relations with most Arab governments, and the shrinkage of the active anti- Israeli front to distant Iran and a handful of minor countries would be tempting to any strategic hawk, even to some ideological hawks. If indeed Netanyahu and Abbas ultimately strike a deal, this will be its undeclared, but overarching, rationale.

Talk about a newly moderate Netanyahu being driven by anxiety over international pressure – like the European Union’s boycott of settler products or scientist Stephen Hawking’s cancellation of a visit here – is unconvincing. Netanyahu’s elaborate diplomatic career has been defined by standing up to such challenges, and he doubtfully changed his mind about the feasibility of fighting this war they way he once did at the United Nations.

What has changed is the Middle East, whose ever intensifying uncertainty is fraught with risk, but also with opportunity, all of which the strategist in Netanyahu is not built to ignore.