zaterdag 4 januari 2014

Vijf jaar na de Gaza Oorlog & het Goldstone Rapport ~ een reconstructie

Het eerste stuk van een lange maar interessante analyse over het ontstaan van de Gaza Oorlog eind 2008 en commentaar op het Goldstone Rapport van de VN.
Five Years Later: Operation Cast Lead and the Goldstone Report, Revisited
January 2, 2014, 11:22 pm
Robert Werdine
Robert Werdine lives in Michigan City, Indiana, USA. He studied at Indiana University, Purdue University, and Christ Church College at Oxford and is self-employed. He is currently pursuing advanced degrees in education and in Middle Eastern Studies.

On the night of November 4, 2008, Israeli troops crossed into the Gaza Strip near the town of Kissufim and targeted a tunnel that Hamas terrorists were planning to use to capture Israeli soldiers positioned on the border fence some 250 meters away from the border and directly adjacent to an IDF border outpost, not unlike the one they used to seize soldier Gilad Shalit a few years back. Intelligence had established that Hamas operatives had been specifically trained for a planned abduction, and that they planned to activate the tunnel in a few days.

Hamas gunmen were waiting there for them; they had anticipated the possible discovery of the tunnel by the IDF and had thus had the entrances to both ends manned and heavily booby trapped. In the firefight that followed, six Israeli soldiers were injured, two of them seriously. Two Hamas gunman were killed, and several injured, and they then let fly with a volley of mortars at Israel. An Israeli air strike then killed five more Hamas fighters. In response, Hamas launched 35 rockets into southern Israel, one reaching the city of Ashkelon.

A six month lull/cease-fire had been established in June 2008 between Israel and Hamas that was brokered by Egypt, and the IDF spokesperson made clear that the operation was not an attempt to abrogate the cease fire:

“This was a pinpoint operation intended to prevent an immediate threat,” the Israeli military said in a statement. “There is no intention to disrupt the cease-fire, rather the purpose of the operation was to remove an immediate and dangerous threat posted by the Hamas terror organization.”

The tunnel skirmish of November 4, 2008 was then met by Hamas in the launching of some 193 rockets and mortars in November, and some 290 between December 1 and December 24, every one of them a war crime.

The Hamas regime, upping the ante, now demanded the following terms for a renewal of the lull/cease-fire, which lapsed on December 18: a complete opening of all border crossings, an opening of the Rafah border with Egypt, and a ban on all IDF activity in Gaza. Hamas was thus now demanding a removal of all the restrictive measures and “IDF activity” that the terrorist actions they had previously committed, and were currently committing, had made absolutely necessary.

On December 24 Hamas launched “Operation Oil Stain” to the accompaniment of a 60 rocket and mortar volley. On December 25 Israeli Prime Minister Olmert said: “I am telling them now, it may be the last minute. I’m telling them stop it. We are stronger.” This was met with an attack of 5 rocket and 14 mortar attacks, and the next day there were 12 more. All efforts to constrain or contain the attacks being ineffective, on December 27 Israel commenced Operation Cast Lead, a three-week sustained military strike on Hamas’ terror infrastructure and rocket launching sites in an effort to thwart future attacks.


Read more: Five Years Later: Operation Cast Lead and the Goldstone Report, Revisited | Robert Werdine | Ops & Blogs | The Times of Israel

Kerry optimistisch maar Palestijnen zien vooral veel onenigheid (Times of Israel)


Ondanks Kerry’s optimisme zijn de verschillen van inzicht en het wantrouwen tussen beide partijen niet bepaald afgenomen tijdens het tiende bezoek van Kerry aan de regio.

Contradicting Kerry’s optimistic statements, top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told local media on Saturday that “There’s no place to talk about interim agreements or extension of the negotiations, and that’s also what I told Kerry.”

“I want to clarify that contrary to what was said concerning the existence of American written statements, Kerry didn’t bring us anything except for recommending ideas,” he said. Erekat added that the two sides were still discussing ideas and recommendations put forward by the Americans but that there were no written documents.

“The way remains long and difficult,” Erekat said. “Kerry will return to Ramallah in the coming days and will continue to discuss matters.”   

On Friday Erekat was quoted claiming that Israel might contemplate killing the PA president, and accusing Israel of poisoning Yasser Arafat. On Saturday, Erekat was more positive, declaring: ”Failure to us is not an option. We really are doing everything possible to ensure the success of Secretary Kerry’s efforts.”

Abbas said to reject Kerry call to recognize Israel as Jewish state
US secretary says talks are making progress, holds third meeting with Netanyahu; will head to Jordan and Saudi Arabia on Sunday
January 4, 2014, 5:44 pm Updated: January 4, 2014, 7:46 pm
US Secretary of State John Kerry (R) and Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat wave before a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the presidential compound in the West Bank city of Ramallah January 4, 2014. (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90)
US Secretary of State John Kerry (R) and Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat wave before a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the presidential compound in the West Bank city of Ramallah January 4, 2014. (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

US Secretary of State John Kerry said Saturday that progress was being made in talks between Israel and the Palestinians as a result of his Mideast shuttle diplomacy, but Palestinian sources spoke of wide disagreements, and the chief Palestinian negotiator ruled out any kind of interim deal.

Kerry held talks in Ramallah for a second day with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and then came back to Jerusalem for a third meeting in three days with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. ”We are not there yet, but we are making progress,” the secretary said in Ramallah. “This is hard work,” he said. “Years of mistrust” had “to be undone” and confidence restored.

Kerry told reporters that “we are working with great intensity and serious purpose with a commitment to resolve this conflict.” He said his sessions on this, his 10th visit to the region this year, “fleshed out, even resolved, certain kinds of issues and presented new opportunities for others.” Kerry had told American students visiting Israel on Friday, dropping on unexpectedly on their visit, that he remained “hopeful and a believer in the possibility” of a diplomatic breakthrough.

Kerry also announced he would head to Jordan and Saudi Arabia on Sunday to update leaders there on the talks and on other issues, and indicated he would come back to Israel and the West Bank later in the month.

Kerry is trying to nudge the leaders closer to a framework agreement to guide talks for a final settlement in the decades-long dispute. But the two sides are at odds over many key core elements of any accord, and the differences are becoming increasingly open.

Palestinian sources told AFP that Abbas had rebuffed pressure from Kerry to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. They also said the secretary was proposing a joint Israeli-Palestinian presence to control the West Bank-Jordan border, where Israel has insisted on ongoing IDF control and Abbas has sought an international military presence.

The unnamed Palestinian sources also claimed Kerry had suggested a new formulation for Jerusalem, under which it would be termed the capital of both states without a clear definition of East Jerusalem’s outlines, that Netanyahu had “apparently” agreed to this, and that the Palestinians had rejected it. There was no confirmation of these claims, and Kerry has refused to go into the specifics of his proposals thus far.

The American diplomat was greeted in Ramallah on Saturday by approximately 200 Palestinian protesters who demonstrated against his trip, AFP reported. There had been demonstrators, too, when he went to Ramallah on Friday.

Israel’s ministers on Sunday are to hear a briefing on ongoing Palestinian incitement against Israel, which Netanyahu has blamed for an uptick into terror attacks on Israeli targets in recent months. Netanyahu has also reportedly been complaining to Kerry that Israel has released dozens of Palestinian terrorists in the cause of the peace effort, and that he is facing criticism from the public, his party, and within his coalition as he tries to encourage progress with Abbas. Yet, the prime minister has reportedly told the secretary, Abbas is proving inflexible in the talks, and Israel faces the prospect of being blamed if the negotiations fail.

Israel’s Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz asserted Saturday that Abbas wants a Palestinian state but without peace or recognition of Israel.

Israel’s Channel 2 news reported that Netanyahu would bring any framework agreement before the cabinet before approval. Hawkish ministers would be likely to reject any significant concessions in such an agreement, such as a reported readiness by Netanyahu to negotiate Palestinian statehood on the basis of the pre-1967 lines with land swaps. Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett has set “red lines” for any concessions, the TV report said Friday night, and threatened both to bolt the coalition with his own Orthodox-nationalist party and seek to woo hawkish Likud members to join him.

Contradicting Kerry’s optimistic statements, top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told local media on Saturday night that “There’s no place to talk about interim agreements or extension of the negotiations, and that’s also what I told Kerry.” (The talks began in late July and are set to end in April.)

“I want to clarify that contrary to what was said concerning the existence of American written statements, Kerry didn’t bring us anything except for recommending ideas,” Erekat said. He added that the two sides were still discussing ideas and recommendations put forward by the Americans but that there were no written documents. “The way remains long and difficult,” Erekat said. “Kerry will return to Ramallah in the coming days and will continue to discuss matters.”   

On Friday, Erekat was quoted claiming that Israel might contemplate killing the PA president, and accusing Israel of poisoning Yasser Arafat. On Saturday, he was more positive, declaring: ”Failure to us is not an option. We really are doing everything possible to ensure the success of Secretary Kerry’s efforts.”

The two sides are known to differ utterly on Kerry’s proposed security arrangements for a Palestinian state, with Israel insisting on retaining an IDF presence in the Jordan Valley for an undefined period after Palestinian statehood, and Abbas firmly opposing any Israeli presence. As part of his framework deal, Kerry has reportedly been asking Netanyahu to agree to a Palestinian state based on amended pre-1967 lines, with certain land swaps, and Abbas to agree to recognize Israel as a Jewish state — both positions resisted by the parties thus far.

Het gaat goed met Gaza volgens krant Islamitische Jihad

Naar het westen toe wordt nog steeds ach en wee geklaagd over de 'blokkade' en 'belegering' van de 'bezette' Gazastrook, dat 'getto' en die 'openluchtgevangenis' waar continu een 'humanitaire crisis dreigt'.
In het Arabisch schrijft een van de terreurgroepen uit de strook dat het best goed gaat nu...
NB: het onderstaande artikel herinnerde me aan berichten jaren geleden over een massa-huwelijk in de Gazastrook met extreem jonge bruidjes. Dat bericht blijkt niet te kloppen: de kinderen op de foto's die destijds (in 2009) de ronde deden, waren een soort bruidsmeisjes, niet de bruiden zelf.
Formeel is de huwelijksleeftijd in Gaza in 1995 opgetrokken naar 16 jaar voor jongens en 15 voor meisjes. Desondanks zijn afgelopen september een 15-jarige jongen en een 14-jarig meisje in Gaza getrouwd. De bruid was ingepakt als een pakketje, maar mocht na het huwelijk gelukkig toch gewoon met hoofddoek om rondlopen.


Gaza is doing fine, says Islamic Jihad newspaper  



Palestine Today, an organ of Islamic Jihad, has an article today saying that Gaza is not at all like the image of "destruction and siege" that the world believes.

Far from the image of war, destruction and siege in the Gaza Strip, Gazans during the year 2013 restored many aspects of normal life after years of blockade.

"The return of building and construction in the first half of the year, and the entry of modern cars, luxury goods, and the emergence of artists in the international arena in the areas of singing and painting, in addition to the Arab reader who is the best in the Arab world in the recitation of the Koran, as well as the continuation of weddings and other happy occasions are some of the aspects of the Gaza Strip in 2013," said the article.

It goes on to say that many building projects were started, roads were paved, Gazans won recognition for their singing, art and Koran recitation talents, and there are concerts and weddings daily in the sector.


Israels hightech top 5 van 2013 (CIDI)

In Israel worden heel wat nuttige uitvindingen gedaan.
(Nu nog een TomTom die de route naar vrede wijst...)

Israel  viert niet fanatiek nieuwjaar – het Joodse jaar begint zo rond september – maar terugblikken op 2013 zijn er genoeg. Opvallend veel daarvan gaan over hightech 2013. Het zijn er zoveel, dat de keus moeilijk is.
Ha'aretz kwam met een top 5 van Israelische startups in 2013. Wij maakten er een top 2 van: 1 steekt er bovenuit, maar de rest deelt een goede tweede plaats.

1. Waze heeft als leus: Outsmarting the traffic, together. De navigatieapp doet geen standaardnavigatie, maar geeft real-time verkeersinformatie op basis van wat je medegebruikers doorgeven. Dat zijn er intussen tienduizenden, en Google betaalde in juni meer dan een miljard dollar voor Waze. Dat alleen al zet Waze bovenaan alle lijstjes over 2013, maar er zijn veel goede numers 2.

2. Moovit doet voor het OV wat Waze doet voor de automobilist: op basis van informatie van medegebruikers krijg je real-time informatie over aankomsttijden van bussen en treinen, drukte en de weg in stations. Drie maanden geleden werd de app gelanceerd in Centraal Europa en Israel, dus nog even wachten. Moovit heeft nu 3 miljoen gebruikers en kreeg in december 2013 28 miljoen dollar aan kapitaal bij elkaar.

2. Mobileye is de perfecte aanvulling op Waze: Waze wijst de weg, Mobileye zorgt dat je heelhuids aankomt door te waarschuwen als je te dicht bij een andere auto komt of bij een voetganger, of dreigt van je rijstrook af te raken. Zonodig trapt Mobileye zelf op de rem. De slimme formules werken met één eenlenzige camera, in plaats van dure meervoudige camera's of radar die hiervoor nu nodig zijn. De verwachte gadgetverkoop is 1,5 miljoen, Mobileye kreeg 400 miljoen dollar kapitaal bij elkaar in juli.

2. Wix helpt je om zonder enige kennis van design of coderen professionele websites te bouwen met templates en apps. De starttechnologie is gratis, maar geavanceerde tools moet je erbij kopen natuurlijk. Er zijn al 40 miljoen gebruikers en Wix ging in november naar de beurs op Wall Street, waar de aandelenprijs sindsdien 75% is gestegen.

2. Silentium, de stilte-app uit het luidruchtigste land ter wereld, helpt herrie te verminderen: niet die van de roeptoeter aan het restauranttafeltje naast je, maar van elektronische apparaten. De chips en contollers van Silentium reduceren gebrom en getik van bijna alles, van computerservers tot airconditioning thuis en zelfs auto's. Silentium genereert anti-herrie die tot 90% van het ongewenste geluid van een apparaat onderdrukt.


Egyptische astroloog waarschuwt voor machtig Israel in december 2014


LOL. Hoeveel mensen in de Arabische wereld zouden deze onzin geloven? Hoe dan ook, er is niks mis mee als dit uit komt, zolang die macht goed wordt gebruikt en Israel vanuit kracht vrede kan sluiten. Kerry kan zich dan tot december 2014 met andere belangrijke zaken bezig houden, en bijvoorbeeld de crisis in Syrië oplossen, of die in Zuid-Soedan, of in diverse andere landen. 





Egyptian astrologer says Jews will be powerful in December 2014  


Great stuff from MEMRI:

In an end-of-year interview on Al-Nahar TV, Egyptian astrologer Sayyed Al-Shimi warned that whenever Saturn enters a fire sign, the Jews become stronger. Attributing various events, including the first World Zionist Congress, the Balfour Declaration, and the 1948, 1956, and 1967 wars, to the constellation of the stars, Al-Shimi warned that in December 2014, Saturn would enter Sagittarius again.


Following are excerpts from the interview, which aired on Al-Nahar TV and was posted on the Internet on December 31, 2013:


Sayyed Al-Shimi: Saturn will enter the fire sign of Sagittarius. My late father and I have had a long history with Saturn entering fire signs. As Sheik Daud Al-Antaki wrote, when Saturn enters any of the fire signs, the Jews grow stronger. Don't believe in this merely because I say so. It's been tested. We tested it, and it turned out that...


Interviewer: What happened in the past in such a case?


Sayyed Al-Shimi: We discovered that Saturn entered the fire sign of Sagittarius when the first World Zionist Congress convened. The Balfour Declaration was released when Saturn was in the fire sign of Leo. The Haganah Brigades began organizing and helping the English in 1928, when Saturn was in the fire sign of Sagittarius. The 1948 war took place when Saturn was in the fire sign of Leo. The 1956 war took place when Saturn was in the fire sign of Sagittarius. The 1967 war took place when Saturn was in the fire sign of Aries.


Between 1963-1967, my late father warned in his annual reports: "Beware, Saturn will enter the sign of Aries in 1967, and this means that the Jews will grow stronger, just like in 1956 and in 1948." "Beware," he said, "something is about to happen." But they refused to believe him.

After visiting the sign of Aries, Saturn entered the sign of Leo. This was in 1977, when Sadat visited Jerusalem.
The last time Saturn was in the fire sign of Leo occurred in 2006. I started warning them in 2004: "Beware, when Saturn enters the sign of Leo, the Jews in Palestine will get stronger. Something leading to this will inevitably occur." What happened? The Palestinian Authority split into Fatah and Hamas. Now Saturn is about to enter...

Interviewer: It all happens in fire signs? Saturn never enters a water sign, or whatever?


Sayyed Al-Shimi: It does enter water signs, but in December 2014, it will enter the fire sign of Sagittarius. Therefore, I hope that until December 2014, the Arab leaders must do whatever they can to resolve the Palestinian problem.




vrijdag 3 januari 2014

Ariel Sharon - een korte biografie

Lees in plaats van de gekleurde kranteberichten over Sharon liever deze zeer informatieve biografie van Ami Isseroff.



Sharon is a dynamic personality that inspires both extreme hate and revulsion among many, but also unswerving loyalty among those who served under him. He is characterized by decisiveness, knack for cutting red tape, unorthodox and incisive strategic vision as well as reckless disregard of public opinion and niceties. Though he has been politically affiliated with the Israeli right for most of his life, Sharon is a product of the pragmatic labor movement, unlike most of the founders of the Likud. In a short time, Sharon traveled a long ideological road from advocate of Greater Israel to proponent of pragmatic secular Zionism in the style of David Ben-Gurion, helping to guide Israel and Zionism toward a major ideological renewal.”


Biography of Ariel Sharon




Ariel Sharon was born Ariel Scheinermann in Kfar Malal, mandatory Palestine, on February 27, 1928. He joined the Haganah underground at the age of 14 in 1942 (1947 according to some sources). During the 1948 War of Independence, he commanded an infantry company in the Alexandroni Brigade, and distinguished himself in fighting in Jerusalem and elsewhere. He was wounded in one of the battles of Latrun. Sharon was appointed Central Command and North Command intelligence officer in 1951-52.  He then went to study in the Hebrew University, but his studies were interrupted in 1953 when he was recalled to  found and lead the "101" special commando unit which carried out retaliatory operations. Sharon and 101 were responsible for an infamous bloody  raid in Qibieh, in October 1953, in which 69 civilians were killed. The raid was a reprisal for a terror attack on Tirat Yehuda. Sharon and others have claimed since that they did not know civilians were being killed, but in an Israeli television documentary, Sharon said the raid was necessary and he would do it again.

The 101 commando unit was merged into the paratroopers with Sharon still in command. Its mission remained reprisal raids for increasing infiltration, especially from Egypt. Sharon was wounded in one such raid in Dir El Balach. Sharon was made commander of the paratroop brigade ("Hativat Tzanchanim") in 1956 and helped to establish its tactics and reputation. In the Sinai Campaign he led a controversial operation against orders to conquer the Mitla pass. In 1957 he was sent by the IDF to study at the Camberley Staff College in Great Britain. In 1958 Sharon became an Infantry Brigade Commander and later was made commander of the IDF infantry training school. He then studied law at Tel Aviv University and received an LLD degree. Sharon became Chief of Staff of the Northern Command in 1964 and Head of the Army Training Department in 1966. He fought in the 1967 Six Day War as commander of an armored division. In 1969 he was appointed Head of the Southern Command Staff.

Sharon resigned from the army in June 1972. He was recalled to active military service in the 1973 Yom Kippur War (October War)  to command an armored division. He became involved in a controversy over the crossing of the Suez canal.. According to some versions of the war, Sharon's action allowed the IDF to surround the Egyptian Third Army and end the war in a superior tactical position. Others claim that his disobedience and recklessness cost many lives needlessly.

Ariel Sharon was elected to the Knesset in December 1973 on the right-wing Gahal ticket. However, he resigned a year later, and served as Security Adviser to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (1975). He was elected to the Knesset in 1977 on the Shlomzion ticket. Following the elections, he helped organize and joined the right-wing Likud party and was appointed Minister of Agriculture in Menachem Begin's first government (1977-81). During the peace negotiations with Egypt, Sharon persuaded Menachem Begin to agree to remove the settlements in Sinai in order to obtain peace with Egypt. One of his priorities was to pursue agricultural cooperation with Egypt, but his major priority was expansion of Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank and Gaza, often circumventing legal channels to found and support new settlements.

In 1981 Ariel Sharon was appointed Defense Minister. He was the architect of the 1982 Lebanon War. The war brought about the destruction of the PLO terrorist infrastructure in Lebanon and forced the PLO and Yasser Arafat into exile in Tunis. However, the war was very unpopular in Israel and abroad because of needless loss of life in operations such as the assault on the Beaufort, and the disastrous massacre  of at least 700 Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps by Christian militia, similar to the massacre conducted by these militia in Tel al-Zaatar in 1976 under Syrian auspices. Sharon was indicted by the Kahan commission for failing to foresee the possibility of a massacre and failing to intervene after the massacre was underway. In 1983, Sharon resigned as Defense Minister after a government commission found him indirectly responsible for the September 1982 massacre of Palestinians at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps by Lebanese Christians. The war in Lebanon and the Qibieh and Sabra and Shatila massacres gave Sharon the reputation of a hated super-hawk in much of the Arab world.

Sharon remained in the government as a minister without portfolio until 1984. He served as Minister of Industry and Trade from 1984-90. In this capacity, he concluded the Free Trade Agreement with the U.S. in 1985. From 1990-1992, Sharon served as Minister of Construction and Housing and Chairman of the Ministerial Committee on Immigration and Absorption. Following the fall of the Soviet Union and the waves of immigration from Russia, Sharon initiated and carried out a program to absorb the immigrants. This included the construction of 144,000 apartments in a relatively short period. He also purchased a great many trailers ("caravans")  for temporary housing. His remarkable achievement was marred by the purchase of the trailers. These poorly constructed units became the subject of controversy and bitterness. From 1992-1996, Sharon was a member of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. In 1996, Ariel Sharon was appointed Minister of National Infrastructure in the Netanyahu government. He was involved in fostering joint ventures with Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinians. He also served as Chairman of the Ministerial Committee for Bedouin advancement. In all these posts, Sharon found ways to support settlement activities in the West Bank and Gaza. Sharon was opposed to the Oslo peace accords with the Palestinians and sought ways to undermine them.

In 1998, Ariel Sharon was appointed Foreign Minister and headed the permanent status negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. He participated in the Wye River  negotiations.  While serving as Foreign Minister, Sharon met with U.S., European, Palestinian and Arab leaders to advance the peace process. He created and advanced projects such as the Flagship Water Project funded by the international community to find a long-term solution to the region's water crisis and a basis to peaceful relations between Israel, Jordan, the Palestinians and other Middle Eastern countries. At the same time, he sought to accelerate the building of settlements in the West Bank.

After the election of Ehud Barak as Prime Minister in May 1999, Ariel Sharon  became interim Likud party leader following the resignation of Benjamin Netanyahu. In September 1999, he was elected Chairman of the Likud. He also served as a member of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in the Knesset. Sharon insisted on visiting the Temple Mount Haram al-Sharif compound in September of 2000. His visit triggered or served as the excuse for a wave of violence that put an end, in practical terms, to the Oslo peace process and brought about the fall of his rival, Ehud Barak. ( See commentary on the end of the Oslo Peace Process)

In a special election held February 6, 2001, Ariel Sharon was elected Prime Minister, decisively defeating Ehud Barak. He presented his government to the Knesset on March 7, 2001. He pursued an uncompromising line against Palestinian terror groups and Yasser Arafat, and insisted that Arafat was an obstacle to peace and personally responsible for much of the violence of the Intifada. However, Sharon did not carry out the extreme programs of hawks or vindicate predictions of anti-Zionists that he would commit genocide against the Palestinians. Sharon's stand against terrorism received more support from the US and European countries following the World Trade Center bombings in September of 2001. During the first years of Sharon's administration, Palestinian terror attacks increased and diplomatic initiatives were stalled. Sharon was able to form a close and effective alliance with the United States based on common interests in fighting terror and tacit Israeli support for the US war in Iraq. After a spate of terror attacks left 140 dead in March of 2002, Sharon ordered Operation Defensive Wall in the West Bank. Since the operation, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who Sharon seemed to regard as his personal nemesis, remained besieged and neutralized in his Muqata compound in Ramallah until October, 2004, when he was allowed to leave for medical treatment.  At about the same time, Sharon accepted or helped initiate the Road Map peace initiative that effectively replaced the Oslo peace process with a staged, performance-based plan for peace. The Road Map seemed to develop into a dead letter because neither side was willing to fulfill its commitments. Sharon had promised to remove illegal settlement outposts, but in fact, as late as January 2006, very few of the outposts had been eliminated. Renewed impetus to the peace process was given following the death of Yasser Arafat and the election of Mahmoud Abbas to the Palestinian presidency.

In elections held January 28, 2003, Sharon's Likud party won 40 seats, defeating Labor Party candidate Amram Mitzna, who called for unilateral disengagement - withdrawal from Palestinian areas and construction of a defensive barrier to fend off terror attacks Sharon formed a new  coalition government, partnering principally with the centrist Shinui party as well as the right wing National Union and National Religious parties.

An IDF campaign targeting suicide bombings gradually became effective in foiling about 90% of the attacks. Targeted assassinations killed major terrorist leaders including Ahmed Yassin and Abdul-Aziz Rantissi, heads of the Hamas.  By 2004, it was evident that the IDF, under Sharon's direction, had managed to stem the wave of terror, but the diplomatic stalemate continued. Sharon also came to adopt much of the platform of the Labor party he had defeated. He began construction of a controversial security barrier along Israel's borders. The route of the wall had to be changed time and again because it had included large areas beyond the 1949 armistice lines that infringed on Palestinian territory. 

In December 2003, Ariel Sharon seemed to do an abrupt about face, adopting major portions of the plan developed by Ehud Barak and Amram Mitzna and announcing his own disengagement plan, which eventually won the support of the Bush administration. The plan faced enormous opposition from Sharon's own Likud party and threatened to dissolve the political unity of the Israeli right. Nonetheless, on October 26, 2004, the Knesset passed the plan in what was viewed as a major political triumph for Sharon. Cooperation with Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, as well as the disengagement plan, drew increasingly vocal criticism from right wing extremists, formerly Sharon's greatest supporters. Formerly viewed as an archfiend by Arabs and the Israeli left, Sharon now became the target of vilification, including death threats, by the right. The election of Amir Peretz to head the Israel Labor party precipitated early elections. Sharon decided that he could not carry out his policies against considerable opposition in the Likud. On November 21, 2005, he announced that he was withdrawing from the Likud to found a new party, "National Responsibility," later renamed the Kadima Party (meaning "forward"). Sharon's new party was slated to win a decisive victory according to pollsters. However, after suffering a minor cerebrovascular accident, Sharon suffered a massive hemorrhagic stroke on January 4, 2006, leaving the Israeli political scene in an upheaval.

Several investigations produced evidence of enormous corruption in Sharon's political and business dealings and those of his sons, including bribes of hundreds of thousands of dollars, but these rumors and reports are only a minor determinant of Sharon's status in the eyes of the Israeli public and the world. No legal actions have thus far been brought against Sharon. Sharon is a dynamic personality that inspires both extreme hate and revulsion among many, but also unswerving loyalty among those who served under him. He is characterized by decisiveness, knack for cutting red tape, unorthodox and incisive strategic vision as well as reckless disregard of public opinion and niceties. Though he has been politically affiliated with the Israeli right for most of his life, Sharon is a product of the pragmatic labor movement, unlike most of the founders of the Likud. In a short time, Sharon traveled a long ideological road from advocate of Greater Israel to proponent of pragmatic secular Zionism in the style of David Ben-Gurion, helping to guide Israel and Zionism toward a major ideological renewal. In part due to his policies, the conflict faced by Israel began to shrink materially from being a regional or global Arab-Muslim-Israeli conflict to being a local Israeli-Palestinian issue in the eyes of much of the Arab world. Initially reviled in many Muslim and Arab countries as the architect of the Sabra and Shatila massacres, and pictured in racist European cartoons as eating babies, Sharon earned respect as a responsible if tough leader who took courageous steps toward ending the Israeli occupation and bringing about a peace settlement.

Ariel Sharon is twice widowed. His first wife, Margalit, was killed in an automobile accident. His second wife, Lily, died of lung cancer in 2000. He has two surviving sons, Omri and Gilad. A third son, Gur, died in 1967.

Ami Isseroff

Text: Sharon announces resignation from the Likud

Commentary: Sharon's illness upsets the chessboard


woensdag 1 januari 2014

Twee-staten-oplossing nog steeds favoriet (Jerusalem Post)


Om het nieuwe jaar vol goede moed en optimistisch te beginnen: een meerderheid aan beide kanten is (nog steeds) voor een twee-staten-oplossing, volgens de meest recente enquete. - Overigens worden bij die enquetes doorgaans niet de Palestijnse en Joodse diaspora’s betrokken, die wellicht wat minder pragmatisch ingesteld zijn.


Nu is de twee-staten-oplossing van de één niet noodzakelijk dezelfde als de twee-staten-oplossing van de ander. De helft ziet die oplossing in de sfeer van de Clinton-voorstellen uit 2000 (‘which included a divided Jerusalem, a Palestinian state in the entirety of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip except for several large blocs of settlements, and a demilitarized Palestinian state’): 54% van de Israeli’s en 46% van de Palestijnen vinden dat een acceptabel compromis (waarbij in de opsomming overigens weer het vluchtelingenvraagstuk ontbreekt...).

De andere helft zal, mits er een akkoord komt tussen de onderhandelaren, flink moeten slikken of het akkoord gaan torpederen op wat voor manier ook. Dat zou geen tragedie zijn maar een misdaad, om de Arabische ambassadeur prins Bandar Ibn Sultan te citeren (in 2000 over de afwijzing door Arafat van de voorstellen).





Hebrew U survey finds most Israelis and Palestinians support two-state solution

By LIDAR GRAVÉ-LAZI - 01/01/2014 01:33


Poll addressed issues surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including expectations regarding a permanent settlement.

Yitzhak Rabin, Bill Clinton and Yasser Arafat at the White House during the Oslo Acords, Sept. 1993. Photo: Reuters


A majority of Israelis and Palestinians, 63 percent and 53%, respectively, support a two-state solution, according to a survey released on Tuesday.

The survey, conducted by the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah, with the support of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Ramallah and Jerusalem, addressed issues surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including expectations regarding a permanent settlement, threat perceptions and US foreign policy under the Obama administration.

According to the findings, 54% of Israelis and 46% of Palestinians support a permanent- settlement package along the lines of the Clinton parameters proposed on December 23, 2000, which included a divided Jerusalem, a Palestinian state in the entirety of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip except for several large blocs of settlements, and a demilitarized Palestinian state. These findings represent an increase in Palestinian support, up from 43%, and a decrease in Israeli support, down from 56%, for such a deal compared to that reported by a similar poll in December 2012.

Furthermore, 47% of the Israelis support, and 48% oppose, the dismantling of most of the settlements in the West Bank as part of a peace agreement with the Palestinians. Only 43% of Palestinians, compared to 58% of Israelis, agreed to mutual recognition as part of a permanent-status agreement after all issues in the conflict are resolved and a Palestinian state is established.

The poll also addressed the attitudes and perceptions toward the increased US involvement in the Israeli- Palestinian conflict.

According to the findings, 23% of Israelis believe the Obama administration’s policy is more supportive of Israel, 28% believe it is more supportive of the Palestinians, and 40% believe it is equally supportive of both sides.

This marked a significant increase in the Israeli belief that US policy is more supportive of Israel or balanced under Obama compared to previous polls; in December 2009, only 13% of Israelis believed US policy was more supportive, 40% thought it more supportive of Palestinians and 37% found it equally supportive. Similarly in August 2009, the relevant percentages were 12%, 40%, and 23%, respectively.

Nevertheless only 39% of Israelis respondents said an increased US role in the Israeli- Palestinian conflict would be successful, while 29% said it would be a failure. Compared to a September 2009 poll, there is a slight decline in expectations of US involvement, 42% and 30% respectively.

Along the same lines, 41% of Israelis said Israel should yield to American pressure if the US, under the Obama’s leadership, pressures it to accept a two-state solution, and 43% of said Israel should reject such pressure. While 37% of Palestinians support yielding to US pressure to accept the Clinton/Geneva Initiative-permanent settlement proposals, 59% believe Palestinians should reject such pressure.

Despite majority support for a two-state solution, there remains a great deal of mistrust, mainly on the Palestinian side. According to the poll, 60% of Palestinians believe Israel’s goals are to extend its borders to cover the entire area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea and to expel its Arab citizens, while 24% think the goals are to annex the West Bank while denying political rights to the Palestinians.

On the Israeli side, 34% think the Palestinians aspire in the long run to conquer Israel and destroy much of the Jewish population in Israel; and 21% think the goal of the Palestinians is just to conquer Israel.

The Palestinian survey was conducted between December 13 and 16 and included 1,270 adults interviewed face-to-face in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip in 127 randomly selected locations, with a 3 percentage point margin of error. The Israeli sample included 601 adults interviewed by phone in Hebrew, Arabic or Russian between December 12 and 21 and included a 4.5 percentage point margin of error. The poll was planned and supervised by Prof. Ifat Maoz of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Prof. Khalil Shikaki, director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research.


VN, Saoedi Arabië spannen zich in tegen escalatie Libanon


Intussen bij de buren...




VN, Saoedi Arabië spannen zich in tegen escalatie Libanon



Zowel de VN als Saoedi Arabië spannen zich, samen met de legers van Libanon en Israel, in om te voorkomen dat Hezbollah Libanon verwikkelt in een oorlog met Israel. Zondag werden, waarschijnlijk door Hezbollah, vanuit Libanon vijf katjoesjaraketten afgeschoten;  twee daarvan bereikten Noord-Israel. Israel deed een aanval op de lanceerbasis. Alle partijen behalve Hezbollah lijken zich in te spannen om escalatie te voorkomen. Hezbollah maakt als politieke partij deel uit van de Libanese regering, maar heeft als terroristische organisatie een eigen agenda wat betreft Syrië en Israel. Vrijdag werd in Beiroet Mohamad Chatah, een tegenstander van de overheersing door Hezbollah, vermoord in een bomaanslag.

UNIFIL nam zondag direct contact op met het Israelische en het Libanese leger nadat de raketten uit Libanon waren neergekomen in de buurt van Kiryat Shmona en de Israelische artillerie een aanval had uitgevoerd op de lanceerbasis. “Dit is een ernstige schending van VN-resolutie 1701, die duidelijk tot doel heeft de stabiliteit in de regio te ondermijnen. Escalatie voorkomen is onze eerste prioriteit, en beide partijen hebben mij verzekerd van hun volledige medewerking”, zei UNIFIL-commandant Paolo Serra zondag.

Saoedi-Arabië stelde zondag $3 miljard ter beschikking voor wapens uit Frankrijk, een grote wapenhandelaar met koloniale banden met Libanon. De Saoedische gift, bijna dubbel het hele defensiebudget van Libanon voor 2012 ($1,7 miljard), moet het zwakke en verouderde Libanese leger versterken, zodat het een tegenwicht kan vormen tegen het veel sterkere Hezbollah. Hezbollah vormt een staat in een staat in Libanon, waar sektarische verschillen in het verleden voor jarenlange burgeroorlogen zorgden.

Noch de Libanese regering, noch Israel heeft enig belang bij een nieuwe Libanese oorlog. (Mogelijk werden daarom ‘slechts’ katjoesjaraketten afgeschoten: Hezbollah beschikt over veel nieuwere lange-afstandsraketten, die op Israel gericht zijn.) De Libanese president Michel Sleiman kondigde de Saoedische gift zondag aan op TV, kort nadat duizenden Libanezen de begrafenis bezochten van ex-minister Mohamad Chatah, die vrijdag in de hoofdstad Beiroet samen met anderen werd vermoord door een autobom in het centrum. Niemand heeft de aanslag nog opgeëist, maar Chatah was een uitgesproken tegenstander van Hezbollahs dominantie in Libanons aangelegenheden.

Chatah liet een lange open brief achter aan de Iraanse president Rouhani. Voordat hij de kans kreeg hierop handtekeningen te verzamelen van Libanese parlementsleden, werd hij het slachtoffer van de bomaanslag. In zijn brief waarschuwde hij dat de binnen- en buitenlandse veiligheid van Libanon erger in gevaar zijn dan ooit.  Hij stelt Iran verantwoordelijk voor het ondermijnen van de Libanese staat en vraagt Rouhani een nieuwe weg in te slaan:

“Het is een onomstreden feit dat de Revolutionaire Garde van Iran 30 jaar geleden de oprichter was van Hezbollah. Libanon was toen nog in een verschrikkelijke burgeroorlog verwikkeld en Zuid-Libanon was bezet door Israel. Nu, 23 jaar na het eind van de burgeroorlog en het opheffen van de Libanese militia’s en 13 jaar nadat Zuid-Libanon is bevrijd van de Israelische bezetting, blijft Hezbollah een onafhankelijke en zwaar bewapende macht vormen die zich onttrekt aan de zeggenschap van de staat. Dat gebeurt met rechtstreekse steun en sponsorschap van uw land.”

Hij roept Rouhani op tot het ondersteunen van 4 maatregelen, waaronder:

“4. Verzoek de Veiligheidsraad de stappen in te zetten die nodig zijn om de uitvoering van UNSCR 1701 af te ronden. Die motie is erop gericht Libanon vanuit het huidige, voorlopige eind van vijandelijkheden te brengen naar een permanent staakt-het-vuren met Israel, waarbij maatregelen van de VN Veiligheidsraad een eind zullen maken aan grensoverschrijdingen door Israel, en het Libanese leger de volledige en exclusieve  zeggenschap zullen geven over de veiligheid in het hele land.”
Lees hier de hele verklaring van Chatah

Escalatie door toedoen van Hezbollah dreigt aan twee Libanese fronten. In het buurland Syrië vechten door Saoedi-Arabië gesteunde soennitische moslims aan de kant van de rebellen, terwijl het sji’itische, door Iran bewapende en aangestuurde Hezbollah meevecht aan de kant van Assad. Ook de provocaties tegen Israel  worden toegeschreven aan Hezbollah. Dat geldt zowel voor de raketbeschieting zondag als voor een eerder incident, toen een Libanese soldaat over de grens heen een Israelische militair doodschoot. Ook toen spanden alle partijen zich in om escalatie te voorkomen; het zou gaan om een éénmansactie van een Hezbollah-aanhanger in het Libanese leger.

De raketbeschieting kwam zondag op een uitgekiend moment: vlak voordat de Amerikaanse minister Kerry de regio bezoekt om de vredesbesprekingen tussen Israel en de PA voort te trekken en één dag voordat Israel in dat kader 26 terroristen met bloed aan hun handen vrijlaat in het kader van die besprekingen, en tegelijkertijd weer nieuwe bouw aankondigde in de nederzettingen. Beide maatregelen wekken veel weerstand op bij Israeli’s en Palestijnen, net zoals bij vorige vrijlatingen en bouwplannen het geval was.


Amnesty International over de Gaza blokkade


Ik heb onlangs een update geschreven over de situatie in de Gazastrook. Dat viel niet mee, want betrouwbare bronnen zijn moeilijk te vinden en sommige berichten roepen evenveel vragen op als ze beantwoorden.


Wie ‘Elder of Ziyon’ is, is me niet bekend. (Amnesty weet het nu waarschijnlijk wel want die hebben met hem gebeld, en het lijkt me niet waarschijnlijk dat dit onder zijn ‘schrijversnaam’ gebeurd is.) Wat ik van de Elder meen te weten is dat hij (of zij...) een vrij rechts geörienteerde Israelische Jood is, althans dat leid ik af uit zijn blog. Maar hij heeft het vrijwel nooit over politieke of ideologische standpunten of argumenten; zijn strijdwapen tegen de (doorgeschoten) Israelkritiek is vooral de feiten. Die stroken vaak niet met de berichtgeving over het conflict of met kritische persberichten van ngo’s die we doorgaans een hoge betrouwbaarheid toedichten. Elder brengt alleen feiten en kritiek voor het voetlicht die ten gunste van de Israelische positie spreken, maar ze lijken vrijwel altijd hout te snijden. Zie vooral ook het tweede ontnuchterende artikel hieronder (beide stukken zijn van 4 december) over het beleid van Amnesty’s Midden-Oosten sectie, die als motto lijkt te hebben: ‘Barbertje moet hangen’.






I have noted here many times that Israel has no restrictions of diesel and petroleum into Gaza, outside of the physical amount that can be transferred via the pipeline at Kerem Shalom. (As far as I can tell, that pipeline has never reached capacity.)

The current Gaza fuel crisis started when Hamas decided in 2011 that it didn't want fuel from Israel and instead chose to run Gaza's power plant with Egyptian fuel, sold by smugglers at lower prices that reflected the subsidy that Egypt gives all its petroleum. When Hamas' Muslim Brotherhood patrons lost power, Hamas lost its source of fuel as the smuggling tunnels were closed.

Now, instead of paying market prices (and PA taxes), Hamas chose to let the Gaza power plant shut down, causing a cascading crisis as water treatment plants, water pumps and other essential infrastructure gets shut off. This was a cynical decision on Hamas' part, as they gambled that the resulting media coverage about the crisis they started would pressure Egypt, Qatar, the PA and perhaps Gulf countries to provide fuel at a discount again.

Amnesty International chooses to blame Israel, though.


Israel must immediately lift its blockade on the Gaza Strip, including by allowing the delivery of fuel and other essential supplies into the territory without restrictions, said Amnesty International today. 

“This latest harsh setback has exacerbated the assault on the dignity of Palestinians in Gaza and the massive denial of rights they have experienced for more than six years because of Israel’s blockade, together with restrictions imposed by Egypt,” said Philip Luther, Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International.

“The blockade has collectively punished Gaza’s population in violation of international law. The power plant shutdown has further affected all aspects of daily life, and the Israeli authorities must lift the blockade immediately, starting by allowing urgently needed fuel supplies into the Strip and working with all relevant parties to avert a prolonged humanitarian crisis this winter.” 

“The reason for the flood of sewage was the blockade,” a resident of al-Zaytoun told Amnesty International. “The question is, why is the blockade being allowed to continue? What is our crime? There is no justification for this situation. We just want to live like any other people in the world.”


I'll put it in large letters so Amnesty can understand:



At the very end of the anti-Israel screed, Amnesty decides to do a little CYA:


Continuing disputes between the Hamas de facto administration in the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian Authority over payment and taxes are also a factor in the current crisis. Both authorities must co-operate so that the power plant again receives a steady supply of fuel and can resume operations.


This isn't the first time Amnesty chose to ignore facts and blame Israel for Gaza's fuel woes. But this is even worse, as it starkly reveals Amnesty's anti-Israel bias.

My only question is - what exactly is it demanding Israel do to help provide fuel for Gaza? Already Israel agreed to pump free fuel from Qatar via Kerem Shalom, in a story I broke first:

Qatar recently offered to transfer to Hamas large amounts of fuel which it holds in storage tanks in Egypt, but the Palestinian Authority has objected. According to the Paris accords reached with Israel, it is entitled to collect value added tax on goods coming into the territories. Israel has agreed to transport Qatari oil from Israel, after unloading it in Ashdod, but the proposal has met with opposition. Over the last few days, intense negotiations have been held between Qatar, the Hamas government and the Palestinian Authority, in an attempt to resolve the problem and overcome the dire fuel shortage in Gaza.


So what exactly does Amnesty expect of Israel? Free fuel? Should Israel invade Gaza to physically place fuel into the power plant (if Israel is the legal occupier of Gaza, then the answer is probably yes!)

This press release proves one thing: Amnesty's bias against Israel is systemic and embedded. There is no way to spin this absurd, counter-factual press release as anything other than pure antipathy for Israel.

Even worse, it shows that Amnesty's concern over actual human rights of Gazans is dwarfed by its bias against Israel. Downplaying the roles of Hamas and Egypt in the crisis, and instead demanding Israel do something it already does, actually increases Gaza's suffering because it distracts from the reality and the actual steps needed to bring fuel to Gaza.

Amnesty should be embarrassed by such an absurd statement. Decent reporters, NGOs and governments should call Amnesty to task for abandoning its true purpose and instead choosing to use its "human rights "platform to incite against Israel.

Because that is what this is - incitement. 



My conversation with an anti-Israel Amnesty spokesperson


I called Amnesty this morning to ask about the outrageous report they issued that I discussed earlier today. I waited about five hours for a response before posting my article.

I then received a phone call from Deborah Hyams, Amnesty researcher and media contact.

Hyams explained to me that the Amnesty press release was meant to not only discuss the current exacerbation of the fuel shortage since November 1, but to look at the longer history of Israel's closure and restrictions on exports to Gaza, to explain the "root causes," from Amnesty's perspective.

When I asked specifically about why Amnesty was calling for Israel to lift restrictions on fuel when there are in fact no restrictions, she said that there are restrictions on some types of fuel. In fact, she told me, it was because Israel refused to provide industrial fuel for Gaza's power plant that Hamas was forced to smuggle regular diesel from Egypt. She did admit that price was a factor.

I explained to her my understanding that Hamas actually retooled the power plant to handle regular diesel smuggled from Egypt because they didn't want to pay Israel and they felt that with the Muslim Brotherhood in power they would have an unlimited supply of subsidized, cheap fuel from Egypt.

Hyams insisted that Israel has restrictions, today, on industrial diesel to Gaza. That is not my understanding and I told her that I've read COGAT reports since at least 2011 where they said that they can pump heavy duty diesel for the power plant and Hamas has refused. (Actually, I documented that Israel has provided heavy-duty diesel to Gaza since 2009.)

I pointed out to Hyams that, even if everything she said was true, the current crisis has nothing to do with Israel - Hamas decided it didn't want to pay the normal prices according to agreements between Israel and the PA as it has done in the past. She disagreed, saying that the current fuel outages must be looked at from a larger historical perspective and that Israel is the party most responsible for supplying Gaza with fuel under its legal obligations as an occupier; although she knows some disagree about whether Gaza is occupied by Israel, Amnesty's position is that it is. (We've discussed the hypocrisy of Amnesty vis a vis occupation in the past.)

I pressed on, saying that the press release is clearly taking advantage of a crisis that was not precipitated by Israel but the response essentially ignored all other parties but Israel. She admitted that the immediate trigger of the crisis was Egypt's closing of the tunnels (not really, since that happened over the summer and Hamas decided to stop paying the PA's taxes in late October.) However, this press release was pretty much a way for Amnesty to focus the world on Israel's role in the closure of Gaza.

It was a surreal conversation. Hyams didn't say it explicitly, but in effect she said that the current crisis with the sewage and water problems was an excuse to call attention to the fact that Israel has the primary responsibility for Gaza, according to Amnesty. Amnesty mentioned the other parties with responsibility (in wishy-washy language at the very end of the press release after paragraphs of blaming Israel) but the power problems are, in Amnesty's view, primarily an Israeli responsibility.

Immediately afterwards I called up Guy Inbar from the IDF COGAT unit and asked him if there were any restrictions on any specific type of fuel to Gaza - industrial, petroleum, cooking gas, anything. His answer was an unequivocal "no." The reason Gaza has no fuel is the PA/Hamas disagreements, not because of Israel.

Deborah Hyams is part of the problem. As NGO Monitor has documented:


Hyams has an extensive background in radical anti-Israel activism:

·                  In 2001, Hyams volunteered as a “human shield” in Beit Jala (near Bethlehem), to deter Israeli military responses to recurrent gunfire and mortars targeting Jewish civilians in Jerusalem.

·                 Hyams employs demonizing language regarding Israel: In 2008, she was signatory to a letter claiming Israel is “a state founded on terrorism, massacres and the dispossession of another people from their land.” Hyams also stated in 2002 that “[some] of Israel’s actions, all the way back to 1948, could be called ‘ethnic cleansing’.”

·                 In a 2002 Washington Jewish Week article, "Hyams said that while she does not condone suicide bombings, she personally believes they 'are in response to the occupation.'" In another instance she defended violence stating "occupation is violence...and the consequence of this action must result in violence [against Israelis]."

·                 Hyams has worked for some of the most radical political advocacy NGOs in the Arab-Israeli conflict, including the Alternative Information Center (AIC), Jews for Justice in Palestine and Israel (JPPI), Rachel Corrie Foundation, and Ma’an Network. Any of these affiliations should have been a red flag for Amnesty.


It is clear that at least in the Middle East, Amnesty is run by people with an anti-Israel agenda, where human rights, and even basic facts, are trumped by antipathy towards Israel.