Article asked on this date

You have found the article

Maandelijks archief april 2011

KAMERDEBAT 28 APRIL OVER PALESTINA, HULPVLOOT NAAR GAZA

Een PVV-motie roept de regering op “uit te spreken dat deze flotilla een provocatie is en terroristische organisaties tot nut strekt of kan strekken”. Deze motie werd aangenomen met steun van VVD, SGP, CU, CDA en PVV. Goed onthouden welke partijen c.q. politici wanneer en hoe de term provocatie hanteerden inzake Palestina-Israel. Lees hierna de reactie van Nederland-Gaza, de Nederlandse Gazavloot-organisatie.

In reactie hier het persbericht van het Nederlandse initiatief en hierna. 

PERSBERICHT – 28 april 2011

“Zonder blokkade zou Gazavloot niet nodig zijn”
Met zijn advies tegen deelname aan de Freedom Flotilla 2 sanctioneert minister Uri Rosenthal in feite de onwettige afsluiting van de Gazastrook door Israël. Met zijn uitlatingen gaat hij voorbij aan de aanleiding voor het vertrek van de Gazavloot, en het werkelijke probleem in de regio: de blokkade. Stichting Nederland-Gaza is verbaasd over de uitlatingen van de minister, aangezien de vloot als vorm van geweldloos verzet niet in strijd is met het internationale recht.

Door de jarenlange afsluiting door Israël is er in het gebied een groot tekort aan medicijnen, bouwmaterialen en andere goederen. De Freedom Flotilla 2 wil op geweldloze wijze de blokkade doorbreken en hulpgoederen naar de Gazastrook brengen.

Daarnaast heeft de blokkade de economie nagenoeg lamgelegd en het gebied tot een openluchtgevangenis gemaakt. Export van (landbouw)goederen uit de Gazastrook en vrij verkeer van personen zijn verboden. Door de beperkte toegang tot de kustwateren worden circa 35.000 mensen die afhankelijk zijn van visvangst in hun bestaan bedreigd. De werkloosheid in de Gazastrook is ongeveer 45 procent. Tachtig procent van de inwoners is structureel afhankelijk van voedselhulp van de VN. De blokkade is een collectieve bestraffing van de burgerbevolking en daarom illegaal volgens Vierde Geneefse Conventie.

“Nederland is als medeondertekenaar van de conventie en, middels artikel 90 van de Grondwet gebonden aan het bevorderen van de internationale rechtsorde”, zegt Benji de Levie, woordvoerder van Stichting Nederland-Gaza, “maar laat na schendingen van internationaal recht door Israël aan de kaak te stellen. De Gazavloot komt op voor de positie van het internationaal recht, omdat Nederland dit niet doet. Zonder blokkade zou er geen Gazavloot nodig zijn.”

Dat de minister verwijst naar de Oslo-akkoorden, die onder meer Israël het recht zouden geven op bewaking op zee, is volgens de stichting Nederland-Gaza een voorbeeld van selectief winkelen. “De Levie: ” Ik hoor de minister nooit over schendingen van andere bepalingen. Want na het sluiten van de akkoorden is Israël bijvoorbeeld doorgegaan met de bouw van de nederzettingen op de Westelijke Jordaanoever. ‘Oslo’ mag Israël het recht geven, binnen de grenzen van het internationaal recht schepen te doorzoeken op verdachte lading, ‘Oslo’ verschaft Israël absoluut geen recht de bevolking van Gaza op te sluiten, naar willekeur te bestoken en een menswaardig bestaan te onthouden.”

Beweren dat deze vloot ‘alleen maar bedoeld is als een provocatie van Israël’, is in strijd met de feiten en zelfs een aperte omdraaiing van de werkelijkheid: de echte provocatie, namelijk die van het internationaal recht, is de afsluiting en de blokkade van Gaza door Israël.

(www.palestina-komitee.nl / 30.04.2011)

Moslim Broederschap begint partij in Egypte

De voorheen verboden Moslim Broederschap in Egypte heeft zaterdag een politieke partij opgericht. De Vrijheids- en Gerechtsheidspartij rekent op bijna de helft van de 508 parlementszetels bij de verkiezingen in september, meldde de broederschap zaterdag.

Het zijn de eerste verkiezingen sinds de opstand waarbij president Hosni Mubarak in februari vertrok. Mohammed Hussein, secretaris-generaal van de Moslim Broederschap, benadrukte dat de politieke partij niet islamitisch is. De Egyptische grondwet verbiedt namelijk partijen die zijn gebaseerd op geloof, klasse of regio.

Leden van de Moslim Broederschap die individueel meededen aan de verkiezingen in 2005, wonnen een vijfde van het aantal zetels. Ze scoorden minder goed bij de verkiezingen in 2010, waarbij volgens waarnemers was gefraudeerd door Mubaraks partij.

(www.parool.nl / 30.04.2011)

Sanctioneert Rosenthal nu de blokkade van Gaza??

woensdag 27 april 2011

Minister Uri Rosenthal van buitenlandse zaken is naar buiten gekomen met een standpunt dat de nodige vraagtekens doet rijzen over het regeringsstandpunt inzake de blokkade van Gaza.
De Tweede Kamer houdt  donderdag op aanvraag van Joël Voordewind (CU) een spoeddebat over de deelname van Nederlandse organisaties aan de ´Freedom Flotilla 2´. Die Flotilla wil eind mei, een jaar na de Freedom Flotilla 1 die door Israel werd gestopt waarbij negen mensen werden gedood, met een groot aantal boten richting Gaza afvaren om de blokkade te breken en hulpgoederen af te leveren. Nederlandse organisaties die deelnemen zijn onder meer Stop de Bezetting, Stichting Palestina, het Nederlandse Palestina Komité en Een Ander Joods Geluid.
Rosenthal heeft deze organisaties gevraagd om niet mee te doen. Hij schreef de Kamer voorafgaand aan het debat van donderdag een brief, waarin hij namens de regering-Rutte uitlegt dat deze Flotilla ‘allerminst een bijdrage (levert) aan een oplossing van het Israëlisch-Palestijns conflict’, maar dat hij de deelname van Nederlandse organisatie niet kan tegenhouden. Hulpverlening aan Gaza is, volgens Rosenthal in zijn brief, het meest effectief als dat gebeurt via de reguliere grensovergangen tussen Israel en Gaza. Hij schreef dat Nederland er al jaren op aandringt die grenzen verder open te stellen.
Een merkwaardig standpunt, al was dit misschien te verwachten van deze minister. Ausgerechnet nog binnen een week na het overlijden van zijn illustere voorganger Max van der Stoel die het destijds opnam tegen het Griekse kolonelsbewind, en die het Nederlandse ijveren voor mensenrechten tot ver over de grenzen een begrip maakte, komt Rosenthal met een standpunt dat ongeveer het tegendeel inhoudt van ijveren voor de mensenrechten. Wat Rosenthal natuurlijk had móeten zeggen in zijn brief, is dat Nederland niet gekant is tegen pogingen om de Israelische regering aan het verstand te brengen dat de Israelische blokkade van Gaza in strijd is met het international recht. Immers, Israel mag dan in 2005 wel haar troepen hebben teruggetrokken uit Gaza, maar zij beheerst het gebied nog wel in alle opzichten. En die overheersing staat, zoals een studie van de menserechtenorganisatie Gisha vaststelt, (op zijn minst ten dele) gelijk aan een bezetting. Wat weer betekent dat de bezettende mogendheid – Israel dus – onder het internationaal recht de verplichting heeft goed voor de noden van de bevolking te zorgen. (Pikant punt: de Gisha-studie kwam destijds, in 2007, met onder meer steun van de Nederlandse regering tot stand).
Door te stellen dat de Flotilla ´allerminst´´ een bijdrage zal leveren aan de oplossing van het Israelisch-Palestijnse conflict wekt Rosenthal ´op zijn minst´ de indruk dat hij niet tegen de Israelische blokkade is. Een indruk die nog wordt versterkt doordat hij de deelnemende Nederlandse organisaties niet aanraadt om bij voorbeeld via bemiddeling van zijn eigen ministerie in gesprek te gaan met Israel om hun ongenoegen over de blokkade duidelijk te maken en een garantie te bedingen dat de goederen op een andere manier in Gaza worden bezorgd. – Of zoiets.
Nee niet deze minister, die eerder, onder meer in een radio interview al duidelijk maakte dat hij niet veel opheeft met het opkomen opkomen voor de mensenrechten en dat maar ´gratuit´ vindt. Rosenthal is behalve dat ook nog eens pro-Israel zoals voor hem nog geen Nederlandse minister ooit is geweest – wat blijkbaar inhoudt dat hij kritisch kijken naar de gedragingen van deze meest rechtse Israelische regering uit de geschiedenis niet tot zijn taakomschrijving vindt te behoren  Vandaar waarschijnlijk ook dat hij zich ´ontzet´ toonde toen in maart in Jeruzalem een bom afging bij een bushalte waardoor één persoon wordt gedood en zei dat ´voor een dergelijke afschuwelijke daad van terroristisch geweld tegen burgers geen enkele rechtvaardiging mogelijk is´, terwijl hij zijn mond hield toen nauwelijks een maand later Israel lukraak in Gaza bombardementsacties uitvoerde  waarbij 20 mensen werden gedood en tientallen gewond raakten.

Als ik Kamerlid was zou ik het dus wel weten in dat spoeddebat, donderdag. Ik zou Rosenthal vragen sinds wanneer de Nederlandse regering de blokkade van Gaza is gaan steunen, of  hoe het toch komt dat die indruk nu zo sterk wordt gewekt. En waarom hij niet bij de Israelische regering stappen overweegt en wel aan de deelnemers aan de Flotilla 2 vraagt om van hun voornemen af te zien. Terwijl de Israelische regering toch opereert in strijd met de internationale wetten (de Conventie van Den Haag en de Vierde Geneefse Conventie), en de blokkadebrekers geheel opereren conform de wet.
Enfin, ik ben benieuwd, Harry van Bommel en Martijn van Dam.

(abu-pessoptimist.blogspot.com / 30.04.2011)

Hackers put Palestinian flag on Yisrael Beitenu’s website

Pro-Palestinian hackers broke into Yisrael Beiteinu’s website and placed a photograph of the Palestinian flag next to an Egyptian pyramid on the site’s homepage.

The hackers wrote under the photograph: “In response to Lieberman extremists, we hacked into the website of Yisrael Beiteinu, the party of the criminal Avigdor Lieberman, the Zionist entity’s foreign minister.” The text also included statements supporting the Palestinian reconciliation agreement, which was signed “in spite of Zionist opposition.”

(www.ynetnews.com / 30.04.2011)

Islam In Europe

Islam entered Europe from the eastern side. The Muslims attempted many times to conquer the city of Constantinople (today’s Istanbul) since the caliphate of Mu`awiyyah Ibn Abû Sufyyân. They could not overcome such city because of its strong forts until it was finally conquered by The Muslim leader Muhammad al-Fâteh in 857 AH. – 1453 AC.

Despite the fact that Islam had its positive scientific, civil and moral effects on the continent of Europe, some Europeans had deep hatred for Islam. For example, such hatred showed in the acts of Serbian massacres in which they killed the Muslims of Bosnian and Herzegovina out of ethnic cleansing.

The Muslims of Europe are minorities that differ in size according to the country they live in. The majority of the Muslims of Europe came to Europe as immigrants from countries that were occupied by such European countries. Also, great numbers of Europeans converted to Islam, a matter that led to more understanding of the religion of Islam. The Muslims of Europe face a lot of problems such as their ignorance of the modern and old history of Europe as well as the lack of intellectual and mature leadership of the Muslim minorities that may help a Muslim immigrant and guide him to the right. Moreover, Such Muslims minorities suffer from the internal problems such as the ethnic and intellectual disagreements. They also suffer from intellectual and spiritual alienation. Therefore, there a dire need for Fiqh of Muslim minorities * that studies their lives and problems in order to produce easy fiqhî rules that is more fit and easy for Muslims who live abroad.

Some western countries such as Britain and Swiss positively acknowledge Islam, while other countries such as Italy refuse to acknowledge Islam as an official religion. Germans view Islam as a threat to their community and the prime minister of Holland calls for closing Islamic schools.

We note that the number of Muslims in Europe increases. Those Muslims are loyal to Islam. They have, in general, some several rights such as the freedom of practicing their worship acts, establishing Islamic institutions, and building mosques – despite the administrate problems they might face. However, Muslims do face some obstacles when it comes to practicing Islam under the umbrella of a secular industrial society that does not care about the religious and spiritual aspects.

 The Islamic presence in Europe

Islam started to enter Europe from the eastern side through continuous attempts of conquering the city of Constantinople since the caliphate of Mu`awiyyah Ibn Abû Sufyyân (41-60 AH.)

As to the western side, the leader Tareq Ibn Ziyyad managed to conquer al-Andalus (Spain) in (91 AH – 710 AC.). Muslims passed through al-Andalus to conquer France. The Muslim armies passed Pyrenees mountains and directed towards north till they reached Poitiers, where the battle of Balât ash-Shuhadâ’ (Battle of Court of the Martyrs – Battle of Tours) occurred in 114 AH. – 723 AC. This battle ended by the defeat of the Muslim army and the killing of many of its soldiers. This battle stopped the Islamic expansion in this side of Europe. [1]

The Aghlabids, rulers of Tunisia, managed to conquer the southern side of Europe, through conquering the island of Sardinia in 95 AH. – 810 AC., then they controlled the island of Crete. After that, Asad Ibn al-Furât led a Muslim fleet to conquer the island of Sicily, which was the key to the south of Europe, in 212 AH. – 827 AC. and he also conquered Palermo in 216 AH. – 831 AC.
Most of the Italian cities used to seek the help of the Muslims when fighting each other, the matter that made it easy for Muslims to control some Italian coastal cities. Moreover, Pope John VIII had to pay Jizyah for Muslims when they threatened of conquering Rome in 484 AH – 872 AC. The island of Sicily was the link of trade between East Africa and Europe. It was also a place of mutual gathering of the civilizations of both Muslims and Europeans. [2]

However, al-Andalus is most important place of this mutual interaction of civilizations of Muslims and Europeans. It was considered as source of enlightening in West Europe. Specifically, the city of Toledo – which was taken by Spain in 478 AH – 1085 AC – became the minaret of knowledge that was sought by learners from all over west and Central of Europe. This city remained, for four centuries, the firs cultural and religious center in al-Andalus (Spain).

As stated previously, Muslims tried to conquer the south east of Europe through conquering Constantinople since the 1st century. Constantinople was finally conquered at the hands of Muslim leader Muhammad al-Fâteh in 857 AH. – 1453 AC. This leader had met the praise of the Prophet. For the Prophet said: ” Constantinople shall be opened by Muslims and what a good army that would be and what a good leader that would be!!” Muhammad al-Fâteh made this city a capital of his reign, and he named it “Islambul, the Home of Islam”[3], such name which the city kept and was pronounced later to “Istanbul”. This city remained the capital until the fall of the Othman Caliphate. [4]

The Othman Caliphate also was the one that opened the Central of Europe. The Othman army opened the area of the Balkans in 756 AH – 1355 AC. All cites of the Central Europe were conquered by The Othman army. For example, Belgian was opened in 774 AH – 1372, Serbia in 788 AH – 1386 AC, Bosnia and Herzegovina in 792 AH – 1389 AC, as well as Croatia, Albania, Belgrade, and Hungary. The Othman armies, under the leadership of Sultan Sulaymân al-Qanûnî reached to the walls of Vienna and besieged this city in 936 AH – 1529 AC, but failed to open it. There was another attempt in 1094 AH – 1683 AC, but again failed to open this city.

Most of these lands were at the hands of Muslims under Aya sofia mosQue the reign of the Othman Caliphate during its golden years, but they started gradually to get their sovereignty when the Othman Caliphate became weak. By the year 1337 AH. – 1918 AC., the Othman Caliphate kept none of these cities but Istanbul. These European cities that that remained under the Islamic reign for long time are now Muslim-majority countries such as Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Montenegro, and big Muslim communities in Bulgaria and Romania. [5]

The spread of Islam in these countries was due to the good treatment that the people of these countries received from the Muslims. Justice prevailed so that a village poor man can be elevated to the highest and most powerful positions in the Othman empire. Such social equity and justice was not existent in the European communities that were contemporary to the Othman empire. Under the Muslim reign of these countries peace replaced conflict and disorder. Europe benefited from the precise order of the Turkish military as well as from the administrative systems. The followers of other religions such Christianity and Judaism received good treatment in the areas that were ruled by the Othman empire. The evidence on this is that those people kept their religions, languages, and cultures. On the contrary, the Spanish – after taking al-Andalus in 897 AH – 1492 AC – forced the Muslims there to leave to West Africa and al-Mashreq al-Arabi (Arab speaking countries). The minority of the Muslims who decided to stay suffered from fanaticism and prosecution under the reign of unfair Spanish rule. Finally this minority was forced to convert to Christianity under the pressure of Spanish Inquisition.

Footnotes:

[1] Balât ash-Shuhadaa’: Prof. Shawqî Abû Khalîl, Dâr al-Fikr al-Mu`âser, Beirut 1998, pp. 31- 45.

[2] Al-Muslimûn fî ûrûbâ (Muslims in Europe): Mustafâ Disûqî Kasbah, Al-Azhar Magazine, Zu al-Hijjah 1417, pp. 39 – 40.

[3] Narrated by al-Hâkem in al-Mustadrek, No 8300. Al-Hâkem said: It is an authentic hadîth. It was also narrated by Ahmad, No 18977, At-Tabrânî No 1216, Al-Haythamî No 10384 and others.

[4] Fath al-Qustantîniyyah: Prof. Shawqî Abû Khalîl, Dâr al-Fiker, Damascus, first print 2005, pp. 57- 76.

[5] Al-Muslimûn fî ûrûbâ (Muslims in Europe): Mustafâ Disûqî Kasbah, Al-Azhar Magazine, Zu al-Hijjah 1417, pp. 45 – 47.

(en.islamstory.com / 30.04.2011)

Hillary Clinton celebrates Israeli war crimes

By Bill Van Auken, Socialist Equality Party candidate for US Senate from New York
19 July 2006

This article is available as a PDF leaflet to download and distribute

The speech given by New York’s Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton to a rally staged by Zionist organizations Monday across from the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan amounted to a celebration of massacres and war crimes.

Her remarks left no doubt that a vote for Clinton in November is a vote not only to continue the US war in Iraq, but to expand and intensify the slaughter throughout the region.

Under conditions in which Israeli war planes, gunships and artillery are turning Lebanese bridges, highways, power plants and residential buildings into rubble while killing hundreds of civilians, Clinton made it clear that she not only supports the ongoing aggression that has been unleashed against the Palestinian and Lebanese people, but is quite prepared to back its escalation into a full scale war against Syria and Iran as well.

“We will support [Israel’s] efforts to send a message to Hamas, Hezbollah, to the Syrians, to the Iranians, to all who seek death and domination instead of life and freedom,” she told the crowd.

“Send a message” is such an innocuous phrase to describe mass murder and state terrorism. How is this message being sent? In southern Lebanon, Israeli planes dropped leaflets warning villagers that they should flee north for their lives. When they complied, a warplane attacked a column of refugees incinerating 18 people, most of them children. Then other planes demolished the main roads as well as all of the bridges over the Litani River, forcing many of the refugees to abandon their vehicles and continue their exodus on foot.

Homes, schools and even hospitals and ambulances have been targeted by Israeli bombs and missiles. On Sunday morning, an Israeli air strike took out an entire wing of the Jabel Amel hospital in Tyre, killing a family of nine, who had come there seeking aid after suffering a previous bombing of their apartment building.

Hundreds of Lebanese have been killed—nearly all civilians and most of them women and children. Many hundreds more have maimed in the bombings and hundreds of thousands have been forced to flee, facing an increasingly catastrophic humanitarian crisis. What is involved is a massive act of “ethnic cleansing,” aimed at driving an entire population of impoverished Shiites out of southern Lebanon.

Meanwhile, the Israeli military is simultaneously sending a similar “message” in Gaza, where bombings and artillery strikes have killed scores of civilians, wounded hundreds and left large parts of the crowded Palestinian territory in rubble. The Israeli siege has cut off power and water to the population, while, as in Lebanon, sealing it off from the outside world.

In both territories, Israel is carrying out massive and brutal acts of collective punishment against civilian populations, war crimes in the strictest sense of international law. Israeli military officials have openly proclaimed that their aim is to drive Gaza “back to the stone age” and in Lebanon to “turn the clock back 20 years”—to the days of brutal civil war.

“We will stand with Israel because Israel is standing up for American values as well as Israeli ones,” the New York Democrat proclaimed at the New York City rally.

Clinton’s remark constitutes a libel against the American people. The indiscriminate slaughter from the air of innocent children with the aim of terrorizing an entire population represents not the values of American working people, the vast majority of the population, but rather the perverse and criminal methods of ruling elites in both the US and Israel, which are determined to impose their imperialist diktat upon the entire Middle East, by whatever means necessary.

Whose “values” Clinton defends was demonstrated by her next public appearance after the pro-bombing rally at the UN—when she was the guest of honor at a campaign fundraising event sponsored by billionaire publisher Rupert Murdoch, whose right-wing media empire includes Fox News and the New York Post, two of the foulest spokesmen for the American ultra-right.

The reality is that both politicians and the media are systematically feeding lies to the American people about the escalating war in the Middle East, portraying the one-sided aggression against largely defenseless populations as a legitimate act of “self-defense.” No major newspaper or broadcast network provides a clear picture of the carnage that has been unleashed against the people of Lebanon.

Given the near universal portrayal of Israel as the innocent victim, one would hardly know that Lebanese casualties—nearly all civilian—outnumber those in Israel—half of whom are soldiers—by close to ten-to-one.

The claim made by Israel, and echoed by Clinton at the New York rally, that these massive military offensives are a response to the capture of three Israeli soldiers—one in Gaza and two in south Lebanon—is absurd on its face. These operations have been long planned, and the captured soldiers have merely been exploited as a pretext—much to the dismay of their families, who have called on the Israeli government to negotiate their release.

Clinton’s demagogic analogy

In one of the demagogic lines that won the biggest round of applause from the Zionist rally, Clinton declared: “I want us here in New York to imagine, if extremist terrorists were launching rocket attacks across the Mexican or Canadian border, would we stand by or would we defend America against these attacks from extremists?”

The analogy is a far-fetched one at best, but she should have continued: “Wouldn’t we bomb apartment buildings in Montreal, demolish Toronto’s international airport, incinerate entire Canadian families in their homes and on the highways, and turn the population of southern Ontario into refugees?”

Another border analogy, which more accurately captures the wildly disproportionate character of Israel’s response, would be: “Imagine if members of the right-wing Minutemen group opened fire on Mexican migrants preparing to cross the border and the government of Mexico responded with massive air raids against San Diego, Dallas and Houston, blew up the runways at New York’s JFK airport and sent hundreds of thousands of Americans fleeing north.”

Of course Mexico has no military means of carrying out such a response against its neighbor to the north, any more than the Palestinians in Gaza can launch such an assault on Israel every time IDF forces storm into their territory, killing civilians and abducting people who disappear into Israel’s prison system without ever being charged, much less tried. Nor has Lebanon the wherewithal to mount such an exercise in “self-defense” every time Israeli troops have crossed its border. Such self-righteous acts of massive military violence are reserved only for the most powerful gangsters in the region, Washington and Tel Aviv.

Speaking on the same platform with Hillary Clinton, Israel’s UN Ambassador, Dan Gillerman, gave voice to this gangsterism. Turning toward the UN building, he shouted, “Let us finish the job!” Then, addressing the timid criticisms of certain European governments, he declared, “And to those countries who claim we are using disproportionate force, I have only this to say: you’re damn right we are!”

This arrogant indifference to world public opinion and reveling in the use of brutal force are hallmarks of Israeli policy. Underlying them is the unconditional support provided by successive US governments and big business politicians like Clinton.

Hillary Clinton is perhaps the most slavish in her support for the positions of the Israeli right of any US political figure. According to figures released by the Federal Election Commission, she is the number-one recipient of campaign funds from the Israeli lobby in the 2005-2006 campaign cycle, far exceeding all other Democrats and Republicans alike.

Late last year, she made a trip to Israel for a photo opportunity next to the apartheid-style wall which Israel is using to grab more Palestinian territory and seal off thousands of people from their jobs, schools and farming lands. Endorsing the project, she proclaimed it was not “against the Palestinian people” but only “against terrorists.”

She has distinguished herself by attacking the Bush administration from the right on its policy towards Iran, largely echoing the positions of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which is promoting a US war against the Iranians.

Clinton’s policies, however, are by no means unique. Both major parties have remained silent and indifferent toward the suffering of the Lebanese and Palestinian people, while fully endorsing Israel’s “right” to launch aggression against Lebanon and Gaza. Both houses of the US Congress are preparing resolutions making this position explicit.

Clinton and the Democrats, no less than Bush and the Republicans, have made a calculated, cold-blooded decision to allow the carnage in Lebanon and Gaza to continue and to oppose any serious effort to secure a cease-fire before Israel has achieved its military objectives.

In running against Hillary Clinton for Senate, I categorically reject her support for Israeli militarism and expansionism. I call for the immediate cut-off of all US aid to the Israeli military machine, which today receives some $3 billion annually—one fifth of Washington’s total foreign aid spending, for a country that represents little more than one-one-thousandth of the world’s population.

This enormous expenditure of US funds to arm Israel has the same aim as the illegal war and occupation in Iraq. It is not to “defend democracy” or “defeat terrorism,” but rather to secure US domination of the Middle East and its strategic oil reserves and project American economic and military power throughout the region.

Against Clinton’s support for the continued occupation of Iraq, the Socialist Equality Party is demanding the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all US troops from the country. It likewise calls for holding all those responsible for dragging the American people into this war based upon lies to be held responsible, both politically and criminally.

Neither the struggle to end the war in Iraq, nor the fight against Israeli aggression in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories, can be advanced through appeals to the United Nations or the “international community,” both of which have proven impotent before the eruption of US and Israeli militarism.

Rather, these struggles against imperialist war can be advanced only through the independent political mobilization of working people. Despite the opposition of the majority of the American population to the continuation of the Iraq war, the demand for the withdrawal of US troops finds no significant expression within either major party. The only way forward lies through a decisive break with the Democratic Party and the building of a new independent political party of the working class.

At the same time, the fight against war requires a struggle for the international unity of the working class, including a struggle to unite Jewish and Arab workers in Israel and the Arab countries in the struggle to free the region of the domination of imperialism and the local ruling classes—Arab bourgeois and Zionist alike—and develop its considerable resources for the benefit of all.

It is to further these aims that the Socialist Equality Party is intervening in the 2006 election. I urge all those who oppose the escalation of US and Israeli militarism in the Middle East and the growing threat of a wider war to support our campaign and to help place the candidates of the SEP on the ballot.

(www.wsws.org / 30.04.2011)

Maseerat al `Awda, the Return to Palestine March

Following a general meeting that brought together representatives from various Palestinian and Lebanese civil society organizations as well as individual activists, the Organizing Committee of Maseerat al `Awda, the Return to Palestine March, has announced the launch of its preparatory activities.

The “Return to Palestine March” will take participants to the border with Occupied Palestine on May 15 to commemorate the Nakba. Similar marches will take place simultaneously in the other countries bordering Palestine. Demonstrations targeting Israeli embassies are also planned in a number of Western cities to protest the occupation of Palestine and the zionist apartheid regime

The Return to Palestine March will serve to reaffirm the rights of return and of the liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea, and to reaffirm that these right are inalienable, irrevocable and non-negotiable.They also aim at confirming the centrality of the Palestine issue to all Arabs

The convoys of “returnees” will leave from different regions of Lebanon and from the Palestinian refugee camps. They will move towards the border through designated routes that will be announced in due course

Stay tuned for more information on the Return to Palestine March on this blog as well as on the various associated facebook pages

(returntopalestine.blogspot.com / 30.04.2011)

Etnische voorkeuren bij provinciale verkiezingen

Stemgedrag van allochtonen en autochtonen

Op welke partijen hebben allochtonen (en autochtonen) gestemd bij de provinciale statenverkiezingen van 2 maart 2011 en hebben deze stemmers zich bij hun keuze laten leiden door de etnische herkomst van kandidaten op de stemlijsten? Op verzoek van FORUM heeft bureau Veldkamp op de dag van de verkiezingen een online onderzoek gedaan onder allochtonen en autochtonen. 

De PvdA trekt de meeste stemmen van allochtonen. De etnische herkomst van kandidaten blijkt weinig invloed te hebben op het stemgedrag van allochtonen, met uitzondering van de Turkse Nederlanders. 

De PvdA is met voorsprong de populairste partij onder Marokkaanse, Turkse, Surinaamse en Antilliaanse Nederlanders. Onder autochtone Nederlanders zijn, naast de PvdA, vooral de VVD en PVV populaire partijen. Turkse Nederlanders stemmen opvallend vaak D66. De partijkeuze van de eerste en tweede generatie allochtone kiezers is zeer verschillend, met uitzondering van de Turkse Nederlanders. De partijkeuze van de eerste en tweede generatie kiezers van Turkse herkomst verschilt slechts weinig van elkaar.

De etnische herkomst van verkiesbare politici bij de Provinciale Statenverkiezingen heeft weinig invloed op het stemgedrag van Marokkaanse, Surinaamse en Antilliaanse Nederlanders. Voor de meerderheid van deze groepen kiezers is de kwaliteit en politieke stellingname van de kandidaat belangrijker dan zijn of haar etnische herkomst. Turkse Nederlanders hebben bij de verkiezingen vaker dan de andere onderzochte groepen op een kandidaat van dezelfde etnische herkomst gestemd. Doordat de vertegenwoordiging van allochtone politici echter niet in alle provincies even groot is, kan het etnische stemgedrag van de Turkse Nederlanders dus ook te maken hebben met een betere vertegenwoordiging van Turkse politici.

Intergenerationeel zijn er duidelijke verschillen in voorkeur voor etnische kandidaten. Van de eerste generatie Turkse Nederlanders heeft iets meer dan de helft op een kandidaat van dezelfde etniciteit gestemd, tegenover een derde van de tweede generatie. Bij Marokkaanse, Surinaamse en Antilliaanse Nederlanders zien we het omgekeerde patroon: hier stemmen juist de tweede generaties vaker dan de eerste generaties op een kandidaat met dezelfde etnische herkomst.

De opkomst is bij alle etnische groepen hoger bij de tweede generatie dan bij de eerste generatie.

(www.forum.nl / 30.04.2011)

Palestinian identity under attack in Israel

Earlier in April, the Israeli Ministry of Education decided to add a question about the Holocaust to the matriculation exam of Arab students.

Because the state has banned any study of the Nakba– going so far as to strike the word from the textbooks– the move has drawn sharp criticism in Israel’s Palestinian community.

The Abraham Fund — a joint Jewish-Arab organization that advocates for equality within in Israel — remarked that, “It is important that Arab students learn about the Holocaust and understand the history and pain of the Jewish people… At the same time, it is important that Jewish students learn about the history of the Palestinian minority in Israel, especially those aspects tied to the state of Israel and her existence.”

Sawsan Zaher is a Palestinian who was born and raised in Israel. An attorney at Adalah, The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, Zaher recalls that she did not learn about the Nakba until she studied it on her own, in her early twenties.

“I finished high school without being able to study Palestinian history–about what was here before 1948, about the nakba.”

“And if the parents [of Palestinian students] aren’t political?” she adds. “That’s it.”

The decision to add a question about the Holocaust comes in the wake of the “Nakba Law,” which was passed by the Knesset last month.

The new legislation states that municipalities, public institutions, or organizations that receive public funds will be fined for marking the Nakba or expressing feelings of mourning about Israel’s establishment.

The law was slammed by both Jewish and Arab members of Knesset. “On this day, the thought police is being established in Israel,” Isaac Herzog of the right-wing Labor party said.

Both the Nakba Law and the change to the matriculation exam come just months after a principal of a public school in Yafo, the historically Arab city that was annexed by the Tel Aviv municipality in 1950, forbade students from speaking Arabic.

About half of the school’s students are Palestinian citizens of Israel. While all classes are taught in Hebrew, the principal’s decision forbade Palestinian students from speaking Arabic amongst themselves.

Russian-speaking students, however, are allowed to use their mother tongue.

(www.maannews.net / 30.04.2011)

Saleh tekent afscheidsverklaring

President Saleh van Jemen zet vandaag zijn handtekening onder een verklaring waarin hij belooft binnen een maand af te treden. In ruil daarvoor zal hij niet worden vervolgd. Saleh wordt daarmee de derde Arabische leider die onder druk van massale protesten het veld ruimt.

De ondertekeningsceremonie is over twee dagen verspreid. Zes Golfstaten hebben bemiddeld bij de totstandkoming van de overeenkomst tussen de president en de oppositie in Jemen.

Saleh is al bijna 33 jaar president van Jemen. De laatste jaren stelde hij zich op als bondgenoot van de VS in de strijd met al-Qaida.

(nos.nl / 30.04.2011)