Gaddafi’s guns are ending up in Gaza

Following the fall of Tripoli to the National Transitional Council, Israeli officials have been repeatedly warning European leaders that weapons seized from Gaddafi’s forces are being smuggled into Gaza. Two weeks ago, Israel’s attempts to stop militants crossing the Egyptian border led to the deaths of six Egyptian border guards and the storming of the Israeli embassy in Cairo. Alarm bells first began to ring when the weapons depots at the Khamis Brigade’s Salahuddin military barracks, in the southern suburbs of Tripoli, were stripped bare.

Initially, during the Libyan conflict, when the rebels captured weapons stocks – the assumption was that they would be employed against Gaddafi’s loyalists. Now, the increasing concern is that they are finding their way onto the international arms black market. Latest reports indicate that batches of SA-24 and its predecessors, the SA-16/9, and seven man-portable surface-to-air missile have gone missing in Libya – along with a vast array of other weaponry. Around 12,000 land mines and 500 SAMs are reportedly unaccounted for. Bearing in mind, Libya is believed to have stocks of some 20,000 missiles; these losses may only be the tip of the iceberg. According to Israeli intelligence, Libyan guns are being shipped across Sinai and into Gaza – through the tunnels under the border at Rafah.

The NTC has struggled to guard the huge arms caches formerly held by Gaddafi’s forces and many munitions have been taken by fighters, souvenir hunters and black marketers. The quantities involves are much larger than those that were looted in Afghanistan and Iraq. Those weapons that have not been looted remain a danger to the public with children being regularly killed or maimed after playing with live munitions taken from unsecured depots. Following the coalition intervention, in Afghanistan, some 5,600 shoulder-fired SAMs were captured. Many, though, ended up on the black market. Saddam Hussein had around 5,000 shoulder-fired missiles and fewer than a third were ever recovered. Washington ran a bounty system for weapons, particularly SAMs that were handed in.

The Egypt-Gaza border presents the Egyptian and Palestinian security forces with a continual headache. While 150,000 people live in Rafah, there are another 40,000 on the Egyptian side. Officially, Egypt has become increasingly exasperated at the diplomatic nuisance caused by the tunnels. With American funding, Cairo attempted to build an underground wall in an effort the thwart those tunneling. For many years, Israel was able to control the border between Gaza and Egypt via the Philadelphia Route – established under the 1979 Israeli-Egyptian peace accord. Israel retained this 10km long, hundred-metre wide corridor under the 1995 Oslo Accords – to prevent the movement of weapons into Gaza.

But, in 2005, control of the corridor was granted to the Palestinian National Authority as part of Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan for Gaza. Two years later, Hamas took control in Gaza and escalated weapon shipments with which to attack the Israelis. After Egypt closed the border, the Palestinians simply tunnelled under it; hundreds of tunnels cover a 9km stretch and vary in depth and size. The NTC is waiting for the United Nations mine action service to take a lead in getting to grips with the mine and unexploded bomb problem in Libya. In the meantime, Israel remains vexed over the actions of Egypt and Libya; while, in Cairo, the Egyptians have been clamouring for Israeli blood.

( / 21.09.2011)

Mondiale Marshallhulp Palestina

De aanvraag voor erkenning van de soevereine staat Palestina is lopende en overal hoort men de voor- en de nadelen, voor-  en de tegenstanders. Wat men niet hoort, zijn
de mensen op straat in Palestina, die het moeilijk hebben, want er is weinigtot geen werk en dus weinig tot helemaal geen geld. En dit alles gebeurt in de grootst opgezette gevangenis in de wereld. Wekelijks komen er vragen voor hulp, zowel financieel als fysiek, binnen bij de redactie.

Palestina heeft geld nodig, maar hoe moet dat?

Belangrijk is dat er gewerkt wordt aan de opbouw van het land, opbouw van de toekomst voor de Palestijnen. De toekomst van het Palestijnse volk moet weer gezond en zonnig worden, waarbij men kan leven in vrijheid, vrede en vriendschap.  Hierbij
is het noodzakelijk dat er groots ingezet wordt op de opbouw van het land, door
middel van educatie (‘jongeren zijn onze toekomst’) , er moet werkplekken
worden geschapen (‘werk voor geld’), zorg (‘zorg voor de mensen die het nodig
hebben’) en toerisme (‘geld in het laatje’).

Jongeren zijn onze toekomst is een gezegde, die in Nederland gebruikt wordt, maar geldt voor meerdere landen, speciaal voor Arabische landen, waar de werkeloosheid onder jongeren erg hoog is, speciaal in Palestina. Belangrijk is dat er wat gedaan wordt aan de opleidingen die resulteren in een baan. Het kan toch niet zo zijn dat voor de jongeren het leven uitzichtloos is en blijft en dat ze op alle mogelijke manieren het land willen ontvluchten. De toekomst van dit mooie land ligt in de handen van deze jongeren en hier moet wat mee gedaan worden. De wereldgemeenschap moet zich bewust zijn van de verantwoording die ze hebben t.o.v. een volk wat jarenlang onder het bezettende juk van Israël leeft. Het is nu tijd om dit te accepteren, toe te staan dat het
Palestijnse volk een eigen soevereine staat krijgt en dat ze financiële en fysieke hulp nodig heeft.

Om de Palestijnen te helpen is werk voor geld nodig en dat kan vooral door te investeren in grote industrie, kleinschalige industrie en toerisme. Mondiale grote concerns moeten de mogelijkheid onderzoeken om een bedrijf te starten op het grondgebied van Palestina, waarbij de concerns natuurlijk werken aan winst, maar wel werken met lokale mensen. Hierbij valt te denken aan ICT-bedrijven, medische bedrijven, maar ook bedrijven die kunnen werken aan de opbouw van de infrastructuur van het land en huizen, hotels, transport. Daarnaast moet de opzet gemaakt worden van industrie op kleinere schaal, hierbij valt te denken, aan olijfolie, Palestijnse producten en keffiyah.
Deze laatste industrie, micro-krediet industrie, moet op manier opgezet worden, zodat de Palestijnse man of vrouw er aan verdient en niet de kredietverstrekker in eerste instantie.

Kortom, er is hulp nodig voor het land dat door vele landen wordt vergeten, voor de mensen die al jaren leven in bezet gebied. Het is nu tijd voor een moderne Marshallhulp om dit mooie land weer op te bouwen.

© KhamakarPress

India pledges support for Palestine at UN

India pledges support for Palestine at UN
Anirban Bhaumik, New Delhi, Sep 21, DHNS:
Amid speculation of a drift in New Delhi’s ties with Washington, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is likely to assert India’s ”distinct world view” at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York this week.
As India pledged support to Palestine’s bid for UN membership, notwithstanding the intense diplomatic efforts by the US and its allies in the West to block the move, the prime minister is likely to call for restoring the global leadership role of the international body.

New Delhi’s stand is in sharp contrast with that of Washington as articulated by US President Barak Obama at the opening of the 66th session of the UNGA.

Singh is also set to meet Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in New York, with New Delhi stressing the role of Tehran in stabilising not only Afghanistan, but also the
turbulent West Asia, North Africa and the Gulf regions. India is believed to have serious differences with the US on the mode of international response to the turmoil in Libya and Syria.

“This is the time for the United Nations to resume its global leadership role,” the prime minister said in a statement before leaving for New York. He noted the current economic instability around the world, upheavals in the West Asia, North Africa and Gulf regions, menace of terrorism, piracy and other non-traditional threats to international political and social orders.

Singh emphasised the leadership role of the UN on a
day Obama said that statements and resolutions in the international body would
not end the Palestine-Israel conflict.
Stressing that the UN must be seen as “an impartial, credible and effective body,” Singh said he would emphasise the need for “early reform of the unique organisation, particularly an expansion of its Security Council.”

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is set to forward a formal request to the UN to accept Palestine as its 194th member. The US described the move as counterproductive and stepped up a diplomatic campaign to block it. India was the first non-Arab country to recognise the State of Palestine in 1988.

Singh recently wrote to Abbas pledging India’s full support to Palestine’s bid for UN membership, noting that New Delhi would go by its traditional principled stand on the issue.

While the prime minister is not scheduled to meet US President Barack Obama during his visit to New York, his meeting with Iranian President on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly is significant. Singh and Ahmadinejad last had a formal
bilateral meeting in April 2008, when the Iranian president had a stopover in New Delhi on his way to Sri Lanka. An invitation from the Iranian president for the prime minister to visit Tehran is also pending.

Government sources said Singh and Ahmadinejad would discuss bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual conc­ern. “We believe Iran, which is our second biggest energy supplier, has a very important factor not only in Afghanistan, but also in
stabilising the West Asia, North Africa and Gulf regions,” said a senior official in New Delhi.

The Singh-Ahmadinejad talks are expected to break the ice between Tehran and New Delhi. India’s proximity to the US during George Bush’s te­n­ure in the White House and its votes against Iran on the issue of the latter’s controversial nuc­l­ear programme had upset Tehran.

Government sources, however, said that India’s stand on Palestine or its effort to further strengthen traditional ties with Iran would have no impact on its relation with the US. “We are a distinct power in our own right and we have a distinct world view, which is shaped by our own national principles and interests,” said an official.

India’s decision not to buy US multi-role combat aircraft for the Indian Air Force, the Nu­clear Supplier Group’s decision to restrict transfer of enr­i­chment and reprocessing
te­chnology to the countries that are not signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and India’s distinct stand on crises in Libya and Syria fuelled speculation of a drift in Delhi-Washington ties.

Resolution tomorrow

The controversial issue of statehood for Palestine will be raised in the United Nations (UN) on September 23, reports DHNS from New Delhi. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is likely to forward a formal request to the UN to accept Palestine as its 194th member.

( / 21.09.2011)

The danger of the Palestinian statehood bid

So the world is seemingly going to be divided into two groups on the issue of the Palestinian statehood. In one side would be the terrorist Godfather USA and her unconditional ally Israel, perhaps few EU nations would also rally behind. On the other side the vast world population who aspires to see the oppression on the Palestinians comes to an end. But would even if Palestinians achieve their statehood, anything in the ground would change?

Perhaps Mr. Abbas has spent a little too much time in his office that prevented him to look at the general condition of the Palestinian people in the West Bank. Oh yes, he is not the president of Palestine rather a part of it called West Bank and he is well content with it. Perhaps he didn’t have the daily newspapers or his associates forgot to mention him that every bit of West Bank is under Israeli occupation. There are check points everywhere, the apartheid wall has divided the land, settlements are ever growing and the settler’s roads have made the map of West Bank into isolated islands. The recent violence of the settlers showed even the IOF (Israeli Occupying Force) is unable to do anything against them. Would those facts on the ground is ever likely to change just because of a UN declaration of the state of Palestine? And would UN ever send any peace keeping troops to Palestine to protect those defenseless people? Only a one eyed person, who is unaware of the motives of the Zionist state of Israel, is ever going to be hopeful that any justice could ever be expected from UN. One thing everyone has to bear in mind that it is not by accident that Israel has never declared its borders on the eastern side of its territory. The goal is clear, to grab the whole land of Palestine. And the only thing that is stopping them to achieve it is the determination of the Palestinian people. You can see it on the images of those little kids who stand before a tank with nothing but a stone in his hand refusing to give up to the tyrant.


So what is the likely outcome of this statehood bid? America is increasingly losing her influence in the Middle East and is making way for new players to dominate the field. And the vision of the New Middle East varies from Israel from others in the region. If the Palestinian statehood bid is frustrated, it is definitely going to create a massive anger among the Palestinians, particularly in the West Bank. And how exactly PA would survive if the large sum of US fund is withdrawn? As a result don’t be surprised if another Intifada breaks out. But to whom it would serve? It is going to give a license to the settlers to multiply their violence. And at the end of the day, Israel would be able to change the whole topic back to her security issue. And of course USA and the European nations are committed for Israel’s security as their leaders so vociferously remind us. Would the Palestinians realize how their leaders are taking them for a ride! How their bad decisions will lead them from bad to worse! Again the Palestinians are not united about this statehood issue in the first place and rightly so. Since when did any UN resolution bring any benefit to the Palestinians? And when the people are not united it becomes easier for the tyrants to divide and rule.

Israel’s policy would be simple. Create more chaos in the West bank and continue the isolation of Gaza. On the other hand as it considers Hamas as a terrorist entity, they can easily accuse the “Mubarak free Egypt” for supplying weapons to them through the Sinai once Egypt has its democratic rulers. And how would Egypt respond if there is another aggression in Gaza now that Mubarak is gone? Would its pro US Army be able to take the initiative to save the Gazans from an Israeli onslaught? Or they themselves would become the next target? When the streets of Cairo and Alexandria would chant against the anti Zionist protests what her army would do? Would the ill prepared half hearted military would be able to withstand an Israeli preemptive strike? The Sinai already has a minimum security because of the peace treaty with Israel. And that fits perfectly to the long term goal of Zionists. Don’t forget the Zionist dream of creating the state of Israel is based on their edition of biblical holy land extending from Nile to Euphrates! And the control of Suez would establish Israel as a global power indeed.


A passimist may wonder what can the Palestinians really do when they face with such oppression? The only hope for Palestinians is to be united among them in the first place. To create a government that can represent the whole of Palestine, not a part of it. They have to resolve the differences between all the parties and to address their issues as one voice. To achieve this only hope for Palestine is her youths. The young generation has showed that to them the only thing that matter is Palestine and only Palestine. Ultimately one has to put his hope and trust on God. God is with those who help themselves and He is the best one to give protection and success.

(Facebook / Mohammad Rafi / 21.09.2011)

Military whistleblower tells of ‘indiscriminate’ Israeli attacks

The soldier, a reservist NCO with extensive combat experience, was among more than 20 soldiers sent into the village more than two hours before a planned Friday demonstration in July, to try to quash protests before they began. The protests started in December 2009 after Jewish settlers appropriated a spring on privately-owned Nabi Saleh land.

The reservist, who originally testified to the veterans’ organisation Breaking the Silence, told The Independent that they went into a house in the village and took a position on the roof. “The sun was very hot, but we had to keep our helmets on,” he said. “Then some soldiers start getting bored and start shooting tear gas on people. Every guy who is not in his house or in the mosque is a target.”

He said that 150 rounds of tear gas or stun grenades were fired during the day and one soldier boasted that he had fired a tear gas canister which passed within one centimetre of a resident’s head.

Army rules prohibit firing canisters directly at people because they have caused serious injuries in the past. Another soldier travelling with the whistleblower in a military vehicle out of the village was left with an unfired tear gas canister.

“He should have fired it into an open field but we passed a grocery story with some people outside it with children. After we passed it he just turned round and fired it at them.”

The reservist was given a week’s preparation on the use of stun grenades, rubber bullets and tear gas. He had been impressed by a four to five -hour visit to the trainees by the Binyamin Brigade Commander Sa’ar Tzur who addressed “issues of ethics and human life, not just on our side but on the other side”.

Some soldiers complained about the strictness of prohibitions – not always honoured, according to the leaders of the weekly Nabi Saleh protests – on the use of live ammunition. But Colonel Tzur “was very strict on the fact that these are the rules and that anyone who breaks them will pay for it”.

But the battalion officer, a religious West Bank settler, was “exactly the opposite,” he added. “At the base there was a mission statement signed by the Brigade Commander which said ‘we need to maintain the fabric of life for the civilian population, Israelis and Palestinians.’ The battalion officer crossed out the word ‘Palestinians’ and all the soldiers around started laughing.”

The reservist’s testimony supports B’Tselem’s s main conclusions, including that the military makes “excessive use of crowd control weapons, primarily the firing of tear-gas canisters.”

He said: “It was very difficult for me. I want to be in the army to defend my country. On the other hand I saw that the job I was doing did not have any connection with defending Israel.”

He said that his unit was called to the village square when the battalion officer showed around 40 Palestinians and foreign activists a written order declaring the village a “closed military zone.” The soldiers had earlier heard shouting elsewhere by demonstrators before they were almost immediately dispersed by border police firing tear gas. The reservist said the people in the square “were just standing there. The officer said to the soldiers: ‘Everybody should get out of here. The Palestinians into their homes and the foreigners should get out. Anyone left should be arrested.’ One Palestinian was arrested when a soldier decided that he had ‘looked at him in a way he didn’t like’.”

As well as 35 Palestinian injuries in Nabi Saleh this year, there have been 80 detentions since the protests began, including of 18 minors, and protest leader Bassem Tamimi, currently awaiting military trial based largely on the interrogation of a 14-year-old boy arrested at home at gunpoint at 2am.

The military said it has “clear, detailed, and professional guidelines” for the use of tear gas to disperse “riots”, and that after two years of “dangerous and violent riots” it declared the village a “closed military area” on Fridays to “prevent these riots before they turn into violent ones”.

The military’s tactics have varied. A 13-year-old Palestinian boy was seriously injured by a rubber-coated bullet fired at close range during protracted clashes between armed troops and stone-throwing youths observed last year by The Independent. Those clashes started when troops fired tear gas and rubber bullets on the hitherto peaceful march towards the spring.

The reservist said he had seen no stones thrown on the day he was there. adding: “If they want to stop people throwing stones at the spring, why don’t [the troops] wait at the spring? Why are they coming into the village?” He added: “The headline of the whole Friday, as I see it, if the army won’t be in the village nothing would happen because the demonstration was not violent.”

( / 21.09.2011)

Human rights groups warn of increased Israeli violence!!


Dear High Contracting Parties of the Four Geneva Conventions and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy,

Israeli settlers in Hebron

As organisations dedicated to the protection and promotion of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), the Palestinian Council of Human Rights Organisations (PCHRO) would like to raise concerns about the recent escalation in violent attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinians in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Since 12 August 2011, field researchers from Al-Haq monitored and documented 24 incidents of settler attacks against Palestinians and their property, most of them in Nablus governorate. In the first week of September alone, 15 cases of settler violence were documented, many involving settlers throwing stones at Palestinian cars, causing injury and property damage.

The nature of the attacks vary, but consistently include incidents of stone-throwing at Palestinian cars, arson of mosques and vehicles, uprooting of olive trees and damage to Palestinian private property and agricultural lands. In addition, settler attacks have been increasingly accompanied by offensive graffiti warning of further violence. Some of these actions are organised by extremist settler groups and clearly bear the mark of the ‘Price Tag policy’, which advocates for violence against Palestinians in response to the limited actions the Israeli government implements to restrict settlement construction in the OPT.

From the beginning of 2011, incidents of settler violence have intensified in their nature and scope. This is evident by the increased gravity of the injuries suffered by Palestinian victims and the damage to property that has resulted from attacks documented this year. We are deeply concerned that incidents are likely to rise in the next month because of the commencement of the olive harvest season and the upcoming Palestinian initiative for membership at the United Nations (UN).

In this regard, recent news reports affirm that the Israeli authorities are finalising preparations for what they have termed ‘Operation Summer Seeds’. The main purpose of this operation is to prepare the Israeli military for the possibility of confrontations with Palestinian protestors related to the UN membership initiative. It has been reported that the Israeli army has already conducted training sessions for the chief security officers of settlements and is expected to provide settlers with means for dispersing demonstrations, including tear gas canisters and stun grenades, as an integral part of Israel’s defense operation. The Israeli military confirmed the existence of an ongoing dialogue with settlement leaders and security personnel in an attempt to prepare and instruct them on the modalities to adopt in case Palestinian protests reach the settlements.

Also of concern is the organisation of a solidarity mission to Israel by a Jewish right-wing extremist group in France, which is recruiting Jews with extensive military experience to assist in defending Jewish settlements in the West Bank. This group is reported to be the French branch of the Jewish Defense League, an extremist organisation that has been deemed a right-wing terrorist group by the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation. Its sister movement – Kach – has been outlawed by the Israeli authorities since 1994, as it is considered to pose a threat to State security.

Ahead of possible demonstrations by Palestinians in support of the Palestinian initiatives at the UN, Israel is capitalising on perceived threats to the security of its settlers to legitimise excessive use of force and to arm private individuals. Israel’s right to protect its own civilian population, whose presence in the OPT is illegal under international humanitarian law, should be provided for by appropriate law enforcement agencies.

As an occupying power, Israel’s primary duty is to effectively protect the Palestinian population by adopting measures aimed at preventing settler attacks. Israel’s international obligations include taking effective measures to enforce the law against settlers and to hold them legally accountable for acts of violence committed against Palestinians. Notwithstanding, Israel’s persistent failure in this regard is manifest. Israel continues to grant impunity for settler violence, in blatant violation of its duty of due diligence to repress criminal acts carried out by private actors. By failing to apprehend settlers responsible for alleged crimes, to conduct proper investigations of the incidents and to take adequate measures to punish perpetrators, the Israeli authorities are condoning and encouraging widespread settler violence against Palestinians.

In light of the escalation in settler violence against Palestinian protected persons in the OPT, the undersigned organisations call upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to uphold their obligation to ensure respect for the Conventions as established under Common Article 1, by taking concrete measures to pressure Israel to comply with its obligation as an Occupying Power to protect the Palestinian civilian population.


We further urge the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to use all diplomatic and legal tools at her disposal to pressure the Israeli government to adopt measures aiming at preventing further violence and use of weapons by settlers against the Palestinian civilian population in the West Bank.

Yours sincerely,

The Palestinian Council of Human Rights Organisations


Organisations endorsing the statement:

Sahar Francis

General Director


Addameer Prisoner Support

and Human Rights Association


Khalil Abu Shammala

General Director


Al-Dameer Association for

Human Rights


Shawan Jabarin

General Director



Issam Younis

General Director


Al-Mezan Center for

Human Rights


Badil Resource Center for

Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights


Rifat Kassis

General Director


Defence for Children International

–  Palestine Section


Shawqi Issa

General Director


Ensan Center for Human Rights

and Democracy


Issam Aruri

General Director


Jerusalem Center for Legal Aid

and Human Rights


Iyad Barghouti

General Director


Ramallah Center for


Human Rights Studies

Maha Abu Dayieh

General Director


Women’s Centre for

Legal Aid and Counselling

(Facebook / 21.09.2011)

Palestinians disappointed by Obama speech

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinian officials and analysts were left disappointed by US President Barack Obama’s speech to the United Nations on Wednesday, viewing the address as a clear indication of support for Israeli interests.

President Obama rejected Palestinian plans to seek a UN blessing for statehood and urged a return to peace talks with Israel.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, the Palestinian presidential spokesman, responded to Obama’s speech by saying the Palestinians are ready for negotiations with Israel as long as it halts illegal settlement building and agrees to 1967 borders.

Ahmed Yousef, a deputy in the Hamas Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that Obama is trying to avoid the UN bid and his statements offered nothing new.

He told Ma’an that the speech showed clear bias towards Israel and was an attempt to run away from the UN bid in an effort to avoid embarrassment for the United States.

There is no use in continuing with negotiations if the US can not put enough pressure on Israel to stop illegal settlement activity in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, he added.

Political analyst Hani al-Masri considered Obama’s speech as a clear alignment with the Israeli position and noted that US-Israeli relations were stronger than US relations with all Arab countries, especially at a period of upcoming US elections in 2012.

The Palestinians may demand that the UN Security Council freeze the vote to provide a chance for negotiations over a period of 6 months or one year, a move which would save both Abbas and the US, al-Masri added.

Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies and the Director of the Middle East Institute at Columbia University, said Obama’s speech was an illustration of why US policy has been such an obstacle to a just, lasting peace in the Middle East.

“It was predictably depressing to hear the President laud the new-found freedom of the peoples of South Sudan, Cote d’Ivoire, Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, while telling the Palestinians that their freedom depended on their jumping through hoops held up by their Israeli occupiers and their American friends,” he said to the Institute for Middle East Understanding, or IMEU.

PFLP leader Jamil Majdalawi said that US President Obama denied the clear reality that negotiations have reached a dead end. Obama’s call for negotiations will give Israel an opportunity to change facts on the ground and take more Palestinian land for settlements, he added.

Majdalawi said that Obama’s speech should encourage Abbas to continue to head to the UN Security Council and not to retreat from demanding full UN membership.

Yasser Abed Rabbo, secretary-general of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), had earlier told Reuters that there was a gap in the speech “between praising the struggle of Arab peoples for the sake of freedom and between an abstract call for negotiations between us and the Israelis.”

Israel and the United States oppose the idea of a Palestinian UN push, which Israel says is aimed at delegitimizing it. The Palestinians say it will enable direct peace talks to take place between two equal, sovereign states.

( / 21.09.2011)

PVV wil referendum over minarettenverbod

De PVV wil een referendum onder de bevolking houden over een verbod op de bouw van nieuwe minaretten. PVV-leider Geert Wilders diende daar vandaag tijdens de algemene beschouwingen een initiatiefwetsvoorstel voor in.

‘De minaretten doen pijn aan de ogen. Het zijn torens van een oprukkende woestijnideologie’, zei Wilders. Hij verwees naar Zwitserland, waar een referendum is gehouden en een meerderheid zich achter een verbod op de bouw van nieuwe minaretten schaarde.

Volgens Wilders vinden heel veel Nederlanders dat een minaret van 50 meter hoog ongepast is in Nederland. Hij zei dat minaretten niks met religie te maken hebben, maar bedoeld zijn als een ‘imperialistisch, ideologisch teken van dominantie”.

Wilders stelde verder voor om asielzoekerscentra te vestigen in wijken waar veel progressieve kiezers zitten, zoals de Amsterdamse grachtengordel. Volgens hem kunnen ze dan zelf ervaren met ,,welke ellende” je te maken krijgt door onder meer toenemende criminaliteit.

PvdA en GroenLinks verwezen het voorstel van Wilders meteen naar de prullenbak. ‘Een discriminerend flutvoorstelletje’, zei GroenLinksfractievoorzitter Jolande Sap. CDA-fractievoorzitter Sybrand van Haersma Buma klaagde over een ‘gebrek aan respect’ bij de gedoogpartner PVV.

Ook bij diverse andere CDA-Kamerleden, zoals Mirjam Sterk, Eddy van Hijum, Ad Koppejan en Pieter Omtzigt, was duidelijk veel irritatie over het optreden van Wilders. Zo noemde Van Hijum de inbreng van de PVV-leider ‘een nieuw dieptepunt met aantijgingen tegen de islam’.

Bovendien stelde Buma dat Wilders ‘precies doet wat hij Turkije verwijt’ met zijn voorstel tegen minaretten. De CDA’er waarschuwde dat de PVV op deze manier ‘van Nederland een Turkije maakt’ en dat er dan geen kritiek meer mogelijk is op de Turken als deze in hun land het christenen moeilijk maken om kerken en kloosters te bouwen of te onderhouden.

Wilders wil verder dat premier Mark Rutte in actie komt om Turkije uit de NAVO te laten gaan vanwege dreigementen aan het adres van Israël. Anders loopt Nederland volgens hem het risico dat het door de afspraken binnen het militaire bondgenootschap genoodzaakt is om straks Turkije te steunen in een strijd tegen Israël.

‘En dat gaan we natuurlijk nooit doen’, aldus Wilders. Binnen de NAVO geldt dat een aanval op een lidstaat wordt opgevat als een aanval op alle.

( / 21.09.2011)

Israeli army readies Twitter arsenal

With the possibility of large-scale protests in the Gaza Strip and West Bank  in favor of a Palestinian request for statehood recognition at the United  Nations, the Israeli military says that it is ready to respond on social media  with an “arsenal of tweets.”

Twitter and other forms of social media played a major role in mobilizing  support for the Arab Spring protests across the Middle East and the toppling of  governments.

“Should we need to intervene from a security prospective, we  have prepared an arsenal of tweets, clips and other forms of content,” Israeli  Defense Forces spokesperson Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich told POLITICO. “We respond  every day, 24/7. That’s the idea of new media, isn’t it?”

The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit has a new media desk that is staffed by soldiers,  reservists in times of emergency and a commander, who constantly monitor  Twitter, influential blogs and other new media sources.

The IDF is also proactive on social media, with accounts on Twitter (in  English, French and Arabic), the photo-sharing website Flickr and the  video-posting website YouTube. “We just launched a [Facebook] page a month ago – now we have over 127,000 ‘friends,’” Leibovich bragged.

The new media operation has already been used in attempts to advance the  image of the IDF. In March 2011, the IDF used Flickr to post photos of smuggled weaponry seized  from a ship headed for the Gaza Strip, and YouTube to show video of the  successful boarding. This was a counterexample to the Israeli military’s  ill-fated 2010 boarding of the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara, which led to the  deaths of nine people and a severe deterioration in Turkish-Israeli  relations.

Of course, the IDF is also prepared for more conventional means of dealing  with protests.

On Wednesday, tens of thousands of people marched in the West Bank towns of  Nablus and Ramallah in a show of support for the Palestinian campaign for full  membership at the United Nations, according to Al-Jazeera. All signs indicate that the  demonstrations have been peaceful.

Social media has come to play a role in Israeli foreign policy as well. In  March, Israel Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon visited the offices of Facebook in San  Francisco to meet with the firm’s senior staff. That came just days after  Facebook removed a group calling for a Third Intifada, or uprising, and a march  to “liberate” Palestine.

But there have also been foul-ups resulting from social media – a West Bank military operation was called off last year after  an Israeli soldier posted about an upcoming raid on Facebook.

( / 21.09.2011)


Wil de echte Joodse staat nu opstaan?

Israël is doodsbang. Komende vrijdag zal Mahmoud Abbas de Algemene Vergadering van de VN vragen om Palestina te erkennen als staat. Als een echt land.

De Vergadering zal daar ongetwijfeld mee instemmen, maar daarna moet het Palestijnse verzoek om VN-lid te worden voorgelegd aan de Veiligheidsraad, en de VS hebben al aangekondigd een veto uit te spreken. Palestina wordt straks dus als staat door de VN erkend, maar wordt geen lid. Alle reden dus voor een feestje én een demonstratie. Israël vreest dus een nieuwe aflevering van de Arabische Lente, alleen dit keer in bezet gebied. Oftewel de derde Intifada. Het zal daarop op de gebruikelijke wijze reageren: met een overdaad aan geweld. Net als Ghadaffi; net als Assad. En het land heeft al bijna geen vrienden meer.

Een Palestijnse staat is in de ogen van veel Israëli’s een grap, een pure provocatie. Het Palestijnse volk bestaat helemaal niet, roepen ze. Het zijn gewoon Arabieren; ze kunnen overal wonen. Aldus een joodse kolonist, in de Volkskrant van 16 september: ‘Dat gedoe nu bij de VN, dat is de schuld van Europa. Jullie blijven de Arabieren hoop bieden op een eigen staat. Die Arabieren zijn import, die komen niet van hier.’

Ziedaar in volle glorie de historische mythe geschapen door het zionisme. De mythe waar we even doorheen moeten prikken, om ons dan af te vragen: welke staat is nu écht de Joodse staat?

De Palestijnen vormen geen volk, aldus deel één van de mythe. Palestina was weliswaar niet leeg (dat hebben zionisten overigens ook geruime tijd beweerd), maar de mensen die er woonden vormen geen volk. Het was allemaal import. Alles bij elkaar is dat een fraai voorbeeld van wat in de psychoanalyse projectie heet: je slechte eigenschappen aan een ander toewijzen. Uiteraard zijn juist de joden de import, en uiteraard vormden juist die joden géén volk, maar een samenraapsel uit alle hoeken van de wereld, van mensen die toevallig dezelfde religie hadden. Toen in 1948 de staat Israël werd uitgeroepen, woonden daar zo’n 630.000 import-joden, en 900.000 Palestijnen. Van die laatste groep zijn er direct daarna 730.000 op de vlucht geslagen, dan wel het land uitgejaagd. De import verjoeg het grootste deel van het volk.

Vormen de Israëli’s geen volk? Staatsrechtelijk gezien uiteraard wel. Maar etnisch gezien is het een samenraapsel – en dan heb ik het niet alleen over een Arabische, dan wel Joodse achtergrond. Die Joodse achtergrond is namelijk een mythe. Het idee dat al die joden (gelovigen) die in de loop van de twintigste eeuw naar Palestina kwamen, allemaal Joden (lid van ‘het Joodse volk’) zouden zijn, is een ander deel van de zionistische mythe. De joden van nu hebben helemaal geen gemeenschappelijke etnische achtergrond.

De mythe van het teruggekeerde ‘Joodse volk’ is gebaseerd op de mythe dat de Joden (inwoners van Palestina, met hun eigen geloof) in de eerste eeuw na Christus door de Romeinen uit hun land zouden zijn verjaagd, en dat ze zich vervolgens over de wereld zouden hebben verspreid. En al die tijd zouden ze, dankzij hun unieke geloof, hun etnische zuiverheid hebben bewaard. En uiteindelijk zouden ze weer als ‘het Joodse volk’ teruggekeerd zijn naar Palestina. Maar helaas, er is geen enkel bewijs dat de Romeinen de Joden uit Palestina zouden hebben verjaagd. Die monotheïstische dwarsliggers mochten op een gegeven moment niet meer in Jeruzalem komen, that’s all. Nergens, niemand, geen enkele geschiedschrijver of Schriftgeleerde heeft het over de verbanning en verstrooiing van de Joden uit hun land. Zoiets deden de Romeinen trouwens nooit (en ze hebben in hun tijd toch heel wat lastposten met geweld onderdrukt).

Wat historici wél zien, is dat er in de eeuwen rond het jaar nul op veel plaatsen in het Romeinse Rijk joodse gemeenschappen ontstaan. Behoorlijk grote gemeenschappen; het jodendom zat toen, net als enkele andere exotische religies, ‘in de lift’. Dat waren dus géén gemeenschappen van gevluchte Joden (al zal een kleine minderheid van de leden oorspronkelijk afkomstig zijn geweest uit Palestina, denk aan handelaren). Die gemeenschappen bestonden grotendeels uit leden van de lokale bevolking die zich aangetrokken voelden tot het joodse geloof. Geen etnische Joden dus, maar (bekeerde) joden. En deze niet-etnisch-Joodse gemeenschappen, van Spanje tot in Jemen, tot in Rusland, vormden de basis voor de latere verspreiding van het jodendom. Het zijn hún nazaten die in de afgelopen eeuw ’teruggekeerd’ zijn naar Palestina, in de fraaie romantische (doch onjuiste) veronderstelling dat ze gezamenlijk één oeroud volk zouden vormen (en in de hoop om daar een menswaardig bestaan op te bouwen, uiteraard).

En de echte etnische Joden? De enige redelijke conclusie is dat ze nooit uit Palestina zijn verdreven, en dat de etnische Joden daar nog woonden toen de islamitische krijgsheren het land na 630 veroverden. Daarna gingen die Joden, net als de grote aantallen christenen in de regio, geleidelijk aan over naar de islam. Dat was slim. Dan hoefde je geen extra belasting te betalen, en je kon carrière maken. Anno 1900 woonden hun nazaten daar nog steeds. En hún nazaten kloppen nu bij de VN aan om hun land (die schamele stukjes die de Israëli’s hen gunnen) erkend te krijgen. De joodse staat, dat is Israël. Maar wie op zoek gaat naar de etnische Joodse staat, naar de echte, biologische nazaten van dat Joodse volk, komt hoogstwaarschijnlijk eerder uit in de buurt van Mahmoud Abbas.

(Marcel Hulspas / / 21.09.2011)