WAFA Monitors Incitement and Racism in Israeli Media

RAMALLAH, October 4, 2011 (WAFA) – Palestine News and Information Agency (WAFA) monitored incitement and racism against the Palestinians and Arabs published by the Israeli media between September 15 and 22.

Eitan Haber wrote an article published in ‘Yedioth Ahronoth’ newspaper, in which he said, “In 1967, we brought back 300 thousands settlers to Judea and Samaria (West
bank)  and Gaza. We proved to the world that we are the masters of this land and we own the world.”

“Things have changed,” he added, “The terrorists are now the world’s sweethearts! 190 countries chanted to Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazin) while we are consoling ourselves with the American Veto. What a stupid consolation!”

Yedioth Ahronoth also published several statements by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Avigdor Lieberman addressed to the Israeli government before heading to the United Nations, in which he called on to cancel the Oslo accords, annex settlements in Judea and Samaria to Israel and withhold the transfer of the Palestinian funds, if they establish a Palestinian state.

He said, “If Netanyahu doesn’t punish the Palestinians, the collation will be canceled.”

‘Hamodia’ religious newspaper  published an article by M. Yzhaki in which he said, “The President of the terrorist Palestinian Liberation Organization, Abbas, is trying to follow the late PLO leader, Yassir Arafat’s route to establish a Palestinian state. Will he
be the man to do it?”

Ze’ev Jabotinsky wrote an article published in ‘Israel Today’, before Netanyahu’s speech to the UN General Assembly, in which he suggested the main prospect the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu must tackle in his speech. “I know what will Netanyahu say in his speech, but I suspect that he would do it efficiently!”

He added, “If he would take my advice, I would suggest that he must remind the world of our right in the land of Israel, which is based on the international law and the international community. Israel will not adopt any decisions that contradict with our right in full sovereign state.”

Yaron Dekel, Israeli talk show host ‘Good Morning Israel’ instigated against Arab Knesset Member, Ahmad al-Tibi for joining Abbas on his private plane to New York, saying “Al-Tebie is enjoying dancing in both weddings; the Israeli Knesset and Palestinian delegation to UN and even if he said that it was a free meaningless trip, we will not accept his false claims easily.”

“If you (al-Tibi) decide to become a Palestinian minister, you are not welcomed in the Israeli Knesset, you can’t have both!” he said.

‘NFC’ website published an article by Nurit Greenger, in which she responded to the Palestinian ambassador to the UN, Ma’an Erekat’s statements about the future Palestinian state which will be free of Jews, saying “what kind of hypocrisy is that? Arabs won’t let Jews live with them and yet Israel has to allow them live among us? Will the world allow Israel to transfer Israel into an Arab-free state?”

She said that these statements mean that the PLO adopts anti-Semitic and Nazi policy. She stated, “Every state that supports the Palestinian state is enforcing the Nazi ideology, and every state that doesn’t object the PLO’s policy, calls on the destruction of the Jewish state, Israel and the Jews.”

‘Makor Rishon’ religious newspaper published an article by Asaf Golan, in which he said that “Abbas has cut all possible political relations with the Israeli side.”

He said, “Abbas’ stubbornness reminds us of Palestinian Arab Nationalist, Haj Amin al-Husseini’s stubbornness, who preferred to drag the Arab countries into a war with Israel instead of accepting what we offered back in 1948.”

‘Ynet’ website published news responding to the Palestinian bid to UN, which said “hundreds of Settlers chanted ‘No for Murderers’ state” in a protest held in the West
Bank.”

The news quoted an Israeli official, saying “our protest aims to remind everyone of who started the trouble. The Oslo accords brought terrorism and murder upon us.”

Another official said, “Jews scream at the world that Samaria is theirs;tThousands live there and they will not accept establishing a state on their land.”

Dan Margalit, an Israeli journalist wrote an article published in ‘Israel Today’, in which he accused Abbas of opposing peace. “We can’t ignore the truth that Abbas opposes peace and supports terrorism. He encouraged Arafat to reject Camp David in 2000 when Ehud Barak, Former Israeli Prime Minister offered a solution to the Jerusalem issue. He fears peace!”

Zev Cam, an Israeli journalist wrote an inciting article published on ‘NRG’ website opposing the Palestinian bid to UN, in which he said “establishing a Palestinian state in the backyard of Israel (West Bank) will change the current situation majorly; not necessarily in a negative way for Israel.”  “Actually, establishing a Palestinian state means that the PA is not allowed speaking of the refugees’ rights. We will deal with
the Palestinian terrorism in a different way and fight Palestinians through a legal war between two states; no one will object.”

Cam said, “We will cut funding for the so-called Palestinian state, including electricity, water, gas and infrastructure. The Palestinians will have to dig for water themselves.”

‘Haartz’, an Israeli newspaper published an article by Israeli journalist Ari Shavt, in which he criticized the failure of Netanyahu and Lieberman to advance toward the peace process.

He said, “Israel offered the Palestinians the land of 1967 in exchange of the 1948 and the right to exist instead of the right of return but the Palestinians refused.”

Shavt added, “The Palestinians are the only people who oppose peace.”

Gabi Avital wrote an article published on ‘NFC’ website, in which he denied the existence of the Palestinians and their right to an independent state.  “The Palestinian people are the biggest lie out there,” he said.

(english.wafa.ps / 04.10.2011)

Army Closes Ibrahimi Mosque for Muslims, Opens It to Israeli Settlers

Israeli Military forces closed the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron in the West Bank today, October 4th, and only allowed Israeli settlers to enter it, the Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

The director of Hebron Endowments, Zayd Al-Ja‘bari, reported to WAFA that the Israeli military forces closed the Ibrahim Mosque to Muslim worshipers this morning and opened all its corridors and courtyards to Israeli settlers, ostensibly to enable their celebration of the Jewish Yom Kippur ,or Holiday of Repentance.

He added that the occupation intends to close all the corridors and courtyards of the Ibrahim Mosque, while preventing the call to prayer, on Saturday, 8 October, in connection with the Yom Kippur holiday.

(www.imemc.org / 04.10.2011)

A Palestinian State ?

It was as if something momentous was happening in New York on Friday September 23, 2011. Palestine Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, whose term had already ended, handed to United Nations Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon an application for full-fledged membership in the world body The symbolism was powerful : eighteen years after the start of the Oslo agreements there was a deep sense that there had been “no improvement.” Mahmoud Abbas’s gesture brought hope. The ovation and the majority support of the UN General Assembly were impressive : the Palestinian cause has many friends around the world, not only Arabs and Muslims. For few minutes, we were swept away by hopes and dreams, forgetting, for only those few minutes, the grim realities of history, facts and figures.

When the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered his speech, dire reality replaced sweet symbol. Speaking in perfect American English (while Mahmoud Abbas spoke in Arabic), the far right-wing Israeli leader presented another version of the story. The recognition of the new Palestinian State was not to be achieved by a UN summit but through direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. That is the only way forward and if the ongoing discussions have failed over the last twenty years, it is because of Palestinian unwillingness to understand Israel’s legitimate security requirements. The Palestinians were to blame whereas successive Israeli governments have been working tirelessly for mutual recognition and peace. There was silence in the room as the delegates listened attentively to his surrealistic words. No emotional symbols, no false hopes, no dramatics : the simple Israeli rhetorical truth which, we all know, will eventually be supported by the United States and hence by the so-called international community.

The Palestinian request for recognition will be discussed in the coming months. We know already that nothing will happen except—as Netanyahu suggested—a new round of the endless peace talks that have achieved nothing. The Quartet’s members met once again and promised to resume the so-called peace process. Here we are, beyond the symbols, to be asked to wait for another ten years of fine speeches and hypocritical talks.

The facts on the ground tell another story. With or without the UN, with or without the Quartet and the peace process, Gaza faces an inhuman blockade while the Israeli settlements (officially endorsed by the Israeli government) on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem have doubled over the last five years. The truth is that while talking about a Two State Solution, successive Israeli governments have made it impossible on the ground by officially colonizing Palestinian land. The truth is that with or without UN recognition, Israel does not want peace with an eventual Palestinian state for it does not want such a state to exist. We may be content with symbols and dreams ; Israel and the United States deal in facts and politics.

An Arab awakening is taking place around us—yet it seems clear that nothing will change in the Middle East if no solution to the Palestine-Israel conflict can be found. It is the central, crucial issue of our times. The people who are calling for dignity, justice and freedom in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria and in all the other countries in North Africa and the Middle East (MENA) must understand this. They will not get what they aspire for at the national level without a change in the regional dynamic. The uprisings we are witnessing are still very nationalistic ; the democratic trends are not broad enough to address the real challenge. There can be no “Arab spring” as long as the Palestinians remain under illegal occupation, as long as they suffer intolerable oppression.

We can blame Israel ; we can blame the United States and the West. But ultimate responsibility lies with the lack of consistency and courage of the Arab leadership. It is easy to applaud Mahmoud Abbas’s speech in New York. But where are the Arab governments in reality ? They abandoned the Palestinian cause long ago, paying it only lip service from time to time. They have been divided under dictatorships ; divided they seem to remain even as they attempt to liberate themselves. The Palestinian Authority is split and unable to find common ground. The least we can acknowledge is that Israel’s divide and rule strategy has been successful due to the endemic weaknesses of the Palestinians bogged down in corruption and petty power struggles.

Arabs and Palestinians must face the new challenges squarely and start to solve their internal problems. MENA as a whole, as well as the Israel-Palestine conflict, require a new mindset, a new vision, and a new commitment to freedom, dignity, justice and pride. We are looking forward not only to political uprisings but also to an intellectual emancipation, an Arab intellectual revolution. This can only happen far from the limelight, the applause and the symbols. It is a long and laborious process of inviting minds and hearts to examine critically their own failures, to be ready to assess the situation objectively. It is time to wake up. The new generations crying out for freedom, dignity and justice should get it right from the very beginning. Today the Arabs’ worst enemies are neither Israel nor the West. They are the Arabs themselves.

(www.tariqramadan.com / 04.10.2011)

Peaceful protest to boost statehood bid

RAMALLAH (AFP) — A strictly non-violent protest campaign is underway to bolster the bid for full UN membership, officials say.

In the run-up to September’s historic request to join the United Nations, Mahmoud Abbas and his leadership in Ramallah repeatedly stressed their commitment to non-violence and insistence on keeping demonstrations away from flashpoint areas.

“Our commitment to non-violence is absolutely watertight, and it is supported both by our political commitment and by our security policy,” Fatah official Nabil Shaath said Saturday.

“We have not had one single act of violence despite the fact that there were demonstrations all around the West Bank,” he said.

Officials and experts in the West Bank say there has been a major shift in public sentiment, away from violence and towards a peaceful model for protesting against the Israeli occupation in line with an approach which Abbas has himself championed for years.

“As Mr Abbas has always said, peaceful popular demonstrations and struggle are encouraged to be totally non-violent, and to stay away from areas where things could get violent,” Shaath said.

“That kind of popular struggle will continue.”

Indeed Abbas pledged as much in his address to the UN General Assembly on Sep. 23, shortly after he formally presented the request for state membership.

“Our people will continue their popular peaceful resistance to the Israeli occupation and its settlement and apartheid policies and its construction of the racist annexation wall,” Abbas said.

And last week, the president said the Arab Spring had proved popular resistance was “the most effective way” for people to gain their rights.

“We encourage these popular and peaceful protests, which are not against international law, or anyone for that matter, but only against the occupation, while using peaceful methods,” Abbas told the Christian Science Monitor.

“Our Arab brethren have taught us with their uprisings and their Spring. They talk about the peacefulness of their protests. And indeed, this has proven to be the most effective way for people to attain their rights,” he said.

Abbas has for years pushed a doctrine of non-violence and was known for his view that the “militarization” of the second intifada, or 2000-2005 uprising, to be a tactical error which harmed the national cause.

And according to former intelligence chief Tawfiq Tirawi, that position increasingly resonates on the street.

“There is an awareness among Palestinians of all these questions, particularly about Israel’s attempts to drag us back to a place of violence where the balance of power favors them,” he said.

“A cycle of violence would give Israel ample justification to undermine what we have achieved for the Palestinian cause in front of the world at the United Nations,” he told AFP.

Tirawi, who belongs to Abbas’s ruling Fatah party, said the leadership had repeatedly stressed the importance of non-violence in various public forums in the run up to September.

“We clearly stated the danger of entering a cycle of violence and instead called for popular resistance.”

Adnan Damiri, spokesman for West Bank security services, said Abbas’s personal commitment to non-violence had inspired a shift in public opinion.

“There is an awareness of, and an adherence to the political line of peaceful resistance as adopted by president Abu Mazen, especially as the political approach to the United Nations has proven its efficacy — and because we have won a major political battle,” he said, using Abbas’s nom de guerre.

The shift appears to be borne out by facts on the ground, with no sign of any violence among the tens of thousands of Palestinian who took part in multiple rallies across the West Bank in support of the UN bid.

Since the end of the second intifada, violence has tailed off significantly, although sporadic clashes between Palestinians, settlers and Israeli troops do still occur.

Just hours before Abbas submitted the statehood request to the United Nations, Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian in the northern West Bank in clashes which erupted after Jewish settlers pushed into the village.

On the same day, a Israeli settler was killed with his infant son when their car spun out of control after being hit by stones thrown by Palestinians.

(www.maannews.net / 04.10.2011)

Ennahda Prepares For Upcoming Elections In Tunisia

ennahdaPhoto: Magharebia (flickr)

“We are a party that can find a balance between modernity and Islam,” Ghannouchi said.

Tunisia is gearing up for their first free elections since the fall of former president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.

Some think Islamist group Ennahda is proving the label “Islamist” doesn’t equal “hardline.”

Leader of Ennahda Rachid Ghannouchi was exiled from the country during Ben Ali’s reign, but returned after he was overthrown.

“Ben Ali did everything he could to convince the West that we are a terrorist group but he couldn’t do it,” he said.

Of the over 100 political parties expected to participate in the October 23 elections, Ennahda has the largest support group.

Ghannounchi stressed freedom for women and a commitment to modernity under an Ennahda-helmed government. He has many women on his staff, and compares tourist policies to that of Turkey.

He pointed to his time in Europe as to how he would deal with relations with the West.

“We will maintain the relations with our traditional partners such as Europe, but we will seek to improve them in order to get advanced status,” he said.

(muslimvoices.org / 04.10.2011)

Scottish Firefighters Travel 2500 Miles to Nablus to Support Palestinians

RAMALLAH, October 4, 2011 (WAFA) – Scottish firefighter team left Tuesday on a 2500 mile trip in order to deliver two fire engines and their equipments to Nablus’ fire department in support of the Palestinian people to control arsons by Jewish settlers, in the west bank, according to a report published by BBC.

The team, which comprises of five firefighters, said that they will cross a number of the world’s countries to reach the northern West Bank city of Nablus to hand over the equipment to the city’s fire department, in a trip that will take about two weeks.

Sandra White, One of the team’s members, said that this trip is a step toward supporting the Palestinian people and helping them control arsons caused by settlers.

She added that this step is considered a remarkable step in their position supporting the
Palestinian people.

(mideastnews-danmike.blogspot.com / 04.10.2011)

Yemeni protesters seek world backing

Sanaa, Yemen (CNN) — Anti-government demonstrators took to the streets in the Yemeni capital in two massive protests Tuesday, and the throngs chanted for international support, witnesses said.

One protest occurred in Sanaa in the morning, and the other took place at 4:30 pm. — large gatherings that signaled a strong opposition movement. Anti-government forces have been pushing for the departure of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Dozens of banners were seen calling the international community to stop the bloodshed in Yemen. Protesters also railed against what they see as the Saleh government’s repressive actions, and they called for Saleh to face justice before the International Criminal Court.

“Saleh Saleh will be hanged,” one banner read, while another said “The world must stand against the killer.”

Anti-Saleh protests also took place in the provinces of Ibb, Dhammar, Aden, Hadramout, Taiz and Hodieda.

International powers have been urging Saleh to transfer power, but it has not yet happened, despite a deal cobbled together a few months ago by the Gulf Cooperation Council, a regional coalition of nations.

Riyadh Ali, a youth activist, said “we have been patient nine months and are willing to wait longer. However, we feel that the end of Ali Saleh is near.”

“Saleh refused to step down when given immunity. We feel it is his destiny to leave power degraded instead of with honor,” said Ahmed Bahri, an opposition Haq party official.

The opposition Joint Meeting Parties rejected claims by the ruling General People Congress party that dialogue was ongoing between both sides.

Mohammed Qahtan, spokesman for the Joint Meeting Parties, said the ruling party was spreading such rumors to decrease the international pressures on it.

“There is no dialogue between the opposition and ruling party since the U.N. envoy to Yemen left,” Qahtan said. “This is a tactic used by Saleh to show the world that there is no crisis in Yemen. It’s a lie.”

Witnesses said Yemeni government forces also fired shells that landed near the western entrance of Change Square, the epicenter of the protest movement in Sanaa.

Medics said two civilians were killed and six others, including a child, were injured.

As unrest and discontent spread across the Arab world this year, Yemenis took to the streets to demonstrate against Saleh, whose regime has faced mass discontent, a robust insurgency and economic challenges such as grinding poverty. The president was badly injured in an assassination attempt last June and recently returned to the country from Saudi Arabia, where he received medical treatment.

Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen and leading member of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, was killed in a drone attack in Yemen last week.

(www.cnn.com / 04.10.2011)

Assad: Syria will shower Tel Aviv with rockets if attacked by foreign powers

Iranians news agency quotes Syrian president as warning West against ‘crazy measures,’ adding that it would take Damascus, Hezbollah 6 hours to launch a joint strike against Israel.

Syria will strike Israel and “set fire” to the Middle East if foreign forces choose to launch a military strike on the protest-ridden country, Syrian President Bashar Assad said on Tuesday.

During a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Assad was quoted by the Iranian semi-official news agency Fars as saying that Syria would not hesitate to strike major Israeli cities if it was attacked.

 

“If a crazy measure is taken against Damascus, I will need not more than 6 hours to transfer hundreds of rockets and missiles to the Golan Heights to fire them at Tel Aviv,” Assad said.

Are these just empty threats? Visit Haaretz.com on Facebook and share your views.

In addition, Fars reported indicated that the Syrian president told the Turkish FM that he would also call on Hezbollah in Lebanon to launch a rocket attack on Israel, adding: “All these events will happen in three hours, but in the second three hours, Iran will attack the U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf and the U.S. and European interests will be targeted simultaneously.”

Assad’s comments to the Turkish FM came after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said earlier Tuesday he would set out his country’s plans for sanctions against Syria after he visits a Syrian refugee camp near the border in the coming days.

The move heralds a further deterioration in previously friendly relations between Ankara and Damascus since the start of Assad’s crackdown on protesters.

“Regarding sanctions, we will make an assessment and announce our road map after the visit to Hatay in southern Turkey, setting out the steps,” Erdogan told reporters, adding he expected to visit the region at the weekend or the start of next week.

Some 7,000 Syrians have taken refuge in camps established in Hatay, in flight from President Assad’s security forces.

(www.haaretz.com / 04.10.2011)

Antwerpse jongeren ten strijde tegen discriminatie

Op zaterdag 1 oktober ontvingen zeven jongeren in Atlas het attest van Ambassadeur voor Gelijke Kansen. Met dit initiatief willen de jongeren en de stad Antwerpen scholen, bedrijven en organisaties inlichten over discriminatie en gelijke kansen.

Uit het filmpje van de Fatima's blijkt dat gelijke kansen nog altijd niet evident zijn.Uit het filmpje van de Fatima’s blijkt dat gelijke kansen nog altijd niet evident zijn.

Zakaria El Morabiti, Soufian El Bouazati, Melek Yildirim, Faysal Bugri, Ersin Bildirili, Hamza Taheri en Imane Kostet gaan voortaan als Ambassadeur voor Gelijke Kansen door het leven. Dit unieke project in Vlaanderen werd in het leven geroepen na een grootschalig onderzoek naar discriminatie in scholen en op de werkvloer.

De groep vertegenwoordigers werd samengesteld door de dienst Sociale Netwerken. De selectie gebeurde niet enkel op basis van afkomst. De motivatie van de jongeren gaf de doorslag. Ondanks hun Marokkaanse en Turkse achtergrond vechten de ambassadeurs niet alleen voor een gelijke behandeling van allochtonen, maar ook voor die van gehandicapten, ouderen en andere minderheidsgroepen.

De ambassadeurs kregen een training in wetgeving, maar leerden ook hun verhaal te formuleren en te spreken voor een publiek. Met deze vaardigheden moeten ze Vlamingen niet enkel bewust maken van de gevolgen van ongelijkheid, maar hen ook informeren.

Onverdraagzaamheid verdragen

Ambassadeur voor Gelijke Kansen zijn is voor de zeven Antwerpenaren meer dan verantwoordelijkheid opnemen. Eigen ervaringen met discriminatie brachten hen hiertoe. Hamza Taheri werd bijvoorbeeld als kleine jongen geweigerd bij de lokale voetbalploeg onder het voorwendsel dat hij ‘ervaring moest hebben’. “Ik heb daar lang niet over kunnen praten, omdat ik toen niet goed wist of het racisme was”, vertelt hij.

Ook Imane Kostet moest als kind onverdraagzaamheid en onwetendheid tolereren. “De leerkrachten maakten misbruik van het feit dat mijn ouders niet goed Nederlands spraken. Ze wilden mij ook absoluut naar het BSO sturen”, blikt ze terug.

Olifantenhuid

Soufrian El Bouazati, student klinische psychologie en ambulancier bij twee Antwerpse ziekenhuizen, groeide op tussen de blanke middenklasse. Discriminatie gebeurde in zijn omgeving jarenlang subtiel waardoor hij een olifantenhuid ontwikkelde voor racisme. “Tijdens de gesprekken met mijn collega-ambassadeurs snapte ik niet waarom ze zich druk maakten om die opmerkingen. Ik ben er immuun voor geworden.” Volgens El Bouazati is onwetendheid de grote boosdoener als het op racisme aankomt.

Ook op de werkvloer manifesteerde die onwetendheid zich. “Toen ik voor de eerste keer binnenwandelde in het ziekenhuis van Deurne, vielen plots de gesprekken tussen de verplegers en chirurgen stil”, vertel hij. “Een Marokkaan met een moslimbaard die verpleger wordt, hadden ze nog nooit gezien”, lacht El Bouazati.

“Ik heb ook aan de Antwerpse dokken gewerkt en na enkele dagen kwam een collega naar mij toe, die eerlijk toegaf dat hij aanvankelijk sceptisch was tegenover mij”, mijmert de twintiger. “Hij dacht dat ik geen Nederlands kon, maar hij schrok zich een bult toen hij hoorde dat ik nog platter Antwerps dan hem sprak”, glimlacht El Bouazati breed. Zijn ambassadeursfunctie betekent voor hem daarom voornamelijk het wegwerken van vooroordelen om racisme te voorkomen.

Omgekeerde wereld

Om het project van een humoristische noot te voorzien, boksten de ambassadeurs samen met het comedy-collectief de Fatima’s een ludiek filmpje in elkaar. Daarin solliciteert een blanke jongeman bij een bedrijf waar Marokkaanse en Turkse werkgevers moeite hebben met zijn ‘exotische’ naam.

(www.stampmedia.be / 04.10.2011)