Laf en onbeschoft

Deze week konden we het laatste gedachtespinsel van de PVV weer in de media lezen: PVV Den Haag wil dat de allochtonen een assimilatiecontract  gaan ondertekenen.

(Niet westerse) allochtonen moeten voordat ze naar Nederland komen in het land van herkomst een proeve van bekwaamheid afleggen (zgn. taalcursus)om aan een visum te kunnen komen. Aangekomen in Nederland krijgen ze de opdracht een inburgeringscursus te volgen, die binnen een bepaalde tijd met goed gevolg afgerond dient te worden; echter de tijd waarbinnen dit afgerond dient te worden, wordt door de waakhonden van het ministerie (de IND) niet vermeld.

Daar komt dan nog een assimilatiecontract bij, voorgesteld door de one-issue partij PVV bij. Deze partij zoekt en blijft zoeken naar een stok om iemand te kunnen slaan en dat is dan meestal de moslim, de niet-westerse allochtoon, de asielzoeker of een andere medemens die niet past in het straatje van de gemiddelde PVV-er.

Maar wat blijkt nu de laatste weken, er is gemor ontstaan binnen de gelederen van de PVV; de gekozen bestuurders zijn toch niet allemaal zo volgzaam als de grote meester zich had voorgesteld. Was het zo dat hier en daar een gemeenteraadslid of provinciaal lid afscheid nam van de woorden van de leider van de PVV, zelfs in de Tweede Kamer gebeurt het. De peilingen laten nu ook zien dat de partij flink op verlies staat.

Partijleden gaan zich ook verzetten tegen de uitspraken van het hoofd van de partij, maar vooral ook tegen de stemmingsmakerij tegen bepaalde bevolkingsgroepen, dat wordt stukje bij stukje duidelijk. Het is de hoogste tijd dat ze afstand nemen van de laffe en onbeschofte uitspraken of voorstellen, zoals een assimilatiecontract. Wat heeft het voor nut om steeds maar weer te trappen naar mensen die hier als gasten komen? Wat is de toegevoegde waarde van al die haatdragende woorden en uitspraken? Wordt daar de maatschappij beter van?

Wordt het niet tijd dat de PVV eens een fatsoenscontract ondertekent, een contract over de normen en waarden in Nederland, een contract over hoe we met anderen omgaan? Een contract om aan te tonen dat ze loyaal zijn aan Nederland en Nederland bestaat uit meer mensen dan de gemiddelde PVV-er.
Een niet-westerse allochtoon die hier uit vrije wil naar toekomt, heeft het besluit genomen om hier een bestaan op te bouwen en dat betekent dat die daarvoor ook zijn best zal doen. En dat staat los van het feit of hij een religie heeft, een tweede paspoort of waar hij vandaan komt. Laten we weer eens Nederlander zijn, zoals we altijd bekend zijn geweest, nl. gastvrij voor diegene die hier met goede bedoelingen naar toe is gekomen.

Extremism, forced marriage slammed; Merkel ally says Islam not part of Germany

Participants attend a conference on the Muslim integration in Germany. (AFP)

Participants attend a conference on the Muslim integration in Germany.

A conference aimed at furthering Muslim integration in Germany on Thursday condemned forced marriages and voiced concern over stepped-up recruiting by an ultra-conservative Islamic group, as a leading conservative politician said that Islam did not belong in Germany.

Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich told the one-day forum that extremism by Salafis had no place in Germany after a recent drive by the group to distribute 25 million German-language copies of the Quran.

“We all agree that Salafist extremism is not acceptable and does not work in a free society, as we have in Germany,” he said in opening remarks, according to AFP.

The move by a group of Salafis called “The True Religion” this month to hand out the Quran on the streets of Germany, Austria and Switzerland and via the Internet in a bid to convert non-Muslims provoked uproar in Germany.

Domestic violence and forced marriage were also singled out by the forum, set up in 2006 and attended by federal, state and local officials as well as Muslim groups representing more than half of Germany’s mosque congregations.

It stated that everyone has the right to “freedom from physical and mental harm, as well as the right to enter a marriage or to refrain from it by their own decision and in the framework of the applicable laws.”

More than 3,000 women and girls in Germany, most from Muslim families and many of them minors, were forced to wed or threatened with forced marriage in 2008 — the most recent year with sufficient data, according to official research released in November.

Germany passed legislation in 2010 against forced marriages, making it a criminal act punishable by up to five years in prison and providing means for victims taken abroad to return to Germany.

The country counts some three million Turks or Germans of Turkish origin among its 82-million-strong population but the issue of integration remains a matter of politically-charged debate.

The domestic intelligence service estimates there are about 2,500 Salafis, who espouse an austere form of Sunni Islam, in Germany and says it has them under official observation.

The agency has described Ibrahim Abu Nagie, who launched the campaign, as a prominent exponent of Salafism and German authorities view his website as a hub for radical Islamists.

Meanwhile, a leading conservative politician said on Thursday that Islam did not belong in Germany, fuelling further tension.

“Islam is not part of our tradition and identity in Germany and so does not belong in Germany,” Volker Kauder, head of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives in parliament, told the Passauer Neue Presse.

“But Muslims do belong in Germany. As state citizens, of course, they enjoy their full rights,” he added, according to Reuters.

In response to concern about radicalization and aware of the stimulus a well-qualified cohort of young Muslims could give to Europe’s biggest economy, Merkel set up forums, or conferences, six years ago to improve integration.

Kauder’s comments quickly drew fire.

“Volker Kauder is the last crusader for the conservatives. He is putting a bomb in the Islam conference,” said senior opposition Social Democrat (SPD) lawmaker Thomas Oppermann.

“(He).. is denigrating and marginalizing all Muslims in Germany. That course is utterly wrong,” he said.

Participants at Thursday’s Islam conference comprised delegates from the federal and state governments and Islamic groups in Germany.

Critics, many from Merkel’s traditionally Catholic party, say the campaign is ideological, aimed at recruiting supporters.

Some Muslim groups have also criticized the Quran handouts, though for a different reason. The chairman of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany has said the Quran is not a PR pamphlet for mass distribution.

The campaign poses a dilemma as any move to stop the distribution of the Koran – a perfectly legal activity – could be seen as anti-Islamic.

Kenan Kolat, the head of Turkish Communities in Germany, warned against hysteria. “If there is a glorification of violence or an infringement of free, democratic basic values, then there are police measures that can be used,” said Kolat.

(english.alarabiya.net / 19.04.2012)

Center: Israel orders demolition of electricity company

HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israel’s Civil Administration on Wednesday handed a demolition order to an electricity company in the southern West Bank, the Land Research Center said.

The power company, in Umm Sidra near al-Ramadin village in the Hebron district, has supplied electricity since 2006 to 25 homes in the neighborhood, which is close to Israel’s separation wall.

Resident Omar Jaffal told the center the notice ordered the building’s demolition within one week.

The center said Israeli authorities informed the company on March 13 that it must stop operating. Israel has also ordered the demolition of a number of homes and farm buildings in the area.

The neighborhood is in Area C, the 62 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli military control.

Israel frequently demolishes homes and infrastructure in Area C built without Israel’s permission. Residents, rights groups and the UN point out that it nearly all Palestinian applications for building permits are denied.

(www.maannews.net / 19.04.2012)

Israeli undercover unit’s murder of Palestinian civilian was part of “training exercise”

At the beginning of this month, I blogged about the shooting of three brothers in the West Bank village of Rammoun on 27 March that resulted in the death of one and was conducted by undercover Israeli agents, an act tantamount to perfidy and thus a violation of international humanitarian law.

Yesterday, Ynet reported that these undercover agents were actually performing a military training exercise and that the soldier responsible for killing Rashad Shawakha, 28, had been dismissed.

As Yossi Gurvitz points out, “The officers who planned the exercise… will remain in their posts.”

But the operation seems to go beyond just the purview of the commanding officers. Conducting the operation was the Duvdevan Unit, a division of the Israeli military that is characterized chiefly by impersonating Palestinians and carrying out undercover operations and trainings. It appears that the training exercise on 27 March, which incorporated a grave breach of international law, is an integral and systematic element of training this elite group.

The Dudevan Unit: experts at perfidy

The Duvdevan unit is known for sending undercover units into West Bank villages, disguised as Palestinian. The unit is considered one of the most elite of the Israeli army, and members supposedly undergo a rigorous selection process. The unit seeks out soldiers who speak Arabic and look Palestinian.

“These units undergo special training and do not follow the same instructions for opening fire as the regular forces. Their members receive military and psychological training so that killing is a routine and easy procedure.” Dr. Saleh Abdel Jawad, a professor of history and political science at Birzeit University, wrote in an article in 2000.

The unit has conducted numerous extra-judicial assassinations; among them was the infamous annihilation of the preeminent Black Panthers (Fahad al Aswad) group during the first Intifada. Soldiers from Duvdevan dressed up as peasant women and entered the Yasmineh quarter of the Old City in Nablus, where they executed the leaders of the group, a paramilitary wing of Fatah who took it upon themselves to punish those who collaborated with Israel.

Jawad writes that one of the final stages of the training of Duvdevan soldiers relates to “the art of disguise, acting and deception.” During this stage, professional actors and acting coaches are invited to instruct the soldiers how to effectively present themselves as Arab beggars, workers, villagers, Bedouins, etc.

“After they complete their training they are required either individually or in a group, to experiment with what they have learned in the real world. They are sent, unarmed, to different areas in Israel or in Jerusalem to mingle with the Arab or Israeli public to test their disguising skills.”

So it appears that after the soldiers are turned into expert killers and liars, they are sent out into the “real world” i.e. Palestinian villages, to test their skills. Except not only are they now training with “live extras” (as Gurvitz describes them) but with live ammunition as well.

Perfidy

As the human rights group al-Haq emphasizes in a report, disguising military agents in civilian clothes amounts to perfidy, one of the most serious crimes of international law.

Significantly, the soldiers perpetrated perfidy twice that night. First, by entering the village in civilian clothing, and again after the Shawakha brothers confronted them and the agents lied in order disguise their true identities.

“When the brothers confronted the soldiers, they could have just said we’re soldiers and we’re doing a training, but they continued to disguise who they were,” a representative from al-Haq told me.

The soldiers masquerading as Palestinian told the brothers that they had just bought land in the village.

(electronicintifada.net / 19.04.2012)

A Celebration of Freedom on Prisoners’ Day in Gaza

Several thousands of Palestinians joined the marches on Prisoners’ Day in Gaza.

Last Monday, I couldn’t wait for my class to end at 10:00am. My dad doesn’t know how to send a text message, but somehow, while inside the lecture, I received one from him, urging me to come to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).  As soon as students were allowed to leave, I was the first one out the door. I walked as quickly as I could from school to the ICRC. I stopped a taxi, even though it was a ten-minute walk. I wanted to be there in time so I would not miss any of the weekly protest for Palestinian political prisoners. I expected that it would be a unique protest, especially since the following day was Prisoners’ Day. I was right.

It wasn’t the usual protest that I always see. The street was closed. No cars could pass. The hall inside the ICRC, as well as the sit-in tent in front of it, were filled with people. Artistic touches of anger, steadfastness, and hope were added.

As I arrived, I found Dad chatting cheerfully with a man I had never seen in the ICRC before. His story was worth hearing. His name is Zuhdy al-Adawi. My father and Zuhdy were both released in the 1985 swap deal after spending 15 years in Israeli jails. Dad was released to Gaza but Zuhdy, unfortunately, was deported to Syria. Since then, Dad had never met his friend. However, Zuhdy managed to return for the first time to his birth place about two weeks ago. “After 27 years of separation, we’re meeting here again,” Dad said happily with his arm on Zuhdy’s shoulder.

I could see people crowded around stands on paintings across the street. Dad grabbed my drawing book, which I had carried there to show my friends a new picture, and opened it while saying, “Shahd is an artist, too.” Zuhdy smiled at me and pointed at the exhibition saying humbly, “Awesome! Then you should look at those paintings and tell me what you think.”

“Are you the artist?” I asked excitedly. Zuhdy pulled me close to the stands and answered proudly, “All these paintings are my work from my detention in Ashqelon Prison. It was important for me to exhibit them in Gaza so your generation and the coming generations keep learning about the Palestinian prisoners’ issue through art.” My eyes were captured by his talent and creativity. Every painting told a story full of suffering and challenge. They summed up the Palestinian struggle and the pains and the injustices that Palestinian people suffer, especially the humiliating conditions our political prisoners endure.

“Expressing myself with colors was banned inside prison,” Zuhdy said angrily. “I used to cut pillowcases and use them as my canvas. I managed to smuggle some pastel and wax colors. I used to paint under fear. How could I paint while jailers surrounded me? But with my persistence and my friends’ collaboration, I managed to make these and smuggle them out of jail.”

Zuhdy Al-Adawi’s exhibition in front of the ICRC

Zuhdy’s expressive, creative paintings left me speechless. He made me feel happy, happy that the heartless jailers failed to imprison his mind or imagination. He lived in prison, but his heart and mind were free. To see more of his drawings, see Joe Catron’s album here or watch this video.

“Be sure that our prisoners resist in many different ways,” Zuhdy said. “Many writers, intellectuals, and painters arose in prison, from the unspeakable love for Palestine, and from the daily suffering, oppression, and injustice. We have full confidence that can defeat the jailers’ inhumanity. We have a just cause for which we sacrifice and in which we believe, and we are ready to use any possible means to call for our freedom and justice.” With these strong words, he ended his inspiring conversation with me. It will be stamped in my mind for as long as I live to keep on my path, using pencils, words, and every other way to make my people’s voice heard. People like Zuhdy make my pride at being Palestinian grow every day.

That night, we returned to the ICRC to join hundreds of people who gathered to celebrate “the flame of freedom”. Who could be more worth than Hana al-Shalabi to light this flame? She was there with her beautiful, elderly mother, who had joined her daughter on hunger strike despite her age. My heart leaped when I saw them. Excitedly, we surrounded the flame and watched the champion of empty stomachs, Hana al-Shalabi, light it to mark Prisoners’ Day with a symbol of loyalty to those who are still locked behind Israeli bars and a promise that they will be never forgotten, and that we will always call for their freedom. I hope one day, we will light up this flame when Palestine is free and Israeli prisons have been emptied.

On April 17th, many popular events were held throughout Palestine. Prisoners’ Day was different this year. It had a sweet taste as the day Israel released Khader Adnan, another hero of empty stomachs who hunger struck for a record 66 days to protest being held in administrative detention without charge. His freedom put bright smiles of hope on the angry faces of prisoners’ families.

In Gaza, Palestine’s flags colored its blue sky. I left home early, eager to join the events. Marches came from every street of Gaza. All ages and genders, and many disabled people, joined the protest. It was a remarkable scene of unity and compassion between Palestinians in Gaza. Even schoolchildren participated, with their tender voices chanting, “Rise our moon, rise and light the whole universe. We weren’t born to live in humiliation, but to live in freedom.” Marches came from all directions to unite in front of the ICRC. I felt a revolution inside me when I saw thousands of people uniting their voice: “Free, free Palestine.”

 

School group of scouts joined the march for Palestinian Political prisoners.

Among the protesters, ten-year-old Haitham Al-Zariey, holding a picture and chanting loudly, attracted my attention. “Who is the person in the picture?” I asked him. “This is my uncle Hussien,” he said with a smile of pride. “He has been detained for eleven years. I was born when he was in jail. A few years ago, I learned that I have an uncle held captive by Israel. I have never met him.” When I asked him what he wished he could tell his uncle, he answered, “I wish I could tell him that I am here chanting for his freedom, and the freedom of all other Palestinians in Israel’s prisons. I hope I can witness his freedom soon. I wish Israel at least allow us to visit him.”

I was thrilled by the little boy’s awareness of the prisoners’ issue. Haitham is a small example of the rising revolutionary generation who will go on demanding justice and freedom for all Palestinians. On Prisoners’ Day, we renew our promise to never forget those who sacrificed precious years for the sake of our freedom and dignity. Someday all chains must break. Freedom for all Palestinian political prisoners.

(electronicintifada.net / 19.04.2012)

Bahrain denies visas to foreign journalists for F1

Bahrain has denied visas to foreign journalists and photographers, including from AFP, to cover this Sunday’s controversial Grand Prix race.

An AFP photographer, accredited by the sport’s governing body, the FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile), was informed by Bahrain’s information affairs authority that there has been a “delay to your visa application, so it might not be processed.”

Associated Press said two of its Dubai-based journalists were prevented from covering the Grant Prix because they could not receive entry visas, despite being accredited by the FIA.

Meanwhile, cameramen already in Bahrain were required to keep fluorescent orange stickers on their cameras so that they would be easily recognisable to ensure they do not cover any off-track events, such as ongoing protests.

In February, Bahraini authorities rejected visa requests by AFP and other international organisations to cover the first anniversary of the month-long Shiite-led protest that was crushed in mid-March.

The authorities have yet to respond to AFP’s request to accredit a local photographer, after having banned AFP’s local correspondent from reporting last spring.

Bahrain’s main opposition group, Al-Wefaq, has called for a week of daily protests to coincide with the Grand Prix, using the sports event to focus media attention on their long-standing demands for greater equality and representation in the Sunni-ruled kingdom.

The event was cancelled last year in the wake of the uprising against the Sunni monarchy and the government crackdown that followed in which a government commission said 35 people were killed.
Bahrain has denied visas to foreign journalists and photographers, including from AFP, to cover this Sunday’s controversial Grand Prix race.

An AFP photographer, accredited by the sport’s governing body, the FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile), was informed by Bahrain’s information affairs authority that there has been a “delay to your visa application, so it might not be processed.”

Associated Press said two of its Dubai-based journalists were prevented from covering the Grant Prix because they could not receive entry visas, despite being accredited by the FIA.

Meanwhile, cameramen already in Bahrain were required to keep fluorescent orange stickers on their cameras so that they would be easily recognisable to ensure they do not cover any off-track events, such as ongoing protests.

In February, Bahraini authorities rejected visa requests by AFP and other international organisations to cover the first anniversary of the month-long Shiite-led protest that was crushed in mid-March.

The authorities have yet to respond to AFP’s request to accredit a local photographer, after having banned AFP’s local correspondent from reporting last spring.

Bahrain’s main opposition group, Al-Wefaq, has called for a week of daily protests to coincide with the Grand Prix, using the sports event to focus media attention on their long-standing demands for greater equality and representation in the Sunni-ruled kingdom.

The event was cancelled last year in the wake of the uprising against the Sunni monarchy and the government crackdown that followed in which a government commission said 35 people were killed.

(english.al-akhbar.com / 19.04.2012)

PVV blijft verliezen in peiling

DEN HAAG – De PVV blijft verliezen in de politieke barometer van onderzoeksbureau Ipsos Synovate.
De partij verliest donderdag twee zetels in vergelijking met 2 weken geleden en zou 18 zetels krijgen als er nu verkiezingen zouden worden gehouden.

Bijna 2 jaar geleden stond de PVV voor het laatst zo laag in de politieke barometer. De partij van Wilders won bij de laatste verkiezingen 24 zetels.

De VVD blijft groeien, net als de PvdA en de SP. De partij van premier Mark Rutte wint 1 zetel en komt uit op 37. De sociaaldemocraten tonen eenzelfde groei en komen uit op 27, terwijl de SP uitkomt op 26, ook een winst van 1 zetel.

CDA

De VVD bezet nu 31 zetels in de Tweede Kamer; de PvdA 30 en de SP 15. Coalitiegenoot CDA blijft dalen in de peiling.

De partij die nu 21 zetels heeft zou bij verkiezingen nu dalen naar 12, een verlies van 1 in vergelijking met de vorige peiling. VVD, CDA en PVV hebben in de peiling samen 67 zetels, in de Kamer hebben ze 75 zetels.

D66

In de peiling blijft D66 op 13 staan (nu 10 in de Kamer), GroenLinks verliest 1 en daalt naar 5 (10 nu), de ChristenUnie houdt er 5, de Partij voor de Dieren wint 1 zetel en gaat naar 4 (2 in de Kamer) en de SGP blijft op 2. De partij 50PLUS is nu niet vertegenwoordigd in het parlement, maar zou volgens de peiling 1 zetel behalen.

De politieke barometer is een representatieve tweewekelijkse peiling waarvoor steeds 1000 mensen uit een vast online onderzoekspanel worden ondervraagd naar hun stemgedrag. De peiling loopt van dinsdagochtend tot en met donderdagmiddag.

(www.nu.nl / 19.04.2012)

FM participates in ‘Friends of Syria’ meeting

Paris, April 19(Petra) — Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh on Thursday took part in a preparatory meeting for ‘Friends of Syrian’ Meeting, that will be held next May.

The participants discussed means to deal with consequences of the flow of Syrians into Jordan and Turkey.

Judeh stressed support for the UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan’s plan on Syrian, voicing support for the UN resolution to send observers to Syria.

He reiterated that Syria is an important neighbor to Jordan, affirming the importance of its security and stability for the Kingdom.

Jordan, under the leadership of His Majesty King Abdullah II, stressed the need to arrive at a political solution for the crisis in Syria and put an end to the bloodshed in the country, Judeh said.

He affirmed that Jordan rejects any foreign military interference in Syria, noting the need to preserve the safety and security of Syria and the unity of its people.

(petra.gov.jo / 19.04.2012)

PERSBERICHT: Culturele Boycot

Zaterdagavond 21 april a.s. zal de Israëlische dansgroep Batsheva haar uitvoering in de Stadsschouwburg (Lucas Bolwerk 24) van Utrecht geven . Pro-Palestijnse activisten en groeperingen zullen met een vreedzame demonstratie demonstreren tegen het beleid van Israël en het misbruik door Israël van kunst en cultuur voor eigen propaganda.

De dansgroep Batsheva wordt Israëls allerbeste ambassadeur genoemd in de campagne om Israëls imago van mensenrechtenschendingen, apartheid, illegale nederzettingen, goed te praten en wit te passen in het buitenland.  De campagne is bedoeld om het merk (‘Brand’) Israël in het buitenland te verkopen, om het zogenaamde mooie gezicht aan de wereld te tonen. Hiervoor wordt dus nu ook kunst en cultuur ingezet, ingezet om de rol van de militaire bezetter en onderdrukker te doen vergeten.

Trap er niet in: het ware gezicht van het Israëlisch beleid is onderdrukking van de Palestijnse bevolking, bewoners van de Gazastrip gevangen te houden, bezoekers niet toe te laten, een beleid van apartheid, illegale nederzettingen die steeds meer Palestijns grondgebied stelen en elke dag het schenden van de mensenrechten.   Dat is het ware gezicht van de Israëlische overheid.

De organisatoren van de demonstratie hebben niets tegen de dansgroep, echter aangezien Batsheva zich voor het karretje van de regering laat spannen, is zij zaterdag wel het doelwit van de demonstratie. De organisatoren roepen de leden van Batsheva daarom ook op om afstand te nemen van de campagne “Brand Israël” en de apartheidspolitiek van Israël; tevens worden de Utrechtenaren opgeroepen om zich te scharen achter de culturele boycot.
Middels dit persbericht worden zoveel mogelijk mensen opgeroepen om zich uit te spreken tegen de apartheidspolitiek  van Israël. Dit kan door aanwezig bij de demonstratie voor de Stadsschouwburg in Utrecht op zaterdag 21 april van 19.00 tot 20.30 uur. De bedoeling is dat er een lied gezongen wordt; als u zich voor zaterdag meldt via hennyaj.kreeft@gmail.com krijgt u alle info en de tekst van het lied toegestuurd. Komt allen, laat zien dat u tegen de apartheid bent en dat u het Palestijnse volk steunt.