woensdag 22 juli 2009

Twijfel over aantal burgerdoden Gaza Oorlog

De media nemen kritiekloos de cijfers van Palestijnse bronnen over, en Israel wordt ervan beschuldigd een wel erg brede definitie te hanteren van wie en wat een legitiem doelwit is. Echter, uit onderstaande blijkt dat de Palestijnen wel een erg brede definitie hanteren van wie een onschuldige burger is.
Ben-Dror Yemini
Maariv 20.07.09 [translated]

Every week new reports are published on the number of civilians killed in the Gaza Strip during Operation Cast Lead. Again and again, Israel is blamed for "disproportionate casualties among civilians." Here and there, claims of "war crimes" are raised. It must be said that, first, any civilian death is deplorable and everything possible must be done to prevent such deaths. Second, any reasonable allegation must be investigated. There is not an army in the world that has not made mistakes, and the IDF is no exception. But apparently there are many entities that are enamored of lies. Hamas claimed from the start that only a small number of those killed in Gaza were fighters. Many human rights organizations adopted the claims made by Hamas and other Palestinian organizations. So the time has come, if truth has any meaning whatsoever, to present the real story.

Abdullah Abdel Hamid Muammar, a 22-year-old student from the village of el-Nassar north of Rafah, was killed in Operation Cast Lead. So we are told by the official report of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR). This report contains details about the war casualties that purport to be accurate. The purpose is obvious: to prove to the whole world that most of the casualties were innocent civilians who were hurt by the bombing of the civilian population.

Many human rights organizations, including Amnesty, B'Tselem and Human Rights Watch (HRW), relied, in whole or in part, on the PCHR data, which turned Muammar into an innocent victim. But there's a problem with that. According to a publication issued by the Press Department of the Al Qassam Brigades, Muamar was a member of Hamas, and he appears in a picture on an Arabic website in which he is carrying a Qassam missile. This is also the case with many other "innocent civilians." They were terrorists. It turns out that, to discover that lie - which was just one of many - meticulous investigations were required. Dr. Tal Pavel of the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, and Jonathan Dahoah-Halevy, a researcher at the Jerusalem Center, investigated each name on the list of casualties.

The various organizations announced that between 1,200 and 1,400 were killed in Gaza. The number may have been inflated, as claimed, for example, by journalist Lorenzo Cremonesi, reporting from the Gaza Strip for the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera about inflation of the numbers and the manipulations by Hamas. We should also mention the investigation conducted by the IDF which appears to be a bit more reliable and puts the number of killed at 1164, as well as the fact that Hamas issued explicit instructions to conceal and deceive.

According to Pavel's research, 564 of the dead were members of Hamas. All of them were honored, as fallen fighters, on Hamas websites. In addition to them, according to IDF investigations, about 100 Islamic Jihad members were killed. Assuming that other terrorists were killed, for example those belonging to Fatah, then most of the dead were not innocent civilians. And that's just the beginning.

The bombing of the Hamas Police Academy earned wall-to-wall condemnation because, according to international law, police are considered civilians. Here we will go into the results of the research conducted by Dahoah-Halevy. According to a name-based investigation of each of the "policemen", it turns out that 88.4% of them belong to the security - i.e., terrorism - mechanisms of Hamas. One of them, Muhammad el-Dasuqi, a member of the Resistance Committee, is suspected of being one of the perpetrators of the terrorist attack on the American convoy in 2003.

One of the most prominent events in the Gaza operation was the bombing of the UN school in the Jabalya refugee camp on January 6. All the media around the world publicized horrific pictures of "over 41 killed in the Al Fakhura school." The condemnation was worldwide, from the UN Secretary General, through the President of the United States, to the Prime Minister of Great Britain.

Many long weeks passed before it was shown to be a libel. First, the three artillery shells did not hit the school at all. Second, Hamas people were firing from the area and the IDF aimed its fire at them. Third, the number of killed was far smaller than originally reported. Most of the media and human rights organizations that publicized the original news did not bother to publicize the information that was disclosed. Those who are infatuated with libel are not prepared to be confused by the facts.

There were still many killed who are not identified as fighters. That is also worth investigating. If the IDF strike lacked discernment, the demographic breakdown of the casualties (erroneously called "uninvolved civilians") should have been identical to the demographic breakdown of the general population. However, a different picture emerges. A quarter of the population are adolescent girls. Actually, 8% of those killed were adolescent girls. A quarter of the population are adult women. Only 14% of those killed were women. The higher percentage of male casualties – much higher than their proportion of the population – proves that among them were a higher percentage of men involved in the fighting. In other words, the percentage of civilian casualties was dramatically smaller than the claims made against Israel. According to a more in-depth investigation by a team of researchers from the Interdisciplinary Center, between 900 and 1,070 of the casualties (63% - 75%) were killed because they were involved. If we add to that the fact that Hamas used civilians as human shields, or adolescent boys who were forced to participate in the fighting, the percentage of the casualties who were involved in the fighting only increases.

It is interesting to note the behavior of the armies of western countries when they had to conduct a similar war. Let's assume that there is no comparison with the World War II Allied bombing of Tokyo and Dresden. We'll deal with something more similar and closer in time. In 1999, NATO forces conducted a similar war, mainly by aerial bombing, against Yugoslavia (Operation Allied Force). 462 soldiers, 114 policemen and 489-512 civilians were killed.

Because there, the policemen were actually policemen, and in Gaza they are terrorists, the general balance shows that Israel hurt far fewer civilians than NATO did. And with regard to the demographic breakdown and the forced use of adolescent boys and civilians, the number of innocent casualties is apparently far lower.

The Israeli media, which publicized the stories of soldiers from the pre-military preparatory course - which turned out to be rumors and outright fabrications - did not publish the results of the serious investigations below. On the contrary. An editorial by Ha'aretz stated that it involved the "criminal killing of dozens of policemen…knowing that these policemen were nothing but enforcers of civilian order." Hamas is snickering. They publicize pictures of the "policemen" armed with Qassams, and Ha'aretz calls them "enforcers of civil order." The West reads Ha'aretz in English, not Hamas in Arabic. So sometimes, when Ha'aretz is around, Hamas does not need a propaganda department.

Even when this research was available, no one bothered to make corrections. On the contrary. The hara-kiri continues. The media, in Israel and around the world, are tainted with a peculiar selectivity. Any serious research that proves that there were no war crimes is rejected. Any fabrication that doesn't have a shred of basis in fact rates enormous headlines. That is what happened with the bombing of the Al Fakhura school in Jabalya, and in other cases as well.

Prof. Arnold Toynbee, who was no friend of Israel, wrote in one of his books, "In the history of man's endeavors to develop culture, there has never been a society whose progress and cultural level were so advanced that in time of revolution or war, its members could be depended upon not to commit evil acts." That is true of Israel and it is true of every country that finds itself in a state of war. So I will reiterate that every deviation should be investigated. But by the same token, there is no need to hide the true picture: with regard to the fact that Gaza is controlled by an entity whose way is terrorism, whose platform is anti-Semitic, and whose official objective is the destruction of the State of Israel, the number of innocent casualties in the course of the operation was far smaller than the stories fabricated by Palestinian organizations, human rights organizations and newspapers in Israel and around the world, such as Ha'aretz, which feeds many news agencies worldwide. We can, and should, publicize serious claims of deviations. But we also can, and should, at least to the same extent, present the serious research.

Ben-Dror Yemini is a researcher and a columnist in Maariv, daily newspaper


dinsdag 21 juli 2009

Breaking the Silence of Breaking the rules?

Tegenover de anonieme getuigenissen van soldaten over gepleegde oorlogsmisdaden tijdens de Gaza Oorlog die Breaking the Silence verzamelde, staan ook vele getuigenissen van soldaten die tot het uiterste gingen om burgerdoden te voorkomen. Deze getuigenissen verschijnen (uiteraard) niet in onze kranten en niet op het NOS journaal.

Breaking the rules
Jul. 19, 2009

It is clear from its latest report that the goal of Breaking the Silence is not to bring offending soldiers to justice or even to encourage reforms in IDF policy. If these were its goals, it would include names, ranks, facts, place names and dates; it would have released a detailed report to the authorities to encourage an investigation. Without this information, it is impossible to probe the veracity of the claims.

The organization's efforts to defame Israel in the international arena are successful. Despite the precedent of previous claims made against the IDF being disproved, and without waiting for an investigation into the allegations, supposedly reputable media organizations such as the BBC choose to report them as fact. Defamation of Israel is the order of the day.

Breaking the Silence is misleading in its name and its aim. There is no silence to break. Israel is an open and democratic society that regularly criticizes its own actions, but this one-sided and shoddy report fails to stress the context of the war - a battle against Hamas terrorists hiding behind civilians and it omits names, ranks and facts about soldiers and their stories.

THE REPORT writers are keen to thank their funders, which shamefully include the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the British Embassy in Tel Aviv, Christian Aid and OXFAM, two charities which have in the past launched vitriolic anti-Israel campaigns, as well as the European Union which gave them $75,000 to "contribute to an atmosphere of human rights respect and values" and "to promote prospects for peace talks and initiatives." The EU is deceiving taxpayers if it is telling them that their money paying for this shoddy report is helping to promote peace.

If members of Breaking the Silence were sincere, they would be presenting accurate facts about terrorism, the goals expressed in the charter of Hamas, the deadly rocket fire coming from Gaza, the anti-Israel incitement and the ways the Palestinians have contributed to perpetuating the conflict and to harming the lives of ordinary Palestinian civilians. If they were sincere, they would be raising awareness about the moral dilemmas the IDF faces. But this vital context is missing from their account.

In response to this report, our organization set about filming testimonials and uploading them to a Web site called Soldiers Speak Out - a platform for Israeli soldiers to share their personal combat experiences with the world. The site, created by soldiers to share their personal experiences of serving in the IDF, contains testimonials from soldiers which contrast sharply with the reports of alleged IDF misconduct made by Breaking the Silence.

Breaking the Silence is breaking the rules for any kind of serious reporting. Its report is compiled from anonymous "testimony" from up to 30 people. In contrast, the soldiers who feature on our Web site give testimony on camera without their face blurred out and speak from their own personal experience.
The IDF has more than 700,000 citizen soldiers and reservists - thousands of whom served in Gaza in the campaign against Hamas - who try to live up to its high ethical standards. Attempting to slander an IDF campaign on the basis of the anonymous reports is ridiculous.

It is unlikely that the international media will give the Soldiers Speak Out site the kind of publicity they are currently lavishing upon Breaking the Silence. When it comes to Israel, good news is no news, but, as in previous occasions and despite those who exist to defame the IDF, the truth will out.

The writer is Israel director of StandWithUs which educates about Israel through student fellowships, speaker programs, conferences, written materials and Internet resources. Soldiers testimony can be viewed at www.soldiersspeakout.com .

This article can also be read at http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1246443851732&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull

Hamas krijgt geld van Arabische sjeik om grond te kopen in Jeruzalem

Interessante vragen...
Hamas krijgt geld van Arabische sjeik om grond te kopen in Jeruzalem

Hamas zou geld van een Arabische sjeik hebben gekregen om grond in Oost-Jeruzalem te kopen. Tegelijkertijd zijn de Amerikanen boos op Israel vanwege een goedgekeurd bouwproject in Oost-Jeruzalem. Die grond werd in 1985 gekocht door een Amerikaanse (!) miljonair, die het oude hotel dat daar stond verhuurde aan de Israelische grenspolitie en daar nu zo'n 20 woningen wil bouwen. Strikvraag: als het een Arabische miljonair was, zou de bouw dan wel mogen??
Open vragen: wie mogen die woningen straks kopen of huren? Sommige Israelische bouwprojecten in Oost-Jeruzalem worden steeds meer overgenomen door Arabische huurders terwijl Joden daar wegtrekken. Wellicht bouwt de Amerikaanse miljonair mee aan de toekomstige Palestijnse staat? En als Hamas gaat bouwen in Oost-Jeruzalem, mogen Joden die woningen dan ook huren? Of alleen antizionistische Joden?
In de PA staat intussen formeel de doodstraf op het verkopen van land aan Joden; laten we voor Hamas hopen dat Israel niet een vergelijkbare wet invoert. Die vormt immers ook een democratisch gekozen regering.
Sommige berichten roepen meer vragen op dan ze beantwoorden in de complexe situatie van het Midden-Oosten.

Last update - 15:30 19/07/2009       
Shin Bet: Qatar sheikh funding Hamas activities in Jerusalem
By Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent, Haaretz Service, and The Associated Press
Qatar-based Sheikh Yousuf Qaradawi has allocated $21 million to a charity funded by Hamas to allow the Palestinian group to buy land and set up infrastructure in Jerusalem, Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin said on Sunday.
Qaradawi, an 82-year-old Egyptian-born Muslim scholar with strong links to the Muslim Brotherhood, is a keen supporter of suicide bombings in Israel, which he describes as "martyrdom operations".
Abbas aide Rafiq Husseini dismissed the report. "We wish there was Arab money to buy threatened houses," he told The Associated Press, "but that's not the case." Qaradawi could not be reached for comment.

Diskin made the comments during the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. He also told the ministers that the Palestinian Authority and its security forces have been working actively to thwart the sale of Palestinian land to Jews, particularly in East Jerusalem.

He added that Hamas was placing political and diplomatic moves higher on its agenda. Diskin said public statements by senior Hamas officials show the militant group's efforts to portray itself as interested in an end to the conflict with Israel.
The officials say they seek a Palestinian state along the pre-1967 borders in exchange for a long-term hudna, or ceasefire, Diskin said.
"This is not because of an abandonment of fundamental ideological values," he noted. "Hamas' move toward to the political theater is designed to challenge the sole leadership of Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas]."
The security service chief also told ministers that there had been a steady trickle into Gaza of foreigners linked to global jihad.
Diskin did not elaborate or cite evidence.
Gaza's Hamas interior minister Fathi Hamad dismissed Diskin's charge as baseless propaganda. The militant group Hamas controls the Gaza Strip.
He added that there is no Al-Qaida or any other organization in Gaza.
The Shin Bet chief's briefing came after it emerged that the United States has demanded Israel halt a construction project in East Jerusalem, which would see a hotel converted into housing units.
The Jerusalem municipality said it signed a deal for the project under completely legal terms, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated Sunday that Jerusalem would not be included in any discussion on settlement construction.
But the PA responded harshly to Netanyahu's declaration, saying peace was impossible without Jerusalem as a Palestinian capital.

woensdag 15 juli 2009

PEACE moet misleidende uitspraken over Israël intrekken

"PEACE", een pseudoniem voor een radikaal antizionistische organisatie, beweerde ten onrechte dat Israel op grote schaal knoeit met de labels op producten om zo te verhullen dat ze uit de nederzettingen komen. Daarom moeten consumenten alle producten uit Israel boycotten, aldus de organisatie in een oproep die zij huis aan huis heeft verspreid. In werkelijkheid geeft Israel wel degelijk aan waar producten vandaan komen, en staat bij producten uit de Westoever de plaats van herkomst vermeld. Als er 'made in Israel' op staat zonder concrete plaatsaanduiding, komt het gewoon uit Israel zelf, en niet van een nederzetting.
Het is natuurlijk te gek voor woorden dat een organisatie op zo'n grote schaal ongestoord leugens kan verspreiden, en de uitspraak van de Reclame Code Commissie is dan ook niet meer dan logisch. Helaas heeft deze alleen een adviserend karakter en kan anti-PEACE deze dus naast zich neer leggen. Opvallend is hoe weinig aandacht deze uitspraak, die natuurlijk wel een belangijke morele waarde heeft, heeft gekregen. Onder het artikeltje van het RD staat een uitvoeriger persbericht van het Israel Producten Centrum.
„Peace moet uitspraken over Israël intrekken"
14-07-2009 11:42 | Binnenlandredactie
NIJKERK – De consumenten­vereniging Peace is in een voorlopige uitspraak op de vingers getikt door de Reclame Code Commissie (RCC) over haar uitlatingen over producten uit Israël.

Dat meldde Pieter van Oordt van het Israel Producten Centrum in Nijkerk maandag. Het centrum daagde Peace voor de commissie „omdat zij grove leugens over Israel schreef", aldus Van Oordt.

In de voorlopige uitspraak zegt de RCC volgens Van Oordt dat Peace „niet meer mag schrijven dat het verboden is producten van de Westbank te importeren of te verkopen; dat Israël documenten vervalst om uit de West-Bank en de Golan te exporteren.

Peace gaat tegen de uitspraak in beroep. Daarom wilde de RCC de uitspraak in de zaak dinsdagmorgen niet vrijgeven. De zaak komt in september opnieuw voor.

Reclame code commissie: Beweringen van Peace in boycotcampagne "in strijd met de waarheid"
Consumentenvereniging Peace misleidt de consument met onwaarheden
donderdag 25 juni 2009
De 'consumentenorganisatie' Peace doet in haar campagne voor het boycotten van producten uit de Israelische nederzettingen beweringen die "in strijd zijn met de waarheid". Dit besliste de Reclame Code Commissie op 23 juni na een klacht die op 10 februari werd ingediend door het Israel Producten Centrum (IPC). Het Israel Producten Centrum importeert en verkoopt producten uit Israel. Het voelt zich door de onware beweringen van Peace aangetast in zijn goede naam en bovendien zakelijk benadeeld.
De klacht betrof een folder met antwoordkaart, die begin dit jaar is meegezonden met de Volkskrant en met de omroepgids van de VPRO. De folder staat ook op de website van Peace, en is bovendien huis aan huis verspreid.
Peace roept daarin op tot een boycot van producten uit de Joodse nederzettingen. Omdat Peace bovendien beweert dat er "massaal wordt gefraudeerd met valse papieren van herkomst" en dat de consument "systematisch wordt misleid met vervalste etiketten", geldt die oproep in feite alle producten uit heel Israel, ook alle producten van het Israel Producten Centrum.
Bovendien wekt Peace de indruk dat het IPC zich bezighoudt met illegale activiteiten, door te suggereren dat de verkoop van producten uit de nederzettingen in strijd zou zijn met de wet.
Die beweringen van Peace zijn echter in strijd met de Reclame Code, besliste de Commissie, omdat zij eenvoudig niet waar zijn:
De Commissie, schrijft zij, "acht de uiting in strijd met de waarheid en derhalve met artikel 2 NRC" voor wat betreft de mededelingen:
- "Om de nederzettingenproducten toch te kunnen verkopen, wordt door Israel bij de invoer in Europa al jarenlang massaal gefraudeerd met valse papieren van herkomst"
- "Ook worden de Europese consumenten door vervalste etiketten systematisch misleid"
- "Verkoop van deze producten is in strijd met (…) het beleid van de Nederlandse regering en met dat van de Europese Commissie".
Zij adviseert Peace om niet meer op een dergelijke wijze reclame te maken.
Uitspraken van de Reclame Code Commissie hebben, anders dan bijvoorbeeld gerechtelijke uitspraken, slechts een adviserend karakter.
Peace had betoogd dat de Reclame Code Commissie niet bevoegd zou zijn de klacht te behandelen, omdat zij als consumentenvereniging een politieke campagne voerde en slechts de rechter zou mogen beoordelen of ze daarmee binnen de in de wet verankerde grenzen van vrijheid van meningsuiting begaf. De Commissie stelt echter, dat Peace denkbeelden propageert en dat dit een reclame-uiting is. Denkbeelden vallen onder de vrijheid van meningsuiting, maar als iemand zich op feiten beroept moeten die feiten "controleerbaar en in overeenstemming met de waarheid"zijn.
Dat is hier dus niet het geval. Andere punten, die naar de mening van de Commissie geen feiten maar meningen zijn, verklaarde de Commissie daarom niet ontvankelijk.
Het IPC is blij met de uitspraak, maar voelt zich nog steeds in zijn goede naam aangetast.

Human Rights Watch vraagt geld in Saoedi-Arabië voor anti-Israel campagnes

Het is te gek voor woorden, en leest bijna als een satire. Human Rights Watch dat geldt inzamelt onder rijke oliesjeiks in Saoedi-Arabië om actie te voeren tegen Israel. Ik dacht dat HRW voor mensenrechten strijdt, altijd en overal? In de woorden van David Bernstein:
Finally, some would defend HRW by pointing it that it has criticized Saudi Arabia's human rights record rather severely in the past. The point of my post, though, is not that HRW is pro-Saudi, but that it is maniacally anti-Israel. The most recent manifestation is that its officers see nothing unseemly about raising funds among the elite of one of the most totalitarian nations on earth, with a pitch about how the money is needed to fight "pro-Israel forces," without the felt need to discuss any of the Saudis' manifold human rights violations, and without apparent concern that becoming dependent on funds emanating from a brutal dictatorship leaves you vulnerable to that brutal dictatorship later cutting off the flow of funds, if you don't "behave."
Ikzelf ben geen fan van Eurabia-achtige theorieën of om organisaties die zich wel erg focussen op (vermeend) Israelisch onrecht, meteen te beschuldigen van banden met de Arabische wereld, maar dergelijke zaken nodigen daar wel toe uit.

Human Rights Watch Goes to Saudi Arabia
Seeking Saudi Money to Counterbalance "Pro-Israel Pressure Groups"
The Wall Steet Journal - JULY 13, 2009, 10:19 P.M. ET

A delegation from Human Rights Watch was recently in Saudi Arabia. To investigate the mistreatment of women under Saudi Law? To campaign for the rights of homosexuals, subject to the death penalty in Saudi Arabia? To protest the lack of religious freedom in the Saudi Kingdom? To issue a report on Saudi political prisoners?

No, no, no, and no. The delegation arrived to raise money from wealthy Saudis by highlighting HRW's demonization of Israel. An HRW spokesperson, Sarah Leah Whitson, highlighted HRW's battles with "pro-Israel pressure groups in the US, the European Union and the United Nations." (Was Ms. Whitson required to wear a burkha, or are exceptions made for visiting anti-Israel "human rights" activists"? Driving a car, no doubt, was out of the question.)

Apparently, Ms. Whitson found no time to criticize Saudi Arabia's abysmal human rights record. But never fear, HRW "recently called on the Kingdom to do more to protect the human rights of domestic workers.

There is nothing wrong with a human rights organization worrying about maltreatment of domestic workers. But there is something wrong when a human rights organization goes to one of the worst countries in the world for human rights to raise money to wage lawfare against Israel, and says not a word during the trip about the status of human rights in that country. In fact, it's a virtual certainty that everyone in Whitson's audience employs domestic servants, giving her a perfect, untaken opportunity to boast about HRW's work in improving the servants' status. But Whitson wasn't raising money for human rights, she was raising money for HRW's propaganda campaign against Israel.

Someone who claims to have worked for HRW wrote to me, "I can tell you that the people on the research and policy side of the organization have little, if any, contacts with people on the donor side." If that's true, apparently this is yet another exception HRW makes for Israel: Ms. Whitson, who gave the presentation to potential Saudi donors, is director of HRW's Middle East and North Africa Division.

Also, as a Nathan Wagner comments at OpinionJuris: "Surely there is a moral difference between raising funds in free nations through appeals to ideals of universal human rights and raising money in repressive nations through appeals highlighting pressure brought against their enemies. [Moreover], the former type of fundraising does not imperil the organization's mission, but fundraising Bernstein highlights does, since any significant reliance on such funds will necessarily mute criticism of the repressive government."

Finally, some would defend HRW by pointing it that it has criticized Saudi Arabia's human rights record rather severely in the past. The point of my post, though, is not that HRW is pro-Saudi, but that it is maniacally anti-Israel. The most recent manifestation is that its officers see nothing unseemly about raising funds among the elite of one of the most totalitarian nations on earth, with a pitch about how the money is needed to fight "pro-Israel forces," without the felt need to discuss any of the Saudis' manifold human rights violations, and without apparent concern that becoming dependent on funds emanating from a brutal dictatorship leaves you vulnerable to that brutal dictatorship later cutting off the flow of funds, if you don't "behave."

Brits wapenembargo voor onderdelen Israelische marine

Het is een vreemde constructie en niet erg werkbaar, dat aan het gebruik van de wapens die Israel importeert allerlei voorwaarden zijn verbonden, en men die alleen mag gebruiken wanneer het land waarvan men ze kocht meent dat daar voldoende aanleiding toe is. Israel kan moeilijk voor een aanval eerst met allerlei landen gaan overleggen en onderhandelen over welke wapens voor welke operaties precies gebruikt mogen worden. De oplossing lijkt dan ook dat Israel minder afhankelijk wordt van andere landen, en haar eigen defensie industrie verder ontwikkelt.
The British embargo is not expected to have any impact on the navy's operational capability. However, it has great political significance, and could encourage other countries to halt defense exports to Israel. The country considered most likely to be next is Belgium, which sells Israel equipment used to disperse demonstrations.
Het is natuurlijk vooral van belang dat Israel haar eigen positie goed en overtuigend verdedigt en (vermeende) misstanden en fouten van het leger ook grondig onderzoekt en hiervoor verantwoording aflegt. Het was bijvoorbeeld bepaald onhandig dat Israel niet reageerde op de vele concrete voorvallen die Amnesty in haar rapport over oorlogsmisdaden in Gaza beschreef, en slechts met een algemene en nogal obligaat aandoende verklaring kwam. Het is waar dat Amnesty bevooroordeeld is, maar je komt er niet mee weg door dat slechts te stellen. Er is nou eenmaal continu een vergootglas gericht op wat Israel doet, en steeds meer mensen zien Israel als de grote agressor die een weerloze bevolking onderdrukt.

U.K. hits Israel with partial arms embargo over Gaza war
By Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent
Last update - 07:43 13/07/2009

Britain has slapped a partial arms embargo on Israel, refusing to supply replacement parts and other equipment for Sa'ar 4.5 gunships because they participated in Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip earlier this year.

Britain's Foreign Office informed Israel's embassy in London of the sanctions a few days ago. The embassy, in a classified telegram to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, said the decision stemmed from heavy pressure by both members of Parliament and human rights organizations.

The embargo followed a government review of all British defense exports to Israel, which was announced three months ago. In total, the telegram said, Britain reviewed 182 licenses for arms exports to Israel, including 35 for exports to the Israel Navy. But it ultimately decided to cancel only five licenses, all relating to the Sa'ar 4.5 ships. The licenses in question apparently cover spare parts for the ship's guns.

The British said the embargo was imposed because these ships participated in Operation Cast Lead. In so doing, the British claimed, they violated the security agreements between Britain and Israel, which specify what uses may be made of British equipment.

Last week, Britain's foreign and defense ministries informed the relevant companies that they would have to cease their planned arms deals with Israel's navy.

Ever since the Gaza operation, British MPs and nongovernmental organizations have been trying to persuade London to impose a complete arms embargo on Israel. However, the British government has rejected this demand.

In February, Amnesty International published a report on arms sales to Israel in which it highlighted Britain's role in supplying engines for Hermes 450 drones. According to Amnesty, Israel uses these drones to conduct assassinations in Gaza. The report prompted the Palestinian organization Al-Haq to file a suit against the British government, arguing that British arms sales facilitate Israeli operations in Gaza.

In April, Foreign Secretary David Miliband informed Parliament that Britain would reexamine all its defense exports to Israel in light of Operation Cast Lead. An Israeli Foreign Ministry official said that since then, Britain's military attache in Israel has requested information on the uses Israel made of various types of British-supplied equipment during Cast Lead.

Foreign Ministry officials said that only a small percentage of Israel's defense-related imports come from Britain. According to data suppled by Britain's department of trade, these sales total some 20 million pounds - about NIS 130 million.

The British embargo is not expected to have any impact on the navy's operational capability. However, it has great political significance, and could encourage other countries to halt defense exports to Israel. The country considered most likely to be next is Belgium, which sells Israel equipment used to disperse demonstrations.

In response the British Embassy in Tel Aviv issued a statement saying, "On 21 April 2009 the Foreign Secretary issued a Written Ministerial Statement about U.K. exports to Israel which may have been used by the Israel Defense Forces during the conflict in Gaza. This statement makes clear that all exports are subject to stringent controls.

"The statement sets out clearly the detail of U.K. components in equipment that may have been used in Operation Cast Lead. U.K. equipment was not exported for specific use in Operation Cast Lead and export licenses were issued based on all the evidence available at the time they were granted.

"Future decisions will take into account what has happened in the recent conflict. We do not grant export licenses where there is a clear risk that arms will be used for external aggression or internal repression.

"We do not believe that the current situation in the Middle East would be improved by imposing an arms embargo on Israel. Israel has the right to defend itself and faces real security threats.

"This said, we consistently urge Israel to act with restraint and supported the EU Presidency statement that called the Israeli actions during operation Cast Lead 'disproportionate.'"

dinsdag 14 juli 2009

Een land zonder volk voor een volk zonder land

Zeer vermoeiend is het hoe de Meulenbelts en Van Agts van deze wereld steeds weer met frasen komen aanzetten als dat de Zionisten dachten dat Palestina onbewoond was. "Een land zonder volk voor een volk zonder land" hoor je dan ook hoogst zelden in Zionistische kring maar des te vaker als sarcastische kritiek uit antizionistische hoek. Voor zover er zionisten waren die echt dachten dat het toenmalige Palestina onbewoond was, kwamen die er natuurlijk snel genoeg achter dat dat niet het geval was.
Dat neemt niet weg dat:
a) de toenmalige landstreek Palestina met pakweg een half miljoen inwoners relatief dun bevolkt was.
b) evenals de beruchte uitspraak van Golda Meir "Er zijn geen Palestijnen", waarschijnlijk niet bedoeld werd dat er geen mensen woonden, maar dat die mensen geen eigen natie vormden met de ambitie om in Palestina een eigen staat te stichten. De Arabische Palestijnen als volk hebben zich dan ook pas in de loop van de 20ste eeuw ontwikkeld, ironisch genoeg vooral als reactie - deels zelfs bewust - op de Zionistische immigratie en de oprichting van Israel.

Where did this phrase come from?