• All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out.

  • I.F. Stone

zaterdag 1 december 2007

Ronald Plasterk


Hoe vindt u deze uitspraak? Toegegeven, hij is van een politicus, maar toch, hij blijft geestig. Vandaag staat in de Volkskrant onder de kop Plasterk overweegt verhoging collegegeld masterstudie: 'Plasterk wil dat studenten beter nadenken of ze wel een master willen beginnen. "De hoogte van het collegeld kan helpen bij zo'n beslissing."' Het staat er echt. En de journalist heeft het ook zo gedachteloos opgeschreven. Ik, als grote mensenvriend, zou zelfs zover willen gaan in het helpen bij de beslissing om niet te gaan studeren dat ik de studie zo duur zou maken dat alleen de allerrijksten nog kunnen studeren.
Wat sociaal democraten toch allemaal willen doen om de gewone mens te helpen. Ontroerend. En deze sociaal democraat van het zuiverste water wordt door de parlementaire pers echt gezien als de knapste minister die we in jaren hebben gehad. Serieus waar. Kunt u nagaan hoe stupide die anderen wel niet moeten zijn. Want eerlijk is eerlijk, Plasterk is zo onnozel te denken ongemerkt een bezuiniging te kunnen presenteren als hulpverlening. Zo deden handige marktkooplui het vroeger. Ze deden het voorkomen alsof ze je hielpen terwijl je werd geflest. Die lach deugt ook niet. Die is teveel van kijk mij nou eens even leuk zijn. We gaan nog veel met deze flessentrekker beleven. Mark my words!
Dames en heren, jongens en meisjes, het is extra oppassen geblazen zodra journalisten die de macht dienen te controleren niet doorhebben dat dit een truuk is, pure nonsense.

Sander van Hoorn 4




Gisteren ontving ik deze email van NOS-Journaal correspondent Sander van Hoorn die ik in dit bericht had bekritiseerd: Zie: http://stanvanhoucke.blogspot.com/2007/11/sander-van-hoorn-2.html En:

'Beste Stan

Ik begrijp niet helemaal wat je van me verwacht.

Op internet schrijf je een vurig verhaal over wat ik vertel in 1 minuut 33. Op basis daarvan beschuldig je het NOS journaal van een travestie van echte journalistiek. Je schuift mij een genetisch defect in de schoenen (journalistiek conformisme) en als kers op de taart beweer je dat ik dat doe om mijn baan te behouden en mijn carrière veilig te stellen.

Ik snap best dat columnisten niet om weerwoord hoeven te vragen, maar als ik dat lees voel ik me ontzettend genaaid. Vervolgens krijg ik een persoonlijke mail waarin je een interview met Jonathan Cook aanbeveelt. De toon van die mail nodigt in elk geval uit tot het beluisteren van dat gesprek. Dat heb ik dus ook net gedaan.

Dus: wat wil je?

Wil je me opvoeden? Dan werkt zo’n link naar je interview veel beter.
Wil je oprecht weten waarom ik doe wat ik doe? Mail me dan. Op de website van de NOS staat een mailadres voor reacties en zelfs wildvreemden weten dat te vinden.
Wil je me aan de schandpaal nagelen? Dan schrijf je inderdaad dit soort weblogs.

Want weet je wat de grap is? Veel van de thema’s die Jonathan aansnijdt, heb ik behandeld. Veel was ‘slechts’ voor de radio (waar de drempel zoals je weet een stuk lager ligt). En de thema’s behandelde ik noodzakelijkerwijs gescheiden omdat ik niet de luxe heb om 71 minuten uit te zenden. Ik herinner me een verhaal over de sloop van een huis in Oost-Jeruzalem waarbij ik uitlegde hoe Palestijnen de boete maar betalen in de hoop dat hun huis niet gesloopt wordt. Ik herinner me een verhaal van Israëlische en Palestijnse economen die betogen dat een Palestijnse staat volgens het idee van Israël niet alleen juridisch onjuist is, maar dat dat zich ook tegen Israël zal keren omdat dat alleen maar zal leiden tot blijvende onvrede en dus verzet. Ik herinner me het verhaal over de manier waarop nederzettingen uitbreiden, ‘institutionaliseren’ en zo sluipend het leven van Palestijnse olijfboeren onmogelijk maken. En er zal vast meer zijn. En als (volgens mij) enige verslaggever van die commerciële massamedia kom ik ook nog wel eens in Bela’in.

Voor televisie herinner ik me in elk geval (naar aanleiding van je interview met Cook) een verhaal waarin ik de komst van Franse (!!!) joden naar Israël aangreep om te vertellen over het beleid om Israël Joods te houden.

En natuurlijk heb je ook mijn televisie- en radiobijdrage gezien met Saeb Erekat aan de vooravond van Annapolis en is het je natuurlijk opgevallen dat op de dag ná Annapolis iemand bij het meest beruchte checkpoint op de Westelijke Jordaanoever vertelt wat de aanwezigheid van dat ding betekent. Zag je de NOS-plopkap onder haar mond? Waarom denk je dat ik daar naartoe ben gereden?

Maar goed. Je privé mail zegt me dat je het beste met me voor hebt, je bijdrage op je weblog suggereert dat je me afrekent op die ene 1’33” in het journaal.
Weet je dat ik er zelfs nog over heb nagedacht, over die voorbeelden van het leed aan beide kanten? En is het je opgevallen dat ik om die reden twee Palestijnse voorbeelden gaf en één Israëlisch? Kennelijk niet, want je citeert op je weblog alleen het Israëlische voorbeeld.

Als je me afrekent op mijn berichtgeving, dan wil ik graag dat je het op mijn totale berichtgeving doet. Het zal namelijk altijd mogelijk zijn om er een ding uit te halen waar ik, als dat het enige is wat je ziet of hoort, de mist in ga. Dat geldt trouwens, als je de mail leest die ik hieronder mee stuur, beide kanten op.

Weet je bijvoorbeeld dat ik (het is onmogelijk om alle radionieuwsberichten te controleren) binnen de NOS een strijd voer om bij ‘Hamas” dat hardnekkige voorvoegsel ‘militante’, ‘terroristische’ of ‘moslimfundamentalistische’ er af te krijgen. Ja, dat weet je waarschijnlijk, want je hebt ongetwijfeld mijn item op radio gehoord of op TV gezien waarin ik betoog dat Hamas op een schaal van grijstinten zeker niet louter zwart is.

Nog iets anders over die 1’33”. Voor TV is dat lang, dat weet je. In het radio 1 journaal tel ik mijn zegeningen als ik 4’30” uitgezonden krijg. Verder vallen er in Irak tegenwoordig op elke willekeurige dag meer doden dan hier en zitten ‘onze jongens’ in Uruzgan. Het speelt allemaal mee bij de vraag wat ik hier vandaan kan vertellen. Cynisch maar waar. Ik zou graag een keer een (bijna) monoloog van 71’33” van iemand uitzenden maar dat kan niet en dat weet je.

En dan kom je dus terecht op de vraag wat je vertelt in die 1’33” in het journaal en die 4’00 op de radio. Natuurlijk heb je gehoord dat ik op de radio live, tijdens de speech van Bush, het voorbehoud maakte dat die vrede er niet in 2008 moet komen maar dat er in de verklaring staat dat dat het streven is. Een belangrijke en veelzeggende formulering die ik gelukkig niet miste.

En volgens mij zit daar het enige echte verschil tussen ons. Jij zou in die 1’33” gekozen hebben voor een aanklacht tegen de apartheidpolitiek van Israël. Ik kies ervoor om te proberen uit te leggen wat beide kanten vinden en denken. In de hoop dat een kijker of luisteraar daar zijn of haar eigen conclusies uit trekt.

En in het geval van die ene 1’33” waar je over schrijft: de vraag was niet hoe legitiem de onderhandelingen zijn, hoe reëel of rechtvaardig het is dat de ene of de andere kant water bij de wijn doet. Na die bijeenkomst in Annapolis was de vraag hoe de beide ‘leiders’ ermee thuis konden komen. En daar gaf ik volgens mij antwoord op.

Als je Israël volgt noem je een Palestijn die een steen gooit naar een joodse kolonist een terrorist (heb je het radio-item gehoord waarin ik de Palestijn liet horen die dat aan kaak stelde??). Als je de Islamitische Jihad volgt, noem je iedereen die niet vecht voor de terugkeer naar het oorspronkelijke ‘Palestina’ en verrader. Ik probeer met beide kanten niet mee te gaan. Niet omdat ik geloof dat waar twee vechten, twee schuld hebben maar omdat ik geloof dat ik bericht voor de grote groep van kijkers en luisteraars die zijn mening nog niet klaar heeft.

Het is een dagelijks gevecht. Een gevecht met Hilversum om onderwerpen erdoor te krijgen. En een gevecht met mezelf om na te denken over de woorden die ik gebruik en de toon van mijn reportages.

Trouwens: Ik wil het bloemenproject van Nederland in Gaza volgende week aangrijpen om de vraag te stellen waarom Nederland blij is met iets wat Israël doet terwijl het dat volgens het internationale recht verplicht is om te doen. Als het me lukt om die repo te maken en uitgezonden te krijgen, meld je dat dan ook op je weblog?

En nog een trouwens: had me gebeld toen je in de regio was... hadden we een biertje kunnen drinken bij mij in Jaffa.

Als toegift stuur ik je trouwens een mail van iemand anders die reageerde op mijn berichtgeving.


groet
Sander


Geachte heer Sander van Hoorn,

In uw berichtgeving (NOS-Journaal, 11nov.) bij het graf van Arafat spreekt u over een mogelijke 'teruggave' van delen van Oost-Jeruzalem. TERUGGAVE - waar hééft u het toch over? Door deze term te gebruiken wekt u bij de luisteraars de suggestie dat Palestijnse Arabieren ooit in de 3.000 jaar oude geschiedenis van de stad soevereine heersers geweest zijn over (Oost-) Jeruzalem. Uw suggestie is echter niet gebaseerd op geschiedkundige feiten.

Wel was het oostelijk deel van Jeruzalem 19 jaar lang door Jordanië bezet en van het westelijk deel afgescheiden - de verovering door Israël in 1967 maakte daaraan een einde. In 1994 sloot Jordanië vrede met Israël en deed afstand van zijn claim op (Oost) Jeruzalem. Als Palestijnse Arabieren menen als volgende in de rij recht te hebben op dat deel van de stad is er dus sprake van een nieuwe claim. Of de Palestijnse claim überhaupt realistisch is, of haalbaar, staat niet vast. Alleen, dat het een geheel nieuwe claim is die vóór 1994 niet bestond.

Jordanië wordt bewoond door Arabieren, waarvan een groot deel Palestijnen. Maar gezien de politieke verhoudingen in de regio is het onjuist om de termen 'Arabieren' en 'Palestijnen' aan elkaar gelijk te stellen. Ik dring er bij u op aan de term 'teruggeven' alleen dan te gebruiken wanneer dat historisch verantwoord is. Aangezien de Palestijnse Arabieren buiten Israël nooit politiek onafhankelijk zijn geweest geldt die groep mensen vooralsnog als statenloze vluchtelingen, die geen enkele natuurlijke (dat is: volkenrechtelijke) claim op ook maar enig grondgebied buiten de 'groene lijn' kunnen laten gelden.

In de hoop tot een berichtgeving te hebben bijgedragen die met de historische feiten overeenkomt,
Zend ik u hartelijke groeten,'

Tot zover Sander van Hooorn.

Ik heb hem vanmiddag deze reactie gemaild:

'Beste Sander,

Gezien je volgende vraag heb ik mij niet duidelijk genoeg uitgedrukt tegenover je: ‘Ik begrijp niet helemaal wat je van me verwacht.’

Welnu, wat ik van jou als journalist verwacht is dat je bericht vanuit een context die recht doet aan de werkelijkheid. Die werkelijkheid is dat Israel in 1948 naar schatting 750.000 Palestijnen verdreven heeft en sindsdien weigert deze mensen terug te laten keren. Deze etnische zuivering is in strijd met VN-resoluties en het internationaal recht, zoals dit opnieuw in 2004 bevestigd werd in de ‘advisory opinion’ van het Internationaal Gerechtshof in Den Haag, het hoogste rechtscollege ter wereld. De werkelijkheid is ook dat in 1967 nog eens tenminste 200.000 Palestijnen werden verdreven. Al deze feiten zijn door Israelische historici als Avi Shlaim, Benny Morris en Ilan Pappe uitgebreid in boeken gedocumenteerd. Via hun archiefwerk weten we nu dat de zionisten meenden dat de verdreven Palestijnen geen probleem zouden vormen, maar dat ze op zouden gaan in de verpauperde massa’s van het Arabische achterland. Het probleem zou zichzelf als het ware door een soort Darwinistische selectie oplossen, zo was de gedachte. De werkelijkheid is ook deze: in strijd met het internationaal recht weigert Israel de joodse nederzettingen in bezet gebied te ontruimen. Sterker nog: het blijft ook nu nog steeds meer land van de Palestijnen in beslag nemen. Sinds het begin van het zogeheten Oslo ‘Vredesproces’ is het aantal kolonisten in bezet gebied verdubbeld en is de totale gestolen oppervlakte verdrievoudigd. De werkelijkheid is ook dat volgens het VN-Verdelingsplan uit 1947 Israel ongeveer 53 procent van het grondgebied van Palestina kreeg en de Palestijnen 47 procent. Na de oorlog van 1948 bleek Israel 25 procent te bezetten van het land dat aan de Palestijnen was gegeven, meer dan de helft van het toegezegde land. De overblijvende 22 procent werd in 1967 bezet. Volgens Ocha, een VN-organisatie, heeft Israel nu ook nog eens om en nabij 40 procent van de Westbank in beslag genomen. Met andere woorden: er blijft voor een mogelijk toekomstige Palestijnse staat iets meer dan 10 procent van het voormalige Palestina over, dus minder dan een kwart van het gebied dat men van de VN had gekregen. Dit zijn feiten die in Israel zelf niet ter discussie staan, maar doorgaans verzwegen worden door de westerse commerciële massamedia.

De werkelijkheid is ook deze: sinds 1988 hebben de Palestijnen via hun toenmalige leiders laten weten dat ze akkoord gaan met een eigen staat op de 22 procent die na 1948 overbleef, zijnde de hele Westbank en de Gaza Strook. De werkelijkheid is dat Israel weigert het gestolen gebied terug te geven, weigert de vluchtelingen te laten terugkeren of te compenseren voor het verlies van al hun bezit, en weigert de bezetting van de Westbank en de belegering van de Gaza Strook te stoppen. De werkelijkheid is ook deze, zoals verwoord door de Britse hoogleraar Vaughan Lowe van de Universiteit van Oxford na de “advisory opinion” van het Internationaal Gerechtshof in Den Haag (ICJ). Lowe, die als deskundige op het gebied van het internationaal recht de belangrijkste advocaat was van de Palestijnen, verklaarde dat de conclusie van het ICJ: ‘heeft bevestigd dat de rechten en plichten van Palestina en de Palestijnen bij wet zijn geregeld en niet domweg alleen maar een zaak zijn voor politieke onderhandelingen. Palestina en de Palestijnen bezitten niet slechts claims en belangen waarover ze met Israël moeten onderhandelen. Zij hebben legale rechten. Zij hoeven niet te onderhandelen over deze rechten. Ze hoeven geen concessies te doen in ruil voor de erkenning van die rechten. Zij bezitten die rechten al en zij hebben het recht op naleving van die rechten.’ Het Internationaal Gerechtshof verwierp daarmee de opvatting van Israël – gesteund door de VS en de EU – dat het vraagstuk van de Muur en de joodse nederzettingen eerder een politieke dan een legale kwestie was en daarom door onderhandelingen tussen beide partijen moest worden opgelost.

Welnu Sander, dit is de context waarbinnen het conflict zich afspeelt, een gewelddadige bezetting, diefstal van land, en een voortgaande etnische zuivering door het leven van de Palestijnen zo veel mogelijk tot een hel te maken. Deze terreur wordt begaan door het militair machtigste land in het Midden Oosten, die één van de machtigste strijdkrachten ter wereld bezit. Als onafhankelijke journalist gebruik ik hier bewust en met klem het woord terreur, zoals dit begrip als volgt wordt geformuleerd in het Amerikaanse Leger Handboek: ‘het bewust geplande gebruik van geweld of dreiging van geweld om doelen te bereiken die politiek, religieus, of ideologisch van aard zijn.’ Tegenover deze macht staan enkele licht bewapende milities van de Palestijnen die al dan niet geboycot worden door het Westen. De context is dus niet, om in jouw woorden te blijven: ‘de vraag hoe [na Annapolis] de beide “leiders” ermee thuis konden komen.’ Dat is geenszins de context en wel om de simpele reden dat Israel oppermachtig is en wordt gesteund door het Westen op diplomatiek, politiek, economisch en zelfs militair gebied, terwijl de grootste politieke partij van de Palestijnen niet eens als waarnemer was uitgenodigd en de Palestijnse president gebruikt wordt in het aloude spel van verdeel en heers. Zijn militie wordt nu door Israel en de VS bewapend en getraind voor een mogelijk toekomstige Palestijnse burgeroorlog. Bovendien laat je inderdaad weten dat de Palestijnen het slecht hebben, maar dat de Israeli's het ook niet makkelijk hebben, want 'nog dagelijks komen er raketten neer, afgeschoten vanuit de Gaza Strook. Op het moment dat dat ophoudt, ja dan heeft Olmert het natuurlijk een stuk makkelijker om de eigen oppositie de mond te snoeren en om de Israeli's te laten zien dat dit de weg vooruit is.'

'Olmert... de eigen oppositie de mond snoeren?' Sander, jij hebt het over dezelfde Olmert die in Israel alom beschouwd wordt als een havik, de man die vorig jaar verklaarde dat het zijn intentie was 'to make the Wall the new border of the State of Israel, incorporating settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and annexing Palestinian land. To accept Israel 's retention of the settlement blocs as part of a negotiated solution clearly deprives the Palestinian civilian population of the benefits of the Fourth Geneva Convention, as it would validate Israel 's violations thereof. As such any agreement recognising the settlements is in flagrant violation of Article 47'.
Dezelfde Olmert dus die door de onafhankelijke, goed geinformeerde, correspondent van de Britse kwaliteitskrant de Independent, Robert Fisk, als volgt werd beschreven: 'Next week, we are supposed to believe in peace in Annapolis, between the colourless American apparatchik and Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister who has no more interest in a Palestinian state than his predecessor Ariel Sharon.'
Dezelfde Olmert die als 'Prime Minister... said that the starting point for all negotiations with the Palestinians will be the "recognition of Israel as a state for the Jewish people, This recognition is meant to bolster Israel's position that rejects the return of Palestinian refugees to areas inside the Green Line - the border before the 1967 Six-Day War. "We won't hold negotiations on our existence as a Jewish state, this is a launching point for all negotiations," Olmert said.'
Zie voor deze informatie: http://stanvanhoucke.blogspot.com/search?q=olmert

De vraag stellen ‘hoe de beide “leiders”’ met het resultaat van Annapolis kunnen thuis komen, laat de context van het conflict volledig verdwijnen. Olmert wil helemaal niet de nederzettingen opgeven, net zo min als de oppositie dit wil, en hij wil de Palestijnse vluchtelingen niet het recht op terugkeer geven, net zomin als de oppositie dit wil. Jouw vraag is een vertekening van de werkelijkheid. De werkelijkheid van de bezetting en de etnische zuivering door Israel en een Vredesproces dat tot aan de dag van vandaag een schijnvertoning is geweest waaraan de meeste journalisten braaf meedoen, terwijl achter de Muur de terreur tegen de Palestijnse burgerbevolking ongestoord doorgaat, zoals ik in gezelschap van een een groepje Nederlandse juristen, allen deskundigen op internationaal gebied, een maand geleden weer heb kunnen constateren.

Je stelt het volgende in je email: ‘Als je Israël volgt noem je een Palestijn die een steen gooit naar een joodse kolonist een terrorist (heb je het radio-item gehoord waarin ik de Palestijn liet horen die dat aan kaak stelde??). Als je de Islamitische Jihad volgt, noem je iedereen die niet vecht voor de terugkeer naar het oorspronkelijke ‘‘Palestina’’ een verrader. Ik probeer met beide kanten niet mee te gaan. Niet omdat ik geloof dat waar twee vechten, twee schuld hebben maar omdat ik geloof dat ik bericht voor de grote groep van kijkers en luisteraars die zijn mening nog niet klaar heeft.’ Waarom staat Palestina bij jou tussen haakjes?

Hier bouw je opnieuw een tegenstelling in die een grove vertekening van de werkelijkheid bewerkstelligt. Natuurlijk is een minderjarig kind dat een steen naar een tank gooit geen terrorist. Het is geen verdienste dat je dat niet zegt. Je zou jezelf alleen maar ongeloofwaardig maken. Daar tegenover stel je de Islamitische Jihad. Maar dat is nu juist geen tegenovergestelde. In het eerste geval is er sprake van een bevriende staat die een burgerbevolking terroriseert, in het geval van de Islamitische Jihad is er sprake van een niet erkende splintergroepering die zich soms met terreur verzet tegen de dagelijkse terreur van de bezetting. Het zijn twee volstrekt verschillende grootheden. Het vergelijken van deze twee is even absurd als de vergelijking die Joris Luyendijk maakte toen hij verklaarde dat Barak en Arafat net als twee cowboys waren die een saloon binnenkwamen om een conflict uit te vechten. Een ander interessant voorbeeld is het feit dat het NOS-Journaal stelde dat een zwaar bewapende Israelische militair die door het Palestijnse verzet krijgsgevangen werd genomen, ‘gekidnapt’ was. Ook hier verdwijnt de werkelijkheid weer uit zicht, de journalistiek heeft dan de proporties uit het oog verloren.

Sander, als je maar 1 minuut en 33 seconden hebt om ‘eens door te praten’ over een langlopend conflict maak dan meteen duidelijk wat de context van dat conflict in werkelijkheid is. Doe je dat niet dan word je meegezogen in de propaganda. En propagandisten zijn er genoeg, goede journalisten helaas niet.

Je schrijft voorts dat het ‘een dagelijks gevecht is.’ Je hebt gelijk, en in de toekomst zul je er steeds harder voor moeten vechten. Ik weet dat uit eigen ervaring. Toen de VPRO hoofdredacteur Radio Arend Jan Heerma van Voss in 2004 tegen me zei dat de buitenlandprogramma’s op Radio 5 afgeschaft werden ‘omdat voor dit soort programma’s bij de VPRO geen toekomst meer is’, toen wist ik dat mijn tijd bij de publieke omroepen erop zat. Ik waardeer je voor je inzet en ook voor je betrokkenheid. Ik ken je als een serieuze journalist. Dat is ook juist de reden dat ik je eerst mijn interview met de Britse correspondent Jonathan Cook opstuurde en een dag later kritiek op je leverde in het openbaar. Ik wil je helpen met informatie, maar dat betekent niet dat ik geen kritiek zal leveren. Je geeft in het openbaar verslag, ik geef in het openbaar kritiek. Die kritiek mail ik naar de redactie van het NOS-Journaal, omdat ik weet dat de redactie bepaalt wat al dan niet wordt uitgezonden en tevens binnen welke context er moet worden bericht. Ik reken je niet af op 1 minuut en 33 seconden, ik bekritiseer jou en je redactie vanwege het feit dat jij en je redactie de ware context van het conflict in die korte tijd hebben laten verdwijnen.

Je schrijft: ‘Weet je dat ik er zelfs nog over heb nagedacht, over die voorbeelden van het leed aan beide kanten?’ Let wel, het leed aan beide kanten! Sander, als je de bezetting door de Duitsers zou hebben moeten verslaan, zou je dan ook even veel aandacht hebben besteed aan het leed van de Duitsers? Of had je de nadruk gelegd op het leed van de burgerbevolking die onder die bezetting leefde? Ik bedoel, dat de Israeli’s af en toe de gevolgen voelen van hun bezetting en hun etnische zuivering, en hun diefstal van land is een onvermijdelijke consequentie van hun eigen bezettingsterreur. Dat leed kun je toch niet op dezelfde lijn zetten als het leed van de Palestijnse burgerbevolking die al 40 jaar lang onder de terreur van een bezetting leeft? Kijk nog eens goed in Tel Aviv en Jaffa en probeer dan eens goed te kijken in Jenin en Nabloes. Je kunt de positie van joods Israeli's toch niet vergelijken met die van de Palestijnse vluchtelingen die al zestig jaar lang niet naar huis huis terugmogen? Ook niet qua leed. Zo verlies je de verhoudingen uit het oog.

Ik citeer je opnieuw: ‘Je schuift mij een genetisch defect in de schoenen ( journalistiek conformisme) en als kers op de taart beweer je dat ik dat doe om mijn baan te behouden en mijn carriere veilig te stellen.’ Journalistiek conformisme is nu juist geen genetisch defect, maar een persoonlijke keuze. Dat wil ik duidelijk maken. Die keuze maak jij ook, elke dag weer, zoals jezelf in deze zin beschrijft: ‘Weet je bijvoorbeeld dat ik… een strijd voer om bij “Hamas” dat hardnekkige voorvoegsel “militante”, “terroristische” of “moslimfundamentalistische” eraf te krijgen.’ De vraag is nu hoe lang jij akkoord zal blijven gaan met de context van die kwalificaties die tegen jouw zin in je berichtgeving omlijsten en tegelijk kleuren. En wat betreft die kers, ik schreef dit: ‘In Another Century of War? schrijft de Amerikaanse historicus Gabriel Kolko: 'In every country, only a finite range of views receive a hearing in policy-making circles, and ambitious individuals fully understand the boundaries of permissible analyses... Those who become the leaders of states are ultimately conformists on most crucial issues, and individuals who evaluate information in a rational manner - and therefore frequently criticize traditional premises are weeded out early in their careers. The socialization process in most, even all nations eliminates such people, and ambitious ones comprehend full well the analytic and political boundaries upon which their future careers depend... Political systems are not constructed to obtain and confront unpleasant facts, and they have few safeguards against irrational behavior. This myopia is increasingly dangerous.'
Dit geeft ook antwoord op een vraag die me herhaaldelijk gesteld wordt: waarom zijn journalisten van de commerciele massamedia zulke conformisten? Het is duidelijk dat alleen conformisten een kans hebben met succes een journalistieke carriere na te streven. Zo is het nu eenmaal.’
Op een bepaald moment in je loopbaan zul je ontdekken dat: 'In every country, only a finite range of views receive a hearing in policy-making circles, and ambitious individuals fully understand the boundaries of permissible analyses...’ Je zult dan de keuze moeten maken of je je wilt conformeren aan de officieel gesanctioneerde versie van de werkelijkheid of niet. In de commerciële massamedia speel je het spel mee en zal je loopbaan verzekerd zijn of je speelt het spel niet mee en zal je net als alle andere dwarsliggers ‘weeded out early in your career.’ Uit ervaring weet ik dat er uiteindelijk geen tussenweg is.

Wil ik je opvoeden? In zekere zin wel, dat wil zeggen: ik praat terug. Jij hebt de macht van de microfoon en de camera, ik heb de macht om via mijn weblog terug te praten. Ik kan je publiekelijk ter verantwoording roepen. Dat wordt veel te weinig gedaan in Nederland. De commerciële massamedia zijn een ongecontroleerde macht geworden. Gewone kijkers, lezers en luisteraars zouden journalisten en hun opdrachtgevers vaker ter verantwoording moeten roepen. De massamedia bepalen namelijk wat waar is en wat niet, wie belangrijk is en wie niet, wat bericht moet worden en wat niet. Zij scheppen het bewustzijnskader van honderden miljoenen mensen. Het meeste wat de kijker, lezer, luisteraar weet, weet hij niet via eigen ervaring, maar van horen zeggen. En als wat gezegd wordt een leugen is, die onweersproken blijft, denkt de kijker, lezer, luisteraar dat hij geïnformeerd is zonder dat hij dat is. En dat is levensgevaarlijk in en voor een parlementaire democratie.

Wil ik je aan de schandpaal nagelen? Als het zou helpen, zou ik dat zeker doen. Maar ik vrees dat het niet helpt, dus het antwoord is nee. Ik confronteer je alleen met de wijze waarop je werkt.

Is dit een column? Geenszins! Het is mijn manier om verslag te leggen. Wat wil ik nu? Dat je bericht geeft vanuit een context die de werkelijkheid geen geweld aandoet.

En wat betreft die chaotische reactie van een van jouw kijkers: daar kan ook ik niets mee. Het is nu eenmaal zo dat sommige mensen het onrecht niet kunnen zien. Dat is een stoornis die jij en ik niet kunnen verhelpen. Helaas, voor al die mensen overal ter wereld die slachtoffer worden van deze psychische stoornis.

Ik hoop dat ik dit keer me duidelijker heb uitgedrukt. Zo niet, dan verneem ik dat wel van je.
Succes
en collegiale groet
Stan.'

Palestijnse Israeli's

Kijk u hier eens naar, wanneer u tijd heeft:

'Volume 42, November 2007
http://adalah-english.c.topica.com/maaiTKdabC63bbK2VR2c/


Supreme Court Due to Deliver its Decision on Petition against State’s Decision to Cut Supplies of Fuel and Electricity to the Gaza Strip
Palestinian International Campaign to End the Siege in Gaza
Christian Aid: Call to end the isolation of the Gaza Strip
Oxfam: Gaza siege puts public health at risk as water and sanitation services deteriorate

Prisoners’ Rights
Adalah and PCATI demand a criminal investigation into the extremely violent actions of prison guards that resulted in the death and injuries of Palestinian political prisoners
Adalah appeals to Supreme Court against district court decision to prevent attorney from meeting with Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons

On 20.11.07 Adalah welcomed Arthur Chaskalson, the former President of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, the founder of the Legal Resources Centre and the lawyer of Nelson Mandela. Justice Chaskalson discussed the legal struggle against apartheid and drafting South Africa’s constitution with Arab civil society leaders and academics.

A video of Justice Chaskalson’s speechPhotographs of the visit


The Right to Education
Education Ministry orders the Led Municipality to register Arab children at preschools located close to their homes
Adalah demands that Education Ministry reinstate the personal care-giver to severely disabled Arab child to enable him to attend school

Land, Planning and Justice
Adalah and Bimkom demand recognition and master plan for unrecognized Arab Bedouin village of Atir-Umm al-Hieran in the Naqab
Adalah submits objection against master plan for metropolitan Beer el-Sabe as it violates the rights of Arabs in the Naqab to dignity, equality and suitable housing
Supreme Court orders Rakefet community town to set aside land for Arab family pending decision on petition demanding cancellation of selection committees, which exclude Arabs


Adalah’s Newsletter is a monthly publication issued in Arabic, Hebrew and English. It highlights Adalah’s main activities, provides analysis of human rights issues, and links to new reports. Suggestions, articles and commentaries from our readers are welcome. View previous volumes

Arabic Version
Hebrew Version
Subscribe a Friend
Study Day Invitation
Ibn Khaldoun, Mada al-Carmel and Adalah: On the Vision Documents, 13-14 Dec. 2007, Haifa University

International Advocacy
Adalah briefs representatives of consulates and embassies on legal developments regarding the Palestinian minority in Israel and the Palestinians in the OPT

United Nations
International Day Against Violence Against Women
29 November marks International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
UN Minorities Fellowship Program for Spring 2008

IHL Forum
Diakonia-AIDA International Humanitarian Law Forum, "Gaza: An International Law Perspective on the Current Situation" Al-Quds University,3 December 2007

Job Opening
Adalah is recruiting a Resource Development Associate

Main office:
PO Box 510 Shafa'amr, 20200 Israel
Tel:
(972)-4-950-1610
Fax:
(972)-4-950-3140
Naqab office:
28 Reger Ave # 35 Beer el Sabe, Israel
Tel:
(972)-8-665-0740
Fax:
(972)-8-665-0853

adalah@adalah.org
http://adalah-english.c.topica.com/maaiTKdabC63bbK2VR2c/

© All Rights Reserved to Adalah

Zie: http://www.adalah.org/eng/index.php

vrijdag 30 november 2007

De Nuance van de NRC 43



Tom-Jan Meeus is net zo kek als hij eruit ziet. Wie is Tom-Jan met liggend streepje? Tom-Jan Meeus is correspondent in Washington voor NRC Handelsblad en nrc.next.

Tom-Jan Meeus beweerde precies zes maanden geleden dit:

'Iedereen let op gewicht van Al Gore.
Gepubliceerd: 30 mei 2007 00:00 Gewijzigd: 6 juli 2007 08:22

Oud-medewerkers van Al Gore zijn ervan overtuigd: hij gebruikt de lancering van een nieuw boek voor een nieuwe gooi naar het presidentschap.

Door onze correspondent Tom-Jan MeeusWashington, 30 mei.

Aan afvallen is hij nog niet toegekomen. Volgens de conventional wisdom in Washington is oplettendheid geboden zodra oud-vicepresident Al Gore zijn overgewicht weg gaat werken – dan maakt hij zich op voor de presidentsrace van 2008. Maar zijn buik puilt nog altijd uit. Het zweet gutst van zijn voorhoofd. En zijn bovenbenen zijn zo vet dat hij bij het lopen zijn knieën naar buiten moet duwen, een soort o-benen, om überhaupt een stap te kunnen zetten.
Gore was gisteravond terug in Washington, en het was een hartstochtelijk weerzien. Klaterend applaus, gejoel, stickers, buttons, een liedje: Run Al, Run! Hij oogde authentieker dan gebruikelijk, de mediastrategen hadden blijkbaar een dagje vrij: zijn vormloze grijze kostuum kreukte van top tot teen.
De zaal was al weken uitverkocht. Een uur tevoren hadden zich rijen van ruim honderd meter gevormd voor de George Washington Universiteit, waar hij zou spreken over zijn nieuwe boek, The Assault on Reason – een sombere bespiegeling, zeer on-Amerikaans, over de invloed van moderne media op het openbare leven.
Nu veel Amerikanen hun kennis van de wereld nog slechts ontlenen aan nieuwsflitsen van dertig seconden is er een beeldcultuur ontstaan die elke regering in staat stelt feiten te negeren dan wel te manipuleren, aldus het boek. Met alle gevolgen van dien. Amerikanen geloofden in 2002 massaal dat Saddam Hussein achter ‘9/11’ zat; waarschuwingen dat de invasie van Irak zou uitlopen op een burgeroorlog werden genegeerd; wetenschappelijk bewijs voor het bestaan van het broeikaseffect werd jaren ondermijnd.
Het boek is in de VS gemengd ontvangen. Maar kenners van Gore’s denkwereld zien er het bewijs in dat hij, gedragen door de Oscar voor An Inconvenient Truth en de popconcerten komende zomer ter bescherming van het milieu (Live Earth), toewerkt naar een late deelname aan de Democratische voorronde voor het presidentschap.
Kandy Stroud zit op de vierde rij. Ze is oud-diplomatiek correspondent van CNN en werkte vanaf 1988 mee aan alle campagnes van Gore. Ze was erbij toen hij in de jaren negentig tweemaal vicepresident onder Clinton werd, en in 2000 toen hij de meeste stemmen kreeg maar George W. Bush de verkiezingen nipt won.
Deze boekpresentatie onthult de hand van de politieke routinier, fluistert ze. Bewust zijn de vips en de miljonairs buiten de deur gehouden. Eerst moeten ‘gewone’ mensen enthousiast worden gemaakt, die hem straks „van onderop” smeken om zijn deelname. Er hoort bij dat Gore nu nog de indruk wekt dat hij geen trek heeft. „Maar hij wil dolgraag.”'

Lees verder: http://www.nrc.nl/buitenland/article716096.ece/Iedereen_let_op_gewicht_van_Al_Gore_

Tom-Jan begrijpt niet zoveel van de Verenigde Staten, maar dat kan nog komen. Bovendien zijn zijn berichten misschien wel niet juist, maar ze zijn toch kek voor in de kroeg, of tijdens een etentje, bij vrienden thuis en je zit even verlegen om een gesprekonderwerp et voila, je kunt het hebben over de buikomvang dan wel de O-benen van een Nobelprijswinnaar. En dat allemaal dankzij een krant die zich afficheert als de slijpsteen voor de geest. Ik zag dat dit bericht: 'Gewijzigd was op: 6 juli 2007 08:22.' Het lijkt me nu een uitstekend idee om de lezers van de slijpsteen voor de geest na precies 6 maanden eens te informeren over de stand van zaken nu. Hoe is met zijn broekmaat en wanneer gaat hij vertellen dat hij afgevallen is? Een dus...

Het gaat bij Tom-Jan niet om de inhoud maar om de randverschijnselen. Hij zou een uitstekend voetbalverslaggever zijn. Waarom zou dit kekke kereltje in de VS zitten? Hier heb je veel betere voetballers.

Briefgeheimen


Mijn collega, de dichter programmamaker Wim Brands emailde me dit:
'Heb je m'n geheimenboek nu al, Stan>
www.briefgeheimen.nl
staat het boek bij.
(is de mooiste dichtbundel die ik ooit zal maken)
Wannneer drinken we weer eens thee ergens?
vr.gr. Wim.'

Houd je iets verborgen wat je eigenlijk kwijt zou willen? Een onmogelijke liefde, een diep verlangen, iets waarvan je spijt hebt, een familiegeheim: vertel het anoniem aan Briefgeheimen.

http://www.briefgeheimen.nl/'

Een prachtig project, gaat u er eens kijken of doe mee.

De Israelische Terreur 282

'Dear all,

please, see here a short analysis of Annapolis as experienced on the streets of Palestine.
We are listing below an account of the Tuesday protests and a series of documents produced in the last months by Palestinian society. We think they might be important for you to understand the repression enacted by the PA, to follow up the reality as it evolves within the Palestinian struggle and - most importantly - to continue to support the Palestinian struggle against the Occupation effectively.

Thank you for your solidarity,

Palestinian grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign
Palestinian grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign - www.stopthewall.org

The Palestine that we are struggling forNovember 30th, 2007
Last Tuesday’s demonstrations, which brought thousands onto the streets of Ramallah, Hebron, Tulkarem, Nablus and Gaza in defiance of the Palestinian Authority’s attempt to silence the peoples’ voice, represented a crucial moment for Palestine.Our demonstration, which was supported by the Popular Committees of the Refugee Camps and over one hundred and fifty civil society organisations and representatives, called for the upholding of the fundamental principles of our struggle: the right of the refugees to return, the right to Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital, and the right to our land. We were refusing the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, as this would legitimize the Zionist ideology of colonialism, racism and ethnic cleansing, and effectively exonerate Israel from the crimes of the Nakba, waiving the right of return. Such recognition would justify and reinforce the Israeli system of apartheid against Palestinian citizens of Israel.The Palestine that we are fighting for is one which upholds the fundamental principles of our national rights and equality, and which respects the democratic right of the people to express their views in protest on the streets. The Authority has shown that they do not share this vision. On Tuesday they attempted to prevent the people from asserting their rights, first by banning demonstrations and then by attacking us with tear gas, batons and military jeeps. The departure of the occupation from our land and the right of the refugees to return is non-negotiable, as is the question of Jerusalem. For the oppressed and occupied, ongoing struggle and resistance using all necessary means is not only our right, it is our obligation in front of all those that have sacrificed before us and the future generation that has the right to live in freedom. It is our only tool to ensure that “negotiations” talk about how to achieve our rights and not how to abandon them step by step. Yet for the first time in the sixty years of our struggle, those who claim to represent us at a national level are no longer talking about resistance to the attacks of the occupiers. Instead, they are disingenuously opening up negotiations relying on the US, the Occupation’s most ardent backer, to act as an “honest broker”. Tuesday’s actions were important in themselves as an expression of the voices raised against Annapolis, but also because by defying the ban on demonstrations, the popular committees, representatives of civil society and political parties threw down a powerful challenge to the Palestinian leadership: as the pressure for normalisation grows, so the grassroots anti-normalization movement is growing. In the last month, the One Voice initiative, an attempt to coerce Palestinians into denying their own rights while recognising their occupiers, was defeated by grassroots activists. Last week, Ramallah hosted a conference strategizing to beat the Occupation through boycott, divestment and sanctions. Palestinians from within the green line voiced their powerful opposition to recognition of a Jewish state on their lands in a unanimous decision made by the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee, the senior representative body of ’48 Palestinians. The demonstrations on Tuesday were not an isolated protest; they were part of a wide popular movement against concessions on basic principles, and against an apparent acceptance on the part of the Palestinian leadership of the isolation of Palestinians within the Green Line, Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank and in the diaspora from each other. At the Cyprus conference in October, Palestinians from the ‘48 lands called Palestinians from all over their homeland and the diaspora together to build unified strategies and follow up mechanisms, as a powerful counterpoint to Israeli Bantustanization. In Annapolis, the Authority did not raise the issue of Palestinians within the Green Line, nor the right of return, nor the criminal siege of Gaza. The Wall caging Palestinians in the West Bank into ghettos was not on the agenda. Those appointed to rule the West Bank Bantustans showed that they were not even representing the Palestinians there when they brutally repressed our protests. In this so-called ‘peace process’, only a tiny portion of Palestinians are represented: they are laying the ground for an outcome that the Palestinian people cannot and will not accept.The so-called ‘peace process’ demands not only that the Authority clamp down on armed resistance: it is also becoming clear that it will require the repression of all of us who reject the abandonment of our rights. The Palestinian people that are confronting the Israeli Occupation day after day have not been consulted or informed about the negotiations: they only are to feel the batons when they disagree and call out for their rights. Tuesday was a testing ground whether the Authority will be able to make the Palestinian people swallow a second Oslo, further compromising our rights. The gulf between the Authority and the Palestinian people is becoming increasingly obvious. Indeed the whole range of Palestinian political and social forces joined in condemning the repression on Tuesday. The choice for the Authority is clear: either to go along with the dictates of the US and the Occupation; or to must radically alter their course, to return to the people and remember that they are leaders of the Palestinian national struggle. The grassroots movement against normalisation with the occupiers will continue to grow. Resistance will continue as the Palestinian people assert their fundamental rights.For further reading see:
PA represses popular protest demanding Palestinian rights and against Annapolis
(
http://stopthewall.org/latestnews/1568.shtml)Declaration of Principles and National Rights, November 2007
(http://stopthewall.org/latestnews/1564.shtml)First Palestinian Conference for the Boycott of Israel (BDS)
(
http://stopthewall.org/latestnews/1562.shtml)Palestinians reject the Bantu state – Once Voice concert in Jericho cancelled
(
http://stopthewall.org/analysisandfeatures/1538.shtml)Final Statement of the Palestinian Civil Society Conference, Cyprus, 16–18 October 2007: "Toward the Establishment of a Palestinian Civil Society Defragmentation Strategy"
(
http://stopthewall.org/latestnews/1549.shtml)

Phyllis Bennis 3


'The 12 Myths of Annapolis

by Phyllis Bennis
Institute for Policy Studies
29 November 2007


Myth #1) The Annapolis meeting was designed to launch serious new negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians that aimed at ending the occupation and producing a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the region based on a two-state solution.
In fact, the two main reasons for the conference had virtually nothing to do with Israel or Palestine. The real reasons for convening the conference were 1) to strengthen Arab government support for U.S. strategies in the Middle East, including the war in Iraq and particularly the escalation of pressure aimed at Iran. 2) To provide a photo-op to reframe Condoleezza Rice’s legacy, now largely shaped by her embrace of Israel’s bombardment of Lebanon in 2006, to the legacy of a would-be peacemaker.

Myth #2) The time is right for new talks because, as President Bush said, “Palestinians and Israelis have leaders who are determined to achieve peace.”
In fact, both the Israeli and Palestinian leaders are so weakened politically, so compromised as legitimate leaders and so unpopular among their own electorates, that they have little or no choice but to follow the demands of the White House. Both Prime Minister Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Abbas were democratically elected, but both of them were chosen as replacements for the powerful and popular icons of national symbolism they served.
Like his predecessor, Yasir Arafat, Abbas is simultaneously president of the Palestinian Authority and Chairman of the PLO; unlike Arafat, he is not viewed as a hero of the Palestinian national movement and a symbol of Palestinian unity. In his Annapolis speech Abbas mentioned key Palestinian national goals, including UN resolution 194 on the right of return, but his political weakness as well as his long-standing confidence in U.S. backing means he remains unable to insist on those rights; it is unclear whether he will ultimately agree to sign on to a “final” treaty denying key internationally-mandated Palestinian rights to return, to real independence in all of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, to dismantling of the settlements, etc.
Olmert replaced the right-wing General Ariel Sharon, known as the Butcher of Beirut from his role in the Sabra/Shatila massacre of 1982 and a continuing hero of the Israeli right-wing, when Sharon fell into a coma in January 2006. Olmert’s poll numbers are in the low single digits, and an Israeli criminal court judge had to issue a special hold on Olmert’s anticipated indictment on corruption charges even as his plane was about to take off for Annapolis this week.

Myth #3) The Annapolis conference will provide hope for Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank so Hamas supporters will be won over to support Abbas and the new peace process.
The only reference to the continuing U.S.-Israeli boycott and isolation of Gaza that has turned the Gaza Strip into a humanitarian disaster, a huge Israeli-controlled prison with what the World Bank calculates at 87% of Gazans living below the poverty line, came from Abbas’ call “To my people and relatives in the Gaza Strip, you are at the core of my heart.” But even he had nothing to offer them beyond the assertion that “the hours of darkness will end in the face of your resolve and determination. For your insistence on the unity of our people in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as one geographical political unit without any divergence, your suffering will end. Right and peace will prevail.” Olmert referred to Gaza only as a place of terrorism and kidnapping. Bush described Gaza as the place where freedom rises, as in “when liberty takes root on the Iraqi soil of the West Bank and Gaza, it will inspire millions across the Middle East who want their societies built on freedom and peace and hope.” [yes, that is the accurate quote.] But unfortunately Palestinian children can’t eat Freudian slips.

Myth #4) U.S. presidential “engagement” in Middle East diplomacy is inherently useful; the problem so far has been Bush’s lack of engagement.
Since 1967 the U.S. has been way too engaged in Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy. The U.S. already provides almost $4 billion/year in economic and military aid to Israel, has just announced an additional new $30 billion gift of military aid to Israel over the next ten years, consistently uses its UN Security Council veto to protect Israel from being held accountable for its violations of international law (half of all U.S. vetoes cast since 1970), is providing $85 million in police/military assistance to the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah while maintaining the devastating complete embargo and isolation of Gaza. That’s engagement. The U.S. needs to engage differently – not more.

Myth #5) At Annapolis the U.S. appropriately recognizes Israel and the Palestinians as two equal players, with equal responsibility for the conflict and equal obligations to compromise.
This is not a conflict between equal players. The U.S. remains the key power. The “Joint Understanding” read by President Bush at Annapolis states, “implementation of the future peace treaty will be subject to the implementation of the road map, as judged by the United States.” In fact, even the road map’s “Quartet,” the diplomatic fiction that provided political cover for the U.S. by anointing Europe, Russia and the United Nations as back-up singers for Washington’s solo act, was abandoned in Annapolis.

While the US has succeeded in preventing the SC from acting (vetoes) – like Madrid – UN silenced – here can speak, but

After Iraq – Art 14 – then arming spree – outcome of Madrid was new arms (even paletinians) – peace for the arms dealers – nothing to do with well-being on the ground

Israel is the occupying power, maintaining its occupation of Palestinian land in violation of scores of UN resolutions calling for an immediate end to the occupation of all of the West Bank, all of Gaza and all of occupied East Jerusalem. Israel is required to abide by – not to negotiate, but to abide by – all the obligations the Geneva conventions and other international laws impose on occupying powers, including the absolute prohibition of settlements, prohibition against collective punishments, and more. The Palestinians are the occupied population, whose protection is the primary obligation of the occupying power and the international community. In 1988 Palestinians made the historic (though largely forgotten) compromise when they gave up their claim to and recognized Israel as a state in 78% of historic Palestine (when even the UN Partition Agreement only assigned Israel 55%). The idea that now Palestinians should be expected to negotiate away additional major pieces of the meager 22% of the land that remains, and compromise away their other inalienable rights to self-determination and return, makes a mockery of international law and the international community.

Myth #6) The discussions in Annapolis prove that a “two state solution” remains the only possible and legitimate outcome.
Creation of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state – in all of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem – remains the mandate of the United Nations and international law, and the official Palestinian position. Formal support for creation of some kind of Palestinian state represents the official positions of Israel and the U.S., along with many other countries. But creation of a viable, contiguous and independent state in all the 1967 territory, as mandated by the UN and international law, would require the dismantling of huge blocs of city-sized settlements and the removal of (or agreement to become non-privileged, ordinary Palestinian citizens by) over 450,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem. This is not just “small and mutually agreed adjustments” to the border. With the settlements continuing to expand, their reality and that of the Apartheid Wall are increasingly making a real two-state solution impossible. What many Israeli and U.S. policymakers quietly intend is the anointing of a Palestinian “virtual state” – it would have passports and a full seat at the UN, internet identity and a telephone country code all its own. But it would be made up of Gaza and less than 50% of the West Bank in the form of a set of non-contiguous bantustans linked by Israeli-controlled roads and bridges, with Israel remaining in control of borders, airspace, military and security capacity, and more.
As creation of a viable Palestinian state becomes less realistic, the alternative of recognizing all of historic Palestine – including what is now Israel as well as the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem – as one country, with equal rights for all its citizens, begins to look like a more realistic option.

Myth #7) Israeli participation in the Annapolis conference indicates a willingness to make serious new compromises on the long-standing obstacles to a just and lasting peace.
On settlements: the words “settler” and “settlement” did not appear in Olmert’s speech in Annapolis. Before arriving, there was a high-profile announcement that Israel would refrain from building any “new” settlements in the West Bank; this is complete spin, since the real expansion of the settler population is taking place by expanding the land controlled by and the people populating the existing settlements, not primarily by building new ones.
On Jerusalem: mentioned only as Olmert having come from Jerusalem, and having once been the mayor of Jerusalem; no reference to sharing Jerusalem, ending the occupation of East Jerusalem, Palestinian rights to their capital in Jerusalem, etc.
On Refugees: the words “refugee,” “return,” “rights,” “international law,” “resolution 194” did not appear. Olmert referred in a deliberately obscure reference to “your people who have suffered for many years” and Palestinians who “have been living for decades in camps, disconnected from the environment in which they grew up…” But Olmert, saying he “came here today NOT in order to settle historical accounts between us and you,” did not recognize Israeli responsibility for Palestinian suffering, let alone accept the international law-mandated solution under resolution 194 ensuring the right of the refugees to return. Instead he claimed Israel would “find a proper framework for their future, in the Palestinian state that will be established in the territories agreed upon between us.”
Borders: the words “border,” “Wall,” “fence,” “barrier” did not appear.


Myth #8) Arab participation reflects U.S. and Israeli acceptance of the 2002 Arab peace initiative as part of the diplomatic framework.
In fact, only Abbas even described the actual requirements of the Arab peace initiative – Israel ending occupation to the 1967 borders, refugees, Jerusalem, the occupied Syrian Golan Heights. For Bush and Olmert, it was referenced only in the context of its consequence: IF Israel ended the occupation, recognized the refugees’ right to return, etc., THEN normalization between Israel and the Arab world was possible. Olmert’s speech included a litany of what he thinks about the Arab initiative: he is “familiar with” it, “acknowledges,” “appreciates” the initiative…but no indication he accepts or would abide by it. In fact Olmert addressed the Arab diplomats directly, reminding them that whatever their views,, the Arab governments would have no place at the table. “[E]ven if the Arab peace initiative presents principles based on the Arab narrative, You have no intention of replacing the Palestinians in the negotiations. Please support them; they need it. Without your support for compromises there will be no peace.” For Olmert, the Arab governments’ job was to collaborate in Palestinian surrender.

Myth #9) Syria’s participation means Syria is now joining the pro-western anti-Iran contingent in the region.
Syria is a poor and relatively weak country, whose President Bashar al-Assad has never claimed the power and influence of his father, Hafez al-Assad. Despite Syria’s longstanding ties to Iran, it is a key component of the Arab world, and could not afford to insult the Arab League call for participation in Annapolis. Syrian attendance, at a relatively junior level in a partial snub to the U.S. and Israel (and even to Mahmoud Abbas) gets Damascus off the hot-seat with Washington – which continues to hope for being able to wean Syria away from Iran. Syria was able to at least mention the words “Golan Heights” and remind diplomatic listeners that the Arab peace initiative also included ending israel’s occupation of the Golan as a precondition to normalization. And Syrian participation in Annapolis could be viewed as paying a kind of protection money, reducing the influence of the “Syria Next” crowd in Washington.

Myth #10) The speeches given at Annapolis will inspire new commitments.
The Annapolis meeting did not set forth a grandiose set of “confidence-building measures” to launch the process. The pre-Annapolis announcements of the Israeli government featured a high-profile announcement of the release of 450 prisoners (less than 5% of the more than 10,000 Israel continues to illegal hold) and a promise not to build any new settlements. This was a retreat even from the road map’s alleged call for Israel to “freeze all settlement expansion,” meaning no additional building or adding new settlers. In fact real confidence-building would require Israel to at least begin the process of actually dismantling existing settlements. Not simply the tiny symbolic “outposts” which Israel can shut down with little political and no financial cost (though they have not been shut down as promised in the road map) – but a real move to begin dismantling some of the empty or half-finished apartments currently being built throughout the existing city-sized illegal settlements such as Ariel or Ma’ale Adumim. That would be a step towards not simply preventing further deterioration, but a step towards serious peace-making.

Myth #11) The Annapolis conference was based on implementing all relevant UN resolutions.
The presence of dozens of governments and international organizations at Annapolis gave the conference the appearance of a United Nations-style event. But it was all about style – not substance. In that way it reflected a similar scenario in 1991, when the U.S. orchestrated (ostensibly with Soviet co-sponsorship) the Madrid conference to “launch” new peace talks. A huge glittering international gathering – but the official Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. and Israel, setting the terms for Israeli participation, guaranteed that the sole United Nations representative would be prohibited from speaking. While current UN chief Ban ki-Moon was formally allowed to speak in Annapolis, there was not even the illusion that the world organization, which should be the centerpiece of all international diplomatic efforts on this issue, was to be allowed a serious role.
No UN resolutions were even mentioned in the joint Israeli-Palestinian statement that Bush read to open the conference. Abbas did refer to resolution 194 (ensuring refugees’ the right of return) but it was ignored by the U.S. and Israeli speeches. Olmert did mention 242 and 338, but equated UN resolutions’ authority with that of the April 14, 2004 letter President Bush sent to then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon promising U.S. support for Israeli annexation of huge settlement blocs and Israel’s rejection of the right of return. There was no discussion, of course, of Washington’s pattern of veto-threats and veto use in the Security Council that has consistently prevented Israel from being held accountable for its violations of international law.

Myth #12) Annapolis was a failure.
If we understand Annapolis for what it really was, it may prove to be a great success. (See Myth #1) The Arab regimes can go home with transcripts of their own speeches, whether bluster or statesmanlike, and show their people how they stood up to Israel and the U.S., and how they helped the Palestinians. They can then show more willingness the next time Bush asks them for fly-over rights, for base rights, for political support. And Condoleezza Rice got her photo-ops. Her legacy, too early to say.
But based on its real, however unacknowledged, goals, Annapolis may turn out to be a great success.

So what does it all mean? And what do we do now?

There is another myth that says Annapolis, the latest iteration of U.S.-controlled “peace processes,” represents the epicenter of current Israeli-Palestinian peace-making efforts. That was never true. The framework of this conference, shaped by U.S. global power and unilateralism; Israel’s regional expansionism, militarism and apartheid policies; Arab governments’ repression and militarism; and Palestinian division and weakness, never held out much hope for a just or lasting or comprehensive peace. But that does not mean real peace-making work is not underway. Palestinian civil society, backed by global civil society, a few governments and sometimes the United Nations, are building non-violent movements challenging those realities.
In 2005, Palestinian and global civil society called for creation of a movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, to bring international non-violent economic pressure on Israel to comply with international law. That movement is well underway. The rising global use of the framework of an anti-apartheid movement to challenge Israeli policies of discrimination, moved forward by people like former President Jimmy Carter and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and organizations like the U.S. Campaign to End Israeli Occupation. Israel’s illegal Apartheid Wall faces challenges from global mobilizations and through the direct action of Palestinians, Israelis and internationals at places like the West Bank village of Bi’ilin, where every Friday activists non-violently gather to protest the Wall. Organizations like the U.S. Campaign to End Israeli Occupation, the Stop the Wall Coalition and BADIL in the occupied territories, the International Coordinating Network on Palestine and so many others remain engaged in this work.
While U.S. threats and vetoes have largely prevented the Security Council from the central role it should play in this issue, other parts of the United Nations system remain thoroughly engaged. From General Assembly committees protecting the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, to the courageous work of Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories John Dugard, as well as the analysis of former UN representative to the “Quartet” Alvaro de Soto who exposed U.S. support for inter-Palestinian violence in Gaza, the UN remains an important ally. There are campaigns in U.S., European, Brazilian and many other national courts, as well as in the International Court of Justice, to hold Israel accountable for its violations. Those are the places where real peace-making is underway. There are efforts for real justice – unlike whatever “peace” comes out of Annapolis, which is likely to be neither just nor lasting.
_______________________________
Phyllis Bennis is a Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies (http://www.ips-dc.org/) and the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam. Her most recent book is Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Primer.'

De Israelische Terreur 281



Electronic Intifada bericht:
'40 years after Israel occupied the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem
Over the past 40 years Israel's occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip has aggressively targeted both the land and the people of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). Not simply haphazard structures of concrete, steel and tarmac, Israel's settlements and their accompanying maze of bypass roads, hundreds of checkpoints, other movement restrictions and the Annexation Wall, are ever-increasing monuments to the dispossession and subjugation of the Palestinian people, at the expense of their fundamental rights guaranteed under international law. Supporting the physical infrastructure of the occupation is an invisible system of administrative restrictions and military dictates. Military orders serve as the arbitrary basis for land expropriation, property destruction and the exclusion of Palestinians from vast tracts of land, while a permit regime further restricts movement and stifles social, economic and cultural existence. Since the beginning of the occupation, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have been arbitrarily arrested and detained, thousands more killed in extra-judicial executions, and an estimated 115,000 forcibly displaced internally, while over six million Palestinians remain refugees, unable to return to their homeland. The occupation is not benign. It is aggressive. It is an accumulation of 40 years of violations of international law through which Israel has advanced a policy of control, isolation and annexation of Palestinian land, and the dispossession of the Palestinian people. Ultimately, the occupation eviscerates not only their rights as individuals, but also their most fundamental right as a people -- the right to self-determination.On this, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the international community must not only clearly renounce its tacit acquiescence to Israel's violations of international law, but also commit to concrete action to end these violations, and in doing so, end the occupation itself.Transforming the land, targeting the people.'

Boycot Israel 8


Eelectronic Intifada bericht:
'Hundreds converge on Ramallah for boycott summit Summary report, Conference Steering CommitteeAn important milestone in building the global boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign was achieved in Ramallah on 22 November 2007. Some 300 activists, members of unions, associations and NGOs in towns, villages and refugee camps of the occupied West Bank, with monitors from the global solidarity movement in Britain, Canada, Norway, Spain and South Africa, convened for a day of discussion and debate about ways to promote all forms of boycott against Israel among Palestinian community organizations, unions, as well as political, academic and cultural institutions. Organizers and participants left the conference with a sense of accomplishment: practical recommendations are in place for building the popular Palestinian BDS campaign as a strategic form of civil resistance in the long struggle ahead against Israel's regime of apartheid over the Palestinian people.The conference was opened by Dr. Gabi Baramki (Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel-PACBI) who reminded participants of the fact that boycott has been a tool of the Palestinian struggle since the 1920s. He stated that the power of popular boycott derived from international law and universal ethical principles, and emphasized the timeliness of a Palestinian popular boycott movement, especially now, when isolation and fragmentation are imposed more than ever on the Palestinian people, in order to bring about loss of hope, dignity and surrender. Boycott and popular struggle contributed to the liberation of India and South Africa, he stated, adding that, while it is true that the challenge for Palestinians is bigger, because South Africa never enjoyed the level of support Israel has from the United States and Europe, the Palestinian boycott campaign can be effective because of Israel's ultimate dependence, politically, diplomatically and economically, on the West. Representing the Palestinian Non-Governemntal Organizations Network, Dr. Allam Jarrar then summarized the need for boycott in the current political context, asserting that "The Palestinian struggle is a struggle against the systematic effort by Israel to replace one people in the country by another." He affirmed that the conference was a historic event "because 60 years into the Palestinian Nakba, we are beginning to revise the strategy of our struggle for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, foremost among them our rights to self-determination, independence and return [for refugees]. The boycott campaign will re-vitalize popular resistance and restore dignity." He presented several motivating factors for the BDS campaign: it dispels the myth that negotiations with Israel are the only form of struggle that Palestinians can engage in; as a nonviolent tool, it is a form of popular resistance that can appeal to all Palestinians, in the homeland and exile, as well as to global supporters; it is a tool for rebuilding collective struggle and unity; it revives national culture and identity, and can give hope and inspiration to the young generation; and it challenges the current balance of power through applying sustained and effective pressure on Israel.'


Het Israelisch Expansionisme 64

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, US President George W. Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert smile for the cameras at Annapolis, Maryland, 26 November 2007. (Omar Rashidi/MaanImages)

So it is over. The much heralded Annapolis "meeting" attended by over 50 countries and organizations has ended, and the result is a vague, non-binding agreement to begin negotiating. In typical fashion, the Bush administration has hailed the conference of low-expectations and even less tangible results as a "success." Instead of donning a flight suit and landing on an aircraft carrier, US President George W. Bush offered his best Bill Clinton imitation presiding over a ceremonial handshake between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, like an approving father or Roman emperor. However, rather than remind observers of the halcyon days of September 1993, the oft repeated handshake between Israeli and Palestinian leaders leads many to paraphrase Karl Marx: "History repeats itself first as tragedy, second as farce." Indeed, a farce has been carried out in the last week of November, where the conference was symbolically and cynically timed to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the United Nations' vote to partition Palestine. If symbolism was what the Bush administration sought in planning this conference, they were at least partially successful, as both Saudi Arabia and Syria sent high level diplomatic officials. Yet, the emptiness of those symbols and associated declarations served to only further engender cynicism among observers around the world working toward a just resolution of this conflict. While President Bush spoke about bringing "peace to the holy land" it is hard to ignore that for over six years his administration has steadfastly refused to engage in meaningful diplomacy aimed at ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Instead, they chose to back the "iron fist" policies of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Contrary to their rhetoric, closer analysis reveals that the Bush Administration has neither the political will, nor the desire, to resolve the conflict and create a Palestinian state. Indeed, President Bush lacks the attention span and motivation to even preside over the "process" of negotiations. That task has fallen on Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Although she largely ignored the conflict during her term as National Security Adviser and first two years as Secretary of State, Rice's decision to reengage late last year was driven by Washington's attempt to contain Iran's growing influence in the Middle East. The need for containment was further reinforced by Israel's failed invasion of Lebanon and Gaza in 2006 and with it, the Bush Administration's vision, as enunciated by Rice, of a "new Middle East." Publication of the Iraq Study Group report in late 2006 provided political cover for Rice against neoconservatives in the administration opposed to the US reengaging in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Led by former Secretary of State James Baker III, the main adviser to former President George H.W. Bush and architect of the 1991 Madrid Peace Conference, the report called for Washington to reengage in the Arab-Israeli peace process. The result of Rice's belated efforts is a diplomatic strategy which combines the "confidence-building measures" of the Oslo Accords with the "performance-based benchmarks" of the "Roadmap for Peace." Moreover, Rice has clearly learned from her predecessors that all American Secretaries of State are required to perform public shuttle diplomacy in the Middle East, in order to provide the appearance that something is being accomplished.'

Lees verder: http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article9131.shtml

Fragmentatiebommen


Ik kreeg deze email van Xander de Buisonjé [unicef@nooitmeerbang.nl]
'Beste heer, mevrouw,

Geweldig, onze vuist tegen het gebruik van clusterbommen wordt steeds groter. Al 12.912 mensen hebben ‘NEE’ gezegd. En al die mensen hebben hun eigen versie van het nieuwe nummer “Nooit meer Bang!!” gratis gedownload. Doe ook mee en zeg NEE tegen clusterbommen! Want het blijft te gek voor woorden dat zelfs Nederland deze afschuwelijk wrede wapens zou kunnen inzetten. Kinderen worden hierdoor het hardst getroffen. Zij raken zwaar verminkt of getraumatiseerd als zij een nog niet ontplofte explosief oppakken of erop trappen. Dit moet stoppen!Download daarom ook uw versie van "Nooit meer Bang!" en zeg NEE. Als u hieronder klikt, zult u zien dat ik dit nummer ÉCHT SPECIAAL VOOR U zing...En doen hoor, want dit nummer heb ik speciaal opgenomen voor de campagne van Unicef tegen het gebruik van clusterbommen. En is alleen verkrijgbaar en geheel gratis te downloaden via http://www.nooitmeerbang.nl/special/link_tracking.php?link_code=20ce2c6938a54793dc24a8cf9cbd5b19&code=37a0b62cc867f71e7d07ca969ccd41d0 ter ondersteuning van de actie tegen het gebruik van clusterbommen.
Met vriendelijke groet,
Xander der Buisonjé
P.S. En blijf doorsturen! Hoe meer mensen 'NEE' zeggen, hoe harder dat gaat klinken.

Wilt u alstublieft niet replyen op deze e-mail. Deze e-mail wordt automatisch verzonden.Als u geen nieuwsbrieven en aanbiedingen van Unicef meer wilt ontvangen, klik hier.'

Het Israelisch Expansionisme 63

'BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights 29 November 2007

President Bush's two-state solution is not what the UN had in mind 60 years
ago
BADIL Commentary
On 29 November 1947 the United Nations General Assembly recommended in
Resolution 181 that Mandate Palestine be divided into two states, one Arab
and the other Jewish. In the preceding months UN members expressed
misgivings about partition. Some believed the recommendation ran counter to
the principle of self-determination elaborated by US President Wilson at the
end of WWI. Efforts to obtain legal counsel from the International Court of
Justice failed to obtain the necessary majority of votes in the Assembly.
Others warned that partition of the country into Jewish and Arab states could
set off a wave of forced displacement along ethnic, religious and national
lines.
Sixty years later, as the UN Secretary-General noted in his statement on this
year's International Day of Solidarity with the People Palestinian People,
Palestinians are still denied their inalienable right to self-determination.
Sixty years later, an estimated three-quarters of the Palestinian people are
either refugees or internally displaced persons. Half have been displaced
outside their historic homeland. They are still denied the right to return to
their homeland and the right to repossess the homes, lands and properties
that were taken from them to build the Jewish state well beyond the UN
partition plan and eventually beyond the 1949 armistice lines.
Israeli officials believe that the return of Palestinian refugees would be
inconsistent with the two state solution. In Annapolis, Maryland earlier this
week, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert emphasized that through negotiations
an effort would be made to "assist" the refugees "in finding a proper
framework for their future, in the Palestinian state that will be established
in the territories agreed upon between us." US President Bush reaffirmed that
the "United States will keep its commitment to the security of Israel as a
Jewish state and homeland for the Jewish people" whereas the settlement of
the conflict would establish "Palestine as the Palestinian homeland."
This vision of a two state solution, that is to say, partition of Mandate
Palestine based on the principle of ethnic, religious and national
separation, is not what the UN had in mind 60 years ago. Resolution 181
called upon each state to draft a constitution that guaranteed equal and
non-discriminatory rights. It also called upon each state to issue a
declaration that would prohibit expropriation of land except for public
purposes, and entitle residents of each state to citizenship. These parallel
declarations would be the fundamental laws of each state. The UN underlined
the fact that no law, regulation or official action should conflict or
interfere with or prevail over these declarations.
In contrast, Israel does not have a constitution nor has it enshrined in
domestic law the fundamental principles of equality and non-discrimination.
These principles are upheld insofar as they do not conflict with Israel's
definition as a Jewish state. Israel has expropriated homes, properties and
lands belonging to Palestinian refugees and more than two-thirds of the lands
belonging to its Palestinian citizens to build and develop the Jewish state.
More than three-quarters of the Palestinian population that resided in areas
that became the state of Israel in 1948 were forcibly displaced and denied
the right to return and the right to citizenship.
Equality and non-discrimination are the foundation of any comprehensive and
lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The International Day
of Solidarity for the Palestinian People should be a day in which all parties
reaffirm their commitment to these principles. Civil society has taken up
this challenge with its call for a solution based on the elimination of
discrimination faced by Palestinian citizens of Israel, an end to 40 years of
Israeli military occupation and the voluntary return Palestinian refugees to
their homes, lands and properties.
See, the International Coordinating Committee on Palestine (ICNP) call to
action for the Nakba-60 Campaign: "60 Years since the UN Palestine Partition
Plan, 30th UN Day Affirming the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian
People."
http://www.blogger.com/www.badil.org/campaign40-60/index.html

--
BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights PO Box 728, Bethlehem, Palestine
Telefax: 00972-2-2747346
info@badil.org - http://www.blogger.com/www.badil.org
WE COMMEMORATE 60 YEARS OF THE PALESTINIAN NAKBA 1948
See: http://www.blogger.com/www.badil.org/campaign40-60/index.html'

De Israelische Terreur 280

'ADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights 29 November 2007
Press Release
60 Years After the UN Partition Plan
Launch of the "Nakba-60 Campaign" -
a Global Campaign for the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People

"We had a country, but they they came and stole our country", members of the
old generation of Palestinian refugees from towns and villages in what is now
Israel summarize what happened between 1947 - 1949, and they call it
the "Nakba" (catastrophe). "Look, they are stealing our country", say
Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank today. They point at Israel's
Wall, roads, military checkpoints and Jewish colonies which deprive them of
access to some 40 percent of the land and cause more displacement. "This is
our Nakba; the Nakba is ongoing", they say.
Today, 60 years after the UN Partition Plan, Palestinians and people of
conscience worldwide launch a year-long campaign of public awareness-raising
and education about the Nakba and Israel's discriminatory Apartheid-like
regime over the Palestinian people in the 1967 OPT, Israel and in exile.
60 years ago, on 27 November 1947, the United Nations recommended partition of
Palestine (UNGAR 181) against the wishes and rights under international law
of the indigenous Palestinians who composed two thirds of the country's
population. The international community envisioned that there should be two
states: a "Jewish state" on 55 percent of the land - in the most fertile
parts of the country and with access to the sea - for a population composed
of an equal number of Arabs and Jews; and, an "Arab state" on the rest of the
land, which - arid and land-locked - was to survive with the help of
international aid.(1)
Today, the international community rallies around the new "Annapolis process"
and continues to pursue partition. Again, there is no political will to
respect, protect and promote the rights of the Palestinian people under
international law, and international aid is to ensure that the Palestinian
Authority and hope for a Palestinian state will survive.
Meanwhile, Israel claims legitimacy based on the historic UN Partition Plan,
although the existing "Jewish state" and its proposals for conflict
resolution based on "two nation states" or "two states for two peoples" do
not respect the right of "non-Jews" (i.e. Palestinians) to equality as
required under the provisions of the 1947 UN plan, subsequent UN resolutions
and international law. Not held accountable to international law, and in
deviation from Israel's common stand that "we must never forget or forgive",
Israel's Minister of Foreign Affairs Tsipi Livni went even further, when she
said to her "Palestinian colleagues" in Annapolis: "Do not bemoan the
establishment of the State of Israel ... for us the establishment of the
Palestinian state is not our Nakba, or disaster – provided that upon its
establishment the word "Nakba" be deleted from the Arabic lexicon in
referring to Israel."
Palestinians, however, insist in their rights to commemorate suffering and
injustice and seek remedy for victims, in particular for Palestinian
refugees. The ongoing Nakba is at the core of the agenda. The
one-year-long "Nakba-60 Campaign" launched today is carried by Palestinian
community networks, the global Palestine Right-of-Return Coalition and the
global movement for boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel
until it respects international law and universal human rights. It is
supported and coordinated globally by a wide range of civil society
organizations and networks, including the World Social Forum and the
International Coordinating Committee of NGOs on Palestine (ICNP). The ICNP
Call to Action for Nakba-60 is published today; it calls for concerted global
civil society efforts to promote the inalienable rights of the Palestinian
people, in particular the right to self-determination and return (UNGAR 3236
of 1974).
For copies of the ICNP Call to Action and information and events related to
the Nakba-60 Campaign see: http://www.blogger.com/www.badil.org/campaign40-60/index.html
(1) UNSCOP Report, 3 September 1947, A/364.
--
BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights PO Box 728, Bethlehem, Palestine
Telefax: 00972-2-2747346
info@badil.org - http://www.blogger.com/www.badil.org
WE COMMEMORATE 60 YEARS OF THE PALESTINIAN NAKBA 1948
See: http://www.badil.org/campaign40-60/index.html

Rich Wiles


De Britse fotograaf Rich Wiles stuurde me deze email:
'Behind the Wall – ‘Family’

Jameela looked radiant in orange and blue, a beautiful denim dress with a sewn in orange shirt finished off with a huge bow at the front. Her brown leather shoes also carried a bow which stood out from the fold-down lace of her tiny white socks. At one side of her head a red and yellow bobble secured a bunch firmly in place. Raghda had chosen leopard print trousers and matching long sleeved shirt on top of which she wore a black t-shirt emblazoned with the words ‘High Rock Girl’. Over her shoulder hung a small matching leopard print handbag and as always her huge sparkling brown eyes and glistening smile lit up any room in which she stood like a beacon of light. Jameela’s smile was equally heartwarming as we all walked down the street hand in hand. It was clear from the throngs of smartly dressed people out in the streets that everyone had made a similar effort to don their finest wares. But it was a special day, it was Eid Al-fiter, the festival that marked the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Jameela is three years old. Raghda is one of Jameela’s four older sisters and about eight. As we walked through the narrow streets of Balata camp together in the sun, slowly so as to account for Jameela’s little strides, Raghda told me proudly that she had shekels in her bag today. Adults give children gifts of money, often a shekel, to children for the festival and Raghda was excited that she had her own little supply today. She asked me where I wanted to go but I didn’t really mind, I was just happy spending time with them. She wanted to show me the little park that was open with four swings and a miniature and ancient looking creaky Ferris wheel of sorts that went little more than two metres high at its uppermost point. The girls went on the swings together and posed for some photographs, smiling as always. Raghda wanted to go on the wheel, she wanted me to see her at the top. I tried to pay the shekel for the ride but she refused immediately. As the wheel turned two young faces beamed down at me and then disappeared again as it rotated, before bouncing back as full of life and hope as ever. Raghda waved and clapped every time she saw me, whilst Jameela just grinned and gripped the rusty metal bar of their little carriage as though she was riding a Disneyland rollercoaster… but then maybe that’s what so many lives have become now.

We left the tiny fenced-in sandpit that was providing so much fun for the camp’s children and walked down to the lower end of the camp which backs onto fields before running away towards Nablus’ hills. Jameela chattered away to anyone who was listening, and Raghda and I communicated as best we could with my broken Arabic. Children looked quizzically at us as we walked, some knew Raghda and asked about her family, others looked at me, and then at the girls, before nodding at me:

“Ajnebi?” (“Foreigner?”)

Before I could answer Raghda would always interject:

“La hoo falasteeny, hoo ahoy!” (No he’s Palestinian, he’s my brother!”)

As she said it she looked up at me proudly, squeezed my hand, and smiled. Every time we neared one of the many small grocery stores around the streets of Balata Camp Raghda would stop and turn to face me:

“Rich Shu bidak? Shu bidak Rich? Chocolata, cola…?” (“Rich what do you want? What do you want Rich? Chocolate, cola...?”)

I would politely refuse and offer to buy the girls a drink but my little guide would not allow it. Every time I did this she seemed disappointed and, frustrated, would put her little collection of shekels back in her miniature cat-print handbag. After this was repeated two or three times my stupid stubbornness, or pride, or whatever was telling me to refuse, crumbled. Raghda’s face lit up as I accepted her offer of a cold drink and then she meticulously picked through a cool box full of soft drinks in a cramped little grocery store looking for the coldest. I bought a couple of small chocolate cakes and we stood together in the shade of alleyways no more than a metre wide enjoying our treats. Jameela ended up wearing more of the chocolate cake than she ate, but she was happy nevertheless. Raghda was even happier once I had accepted her offer of a drink. It was a rare day for her to walk around the camp dressed-up with a couple of shekels in her pocket, much as it was for any child in Balata, and all she wanted was to share her treat with me.

Balata has become like a second home to me in Palestine over the last few years and much of that is down to the family with whom I have had the honour of staying in the camp over this time. The girls are two of seven siblings in the family, all of whom have become like brothers and sisters to me. Jameela was very young when I first stayed with them and it took us a while to get to know each other, now she happily runs me in circles playing hide-and-seek, I love to spend time with her as I do with all the family. There were only six of Abu Abud’s sons and daughters in the house when I first began staying there as one of the two sons, Abud, was in prison like so many others from Balata. He was 15 when he was imprisoned. So when Jameela was born she didn’t know her brother, she couldn’t see him. She never saw him in person until he was released from prison a year or so later. When I first met Abud he had been released only a month or two earlier, I had seen many photos of him and it was good to see the family back together, but I could also see how confusing it was for Jameela, she just didn’t know him. Things are different now, and their relationship is just as loving and affectionate as all the others in this tightly-knit family unit as Jameela has grown to know her brother.

A few days before the Eid Festival we were all sat together in the family living room. We had just finished watching ‘Bab Al Hara’ – the Syrian TV series that captivated people across Palestine with its nightly tales of resistance to occupation, albeit Syrian resistance to French occupation rather than that modern day colonialist enterprise which dominates life in Palestine. The family have been no different to most others in Palestine in their nightly choice of viewing this year. Raghda and I had been playing ‘noughts-and-crosses’. The phone rang, it was the girls’ uncle. Abu Abud chatted away eagerly as he does on many nights to his brother. Then Jameela came to speak to her uncle on the phone. Her father held the phone so she could talk but instead she began to sing ‘Shater, Shater’, Nancy Ajram’s pop song which has been the hit of the summer in Palestine. She clapped and sang away down the phone, smiling as ever as we all laughed. As she sang it struck me that here was another family relationship she was trying to build with a relative that she had never met. She knows her uncle’s face from the huge prison portrait that hangs behind the television in the living room, but she has never met him though she talks and sings to him regularly down the phone. Jameela will be a few years older yet before she finally gets to meet her uncle, if he is released from prison on time. This is how children are forced to grow-up in Palestine, building relationships with family members through photographs and, if they are ‘lucky’, telephones. Thousands and thousands of children are living like this, separated from their relatives because of prisons or bullets, and soon Jameela would have a new little brother or sister as her mother was heavily pregnant, another child who would be forced to grow-up separated from her nearest and dearest.

I share a room with Abud when I stay in Balata. Many nights we have sat up until all hours in his room, sometimes because of the deafening barrage of IOF automatic gunfire and explosions bouncing off the walls in the camp, other times just talking, more often than not a disturbing combination of the two. We have often talked about his arrest and time in prison. He has shown me his old photograph albums of the friends he grew up with. As he flicks through the pages he comments on the young boys in the photographs, his childhood friends:

“Fi sission, fi sission, mayiet, fi sission, mayiet…” (“In prison, in prison, dead, in prison, dead…”)

Other nights he has shown me his collection of prison letters and drawings. He still keeps his little notepads in which he drew whilst locked-up. Most of the images are in ink, sketches of hands wrapped in barbed wire, a map of Palestine bleeding, Che Guevara, a Palestinian flag. Occasionally odd pieces of text, usually just single words, float somewhere on the page. One reoccurring word is ‘hop’ (‘love’), another is ‘huriya’ (‘freedom’). Abud would often laugh when he saw ‘hop’:

“Ay hop? Wein el hop? Wein mumkin inlaqi el hop fi sission?” (“What love? Where is the love? Where do we find love in prison???”

One night he gave me a small bracelet that he made in prison in the colours of the national flag, and a ring to go with it. I didn’t want to accept something that I thought would be so personal, but he insisted, and often checked that I wore it. He would also ask me about life in Europe, about how it felt to travel, to live without Occupation, checkpoints, and martyrs. Abud can only dream about living with such basic rights, he cannot leave Nablus, he is not allowed through the IOF checkpoints which surround the city.
By mid-November, Abud, Jamela, Raghda, and all the rest of the family were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new family member. The time finally came and Abu and Um Abud left Balata in the direction of the hospital. Everybody was very excited. The birth went well and around 8pm the two proud parents returned to the camp cradling a new baby daughter called Tasbeeh, which means ‘always thank God’. She was a beautiful ray of hope for everyone. But Tasbeeh would come to learn in the first few hours of her life about the world that she had been born into…

Around six hours after mother and baby had arrived back in Balata Camp their house was surrounded by dozens of IOF soldiers. Tasbeeh had not even enjoyed one nights sleep with her family when her peace was shattered as sound bombs exploded and the butts of M-16’s pounded on their metal front door. As Abu Abud opened the front door just after 2am more sound bombs were thrown in to the house. Tasbeeh was crying amongst all the explosions as the IOF barged in and began questioning Abu Abud. Then, amongst the explosions somebody went quiet. Tasbeeh stopped crying:

“…my wife ran to her. Her mouth was filled with blood. My wife turned her over and tried to help her to breath, she was massaging her back and chest and trying to get the blood from her mouth…”

After a few seconds Tasbeeh’s little chest began to move again. She was still in the first few hours of her life when she had this, her first encounter with the IOF, and it nearly killed her.

Abud and his brother were forced outside into the dark night. There, they were made to stand against the front walls of the house whilst the IOF smashed their way through their property. When the IOF left Abu Abud’s house they left behind destruction and devastation, and they left an imprint on a child’s mind in the first day of her life that will stay with her until the last. But in their actions the IOF also guaranteed that another little member of this family must now grow-up separated from her brother, much as Jameela had to in her earliest years. When the IOF smashed their way into the house they were carrying their usual array of lethal munitions, when they left they took with them part of the family. They arrested Abud again, he is now 18 years old.

Abud had been eagerly awaiting the birth of his new sister much like all the family, but now he is gone, and she will have to grow-up without her big brother. Abu and Um Abud were still very worried about Tasbeeh. Later when Um Abud went to check on her new daughter she found blood coming from one of Tasbeeh’s ears, they immediately rushed back to the hospital fearing some kind of injury from the explosions. Tasbeeh had blood cleaned from inside her lungs by dedicated doctors in a Nablus hospital. The doctors also fear that Tasbeeh has lost one of her eardrums because of the explosions, but said they would prefer to wait until she is a few months older before beginning to run further tests.

When I heard the news about Abud and Tasbeeh I felt sick, it was a day that had started with so much family anticipation and excitement. I thought about how less than a month earlier we had all enjoyed Ramadan and Eid together. How we had talked about the birth of a new child. I remembered how when I was hospitalised after being involved in a car crash in October Abud was the first person that I rang, and how his family came to collect me from the hospital and took me home to care for me. I remembered Jameela’s phone call to her uncle in prison, and her first years without Abud, and thought about how the whole cycle was now being repeated. I thought about one dark night in Balata Camp that began with a beautiful new arrival and ended with a sickening departure. About a new life that began and almost ended amongst the explosions, bleeding, and separation, of its first night in this world. About a new baby who may or may not have had the chance to lay eyes on her big brother before he was dragged away for a length of time dictated by no law other than that of his occupiers. I thought about guns and sound bombs, about telephones and photographs.

And I thought about family…'