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

  • I.F. Stone

vrijdag 5 februari 2010

De Nuance van de NRC 169

Deze slachtoffers van veramd uranium zijn niet relevant genoeg voor de NRC om aandacht te besteden aan dit monsterlijke wapen.

Hoewel de NRC zwijgt over de ernstige gevolgen van de massale inzet van verarmd uranium in onder andere Irak en Afghanistan door westerse strijdkrachten bericht de krant er wel over zodra zogeheten 'terroristen' het radioactief en chemisch giftige verarmd uranium in bezit krijgen. Het is kennelijk niet relevant dat de westerse strijdkrachten Arabieren hiermee bestoken, maar wel relevant als mogelijk Amerikaanse en Israelische militaire trainers in Colombia hiervan de dupe worden.


Band verarmd uranium en FARC


Door een onzer redacteuren

artikel artikel | Donderdag 27-03-2008 | Sectie: Buitenland | Pagina: 04

De Colombiaanse regering zegt gisteren nabij de hoofdstad Bogotá dertig kilogram verarmd uranium te hebben gevonden, die ze in verband brengt met de guerrillabeweging FARC.

De bekendmaking volgt op de eerdere claim van de veiligheidsdiensten dat de FARC geïnteresseerd zou zijn in de aanschaf van uranium. Dit zou blijken uit documenten die ze aantroffen op de buitgemaakte computer van Raúl Reyes, de begin deze maand bij een luchtaanval gedode Nr. 2 van de FARC. Hij zou met ene Belisario hebben gecorrespondeerd over de aankoop van 50 kilo uranium.

Het nu aangetroffen verarmde uranium kwam men op het spoor dankzij twee tipgevers, bericht de regeringsgezinde krant El Tiempo vandaag. Zij zeiden dat het materiaal aan Belisario toebehoort.

Wat de guerrillabeweging met het verarmde uranium had willen of kunnen doen, is onduidelijk. Het laag radioactieve materiaal is ongeschikt om er kernwapens of een zogeheten vuile bom van te maken. Het wordt in de dagelijkse praktijk onder meer gebruikt in pantserdoordringende munitie, bepantsering en vliegtuigen.

Trefwoord: Terrorisme; Afval; Kernenergie
Geografie:
Colombia
Organisatie:
Farc




Last update - 17:36 22/05/2008

Russia to extradite Israeli wanted in Colombia for training guerillas
By Reuters

Russia's Supreme court approved on Thursday a request from Colombia for the extradition of an Israeli man wanted for training illegal paramilitaries.

A Colombian court sentenced Yara Gal Klein, also known as Yair, in absentia in 2001 to 10 years in prison for training paramilitaries in the Andean country.

The former Israel Defense Forces officer was arrested in August at the Moscow airport, after Interpol tipped off Russia's Interior Ministry that he would attempt to travel there. Klein has said the Colombian military knew about his paramilitary training activities.

He said he also feared for his safety in a Colombian jail.

"Colombia is the only country where the removal of organs is permitted and conducted. The majority of these organs are the result of murders in the prison where I will be imprisoned," Klein said.

In 1998, Colombian prosecutors accused Klein and three Israeli associates of providing paramilitary training in the Magdalena valley between 1987 and 1989 and also working as mercenaries for the Medellin drug cartel, a charge he denied.

Colombia's paramilitary movement began in the 1980s when wealthy landowners banded together for protection against attacks, kidnapping and extortion by leftist guerrillas in rural areas where state presence was weak.

But the militia groups soon turned to drug trafficking and kidnapping as they snatched land and killed peasants in the name of counter-insurgency.

Zie ook: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/986178.html


Gezien de Israelische orgaandiefstal van gedode Palestijnen is het interessant te onderzoeken hoe Yara Gal Klein, officier van het Israelische leger, dit wist: "Colombia is the only country where the removal of organs is permitted and conducted. The majority of these organs are the result of murders in the prison where I will be imprisoned."


De Nuance van de NRC 168



De NRC-lobby bij de NRC doet elke dag weer braaf haar werk, dat wil zeggen propaganda voor 'de Joodse staat' maken en tegelijkertijd wat de Arabieren betreft: censorship by omission. Afgelopen woensdag meldde de krant dat 'bommen op stranden van Israel [aanspoelen]... Ze zijn niet krachtig genoeg om de Israelische oorlogsschepen die de blokkade van de Gazastrook helpen afdwingen in gevaar te brengen.' Geen gewonden, geen doden, maar wel twee kolommen breed informatie over wat de NRC 'de zeebommencampagne' betitelt van 'radicale Palestijnse groepen'. Niets aan de hand is toch nieuws voor de NRC. Daarentegen kreeg het echte nieuws waarbij onschuldige burgers werden gedood geen enkele aandacht in de slijpsteen, maar wel in de Britse kwaliteitskrant de Guardian, zoals u hieronder kunt lezen:



Iraq littered with high levels of nuclear and dioxin contamination, study finds

• Greater rates of cancer and birth defects near sites
• Depleted uranium among poisons revealed in report

basra-iraqi families

Pollution caused by the bombing of oil pipelines and the type of munitions used in two wars have led to health problems in Barsa, southern Iraq. Photograph: Dan Chung

More than 40 sites across Iraq are contaminated with high levels or radiation and dioxins, with three decades of war and neglect having left environmental ruin in large parts of the country, an official Iraqi study has found.

Areas in and near Iraq's largest towns and cities, including Najaf, Basra and ­Falluja, account for around 25% of the contaminated sites, which appear to coincide with communities that have seen increased rates of cancer and birth defects over the past five years. The joint study by the environment, health and science ministries found that scrap metal yards in and around Baghdad and Basra contain high levels of ionising radiation, which is thought to be a legacy of depleted uranium used in munitions during the first Gulf war and since the 2003 invasion.

The environment minister, Narmin Othman, said high levels of dioxins on agricultural lands in southern Iraq, in particular, were increasingly thought to be a key factor in a general decline in the health of people living in the poorest parts of the country.

IraqToxic Toxic zones in Iraq

"If we look at Basra, there are some heavily polluted areas there and there are many factors contributing to it," ­she told the Guardian. "First, it has been a battlefield for two wars, the Gulf war and the Iran-Iraq war, where many kinds of bombs were used. Also, oil pipelines were bombed and most of the contamination settled in and around Basra.

"The soil has ended up in people's lungs and has been on food that people have eaten. Dioxins have been very high in those areas. All of this has caused systemic problems on a very large scale for both ecology and overall health."

Government study groups have recently focused on the war-ravaged city of ­Falluja, west of ­Baghdad, where the unstable security situation had kept scientists away ever since fierce fighting between militants and US forces in 2004.

"We have only found one area so far in Falluja," Othman said. "But there are other areas that we will try to explore soon with international help."

The Guardian reported in November claims by local doctors of a massive rise in birth defects in the city, particularly neural tube defects, which afflict the spinal cords and brains of newborns. "We are aware of the reports, but we must be cautious in reaching conclusions about causes," Othman said. "The general health of the city is not good. There is no sewerage system there and there is a lot of stagnant household waste, creating sickness that is directly affecting genetics. We do know, however, that a lot of depleted uranium was used there.

"We have been regulating and monitoring this and we have been urgently trying to assemble a database. We have had co-operation from the United Nations environment programme and have given our reports in Geneva. We have studied 500 sites for chemicals and depleted uranium. Until now we have found 42 places that have been declared as [high risk] both from uranium and toxins."

Ten of those areas have been classified by Iraq's nuclear decommissioning body as having high levels of radiation. They include the sites of three former nuclear reactors at the Tuwaitha facility – once the pride of Saddam ­Hussein's regime on the south-eastern outskirts of Baghdad – as well as former research centres around the capital that were either bombed or dismantled between the two Gulf wars.

The head of the decommissioning body, Adnan Jarjies, said that when inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency arrived to "visit these sites, I tell them that even if we have all the best science in the world to help us, none of them could be considered to be clean before 2020."

Bushra Ali Ahmed, director of the Radiation Protection Centre in Baghdad, said only 80% of Iraq had so far been surveyed. "We have focused so far on the sites that have been contaminated by the wars," he said. "We have further plans to swab sites that have been destroyed by war.

"A big problem for us is when say a tank has been destroyed and then moved, we are finding a clear radiation trail. It takes a while to decontaminate these sites."

Scrap sites remain a prime concern. Wastelands of rusting cars and war damage dot Baghdad and other cities between the capital and Basra, offering unchecked access to both children and scavengers.

Othman said Iraq's environmental degradation is being intensified by an acute drought and water shortage across the country that has seen a 70% decrease in the volume of water flowing through the Euphrates and Tigris rivers.

"We can no longer in good conscience call ourselves the land between the rivers," she said. "A lot of the water we are getting has first been used by Turkey and Syria for power generation. When it reaches us it is poor quality. That water which is used for agriculture is often contaminated. We are in the midst of an unmatched environmental disaster."


Zie: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jan/22/iraq-nuclear-contaminated-sites


Meer over verarmd uranium: http://stanvanhoucke.blogspot.com/search?q=verarmd+uranium


Maar deze informatie past niet in de NRC-propaganda over het Midden-Oosten en wordt dus domweg jaar in jaar uit verzwegen. En degenen die deze krant daarop wijzen worden op hun beurt weer genegeerd. Zo werkt de NRC.

NATO





Lethal Nato bombing details leaked

A deadly airstrike in Afghanistan's Kunduz province last September did not comply with Nato's rules of engagement, according to the military organisation's own investigators.

In a leaked document published by the German newspaper Der Spiegel this week, it was revealed that crucial information was withheld from US pilots by the German military, who ordered the attack that killed scores of Afghan civilians.

The newspaper says Nato investigators looking into the September 4 bombing, which claimed 142 lives, found that US fighter pilots were inappropriately ordered to attack two fuel tankers that had been hijacked by the Taliban in northern Kunduz.

Civilians from the nearby village of Omarkhail were collecting fuel from the tankers when Nato jets were ordered to drop two 500 pound bombs on the lorries.

'Going kinetic'

One of the US F-15 pilots, whose name has not been released but has been referred to as Dude 15, told Nato investigators later that he "had an uneasy feeling about everything".


IN DEPTH
Your Views: Is it time to cut a deal with the Taliban?
Talking to the Taliban
Timeline: Afghanistan in crisis
Video: Taliban groups continue to grow
Video: Taliban targets Afghan government
Deadliest year for Afghan civilians
"Both of us could tell the ground commander was really pushing to go kinetic," he said, using a military slang term for the release of bombs on a target.

Reports now say that the German commander on the ground withheld vital information from the pilots of the US jets before they dropped their bombs.

Der Spiegel obtained a secret Nato report on the incident, saying that Germany's army knewat the time of the bombing at least one of the drivers of the hijacked tankers was still alive and at the scene.

When questioned, pilots were told all individuals on the ground were "insurgents".

The classified report also stated that new Nato rules of engagement to limit civilian casualties were ignored by the German commanders.

'Defeat ourselves'

Just four days before the deadly bombing, General Stanley McChrystal, the senior US and Nato commander in Afghanistan, sent an assessment to Robert Gates, the US defence secretary, saying that "we run the risk of strategic defeat by pursuing tactical wins that cause civilian casualties or unnecessary collateral damage".

"The insurgents cannot defeat us militarily but we can defeat ourselves."


"I lost six men from my family ... we have nothing left but our memories. We cry for them and the children cry for food"

Bibi Sharifa, villager from Omarkhail in Kunduz, Afghanistan

"A revised Tactical Directive ... was issued to all troops in theatre on 1 July 2009, which clearly described how and when lethal force should be used."

Nevertheless, his tactical directive(pdf) appears to have been ignored. Al Jazeera revisited the scene of the attack to find villagers still traumatised by the attack.

"The [Kunduz bombing] was dead against a new directive that had just been issued only a matter of days before, where civilian life is the prominent thing.

"The main point of the new strategy is to protect civilians, to make sure those casualty numbers go down", Al Jazeera's correspondent David Chater said.

But Bibi Sharifa, a resident of Omarkhail, told Al Jazeera she was still suffering since the loss of six family members.

"Three of them were my sons," she said. "I have seven grandchildren, we are in a desperate situation. We have nothing left but our memories. We cry for them and the children cry for food."

Another resident, Abdul Hanan, said "instead of bombing, they should have sent 10 or 15 foot soldiers. The villagers would have run away from the tankers.

"There was no need to do it. Why did they do this to us?"

Investigation

The Afghan government's own preliminary investigation into the bombing found at least 30 civilianshad been killed.

And Chater reports that though a record number of civilians were killed in Afghanistan last year, "the bulk [were killed] by the Taliban".

"The numbers are going down of those killed by the Nato forces and the American forces, but this is an essential part of their counterinsurgency operation."

The incident has also continued to have an impact on politicsin Berlin, with Germany's army chiefand labour ministerstepping down.

Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan's president, is due to arrive in Germany for the annual Munich Security Conference on Friday while Nato leaders wrap-up a meeting on their Afghan operations in Turkey.

In the coming months, both Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, and the defence secretary are expected to testify to a parliamentary investigative committee on the political response to the bombing.

Upbeat assessment

Nevertheless, General McChrystal gave one of his most upbeat assessments on the country's security.

Speaking at the Nato meeting in Istanbul on Thursday, the general contradicted warnings from other US officials, who have said Taliban attacks are becoming increasingly dangerous and destabilising.

"I believe the situation in Afghanistan is serious. I do not say now that I think it's deteriorating. I think and I said that last summer, and I believed that that was correct. I feel differently now," McChrystal said.

About 4,500 of an additional 30,000 US troops ordered in by Barack Obama, the US president, are now deployed in Afghanistan.

Zie: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2010/02/20102573845766182.html

Jezus Christus! 6



Het filosemitisme verschilt in niets wezenlijks van het antisemitisme. Het is maar dat u het weet, het christen fundamentalistische Reformatorisch Dablad brengt ons het 'blije' nieuws:


„Christus Zelf is rots van Israël waar Ben Goerion het over had”

05-02-2010 09:18 | Kerkredactie

WADDINXVEEN – Het Joodse volk heeft al vaak met tranen moeten zaaien, maar soms ook met gejuich mogen maaien. Pas als Israël zijn Messias leert kennen, is er de volle vreugde. „De Bar Mitswaviering is het deksel op hun aangezicht.”

Bijna iedere week is er in de hersteld hervormde gemeente in Waddinxveen (Dorpstraat) een doordeweekse dienst en zo’n drie keer per jaar wordt die ingevuld als een ”bidstond voor de bekering der Joden”. Donderdag spraken behalve de predikant van de gemeente, ds. J. G. van Tilburg, ook ds. M. van Kooten, verbonden aan de hervormde gemeente in Scherpenisse, en ds. J. C. de Groot, predikant van de hervormde gemeente in Dordrecht.

Ds. Van Tilburg sprak naar aanleiding van Psalm 126. „Die met tranen zaaien, zullen met gejuich maaien. Er zijn al heel wat tranen gevloeid in Israël. Het zijn tranen uit het natuurlijke leven, over het verlies van kinderen in de Holocaust bijvoorbeeld. Maar er is ook gejuich: Ben Goerion mocht in 1948 zeggen dat het in geloof op de rots van Israël tot een eigen staat gekomen was.”

Wat de Joden echter niet verstaan is dat ook Jezus tranen over Israël zaaide, aldus ds. Van Tilburg. „Als Jezus Jeruzalem nadert, weent hij. Wat tot Jeruzalems vrede dient, is voor haar verborgen. Christus Zelf is de rots van Israël –1 Korinthe 10– waar Ben Goerion het over had. Ook als Iran Israël met een atoombom wil vernietigen.”

Er ligt nog altijd een deksel over de Joden, zei ds. Van Tilburg. „Het deksel dat hen verhindert, is de Bar Mitswaviering: er ís geen vreugde der wet. De wet verdoemt en doet ons onze zonde kennen.”

In een tweede toespraak stond ds. M. van Kooten stil bij de profetie van Bileam uit Numeri 24:15–19. Bileam ziet iets „ontzagwekkends.” „Heel in de verte ziet hij de Heere Jezus. Niet David, niet Salomo, niet Josia maar Hij is de blinkende Morgenster.” Dat Bileam „van verre” ziet, wil ook zeggen dat hij er zelf buitenstaat, aldus de predikant. „Bileam zag slechts van verre. Die andere wijzen uit het Oosten zagen Hem ook van nabij.”

De scepter waarover Bileam profeteert, is zowel van goud als van ijzer, zei ds. Van Kooten. „Er staat dat Hij de palen der Moabieten zal verslaan. Toch is het niet Gods uiteindelijke bedoeling om de volken te vernietigen. Hij wil hen barmhartigheid bewijzen. Maar als ze niet in geloof willen bukken, is daar toch ook die ijzeren scepter.”

God wil dat Moab –het huidige Jordanië– zich bekeert. „De Heere heeft beloofd dat men in het laatste der dagen de Jood zal aangrijpen bij de slip van zijn mantel, om maar gered te worden. God zal de gevangenis van het goddeloze islamitische systeem afwenden. Het is een duivelse macht; dat konden we op 11 september 2001 even zien.”

Klik hier!

Ds. J. C. de Groot mediteerde over Hosea 11:1. De Heere memoreert hier Zijn Vaderlijke liefde. „In Exodus 4:22 zegt God al dat Israël Zijn eerstgeboren zoon is. God herinnert door Hosea aan de gelukkige kinderjaren, waarin Hij het volk bevrijdde.”

Als Israël later voortdurend afgoderij bedrijft, spreekt God daar menselijk gesproken Zijn „diepe teleurstelling” over uit, aldus de predikant uit Dordrecht. „We lezen dat Hij Israël op Zijn armen nam, maar dat Israël niet bekende dat God hem genas. Dat gaat heel diep. Toch schrijft God Zijn volk niet af, net zo min als menselijke vaders. Die bidden ook nog iedere dag of hun kind weer thuis mag komen.”

Hosea 11:1 wordt door Mattheüs letterlijk geciteerd. „Als nieuwtestamentische gemeente hebben wij mogen zien dat het alleen kan in Christus. Israël diende telkens weer de afgoden en kwam opnieuw in slavernij, dit keer in Assyrië. Deze zoon misdroeg zich tegen de Vader. Alleen de Ware Zoon was niet opstandig. Hij nam de gestalte van een dienstknecht aan en bevrijdde juist zo van slavernij.”


http://www.refdag.nl/artikel/1460975/Christus+Zelf+is+rots+van+Israel+waar+Ben+Goerion+het+over+had.html

Trouw Misschien Wel 49



Berlusconi zoals zijn katholieke god hem heeft geschapen.


Trouw bericht:

'Berlusconi voelt zich voor even een Jood'

Uitermate vreemde
opmerking. Stel Trouw had geschreven: 'Netanyahu voelt zich voor even een Christen.' Wat had de lezer dan gedacht? Welke connotaties had hij/zij hieraan moeten verbinden? Stel Trouw had geschreven: 'Jezus voelde zich voor even een Jood'? Of 'Mozes voelde zich voor even een Christen'? Dan was natuurlijk onmiddellijk duidelijk geworden dat hier iets krankzinnigs werd beweerd. Maar wat bedoelt Trouw toch precies met 'Berlusconi voelt zich voor even een Jood'? En hoe lang is 'even' en wat heeft Berlusconi 'even' gevoelt en welke consequenties moet Berlusoni uit dit tijdelijke gevoel hebben getrokken? Een wonderlijke krant, dit filosemitisch dagblad.

De Israelische Terreur 1142

Palestine Think Tank


Ramzy Baroud – Gaza and Lebanon: Beware the Iron Wall, the Coming War

Posted: 04 Feb 2010 06:01 AM PST

Yossi Peled

Yossi Peled

The Israeli military may be much less effective in winning wars than it was in the past, thanks to the stiffness of Arab resistance. But its military strategists are as shrewd and unpredictable as ever. The recent rhetoric that has escalated from Israel suggests that a future war in Lebanon will most likely target Syria as well. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that Israel actually intends on targeting either of these countries in the near future, it is certainly the type or language that often precedes Israeli military maneuvers.

Deciphering the available clues regarding the nature of Israel’s immediate military objectives is not always easy, but it is possible. One indicator that could serve as a foundation for any serious prediction of Israel’s actions is Israel’s historical tendency to seek a perpetual state of war. Peace, real peace, has never been a long-term policy.

"Unlike many others, I consider that peace is not a goal in itself but only a means to guarantee our existence," claimed Yossi Peled, a former army general and current Cabinet Minister in Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government.

Israeli official policy – military or otherwise – is governed by the same Zionist diktats that long preceded the establishment of the state of Israel. If anything has changed since early Zionists outlined their vision, it was the interpretation of those directives. The substance has remained intact.

For example, Zionist visionary, Vladimir Jabotinsky stated in 1923 that Zionist “colonization can…continue and develop only under the protection of a force independent of the local population – an iron wall which the native population cannot break through.” He was not then referring to an actual wall. While his vision took on various manifestations throughout the years, in 2002 it was translated into a real wall aimed at prejudicing any just solution with the Palestinians. Now, most unfortunately, Egypt has also started building its own steel wall along its border with the war-devastated and impoverished Gaza Strip.

One thing we all know by now is that Israel is a highly militarized country. Its definition of ‘existence’ can only be ensured by its uncontested military dominance at all fronts, thus the devastating link between Palestine and Lebanon. This link makes any analysis of Israel’s military intents in Gaza, that excludes Lebanon – and in fact, Syria – seriously lacking.

Consider, for example, the unprecedented Israeli crackdown on the Second Palestinian Uprising which started in September 2000. How is that linked to Lebanon? Israel had been freshly defeated by the Lebanese resistance, led by Hizbullah, and was forced to end its occupation of most of South Lebanon in May 2000. Israel wanted to send an unmistakable message to Palestinians that this defeat was in fact not a defeat at all, and that any attempt at duplicating the Lebanese resistance model in Palestine would be ruthlessly suppressed. Israel’s exaggeration in the use of its highly sophisticated military to stifle a largely popular revolution was extremely costly to Palestinians in terms of human toll.

Israel’s 34-day war on Lebanon in July 2006 was an Israeli attempt at destroying Arab resistance, and restoring its metaphorical iron wall. It backfired, resulting in a real – not figurative – Israeli defeat. Israel, then, did what it does best. It used its superior air force, destroyed much of Lebanon’s civilian infrastructure and killed more than 1,200 people, mostly civilians. The resistance, with humble means, killed more than 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers during combat.

Not only did Hizbullah penetrate the Israeli iron wall, it had also filled it with holes. It challenged, like never before, the Israeli army’s notion of invincibility and illusion of security. Something went horribly wrong in Lebanon.

Since then, the Israeli army, intelligence, propagandists and politicians have been in constant preparation for another showdown. But before such pending battle, the nation needed to renew its faith in its army and government intelligence; thus the war in Gaza late December 2008.

As appalling as it was for Israeli families to gather en masse near the Israeli Gaza border, and watch giddily as Gaza and Gazans were blown to smithereens, the act was most rational. The victims of the war may have been Palestinians in Gaza, but the target audience was Israelis. The brutal and largely one-sided war united Israelis, including their self-proclaimed leftist parties in one rare moment of solidarity. Here was proof that the IDF still had enough strength to report military achievements.

Of course, Israel’s military strategists knew well that their war crimes in Gaza were a clumsy attempt at regaining national confidence. The tightly lipped politicians and army generals wanted to give the impression that all was working according to plan. But the total media blackout, and the orchestrated footage of Israeli soldiers flashing military signs and waving flags on their way back to Israel were clear indications of an attempt to improve a problematic image.

Thus Yossi Peled’s calculated comments on January 23: "In my estimation, understanding and knowledge it is almost clear to me that it is a matter of time before there is a military clash in the north." Further, he claimed that "We are heading toward a new confrontation, but I don't know when it will happen, just as we did not know when the second Lebanon war would erupt."

Peled is of course right. There will be a new confrontation. New strategies will be employed. Israel will raise the stakes, and will try to draw Syria in, and push for a regional war. A Lebanon that defines itself based on the terms of resistance – following the failure to politically co-opt Hizbullah – is utterly unacceptable from the Israeli viewpoint. That said, Peled might be creating a measured distraction from efforts aimed at igniting yet another war – against the besieged resistance in Gaza, or something entirely different. (Hamas’ recent announcement that its senior military leader Mahmoud al- Mabhouh was killed late January in Dubai at the hands of Israeli intelligence is also an indication of the involved efforts of Israel that goes much further than specific boundaries.)

Will it be Gaza or Lebanon first? Israel is sending mixed messages, and deliberately so. Hamas, Hizbullah and their supporters understand well the Israeli tactic and must be preparing for the various possibilities. They know Israel cannot live without its iron walls, and are determined to prevent any more from being built at their expense.

Ramzy Baroud (www.ramzybaroud.net) is an internationally-syndicated columnist and the editor of PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is "My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza's Untold Story" (Pluto Press, London), now available on Amazon.com.

Russell Tribunal on Palestine coming soon

Posted: 04 Feb 2010 05:38 AM PST

russell tribunalThe recent war waged by the Israeli government and the Israeli army on the Gaza Strip, already under a blockade, underlines the particular responsibility of the United States and of the European Union in the perpetuation of the injustice done to the Palestinian people, deprived of its fundamental rights.

It is important to mobilize the international public opinion so that the United Nations and Member States adopt the necessary measures to end the impunity of the Israeli State, and to reach a just and durable solution to this conflict.

Following an appeal from Ken Coates, Nurit Peled, and Leila Shahid, and with the support of over a hundred well-known international personalities, it has been decided to organise a Russell Tribunal on Palestine.

Based on the Opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued on the 9th of July 2004 and on the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Organisation, this Russell Tribunal on Palestine is a civic initiative promoting international law as the core element of the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

Further than Israel’s responsibility, it aims to demonstrate the complicity of Third States and International Organisations which, through their passivity or active support, allow Israel to violate the rights of the Palestinian People, and let this situation be continued and aggravated.

The next step will then be to establish how this complicity results in international responsibilities.

Through a decentralised functioning, the organisation of public sessions and other public events, the organisation of a Russell Tribunal on Palestine is designed as a large communication event, with widespread media coverage over the tribunal and its outcomes. Indeed, the Russell Tribunal on Palestine having no official mandate, its impact rests on its ability to mobilise public opinion, so that the latter puts pressure on governments to obtain that they change their policies in the ways that are necessary to reach a just and lasting peace in the Middle East

First International Session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, Barcelona, 1,2,3 March 2010

Russell Tribunal on Palestine will be held in Barcelona on 1, 2 and 3 March 2010. The mandate of the Tribunal constituted in Barcelona will be to consider the extent to which the European Union and its member states are complicit in the ongoing occupation of Palestinian territory and in Israel’s violations of the rights of the Palestinian people. After hearing an account of the breaches of international law committed by the State of Israel, a jury composed of eminent personalities will examine the policy and practice of the European Union and its member states in their relations with Israel, the occupying power, and assess the extent to which the result is compatible with their obligations under international law. On the 3rd of March 2010, the jury will render its conclusions in an international press conference.

Six main questions, set out by experts and witnesses, will be submitted to the Tribunal jury. The questions are as follows:

1. Have the European Union and its member states breached their obligation to promote and ensure respect for the Palestinian people’s right of self-determination? Have they cooperated with a view to halting any serious violation of that right? Have they aided or abetted any violation of that right

2. Have the European Union and its member states breached their obligation to ensure respect for international humanitarian law vis-à-vis the Palestinian people in the case of the blockade of the Gaza Strip and the “Cast Lead” military operation conducted by Israel from 27 December 2008 to 18 January 2009? Have they cooperated with a view to ending any serious violation of that law? Have they aided or abetted any violation of that law?

3. Have the European Union and its member states breached their obligation to ensure respect for international humanitarian law and the right of the Palestinian people to sovereignty over their natural resources in the context of Israel’s building of settlements and pillage of natural resources in the Occupied Palestinian Territory? Have they cooperated with a view to ending any serious violation of the law and right in question? Have they aided or abetted any violation of the law and right in question?

4. Have the European Union and its member states breached their obligation to ensure respect for international humanitarian law, the principle of non-acquisition of territory by force and the Palestinian people’s right of self-determination in the case of the annexation by Israel of East Jerusalem? Have they cooperated with a view to ending any serious violation of the law, principle and right in question? Have they aided or abetted any violation of the law, principle and right in question.

5. Have the European Union and its member states breached their obligation to ensure respect for international law in connection with the construction of the wall by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory? Have they cooperated with a view to halting any serious violation of that law? Have they aided or abetted any violation of that law?

6. In the light of the foregoing, have the European Union and its member states breached their obligation to ensure respect for international law and European law in the context of the agreements signed between the European Union and the State of Israel?
The following personalities have agreed to be members of the jury:

  • Mairead Corrigan Maguire: Nobel Peace Price (1976), Northen Ireland

  • Juan Tapia Guzman: Judge, Chili

  • Ronnie Kasrils: Writer and activist, South Africa

  • Gisèle Halimi: Lawyer, Former Ambassador to UNESCO, France

  • Michael Mansfield: Lawyer, President of the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers, Great Britain

  • José Antonio Martin Pallin: Magistrado Emérito Sala II, Supreme Court, Spain

  • Cynthia McKinney: former US Congresswoman and member of the Green Party, USA

  • Aminata Traoré: Author, politician and activist, Mali

  • Alberto San Juan: Actor and activist, Spain


The Heads of States and Ministers of foreign affairs of EU member States, the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy and the High representative of the EU for Foreign affairs and security Policy Catherine Ashton have also been informed on the holding of the Session of the Tribunal. They have been invited to present, if they wish, arguments for the defence.

Source: http://www.russelltribunalonpalestine.net/ (thanks Carlos!)

Statement of Support for Mohammad Bakri, Director of "Jenin Jenin"

Posted: 04 Feb 2010 05:08 AM PST

bakriWRITTEN BY ANTOINE RAFFOUL

BACKGROUND:
In April 2002, Israel launched Operation Defensive Shield by invading the Palestinian
refugee camp of Jenin, south of Nazareth. In this operation which lasted about 8 days and followed a suicide bomb attack on the Israeli town of Netanya. Israel deployed 30,000 reserve soldiers against a camp population of 33,000 refugees. It sealed the camp and refused to allow journalists and human rights organisation from entering leading to a rapid rise in rumours that a major massacre had taken place. Various casualty figures circulated ranging from 50 to 500 Palestinian civilians and fighters were killed. On the Israeli side, 23 IDF soldiers died. By the end of this operation, more than 10% of the camp was levelled. The UN fact-finding mission was never allowed in.

THE DOCUMENTARY:
Mohammad Bakri joined a non-violent demonstration during the invasion at which a
fellow actor standing nearby was shot and wounded by the IDF. This inspired Bakri to secretly enter the camp soon after the Operation ended and to interview its residents, young and old, some of whom witnessed some of the killing. The result of his work is Jenin Jenin a documentary which tells the story of the Palestinians of Jenin who would otherwise not have been heard by the international media due to the sealing of the camp. The documentary has no narrator, no voice-over, no guide and no commentary by the film maker. Jenin Jenin is dedicated by Bakri to its producer Iyad Samoudi who
was killed by the IDF in the Jenin Governorate shortly after the filming was completed.

THE COURT CASE:
After three screenings in Israel, the Israeli Film Ratings Board banned the film. The Tel Aviv and Jerusalem Cinematheques showed the film despite the ban. Bakri took the ban to the Israeli Supreme Court and won. On appeal, the Supreme Court ruling was stayed, but in August 2004, it reaffirmed its ruling stating that the Film Rating Board has "no monopoly over the truth"

In February 2005, five IDF soldiers who took part in Operation Defensive Shield filed a suit for defamation of character against Bakri. These five soldiers were neither mentioned nor shown in the film. The Judge in the Petah Tikva District Court dismissed the soldiers' case stating that although the film did slander the IDF generally, the five soldiers were not personally slandered. The soldiers' attorney said later that he would consider appealing to the High Court of Justice.

In January 2010, Haaretz reported that Attorney General Menachem Mazuz, who is
retiring from his post in this month, stated his support for the five soldiers in their appeal.

After a meeting with the fibve soldiers and their families, Mazuz acknowledged that
Bakri did not defame the general public but only a particular group. If the Supreme Court accepts that position, then it would enable each soldier to open criminal proceedings against the filmmaker. Mazuz's joining this civic process with the soldiers individually, raises the question, according to Bakri of "why such a decision has come so late?"

IN DEFENSE OF BAKRI:
Jenin Jenin was awarded Best Film at The Carthage International Film Festival
International Prize for Mediterranean Documentary Filmmaking and reporting.

Mohammad Bakri will be awarded the Free Speech Bear Award at this year's
Berlin Film Festival: The Berlinale.

The Mohammad Bakri Defense Committee insists that "the importance of this case
reaches beyond Bakri as an individual" highlighting the repression of Palestinian self expression.

Choosing to show the Jenin residents' story is not grounds for censorship.

The Committee further adds that "for his artistic integrity and his focus on the
experiences and narratives of his fellow Palestinians, Mohammad Bakri faces the
potential of financial ruin in the face of spurious legal charges and dubious claims of
defamation".

Against the backdrop of an illegal occupation of 4.5 million Palestinians in The West
Bank and East Jerusalem, and a further 1.5 million in the Gaza Strip, the voice of
Mohammad Bakri rises against the attempt, within Israel, to silence his artistic
expression. At personal risk to himself and to his family, Bakri has been fighting alone, amongst all filmmakers, to encourage debate, free choice, and independent artistic creativity. As one of the greatest actors and filmmakers in Israel-Palestine today, Bakri represents the struggle of his people to attain freedom, justice and equality.

In a rare tribute to this personal conviction, it was decided to honour Mohammad Bakri with the Free Speech Award at the Berlinale 2010 through Panorama which showcases new films by established directors. Panorama was established by the well known German Film Director Wieland Speck in 1992. It is in his revolutionary spirit that the award will be presented to Mohammad Bakri.

The jury include: Hiam Abbas (The Lemon Tree), Naomi Klein (The Shock Doctrine),
John Grieson (Fig Tree), Udi Aloni (Forgiveness).

(editor's note: Bakri's site is down, but you can send donations to his defense expenses here: Al-Jisser Group
P. O. Box 255
New York, NY 10013)

Antoine Raffoul – Why must Palestinians accept post-1967 land theft?

Posted: 04 Feb 2010 04:19 AM PST

Mahmoud al-Ramahi, PLC member, Hamas member

Mahmoud al-Ramahi, PLC member, Hamas member

Dear Sirs,

We write to comment on your article in Electronic Intifada 1 February 2010 by Mel Frykberg (below).
Many in the academic and political arenas frequently state that somehow the 1967 borders are the 'internationally recognised' borders for the state of Israel.
This is presumably because that is what everybody had accepted post the Nakba days when Israel launched its miserable attack and took over the rest of historic Palestine in June 1967.
The 1967 borders were no more than Armistice Lines agreed to ensure a cessation of fire at those specific villages, terrains, water wells, farms, hedges, etc. These Armistice Lines have never been recognised as official borders for Israel. The Arab states at the time of Partition did not even accept the Partition of Palestine. The Armistice Lines map shows signatures of individual military negotiators. They were the result of military aggression as were the 1967 borders.
Assuming that we have to live with that illegal partition of the country (UNRES 181), why is it that we have to accept that the aggression the zionists launched in 1947-1948 post Partition (which swallowed my birthplace Nazareth) will be rewarded with a de-facto recognition. Why is it that the Palestinians have to compromise for Israel and accept that what was conquered and stolen in 1947-1948 is OK, but insist that the post 1967 aggression is not. Are we simply recognising one rape and neglecting another?
The Partition of Palestine was an illegal act imposed on our weak and defenseless people by the force of zionist lobbying and American bribery of nations whose votes were necessary to create a Zionist entity in our midst. If that Partition is a reality by virtue of a UN vote, why should our people accept what the rest of the world takes for granted: 1967.
Hamas leaders or Palestinian Authority leaders cannot bestow legality on an act which has never been ratified by the Palestinian people. Individuals do not speak for the masses without a vote.
Sincerely,
Antoine Raffoul
Coordinator
1948: LEST WE FORGET
————————————————————-
PALESTINE : DEVELOPMENT:
HAMAS PARLIAMENTARIAN: "WE ACCEPT EXISTENCE OF ISRAEL WITHIN 1967 BORDERS"
By Mel Frykberg, The Electronic Intifada, 1 February 2010
RAMALLAH, occupied West Bank (IPS) – Palestinian politics are at an impasse. The four-year term of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) ended on 25 January with no new
elections planned. Presidential elections, meant to be held last year, were also postponed indefinitely. IPS spoke with Dr. Mahmoud Ramahi, a neurosurgeon and secretary-general of the PLC, on the political deadlock.

Trouw Misschien Wel 48


Trouw bericht:

'Berlusconi voelt zich voor even een Jood -

Inez Polak

Het kon (bijna) niet stuk tijdens het
driedaags bezoek van Silvio Berlus-
coni aan Israël. De Italiaanse premier
had voor de gelegenheid acht be-
langrijke ministers meegenomen
voor een unieke gezamenlijke kabi-
netszitting met de Israëlische colle-
gae.
Eerdere Italiaanse regeringen
toonden doorgaans een meer pro-
Arabische houding. Onder Berlusco-
ni is Italië uitgegroeid tot één van
Israëls beste vrienden in de EU. „Mijn
grootste verlangen, zolang ik mee-
speel in de politiek, is Israël lid te la-
ten worden vande EU”, onthulde
Berlusconi.

Het is een politieke onmogelijk-
heid, waarIsraël nooitomheeftge-
vraagd. De EUis weliswaar Israëls
grootste afzetmarkt en het land
heeft eenassociatieverdrag met de
Europeanen. Maar zelfs het opwaar-
deren daarvanheeft het afgelopen
jaar averij opgelopen vanwege
Israëls nederzettingenbeleid en de
oorlog in Gaza.
Het bezoek van Berlusconi
aan Israël verliep vrijwel
vlekkeloos. Totdat hij op het
laatst een vergelijking trok
tussen de Holocaust en Gaza.



Italiaanse en Israëlische premier houden geen van beiden van de media
De Italiaanse premier toonde zich
vol begrip voor dat veel bekritiseer-
de offensief van Israël. In zijn rede
tot het Israëlische parlement onder-
streepte hij dat Italië bezwaar had
aangetekend tegen het VN-rapport,
dat had gepoogd Israël d eschuld te
geven, „terwijl het terecht had gere-
ageerd op de Hamas-raketten”.
Berlusconi schaarde zich tijdens
zijn bezoek ook voluit achter Israëls
standpunt dat een nucleair Iran on-
aanvaardbaar is. Hij riep de wereld
op de sancties tegen Iran te verscher-
pen. Dat Italië de grootste Europese
handelspartner van Iran is, kwam
niet echt aan de orde, evenmin dat
de wederzijdse handel onder Ber-
lusconi is toegenomen(naar schat-
ting 8 miljard dollar in 2009, 7,3 mil-
jard in 2008 en 4,6 in 2007). [...]

Na de
Knesset bracht de Italiaanse premier
eenbezoek aan Ramallah en Bethle-
hem, waar hij de Palestijnse presi-
dent Mahmoed Abbas sprak.
Op de vraag van journalisten wat
hij van de Muur vond die hij zojuist
was gepasseerd en bij Bethlehem
metershoog is, antwoordde hij dat
hij hem niet had opgemerkt. Toen
kwam de vraag wat hij dacht van de
vele Palestijnse slachtoffers die in de
oorlog in Gaza waren gevallen. „Net zogoed als het juist was te huilen voor de slachtoffers van de Holo- caust, was het juist om pijn te voelen over wat in Gaza is gebeurd.”
Een vergelijkingtussen deHolo-
caust en Gaza ontlokt Israël door-
gaans felle reacties. Afgezien van een
paarboze journalisten, deed Jeruza-
lem er gisteren het zwijgen toe.
Tijdens de persconferentie van Ne-
tanjahoe en Berlusconi vielen de
media Netanjahoe lastig over de
laatste affaire rond zijn echtgenote
Sarah. Die is door haar (inmiddels
ex-)hulp in de huishouding aange-
klaagd omdat Sarah haar als slaaf
zou hebben behandeld.
De Israëlische media voegen daar
nu genoeglijk alle verhalen aan toe
hoe Sarah zich bemoeit met politie-
ke benoemingen en ontslagen van
haar welgevallige dan wel onwelge-
vallige adviseurs van de premier.
Toen Netanjahoe daarover werd ge-
vraagd, schoot Berlusconi te hulp:
„Jullie journalisten zijn goed in het
verzinnen van anekdotes”. Toen
vervolgens een Italiaanse journalist
vroeg wat voor associatie Berlusco-
ni eigenlijk had bij het woord echt-
genote, schoot Netanjahoe te hulp:
„Laten we de media vervangen”.
De Israëlische media speculeren nu
dat Netanjahoe best zo’n Italiaanse
wet zou willen die hem (en zijn Sa-
rah) uitstel verschaft bij rechtsza-
ken. De Italiaanse Tweede Kamer
heeft een wetsontwerp goedge-
keurd waardoor rechtszaken waar-
in Berlusconi verdachte is, kunnen
worden opgeschort als hij zegt het
te druk te hebben met regeren. '

Aldus Inez Polak in Trouw. Wat zouden ze bij Trouw toch bedoelen met 'Berlusconi voelt zich voor even een Jood'? Voelt dat anders aan dan alle andere wereldbewoners zich voelen? En zo ja, in welk opzicht denkt het van origine christelijke Trouw dat 'een Jood' zich voelt? Welke onderzoek heeft Trouw gedaan onder alle 'Joden' op aarde? Waarom maakt Trouw onderscheid tussen joden en niet-joden? Bedoelt Trouw dat Berlusconi 'zich even een Jood' voelde omdat hij zich vervolgd voelt vanwege het feit dat hij meer dan eens beschuldigd werd van corruptie nauwe banden met de onderwereld? Of bedoelt Trouw dat Berlusconi net als 'een Jood' in Israel zich door de pers bekritiseerd voelt?

De joods-Israelische filmmaker Eyal Sivan wees me een paar maanden geleden op het volgende:

‘het moderne antisemitisme in Europa is het filosemitisme. De jood is heilig verklaard. We zien een liefde voor joden, louter en alleen omdat ze joden zijn. Voor de filosemiet blijft een jood de ander, de buitenstaander, net als voor de antisemiet. Als we het over Israel hebben dan hebben we het in feite over Europa, over het Europese onvermogen om met de ander te leven, over de continuïteit van het Europese antisemitisme dat zich nu tegen de Arabier richt, daarbij aangemoedigd door de zionistische propaganda. Opvallend is dat nu de joden in Europa worden geaccepteerd, zij grotendeels uit Europa zijn verdwenen. Het is als het ware alsof de wandelende jood eindelijk naar huis is gegaan, een gedachte die je zowel bij christenen als zionisten aantreft. Het Europees racisme heeft geleid tot de geboorte van Israel en het filosemitisme komt tevens voort uit het Europees besef gefaald te hebben in de geschiedenis. Maar waar het in feite allemaal om draait is niet de liefde voor de jood, maar de liefde voor het slachtoffer. Die geeft de filosemiet, dus niet het slachtoffer, maar de filosemiet zelf het gevoel een goed mens te zijn.'

In zijn studie After Auschwitz waarschuwt de gerespecterde joods Amerikaanse geleerde Richard Rubenstein voor het feit dat

'recalling Jewish virtues and contributions to humanity's spiritual treasury ... is inevitable in a time of reconciliation, but it may have about it more than a little fattening of the sacrificial lamb for another round of slaughter. In any event, philo-Semitism is as unrealistic and pernicious as anti-Semitism, for it destroys our most precious attribute, our simple humanity. Jews are not, nor are they obliged to be, paragons of virtue or models of holiness. To expect us to be more than other men, to pay us the unwanted and unasked-for complement that we are, is an unintended cruelty but a cruelty nonetheless.'

En inderdaad, het 'filosemitisme is even onrealistisch en verderfelijk als het antisemitisme, want het vernietigt onze meest waardevolle eigenschap, onze aangeboren menselijkheid.' Waarom beseft Trouw dit niet?