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Turkey - Israel - Gaza
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1.       Roswitha
4132 posts
 22 Jan 2009 Thu 03:55 pm


Where Will Turkish-Israeli Relations Go After Gaza?



As Israelʼs only ally in the region, increasingly vocal criticism from Ankara and the streets of Turkey about the operations in Gaza raises questions about the future of Turkish-Israeli relations. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had refused to talk to Israeli leaders before a ceasefire was reached. Nonetheless, in response to growing calls from across the political spectrum for breaking off ties with Israel or imposing sanctions, Erdogan said that this was out of question, stressing that Turkey could not afford the political consequences of such a decision (Anadolu Ajansi, January 17).


 


Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 6 Issue: 11

January 19, 2009

By: Saban Kardas

2.       Roswitha
4132 posts
 22 Jan 2009 Thu 09:16 pm

 Taliban warn Obama: Leave Afghanistan

 

http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0121/p99s01-duts.html

3.       Roswitha
4132 posts
 22 Jan 2009 Thu 11:56 pm

Let your voices be heard!

 

 

4.       Roswitha
4132 posts
 23 Jan 2009 Fri 01:42 am

Another topic:

 

The BBC and other major broadcasters have broken a 45 year-old agreement with overseas aid charities by refusing to broadcast their fundraising appeal for Gaza.

The Disasters Emergency Committee launched its national appeal for Gaza today saying the devastation was so great the 12 leading British aid charities felt "compelled to act".

The DEC co-ordinates fundraising during international crises to try and maximise the impact.

But by far the biggest advantage of a DEC appeal is the free air-time given to it by the major broadcasters, usually after their main news bulletin in the evening. The agreement to grant free air time dates back to 1963, the year the big aid charities first came together for a joint appeal, and it has been sanctioned by broadcasting regulators.

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However talks broke down on Wednesday evening when the broadcasters could not reach an agreement. By convention, if all broadcasters do not carry the appeal then none do.

It is understood that nervousness at the BBC that the appeal could result in the corporation having to compromise its coverage of the Gaza story was largely behind the failure to reach agreement.

In a statement the corporation admitted it did not want to risk compromising confidence in BBC impartiality.

"Along with other broadcasters, the BBC has decided not to broadcast the DEC’s public appeal to raise funds for Gaza. The BBC decision was made because of question marks about the delivery of aid in a volatile situation and also to avoid any risk of compromising public confidence in the BBC’s impartiality in the context of an ongoing news story. However the BBC will, of course, continue to report the humanitarian story in Gaza," it said.

Like other broadcasters, the BBC was prevented by Israel from sending in correspondents to cover the bombing, although it did manage to send out on-the-ground reports using one of its local producers who was there.

Speaking to The Times, Brendan Gormley, chief executive of the DEC, said he was saddened that the appeal would not be broadcast as it meant thousands of potential donors would not now be reached.

"We deeply regret this decision if it means our message doesn’t reach those who may want to give to a DEC appeal. We will soldier on but we recognise it will be much more of a struggle now to reach donors," he said.

He also questioned the BBC’s suggestion that it may not be possible to deliver much aid because the situation remained volatile. British charities were already on the ground and delivering aid. "Agencies are already providing food, drugs and blankets as well as delivering clean water. But we will soon reach the limit of what we can do, without more money," he said.

Several aid charities launched their own appeal as soon as the conflict began, although those will now cease now that the national DEC appeal is underway. Islamic Relief, a DEC member, has managed to raise £2 million, although other charities including Save the Children and the British Red Cross have struggled to get beyond tens of thousands of pounds. A national appeal from the DEC would normally raise about £10 million, but without the broadcasts the total is certain to be lower.

A spokesman for ITV confirmed an agreement could not be reached by broadcasters.

"The DEC did ask broadcasters if they could support the appeal. We assessed the DEC´s request carefully against agreed criteria and were unable to reach the consensus which is necessary for an appeal," he said.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article5568735.ece

 

5.       Roswitha
4132 posts
 23 Jan 2009 Fri 05:25 pm

GAZA after British occupation

 

6.       Roswitha
4132 posts
 25 Jan 2009 Sun 09:04 pm

by Juan Cole

 

Gaza War! Hunh! What was it Good For?

 

According to UNICEF, their preliminary estimate of the damage done by the Israeli military to Gaza infrastructure is $1.9 billion. Note that this is Gaza infrastructure, not Hamas infrastructure.

So at least the war weakened Hamas´s political control of Gaza, right? Not so much.

So then, the Israeli military boasted that it destroyed 60% of the tunnels whereby Gazans smuggle food, medicine and other goods into Gaza (the Israelis say they bring in explosives for rocket-making as well; but since rockets can be made from simple materials and petroleum products, and since the rockets are so primitive, they can´t be bringing in very good explosives). So at least, the Israeli war on the people of Gaza permanently reduced the capacity of those tunnels, right? Naw, the Gazans are working Caterpillar backhoes to rebuild the tunnels, already!

If the goal was to stop the rockets, so the ceasefire last June stopped the rockets from Hamas for 4 months until Israel broke the truce. Negotiation had been proven to work. Henry Siegman has decided that the Israeli narrative of the lead-up to the Gaza War was just lies, which American media largely bought, hook, line and sinker. He outlines what really happened.

How unpopular Israel made itself in Europe with this war was still visible nearly a week after it ended, when 20,000 protesters marched in Paris on Saturday, still protesting the war.

On the other hand, if the ceasefire holds, I suppose that this weekend will witness the last big demonstrations. And then the US Congress will go back to giving the Israeli military $30 billion in arms, and Israeli colonization of the West Bank will proceed apace, and the statelessness and expropriation of the Palestinians will worsen. And those quotidian processes won´t generate any headlines or massive protests, and they will proceed inexorably because no one is pressuring the US congress day to day except the Israel lobbies.

For Democratic congressional representatives, at least, there is now a web site where American voters can give campaign support to those who declined to jump through AIPAC´s hoops and did not assent to a resolution, the purpose of which was to garner support for this dirty war.

A CNN poll found that 63% of Americans felt that Israel´s war on Gaza was right. They say only 17% of Americans supported the Palestinians.

An earlier Rasmussen poll found that 44% of Americans supported the war and 41% opposed it. That may be an artifact of the way the question was asked. Americans like Israelis (and I am among them), so if you ask them if they support the Israelis or the Palestinians, you get a skewed answer. The question is whether this war was a good idea, or was prosecuted honorably. Moreover, there was a big difference among political parties, with only 45% of Democrats supporting the Gaza War. (I´ll bet you a lot of the opposition to the war within the party came from Jewish American liberals).

CNN has a lot of gall, since their coverage was completely one-sided and helped produce the results found in the poll. I can remember that they had Michael Oren on in uniform, speaking for the Israeli army, a Sunday afternoon. But they had no Palestinian policeman from Gaza. And then Oren dishonestly published an op-ed in the LA Times without identifying himself as being active duty Israeli military. This is a guy who claims to tell us the balanced historical narrative of the 1967 war or of American-Muslim relations? CNN never agressively challenged the lies of Israeli spokesmen the way British journalists did. And, of course, American channels seldom interviewed journalists based inside Gaza.

No wonder millions of Americans went to Aljazeera English on the Web for the other side of the story. By the way, the argument that Aljazeera English is not carried by the satellite television companies in the US because of lack of interest is ridiculous. They carry stations in obscure languages for which the audience must be tiny. I get Aljazeera Arabic; would the English really be less watched? Aljazeera English was most likely kept off because the Bushies made threats behind the scenes. The Obama administration should open up the airwaves.

But anyway, even a 60-30 split in the US for Israel in a war strikes me as not such great news for Tel Aviv. Surely in 1967 it was almost 100 percent in favor. And Rasmussen was probably closer to the truth with 44/41, which is in American terms an absolute disaster for Israeli public relations.

I fear the Israeli public is going to elect that maniac Binyamin Netanyahu on Feb. 10, and that will be the complete end of any 2-state solution, and we just have to live with a horrific Apartheid for decades, which will cause more conflict and further poison much of the world against the United States. (The Right-Zionists have been complaining about me wanting to put America first. For that I don´t apologize.)

7.       Roswitha
4132 posts
 26 Jan 2009 Mon 05:55 am

Symbolic

 

 

8.       cedars
235 posts
 28 Jan 2009 Wed 05:49 pm

France on Wednesday summoned Israel´s ambassador after Israeli troops fired warning shots as European diplomats were blocked at a Gaza border crossing.

Israeli troops halted a diplomatic convoy carrying France´s consul general at the Erez crossing on Tuesday and held it for six hours as it tried to leave the Gaza Strip and return to Jerusalem, a foreign ministry spokesman said.

"The convoy, which included other European diplomats, was subject to two warning shots from Israeli soldiers," spokesman Eric Chevallier told reporters.

Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner summoned Israeli Ambassador Daniel Shek "to protest this unacceptable incident and demand an explanation," he said.

In Jerusalem, Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Yossi Levy said all border crossings were closed for several hours on Tuesday after an Israeli army patrol was targeted in a bomb attack that left one soldier dead.

"This measure was not specifically aimed against the French consul general," said Levy.

Israel´s war in Gaza, launched on December 27 in response to Hamas rocket and mortar fire, killed more than 1,300 people, more than half of them civilians, and wounded more than 5,400, according to Gaza medics.

Both sides have declared ceasefires but tensions remain, and international diplomats are attempting to broker an end to Hamas attacks in Israel and to Israel´s blockade of the impoverished territory.

http://www.france24.com/en/20090128-france-summons-israeli-ambassador-over-warning-shots

9.       Roswitha
4132 posts
 30 Jan 2009 Fri 11:57 pm

2008 Calender 60 Years of Nakba, The ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

 

http://annies-letters.blogspot.com/2007/12/2008-calender-60-years-of-nakba-ongoing.html

10.       Roswitha
4132 posts
 31 Jan 2009 Sat 03:33 am

On The Wrong Side Of History

author Sunday January 25, 2009 11:36author by Uri Avnery Report this post to the editors

 

OF ALL the beautiful phrases in Barack Obama’s inauguration speech, these are the words that stuck in my mind: “You are on the wrong side of history.”

 Uri Avnery
Uri Avnery

He was talking about the tyrannical regimes of the world. But we, too, should ponder these words

In the last few days I have heard a lot of declarations from Ehud Barak, Tzipi Livni, Binyamin Netanyahu and Ehud Olmert. And every time, these eight words came back to haunt me: “You are on the wrong side of history!”

Obama was speaking as a man of the 21st century. Our leaders speak the language of the 19th century. They resemble the dinosaurs which once terrorized their neighborhood and were quite unaware of the fact that their time had already passed.

DURING THE rousing celebrations, again and again the multicolored patchwork of the new president’s family was mentioned.

All the preceding 43 presidents were white Protestants, except John Kennedy, who was a white Catholic. 38 of them were the descendants of immigrants from the British isles. Of the other five, three were of Dutch ancestry (Theodor and Franklin D. Roosevelt , as well as Martin van Buren) and two of German descent (Herbert Hoover and Dwight Eisenhower.)

The face of Obama’s family is quite different. The extended family includes whites and the descendents of black slaves, Africans from Kenya, Indonesians, Chinese from Canada, Christians, Muslims and even one Jew (a converted African-American). The two first names of the president himself, Barack Hussein, are Arabic.

This is the face of the new American nation – a mixture of races, religions, countries of origin and skin-colors, an open and diverse society, all of whose members are supposed to be equal and to identify themselves with the ”founding fathers”. The American Barack Hussein Obama, whose father was born in a Kenyan village, can speak with pride of “George Washington, the father of our nation”, of the “American Revolution” (the war of independence against the British), and hold up the example of “our ancestors”, who include both the white pioneers and the black slaves who “endured the lash of the whip”. That is the perception of a modern nation, multi-cultural and multi-racial: a person joins it by acquiring citizenship, and from this moment on is the heir to all its history.

Israel is the product of the narrow nationalism of the 19th century, a nationalism that was closed and exclusive, based on race and ethnic origin, blood and earth. Israel is a “Jewish State”, and a Jew is a person born Jewish or converted according to Jewish religious law (Halakha). Like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, it is a state whose mental world is to a large extent conditioned by religion, race and ethnic origin.

When Ehud Barak speaks about the future, he speaks the language of past centuries, in terms of brute force and brutal threats, with armies providing the solution to all problems. That was also the language of George W. Bush who last week slinked out of Washington, a language that already sounds to the Western ear like an echo from the distant past.

The words of the new president are ringing in the air: “Our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please.” The key words were “humility and restraint”.

Our leaders are now boasting about their part in the Gaza War, in which unbridled military force was unleashed intentionally against a civilian population, men, women and children, with the declared aim of “creating deterrence”. In the era that began last Tuesday, such expressions can only arouse shudders.

BETWEEN Israel and the United States a gap has opened this week, a narrow gap, almost invisible – but it may widen into an abyss.

The first signs are small. In his inaugural speech, Obama proclaimed that “We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and nonbelievers.” Since when? Since when do the Muslims precede the Jews? What has happened to the “Judeo-Christian Heritage”? (A completely false term to start with, since Judaism is much closer to Islam than to Christianity. For example: neither Judaism nor Islam supports the separation of religion and state.)

The very next morning, Obama phoned a number of Middle East leaders. He decided to make a quite unique gesture: placing the first call to Mahmoud Abbas, and only the next to Olmert. The Israeli media could not stomach that. Haaretz, for example, consciously falsified the record by writing - not once but twice in the same issue - that Obama had called “Olmert, Abbas, Mubarak and King Abdallah” (in that order).

Instead of the group of American Jews who had been in charge of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during both the Clinton and Bush administrations, Obama, on his very first day in office, appointed an Arab-American, George Mitchell, whose mother had come to America from Lebanon at age 18, and who himself, orphaned from his Irish father, was brought up in a Maronite Christian Lebanese family.

These are not good tidings for the Israeli leaders. For the last 42 years, they have pursued a policy of expansion, occupation and settlements in close cooperation with Washington. They have relied on unlimited American support, from the massive supply of money and arms to the use of the veto in the Security Council. This support was essential to their policy. This support may now be reaching its limits.

It will happen, of course, gradually. The pro-Israel lobby in Washington will continue to put the fear of God into Congress. A huge ship like the United States can change course only very slowly, in a gentle curve. But the turn-around started already on the first day of the Obama administration.

This could not have happened, if America itself had not changed. That is not a political change alone. It is a change in the world-view, in mental outlook, in values. A certain American myth, which is very similar to the Zionist myth, has been replaced by another American myth. Not by accident did Obama devote to this so large a part of his speech (in which, by the way, there was not a single word about the extermination of the Native Americans).

The Gaza War, during which tens of millions of Americans saw the horrible carnage in the Strip (even if rigorous self-censorship cut out all but a tiny part), has hastened the process of drifting apart. Israel, the brave little sister, the loyal ally in Bush’s “War on Terror”, has turned into the violent Israel, the mad monster, which has no compassion for women and children, the wounded and the sick. And when winds like these are blowing, the Lobby loses height.

The leaders of official Israel do not notice it. They do not feel, as Obama put it in another context, that “the ground has shifted beneath them”. They think that this is no more than a temporary political problem that can be set right with the help of the Lobby and the servile members of Congress.

Our leaders are still intoxicated with war and drunk with violence. They have re-phrased the famous saying of the Prussian general, Carl von Clausewitz into: “War is but a continuation of an election campaign by other means.” They compete with each other with vainglorious swagger for their share of the “credit”. Tzipi Livni, who cannot compete with the men for the crown of warlord, tries to outdo them in toughness, in bellicosity, in hard-heartedness.

The most brutal is Ehud Barak. Once I called him a “peace criminal”, because he brought about the failure of the 2000 Camp David conference and shattered the Israeli peace camp. Now I must call him a “war criminal”, as the person who planned the Gaza War knowing that it would murder masses of civilians.

In his own eyes, and in the eyes of a large section of the public, this is a military operation which deserves all praise. His advisors also thought that it would bring him success in the elections. The Labor party, which had been the largest party in the Knesset for decades, had shrunk in the polls to 12, even 9 seats out of 120. With the help of the Gaza atrocity it has now gone up to 16 or so. That’s not a landslide, and there’s no guarantee that it will not sink again.

What was Barak’s mistake? Very simply: every war helps the Right. War, by its very nature, arouses in the population the most primitive emotions – hate and fear, fear and hate. These are the emotions on which the Right has been riding for centuries. Even when it’s the ”Left” that starts a war, it’s still the Right that profits from it. In a state of war, the population prefers an honest-to-goodness Rightist to a phony Leftist.

This is happening to Barak for the second time. When, in 2000, he spread the mantra “I have turned every stone on the way to peace, / I have made the Palestinians unprecedented offers, / They have rejected everything, / There is no one to talk with” - he succeeded not only in blowing the Left to smithereens, but also in paving the way for the ascent of Ariel Sharon in the 2001 elections. Now he is paving the way for Binyamin Netanyahu (hoping, quite openly, to become his minister of defense).

And not only for him. The real victor of the war is a man who had no part in it at all: Avigdor Liberman. His party, which in any normal country would be called fascist, is steadily rising in the polls. Why? Liberman looks and sounds like an Israeli Mussolini, he is an unbridled Arab-hater, a man of the most brutal force. Compared to him, even Netanyahu looks like a softie. A large part of the young generation, nurtured on years of occupation, killing and destruction, after two atrocious wars, considers him a worthy leader.

WHILE THE US has made a giant jump to the left, Israel is about to jump even further to the right.

Anyone who saw the millions milling around Washington on inauguration day knows that Obama was not speaking only for himself. He was expressing the aspirations of his people, the Zeitgeist.

Between the mental world of Obama and the mental world of Liberman and Netanyahu there is no bridge. Between Obama and Barak and Livni, too, there yawns an abyss. Post-election Israel may find itself on a collision course with post-election America.

Where are the American Jews? The overwhelming majority of them voted for Obama. They will be between the hammer and the anvil – between their government and their natural adherence to Israel. It is reasonable to assume that this will exert pressure from below on the “leaders” of American Jewry, who have incidentally never been elected by anyone, and on organizations like AIPAC. The sturdy stick, on which Israeli leaders are used to lean in times of trouble, may prove to be a broken reed.

Europe, too, is not untouched by the new winds. True, at the end of the war we saw the leaders of Europe – Sarkozy, Merkel, Browne and Zapatero – sitting like schoolchildren behind a desk in class, respectfully listening to the most loathsome arrogant posturing from Ehud Olmert, reciting his text after him. They seemed to approve the atrocities of the war, speaking of the Qassams and forgetting about the occupation, the blockade and the settlements. Probably they will not hang this picture on their office walls.

But during this war masses of Europeans poured into the streets to demonstrate against the horrible events. The same masses saluted Obama on the day of his inauguration.

This is the new world. Perhaps our leaders are now dreaming of the slogan: “Stop the world, I want to get off!” But there is no other world.

YES, WE ARE NOW on the wrong side of history.

Fortunately, there is also another Israel. It is not in the limelight, and its voice is heard only by those who listen out for it. This is a sane, rational Israel, with its face to the future, to progress and peace. In these coming elections, its voice will barely be heard, because all the old parties are standing with their two feet squarely in the world of yesterday.

But what has happened in the United States will have a profound influence on what happens in Israel. The huge majority of Israelis know that we cannot exist without close ties with the US. Obama is now the leader of the world, and we live in this world. When he promises to work “aggressively” for peace between us and the Palestinians, that is a marching order for us.

We want to be on the right side of history. That will take months or years, but I am sure that we shall get there. The time to start is now.

-----------------------

Uri Avnery is a longtime Israeli peace activist. Since 1948 has advocated the setting up of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. In 1974, Uri Avnery was the first Israeli to establish contact with PLO leadership. In 1982 he was the first Israeli ever to meet Yassir Arafat, after crossing the lines in besieged Beirut. He served three terms in the Israeli Parliament (Knesset), and is the founder of Gush Shalom (Peace Bloc)

category international | israeli attacks | opinion/analysis
Related Link(s): http://www.gush-shalom.org/

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