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Archive for September 3rd, 2011

Turkey to raise Israel’s Gaza blockade to The Hague

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Turkish FM Davutoglu says Ankara will start process at Int’l Court of Justice for investigation into “what Gaza blockade really is.”

ISTANBUL – Turkey said on Saturday that it would apply next week for an  investigation by the International Court of Justice into the legality of Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Speaking to Turkish  state-run television during a gathering of European foreign ministers in Poland, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu also reiterated  Turkey’s support for efforts to win recognition for a Palestinian state  through the United Nations.

On Friday, Turkey expelled Israel’s ambassador and froze military  agreements with Israel after a UN report on the killing of nine Turks  during an IDF raid on a Gaza-bound ship a year.

The UN report concluded that the blockade was “a legitimate security measure in order to prevent weapons entering Gaza by sea.”

Davutoglu said Turkey did not accept that conclusion, noting that it contradicted the UN Human Rights Council’s findings.

“We will start the application process to the International Court of  Justice within the next week, for an investigation into what the Gaza  blockade really is,” Davutoglu told TRT news channel.

Turkey has  also said it will pursue criminal cases against officials responsible  for the killings of the nine Turks, one of whom was a US citizen.

“Israel has to make a choice, the Arab Spring will bring about a significant  enmity against Israel if it fails to change its attitude regarding  regional issues,” Davutoglu told TRT news channel.

( / 03.09.2011)

Written by altahrir

September 3, 2011 at 9:43 pm

Kaddafi kreeg hulp van CIA en MI6

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De verdreven Libische leider Muammar Kaddafi heeft nauw samengewerkt met de Amerikaanse inlichtingendienst CIA en de Britse dienst MI6. Dat meldden de kranten The Wall Street Journal, The Independent en The Times.

Onder de Amerikaanse president George W. Bush zouden zelfs terreurverdachten en andere personen naar het Noord-Afrikaanse land zijn gestuurd om te worden ondervraagd. Een van hen is Abdel Hakim Belhadj. Hij werd na aankomst in Libië ondervraagd en gemarteld. Belhadj voert momenteel de anti-Kaddafistrijders in de straten van Tripoli aan.

Uit de documenten blijkt ook dat de toenmalige Libische inlichtingenchef Moussa Koussa warme contacten onderhield met hooggeplaatste CIA-medewerkers. Een toespraak van Kaddafi over zijn wapenarsenaal lijkt te zijn geschreven door de CIA.

De samenwerking tussen de CIA en Kaddafi’s bewind was zo goed dat de Amerikanen ‘een permanente aanwezigheid’ in het Noord-Afrikaanse land hadden, zo blijkt uit een memorandum dat Stephen Kappes van de Amerikaanse inlichtingendienst aan Koussa stuurde. Kappes speelde een belangrijke rol in de onderhandelingen die ertoe leidden dat de Libische leider Muammar Kaddafi in 2003 besloot zijn nucleair programma op te geven.

De Britse inlichtingendiensten hielden Libië op de hoogte van de activiteiten van vluchtelingen in Groot-Brittannië. Zo liet de MI6 Libië in 2004 weten dat een Libische oppositieactivist was vrijgelaten uit een Britse gevangenis. Ook zouden de Britten telefoonnummers hebben willen traceren voor Libië.

De kranten baseren zich op geheime documenten, die onder meer zijn gevonden in een kantoor van Koussa. Hij vluchtte eind maart naar Groot-Brittannië en reisde daarna naar Qatar.

De documenten zijn ingezien en gekopieerd door onderzoekers van de mensenrechtenorganisatie Human Rights Watch (HRW). De medewerkers waren vrijdag in een gebouw van de Libische inlichtingendienst. HRW helpt de nieuwe regering van Libië met het veiligstellen van documenten van het regime van Kaddafi.
De regeringen in Washington en Londen hebben nog niet gereageerd op de berichten.

( / 03.09.2011)

Written by altahrir

September 3, 2011 at 8:57 pm

The Arab Spring Forces Israel to Change its Security Strategy

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September 03, 2011                         Arik Segal

The recent cycle of violence in southern Israel marked a few important precedents in Israeli security policy. First, the Southern Israeli border with Egypt is no longer safe as it has been in the past 30 years. Second, the peace agreement between Israel and Egypt should not be taken for granted. Third and most important was the decision of Israeli cabinet not to forcefully respond to rocket attacks coming from Gaza. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said that: “Israel will not respond to the attacks from Gaza with a large-scale operation”. The Israeli government realized that the new environment created by the Arab Spring has limited the Israeli use of power as means to achieve security- thus the strategy of deterrence has become less effective. Israel should seek a new strategy of engagement with the Arab world that will secure it in the long term.

The use of deterrence as a tool in Israeli defense policy is rooted in the origins of the Jewish state and its first Prime Minister – David Ben-Gurion. Following the Arab refusal to accept the UN’s partition plan and the consequent 1948 war, Ben-Gurion acknowledged that the Arab nations will never accept the existence of the Jewish state among them, thus Israel will have to fight a serious of wars in which it will have achieve a fast and decisive victory by overwhelming force. His reasoning was that In the post World War 2 era, military conflicts were won by sheer numbers and since the Arab-Israeli population ration was 200-1, therefore, Ben-Gurion thought that it was imperative for Israel to develop a strong military deterrence capability.

To perform and maintain a strong deterrence capability, the Israeli military must follow these principles: retaliate with overwhelming force when Israel is attacked, maintain advanced defensive weaponry and keep a qualitative military advantage over the Arab armies.
Eventually, Ben-Gurion concluded, the Arab nations will come to grasp that it is impossible to win Israel by force and they will come to terms with a Jewish state in the heart of the Middle East. This paradigm was the basis for the development of the Israeli Security Perception that persists until present day – more than 60 years since the country was established.

Up until the beginning of the 80′s, Ben-Gurion’s deterrence strategy proved to be successful. The Israeli military managed to achieve decisive victories in the wars it fought, the Mossad and Israeli elite unites performed James Bond style operations all over the world and the Israeli military maintained its qualitative advantage over the Arab armies. Unofficial reports mentioned that Israel acquired nuclear capability which gives its deterrent capability another dimension. Finally, the peace agreement signed with Egypt in 1979 could be interpreted as Israel’s deterrence biggest achievement.

In the last three decades deterrence strategy became less efficient due to several reasons. First, the changing nature of global military conflicts makes it harder achieve and observe deterrence. Most military conflicts occur between a state and a non-state actor – the modern battlefield takes place in urban or rural staging areas and armies fight in guerilla style warfare. In this kind of warfare it is much more difficult for an organized, sophisticated military to achieve a clear, decisive victory. Moreover, fighting in urban populated areas entails an almost certain loss of civilian lives which undermines the benefits from engaging in a military operation. Finally, most groups which Israel is fighting against today embrace the “martyr” principle. As a result, it is much harder to threaten one with death when one is willing to die for his cause, especially when there will be many others to replace him after his death.

Second, Israel has yet to develop an efficient defensive deterrent weapons system that will answer the main threat it is facing today- hundreds and thousands rocket and missiles aimed at Israeli civilian centers from the Gaza strip and Southern Lebanon. The new “Iron Dome” system offers only a partial solution against the above threat. It is enough for one rocket to penetrate throw this system to kill many civilians and make it obsolete.

Third, the legitimacy under which Israeli deterrence strategy has been acting upon has changed since the early stages of the Jewish state. When Israel faced an existential threat from its neighbors who sought to push the Jewish people into the Mediterranean, it was easier for Israel to act with overwhelming force under the justification of self defense.  Nowadays, many interpret any use of force by Israel as directed against Palestinians who seek self determination and thus see it as unjustified –even when it is not the case. Therefore, Israel is largely criticized internationally and recently few congress members objected selling sophisticated weapons that is used by Israeli Special Forces.

The geo-political changes of the Arab Spring hit the final blow to the effectiveness of Israeli deterrence strategy. In a stable Middle Eastern environment, it was easy to recognize that Assad feared Israeli military might and has not engaged in an armed conflict despite Israeli attacks on Syrian soil. It was also easy to know that Mubarak’s Egypt would support Israeli operations in Gaza and Abdullah’s Jordan will not intervene if Israel decides to engage in a large operation in the West Bank. However the Middle East is far away from being stable and predictable. Israel now deals with more than the Arab rulers who feared Israeli military strength that might push them from their thrown, but with the Arab peoples who’s hatred towards Israel may pushes their new rulers to be more aggressive towards Israel – as witnessed in Egypt. Moreover, new alliances among new Arab governments might be formed and restrict Israeli military response – as in the case of Egypt-Hamas. It should come as no surprise that Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah praised his old Egyptian nemesis following its uproar towards Israel in the aftermath of the border incident.

The skirmish on the Egyptian-Israeli border made it clear – Israel cannot rely only on deterrence as a strategy to achieve security. This is not to say that Israel should give up on its military since it still faces severe security problems. However it should not rely solemnly on deterrence as means to achieve security. In addition it should develop an engagement strategy with Arab countries that will grant it security in the long term.  Such engagement could follow the lines of the Israeli Peace Initiative which seeks to promote a regional peace agreement in the Middle East. Israel has a lot to offer in terms of political and economic cooperation- especially in times when Arab nations need.

When a right wing government publicly admits that it chooses not to use its full military power  when Israeli sovereignty was violated, it proves that a change of strategy is no longer a question of political orientation. In the new Middle East deterrence as the only strategy to secure Israel is becoming less and less effective. It is time for Israeli decision makers to fulfill the second part of Ben-Gurion’s vision- to make peace with its neighbors.

( / 03.09.2011)

Written by altahrir

September 3, 2011 at 5:28 pm

Posted in Opinion others

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Gaza press protests Israel’s arrest of Al-Jazeera journalist Samer Allawi

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GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Dozens of journalists protested Saturday in front of UN offices in Gaza City demanding that Israel immediately released Al-Jazeera correspondent Samer Allawi.

Israeli authorities detained Allawi, Afghanistan bureau chief of the Qatar-based network, at the Allenby Bridge on the Jordan-West Bank border on August 10.

Allawi was returning from a three-week holiday in his hometown of Sebastiya in the West Bank district of Nablus, a statement from the satellite news channel’s Jerusalem bureau said.

Speaking at Saturday’s protest, director of the Doha Media Center Adel Zanoun said journalists paid a heavy price for their work as Israel either killed or detained them.

“Journalists came to speak out loud and ask Israel to immediately release Samir Allawi and all other journalists detained in Israel. The only crime those journalists committed was being professional and defending the freedom of press and expression.”

Al-Jazeera correspondent in Gaza Wael Dahdouh also highlighted the dangers of journalism in the region, saying reporters were “either killed, injured or detained.” He noted that Al-Jazeera cameraman Ali Hassan Al-Jaber was killed in March in Libya.

Dahdouh said Allawi had visited his family in Nablus several times before without incident.

Israel was holding Allawi without charge “in line with Israel’s arbitrary practices against Al-Jazeera,” he added.

In August, Allawi’s lawyer Salim Waqim told Ma’an the journalist was arrested by Israel’s internal intelligence service Shin Bet.

He was being held on suspicion of affiliation with Hamas’ military wing, but there was no evidence against him, the lawyer said.

Israeli intelligence forces questioned the journalist about his work and management of Al-Jazeera’s bureau in Afghanistan, Waqim added, and took the login details for his personal work email and news software information.

His financial status, relationships with family and relatives, school days in Nablus and his college years in Islamabad were also questioned, the lawyer said.

Israeli authorities queried whether Allawi was in touch with US, Jordanian, Palestinian or other intelligence services, and accused him of being a member of and in contact with Islamist group Hamas.

( / 03.09.2011)

Written by altahrir

September 3, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Analysis: Why UN statehood for Palestine is pointless

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By Gloria Caleb
Published: September 3, 2011
BEIRUT: Out on the streets of Beirut and particularly in and around the crowded Palestinian refugee camps in the last week of July, one frequently saw Palestinians chanting slogans and waving their national flag. No matter what the occasion, these gatherings always reiterate Palestinian people’s right to return to their homeland from which they were expelled six decades ago on the creation of Israel.

With the same goal in mind, the Palestinian National Authority (PA) will present its case of recognition as a state of a broken up rump Palestine  – bits and pieces of Palestine that remain on the West Bank – to the United Nations next month.

But for many, returning home still seems like a far-fetched ideal.

At the Viva Palestina Arabia conference at the American University of Beirut, there was little enthusiasm among the Palestinians for the idea of a UN membership for rump Palestine.

Far from helping it, the PA’s bid for UN recognition has worsened its political crisis. Palestinians point out that it is meaningless for towns, villages and refugee camps surrounded by Israeli walls to be presented as a sovereign state.

Dr Ghada Karmi, a leading Palestinian activist and writer, has for decades been an ardent supporter of a civil revolt as opposed to armed resistance. She, however, was severely critical of the insistence of PA president Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah group on talks with Israel. “They (Fatah) have closed all doors,” said Karmi, 74, while referring to the president’s position that negotiations are the only means to a solution. “Once your enemy knows that carrying out [futile] talks is all you are capable of, he won’t care. You can talk for as long as you like and they (the Israelis) will build settlement upon settlement,” she added.

Among the most prominent sceptics of the idea of a premature state is Leila Khaled, a leader of the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Khaled, 67, who herself is a refugee from Palestine, is an icon for Palestinians since her hijacking of a TWA airliner in 1969. “People who support negotiations, must identify whom the Palestinians must negotiate with,” she said at the Viva Palestina event. For her the United States’ repeated use of its veto power in favour of Israel is the main reason for the stalled progress on the road to a solution of the Middle East dispute.

The US insistence on a mediatory role between the two parties is inconsistent with its policies in the Middle East which are hostile to Arabs. Armed intervention in the name of democracy in Iraq and support to the Western-backed Libyan rebels makes Palestinians understandably wary of the prospect of Americans being interlocutors in negotiations with Israel.

Palestinians generally view the move for UN-sanctioned statehood as a desperate move by the PA president as a safeguard against a popular uprising similar to the Arab Spring.

( / 03.09.2011)

Written by altahrir

September 3, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Tegenvallende interesse voor Wilders in Berlijn

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De fractieleider van de PVV, Geert Wilders, heeft onder zeer strenge veiligheidsmaatregelen vandaag in Berlijn een toespraak gehouden op een bijeenkomst van de kleine, rechtse partij Die Freiheit van René Stadtkewitz.. Die Freiheit geldt als een Duitse versie van Wilders’ PVV. Volgens Stadtkewitz ,,verkoopt bondskanselier Angela Merkel Duitsland aan Europa” en zijn de meeste werklozen in Duitsland afkomstig uit moslimlanden.

Wilders keerde zich opnieuw tegen de Europese superstaat en de islam, die hij ziet als grootste bedreigingen. Hij beklemtoonde ook dat ,,Breivik geen van ons is”, verwijzend naar de Noorse, ultrarechtse extremist Anders Behring Breivik, die in juli een bomaanslag in Oslo en een massamoord ten noordwesten van de stad pleegde. ,,Wij weren geweld af, wij zijn democraten, wij geloven in vredelievendheid, wij wijzen de islam af vanwege zijn gewelddadigheid”, aldus Wilders.

Tegenvallende opkomst
Er waren met naar schatting 600 belangstellenden minder toehoorders dan verwacht. De politie had de omgeving van het hotel waar Wilders en gelijkgezinden uit onder meer Duitsland en Oostenrijk bijeen zijn gekomen, afgezet. Een paar honderd demonstranten betoogden tegen de bijeenkomst.

( / 03.09.2011)

Written by altahrir

September 3, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Posted in Politics anti Islam

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Muslim preacher assassinated in London

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London, (Pal Telegraph) – Sheikh Maymun Zarzur, a Lebanese imam, was killed after leading prayers at the Muslim Welfare House in London, the Islamic centre said on Saturday.

Zarzour was found dead on Friday after leading the early morning Fajr prayers at the Islamic community centre, Muslim Welfare House said.

Police said they had arrested a man at the scene on suspicion of murder.

According to a Muslim Brotherhood official in Lebanon, Zarzur is Lebanese and from the southern Iqleem al-Kharoub region. He was in his 40s.

Zarzur had been the imam at the Muslim Welfare House in north London since 2009.

“Our imam has passed away,” the centre said on its website.

“It is thought that he was killed inside his office. We would like to send our condolences to all the Muslims in north London and the UK.

“The sheikh was very friendly and never had an argument with anyone in the community during his career in this mosque.”

Friday’s Fajr prayer is listed on the trust’s website as being at 04:38am.

Scotland Yard said they had made one arrest.

“Police were called by London Ambulance Service at 10:21am on Friday to reports of a man seriously injured at Muslim Welfare House in Seven Sisters Road, north London,” a spokeswoman said.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene. While detectives await formal confirmation of his identity, they are contacting his
family, who live outside Britain. A post-mortem examination is being arranged, the spokeswoman said.

“A man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder. At this stage we are not seeking to make any further arrests.”

Police have openened an incident room and are appealing for witnesses.

Officers are working closely with the Muslim Welfare House “to reassure the community during this difficult time.

“Inquiries continue to establish the full circumstances and any motive, although we believe the person we have arrested attended the mosque.

“This is not believed to be a race/faith hate crime.”

The Muslim Welfare House was founded in 1970 and functions as a community centre. It is a registered charity with offices, two
training centres, a youth centre, a library and prayer rooms for men and women.

Maymoun survived an assignation attempt in Lebanon in 2007. Then, he came to London seeking asylum and safety but he was at the end assassinated.

( / 03.09.2011)

Written by altahrir

September 3, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Posted in Politics

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