Abbas is boos omdat Hamas zonder overleg een gewapend conflict met Israel uitlokte. Ook vindt Abbas dat Hamas een eerder voorstel voor een staakt het vuren met Egypte had moeten accepteren, waarmee er een maand eerder, op dezelfde voorwaarden een einde aan het geweld was gekomen. Dat had een hoop doden en verwoesting gescheeld. Ook zou Hamas een derde intifada hebben willen uitlokken en zelfs het PA bestuur onder leiding van Abbas omver werpen.
En tot slot heeft Hamas Abbas voorgelogen over de dood van die drie Israelische tieners. Hamas ontkende tegenover Abbas daarvoor verantwoordelijk te zijn, terwijl men dat later alsnog toegaf.
Dit alles is een slecht begin van de nieuwe eenheidsregering, en het laat zien dat Hamas geenszins bereid is zich te matigen. Het is dan ook zeer de vraag hoelang die stand gaat houden.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at a meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah with members of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) on July 22, 2014 (photo credit: AFP/Abbas Momani)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has accused Hamas of needlessly extending the fighting in the Gaza Strip over the past two months, causing a high death toll.
Abbas told Palestine TV in remarks broadcast Friday that “it was possible for us to avoid all of that, 2,000 martyrs, 10,000 injured, 50,000 houses (damaged or destroyed).”
Israel and Hamas militants fought for 50 days before reaching a truce on Tuesday.
More than 2,100 Palestinians were killed, including hundreds of civilians, according to Hamas figures. Israel says 750-1,000 of the dead are Hamas and other gunmen. It also blames Hamas for all civilian fatalities, since Hamas set up its rocket-launchers, tunnel openings and other elements of its war machine in Gaza neighborhoods and uses Gazans as “human shields.”
Seventy one people on the Israeli side, among them six civilians, were killed.
Of the 65 military fatalities in Israel, eleven were killed by Hamas gunmen emerging from cross-border tunnels dug under the Israeli border.
Over the course of the conflict, Hamas fired almost 4,000 rockets at Israel, including some 600 from close to schools, mosques and other civilian facilities, the Israeli army says.
Several Egyptian-mediated ceasefire attempts failed. Hamas eventually accepted almost the same truce offered at the beginning.
Abbas, whose Palestinian Authority runs the West Bank, formed a unity government backed by Hamas earlier this year. Abbas questioned the future of that arrangement in the interview.
A senior official in the PA also told the Times of Israel that Hamas is preventing the PA from returning to Gaza Strip. He said that despite declarations by Hamas that it would cooperate with the PA to rebuild the Gaza Strip, it’s so far preventing it from doing so.
Before the conflict began in early July, Abbas appointed five governors for the districts of the Gaza Strip, and after the truce took effect on Tuesday he asked them to open offices there, the official said. The five unnamed governors were prevented from doing so by armed Hamas guards, because there has been no change at the Israeli border crossings, Erez and Kerem Shalom.
“The status of these crossings remains exactly as it was on the eve of the war,” he said, namely in the hands of Hamas.
The official called on Israel to renew peace talks with the PA, otherwise the two sides were bound for a complex diplomatic conflict.
Next week the PA plans to seek Arab League approval for Abbas’s plan to set a UN timetable for the Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and the establishment of a Palestinian state. In September, it will bring the proposal to the Security Council and the General Assembly.
Should the US spike the motion with a Security Council veto, the PA has indicated it is prepared to turn to the International Criminal Court in the Hague in order to file suit against Israeli officials for alleged war crimes.
Afgelopen week verscheen een lang en onthutsend artikel van een voormalig AP correspondent over de bias in de berichtgeving over Israel. Wat al lang duidelijk te zien was, werd hier bevestigd. Het blijkt ook om bewust beleid te gaan. Het argument dat het logisch is dat er wat meer focus is op Israel omdat het een Westers land is gaat niet op; voor geen enkel ander land is naar verhouding zoveel aandacht en ook zulke selectieve aandacht. Een paar citaten:
“There has been much discussion recently of Hamas attempts to intimidate reporters. Any veteran of the press corps here knows the intimidation is real, and I saw it in action myself as an editor on the AP news desk. During the 2008-2009 Gaza fighting I personally erased a key detail—that Hamas fighters were dressed as civilians and being counted as civilians in the death toll—because of a threat to our reporter in Gaza. (The policy was then, and remains, not to inform readers that the story is censored unless the censorship is Israeli. Earlier this month, the AP’s Jerusalem news editor reported and submitted a story on Hamas intimidation; the story was shunted into deep freeze by his superiors and has not been published.)”
“In early 2009, for example, two colleagues of mine obtained information that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had made a significant peace offer to the Palestinian Authority several months earlier, and that the Palestinians had deemed it insufficient. This had not been reported yet and it was—or should have been—one of the biggest stories of the year. The reporters obtained confirmation from both sides and one even saw a map, but the top editors at the bureau decided that they would not publish the story. Some staffers were furious, but it didn’t help. Our narrative was that the Palestinians were moderate and the Israelis recalcitrant and increasingly extreme. Reporting the Olmert offer—like delving too deeply into the subject of Hamas—would make that narrative look like nonsense. And so we were instructed to ignore it, and did, for more than a year and a half.”
“The “Israeli-Palestinian” framing allows the Jews, a tiny minority in the Middle East, to be depicted as the stronger party. It also includes the implicit assumption that if the Palestinian problem is somehow solved the conflict will be over, though no informed person today believes this to be true. This definition also allows the Israeli settlement project, which I believe is a serious moral and strategic error on Israel’s part, to be described not as what it is—one more destructive symptom of the conflict—but rather as its cause.”
“Today, people in the West tend to believe the ills of the age are racism, colonialism, and militarism. The world’s only Jewish country has done less harm than most countries on earth, and more good—and yet when people went looking for a country that would symbolize the sins of our new post-colonial, post-militaristic, post-ethnic dream-world, the country they chose was this one.”
“Israel is not an idea, a symbol of good or evil, or a litmus test for liberal opinion at dinner parties. It is a small country in a scary part of the world that is getting scarier. It should be reported as critically as any other place, and understood in context and in proportion. Israel is not one of the most important stories in the world, or even in the Middle East; whatever the outcome in this region in the next decade, it will have as much to do with Israel as World War II had to do with Spain. Israel is a speck on the map—a sideshow that happens to carry an unusual emotional charge.”
Lees het hele artikel.
A former AP correspondent explains how and why reporters get Israel so wrong, and why it matters
A TV reporter does a stand-up near the Israeli/Gaza border as a 24-hour ceasefire begins on July 27, 2014. (Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)
The Israel Story
Is there anything left to say about Israel and Gaza? Newspapers this summer have been full of little else. Television viewers see heaps of rubble and plumes of smoke in their sleep. A representative from a recent issue of The New Yorker described the summer’s events by dedicating one sentence each to the horrors in Nigeria and Ukraine, four sentences to the crazed génocidaires of ISIS, and the rest of the article—30 sentences—to Israel and Gaza.
When the hysteria abates, I believe the events in Gaza will not be remembered by the world as particularly important. People were killed, most of them Palestinians, including many unarmed innocents. I wish I could say the tragedy of their deaths, or the deaths of Israel’s soldiers, will change something, that they mark a turning point. But they don’t. This round was not the first in the Arab wars with Israel and will not be the last. The Israeli campaign was little different in its execution from any other waged by a Western army against a similar enemy in recent years, except for the more immediate nature of the threat to a country’s own population, and the greater exertions, however futile, to avoid civilian deaths.
The lasting importance of this summer’s war, I believe, doesn’t lie in the war itself. It lies instead in the way the war has been described and responded to abroad, and the way this has laid bare the resurgence of an old, twisted pattern of thought and its migration from the margins to the mainstream of Western discourse—namely, a hostile obsession with Jews. The key to understanding this resurgence is not to be found among jihadi webmasters, basement conspiracy theorists, or radical activists. It is instead to be found first among the educated and respectable people who populate the international news industry; decent people, many of them, and some of them my former colleagues.
While global mania about Israeli actions has come to be taken for granted, it is actually the result of decisions made by individual human beings in positions of responsibility—in this case, journalists and editors. The world is not responding to events in this country, but rather to the description of these events by news organizations. The key to understanding the strange nature of the response is thus to be found in the practice of journalism, and specifically in a severe malfunction that is occurring in that profession—my profession—here in Israel.
In this essay I will try to provide a few tools to make sense of the news from Israel. I acquired these tools as an insider: Between 2006 and the end of 2011 I was a reporter and editor in the Jerusalem bureau of the Associated Press, one of the world’s two biggest news providers. I have lived in Israel since 1995 and have been reporting on it since 1997.
This essay is not an exhaustive survey of the sins of the international media, a conservative polemic, or a defense of Israeli policies. (I am a believer in the importance of the “mainstream” media, a liberal, and a critic of many of my country’s policies.) It necessarily involves some generalizations. I will first outline the central tropes of the international media’s Israel story—a story on which there is surprisingly little variation among mainstream outlets, and one which is, as the word “story” suggests, a narrative construct that is largely fiction. I will then note the broader historical context of the way Israel has come to be discussed and explain why I believe it to be a matter of concern not only for people preoccupied with Jewish affairs. I will try to keep it brief.
How Important Is the Israel Story?
Staffing is the best measure of the importance of a story to a particular news organization. When I was a correspondent at the AP, the agency had more than 40 staffers covering Israel and the Palestinian territories. That was significantly more news staff than the AP had in China, Russia, or India, or in all of the 50 countries of sub-Saharan Africa combined. It was higher than the total number of news-gathering employees in all the countries where the uprisings of the “Arab Spring” eventually erupted.
To offer a sense of scale: Before the outbreak of the civil war in Syria, the permanent AP presence in that country consisted of a single regime-approved stringer. The AP’s editors believed, that is, that Syria’s importance was less than one-40th that of Israel. I don’t mean to pick on the AP—the agency is wholly average, which makes it useful as an example. The big players in the news business practice groupthink, and these staffing arrangements were reflected across the herd. Staffing levels in Israel have decreased somewhat since the Arab uprisings began, but remain high. And when Israel flares up, as it did this summer, reporters are often moved from deadlier conflicts. Israel still trumps nearly everything else.
The volume of press coverage that results, even when little is going on, gives this conflict a prominence compared to which its actual human toll is absurdly small. In all of 2013, for example, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict claimed 42 lives—that is, roughly the monthly homicide rate in the city of Chicago. Jerusalem, internationally renowned as a city of conflict, had slightly fewer violent deaths per capita last year than Portland, Ore., one of America’s safer cities. In contrast, in three years the Syrian conflict has claimed an estimated 190,000 lives, or about 70,000 more than the number of people who have ever died in the Arab-Israeli conflict since it began a century ago.
News organizations have nonetheless decided that this conflict is more important than, for example, the more than 1,600 women (271 after being raped and 193 of them burned alive), the ongoing by the Chinese Communist Party, the (more than 5 million dead as of 2012) or the , and the drug wars in Mexico (death toll between 2006 and 2012: ), let alone conflicts no one has ever heard of in obscure corners of or . They believe Israel to be the most important story on earth, or very close.
Uit namenlijsten van gedode burgers in Gaza blijkt dat tussen de vele namen van dezelfde familie vaak een vreemde naam staat. Deze persoon bleek vaak een terrorist.
This cannot be a coincidence. It seems quite likely that the terrorists were using these homes as command and control centers, major weapons caches or other military targets, either with the families' permission or without. What is clear is that these homes were not randomly targeted.
Either way, the terrorists were using these families as human shields, and their deaths are squarely the fault of Hamas and the other terror groups the "guests" belonged to.
This is besides the terrorists who used their own families as human shields for their own activities.
It would be interesting to know if the IDF warned these families to leave their houses - and if their "guests" physically prevented them from doing so.
Ondertussen blijven de media frasen herhalen als ‘2100 doden, merendeels burgers’ zonder enige interesse in hoe die cijfers tot stand zijn gekomen en hoe betrouwbaar die zijn. Zie hieronder ook nog een voorbeeld van een door de Palestijnse mensenrechtenorganisatie PCHR genoteerde ‘onschuldige burger’ die een terrorist van de Islamitische Jihad bleek te zijn. De VN baseert zich o.a. op de cijfers van de PCHR.
Another fake "civilian" - and another family used as human shields
B'Tselem has been keeping track of entire families that have been killed in Gaza, listing all of the names of people killed in IAF raids.
In quite a few of these families, a single, fighting-age member whose last name is not the same as the family's was killed along with the families themselves.
B'Tselem noticed that in several cases, the odd-named person was in fact a terrorist.
For example, we have noted that in the Ziyadah family house - the family that was related to the Dutch "righteous gentile" who returned his award to Israel - they had a "guest" named Mohammed Mahmoud al-Maqadma who was, in fact, a terrorist.
This is a pattern.
25 members of the Abu Jame' family were killed - along with a single terrorist named Ahmad Sahmoud, according to B'Tselem.
8 members of the Abu Nijem family were hosting 2 terrorists, Daniel Mansur, 44 and Abd a-Nasser al-'Ajuri, 32.
3 members of al Al Masri family were killed while hosting terrorist Amjad Hamdan, 24.
So I wondered if any other of the anomalous names that B'Tselem didn't categorize as "military branch operatives" were indeed terrorists. Sure enough, I found one.
6 members of the Al-Bakri family were killed on August 4, along with 32-year old Ibrahim al-Misharawi.
Misharawi was an Islamic Jihad terrorist.
PCHR describes Mahmoud ‘Abdul Nasser Bahar, 22, killed in Shuja’iya July 20, as a "civilian."
He was actually a Hamas terrorist.
His body was found with 2 other "civilians" who were males in their 20s.