Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
- Letters from Rungholt ( you are right, this one is not in English but in German, the author is a friend of mine who lives in a kibbutz about half an hour's drive from my home )
- Not a Fish
- Step by Step
- Something Something
Monday, December 29, 2008
Unfortunately Hamas can not be fought, weakened, and convinced to stop firing rockets at Israeli civilians, without any Palestinian civilians being hurt. Gaza simply is too crowded with human beings, armaments and an often quite sophisticated military infrastructure for that. One question: what would the lives of Gazans have looked like if all the know-how, manpower, money and space that Hamas and other local terrorist organizations - and their outside helpers and financiers - have invested in terror and death had been spent on improving, really improving life in Gaza? First of all, I doubt if in that case Israel would have been able to continue the siege on the Strip, but even if the 'inhuman siege by the Zionists' had been there, with the same money, tunnels, concrete, manpower, and inventiveness that were used to produce, buy and smuggle weapons, the Hamas government could have built hospitals, kindergartens, houses, and bought food and medical supplies for the people it is supposed to be responsible for.
While Israel-haters and 'supporters' of the Palestinians do not have any problem with Jewish and other Israeli civilians being killed and terrorized by Hamas and other terrorist organizations, Israel does have a serious problem with that. And who can blame the Jewish state, except for those same Israel-haters, who come in various shapes, sizes and political colors? Today the UN said that 51 civilians have been killed in Gaza so far since Saturday. That is 51 too many. But if that number is correct, and so is the number - given by Hamas - of about 300 Palestinians killed, that means that 83% of those killed were 'militants'. With such a percentage - and again let me stress that every civilian hurt is one too many - you really have to hate Israel to maintain that the country targets civilians on purpose. The mere fact that several Hamas hotshots have taken refuge in hospitals and mosques proves otherwise: they know that Israel does everything it can to avoid civilian casualties. On the Israeli side, on the other hand, virtually all people who have been and continue to be hurt and killed by Qassam, Grad and other rockets are civilians, including the Arab construction worker who was killed in Ashkelon this morning. Our enemies do not hesitate to specifically target a hospital, even - or particularly? - if that hospital treats Jews, Christians and Muslims and everybody else with the same dedication and love of life.
In a Dutch online medium I read that 'a' university building was destroyed. What it did not say was that this was the Islamic University, a Hamas stronghold, and that the main part of the building that was destroyed contained the university's laboratory, which was not only used for 'scientific' purposes but also for the production of explosives.
To finish this brainstorm-posting ( sorry, I am too busy for real, balanced postings right now, but I do feel the need to get some things off my chest now and then these days ) here is a link to yet another good piece by Ha'Aretz's Bradley Burston.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
- ik had hem even geoogeld, en ja hoor , mijn vermoeden kwam uit, deze meneer is dus van joodse afkomst. hoe kon het ook anders.
- Typisch een jood.
- Bij de omroep werken (vooral voor eigen glorie) ook mensen die familie van deze man zouden kunnen zijn,en niet alleen vanwege zijn afkomst!
- Respect voor dat volk
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
- 'pro-Israel': "Why not look at Zimbabwe, there's already an outbreak of cholera there? Why not worry about N. Korea? There're many places around the world where people die in scores, hundreds, thousands daily and nobody cares. Everyone's pre-occupied with Israel only and her so-called victims in Gaza who look like they really need a supply of Slimfast there. Why are thousands of people in the world denied justice by do-gooders whose only aim is to bash Israel?"
- 'pro-Palestinian': "YNE hes not published the core part of the interview, look for the clip and the interview on bbc news. In the most important part he says that us must begin to criticize the crimes of srael." (sic) ( I read both the acceptance speech and the interview that Mr Ahtisaari gave after he was named the Peace Prize winner, and also searched on the BBC website for any recent comments by him on Israel; I failed to find any such one-sided criticism by him ).
The only comment by the former president of Finland that could understandably anger Israel-supporters is his criticism of the Western boycott of Hamas and his implying that the West ( and Israel ) should talk to that organization. Like him, I do believe that you have to be blind and stubborn to want to ignore one of the most important players on the Palestinian side of the conflict. You do not have to like or agree with Hamas to understand and accept that they are part of the complex and sad Palestinian reality, and that that reality is part of our reality and has to be dealt with.
I agree with all that Mr Ahtisaari says in his acceptance speech. Two key phrases caught my attention: "All crises, including the one in the Middle East, can be resolved." and "If we want to achieve lasting results, we must look at the whole region." Particularly the latter phrase is important for Israel, since it says what Israel has often been saying: the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is part of a larger whole, and should be approached ( and will eventually be solved ) as such.
With Mr Obama having to focus on domestic problems before he will be able to seriously deal with the Middle East, maybe it would be a good idea for him - as one of the four members of the Middle East Quartet - to ask Mr Ahtisaari to help set up and operate some kind of comprehensive framework that will be aimed at finding a negotiated Palestinian/Arab-Israeli peace agreement. I cannot think of a more qualified and suitable candidate for such a job ( certainly not among those Nobel Peace Prize winners who are still alive ) than this man.
One additional advantage of using the services and expertise of Martti Ahtisaari is that his European contacts and background would help to enhance a European role in such a process, which I think would be a good thing. After all, Europe has even more interest in peace in the Middle East than the US, and Brussels has more carrots to offer both Israel and the Arab-Muslim world than Washington.