måndag 31 maj 2010

Ship to Gaza

Israeliska soldater överaskades av det våldsamma motståndet de mötte på den turkiska båten Mavi Marmara som försökte bryta blockaden av Gaza. De första soldaterna var endast utrustade med gevär med gummikulor och pistoler och det var först efter att situationen blev livsfarlig för dem som de använde sina handeldvapen.

Fred i Mellanöstern har följt med Gazaoperationen under den senaste veckan på deras hemsida får man viktig bakgrundsfakta till dagens våldsamheter i samband med bordningen av fartyget.

Aktivisterna på fartyget var väl förberedda och attacken på de israeliska soldaterna var tydligen en planerad del av "hjälpaktionen".

IDF forces met with pre-planned violence when attempting to board flotilla (Israeliska utrikesministeriets hemsida, text och video)

Här kan man se en video som visar en kvinna som säger att oeprationen kommer att få ett av två lyckliga slut: Endera når vi Gaza eller så dör vi som martyrer.

Här kan man se hur aktivisterna angriper de israeliska soldaterna

Här är händelserna filmade ur en annan vinkel

Här kan man läsa en beskrivning över vad som hände vid bordningen och vad som gick fel:
A brutal ambush at sea
"...Officials estimated that passengers will show slight resistance, and possibly minor violence; for that reason, the operation’s commander decided to bring the helicopter directly above the top deck. The first rope that soldiers used in order to descend down to the ship was wrested away by activists, most of them Turks, and tied to an antenna with the hopes of bringing the chopper down. However, Flotilla 13 fighters decided to carry on.
Navy commandoes slid down to the vessel one by one, yet then the unexpected occurred: The passengers that awaited them on the deck pulled out bats, clubs, and slingshots with glass marbles, assaulting each soldier as he disembarked. The fighters were nabbed one by one and were beaten up badly, yet they attempted to fight back.
However, to their misfortune, they were only equipped with paintball rifles used to disperse minor protests, such as the ones held in Bilin. The paintballs obviously made no impression on the activists, who kept on beating the troops up and even attempted to wrest away their weapons.
One soldier who came to the aid of a comrade was captured by the rioters and sustained severe blows. The commandoes were equipped with handguns but were told they should only use them in the face of life-threatening situations. When they came down from the chopper, they kept on shouting to each other “don’t shoot, don’t shoot,” even though they sustained numerous blows..."

Haaretz version:
Israel Navy commandos: Gaza flotilla activists tried to lynch us

Här får man information om den turkiska organisationen IHH som står som organisatör för operationen Ship to Gaza det var på IHH:s fartyg som våldsamheterna ägde rum.
Läs mera:
IHH, which plays a central role in organizing the flotilla to the Gaza Strip, is a Turkish humanitarian relief fund with a radical Islamic anti-Western orientation. Besides its legitimate philanthropic activities, it supports radical Islamic networks, including Hamas, and at least in the past, even global jihad elements.

När Israel beslöt att förhindra fartygen i operationen Ship to Gaza att bryta blockaden av Gaza har Israel lagen på sin sida.
Läs mera här:
The Gaza flotilla and the maritime blockade of Gaza - Legal background
1. A maritime blockade is in effect off the coast of Gaza. Such blockade has been imposed, as Israel is currently in a state of armed conflict with the Hamas regime that controls Gaza, which has repeatedly bombed civilian targets in Israel with weapons that have been smuggled into Gaza via the sea.
2. Maritime blockades are a legitimate and recognized measure under international law that may be implemented as part of an armed conflict at sea.
7. Under international maritime law, when a maritime blockade is in effect, no boats can enter the blockaded area. That includes both civilian and enemy vessels.
8. A state may take action to enforce a blockade. Any vessel that violates or attempts to violate a maritime blockade may be captured or even attacked under international law. The US Commander's Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations sets forth that a vessel is considered to be in attempt to breach a blockade from the time the vessel leaves its port with the intention of evading the blockade.

Law Expert Dr Robbie Sabel IDF action in international waters legal
Dr. Aaron Lerner Date: 31 May 2010
IMRA asked Hebrew University international law expert Dr. Robbie Sabel aboutthe legality of the IDF action in international waters.
Dr. Sabel explained that a state, in a time of conflict, can impose anembargo, and while it cannot carry out embargo activities in the territorialwaters of a third party, it can carry out embargo activities ininternational waters.
Within this framework it is legal to detain a civilian vessel trying tobreak an embargo and if in the course of detaining the vessel, force is usedagainst the forces carrying out the detention then that force has everyright to act in self defense.
Dr. Sabel noted that there is a long history of embargo activities ininternational waters.
Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)

torsdag 27 maj 2010

Gaza igen

Gaza verkar vara en av vår tids stora mediabluffar. Det kommer ständigt på nytt rapporter om den katastrofala situationen i Gaza men samtidigt finns det information som säger att situationen inte alls är så dålig. Jämfört med situationen på flera ställen i Afrika där människor svälter ihjäl och i bästa fall bor i ett tält verkar situationen i Gaza var rätt normal. Ett stort problem är naturligtvis att området styrs med järnhand av en terroristorganisation.
Här följer några artiklar som behandlar Gaza:

Fancy restaurants and Olympic-size pools: What the media won’t report about Gaza (Tom Gross National Post)
"In recent days, the international media, particularly in Europe and the Mideast, has been full of stories about “activist boats sailing to Gaza carrying desperately-needed humanitarian aid and building materials...
Indeed the BBC and other prominent Western media regularly lead their viewers and readers astray with accounts of a non-existent “mass humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza.
What they won’t tell you about are the fancy new restaurants and swimming pools of Gaza, or about the wind surfing competitions on Gaza beaches, or the Strip’s crowded shops and markets. Many Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza live a middle class (and in some cases an upper class) lifestyle that western journalists refuse to report on because it doesn’t fit with the simplistic story they were sent to write."Read more

Här finns websidan till en lyxrestaurang i Gaza som beskrivs i artikeln ovan. Artikelförfattaren hade ett samtal med direktören för resturangen som sade att affärerna går bra.

Fotografier från Gaza

UNRWA to Receive Dollars - but for What? (Hillel Fendel, Arutz Sheva)
"Once again, with the approval of Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Israel has allowed UNRWA in Gaza to receive a transfer of $12.5 million, in dollars. Hamas apparently makes a percentage on these monies.
However, in view of the fact that all transactions in Gaza take place in NIS (New Israeli Shekels), the question has been raised: What does UNRWA do with these dollars?
Arutz Sheva’s Shimon Cohen found that the money is deposited in the Postal Bank of Gaza, which is run by Hamas. Hamas then apparently changes the dollars into new Israeli shekels – and then sells the dollars on the Egyptian black market, where the rate is much higher. Hamas makes money on every transfer of dollars to UNRWA.
Evidence of this is seen, Cohen quoted an economic researcher as saying, in the fact that Hamas pays its own salaries very shortly after the UNRWA dollars reach Gaza. “Hamas sometimes has cash-flow problems,” Cohen says, “and complains that it can’t pay its salaries – but then, when the UNRWA dollars come, all of a sudden it can pay!”

UNRWA and UNHCR are the UN’s two organizations that deal with refugees around the world. UNHCR deals with millions of refugees all over the world, while UNRWA deals exclusively with the Arab refugees caused by Israel’s War of Independence in 1948. One difference between these two types of refugees is that UNHCR counts as refugees only those who lived in a particular place “from time immemorial” and were forced to leave because of war, totalitarian regimes and the like. UNRWA’s definition, however, is: "Every Arab who left Israel in 1948, and who lived there for two years [emphasis added], will also be considered a refugee - he and his descendants.”
This means, although it is not known to most people, that an “Arab refugee" who lived in what became the State of Israel for only two years up until 1948, and since then acquired American or other citizenship, is still listed on UNRWA books as a “refugee” – and his children and grandchildren as well.
UNHCR employs 6,300 people, one for every 2,803 refugees, while UNRWA employs 28,000 people - one for every 164 refugees."

GPO advises foreign journalists on luxurious Gaza restaurant
In a bid to stir awareness of anti-Israeli slants in foreign media coverage of Gaza, the Government Press Office sent an e-mail on Wednesday to members of the Foreign Press Association in Israel containing a guide to a luxurious restaurant in the Strip and a recently opened Olympic-sized pool...
...Speaking to The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday, Seaman said he not surprised to receive several outraged responses from foreign journalists.“Those who act as spokespeople for Palestinian propaganda were furious with self-righteous indignation and were angry,” Seaman said. “This was to be expected.”“There is much hypocrisy in the coverage by international media of Gaza, and unfortunately, to some extent, the Israeli media plays a part in it. We are receiving political, slanted coverage. This message could help them wake up and do a better job,” he added.

onsdag 26 maj 2010

Kristna i Egypten

En artikel om den besvärliga situationen för kristna i Egypten kan läsas här:
Coptic Christians Voicing Frustration With White House As Persecution Widens in Egypt (The Sun)
Det verkar som om USA när de vill vara vän med de muslimska araberna glömmer bort de förföljda kristna araberna.

"The leaders of Coptic Christians, whose community is facing growing persecution in Egypt, say they have been unsuccessful in efforts to gain a hearing from the White House or other parts of the Obama administration.
Heightened persecution of Egypt’s 12 million Christians coupled with growing power and prestige of their Coptic Diaspora in America and Australia is leading to new political efforts here. Educated and skilled Egyptian Copts who migrated in large numbers in recent decades are talking to Congress, organizing lobbies, and making other efforts to be heard.
They say they are frustrated by the current administration in Washington, particularly after President Obama’s overture to the Muslim world via a speech at Cairo. In the speech Mr. Obama President apologized for America’s misdeeds to Muslims, stating that he came “to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world.” Coptic leaders say that even while reaching out to Muslims the administration has turned a deaf ear to the pleas Arab Christian minority in the very country where he delivered his apology to Muslims."


Här följer en redogörelse över den humanitära situationen i Gaza och vilka varor som trasporterats till Gaza via Israel.

Overview of The Humanitarian Situation in the Gaza Strip, 25 May 2010

Food Products and Clothing:
Most types of food are allowed into the Strip, and are transferred by the private sector or by international organizations.
During 2009, 30,920 trucks containing 800,000 tons of supplies were transferred into Gaza. This included fruits and vegetables, meat products, poultry and fish, dairy products, sugar, rice and legumes, flour and yeast, oil, and more. Furthermore, 10,871 heads of cattle were transferred for the Muslim holidays of Ramadan and Eid al-Adha.
In the first quarter of 2010 (January-March), 94,500 tons of supplies were transferred in 3,676 trucks to the Strip: 48,000 tons of food products; 40,000 tons of wheat; 2,760 tons of rice; 1,987 tons of clothes and footwear; 553 tons of milk powder and baby food.
In 2009, 572 trucks containing approximately 5,000 tons of medical supplies entered the Strip.
In the first quarter of 2010 (January-March) 1,068 tons of medicine and medical equipment were transferred in 152 trucks.
In 2009 two elevators were transferred to hospitals in Gaza, as was a CT imaging system (to the Red Cross hospital), and equipment for a mammography machine (which checks for breast cancer).
During the first quarter of 2010 four trucks with special supplies for a project of the “Al Quds” hospital were transferred to the Gaza Strip, and an additional 13 trucks are scheduled to cross.
Due to fears of a swine flu outbreak, three Israeli hospitals were assigned to treat cases in the Gaza Strip and 44,500 immunizations were transferred to the Strip.

Equipment for Essential Civilian Infrastructure:
In 2009 Israel transferred 41 trucks of equipment for the maintenance of the electricity grid, and the state continues to provide approximately 60% of Gaza’s electricity.
In 2009 over 105 million liters of fuel were transferred to Gaza’s power plant and over 3.2 million liters of gas were transferred for UNWRA operations.
In 2009 127 trucks containing more than 3,000 tons of hypochlorite entered the Gaza Strip for water purification purposes. Moreover, 48 trucks of equipment for improving the sanitation infrastructure led to a substantial reduction in the Beit Lahya facility’s waste levels.
As part of the preparations made for winter, 3,607 tons of glass was transferred to the Gaza Strip. According to UN reports, windows in all education and health institutions were repaired.
In the first quarter of 2010 Israel transferred:
250 trucks with equipment for the UNWRA summer camp, including: arts and crafts equipment, swimming pools, inflatable toys, ice cream machines, musical instruments, clothing, sports equipment, etc.
Seven trucks with equipment for upgrading the sewage pumping station, which was carried out by UNWRA.
74 empty containers for UNWRA for use in classrooms and bathrooms
Certain types of materials, such as cement and iron, are more restricted. These products are openly used by Hamas for developing its arsenal, building bunkers and launching sites, and making rockets and mortars.
Despite the risk, the transfer of these items is also permitted under supervision, once it has been cleared that these materials are for civilian purposes only. Already in the first quarter of 2010, 23 tons of iron and 25 tons of cement were transferred to the Gaza Strip.

Movement of Residents in and out of the Gaza Strip
Despite the inherent dangers involved, Israel permits Gazans and visitors to travel between Gaza and Israel, from Gaza to Judea and Samaria, and abroad for medical treatment, religious pilgrimages, and business trips. Whenever possible Israel allows for diplomatic activities as well as trade and commerce with the Gaza Strip.
Here are a number of examples from 2009:
Delegations from abroad: 21,200 activists from international organizations from over 400 diplomatic delegations were permitted entry into Gaza, and 2,200 Palestinians employed by international organizations were given exit permits from the Gaza Strip.
Education, Vacations and Pilgrimages to Holy sites: 147 permits were given to Palestinian students for academic studies around the world. During the Christmas holiday approximately 400 permits were given to visit Bethlehem from Gaza as well 100 permits to travel abroad.
Business: 257 permits were given to businessmen from Gaza to facilitate business operations.
Sports: Special permission was given to Gazan footballers to train in Judea and Samaria and compete in international matches abroad.

Trade and Commerce
Israel has taken measures to support trade and commerce, the banking system, and the existing financial market in the Gaza Strip:
In 2009 1.1 billion NIS was transferred to the Gaza Strip for the ongoing activity of international organizations and to pay the salaries of Palestinian Authority workers.
40 million damaged bank notes were traded for new bills, and at the request of the Palestinian Monetary Fund, 282.5 million shekels were transferred from Gazan to Israeli Banks.
In February 2010 an agreement was reached with the Palestinian Authority’s National Insurance Department to ensure that pensions reached those formerly employed in Israel. The funds were deposited in banks in Judea and Samaria, while the Palestinian Authority was given the responsibility of distributing the funds to the pensioners in Gaza.

The State of Israel seeks to achieve regional stability and protection of her citizens. It is not in the interest of Israel to harm the people of Gaza and the state does its utmost to assist aid efforts, so as not to harm the quality of life for the residents of Gaza. Hamas, in its continued efforts to smuggle weapons into the Gaza Strip, harms the people of Gaza and undermines further development. Despite these ever-present security threats, the IDF continues to allow the transfer of commercial goods, building materials, and medical equipment into Gaza.

måndag 24 maj 2010

Israels rätt till "ockuperade" områden

Israel har rätt till Gaza och Västbanken skriver Berndt Ekström.
"Kunskapen om nutidshistoria brister på många håll och den som intresserar sig för Israel-Palestina-konflikten bör noga läsa FN-deklarationen från 1922 (det skall vara NF:s deklaration, Daniel). För trots en absurd situation med många resolutioner från flera av FN:s organ så är de israeliska rättigheterna till Gaza och Västbanken obestridliga, skriver Berndt Ekström i en replik."
Läs den läsvärda artikeln här: Israel har rätt till Gaza och Västbanken

Hamas håller Gaza i ett järngrepp

Mia Gröndahl berättar på Sveriges Radio om hur Hamas skrämmer oliktänkande till tystnad.
Läs hela artikeln här: Cyklelspionerna på Gaza
"Sedan Hamas tog makten i Gaza för tre år sedan har säkerhetsstyrkorna trappat upp jakten på de oliktänkande. Alla måste vara beredda på att kunna svara på frågan: ”Är du med Allah eller Ramallah”? Valet skulle alltså stå mellan Gud och den Fatahstyrda myndigheten i Ramallah. Hamas anar motståndare i alla läger. Till säkerhetspolisens väntrum kallas en strid ström av journalister, rappare, Fatahsympatisörer och salafister, ännu mer hårdföra islamister än Hamas. En vanlig taktik är att låta folk vänta i timmar på sitt förhör.
”Hamas har skapat ett klimat av misstänksamhet”, säjer Ahmed. ” Jag vågar inte lita på någon längre. Det är som att leva i ett mentalt fängelse. Jag gick till en psykolog för att få hjälp. Men hans enda råd var: ”Du måste lämna Gaza!”

Hamas skrämseltaktik mot remsans medie- och kulturarbetare har varit effektiv. Folk bedriver självcensur och tiger om övergreppen. De som skulle kunna berätta, stora och mäktiga nyhetsbyråer som BBC och Al Jazeera, håller också tyst. Al Jazeera – som finansieras av emiren i Qatar – stödjer Hamas och den hårdföra islamiseringen av Gaza. Att BBC inte vågar utmana Hamas beror troligtvis på att man vill skydda sina lokala korrespondenter; efter kidnappningen av Alan Johnstone för tre år sedan tar man inga risker."

Här kan man läsa om hur Hamas och andra islamistiska organisationer i Gaza ger sig på allt som kan anses västerländskt:
Barnläger i Gaza vandaliserat
"Maskerade män vandaliserade tidigt i morse ett sommarläger för barn vid Medelhavet. Lägeranläggningen, som drivs av FN, jämnades med marken...
...FN-organet Unrwas sommarläger erbjuder en kvarts miljon barn i Gaza social samvaro. De islamistiska grupperna beskriver lägren som o-islamiska, eftersom flickor och pojkar leker och badar tillsammans."

Irans ledning slår hårt mot sin egen befolkning

Den iranska studentaktivisten Bahareh Hedayat har dömts till nio och ett halvt års fängelse bl.a för att ha förolämpat landets ledare.
Bahareh Hedayat & Milad Asadi Receive Long Prison Sentences

Här kan man se Bahareh Hedayat framföra sitt budskap.

Iran Continues Use of Executions and Brutal Tactics to Silence Opposition
Freedom House condemns continued efforts by the Iranian government to silence its detractors, including the May 9 execution of five political prisoners and today’s slanderous comments, made by state-controlled newspaper, Raja News, against jailed human rights defender Shiva Nazar Ahari.

The political prisoners, executed in secret at Evin prison, had all been convicted of the crime of mohareb (rebellion against God). According to local human rights groups and media reports, the sudden and secretive nature of the executions was politically motivated to discourage renewed protests before the approaching one-year anniversary of the unrest that followed last June’s contested presidential elections. The case of one of the executed prisoners, Shirin Alam-Hooli, was still in the appeal process.

Jakov Zim ja holokaustin muisto

Om du förstår finska eller hebreiska kan du gärna se programmet från TV 7 med Jakov Zim, som överlevde förintelselägren.
Det 30 minuter långa programmet kan ses här:
Israel puhuu - Jakov Zim ja holokaustin muisto
Lisätietoja ohjelmasta
Israelissa elää vielä noin 300 000 natsivainoista eloonjäänyttä henkilöä.
Israelissa vietetään vuosittain Natsivainojen muistopäivää. Tuolloin kello kymmeneltä soivat sireenit kaikkialla maassa, kuuden miljoonan tuhoutuneen juutalaisen muistoksi. Jerusalemissa on Jad vaShem-museo, joka pitää yllä Holokaustin muistoa ja kertoo siitä tuleville polville. Siellä on äskettäin aloitettu erityinen kristityille teologeille tarkoitettu opiskeluohjelma. Ohjelmassa ovat haastattelussa Jakov Tsim, Natsivainoista eloonjäänyt taiteilija, Susanna Kokkonen, Kristillisten Jad vaShemin tukijärjestön johtaja sekä John Remes ja Rami Lehtola, suomalaiset pastorit jotka osallistuvat Jad vaShem-museon opiskeluohjelmaan.

TV 7

fredag 21 maj 2010

Gaza fick simbassäng som fyller olympisk standard

Den palestinska nyhetsbyrån Maan rapporterar att en simbassäng som fyller olympisk standard invigdes i Gaza senaste tisdag. Det är en sida av verkligheten i Gaza som inte allmänheten i Europa är medveten om.
Gaza opens first Olympic-size swimming pool
"Gaza – Ma'an – Gaza's first Olympic-standard swimming pool was inaugurated at the As-Sadaka club during a ceremony on Tuesday held by the Islamic Society.Gaza government ministers, members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, leaders of Islamic and national governing bodies, as well as club members and athletes were among those at the opening ceremony, where Secretary-General of the Islamic Society Nasim Yaseen thanked the donors who helped realize the project. Yaseen praised the As-Sadaka club for a number of wins in international and regional football, volleyball and table tennis matches. As-Sadaka athletes performed a number of swimming exercises in the new pool to mark its opening. "

Nakba day - Katastrofens dag

En läsvärd artikel av Ben-Dror Yemini som handlar om de palestinska flyktingarnas unika status och om vilken befolkning som fanns i landet när judarna började återvända i större mängder.
(Nakba day - "katastrofens dag", palestinierna firar dagen till minnet av Israels tillblivelse.)

Nakba Day and the Fraud
-The Palestinians have been holding the title of “refugees” for over six decades.
-They have succeeded in creating a unique historical narrative for themselves
-This myth is growing, so it should be shattered and the real facts presented: the Palestinian population before the first Aliya was sparse, hundreds of thousands of Jews were also expelled from Arab countries, and there is no precedent anywhere in the world for the right of return

The Nakba - the story of the Palestinian refugees - is the greatest success story in the history of modern times, a success that is a complete fraud. There is no other group of “refugees” in the world that has gotten such broad global coverage. Not a week goes by without a conference, another conference, about the wretched state of the Palestinians. There is not a campus in the West that does not devote countless events, conferences and publications, each year or each month to the issue of the Palestinian refugees. They have become the ultimate victims. A million calamities and injustices and expulsions and population exchanges and acts of genocide and slaughter and wars have befallen the world since the Arabs, among them the Palestinians, declared a war of annihilation on Israel - but the Nakba of the Palestinians takes up most of the space. A visitor from another planet would think that it was the greatest injustice suffered by the entire universe since the Second World War. So it is best to shatter this lie. It is best to present the real facts. It is best to expose the fraud.

The Jews came to the area of the Land of Israel, which was part of the Ottoman Empire, in many small waves, back before the First Aliya. Did they really expel millions of Arabs? Well, there is no debating the fact that in those years there were no “Palestinians” and there was no “Palestine” and there was no “Palestinian identity.” And, mainly, there was no real boundary between Arabs from Syria, Egypt or Jordan. There was a steady stream of people. In the years in which Muhammad Ali and his son conquered this region in 1831 - 1840, they sent many Arabs from Egypt to Gaza, Jaffa and other cities. The Jews who also arrived in Jaffa during those years helped to develop the city as well.

Forgotten research findings

There is a debate among historians over the number of Arabs who lived during those years in the area of “Palestine,” which, in effect, was composed of districts (Sanjaks) that were subject to Damascus or Beirut, as part of the Ottoman Empire. The most serious testimony about what existed before the First Aliya is a forgotten one. It's known to many scholars, but it doesn't exist in the public discourse. It was made by a delegation of British researchers - the Palestine Exploration Fund - which traveled through the western Land of Israel in 1871 - 1878, from Dan to Beer Sheba, and published a precise and authentic map of settlements in 26 parts, which is rare for its size, type and authenticity. The researchers found a small number of sparse settlements here. The journalist Zeev Galili published a comprehensive investigation following publication of the map, and found that Haifa, for example, was a settlement of 440 x 190 meters. No more than that. Acre and Nazareth were larger settlements, whose area was 600 x 300 meters. The size of Jaffa was 540 x 240 meters. Jerusalem was situated between the walls, and was relatively huge, about 1,000 meters x 1,000 meters. There were a total of about 100,000 residents. A rare collection of photographs of the Land of Israel in those years clarifies the size of the settlements, and gives another fascinating look at those times.
Läs hela artikeln här.

Raket från Gaza sköts mot Israel

En Kassamraket sköts från norra Gaza mot den israeliska staden Ashkelon sent på torsdagen. Ingen skadades. Israel svarade med att bomba några tunlar vid gränsen till Gaza.
Oroligheterna vid Gazagränsen fortsatte på fredagen när två terrorister som försökte ta sig in i Israel dödades i en eldstrid.
Rocket hits near Ashkelon
IDF kills 2 terrorist infiltrators
"The IDF sustained no casualties in the incident, which occurred near Kibbutz Nirim on the border with Gaza. An IDF scouting unit identified the infiltration and a firefight erupted with IDF units called to the area.Several neighboring communities were placed under security alert due to the risk of additional infiltrations, and IDF helicopters arrived to assist the search."

torsdag 20 maj 2010

Jerusalemdagens tal av Netanyahu

Ett tal väl värt att läsas!
"Gör väl mot Sion i din nåd, bygg upp Jerusalems murar." Ps 51:20

"För Sions skull vill jag inte tiga, för Jerusalems skull vill jag ej unna mig ro, förrän dess rättfärdighet går upp som solens sken och dess frälsning lyser som ett brinnande bloss" Jes 62:1

PM Netanyahu on Jerusalem Day
12 May 2010

No other people has the connection the people of Israel have with Jerusalem and Zion. But there was also no other people that allowed other religions freedom of worship and freedom of access to the holy places other than the people of Israel.

In 1968, it was decided that the day marking the liberation and reunification of Jerusalem - 28 Iyar according to the Jewish lunar calendar - would be a national holiday in Israel. On Jerusalem Day we celebrate the reunification of the city and the Jewish people's connection with Jerusalem throughout the ages.
Jerusalem Day speech at Mercaz Harav Yeshiva
"For Zion's sake, I will not be silent, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not be still, until her righteousness emanates like bright light, and her salvation blazes like a torch." [Isaiah 62:1]
I chose to begin my remarks honoring Jerusalem this evening with this verse because the struggle for Jerusalem is a struggle for the truth - nothing more and nothing less. For the truth!
There can be no justice without truth. If justice is distorted with regard to our people and our capital, this is a problem associated with truth. The truth is that Jerusalem is the very air that our people breathe. We have an unbreakable bond with Jerusalem - one that has lasted thousands of years, over 3,000 years to be precise. We never ever relinquished that bond. We did not relinquish it when the Temple was destroyed the first time; we did not relinquish it when the Temple was destroyed the second time; we did not relinquish this bond at any point thereafter. Sixty years after the Second Temple was destroyed, the people of Israel rose up and fought again, and even then we did not relinquish that bond.
Even after the third destruction - not of the Temple this time - we did not relinquish our bond. We remained devoted to Jerusalem and we preserved Zion in the broadest sense of the word. The entire land and people make up this word, this concept - "Zion". We did not give up!
For 2,000 years we have been saying: We are in exile. We have not been in exile for 2,000 years - even this is not true. We continued to live here. Where did the Rabban Gamliel work? In Sweden? Where were his wonderful writings composed? In Israel. In the 4th, 5th, 6th centuries, the people of Israel were a majority in the Land of Israel, as Professor Dinur proved in his important studies. The Jews were a majority in the Land of Israel through the ninth century, and this majority was only lost after 200 years of Arab conquest - and even then we did not relinquish our bond.
Every year, every day during our exile, we said, "Next year in Jerusalem". "Next year in Jerusalem". It did not matter if it was the tenth century or the eleventh or the twelfth. This aspiration - to return to Jerusalem and live there and build there and be built in Jerusalem - has been an integral part of the people of Israel for thousands of years - and we again became a majority in this city, our city, in the mid-nineteenth century, ever since we began building.
We are not banishing anyone; we are not removing anyone; because the second half of the truth is that no other people has the connection the people of Israel have with Jerusalem and Zion. However, there was also no other people that allowed other religions freedom of worship and freedom of access to the holy places other than the people of Israel. When we renewed our hold over all parts of the city, we renewed freedom of worship and allowed the members of all religions to pray and follow their faith under Israeli sovereignty.
I say all this because there is an attempt to paint us as foreign invaders, as conquerors, as a people with no connection to this place, and our response is: No other people has such a bond with its capital as the Jewish people do with Jerusalem.
I asked Rabbi Lau how many times Jerusalem or Zion is mentioned in the Book of Books. Do you know how many times? This could have been a question in the Bible Quiz, by the way. I will check the exact figure, but the answer is over 700 times. Over 700!
Compare this with the holy books of other religions - nothing comes close. I don't want to tell you what you'll find. There is no such bond between a people and its capital, and certainly no people has the same kind of bond we have with Jerusalem. This bond is with Jerusalem above and Jerusalem below. I welcome the fact that there are Jewish religious institutions because from Jerusalem, "from Zion will the Torah come forth". This is important. This has value. Zion is also a concept regarding our people's modern and developed capital, and we are building it and will continue to build and develop it. We will continue to absorb immigrants there and we will continue transforming it into a vibrant city.
We just held our weekly Cabinet meeting, during which we spoke of our desire to accomplish two goals: the first is to strengthen the economic capabilities of advanced technology factories and establishing them in Jerusalem. From Zion, software will come forth - this is also important. We also said that we want to strengthen our heritage in the Land of Israel, the State of Israel and especially Jerusalem.
Our future is based on our past, and our past creates our future. Only in Jerusalem is this demonstrated in a tangible and important way. That is why I seek to strengthen you. You strengthen me, although there is no need to do so. I am strong enough. I appreciate your drive and your support, but believe me - I am strong enough because I am from the same home you come from - from the House of Israel.
My grandfather was close friends with Rabbi Kook, of blessed memory. I can strengthen you. I thank you for strengthening me. We will strengthen each other for the future of Israel and for the capital of Israel - Jerusalem.
"Merciful Father, do good in Your favor unto Zion; build the walls of Jerusalem." [Psalms 51:20]
We are blessed to be the generation that witnessed the redemption of Israel and its revival, and there is nothing or no one that will stand in the way of this resurrection. We will continue to develop our city, which has been united, and we will continue to tell the truth.
If there is one thing I believe in, it is that God would never lie. Thank you.

Hjälp till Gaza?

En flotta på nio båtar är på väg med "hjälp" till Gaza. Israel har klargjort att båtarna inte kommer att tillåtas ta sig till Gaza. Hjälpsändningar skall sändas på laglig väg, landvägen.
I verkligheten är det inte hjälpsändningen som är målet med flottan utan det är någon form av propagandaresa där människor uttrycker sitt stöd för... Hamas? ... eller avsky för Israel?
Varje vecka sänds ungefär följande mängder material till Gaza från Israel. (Betydligt mer än vad som får plats på båtarna.)
Weekly summary of the Gaza crossings:
2 -8 May 2010- 714 truckloads (17,060 tons) of goods were transferred to the Gaza Strip.
- 1,535,777 liters of heavy-duty diesel for the Gaza power station and 293,796 liters for transportation, and 917 tons of cooking gas were delivered.
- 370 Gaza residents entered Israel for medical reasons and 93 entered Israel for other reasons via the Erez Crossing.

Läs mera: Ship to Gaza – lång omväg och mindre last (Fred i Mellanöstern skriver)
Organisationen Ship to Gaza har samlat ihop hundratals aktivister som ska skickas till Gazaremsan tillsammans med en del förnödenheter och utrustning. Men
till skillnad från FN väljer man att inte använda den enklaste och snabbaste rutten för hjälpsändningen – dvs landvägen genom Israels öppna gränsövergångar till Gaza. Där skickas dagligen in långt större hjälpleveranser med exakt samma varor som dem som Ship to Gaza hittat plats för på sina båtar.

Henning Mankells medverkan sänker Ship to Gazas trovärdighet (LISA ABRAMOWICZ)
För närvarande pågår en stor mediekampanj vid namn Ship to Gaza, som är en del av Free Gaza Movement (FGM). FGM består av allsköns organisationer, bland annat den turkiska IHH som stödjer Hamas. I projektet Ship to Gaza deltar bl.a. den kristna hjälporganisationen Diakonia, författaren Henning Mankell liksom musikern Dror Feiler med sin organisation JIPF med kanske ett dussintal medlemmar.
Henning Mankell har i ett tal på Södra teatern i augusti förra året förklarat att han anser att Israel aldrig skulle ha etablerats och att det borde avvecklas som den "apartheidstat" i likhet med Sydafrika den är. Han talar i ordalag som att "judarna kom med blodiga ess" efter andra världskriget och tvingade igenom sin statsbildning på världen. Texten står i Ship to Gazas hemsida http://www.shiptogaza.se/sv/henning-mankell-om-gazaLikaså försvarade Mankell då självmordsbombningar som "motstånd" fast han nyligen i en intervju i SvD säger att han gråter över dem. Tala om hyckleri!

Ledare: Diakonias dubbla skeppsbrott

Israel prepares for protest flotilla

tisdag 18 maj 2010

Hamas och Fatah

Hamas har verkställt avrättningen av tre påstådda mördare i Gaza trots protester från mänskorättsgrupper.
Hamas executes 3 convicted killers

De palestinska myndigheterna fortsätter att undervisa barn och ungdomar att Israel egentligen är palestiniernas land, som judarna stulit från dem. De palestinska myndigheterna gör fortfarande också terrorister till rollmodeller för ungdomarna.

PA TV again to children:All Israel is "Palestine"
During this week's PA TV children's program Katakit ("Chicks") the children in the studio told of their visits to places in Israel - Jaffa, Haifa and the Sea of Galilee. However, following the common PA teaching, Israel's existence was not mentioned and the PA TV host included those places as all being part of the "state, Palestine."

PA kids told to follow path of terrorist Abu Jihad
The Palestinian Authority continues to use sporting events to glorify terrorists and present them as role models for children. This week, a football tournament named after terrorist Abu Jihad was sponsored by Fatah in a town near Jerusalem, while the lottery for another football tournament named after terrorist Abdallah Daoud took place in Bethlehem. In the Gaza Strip, a football tournament featured a team named after the terrorist Majed Abu Sharar.

PA to Israelis: Go to Europe and Ethiopia - Israel is "stolen" land
The message that all of Israel is stolen "Palestinian" land was repeated twice in the last week on official Palestinian Authority television.
In the most recent episode of the weekly program We Are Returning, this denial of Israel's right to exist led to a concrete demand. The PA TV narrator called for Jews to leave Israel and go to Europe and Ethiopia - "your original homeland."

Här kan man läsa en artikel från Fred i Mellanöstern: Palestinska flyktingar vittnar: vår ”naqba” orsakades av arabledarna (VIDEO)

måndag 10 maj 2010

Löftets folk - Sven Reichmann

Här kan man se sju ca 30 minuter långa undervisningspass av Sven Reichmann.En vän rekommenderade dem. Själv har jag inte sett alla ännu men Reichmanns undervisning är säkert intressant och ger en betydligt djupare kunskap om löftets folk - Israel än vad tidningsrubrikerna ger.
Var så god!

Löftets folk del 1 av Sven Reichmann from Fokus Israel on Vimeo.

Löftets folk del 2 av Sven Reichmann from Fokus Israel on Vimeo.

Löftets folk del 3 av Sven Reichmann from Fokus Israel on Vimeo.

Löftets folk del 4 av Sven Reichmann from Fokus Israel on Vimeo.

Löftets folk del 5 av Sven Reichmann from Fokus Israel on Vimeo.

Löftets folk del 6 av Sven Reichmann from Fokus Israel on Vimeo.

Löftets folk del 7 av Sven Reichmann from Fokus Israel on Vimeo.

Israel medlem av OECD

Israel har fått inbjudan att bli medlem av OECD. I Israel hälsas beslutet med glädje. Palestiniernas premiärminister och pro-palestinska grupper har försökt förhindra ett israeliskt medlemskap men OECD länderna var eniga i sitt beslut.

Accession : Estonia, Israel and Slovenia invited to join OECD
"10/05/2010 – OECD countries agreed today to invite Estonia, Israel and Slovenia to become members of the Organisation, paving the way for the Organisation’s membership to grow to 34 countries.
“Estonia, Israel and Slovenia, along with Chile that has just deposited its instrument to become a full member, will contribute to a more plural and open OECD that is playing an increasingly important role in the global economic architecture,” OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said."

PM celebrates Israel’s OECD accession
"Israel's accession to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is a significant advance in the state's international relations, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said at a press conference on Monday afternoon."

OECD:s medlemsländer:
Twenty countries originally signed the Convention on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development on 14 December 1960. Since then eleven countries have become members of the Organisation. The Member countries of the Organisation and the dates on which they deposited their instruments of ratification are:
AUSTRALIA: 7 June 1971
AUSTRIA: 29 September 1961
BELGIUM: 13 September 1961
CANADA: 10 April 1961
CHILE: 7 May 2010
CZECH REPUBLIC: 21 December 1995
DENMARK: 30 May 1961
FINLAND: 28 January 1969
FRANCE: 7 August 1961
GERMANY: 27 September 1961
GREECE: 27 September 1961
HUNGARY: 7 May 1996
ICELAND: 5 June 1961
IRELAND: 17 August 1961
ITALY: 29 March 1962
JAPAN: 28 April 1964
KOREA: 12 December 1996
LUXEMBOURG: 7 December 1961
MEXICO: 18 May 1994
NETHERLANDS: 13 November 1961
NEW ZEALAND: 29 May 1973
NORWAY: 4 July 1961
POLAND: 22 November 1996
PORTUGAL: 4 August 1961
SLOVAK REPUBLIC: 14 December 2000
SPAIN: 3 August 1961
SWEDEN: 28 September 1961
SWITZERLAND: 28 September 1961
TURKEY: 2 August 1961
UNITED STATES: 12 April 1961

onsdag 5 maj 2010

Myten om 1967 års gränser

Som jag ofta påpekat, det finns inget sådant som 1967 års gränser för Israel. Dore Gold skriver en bra artikel som behandlar ämnet:
The Myth of the 1967 Borders
In short, the 1967 lines are coming back as a common reference point when many officials and commentators talk about a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is increasingly assumed that there was a recognized international border between the West Bank and Israel in 1967 and what is necessary now is to restore it. Yet this entire discussion is based on a completely distorted understanding of the 1967 line, given the fact that in the West Bank it was not an international border at all.
Formally, the 1967 line in the West Bank should properly be called the 1949 Armistice Line. Looking back to that period, on the Egyptian and Syrian fronts there had been a history of international boundaries between British Mandate and its neighbors. But along the Jordanian front what created the armistice line was solely where Israeli and Arab forces stopped at the end of the War of Independence, with some added adjustments in certain sectors. As a result, the 1949 line, that came to be known also as the 1967 border, was really only a military line.
In fact, Article II of the Armistice with the Jordanians explicitly specified that the agreement did not compromise any future territorial claims of the parties, since it had been "dictated by exclusively by military considerations." In other words, the old Armistice Line was not a recognized international border. It had no finality. As a result, the Jordanians reserved the right after 1949 to demand territories inside Israel, for the Arab side. It was noteworthy that on May 31, 1967, the Jordanian ambassador to the UN made this very point to the UN Security Council just days before the Six-Day War, by stressing that the old armistice agreement "did not fix boundaries".

Läs hela artikeln här.

En spegel åt Abbas

Palestinierna har i över ett år vägrat förhandla med Israel. Palestiniernas president Abbas kallade idag den israeliska regeringen för extrem och osamarbetsvillig.
Någon borde ge Abbas en spegel.
(Indirekta förhandlingar verkar komma igång nu )

Abbas gives talks four months (Jerusalem Post)
Abbas gave the talks four months to make progress. After that, he said, he would seek Arab League advice on the next steps.
Speaking to CNN earlier Wednesday, Abbas called the Netanyahu government "extreme and uncooperative." The PA president added that "since they are an elected government, we have no choice but to work with them," but warned that he would halt negotiations should building in the West Bank continue.

tisdag 4 maj 2010

From Terrorists to Role Models

The Palestinian Authority'sInstitutionalization of Incitement ( En rapport från Palestinian Media Watch)
The PA's policy of naming schools, summer camps,sporting events, streets and ceremonies after terroristsfundamentally undermines the chance for peace.

"For this report, PMW chose 100 examples of places and events named after 46 different terrorists in order to show the scope of the phenomenon. Twenty six of the examples have been reported in the Palestinian media in 2010."
The report documents that: "Terror glorification is highly visible in Palestinian society. A Palestinian child can walk to school along a street named after the terrorist Abu Jihad, who planned a bus hijacking that killed 37, spend the day learning in a school named after Hamas founder Ahmad Yassin, in the afternoon play football in a tournament named after suicide terrorist Abd Al-Baset Odeh who killed 31, and end his day at a youth center named after terrorist Abu Iyad, responsible for the killing of the 11 Olympic athletes in Munich. A young woman can join a university women's club named Sisters of Dalal, after Dalal Mughrabi, attend a week at Al-Quds University honoring suicide bomb builder Yahya Ayyash, and participate in university rallies named after numerous terrorists. Honoring terrorists envelops and plays a significant part in defining the Palestinian world."

Two types of incitement: Direct calls to kill vs. honoring terrorists who killed
The PA practice of honoring terrorists is a very dangerous form of incitement, because it praises
the killer and the act of killing after the actual murder has taken place. When an Imam on PA TV
calls to kill Jews, the murder is at that point a possibility. No one has yet been killed. Honoring a
suicide terrorist does not refer to a possibility, but glorifies an actual murder.

Läs hela rapporten här.

måndag 3 maj 2010

Brist på vatten och förstånd

Jordanfloden torkar ut
Om inga åtgärder vidtas snabbt kommer det enda som återstår av Jordanfloden att vara en torr flodfåra säger en studie utgiven av EcoPeace/Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME).
Jordan River to run dry by next year

De palestinska myndigheterna fortsätter hylla terrorister
I fredags ordnades en turnering i fäktning för ugdomar i Jeriko, turneringen uppkallades efter terroristen Abu Jihad.
PA tourney named after Abu Jihad
"Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad sponsored a youth fencing tournament in Jericho on Friday named after terrorist leader Abu Jihad.Abu Jihad, former second-in-command to Yasser Arafat, planned Fatah’s terror activities beginning in the mid-1960s. He masterminded the 1978 Coastal Road Massacre, the worst terror attack in Israel’s history, which left 38 Israeli civilians dead – 13 of them children – and 71 wounded.Glorification of terrorists is not a new phenomenon in Palestinian society, according to a new study by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon and PMW Director Itamar Marcus will present the results of the study – on Palestinian incitement – during a joint press conference Monday at the Foreign Ministry. The study reveals new evidence of glorification of Arab terrorists..."

En färgstark intervju

Här kan man se hur professor Mordechai Keidar från Bar-Ilan Univeritetet i en intervju för Al Jazira ställer till problem för intervjuaren bl.a. när han påpekar att Jerusalem aldrig nämns i Koranen. (Intervjun är inte dagsfärsk men intressant)

Här kommenterar Mordechai Keidar intervjun:

söndag 2 maj 2010

Palestinierna beredda inleda indirekta förhandlingar?

Just nu ser det ut som om indirekta förhandlingar skulle kunna komma igång mellan Israel och palestinierna inom en när framtid.
En intressant detalj som man kanske inte tänker på är att det inte är de folkvalda palestinska myndigheterna, med Abbas i spetsen, som har sista ordet när det gäller att förhandla eller inte förhandla utan Arabförbundet och PLO.
Hamas motsätter sig förhandlingar och fördömer Arabförbundets positiva inställning.

Abbas: 'Many obstacles' for peace
"In an interview with the West Bank newspaper Al Ayam, Abbas said that the talks with Israel will begin as soon as the Arab League and the PLO board approve them. "

Who Speaks for the Palestinians?
Fifteen months of Obama diplomacy have undermined Palestinian autonomy.( Elliott Abrams)
Will proximity talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority soon begin? While both Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Abbas have said they hope so, the matter is no longer in the hands of the Palestinians but in those of the Arab League foreign ministers--who meet May 1.
Two stories this week in Haaretz, the Israeli daily, make this clear. The first story recounts an interview Abbas gave Israeli TV, and notes that “Abbas said he hopes to get Arab League approval for indirect talks on May 1.” The second story recycles an item from the newspaper Al-Watan in Damascus, and begins this way: “The Arab League is expected to reject the Obama administration's proposal to begin indirect Middle East peace negotiations in the coming weeks, sources from the 22-state body told Syria's Al-Watan daily on Tuesday. The League's Monitoring Committee for the Arab Peace Initiative is scheduled to meet on Saturday to vote on the proposal, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is unlikely to accept any offer for peace talks that does not meet the panel's approval.”
There are two remarkable elements here.
First, Abbas is now refusing to make any decision about peace, instead deferring to Arab states. With all the talk about the critical importance of Palestinian independence, this is a giant--even historic--step backwards. His motivations are not complex: He wants to avoid Palestinian and wider Arab criticism. As long as he follows Arab League strictures he will. But the price paid is hugely reduced flexibility, and a return to the days when the Palestinians were under the control of Arab states rather than masters of their own future.

Här kan man läsa en artikel på svenska om den senaste tidens utveckling angående fredsprocessen:
Fredsprocessen, USA, Israel och palestinierna och lite om Iran

Trovärdigheten för FN sjunker ytterligare

Fred i Mellanöstern skriver att de kommande sex månaderna är det Libanon som skall vara ordförande för FN:s säkerhetsråd.
Hizbollah har två ministrar i Libanons regering så vi har den märkliga situationen att terrororganisationen Hizbollah på sätt och vis innehar ordförandeskapet i FN:s säkerhetsråd.
Att detta överhuvudtaget kan hända gör att säkerhetsrådets anseende sjunker.
Hizbollah-koalition blir ny ordförande i FN:s Säkerhetsråd
"FN:s Säkerhetsråd får ny ordförande i nästa vecka. Under sex månader framåt är det Hizbollah-koalitionen i Libanon som ska hålla i ordförandeklubban. Nyhetsbyrån Reuters har beskrivit Libanons utrikesminister så här:
[Ali al-Shami], 64, utnämndes av den nära Hizbollah-allierade talmannen i parlamentet, Nabih Berri. Han kommer att vara landets högste diplomat när Libanon intar en plats i FN:s Säkerhetsråd [i maj].
En tredjedel av Libanons ministerposter innehas av den Syrien- och Irantrogna ”oppositionen”, varav två ministrar kommer från terrorgruppen Hizbollah, som är en väpnad iransk-syrisk marionett.
Det nya ordförandeskapet i FN:s högsta organ kunde inte komma mer lägligt – för Iran. På måndag inleds nämligen FN:s uppföljningskonferens av icke-spridningsfördraget NPT, där det är tänkt att man ska diskutera Irans kärnprogram och nya FN-sanktioner mot regimen som i så fall måste upp i Säkerhetsrådet."

I slutet av april valdes flera diktaturstater och stater som gör sig skyldiga till mänskorättsbrott till flera viktiga poster inom FN skriver Anne Bayefsky.
Iran, Demokratiska Republikren Kongo, Cuba, Sudan och Zimbabwe hörde till länderna som valdes till viktiga poster.
Since When Is Iran a Champion For Women's Rights?
"How could a country that stones women to death for adultery possibly be chosen to serve in a leadership role on the U.N.'s Commission on the Status of Women?
The United Nations Economic and Social Council yesterday elected Iran to serve a four-year term -- beginning in 2011 -- on the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). The U.N. calls the Commission “the principal global policy-making body” on women’s rights and claims it is “dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women.” Yet Iran was elected by acclamation. It was one of only two candidates for two slots allocated to the Asian regional bloc – in other words, a fixed slate and a done deal.
Among other Iranian qualifications to serve in a leadership role in advancing the rights of women, is the country’s criminal code, which includes punishments like burying women from the waist down and stoning them to death for adultery."

Latest UN Authority Figures
Iran’s election to the UN Commission on the Status of Women on April 28, 2010 wasn’t the only UN shocker that day. The Democratic Republic of Congo, Cuba, Sudan and Zimbabwe are among the dictatorships and human rights basket-cases elected to UN leadership roles and positions that entail responsibilities diametrically opposed to their qualifications.
UN Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations: Sudan, Cuba, China, Pakistan
UN Commission on Social Development: Cuba, Egypt, Zimbabwe
UN Commission on the Status of Women: The Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran
UN Commission on Sustainable Development: Angola, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia
UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), Governing Council: Iran
UN Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations The UN job description for the NGO Committee: "The main tasks of the Committee are...The consideration of applications for consultative status and requests for reclassification submitted by NGOs…[T]he monitoring of the consultative relationship." (Committee on NGOs web-site) In plain language, this Committee gets to decide what NGOs are permitted to get UN passes, passes which will allow them into the UN, to lobby governments and to participate and speak at UN meetings. Who gets to choose the right and wrong NGOs?
On April 28 the UN re-elected Sudan, Cuba, China and Pakistan. Their qualifications for the job?

SUDAN (US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2009, Sudan)"[T]he government expelled 13 humanitarian nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) from the country. The government also shut down three Sudanese NGOs in March...As of year's end whereabouts [of the cofounder of the NGO Darfur Forum for Reconciliation and Peaceful Coexistence] were unknown...Security forces arbitrarily arrested and detained...NGO members...[G]overnment forces frequently harassed NGOs that received international assistance; restricted or denied humanitarian assessments; did not approve technical agreements; changed procedures; copied NGO files; confiscated NGO property; questioned humanitarian workers at length; monitored humanitarians' personal correspondence; delayed the issuance of visas and travel permits; restricted travel; and publicly accused humanitarian workers of being "spies," "Western agents," and "workers for Israel."
CUBA(US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2009, Cuba) "[T]he government did not recognize any domestic human rights groups or permit them to function legally...There are no officially recognized, independent NGOs that monitor human rights...The government continued to deny human rights organizations and the International Committee of the Red Cross access to political prisoners and detainees."
CHINA(US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2009, China) "Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), both local and international, continued to face intense scrutiny and restrictions...[T]he government maintained a task force aimed at blocking political change advocated by NGOs involved in social, political, and charitable activities, and also by groups dedicated to combating discrimination against women, persons with disabilities, and minorities...To register, an NGO must find a government agency to serve as its organizational sponsor, have a registered office, and hold a minimum amount of funds...The government did not permit independent domestic NGOs to monitor openly or to comment on human rights conditions...The government...increased scrutiny of NGOs with financial and other links overseas."
PAKISTAN(US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2009, Pakistan)"Criminal groups, some with ties to militant groups, engaged in extortion and kidnapping activities throughout the country...NGO workers were among those targeted... NGOs are required to register with the government...Security was a problem for NGO workers...By year's end seven NGO workers had been killed…and several others had received threats...[S]ecurity agencies blocked issuance of visas for international staff of NGOs..."

UN Commission on Social Development The UN job description for the Commission: "...the Commission has taken up key social development themes…These themes are...Promoting full employment and decent work for all...Improving public sector effectiveness....National and international cooperation for social development...Integration of social and economic policy" (Commission for Social Development web-site) ) On April 28 the UN chose Zimbabwe and re-elected Egypt and Cuba as social development authorities. Their qualifications for the job?
EGYPT (US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2009, Egypt) "The country was a source, transit point, and destination for women and children trafficked primarily for the purposes of forced labor...The law prohibits strikes...[E]mployers abused, overworked, and generally endangered working children...There were reports of employer abuse of undocumented workers, especially domestic workers."
ZIMBABWE (US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2009, Zimbabwe) "The government's campaign of forced evictions and the demolition of homes and businesses continued during the year under the land reform policy, which affected more than 5,000 farm workers and their families. Approximately 3,300 families were forcibly displaced, sometimes violently, during government-condoned takeovers of commercial farms...[C]hild labor was common...[T]he incidence of children who worked in the informal sector continued to increase...Children often lacked access to necessary safety equipment and training. Children worked...in illegal gold and diamond mining, as street vendors, and as car-watchers. There were continued reports of large numbers of girls subject to sexual exploitation."
CUBA(US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2009, Cuba) "The law does not allow workers to form and join unions of their choice. The only legal labor union in the country was the CTC, whose leaders were chosen by the CP [Communist Party]...Virtually all workers were required to belong to the CTC, and promotions frequently were limited to CP members who took part in mandatory marches, public humiliations of dissidents, and other state‑organized activities...The government can determine that a worker is "unfit" to work, resulting in job loss and the denial of job opportunities. Persons were deemed unfit for their political beliefs, including their refusal to join the official union, or for trying to depart the country illegally. Several small independent labor organizations...were subject to police harassment and infiltration by government agents and were unable to represent workers effectively or work on their behalf...The law does not prohibit forced or compulsory labor by adults...Authorities also often imprisoned persons who refused to participate in mandatory work...[T]he government required children to work in various situations."

Commission on the Status of Women The UN job description for CSW: "The Commission on the Status of Women...is…dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women. It is the principal global policy-making body. Every year, representatives of Member States gather at United Nations Headquarters in New York to evaluate progress on gender equality, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and advancement of women worldwide." (Commission on the Status of Women web-site, "Overview") On April 28 the UN deemed The Democratic Republic of the Congo and Iran to be worthy of the job. Here are the DRC’s qualifications:
THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO(US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2009, DRC) "...[R]ape was common throughout the country and especially pervasive in conflict areas in the east...[M]ore than 1,100 women and girls were raped each month...Government security forces, armed groups, and civilians perpetrated widespread and sometimes mass rape against women and girls...[M]embers of armed groups, the FARDC [Congolese Armed Forces], and the police were responsible for 81 percent of all reported cases of sexual violence in conflict zones...It was common for family members to pressure a rape victim to keep quiet...to safeguard the reputations of the victim and her family...After a sexual assault, many young women and girls were often labeled as unsuitable for marriage and married women were frequently abandoned by their husbands. Some families forced rape victims to marry the men who raped them or to forego prosecution in exchange for money or goods from the rapist."

As to what newly elected member of CSW Iran brings to the table see "Since When Is Iran a Champion For Women's Rights?"

UN Commission on Sustainable Development The UN job description: "...to promote dialogue and build partnerships for sustainable development with governments, the international community and the major groups…who have a major role to play in the transition towards sustainable development. These Major Groups include women, youth, indigenous peoples, non-governmental organizations, local authorities, workers and trade unions, business and industry, the scientific community, and farmers." (Commission on Sustainable Development web-site, "Mandate of the Commission on Sustainable Development")) On April 28 the UN chose Angola and Lebanon, and re-elected Saudi Arabia as social development authorities. Here are their job qualifications:
ANGOLA(US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2009, Angola)"The government arrested and harassed NGO workers...[T]rafficking in persons, and discrimination against persons with disabilities and indigenous persons were problems...Domestic violence against women, including spousal abuse, was common and pervasive...Female inmates informed...that prison guards regularly raped them... [C]hild labor...remained a problem...Children engaged in...exploitive labor practices [which] included forced prostitution, involvement in the sale or transport of illegal drugs, and the offloading and transport of goods in ports and across border posts...Street children were common..."
LEBANON(US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2009, Lebanon)" Palestinian refugees residing in the country were not able to obtain citizenship...The law does not specifically prohibit domestic violence, and domestic violence, including spousal abuse, was a problem...Foreign domestic servants, usually women, were often mistreated, abused, and in some cases raped or placed in slavery-like conditions...According to the penal code, a man who kills his wife or other female relative may receive a reduced sentence if he demonstrates he committed the crime in response to a socially unacceptable sexual relationship conducted by the victim...[D]iscrimination against persons with disabilities continued...Discrimination against homosexual activity persisted...Women from Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Russia were trafficked and forced to provide sexual or domestic services. Children…were… subject to forced labor."
SAUDI ARABIA(Freedom House Country Report 2009, Saudi Arabia)"Women...may not legally drive cars, and their use of public facilities is restricted when men are present. By law and custom, Saudi women cannot travel within or outside of the country without a male relative...[D]aughters receive half the inheritance awarded to their brothers, and the testimony of one man is equal to that of two women in Sharia courts...[A]llegations of torture by police and prison officials are common, and access to prisoners by independent human rights and legal organizations is strictly limited...There continues to be virtually no protection for the more than six million foreign workers in Saudi Arabia. Many of these laborers...are forced to endure dangerous working and living conditions. There continue to be public reports of female domestic workers suffering regular physical, sexual, and emotional abuse...Substantial prejudice against ethnic, religious, and national minorities prevails."

U.N. Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), Governing Council The UN job description: "The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-HABITAT…is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. UN-HABITAT's Land and Tenure Section is the agency's point of reference for land management and tenure systems, policies and legislation that help achieve adequate shelter, security of tenure and equal access to economic resources for all, with a specific focus on gender equality. The main focus areas and mandate are implementation of land, housing and property rights, and particularly secure tenure for women." (UN-HABITAT web-site, "Shelter Branch") On April 28, the UN re-elected Iran as the right country for the job. Here are Iran’s qualifications for the Governing Council:
IRAN(US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2009, Iran)"Provisions in the Islamic civil and penal codes, particularly sections dealing with....property law, discriminate against women...The constitution allows the government to confiscate property acquired...in a manner not in conformity with Islamic law, and the government particularly targeted religious minorities, especially members of the Baha'i faith...The courts denied Baha'is the right to inherit property...The government reportedly continued to confiscate private and commercial properties, as well as religious materials, belonging to Baha'is...There were widespread reports that government agents entered, searched, and/or ransacked the homes and offices of reformist journalists in an attempt to intimidate them."
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