[Soeben wird von einem Luftangriff im Gazastreifen mit einem Toten berichtet.]
Der Dirigent Daniel Barenboim setzt sich seit langem für die Versöhnung von Palästinensern und Israelis ein. Nun würdigten die Palästinenser sein Engagement mit der Verleihung der Ehrenstaatsbürgerschaft. Der [argentinisch-]israelische Dirigent und Pianist Daniel Barenboim hat am Samstag die palästinensische Ehrenstaatsbürgerschaft erhalten. Mustafa Barghouti, palästinensischer Parlamentarier und ehemaliger Präsidentschaftskandidat, betonte, damit sei Barenboims Einsatz für das palästinensische Volk und für Frieden zwischen Israelis und Palästinensern gewürdigt worden. Der Musiker sei jetzt wohl der einzige Mensch auf der Welt, der gleichzeitig einen israelischen und einen palästinensischen Pass habe. Barenboim sagte zu der Ehrung, er habe sie akzeptiert, weil er davon überzeugt sei, dass die Schicksale des israelischen und des palästinensischen Volkes eng miteinander verbunden seien. [Barenboim wird iÜ auch das nächste Neujahrskonzert der Wiener Philharmoniker 2009 dirigieren.] Ein Vorbericht der ZEIT: "Das Benefizkonzert am Samstag ist zugunsten der medizinischen Versorgung von Kindern im Gaza-Streifen, wie die Berliner Staatsoper Unter den Linden mitteilte." [Die Kommentarmasse in den einschlägigen Zionismus-Centern pendelt zwischen "Verräter" und Anzüglichkeiten. Dabei weise ich für die Zukunft schon mal hin das meine webseite sich strikt an die neue gesetzliche Regelung halten wird: The Ministerial Committee on Legislation approved Sunday a bill that would absolve Web sites of liability for comments published in talkbacks, on condition that the Web site agree to make the poster's details available upon request. Courts are already able to order Web sites and internet service providers to reveal posters' technical details (such as their IP address). The bill was authored by Yisrael Beiteinu MK Yisrael Hasson and seeks to determine Web sites tort and criminal responsibility for libel in talkbacks. According to the bill, internet Web sites would be defined as a newspaper, and all those who wish to respond would be exposed to law suits and even criminal prosecution.]
The Acting Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), Ahmad Bahar, has condemned an announcement that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) plans to dissolve the PLC on Sunday. ... The Central Council of the PLO is meeting at 5:30pm local time on Sunday. It is expected that the Council will dissolve the Hamas-majority PLC, which is a part of the Palestinian Authority created by the Olso peace agreements. The move will revert legislative power back to the PLO and the Palestinian National Council. Hamas is not a member of the PLO. [Nach dem derzeitigen Stand der Dinge wurde wohl nur die Hamas zur Machtaufgabe aufgerufen.] ++++ Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and chief Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Qureia will meet Monday to begin talks on the core issues of the conflict, including Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees, and the final borders between Israel and the future Palestinian state. During a speech in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the sides negotiating teams, headed by Livni and Qureia, would begin discussion of six issues: Jerusalem, settlements, refugees, borders, security and water resources. "If we reach an agreement on all these issues, then we can say that we have reached a final agreement." [Abbas] ... Public Security Minister Avi Dichter called on Sunday for agreements under discussion with the Palestinians to go through internal Kadima hearings before going into effect. "An orderly discussion should be held in Kadima institutions before reaching any framework agreement with the Palestinians," Dichter told the party's ministers. Dichter added that "it is forbidden to reach such an agreement before the implementation of stage one of the road map. We must demand that the Palestinians establish a chain of law enforcement in West Bank territory." ... PM Ehud
Olmert said at the outset of the cabinet meeting on Sunday that U.S. President George Bush, who visited Israel and the West Bank last week, accepts that "no agreement will be implemented in the field without the fulfillment of Palestinian commitments, both in the West Bank and in Gaza." Olmert verschärft zudem die Rhetorik in sachen "unauthorized outposts", deren Existenz eine Schande sei. Desweiteren mutmaßt der Staat Israel das Siedlerverbände bei Benefizveranstaltungen im Ausland gefälschte Daten verwendet hätten. Der Juniorpartner Labor: Sources close to Defense Minister Ehud Barak criticized Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Sunday as acting recklessly in seeking conflict with settlers on the issue of unauthorized West Bank settlement outposts. ... A Peace Now spokesperson told Israel Radio that "since Olmert took office, not a single outpost has been dismantled. Olmert should stop acting like a commentator and start taking action against illegal outposts." Einige Labour-Größen bringen zur Frage des Ausscheidens von Barak aus der Koalition nach der Veröffentlichung des Winograd-Reports eine Vertrauensabstimmung ins Spiel.
Defense forces have killed 1,000 terrorists in the Gaza Strip over the last two years, Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) head Yuval Diskin told the cabinet on Sunday. Because 20,000 terrorists were known to have been at large in the Strip, Public Affairs Minister Avi Dichter said that the number only reflected five percent of the total number of terrorists. "The implication is that five percent of terrorists in the Strip have been killed," said the minister. Dichter also called for the political echelon to change its policy towards operations in Gaza. In response to Diskin's comments, 'Betselem' claimed the total number of Palestinians killed between 2006 and 2007 was 816, a figure that includes 152 minors and of that number, 48 who were under the age of 14.
Fronten: In der Westbank kommt es zu 8 Verhaftungen der IDF, 9 Hamasniks werden von der Fatah festgesetzt. Im Gazastreifen werden drei Fatahisten verhaftet. Im Osten von Gaza-City werden israelische einheiten mit 13 Mörsergranaten beschossen. Eine Qassam landet in der Wüste vor Ashkelon. Wegen vermehrten Aufkommens von Steinwürfen wir das Dorf Huwwara von der IDF mit einem totalen Ausgehverbot belegt. Der disbezügliche Paragraph der Genver Konvention ist noch in Arbeit. Nach Angaben einer palästinensischen Quelle habe eine europäische Quelle berichtet die Israelis würden verstärkt auf eine extralegale Tötung der drei Hamas-Größen Isma'il Haniyeh, Khalid Meshal and Mahmoud al-Zahar zuarbeiten, wobei das mittlere in Damaskus statt finden müßte. Dies berichtet die Zeitung al-Hayt. Hamas-Quellen berichten von einem verhinderten Bombenattentat auf Haniyeh am Samstag. Auf einer Veranstaltung zu Ehren der Hajj-Pilger sagte Haniyeh: Deposed Palestinian Prime Minister Isma'il Haniyeh announced on Saturday that his vision of a future Palestinian state is not the same as that of US President George W. Bush. "We will not accept a dwarfed Palestinian state," Haniyeh said. During a celebration honoring the Gazan hajj pilgrims in the Yarmouk playground in Gaza City, Haniyeh stipulated the stoppage of security coordination with the Israelis in the West Bank as a pre-condition for resuming inter-Palestinian dialogue. Haniyeh also denied that the Palestinian Authority has been channeling any funds into the Gaza Strip. "None of the billions that arrive in Ramallah is spent on the Palestinian people of the Gaza Strip, and all claims to the contrary are false," Haniyeh said. Derweil verspricht die kanadische Regierung weitere US$300 Millionen ergebnisgekoppelte, zusätzliche Finanzhilfe für Ramallah in den nächsten fünf Jahren. Da die ramallahnische Regierung nicht so lange existieren wird sind wohl nur 60 zu zahlen. Unterdessen wird der nächste Gegengipfel anvisiert: Hamas and other Syria-based Palestinian groups are to hold a conference later this month focused on Palestinian refugees and resistance against Israel, a spokesman said on Sunday. "The national Palestinian conference will be held January 23-25 in Damascus under the banner of Palestinian rights and unity," conference spokesman Anwar Raja told AFP. Participants are to discuss the right of Palestinian refugees to return to homes they fled when the state of Israel was founded in 1948, and resistance against Israel, said Raja. They will also discuss efforts to revive inter-Palestinian dialogue which foundered after Hamas seized control of Gaza in June from Fatah forces loyal to Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, he added. Abbas and chief Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Qurei are to be invited to the conference organised by Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, said Raja, who is a PFLP-GC member. Ramallahs Führungsanspruch reagiert mit der Gelassenheit einer wilden Hornissen-Horde: Relations between the Palestinian Authority and Fatah and Syria are tense in wake of plans for Palestinian opposition organizations to hold a conference in Damascus at the end of the month. President Mahmoud Abbas' adviser, Ahmad Abdel Rahman, who is also a member of the Fatah Central Council, said on Saturday that Syria must "quit intervening in internal Palestinian matters." The PA is up in arms over the decision of Palestinian opposition groups to assemble for a conference in which they are expected to discuss changes to Palestinian governing bodies.
Giedeon Levy, "Believing Olmert": After listening to many of his statements, some of them very impressive, one comes to recognize that Ehud Olmert perhaps truly desires peace with the Palestinians. The fact that he has not zigzagged, not even once, that he only reiterates the same things, speaking like Uri Avnery (even if 40 years late), that he does not backtrack or stutter - only reinforces this feeling. It is permissible, therefore, to succumb to the temptation and believe that the man who told Haaretz on November 28, "two states, or Israel is finished," indeed has undergone a profound change.
Yossi Sarid, "Nice things in Amerika, which would do us well, too": We do not always need to look toward America to set an example. It has 70 faces and some should best be suppressed. America is not here and it would be better to take less from it, the New World, and more from the Old Continent. But the primaries actually reveal America's beautiful faces, which would do us well, too: First, it is becoming apparent that big money is not always the answer for everything. Affluent candidates, the favored offspring of the wealthy, are not the ones who are always winning. There are more and more cases indicating that candidates without deep pockets, who collect their contributions from small change, still have a fair chance. And this is very nice and encouraging: The right to decide is not only reserved for the wealthy. We wish the same to be true for you - America is saying to the entire democratic world, and to Israel, too.
Palestinian landowners on whose property the West Bank settlement of Homesh was constructed are demanding NIS 40 million in compensation and the right to access their land. The state is trying to reach an out-of-court compromise in order to avoid a precedent setting ruling. The Palestinians brought their claims to the Civil Administration through Ramallah-based lawyers, arguing that the West Bank land where Homesh had stood, before it was evacuated during the 2005 disengagement, belonged to them. In recent Justice Ministry talks, Attorney General Mike Blass concluded that if the case goes to trial, the court is likely to rule in favor of the plaintiffs.
Akiva Eldar [sag ich doch, alles nur Receycling]: "Barring Blair": A pleasant surprise awaited Tony Blair, the Quartet's envoy to the Middle East, who returned to Jerusalem for the visit of U.S. President George W. Bush. His small staff, which has taken over the south wing of the American Colony Hotel in East Jerusalem, celebrated a major success this week, maybe the biggest since the office's inauguration last June: The sewage project in Beit Lahia is starting to move forward. If all goes as planned, and Israel allows the concrete and equipment to be brought in, the first stage will be completed this March A document the Blair team drew up at the beginning of last November said the sewage project in the northern Gaza Strip has the highest priority among the tasks that will have an immediate impact. Last March, a flood caused by the collapse of a wall in a small oxidation pool killed three people and destroyed 140 homes in Beit Lahia. ... A comparison of the projects presented at the well-publicized meeting with a document presented to the former defense minister, Amir Peretz, shows that these are recycled plans. ... Blair has cut down his visits to Jerusalem. He is making do with short stays: a week here, three weeks away. Since becoming the envoy some six months ago, Blair has spent barely six weeks in the offices and residential wing that were leased in the expensive hotel.
Atom-Lobbiist unterwegs: French President Nicolas Sarkozy will sign a nuclear cooperation accord with the United Arab Emirates during his visit to the Middle East, the French leader told the pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat in an interview published Sunday at the start of the trip.
Hussein Dakroub, "Arab League mediation in Lebanon fails": The head of the Arab League said Saturday that he was leaving Lebanon after failing to get the country's feuding politicians to agree on a plan to elect a new president and end the deepening political crisis. After four days of talks, Amr Moussa said the situation in Lebanon was still "serious" and promised to return to Beirut in the next few days to continue his discussions with members of the Western-backed government and pro-Syrian opposition.
Zalman Shoval-Interview: George W. Bush is getting a hero’s welcome in Israel, where he hopes to breathe life into stagnating peace talks. But the U.S. president’s popular appeal, says Zalman Shoval, a former Israeli ambassador to the United States, might not be enough to overcome Israelis’ deep doubts about his mission.
David Makovsky: "The Lebanon Red Line": When President George W. Bush arrives in Israel in the next few days, it is possible that Syria will be a major topic and not just the Palestinians and Iran. Damascus is one issue which Washington and Jerusalem view very differently. Those in Israel pressing for a revived Syria peace track have failed to identify the problem with the U.S.; nor do they realize that the solution to this policy difference between the two friends may be found in Beirut.
Hassan Haidar, "A Palestinian Exploration": A few years after Lebanon gained its independence in 1943, the Palestinians were hit by what is known as the naqba - or 'catastrophe.' The Israelis seized more than half of their country and several Arab armies were unable to recapture the land. Thus, hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees poured into neighboring Arab countries - including a certain small country barely managing its politics through a delicate sectarian system. Even before it armed itself, the Palestinian presence became a source of polarization in Lebanon's political, strategic, economic and social affairs - the strength of this polarization varying with prevailing inter-sectarian tensions which themselves were a function of either internal competition or external provocation.
Caellum Moffat, "Popularity still abundant after two-year absence": Last week, the British-based Times newspaper reported that if elections for the next Israeli Prime Minister were imminent, two-thirds of Jewish Israelis would vote for current Prime Minister Olmert’s mentor and predecessor Ariel Sharon, regardless of his political stance. Such a demonstration of staunch support and relentless, unwavering loyalty is astounding yet intriguing. Presently, this ubiquitous titan of Israeli politics has been reduced to a state of immobility, relegated to the position of permanent resident at the Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv. The founder of the centralist Kadima party has remained in this solitary position since January 4, 2006 when he suffered a stroke.