Donnerstag, 27. März 2008

Preparations in Damascus and Jerusalem

Im Übrigen: Hübsch aufpassen... heute Nacht werden in Israel die Uhren auf Sommerzeit umgestellt.

[Nachwuchs im Hause Landis. Da gratulieren wir.] Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim will lead an orchestra of 33 young Israeli and Palestinians in Jerusalem Friday in what he called a concert "against ignorance and lack of curiosity" on both sides of the conflict. At a news conference Thursday in the concert hall of the YMCA on the Jewish side of the city, Barenboim said Friday's two performances, entitled "A concert for two peoples," will be the first time the young musicians have played together in public. Wenn ich richtig informiert bin wird Beethoven gespielt. Was mich an solchen Geschichten besonders stört? Alle reden über Barenboim in Israel. Und keiner über die Vertragsunterzeichnung seines musikalischen Zöglings Dan Ettinger am Nationaltheater Mannheim für drei Jahre. Und morgen kommt bestimmt wieder die Lapalie Livni daher und quatscht was von einem "falschen Bild über Israel" in den Medien. Dabei werden Positivnachrichten über Israelis in der Welt meist vollständig unterdrückt, es sei denn einer ist ein Kadima/Likud-Zionist.

Arab foreign ministers on Thursday re-endorsed a 2002 Saudi peace initiative which promises recognition of Israel should it withdraw in full from territories it seized in the 1967 Six-Day War. The proposal was ratified despite proposals by some Arab elements to withdraw the initiative. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem said on Thursday, prior to the ratification, that Israel must show a commitment to the peace process if Damascus were to re-evaluate its support of the Arab peace initiative. According to Moallem, Israeli reluctance to take diplomatic steps towards peace was behind the decision made by Arab League members in Cairo last month that the continuation of the Saudi Peace initiative will hinge upon Israeli cooperation. Moallem made his comments Thursday to Arab foreign ministers, who were meeting in Damascus to prepare for a regional summit scheduled for Saturday. [...] Emboldened by its alliance with Iran, Syria has put its interests in Lebanon above the prestige of hosting an Arab summit that will open on Saturday with the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Egypt conspicuously absent. President Bashar al-Assad has dismissed demands to push Syria's Lebanese allies to abandon their quest for a larger share of power in Beirut, prompting the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Egypt, both U.S. allies, to stay away from the summit. Their absence is intended to embarrass Damascus, the target of revived Western pressure in recent weeks. [...] One of the disputes instigated by the Arab summit involves practical and symbolic implications that go beyond the sides to this dispute whose very existence is not always so evident. ... This link between the summits and the Israeli issue happens to be the primary element responsible for voiding all summits of any meaning and turning them into purposeless ceremonial rituals. This is attributed to the fact that as a result of this link, the supposed joint Arab action has been based on the very issue on which joint action has no influence whatsoever. As a result, Arab summits have transformed into verbal ceremonies that breed neither actions nor wills.

Die etwas unverständliche gestrige Attacke aus dem Gazastreifen ebbt stark ab und es kommt zu keinerlei martialischen Gegenmaßnahmen der Israelis. Zwar berichten palästinensische Milizen von insgesamt sieben Qassam-Abschüssen, die israelische Presse vermeldet jedoch nur eine. Neben der Ausweitung eines Streiks der Bäcker im Gazastreifen [höhere Preise] wird vom Ende der Verhandlungen in Rafah berichtet: A new round of talks between Egypt and the Palestinian militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad ended on Thursday without agreement on striking a truce with Israel. Tens of thousands of Palestinians staged rallies in Gaza City and the West Bank city of Hebron on Wednesday calling for national reconciliation between bitter political rivals Fatah and Hamas. The rally in Gaza was organized by the Palestinian Popular Campaign for National Reconciliation. Coordinator Abdul Mun'im Tahrawi said the rally had three goals. First was to demonstrate that the Palestinian people can bring about change in the internal political rivalry. Second was to send a message to all political factions that the Palestinian people have chosen reconciliation. Third was to urge the participants in this week's Arab summit in Damascus that the Palestinian issue must be included in the agenda. [Erstaunlich das diese Demos statt finden durften.] Die jemenitische Initiative bringt uns in den Genuß zweier großer Artikel. Nasser Lahham: I felt that some Fatah leaders were embarrassed about disagreement between Azzam Al-Ahmad, Fatah's speaker in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) and President Mahmoud Abbas' aide Nimir Hammad on Al-Jazeera TV on Sunday. Hammad accused Al-Ahmad of signing the Yemeni-brokered dialogue agreement with Hamas without consulting the Palestinian President on the exact wording of the document. Und Ghassan Charbel: The Palestinian scene is painful. Fateh and Hamas sign an agreement, only to disagree before the ink dries. Hamas cannot deny Fateh's role in the revolution. It cannot deal with it as a ripe fruit that must be plucked and a faction whose legacy must be confiscated. Fateh is the other side of the Palestinian house. Rupture with Fateh simply means dividing the house, undermining the entire national Palestinian project. Fateh cannot deny Hamas' existence either. It cannot deny its presence in the Palestinian street. It cannot ignore the results of the last elections. Rupture with Hamas means dividing the Palestinian house, jeopardizing whatever remains of Palestinian hopes.

In der Westbank werden acht Personen über Nacht bei relativ wenigen Aktionen marodierender IDF-Milizionäre verhaftet. Die Fatah-Führung im Bezirk Tulkarem läßt aufgrund der enorm hohen Anzahl von IDF-Aktionen eine Warnung an "Führungsmitglieder" vor extralegalen Tötungen. ... The Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem has requested a criminal investigation into the deaths of four wanted Palestinian militants in Bethlehem on March 12, saying that the deaths during the Israel Defense Forces raid appeared to have been an execution. In a letter to the attorney general and the IDF Military Advocate General, the group says that its own investigation raised serious suspicions that the wanted men had not been killed during an exchange of fire or while trying to escape, as intimated by the IDF. B'Tselem said that if the men were in fact executed, the IDF is guilty of severely violating a High Court ruling stating that the state is prohibited from intentionally killing Palestinians if less harmful means of maintaining security are available, meaning arrest and due process.

The Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court refused to grant MK Avigdor Lieberman's request to prevent authorities from using documents seized at his attorney's office as part of an investigation against him, Thursday. The court's statement implied Lieberman's actions contain possible evidence of involvement in illegal activities. Police suspect Lieberman of having taken hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of bribes while serving as a cabinet minister from 2001 to 2004. [Dollars, nicht NIS]

Ari Shavit: And nevertheless, the prime minister has one shortcoming that overshadows all his good qualities: The man lacks substance. He has no worldview and no overall picture of reality. [...] Und wenn dieser Bericht stimmt hat er Israel in eine gefährliche strategische Lage gebracht: With Iranian backing, Hezbollah guerrillas have dramatically increased their rocket range and now threaten most of Israel, according to senior Israeli defense officials. The Lebanon-based militant group has acquired new Iranian rockets with a range of around 300 kilometers (185 miles), the officials said. That means the guerrillas can strike anywhere in Israel's heavily populated center and reach as far south as Dimona, where Israel's nuclear reactor is locate. Ich sehe im Übrigen seinen erfolgreichen Versuch Videomaterial über den Angriff auf die Mercaz-Yeshiva vor Wilders "Fitna" ins Internet zu stellen eben in einer Linie. Wilders und Videoterror habe ich die letzten Jahre schon ausführlich anderswo "besprochen". Das der israelische PM über sein O jetzt auch das Internet mit apolitischen Videoschnitten flutet ist einer Hamas-Biene die antijudaistischen Blödquatsch absondert aller ehren wert. Gentlemen unter sich.

The great Meron Benevisti: "The same air, the same water": Ecological issues have become central in public discourse, with almost all activity in the fields of transportation, infrastructure, industry and agriculture spurring a lively debate on their environmental impact. The discussion long ago went beyond the limited themes of protecting nature reserves, wild animals and plants, and has begun to bite into sacred myths about the "conquest of the wilderness" and the dressing of the land "in a frock of cement and concrete."

Etwas älter, aber immer noch wichtig, Mohammed Yaghi: A month after visiting Washington, Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayad continues to face significant political, economic, and security challenges to his reform plan. Fatah, the ruling political party in the West Bank, has resisted many aspects of his agenda and is critical of his cabinet's composition and performance. And although Fayad has spearheaded several important initiatives, his plan is in jeopardy, and the Palestinian Authority (PA) is still far from representing a compelling alternative to Hamas. To make matters worse, the PA has received just $260 million out of the $7.7 billion pledged during the December international donors conference in Paris, leaving the prime minister with month-to-month uncertainty about fulfilling the PA's salary commitments.

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