dijous, 26 de març de 2009

Les xifres de Gaza

Després de moltes setmanes d'intensiva recerca, les Forces de Defensa d'Israel han fet pública una llista amb els noms de les víctimes mortals dels combats a Gaza, de començaments d'any.
És una llista depurada, amb noms i amb les circumstàncies rellevants de cada cas, extreta de diverses fonts d'informació, contrastades per múltiples bandes.
En contra d'allò publicat per la propaganda de Hamas, i recollit acríticament per bona part de la premsa del nostre país, les xifres que presenta l'exèrcit d'Israel són les següents:

1.166 morts en total.
D'aquests, 709 són combatents de Hamas i altres organitzacions àrabs.
De la resta, 295 són no combatents. D'aquests, 89 persones són menors de 16 anys. Dels no combatents, hi ha identificades 49 dones.
Finalment, queden 162 persones, tots homes i en edat de poder ser combatents (més grans de 16 anys i menors de 65), que no està clara la seva atribució a una de les dues categories anteriors.

Amb el temps, la veritat s'acabarà imposant.
No obstant, també pot ser lícit preguntar-se a qui li importa.

dimecres, 4 de març de 2009

Pepe Garriga i la mentida de les noves construccions

La darrera notícia del corresponsal de TV3 a Israel, en Pepe Garriga, tractava sobre una denúncia que havia fet l'ONG israeliana "Peace Now", segons la qual, Israel té la intenció de construir 73.000 habitatges en el que diuen "territoris ocupats" i que amb la població prevista, es doblaria el nombre d'israelians allí. Deixant de banda que és més acurat parlar de "territoris en disputa o disputats", la realitat és que el Ministeri construir uns 11.500 habitatges, la majoria d'ells al voltant de Jerusalem o Ariel. I, en cap cas, suposa un increment de la població com el que va predicar Garriga.
Estaria bé que a la propera crònica oferís la versió del Govern d'Israel i desmentís l'ONG. Així mateix, fes una repassada al nombre de míssils que han estat llançats des de Gaza...

divendres, 20 de febrer de 2009

Jabalya i Hamas: la veritat està emergint

Durant els combats a Gaza, els mitjans de comunicació d'arreu, que bevien de fonts de Gaza directament controlades per Hamas, van esbombar la notícia que l'exèrcit d'Israel havia bombardejat una escola de l'ONU i que hi havia mort 42 persones, civils innocents.
L'exèrcit d'Israel ja negà els fets. Els soldats havien respost amb foc a un atac previ provinent de la zona.
Per a molts, Israel no té la pressumpció d'innocència. Té la pressumpció de culpabilitat.

Ara, poc a poc, va emergint la realitat.

Segons informacions de l'exèrcit d'Israel, s'estan recollint el nom i totes les dades possibles de totes les víctimes mortals d'aquests combats. L'exèrcit té un llistat de més de 1.200 noms i amb molta informació d'allò succeït en cada cas. De moment, les xifres són prou clares. Els morts no combatents serien aproximadament una quarta part del total. Els no combatents són persones menors de 15 anys, majors de 65 i dones. A més, també s'hi inclouen alguns homes que se sap, consta, que eren no combatents.
Dels combatents, n'hi ha uns 700 plenament identificats, fins i tot, respecte al grup al qual pertanyien.
Els pendents de classificar, uns 300, són tots homes entre 15 i 65 anys.

El cas més evident de distorsió dels fets és el bombardeig de l'escola de l'ONU.
Se sap que era una escola, però que no funcionava com a tal.
Se sap, i així ho ha reconegut la mateixa ONU, que els projectils van caure fora de l'escola.
Se sap que dins de l'escola no hi hagué morts. Hi hagué alguns ferits de metralla.
Se sap que hi havia combats al voltant.
Se sap que els morts no van ser 42, com van dir els de Hamas i gairebé tothom s'ho va empassar.
Se sap que els morts van ser 12.
Se sap que 9 eren combatents. L'IDF n'ha publicat noms, edats i filiació (Hamas).
Se sap que 3 eren no combatents.

Se sap, doncs, que Jabalya serà un altre exemple (i en van molts, massa) de manipulació i distorsió.

Ara només cal esperar que els mitjans de comunicació catalans en diguin alguna cosa.

Juguesca: probabilitats que facin alguna rectificació? Probabilitats que n'expliquin les novetats del cas?

dissabte, 7 de febrer de 2009

Sobre el "bloqueig" a Gaza

Diverses notícies que difícilment veurem a TV3 ben explicades:

1) El govern d'Israel ha transferit (literalment, perquè els diners arriben en "cash") a la Franja de Gaza 175 milions de shekels. Són diners corresponents a impostos de l'ANP i que serviran per pagar sous de funcionaris.

2) Hamas ha robat 200 tones de menjar i material. En conseqüència, la UNWRA ha decidit aturar l'entrada d'aquest tipus de material. A veure què acaba passant.

3) Egipte manté tancada la frontera de Rafah. Només l'obrirà excepcionalment per raons humanitàries.

Mentrestant, uns pocs catalans (i assimilats) fent l'idiota al Palau Blau Grana.
Mentrestant, l'ambaixador d'Israel havent d'explicar obvietats.

dijous, 5 de febrer de 2009

Els ONGs i la guerra de Gaza

A mesura que passen els dies, la informació sobre el que va passar va fluint millor i es van aclarint alguns fets.

1) la UNRWA ja ha reconegut que les FDI NO van atacar directament l'escola on diuen les fonts palestines que hi va haver 43 morts. Els projectils de morter van caure fora de l'escola. A l'escola hi va haver alguns ferits de metralla, però cap mort. Els morts van ser tots a fora de l'escola. A banda, hi ha analistes que dubten que 3 impactes de morter puguin fer tants morts i, en proporció, tants pocs ferits. Això no acostuma a passar així, les ràtios entre morts i ferits és de 1 a 3, aprox.

2) diverses ONG diuen que cal investigar si Israel ha comès crims de guerra. Per això cal veure què ha fet i si es pot analitzar segons l'article 3 de la Convenció de Ginebra. Diuen que és clar que Israel no ataca volgudament civils, però cal aclarir-ho tot. En canvi, les mateixes ONG diuen que les accions de Hamas no cal que siguin investigades perquè és evident que es tracta de crims de guerra. Els fets de no diferenciar (ni diferenciar-se) civils de combatents o de disparar contra civils són crims de guerra perfectament tipificats.

3) les ONG també han estat al seu torn analitzades sobre el seu capteniment durant la guerra. S'ha vist que han fet un tractament criminalitzador d'Israel i molt més tolerant amb Hamas.

dimarts, 27 de gener de 2009

Dershowitz: una reflexió interessant

Alan Dershowitz ha publicat al seu blog una reflexió interessant. Ha estat reproduïda al Jerusalem Post (27/01/2009). Val la pena de tenir-la en compte.

Double Standard Watch: Israel, Gaza and International Law


The cease fire on the ground has not ended the war of words against Israel. Indeed, efforts to charge Israel with war crimes and other violations of international law are escalating. The time has come, therefore, for a common sense legal and moral analysis of the events in Gaza and southern Israel.
Let us begin with an argument that is frequently made against Israel. It is pointed out by supporters of Hamas that the official governing authority of Gaza is Hamas, because Hamas won the election. To the extent this is true, however, it is an argument in justification of Israel's actions. If Hamas is the official government of Gaza and if Hamas ordered the firing of more of than 6,000 deadly rockets at Israeli civilians, then it follows that the government of Gaza has engaged in an armed attack against Israel under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. In other words, the government of Gaza has declared war against the government and people of Israel. This should not be surprising, since the Hamas Charter calls for the military destruction of Israel.
Under international law, and under the UN Charter, Israel has the right to respond to these thousands of armed attacks. Indeed every rocket fired into Israel is an armed attack and Israel is entitled to take whatever military actions is deemed reasonably necessary to stop these armed attacks from occurring. If Hamas were merely a small terrorist gang operating from Gaza but without the approval of the government, it would be more difficult to justify a military response that destroyed government buildings and targeted police. Israeli military actions resulted in civilians dying. Precisely how many is hotly disputed: a study conducted by the Italian Newspaper Corriere Del Sera disputed Hamas figures and put the total number of Palestinians killed, including Hamas terrorists, at less than 600. The sad reality is that people who voted for and actively support a terrorist government bear more responsibility for the actions of their government than they would for a gang operating against the wishes of the government. Surely the voters in Germany who elected Hitler bore more responsibility for Nazi atrocities than the people of Iraq did for the atrocities of the dictator Saddam Hussein, who was never fairly elected.
Israel clearly had to right to take whatever military action was necessary to stop the Hamas government from playing Russian roulette with the lives of its children. So far, no problem under international law. But here's the rub. International law also requires that Israel's actions must not be disproportional to its military aims and it also prohibits the willful targeting of Palestinian civilians.
To make things even more complicated, international law prohibits the use of human shields to protect combatants from lawful military actions taken by those against whom it has waged an armed attack. And there can be absolutely no doubt that it is the official policy of Hamas to use children, women, schools, mosques, hospitals and other civilian institutions and areas as shields to protect its combatants from legitimate Israeli military actions. In addition to the video evidence showing Hamas fighters deliberately placing their rockets adjacent to UN schools, mosques and to residential areas, there are the express statements of officially-elected Hamas leaders both before and during the fighting. Consider the following public statement delivered by a Hamas legislator, transmitted on Hamas television and widely circulated by video. The legislator's name is Fathi Hammad and here is what he said:
[The enemies of Allah] do not know that the Palestinian people has developed its [methods] of death and death-seeking. For the Palestinian people, death has become an industry, at which women excel, and so do all the people living on this land. The elderly excel at this, and so do the mujahideen and the children. This is why they have formed human shields of the women, the children, the elderly, and the mujahideen, in order to challenge the Zionist bombing machine. It is as if they were saying to the Zionist enemy: 'We desire death like you desire life.'"
There are videos available for all to watch in which Al-Aqsa TV news broadcasts a report showing a crowd of civilians gathered on the roof of a home that was a military target. Indeed those who arranged for these human shields to protect that military target do not shy away from actually using the term "human shield." On another occasion, Hamas leader, appearing on television demands that "the people of Palestine should gather as one to protect the Jihad warriors' house," calling for these civilians to "die as warriors."
So here is the legal dilemma faced by democracies such as Israel. They have every right under international law to take whatever military actions are necessary to stop the rockets randomly fired at their civilians. Their enemy uses human shields to prevent Israel from destroying the rockets without also killing Palestinian civilians. All the law requires under these circumstances is that Israel take reasonable precaution to minimize enemy civilian deaths in order to prevent the murder of its own civilians. Has Israel taken such precautions? Let retired British colonel Richard Kemp answer that question as he did in a recent BBC interview. He said that there has been "no time in the history of warfare when an army has made more efforts to reduce civilian casualties and the deaths of innocent people than the [Israel Defense forces did in Gaza.]" To accuse Israel of "war crimes" under these circumstances is to distort international law and expose the bias of the accuser.

diumenge, 25 de gener de 2009

Les condicions de Hamas

Segons diuen avui els diaris (25/01/2009), Hamas només està disposat a pactar amb Al Fatah una possible reconciliació si aquesta organització acaba amb les converses de pau amb Israel.
Hamas diu, a més, que només podria negociar un alto-el-foc temporal, no una treva indefinida.

Per aquests posicions, i d'altres, molts israelians ja tenen coll avall que les hostilitats a Gaza es reprendran més aviat que tard.

dijous, 22 de gener de 2009

Les xifres de víctimes, inflades?

Segons publica avui el Jerusalem Post (22/01/2009), segons diu un periodista del Corriere della Sera, Hamas hauria inflat les xifres de morts i de ferits. Segons Cremonesi, que ha estat visitant els hospitals de la Franja, els morts no superarien els 600. A més, recull testimonis de persones que asseguren haver vist gent de Hamas llençant coets des de llocs "inapropiats", a banda de fer altres crims de guerra. Cremonesi afegeix que la gent de Gaza no parla per por.

Comença a planar l'escàndol de Jenin. De les més de 500 morts a mans d'Israel, a 50.

Per la seva banda, des de les Forces de Defensa d'Israel s'apunta que la xifra de 1.300 persones és versemblant. On hi ha discrepància amb les fonts de Hamas és en el nombre de milicians i de civils. En un llistat de 900 noms que tenen les FDI, uns 750 correspondrien a milicians (Jerusalem Post, 22/01/2009).

En els propers dies, tot l'abast de la tragèdia humana s'anirà aclarint.

dimecres, 21 de gener de 2009

Israel: Estat de dret


El Tribunal Suprem d'Israel ha vist el cas dels dos partits àrabs i la seva participació a les eleccions del 10 de febrer d'enguany. L'apel·lació que havien presentat contra la decisió del comitè que els havia prohibit presentar-s'hi ha estat acceptada. Per tant, a aquestes eleccions, els ciutadans d'Israel podran votar, si volen, aquests partits.
Per la seva banda, des de Gaza tornen a venir notícies preocupants. No només es van sabent més coses sobre la repressió de Hamas contra membres d'Al Fatah (tortures, execucions, desaparicions), sinó també relatives al fet que s'ha reiniciat l'ús dels túnels que connecten la Franja amb Egipte.

dimarts, 20 de gener de 2009

Boicot als dels boicot

Un seguit de professors i investigadors catalans (uns 300 mal comptats) diuen que volen que la Generalitat faci el boicot a Israel en temes d'investigació i recerca. Aquests 300 no fan res més que reproduir campanyes que alguns "antisionistes" fan a altres països.
La comunitat universitària solvent ja s'ha pronunciat en contra de fer cap tipus de boicot.
Per contrarestar aquests boicotejadors, està funcionant una associació, "Scholars For Peace in Middle East" (www.spme.net), que aplega professors d'arreu del món que han signat el següent manifest (de moment ja en són 19.000):

To: To Academic and Professional Colleagues From Around The World

"We are academics, scholars, researchers and professionals of differing religious and political perspectives. We all agree that singling out Israelis for an academic boycott is wrong. To show our solidarity with our Israeli academics in this matter, we, the undersigned, hereby declare ourselves to be Israeli academics for purposes of any academic boycott. We will regard ourselves as Israeli academics and decline to participate in any activity from which Israeli academics are excluded. " *

* May, 28, 2008... Statement Originally Composed June 4, 2007. Alan Dershowitz, Harvard University School of Law, Steven Weinberg, Nobel Prize Laureate, University of Texas, and Edward S. Beck, Walden University, President, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East

A continuació, un llistat d'alguns dels seus signants:

Alexei Alexeyevich Abrikosov
Nobel Prize - Physics
Distinguished Scientist
Argonne National Laboratory, USA

Loren J. Anderson
President
Pacific Lutheran University

Kenneth Arrow
Nobel Prize-Economics
Stanford University

Lawrence S. Bacow
President
Tufts University

David Baltimore
Nobel Prize Physiology or Medicine
Past President,
California Institute of Technology

Esther Barazzone
President
Chatham University

Henry S. Bienen
President
Northwestern University

Leon Botstein
President
Bard College

William R. Brody
President
Johns Hopkins University

Hank Brown
President
University of Colorado

Robert Brown
President
Boston University

Tom Buchanan
President
University of Wyoming

Nancy Cantor
Chancellor and President
Syracuse University

Robert Carothers
President
University of Rhode Island

Gerhard Casper
President Emeritus
Stanford University

Jean-Lou Chameau
President
California Institute of Technology

David Clary
President
Magdalen College
Oxford University

Claude Cohen- Tannoudji
Nobel Prize- Physics
Laboratoire de Physique de L'Ecole Normale Superieure
Paris, France

Saul B. Cohen

President Emeritus
Queens College
City University of New York

Jared Cohon
President
Carnegie-Mellon University

Irwin Cotler
Professor of Law,
McGill University [on leave],
M.P. and former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Scott Cowen
President
Tulane University

Michael Crow
President
Arizona State University

Talbot "Sandy" D'Alemberte
President Emeritus and Professor
Florida State University


Alan Dershowitz
Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law
Harvard University

Stanley Deser
Dirac Medal
Ancell Professor of Physics
Brandeis University

Steven J. Diner
Chancellor
Rutgers-The State University
(added 5.30.08)

Gail Dinter-Gottlieb
President and Vice Chancellor
Arcadia University
Canada

James Doti
President
Chapman University

Robert C. Dynes
President
University of California

Allen K. Easley
President and Dean
William Mitchell College of Law

Alfred Ebenbauer (1945-2007)
Former Rector,
University of Vienna, Austria

Mark Emmert
President
University of Washington

Robert F. Engle
Nobel Prize Economics
New York University

Daniel Mark Fogel
President
University of Vermont

Jerome Friedman
Nobel Prize-Physics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Alice P. Gast
President
Lehigh University

Carol Garrison
President
University of Alabama

G. David Gearhart
Chancellor-Elect
University of Arkansas
(added 6.5.08)

Sheldon Lee Glashow
Nobel Prize-Physics
Boston University

Donald A. Glaser
Nobel Prize Physics
University of California at Berkeley

Clive W.J. Granger
Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics
University of California, San Diego

David Gross
Nobel Prize Physics
Director,Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics
Frederick W. Gluck Chair in Theoretical Physics
University of California at Santa Barbara

Amy Gutmann
President
University of Pennsylvania

Ann Weaver Hart
President
Temple University

Herbert A. Hauptman
Nobel Prize- Chemistry
Medical Foundation of Buffalo

James J. Heckman
Nobel Prize Economics
University of Chicago

Alan Heeger
Nobel Prize-Chemistry
University of California-Santa Barbara

John L. Hennessy
President
Stanford University

Richard Herman
Chancellor
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Dudley R. Herschbach
Nobel Prize Chemistry
Harvard University

Avram Hershko
Nobel Prize Chemistry
Distinguished Professor at the Unit of Biochemistry
Rappaport Faculty of Medicine
Technion
(Israel Institute of Technology)

Susan Hockfield
President
MIT

Roald Hoffmann
Nobel Prize-Chemistry
Frant H. T. Rhodes Professor of Humane Letters
Cornell University

Tim Hunt
Nobel Prize - Physiology/Medicine
Cell Cycle Control Laboratory
London Research Institute
Clare Hall Laboratories

Elfriede Jelinek
Nobel Prize Literature
Austria

Richard M. Joel
President
Yeshiva University

Daniel Kahneman
Nobel Prize - Economics
Professor of Psychology
Princeton University

Eric R. Kandel
Nobel Prize - Medicine
University Professor
Columbia University

Shirley Strum Kenny
President
Stony Brook University
State University of New York

Steven Knapp
President
George Washington University

Walter Kohn
Nobel Prize Physics
University of California-Santa Barbara

Helmut Konrad
Former Rector, University of Graz
Graz Austria

Arthur Kornberg**
Nobel Prize- Medicine
Emeritus Pfeiffer Merner Professor of Biochemistry
Stanford University School of Medicine

Roger Kornberg
Nobel Prize- Chemistry
Professor of Structural Biology
Stanford University

Leon Lederman
Nobel Prize-Physics
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
University of Chicago

Anthony Leggett
Nobel Prize-Physics
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Ronald D. Liebowitz
President
Middlebury College

David McClain
President
University of Hawaii System

Joseph M. McShane, SJ
President
Fordham University

James Moeser
Chancellor
University of North Carolina

C.D. Mote Jr.
President
University of Maryland

Marshall W. Nirenberg
Nobel Prize- Medicine
Biochemical Genetics
National Institutes of Health

Ross Paul
President
University of Windsor

David Politzer
Nobel Prize-Physics
California Institute of Technology

G. David Pollick
President
Birmingham Southern College

Rajendra Prasad
Rector
Jawaharlal Nehru University
New Delhi

Stuart Rabinowitz
President
Hofstra University

Jehuda Reinharz
President
Brandeis University

Richard J. Roberts
Nobel Prize- Physiology/Medicine
New England Biolabs

Richard L. Rubenstein
President Emeritus and
Distinguished Professor of Religion
University of Bridgeport

Cecil Samuelson
President
Brigham Young University

Andrew V. Schally
Nobel Prize Physiology or Medicine
Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami

Wolfgang Schütz
Rector
Medical University of Vienna

Beheruz N. Sethna
Professor & President
University of West Georgia

Donna E. Shalala
President
University of Miami

Robert N. Shelton
President
University of Arizona

Lee Shulman
President
Carnegie Foundation

Ralph Snyderman
Chancellor Emeritus
Duke University

Graham Spanier
President
Penn State University

Stephen Joel Trachtenberg
President
The George Washington University

Harold Varmus
Nobel Laureate Physiology or Medicine
President
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Leslie Wagner
Chancellor
University of Derby, UK

Steven Weinberg
Nobel Prize-Physics
Josey Regental Professor of Science
University of Texas, Austin

Elie Wiesel
Nobel Peace Prize
Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities
Boston University

Frank Wilczek
Nobel Prize-Physics
Herman Feshbach Professor of Physics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Kevin Wildes, S.J.
President
Loyola University
New Orleans


Robert E. Witt
President
University of Alabama

Henry T. Yang
Chancellor
University of California-Santa Barbara

Mark G. Yudof
Chancellor
University of Texas

Daniel Zajfman
President and Professor of Physics
Weizmann Institute of Science

Vladimir Zakharov
Dirac Medal in Theoretical Physics
Regent Professor of Mathematics
University of Arizona

** Deceased



dilluns, 19 de gener de 2009

Allò que fa Hamas

Aquests dies de guerra han anat sortint, amb comptagotes, notícies sobre el que passava a dins de Gaza.
Les autoritats israelianes s'han afartat d'explicar com funciona això dels "escuts humans", com Hamas dispara des de llocs civils que, automàticament, esdevenen objectius militars legítims.
Ara ja comencen a sortir notícies sobre el tractament que feia/fa Hamas dels seus rivals d'Al Fatah. Els ha estat empresonant en hospitals i escoles, on els torturaven. Altres han estat executats sumàriament. Altres han estat ferits de bala a les cames i genolls...
D'aquí uns dies sabrem més dades, i més fiables, sobre el nombre de víctimes. L'antecedent de la Batalla de Jenin és clar. Mentre les autoritats de l'ANP -els "moderats"- van parlar de més de 500 morts, l'Human Right Watch (no precisament sionista) va reduir la xifra a 5 desenes de persones, la majoria de les quals eren milicians. Per la seva banda, Israel va perdre una vintena de soldats.
L'experiència de Jenin és doble. Hom no s'ha de creure les dades palestines sense més ni més. Sempre estan inflades una mica. En segon lloc, l'IDF va decidir que s'havien de fer servir altres tàctiques per tal de disminuir el nombre de baixes pròpies. Sembla ser que aquest ha estat el cas de Gaza.

diumenge, 11 de gener de 2009

L'antisemitisme en marxa


Imatge de la manifestació contra Israel feta a Terrassa el 3 de gener.
L'equivalència entre l'Estrella de David i l'esvàstica és una mostra del nou antisemitisme.

El relat és clar: si contra els nazis es va fer el que es va fer, ara "tocaria" fer el mateix contra el poble jueu.

És, també, una banalització de la Xoà.

Aquest tipus d'imatges s'estan donant a les manifestacions d'aquests darrers dies.

La resolució 1860. Una anàlisi a tenir en compte

The false symmetry of UN Security Council Resolution 1860

by Dore Gold (Jerusalem Post, 11 de gener de 2009)








Most Israelis regard UN Security Council Resolution 1860 on the Gaza Conflict as a troubling development. It fails to mention the release of Cpl. Gilad Shalit who has been in Hamas captivity since 2006. The word "rocket" does not even appear, only general references to condemning "violence and hostilities directed against civilians." Reading the resolution, one would not be aware that Israel has been under constant rocket attacks since 2001, the real background to the current conflict.

The resolution also suggests a diplomatic sequence that begins with an "immediate" cease-fire, and leaves for the future the efforts of UN member states to provide arrangements that "prevent illicit trafficking in arms and ammunition." Israel halts its defensive operations, but may well be left empty handed at a later stage.

There is also a disturbing symmetry between Israel and the Palestinian side, which appears in Resolution 1860. Despite the language of the resolution, most international observers agree that Israeli civilians should not have to face rocket attacks from Hamas in the future, and hence Hamas must halt this activity. But in Resolution 1860 there is a demand of Israel in parallel, "to ensure the sustained reopening of crossing points" between Israel and Gaza. It is as though the cessation of rocket fire and the opening of the crossing points are symmetric demands that are increasingly mentioned in the same breath by commentators. This is like asking for a quid pro quo for Hamas stopping terrorism.

THIS IS moral equivalence at its worst. Israel should not pay anything to get Hamas to stop firing rockets which is an act of outright aggression against the Jewish State. When Iraq invaded Kuwait, the UN Security Council did not seek Kuwaiti concessions alongside its demand of Iraq to withdraw. Israel is not required under international law to trade with a neighbor if it prefers not to. Resolution 1860 makes specific reference to the November 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA). That problematic agreement, which was largely imposed by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, is today regarded in Israeli circles as a failure, for it did not stop the movement of terrorist operatives in and out of the Gaza Strip.

It was also an agreement that was reached when Mahmud Abbas and his Fatah movement exclusively controlled the Palestinian Authority. In January 2006, Hamas won the Palestinian legislative elections while in June 2007 Hamas launched a military coup against the PA in Gaza. Hamas provided sanctuary to organizations like Jaish al-Islam or Jaish al-Umma which identified themselves as al-Qaeda affiliates. This put the Hamas regime in a category like the Taliban which had allowed the original al-Qaeda to grow in its domain. Given the completely changed circumstances created by the Hamas takeover, it is surprising that the Security Council came back to hold Israel to an old agreement over Gaza reached with Fatah in the past.

Finally, Israel, with the backing of the Western powers, decided to embargo the Hamas regime in Gaza. Trade embargos are a state's inherent right, like the US embargo of Iran or Cuba. Hamas is a particularly severe case for it calls for Israel's destruction, engages in suicide terrorism against Israeli citizens, and brainwashes Palestinian children with anti-Semitic hatred. To compel Israel to open the Gaza crossing points is to deny Israel a valid economic instrument to exercise its right to self-defense against a regime that seeks its eradication.

Perhaps underpinning Resolution 1860 is an assumption of normalized relations in the future between Hamas and the State of Israel. This makes the US abstention at the UN all the more disturbing. The Bush administration, which led the diplomatic fight against terrorism after 9/11, appears to be acquiescing to granting rights to a terror regime that in reality should not earn any more international protection than the Taliban did in 2001.

The writer served as Israel's ambassador to the UN and today is president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

divendres, 9 de gener de 2009

Mites i fets de la guerra de Gaza

Font: www.camera.org

January 8, 2009
by Alex Safian, PhD

Myths and Facts about the Fighting in Gaza

Myth: Israel’s attacks against Hamas are illegal since Israel is still occupying Gaza through its control of Gaza’s borders and airspace, and it is therefore bound to protect the civilian population under the Fourth Geneva Convention. Israel has control over Gaza’s air space and sea coast, and its forces enter the area at will. As the occupying power, Israel has the responsibility under the Fourth Geneva Convention to see to the welfare of the civilian population of the Gaza Strip.
(Rashid Khalidi, What You Don’t Know About Gaza , New York Times Op-Ed, Jan. 8, 2009)
Fact: Of the land borders with Gaza, Israel quite naturally controls those that are adjacent to Israel; the border with Egypt at Rafah is controlled by Egypt. Beyond this, it is clear under international law that Israel does not occupy Gaza. As Amb. Dore Gold put it in a detailed report on the question:
The foremost document in defining the existence of an occupation has been the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention "Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War." Article 6 of the Fourth Geneva Convention explicitly states that "the Occupying Power shall be bound for the duration of the occupation to the extent that such Power exercises the functions of government in such territory...." If no Israeli military government is exercising its authority or any of "the functions of government" in the Gaza Strip, then there is no occupation. (Legal Acrobatics: The Palestinian Claim that Gaza is Still "Occupied" Even After Israel Withdraws, Amb. Dore Gold, JCPA, 26 August 2005)
But what if despite this we take seriously Khalidi’s claim that Israel is the occupying power and is therefore legally the sovereign authority in Gaza? In that case the relevant body of law would not be the Geneva Conventions as Khalidi claims, but would rather be the Hague Regulations, which in the relevant article states:
The authority of the legitimate power having in fact passed into the hands of the occupant, the latter shall take all the measures in his power to restore, and ensure, as far as possible, public order and safety, while respecting, unless absolutely prevented, the laws in force in the country. (Article 43, Laws and Customs of War on Land (Hague IV); October 18, 1907)
Under this article Israel’s incursion into Gaza would therefore be completely legal as a legitimate exercise of Israel’s responsibility for restoring and ensuring public order and safety in Gaza. This would include removing Hamas, which by Khalidi’s logic is an illegitimate authority in Gaza. Under international law Hamas certainly has no right to stockpile weapons or attack Israel, and Israel is therefore justified in taking measures to disarm Hamas and prevent it from terrorizing both the Israeli population and the Gaza population. That is the inescapable logic of Khalidi’s position.

Myth: Since more Palestinians than Israelis have been killed in the fighting this means Israel is acting “disproportionately” or has even committed “war crimes.”
• [Israel] is causing a huge and disproportionate civilian casualty level in Gaza. (Christiane Amanpour CNN, Jan. 4, 2009)
• WAR CRIMES The targeting of civilians, whether by Hamas or by Israel, is potentially a war crime. Every human life is precious. But the numbers speak for themselves: Nearly 700 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed since the conflict broke out at the end of last year. In contrast, there have been around a dozen Israelis killed, many of them soldiers. (Rashid Khalidi, What You Don’t Know About Gaza , New York Times Op-Ed, Jan. 8, 2009)
Fact: First of all, contrary to Khalidi, most of the Palestinians killed so far were Hamas operatives, not civilians. Beyond this, real world examples obviate any charges about right or wrong based on the number of people killed. Consider that the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor killed about 3,000 Americans. Does it follow that the US should have ended its counterattacks against Japanese forces once a similar number of Japanese had been killed? Since it did not end its attacks, does that mean the US acted disproportionally and was in the wrong and that the Japanese were the aggrieved party? Clearly the answer is no.
Taking this further, counting the number of dead hardly determines right and wrong. For example, again looking at the Pacific Theatre in World War 2, over 2.7 million Japanese were killed, including 580,000 civilians, as against only 106,000 Americans, the vast majority combatants. Does it then follow that Japan was in the right and America was in the wrong? Again, clearly the answer is no. Just having more dead on your side does not make you right.
Proportionality in the sense used by Rashid Khalidi and Christiane Amanpour is meaningless.
Myth: Israel’s actions are illegal since International Law requires proportionality.
International law ... calls for the element of proportionality. When you have conflict between nations or between countries, there is a sense of proportionality. You cannot go and kill and injure 3,000 Palestinians when you have four Israelis killed on the other side. That is immoral, that is illegal. And that is not right. And it should be stopped. (Dr. Riyad Mansour, Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, CNN, Jan 3, 2009)
Actually, proportionality in the Law of War has nothing to do with the relative number of casualties on the two sides. Rather it refers to the military value of a target (how much of an impact would the target’s destruction have on the outcome of a battle or war) versus the expected threat to the lives or property of civilians. If the target has high military value, then it can be attacked even if it seems there will be some civilian casualties in doing so.
What has to be “proportional” (the term is not actually used in the relevant conventions) is the military value of the target versus the risk to civilians.
In particular, Article 51 of Protocol 1 Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1977 prohibits as indiscriminate:
5(b) An attack which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated.
By this measure, Israel’s efforts to destroy missiles before they can be fired at Israeli civilians, even if that places Palestinian civilians at risk, seems to conform perfectly to the Laws of War. There is no requirement that Israel place its own citizens’ lives in danger in order to protect the lives of Palestinian civilians.
Myth: Hamas has no choice but to place weapons and fighters in populated areas since the Gaza Strip is so crowded that is all there is.
[Hamas has] no other choice. Gaza is the size of Detroit. And 1.5 million live here where there are no places for them to fire from them but from among the population. (Taghreed El-Khodary, New York Times Gaza reporter, on CNN, Jan. 1, 2009)
In fact there is plenty of open space in Gaza, including the now empty sites where Israeli settlements once stood. The Hamas claim, parroted by the Times reporter, is nonsense.
Beyond this, placing your own civilians around or near a military target to act as “human shields” is prohibited by the Fourth Geneva Convention:
Art. 28. The presence of a protected person may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations.
Article 58 of Protocol 1 Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1977 goes even further in this regard, requiring that Hamas remove Palestinian civilians from the vicinity of its military facilities, which would include any place where weapons, mortars, bombs and the like are produced, stored, or fired from, and any place where its fighters train, congregate or hide. Here is the text, which calls on the parties to the conflict to:
(A) ... endeavour to remove the civilian population, individual civilians and civilian objects under their control from the vicinity of military objectives;
(b) Avoid locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas;
(c) Take the other necessary precautions to protect the civilian population, individual civilians and civilian objects under their control against the dangers resulting from military operations.
Hamas, as the defacto government in Gaza has clearly violated all three of these provisions:
They have made no effort to remove civilians from the vicinity of military objectives.
On the contrary, they systematically hide fighters and weapons in schools, in mosques and private homes, and they fire missiles and mortars at Israeli civilians from these places.
Unlike Israel, Hamas has made no effort to provide bomb shelters for the use of Palestinian civilians. While Hamas has imported huge amounts of cement, it has been used to build bunkers and tunnels for its leaders and fighters.
On the other hand, Israel’s requirement since the early 1990's that all new homes have a secure reinforced room, and its building of (often rudimentary) bomb shelters in communities near Gaza have helped to minimize casualties to Israeli civilians, though at a cost of over $1 Billion dollars.
It is ironic that Israel is charged with disproportionality for successfully protecting its civilians by following international law.
Myth: Israel violated the ceasefire with Hamas in November, and is thus to blame for the conflict.
• Lifting the blockade, along with a cessation of rocket fire, was one of the key terms of the June cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. This accord led to a reduction in rockets fired from Gaza from hundreds in May and June to a total of less than 20 in the subsequent four months (according to Israeli government figures). The cease-fire broke down when Israeli forces launched major air and ground attacks in early November; six Hamas operatives were reported killed. (Rashid Khalidi, What You Don’t Know About Gaza , New York Times Op-Ed, Jan. 8, 2009)
• Mustafa Barghouti, Palestinian Legislator (video clip): ... The reality and the truth is that the side that broke this truce and this ceasefire was Israel. Two months before it ended, Israel started attacking Rafah, started attacking Khan Yunis ...
Rick Sanchez: And you know what we did? I've checked with some of the folks here at our international desk, and I went to them and asked, What was he talking about, and do we have any information on that? Which they confirmed, two months ago -- this is back in November -- there was an attack. It was an Israeli raid that took out six people. (CNN, Dec. 31, 2008)
In fact, contrary to Khalidi, Barghouti and CNN’s Rick Sanchez, the Palestinians violated the ceasefire almost from day one. For example, the Associated Press published on June 25, just after the truce started, an article headlined Palestinian rockets threaten truce
The article in its lead paragraphs reported that:
Palestinian militants fired three homemade rockets into southern Israel yesterday, threatening to unravel a cease-fire days after it began, and Israel responded by closing vital border crossings into Gaza.
Despite what it called a "gross violation" of the truce, Israel refrained from military action and said it would send an envoy soon to Egypt to work on the next stage of a broader cease-fire agreement: a prisoner swap that would bring home an Israeli soldier held by Hamas for more than two years.
There were many further such Palestinian violations, including dozens of rockets and mortars fired into Israel during the so-called ceasefire. And there was also sniper fire against Israeli farmers, anti-tank rockets and rifle shots fired at soldiers in Israel, and not one but two attempts to abduct Israeli soldiers and bring them into Gaza. Here are some of the details:
(Most of this data is from The Six Months of the Lull Arrangement, a detailed report by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, an Israeli NGO.)
From the start of the ceasefire at 6 AM on June 19 till the incident on November 4th, the following attacks were launched against Israel from Gaza in direct violation of the agreement:
18 mortars were fired at Israel in this period, beginning on the night of June 23.
20 rockets were fired, beginning on June 24, when 3 rockets hit the Israeli town of Sderot.
On July 6 farmers working in the fields of Nahal Oz were attacked by light arms fire from Gaza.
On the night of August 15 Palestinians fired across the border at Israeli soldiers near the Karni crossing.
On October 31 an IDF patrol spotted Palestinians planting an explosive device near the security fence in the area of the Sufa crossing. As the patrol approached the fence the Palestinians fired two anti-tank missiles.
There were two Palestinian attempts to infiltrate from Gaza into Israel apparently to abduct Israelis. Both were major violations of the ceasefire.
The first came to light on Sept. 28, when Israeli personnel arrested Jamal Atallah Sabah Abu Duabe. The 21-year-old Rafah resident had used a tunnel to enter Egypt and from there planned to slip across the border into Israel. Investigation revealed that Abu Duabe was a member of Hamas’s Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, and that he planned to lure Israeli soldiers near the border by pretending to be a drug smuggler, capture them, and then sedate them with sleeping pills in order to abduct them directly into Gaza through a preexisting tunnel. For more details click here and here.
The second abduction plan was aborted on the night of Nov 4, thanks to a warning from Israeli Intelligence. Hamas had dug another tunnel into Israel and was apparently about to execute an abduction plan when IDF soldiers penetrated about 250 meters into Gaza to the entrance of the tunnel, hidden under a house. Inside the house were a number of armed Hamas members, who opened fire. The Israelis fired back and the house exploded – in total 6 or 7 Hamas operatives were killed and several were wounded. Among those killed were Mazen Sa’adeh, a Hamas brigade commander, and Mazen Nazimi Abbas, a commander in the Hamas special forces unit. For more details click here.
It was when Israel aborted this imminent Hamas attack that the group and other Palestinian groups in Gaza escalated their violations of the ceasefire by beginning to once again barrage Israel with rockets and mortars.
Note also that, contrary to Khalidi, Israeli figures do not show that Palestinian violations of the ceasefire during the first four months amounted to “less than 20” rockets.
Considering this long list of Palestinian attacks, charging that Israel broke the ceasefire in November is simply surreal.
Myth: Israel violated the ceasefire by not lifting its blockade of Gaza.
• Negotiation is a much more effective way to deal with rockets and other forms of violence. This might have been able to happen had Israel fulfilled the terms of the June cease-fire and lifted its blockade of the Gaza Strip. (Rashid Khalidi, What You Don’t Know About Gaza , New York Times Op-Ed, Jan. 8, 2009)
• Mustafa Barghouti, Palestinian Legislator: ... [Israel] never lifted the blockade on Gaza. Gaza remains without fuel, without electricity, with bread, without medications, without any medical equipment for people who are dying in Gaza -- 262 people died, 6 people because of no access to medical care. So Israel broke the ceasefire. (CNN, Dec. 31, 2008)
Contrary to Khalidi and Barghouti, Israel did open the crossings and allowed truckload after truckload of supplies to enter Gaza. Closures until November were short, and in direct response to Palestinian violations, some of which were detailed above.
To quote from the ITIC report on the "Lull Agreement":
On June 22, after four days of calm, Israel reopened the Karni and Sufa crossings to enable regular deliveries of consumer goods and fuel to the Gaza Strip. They were closed shortly thereafter, following the first violation of the arrangement, when rockets were fired at Sderot on June 24. However, when calm was restored, the crossings remained open for long periods of time. On August 17 the Kerem Shalom crossing was also opened for the delivery of goods, to a certain degree replacing the Sufa crossing, after repairs had been completed (the Kerem Shalom crossing was closed on April 19 when the IDF prevented a combined mass casualty attack in the region, as a result of which the crossing was almost completely demolished).
Before November 4, large quantities of food, fuel, construction material and other necessities for renewing the Gaza Strip’s economic activity were delivered through the Karni and Sufa crossings. A daily average of 80-90 trucks passed through the crossings, similar to the situation before they were closed following the April 19 attack on the Kerem Shalom crossing. Changes were made in the types of good which could be delivered, permitting the entry of iron, cement and other vital raw materials into the Gaza Strip.
... Israel, before November 4, refrained from initiating action in the Gaza Strip but responded to rocket and mortar shell attacks by closing the crossings for short periods of time (hours to days). After November 4 the crossings were closed for long periods in response to the continued attacks against Israel. (Rearranged from p 11- 12)
Day to day details of the supplies delivered to Gaza and the numbers of trucks involved have been published by the Israeli Foreign Ministry and are available here. The figures confirm that the passages were indeed open and busy.
Myth: Israel is using excessively large bombs in populated neighborhoods and is therefore to blame for any Palestinian civilians killed in the present fighting.
Fact: Because Hamas has violated international law by intentionally placing military facilities in densely populated civilian areas (see Article 58 of Protocol 1 Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1977 cited above), Israel is using relatively small laser-guided bombs in order to minimize any collateral damage. But many of the Palestinian civilian injuries have likely been caused not by Israeli bombs but by Palestinian rockets and bombs which explode after Israel targets the places where they are stored or manufactured, such as mosques and other civilian structures. Numerous videos have been posted of Israeli bombing runs which clearly show the Israeli bomb causing a relatively small initial explosion followed by much larger secondary explosions. Some of the videos also show Palestinian missiles and other projectiles flying in all directions.
Here’s an example of an Israeli strike on January 1st against a mosque in the Jabaliya refugee camp that was being used as a weapons storehouse. Moments after the initial Israeli strike caused a small explosion, there were multiple huge secondary explosions as the stored Grad missiles and Qassam rockets detonated, and large amounts of ammunition cooked off.
No doubt Palestinian civilians anywhere near the mosque were killed or injured by the multiple huge blasts and exploding ammunition and rockets. But it is difficult to see how Palestinians injured by Palestinian bombs and missiles can be blamed on Israel.

dijous, 8 de gener de 2009

Hamas, puny de ferro

Hamas està actuant sense contemplacions. Segons informa a Haaretz (8 de gener) la seva corresponsal Amira Hass (que no és que sigui precisament una sionista), Hamas està executant desenes de pressumptes col·laboradors amb Israel. Aplica, un cop més, la pena de mort sense judici ni res.
Això ja ho va fer quan va prendre violentament el control de la Franja fa mesos. Aleshores els de Hamas també van dedicar-se a fer execucions sumàries.

dimarts, 6 de gener de 2009

Ho estem veient tot? O només algunes coses?

Allò que passa a dins la Franja de Gaza arriba a l'opinió pública després de passar el filtre de Hamas.
Un element curiós. Des de l'inici dels combats, a les televisions catalanes no han passat cap imatge de membres de Hamas lluitant, amb les armes a la mà. Només hi ha imatges dures, duríssimes, de les víctimes de la guerra.
El relat que es vol impulsar és un grup de persones desarmades que estan aguantant un atac sense precedents.

Segons informa Haaretz (6.01.2009), a la televisió francesa (TF2) han passat imatges de víctimes d'una explosió d'un camió de Hamas que va tenir lloc fa anys com si fossin imatges actuals. Han hagut de rectificar.