Archive for the ‘Middle East’ Category

“THERE IS NOTHING LIKE AN ISRAELI PARTY” a line noted by journalists swarming around the Israeli singer Netta Barzilai who just had won the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 in Lissabon. She won the competition with an act & song that referrred to the #MeToo movement as could be heard in the lyrics that repeated several times the line “I am not your toy, you stupid boy”…


click image for larger version

Israel is now the country that will host next year’s Eurovision spectacle (as Israel is a member of the European Broadcasting Union)… and the town hosting that event will be what the state of Israel wants to see as “it’s capital”: Jerusalem.

Only one day after it was shown what sentiments lay behind that future host city of this innocent mass entertainment show. The day that the Americans opened their new embassy in Jerusalem and Palestinians were demonstrating against this act and claim, especially along the border with the Gaza strip.

Another kind of movement – #UsToo – manifested itself in a asymmetrical war like demonstration, whereby during the ‘wave attacks’, under cover of smoke fumes produced by burning car tires, attacks with catapults and stone slings against Israeli border troops, things did get so much out of hand that the Israeli army started to shoot with more than tear gas canisters…

The real numbers are not yet known, but it seems that there are over 40 dead on the demonstrators side and over one thousand wounded… Nobody wants to say that the demonstration was all peaceful, though most being present were not committing live endangering acts of violence … what we know for sure is that on the Israeli side there were no deadly casualties…

Will we see the day that there will be only events like ‘song contests’ that play out differences and competition between nations? Will it be the Broadcasting Union of the Levant & Mesopotamia that swarms the world with a new television show, the LEVANT/MESOPOTAMIA-VISION Contest, with female singers from a more liberal Iran, the new configured Syria displaying newly found brother- and sisterhood, Kurdish singers without war songs, an Iraqi bard duet with a Shia singer and a Sunni oud player… a sensational Israeli/Palestian post-punkband?

We will be all be watching it from our portable devices… there will be big screens in the open air to celebrate this great event… but first let’s do the ground work to make this happen in the future: take a stance beyond today’s hardliners and partisans of whatever unilateral ‘righteous causes’… we need to write the lyrics for a new top hit: #Us Too…. for all those good willing people that are fed up with harassment and assault in the name of national states, political power groups and religious organisations … a song that will “give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem” [ref Wikipedia #MeToo]
NB curiously the Israeli version of the #MeToo movement hashtag is #UsToo in Hebrew :גםאנחנו#

Image & text sources used:
– “After Eurovision win, Jerusalem gears up to strut stuff on world stage” header of article in the Times of Israel of May 13th. 2018 on opening of American embassy in Jerusalem and winning of Israel of Eurovision Song Contest and Jerusalem as Eurovision event host in 2019.
The Times of Israel
– screenshot of Eurovision performance by Netta Barzilia of the song Toy
– two pictures of the confrontation on March 14 at the Gaza-strip border with Israel, near Zeitoun, by the photographer Mohammed Amed of an Israeli drone that drops tear gas canisters on Palestinian protesters and Palestinians running for cover from the gas.
Washington Post
– Celebration of national ‘Jerusalem Day’ 13 May 2018 on Western Wall Plaza in Jerusalem, a photograph I altered a bit by adding the silhouette of the ‘Dome of the Rock’; Western Wall Plaza was created in 1967 after the Six-Day War by bulldozing what was then the Moroccan quarter, an extension of the Muslim quarter.
Ray Tribune

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I republish this news-tableau originally launched on 4 September, 2013 on my Flickr page. It had 11,965 views since then.  It takes part in a debate in the aftermath of  a retaliation attack of USA and allies on Syrian governmental targets, as a punishment for the use of chemical weapons on the city of Ghouta on 21 August, 2013, allegedly by Syrian government forces. An attack that caused over seven hundred deaths. This was not the first and not the last attack with chemical weapons. A useful overview of all 80 or so cases – since October 2012 – can be found on a dedicated Wikipedia page “Use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Civil War” whereby it becomes clear that some cases are disputed and often the perpetrator of an attack using chemical weapons can not with full certainty be pointed at. Indeed the ‘news’ or ‘fakes news’ battles around these chemical attacks are poisonous themselves. When we take the highest estimation of casualties of the Syrian Civil Ear, since its start in the year 2011 then – according to the United Nations and the Arab League envoy to Syria, the total number of death is 400.000
The total number of deaths by the use of chemical warfare in Syria using the data of the list on Wikipedia cited above, plus the latest (alleged) attack on Douma is 2002 (again I take the highest estimates). Bombardments and (other) usage of high explosives may have caused – directly and indirectly – the highest death toll, whereby it is irrelevant for a victim if she/he was targeted or an unwanted side effect of an attack, a “collateral victim”. As my argument below is about the hysteric hypocrisy in the media and by ‘Western governments’, here the three chemical weapon attacks that did produce the highest numbers of deadly victims:
1) Ghouta (area) 21/8/2013: 800 + (numbers differ enormously: lowest 281, highest 1729)
2) Khan Shaykhun 4/4/2017: 100
3) Douma 7/4/2018: 70


There Are No Humanitarian Weapons – biggest lie of these days “THE GRADING OF KILLING METHODS IN SYRIA” as if Chemical Weapons are worse than Conventional Weapons as if there is a humanitarian red-line that must not be crossed in warfare.

Pondering for days how to expose THE BIGGEST LIE OF THESE DAYS “THE GRADING OF KILLING METHODS IN SYRIA” as if death by the dagger, sword, machete, pistol, riffle, mortar, land mine, machine gun, cannon, missile, aerial bombing, napalm, arson, dynamite, nitro glycerine, and hundreds of other explosives, electronic shocks and nuclear explosion, are any better. Dead is dead, also for those who remember the killed ones personally, those who stay behind.


HOW BRAINWASHED IS EVERYBODY that many start to doubt if they should support a military intervention of the Americans and their Allies in Syria. How brainwashed they must be when using the big number of violent death (just over 100.000) in Syria from the UN Human Right Research WITHOUT TAKING IN ACCOUNT WHO HAS BEEN KILLING WHO, how many of these killings were the result of all kind of inner strives and crimes by all sort of freedom fighters equally repulsive as committed by the governmental troops of Bashir Al-Assad. How naive to think that after the launching of missiles on Assad regime targets, civil war and terrorism will end in Syria.

The most massive use of chemical warfare in the narrow sense was last century in a war between Iran and Iraq that lasted 8 years and took over one million victims, of which tens of thousands died because of the use of chemical warfare methods, mainly against soldiers, but also in some cases against civilians, mainly in Iran, but also in Iraq itself, whereby also Iran attempted to use chemical warfare agents. The Iran Iraq War of the eighties last century did not trigger any call of ‘intervention’ and hardly any protest in the world. In the years 1987/88 there has been – well documented – tactical support by USA military and CIA personal for Iraq gas attacks on Iranian troops. There was no red-line then under that geo-political circumstances.

Because napalm, agent orange and depleted uranium weapons, and several kinds of so called nerve gasses for crowd control do fall outside of the international acclaimed definition of ‘chemical warfare’, the Western democracies think they can proudly pose as humanitarian warriors. Less forget the massive use of these human killing substances and devices in the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Algerian War, Madagascar, the Gulf War, the Iraq War… by all those humanitarian generals of the USA and its allies.

Let alone that we recall all the devilish plans that have been prepared, but not executed, or only partly, of devastating large agricultural zones, of breaking irrigation dams, of bombing hydro-electrical dams, drowning thousands, triggering famines, ill health and massive death of illnesses like TB and Cholera, from Korea to Indochina.

Miles of historical, juridical, medical and military books and reports can be dragged in to support this kind of argumentation, to rip away the blindfold of public opinion as it is daily put in position and fastened by the major media.


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This tableau picture and essay has been published first at my Flickr news-tableau page on the 18th of november 2012. It had over the years 96,875 views. I republish it today on this blog to be used as a reference in the never ending discussion on social-media on who and what is right and wrong in this part of the Middle East. Tjebbe van Tijen 10/4/2018

HOW TO REPRESENT THE ISRAEL/GAZA CONFRONTATION or if you want GAZA/ISRAEL confrontation of mid november 2012.

This has been on my mind the last days, seeing the usual Pavlov reactions to the conflict of people taking sides for what clearly are the underdogs, without much thought though of the consequences. There have been several demonstrations already that had as their main slogan STOP ATTACK ON GAZA (1) without even mentioning the attacks the other way around, however primitive the missile technology employed by the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades the official military arm of Hamas and other para-military groups.

I am neither pro-Israel nor pro Hamas and see with dismay how each time the warriors from both camps take over. As for Hamas they not only endangers others, but also themselves or their dear-ones and neighbours, because Israeli counter-attacks always come. Forgotten in the turmoil of war is, that the exchange of rockets, missiles and bombs does not only sow fear, kill people and damage buildings and infrastructure, it also is an attack on the many good willing initiatives between citizens of Israel and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.

Their activities are not catching the headlines of the world press. Less deadly, less sensational activities that aim at diminish suffering and easing tension: support of joint economic projects and zones; promotion of free border crossing and travel; helping reconciliation; sharing of suffering by parents from both camps who lost their children in the conflict; joint environmental actions especially about water resources; arabic/hebrew language learning in schools; promoting fair trade products from Palestine in Israel; medical assistance; mixed summer camps for kids from Israel, Palestine and other arabic countries; joint academic research and education opportunities; mixed orchestras and theatre companies; training for conflict resolution; face to face dialogues initiatives; to sum up just a part of this positive spectre. (2) All these good willingness from West Bank/Gaza and Israel added by international partners, attempts to resolve the stalemate, are brutally brushed aside, once more.


Was it the summary execution by a missile fired by the Israel Defense Forces on a Hamas leader, Ahmed Jabari, last wednesday November the 14th? A missile hitting him in his car while driving along Omar Mukhtar Street in Gaza City, in the middle of a crowded neighbourhood, killing also his bodyguard. The 8th remote control assassination by the Israeli Air Force since January 2010 in the Gaza strip. (3)

Was it the barrage of 26 rockets from Gaza on the 29th of October into the South of Israel, which – by sheer chance – did hit no Israeli people or property? A rocket launch that – according to the BBC message of that day – was in response to an incident whereby a Gaza man at the border had been shot by Israeli troops, because he was – allegedly – attempting to fire a mortar at Israeli troops? A series of incidents that was summarised by this BBC news item with the header: “Violence ends Israel-Gaza truce.”

BBC correspondent Jon Donisson (based in the West Bank) noted on October the 29th. how precarious it is….

“to pinpoint when a specific escalation in violence started – both sides will always remember what they see as a previous act of aggression by the other which enables them to justify their attacks as retaliation” (3)

There are many other sources that tell the story of how it began in differing ways, from the ‘Palestinian Centre for Human Rights’ to the ‘Electronic Intifadah’ website, and the British group ‘Media Lense’ specialised in scrutinising what they call the “biased” war reporting of the BBC. (4) The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights sums up a whole range of events starting on Saturday November 10th with Israeli army firing an artillery shell at a group of children playing football on a hill 1500 meters away from the border near the east part of Gaza City, killing two of them and a whole serious of subsequent incidents one involving the killing of two “Palestinian resistance” members by Israeli warplanes.

Apart from what has been the real chain of events (5), with each item added or left out, resulting in a change of classification – assault or retaliation – there is the extra input of political scheming on the Israeli political front in the preparation for legislative elections in January 2013. This – cynically – always stimulates the ‘hawks’ in power or the ones aiming at that, to give or call for ‘a good pre-election military show’ in the occupied territories.

—- interlude —-
It was less than a century ago we could still speak of ‘The Levant’ and see a future beyond the vague historical memories of the Mamluk Sultanate and the more recent Ottoman and British empires. The Levant having regional mixed ethnic and religious demarcations that still carried the potential for a new future with very different borders and states as we know them now. There were many plans of reconstructing ‘imagined nations’ from a past that never existed in the way as imagined by all those ideologists, the historical parade of religious and political leaders with their: Zionism, Greater Syria, Greater Arabia, and similar bordering visions of unity and hegemony like Pan-Arabism and Pan-Turkism, or the even greater idea of Pan-Islamism, the ‘Ummah’ as a unification of all countries in the world, deemed to be or become Islamic States.

The positive potential of the actual population of the East Mediterranean countries with its diverse ethnic and religious mix, has hardly been used as a source of inspiration. Each party seeking, finding and proving by means of archeology their favourite slice of historical time to lay a unilateral claim on the land. Political and religious particularism fired by the disasters of two World Wars have created the violent carving up, expulsion and mass migration that ended in fortification and imprisonment of divided populations, we know now.

So the question in the once more flaring up conflict is:


Beyond the flood of ‘psychological warfare’ and ‘internet disinformation’ campaigns, that overwhelm us once again, each trying hard to force a singular ‘truth’ on us, there still is the space for multiple visions, a space that needs to be defended.

There is not only war in Israel and Gaza, there is a related ‘cyber war’, invading our social-networks in countries far away from the actual conflict zone. The Israeli army is real-time on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube. Partisan web initiatives for the Palestinian cause are counter attacking. ‘Ready Made’ arguments are produced by all sides, that multiply and circulating with just a click of a mouse. It is as if we need to make a choice: for of against israel; for or against Palestine. No other options. No ‘middle ground’. A ‘mass mediated dichotomy’ with many reminiscences of ‘Cold War rhetoric’.

We all know that the state of Israel is many times more powerful – in military sense – than any of its subjected regions and neighbours. This does not imply that we should neglect the relative small violent and criminal acts of its adversaries. Hiding or explaining away a smaller crime because of a related bigger one does not help to overcome what remains to be wrongdoing.

The fact that the confrontations between Palestinians in Gaza and Israelis in Israel tends to be mostly through the air by both advanced and primitive forms of artillery, says it all. Direct communications are failing. Israel certainly is responsible for a great deal of the actual stalemate, but not solely so. Israel persistently – for decades – using hard core military tactics only, failing totally in diplomacy, in social and economic measures to ease the situation of the Gaza-strip inhabitants. Murder having become a state endowed practice with remote control assassination as the highest Israel Defense Force attainment. The opposite side presents us – one can not be surprised – with a mirror image of such practice and mindset.

We are once again flooded with images of the shock and awe of modern weaponry, of fear and death, also similar photographic documentation of the terror spread by the uncontrolled launching of home-made rockets.

Weapons of peace are less spectacular. They are also more radical, in the sense that what is demanded is ‘compromise’, series of small temporary practical solutions that ease the life of the Palestinians, no more great and detailed ‘Peace Plans’ but small steps that need to prove themselves in practice, before the next one is taken. The actual self-righthousness, the shining historically polished positions – diamond hard – on both sides will only lead to further killing and destruction. Many say there is no space for such compromise, that the violence perpetrated now is the only thing that is left to the Palestinians.

I think that is just lazy thinking and it will leave people who have of another opinion trapped within a spiralling violence fired by sequences of misdeeds and retaliation that have become so frequent and continuous that any finger pointing to who started first will be countered by the other party with a reference to an earlier incident or act.

Taking sides in the actual conflict for either the Israeli Army or the Hamas military brigades and associated para-military groups, is equal to abandoning people on both the Israeli and the Palestinian side, who are long fed up by these warriors, who have another agenda, without the force of weapons. They need support. They need space to breath, They need some safeguards – especially within Gaza – to be able to speak out without being threatened or even liquidated by the reigning regime over there. (6)

The creation of a new union of nations forming a 21st century Levant / بلاد الشام Bilād ash-Shām may sound as a totally utopian idea, but anybody can see that the group of nation states that have been created in this part of the world are totally unstable and not able to offer their citizens the minimal level of peace each human should be able to enjoy.

An association of nation states into a Union of the Levant – in some way comparable to the European Union – is not a new idea and it may take a long time to come into existence. Still it will give a positive perspective for the whole region.

There are of course pre-formations of this idea in the Arab League which includes the Palestinians with a special status, with the ‘Arab Peace Initiative’ of 2002 which would normalise the position of Israel if it will withdraw from all occupied territories and make arrangements for the return of Palestinian refugees. This plan has only be sniffed at by some Israeli politicians and for the rest been refuted as a plan that has been made about israel without Israel. Still it has some formal status, not in the least with the Obama administration.

There are major shifts taking place in several of the Arab states that are members of the Arab League, other regional and supra-regional associations of countries could be formed. Circum Mediterranean countries have a potential to associate from Spain to Lebanon, Israel and Palestine. Turkey could over time become a member of both the European Union and such a new Union of Levant countries. These are the macro weapons that need to be forced by diplomacy.

Small arms are needed also for construct a peaceful situation. Opening of borders. Relaxing of social economic interaction between areas that are now sealed off. Freeing ways for all forms of assistance and cultural exchange. De-militarisation and reconciliation initiatives, employment opportunities for all those active in weapon production and military activities, and so on… It all may sound too idealistic and silly… still these are the kind of weapons needed for the self-defence of people against the all overruling violent forces of fear and hate.

NB several years ago the then owner of Flickr (Yahoo) classified all my 700 and so news-tabelaus as ‘adukt material’. Completely wrongly as I do no porn, not even erotics, my tabelaus are well studied picture colages and my texts are all in a well controlled non-onscene language… I have protested this indirect censor measure, but only macjibes did answer me… I do not have the time and money to hire a lw firm to deal with the unjust classification of my materials… so bear with e with some of the links, you may need to click and say that you are aware of the (imposed and wrong) status of my visuals:

1) See my news-tableau on Flickr dated November 16 2012, which is a reaction on a call of the Dutch Palestina Komitee fro a demonstration: “Stop Attack On & From Gaza” stop supporting either war mongers side in the conflict”

Also another reaction on singular views of the conflict, starting with a cartoon by Simon Farr published in The Guardian in 2008 and used again for a call to demonstrate on November 17, in Amsterdam: “Gaza: Israeli Overkill does not legitimise Palestinian Terror Rockets”

2) List of fifty or so ‘Arab-Israeli peace projects’ that will be hampered by the “defending” warriors on Wikipedia

3) 29 October 2012 Last updated at 19:34 GMT “Violence ends Israel-Gaza truce – Militants in Gaza have fired 26 rockets into Israel, officials say, amid a flare-up in fighting which shattered a brief ceasefire between the two sides.”

4) Here short indications and links to non-main stream news sources that challenge the BBC reporting, though I must say that we can not expect a world news organisation to continuously report on each incident. Even when a local correspondent would send in such reports we can be sure that often things more fashionable or deemed more important will come first. In fact is the dilemma of our whole news systems that they only report when something grows out of hand grossly and than time restrictions and the haste of ‘the news’ as such make that the events that did lead up to a crisis deemed big enough to be represented, are simply left out. Social internet media, that is the good part of it, tend to fill up now-a-days the gap. Blaming of mainstream media is understandable and also helpful to keep up the quality of news broadcasts, but the problems are more structural in the whole idea of having ‘world news in half an hour or so’.

– Palestinian Centre for Human Rights: “New Israeli Escalation against the Gaza Strip, 7 Palestinians, Including 3 Children, Killed and 52 Others, Including 6 Women and 12 Children, Wounded; Sunday, 11 November 2012 – 00:00

– Electronic Intifada: “As Israel assaults Gaza, BBC reporting assaults the truth” by Amena Saleem; London 16 November. “On the morning of 15 November, the day after Israel carried out the extrajudicial killing of Hamas military leader Ahmed al-Jabari and unleashed a wave of terror against Gaza’s civilian population, the BBC put an article onto its website headlined: “Gaza rocket arsenal problem for Israel.” / The article goes into minute detail about what the BBC’s diplomatic and defense correspondent Jonathan Marcus describes as “the Palestinian rocket arsenal.” / Nowhere in the article, or elsewhere on the BBC, does Marcus investigate Israel’s weapons stockpile, which is funded to the tune of $3 billion a year by the United States. / There are no reams of paragraphs devoted to describing the different types of bombs, mortar shells, drones, fighter jets, gunboats, tanks, guns, nuclear warheads or white phosphorus shells that are in Israel’s arsenal. Yet, with the exception of nuclear missiles, all of these have been used at some point against the people of Gaza with devastating consequences.”

– Media Lens: “Gaza Blitz – Turmoil And Tragicomedy At The BBC” by David Cromwell and David Edwards; November 16, 2012. “The Israeli attacks have routinely been reported as ‘retaliation’ for Palestinian ‘militant rocket attacks’ on southern Israel. In a study of news performance in 2001, the Glasgow Media Group noted that Israelis ‘were six times as likely to be presented as “retaliating” or in some way responding than were the Palestinians.’ A BBC correspondent in Gaza said ‘there are now fears now (sic) of a major escalation of violence’. But the Israeli execution of Ahmed al-Jabari was a major escalation of violence. BBC News reported three Israeli deaths by rockets fired from Gaza with the briefest mention of the earlier deaths of ‘eleven Palestinians – mainly militants but also children’. As ever, there was no explanation of how a Gaza civilian is distinguished from a ‘militant’.”

5) A “List of Israeli assassinations” from the 1950s onward can be found on Wikipedia

There are of course a whole series of lists that involve killing by all sides, from Palestinian rocket attacks to suicide attacks, the index page of these lists can be found at:

6) The non-biased Israeli peace organisation B’Tsalem keeps for many years a refined classification of casualties that helps to understand this point.. For the period 19/1/2009 to 30/9/2012 for the Gaza strip and the West Bank. For the Gaza strip it lists: “Palestinians killed by Palestinians = 45”; “Palestinians executed by the Hamas Government = 14.” The number of Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces over this period for Gaza = 271, of which 158 are detailed as “Palestinians who took part in the hostilities and were killed by Israeli security forces.”

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Ik analyseerde op mijn blog het zaterdag 17 maart 2018 in de VK geplaatste interview met Frits Bolkestein, waarin hij zegt uitbreiding van opvang van asielzoekers in Amsterdam “ABSURD!” te vinden waarna hij in één adem het raadslid voor de VVD Hala Naoum Néhmé aanprijst als “hoop in bange dagen.” De vraag dient nu publiek gesteld te worden… Is deze vrouw, zelf dochter van christelijke Syrische asielzoeker (1999) ‘tegen asielzoekers’, ik kan het bijna niet geloven, maar Hala Naoum Néhméh dient zelf voor de verkiezingen duidelijk uit te spreken wat zij wat betreft toelating en opvang asielzoekers van plan is te doen in de Amsterdamse Gemeenteraad.

Curieus is dat wat in die hele slotpassage van het Volkskrant interview met Frits Bolkestein gezegd wordt. Ik herhaal het eerste deel en geef daarbij ook zijn uitspraak op wie hij dan wel gaat stemmen:

Op wie gaat u straks stemmen?

De VVD Amsterdam is al jaren veel te links

‘Nou kijk, de VVD Amsterdam is veel te links. Al jaren. Die lijsttrekker, Van der Burg, heeft gezegd dat Amsterdam meer asielzoekers moet opnemen. Absurd! Ik vind dat-ie weg moet. Zal ook wel gebeuren, maar jammer genoeg pas na de verkiezingen. Ik stem deze keer op Hala Naoum, de nummer 5 op de VVD-lijst. Zij is absoluut niet links. Ze is een Syrische christen die op haar 15de naar Nederland is gekomen. Hala is Nederlandse geworden, ze heeft gestudeerd, ook in Parijs. Ik ken haar persoonlijk, ik heb haar gesteund bij haar kandidaatstelling op de lijst. Een heel begaafde jonge vrouw. Voor mij, heren, is Hala de hoop in bange dagen.’

Als verlosser voor Amsterdam wordt hier een Syrische christen, Hala Naoum Néhmé, opgevoerd, die zo begrijpen we uit het eerste deel van Bolkestein’s uitspraken over de door hem beoogde VVD beleidslijn voor Amsterdam ‘tegen het opnemen van meer asielzoekers’ is en bij eventuele verkiezing, zal zijn. Bolkestein suggereert dat de dochter van asielzoekers in Nederland, wier ouders als Syrische christenen in het verleden (1999) de onderdrukking in hun land van oorsprong ontvlucht zijn, zich keert in het heden tegen opname van nieuwe asielzoekers, dus ook die uit Syrië, dit niet enkel als een tot Nederlander genaturaliseerde, maar ook als een christen, zonder enig erbarmen.

In een lang interview in Het Parool van 12 december 2017 onder de kop “Toekomstig VVD-raadslid Hala ­Naoum Néhmé (33) kwam hier vanuit ­Syrië”, wordt door haar hoog opgegeven over “Nederlandse waarden” en het voordeel bij integratie in Nederland door het christelijke geloof van het gevluchte gezin. Ik lees nergens iets over het beperken van asielaanvragen, laat staan met betrekking tot Amsterdam. Dit roept nog meer vragen op. Is er sprake van een verborgen agenda waarbij de geloofsovertuiging van asielaanvragers een rol speelt? Of heeft Frits Bolkestein domweg Hala Naoum Néhmé verkeerd begrepen, of wil hij haar zijn visie op een noodzakelijke beperking van asielzoekers via de media opdringen. Ook kan het zijn dat de helderheid van de geest van Bolkestein – gezien zijn hoge leeftijd – af en toe te wensen overlaat. Nog eens een keer die beide interviews (met Frist Bolkestein en Hala Naoum) overgelezen en het woord “absurd” als diskwalificatie van een streven door VVD wethouder Van der Burg, blijft nagalmen. Ook zie ik dit punt in de reacties in de pers van Van der Burg op het edict van Bolkestein, niet nader genoemd worden.

In een web-bulletin van het lokale nieuws van Zwolle, staat een wat uitgebreider artikel daterend van 27 mei 2016 waarin Hala Naoum aan het woord komt, met name over integratie. De geschiedenis van haar aankomst en de wijze waarop zij kansen kreeg om te integreren zijn leerzaam, zij zegt er zelf over dat wat haar overkomen is een ‘buitenkans’ was (opname in een Nederlands gezin om de taal en cultuur te leren, in haar tiener jaren). Zij weet ook zinnige dingen te zeggen over waarom integratie in andere gevallen niet goed verloopt. Hier een langer citaat:

Over het algemeen doen asielzoekers het beter qua integratie dan die arbeidsmigranten. Het is een heel bekend onderzoeksresultaat. Tegelijkertijd heb je binnen de groep vluchtelingen ook mensen die altijd hele grote uitkeringsafhankelijkheid hebben gehouden zoals Somaliërs. Ik ben nu vrijwilliger in een van de opvangcentra voor Syrische vluchtelingen in Amsterdam. Ik moet optimistisch zijn over hun integratie kansen, maar toch ben ik dat niet. Ze hebben allereerst een ongelofelijk trauma opgelopen in Syrië. Daarnaast zijn ze ook onrustig omdat ze hopen hun familie over te kunnen laten komen. Tot die familie hier is, is al het geld dat je in de integratie steekt weggegooid geld. En zelfs als ze dan blijven, zullen ze altijd rancuneus zijn dat het westen niet heeft ingegrepen in Syrië. Er zullen ook altijd uitzonderingen zijn, maar ik denk dat hun integratie nog slechter zal gaan.

Nergens staat er iets waaruit kan blijken hoe deze dochter van asielzoekers uit 1999, zich in 2018 tegen de komst van asielzoekers zou kunnen gaan richten. Het lijkt erop dat Frits Bolkestein op een schandelijke wijze zijn eigen visie en politieke manipulatiedrift heeft vermengd. Hoe kan het dat dit de twee journalisten die hem een  interview hebben afgenomen, Frénk van der Linden en Pieter Webeling, dat niet nagetrokken hebben?

ik heb mijn vraag ook op haar twitter-account gepost, maar kreeg GEEN ANTWOORD
(zondag 18/3/2018 17:24)

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SANA Syrian Arab News Agency voice of the Assad regime focusses on what they call US-led-international-coalition warplanes that did bomb Deir Ezzor (7th largest city in the country, orth-east of Damascus), also SANA publishes about Turkish artillery and aerial bombardments in the Syrian border areas with Turkey under Kurdish influence, while Western media publish about the Assad regime attacks, supported by their Russian allies, like the massacre of the last day which saw bombardments of an enclave near Damascus held by anti-Assad forces, Ghouta.

This is what one calls a ‘proxy war’: “a conflict between two states or non-state actors where neither entity directly engages the other. It encompasses two separate powers utilizing external strife to somehow attack the interests or territorial holdings of the other.” [Wikipedia]
… yes we do not need to to doubt whether loads of bombs have been dropped down on human habitat, we may doubt who did it, why, how, what went as planned, what went wrong, also we can observe that each side in the war will point to a massacre committed by the other party , while being silent about their carnage they wrought themselves …
some may even become pro-Assad again, just to stop the warfare, not because they have any sympathy for his murderous rule. That is how far we came with a quick & easy Spring Liberation of Syria in 2011 with a death toll which is estimated to be between 350,000 and 480,000 ….

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The Russians have just added their newest stealth warplane Su-57 to the Syrian Country Wide Laboratory for Advanced Weapon Systems.

Russia has tested over 200 new types of arms in Syria during its campaign in support of President Bashar al-Assad, a senior lawmaker said Thursday, as Moscow was accused of taking part in air strikes against rebel-held Eastern Ghouta. “As we helped the brotherly Syrian people, we tested over 200 new types of weapons,” said Vladimir Shamanov, a former commander of Russia’s airborne troops who now serves as head of the Russian Duma’s defence committee. “It’s not an accident that today they are coming to us from many directions to purchase our weapons, including countries that are not our allies,” he said. “Today our military-industrial complex made our army look in a way we can be proud of,” he said. Russia, a close ally of the Syrian government in the protracted multi-front war, has been accused of indiscriminate bombing throughout the conflict causing massive casualties. The latest criticism focuses on the air strikes against the enclave of Eastern Ghouta, where more than 350 civilians have been killed in five days, but the Kremlin denied involvement in the regime-led assault.
website defencetalk Friday February 23, 2018

Super power strive makes that each introduction of a new or stronger weapon system will be countered by the other side in this ‘proxy war’ that helps the Assad dicatorship survive for 7 years now. So osnetdaily.com which carries a lot of miliary news report today (February 23, 2018) reports:

F-22 Stealth Jets and Russian Su-35S Flankers have already been Shadow Boxing Over Syria for a while now, so this gamble by Putin can be understood as raising the stakes in the intelligence war following the devastating US attack on Russian mercenaries in the Euphrates a while ago, given the fact that F-22 jets participated in that bombing during Feb. 9 this year. The SU-57 could be used to spy, and test its innovative radar arrangement on the F-22. Russia tested ‘over 200 new weapons’ in Syria during the war, and it most likely wants to market the Su-57, which is still a prototype, as having been ‘combat-tested’ in a ‘real battlefield’. The F-22 is less maneuverable then its Russian opponent and has smaller weapon bays. On the other hand, the SU-57 has a radar cross section of about 0.1 square meters – far less stealthy then the F-22’s 0.0001 square meters. Its engines are not positioned in a stealthy manner and have no thermal sleeves to reduce heat signature. In fact, the platform’s final engines are still under development and won’t be available before 2025. For homeland airspace defense purposes, rear-aspect stealth is less important than other aspects and other locations, thus should theoretically suffice for defending Russia against intruders from western Europe in a future war.

It leaves the Syrian non-combattant, civilian population like testing-rats in a laboratory, caged in their encircled towns and villages, hostage of one of the surviving war-lord enclaves in the conflict. Humans as guinea pigs to test the effectivity of murderous weapons (including all the so called collateral victims)… whereby one needs also to say that whole sale slaughter of any troops pushed in the theatre of war is a criminal act as well and not a victory to be celebrated.


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First published on 30/3/2015 in the series ‘news-tableaus’ on my Flickr site (now unreachable because of censorship, all m7 700 so and so images & texts marked as ‘adult content ‘by Yahoo the owner of Flickr, my protest against it have never been answered; there is no pornographic nudity whatsoever in any of my news-tableau pictures, which had a wide readership almost 3 million hits in a few years) Republished on this blog on 5/§1/10§7; Creative Commons: name the author Tjebbe van Tijen/Imaginary Museum projects and give a direct link to this address.

USA to Saudi Arabia Your turn to bomb the world_16769282077_o

“YOUR TURN” says USA Secretary of State John Kerry to Saudi’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Saud bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud during a meeting in Riyadh on March the 8th and Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud (1980-) has his playground as the youngest Minister of Defense in the World to test his toys, like the Eurofighter Typhoon, with good results as can be seen also in this tableau picture, the top photograph published on March the 26th with this caption:

People search for survivors under the rubble of houses destroyed by Saudi airstrikes Thursday near Sanaa Airport in Yemen. (Hani Mohammed/AP).

What has been hit here? The Newspaper header (The Columbian -on-line edition) says it: “Saudi Arabia, allies target Shiite rebels.” Because if the USA or Saudi Arabia is bombing there will be little change in reporting on the effects. An ‘enemy’ will be named and hit, collateral damage and victims will be just ‘unwanted exceptions’ that prove the rule of ‘pin-pointing’ precisely ‘military targets’ only. In other words: when you are hit you must be in the military class of ‘enemies’ because you are hit. (1)

Somehow all this far away rubble on the ground will produce ‘more safety’ elsewhere, if you like to believe so. (2)

Nobody seems to put the same amount of effort as goes into the bombing into a diplomatic and political solution. (4)

(1) We should be well aware of the realities of high tech warfare and the myth making of it being a kind of ‘humanitarian weapon’ affair, thanks to the newest equipment, good training and human rights being part of military planning. I cite here one of the many academic studies that prove the contrary:

Hostilities involving use of artilleries, mortars, air-delivery general purpose bombs, rockets and multiple launch rocket systems, among other explosive weapons, have taken a terrible toll on civilians, causing deaths, injury, disability and trauma. As the use of explosives in armed conflicts stands unacceptable according to the International Committee of the Red Cross, their deployment in the asymmetric warfare is becoming commonvii The hostilities recorded in Syria, Gaza Strip, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, Ukraineviii, military occupation of territories in the Middle East, in Israel, Yemen, and others, the use of explosives targeting civilian objects has caused violations of the International Humanitarian Law. The protection of the civilians and the civilian objects has been increasingly defied. Civilians are the main victims in the proliferation of the Non-International Armed Conflicts. They are killed, maimed, traumatized, disabled and their objects are destroyed. This is in contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention, rules and practice of the International Humanitarian Law, and the customary international humanitarian law on rules and practice.

[Peter Onyango Onyoyo “Explosive violence in densely populated areas menace to humanity”; School of Law, University Of Nairobi; (2015); p.23 (PDF version); www.academia.edu/11106468/USE_OF_EXPLOSIVES_IN_DENSELY_PO… ; p. 2. ]

(2) Another way of reporting can be found on the web-site of of Middle East Eye (4) of friday 27 March:

Cities and towns across Yemen were rocked by a second round of Saudi-led airstrikes overnight on Thursday.

Yemen’s Health Ministry, which is under control of the rebel Houthi movement that is being targeted by the strikes, said on Friday morning that at least 39 civilians had been killed since the bombing began late on Wednesday night.

Twelve of the victims were killed when a raid targeting a military base north of the capital, Sanaa, hit surrounding residential areas, according to the ministry.

Reporters on the ground say they fear that the death toll of Thursday night’s bombing may be the highest of the campaign so far.

The strikes continued into Friday afternoon, with strikes targeting a Houthi-controlled base in the central province of Marib and weapons depots in the southern city of Aden. The President Palace in the capital was also targeted by fighter jets on Friday afternoon, Reuters reported.

Amnesty International has so far confirmed that six children have been among those killed in the airstrikes, after speaking to medical sources and eyewitnesses.


Depending on which source one chooses the focus and the numbers and classification of victims quoted, differ. As an example this Iranian view on the web site The Iran Project, dated March 29th:

Doctor Ali Sarieh, the director of medical emergencies at the Yemeni Health Ministry, told the official military news service, 26september, on Sunday that the Saudi aerial attacks on Yemen have killed 35 people and wounded 88 others.

He added that Saudi military aircraft pounded areas in the Sana’a Province, where Ansarullah revolutionaries are in charge of the embattled seat of government, as well as the northwestern and western provinces of Sa’ada and Hudaydah.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Saturday that negotiations “remain the only chance to prevent long, drawn-out conflict” in Yemen. There, however, was no sign of condemnation of the Saudi invasion in the UN chief’s remarks.


(3) References to the position of the Middle East Eye point to the founders coming from The Guardian and Al Jazeera and some ‘activists’ and yes, complex long term conflicts like rage in the Middle East has made it so that ‘objectivity’ is a rare thing to find when it comes to reporting topical events. I am following this source now and then since it’s founding in February 2014 and find it at least ‘less partisan’ in it;s views than many others. Of course also the reference given here – a Wikipedia page – should be read with this in mind.

(4) In an article in The Guardian by Nussaibah Younis (research associate at the Project on Middle East Democracy) of sunday the 29th of March, the issue of the Yemen intervention being a ‘proxy war’ and the future failure of military solutions is expressed:

…talk of a proxy war risks over-estimating the level of power Saudi Arabia and Iran wield, and overlooking the local actors who truly shape the conflicts in question. The Houthi movement has been able to advance across Yemen largely because of its alliance with the ancien régime of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, and because of its ability to tap into disillusionment with the poor performance of the Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi government. Though Iran may have helped to hone the effectiveness of the Houthi movement, it is neither the cause of nor a major player in the emerging Yemeni civil war.

That reality, however, is lost on a Saudi Arabia that is so fearful of Iran’s mounting influence in the region that it has instigated air strikes that are more likely to exacerbate than to resolve the conflict in neighbouring Yemen.

If Saudi Arabia genuinely wants to undercut Iran’s influence in the Middle East, it must acknowledge and address the pain and suffering of marginalised groups across the Middle East. Giving them their rights and bringing them to the negotiating table is the best way to insulate them from Iranian influence.


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