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4. Februar 2014, 21.03 Uhr:

Oxfam und Sodastream

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Die Geschichte um Scarlett Johnson, Oxfam und den Boykott israelischer Siedlungen hat einige Schlagzeilen gemacht und ging in etwa so:

Last week, Scarlett Johansson resigned as an Oxfam goodwill ambassador after the charity failed to defend her against criticism of her decision to front a new advertising campaign for Sodastream, the bubbly brew band with a factory in Mishor Adumim, an Israeli industrial estate in the occupied West Bank.

After she quit, Oxfam bade her good riddance, noting that “Ms. Johansson’s role promoting the company SodaStream is incompatible with her role as an Oxfam Global Ambassador.”

Daraufhin hat der Chef von Sodastream Oxfam vorgeworfen, Israel zu boykottieren und die BDS Kampagne zu unterstuetzen.

“We would deny that,” said an Oxfam spokesperson. “We don’t provide financial support to the BDS campaign or fund any activities that call for a boycott of Israel.”

“Oxfam,” said the spokesperson, “is not opposed to trade with Israel, and we don’t support a boycott of Israel or any other country. However, we do oppose trade with Israeli settlements in the West Bank.”

Matthew Kalman hat nachgehakt und so geht die Geschichte weiter:

But was Oxfam being entirely straightforward? I asked Sodastream how Birnbaum could make such an incendiary accusation without any evidence. The company directed me to the financial reports of the Israel-based Women’s Coalition for Peace, a leading campaigner for BDS in Europe, which received more than 1.2 million shekels from OxamNovib in Holland between 2011 and 2013. Nor were they the only group actively promoting BDS to benefit from cash transfers from Oxfam branches in Europe – money that mostly originates from government aid and public charitable donations.

I presented that report to Oxfam and got the following response:

“Oxfam funds Palestinian and Israeli civil society organizations on projects to reduce poverty and address injustice. We value the independence of our partners and we do not expect our grantees to agree with us on all policy issues. We do not provide our partners with funding for promotion of the BDS movement, or activities that call for the boycott of Israel.”

In other words, Oxfam is happy to “partner” with – or fund – groups whose campaigns are directly opposed to Oxfam’s own policy, so long as the money is not used to fund those specific activities. You may wonder about the ethics of that distinction, or its practical effect for a group like the Women’s Coalition for Peace, which received 22% of its entire donations in 2011 and 17% in 2012 from Oxfam (slightly less than the amount it received from the European Commission during the same period).

Scarlett Johansson may be wondering why she does not enjoy the same “independence” or freedom “not to agree on all policy issues” as the Women’s Coalition for Peace.

Und das ist eine wirklich gute Frage. Etwa so gut, wie die, warum skandinavische Banken, die so ungefaehr mit allen Laendern dieser Welt beste Geschaefte machen, ausgerechnet ihre Ethik entdecken, wenn es um einen Boykott Israels geht.

4. Februar 2014, 18.36 Uhr:

Al Qaida distanziert sich

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Einmal mehr sieht sich die obere Riege von Al Qaida genoetigt, einen Bann zu sprechen. Diesmal trifft es die ISIL, den Islamischen Staat im Irak und der Levante, jene jihadistische Halsabschneiderbande, die in letzter Zeit einen blutigen Dreifrontenkrieg gefuehrt hat: gegen syrische Rebelleneinheiten, gegen irakische Sicherheitskraefte und gegen kurdische Milizen.Offenbar favorisieren die Oberen von Al Qaida die Al Nusra Front, in der sich weit weniger auslaendische Juhadisten organisieren und die insgesamt in Syrien weniger verhasst ist als die ISIL

1. FIRSTLY: Qae’dat al-Jihad (AQ) declares that it has no links to the ISIS group. We were not informed about it’s creation, nor counseled.

2. Nor were we satisfied with it rather we ordered it to stop. ISIS is not a branch of AQ & we have no organizational relationship with it.

3. Nor is al-Qaeda responsible for its actions and behaviors.

4. The branches of AQ are those that have been announced by the Central Command, those are the ones we acknowledge.

3. Februar 2014, 20.18 Uhr:

Spaete Einsicht von John Kerry

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Man haette es im vor einem halben, einem oder gar zwei Jahren, als er noch nicht Aussenminister war, sagen koennen: so wird das nichts mit Syrien. So wird alles nur immer schlimmer, mit immer mehr Toten, Verletzten, Fluechtlingen und immer mehr Menschen, die sich den Islamisten zuwenden.

Nun scheint John Kerry es, nach dem voraussehbarem Scheitern von Genf, endlich auch eingesehen zu haben. Leider etwas zu spaet, diejenigen, die sehnlichst auf Unterstuetzung, ja im August sogar auf westliche Militaerschlaege  gesetzt und gehofft hatten, sind viel weniger geworden, denn sie sind es,die sterben oder fliehen muessen und die, anders als die Islamisten oder das Regime, kaum auf Ersatz hoffen koennen.

Aber besser spaet als nie und die Lehre sollte heissen: nein, mit dem Iran, der Hizbollah oder Russland wird man keine Loesung fuer Syrien finden koennen und je laenger man so tut, als liesse eine solche Loesung sich finden, je schlimmer wird es in Syrien und der ganzen Region, bis eines Tages der Punkt erreicht sein wird, in dem man nicht von einem failed state mehr spricht, sondern einer ganzen failed region.

In a closed-door meeting, two senators say, the Secretary of State admitted to them that he no longer believes the administration’s approach to the crisis in Syria is working. Peace talks have failed, he conceded, and now it’s time to arm the moderate opposition—before local al Qaeda fighters try to attack the United States.

Secretary of State John Kerry has lost faith in his own administration’s Syria policy, he told fifteen U.S. Congressmen in a private, off-the-record meeting, according to two of the senators who were in the room.

Kerry also said he believes the regime of Bashar al Assad is failing to uphold its promise to give up its chemical weapons according to schedule; that the Russians are not being helpful in solving the Syrian civil war; and that the Geneva 2 peace talks that he helped organize are not succeeding. But according to the senators, Kerry now wants to arm Syria’s rebels—in part, to block the local al Qaeda affiliates who have designs on attacking the U.S. (Kerry’s spokesperson denied that he raised the issue of supplying weapons, but did not dispute the overall tenor of the conversation.)

“[Kerry] acknowledged that the chemical weapons [plan] is being slow rolled, the Russians continue to supply arms, we are at a point now where we are going to have to change our strategy,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, who attended Kerry’s briefing with lawmakers on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference. “He openly talked about supporting arming the rebels. He openly talked about forming a coalition against al Qaeda because it’s a direct threat.”

Update 1: Inzwischen dementiert das State Department, nein Kerry habe das nicht gesagt und nein, die US-Strategie in Syrien sei nicht gescheitert: US denies Kerry said Syria policy failing

Update 2: Der Januar war der bisher blutigste Monat im syrischen Buergerkrieg mit mehr als 6000 Toten

3. Februar 2014, 13.17 Uhr:

Abbas und die Nato

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Neue Vorschlaege von Mahmoud Abbas:

The Palestinian Authority would allow an IDF presence in a future Palestinian state for up to five years, while NATO peacekeepers could remain for as long as necessary and patrol all parts of the Palestinian state, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has said. (…) In any case, he vowed, there would be no return to an armed intifada — at least not under his leadership. “In my life, and if I have any more life in the future,” he said, “I will never return to the armed struggle.”

2. Februar 2014, 20.50 Uhr:

Korrupte Korruptionsbekaempfer

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Schon bezeichned fuer die Lage der Nation, wenn bestallte Bekaempfer der Korruption  unter Korruptionsverdacht festgenommen werden:

Iran has arrested several anticorruption officials on fraud charges, the justice minister announced on Sunday.

“In the Government Discretionary Punishments Organisation [GDPO], some of our colleagues have been corrupted,” Mustafa Pour-Mohammadi said, quoted by Fars news agency.

“In line with the fight against corruption, more than 10 colleagues in GDPO, most of them managers and consultants, were arrested and interrogated,” he said, without giving further details.

1. Februar 2014, 21.02 Uhr:

Lasst Zahlen sprechen

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Fighting in Syria killed nearly 1,900 people, including at least 430 civilians, during the week of U.N.-hosted peace talks in Switzerland, activists said Friday. The death toll indicates that violence barely paused as the warring parties met but struck uncompromising stances, failing to reach any agreements that could help resolve the conflict.


31. Januar 2014, 20.53 Uhr:

Verschiedene Planeten

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Kafranbel ueber die sog. Friedensverhandlungen zu Syrien:

Das Regime ueber die sog. Friedensverhandlungen:

Syria’s regime Friday vowed not to give any ground in peace talks with the opposition, as a first week of negotiations wrapped up with no concrete progress beyond a pledge to meet again. “Neither in this round, nor in the next will they obtain any concessions from the Syrian delegation,” Information Minister Omran al-Zohbi told pro-regime demonstrators outside the UN’s European headquarters in Geneva where the talks were held.

Human Rights Watch ueber die blutige Realitaet in Syrien:

Satellite imagery, witness statements, and video and photographic evidence show that Syrian authorities deliberately and unlawfully demolished thousands of residential buildings in Damascus and Hama in 2012 and 2013, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.  

The 38-page report, “Razed to the Ground: Syria’s Unlawful Neighborhood Demolitions in 2012-2013,” documents seven cases of large-scale demolitions with explosives and bulldozers that violated the laws of war. The demolitions either served no necessary military purpose and appeared to intentionally punish the civilian population or caused disproportionate harm to civilians, Human Rights Watch found.

Und das hatten sie heute in Saraqeb zu sagen:

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