ISRAELI APARTHEID DOCUMENTED

Israel’s policies in the West Bank and Gaza Strip appear to amount to apartheid due to its systematic oppression of the Palestinian people and de facto expropriation of their land, a United Nations investigator said in a report.

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UN rights envoy points to apartheid in Palestinian areas

According to UN special rapporteur, Israel violates Palestinians’ rights in West Bank, Gaza through occupation, confiscation of land, ‘ethnic cleansing’ of East Jerusalem.

Reuters via

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Israel’s policies in the West Bank and Gaza Strip appear to amount to apartheid due to its systematic oppression of the Palestinian people and de facto expropriation of their land, a United Nations investigator said in a report.

Richard Falk, UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, said that Palestinian rights are being violated by Israel’s prolonged occupation of Palestinian territory and “ethnic cleansing” of East Jerusalem.

Gaza, despite the disengagement of Israel in 2005, remains “occupied” under an unlawful Israeli blockade that controls borders, airspace and coastal waters, and especially hurts farmers and fishermen, he said. The humanitarian situation in the Hamas-ruled enclave is dire amid fuel shortages, he added.

Palestinian protest in Jordan Valley (Photo: AFP)
Palestinian protest in Jordan Valley (Photo: AFP)

UN member states should consider imposing a ban on imports of produce from Jewish settlements in the West Bank, Falk said in his final report to the UN Human Rights Council after serving six years in the independent post.

In a section entitled “acts potentially amounting to segregation and apartheid”, he analyzed Israeli policies, including “continuing excessive use of force by Israeli security forces” and unlawful killings that he said are “part of acts carried out in order to maintain dominance over Palestinians”.

Palestinians in the West Bank are subject to military laws, while Jewish settlers face a civil law system, he said. Israel also violates their rights to work and education, freedoms of movement and residence, and of expression and assembly, he said.

Ten years ago the UN’s International Court of Justice ruled that Israel’s separation wall inside the West Bank is illegal, he noted. Israel says it is a security barrier.

“It seems incontestable that Israeli measures do divide the population of the Occupied Palestinian Territory along racial lines, create separate reserves for Palestinians and expropriate their land,” Falk wrote in his 22-page report.

“The combined effect of the measures designed to ensure security for Israeli citizens, to facilitate and expand settlements, and, it would appear, to annex land is hafrada (the Hebrew word for separation), discrimination and systematic oppression of, and domination over, the Palestinian people.”

There was no immediate reaction from Israel, which boycotted the council it accuses of bias for 19 months, returning in October 2013. The Jewish state left after accusing the forum of bias when it set up a fact-finding mission on the settlements.

Controversy

Falk, an American law professor who is Jewish, has long been a controversial figure. After taking up the post in May 2008, he compared Israeli forces’ actions in the Gaza Strip to those of the Nazis in wartime Europe.

Months later, he was detained at Ben Gurion airport and deported by Israeli authorities after being barred from crossing into Palestinian areas to carry out his investigation.

Last June he said he would not resign and accused critics of calling him anti-Semitic to divert attention from his scrutiny of Israeli policies. UN Watch, an activist group that Falk labels as a ‘pro-Israel lobbying organization’, and the United States had called for him to quit.

Falk said in his latest report that businesses and countries should examine who profits from the “settlements of Israel and other unlawful Israeli activities” and take appropriate steps.

“Considering the fact that the European Union remains one of the most important trading partners for the settlements, with annual exports worth $300 million, a ban on settlement produce would have a significant impact,” he said.

His previous appeals for divestment have brought results and have encouraged governments to be more vigilant, he said.

Royal HaskoningDHV, a Dutch company, ended a contract with Jerusalem’s municipality to build a wastewater treatment plant in East Jerusalem and a Swedish-Norwegian bank Nordea excluded Cemex from its investment portfolio due to its extraction of non-renewable natural resources from Palestine, according to Falk.

SAD DAY FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AT THE UN

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The greatest violator of the above has been elected  to chair the elections of the Human Rights Commission …. They should not even be allowed to sit on that Commission.

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Ambassador Prosor becomes first Israeli to chair elections to UN Human Rights Committee 

Israeli ambassador to UN unanimously nominated by representatives of 170 countries to chair significant elections, says ‘central role Israel plays to advance human rights is the real answer to anyone calling for boycotts against us’.

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Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor made history Tuesday when representatives of 170 countries unanimously nominated the Israeli diplomat to preside over the elections for the UN Human Rights Committee.

Prosor became the first Israeli diplomat nominated to supervise UN elections. Representatives of the Israel delegation to the UN said that choosing Prosor to chair the elections process is a sign of the popularity the current Israeli ambassador enjoys in New York.

“It is a great honor to chair the elections for the Human Rights Committee. The central role Israel plays to advance human rights around the world is the real answer to anyone calling for boycotts against Israel.”

Prosor chairing the elections (Photo: Tal Trachtman Alroy)
Prosor chairing the elections (Photo: Tal Trachtman Alroy)

Israel has been making inroads at the international organization after a few years in the diplomatic dark. A few months ago, Israel rejoined the Human Rights Council in Geneva and a few days ago it was admitted into JUSCANZ, a key UN group which advises the Human Rights Council as wel as other UN bodies.

Israel was previously admitted to the group in 2010, but recently joined its sessions in New York.

Elections to the Human Rights Committee occur once every two years. The UN Human Rights Committee is the diplomatic body charged with monitoring human rights developments across the globe. The committee meets is composed of 18 experts and meets three times a year for four-week sessions in New York and Geneva.

 

 

Source

REMEMBERING ARIEL SHARON AS A MASS MURDERER OR A HERO?

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He will be remembered by the survivors for the massacres at Qibya in October 1953, at Sabra and Shatila in 1982, and Jenin in 2002.

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On the UN Secretary-General’s praise for mass killer Ariel Sharon as a “hero”

 Ali Abunimah

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A civil defense worker inspects a child’s body among victims at of the September 1982 massacre at Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Beirut, during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon.  (Jamal SaidiReuters)

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The tributes and praise from various world leaders, including US President Barack Obama and Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt, for Israeli war criminal Ariel Sharon who died on Saturday, are vile but sadly predictable.

But probably the most distasteful of all comes from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who declared himself “saddened by the death of Ariel Sharon.”

A UN insider with links to the Department of Political Affairs in New York – who asked not to be named in order to speak freely about the matter – told me that Ban’s statement “brings the UN’s obsequiousness towards Israel to a new high and the UN’s standing in the Middle East to a new low.”

Ban offered his “condolences to the bereaved family and to the Government and people of Israel.” Ban called Sharon “a hero to his people, first as a soldier and then a statesman.”

Finally, says Ban, “Prime Minister Sharon will be remembered for his political courage and determination to carry through with the painful and historic decision to withdraw Israeli settlers and troops from the Gaza Strip.”

Re-writing history

Ban does not acknowledge that Sharon’s “disengagement” aimed at isolating Gaza for “demographic” reasons and inaugurated a crushing siege that continues relentlessly.

But most striking, he does not acknowledge that Sharon will be most remembered by Palestinians, Lebanese and indeed quite a few Israelis, as the architect of Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon in which tens of thousands of people were slaughtered.

He will be remembered by the survivors for the massacres at Qibya in October 1953, at Sabra and Shatila in 1982, and Jenin in 2002.

To me, Ban’s tribute to Sharon is the most jarring because in many minds the United Nations is still supposed to stand for the post-World War II ideal of protecting the innocent against the violence of states and statesmen.

Through the complicity of states, Sharon escaped justice.

The UN insider added that the statement’s “deliberate lack of historical awareness yet again illustrates the extent to which UN ‘job seekers’ such as UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry, whose office signed off on it, have bought into the Zionist narrative.”

“Ill-judged”

My UN contact adds: “Palestinians, particularly those who suffered because of Sharon’s war crimes, deserve an apology, though Ban’s silence would have sufficed. Outside Israel Sharon is a war criminal, inside he is a hero. It would have been better for Ban’s credibility and his effectiveness as an ‘honest broker’ in the Middle East, had he chosen not to illustrate to the world in this ill-judged statement where he stood.”

I’m not sure I agree Ban’s silence would have been preferable. At least now Ban is shorn of the mask of neutrality and there can be no doubt that he stands in full, enthusiastic complicity with Israel’s crimes against humanity.

We live in times with few moral moorings, where one day an utter mediocrity like Ban can praise Nelson Mandela, and a few weeks later call Ariel Sharon, an unrepentant mass-murder, a “hero.”

Written FOR

WHEN A SOCCER BALL BECOMES AN INTERNATIONAL ISSUE

 Several days ago, a Palestinian boy named Amir, was playing soccer with his friends in Kafr Sur, near Tulkarem, when one of his free kicks went astray and caused the ball to land in Israeli territory.
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The children playing with a replacement ball (Photo: Ma'an) The children playing with a replacement ball (Photo: Ma’an)
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Palestinian kids’ bid to UN: Get us our ball back

Children in village near West Bank city of Tulkarem miskick ball to Israeli side of security fence, write letter to UN secretary general asking for its return

* A group of Palestinian children sent a simple letter to UN Secretary General Ban-Ki moon, asking for a ball that had been kicked over their side of the West Bank security fence be returned to them, Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported Sunday. Several days ago, a Palestinian boy named Amir, was playing soccer with his friends in Kafr Sur, near Tulkarem, when one of his free kicks went astray and caused the ball to land in Israeli territory.*

The children said the Israelis were infringing on their rights by not giving them their ball back, or letting them retrieve it by themselves.
The youths also wrote to UN chief Ban Ki-moon that they have the legal right to play on their territory without restrictions. They said they feared they would never get the ball back.

The Palestinian regional leader said the Israelis are saying the wall is necessary for security reasons, but the reality is Israel is trying to confiscate lands in order to expand the areas available to Jewish settlements.

Source

DERSHOWITZ ADVISES ISRAEL TO IGNORE INTERNATIONAL LAW

Once again zionists show their contempt for humanity …

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Esteemed advocate Alan Dershowitz says that Israel should ignore international law when deciding how to deal with Iran.
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Dershowitz: Ignore International Law

Advocate urges Israel to act as it sees fit on Iran. International law is ‘a construct in the mind of a bunch of left wing academics.’
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Esteemed advocate Alan Dershowitz says that Israel should ignore international law when deciding how to deal with Iran.

International law is “a construct in the mind of a bunch of left wing academics,” he said, in a lecture at the Institute of National Strategic Studies in Tel Aviv last week “There is no basis for international law in any reality. It’s not based on legislation. Much of it is not based on treaty. It is the ultimate exercise in elitist nondemocracy.”

Iran does not believe that its nuclear weapons program is in danger of being attacked, he estimated. It wrongly believes, he said, that Israel will not attack it unless the US gives it a green light.

The interim deal made with Iran in Geneva was “a mistake,” Dershowitz said. Iran “got what it wanted…China is already there in Tehran seeking business. Other countries are there seeking business. They see the end of the sanctions regime. The words may not be be that but the music is certainly in that direction.”

Iran has given up nothing in the deal, he explained. They are still developing rockets that can carry nuclear weapons. There has been no slowing down in the work of enrichment centrifuges, no ceasing of the Arak heavy water plant’s activity, and the Iranians see the deal as a victory.

The big difference between the US and Israel in this matter stems from the fact that the US is thousands of miles away from the Middle East, whereas for Israel, the Iranian threat is a much more serious one, said Dershowitz.

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From my zio-crap file

 

PALTOONS BY LATUFF // DAYS OF RAGE AND SOLIDARITY WITH PALESTINE

All Images ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
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UN declares 2014 the ‘Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People’

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Buy Gifts From Palestine ~~ List of Online Stores Selling Palestinian Products
giftfrompalestine-campaign-opboycottisrael
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Shop in Palestine Palestine – Ships Internationally Clothing, jewelry, music, videos, books, ceramics, food, artwork, embroidery, and soaps made in Jerusalem and the West Bank. PayPal Verified. Ships globally. www.shopinpalestine.com
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Palestine Shop Palestine – Ships Internationally A small family business located in Palestine, selling products globally to support the Palestinian cause, to provide fundamental support for hundreds of women and families, and to introduce the Palestinian culture and folklore into homes world wide. PayPal. Ships globally. http://palestine-shop.net/shop/
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Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children – Online Botique Palestine – Ships Internationally (Express shipping only) Unique hand-crafted products made by deaf women and men in the Gaza Strip. Your purchases on our secure web site will help to provide jobs and much needed hope for hundreds of needy deaf persons and their families. http://www.atfaluna.net/crafts/index.php
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Canaan Fair Trade Palestine – Ships to US & Canada (All items by the case only) A social entrepreneurship firm dedicated to artisan quality products based in Jenin, Palestine. The company sources its agricultural food products from a network of 49 cooperatives organized in the Palestine Fair Trade Association with the membership of over 1700 farm families. https://www.canaanusa.com/shop/ http://www.canaanfairtrade.com/
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Sunbula Palestine – Ships Internationally (Express shipping only) A nonprofit Fair Trade organization that supports Palestinian craft producers — women‘s groups, artisan cooperatives and disabled people‘s organizations. http://www.sunbula.org/
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Palestinian Pottery Palestine – Ships Globally (email for prices and ordering info) Original and authentic Palestinian Pottery is sold only at our factory and retail outlet on 14 Nablus Rd. East Jerusalem( and now on our web site). http://palestinianpottery.com/
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Gifts to Palestine Palestine – Delivers to all West Bank cities and villages including Jerusalem, Ramallah, Bethlehem and Nablus. Gifts to Palestine only deals with Palestinians vendors located in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Our mission is to support Palestinian merchants and products, and we try to incorporate as many local-made items as possible. http://www.giftstopalestine.com/
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IS DEFENSE OF PALESTINIAN CHILDREN ANTI-SEMITIC?

בית-אומר-2010-אן

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It has already been met here with a typical shrug of the shoulders, the report by the United Nations Children Fund declaring that Palestinian children detained by the Israel Defense Forces are subject to widespread, systematic ill-treatment that violates international law.

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UNICEF isn’t anti-Semitic

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UNICEF has published a report no less harsh, this time with respect to Israel’s treatment of Palestinian children. Now, you can no longer say it was because of anti-Semitism.

By Gideon Levy
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It has already been met here with a typical shrug of the shoulders, the report by the United Nations Children Fund declaring that Palestinian children detained by the Israel Defense Forces are subject to widespread, systematic ill-treatment that violates international law.

Now it’s no longer “the automatic majority” at the UN’s General Assembly, nor is it “Israel-haters” on the UN Human Rights Council. Now it’s UNICEF − and UNICEF is really another story entirely.

The UN International Emergency Children’s Fund, as it was originally known, was founded in 1946 at the initiative of a Polish-Jewish pediatrician and Holocaust survivor. And it has become, over many years, an organization of global celebrities.

Its name is displayed on the jerseys of Barcelona soccer players − jerseys that are also worn by many Israeli children. Barcelona forward Lionel Messi is a goodwill ambassador for the organization, as are fellow soccer player David Beckham, Princess Caroline of Monaco, British actor Sir Roger Moore, Columbian pop musician Shakira, and even our own musician David Broza and actress Yona Elian. This is the charity club of choice for the international jet set.

The Israeli Zena Harman received a Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the organization in 1965. Over a year ago, a festive ceremony was held by Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar, during which Israel signed onto the new Convention on the Rights of the Child proposed by the organization.

An Israeli representative was chosen this year to serve on UNICEF’s executive board for the first time in 40 years, in what was portrayed as a rare diplomatic accomplishment. Even Judy Shalom Nir-Mozes served as the honorary chair of the Israeli branch of UNICEF.

UNICEF is concerned with protecting the rights of the world’s children, ensuring that they have access to clean water, proper nutrition, a fitting education and the like. From time to time, it publishes frightening reports about the abuse faced by children in the darkest of regimes and the world’s worst failed states.

Now, UNICEF has published a report no less harsh, this time with respect to Israel’s treatment of Palestinian children. Now, you can no longer say it was because of anti-Semitism.

The photo of the walls of the Israeli Ofer Prison in the West Bank on the cover of the report, and the picture depicted in its pages, should evoke dread among every Israeli parent. Some 7,000 Palestinian children were arrested in the past decade, an average of 700 per year.

The report described the process by which this generally occurs: A large military force invades a home in the dead of night and rudely wakes up its occupants. After a violent search that sometimes includes the destruction of furniture, the young suspect is bound with hand restraints, their eyes are blindfolded and they are ripped from their shocked and frightened family.

The child is taken to a jeep and usually forced to sit on the floor of the vehicle. On the way to the detention facility, the child is sometimes struck by the soldiers’ fists and legs while they are tied up.

At the investigation facility, the child waits hours, sometimes even an entire day, without food or water and without access to a toilet. Their interrogation includes threats of death, sexual threats directed toward them and their family members, and sometimes also physical blows.

No lawyers or family members are present when any child is investigated, as is required by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the one signed with so much pomp and circumstance at the education minister’s office.

By the end of their interrogations, most of the children admit everything they are accused of − usually stone-throwing. They sign confessions written in Hebrew, even when they have no idea what these “confessions” say.

Afterward, the child is sent to solitary confinement for a period that can sometimes last as long as a month. They are treated in a manner that is “cruel” and “inhuman,” according to the UNICEF report.

The child first meets their lawyer at the juvenile military court, and their remand is likely to be extended up to a period of 188 days, in violation of international standards. In contravention of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states that detention must be a last resort, there is practically no chance of release on bail for children facing charges.

Then the punishment comes, usually a draconian one. Two of the prisons in which these children are incarcerated are located within Israel, in contravention of the Geneva Convention, which makes it very difficult for the children’s family members to visit them, also in violation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The ill-treatment of children who come in contact with the military detention system appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized. It is understood that in no other country are children systematically tried by juvenile military courts that, by definition, fall short of providing the necessary guarantees to ensure respect for their rights, the UNICEF report states.

All of this occurs in a country where children are considered a source of joy, where concern for their well-being is of the highest priority. All of this occurs in your country, a short hour from your children’s bedrooms.

WAIT TILL FOXMAN SEES THIS

 The ADL spends sleepless nights probing the universe for anti Semitism … here’s something they will be sure to pounce on and use to condemn the entire world for violating their doctrines of hate.
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UN panel concludes Israeli settlements are illegal

Fact-finding mission’s report says settlements exist exclusively for Israeli Jews’ benefit creating system of total segregation

A UN fact-finding mission says the Israeli government’s settlementpolicy has clearly violated the rights of Palestinians and breaches one of the Geneva Conventions.

 

The panel’s report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva – the UN’s first report on the subject as a whole – says the settlements exist for the exclusive benefit of Israeli Jews, creating a system of total segregation.

The investigators called on Israel on Thursday to halt settlement expansion and withdraw all Jewish settlers from the West Bank.

 

“Israel must, in compliance with article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, cease all settlement activities without preconditions. It must immediately initiate a process of withdrawal of all settlers from the OPT (occupied Palestinian territories),” said a report by the inquiry led by French judge Christine Chanet.

 

The settlements contravene the 1949 Geneva Conventions forbidding the transfer of civilian populations into occupied territory, which could amount to war crimes that fall under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC), it said.

 

In December, the Palestinians accused Israel in a letter to the United Nations of planning to commit further “war crimes” by expanding Jewish settlements after the Palestinians won de factoUN recognition of statehood and warned that Jerusalem must be held accountable.

 

Israel has not cooperated with the probe set up by the Human Rights Council last March to examine the impact of settlements in the territory, including east Jerusalem. Israel says the forum has an inherent bias against it and defends its settlement policy by citing historical and Biblical links to the West Bank.

 

The independent UN investigators interviewed more than 50 people who came to Jordan in November to testify about confiscated land, damage to their livelihoods including olive trees, and violence by Jewish settlers, according to the report.

 

“The mission believes that the motivation behind this violence and the intimidation against the Palestinians as well as their properties is to drive the local populations away from their lands and allow the settlements to expand,” it said.

 

‘Creeping annexation’

About 250 settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem have been established since 1967 and they hold an estimated 520,000 settlers, according to the UN report. The settlements impede Palestinian access to water resources and agricultural lands, it said.

 

The settlements were “leading to a creeping annexation that prevents the establishment of a contiguous and viable Palestinian state and undermines the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination,” it said.

 

After the General Assembly upgraded the Palestinians status at the world body, Israel said it would build 3,000 more settler homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem – areas Palestinians wanted for a future state, along with the Gaza Strip.

 

The UN human rights inquiry said that the International Criminal Court had jurisdiction over the deportation or transfer by the occupying power of its own population into the territory.

 

“Ratification of the (Rome) Statute by Palestine may lead to accountability for gross violations of human rights law and serious violations of international humanitarian law and justice for victims,” the UN report said, referring to the treaty setting up the Hague-based UN tribunal which prosecutes people for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

 

AP and Reuters contributed to the report

Source

NEW YORK TIMES EMBARRASSES NEW YORK RABBIS FOR SUPPORTING PALESTINIAN BID AT UN

 After an article about controversy appeared on the front page of the New York Times Wednesday morning, the synagogue’s staff was inundated with phone calls and emails. Gottesman said that emergency.
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N.Y. shul rabbis backtrack on support for Palestinian UN bid

An email to members of B’nai Jeshurun synagogue on Friday celebrating Palestine’s admittance to UN membership led to uproar – and a front page article in Tuesday’s New York Times.

By Debra Nussbaum Cohen
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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addresses the United Nations Generally Assembly th UN.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addresses the United Nations Generally Assembly at UN Headquarters, in New York, November 29, 2012. Photo by Reuters

NEW YORK – On Thursday, the rabbis backtracked. In an unusual mea culpa, the three rabbis at the helm of the progressive synagogue Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, sent a note to congregants all but pleading for forgiveness.

It followed an email to synagogue members on Friday celebrating Palestine’s admittance to United Nations membership. That led to an uproar – and a front page article in Tuesday’s New York Times.

The synagogue members pushed back, inundating the staff at BJ, as the synagogue is known, with responses. The rabbis’ second letter sounded chastened in response. “The depth of feeling expressed has moved us. Some of you found our words very upsetting; for others of you, the message resonated powerfully,” the rabbis wrote on Thursday.

The second letter said that the first was sent out in error, when it was just “an incomplete and unedited draft.” While the rabbis affirmed “the essence of our message,” they also expressed regret that it “resulted in a tone which did not reflect the complexities and uncertainties of this moment.”

“We genuinely love this community,” wrote Rabbis J. Rolando Matalon, Marcello Bronstein and Felicia Sol in the second letter. “BJ is our home and we have devoted many years building relationships with so many of you. We have achieved a great deal together. We do not take that for granted, and we regret the feelings of alienation that resulted from our letter.”

The rabbis’ first letter read, in part, “Remember the crucial role that diplomacy played in achieving independence for the State of Israel.” That email, which was signed by the synagogue’s three rabbis, its cantor, board president, executive director and director of Israel engagement also said, “The vote at the UN yesterday is a great moment for us as citizens of the world.”

In their second email, the rabbis wrote that the first “should not have included the names of our Hazzan, Ari Priven, our Board President, Jeannie Blaustein, our Executive Director, Steve Goldberg, and our Director of Israel Engagement, Orli Moss.”

The progressive views held by the rabbis are well known to BJ members. But even some of those who agree with the rabbis’ perspective were surprised at Friday night services when Matalon, known to everyone as Roly, tied the previous day’s UN vote accepting Palestine as a member nation to the Torah portion about relations between the Biblical brothers Jacob and Esau. Using their contentious dynamic but eventual agreement as a frame Roly spoke about redemption through reconciliation.

“When Roly started speaking it seemed very organic and not at all surprising. Then I realized that this was new. This was a bolder connecting of the dots than one typically hears, even at BJ,” said Kathleen Peratis, a congregant since the early 1990s and former synagogue board member.

“Things got really quiet. I felt that the congregation was all of a sudden clicking into the fact that this was significant,” said Peratis, a Manhattan attorney who is also a board member of Americans for Peace Now and Human Rights Watch, in an interview.

It did not take long for strong feelings within the synagogue community about the rabbis’ statement to become evident.

“There was big pushback to the rabbis,” said Sally Gottesman, a philanthropist and consultant to non-profit organizations who also serves as vice president of the B’nai Jeshurun board of trustees, in an interview.

After an article about controversy appeared on the front page of the New York Times Wednesday morning, the synagogue’s staff was inundated with phone calls and emails. Gottesman said that emergency meetings of the board and staff were arranged to discuss the fallout.

BJ’s communications director and rabbis did not respond to multiple requests for comment. One of them, Rabbi Felicia Sol, said in an email, “We will be in touch when we are ready to respond.”

Several BJ members said by others to be upset by the rabbis’ letter declined Haaretz’s interview request or did not respond to it.

Another congregant, Meryl Zegarek, said in an interview that she was taken aback only that any member of the synagogue would be surprised by the rabbis’ stance. “This has been the message coming from the pulpit for years,” said Zegarek, who owns a public relations business and has been a member since 1990. “I’m surprised anyone in the congregation would be shocked by this. In a way it’s what we’ve been waiting for as a step forward.”

Gottesman said that BJ’s commitment to supporting Israel’s wellbeing is illustrated by the fact that it is the first American synagogue to have on staff a full time Israeli shaliach, or emissary, runs regular congregational trips to Israel and provides ongoing support to social justice and other programs there.

The rabbis “put out a letter last month saying they deplore the work of Hamas and that they support Israel’s right to defend itself. They also called for a two-state solution then. [But] that doesn’t make it to the front page of the New York Times,” Gottesman said.

Talking about Israel from the pulpit is currently considered so fraught that she knows rabbis from New York City to California who are no longer willing to do so, Gottesman said. “Most rabbis want to avoid talking about Israel like the plague. The [BJ] rabbis are willing to speak,” she said. “The irony of this is that these rabbis put Israel front and center.”

Even the internal fallout over the rabbis’ letter reflects the synagogue community’s passion for Israel, said Gottesman. “It shows that the congregation, from the left to the right, is full of people who love and support Israel.”

The rabbis’ handling of the issue – starting with the fact that a draft of the intended letter was sent to the congregation’s roughly 2,000 member households and ending with the fact that it took them a full week to follow up with the community – also reflects the fact that rabbis are not always good managers, Gottesman said on Thursday.

“Our rabbis are good spiritual leaders and then we ask them to be managers. Management problems happen and synagogues don’t know how to effectively deal with it,” she said after the second letter was sent.

Peratis called it “an office mix up that’s really embarrassing.”

It also isn’t the first time that there has been congregational conflict around issues relating to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, she said.

“When speakers have been invited from the bereaved parents circle [the group “Palestinian Israeli Bereaved Families for Peace”], from Shovrim Shtika, [“Breaking the Silence,” an organization of Israeli soldiers talking about the occupation] and the first time J Street was brought in there were a lot of upset people,” said Peratis.

“Whether this one will be a lasting problem or temporary kerfuffle it is too soon to say.” 

 

Source

PALESTINE // WHAT NOW?


What’s after Palestine’s UN Bid?

By Khalid Amayreh
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What's after Palestine’s UN Bid?
The Palestinians’ ability and world’s willingness to translate the Palestinian UN victory into tangible facts on the ground are quite modest.(Reuters)

Prior to the successful voting on the UN General Assembly landmark resolution to grant Palestine a non-member state status, Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas delivered a speech urging the international body to issue “a birth certificate for the reality of the state of Palestine.”

For Israel, the Palestinian diplomatic achievement has been described as “a black day” and “great humiliation” at the international diplomatic arena.

Israel and the US had made hectic efforts, first to convince the PA leader to reconsider the Palestinian request for UN recognition of Palestine as an observer state at the world body, and second to bully or cajole as many “non-deciders” as possible to either abstain or oppose the draft resolution.

The US state department reportedly dispatched Bill Burns, the US deputy secretary of state, on a last-ditch begging mission to Abbas’s New York hotel room to persuade him to change his mind, but to no avail.

And in the words of senior American journalist James Wall, “Abbas ignored them all,” and as a result of his persistence, the resolution passed, granting Palestine a non-member observer status in the UN.

“The word ‘state’ in that resolution is huge. It opens doors for Palestine and it represents a step up into international status which is, as of 29 November, 2012, 65 years overdue.”

 

“Occupied State”

 

The UN recognition of Palestine based on the borders of the 4th of June, 1967 is very significant with some important implications. For the first time, Palestine is not simply “occupied Palestinian territories” but rather a state under foreign military occupation (Norway has already decided to deal with: the “state of Palestine” rather than the Palestinian Authority).

Indeed, ever since the start of the Israeli occupation, successive Israeli governments insisted that the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip were “disputed” rather than “occupied” territories. Now, the world community is telling Israel it doesn’t accept the Israeli perspective.

In addition, with their upgraded status, the Palestinians can now join a large number of UN agencies and other international bodies which could further isolate Israel and makes it more vulnerable to international condemnation. The Palestinians especially hope Palestine will be able to join the International Criminal Court (ICC), which would enable them to sue Israel for war crimes and other violations.

Needless to say, several western countries, including Britain, had urged the Palestinian leadership to refrain from suing Israeli war criminals to the New York-based court.

The PA rejected the British request, arguing that war criminals anywhere should be treated as war criminals and those Israeli war criminals were no exception.

Israeli Retaliation

The Israeli government of Benyamin Netanyahu reacted to the Palestinian achievement at the UN, with a combination of convulsive statements and saber-rattling, warning rather defiantly that the UN resolution would change nothing on the ground in the West Bank.

Israeli officials said 3,000 settler units would be built across the West Bank in response to the Palestinians’ success at the UN. The Zionist state has also vowed to take a set of “stringent and draconian measures” against the Palestinians in order to “bring them down to their knees” and “make them grovel at our feet.”

Israel’s blackmailing tactics are likely to include withholding Palestinian customs and tariff revenue money, which Israel levies on behalf of the PA, denying Palestinians fuel, water, and electricity supplies as well as denying PA officials travel permits. Israel could also bar Palestinian laborers from working across the Green Line.

However, such extraordinarily stringent measures could backfire and trigger an undesirable boomerang effect which could further cement Israel’s isolation on the world arena. In addition, the Palestinians have really virtually nothing to lose as the Israeli occupation and domination cover every nook and cranny in the West Bank.

Moreover, strangling the PA financially and economically could really lead to its demise and collapse, which most Israeli commentators and intellectuals agree wouldn’t serve Israel’s interests.

More to the point, additional pressure on the already exasperated and frustrated Palestinians could force them to take a historical decision to abandon the two-state solution strategy and opt for a unitary democratic state from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean where Jews and Arabs live together in peace and equality. Needless to say, this is anathema for most Israelis as Israel in this case would lose its Jewish identity.

This prospect — having the Palestinians abandon the two-state strategy in favor of the one-state solution — is not farfetched or too theoretical in nature. Indeed, support for the one-state solution is already high among Palestinians, probably reaching 35 percent. Added to this is the fact that Palestinians already constitute a simple majority in mandatory Palestine (51 percent) whereas Jews make the remaining 49 percent.

Reality on the Ground

 

While many Palestinians are Jubilant, even a little euphoric, over their victory at the UN, it is crystal clear that the bleak reality on the ground will remain unchanged. In the final analysis, Israel will fly in the face of the entire international community as it has always done as long as it enjoys unlimited and unrestricted American backing and support.

Besides, there is no evidence whatsoever suggesting that the US would abandon or even mitigate its dark embrace of Zionism since doing so would require a real revolution in America’s collective political thinking, something that is not expected at least in the foreseeable future.

Finally, in light of the phenomenal proliferation of Jewish colonies in the West Bank as well as the continuing movement of the Israeli Jewish society toward Jewish fascism, even in its ugliest forms, it would be very very difficult, even nearly impossible, to see a viable and territorially contiguous Palestinian state rise in the territories occupied by Israel in 1967.

Besides, who says Israel wants peace with the Palestinians? Indeed, for a state that builds towns and settlements on occupied territories and transfers hundreds of thousands of its citizens to live on a land that belongs to another people, peace is the very last item on its bloated agenda.

This is why it is really hard to view the UN recognition of Palestine as a non-member state as a genuine breakthrough for Palestinian struggle for freedom and liberation from Israel.

At the end of the day, the Palestinians’ ability and world’s willingness to translate the Palestinian symbolic achievement at the UN into concrete and tangible facts on the ground in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are quite modest to put it very mildly.

 

Originally appeared AT

THE QUESTION IS …. WILL THERE BE ANYTHING LEFT OF PALESTINE TO BUILD A STATE WITH?

Israel’s response to the UN vote comes as no surprise to anyone. Their ‘final solution’ for Palestine remains in effect as can be seen in the following;
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In response to UN vote, Israel to build 3,000 new homes in settlements

Netanyahu orders thousands of new housing units in East Jerusalem and the West Bank; controversial plans for new construction in the E1 area near Jerusalem will be advanced, contrary to commitments made to the Obama administration.

By Barak Ravid
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Israel plans to build some 3,000 new housing units in East Jerusalem and West Bank settlements in response to the Palestinians’ successful bid for recognition at the UN General Assembly this week, a senior diplomatic source told Haaretz on Friday.

According to the source, Israel also plans to advance long-frozen plans for the E1 area, which covers an area that links the city of Jerusalem with the settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim.

If built, the controversial plan would prevent territorial contiguity between the northern and southern West Bank, making it difficult for a future Palestinian state to function.

In the beginning of his term, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave the Obama administration a commitment that Israel would not build in the area. Both of his predecessors, Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert, also promised the U.S. administration that Israel would not build in E1.

The source said Israel would advance building plans for another several thousand housing units in settlement blocs in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem, while weighing additional measures.

He added that the construction would be carried out according to the map of Israel’s strategic interests.

In a historic session of the United Nations in New York Thursday, exactly 65 years after passing the Partition Plan for Palestine, the General Assembly voted by a huge majority to recognize Palestine within the 1967 borders as a non-member state with observer status in the organization. Some 138 countries voted in favor of the resolution, 41 abstained and 9 voted against: Canada, Czech Republic, Israel, U.S., Panama, The Marshall Islands, Palau, Nauru, and Micronesia.

Following the vote, U.S. UN envoy Susan Rice said the resolution does not establish Palestine as state, that it prejudges the outcome of negotiations, and ignores questions of security.

Source

And of course, the prepared ‘objections’ from those who will be footing the bill for the new illegal settlements …

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U.S. condemns Israel’s settlement expansion plan in Jerusalem, West Bank

White House says decision to build 3,000 new homes in settlements is ‘counterproductive’; Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat condemns move, says Israel is ‘defying the whole international community.’

By Barak Ravid
U.S. President Barack Obama
U.S. President Barack Obama. Must overcome his difficulties with Netanyahu to face the Iranian threat.Photo by Bloomberg

The U.S on Friday condemned the Israeli decision to build 3,000 new homes in the settlements, which came as a response to the UN vote to upgrade Palestine’s status to a non-member observer state.

“These actions are counterproductive and make it harder to resume direct negotiations or achieve a two-state solution,” White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said. “We reiterate our longstanding opposition to settlement activity and East Jerusalem construction and announcements.”

“Direct negotiations remain our goal and we encourage all parties to take steps to make that goal easier to achieve,” the White House spokesman said.

Earlier Friday, a senior diplomatic source told Haaretz that Netanyahu ordered 3,000 new housing units in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. According to the source, Israel also plans to advance long-frozen plans for the E1 area, which covers an area that links the city of Jerusalem with the settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim.

If built, the controversial plan would prevent territorial contiguity between the northern and southern West Bank, making it difficult for a future Palestinian state to function.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat also condemned the Israeli announcement, saying Israel was “defying the whole international community and insisting on destroying the two-state solution.” He said the Palestinian leadership was studying its options.

In a historic session of the United Nations in New York Thursday, exactly 65 years after passing the Partition Plan for Palestine, the General Assembly voted by a huge majority to recognize Palestine within the 1967 borders as a non-member state with observer status in the organization. Some 138 countries voted in favor of the resolution, 41 abstained and 9 voted against: Canada, Czech Republic, Israel, U.S., Panama, The Marshall Islands, Palau, Nauru, and Micronesia.

Following the vote, U.S. UN envoy Susan Rice said the resolution does not establish Palestine as state, that it prejudges the outcome of negotiations, and ignores questions of security.

Also FROM

THE WORLD REVEALS ITS ANTI SEMITISM IN YESTERDAY’S UN VOTE

OMG!!!!
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“I wanna go to Miami” used to be the favourite Jewish wine ….. now it’s “Why don’t they love our occupation and atrocities”?
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I told you yesterday that the ‘victim card’ was ready to be pulled out ….. well, here it is.
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But first, here’s how the vote went ….
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Voted for the resolution: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Comoros, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, East Timor, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Honduras, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kirghistan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Qatar, Russia, Russia, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Spain, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts and Nevis St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Sweden, Switzerland, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, UAE, Uganda, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Voted against the resolution: Canada, Czech Republic, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Panama, and the United States.

Abstained: Albania, Andorra, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Colombia, Croatia, Dem. Rep. of Congo, Estonia, Fiji, Germany, Guatemala, Haiti, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malawi, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Poland, Korea, Moldova, Romania, Rwanda, Samoa, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Togo, Tonga, United Kingdom, and Vanuatu.

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Israel dragged through UN like a sack through a market

Thursday’s UN vote was the international community’s warning light to Israel, as much as a show of support for the Palestinians. Germany, France, Britain, Italy and other friendly countries delivered messages to Israel with their votes – their patience with the occupation has worn off.

By Barak Ravid
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addresses the United Nations Generally Assembly th UN.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addresses the United Nations Generally Assembly at UN Headquarters, in New York, November 29, 2012. Photo by Reuters

Israel’s leaders competed with each other Thursday over who will utter the most disparaging remark about the Palestinian move in the United Nations. Never have so many press releases been issued over an event that they themselves characterized as meaningless.

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon outdid his peers. “This day is the day of the historic rout of the Palestinians,” Ayalon declared in tones reminiscent of Iraq’s propaganda minister’s boasting victory over the Americans as tanks poured through the streets of Bagdad.

Thursday’s UN vote was the international community’s warning light to Israel, as much as a show of support for the Palestinians. Germany, France, Britain, Italy and other friendly countries delivered messages to Israel with their votes – their patience with the occupation of the West Bank has worn off, they have had enough of settlement construction and there’s no faith in Israeli declarations of hands outstretched in peace and a desire to advance toward a Palestinian state.

Israel’s collapse in the UN and humiliating diplomatic rout is the result of a consistent policy led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It began with his refusal to accept the two-state solution. His speech at Bar-Ilan University, to which he was dragged by American pressure, may have voiced his readiness for the establishment of a Palestinian state, but was never brought to the government for approval.

From then on Netanyahu ran away from any diplomatic initiative presented to him, refused to seriously debate the core issues of a permanent settlement, wasted time by raising excuses and preconditions, and avoided presenting the Palestinians and Western friends with an Israeli peace plan. Without a political initiative, Netanyahu was dragged – and with him the whole country – to the UN General Assembly vote like a sack through a market.

Netanyahu, who boasted of his achievements such as conscripting the world against the Iranian nuclear program and U.S. support for the operation in Gaza, failed to convince the Palestinians and international community that he is serious about the peace process. Most Western leaders do not believe him and blame him for the diplomatic deadlock.

Netanyahu’s claims the Palestinian victory in the UN is a symbolic event that will change nothing on the ground convince no one except for the writers at the Israeli daily newspaper Israel Hayom (owned by Sheldon Adelson, Netanyahu’s staunch supporter). Anyone with eyes in his head can see the diplomatic failure from afar. Having sowed wind during the past four years, on Thursday he reaped a storm.

But Netanyahu’s diplomatic failure, as with all failures, will remain an orphan. The prime minister will not take responsibility, and neither will his foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, whose incitement campaign against Abbas only pushed more and more countries to support the Palestinian move in the UN.

Lieberman, who presents his travel schedule and meetings as evidence that Israel is not isolated, has revealed that Israel’s standing in the world is not based on the number of frequent flyer points he has amassed.

The Netanyahu government has acted like a frog in a pot on a stove. For four years the water was warm and comfortable. But in a moment – Thursday at the UN General Assembly – the water boiled. By then it was already too late. Sadly, the next government will probably be even more extreme right-wing and cannot be expected to change direction.

Palestinians gather near an Israeli military tower at the Israeli separation barrier at the main entrance of the West Bank city of Bethlehem to watch the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the UN.
Palestinians gather near an Israeli military tower at the Israeli separation barrier at the main entrance of the West Bank city of Bethlehem to watch the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the UN.AFP

PALESTINIAN STATEHOOD ~~ NOT A FORGOTTEN ISSUE

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Seeking UN membership anew

Tired of Israeli intransigence, Mahmoud Abbas appears set to apply again for full UN membership for Palestine, reports Khalid Amayreh from Occupied Jerusalem

Trying desperately to salvage the Palestinian national dream of establishing a viable Palestinian state in the territories occupied by Israel in 1967, the Palestinian Authority (PA) is planning to formally ask the United Nations to recognise “Palestine” as a member-state of the international organisation.

The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), the highest political representative of the Palestinian people, has observer status at the UN.

A formal application will be submitted to the UN General Assembly on 27 September. The PA says as many as 133 states recognise Palestine, hence a decision at the UN in favour of the Palestinian bid is likely, save last-minute glitches.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas said the PA was serious about seeking UN membership despite Israeli threats and American objections.

During a lengthy speech in Ramallah Sunday, Abbas voiced mounting frustration at Israeli intransigence and dishonesty vis-Ã-vis the peace process. “There are many pressures and hurdles, but we will go the United Nations,” he said.

Abbas said the ongoing political deadlock was leaving the Palestinians no other choice. “We are only asking the Israelis to honour their own commitments, but they refuse.”

Abbas gave a pessimistic prognosis of the declared stands of the Binyamin Netanyahu government, saying Israel was viewing the occupied territories not as “occupied” but as “disputed land”. He added that Israel was demanding a military presence along the Jordan Valley for at least 40 years. He said the Palestinians would never accept these demands.

“We have two choices, either we go, or we don’t go. If we don’t go, the entire Palestinian cause will fall into oblivion,” Abbas said.

Last week, Israel warned the PA against applying for UN membership. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Israel would retaliate against the step. Lieberman previously accused the Abbas leadership of “indulging in political and diplomatic terrorism against Israel”.

Abbas alluded that Israel might eliminate him, as it eliminated other Palestinian leaders, a possible allusion to the mysterious death of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

“But there is one thing I want you to be sure of: We are staying put here. We will not leave, and we will not make the mistake of 1948 once again.

Arab states, including Egypt, are backing the PA bid to obtain UN membership. In the past, the United States used the Mubarak regime to restrain and bully the PA against making moves without Israeli and US consent.

In September 2011, the PA made a high-profile effort to obtain full member status at the UN. However, the request was not put to a vote in the Security Council where the US pledged to veto it.

On Monday, 11 September, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the Obama administration still believed that the only “realistic path” for Palestinian statehood was through direct negotiations.

Nuland said the US was trying to dissuade PA President Abbas from seeking full member status at the UN. “We are working intensively through the Quartet and directly with Israelis and Palestinians to continue to encourage them to come back to the table. All we can do is push them. We cannot force them. They have got to make the decision for peace. They’ve got to make the decision to come back to the table,” Nuland said.

Palestinians, who have been negotiating with Israel for nearly two decades but without making any real progress toward liberation from the entrenched Israeli occupation, are in no mood to listen to regurgitated remarks and platitudes repeated on the benefits of direct negotiations.

“How can we keep negotiating with Israel while Israel keeps stealing and carving out our land? It is unfair for the United States, Israel’s guardian ally, to tell the criminal and the victim to sort it out amongst them. Yet, this is what the US is telling us in real terms,” said Ghassan Khatib, former head of the government press office.

Khatib said the American stand of telling the Palestinians to negotiate with Israel without clearly determining the shape of a would-be settlement, including the exact borders of the prospective Palestinian state, was tantamount to pressuring the Palestinians to capitulate to Israeli demands.

“Remember, it is the US that provides Israel with the tools and wherewithal that enables Israel to adopt a rejectionist stand,” he said.

The Obama administration has been trying to appease Israel as part of a public relations showdown with Republican candidate Mitt Romney ahead of November’s US presidential elections.

Romney has been accusing the administration of not sufficiently backing Israel despite Obama’s repeated pronouncements asserting absolute and almost unlimited support for Tel Aviv, including commitment to maintaining Israel’s qualitative edge over actual and potential foes combined.

Israel, which has been squeezing and blackmailing the Obama administration for more concessions on Iran, has succeeded in getting Washington to demote the Palestinian issue to secondary status.

The PA had received vague promises from the Obama administration suggesting that President Obama would devote more time and energy to resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict if elected to a second term in the White House.

Most Palestinians dismiss such promises for two reasons: first, overwhelming Jewish influence in the US Congress, often described as “an Israeli occupied territory”; second, the conviction of many observers that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is unresolvable based on the two-state solution strategy, in light of the phenomenal expansion of Jewish colonies in the West Bank, especially East Jerusalem.

Written FOR

ISRAEL: THE ONLY SPOILED BRAT IN THE MIDDLE EAST

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For 64 years Israel has gotten everything it wanted from the Western World, PLUS SOME..
For almost as long, Israel had violated almost every UN Resolution aimed at them for International Crimes committed.
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Yesterday it was reported and posted HERE that Israel was seeking ways ‘to penalize PA in wake of UN human rights probe’.
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Today they seemed to have found the way…. or at least they think they did…
One might call this tactic ‘cutting off their nose to save their face’….
But, as always, they will probably get their way and there either won’t be a settlement probe, or there will be a whitewashing version of it.
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Israel cuts contact with UN rights council, to protest settlements probe

Israel’s Foreign Ministry orders envoy to Geneva to ignore all phone calls from rights council commissioner; ‘The council sparked this process’, says a senior Israeli official.*

Israel decided Monday to sever all contact with the United Nations human rights council and with its chief commissioner Navi Pillay, after the international body decided to establish an international investigative committee on the West Bank settlements.

The Foreign Ministry ordered Israel’s ambassador to Geneva to cut off contact immediately, instructing him to ignore phone calls from the commissioner, a senior Israeli official said.

Israel will also bar a fact-finding team dispatched by the council from entering Israel and the West Bank to investigate settlement construction.

“We will not permit members of the human rights council to visit Israel and our ambassador has been instructed to not even answer phone calls,” said the official. “The secretariat of the human rights council and Nabi Pilawai sparked this process by establishing an international investigative committee on settlements, and we will thus not work with them anymore and will not appear before the council,” said the official.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Friday that the move by the UN body proves that the Palestinians do not want to renew negotiations with Israel. “We are dealing with Al-Qaida terror on the one hand and diplomatic terror by Abu Mazen on the other,” Lieberman said, referring to PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

Senior officials in the Prime Minister’s Bureau and the Foreign Ministry said then that Israel would not cooperate with the UN committee. The Prime Minister’s Bureau decided Friday that the committee’s members – who are yet to be determined – would not be allowed into Israel.

Israel is also considering sanctions against the Palestinian Authority in response to the human rights council decision.

From

UNESCO’S NEWEST MEMBER STATE

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                          Towards a Culture of Peace and Recognition

                              Palestine is a UNESCO Member State

By: Ayman Qwaider

Palestine is the 194th state to join the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO. The admission of Palestine to the UNESCO family has given optimism and hope to Palestinians who believe in the mission of UNESCO “Building peace in the Mind of Men and Women”. The admission of Palestine is a symbolic victory not only for Palestinians, but also for the many nations around the world that voted for the recognition of accepting Palestine as the legitimate sovereign state of the Palestinian People.  While this vote did not result in the legal recognition of Palestinian sovereignty in the league of the United Nations, the large majority of nations that supported Palestine’s admission to UNESCO is symbolic of the overwhelming global support of Palestinian national rights and sovereignty.

Palestinians have been subjected to a prolonged system of injustice, and for decades we have been struggling not simply to be recognized as a sovereign people, but simply to have our basic human rights protected.  Today, with this unilateral step towards attaining our human rights, dignity and statehood, we are that much closer to ensuring the rights and dignity of the future generations of Palestinians. 

In attempting to address issues of justice, conflict and peace between two parties, firstly the recognition and the acceptance of the other is paramount.  Without acknowledging the rights and dignity of the other, how can justice ever prevail?  It hasn’t for over 63 years, and it won’t until our recognition as a legitimate people; a legitimate people with full human rights and the right to statehood and self-governance is fully achieved in the United Nations General Assembly.  Our recognition and acceptance into UNESCO is a positive step in this direction.

Diplomacy in the world today is dominated by political and economic inequalities and interests, or what many great geopolitical analysts have coined “Realpolitik. Yet still, despite the very powerful interests at work in the geopolitical fold today, many of which have staunchly opposed the Palestinian initiative and demands for legal recognition of statehood within the UN; this acceptance of Palestine into UNESCO proves that there is a broad consensus on the question of Palestinian statehood.  That consensus is now clearer than ever. 

Recognition is a vital process towards justice. Peace is to justice as a fig is to the tree that flowers it.  No long-lasting peace has ever endured without a strong foundation of justice and equity for all parties involved.  We wholeheartedly appreciate the UNESCO family for their generous recognition, support and stand on the question of Palestine.  We, the people of Palestine, commend you for your integrity, fairness and righteousness in supporting the cause for justice.
Published: Paltelegraph 

ISRAEL AND AMERICA ARE JUST FULL OF SURPRISES TODAY ….

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Now who could have expected these moves? ;)
(click on headline to see reports)
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U.S. cuts funding for UNESCO after Palestinian vote

White House says approval of Palestine as member of the UN cultural body undermines goal of a comprehensive Mideast peace plan; Germany also says move hinders peace.

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Israel to reconsider cooperation with UNESCO after approval of Palestine membership

After UN cultural agency grants Palestinians full membership earlier Monday, Foreign Ministry issues statement that Israel rejects the decision.

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And the clincher, as predicted yesterday
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Netanyahu: No ceasefire, no negotiations

PM tells Likud faction IDF will continue operations in Gaza Strip as long as terrorists keep launching rockets on south; promises ‘severe response’ if attacks continue

VIEWS THAT WERE SILENCED AT THE JERUSALEM POST

 BUT NOT HERE!
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Larry Derfner might have been fired at the Post for views which did not quite fit those required by the editors, but his views are welcome on this Blog at any time…
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Here is his take on recent events at the UN;
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Last week at the UN, Israel lost America

“Tafasta meruba, lo tafasta,” is a Hebrew saying that means, “If you get too greedy, you end up with nothing,” and it fits well to the arm-twisting job Israel just did on Obama at the UN. By leaning on him too single-handedly to block the Palestinian statehood bid, to pressure countries like Gabon and Bosnia-Herzegovina to go along, and to give a speech that Avigdor Lieberman said he would “sign with both hands,” Israel bent Obama too far, until he just broke. In the eyes of Palestinians, Muslims of the Middle East and probably everybody else in the world, the U.S. president has now assumed the identity of the ultimate Israel lobbyist, of Mr.Hasbara. “He’s not the president of the United States, he’s the president of Israel,” a man in Ramallah said to me the day after the speech, and that’s what Palestinians think today: They flat-out hate Obama. They may hate him more than any other U.S. president in history, including George W. Bush. They thought Obama was on their side, and in the moment of truth he sold them out to the LIkud, to the settlers, to the Republican wackos. Palestinians, and presumably all Muslims, feel toward Obama today how the settlers felt toward Ariel Sharon after he decided to withdraw from Gaza: betrayed.

With Obama’s America now having zero credibility in the Middle East, where does this leave Israel? Alone and vulnerable to an extent that’s unfamiliar to Israelis. Until now, the U.S. held sway with the Palestinians; it doesn’t anymore. It held sway with Egypt, Jordan and Turkey; I wonder how much it has left now. In highly dramatic fashion, the U.S. stood up for the occupation and against Palestinian independence, and the result of this disgrace is that outside of Israel and America, the occupation is more unpopular and Palestinian independence more popular than ever. It’s the Palestinians who have the wind at their back now, and Israel that’s pissing in the wind. And America can’t help us anymore because America has become a spent force around here.

Having gotten no respect from the U.S., the Palestinian Authority shows it none. Abbas’s aide Yasser Abed Rabbo says publicly that the Palestinians will refuse to negotiate with Israel if America is the mediator. The Quartet’s mealy-mouthed proposal for talks about talks gets blown off by the PA. The eminiently mealy-mouthed Tony Blair gets chewed out by Abbas. What leverage does America or its emissaries have over the Palestinians anymore? What can America and Europe do for Israel – threaten to cut off funds to the PA? This is the threat coming from the Netanyahu government and the Republican Party – and Abbas is just daring them to go through with it. If we can’t have independence, he’s telling them, the PA will shut down and Israeli soldiers and money can keep the peace in the refugee camps, villages and cities of the West Bank. U.S. congressmen and most Israeli cabinet ministers are too fat-headed to understand, but this is something like Abbas’s doomsday option.

He has other options, though. He can keep going back to the Security Council time after time and force Obama to embarrass himself again and again. He can launch non-violent “people power” protests across the West Bank. He can give up on the two-state solution and demand the one-state solution: Israeli citizenship for Palestinians. The Palestinians are the darlings of the world, while not only Israel but Israel’s great protector are in the world’s doghouse, or certainly the Middle East’s.

And in all this, what are Israel’s options? What leverage does it have over anybody – except the Obama administration, which, as noted, is a spent force in this neighborhood. Who wants to be Israel’s friend today, aside from Glenn Beck Nation?

Tafasta meruba, Bibi – you were too greedy. You wanted to beat Obama, but you beat him to death, for Israel’s purposes. Effectively, you lost America for this country. When it comes to alliances Israel can count on, you’ve left us with nothing.

I was a columnist and feature writer for The Jerusalem Post, as well as the correspondent in Israel for the U.S. News and World Report, for many years. I wrote feature articles for the Sunday Times of London during the second intifada, and have been writing for American Jewish publications since 1990. Politically, I would describe myself as an ultra-liberal Zionist; as journalist Bradley Burston put it, I’m “probably as far left as a centrist can be.” I was born in New York, grew up in Los Angeles and moved to Israel in 1985.

Written FOR

 The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.

UN = UNITED and NEUTRED

With ‘friends’ like Obama, you don’t need enemies!

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All talk, no balls! That’s the only thing I can say. A disenfranchised nation presents its case, gets a standing ovation and that’s it?
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It seems that the entire world body has lost not only its mind, but its balls as well! Yes, I understand there is a ‘process’, but they have to understand there is an occupation that MUST end! That should be the goal of the ‘process’.
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And here’s the reason it’s taking so long…
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Image by Skulz Fontaine
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click on image to enlarge

COUNTDOWN TO PALESTINIAN STATEHOOD ~~ 8 DAYS AND COUNTING ~~ THE ‘FLYING CHAIR’

 Almost as if the UN never had intentions of accepting Palestine as a full member, there never was a chair prepared for their delegate to be to seated on….
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SO….
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They are bringing their own furniture for that glorious day …. 8 days from today!
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‘Flying UN chair’ lands in Moscow
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BETHLEHEM  — The handmade Palestinian UN chair continues its world tour in Moscow on Monday, where it was displayed at the Hall of the Warrior Glory.

Hosted by Palestinian embassy staff, activists from the “Palestine deserves” campaign presented the chair at a reception attended by the ambassador of Costa Rica.

“We seek to present this hand-made symbolic UN chair for Palestine to the Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, chairperson of the UN Security Council, and the General Assembly,” said Ayman Subeih, a coordinator of the campaign.

Palestine’s ambassador to Russia Faed Mustafa welcomed the activists as “ambassadors of Palestine to the whole world since they deliver a message from a people seeking to obtain its freedom and establish an independent state of its own,” a campaign statement said.

“The Palestinian people are seeking to establish an independent state on the pre-1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. It will be a state which respects the human dignity of the Palestinians, their legitimate rights, and the right of return of Palestinian refugees to their lands in accordance with the UN resolution number 194,” he added.

The chair was commissioned by a Palestinian NGO which is hoping to rally support for the campaign to secure full UN membership for a Palestinian state when the General Assembly meets in New York later this month.

Made from Jerusalem olive wood and upholstered in crushed velvet in the UN’s trademark air force blue, the chair is embossed with the words: “Palestine’s Right — A full membership in the United Nations.”

“The wood came from an olive tree in Jerusalem, the olive tree being a symbol of Palestine, while the blue upholstery with white writing came from Nablus,” said Sufian al-Qawasmi, the Hebron-based designer who supervised the project.

Russia has announced its support for the Palestinians’ UN bid.

“We will, of course, be voting for any of the Palestinians’ proposals,” Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.

“But I must say that we are not pushing them into it. We are saying that ‘Whatever you decide to do, we will support you’,” Churkin said.

ANOTHER LOOK AT ‘ZIONISM IS RACISM’

The Israeli government has objected to the meeting, which will mark the tenth anniversary of the 2001 Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA) on racism, primarily on the grounds that it may single out Israel for criticism for its discriminatory practices against Palestinians.
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Israel’s treatment of Palestinians to dominate UN racism conference
By Thalif Deen
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The September meeting is the third review conference of the Durban Declaration; the second was held in Geneva in 2009. (Jean-Marc Ferré/ UN Photo)

 

UNITED NATIONS – A high-level UN meeting on racism, scheduled to take place later this month, looks set to be dominated by questions relating to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

Expressing fears that the meeting might turn out to be anti-Israel, several Western states, including Canada, Germany, the United States, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Australia, have indicated they will not participate.

The boycott is the result of an intense campaign by Israel, which has branded the meeting “anti-Semitic” even before it could get off the ground.

Still, an overwhelming majority of the UN’s 193 member states — along with dozens of human rights activists and organizations — are expected to actively participate in the meeting, scheduled to take place on 22 September during the 66th session of the UN’s General Assembly.

The Israeli government has objected to the meeting, which will mark the tenth anniversary of the 2001 Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA) on racism, primarily on the grounds that it may single out Israel for criticism for its discriminatory practices against Palestinians.

A mass pro-Israel rally against the high-level meeting and efforts by the Palestinian Authority to secure international recognition of a Palestinian state is to take place outside the United Nations on 21 September.

Joseph E. Macmanus, acting assistant secretary for legislative affairs at the US State Department, has said that the United States will not participate in what he called “the Durban Commemoration” meeting.

Last December, the US voted against the resolution establishing this event because “the Durban process included ugly displays of intolerance and anti-Semitism, and we did not want to see that commemorated,” he said.

Right-wing governments back Israel

Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies in the Department of History at Columbia University, said it is not surprising that Israel should have been supported by the governments of Italy, the Netherlands, Canada and the Czech Republic, all of them right-wing and all hostile to Palestinian aspirations, in opposing an effort to commemorate a landmark event in the global struggle against racism.

“The incessant effort to smear the Durban conference by Israel and its allies is intended to distract attention from the systematic legalized discrimination which is inherent not only in the 44-year old occupation of the territories seized in 1967, but also in Israel’s treatment of 20 percent of its own citizens who constitute the Arab minority,” he added.

The upcoming meeting, also called Durban III, is the third review conference of the Durban Declaration, the second (Durban II) being held in Geneva in 2009.

Polly Truscott, Amnesty International’s deputy representative at its office at the United Nations, said, “We of course hope all governments will take part in Durban III and renew their efforts to implement the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action [DDPA].”

She said true conviction in combating racism requires governments to be there, to stand up for what’s right, and to reject forcefully what’s objectionable.

“Governments need to demonstrate that, in spite of any political controversy around the commemoration, they’ll remain committed to combating racism, including commitment to the DDPA,” she declared.

Special hostility for Israel?

Chris Toensing, executive director and editor of the Washington-based Middle East Report, said that Israel’s objection, as usual, will be that Israel is singled out for criticism in the Durban Declaration in a way that smacks of special hostility for Israel among the drafters and, by extension, the UN General Assembly.

He said Israel will not dispute the specific charge in the declaration, namely that Palestinians are under “foreign occupation” and therefore are denied many basic national and human rights.

“So the objection is a diversionary tactic meant to shift attention away from Israel’s policies,” he said.

That said, he pointed out, it is true the declaration does not name another specific location of race-based discrimination in the contemporary world.

At the least, the drafters made a tactical error here, if their intent was to help the Palestinian cause, because Israel’s objection is technically sound, he added.

The Holocaust is the only specific example of genocide listed in the declaration, appearing after enslavement of Africans and colonialism as historical evils that the declaration seeks to redress.

“Though one might argue that the Holocaust, in scale and mechanisation, should indeed be considered sui generis, in the context of the declaration, the mention of the Holocaust appears to be an attempt to ‘balance’ the mention of Palestinian suffering,” said Toensing.

By the same token, he argued, it is not clear why anti-Semitism or Islamophobia should be given specific mention, when there are so many other specific types of racial-religious prejudice in today’s world.

In a letter to New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Macmanus of the State Department said: “We share your concern about the Durban commemoration’s timing and venue as just days earlier, we will have held solemn ten-year memorials for those murdered in the September 11 terrorist attacks.”

In 2009, after working to try to achieve a positive, constructive outcome in the Durban Review Conference [Durban II], “we withdrew from participating because the conference reaffirmed the original 2001 Durban Declaration, which unfairly singled out Israel and included language inconsistent with US traditions of robust free speech.”

 

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