ISRAEL’S NEW UN AMBASSADOR ~~ THE REAL RIGHT TAKES OVER OFFICIALLY

Genocide was not good enough for him ….

Last year, Netanyahu fired Danon from the post of deputy defense minister after Danon publicly criticized Netanyahu for not taking firmer military action against Hamas during Israel’s summer offensive against the group in Gaza. After his dismissal, Danon lambasted Netanyahu’s “leftist flaccid attitude,” as he termed it.

 

Far Right-Winger Named as Israel’s New UN Envoy

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appointed Danny Danon, a hardliner from Netanyahu’s Likkud party, as ambassador to the United Nations.

Danon’s appointment, which was announced Friday, is meant to allow him to fight for the truth, Netanyahu said in a statement.

“The U.N. is an important forum right now and I am convinced that Danny will fight with all his power to present the truth in the international arena,” Netanyahu’s statement read.

Netanyahu and Danon – a firebrand who has called to reopen the Temple Mount to Jewish worship and has called boycotts against Israel “modern-day anti-Semitism” – have had a tense relationship.

Last year, Netanyahu fired Danon from the post of deputy defense minister after Danon publicly criticized Netanyahu for not taking firmer military action against Hamas during Israel’s summer offensive against the group in Gaza. After his dismissal, Danon lambasted Netanyahu’s “leftist flaccid attitude,” as he termed it.

At the U.N. headquarters in New York, Danon will replace Ron Prosor, who is widely credited in Israel for his performance at the organization, where Israel is often singled out for criticism, but where it has recently clinched some precedent-setting roles.

Israel’s Channel 2 this week reported that Netanyahu is considering appointing Mark Regev, a spokesperson of the Prime Minister’s Office under Netanyahu, to serve as ambassador in Britain.

THE UN’s BLURRED VISION

They seem to see a double holocaust in Gaza last summer

Its report, published Monday in Geneva, says investigators were “able to gather substantial information pointing to serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law by Israel and by Palestinian armed groups.”

blurred-vision

 

“Balance” in UN Gaza report can’t hide massive Israeli war crimes

Palestinians pray over the bodies of eight members of the al-Haj family, killed when Israel bombed their Khan Younis house on 10 July 2014. This was one of the attacks investigated by an independent UN body that found extensive evidence of Israeli war crimes during last summer’s assault on Gaza. (Eyad Al Baba APA images)

Palestinians pray over the bodies of eight members of the al-Haj family, killed when Israel bombed their Khan Younis house on 10 July 2014. This was one of the attacks investigated by an independent UN body that found extensive evidence of Israeli war crimes during last summer’s assault on Gaza. (Eyad Al Baba APA images)

There can be no surprise that the UN Human Rights Council’s independent investigation of Israel’s assault on Gaza last summer found evidence of massive and systematic war crimes.

Its report, published Monday in Geneva, says investigators were “able to gather substantial information pointing to serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law by Israel and by Palestinian armed groups.”

“The extent of the devastation and human suffering in Gaza was unprecedented and will impact generations to come,” the chair of the investigation commission, Justice Mary McGowan Davis told media, adding that “there is also ongoing fear in Israel among communities who come under regular threat.”

Despite the “balanced” language that is now the habitual refuge of international officials hoping to avoid false accusations of anti-Israel bias, the evidence shows that the scale and impact of Israeli violence dwarfs anything allegedly done by Palestinians.

Israel systematically targeted Palestinian residential buildings and infrastructure without any apparent military justification. The horror of what Israel did, detailed in the 183-page report, cannot be adequately summarized here.

In total, 2,251 Palestinians were killed, including 1,462 Palestinian civilians, among them 551 children, the report states. More than 11,000 Palestinians, including 3,540 women and 3,436 children, were injured with almost 10 percent suffering permanent disabilities.

Six civilians died in Israel and more than 60 Israeli soldiers died in fighting with the Palestinian resistance.

But a key finding is that the mass destruction and killing inflicted by Israel, often amounting to war crimes, “may have constituted military tactics reflective of a broader policy, approved at least tacitly by decision-makers at the highest levels of the Government of Israel.”

This finding provides an important basis for Palestinians to pursue Israeli leaders, not just their uniformed subordinates, and bring them to justice in international courts.

The report also confirms that Israel remains the occupying power in Gaza as far as international law is concerned, because it continues to exercise “effective control” over the territory. Israel is therefore subject to all the legal obligations of an occupying power to protect civilians there.

It also found a massive escalation of Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights in the occupied West Bank including East Jerusalem in the weeks preceding and during the Gaza assault that was “overshadowed by the tragic events in Gaza.”

Israeli obstruction

The commission was made up of two independent experts: former New York Supreme Court Justice Mary McGowan Davis, who chaired it, and Senegal’s Doudou Diène, a former UN special rapporteur on racism.

The previous chair, Canadian international law expert William Schabas, resigned from the commission in February under relentless Israeli criticism and pressure.

Israel’s concern about the make up of the committee was not matched by a willingness to cooperate with its work. Israel refused to respond to any requests for information and barred the investigators from traveling to the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip or to present-day Israel.

The Egyptian military regime also colluded with Israel by blocking investigators entering Gaza through theRafah crossing.

Nonetheless, the investigators and their staff conducted hundreds of interviews with victims and witnesses, received hundreds of written submissions and obtained large amounts of data from other UN bodies. They also consulted satellite imagery, independent military experts, government documents and statements and evidence gathered by independent organizations.

Deliberate attacks on civilians

Israel carried out more than 6,000 airstrikes on Gaza last summer, the report states, including “targeted attacks on residential and other buildings.”

As a result of these attacks, 142 Palestinians families “had three or more members killed in the same incident owing to the destruction of residential buildings,” for a total of at least 742 deaths, according to UN figures.

The report examines in detail 15 attacks on residential buildings in which a total of 216 people were killed, including 115 children and 50 women. Israel refused to provide any information on what made these buildings alleged military targets.

Killed while they slept

In one of the incidents, at 2 am on 10 July, Israel attacked the house of Mahmoud al-Haj in Khan Younis. All eight members of the family were killed, including two children and three women. The bomb completely destroyed the house and damaged surrounding homes injuring 20 more people, mostly women and children.

In another attack, on the afternoon of 21 July, Israeli forces fired two missiles at the five-story building of the al-Qassas family, killing nine people, including six children and three women, one of them pregnant. Another 10, mostly children and one a baby, were injured.

The investigators could find no information to suggest “that there was a military target in the al-Qassas building.”

This was frequently the case. “In many of the cases examined by the commission, as well as in incidents reported by local and international organizations,” the report states, “there is little or no information as to how residential buildings, which are prima facie civilian objects immune from attack, came to be regarded as legitimate military objectives.”

Israeli justification debunked

The report does find that “indications of possible military objectives emerged in nine of the 15 cases” of attacks on residential buildings that it examines.

But it says that “the potential targets of the attack seem to have been mostly individuals who were or who could have been present in the building that was struck, indicating that one or several individuals were the likely target and not the building itself.”

Here, the report refutes one of the major Israeli justifications for attacking homes: that someone associated with an armed group lives in one. However, the report “underlines that the mere fact of being a member of the political wing of Hamas or any other organization in Gaza, or working for the authorities … is not sufficient in and of itself to render a person a legitimate military target.”

It adds that “under international humanitarian law, a member of an armed group has to have a continuous combat function to constitute a legitimate military target.”

Even if the person were a “legitimate military target,” Israel’s method of attacking homes is disrproportionate, indiscriminate and illegal.

The investigators also consulted military experts who found that the types of US-supplied bombs Israel dropped – such as the GBU-32/MK-82 1,000 lb bomb or the GBU-31/MK-84 2,000 lb bomb – have such a wide impact that their use amounted to indiscriminate attacks.

During the attack, Israel often boasted about its use of a smaller “warning missile” or “knock on the roof” to tell residents to get out of a building minutes before a much bigger explosion. But the report concludes “that the ‘roof-knocking’ technique is not effective” and there were many instances in which civilians were killed despite such warnings.

Destruction of Shujaiya

On 19 and 20 July, Israel carried out a massive artillery bombardment of the Shujaiya neighborhood of eastern Gaza City, killing at least 55 people, including 19 children and 14 women.

As The Electronic Intifada reported last year, the type of weapons used – predominantly heavy artillery and mortars – means the attack could not but have been indiscriminate.

Israel also used over 100 one-ton bombs in the attack which destroyed 670 buildings and damaged another 1,200.

The UN report now confirms that “these methods and means employed by the [Israeli army] could not, in such a small and densely populated area, be directed at a specific military target and could not adequately distinguish between civilians and civilian objects and military objectives as required by [international humanitarian law].”

“Therefore,” the report concludes, “there are strong indications that the IDF’s [Israeli army] Shujaiya operation on 19 and 20 July was conducted in violation of the prohibition of indiscriminate attacks and may amount to a war crime.”

Human shields

Similarly, the report examines and finds evidence of war crimes during Israel’s siege and shelling of the village ofKhuzaa between 20 July and 1 August and its massive bombardment of the southern city of Rafah after one of its soldiers was reported captured on 1 August.

Israel also used human shields in Khuzaa, a farming village in east central Gaza. On 23 July, for instance, 17-year-old Ahmed Abu Reda was abducted by Israeli soldiers from his family as they tried to flee the area.

He was kept hostage for five days during which he was interrogated and, according to his father, forced to undertake “risky tasks such as opening doors, inspecting rooms, switching the lights on and off to test whether secret explosives were being connected to the light switches, open fridges and other devices that may have detonated explosions.”

It concludes that “there are strong indications that elements of the IDF operation in Khuzaa may qualify as direct attacks against civilians or civilian objects and may thus amount to a war crime.”

In Rafah, Israel implemented the “Hannibal Directive,” a procedure which calls for massive fire to prevent a soldier being captured even if it kills the soldier.

The report cites Israel’s “military culture” resulting from this and other policies as “a contributing factor for the unleashing of massive firepower on Rafah, in total disregard for its impact on the civilian population.”

It also finds that Israeli commanders continued the attack for hours even when they must have known about the catastrophic death and injury they were causing to civilians – in itself a potential war crime.

Accusations against Palestinians

Any Israeli claim that the investigation is biased is refuted by the accusations the report levels against Palestinian resistance groups.

It says the investigators have “serious concerns with regard to the inherently indiscriminate nature of most of the projectiles directed towards Israel by these groups and to the targeting of Israeli civilians, which violate international humanitarian law and may amount to a war crime.”

It also condemns the extrajudicial executions by Hamas of two dozen Palestinians accused of collaborating with the enemy as a war crime. These executions had already been condemned by Palestinian and international human rights organizations.

Yet in many of the specific instances examined by the committee, especially those involving mortar fire at Israeli targets near the Gaza boundary, the investigators found that Palestinians were aiming at Israeli military targets that were often deliberately placed close to civilian communities.

Military bases near civilians

The report notes “a number of military objectives are located in various parts of Israel, in some cases in the immediate vicinity of built up areas such as the Hatzor airbase, or in the case of the IDF Headquarters, in the midst of a densely populated area.”

It adds that during the attack on Gaza, “the number of IDF positions in the south of Israel around Gaza, sometimes close to civilian communities, was higher than usual.”

“Mortar fire by the Palestinian armed groups appears to have often been aimed at specific targets and is more precise than the rockets in the armed groups’ arsenal,” the report states.

On 22 August 2014, 4-year-old Daniel Tregerman, the only Israeli child fatality in the conflict, was killed by a mortar shell in his home at Kibbutz Nahal Oz, 2 kilometers from the Gaza boundary.

The report notes that this too was an area of intense military activity.

“Based on the information available,” the report states, “the commission cannot exclude that the intended target of the tragic attack of 22 August on Kibbutz Nahal Oz was the IDF Chief of Staff.”

Israeli claims hard to verify

The report acknowledges that in many cases, Palestinian armed groups warned Israeli civilians, especially in the areas near Gaza, and when they fired rockets towards Ben Gurion Airport, of impending attacks.

The investigators say they asked Israel for “detailed information” on “where the rockets and mortars fired by Palestinian armed groups in Gaza actually landed so as to make a more detailed assessment of the proportion of cases in which they were directed at densely populated areas in Israel.”

But Israel – which is always eager to tell global media about how its civilians are the main targets of Palestinian groups – refused, making it “difficult for the commission to determine the extent to which attacks [were] directed at the civilian population in Israel.”

Legitimate military targets

As for tunnels dug from Gaza into present-day Israel, the report is blunt: “during the period under examination, the tunnels were only used to conduct attacks directed at IDF positions in Israel in the vicinity of the Green Line, which are legitimate military targets.”

The report concedes, however, that “in the vast majority of individual rocket and mortar attacks, the commission does not have information on the intended targets, but notes that Palestinian armed groups announced that they intended to attack population centers in Israel and declared responsibility for launches directed at different places in Israel.”

It also notes that the “majority of projectiles fired by Palestinian armed groups consisted of rockets that at best were equipped with only rudimentary guidance systems and in the vast majority of cases had none at all.”

It acknowledges that the “limitations of the military arsenals of Palestinian armed groups was advanced as a reason for their failure to attack precisely military targets.”

“Security experts have noted that while the al-Qassam Brigades [the military wing of Hamas] may have targeted civilians in the past as part of its military strategy, in 2014 its declared official policy was ‘to focus on military or semi-military targets and to avoid other targets, especially civilians,’” the report observes.

But it notes that under the relevant international law, the “military capacity of the parties to a conflict is irrelevant to their obligation to respect the prohibition against indiscriminate attacks.”

While this may be the case, what it indicates is that if Palestinians exercising a legitimate right to resistance and self-defense were allowed access to more precise weapons, most of the activities designated as possible war crimes in the report would probably not have occurred.

This is not true, however, in the case of Israel, which boasts about its very precise weapons and yet inflicted massive amounts of death, injury and destruction on civilians as a result of its policy of targeting them.

Instead, Palestinian resistance groups are designated as “terrorists” and barred from obtaining more accurate weapons, while the United States, European Union and other governments continue to supply Israel’s massive arsenal.

The report, if anything, displays a distinct anti-Palestinian bias, using the word “resistance” only between quotation marks as if the right to resist belligerent military occupation is not a well-recognized right in international law.

Analysis

The report looks at the events in Palestine through the strict lens of international humanitarian and human rights law. In doing so it finds evidence that both Palestinians and Israelis committed war crimes and other violations.

But the crimes allegedly committed by Israel are massive compared to anything allegedly done by Palestinians.

There can also be no moral equivalence between the legitimate self-defense and resistance of a people under occupation and the aggression of an occupier whose aim is to subject millions of people to its unopposed military tyranny.

It is also apparent that most, though not all, of the transgressions alleged against Palestinians are an artifact of the inferior and unguided weapons, often locally made in Gaza, that are available to resistance groups.

But the approach of the so-called “international community” has been to deny Palestinians the means to resist against Israeli occupation forces and then to condemn them for using what they have.

Despite this, the fact remains that while Israel mostly killed civilians, Palestinians mostly killed Israeli soldiers. Indeed, 65 percent of those killed by Israel were civilians, while 90 percent of those killed by Palestinians werearmed combatant soldiers.

Nothing is more legitimate than Palestinian resistance and nothing is more illegitimate than Israeli occupation. And yet it is to Israel that weapons of massive destruction continue to flow, often from the countries that preach loudest about human rights and international law.

Means of resistance

It is clear that many governments and international organizations tacitly reject the Palestinian right to resist militarily even if they do not say so openly. Many supporters of Palestinian rights and many Palestinians prefer nonviolence, believing that in the long run it will make a just peace more feasible.

If that is the case, then everyone must be proactive in offering support for nonviolent alternatives that can help redress the balance of power between a tenacious belligerent occupier and its victims.

Boycott, divestment and sanctions, for instance, must be recognized and promoted by the so-called international community as a legitimate means of resistance supplementing other forms of legitimate resistance to colonial occupation.

As for Israel, its strategy with this investigation as in others, was to try to obstruct it and then to whine that it is unfair and biased. If Israel is so certain that its actions were legal and correct, it should have nothing to hide.

Given the consequences if the report’s call for accountability were to be implemented, it is no surprise that the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and its staunch ally, the US administration of President Barack Obama, have attacked and delegitimized the UN investigation from the very start.

It remains to be seen if others will have the courage to demand accountability and ensure this report is not buried like the Goldstone report into Israel’s 2008-2009 massacre in Gaza.

Without such accountability, another Israeli massacre in Gaza is only a matter of time.

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THE UN WAS RIGHT! ISRAEL DOES NOT ABUSE CHILDREN, IT JUST MURDERS THEM!

See THIS report first …..

Israel doesn’t abuse children, it just murders them

By Khalid Amayreh
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Throughout its unglamorous history, the UN issued many scandalous reports and adopted many scandalous resolutions reflecting lack of justice and absence of moral honesty.This ever-existing symptom also reflected western hegemony over the international organization.

However, none of these reports and resolutions seems more scandalous than this week’s report which kept Israel off the List of Shame, which includes states and entities that abuse children.

This particular report is manifestly scandalous precisely because Israel is probably one of the most obscene abusers of children under the sun.

Indeed, there are a few countries in this world that can be compared to Israel in this respect.

At the top of the list of shame sits the Nazi-like Syrian regime of Bashar el-Assad which habitually and routinely murders children (and other civilians) in large numbers, either by dropping crude barrel bombs on residential neighborhoods and crowded streets or using deadly chemical agents against heavily populated areas.

To be sure, Israel uses neither crude barrel bombs nor chemical weapons to annihilate Palestinian children. Instead, the Jewish state achieves the same results by using huge laser guided bombs and missiles to destroy residential multi-story buildings, packed with civilians, including children.

Needless to say, the ultimate result of such barbarity is a little Auschwitz.

Exterminating from high altitudes is, of course, Israel’s preferred way of murdering Palestinian children and casting shock and awe in their hearts.

But it is by no means the only way. In its last year’s blitzkrieg in Gaza, Israel obliterated entire neighborhoods, such as Shujaiyya, utterly annihilating everything, including human, building and plant.

According to eyewitnesses, the scene at the bombed-out neighborhood very much looked as if borrowed from the German city of Dresden in 1945.

Killing knowingly is killing deliberately

In its last year’s aggression on the Gaza Strip, Israel murdered at least 500 Palestinian children, in addition to hundreds of other civilians, including many entire families.

In earlier rounds of aggression, Israel had murdered and maimed hundreds of children.

Israel has a long history of premeditatedly murdering Palestinian children. In light, one would exaggerate little by saying that Israel boasts the highest per capita rate of child-killers in the world.

Israel readily acknowledges that it kills Palestinian children knowingly.

A few years ago, this writer spoke with an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokeswoman who said that “Yes, we do know that Palestinian children are being killed as a result of our military activities, but we don’t do it deliberately.”

But this is a sheer lie, because in the final analysis killing knowingly is killing deliberately.

Indeed, mistakes in wars do occur and innocent civilians get killed. However, mistakes happen a few times not hundreds of times because in this case killing civilians becomes de facto policy.

This has always been and continues to be Israel’s policy. They kill the innocent civilians first and then, only then, the Israeli foreign ministry and other mouthpieces of Israeli hasbara (propaganda) get busy justifying the Nazi-like atrocities, mainly by concocting every conceivable lie and inventing fabulous narratives that have absolutely no iota of truth.

This reminds me of routine communiqués issued by the Israeli security forces during the first Palestinian intifada which started in December of 1987.  Then the Israeli army spokesman would issue statements like this following the murder of Palestinian boys in the streets of the West Bank.

“IDF soldiers fired into the air to disperse Palestinian rioters. Palestinian sources reported five youths killed.” The wording of the Israeli army statements made many foreign observers, utterly affronted by the brutal ugliness of Israeli dishonesty, wonders if Palestinian boys had wings and could fly.

Moral bankruptcy

The clarion failure of the UN to condemn brazen Israeli criminality and brash violation of international law underscores the moral bankruptcy of the world body.

Consequently, more states and peoples will lose confidence in the ability and willingness of the UN to foster peace and justice throughout the world. Unfortunately, this is becoming more evident as time passes.

Eventually, this could transform our world into a real jungle, an unmistakable portent signaling ultimate self-destruction.

 

DON’T HOLD YOUR BREATH WAITING FOR THE UN TO GIVE PALESTINE STATEHOOD

The UN, after all, has had more than 60 years to give the Palestinians any semblance of justice, but to no avail. The reason behind this monumental moral failure is simple. The world order is not based on justice and morality. It is rather based on military might and political power.

Let’s not kid ourselves: The UNSC will not give us a state

By Khalid Amayreh in Occupied East Jerusalem

It is really lamentable that the Palestinian Authority (PA) continues to manage the Palestinian Question disastrously.

The latest failed effort to get the UN Security Council (UNSC) to designate a time-ceiling for ending the decades-old Israeli occupation is an expression of the disastrous mismanagement of our just cause by the PA.

It simply shows that the PA neither learns from others’ mistakes nor from its own.

The UN, after all, has had more than 60 years to give the Palestinians any semblance of justice, but to no avail. The reason behind this monumental moral failure is simple. The world order is not based on justice and morality. It is rather based on military might and political power.

This fact has not changed ever since the creation of the UN following the Second World War. It is not expected to change in the foreseeable future, at least in our lifetime.

I know the Palestinian establishment in Ramallah is too fully aware of this fact. Yet, it continues to walk in the same path.

A few weeks ago, this writer wrote that it was futile for the Palestinians to count on the United States to restore Palestinian rights from Israel. I argued that the US lacked the will and inclination as well as the moral power to challenge Israel due to the Zionist domination of American political life.

In this article,  I want to pen down my conviction that it is equally pointless to rely on the UNSC to end the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.

We all know that the UNSC is firmly dominated by the US, whose government and Congress are at Israel’s beck and call.

Hence, it is absolutely futile to rely on this entity (UNSC), to do justice or even a semblance of justice for the Palestinians. Thinking otherwise would be like seeking safety in a snake’s hole or searching for justice at a thieves’ den.

I realize the Palestinian leadership of Chairman Abbas is facing a very frustrating situation, having been repeatedly deceived and betrayed by successive American administrations ever since the 1960s.

But the Palestinians should have a sound plan to follow lest they continue to run around in a circle.

I am not necessarily against diplomatic efforts at the UN. But I am decidedly against employing the same failed tactics that have proven their utter failure ad nauseam.

In short, the Palestinians must have a “de fault strategy” that would maximize their “national assets” while minimizing their national liabilities.

What should be done?

Without making a short story unnecessarily long, I believe the PA should do the following today, not tomorrow.

1-      The PA should immediately or as soon as possible dismantle itself. The very creation of the PA nearly 20 years ago was meant to expedite the establishment of a viable Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. Now, it has been made amply clear that the PA has become one of the biggest obstacles impeding Palestinian statehood. Israel continues to patrol and control every street and neighborhood of the West Bank. So let the occupation return to what it was before the scandalous Oslo Accords, which gave the Palestinians a police state without a state.

2-      Since Israel has effectively killed any remaining chances for establishing a viable and territorially contiguous Palestinian state, it is futile to cling to the two-state solution strategy. Such a strategy is simply dead, thanks to the ubiquitous proliferation of Jewish settlements. Moreover, awaiting the rise of a peace-minded Israeli government is an exercise in futility and stupidity, as the Israeli Jewish society continues to drift toward xenophobia, racism and even Jewish Nazism. Indeed, a fleeting glance at what is published In Israeli newspapers and posted on Jewish sites would leave no doubt in this regard.

3-      The PA and all Palestinian factions should mobilize all their efforts toward enabling the Palestinian people to be steadfast and withstand Israeli oppression and repression. Palestinian steadfastness has been the most effective Palestinian weapon against the Zionist enterprise. A few decades ago, we were viewed as a small minority with a precarious future. Today, we are more or less a demographic majority between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean.  Needless to say, this has always been the prospect the Zionist dreaded most. It has now become a reality.

4-      Hence, the Palestinian leadership must abandon, once and for all, the strategy of demanding a small Palestinian state or state-let beside Israel and adopt instead a new strategy based on the one-state solution whereby Palestinians and Jews live in peace and equality as citizens in a unitary state encompassing mandatory Palestine. True, Israel would reject this scenario outright since it would make Israel lose its Jewish identity. However, Israel and Israel alone would be blamed for destroying the possibility of creating a viable Palestinian state.

5-      Finally, the PA should immediately stop playing the role of the Judenrate by repressing Palestinians on Israel’s behalf. The PA had thought that coordinating with Israel would earn it a certificate of good conduct from the insolent Israeli leadership. But, far from making Israel moderate its Nazi-like repression of the Palestinians, the PA subservience to Israel actually emboldened the Jewish state even further as evident from the genocidal Israeli blitz on Gaza last summer.

Khalid Amayreh is a Palestinian journalist living in Occupied Palestine.

 

DOES ISRAEL HAVE ANYTHING TO HIDE?

It certainly looks that way …

Breaking News

 

 

Israel denies entry to members of UN inquiry into alleged war crimes in Gaza

Jerusalem refuses to cooperate with members of the Schabas Commission, appointed to investigate conduct of Israel, Hamas during Operation Protective Edge.

Israel denied entry on Wednesday evening to members of a UN commission appointed by the Human Rights Council to investigate possible war crimes committed during Operation Protective Edge.

Full report HERE

THE UN SAT AND WATCHED, PHOTOGRAPHED THE CARNAGE IN GAZA, AND DID NOTHING!

Suddenly they publicise the photos after close to 2,000 died …

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108-page report with high-resolution satellite photos captures extent of destruction in Gaza, to be used by UN committee on Operation Protective Edge.

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WHY NOT SOONER?
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UN releases Gaza Crisis Atlas documenting damage to Strip

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The United Nations released the Gaza Crisis Atlas on Sunday, showing the physical damage wrought on the Strip during IDF Operation Protective Edge using satellite imagery. The 108-page document will be used by a UN investigatory committee on the conflict.

The Atlas overlays a grid over Gaza, dividing it into smaller parcels – with each one receiving a detailed page noting the locations of schools, mosques, and public buildings on high-resolution satellite footage.

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Destruction in Gaza City suburb of Shuja’iyeh

The small red dots represent locations that were damaged during the operation, while a red explosion marks the hospitals and power plants that were damaged.

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The UN’s Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, which released the document, explained that the damage assessment was based on analysis of satellite photos starting on August 1 and the previous month.

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The images were provided by UNOSAT, an organization created in cooperation with the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).

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A statement released along with the Atlas said it was a central tool to help humanitarian organizations – or anyone working in Gaza – as well any person who wanted to better understand the consequences of the recent conflict.

The satellite photos clearly show the massive destruction to neighborhoods like Shuja’iyeh, one of the focal points of conflict during the fighting.

 

Source of above

WHAT GIVES THE BASTARD STATE OF ISRAEL THE RIGHT TO CALL ANYONE ILLEGITIMATE?

bastards

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Israel …..

A State that has NOT stood on its own financially since its inception

A State that has ignored EVERY UN Sanction against it since its inception

A State that has sent spies to the very nations that have kept her alive

A State has displace millions of people from their homes and properties

A State that, in this decade alone, has murdered thousands of innocent civilians including women and children

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YET, this is how the zionists portray the latest events …

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Netanyahu: UN Grants Legitimacy to Terrorists

UNHRC overlooks massacres committed by Hamas, IS, in favor of investigating Israel for defending itself against rocket attacks from Gaza.
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Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu lashed out Wednesday at the UN Human Rights Council, accusing it of granting “legitimacy to terror organizations” by investigating Israel for alleged war crimes in Gaza.

“UNHRC gives legitimacy to murderous terror organizations like Hamas and Daash (Islamic State),” he said, accusing the rights body ofoverlooking “massacres” committed elsewhere in the Middle East in favor of investigating Israel for defending itself against rocket attacks from Gaza.

The UNHRC has selected Prof. William Schabas to head an investigation into Operation Protective Edge. Speaking in a 2013 panel, Schabas clearly revealed his great eagerness to bring about the prosecution of Israel over its actions in Gaza, even if that involved“twisting things and maneuvering” in the international legal arena.

Asked about the possibility of prosecuting Israel for “ecocide” as well, Schabas expressed optimism on gradually enlarging the scope of legal accusations against Israel. “Years ago there were no courts at all,” he noted. “When [the term] ‘genocide’ was invented there was no court at all. There was no court for crimes against humanity, but we have them now. And with a bit of luck and by twisting things and maneuvering we can get them before the courts.”

Schabas did not deny Wednesday, in an interview with Israel’s Channel 2, that the international community has a double standard regarding Israel’s conduct of war.

Channel 2‘s anchor, Danny Kushmaro, asked Schabas if there is not a double standard involved when that thousands of innocent civilians were killed in Chechnya by the Russians, and by NATO forces in Libya, yet there was “not one international investigation,” whereas Israel acted in self defense in Gaza and two investigations have been launched in the course of six years.

“There are a lot of double standards in the international level,” answered Schabas. “This is explained by the relative strength of the powers,” he added, and noted that some claim there is a double standard in Israel’s favor in the UN Security Council, where anti-Israel resolutions are vetoed.

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.

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