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National Lawyers Guild Palestine Subcommittee calls for release of Amer Jubran, detained in Jordan

NLG International | May 29, 2014

amer_jubran2The Palestine Subcommittee of the National Lawyers Guild expresses its grave concern for Jordanian national, Palestinian Amer Jubran who was detained on May 5th, 2014 in Amman, Jordan.

It is our understanding that Jubran has not been charged with any crime and has had no access to a lawyer. Jubran is an internationally recognized and respected speaker, activist and writer on Palestinian human rights, and a critic of the U.S./Israeli occupation of the region. Having already been targeted by the US government for his political speech while a legal resident of the US in 2004, Jubran’s current detention raises concerns that this is a political arrest aimed at silencing dissent and suggests cooperation between Jordanian authorities, the United States and Israel in suppressing criticism of US and Israeli policies.

Jordan is a signatory party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Article 9 of the ICCPR prohibits arbitrary arrest or detention, and requires that deprivation of liberty, even if legally sanctioned, must be necessary and reasonable, predictable, and proportional to the reasons for arrest. Article 19 (2) of the ICCPR guarantees the right to freedom of expression, including “freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.”

The United Nations Office of High Commissioner on Human Rights has advised that Jordan should end its current practice of administrative detention. Furthermore, Jordan’s penal code has still not been amended to comply with its 2011 guarantees to strengthen constitutional free speech. Jordan proclaims that it is undergoing democratic reforms and respecting civil liberties, claiming to have accepted a number of Amnesty International’s recommendations to limit the use and duration of administrative detention, and to ensure that all detainees are brought before an independent judicial authority promptly after arrest and charged, or else promptly released. However, Jordan’s use of arbitrary arrest and administration detention aimed to limit freedom of speech continues to be criticized in ongoing reports by international human rights organizations.

Friends and colleagues of Jubran have repeatedly contacted the Jordanian Embassy in the United States and the Ministry of the Interior in Jordan. They have been told that Jubran’s detention will be looked into, but no further information has been forthcoming.

The Palestine Subcommittee of the National Lawyers Guild urges compliance with internationally recognized standards of due process and the right to freedom of expression.

We expect

  • the prompt release of Jubran, if he is not to be charged;
  • access to an attorney of his choosing;
  • the prompt setting of a reasonable bail if he is charged;
  • visitation with his family;
  • consultation with health care professionals;
  • the immediate release of information regarding his whereabouts and condition;
  • and an immediate explanation of why he has been held since May 5, 2014.

May 29, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | 1 Comment

USA Freedom Act has Nothing to Do With Freedom

By Alfredo Lopez | This Can’t Be Happening! | May 28, 2014

It just wasn’t a very good week for phones or for freedom.

Last week’s obscene joke of a bill coughed up by a Congress [1] wheezing with immobilizing congestion morphed an already compromised law about data collection into a green light to spy on everyone.

The bill passed the House last Thursday and is now heading to the Senate where the chances of getting a better bill are pretty slim. The President has endorsed this House bill; after all, it endorses his policies.

Sponsored by Wisconsin Republican Jim Sensenbrenner (the author of the Patriot Act), the ironically named USA Freedom Act’s most salient feature is that, contrary to the bluffery about how it’s going to rein in the government on phone surveillance, it has now made massive phone data capture legal and public. The NSA and related agencies under this supposed “reform” bill would gain full authority to collect all information from phone companies and, what’s more, the bill mandates that the companies hold on to that information (apparently permanently).

The House obviously caved. Not that the first edition of this bill was very good to start with. The government obviously is not going to limit its own power. But the bill as passed by the House is much weaker and, in a “blink if you don’t believe it” moment, many Democratic Congressional leaders are actually congratulating themselves. Even John Conyers (D-Mich.), Detroit’s traditionally progressive Democrat, supported this bill: “We stand poised to end domestic bulk collection across the board,” he said not making clear where he was standing or when domestic bulk collection was going to end. It certainly didn’t end with this bill.

On the other hand, a few Congresspeople did express concern, including Sensenbrenner himself, who called the new law “an abuse” of the Patriot Act. One is left wondering what the Wisconsin lawmaker expected from the draconian nightmare he authored.

While that little humorless comedy was playing out, we got another glimpse of how phone surveillance is being used. Wikileaks revealed that the NSA has been collecting phone data on virtually all phones in Afghanistan. This comes on the heels of revelations a few days earlier about such mass phone call collection in the Bahamas, Mexico, Kenya and the Philippines. The punch-line to this gross violation of people’s rights is that the bill passed last week doesn’t even mention international phone call capture — that’s still left completely unregulated.

There’s a lot wrong with the bill passed through the House [2] and that’s obvious from the scenario of “permitted activity” that the bill is based on. Essentially, phone companies have to hold records for an unspecified period of time. The government can’t collect them indiscriminately as it had previously done. But that “reform” is meaningless because government agencies can acquire data from any phone company by using either a specific court order through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court (the NSA’s rubber stamp in robes) based on “selectors,” or on the basis of an emergency situation defined according to NSA criteria.

The problem lies in the definition of “selectors” — the filters used to determine whether or not specific information is captured or requested. Previously, the NSA would capture the phone data and then run it through its “selectors” to determine what gets pulled or retained. Now, they can either ask the telephone company to run the selectors or go in and run it themselves. Before doing that, the spy agency must present the selection set to the FISA court. Since the court is going to approve anything NSA requests (it has rejected less than one percent of all requests up to now), the definition of the selectors is important because they are the only element of restraint in the entire collection process.

The bill requires that a selector be “a discrete term, such as a term specifically identifying a person, entity, account, address, or device”. How much is included under that umbrella? It’s probably better to ask what isn’t included. With that list, under this law, the NSA is allowed to access the records of almost all Americans.

But we still won’t know how many records have been accessed because this version strikes provisions in the original draft that would have forced phone companies to tell us how many records they’ve had to release to the NSA. Under the just-passed version of the bill, if the company wants to tell us, it can’t until six months after it has received a request. If it’s a start-up, it can’t do a report for two years.

In short, the law puts an automatic gag order on phone companies in this country.

In the guise of protecting our privacy or limiting surveillance power, the bill also continues to allow “about searches” in which an international conversation is scanned for names of people who then become targets of investigation. That particularly nasty practice makes any provisions protecting Americans useless. If a person in another country mentions your name, you are a legitimate target. In the original bill, any “reverse targeting” of this type was outlawed, but that protective provision has been eliminated from the version the House just passed.

This type of “foreign connection” is looming more important with recent revelations about international phone capture. This week, several publications released the information [3] about the complete capture of phone data in several countries but refused to name one of them (for national security reasons). Wikileaks, in response to that weak-kneed journalism, then named it: Afghanistan. (Even Glenn Greenwald, who broke the international capture story based upon some of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s documents, honored a government request not to name Afghanistan.)

While fans of spy-craft will defend this practice of massive spying on international phones, under the curious but oft-repeated theory that our rights only pertain to people in this country, this sweeping capture program goes way beyond any traditional spying. In fact, phone data capture bears no resemblance to espionage or traditional spying (which is selective in its targeting) and is much closer to the activities of a police state. When done to another country, it’s a lot like trying to police the other country: a virtual act of virtual war.

It’s grotesque to consider that, after over 12 years of war waged on Afghanistan, our government is now waging a war of information capture against its people. But that revelation is proof of what many have been saying about this country’s intentions in that beleaguered and battered nation: we have absolutely no intention of pulling out of Afghanistan, no matter what President Obama says.

In fact, the phone data captured targets not only Afghans but phone calls from U.S. diplomatic and military personnel. In short, the NSA is spying on the military and the diplomatic core, including even the CIA. This is truly the stuff of a police state.

The entire phone capture controversy underscores another important political fact: the cell phone is now the most popular access to the Internet among people in developing countries and among young people and people of color in this country. These are also the people who are going to provide the sharpest and most aggressive challenges to the world’s governments in the coming years of deepening crisis. If our government wants to control anybody, it’s these people. The USA Freedom Act demonstrates one way they are planning to do that.

May 29, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , | Comments Off on USA Freedom Act has Nothing to Do With Freedom

Despite promise, US govt moves to classify justification for drone killing of American

RT | May 29, 2014

The Obama administration has launched a sudden effort to keep classified additional parts of a memo outlining the legal justification for the drone killing of an American a mere week after saying it would comply with a federal ruling to release the memo.

In January 2013, a Federal District Court judge decided that the US Justice Department could keep the document classified entirely. That ruling stood until April 2014, when a panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York ordered the government to publicize key parts of the document that provided the legal rationale for the drone strike that killed Anwar al-Awlaki.

Awlaki was born in New Mexico before moving to Yemen with his family as a child. He returned to the US again to attend college but eventually became a prominent Al-Qaeda propagandist who American intelligence officials have claimed helped plot terrorist attacks. He was killed by a September 2011 drone strike in Yemen that was authorized based on the 41-page memo, dated July 16, 2010.

President Barack Obama praised the strike at the time, telling reporters that Awlaki’s death was a “major blow to Al-Qaeda’s most active operational affiliate.”

The New York Times and American Civil Liberties Union have sought the release of the memo under the Freedom of Information Act.

It has been an issue of contention of late because David Barron, the former Justice Department attorney who wrote the memo, was confirmed by the US Senate by a narrow vote last week as a judge on a US appeals court. A number of senators said they would only vote to confirm Barron if the administration agreed not to appeal the April decision and release a redacted version of the document.

“I rise today to oppose the nomination of anyone who would argue that the president has the power to kill an American citizen not involved in combat and without a trial,” Senator Rand Paul said last week. “It is hard to argue for the trials for traitors and people who would wish to harm our fellow Americans. But a mature freedom defends the defenseless, allows trials for the guilty, and protects even speech of the most despicable nature.”

In a new court filing obtained by The New York Times, however, assistant US attorney Sarah Normand now argues that some of the information the administration pledged to reveal should actually remain secret.

“Some of the information appears to have been ordered disclosed based on inadvertence or mistake, or is subject is distinct exemption claims or other legal protections that have never been judicially considered,” she wrote.

The Justice Department also asked that the court keep the request for parts of the memo to remain secret. That request was denied, with the judge ordering the government to unveil previously secret negotiations between the court and prosecutions deliberating which aspects of the Barron memo would remain in the dark.

“It’s deeply disappointing to see the latest effort by the government to delay even further the release of this memo to the public,” New York Times attorney David McCraw told Politico. “The government reviewed the Second Circuit’s opinion before it was released. The court made redactions in response to that review. The fact that the government then waited five weeks to file a motion – seeking yet another opportunity to review what it has already reviewed – says volumes about the administration’s position on transparency.”

Senator Mark Udall (D-Colorado) was one of the lawmakers who said he only voted to confirm Barron because of the administration’s promise that “redactions to the memo would focus on still-classified information – not the legal reasoning itself,” he told the Times.

“I intend to hold the White House to its word,” Udall added.

May 29, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Progressive Hypocrite, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Despite promise, US govt moves to classify justification for drone killing of American

Abbas: Security cooperation with Israel is ‘sacred’

Obama_Abbas_Netanyahu

MEMO | May 29, 2014

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas said on Wednesday that security cooperation with Israel is “sacred” and will continue despite the political differences.

While speaking in Ramallah to about 200 Israeli activists, including academics and economists, Al-Arabi Al-Jadid news website quoted Abbas as saying: “The PA wants to return to negotiations, but based on conditions that have to be accepted by the Israeli government.”

These conditions, according to Abbas, are: the release of the fourth batch of veteran Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails; nine months negotiations with priority given to security and border issues; and discussing other issues, such as water, Jerusalem and the settlements.

Abbas insisted that he understands Israel’s security needs. “Security cooperation is sacred and it will continue despite the political differences,” he said.

Regarding the recent Palestinian developments, he stressed: “We will continue with the internal reconciliation, with our hand also extended to negotiations.” He called for everyone to follow the peaceful pathway of resistance.

“There is no other way to be taken,” he noted, “we do not have any pathway rather than peaceful negotiations that lead to peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis.”

He explained further: “We are not hostile to Jews or Judaism. The one who thinks thus is an infidel according to our beliefs.”

Regarding the settlements, he pointed out that there are 12 international resolutions considering them illegal and called for a settlement freeze for three months until an agreement is reached between the PA and Israel.

Regarding the Israeli rejection of the rapprochement with Hamas, he said: “Reconciliation was done through the formation of an independent government, which will continue until the elections are held.” He expressed his hope that Israel will continue the talks “because stopping is a mistake”.

Abbas pointed out that although Israel boycotted the PA after the reconciliation was announced, it has nevertheless continued with the security cooperation.

May 29, 2014 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , | Comments Off on Abbas: Security cooperation with Israel is ‘sacred’

Up to 80,000 Palestinians in Jerusalem without running water for three months

palestinian-children-water-bottles

MEMO | May 29, 2014

Israeli water utility company Hagihon has stopped the regular supply of running water to a number of Palestinian neighbourhoods in occupied East Jerusalem, according to a statement issued by Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem.

The affected neighbourhoods are the Shu’fat Refugee Camp, Ras Khamis, Ras Sh’hadeh and Dahiyat As-Salam. They have all been isolated from the rest of Jerusalem by the Separation Wall.

B’Tselem stated that: “Some homes in these neighbourhoods have been completely cut off from the water supply; others receive water intermittently; and as for the rest, the water pressure in the pipes is so low that the water does not reach the faucets.”

The result, B’Tselem said, is that “an estimated 60,000 to 80,000 Palestinians – mostly permanent residents of Israel – have been left without a regular water supply.”

Trying to solve their problem, the residents spent three weeks applying to Hagihon and to the Jerusalem Municipality, seeking to have running water restored.

However, B’Tselem pointed out that the applications of the affected residents were ignored. Therefore, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) petitioned the High Court of Justice on 25 March 2014 seeking to have the water supply renewed without delay.

“On 2 April 2014, the Court instructed the State of Israel to respond to ACRI’s petition within 60 days, setting the deadline for the first week of June,” B’Tselem said.

In the meantime, the residents of these neighbourhoods have had no regular running water. B’Tselem reported residents walking at least one kilometre to get the needed daily supplies of water from relatives’ houses, sometimes repeating this journey several times a day.

May 29, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | Comments Off on Up to 80,000 Palestinians in Jerusalem without running water for three months

The Status of Jerusalem

By Francis Boyle | Media With Conscience | May 28, 2014

Over the years, one of the most important issues I have dealt with repeatedly for the Palestinian people is Jerusalem. For example, my friend Michael Saba and I launched an initiative to prevent the United States Government from illegally moving the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

In order to forestall this abomination, I prepared Memoranda of Law on the U.S.-Israel Land- Lease and Purchase Agreement of 1989 that would enable the construction of this U.S. Jerusalem “Embassy,” which I sent to Congressman Lee Hamilton, who was then Chairman of the Subcommittee on Europe and the Middle East of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the U.S. House of Representatives.

These Memoranda were published in American-Arab Affairs. The Israel Lobby and its supporters in Congress are still attempting to pressure the United States government to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Of course this would be a political, legal, and diplomatic disaster.

To be sure, there would certainly be no problem under international law and practice for the United States government to move its Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as part of a comprehensive Middle East peace settlement whereby this Embassy would be simultaneously accredited to Israel and Palestine, with Jerusalem being recognized as the shared Capital of both States. Why and how this can be done is fully explained elsewhere in this book. Years ago the PLO had already approved my proposal set forth herein for this “Final Status of Jerusalem.” But Israel wants Jerusalem for itself. And the United States has never been solomonic when it comes to Palestine and the Palestinian people.

Many categorical statements have emanated from the Israeli government about the yet-to-be-negotiated final status of Jerusalem. Indeed, Jerusalem was said to have been the stumbling block that led to the breakdown of the Camp David II negotiations in the summer of 2000, though the negotiating situation was far more complicated than that. A brief review of the historical record can shed some light upon Jerusalem’s legal status, and thus point the way towards an ultimate solution for this most Holy City in the estimation of the three monotheistic faiths: Islam, Judaism, Christianity.

The Legal Status of Jerusalem

On September 25, 1971, then-Ambassador George H.W. Bush, speaking as U.S. Representative to the United Nations, delivered a formal Statement on Jerusalem before the UN Security Council explaining the official position of the United States government with respect to the City of Jerusalem.1 Therein, Ambassador Bush expressly repeated and endorsed a December 1969 Statement by U.S. Secretary of State William Rogers: “We have made clear repeatedly in the past two and one-half years that we cannot accept unilateral actions by any party to decide the final status of the city.”

Ambassador Bush then specifically repeated and endorsed a 1969 statement made before the Security Council by his predecessor, Charles Yost, criticizing Israeli occupation policies in East Jerusalem in the following terms:

“The expropriation or confiscation of land, the construction of housing on such land, the demolition or confiscation of buildings, including those having historic or religious significance, and the application of Israeli law to occupied portions of the city are detrimental to our common interests in the city.” Ambassador Bush then reaffirmed Yost’s prior statement that the United States government considers East Jerusalem to be “occupied territory and hence subject to the provisions of international law governing the rights and obligations of an occupying Power.”

Succinctly put, these latter obligations can be found in the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, which expanded upon and improved—but did not displace— the 1907 Hague Regulations on Land Warfare. The United States government is a party to both the Fourth Geneva Convention and The Hague Regulations, and Israel is bound by the terms of both treaties as well.

Previously, Ambassador Yost had continued his 1969 statement in the following language: 2

… Among the provisions of international law which bind Israel, as they would bind any occupier, are the provisions that the occupier has no right to make changes in laws or in administration other than those which are temporarily necessitated by his security interests, and that an occupier may not confiscate or destroy private property. The pattern of behavior authorized under the Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949 and international law is clear: the occupier must maintain the occupied area as intact and unaltered as possible, without interfering with the customary life of the area, and any changes must be necessitated by the immediate needs of the occupation. I regret to say that the actions of Israel in the occupied portion of Jerusalem present a different picture, one which gives rise to understandable concern that the eventual disposition of East Jerusalem may be prejudiced and that the private rights and activities of the population are already being affected and altered.

My Government regrets and deplores this pattern of activity, and it has so informed the Government of Israel on numerous occasions since June 1967. We have consistently refused to recognize those measures as having anything but a provisional character and do not accept them as affecting the ultimate status of Jerusalem.

Then, Ambassador Bush continued his 1971 Statement as follows:

We regret Israel’s failure to acknowledge its obligations under the fourth Geneva Convention as well as its actions which are contrary to the letter and spirit of this Convention. We are distressed that the actions of Israel in the occupied portion of Jerusalem give rise to understandable concern that the eventual disposition of the occupied section of Jerusalem may be prejudiced. The Report of the Secretary General on the Work of the Organization, 1970-71, reflects the concern of many Governments over changes in the face of that City. We have on a number of occasions discussed this matter with the Government of Israel, stressing the need to take more fully into account the sensitivities and concerns of others. Unfortunately, the response of the Government of Israel has been disappointing.

All of us understand… that Jerusalem has a very special place in the Judaic tradition, one which has great meaning for Jews throughout the world. At the same time Jerusalem holds a special place in the hearts of many millions of Christians and Muslims throughout the world. In this regard, I want to state clearly that we believe Israel’s respect for the Holy Places has indeed been exemplary. But an Israeli occupation policy made up of unilaterally determined practices cannot help promote a just and lasting peace any more than that cause was served by the status quo in Jerusalem prior to June 1967 which, I want to make clear, we did not like and we do not advocate reestablishing.

Ambassador Bush then concluded his 1971 statement on Jerusalem by supporting what would later that day become Security Council Resolution 298 (1971), which provided in its most significant parts as follows:

1. Reaffirming the principle that acquisition of territory by military conquest is inadmissible,

2. Deplores the failure of Israel to respect the previous resolutions adopted by the United Nations concerning measures and actions by Israel purporting to affect the status of the City of Jerusalem;

3. Confirms in the clearest possible terms that all legislative and administrative actions taken by Israel to change the status of the City of Jerusalem, including expropriation of land and properties, transfer of populations and legislation aimed at the incorporation of the occupied section, are totally invalid and cannot change that status;

4. Urgently calls upon Israel to rescind all previous measures and actions and to take no further steps in the occupied section of Jerusalem which may purport to change the status of the City or which would prejudice the rights of the inhabitants and the interests of the international community, or a just and lasting peace;

Security Council Resolution 298 (1971) became yet another violated resolution in “a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations“by Israel that were never enforced by the Security Council.3

In any event, the Statements made by Bush and Yost have always represented the United States government’s official position on the numerous illegalities surrounding Israel’s conquest, occupation and illegal annexation of East Jerusalem since 1967. The comments on East Jerusalem that Bush made later in 1990 as U.S. President were to the same effect: 4

The President. Well, I’m not sure there was equivocation. My position is that the foreign policy of the United States says we do not believe there should be new settlements in the West Bank or in East Jerusalem. And I will conduct that policy as if its firm, which it is, and I will be shaped in whatever decisions we make to see whether people can comply with that policy. And that’s our strongly held view. We think it’s constructive to peace—the peace process—if Israel will follow that view. And so, there are divisions in Israel on this question, incidentally. Parties are divided on it. But this is the position of the United States and I’m not going to change that position.

Yost’s 1969 Statement, Bush’s 1971 Statement, and his 1990 comments are fully consistent with and indeed required by Article 1 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which requires the United States government not only to respect but also to ensure respect for the terms of this Convention by other parties such as Israel “in all circumstances”. As treaties, both the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Hague Regulations are deemed to be the “supreme Law of the Land” by Article VI of the United States Constitution. Contrary to the public suggestions made in the United States by the Israel Lobby and its supporters, the United States government is under legal obligation to support the vigorous application of the international laws of belligerent occupation to produce the termination of all illegal Israeli practices in Jerusalem as well as in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, together with the Golan Heights—including and especially illegal Israeli settlers and settlements.

The Political Problem of Jerusalem

For similar reasons, the United States government has never recognized Israel’s conquest and annexation of West Jerusalem as valid or lawful, either. That is why the U.S. Embassy to Israel still remains in Tel Aviv, not Jerusalem.

Nevertheless, the pro-Israel lobby in the United States and its beneficiaries in the U.S. Congress have systematically attempted to pressure successive U.S. Presidents into recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, even though such an act would inflame public opinion throughout the Muslim world—over 57 states and 1 billion people, a sixth of all humanity—against the United States. Such an act of formal diplomatic recognition would be a legal, political and diplomatic disaster that would prevent a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine and thus preclude a comprehensive Middle East peace settlement between Israel and the surrounding Arab states. Perhaps that is the Israel Lobby’s intention.

Undaunted, the U.S. Israel Lobby has continued apace bribing, threatening, and intimidating members of the U.S. Congress and the President to move incrementally towards an awesome “clash of civilizations” between the United States and the Muslim world over Jerusalem as forecast by Harvard’s Samuel Huntington.5 No point would be served here by reviewing the sordid history of the U.S. Israel Lobby’s efforts to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem since that saga has recently been recounted elsewhere.6

Suffice it to say that the U.S. Israel Lobby procured passage by Congress of the so-called Jerusalem Embassy Act in 1995.7 Among other outrages too numerous to analyze here, section 3 of this statute provided in relevant part as follows:

STATEMENT OF THE POLICY OF THE UNITED STATES

(2) Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel; and

(3) The United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999.

Article 1, Section 10, Clause 1 of the United States Constitution has historically been interpreted to mean that such acts of diplomatic recognition are to be performed by the President. In deference thereto, Congress employed the word “should” instead of “shall” in the statute.

Nevertheless, in section 3(b) thereof Congress did wield its well-recognized constitutional “power of the purse” to cut State Department funding for “Acquisition and Maintenance of Buildings Abroad” unless and until “the United States Embassy in Jerusalem has officially opened.” But section 7 of the Statute permits the President to waive this fiscal sanction every six months on the grounds that “such suspension is necessary to protect the national security interests of the United States.” So far that is what President Clinton and President Bush Jr. have consistently done.

Dissatisfied with Congressional support which, while submissive to Zionist demands, had not yielded changes in actual U.S. policy, the Israel lobby proceeded to procure the passage of an even more strictly tailored piece of legislation that in a nutshell requires the U.S. President to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on official U.S. government documents, once again upon pain of fiscal sanctions—so-called “paper recognition”.8 While President Bush Jr. stated that he will ignore this requirement on the grounds that it is unconstitutional—infringing upon the President’s constitutional power to perform such acts of diplomatic recognition—there was such an uproar throughout the Muslim world over this “paper recognition” of Jerusalem as being the capital of Israel by the United States Congress that the Arab TV Network Al Jazeera invited this author to appear live by satellite on their evening news program for Thursday, 17 October 2002 in order to critique this statute under U.S. constitutional law and under international law, as well as to explain how this statute fits within the overall conduct of U.S. foreign policy toward the Middle East and the Muslim world. In further reinforcement of the deleterious effects that changes in U.S. policy on Jerusalem have on U.S. interests—as opposed to those of Israel—on 29 October 2002 CNN reported that a U.S. diplomat had been murdered the previous day in Amman, Jordan because of this statute’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Clearly, it is doubtful that the Israel Lobby will be satisfied with Bush Jr.’s statement that he will ignore Congress’s “paper recognition” of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. But it is not clear that President Bush Jr. will really honor his pubic commitment to ignore this legislation. The battle for Jerusalem will continue in Washington, DC as well as in the streets of Palestine, Israel, and elsewhere.

A Solution for Jerusalem

The 1947 United Nations Partition Plan for the Mandate of Palestine called for the creation of an international trusteeship for the City of Jerusalem that would be administered as a corpus separatum apart from both the Jewish state and the Arab state contemplated therein. Today, however, it would not be necessary to go so far as to establish a separate United Nations trusteeship for the City of Jerusalem alone under Chapter XII of the UN Charter. Rather, all that would be necessary would be the withdrawal of the Israeli army from the City of Jerusalem, with a United Nations peacekeeping force to be substituted in its place. This UN force would maintain security within the City of Jerusalem while the provision of basic services to all the inhabitants could be enhanced, especially for the Palestinians.

The simple substitution of a UN peacekeeping force for the Israeli army would have the virtue of allowing both Israel and Palestine to continue making whatever claims to sovereignty they want with respect to the City of Jerusalem.

Thus, Israel could continue to maintain that Jerusalem is the sovereign territory of Israel, its united capital, and shall remain so, one and undivided, forever. The Israeli Knesset could remain where it is, in territory designated as a capital district, and the Israeli flag could be flown anywhere throughout the City of Jerusalem.

Likewise, the State of Palestine could maintain that Jerusalem is its sovereign territory and capital and shall remain so, one and undivided, forever. Palestine would be entitled to construct a parliament building and capital district within East Jerusalem. The Palestinian flag could also be flown anywhere within the territorial confines of the City of Jerusalem. Both Israel and Palestine would be entitled to maintain ceremonial honor guards, perhaps armed with revolvers, at their respective capital districts. But no armed troops from either Israel or Palestine would be permitted within Jerusalem.

The residents of Jerusalem would be citizens of either Israel, or Palestine, or both, depending upon the respective nationality laws of the two states involved. Residents of Jerusalem would be issued a United Nations identity card to that effect, which would give them and only them the right to reside within the City of Jerusalem. Nevertheless, all citizens of the State of Palestine would be entitled to enter Jerusalem through UN checkpoints at the eastern limits of the city. Likewise, all citizens of the State of Israel would be entitled to enter Jerusalem at UN checkpoints located at the western limits of the city. Yet, mutual rights of access for their respective citizens to the two States through Jerusalem would be subject to whatever arrangements could be negotiated between the government of Israel and the government of Palestine as part of an overall peace settlement. The myriad of other complex issues related to Jerusalem and its inhabitants would be progressively negotiated in good faith between the governments of Palestine and Israel under the auspices of the United Nations Organization.

In addition, both Israel and Palestine would have to provide assurances to the United Nations Security Council that religious pilgrims (Muslims, Christians, and Jews) would be allowed access through their respective territories in order to visit and worship at the holy sites in the City of Jerusalem. Some type of UN transit visa issued by the UN peacekeeping force should be deemed to be sufficient for this purpose by both governments. Of course this right of transit could not be exercised in a manner deleterious to the security interests of the two States.

Thus, Jerusalem would become a free, open, and undivided city for pilgrimage and worship by people of the three monotheistic faiths from around the world. Neither Israel nor Palestine would have to surrender whatever rights, claims, or titles they might assert to the city. Security would be maintained by the United Nations peacekeeping force. The city of Jerusalem would remain subject to this UN regime for the indefinite future.

If a comprehensive Middle East peace settlement were to be negotiated along these lines, then it would be perfectly appropriate under international law for the United States government to move its Israeli Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. There the U.S. Embassy could be simultaneously accredited to the State of Palestine as well as to the State of Israel. The same could be done by all other states in the international community. The presence of these embassies in Jerusalem under such circumstances would permit both Israel and Palestine to claim that the entire international community has now recognized Jerusalem as its capital.

Conclusion

There are many other historical precedents that could be drawn upon to produce a mutually acceptable arrangement for Jerusalem: e.g., the Free City of Danzig, the Vatican City State, the District of Columbia, United Nations Headquarters in New York City, etc. So determining the final status of the city of Jerusalem is not and has never been an insuperable obstacle to obtaining a comprehensive Middle East peace settlement—despite Israeli rhetoric and propaganda to the contrary. If the will for peace were there on the part of the Israeli government, then creative lawyers on each side can devise an artful arrangement for the city of Jerusalem that would allow both peoples to claim victory while achieving peace.

In fact, several years ago I drafted a formal proposal similar to the above-described solution for consideration by the PLO. A high-level PLO official informed me that this proposal was acceptable to the PLO. So far, it has proved to be unacceptable to Israel, which continues to stubbornly insist that Jerusalem shall remain its “sole”, “undivided” and “eternal” capital despite all the rules of international law to the contrary and the fact that in the Oslo Agreement of 13 September 1993, Israel expressly agreed in writing to negotiate over the final status of Jerusalem with the PLO. You do not expressly agree to negotiate with your adversary over “your”, “sole”, “undivided”, “eternal” “capital” if it is really yours ! The time has long past for Israel to put aside its relentless rhetoric and propaganda about Jerusalem, and negotiate in good faith with the Provisional Government of the state of Palestine over the ultimate disposition of Jerusalem. The Palestinians have repeatedly demonstrated their will for peace. So far, the Israeli government has only demonstrated its will to power. But when it comes to Jerusalem—Jews, Muslims, and Christians: “Can’t we all get along?” I sincerely believe we can.

ENDNOTES

  1. U.N. SCOR, 26th Sess., 1582nd mtg. at 33, U.N. Doc. S/Agenda/1582 (1971).
  2. U.N. SCOR 24th Sess., 1483nd mtg. at 11, U.N. Doc. S/Agenda/1783 (1969).
  3. For a list of Security Council Resolutions against Israel as of 1995, see Paul Findley, Deliberate Deceptions 187-94 (1995). See also Paul Findley, They Dare To Speak Out (1989).
  4. 26 Weekly Comp. Pres. Doc. 357 (Mar. 3 1990).
  5. Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (1996).
  6. See Walid Khalidi, The Ownership of the U.S. Embassy Site in Jerusalem (2000).
  7. Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, Pub. L. No. 104-45, 109 Stat. 398 (1995).
  8. Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Pub.L. No. 107-228, §214, 116 Stat 1350 (2002).

May 29, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 1 Comment

‘THE NEW AMERICAN CENTURY’

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THE NEW AMERICAN CENTURY is a history of neoconservatism and its influence on US Foreign Policy in the Middle East during the first decade of the twenty-first century.

Written after years of extensive research, THE NEW AMERICAN CENTURY contains over 550 pages, including more than 1200 footnotes and some 120 pages of bibliography. The book has been meticulously researched with every aspect of the history fully supported with primary evidence, much of it from the neoconservatives themselves.

The book is a must for all those interested in the history of neoconservatism, the recent history of Israel and conflict between the West and Islam in the Middle East during the first ten years of the NEW AMERICAN CENTURY.

Despite being originally written as a successful doctoral thesis, the book avoids academic jargon and uses plain easy to understand language

It details the rise of neoconservative influence within the US government particularly from the Reagan era through to the presidency of George W. Bush, when neoconservative power reached its zenith. It details the strong connections neoconservatives have with right-wing Israeli Zionism and the way in which neoconservatives were able to manipulate American power to benefit the Greater Israel cause. The book details how various interests including the Military Industrial Complex, the American religious right, US big business and US/Israeli Zionists converged into a coalition under George W. Bush and his administration that set out to determine the future history of the Middle East in such a way as to benefit Israel and the economic interests of the US.

Currently available in fully searchable PDF format for just AUD$12-00 via PayPal or direct through the author Damian Lataan.

At the moment the book is not available in hard copy though maybe in the future.

Email: lataan@adam.com.au

May 29, 2014 Posted by | Book Review, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | 1 Comment

Iran dismisses WSJ nuclear report as unfounded

Press TV – May 28, 2014

Iran has rejected as unfounded a report by The Wall Street Journal on its nuclear energy program.

On Tuesday, the US newspaper cited a report by the terrorist Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) as saying that Iran “has kept active and intact its core team of weaponization researchers.”

In a statement on Wednesday, Iran’s diplomatic mission at the United Nations condemned the report as a fabrication.

It said The Wall Street Journal is repeating the claims of a terrorist group whose previous allegations proved untrue.

The MKO is listed as a terrorist organization by much of the international community and is notorious for committing numerous terrorist acts against Iranians and Iraqis.

The statement also said that Tehran has lived up to its obligations under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

It added that Tehran expects the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — the United States, China, Russia, France and Britain — plus Germany to abide by their commitments concerning Iran’s nuclear rights, regardless of the “uproar” by anti-Iran lobby groups.

Iran and the six world powers have been discussing ways to iron out differences and start drafting a final nuclear deal that would end the West’s dispute with Iran over the country’s nuclear energy program.

Iran and the world powers reached an interim accord in the Swiss city of Geneva on November 24 last year that took effect on January 20 this year.

Under the deal, the six countries undertook to provide Iran with some sanctions relief in exchange for Iran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities during a six-month period. It was also agreed that no nuclear-related sanctions will be imposed on Iran within the same time-frame.

May 29, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | Comments Off on Iran dismisses WSJ nuclear report as unfounded