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Ron Paul cautious on Obama’s Cuba intentions

By Ron Paul | December 17, 2014

President Obama today took a bold and surprising step toward ending the futile 50 year US embargo of Cuba. The president announced he would begin normalizing relations, including upgrading the diplomatic mission in Havana to embassy status. The president also said he was taking steps to increase travel, commerce, and the flow of information between the US and Cuba.

President Obama said that the half-century US embargo of Cuba was an “outdated approach” that “failed to advance our interests.” He rightly noted that decades of US sanctions have “had little effect.”

He noted, as I have often pointed out, that the US has had economic and diplomatic relations with communist China for 35 years and has even established productive relations with a Vietnam, where the US fought a brutal war just over four decades ago.

I was delighted to see the president make such a dramatic foreign policy move that will result in more freedom and liberty for Americans. I have always believed that the US embargo of Cuba was primarily an anti-American policy, as the US government has no business telling Americans with whom they can trade or visit. Of course the average Cuban suffered greatly under the inhuman US embargo of their country, and I hope this policy shift may result in better lives for them as well.

What is particularly encouraging about this move is that the 50 year freeze in US/Cuba relations was thawed by a simple telephone call between President Obama and his Cuban counterpart, Raul Castro. I have opposed the isolationist policies of sanctions and embargoes and have encouraged US presidents to simply use diplomacy – even a simple telephone call – to clear up differences. There is a lesson in this for similarly tense US relations with Iran, Russia, Syria, and others.

I am optimistic about this policy shift by the US government but I am also very cautious.

Permitting travel to and trade with Cuba is a step in the right direction, but if the US government uses this opening to increase its meddling in internal Cuban affairs it will be one step forward and one step back. We have recently read of yet another hare-brained scheme by the US Agency for International Development to foment regime change in Cuba, this time by co-opting Cuban musicians. Before that, the US was funneling money to NGOs to create a phony Twitter program that was supposed to overthrow the Cuban government. Improving relations should not be seen as a Trojan horse to infiltrate more regime change NGOs into Cuba.

Some neoconservatives are applauding this policy shift for that very reason. Max Boot, a well-known neocon war advocate, praised Obama’s Cuba shift in Commentary Magazine today. His reasoning was very different than ours, however. Without shame or embarrassment, Boot thought the opening would provide excellent cover for increased US subversion activities inside Cuba – under the cover of “human rights” advocacy. He wrote:

The restoration of diplomatic relations will, in any case, deliver some benefits to the U.S. by allowing us to beef up the staff of the American interests section in Havana, thus increasing our ability to (at least in theory) subvert the regime through the promotion of human rights.

President Obama also seemed to suggest that the US would continue meddling in internal Cuban affairs, stating that the United States “will continue to support the civil society” in Cuba. That likely means a deal to allow US NGOs in to Cuba to work toward regime change.

I have a better suggestion if the US truly wants Cuba to become a free and prosperous country: the US government should completely remove all restrictions on US citizens and then step aside. American tourists, businessmen, students, and scholars can do far more to promote real American values than bureaucrats, government-funded NGOs, and US-funded propaganda broadcasts.

A better future for the United States and Cuba simply requires our government opening the door and getting the heck out of the way!

December 18, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Progressive Hypocrite | , | 1 Comment

Ukraine wouldn’t have civil war if not for EU – Putin

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RT | December 18, 2014

If EU authorities had called the organizers of Ukraine’s coup to order, the country wouldn’t have faced a civil war, believes Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“I am sure that if such a position was taken, there would be neither civil war in Ukraine, nor the multitude of victims. Our colleagues [EU] took another position,” Putin said speaking at his annual Q&A with the press and public.

He says Moscow is ready to become a mediator to start talks between Kiev and self-defense forces from the east.

“We hope…to reach a political dialogue,” said Putin, adding that Russia sees Kiev’s military actions in Ukraine as a “punitive operation.”

“But it [the operation] is made by Kiev authorities, not vice versa. It’s not self-defense forces who sent their troops to Kiev, but the other way round – Kiev authorities sent their forces to the southeast.”

According to the president, if the Kiev government wants peace, then it has to respect the interests of people in eastern Ukrainian regions, not pressure them.

“No doubt [Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko] wants to regulate the situation and I have no doubts that he is looking forward to it, but he is not alone [in making the decision].”

Putin referred to the statements of Ukraine’s former acting president and chairman of the Rada, Aleksandr Turchinov, who said on Wednesday that Kiev’s ‘anti-terrorist’ operation should go on “till the end.”

“We hear many warlike statements. I think that President Poroshenko is ready for regulation [of the crisis], but we need concrete actions.”

Putin expressed regret that the planned exchange of prisoners between Kiev and self-defense troops in eastern Ukraine on Wednesday was disrupted by Kiev.

“Yesterday [Wednesday] there was an agreement to exchange 30 people. The representatives of self-defense troops arrived at the place of prisoners’ exchange; an official from Kiev authorities appeared and said ‘No. We won’t exchange [the prisoners] until the Minsk talks.’”

Putin urged both Kiev and self-defense forces to exchange prisoners before the Christmas holidays using the ‘all for all’ principle.

“I think they [both parties] should exchange all for all without any conditions.”

Putin cited information from self-defense forces, saying that in the lists of exchange prisoners there are people who hadn’t been detained war-stricken Donetsk or Lugansk Regions.

“When the lists emerge, it turns out that from Ukrainian side there are certain people who had been arrested not in connection with military action in the country’s southeast, but somewhere in Odessa or Kherson [southern Ukraine].”

“Anyway I believe that people [prisoners] returned home before New Year, before Christmas, regardless of circumstances.”

Putin also spoke on the reports of Russian citizens fighting alongside self-defense forces in the Ukraine’s east.

“All those people who fulfill their duty or voluntary take part in some military action, including those in Ukraine’s southeast are not mercenaries, as they don’t get money for that,” he said.

READ MORE: Putin’s 2014 Q&A marathon LIVE UPDATES

December 18, 2014 Posted by | Militarism | , , , | Leave a comment

Would You Buy An Obamamobile From This Man?

By Howard Wait | Black Agenda Report | December 17, 2014

Consider the prospect of buying a car at a certain price, but not knowing what the costs for gasoline, oil changes, tires or other repairs would cost until after you made a purchase. Parking this Obamabile might cost $5 per hour, maybe $500; who knows? Maybe that defective air bag or gas pedal is covered under the warranty: maybe it isn’t. That doesn’t seem right, or legal, does it?

That’s basically what people are doing when they purchase individual health insurance, especially Affordable Care Act Insurance. For those inclined to read all the fine print on dozens of health insurance plans, familiarize themselves with arcane terms like split deductibles, coinsurance and balance-billing and then review the provider lists and drug formularies for ailments they may not even have yet, there is a chance, but no guarantee, they could select the least-worst plan available.

What if you contract cancer, or HIV, and the drug formularies and specialists you need aren’t included? What if the provider lists and formularies are complete fabrications? Well, they probably are, at least in the managed care plans surveyed by HHS Inspector General:

“We found that slightly more than half of providers could not offer appointments to enrollees. Notably, 35 percent could not be found at the location listed by the plan, and another 8 percent were at the location but said that they were not participating in the plan. An additional 8 percent were not accepting new patients.”

With all the money flowing into the coffers of managed care companies, they can’t be bothered to update their provider lists? There should be a law, but there isn’t. If you bought a useless health plan, blame yo’self. Caveat emptor.

The idea that individual patients are capable of sifting through all the contingencies of hundreds of insurance plans, devised by teams of industry professionals intent on fleecing them, to arrive at an optimal choice that will promote better healthcare through market competition is a wonderful fantasy for those who stand to profit from this scheme, but it’s not reality. The truth is that only 11% of people surveyed are capable of understanding the terms and costs of a single health insurance plan, when the plan is sitting in front of them on a table.

Carnegie-Mellon’s George Lowenstein surveyed 202 employer-based policy holders and asked them to compute costs of a 4-day hospital stay. They can’t. Funny thing is, he can’t either:

“I have a PhD in economics and I’ve spent a bunch of time giving insurance companies feedback about policies, and I still find them difficult to understand,” Loewenstein said. Just 14% of white people and 30% of people with a bachelor’s or greater are “proficient” in health literacy, says health.gov.”

Clearly people cannot effectively understand and manage health costs, despite all the PR blather otherwise, in a system designed not to. We’re not managing health costs, we’re being managed. The hyper-vigilance required to navigate the minefield of financial hazards we are continually defending against is itself a health hazard and dealing with a con artist when you’re deathly sick is the last thing your doctor would advise.

What we do know is bad enough. Let’s remember the census reports in 2011 that the median wage earner in the US earns just $26,965. Half earn LESS. For anyone inclined to dismiss it as just a few poor people, please check your privilege at the door. A cursory review of silver plans available for Cook County on Healthcare.gov has seven silver level plans from Blue Cross. After the ACA subsidy, the premiums range from $245 to $416 for a single, 45 year-old person who smokes and earns $26,965 before taxes. That’s $2,940 to $4,992 annually before health care or BHC®. The “subsidy” is $76.28 per month. Ha ha.

“The truth is that only 11% of people surveyed are capable of understanding the terms and costs of a single health insurance plan, when the plan is sitting in front of them on a table.”

Here we should note the idiocy of “cost-sharing reduction” which in this example is negligible. In the 200%-250% FPL tier above “poverty” level, it would increase actuarial value of his silver plan from 70% to 73%, and isn’t worth discussing here. It may help people just over the Medicaid cutoff more, but they’re in such dire straits, they may not care either.

Let’s deduct about $5,000 for various taxes, $4,000 for premiums, and maybe $8,000 for rent (in lousy neighborhood in a middle tier city) and our patient has $9,965 left, for food and transportation and clothing and utilities and… medical costs. The deductibles on these plans average $3,821 before the insurance company kicks in a dime. Goodbye food, clothing and transportation. More likely, goodbye health care.

Realistically, the person with about $191 per week for all those expenses will “chose” food and bus fare and lights. After all, these things are essential to his health. The chances he will spend $100 on medication, $50 on a specialist visit, $500 on an MRI or $900 to visit an emergency room are vanishingly small. After the deductible is paid, which will be never, health care is free! Let’s hope that pain in his side isn’t appendicitis! The Commonwealth Fund Health Care Affordability Tracking Survey spells it out:

“Having health insurance doesn’t guarantee that Americans with lower incomes can afford needed care… Two of five adults with private insurance who had high deductibles relative to their income said they had delayed needed care because of the deductible.”

That means missed prescriptions, medical appointments skipped, or just not seeing a doctor in the first place. Most likely the other three-fifths didn’t need health care at the time, which tends to skew the results more favorably than the reality of needing health care actually is.

With catastrophic junk plans like this, healthy people are in a lot of trouble if they need health care. Their best scenario is getting hit by a truck and not caring that total costs for them, although bankrupting, will be capped – sort of – if they can stay awake long enough to insist that no out-of-network anesthesiologists at their in-network hospital work on them.

Chronic care patients are another story. They need medical care every month without which their lives are endangered. Like Medicare’s famously crappy “donut hole” that left elders on the hook for 100% of prescription costs each August, the ACA’s donut hole starts over every year at January 1st in the form of a huge deductible for which “some costs may not apply” and will be ruinous for chronic patients and beyond the reach of many, depending on actual costs for their illnesses.

Has anyone looked lately at the cost of cancer drugs? Or the huge spike in generics like humalog for diabetics? How many sick, low-income people can come up with $3,000 out-of-pocket on January 1st? Oh yeah, we already know: “A majority, or 64%, of Americans don’t have enough cash on hand to handle a $1,000 emergency expense.”

After they finish their health insurance literacy class, they can attend the financial literacy class offered by their credit card company. Deadbeats.

We’ve heard endlessly how many people have enrolled in “coverage.” The ad campaigns blare “are you covered?” At the modest rate of 2.4 physicians per 1,000 patients (Cuba has 6.7 per 1,000), we need 38,400 new doctors to treat 16 million new patients, or 120,000 for 50 million uninsured. Never mind that no one asked where the doctors were coming from. For a bunch of corporate and government types swooning over data and metrics, they’re doing a lousy job of collecting data on anything that counts for actual patients. You know, basic stuff, like: what percentage of policy holders receive any cash benefit after premiums and out-of-pocket costs that run about $12,400? What percentage of chronic care patients can afford their prescriptions? How much health care is provided to typical policy holders, not just the sickest tier, for all the money they spend? And what about the sickest? Or, maybe: are health outcomes any better for all this? At what cost?

Obamacare is the leading edge, the template for future health insurance for the rest of you. HDHP’s—High Deductible Health Plans—with skinny networks, overpriced medicines and more tricks and traps than a Halloween funhouse. The woefully misnamed Affordable Care Act is designed to deliver $8,000 per year to insurance companies and $5,000 per year to medical providers before it delivers a dime to patients. That’s $208,000,000,000, give or take a few bucks, per year to the medical complex. And it’s working exactly as planned.

Howard Wait writes to unveil the reality behind the cultural trance that permeates American life. He lives in Chicago.

December 18, 2014 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | Leave a comment

A Failure to Understand

By Maryam Sakeenah | Dissident Voice | December 17, 2014

The attack on the Peshawar school is a tragedy that sends senses reeling, an enormity that confounds the senses. It does not help however, to dismiss the people who committed this foul atrocity as ‘inhuman’, or to say they were not really Muslims. It is a convenient fiction that implies a most frustrating unwillingness and inability to understand how human beings are dehumanized and desensitized so they commit such dastardly acts under the moral cover of a perverted religiosity.

This unwillingness and inability to understand is deeply distressing because it shows how far away we are from even identifying what went wrong, and where- and hence, how far we are from any solution.

The international media has reflected — not surprisingly — a superficial, flat and ludicrously shallow grasp of the issues in Pakistan. The CNN (and other channels) repeatedly portrayed the incident as ‘an attack on children for wanting to get an education. ’ In fact, the UK Prime Minister himself tweeted: “The news from Pakistan is deeply shocking. It’s horrifying that children are being killed simply for going to school.” It actually reeks of how the media’s portrayal and use of Malala’s story has shaped a rather inaccurate narrative on Pakistan.

Years ago shortly after 9/11, former CIA analyst Michael Scheuer had lamented Western politicians’ dim-witted understanding of terrorism and the motives behind it. Scheuer highlighted how dishonestly and dangerously Western leaders portrayed that the terrorists were ‘Against Our Way of Life’; that they were angry over the West’s progress as some deranged barbarians battling a superior civilization out of rank hatred. This rhetoric from Western politicians and the media ideologized terrorism and eclipsed the fact that terror tactics were actually a reaction to rapacious wars in Muslim (and other) lands often waged or sponsored by Western governments. It diverted focus from the heart of the problem and created a misleading and dangerous narrative of ‘Us versus Them’, setting global politics on a terrible ‘Clash of civilizations’ course.

Today, I remembered Scheuer again, browsing through responses to the Peshawar tragedy both on local social media as well as from people in positions of power; most reflected a facile understanding of the motives of terrorism.

The Taliban spokesman Umar Khorasani states: “We selected the army’s school for the attack because the government is targeting our families and females. We want them to feel the pain.”

Certainly, this is twisted and unacceptable logic. What is most outrageous is his attempt to give religious justification to it by twisting religious texts.
Certainly, the leadership of the TTP is guilty of a criminal abuse of religious sources to legitimize its vile motives and sell it to their conservative Pashtun following who are on the receiving end of Pakistan’s military offensive in the tribal areas. The TTP leaders have hands drenched in innocent blood. Even the Afghan Taliban have rejected the use and justification of such means by the TTP as unacceptable by any standards in an official statement.

But I wonder at those human beings chanting Arabic religious expressions who blew themselves up for the ‘glorious cause’ of taking revenge from innocent unsuspecting school children. I wonder how they had gone so terribly, terribly wrong in their humanity, their faith. Certainly, they were taken in with the TTP’s malevolent ideological justification for the rank brutality they committed. Certainly, they allowed themselves to be taken in because they perceived their miserable lives had no intrinsic worth except in being given up in order to exact vengeance.

I understood too when I heard a victim student writing in pain, vowing revenge. ‘I will grow up and make their coming generations learn a lesson’, he said. In that line, I understood so much about human psychology and the psychology of victimhood, and the innate need for avenging wrongdoing.

The problem with the public perception of the war in Pakistan is that we see only part of it: we see the heartrending images from Peshawar and elsewhere in the urban centres where terrorists have struck. But there is a war that we do not see, hidden from public view. This is the war in the tribal north. The familiar images we see from the war divide the Pakistani victims of this war into Edward Herman’s ‘worthy’ and ‘unworthy’ victims — both, however, are innocent victims — the ones we see and the ones we do not. But because some victims are unworthier than others, the unworthy victim claims worth to his condemned life in dying, misled into thinking that death by killing others can be a vindication.

But sometimes the ones we are not allowed to see, make themselves visible in horrible, ugly ways; they become deafeningly loud to claim notice. And in the process, they make other victims — our own flesh and blood… And so it is our bloody burden to bear for fighting a war that was not ours, which has come to haunt us as our own.

The work of some independent journalists has highlighted the war we do not see in Waziristan; their work, however, has not made it to mainstream news. Such work has brought to light enormous ‘collateral damage’ figures. Some independent journalists have also focused on the plight of IDPs who feel alienated and forgotten by the Pakistani state and nation. It must be noted, however, that there is no access to the media in the areas where the army’s operation is going on. The news we get from the war zone is solely through the Pakistan Army; there is, hence, absolutely no counter-narrative from Waziristan. And hence our one-sided vision eludes a genuine understanding.

This unwillingness and inability to understand reflects in our uninsightful militarist approach to the problem in Waziristan. While the necessity of using military means to combat a real and present danger is understood, the need for it to be precisely targeted, limited in scope and time, and planned to eliminate or at least substantively minimize collateral damage is equally important. The need to efficiently manage the fallout of such an operation and rehabilitate affectees cannot be overemphasized. On all these counts, we need to have done more.

But perhaps the most vital understanding is that military operations are never the enduring solution. They may be needed to achieve specific necessary targets, but only with the aforementioned conditionalities to minimize the fallout. Moreover, the bigger, deeper problems have to be dealt with through a wider, more insightful non-military approach: listening and understanding, dialogue, mutual compromise and reconciliation, rehabilitation and peace-building. There are numerous examples in the past — even the recent past — of how war-ravaged communities drenched in the memory of oppression and pain, seething with unrelenting hate, have successfully undertaken peace-building. There have been temporary respites in this war in Pakistan whenever the two sides agreed to a ceasefire. That spirit ought to have lasted.

I understand that this sounds unreasonable on the backdrop of the recent atrocity, but there is no other way to give peace a chance. Retributive justice using force will prolong the violence and make more victims.

Since religion is often appealed to in this conflict, its role in peace-building has to be explored and made the best of. To break this vicious, insane cycle, there has to be a revival of the spirit of ‘Ihsan’ for a collective healing; that is, not indiscriminate and unrelenting retributive justice but wilful, voluntary forgiveness (other than for the direct, unrepentant and most mala fide perpetrators). This must be followed by long-term, systematic peace-building in Pakistan’s war-ravaged tribal belt in particular and the entire nation in general. Such peace-building will involve religious scholars, educators, journalists, social workers and other professionals. Unreasonable as it may sound, it is perhaps the only enduring strategy to mend and heal and rebuild. The spirit of ‘Ihsan’ has tremendous potential to salvage us, and has to be demonstrated from both sides. But because the state is the grander agency, its initiative in this regard is instrumental as a positive overture to the aggrieved party.

But this understanding seems to have been lost in the frenzy, just when it was needed most pressingly. I shudder to think what consequences a failure to understand this vital point can bring. The Pakistani nation has already paid an enormously heavy price.

Maryam Sakeenah is a student of International Relations based in Pakistan. She is also a high school teacher and freelance writer with a degree in English Literature. She is interested in human rights advocacy and voluntary social work and can be reached at: meem.seen@gmail.com.

December 18, 2014 Posted by | Militarism | , , | Leave a comment

Elie Wiesel: Conscience of Mankind and Saintly Humanitarian or Liar, Hypocrite, and Terrorist?

By John Taylor • Unz Review • December 18, 2014

Elie Wiesel presents himself as a humanitarian whose personal narrative gives him special license to sermonize about tolerance and non-violence. Wiesel: “Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must — at that moment — become the center of the universe.” More Wiesel: “Never again becomes more than a slogan: It’s a prayer, a promise, a vow. Never again jail and torture. Never again the suffering of innocent people, or the shooting of starving, frightened, terrified children.”

Yet Wiesel, the putative guardian of the weak and the innocent, is in conflict with Wiesel, the Zionist and shameless apologist for Israel’s on going ethnic cleansing campaign and serial butchery in Lebanon and Gaza. “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides.” In the Middle East Wiesel has made his choice and it is to champion the powerful against their victims and to defend the occupier against the dispossessed.

In his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech Wiesel claimed to be sensitive to the plight of the Palestinians “but whose methods I deplore when they lead to violence. Violence is not the answer. Terrorism is the most dangerous of answers.” Wiesel denounced Palestinian terrorism but conveniently ignored his own membership in a Jewish terrorist group, the Irgun, which he joined in Paris in 1947 as a translator, journalist and propagandist.

Obviously Wiesel knew the Irgun was a terrorist group when he became a member. Its European HQ fled Rome for Paris after an Irgun cell blew up the British embassy there. Furthermore by the time Wiesel joined the organization, it had established a reputation for bombing and shooting scores of innocent Arabs in Palestine. In the 1930s the Irgun planted deadly bombs in Arab marketplaces, most notably in Jaffa, Haifa, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. They also blew up buses and trains. By the mid-1940s the Irgun put the British colonial government in its sights. In 1946 the terrorist group killed 91 people in a Christmas bombing of the King David Hotel. They also kidnapped, tortured and hanged two British Army sergeants. And in an outrage which occurred after Wiesel joined the Irgun, the group killed some 254 unarmed Palestinian civilians at Deir Yassin in order to terrorize Palestine’s Christian and Muslim population and encourage their flight.

Despite working for a terrorist organization that was instrumental in driving the Palestinians from their homes during Israel’s so called War of Independence, Wiesel quite dishonestly asserted in a New York Times op-ed that “Incited by their leaders, 600,000 Palestinians left the country convinced that, once Israel was vanquished, they would be able to return home.” Not only did Wiesel know the truth about the Palestinian Nakba from his work for the Irgun, but when his piece appeared in the Times in 2001 Israeli historians like Benny Morris had already entirely debunked the myth of voluntary Palestinian flight. Further, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s autobiography revealed David Ben-Gurion’s order to drive out the Palestinians:

“While the fighting was still in progress, we had to grapple with a troublesome problem…the fate of the civilian population of Lod and Ramle, numbering some 50,000… We walked outside, Ben-Gurion accompanying us. Allon repeated his question: ‘What is to be done with the population?’ Ben-Gurion waved his hand in a gesture which said, ‘Drive them out!’… The population of Lod did not leave willingly. There was no way of avoiding the use of force…”

Lying about Israeli ethnic cleansing was not enough. Wiesel, ever the propagandist, even tried to discredit the Palestinian struggle against Zionism by conflating indigenous Arab resistance with Nazism. Wiesel wrote in his autobiography, All Rivers Flow to the Sea, “gangs loyal to the grand mufti, the pro-Hitler Haj Amin el-Husseini, former ally and protégé of Himmler, attacked Jewish villages and convoys.” Of course Wiesel said nothing about Avraham Stern, leader of an Irgun splinter group, the Lehi, who actually sought an alliance with the Nazis against Great Britain during World War II.

Wiesel has said “Indifference, to me, is the epitome of evil” and “When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant”. Nevertheless in the face of the Palestinian struggle to end years of Israeli occupation, land theft and brutality, Wiesel, when he isn’t blaming Zionism’s victims, is either silent or indifferent: “…whenever Israeli police or soldiers react excessively to violence from Palestinian soldiers or civilians. I rarely answer.” And concerning the IDF facilitated massacres in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon: “I don’t think we should even comment…” What ever happened to Wiesel’s signature commonplace “I swore never to be silent…”?

During this past summer’s Israeli assault on Gaza, Wiesel accused the Palestinians of using children as human shields, saying in a full page ad in the New York Times, “Jews rejected child sacrifice 3,500 years ago. Now it’s Hamas’ turn.” Truth is, of course, the Israelis have not given up child sacrifice if it is Arab children doing the dying. And Israel’s exculpatory explanation that ‘the Arabs forced us to murder their kids’ has been used for a long time, for example to shield Israel from international criticism during bombing campaigns against Egypt in the early1970s and repeatedly in Lebanon.

As for Wiesel’s human shields accusation itself, western media reporting from inside Gaza during operation Protective Edge in August have pretty much discredited him. Were the four cousins playing soccer on the beach killed by Israeli naval gunfire human shields? What about the young children hit with a smart bomb while feeding the family ducks? Human shields too? And the 500 or so other dead children? Considering Israeli willingness to hit any target in Gaza from UN schools to water treatment plants to hospitals, why would Hamas bother to use kids as shields? The presence of civilians hasn’t deterred Israeli attacks in Gaza or elsewhere; good examples being the shelling of the UN compound at Qana in Lebanon and the bombing of Bahr el-Baqar primary school in Egypt

If Wiesel had a scintilla of humanity he would be honest enough to admit that Israel is killing children in Gaza because the Palestinians have chosen to resist Israeli ethnocide of which the long term siege of Gaza is an integral and essential part.

Wiesel has written repeatedly to defend Israeli government policy in Jerusalem. In 2001 Wiesel stated, “As for Jerusalem, would it not be better to resolve all other pending questions first and defer until a later time decisions about the fate of the holiest of cities?” More recently, in a 2010 letter to President Obama, Wiesel asking him not to “pressure” the Israelis to make concessions to the Palestinians in Jerusalem. Wiesel’s intent is clear: To buy time for the Israelis to finish their campaign of ethnic cleansing in the Arab neighborhoods of east Jerusalem. Wiesel, clearly a man not afraid to lie, even went so far as to claim,”… contrary to certain media reports, Jews, Christians and Muslims ARE allowed to build their homes anywhere in the city” to which Jerusalem resident and former MK Yossi Sarid replied, “Not only may an Arab not build “anywhere,” but he may thank his god if he is not evicted from his home and thrown out onto the street with his family and property…”

Wiesel states that Jerusalem “belongs to the Jewish people.” He asserts an exclusive Jewish claim to the city saying Jerusalem “is mentioned more than six hundred times in Scripture—and not a single time in the Koran,” as if this should somehow minimize Muslim veneration and attachment to the city. And he says nothing about the importance of Jerusalem to Christianity or that the place name appears 140 times in the New Testament. Wiesel may be right when he declared “No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them.” But one may doubt he delivered the aphorism with self-criticism in mind.

Wiesel may also claim that “For me, the Jew that I am, Jerusalem is above politics,” but he knows better. The Israeli politicians who vastly expanded Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries after the 1967 war did so with politics and demographics in mind. And Wiesel himself is chairman of the advisory board of the settler run outfit Elad, whose current project is to drive Palestinians out of the Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan by fair means or foul.

Wiesel has been called a “contemptible poseur and windbag” and the “resident clown of the Holocaust circus.” Perhaps it would be more accurate to label him the personification of Nazi genocide in service of Zionism. And Zionism is the longest systematic violation of human rights in recent history. The ever so quotable Wiesel may proclaim “One person of integrity can make a difference,” but that person is not Elie Wiesel.

December 18, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

Israeli Role in Syrian Conflict Brought Into the Open

By Nicola Nasser | The Peoples Voice | December 18, 2014

Overtly, the Israeli superpower of the Middle East has been keen to posture as having no role whatsoever in the four-year old devastating conflict in Syria, where all major regional and international powers are politically and militarily deeply involved and settling scores by Syrian blood.

In his geopolitical weekly analysis, entitled “The Islamic State Reshapes the Middle East,” on November 25 Stratfor’s George Friedman raised eyebrows when he reviewed the effects which the terrorist group had on all regional powers, but seemed unaware of the existence of the Israeli regional superpower.

It was an instructive omission that says a lot about the no more discreet role Israel is playing to maintain what the Israeli commentator Amos Harel described as the “stable instability” in Syria and the region, from the Israeli perspective of course.

Friedman in fact was reflecting a similar official omission by the US administration. When President Barak Obama appealed for a “broad international coalition” to fight the Islamic State (IS), Israel — the strongest military power in the region and the well – positioned logistically to fight it — was not asked to join. The Obama administration explained later that Israel’s contribution would reflect negatively on the Arab partners in the coalition.

“Highlighting Israel’s contributions could be problematic in terms of complicating efforts to enlist Muslim allies” in the coalition, said Michael Eisenstadt, a senior fellow at AIPAC’s arm, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Covertly however Israel is a key player in prolonging the depleting war on Syria and the major beneficiary of neutralizing the military of the only immediate Arab neighbor that has so far eluded yielding to the terms dictated by the U.S. – backed Israeli regional force majeure for making peace with the Hebrew state.

Several recent developments however have brought the Israeli role into the open.

First the latest bombing of Syrian targets near the Damascus international civilian airport on December 7 was the seventh major unprovoked air strike of its kind since 2011 and the fifth in the past 18 months on Syrian defenses. Syrian Scientific research centers, missile depots, air defense sites, radar and electronic monitoring stations and the Republican Guards were targeted by Israel.

Facilitating the Israeli mission and complementing it, the terrorist organizations operating in the country tried several times to hit the same targets. They succeeded in killing several military pilots and experts whom Israeli intelligence services would have paid dearly to hunt down.

Foreign Policy on last June 14 quoted a report by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki – moon as saying that the “battle – hardened Syrian rebels … once in Israel, they receive medical treatment in a field clinic before being sent back to Syria,” describing the arrangement as a “gentleman’s agreement.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu in February this year visited this “military field hospital” and shook hands with some of the more than 1000 rebels treated in Israeli hospitals, according to Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, a spokesman for the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF).

Foreign Policy quoted also Ehud Yaari, an Israeli fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, as saying that Israel was supplying the rebel – controlled Syrian villages with medicines, heaters, and other humanitarian supplies. The assistance, he said, has benefited civilians and “insurgents.” Yaari ignored the reports about the Israeli intelligence services to those “insurgents.”

Israel facilitates war on UNDOF

Second, the latest quarterly report by the UN Disengagement Force (UNDOF) to the UN Security Council (UNSC) on December 1 confirmed what eight previous similar reports had stated about the “interaction … across the (Syrian – Israeli) ceasefire line” between the IOF and the “armed members of the (Syrian) opposition,” in the words of Ki-moon’s report to the Council on December 4.

Third, Ki-moon in his report confirmed that the UNDOF “was forced to relocate its troops” to the Israeli side of the ceasefire line, leaving the Syrian side a safe haven zone for the al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra Front, which the UNSC had designated a “terrorist group.”

UNDOF’s commander Lieutenant General Iqbal Singh Singha told the UNSC on October 9 that his troops were “under fire, been abducted, hijacked, had weapons snatched and offices vandalized.” Australia was the latest among the troop contributing countries to pull out its forces from UNDOF.

UNDOF and the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) operate in the buffer zone of about 80 km long and between 0.5 to 10 km wide, forming an area of 235 km². The zone borders the Lebanon Blue Line to the north and forms a border of less than 1 km with Jordan to the south. It straddles the Purple Line which separates the Israeli – occupied Golan Heights from Syria. The west Israeli side of this line is known as “Alpha”, and the east Syrian side as “Bravo.”

Speaking at the U.S. military base Fort Dix on Monday, President Obama warned those who “threaten America” that they “will have no safe haven,” but that is exactly what Israel is providing them.

Israeli “interaction” has practically helped the UNDOF “to relocate” from Bravo to Alpha and to hand Bravo as a safe haven over to an al-Nusra Front – led coalition of terrorist groups.

Al-Nusra Front is officially the al – Qaeda affiliate in Syria. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told the Senate Committee on Foreign relations on this December 9 that his administration considers the IS to be a branch of al – Qaeda operating under a different name. Both terrorist groups were one under the name of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and only recently separated. Whoever accommodates either one is in fact courting the other.

“The 1,200-strong UN force is now mostly huddled inside Camp Ziouani, a drab base just inside the Israeli – controlled side of the Golan Heights. Its patrols along the de facto border have all but ceased,” the Associated Press reported on last September 18.

Israeli air force and artillery intervened several times to protect the al-Nusra Front’s “safe haven” against fire power from Syria, which is still committed to its ceasefire agreement of 1974 with Israel. Last September for example, Israel shot down a Syrian fighter jet that was bombing the Front’s positions, only three weeks after shooting down a Syrian drone over the area.

Israel is not violating the Syrian sovereignty only, but violating also the UN – sponsored ceasefire agreement and the UNSC anti-terror resolutions. More important, Israel is in fact undermining the UNDOF mandate on the Israeli – occupied Syrian Golan Heights.

This situation could only be interpreted as an Israeli premeditated war by proxy on the UN presence on the Golan Heights.

“Israel is the most interested in having (UN) peacekeepers evacuated from the occupied Golan so as to be left without international monitoring,” Syria’s permanent envoy to the UN, Bashar al- Jaafari, told reporters on September 17.

The UNSC seems helpless or uninterested in defending the UNDOF mandate on the Golan against Israeli violations, which risk the collapse of the 1974 ceasefire arrangements.

Syrian Foreign Ministry was on record to condemn these violations as a “declaration of war,” asserting that Syria reserves its right to retaliate “at the right moment and the right place.” Obviously a regional outbreak is at stake here without the UN presence as a buffer.

Upgrading unanimously Israel’s status from a “major non – NATO ally” to a “major strategic partner” of the United States by the U.S. Congress on December 3 could explain the UNSC inaction.

The undeclared understanding between the Syrian government and the U.S. – led coalition against the self – declared “Islamic State” (IS) not to target the latter’s forces seems to have left this mission to Israel who could not join the coalition publicly for subjective as well as objective reasons.

The AP on September 18 did not hesitate to announce that the “collapse of UN peacekeeping mission on Golan Heights marks new era on Israel – Syria front.” Aron Heller, the writer of the AP report, quoted the former Israeli military liaison officer with UNDOF, Stephane Cohen, as saying: “Their mandate is just not relevant anymore.” Heller concluded that this situation “endangers” the “status quo,” which indeed has become a status quo ante.

Israeli strategic gains

The emerging fait accompli seems very convenient to Israel, creating positive strategic benefits for the Hebrew state and arming it with a pretext not to withdraw the IOF from the occupied Syrian Golan Heights and Palestinian territories.

In an analysis paper published by The Saban Center at Brookings in November 2012, Itamar Rabinovich wrote that, “Clearly, the uncertainty in Syria has put the question of the Golan Heights on hold indefinitely. It may be a long time until Israel can readdress the prospect of giving the Golan back to Damascus.”

Moreover, according to Rabinovich, “the Syrian conflict has the potential to bring the damaged Israeli – Turkish relationship closer to normalcy … they can find common ground in seeking to foster a stable post – Assad government in Syria.”

The hostile Turkish insistence on toppling the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad, the concentration of the IS and other rebel forces in the north of the country and in central, eastern and southern Syria are diverting the potential and focus of the Syrian Arab Army northward and inward, away from the western front with the Israeli occupying power on the Golan Heights.

The protracted war on the Syrian government is depleting its army in manpower and materially. Rebuilding the Syrian army and the devastated Syrian infrastructure will preoccupy the country for a long time to come and defuse any military threat to Israel for an extended time span.

On the Palestinian front, the rise of the IS has made fighting it the top U.S. priority in the Middle East, which led Aaron David Miller, a former adviser to several U.S. administrations on Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, to warn in Foreign Policy early in September that the rise of the IS would pose “a serious setback to Palestinian hopes of statehood.”

The expected fallback internally of the post – war Syria would “hopefully” relieve Israel of the Syrian historical support for the Palestinian anti – Israeli occupation movements, at least temporarily.

Netanyahu on Sunday opened a cabinet meeting by explicitly using the IS as a pretext to evade the prerequisites of making peace. Israel “stands … as a solitary island against the waves of Islamic extremism washing over the entire Middle East,” he said, adding: “To force upon us” a timeframe for a withdrawal from the Israeli – occupied Palestinian territories, as proposed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to the UN Security Council, “will bring the radical Islamic elements to the suburbs of Tel Aviv and to the heart of Jerusalem. We will not allow this.”

Israel is also capitalising on the war on the IS to misleadingly portray it as identical with the Palestinian “Islamic” resistance movements because of their Islamic credentials. “When it comes to their ultimate goals, Hamas is ISIS and ISIS is Hamas,” Netanyahu told the UN General Assembly on September 29.

Nicola Nasser is a veteran Arab journalist based in Birzeit, West Bank of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories (nassernicola@ymail.com).   

December 18, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pro-Palestine Parliaments

By JOHN V. WHITBECK | CounterPunch | December 18, 2014

The European Parliament, after a late compromise in pursuit of consensus, passed on December 17, by a vote of 498 to 88 with 111 abstentions, a resolution stating that it “supports in principle recognition of Palestinian statehood and the two-state solution and believes these should go hand in hand with the development of peace talks, which should be advanced.”

This compromise language bypasses the fundamental question of when the State of Palestine should be recognized, using vague words whose imprecision neither those who genuinely wish to achieve a decent “two-state solution” (and thus support recognizing Palestine now so as to finally make meaningful negotiations possible) nor those who support perpetual occupation (and thus argue that recognition should await prior Israeli consent) can strongly object to.

In doing so, the European Parliament has missed a rare opportunity to be relevant by joining the United Nations in recognizing Palestine’s “state status” or following the recent trend of European national parliaments urging their governments to join the 135 UN member states, representing the vast majority of mankind, which have already extended diplomatic recognition to the State of Palestine.

The overwhelming 274-12 vote in the British House of Commons on October 13 has been followed by favorable votes in France (339-151 in the National Assembly and 154-146 in the Senate), Ireland (unanimous in both houses), Portugal (203-9) and Spain (319-2).

On October 30, Sweden took the essential further step of actually extending diplomatic recognition to the State of Palestine, becoming the first European Union state to do so after becoming a member of the EU. However, it was not, as some media reported, the first European state to do so. It was the 20th.

The State of Palestine had already been recognized by eight other EU member states (Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Romania and Slovakia) and by 11 other states which are commonly considered to be “European” (Albania, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Georgia, Iceland, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine).

Since the British, French, Irish, Portuguese and Spanish parliamentary resolutions are not binding on the executive branches of their respective governments, they have commonly been dismissed as “symbolic”, even while those favoring perpetual occupation have expended major efforts to prevent the votes from taking place. It is also commonly asked whether they matter at all.

Whether they matter, at least in a constructive sense, depends entirely on what happens afterwards. European parliamentary resolutions urging their governments to recognize the State of Palestine would not only be purely symbolic but actually counterproductive and dangerous if they are not followed relatively rapidly by actual recognitions of the State of Palestine.

These resolutions offer hope, but if, even after the latest Israeli onslaught against the people of Gaza, the European governments which have not yet recognized the State of Palestine prefer to ignore the clear will of their own peoples, as expressed by their elected representatives, and to continue prioritizing the wishes of the American and Israeli governments, then the last hope of the Palestinian people for ending the occupation and obtaining their freedom by non-violent means would have been extinguished.

These resolutions are thus a double-edged sword, offering both immediate hope and the potential for definitive despair.

The hope for peace with some measure of justice which actual European recognitions would generate is based on the assumption that the occupation by a neighboring state of the entire territory of any state which one recognizes as such is not something which any state with the influence and capacity to take meaningful action to end that occupation could tolerate indefinitely – and that, by virtue of diplomatic recognition, meaningful action to end that occupation (including economic sanctions and travel restrictions) would become a moral, ethical, intellectual, diplomatic and political imperative for European states, which, alone, possess the requisite influence and capacity.

The occupation of Kuwait by Iraq was permitted to last seven months. The occupation of Palestine by Israel is in its 48th year, the entire lifetimes of the great majority of Palestinians in occupied Palestine.

European governments are conscious of Europe’s unparalleled leverage as Israel’s primary trading partner and cultural homeland, and their realization that diplomatic recognition of Palestine would make meaningful action to end the occupation imperative surely constitutes a primary reason (in addition to the fear of upsetting the American and Israeli governments) why even those European governments which do not support perpetual occupation and genuinely wish to see the achievement of a decent “two-state solution” are reticent, hesitant and nervous about extending diplomatic recognition to the State of Palestine now.

Yet if not now, when? It is now or never – if, indeed, it is not already too late.

European governments must seize their unprecedented opportunity to have a positive and potentially determinative impact on Israel’s March 17 election and the composition of the next Israeli government by writing indelibly on the wall a new reality which could convince a critical mass of Israelis, for the first time, that a fair peace agreement is preferable for them personally to perpetuation of the currently comfortable status quo.

Only then can a new and true “peace process”, under new management, based on international law and relevant UN resolutions and with both Israel and Palestine negotiating with a genuine desire and intention to reach an agreement, begin.

The Israeli electorate has been estimated to be divided roughly equally into three groups – those firmly on the right and extreme-right, those firmly on the center-left and those “swing voters” in between. Those in between will determine the composition of the next government. European governments have the influence and capacity to move them in a positive direction – in the best interests of Israelis, Palestinians, the region and the world.

It remains to be seen whether European governments have the wisdom, courage and political will to do so.

John V. Whitbeck is an international lawyer who has advised the Palestinian negotiating team in negotiations with Israel.

December 18, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , | Leave a comment

In Israel and the occupied territories, discrimination is enshrined in the law

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By Amelia Smith | Open Democracy | December 18, 2014

In November five Israelis were killed and eight wounded when two Palestinians attacked a synagogue in West Jerusalem. Israeli police shot the attackers dead at the scene and Benjamin Netanyahu ordered that the assailant’s houses be demolished.

The family of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, the young Palestinian teenager who was kidnapped and burnt to death in July, have also called for the homes of the Israelis who killed Mohammed to be demolished, though it is highly unlikely they will be. Such is the nature of Israel’s unequal application of the law.

News that Israel discriminates between Jewish Israelis and Palestinians is nothing new. Just last month the Israeli government voted to make all ratified Israeli civilian law passed through the Knesset apply to settlers. Most of the legislation on criminal law, tax law and military conscription already does, despite the international consensus that settlements are illegal. Around 350,000 settlers currently reside in the occupied West Bank yet for what it’s worth article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states: “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”

Knesset member Orit Struck, who drafted the bill, lives in one of these illegal settlements in the West Bank city of Hebron. Critics of Struck’s bill have said that applying civilian law to the West Bank would be a solid step towards the annexation of the occupied territories adding that it “legalises occupation”. Presumably, this is Struck’s intention.

In order to justify the bill, senior right-wing MKs have argued that the current split system – that Israelis in Israel are governed by different laws than Israelis in the West Bank – is “unacceptable from a democratic point of view” and have said it leads to discrimination against Israelis living in the occupied territories.

But what about Palestinians living in the West Bank? Article 66 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which Israel has adopted, states that non-political military courts can be established for residents in the occupied territory. Palestinians in the West Bank are therefore subject to Israeli military law. Under the two legal systems, an Israeli settler and a Palestinian, accused of the same crime, will be treated, and sentenced, very differently.

Palestinian children, shackled and accused of throwing stones, have also been brought before these courts. The Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies says that some 308,000 Palestinians have been detained within Israeli jails since the First Intifada in 1987.

Under military law Palestinians are threatened with arbitrary arrest, detention and are denied freedom of movement. As American-Israeli lawyer Emil Schaeffer points out, whilst an Israeli settler must be brought before a judge in less than 24 hours a Palestinian may be interrogated for up to eight days before he or she sees a judge.

In a military court Palestinians may be denied access to a lawyer for up to 90 days, yet within the Israeli legal system a meeting with a lawyer must be granted immediately. Within the military courts there is little internal supervision and consequently little public scrutiny.

The list continues, as does the system of legalised separation, discrimination and ultimately the guarantee of rights based on nationality. This segregated system goes far beyond the occupied territories of the West Bank.

On the other side of the concrete separation barrier that has sectioned off the West Bank, Palestinians living in Israel face a raft of laws that discriminate against them. According to Adalah, there are 50 laws in place that discriminate against Palestinians citizens of Israel from access to land to state budget resources.

Perhaps the most obvious of these is the Law of Return, which grants Jewish people across the world the right to live in Israel and gain citizenship. In the drive to bump up the numbers, free flights have been offered, as have financial benefits and tax breaks. On arrival accommodation is sometimes offered in annexed East Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, the seven million Palestinian refugees across the world are not only denied the right to return to their land, but also Palestinian citizens of Israel are not allowed to bring their husbands and wives from the occupied territories to live with them. So one group is actively encouraged, whilst the other is denied their basic rights.

In recent weeks a proposed law, which defines Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, has whipped up much controversy thanks to the controversial nature of the bill, part of which would mean the dropping of Arabic as a second language.

Like the bill that seeks to apply Israeli civilian law wholeheartedly to settlers in the West Bank, the Jewish nation-state bill is part of an ongoing system of discrimination against Palestinians, which has long rendered them second-class citizens. Little by little it is being enshrined in the law, which ultimately means discriminatory treatment towards Palestinians can continue.

Israel’s system of formal and informal discrimination reaches into all aspects of Palestinian’s lives, from separate housing in the West Bank to separate roads, schools and hospitals. It even infiltrates personal lives.

Whilst Israel regularly passes discriminatory laws, they clearly have little regard for international law – or at least, the parts of it that don’t suit them. As a signatory to some of the most important human rights and humanitarian law statutes, they should be held accountable for their discriminatory policies; which undoubtedly constitute grave breeches.

December 18, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , | 1 Comment

Geneva Convention meeting goes ahead, criticises Israeli violations

MEMO | December 18, 2014

The High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention urged an end to violations of international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) following a conference Wednesday.

The special Geneva meeting, hosted by the Swiss government, saw representatives from 126 state parties adopt a ten-point declaration that reaffirmed international humanitarian law and the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention in the OPT, something that Israel denies.

The declaration urges Israel “to fully and effectively respect the Fourth Geneva Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem”, and stresses its “obligation” to administer the OPT “in a way which fully takes into account the needs of the civilian population.”

The parties went on to express “deep concern about the impact of the continued occupation”, specifically singling out Israel’s Wall and associated regime as “contrary to international humanitarian law”, along with “the closure of the Gaza Strip”.

The declaration also affirmed “the illegality of the settlements in the said territory and of the expansion thereof and of related unlawful seizure of property as well as of the transfer of prisoners into the territory of the Occupying Power.”

Speaking after the meeting, Swiss ambassador Paul Fivat hailed the declaration as “unprecedented”, and a “signal which is being sent to conflicting parties and especially to the civilian populations that there is a law, international, which is protecting their interests.”

Fivat clarified that “the declaration binds only the parties who were [present]”, with Israel, the U.S., and Canada, examples of “a small of number of High Contracting Parties” who “expressed their opposition and did not attend the Conference.”

In the lead up to Wednesday’s gathering, Israel tried to persuade the parties to the Convention to not convene the summit at all, even sending officials several times to Bern and Geneva.

In response to the conference yesterday, Israel’s UN mission claimed that “it confers legitimacy on terrorist organizations and dictatorial regimes wherever they are, while condemning a democratic country fighting terrorism in accordance with international law.”

Palestine’s Permanent Mission in Switzerland, meanwhile, praised the declaration, stating that “legal actions, including through universal jurisdiction and international criminal justice mechanisms” are necessary to hold Israel “accountable for its decades of violations of international law.”

Israeli human rights NGO B’Tselem described the declaration as a reflection of “the illegality of the ongoing occupation and its attendant human rights violations”, the “baselessness of Israel’s claims of compliance with the Fourth Geneva Convention”, and of “Israel’s ever deteriorating international status as the violations persist.”

December 18, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , | 1 Comment

Kerry: US will veto Palestinian bid for statehood

MEMO | December 17, 2014

kerry-netanyahu-300x198US Secretary of State John Kerry is reported to have informed the Palestinian delegation headed by Saeb Erekat that Washington will use its veto power at the UN Security Council against the Arab draft resolution which calls for an end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestine territories occupied in 1967; AFP quoted a senior Palestinian official as saying.

Kerry had earlier said that Washington has not decided on the Security Council draft resolution saying: “The time is not right for speculation about a UN draft resolution that has not been submitted yet.”

He told reporters before his meeting with Erekat that it was imperative to help lower tensions. “Many of us share a deep sense of urgency about this. But we’re also very mindful that we have to carefully calibrate any steps that are taken for this difficult moment in the region,” he said.

Al-Jazeera’s Bureau Chief in Ramallah Walid Al-Omari said the Palestinian leadership delayed a meeting scheduled yesterday and will wait for the outcome of a meeting between the Palestinian delegation and a delegation of Arab foreign ministers, headed by Nabil Elaraby, with the US secretary of state and European foreign ministers.

On Monday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Kerry in Rome. Israel’s Channel 10 said that Netanyahu attempted to push the US to use its veto against the Palestinian draft resolution.

December 18, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Deceptions of the Six Day War 2007 Nova Dutch TV

December 18, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , , , , | 3 Comments