UN Special Rapporteur calls for Israeli sanctions unless it lifts the Gaza blockade

Israel/Palestine
on 39 Comments

From the UN News Centre:

The United Nations independent expert on Palestinian rights has again called for a threat of economic sanctions against Israel to force it to lift its blockade of Gaza, which is preventing the return to a normal life for 1.5 million residents after the devastating Israeli offensive a year ago.

“Obviously Israel does not respond to language of diplomacy, which has encouraged the lifting of the blockade and so what I am suggesting is that it has to be reinforced by a threat of adverse economic consequences for Israel,” Richard Falk, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, told UN Radio.

The article also notes:

In a new policy brief, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), entrusted with promoting the integration of developing countries into the world economy, reported that more than 80 per cent of Gaza’s population are now impoverished; 43 per cent unemployed; and 75 per cent lack food security. “In view of the eroded productive base, poverty is likely to widen and deepen unless reconstruction begins in earnest and without further delay,” it warned.

About Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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39 Responses

  1. sammy
    December 31, 2009, 1:30 am

    In light of the above, a look at Burstons article on Israels ten worst mistakes of the decade
    link to haaretz.com

    • Richard Witty
      December 31, 2009, 5:38 am

      What is your impression of Burston’s work?

      That piece and the last one.

      “I Refuse to be Your Enemy”.

      • Citizen
        December 31, 2009, 1:24 pm


        It was a decade framed by a fundamentalist Palestinian belief in salvation through suicide and a fundamentalist Israeli belief in salvation through brutality. “

      • Citizen
        December 31, 2009, 1:27 pm

        Sort of like the Imperial Japanese zeros, the Kamikazees, or divine wind. The difference is the Palestinians are not an imperial power. Israel is. Which side should Americans be on?

  2. James Bradley
    December 31, 2009, 2:05 am

    Any other country that does what Israel does would have had sanctions slapped on it from day 1.

    • Aref
      December 31, 2009, 6:42 am

      And if it happens to be an Arab or Muslim country it would be bombed to smithereens. Double-standards anyone? Hypocrisy or just plain old colonialist mentality and thinking civilized-barbarian?

      • aparisian
        December 31, 2009, 8:57 am

        everyday the Nato war against taliban commit massacres! and we call this the free world.

  3. Chaos4700
    December 31, 2009, 2:37 am

    So what do you suppose the US is going to do if sanctions are imposed against Israel? Would we break them openly? That would be tantamount to rescinding our membership in the UN.

    • Shafiq
      December 31, 2009, 3:11 am

      I don’t see how that can happen when the US has a position the security council. I’m pretty sure it is they who decide on sanctions.

      • yonira
        December 31, 2009, 3:16 am

        that’s UN 101 and why it’s fundamentally flawed.

      • Shafiq
        December 31, 2009, 3:25 am

        It is fundamentally flawed, but we also have to be realistic. If there was no security council, there would have been no UN. I do think it’s time to replace the current voting system with a 2/3 majority one.

        Yonira,
        Quite a lot of your posts make sense so I’d like to ask you the following question – Is there ever a time when you would support sanctions or a boycott against Israel? I know that you support stopping aid to push the peace process along, but would I be correct in assuming you don’t support BDS?

      • Julian
        December 31, 2009, 5:49 am

        I’m sure the US and the rest of the members of the SC will be very open to giving up their power.
        BDS is quite the Juggernaut in the US. It has accomplished exactly zero. No I’m wrong. A lot of people I do business with make a concerted effort to give Israel more business. Keep this up and the Israeli economy may double.

      • yonira
        December 31, 2009, 10:20 am

        I like your idea of a 2/3 majority in the Security Council.

        I would support a boycott of goods made in the OT (West Bank).

      • potsherd
        December 31, 2009, 2:17 pm

        It’s interesting to watch people express pride in their own evil.

  4. Richard Witty
    December 31, 2009, 5:40 am

    Its interesting that Adam posted Falk’s position in the UN rather than his name in the headline.

    • Julian
      December 31, 2009, 5:50 am

      Adam knows Falk is instantly dismissed by virtually everyone.

      • MRW
        December 31, 2009, 6:39 am

        Only in your circle, Julian. The UN Special Rapporteur reporting on UN Radio carries weight in the other 110 countries in the world.

        Richard: would you prefer the original headline from the UN News Centre? UN expert repeats call for threat of sanctions against Israel over Gaza blockade

      • Richard Witty
        December 31, 2009, 7:56 am

        I’d prefer the name with the title, so that readers know who is being talked about.

        Either alone would be deceptive.

      • Chaos4700
        December 31, 2009, 2:03 pm

        Witty? The rest of us actually read the article.

      • Chaos4700
        December 31, 2009, 2:07 pm

        Really, Witty. How do you expect to be taken seriously when you are so superficial? Only reading headlines and only seeing what you want to see, even when videos and official reports are placed in front of you.

        Why do you insist on making a spectacle of yourself as an obvious fraud?

      • Julian
        December 31, 2009, 3:58 pm

        Right. Falk is a media giant. He’s just another stooge of the UN Arab dictatorship council. He takes his orders from the likes of Libya. he should be very proud.

      • Chaos4700
        December 31, 2009, 4:16 pm

        Right, so in the world according to Julian, the Libyans run the United Nations.

        Still looking for that Nigerian yellow cake, are you, Julian?

      • Cliff
        December 31, 2009, 4:51 pm

        Who cares if Falk hasn’t won a popularity contest. What’s important are his ideas.

        Care to critique his opinions? Can you do so without sounding like a spoiled little girl from MTV’s Sweet Sixteen?

        Take a break from sniffing the ZioGlue.

      • Cliff
        December 31, 2009, 4:53 pm

        BTW, I hate myself for knowing that show exists. I blame Zionism!

        (Incoming yonira with the ‘blah blah you blame the Joos for everything schtick’)

      • potsherd
        December 31, 2009, 5:13 pm

        Julian forgot to say “dhimmi”.

      • Julian
        January 2, 2010, 5:30 am

        Falk is a 911 truth guy like most of the people here. In the real world he is a joke.

      • Cliff
        January 2, 2010, 5:49 am

        Someone can question the official 9/11 story and not be grouped w/ the ‘Truthers’ – furthermore, I’m sure people in the Truth movement (kind of cultish though, and seems to be dead at this point and more like a hobbie…) can disagree w/ all the contradictions of Alex Jones and the insanity of David Icke.

        Oh and afaik, no the majority of regulars here are not ‘Truthers’ – I don’t think any are. Although, I’m sure any sane person would keep an open mind about the events of 9/11. Plenty of reasonable people have said that at least they believe the Bush Admin. let it happen (Gore Vidal).

        You’re just like Zionists of the Dershowitz brand – you smear anyone who you don’t have the intellectual capacity to counter w/ substantiated arguments.

        I mean, when have you EVER made an argument here Julian? Never. You either cite some fascist rantings from Little Green Footballs or other Neocon-ZioCoke site or make lame one-liners.

        No one gives a shit. Go away moron.

      • Chaos4700
        December 31, 2009, 2:03 pm

        Not like, say, John Yoo or Donald Rumsfeld, huh, Julian.

        It’s so embarrassing to watch you neocons pretend like you own the world.

      • Cliff
        January 2, 2010, 5:44 am

        Who comprises ‘virtually everyone’? You’re a jackass Julian.

  5. Richard Parker
    December 31, 2009, 6:28 am

    Not a hope of sanctions on Israel until the US loses its veto power in the Security Council
    Perhaps the rest of the world could organise itself into UN2, which would represent it better without Big Brother’s control?

    • sammy
      December 31, 2009, 6:33 am

      Why do you think the Goldstone report was presented to the General Assembly, rather than the Security Council? The US is fast losing its relevancy as a mediator.

      Today’s Ha’aretz:
      Arab League chief: More UN, less U.S. in Mideast peace bids
      link to haaretz.com

      • Richard Witty
        December 31, 2009, 6:38 am

        The government of the UN is bicameral. It takes passing both the General Assembly and the Security Council to be international law.

        When a bill passes the house of representatives in the US, it is not law, but proposal for law, requiring Senate approval and Presidential ratification.

        The UN general assembly alone is a suggestion.

        I thought you preferred more direct democracy, than advocacy for nation-states having a monopoly on control, either in the general assembly or security council.

      • Aref
        December 31, 2009, 6:46 am

        So then the UN partition plan of 1947 that Israel and its Zionist supporters continuously cling to as the source of legitimacy is simply a suggestion and has no legal standing because it was adopted in the UN General Assembly. What do think Mr. Witty?

      • Richard Witty
        December 31, 2009, 10:30 am

        The 1949 armistice was approved by the general assembly and security council, but as temporary.

        The 1948 general assembly vote that authorized the state of Israel (only subject to general assembly) defined borders at that time.

        It is an argument that right-wing Zionists use to suggest that the West Bank was not originally mandated as a Palestinian state, and that borders are entirely fluid.

        And, it is an argument by proponents of a more limited Israel by Arab states.

        It is the signficance of the need for consented border definition, negotiated between the parties themselves.

        Resolution 242 does not state final borders either, but does refer to return to prior borders, which were never authorized as you pointed out.

        There is no supreme court in the UN to reconcile legislative inconsistencies like there is in the US.

      • Richard Witty
        December 31, 2009, 10:35 am

        I’m aware of the ambiguity of borders, which is why I advocate for negotiation that realizes the 67 borders as basis, with the recommendation that Israel offer more than that geographic land area to Palestine, the specific boundaries by consent.

        So long as the split between the PA and Hamas remains volatile, that negotiation, that clarification, that actual definition of international law gets delayed.

        And, to my thinking, militancy rather than unification (different than unity which usually means conformity) is necessary to proceed.

        Maybe its happening.

        My goal is 67 borders, by genuine consent, provisions for full democracy in each state, and ACTUAL peace that facilitates a good neighbor to good neighbor relationship.

        I am most heartened by the efforts of the PA to nation-build creating an undeniable and pragmatic fully sovereign state in fact.

        Agitation alone, or primarily, does not accomplish a nation in fact, and in too many ways deters it.

      • Citizen
        December 31, 2009, 1:40 pm

        What is the equivalent of Israel’s claim to legitimacy based on the bible and the Shoah, for those Palestinian arabs who claim rights Israel does not acknowledge?

      • Chaos4700
        December 31, 2009, 2:08 pm

        So long as the split between the PA and Hamas remains volatile, that negotiation, that clarification, that actual definition of international law gets delayed.

        Which would be why the US and Israel engineered that split in the first place.
        link to vanityfair.com

  6. potsherd
    December 31, 2009, 10:17 am

    In a hopeful moment of peace, Ismail Haniyeh called the cell phone of Arab MK Talab Al-Sana. His remarks were broadcast over a loudspeaker to the protesters gathered on the Israeli side of the barrier:

    “We are proud of the Palestinian citizens of the 1948 territories who have come to identify with us. We send a greeting to all the members of parliament, to Sheikh Raed Salah and to all the people who have come to expresses their support for us.”

    The response of the Israeli right wing: a call for repression and prosecution.

    Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch turned to Attorney General Menachem Mazuz and asked him to file charges against MK El-Sana for supporting a terror organization.

    “After the minister learned of the phone call in which he broadcast the evil words of the Hamas leader, he sent an urgent letter to Mazuz, demanding that he prosecute him for supporting a terror organization,” an official at Aharonovitch’s office said.

    “We cannot accept a situation in which every person, let alone a Knesset member in the State of Israel, serves as a pipeline for a terror organization whose only goal is to destroy the State of Israel. There is a limit to cynicism.”

    “Enforcing the law is the internal security minister’s supreme value, and we view this as a blatant offense. Even the bill for the phone the call was made on is paid by the State of Israel.”

    MK Zevulun Orlev (Habayit Hayehudi) said, “This time MK El-Sana has crossed all red lines. Letting one of the State of Israel’s greatest enemies speak and incite masses against the country deserves a criminal investigation and prosecution. This act is a clear support for armed terror,” Orlev said.

    link to ynetnews.com

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