Hatim Kanaaneh: What Mondoweiss Means To Me

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Here is the latest message in our series, “What Mondoweiss Means To Me.” We are honored that leaders in the movement for justice in Israel/Palestine respect the site enough to offer these statements in order to help us raise $60,000 by December 31. Please read Hatim Kanaaneh’s comments, and if you agree that quality news and analysis are essential, join him in giving. And please be sure to check out the messages from Steven SalaitaRebecca VilkomersonOmar BarghoutiCindy Corrie, John MearsheimerScott Roth and Phil Weiss as well!

Each one of you has your own reasons for visiting Mondoweiss, a unique news operation that serves an amazing community of activists and thinkers. Please donate today, and tell us what Mondoweiss means to you.

If you would like to know how donations will be used, click here to understand how dollars and cents are transformed into truth-telling.

Dear fellow Mondoweiss readers:

For a Palestinian citizen of Israel the media horizons are quite constricted. There is Al-Ittihad, the one and only Arabic daily in Israel. But using it as one’s forum will color one with the red tinge of its communist base and limit your readership to those of like color. Besides, its outreach is strictly local and any stirring of international aspirations have to seek an alternative mouthpiece.

Hatim Kanaaneh

Hatim Kanaaneh

You subscribe to the English version of Haaretz, Israel’s liberal daily, in your judgment the only news source in the country that shows a tolerant side, limited and tenuous as it usually is. At least you can empathize with the sentiments of such commentators as Gideon Levy and Amira Hass and get some new information you can reliably quote from their reports. And Haaretz has a challenging daily Sudoku puzzle. And you know that there is an international readership waiting to hear your opinion if you succeed to splash it across the pages of this national mouthpiece even if Zionist at source. You approach the editors with some of your analyses and comments on current issues and they sound interested. You engage them in a dialogue and you feel good: they want “your voice” to be heard. A few more exchanges of emails and the picture becomes clear: true, they will give you a chance to make “your voice” heard. But they insist on your voice saying what they think. You bolt and continue to seek a media outlet for your occasional bright ideas that you think worth sharing.

In retirement you acquire enough technical savvy to start your own online blog. You blush (yes, I still do on occasion!) at some of the encouraging remarks. And your blog shows visitors by the dozens. Yes, dozens, even scores and hundreds on occasion. Then it dawns on you that they are probably the very same “fans” on your mailing list, friends and relations who are attuned to your pronouncements in the first place. But you wanted to reach those others across the ocean, figurative and real ocean.

You start looking. And, lo and behold, there are media outlets with a wider readership and fresher frontiers, media organs that are opening new frontiers in fact. Mondoweiss for one. You try them and find enthusiastic people with similar bent of mind who are busy informing the wider world about your very own issue, “the War of Ideas in the Middle East.”

Voila! I will part with some of my retirement cash to support them. Please join me and donate today.

Hatim Kanaaneh, MD, MPH
Author of A Doctor in Galilee: the Life and Struggle of a Palestinian in Israel (Pluto Press, 2008), and the upcoming short story collection Chief Complaint: A Country Doctor’s Tales of Life in Galilee due to be published February 2015 by Just World Books.

Fuel the Momentum

About Hatim Kanaaneh

Dr. Hatim Kanaaneh is a Palestinian doctor who has worked for over 35 years to bring medical care to Palestinians in Galilee, against a culture of anti-Arab discrimination. He is the author of the book A Doctor in Galilee: The Life and Struggle of a Palestinian in Israel. His collection of short stories entitled Chief Complaint was released by Just World Books in the spring of 2015.

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6 Responses

  1. James North
    December 26, 2014, 11:36 am

    Dr. Hatim Kanaaneh. A moral giant.

    • Annie Robbins
      December 26, 2014, 12:03 pm

      and a highly entertaining moral giant to boot!

    • bintbiba
      December 26, 2014, 12:10 pm

      Salamaat, ya Hakeem.
      My best wishes go to you. I have read your blogs whenever available. I Look forward to the new book. You do make us proud!
      bintbiba , bint il Quds, saabikan.

    • Zofia
      December 28, 2014, 8:52 am

      More about the issue:
      From GA: Sixty-seventh session Item 70 (c) of the provisional agenda*,**
      Promotion and protection of human rights: human rights situations and reports of special rapporteurs and representatives
      http://unispal.un.org/unispal.nsf/5ba47a5c6cef541b802563e000493b8c/4b2de5243ebce35685257aa200487927

      11. The establishment of the settlements is a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law as set forth in the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (Fourth Geneva Convention) and the Regulations annexed to the Hague Convention IV of 1907. Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits an Occupying Power from transferring citizens from its own territory to the occupied territory. The Hague Regulations prohibit an Occupying Power from undertaking permanent changes in the occupied area unless justified by military needs in the narrow sense of the term, or unless they are undertaken for the benefit of the local population.

      12. In building settlements and associated infrastructure, Israel further violates international law through the appropriation of Palestinian property not justified by military necessity, and by imposing severe movement restrictions on Palestinians. Such restrictions violate those human rights dependent on freedom of movement, including rights to health, education, family life, work and worship. In addition, the scale of Israel’s settlement project and the massive financial investment in it appear to confirm Israel’s intention to retain control over these areas, thus violating a core principle of the Charter of the United Nations, namely Article 2 (4), which prohibits the acquisition of territory by the use or threat of force. Moreover, the settlements fragment the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, into isolated geographical units, severely limiting the possibility of a contiguous territory and the ability to dispose freely of natural resources, both of which are required for the meaningful exercise of the fundamental and inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. READ THE REST….

      ALSO:
      1. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
      37. The Special Rapporteur notes that the businesses highlighted in this report constitute a small portion of a wide range of companies that have linked their business operations to Israel’s settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory. The Special Rapporteur received a large amount of information from stakeholders concerning business practices of companies in relation to Israel’s settlements; further investigations will be made to determine whether those allegations are well founded and may lead to additional attention in future reports. The businesses include, inter alia, retailers and supermarket chains, fast food suppliers, wine producers and products that are often labelled “products of Israel”, but are in reality produced or extracted from the occupied Palestinian territory. They include small, medium and large Israeli-owned companies and multinational corporations. The Special Rapporteur limits coverage to selected illustrative cases; it proved necessary to exclude a significant amount of reliable information at this stage, owing in particular to the word limit imposed by the United Nations on this report.

      2. Veolia Environnement is listed there among others…

      Also on MW:
      Veolia, Mekorot and the struggle for Palestinian water rights
      Veolia, a local BDS target, loses Massachusetts commuter rail contract
      Veolia and breaches of international law: http://www.ipsc.ie/campaigns/veolia/veolia-and-breaches-of-international-law

      The Trouble With Veolia and Palestine:http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/alex-macdonald/veolia-palestine_b_2175248.html

      @Veolia transportation firm divests from Israeli settlement bus lines: After a campaign beginning more than six years ago, activists with the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement have declared a major victory this week, when the French transportation company Veolia Transdev (partially owned by environmental services company Veolia Inc.) sold off its bus lines which operate in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian Territories.

    • Zofia
      December 28, 2014, 8:54 am

      why are you writing about rights??
      International Law is clear about the occupation and the settlements. The pdf you provided isn’t about rights but about this problem:
      1. In October 2007, Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS) and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) filed a lawsuit against Alstom and Veolia in the Tribunal de Grande Instance (Nanterre, France).

      2.In October 2007, the corporate defendants moved to dismiss the case and questioned the admissibility of AFPS’ requests to nullify the contract, arguing that it was outside the scope of French jurisdiction.

      3.In April 2009, without reaching the merits of the case, the Nanterre Tribunal ruled that it was within its jurisdiction to hear the case. It also ruled that the PLO could not be accepted as a co-plaintiff. The Tribunal underlined that the defendants were not in a position to plead immunity, as corporate entities are not included as subjects of sovereign immunity.

      4.Alstom and its subsidiary Alstom Transport, appealed the decision of the Tribunal de Grande Instance in November 2009. Veolia did not contest the ruling; it sold its shares in the City Pass Consortium to Dan Bus Company in September 2009.

      5.In December 2009, the Appeals Court upheld the rulings of the Tribunal de Grande Instance; emphasising that it had jurisdiction to hear the case. In February 2010, Alstom appealed this decision (particularly, the jurisdiction of the French courts) to the French Supreme Court (Cour de Cassation). In February 2011, the Supreme Court rejected the appeal.

      6.In May 2011, the Nanterre Tribunal ruled on the merits and rejected the plaintiffs’ arguments to cancel the contract. AFPS and PLO appealed the decision. The Appeals Court decision of 22 March 2013 declared that PLO could be accepted as co-plaintiff, but ruled the suit was inadmissible. The court found that the international agreements in question create obligations between states, and could not be used to hold two private companies liable. The court ordered AFPS and PLO to pay € 30,000 to each of the three companies to cover their expenses during the lawsuit.-YOU SEE WHAT WAS THE RULING ALL ABOUT? NOT ABOUT RIGHT OR THE SETTLEMENTS AND OCCUPATION BUT ABOUT LEGAL ISSUE CONCERNING WHO CAN BE HELD RESPONSIBLE: IN THIS CASE IT SAID: STATES and not companies!!
      http://business-humanrights.org/en/veolia-alstom-lawsuit-re-jerusalem-rail-project#c86290

      It doesn’t say anything about rights! Did you even read it?

      The claims were dismissed since Alstom and Veolia clould not be held liable for any breach of int.conventions regulating the occupation of foreign territory, since only Israel was bound by such provisions + they weren’t party to the concession contract woith Israel but to legally distinct contracts with Citypass. BUT the court didn’t reject outright the notion that individuals and corporations could have a limited form of international personality. Rather the court analysed the genesis and wording of the appeal- so stay tuned….

      READ MORE:AFPS and PLO v. Alstom and Veolia (Versailles Ct. App.), Introductory Note by Noah Rubins and Gisèle Stephens-Chu
      http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.5305/intelegamate.52.5.1157?uid=3738840&uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&sid=21105519730813

      Next time read the docs yourself before you use them for sth.

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