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Total number of comments: 32 (since 2010-11-12 09:48:55)

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  • Judge who acquitted war criminals at Hague had 'close and confidential relations' with U.S. gov't
    • foresomenteneikona June 20, 2013 at 3:39 pm

      While some of Moren's recent decisions may be questionable, it is worth recalling that, when asked by Levi Eshkol's office in 1967 about the legality of founding settlements in the West Bank and Gaza, he delivered an opinion that stated that it was unequivocally illegal. As he summarized, "civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention." See link to soas.ac.uk.

      Hopefully Meron's defenders (like Hophmi) will recognize that, because of his own actions, the entire settlement enterprise is not only illegal, but was started by Israeli governments that *knew* that it was illegal.

  • Questioning Israel's 'international legitimacy,' Siegman says two-state solution would require Kerry to reject 'robbery' beyond '67 lines
    • foresomenteneikona April 4, 2013 at 3:54 pm

      The only action that could have a chance of convincing an Israeli government to stop settlement expansion is the threat or application of sanctions against Israel for its colonization activities. Such action is unthinkable now, because the United States will protect Israel from any such resolution that comes before the Security Council.

      By the time this situation changes, the process of colonization will probably be irreversible, and the two-state solution will be an antiquated notion. The only question remaining will be what option Israel chooses to pursue: turning itself into a binational state; apartheid; or ethnic cleansing.

      In any case, Kerry will not be able to convince the present Israeli government to halt or even slow down settlement expansion, and so his efforts are bound to fail.

  • BRICS memo: Time 'to take decisive action against the increasing Israeli Occupation as well as Israel's apartheid policies'
    • Great comments. Thanks, Hostage.
      I must say that China's treatment of Tibet (among other things) would seem to render hypocritical any action it took against Israel on behalf of Palestinians.

  • Apartheid, Bantustans and Obama's empty words (Walt and Miller agree)
    • foresomenteneikona March 26, 2013 at 11:19 pm

      Every single Israeli government since 1967 has expanded settlements, in every single year. Even in 1982 (when the Sinai settlements were evacuated) and in 2005 (when the Gaza Strip settlements were evacuated), the number of settlers living in settlements in the Occupied Territories increased, as expansion of other settlements more than compensated for the evacuations.

      There is no reason to believe that Israel will, on its own, stop settling the West Bank. The only thing capable of convincing the Israeli people or an Israeli government to halt settlement expansion is significant outside pressure, probably in the form of sanctions or the threat of sanctions. For the foreseeable future, the US will make sure that such pressure is not applied to Israel.

      By the time that the US is ready to allow international pressure on Israel significant enough to halt settlement expansion, it will be too late to discuss a two-state solution.

    • foresomenteneikona March 26, 2013 at 11:11 pm

      "...Obama will never use the tools at his disposal to pressure Israel to end its current policy..."

      The "tools at his disposal"? I don't think that this comment indicates an awareness of how little Obama can do in the current political situation. Making speeches is the only thing he can do. AIPAC, Christians United for Israel, and their ilk own both houses of Congress. Any action that seeks to hold Israel to account will either be impossible because of Congressional opposition (e.g., limiting aid to Israel), or will incur consequences that are too great to make the action worth taking (e.g., if the Obama administration allowed the UN Security Council to sanction Israel for its settlement policy, the likely Congressional response would be to cut all US funding to the UN, pass resolutions censuring the President, etc.).

  • Palestinians erect new Bab al Shams neighborhood as Obama lands in Israel/Palestine
  • Blocked from central commercial street in Hebron for 13 years-- Palestinians protest peacefully
    • foresomenteneikona March 10, 2013 at 10:50 am

      Thanks for clarifying, Badia! Keep up all the great work!

    • According to +972, the protests were not completely peaceful.

      "For much of the afternoon, Israeli forces traded tear gas and sound bombs with stone-throwing Palestinian youth in running street clashes."
      -http://972mag.com/photos-in-hebron-demonstrators-demand-reopening-of-shuhada-street/66506/

  • First they stole our books, then they took our story
    • This is a very interesting article. I appreciate the author's review of the film and some of her thoughts about who has the right to narrate her story. Nevertheless, there are real problems with some of her remarks, and I am surprised that (apparently) almost everyone who has commented here has not noticed them.

      Ill pick the most obvious example: her defense of the refusal to allow Brunner to participate in the showing of his film in Ramallah. From what Ms. Abulhawa wrote, I cannot see how this this refusal can be justified. Imagine if a Palestinian with Israeli citizenship had made this film. I cannot imagine that the "anti-normalization" crowd would have objected to his participation in the showing, regardless of what his political views were, how much he had benefited from his place in Israeli society, etc.

      The fact appears to be that Brunner was not allowed to participate because he is a Jewish Israeli rather than an Arab Israeli, and he has every right to take offense at this racially-based exclusion. That Ms. Abulhawa criticizes him for doing so puts her in a position of defending acts of racial prejudice.

      Whatever Ms. Abulhawa thinks about who should or should not tell narratives, she should apparently be more aware of her own bitterness, no matter how much she and her people have suffered from racist actions. Otherwise, her bitterness may lead her even further down the road towards a racism of her own.

  • Hebron teen was killed by Israelis minutes after buying cake for his 17th birthday -- PCHR
  • A movement grows at American University
    • "How better to demonstrate this point than the Lieberman-Livni plan of transferring Israel’s Arab population from their homes and into a Palestinian state, which J street as an organization supports."

      This is not accurate; J Street supports no such thing. On the contrary, it has clearly labeled Lieberman an extremist and recognizes that he is an obstacle to a just peace.

      It's one thing to criticize J Street because they do little to advocate for the rights of Palestinians for their own sake (which is true), or that they do not recognize the injustice done to Palestinian refugees (which in my opinion is also true). It is another to suggest that J Street supports further ethnic cleansing of Palestinians (which is false).

      I found most of this piece encouraging and inspiring, but the comments about J Street were unnecessary and undeserved, and they spoiled this post for me.

  • Al-Haq: International law must be at heart of Palestinian initiative at U.N.
  • Israel calls its own bluff on the Palestinian Authority's UN bid
    • Not sure that Levin and Dayan speak for all of Likud. And I am far from sure that Arutz 7 is a reliable source...

  • Regurgitating Israeli talking points, Amanpour lectures Meshal that 'int'l agreements' bar right of return
    • This is a pipe dream. Israel is around to stay. Get used to it. A majority of the world's nations may "side with" Palestine, but very few of them (and none with real influence) want the Jewish state to cease to exist.

      The only way that Israel will cease to exist as a Jewish state is if it annexes the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, thus reducing the percentage of its Jewish population to a minority.

    • Thanks!

    • Link for the +972 Magazine article mentioned?

    • Mayhem, your comment assumes that the pragmatism that would allow us to find "some kind of solution to this infernal conflict" would prevent ROR from happening. I cannot see any validity for this assumption.

      Israel clearly has the capacity to repatriate Palestinian refugees if it chooses. The reason that it is trying to attract olim while denying the right of Palestinians to turn their homes has always been that it practices racial discrimination.

      To allow refugees who wish to return home to rebuild their lives within Israel, as a part of Israeli society, is more than feasible. The only way to declare that this assumption is not pragmatic is to assume that the only pragmatic solutions possible put racial discrimination above individual rights and international law.

    • First of all, it is not only an "Arab claim" that 194 guarantees a right of return to Israel for Palestinian refugees. It is the position of much of the rest of the world, reiterated by the resolution(s) I already cited.

      Importantly, Israel was reminded by the General Assembly of its obligations under resolutions 181 and 194 at the time of its admission to the UN. (See UNGA 273.) Resolution 181 included provisions for minority rights within the Jewish state and the Arab state described therein. By not allowing Palestinian refugees to return to their homes, Israel has violated those provisions since its founding. You quoted the relevant portion of 194. Citing these resolutions to Israel at the moment of its admission to the UN was an extraordinary measure, and it was the world's way of letting Israel know that it expected Israel to live up to its obligations to the refugees.

      The condition that returning refugees be willing to live at peace with their neighbors is not something that can be invoked to deny the rights of a refugee unless there is specific evidence that the refugee in question has intents that are opposed to peace. Innocent until proven guilty, as in any question of law that touches on individual rights.

    • By the way, 66/75 was passed by a vote of 165 for, 7 against, and 2 abstentions. Voting against were the USA, Israel, Canada, Marshall Islands, Micronesia
      (Federated States of), Nauru, and Palau. Abstaining were Cameroon and Vanuatu. Everyone else (the overwhelming majority of the world) voted for.

    • I'm not sure about your last paragraph...

      For example, UNGA 66/75 (along with many, many others) states clearly that Palestinian refugees "...are entitled to their property and to
      the income derived therefrom..." I can't see that any precedent set by European courts with respect to Greece and Turkey has any bearing on the right of the refugees to the property that they lost.

    • An additional reason that this point is irrelevant is that 194 is re-affirmed by the General Assembly every year, and every year the Arab countries vote for it.

      For example, on January 12, 2012, UNGA 66/75 recalled "its resolutions 194 (III) of 11 December 1948 and 36/146 C of 16 December 1981 and all its subsequent resolutions on the question," expressed "its appreciation for the preservation and modernization of the existing records, including the land records, of the Conciliation Commission, and stress[ed] the importance of such records for a just resolution of the plight of the Palestine refugees in conformity with resolution 194 (III)," and reaffirmed "that the Palestine refugees are entitled to their property and to the income derived therefrom, in conformity with the principles of equity and
      justice".

  • Gazans are 'ho-hum' about the deaths of relatives -- NYT's Rudoren
  • Physicians for Human Rights-Israel: Damage to medical centers and infrastructure in the Gaza Strip
  • Gaza vs. Israel: The legitimate and illegitimate use of violence in the Western discourse
    • Just one example:

      link to en.wikipedia.org

    • "Oddly in Foresome’s piece is the claim that Hamas brag about targeting civilians, would a link be forthcoming because of course they also deny it."

      Nonsense. Remember all the suicide bombings (including buses, restaurants, etc.) during the Second Intifada? Most obviously targeted civilians. Hamas claimed responsibility for many of them.

      I'm not going to all your work for you. Google "Palestinian suicide attacks", go to the Wikipedia page, and check the documentation of specific attacks for which Hamas claimed responsibility in the footnotes.

      I'll find you another link, too. It will take a few minutes.

    • With all respect for Woody Tanaka's point about how the Allies targeted German and Japanese civilians on a massive scale during World War II, there is a meaningful difference between organizations (state-run or otherwise) who target civilians and those who don't. Intentionally killing civilians is a war crime, and it should be. There can be no question that Hamas does this...and brags about it. This is reprehensible.

      Where I think the author does make good points is in her description of how Israel is subjected to less than critical analysis in the West of what its intent actually is. I think that the West has settled for a definition of "intent" that is skewed towards too much leniency for the IDF and Israel and towards too much violation of basic Palestinian rights.

      There are very good reasons to suspect that the IDF kills Palestinians in the Gaza Strip with intent.

      1) Israel has been killing Palestinians in the Strip and claiming that it did not intend to for years now, but the methods it uses to attack "terrorist" targets in the Strip have not changed. At least since 2005, Israel has regularly killed civilians while claiming to be "rooting out terrorist infrastructure" or some such. Moreover, it has done this using the same methods (e.g., attacks from the air, land, and sea on "terrorists" or structures used by "terrorist networks".)

      By this time, we know that Israel will kill civilians when it launches attacks on "terrorists" in Gaza. Far more civilians than the "terrorists" themselves kill. And Israel will continue to civilians as long as it uses the same methods.

      At some point, someone should point out that as long as the same methods are used in the same place on the same population, civilians will be killed. And, at some point, the continued use of the same methods must be thought to constitute intent.

      2) Israel has not hesitated to target civilians in their collective punishment of Gaza. link to mondoweiss.net is just one example, but Israel's entire policy of seizure and closure has targeted Palestinians indiscriminately, and who knows how many innocent lives this has cost.

      3) The IDF has explicitly targeted civilians in the past. The use of white phosphorus was just one practice that constituted war crimes during Cast Lead. Without a wholesale investigation and housecleaning (a housecleaning that has not happened), there is no reason to think that the leadership of the IDF and of Israel value Gazan life any more than they did in 2008-9.

      Unless and until Israel fundamentally changes its policies towards Gaza, I think that any claims that it does not intend to kill civilians should be treated with extreme skepticism, at best.

  • Video: Watch Netanyahu ‘prepare international public opinion for an Israeli operation in Gaza’
    • It's remarkable that this was posted after a weekend in which the IDF killed three kids and wounded dozens more in Gaza.

      The content is pretty ominous. It suggests that Israel's leadership really is considering Cast Lead II. Since they cannot bomb Iran any time soon, it seems, they have chosen to revert to their standard punching bag.

    • Is Milikovsky the second guy who spoke?

  • 'A vision seen in a dream': A leading religious Zionist's 1956 call for the Palestinian refugees to return
    • Fascinating...
      Written only eight months before Israel invaded Egypt...which led to the UN Expeditionary Forces being positioned along the boarder...which brought an end to the "infiltration" from Gaza.

  • 'This is travesty of American criminal justice': Supreme Court denies Holy Land Five appeal
    • The last paragraphs of this piece are very important:
      "...this doesn't mean work in solidarity with the Holy Land Five is over."

      No indeed. For the sake of justice in our democracy, it is important for us to stand with the victims of this judicial injustice. I hope that Mondoweiss continues to keep us informed.

  • Human rights lawyers call on US to provide official accounting of deaths from drone strikes
  • 'Ecumenical deal' crumbles as Christian denominations press on US aid to Israel
    • That this letter was sent is an encouraging sign that the mainline churches are moving in the right direction.

      What is concerning is that evangelical churches are, in general, far from following their lead, and they represent the most vocal American Christian voices on issues related to the Middle East. I am thinking especially of the Christians United for Israel crowd, with whom Netanyahu and Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren maintain tight connections.

      Especially for Congressional Republicans, it seems that CUFI will more than drown out the reasoned voice of the mainline churches for the near future, no matter how many such letters they write.

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