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Total number of comments: 934 (since 2010-08-12 20:08:39)

To help resolve the Palestinian / Israeli problem within International Law.

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  • Palestinian youth say the talks with Israel are futile
    • Palestinian youth say the talks with Israel are futile, to them maybe, but not to the Israelis who see the opportunity to build more settlements, while the talks take place and no International pressure on them for another year. Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir was quoted in a published interview as saying he wanted to drag out peace talks with the Palestinians for a decade while vastly increasing the number of Jewish settlers in Israeli-occupied territories. Abbas has doubled that and more than doubled the number of settlers. Oslo should have been stillborn the moment one more settler crossed the green line, once that happened and the Palestinians did nothing,the flood gates opened and now over 20 years later the farce continues.

  • Stephen Walt: publishing 'Israel lobby' ended any thought of serving in US gov't
    • Telling the truth at whatever cost to your academic career or social or monetary advancement, has more rewards in this life, I am sure Phil Weiss could have had a far easier life had he just kept his counsel, and his political head down and not involved himself in this blog. Moreover I am sure he has regretted it on occasion at some stage, but then some individuals, being political animals are compelled to act regardless of the consequences.
      Responsible people do need to speak the truth and although attacked by unscrupulous people, know that eventually, the truth will out, and even after all your efforts, political failure does occur, your own conscience is not troubled.

  • About that special relationship...
    • Phil, I am pleased you have read up on Professor Stephen Cohen's opinions on Ukraine, although the article in the piece above is behind a pay wall, I have read other article by him, he sure knows what he is talking about. In my opinion the present government of Ukraine is illegitimate, here is a complaint I sent to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 13th March 2014, needless to say I have had no response as of yet, nor do I expect one ever.
      In a statement to the House of Commons on 4th March 2014, the Foreign Secretary deceived the House about the legitimacy of the new regime in Ukraine. He led the House to believe that the Ukrainian parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, had removed President Yanukovich from power on 22 February 2014 in accordance with the Ukrainian constitution and that therefore “it is wrong to question the legitimacy of the new authorities. It is simply untrue that the Rada followed the procedure laid down in the Ukrainian constitution to impeach and remove a president from power.

      Article 108 of the Ukraine constitution has four circumstances whereby a President can be replaced, the powers of the President of Ukraine terminate prior to the expiration of term in cases of:

      1) resignation;

      2) inability to exercise his or her powers for reasons of health;

      3) removal from office by the procedure of impeachment;

      4) death.

      The procedure, laid down in Article 111 of the constitution, is not unlike that required for the impeachment and removal from power of a US president, which could take months.

      Thus, Article 111 obliges the Rada to establish a special investigatory commission to formulate charges against the president, seek evidence to justify the charges and come to conclusions about the president’s guilt for the Rada to consider.

      Prior to a final vote to remove a president from power, it requires

      (a) The Constitutional Court of Ukraine to review the case and certify that the constitutional procedure of investigation and consideration has been followed, and

      (b) The Supreme Court of Ukraine must certify that the acts of which the President is accused are worthy of impeachment.

      The Rada didn’t follow this procedure at all. No investigatory commission was established and the Courts were not involved. On 22 February 2014, the Rada simply passed a bill removing President Yanukovych from office.

      Furthermore, the bill wasn’t even supported by three quarters of the members of the Rada, as required by Article 111 for the removal of a president from office – it was supported by 328 members, when it required 338 (since the Rada has 450 members).

      Justifying UK support for the new regime in Kiev in the House of Commons on 4 March 2014, the Foreign Secretary said:

      “Former President Yanukovych left his post and then left the country, and the decisions on replacing him with an acting President were made by the Rada, the Ukrainian Parliament, by the very large majorities required under the constitution, including with the support of members of former President Yanukovych’s party, the Party of Regions, so it is wrong to question the legitimacy of the new authorities.”

      The Ukrainian President had not resigned, he is still the legitimate President of Ukraine, therefore the Foreign Secretary’s statement was a calculated deception of the House of Commons, designed to give the impression that the procedure prescribed in the Ukrainian constitution for the removal of a president from office had been followed, when it hadn’t.

      Because this statement was fundamentally wrong can I be assured that the Foreign Secretary will tell the House of Commons at the earliest opportunity, and through them the British people, that the statement he made on 4th March 2014, was false.

      I await your response
      Harry Law.

  • Florida university president who condemned boycott has financial ties to settlements
    • I wish the organizers of these petitions and referendums would get legal advice before submitting their proposals it seems so easy for the student government to reject them on what seem spurious grounds, for instance "the referendum was not advertised properly" or According to an email regarding the removal of the referendum sent last spring, Associate General Counsel Joanne Adamchak said at the time, the referendum violated Florida statutes which outline prohibited political activity, such as attempts to “to coerce, command and advise any such officer or employee as to where he or she might purchase commodities.“ How many other such proposals are fobbed of by the powers that be, they should take a leaf out of their opponents book and whack them where it hurts.

    • Genshaft is aiding and abetting war crimes, Most war crimes deal with offenses against individuals or groups of individuals, but the offense in Article 49(6) the transfer of Israelis into occupied territory, is one that threatens the integrity of an entire people. It clearly qualifies as an exceptional offense of higher order that is of grave concern to the global community as a whole, If I lived in Florida I would be outside that University handing out thousands of copies of this article.

  • 'No decision has been made on Jonathan Pollard,' says State Dep't
    • I hope I am wrong,but I suspect the Palestinian Leadership will fold again, instead of concentrating on crucial political objectives i.e, enhancing it's fledgling statehood credentials at the UN through the Agencies, and insisting on no more settlement building anywhere beyond the green line, rather, I think the apolitical Abbas will look to bolster his parlous political base, which may look good short term, but as Netanyahu will never concede a comprehensive settlement freeze, all we can look forward to is another year of fruitless negotiations, and another year when the International Community will be cowed into silence [we don't want to spoil the talks] with probably another 20,000 settlement units. A win, win for Israel again.

  • For Miliband, the road to 10 Downing Street runs through Jerusalem and Sderot
    • Pandering, yes, that's what all western Leaders do in Israel, however Ed Milliband and his Shadow Foreign minister Douglas Alexander called on the Conservative government to recognize Palestine as a state at the UN. Alexander called for this at a friends of Palestine meeting in Liverpool in 2011, both have attended friends of Palestine meetings, in the case of Milliband, his parents were both vehement anti Zionist, his father Ralph [now deceased] was also a leading socialist.

  • Christie will get another crack at not saying 'occupied territories' at NY Adelson fete
    • "And Klein is also worried that Christie is too friendly to Muslims". Shouldn't Klein be censored for calling Muslims, Muslims and not terrorists, meanwhile at the BBC, management have decided that the whole of Jerusalem will be referred to as an Israeli City. the BBC’s Senior Editorial Strategy Advisor, Leanne Buckle, has confirmed that the BBC is happy to refer to the whole of Jerusalem as an “Israeli” city. It sees no need for its journalists to make the facts of international law, or even UK government policy, clear to its audiences. link to electronicintifada.net

  • Outspoken Rahm Emanuel goes off-the-record when asked about Israel
    • "I know. I'm just dredging up old stuff". Unfortunately still relevant as any observer of the comments sections of Israeli newspapers would confirm, just ask Max Blumenthal. On a more optimistic note, the Palestinians hope to sign up to 48 UN Agencies at the end of April see.. link to middleeastmonitor.com

  • Distracted by the peace process: What really happened during the talks
    • The ethnic cleansing and settlement building are nothing new, the Israelis genuinely expect no consequences either from the International Community or from the ICC.
      The Palestinians have put too much faith in the so called honest broker, Samantha Powers diatribe the other day should have disabused them of that notion. To the US, the settlement enterprise is only 'unhelpful' diplomatic code for 'we don't care'. Applying for membership of all the UN Agencies [or at least as many as they can afford] plus formally joining the ICC, may bring retribution from US/Israel in the short term, but in my opinion it would be best to apply for all the Agencies plus the ICC all at once, and let the rest of the world judge the illogical and probably unlawful responses from US/Israel, it will not be easy for the Palestinian leadership to invite such retribution, but they must fight back, by gaining non member statehood at the UN and judging by the threats which were made at the time, one would have thought the sky would fall in, it did not, Abbas was a hero. Now is the time to build on that success, they have a lot to lose in the short term, in the long term by putting their trust in the institutions of the UN and International Law and public opinion generally, they can only win.

  • Apathy in Ramallah as negotiations with Israel dive
    • Yes Henry, the prisoners issue is easy for Israel to solve, just abide by the ground rules set up by Kerry and release the prisoners, if Abbas agrees to extend the talks beyond 29th April without at least a full settlement freeze it would prove Israeli blackmail and trashing of agreements has worked once again.
      To be honest the Israelis know they can play Abbas and Erekat like a fiddle, I would not trust that duo as far as I could throw them.

    • From Annie's link to the J post above Abbas's new conditions include complete halt of settlement construction, PA sovereignty over Area C, and no IDF operations in PA-controlled territories.
      One can only hope Abbas sticks to these demands, they will not get them from the Israelis because only a limited settlement freeze is remotely possible, which must not [according to Netanyahu] include East Jerusalem, I seem to remember the last short freeze [on paper only] had to be bought by the US with free? f16 jets. PA sovereignty of area C is probably the biggest no no as far as Israel is concerned, how can we [Israel] give away the sovereignty of area C when the whole of "the Land of Israel" including Judea and Samaria belongs to Israel and has done so for thousands of years. As far as no IDF operations in Palestinian areas goes, many Israeli observers do not admit that these areas are under occupation, which is not the view of the Israeli Supreme court, which say they are. I hope Abbas sticks to these reported demands, and realizes that they can only be achieved through the institutions of the UN, and of the ICC.

  • US is 'absolutely adamant' that Palestine not go to ICC and wreck the peace process -- Power
    • Power "In the event that the Palestinians seek and obtain membership in a U.N. agency, the last thing that we want to do is to give them a double win,” What a nasty despicable creature she is. She now thinks the Palestinians are the enemy. For God's sake Abbas go for all 63 UN agencies, give that bitch both barrels.

  • Boteach stops reporter from videotaping Columbia University debate
    • "Boteach first invited me to walk to the bathroom", After reading Boteach's book on Kosher Lust, Phil did what any good reporter would do, made his excuses, and left.

  • Not an April Fool's joke: U.S. weighs releasing Pollard to keep Israelis at negotiating table
    • Abbas has shown a reluctance to resist US/Israel demands for an extension of the talks, they [the Israelis] could be forgiven for believing that Abbas would settle for a partial settlement freeze and more importantly a prisoner release, the latter has no political significance at all, except to boost Abbas's short term local support, in other words, in the apolitical world the Palestinian leadership reside in, it may seem like a good offer. JV Whitbeck in the Arab News said "Friends of Palestine may legitimately start to wonder why the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah bothered to go to the UN General Assembly on Nov. 29 if it did not intend to follow up and build on its triumph in any useful way — most obviously by seeking to balance its huge disadvantages in the realms of power politics and brute force with its huge advantages under international law — and if it remains content to leave the fate of the Palestinian people and cause in the far from benevolent hands of the US government".

  • Christie steps in deep doo-doo, promptly apologizes to Adelson. Whew!
    • Pat Buchanan has an excellent article in Antiwar.com here..link to original.antiwar.com Adelson’s response was recorded by Philip Weiss of Mondoweiss website who was at Yeshiva and filmed the interview. Weiss says the audience cheered Adelson’s proposed nuclear strike on Iran and no one on the stage, not Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens, peeped a word of dissent.
      And this is a “very rational guy,” who doesn’t want “a crazy extremist to be the nominee”?

    • eljay, I don't think he is sorry or grovelling enough, he should consult Samantha Power and Professor Dershowitz for advice on the correct and full slobbering apology. Otherwise he will not get their millions.

  • Journalistic malpractice: Washington Post suggests Abbas doesn't recognize Israel's right to exist
    • Another way of looking at it is, because Zionists regard the "Land of Israel" as Israels sovereign territory, including Judea and Samaria, then Abbas does not, nor can he recognize Israels right to exist.

  • BDS' big night: Loyola student government passes divestment, U. Mich votes it down
    • Alex, "Abbas has come out against the BDS movement", no, he supports the BDS movement but only confined to occupied territories. Nevertheless the Abbas position is a good weapon to use against BDS, why did he have to say anything, or even explained the reason he could not openly endorse the BDS position with regard to Israel proper, which was, if he did so it would attract sanctions from the US. Needless to say, when given the chance to explain himself on this crucial issue, he failed to do so.

  • Avigdor Lieberman claims transferring Palestinian citizens is perfectly legal
    • Israel's army radio reported on Wednesday that the US administration has offered to release the American who spied for Israel, Jonathan Pollard, in exchange for the 26 Palestinian prisoners initially scheduled for release in March, but only if Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas agrees to extend the negotiations with Israel. link to middleeastmonitor.com

    • The more settlements Israel builds, the more of a bind they are getting into, if they withdrew to their legal borders the demographic situation would be approx 75% Jewish, 25% Arab and others, and therefore a guaranteed Jewish majority for the foreseeable future, unfortunately that huge tract of occupied Palestinian land called Area C where most of the settlements are [and the water] and inhabited by only a small number of Palestinians, means that the Israelis will want to annex, somehow, all this area. In my opinion and to make matters worse, no Israeli Government will give up its claim to sovereignty over the whole of the land of Israel [as they see it] that's why no maps are ever presented by the Israeli side in these futile negotiations, the Israelis [and US] want another year for negotiations, to buy time, unfortunately they are pushing on an open door, because Abbas has almost declared that negotiations are an end in themselves and is reduced to being openly blackmailed over the release of 25 prisoners, due for release in any case under the previous agreement, maybe the Israelis will promise to release those prisoners if the Palestinians agree to extend the talks. You could not make it up.

  • Now the US is trying to 'delegitimize' Israel's defense minister
    • Philip Munger @ "doesn't look like there's anything beneath her blouse" you are so naughty Philip, I did not even look, which is, unfortunately confirmation that I am past it. On why Netanyahu did not say he was not speaking for the government. It was Bill Clinton who drily observed after meeting the newly elected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that "he thinks he is the superpower and we are here to do whatever he requires."

  • In Abbas meeting, Obama dropped formula about recognizing Israel as Jewish state
    • Meanwhile the settlements continue "Though the decisions hadn’t been officially announced to the public yet, Israel’s defense ministry has confirmed major steps toward two new rounds of settlement expansions adding up to 2,269 new homes in the occupied territories". They must be waiting for Abbas to agree to extend the talks, for most humiliation purposes, better still if they can time the announcement to when Kerry visits and Abbas concedes [a twofer] the second they do so, the announcement will be made

    • If Netanyahu was serious about wanting others to recognize Israel as "The Jewish state" he should go to the UN and officially change the name of 'Israel' to the 'Jewish state of Israel', like the Islamic Republic of Iran for instance. of course he is not serious.

  • Time for world leaders to stop inflating Israel’s bubble of denial
    • This is an excellent article, it may be that Germany will be reluctant to upset Israel, they should take a leaf out of tiny Luxembourg's policy..Luxembourg's general pension fund (FDC) has decided to boycott five Israeli banks due to their illegal activities in West Bank settlements.
      The Israeli website Walla reported that the state-affiliated pension fund of Luxembourg has decided to boycott all major banks in Israel.
      The website pointed out that despite the small size of the state of Luxembourg in Europe; it constitutes a major hub in the world's investment and finance. link to middleeastmonitor.com

  • Netanyahu seems to put Hitler mustache on Angela Merkel
    • Krauss @ Source. Are you trying to get me in trouble? If I reveal my source I may have to hightail it to Russia, no thanks. see my comment below, for some reason reply facility did not work on earlier comment.

    • The most damaging of all the Snowden revelations was the news that in March 2009—two months after President Obama took office—the NSA agreed to provide all this intelligence data to a foreign country: Israel. As a Sept. 11 Guardian article described it: ”Details of the intelligence-sharing agreement are laid out in a memorandum of understanding between the NSA and its Israeli counterpart that shows the U.S. government handed over intercepted communications likely to contain phone calls and e-mails of American citizens. The agreement places no legally binding limits on the use of the data by the Israelis.” link to wrmea.org

      As Mondoweiss staff reporter Alex Kane noted: “While the agreement was authored in 2009, this specific intelligence-sharing relationship between Israel and America dates back to the aftermath of 9/11, according to documents referenced by The Guardian.” Snowden fills in more of the picture concerning Israeli links to U.S. intelligence, Kane wrote. As Max Blumenthal reported in June, for the past decade an Israeli intelligence firm, Narus, has provided the NSA with technology that enabled it to obtain and analyze at least 80 percent of Americans’ online and telephone communications.

    • Netanyahu has been privy to all Merkels telephone conversations, private and business, thanks to the NSA sharing this information with the Israelis. Information is power, no wonder they will not give it up easily.

  • Mayor de Blasio receives invitation to visit Palestine
    • The Mayor knows all about Israel/Palestine he also knows the difference between right and wrong. Unfortunately there are not many Palestinians in his constituency, siding with Israel in New York is a win win situation for him, he is just a politician on the make, he knows siding with Israel can get him elected and stay elected. His only problem is he could not keep it a secret.

  • By 2035, Jewish population in Israel/Palestine is projected at 46 percent
    • In a letter sent to Netanyahu several Israeli MK's , Yariv Levine said. "It is our right and historic duty to settle and build in all parts of the land of Israel and we will stand determinedly on this right."
      "You don't freeze a people that returned to its country and is building its home there," MK Motti Yogev (Bayit Yehudi) said.
      "Between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan Rive there will only be one Jewish and democratic state - the State of Israel," Yogev added. "The two-state solution is not practicable and is dangerous to the continued existence of the State of Israel."
      According to these MK's one state between the Jordan and the sea can only mean one of two things, expulsion of the Palestinians or Palestinians with no vote, they should be asked, which is it?

  • Transcript: Netanyahu calls on U.S. Jews to fight BDS-- 'eerie' anti-Semites 'on the soil of Europe'
  • Stirring debate on BDS, 'NYT' allows readers to speak out about inequality
  • Goldberg slams Kerry for mentioning boycott-- though he saluted it as 'smart strategy'
    • What the BDS movement needs to do is what the UK Labor Party's Chancellor of the Exchequer Dennis Healey said in relation to property speculators 36 years ago.. that we are going to "squeeze them till the pips squeak".

  • Israel moves forward on high-rise settlement in heart of Palestinian Jerusalem
    • Gaza patients forced to cover State of Palestine on papers before entry to Israel. Why can't the UK customs Authorities do the same for products from occupied territories? This from a UK customs on tariff preference paper; importation of goods from Israel..."The European Community has long taken the view that goods produced in Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian Territories do not qualify for preferential treatment under the terms of the EC/Israel preferential trade agreement. However,the Israeli authorities have confirmed that both they and their exporters do issue proofs of preferential origin (Forms EUR1 or invoice declarations) for 'settlements' produce".
      The use of the EUR1/Invoice declarations should only be used for originating products [from Israel], the UK customs allows this in breach of the Association Agreement [protocol 4] also EU Regulations, to make matters worse the Israeli export Authorities instruct all their exporters from occupied areas to insert the word "Israel" alongside the names of all the locations [including postal codes] where production conferring originating status took place, in occupied territories. see 7[2][b] here..link to ozar.mof.gov.il Clearly the use of the word "Israel" in the export documents was never agreed by the EU Commission, yet there it is, with not a word of complaint from the powers that be, disgraceful.

  • 'Washington Post' runs article denouncing gross censorship by JCC
    • In its mission statement..."The Washington DCJCC stands firmly in support of Israel as an independent Jewish state". One question I would like to put to them is.. where are the borders of this independent state?

  • At Sochi Olympics, Israel is in... Europe!
    • According to Wikipedia Israel does have a Ski resort complete with ski lifts etc, on Mt Hermon, indeed the IDF have an alpinist unit specializing in mountain warfare and use Mt Hermon for training link to en.wikipedia.org Of course UNSC Resolution Number 497 [December 1981] declared "that the acquisition of territory by force was inadmissible and that Israels decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the Golan Heights is null and void and without legal effect". When was the last time Israel complied with International Law? Anyone suggesting they do is a bigoted, anti-Semite trying to delegitimize Israel. Can we look forward to the next winter games in Israel/Syria?

  • Israeli government implosion over peace process opens door to international isolation
    • That's a great scam, steal the Palestinians water and gas, then sell it back to them at great cost, sounds worse than the mafia, anyone complaining gets "intensified surveillance of overseas activists by the Mossad", does that mean staff and contributors at Mondoweiss? By the way I take back all the comments I have made over the years, my errors were all the fault of reading Mondoweiss.

  • EU Prez Martin Schulz wreaks havoc during speech at Knesset
    • A recent study by the Israeli Human Rights group Bt’selem in the Jordan valley found that the Israeli’s had taken control of 77.5% of this area and prevented Palestinians from using the land or remaining there. Israel has taken control of most of the water resources in the area and has earmarked them for the exclusive use of the settlers (9,400 in 37 settlements and 7 outposts). The water allocated to the settlers in this area has enabled them to develop intensive farming methods and to work the land all year round, with most of the produce being exported. The water allocated to these settlers is almost one-third the quantity of water that is accessible to the 2.5 million Palestinians living in the West Bank, water consumption in Bedouin communities for instance is equivalent to the quantity that the UN has set as the minimal needed to survive in humanitarian disaster areas (B’tselem report. Dispossession and exploitation: - Israel’s policy in the Jordan Valley and Northern Dead sea. May 2011).
      Under International Law water is a state owned immovable natural resource sometimes more precious than oil in this area. UN assembly resolution December 22nd 2009 states that the Israeli occupying power, not to exploit, to cause loss and depletion of or endanger the natural resources of the OPT, including East Jerusalem and the occupied Syrian Golan Heights

  • Obama and Power announcements show, Israel is US's BFF
    • During Power's nomination hearing she recommended that the US divest its support from Israel's military, Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) pressed her on these comments. Power responded by saying they were part of "a long, rambling and remarkably incoherent response to a hypothetical question that I should never have answered." link to ynetnews.com She has no shame, what will she not do advance her career, pathetic. At that hearing she wanted to get Israel on the UNSC, doesn't she know they are already on it and with veto power.

  • Troops raid protest village in Jordan Valley at 2 a.m.-- scores injured and arrested
    • So many crimes in the space of one day against the Palestinian people, and yet Abbas refuses to formally sign up to the ICC, no wonder the Israelis think they have impunity, Abbas said in that New York Times interview the other day “I don’t like to go to the courts. I don’t like courts. I want to solve my problems directly between the parties.” that statement alone is criminal, when the people he is supposed to be protecting are on their own to be abused, ethnically cleansed and treated like animals.
      If my neighbor came to me and said someone had set fire to his house and assaulted his daughter, and I asked had he called the police, only to be told, oh no, I want to sort it out with the assailant, I would think my neighbor was mad, just as I think Abbas is a contemptible leader.

  • Revealed: Right-wing group StandWithUs' strategy to combat Israel Apartheid Week
  • 'NYT' highlights AIPAC's first failure in 30 years, as de Blasio and Hillary jump on Iran bandwagon
    • The sanctions will be a dead letter very shortly, Russia and Iran are negotiating a barter deal whereby Russia exchanges goods and money for half a million barrels of crude oil per day, they have told the US that this is none of their business since the unilateral sanctions have been imposed without UNSC permission, also since Russia does not need to import oil, indeed it has no facilities to do so, it is expected that the Russians will just relabel it and sell it on to other Asian customers. link to democraticunderground.com

    • Clinton's letter states.." The U.S. intelligence community has assessed that imposing new unilateral sanctions now ‘would undermine the prospects for a successful comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran." that may be true, but whether new sanctions now would undermine an agreement is a purely political decision, to be made by elected officials, not an intelligence agency. Still she sees the way the wind is blowing, but she is such an opportunistic war monger, she would just as easily change tack if it furthered her political ambitions.

  • The demand for a demilitarized state is telling Palestinians to give away the right to be free
    • What should be more demoralizing to Palestinians in that New York Times interview is that he said [contradicting earlier claims] April 29th 2014 is not a sacred date, meaning the Israelis can pan the talks out forever, worse still is this.. Mr. Abbas said that he had been resisting pressure to join the United Nations agencies from the Palestinian street and leadership — including unanimous votes by the Palestine Liberation Organization’s executive committee and the central committee of his own Fatah Party — and that his staff had presented 63 applications ready for his signature.
      “No, I don’t want, I want to take advantage of every minute now, maybe we can achieve something,” he said. “I don’t like to go to the courts. I don’t like courts. I want to solve my problems directly between the parties.”
      He sounds just like Tzipi Livni who famously said.. NO. I was the Minister of Justice. I am a lawyer…But I am against law -- international law in particular. Law in general. So we have a Palestinian leader who ignores the organizations in his own party and the "Palestinian street" and is quite content to reject recourse to the law and the courts. A Pharaoh indeed, but he is out of his league if he thinks he can get a good deal from the Israelis and their US lawyers, [Shyster, Shyster and Kruk]

  • Kerry's framework according to Friedman and Indyk (Updated: Abbas Weighs In)
    • It looks like Abbas is prepared to pan the "peace process" out for ever he said April 29th 2014 "is not a sacred date", and without recourse to International law, he said in an interview in the New York Times here..link to nytimes.com? I do not like using the courts, and I am resisting all Palestinian attempts to apply for the remaining UN Agencies. He shows absolutely no signs of resistance.

  • 'How many New Yorkers know they just elected a new mayor of Israel?'
  • SodaStream flap educates Americans about the illegal settlement project
    • It must also be noted that the civilian needs of the population living in the territory described above, excludes any Israelis, the protected population in this case are Palestinians, here..
      Geneva Conventions 1949. Article 4
      Persons protected by the convention are those who, at a given moment and in any manner whatsoever, find themselves, in case of conflict or occupation, in the hands of a party to the conflict or occupying power OF WHICH THEY ARE NOT NATIONALS [cited fourth Geneva Conventions 1949. Article 4]

    • Jane Eisner.. "It is not “profiting from the occupation,” as its critics claim." Oh contraire . The Israeli High Court ruled on this in 1983 here... (1) The Israeli high court of justice ruled that The Hague regulations prohibit the exploitation of resources of occupied territory for the economic needs of the occupying country. “The military commander may not weigh national, economic, or social interests of his country in so far as they have no ramifications on his security interest in the area, or on the interest of the local population. Even military needs are his (i.e. the military commander’s) needs and not national security needs in the broad sense. Territory held in belligerent occupation is not an open field for economic or other kinds of exploitation” [HCJ 393/92 Teachers Housing Cooperative V Commander of IDF forces. Honourable justice A Barak 1983]. These settlements fundamentally breach article 49.6 of the Geneva Conventions, Jane can you please do some more homework?
      Here is another example..(2) The Israeli state attorney’s office relied on this principle in its response to the petition The Ma’ale Adumin Municipality filed to exempt it from paying for burying Palestinian waste in the Abu Dis waste-disposal site:
      It is absolutely clear that the powers specified in Article 55 too are subject to the fundamental principal involving the powers of the military commander in territory that is subject to belligerent occupation, as appears from Article 43 (Hague 1907) whereby the area is not an open field for economic exploitation. Therefore the entire authority of the military commander in the region is exercised for security interests or for civilian needs of the population living in the territory, and this includes also the authority under Article 55.

  • 'You seem to be on both sides of this legitimate/illegitimate kind of a thing': State Dept. spox says neither Israeli settlements, nor settlement boycotts, are legitimate
    • Ms. Psaki, "Obviously, this is a company based in Israel." WRONG, this company is based in the West Bank, under World Trade Organization and European Union country of origin rules, which are consistent with the UK rules of origin as set out in the Trade Descriptions Act 1968 section 36... Country of Origin.
      [1] For the purposes of this Act goods shall be deemed to have been manufactured or produced in the country in which they last underwent a treatment or process resulting in a substantial change.
      Therefore, since over 95% of the product was manufactured in the West Bank, [now Palestine] its country of Origin is not Israel, the military commander has breached his duties as the administrator of the occupied territories in many ways.
      [1] Allowing the factory to be set up in the first place by granting concessions, which should only be granted [1] for the benefit of the protected Palestinian population or [2] For military needs, obviously both criteria have not been met, in breach of Article 49.6 of the Geneva Conventions, many other aspects of customary International law have been breached, many of which are also grave war crimes. It simply will not do for Ms. Psaki to say they are illegitimate, or for her boss to call them unhelpful, the correct term, as set out in all the International conventions is WAR CRIMES.

  • In 2012 Oxfam Italy cut ties with celebrity spokesperson over SodaStream connection
    • Johansson's stance is incompatible with her position as Ambassador for Oxfam, the Italian branch are to be commended for sending this letter, just how untenable her position is, [or should be] is to understand what a grave war crime it is that she is supporting, and by extension what Oxfam would be supporting if they keep her on, Most war crimes deal with offenses against individuals or groups of individuals, but the offense in Article 49(6) is one that threatens the integrity of an entire people. It clearly qualifies as an exceptional offense of higher order that is of grave concern to the global community as a whole, only Israel of all the states in the world regard the settlements as legal, to keep her on would put Oxfam as the sole supporter of Israeli colonization, and against the rest of mankind.

  • Abbas lays out his two-state vision in video address to Israeli security conference
    • I like that question to Abbas, " can you convey any message of hope and security to the Israeli people" that should be "can you convey any message of hope and security to the people who are colonizing your land, ethnically cleansing and murdering your people on a daily basis".

  • On the 3rd anniversary of the democratic uprising, is there hope for Egypt?
    • The last opposition newspaper operating in Egypt, El-Shaab, has just been closed down, the interim Prime Minister Al-beblawy said its unprofessional practices and its explicit incitement to violence and terrorism against the state was the reason, they are moving against any opposition, left right and centre, can they get away with it? Well that 12 billion from the GCC countries should last awhile, but then what? I see major trouble ahead. link to middleeastmonitor.com

  • Scarlett and Oxfam chat over Palestinian land loss
    • pabalmont @ "But SodaStream as an industry is present in OPTs illegally." I agree, but when put like that, does not mean a great deal, [like driving 5 kilometers over the speed limit is illegal] what Johansson has to understand is that this settlement enterprise is considered a grave war crime both by the Geneva conventions, now incorporated in the ICC Rome statute. Here is part of the case presented to the court in Bil'in Village v Green Park International which indicates the grave nature and implications of this crime. Under international law, it so happens that a breach of Article 49(6) of the Fourth Geneva Convention is classified as a war crime. The term “war crime” has no clear, universally accepted definition, but essentially war crimes are those violations of the laws of war so grave that they have been specially designated by the international community as an extraordinary class of offence whose reprehensible nature would “shock the conscience of all right-thinking people” (to use the words of Cory J. in R. v. Finta, [1994] 1 S.C.R. 701). Laws against war crimes are generally aimed at atrocities against civilians, prisoners of war, and other non-combatants.

      A war crime, to put it succinctly, is a very serious matter. Further, it is easy to see why the offence in question falls into this special category. Article 49(6) is essentially a law to prevent colonialism. One need look no further than the current condition of the indigenous peoples whose domain once spanned the entire expansive breadth of this continent to appreciate the gravity of the consequences territorial dispossession can inflict upon a population. Most war crimes deal with offences against individuals or groups of individuals, but the offence in Article 49(6) is one that threatens the integrity of an entire people. It clearly qualifies as an exceptional offence of higher order that is of grave concern to the global community as a whole.

  • How we can oppose the Assad regime and Western intervention at the same time
    • "However, we must realize and understand very clearly that if it was not for the regime, and its lack of competence, these elements would not even exist in the first place." It cannot be argued that this large mostly Islamist army, [some put their strength at close to 100,000] is being armed and funded by the most reactionary state in the world Saudi Arabia, with the support of "the West", the opposition refuse to talk to the Assad government with a view to holding elections, and for Syrians alone to decide who governs them, their ideas are similar to the Saudis, no democracy, imposed Sharia Law and discrimination [probably worse] against all minorities, that is why the opposition want to be installed in power, shame on you Omar Chaaban. The attacks on Syria and the support of the West is part of the familiar war on the "so called axis, or arc of extremism" Syria, Hezbollah and Iran, in the case of the GCC countries it is sectarian, and fear of losing their crowns, in the case of the West it is the arc's resistance to Israeli aggression. The only hope for Syria is if Assad prevails and holds elections, hopefully with opposition agreement.

  • Pressure builds on 'double talk' Wasserman Schultz-- not a 'real friend' of Israel
  • NY Mayor tells AIPAC: 'Part of my job description is to be a defender of Israel'
    • I say more power to the Mayor, he came within a whisker of saying Israel is more important to him than the US, many people will take that as the logical conclusion of his remarks, maybe it won't harm him in New York, but it will not be lost on the wider US electorate.

  • Update: 'Blood bubbles' -- mainstream media turn on SodaStream and Scarlett Johansson
    • BillM "Though we manufacture our products in other locations in Israel (Alon Tavor, Ashkelon, Kiryat Shmona, etc.) and elsewhere in the world"
      This is very misleading, the syrups which are only accessories to the main carbonating device are made in Ashkelon, more than 90% of the product [apart from a few small components outsourced to China] is manufactured in occupied territory, the other "so called facilities" are either agents or warehousing facilities with no production taking place there.

    • This company are frauds as are everyone associated with them, in a report to the Nasdeq [stock exchange] they admitted [under the rules of that exchange they had to] that the risks of negative publicity associated with manufacturing in the West Bank were considerable, that report also exposes the manner in which the company conceals the fact that its products are manufactured in a West Bank settlement by using the Made in Israel label. The company, therefore misleads consumers to believe that its products are manufactured in Israel rather than in occupied land.

  • Obama 'outraged' by Schumer, Gillibrand, & Booker's deference to Netanyahu
    • It must be remembered that the new sanctions bill would only come into effect in the event that Iran breaches the interim agreement to limit its nuclear program [something it is highly unlikely to do] or fails to agree to a final accord, [something which is possible, since the US has a tendency to move the goalposts, or sometimes fails to take yes for an answer]. Obama would probably try to do the same in the event of a failure of the agreement with Iran, but if the US tried to move the goalposts the sanctions would be a dead letter to the International community, still, the bill is badly timed and indicates bad faith by its authors.

  • Kerry's Syrian illusion
    • Since Kerry is farming part of the Palestinian question to Saudi Arabia, he might well farm it all out because according to the newspaper Al-Hayat they reported a Western diplomat saying that the latest meeting between Kerry and Netanyahu lasted for seven hours and members of both teams heard loud screaming coming from the other room.
      The newspaper attributed Kerry's postponement of his next visit to the region, initially planned for 13 January, to that fiery meeting. The visit has reportedly been postponed indefinitely. Kerry seeks extension of talks to end of year..link to middleeastmonitor.com

    • If, according to the Geneva 1 communique there was no mention of Assad standing down, and Kerry is insisting that it did, why does Russia not insist the US not attend Geneva 2 either, since they also do not agree with the Geneva 1 formula? Why should the US insist Iran not attend when 40 other countries, including Switzerland can, maybe the US thinks it can get regime change through diplomacy having failed with force. In Syria the majority forces of any consequence ranged against Assad do not believe in democracy, that is why they insist on being installed in power, with that mindset they have to be defeated on the battlefield, the enablers of the head chopping terrorists, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey must be told to turn off the funds and military aid or face the consequences.

  • Rejecting collective punishment from Gaza to Syria
    • "it is time to stand at the front line of the struggle against Assad’s regime and say that enough is enough." Omar sounds like you should join one of the Alqueda groups in the front lines against Assad, these Islamist groups [who comprise the majority fighting forces] backed by one of the most repressive states in the world, Saudi Arabia, both of whom care nothing for democracy, in fact they see it as a threat, these head choppers are equal opportunity killers, who will kill Christians, Jews, Shia and fellow Sunni Muslims simply because they may deviate in some minor way from their fanatical beliefs. The Palestinians for the most part have wisely kept out of the conflict, for the sake of the majority of Syrians and Palestinians, I hope Assad prevails against these animals, and the people of Syria and only they, have the final say in who governs them.

  • As boycott pressure grows, Israeli business leaders plan to confront Netanyahu
    • In another report," An ABP spokesperson said the fund might exclude the stocks "as a last resort" if the banks fail to act. Nordea, meanwhile, is expected to meet the Israeli banks in March and take a decision on a possible withdrawal of investment at a meeting in May."
      It is difficult to see how the Israeli banks can do anything about this, because the economy of the West Bank [now Palestine] is so interlinked with the Israeli economy in fact according to a New Israeli report: Israeli Banks are principal beneficiaries of the illegal settlements. link to pulsemedia.org Most Israeli Banks also have branches in occupied territory, get out of that.

  • 'New Yorker' says Scarlett Johansson's relationship with SodaStream may hurt her image
    • The UK Foreign Office recently put out new guidance via the UK Trade and Industry's Overseas Business Risk Register

      We do not encourage economic or financial activities in the settlements. We do not offer support to such activity.
      Firms must be aware of legal and economic risks in financial transactions, investments, purchases, procurements, other economic activities, including tourism, in Israeli settlements or benefiting Israeli settlements owing to disputed titles to land, water, mineral or other natural resources
      They must also be aware of potential REPUTATIONAL implications of getting involved in economic and financial activities in settlements.
      They must be aware of possible abuses of the rights of individuals. Those contemplating economic or financial involvement should seek legal advice.
      The UK will continue to enforce the labelling guidelines to identify settlement goods because “we understand the concerns of people who do not wish to purchase goods exported from Israeli settlements”.
      The UK will also continue to enforce the EU ruling that denies imports from illegal settlements the preferential tariff that applies to Israeli and Palestinian imports.

  • Elephant waddles through room. 'NYT' doesn't see it
    • "How could your average reader of the New York Times understand what’s really happening here?" Everyone is speculating on the average reader of the New York Times being ignorant of who is behind all this, this is all rather condescending, when Obama called for strikes against Syria on the grounds of use of chemical weapons, the US public sure knew what was going on and communicated their feelings in no uncertain terms to their Congressional representatives, some polls of the US electorate put Congress popularity as low as 10%, lets not assume the average US citizen does not know what's going on.

  • Scarlett Johansson watch: SodaStream stock plunges
  • Biden likens Sharon to -- hold on to your hat -- James Joyce
    • In 1982 the UNGA passed a Resolution 37/123 on the Sabra and Shatila massacre...
      1. Condemns in the strongest terms the large-scale massacre of
      Palestinian civilians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps;
      2. Resolves that the massacre was an act of genocide.
      Yes votes 123, No votes 0, Abstentions 22
      The person responsible is now lauded by the "great and the good" the sight of Blair in the Marc Ellis article today, just fills me with rage.

  • Scarlett Johansson for SodaStream: 'Set the bubbles free' but keep the Palestinians bottled in Area A
    • For an in depth look at the Soda Stream Company, see Who Profits 'A case study for corporate activity in illegal Israeli settlements' here..link to whoprofits.org

    • It seems Soda Stream in the UK have wised up to the false labeling, previous carbonating devices on sale in my local ASDA store had "made in Israel on the label, however now the box just has a number of distributor/agents identified, on the one I saw it had an address in Cambridge UK. Under the Consumer Protection for Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 [CPUTR] Invitation to purchase 6[4] the following information will be material..
      4[c] the geographical address of the trader and the geographical address of any other trader on whose behalf the trader is acting. In my opinion this information is material, in fact crucial, to any prospective purchaser especially in view of the business guidance just released by the Foreign Secretary and published by the Department of Trade and Industry on its overseas business risk register. This state’s inter alia,
      ‘Firms must be aware of legal and economic risks in financial transactions and purchases benefiting Israeli settlements in the West Bank owing to disputed titles to land, water, mineral or other natural resources. And that those people contemplating economic or financial involvement should seek legal advice’.
      That purchase is directly benefiting the settlement enterprise. Clearly this advice is important for any prospective purchaser to know about, quite apart from the legislative requirements detailed above. Questions are now being raised to departmental stores about the "geographical or commercial origin of the product" as required by article 5[p] of the CPUTR 2008. The stores [in my opinion] should be obliged to answer, will they tell a lie "made in Israel" ? if they do they will be in breach of section 16 Trades Description Act 1968 which is...
      Section 16: Prohibition of importation of goods bearing false indication of origin.
      Where a false trade description is applied to any goods outside the United Kingdom and the false indication, or one of the false indications, given, or likely to be taken as given, thereby is an indication of the place of manufacture, production, processing or reconditioning of the goods or any part thereof the goods shall not be imported into the United Kingdom. So it would appear they should not be able to fool the consumer, whether they tell the truth or not. These matters are legally ongoing.

  • Lawyer Against Law: Dershowitz tells Israelis pay no attention to international law
    • David Samel @ "The way international law has been warped to justify “preemptive attacks" I think its even worse than that, Dershowitz is advocating preventive war which is distinct from preemptive war, the latter being a legal strike when an attack is imminent, what Dershowitz is advocating is a strike to forestall a shift in the balance of power and therefore illegal under International law.

  • Ariel Sharon, whose political career was unhindered by civilian massacres, dies at 85
    • Donald @ "I think this is a Western thing. When a Western country uses advanced technology to bomb civilians, it may be criticized, but it’s also seen as somehow “normal” George Orwell said something similar in 'Notes on Nationalism'.... "The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them".

  • PLO official: Kerry threatened to stop funds if Palestinians do not agree to his framework
    • 'The US will not be able to prevent the expansion of the settlements', what a joke, as soon as Kerry left Israel, they announced more settlement construction, he got the proverbial kick up the backside to help him on his way.

  • Kerry (and NYT) carry water for Netanyahu on 'Jewish state' demand
    • Amigo @ "The Unionists in Northern Ireland are much more settler (planter) in their history and orientation" That may well be the case, but so what, they have been there for over 400 years, how old is the US? Everyone is agreed, no change without consent, that being the case, maybe Catholics and Protestants can come together and vote for parties based on their class instincts rather than their sectarian makeup.

    • Amigo sorry you had no reply provision after your comment @ "And incidentally articles 2 & 3 were not removed but rather reworded. For the record". Article 2
      ‘The national territory consists of the whole island of Ireland, its islands and the territorial seas.’
      The constitution was changed from the above, which is a claim, to the "reworded" aspiration, a crucial difference.
      "The idea of a grand reshaping of the island of Ireland through forced political unification has been a dead letter for a long time". Yes and thank goodness for that, nevertheless the Provisional IRA could always point to that constitutional claim to justify their violence, the most important thing today is that there can be no constitutional changes without the consent of the people most affected.

    • Tobias, I did not say all the Catholic community wanted to remain part of the UK, But it was always the case that a significant proportion did, as this poll indicates, let's quote another poll, one in 1973, the border poll, now it's true that Nationalist politicians boycotted that poll, for the very good reason that they knew what a disaster that would be for them. The result on a turnout of approx 60%, 98.9% voted to remain part of UK, 1.1% wanted a United Ireland, then when a plebiscite was held in the Republic of Ireland to remove articles 2 and 3 from the constitution, which claimed the whole Island of Ireland and its territorial seas as part of the historic Irish nation [you know, like the Israeli government claim "the Land of Israel" as being rightfully theirs for 3000 years] the result 94.39% to drop the claim, 5.6 to keep it. These facts can't be wished away, the people of both parts of Ireland have decided there can be no constitutional changes without the people of Northern Ireland, Catholic and Protestant voting for it.

    • It's also not easy being an Irish Nationalist in Northern Ireland, because Nationalists drew their support from the Catholic community which according to this poll, wants to remain part of the United Kingdom link to belfasttelegraph.co.uk This was always the case, but because of the sectarian, tribal nature of NI politics it was easy for politicians to appeal to their religious base, and very hard for non sectarian candidates to prevail.

    • I think Netanyahu should head to the United Nations and apply to get the state of Israel renamed the "Jewish state of Israel", rather like the Islamic Republics of Iran or Pakistan, he won't do it of course, but if he did it might prove he was at least serious about it.

  • Dutch pension giant ditches Israeli banks over involvement with settlements
    • The UK Foreign Office last month issued guidance on trade with the settlements, it was published by the Department of Trade and Industry on its overseas business risk register here.link to ukti.gov.uk they warn firms to be aware of legal and economic risks in financial transactions and purchases benefiting Israeli settlements in the West Bank owing to disputed titles to land, water, mineral or other natural resources. And that those people contemplating economic or financial involvement should seek legal advice. They also warn of damage to their reputations. Wee Willy Vague issued the guidance, hope springs eternal.

    • Hope that's true Dutch, ABP, invested capital 292 billion euros, is one of the biggest pension funds in the world

    • Ben White said in this excellent article in Middle East Monitor "the rationale behind PGGM's decision highlights the weakness of those who push a 'settlement products only' boycott strategy. The Dutch realised that "it would be impossible to create a firewall between its investments in Israeli banks and the banks' activities in the territories", and thus opted for boycott even of banks that only had "indirect" ties to settlements". link to middleeastmonitor.com. This Dutch giant has assets of 131 billion euros.

  • Facts on the Ground Peace Index: Volume V
    • Here is a summary of Israeli violations of International law in 2013. link to palestinianmissionuk.createsend1.com

    • "One senior Israeli cabinet minister told The Times of Israel that it was in Jerusalem’s interest to “buy time.” While the talks may ultimately amount to nothing, he suggested, nine months of diplomatic quiet were well worth the effort". That's what all these negotiations are about, why don't the Palestinian leadership catch on, but they have said their lives are about negotiation, I wonder if in a couple of years they will be trying to negotiate their way out of the prison walls the Israelis are rapidly building around them.

  • Is AIPAC suddenly a dirty word?
  • 'This is a conflict felt around the world,' Kerry says on his tenth trip
    • Shmuel @ "about Israeli control over Palestinian lives" Yes of course, I have never heard of a prison with only three walls, Gaza Mk 2 is the aim, wall em up, and torment them till they leave.

  • Questioning Obama's nerve, Oren imagines 'massive' bombing campaign to 'flatten all of Iran'
    • Oren.."Obama claims to have spent more time on the telephone, and in his personal relations [with Netanyahu] than with any other foreign leader". Sarkozy.. "I cannot bear Netanyahu, he's a liar". Obama..."Your fed up with him, but I have to deal with him everyday". The unvarnished truth caught on that live mike.

  • Avigdor's triumph: Israel reportedly wants to transfer northern villages into Palestinian state
    • There is nothing wrong with proposing solutions, like moving borders or people, provided the borders are moved with the consent of the governments concerned and the people moved, are willing to move, which is not the case with the Israeli Palestinians, what Lieberman and earlier Livnis proposals seem to amount to, is that the well documented war crimes of the settlement enterprise should stay in place, only for further war crimes to be committed,with the involuntary transfer of Palestinian citizens of Israel into another state. I don't suppose either Ministers conducted a survey amongst the Palestinian citizens of Israel [which is the least that should be done] before floating such an obscene proposal. But then, when have Palestinian opinions been of any concern to Israeli leaders?

  • No 'breakthrough' and no 'agreement' in the Middle East, Indyk says-- anonymously
    • It's all very clear to me, negotiations to go on indefinitely, that should please the Israelis, 5,000 housing units in 5 months since the latest round of talks began, and they are still talking about having talks about talks, is that clear? Perfectly. Netanyahu "make plans for another 20,000 housing units the moment the talks get extended".You couldn't make it up.

  • Israeli minister times settlement move to humiliate Kerry
    • Does the Israeli Interior Minister have the chutzpah to send Kerry the correct message, and ask the Secretary of State to lay the first stone at Gitit the new settlement in the Jordan valley?

  • El Al airlines promotes tourism in occupied territories
    • Walid @ " those tens of thousands of “jihadist” fighters imported into the Syrian revolution by the US and its Gulf pals have sworn to turn their attention to Israel once they finish the job in Syria". It is to be hoped that those "Jihadist" fighters all meet their maker in Syria, these 'Takferis' supported by the medieval Kings and Emirs of the GCC, think nothing of killing unbelievers, they are equal opportunity killers, whatever your religion or non, unless you think like them, you are marked for death. My hope is that there are not that many of them in the Arab world and they can be defeated, starting in Syria, because if their aren't, they will destroy the Arab world.

    • In the wine example above Golan Heights Winery claim the grapes where grown exclusively in the Golan Heights, so that under World Trade Organization and European Union "country of origin rules" Rules which are consistent with the UK Trade Descriptions Act 1968 Section 36.. "country of origin".
      For the purposes of this Act goods shall be deemed to have been manufactured or produced in the country in which they last underwent a treatment or process resulting in a substantial change.
      These European Regulations would probably apply to all Golan Heights wine.

    • Golan Heights Winery Label their wine as "wine of Israel" and "produced and bottled by Golan Heights Winery Katzrin Israel" according to European Union Legislation EU Reg Number 607/2009 Article 55 It is mandatory to indicate "country of origin" on the label, which in this case should be Syria. see example here:
      link: link to i226.photobucket.com

      this is a criminal offence, this regulation is mandatory throughout Europe, watch this space. UNSC Resolution 497 [December 1981] declared that the acquisition of territory by force was inadmissible and that Israel's decision to impose it's laws, jurisdiction and administration in the Golan Heights is null and void and without legal effect.

  • New York Senate leader wants to cut off cash to colleges involved in American Studies Association
    • MHughes976 @ "Can you tell me whether the 2010 Equalities Act has made any relevant difference?" I am sorry, I can't, although glancing at it, it does not seem all that different from the Race Relations Act 1976. On its face it looks like discrimination on the grounds of ethnic origin, but as you say, can they justify it? The question of race/and or nationality can be thrown into the mix, but I don't want to go there, should be well worth following.

    • MHughes976 @UK lawsuit, This is a difficult one, the 1976 Race Relations Act states,
      1/ A person discriminates against another in any circumstances relevant for the purposes of any provision of this Act if,
      a/ On racial grounds he treats that other less favorably than he treats or would treat other persons and which he cannot justify on non racial grounds etc, Then..3 Meaning of “racial grounds", “racial group" etc.
      (1)In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—
      “racial grounds” means any of the following grounds, namely colour, race, nationality or ethnic or national origins;
      “racial group” means a group of persons defined by reference to colour, race, nationality or ethnic or national origins, and references to a person’s racial group refer to any racial group into which he falls.
      (2)The fact that a racial group comprises two or more distinct racial groups does not prevent it from constituting a particular racial group for the purposes of this Act.
      Can a public institution like the NHS or a Union boycott an Israeli or could the Union argue their policy is to ban all Israelis whether Jewish or Non Jewish? Interesting questions here, not sure the NHS/Union is on safe ground.

    • These Israeli Universities are heavily involved with Government policy, some of which involve at the worst war crimes or at the least discrimination of people with non Jewish origin, many laws in Israel attest to that fact, how is it possible to legally prevent a boycott in such circumstances? I think this is the section referred to in the article... 13. It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice (i) for any person to boycott or blacklist, or to refuse to buy from, sell to or trade with, or otherwise discriminate against any person, because of the race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, or disability of such person, or of such person's partners, members, stockholders, directors, officers, managers, superintendents, agents, employees, business associates, suppliers or customers, or (ii) for any person willfully to do any act or refrain from doing any act which enables any such person to take such action. This subdivision shall not apply to:

      (a) Boycotts connected with labor disputes; or

      (b) Boycotts to protest unlawful discriminatory practices.

  • Palestinians agree: somebody has to mow the grass in Gaza
  • Kerry wants to imprison West Bank with massive security fence along Jordanian border
    • Walid @ “The Palestinian President said that when Kerry formally presents his draft proposal he will not respond before showing it to the Arab League and getting its input.” I don't think Abbas would need to do that, if the proposals are as reported, they would represent terms of surrender only a fool could accept, but then the Abbas suggestion that US troops could man the Palestinian border with Jordan is equally foolish, they would have to co ordinate with the IDF, in effect take orders from them, these proposals will be DOA, maybe Kerry knows that, but all is not lost, just recently "the PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erakat, commenting on Kerry’s proposals, said that the Palestinian leadership “perhaps” committed a “strategic mistake” by agreeing to the resumption of negotiations with Israel instead of seeking first the membership of international organizations to build on the UN General Assembly’s recognition last year of Palestine as a non-member state". If true, this Kerry proposal amounts to an insult to the Palestinians intelligence, will it be a wake up call to the Palestinian Leadership, Abbas need not go to the Arab league, he should give Kerry both barrels, to his face.

  • Major Jewish org: boycott vote is wake-up call in battle against 'extremist' delegitimization of Israel
    • Krauss @ "They’ve found that non-voting blocs tend to follow those who voted but they just feel less energized about it", thanks for that, I remember arguing with my brother in law when over 1 million people marched in London against the Iraq war, he said something facile like "in that case there could be 50 million for the war who decided to stay at home".

  • A visit from the NSA (for Christmas)
    • Justpassingby @ "Pretty sure NS@ snooping on users here". I don't think the NSA would do such a despicable thing, it's not polite to snoop, in any case I always send my comments tied to the leg of a pigeon just in case,across the Atlantic, or that at least is how it seems when it takes so long for my comments to appear. Only joking MW editors.

  • JNF 'Blue Box' erases Green Line
    • One of the problems is Israel’s insistence on its sovereignty over the whole of the West Bank, a two state solution as envisaged by the Israelis would not mean they would give up their claim to sovereignty, so that Palestinians would have a very limited form of self government, Bantus-tans, surrounded by Israeli settlements.
      As an example of this the European Union came to an agreement with Israel, the "Technical Arrangements" whereby Israel agreed to - in accordance with a 'Technical Arrangement' concluded by the EU and Israel, the postal code and the name of the city, village or industrial zone where production conferring originating status has taken place appear on all proofs of preferential origin issued or made out in Israel; This arrangement enabled customs authorities in the EU to distinguish settlement goods from goods made in Israel proper, however the Israeli Tax Authorities use the EURI/Invoice Declarations for goods from settlements, The EURI/Invoice declarations should only be used for originating goods, and goods which attract preferential duty, in my opinion a clear wrongful use of documentation, see “ Israel Tax Authority, Regulations Technical Issues in the implementation of protocol 4 of the Association Agreement for the purpose of indicating the location conferring originating status in preference documents in exportation from Israel to the EU”, link to ozar.mof.gov.il this extract below from 7 [2] [B] notice how they have slipped in the word “Israel” which appears nowhere on the Israel/EU agreement.
      7[2]B. Invoice Declarations covering goods which obtained their originating status entirely in locations that according to the EU's position are not included in Paragraph 83 of the Association Agreement for the purposes of preferential tariff treatment, or entirely in other locations in Israel - the names of all the locations (including postal codes) where production conferring originating status took place shall be indicated in parenthesis next to the word "Israel".

    • The Likud Party charter states .. a. “The Jordan river will be the permanent eastern border of the State of Israel.”
      b. “Jerusalem is the eternal, united capital of the State of Israel and only of Israel. The government will flatly reject Palestinian proposals to divide Jerusalem”
      c. “The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river.”
      d. “The Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are the realization of Zionist values. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel. The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting.” On Palestinian self-rule it says:
      "The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river. The Palestinians can run their lives freely in the framework of self-rule, but not as an independent and sovereign state. Thus, for example, in matters of foreign affairs, security, immigration and ecology, their activity shall be limited in accordance with imperatives of Israel’s existence, security and national needs." So there we have it, Israel will not freely give up sovereignty over the Land of Israel, it will have to be taken from them, they will never negotiate it away.

  • Israel's war on Christmas rages on
    • Hezbollah congratulates Christians on Christmas. As usual on Christian occasions, especially on Christmas, Hezbollah delegations visited a number of Christian figures.Hezbollah Congratulates Christians
      Hezbollah Shura member Sheikh Mohammad Yazbek led a delegation which included also caretaker Minister Hussein al-Haj Hassan and Baalbek-Hermel deputies Deir el-Ahmar parish.
      The delegation offered congratulations to the Christian figures on Christmas an emphasized the importance of coexistence.
      Hezbollah also hosted southern Lebanon a luncheon in honor of the Christian figures.
      Political, social and security representatives attended the luncheon. [Al Manar tv]

  • 'The Nation' and the privileging of Jewish voices on Israel/Palestine
    • Whether the situation in Israel proper can be described as Apartheid could be debatable, people of non Jewish origin are certainly discriminated against, the state through it's many laws which openly favor people of Jewish origin and discriminate against non Jews attest to that fact. The situation in Occupied Palestinian Territory however is definitely Apartheid, or as Hostage has pointed out better described as persecution, the transfer of citizens of Israel into occupied territory is a well documented war crime in breach of the Geneva Conventions, that crime is built upon with the further crime of Apartheid/persecution, and then the further war crime of pillage, better known these days as theft, puts the top hat on a trio of war crimes, all of which the leaders of the state of Israel will one day be indicted for.We hope.

  • Palestinian officials come out in support of BDS movement after Abbas' disavowal
    • Walid, looks like they are going to get screwed over oil found in the West bank also,..link to aljazeera.com When Abbas was informed about this by a reporter several months ago, Abbas just shrugged his shoulders and walked away.

    • Hostage @ " I'm curious to hear what other alternatives, beside those two, you think exist" The Palestinian position has been to hold back on the stick option, UN Agencies and formally applying to join the ICC etc, they have done this at the behest of Ban ki moon, no doubt influenced by the US, and because of the costs of membership, [could not Abbas get a loan from his friend Saudi Arabia, who have just spent 60 billion dollars on arms from the US, to rot away in the desert?] The proposals Kerry is reported to have, involve an IDF presence in the Jordan Valley for a minimum of 10 years, this to reassure the Israelis that no arms cross the border, in other words a permanent military presence. My opinions differ only on the tactics Abbas uses, who, always [against bitter experience] want's to give the US the benefit of any doubt, Erekat has belatedly realized this recently, "the PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erakat, commenting on Kerry’s proposals, said that the Palestinian leadership “perhaps” committed a “strategic mistake” by agreeing to the resumption of negotiations with Israel instead of seeking first the membership of international organizations to build on the UN General Assembly’s recognition last year of Palestine as a non-member state".

    • Walid, Sorry no reply facility on your comment above, which I agree with, he should just keep quite, the same should be said about Erekat, what Zionism needs is time, time to build, build, build, then what happens, right on cue, Erekat [not the Israelis] say's we may have a framework agreement at the end of the 9 months, then we may need at minimum another year??? to put meat on the bones, so that's a minimum of nearly 2 years, here's the punch line, Netanyahu has promised never to stop building in "the Land of Israel", I wager the day after an extension to the 9 months is announced, tenders will be invited for 100,000 new settlement units, they are probably working on that now.

    • Some journalists and Israeli lobbyists have reported that President Abbas, at a South African press conference, said that he is opposed to the international boycott. This is untrue.
      If it was untrue, it would be a bad slur on Abbas, one that any self respecting leader would quickly correct, [he does have access to the media does he not], going as it does to a crucial aspect of the Palestinian struggle. I won't hold my breath.

    • pabelmont @ " Good! Better there not be seen to be a split between official Palestine and the Palestinian civil society on BDS". Unfortunately the damage has been done, what is required is not an explanation from the SA Palestinian Embassy, but an explanation from Abbas himself, of course no such thing will happen, because his opinion is clear, he does not support a boycott of Israel, this is very important he will offer no resistance himself, nor will he support other people who wish to boycott Israel, what kind of a leader is he?
      Salim Vally, spokesperson of the Palestine Solidarity Committee in South Africa, told The Electronic Intifada that Abbas’ comments were “shocking” and represented an “attack on the global solidarity movement.” This is correct, only Abbas can end the confusion, if confusion there be.

  • Rachel Maddow calls out AIPAC for pushing war with Iran
    • Here is a excellent overview of the US/Iran deal and how the US accommodated Iran's bottom line. link to david-morrison.org.uk

    • piotr, You are right, nobody wants war with Iran except those whack jobs you mention, Israel is not concerned about Iran' s non existent nuclear weapons capabilities, rather it's growing, [and for the most part] home produced conventional weaponry, a halt to sanctions would also see Iran's economic growth surge, and with Iranian oil and gas on the world market producing a dramatic fall in the price of same, could cause trouble in Saudi Arabia who need the high price to bribe the Saudi masses and keep them from forming necktie parties. The Iranian Generals have said they have enough rockets to level Tel Aviv, if the Israelis were foolish enough to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities, how safe would Dimona be? All things considered nobody is going to attack Iran, the world economy could not stand it, Russia and China would not stand it, and most importantly the American public [as in the case of Syria] would not stand it.

  • This is the most dangerous peace process of all
    • I think the Palestinians should co opt Hostage onto their negotiating team, he would soon expose their snake oil salesmen.

    • Bravo Marc Ellis, The Palestinian leadership have had too much faith in the "honest broker" their view is that if only the US can be pursued ed to see the Palestinian position, then as reasonable people the US will back us, WRONG, the US are the Israelis Attorneys, the Israelis don't need them anyway since all the Israeli negotiators are "Philadelphia lawyers" or their equivalent in any case, if the Palestinians quote International law, the lead Israeli negotiator Ms Livni will say "I am a lawyer but I am against law... International law in particular.. Law in general" that's fine, but the Palestinians are not totally screwed, they still have the ICC option and applying to all the UN Agencies for membership, then a possible approach to the ICJ, lets wait and see if the Judges at the ICC agree with Livni over Geneva 49.6, I suspect after the Judges have made their decisions Ms Livni's traveling arrangements will have to be curtailed.

  • Mahmoud Abbas: Hero of the anti-boycott forces
    • Hostage @ According to polls, 9 out of 10 refugees feel just like Abbas. Maybe so, that would mean approx 500,000 Palestinians maybe do want to return, which is one hundredth of what was put forward during negotiations, I agree a solution can be found on the numbers who want to return [with generous compensation] but Abbas is wrong to state his own preferences while at the same time negotiating for all Palestinians.
      "There was no mention of “[the Palestinians]“. When Erekat finds his way onto Israeli TV screens apologizing for failing to find peace, everybody knows he is representing the Palestinians.

    • Hostage @ "His comments didn’t reject the right of return to his country of origin or the Palestinian right of return. See “Abbas: I wasn’t giving up right of return; I was just speaking personally": Maybe his comments are true, but surely a man in his privileged position, with a large bank account, and the leader of the Palestinian people, should think more about the many starving Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and Syria before coming out with such unfeeling, crass opinions, at least keep them to himself. As for the other clown, the liar and serial resigner Erekat, what can be said of a man who goes on Israeli TV and blames the Palestinians for not achieving peace. " I know we [the Palestinians] have disappointed you, I know we have not been able to deliver peace for the past 19 years". Oh I see, it is all the fault of the Palestians, as I said in a previous comment, the Palestinians are lions led by donkey's.

    • Nobody is asking for Abbas to urge violent resistance, just do what is perfectly legal and pursue the criminals who are ethnically cleansing and murdering his constituents, the ICC Prosecutor said the ball is in the Palestinians court, we are waiting for them.
      Maybe Abbas regards himself as a sort of Gandhi, nothing could be further from the truth, Gandhi believed in non violence that's true, but I believe Gandhi's philosophy was, if your opponent deliberately tries to humiliate you, [and how they have humiliated Abbas] then hit back, and hit back hard, sign on to the ICC, then on to the UN Agencies, yes you will suffer in the short term, but anyone who expects Israel to roll over without taking those minimal steps is living in cloud cuckoo land.

  • White House tightens enforcement of Iran sanctions amid meetings with Israelis
    • 'Conflicts Forum', is always a good read on issues in the middle east in this article they say .."It is not of course just oil companies that are lining up for talks in Iran. Queues of businessmen are forming at Iranian consulates around the world. And this is causing alarm in certain quarters. In a joint op-ed in the Wall Street Journal,penned by two former US Secretaries of State, Henry Kissinger and George Shultz, the duo specifically warns (in respect to their concerns arising from the agreeing of the interim Accord) that “for individuals, companies and countries (including some allied countries), the loss of business with Iran has been economically significant. Most will be less vigilant about enforcing or abiding by sanctions that are the subject of negotiations; and which seem to be ‘on the way out’. - See more at: link to conflictsforum.org

    • Apparently these enforcement actions against third party actors, according to the Russians, breach the spirit of Geneva, which they undoubtedly do, nevertheless the Iranians are not letting this stop the negotiations, the parameters of a comprehensive agreement are already in place, the question is does the US want regime change with ever more sanctions resulting eventually and inevitably in armed conflict? Or does it want what the majority of US citizens and world opinion desire, a peaceful negotiated settlement? The rabid right wing in the US and the Israelis do not want this. This will be Obama's legacy, what will he do? Unless the opponents of a peaceful solution can manufacture the consent necessary, which I don't think they will be able to do, in my opinion the US electorate will do as they did over the Syrian chemical weapons debacle and withhold their consent, and in no uncertain terms.

  • Palestinian negotiators angered as Kerry proposes Israeli demands
    • Walid, "No we do not support the boycott of Israel,” Well, the supporter of Mubarak and El-Sisi and a wannabe pharaoh himself, Abbas should know the settlements did not sprout up on their own, they were planned and financed by Israel, it is the state of Israel that is responsible for these well documented war crimes, that Abbas refuses to lend support to the boycott of Israel is a slamming indictment of the so called Palestinian leadership, apolitical, no common sense, corrupt, lacking any political objective, in other words the Palestinians are "lions led by donkeys".

    • Naughty Naughty Walid, but I doubt Erekat has it in him, he would be welcome to it in any case.

    • At last the Palestinian leadership admit to a huge strategic mistake, but what can they do about it? "the PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erakat, commenting on Kerry’s proposals, said that the Palestinian leadership “perhaps” committed a “strategic mistake” by agreeing to the resumption of negotiations with Israel instead of seeking first the membership of international organizations to build on the UN General Assembly’s recognition last year of Palestine as a non-member state".
      So far the Palestinians are showing no political acumen whatsoever, they just act with shock and horror at every predictable Israeli maneuver. The difference of course is the Israelis know what they want, they just need the time to implement it. Abbas and co are accommodating them, now Kerry is talking about another 1 year process, is there no end to this lunacy? Abbas is even saying there can be an IDF presence in the Jordan Valley for 3 years or more?? Time for Abbas to retire.

  • Protesters ask Target to drop Israeli settlement product SodaStream
    • See also, Who profits, SodaStream, a case study for corporate activity in illegal Israel settlements. Here..link to whoprofits.org

    • Irishmoses @"I imagine that gives them enough wiggle room". No, I don't think so, the main plant manufacturing the carbonating device is in the illegal settlement of Mishor Adumin, the facility in Ashqelon produces syrups and flavors, which are usually sold as extras to the main item. There is no dispute that the Mishor Adumin factory produces over 90% of the carbonating device, this was admitted in the Nasdaq [stock exchange]report in 2010. According to all the metrics that make up where a product is deemed to be manufactured, [according to the WTO and European Union,] SodaStreams device is undoubtedly manufactured in the West Bank.

    • Just one small point on the above comment, most of this Act has been repealed and replaced with the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, but all those sections mentioned above are still in force and are still enforceable as part of our legislation.

    • SodaStream manufacture over 90% of their carbonating device in the illegal settlement of Mishor Adumin with just a few components sub contracted out to Chinese companies. According to the World Trade Organization, the European Union and our own United Kingdom Trade Descriptions Act 1968 section 36 rules of origin, they all agree that a product has a country of origin when "For the purposes of this Act goods shall be deemed to have been manufactured or produced in the country in which they last underwent a treatment or process resulting in substantial change". Section 16 of that Act is here:-
      16 Prohibition of importation of goods baring false indication of origin.

      Where a false trade description is applied to any goods outside the United Kingdom and the false indication, or one of the false indications, given, or likely to be taken as given, thereby is an indication of the place of manufacture, production, processing or reconditioning of the goods or any part thereof, the goods shall not be imported into the United Kingdom.
      Another part of the Act describes a false trade description as having to be false to a material degree. This product is obviously not made in Israel as far as I can see, this product should not even get past customs in the UK, let alone be offered for sale,questions are now being asked of the competent Authorities.

  • 'NYT' and Wash Post won't tell us why Dems are hurting Obama on Iran deal
    • Rosenberg is correct, there really is no alternative to the diplomatic route, a war against Syria was narrowly averted because the US public made it clear to their representatives [100 letters against a war to 1 for] that if there was "they had better start clearing their offices out" that was wonderful and restores to some degree my faith in democracy. A war against Iran is not going to happen, the world economy could not stand it, Israel and the US fleet could take bad hits, and I suspect the sanctions will not hold up when other countries see the obduracy if the US Congress.

  • Obama and Kerry drop talk of Palestinian state for 'state institutions' and 'transition'
    • "Sec. Kerry also said Palestinian citizens of Israel are a “demographic time bomb” that threaten Israel’s “future as a democratic, Jewish state,” He went on to talk about separating the two populations, how is this not a threat to ethnically cleanse the one and a half million Palestinians who are citizens of Israel, and how could this number of Palestinian Israelis constitute a demographic threat to, is it six million Jewish Israelis. A disgraceful racist rant from Kerry.

  • Kerry threatens to delay Palestinian prisoner release if PA refuses US/Israel demands
    • The idea supposedly put forward by Kerry, threatening to delay the release of the next batch of 25 prisoners, is an indictment by Kerry [not without justification] of the apolitical nature of the Palestinian leadership, and the notion that Kerry could believe that that trifling penalty would be enough to let Israel continue it's occupation of the Jordan valley, speaks volumes about the US relationship with the Palestinians and the amount of any real sovereignty the PA could achieve, of course it was to be expected that any negotiations outside the UN and International law will be on Israel/US terms, that is why they are so futile.

  • Netanyahu's 'gift' to Pope: book on Catholic church's persecution of Jews

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