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Total number of comments: 1146 (since 2010-08-12 20:08:39)

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

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  • 'Settlement endorsement should be put on a par with racism, sexism, homophobia and anti-Semitism' --British pol
    • Sir Alan Duncan must be commended for this brave speech, the issue of the settlements go to the heart of the conflict, they are well documented war crimes. When the Bil'in village took up the case of settlement activity against Green Park International in the Canadian Superior Court of Quebec in 2009, the prosecution argued .."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". If Abbas was to join the ICC and the Prosecutor did investigate, one would think the ICC could only come to the considered opinion of all the Judges at the World Court [ICJ] and find the settlements breached paragraph 6 of article 49 Geneva Conventions, or in the US vernacular, slam dunk really.

  • Does 'the thief of Jerusalem' deserve US aid? (Update)
    • Annie, There is a panel at George Mason University on the ICC and Palestine on 20th October 2014, on operation protective edge: Legal and Political implications of ICC prosecution.
      With George Basharat, Noura Erakat, Kevin Jon Heller, David Lubin and Margaret DeGuzman. It will be live screened. Details here..link to opiniojuris.org

  • Europe wearies of Netanyahu's diversions
  • As Kerry scrambles to prevent Palestinian action at UN, Israeli govt makes clear it will never accept Palestinian state
    • I agree with you Kay24, unfortunately winning a US election trumps Palestinian rights, only when big corporate interests and especially big AIPAC are separated in a fundamental way from the funding of both the Democratic and Republican parties will things change, I'm not holding my breath.

    • Netanyahu said the West Bank must always have IDF in it, [never ending occupation] This was because of Israels "narrow waist" and because most of Israels population and economic infrastructure was concentrated in such a small area and vulnerable to short range home made missiles etc.
      In a paper "Defensible borders for a lasting peace" here.. link to defensibleborders.org Maj-General Yaakov Amridror said.. just one mortar shell per week in the vicinity of Ben-Gurion International Airport will be enough to stop air transport completely. Without Israeli control of the relevant territory east of the 1967 line, there is no way the Israel Defense Forces can prevent such firing. Moreover, the introduction of shoulder-fired, anti-aircraft missiles in the hills dominating Ben-Gurion Airport would change the strategic equation completely. So strategic depth is required by Israel which can only be obtained according to these Generals, by Israels border being the Jordan river and the midway point of the Dead Sea. The Palestinians now know what they must do, I agree with Dan Crowther, apply to join the ICC and the UN Agencies together.

  • British Parliament sends a message to Obama: the people see Israel as a 'bully'
    • oldgeezer @ "Luckily Rifkind is wrong, out to lunch, on the wrong side of history" He is also completely out of touch with the realities of the situation, given that he can misinform the House thus. "We do not have a Palestinian Government; there are actually two Governments". Now its true he probably does not have an army of researchers, as he had when he was a high flying member of the cabinet. But surely he should know the Palestinians have had a unity Government since last June. One Government.

    • The UK Government would have accepted the Palestinians as a non member observer state in 2012, had Palestine given a commitment not to pursue "ICC jurisdiction over the occupied territories at this stage". The Palestinians rightly refused.

  • British Parliament to vote on recognition of Palestinian state on Monday
    • One of the arguments for the no side put by of all people Sir Malcolm Rifkind was that one of the reasons Palestine should not be recognized was because it had two governments, how can a senior Conservative with so much Government experience not know that the Palestinians formed a unity Government last June. Nobody pulled him up about it.

    • Former Foreign Office Minister Lady Warsi who resigned recently said in a withering critique of British foreign policy "the government had abdicated responsibility for driving the peace process and its diplomatic channels with Israel counted “for nothing”.
      “There is a lack of political will and our moral compass is missing,” the former Foreign Office minister told the Observer. “There are no negotiations, there is no show in town. Somehow we have to breathe new life into these negotiations, and one of the ways we can do that is by recognising the state of Palestine.” link to theguardian.com Don't know about breathing new life into further negotiations [flogging a dead horse would be more profitable]. But recognition of Palestine would be most helpful.

    • In my opinion and quite extraordinarily George Galloway intends to abstain in Monday’s vote on recognizing Palestinian statehood. “I continue to support the only realistic solution, one democratic and secular state, called Israel-Palestine or Palestine-Israel.”
      “The proposed two-state solution is to all intents and purposes dead and is only used in order to provide Israel further breathing space to consolidate the illegal settlements and expand its land grab further.”
      “For these reasons, I am afraid I cannot support this motion and will abstain on Monday.”
      George Galloway, MP for Bradford West,
      I think George Galloway is wrong here, can he name one state or other institution at the UN who supports “a one state solution?” Can he name one political party in the world including in Palestine which supports a one state solution? I certainly cannot. As an idealistic solution it is attractive, but as a practical and legal first step it is very problematical. All those resolutions at the UN called for self determination of the Palestinian people or for Israel to end the occupation of Palestinian land, they did not call for a one state solution, far from it, they envisage two states living side by side, Israel and Palestine, with equal rights for minorities in both states. This outcome [far off as it seems to be] is the preferred choice of the majority in the world including the Palestinians. I think George Galloway’s abstention is completely wrong and self indulgent. He must remember he was never a revolutionary and I think quite rightly believes in reform or one step at a time. In other words the Palestinians need statehood first, then they can approach the ICC and ICJ and apply to join all the other 60 odd? UN Agencies, their membership of UNESCO and other recent agencies and conventions point the way forward, the recognition of that fact is what prompted the Swedish government to recognize the state of Palestine, just as I hope the UK parliament does on Monday. All this is not to say a one state solution is out of the question, only that the Israelis fear a one state scenario more than a two state one and it is because of that possibility, expulsion would top Israels future agenda. In my opinion if the Palestinians could get a result at the ICC, [on population transfers] forcing the Israelis to stop settlement activity. Then without expansion the settlement would die a natural death. Galloway should think again, it may be a long time before the Palestinians achieve a victory on this scale.

    • In my opinion and quite extraordinarily George Galloway intends to abstain in Monday’s vote on recognizing Palestinian statehood. “I continue to support the only realistic solution, one democratic and secular state, called Israel-Palestine or Palestine-Israel.”
      “The proposed two-state solution is to all intents and purposes dead and is only used in order to provide Israel further breathing space to consolidate the illegal settlements and expand its land grab further.”
      “For these reasons, I am afraid I cannot support this motion and will abstain on Monday.”
      George Galloway, MP for Bradford West,
      I think George Galloway is wrong here, can he name one state or other institution at the UN who supports “a one state solution?” Can he name one political party in the world including in Palestine which supports a one state solution? I certainly cannot. As an idealistic solution it is attractive, but as a practical and legal first step it is very problematical. All those resolutions at the UN called for self determination of the Palestinian people or for Israel to end the occupation of Palestinian land, they did not call for a one state solution, far from it, they envisage two states living side by side, Israel and Palestine, with equal rights for minorities in both states. This outcome [far off as it seems to be] is the preferred choice of the majority in the world including the Palestinians. I think George Galloway’s abstention is completely wrong and self indulgent. He must remember he was never a revolutionary and I think quite rightly believes in reform or one step at a time. In other words the Palestinians need statehood first, then they can approach the ICC and ICJ and apply to join all the other 60 odd? UN Agencies, their membership of UNESCO and other recent agencies and conventions point the way forward, the recognition of that fact is what prompted the Swedish government to recognize the state of Palestine, just as I hope the UK parliament does on Monday. All this is not to say a one state solution is out of the question, only that the Israelis fear a one state scenario more than a two state one and it is because of that possibility, expulsion would top of Israels future agenda. In my opinion if the Palestinians could get a result at the ICC, [on population transfers] forcing the Israelis to stop settlement activity. Then without expansion the settlement would die a natural death. Galloway should think again, it may be a long time before the Palestinians achieve a victory on this scale.

  • It looks like Obama is checking out on Israel
    • Sorry about the double post, I had to fix the link which did not work in first comment.

    • "The European Union is inconspicuously but determinedly threatening to reevaluate bilateral ties with Israel if the Netanyahu government fails to make progress toward a two-state solution and continues its current policy of allowing construction beyond the pre-1967 lines". The labeling of products is mentioned in this times of Israel article here link to timesofisrael.com the EU argue that labeling legislation is in place, but it has not been enforced to date, lets hope they take action instead of just talking about it.

  • U.S. life insurance company underwrites Israeli colonel's talk on his army's 'moral high ground' in Gaza
    • Israels consistent policy in both Lebanon and Gaza has been the 'Dahiya doctrine' simply put..The strategy itself calls for the deliberate targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure in order to induce suffering and severe distress throughout the targeted population. By targeting indiscriminately, the IDF hopes to deter further military attacks against Israel, destroy its enemies, as well as influence the population to oust the militants seen as the primary target. This strategy has been confirmed by many Israel commanders and was ruthlessly used by this war criminal Bentzi Gruber the so called ethical expert, used by the insurance company in this article. link to truth-out.org

  • The Titanic of the occupation -- SodaStream (Update)
  • Sweden's recognition of Palestine will license activists
    • I understand your pessimism Kay but the issue of self determination is fundamental, it is not dependent on another state's approval, still less that approval being dependent on the outcome of a negotiating process, which by the way is not happening in any case. I suspect the UK vote will be in favor.

    • It ain't over till the fat lady sings, In a telephone conversation with Israel’s opposition leader Isaac Herzog, Lofven stressed that a Swedish recognition of Palestine would only be approved after rigorous talks on the matter with Israeli, Palestinian, and US officials, Haaretz reported.
      “We will not recognize Palestine as a state tomorrow morning,” he assured Herzog. “We want to speak beforehand with all relevant parties, including Israel, the Palestinians, the United States and other EU countries.” link to timesofisrael.com
      Just as interesting will be the UK Parliaments debate on recognition of the state of Palestine coming up later this month, the Labour opposition are on record as supporters of recognition, such recognition would go a long way in changing the Governments position.

  • TX congressman who expressed concern about Gaza deaths undergoes 'healing process' and will fly El Al to Israel
    • I wonder if they will give the Swedish Ambassador the treatment they gave the Turkish one, or Richard Falk who in his UN role as special Rapporteur on the Palestinian Territories was detained at Ben Gurion airport.."I was separated from my two UN companions who were allowed to enter Israel and taken to the airport detention facility a mile or so away. I was required to put all my bags and cell phone in a room and taken to a locked tiny room that smelled of urine and filth. It contained five other detainees and was an unwelcome invitation to claustrophobia. I spent the next 15 hours so confined, which amounted to a cram course on the miseries of prison life, including dirty sheets, inedible food and lights that were too bright or darkness controlled from the guard office." link to theguardian.com.

  • Why must Gaza wait in the dark?
    • Israel as usual is trying to put a spoke in the wheel, insisting that all building material which has a dual use i.e, bricks and concrete should be monitored.. "That envisages “constant presence of the UN and daily inspections by a UN international staff member in the concrete mixing factory” as well as video monitoring of premises.
      Equally controversial for Palestinians is likely to be the requirement for homeowners needing building materials to register their ID number, address/locality [and] family status for a database that will be available to Israeli officials, including its intelligence agencies. link to theguardian.com
      No doubt Abbas will agree to it all. Some UN officials are saying it is putting the onus of the occupation and siege on the International community. Very clever of Israel.

  • Netanyahu's 'poison' -- latest settlement will distance Israel's closest allies, State Dep't warns
    • Horizontal @ "I don't think that closing the airport damaged the economy that much" I disagree, here is what Haaretz thought at the time.."Around 90 percent of all entrances and exits to Israel from abroad are through Ben-Gurion. This is one of the national infrastructure's most crucial links; Israel's oxygen tube reaching out of a hostile neighborhood. There have been a number of plans over the years to build a second international airport, but while there are a number of military and civil airfields with long enough runways, there is no airport today with the necessary facilities and transport links to replace Ben-Gurion for more than a few hours.
      This may prove to be a game-changer in a conflict which is now entering its third week. It could provide further impetus for the government in seeking a speedy ceasefire with Hamas, but that seems doubtful." link to haaretz.com And that was just one wayward rocket, it is operationally possible for the resistance with the right logistics to target Ben Gurion with several rockets per day and keep it closed for months, in my opinion a definite game changer.

    • The Israelis have no intention of ever withdrawing from the West Bank,defense Minister Ya'alon said that because 80% of Israel commerce and millions of Israelis live in the metropolitan Tel-Aviv area, including the vital economic hub of Ben Gurion airport, it would be suicidal for the occupation to end, exposing the vitals of Israel to not just rockets but mortars, particularly directed at Ben Gurion airport, well within range [approx 5 miles from West Bank border] of the least sophisticated and shortest range home made rockets, his fear was that military air bases of Ramat David in the Galillee and Nevatim in the Northern Negev could come under threat from anti aircraft weapons.link to timesofisrael.com Of course he is quite right, the military advantages Israel has accumulated cannot outweigh the disadvantages of having all your assets including economic ones within such a strategically small area and vulnerable to a determined resistance group. In the last confrontation Hamas fired 4,000 rockets at Israel [most of them wasted blowing up the desert] with just one wayward one landing 1 mile from the airport, this was enough to close the airport down for a short period and with it the Israeli economy. The Palestinian resistance ability to destroy Israels vital economic interests will only grow, time sensible Israelis try to cut a deal.

  • Netanyahu at the United Nations: Hamas, Iran, ISIS and 100 cheering Israelis
    • One phrase in Natanyahu's speech captures what this dispute is all about.. "The people of Israel are not occupiers in the Land of Israel". Sorry, the rest of the world thinks you are, even the US will admit the settlements are illegitimate.

  • 'Tip of the BDS iceberg': Kuwait excludes Veolia from $750m contract
    • Danaa "Veolia is a good step, however,what about intel planning to spend $6Bin Israel?" The difference, as you imply is that Veolia are operating in occupied territory, whereas Intel would be operating in Israel proper. I agree that all of Israel should be Boycotted, and there should be no investments in any part of Israel or occupied territory, but that is an uphill battle. For instance Abbas said in South Africa recently we do not want any company to Boycott Israel, only those companies operating in occupied territory, in my opinion Abbas is the worst leader any occupied country could have, but if Abbas and Co cannot be convinced, why should big multinationals?

  • Palestinian problem is central to region but Israelis control U.S. policy -- Brahimi
    • Brahimi speaking truth to power, at his age there is nothing they can do to him, I thought he lost credibility when he wanted Assad to step down, virtually supporting the Syrian opposition, still, I fully agree with his assessment of the US/Israel relationship.
      For those who find the latest middle east war confusing here is a summary from a comment in Moon of Alabama.."ARE you confused about what's going on in the Middle East? Allow me to explain.
      We support the Iraqi government in the fight against the Islamic State. We don't like IS, but IS is supported by Saudi Arabia, whom we do like.
      We don't like President Assad in Syria. We support the fight against him, but not IS, which is also fighting against him.
      We don't like Iran, but Iran supports the Iraqi government against IS. So, some of our friends support our enemies and some of our enemies are our friends, and some of our enemies are fighting against our other enemies, whom we want to lose, but we don't want our enemies who are fighting our other enemies to win.
      If the people we want to defeat are defeated, they might be replaced by people we like even less. And all this was started by us invading a country to drive out terrorists who surely actually they're to begin with until we went in to drive them out". Do you understand now?

  • Abbas calls on UN Security Council to end the occupation
    • More on President Abbas stopping the complaint at the ICC, to the astonishment of the ICC Prosecutor here. link to middleeasteye.net

    • The notion that Israel is going to talk about final status positions is absurd, they have failed to talk about them for the past 20 years, far better for them to continue the talks i.e, the annexation process, it is obvious the Palestinian leadership do not have a coherent plan of action, they seem to be waiting for something to turn up, it will, in the form of thousands of new settlements. If I were a Zionist I would be laughing at the antics of Abbas and Co. In his speech Abbas said Israel wants to see the Palestinians in isolated ghettos, in my opinion the Palestinians will be lucky to get that so long as Abbas keeps deferring to his masters in US/Israel. Because Abbas continues looking to start further futile negotiations while refusing to join all the UN Agencies and the ICC, the Palestinians suffering will continue link to middleeasteye.net

  • Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders get off Israel bandwagon, for once
    • Abbas is no different than all the other Sunni despots in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, there was no mention of applying to join the ICC in his speech to the UN, indeed his Foreign Minister Riad Maliki was sent to the ICC in the Hague recently specifically to stop a complaint initiated by the Palestinian Justice Minister Saleem Al-Saqqa, apparently only the Palestinian President or Foreign Minister have the authority under the ICC rules to initiate a complaint, when the ICC Prosecutor asked Maliki [as the competent official] to legitimize the complaint, to the astonishment of the ICC officials, he refused to do so. When all factions of the Palestinians including Hamas want to join the ICC, when all those NGO's [including a recent call from the Russell Tribunal] to join the ICC with the utmost urgency, his refusal to do so proves that Abbas is all talk and no action, how can the Palestinians put up with such a collaborator? link to middleeasteye.net

    • All the things Abbas has said he would do if the UNSC do not agree to the ending of the occupation within a time frame of 3 years, are legally, morally and above all politically necessary, indeed a duty which the Palestinian leadership must not be blackmailed into abandoning. Applying for membership of the UN Agencies and the ICC are political actions which should have been taken as soon as Palestine was recognized [officially by the UNGA and UNESCO] as a state. Netanyahu has declared that there cannot be a separate Palestinian state between the Jordan river and the Mediterranean, that being the case Abbas trying to negotiate one is futile. As the Prosecutor at the ICC said "the ball is in Abbas' court" he needs to take action, otherwise the Palestinians have no hope.

  • West Bank settlers exporting dates labelled as 'Made in Palestine'
    • The Middle East Monitors view attached to the first piece by Kate is misleading "In the beginning of 2014, the European Union announced its decision to boycott economic, scientific and academic relations with institutions, factories and farms that have any investments or presence in the Israeli settlements established in the occupied Palestinian territories". When they say Boycott, they do not mean the banning of products, they simply mean no European money should be invested in illegal settlement projects, which is not quite the same thing, wish that it were. The simple repackaging cleaning and sorting does not of course qualify for inclusion in the tax exempt status of the dates. Under protocol 4 of the EU-Israel Association Agreement article 2 [b] states, .. products obtained in land which contain materials not wholly obtained there, provided that the said materials have undergone sufficient working or processing in Israel . And in article 6 The following operations shall be considered insufficient working or processing to confer the status of originating products. 6[a] [b] [c] [d] [e][f] operations to ensure preservation of products , simple operations like sorting or classifying , changes of packaging, simple mixing of products or assembly of parts to make a complete product etc ect.

  • Jodi Rudoren effectively annexes Golan Heights to Israel
    • Below is part of a letter I received from The Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs UK [DEFRA] in reply to my complaint that Golan Heights Winery label their wines [which are wholly produced and harvested in the Golan Heights] as "Wine of Israel" and "Produced by Golan Heights Winery Katzrin, Israel" in breach of Article 55 of European Union Regulation 607/2009. [County of origin must always be shown on the label]. " I note your concerns centre on the fact that this wine, imported by Hatov Ltd, is misleading to the consumer as it indicates on the label that it is ‘produce of Israel’, yet comes from grapes grown in the Golan Heights. In addition the wine labels show that they are produced at the Golan Heights Winery, Katzrin, which as you say is in the Golan Heights.

      The Food Standards Agency have informed me that although they recognise some inconsistencies in the labelling of the wine, they consider that the numerous references to the Golan Heights on the label would be sufficient to ensure that consumers would probably not be misled about the wine’s provenance".
      There you have it from a UK Government Department, a false country of origin is only an inconsistency.

  • Yale official barred discussion of Israeli settlements and apartheid at monthly meeting
    • Chaplain Shipman is right to invoke the scourge McCarthyism, Let us not assassinate this chaplain further. You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?

  • US guilty of war crimes in Palestine
    • "as long as global enforcement mechanisms of accountability are denied Palestinians due to the political whims of a superpower" Sam I think you need to look a little closer to home, when Saleem Al-Saqqa Palestinian Justice Minister put in a complaint to the ICC on 30th July 2014, Abbas sent his Minister of Foreign Affairs Riad Maliki to the ICC, the representatives of the ICC's jaws dropped when the Minister was asked whether this complaint had the endorsement of Abbas or himself a necessary precondition for a states complaint to go forward, he refused to give the consent. WHY. link to intifada-palestine.com

  • Israeli Supreme Court upholds law allowing housing discrimination against Palestinians
  • Senator Warren's progressive supporters demand accountability for her rightwing pro-Israel positioning
    • Warren should say, hey you guys, being progressive on Israel/Palestine i.e, follow International law is all very well, but it ain't going to get me elected, I need lots of campaign cash. Unfortunately those are the rules of the game, until those rules are changed Politicians like Warren will toe line.

  • Yale president's office was involved from the gitgo in blowup over Yale chaplain's letter
    • Lysias - If he was not invited surely this would breach the rules of natural justice?.....

      The Rules of natural justice are derived from Roman law.

      The Romans believed certain basic fundamental legal principles to be self evident truths.
      Simply put the rules of natural justice relate to fairness: they exist to protect the fair dealing with individuals who find themselves before a court, tribunal or any hearing to whose judgement an individual is subject. In any instance of anyone being before a hearing the individual has a right to be heard. This is often called audi alteram partem. Thus, if a student is being subjected to a plagiarism hearing for example then the student has a right to make representations. Linked To this Right is the right to be informed beforehand of the allegations against him or her. The Other key rule from which the others are derived is nemo judex in parte sua (no ‐ One can judge their own case).

    • To assert that the Israeli Government's policies in occupied Palestine over the past 47 years, particularly its recent aggression, has contributed to a rise in antisemitism in Europe is surely just stating a fact, although most people would say it has nothing to do with antisemitism but anti Zionism, conflating the two are used by dishonest people to tar people like the good Chaplain Shipman.

  • Ohio student leader's dramatic act for Gaza
    • An excellent action by Megan Maizec, hope it goes viral, Tom Heyes letter to the Athens Ohio Messenger was superb especially his put down of Rabbi Leshaw asking her to resign and find a more suitable place for her views "A segregated Jews-only university in an illegal Israeli settlement might be a good fit".

  • Three ways Palestinians can hold Israel accountable for Gaza war crimes
    • Hamas has already said they support an application to join the ICC, they do not fear prosecutions. In fact all Palestinian factions have voted to join the court, only Abbas acting like a dictator he is refuses to join.

    • Alex mentioned Doron Almog, his case is instructive, Almog arrived at Heath row airport, earlier Daniel Machova [Solicitor] had taken out a private summons to have the General arrested on war crimes charges, Almog was tipped off and refused to leave the Israeli plane. The UK police could have boarded the plane or stopped it taking off, instead the police commander fearing an armed confrontation with air marshals or Almog's security team allowed the plane to return to Israel. Later the UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw apologized to the Israeli government link to theguardian.com Now of course the UK has changed its rules on Universal Jurisdiction

  • Israel and the law -- the views of three international jurists
    • Abbas said recently "I don't like to go to the courts". "I don't like courts". and "I want to solve my problems directly between the parties". That's alright for him to say on a purely personal basis, but he is supposed to represent millions of Palestinians who have been subject to a long list of war crimes, including murder and crimes against humanity, it is his duty to bring those responsible to justice, he will not of course, so he must step aside. Why Palestinians put up with the fool only they can say.

  • 'Provocative political symbol' -- UEFA fines clubs when fans fly Palestinian flags
    • Unbeflippinbelievable, How can this rule be upheld, if England [Union Jack or St George's Cross] played Scotland [the Saltire] at this time with the independence vote coming up, all these flags "could" be making a political statement. The key to this is if that Dutch club or any club are fined for waving the Israeli flag, somehow I don't think they will be.

  • 'It's 120 years that the world has opposed our construction, and we'll continue to do it': Naftali Bennett defends Israeli settlement expansion
    • The question Bennett needs to answer is what he plans to do with the Palestinian populations in both Gaza and the West Bank who together with those resident in Israel are numerically equal to Israelis of Jewish origin now, and are projected to be a majority in 10 years time?

  • Israel's right wing Zionists, Palestine's militant resistance are political winners after Gaza slaughter
    • After what Netanyahu said before the Gaza massacre about Israel never recognizing a true sovereign Palestinian state, without a permanent Israeli military presence in the West Bank, And when most voices told Abbas that the 9 month negotiations insisted on by Kerry would lead nowhere except disaster for the Palestinians, what is being proposed now by Abbas, yes, another 9 month period of negotiations to end the occupation with an end to settlement building. If Israel does not agree with the timetable for the talks then Abbas will approach other UN Agencies and the ICC. Abbas is desperate he has nowhere to go except to agree on more futile talks, the Israelis sensing this desperation will agree to such talks but pan them out for years and in the meantime continue the annexation process under cover of the peace talks. Abbas will never learn. link link to jpost.com

  • Gaza benefit at Yale was moved off-campus due to backlash against priest's letter to NYT
    • On reflection my opinion could be called a little over the top, although the Ahli Hospital used to work closely with the PA Ministry of Health, and presumably the same with the Hamas Government. Having said that he looks like a terrorist in that picture above, don't you agree? I'm sure John McCain does.

    • Chaplain Shipman should feel relieved Hamas have joined a coalition with Abbas or he could have been charged under the material support to terrorism statute. The law’s language is so vague that it gives prosecutors the authority to argue that humanitarian aid to designated terrorist organizations could be indirect, and therefore, a crime. The Holy land Foundation was charged with conspiring to give Material Support in the form of humanitarian aid to Palestinian distribution centers called zakat committees. Prosecutors admit the zakat committees on the indictment were not designated terrorist groups, but according to the indictment released in 2004, these zakat committees are “controlled by” or act “on behalf of” Hamas, which was designated in 1995. Their theory is that by providing charity to zakat committees, the HLF helped Hamas win the “hearts and minds” of the Palestinian people.

  • British pol is beaten by man in Israeli army t-shirt, and the chattering classes are silent
  • Coming to a campus near you: ADL recruits student politicians for Israel trips
  • Countdown to the next round in Gaza
    • Going to the UNSC is futile, the US will not sanction a countdown for ending the occupation, the US will insist the two parties negotiate an agreement between themselves which means more of the peace/annexation process. The Palestinians have still not joined the ICC, the Prosecutor has said they must join first, then a decision about investigation will be made, don't hold your breath.

  • Ceasefire deal after weeks of fighting in Gaza promises easing of blockade
    • Walid @ "to produce more and more efficient missiles for the next war" couldn't agree more. Of the over 3,500 missiles fired on Israel most have blown up the desert, one or two have caused some damage in villages and towns near the Gaza strip. In fact I am convinced anyone listening to those Israeli air raid sirens would say they caused more psychological damage than the actual bottle rockets. In my opinion the Israeli state can afford the inconvenience of these short range rockets. Put it this way if British bomber command had sent over 3,500 aircraft to bomb German cities, and they dropped all their bombs into the North Sea, heads would roll, in fact the UK government would not survive such an operational blunder. The aim of the rockets was to cause economic damage to Israel, one of the best ways was to target the hub of Israeli commerce and tourism Ben Gurion Airport, they utterly failed to put a single rocket on the 15 square kilometer complex. Not for want of trying, in order to hit a target nearly 50 kilometers away one has to use rockets with more than a 10 kilometer range. If you do not posses them, the resistance have to launch them from within the Tel Aviv metropolitan area. Because of the simple design and ease of production such a tactical scenario is well within the resistance capabilities. It's not rocket science.

  • Soldiers fire on Palestinian protesters in Nablus, including 14-year-old boy
    • Erekat noted that the order, which was delivered in a pre-dawn raid on her home by Israeli soldiers and gave her 24 hours to leave, “effectively amounts to attempted forcible transfer, unlawful confinement and persecution, all of which are crimes punishable under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and under the universal jurisdiction provisions of the majority of States.” So is the transfer of civilians of the occupying power into occupied Palestinian territory. But what are you going to do about it? This Human Rights Council inquiry will probably recommend the UNSC refer its findings to the ICC. The UNSC will not do so. On the other hand the ICC are using perverse legal arguments to avoid an investigation into the Palestinians 2009 declaration. They now argue that the Palestinians need to join the ICC as a state party, which for some unexplained reason Abbas refuses to do. If this carries on the Palestinians will have no recourse to any legal remedy in International law.

  • As Salaita's case becomes a cause, U of Illinois issues declarations on 'civility'
    • Professor William Robinson of UCSB was a target of the Israel lobby, with a campaign of intimidation, silencing and political repression, in contravention of academic freedom and University rules, he describes his experience here...link to truth-out.org

  • Jodi Rudoren loves a winner
    • Professor Slater gave an analogy between certain acts the Nazis did in occupied France, in the occupied Czech Republic the resistance assassinated Reinhard Heydrich a very high Nazi official. The Nazis then massacred the village of Lidice as a reprisal, killing in total 340 men, woman and children. How many villages in Gaza have been destroyed? Lidice has gone down in history as one of the greatest war crimes, the Israelis crimes in Gaza are much greater.

  • Mr. Netanyahu, what is your endgame?
    • Israels end game is the same as it has been for generations, As many Israelis as possible in the land of Israel with as few Palestinians as possible, violence and ethnic cleansing [but not so much at any one time so as not to alarm the International community] will continue [mowing the lawn] until the Palestinians cry uncle. That's the plan, in the meantime "Israeli Foreign Minister Lieberman told yesterday's mass-selling German daily Bild that Germany had a "very significant" role to play in preventing an economic and humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza link to heraldscotland.com When Gaza is rebuilt, level it again. In other words they have no plan other than violence, will the world put up with this?

  • 'Lesson: The Jews will defend themselves even if it means killing children'
    • JeffB @ Have very short range
      b) Are wildly inaccurate
      c) Have very light payloads
      The home produced Qassam 1v, a simple 8 foot long rocket has a range of approx 14 kilometres the West Bank is approx 8 kilometres from Ben Gurion airport. Of course they have longer range missiles supplied by Syria, Hezbollah and Iran.
      b/ How accurate do they have to be when targeting an airport or refinery which are all over 15 square kilometres?
      c/ a 1kilogram or 5 kilogram warhead dropping on 1 empty 747 sitting on the tarmac at Ben Gurion would permanently shut it down.
      The notion that the US has installed a system in Germany to intercept Russian missiles is a fairy story. [like star wars or that the Ratheon supplied iron dome works].
      Rather like the fairy story about Israels future- they appear to assume their opponents will not dramatically improve their technological capabilities over time, which is a very bad assumption to make.

    • JeffB@ "the damage would be quickly repaired and life would return to normal" I disagree, the resistance will soon have the capability to target Ben Gurion and Israeli oil refineries with these rockets on a daily basis. Remember just one near miss was enough to close BenGurion to International traffic [the FAA] It is not the Israeli government that decides whether an airline can land at Ben Gurion or even the airlines themselves, the insurance companies do that. Ben Gurion is the life blood of the Israeli economy and tourism, it could be closed on a permanent basis, any study of the potential of these simple rockets would inform that 1/ they cannot be stopped. and 2/ Israels economy and 75% of its population is in that central Tel Aviv region. It is very vulnerable, the rockets are a game changer, Israel knows that hence the panic to try and stop them. These rockets can be produced in great numbers, Spiegal online visited a small workshop in the Gaza strip and found that 2 or three men could produce up to 100 rockets in one shift.link to spiegel.de

    • Sparta will try and defend itself, unfortunately the qassam rockets are expanding their range and are so easy to produce, they could be launched from the West Bank or even inside Israel they are so simple a 10 year old could make one. A piece of pipe with 4 fins spot welded on, filled with a mixture of sugar and fertilizer and then... what would happen the day after a rocket explodes into Israels only International airport? 1/ Massive chaos. 2/Stock market collapse.3/Business bankruptcy.4/Tourism decimated. 5/High tech failure. 6/ Israel could lose everything. The Iron dome is a failure, according to experts it can stop 5% at best of those rockets Professor of science Theodore A Postal, Massachusetts Institute of Technology..link to magenlaoref.org.il Israel cannot win this 4th generation war. Unless they ban the sale of sugar and fertilizer worldwide.

  • Air strikes and rocket fire resume as Gaza negotiations collapse
    • 1) Gaza: Facts the BBC doesn’t tell us
      For example

      · that in November 2005 in the Agreement on Movement and Access Israel promised the continuous operation of crossings between Israel and Gaza and an operational airport and seaport in Gaza

      · that Hamas has twice made agreements with Israel to cease rocket and mortar fire from Gaza and did so in both instances, but Israel failed to fulfil its commitments under those agreements link to david-morrison.org.uk

      2) Gaza: Implement the Agreement on Movement and Access NOW

      In November 2005, Israel signed the Agreement on Movement and Access. In launching the agreement in Jerusalem, along with Javier Solana of the EU, US Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice promised that it would “give the Palestinian people freedom to move, to trade, to live ordinary lives”, that the people of Gaza would be able to travel to Israel (and through it to the West Bank) and to Egypt and that there would be free movement of goods in and out of Gaza.
      Nearly a decade later, none of it has been delivered. For most of that time, Gaza has been subject to a brutal economic blockade by Israel and the US/EU, the sponsors of the agreement, have stood idly by and let it happen. link to david-morrison.org.uk

    • Hamas, all the factions of the PLO including Erekat want Palestine to formally join the ICC as a state party, Abbas alone does not. link to middleeasteye.net It appears he has made commitments to US/Israel. What are those commitments? What threats are the US/Israel using against Abbas? Could anything be worse than 12,000 dead and injured Palestinians? Is Abbas waiting till a complete ethnic cleansing is carried out, don't think the Israelis won't do it, Professor Finkelstein was correct when he said Israel is a lunatic state.

  • Hundreds of Ohioans say our gov't is on the 'wrong side of history and humanity'
    • Israeli Foreign Minister Lieberman told yesterday's mass-selling German daily Bild that Germany had a "very significant" role to play in preventing an economic and humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza link to heraldscotland.com That's what I call chutzpah, It's as if he was talking about some natural disaster like an earthquake, no doubt the Germans will jump through hoops to comply.

  • Israel's latest plan - Abbas to oversee a national security state in Gaza
    • Walid, It would appear the Prosecutor will not accept any declarations or complaints from the Palestinians because [rightly or wrongly] they are not a state member of the ICC. "Palestine is not a State Party to the Rome Statute; neither has the Court received any official document from Palestine indicating acceptance of ICC jurisdiction or requesting the Prosecutor to open an investigation into any alleged crimes following the adoption of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution (67/19) on 29 November 2012, which accorded non-member observer State status to Palestine. Therefore, the ICC has no jurisdiction over alleged crimes committed on the territory of Palestine. link to icc-cpi.int. The International law experts are in disagreement as to whether the Prosecutor has or can reject the complaint/declaration link to opiniojuris.org. Hostage thinks the Prosecutor should move forward with the legitimately filed [in 2009] declaration. It would appear the Prosecutor, or Abbas, for whatever reason are dragging their feet. Or it could be because the court is not really a court but a venue where only the powerful can get access, or if you are not only powerful but also have a white face.

    • The Prosecutor at the ICC has told the Palestinians not for the first time [rightly or wrongly] that she is 'waiting for them' [presumably to become a member of the ICC ] and until they do' she will reject any complaint. Many International court lawyers have said the Palestinians do not need to sign up for membership. Why all these disputes about procedure? Why don't the Palestinians just sign up for membership? No doubt other excuses would be made. But the ICC would make itself more of a laughing stock in such an eventuality. A further rejection by the ICC even after becoming a member would have the benefit of concentrating the minds of the Palestinians, they have to know who their enemies are before planning further strategies.

  • A month of solidarity in London -- does the BBC get the message?
    • "Does the BBC get the message", It will take some time with these people in charge, in April 2013, the month that a new director-general took up his post at the BBC and, within two weeks, had installed a line-up of hardline Zionists at the top of the world’s largest publicly-funded news organization. Soon after his own appointment, Hall named James Harding as the BBC’s new director of news and current affairs. Until December, Harding was editor of The Times, an avowedly right-wing, pro-Israeli paper owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News International group.
      In 2011, Harding spoke at a media event organized by The Jewish Chronicle, telling his audience: “I am pro-Israel. I believe in the State of Israel. I would have had a real problem if I had been coming to a paper [The Times] with a history of being anti-Israel. And, of course, Rupert Murdoch is pro-Israel.” link to electronicintifada.net

  • Goldstone sequel to be co-authored by Amal Alamuddin, Clooney's fiancee
    • It was wrongly reported that the Palestinians had withdrawn a complaint to the ICC . Palestinian Justice Minister Saleem al-Saqqa told the Palestinian newspaper Al-Resalah that he was strongly opposed to withdrawing the complaint filed by the Palestinian Authority before the International Criminal Court.
      Pointing out that he is the only person authorized to withdraw the complaint, he made it clear that he had not taken such a step and insisted: "I will not withdraw."
      Voltaire Network had reported that the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, had given orders for the complaint to be pulled back.
      We thought, wrongly, that his order had gone through. link to voltairenet.org

  • Video: Israeli soldiers share an ecstatic moment as they destroy homes in Gaza
    • Re my above comment, see this opinion on why simple procedure should not be an impediment to justice. link to brianhaw.tv

    • I can only find one source for the claim that Abbas has stopped the recent complaint by the Gaza Prosecutor to the ICC. The Palestinian Authority requested International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Ms Fatou Bensouda to nullify the complaint filed on July 25, 2014 by Palestinian Justice Minister Salim Sakka and Gaza Attorney General Ismail Jaber against the war crimes committed by the Israeli army in the Gaza Strip.
      Interim President Mahmoud Abbas argued that the complaint was likely to backfire against the Palestinian resistance (which is legally false) and that the Palestinian Authority favored a different strategy: joining the Court (which it never followed up on).link to voltairenet.org This would not surprise me, Abbas simply does not want to do it.

  • UK activists shut down Israeli arms factory
  • British gov't minister resigns over 'morally indefensible' Gaza policy, urging Palestinians to go to international criminal court
    • A fatwa has been issued against pro-Gaza marches by a Saudi cleric who says that demonstrations in solidarity with Palestinians “are just useless demagogic actions.”
      The fatwa was issued by Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti and General President for Scientific Researches and Fatwa, Abdul Aziz Al Ash-Sheikh.
      Is there anything more obnoxious than these Saudi Perverts. The sooner the people string them up on lamp posts the better.link to normanfinkelstein.com

    • "Hezbollah, the honour of Lebanon", Professor Finkelstein interviewed on Lebanese TV. Must watch link to youtube.com

    • "If the imbecile Erekat say's, it's no deal, then you can be sure IT'S A DEAL". Norman G Finkelstein.link to normanfinkelstein.com Most honorable people only resign once, not 20 times.

    • Just,"Too bad it’s not up to you, eh?" That's quite correct, I can tell you this much, if most of the commentators on this blog had a meeting in the West Bank, Abbas and his cronies would lock us all up.

    • Go to hell, Erekat, and take your leader with you.

    • The actions of Abbas and the other "moderate" collaborators with Israel, including Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries make it abundantly clear what the Palestinians are up against. Either resist and be smashed by these collaborators, culminating in the complete defeat of the Palestinian people or resist with the help of those true supporters Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Iraq and the grass roots Arab populations minus their despicable leaders whose crowns are so much more important than the fate of their people.

    • Baroness Warsi's resignation from the government because of the UK' governments support for Israel's military action in Gaza is to be commended, however other governments are more complicit, how about this from Professor Norman Finkelsteins blog.."He [Netanyahu] was referring to the deafening silence in the Arab world for the past month, where criticism of Israel has been muted – and matched by criticism of Hamas.
      Sissi’s Egypt has clearly sided with Israel, destroying tunnels under Rafah and cutting off the flow of arms and cash to Hamas. Saudi Arabia is quietly backing the Egyptians. On Friday, King Abdullah condemned Israeli actions but also denounced the “shameful and disgraceful terrorists … trying to hijack Islam and present it to the world as a religion of extremism, hatred, and terrorism.”
      The quiescence of the moderate Arab world, which sees in Hamas an extension of Iranian influence that threatens them as much as it threatens Israel, could create the conditions for a historic diplomatic reboot.
      “At the end of the battle and the operation, it will open many new possibilities for us,” Netanyahu said, referring to the silent support of the Egyptians, Saudis and their allies.
      The tacit approval for the destruction of Hamas extends to the Palestinian Authority, where President Mahmoud Abbas has insisted that the unity agreement signed earlier this year must involve the dismantling of Iz al-Din al-Qassam, the armed wing of Hamas. Abbas’s frustration with the Hamas militia boiled over in public as the Israeli air attacks began, when he blamed Hamas, not Israel, for the rising tensions.
      “What are you trying to achieve by sending rockets?” Abbas asked in remarks broadcast by Palestine TV in early July. “We prefer to fight with wisdom and politics.”
      “It’s not important who wins or loses,” he said. “What’s important is to end this bloodshed.”
      Aside from issuing some low-key, pro-forma denunciations of Israeli actions in Gaza, Abbas’s government has been almost mute". link to normanfinkelstein.com
      Abbas, Sissi and all the Kings and Emirs of the Arab world should hang their heads in shame, they are just as responsible as Israel/US and the UK government

  • The British public and the world see that Israel's actions are 'wrong and unjustified' -- Miliband
    • Nelson Mandela was a freedom fighter, but the US called him a terrorist, in fact he was not removed from the US terrorist list until 2008.

    • State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki called on Israel to do “more to meet its own standards and avoid civilian casualties.”” But the Dahiya doctrine i.e attacking civilians is established Israeli policy. The first public announcement of the doctrine was made by General Gadi Eizenkot, commander of the IDF's northern front, in October 2008. He said that what happened in the Dahiya quarter of Beirut in 2006 would, "happen in every village from which shots were fired in the direction of Israel. We will wield disproportionate power against [them] and cause immense damage and destruction. From our perspective, these are military bases. This isn't a suggestion. It's a plan that has already been authorized. Harming the population is the only means of restraining Nasrallah.link to electronicintifada.net Oh by the way, Netanyahu to Obama "Don't ever second guess me again"

    • Milliband said of Cameron. He is right to say that Hamas is an appalling, terrorist organization. Its wholly unjustified rocket attacks on Israeli citizens, as well as the building of tunnels for terrorist purposes, show the organization's murderous intent and practice towards Israel and its citizens. I do not agree, Hamas are freedom fighters, fighting against a ruthless occupying force. Its rocket attacks are legitimate acts of self defence. And those tunnels are what any wrongfully imprisoned people would construct. Professor Finkelstein agreed that the rocket attacks by Hamas are not against International Law link to normanfinkelstein.com It is true the Palestinian rockets are indiscriminate but as one Algerian prisoner told a French interrogator "I will give you my handbag of explosives if you will exchange it for one of your fighter bombers.
      Or the Palestinians could add a simple but reasonably accurate guidance system to their rockets.
      A 32-bit Raspberry Pi computer costs less than US$35 from a wide variety of sources (most NOT controllable by the US or Israel). Couple that with a GPS chip (US$10), any one of several open source real-time operating systems (US$0) and some simple control motors and the Palestinians could be dropping a rocket right on top of Israeli infrastructure and commercial aircraft. Note that the Palestinians only have to blow up one empty B747 sitting on the tarmac at Ben Gurion Airport to permanently shut it down.
      This illustrates one of the very invalid assumptions that Israelis have about their future – They appear to assume their opponents will not dramatically improve over time, which is a very bad assumption to make.

  • Israel calls Obama's tune
    • Who can deny that some Arab countries gave Israel the green light to Israel to destroy Hamas. "Most Arab states are actively supporting Israel against the Palestinians -- and not even shy about it or doing it discreetly."
      It's a "joint Arab-Israeli war consisting of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia against other Arabs -- the Palestinians as represented by Hamas,” link to manartv.com.lb

    • One of the attacking troops of an occupying army, responsible for the deaths and injuries of many thousands of innocent civilians and war crimes on a grand scale, is captured and Obama, Kerry and other US officials call it barbaric and call for his immediate release.
      These politicians are not members of the human race, I have no religion, and am reluctant to use this word with its religious connotations, but these people are pure evil, they know what they are doing and defending, the only good that will come out of it is their policies will ultimately fail, if not the human race is in for a hard time.

    • From Max Blumenthal on twitter:
      I've spoken w/some journos emerging from Gaza. Scenes they described veered on apocalyptic. Even those who'd been to Aleppo were despondent.
      Body parts in trees, fingers littering the ground, burnt flesh on ambulance windshields. These are the scenes they've described to me.
      If the ICC refuse an investigation into these war crimes, the ICC building should be burnt to the ground.

    • "At the President’s press conference, Obama emphasized Israel’s right to defend itself, no matter what." That is not true, Gaza is Occupied Palestinian Territory [the UN regard Gaza as occupied since Israel controls land sea and air movements] that being the case Israel has one duty only, that is to end the illegal occupation, every man, woman and child in Gaza is a protected person [Geneva Convention Article 4] Attacking them from land, sea and air is a war crime. The besieged Palestinians have every right to defend themselves using any weapons they can get hold of. I gave up on the US political class a long time ago, Netanyahu owns them and everyone knows it. Bill Clinton asked the Question some time ago.
      "Who the fuck does he think he is? Who's the fucking superpower here?"
      US President Bill Clinton in 1996, after being lectured by Netanyahu on the Middle East.link to en.wikiquote.org

  • 'Continuance of state of Israel' is in crisis, Booker says-- and Congress OKs another $225 million
  • Will 'Protective Edge' galvanize the US mainstream, as 'Cast Lead' galvanized the left?
    • W.Jones. I suppose those small qassams could be called bottle rockets, the one that landed near Ben Gurion airport was the most powerful rocket the resistance has ever fired. It caused significant political, psychological and severe economic damage, for instance Tourism accounts for more than 6% of GDP, Ben Gurion is the gateway for that tourism and is also the hub of business and investment, having your main airport closed will do wonders for business investment and confidence, that's why Israeli leaders and Mayor Bloomberg went ape shit when several carriers along with the US Federal Aviation Administration did not want to take any risks and refused to fly in, remember that was only 1 missile [bottle rocket] landing 1 mile away. these closures would be devastating to the Israeli economy. These threats will only get worse Ben Gurion is Israels Achilles heel.

    • Tokyobk What I am saying, and what you said just recently i.e, "what it says to me is that they need to come to there realization that a people willing to tunnel is basically never going to be conquered. Ever. The goal of finally and forever subduing the Palestinians is impossible." I agree, so the Israelis have two choices either come to an agreement based on International law or fight the Arabs forever, who we both admit cannot be beaten. In my opinion the Israelis can be beaten,even with the low tech [at the moment] military capabilities of the Palestinians, the greatest military force in the world had to admit defeat in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, why should Israel be different?

    • Oran said, "Israel must be permitted to crush Hamas" This cannot be done, it is a physical impossibility. Of course its the proliferating rocket fire of the qassams which are increasing in range and lethality, and can never be stopped, simply because
      1/ They are so simple to make, just a length of common metal pipe with fins spot welded on, fuel a combination of potassium nitrate [fertilizer] and sugar, the equipment to manufacture them can be found in any simple garage or workshop. A reporter from Spiegel online visited one of these workshops in Gaza and found just a few individuals could turn out 100 rockets in one shift. Yes Hamas have fired over 2000 rockets so far and only succeeded in blowing up the desert. But if they moved their workshops and manufacturing facilities or just their rockets to anywhere around the Metropolitan area of Tel Aviv, in other words 10 miles north, south, east or west of Ben Gurion airport, most rockets with a flight time of several seconds could directly impact the airport and be impossible to stop. Bang goes the Israeli economy including the tourist industry, the same could be said for refineries and other strategic locations. In 4GW warfare low tech can beat high tech anytime, just ask the US. In Iraq they spent billions trying to combat IED's. University Departments were given huge contracts and came up with all kinds of exotic solutions, some did work, for instance by triggering a premature explosion, the insurgents simply started using commercial fertilizer and set the explosion off with a piece of string, game over. Margaret Weiss at the Washington Institute did an interesting article on the qassam rocket here. link to washingtoninstitute.org

  • 'Children killed in their sleep': Israeli artillery fire hits UN school, killing at least 20
    • Those Kings and Emirs will sell their own Grandmothers to keep their crowns. Even Liberman is tired of keeping their love affairs secret."The Israeli foreign minister, has had quite enough with leading a double life. Addressing students at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya on June 2, he threw a curveball: “I have had my fill of secret meetings. The Arab world needs to overcome the psychological barrier. When you meet with them in secret, they talk to you like peers, so you enjoy the conversation. Later on, when you meet them at international venues, suddenly they treat you like the enemy. So I want to make it harder on them. When I speak about diplomacy, its best form is when everything is on the table and out in the open, not in some secret agreements.” link to al-monitor.com
      They are all a bunch of slimy bastards, one day the tumbrills will roll.

    • Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzahi Hinegbi said "the UN had no right to complain when Israel attacked any of their schools at this point" There you have it, Israel is telling the world that Hospitals and schools are legitimate targets. For all the horror they are committing on their Palestinian victims, the Palestinians can be assured payback is coming. link to news.antiwar.com

    • Kay24, "PLO has decided to join the ICC." Could you supply a link? I will believe it when I see it.

    • Israel was founded through violence, it only continues through violence, it has no intention of stopping its violence until it has achieved its political aims in the "Land of Israel". It would appear Saudi Arabia and Egypt are just as complicit in this as the United States link to huffingtonpost.com all three want to deal a blow to Hamas. The Palestinians only have Hezbollah, Syria and Iran on their side, the rest of the Arab world, or at least its leaders, don't seem to care. Even so Israel is extremely vulnerable to 4GW, and with the assistance of the Shia crescent including Iraq, has no long term future, unless it complies with International Law and gets back behind the green line.

    • What would happen if Hamas started moving some of their small Qassam rockets through those tunnels and launched them [with suitable warnings] at Israels vital hub for commerce and tourism Ben Gurion Airport, the economy would be trashed. Speigal online met with a small team of Qassam rocket makers in Gaza , they could make 100 rockets per shift link to spiegel.de These rockets were so simple to make the production could be moved to any small garage or someones kitchen in or around Tel Aviv with a flight time of only several seconds impossible to stop,and could bring the airport to a permanent closure. God forbid that happens, but others might say that would be a legal belligerent reprisal for an earlier war crime perpetrated by Israel deliberately targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure. See link to normanfinkelstein.com

  • Israel advocates are in a battle with US media
  • Statement: Legal experts and human rights defenders demand international community end Israel's collective punishment of Gaza
    • "Moreover, we denounce the shameful political pressures exerted by several UN Member States and the UN on President Mahmoud Abbas, to discourage recourse to the International Criminal Court (ICC)," "Political pressures" Israeli General Mandelblit said "it would be an act of war to take us to the ICC" link to wikileaks.org What"the West" want is a selective use of International Law, they are in effect saying, there is no law, or only law which we, the powerful nations and the arbitrators of what is right and wrong, and solely dependent on who we, at any one time are friends of. I say to that, Go F--- Yourselves.

    • In my opinion the Palestinians are entitled to strike Israeli targets as a reprisal for the deliberate targeting of civilians by the IDF in Gaza. Look at it this way if you were a boxer under the Marquis of Queensbury rules and your opponent immediately kicked you between the legs, you go down and your opponent immediately starts kicking and stomping you in the head with intent to kill you. You would be entitled to lash out with your feet [although that in itself would be against the rules] but that lashing out would be to say to the person trying to kill you, stop, that was a warning that what you are doing is wrong and if you persist in trying to kill me I will have no alternative but to resist as I have done so. That's logical.And in my opinion well within International law.

    • " We also condemn the launch of rockets from the Gaza Strip, as every indiscriminate attack against civilians, regardless of the identity of the perpetrators, is not only illegal under international law but also morally intolerable." But are these rocket attacks by Hamas illegal under International law?
      Reprisals refer to acts which are illegal if taken alone, but become legal when adopted by one state in retaliation for the commission of an earlier illegal act by another state.[2] Counter-reprisals are generally not allowed.
      An example of reprisal before reprisals could be legally undertaken, a number of conditions had to be satisfied:
      • There had to be a previous act by the other party that violated international law.
      • Reprisals had to be preceded by an unsatisfied demand for reparation or compliance with the violated international law.
      • There must be proportionality between the offence and reprisal.
      The following is from an article on Professor Norman Finkelsteins blog link to normanfinkelstein.com
      "HRW’s Deputy Middle East and North Africa director stated in the first press release. “All attacks, including reprisal attacks, that target or indiscriminately harm civilians are prohibited under the laws of war, period.” Not so. International law does not—at any rate, not yet—prohibit belligerent reprisals.[4]The United States and Britain, among others, have staunchly defended the right of a state to use nuclear weapons by way of belligerent reprisal.[5] By this standard, the people of Gaza surely have the right to use makeshift projectiles to end an illegal, merciless seven-year-long Israeli blockade or to end Israel’s criminal bombardment of Gaza’s civilian population. Indeed, in its landmark 1996 advisory opinion on the legality of nuclear weapons, the ICJ ruled that international law is not settled on the right of a state to use nuclear weapons when its “survival” is at stake. But, if a state might have the right to use nuclear weapons when its survival is at stake, then surely a people struggling for self-determination has the right to use makeshift projectiles when it has been subjected to slow death by a protracted blockade and recurrent massacres by a state determined to maintain its occupation".

  • Photos: Even with ceasefire, Gaza protests continue across US (Updated)
  • How many would be alive today if Obama had not quashed Goldstone Report?
    • Hostage @ "Even with a Security Council referral in hand", I was surprised at Ashrawi the other day who said, there were other avenues to the ICC i.e through the Human Rights Council, Unfortunately the Council recommended the Goldstone Report go to the UNSC who could then refer it to the ICC, does anyone in their right mind think the US would refer ANY war crimes committed by Israel to the ICC. It beggars belief that when her leader, Abbas, has such a low opinion of the use of the courts, [he said recently.. “I don’t like to go to the courts. I don’t like courts. I want to solve my problems directly between the parties”] she could expect Obama to refer Israel to the ICC, NO CHANCE.

  • Kerry is off the Israel bandwagon
    • seafoid, @" and would embark as soon as it got the necessary permissions". Which of course it will not receive. After listening to advice from the US.

  • (Updated) In Photos: Worldwide protest against Israeli attack on Gaza
    • Citizen, "Why don’t they do it? I really have no clue. Advice?" It would appear Abbas has made some sort of commitment to US/Israel, what it is, is any ones guess, but typical of the high handed Abbas.
      Erekat to Abbas.... “Abu Mazen [Abbas], if you want to move Netanyahu, work on the [application] documents for international institutions. He said: I made a commitment’ [not to apply to international institutions]. What commitment have you made? This isn’t your daddy’s farm! This is a nation, this is Palestine. This is bigger than individuals. He didn’t listen to me. link to timesofisrael.com

    • Taxi "Hamas got their drone technology from studying remote-controlled toy airplanes." What's to laugh at, James Stewart flew a reconstructed plane out of the desert in 'Flight of the Phoenix' the plane was designed by Hardy Krugar drawing on his expertise as a designer of 'toy aeroplanes'.
      Seriously, 700 rockets blowing up the desert is not a good military tactic. One man with a small mortar inside the belly of the beast, could do more economic damage to the Zionist project in 1 minute. Hezbollah have undersea capabilities which they have said could target military and commercial shipping and cripple Israeli trade 90% of which is transported by sea. In world war two the Italians specialized in one man undersea craft, they sank several battle ships with them. With today's technology these devices are virtually undetectable and very cheap. Even their nuclear [German supplied submarines would be vulnerable as they left port in Haifa] I'm sure Hez [20 miles away have figured that out.

    • I partly agree with you, my argument is about tactics, if I had a severe traffic altercation with Mike Tyson I would be tempted to punch him in the face, if I did so I would be plastered. Better to follow him home, creep up the stairs while he is asleep and fetch a baseball bat to him, as you are leaving set fire to his car, and then deny all knowledge of the incident. Stones against tanks are futile, and will get you killed. The Palestinians need unity and well thought out tactics, political, legal and other forms of resistance.

    • Abbas has finally done something sensible, asking the UN for protection for the Palestinian people against the war crimes of Israel, and according to Hanan Ashrawi plans to apply to join 20 UN Agencies shortly. There are approx 60 Agencies so maybe 20 is a reasonable start, no mention of joining the ICC of course, the one court the US/Israel are fearful of, and in theory cannot control. Abbas, just do it, link to mangalorean.com

    • One important thing has come out of this Gaza aggression is that Netanyahu has claimed the latest Gaza conflict proved that Israel could never allow an independent Palestine in the occupied West Bank, insisting it would simply become “another 20 Gazas.”
      “I think the Israeli people understand now what I always say: that there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan,” Netanyahu declared.link link to news.antiwar.com So there we have it from the horses mouth, occupation is to be never ending, this is the Jabotinski end game "The land of Israel" including the West Bank is the sovereign territory of the Israeli state and it is not possible for two separate sovereign states to exist in the "Land of Israel" when we [Zionists] claim sovereignty over the whole. Fortunately Abbas has lost a negotiating partner [he admitted this a couple of days ago,] how is it now possible for anybody,with a straight face, the quartet, the UN, the US to call for negotiations between the two sides when the Israelis reject the very notion of a two sovereign state solution. Ramzi Jabar [in the comment above] supports the resistance [including rocket fire from Gaza]
      I don't agree with him, all peaceful means have not yet been tried, for instance Abbas refuses to formally sign up to the ICC and thereby gain standing, it is only when and if the ICC [for political reasons] reject an investigation into [well documented] Israeli war crimes that I would support Ramzi.

  • Oren's charge that networks showcase Palestinian dead at behest of Hamas is 'obscene' -- Penhaul
    • This slaughter is official Israeli policy, called the Dahiya doctrine, here is how an Israeli official described it in 2009."Israel has sought the political, as well as military, emasculation of Hamas through the widespread destruction of Gaza’s infrastructure and economy.
      This is known as the “Dahiya Doctrine,” named after a suburb of Beirut that was almost leveled during Israel’s attack on Lebanon in summer 2006. The doctrine was encapsulated in a phrase used by Dan Halutz, Israel’s chief of staff, at the time. He said Lebanon’s bombardment would “turn back the clock 20 years.”
      The commanding officer in Israel’s south, Yoav Galant, echoed those sentiments on the Gaza offensive’s first day: the aim, he said, was to “send Gaza decades into the past.”
      Beyond these sound-bites, Gadi Eisenkot, the head of Israel’s northern command, clarified in October the practical aspects of the strategy: “What happened in the Dahiya quarter of Beirut in 2006 will happen in every village from which Israel is fired on. We will apply disproportionate force on it and cause great damage and destruction there. From our standpoint, these are not civilian villages, they are military bases. This is not a recommendation. This is a plan.”
      In the interview, Gen Eisenkot was discussing the next round of hostilities with Hizballah. However, the doctrine was intended for use in Gaza, too".In the interview, Gen Eisenkot was discussing the next round of hostilities with Hizballah. However, the doctrine was intended for use in Gaza, too.

      Gabriel Siboni, a colonel in the reserves, set out the new “security concept” in an article published by Tel Aviv University’s Institute of National Security Studies two months before the assault on Gaza. Conventional military strategies for waging war against states and armies, he wrote, could not defeat sub-national resistance movements, such as Hizballah and Hamas, that have deep roots in the local population.
      The goal instead was to use “disproportionate force,” thereby “inflicting damage and meting out punishment to an extent that will demand long and expensive reconstruction processes.”
      Siboni identified the chief target of Israel’s rampages as “decision makers and the power elite,” including “economic interests and the centers of civilian power that support the [enemy] organization.” link to electronicintifada.net

  • PLO official Hanan Ashrawi: Israel's assault on Gaza is 'state terrorism' and should be referred to the International Criminal Court
    • Hostage, thank you for your welcome comments on this thread. Have I got this right? The OTP has decided she is not competent to say whether Palestine is a state, and since 12[1] and 12[3] both say a "state" can confer jurisdiction by becoming a party to the statute [article 12 [1] or, the "state" making an ad hoc declaration accepting the courts jurisdiction [article 12 [3] Why has the Prosecutor not consulted the relevant bodies [the Secretary General of the UN or the Assembly of state parties, who ARE competent to make that decision? Why does the prosecutor insist "the ball is in the Palestinians court" and "we are waiting for them". What procedural steps or other actions are required to decide these things? A court of law is supposed to offer remedies not leave matters in abeyance.

    • W.Jones. In my opinion the Prosecutor does have discretion, and could base any decision on any number of facts, she would of course have to justify any decision in a legally well thought through argument. However in this case the correct procedure to follow and the only one that makes any sense is for the Prosecutor to let the pre trial chamber judges make a decision, it is their job, they can trawl through all the existing law and precedents on whether Palestine is 'a state' and make a well thought through legal determination. Or she could send it to the Secretary General at the United Nations, who I believe is the depository for the ICC. If he has a doubt it is practice for him to let the General Assembly make that decision, because of the huge vote in favor of Palestinian membership of UNESCO any vote at the UNGA would be a slam dunk.

    • Kalithea @ The ICC stated they cannot proceed unless the Security Council agrees to the Palestinians having State status and not just observer status at the U.N.
      I don't agree, In my opinion when the Prosecutor needs to make a decision like "is Palestine a state"? She must either pass that decision on to the judges in the pre trial chamber, whose job it is, or pass it to Banki Moon for him to determine, if he has doubt it is the practice for him to let the UNGA make the decision [which of course they have already done] . Of course under the 'all states formula' this has already been decided when the Cook Islands became a UN member, simply by virtue of its membership of a UN Agency 'the World Health Organization [WHO]. Similarly Palestine, being a member of UNESCO should be afforded that same right. Where are you Hostage?

    • Moreno-Ocampo.. "The ICC’s job is to investigate and prosecute only in cases in which the local legal system is not performing. “In a dictatorship they can make you disappear and kill you,” said Moreno-Ocampo. “But here, even if the situation is awful, you cannot disappear; you have the rule of law.” This guy is a comedian, the Israel Supreme court refuses to have an opinion on the issue of settlements, they say it is a political matter. Although they have declared that the West Bank and Gaza are occupied territories which should be administered through customary International law. As for the second quote Israel has disappeared thousands over the last few years, over 800 in the last 2 weeks. He also said the ICC could be a double edged sword and that Abbas could be in the dock also. That would be wonderfully ironic but has nothing to do with whether Israel or more specifically its leaders are guilty of war crimes. Ocampo is politicizing the court, as was proved when he sat on the Palestinians complaint for three years before rejecting it on spurious grounds. The reason Abbas has to sign up, is to establish once and for all whether Palestinians can get justice or not, even if they have to jump through hoops to do so. Or establish whether the court is a purely political one, were only individuals from the third world will be punished. Its that simple.

    • I am really confused about this, the story here is Abbas has not acceded to the ICC because of the Israeli threats. The ICC have asked Abbas to sign up for membership of the ICC [and gain standing] which he is refusing to do. And yet they have put in an official complaint on the war crimes Israel is committing in Gaza through a Paris based Lawyer. So Abbas having been told his initial complaints filed years ago cannot be investigated because he will not formally sign up to the ICC. Now we have the ludicrous suggestion that the ICC will change their minds with this complaint, when in reality nothing has changed. It has been suggested that the reason Abbas will not sign up for the ICC is because he has 'made commitments ' [presumably to the US] not to do so, if that was the case he could have had the UK on board at the UN when the UK said they would support Palestinian statehood if they promised not to pursue the ICC option, he refused [quite rightly] that blackmail, yet here we are back to square one because Abbas will not sign up. I do wish Hostage would comment on this.

  • In photos: Over 1,000 New Yorkers protest Israel's attack on Gaza
    • I hope they ignore the ban, and if they are confronted, hope they tear the eff'n place up.

    • The French have banned pro Palestinian marches planned for Paris tomorrow. Meanwhile, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has warned that anyone caught shouting slogans against Israel or torching Israel’s flag would be arrested. link to presstv.com

  • Israeli forces shell UN school where displaced Palestinians gathered, killing at least 9
    • In resolution 1973, adopted on 17 March 2011, the Security Council demanded an immediate ceasefire in Libya, including an end to ongoing attacks against civilians, which it said might constitute "crimes against humanity." When is the UNSC going to invoke 'The right to protect in this case' the West will not of course, hypocritical bastards.

  • Why Israel's legal justifications for 'Operation Protective Edge' are wrong
    • Noam Chomsky's latest thoughts on the massacre.. “The incursion and bombardment of Gaza is not about destroying Hamas. It is not about stopping rocket fire into Israel, it is not about achieving peace.
      The Israeli decision to rain death and destruction on Gaza, to use lethal weapons of the modern battlefield on a largely defenseless civilian population, is the final phase in a decades-long campaign to ethnically-cleanse Palestinians.
      Israel uses sophisticated attack jets and naval vessels to bomb densely-crowded refugee camps, schools, apartment blocks, mosques, and slums to attack a population that has no air force, no air defense, no navy, no heavy weapons, no artillery units, no mechanized armor, no command in control, no army… and calls it a war. It is not a war, it is murder.
      When Israelis in the occupied territories now claim that they have to defend themselves, they are defending themselves in the sense that any military occupier has to defend itself against the population they are crushing. You can’t defend yourself when you’re militarily occupying someone else’s land. That’s not defense. Call it what you like, it’s not defense.”

    • Al-Haq.. " the international community must uphold their obligations under international law, including their own obligations under the Geneva Conventions, in order to end Israeli impunity". Many legal commentators differ on what are the responsibilities on states to "do something", some say other states have a duty not to assist the breach of International law, others that states are not obliged to actively stop such violations Whatever the case, the primary duty of the Palestinian state is to protect its people, this it is signally failing to do, For instance it has failed to formally join the ICC and indict the individuals responsible for all the well documented war crimes to date, including this latest massacre. President Abbas recently told the New York Times “I don’t like to go to the courts. I don’t like courts. I want to solve my problems directly between the parties”, International law means nothing unless the people on the receiving end of the war crimes are going to actively pursue their claims in the appropriate venues. Abbas is entirely to blame.

  • 'We know that Israel has no red line when it attacks us': Civilians bear the brunt as Israel’s offensive on Gaza continues
    • The French Authorities are quick to prosecute BDS folks on the basis of boycotting Israeli goods, under the hate crime laws in France. It is an offence to use language which expresses racial or religious hatred, the courts also deem the law to include a victims national origins. Of course in this case antisemitism is clearly involved. Unless of course the courts rule only Israelis are Semites.

    • Abbas moves all his family to Amman, not you may think to protect them from Israel, but to protect them from incensed Palestinians who regard him as a traitor. It must be comforting for ordinary Palestinians to know all the members of their glorious leaders family are safe and they are left to try and survive. Some people call Abbas hapless, in truth he is a quisling of the highest order.link to jpost.com

  • Humanitarian agencies warn of imminent water crisis in Gaza
    • EWASH has called on the International community to work with Israel to ensure vital water infrastructure is not targeted. Sorry, Israel deliberately targets water and sewage facilities, it deliberately ignores the the rules of war encapsulated in the Hague and Geneva conventions, it is a law unto itself, therefore the resistance must use all means at its disposal to fight back, sabotage Israeli water and other economic infrastructure, unless there is a cost to Israel, it will not stop the ethnic cleansing and murder.

  • US plays decisive role in Israel's attack on Gaza
    • Agree lysias, The accurate targeting of many of the economic targets in Israel is easily done with operatives using the cell structure in the belly of the beast. With the number and quality of arms available to many groups in the middle east at this time it is surprising the resistance have to use relatively crude homemade firecrackers, only to blow up the desert. The closure of Ben Gurion proves how vulnerable Israel is to a campaign of economic sabotage, it is only when Israelis have to pay a price, that the oppression will end.

  • Massacre in Gaza: At least 60 killed in Shuja'iyeh, over 60,000 in UN shelters
    • Ashrawi said " she'd like to see the situation addressed by the international community before a legal case is prepared". Excuse me, the International community has had 47 years to do something, it has failed, not least because of the US veto at the UNSC. The Palestinian leadership have already asked the ICC to investigate the situation in Palestine the ICC in return have asked for the Palestinians to join the court, they have refused to do so. The Palestinians have a right to ask the International community to act. But when they do not act themselves and join the court, the one venue Israel/US fear, one must ask the question, why?

    • Most people on this site and all Palestinians agree, Israel is committing war crimes and crimes against humanity on a daily basis. And yet the so called leader of the Palestinians will not formally join the ICC, he has said "I don't like to go to courts" "I don't like courts" and "I want to solve my problems directly between the parties". Have the last few weeks changed his mind? I doubt it.

  • Video: Resistance activists down power line in West Bank
  • Israeli military destroyed el-Wafa hospital even though it knew there were no weapons inside
    • ejran, Don't see why not, it was also sent to many people at the BBC over their poor reporting.

    • From: Mads Gilbert
      Date: Fri, Jul 18, 2014 at 7:10 AM
      Subject: Gaza needs you!

      Dearest friends -

      The last night was extreme. The "ground invasion" of Gaza resulted in scores and carloads with maimed, torn apart, bleeding, shivering, dying - all sorts of injured Palestinians, all ages, all civilians, all innocent.
      The heroes in the ambulances and in all of Gaza's hospitals are working 12-24hrs shifts, grey from fatigue and inhuman workloads (without payment all in Shifa for the last 4 months), they care, triage, try to understand the incomprehensible chaos of bodies, sizes, limbs, walking, not walking, breathing, not breathing, bleeding, not bleeding humans. HUMANS!
      Now, once more treated like animals by "the most moral army in the world" (sic!).
      My respect for the wounded is endless, in their contained determination in the midst of pain, agony and shock; my admiration for the staff and volunteers is endless, my closeness to the Palestinian "sumud" gives me strength, although in glimpses I just want to scream, hold someone tight, cry, smell the skin and hair of the warm child, covered in blood, protect ourselves in an endless embrace - but we cannot afford that, nor can they.
      Ashy grey faces - Oh NO! not one more load of tens of maimed and bleeding, we still have lakes of blood on the floor in the ER, piles of dripping, blood-soaked bandages to clear out - oh - the cleaners, everywhere, swiftly shovelling the blood and discarded tissues, hair, clothes, cannulas - the leftovers from death - all taken away...to be prepared again, to be repeated all over. More then 100 cases came to Shifa last 24 hrs. enough for a large well trained hospital with everything, but here - almost nothing: electricity, water, disposables, drugs, OR-tables, instruments, monitors - all rusted and as if taken from museums of yesterdays hospitals.But they do not complain, these heroes. They get on with it, like warriors, head on, enormous resolute. And as I write these words to you, alone, on a bed, my tears flows, the warm but useless tears of pain and grief, of anger and fear. This is not happening!
      An then, just now, the orchestra of the Israeli war-machine starts its gruesome symphony again, just now: salvos of artillery from the navy boats just down on the shores, the roaring F16, the sickening drones (Arabic 'Zennanis', the hummers), and the cluttering Apaches. So much made and paid in and by US.
      Mr. Obama - do you have a heart?
      I invite you - spend one night - just one night - with us in Shifa. Disguised as a cleaner, maybe.
      I am convinced, 100%, it would change history.
      Nobody with a heart AND power could ever walk away from a night in Shifa without being determined to end the slaughter of the Palestinian people.
      But the heartless and merciless have done their calculations and planned another "dahyia" onslaught on Gaza.
      The rivers of blood will keep running the coming night. I can hear they have tuned their instruments of death.
      Please. Do what you can. This, THIS cannot continue.

      Mads
      Gaza, Occupied Palestine
      Numbers are enclosed (last page in the MOH-report in English. The pictures are mine, taken some few hours ago, in the early morning hours of Friday July 18th 2014). More to come. I'm sorry to bug you).
      Mads Gilbert MD PhD
      Professor and Clinical Head
      Clinic of Emergency Medicine
      University Hospital of North Norway
      N-9038 Tromsø, Norway

  • Israel is in a pickle
    • Six Palestinian prisoners released as part of the Shalit swap have been rearrested in the sweep in the West Bank and have been told by Israeli judges they will have to serve the rest of their life sentences, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Prisoner affairs Zayad Abu-Ein said “This represents a disregard to the world and to the international and humanitarian values,” he added, accusing Israel of not honoring any agreements or understandings concluded with any party, whether regionally or internationally.
      “This makes Israel a state above the law and a state of gangs that has no political credibility.” link to english.wafa.ps

  • Activists occupy UK govt office demanding end to arms trade with Israel
    • France the first country in the world to ban pro Palestinian rallies.
      Anyone who turns up to an illegal demonstration now faces up to a year in prison, and a 15,000 euro fine.
      If they hide their faces to avoid being identified, this sentence can be increased to three years, and a 45,000 fine.
      Even those who publish details of an illegal rally on social media face up to a year in prison, and a 15,000 euro fine.
      This can be increased to seven years and a 100,000 fine if the postings lead to violence. link to dailymail.co.uk I suspect they would like to bring back the guillotine.

    • Amigo,Don't forget the torches and pitchforks, send them back home.

  • 10 Palestinian civilians killed in last 24 hours, bringing total to 158
    • Abbas has said he has made commitments to the US/Israel not to apply to the International institutions, presumably also the ICC. When was this commitment made? What are the terms of the commitment, now that the talks are over? Now that the Israelis are slaughtering the Palestinians, does his commitment still stand? These are fundamental questions Abbas needs to answer, if he does not he deserves to be in a jail cell alongside Netanyahu and the other members of his criminal cabal. link to timesofisrael.com

  • Netanyahu says there will never be a real Palestinian state
    • George Smith @ This “international consensus” is a consensus of a tiny coterie of ruling elites".
      I think you are wrong, how else can world opinion be measured except by the unanimous views outlined in my comment above.
      "It’s not a consensus that can mobilize a global campaign for justice. For that, only equal rights will do, and equal rights will mean an end to Jewish ethnocracy".
      I presume you mean equal rights in a one state solution? This would mean the end of Israel, This may be a good thing if the end result was indeed equal rights for all,unfortunately that is a recipe for civil war and massive ethnic cleansing, then you say two states would mean the ethnic cleansing of Jews from the West Bank, no, they are in the West Bank illegally, some formula would have to be found either to repatriate them back to Israel proper or negotiate with the Palestinian Government to allow them to stay [as citizens of Palestine] remember it is the Israeli Government and the Yesha council who initiated the settlement enterprise after the 67 war they have the primary responsibility to bring it to a close. I for one am not holding my breath.

    • I happen to believe in the two state solution, this also happens to be the solution backed by every nation, and every Agency and all other institutions at the United Nations, there is no political party anywhere in the world including Israel and Palestine who favor a one state solution, in fact the only reason Israelis would want one state is if they could complete the annexation of the West Bank and realize the dream inherent in Zionism for "The Land of Israel" as they see it. The little problem for them are those squatters who reside in their millions on the land God gave them 4,000 years ago, their efforts at ethnic cleansing, theft and murder has failed to thin the Palestinians out. In fact their numbers are growing and pose a demographic threat to the purity of the Israeli state. The US state Dept published a report in 2004 where they calculated the population of Palestinians living in Israel, the Occupied Gaza Strip, Occupied East Jerusalem and rest of the Occupied West Bank combined now exceeds the number of Israeli Jews,
      The Palestinian population stands at over 5.3 million while the Jewish population stands at 5.2 million.
      The figures come from the U.S. State Department’s annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. link to electronicintifada.net The only answer to Israelis who want a majority Jewish state and a majority which will be guaranteed for the foreseeble future, is to comply with International Law, get back behind the borders they agreed to in 1948, then they will be accepted by the whole of the Islamic community [57 states], and be a valued member of the community of nations. Failure to do this means never ending death and destruction, with the inevitable demise of the racist state.

  • Out to Kill: Israel’s assault on Gaza is not to stop rocket fire 
    • Walid, theft is the least of the crimes these murderous scum commit, as well as targeting civilian houses they also target water and sewerage systems, collective punishment on a horrifying scale link to middleeasteye.net Abbas, first item on the agenda, sign on at the ICC or get out of the way.

  • Israel viciously bombs Gaza, that's the only truth
    • The US are the biggest hypocrites when committing war crimes themselves, in Afghanistan they drone strike the target then follow up with what they call a double tap, bombing the rescuers. The US political class are not the "exceptional" people as they boast, but the most contemptible.

  • Israel's message to the Palestinians: Submit, leave or die
    • Abierno@ "Rashid Khalidi reports in an AlterNet article that Netanyahu “slipped” in a pronouncement indicating that permanent occupation is the current position
      of Israel". Netanyahu insisted the latest Gaza conflict proved that Israel could never allow an independent Palestine in the occupied West Bank, insisting it would simply become “another 20 Gazas.”

      “I think the Israeli people understand now what I always say: that there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan,” Netanyahu declared.link to news.antiwar.com

    • "And it was clear that the Palestinian Authority, which had several months to take an initiative that would have bolstered the Palestinians’ position, would not do so" I agree ToivoS, Abbas must take a lot of the blame, Abbas recently told [I think it was the NYT] “I don’t like to go to the courts. I don’t like courts. I want to solve my problems directly between the parties", this when a majority of the other Palestinian leadership members including Arekat and 17 NGO's wanted Abbas to formally sign on to the ICC, even the Prosecutor at the ICC say's she is waiting for the Palestinians ["the ball is in their court"] but the collaborator Abbas will not move. Then in South Africa [at Mandela's funeral]he said he was against boycott of Israeli goods [BDS Israel proper]. Then to put the top hat on it, said that security co operation with Israel is 'sacred', he has just admitted that he has given assurances to the US that he will not approach the ICC, this is lunacy. During Abbas's rule he has acted like a pharaoh, always asking for advice from the Arab League, a more futile act I cannot imagine,the truth is the only true supporters of the Palestinians are the countries under attack now from other Arab states led by Saudi Arabia, Iran,Syria and Hezbollah, Abbas has been in power 20 years in which time settlements have expanded exponentially and ethnic cleansing is a daily occurence, the Palestinians will lose, lose, lose, while that pathetic man leads them.

  • Boston transit authority pulls 'apartheid' ads-- for 'demeaning' Israel
    • Hopefully the AAA can get a twofer out of it, or a triple. Compensation for taking the adverts down early, the negative publicity over the blatant double standards and the Authority's embarrassment if they are forced to put them up again.

  • Deaths of five teenagers in the West Bank expose mainstream indifference to Palestinian life
    • According to Media Lens "The missing, ugly reality is that over the last 13 years, on average, one Palestinian child has been killed by Israel every 3 days. Since the outbreak of the second Intifada in September 2000, 1,523 Palestinian children have been killed by Israel’s occupation forces. Over the same time period, 129 Israeli children have been killed. Thus, the ratio of Palestinian children to Israeli children killed is more than ten to one." link to globalresearch.ca
      Those two boys who were murdered in cold blood recently should not be forgotten, their deaths were recorded on film by a local shopkeeper who was threatened by the IDF who confiscated the film. The IDF are a bunch of cowardly scum who are so brave when confronted by women and children.

  • A Call from Gaza: Support our right to life!
    • It is not only in Gaza collective punishment is being used, Arab areas of Israel who protested Israeli aggression in the West Bank have been singled out for discrimination.
      Adalah, the Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, sent an urgent appeal on Monday after the Israeli Ministry of Health closed an important medical clinic in Umm Al-Fahm and a number of companies, including the electricity company, the telecommunication company Bezeq and Orange for mobile services, decided to close shop in the Arab areas and prevented their teams and staff from providing services to Arabs in the cities and villages more generally. link to middleeastmonitor.com

  • Chomsky and BDS
    • RoHa,@ "Morality always trumps law" Way back in the 1840's an anti slavery lawyer called Salmon P Chase from Ohio, took a case right through to the Supreme court, after earlier court judgements had found his arguments thus "All that is morality we are not interested in morality, the law is our only guide". He went on to lose the Supreme court judgement also 9-0. But his brief was also an appeal to a much wider audience because the final arbiter in cases of a moral or political nature is not the courts judgement, but public opinion, not the public opinion of the American people only, but of the civilized world, the rest is history. Professor Jules Lobel mentioned this case in his wonderful keynote speech at Hastings College 'Litigating Palestine'.link to livestream.com Around about 20 mins.

    • Chomsky is right as regards Israels non compliance with Resolutions on right of return, since the US veto will come into play making enforcement of any Security Council Resolution impossible . This from Wikipedia .."Article 94 establishes the duty of all UN members to comply with decisions of the Court [the ICJ] involving them. If parties do not comply, the issue may be taken before the Security Council for enforcement action. There are obvious problems with such a method of enforcement. If the judgment is against one of the permanent five members of the Security Council or its allies, any resolution on enforcement would then be vetoed. This occurred, for example, after the Nicaragua case, when Nicaragua brought the issue of the U.S.'s non-compliance with the Court's decision before the Security Council.[6] Furthermore, if the Security Council refuses to enforce a judgment against any other state, there is no method of forcing the state to comply. Furthermore, the most effective form to take action for the Security Council, coercive action under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, can be justified only if international peace and security are at stake. The Security Council has never done this so far". The ICJ found against the US in the Nicaragua case, the US promptly ignored the decision.

  • Senator Rand Paul pens over-the-top pander to pro-Israel crowd
    • This is despicable from Senator Paul, according to Media Lens "The missing, ugly reality is that over the last 13 years, on average, one Palestinian child has been killed by Israel every 3 days. Since the outbreak of the second Intifada in September 2000, 1,523 Palestinian children have been killed by Israel’s occupation forces. Over the same time period, 129 Israeli children have been killed. Thus, the ratio of Palestinian children to Israeli children killed is more than ten to one." link to globalresearch.ca What will these political whores not say to advance their careers.

  • Real and surreal in occupied Palestine
    • Abbas has given commitments to the US/Israel that he will not approach UN institutions and presumably not to apply to formally join the ICC. link to timesofisrael.com this is incredible, I can imagine Abbas sitting in a refugee camp in Jordan with millions of other Palestinians and saying, I "may" think about going to the ICC, what the hell is up with the man, going to the ICC is not even an act of resistance, it is the least any self respecting leader would do for his people in the face of war crimes being committed against them on a daily basis.

  • In 'NYT' tale of two mothers, the occupation is a human-relations problem
    • For all the assistance Abbas gave the IDF in the search for the missing Israelis [now dead] it will not save the Palestinians, or Abbas, when Danny Danon heard of the deaths of the youths he threatened that the entire Palestinian leadership will pay a very heavy price, others called for targeted assassinations, 5 days ago economy Minister Bennett called Abbas a 'Mega Terrorist', and Foreign Minister Lieberman recently called all those protesting, even peacefully 'terrorists'. I think the Palestinian leadership should call on the UNSC to protect all Palestinians who are protected persons under International Law, from these vindictive homicidal lunatics. Or for Palestinians to try and protect themselves.

  • A settler grazes his cattle on Palestinian crops, as Israeli soldiers look on
    • The war crimes pile up day after day, Israeli Foreign Minister Lieberman now wants to prosecute [for incitement] anyone who peacefully protests, and yet Abbas will not move. Legal commentators say the Prosecutor at the ICC can and should act on Article 12[3] of the Rome Statute, that might very well be the case, the Prosecutor wants the Palestinians to formally apply for membership of the ICC, this is asking them to jump through hoops, very well, they should do so, which would make the Prosecutor look ridiculous if she still refused, or failed to ask the Judges at the ICC whose job it is to decide these things. The argument that the Palestinians would probably not be able to afford membership is surely not a good one. If Abbas is such a good friend of Saudi Arabia, who have just spent 60 Billion Dollars on F16’s and such like from the USA, to rot away in the desert, also they have just spent 12 Billion Dollars to buy a country [Egypt], so the idea the fees for membership of the ICC would be prohibitive is not realistic, one Saudi Prince probably spends more in one night at a London brothel or casino than that membership fee. If it was prohibitive then membership in all the Agencies would also be prohibitive [x57]. Maybe if they took Abbas's VIP card away and forced him to wait hours and be humiliated at a check point, he may think differently.

  • Can a neocon change his spots (and come back as a liberal interventionist for Hillary Clinton)?

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