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Total number of comments: 1179 (since 2010-08-12 20:08:39)

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

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  • Report from Bethlehem: An American moment
    • Yes Henry I agree with you, under the law Obama cannot "look forward not backward" he has a duty to prosecute 'folks who tortured', failure to do so is a criminal offence in its own right.

    • Thanks for that link Mooser, Uri Avnery spells it out correctly...
      These, then, are the battle lines:

      A Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital, an Israeli-Palestinian peace treaty, the end of the occupation, peace between Israel and the entire Arab and Muslim world, or a Greater Israel, continuous occupation or annexation, more settlements and ethnic cleansing, permanent war.

      Israel has to choose.

      So has the world.

  • Ads Against Apartheid hits LA with Mandela campaign
  • Jordanian-Palestinian resolution to the UN Security Council gives US and Israel wiggle room
    • They sure are a lunatic state. The Israeli intelligence minister describes as an “act of war” a Palestinian draft submitted to the UN Security Council to end Israeli occupation by the end of 2017. link to presstv.com

  • U.S. seeks to counter Palestinian UN resolution with alternative offer, says French diplomat
    • Section 10 of the draft resolution calls for no illegal settlement activity, therein lies the problem, the Israelis do not consider the settlements illegal, therefore they will carry on building. This resolution will give them at least 2 more years, it was only recently the GOI said they aim for 1 million settlers in the West Bank in future years. Unless they are stopped, whether by BDS or through legal remedies via the ICC, or other means of resistance, nothing will change, correction, things will get worse for the Palestinians.

    • The Palestinians should only take the French resolution seriously when it is submitted by the "Catholic state of France". The only way a negotiating process will work is if there is a complete freeze on settlement expansion in all occupied territories, with action from the Security Council for breaching it. It will not happen of course, we will get the usual blather from the West, the Palestinians need to apply for full membership of the ICC and give Israel and the US both barrels, of course that probably won't happen either.

  • Palestinian UN effort seeks to set 'terms of reference' for negotiations and promote shift away from US leadership
    • Dr Shtayyeh said he welcomed the French proposals and that they were only minor. I disagree the French proposal is for a deadline of 2 years for an end to negotiations, remember the last one, 9 months. This will be another climb down by the PA leadership, the US have made it clear, no unilateral moves by either side will be tolerated, except of course continued settlement building. In my opinion the PA will fold, as usual.

  • We're all anti-American now
    • President Putin said it best in that op-ed in the New York Times . "And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal."

  • Saban confronts Bennett: 'Are you willing to cut commercial ties with Europe?'
  • In major shift, one third of Americans want US to push for one-state outcome in Israel/Palestine
    • "Omar Barghouti said at Columbia University the other night that an “absolute majority” of Palestinians, inside and outside the occupied territories, including the diaspora, would support a one state outcome". Where does he get those figures from? The only difference between Barghouti and Netanyahu and the one state solution is unequal rights for Palestinians. Short of the 'transfer' solution advocated by many in his party, Netanyahu would favor some convoluted constitutional arrangement whereby Israel would not relinquish its claim to sovereignty over the "Land of Israel" as he see's it, which would necessarily mean some kind of Bantustan model. One state with equal rights for all would be ideal, unfortunately we live in the real world, Israel will not agree to any solution whereby Palestinians will be able to outvote them [if not now, certainly within 10 years]. The Israelis are in a bind, the only policy they have at the moment is more violence and repression, they should have thought where this policy would lead after the 67 war, unless they can reverse policy now, which I don't think they are capable of, or have a mind to, the state of Israel is living on borrowed time.

  • AIPAC seeks to blow up negotiations between Iran and US
    • Congress has pushed through the US-Israeli Strategic Partnership Act this week, a bill which creates a new class of special ally within the law called a “major strategic partner,” which only Israel will occupy, link to news.antiwar.com It would be a good policy move for the US to have a league table of special partners, so that they would all be competing to knock Israel of the top spot. Remember France, [French fries to freedom fries] quite high up the league until the Iraq war then next minute on the bottom, then with plenty of grovelling are near the top again.

  • British MPs call for concrete action to sanction Israel
    • Some good contributions in that debate particularly from the Rt Hon Sir Alan Duncan and the Rt Hon George Galloway as usual, one excellent observation was by the Rt Hon Sir Gerald Kaufman: “My hon. Friend is absolutely right. You cannot appeal to the Israelis’ better nature, because they do not have one. You can, however, threaten”.
      The Rt Hon Hywel Williams said I was glad of the opportunity to restate Plaid Cymru’s position on the matter. I have also welcomed the decision by my local authority, Gwynedd county council, not to invest in or trade with Israel. He must be reading Mondoweiss and our own RoHa.

  • In mind-boggling contradiction, UNICEF Ambassador Robbie Williams books gig in Tel Aviv
    • Is Williams aware of the situation, if no, his public relations team/Agents surely are, and don't care, so should be fired. But we must wait for an explanation/ excuse. In view of the facts set out by Horizontal above, such an excuse would be wholly untenable.

  • Dempsey bucks Obama line by praising Israelis for Gaza tactics
    • The only problem with the Dahiya docrine is that the enemy will adopt the same tactics, only aimed at the vital infrastructure of the TelAviv area, including Ben Gurion Airport, and sea ports.
      The closure of which, for even relatively short periods would mean no more Israel. Hezbollah's leader Nazrallah , [not known for exaggeration] promised this in his latest speech. link to jpost.com

    • Sorry wrong link above, here is the one I wanted to link link to electronicintifada.net

    • 500 dead children and what NGO's including Amnesty International call war crimes is what Dempsey is supporting, it is not surprising, the political elite and military leaders of Israel have war crimes as official policy. Known as the Dahiya doctrine after a suburb in Beirut was reduced to rubble 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 therealnews.com

  • ICC believes Israel may have committed war crimes in flotilla attack, but not of 'sufficient gravity' to justify formal investigation
    • The ICC investigate 'situations', in the case of the Mavi Marmara the nine fatalities did not occur out of the blue, an investigation would have had to examine why and whether it was legal for the ship to be on its way to supply one and a half million people in the largest prison on earth and also whether the crew was entitled to put up resistance [the Israelis accused them of wielding iron bars etc]. The 'situation' did not involve just this incident, which did not occur in a vacuum, but involves a whole catalog of ongoing war crimes which the Prosecutor would need to look at as a whole, including this specific crime. In my opinion the Prosecutor has failed in her duty.

    • I believe this is the first time any country has been refused an investigation by the ICC, how many victims are necessary ? In the Rafic Harari case a tribunal was set up which in its remit spans continents, with a bottomless pit for expenditure, and is still running. Which bring to mind the quote...Kill one man, and you are a murderer. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill them all, and you are a god.
      Jean Rostand, Thoughts of a Biologist (1939)

  • Root cause of current crisis is Israeli government effort since 1967 to transform East Jerusalem into a Jewish city
    • During the latest war crimes against Gaza, the Israelis wanted to deport Hamas officials from the West Bank to Gaza, they called in Professor Yoram Dinstein an acknowledged expert in International law it was reported that recent discussions held at the Israeli Ministry of Justice, with the participation of top experts in international law, concluded with the decision that "deportation is not possible", because such a step would put Israel in the dock at the International Criminal Court in the Hague. Not when you have a partner like Abbas who will do your bidding and has not, and probably will not approach the ICC.link to middleeastmonitor.com

    • ICC Prosecutor said Abbas must sign on to membership of ICC before she can open an investigation, link to haaretz.com What is Abbas waiting for?

    • Abbas must share part of the responsibility for Israels actions, they act with impunity because they know the Palestinian leadership are politically bankrupt, last September when the ICC Prosecutor asked the Palestinian Foreign Minister if he was prepared to sign the necessary papers [which only he or Abbas had the authority to sign] to enable a possible investigation into Israeli war crimes , he refused, to the astonishment of the Prosecutor and her staff. link to middleeasteye.net

  • Chickenshitgate: A dissenting view
  • Ambassador Power to kick off 3-hour event on 'never-ending' genocide of Jews
    • There is also speculation in Jerusalem that the administration, unwilling to use its veto (which would be needed if nine Security Council members vote in favor), will propose to the Palestinians an alternative version of the draft resolution — one that would condemn Israeli settlement activity as illegal under international law. In the past, the US blocked such resolutions, but in the current climate it might well support one. Rumor has it that Washington and Ramallah are already in close contact regarding the wording of such a draft resolution. Hope the Palestinians don't fall for this bunkum there is already a UNSC resolution in force for this....
      UNSC-465: the two key provisions:
      5. Determines that all measures taken by Israel to change the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure or status of the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, or any part thereof, have no legal validity and that Israel’s policy and practices of settling parts of its population and new immigrants in those territories constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and also constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East;
      6. Strongly deplores the continuation and persistence of Israel in pursuing those policies and practices and calls upon the Government and people of Israel to rescind those measures, to dismantle the existing settlements and in particular to cease, on an urgent basis, the establishment, construction and planning of settlements in the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem; More on this at Peter Belmont’s blog here. link to 123pab.com

    • Its a pity the organizers could not find a place on the panel for poor Bernard Henry Levy, just expelled from Tunisia 24 hours after his arrival, after a storm of protests. link to middle-east-online.com Best news I've had in years.

    • Max Blumenthal tells us all we need to know about Samantha Power here..Inside a conference hall in June 2013, Power stood before 40 of the most influential members of America’s Jewish establishment and openly cried. Having just been nominated by Obama to serve as the US Ambassador to the UN, the far-right Zionist Organization of America had attacked her for her supposed compassion for Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. With her ambitions on the line, Power was determined to mollify the fanatics.

      Power “suddenly became deeply emotional and struggled to complete her presentation as she expressed how deeply such accusations had affected her,” recalled Shmuley Boteach, the right-wing celebrity rabbi she had courted as her consigliere. “Tears streamed down her cheeks and I think it fair to say that there was no one in the room who wasn’t deeply moved by this incredible display of pain and emotion.” link to alternet.org

  • Ritualized Solidarity
    • What the Colonists did to the indigenous population in America, the Israelis hope to do in Palestine, the Colonists did not have to worry about International law, it did not exist, the same could be said today since the US almost, but not quite, has a veto on International law at the Security Council and will cover Israels annexation policy with that veto. The not quite part involves the ICC. the only venue the Palestinians have at this time to stop the settlement enterprise in its tracks, Incredibly the Palestinian leadership have not even joined the ICC, much to the bewilderment of the Prosecutor and her staff.

  • Loyola SJP investigation reflects double standard towards Palestinian voices on campus
    • Lieberman also said "Sweden 'needs to understand that relations in the Middle East are more complicated than a piece of furniture from IKEA that you assemble at home."
      To which Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom tweeted "I'll happily send an IKEA flat pack for Avigdor Lieberman to assemble. He'll discover you need a partner, cooperation and a good manual. link to twitter.com

    • The Israeli Foreign Ministry announced on Thursday that it has recalled the regime’s ambassador to Stockholm for consultations with regard to the Scandinavian country’s decision to recognize the state of Palestine.
      Meanwhile, the Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman lashed out at Sweden for what he called the “miserable decision that strengthens the extremist elements and Palestinian rejectionism.''http://www.presstv.com/detail/2014/10/30/384198/israel-recalls-ambassador-to-sweden/

    • Suspending SJP will not only slice the stem of a just cause Suspending SJP will not only slice the stem of a just cause, the liberation of Palestine. I don't think so, it should do quite the opposite, this high handed attitude by the administration should galvanize SJP supporters to redouble their efforts, and ensure fairness. First thing to do hire a lawyer, or get one pro bono.
      Sweden has just officially recognized a Palestinian state link to almanar.com.lb

  • University of Exeter students vote to boycott Israeli settlement products in a landslide
    • Dr Ghada Karmi Honorary research fellow in the Institute of Arab and Islamic studies at Exeter University, must also have a huge influence, pity they did not vote to Boycott the whole of Israel, since it is the GoI which is responsible for the settlements.

  • Recognizing Palestine—and political reality
    • If its really a majority Jewish state the Israelis want, then one is on offer now, a state based on the green line would ensure a Jewish majority within the legal borders of Israel, and for the foreseeable future. unfortunately they want it all, in which case they will probably lose it all.

    • "By frustrating the two-state solution, they increase the likelihood of palpably worse alternatives. With their gazes riveted on a one-state utopia, they help create a bantustan". A bantustan is not the worst outcome, in my opinion expulsion is far more likely in the inevitable event that when Palestinians outnumber Israelis of Jewish origin the "Jewish state" will cease to exist, in theory this would be a good thing, but we live in the real world where a two state solution must precede [if one state is ever to come about] a one state alternative, and only on the basis of consent from both states. The International consensus is clear, there is no state or agency at the UN, nor any political party anywhere in the world, including in Palestine that favors a one state solution.

  • 'Settlement endorsement should be put on a par with racism, sexism, homophobia and anti-Semitism' --British pol
    • Introducing the Rt Hon Sir Alan Duncan MP KCMG. and the Rt Hon Sir Gerald Kaufman MP. Heh

    • walktallhangloose, It does not matter that Israel is not a member of the ICC, if a warrant was put out by the ICC for any Israeli Government Minister or anyone else involved with the well documented war crime of population transfers as detailed in article 49.6 of the Geneva conventions also incorporated as a war crime in the ICC statute, that person could be arrested in any of the other states who are also members of the ICC, under the rules of universal jurisdiction. As you say the political effect would be enormous, hence the panic [and threats] coming from Israel/US.

    • 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?

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