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Total number of comments: 1372 (since 2010-08-12 20:08:39)

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

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  • Lessons from Veolia: Supporting the occupation is bad for business
    • They don't come any bigger than Violia, a huge multinational. If only they had listened to warnings years ago. Not so long ago the UK Foreign Office in conjunction with the Trade and Industry Dept overseas business risk register - Israel. Warned business and citizens contemplating investing or other involvement in the settlement enterprise thus... "EU citizens and businesses should also be aware of the potential reputational implications of getting involved in economic and financial activities in settlements, as well as possible abuses of the rights of individuals. Those contemplating any economic or financial involvement in settlements should seek appropriate legal advice" link to gov.uk Other companies must take note of the damage Violia suffered and act accordingly.

  • God is on Israel's side, but not the United States, says Israel's new U.N. ambassador
    • This is unbelievable from Danon, he is showing an utter contempt for the United States [biting the hand that feeds it] displaying an attitude that Israel does not care what the world, including the US thinks. Does he think those Israeli nuclear weapons will so cower the world that the world will stay silent when Israel commits egregious war crimes on a grand scale? I agree with oldgeezer, Danny a great choice.

  • Tea Party and ZOA team up with Trump and Cruz to oppose Iran Deal
    • There is no doubt that this deal is not good for Israel, or to its friend Saudi Arabia. The idea being to keep the leading members of the 'arc of resistance' [Iran, Syria and Hezbollah] excluded in financial and trade terms from the community of nations, hence the attempt at regime change in Syria and the designation of Hezbollah as a "radical Islamist terrorist organization". In my opinion Hezbollah exists as a legitimate resistance movement and will indeed profit from this deal [as it should] that's what friends and allies are for. This rejection of the deal has more to do with Israeli and Saudi hegemony in the region than nuclear weapons. The 'arc' is slowly achieving a balance of power, to the effect that Israel has to think twice before mowing the lawn again. As time passes the inevitable and expanding conventional military powers of the 'arc' will mean the destruction of Israel in the event that Israel or the US wage war on it.

  • BDS call for boycott should not ignore states' responsibility to uphold international law
    • The outgoing EU Envoy to Palestine warned that the EU had more tools to discourage Israeli settlements. link to almanar.com.lb He said they are exploring guidelines that would require the occupant to label settlement products. In my opinion the guidelines are only in place to enable traders to avoid breaking the many EU laws already in place. As an example of the guidelines this is what the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs [DEFRA] put out in a paper in 2009.
      Paragraph 5: Technical advice; Labeling of produce grown in the occupied Palestinian Territories
      5. “Separately, the Government considers that traders would be misleading consumers, and would therefore almost be certainly committing an offence, if they were to declare produce from the OPT (including from the West Bank) as ‘Produce of Israel’. This would apply irrespective of whether the produce was from a Palestinian producer or from an Israeli settlement in the OPT. This is because the area does not fall within the internationally recognized borders of the state of Israel”.
      This also applies to the Golan Heights occupied at the same time by Israeli forces.

    • When Professor Norman Finkelstein spoke in Dublin recently, he said 'you have to fight self' then recounted how the many NGO's in the West Bank exist because of the occupation and that many had a stake in the occupation. I think this is true of the Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights, so much of their work consists of making appeals in the form of open letters to various UK Government Departments, nothing wrong with that of course, my argument is that they should concentrate on the many 'real' breaches of domestic law which, because the "charity" consists of a majority of Lawyers, they are uniquely placed to tackle, like my example above, rather than go on a fools errand and make appeals to the extreme Zionist sensibilities of the likes of ex Foreign Sec William Hague or PM David Cameron.

    • In that 'Feasting on the occupation' report Al Haq tell us what others 'must do'. In my opinion on the labeling issue there are plenty groups associated with Al Haq who could take action on labeling but will not do so, for instance the 'Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights' will not take up cases of false labeling in UK courts, when urged to do so by activists who can see the law being broken everyday. Here is one example:- The Golan Heights Winery export over 6 million bottles of wine to the EU, this is how their labels read:-
      1. 'Wine of Israel' and 2. 'Produced by Golan Heights Winery 183 Katzrin 12900, Israel.
      As an added factor, the labels when viewed as a whole show at least five other indicators which tend to confirm the false facts in 1 and 2 above.
      1. Golan Heights Winery with Galilee underneath, ‘Galilee’ is a region of Northern Israel.
      2. The wine is Kosher for Passover; and is authenticated for the Jewish religious holiday of Passover by a Rabbi from the Northern Israeli City of Tiberias.
      3. The web page http://www.golanwines.co.il indicates an Israeli country code [il]
      4. Barcode first three digits 729 indicates Israeli origin, although not conclusive proof of origin.
      5. Hebrew text.
      As you can see this is a blatantly false label in breach of various EU Regulations in this case EU Reg 607/2009 article 55. The Trading Standards Departments will not prosecute. The Food Standards Agency will not prosecute. The Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs [DEFRA], Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs or The UK Foreign Office will not prosecute. It is left to a Litigants in person to prosecute [under section 6 of the 1986 prosecution of offenders act it is possible]. Unfortunately the LPHR although masquerading as a charity, are in my opinion a business whose requests for 'advice' always seem to be met with the question 'Do you have funding' if you say no the line goes dead. That's my experience, and I have evidence that this is the case. I do not have a good opinion of Lawyers in general, although I do not agree with that Shakespearean character who said "come the revolution, first thing we do is kill all the lawyers" I think they should torture them first.

  • Jimmy Carter has cancer
  • Roundtable on the Palestinian solidarity movement and Alison Weir
    • I have a problem with any group who are called 'Jews for', 'Catholics for' or 'Protestants for'. All imply exclusivity, and the feeling that if you are not 'one of them' you are some kind of outsider, the 'chill factor' as it were. In the seventies, early eighties I was involved with a group called the Campaign for Labour Representation in Northern Ireland [CLR NI] Its aims were inter alia to bring together people of all religions and non to find a solution which could benefit the greatest number of working people in the Province, to this end it advocated for the UK Labour party to admit UK citizens resident in Northern Ireland into membership of the party [as per its rule book] at the time anyone resident in Northern Ireland could not become a member of the UK Labour Party, in other words a totally undemocratic situation existed whereby UK citizens could not vote for, or against the Party that actually governed them at Westminster. We campaigned to force the Labour Party to contest every NI constituency [also, per its rule book] and thereby give NI workers the opportunity to reject sectarianism [which was the only thing on offer to them at that time] and come together to work for the class interests of the majority of NI workers whether Catholic or Protestant and join the only non sectarian party which also governed them in every aspect of their lives with taxation, Health and Education etc. They were, in any case, mainly members of UK based Trade Unions like the TGWU, AEU and Post Office Workers Union etc [Alan Johnson was General Secretary of the Post Office Union at the time and spoke at one of our meetings]. The CLRNI had prominent members like Brendan Clifford, Eamon O'Kane, Joe Keenan, Connor Lynch and Sean McGouran all from Catholic backgrounds, some with ex IRA or INLA links, others whose relatives were ex IRA Quartermasters etc. Many of course with non Catholic backgrounds David Morrison, Jeffrey Dudgeon and Boyd Black for instance. Others like Professors Ben Cosin and Nina Fishman resident in the UK and prolific writers for the CLRNI were of Jewish origin. How would that group have fared had it been called 'Protestants for' or 'Catholics for' the Campaign for Labour Representation in NI?

  • Israeli Banks flipping out over looming European boycott
    • In my opinion these measures date back to early last year when the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office in conjunction with the UK Trade and Industry Department.. Overseas Business Risk Register - Israel, together with other EU Governments, put out this paper link to gov.uk
      "There are therefore clear risks related to economic and financial activities in the settlements, and we do not encourage or offer support to such activity. Financial transactions, investments, purchases, procurements as well as other economic activities (including in services like tourism) in Israeli settlements or benefiting Israeli settlements, entail legal and economic risks stemming from the fact that the Israeli settlements, according to international law, are built on occupied land and are not recognized as a legitimate part of Israel’s territory. This may result in disputed titles to the land, water, mineral or other natural resources which might be the subject of purchase or investment.
      EU citizens and businesses should also be aware of the potential reputational implications of getting involved in economic and financial activities in settlements, as well as possible abuses of the rights of individuals. Those contemplating any economic or financial involvement in settlements should seek appropriate legal advice". What more could scare a Bank off, than to have to seek legal advice before contemplating financial involvement?

  • The enemies list
    • Philip Weiss was definitely on the sh-t list of 7,000 self hating Israeli threatening Jews. I remember reading his entry a few years ago, not flattering. 'Not found' is all I can see on google now via Masada2000, Wikipedia.

  • Photos: New Yorkers rally for, and against, Iran Deal outside Schumer office in midtown Manhattan
    • Coming to a cinema near you. Is it a bird? No, Is it a plane? No, Its the 'Cruz' missile. Watch the 'Cruz' missile and Schuma the Shoma take on 'Ayatollah the merciless' in a bid to end his quest to destroy life on earth with his 'Death ray'.

    • bryan, possibly all those things, however here in the UK it is possible to have an individual 'sectioned' i.e, commit [someone] compulsorily to a psychiatric hospital] in accordance with a section of the Mental Health Act. I do not recommend this for US citizens [especially in the Bible belt] the hospitals would be overflowing.

    • Former Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann believes the Iran deal should be celebrated and that we should all be privileged to be living in these times. "The End Times". Iran deal a cause for celebration because it proves the End Times have begun in earnest. link to salon.com I must confess I had never thought of it that way, but it does show the kind of intellectual arguments we are up against.

  • Defying Obama on Iran deal, Schumer cites Hamas
    • Schumers attitude to Iran is probably the same as the London Metropolitan police, in this amazing incident in central London. A family had left their motor home [parked up in central London] with a sign on the side 'Iran is great' upon return they found it had been broken into and a large area had been sealed off. "Cristian particularly felt agitated that the police had not left any note behind, explaining what had happened. “I went to the police station and they accused me of provoking the whole thing, they wanted me to feel responsible for expressing my views about this country, Iran.” He has not received an apology". link to theguardian.com Read this and weep.

    • As I have argued in the past, this is more about conventional weapons and regime change than non existent nuclear weapons [and known to be non existent]. As for Iran being a state sponsor of terrorism, it depends how you define terrorism. Iran clearly supplies weapons and money to Hezbollah, and the military wing of Hezbollah is labelled a terrorist group [at least by the US State Dept and the EU], therefore, [as far as the US is concerned] it 'is' a state sponsor of terrorism and from a purely legal standpoint Schumer is correct. But this agreement is about Iran's nuclear ambitions only, and how Iran's legal pursuit of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes can be monitored, and to ensure that they cannot have a break out capacity in the foreseeable future, it has nothing to do with conventional weapons. I happen to believe Hezbollah is not a terrorist organization, they exist as a resistance group, and are a substantial and integral part of the Lebanese people, they exist to protect them from frequent and murderous Israeli aggression. UN Resolutions give such people the right to resist, and to use arms to do so. Therefore it is unreasonable, and foolish for Schumer to tie the nuclear and conventional weapons files together, I can see why he has done so, and he is correct to assert that Israel's enemies will be strengthened [that's inevitable] the question is what can Schumer do about it, except to look foolish?

  • Leading US Jewish group opposes Iran deal, citing 'baseless hatred' of Jerusalem temple destruction 2000 years ago
    • My assessment above that it is possible Obama could lose the vote in Congress is influenced by this Uri Avnery article Bibi and the yo-yos.. "It was all rather disgusting.
      There they were, the members of the highest legislative bodies of the world’s only superpower, flying up and down like so many yo-yos, applauding wildly, every few minutes or seconds, the most outrageous lies and distortions of Binyamin Netanyahu". link to original.antiwar.com

    • The great fear of the Zionists is not Iran with a nuclear weapons capability [obviously they do not want to see that] rather a hostile neighbor with an educated and wealthy electorate and with ten times Israels population. This deal will open the Iranian market and free up billions of dollars frozen in overseas accounts. Trade deals now underway with the rest of the world will mean extra billions. Where will a lot of this money go, it will go, quite rightly to Iran's friends in the region, Syria, Iraq and Hezbollah. Yes Israels enemies. That is the main reason Netanyahu is blowing a fuse. Israels attempts to keep its neighbors weak and impoverished, with cyclical mowing of the lawn exercises can only be perpetrated for so long. Payback when it comes, will be a bitch.

    • The polls seem to be all over the place, this from Antiwar.com "the latest poll showing only 28% of Americans still comfortable backing the exact same deal, while 57% are opposed to the idea. 58% say they believe it makes the world less safe, which is of course what they’ve been hearing on TV.
      The anti-pact ad campaign appears to be rapidly becoming a case study in how to buy American opinion on an issue, and has been all the easier because many of the presidential primary candidates are parroting the ads, hoping to secure the funding from the lobbying groups and their deep pockets".link to news.antiwar.com Unless the Administration support this deal and do so with all guns blazing, there is a slim possibility Obama will be beaten. If he is the US would be left isolated in the world and with egg all over its face.

  • AIPAC taking all but 3 freshmen Congresspeople to Israel in effort to sabotage Iran deal
    • Ben, you have had some strange assignments lately, this crowd would not look out of place [as you did, non glazed eyes] inside that CUFI summit the other day. I'll bet AIPAC could even get them to dance the hora.

  • Inside a CUFI Summit: Christian Zionists dance the hora and prepare for end times in Washington DC
    • "People were excited. I even pretended to be". Ben, you were so easy to spot as the odd man out, your eyes were not glazed over. They should all be in straitjackets.

  • Cruz says Iran could set off Electro Magnetic Pulse over east coast, killing 10s of millions
    • This is serious stuff from Cruz, and no one should mock him, back in the 1930's Flash Gordon's archenemy Ming the Merciless had concocted a new weapon: a death ray emanating from Mars that wrought havoc on the Earth. To stop the ray, Flash[Buster Crabbe] had to travel to Mars and lock horns with Ming. Better to fight them over there [Mars] than here. Watch out for those Iranian rockets to Mars.

  • 'If we don't take out Iran,' it will reenact the Holocaust in US and Israel -- Steven Emerson to Times Square rally
    • JLewisDickerson. Your typo is far too kind to the American people, what H.L. Mencken said was..
      "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public."

  • Netanyahu bluffed an attack on Iran, and Jeffrey Goldberg helped out
    • "The Israelis will also state that they believe they have a reasonable chance of delaying the Iranian nuclear program for at least three to five years". The Israelis wanted to mow the Iranian lawn every three to five years. They are delusional, Iran has 10 times the population of Israel and when you factor in the missile capabilities of Iran and its friends surrounding Israel, it can only be concluded that with such an attack Israel has the death wish. Obama had other considerations on his mind, he would assume the Iranians would quite rightly think such an attack had the blessing of the US, therefore US bases in the region would be vulnerable to retaliation, not to mention the probable closure of the Strait of Hormuz and the consequent economic collapse of Western Europe. With so many negative consequences it is unbelievable that anyone should take any notice of the fool. [Obama to Sarkosy "You can't stand him because he is such a liar, I have to deal with him everyday".

  • If Americans support Iran deal, 56-37, what gives Israel the power to 'croak' it?
    • Bill Kristol said "Could Democrats in Congress say this: Given how bad Iran deal is anyway, could only vote for it if Iran first accepts legitimacy of Israel?" I thought that Iran had already declared that they, [Iran] would accept any deal the Palestinians could find acceptable. Neither Iran or the Palestinians [or the rest of the world for that matter] could accept Israel as legitimate, simply because it is a state which does not abide by International law, nor does it recognize the limits of its own borders, immediately breached when it became independent in 1948, then with various annexations and an occupation of Palestinian territory of 48 years. The question for Kristol is, where are the borders to this state, which others have to recognize?

  • The Iran deal: a triumph of irrationality
    • Maybe the United States is trying to save Israel from itself. Major General Aviv Kochavi head of Israeli intelligence said " For the first time in decades, enemy forces can attack all of Israel’s cities, Chief of the IDF Intelligence Directorate Major General Aviv Kochavi said last week. “About 170,000 rockets and missiles are pointed at Israel, and they are deadlier than ever,” the Intelligence Chief said. “Many of these weapons can be fired deep into Israel’s territory.” link to jewishpress.com
      We know Hezbollah alone has 100,000 rockets in their arsenal, how many has Iran? Most Israeli infrastructure and economic activity is within the metropolitan Tel Aviv area, very vulnerable to concerted missile strikes. The more time passes the more those missile capabilities will improve, that's inevitable. One thing I do agree with Israel on is, the deal will enable Iran to give more money [and material] to distribute to its friends in the region Hezbollah, Syria and Iraq. Professor Postol Professor of Sciece Technology and National Security at MIT [his expertise is in Ballistic missile defence technology] did a study on the effectiveness of the iron dome and calculated that it intercepted just 5% or less of Hamas rockets link to thebulletin.org Israel must do a deal with its adversaries before it is too late.

  • Israeli settlements are a 'war crime,' but ICC dodges the case -- Buttu
    • Ivri above thinks the settlements are only controversial, below is an extract from a court case in Quebec, Bil'in village and Yassin v Green Park International this is what the Prosecution said about the war crimes in question [settlements]...
      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. link to thecourt.ca

    • For the record, here is the text of the ICC UK 2001 Act. Article 8 [2][b]
      viii) "The transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory;"
      The 'indirectly' part clearly means 'organizes' or 'encourages' transfer.

    • It should be noted that at 120. In the text of the ICJ opinion, any measures taken to organize or encourage transfers is also a breach of Article 49.6 of Geneva. Here is that text....
      "As regards these settlements, the Court notes that Article 49, paragraph 6, of the Fourth Geneva Convention provides: "The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies." That provision prohibits not only deportations or forced transfers of population such as those carried out during the Second World War, but also any measures taken by an occupying Power in order to organize or encourage transfers of parts of its own population into the occupied territory".

    • I was not aware the ICC have dodged the settlements war crimes allegations. I believe they are contained in the voluminous file the Palestinians presented to the ICC very recently. Most legal observers agree with the opinions 15 Judges to 0 of the International Court of Justice [ICJ 2004] that the settlements, ALL OF THEM are illegal, and in breach of paragraph 6 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions. Of course the Israelis will look to any excuse to escape justice, link to opiniojuris.org Some Israeli lawyers put forward the theory that if Israel joined the ICC under section 124 [ICC] they would be immune from prosecution for 7 years. This would be contrary to the spirit and aims of the ICC and would rebound on Israel, still they will use every trick in the book to try to evade prosecution.

  • Let's help the 'NYT' get an interview with Netanyahu
  • ICC rules prosecutor to reconsider 'Mavi Marmara' investigation
    • In the Lebanon war in 2006 Gadi Eizenkot 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." Yes, and the fact that the Israeli High command had already accused the Turkish group IHH on board the Mavi Marmara as being terrorist supporters and in league with Hamas.
      So the calculation could have been, as General Eizenkot prescribed in Lebanon with full authorization. Deliberately harm the civilians as the only means of deterring other flotillas.

    • Kevin Jon Heller at Opinio Juris in his analysis of the importance of the 'gravity' of the war crime in question, gives a hypothetical situation whereby a group of the lowest-ranking soldiers from State X executes, against the stated wishes of their commanders, 10 civilians from State Y. The OTP would conclude that the “potential perpetrator” gravity factor militates against opening a formal investigation in State Y, because the crime in question, though terrible, did not involve militarily important perpetrators. The PTC, by contrast, would reach precisely the opposite conclusion concerning gravity, deeming the soldiers “most responsible” for the crime by virtue of the fact that they acted against orders. After all, no one else was responsible for the decision to execute the civilians. link to opiniojuris.org How would the Prosecutor know that the Israeli High Command including Netanyahu and his cabinet were not responsible for the killings, and that the soldiers were acting against orders, Oh I see, because he [Netanyahu] said he was not. Many Israeli Generals have said, the targeting of civilians was a policy which has been authorized at the highest level, how is it possible to conclude that this incident was not preplanned, without an investigation?

  • Nine reasons Obama is going to win on Iran. The first: Netanyahu
    • We know from the former French Presidents overheard conversations with Obama that Obama cannot stand Netanyahu, that's a given. But what about the US National Security advisor Susan E Rice. here is what Shmuley Boteach wrote in a full-page ad published by him this year in the New York Times saying that Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice condones genocide against the Jews. Huh? Because she “attacks” and “scolds” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his concerns about the Iranian negotiations, thereby dismissing his desperate pleas for Israel’s existence in the face of the perceived threat from Iran. link to mondoweiss.net Followed by a picture of Susan E Rice alongside many human skulls. Not something any normal human being would like to be accused of. Beware a woman scorned.

  • Crisis for the lobby: Clinton bucks Saban, AIPAC doesn't know what to say
    • Senator Lindsey Graham calls Iran deal 'death sentence for Israel', crisis for Hillary, does she back the death sentence? Poor Haim, doesn't he know Hillary would throw anyone under a bus to further her career.

  • 'We should seize it' -- Obama announces Iran deal as 'new direction' for the Middle East
    • Rand Paul opposes the Iran deal, and consigns his Presidential campaign to oblivion. link to news.antiwar.com

    • Former Chief of Staff for General Colin Powell, Col Larry Wilkerson has a very sensible take on the Iran deal here. link to youtube.com

    • Riff on Kenneth Williams or Netanyahu (as Julius Caesar on being murdered in the senate): Infamy! Infamy! They’ve all got it in for me! (Carry on Cleo). Netanyahu is funnier than Kenneth Williams.

    • You mean like this, Nut-'N-Yahoo blowing his stack. link to normanfinkelstein.com

    • This could be a crushing defeat for Israel /Saudi hegemony, in my opinion this was never about nuclear weapons, all 16 US intelligence agencies told us repeatedly that Iran was not after the bomb.
      Israeli and Saudi fears were that Iran's financial and conventional military influence will percolate through the region, that is correct and inevitable, and in my opinion a good thing. Because Iran has a military alliance with Syria, first item on the agenda should be to wipe out the anti-human animals which comprise the Saudi funded Islamic state [IS] and for the US to recognize the futility of backing "so called moderate jihadis" in Syria. No such groups exist. As the Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said recently the US cannot make a distinction between 'good' and 'bad' terrorists just because some fleeting geopolitical interest is served. Nobody will want to be left behind when all the deals on oil and gas are signed, the 80 million Iranian population market is begging to be exploited, my only hope is that the spoilers for the last few years France, is at the end of the queue.

  • US public supports Iran deal, but lobby groups seek to quash it
    • One major reason the US needs a deal with Iran has just occured in Ufa Russia at a gathering of the BRIC's “China and Russia have described BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) as the core of a new international order…
      Russian President Vladimir Putin said… “There is no doubt — we have all necessary premises to expand the horizons of mutually beneficial cooperation, to join together our raw material resources, human capital and huge consumer markets for a powerful economic spurt.” Mike Whitney in this excellent article link to globalresearch.ca says Russia and China cannot allow the US to determine the rules of the financial markets, and allow the US to use those tools to coerce other nations to do its bidding. Iran would surely look east in the event of further US sabre rattling .

    • Billionaire Thomas Kaplan and a family fundraiser foundation operated by Republican mega-doner Sheldon Adelson, revealed to be behind the group United Against Nuclear Iran [UANI] they accounted for three quarters of total revenue for the tax year 2013. link to lobelog.com It is impossible to conceive of a rapprochement between Iran and the US short of regime change in Iran, which is not going to happen. The talks seem to be on hold for the moment. The US prefer the sanctions to remain in place, while at the same time Irans nuclear activity is curtailed. The BRIC's may have other ideas, even the Europeans can see how intransigent the US positions are, and they can see the potential for huge profits in the Iranian market, they do not want those profits to go east. Will they cut their noses to spite their faces? Or is it true [as Putin alleges] that they are vassal states? Only time will tell, one thing is for sure the US electorate do not want another war [witness the electorates backlash against strikes against Syria] a war against Iran would be 100 times more problematical, and which could destroy Western economies.

  • 3,000 killed in Yemen in first 100 days of Saudi-led bombing, half civilians
    • Rand Paul blames the US for the rise of terrorism in Syria and Iraq. “[ISIS] would not be empowered in Iraq if we hadn’t been providing them a safe haven in Syria by arming their allies,” the Senator said, adding that “we are where we are because we armed the Syrian rebels,” the preponderance of whom are Wahhabi-Salafist extremists". link to globalresearch.ca The Saudis are slaughtering the Yemeni civilian population. While the AlQaeda terrorists are left alone, to advance and cause chaos all over Yemen. Time these Saudis perverts were taught a lesson.

    • Saudi Arabia regard the Houthis as part of the 'arc of resistance', Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hezbollah. That is why the Saudi and Gulf Kings and Emirs regard Iran as a existential threat to their dictatorial rule. So they can do deals with Israel and talk about 'Cutting of the head of the snake' [Iran]. But first they arm and fund the Jihadis in Syria and Iraq, with the intention of overthrowing Assad, then Hezbollah. The US acquiesce in this, hence when thousands of Jihadis cross from Syria to Iraq in their brand new Toyota trucks to attack and occupy major Iraqi cities like Mosul, Tikrit and Falluja, US intelligence does not notice, the US satellites can read a car number plate from space but could not see this invasion. Truth be told, they knew about it but let it happen, so Ted Snider said "What was really bizarre was not that America hadn’t noticed but that it had. American intelligence had informed the policy makers about ISIS, and the policy makers chose silence". link to original.antiwar.com There we have it, in order for the US to defeat the 'arc of resistance' they have thrown in their lot in with the terrorists and hope to bleed first Syria and then Hezbollah, of course they are described as moderates, but most neutral observers will admit, there are no moderate terrorists in Syria, some neocons even claim Al Nusra should be supported. This is not a new US policy of course, in Afghanistan the US backed the Mujahadin to drive the Russians out. Then paid for it with 9/11. Hopefully the Syrians will defeat the anti-Human sectarian animals, and the arc of resistance will grow and eventually sweep away the satraps in the Gulf and go on to liberate the Palestinians. If the arc of resistance is defeated Palestine will be lost.

  • Happy 10th Anniversary BDS
    • I agree Annie, very inspirational. Music by the Proclaimers / I would walk 500 miles. I think.

  • The BDS Movement at 10: An interview with Omar Barghouti
    • These campaigns are successful when they reach a critical mass, when some large institutions take measures other institutions tend to follow, similarly hardly any large retailer admits to selling produce from occupied territory, if they did they would soon have to contend with angry protests. Many EU governments issued warnings to companies and individuals, in the UK case through its UK Trade and Industry's Business risk register-Israel . In the document, they warn that, inter alia, financial transactions, purchases, procurements as well as other economic activities prospective purchasers might make carry clear risks. They state that those involved in buying products from settlements deemed illegal under International law should beware, because this may result in disputed titles to land; water, mineral or other natural resources which might be the subject of purchase or investment, and that those contemplating any economic or financial involvement in such purchases should seek appropriate legal advice.
      As Hostage pointed out recently, businesses look to the future, they do not want to be involved in costly litigation on reparations, war crimes profiteering etc, as the recent Orange cell phone incident proved, businesses know the score and will eventually do the right thing, even only for the sake of their shareholders.

  • California students resist authorities’ attempt to conflate criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism
    • Johnathan Rosenhead in a reply to a comment on the Tribunal proceedings said..
      "The judge sat through 20 days mostly taken up with a parade of 29 witnesses called by Ronnie Fraser, including MPs Dennis MacShane and John Mann (described as ‘glib’ and ‘arrogant’ by the judge). Jeremy Newmark CEO of the Jewish Leadership Council was found to have given untrue evidence. And so on. UCU’s 5 witnesses on the other hand were noted in the ruling as having given factual, careful and accurate evidence. What it comes down to is that those who see anti-Semitism wherever Israel’s policies are criticised have had their day in court – and lost", I like that.
      As for the ex jailbird and MP Dennis MacShane accused of being 'glib' and 'arrogant' I couldn't have put it better myself.

    • Hopefully, when the first defamation case is brought before a US court, the result will be the same as one decided here in the UK.
      "Ronnie Fraser, a further education lecturer and founding director of Academic Friends of Israel, argued that the UCU was institutionally anti-Semitic owing to motions passed in favour of a boycott of Israel.

      Despite enlisting the services of Anthony Julius, best known as Diana, Princess of Wales’ divorce lawyer and a partner at Mishcon de Reya, all of his 10 claims of harassment have been “dismissed in their totality”.link to timeshighereducation.co.uk The court also said.. Scorn is also invoked for Mr Julius’s decision to pursue certain points, with complaints variously dismissed as “palpably groundless”, “obviously hopeless” and “devoid of any merit”.

      The “sorry saga” had also acquired a “gargantuan scale” that required a 20-day hearing and a 23 volumes of evidence which was “manifestly excessive and disproportionate”, the tribunal adds.

      “Our analysis to date has despatched almost the entire case as manifestly unmeritorious,” it concludes.

  • Obama gets on the same page with Iran ('we don't have to be imprisoned by the past')
    • Thanks for that link Citizen, hugely informative.

    • "The dispute between the US and Iran about its nuclear activities was made in Washington. It arose because the US attempted to deny Iran its “inalienable right” under the NPT to engage in uranium enrichment and other nuclear activity for peaceful purposes under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA)". So say David Morrison and Peter Oborne link to middleeasteye.net Obama's willingness to do a deal would not be part of a comprehensive rapprochement, in my opinion this was never about nuclear weapons, rather a determination to hold back Iran's economic growth and regional influence [the arc of resistance] at the behest of Israel and Israel's new friend the Saudis. The Iranians are now pretty well self sufficient, thanks to their Russian and Chinese friends, the sanctions regime would soon collapse when it becomes obvious that the US was being unreasonable

  • Hillary Clinton promises megadonor she will work with Republicans-- to oppose BDS
    • In a 2013 study initiated by the then Finance Minister Yair Lapid, it examined possible scenarios based on different punitive measures, Israel's worst case scenario would mean a complete embargo on Israeli products in Europe, with damage amounting to NIS 84.4 billion in lost exports, and a NIS 40 billion drop in GDP. link to middleeastmonitor.com. Will Haim Saban offer to make up the shortfall?

    • Why are you so cynical? Democracy in the United States IS the best money can buy.

  • Iran's kumbaya video: let's cut the deal and turn to 'existential battle' against extremists
    • Billionaire Thomas Kaplan and a family fundraiser foundation operated by Republican mega-doner Sheldon Adelson, revealed to be behind the group United Against Nuclear Iran [UANI] they accounted for three quarters of total revenue for the tax year 2013. link to lobelog.com

  • Episcopal Church rejects BDS resolutions citing fears divestment would hamper church in Jerusalem
    • Archbishop Dawani's attitude reminds me of a talk by Professor Finkelstein in Dublin recently, he said 'you have to fight self' then recounted how the many NGO's in the West Bank exist because of the occupation and that many had a stake in the occupation, he also said if the occupation ended tomorrow "What would I do" no seriously "What would I do" He was only joking of course, but the point was well made. With leaders like Abbas and Archbishop Dawani the Palestinians outlook is bleak indeed.

  • Latest Netanyahu cartoon says west is allowing ISIS to build 'atomic bombs' aimed at US and Christianity
    • "Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya'alon acknowledged on Monday that his government helps Syrian rebels fighting against the Assad regime on condition that they keep the Israel-Syria border secure". link to middleeastmonitor.com All the rebel groups share or sell arms to one another, and form alliances with one another to achieve specific goals. One thing they all seem agreed on is, never to attack Israel, I wonder why?

  • United Church of Christ votes to boycott & divest from companies profiting from Israel's occupation
    • Ellen@ Will there be lawfare? As Sarah would say,You betcha! " Shurat HaDin, an organisation with links to Israel's government and security services, is holding a seminar this week in Jerusalem "to train lawyers from abroad to litigate BDS." The gathering follows a period of intensified attacks by Israeli officials on the Palestinian-led boycott movement, including reports of imminent Justice Ministry-initiated lawsuits". link to middleeastmonitor.com

  • UN report on Gaza war is 'tepid,' 'unserious' and exhibits 'anti-Muslim bigotry' -- Finkelstein
    • Richard Falk described the Dahiya doctrine thus.. "the civilian infrastructure of adversaries such as Hamas or Hezbollah are treated as permissible military targets, which is not only an overt violation of the most elementary norms of the law of war and of universal morality, but an avowal of a doctrine of violence that needs to be called by its proper name: state terrorism."
      Then we have another Israeli 'doctrine', transferring citizens of the occupier into occupied territory. This is also described by the ICC as 'a grave war crime'. Once again Israeli state policy is to commit grave war crimes, all with the blessing of the US and Western Europe. And then they wonder why they hate us.

    • The cost/benefit of of this so called "war" was heavily in favor of Israel, many Israeli Generals have said civilians are being targeted, for instance in the Lebanon war in 2006 Gadi Eizenkot 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." There we have it, war crimes are what Israel plans, and carries out.
      I have no objection to armed resistance, but that resistance has to be effective and capable of achieving a political objective. Hezbollah now have the capability to destroy a lot of Israeli infrastructure and have promised to do so when attacked again, that is why Israel will think twice about attacking Hezbollah. Hamas launched 4,000 "rockets" at Israel but caused very little damage, one rocket landed a mile from Ben Gurian airport and closed it down for a short period. One successful rocket, as opposed all those deaths in addition to 8 billion dollars to reconstruct Gaza, means that Hamas [although fighting bravely] need to go back to the drawing board. Closing the airport down for any length of time could have destroyed the Israeli economy, blowing up the desert is futile and played into Netanyahu's hands.

  • Oren pushed Random House to hurry his book so American Jews will 'intercede' to stop Iran deal and save millions of Jews
    • "You can’t call it the two state solution now, but you have a two state situation, de facto, in the West Bank, and let’s work to make it better," Here Oran is saying there will not be a 'legally' recognized Palestine state by the Israelis, so that the "Land of Israel" which Oran believes incorporates the whole of the West Bank, [or as he might say, Judea and Samaria], will not be compromised by the de facto fragments of land which the Palestinians now inhabit.

  • Israeli court sentences Palestinian man to 13 months in prison for Facebook post
    • “(Abbas) told me this government of national unity could only include women and men who recognize Israel, renounce violence and who are in agreement with the principles of the (Mideast) Quartet,” Fabius said at a press conference in Jerusalem after holding talks with Abbas in Ramallah. Noting that those conditions ruled out Hamas, Fabius added: “And that suits us perfectly.” Abbas like his friends Mubarak and Sisi would like to rule the Bantustans with an iron fist, Kate above, detailed how the PA police beat and jailed a Palestinian for a month for a facebook post "may the rule of the PA collapse" With an apolitical fool and collaborator like Abbas in charge, the Palestinians do not have a chance. That comment of mine should ensure 10 years in a PA cell.

  • Israeli diplomats 'are not allowed to speak' on US campuses, but North Korean diplomats are, Israeli official says
  • Does Israel have a toxic personality? Ask Michael Oren
    • " Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren, has confirmed suspicions that Israel has taken the side of Syrian rebels in their bloody civil war and wants President Assad to fall even if that turns Syria over to al-Qaeda-connected jihadists",link to consortiumnews.com Oran of course thinks that the enemy of my enemy is my friend, I have no doubt he would like to see all Arab nations at war with one another, so that Israel does not have to compromise with anyone, in fact a far easier way to steal more land.

  • PLO: Abbas to head new Palestinian government, weighs national unity with Hamas
    • " Last year when the national consensus government was established as a body of technocrats it also said it would host legislative elections, yet no steps were taken" It's a good job Abbas is not 50 something, I can envisage him in power for another 50 years, he has no intention of stepping down or of holding elections. What would be the point of elections in any case, a Hamas win, as in 2006 would not be acceptable to Israel/US or the West in general. The Palestinians do need to end these splits, which only benefit the Israelis, in fact the dissolution of this technocratic government was what the Israelis wanted all along, strange how Abbas and Co always seem to adopt the Israeli/US positions with regard to Hamas.

  • Israel's race to economic (and moral) bankruptcy
    • The EU/US are already paying for the occupation in aid and infrastructure projects, if Israel was required to service the occupation as any occupier is normally required to do, they may have a different attitude. Maybe the Israelis think that the US whose Afghan and Iraq wars projected costs amount to 7 trillion dollars [Linda Bilmes, Kennedy Law School] will step in and keep them in the style to which they are accustomed, and it must be said, to which they think they are entitled.

  • Orange CEO flies to Jerusalem to apologize personally to Netanyahu: Israel is ‘fantastic’
    • Netanyahu should have insisted the CEO do a belly crawl. Or humiliate him as they did the Turkish Ambassador with the high chair, low chair routine. These people have no self respect. In fact if I put in words what I really thought of of this CEO, I would be banned.

  • Foxman bashes Israel for taking US and Jewish support for granted and not coming up with a peace plan
    • If not antisemitism, he is certainly delegitimizing Israel, shame on you Abe, he must realize all the aid and support Israel receives from Congress is 'entitled'. Abe looks like a ventriliquist dummy with Joe's hand up his back. A gottle of geer please Joe.

  • Is BDS practicing a double standard with respect to Arab countries?
    • Beinart does not want Israel within the green line boycotted, why not, it has been, and still is the policy of all Israeli Governments since 1967 to settle Occupied Palestinian Territory, contrary to International law. The settlers themselves bear some culpability, to varying degrees. But the Israeli state have been encouraging with financial inducements, tax breaks, supplying infrastructure etc for the settlements, so the Israeli state is to blame. Totally.

  • Netanyahu cabinet members reject two-state solution; call for annexation of occupied territories
    • Sibiriak, you seem to be implying that the Palestinians who live in Gaza [which is under Israeli occupation] and is not a state in its own right nor does it wish to be, are not part of the Palestinian people with the same right to self determination as anyone else, and who have been recognized as an integral component of the Palestinian state, and recognized as such by the UNGA in that famous vote in 2012.

    • "I negate the idea of a two state-solution,” Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said " Then she said "they have to recognize Israel as a jewish state and express their will to live alongside it"; Well which is it? If she wishes to annex the West Bank, it can only be one state, not two. Unless she means expulsion.

  • New low: Israeli conference boos and heckles Obama's treasury sec'y when he says US looks out for Israel
    • Just @ "There have been no consequences to the terrible behavior and actions by Netanyahu and his crew toward this administration and, by extension, the citizens of the US". Unfotunately there has been. More uprated weapons systems including the iron dome, increased US funds to Israel and an 'I love Israel more than you' contest amongst US politicians, the bottom line is, the more they whine, the more US politicians [probably through gritted teeth] try to placate them. There's method in their madness.

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